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May 3, 2007

Windfall

We interrupt this blog to bring you a public service announcement, sort of. Regular readers will be familiar with the Gentle Wind Project, a scam that separated the gullible from their greenbacks for more than two decades—and destroyed a great many families along the way. Last year, Gentle Wind was at least partly becalmed by Maine’s attorney general, which sued the cult for violating the state’s Unfair Trade Practices Act. The good news for Gentle Wind’s (many) victims is that the attorney general’s office is now accepting claims from those who were defrauded:

A Message from Attorney General Steve Rowe About Reimbursement for “Healing Instruments” Purchased from The Gentle Wind Project
The Attorney General is pleased to announce the beginning of a 6-month claims period during which the Office of the Attorney General will accept claims for reimbursement, or restitution, from consumers who purchased any “healing instrument” from The Gentle Wind Project between January 1, 2003 and September 14, 2006.
In order to be eligible for restitution, claims must be in writing, and must include the following information: 1) the name of the instrument purchased; 2) date of purchase; 3) cost; and 4) proof of payment. Proof of payment may be in the form of a cancelled check, an invoice, or any other document that shows that the item was purchased during the relevant time period.
… Each claimant will be notified of the decision on his or her claim after the expiration of the claim period. Those who are entitled to restitution will be paid on a pro rata basis from a fund set up for that purpose pursuant to a Consent Decree and Order issued on August 15, 2006 by the Maine Superior Court in State of Maine and Attorney General v. The Gentle Wind Project, et al.

Claims should be submitted no later than October 20, 2007, to Assistant Attorney General Carolyn A. Silsby, Office of the Maine Attorney General, 6 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0006. You can call the office on (207) 626-8829.

Sadly, Maine’s efforts haven’t exactly busted the scam, which has now morphed into the Family Systems Research Group. FSRG’s motto may be “Engineering for the Human Spirit,” but its goal is less noble: to keep lining the pockets of Gentle Wind founder John “Tubby” Miller and his clan.

FSRG can be found at the same Portsmouth, New Hampshire, mail-drop that Miller used during Gentle Wind’s golden years—a mail-drop located just across the river from Maine, where the Millers are banned for life from running a “non-profit.” I’m guessing New Hampshire attorney general Kelly Ayotte might like to hear about this; she can also be contacted at New Hampshire Department of Justice, 33 Capitol St., Concord, NH 03301, or by phone via (603) 271-1202.

Posted by Stephen at 12:06 AM in Religion + cults | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

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