On October 26, 2011, (11 days before the Nov. 6, 2011 coup)

ED “GOLLY” GOLLOBITH (pictured below) wrote:

Gollobith 4


“THEY [EllenBeth Wachs & John Kieffer] USED MY LEGAL NAME

(on the AoF Board of Directors election ballot)


The following email excerpt is from Ed “Golly” Gollobith to Matt Cooper (“Gollobith/Cooper”) written 11 days prior to the November 6, 2011, board meeting/coup in which Gollobith/Cooper conspired to remove us [me (AoF President John Kieffer) and Vice-president EllenBeth Wachs] as officers and as members of Atheists of Florida (“AoF”).


The late MATT COOPER (d. Dec. 1, 2013)

In the email, Gollobith includes a lengthy email draft to me, which, for some reason, he never sent me, and, in it, warns me that “these things can backfire.”

From: Edgollystudio@aol.com [ED “GOLLY” GOLLOBITH]
Sent: Wednesday, October 26, 2011 9:57 AM
To: matt.progress@gmail.com [MATT COOPER]
Subject: Revised Kieffer e-mail 

Hey, Matt,

    I looked at the ballot yesterday and found another discrepancy. They used my legal name in order to confuse the electorate. I did not submit my nomination using my legal name, I used “Golly,” the name by which I am commonly known to the electorate. I added mention of that in the second-to-last paragraph which revises the Kieffer e-mail I am asking you to review prior to sending. I also noted that in the Executive Committee Conference Call on 10/08, they planned to send the ballots 2 to 3 days prior to Nov 1, a fact which is also addressed in the revised e-mail. So now we know they want to get rid of me, too.

    Just spoke with an attorney I know. After explaining the situation, he asked to see the bylaws and articles of incorporation, which are on file with the state. I’ll send them over to him for review. Maybe he can help. I’m looking for all the help I can get with this.


[The following is Gollobith’s unsent draft included in his email to Cooper]

Hello, John,


Now I have reviewed the ballot you sent to the board. I submitted my nomination and bio as “Ed Golly” and curiously, it appears on the ballot as Ed Gollobith (Golly). Should I have been consulted regarding how I wanted my name to appear on the ballot? … I’m sure no confusion on the part of voters is intended, is it? So now I see you’re trying to get rid of me, too. Careful, John. These things can backfire.

~Ed Golly

Chairman, Atheists of Florida, Inc.

[above email: Gollobith to Cooper ‘THEY USED MY LEGAL NAME’ email 10-26-2011 ]



Ed “Golly” Gollobith’s threatened “backfire,” would manifest as the November 6, 2011, coup, a product of a conspiracy by co-tricksters/co-conspirators Gollobith, Cooper and Joe Reinhardt, which included:

  • A behind the scenes “whisper campaign” telling select AoF board members (which they identified as “loyal” to Gollobith/Cooper) the falsehood that we had “misappropriated” an $18,040.92 check, which I had written to EllenBeth’s attorney (when in fact I had met with the Financial Oversight Committee (“FOC”) – Gollobith, Cooper and Joe Reinhardt – on September 11, 2011, to approve the disbursement of that amount in legal fund donations made on EllenBeth’s behalf to her attorney’s legal fund); [see Gollobith’s email to Steve Brown, Exhibit A].  (It’s noteworthy that in the private Gollobith to Cooper email above, that Gollobith is freaking out (with fellow FOC member Cooper) how I spelled his name on the ballot and not a peep about the $18K check, even though he’s already talking to folks about it prior to October 26. (See Exhibit E below for evidence.) Moreover,  Gollobith lies about this too testifying under oath that he didn’t “discover” the check until a bank visit on October 27.)


  • Rigging the November 6, 2011, AoF board meeting to suppress discussions when I (and EllenBeth and Rob Curry) demanded such to find out what the issues were that could possibly warrant our removal as officers; [see Gollobith’s email to Cooper scripting precisely how the board meeting would be rigged to prevent discussion (“calling the question” when Gollobith made his motion to remove/retain officers) Exhibit B]  (I was not aware at that Board Meeting that Gollobith was telling his loyalists behind the scenes — see Exhibit A — the lie that I had not received approval to disburse the $18K check and he didn’t want me asking questions as to why I was  being removed as president, or, for that matter, risking his loyalists asking me about it.  He knew I would have had a right-then-and-there showdown with Gollobith and Cooper on that issue (The third FOC member and co-trickster, Joe Reinhardt, was conveniently out of the country).

 Joe Reinhardt 2


  • Creating a fraudulent membership expulsion complaint (to remove EllenBeth and me as members of AoF) in the name of an AoF board member (Tracy Thomas, the current AoF Chairman of the Board) who later admitted to me when I deposed her under oath that she did not write it, nor could she answer any questions about it because she didn’t write it.  [Gollobith/Cooper’s “Tracy Thomas” Expulsion Complaint – Exhibit C ]


TRACY THOMAS (who did not write the “Tracy Thomas” Expulsion Complaint)

  • Why was it important for Gollobith/Cooper to remove us as members of AoF?  A worksheet created by Cooper shows that they were worried that we would simply be re-elected to the board during the ongoing election. “#12 – If election is rerun fairly and Wachs and Keiffer are reelected to the new board due to their fame, isn’t the organization back where we are now?”  [See Exhibit D] (And, oh, not a peep about $18K in there either).

In fact, on November 13, 2011, Gollobith, in his capacity as Chairman and new acting-President, persuaded the remaining board to cancel the ongoing election.  For Gollobith/Cooper, the coup was always about the election for AoF Board of Directors.  Issues of “misappropriation” were fabricated to provide a reason for just enough of their loyal board members to remove us from our executive positions and as members. Gollobith was angry that I had used his legal name on the election ballot (imagine that!) and for this he would warn me in the unsent draft of his email: Careful, John. These things can backfire.

