Friday, January 23, 2009
Flooding County InboxesUPDATE 01/22/09: Prior to the release of the Journal Now news article, Best Friends created a web page encouraging readers to contact the Wilkes County Board of Commissioners, County Attorney Tony Triplett and District Attorney Tom Horner and ask them to accept Best Friends' offer of assessing and rehabilitating Faron's dogs so that they can be adopted into homes. This has surely caused a deluge of non-constituent, pro-pit bull emails sent to Wilkes County public officials.
The extraordinary irony of Best Friends continuing to push for the rehabilitation of game-bred pit bulls -- AKA fighting dogs -- could not be spelled out better than by Ed Faron himself. In his book, "The Complete Gamedog: A Guide to Breeding and Raising the American Pit Bull Terrier" (published in 1995), Faron unequivocally states that game-bred pit bulls make lousy pets. Furthermore, he states that "serious dogmen" are "resentful of the people who keep the dogs as pets."
Is a Game-Bred Dog a Good Pet?
"A game-bred pit bull is a fighting dog, bred down from many generations of fighting dogs; to even consider raising one of these dogs as a pet you must understand this and accept it -- even if you are totally opposed to dogfighting. No matter how you raise this dog he will still be a Pit Bull, not a Golden Retriever! Time and again we've seen people get a Pit Bull puppy with the attitude "if I raise him right, he won't want to fight" and in nearly every case we've seen the situation eventually come down to a serious problem." Page 10701/22/09: Game-Bred Fighting Dogs
"A friend of ours has a stud dog that was sold as a pup to some young guys who had the dog as a fraternity mascot; this worked out real well -- until the day he got into a fight with another fraternity's mascot (a Dalmatian) and killed it. We ourselves have a bitch on our yard that came back to us at nine months old after she kept attacking the dog her owners had purchased her to be a 'companion' for." Page 108
Wilkesboro, NC - Back in December, Ed Faron was charged with felony dogfighting and baiting after authorities raided his Wildside Kennel facility. Faron reportedly sold some of his dogs to undercover officers that told him they needed pit bulls for the purposes of dogfighting. Faron and his game-bred pit bulls are legendary in dogfighting circles. In 1989, Faron was actually convicted of dogfighting and sentenced to a year in jail in Alamance County as well.
During the December raid, 127 dogs were seized from his property. Wilkes County now owns the dogs after Faron failed to meet a court-ordered deadline to pay the county $52,925 for the dogs' care. Best Friends -- who received 21 of Michael Vick's dogs deemed too unstable for adoption -- is now offering to pay an expert to assess the 127 dogs, to sterilize those deemed adoptable, and to network with rescue groups to place the dogs into homes.
DogsBite.org does not believe that pit bulls seized from dogfighting raids can be rehabilitated for adoption. We believe that Best Friends is pulling another PR, fundraising stunt with Faron's dogs, just as they did with Vick's dogs.In the instance of Vick's Dogs, each one came with a $18,275 dowry -- paid for by Vick as part of his sentencing deal -- for the purposes of caring for and "rehabilitating" each dog. The article does not mention if Best Friends intends to fund the "rehabilitation" of Faron's dogs that may be deemed adoptable by the Best Friends appointed expert. One can assume this expert will be James Crosby, as he was also an expert on the Amicus Brief filed by Best Friends on behalf of Vick's dogs.
So far, Wilkes County officials have said that if Faron is convicted of dogfighting, the dogs will be euthanized. Ledy VanKavage, who formerly worked for the ASPCA is now an attorney for Best Friends. VanKavage has become notorious at DogsBite.org for a number of reasons, including her use of questionable data from Karen Delise to influence policymakers against making pit bull laws and her description of pit bulls as "extremely human friendly," little "wiggle butts."
VanKavage, reportedly the owner of three pit bulls, said that it is not fair to condemn all of Faron's dogs, especially the puppies. "Genetics is not everything," she said. "Dogs are individuals just like people are, and their temperament should be evaluated as individuals." This is typical VanKavage propaganda. Ed Faron's dogs were bred for the purposes of dogfighting period. These dogs are unstable and present a substantial threat to people and pets in communities.
