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Doug Philips is a tool (at best) and the now defunct Vision Forum - Part 3


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First case update in two months:

4/25/2016 - NOTICE OF JURY TRIAL SETTING RETURNED BY MAIL FOR VISION FORUM INC

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20 minutes ago, Marian the Librarian said:

First case update in two months:

4/25/2016 - NOTICE OF JURY TRIAL SETTING RETURNED BY MAIL FOR VISION FORUM INC

Could someone please translate into English?

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8 minutes ago, refugee said:

Could someone please translate into English?

I believe it means that the court mailed a notice that stated the jury trial setting (usually the date, time, and exact courtroom for the jury trial) to Vision Forum, and it was returned to the court undelivered.  Presumably the notices mailed to all other parties were delivered.

 

ETA-But I totally defer to those with more knowledge of the Texas court system.  This is just my best guess.

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10 hours ago, Marian the Librarian said:

First case update in two months:

4/25/2016 - NOTICE OF JURY TRIAL SETTING RETURNED BY MAIL FOR VISION FORUM INC

Does that mean it is going to a jury trail after all?  I was still hoping that it could be settled for Lourdes's sake.

6 hours ago, refugee said:

Is there even a Vision Forum Inc anymore? Curious.

Not a Lawyer.  I presume Doug filed Articles of Dissolution for Vision Forum, Inc in late 2013 or early 2014, but a business can still be sued after that - although apparently the SOL varies in the # of years.  VFI was in Doug's name only and was named as a defendant in the lawsuit within months of announcing its closure so it (or Doug's insurance company) should still be on the hook.

I wonder what happened with the insurance company.  It filed a Federal complaint trying to deny coverage to the Tool and VF on the grounds that Doug misrepresented the links between VFM and VFI.

Edit:  From Spiritual Sounding Board - the federal lawsuit was filed by Assurance Company of America the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, San Antonio division, Case 5:14-cv-00758-HLH

It was supposed to go to trial in July 2015.

I stink at searching court records but if anyone feels like taking a look at the Federal case I'd be very grateful!

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The Texas Secretary of State charges $1 per search of their business entity database, so my attempt to search to see if Vision Forum is still an active corporation failed.

In terms of the notice of jury trial setting, it is very common for courts to schedule trials while settlement negotiations are ongoing.  Court schedules fill up months in advance, and oftentimes it is a looming trial date that pushes parties to finally settle a case.  So yes, the trial has been scheduled, but that does not necessarily mean a trial will happen.  This case can be settled at any time, right up until the moment before the jury delivers a verdict.

I may spend some of my lunch break digging into the federal case.

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@NeverAFundie  Thanks!  I'd be really interested in what happened to the federal case.

@Marian the Librarian has been wonderful about keeping up with the developments and many postponed and cancelled court dates for the State case for us.  

 

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2 hours ago, Palimpsest said:

@NeverAFundie  Thanks!  I'd be really interested in what happened to the federal case.

 

 

I signed up for PACER access so I can look at the docket for the federal case.  And, no lie, it takes 7-10 days for the account authentication to ARRIVE IN THE MAIL.  That's right.  It has to arrive via USPS.  So...in 7-10 days, I'll be able to do some digging.

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1 hour ago, NeverAFundie said:

I signed up for PACER access so I can look at the docket for the federal case.  And, no lie, it takes 7-10 days for the account authentication to ARRIVE IN THE MAIL.  That's right.  It has to arrive via USPS.  So...in 7-10 days, I'll be able to do some digging.

Many thanks again!  They do make getting hold of public records challenging. :( 

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Vision Forum Inc. (the for-profit business) lists as permanently closed.

Vision Forum Ministries is listed in Guidestar.org as having liquidated in 2014, on the most recent IRS Form 990 (Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax) available. It lists Scott Brown (of NCFIC fame) as principal officer, Josh Wean as financial manager, and Jim Zes and Don Hart as officer and director, respectively. Here's the liquidation statement:

"ORGANIZATIONAL LIQUIDATION COMPLETE:

By the end of 2013, the board of directors of Vision Forum Ministries (VFM) decided to close the operations of the organization and proceed toward liquidation. This liquidation was completed during 2014.

The reason for this decision is that the key member of the organization was given the opportunity to resign from the VFM Board in lieu of termination, and he did so. WIthin a few weeks later he was also terminated as an employee from Vision Forum Ministries. According to the Vision Forum Ministries Board, this left the organization in a position where liquidation was the most prudent path to go.

