Sunday, July 9, 2017


I did my first human aid project back in the Summer of 2015, after I met Anna Tuv and her 2 surviving kids, when I was still in the Army with XAH Battalion. Anna's home in Gorlovka had been bombed by ukrop army heavy artillery. Anna's husband and young daughter were killed in the attack, her home was destroyed, and she lost her left arm. She needed help, and I had to do something.

Thanks to the generosity of friends around the world,  we raised $10,000 for Anna and the kids, in about a month. Every penny raised went to her, 100%, and we kept the records to prove it. I have done many human aid projects since then, with Суть времени, Spendenaktion fur Novorussia, Pedro's Progress, Donbass Human Aid and others. Meticulous records were kept for every single project, and every single penny has been accounted for and went where it was supposed to go. 100%. We have done a lot of good work, but some hard lessons have also been learned. Not everyone who wears a white hat is a "Good Guy".

Remember "Angel Battalion"? Run by Russian conman and poseur Alexy Smirnov, they scammed many thousands of dollars from good-hearted people around the world.  Their scam was exposed and disbanded, and Smirnov arrested by DPR authorities in 2016. As far as I know, he's still in jail, where he belongs. He did not just steal from donors, he stole from the victims of the war, people who really needed help. A true criminal, the worst kind, a fraud.  But he was not the worst of the self-styled "Humanitarian" fraudsters.

 Remember Sir Bono from U2, and his "ONE" Foundation, that raised $15 million, and gave less than $200,000 of it to the poor people the money was intended for?  That's a 98.7% scam. More than $8 million of the $15 million was spent on salaries for these "charity" workers, in "ONE" year alone.  The other $7 million (less the $200,000 that actually went to charity) went to "expenses" like offices, plane tickets, limos, hotels, etc. All first class, of course, because $7 million in a single year.
Now, THAT is a scam!

Then there's the Clinton Foundation, "The largest charity fraud in American history", according to one Harvard analyst. According to their IRS forms, the "charity" took in around $300 million a year, and gave to the poor between $4 and $6 million a year. Around 2%, going where it was supposed to.
And where did the other 95% go?  You know where. So, you get the idea...

Scams like these are more common that you think. Some people see a tragedy and don't think how they can help the victims, they think how they can help themselves by using the suffering of others to enrich themselves. Especially in war zones, which attract a large amount of parasites and vultures.
"Ambulance Chasers"...

So, it is not enough for good and generous people to donate to some heart-rending appeal to ease human suffering. Due diligence is required, because to donate to a scam is to encourage scamming and to reward the lowest of the low, those who prey on the suffering. It is not enough to send money and trust it will go where it should, as the examples above prove so clearly. You MUST demand accountability from whoever solicits funds for human aid work. And it's really very simple -
If they ask you for money, you ask them for receipts. Verifiable receipts.  That's job one. 

You're not just protecting yourself, you're protecting the people who the money is supposed to be going to, and the legitimate humanitarian organizations whose names get smeared by association every time a scam gets exposed. There are good guys out there, real humanitarians. Your job is to make sure those are the ones you support.

Here are a few very basic guidelines -

#1 - Receipts.  If they don't show receipts for every project, it's a scam. Period. There is NO excuse for not providing real receipts for every project. One thing about Russians, they love documents. If they do anything significant - construction, medicine, machines, ANY significant money deal, they always produce copious documents. Always.  If there are no documents, in Russia, and in human aid, it didn't happen. And by "documents", I mean receipts.

#2 - Track Record. Have they done this work in the past, and did the people they were supposed to help actually get helped? How do you know? Did they show receipts? Do the people they have worked with in the past still work with them? If not, why? And speaking of "why", why does someone do a human aid project anyway? If they start a new project every time their bank account starts getting low, that's a sure sign they're not out to help other people, they're out to help themselves, to your money, the money you donated to people who really need it.

#3 - Associates. We are who we hang out with, who we work with. Who do they work with? What other humanitarian organizations work with them? Are those orgs trustworthy and reputable?  There are no "Lone Rangers" in human aid work. No collaborators means no oversight, no oversight means big temptation to "take a little off the top." Or a lot. If they work alone, they decide the cut they take, and you have to take their word that the contributions went where they said they did. Because nobody else really knows, do they? So neither do you.

#4 - Lifestyle - When "Angel Battalion" was driving around Donbass in designer clothes and nice new cars, making music videos about how cool and generous they were with other people's money, donors should have been asking themselves where the money for that was coming from. If "humanitarians" can afford to live the highlife, you should ask yourself why they aren't donating to their projects themselves. It is a statistical fact that rich people donate less to charity than the poor.
So consider high living and human aid to be mutually exclusive. They are. Just look at Bono...

#5 - Organization - Watch for the ponzi scheme. REAL human aid projects are well organized, transparent, and updated as progress is made, with verifiable evidence, not only that the work is being done, but that the money for a specific project is being spent on that project. When new projects are started before old ones are completed, that's an obvious red flag. When someone says "Don't ask, just give", it's time to start asking. Human aid work is tough, time-consuming and complex, even when doing a single project at a time. The more projects going at once, the more chance of funds getting mixed up or "lost" in the shuffle. A well organized, well documented project is an honest project. 

ANYBODY you give money to for a project should be able to tell you within $100 how much they have and how much they spent ANYTIME you ask. And be able to prove it within 24 hours. It's YOUR money, not theirs, and it's yours till they show you the receipt and PROOF it got spent on what you sent it for. If they won't give you a number and proof when you ask, they're scamming. Obviously.

I will continue to work with the  Суть времени human aid unit,  Donbass Human Aid, Spendenaktion fur Novorussia and Pedro's  Progress on selected projects. I have other work these days that will take up much of my time, but I will fulfill all commitments I have to ongoing projects. All these are honest and reputable people who give more than they get, and I stand behind them and with them 100%. And they do the same with me. Just ask them.

So, thanks to all humanitarians, keep you good hearts and faith in Humanity, but do your homework and know where your money is going. Trust is a sign of courage, so be brave, but be wise. A soft heart is not an excuse for a simple mind, so do your due diligence, and let's be careful out there. There's a line from an old song about what really counts - "It's not what you got, it's what you give, not the life you choose, but the life you live."  Don't support scammers when there are real people who are doing good work, and real people who really need help. And together, let's make a better world for everybody.