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

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Restorative Justice For Clergy Misconduct Victims - An Open Letter To UUA Trustees

Thorsday January 18, 2007

Dear UUA Trustees,

I notice that “Restorative Justice” is one of the items on the agenda of the January 2007 UUA Board of Trustees meetings. I have been seeking some genuine restorative justice for myself and other victims of abusive clergy misconduct by UU ministers for some time now but to no avail whatsoever. The UUA, its Ministerial Fellowship Committee, and more recently its department Congregational Services, have consistently and quite obstinately refused to provide the slightest restorative justice in response to my serious grievances that arise out of deeply insulting, defamatory, and verbally and psychologically abusive attacks on me by UU ministers. I might add that the two UU ministers whose unbecoming conduct I have complained about have subjected other people to deeply insulting and/or defamatory attacks. The responses of the UUA's Ministerial Fellowship Committee and department Congregational Services to my serious grievances about unbecoming conduct by intolerant and abusive UU clergy have not only been clearly negligent, they have effectively condoned, and thus have been complicit in, the verbally and psychologically abusive clergy misconduct that I have brought to their attention. In fact one of the reasons that I have never received any “restorative justice” from the UUA is because the UUA has quite consciencelessly refused to even acknowledge that I have suffered from any injustice.

Anyone who bothers to responsibly investigate my grievances against Rev. Ray Drennan, formerly of the Unitarian Church of Montreal, can readily see that I was subjected to demeaning and abusive insulting and defamatory attacks on my monotheistic religious beliefs and practices by an intolerant atheist “Humanist” UU minister. If you are not already familiar with my case Rev. Ray Drennan mocked and ridiculed my religious beliefs by labeling them as “silliness and fantasy”, contemptuously dismissed the profound revelatory religious experience that I was trying to explain to him as “your psychotic experience”, and falsely and maliciously labeled an inter-religious celebration of Creation that I had successfully organized as “your cult.” For more details I suggest running appropriate Google searches. According to the Executive of the UUA's Ministerial Fellowship Committee, under the directorship of Rev. Diane Miller, this obvious and egregious example of an atheist “Humanist” UU minister's anti-religious intolerance and bigotry “seemed to us to be within the appropriate guidelines of ministerial leadership.” To date the UUA, and its obviously negligent and effectively complicit Ministerial Fellowship Committee, have never backed away from this obviously untenable position and have refused to reopen and re-examine my clergy misconduct complaint against Rev. Ray Drennan.

More recently I discovered that “Christian” UU minister Rev. Victoria Weinstein had attacked me on her pseudonymous Peacebang blog. In light of her continued offensive and remarkably hypocritical attacks on other people, and even other religious groups, on her Peacebang blog; attacks that the vast majority of people of intelligence and conscience would consider to be most unbecoming of a minister, I decided to file an unbecoming conduct complaint against Rev. Weinstein in order to to determine if there has been any improvement in the UUA's handling of clergy misconduct complaints. The email exchanges between me and the director of Congregational Services Rev. Dr. Tracey Robinson-Harris, and the new Executive Secretary of the Ministerial Fellowship Committee Rev. Beth Miller will show that the UUA is still responding to complaints about unbecoming conduct by its ministers in a manner that is not only quite negligent but which effectively condones their unbecoming conduct. I have posted these recent email exchanges to The Emerson Avenger blog so that UUs, and indeed non-UUs. . . can make up their own minds about how the UUA responds to verbally and psychologically abusive unbecoming conduct by UU ministers. I am very confident that most non-UUs will agree that the UUA's response is both negligent, and effectively complicit in, unbecoming conduct by UU clergy.

