By Chad Gates-
Don’t always believe what you hear, checking into the details of a topic will always help you know what’s real, and what’s fake.
There’s absolutely no denying the fact that Joesph Kony, the infamous “star” of the recent YouTube video/documentary Kony 2012, and bloodthirsty leader of the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) is a horrible person who has committed shocking crimes against humanity such as recruiting childen, making the girls into sex slaves and the boys into soldiers, should pay for his atrocities.
But taking irrelevant facts and manipulating them to obtain millions of peoples attention and money for supporting your cause, could be just as bad.
That’s exactly what Jason Russell, director of Kony 2012 and co-founder of Invisible Children, the activist organization geared towards seeing the capture of Joesph Kony, did.
Kony 2012 was uploaded to YouTube and other websites including Invisible Childrens’ site on March 5th, 2012. The video quickly went viral and by March 24th Kony 2012 had over 85 millions views on YouTube alone.
The video was a 30-minute documentary narrated by Jason Russell highlighting experience in Uganda where he ment Jacob Acaye, a young boy who’s older brother was killed by the LRA. Moved by Jacob’s story of his brother, Russell promised that he would find a way to stop Kony and the LRA.
This may seem like a noble cause, but this is were the suspicion begins.
As the video goes on, facts are stated about Kony and the LRA. Many of the facts are vaque and relevant to about 25-30 years ago. This is probably due to the fact because Russell wanted his video to have the biggest impact on the general public. By presenting the facts in conjunction with the crimes committed the motive in Kony 2012 seems very convincing, too convincing. A simple internet search on Kony or the LRA reveals more recent information on these topics that contradicts those shown in the video. For example, the video claims that the LRA is 30,000 child soldiers strong.
However, a 2012 census reveals their ranks dwindle with as few as 200-250 soldiers. These numbers are spread thin across Uganda and countries adjacent to it, and there is no existing headquarters for the LRA. Kony is speculated to have never set foot in the country in over 6 six years. According to Matthew Green, author of The Wizard of the Nile: The Hunt for Africa’s Most Wanted, the LRA was highly organized and equipped with crew-operated weapons, VHF radios and satillite phones.
How could a child effectively operate these devices and be able to exucute modern combat procedures? Doesn’t sound like an army of children anymore at all.
At some point after these facts in the video, viewers are asked to donate as much money as they can to help support Invisible Children’s fight to bring Kony to justice. Last year there spending report totaled $8.3 million, with only a mere $3.3 million going to programs in Uganda.
Even the people behind the movement are of shady character. On March 15th, 2012 Jason Russell was detained by San Diego police officers after alledgely vandalizing cars, making sexual gestures, and publicly masturbating after removing his clothes according to eyewitness accounts and a video that can be seen on the internet as well.
Also, Jedidiah Jenkins, Senior Exeuctive for Invisible Children. Was shown in a leaked video drunkenly joking about stealing $900K from a $1 million dollar grant intented for earthquake aid in Haiti while periodically drinking a bottle of clear liquid from a 1.75 liter container of Smirnof
IB Times stated that a source from within Invisible Children that the video was intended to be a private joke, and the container was filled with water and not vodka.
All these scandals and old facts has this “good” cause’s credibility at stake, but before all this activism Kony 2012 has stirred up dies down, it’s guaranteed that people will begin to realize this is as real as it is fake before they all look back and realize it was nothing more than just another crafty way to swindle people out of their money.