Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Korrin

[By way of a preface: I'm bitter tonight. If you read the essay you'll understand why. There's a good possibility I won't be continuing to update this blog -- although Pro Libertate will continue -- and should that be the case there are some things I want to make sure are put on the record.]

"Do you think Will could ever come back to the staff of the John Birch Society?"


That question was posed via telephone to my wife Korrin a few weeks ago (while I was out running errands) by a Section Leader in the northeast. He is a man of character, learning, and accomplishment, the father of a large and impressive family. In many ways he is typical of the people I was blessed to meet through the JBS.


I honestly don't think he could imagine that the leaders of the organization are capable of the utter viciousness they displayed toward me and my family. If he could, he wouldn't have asked that question of Korrin.


As I write these words, Korrin is being ravaged by the sickness with which she was diagnosed in April 2006. It is a disease that is life-altering, and potentially life-threatening. Unlike some disorders, the sickness that has seized Korrin threatens our entire family. It has disfigured her in ways that transcend mere physical appearance: She remains radiantly beautiful, just as she was when we were married ten years ago, but her affliction is taking from me, and from her, much of what she is -- much of what made me fall in love with her.


I'm losing her. And I'm helpless to do anything to prevent it.


Her condition was known to the four -- I'm sorry, I just can't call them "men"; "functionaries" is a better word -- who decided in committee to deprive my family of a steady income and health insurance coverage last October. Korrin supported me when I chose not to submit to an ultimatum those four former friends gave me, knowing I would be honor-bound to reject it. But the stress of managing a large household without a steady income, and dealing with the financial burden of repeated hospitalizations, has exacerbated Korrin's condition, as any reasonable person would expect.


Bill Jasper has been a faithful and exceptionally generous friend. The same is true of others on the field staff and home office staff, as well as current and ex-JBS members and at least one member of the Council.


From the four who collaborated in the decision to kick my family to the curb, however, has come only silence.


Since last October, the only communication I've received from any of them (apart from a copy of an e-mail Jack McManus sent to Art Thompson, which was mistakenly cc'd to me, and a terse note from Jack when I replied to that message) was a perfunctory phone call from Gary Benoit on the morning of October 3 (which I've described before) in which he expressed formulaic concern for my family and then praised the wisdom of the decision to fire me.


Alan Scholl has had much to say about me, most of it studiously dishonest, but he has never had the dangling anatomy to say anything to me (when responding to lies Alan has put in circulation about my termination, I've made a point of cc'ing the e-mails to Alan, a courtesy he's never practiced). Art Thompson has spoken with others about me, apparently in the hope that he could bank-shot a message to me. He needn't take a Rube Goldberg route to communicate with he; he has my phone number and e-mail address, as do the others.


In one such conversation that was reported to me by a friend here in Idaho, Art said that I would be welcome back "anytime [I] agree to follow the rules." Implicit in that statement is a lie, namely that I had broken the rules. I never did.


Which brings me to the official reason I was terminated, as described in the only legally relevant source: The October 3, 2006 letter of termination sent to me over Art's signature.


Here is the full text of the rationale as contained in the letter, which consists of one charge and one specification:


"You do not understand that once you are a public figure everything that you say or do publicly reflects on the organization you work for, particularly when these things are in opposition to the position and principles of The John Birch Society and Robert Welch. Also, you do not understand that once we have rejected an article or nuance, you cannot go around us to post it elsewhere, identifying it as rejected material and publicly criticizing your employer for the rejection.


It is not a matter of freedom, or control, it is a matter of responsibility to your employer."


I can't disagree with the first part of the last sentence, since nothing about the JBS under its current management has anything to do with freedom. Leaving that aside, what this letter says, if read literally and carefully, is that I was fired for daring to publish a rejected "nuance."

Read the relevant statement again: "... once we have rejected an article or nuance, you cannot go around us and post it elsewhere, identifying it as rejected material and publicly criticizing your employer...." (My emphasis.)

Isaiah refers to people being made a sinner for a word. I was apparently made an ex-employee over a "rejected ... nuance."

To be specific, I was fired for re-publishing this essay in my personal, after-hours blog. As for the "criticizing [my] employer," here's the offending commentary explaining why I was re-publishing the forbidden essay:

"On June 22, I published a Birch Blog entitled `Phony Immigration Debate vs. Real Police State Threat.' Within hours it had been, um, misplaced, and never appeared in that space again -- even though it had been forwarded throughout the Blogosphere, and was reproduced in its entirety on Alex Jones's `Prison Planet' newssite.

