Introduction


Presented in reverse chronology, this history stretches from the present back to the Fellowship's 1970 founding, and beyond.
(See "Blog Archive" in the sidebar below.) It draws from many sources, including The Fellowship of Friends - Living Presence Discussion, the Internet Archive, the former Fellowship of Friends wiki project, cult education and awareness sites, news archives, and from the editor's own 13-year experience in the Fellowship.

The portrait that emerges stands in stark contrast to sanitized versions presented on the Fellowship's array of
alluring websites, and on derivative sites created by Burton's now-estranged
disciple, Asaf Braverman.

Monday, October 7, 2002

The Ming furniture battle

"[The person] I have taken umbrage with personally was the person who falsely joined the Fellowship to steal the Ming Furniture collection..." - Abraham Goldman, March 30, 2007
 [ed. - This unfinished account of the history of the the Fellowship's Ming furniture collection, its liquidation through a Christie's auction, and of legal complaints levied in the wake of that auction was presented on a website, likely that of the Fellowship's former agent in the transaction, Filesha Tan. It appears to have been intended as an e-book.

The site contained a Preface attributed jointly to former Fellowship of Friends President Kristina Nielsen and former Renaissance Vineyard and Winery President James Tyndale-Biscoe defending Filesha Tan and others in the face of alleged ruthless attacks perpetrated by Robert Burton, via his legal counsel Abraham Goldman.

The content below was downloaded on October 31, 2003 from digitalfurnituresociety.com (no longer active). Images of the original pages - crawled in October and December, 2002 - can be viewed on the Internet Archive. Curiously, the domain digitalfurnituresociety.org was registered in 2006 by a Vivian Tan.

I have taken some editorial liberties to improve the readability of the original text. See also: The Fellowship's "Museum of Classical Chinese Furniture" is liquidated]


* New Updates! These sections can only be viewed by members.

About This e-Book

About the Author

Preface
by former Fellowship of Friends President and Head of Renaissance Winery and Vineyards

Synopsis of Events

Key Players
The Tan Family
The Fellowship of Friends
Christie's Auction House
Attorneys
Dealers and Scholars
Others
The Demon's Trap *

Distortions of the Truth
Part 1
Part 2
Evil's Accomplice *

Christie's Auction House

The Truth *

The Cursed Furniture

Spiritual Guide's Analysis

Justice? *
New York Superior Court
Sacramento Superior Court
San Francisco Superior Court
San Mateo Superior Court
Santa Clara Superior Court
Yuba Superior Court
United States Federal Court,
San Jose Division
The Chosen Victims

Harassment and Persecution

The Facade of Art and Religion *
Party Photos
Famous Visitors
The Demon's World *

The Ruthless Hunt *

Professional Analysis *


by former Presidents of the Fellowship of Friends
and Renaissance Vineyard & Winery

If truth is absent or so deformed and twisted as to be unrecognizable can the concept of justice be entertained? A simple philosophical question came after reading [Abraham] Goldman's statement ("Undisputed Facts"). In my thirty years as a Senior Executive...always sensitive to notions of truth, I have rarely read such a premeditated and calculated attempt to distort the truth as to what actually occurred. After reading Goldman's document it comes as no surprise to me that he has been disbarred from practicing law. For Goldman's distortions...(if I am to place a charitable interpretation upon them) to prevail, a serious injustice would be done to Filesha Tan. I cannot in good conscience allow such fabrications to go on unchallenged and would certainly be willing to appear in court to do my part in establishing truth as to what actually happened.

I was asked by Robert Burton, who was the head of the Fellowship, to take responsibility for disposing of the Ming Collection. I accepted reluctantly although my reluctance had nothing to do with Filesha Tan but stemmed from the fact that my professional knowledge of the Asian Arts market was limited. However, for reasons that will become clear I saw little alternative given the weak financial position of the Fellowship and more especially the Winery which is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Fellowship. Together with a Fellowship student names Curtis Evarts, who was knowledgeable in the fields of Asian arts, I was the only member of the Fellowship to have participated consistently at every meeting that had to do with the sale of the collection involving Filesha Tan, and later Johnny Chen. It is my recollection that Goldman was rarely if ever present at any of the meetings involving Filesha Tan or Johnny Chen. This simple fact would seemingly disallow Goldman from being able to present anything remotely resembling an objective account of the accurate events leading up to the sale. Especially since he did not consult with me. And if Curtis Evarts was consulted, he would have been obliged to lie to arrive at such a picture.

