Duplicity, Ann Mills Griffiths Style

Many of you may have been privy to the email that Mrs. Patricia Hopper sent to members of the Board of Directors of the National League of Families (NLF) on Tuesday outlining the situation of the apparent illegal elections that took place last month within the NLF.  If you did not, read it here:  Hopper Letter to NLF Officers.  Mrs. Hopper did a phenomenal job of explaining the illegal nature of the elections and how it needed to be rectified in order for the organization to move forward in an ethical and legal fashion.

To summarize, AMG knowingly allowed Susie Harvey, who is no longer a legal family member, to continue in a family member status and run for the Board of Directors of the NLF after Ms. Harvey remarried (twice) and severed her legal relationship with her now ex-brother-in-law SSG Stephen Geist, USA who is still POW/MIA.

Ms. Harvey erroneously argued that because she had been given some sort of power of attorney from her ex-husband to represent him in the POW/MIA case of his brother, SSG Geist, somehow makes her the PNOK and re-establishes her status as a family member.  After reviewing the NLF’s by-laws for a definition of a family member and after speaking with several attorneys and paralegals (we live in different states) not one supported the NLF’s stance on Ms. Harvey being a legal family member per the law.  The NLF even considers Harvey’s third and present husband a family member as well.

Interestingly enough, we also received an email from a wife of a missing man who, in the mid 80’s, after almost two decades of waiting for her husband to come back from Vietnam, finally remarried.   When she called the NLF offices and spoke with AMG regarding a question in the paperwork to renew her NLF membership, AMG was quick to inform her that now that she had remarried she was no longer a family member.  She was then told that if she wanted to continue as a member of the NLF, it would have to be as an associate member, not a family member.

UPDATE: We just received an email (8/1/11) from the POW/MIA wife mentioned above.  She asked that we correct the piece with the following fact.  Apparently AMG cashed her check for associate membership after their phone conversation yet never put her on the mailing list even as an associate member.  So, AMG pulled a “take the money and run.”  Interestingly enough, money will be the theme of our next post. 

This clearly shows that AMG cherry-picks through the by-laws of the NLF and uses them to her advantage when she pleases with no regard for the by-laws of the organization that has supplied her with a salary, pension and many other benefits over the years.   This also presents a complete disregard for the rationale for having by-laws in the first place – to prevent individuals from randomly making decisions for their personal benefit, not those of the organization and its membership.

As if this all weren’t enough, we received a forward of the email reply that was sent to Mrs. Hopper from the NLF’s Mark Stephensen:

After reading your four page rant, I found it to be irrelevant, baseless and without merit.  Please stop wasting our time.  We have work to do.
Mark Stephensen, Past Chairman, Current Treasurer
Board of Directors
National League of POW/MIA Families

It is clear that Mr. Stephensen shares the same disregard for the by-laws of the NLF and the organization’s membership as AMG.   I wonder what Mr. Stephensen thinks about the family member who contacted us above about being downgraded to an associate member after she remarried per AMG?

If Mr. Stephensen sees respecting and clearly adhering to the by-laws of the NLF as “irrelevant, baseless and without merit” then we certainly have to question his agenda as well.   If an NLF Board Member sees the important work of the Board to be something outside of enforcing the by-laws and responding professionally to the real concerns of its membership, it is no wonder that so many family members have disassociated themselves from the NLF.   Year after year, cavalier behavior like this toward members is the reason why so many families felt disenfranchised by those who were purportedly representing them.

One final thought, could this little fiasco be the reason why, during the Membership Meeting last week in DC, the Board floated the idea out there to allow concerned citizens to have family member status within the NLF?  While no one seconded the motion and even Dick Childress stood up and said he didn’t agree with it, was the Board already aware of their faux pas and looking for a backdoor to grandfather in their mistake?  After decades with the legal definition of family member being enforced – the timing of this is suspect to say the very least.

Mr. Stephensen certainly proves that it is time for a change at the NLF.

A Family’s Story: Adventures in Laos

As the news of our website begins to spread to those involved in the POW/MIA Issue, more and more family members are coming forward with their stories about Ann Mills-Griffiths.  Over the weekend we were contacted by a family member and former member of the National League of Families with an incredible story of just how far Ann was prepared to go to maintain control.

According to this family member in the early 80’s some 12 to 15 individuals that were involved in the issue, many POW/MIA parents, received invitation packets to spend three glorious weeks in Laos through the OxFam organization. Oxfam, an international organization whose mission statement is to, “find lasting solutions to poverty and injustice” around the world, invited this hand-picked group to bring supplies and other gifts to the Attapeu Province of Laos.