Most operations and programs continued through all but the last couple of months of 2013, at which time patrons were notified and programs were wound down.

There were no functional activities in 2014. 2014 was strictly to complete liquidation.

ISSUES OF NOTE IN 2014:

ASSETS WERE ALL SOLD IN 2014: The loss from investments on the first page of the 990, PART I, Line 10 of $791,694 is the result of the sale of assets in 2014. A schedule of these sales is attached to the Schedule N with this form 990.

FORM 990, PART IX, FUNCTIONAL EXPENSES OF $21,338: These expenses are actually expenses incurred in 2013 for functional programs not accrued at 12-31-13 but paid in 2014.

FINAL RETURN - FINAL EXPENSES ACCRUED AS OF DECEMBER 31, 2014: Expenses totaling $24,401 were paid in 2015 to wrap up this entity. It was spent almost entirely on professional fees to properly wrap up operations. There were no funds remaining after these expenses were paid in 2015. These expenses of $24,401 are included with the expenses reported in this 2014 form 990, and are accrued as an accounts payable amount at December 31, 2014, leaving net assets of ZERO. Therefore, it is considered a final return.

NO PROGRAM REVENUES OF CONTRIBUTIONS IN 2014: ALl revenues reported on this 2014 form 990 were from asset liquidation activities."

 

 

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Thanks, @Marian the Librarian.

So they admit to terminating Doug as an employee in the form 990, and liquidated VFM at a loss.  It's amazing how quickly those legal fees add up - especially when you are being sued.

I took a quick look at the 2014 Form 990 too.   They paid Josh Wean $122,400 in 2014 for handling the close down.  Nice work if you can get it.  I wonder how many 40 hour weeks he actually had to work for the cash.

 As for the assets:

- They flogged the mailing lists for $16,000.  I wonder whether Scottie bought them.  

- Jonathan Park sold for $50,000.  A rock bottom price compared to when Doug and VF Inc. sold it to VF Ministries.  

- The office equipment yard sale netted $6,354.  Not much when you think of all the filming equipment they must have had lying around.

- The donated house sold for $302,500.  Wow.  You couldn't buy a house like that for $300K in my neck of the woods.  If San Antonio wasn't in TX I'd be tempted to move there.  I liked it when I visited ages ago.  No offense to TX residents - I just couldn't deal with the right wing politics and open carry scares the living daylights out of me.

Browsing through the Form 990s I am reminded how fishy the relationship between VFI and VRM always seemed.  Doug paid himself about (very rough average) $90K a year to head up the Ministry, and had a rent free house as a perk - to say nothing of huge travel expenses billed to VFM.  

In 2012 alone the Tool got the house rent free, $122,450 in salary (supposedly including $40K in back pay), and VFM paid VFI $275,232 for staffing and support.  Doug claimed that VFI was running at a loss.  The VFM travel expenses for 2012 are also well over $200K!

It's a shell game.  He has to have squirreled away a fair amount of cash from his salary alone.

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2 minutes ago, Palimpsest said:

Thanks, @Marian the Librarian.

So they admit to terminating Doug as an employee in the form 990, and liquidated VFM at a loss.  It's amazing how quickly those legal fees add up - especially when you are being sued.

I took a quick look at the 2014 Form 990 too.   They paid Josh Wean $122,400 in 2014 for handling the close down.  Nice work if you can get it.  I wonder how many 40 hour weeks he actually had to work for the cash.

 As for the assets:

- They flogged the mailing lists for $16,000.  I wonder whether Scottie bought them.  

 

I'm wondering if the Duggars somehow got them via a third party.  For some reason I started getting emails from them unsolicited. Don't know of another place they would gotten my email address from.

2 minutes ago, Palimpsest said:

- Jonathan Park sold for $50,000.  A rock bottom price compared to when Doug and VF Inc. sold it to VF Ministries.  

- The office equipment yard sale netted $6,354.  Not much when you think of all the filming equipment they must have had lying around.

Or filming equipment was rented when needed, but I do think there were a few cameras.

2 minutes ago, Palimpsest said:

- The donated house sold for $302,500.  Wow.  You couldn't buy a house like that for $300K in my neck of the woods.  If San Antonio wasn't in TX I'd be tempted to move there.  I liked it when I visited ages ago.  No offense to TX residents - I just couldn't deal with the right wing politics and open carry scares the living daylights out of me.