You may read the email exchanges on these threads and I would urge you to do so -

http://emersonavenger.blogspot.com/2007/01/how-rev-dr-tracey-robinson-harris.html

http://emersonavenger.blogspot.com/2007/01/rev-beth-miller-executive-secretary-of.html

You may also wish to read this thread which represents public response to those email exchanges -

http://emersonavenger.blogspot.com/2007/01/example-of-moral-support-for-emerson.html

The fact of the matter is that The Emerson Avenger blog probably would not even exist if the UUA and its Ministerial Fellowship Committee had responded in a responsible manner to my initial complaints against Rev. Ray Drennan, or had conceded to my subsequent demands that my original complaint be re-opened and re-examined in 2002. The Emerson Avenger blog exists precisely because U*Us have consistently, and quite obstinately, refused to provide anything even remotely resembling genuine justice, equity, and compassion in response to my legitimate and quite serious grievances arising from intolerant and abusive clergy misconduct by UU clergy. The two UU ministers who I filed clergy misconduct complaints against are clearly guilty of conduct unbecoming a minister not only in terms of how they have behaved towards me, but in well documented intolerant and abusive or insulting and defamatory attacks on other people or groups.

I recently invited UUA President William G. Sinkford to start practicing what he preaches by engaging in what he and other UUs call “waging peace” with me, and other victims of clergy misconduct of various kinds, by waging some genuine restorative justice for all victims of all forms of clergy misconduct by UU ministers, not just clergy sexual misconduct.

http://emersonavenger.blogspot.com/2007/01/emerson-avenger-aka-robin-edgar-invites.html

To date I have not received so much as an acknowledgement of receipt of that R.S.V. P. invitation in spite of follow-up requests for a formal response from President Sinkford. President Sinkford has so far been completely silent and apparently very passive in response to my invitation to begin “waging peace” by waging some genuine restorative justice, equity and compassion in human relations with me and other victims of U*U injustices and abuses. It would thus appear that President Bill Sinkford is most regrettably quite intent on declining my invitation to begin waging peace. If I do not receive a positive response to that R.S.V.P. invitation by the end of next week at the very latest I will consider my invitation to begin waging peace with me to have been formally declined by President Sinkford.

That R.S.V.P. invitation is open to all other UUs so I am now inviting UUA Trustees to begin waging peace by taking responsible and effective steps to ensure that some genuine restorative justice is finally provided for me and other victims of UU clergy misconduct, to say nothing of victims of various other internal injustices and abuses. I believe that I have already made my own personal expectations quite clear in previous communications with the UUA so I will not repeat them in detail here. I call upon all UUA Trustees to live up to both the letter and the spirit of President Bill Sinkford's Holiday Message about restoring hope and waging peace by doing the right thing and doing everything in their power to provide genuine restorative justice to me and all other victims of diverse injustices and abuses that have been initially perpetrated by U*U clergy, but have subsequently been aggravated, escalated, and perpetuated by the negligence and institutional stonewalling and denial of the UUA and MFC etc. that condones, and thus is effectively complicit in, unbecoming and abusive clergy misconduct of all kinds.

Sincerely,

Robin Edgar

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A Reality Check For U*Us Courtesy Of The Emerson Avenger

Well speaking of the "Eye of God". . . the readily verifiable reality of the "Eye of God" symbolism that is manifested during total solar eclipses, and the reality of what this "Sign in the Heavens" symbolizes. . . is not likely to go away any time soon.

This was posted as a response to a thread on a U*U minister's blog. It will be interesting to see if it gets past the "comment moderation" function.

I am reasonably confident that my comment will posted by this particular minister.

My comment was in response to the minister's referrence to Philip K. Dick's *observation* that "reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." U*Us would be very well advised to consider the fact that the various realities that I am confronting them with will not "go away" just because DIM Thinking U*Us, including DIM Thinking U*U "religious professionals" and top level UUA officials like UUA President Bill Sinkford, Rev. Dr. Tracey Robinson-Harris, Rev. Beth Miller, and rather too many other prominent U*U religious leaders. . . incredibly foolishly and remarkably consciencelessly choose to deny, ignore and minimize those highly verifiable realities.

It would appear that Philip K. Dick was paraphrasing Aldous Huxley who said -

"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored."

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?

