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Ellis Supporter
Posted: Nov 11 2005, 10:18 AM



On November 9, 2005, Rory Stuart, Dr Ann Vernon, Dr James McMahon, and Dr Michael Broder, with the help of their expensive Public Relations firm, put out “information” about Albert Ellis, including this pack of lies.

Lie No. 1. “We are dedicated to preserving the legacy of Albert Ellis and delivering Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) faithfully to all clients and mental health professionals”.

Fact: They are dedicated to killing Dr Ellis’s legacy and emasculating it to everyone.

Lie No. 2. “We have tried for over a year to accommodate Dr Ellis’s needs”.

Fact: They have tried since September 2004 to sabotage Dr Ellis’s work for the Institute and himself. Latest sabotaging : today Dr Ellis and Debbie Joffe were told that the Institute would not permit visitors to be sent up to Dr Ellis’s sixth floor apartment, but that Debbie Joffe would have to come down to the lobby to take the visitors up.

Lie No. 3. “We have attempted during this past year to negotiate a fair compensation package for Dr Ellis”.

Fact: They and their lawyer, Dan Kurtz, Esq., have done everything possible to prevent such a settlement and at the moment are still doing so.

Lie No. 4. “Dr Ellis’s Demands for a package worth nearly $4 million “

Fact: Dr Ellis believes that the Institute owes him at least $4million for his past and present services to the Institute, but is willing to settle for a fraction of this amount, and has repeatedly said so through his lawyer Bob Juceum Esq.

Lie No.5. “Dr Ellis has distort[ed] the facts and personaliz[ed] many of his remarks, unfairly aiming them at individual Board Members, the Executive Director and other staff members”.

Fact: Dr Ellis has FAIRLY aimed charges specifically at Drs Broder, McMahon and Doyle who have often acted unethically and illegally against him.

Lie No. 6. “Dr Ellis was removed from the Board because independent audits indicated that he received “excess benefits” from the Institute”.

Fact: Independent audits indicated the Dr Ellis received $400,000 from the Institute in 2004, and this amount was FALSELY judged by Dan Kurtz to be “excess benefits”. First, the amount was paid in 2004, but was an installment on much more money than that which the Institute had AGREED to pay Dr Ellis for years to come –INTO A TRUST FUND THAT BRODER AND MCMAHON HAD SET UP FOR DR ELLIS, WITH BRODER AS ONE OF THE TRUSTEES, TO TAKE CARE OF DR ELLIS’S HEALTH CARE COSTS.

Second, the amount was never judged to be “excess benefits” by the Internal Revenue Service but was falsely CLAIMED to be so by Dan Kurtz and Dr Michael Broder. So this is really Lie No 6 and Lie No 7.

Lie No. 8. “No board members were coerced to vote in a certain way” on the vote to remove Dr Ellis from the Board.

Fact: ALL the Board Members were falsely told that they were responsible for Dr Ellis’s supposed “excess benefits” and would have to pay for them personally if he were not removed from the Board. This was a FICTION created and told to them by Dan Kurtz when Dr Ellis’s lawyers were banned from the Board Meeting.

Lie No. 9. “The decision to suspend Dr Ellis’s Friday Night Workshop was made by senior staff members [and] the Board voted unanimously to ratify the decision”.

Fact: As noted in Lie No. 8, the decision to suspend Dr Ellis was coerced, and later two Board Members came out strongly against it, said that it was coerced, and asked for it to be reinstated.

Lie No. 10. “Staff Members suggested alternate formats that would have allowed Dr Ellis to continue the (Friday Night) sessions.

Fact: The alternate formats that were suggested were NOT the Friday Night Workshops that Dr Ellis originated and presented very successfully for 40 years and was still presenting with acclaim up to the day in July 2005 that he was unethically forced to stop them.

Lie No. 11. “We on the Board can all agree on the tremendous importance of REBT and the remarkable benefits it provides to countless individuals the world over”.

Fact: At least two of the members of the Board of Trustees strongly think that the main principles and practices of REBT have NOT been promoted for over 2 years, Dr Ellis clearly holds that the talks and workshops presented in the latest presentations of the Institute, from today until April 2006 ignore and largely bowdlerize Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy.

The above lies and the continuing efforts of the Institute, with the help of its expensive public relations firm to create more and more of them, indicate how the Institute is slandering Dr Ellis and making a mockery of the organization that wrongly still bears his name.
Lyle Stuart
Posted: Dec 2 2005, 09:34 PM


Your facts are a little wrong. For example, as a newmember on the Board I scheduled a meeting with Dr. Ellis so he and I could discuss, OFF THE RECORD what he wanted and I determined that I (and my son, who is the President of the Board) would try to give him everything we could so that he could live out his final years in peace and dignity. He canceled the meeting. This further confirms my belief that whatever he thinks and whomever hje listens to is not at all interested in a settlement -- now matter how large.
Posted: Dec 3 2005, 12:12 AM


Dear Mr. Lyle Stuart,

I understand you are an old friend of Dr. Ellis, having been his publisher for years. You and Rory were part of Al's 90th birthday celebration. It's also my understanding that Al asked your son Rory to become a member of the board all those years ago because he hoped Rory, as a younger person, would still be around to move the Institute into the 21st century and to promote REBT after Al was gone.

Al would not have done that if he had not had faith in you, as his friend and publisher, and in Rory, your son.

I do not know the details of what has transpired in the last two years. Friendships have been broken, trust has died, controversy and conflict has grown to a ridiculous proportion.

I do not know why Al canceled the meeting with you and Rory. I do know that under the current circumstances, trust has been strained. Al would not be in this predicament if he had not overly trusted a few people who have behaved in a rather surprising manner in the last year or so.

Perhaps you and Rory have behaved honorably and you do have Al's best interests at heart. As it stands now, it's hard for anyone to determine where anyone else stands. Some unpleasant things have happened. That's reality.

It would be only human for old friends to experience certain feelings if distrust becomes apparent. That's natural and normal.

As a friend and supporter of AEI, REBT and Albert Ellis, I ask you to be patient and to demonstrate through your actions that you are still a good friend who really does want Al to be able to work productively and be properly cared for in his elder years.

In the last week, your son Rory has demonstrate his good behavior through his ACTIONS. I complained to Rory about deliveries for Al being refused. I asked that a policy be created that would ease the day-to-day transactions between AEI staff and Al & Debbie.

Rory said he'd look into it. In just a few days, a Procedure Memo was created that will make daily transactions between AEI staff, Al and Debbie easier. To me, that represents progress.

For whatever reasons (and it doesn't matter to me what they are because there's nothing to be gained by playing the blame game,) things have gotten very tense over small issues. Telephone calls, deliveries, supplies. Al has been treated badly and with little respect. I don't know why and I don't really care. All I know is that it happened.

And what I know now is that your son Rory took immediate action to correct it when he was directly informed of specific issues. It will take a little time to show that the corrections will actually be carried out by the staff and the problems resolved. These are small steps, but they are important ones.

I have a whole list of small issues that could benefit by some smoothing and straightening out. None of them relate to the lawsuits, so we can discuss them. I've already told Rory and Bob O'Connnell that I will compile those issues and send the list to them for consideration. I will also send it to you.

I am most respectfully asking for your help.

This is my theory: Trust is a series of expectations. For whatever reason, negative expectations have developed. By starting on small things, such as making sure deliveries are made easily and in a timely fashion, it's possible for positive expectations to return. Positive expectations of behavior represents an operational definition of trust.

You are an old and dear friend of Albert Ellis and you are now in a position of authority on the board of trustees. Please work with Rory and Bob to undue the negative expectations that have developed. We don't need to assess blame or find fault. Let's solve these small problems and maybe we can move on to solving the bigger problems.

I will ask Rory for your e-mail address so we can communicate on this. I look forward to getting to know you.

Posted: Dec 3 2005, 08:39 AM


If Lyle Stuart, Rory's daddy, is going to become a new BOARD MEMBER, then this cronyism is soaring to new heights of obscenity.
Who says that Lyle Stuart is an old a dear friend of Albert Ellis?
Says who? Sounds like he is another guy who is trying to cash in on Al's legacy, and split the loot with his son!

Its obvious what is going on here too.
Lyle Stuart says, they wanted to figure out a way for Al to "live out his final years in peace and dignity".

This is the same nonsense as before. Don't these people ever consider to ASK AL what HE wants?
Al wants to keep working, and leading the AEI and REBT.
He does not want to be kicked out of the AEI, and have it turned over to Rory Stuart and Rory's dad, and Broder and his wife, and the rest of their cronies who are out to destroy REBT and enrich themselves, and their friends.

If it turns out Lyle Stuart is going to replace the other board members, then this obscene cronyism is off the charts. Somehow, this hi-jacked illegal board of the AEI has to be forced out. That is the only solution, for all of these folks to be forced out of the AEI.
Posted: Dec 3 2005, 08:51 AM


If that really was Lyle Stuart posting then it reveals even more info. Notice how he says that,

"further confirms my belief that whatever he thinks and whomever hje listens to is not at all interested in a settlement -- now matter how large".

Notice how AGAIN, these people are stating that Ellis is "listening to other people" and that Al is not interested in a settlement.
This is blatant dishonesty.
Al has clearly stated what he wants, and what his terms are. Notice how they are trying to "blame the victim" by trying to make it sound like Al does not want a settlement? This is just another attempt to try and turn people against Al.

It will be interesting to see what Al has to say, if anything, about this alleged meeting and it being "cancelled". Lets see how many MORE lies are being told about Al.
Posted: Dec 3 2005, 09:47 AM


My sense, gleaned from reading Al's books that Lyle has published, is that Lyle is basically a decent man. Maybe there is some kind of
mis-communication, or conflict of interest, involved at present.

Let's give the man the benefit of the doubt for the time being, and see how things evolve.

Posted: Dec 3 2005, 10:20 PM


We are obviously dealing with another conflict of interest here with Lyle Stuart.
As they say, "blood is thicker than water", and Lyle Stuart is coming in to try and support his Sonny Boy, Rory.
Al has said very clearly, that Rory Stuart lied to him directly in emails, and told Al not to bring his lawyer to that meeting where Al was kicked out of the AEI.
Rory completely betrayed Al after Al was so good to him for so many years. The only future for Rory is to resign from the AEI, and resign from the board. Rory has zero credibility, no management experience, no psychological training. Rory is a jazz musician, and he has no place at the AEI, and needs to resign as President immediately, he will NEVER be accepted by the REBT community.

