The long-running underground Hollywood conservative group, Friends of Abe, is no more.
FOA announced yesterday that with the group’s growth came an unsustainable infrastructure; one too cumbersome to continue without a substantive overhaul.
The Guardian reported:
But on Thursday the organisation – which counts Jon Voight, Jerry Bruckheimer and Kelsey Grammer among its 1,500 members – made an abrupt announcement: it was dissolving.
“Effective immediately, we are going to begin to wind down the 501 c3 organization, bring the Sustaining Membership dues to an end, and do away with the costly infrastructure and the abespal.com website,” the executive director, Jeremy Boreing, told members in an email, a copy of which the Guardian has seen.
“Today, because we have been successful in creating a community that extends far beyond our events, people just don’t feel as much of a need to show up for every speaker or bar night, and fewer people pay the dues that help us maintain that large infrastructure.”
Some speculate that the internal squabbling over Cruz v. Trump is the cause for the dissolution of the 501c(3). Though FOA may no longer exist in its current state, leaders have assured their members there will still be get-togethers and events, but those will happen with a less formal infrastructure.
Lionel Chetwynd, a producer and screenwriter and co-founder of the FOA, recently spoke of the primary campaign causing a “civil war in slow motion”, which fractured friendships and shredded solidarity.
Boreing, a director and producer, put a positive gloss on the announcement, saying the initial hunger for fellowship had prompted the group to build an expensive website, rent offices and hire staff, including lawyers and accountants.
“It’s time to change how we do it. As our group has grown in size and success, many of the structures that helped us grow have become less useful … It means an end to the standing organization, but not an end to the mission or the fellowship.”
Boreing vowed to maintain the mailing list and stage events, but without the infrastructure, staff or budget requirements.
“We will still get together for drinks and speakers, but we may reassess how we approach those events logistically. In short, FOA will return to its roots. It will be a passion project, like it was in the beginning … We’ll still be a private organization that protects the names of our members at all costs.”
Friends of Abe made national headlines in 2014 when a request for 501c(3) status lead to an intrusive IRS investigation. Non-profit status was eventually granted.
[Featured Image via Angela George [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons]
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