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By Tom-onator
From This Galaxy
Aug 31, 2013
Tom-onator
John Vanek wrote:
Exploiting the Exploited. I'm 54 and like trad, alpine, ice climbing when I can. I love long moderate climbs, and consider myself technically sound with my mountain craft, though I don't climb at a high level. I hope to travel to the Alps some day to fulfill a childhood dream. That sums up my climbing. I am not an expert climber. I am a retired police lieutenant and have been very active in anti-human trafficking efforts since 2006. I have sat on a number of national-level advisory boards, and now consult on human trafficking responses. My clients include the U.S. Department of Justice, United State Attorney's Office, and a variety of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). I am much more of an expert on human trafficking than climbing. Since federal law defined trafficking in 2000, many individuals and organizations have appeared in the anti-trafficking community who do not investigate cases or provide direct services to victims. Some of these organizations and individuals have raised A LOT of money, often because most people don't understand the complexity of human trafficking and the even more complex response to slavery. This lack of knowledge allows, sometimes, for self-promoters to enter the anti-HT space and make money. Money which could otherwise go to directly supporting victims of trafficking, or building the collaborative responses needed to prevent trafficking. Trafficking is an immensely popular topic, and Mission 14 seems to me to be much more about the "mission" than making a dent in trafficking. When a person or an organization uses the plight of slaves, exploited children, or other social issues like poverty to promote their own agenda, we call that exploiting the exploited. Mission 14 is not the first, nor will they be the last. But just going by the description of the plan to ascend all 8,000ers - and if the budget is secured - it will probably be the largest amount of money spent to do "something" to fight HT, with very little direct benefit to the victims. This is shameful. Much could be accomplished in Baltimore and Managua with the funds that will be spent on the expedition. And the amount of money that can be raised by telling the story of Mission 14 is reduced by travel and production fees, and a lot of other costs. So revenue from the story will not equal the lesser amount which will go to the real cause - fighting slavery. Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to, hopefully, inform some of you about the growing number of organizations which seem to be supporting causes, when the actual benefit to the cause will be far less than it appears. Mission 14 is getting blasted on MP because we all see the laughable nature of the mission plan and have, at least, an arm-chair appreciation for the risk the Sherpas will make and the impact on a sport we all love. But non-climbers will not see what we see, and many will support Mission 14 due to their limited understanding of the realities of responding to HT. It is very unfortunate that some will exploit others' suffering for a mere athletic expedition. Thanks for reading.



John,
No objections to a long post that provides a professional perspective.

Thank you for peeling back yet another layer of this farcical endeavor.

FLAG
By ErikaNW
Aug 31, 2013
Rapping off the Matron October, 2010
John - that is a valuable and informative perspective. I wonder how UA would respond if you were to write them with that viewpoint? Or if they would even care.... They are probably getting the exposure/advertising they want. This particular exploitation seems even more thinly veiled than most.....

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By John Vanek
From Gardnerville, NV
Sep 1, 2013
Thanks for the supportive replies.

I'm doing a little vetting through anti-trafficking colleagues, and I'll post here whatever (if anything) I learn. Usually I spend my time explaining the complexities of human trafficking - now I'll have to explain to non-climbers some of the intricacies of climbing 8,000m peaks, and the shear improbability of what Mission 14 is attempting.

I will be in touch.

John

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By NC Rock Climber
From The Oven, AKA Phoenix
Sep 1, 2013
tanuki
Good on you, John. Thank you for your great post. I will look forward to your following posts. I am going to write a few of his sponsors and express my concerns. I think I will also leave a comment on the Mission 14 Facebook page. You phrased it very well; This truly is exploiting the exploited, and I would very much like to see the money that Nick wants to spend on this atrocity of an expedition go directly to kids in need.

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By SumX
From Lakewood CO
Sep 1, 2013
Apparently he has done Kilimanjaro and the Tough Mudder. Is that all it takes to score a huge sponsorship? #thisisbullshit

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By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Sep 2, 2013
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Pea...
Has this guy done any of the routes yet, or is this just another F@$king Brotherhood of the Traveling Stopper???!!!!

