The lawsuit against Greg Mortenson has been thrown out. Those who thought they were defrauded when they picked up Three Cups of Tea can't get their money back.
It was author and climbing expert Jon Krakauer who exposed the falsehoods that pepper the pages of the memoir. He spoke to those who were involved in the episodes portrayed in the book and discovered a rather different picture emerging.
Three Cups of Deceit laid out the case against Mr. Mortenson, but a judge did not find merit in the complaint. There was no conspiracy to inflate Mr. Mortenson's accomplishments for the sake of bringing him more money.
That does not mean, however, that the book is factually correct.
Mr. Krakauer is waiting to hear from the author himself about the discrepancies and outright lies.
Penguin Group, which published the memoir, claims it will be conducting an investigation into the allegations, but whether that will go forward is debatable. They don't have to return anyone's money, so they have no real incentive to get to the bottom of anything.
The charitable organization that Mr. Mortenson founded to raise funds and build schools in Pakistan removed him as executive director when the memoir seemed more fiction than fact. His inability to keep adequate records in relation to expenses incurred while promoting the Central Asia Institute resulted in a state investigation, which no doubt hurt fundraising among those who wondered exactly where their donations were going.
He will continue to receive a paycheck from CAI, and he will continue to represent the charity. Will he be dogged by the allegations that will trail behind him, or will it all just dry up and blow away?
How much of Three Cups of Tea is fact? How much is fiction? Or is it all a big fraud?
Book buyers will have to decide on their own. The court has left it up to them.
If you're planning on purchasing the Mortenson memoir, however, you might want to pick up the annotated version that Mr. Krakauer composed. Sort of like a study guide to help you navigate through the fiction to find the facts.