*****

*****

Monday, 31 July 2017

The Essential Review (Aug-Sept 2017)

Healing the Broken Body
Living in Integrity—Loving Truth and Peace

detail, painting by Antonello da Messina, 15th century

Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper,
but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.

Proverbs 28:13

“NCI and related matters have brought serious confusion, disruption, and distrust into the international [Church Mission Community (CMC]). Healing in the international CMC will happen only as we walk fully in the light with both God and humans as witnesses: to establish the facts, admit any errors and wrongdoing, share perspectives, and help return/recover money for investors. Our transparency and accountability now will also help prevent similar situations within the international CMC from happening in the future.” PETRA Statement 2011

“The sad and serious events described in this professional review have their genesis in poor or inadequate corporate governance, which has led to: authoritarian and dysfunctional management practices; disregard for truth and justice; ineffective employee/staff safeguards; destructive conflicts of interest; covert financial management practices; and in the end even suspected criminality. YWAM has experienced all of these consequences, while other organizations such as the WEA-MC, EEMA, Le Rucher and various churches have been affected to varying degrees. One question arises over and over in this review--where is the ethical and accountable corporate governance?” Rand Guebert, Professional Review: Integrated Executive Summary (page 9)
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This entry pulls together many of the efforts by the PETRA People Network (PP Net) calling for the assistance of the people and the organizations affected by the Nordic Capital Investment KB fraud (NCI). Those “affected” refers to the specific investors-victims, organizations-ministries, staff-leaders, and any others who received/lost money in this scheme or were somehow impacted. It also refers to the thousands of people who are or were part of these organizations-ministries (including Board members and supporters) and who have a moral responsibility to call leaders and others to account: to disclose, conduct independent reviews, and where there are “net positive” gains, to return money to victims.

The efforts by PP Net have also sought to inform and educate the international church-mission community (CMC) and general public. The 40 entries on this weblog since 2011, for example, have focused on: resources about corruption, good practice principles and standards, and integrity; court documents and updates on legal cases; the Shine the Light–Together petition and PETRA Statements from 2011 and 2012; the letters to organizational leaders asking for their assistance, transparency, and accountability (2014-current); and the overall developments and concerns over the past 10 years since NCI was first publically confronted.

It is important to realize that the Swedish court documents (released in 2010 and 2011) indicate that it was primarily Christians, Christian organizations, and Christian ministries that were affected by NCI. Some of the main ones were part of Youth With A Mission (YWAM), including Mercy Ministries, Le Rucher, and Mercy Ships. Youth For Christ Switzerland was used as an address for one of the main NCI promoters for NCI activities and Crossroads Church in Ferny-Voltaire, France had many members who heard about and invested in NCI.  

Topics in this Review
1.     A Core Message and the Integrity Petition
2.     NCI Background
3.     Summary Issues and Requests for Assistance: PETRA Statement 2012
4.     Requesting Assistance from Specific Organizational Leaders
5.     Calling YWAM to Integrity and Action

PETRA People Network was set up in 2010. We are committed to promoting peace, transparency, and accountability in all sectors of society and especially in the international Christian community. Our general focus is on preventing and confronting corruption and on promoting personal and organizational integrity. Our specific focus is on the Nordic Capital Investments KB fraud (NCI).
*****
Healing the Broken Body
Living in Integrity—Loving Truth and Peace



1. A Core Message and the Integrity Petition
NCI, and the lack of response to it by those in the CMC, have seriously damaged many peoples’ lives. It has also seriously compromised the reputation and witness of the CMC. It is essential to get accurately informed, call for ethical action, and conduct independent reviews for learning and healing. The resulting verifiable information could shed crucial light on what was happening with this fraud and by whom, and likely go a long way to preventing similar things though the lessons learned and bring healing.

We thus encourage everyone to act beyond reproach not just for their own or organization's sake but also for the sake of the CMC and the general public. Corruption such as the NCI KB fraud does not simply go away on its own, over time, by ignoring it, or by keeping silent. All of us in the CMC can and must act with integrity--the consistent, highest level of moral wholeness. And we can and must hold our organizations and leaders accountable to do the same. Love truth and peace. Heal the broken Body. Live in integrity.

The Integrity Petition
Shine the Light--Together!


An international petition calling for integrity and action to confront corruption in the church-mission community and in particular the international NCI et al. fraud.

You can make a difference.
Join with others around the world.
Read, sign, and share this petition.
.
 2. NCI Background
--NCI began in 1994 and functioned secretively as a ponzi scheme until it was publically confronted in 2007. Several victims contacted governments about NCI in July that year (FBI in the USA, Serious Fraud Office in the UK, Fraud Police in The Netherlands, and Economic Crimes Bureau in Sweden). See also the initial 10 point overview about NCI at the top of the PETRA People website (this website also contains several documents from the Swedish court case, analyses, anti-corruption resources, etc.).

