The Emerson Avenger

The Emerson Avenger is a "memory hole" free blog where censorship is scorned. This blog will "guard the right to know" about any injustices and abuses that corrupt Unitarian Universalism. Posters may speak and argue freely, according to conscience, about any injustices and abuses, or indeed hypocrisy, that they may know about so that the Avenger, in the form of justice and redress, may come surely and swiftly. . . "Slowly, slowly the Avenger comes, but comes surely." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

In 1992 I underwent a profound revelatory experience of God which revealed that the total solar eclipse "Eye of God" is a "Sign in the Heavens" that symbolizes God's divine omniscience. You may read about what Rev. Ray Drennan of the Unitarian Church of Montreal contemptuously dismissed as my "psychotic experience" here: http://revelationisnotsealed.homestead.com - This revelatory religious experience inspired me to propose an inter-religious celebration of Creation that would take place whenever a total solar eclipse took place over our planet. You may read about what Rev. Ray Drennan and other leading members of the Unitarian Church of Montreal falsely and maliciously labeled as a "cult" here: http://creationday.homestead.com - I am now an excommunicated Unitarian whose "alternative spiritual practice" includes publicly exposing and denouncing Unitarian*Universalist injustices, abuses, and hypocrisy. The Emerson Avenger blog will serve that purpose for me and hopefully others will share their concerns here. Dee Miller's term DIM Thinking is used frequently and appropriately on this blog. You may read more about what DIM Thinking is here - http://www.takecourage.org/defining.htm

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Sex, Lies & U*U Rape - Egregious Sexual Abuse In The U*U Religious Community: Including, But Not Limited To. . . The Rev. Mack Mitchell Rape Case

Peacebang aka Rev. Victoria Weinstein recently got up on a very high horse and stridently pointed the finger at Roman Catholics over the issue of sexual abuse, and "community denial" thereof. . . on her 'Violating the Privacy of the Mind And the Body' thread of her Peacebang blog. There was not the slightest mention of U*U sexual abuse, aka U*U clergy sexual misconduct, committed by Unitarian*Universalist clergy in her original post that strongly criticized Catholics. When I pointed out to Rev. Victoria Weinstein of First Church Parish Norwell Massachusetts, aka Vicky: She-Wolf of the U*Us. . . that there were actually much worse cases of clergy sexual misconduct and sexual abuse than the Roman Catholic priest's alleged "fondling" of Mark Foley that she was stridently pointing the finger at within the U*U community itself, she promptly "memory holed" my problematic comment posts to her Peacebang blog and quite disingenuously asserted that the "topic" of her thread was how Roman Catholic theology contributed to sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy, and that any free and open discussion of any U*U clergy sexual misconduct was strictly verbotten on that thread of her blog. . .

Various other threads right here on The Emerson Avenger blog reveal what ensued. . . To make a not so long story short. I discovered that a parishioner in Rev. Victoria Weinstein's congregation of First Unitarian Parish Church in Norwell, Massachusetts, had recently been convicted of raping his neighbor's daughter and his own daughter. It appeared that Rev. Victoria Weinstein, in an act of deep psychological denial and misguided psychological projection. . . had seen fit to deal with that case of egregious sexual abuse that occurred within her own Unitarian*Universalist religious community by stridently pointing the finger at Roman Catholic sexual abuse issues. . . specifically the recent Mark Foley Revelations that he had allegedly been fondled by a Catholic priest as a youth.

I brought up the fact that the rape of two young Tibetan foreign exchange students by Unitarian*Universalist minister Rev. Mack Mitchell, just down the road in the First Parish Unitarian*Universalist Church of Framingham Massachusetts provided a much closer parallel to the serious sexual abuse situation that Rev. Victoria Weinstein was dealing with in her own Unitarian*Universalist parish in Norwell. Rev. Weinstein's parishioner was in his 60s when he allegedly raped his neighbors daughter and his own daughter, both of whom were prepubescent children at the time of the rapes. Her parishioner has been found guilty and convicted of two counts of rape with force of minors, and he is currently incarcerated in the Massachusetts Correctional Institute although he is appealing his convictions. Unitarian*Universalist minister Rev. Mack Mitchell was in his 50s when he, at the very least. . . statutorially raped, and allegedly sexually tortured, two young Tibetan women who he had lured from Tibet to his Unitarian*Universalist parish in Framingham, Massachusetts by promising them that he would treat them like his very own daughters. . .