For Lyle Stuart to say Al is, "not at all interested in a settlement -- now matter how large", is an obvious falsehood and calculated misdirection, anyone can see that.
Al has said all along, this is NOT ONLY ABOUT MONEY.
There are many other issues at play concerning the future of REBT.

So for Lyle Stuart to make that statement is obviously false, and is intended as yet another nasty smear against Al. Al has already stated that the Board has lied in how they have represented his positions in the negotiations.

Sounds like they are trying to bribe Al with his own money! But for Al, this is not really about money. Al has said very clearly, there are all sorts of other issues at play here. What's most important to Al is his Lifework REBT, not financial bribes to try and make him go away and shut up.

We'll see what Al has to say about this. But obviously Rory Boy has called in his powerful and controversial dad to try and clean up his mess.
Its obvious that Lyle Stuart has joined the Board in making seriously false statements about Al to try and smear him, and misrepresent his positions, to try and mariginalize Al.
Posted: Dec 4 2005, 01:37 AM


It's easy enough to determine whether or not Rory and Lyle Stuart really do want to give Al some peace and dignity.

Start paying Al's nurses again. Make it retroactive to when the payments stopped. If Broder is billing AEI more than $400,000 this year, then you cannot possibly say that paying Al's nurses represents an excess benefit.

If Lyle and Rory are sincere, they'll work their asses off to get those payments re-instated while the laywers and the courts are figuring out the rest of the mess. If the courts and the IRS rule against Al, he'll have to pay it back. It's a simple equation.

If Rory and Lyle are sincere in their stated concern for Al's peace and dignity, then...



Posted: Dec 4 2005, 02:29 AM


Ah Yes....

the bigger picture which I could not see at the time, definitely puts things into a clearer perspective. I was mainly looking at the situation from anecdotal evidence published in books, that, I see now, are many years
"old and in the way".

Thanks, guys.
Posted: Dec 4 2005, 03:38 AM


It seems the picture even gets a bit bigger.

According to an article from March 8, 2004, Lyle Stuart is/was "bankrupt", due to his company Barricade Books losing a $3.1 million libel judgment.
If this article is accurate...and it appears that it is, as many other articles support it...
Could it be that there is another hidden driving force behind this coup, someone who NEEDS MONEY really bad?
Could it be that Rory Stuart who was rewarded in a direct conflict of interest with being the illegitimate "President" of the AEI after betraying Albert Ellis, has now also arranged for his recently bankrupt father Lyle Stuart, to gain access to the AEI millions in liquid capital?

"Barricade Books, a company in existence for over 5 decades, was forced into bankruptcy as a result of the libel judgment obtained by Wynn....
In January, 2002, the Nevada Supreme Court overturned Wynn's $3.3 million judgment....

Now, Stuart who is bankrupt, must find the resources to pay for a new trial."
Posted: Dec 4 2005, 05:03 AM


Well, this just gets better and better, doesn't it?

All the more reason to demonstrate one's intentions towards Al are honorable. The only way for the board to actually do that immediately is to pay Al as least as much as it has authorized to pay Broder, Kurtz, and Rubenstein Associates combined.

Pay his nursing fees now and let the courts work out he details. Otherwise, things look exactly the way they look now.
Posted: Dec 4 2005, 10:15 PM


(text posted below was excerpted from the website below, and was not posted by Lyle Stuart)

"Carole and I and son Rory attended Albert Ellis’s 90th birthday party. It was held at the Albert Ellis Institute on East 65th Street in Manhattan. It was the Institute’s first fundraising event and 200 people paid $100 or more to attend. Someone gave the Institute a $200,000 gift. Among those prominently present was actress Nicole Kidman. (Her father runs an Ellis institute in Australia.) I was asked to speak aboiut how my relationship with Dr. Ellis began. There was big applause when I said that we were about to publish Sex Without Guilt In the 21st Century.

Incidentally, Rory was there because he’s on the Institute’s Board of Directors.

Lyle Stuart"
Epictetus II
Posted: Dec 5 2005, 09:04 AM

Advanced Member

Group: Members
Posts: 109
Member No.: 2
Joined: 27-October 05

I don't understand this message!
Best wishes,

Lyle Stuart, AEI board member
Posted: Dec 8 2005, 05:52 PM


From Lyle Stuart

My response to the letter from Ed Garcia, Bill Knaus, Jon Geis, the three trainers:

Gentlemen: You give new meaning to the expression "ignorance of the facts."

I was recently elected to the board. This in part because Dr. Ellis requested it as part of his settlement and requested it in writing as long ago as last January. As recently as two weeks ago Debbie Joffe spent time on the phone trying to persuade me to accept. I said no because who needs it? My son Rory who has served Al and the Institute faithfully for 18 years wants to quit but wants to feel comfortable about it by having things settled. Since I have constantly encouraged him to lean over backwards to give Al everything he wants within the limits of the law so that Al can spend his final years in peace with dignity and the acclaim he deserves, Rory thought that I might be the effective peacemaker. I made an appointment to chat with Al and Debbie informally to see just what would make him happy. The appointment was canceled by Al and I have since been accused of joining with my son to empty the Institute vault or some such fairy tale. Overlooked is the fact that Al was the person who proposed my election.

Which brings to light some of the other contradictions floating around. I'm not shy about expressing my personal opinions so here are a few. But first I should mention that I have never met the attorney or Broder or McMahon or Ann Vernon.
I think it’s outrageous that the board has been paying its lawyer more than $500 an hour. It is even more outrageous that the attorney representing Al was charging the Institute $730 an hour and received $130,000 for accomplishing nothing visible to me. Debbie Joffe agreed with me when I complained about both lawyers.
Someone should have put a cap on what Dr. Broder was being paid. However, Al put him on the board and made him director in a coup that was done behind my son's back and it was that slime, Emmett Velten who suggested Brooder’s hourly pay rate. Al approved.
Al was removed on the advice of the attorney who, whatever his faults, is an experienced expert on non-profits. If someone embezzled nearly half a million dollars to benefit Al and the board did nothing about it, they would each be personally responsible and the Institute could lose its non-profit status and would have to pay taxes from 1959 or so -- together with interest and penalties. It was the board's obligation to remove Al until a determination was made...and also to demand the return of the money. To his credit, Al, said he'd return it if the payment was improper.
Part of the peace settlement that I suggested was that Al be returned as a board member but without a vote until the whole thing was clarified. I forgive Al his tendency to fabricate. When I questioned him about the money, he said he received it in 2004 but it was due him in 2002. There have been six different explanations since then. He also told me the board was about to evict him from the premises and had put the building on the market for sale. I told him I doubted this and even though Rory wouldn't, at that time, discuss board business with me, he assured me that wasn't so. Al said he and Debbie had proof but when I asked to see it, the subject was changed.
This quarrel must surely be taking a toll on the reputation of the Institute. I exhibited our books at a Small Press Fair on 44th street in Manhattan this past weekend and two psychologists who knew me as Al's original publisher approached me to tell me how much they disapproved of Al boasting in the New York magazine article that he slept with former patients. Nor is his wishing Broder DEAD DEAD DEAD the best example of an icon practicing REBT.
I could go on but I don't see any constructive purpose. There is too much rancor. My belief is that all of the directors except Emmett the slime should remain. They all (and I include Debbie Steinberg) are conscientious. I believe they all want to do everything they can for Al but not exceeding the guidelines and thus put in jeopardy the non-profit status of the Institute. I doubt that they will resign. And just so that you sleep well tonight, I certainly have no intention of resigning until this nonsense --and much of it is nonsense -- is settled.
An example of what I consider nonsense is the soap opera about Al's medication. The receptionist was not authorized to accept it. She made arrangements with the pharmacy (less than two blocks away, by the way) to redeliver it in an hour when Mr. & Mrs. Ellis were due to return. No horror in that. I understand she now has orders to accept such things but Debbie had given her such a hard time that she was unwilling to do anything she hadn’t been authorized to do. It's little crap like this that some people seem to want to turn into World War III. This does neither Al nor the Institute any good.

PS: At the risk of revealing what a total jerk he has turned out to be, I will quote just a few of the things Emmett the Slime said in the past in e-mails to board members.

The following are his very own words:

>From Emmett’s e-mail on 11/27/04

- We should suspend Al's pay pending investigation of the breast-grabbing incident Fire him if necessary and evict him or charge him rent.
- We need the Nonprofit Corporation, or whatever it’s called, to advise us whether we need to dissolve the present institute and form a new one, or what steps should be taken to get Al out of the picture."

>From Emmett’s e-mail 11/27/04
- Al sent me written material about how I had been plotting to become the
President of the institute and kick him out. I’m sorry but Al is nuts."

>From Emmett’s e-mail to the board members 11/4/04
- As we were plotting and scheming to get Dom out, Philip (Miller) said to me several times with a chuckle, - ”I wonder how long it will be till Mike becomes the next Dom? I don’t give it a year.” Then he added: Al can turn on a dime”

>From Emmett’s e-mail to Philip Miller 11/23/04
- Al’s girlfriend got fired and he is having a prolonged tantrum the way he always does when he doesn’t get his way. I wish you would not participate in the delusion that there is something to be mediated.

>From Emmett’s e-mail 11/27/04
- Al is pretending that there is a crisis and that things are deteriorating. There is no crisis other than (his) histrionics. There’s nothing to mediate, and we shouldn’t pretend that there is. There isn’t. You don't mediate with someone having his usual childish destructive tantrums.

>From Emmett’s e-mail to Debbie Steinberg 11/23/05
- You never saw Al in one of his plotting and scheming phases. It’s hard to get anyone to believe it until they’ve been through it. He wrote with relish of plotting and scheming from at least his young teenage years.

>From Emmett’s e-mail 11/23/05
- I lean to removing Al entirely from the board. Sexual and verbal abuse and harassment of our employees has been going on, and the responsible party should not be on the board.

Emmett’s e-mail on Al’s health care:
- Al’s latest gutless stunt puts us in a major no-win situation. Perhaps the best thing would be to withdraw entirely from his healthcare. I think that's what we should do.