To his surprise, however, his November 6, 2011, “backfire”/coup was quickly answered by EllenBeth’s Defamation Lawsuit (and my own similar suit in 2013).

Gollobith has destroyed Atheists of Florida, and his attorneys have been paid all of AoF’s $90K, which AoF had in its bank account for future state/church separation objectives.  And, I recently found out that Gollobith’s attorney, who, BTW, is NOT an atheist, has billed AoF an additional $270K of which Gollobith is allegedly loaning to AoF to continue litigation.   It is Gollobith — and only Gollobith– operating behind the guise of the corporate veil of Atheists of Florida, Inc., who is fueling this unnecessary fiasco.  A fiasco simply to save Gollobith and his loyalists from our lawsuits, which, BTW, we tried to resolve with a mediated settlement in 2012, which Gollobith sabotaged at a point when AoF still had most of that 90K in its bank account.

Magician Mulholland’s words have much meaning in understanding the AoF Debacle: a debacle, produced by a couple of tricksters, which continues today in the several consolidated Hillsborough County court cases (“Wachs v Gollobith et al), which are so tragically expending so much valuable time, talent, emotions and resources away from what we should all instead be doing: providing atheists community and challenging church/state separation issues.

All tricksters, other than magicians, depend to a great extent upon the fact that they are not known to be, or even suspected of being, tricksters. Therein lies their great advantage.

And one last trickster to trickster email, October 25, 2011,  FOC members Gollobith (r) to Reinhardt (l):

tricksters 1

I did not tell him [Rob Curry] about the $18K check. Don’t want that leaking to EB [EllenBeth] or John [Kieffer] before tomorrow’s revelations arrive. Let’s keep that under the rug, too.”  Exhibit E

Yes, Mr. Gollobith, things did “backfire” … especially keeping your trickster plans “under the rug.”

John Kieffer

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Operating in the shadows: Ed “Golly” Gollobith

READ & DECIDE if the secret, secluded meetings arranged by CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD Ed “Golly” Gollobith and held with a select set of board members — which occurred during the four months prior to Mr. Gollobith’s November 6, 2011, coup d’état in which EllenBeth Wachs and I were fraudulently and illegally removed as officers of Atheists of Florida and purportedly expelled as members of the organization — were indeed “covert.”

gollobith 3


On Wednesday, July 9th 2014, I deposed Defendant Gloria Julius as part of “discovery” in our ongoing cases.



Among the exhibit emails that I asked Mrs. Julius to confirm were sent to her, were those that revealed some covert, secret meetings that Gollobith had set up with her and 4 other select AoF Board members.

Though I took some time with Mrs. Julius to define the terms “secret” and “covert,” she tapped danced every which way to keep from admitting that these meetings were “secret,” and “covert.”

And Mr. Gollobith’s attorney, Gale Porter, who Mr. Gollobith is paying to represent Mrs. Julius and his other codefendants, objected on the record every time I used the phrase “covert meetings” in my questioning.

gale porter   GALE PORTER, (photo source: Examiner.com)

Among Gollobith’s emails about these covert meetings — of which I (AoF president) and EllenBeth Wachs (AoF Vice-president) and other board members were purposefully never informed about — the following 3 email EXHIBITS stand out as exceptionally making my point that they were “covert meetings” …

#1 (Exhibit “11”) — Consider when reading this email that the most convenient meeting place for Gollobith & his folks would have been our office in Tampa, which Mr. Gollobith owned and which I had a key to and popped in there often to work on AoF business:

OFFICEAoF’s former office building: 3614 South Manhattan Avenue, Tampa                     [Gollobith had inherited this 1700 sq. ft. office building and, in 2011, wanted to sell it to AoF for $221K through a sham Contract for Deed (which EllenBeth & I strongly opposed), and which he then sold months later to another party for $51K less for $170K]

From: Edgollystudio@—.com

Sent: Wednesday, June 29, 2011 4:32 PM

To: brownsteve@—-.net; glojulius@ —.com; nanowens@ —.com; matt —@gmail.com

Subject: Board Minutes

Hello, All;

    Attached are the minutes of the Sunday meeting. On page 8 you will find a recap of the motions that were carried and the actions agreed upon, and on page 9 is a list of the board members. I still lack some contact information for the newest board members, and you will find that space blank. Matt, I need your address, and I have no contact information for Oravec.

    I think we should avoid the office for a meeting. Who knows who might walk in while we’re in the middle of discussing the issues of concern? So for the sake of privacy, I recommend either a small meeting room at a library or a restaurant, or my house, which is less than two miles east of the office. The Platt library is just a half block south of the office and may have a room available, but I’m not certain what is required to secure it any more. The Java Club cafe is a half block north of the office and has outdoor tables that would probably be sufficiently private after 1:00. Any time Friday will work fine for me.


#2  (Exhibit “13”) — Note: Gollobith should have written “the 6 of us,” which I pointed out during deposition that this number of directors meeting secretly represented 50% of the board (& 50% of any vote):

From: Edgollystudio@—.com

Sent: Tuesday, July 19, 2011 2:19 PM

To: glojulius@—.com; matt—@gmail.com; brownsteve@—.net; joerein@—.com; nanowens@—.com Subject: Re: Motions

To:    Nan [Owens], Joe [Reinhardt], Steve [Brown], Gloria [Julius] and Matt [Cooper];

Fr:    Ed [“Golly” Gollobith]

Subject:    Meeting to discuss motions for the board.

We would like to set up a meeting for the five of us as soon as practical, probably at one of our residences. Steve [Brown] and I are unavailable Thursday afternoon, but any other time over the next seven days or so I think Steve, Gloria and I are available. How about Joe [Reinhardt] and Nan [Owens]? Are you in town and are you available to meet?

