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Planet Aid, Inc.
July 12, 2013

I laughed when “michellecoates918” declared that “Going in [a Planet Aid shop] feels like a time travel.” Yes, you’d just about need the DeLorean in “Back to the Future” to visit a Planet Aid store, because, as “kris” and “maria” correctly point out, the non-profit hasn’t operated such shops since around 2003!

I think that most of the positive reviews here were written by the same person, whose ability to come up with convincing fake usernames lacks a certain, well, je ne sais quoi.

As “maria” says, the controversies surrounding Planet Aid can be easily found online, which would explain the company’s desire to bury all the substantive unfavorable reports with fluffy superlatives.

Last December, USA Today reported that only 28% of Planet Aid’s spending went to its international aid programs in 2011, while most of the remainder went to collect and process clothes for recycling. That low percentage earned Planet Aid an “F” from ratings organization CharityWatch:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2012/12/30/clothes-donations-for-profit/1782543/
http://www.charitywatch.org/articles/PlanetAidRecyclingDebunked.html

A charitable spending ratio of 28% is decidedly too low, but the actual figure may be even lower than that. In its 2009 investigation, WTTG News in Washington DC examined Planet Aid’s then most recent tax records and noticed many of the charities Planet Aid claims to support have the *same address*. A list of South African charities was shown in example. But the South African Embassy told WTTG that those groups are NOT registered charities.

WTTG’s investigation found that ALL of the charities listed in Planet Aid’s most recent tax returns are controlled by the same parent organization: a group called International Humana People to People Movement, which, according to its own web-site, *also* controls Planet Aid: http://www.humana.org/Members/usa

Furthermore, prosecutors in Denmark have linked Planet Aid and Humana People to People to an alleged cult called the Tvind Teachers Group (“Tvind” or “TG” for short). Top TG leaders are international fugitives wanted in their native Denmark in connection with a multimillion-dollar tax-fraud and embezzlement scheme.

(NOTE: Whether by its longer name or the shortened version, Humana People to People is NOT affiliated with the American health insurer called Humana.)

Although Planet Aid denies any connection to Tvind, the company admits that out of its 250 employees, “less than 5 percent” belong to the group. I wonder, though, whether or not that 5% all happen to hold upper-level management positions at Planet Aid!

My opinion: steer well clear of this company.

Here are the WTTG News reports from 2009:
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EES1_R-SoKs
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKAPDK0qR6U

A 2001 court document (translated into English by the Danish government) from The Public Prosecutor for Serious Economic Crime, in Denmark. In the document, at p. 31, Planet Aid is mentioned as being part of Tvind. Humana People to People first appears on p. 4: http://www.rickross.com/reference/tvind/tvind46.pdf

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

encourage the IRS, FBI, USDA and a few state AGOs to thoroughly investigate Planet Aid.

More feedback

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A little

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

MY ROLE:
General Member of the Public

Planet Aid, Inc.
August 27, 2012

“Marianonprofit” is correct, in my opinion. Planet Aid has indeed attracted a storm of media criticism for its very questionable business practices as well as its close ties with an alleged cult from Denmark — the Tvind Teachers Group, whose top leaders are currently Interpol fugitives wanted in connection with a multimillion-dollar tax-fraud and embezzlement scheme.

Here are a few additional reports on Planet Aid:

1) WTTG/Fox-5 News in Washington DC; 2009:
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EES1_R-SoKs
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKAPDK0qR6U

2) The Bay Weekly newspaper; Annapolis, MD; 2009: http://bayweekly.com/old-site/year09/issue_45/lead_1.html

3) The Better Business Bureau; 2008: http://youngstown.bbb.org/article/planet-aid-donations-are-not-staying-in-the-valley-6508

4) The Boston Globe, 2002:
http://www.rickross.com/reference/tvind/tvind46.html

5) San Diego Reader, 2010 (Report about Tvind): http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2010/feb/03/cover-mysterious-danish-exotic-compound-baja/#

Please research before you donate or volunteer.

