“JUST THE FACTS” ABOUT RICHARD ABANES AND THE OLD APPRISING MINISTRIES WEB SITE

“But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil.” (Matthew 5:37)

A Factual Overview From Where I Stand

Years ago their was a kind of campy detective show which I enjoyed as a kid called Dragnet. The main character of the show was Det. Joe Friday who was known for telling those he questioned, “Just the facts.” So, to set the record straight with the pertinent facts as they concern a recent incident involving Richard Abanes and Apprising Ministries I present the following for those who have been trying to sort through the wreckage.

First of all, we want to thank those of you who have written asking for information and with words of encouragement during this unfortunate incident as it meant so much to us. Here is what happened. When that old AM website was first created it was established with IPower as ISP. It was then later given to me by a Christian friend as a gift from the Lord. I was not involved with its creation in any way. When I took it over I remained with IPower simply out of convenience.

We had never had any prior trouble with IPower until Thursday July 24, 2008 when I received the following email from them. I publish it below exactly as I received it with one exception. Out of courtesy to Richard Abanes I have removed his email address and phone number just as I did when I originally brought this to the attention of the Church:

—– Original Message —–
From: legal@ipower-inc.com
To: apprising@hughes.net
Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2008 6:04 PM
Subject: apprisin | Terms of Services Violation – Slanderous Material [P05246673000000000]

Hello,

We have been advised by a visitor to your web site (at: HTTP://www.apprising.org) that such web site contains content that is alleged to be untrue, offensive, slanderous, harassing or controversial in nature.

Accordingly, please remove such content within 48 hours of this notice. Failure to delete such content within such period will result in termination of your website. The notice we received is below.

As you may know, we are a web hosting company. We are not responsible for the content or links posted by our customers who create and place content on websites that we host. We further do not “monitor” the websites that we host or prescreen the content placed by customers on their sites. However, when we become aware of allegations of improper activity by one of our customers using a hosted site, which would be a violation of our Terms of Service (TOS) governing the web sites, we take such situations seriously, investigate promptly, and take appropriate action.

Should you have further questions, please contact us.

Sincerely,
Jennifer N.
Customer Support Team

_________________________________________________________________

To: LEGAL DEPT. IPOWERWEB
FR: Richard Abanes
RE: Defamation-Libel – IPOWER hosted website, apprising.org

To whom it may concern,

Ken Silva, owner and operator of apprising.org, which is hosted by IPOWERWEB.NET, has engaged in posting libelous, defamatory statements on his website about me — i.e., Richard Abanes.

By way of introduction, I am an award-winning, bestselling author/journalist with twenty books published by major publishing houses. My public reputation, therefore is of paramount importance to my livelihood and career. Mr. Silva, with no regard for factual information, has posted on his apprising.org website:

– defamatory accusations,
– baseless commentary that impugns my personal/professional integrity, and
– factual errors about my published materials.

I am writing you in response to this libel that has been hosted by IPOWERWEB.NET/IPOWERWEB.COM in the form of statements found at apprising.org and direct your attention to the IPOWERWEB.NET “Acceptable Use Policy (AUP).” as found at http://ipowerweb.net/legal/legal_aup.bml. It reads:

“Prohibited Uses. Users may not: . . . b. Utilize the Services in connection with any illegal activity or activity otherwise prohibited by this AUP. Without limiting the general application of this rule, Users may not: . . . Utilize the Services for or in connection with any activities or content determined by IPOWER, in its sole discretion, to be related to gambling, adult, obscene or pornographic materials or content, harassment, defamation, libel and hate speech or other offensive speech or content, or for any unlawful purpose . . .”

“c. Utilize the Services in connection with any tortious or actionable activity. Without limiting the general application of this rule, Users and Users may not: i. Utilize the Services to publish or disseminate information that (A) constitutes slander, libel or defamation. . . .”

Ken Silva, owner/operator of apprising.org, has violated these above stated restrictions — specifically, in his article titled “A PASTOR’S ASSESSMENT OF RICHARD ABANES,” found at the URL
http://www.apprising.org/archives/2005/09/a_pastors_asses.html.

Before turning this situation over to my attorneys, I respectfully request that IPOWERWEB.NET / IPOWERWEB.COM remove this particular article from it’s servers, and notify Ken Silva to cease and desist the posting similar articles. I have no wish to name IPOWERWEB.NET / IPOWERWEB.COM in a legal suit, and hope to resolve this issue as quickly and easily as possible.