Rev. Mack Mitchell was convicted of rape and served time in Massachusetts Correctional Institute aka MCI. One of his Tibetan victims spoke out about her ordeal on the Oprah Winfrey show about a year ago.

Herewith some pertinent quotes from the Oprah Show web site -

Kim was a Tibetan refugee living in southern India when Mack Mitchell, a (Unitarian*Universalist) minister who had befriended her sister, came to visit her family. The minister offered to take Kim to America and enroll her in school. "He promised my parents he'd keep me safe and treat me like his own daughters," she says.

Just a week after she arrived in America to live at the minister's house, Kim says, he started sexually abusing and torturing her. This continued for six years. "When I started to realize what was happening to me, I asked him to stop. I was crying and begging him," Kim says. "He told me that if I told anyone, I would go to prison. Later, he started to tell me that my family in India would go to prison, that no one would ever believe me, and no one would ever marry me. … My life was hell in this place here, night after night."

Makes you wonder how Rev. Mack Mitchell treated his own daughters, assuming he actually had daughters, doesn't it?

My browsing of various online forums that speak about the Rev. Mack Mitchell rape case indicate that there was a certain amount of DIM Thinking Denial, Ignorance and Minimization of Rev. Mack Mitchell's egregious clergy sexual abuse of his two Tibetan guests when they reported that they had been raped by him.

This thread will evolve over time. . .

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Almost 2 years later, a correction. Mack Mitchell was associated with the UU Church in Northboro, not Framingham. I was a member of his church when he was arrested.

Saturday, July 12, 2008 8:02:00 pm  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

Thank you for that correction. A Google search does confirm what you are saying and leads to more information about what the First Parish Church Unitarian Universalist in Northborough, MA is calling the Mack Mitchell crisis in a couple of comparatively recent announcements in its church newsletter 'The Perspective'. The first announcement about "the Mack Mitchell crisis" is in the January 2007 newsletter and says -

I want to inform you of a recent inquiry from a reporter for National Public Radio and of our Standing Committee's decision regarding our response. The reporter, Dennis Foley, works for a program called Living on Earth. He is currently working on a story related to our healing from the Mack Mitchell crisis. Mr. Foley attended one of our services along with his wife. He took notes and spoke with several of our members at coffee hour following the service. He has asked both Judith and I for an opportunity to meet with us and to record our responses to his questions.

Judith and I have spoken with the Director of Communications from the UUA, John Hurley. We have listened to his advice and the Standing Committee has considered Mr. Foley's questions. Last night at our regular monthly meeting we discussed the request and rather easily came to the conclusion that what we will do is to decline the interview. I will draft a statement to send to him. Essentially we will say that we have managed the crisis, the aftermath, and the process of healing to the best of our ability and that we have moved on and wish to focus on the present and future of our beloved, vibrant, and growing congregation.

The second announcement is in the February 2007 newsletter is quite long. Amongst other things it says -

In November, 2005 our congregation suffered a reopening
of the traumatic wounding from a very sad
chapter in our history. This re-opening was precipitated by
the airing of an episode of Oprah which featured the young
women who, 15 years earlier, had disclosed alleged abuse
by our former minister. It is public knowledge that Mr.
Mitchell was arrested, tried, convicted, incarcerated for
three years, and placed on probation for ten years. His
credentials as a Unitarian Universalist minister were
removed by our national credentialing body, the Unitarian
Universalist Ministers Association.

Following the airing of this program, we had many
honest and open conversations among us. We were
reminded of the depth of pain that our congregation
suffered. Stories were retold and the emotions evoked
were revisited. We called upon our Unitarian Universalist
Association's Clara Barton District executive, Lynn
Thomas, to support us by facilitating a congregational
forum, providing an opportunity for the congregation to
talk about our experience. We took input from that
meeting to the Unitarian Universalist Association. We
sought to learn as much as we could from a very painful
and imperfect process and to share our learning with others
who might benefit from our experience.

I was uneasy upon learning that someone from NPR
was asking questions related to our healing from the Mack
Mitchell crisis. When that person, Dennis Foley, arrived
to attend a service recently, I very much appreciated that
he honored our request regarding the prohibition of
recording devices. I hope that his experience with us and
the notes he took during the service will offer important
information about First Parish as it is today. . .

