Greta thanks her followers, maybe.

Posted: January 12, 2013 in The highs and lows of pseudo-skepticism

The dates listed on this timeline are as accurate as the publications on GretaChristina’s Blog Timeline.
October18th 2012

Greta Christina (GC) was diagnosed with endometrial cancer and subsequently informed her online community.

GC put out a heartfelt plea for donations.

“The bad news again, and the part where I’m going to ask for help: This situation is going to seriously interfere with my ability to work for a little while. I’m going to be weak and doped up on pain meds for at least a couple of weeks after the surgery — possibly longer — and travel will be inadvisable for six weeks after the surgery. And all that’s assuming the best-case scenario of “no chemo or radiation”… which, again, is the most likely scenario, but not the only one.”

Speaking gigs are a significant part of my income, both for the honoraria and the book sales.”

“If I could not worry about money for the weeks while I’m recovering, it would take a big, big load off my mind. So I’m swallowing my pride, and am doing a fundraiser/ pledge drive.” 

The [bold] statement above is in essence, the plea to the community for cash/donations to alleviate her worries related to financial commitments during her recovery time.

As I understand it, this is the nature of the cause.

Greta in no way, shape or form worded her appeal to the community for funds to be sent as gifts for the sake of “Gifting” a sum of money. That would be outright begging IMO, and would be viewed as such.

Greta has “donate” and “subscribe” buttons as a permanent fixture on the side bar of her blog page/s. This is clearly understood by the reader as a suggestion by the author to donate or subscribe to her blog if the audience sees some value in her writings.

You will also notice two  more buttons located on the sidebar of each page directing the reader to make either a donation or recurring subscription payments to” Free Thought Blogs” if they so wish.

This particular blog has an additional two buttons embedded at the bottom of the post, which can be generally assumed to be a utility provided by the author to allow her readers/donators  to make donations or subscription payments in relation to her panhandling.

The donation drive commenced October 18th 2012 9:47am.

October 19th 2012

Greta Christina posted a new blog entry aptly titled:  “Wow, wow, wow, – and thanks”

GC expressed her gratitude to her readership for which she described as “a thumping success.”

She further wrote:

“It has exceeded all my expectations. I will be able to comfortably cover my mortgage and other expenses for a few months, while I recover my health and get my writing and speaking career revved up again afterwards. No further donations or spreading of the word are necessary: I’ve actually gotten somewhat [definition: adverb- To a moderate extent or by a moderate amount] more than I really need, and I’m seriously contemplating donating the overflow — probably to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Light the Night Walk via the Foundation Beyond Belief, and/or to Camp Quest. (I feel okay about asking my readers for financial help, but I feel weird taking more than I really need.)”

This concluded the charity drive. (Ending at approximately 2:42pm, October 19th 2012, based on the time of first comment posted thereafter)

Upon reading this post^ I noticed some inconsistencies relating to the original request for donations.

GC explicitly states in her pre-donation post dated December 18th 2012, she is in need of donations to cover expenses for the weeks whilst recovering.

At the conclusion of the charity drive Greta states clearly that she intends to use the donations to cover mortgage and other expenses for a few months.

This has since been trumped with a new statement published January 6th 2013.

“I spent the overwhelming majority of the donations from that fundraiser paying my mortgage several months in advance.”

This statement implies the recipient has received donations which exceeded the target. (overflow)

Greta Christina made a call to end the fundraiser just 29 hours after its commencement. The recipient then directs any further donations to be forwarded directly to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Light the Night Walk via the Foundation Beyond Belief, or to Camp Quest. GC however, merely contemplates, albeit seriously, donating the overflow- “probably” to the above mentioned charity organizations.

November 4th 2012

Greta publishes a post asking her followers to once again contribute to another cause. Skepticon, an event on the atheist/sceptical calendar were experiencing financial difficulty due to low funding.  This conference is listed on Greta’s calendar, as she is a nominated speaker for the event.

“I was supposed to speak at Skepticon 5. My cancer surgery threw a monkey wrench into that plan, although we’re hoping that I’m well enough by November 9 to get me Skyped in.”

Further:

“Now, as many of my readers know, I recently did a fundraiser here on this blog, to help cover my expenses while I recover from cancer surgery. As readers also may know, I stopped that fundraiser about a day after it started, even though word about the fundraiser was still being spread and donations were still coming in, since I’d already raised all the money I needed and then some.”

At this point in time GC seems to be relying on the donations received (for living expenses) but sets an example for her followers by stating “Ingrid and I just donated $100.00 to keep Skepticon going. Please chip in what you can. Thanks.”

