I work for Textbook Solutions, a college textbook store located about 5 minutes from the UCF campus. At Textbook Solutions, we are currently in the process of a leadership building course called “Foundation of Leadership.” The Foundation of Leadership handbook mentions that you cannot believe the message if you do not believe the messenger. This principle has come into play with regard to the recent events involving Jason Russell’s “Kony 2012” message. Russell is the leader of the Invisible Children movement and the creator of the “Kony 2012” viral video that was released about a month ago. His message is solid; give Joseph Kony enough international attention to have him arrested and brought to justice. Joseph Kony is the head of the Lord’s Resistance Army, a Ugandan guerilla group that kidnaps Ugandan children, gives them guns, and makes them kill people. There is no doubt in my mind that he should face the consequences for what he has done. However, Jason Russell recently limited his credibility.
Russell was recently seen in San Diego, running through the streets in his underwear and then publicly masturbating. TMZ said that he was apparently under the influence of alcohol. The CEO of Invisible Children, Ben Keesy, released this statement regarding the incident: “Jason Russell was unfortunately hospitalized yesterday suffering from exhaustion, dehydration, and malnutrition. He is now receiving medical care and is focused on getting better. The past two weeks have taken a severe emotional toll on all of us, Jason especially, and that toll manifested itself in an unfortunate incident yesterday.” Russell has not received any charges for his actions. His family has recently told the press that Jason suffered from brief reactive psychosis. Brief reactive psychosis is “an acute state brought on by the extreme exhaustion, stress and dehydration.” It is important to note that it is not brought on by drugs or alcohol. It was brought on by the shock and stress he has gone through the past few weeks. Whether this is true or not, his credibility has still be effected. It was definitely not a good situation for his image. All things considered, I’m sure there are plenty of people out there that go through a lot more stress than Russell, and haven’t experienced such a mental breakdown. But who can know for sure. Maybe he was just on some serious mind altering substances. Antipsychotic drugs and talk therapy are being undergone by Jason Russell. Hopefully we don’t hear about any more mental breakdowns from Russell from here on out.