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"Kindness into Cash" - exposé of used clothes company Planet Aid - pt. 1

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Published on May 25, 2012

Part 1 of WTTG's Emmy Award-winning investigation into the clothes collecting company Planet Aid. Air-date: May 12, 2009.

"You've probably seen those yellow boxes with 'Planet Aid' written on the side, asking for your clothing to help out the poor. But tonight: questions about how much of your help is actually reaching those in need. A Fox 5 investigation found this growing charity might be connected to a controversial group that some people consider a cult. That group [is] now accused of turning your kindness into their fortune."

PART TWO of WTTG's report on Planet Aid:

* * * * * * * *
1) Planet Aid has denied any connection to Tvind, of course, but admitted to WTTG that of its 250 employees, "less than 5 percent" belong to the group. One may wonder, though, whether that 5% all happen to hold upper-level management positions at Planet Aid!

None of Planet Aid's officers are wanted by Interpol, but there may be indications of Planet Aid's ties to Tvind:

a) In a 2002 article on Planet Aid, the Boston Globe quoted Poul Gode, a deputy prosecutor in Denmark's Division of Serious Economic Crimes, who said of Humana People to People: "They are in operation all over Europe and they are very active in the US, especially on the East Coast. There is no doubt in my mind that [Tvind founder] Amdi [Petersen] is linked to Planet Aid in Massachusetts. ... The charges against Amdi are not focused on what is happening with Planet Aid, but the people involved are the same." (see "Boston Globe" in section #3)

b) A 2001 case summary against Tvind leaders, by the Public Prosecutor for Serious Economic Crime, in Denmark. At the bottom of p. 4, Humana People to People is listed among Tvind's "productive activities." At p. 31, Planet Aid is mentioned in connection with Tvind: http://db.tt/AT0lUvxK

c) The watchdog blog TvindAlert says Planet Aid's president, Ester Kamilla Neltrup, is a longtime TG member, as is its chairman Mikael Norling, treasurer Jytte Martinussen, director Eva Nielsen and secretary Per Torsten "Fred" Olsson. Tvind Alert included these 5 Planet Aid officials ― along with the 5 TG leaders sought by Interpol ― in a 'Who's Who' of 'significant [TG] members': http://tinyurl.com/kfuqybt

● Planet Aid's Board of Directors in a 2012 Annual Report (p. 18): http://www.planetaid.org/about/annual...

* * * * * * * *
2) Teachers Group leaders control their followers to an alarming degree, according to ex-members:

"TG members are required to live according to the leaders' dictates, which are based on the principles of 'common time,' 'common economy' and 'common distribution.' 'Common time' means that TG leaders determine what a member is to do with all of his or her time. 'Common economy' holds that one must hand over all of one's money and assets to the group. 'Common distribution' involves being directed to hold a job somewhere in Tvind's multinational empire of schools, factories, plantations, used clothes collection companies and much more."

● "...4,500 members now in ... Tvind" ― Tvind Alert News, 2013: http://tinyurl.com/o4kf32x

* * * * * * * *
3) Other media stories on Planet Aid:

● "Charity watchdog accuses Planet Aid of misleading its donors" ― CBS Los Angeles, 2011: http://tinyurl.com/pk4smot

● "Planet Aid's charity work draws worldwide scrutiny" ― Boston Globe, 2002: http://tinyurl.com/kbonbmd

Other webpages:

● Planet Aid listed as a member on Humana People to People website: http://www.humana.org/Members/usa

● Humana People to People's charter is A CRAZY RANT: http://www.humana.org/English/english...

* * * * * * * *
4) Reports on Tvind, Planet Aid's alleged parent group:

● "Mysterious Danish group...on Baja Coast" ― San Diego Reader; 2010: http://tinyurl.com/ke47wya

● "Denmark's Tvind" ― BBC News, UK; 2002:

● Pictures of Tvind's swank headquarters on Mexico's Baja coast: http://tinyurl.com/kh3ho3c

● Satellite image of Tvind's Baja HQ: http://bit.ly/L5hyR9

In Sept. 2013, Tvind founder Mogens Amdi Petersen and four aides were listed as 'wanted' on Interpol's website:

Petersen: http://tinyurl.com/mgyvqt7
Kirsten Larsen: http://tinyurl.com/lrmtvjf
Marlene Gunst: http://tinyurl.com/k9p288s
Christie Pipps: http://tinyurl.com/mwqltw2
Sten Byrner: http://tinyurl.com/m2d3mgm

If you see Petersen or the others, please contact local police. In Oct. 2013, Petersen was reportedly spotted in Denver: http://tinyurl.com/omtymnr

* * * * * * * *
5) In order to stand out from the competition, Planet Aid says it takes better care of its boxes than do its competitors. But images culled from news stories indicate otherwise. In some shots, Planet Aid bins appear packed full while items strewn nearby seem to have been accumulating for a while: https://db.tt/VA83yfjV

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