We remind you that Faron co-authored the infamous dogfighting book, "The Complete Gamedog: A Guide to Breeding and Raising the American Pit Bull Terrier", that contains passages that will make your teeth curl. We publish several excerpts from this book again (please read all excerpts), so that readers can understand exactly why dogs bred for the purposes of dogfighting cannot be rehabilitated, and do not belong in our communities.
This is how dogfighters talk about their dogs:
"Everyone told me afterwards that Miss Rufus was a fantastic bitch; she got on the head and rode it for the first ten minutes or so until she wore the other bitch down and then she went in and worked the chest, legs, brisket- everything. She broke both of the bitch's front legs and even reportedly broke several of her ribs. Willie B. told us that the bitch she beat had been the best Red Boy bitch he had ever seen." Page 44Related articles:
"She had one of the fastest, hardest mouths we'd ever seen, and she snapped one of Miss Rufus' front legs like a twig." Page 45
"Miss Rufus spent most of the rest of the fight on her back and Bandit broke her other front leg high up in the shoulder, as well as one of her back legs, in the knee joint. The only leg she didn't break she chewed all to hell. She had literally scalped Miss Rufus, tearing a big chunk of skin off the top of her head alongside one ear." Page 45
01/15/09: Explanation: The Policy of Not Adopting Out Fighting Dogs
12/23/08: Edward Faron of Wildside Kennels Has Been Charged by Authorities
12/11/08: Column: "Views on Pit Bulls, and an Aside on Panthers," by Andy Parker
12/08/08: Expert, James Crosby, Testifies in Aurora Fighting Breed Ban
11/03/08: Flashback: Best Friends Animal Sanctuary Refuses Care of Pit Bulls
08/22/08: Wendy Blevins Podcast on the Tom Becka Show (38 minutes)
07/14/08: Comment: The Anatomy of a Whitewash, James Crosby
06/02/08: ASPCA Pushing Pit Bull Adoption: Adopt-A-Bull Contest
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| 1/23/2009 9:35 AM |
Great post. Hopefully people will soon start seeing that dogsbite iss a more credible source for information than the ASPCA, Best Friends, Karen Delise, Ledy Van Kavage, and Jim Crosby COMBINED.
| 1/23/2009 10:17 AM |
The problem is that the Best Friends advocates do not have human safety as one of their goals. If they were truly an honest group of people they would explain to the public about breeding and genetics in fighting dogs. A dog fighters pups are hard wired genetically for fighting. A good dog fighter breeder wants the pups this way. These dogs should be put down --why have the risk to people and other animals because of animal advocacy, publicity, and fundraising.
| 1/23/2009 3:01 PM |
In Georgia no less, who would have thunk it?
Madison County’s Animal Control Board voted 3-2 last month to return temporary custody of a male pit bull dog to his owner, a man who was the first person in the state arrested under Georgia’s new felony dogfighting law, which took effect July 1, 2008.
...“A question of whether the animal should be neutered prior to release to the owner was discussed, however the motion/second was unaltered and a vote followed,” according to hearing minutes.
Board members Barbara Freeman, Decator Dunugan and Nina Grass voted to return the dog to Johnson under monitored foster care until his trial. Chairman Greg Bleakley and board secretary Phil Munro voted “no.”
| 1/23/2009 11:54 PM |
I wonder if officials know that Best Friends originated as a cult, and many of the founders from then still run it?
"Bad publicity usually means it’s a good time for a name change. In 1979 The Process was again reorganized and renamed itself The Foundation Faith of God. Founders at the Arizona retreat began collecting stray animals and eventually the property became too small. It soon became evident that donations roll in faster when you operate an animal rescue than when you’re begging for the occult. Perhaps, they were on to something.