There are actually a LOT of Democrats and left-leaning people in San Antonio, especially with the Hispanic majority. The mayor - Julian Castro is a buddy of Obama and a rising star in the Democratic Party. Texas is more diverse than the rest of the country realizes. Open carry has been a very, very non-event. You have to remember that 20 years ago pretty much every rancher drove around with a rifle rack in the back of the pickup and it wasn't scary back then, either.

2 minutes ago, Palimpsest said:

Browsing through the Form 990s I am reminded how fishy the relationship between VFI and VFM always seemed.  Doug paid himself about (very rough average) $90K a year to head up the Ministry, and had a rent free house as a perk - to say nothing of huge travel expenses billed to VFM.  

In 2012 alone the Tool got the house rent free, $122,450 in salary (supposedly including $40K in back pay), and VFM paid VFI $275,232 for staffing and support.  Doug claimed that VFI was running at a loss.  The VFM travel expenses for 2012 are also well over $200K!

It's a shell game.  He has to have squirreled away a fair amount of cash from his salary alone.

 

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3 hours ago, Palimpsest said:

The office equipment yard sale netted $6,354.  Not much when you think of all the filming equipment they must have had lying around.

Considering all of the WW II cosplay photos & videos we've seen since the Fall, not to mention JTits' photography endeavors, I'd be very surprised if most or even any of the expensive Canon DSLRs & L lenses depicted in Doug's Blog & elsewhere were actually sold. I also doubt that Doug compensated VFI/VFM or paid for their full value. 

 

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5 hours ago, CloakNDagger said:

I'm wondering if the Duggars somehow got them via a third party.  For some reason I started getting emails from them unsolicited. Don't know of another place they would gotten my email address from.

Could be.  What are the Duggars selling? Family news and updates or merchandise?  Inquiring minds and all that. 

Quote

Or filming equipment was rented when needed, but I do think there were a few cameras.

Yes, as @hoipolloi said.  I was thinking of the cameras and other luxury toys the interns always seemed to be playing with more than the serious filming equipment when I said that.  Those things aren't cheap.  I think Doug probably grabbed as much stuff as he could on the way out of the door.  The BoD seems to have been asleep at the switch.

Quote

There are actually a LOT of Democrats and left-leaning people in San Antonio, especially with the Hispanic majority. The mayor - Julian Castro is a buddy of Obama and a rising star in the Democratic Party. Texas is more diverse than the rest of the country realizes. Open carry has been a very, very non-event. You have to remember that 20 years ago pretty much every rancher drove around with a rifle rack in the back of the pickup and it wasn't scary back then, either.

You sound exactly like my husband's cousin who lives in San Antonio.  He's always trying to get us to move.  Every winter I pine to move south - but until you guys get rid of the death penalty I doubt it will be to Texas.  Yes, I'm a total bleeding heart liberal.

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6 hours ago, CloakNDagger said:

Or filming equipment was rented when needed, but I do think there were a few cameras.

There were several times that I was dumbfounded with DPIAT and at least 2 of those times were related to cameras.  First, I seem to recall that SAICFF was recommending that those poor home school kids & families *that were serious* about making movies that would change the world get familiar with the RED cameras.  I believe the SAICFF even had some classes on them.  These things have price points in the $20,000+ range! (see here: http://www.red.com/store/cameras )  I was shocked that there never seemed to be a "How to make a movie on a $0 budget" type of classes as that how much of a budget most home school families have for such activities.  But, silly me, I should have known that home school families with $0 budgets were not who DPIAT was interested in.

The other notable time was when DPIAT had (I believe it was) a blog post touting the wondrous virtues of a digital camera.  What was odd to me was that the camera it looked very old school and when I looked it up it had a HUGE price tag.  If I recall, it was a Leica... maybe and M8?  Again, these are not those cheap, piece of crap, Canon DSLR's -- Dougie wouldn't stoop so low as to get one on THOSE!  THOSE don't make a statement about your importance when you're a world traveler... commoner's carry Canon, the elite carry Leica.

What a complete ass.

I'd like to take a moment, if I may, and apologize to the world at large for any involvement (no matter how minor) I ever had with that little piece of excrement.

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58 minutes ago, Maxwell said:

What was odd to me was that the camera it looked very old school and when I looked it up it had a HUGE price tag.  If I recall, it was a Leica... maybe and M8?  Again, these are not those cheap, piece of crap, Canon DSLR's -- Dougie wouldn't stoop so low as to get one on THOSE!  THOSE don't make a statement about your importance when you're a world traveler... commoner's carry Canon, the elite carry Leica.

