At Last 2 Oberlin Foxes Explain “The Gibson Henhouse Happenings”

chutzpah, hype and horse manure for the Gibson Bakery appellate court decisionThe Oberlin Foxes’ sneaky conference call

The College President and Chairman of the Board of Trustees — Oberlin’s primary foxes — made a conference call to selected alumni in June 2019 that whitewashed the College’s massive losses in a lawsuit brought by Gibson’s Bakery. The story told by the foxes (Oberlin College) is very misleading.

Cox Admin bldg
Cox Admin bldg. — the foxes’ lair. Photo credit: JD Nobody.

This conference call was as embarrassing to the College as a guy making a public speech with his barn door open. The conference call to the alumni included only alumni having current phone numbers or current email addresses on file with the College, which guaranteed many interested alumni would not know about the call. The College used no other known method to communicate its message to the alumni. Moreover, this single and short conference call to thousands of participating people precluded almost any opportunity to ask the foxes any embarrassing questions about what happened in the henhouse.

It appears that there was a conscious effort to minimize the number of people receiving information about the incident at Gibson’s, even though the national media had covered its subsequently snowballing legal mess. In light of that, efforts to reduce the dissemination of this news are absurd. Content similar to that in the alumni conference call was made available to faculty, staff, and possibly to other selected persons.

Once the student protests were underway, the College made no clear and prominent disclaimer saying that the protesting students and certain SJW college employees were speaking as individuals and not speaking for the College. In other words, the College was inviting the protesters to shove any words they wanted into the College’s mouth. Moreover, had the College made this simple disclaimer firmly, early, and publicly, any litigation against the College over the damage done from the protests would have been hard.

Unfortunately, the police report for the shoplifting incident at Gibson’s does not say what the SJWs would like it to say. Operating on the reasonable assumption that the police report was correct, the described incident was worse than a generic shoplifting caper. The police report ambiguously states that someone threatened to kill someone. The police bodycam footage of the shoplifter’s arrest clarifies that the threat was against Allyn D. Gibson. The thief also assaulted Allyn and his father. These complications changed the shoplifting event into a criminal matter. In the conference call to the college alumni, the foxes candy-coated the assaults and the threat made during the shoplifting incident.

Student protest flyer and police report

The slanderous student protest flyer
Student Protest Flyer distributed at the demonstration

Isn’t a mob advocating the economic strangulation of Gibson’s vigilante justice? Read the Oberlin PD Police Report on the Gibson’s Bakery shoplifting and assaults.

OberlinChaos challenges the Oberlin foxes

OberlinChaos challenges the lies of omission that you foxes have been telling about the Gibsons. Your slick exclusion of facts to obscure your screwups has endangered tens of millions of dollars of College funds.

If you have the guts to have a public debate on the mess you have created, let’s do it! OberlinChaos is happy to provide a link to the whitewash, which contains your version of what you have done. You bleat about freedom of speech; OberlinChaos practices it. OberlinChaos is not afraid of letting others read your glibness as long as the College covers the other side as well. Frequently Asked Questions Answered with Evidence Presented at Trial covers the Gibsons’ version of events.

OberlinChaos has additionally challenged Oberlin College President Ambar to invite Cornell Law Professor Bill Jacobson (founder of the Legal Insurrection Foundation) to come to Oberlin and present the rest of the extensively redacted Gibson story. On Oct. 30, 2019, Ambar firmly stated that no invitation to Jacobson would come from her office because he has been unfair to the College and that better lawyers disagreed with him. Really! So much for freedom of speech and tolerance for differing opinions. Ambar did allow that she could not stop others from inviting Jacobson.

Some in Oberlin have roundly reviled Jacobson for the views expressed on the Legal Insurrection Blog. Jacobson has allowed many stupid posts to appear on the blog because he lives up to his belief in free speech — even when the speaker is a disgusting dope. The many posts on LI may or may not reflect Jacobson’s personal views. In any case, Jacobson is a thoughtful and reasonable man.

Gibsons Bakery’s FAQs

Gibson Block building capstone

The FAQs prepared by Gibsons’ law firm tell a much different story than the FAQs prepared by the Oberlin Foxes. This is a 67+ page document, so OberlinChaos has made a briefer summary available.

Oberlin Foxes’ FAQs

JD Nobody initially found the FAQs on because there was no visible search box on the main page.

The foxes love to speak in euphemisms. Now let’s see if we can parse some useful information out of what the foxes did NOT say about their great SNAFU. The foxes are in the clear because they can honestly say that Nobody raised the following considerations:

Questions to contemplate:

What were the college trustees doing to contain this growing firestorm while it was developing?