Once again, they were searching for their Eden. In 1982, founder Francis Battista was driving through southern Utah and happened to visit Kanab Canyon where several classic western movies had been filmed. Everyone agreed, this was the spot.
The Arizona ranch was sold, and in 1984, they used proceeds from the down payment on the purchase of 2,269 acres in what would come to be called Angel Canyon. The group would acquire additional land and lease 30,000 more acres from the government.
Founder Paul Eckhoff, an architect who had designed prisons, designed one of the first buildings.
In 1988, the Society of Processeans was formed and a big reunion was held.
In 1991 a crisis occurred: The buyer of the Arizona ranch went bankrupt and his monthly payments ceased, leaving The Foundation Faith in over their heads. A national S.O.S. went out to the family. Cyrus and Anne Mejia moved to Kanab from their home in Golden, Colorado. Faith Maloney had liquidated her Pennsylvania residence and she returned to the fold, as did other members.
”The group needed money, and getting it seemed to require a certain amount of begging, which the group called ‘tabling.’ They would go to Denver, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, set up tables outside supermarkets and pass out brochures about the sanctuary.” And the money kept rolling in from every side.
In 1993, Best Friends Animals Sanctuary was incorporated as a nonprofit. The Archives were supposedly destroyed and the Church dissolved. I sure would like to poke around their compound though… and contrary to popular belief, Mark Owens says the Process is still around.
There are no more public references to Satan and doomsday. The millennium has come and gone without the apocalypse. The new focus is on fund raising, public relations, more fundraising and, oh yeah – animal rescue with a liberal dose of speuter. Brothers and Sisters let me hear you testify!
The animal sanctuary has become a huge cash cow with a herd numbering well over a quarter of a million calves. They have a multi million dollar surplus and all board members are paid a salary. In fact, Best Friends' reach has extended so far that it has again renamed itself, this time as Best Friends Animal Society, reminding everyone that it is not just a sanctuary anymore"
The Process Church http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Process-Church
The hippie dippie, naive, claim to help but do harm attitude bears no ressemblance to reality, but puts a huge liability on cities and counties if they get manipulated into handing these kinds of dogs to Best Friends.
There also is the issue of cult hippie gone money mad. Best Friends is trying to rake in as much cash as possible, and they use these situations to take advantage of money raising. They have a huge staff now that must be paid and benefited.
| 1/23/2009 11:59 PM |
Creepy Charlie Manson connection
But you can see how the cult fervor (denying reality) has gotten translated into worship of the fighting dog
| 1/24/2009 4:31 AM |
What gets me is that the owner of Wildside was previously convicted of dog fighting, yet was worshipped by the Pit community. In fact, on the nutter boards they say he was even a judge at breed specific shows.
Yet Michael Vick gets thrown under the bus by them...I think they may be racist. Wierd...
| 1/24/2009 7:25 AM |
Louisiana State Records:
Name: BEST FRIENDS ANIMAL SANCTUARY
Prior Name: THE FOUNDATION FAITH OF GOD ( 8/12/1993)
Prior Name: THE FOUNDATION FAITH OF THE MILLENNIUM ( 2/27/1978)
Prior Name: THE FOUNDATION - CHURCH OF THE MILLENNIUM ( 3/01/1976)
Prior Name: THE PROCESS, CHURCH OF THE FINAL JUDGEMENT ( 5/21/1974)
Type Entity: Non-Profit Corporation
The Process Church
In April, 1974 Robert de Grimston was removed by the Council of Masters as Teacher. They renounced The Unity, his exposition of the above-noted doctrines, and most of his other teachings. After this the group fell apart; the Council went on to form the Foundation Church of the Millennium, later called the Foundation Faith of God. This group moved further away from the original Processean beliefs, and increasingly resembled a traditional Christian denomination. Eventually religion was dropped altogether by The Foundation and they went on to become The Best Friends Animal Sanctuary near Kanab, Utah, where some of the original Process members can be found even today (such as Faith Maloney, a.k.a. Mother Hathor) caring for some 1500+ cats, dogs and other abandoned animals. De Grimston attempted to restart the Process Church several times, but he could never replace his original following. He then went on and eventually settled down and was last known to be holding a high position with one of America's leading telecommunications companies.
