The truth behind Kony 2012

As soon as the mainstream media picked up on this story I knew that it had to be a fraudulant news piece as they never publish truth


The following is about the recent arrest of the man behind the Kony sensation (manipulation)

“Officers responded to a radio call to check the welfare of an individual who was said to be running in the street, interfering with traffic, screaming; one person said that he was naked and masturbating,” police spokeswoman Lieutenant Andra Brown told AFP.

A San Diego police spokeswoman, asked about media reports that Russell had been detained, said only that a 33-year-old white man had been taken to a medical facility on Thursday morning.

“The San Diego Police Department received several calls that he was acting bizarrely, running into traffic, interfering with traffic, yelling,”

((((Original post follows)))

I do not doubt for a second that those involved in KONY 2012 have great intentions, nor do I doubt for a second that Joseph Kony is a very evil man. But despite this, I’m strongly opposed to the KONY 2012 campaign.


KONY 2012 is the product of a group called Invisible Children, a controversial activist group and not-for-profit. They’ve released 11 films, most with an accompanying bracelet colour (KONY 2012 is fittingly red), all of which focus on Joseph Kony. When we buy merch from them, when we link to their video, when we put up posters linking to their website, we support the organization. I don’t think that’s a good thing, and I’mnotalone.

Invisible Children has been condemned time and time again. As a registered not-for-profit, its finances are public. Last year, the organization spent $8,676,614. Only 31% went to their charity program (page 6)*. This is far from ideal, and Charity Navigator rates their accountability 2/4 stars because they haven’t had their finances externally audited. But it goes way deeper than that.

The group is in favour of direct military intervention, and their money funds the Ugandan government’s army and various other military forces. Here’s a photo of the founders of Invisible Children posing with weapons and personnel of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army. Both the Ugandan army and Sudan People’s Liberation Army are riddled with accusations of rape and looting, but Invisible Children defends them, arguing that the Ugandan army is “better equipped than that of any of the other affected countries”, although Kony is no longer active in Uganda and hasn’t been since 2006 by their own admission.


Still, the bulk of Invisible Children’s spending isn’t on funding African militias, but on awareness and filmmaking. Which can be great, except that Foreign Affairs has claimed that Invisible Children (among others) “manipulates facts for strategic purposes, exaggerating the scale of LRA abductions and murders and emphasizing the LRA’s use of innocent children as soldiers, and portraying Kony — a brutal man, to be sure — as uniquely awful, a Kurtz-like embodiment of evil.” He’s certainly evil, but exaggeration and manipulation to capture the public eye is unproductive, unprofessional and dishonest.

As Christ Blattman, a political scientist at Yale, writes on the topic of IC’s programming, “There’s also something inherently misleading, naive, maybe even dangerous, about the idea of rescuing children or saving of Africa. […] It hints uncomfortably of the White Man’s Burden. Worse, sometimes it does more than hint. The savior attitude is pervasive in advocacy, and it inevitably shapes programming. Usually misconceived programming.”

Still, Kony’s a bad guy, and he’s been around a while. Which is why the US has been involved in stopping him for years. U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) has sent multiple missions to capture or kill Kony over the years. And they’ve failed time and time again, each provoking a ferocious response and increased retaliative slaughter. The issue with taking out a man who uses a child army is that his bodyguards are children. Any effort to capture or kill him will almost certainly result in many children’s deaths, an impact that needs to be minimized as much as possible. Each attempt brings more retaliation. And yet Invisible Children funds this military intervention. Kony has been involved in peace talks in the past, which have fallen through. But Invisible Children is now focusing on military intervention.

Military intervention may or may not be the right idea, but people supporting KONY 2012 probably don’t realize they’re helping fund the Ugandan military who are themselves raping and looting away. If people know this and still support Invisible Children because they feel it’s the best solution based on their knowledge and research, I have no issue with that. But I don’t think most people are in that position, and that’s a problem.

Is awareness good? Yes. But these problems are highly complex, not one-dimensional and, frankly, aren’t of the nature that can be solved by postering, film-making and changing your Facebook profile picture, as hard as that is to swallow. Giving your money and public support to Invisible Children so they can spend it on funding ill-advised violent intervention and movie #12 isn’t helping. Do I have a better answer? No, I don’t, but that doesn’t mean that you should support KONY 2012 just because it’s something. Something isn’t always better than nothing. Sometimes it’s worse.

If you want to write to your Member of Parliament or your Senator or the President or the Prime Minister, by all means, go ahead. If you want to post about Joseph Kony’s crimes on Facebook, go ahead. But let’s keep it about Joseph Kony, not KONY 2012.