--An initial investigative review was done by a business consultant, Rand Guebert (2008). It is 120 pages and focuses on the serious problems in organizations affected by NCI including poor organizational governance and the discrediting and wrongful dismissals which Kelly and Michèle O’Donnell experienced in the CMC. Its findings related to NCI (based on the known evidence/documents at the time) are supported by the Swedish court documents that were released later in 2010 and 2011. This review has been shared with government investigative bodies although it has not yet been shared publically.

--The Swedish government (Economic Crimes Bureau--EBM) was the principle government that eventually took the lead to investigate (2008-2011). It prosecuted only one person, Kristian Westergard, the founder of Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Sweden. The Swedish EBM determined that NCI was a long-term, gross fraud and sentenced Mr. Westergard to prison where he served a term for just over two years. Mr. Westergard was required to repay several of the victims listed in the case. But since he had very few traceable assets, very little money has been ever repaid to the 20+ plaintiffs. Other people who were affected by the fraud (net-positives) were not required to return money (by the governments or by their respective CMC organizations-ministries). Nor were there any prosecutions for other persons involved with Westergard/NCI (some perhaps innocently). Millions of dollars/Euros are still missing.

--The Shine the Light-Together petition  (2012-current, with over 200 signatures, including reaffirmations) and the PETRA People Network weblog (2011-current, with 40 entries) were set up to help the CMC and the public understand corruption in general and the NCI case specifically. They have been emphasizing that different Christian organizations were and are “affected” by the fraud—specifically, that leaders and staff invested, benefited/lost money, ministry projects received money etc. The reluctance of these leaders and organizations to disclose and to submit to independent investigation has also been highlighted. Their information could shed crucial light on what was happening with this fraud and by whom, and likely go a long way to preventing similar things though the lessons learned and bring healing.

--In August 2014, four of the organizations included in the Shine the Light-Together petition and several of their leaders were formally presented with the petition, asking for their assistance and that they inform other leaders in their organizations. Leaders in Youth With A Mission, Mercy Ships, Youth For Christ, and Crossroads Church (Ferney-Voltaire, France) received separate email-letters regarding the petition with the names and comments of the people who signed it.  The letters were then posted on the PETRA People weblog in September 2014 along with subsequent correspondence (Click here to see the paper trail: (August 2014--current). Note that specific names of leaders were listed again in the February 2017 weblog entry along with links to other organizational leaders and Board members who have a moral responsibility to assist and hold themselves and fellow leaders accountable.

--In December 2016 there was a renewed effort for people to read, sign, and share the petition. “This petition is a call to many organizations and people, especially in the church and mission community (CMC), to assist by transparently and verifiably disclosing how they have been affected by Nordic Capital Investment KB fraud (NCI). In addition, members of these organizations (past and present), donors, and the public are asked to help by respectfully and resolutely calling for the assistance of those affected by NCI.”

--YWAM was especially affected—staff, leaders, and ministries—including Mercy Ships while it was still part of YWAM and afterwards. According to the Swedish court documents, Erik Spruyt (a major/former YWAM leader), Mercy Ministries organizations in four countries and Le Rucher in France (originally all part of YWAM), and two personal/family foundations set up by Mr. Spruyt with bank accounts in Lichtenstein (GF, NGF) were some of the entities that received hundreds of thousands of dollars/Euros of NCI money. Mr. Spruyt maintains that he is innocent and that he was a victim. In January 2017 there was a civil court decision in France which did not find Mr. Spruyt or Mercy Ministries France (defendants) responsible for the financial damages experienced by six NCI victims (plaintiffs in the case). Although all plaintiffs totally disagreed with the court ruling, they decided to not appeal. Nonetheless the public and moral call for assistance will continue so that those affected by NCI will follow good practice standards via verifiable disclosures, independent reviews, transparency, accountability, and integrity. 

3. Summary Issues and Requests for Assistance: PETRA Statement 2012 (excerpts)
In light of the Swedish court documents, we are publicly calling for the following organizations to provide assistance by reviewing and disclosing how NCI has affected them. We are also asking them to review how they have responded to the NCI matter thus far. Authorizing independent and internal reviews is strongly encouraged. It is not helpful to simply try to “move on” and leaders and members are urged now to hold their organizations accountable. There is much to learn and many ways to help. We urge organizations affected by NCI to emulate the organizations in the “United Response” to the New Era Scandal: be transparent, accountable and cooperate to return money.

Individuals and organisations committed to integrity
 should welcome the opportunity to help
via open investigations and verifiable disclosures.

