What Do Lance Armstrong, Jimmy Savile and Jerry Sandusky Have In Common? They Founded Charities To Hide Their Crimes

It is a striking feature of the three scandals. Each of them founded charities and used the consequent acclaim and public admiration to deflect, rebut or even assist them in their criminal pursuits. It worked for all three because nobody could quite believe that someone who did so much free work to help others could be guilty of such terrible things. They had to be good people. But they weren’t.

Lance Armstrong founded Livestrong, a charity founded to raise funds for cancer research. Livestrong dovetailed perfectly with Armstrong’s narrative, the cancer survivor who battled the odds to emerge as a sporting phenomenon. It meant that the aura of doing good for other cancer victims armored Armstrong against prying skeptics who doubted his story and for many, many years it worked. Go ask David Walsh.

Likewise Jimmy Savile donned the garments of the charity-worker to bullet proof himself against investigation and in the process used his fund raising at hospitals like Stoke Mandeville to gain access to more under age sex victims. In his case suspicion about his activities existed for far longer than Armstrong yet thanks in no small way to his charity work, he survived serious scrutiny until after his death.

The former football coach at Penn State University, Jerry Sandusky founded his charity, The Second Mile, way back in 1977 to serve the needs of underprivileged and at risk youth in the state. Some 100,000 youngsters a year received help from the charity and some became objects of sexual gratification for Sandusky until he was uncovered as an abuser in 2011. His charity work, like Savile’s, protected him from scrutiny and provided him with victims.

So the moral of the story? Any public personality who cloaks him or herself in the respectability of charity work should be looked at askance. Just in case. They might be hiding some awful secret. They might not. But they might.


18 responses to “What Do Lance Armstrong, Jimmy Savile and Jerry Sandusky Have In Common? They Founded Charities To Hide Their Crimes

  1. Farrell, Lauretta

    I find this idiotic. Whether you believe or not that Lance Armstrong used performance enhancing drugs and then established a charity to cover it up, linking the use of performance enhancing drugs to child sex abuse is offensive.

    • Ah! ‘Tis a doping-denier methinks, a species rapidly heading for the same lunatic asylum that houses the birther movement, 9/11 conspiracists and ‘grassy knoll’ refugees! First of all, read what I wrote. I didn’t link Armstrong’s activity as a doper to child abuse but to criminality, i.e. fraud. It so happens that buggering little boys or raping little girls is also a crime. So in that way they are linked. They all three are criminals, soon to be established in law. But get over it, Lauretta, Lance was always a wrong ‘un. David Walsh read him right years ago and now the evidence is there for all to see. And he used his cancer charity to disinfect his crimes, as did Sandusky and Savile. I don’t think that is in doubt.

  2. Lauretta, read the article and less knee jerk reactions.

  3. Ed Good blogg but I think you have concluded in unfortunate terms and not as I would expect from you. Rather than we look upon decent people with suspicion would justice not be better served that complaints of serious abuse be investigated properly regardless of any persons prestige?

    • thank you for your comment christy but what i was trying to say was that the prestige that comes with a high public profile is so much more difficult to overcome when allegations of serious abuse are made if it is augmented by an ostensibly praiseworthy record of charity work. people say how could jimmy savile abuse children when he does so much good for them or how could lance armstrong’s life story be a lie when he spends so much of his time and money trying to achieve the same for other cancer victims? they use their charity work as a suit of armour.

      • Ed I follow that, and it has always been the way, by virtue of being a priest used to be a shield from accountability. Any person of good character should always be able to rely upon their public standing and charitible work to bolster their credibility and that is right and proper –even for the less than savoury Mr Saville.

        Everyone should enjoy equality of arms before the law. If a valid complaint has been made it should be investiagted regardless of the who alleged abuser might me that is what should be important. But a persons’ prestige or committment to charitible work are not initial reason why we should be concerned or suspicious about anyone. To do so would be unfair and demeaning to the vast majority of decent people who are in the public eye.

  4. Ed good article, i am more than confused by some of these responses that believe it was offensive. People must speak out about these issues and the organizations that let it strive. My take was beware of what might be behind the curtain. Haven’t we seen this before. Let me give you one more example. But for those and I don’t mean to insult them, that still can’t see it or some some reason or refuse to let me give you a clue. I am from Boston, I am Catholic. I have heard, and I know some who were abused. So no matter who, what, or how big, I know I’d question or you bet i ‘d be careful.
    Growing up in a large Irish Catholic family my mother told us all something i still remember to this day, although, I never quite fully understood it she said only in warning “stay away from the police and the priests”, I sort of got the police part, but never fully understood the priest part until years later.
    Did we all know, why were we silent?, were we afraid to speak against the mighty?
    We can not be silent.
    Ed, on other things I follow your blog, have read your books, your tireless work is to be commended. I am a huge fan and will be embarrassed after sending this as an adult not just to have one but to say your a real hero of mine.

  5. So let’s see if I got this right; out of the thousands of charitable organizations 3 have used been to to hide criminal activity so all charitable foundations should be suspect. Is that the gist of this article?