Obviously some years have now passed since the sale took place. My recollection of events is not total. However, there are in my view certain undisputable and verifiable facts that should allow a more accurate and undistorted picture of the events to be established and these are the facts.

1) The Fellowship of its own free will and fully understanding the inherent risks involved undertook to negotiate with Filesha Tan for disposal of the collection of Ming furniture by whatever means was deemed appropriate to the two parties.

2) To the best of my recollection the Fellowship was at all times, up to the signing of the consignment agreement, free to determine and act upon a viable alternative strategy. If they did not do so it was simply because there was no viable alternative strategy available, given the urgency of the financial needs of the Fellowship and its subsidiary winery, which I should add was entirely of their own creation.

3) The Fellowship negotiated in good faith with Filesha Tan and there was at all times a mutual trust between the negotiators that transcended the very evident cultural differences in ways of doing business. The negotiation was the best deal that could have been reached under the circumstances. Had the Fellowship wished to take the risk of undertaking the auction themselves it was always free to do so prior to the signing of the contract. This auction was considered by myself and discussed with the Fellowship but it was rejected for very good reasons as to being too risky. Had the auction not been a success the Fellowship might well have obtained far less than the $6,000,000.

4) Robert Burton agreed to settle for $6,000,000. This occurred in a telephone conversation which I had with Robert Burton when I requested his agreement to go forward with the deal. I understand that throughout the negotiations Robert Burton was kept fully informed of every outcome from each negotiation. As a result of this agreement the Fellowship received the $6,000,000 that had been agreed upon between the parties.

5) To my knowledge the only area of cogitation was the interest earned by the Fellowship. In my view, which I expressed to the Fellowship at the time, even though by then I was living in England, the Fellowship's heavy-handed attempt to obtain the payment of interest was unfortunate and unwise. It could have been handled in a much more sensitive and effective way. In the end, as I understand it, the Fellowship obtained settlement for the outstanding interest and lawyer fees. In receiving this they actually received everything if not more than they were entitled to and to the best of my knowledge they are owed nothing additional by Filesha Tan.

6) Filesha Tan's efforts were essential to the auction's eventual success. It is my opinion that she should have been congratulated and hailed as a savior by the Fellowship, as she rightfully was, instead of being persecuted like a criminal. If there is any fraud or bad faith being perpetrated in this case it is being attempted by Goldman for motives that can only be unworthy and demeaning of the organization that claims lineage with Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, who were both ...spiritual figures of the 20th Century.

7) The reason for the Fellowship wishing to sell the collection was a catastrophic state of the winery's finances such that there was a very real danger of the winery finding itself in bankruptcy. This is a verifiable fact and can be established by subpoenaing the winery's financial records going back over a number of years, including the year 1995 and 1996.

8) The Fellowship had for a number of years tried unsuccessfully to sell the collection and during all this time they were attempting to market it they had not received one single offer.

9) The Fellowship was faced with a $5,000,000 lawsuit against Robert Burton who was accused of having sex with a minor. This case was eventually settled out of court but not before the psychological effects of this pending case had done considerable damage to the credibility and reputation of an organization already suffering due to prior legal actions against it for similar activities. In addition to the psychological damage there was a very real possibility that if the case had gone to court, the insurance companies who were involved for the Fellowship would have decided [not?] to pay the Fellowship's cost or to meet any of the awards against the Fellowship. The reason for this was that they had been faced with payments for prior cases, or certainly a major prior case.

10) The Fellowship was unable and unwilling to pay its property taxes to Yuba County. This can be verified by the records of Yuba County. This inability to pay the property taxes (and I have to add unwillingness, because of Robert Burton's predictions that California would disappear into the sea in 1998) had potentially very damaging consequences for the Fellowship, and I advised very strongly against the policy that they followed. The damaging consequences arose from the compounding interest charges levied against the Fellowship for nonpayment. These were extremely high and quickly turned the liability into very substantial sums over a period of time which the Fellowship would have had great difficulty in meeting.

To Be Continued...