--Mercy Ministries Associations (MM). MM International, with related associations in France, Holland, and Switzerland (set up in 1994, 1995) are related directly to Le Rucher in France. They received  hundreds of thousands of NCI-related euros/dollars over nearly 10 years. Where is this money? How will past and current board members and staff help? DocsMoney Flows Confirmed by EBM * Examples of NCI Money Flows* Suggestions (see point six in this link)

--New Generation Foundation (NGF, GF). A foundation/account was set up in 1997 at a Liechtenstein bank by a major YWAM and Le Rucher leader. Over time it received hundreds of thousands of NCI euros/dollars. Where is this money? DocExamples of NCI Money Flows

--Youth With A Mission International (YWAM). NCI is an affinity-based fraud and YWAM is the main organization affected. It is seriously affected. In July 1995 Mr. Westergard presented NCI at YWAM Le Rucher during an international YWAM conference. Major YWAM leaders invested since at least 1996 and YWAM projects received NCI-related money. Senior leaders have consistently stated that senior/international leaders were not aware of NCI and that one of the major YWAM leaders actively involved in NCI (administering contracts, receiving NCI funds, etc) and YWAM Le Rucher in France were not properly part of YWAM. Hence, it is argued, YWAM has no responsibility. These assertions are hard to understand in view of the court and other documents. YWAM leaders (e.g., IFMLT, GLF, MMI), YWAM members, and YWAM donors internationally are urged to get informed and together call for an internal and an independent review of how YWAM has been affected and how it has responded, and to persevere until such reviews are done. Will they do this? Docs: Request to YWAM Leaders for Assistance 5 June 2011, with links to investors, projects, previous requestssee also this partial list of YWAM-related investors, based on EBM documents.

--Mercy Ships International (based in Texas USA and including Mercy Ships in the UK, Switzerland, and France). An Austrian court document from 2001 and other Swedish documents indicate that Mercy Ships (part of YWAM until 2003) was to benefit from NCI funds related to a three million US dollar transaction that was frozen by the Austrian government in November 2001. How does this transaction and other NCI-related money flows relate to this respected organization and especially the refitting of the African Mercy hospital ship, including a $10 million USD matching grant (matched between 2002-2004)? Docs: See the “NCI Documents” section on the PETRA People web site, and then open up the “Austria case” folder in the attachments.

--Youth For Christ (YFC) in Coppet, Switzerland. The name “YFC” and its physical address in Switzerland were used for a substantial amount of NCI-related correspondence (by a person actively involved in NCI but not part of YFC). Why? YFC is a respected organization yet it has not fully investigated and verifiably disclosed what their relationship was with NCI and any possible benefits. Will they do this? Docs: Two Swiss addresses used for correspondence (Note that there was overlap between Board members of YFC Coppet Switzerland, Board members of Mercy Ministries related to Le Rucher, and the Elders Board of Crossroads Church in Ferney-Voltaire, France by Geneva).

--Churches in Holland and France. One example of a church that can really help is Crossroads church in Ferney-Voltaire, France. Members of and people attending Crossroads church were aware of NCI and many of them have invested over the years. The former pastor for example helped by sharing how he was approached to invest in 1995. Will this church do a review, inform their past and current members/attendees about NCI, and seek information from them to help? Several church leaders in the Geneva/Lausanne area were updated in 2010, 2011. DocsLetters to church leaders.

--Individuals, families, ministries, projects, charities, foundations, and other organizations. Those that have been involved with and/or benefited from NCI—that have or may have received NCI-related funds—have key roles to play in sharing information and helping to locate missing money. Some of these entities have had three or more contracts with NCI (e.g., contracts related to other investors’ contracts, contracts for ministries and receiving NCI-money related to the people they have brought into NCI.) The Swedish court documents included an extensive albeit partial list of investors. Many are part of/associated with YWAM. Many are American, British, Dutch, and Swedish investors. Will these people and entities help? Docs
NCI Investors (primary list from Swedish EBM

4. Requesting Assistance from Specific Organizational Leaders
The letters requesting assistance were sent to specific leaders in August 2014 with the additional request that they inform other leaders in their organizations. The letters were then posted on the PETRA People weblog 28 September 2014. Below are the names of the leaders contacted and links for additional leaders/Board Members, etc. (Click here to see the paper trail: (August 2014--current). Below are the names of the leaders contacted and links for additional leaders/Board Members, etc. 

--Youth With A Mission:  Loren Cunningham, Darlene Cunningham, Lynn Green, Jim Stier, Tom Hallas, Iain Muir, and YWAM leaders/staff around the world. “We would be grateful if you (YWAM leaders/staff around the world) would carefully review the petition and Statement with links to core documents.” Click here to view the list of international offices from the organization’s website, many which link to specific leaders.