~ Grant Oyston,

Grant Oyston is a sociology and political science student at Acadia University in Nova Scotia, Canada. You can help spread the word about this by linking to his blog at anywhere you see posts about KONY 2012.

*For context, 31% is bad. By contrast, Direct Relief reports 98.8% of its funding goes to programming. American Red Cross reports 92.1% to programming. UNICEF USA is at 90.3%. Invisible Children reports that 80.5% of their funding goes to programming, while I report 31% based on their FY11 fiscal reports, because other NGOs would count film-making as fundraising expenses, not programming expenses.

Further reading

And if you still think that I am just a crack pot conspiracy theorist then just turn your TV back on and watch the mainstream news and stop bitching about me, at least I am asking questions and looking at this all for myself rather than being spoon fed the media hype like the haters of this page


60 comments on “The truth behind Kony 2012

  1. As much as I do agree with bulk of what you mentioned, do you have a more structured solution to the whole Kony issue?


      KONY is not an issue anymore. If you are truly concerned please read up on Uganda and foreign aid.

      If there’s ever a solution to issues like that, after more than 40 years and $1trillion in aid to Africa, Africa wouldn’t be what it is today.

      If you don’t know what you are doing then it is best you not do anything at all. The white people think they have the solution for everything there but look at Africa now, people are poorer collectively than before foreign aid. They are ruining it, just like KONY2012.

      The problem with IC they are advocating violence in bringing Kony down and supporting the Ugandan army which is no different from Joseph Kony in my opinion.

    • @Jeremy Chua, isn’t fighting evil with evil ironic?

      “they are the best equipped” to do what? rape and pillage their own countrymen? while they are attempting to put a stop to Joseph Kony, they’re also leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.

      violence solves nothing. Invisible Children, i believe, works on the old adage “an eye for an eye”. however, didn’t Ghandi say that “the whole world will go blind” like that?

      while there isn’t a clear solution, i believe that while the only way to stop this madness is to engage the military with might, choosing the right allies to do it counts.

      • at least kony 2012 is on to something, how about you? what solution do you have? when you present an argument, be sure to back it up.

        (edited by admin)
        OMG some people are so asleep to the real world and so brainwashed by this propaganda I can’t help but laugh at you sorry

  2. STOP THE ARMS TRADE TO AFRICA! Buying more guns and exporting them to Uganda is definitely NOT a solution, but was always part of the problem!

  3. Thank you, sir, for clearing things up. I agree, in this context, that by supporting the cause, we are actually excerbating the problem instead of solving it. No doubt we are making a biased judgment based on historical evidence, but i personally feel that in order to achieve reliable results, NGOs such as Red Cross may be a much better organisation than Invisible Children. And if Invisible Children truly care, they should let go of their power and allow more credible organisations to take over.

  4. Sir, i agree to certain extent to your post.
    Like some one post below do you have a better solution? I think something done is better than nothing done. And in running such an assosciation to help a rather big size matter, there are more cost behind the scene then we would know. And i believe the social media is to help spread e awareness and help us understand their cause and to gain help in their cause.
    Just sharing perspective, no hard feelings. 🙂

  5. Thanks for this. Simple and precise. Just what I needed to know. Nice to know that I’m not the only one feeling weird about this whole issue.

  6. This is a good article which should be spread to others thru fb to RE-EDUCATE people on the online trending of the ‘KNOY 2012’ and ‘STOP KNOY’ campaigns.

  7. Comment awaiting moderation? what a coward, you probably had many opposing views but you’re just not revealing it, what a pussy

  8. “This is the portion of total expenses that is spent on charitable programs. In CharityWatch’s view, 60% or greater is reasonable for most charities. The remaining percentage is spent on fundraising and general administration. Note: A 60% program percentage typically indicates a “satisfactory” or “C range” rating. Most highly efficient charities are able to spend 75% or more on programs.”

    So at 62% Invisible Children is not stellar, but satisfactory. And videos can be taken out of context.

  9. I can appreciate the truth in a lot of what you’re saying. But I still support Kony 2012 as a campaign idea because the best way to capture Kony is with International Aid and the most effective way to continue having the support of International Aid is to pester our governments with millions of voices saying we want Kony stopped. And I 100% agree that we need Kony stopped. But I will definitely think twice before purchasing any merchandise or directly funding Invisible Children Inc. from now on. So thank you!

  10. “And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7

    I hear what you guys and these articles are saying. Believe me. For me I see this as the bottom line is this guy needs to stop. I don’t really see it as ‘saving Africa’ or ‘The White Man’s Burden’… I see it similar to a social media movement that raises awareness similar to what happened in Egypt, Libya, etc., movements that changed the course of history. The filmmakers are not perfect and if we want to find dirt on them, or anyone, we will find it. I’d rather focus on the movement, that the kids are suffering and personally I am not OK with that. They are trying to do something.

