ProLife Search
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
I finally know what happened to ProLife Search. I already had a pretty good idea, from rumors swirling around the Net, but yesterday I got an e-mail from Joe Hanley, one of the founders.

Here's some excerpts:

As you most likely realize even before receiving this note, PLS has
had a long interruption in our mission--and our communication--and
we'd like to use this email for three things:

1. First and foremost, apologize for some problems over the past

2. Next, update you on the PLS operation

3. Finally, and importantly as well, initiate effective follow-up to
any communication and requests you have back to us

Bad news before details... as many or you have already noticed, the
ProLifeSearch website is no more. Here's what happened:

... Sadly, the bottom line is that some of the
web developers we hired for this project left our employ and
changed all of the passwords to the site. This meant that for
months we could not access the site, change the site, or post any
new information on the site. It also meant that we could not
access our list of book purchasers to notify them of the problems
we were having.

As we tried to force the new passwords from these developers, the
URL -- -- expired, and it seems some rock and
roll site was all too ready to snatch it up because of all the
traffic we created over the past 2 years.

Legally, the site now belongs to that organization. We have tried,
but we cannot get it back.

As a fundraiser, ProLife Search took preorders on a collection of leatherbound books. They used a foreign publisher and things didn't turn out as planned.

...regarding the books:
all of the money sent to the publisher is gone. The money not
sent to the publisher went to our pro-life charities and hopefully
did a great deal of good for Life.

Of course some of you would like refunds for the money you paid, as
you should. We do not feel right asking for the money back from
our charities, and the rest of the money is in the publisher's
pocket. So we (Jack and I) will personally pay those people back
who request a refund out of our own pockets. We just ask that you
have patience. We simply cannot afford to refund everyone at once.
As money becomes available, we will make good on our promise

Those people who have already requested refunds will receive checks
within one week. Anyone requesting a refund now or in the future
will receive that within 21 days of getting the request to us.

I've taken the link off my sidebar. It seems like a bad case of earnest naivete, except that the founders are Chicago lawyers. If they owe you money, get in touch with them now. I'll forward you a copy of the full e-mail if you need it.

*****UPDATED TO ADD***** August 30, 2007
I did not order any books, so I don't have a dog in this fight. I did post portions of the email, as I have linked, and promoted ProLife Search.
I know that there are lots of rumors flying around, and I myself thought the email was pandering (C'mon, they are lawyers, they didn't fall off the turnip truck yesterday!). Also, I DID get spam mail from them in the time that "the email addresses were lost".
I don't think it would be unreasonable to ask for a list of the charities that received the portion of the book fees, so we could call them and see if they actually got money.

I do not want to spread gossip, and I don't know about many of these things first hand. But I do encourage readers to investigate for themselves, and hear the other side of the story from customers who have not received refunds, and decide for themselves.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 8/28/2007 08:12:00 AM | Permalink | |