~Ed Golly

#3  (Exhibit “17”) —  This is a private email between Gollobith and Gloria Julius in which he calls his secret set of board members our group, and states that he won’t disclose to me (AoF President) who these board members are who formulated some motions for the board to vote on:

From: Edgollystudio@—.com

Sent: Tuesday, July 26, 2011 12:07 PM

To: glojulius@—.com Subject: Motions

Hi, Gloria,

Joe [Reinhardt], John and I are unable to find an intersecting point in our schedules, so there will be no meeting. Meanwhile, I have sent John the e-mail I sent the group the other day which serves to explain to John the foundation of the motions and still offering to receive his input before submitting the motions to the board for a vote. I anticipate he will object to both motions. If so, I will submit them anyway, and advise the board that no amendments will be accepted, including Christos’, since it would become impossibly cumbersome to deal with numerous proposed alterations via e-mail.

I will report any response from John to our group.  As you might guess, incidentally, he is very interested in knowing the identity of the board members involved in forming the motions. I have not disclosed that to him.


These secret meetings apparently included discussions in regard to purchasing Gollobith’s building; the Lakeland lawsuit in which EllenBeth was a Plaintiff; creating a Financial Oversight Committee; changing the donation links on the AoF website; and generating motions on some of these issues for the full board to vote on (knowing they secretly had at least 50% of the vote on any given motion that they produced).

Again, YOU DECIDE — was I right in calling these meetings “covert”?  Was Gollobith “operating in the shadows”?  From a legal point of view: under what stretch of the imagination can these clandestine, covert board member actions, led and organized by the Chairman of the Board, be considered operating in “good faith”?

And it would be these 6 covert meeting participants (less Reinhardt who went on vacation but stated full support for Gollobith’s actions) plus board members Tracy Thomas, Jim Peterson and Steve Miles who would provide the 8 out of the available 12 votes, which controlled the choreographed meeting agenda, suppressed discussions when I asked for such, and, in the end, produced the November 6, 2011 coup.


John Kieffer



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Email: John Kieffer to Gollobith’s atty, Gale Porter

The following is an email that I sent to Ed “Golly” Gollobith’s attorney, Gale Porter.  Parts which are confidential, such as the terms of a failed mediated settlement are redacted and some other parts, including those in brackets, were added to provide clarity.  Also, images were not included in the email.


From: <John Kieffer>
To: <Gale Porter, Esq.>
CC: <Ed “Golly” Gollobith>, <Judy Adkins>, <Jim Peterson>
Sent: 6/24/2014 4:32:02 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Subj: Re:


Addressing your comment in which you wrote:

The only discord arose when Wachs reverted back into the role of the lawyer, trying to make a record of events that were not transpiring, improperly interrupting when the truth was about to emerge …

Respectfully disagree, Gale — it was you who “improperly” interrupted me on several occasions when you stopped me from completing my answers and [EllenBeth] Wachs properly objected to your interruptions.  In one instance, you put your hand up at me, your palm facing me, to stop my answer like a policeman stopping traffic.

In reference to “when the truth was about to emerge,” the fact is that I told the truth throughout my deposition.   In contrast, it is Ed “Golly” Gollobith who is — and has been — perpetrating a series of falsehoods.

It is his [Gollobith’s] miscalculation  — a blunder in every sense of the word — that somehow he and Matt Cooper, with Joe Reinhardt‘s cooperation, could contrive a story that they supposedly knew nothing about the $18,040,92  disbursement [even though the three of them had authorized such on 9/11/11], tell the world that EllenBeth [Wachs] and I were thieves [“both have been expelled from the membership for … misappropriating the organization’s funds” – 11/6/11 email to AoF members] … and somehow we would just shrug and walk away quietly?



Unlike Mr. Gollobith, I could never get behind the wheel of an organization and set out to destroy two honorable people’s reputations, three including Rob [Curry], and recklessly drive that organization toward a cliff in a gamble fueled almost entirely up to this point by two donors’ bequeathed funds.

His gamble is the reason that we all find ourselves in litigation today.

For me, I’ve always operated from a position of trust. I never imagined for one second that — when I sat down with Gollobith, Reinhardt and Cooper at our Manhattan Ave. office, that afternoon on September 11, 2011, after the Chapter meeting, in their capacity as representatives of the FOC [Financial Oversight Committee], and reviewed with them a requested disbursement of $18,040.92 of donations made on behalf of Ms. Wachs to her legal fund — that they would conspire to deny that such a meeting ever happened.  I’m sure they counted on, and still do, of how improbable it would all look to outside observers that three “nice” men would all falsely deny the same thing; thus, creating the condition of 3 people’s words versus mine.

It gives me a sick feeling just writing about this betrayal.  Imagine how you would feel and what you would do if you were betrayed like that Gale.

Then if just that wasn’t enough, now Gollobith asserts “Civil Theft” [of the $18,040.92] and wants to take from me treble [“three times”] damages of $54,000 !!! [$18K x 3] … think about it: he wants to stick his hand into my wallet for my simply carrying out my responsibilities to disburse that $18K as I was tasked to do by him on 9/11/2011.



Not to mention that Gollobith actually assisted in that [$18K] disbursement by going to the bank with me 3 days after that 9/11/2011 FOC meeting  (9/14/2011) to co-sign with me a $10K transfer from our CD to the AoF checking account (representing Todd Stiefle’s donation to EllenBeth’s legal fund):


My signature & date on left side ; “Edward J. Gollobith” signature & date on right


The above 10K was to be be added to the $8,040.92 of Paypal donations, all of which had been donated to EllenBeth prior to Sept 5, 2011, and which would total $18,040.92.  This precise amount had been summed up to the penny for that 9/11/2011 FOC meeting and for which I had produced an accounting spreadsheet listing every donation, to the penny, for the FOC to review that day.

