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Menlo Park (CA - USA) Kingdom Hall

    Juan Viejo2 posted Fri, 24 Sep 2010 17:42:00 GMT(9/24/2010)

    Post 109 of 903
    Joined 6/17/2009

    I received an anonymous email over at Ex-JW.com that had an attached legal filing. The first couple of pages seemed to be standard legal filings, but the rest of the pages looked like standard typed documentation (not in numbered double-spaced legal format.) I'm not quite sure what to make of it, so wonder if anyone here has heard of it. The anonymous sender said he "found it on another web site..." - but didn't give me a clue as to which site that might be.

    I searched Google for the keywords, but nothing came up - which is very unusual if there is anything at all to what this guy sent me. The legal documents were apparently filed in August, 2010.

    The documents lay out a complaint against a "branch manager," "a newly appointed district manager," and others. The plaintiffs appear to be the current group of elders in the Menlo Park, CA KH, who are also referred to as "stockholders."

    On the one hand, the complaint says that the WT Society is trying to force them to remodel the Kingdom Hall against their wishes. On the other hand, it says that they've been told that they must merge their congregation in with the Redwood City (CA - USA). The locals have apparently decided to take a stand.

    The situation seems similar to the Bonham, Texas events of several years ago.

    If there is an existing group of "stockholders" who helped build the Menlo Park KH back in the day, then it looks like they are filing this complaint to protect their investment. If the alleged facts are true, then this looks like another case where the WT wants to grab another piece of paid-for property in a high value area and force the members to travel several miles to share an existing KH.

    If anyone here has more information, or can confirm the general allegations of the filing, please let me know. I'd like to investigate this further and maybe post an article on Ex-JW.com.

    A friend of mine who was raised in Nebraska recently told me that they are closing several of the KHs in that state, making the faithful travel 25-40 miles to go to their merged KHs. In some cases they are building new ones and then merging two or three others into it. On the other hand, long distance travel in Nebraska during the winter can be brutal and dangerous.

    Any information you can offer to enlighten me would be appreciated.

    Juan Viejo (aka "exjwdotcommie")

    P.S. This was also posted over at JWR earlier. Any info would be appreciated.

    F mrsjones5 posted Fri, 24 Sep 2010 17:50:00 GMT(9/24/2010)

    Post 13644 of 19551
    Joined 10/13/2004

    That's the hall I went to as a child, from age 3 to 13.

    Juan Viejo2 posted Fri, 24 Sep 2010 18:48:00 GMT(9/24/2010)

    Post 110 of 903
    Joined 6/17/2009

    Mrs. Jones,

    I knew that and intended to make a postscript asking about your connection there. Do you know how that KH was organized? Do you have any contacts (ex or JW) that might communicate with me on this issue?

    JV

    F mrsjones5 posted Fri, 24 Sep 2010 19:00:00 GMT(9/24/2010)

    Post 13650 of 19551
    Joined 10/13/2004

    Hm, no I don't know when the inception of the hall was or by whom. I started attending in 1968 and left in 1979. To me the hall seemed to have been there for quite a while. It was on a heavily foliaged lot and it that time there were huge eucalyptus trees that lined the parking lot in the back of the building. I'm thinking it was probably build in the 50's or 60's. I could ask my parents but I don't think if they know when that hall came about and asking them anything about the jws will kinda open a can of worms.

    F Gayle posted Fri, 24 Sep 2010 19:05:00 GMT(9/24/2010)

    Post 1842 of 4502
    Joined 11/17/2006

    Nebraska KH for sale:

    http://www.loopnet.com/Listing/16683379/345-East-10th-Street-Wahoo-NE/

    relatively nice as a KH, not old

    Juan Viejo2 posted Fri, 24 Sep 2010 19:39:00 GMT(9/24/2010)

    Post 111 of 903
    Joined 6/17/2009

    Gayle - I'm sure that is one that my former JW friend was referring to. It's large and well-equipped. I wonder how much of that $250K will filter back into the membership of the old congregation that was there? Will it go toward building a new KH in the same general area? My guess is that the WT will just put another quarter-million tax free dollars in its treasury.

    Mrs. Jones - thanks for the response. I agree, asking about this could open up a nasty situation for you. I'd never ask that of you. On the other hand, maybe we have someone else in that area that is semi-suicidal and just doesn't care...

