"World in Action stands as one of the finest achievements of public service television in Britain"
The Museum of Broadcast Communications (www.museum.tv)

Television Documentary

England's Granada Television broadcast a major investigative documentary for their program World in Action on The Rainforest Foundation. The show was re-broadcast in the United States on the A&E (Arts and Entertainment) cable network hosted by Bill Kurtis.

The show detailed the malfeasance orchestrated by Sting, Trudie Styler, and Jean Pierre Dutilleux, including the realities of the demarcation issues, the false claims that "All Royalties go to The Rainforest Foundation" from the sales of the book "Jungle Stories", and the broken promises of money to help the indians.

The show detailed Dutilluex's checkered past including his looting of The Tribal Life Fund. Especially harsh were the broadcast comments of Alexis De Vilar, co-founder of the Tribal Life Fund with Dutilleux, detailing how Dutilleux took the approximately $50,000 USD proceeds of a Los Angeles fundraiser destined for the organization. Bankrupt, that organization was subsequently shut down.

Concerning Dutilleux and his pocketing of some $100,000 USD of Rainforest Foundation book royalties, the documentary was especially damning. Dutilleux denied the money was royalties. To that, Bill Kurtis said bluntly, "Mr. Dutilleux is lying."

The documentary makes clear that, unlike other celebrities with charitable aims, Sting did not just raise money for established organizations with the existing infrastructure to properly put the funds to use. Instead, he exploited the rainforest issue to set up his own charity, wasting a majority of the donated funds on offices and salaries around the world so only a mere fraction of the money remained for to the stated charitable aims. Sting, when confronted on camera with that point, goes on to defend his aims as necessary.

The documentary details the dilemma of the indians facing a devastating malaria epidemic. Clive Kelly, who had accompanied Sting on his first trip to the Amazon, recounts how he pleaded with Trudie Styler via telephone from Brazil for the money they had been promised to help treat the indians and how, despite her promises, no money ever arrived. The show explains how many indigenous indians died from this infestation of the disease. Kelly notes how, instead, the money was used to buy a private airplane.

Stephen Corry of Survival International, for decades a forthright and legitimate organization dedicated to protecting the world's indigenous populations, described Sting's actions quite bluntly, "Overall, on balance, he's actually not been helpful to the cause of Amazonian indians at all."

In summary, World in Action declared The Rainforest Foundation "a charity built on promises that has failed to deliver."