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: - 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: - 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 -

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

DIM Thinking U*Us "Ostrichize" Clergy Misconduct Complainants

The following paragraphs about how U*Us "ostrichize" people who dare to complain about clergy sexual misconduct by U*U ministers are excerpted from an excellent post by uugrrl on her 'Speaking Truth To Power' blog that deals with how the UUA and its very aptly named Ministerial Fellowship Committee mishandles clergy sexual misconduct complaints. Of course the very same DIM Thinking social dynamic applies to pretty much anyone who brings any kind of serious complaint against a U*U minister for conduct unbecoming a minister, not just clergy sexual misconduct complaints. Certainly I have experienced most of the DIM Thinking "ostrichization" by U*Us that uugrrl talks about in her post. I will create links for her words to examples from my own experience to underline that point.

To speak out about misconduct in a church community is to quickly become hated and marginalized -- to become an outcast, as well as a casualty of abuse. It doesn't matter that the minister clearly violated the code of ethics, that you didn't go trumpeting the problem (from the pulpit, to the press, in a lawsuit, etc.), or even that a large number of others experienced something similar. It turns out, and is now well documented, that some people will do anything to protect a beloved minister. It's cruel, and to condone such behavior (directly or indirectly) is shameful. Unfortunately, that's what our current processes can do.

The UUA's director of ministry told me a few years ago of a case where seven women wrote alleging misconduct of minister. The minister circulated their letters around the congregation, the director said, and by the time the UUA was ready to follow-up, all of the women had left. End of case? I don't know, but I think so from the way it was told to me. The minister should have been defellowshipped for this act alone, but the rules about confidentiality don't make that a clear consequence.

Whatever the outcome, the thought of these women haunts me. Does the UUA realize what they lost? People who care enough about their faith to speak up in its midst, rather than just "suing the bastard" or simply walking away, are not your run-of-the-mill congregants. They demonstrate a deep trust in our larger faith. Their trust has already been shattered at least once, but still they believe UUs will do the right thing by them. Instead, it seems we destroy yet another layer of trust. How long can someone remain under such circumstances?


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