Please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience. I hope to have this issue resolved as soon as possible.

Cordially,
Richard Abanes

After I received the above letter I immediately began consulting with the board of directors for Apprising Ministries as well as with a couple of close friends and associates. I also sent the following letter, previously unpublished, to IPower:

—– Original Message —–
From: Apprising Ministries
To: legal@ipower-inc.com
Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2008 6:47 PM
Subject: Re: apprisin | Terms of Services Violation – Slanderous Material [P05246673000000000]

Hello,

Yes. I have a question. What happens when this allegation levied at one of your paying clients is itself “untrue, offensive, slanderous, harassing or controversial in nature.”

Sincerely,

Pastor Ken Silva
President
Apprising Ministries
http://apprising.org/
Ezekiel 3:7-14

General Editor
Christian Research Net
http://christianresearchnetwork.com/
2 Corinthians 11:12-15

As one of their own paying customers I have yet to receive a response from IPower to this letter, or for that matter, received anything at all further from them. As far as I’m concerned anyone who truly cares about the issue of Free Speech should steer clear of IPower as we now have here at AM. What is not generally known is that over the three years that AM has been in existence we have been building a base of people who have requested to be on our emailing list. Periodically I will send “AM Updates” out to them concerning various issues, which I may or may not make public.

On the advice of those I consult with it was decided to publish the one email from IPower, which also contained the letter to them from Richard Abanes, and make this issue known to the Church. Later Thursday evening I sent out an Update to fill in our “AM Family” concerning the above information. And then behind the scenes Mike Gendron of Proclaiming the Gospel Ministries introduced me to SX Web Solutions, which is the company where his own website is hosted.

I also informed people through the Update that we had begun working as quickly as we could in the process of moving AM to that new ISP. In the interim Mike Gendron had already made SX Web Solutions aware of the incident surrounding my three year old opinion piece A Pastor’s Assessment of Richard Abanes prior to my speaking with them on the phone. I was assured that they saw nothing wrong with it and I’m happy to say that we quickly came to terms Saturday morning with their hosting the new—at that time yet developed—Apprising Ministries website.

What we do know as fact is:

1) A “Jennifer N from IPower “Customer Support Team” informed me that “a visitor” [Richard Abanes] stated that the old AM “web site contains content that is alleged to be untrue, offensive, slanderous, harassing or controversial in nature.”

2) I was clearly informed by IPower that I must “remove such content within 48 hours.” However, because I never had any intention of deleting that opinion piece upon a mere false allegation, then my instructions from IPower had already informed me that failure to do so, “will result in termination of your website.”

3) By late Saturday morning (and as of this writing) I received no further communication whatsoever from IPower pertaining their 48 hour mandate as concerning this false allegation.

4) The Lord moves upon the hearts of two of His people to individually contact me and volunteer to do the technical work, which I have never done for either AM or its sister site Christian Research Net.

5) In the meanwhile as we switch over and begin building the new site and prepare it to go online with the new ISP we simply leave the old one to go dark.

6) At least for a time, with no explanation, my techs were indeed locked out of that old site.

7) And then sometime Sunday, as the story continued spreading further, my techs were suddenly able to access the old site once again.

8 ) Then after having been at my computer for the better part of three days to monitor progress of the new AM site, as well as to answer all the email coming in with questions, concerns, and words of encouragement. the new Apprising Ministries website went online early evening EST Monday, July 28, 2008.

Men and women, having been given that 48 hour deadline by IPower, receiving no further response from them, and with the weekend also fast approaching, we felt we had no choice but to assume they would indeed terminate the website just as they stated in the initial email above. We at Apprising Ministries felt this left us with no real choice but to begin seeking the new ISP and to begin retrieving our files from the old website which we fully expected would actually be, and could have been, terminated by IPower.

There has been much misinformation, which I have had nothing to do with, circulated on the Internet about this sad sage. I am not going to waste any more time dealing with others, who were not directly involved, and their speculations about what they think may or may not have happend because as a Christian and a pastor Jesus tells me my yes is to be yes. And so, it matters not to me from this time forward who says anything to the contrary because now I rest this whole unfortunate incident in the very capable Hands of the Master Who gave me His Apprising Ministries to under-shepherd in the first place.

Soli Deo Gloria!