    • no, it means that three of the world’s most notorious pedophiles, cheats and frauds of recent times all used charities to mask their crimes. all three were shadowed throughout their careers by allegations or suggestions of misbehavior. lesson? when public celebrities with dark questions surrounding them set up or get involved in high-profile charity work it may be a marker or criminality. stress on the word may. understand now?

  6. valid observation, but hardly a ‘eureka’ moment. How about clergy, teachers, scout leaders, politicians and others who have used their positions of trust to hide in plain sight? Maybe the bigger problem is that there were organziations that got behind them and helped hide their indescretions through fear, intimidation or payoffs. Scouts hid, Vatican hid, Penn State hid, BBC hid. Second mile and Livestrong have not been implicated.
    I guess the moral is hypocrisy is everywhere – look closest where indignity or rightousness is being shouted the loudest – this is where the miscreants are.

    • didn’t claim it as eureka, just a noteworthy footnote. not denying either role of organizations they were members of. just making the point that such charity work added an extra coat of chainmail. if anyone truly failed in all this, it was the media – aspects of all three men;s misbehavior was known to elements of the media but incompetence/cowardice halted them. they are the real culprits in that sense.

  7. I get the obvious point; but still stupid to connect child abusers with sports cheats.

  8. For Pete’s sake, people. Read the friggin article BEFORE commenting. The author made NO attempt to link pedophilia with sports doping! The ONLY link is philanthropy as a means of cloaking criminality, a clear and concise assertion established in the second sentence, first paragraph of the article.
    READ man, READ!

  9. Damn, reading this article was intriguing but not half as intriguing as reading the comments from the sheeple. Unbelievable how someone can not read an article or not obtain the information long enough to form a correct opinion ABOUT the article. These people either skimmed it and immediately went on the defense as if THEY were personally being attacked, or they are just eating way to much GMO food and can’t remember a damn thing that happens 15 seconds after it occurs. Really man, I am sorry you have to put up with so much bullshit from your audience. Honestly, I am not even sure these are real people. I would check their IP addresses and make sure that they are not corporations or Government bots with special interest to these matters. I think you should write an article on how people are getting more stupid by the day because of their surroundings i.e. GMO food, Electro Magnetic Waves from cell phones and whatever the other Electro-crazyness that is disrupting our brains, and the pedophile rings that are occurring right under our noses inside of the Governments of not just the U.S. but Governments around the world. It truly made me frustrated and sad to see you personally dealing with your audience and having to explain your very short and to the point article to them PERSONALLY in each and every comment where someone chose not to even read the damn thing, I mean it’s inSANE!!! So on behalf of all humanity and your audience, I apologize to you sir, you shouldn’t have to be dealing with these sheeple like that but yet you are a kind and decent human being trying to make a living and you chose to respond to these sheeple with respect and gave them more time then they deserved. I hope that brings some good karma your way sir. I really do. Another things I wanted to point out is dealing with this subject that I am touching on right now about the sheeple in audiences. I am in a Band called Storm The Beaches (you can check us out at http://www.facebook.com/stormthebeaches, Not doing this for promotion or attention I assure you of that sir) and we cater to quite a lot of people, even more now since we signed to a label and a booking agency. But what kills me is how much one person; you, me, other bands or bloggers in our same positions, over and over again try to drive home a message or a theme that is simple and to the point and, say its the theme of love for instance, it’s simple, to the point, it is a theme that resonates with all people everywhere no matter what the language barrier is, love is a universal language. I can write in plane english, do a track-by-track explanation of the songs and everything and people will comment under the explanation, and it is almost like the comment came first and the explanation came second if you understand what I mean by that, it was the same with this article. They are asking the very questions that the track-by-track has just answered. They are not asking for a more in depth explanation, they will literally be asking me exactly word for word the questions that I say people might ask about the song, and then I give an explanation.. I think, are you just messing with me? Are you just trying to get under my skin? Or is this really a case of something larger, is this really the case of our society being dumbed down so we can’t remember anything, so we can’t learn even something that we are actually passionate about. I am sorry to rant like this but earlier there was a comment of your article was not a “eureka moment”. Well, I sure as hell got a “eureka moment” from these comments under your article. I swear this is going to keep me up all frigen night. It is unbelievable how people can not pay attention at all. And sadly, I know that someone out there in the great big Matrix we call “Life on Earth” is going to read this comment and think, ” Oh hey, thats me! I must need to up my dose of Adderall”, or, ” Hey he’s right, I cant comprehend anything I read. I think I need to call my doctor and get some Ritalin.” These are the sheeple I am talking about.. Again, may The Divine bless you and I hope you find everything that you are searching for in life and I hope you get an abundance of it. I wish you and everyone on here much Peace and Infinite Love!
    “Infinite Love is the only truth: Everything else is illusion.” ~David Icke
    I write this comment with respect and love and only trying to make people aware so we can strike up a great change in ourselves and in this world. Love always, ~ MosseyVenture.

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