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Carpool Lane Guy

Challenging Corporate Personhood

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Jonathan "The Carpool Lane Guy" Frieman

Throughout his professional and personal career, Jonathan Frieman has striven to be an impassioned community advocate for a sustainable future. Born with an acute hearing loss early in childhood, the now profound loss of 100db loss at 1000 Hz is aided very well with the latest technology.

An early graduate of the University of Denver--his senior thesis attempted a phenomenological reduction of Noam Chomsky’s transformational grammar--Frieman went on to earn a Master's in Public Administration with a Concentration in Health Administration, also from the University of Denver. 

In an attempt to heal his own body of Crohn’s Disease, Jonathan tried several alternative health practices which led hm to train in the advanced hands-on bodywork disciplines of Aston-Kintetics, Upledger's Cranio-Sacral Therapy, and to the Master's level in Neuro-linguistic Programming. Frieman pursued a private practice in those for over ten years, as well as devoting time to local clinics to work with fibromyalgia patients. 

In 1996 Frieman earned a Juris Doctorate from The New College School of Law. He then devoted time to the Homeless Advocacy Project in San Francisco and around that time he voluntarily went homeless in Los Angeles for a few nights to try to feel something of the experience that people who live outside undergo.

His drive for service led him to co-found several different non-profit corporations: the JoMiJo Foundation – a family foundation; Current Innovations – which aimed to generate complementary currencies which stay local; and the Center for Corporate Policy, an action-oriented think-tank based in D.C., which addressed the legal structure of corporations in an attempt to compel large-scale corporations to invest in a sustainable future.

As vice president of the board of the California Clean Money Campaign, Frieman helped run two state-wide initiatives in 2006 and 2010 in an attempt to bring publicly funded campaigns to California. He is a past president of the board of Teen Talking Circles, located on Bainbridge Island; current president of InSpirit, in Woodacre, CA, which raises funds to supplement IHSS payments for quadriplegics in Marin County; and in 2016 was Treasurer of the Business Improvement District in San Rafael, California. In 2015 he helped start New Beginnings Law Center, which concentrates on record expungement of misdemeanors; and is now president of the Board of Trustees of the Marin County Public Law Library and co-founded its fundraising auxiliary, Friends of the Marin County Law Library, because more than half the patrons of the Law Library are self-represented litigants, rather than legal professionals.

Frieman also developed a growing expertise in fundraising for nonprofits since his entry into the field in the mid-80's. His proudest effort involved raising $1.5 million for Marin Clean Energy in 2010.

In the fall of 2010 he helped lead the fight to prevent Target Stores from establishing a major super discount store in San Rafael. Working with an extremely diverse and effective citizens group called Keep it Local San Rafael, the group engaged in the most divisive issue San Rafael has seen in decades. They lost by one vote at the city council level, and then ran a signature-gathering campaign for a referendum to overturn that decision. They fell less than 30 signatures of the 3000 needed, but were able to propagate a lawsuit.  Frieman then crossed the aisle and worked closely with the opposition to bring a substantial donation of $250,000 to the city, which is now aiding the future of small business in downtown San Rafael. 

In 2011, as secretary of the board of the Marin City Health and Wellness Center in Marin City, Frieman was instrumental in helping the Center acquire the status of being a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). That boosted the income of the Center from $350,000 to more than $1 million in one year, and the center now has several outlets and budget of more than $5 million. 

Frieman is an assistant coach for San Rafael High School’s varsity football team, helping the wideouts and defensive backs develop their innate talent to become league leaders. He is an ardent autodidact in human prehistory. A fine amateur guitarist and decent singer, he writes music daily and grasped the advanced style of Michael Hedges. He recently learned bass guitar, which he plays regularly with musicians in the Bay Area. He lives in San Rafael, California, with Suki, a Burmese cat, and an overflowing collection of hats, cool shoes, and guitars.

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Attorney Ford Greene, CA BAR #107601

An outspoken ex-Moonie-turned-cult-deprogrammer-turned-lawyer,”  Ford Greene is an attorney with one of the most unusual backgrounds you will ever encounter.

As he will admit, "I'm a man with no skeletons in the closet— They're all dancing around in public." 

As a young man in the 1970s, Ford’s life was irrevocably altered when – in a failed attempt to remove his sister from the same organization – he was brainwashed by members of Reverend Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church (commonly referred to as the “Moonies”). A rare case, Ford was able to deprogram himself from the Moonies and proceeded to earn a reputation for himself as a deprogrammer, paid by family and loved ones to deprogram people who had been inducted into large authoritarian organizations (often referred to as “cults”). Greene's deprogramming of a young Canadian schoolteacher who fell in with the Unification Church while on a trip to the Bay Area was then chronicled in the 1980 film Ticket to Heaven.

Following these experiences, Ford decided to become an attorney and dedicate his adult life toward challenging, exposing and suing large authoritarian organizations. He attended the New College of California School of Law in San Francisco and was admitted to the state bar of California in 1983. His activism and legal work has earned him a lifelong enmity from Scientologists (who follow the teachings of the late science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard), the Unification Church (founded by the Rev. Moon, who claims to have met Jesus on a Korean mountainside in 1935), and other so-called new religious movements. 

It didn’t take Ford long to make an impact on illegal cult tactics. 

In 1979, two former Moonies sued the Unification Church, claiming to have been coerced and brainwashed; however, The lower courts ruled that constitutional guarantees of religious freedom barred such suits.

Ford Greene represented the two former Moonies in the appeal, Molko v. Holy Spirit Association, and prevailed before the California Supreme Court in 1988.  Justice Stanley Mosk’s written judgement about the tactics religious groups use to attract followers said that any burden on the free exercise of religion was outweighed by the state's interest in protecting against "fraudulent induction of unconsenting individuals into an atmosphere of coercive persuasion."

Throughout his career, Ford has continued to vigorously exercise his right to criticize absurd, illegitimate and oppressive systems of power. He values and practices his constitutionally protected right to freedom of speech because without freedom, democratic self-government is no better than a bedtime story.

Ford’s office, in Marin County, California, is housed in a century-old converted storefront that was a bakery in a past life; his home is in the basement of the same building.

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Error | The Carpool Guy Challenges Corporate Personhood


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