Another organization, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), also played a role in this trip by partnering with OxFam.  AFSC was founded in 1917 during World War I as an avenue for conscientious objectors to still serve the war effort without enlisting.  Many served as ambulance drivers, attended to the wounded or stayed behind after the war to help with the rebuilding of Europe.

The purpose of the trip was to impress the provincial chief of Attapeu in the hopes that he would then be more cooperative with information and possibly facilitate the release of  some of the American POWs who were believed held in the area.   The 30 some paged packet gave details of the all-expense paid visit, a background on the cultural aspects of the trip and the tentative schedule of events and travel itinerary.

The family member we spoke with found the packet’s arrival somewhat unexpected.  After a call to the contact number at OxFam to ask just how the organization came across their name and address, it was discovered that the list of those to be invited was given to OxFam by none other than AMG. This of course sent up a red flag as the family member and AMG were not the best of friends, to put it mildly.  Therefore, the idea of AMG submitting names to OxFam was suspect to say the least.

The family member then called AMG to confirm the information and also to ask why AMG would give their names and addresses to the international organizations without checking with them first.  In typical AMG fashion, she made light of the “oversight” and spoke of the great opportunity this would be for all involved and its’ once in a life time implications.

The family member we spoke with, upon seeing the list of invitees, considered it a who’s who of AMG’s least favorite people.  In the end, no one took the bait and the trip did not take place.  Yet there are two important pieces of information that caught our attention as we discussed this story with the family member.

1) On the list of invited was Errol Bond, the Vice President of the Support Our POW/MIAs organization, someone who had questioned AMG with regard to the money laundering via the Support Our POW/MIAs non-profit.  Mr. Bond resigned from his post with that organization because of AMG’s questionable decisions with regard to the Support funds. .

2) The dates and location of this trip to Attapeu coincided with one of the POW rescue missions led by Bo Gritz.

Imagine what would have happened to that group of POW/MIA family members and activists if they were caught flat-footed in Attapeu, Laos in the wake of a POW rescue attempt.

Part II: Money Laundering 101 with Ann Mills-Griffiths

Good Afternoon and thank you for reading.

Today we are going to present the second of two parts on the money laundering scandal that involved Ann and Carol Bates and most likely others.  Collectively these folks worked behind the scenes funneling money from the Support Our POW MIAs non-profit to, basically, as you read yesterday, various recipients in various parts of the world, per AMG’s specific direction.

In early June of 1987 AMG most likely sensed Ron Martz, a journalist with the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, inquiring about the laundering. He wrote this expose which lays out the way AMG used Support Our POW MIAs and their Board to funnel money wherever she pleased.  Read here: Ron_Martz_Article

Apparently, Earl Hopper, former Chairman of the Board of the National League of Families contacted Martz about his article and responded to Hopper here: Letter_from_Martz_to_Hopper  The most significant part of the letter appears at the bottom and was apparently highlighted.  By blowing up the document, the highlighted portion reads, “Griffiths seems to have been much more involved.  (This is) because she and Carol Bates helped set up the whole XXXX.   It was Anne (sic) not LeBoutillier, who knew all the details about the financial transactions.”

In yesterday’s article, we showed you a 1985  letter that Support Our POW MIAs sent to AMG at the urging of their VP Errol Bond, Sr. asking for clarification for two checks that AMG had told them to dispense to an individual and another corporation.  Here you have AMG’s response. Read here: AMGs_denial_of_knowledge_of_money_laudering_1985

AMG’s denial letter, as we said yesterday, lead to the resignation of Support Our POW MIAs’ VP Errol Bond, Sr.   Apparently, there were rough waters between the parties involved and the Support Our POW MIAs eventually saw their non-profit status suspended in the late 1980’s.  (The California Secretary of State website confirmed this, yet we could not confirm if it was in 1986 or early 1987.)

But the story doesn’t end there.

On June 8, 1987, AMG began feeling the pressure as journalist Ron Martz began his investigation for his expose.  Ann was compelled to attack.  Read here: AMG_letter_desperate_allegations.  Three weeks later the article was published.   Yet, most likely Ann,  and some even speculate former NSC official Richard Childress, designed a back-up plan to continue their money laundering.

On January 5, 1988, without the knowledge or permission of the NLF Board, AMG, Executive Director of the National League of Families, established another corporation in the state of Delaware called Foundation for Tomorrow, Inc.  You can see the initial pages of the incorporation paperwork, including the notarized signature of AMG as the sole corporation official.  Read here: Foundation_for_Tomorrow_Incorporation_Documents.

