Promoting peace, transparency, and accountability (PETRA)
This site provides information for confronting corruption and promoting integrity
and specifically on the international fraud Nordic Capital Investments KB (NCI).
We suggest reviewing two core materials for an overview of NCI.
February-March 2017: WIllful Blindness (opening our eyes, hearing our conscience)
Dec 2016-Jan 2017: International Anti-Corruption Day (uniting against corruption and NCI)
October-November 2016: Ordinary Heroes (awakening the good in you)
August-September 2016: Cooperating with Corruption (complicity)
June-July 2016: Speaking Up ("double lives" and "moral disengagement")
April-May 2016: Good Fraud-day (rationalizing our responsibility to confront and protect)
February-March 2016: Transparency-Accountability Illusions (tricks for feigning good practice)
December 2015-January 2016: Good Practice Across Sectors (the best or the worst)
October-November 2015: Christian Integrity (transforming ourselves and our world)
August-September 2015: Lessons for "Leaders" ("we were wrong, we are responsible, we will change")
October 2014-October 2015: Responses to the Shine the Light-Together petition
(exchanges with four organisations--what people are saying and not saying)
The next phase begins December 2016! This online petition was launched in late March 2012. It is "an international call for integrity and action" in the NCI et al fraud. The petition is addressed to the organizations, projects, and people affected by NCI, calling for disclosures and assistance. It includes the latest PETRA Statement 2012. Over 100 people have signed it with about half being or having been associated with YWAM. It is time to resolutely shine the light on the NCI fraud and the inadequate responses to it. Click here to read it and sign it.
Global Declaration Against Corruption (Anti-Corruption Summit: London 2016)--Here is a summary excerpt:
“Corruption is at the heart of so many of the
world’s problems. We must overcome it, if our efforts to end poverty, promote
prosperity and defeat terrorism and extremism are to succeed. Today’s Summit
has demonstrated the deep commitment of a significant number of countries,
businesses and members of civil society to work together to tackle this
scourge. To do this we will build on and implement existing international
agreements – but also go much further, making this a top priority at home and
abroad and building capacity to tackle the problem. We commit to expose
corruption wherever it is found, to pursue and punish those who perpetrate,
facilitate or are complicit in it, to support the communities who have suffered
from it, and to ensure it does not fester in our government institutions,
businesses and communities. We will fulfil our shared commitment to
‘substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms’ [as stated in
Sustainable Development Goal 16]."
The EXPOSED Campaign was a recent global coalition of individuals,
organisations, and churches committed to shining a light on corrupt practices
and systems which affect us all, but particularly the poorest. It encouraged local action around the
globe by citizens wanting to expose and stand up to corruption. It
also encouraged churches to talk and teach about corruption, and ensure they
are transparent and honest in their own practices. A central feature of the Campaign was gathering one million signatures to take to the G20 meeting in Brisbane in November 2014
Twenty Finance Ministers and Central Bank
Governors from 20 major economies). Click
here for more information about the EXPOSED Campaign and to sign the petition.
Corruption is "the abuse of entrusted power for personal gain." (Transparency International)
it is also the rationalisation/avoidance of personal responsibility to confront corruption
in order to maintain one's livelihood and/or to placate one's conscience.
Fraud is 'an act of deception for personal gain or to cause a loss to another party.' (Serious Fraud Office, UK)
It is can also be a counterfeit act of "goodness" in order to benefit a good cause but at the expense of victims (exploitation).
**Fraud and other forms of corruption are a fact of life. People get duped all the time. And even the financially savvy can become the prey of experienced fraudsters. No one is immune to being exposed to fraud’s far-reaching toxins, including people and organizations in the faith-based community.
**For example an estimated 53 billion US dollars are stolen around the world through “ecclesiastical crime” according to the International Bulletin of Mission Research (January 2016, p. 28). The humanitarian assistance and other sectors fare no better. For example, consider the sobering conclusions from the July 2008 Report from Transparency International (TI) which reviews the widespread occurrence of corruption in humanitarian assistance. Corruption is extensive and as defined by TI, is primarily an ‘abuse of entrusted power for personal gain.’ It involves far more than just fraud.
Home Page--Overview, Updates, Weblog, Quotes
Part One--NCI: Overview, NCI Media/News, Documents, Analysis, Comments/Opinions.
Part Two--Corruption: Corruption/Fraud, Integrity/Governance, Weblinks.
As people work together to share factual and professional materials on this site,
the public will be better equipped to deal with corruption.
Your suggestions are thus encouraged in order to make this site
as accurate and helpful as possible.
This company and its investment schemes began in 1992. NCI's Swedish founder was convicted of gross fraud related to NCI by a Swedish district court (Uppsala Tingsrrat) in October 2010. People primarily within the international church-mission community collectively lost millions of dollars/euros. Personnel and others associated with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) have especially been affected.