Emmett’s e-mail to a board member 12/1/04
- I just cannot see that Al still has the capacity to lead. He screams at trainees and workshop presenters, he links up with the likes of Kimberly Brunhart and Debbie Joffe, he calls people fascists, he constructs a conspiracy theory whenever people do what he doesn’t like (me three years ago, Mike now) and he has put the institute in a tax mess. If he won’t step aside we should not vote him in as president. Nothing’s broken and nothing needs to be fixed other than the problems Al is causing.

I could add another 10 pages but enough already!
Posted: Dec 8 2005, 06:18 PM


Dear Lyle,

Thanks for offering your perspective on the situation at the Albert Ellis Institute. It is helpful for those of us in the REBT community to know where Board members stand with regard to recent events, and the future of REBT and the Institute. Your reputation as a defender of free speech, and a publisher and promoter of Albert Ellis's early works would seem to make you an ideal candidate for the Board.

In your recent email to me and others, and in posts to the "Campaign to Reinstate Albert Ellis" discussion forum, you have presented yourself as an honest broker who is trying to do what is best for Dr. Ellis and the good of the Institute. I wholeheartedly endorse any attempt to find a viable solution to the current situation through the efforts of a suitable intermediary.

Yesterday, three former directors of training presented an honest, reasonable, and compelling case for the resignation of current board members and for the formation of a reconstituted, better regulated Board. In your response to the former directors of training, you accuse them of giving "new meaning to the expression 'ignorance of the facts.' " Yet your response offers no counter to any of the points they made, bar one. The one exception is an unsupported opinion that "all of the directors except Emmett the slime should remain." You offer no reason for your opinion and seem to totally ignore the fact that the current Board, or a subgroup of it, has lost the support and confidence of a significant portion of the REBT community; has lost the support of benefactors; and has lost the confidence of potential trainees.

You state that all the board members "are conscientious [and you] believe they all want to do everything they can for Al." Yet by your own admission, you have never met half of them. How can you make that assessment, and how can anyone trust your judgment?

In your email, you say that you were "recently elected to the board." Yet you have wasted no time in derogating one of your colleagues, by referring to him as "the Slime" and a "total jerk."

You state that "Rory thought that [you] might be the effective peacemaker" yet you sent an email to people you don't know that attempted to damage the reputations of Dr. Albert Ellis and Dr. Emmett Velten. How in the world do you expect to have the confidence of any of the parties to this dispute following such a gaffe? Your email, with its attacks on Dr. Ellis and Dr. Velten, comes across as an attempt to divert, disrupt, and divide Dr. Ellis's support network. It is not the work of an "effective peacemaker."

You say that you "certainly have no intention of resigning until this nonsense -- and much of it is nonsense -- is settled." Under normal circumstances, such dedication to the role that you were elected to would be commendable. But your decision to publicly smear Dr. Ellis and Dr. Velten to people you don't know, and to claim that people you have never met--people who have demonstrated disloyalty to Al-- are actually conscientious and want to do everything they can for him, demonstrates a partisanship that irrevocably disqualifies you from the role of "peacemaker." You may have had good intentions of being an honest broker, an "effective peacemaker," but, alas, you have failed. I have always held your deeds as a publisher in high regard, so it gives me no pleasure to say to you that in the brief time that you have been on the Board, you have, by the display of such blatant partisanship, ably demonstrated your unsuitability for the position. The call by Bill Knaus, Ed Garcia, and Jon Geis for the resignation of James McMahon, Rory Stuart, Ann Vernon, and Michael Broder must now be amended to include your name to the list of those that are an impediment to the future of REBT and the Albert Ellis Institute.


Will Ross
Posted: Dec 8 2005, 09:24 PM


Well, the vicious Anti-Ellis propaganda smear campaign has hit a new low, and that is saying a lot.

This is the harshest smear against Albert Ellis yet, done by an AEI board member Lyle Stuart, who is Rory's father! Obviously, some other board member sent these alleged emails to Lyle Stuart, so Lyle could post them for the world to read. It also serves the purpose of trying to get rid of Emmett, so they can place another current crony on the board, who's next? Rory's mom? Broder's wife?
There is no proof that those emails are genuine, and you will notice that the dates on the emails appear to be erroneous. There is no evidence these emails are not falsified. That remains to be seen.

But the purpose of the post is very clear.
Lyle Stuart and the AEI board want to call Albert Ellis a sexual offender, a verbal abuser, an "embezzler", a fabricator, and to paint the picture that Albert Ellis is "nuts" and crazy, among many other things. So its really the same tactic they have been trying all along, except this time they have accused Albert Ellis of criminal activity in terms of sexual offences, and using the term "embezzled". These are all very serious allegations.

Notice also that Lyle Stuart says he has NEVER MET THE 4 KEY BOARD MEMBERS, or the lawyer! How could they elect someone they have never met, and then have him speak on behalf of the AEI board to smear Ellis to this extreme degree?
Notice also that Lyle Stuart states he feels that all the members of the board are looking out for Al and are "conscientious".
How can he say this when HE HAS NEVER EVEN MET THESE PEOPLE? How can he know the motivations of people he has never even met? Does Lyle think people are so stupid to fall for that?

This is nothing less that an attempt to bring in Lyle Stuart, who obviously does not care what people think about him, to be the extreme Hatchet-man for the AEI board. They appear to have brought him in to try and destroy Albert Ellis for good, by accusing him of criminal activities.

Since Lyle Stuart has released such an extreme email on behalf of the AEI board, its obvious that he should immediately be fired from the board. The AEI Executive Director and Board should immediately move to have Lyle Stuart fired from the AEI board, and repudiate what he has said. Its the only thing for them to do. If they don't do this, then they obviously approve and condone his behavior and what he has said and done so far.

The reality is that Lyle Stuart should be fired immediately. Then Broder, Rory Stuart, McMahon, and Vernon should resign and turn the AEI over to a new board, as stated by the former REBT Training Directors.

The President of the AEI, Rory Stuart, appears to have authorized his father Lyle Stuart, to post and release these types of extreme and criminal accusations against Albert Ellis. Any pretense of "caring about Albert Ellis" has been permanently destroyed by this action. If Lyle Stuart is not fired immediately, then its obvious that the AEI board approves of his extreme smear tactics, and that Lyle Stuart is speaking on behalf of O'Connor, Broder, Rory Stuart, McMahon and Vernon.

Posted: Dec 9 2005, 12:02 AM

Advanced Member

Group: Members
Posts: 247
Member No.: 17
Joined: 8-December 05

Dear Mr. Lyle Stuart,

Your behavior in this incident is despicable. I regret that I ever addressed you as if you were Al's friend.

It's clear now why you ended up being sued for libel, why you lost, and why you had to file for bankruptcy.

What isn't clear is why you would for one minute describe yourself as a peacemaker!

Epictetus II
Posted: Dec 9 2005, 02:43 PM

Advanced Member

Group: Members
Posts: 109
Member No.: 2
Joined: 27-October 05

On 7th December I exchanged about 15 emails with Lyle Stuart, concerning his diatribe against Al and Emmett, and in defence of Broder and Company, and especially his son Rory.

I did not go public with my emails to Lyle, because I thought perhaps he'd had one or two whiskeys over the top, and would regret his outburst in the morning. I did not see any point in having a messy correspondence in public if Lyle had the good sense to bury his diatribe. However he has now gone public, and I feel obliged to release my responses to him, as follows:

In a message dated 07/12/2005 17:17:10 GMT Standard Time, writes:

“I was recently elected to the board. This in part because Dr. Ellis
requested it as part of his settlement and requested it in writing as long
ago as last January”.

Hello Lyle,
I contest your view that you were elected to the Board. Firstly, what you call the Board is actually the Rump of the Board. My understanding is that, since Al was not legally removed from the Board (by a legally constituted SPECIAL MEETING) he is still on the board. As far as I can tell you were asked to join the Rump of the Board during a telephone conference which did not include Albert Ellis and Emmett Velten. Is that not so? If that is the case, you can hardly call that joining the Board. You seem to most certainly have joined the Rump of the Board, and immediately posted a message denouncing Al for not meeting with you - implying that he was not interested in a settlement. (Albert Ellis Discussion Forum 1).

I thought about your message, and how it was muddying the waters; and wrote my response here: Jim Byrne's Response

Lyle continues:

“As recently as two weeks ago Debbie Joffe spent time on the phone trying to persuade me to accept. I said no because who needs it?”

I have no information about this claim, and Al and Debbie are out of town until early next week, and not easily able to deal with their email.

Lyle continues:

“My son Rory who has served Al and the Institute faithfully for 18 years
wants to quit but wants to feel comfortable about it by having things
settled. Since I have constantly encouraged him to lean over backwards to
give Al everything he wants within the limits of the law so that Al can
spend his final years in peace with dignity and the acclaim he deserves,
Rory thought that I might be the effective peacemaker”.

I cannot know anything about Rory's desires or goals; only his observable behaviours. He tricked Al into thinking no lawyers would be present at the September board meeting, in a repeat phone call, just to make absolutely sure Al would arrive without his lawyer. Kurtz was there at the meeting, and Kurtz took over the chairing of the meeting, rather than Rory, and Kurtz misrepresented the situation concerning "excess benefits". Rory was party to the removal of the meeting to another room, under the subterfuge of "going to see am HR consultant" about finding a replacement for Mike (Broder). Once in that room, Kurtz and Broder/McMahon forced through the vote to kick Al off the board, and to remove him from all positions of responsibility.

That does not sound to me like Rory "...lean over backwards to give Al everything he wants within the limits of the law..."

Clearly you like and respect your son, and want what's best for him. But that's not the same as Rory being innocent of wrongdoing. He behaved immorally and unethically, at that meeting, which was neither a Board meeting nor a Special meeting, but rather a legally contestable Irregularity; and he also behaved potentially illegally, which will be determined by the court in a couple of weeks time.

Lyle continues:

“I made an appointment to chat with Al and Debbie informally to see just
what would make him happy. The appointment was cancelled by Al and I have
since been accused of joining with my son to empty the Institute vault or
some such fairy tale. Overlooked is the fact that Al was the person who
proposed my election”.