Since beginning to publish this information, we have had over 1,000 hits on the various articles that have been published over the past week.  We sincerely hope that those on the NLF Board will take a good hard look at this information and realize that it is time for a change.

Part I: Money Laundering 101 by AMG

Forgive the delay in posting.  We have been making sure that we have everything in order before delving into AMG’s extensive past of money laundering via a non-profit in her home state of  California called Support Our POW/MIAs.   This group, was organized to “… be used for the collection of POW/MIA information through interviews with indigenous forces in anticipation that such information will lead to the location and potential return of live hostages and or the remains of Americans who died or were killed in Southeast Asia.”

The officers were:

George Bartles, President

Errol Q. Bond, Sr., Vice President

Betty Bartels, Secretary & Treasurer

Collen Lucas, Director

Diane Collins, Director

You can find their 1981 Non-profit Tax return here: Support_Our_POW_MIAs_1981_Tax_Return

This group kept in regular contact with AMG via phone calls on a regular basis with updates on the amount of donations that had come in, from whom and then large “donations” as well.  Additionally, per instructions from AMG and Carol Bates at the NLF Office, Support Our POW MIAs sent various amounts of funds to places in the US and abroad (Thailand for example).  AMG may not have been aware but Treasurer Betty Bartles documented not just donations but also calls from both AMG and CB instructing her where to send the money and to whom.  (Update: A reader emailed asking if Carol Bates would have already been employed at DIA at the time this money laundering was taking place.  If anyone knows, please let us know.)

Here are some 16 pages of notes and communications between AMG, CB and Betty Bartels Communication_Records_between_AMG,_CB_and_Betty_Bartles

We hope you paid special attention to the last page of the previous document collection.  That was where things began to get interesting.   When Support Our POW MIAs was bringing in thousands of dollars annually to be used, quite often, as AMG dictated, things may have gotten a little too comfortable.  As you saw in the last page of the previous document link, the Vice President, the officer who was signing the annual tax returns started asking questions, questions that AMG didn’t want to answer.

On October 15, 1985 Support Our POW MIAs’ VP, Errol Q. Bond, Sr. resigned his post and left a resignation letter that would have made Col. Millard A. Peck proud.   Here is Bond’s letter of resignation.  Errol_Q_Bond_Resignation_as_VP_Support_of_POW_MIAs

This was the beginning of the end for AMG and CB’s money laundering gig.   Yet, as we all know, AMG always has a back-up plan … Expect to see that tomorrow afternoon.

While AMG has vehemently denied any involvement with the distribution of the monies of this California non-profit, the evidence is clear that she used all of these people for her own agenda and when things started to go bad, she did what she does best.

Support Our POW/MIAs would lose their non-profit status in the year following Bond’s resignation.

What does Ann Mills-Griffiths Really Know? Part II

Our apologies for not posting about the Foundation for Tomorrow scandal just yet, that will have to wait for tomorrow.  We found a few more really interesting and insightful documents that must see the light of day.

The first, without a doubt, simply stands on its own merits.    It is a communication on League letterhead asking for donations for the NLF, yet the entire letter is in the first person singular.  Apparently, AMG considers herself a one woman show.  Read here:  AMG I wanna talk about ME!

The second is an exchange of letters between AMG, Dermot Foley, then NLF Counsel and Earl Hopper, then Chair of the NLF.  In short, Mr. Foley made a comment about AMG at a status review hearing with DIA over the POW/MIA case for Earl, Jr.  Someone at DIA, ignoring the parameters of the closed meeting, leaked the comment to AMG.  The following pages are a series of letters that show again, the narcissistic character of AMG.  Read here: AMG tipped off by USG on statements in closed hearing

Next we have the Assistant Secretary of Defense, after being made aware of a letter from a Mrs. Sullivan (who was requesting that the NLF Board received a report at the end of every POW/MIA technical talk with Vietnam) responded to Mrs. Sullivan’s letter by writing to AMG, not Mrs. Sullivan.  Additionally, there is no mention, reference or cc of this correspondence to the NLF Board.   Does the USG not understand that AMG works for the Board and the Families?  They seem to have erroneously given AMG the impression that she IS the POW/MIA issue. Read here: Mrs Sullivan letter reply sent to AMG

The next document is our personal favorite.  Doris Zimmerman, a parliamentarian consultant, after attending the 1986 NLF Annual Meeting, had this almost hilarious professional review of the NLF’s adherence to Robert’s Rules of Parliamentary Procedures.  This one is a must read. Read here: NLF and Parliamentary Procedure

Lastly, which is a perfect introduction to the Foundation for Tomorrow piece that will run tomorrow, this series of communications between AMG and the then Chair of the NLF, Charles Walker, outlines AMG’s almost salacious need to leave everyone with the impression that she is “in the know.”  This lack of self-control apparently may have put a rescue mission of live POWs in jeopardy in 1981.  Read here: AMG potentially foils a POW rescue mission

Thank you for reading and please check in tomorrow afternoon for the beginning of the Foundation for Tomorrow scandal.  After you read these documents you will wonder how AMG managed to stay out of prison.

