Invisible Children, an exercise in emotional manipulation…

Invisible Children, an exercise in emotional manipulation… March 15, 2012

… Cautious questions must always be raised when sweeping movements based on feelings and our innate desire to do good in the world are exploited, and I believe that is exactly what Invisible Children is doing. Exploiting.

Aside from the fact that trying to make Joseph Kony a celebrity is completely distasteful, I find it unethical how Invisible Children intentionally targeted celebrities and urged people to harass them via Twitter to manipulate their support*.

What ever the true intent of their motives, their means are highly dishonest which makes me suspect this is a publicity stunt and a scam. Or an exercise in propaganda.

You can not help but notice how quickly their message has spread, like a huge propaganda machine, whether for a good cause or not is being debated. It has definitely rallied young people, young people that are ferociously courted by political groups. I’m sure those groups are taking meticulous notes.

I offer you this to consider;

“I feel the need to respond to all the hype surrounding “Kony 2012.” First of all, living in Northern Uganda I see firsthand the devastation left behind by the LRA. I work with men, women and children every day who were their victims. Slowly but surely God is setting them free, not by any program or government but by the power and love of Jesus Christ. It is no organization or person who should get the credit for releasing the captives, except for the Name Above all Names.

I understand that if you watch that video your heart is stirred, and many well-meaning people are spreading it around. Praise God that your hearts are stirred, they should be. We were not created to live in such a broken, fallen world. It is disgusting the way the children here have been ravaged and mistreated. However, it is important to understand that not every organization claiming to help the children here is doing that. Not only that, but the war has been over in Northern Uganda for quite some time. We are left with the broken pieces to pick up, but the actual LRA is currently probably somewhere in the Congo or Central African Republic. They are not in Northern Uganda. The footage in the video was old and the children no longer commute in the middle of the nights to sleep in the town centers. This stopped in 2007.

I just ask you to pray to seek wisdom and direction from the Lord. Please do pray that Joseph Kony will be brought to justice, pray for his reign of terror to end, and pray for healing for all who have suffered as a result of his sin.

Below is a letter that a good friend of mine in Gulu (where Invisible Children claim to do all of their work) wrote in response to someone’s question about “Kony 2012.” I think it may help shed a bit more light on the situation.

“We just watched this thing for the first time. This is really sickening. It is very misleading. There are missionaries on the ground working hard daily to reconstruct and work in the lives of those who were affected and their children. This is a long hard process that requires commitment and yes…funds. I assure you that the Invisible Children are not really even respected here because they have done so little in the actual healing process of this horrible insurgency.

1. The money that was raised by Invisible Children was not seen here in Northern Uganda for a long time. Even the government called them a “briefcase NGO.” It has only been recently that they have been working in Gulu, only. But the work that they are doing is not comparable to the amount of money raised in the states. As far as this movie is concerned, it looks to us like he is again, exploiting the people of Uganda and Central Africa to make money. Where will that money be used? Are they going to pay the government of America to send troops over? That is crazy. They will no more be involved in the capture of Kony than they were in Sad-dam Hussein’s capture. The government of America and the Army do not need Invisible Children to do their work.

2. This is so sad to us here on the ground because, we are trying to help the people here to look forward and have a hope and a future. To rebuild their lives. The wake of this insurgency left broken families, alcoholism, AIDs, orphans, and a general sense of hopelessness and helplessness. They must be helped at the level of relationships and the hope of eternal life and abundant life in Christ.
3. We need help building schools and training teachers. We need to teach income generating and small business. Proper health care and education are where the money should be spent.
4. There is no threat on Uganda anymore. The children are no longer sleeping in the streets. The IDP camps have all been dismantled and people have all gone back to the villages.

The missionaries are so busy on the ground serving the Lord and helping the people to know Him through love that they do not have the time or resources to raise these massive amounts of dollars. And that is OK because God is the Provider.

Awareness is good and needed, but when it is used for massive money-making and self-marketing, then it becomes something different… namely exploitation.

It is hard to know that people are being mislead grossly by this film and this campaign.

I pray this helps.

God bless you all that your hearts are stirred for the youth of Northern Uganda. Please do remember them in your prayers, and if you feel led to do something, seek the Lord to see what the best way would be before doing anything. Thanks!

In Christ,

Keith & Lisa Coggin”

Keith and Lisa Coggin live in Gulu, Uganda and work at Shepard’s Staff Mission. The above letter was posted on his FB page so that people can be made aware that a lot of information coming from Invisible Children is misleading. Before you part with your money or throw your support behind something always consider what the agenda is, who stands to gain the most, where do the funds go, and who make up the co-founders and executives – what nonprofits and organizations do they support or are affiliated with?

*The only celebrity stalking endorsed by this blog is getting Nathan Fillion to acknowledge my existance and follow me on Twitter.

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