You made an appointment to chat with Al and Debbie informally - I think "off the record" was the expression used. Just days before a court case was due to be heard; and days before Al was due to speak at a conference in California. Rory and his chums will not comment about the case, as they say they have been instructed not to do so by their lawyer. Does not the same kind of legal consideration apply to Al?

You say Al proposed that you join the board last January. Well, I voted for Tony Blair in 1997 - but I wouldn't vote for him now, based on his behaviour in the intervening period. Do you not think it is reasonable for Al to change his mind about your being on the board after the way Rory stabbed him in the back, metaphorically?

Lyle continues:

“I should mention that I have never met the attorney or Broder or
McMahon or Ann Vernon”.

That's because you have NEVER BEEN TO A MEETING OF THE RUMP OF THE BOARD! You have talked to some people on the phone, and been invited by your son to join the Rump of the Board.

Lyle continues:

“Al put him (Broder) on the board and made him director in a coup that was
done behind my son's back”.

So it was all Al's fault that Broder was in a position to cuff Al over? Just as Othello was responsible for Iago; Julius Caesar was responsible for Brutus; and Jesus was responsible for Judas!

If Broder was imposed on Rory, it seems Rory has since "warmed to" Broder to a surprising degree for the victim of a coup.

Lyle continues:

“It was Emmett Velten who suggested Broder's hourly pay rate. Al approved”.

So Emmett suggested a high hourly rate, commensurate with the fact that Broder was supposed to be a long-distance commuting, very-part-time, temporary ED. It was Broder who turned that into a more-than-full-time, over-time essential, cash cow. And what did Rory do when he realized how much Broder was sucking up? Sorry? I didn't catch that.

Rory was, after all, supposed to be THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD!

Lyle continues:

“Al was removed on the advice of the attorney who, whatever his faults, is an experienced expert on non-profits. If someone embezzled nearly half a million dollars to benefit Al and the board did nothing about it, they would each be personally responsible and the Institute could lose its non-profit status and would have to pay taxes from 1959 or so -- together with interest and penalties”.

Embezzled? Who did this embezzling? What embezzling was done? This could prove to be a libellous statement! Al's medical expenses were paid, but the people who are supposed to be managing the administration of the Institute: Broder and Doyle, overseen by Rory and McMahon, and so on; failed to treat this as”remuneration" and declare it as such on the relevant tax form. This is an administrative detail. It needs adjusting. These kinds of adjustments are made all the time. Al's lawyer proposed going to the IRS with Broder/McMahon's lawyer (Kurtz) to sort it out - but Kurtz (who works to Broder/McMahon and Rory's instructions) REFUSED! Kurtz did not want this sorted out, because once it was sorted out - THERE WOULD BE NO EXCUSE TO GET RID OF AL, WHICH IS WHAT THIS WAS ALL ABOUT!

Lyle continues:

“It was the board's obligation to remove Al until a determination was made...”

Give me the internet address, and page reference for this claim. It is my understanding that this is a gross misrepresentation of the IRS rules. The IRS does not determine how much an employee can earn. If it did, boardroom greed would have been killed off in its infancy. Instead, boardroom greed is one of the defining characteristics of 21st century capitalism. Control of the boardroom confers the power to pay directors bonuses whether or not they perform well. BECAUSE THE IRS DOES NOT DETERMIND WHAT IS EXCESS OR APPROPRIATE PAY. That is done within organizations. The IRS takes the postion that members of boards must not pay themselves, or each other, MORE THAN THEIR CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORGANIZATION. Is somebody at the AEI saying that Albert Ellis hasn't contributed enough to the AEI to be able to draw enough compensation to cover his round the clock nursing care, plus the surgical costs of his operation? Are they? No! Then there is no EXCESS BENEFIT to discuss. End of story. The "excess benefit" was dreamed up by Broder and McMahon, with the help of Kurtz, no doubt, as a "reason" to get rid of Al.

I sent this email to Lyle, and he got back to me acknowledging that I am right about the IRS – contrary to what Broder and Company have been saying all along. And then Lyle tried to “move the goalposts”: by claiming that the Broder and Company were responding to the dictates of the Attorney General’s office. What Lyle did not know is that I have already dealt with that bulltish on this forum, by pointing out that there is nothing relevant to the AEI situation in the current rules or laws passed by the Attorney General’s office concerning the management of non-profits, and that even under the SOX law, there would be nothing wrong with paying Al what he is worth, taking his 50 year contribution into account. (See: Daniel Kurtz and the SOC Law).

Lyle continues:

“Part of the peace settlement that I suggested was that Al be returned
as a board member but without a vote until the whole thing was clarified”.

But by what kind of process would "the whole thing" be settled? Do you know of any way to get Broder and McMahon to agree to pay Al a level of compensation which takes account of his medical costs, his need for comparable legal representation to Broder/McMahon, and to have his work at the Institute respected, and his right to work accepted? If you do, then please communicate that to Kurtz. He can communicate it to Al's lawyer. The lawyers can sit down and do the paperwork. Hey presto!

Or there can be a court hearing, which is scheduled.

Lyle continues:

“I forgive Al his tendency to fabricate”.

Very cuffing generous of you, Lyle!

I wonder, shall we reciprocate? I don't think so. I don't like nasty fabrications. I know humans are "story tellers", and we construct our realities out of our linguistic constructs, and our fantasies and so on. But there are constructions and constructions, some of which are linked to empirical tests. Al has listed 20 lies told by Broder, McMahon and Company, including Rory. He did not just say: “They fabricated things”. He listed facts. When they replied, he listed a new 11 lies that they told. Those lies are listed on the discussion board where you posted your "outrage" at the cancellation of a single meeting.

Imagine how you would have to respond if Al kicked you off your board, denied you the right to work, and smeared you as "losing your marbles". How do you think you'd feel about that? I don't think you'd forgive him those kinds of "fabrications". You can "forgive Al his fabrications" because he has not done anything remotely hostile or nasty to you. This whole case is about a very nasty, brutish palace coup, in which Broder and Doyle set out to prevent Al working, to kick him off the board, and to take control of the Institute, its resources, and its curriculum. If Al did that to you, you would not forgive him his "fabrications". You'd try very hard to rip his cuffing throat out! Wouldn't you, Lyle?

I suggest you try comparing like with like.

Lyle continues:

“He (Albert Ellis) also told me the board was about to evict him from the premises and had put the building on the market for sale. I told him I doubted this and even though Rory wouldn't, at that time, discuss board business with me, he assured me that wasn't so”.

What about the possibility that Rory is not privy to all the plans of Broder and McMahon. He may go along with them on their actions against Al, but does he really know what they are up to. We know they went behind the back of the other board members and had the building valued. I heard that Al was offered a payoff which would involve selling the building, and he turned it down. Have you not heard that one, Lyle? Are you saying Al "fabricated" that?

Broder is very seductive. Perhaps Rory has just been seduced by somebody who has no conscience. You might have a conscience. (I'm not saying you have, of course; but you might!). Rory might have a conscience (though there is no evidence for such an assumption at this point in time!!! And there is a lot of circumstantial evidence that he has no moral sense!) But Broder clearly has no conscience. He will gladly screw Al over, take over the AEI, and run it for his own purposes, and not even look back at the human misery he leaves in his wake. (Since you have never met him, you will not know all this!)

Lyle continues:

“Nor is his (Ellis’s) wishing Broder DEAD DEAD DEAD the best example of an
icon practicing REBT”.

That does sound bad, doesn't it? But it was not the only statement he made about them. He also said they had "a right to be unfair". I take more exception to the latter than the former statement. If they have a right to be unfair, then somebody has a duty to assist them, or facilitate this unfairness, and this is not (morally) the case. When he said he wanted them dead, dead, dead he was saying in New York vernacular: drop dead! This has nothing to do with REAL DEATH. He was expressing his very real exasperation with the situation. Given your recent little spat with Steve Wynn, I'm sure you know something about exasperation. However, you were ahead of Wynn, and salted your assets away before he could get them. Broder and McMahon (with Rory's help) have cut Albert Ellis off from his VERY CUFFING LIFELINE - THE FUNDS TO PAY FOR ROUND THE CLOCK MEDICAL CARE. Don't you give a cuff about that?

If Wynn had cuffed you over the way Broder/McMahon (and Rory) have cuffed Al over, I can just imagine you screaming - "I want him dead, dead, dead". Or have I got you wrong, Lyle. Would you rather have said: "Oh dear me. Mr Wynn has seriously disadvantaged me. Too bad!" I don't think so.

(Lyle got back to me on this and boasted that he has no hard feelings towards Wynn. But that was not my point. If Wynn had seriously threatened his life’s work and his health care payments, how would Lyle have responded? He dishonestly changes the subject – which suggests to me that Lyle is not a straight player. I always play straight, and I hate to be tackled by a conning player who will not play straight!)

And what is this ICON bullshit? Albert Ellis is a fallible, error-prone human, just like you and me. He is a few percent less nutty than the average nuttiness of other humans. But he knows how to moderate the nuttiness; reduce the nuttiness; and keep it under control, some, BUT NOT ALL OF THE TIME.

I never thought it would fall to me to tell an 83 year old man this: GROW UP LYLE. DROP THE BULLSHIT ABOUT DEAD, DEAD, DEAD! It doesn't do justice to the gravity of the real threat that this coup poses to the physical health of Al. So just grow up. Stop exaggerating. Tell Rory to do the right thing. Come over to Al's side. Kick Broder and Company out. And get Al's medical expenses paid.

Lyle continues:

“I could go on but I don't see any constructive purpose. There is too
much rancor. My belief is that all of the directors except Emmett the slime
should remain. They all (and I include Debbie Steinberg) are conscientious.
I believe they all want to do everything they can for Al but not exceeding
the guidelines and thus put in jeopardy the non-profit status of the
Institute. I doubt that they will resign. And just so that you sleep well
tonight, I certainly have no intention of resigning until this nonsense --
and much of it is nonsense -- is settled”.

This is BEAUTIFUL. You have never met Broder or McMahon, but you think they should stay, because you think they want to do everything they can for Al, but not exceeding the (tax) guidelines.

Well, you are behaving UNSANELY Lyle. How can you justify such crappy reasoning? You are willing to vouch for Broder and McMahon, without meeting them; even though they have cut off Al's life line, to health care provision; even though they have denied him the right to work; even though they have subjected him to petty harassment on a daily basis.