1989 - The Fellowship of Friends began collecting Ming furniture

1990 - The Fellowship of Friends officially created the Museum of Classical Chinese Furniture Society; also began collecting an abundance of information about classical Chinese furniture. The Fellowship began inviting the wealthy and famous people from the list of names that they have been gathering for many years to view the collection. During this time, they held many parties, and kept all of the photographs in the Fellowship's record.

1992 - The Fellowship began recruiting scholars to write books about the furniture collection.

1993 - The Fellowship prepared to sell the furniture collection.

1994 - The Fellowship began a rigorous search for buyers.

1995 - Unable to find any buyers, the Fellowship worked with Christie's Auction House to create a scheme to sell the furniture through a scapegoat [See bolded term in "Evil's Accomplice" below] so that their collaboration would be hidden.

1996 - The furniture auction created a huge success for the Fellowship and Christie's.

1997 - After obtaining the money, the Fellowship and Christie's continued to plan on taking more money from the scapegoat.

1998 - Using all kinds of methods and reasons, the Fellowship and Christie's began simultaneously taking legal action against the scapegoat and members of her family, through numerous lawsuits filed at different courts all over the United States. The purpose was to annihilate the scapegoat and her family so that the Fellowship and Christie's could obtain more money and property while erasing evidence of their partnership.

1999 - Lawsuits continued

2000 - Lawsuits continued

2001 - Lawsuits continued

2002 - Lawsuits continued


The Fellowship of Friends

Robert Burton - Founder (Complete deposition and declaration will be available soon.)
"Burton admits that James Tyndale-Biscoe and Kristina Nielson were the only Fellowship of Friends representatives who discussed the Ming furniture transaction with Filesha Tan...and only Tyndale's decisions are valid and final...Burton later claims that he never knew Filesha Tan was acting as the Fellowship's agent, and that he did not know the Fellowship was suing the Tan family..."
Abraham Goldman - Legal Advisor (Complete deposition and declaration will be available soon.)
"Goldman knowingly abuses the law by constantly changing his statements...At first he acknowledges that James Tyndale-Biscoe and Kristina Nielsen were the only people who handled the furniture transaction on the Fellowship's behalf...But later Goldman says that Tyndale was merely a member of the Fellowship's 'control group' and did not have the ability to make valid decisions...and continues to prevent Tyndale and Nielsen from testifying in court..."
James Tyndale-Biscoe - Ex-Member and Former Head of Renaissance Winery & Vineyards

Please see the Preface

Kristina Nielsen - Ex-Member and Former President

Please see the Preface

David Springfield - Legal Advisor and Private Investigator

Peter Bishop - President

Wayne Mott - Director and Former President

Curtis Evarts - Curator of the Museum of Classical Chinese Furniture

William Coney - Board Director

Colin Lambert - Former President



Christie's Auction House

Please see Evil's Accomplice [below]


The Tan Family

Attorneys

Dealers

Scholars

Others


To Be Continued...

[ed. - From the Internet Archive (link defunct):]


In the lawsuit against my family and me, the Fellowship made the following accusations:

A) The Fellowship did not know that I was going to sell the furniture collection.

B) The Fellowship did not know that the collection was going to be sold at Christie's.

C) The Fellowship did not know that Christie's loaned $2 million for the collateral.

D) I was an agent for Christie's.

E) Unlike what I originally told the Fellowship, I did not have a good relationship with Christie's.

These accusations are entirely false. I never served as an agent for Christie's, nor have I boasted a good relationship with Christie's. After the lawsuit began, I discovered that Christie's Auction House is actually a branch of the Fellowship.

I was first introduced to James Tyndale-Biscoe in late May 1995. To my knowledge, discussions concerning the auctioning of the furniture did not even begin until July 1995. Discussions concerning auctioning the furniture at Christie's did not begin until August 1995. However, after the Fellowship sued me, I discovered that the Fellowship and Christie's have been plotting the auction long before I became involved, and that I was used as a scapegoat in their plan to relieve the Fellowship of its financial troubles.