| 1/24/2009 7:28 AM |
The Process, or in full, The Process Church of the Final Judgment, commonly known by non-members as the Process Church, was a religious group that flourished in the 1960s and 1970s, founded by the Englishman Robert DeGrimston (originally, Robert Moor) and Mary Anne MacLean. It originally developed as a splinter client cult group from Scientology, so that they were declared "suppressive persons" by L. Ron Hubbard in December 1965. In 1966 the members of the group underwent a social implosion and moved to Xtul on Mexico's Yucatan peninsula, where they developed processean theology, which differs from process theology. They later established a base of operations in the United States.
| 1/24/2009 7:46 AM |
Slightly different view here:
The Process held to a unique theology which worshipped God while loving Satan. Being an open and proselytizing religious organization, they were exposed to criticism by other Christians. Having such an unorthodox response to Satan, they were easily misunderstood.
A book about Charles Manson, "The Family", claimed that Manson was a member of The Process. The Church obtained apologies and retractions to the book after it brought about a suit against the publisher. Because of the time it took to bring about the retractions, a large portion of book sales had occurred; so many of the books (without retractions) are on shelves today. The connection between Manson and the Process has not completely been corrected. Manson was never a registered member of The Process. A group of Processeans visited him in prison and confirmed that he had never been involved in the local Chapter.
More recently, a book was published that claimed a second mass murderer, David Berkowitz, the "Son of Sam" was also a member of The Process. The book stated that The Process was a network of killers and that Berkowitz was a look-out who did not take part in all of the killings. This conflicts with the police investigators who believed that Berkowitz was operating on his own. If they thought otherwise, the police certainly would have investigated the Church. Berkowitz claimed to have been a Satanist, and to have converted to Evangelical Christianity in prison. He claimed that the "Sam" in "Son of Sam" came from the name of the Celtic God of the Dead, Samhain (which he pronounced "Sam-hane").
I know this forum is not about "religion" or any tolerance or intolerance to it, but I can't help feeling creeped...
| 1/24/2009 9:34 PM |
It appears that one of the church branches is still operating in the State of Nevada:
3030 Palomino Lane, Las Vegas, NV 89107 4510
Answers.com provides the same information:
The building is owned by Andrew Molasky, who is the son of Irwin Molasky, a successful Las Vegas real estate developer:
Irwin and Andrew Molasky
The two own about 20 horses as well which they train, race and potentially co-own with Bruce Headley. One horse, Kona Gold, has its own Wikipedia page:
| 1/24/2009 9:37 PM |
A 2004 Merritt Clifton Article
The Best Friends Animal Society arrived in Kanab in 1984, 18 years after eight of the cofounders met as part of an Anglican discussion group in London, England, organized by Robert and Mary Ann deGrimston.
Michael Mountain, now the Best Friends Animal Society president, was then a 17-year-old Oxford dropout, and was among the youngest members. Calling themselves "The Foundation Faith Church of the Millennium," members of the group including the eight Best Friends cofounders in June 1966 tried to start a commune near a Mayan ruin called Xtul, in Yucatan, Mexico. A hurricane ended that effort within months. Returning briefly to England, where they found themselves still as much misfits as ever, they reorganized in New Orleans, where they formally incorporated in 1967 as The Process Church of the Final Judgement, claiming that their mission was to "conduct spiritual and occult research. "
During the next five years the Best Friends cofounders drifted to Los Angeles; wrote bizarre statements on required public accountability documents, essentially mocking bureaucracy; staged flamboyant publicity stunts to help promote their activities and proto-New Age philosophy; and two members, including eventual Best Friends Animal Society cofounder John Fripp, interviewed mass murderer Charles Manson in prison for a short-lived magazine they published.