--Mercy Ships:
 Donovan and Mae Palmer. “We would be grateful if you could please review the petition and its links to core documents and share it with members of the international Mercy Ships Executive Committee and others Board members (e.g., Don Stephens as President, Myron Ullman as Chair, Rosa Whitaker, Francoise Andre, Ian McColl, and Peter Schulze as Vice-Chairs, etc.). Click here to view the list of International Board Members and the Executive Committee from the organization’s website. 

--Youth For Christ: Geordon Rendle and John Duncan (and with Larry Williams in 2015).  “We also believe it would be very important to share the petition with other board members/officers at Youth for Christ and the previous staff at YFC in Coppet, Switzerland.” Click here to view the list of International Board Members from the organization’s website.

--Crossroads Church (Ferney-Voltaire, France):  Larry Lloyd and Ian Rutter. "We would be grateful if you could please review the petition and its links to core documents and then share the petition with other current/former elders and officers at Crossroads and current/former members and attendees at Crossroads.” Click here to view the list of elders, officers, and pastors from the organization’s website.

Update August 2017: We are not aware of any further action undertaken by organizations to investigate and disclose how they may have been affected by NCI KB in line with the specific concerns in the petition. A few individuals over the past months have sent personal emails, but nothing official and nothing related to taking any action. Click here to see the paper trail: (August 2014--current). We thus continue the resolute, public call a) for assistance from all those affected in various ways by the NCI fraud; and b) for verifiable disclosures/independent reviews (transparency and accountability) by four of the organizations listed in the petition. It would also be in keeping with good practice for transparency, accountability, and organizational health that these organizations thoroughly review how they have and/or have not actually dealt with the requests for assistance over the years.

5. Calling Youth With A Mission to Integrity and Action
(PP Net Update Aug-Sept 2012, excerpts-introduction)
In view of the Shine the Light-Together petition and the PETRA People Statement 2012, this Update reaffirms the call for YWAM members, leaders and all those associated with YWAM to set up professional Internal and independent reviews regarding how it has been affected by NCI. It is not just the millions of dollars/euros in stolen money that has devastated victims and brought reproach on the Christian community but also the lack of response to it including the unwillingness to disclose and help. Will YWAM members, leaders, and those associated with YWAM now take action and demonstrate the values that YWAM publicly states guide its work: “openness, honesty, integrity, transparency, and accountability” (The Good Name Pledge)? Who will hold the leaders and organisation accountable?

This Update also builds upon the many letters asking YWAM leaders for assistance and investigation regarding NCI, including the letter sent to over 100 international YWAM leaders on 5 June 2011. The materials below provide an enormous amount of well-researched information and government documentation that simply cannot be ignored or dismissed. Many of these materials are now on the PETRA People website. The materials are organised into five sections and also includes comments by YWAM senior leaders and others about NCI/YWAM.

[Note: See the PP Net Update Aug-Sept 2012 entry for the extensive treatment and document links for these five topics].

1. Additional public requests to YWAM for transparency/accountability
2. NCI investors and YWAM
3. Connections between Le Rucher/Mercy Ministries and YWAM
4. NCI money flows and YWAM
5. Organisational integrity and responsibility 
(a link to excerpts and quotes for good practice, to support YWAM leaders)

What can all those associated with YWAM do? Here are four suggestions to keep in mind as you review and respond to these materials:

--Get accurately informed. Prioritise time to review the information in this Update carefully and also on the PETRA People website, especially the  NCI Summary Information and Suggestions: Going Forward.

--Consider your moral and Biblical response. Pray and discuss with others, especially with independent and informed people. Courage is needed to really consider/act on one’s ethical responsibility and to not simply go along with some persons' explanations.

--Call for and set up an independent review with others. Look closely at the PETRA Statement 2012: An International Call for Integrity and Action.

--Share this Update with colleagues and ask for prayers and support. Remember you are not alone—many other organisations have also had to deal with various types of corruption, mistakes, and serious leadership matters.

PETRA People Network was set up in 2010. We are committed to promoting peace, transparency, and accountability in all sectors of society and especially in the international Christian community. Our general focus is on preventing and confronting corruption and on promoting personal and organizational integrity. Our specific focus is on the Nordic Capital Investments KB fraud (NCI).

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Quid Clamabo? (June-July 2017)

What Do I Cry Out?
What do I Decry?
.
Everything fades.
Everyone in mortal.
God’s truth is forever.
Isaiah 40:6
Image from Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index 2016.
The redder the worse. But every country falls short.