A) Amongst the documents transferred between Christie's and the Fellowship, I found a fax sent from Christie's to the Fellowship, dated April 1995. The fax contained Christie's appraisal of the furniture collection, showing that the approximate reserve price on the collection was less than $2 million. Normally, Christie's would not even have loaned $500,000 as collateral for a collection of such low value. However, Christie's quickly approved of the $2 million loan, to be passed through my family to the Fellowship. For such a large loan, Christie's did not go through the standard process of checking the background of the collection owner. In fact, one of the Christie's employees pointed out that the furniture collection did not belong to the Tan family, thus the loan should not have been approved and the collection should not have been moved to Christie's. After the lawsuit began, I found the documents containing the above information. However, when my counsel tried to contact the Christie's employee, he was informed that this employee was no longer working for Christie's. Christie's refused to give my counsel any information regarding this employee. Like the Fellowship members involved in the furniture transaction, the Christie's employee disappeared.

B) In transactions in the United States, the owners and their lawyers would always utilize the UCC to protect their property. According to Goldman, the Fellowship is a very large organization with a very powerful law firm. It is not possible that the Fellowship would not know to use the UCC and to go through the process to ensure the security of the transaction. However, even though the Fellowship used their own members to deliver the collection to Christie's, they did not use the UCC to protect the collection. In August 1995 and in March 1996, when the Fellowship moved the furniture collection to Christie's, my family and I inquired about the insurance issues. The Fellowship stated that they would contact Christie's directly and that I would not incur any extraneous shipping and insurance fees, since these were already taken care of by the Fellowship. However, after the auction, Christie's sent my family an invoice, charging over $400,000 for shipping and insurance. We were very shocked, since the Fellowship and Christie's originally promised that we were not obligated to pay these expenses. I do not, however, know how the Fellowship and Christie's intended to share this amount between them.

C) The Fellowship accused me of being an agent for both Christie's and the Fellowship. However, I never acted as an agent for Christie's. It was not until October 1996, when I was in Hong Kong, was I informed that Christie's wanted to send me an "appreciation fee." I agreed to accept it, and announced that I was going to donate this amount to the Asian Art Museum. When my counsel deposed the Christie's employees in New York City, they pointed out that the appreciation fee was not the agent fee, and that prior to the auction, I did not even know that I was going to receive this amount. According to Christie's company rule, the appreciation fee is directly proportional to the seller's commission, thus the higher the commission, the higher the appreciation fee. A Christie's agent would receive commission as follows:

Proceeds: Christie's Commission: Appreciation Fee:
$5 million (10%) $500,000 (40% of Commission) $200,000
$10 million (2%) $200,000 (40% of Commission) $80,000

I know that I am not very intelligent, otherwise I would not so easily fooled by Christie's and the Fellowship. However, I can read the above figures and understand how much an agent would earn. Therefore, if I really were an agent for Christie's, then I would know how to obtain the higher commission. After the lawsuit began, I found an unsigned agent agreement drafted by Christie's amongst the Fellowship's documents. Until then, I had never seen this agreement, but the Fellowship used it to sue me for being Christie's agent.

D) The Fellowship accused me for forbidding the Fellowship from communicating with Christie's since August 1995. At the Christie's deposition, my counsel asked why Christie's never contacted the Fellowship. Christie's responded that the Fellowship was tainted with many financial, sexual, and other problems, therefore a prestigious company such as Christie's would never associate with such an organization and its members. However, according to the declarations and depositions of the Fellowship members, and the documents between the Fellowship and Christie's, many Fellowship members work at Christie's. In fact, Christie's wrote recommendations for some of the Fellowship members to enter other art fields. The Fellowship members also wrote the catalogues for the Christie's auctions, with exception to the 1996 furniture auction. For the 1996 furniture auction, Christie's refused to use anything written by the Fellowship members. My family even offered a catalogue introduction written by the Fellowship, but Christie's rejected it, stating that it was too "dark." However, the Fellowship believed that my family did not allow Christie's to use the introduction.

E) After the lawsuit began, I discovered that the Fellowship members kept in frequent contact with Christie's. Any art items that the Fellowship purchased or sold were through Christie's. More importantly, Christie's did not charge any commissions for the Fellowship's sales or purchases. The commission is the main source of revenue for any auction house, including Christie's. Even for its most wealthy customers, or the CEO's parents, or the Queen herself, Christie's would still charge the commission. Christie's must view the Fellowship as God, in order to give it such a benefit. The Fellowship would not have had to pay for the shipping costs, insurance, interest, and commission if the Fellowship had directly handled the auction. However, these expenses cost my family over $1 million dollars, according to Christie's non-negotiable invoice. I do not understand why Christie's and the Fellowship needed my family as a go-between.