Saturday, January 13, 2007

An Example Of Moral Support For The Emerson Avenger From "Joe Public"

There is nothing special to report about today's protest in front of the Unitarian Church of Montreal, with the possible exception of noting that police presence has been all but non-existent for several weeks now. Perhaps Montreal Unitarians finally figured out that giving a whole new meaning to the term "police harassment", by repeatedly calling in complaints to the Montreal police force about my perfectly legal peaceful public protest activities, isn't really doing them any good. I can't imagine that the Montreal public is very impressed with a Unitarian "church" that has a police car or two, and occasionally even three. . . parked in front of it Sunday after Sunday. Likewise, I expect that the Montreal police force are just a bit fed up with being repeatedly harassed by Montreal Unitarians calling in what are effectively false alarms. Clearly Montreal Unitarians would much rather attempt to misuse the Montreal police force than actually make an effort to begin "waging peace" with me by entering into responsible dialogue with me in an effort to negotiate a settlement to this conflict that genuinely lives up to U*U principles that call for justice, equity and compassion in human relations. . . It seems that there was an intense effort by the Unitarian Church of Montreal to have the police force intervene again early in the "church" year when Rev. Diane Rollert became its new settled minister, but it quite evidently proved to be yet another completely futile effort by Montreal Unitarians to impose church censorship by misusing the "secular authorities" of the state as a proxy. These repeated complaints to the police in an effort to bring an end to my protest only further expose the outrageous hypocrisy of the Unitarian*Universalist religious community aka "church" that quite fraudulently pretends in its evidently obsolete "church" propaganda to be "opposed to censorship by church, state or any other institution."

The following is a recent messaging exchange between myself and a member of a social bookmarking blog system that I am on. I have already said that I have received plenty of moral support from people on this social blogging system but this is perhaps the most lengthy and detailed exchange that I have had with anyone. I asked permission to publish our exchange and received it so I am making it available as an example of the kind of moral support that I often receive from non-U*Us who are aware of my ongoing protest against U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy.


Jimmy

Jan 12, 7:30pm Hi!

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your letters to the church. It's always a pleasure to read someone who expresses themselves so well - both in substance and argument.

Happy New Year to you, too, my friend! :)


RobinEdgar

12:19am Which ones did you read? The most recent email strings perhaps?


Jimmy

11:00am I had previously read all the correspondence threads at The Emerson Avenger; now I've just read your latest emails there to Miller & Sinkford that you sent this week, so I guess I'm up to date. :-)


RobinEdgar

3:04pm The most recent letters between me and Rev. Dr. Tracey Robinson-Harris really show up U*U institutional stonewalling and denial quite nicely. Did you see that email string?


Jimmy

5:14pm I had seen that email string but read it again in its entirety; glad I did, too, since I had missed the excerpts that you included close to the bottom about her insulting remarks about Senator Napoli... And "stonewalling" hardly begins to explain their failure to respond to any of the points you have raised (repeatedly, and with excellent descriptive language well beyond what is necessary to rule out any misunderstandings of their meanings - such that your points would confuse someone of normal intelligence, or could be misconstrued by any adult reader)... All in all, the responses you have gotten are basically a non-response, or a "so sue us" one.

I wish you the best in your future correspondence with them and hope they properly and adequately respond eventually. One thing appears certain from the string: you could not improve on your attempt at communication...I read you "loudly and clearly" as they certainly did, also. I'd say their responses are clearly guided my "legal advise" in one form or another, as their responses appear to be carefully and artfully crafted to be very general and broad...definitely containing none of the specificity in them that you have sought.


RobinEdgar

Jan 13, 6:40pm

Thanks for that response Jimmy. It pretty well confirms my own assessment of the situation. Would you have any objection if I posted our exchange to The Emerson Avenger blog as an example of intelligent public response? I keep telling U*Us that the vast majority of "people of intelligence and conscience" are sympathetic to, and supportive of, my criticism and protest but they prefer to disbelieve me. If I could publish our exchange as an example of someone of obvious intelligence and conscience providing moral support it might convince a few U*Us that they are not winning this war of words.

Best Regards,

Robin Edgar


Jimmy

7:05am Sure, Robin, you may use our exchange. It did contain one typographical error that I just caught while rereading it, where I said "my" instead of "by" in the phrase that begins"...are clearly guided...". Feel free to make that correction for me.