Gale, I’m sure you’ve seen that spreadsheet.

In fact, that spreadsheet was apparently audited by Gollobith’s “auditing committee” (composed of Rick O’Keefe and Sandra Smith – Gollobith’s girlfriend) who (from the spreadsheet provided me in discovery) placed those check marks on each and every donation as having occurred  — as I have always held — prior to September 5, 2011, and in preparation for the Sept 11 FOC meeting.

There is not one donation making up that $18,040.92, which occurred after September 5, 2011.

Not one penny.  

Mark Twain’s quote gives me some comfort at this juncture:

If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.

We see that quote played out throughout this dance as everyone on your side struggles to “remember” what that “truth” is supposed to be:

    • Gollobith’s deposition: “September 11 FOC happened for $2K”
    • Reinhardt’s Admissions: “September 4 FOC happened for the $2K”
    • Amended Complaint: “September 4 FOC happened for the $2K.”
    • You [Gollobith attorney Gale Porter], during my deposition [April 18, 2014], when I pulled out your client’s [Gollobith et al] Amended Complaint (which states Sept. 4 FOC happened for $2K) and pointed out to you the apparent contradiction between that and Gollobith’s assertion: “That’s a mistake

This in contrast to what I truthfully stated during my deposition — and as I have held since both FOC meetings — 9/4/2011 & 9/11/2011 — which I requested and participated in:

    • 1) Sept 4 FOC (Gollobith, Cooper, Reinhardt) — after AoF Board meeting — for purpose of authorizing $2000 disbursement for a private investigator, for which I wrote the check two days later.


    • 2) Sept.11 FOC (Gollobith, Cooper, Reinhardt) — after AoF Chapter meeting — for purpose of authorizing $18,040.92  disbursement representing donations to EllenBeth received prior to September 5, and for which I wrote the check on October 18:

18K check

Mr. Ed “Golly” Gollobith has known that two FOC meetings occurred the same as I do as does Mr. Reinhardt and the late Mr. Cooper did — it is as factual as the fact that I sat with you for that deposition.  You don’t have to remember whether or not you deposed me, you just know it as do deposition attendees Ed Gollobith, Judy Adkins and Nan Owens.

Moreover, I don’t have to “remember” — I know — as I stated in my deposition testimony that Gollobith had requested — prior to that 9/11 FOC meeting — that I bring with me the invoices for EllenBeth’s attorney: Larry Walters, which I did bring and did show him — and to Cooper and Reinhardt — the back pages of four of those invoices during that meeting.  I know that when I handed each one to him (he was sitting next to me to my left at the card table by the book shelf) he just glanced at them, sort of shrugged and passed them along to Cooper and Reinhardt.

And Gollobith, like Reinhardt and me don’t have to “remember” anything about my showing them those invoices – they know it just like I do.

So, considering all of this in the context of events of November 6, 2011 [date of the Gollobith/Cooper led coup to purportedly remove EllenBeth and me from our AoF executive positions (acting president and president, respectively), and later that day purportedly expelled as AoF members], why would any reasonable board member in a similar situation have shut down discussions with the very people (Ms. Wachs and me) sitting in front of them who could have been asked any question concerning the $18K (and, for that matter, all of the other alleged issues concerning the election or anything else) that any board member had.  Gollobith and Jim Peterson [copied in this email] know that when I asked for discussion prior to voting on the Motion to vote to Retain Officers during that board meeting (to figure out what was going on), it was Gollobith’s sidekick, Cooper, who quickly  “called the question”  ending/suppressing any and all discussion.

So the question is: WHY? (block & end board discussions)

Answer: because Gollobith and Cooper both knew very well that if anyone (ie: board members Steve Miles, Steve Brown., Jim Peterson, Nan Owens, Tracy Thomas etc) had blurted out anything about that $18,040.92 check (which on that day I had no clue whatsoever this was an issue given the 9/11/11 FOC meeting) it would have been “game over” for Gollobith’s, Cooper’s and Reinhardt’s little scheme.

That is a fact that Gollobith knew then and still knows now.  Consider how clueless I was about their actions given Jen Hancock’s Examiner article the next day [Nov. 7, 2011]:

John Kieffer said that it was clear that the outcome of the meeting had been decided prior to the meeting and that he had no further interest in what he called “this sham of a democratic process. “As far as the allegations of financial mismanagement are concerned, John stated, “each and every transaction that I have ever made with Atheists of Florida funds has been appropriate, authorized and documented. Until these folks will tell me specifically what this is about, I will continue to be just as confused as EllenBeth, Rob [Curry] and, for that matter, everyone else in our organization.”


And the Gollobith/Cooper scheme didn’t end there.  Gollobith has all along held out to his purported board members and the world that this was Tracy Thomas’ expulsion complaint — and why not: it says so right on the complaint itself written in the first person and signed by Tracy.  Jen Hancock writes:

According to Ed, the decision to expel John and Ellenbeth from the organization took place after the board meeting in accordance with the bylaws of the organization. A board member [Tracy Thomas] who was particularly upset about the financial concerns the board had for which John and Ellenbeth were refusing to provide documentation, submitted a written allegation formally requesting that John and Ellenbeth be expelled.


That thing about “financial concerns” is interesting given that I had asked for discussions and that the particular board member (Tracy Thomas) along with all the rest of Mr. Gollobith’s 6 followers that day voted — like it was all choreographed in advance — in favor of Cooper’s motion to “call the question” and suppress any discussions or inquiry.



So when Tracy [Thomas] admitted in her Admissions to me that she wasn’t the author of “her” complaint, Gollobith was forced to change that story saying now, in a new day, it wasn’t Tracy’s work after all but side-kick Cooper’s.