**The first appeal case went to trial in Stockholm in September 2011 (Svea Hovrätt). The verdict of 28 October 2011 upheld the Uppsala court's verdict (from October 2010) and sentenced the defendant to three and a half years in prison. This second verdict was appealed to the Swedish Supreme Court (Högsta Domstolen) on 23 November 2011 (this is the final appeal possible in Sweden). The Supreme Court has made a decision concerning the appeal, dated the 21 December 2011, that it will not process the appeal at all. Therefore the verdict of the Svea Hovrätt (from 28 October 2011) is valid and will now be executed. Mr. Westergard (a former YWAM leader) will be serving a 3.5 year prison term (although in Sweden a person usually only serves 2/3 of the required term and hence Mr Westergard's prison term finished in mid-2014).
**Mr. Westergard's traceable assets are minimal and hence he is not able to repay several victims as required in the court verdict. Some of the NCI-related investments and money flows are in fact traceable, according to EBM/Swedish court documents, to organisations/foundations such as Mercy Ministries International, Le Rucher Ministries, New Generation Foundation, and YWAM projects/personnel. The church-mission community and victims continue to call upon those responsible in such entities (past and current) to fully disclose and to help return money.
**Some of the attractive features of NCI included the promise that invested capital was totally safe, 15% per annum return was guaranteed, an additional 15% from NCI revenue would go to humanitarian projects, and the people promoting this special opportunity were respected Christian leaders. NCI however is alleged by the Swedish Prosecution to be an affinity-based ponzi scheme, that new money was never generated via investments, and that the money paid to investors/projects came from investors' own capital.
**The most disconcerting aspect of NCI is not simply the lost money. Nor is it simply the negative emotional impact on the lives of so many "investors" and their family members and colleagues. Rather it is the consistent response of individuals/leaders within the church-mission community: unwillingness to investigate or get informed, fear of reprisals, self-protection, and discrediting those calling for transparency and accountability, all at the expense of vulnerable people. It is time to change this course and to act with moral courage and united strength.
For a further overview of NCI:
**Petition: Shine the Light--Together! The next phaase begins December 2016! This online petition was launched in late March 2012. It is "an international call for integrity and action." The petition is addressed to the organizations, projects, and people affected by NCI, calling for disclosures and assistance. The petition includes the latest PETRA Statement 2012. Over 100 people have signed it with about half being or having been associated with YWAM. It is time to resolutely shine the light on the NCI fraud and the inadequate responses to it.
Note that most of the updates are now located on the PETRA People weblog (2014--current).
November 2013: New items on corruption--These materials below provide valuable updates and information about corruption and fraud. They especially focus on religious and non-profit organizations in the USA. There are many applications beyond the USA and specifically to the NCI et al. fraud: cover ups, rationalization of responsibility to help, leadership hubris, intentional deception, "psychopath lites" and so on. It is not too late to help--to wise up and rise up.
(Forbes online article,18 November 2013)
(Washington Post online article,. 26 October 2013)
**How widespread is fraud in the USA religious institutions?
(Insead online article, 7 February 2013)
**SDI court case in The Netherlands: Reformatorisch Dagblad, 30 August 2012 (original article in Dutch and an English translation) (SDI money was sent to NCI; focus of this case is on a Dutch person's alleged embezzlement; verdict September 2012--several hours of community service!)
**PETRA Statement 2012 with updates, links tocore documents, and requests for assistance:
**PETRA Statement 2011 about NCI and related concerns:
**Requests for Assistance:
1. See the organizations and groups mentioned in the entry for 24 May 2011 on the weblog.
Topics: for updates, analyses, discussion:
April 2011: introduction and initial input; May 2011: requests for assistance--healing the body; June-July 2011: response to Christianity Today article on NCI, "Fleecing the Faithful--Again"; August-September 2011: the whole picture and whole truth; October-November 2011: awakening virtue--missing money/missing action; December 2011-January 2012: confronting corruption--insipid salt and illusory light; February-March 2012: doing truth well--your task is to be true, not popular; April-May 2012: shining the light together--an international call for integrity and action; June-July 2012: looking good and doing good; August-September 2012: global shame or a good name (YWAM); October-November 2012: confronting Christian corruption; December 2012-January 2013: live wrong ≠ live strong (duping and doping); February-March 2013: defeating corruption (wake up!); April-May 2013: betrayng well (silence, passivity and neutrality); June-July 2013: until death do us part? (sacrificing and suffering to end evil); August-September 2013: PETRA People review (staying the course--two years of weblog postings); October-November 2013: going wrong (deception); December 2013-anuary 2014, wising up and rising up (accurate information and legal action); February-March 2014: using our brains (bystander effect and groupthink); April-May 2014: uniting against corruption (good principles and good practices); June-July 2014: don't be afraid (case studies in confronting corruption); August-September 2014: going public with the truth (don't be intimidated--it's your world!); October 2014--November 2015: petition/NCI update (exchanges with four organizations as well as important resources and developments related to corruption, posted at least every two months); December 2015-January 2016: update on the exchanges with one of the organizations as well as good practice and anti-corruption resources from five sectors; February-March 2016: transparency and accountability illusions (tricks for feigning good practice); April-May 2016: rationalizing our responsibility to confront deviant people and to protect innocent people; June-July 2016: speaking up ("double lives" and "moral disengagement"); August-September 2016: cooperating with corruption (complicity); October-November 2016: ordinary heroes (awakening the good in you); December 2016-January 2017: International Anti-Corruption Day (uniting against corruption and NCI): February-March 2017: Willfull Blindness (opening our eyes, hearing our conscience)
United Nations Panel Confronts Vatican on Child Sex Abuse by Clergy. "The view of [the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child]
is that the best way to prevent abuses is to reveal old ones - openness instead
of sweeping offences under the carpet," Kirsten Sandberg, chairwoman of
the 18-strong CRC, told the Vatican delegation. "It seems to date your
procedures are not very transparent."….Barbara Blaine, president of a
group representing US victims of abuse by priests, told BBC News that the
hearing had brought "hope to victims across the globe". But it would
also stand, she said, as a "record of how the Church officials refused to
answer the questions, how they claim to be open and transparent, and yet they
don't live up to that ideal". BBC News Report, 16 January 2014 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-25748952). Updates from 6 February 2014, urging action by the Vatican to "immediately remove" all clergy who are known or suspected child abusers and to "hand over the archives on sexual abuse cases." See the Euronews report (http://www.euronews.com/2014/02/05/un-report-urges-vatican-to-act-over-child-sex-abuse/) and the BBC report (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26044860).