Like you, I cannot go on beyond this point. I repeat that you have joined the Rump of the Board, and the Rump of the Board has demonstrated, by its every action, that it means only harm to Albert Ellis.

Lyle cannot shut up, however, and goes on to “expose” Emmett Velten for having once held to Broder’s view of the situation, and having made statements in line with the views that he held. Later Emmett split from Border, and came over to Al’s side, and changed his view of the situation. Now, in the light of his changed view, Emmett makes different types of statements. That Lyle, is how it works. Humans normally speak from their convictions, their beliefs and their affiliations. You think that this makes Emmett “a slime”. You have not learned much REBT, have you? Even if Emmett had behaved very badly, that would not justify giving him a global negative rating. You reveal yourself as an agent of Broder and McMahon, a foghorn for the coup planners, and a person who is trying to muddy some very clear water. Tell Rory to do the moral thing, and come over to Al’s side. Everything else in this “debate” of yours in irrelevant bulltish!

As they sometimes say in Hollywood: See you in court Lyle!


Jim ByrneCampaign to Reinstate Dr Albert Ellis

Committee to Reinstate Dr. Ellis
Posted: Dec 9 2005, 06:25 PM


Good day:

Dr. Ellis continues his vigorous schedule of workshops and presentations at the Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference. He has informed the thousands of attendees of his plight and they have responded with both shock and offers of support. This has not been the case with some former friends and supporters. One of these is Al’s former publisher Lyle Stuart who now is a member of the board that has banished Dr. Ellis from all participation in his own Institute. Recently staff at AEI provided Mr. Stuart with email facilities and their mailing list to attack Dr. Ellis and his supporters. Jim Byrne a dedicated activist who has selflessly worked to publicize this pernicious situation has written a convincing and compelling response to Mr. Stuart’s questionable comments.

Please continue your support of Dr. Ellis. Bear in mind this crisis is more than a local internecine conflict, it is a negative paradigm of greed, betrayal,and dishonesty. Your active support of Dr. Ellis does more than aid one man victimized by those he once trusted. Rather, it makes a statement that you will not stand by to let blatant injustice go unchallenged. Those living during times of historic events often miss their significance due to the dulling effects of proximity or familiarity. But do not doubt for a second that this act of betrayal is sufficiently infamous so that it will be long studied in history of psychology. Please make sure that you will be able to look back knowing that you did what was right. What should you do? Ask yourself what would you want done if after of a lifetime of work and effort people, whose only significance came from their affiliation to you, showed their gratitude by taking all that you had worked for and by barring you from your life’s work. What would you want done?

Kind and grateful regards,

Committee to Reinstate Dr. Ellis
Posted: Dec 10 2005, 02:15 PM


Paragraph one reads to me uncomfortably like an advert for Jim Byrne: "a dedicated activist who has worked selflessly etc". Who is the author of this message?


To the second paragraph: "Ask yourself what would you want done if after a lifetime of work and effort people, whose only significance came from their affiliation to you, showed their gratitude by taking all that you had worked for and by barring you from your life’s work. What would you want done?"

That's almost a good question, apart from the "people whose ONLY significance came from their affiliation to you" - significance as human beings you mean? Or professionals?

Assuming the latter: the first thing I would want done is to have my publishing copyrights returned.

The AEI web site asks us to think of Ellis and the Ellis Institute as separate entities. Yet most of the recent Ellis books say '© The Albert Ellis Institute'. Who wrote them, Mr Broder? Were they written by committee? Of course not, so in this instance the Institute and Ellis are the same entity.

The Institute itself can only be as good as the people staffing it at any given time.
Putting aside the controversial Rump of the Board for the moment, I'm not hearing loud demands - on these pages - for Ellis's return from the Institute's rank and file. How do you propose to force Ellis back into an organization that either doesn't want him or is too meek to say it does?

Will the Real Albert Ellis Institute please stand up?

The books will prove in the long term more important. Built to last, they can be useful to people all over the world. I think it is important that Ellis and his supporters regain and retain control over this aspect of his work.


Epictetus II
Posted: Dec 10 2005, 02:31 PM

Advanced Member

Group: Members
Posts: 109
Member No.: 2
Joined: 27-October 05

Hi Steve,
In case you need reassurance on this point, this "advert for Jim Byrne" was not written by Jim Byrne, and Jim Byrne, at this point in time, has no idea who (in terms of named individual[s]) wrote it. I assume this will come as a surprise to you, given the apparent tone of your comment.

Can I help it if my work is appreciated?

Your later points are useful and valuable, in my opinion.

Best wishes,

Epictetus II
Posted: Dec 13 2005, 11:55 AM

Advanced Member

Group: Members
Posts: 109
Member No.: 2
Joined: 27-October 05

The two Board Trustees who split from Broder and Company, have now issued a second Minority Report, which is dynamite! It will likely blow Broder, McMahon, Stuart and Vernon (and Daddy Stuart) off the map!

This is preceded by introductory comments by the three Former Directors of Training, who now intend to reissue their own statement, making it stronger, and calling for Dr Ellis to be reinstated.

I hope you like it. I am posting it here because Lyle Stuart, acting for the Rump of the Board, tried to muddy the waters here. I will also look for other appropriate places to post it, so it gets the appropriate level of exposure.

Best wishes to all Friends of Ellis,
Jim Byrne
Campaign to Reinstate Dr Ellis to His Own Institute

Former Training Directors' Assessement & Minority Report II

A subgroup of Albert Ellis Institute (AEI) Board members has engaged in what now appears to have been a hostile takeover of the AEI that stripped Albert Ellis of practically all of his status and privileges within the Institute he founded. The Board's actions against a frail 92 year-old man, at first, carried a tone of credibility.

The Board made two points to justify ousting Albert Ellis: (1) a mental competency issue which the Board used to justify shutting down Albert Ellis' AEI based Friday Night Workshop, and preventing him from making public and professional presentations at the AEI. (2) a legal issue concerning a threatened loss of the AEI's nonprofit status which the controlling board members used to support their decision to remove Albert Ellis from the Board. They said the AEI could lose its nonprofit status if Albert Ellis remained on the Board.

Point number one relates to Albert Ellis' competency. The Board terminated Albert Ellis' Friday Night Workshop, on the grounds that Albert Ellis represented a danger to the public. Michael Broder is the responsible person, saying that the Board was ethically bound to take this action. However, the Board and Michael Broder presented this incompetency assertion in a manner that was both questionable and overly general.

If Albert Ellis was truly incompetent, and a danger to public safety, then the New York State Licensing Board, and other New York State agencies with jurisdiction over such matters, would have affirmed the Board's decision. (Logically, if you suspend Albert Ellis' Friday Night Workshop saying he's incompetent, then make no complaint if he conducts it in the adjacent building, then what does that say?) The jurisdictional agency would have ordered Albert Ellis to cease and desist from conducting his traditional Friday Night workshops anywhere in New York State. That did not happen. Because it did not happen, the Board appears to have acted without just cause in that respect. Albert Ellis has continued to present before the public, and is reported to function effectively, and reported to sometimes receive ovations for his efforts. His most recent writings show a clarity of thought that is classic Ellis.

Minority Board member, Debbie Steinberg, did a yeoman's job exposing the second issue as unsupported by the evidence. Debbie found that there isn't a sliver of truth in the Board's declaration that they had no choice but to remove Albert Ellis as a trustee, to protect the AEI's nonprofit status. Her findings appear in Minority Report II, which follows this statement. Following Debbie's lead, we independently obtained opinions from sources familiar with the IRS codes.

We understand that in reviewing "special compensation," Albert Ellis' $12,000 a year salary (which he reportedly drew for about 30 years) could be taken into account, as could be the amount that he contributed to the AEI. The IRS allows special compensation to be spread backwards over five prior years. Albert Ellis received $481,000 to help cover his medical bills. Using this formula, the annual amount that could be carried backwards from the $481,000 figure, would amount to $80,000 per year. Is that excessive compensation for the founder of the AEI who, at varying times, contributed $400,000 to $500,000 of his annual royalty payments and earnings to the AEI? Considering inflation, the special compensation package to pay medical expenses represents a watered down amount relative to Albert Ellis' original dollar contributions.

To lose its nonprofit status, Albert Ellis and the Board would have had to knowingly conspire to defraud the AEI, and to have done so in a way that represented a flagrant violation of the relevant Internal Revenue Services code. There is no evidence that any such violation took place. Otherwise, there is nothing under IRS Code 4958 that would require, mandate, or even suggest that the Board get rid of Albert Ellis. If the above interpretation is correct, then the Board's reason for removing Albert Ellis from the Board, was bogus

We have strong reason to believe that there is practically no chance that the AEI will lose its nonprofit status over this matter, and a high probability the Board used "excess compensation" as an excuse to dump Albert Ellis. On the other hand, if anyone received "excessive compensation," it was Michael Broader who, over the span of a year, reportedly received about $400,000.

The two major reasons the Board issued for exiling Albert Ellis from his own Institute, appear based upon blemished reasons. In the interest of justice, those Board actions would best be immediately reversed.

Because of the above developments, we are reconsidering our open letter recommendation where we said that all legal and quasi legal actions cease as part of a formula for returning Albert Ellis to the AEI. We are persuaded that there are strong legal as well as moral reasons to support Albert Ellis' immediate reinstatement to all the functions he previously enjoyed. The Board, by violating its own Bylaws in terminating Albert Ellis, is, by itself, grounds for reopening this matter. (Albert Ellis was not given proper notifications of the impending action.) We also believe there is cause for considering additional legal and quasi-legal actions on Albert Ellis' behalf, as well as legal actions that can be initiated by anyone Lyle Stuart appears to have libeled.

We reaffirm our recommendation that Rory Stuart, Ann Vernon, Michael Broader, and James McMahon resign from the Board. For reasons stated in a document titled Stuart's Follies, we add Lyle Stuart to the list. We amend our recommendation and say that Rory Stuart, Ann Vernon, Michael Broder, James McMahon, and Lyle Stuart would best resign immediately.