And when Gollobith answered for AoF (Atheists of Florida, Inc.) in my interrogatory question to describe the so-called “irrefutable evidence” that there was for the allegations [leading to my and Ellebeth’s expulsion from AoF] in what now has really become ‘Cooper’s expulsion complaint,’ he answered that the charging document itself (“Tracy Thomas’ complaint” written by Cooper) was the evidence.

Seriously?  In what court of law, Gale, would that sort of “evidence” sprout wings and fly?  Iran?  Syria? North Korea?

The more this all goes on, the more it’s looking like one of those Keystone Cops movies.

But not all that entertaining of a show, though, given that Mr. Gollobith has  totally obliterated the organization that we all had enthusiastically worked so hard for, grew in membership, and gained so much momentum for our state/church separation mission: Lakeland, Cape Coral, Pinellas Park, Tampa City council, Polk County sheriff’s dept, Polk School Board —  all for which Ms. Wachs and I have sacrificed much: our freedom (EllenBeth more than me — ie: two retaliatory arrests, her home searched, and a week of solitary confinement) and funds ($47,000+that I’ve paid out of my life savings to my attorney) in support of the Atheists of Florida mission.

Just think about this Gale: [in late 2011] as I was preparing to go to trial [arrest for talking and taking pics during pre-meeting Polk County School Board prayer], to potentially face over a year in prison for our cause — I’ll say it again because it is no small matter: I was willing to go to prison for our cause –Gollobith calls me a “thief” so that the prosecutor could use that against me.

Later in this ongoing saga, we find out that Gollobith met with a Polk detective to try to get EllenBeth arrested and put in jail again — over money that was donated to her.

I don’t have any publishable words to describe this sort of thing.  I can only resort to my military training in which you rely on the integrity and courage of your fellow soldiers to trust that, when placed into the front lines of a battle, he will not only not place you at risk for his own self-serving goals, but trust that he’ll not leave me behind and even risk his own life to extract me from danger if necessary.

I will never leave a fallen comrade.  [Soldier’s Creed]

My only mistake in all this is that projected such integrity upon Gollobith, Cooper and Reinhardt.  I should have known better.

Speaking of the issue of integrity, we now discover that — after Gollobith’s promise to our Atheists of Florida members [that he would pay for all the litigation], ie: from his Oct-Dec 2012 newsletter:

Please note that due to the generosity of our President, Ed Golly, the lawsuits have not used any money so far from the funds of Atheists of Florida

 — he has changed his mind (like he apparently did about his authorizing the $18K disbursement) and totally wasted that $90,000 of precious Atheists of Florida funds (almost entirely made up of funds bequeathed by two members that aren’t around to witness this tragedy) that could have funded Atheists of Florida billboards, church/state separation litigation, expanding our meetup/community throughout the state (as we were doing and growing up until 11/6/11) — all gone, apparently every penny, for his own purpose of extracting himself from his self-inflicted blunder.

And all of this could have ended — gone away — with the Mediated Settlement in September 17, 2012 that he, Jim [Peterson] (who participated), Joe Reinhardt (who was at both of my FOC meetings) and [Gollobith’s attorney] Ryan Carey had agreed to – [REDACTED] Atheists of Florida would still have $90K in the bank and all the websites … but as usual, Gollobith again changed his mind — apparently right after the mediation had ended and started sabotaging the process, before even seeing any production from me concerning financials, which were all accurate and truthful.  On September 18, Gollobith wrote to Jim Peterson:

… by the time I got home last night I had serious misgivings about the settlement. Reinhardt’s stand was that we should hand over [REDACTED] … My position is we should keep the [REDACTED] … and not give them anything … I will recommend the board vote against the settlement and we proceed with our day in court. Reinhardt is not on the board

[Meaning: Reinhardt, who was no longer on Gollobith’s board, would not be permitted to vote in favor of the mediated settlement, which was contingent on his board approving it].

I think that Gollobith & company should have listened to Reinhardt; as a professional poker player, I think Reinhardt sensed, and correctly, the words of the Gambler song:

You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em.  Know when to walk away, know when to run.

Peterson & Reinhardt


As you are aware, when I filed my Motion to Enforce the Settlement Agreement — which [attorney] Carey had warned Gollobith could happen, and which Judge Baumann had actually suggested I do in a previous hearing before Gollobith hired you — you slapped a Motion for Sanctions on me if I didn’t withdraw.  I withdrew that Motion and all the present lawsuits — including my Defamation Complaint, filed after Gollobith reneged on the Settlement Agreement that he had signed — continue.

Looking back on all of this, if Gollobith hadn’t set out to sabotage all that work we did to strike a mediated settlement, we (everyone except you Gale) could have all been doing other things today other than wasting time and energy thinking, writing and reading about lawsuits.

Now AoF’s $90,000 is gone and things are not looking all that great for Gollobith & ‘company’ as we will inevitably end up in trial and our respective narratives will be told to a jury for them to decide who’s telling the truth here. This scenario is certain, unless someone in Gollobith’s ‘company’ grabs the wheel of this runaway bus (of course I get that everyone is at the mercy of that driver making the bus payments) and starts driving in a way other than a kamikaze pilot.

It would be refreshing to see some courage and integrity from the other side to take a stand and do what’s right, but I don’t give that thought much hope given who’s paying for the ride.

Lacking such, I understand the barrage of Motions for Summary Judgment – anything to keep the court/jury from ever hearing our opposing narratives.  I, for one, do want to tell my story.  In contrast, however, it seems to me that you’re not all that confident with the narrative that you’ve been dealt — and that is totally understandable.   Our get together for the August 19 Hearing to have your Motions heard by the judge will be interesting and I will be prepared.