    It is impossible to combine the words: educated action+media+humans… without finding flaws. Here’s the reality: we wouldn’t be having this conversation if it weren’t for the campaign. I think it’s brilliant and flawed, and it has already raised awareness. It is about stopping this monster using the avenues and behaviors the majority of us that we have in place. Not all of us will study political science at Yale, but we have seen the movie and here we are on, a blog! Awareness has been raised.

  11. Sometimes things are really just as simple as it seems. Invisible Children did a good job telling the world some fortunate we are. The message is not just about LRA or Kony or Uganda. It about humility, freedom and love. Its about the people who are still suffering and yet unknown to the world.

    Let us not question what motive invisible children has for raising this campaign. Let us announce to the world and to the people who still suffering, that one day their children will have a future, a future all human beings are entitled to.

    One last note to the author. By replacing “truth” to the word “scam”, would make u a better guy than the founders of Invisible Children. Please, just do urself a favour and change ur title.

    • Thanks for this,

      I hadn’t really given much thought to the title when I was putting it up but yes your right, it is not a good choice of wording, I have corrected this

      And thanks for your message same as my thoughts on the matter =]

      Peace, love and light


  12. I agree by and large with this response. The video by Invisible Children is quite condescending to it’s viewers and more importantly Ugandans. I think story seems like too much of a liberal youth “pat yourself on the back” for donating to a largely unknown foundation that has a clearly vindictive vendetta against Kony because of their experiences in that country. Although I am agree entirely that this war criminal should be brought to justice, this video is extremely manipulative in targeting young “socially-overconscientious” people without displaying the facts more objectively. Moreover the “white-man” saviour issue is also poorly addressed by using the directors son as tool for over-simplifying an extremely complex issue – “daddy fights the bad guys.” I mean this is an extremely egotistically motivated comment to include in a charitable organisations video. Finally, the video does not shed any light on where the money that is donated is going, this is quite dishonest to not disclose that the money (well a small proportional amount of it) is going to the Ugandan army, which, lest we forget was once lead by Idi Amin and even he once had the backing of British government. I think that this sends a fundamentally flawed message in that; the ends justify the means in terms of helping the Ugandan military rape and pillage en route to bring justice to Joseph Kony.

  13. Okay first of all I do not support any of Joseph Kony’s actions.
    Secondly I do agree that bringing these injustices to the public atention is a good thing for sure but not in this way.

    If they did not want funding to start a war then I would be all for this trust me. But the fact that they are trying to fight war with war seems pretty backwards does it not ??

    And yes I have seen the website they released to counter these claims and fair enough too but the fact still remains, these guys are pro war and thats what they want

    Have you all forgotten what a great job America did against those terrorists living in caves ?? oh thats right preditor drones that kill 50 innocent woman, children and un-armed civilians is that what Africa needs is it ??

    • As a member of the USMC, I can say casualties do happen, even if we do what we can. Innocent lives will be taken unintentionally. War is never a good solution, but it happens when you cannot come to an agreement and they pose a threat to our people where more innocent lives will be taken (9/11) that being said, I do not like war, but sometimes it is the only thing left we can do.

      I do agree with a lot of what you’re saying (I even googled General Butt Naked and found him to be legit. Learn something new every day) and these people, these CIVILIANS know nothing of war. They promote rebellion and a civil war will break out and who will be hurt in the end? Their own people. Just like every other African warlord out there. This reminds me of how we the people of the USA supported the French Revolution 100% without realizing how chaotic it really was. Our revolution didn’t consist of beheading of the king or queen or anyone else like that, BUT we did fight back after SEVERAL attempts to tell England that “We wanted to be treated equally.”

      My point is, people are sheep, they follow the public opinion and because it’s something everyone else is doing, THEY FOLLOW it without doing their own research. That is AMERICA, that is THE WORLD as we know it. And I have to say, “WTF is this world coming to?”

      • Very interesting thoughts there my friend thanks for this, and yes the masses are very much like sheep flocking with the masses to where the hype is etc, thanks for this comment I appreciate it greatly


  14. Supporting the cause doesn’t mean funding them. I support the cause, because it doesn’t only concern Africa, but lots of other countries who have similar problems. But I wouldn’t donate, or buy any thing from the IC because I do not support the organization.

    And talking about soldiers raping, and any other things like that, I definitely do not support that, never have and never ever will. Don’t you know that even American soldiers did that in Afghanistan, Irak, Kosovo, and many other countries? It’s just that, keeping pointing out bad points, did IC did all wrong with Koni 2012? I do not support the organization, but they did not do all wrong. What I mean is, because some people do bad stuff, doesn’t mean that every other people does bad things. Just because some people have bad intentions, doesn’t mean everyone else have bad intentions.

