History and the Conclusion of the Lawsuits



The Adelphi Organization has been involved in two internal lawsuits which have just been resolved. Our group was essentially split in its membership between a faction favoring the policies of Malcolm Carnahan, while he was president of The Stelle Group, and a faction supporting Richard Kieninger and his work. Our problems began in 1982 when the Trustees of The Stelle Group and some other residents of Stelle, Illinois were invited by Richard to move to Dallas, Texas to establish the headquarters of The Stelle Group here and also to become members of The Adelphi Organization. As a member of both Stelle and Adelphi, I have personal knowledge of the events and persons involved as the power ploy to oust Richard unfolded. Fortunately, we no longer have to deal with distracting energy-drains imposed by lawsuits, and we are back to devoting our full attention to the Brotherhoods’ Work and supporting Richard in his special tasks.


When I began to observe the interactions between Richard and The Stelle Group trustees, it was evident that Richard had been appointed Chairman of the Board of The Stelle Group merely as a facade to give the appearance of Brotherhood-backing to the rule of the trustees. Richard had no powers of administration under The Stelle Group bylaws as revised by the trustees, and it was evident that he was unable to convince the paid officers to use the Stelle Group’s assets to implement new programs for the benefit of the members and the public. Instead, they gave themselves huge salaries, built an empire for themselves, and acted like big shots. Malcolm seemed threatened by Richard being president of The Adelphi Organization—The Stelle group’s sister organization—and he asked Richard to resign from that office in 1983. When this was brought up at a general meeting of The Adelphi Organization members, Malcolm questioned if there was even a need for Adelphi’s separate existence, and he proposed merging the two organizations under his administration. This never came to a vote, but it set a tone of questionable support of The Adelphi Organization by those members who came from Stelle along with Malcolm.


Richard became increasingly frustrated at the lack of effort of the Stelle officers, whereas The Adelphi Organization was building the Adelphi community and operating the Adelphi Motherschool with almost no assistance from the people who came from Stelle. The Stelle trustees considered Richard an old nagger, while he saw time and money being wasted. In early 1986, Malcolm asked Richard to sell the Adelphi subdivision that had been built since 1976 by the original Adelphi members and use the money to buy land in a more prestigious North Dallas location for a combined headquarters, but Richard refused. We members soon heard rumors of this proposal which sounded like a rehash of the old merger idea, and those Adelphi members who owned lots in the Adelphi Subdivision became quite concerned. My discussions with Malcolm’s supporters in The Adelphi Organization revealed they were interested in having The Stelle Group be the recipient of Adelphi’s assets accumulated by the old Adelphi members over the prior decade and bring everything under unified control for “greater efficiency.” Since the two organizations had quite distinctly different roles in the Brotherhoods’ Plan, Richard resisted this move; thereby becoming identified as the block to Malcolm’s desires for The Stelle Group’s expansion.


Members working in the office of The Stelle Group felt something was coming to a head by the fact that there was a spate of closed-door meetings of Stelle officers and hushed scurrying about and, on occasions, the raised voices of Richard and Malcolm in the latter’s office. (Richard was never given a desk or a place to work in the office.) Sure enough, Richard was forced to resign his titles in The Stelle Group through a subterfuge that he didn’t penetrate until a month later. Malcolm practiced and taught a form of sorcery he called Vivaxis, to which Richard objected as being counter to Brotherhood principles. Via Malcolm’s use of Vivaxis, he convinced a former lady-friend of Richard’s that he purportedly was able to detect that Richard had hypnotized her into their relationship. She was furious when she accosted Richard on this false accusation. Therefore, Richard believed the trustees when, later that week, in April 1986, they told him that she planned to sue The Stelle Group for millions of dollars on the grounds of the sexual harassment law unless he resigned his titles in The Stelle Group. About a month after Richard resigned to protect The Stelle Group he consulted a lawyer and learned this law didn’t apply to his situation; so then he realized he had been tricked, but the trustees refused to rescind his resignations. Weeks of arguments ensued between him and the trustees in secret meetings while the members of both The Stelle Group and The Adelphi Organization in Dallas wondered what was happening, creating further tension and concern. To solve their dilemma, the trustees hit upon a new idea of claiming that because Richard had not originally disclosed that the Adelphi community was the initial phase of the Philadelphia project, that someone might possibly construe this as fraudulent solicitation to the Philadelphia Funds of The Stelle Group and The Adelphi Organization for the purchase and construction of the island in the Pacific Ocean and therefore might sue. They paid a lawyer to advise Richard that it would be in the best interests of the groups he had founded to resign his memberships and let the officers act to dissolve the Philadelphia Funds in order to avoid any possible concerns. They never did dissolve the funds, and it seemed obvious even at the time that this was a clever ploy created for exploitation by the trustees. They claimed that Richard had privately told them that there was no island to be purchased, yet many times before and after their claim, Richard stated clearly that there is such an island and he would be acquiring it. I am employed in the legal field, and I have learned that claims of sexual indiscretion, mental incompetence, or fraud are commonly used to oust a principal from non-profit corporations; so frequently, in fact, that insurance companies will no longer write policies to protect against it. In this case, the trustees used all three devices to be sure.


