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The M.F. Problem
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”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 sprawling 33,000 acre compound in Angel Canyon is evidence. Tax records show Best Friends took in $1.17 million in contributions in 1993 and continued increasing to a whopping 32 million dollars in 2005, thanks to some cunning marketing over the dogs rescued from hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Mountain told the Salt Lake Tribune “this money will help further Best Friends' mission, and he now is planning on reconnecting the organization to its spiritual beginnings”. And I’ll bet all of that money looks cleaner than a fresh shirt from a Chinese laundry. But you know what they say about appearances.

The hurricane dollars have stopped flowing (enter “Every Dog Needs A Home” into your search engine…), and “Spencer” has been milked for all he’s worth. Is “Spencer” even at Best Friends? Has anyone seen him outside of the website p.r. photos? Because Best Friends put out a recent plea to private “pit bull” rescues asking them to please take those hurricane “pit bulls” off their hands. It appears the poor things have containment issues that Best Friends and their millions are not willing to accommodate. Duh!!!

How would it look to have to publicly admit that that some dogs really are safe and happy at the end of a proper chain set up because they don’t kennel well and can’t run in packs? Better I suppose to just curtail breeding them altogether! Especially since Best Friends is aiding the legal defense of alleged dog thief and trespasser Tammy Grimes. Grimes is refusing to turn over the previously tethered canine in order to clear the air. Maybe “Doogie”, like “Spencer” only seems to exist on the internet…

They even gave Tammy a question and answer blog on the Best Friends website and booked her to present at their “Dangerous Dogs Summit” in Colorado (I’m surprised the judge allowed her to leave the state while awaiting trial). While promoting their new poster child, they omitted the fact that Tammy Grimes is not just against responsible tethering, but against pens as well. This should concern every domestic animal owner.

What was the Best Friends Dangerous Dogs Summit? I’m glad you asked. Briefly summarized, their position was:

1) Because of breeding, some dogs have a higher percentage of bad than do most breeds.

2) Dog “attacks are by no means all from pit bulls, but by dogs of many breeds who by now have been inbred with aggressive tendencies.

3) “Beloved pets” will “suddenly and inexplicably turn on their people”.

4) The root cause of dangerous dogs is that “certain people” are deliberately breeding aggressive tendencies into dogs.

5) “the rest of us…are victims”

Don’t worry… Best Friends has a “three-point plan”. It includes:

1) Acknowledging “that there are dangerous breeds, and that aggressive tendencies have now been bred into their genes.”

2) “legislation making it ILLEGAL to breed aggression into dogs”

3) Going “after the people who are breeding aggressive dogs, rather than simply the dogs themselves.”

“This summit seeks to build momentum for a national movement…to protect innocent dogs from people” and they’re creating a solution based on their own interpretation of excerpts from radical European breeding restrictions.

Best Friends must have needed a new gimmick to whip up a little excitement before they unveiled their legislative master plan. Instead of using their millions to build a beautiful animal shelter for refugee pets in Lebanon, they hired former Howard Dean presidential campaign manager Joe Trippi to finagle them a media coup with CBS news/Katie Couric and they shipped the little flea bags to our country with the cameras rolling. Private rescue groups howled louder than wolves under a full moon because millions of dogs are dying in America without finding a “forever home”. Taking potential homes away from American dogs seems somehow very un-American. Way to set the example for the no-kill movement! (And check out comment #30 on Joe Trippi’s blog.)

Michael Mountain told the Rocky Mountain News that "The big old organizations with whom we work quite closely now (PeTA?, HSUS?, ASPCA?), in the early days said this can't be done…We have taken on a job that the humane movement should have been doing years ago". Best Friends, he boasts, has "become something of a flagship for this whole movement."

All the same, he was not thrilled when the reporter inquired about a series of corporate records that directly link Best Friends to The Process Church. If he had it to do over again, Mountain said, he would have let The Process dissolve and incorporate Best Friends as a new nonprofit with no links to the church. (I’ll bet!) Within days of the news article, Michael Mountain & Co. had hastily posted a warm, fuzzy and politically correct series of web pages recounting their own version of the early days. Can you say damage control?

”we do not practice tolerance here.” Mary Ann DeGrimston married Founder Gabriel DePeyer and they made their home at Best Friends, along with several other former members. The Process mastermind died on November 14, 2005, leaving hardly a tangible trace of her dominant influence, which is rumored to persist post mortem. She was 74 years old.

The front man of the movement, Robert DeGrimston became a business consultant, possibly for AT&T and moved with his new wife in New York. Rumors still buzz.

Father Aaron, I mean Michael Mountain has a daughter in Denver, is divorced and lives close to the sanctuary with other Inner Processeans.

Mountain and the Founders are calculatingly dismissive of the Process Church as nothing more than some “wacky” counter-culture social exploration from the innocent youth of current Board members and that Satan was just a metaphor. Talk about making a “mole hill” out of a Mountain! Hey Hughey, you can hire Joe Trippi to sell it to the masses, but I’m not buying it.


"We're not saying that the Process is the only way. It isn't. Whatever works for you is valid. That's how we know what validity is-it works." - Sister Lyssandra

“Tabling” 32 million dollars last year under the “no kill” banner must be extremely valid. And they’re still begging for more. While occultists and conspiracy theorists may have widely divergent interpretations of Best Friends’ history, take note - because this is what worked for them:
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