So as you can see, Gale, your implied challenge to the veracity of my deposition testimony — “when the truth was about to emerge” — struck me with just a bit more than a tinge of irony given the puppet show that your client [Ed “Golly” Gollobith] has been playing for us — and the court — for over 2 years now.  And, if nothing changes, will inevitably be played for that jury, which, for that particular audience, I’ll enjoy watching.

One last quote from Abraham Lincoln:

No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.


pro se


For a detailed rebuttal to the allegations claimed by Mr. Gollobith and company, please see our March 2012 Newsletter Supplement at  http://free2think.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=1552





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Judge denies Gollobith et al’s claim that AoF is a church


April 24, 2014


Tampa, Fla. — In a court hearing today, a judge for the 13th Florida Circuit Court denied defendant Edward “Golly” Gollobith’s attorney’s Motion to Dismiss a defamation lawsuit filed December 2011 by the plaintiff, EllenBeth Wachs.

Mr. Gollobith and his eight codefendants, through their attorney, argued that the Church Abstention Doctrine protected them from such a defamation lawsuit by asserting that Atheists of Florida, Inc., for which Mr. Gollobith and his codefendants were board members at the time, was a church and that the 1st Amendment mandated that courts stay out of “internal spiritual” affairs.  The judge disagreed and, by his denying their Motion to Dismiss, Ms. Wachs’ defamation complaint may now continue.

Mr. Gollobith and his codefendants must formally respond to Ms. Wachs’ complaint within 20 days or risk default.

Defendants 1

We’re a church … really !!!

L-R: Nan Owens, Gloria Julius, Tracy Thomas, Ed “Golly” Gollobith (4 of 10 Defendants in

 Defamation Lawsuit: ELLENBETH WACHS, Plaintiff v. EDWARD GOLLOBITH, et al, Defendants)

Judge’s Order:

1. The Motion to Dismiss Wachs’ Amended Complaint be and is hereby DENIED without prejudice to make further arguments concerning the applicability of the Ecclesiastical Abstention Doctrine in the future.
2. Atheists of Florida, Inc.’s Motion to Dismiss Amended Counterclaim
filed by EllenBeth Wachs be and is hereby DENIED without prejudice to make further arguments concerning the applicability of the Ecclesiastical Abstention Doctrine in the future.
3. The Defendants Edward Gollobith, Tracy Thomas, Nan Owens, Steve
Brown, Matt Cooper, Gloria Julius, Steve Miles, James Peterson, Wallace
Reinhardt and Atheists of Florida, Inc. shall file their answers to the Amended Complaint in Case No. 11-CA-0 15545 within 20 days from the date of this Order.

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Deposition of Ed “Golly” Gollobith: Wednesday 3/19/2014

Wachs v Gollobith caption

Ed “Golly” Gollobith will be deposed under oath Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Gollobith 4

Ed “Golly” Gollobith

Gollobith deposition

Link to PDF “Notice of Taking Deposition” –

AmendedNoticeOfTakingDeposition – Gollobith



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Atheists of Florida Debacle … interesting development:

“Ed Golly” (legal name – Edward Gollobith) …

Gollobith cropped

… has suddenly and completely disappeared  from the letterhead being used by his group.  This is remarkable given that, since 1992, Mr. Gollobith has acted as a board member, officer and, during the last decade, continuously as the organization’s Chairman or President.

Gollobith gone from grp

Million dollar question:



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Atheists of Florida (AoF) Debacle … the Veil of Secrecy

Since I am in litigation, there’s not much that I can publically say other than to post what already has been reported or filed in court documents about the consolidated set of cases referenced as EllenBeth Wachs v Ed Gollobith, et al.

But it is worth noting the apparent “veil of secrecy” surrounding the actions of a handful of Atheists of Florida board members during and following their orchestrated and illegitimate coup to remove EllenBeth Wachs and me not only from our executive positions (Vice-president and President, respectively) but as members of Atheists of Florida as well, along with their publishing false and defamatory statements about us, all actions which led to the lawsuits that we’re presently in.

It is no coincidence that the coup occurred in the midst of an election in which our organization’s members were voting to elect new board members (the first time that this had ever occurred in the history of the organization).   It is worth noting the fact that if we were not removed as members during this election, EllenBeth and I could have, and more than likely would have, been reelected to the AoF Board of Directors.  Additionally, EllenBeth, as an elected chapter director (Lakeland Chapter) would have, under the bylaws that they were using, had a seat on the Board regardless of the outcome of the Board election.  Moreover, three of the conspiring board members had forgotten to nominate themselves and the Chairman, Ed Gollobith, was upset because his legal name was used on the ballot instead of “Ed Golly.” (The bio included with the ballot showed his nickname “Golly”).   And, EllenBeth, with ~ 3000 Facebook friends, did not include Mr. Gollobith in her slate of 10 recommended candidates for the Board, which she had posted on her Facebook wall.

So, with the above context, consider now this notion of a “veil of secrecy” — apparent in Jennifer Hancock’s article, which was published in The Examiner blog, three days after the coup:

Breaking News:

Atheists of Florida will not release reasons for expulsion

November 9, 2011

In a startling update to the story that broke Sunday about the board of the Atheists of Florida expelling their President and Vice President from the membership in the organization, the board of the Atheists of Florida announced today that they have “decided that we will not contact either Wachs or Kieffer regarding the issues that resulted in their expulsion from A of F. If either inform us that they want to appeal, then we will describe the issues that resulted in their expulsion so they may address those issues before the board.”

Ed “Golly” Gollobith, the acting president of the board said, “I had intended to let them know about those concerns, but following consultation with other board members today we decided to follow the course of action described above.”

