R a c h e l’s F i e l d             S a c r e d n e s s of L i f e             M o t h e r’s H o u s e

separately deeded cemetery-like plots                    M e m o r i a l C h a p e l                           a safe place of love and nurturing

with individually erected stones to memorialize                            for Mom’s in crisis awaiting the birth

the pre-born children of post-abortive parents                      301-793-5463                                     of the gift of life, their pre-born children

situated on 20 acres of gently rolling land                             P.O. Box 3                                           career, life skills, and spiritual training

protected perpetual grounds care preservation         Burtonsville, Maryland 20866                                                                

Site Location; 2901-2917 Spencerville Road, Burtonsville, MD


Mr. Hunter Hollar ,                                                                 Tuesday May 9th, 2006

President and CEO                                                                                                                                        An Open Letter

Sandy Spring Bancorp, Inc., a holding company for

    Sandy Spring Bank

17801 Georgia Ave, Olney, MD 20832-2267

Fax: 301 774 8434                                                                   Published to the Internet at the URL/Addresses of;

Phone: 301-774-6400                                              

Subject: The Saving of                                            


Rachel’s Field          Sacredness of Life Memorial Chapel          Mother’s House


Dear Mr. Hunter Hollar,


I will be as brief as possible out of respect for your time.


On May 21st, 1990, my parents executed two, essentially identical trust documents empowering the trustee of each Trust with a sacred fiduciary obligation to carry out Mom & Dad’s wishes when they were either no longer able or no longer living to do so themselves. Article VI of Mother’s Trust reads;

“ . . .Grantor hereby grants to Grantor's son, FOREST LEE GRAUEL, the right to purchase from Grantor's estate the home including the barn and outbuildings where he presently lives in and as much from the immediately contiguous land as he may desire to purchase from his share of the estate and additionally on a first right of refusal basis. The purchase price for said land will be its fair market value on the date of Grantor's death as determined by the Trustees or the Personal Representatives or Executors of Grantor's Estate. Grantor's son shall have ninety (90) days after receiving a copy of the appraisal, accepted by the Trustee or the Personal Representatives or Executors from the Trustees or the Personal Representatives or Executors of Grantor's estate to exercise their [sic his] right to purchase. Grantor's son may apply toward the purchase price of said property all or part of his share of Grantor's estate. If a dispute arises regarding the purchase price of said property the Trustees or the Personal Representatives or Executors of Grantor's estate shall decide such matters and their decision shall be final and conclusive on all parties. . . .” [end of pertinent quoted test]



On the 19th of February, 2002, the Court appointed Sandy Spring National [sic?] Bank as Trustee of both trusts.



Dad died on 8-28-90, then Subsequent to Mom’s death on 1-6-04, Sandy Spring Bank contracted for “an” appraisal in accordance with Article VI. The value in “the” accepted appraisal was then set at $1,550,000.00.



A Sandy Spring Bank letter dated 12-9-04 seemed to “offer” for me to purchase what I later found “. . . would be the result of a proposed subdivision . . ,” of which I had never heard, for $405,000.00.



Article VI (segment above) speaks to only one “appraisal.” Neither I nor anyone I know of authorized the 2nd Appraisal where page 1and 3 lists me and my wife as “Borrower,” and Sandy Spring Bank as “Lender,” nor was I aware of any “proposed subdivision” discussed under “APPRAISERS COMMENTS REGARDING SITE”



In apparently failing to be able to gain a clear fiduciary understanding of my parents wishes set forth in the text of Article VI (above) Sandy Spring Bank resorted to civil litigation in court subjecting me to a 3-hr Video Deposition with interrogation which I felt questioned and attacked my rights protected under Article VI




During the last portions of the 3-hr Video Deposition, I was interrogated with questions whose answers delved into personal religious convictions held by my wife and me. Nonetheless, I answered with openness explaining, as requested; the three fold vision which my wife Aileen and I have cherished in our hearts and minds for years to use the 22.5 acre property for a purpose greater than ourselves. Namely the establishment first of “Mother’s House,” a Gabriel Project home for unwed mothers; Secondly, “Rachel’s Field,” a full size, approx 20 acre cemetery-like memorial park and place of emotional healing immediately adjoining the historic Union Cemetery. Here literally hundreds of post-abortive parents can purchase a separately deeded grave size plot whereupon they can each erect a monument of their choice in honor and respect of the life of their pre-born child who had been lost to a previously ill advised choice to abort. Thirdly, we envision “Sacredness of Life Memorial Chapel,” as a place of reconciliation, spiritual healing, cultural enrichment, and Adoration of the Body of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.


On the day after having been interrogated on camera at the 3-hr video deposition, my attorney called saying he’d received a call from the attorney for the bank, and that they wanted to settle apart from further litigation. However, he said they would ONLY allow for the use I had revealed under interrogation, and had other restrictions which would be required. I do not know if you or perhaps even Mr. Willard Derrick were “aware,” that “offer” had been made.