F) The Fellowship's members and lawyers met with Christie's frequently before the auction. However, my family did not know about these meetings until after the auction. My family contacted Christie's and questioned why we were not informed of the meetings between Christie's and the Fellowship. My family has the right to know about any discussions prior to the auction, in order to prevent any problems that may arise. Christie's president and lawyer replied that the Fellowship member who attended the meeting happened to be my family's attorney. Both Christie's and the Fellowship member believed that the discussions that took place were unimportant and would not harm my family, thus they did not find it necessary to tell us. Christie's president and lawyer guaranteed that no problems would arise due to their meeting. Goldman also sent a letter to us, commenting that he had a very pleasant meeting with Christie's, that the auction was very successful, and that Burton was very content with the results. However, Christie's guarantee was a complete lie. Christie's deliberate concealment of the secret negotiations with the Fellowship caused my family to lose around $40 million in lawsuits. The 1996 auction was a global sale; however, my family never signed any contracts agreeing to have a global sale. As a result, we lost over $1 million in proceeds. After the auction, my family attempted to inquire Christie's about the global sale, but Christie's never addressed the matter. During the lawsuit, the Fellowship never mentioned the global sale either. I believe that the $1 million has already been divided between Christie's and the Fellowship.

G) When the Fellowship sued my family and me, Christie's appeared rather excited. Christie's gave every single document regarding my family to the Fellowship. These documents were detailed to the extent of including a record of a conversation between Christie's employees, where they called me a bitch. By providing the Fellowship with these documents, Christie's displayed its loyalty to the Fellowship. However, even at my counsel's requests, Christie's refused to release any Fellowship documents to us.

H) The letters that Goldman and his association sent to the Christie's attorneys are labeled "confidential," and begin with the line: "Let me tell you about what an awful woman Filesha is…" None of the contents are true, but Christie's treated the letters like the Bible and never investigated the truth. Following the directions in the letters, Christie's sued my family and me at the New York Superior Court. My family and I had money and property, totaling more than $1 million, being kept at Christie's. But since Christie's insisted that it did not know where to contact us, the judge released our assets to the Fellowship instead. However, according to the documents between the Fellowship and Christie's, they both acknowledged that the money and property belonged to me. Yet Christie's lied to the judge about not knowing where I was and whom the money and property belonged to, in order to demonstrate loyalty to the Fellowship.

I) One of the major reasons that the Fellowship is suing me is because I lied about having a good relationship with Christie's. However, I never said such a thing, and I never even felt that I knew Christie's very well at all. In order to use this excuse to sue me, at my depositions, Goldman even tried to force me to admit that I had a good relationship with Christie's. I did not admit it, because I could not admit something that was not true. On the other hand, Christie's and the Fellowship support one another to the most extreme degree; their relationship can be likened to that of true lovers who are willing to die for each other, or that of the most devout disciples and their god. Even if I did have a good relationship with Christie's, it could not compare to .00001% of the devotion between Christie's and the Fellowship. I do not understand why this would become one of the causes behind the lawsuit.

Since 1995, my family and I spent much time, energy, and money to purchase land and property from the Fellowship, to publish the Fellowship's catalogues and journals, to pay attorney fees, to create a research center for the Fellowship, to purchase equipment for the center, and even to employ Fellowship members to run the center. As for Christie's, my family invested equally as much time, energy, and money to invite scholars for seminars and calligraphy writing, to make furniture models, to provide the Christie's customers with free catalogues, to purchase auction catalogues from Christie's, and to assist Christie's in creating a successful auction. Yet, we were still obligated to pay for the insurance, commission, interest, shipping fees, and other fees. The auction alone cost my family several million dollars, and now the lawsuits created by the Fellowship and Christie's has caused my family and I to lose reputation, businesses, property, more money, trust, health, and even life. The only truth that we obtained as a result is that Christie's is only one branch of the Fellowship's powerful network.