According to AofF bylaws Article V Section 2:

Any member—including Life Members—may be expelled for seriously obstructing the organization’s business, misappropriating the organization’s name or funds or acting in a way that discredits the organization. The expulsion procedure consists of three steps:

Step 1. A formal expulsion proposal by any member shall be presented in writing to the president and two board members, selected at random by the president, where there is no conflict of interest, who will decide whether or not to expel the member.

Step 2. The expelled member will be allowed ninety (90) days to appeal to the entire board to have membership reinstated.

Step 3. If expelled, the membership fees from the current year shall be refunded to the expelled member.

The president shall notify the accused member as soon as the result of the appeal is known.




Happier times: Atheists of Florida – Lakeland Chapter event (2010) — AoF Chapter Director EllenBeth Wachs (center in pink shirt); John Kieffer (front row kneeling w white shirt)
The sign in the background was designed by EllenBeth in conjunction with a “prayer” lawsuit vs the City of Lakeland in which EllenBeth provided Atheists of Florida standing as the Plaintiff.



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Atheists of Florida Debacle/Coup … a look back.

As the six lawsuits (including my Defamation Complaint – link to PDF provided below) involved in the Atheists of Florida debacle/coup issue continue with depositions, requests for production of documents, interrogatories, admissions and hearings, here’s a look back at some of the history that led to the November 6, 2011, coup d’état in which Acting President/Vice-President EllenBeth Wachs and I, as President, were supposedly/allegedly removed as officers and expelled as members of the organization. The coup was and has always been about the election for the AoF Board of Directors that had been in progress in the Fall of 2011. And it was certainly this Facebook post on October 24, 2011, in which EllenBeth Wachs posted her recommended slate of candidates, which DID NOT INCLUDE Ed “Golly” Gollobith, that sent Mr. Gollobith (who treated Atheists of Florida as his own sole proprietorship instead of a Florida non-profit corporation) into full fledge combat mode. EB FB post 10-24-2011 Just simply a Facebook post and disagreements about the interpretation of the bylaws concerning the election could not have been enough of a raison d’être for the coup, and so falsehoods among so-called “loyal” (to Mr. Gollobith) board members were secretly conveyed prior to the November 6, 2011, board meeting.  In fact, Mr. Gollobith would, two days prior and in his capacity as the Chairman, rewrite the agenda to remove all financial reports and discussions and simply make the motion to vote out officers — preplanned to be only EllenBeth and me — from our executive positions.  This would be followed by a preplanned “Expulsion Committee” to remove us as members.  Why? So that we could not be reelected to the board – which would have certainly occurred — in the currently running election. The following is a PDF of a March 2012 newsletter that we (EllenBeth Wachs, Rob Curry and I), representing the legitimate Atheists of Florida, published to begin to answer the avalanche of falsehoods being published by Mr. Gollobith in his newsletters to our membership following the coup d’état that Matt Cooper (see previous post), and he orchestrated and choreographed among the Gollobith “loyalists” days prior to November 6, 2011. NEWSLETTER-SettingtheRecordStraight3-24-2012 Our newsletter references an online supplemental source of information that provides copies of the documents and other evidence in support of our response to Mr. Gollobith’s contrastingly unsubstantiated assertions: http://free2think.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=1552 As we approach the trial phase, it should become apparent to those that are paying attention, that the house of cards that Cooper and Gollobith built is quickly coming apart.

Stay tuned.

John Kieffer

pro se litigant

Below link is PDF of my Defamation Complaint: Kieffer v Ed Gollobith et al @ 10th Florida Judicial Circuit (Polk County, FL)

Kieffer – AMENDED Defamation Complaint


The following link is the online docket (case progress) of my Defamation Case (Kieffer v Gollobith et al) in the 10th Florida Judicial Circuit (Polk County): https://ori2.polk-county.net/ct_web1/case_detail.asp?SearchType=Party+Name&ascaseid=472127&ascrttype=CR

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Dear Peggy; re: Matt Cooper & #AoFDebacle

Dear Peggy,

This is an answer to your Facebook post, screenshot copied here:

Peggy re Cooper


There was a time that I too liked and, more importantly, trusted Mr. Cooper.  In fact, I trusted him enough to tutor (SAT test taking) my then 17 y/o daughter at his home.  He sat on the Financial Oversight Committee (FOC) meeting on September 11, 2011, along with Ed “Golly” Gollobith and Joe Reinhardt (two other people who I also liked and trusted), and approved an $18,000 disbursement to EllenBeth Wachs’ legal fund.  

That is a fact of reality as factual as my having typed this comment. 

But all that affinity and trust went totally south on November 6, 2011, when he orchestrated, with Mr. Gollobith’s help, a coup to oust EllenBeth and me from Atheists of Florida.  And why would Mr. Cooper be motivated to do such: because he was livid that ElllenBeth, who at the time was the Acting President (I had stepped down in anticipation of my upcoming “Polk school board” trial), had removed him as Chapter Director of the AoF Tampa Chapter, and, concomitantly, as an AoF Board Member. Mr. Cooper had also forgotten to submit his nomination in time as a candidate for the upcoming AoF Board of Directors election.  These, too, are facts.

And Mr. Gollobith, his necessary co-conspirator in the coup, believed, as a result of EllenBeth’s recommended slate of candidates (which did not include Mr. Gollobith), that there was a real chance that he would not win reelection — or at least lose control of the organization that he apparently thought of not as a nonprofit corporation, but as a sort of private company that he owned and operated with subordinate “yes-men.”     