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By Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
Sep 2, 2013
Middle
Stich wrote:
Has this guy done any of the routes yet, or is this just another F@$king Brotherhood of the Traveling Stopper???!!!!


Brotherhood of the traveling sherpa team.

FLAG
By John Vanek
From Gardnerville, NV
Sep 17, 2013
This is the follow-up post I promised, regarding my efforts to see if any of my professional anti-trafficking colleagues were aware of Mission 14. The answer is no.

Since 2006 I've been on a listserv for law enforcement, victim-services providers and other involved in anti-trafficking work. It was initially created for members of federally-funded anti-trafficking task forces. There is no single source to access people knowledgeable on anti-trafficking better than this listserv.

I only received one reply, and that was from a woman on the east coast who is VERY switched on; she was not aware of Mission 14 and voiced her concern that this was another self-promotion project wrapped in anti-trafficking efforts. I received no other comments to my inquiry.

This does not mean Mission 14 isn't assisting the organizations they claim to be supporting, only that the people I have access to via the listserve have not heard about M14 or the organizations they support.

Over the years I have lost count of the organizations that have approached me, or that I have become aware of, that promised great things in the response to slavery, and most of these organizations fail - for a variety of reasons.

So, for what it is worth, if anyone on MP desires to donate to a group doing anti-trafficking work I believe there are better organizations out there.

And, as everyone on this thread has already observed, the mission of M14 is laughable for all the reasons posted. Well, it would be laughable if M14 was not playing of the plight of the enslaved and exploited.

FLAG
 
By Allen Sanderson
From Oootah
Sep 17, 2013
Stairway To Heaven - all the way to the Pearly Gat...
Thanks for the follow up John. I am not surprised that folks had not heard of M14 and maybe not so surprised that no one had heard of either the Orphan Network or the Araminta Freedom Initiative. They seem to be small local organizations. So unless someone on the list server was in the Greater Potomac River area they are just one of many such orgs. Which does not mean these organizations are not doing good things.

I hope you will followup with some thoughts like I did to the CEOs of UnderAmour and Cocona.

FLAG
By Buff Johnson
Sep 17, 2013
smiley face
If they were raising money for something like the Red Cross or Crescent, I wouldn't even have a concern, the money goes somewhere to do some good; every expedition is a full out peak baggers ego fest.

But the point of creating another "activist" movie clip at a beer drinkers film fest, and all I can think is that the potato gun is a good thing for such an event.

FLAG
By Alan Brock
From Cleveland, TN
Sep 17, 2013
Unnamed route at Starr Mountain
Kilroywashere! wrote:
why didnt they just use awolnation and get it over with...


This wins the internet today.

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By NC Rock Climber
From The Oven, AKA Phoenix
Sep 23, 2013
tanuki
Over the weekend I took a look at Mission 14s Facebook page. Someone had posted a link to this forum thread. I liked the link. When I went back last night, the link had been deleted. I posted the link and quoted John's comments. The deleted my post too. Apparently, Nick and the Mission 14 team have no interest in addressing the public's concerns that spending $5.6M climbing in Asia might not be the best way to help slaves and exploited children.

facebook.com/14Summits

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By Davis Stevenson
From Flagstaff, Arizona
Sep 23, 2013
Following up a new route out in the Mojave Desert....
NC Rock Climber wrote:
Over the weekend I took a look at Mission 14s Facebook page. Someone had posted a link to this forum thread. I liked the link. When I went back last night, the link had been deleted. I posted the link and quoted John's comments. The deleted my post too. Apparently, Nick and the Mission 14 team have no interest in addressing the public's concerns that spending $5.6M climbing in Asia might not be the best way to help slaves and exploited children. facebook.com/14Summits


Let's keep posting. Even if they keep deleting, it'll be harder and harder to ignore, and maybe other people reading the page will come here to get the real scoop.

FLAG
By NC Rock Climber
From The Oven, AKA Phoenix
Sep 23, 2013
tanuki
I would like to keep posting. Unfortunately, they have blocked me. I hope that you and other MP.com users that share my concerns over Mission 14 will keep the pressure on them to explain how spending 5.6M climbing in Asia benefits children in Central America and Baltimore.