What was the administration doing to contain things while they were developing?

Do the trustees and administration have a fiduciary duty to protect the assets and reputation of the College?

Does the apparent negligence by the above parties constitute a breach of fiduciary duty? If so, wouldn’t the College’s bond or insurance pay some of the damages?

Would the insurance company refuse to reimburse the College for its loss in court if the insurance company could show that the College exercised willful negligence at every step of the way? Would the insurance pay for needlessly incurred legal costs not central to the issues being raised in court? If the college filed an insurance claim containing unnecessary and/or unrelated legal fees, would this not be insurance fraud? It is insurance fraud when one intentionally wrecks one’s car to collect the insurance.

The foxes appear to be hiding behind freedom of speech as an excuse for not repudiating the students’ behavior. Freedom of speech does NOT include a right to defame others or to sabotage their livelihood. In certain instances, case law allows a plaintiff to win a judgment even if the defamatory statements are true. For example, if a defamer makes true statements about bad behavior happening far in the plaintiff’s past, a court might rule that the currently well-behaved plaintiff was unfairly harmed by having events from much earlier in his life dragged out to embarrass the plaintiff.

Considering that Lorain County (the jurisdiction in which Oberlin resides) generally has no love lost for Oberlin’s ideas, why wasn’t there a change of venue to a court where there might have been a less hostile jury pool? Oberlin requested a change of place for the trial, but the facts in the case are so damning to the College that a different court and jury would have almost certainly rendered a similar verdict.

Why wasn’t the jury told about the tort liability limits in Ohio law during the trial?

Break-ins at the Gibsons’ homes

Gibson's Bakery (Oberlin) Horse Drawn Delivery Wagon c. 1905.
Gibson’s Bakery (Oberlin) Horse Drawn Delivery Wagon c. 1905. Gibson’s existed for 16 years before the Ford Motor Company was founded. Photo credit: Gibson’s Bakery.

The attempted break-ins at the residences of David and Allyn Gibson: Why couldn’t the Oberlin police come up with any persons of interest in this matter? Oberlin is a small enough community that someone in town should have had at least a suspicion about who the robber(s) might have been. Nothing in these incidents appear to be directly relevant to the trial, but it is quite a coincidence that there were attempted break-ins at two different Gibson homes on the same night. At the minimum, these two incidents are part of the broader context stirring up the community.

Gibson Break-in Police Report

Early Gibson's Bakery (Oberlin) Delivery Trucks
Early Gibson’s Bakery (Oberlin) Delivery Trucks. Photo credit: Gibson’s Bakery.

Making peace with the town

The issues in the “Gibson Henhouse Happenings” incident are far more complex and multi-layered than they appear on the surface. Nearly everyone has a different version of what happened. Unfortunately, the “Gibson Henhouse Happenings” have become the source of additional ongoing rancor both in and between the college and town communities. There does not appear to be any mechanism on the horizon that can establish anything more than a nervous truce. For instance, people have spun the attempted break-ins at the Gibson residences in several different ways. There is much hearsay slander of the Gibsons around Oberlin that is inconsistent with known or likely facts.

Also, see Oberlin’s Gibson Henhouse Foxes May Be Cornered!

The purpose of this blog is to tell the other side of the Gibson’s Bakery, OSCA, the Kosher-Halal Co-op, and UAW stories to Oberlin Alumni lest they believe the College’s heavily redacted and whitewashed version of events. Please tell your fellow Obies how the Trustee-Politburo has damaged the College’s reputation, the worth of our degrees, the Gibsons, the college’s union workers, K-H, and the OSCA Co-op tradition. No pandemic, sleazy PR, or conflating of libel and slander with free speech can divert attention from the BOT’s negligence in these matters. Speak up and insist that the BOT arrest its compulsive, neo-Puritan righteousness, which has already eradicated either THOUSANDS of $36,000 scholarships or 225 Steinway concert grand pianos — just to wreck a tiny bakery, a cooperating union, K-H, and the OSCA Student Co-op!
Retrieved Dec 1, 2022 at 05:32.
Copyright ©2022 Charles E. Dial. All rights reserved.

By JD Nobody

JD Nobody, OC '61, has a 54-year career in developing software. This involved IT application design and maintenance, software engineering, bank operations, and article composing software for The Business Torts Reporter. He was an administrative officer and ICBM launch officer in the U.S. Air Force.

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