In a time of universal deceit—
telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
George Orwell

Frauds!
Leave them; they are blind guides.
If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.
Your task is to be true, not popular.
Jesus Christ (MT 15: 7, 14; LK 6:26 The Message)

This Update continues the call for assistance from the people and organizations affected by the Nordic Capital Investment KB fraud (NCI). Those “affected” refers to investors-victims, organizations-ministries, staff-leaders, and any others who received/lost money in this scheme or were somehow involved. It also refers to the thousands of people who are or were part of these organizations-ministries and who have a moral responsibility to call their leaders to account: to disclose, conduct independent reviews, and where there are “net positive” gains, to return money to victims.

Resources
Here are four recent resources to help you promote integrity and confront corruption. We encourage you to read them, discuss them, and apply them. 

--Learning from social psychology
Fact or Opinion? Why We Believe Alternative Facts
American Psychologist, May 2017, pp. 36-38
"People are capable of being thoughtful and rational, but our wishes, hopes, fears, and motivations often tip the scales to make us more likely to accept something as true if it supports what we want to believe."

--Learning from the corporate world
Kellogg Insight, 6 March 2017
“Practical tips to reign in an unethical boss and encourage employees to do the right thing.”

--Learning from the United Nations
UN Special, January 2017 (pp. 26-27)
“Whistle-blowing is increasingly precarious in the UN system, according to Caroline Hunt-Matthes, a former UNHCR staff member who reported irregularities in the UNHCR Inspector General’s Office in 2003 including interference in a rape investigation of a refugee by a UNHCR staff member.”

--Learning from Transparency International
Corruption Perception Index 2016 (Executive Summary)
“Let's get straight to the point: No country gets close to a perfect score in the Corruption Perceptions Index 2016. Over two-thirds of the 176 countries and territories in this year's index fall below the midpoint of our scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). The global average score is a paltry 43, indicating endemic corruption in a country's public sector.”

Did you know?
Swedish court documents (released in 2010 and 2011) indicate that it was primarily Christians, Christian organizations, and Christian ministries that were affected by NCI? Some of the main ones were part of Youth With A Mission (YWAM), including Mercy Ministries, Le Rucher, and Mercy Ships. Youth For Christ Switzerland was used as an address for one of the main NCI promoters for NCI activities and Crossroads Church in Ferny-Voltaire, France had many members who heard about and invested in NCI.  

Quid clamabo?
Cry out and decry this: NCI, and the lack of response to it by those in the church-mission community (CMC), have seriously damaged many peoples’ lives. It has also seriously compromised the reputation and witness of the CMC. Getting accurately informed and calling for action are essential. Doing nothing is inexcusable and seriously damaging. Truth matters. Live in integrity.

For more NCI background, specifics, and updates, see the previous weblog:
April 2017: Cui bono?—Who is benefiting, and getting hurt, by dong nothing?

*****
You can make a difference.
Join with others around the world by signing and sharing the petition below.
An international petition calling for integrity and action to confront corruption in the church-mission community and in particular the international NCI et al. fraud.

Read it, sign it, share it!
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/shine-the-light-together/
*****
PETRA People Network
PETRA People Network was set up in 2010. We are committed to promoting peace, transparency, and accountability in all sectors of society and especially in the international Christian community. Our general focus is on preventing and confronting corruption and on promoting personal and organizational integrity. Our specific focus is on the Nordic Capital Investments KB fraud (NCI).

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Cui Bono? (April-May 2017)

Who is benefitting…by doing nothing?
Who is getting hurt…by doing nothing?


What Are You Going to Do?
Michèle and Kelly O’Donnell

The only thing necessary for corruption to flourish is for "good" people to do nothing about it—or to do some non-resolute “thing” and to move on, with consciences placated and livelihoods protected.

This Update continues the call for assistance from the people and organizations affected by the Nordic Capital Investment KB fraud (NCI). Those “affected” refers to investors-victims, organizations-ministries, staff-leaders, and any others who received/lost money in this scheme or were somehow involved. It also refers to the thousands of people who are or were part of these organizations-ministries and who have a moral responsibility to call their leaders to account: to disclose, conduct independent reviews, and where there are “net positive” gains, to return money to victims.

NCI, and the lack of response to it by those in the church-mission community (CMC), have seriously damaged many peoples’ lives. It has also seriously compromised the reputation and witness of the CMC. The Update shares background and current information to remind you why getting accurately informed and calling for action are so essential—and why doing nothing is so damaging.

Did you know that the Swedish court documents (released in 2010 and 2011) indicate that it was primarily Christians, Christian organizations, and Christian ministries that were affected by NCI? Some of the main ones were part of Youth With A Mission (YWAM), including Mercy Ministries, Le Rucher, and Mercy Ships. Youth For Christ Switzerland was used as an address for one of the main NCI promoters for NCI activities and Crossroads Church in Ferny-Voltaire, France had many members who heard about and invested in NCI.  

And so we ask:
Who is benefitting by doing nothing?
Who is getting hurt by doing nothing?
What are you going to do?