Goldman claimed that Tenth Union was formed because I owed Christie's over $600,000.00 for the purchase that I had made in late 1994, and thus this amount would be deducted if Christie's sent the money to me. Goldman also insisted that Theow Tow had acknowledged this at his deposition, when in fact, Tow never discussed this matter with me. Furthermore, Tow clearly stated at least twice at his deposition that Christie's did not want to become directly involved with the Fellowship due to its notorious financial and sexual problems, thus Christie's requested that the Fellowship used Tenth Union as an intermediate. Although I did purchase several items from the 1994 auction, I did not owe Christie's $600,000.00 for the following reasons:

a. Two of the items, with a combined value of over $150,000.00, were fakes, thus I was in the process of negotiating with Christie's about returning them.

b. One item valued over $170,000 was damaged, thus I was in the process of negotiating with Christie's about returning it as well.

c. Christie's asked me to purchase a bronze Buddha of around $320,000.00 because another buyer had purchased it but was unable to pay the full amount because he had overbid. However, as I did not wish to undergo the transfer of ownership procedure and pay the excess, Christie's and I were in the process of arranging the purchase so that I would be the original buyer.

d. By end of December 1994, I had already paid $200,000.00 in cash to Christie's.

e. I had never been in possession of any of the items; they were all kept at Christie's.

f. In mid-January 1995, I met with Christie's representative in Singapore and we talked about the collection that I purchased from a Chicago dealer a long time ago. The collection was worth over $1 million, but the Christie's representative suggested that I sell the collection in order to purchase better items. He said that, with Christie's acting as my consultant, I would always be able to purchase items of the best value. He also said that only an auction could truly reflect the actual value of my collection, and recommended that I sell it at Christie's. I told him that I would send him the pricelist and other documents concerning my collection. In March 1995, I prepared the papers for Christie's; meanwhile, I also discussed with Christie's the items that I had purchased in 1994, because I heard rumors saying that Christie's had dealings with some dealers, which was why I had purchased fake, damaged, and extremely overpriced items. Christie's told me not to worry about the situation and concentrate on selling my collection. I believed that Christie's, as a large and reputable company, did intend to act as a consultant and help me and my family build a "significant collection" and would keep their word and compensate for their mistakes in the future, so I sent another $80,000.00 in cash to them. In mid-1995, the Fellowship had selected me as its target, now I understand that the Fellowship chose to use me as its scapegoat because it was collaborating with Christie's. (Before I even met the Fellowship members, Christie's already sent them an appraisal of the Ming furniture collection, which was worth only $2 million to $2.5 million. I discovered these documents amongst the Fellowship's papers after the lawsuit began. Please refer to my previous declarations for details.) In May 1995, the Chicago dealer recommended that I purchase the Foster collection from Foster City, California. When I received the price list and photos, I asked Christie's, my "consultant," for opinion. Christie's told me that all of the items were overpriced, and that Foster also contacted Christie's and proposed a much lower price. Christie's suggested that I should not purchase the Foster collection because it was of little value, and let Foster sell it at Christie's. According to Christie's, I also should not sell my collection at the same time as the Foster collection, because it would drag down the value of mine. I agreed, and we stopped transporting the collection the Christie's. However, at that time, Christie's already held several items of my collection, and over $290,000.00 in cash.

I do not owe Christie's any money, considering that none of the situations (listed "a" through "f" above) have been resolved. Although I inquired numerous times, Christie's always insisted that they were holding my property and my money to help me build a "significant collection". Christie's told me that, in order to test the true value of my collection, I ought to sell it at low prices without promotion. Christie's said that such a method was used to sell the Sackler collection, and though the items were offered at low prices, they were all purchased at high prices. However, as I later discovered, the Sackler collection consisted mainly of fake, damaged, or other problematic items. The collector was trying to dispose of these items, and Christie's, taking advantage of the collection's fame, asked many dealers to bid and drive up the prices, fooling many clients to purchase the overpriced items. In March 1996, Christie's sold my collection, consisting of authentic and valuable pieces, at low prices to these dealers to express gratitude for their assistance during the Sackler auction. For example, I had purchased one of the bronze pieces in my collection for $110,000.00 from the Chicago dealer. The Chicago dealer later told me that a famous English dealer was interested in purchasing it for $150,000.00. When I consulted Christie's, they said that it was only a rumor and that the English dealer would not be interested in purchasing the piece. Christie's then set the price for the bronze piece for $20,000.00 and it was purchased at that price. However, I later found out that the person who purchased the bronze piece for $20,000.00 was the same English dealer who had offered $150,000.00. In another example, although Christie's usually sells a pair of common Qing porcelain bowls for $9,000.00, Christie's sold fourteen of these same bowls in my collection for only $3,000.00 total. When Goldman asked me about this at my deposition, he was rather delighted and said that this common of Christie's. In addition, Christie's reported that one of my pieces was stolen prior to the auction, but since they had set such a low price on it, they could only give me very little compensation for it. In another case, Christie's lost the lid to one of the valuable jade vessels, thus, without the lid, they could only sell it for under $1,000.00. These are only a few examples of the "mishaps" that occurred during the auction. After the auction, my collection that was initially worth over $1 million was sold for less than $300,000.00. Christie's, however, sent me an invoice stating that I still owed them $82,000.00, and explained that it was only a statement, and that they would work out the actual expenses later, so I should not worry. I was very shocked that my collection sold for such a low price, and Christie's explained that it was the result of not promoting the collection. Christie's convinced me that I must place every effort into promoting the furniture collection, otherwise the same disaster would occur. Meanwhile, the Fellowship and Goldman quickly drafted the purchasing agreements for the furniture collection and sent them to me; Goldman even included a letter stating that the complete inventory list was not included because he didn't have time, and would add it later. I now understand that the Fellowship had already known about the results of the March 1996 auction, which was why they hastily asked us to sign the purchasing agreement even though it was not complete, because Christie's and the Fellowship needed to dispose of their "hot potato."