As Unitarian Universalists we respect each
individual's right to follow his or her unique path toward
the discovery of what is true and meaningful in their lives.
We are a consensus seeking, peacemaking people. We
accept that there are times when we need to agree to
disagree and that truth is not absolute, but is subject to
highly individualized interpretations.

end quote

I would like to point out here that just because the truth may be "subject to
highly individualized interpretations" does not mean that "truth is not absolute". There is such a thing as absolute, objective, verifiable truth but a good many U*Us who do not wish to face unpleasant absolute objective truth prefer to pretend otherwise. . .

A snippets from Boston Globe articles say the following -

1.) The Boston Globe, November 14th, 1991

A 56-year-old Unitarian minister who was restrained from contact with a 17-year-old Tibetan girl on allegations of sexual abuse says they are husband and wife, according to members of his congregation. The restraining order against Rev. Mack Mitchell of Northborough was lifted last week, but it was not clear whether that action was related to the minister's report that he had married the teen-ager in India in April. Mitchell, who is on a paid leave of absence as pastor of the First Congregational Unitarian Church of Northborough and the Westborough Unitarian Universalist Church, told members. . .

2.) Minister charged with sexual assaults

From: The Boston Globe
Date: October 31, 1991
Author: Irene Sege and James Franklin,

A Unitarian minister and former member of the Northborough Board of Selectmen pleaded not guilty yesterday to charges that he sexually assaulted teen-aged girls in 1985.

The arrest of Rev. Mack Mitchell follows the arrest earlier this month of a Shelburne Falls priest for allegedly raping several young boys.

Rev. Mitchell, 56, was charged with one count each of rape, rape of a child under 16 and indecent assault and battery on a person age 14 or older. He was free on $20,000 bail yesterday afternoon, following an arraignment in Westborough District Court.

According to Northborough police, several individuals contacted authorities Sunday evening alleging that Rev. Mitchell had sexually. . .

The rest of these Boston Globe articles are available via a paid subscription service. It is my understanding that "the Mack Mitchell crisis" received extensive and quite revealing coverage in the local newspaper(s). My initial information came from some old Usenet posts. A new search in Google Groups turns up this more recent alt.prisons post that provides more details about "the Mack Mitchell crisis". It says - Former MetroWest Daily News columnist Tom Moroney covered the story in 1992.

His coverage began as a column on how Mitchell was writing a newsletter from his prison cell and charging subscribers $15 a year. Once his column was published, Department of Correction officials ordered Mitchell to stop writing the newsletter, called "The Prison Years."

That column eventually led to Moroney's three-part series, "Faith Betrayed," on the imprisoned former minister, including interviews with a group of five congregation members who blew the whistle on the pastor, and one of the victims, whom he referred to by a pseudonym of Pema. In 1992, Pema, who was brought to Northborough in 1985 from a Tibetan refugee camp in India, had testified Mitchell began raping her when she first arrived. She was 16.

She told Moroney in an interview that Mitchell raped her at night, leaving the bed where he slept with his then wife, sometimes tying her arms to the bedpost.

"It was so compelling, I knew it wasn't a column," Moroney said last week.

"It was a series about these people who looked up to the minister and discovered that he was a rapist and trafficker," said Moroney, who wrote for the News for more than a decade. "I'll never forget this story," said Moroney, now co-host of "Simply Put," a political talk show on the Bloomberg Radio Network. "He'd go over to refugee
camps and convince these fathers of these girls...and convince them that he'd take them to the U.S. and give then a new life."

"It was a 'great' story (in the sense) that it was all under cover, under the seemingly pillar of smalltown life," Moroney said.

He recalled the former minister as a "smooth character," a former town official, who got manicures and drove a fancy sports car. "He would never talk to me," Moroney said.

"It was one of the biggest stories I've covered," he said. "On the surface, everything seemed OK. This man came across as a real hero in some ways. But behind closed doors, he was a maniac, an evil person."

According to this UseNet post Mack Mitchell was sentenced to "10-20 years in state prison after being convicted of two counts each of rape, unnatural rape, and indecent assault and battery," but only served about three years before being released from prison in 1995. It goes on to say - In 1992, the Unitarian Universalist Association removed Mitchell from his duties
as pastor.

"On Nov. 18, 1992, the UUA's Ministerial Fellowship Committee held a formal hearing on charges of conduct unbecoming a minister and voted to remove Mack Wallace Mitchell from ministerial fellowship," said Janet Hayes, information officer of Unitarian Universalist Association in Boston.

So the UUA and its aptly named Ministerial Fellowship Committee did not get around to defellowshipping Rev. Mack Mitchell as as U*U minister until about five months after his conviction. . .

Saturday, July 12, 2008 10:41:00 pm  

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