First, I feel that as a protected purchaser under Article VI “First Right of Refusal” (captioned above) I have an unrestricted right to purchase, and that Sandy Spring had no authority under the trust to require, or even request restrictions or covenants as a pre-condition to purchase. Secondly, I find it actionable that Sandy Spring Bank would be considering offering the property for less restrictive use, or even for differently restrictive use to a third party presently unknown to me, and at the detriment of my interests as a beneficiary of the Trusts who further, also has exclusive delineated rights, and whose rights I feel Sandy Spring has a fiduciary trustee duty to defend and not oppose.


Previous to having accepted the “settlement offer” posed by Sandy Spring Bank, I was deeply concerned that a further and more greatly expanded and protracted legal battle with Sandy Spring Bank could likely prove economically ruinous to Aileen and me. In such a battle, the Bank would likely have unbridled access to the money of our family legacy with which to fight us, while Life Principles Trust would need to seek donations and Aileen and I would be left with but our own meager resources and hampered earning ability owing to the distraction of the legal entanglement. However as things unfolded following acceptance of the Contract of Sale at the Consent Hearing, it became ever more self evident to me that my fears were very well founded; Subsequent to the consent hearing I received what I found to be a self serving letter from Sandy Spring Bank, “explaining” how in one month they had awarded themselves a “special fee assessment” in the amount of $20,000.00.



The “special fee assessment” letter also referred other “disbursements” besides the $20,000.00,“ and that they “will appear on the October statement of both Trusts.” [reader note; the assets my parents estate property Trusts exists as Dad’s Trust and Mom’s Trust. Thus the “fees” are subtracted 50/50 from each of the two trusts].


When the referenced statement arrived, what I saw, “appear on the October statement of both Trusts” was even worse than I had feared. What then “appeared” to me was the obvious economically ruinous hell which both I and the other three beneficiaries could have been living under over the undeterminable amount of time, mental focus, loss of income and drowning legal expenses which could have engulfed us all had I not “accepted” the “settlement offer” posed to me by Sandy Spring Bank. The Statements indicated that just for that month alone, over $35,000.00 of family estate funds had been allocated from the Tusts of my parents, mostly all being expense related to work surrounding the 3-hr Deposition and the Consent Hearing, To a banker, that may seem small change, nonetheless, a year or two of that, month after month would likely have economically ruined my wife and I, severely diminished two of my brothers and impoverished a third who is already a ward of the state and very seriously needs what Mom and Dad wanted for both he and his children to have from the legacy.

Reference the following documents [use rotate button or tool on .pdf reader to rotate landscape document to portrait view]:


With the above referenced narrative and referenced documents as context, here are the two Consent Orders” posed to me as the vehicle and condition upon which the disastrous “train wreck” of protracted litigation could be avoided if I would accept the Contract of Sale in place of my “Rights” under Article VI.




Here is the subject of the Sandy Spring Bank “settlement offer;” the Contract of Sale;



Mr. Hollar, I am writing to you as the “Lender of Last Resort” to whom Life Principles Trust now turns. As you know from the deposition, I am but a tradesman, am relatively unfamiliar with real estate contracts, and have no formal legal training. However, my dear wife of 39 years and I are people of faith who feel absolutely certain, and that not without tangible evidence, that the ancestral home of my childhood has been protected and preserved in its present state for the purpose we have envisioned it to have.


To that end, this past October, I assigned in writing, both my Right to Purchase, along with the entirety of my 1/4th share of the estate distribution, virtually half a million dollars, to Life Principles Trust. In doing so, it was the intent of Aileen and I that once LPT was firmly established with Boards of Directors, and past the crucial start-up phase that we would be able to step back, perhaps even moving to a retirement area once assured that the three fold mission of Life Principles Trust would endure to bless future generations of those whom we will have never even known.


Accordingly, Mithril Management, Inc., of Washington State, Trustee of Life Principles Trust, asked that since I was intimately familiar with the property and a lifelong respected citizen of the community, if I would see to the details of the local transactions, the purchase contract, work with them in obtaining financing, and locally manage the details of starting-up the three fold ministry under the direction of Mithril, thereby assuring that all three entities succeed and are securely established and operational. The title they asked me to accept was “interim acting managing director.”


Thus far, I have been unable to find a lender willing to loan anything on the Contract of Sale, and have literally exhausted myself in the process. All along the way, I was totally baffled as to why lenders would shy away from such an equity rich property against which to write a fully secured first mortgage loan. Finally, it was explained to me by a professional, but a few weeks ago. She read over the contract of sale and told me that she felt the contract was near fatally poisoned with restrictions of use. At this I was horrified, for it was always obvious to me, especially as assured me by my parents before their deaths, that my rights under Article VI were virtually unrestricted. However, under the Sandy Spring designed Contract of Sale, as explained to me by professionals, lenders are simply uninterested to loan against a property where the contract narrowly restricts use for five years, states that it is likely that two of the improved rental houses can be apportioned off and sold, that hundreds of grave-like memorial plots cam be separately apportioned, deeded and sold, and all of the transferrable development rights can be sold off, thereby leaving the property un-buildable and riddled with grave sized memorial plots owned by separately deeded lot owners, and with each lot owner having a specific expectation of use inherent to the memorial plot. Is it possible this was done with a degree of nefarious intent by persons unknown to me, or was it coincidental?