FLAG
By Davis Stevenson
From Flagstaff, Arizona
Sep 23, 2013
Following up a new route out in the Mojave Desert....
NC Rock Climber wrote:
I would like to keep posting. Unfortunately, they have blocked me. I hope that you and other MP.com users that share my concerns over Mission 14 will keep the pressure on them to explain how spending 5.6M climbing in Asia benefits children in Central America and Baltimore.


My post is surprisingly still up. Keep posting. I'm not on twitter,and not sure if they are, but maybe use their hash tags to spread the real word?

I don't think they'd be able to block that, and anyone searching on the hashtag will see our posts.

FLAG
By ze_dirtbag
From TBD
Sep 23, 2013
cottonmouth
he should take some other under armor ambassadors with him......i'd chip in a buck or 2 if he took shaq and warren sapp to commentate. if you're gonna buy the summits, at least make it interesting

FLAG
 
By NC Rock Climber
From The Oven, AKA Phoenix
Sep 23, 2013
tanuki
They still have comments enabled on their youtube channel. That would be another great place to share your opinion on Mission 14.

FLAG
By Davis Stevenson
From Flagstaff, Arizona
Sep 23, 2013
Following up a new route out in the Mojave Desert....
NC Rock Climber wrote:
They still have comments enabled on their youtube channel. That would be another great place to share your opinion on Mission 14.


+1

They don't seem very active on twitter, unfortunately. Any way to hit them with our comments in a way that can't be collapsied/shut down/moderated?

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By NC Rock Climber
From The Oven, AKA Phoenix
Sep 23, 2013
tanuki
I think the best way to make your opinion known is to write letters to their sponsors.

FLAG
By Allen Sanderson
From Oootah
Sep 23, 2013
Stairway To Heaven - all the way to the Pearly Gat...
FWIW Asolo is now an official sponsor ... there is an official link on the Buttbook link.

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By David Barbour
From Denver
Sep 23, 2013
I got banned from posting a couple of weeks ago because I posted the Wikipedia page for 8kers (which shows death rates). I asked how many porters they thought would be sacrificed.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eight-th...

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By NC Rock Climber
From The Oven, AKA Phoenix
Sep 23, 2013
tanuki
Back on 8/14 Mission 14 made the following comment on their FB page:

"...thanks for your comment. Rest assured that we did not erase any comments from our FB page, in fact we welcome open dialogue around Mission 14."

Despite what they claim, it look like Mission 14 only "welcomes open dialogue" if it is supportive of their efforts. If you question what they are doing, you get blocked.

Does anyone know how to get their annual financial statement? Since they are a 501(c) organization / nonprofit, it should be public record. It would be interesting to see what they are really doing with the money and how much of it actually gets to charities that directly help kids.

FLAG
By Davis Stevenson
From Flagstaff, Arizona
Sep 23, 2013
Following up a new route out in the Mojave Desert....
I got banned from posting a couple of weeks ago because I posted the Wikipedia page for 8kers (which shows death rates). I asked how many porters they thought would be sacrificed. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eight-th...



OOOH! That's a good one. It will be about impossible to do this without causing loss of life. Let's work up some statistics for to email to sponsors/post.

I'm technically at work, so I don't have time to figure it out, but I'll do it later this evening.

What was the total # of Sherpas he was taking along again?

FLAG
By Davis Stevenson
From Flagstaff, Arizona
Sep 23, 2013
Following up a new route out in the Mojave Desert....
So the average death rate between all top 14 peaks comes out to about 10%. Of course, not every Sherpa will be at high risks, but I am sure that some will end up giving their lives.

Not to mention the Sherpas are a very exploited culture, making an average of $1,400 a year per capita.

So not only are they risking other people's lives, they are EXPLOITING other people's lives, as I see it.

FLAG
 
By David Barbour
From Denver
Sep 23, 2013
something like 3800 sherpas is what they said. strangely, i can't find that number anymore :)

FLAG


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