Second in a series

 


Lies of Legendary

 

 Magnitude II

hmf_dove.jpg 

 

The H. Martin Foundation Returns to Vallejo


The H. Martin Foundation possesses assets of legendary magnitude”

quote from Flor Lat Villapando World Co-Chair—H. Martin Foundation


By Marc Garman

8/17/09



The world is God's Orchestra and the H. Martin Foundation Wants YOU to play a part


I sat in the audience for over two and a half hours listening to various speakers espouse the virtues of the H. Martin Foundation (HMF). Not one shred of concrete evidence indicating the organization's validity was presented. I thought of Pastor Rey Bernardes' request that I keep an open mind. I tried to...but I never have been able to pull off that blind faith thing with any skill.


The world is God's orchestra and the H. Martin Foundation wants you to play a part”, proclaimed a voice in a video presentation as images of woodwinds and string instruments were displayed. A blind woman, Beth Koenig of the Orange County Deaf Advocacy Center, appeared in another video communicating her affirmations of the positive vision of the HMF using sign language. A dignified African American gentleman, also in the video presentation, identified himself as Dr. Leon Bleiberg, M.D. He spoke about reaching his healthcare vision in collaboration with the HMF.


Another man, Eric Edpao assured the viewers that all the claims made by the foundation were true even though they might be hard to believe at first. “We are not here to ask for your money”, he said explaining that the organization was only “looking for people to contribute their time” . Edpao concluded that, “We want to try giving everyone a fair chance to live up to their potential.” A man called Vern B. spoke after the video and explained that the H. Martin Foundation has “unlimited funds”.


In addition to speaking in person, Pastor Rey Bernardes appeared in one of the video presentations. He spoke in glowing terms of his experiences with the HMF. “After attending numerous seminars with the H. Martin Foundation, we decided to come on board.” said Bernardes.

 

As the inspirational music faded and the lights came up, Bernardes continued: “You will retain your identity as a non-profit.” he promised, beaming with pride as he addressed the representatives invited from many non-profit organizations. He described the partnership he has entered into with the H. Martin Foundation creating a new entity: The H. Martin Foundation Global Center for Success—which will be located on Mare Island.


All humanitarian services will be available to all persons throughout the world due to the H. Martin Foundation Global Center for Success.”--Pastor Rey Bernardes


Question and Answer...or not


After all that I felt a little weary and had considered leaving several times during the ordeal. Besides,my butt was starting to hurt from sitting so long on a thinly cushioned church pew. Every time I considered departing, though, another outlandish claim piqued my curiosity. Now it was time to, “Ask any of the questions that you may have on your mind.” said one of the facilitators.


I considered a path of quiet observation. Really. But then I heard something that pushed me over the edge: “This all sounds totally unbelievable.” I heard a man's voice behind me and somewhere to the left say “But if Pastor Bernardes says it's OK...it must be OK”


The acquisition of human assets is the most important aspect for any organization seeking to instill confidence in other individuals or organizations they might seek to court for any number of reasons. Considerable time and money is often spent cultivating the trust of individuals in the community, or other organization, who have sufficient standing to assuage the doubts of others. This concept is apparent to legitimate organizations as well as those engaged in what we commonly call “the con”.


In a moment of clarity I was stricken with a bolt of fear. Our legitimate religious charitable organizations could be at risk of being pulled into the clutches of a group cloaking an unknown agenda in clearly false claims. When sharks smell blood in the water, they close ranks. But not so damn fast this time.


I got up and made it to the front just behind one other gentleman. He suggested that perhaps Vallejo could accomplish a lot by “working together” instead of taking handouts. He and I were the only ones to step forward. After he finished, Pastor Bernardes suggested that we break for lunch since the seminar was running behind schedule. He looked straight at me as he said this.


But Pastor Bernardes”, I said as firmly as I could, “ I have a question...actually several.”


He paused, took a breath, and acquiesced, but asked me to “Please limit it to one question” , since the presentation was running late. Then someone made a fatal mistake and handed me the wireless microphone...oops.


I ran the laundry list of questions. You've seen a lot of them in my previous articles.

