October 11, 2016

Our October Meeting

I was more than a little surprised when I received my email for the October meeting. Normally we have our meetings on a weekend, but this was on a Monday. Since most of the members are retired, I think in retrospect, this may have been a good call.

We had seven potential new members, but only six passed the interview and were accepted as members. Again, I received a shock at the interview, but I agree with the way it was conducted, as it told us why they wanted to join our support group and issues they might have with the philosophy of the support group. I thanked Brenda and Sue for developing a comprehensive interview for new members, as it could be used in a variety of ways to uncover potential problems.

The five that several of us had helped for foot problems and a person that
Jennifer had introduced passed. A member that Allen introduced did not pass and Allen did understand and he thanked Sue for the questions that exposed him for the problems he might have caused us.

Barry moved that Brenda and Sue be thanked for the interview they had conducted and it was seconded almost unanimously. The vote was unanimous and Brenda said thank you to us and said that having the October meeting as our membership meeting makes for a more consistent way of accepting members.

Sue added that her husband and she had researched and found the interview program and brought it to Brenda for her approval. They had adapted some of the questions to fit our needs. This brought a round of applause and a big Thank-you!

Brenda then asked for some discussion about the excluded group and how many people had been harassed in the last month. Then she explained what had happened to me and those involved. She explained that one had been arrested and would be spending at least one year in jail with most of it caused by his actions after his arrest.

She then stated she had received several harassing phone calls, as had Sue and A.J. At that point, the new members all said they had been told not to join this support group. More members admitted they had been told to leave this group and they would be welcome in their group. Ben said he seriously doubted this and felt better as member of this group.

I asked who has not been harassed and no one answered. I suggested that the police needed to be notified. Then they are can take action to stop the harassing phone calls. I told them how I was working with the police and they were monitoring my telephone numbers and had arrested several of the group harassing me. I said that to date it only involved 9 of the other group and if the rest of you would join me, they could be stopped.

Brenda asked for a show of hands and only one person felt that this was not necessary. I gave Brenda the phone number and called a second number. Shortly, there were three officers present and one addressed our group and explained what could be done. Then they moved among us obtaining phone numbers and names and dates of the last calls. Each was given a card with a phone number to call after each harassing call and told that the phone company was working with them to end this.

After they were finished and answered several more questions, they thanked the group and felt that the harassing calls would end before long and maybe still happen sporadically. They did want to catch as many as possible.

Max briefly listed the problems and costs at the financial institutions.  There would be no cost breaks below certain balances, which we would not reach.  There would be other costs, which could be a burden unless we trusted an individual.  Several said they understood and there was a short discussion.  Max asked for another month before we collected dues and asked Sue's husband for assistance.  He agreed and said he might have a partial solution. 

Brenda stated the meeting was over and cleanup needed to be done. Cleanup did not take long and as we were leaving, we noticed the police were detaining several individuals. One officer indicated we should leave the area immediately, which we did. Later the officer did contact Brenda and informed her that the fellows were some of the harassers. Brenda sent out emails to all members, which had all concerned.

Allen suggested that the potential problem was the member he had promoted and his objective was to inform the others. He said he would inform the police.

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