Holiday Misgivings: Fraudulent Mental Health Charities

December 8, 2011 Alistair McHarg

Unfortunately for all of us, crime does not take some much-needed time off during the holiday season. On the contrary, society’s creeps, crustaceans, and cellar-dwellers take advantage of our goodhearted generosity during this most expansive time of year to pick pockets, pilfer, and plunder.

What’s worse is how they do it. Cleverly employing the techniques used by legitimate charities, these wretches bilk the joyful multitudes of millions by soliciting donations to non-existent charities.

Remember – most charitable organizations are entirely legitimate, the work they do is admirable and much needed. That is what makes it so sad when well-meaning individuals are duped by deceivers! Before you give, make sure the recipient is an authorized representative of a legitimate

Here are just a few fraudulent mental health charities with well-documented histories of swindling.

DAM (Mothers Against Dyslexia) – If you’ve seen one of these bumper stickers you may be surprised to learn that there is no such organization as DAM, or Mothers Against Dyslexia. High-pressure “representatives” of DAM use many deceptive gambits but their favorite is encouraging givers to sponsor a young dyslexic child’s participation in The International Dyslexic Scrabble Invitational.

Bipolar Bare Essentials – Nudist colonies exclusively for people suffering from bipolar disorder may not be a new idea, they might not even be a bad idea; but for the time being anyway, that’s all they are – an idea. The BBE first ran afoul of authorities when it was determined that the photographs allegedly showing BBE facilities were simply unauthorized snapshots of an alcohol-infused, uninhibited SoCal beach bash. None of the individuals shown playing volleyball were even bipolar!

Manila Meals – The premise for the Manila Meals hustle is simple and cynical. What would it be like, asks the con artist, if you were so agoraphobic you couldn’t even open the front door of your house to go out or let someone in? Well first of all, you would need food that could be easily slipped under your door. Today these unfortunates are limited to a steady diet of pancakes, pizza, and after dinner mints. Your donated funds, claims the swindler, will be used to develop an entire line of wholesome meals that are nutritious, tasty, and no more than half an inch thick – easily slipped into a manila envelope.

The Floored Foundation – Unlike other phony charities listed here, The Floored Foundation does not attempt to exploit those interested in helping one specific group of people suffering from a particular illness. They’ve created their own umbrella group, the floored. Floored Foundation literature seized by United States Postal Service authorities defines the group thusly: Any and all individuals whose mental illness prevents them from getting up off the floor. Examples include, those too paranoid to get up off the floor, those too depressed to get up off the floor, and those clinging onto the floor out of fear that failing to do so will cause them to fly off into space like an untethered weather balloon.

So beware and be wise! This year, let’s give fraudulent mental health charities just what they deserve – the boot!

APA Reference
McHarg, A. (2011, December 8). Holiday Misgivings: Fraudulent Mental Health Charities, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, February 25 from

Author: Alistair McHarg

Leave a reply