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Reverend Magdalen Part 2

After an 18-month legal battle, custody of Reverend Magdalen's son was granted to his father, Jeff Jary. Magdalen has been conferring with her lawyers and preparing a statement. But then, during the week of July 16th, 2007, an unexpected development occurred that turned the entire case around.

The first part of this story can be found under: Reverend Magdalen

This story is continued under: Reverend Magdalen Part 3

July 23, 2007: Today I (Modemac) wrote an email to Magdalen, asking how things were going and looking to see if she was going to lay her case to rest. She wrote back, saying there have been some new developments in the case. These new developments have caught everyone completely off guard.

I'm talking The Twilight Zone here.

For legal reasons, I obviously can't go into too many details, becase there are other parties involved in this. Basically, some time last week, Jeff was in a car accident involving a brick wall, a lot of alcohol, and another passenger – NOT MAGDALEN'S SON, praise "Bob." Because of past incidents involving him and at least one other DUI, he is now facing at least two felonies, a misdemeanor, and three traffic charges – which, combined, could land him in jail for up to eleven years.

All of this means that, due to the sudden extreme circumstances, Magdalen has temporary custody of her son at this time. There will be a new custody hearing in the middle of August. Jeff's criminal hearing will be in September, but that is an entirely different matter.

BUT, that's not the strangest thing to happen here.

JUDGE PUNCH IS BACK ON THE CASE.

He literally took the case out of Judge Adams' docket and inserted himself in. He is now handling the case once again, however because of everything that has happened, he is apparently viewing the case in an entirely different light.

Magdalen is hopeful though apprehensive, for obvious reasons. She wants to appeal the ruling barring her from keeping SubGenius materials in her home, on Constitutional grounds.

Magdalen writes: "Anyway, it turns out that we can pursue both a new appeal and this new county-level case simultaneously, so I would like to try to do that, but I would need $5,000 in new money to start the appeal, plus the $11,000 I've racked up in charges for the original appeal and filing these things. My lawyer has agreed to work for half his normal rate, though, because he is so angry about all this."

There's a little more to this, but this is all I'm at liberty to say. Magdalen doesn't want to leave everyone hanging here, and we want you to know what's going on. However, for more concrete details, we will need to hear directly from her.

Magdalen is still desperately in need of funds. Even though we all thought it was over, apparently we have entered yet another phase.

(Speaking personally, I'm sorry that this development has occurred, as I would have been satisfied if Magdalen's son was returned to her through the legal system rather than a sudden act of chance. But the most important person involved is her son, and I for one am at least comforted by the fact that she is able to help him recover from this tragedy, for now.)

August 14: The latest (and maybe last) custody hearing in Magdalen's case took place today before Judge Punch. Apparently there were no hysterics, no shocking revelations, and nothing incredibly stupid took place (which is incredible in itself). After the chaos and insanity of the past month, today seemed more like an anticlimax. For the time being, it has restored a status quo similar to the situation before this whole affair took place in December of 2005.

First of all: Judge Punch awarded Magdalen custody of her son. She is free to bring him back to Georgia and return home, and she is able to homeschool him once again. So, they can get his schooling back on track at last. She is retaining custody of her son for the time being, pending any major developments – such as the outcome of Jeff's DUI case.

Jeff's case is turning into something very strange in itself. He argued before Judge Punch that he wanted a full-fledged trial, and he wanted to involve Magdalen in it fully (of course) so as to drag the whole custody battle still further. Punch was strongly against this, however: he strongly advised him to waive the trial and opt for a hearing based on the judge's decision; and he gave Jeff two weeks to discuss this with his lawyer. He also told Magdalen, outright: "You are excused from the trial." This means if Jeff has a trial, she will not be required to attend.

However, the order preventing her from keeping SubGenius materials in her home still stands; she will presumably keeping literature in a locked office. Apparently she is still trying to piece together the details of this order, because it's an amalgam of Judge Adams' order from January of this year, the appellate court decision of July, and the original court requirements from her initial custody settlement in 2000.

I've asked Magdalen to write a message herself, to back up this message; she should also be able to provide a copy of Judge Punch's temporary order from today. She's returning to Georgia with her son, and Jesus will be joining them shortly. At this time, all they can do is wait for Jeff to come to some sort of settlement regarding the DUI charge. This may possibly affect the custody situation, so it's still not over yet…however, it seems highly unlikely that there will be any major developments. At least everyone involved can finally relax…though I suppose Jeff won't be relaxing very much for the next couple of weeks.

Once again, we are asking for anyone interested enough to consider donating to Magdalen's legal fund. Enough has been said about this that I don't need to repeat it, but please remember that Magdalen and her husband are probably going to be paying their lawyers' bills for the rest of their lives. Isn't the American legal system wonderful?

Click here to read this story's entry on Digg.

