Victory is mine.
On a related matter, I hope my Jeep's previous owner enjoys a special kind of hell reserved for idiots of the highest order.
As stated above, I decided to go ahead and remove my instrument panel, again, and completely take it apart. I removed the back cover and quickly found that nothing here seemed to be able to address my problem:
I then flipped over the panel and held a flashlight near the black surface to find the MIL. Oddly enough, the outline of the light was much darker than the others - this gave me pause. I then started trying to shine the light under the black surface of the panel to see if the light would shine through the back side of where the MIL is supposed to be - nothing. The light was clearly coming out of the "Check Gauges" indicator, but not the MIL right next to it. Upon closer inspection, just below the surface of the instrument panel's face, something was amiss:
Ever so slightly glued (only on the edge) I found this piece of black plastic wedged behind the face of the instrument panel. It appears to be a simple rectangle cut out of a black, plastic or vinyl folder. Some @#$!%$@^&%&! had stuck it back there because he was tired of looking at his check engine light.
Here it is with the key in the "On" position:
An here it is with the engine running:
Thanks for all of your posts in trying to help me figure this out! I guess we at least figured out a real cheap way to turn off your MIL.