Some NCI Background and Updates
--NCI began in 1994 and functioned secretively as a ponzi scheme until it was publically confronted in 2007. We (Michèle and Kelly O’Donnell) were some of the first people who blew the whistle with others and who contacted governments about NCI in July that year (FBI in the USA, Serious Fraud Office in the UK, Fraud Police in The Netherlands, and Economic Crimes Bureau in Sweden). A short overview about our involvement as victims is posted on the PETRA People website HERE. See also the initial 10 point overview about NCI at the top of the PETRA People website (this website also contains several documents from the Swedish court case, analyses, anti-corruption resources, etc.).

--An initial investigative review was done by a business consultant, Rand Guebert (2008). It is 120 pages and focuses on the serious problems in organizations affected by NCI including poor organizational governance and the discrediting and wrongful dismissals which we ourselves experienced in the CMC. Its findings related to NCI (based on the known evidence/documents at the time) are supported by the Swedish court documents that were released later in 2010 and 2011. This review has been shared with government investigative bodies although it has not yet been shared publically.

--The Swedish government (Economic Crimes Bureau--EBM) was the principle government that eventually took the lead to investigate (2008-2011). It prosecuted only one person, Kristian Westergard, the founder of Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Sweden. The Swedish EBM determined that NCI was a long-term, gross fraud and sentenced Mr. Westergard to prison where he served a term for just over two years. Mr. Westergard was required to repay several of the victims listed in the case. But since he had very few traceable assets, very little money has been ever repaid to the 20+ plaintiffs. Other people who were affected by the fraud (net-positives) were not required to return money (by the governments or by their respective CMC organizations-ministries). Nor were there any prosecutions for other persons involved with Westergard/NCI (some perhaps innocently). Millions of dollars/Euros are still missing.

--The Shine the Light-Together petition  (2012-current, with over 200 signatures) and the PETRA People Network weblog (2011-current, with 39 entries) were set up to help the CMC and the public understand corruption in general and the NCI case specifically. They have been  emphasizing that different Christian organizations were and are “affected” by the fraud—specifically, that leaders and staff invested, benefited/lost money, ministry projects received money etc. The reluctance of these leaders and organizatons to disclose and to submit to independent investigation has also been hihglighted. Their information could shed crucial light on what was happening with this fraud and by whom, and likely go a long way to preventing similar things though the lessons learned and bring healing.

--In August 2014, four of the organizations included in the Shine the Light-Together petition and several of their leaders were formally presented with the petition, asking for their assistance and that they inform other leaders in their organizations. Leaders in Youth With A Mission, Mercy Ships, Youth For Christ, and Crossroads Church (Ferney-Voltaire, France) received separate email-letters regarding the petition with the names and comments of the people who signed it.  The letters were then posted on the PETRA People weblog in September 2014 along with subsequent correspondence (Click here to see the paper trail: (August 2014--current). Note that specific names of leaders are listed again in the February 2017 weblog entry along with links to other organizational leaders and Board members who have a moral responsibility to assist and hold themselves and fellow leaders accountable.

--In December 2016 there was a renewed effort for people to read, sign, and share the petition. “This petition is a call to many organizations and people, especially in the church and mission community (CMC), to assist by transparently and verifiably disclosing how they have been affected by Nordic Capital Investment KB fraud (NCI). In addition, members of these organizations (past and present), donors, and the public are asked to help by respectfully and resolutely calling for the assistance of those affected by NCI.”

--YWAM especially with its staff, leaders, and ministries was affected, including Mercy Ships while it was still part of YWAM and afterwards. According to the Swedish court documents, Erik Spruyt (a major/former YWAM leader), Mercy Ministries organizations in four countries and Le Rucher in France (originally all part of YWAM), and two personal/family foundations set up by Mr. Spruyt with bank accounts in Lichtenstein (GF, NGF) were some of the entities that received hundreds of thousands of dollars/Euros of NCI money. Mr. Spruyt maintains that he is innocent and that he was a victim. In January 2017 there was a civil court decision in France which did not find Mr. Spruyt or Mercy Ministries France (defendants) responsible for the financial damages experienced by six NCI victims (we and four other plaintiffs). Although all plaintiffs totally disagreed with the court ruling, they decided to not appeal. We are committed to continue the public and moral call for assistance so that those affected by NCI will follow good practice standards via verifiable disclosures, independent reviews, transparency, accountability, and integrity. 
*****

So we ask you...cui bono?
Who is benefitting by doing nothing?
Who is getting hurt by doing nothing?
What are you going to do?

The only thing necessary for corruption to flourish is for "good" people to do nothing about it—or to do some non-resolute “thing” and to move on, with consciences placated and livelihoods protected.
*****
You can make a difference.
Join with others around the world by signing and sharing the petition below.
Shine the Light--Together!