In February 1997, Christie's sent an invoice regarding the September 1996 furniture auction to Tenth Union. According to the original agreement, certain expenses, such as insurance and shipping costs, were supposed to be paid by Christie's, not us. The invoice, however, charged us with all sorts of expenses, over $1 million; also, the price on the invoice was double of what the insurance and shipping companies charged. Christie's did not provide lists of sold and unsold items either. Christie's also sent obscure invoices regarding the March 1996 auction, charging us for over $500,000.00. The same thing occurred in October 1997, when my family discovered that Christie's Hong Kong division was trying to sell our jadeite without our consent. As this is not directly related to the current case, I will address it later. By the end of 1997, Christie's asked to sell more of my collections, and I asked them to speak to my attorney as I did not want to have any more contact with them. In March 1998, Christie's sold the same "significant collection" that they had purchased for me. I had paid over $1 million in cash for this purchase, lost another $1 million worth of property, but Christie's only sold this "significant collection" for around than $330,000.00. Instead of notifying my family, my lawyer, or me to obtain the proceeds from this auction, Christie's contacted the Fellowship. Together, they legally laundered the money by bringing the case to the New York Superior Court. On one hand, in June 1999 at the New York Christie's Headquarters, my lawyer and I were informed that the money was safely kept by the court, and we would be informed of any actions; on the other hand, they told the judge that they could not find me or my lawyer, thus the money should be given to the Fellowship instead.

My family and I were set-up from the beginning, since all of Christie's tactics were identical to those of the Fellowship. Although Christie's never mentioned the link between the $600,000.00 and the furniture transaction, Goldman and the Fellowship was able to make the accusation that I owed $600,000.00 to Christie's because they knew Christie's would support them. Christie's benefited because they needed to erase all of the dirty tricks that they played on me, even though I did a great favor for Christie's by not announcing the fake pieces that they sold me and helping them promote the furniture auction. However, I still have not had the chance to finish the matter with Christie's, as after the auction Christie's real identity as the Fellowship's collaborator was revealed. Christie's and the Fellowship had been working together since 1995 and needed a scapegoat to pay their expenses and commissions, help the Fellowship obtain loans, and take blame in case the auction was not successful, while the alliance between Christie's and the Fellowship would remain concealed since they did not appear to be in contact directly.

To Be Continued...

THE CHOSEN VICTIMS

Harassment and Persecution
"The Fellowship had continuously harassed my family and me over the past several years. Since the Fellowship has harassed us in ways unimaginable, it is not possible to state everything here. One example, however, was when Goldman demanded that my physician give a copy of my mammogram to the Fellowship. When both my physician and my lawyer refused, Goldman angrily stated that he intended to embarrass me, and would do anything to obtain the x-ray. I disgusts me that an organization would take something so private from a woman and display it to its members at public meetings, as well as sending it to more than fifty branches worldwide, letting more than 5,000 people of all ages and sexual orientations to examine it. If the Fellowship were an organization that fights breast cancer, I would gladly support it. However, since the Fellowship's only intent is to embarrass me, I find their actions extremely disturbing..."

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