In May of 2006, Robin Westmiller created a national website for guardianship victims, NASGA, the National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse. Our mission was to stop guardian abuse and to offer solace, comfort and encouragement to victims currently fighting this sick system. There were five original founding members. One dropped out rather quickly due to computer difficulties. That left four of us to do most of the work. One member eventually revealed herself to be a person with a long history of troubled relations and unsuccessful jobs, as well as a history of bringing nothing but conflict to the legal reform groups from which she had been frequently booted. It took much longer with the other one, but she, too, revealed herself to be a sick, sick personality.
Both women were uneducated (a fact of importance only to them) and had a history of being unable to hold down a job or able to hold only the lowest level job. Consequently, both had deep rooted, often expressed grudges against those they considered "professionals." At first it seemed the usual disdain for attorneys, but at some point, it became clear that anyone with an education or a high level job was unwanted by them on the board and even as a member of NASGA.
Robin was too busy to really notice what they were doing, and I was too naive to figure it out. However, they recruited others to become members of the board. They chose four women who fit their needs and preferences - the women were not professionals, uneducated, had never had a decision-making role, were easily led, and who also had a bias against those who didn't share these traits. They came on board as Vice Presidents of some aspect of the organization. The title was very important to them. They were carefully groomed by the main recruiter and, thus, had a great deal of loyalty to her - as she was responsible for their sudden "rise in the world" and in their own esteem. One of them can only be deemed a "super-thug," a third grade dropout whose low behavior and obsequiousness (to the main recruiter) defies description, but she does the dirtiest of the dirty work so both recruiters can pretend to be "professional" and above the fray. They can't fool anyone - they are the fray.
We got lucky, I thought, and the member with the long history of dysfunctional relations got caught and quit the board rather than take responsibility for her failure. Her friend who shares her dysfunction but hides it better, wanted her back. Both were hard up for money and had milked the system dry. It seems that they shared a fantasy of attracting big bucks to the organization and getting paid for their labor.
Robin who was busy with her family, caring for her mother, burying her father, writing a book and finishing law school wasn't paying attention. She was extremely happy when she was awarded her JD, but rather than share her happiness, this motley crew was eaten with jealousy. They also differed with her leadership style and believed that her book interviews benefited only her book. They were wrong - her articles and book interviews benefited the organization, much more than they benefited book sales.They were also worried that the money would come in, since we had almost completed and paid for the 501 C status, and Robin, with her newly acquired JD might be first in line for a paid-for job. Rather than act like adults and put the needs of the organization first, they plotted behind her back. In doing so, they committed every leadership deficit they attributed to her, and added incredible deceit, cruelty, and grade school shenanigans to the mix.
In an incredibly ugly and greedy move, the two recruiters and their carefully groomed social rejects stole the organization's money, stole Robin's domain and tried to steal the membership. These unbelievably selfish people put their own needs ahead of the victims we were organized to help and failed to show even a shred of loyalty to the person who put it together, bought the domain, and whose book, interviews and writings recruited the membership. They aren't using the domain which Robin also used for her own private business, they just stole it and parked it so she and the remaining membership couldn't use it. They set up another organization using the original organization's money, domain, name, and as much of the membership as they could recruit - about 20 out of 135 or so. One of the ironies is that this group of thieves is comprised of the "ne'er do well types" who never contributed a cent to the cause. They have completely ignored the requests of those who did contribute when asked that our donations be refunded to the intended organization. They freeload with the same unashamed ease as the guardians.
As an example of how ugly, sick and personally-based this assault was, they have instructed Robin that she can't use the national organization's name when discussing her book. It's totally unenforceable - just gratuitous cruelty. Additionally, this ripping apart of what Robin put together was done during December, a season of "good will toward all," shortly after Robin buried her father, and while she was trying to study for the California Bar. These people lower the standard for what it means to be human. It is no surprise to me, that one of them is accused of trying to exploit a vulnerable member. Based on the behavior I've witnessed, I would guess that the combined number of people exploited by all of them over a lifetime would be astronomical. They redefine the term "cellar dwellers."
These people acted on greed and self interest - for that they would harm a human being who did them no harm. They stole and deceived without concern. They tore a fragile organization apart and made the members chose one side or the other. Their concerns were personal - there was absolutely no concern for the organization, nor for the victims. Now, when Robin has completed the bar, we will take them to court and let the courts figure it out. It shouldn't have ended this way. All of our efforts should have gone to helping victims or changing the system. Those ignorant women had a responsibility to work it out in the board room. Robin is not hard to work with, their differences could have been resolved - but that wouldn't have given them the control they wanted over the fundraising, membership, and potential jobs. Not one of them tried to resolve differences - they were instead, lead by two borderline personalities - one of whom is, at times, delusional - into doing what most reasonable people wouldn't even consider and decent people would adamantly refuse. The sense of entitlement of these moral mutants, their deceit, their betrayal, and their theft is every bit as ugly as that seen in the guardians.
Many who came aboard to change the system were discouraged by the ugly and unnecessary "takeover" and have quit. Others are staying aboard hoping that Robin can repair the damage. Many, also, are having second thoughts about internet groups. Borderlines, sociopaths, and other dysfunctional personalities have had a lifetime to create the masks they wear. In discussing it with members, we realized that the other organizations we looked to as examples of what we wanted to be (AARP, MADD, etc.), had been formed at the local level first and, as they grew, moved to the national level and the internet. So they had chances to meet and work together before they went national. The core group could get to know each other and get rid of or minimize dysfunctional personalities before they could do too much damage.
Our new site is A-N-G-E-R@yahoogroups.com.
**NOTE: Word has just come to us that the "president" of the stolen group has quit due to "the inappropriate behavior of some of the board members" as she told the membership. No surprise there, but one wonders, if theft, deceit, betrayal, and a misguided sense of entitlement aren't "inappropriate," then what is? We knew they would end up eating each other, but didn't expect it this soon! Whatever happened to just quietly leaving while noting family/work/health/job responsibilities? That seems much more dignified and less disruptive to a group you are pretending to care about.
I haven't made changes to this site in over a year so -and I've forgotten how to do them properly. I'm going to wait until I have more time and change the list of pages etc and fix this page. But so many have been asking, I thought I'd better get a slim version of the story out. I will keep you informed of the court proceedings and the reorganization of ANGR.US.
9/9/09 - Those who stole NASGA are using the same "savoir faire" to run the stolen organization as they did to steal it. Follow this link (which, I believe, is from a blog) to see what they are up to now: Bellicose Organization
Obviously, these borderlines continue to labor under delusions of entitlement and total disregard for the rights of others. The high-school dropout who fancies herself to be an attorney is probably in seventh heaven as she stupidly types and mails "CEASE AND DESIST" letters in the hopes of intimidating those who don't agree with her. Unfortunately, Robin has declined to sue them (despite repeatedly promising to do so) as most of us think she should. What will trip them up eventually, are their delusions of grandeur, inappropriate sense of entitlement, and stunning ignorance. In the meantime, those of us who are interested in change and not power, have sent a delegate to the Democratic Convention. We have also gotten senior rights on the platform and are working to rewrite the guardianship section with greater specificity.