    I’m not totally ok with the way IC did the Koni 2012 video, but at least they stepped up. Maybe not totally in the right way, but now at least millions of people get to know what happened there, and whats still happening in other countries, if they get to dig a little bit deeper and not follow the mass because it’s hype.

    You don’t need to fund the IC, or donate to them, or even support them. But you can support this cause, because it doesn’t happen only in Uganda, but it happens world wild.

    • Good to hear my friend, thats the way it should be too.

      We are all part of the earth family so to speak and we all need to support each of our brothers and sisters undoubtibly I am just afraid that this hype and hysteria will lead to a full scale US invasion of Africa and Joseph Kony being the new anti terror campaign and the new pin up poster face for terrorisiim itself, much like Osama and Sadam were even though all the facts show that 9/11 was an inside job and Sadam had nothing to do with it yet there we still are fighting a phony war which people are seeing and they know they need a new oppressor to show to the world to keep the perpetual war on terror to enslave humanity under a totalatarian new world order (which they are not too far away from already)

      So yes it is important for people to know what is going on but they also need the bigger picture, yes Kony needs to be stopped but it doesn’t take war to achieve this and I am very glad to hear you are not funding them because you have looked into it for yourself 😉 knowledge is power especially when you asked for yourself rather than believeing what we are spoon fed. As soon as I heard about this story on the radio and then on the mainstream news pages I knew that we were not being told the full truth of things because thats just the way the corporate mainstream media work

      Thanks for your message =]

      Peace, love and light


  15. Pingback: Question the question « Speak Life

  16. If you are wondering why your comment may not bo on here is because

    A) you spoke from an angry viewpoint because the video effected you to the point that you felt you had to attack me personally

    B) your points you made were of little relevance

    C) you did not think about what you were saying first and obviously didn’t actually really read any of this

    Please do your own homework and look at both sides before outright attacking me etc

    By now you should see that media are realizing its a bit of a have now too, even nightline ran a story interviewing people from Africa who were saying it has compleatly changed the understanding of the troubles that they are having and is bad for the people of Africa and many many many others are voicing the same concerns and that is not to say that we are all pro child army’s and child slaves by any means. just look at the bigger picture for yourself and dont let the sadness and propaganda from the film cloud your judgment of what is really going on…..

    • Spot on there,
      yes people..take a moment and understand deeper before you form an opinion or make judgements. Never be satisfied of what you know, be hungry for knowledge because it is endless.

  17. Why are people of the USA who live so comfortably trying to go after a man like Kony, when the real answer for Africa is to help those people develop their country and become the same level as Europeans, but I think there is so much egoeisme in the USA that you will never see such realization, they should stop being hypocrites and do something to eliminate poverty in Africa that is the main problem of this region

  18. I can’t help to realize that when i watched the Kony 2012 youtube video, that he is on the very top of the International most wanted.. indicted since 2008, 2nd below him is another uganda threat…and if you were to pause and play slowly you would notice that its mostly african figures and of course Gadaffi and his sons are at the very begining with the narator mentioning all the other warlords of the worlds…le Americans doing the noble cause to spread the awareness to make Kony famous because he is the worst?? the most very worst??.so how does this superseads Osama? because it involves children? what about the other long list of african war lords? non relevant?. . its seems that the number of murders and war crimes also superseads of those of Osama, the talibans, and other claimed islamic extremist no?.. yet US spent almost all of their super elite forces and batalions to the middle east and turn those place upside down and until today… so US offers just 100 military aid to help the cause to find the most worst of all who is now Joseph Kony??.. @_@ i’m just saying ya know…i may be wrong about it..but i do find it baffling in terms of righteousness… oh yeah i understand know.. Osama is Americas enemy.. thats why… Kony isnt… but my question is…why Just him (Kony)?
    I too laud what Claude Darga had mentioned earlier.

  19. Govts and more reputable international orgs have known about Kony for years. For most of you, i bet you never knew who he was before this video came out. Hell.. bet you dont even know the names of most of your ministers in your own country!

    Back to point, there are so many orgs and govts around the world who knows about him and the things he does, but there are also reasons why nothing or much is done. Political reasons, repurcussions, will 2 more heads spring up when 1 is cut off? Will military or violent intervention work as his army are children, will they be used as human shields or fight the war? and as children, they most probably see him as the one who brings them up, feeds them, give them power and weapons / protection and etc; are they going to fight for him or against him? Sure, send in the almighty Seals, but then again; the cycle repeats itself with all the problems possibly occuring.

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