To understand SD&A you need to step into the way-back machine and set it for the late 1960s where you will find the man who later would become chief of SD&A, Paul S. Papich.
Papich, no doubt inspired by noted Beat Poet and interior designer, Henry Kissinger, decided to serve the world as a Green Beret and went off to Vietnam to defeat the Red Menace…or The Yellow Peril…or The Beatles…or something like that and arrived, as they used to say, in-country on June 20 1969.
The same day that his new comrades murdered a man they had kidnapped, tortured and suspected of being a double-agent.
Double-agents are of course one of the most toxic and life-threatening dangers armies can face. They represent a clear and present danger to the survival of the troops. Right up there with men who toss morality out the window the moment they face anything more complex than aim, shoot, repeat.
To get some context for this piece of Papich’s background and the formative years of the man who founded SD&A see the following:
One of the interesting things about the back story to Project GAMMA, that has to The Ink’s knowledge, never been addressed, is what were the North Vietnamese doing taking photographs of a clandestine meeting that showed the face of their man inside their enemies elite fighting force?
The kidnapping, torture and subsequent murder of the “double-agent” rested almost entirely on a captured and undeveloped roll of film found at a camp-site by U.S Green Berets, that when developed showed the face of the South Vietnamese man they had been working with. Exposed (sic) as a double-agent he was tortured, murdered and the Green Beret’s involved attempted to cover up what they had done resulting in what came to be called The Green Beret Affair – another in a long line of ethically dubious episodes within the larger ethically dubious episode known as The War in Vietnam.
To refine this let’s ask the following: Would you, while meeting with a double-agent who has penetrated your enemies’ counter-insurgency forces, take a picture of your man, and then leave the film unguarded in a makeshift camp, in the middle of the jungle?
Sure, stranger things have and continue to happen in the middle of wars but when you have the credibility of a crack-whore, these things make sober-minded people question your integrity.
The Ink can hear you saying – interesting but what does this have to do with fundraising for the arts? Good question. The answer is that we are documenting what is starting to sound like a rogue’s gallery of charlatans, con-men and gangsters.
Consider: We have convicted serial fraudster, Jacqueline Berkaw, whose hobbies include identity theft, bank fraud, real estate fraud and ripping off charities that help abused children, Phil Miller, CEO of DCM, who thought it would be great to hire Berkaw, and when confronted by people concerned about her access to donor’s credit cards, transferred her to The Houston Ballet, where she has access to thousands of credit cards, the CSO with its board members who, when told about Berkaw said, we don’t care it’s not our problem, and SD&A, who thought it would be a brilliant move to merge with DCM, and assist The Woodruff Art Center in a program that reeks of white collar extortion, and of course the CSO Development Office drones who get irritated when an employee is insistent about ethics and not pissing off the donors.
Which brings us to Mr. Papich who left the U.S. Army and went to work for various art organizations including stops in Baltimore and Detroit.
For details see this:
So, Papich is hooked into MKTG, Waterstone (at one time conveniently headquartered in a building in Chicago that also housed (wait for it) the CSO’s old call center, and fundraiser, SD&A and DCM.
And as the above profile says:
“In addition to his qualifications, Paul brings a long list of professional references—from top executives at some of America’s most prestigious nonprofit organizations—to his new position as head of Water Stone Consulting. Among those with whom he has worked, Paul is widely known for integrity, thoughtfulness and perseverance.”
Of course it depends upon how you define words like, integrity, thoughtfulness and perseverance…
If by integrity you mean joining a organization engaged in an illegal war, committing atrocities and slow-motion genocide, than sure, that’s integrity. And if your definition of thoughtfulness includes the ability to create an industrial scale business model that hypothetically suggests a nationwide fraud scheme involving hundreds of millions of dollars and most of the apex art organizations in the country, and trying to merge with another fundraiser who is under investigation by the Illinois Attorney General’s Office for Charitable Trusts, well you’ve come to the right place.
But was Paul S. Papich involved in fraud?
Beats the ink but he was hooked into SD&A which was switching places every year with DCM to raise money for the San Francisco Ballet, and San Francisco Opera at the same time as the mysterious Diamond-Tel, Inc, and was involved in what two attorneys have described as antitrust and collusion activities, and he was running SD&A while it was fundraising for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Oaks Spalding was complaining about the atrocious state of the database, and he was working as a consultant for SD&A and other fundraisers while SD&A and DCM were doing the voodoo they do so well…you know, refusing to respect the donor’s wish to be left alone and for fuck’s sake to please stop calling, ignoring the fact that the call-lists include dead people, and people who haven’t given in years or in some cases, decades, and paying the callers the wage-slave sum of $10 bucks an hour.
So here’s to Paul Papich and SD&A. If you want greasy fundraising, lies, distortions, possible antitrust and collusion and a general tone that suggests fraud, then by all means give them a call.
Next up: The Ink considers what happens next.