`Where did it go?' more than one puzzled Birch Blog reader inquired of me. `Why was it deleted?' I knew where it had gone, and had been told why it was disposed of, and beyond those acknowledgements I'm really not at liberty to discuss the matter."


Why was I determined to reproduce that essay? Because it was important: The entire GOP-centered Right Wing, including the JBS under its current caretakers, was being neutralized by the immigration issue at a time when the Bush Regime was building an executive dictatorship supported by a police state.

Nobody in Appleton willing to acknowledge this in public, assuming that they even noticed. Somebody in a position of responsibility at the JBS had to go on record about this in a timely fashion.

After I first ran that essay in the Birch Blog the previous June, Alan Scholl called me to threaten my job. It mattered not whether what I wrote was the truth, sniffed Alan; the only thing that mattered was the "corporate decision" that the JBS would "ride the Republican wave." If I couldn't support that decision, then an "adjustment" would have to be made.

Alan spent more than an hour trying to bury me in marketing bromides. And while he did, as I've pointed out before, Korrin was literally dying in front of me: She was hospitalized just hours later, and had I not acted as I did she would have died within a few days.

I'm convinced that Alan decided at that time to arrange for me to be fired. He succeeded in killing the Birch Blog -- without telling me about that decision -- and suggested that I would be playing a reduced role in The New American, although I was still very heavily involved in the magazine literally up to and after the point I was fired; I sent my last article to Appleton on October 2, just a couple of hours after receiving the ultimatum from Art Thompson via telephone.

In that brief and unfocused conversation, Art mentioned the huge and worsening revenue shortfall and suggested that some of what I'd published in my Pro Libertate blog would drive away donors (something he was told by Alan, who claimed to have numerous resignations "on my desk"). The only thing that could be done, Art said in a voice theatrically tinged with panic, would be either to fire me, or force me to take down the blog, apologize for everything I'd written in it, and promise never to write a line or utter a sentence in public without obtaining Appleton's Nihil Obstat.

But here's the really odd thing about that claim:

At the very time Alan and his little clan were firing me for the supposed sin of blogging, they were running a fund-raising ad on The New American's website listing "Will Grigg's blog" as a reason for people to "help us with a donation...." At the time, remember, the Birch Blog was dead; there was only one blog being put out by Will Grigg -- the one for which I fired.

So I was fired for publishing a "rejected ... nuance" on a blog that supposedly threatened everything the JBS stands for, which is why the same people who fired me were using that blog to raise money.

That august committee defined my moral sin as that of "criticizing [my] employer": "Is a firing offense," wrote Alan to a member, using a phrase that -- appropriately enough -- reads like something a Soviet commissar would say. That committee included three individuals -- Art Thompson, Alan Scholl, and Jack McManus -- who, on company time and with company resources, actively worked to bring down the previous CEO.

I was accused of expressing views contrary to the "principles" of the JBS by a committee that included one individual, Jack McManus, who spent years bloviating about the Jewish Menace in front of schismatic Catholic groups for whom anti-Semitism is a religious dogma. (That same Jack McManus once left me horrified by describing neo-con scribbler Ben Wattenberg, admittedly not my favorite public figure, as "a slimy New York Jew," so it's not as if he deals with the issue only in rarefied theological terms.)

I was discarded as a financial liability by a committee that included the individual -- Gary Benoit -- who provided the key swing vote that permitted Vance Smith to ensconce himself at Robert Welch University, thereby helping himself to the material means to file lawsuits that left the JBS financially drained.


Most amazing to me is the fact that exactly a year earlier, I had quit my job at JBS to protest the way Vance Smith was attempting to blackmail Jack by threatening to go public with excerpts from Jack's anti-Semitic speeches. I have no brief for Jack's views, but I couldn't accept a paycheck from an organization headed by a blackmailer.


We're not just dealing with hypocrites, albeit hypocrites of significant accomplishment. There is, once again, something utterly vicious about people who would treat a long-term employee (13 years on staff, 16 years as a TNA contributor) this way -- let alone one with a large family to take care of and a seriously ill wife.


As I said, I'm bitter tonight. Bitter about what has happened to an organization I thought was worthwhile; bitter about being back-stabbed by people I had considered to be friends; and bitter about the fact that my wife is being taken from me, piece by piece, and I can't do anything to stop it.