Reconstituting the Board is an obvious thing to happen. If the mission is for Albert Ellis to safely return the AEI, then reconstituting the Board is the strategy. This would, in our view, be in the best interest of all parties, including the McMahon et. al. subgroup who spearheaded Albert Ellis' ouster. The subgroup of Rory Stuart, Ann Vernon, Michael Broder, James McMahon, and Lyle Stuart have, in our view, lost credibility and any reasonable appearance of integrity. The new Board's mandate would be to act to reverse the damage these individuals visited upon the AEI, and to move the AEI forward according to its 2004 mission statement. A reconstituted Board could better render reasoned collective judgments as to what is in the best interest of the AEI while taking Albert Ellis' special interests into account.

We are persuaded that either the appointment of a Court Monitor, or binding arbitration, would provide viable avenues toward a speedy resolution. If the Board does not take legitimate steps towards fostering a resolution by December 22, 2005, we will strongly consider bringing this matter before state and federal authorities who have the power to force a resolution.

The Minority Report II by Debbie Steinberg and Emmett Velten follows.

Bill Knaus, Ed Garcia & Jon Geis,
Former Directors of Training, Albert Ellis Institute.

MINORITY REPORT II - December12, 2005


We, the undersigned, respectfully differ with our fellow Board members in their suspension of Dr. Albert Ellis from professional duties and in their removal of him from the Board of Trustees of the Albert Ellis Institute. Nonetheless, we wish to say at the outset that we do not condone the harassment and threats made against any board member. We oppose any verbal disparagement and want to encourage the continuation of reasonable dialogue especially where sharp differences of opinion exist.

That said, we, the undersigned urge all members of the REBT community who are interested in a just resolution of the recent events at the Albert Ellis Institute to consider the analysis offered below.

This document reflects our thorough and persistent search to uncover the truth of what has gone wrong here and to determine what now can be done about it. Here then is our story.

On July 27, 2005, Dr. Albert Ellis was suspended from his professional activities at the Institute including his presentation of the Friday Night Workshops.

Dr. Ellis is a prominent psychologist whose contributions to the field have earned him recognition by every major psychological association. Any questions about the competence of this 92 year old icon are easily put to rest judging from the quality of his most recent writings and publications, reports of his latest public performances at the Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference in Anaheim where he received standing ovations, and the last taped sessions of the Friday night workshops done at the Institute just prior to his suspension. In our opinion, this act of suspension was both excessive and unjustified.

In addition, it appears to us that two of the three signatories (Broder and Doyle) have engaged themselves in a personal dispute with Dr. Ellis and thus are not objective. The third signer (DiGiuseppe) recommended that conditions be arranged so that Dr. Ellis might continue his popular Friday night workshop and thus avoid the likely battle that would follow with Dr. Ellis by canceling the workshop. This suggestion was ignored and Dr. Ellis has been forced to do his workshop in exile enduring considerable financial, logistical and physical strain.

The above actions have raised serious questions:

Question 1:
Do the complaints against Dr. Ellis rise to a level that would merit removing the founder and main architect of REBT from active practice?

Answer 1:
We think not. We believe that an unbiased examination of the situation will confirm that the Board's actions were wrongful.

Question 2:
What has been done to date in this issue to further investigate and to develop a permanent plan of action as was promised by the executive director?

Answer 2:
No visible actions were taken. It is more than four months since this suspension and the Board has done nothing to objectively review its decision. The failure to develop a permanent plan of action is now a broken promise.


We believe the removal of Dr. Ellis was a result of personal differences with him, and is based on insufficient grounds. Accordingly, we strongly recommend an independent and legitimate investigation into the charges used by the Board to suspend Dr. Albert Ellis. We are confident that following this investigation Dr. Ellis will return to practice and spend his precious time working for the thousands of people who continue to benefit from his efforts.

On September 18, 2005, Dr. Ellis was removed as a Trustee from the Board of Directors.

The Minority Report of Sept. 23, 2005 details our reaction to this second wrong and makes it clear that Dr. Ellis was removed from the Board in a manner inconsistent with both normal procedure and with the by-laws of the AEI.


The main reason provided by the Board was that Dr. Ellis' presence on the Board was a threat to the tax exempt status of the AEI. This is the opinion of the Board's attorney, but is contested by Dr. Ellis' attorney as well as by another attorney we consulted for an independent assessment. The reader can compare the Board's statement with these other opinions that are presented in the next few paragraphs to arrive at their own reasoned judgment about this issue. The following chronology fleshes out this central issue.

The Board had made a clear commitment to Dr. Ellis to provide for his medical care. After all, Dr. Ellis donated the money to buy the AEI building with royalties from his books, lived on a salary of $12,000 for over thirty years and donated all the royalties from his 75 other books to support and maintain the Institute. Surely this man deserves no less than to have his nursing bills covered at this stage in his life. It would therefore seem reasonable to assume that the Board would responsibly set in place the proper mechanisms to legally honor their commitment.


The excuse given on September 18, 2005 to remove Dr. Ellis was that the Institute's auditors expressed in their written financial report that the Institute had paid medical expenses for Dr. Ellis of approximately $481,000. The Board's attorney Mr. Kurtz was calling this an "excess benefit" which would be reported on the Institute's 2004 tax return and would jeopardize the Institute's tax exempt status.

This financial information was presented by the auditors in their report dated June 10, 2005 and reads as follows:

Note H:
"During 2004, the Institute paid medical expenses of approximately $481,000 on behalf of its founder, Dr. Ellis. These amounts have been reported as an expense. The Institute also provided Dr. Ellis with a place of residence during 2004 that has an estimated market value of approximately $51,000 which has not been reported in the statement of activities."


There is an uncomplicated answer to this question. It wouldn't.

However, the Institute website explains that in September after reading Note H, they consulted attorney Daniel Kurtz, an expert in nonprofit corporate governance who told them that "in order to avoid putting the Institute's tax-exempt status and its future at risk, the Board was required to seek repayment of the excess benefits from Dr. Ellis (nursing monies paid) and remove him from his positions of responsibility. This judgment is inconsistent with the views of at least two other attorneys whose opinions follow:

Dr. Ellis' attorney Bob Juceam has a different perspective on this issue of "excess benefits" as is apparent in his comments to Mr. Kurtz: "…. Reasonable minds can differ about what an "excess benefit" is. I am willing as I proposed months ago – to go to the IRS with (or without) you to discuss what would constitute an "excess benefit" in our context. I have spoken (on an anonymous basis) to people close to the IRS and they have told me – contrary to your representations – that a meeting can be arranged. Dr. Ellis has nothing to hide"

We also consulted with Attorney Rena Cohan, Esq., offered an independent opinion: "I concur wholeheartedly with Bob Juceam in his assessment that reasonable minds may differ as to what is excessive, especially here. In this particular instance of compensation, one must also consider prior and current services provided to the Institute by Albert Ellis. If this benefit is found to be excessive within the meaning of IRC Section 4958, and it is arguable whether that finding will occur, then, based on this single instance, which was nether willful nor flagrant, it is very unlikely that AEI will lose its status as a tax exempt organization barring a complete and total refusal to cooperate with the IRS."


The Institute's website explanation above re: Note H is troubling. The website answer would have the reader believe that the Board suddenly discovered that their tax-exempt status might be at risk. However, since November of 2004, attorney Kurtz has been educating the Board about the issue of "excess benefits." The Board had the option of going to the IRS for clarification as Mr. Juceam advises above. The need to address the problem of "excess benefits" was not suddenly and only discovered in September 2005. To imply otherwise, is simply misleading. This begs the question: Had the Board predetermined that it wanted Albert Ellis out and did it use the nonprofit issue to justify an action that had been pre-planned?


Mr. Kurtz provided every Board member with specific instructions in a handout entitled EXCESS BENEFIT TRANSACTIONS: THE SAFE HARBOR. These are guidelines nonprofit organizations are required to follow to be in compliance with IRS regulations in situations that may involve "excess benefits."


The Albert Ellis Institute is a 501©3, a charitable trust. It is a not- for- profit organization governed by IRS regulation. As such, there are rules that the boards of such organizations are required by law to follow as indicated by the Safe Harbor rules articulated below:

? "A transaction between the Institute and Dr. Ellis will be governed by Code Section 4958 because it will involve the payment of compensation to a "disqualified person"for services rendered to the Institute."

o "A disqualified person includes, among others, voting members of the governing body of the organization (i.e. directors)"

o "If an arrangement is viewed as an excess benefit transaction, taxes are imposed both on the disqualified person receiving the unreasonable compensation or other payment and on any "organization manager" who participated in the transaction and knew it to be an excess benefit transaction, unless such participation is not willful and is due to reasonable cause."

According to the above, by paying the medical expenses for a disqualified person (in this case Dr. Ellis), the Institute and Board unless such participation is not willful and is due to reasonable cause."
"unless the Institute would "obtain the Code Section 4958 safe harbor such that a compensation arrangement with a disqualified person will be presumed to be reasonable when three specific conditions are satisfied."

Any honest errors, as might have been made by the Board, do not appear to rise to the level of willful disregard of the IRS codes.


How did the Board respond when Mr. Kurtz gave them detailed information in the handout called EXCESS BENEFIT TRANSACTIONS: THE SAFE HARBOR?


Prior to Mr. Kurtz' tenure, the Board seemed to have no knowledge of the "excess benefits"- safe harbor regulations.

However, now that they were informed re: the safe harbor, WHY DID THE TREASURER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR NOT ASK MR. KURTZ FOR HIS HELP IN ADDRESSING AND CORRECTING THE PAST MISTAKES IN 2004 WHERE SAFE HARBOR WAS NOT OBTAINED, particularly, since, as independent legal counsel Rena Cohan advises, "If the benefits Ellis received in 2004 are deemed by the IRS to be excessive, Ellis, as the disqualified individual, the Director of the AEI, and the Treasurer of the AEI are the ones who stand to be penalized."



The Board failed or refused to take responsibility for using the Safe Harbor to satisfy IRS requirements that would have allowed for the legal payment of future nursing expenses. This apparent procrastination left Dr. Ellis, founder of the Institute and of REBT, to be the scapegoat for Board irresponsibility.

Why should Dr. Ellis be removed from the Board because of probable Board negligence and procrastination? Readers can come to their own conclusions.