What does Ann Mills-Griffiths Really Know? Part I

Thank you for your patience, we have received several emails asking why there was no post from yesterday.  We had some technical issues that needed to get sorted out and are now all set.   Just as an aside, the posts over the past few days have received over 550 reads – THANK YOU!

Before we forget – from an earlier post that referred to the Secrecy Agreement with DIA; here is the standard secrecy agreement of the day that AMG most likely signed.  AMG has never made her signed agreement public.  AMG Secrecy Agreement

Today we are going to take a look at a few documents that clearly show AMG’s narcissistic nature and her obvious belief that her role in the POWMIA issue was/is her personal playground.  You will read correspondence that shows AMG’s communications with League members as being her thoughts and beliefs, not those of the organization.  The Board of Directors at the time felt it was necessary to communicate with the membership to let them know that AMG was publishing the League’s newsletters without clearing them with the Board first and that she was offering up her personal opinions and beliefs disguising them as the League’s.

Read here: Col Hopper re Newsletters not from B of Dir

The next document shows proof that AMG knew the truth about the Tomb of the Unknown and to protect the US Government, she kept the truth from the League Board and the League membership (and the Blassie Family)  to, most likely, maintain her alliances within the Government in tact.  It was Ted Sampley, a Vietnam Veteran, who pieced together the evidence that finally brought to light the truth about the remains that were buried in the Tomb of the Unknown.  The simple chronology of the voice messages that AMG left on the League’s answering machine clearly show that she was attempting to protect the Government after they knowingly put the remains of  who they thought was Lt. Michael Blassie, in the Tomb of the Unknown in Arlington National Cemetery.   If anyone every wonders where the strong animosity between Ted and AMG comes from, this incident with the Tomb of the Unknown was the tipping point.    Whose side is she on?

Read the email from Ted Sampley here: The Real Story Behind the Tomb of the Unknown

Update: Someone contacted us and told us about this document that shows more of AMG’s slight of hand in the Tomb of the Unknown: Read more here

Most disturbing to all of us was the letter from DIA to AMG outlining DIA’s strong belief that “The Mortician” was providing solid evidence and that the Vietnamese did/do indeed have a storage facility outside Hanoi where hundreds of remains of our service members sit.  The most interesting aspect of this letter is that it is address to AMG only, not the NLF Board and there is no mention or suggestion that AMG share this information with anyone else.  In short, AMG was once again attempting to control the issue in a manner that she personally say fit, not per the directives of the NLF Board.   Why has AMG never gone screaming from the rooftops calling for the US Government to press the Vietnamese about this storage facility?

Read the letter from DIA to AMG here: DIA to AMG re The Mortician

Thank you to all of the readers who have sent us emails of support, we appreciate the feedback.  Also, a blanket thank you to those other individuals who have decided to share documents that they had in their possession that would help shed light on other aspects of AMG’s character and her often questionable actions.  We have a LOT more to post.  With that said, we will be posting two articles today, so check in with us later this afternoon for our second installment for the day.

In that article, once we have permission, I will be posting some of the anonymous comments we have received.   We will leave you with this one which we have already received permission to post …

“Ann knows about the documents you are putting up – She is pretty angry.”

Well, AMG, if you are reading this, please know that our goal here is to give the POW/MIA issue back to the families.

Later: The Foundation for Tomorrow …

Acts of Defiance by League Executive Director and Illegalities of 2011 Elections

Included here below are a series of letters and correspondence that confirm AMG’s ongoing defiance of directives given to her by the Board of Directors of the National League of Families dating back some 30+ years. Aside from the specific events listed in the correspondence, it has surprised us how AMG so easily allowed then National Security Council’s Dick Childress, a government official, now advisor to the NLF, such unvetted access and such direct involvement in the day-to-day operations of the NLF.

The disingenuous AMG, apparently wanting to give the impression of being “connected”, claimed and still claims today to have a security clearance when actually what she signed was a secrecy agreement. Only an employer can request a security clearance for an employee which also requires an official background check, interviews with known associates, etc. Has anyone reading this post ever been approached by any US Government official asking questions about AMG for a security clearance? If so, please let us know. Lastly, if AMG claims to have a security clearance, they who is her true employer?