11 comments:

Ex-JBS said...

Will, you can always count on the prayers of your many friends and admirers, especially during this time of crisis with your wife's health. We will all continue watching for your updates concerning Korrin, and pray that God will fully restore her health.

Your very apt description of the utter viciousness of this current JBS leadership comports with what we saw time and again in those circles, including the duplicity, cowardice, compromise, and repeated lies emanating from Appleton. Their accusation that you should not have criticized your employer is such a typical sanctimonious and hypocritical thing for them to say, especially in light of their continual flip-flopping on this very thing themselves over the years.

But the infamous four hit a new low when they tried to capitalize on your popular blog to get donations while they were in the very process of firing you!

Why does the JBS say they are fighting for truth and yet fail so miserably to practice it?

May God continue to grant you the strength, courage, and wisdom to make it through this very difficult time. Our hearts go out to you.

Charles Pooter said...

William,

As a regular reader of your excellent Pro Libertate blog, I wish you and your family all the best for the future.

Regards,
Charles.

Anonymous said...

I am glad to have read this blog on the same day that the JBS is hitting me up for a renewal and money. My response: Up your ass JBS !!!!!!!!!!!

William N. Grigg said...

Anonymous -- I'd be interested to know what reply, if any, was prompted by your, ah, pointed message to Appleton!

Anonymous said...

from buffalo_girl ~

Mr. Grigg,

You have beautiful children!

Do I understand that you lived in Wisconsin for a number of years? Is it possible your wife is suffering from an advanced Lyme disease infection?

My husband met a fellow Wisconsin citizen who went to New York City for advanced Lyme disease treatment on a regular basis. Once the disease crosses the blood/brain barrier successful treatment requires more aggressive methodology.

Dr. Stan recently interviewed someone who had suffered from advanced Lyme Disease for over a decade before stumbling across a doctor familiar with 'new' approaches to its treatment. When you talk to Dr. Monteith I'm sure he will give you contact information.

I also must wonder about the possible link between nutritional deficiencies and Korrin's health.

Childbearing depletes a woman's nutritional reserves. The upper MidWest is notorious for its absence of naturally occurring iodine. Iodine deficiency will manifest itself as 'mental illness', depression, withdrawal, hypothyroidism, infertility, serious metabolic disorders, ....

Again, Dr. Monteith's interviews with Dr. Flechas may give you some direction.

We have no medical insurance either. I have had very real success in treating my own hypothyroidism, depression, metabolic disorder, and chronic fatigue using Lugol's Iodine Solution and Vitamin D3 on a regular basis for the past year and a half. Lugol's is no longer available over the counter, but I think Dr. Stan carries Iodarol(sp?) tablets which are exactly the same formulation.

I am sorry that you and your family were treated with such callousness by your associates. I have come to the conclusion that fewer and fewer organizations of any kind operate free of corruption. We must rely on the Lord to be our Light in all things.

William N. Grigg said...

buffalo_girl~ --

Thanks so much for your kind words, particularly those directed at our children. Each of them, every day, gives me some fresh cause for slack-jawed amazement. They are indescribably precious to Korrin and to me.

We've tried a number of nutritional approaches to deal with Korrin's schizophrenia, but so far neither those avenues nor conventional pharmaceuticals have done more than just palliate the symptoms.

She's still under the influence of this infernal "voice" that torments her without relief.

Dr. Stan and his friends in California have offered us some very useful advice. I'll check into the interviews that you recommend.

Incidentally, in a conversation with one of Dr. Stan's helpers last week, I made some comment about how the JBS management had stricken my name "from every obelisk and pylon," as it were.

"Well, you're in good company," she said, a note of exasperation coloring her voice. She went on to explain how Appleton adamantly refuses to let Dr. Stan interview Bill Jasper -- whom he has known for decades -- or any other JBS speaker or author.

This is because one time, about ten years ago, Stan agreed to speak before a meeting sponsored by the Welch Foundation, a sort of "David's Outcasts" composed of expelled ex-Birchers, ex-field staff members, and even a former Council member.

To this day, more than a decade later, Appleton won't relent in its petty grudge against Dr. Stan, despite the fact that he moves a lot of merchandise for them.

Really classy, huh?

Anonymous said...

Has the JBS been 'infiltrated'?

