It has been nearly ten months since 60 Minutes and Jon Krakauer broke the story about Greg Mortenson and alleged mishandling of funds at his Central Asia Institute. The story was that the Three Cups of Tea author embellished sections of his book, which garnered him a large audience of fans, who in turn donated funds to CAI based on those false tales.
The non-profit organization used those funds to help build schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan, although 60 Minutes and Krakauer say that millions of dollars were mishandled or lined the pockets of Mortenson and other execs.
Today, Outside magazine posted a length follow-up article entitled “The Trials of Greg Mortenson” that fills us in on what has been happening over the past few months. Since the story first hit the headlines, Mortenson has had to deal with a number of health issues, but for the most part, has remained silent about the allegations and the impending trials. CAI has continued to move forward with their efforts, even if their high-profile founder has stepped out of the limelight some. But while the organization tries to make it seem that it is business as usual internally, the Montana Attorney General’s office may be preparing to move ahead with a court case against them
As I mentioned, this is a long article, but a good follow-up for everyone who is interested in the story. I think at this point, we’re all waiting for the other shoe to drop to see where things go for CAI and Mortenson. Both the man, and the organization he started, have done a lost of good things in Pakistan, and it is a shame that this shadow has fallen over the work. But it also seems clear that he greatly exaggerated his exploits in Himalaya, and a lot of people bought into his story – to the tune of millions of dollars.
It seems that there will be even bigger news on this case soon, but for now, Outside has done a good job of putting everything in perspective.