You are correct -- that was a Leica M8 and, IIRC, they actually had lenses for it as well. For an idea of what kind of $$ is involved here check out B & H Photo's listings for just the M series camera bodies. 

Here's a photo of le Dougie himself -- sword in one hand, Canon DSLR + L lens in other, which I'm guessing is the Canon EF 70-200 MM f/2.8L IS II USM Lens:

MedievalFestbest-0344.jpg

ETA: Yes, this is a camera buff speaking who fervently hopes that, someday, her ship will come in absolutely loaded with Canon L lenses of every type not to mention a fully equipped M-series Leica digital camera.

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30 minutes ago, Maxwell said:

I stand corrected... DPIAT obiously had one of those cheap, piece of crap, Canon DSLR's too.

Cheap to DPIAT perhaps, but out of my price range, for at least the latest model.

Seems obvious, though, that DPIAT moved onto Leicas and other models since the only the best is good enough for a Tool.

ETA: More on DPIAT's proclivity for the finer things in life from the always trenchant Semper Eadem:

Quote

Doug Phillips and many of the leaders of the Patriarchy movement seem to have missed this memo. After all, if Jesus told us to sell our possessions and give to the poor, does that include Doug Phillips’ $7000 Leica M9 camera (with 1K-4K lenses) or the family collection of $500-$600ea. SaddlebackLeather bags?

 

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1 hour ago, Maxwell said:

I stand corrected... DPIAT obiously had one of those cheap, piece of crap, Canon DSLR's too.

That was a bit of sarcasm right there.  ;-)

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WTH is he reimagining with that costume? 

I came across this in my fb today. http://www.adn.com/article/20160427/jury-finds-anchorage-pilot-was-fault-2010-plane-crash-killed-his-son 

Preston Cavner owned the Lake Clark lodge where DPIAT went on one of his manly adventures with his band of men. We talked a little about it before, I thought someone might interested on this update. 

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5 hours ago, hoipolloi said:

ETA: Yes, this is a camera buff speaking who fervently hopes that, someday, her ship will come in absolutely loaded with Canon L lenses of every type not to mention a fully equipped M-series Leica digital camera.

When looking for the Leica M8 I found a review on techradar.com of the Top 10 Cameras of 2016.  They had this to say about the Leica Q (Priced at $7699) -- bolding is mine:

"Going from one extreme to another, the Leica Q costs ten times more than the TZ70 and its fixed focal length lens offers a fraction of its versatility. Leica also has a reputation for producing absurdly overpriced cameras with specifications that can be matched by regular cameras costing a fraction as much. But the Leica Q does have a 24-megapixel full frame sensor, it does have a Leica Summilux lens and it does handle like a dream. It's also capable of producing beautiful quality images. It's far too expensive for all but the most affluent consumers, but then you can say the same thing about a Ferrari. The difference is that you might (if you win the Lottery) just about be able to afford the Leica Q."

In other words, and I mean no disrespect to hoipolloi, DPIAT is their target market.

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47 minutes ago, Maxwell said:

In other words, and I mean no disrespect to hoipolloi, DPIAT is their target market.

No offense taken, and yes, DPIAT is the target, NOT hoi polloi like me! :pb_biggrin:

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  • 3 weeks later...

P001505/10/2016MOTION FOR
DISMISSAL WITH PREJUDICE

P001515/11/2016LETTER TO DISTRICT CLERK (FORWARD TO STAFF ATTY) FROM:
DAVID C GIBBS III

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8 hours ago, Maxwell said:

P001505/10/2016MOTION FOR
DISMISSAL WITH PREJUDICE

P001515/11/2016LETTER TO DISTRICT CLERK (FORWARD TO STAFF ATTY) FROM:
DAVID C GIBBS III

Translation please?

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23 minutes ago, gustava said:

Translation please?

It's hard to tell what they are dismissing, it could be a defendant, cause of action or the entire complaint or cross/complaint. The court's wording is always so vague about who is doing what. It's possible that settlement has been reached, the settlement agreement has been fully executed and the settlement funds have been turned over to Lourdes's attorney. The fact that it is with prejudice leads me to believe a possible settlement has been reached because if you were just dismissing a party you would do it without prejudice so that you could bring them back in if necessary. Or it could be that someone is making a motion to have someone else's complaint dismissed because of failure to prosecute the complaint or cross-complaint.

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