As Lou Klizer of the Rocky Mount-ain News recently summarized, "The group had trouble gaining traction, no matter how outrageous they acted. Mountain chalks this up to their philosophy of abstinence from sex and drugsnot overly popular notions in the 1960s...In 1971, a book speculated on Manson's possible connection to the Process Church. They sued. The publisher apologized, recalled the books, and issued subsequent editions without the offending chapter. But with the birth of the Internet, the legend has only grown."
The Process Church broke up when the deGrimstons split. Mary Ann deGrimston remained in close contact with the Best Friends cofounders, and eventually remarried to Best Friends cofounder Gabriel dePeyer. They are still together.
Robert deGrimston went his own way, making sporadic efforts to start a new church, having nothing further to do with the group who became Best Friends.
Read the rest of this article, it explains much:
| 1/24/2009 10:04 PM |
Best Friends cofounders
Michael Mountain (Former president, departed this month)
Gabriel DePeyer (married to Mary Ann deGrimston)
Anne and Cyrus Mejia
Nathania Gartman (died in 2003)
Francis Battista (formerly sold real estate)
| 1/24/2009 11:10 PM |
Please note the name "de Peyer."
The Foundation Faith of God Contact Info:
Rev. Raphael de Peyer
3030 Palomino Lane
Las Vegas, NV 89107-4510
Gabriel dePeyer, a co-founder of Best Friends, is married to Mary Ann deGrimston, who was formerly married to Robert deGrimston (the founder of the Process Church).
Cyrus Mejia, another Best Friends co-founder, and Raphael de Peyer had an art show together back in 2000.
Raphael de Peyer does not appear to live in Las Vegas any longer. The Faith Center contact information may be outdated.
| 1/25/2009 1:11 AM |
The Best Friends/Process Church information is currently being circulated by this radical group: PetDefense.
PetDefense seems to be an outrageous breeder/lobbying type person. Look at the right column blog roll: Bluedogstate, DogPolitics, Nathan's No Kill Blog, TheDogPress, PETPAC...The person may just be trying to spread inflammatory information about Best Friends. The history of Best Friends is certainly questionable and troubling, but coming from a source like PetDefense tars much of it. Not to bunk your research efforts (you all uncovered some good stuff!), but just to let you know that "true" operatives may be behind the effort.
So who is behind PetDefense?
Kinda smells like someone from CHAKO. Another radical pit bull lobbying group also out of California.
| 1/25/2009 12:40 PM |
Don't forget Roverlution, the radical CA group that recently plastered the "lick your face" pit bull posters all over Denver, hoping to get the ban dropped.
The CA groups do appear to be the most extreme and Best Friends has numerous ties (and a facility I think) in the Southern CA area. Check out what this CA group is doing on behalf of "No Kill" (AKA Best Friends):
| 1/25/2009 3:33 PM |
Anonymous with the Pet Defense info
I completely agree that there is anti-Best Friends info being spread by breeder groups
But please note that this information is about Best Friends of the past.
When Best Friends started, they were much more innocent, a simple sanctuary that did espouse anti-cruelty ethics
It is only in more recent years that the super aggressive fundraising has been happening, as they try to expand into a national organization.
They are trying to do that by NOW hooking up with the very breeder groups that you cite and others- namely through Nathan Winograd who is working with PetPac, NAIA, etc
And it is only within the last couple of years that they have been turning their backs on humane issues and climbing in with the breeders, especially with regard to the pit bull issues!
This is a very new turn for Best Friends!
There has been a dramatic shift in the last couple of years that I believe has shown the true colors of Best Friends that were hidden for a while- they will do anything for money!
And someone or some group made the decision in the past couple of years to go the breeder lobby link route.
I do believe, however, as much as those extreme breeder groups distort and lie, that the issues they present about Best Friends, the cult aspect, the money madness, are actually quite valid.
Best Friends is like a cult religion with money worship at the heart of it, and now they perceive that they can cash in by hooking up with the pit bull breeder lobby on the pit bull issue.
So it's become a weird mix of the cult roots with the really despicable breeder liasions now.
