People with disabilities are called both courageous and pitiful. Where does that crazy contradiction come from?





"It's pity peddling,
misery merchandising.

"The money doesn't go to the people who are pitied. It's a bait and switch tactic. People who are labeled are the bait. The switch is that the money goes to pay professionals."

-- Prof. John McKnight

Two dazzling ducks dancing at a charity ball.

Man with a cane stuck to the bottom of a giant's shoe.

Which of the illustrations above best depicts what it's like to dance with the charities? We guess that depends on whether you're a big money donor or your charity's idea of a "victim." They couldn't live without us hopeless victims.

These B. Faw cartoons appeared in Mouth's September 1993 Charity issue.

black and white logo





At left, no kidding, is the logo that represented the National Head Injury Foundation until 1992. Note the symbol of brain damage surrounded by supportive helpers.

Or wait... could they maybe be choking the life out of him?
Read on.

Does anybody remember
the National Head Injury Foundation? (It's known today as the Brain Injury Association). Mouth reported on it back in our early years (1990-1992) and found that its big donors were bogus "brain injury rehab facilities," or, as we dubbed them, cashpigs.

And what did the cashpigs need? Gullible fools they could lock up in the name of brain rehab at $1,000 per day. That's what NHIF's "family helpline" provided. Many who were referred into rehab stayed for two to eight years in these non-glorified nursing homes. Why? Maybe because cashpig"security" employees prevented escapes. Third-party payors kept the money rolling in while tens of thousands of families were fooled by bogus "progress reports" and other cashpig cons.

During our investigations, we saw comatose people having their hands swished in dishpanfuls of aquarium sand (coma stimulation) and young people being led in games of Trivial Pursuits (occupational therapy) and boys locked in plywood boxes all day (attention span improvement therapy.) We found hospital "discharge planners" taking $1,500 cash kickbacks per head referred to the cashpigs. Chomp.


We concluded that the best thing to do if you get a bang on the head is crawl off under the bushes and stay there until you feel better. Mouth's reports led to congressional hearings and FBI investigations in 1992. Some old cashpigs were forced to sell their holdings to up-and-coming young cashpigs. And what became of that uncharitable charity? Sorry, but we haven't kept up. So many piggies, so little time.

The NHIF may well have changed its ways when it changed its name. We do note that even today the Brain Injury Association promotes cashpigs in its magazine and on its -- you guessed it -- "family helpline."


"Murder by Charity" was Mouth's 1993 expose of the National Hemophilia Foundation. That charity learned in 1990 from the Centers on Disease Control that certain blood-clotting drugs -- which happened to be manufactured by the NHF's most generous donors -- were contaminated with HIV. The foundation says now that it "didn't want to panic its members," so didn't warn them at all.

An estimated 200,000 Americans have died or are dying as a result. Millions more people outside the U.S. have died or are dying from that same charitable cause.


Everybody has given at least a few bucks to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, "Jerry's Kids." We followed the money. Turns out that only eight cents of a gift dollar actually gets to people with muscular dystrophy. And although Jerry himself often reminds telethon viewers that MDA does not pay him a penny for his charitable work, we learned that MDA does reimburse his travel expenses. On Jerry's annual travel budget, you could fly to the moon and back.

And when his "kids" get to the point where they can't breathe without a respirator or get around without a power wheelchair, MDA cuts them loose. MDA "can't afford" to provide such equipment. Jerry has called the poor creatures "half a person" anyway.


Oh NO! Mouth is a charity too! -- but only by official IRS standards, not by the standards of the genre. The folks who work here -- editor included -- live below the poverty line. (Our company car is a 1983 Chevy station wagon that the rats dragged in.)

Some things you do for love, and some for money.


Because there's plenty more that isn't widely known about charities, we'll branch out from this page as we build the website. We are sorry it's true and wish the world were a safer place to call for help. -- editor

happy hog logo

We called National Head's patrons
Cashpig, Inc., and symbolized them
as shown.


Many charities -- some Arcs, for instance -- earn their keep by literally keeping us in "special" places, segregated and "safe." (See "Safety is Dangerous.")


Most disability charities separate us by label in the name of "special needs." State, county and federal governments subsidize this form of "treatment." [Editor: If I have to type quote marks around another euphemism today, I'll scream... or maybe just indulge in some phototerrorism. What's that? Click here.]


$125,000 per year is an average amount for a charity to earn (from taxpayers) for delivering what are called "wrap-around services" (24/7 imprisonment) to an average adult who got stuck with the label Retarded. No, really. We kid you not. This practice goes by the name of "bundling."


Imagine how much cash you could make out of that spare room! Three or four people could fit in there quite comfortably, don't you think?


To link to our publication, "Bundling," in the Attitude Catalog online store, click here.


To read the John McKnight interview quoted in the headline, click here.


Go ahead, tell us what a charity has done for you. Warm our cold little hearts with an email.




To see how charity sucks, click here.

These days, we find plenty of charities that qualify as Fundsuckers. To meet an assortment as cartooned by Scott Chambers, click here.