These pages contain supporting documentation for the claims of libel committed by J. Kimo Arbas against Romuva North America, Inc. and certain members of its Board of Directors including Leslie (Jūratė) Rzeznik and Marija Kunčaitis.
At the time of its writing, this evidence was intended for use only by The Board of Directors of Romuva North America, Inc., its designees, and the Lietuvos Romuvos Stebetoju Taryba. However, Romuva North America reserves the right to use this evidence in legal proceedings and/or to publish publicly as it sees fit.
However, Kimo Arbas himself has asked to “move forward and keep the truth out in the open” so we are making these pages public.
Click on the icons within the text to view supporting documentation (text does not include all documentation provided) OR
Romuva North America was established as a legal entity (incorporated as an ecclesiastical organization) in the state of Michigan, USA on the 15th of July, 2020. Prior to that, it had operated as an umbrella organization for Romuva USA and Romuva Canada since at least 2003 when Marija Kunčaitis of Romuva Canada and Jūratė Rzeznik of Romuva USA jointly presented at a pagan conference in Michigan. The first use of the name “Romuva North America” on the now-defunct Romuva Yahoo list (archive available on request) was in 2007 , though various combinations of “North American Romuva” and such were used regularly since the first post by Lana Vyte, Seniune of Canada, in 1999 . Arbas had been a member of the group from 1999 – 2012. Prior to Yahoo discontinuing its Groups function in December of 2019, all 140,000 plus messages were downloaded and archived.
In 2010, after consultation with members Marija Kunčaitis, Bernie Abromaitis, and Laura Juozunas (all current members of the Romuva North America, Inc. Board of Directors), Rzeznik approached J. Kimo Arbas about the possibility of him taking over the leadership of Romuva North America as the named parties were dissatisfied with the current leader, Kazė (Char) Kazlauskiėne, due to her mixing Wiccan elements into Romuva rites and celebrations. Arbas was open to the idea and over the next two years, he consulted with Krivis Jaunius (Jonas Trinkūnas) and the others to encourage Kazlaukiėne to retire and let Arbas lead the organization . On the 10th of May, 2012, Trinkūnas announced on the Yahoo list that Arbas had been nominated as “Vaidila of the North America.”
Arbas worked closely particularly with Kunčaitis and Rzeznik, making them both Administrators on his Facebook page “Lietuvos Romuva North America” in 2012 (which he created as “something complimentry to the yahoo group only with the fb side“) until he removed them in early 2021, and for a time, he was a Moderator on Kunčaitis’ “Romuva Siaures Amerika” Facebook group.
On the 17th of September, 2014, Rzeznik approached Arbas with the idea to incorporate Romuva. Over the next few years, several attempts were made to do so, but they were unsuccessful for various reasons. In May of 2016, Rzeznik compiled a spreadsheet with the necessary steps to incorporate in California that included links to the required paperwork and listed the associated costs. She shared this with Arbas. Ultimately, Rzeznik declined to help Arbas in this endeavor due to concerns over his not having a permanent address in the US and not being able to receive official mail in a timely manner. However, until early 2021, Arbas had access to this information and could have incorporated without Rzeznik’s assistance.
On 12th of April 2016, Arbas announced “I wanted to congratulate you all in that Romuva North America was voted in as official Romuva congregation unanimously by the Vaidila circle and the Krive, and that in the next vote I was (also unanimously) voted in as Vaidila of Romuva North America. . . . also wanted to directly Congratulate Maryte and Jurate who have been steadfast Romuvieciai and community activists for basicly decades and who have been driving forces in keeping North America Romuva traditional . . . I also brought up your names and the work you have been doing at the Krivule.” And on the 25th of April 2016, Arbas announced to Kunčaitis and Rzeznik “it is my honor to officially recognize you both as Romuva North America Senuniai (elders, administrators and community organizers) for your selfless contribution to our community for so many years.”
In February of 2020, Arbas requested of Kunčaitis and Rzeznik to “touch base and strategize with you. Basic general conceptual strategy for this year and outline for next ones.” Rzeznik agreed to help and asked Arbas to notify her when he had plans drawn up. After that, there were messages from Kimo about “Russian trolls” and Lietuvos Romuva’s attempts to get recognized as a traditional religion, but nothing more about his plans for Romuva North America.