Richard resigned in October 1986 in accordance with their lawyer’s slanted advice, all the while stating to the membership that he did not want to resign but felt railroaded into it; however, he refused to resign from his position as trustee of the Adelphi lands. This blocked the Adelphi Organization members who were loyal to Malcolm from being able to sell the Adelphi Subdivision and give the proceeds to The Stelle Group, which they openly stated was their plan. These people initiated a lawsuit to either dissolve the land trust or have the court remove Richard as trustee. The lower court allowed Richard to be removed, but lot owners and most of the original Adelphi members enjoined Richard to appeal, and the appellate court reversed his removal as a matter of law.


The division between the Malcolm faction and Richard faction in The Adelphi Organization had become quite bitter. The Malcolm faction threw out the ballots of the Richard faction in the 1988 election of Adelphi directors in order to ramrod the election of Malcolm-backed directors. These directors gave gifts of more than $15,000 to The Stelle Group and were wasting many tens of thousands of dollars on legal fees to get control of Adelphi’s land. We, the disenfranchised Richard supporters, acted to freeze The Adelphi Organization’s cash and protect the Motherschool materials in order to preserve them from being further wasted; and this caused the Malcolm faction to initiate another lawsuit to have themselves declared the real Adelphi Organization and thus gain control of the corporate assets. In fact, our side held to the original purposes and philosophical foundations for which Adelphi was chartered by the State of Texas, whereas the supporters of Malcolm were pushing to change the direction of our organization to conform to the drastic philosophical changes made by The Stelle Group. We presented the other side with our declaration of loyalty to those original directions, elected our own officers, resumed construction of Adelphi, paid the property taxes, sponsored Richard’s public meetings again, re-admitted four members who had been ousted for challenging The Stelle Group’s trustees, accepted new Postulants, and paid out of our own pockets the cost of legal actions brought against us in the courts. The contest has now concluded with the resignations of all the Malcolm supporters from The Adelphi Organization, and they conceded by a written agreement, which we have agreed not to publish, that our side is The Adelphi Organization. Though our differences are many, we are now at peace with our former adversaries, and we are continuing, along with Richard, in the conduct of the business of The Adelphi Organization and expansion.


So far as The Stelle Group is concerned, it eventually became proven that the trustees in their zeal to oust Richard made outrageously false charges against him. They published in the Stelle Letter an untrue claim that there is no island in the Pacific to become Philadelphia and falsely attributed to him a statement that he was going elsewhere to do other things and was turning his torch over to the trustees. It was their hope that donors would continue to send money to The Stelle Group believing that its goals, programs and philosophy were continuing on the same course. Meanwhile, however, the trustees were planning to diminish the qualifications for participants and re-designing it from a Brotherhood-oriented program to a self-help school. Three Stelle Group members employed in the headquarters could see the deception, and in December 1986 they formed a Stelle Group Committee for Truth that sent letters to many Stelle Group supporters around the country informing them of real actions and motives of the trustees. This blew the trustees’ cover; so in a subsequent Stelle Letter, they said everything they could to undermine Richard’s credibility by implication without making any specific charges. Since Richard is a public figure, anyone can ridicule him or make innuendoes of wrongdoing with legal impunity from slander laws, and the trustees relied on this. They didn’t seem to realize or care that by putting Richard in a false light to protect their take-over they would also put The Stelle Group and the Brotherhoods in question. They proudly state that they no longer have anything to do with Richard, and they apparently don’t care that they have separated themselves from the Brotherhoods’ Program. The Stelle Group had operated as the educational organization that prepared its students to become eligible for membership in The Adelphi Organization, which is the next step on their way to becoming citizens of Philadelphia. Now that The Stelle Group has abdicated that honor, we in The Adelphi Organization are accepting members directly from the general populace who find the philosophy in The Ultimate Frontier to be a worthwhile pursuit.


The Adelphi Quarterly Fall, 1989