    JV

    M wokeup posted Sat, 25 Sep 2010 00:05:00 GMT(9/25/2010)

    Post 80 of 121
    Joined 8/24/2001

    Conjuring up some old memories. I Remember the congregation servant lived off Valparaiso ave. in Atherton.

    His daughter was a pioneer and went off to be a missionary. It was a fairly segregated city at the time.

    On one side of the Bayshore was middle & upper classes. the east side, Belle Haven and East Palo Alto were crime ridden. It was built on landfill by the Bay.

    As Mrs.Jones recalled correctly, the majority of members were black. Remember one sister had about 10 stairstep kids in the late 60's.

    When the elder arrangement kicked in in 72. The majority of elders were white.

    The hall was originally an unpretentious 2 story on a tiny lot with the Bayshore Freeway nearly in it's back parking lot. First stepped in it in '63.

    Not too well lit. The uncarpeted floor made the sound system echo at times. Names Kafka, Filardo, Hart, Allen come to mind (forgive the spellin been near 40 years last I saw them.

    The property value must be pretty high despite it's proximity to the Bayshore Freeway. With small older homes averaging a million plus in that area, the hall property is probably closer to the 2 million range.

    skeeter1 posted Sat, 25 Sep 2010 01:05:00 GMT(9/25/2010)

    Post 2621 of 5238
    Joined 12/3/2005

    I thought the WTS cared about how much people drove! Wasn't that the reason for the book study deletion? You mean that they are now making them drive many miles away to another Kingdom Hall, are selling a local one that the people built (bought the land & paid for the building - through a WTS loan), and the WTS is taking the cash? If that ain't the royal screw, I don't know what is! Perhaps the WTS should give the proceeds to the publishers and pioneers as gas cards? Like THAT would ever happen!

    Skeeter

    Timothy Riches posted Sat, 25 Sep 2010 01:56:00 GMT(9/25/2010)

    Post 1 of 30
    Joined 8/26/2010

    Sorry to be uncouth but this organization is sucking in on itself so fast lately you'd thing their balls touched the water! :D

    M asilentone posted Sat, 25 Sep 2010 02:12:00 GMT(9/25/2010)

    Post 5727 of 5726
    Joined 3/25/2008

    (never mind)

    Juan Viejo2 posted Sat, 25 Sep 2010 08:10:00 GMT(9/25/2010)

    Post 112 of 903
    Joined 6/17/2009

    I've received another email from my anonymous source. He's given me some of the names and some potential resources to check out. I'll see if he is OK with me putting up a graphic of the court filing. Some of you may recognize names from that.

    Broken Promises posted Sat, 25 Sep 2010 14:25:00 GMT(9/25/2010)

    Post 918 of 5156
    Joined 3/7/2010

    I received an email containing a file. The email was named something along the lines of something legal and JWs. I refuse to open unsolicited emails from strangers containing files, so I deleted it.

    bohm posted Sat, 25 Sep 2010 14:37:00 GMT(9/25/2010)

    Post 1789 of 5627
    Joined 5/12/2009

    Remember there is wikileaks if you want to put something online with minimal risk for yourself.

    Think About It posted Sat, 25 Sep 2010 14:52:00 GMT(9/25/2010)

    Post 1473 of 3159
    Joined 1/20/2010
    Sorry to be uncouth but this organization is sucking in on itself so fast lately you'd thing their balls touched the water! :D

    Welcome to the board Timothy Riches . You sound like you will be an interesting poster.

    Think About It

    TheTruthAboutTheTruth posted Sat, 25 Sep 2010 15:34:00 GMT(9/25/2010)

    Post 25 of 34
    Joined 7/26/2010

    Hello and welcome timothy! i do believe you are a facebook friend of mine!

    Juan Viejo2 posted Sat, 25 Sep 2010 19:22:00 GMT(9/25/2010)

    Post 115 of 903
    Joined 6/17/2009

    Broken Promises,

    Normally I don't much care what other posters have to say in jest, but I was really offended by your sarcastic remark directed toward me. I assume your "humorous little aside" is your way of calling me a "liar" - which I feel is impolite, unfair and undeserved.

    As editor of an ex-JW website with a clearly identified email address and a contact form, I get messages almost every day from former brothers and sisters, and/or their family members, looking for help or wanting to tell their personal stories. I do my best to put them in contact with someone that can help them. In some cases I publish their stories on Ex-JW.com.

