written by Debra Pickman April 2008
Although the following information was never intended to be made public, accusations and posts on outside forums have alluded to foul play on our part. This is where I hope to set the record straight for anyone interested. For the most part, I do not point fingers and I apologize in advance for the airing of our dirty laundry. I do so only to defend ourselves and feel that for some groups or individuals to make a decision about us or trusting in what we say or represent, the following information needs to be made available.
From the inception and initial discussion of the idea for The Sallie House website project on 6-25-06, task, responsibilities and requirements were discussed and agreed to by the founding members. Within the first 6 months of the project start, it was obvious that efforts were severely lacking on important aspects of the website, including basic maintenance, back-ups, uploading investigation details, meeting attendance and more.
Setting the record straight
Four months of continuously reminding e-mails, gentle prodding and more “to the point” communications did nothing to persuade certain founders of their responsibilities, obligations and our goals. I, without working knowledge of what I was doing, stepped in to help, and muddled through, creating new pages and uploading what I could, but this effort did nothing to persuade or coax others to shoulder the responsibilities they had agreed upon in order to grow the website with the information and evidence that was waiting to be included.
The focus of KPG seemed to be more about picking apart each others view on evidence and theories; differences that were previously touted as important for the diversity of the group and a well rounded approach to investigating. Communication between members broke down in November 2006 and became down right ugly.
Early February of 2007, Renae left KPG due to personal differences with one of the KPG members, and on February 24th Jerry quit the website, noting that he was “washing his hands of the site and handing over all the financials”.
Website crippled !
Crippled by the dysfunctional dynamics of the founders, there was very little, if any, work being done on the website in the areas of responsibility by the individuals that had agreed to do so. Some members would continually miss meetings, would not contribute their viewpoints on issues at hand or ignore e-mails sent to them.
By mid-February 2007, all reasonable communication had broken down amongst the KPG group. One member refused to e-mail another, making me the go between for all necessary communication, another member refused to work with the third member, making it very difficult to focus efforts on growing the site.
Outsiders tried to help and understand, but this did not bring about any changes. Communication concerning the site became pointless because of the hateful e-mails generated between members which in turn brought more bad feelings.
It was suggested that I take a break and step back, that perhaps I was hounding people too much and that was why things weren’t getting done. So for the next 3 months, although I continued to upload the Pickman investigations, I did just that.
During that time there were 3 pages uploaded to the website by another member with two of them being scanned documents. There was virtually no progress, and progress was something that we had been promising our site members and visitors since the site went live.
By early June of 2007, things had escalated even further. Our problems became not only more evident but also became public as the nastiness between the co-founders started showing up in forum posts. The website continued to suffer.
Months of work with no back up in place
After more than a year of uploading to the site, and repeated requests for web maintenance, not one back up or any other maintenance procedure had ever been completed by the responsible individual. Moreover, I spent over a year and much more of my spare time (in lieu of time with my family) working on the site than I had agreed to in order to present positive growth to our visitors.
Behind the scenes however, it was easy to see that the goals the original founders set, were no longer important to some of them. I was also aware that destructive path of the individuals involved would soon destroy the project completely.
This forced me to make some tough decisions in order for the website to survive and grow. Despite the damage it was bound to cause with people who had become friends, I took control of the website.
All material already on the website at that point remained in place and all credit for material was duly noted. Monies expended by the founders during the creation and implementation of the web site was prorated and refunded. No one was banished from the site or the forum. Of course, there were hard feelings and regrets from all parties involved.
When Tony was attacked in August, we grew very concerned and fearful for the safety of any group going in.
Knowing that KPG was likely to return to the house, we contacted them to warn them. We were also concerned that, on a prior visit to ours, they may have inadvertently aggravated the entity by returned efforts at revealing the pentagram and the incantation on the basement floor.
In KPG’s reply it was agreed that we would keep each other informed of pertinent information. This has not happened and we have ended up where we are today.
The two members left of KPG quickly began working on their own website showcasing their EVP’s and other information (including my early research) that was gathered during both, my independent, and our group investigations into the house. To this day, I find it interesting how quickly work was done on the KPG site after the disbandment of the original founders of The Sallie House web site, especially when it was like pulling teeth to get any work done on the Sallie site while we were all still together.
Renae and I continue to bring the most current information on the house to TheSallieHouse.com website.
The two groups have not spoken since June of 07’.
The information we have offered to them for the safety of their team and continued investigations to the house has been met with curt and distasteful replies. Masked (but traceable) e-mails have been sent to us from KPG members making certain erroneous claims trying to get a reaction from us.
The same members have been tracked as they lurk daily on our website and forum. Statements on other websites and in other forums have been made by these individuals to discredit us and to start trouble. We decided it was best to ignore these antics, until our evidence (gained after the above members disbanded) was taken from this website.
In presenting the friction this site and the co-founders have endured, I hide nothing from the world.
Was anything taken or stolen from KPG? No. All material contributed by co-founders was given freely and is credited with proper notation as to such contributions. In fact, the Pickman’s and KPG freely shared their research, experiences, photos, EVP’s and more with each other while the group was together, so whatever was shared then was equally available and at the disposal of each party. That information still is.
What gave the Pickman’s the right to take control of the website?
The fact that certain individuals did not fulfill their responsibilities to the website ultimately leaving it unattended, unprotected and stagnant virtually constituted their abandonment of the business arrangement that was made regarding the project. Additionally, there was more than 12 months of dedicated work in preparing and uploading files, photos, write-ups and more.
In fact it often seemed that I was the only one working within the capacity of the business arrangement that all had agreed upon to ensure a current up-to-date site that would continue to grow and expand. Nine months of begging for the same dedication and drive that was initially shown for the project. Eight months of feeling that I was the only individual still striving toward the goals that had been set and agreed upon for the website. Seven months of watching the group self-destructive via critical e-mails to each other which ultimately and irreparably damaged good relationships.
I warned them that things needed to change.
Was it our right to do so? I feel it was well within our right to do so, as I had warned the group that I would not stand by and watch them destroy the site, I warned them that things needed to change. I warned them that I would not stand for the continued BS among the group.
Additionally, and beyond the initial website design work done by a third party, I was responsible for approximately 93% of the work that had been done. I considered that controlling interest in the project and I felt I needed to protect the work I had so diligently provided on the site. The work on the site was more of Tony’s and my story being told and sharing the facts with the public as only one KPG investigation had been uploaded up at that point.
To support my claims, my reasons, my stand and my actions, I have kept records of e-mail correspondence, meeting minutes, and documents outlining the responsibilities of each founder as we had agreed upon when we met to discuss the possibilities and detailed the project and its goals. I have proof of what was said to whom, who quit and washed their hands of the site, and the hateful e-mails that ultimately and tragically broke the constitution of the founding individuals of this site.
It is truly too bad that the dirty laundry of this site and its founders had to be made public in this manner, however, statements, rumors and accusations have been made elsewhere and this is the only way we feel we can address them properly.
As we have always focused on representing only the unaltered facts on this site, we will continue to be honest in all of our representations to our members and visitors no matter if it makes us look good or bad.