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Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

None

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

MY ROLE:
General Member of the Public

Campus California
July 10, 2012

Julie, Ken Katz is most certainly not “trolling” — for heaven’s sake, what a cheap shot! Rather, his assessment of Campus California is accurate, in my opinion. If it wasn’t, then why would KPIX/CBS San Francisco in 2006 air such a scathing report on Campus California and the related clothes collector called Gaia? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjmLvYhrstA )

By the way, yes, Gaia and Campus California are related, as evidenced by the KPIX report and also this picture of an older Gaia/Campus California bin (look closely): http://www.katzpjs.com/gaia1.jpg

Why did the former volunteers interviewed for that report have such unkind things to say about Campus California? Were they “trolls,” too? By the way, why do you think Campus California’s manager Jan Sako freaked out when reporter Anna Werner merely asked him if he sells clothes to Garson & Shaw? Might that be because Garson & Shaw is headed by known Teachers Group members?

And what about the 2011 San Francisco Weekly article, mentioned by Ken in his comment? That well-researched article wasn’t exactly favorable about Campus California, either: http://www.sfweekly.com/2011-06-08/news/mogens-andi-peterson-campus-california-donated-clothes-cult-matt-smith/

And then there is the account from former Campus California student Matrice Jackson: http://www.tvindalert.com/stories/matrice-2/

Are these reporters and former students somehow “fabricating” lies against Campus California? I seriously doubt it, Julie, because of what I’ve learned about this group over years of research.

Let’s look at some of Mr. Katz’ so-called fabrications:

1) Campus California … is part and parcel of a vast network of non-profit and for-profit entities affiliated with the Teachers Group …”

Well, didn’t the letters “TG,” recently dropped from the end of Campus California’s name, stand for “Teachers Group”? The letters did appear on Campus California’s older bins: http://www.katzpjs.com/CCTGFaithPresbyterian.jpg

Furthermore, the SF Weekly reported that “Campus California has paid rent, brokerage, and financing fees to reputed Tvind-linked groups. It has shared key management personnel with such groups.”

The same report also states that “…Danish financial filings showed an annual transfer of around $50,000 to Campus California from Faelleseje, which is … sort of banker for Tvind-linked entities.”

The KPIX and SF weekly reports, along with photographs of the older bins, show Campus California’s affiliation with Gaia, which in turn was the subject of a 2004 investigation by the Chicago Tribune that showed Gaia’s ties to the Teachers Group: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2004-02-12/features/0402120028_1_gaia-bins-clothes

2) Mr. Katz also stated that “[Teachers Group leader Mogens Amdi] Petersen is currently a fugitive from the law hiding out in a $10 million compound in Baja California.”

Well, yes, it’s actually uncertain where in the world Mr. Petersen may be hiding, but it is a fact that he is a current Interpol fugitive wanted in Denmark for his involvement in a multimillion-dollar tax fraud and embezzlement scheme. After a five-year global search for Petersen and several assistants, the Western High Court in Denmark has recently ruled that public prosecutors can now appeal against Petersen and the others without serving the summons by hand, which is normal jurisprudence:
http://tvindnewsupdate.blogspot.com/2012/04/no-need-to-serve-summons-by-hand.html

The ruling means that prosecutors can simply post Petersen’s summons on the Danish government’s official website, “Statstidende.” Here’s the link to the summons (it’s in Danish, but perhaps someone at Campus California can read Danish): http://www.statstidende.dk/default.aspx?pg=48.1.-1.-1&serial=S13072011-110&date=26.08.2011

In conclusion, I’d like to say that instead of trying to belittle the critics, Julie, why don’t you try addressing some of legitimate concerns and accusations in such reports?

Thank you for allowing me to air my opinion.

More feedback

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

None

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

MY ROLE:
General Member of the Public