I would find out recently in one of my discovery requests made from one of six ensuing lawsuits resulting from this debacle that Mr. Cooper had conspired with Gollobith to meet with an attorney to seize control away from EllenBeth’s  acting presidency, writing to Mr. Gollobith nine days prior to his Nov. 6 coup (these are Mr. Cooper’s exact words copied and pasted here, including misspelling my name):

“Can the election now underway be stopped?  How? Can EllenBeth Wachs be removed as Acting President and Vice President?  How? Can John Keiffer be removed as President? How? Can they be removed from the Board?   How? Can EllenBeth Wachs be removed from the organization? How? … If election is rerun fairly and Wachs and Keiffer are reelected to the new board due to their fame, isn’t the organization back where we are now? … A breakdown of board member loyalties is attached.  What is benefit or risk to sharing the election chronology document with any of them (none really know the whole story)?  Allies? Unknowns?  Is there a legal risk to sharing this document with others?”

What it was apparently decided upon just days prior to the Nov.  6, 2011, board meeting/coup that something truly scurrilous would have had to be told to just enough of those “loyal” trusting board members to vote EllenBeth and me out of our executive positions with a follow up “Expulsion Committee” meeting with two of those duped board members to expel us as members.  (That would keep us from running and winning back our board seats).  They decided to secretly tell these select “loyal” board members that the FOC, which Mr. Cooper, Gollobith and Reinhardt sat on, never approved that $18,000 disbursement to EllenBeth’s legal fund and implicating both she and me in an unauthorized expenditure, which, BTW, Gollobith has recently upped to “Civil Theft” demanding treble (3x) damages ($54,000) plus attorney’s fees from both EllenBeth and me. 

Normally, FOC business, such as the $18K disbursement approval, and other financial reports would have been reported and discussed at the next board meeting (which would have been Nov 6, 2011).  However, two days prior, Mr. Gollobith (in his capacity as AoF Chairman) changed the meeting agenda removing any FOC or other financial reports and placed only one agenda item: “Removal of Officers.”

At the meeting, I had absolutely no idea what the issues were that could possibly motivate the board to remove officers and, when the Motion was made by Mr. Gollobith to do such, I asked for discussions prior to voting to flush out and understand what the issue/s was/were.   It was Mr. Cooper who then “called the question” (meaning, to prohibit discussion) and Mr. Gollobith proceeded with the pre-planned, orchestrated vote to oust us as officers without ANY discussion that I, EllenBeth and Rob Curry were demanding. 

That day (Nov 6), an email, composed in part by Mr. Cooper on Nov 2, was sent to all our AoF members, including you:

 From: Atheists Board [mailto:atheistsoffloridaboard@gmail.com] Sent: Sunday, November 06, 2011 5:05 PM To: AtheistOfFloridaBoard@gmail.com Subject: Change of Leadership at Atheists of Florida

Dear Atheists of Florida Supporter,

This message is to inform you that the Board of Directors of the Atheists of Florida met earlier today.  As a result of recent developments, the Board voted to remove EllenBeth Wachs as Vice President, and to remove John Kieffer as President of the Organization.  Please be aware that they no longer speak for the Atheists of Florida, and are not authorized to use Atheists of Florida mailing lists.  Additionally, both have been expelled from the membership for seriously obstructing the organization’s business, misappropriating the organization’s name, misappropriating the organization’s funds, and acting in a way that discredits the organization.

 Moreover, Steve Brown, who was one of the two board members of what we knew all along to have been a sham “Expulsion Committee” event on that day (which Mr. Gollobith has reported to have been composed by he, Mr. Brown and Steve Miles), stated at a recent deposition in reference to the Expulsion Complaint, which alleged the 18K misappropriation.  Steve Brown, under oath, testified:

“As I recall, Matt Cooper gave me something he wanted me to read. I read it and was asked to sign it. I didn’t disagree with — as this may not be exactly what I read. I signed it. I later went over to Mr. Cooper and expressed my sadness that he put me in this position and that I would never want to be put in this position again signing something that I didn’t know exactly its purpose. So he had lost a portion of my trust as of that meeting because of that. I don’t like being used that way.”

If it had been made clear to me that what I was signing was an eviction notice, I very likely would not have signed or asked for revision of this document.”

[Steve Brown, transcript from deposition taken under oath, Dec. 13, 2013]

STEVE BROWN - case # 11-CA-015f45


Again, these are all facts.  Each and every one of them.

So Peggy, how would you feel about Mr. Cooper if he had done this to you?  Can you understand why EllenBeth and Rob feel how they do about him?  And can you understand why I join them in composing this letter to you?




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Atheists of Florida is a Church!!! EllenBeth Wachs can’t sue us

Church of AoF

The apparently desperate attorney for Ed “Golly” Gollobith is now defending Gollobith’s (et al‘s) scurrilous defamation of EllenBeth Wachs (which EllenBeth is rightfully suing for such) by claiming that Atheists of Florida can’t be sued because it is a … CHURCH !!!! … and that His Holy Excellency can defame her all He wants because this is a ‘doctrinal’ … RELIGIOUS MATTER !!!!!

From Ed “Golly” Gollobith et al’s motion to dismiss Ellenbeth Wachs’ defamation lawsuit:

“ …. the Plaintiff’s defamation claims are matters uniquely relating to the Atheist movement, a doctrinal organization … as such, Wachs’ claims would clearly require the Court to become excessively entangled with AoF affairs in violation of the First Amendment, and ample Florida Law interpreting  and applying the Church Abstention Doctrine, Church of God supra.

(Church of God supra refers to an earlier citation in the Motion: “House of God Which is the Church of the Living God, the Pillar & Ground of the Truth Without Controversy, Inc. v White, 792 So. 2nd 491, 493 (Fla. 5th DCA 2001) ”

[reference:  Wachs v Gollobith et al, *MOTION TO DISMISS WACHS’ AMENDED COMPLAINT AND INCORPORATED MEMORANDUM OF LAW;*  page 3 (below link)]

MotionToDismissAmendedComplaint – Wachs





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