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"Kindness into Cash" - exposé of used clothes company Planet Aid - pt. 2

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Published on May 25, 2012

Part 2 of WTTG's Emmy Award-winning investigation into the clothes collecting company Planet Aid. Air-date: June 9, 2009.

"Is it a charity to help the poor, or a group cashing in on your good intentions? Fox-5 has found evidence linking the controversial group Planet Aid to what some call a cult. Tonight we're introducing you to a former member who says you should think twice before you donate. Tisha Thompson has our Fox-5 investigation."

NOTE: at 1:21 in the video, the reporter mistakenly identifies another alleged Tvind group by the name "International Institute for Communication and Development" ( http://www.iicd.org/ ). But this nonprofit foundation in The Netherlands has no ties with Tvind.

The reporter likely meant the similarly named "Institute for International Cooperation and Development" (IICD), located in the USA and widely reported to be run by Tvind. IICD has changed its name to 'One World Center': http://www.iicd-volunteer.org/

More on IICD in the USA is in section #2, below.

The first installment of WTTG's report on Planet Aid: http://tinyurl.com/nbgax5n

Planet Aid's responses to WTTG: http://tinyurl.com/mj7ch7x

* * * * * * * *
1) More on Planet Aid:

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

● "USDA suspicious of Danish aid organisation" ― Jyllands-Posten, Denmark; 2009: http://jp.dk/uknews/article1931389.ece

● "The Whole Story" ― 49 ABC News, Topeka, Kansas; 2007: http://tinyurl.com/lxtrcgb

● "Planet Aid's charity work draws worldwide scrutiny" ― Boston Globe, 2002: http://tinyurl.com/krzkxy2

Other webpages:

● A 2001 case summary against Tvind leaders, by the Public Prosecutor for Serious Economic Crime, in Denmark. At p. 31, Planet Aid is mentioned in connection with Tvind:
http://db.tt/AT0lUvxK

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

● Humana People to People's charter is a crazy rant: http://www.humana.org/English/english...

* * * * * * * *
2) Summary of controversies surrounding IICD in the USA:

IICD owns two "schools" claiming to train volunteers for humanitarian projects overseas. One school is in Williamstown, Mass.; the other is in Dowagiac, Mich. The new name of these schools is "One World Center" (OWC). OWC also runs a clothing donation bin program.

The OWC schools have elicited numerous complaints from former volunteers, with allegations ranging from low standards of "training" to dire living conditions, unreasonable work hours, bullying and even a "cult-like" atmosphere. These volunteers further claim they were required to beg for money on American city streets and were exploited as free labor benefiting Tvind-owned businesses.

A third alleged Tvind-run school — "Campus California" — once operated in Etna, CA, but reportedly closed under mysterious circumstances in late 2009. Campus California has since relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area and has continued only with its clothes collection program.

A call in 2010 to the phone number listed on Campus California's website was automatically re-routed to the IICD school in Dowagiac. "Anthony" answered, and assured the caller that IICD and Campus California were "one and the same." With that in mind, watch this report on Campus California and "Gaia Movement USA," yet another alleged Tvind-run nonprofit:

● "Behind the Green Box" ― CBS San Francisco; 2006: http://tinyurl.com/pwdqsdf

Reports on OWC (as IICD):

● "Questions in Williamstown" ― Berkshire Eagle, Mass.; 2007:
http://tinyurl.com/pz9m2ok
● "Humanitarian work turns into servitude" ― Chicago Tribune; 2004: http://tinyurl.com/q2z9lrh
● "Down a black hole" ― Chicago Tribune; 2003:
http://tinyurl.com/po3lown
● "Zahara Heckscher's story" ― Tvind Alert; 2000:
http://tinyurl.com/nm4qrtl
● "Mission Control" ― Boston Magazine; 2000:
http://tinyurl.com/pqwek7s
● "Formal Complaint against IICD", sent to Mass. AGO, 1991:
http://tinyurl.com/lp5vh3e

* * * * * * * *
3) Reports on Tvind, alleged parent group of Planet Aid and IICD:

● "Mysterious Danish Group ... on Baja Coast" ― San Diego Reader; 2010: http://tinyurl.com/ke47wya
● "Denmark's Tvind" ― BBC News, UK; 2002:
http://tinyurl.com/lxty8qb
● 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

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