This may simply be Greta’s preferred choice of charities for at least part of her overflow contribution. There is yet to be any publication by GC, or the interwebz, or any single charity organization expressing thanks for receipt for any other (overflow) donations.

December 21st 2012

Greta has now returned to work in some capacity and creates a blog

“It’s a Friday evening, and there’s a party Ingrid and I said we’d go to. It’s a Friday evening, which all too often means Ingrid and I are exhausted by our work weeks.”

This statement suggests Greta has resumed work duties.

Further:

“I’m at a conference. Or rather, I’m in a hotel room at some un-fucking-godly hour in the morning, getting ready for a conference. I am not by any stretch of the imagination a morning person, and I am fighting the urge to say “Fuck it,” to return to the big comfy hotel bed and sleep for six more hours, to stay in the big bed all day watching TV and masturbating and ordering room service. But I remember, vaguely and distantly through my groggy haze, that I actually do like this work, that I am wildly fortunate to be able to do this work, that once I’m at the conference I will want to be there doing this work. Also, I remember that the conference organizers are paying me to be there, and if I don’t show up they’ll want their money back.”

It’s now just under two months after surgery and GC is attending a conference and participating in paid speaking engagements.

January 4th 2013

Greta often blogs about current fashion, and in her latest instalment was discussing dressy, comfortable shoes. Several references were made to a pair of upmarket shoes designed and manufactured by John Fluevog.

It seems that Greta’s blog has now been edited and the cost and purchase of these shoes at $200+ is now edited out of the blog post.

A portion of the online community expressed outrage over the purchase of said shoes, claiming the panhandle recipient is spending charitable donations earmarked for essential living expenses on luxuries.

This behaviour initiated discourse on the blogosphere from both sides of the camp. Those in support of Greta, and those with opposing views.

The three main topics of discussion are as follows:

  1. Is the purchase of upmarket shoes a necessity or a frivolous luxury afforded by donations pledged?
  2. Did the panhandling recipient take advantage of the overflow of charitable donations and prepay months of living expenses, as opposed to weeks, as was stated in the first post?
  3. Has the recipient followed the direction she gave her readers and pledged her overflow of funds to a worthwhile charity organization?

January 6th 2013

There seems to be some discussion on the blogosphere defending Greta’s receipt of some monies as “gifts”.

GC attempts to defend her use of funds by changing her mission statement to this:

“I spent the overwhelming majority of the donations from that fundraiser paying my mortgage several months in advance”

“several” definition [adjective– more than a few, an indefinite small number]

“few” definition [adjective– not many but more than one. Two or more]

Realising the true definition of Greta’s post-donation statement it can be assumed the donations GC received, adequately covered the costing for living expenses and mortgage payments, not only for a number of weeks as first published in her campaign, but now carries her expenses for several months.

Greta’s followers made several claims of explicitly stating that their donation is/was intended as a gift, therefore can be spent on items other than those expressed in the charity drive. This conversation did not start until her panhandling exercise concluded, and only by a handful of commenters on her blog.

Over 170 commenters responded to Greta’s plea and expressed their support, both emotional and monetary.  I was unable to find a single entry in the comment section specifically stating the pledged contribution can be used for something other than what was described as “living expenses”.

Greta’s followers challenged the idea of unethical use of the proceeds and made several claims, whilst pointing to comments (post charity drive) approving of her use of the funds by any means she sees fit, which includes luxuries.

Several supportive commenters who did NOT contribute to the fundraising expressly advised Greta to either “spend on whatever she likes”, or “Keep the overflow for herself”.

  • 9 commenters approving the “keep the overflow cash” idea, by self admission, did not donate.
  • 11 commenters approving the “keep the overflow cash” idea, made no admissions to donating.
  • 4 commenters approving the “keep the overflow cash” idea, actually made a contribution, although, one contributor, by admission, only donated pennies.

Finally, if Greta was serious about ceasing the influx of “Donations”, she’d remove the “Donate” and “Subscription” buttons located beneath her heart felt plea.

At the time of writing this article, no such attempts were made to cease receiving it would take a big, big load off my mind” donations.

It’s been stated several times throughout this article that the fundraising target has been reached and no further assistance is needed. The donation drive has ceased. An overwhelming amount of money raised. An overflow of donations may or may not be pledged to a worthy charity organization, based on an ambiguous statement made by GC.

Pushing the goal posts.

Appeal to pity.

Luxury items.

Dishonest defense by commenters.

Nil pledge of the overflow.

Double income.

NO THANK YOU.

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Comments
  1. Greta, will you be contributing to a struggling FTBlogger for housing or a dandy new laptop? Surely some of your overflow can be used for such a noble cause amirite?
    Just sayin’.

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