Here is the entire email that I received:
We apologize for the lateness of this email, and for the dropped
responses and follow-up tasks that have affected some of you. I
(Joe Hanley) would like to accept personal responsibility for these
failures, and I can only tell you again that I'm sorry. Personal
issues got me very off track, and I did not communicate outwardly
or complete the follow-ups I promised you, I ask your forgiveness.
We will take care of your requests and communication right away
from this point on.
As you most likely realize even before receiving this note, PLS has
had a long interruption in our mission--and our communication--and
we'd like to use this email for three things:
1. First and foremost, apologize for some problems over the past
2. Next, update you on the PLS operation
3. Finally, and importantly as well, initiate effective follow-up to
any communication and requests you have back to us
Bad news before details... as many or you have already noticed, the
ProLifeSearch website is no more. Here's what happened:
Regarding our operations, it has taken us awhile to put some of the
pieces of ProLifeSearch back together again. . . including those
who purchased the books.
As many or you have already noticed, the ProLifeSearch website is
gone. We'll get to how that happened in a minute.
But first, regarding the books: When we took the orders for the
leather-bound books we divided the money received two ways. The
first went to the publisher to produce the books. The second part
went immediately to our pro-life charities.
We then began having trouble with our publisher. For one reason or
another they kept giving us excuses as to why the books weren't
ready yet. Days turned into weeks which turned into months. By
the time we demanded our money back for a job not completed, the
publisher was completely non-responsive. Since this publisher is
overseas, it will end up costing us more to sue the publisher for
performance than what we paid them.
So all of the money sent to the publisher is gone. The money not
sent to the publisher went to our pro-life charities and hopefully
did a great deal of good for Life.
Of course some of you would like refunds for the money you paid, as
you should. We do not feel right asking for the money back from
our charities, and the rest of the money is in the publisher's
pocket. So we (Jack and I) will personally pay those people back
who request a refund out of our own pockets. We just ask that you
have patience. We simply cannot afford to refund everyone at once.
As money becomes available, we will make good on our promise
Those people who have already requested refunds will receive checks
within one week. Anyone requesting a refund now or in the future
will receive that within 21 days of getting the request to us.
Some of you may feel a certain relief knowing that your money went
to help Life. If you do not wish to request a refund, you do not
have to do anything. If you do wish to get a refund, please email
us at firstname.lastname@example.org or write us at 542 N. Ashbury Ave,
Bolingbrook, IL 60440.
Now the website itself: Sadly, the bottom line is that some of the
web developers we hired for this project left our employ and
changed all of the passwords to the site. This meant that for
months we could not access the site, change the site, or post any
new information on the site. It also meant that we could not
access our list of book purchasers to notify them of the problems
we were having.
As we tried to force the new passwords from these developers, the
URL -- http://www.prolifesearch.com -- expired, and it seems some rock and
roll site was all too ready to snatch it up because of all the
traffic we created over the past 2 years.
Legally, the site now belongs to that organization. We have tried,
but we cannot get it back.
The good news is that during our operation, through your support,
we were able to generate over $20,000 for Pro-life charities. Good
was done, and we accept responsibility (and apologize to all of
you) for a rocky wind-down to our efforts.
Of course, we also hope that we might have inspired others to come
up with their own ideas on how to blend every day activities and
our cause for Life so that those charities on the front line of the
fight have what they need to continue their good work each and
I am a little sad to have to say good-bye. But ProLifeSearch was
never about Jack and Joe. It was always about you. You are the
ones who made any good works we did possible. And for that I just
want to say Thank You.
Please go forth and continue to fight the good fight.
God bless you all,
ProLifeSearch.com, 542 N Ashbury Ave, Bolingbrook, IL 60440, USA
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I have some thoughts about this email. I will explain more in a later post, but I do think that there are some problems with their, or rather Joe's, explanation of what happened. There are quite a few things in the email that conflict with what I was told by Patte, the former secretary, about what happened. Other things conflict with my own research.
For one, I don't think that the URL has expired yet. At least it hasn't according to GoDaddy, WhoIs. Click the link then enter the verification code to see what I mean. According to that site the domain name is still active and registered to Jack Manhire until September 16, 2007. It also says that there hasn't been an update since August 2006.
That's just one thing that seems "fishy" about the apology email. For a few others, read the first comment on the Mama Says post. The commenter, Elaine, is right on in her concerns.
I think that we should all ask for the refund. If anyone actually gets one, leave a comment here and let me know.