This past Thursday, May 4th, was the 170th day of the Contract of Sale, the deadline for obtaining a lender commitment letter guaranteeing lender funds for settlement on the 180th day. Both dates as well as the restrictions within the Contract of Sale were carefully crafted and “offered” to me by Sandy Spring Bank [see link to Contract of Sale above].


On the morning of the 4th, I met with a professional in Baltimore to discuss the matter at great length. Afterwards, on the sidewalk outside the beautifully historic office we had just visited, Aileen and I reviewed our understanding of the three remaining choices we faced under Contract of Sale [including 2(a), page-2; 4(b); 8(a), page-6; and 10, page-8], and which were confirmed later that day by our Washington, D.C. attorney, Mr. Kirsch. Those three choices were:

             1.) If we did nothing, then by midnight of that day we would be in violation of the Contract of Sale, the 22.5 acres and 4 houses could literally be sold out from under us, likely for development. Additionally, as reads the Contract of Sale, Sandy Spring Bank as “Seller shall be entitled to receive as its fixed and agreed-upon liquidated damages the amount of $50,000.00" from my share of the estate distribution [see 10, page-8]; or

             2.) We could give written notice to terminate to terminate the Contract of Sale under 4(b) and thereby avoid losing $50,000.00, but unfortunately under that option we would also lose our right to purchase. or;

             3.) We could post a non-refundable cash funds deposit into escrow, to allow 10 more days until the 180th Settlement date of May 14 [15th with the 14th being a Sunday].


There on the sidewalk in Baltimore that morning, the bride of my youth joined her resolute commitment to this project with mine. Together we covenanted to recommend to Mithril Management that if they would back us, we would rather fail tragically having done our very best, than to ever fail to do our very best in bringing this magnificent project to fruition. Upon speaking with our attorney, Mr. Kirsch, we then contacted Mithril and were heartened that they concurred to stay the course. It is my understanding that subsequently they made a non-refundable wire transfer of $50,000.00 to be held at jeopardy and potential loss.


Mr. Holler, with all of the above narrative, quoted text, and supporting documents as context, I am writing this letter to you as our “Lender of Last Resort,” and as NOTICE. Life Principles Trust has been unable to find a lender who is willing to loan under the Contract of Sale authored and posed by your bank.. Accordingly, we are herewith REQUESTING favorable and emergency financing from your Bank.


Now, if the contract written at the hands of Sandy Spring Bank, “by Sandy Spring Bank,” and also between Sandy Spring Bank and Life Principles Trust, a third party ratified by the Court, is indeed “lendable,” then it would seem a simple thing to resolve. I am requesting that you simply call over to the Mortgage Loan Department with your full authority as President and CEO, asking them to expedite the First Mortgage Loan to Life Principles Trust, to be secured under the terms of the Contract of Sale with the inherent equity as the only surety and collateral needed. Especially with the increase in value since the appraisal date of January 6, 2004, this should make the loan as attractive to Sandy Spring Bank as the acreage is to a developer.


Lastly, on the 2nd of May, 2006, a nationally recognized and very respected religious leader wrote concerning the three fold vision of Life Principles Trust. Would Sandy Spring Bank now torpedo Rachel’s Field to favor a “proposed subdivision” (more McMansions?) such as was mentioned in the “2nd Appraisal” referenced above?



I find it an egregious assault on my Constitutional Rights under the First Amendment that the pure intents of Aileen and I to launch this profound and historic oasis of faith, were unnecessarily, and possibly prejudicially incorporated into what I feel could have been an intentionally prejudiced Contract of Sale, likely constructed so as to obstruct and hinder its marketability to what would otherwise have been willing lenders.


Time is severely of the essence. We request an answer to Larry Kirsch’s office by the end of business 5/10/06. It is sincerely hoped you can come to our aid and provide favorable financing required for Life Principles Trust to purchase the property and begin the renovations and upgrades which will enable us to continue with this project already begun in faith. It is presently supported by the committed and fervent prayers of literally hundreds of holy and pro-life individuals all across America. I feel too it is even more greatly supported by “so great a cloud of witnesses;” the unseen Communion of Saints whose prayers, unimpeded by mortal weakness such as I suffer, now ascend directly to the throne of the Almighty.




             {Original to SSB Signed}


Forest Grauel,

Interim Acting Managing Director, on behalf of

Mithril Management Inc., Trustee

Anthony Michaels, President

1894 SE Sedgewick Road, #104-111

Port Orchard, WA 98366

Direct line: 360-450-4494

Office and Fax: 360-859-4141


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