An international petition calling for integrity and action
to confront corruption in the church-mission community
and in particular the international NCI et al. fraud.

Read it, sign it, share it!

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/shine-the-light-together/
*****

PETRA People Network
PETRA People Network was set up in 2010. We are committed to promoting peace, transparency, and accountability in all sectors of society and especially in the international Christian community. Our general focus is on preventing and confronting corruption and on promoting personal and organizational integrity. Our specific focus is on the Nordic Capital Investments KB fraud (NCI).

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Willfull Blindness (February-March 2017)

Open Your Eyes—Listen to Your Conscience

Image source: Dreamstime

If you are human
then there is a good chance you can succumb to willful blindness.
Likely a 100% chance.

If you were blind, you would have no sin;
but because you say. ‘We see,’ your sin remains.
John 9:41

This entry continues the call to the international church-mission community (CMC) to practice the highest standards of transparency and accountability. It specifically encourages people to unite and confront the Nordic Capital Investment KB fraud (NCI) which has seriously damaged many peoples’ lives and the reputation of the church-mission community (CMC). "...the time has come to make [the fight against corruption] a truly global effort among evangelicals....if the church becomes more vociferous in its opposition to corruption...then we must beware of the risk of hypocrisy if our own house is not put in order first....We must not turn a blind eye to or condone corruption....” Salt and Light: Christians' Role in Confronting Corruption (Lausanne Global Conversation, 31 October 2011)
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Willful blindness is intentionally keeping oneself unaware of facts that would make one morally/ethically responsible. It involves looking the other way in order to avoid problems and protect oneself, usually at the expense of others. Part One of this entry presents three helpful resources to help open our eyes to our own willful blindness: Margaret Heffernan’s book, TedTalk, and BBC interview. Part Two updates us on the Shine the Light-Together petition and its request for verifiable disclosures and independent reviews regarding the NCI fraud. Specific names of leaders are listed again below along with links to other organizational leaders and Board members who carry a special responsibility to assist and hold themselves and fellow leaders accountable.

This entry provides both an opportunity and tools
to open our eyes and to listen to our consciences.
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Part One: Willful Blindness


Book
In the case of the US Government versus Enron, the presiding judge chose to employ the legal concept of willful blindness: you are responsible if you could have known, and should have known, something which instead you strove not to see. The guilty verdict sent shivers down the spine of the corporate world. In this book, Margaret Heffernan draws on psychological studies, social statistics, interviews with relevant protagonists, and her own experience to throw light on willful blindness and why whistleblowers and Cassandras are so rare. Ranging freely through history and from business to science, government to the family, this engaging and anecdotal book will explain why willful blindness is so dangerous in a globalized, interconnected world, before suggesting ways in which institutions and individuals can start to combat it. Margaret Heffernan's thought-provoking book will force us to open our eyes.” (description from Amazon site)

TEDxTalk
The Dangers of Willfull Blindness, TEDxDubai (2013), Margaret Heffernan
“Gayla Benefield was just doing her job -- until she uncovered an awful secret about her hometown that meant its mortality rate was 80 times higher than anywhere else in the U.S. But when she tried to tell people about it, she learned an even more shocking truth: People didn't want to know. In a talk that's part history lesson, part call-to-action, Margaret Heffernan demonstrates the danger of "willful blindness" and praises ordinary people like Benefield who are willing to speak up.” (quote from Youtube site)

BBC Interview
Willful Blindness, BBC World Service, Business Daily (16 December 2014) Margaret Heffernan
“Margaret Heffernan explores why big organisations so often make big mistakes - and asks if the cure could be the aviation industry's model of a 'just culture'. In the past 10 years, there have been a string of organisational failures - from BP to the banks, and the Catholic Church in Ireland. In each instance, hundreds, even thousands of people could see what was going on but acted as though they were blind. Silence ensured the problems continued and allowed them to grow. The conditions that create the phenomenon called 'willful blindness' are pervasive across institutions. It was a term that came up in the Enron scandal. Willful blindness is a legal term - it states that if there is knowledge you could have had and should have had, you are still responsible. Businesswoman and writer Margaret Heffernan argues that the solution is a 'just culture'; which means organisations that encourage people to speak up early and often when things go adrift, without fear of being silenced.” (quote from BBC site)
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Part Two: NCI Update

In December 2016 there was a renewed effort for people to read, sign, and share the STL petition. We are pleased to report that we quickly hit our goal and there are now over 200 signatures on the petition, with several people renewing their signatures/comments. “This petition is a call to many organizations and people, especially in the church and mission community (CMC), to assist by transparently and verifiably disclosing how they have been affected by Nordic Capital Investment KB fraud (NCI). In addition, members of these organizations (past and present), donors, and the public are asked to help by respectfully and resolutely calling for the assistance of those affected by NCI.”