    Occasionally I'll get a tip that something is happening in the background, sometimes at WT HQ or within a local congregation. In most cases, if I jump over here or to JehovahsWitnessRecovery.com, I find that someone has already posted information that covers that tip and confirms it. On the other hand, if I don't get additional confirmation, I hold off publishing anything about it until I can post a request for more information.

    The aforementioned tipster is not a JW or ex-JW, but a researcher based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He stumbled across this court filing in the course of doing his research about another aspect of the Watchtower Society. He has not fully identified himself to me, but we have exchanged several emails. In his last email to me he gave me his OK to publish the copy of the court filing he found during his research. In fact he wrote:

    "Why would you posting it bother me or my project? its a public document that anyone can get at the courthouse, so post away, i dont know any of these people so therefore there is no reason to black out any names, as i said i was just doing some research is all and came across this . . ."

    So in my next posting here, I will try to post a link to a copy of that filing for anyone here who is interested in reading it. It's quite interesting and names most of the people involved. Remember that this filing took place on August 31, 2010, so I suspect very little action has been taken in the case. According to my tipster:

    "NO ONE AT THE JW's HEADQUARTERS KNOWS ABOUT THIS AT ALL!!!!! Not even their legal department according to XXXXX, it's as if someone is keeping it hush hush. I mean the date on the filing is August 31, nearly three weeks ago, and if the legal department does not know about this, that means maybe, someone is intentionally not telling them. But then that would make sense cause the service desk is one of the departments being sued and they control all incoming mail and phone calls . . ."

    While I don't really expect it, I would appreciate an apology, "Broken Promises," just this once. Maybe I'll give you a pass in the future if I fail to backup my claims. Maybe I'm being too sensitive, but I think this is a subject that many forum members might be interested in, it's current

    Watch for the link with the filing papers - coming soon...

    JV (aka ExJWdotCommie)

    Juan Viejo2 posted Sat, 25 Sep 2010 19:32:00 GMT(9/25/2010)

    Post 116 of 903
    Joined 6/17/2009

    Link to Menlo Park, CA Kingdom Hall lawsuit filing (August 31, 2010).

    Names names and tells a story.

    JV

    F Gayle posted Sat, 25 Sep 2010 19:42:00 GMT(9/25/2010)

    Post 1845 of 4502
    Joined 11/17/2006

    The documents lay out a complaint against a "branch manager," "a newly appointed district manager,"

    On the one hand, the complaint says that the WT Society is trying to force them to remodel the Kingdom Hall against their wishes.

    Does this mean a district overseer? Any lawsuit against a DO would or should be automatically be reported to the WTS or WT Lawyers, true? How would the WTS not know about this?

    I am very interested in this, Juan, and I appreciate your undates.

    M moshe posted Sat, 25 Sep 2010 20:09:00 GMT(9/25/2010)

    Post 4373 of 9085
    Joined 1/18/2005

    well, this was a just rogue CO who had a personal scheme to get a few brothers/elders at the Menlo Park-KH or, it happens all the time to gain control of valuable KH property. They should have appealed to the F&DS class! They know all, see all and have a direct line to almighty Jehoobah. Imagine these elders using Caesar in an attempt regain control of their KH, that surely can't help their case at WT offices- why filing a lawsuit against the CO and unnamed persons at Patterson WT offices, must certainly fall under, BRAZEN CONDUCT, and we know what that new no-no will get you from the GB- the 'ol--

    F jamiebowers posted Sat, 25 Sep 2010 20:32:00 GMT(9/25/2010)

    Post 4140 of 6377
    Joined 1/27/2007

    I don't have a legal background, but if I correctly understand what I've read, it looks like an unidentified person at the service desk of the branch, a district overseer and some elders from the Redwood Congregation are being sued. Two of the elders at the Menlo Congregation seem to think that their kingdom hall is being taken over to remodel and sell. They also seem to think that the conspiracy goes up to the service desk but no further.

    I tend to think that this is either the Society's doing directly, and they're hiding behind the service desk attendant, or this is the Society's doing indirectly, and they set the service desk attendant up to be the patsy if the scheme went to hell.

    I'm going to email the file to an exjw who is an attorney and see what he has to say about this matter.

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