Here are some points I touched on which have not been mentioned in previous articles:


  • Why is there no Letter of Determination for the H. Martin Foundation on record with the IRS? This is required for all U.S. charitable organizations. There is also no form 990 filed or listing of the HMF as an international charitable foundation either. Why, then, does the HMF website claim:

     

     We are presently conducting business as a foreign Foundation, registered in Indonesia


  • HMF founder Martin Tirwatadinata claims to be the son of the Sultan of Bogor. A VIB researcher has contacted William Symonds, a resident of Bogor, Indonesia. Mr. Symonds has made the following statement to VIB:


The Sultan of Bogor does not exist.... “




As I continued to rattle off questions, Ms. Villapando, the HMF Co-Chair took the stage equipped with a microphone and attempted to override my amplified inquisition. She proceeded to berate me for gathering information from the internet. “You cannot believe things you see on the internets!” she yelled and then started in again about having “purity”. I fired back: “What about the web site of The Internal Revenue Service of The United States of America. Are you saying they cannot be trusted?!”


It got a little ugly. I was yelling. She was yelling. Someone finally shut off my microphone, so I went a cappella. The security guys at the back were making motions as they opened the doors. I was expecting Ms. Villapando's omnipresent riding crop to close the distance between her hand and my head at any moment. I kept listening for a whistling noise.


Pastor Bernardes looked singularly dismayed and slightly nauseous. “Please give her a chance to speak.” , he admonished me, but things had gone far off the tracks and Ms. Villapando had done little more than repeat the same mantra she had for the entire “seminar”.


Provide me with your financial documents showing proof of your claims!” I demanded adding “If you can substantiate your claims I will print the facts.” (This offer still stands.)


Ladies and gentlemen,” I continued addressing the crowd, “charitable organizations are registered in the United States for purposes of transparency. With an organization such as this, you have no idea where their supposed money comes from or where it is going. Stay vigilant. And now I think these gentlemen would like me to leave!!”


At this point the ushers had started moving up the wings of the chapel, but looked unsure of what to do. I headed straight down the aisle for the doors. When I reached the lobby a man wearing a blue blazer with an H. Martin logo on it stood in front of me. Actually, there were several all dressed alike.


Marc, we need the brochures back and your badge.”, he said indicating the yellow folder with HMF literature and name badge I was given when I arrived. I looked him in the eye and said “NOPE” He looked none too pleased with me.


It went back and forth for a while:


Marc, we really need you to give back those brochures and your badge.”

NOPE”

Marc, we really need you to.”

NOPE”

Marc, you really need to...”

NOPE”


I kept a tight grip.


By this point a bunch of the ushers were blocking the door back into the auditorium and trying to look official. The HMF security guys persisted as I headed through the lobby for the exit. At one point one of them tapped my shoulder. We had a few words I won't repeat here. Something I said about my lawyer gnawing a portion of his anatomy....


As I approached the exit a more senior looking member of the blue blazer crew followed me. “We really do need for you to give us those brochures and your badge right now Marc.” He said this firmly as two HMF security guys flanked him for support.


At this point I got to do something I've wanted to do all my life:


I don't need no stinkin' badge” , I declared as I took off the name badge and threw it at him and exited the building.


Marc, we really need you to come in and sign out” called another HMF blazer guy from inside the lobby. By now the lobby was filled with the HMF loyal. “No thanks,” I said “I think I'll skip that bit”


We need his folder back.” called the blue blazer in charge, as he gestured to one of his guys posted on sentry outside. His guy followed me most of the way to the parking lot. I turned and asked him if he was “really really sure?” He raised his hands showing me his palms and walked back to the Global Center for Success.


Boy, that was a lot of fuss. And such a big deal over some brochures given to me and everyone else attending the event. But perhaps I got some folks to think twice before getting involved in what came next. I saw several people leaving as I drove away.


 

See the brochures for yourself HERE


That concludes my personal account of the events surrounding my experiences with the H. Martin Foundation on Friday August 7, 2009. I have since been contacted by three eyewitnesses who were present for the remainder of the proceedings. The individuals I have spoken with wish to remain anonymous at this time; however, they have all told the same tale independently. This would seem to reasonably corroborate their stories. Join us for the next installment in a few days when we learn what the H. Martin Foundation claims to have purchased . Something of legendary magnitude right here in Vallejo. Ten points if you guess what.





P.S. Mr. Symonds, who was quoted earlier in the article, and has been a resident of Bogor, Indonesia for many years, also enjoys photography. You can see some of his wonderful pictures of Bogor, Indonesia  HERE