"The best way for leaders to start information flowing freely in their organizations is to set a good example. They must accept, even welcome, unsettling information. If leaders regularly demonstrate that they want to hear more than incessant happy talk, and praise those with the courage to articulate unpleasant truths, then the norm will begin to shift toward transparency. Transparency is one evidence of an organization's moral health." Transparency: How Leaders Create A Culture of Candor, Bennis et al (2008, page 42)
“NCI is an extremely serious matter for the entire charities world and not simply a faith-based issue. Hence it is important for both the general public and the Christian community internationally to be aware of it. Our organizations must be able to self-regulate with transparency and accountability. If we cannot do so—if we do not put in place the necessary safeguards to prevent corruption and act with the needed moral courage when we encounter it—then we seriously compromise our integrity, public trust gets eroded, and in some cases a government body will step in to confront the illegal mess. Everyone loses, especially the people who are the recipients of our ministries and services.” Michele Lewis O'Donnell, Consulting Psychologist and NCI Investor
"The governing boards and leaders of any organization receiving questionable money have an ethical and legal responsibility to do three things: a) investigate the money they have received, using reputable external auditors and financial expertise; b) verifiably and publicly disclose their findings; and c) help recover money. It is not simply up to government investigations, civil cases, or victims. Past/current board members and leaders have key roles. The same is true for others who are net positive (financially benefited), including projects that received money and those who had special contracts/arrangements to receive money based on other people's contracts. Verifiable disclosure, which includes admitting mistakes, is the moral way forward. Protecting oneself at the expense of others is unethical."
Kelly O'Donnell, Consulting Psychologist and NCI Investor
“As a leader in YWAM, I support the call for top YWAM leaders to approve an internal independent investigation over YWAM's various involvements and responses to the NCI ponzi fraud case…An independent investigation by professionals would also put into practice a key principle in YWAM leadership training of “openness and brokenness” before God and one another. This could be a key step forwards as we launch into the next 50 years with a desire for maturity and greater fruitfulness." Online comment from Christianity Today's article “Youth With A Passion” December 12, 2010
“Recent scandals in the for-profit world have highlighted the importance of integrity within an organization…. One of the two provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 [USA] that applies to nonprofit organizations …is the legal protection of whistle-blowers. The Act makes it illegal for a corporate entity to punish whistle-blowers who risk their careers by reporting suspected illegal activities in an organization. No form of punishment, including firing, demotion, suspension, harassment, failure to consider the employee for promotion, or any other kind of discrimination, is allowed.” Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, Policy on Suspected Misconduct, Dishonesty,Fraud, and Whistle-Blower Protection
"Don't be intimidated. Eventually everything is going to be out in the open, and everyone will know how things really are.
So don't hesitate to go public now. Don't be bluffed into silence by the threats of bullies.
There's nothing they can do to your soul, your core being.
Save your fear for God, who holds your entire life
—body and soul—in his hands."
(MT 10: 26-28, The Message)
Slieve League, Ireland--the highest sea cliffs in Europe
"A solid, rustic beauty to inspire our courage and strength."
Petra means "bedrock" in Greek (πέτρα).
It is both a metaphor and an acronym.
Petra refers to the strong relational and work foundation that results
when people are committed to peace, transparency, and accountability.
This site is moderated by Kelly O'Donnell in collaboration with the PETRA People Network
and in support of all those who have been affected by corruption and fraud.
The moderator's experience with NCI is summarized in the NCI Analysis section.
Many thanks for the ongoing input/materials from colleagues, consultants, and NCI victims.
Your feedback, suggestions for additional material, and comments are very welcome.
People have a right to know the truth and a responsibility to act on the truth.
(c) 2011-2017 PETRA People