The linked documents below span various decades and show an ongoing attempt of AMG to control each and every aspect of the POWMIA issue as she felt fit.

Childress Protecting AMG after violating NLF bylaws 1983  (AMG sharing NLF Board Meeting notes with Childress and DIA)

Earl Hopper to AMG 1992 (Former NLF Chairman of the Board outlining unfathomable actions of AMG)

AMG falsely accuses Patty Skelly and the Fallout (AMG attempting to discredit another POW organization in an attempt to control the POW issue)

and my personal favorite …

From America for Freedom Always to AMG post 1988  (Another POW group expresses their malcontent with AMG and her actions)

Now *there* was some fun reading!

Returning to the security clearance, there is a liability issue that NLF members need to concern themselves with in light of AMG’s resent announcement that she is stepping down as NLF’s Executive Director to write a book on the POW/MIA issue. Her secrecy agreement (NOT security clearance) includes a clause that she will, basically, take all the secrets to her grave and will not share them with anyone either verbally or in written form. Will the NLF be held financially responsible for any breach of that clause considering the fact that AMG was acting as a representative of the NLF at the time?

Then there is the change in staffing at the NLF of adding a National Coordinator and doing away with the Executive Director position. Did the Board of Directors vote on the addition of this position and was the position advertised? Or was the candidate hand-selected by AMG and then presented to the Board for their approval in direct violation of NLF by-laws?

It is interesting how the above mentioned change coincides with changes in the by-laws. Why wasn’t there made available, even on the NLF website or via email, a copy of the existing by-laws and an explanation why the proposed changes were needed? Is AMG, assuming that she rejoins the Board of Directors, positioning the organization in a way that will give her more power as the new Chair of the Board of Directors? With the present Chair stepping down, it will entail a Board vote as to who will fill the Chair post. Since AMG oversees who is put on the ballot for the Board of Directors, it is certainly not a stretch to assume she could possibly stack the deck, making sure that she can control all those on the Board.

So, not only do we have the inexplicable changes in the by-laws, the addition of staff done behind closed doors, we also have the presence of a non-family member on the Board of Director’s ballot. Susie Stephens-Harvey *was* the sister-in-law of SSGT Stephen Geist, USA. She is not a blood relative of Geist and is no longer married to Geist’s brother. She is no longer a family member, by marriage, and should have been downgraded to an associate member as soon as the divorce was final. Therefore, Ms. Stephens-Harvey is thus ineligible to run for the Board seat. Yet, because she is someone who AMG considers one of her foot soldiers, this fact was ignored. This act alone makes the entire election null and void – in other words, illegal. A new election will need to be organized and this time, considering the above improprieties, the Board may want to reconsider having the completed voting ballots sent to the NLF Office and instead hire a third-party agencies with no ties to the NLF or any of its Board members or employees, past or present.

One final thought … If you perused just about any website that offers advice or suggestions about how to properly run a non-profit organization, you will find a suggestion that is strongly reiterated time and time again. Employees or former employees should not have the opportunity to serve on the Board of Directors as this would be a direct conflict of interest.

Lots to think about here.

Tomorrow Part III: More Documentation of Ann Mills-Griffiths Fleecing of The Missing

The Fleecing of the National League of Families

For the past 30 years the NLF has dozens of Board Members yet only one leader with only one agenda – Ann Mills-Griffiths and her personal and professional agenda.  Documentation that has been sent anonymously to the POW Warrior has shed some significant light on the agenda of Ann and how she has creatively carved out a career and a pension for herself from the families.

Ann has repeatedly gone against specific directives from Board Members and Board Chairmen to run the POW/MIA Issue in the manner that she thought fit. She routinely circumvented NLF by-laws and allowed government officials to have far too much control and influence in NLF affairs.

Over the past month I have been wading through hundreds of pages of NLF documents that outline the character of an individual who put herself ahead of everyone and everything. As with most people in Washington, it is about power, money and control. Yet, with everything it starts with money.

Let’s take a look at the last few years of IRS 990 forms for the NLF. You will see that in each form enclosed close to 50%, and in some instances even more, of the League’s annual spending went towards the salary, pension and medical benefits of Ann. You will also see that over $20,000 is spent each year on maintaining office space for an organization with one employee. Is *that* conscientious spending on the part of a non-profit organization?

NLF 2009 990
NLF 2008 990
NLF 2007 990
NLF 2005 990

Note: We have been unable to find the 2006 IRS 990 form for the NLF, yet we will keep looking.

Tomorrow Part II : Ann’s defiance of the NLF Board of Directors and the Illegalities of the 2011 Elections Platform