While we cannot know for sure why the Treasurer and the Executive Director appeared to show a lack of diligence in this matter, we would prefer to believe that they did not intentionally ignore the mandate for securing the "safe harbor." However, there is an important contrasting view:

John R. Minor, Ph.D., Associate Fellow, AEI in an article submitted to the New York Times 11/21/05 writes:

"The strategy to neutralize Albert Ellis seems to have been jelling for a long time in the mind of Dr. James McMahon… McMahon now sits on the Board and holds the purse strings of AEI and voted, as part of the gang of four, to kick Al off the Board… "I believe McMahon's written interpretations of our meeting in 1998 to discuss promotion of REBT material, to me as elected chairman, reflects a deep abiding prejudice toward Ellis."

Supporting John Minor's position, it must be noted as well that Treasurer McMahon, as early as January 2005, made a motion to remove Dr. Ellis from the Board and suggested on another occasion that it likely that the Board and Dr. Ellis would be splitting and that if this Board member (Steinberg) could not consider going with the Board, that she should resign. Steinberg personally experienced this as intimidation. This, unfortunately, is not the only occasion when intimidation has occurred.

In addition, at the September 18 Board meeting, Mr. Kurtz reminded the Board of the prior attempt by McMahon to remove Ellis. His reference to the earlier attempt was a counter to our objections to the removal of Dr. Ellis.

The Board attempted publicly to sanitize its decision to remove Dr. Ellis by using a question and answer approach on its website. The following question and answer to a complex situation appears to be so designed.

Q: Did the Board vote to give these excess benefits to Dr. Ellis in the first place?
If so, is the Board taking back what it gave to Al?
A: This was done without the knowledge of the Board. The Board never voted to transfer these funds to Dr. Ellis.


It suggests that money was transferred inappropriately in 2004. However, Phil Miller who was then Treasurer, firmly maintains otherwise. According to Miller, the Board set the policy and he as Treasurer followed it to the best of his ability. He transferred money into the trust when Kiwi (Bookkeepers) needed and asked for it to cover the nursing expenses. Miller claims that he was following the general directive by the Board to execute medical care payments. Miller maintains that he had no knowledge of any error on his part until he was removed as a Board member in December 2004.

Technically, he may not have notified the board on each specific transaction. So the Board can technically say they were not informed. However, believing he had a general mandate, Miller acted according to the mandate and executed payments which would appear to be in his jurisdiction to approve. The Board seems to have kept inadequate written records of its decisions. Is the Board, by blaming Miller, attempting to avoid any responsibility on its part for carelessness and for a communication system at the Institute that leaves a lot to be desired? We encourage the Board to examine this issue and to correct the wrongs their actions have generated.

And if monies were moved inappropriately, why were corrective actions not taken that were acceptable to both Dr. Ellis and the Board? Dr. Ellis has made it clear that he wants to do what is legal and correct. His attorney Bob Juceam writes to Dan Kurtz that he and Dr. Ellis wish to discuss the situation. "TOWARD THE END THAT … A RESULT IS REACHED THAT NO EXCESS BENEFIT HAS BEEN PAID, OR, IF IT IS DEEMED EXCESS, HE HONORS WHATEVER OBLIGATION MAY BE ENTAILED."

Mr. Kurtz advised the Board that Dr. Ellis maintained that he was promised by the Institute and its directors that they would provide for his care. Dr. Ellis was prepared to initiate a lawsuit if necessary to insure that his care would be provided as expected. The Board understood that the defense of such a lawsuit would be financially expensive and harmful to the reputation of the Institute. Nevertheless, the Board unilaterally terminated negotiations with Dr. Ellis, refused mediation, and summarily removed him from the Board, leaving him no option other than to initiate a lawsuit that the Board knew would be harmful. And the rest is history.


However you look at it, the Board has failed to act in a timely and responsible manner thus sowing the seeds for what has become a harmful but avoidable conflict.

* Either way, this Board is divided, dominated by a subgroup that has kept secrets and withheld information requested by two minority members who had objected to Board actions and who had both "a need and a right" to have been given answers to their questions.
* Either way, this Board has used intimidation and manipulation to pursue their agenda.
* Either way, this Board has been internally dysfunctional.
* Either way, Dr. Ellis, founder of the Institute and of REBT, is the person who has been most hurt both personally and professionally.
* Either way, the conditions leading to the removal of Dr. Ellis from the Board on September 18, 2005 were either the outcome of either a deliberate plot or reflect
extreme negligence of a Board gone astray from its oversight responsibilities.
* Either way, the large public outcry… close to 700 signatures on a petition to reinstate Dr. Ellis…requires a response.
*Either way, the exorbitant legal and public relations fees have hurt the Institute both financially and in reputation and have undermined public trust.
* Either way, this Board has appeared to serve its own interests rather than the best interests of the Institute or of the REBT Community.
* Either way this Board has caused harm to the REBT network creating confusion, and a probable irreparable schism.

We agree with the recommendations of the three distinguished past Directors of Training… Dr. Bill Knaus, Mr. Ed Garcia and Dr. Jon Geis.

We call for the rightful reinstatement of Dr. Ellis as a Trustee on the Board of the Institute he founded and supported for decades and to the rightful resumption of his professional activities including leadership of the popular Friday night workshops.

We call for a procedure to be immediately addressed so that the nursing and medical expenses of Dr. Ellis are legally and expeditiously handled to his satisfaction.

Dr. Ellis and the public deserve no less.

And may the wheels of justice grind speedily!

Respectfully submitted,
Deborah Steinberg and Emmett Velten

Posted: Dec 13 2005, 12:27 PM


Thanks to the former training directors and the dissenting board members for this convincing summary of the facts and powerful refutation of ALL the arguments of Dr Broder and his lawyer.

Steve Lake
Lyle Stuart
Posted: Dec 13 2005, 06:37 PM


Albert Ellis is a paradox, as indeed, many of us are. Contrary to accusations of some Ellis supporters who may be well meaning but are ignorant of the facts, I'm still fond of Al, despite it all.

We go back a long way. More than fifty years. That's when I met Al, thanks to Paul Krassner who had discovered and admired him. Al was then leasing an apartment in the Parc Vendome on West 57th Street where he and I would occasionally meet.

Book publishers and magazine editors were censoring his writings. I've always been a First Amendment fanatic and an anti-censorship guy, and so I volunteered to publish anything of Al's that had been suppressed elsewhere. Thus began a relationship that led to a monthly Albert Ellis article in my tabloid Expose (name later changed to The Independent.)
I had only published two other titles when I suggested that we do a book containing all of Al's marvelous articles. He agreed, but he insisted that the contract contain an extra provision. I had to agree not to alter the material in any way - not so much as a comma.
No censorship on my part? After all, wasn't I the anti-censorship person? My feelings were a little bruised but I agreed.
It was Al's neat little trick. He had written an introduction full of praise for me and my courage in publishing and he didn't want me to remove it.
The book was Sex Without Guilt and was the first of many Ellis titles we published. These included, among many others, the fabulously successful The Art and Science of Love (which ended the Post Office prohibition against distributing information about birth control through the mail) as well as Sex and the Single Man, The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Man-Hunting, and Reason and Emotion in Psychotherapy.

I have often said that Al and I started the sex revolution not only in America but throughout the world.
To give you some idea of what existed before, the #1 seller in sex manuals before we came along was van de Velde's Ideal Marriage which warned that masturbation was an evil. Al in his New Light on Masturbation (the first chapter in Sex Without Guilt) explained that it was not only okay, but healthy. Esquire magazine - yes! Esquire magazine wouldn't take an ad for Sex Without Guilt because they said, and I kid you not, it was “too pro-sex.”
When Al lacked the cash needed to complete his purchase of the building that now houses the institute, I was a tiny publisher but I emptied out our checking account to lend him the $17,000 he required.
In those early years, Al often told people, “Lyle and I have done a lot for each other,” and it was true.

Through the years Al came to my Thanksgiving Day party, I attended his and Janet's New Year's Eve party, etc.
I persuaded Al to take what may have been his only pure vacations: a week at the Stuart Place in Jamaica, West Indies; a long weekend at my wife Carole's upstate home in Columbia County; four days in Las Vegas where I had enough juice to get us both the 18th floor penthouse suites at The Sands.
The Vegas vacation was amusing. Al continued
to work on his writing in an armchair in the hotel lobby. I put up money for him to play blackjack but the game bored him. The only time I knew for sure that he was enjoying himself was when the casino owners invited us to a rehearsal of an all-girls topless band. That brought out the Ellis glowing smile.
When my first wife was diagnosed with terminal cancer, the surgeon warned me not to tell her. I called Al. “Listen,” he said, “it is true that many people don't want to know. Mary Louise is one who would want to know.”
As usual, he was right on target.

In the early days of making him famous, we put him on many talk shows. On the Barry Farber show he advocated sex before marriage. That was such a shocking concept in those days that Farber was immediately suspended and the station thought the Federal Communications Commission would cancel its license. (They didn't and Barry was reinstated.)
I brought dozens of people to those fascinating Friday night Albert Ellis workshops and guided dozens of patients his way including bandleader Artie Shaw who was mentioned in the recent article in New York magazine.
Al, in turn, was supportive of me. When Max Schuster said Simon & Schuster couldn't afford to produce a giant volume of revolutionary sayings compiled by George Seldes, I decided to try it by reviving an old-fashioned custom. I asked for patrons.
Steve Allen was the first to respond. Al was close behind him, as were Ira Gershwin, Oscar Hammerstein and Irving Caesar. Thus was The Great Quotations born. I could relate some very moving stories of how that book affected lives but I'll stick here to Al and me. Except to mention that Max Schuster also became a patron.