Does this make sense? It is hard to explain
| 1/25/2009 3:39 PM |
I think that the cult/religion information reveals the heart of the problem with Best Friends
Rather than true animal welfare as an end, the animals are a MEANS to the end of making a lot of money and being perceived as "authority" that can boss people around and get media attention
Really extreme selfishness and egotism, and animals are the tool to fill those needs
So they promote things that actually hurt animals, but are a "hook" to get more money and attention, and cater to the breeder lobby that they hope will promote them
Like this empty, failed, cruel No Kill thing
| 1/26/2009 4:46 AM |
"I think that the cult/religion information reveals the heart of the problem with Best Friends. Rather than true animal welfare as an end, the animals are a MEANS to the end..."
| 1/26/2009 8:34 AM |
If you look at the list of fellow amicus brief signers for the court attempt to get the Vick dogs, there is not one other humane group (other than Best Friends) signing that piece of junk!
Best Friends literally crawled in bed with pit bull breeder and dogfighter groups, so they could get the Vick dogs, cash in on donations and court money, and PROMOTE PIT BULLS FOR DOG FIGHTERS (so dog fighters can breed and abuse even more of them, free of pesky regulations)
The lawyer who hooked up with Best Friends to get that amicus brief done was a pit bull breeder lawyer!
What true humane group in their right mind would jump in with people who support animal abuse, and even do it as a business?
That's the problem. Best Friends is not a humane group any more.
And Best Friends covered it up to their donors that they were involved with some pretty heinous dog abuse groups on this! They figured most people wouldn't read the amicus brief, and if they did, they wouldn't know what these breeder and fighter lobbying groups who did it with Best Friends were even about (especially with the snaky group names that sound innocent, but hide a lot of dirt)
Best Friends also didn't tell their donors that they turned away a large group of abused pit bulls from a hoarder in Utah (their own state!) just before they took the Vick dogs for publicity. Best Friends is no true friend even to pit bulls, that's the sick part of this
| 1/26/2009 2:23 PM |
Paul Berry is the CEO that recently departed. Berry, I imagine, had taken over many of Mountain's former duties.
Best Friends has been in the midst of an organization restructuring program that began four years ago with a revamping of the organization's overall structure and gradual transitioning of the 22 original founders of the organization out of the organization's day-to-day operations. The second stage, which involves a move toward a more conventional outside board of directors, begins Jan. 24 when a transitional board is put in place.
| 2/18/2009 4:40 PM |
The dogs were destroyed
WILKESBORO - Wilkes County Animal Control destroyed 146 pit bulls yesterday, following an order issued Monday by Superior Court Judge Ed Wilson Jr. The dogs were associated with Wildside Kennels, whose owner, Ed Faron, 61, was convicted last week of 14 felony counts of dog fighting.
Authorities seized 127 of the dogs in a raid on Faron's property on Dec. 10, 2008. The rest of the dogs have been born since the raid. The county had acknowledged that some litters had been born, but yesterday was the first time the county released the actual number of dogs involved.
According to the judge's ruling, state law defines dogs as dangerous if they are involved in a dog fighting operation and a county ordinance requires that dangerous dogs be destroyed. Authorities said that Faron bred and sold fighting dogs.
| 3/25/2009 2:12 PM |
Paul Eckhoff, Founder
Architect (designer of "Sanctuaries")
Eckhoff came with the London crew ("The Best Friends Animal Society arrived in Kanab in 1984, 18 years after eight of the cofounders met as part of an Anglican discussion group in London, England, organized by Robert and Mary Ann deGrimston.")
No-gooder Jade, over at DogPress says he formerly designed prisons. She tends to make a lot of stuff up.
| 12/15/2009 5:44 AM |
I was born into the Foundation in 1973. I lived there, with my extended family until I was six. I know, and have known, many members. What I do not know is vast. Stories become legend. The Foundation, for all its flaws, did great and many works. For some reason, hardly anyone ever speaks of them.