I have a reluctance to joining groups. Somehow, they seem always to be something other than what I thought they were or they become disarmed from their original intent and focus by bullies from within.

In an old trunk my son bought at a garage sale here in North Dakota, we found a copy of Thomas Carlyle's History of the French Revolution. It is a very old copy in what appears to be 6 point (possibly less!) type, terribly faded, the paper nearly brown with age.

Since I am only superficially familiar with events leading to & occurring during the Revolution and Reign of Terror, there are specific references which make his account troublesome for me. Nevertheless, Carlyle's metaphoric language is absolutely stunning and often really funny.

I was truly shocked to discover that THE REIGN OF TERROR was actually conducted under the ever vigilant surveillance of THE COMMITTEE OF PUBLIC SAFETY which delegated 'local' deputies under authority of THE LAW OF SUSPECTS with the task of arresting individuals perceived to be disloyal to the homeland as they were found in obscure villages and farm houses.

After three days plodding commitment, I find myself in the First Volume, Book III, First Chapter entitled DISHONOURED BILLS. There are Three Volumes, each with approximately 200 pages, comprising 6-7 Books which themselves each contain 4-11 chapters - ALL in this tiny very difficult to read book.

Nevertheless, Carlyle's observations are worthy of note. May I quote from pages 55-56?

"Fatal paralysis invades the social movement; clouds, of blindness or of blackness, envelop us: are we breaking down, then into the black horrors of NATIONAL BANKRUPTCY?

Great is Bankruptcy: The great bottomless gulf into which all Falsehoods, public and private, do sink, disappearing; whither, from the first origin of them, they were all doomed. For Nature is true and not a lie. No lie you can speak or act but it will come, after longer or shorter circulation, like a Bill drawn on Nature's Reality, and be presented there for payment,--with the answer, No effects. Pity only that it often had so long a circulation: that the original forger were so seldom he who bore the final smart of it! Lies, and the burden of evil they bring, are passed on; shifted from back to back, and from rank to rank; and so land ultimately on the dumb lowest rank, who with spade and mattock, with sore heart and empty wallet, daily come in contact with reality, and can pass the cheat no further."

From page 42, ASTRAEA REDUX WITHOUT CASH:

"What to do with Finance? This indeed is the great question: a small but most black weather-symptom, which no radiance of universal hope can cover."

Link to a digital copy of the book:

FRENCHREVOLUTION

To treat you and Dr. Monteith with such disrespect reveals more about the JBS than about either of you. The behavior you describe seems rather cultist, to me.

DO your children have cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents who can provide additional family support? My mother was ill a lot as I grew up. My grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins allowed me to experience a fairly normal childhood despite my constant worry over my mom's condition by taking me into their lives on a regular basis.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting. I was thinking about at joining JBS and sending our son to Youth for Truth when he gets old enough, but now??? I just googled you after reading your 8 November 2008 article on lewrockwell. You are a good writer.

Kenneth W. Royce said...

Mr. Grigg,

We've not yet met, but I've long
enjoyed your writings. Horrified
at your treatment by the JBS, I
just emailed them the below.

I will be praying for you and your
family.

All blessings,
Kenneth W. Royce/Boston T. Party
javelinpress@yahoo.com

__________
To Whom It Should Concern,

I am an author of 11 books on various
libertarian topics such as politics, law,
and government -- with total sales in the
six-figures.

Although I grew up reading JBS material and
have long generally admired the work you do,
I cannot any longer assist the JBS in any way.

Why not?

Because of your unconscionable treatment of
Mr. Grigg.

Communists treat their own people better.

Robert Welch would be ashamed of the
Alan Scholl/Art Thompson cabal.
I certainly am.

Kenneth W. Royce
Editor-in-Chief, www.javelinpress.com
Founder, www.freestatewyoming.org

Michael Price said...

You're better off without those losers. Sooner or later they would have dragged you down in the mud. Your children already have a physically weak parent, a morally weak one could finish them off. Sell your soul and sooner or later your kids will realize you've done it. That's bad if they lose all respect for you, and worse if they don't. Sooner or later someone will recognize courage, integrity and talent and you'll have a good job again.

Susan Rae said...

Hello and best wishes...in reading through these comments a treatment for hearing voices in the head has come to mind. There are two sources that I know of for what can be called the "be still and know" approach: One is Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson at http://www.bondinfo.org/content/counseling and the other is Roy Masters at http://fhu.com/