August 18th: Rev. Ivan Stang (business manager for the Church of the SubGenius) makes a public plea for assistance and financial aid for Magdalen and her husband. The shocking news here is that the legal costs for this case have now amounted to $140,000. Rev. Stang writes:

"Friends, we rarely come begging. Normally we come selling. Thanks to a Slackulous X-Day (and also a hell of a Starwood!) we'll have plenty to sell… once we finally unpack. But for now, all we want to sell you on is the GREAT FEELING IN YOUR GUT that you'll get if you donate whatever you can spare to help make life bearable for this family that has suffered such suspense and agony JUST BECAUSE THEY CALLED THE CHURCH OF THE SUBGENIUS THEIR RELIGION! (Ironically, as SubGenii go they never were all that religious, believe me! Like my kids, their boy might have believed in Santa Claus, but he was definitely NOT expecting at any point to meet "Bob.")
"Dig down deep in those pockets, scrounge to the bottom of that purse, and whip out what you can for the CAUSE! – or, well, for the Bevilacquas, anyway. They are a very nice family – and a few years ago they forced The SubGenius Foundation to survive as a business when I was about to give up – but right now they need as much help as they can possibly get.
"TEN BUCKS isn't too little! TEN THOUSAND would not be too much! If ever there was a time to spread around any excess Slack you might happen to have, this is it."
see: Rev. Stang's August 18, 2007 announcement on his blog

January 3, 2008: The holidays have been very busy for everyone; though there are additional reasons why there hasn't been an update here recently. The first concern has been this: The custody case still isn't over yet, and we want to be sure nothing is said online that could somehow be used to influence the court (and its superior, Judge Punch).

First of all, in October Jeff Jary was indeed sentenced to one year in county jail, ironically housed in the exact same building as Judge Punch's courthouse. Despite the severity of the charges, it seems likely he will probably be released after eight months…which happens to be around the time of (surprise, surprise) X-Day of 2008. There's something about that date that seems to be connected to this whole affair, because this will be the third year that an important update to the case occurs at that time.

In the aftermath of Jeff's prison sentence, there are still two important matters that have hampered Magdalen:

In addition to this, "someone" has taken to "cyber-stalking" Magdalen online. In late July, shortly after returning home with her son, she was visited by the police and social services because of allegations that she was starving her son and keeping him prisoner inside her pornography-filled home, while she ran a marijuana seed store over the internet. Social services continued to visit her and her husband in Georgia until September, but they finally decided there was no basis to the allegations. Now, who called social services in the first place to get her in trouble? Could it be related to a person who has also been posting trolling messages on the pledgie.com donations page? Could this be the same person who has been sending scary emails to various online acquaintances? (Here is one example of an email sent to the members of a Meetup.com playgroup Magdalen set up for her son.) Whoever this person is, she certainly has done an excellent job hiding her identity online…though it's funny that the person trolling the pledgie.com page is using a name similar to the name of Jeff's girlfriend.

Having said all this, it's time now for some good news. The rumors are true: in early 2007, Magdalen and her husband got together to do what married couples do…and as a result, Rev. Bonecracker fought his way into the world just before Christmas! Magdalen's second son was born in mid-December (7 pounds, 6 ounces), and he was such a fighter that he actually cracked Magdalen's tailbone on his way out into the world of the normals. So Magdalen was bedridden for a while as she recovered from her ordeal, while having to put up with the draconian rules and regulations of Conspiracy medical hospitals. ("They even had a rule that you couldn't walk around the hallway holding your own baby! You had to push him in a glass box on wheels instead!")

So, with the way things stand, Magdalen is home recovering with both of her sons. Things aren't too bad, but there's still an ever-present risk that at any time, something will happen and the battle gear will have to be donned once again. Magdalen is still under restrictions against keeping SubGenius materials in her own home, and she still has the weight of her legal bills on her shoulders in addition to everything else.

Of the $6,700 raised from the pledgie.com pledgie.com donations page as of this time, $4,000 of this was back in March of 2007 when a desperate call for donations was made. At that time, Magdalen's Dad had sacrificed his retirement savings to help with her legal costs, and the $4,000 raised at that time was intended to help pay him back for that. Since then, about $2,000 in further donations have been received – of which we are enormously grateful to everyone who donated. These donations have been used towards Magdalen's legal costs…and since those legal costs ran up to about $140,000, every penny of this has been needed. Feel free to spread as many nasty rumors as you want, we don't care. We are simply thankful to all of the kind souls who saw it in their hearts to help out.


July 1, 2008: Magdalen has written a message summarizing her situation. Things have been quiet for the past six months, which is probably the best one could hope for. The news can briefly be summed up as, "nothing tragic has happened," and the status quo is essentially the same.

Magdalen writes:

"Right now the court situation is tentatively stable. After Jeff was arrested for felony DUI, the court hammered out a new Order, combining parts of the original Order, Judge Adams' Order, the Appellate Court Order, and new decisions. Basically, the Order we're living under now keeps joint custody, but gives residential custody to me and does not set a mandatory visitation schedule, instructing Jeff and I to work out visitation ourselves after the completion of his debt to society. Jeff got out of jail after only about a month, and I'm not sure exactly what happened, but he says his debt has been paid as "time served."

The full text can be found at: July 1, 2008 message from Reverend Magdalen

Artists are invited to Cleveland, Ohio on August 29th, 2008 for the Jocko Dome-o – a DEVO-themed fundraiser for Reverend Magdalen: [1]

Press Release:

Cleveland Art Fundraiser For SubGenius Cult Mother

After things had settled down throughout the summer of 2008, the ashes were stirred once again in August of 2008. See: Reverend Magdalen Part 3

Legal Fund

Please consider donating to Magdalen's legal fund, either directly or by purchasing a T-shirt. Direct donations can be sent via Paypal to: magdalen@subgenius.com

Up-to-the-minute updates can be found on the IRC channel #subgenius and the newsgroup alt.slack.

Rachel Bevilacqua
c/o Christopher S. Mattingly
Lipsitz Green LLP
42 Delaware Avenue
Suite 300
Buffalo, New York 14202-3857
www.lglaw.com/attorneys-39.html

Spartacus Award

The first part of this story can be found under: Reverend Magdalen
The third part of this story can be found under: Reverend Magdalen Part 3