I was engaged in a ten year - yes, ten year - legal war with Las Vegas casino owner Steve Wynn. Steve wanted me to withdraw from the market a biography of him called Running Scared by John L. Smith. In a corrupt trial presided over by a corrupt judge (two weeks after the trial Wynn rewarded her by giving her husband an executive job
in his casino) who directed that we pay Wynn $3.1 million plus another million for expenses, legal and court costs.
Wynn sent me messages several times that if I would withdraw the book, he'd drop the whole thing. But should a rich man have the power to prevent the world from knowing the truth about him?
It was discouraging. Our appeal would be heard by the Nevada Supreme Court and all of its seven sitting judges admitted they received money from Wynn for their election campaigns.
Floyd Abrams, probably the country's #1 libel lawyer, was helpful but explained that for his office to handle our appeal, we'd have to start by paying a retainer of $400,000.
Holocaust camp survivor Ernest Michel is the man who, for years, directed the contribution fund-raising drives for the United Jewish Appeal. I had published his Promises to Keep (now in its 4th printing.) Knowing how depressing the situation had become, he volunteered to direct an appeal for funds. Among the first to contribute was one Dr. Albert Ellis. The appeal was more morale building than money building but that's what we needed.
Thanks to a brilliant attorney named David Blasband, we won our appeal and the verdict was thrown out.
I tell you all this as a prelude to what happened recently.

My son Rory was asked to be an institute trustee by Al and Janet Wolfe, Al's supportive companion for some 40 years or so, in 1987. He has served on the Board for the past 18 years. Rory was the youngest member of the Board and tells me soon after he joined the board, he asked Al what Al wanted in the long term for the Institute; Al told him he wanted the Institute to last long after his death and continue to grow and spread REBT.
Through the years, Rory has sacrificed much of his time and energy. He did not discuss with me the workings of the Institute, but Al said he was happy to have Rory on board.
The silence ended after Al's big birthday party where I spoke, where Al held my hand and expressed his gratitude for the things I'd said about him, and immediately after which they fired the institute's director in a coup that was at least a little underhanded.
Rory explained that, when he arrived at a meeting that was supposed to be about the future of the Institute, some of the Board members, including Al and Emmett Velten, had secretly agreed to throw out the director without letting others (Ann Vernon or Rory) know. Rory showed me the board minutes from that meeting, in which Al said some very nasty things about the director, which Rory has never found any evidence to be true. In the minutes, Ann and Rory voiced objecting to the sneaky way this was done.
At Al's request, Dr. Michael Broder was appointed the new director. Dr. Broder said he could only work part-time. Al said that was fine with him. Emmett Velten suggested that Broder be paid $150 an hour. Al said that was fine with him. Rory said they he thought being an Executive Director at the Institute was a full-time job, and sat there wondering why there wasn't a limit put on the amount Broder could bill for, but those who engineered the coup put no such limit.

Apparently things went along fine until Dr. Broder fired Debbie Joffe. She's a bright pretty lady, devoted to caring for Al, but she lacks a New York license to practice psychology and there were conflicting reports about the quality of her ability to counsel. Incidentally, I confirmed that she is a member of the Australian Psychological Society.
All hell broke loose. Debbie was Al's girlfriend. “How dare they fire her without my permission?” he roared. Followed by, “Broder is a traitor, a liar and a thief.”
The other psychologists on the board had reviewed the decision to fire Debbie and agreed that she should have been fired.
Rory tells me that he and the other non-psychologist (as well as Al) were not involved in the decision, but the majority of the members of the board weighed the facts and supported Dr. Broder's action.
Unhappiness and acrimony followed. Al began to demand a settlement, and lawyers were hired to work this out. Things came to a head when an independent audit was made of the institute's books and it was discovered that something in the area of half a million dollars had been given to Al without the board's knowledge or approval. The institute's attorney, an expert in non-profit organizations, told the board members that they would be personally responsible for the overpayments and the institute could lose its non-profit status if Al was not immediately removed from all positions of power and if the Board failed to ask for the return of this money.

Settlement attempts have continued to be made for almost an entire year. Each time an accord seemed close, Al raised his demands. Al's own lawyer kept telling the institute's lawyer that “Debbie Joffe is the problem.”
Lest, dear reader, you believe I'm distorting this, let me quote from recently filed legal papers:
From a sworn affidavit filed in opposition to Al's motion for a summary judgment:
“The Institute's generous proposals to Ellis were greeted not with gratitude but with more and more aggressive demands. Ellis's initial demand for a package estimated at $1,000,000 increased to $2,000,000 and finally, in August 2004, to nearly $4,000,000. Under these circumstances it was clear to the Board that negotiations were not being conducted in good faith and that it was no longer productive to continue to make proposals to which Ellis' only response was to demand more than the previous one.”

It was a few days before that paper was filed that I ventured onto the scene. Al had asked me several times that I join the Board. I declined. Then Debbie said Al wanted to see me.
My wife Carole and I visited him. Al was
convinced Broder wanted to seize control of the institute, throw him out of his top floor apartment and sell the building.
I told him I didn't believe that and assured him that Rory would never allow that happen. I had encouraged Rory to give Al everything that could be given him and then some - because I believed he'd earned and deserved it.
Again Al asked me to join the Board.
Two weeks ago, I declined. I didn't see anything that my presence would add. And since I don't expect to live to 92, I don't have all that time remaining.
I mentioned my feelings to Rory and he disagreed. The situation seemed so hopeless that he believed that maybe my presence would reassure Al and open the door to a settlement that would satisfy all of Al's desires without threatening the long-term future of the institute.

Oscar Wilde once declared that “No good deed goes unpunished.”
I learned the truth of this many decades ago. Now when I do many of the things that I do, I don't seek rewards or appreciation. I do them because they are the right thing to do.
That explains why I agreed to join the Board and try to see if I could help.

With my long and friendly history with Al, I decided to meet with him privately, tape our discussion only for his and my ears (and Debbie's) and understand clearly what it was that he wanted.
A side note about Debbie. There has been a lot of criticism of her role, even by Al's personal attorney. There has been a lot of gossip about her motives amid the (admitted) charge that she bought a diploma from India by mail for $350, she's after Al's money, etc. People try to tar her with her brother's crime in Australia which resulted in his long prison sentence. To me this is all hogwash and not at all to the point.
My position (and I believe this is Rory's too) is that Al should be given what he's entitled to and if he then wants to build a bonfire and burn his money - that would be too bad but it's his business and he's entitled. So let's put that aside - Debbie may be motivating Al, but she isn't the heart of the matter.

Al canceled our appointment, as was his right. I tried to convince Debbie that an off-the-record non-binding chat could be productive.
Our aborted private meeting somehow became public and suddenly, I was accused of plotting to meet with Al only to use our talk in a pending court case (of which I was unaware) or to hinder his forthcoming Anaheim journey (of which I was unaware.)

Within a single day and without my uttering a single word, I became the enemy. I was accused of being a co-conspirator (even though I said - and it is true even at this writing) that I have yet to meet the other members of the Board. I want to correct that now: Dr. MacMahon tells me we were introduced at that Christmas party though I guess I was so taken with the presence of Nicole Kidman that I forgot.
On the Ellis bulletin board I was called a traitor, a thief, a plotter, and an enemy of REBT.
I've been called worse.

Through it all, I continue to be fond of Albert Ellis - the Albert Ellis I've known and liked for half a century. The other guy, the tyrant who screams at everyone and accuses so many people of betraying him - well, he's 92.
My Albert Ellis has made magnificent contributions to our culture and knowledge of human conduct. He is the Gandhi of psychology, overcoming as he did, and all the crap that preceded him.
That Al Ellis I love and will defend and protect.

The fellow who believes everybody is out to seize his institute and usurp him - that one I try to understand and forgive.
Let all of his groupies save their time. I will resign from the Board only when things are settled, or when a court says I should, or when my fellow members vote me off.
In the meantime, I will continue to try to do what is right. Period.

Posted: Dec 13 2005, 08:56 PM


Dear Lyle,

That's all a very nice story. However, it does not rectify the fact that you came onto this board, without provocation and in a hot temper, to criticize Al because he canceled a meeting with you. A meeting you intended to record. Do you think Albert Ellis was born yesterday? If it was an off-the-record meeting between old friends, why the hell did you need to record it? Sorry, sir, but your actions and motivation look a bit questionable.

You then came back and wrote a long message that does not indicate affection or friendship. Your behavior in posting that message was nothing short of despicable. And, yet, you claim your still care for your old friend Al.

Oddly enough, you also seem to claim you made Al's career for him. Very nice of you to take the credit. What else? Rory is innocent. You just want to give Al what he wants. But Debbie! My, god, Debbie!

What's a friend to do?

Hmmm. There are many options available. I wasn't aware that attacking, insulting and smearing were some of the options of friendship. Usually friends don't do that sort of thing. If they do, it usually signals the end of friendship. That's reality and we might as well accept it. When you sent out an open letter attacking Al, it meant you had decided against supporting your old friend.

You don't seem to realize that your behavior in this very forum has left you hopelessly compromised. Your own words and behavior indicate you are unsuited for the role you assigned yourself: Peacemaker.

One wonders if you're a tad bit confused.

Let me explain this in simple terms ... Al canceled a meeting with you. You felt so highly wronged that you publicly criticized Al for inconveniencing you and your son. You smeared him and insulted him and his supporters in a most salacious and downright ugly manner. Because Al canceled a meeting.

But wait ... Your son helped cancel payment for Al's nursing care, Al's Friday Night Workshop and Al's training and therapy groups.

Are the two cancelations equal in weight? I think not. And, yet, you seem to still be in a snit over that canceled meeting. What is wrong with your sense of proportion?

You had a meeting canceled so you come here ranting about it, and your main purpose seems to be to smear people -- Al, Debbie, Emmett.

Whatever you're trying to accomplish -- and other than smearing, I don't know what it is -- it's not working. All you're doing is making yourself appear mean-spirited.

What was it you quotes? "The Institute's generous proposals to Ellis were greeted not with gratitude but with more and more aggressive demands."

Would any rational person show gratitude for the way Albert Ellis has been treated? Please do not expect us to show gratitude for your homey little tale full of smears.

Your current behavior shows that no matter what kind of friendship you and Al may have had in the past, you have betrayed it here. Right from your very first post.

You're not a peacemaker; you're an old shit-stirrer from way back. You love it, you've made a career out of it. Please don't insult us by pretending otherwise or by thinking that we can't recognize it for what it is.

For whatever reason, you've decided to come in and stir the shit around your old friend Al. It's not only obvious, it's embarrassing to see an old master do it in such a clumsy fashion. You've lost your touch. Your betrayal of friendship makes sad and bad reading.

Please, resign from the board. Just go. Stop embarrassing yourself with your fake protestations of caring. You're not fooling anyone.

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