In 2020, in consultation with Kunčaitis, Juozunas, and Seniunas Emeritus Vilius Dunzila, Rzeznik incorporated Romuva North America in July of 2020. Arbas was not notified or consulted as he had made little effort to be involved in any of the Romuva North America groups or activities, though the Board of Directors was hopeful that he might yet show some leadership. In December of 2020, Rzeznik shared the news of the incorporation with Arbas and shared that he could now perform weddings under the name of Romuva.
In a January video call with the Board of Directors, Arbas insisted that he be named “Director” or “CEO” of Romuva North America. The Board of Directors declined to do so and declined as well to give him a seat on the board, but welcomed him to remain Vaidila of Romuva North America. He was not satisfied with this and claimed that he had created the “brand” of Romuva North America and insisted we change our name. As you will see in the evidence, he was not the first to use the name, and he was part of our organization all along despite his claims to the contrary.
While initially, the Board invited Arbas to continue as Vaidila , because of Arbas’ threats and erratic behavior, the Board of Directors of Romuva North America, Inc. voted unanimously to sever all ties with J. Kimo Arbas and to eliminate the position of Vaidila until further notice. They then announced this organizational change to Lietuvos Romuva on February 4, 2020 and the text of that email was included in the report from the taryba. In the article posted in Alkas on March 21, 2021, the board of Romuva North America was recognized and welcomed as the leaders of the organization that Arbas initiated into the Krivule in 2016.
Arbas began his libelous accusations and lies on his Facebook page, in emails and Facebook Messages to individuals, and in emails to the Ratas mailing list. In March of 2021, Kunčaitis posted a response to the Ratas mailing list refuting many of his lies. We received no questions nor support and Romuva North America was advised by Krivė Inija Trinkūniėne to ignore Arbas’ outbursts. The Board agreed and ignored him. Arbas was quiet through the summer but began his accusations again in October of 2021. The Board did not respond and others on the Ratas seemed to show support for Arbas, who made even more outrageous accusations in November.
Out of concern for her personal reputation and that of Romuva North America, on the 29th November, 2021, Rzeznik reached out to Trinkūniėne to ask that she intervene with the accusations made by Arbas. Rzeznik emailed proof that he lied about one of his recent claims and offered to provide proof of other lies as the Board had been offering to do since early 2021. A meeting was set for the 10th of December with Trinkūniėne and Lietuvos Romuvos Stebetoju Taryba.
Kunčaitis and Rzeznik represented Romuva North America. They were not informed the meeting was part of a formal investigation. They were never asked for any documentation other than the articles of incorporation they had provided earlier in the year. There was no discussion of the documentation Rzeznik had just provided that proved Arbas was lying about his non-involvement with removing Kazlauskiėne. And there was no mention of any documentation that Arbas had provided to substantiate his claims nor were they afforded the opportunity to review said documents. There was no discussion of any action the Tarybas would take against Arbas for his grievous lies. Kunčaitis and Rzeznik were simply asked if they could work with Arbas and upon responding “No”, they were asked if, in the interest of Romuva being like a “family”, they would agree to Lietuvos Romuva North America and Romuva North America being recognized as separate entities. They agreed to this provision under the understanding that they would not respond to or speak of Arbas publicly and vice versa.
Upon issuance of the Stebetoju Taryba’s offical report in late December (which came as a surprise to the Board), Arbas posted more outrageous lies about Romuva North America to the Ratas mailing list.
The reputations of Romuva North America, Leslie (Jūratė) Rzeznik, and Marija Kunčaitis have been grievously and perhaps irreparably harmed by the actions of J. Kimo Arbas. There has been great harm done to Kunčaitis, Rzeznik, Laura Juozunas, and Prudence Priest, who have all been involved in managing this situation.
The gravity of Arbas’ malicious accusations and the damage they have done cannot be overstated. The lengths to which he has cheated and lied to retain a position he is not entitled to is abhorrent. These documents will prove that there has only ever been one Romuva North America – the one formerly led by J. Kimo Arbas and now led by the Board of Directors listed herein, contrary to claims by Arbas that:
- there were always two different organizations
- Arbas created Lietuvos Romuva North America “from scratch” without the help and involvement of Kunčaitis and Rzeznik
- Arbas was unaware of the Romuva North America which had been nurtured by Kunčaitis and Rzeznik and that he had never been a member
- Arbas “barely knew” Kunčaitis and Rzeznik
Should the Tarybas desire to view the actual electronic documents rather than relying on the screenshots provided here as evidence, we would be happy to arrange a video conference to do so.
Here is additional evidence of libel committed by Kimo Arbas (this does not constitute all evidence available):
Kazė Kazlauskienė’s Replacement
Use of the Name Romuva North America