Comments from Signatories (excerpts)
--There is a story here that EVERYONE should know. Everyone should have the opportunity to evaluate whether the ends justify the means.

--I thought honesty and Christianity went together, but this case has proved that Christians look after themselves, literally, not even each other, and prefer ignorance, I cannot believe in all these years that not a single Christian has had the backbone to push on those in power in their organisations to answer difficult questions. Proverbs 8:5--O simple ones, learn prudence; O fools, learn sense.

--Of all of the organizations and communities that abound in our world, the church and mission community ought to be the one leading the way in manifesting integrity and transparency. I view this issue as an imperative for all people and organizations of faith.

--What an unfortunate and hurtful situation caused by an organization you trusted. I hope this petition will help provide transparency in future dealings.

--No matter what good you are trying to do or who you are, any such toxin poisons the entire pool.

--I believe uniting to fight corruption and standing together in solidarity around this petition is critical. It is an important way forward toward knowing the truth, promoting healing, and building greater capacity in the church and mission community.

--Although we did not personally become involved in the fraudulent investment program…we had first hand experience of the activities that devastated the lives of mission families who invested their life savings and lost hundreds of thousands of dollars. We stand with those who await justice in this crucial matter.

--Hopefully people will a) get (further) informed about corruption and the importance of transparency-accountability, and b) hold their respective leaders and organizations accountable regarding this specific, protracted fraud. Perhaps leaders themselves will finally take the initiative to disclose and as necessary break rank.

--May 200 signatures become 200 million!

More Background
It has been over nine years since the NCI KB fraud began to be publically confronted (July 2007). It has also been over two years since four of the organizations included in the Shine the Light-Together petition and several of their leaders were formally presented with the petition, asking for their assistance and that they inform other leaders in their organizations. Leaders in Youth With A Mission, Mercy Ships, Youth For Christ, and Crossroads Church (Ferney-Voltaire, France) received separate email-letters in August 2014 regarding the petition with the names and comments of 200+ people who signed it.  The letters were then posted on the PETRA People weblog 28 September 2014. Below are the names of the leaders contacted and links for additional leaders/Board Members, etc. (Click here to see the paper trail: (August 2014--current).

--Youth With A Mission:  Loren Cunningham, Darlene Cunningham, Lynn Green, Jim Stier, Tom Hallas, Iain Muir, and YWAM leaders/staff around the world. “We would be grateful if you (YWAM leaders/staff around the world) would carefully review the petition and Statement with links to core documents.” Click here to view the list of international offices from the organization’s website, many which link to specific leaders.

--Mercy Ships: Donovan and Mae Palmer. “We would be grateful if you could please review the petition and its links to core documents and share it with members of the international Mercy Ships Executive Committee and others Board members (e.g., Don Stephens as President, Myron Ullman as Chair, Rosa Whitaker, Francoise Andre, Ian McColl, and Peter Schulze as Vice-Chairs, etc.). Click here to view the list of International Board Members and the Executive Committee from the organization’s website

--Youth For Christ: Geordon Rendle and John Duncan (and with Larry Williams in 2015).  “We also believe it would be very important to share the petition with other board members/officers at Youth for Christ and the previous staff at YFC in Coppet, Switzerland.” Click here to view the list of International Board Members from the organization’s website.
--Crossroads Church (Ferney-Voltaire, France):  Larry Lloyd and Ian Rutter. "We would be grateful if you could please review the petition and its links to core documents and then share the petition with other current/former elders and officers at Crossroads and current/former members and attendees at Crossroads.” Click here to view the list of elders, officers, and pastors from the organization’s website.

Update February 2017: We are not aware of any further action undertaken by organizations to investigate and disclose how they may have been affected by NCI KB in line with the specific concerns in the petition. A few individuals over the past months have sent personal emails, but nothing official and nothing related to taking any action. Click here to see the paper trail: (August 2014--current). We thus continue the resolute, public call a) for assistance from all those affected in various ways by the NCI fraud; and b) for verifiable disclosures/independent reviews (transparency and accountability) by four of the organizations listed in the petition. It would also be in keeping with good practice for transparency, accountability, and organizational health that these organizations thoroughly review how they have and/or have not actually dealt with the requests for assistance over the years.

Open your eyes.
Listen to your conscience.
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PETRA People Network
PETRA People Network was set up in 2010. We are committed to promoting peace, transparency, and accountability in all sectors of society and especially in the international Christian community. Our general focus is on preventing and confronting corruption and on promoting personal and organizational integrity. Our specific focus is on the Nordic Capital Investments KB fraud (NCI).