BTW, I related to my sister last evening the insulting language that was used against Senator Napoli by Rev. Weinstein, and her very *convenient* omission in "her published attacked on Catholics...when one of her own parishioners was just convicted of raping a neighbour's daughter and his own daughter." She, like I, was appalled by such overt hypocrisy.

All The Best,

Jimmy


RobinEdgar

3:33pm Thanks Jimmy,

Your permission to publish our exchange is much appreciated. I don't know if it will actually persuade any Unitarian*Universalists aka U*Us in positions of responsibility that they are making serious mistakes in failing, indeed refusing. . . to deal with this kind of insulting and defamatory unbecoming conduct by U*U clergy because they have proven to be quite conscienceless and obstinately stubborn people over the years, but it will at least serve as a good example of how "Joe Public" with a conscience perceives the situation.

Best Regards,

Robin Edgar

Friday, January 12, 2007

UUA President William G. Sinkford Just Says No To USA President George W. Bush. . .

UUA President Rev. William G. Sinkford's recent open letter to U.S. President George W. Bush condemning President Bush's decision to increase the US military forces in Iraq by 21,500 additional troops stunningly disregards something that President Bill Sinkford said a while back about the AIDS epidemic. . .

In his open letter to President George W. Bush, UUA President William G. Sinkford says -

"Yes, Mr. President, we do need a change of policy in Iraq. But do we need to escalate our troop levels? The Iraq Study Group says No. Do we need to put more troops in harm's way? Three out of four of Americans say No. Do we need to spend more, fight harder, sacrifice more American lives, and kill more Iraqi citizens in order to secure peace in their country and in our own? People of conscience the world over say No!"

President Bill Sinkford then concludes his open letter to President George Bush by just saying NO! once again.

"As you risk the lives of our men and women in uniform on a mission that is completely contrary to the will of the American people, it is our democratic duty to make our voices heard. It is time to say NO!"

Yes President Sinkford, it may well be time to just say NO! about that issue and a few other issues that I can think of but, if I remember correctly. . . just saying NO! didn't work in the Garden of Eden so what makes you think that just saying NO! will work with President George W. Bush?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Rev. Beth Miller, Executive Secretary of the Ministerial Fellowship Committee, Picks MLK Day To Have Nothing More To Say. . .

If I remember correctly the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had a thing or two to say about complicit silence. . .

Such as -

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

and

"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."

Rev. Beth Miller, Executive Secretary of the UUA's Ministerial Fellowship Committee, sure picked a great day to decide that she has nothing more to say about the obviously negligent and effectively complicit dismissal of my clergy misconduct complaint against Rev. Victoria Weinstein for conduct unbecoming a minister, U*U or otherwise. . . by the UUA's department of Congregational Services under the rather questionable leadership of Rev. Dr. Tracey Robinson-Harris. I am posting the complete email string of my communications with Rev. Beth Miller and, as usual, in order to be properly understood these U*U church records that are now open for scrutiny should be read from the bottom up.


Date: Wed, 10 Jan 2007 22:21:21 -0500 (EST)
From: "Robin Edgar" robinedgar59@yahoo.ca
Subject: RE: Procedures for filing a complaint against a U*U minister
To: "Beth Miller" bmiller@uua.org, "Tracey Robinson-Harris" trobinson@uua.org
CC: "William Sinkford" BSinkford@uua.org, "William Sinkford" wsinkford@uua.org

Dear Rev. Miller,

Well you sure picked a good day to say that you have nothing more to say.

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Actually I will remember both the insulting and defamatory words of my enemies such as Rev. Ray Drennan and other intolerant and abusive U*Us, as well as the cowardly complicit silence of my "friends" at the UUA and its very aptly named Ministerial Fellowship Committee.

I hope that you all had a great Martin Luther King Day.

I am very confident that this MLK Day will be one that you will remember.

Sincerely,

Robin Edgar


P.S. Here are a few more pertinent Martin Luther King Jr. quotations that you would do well to keep in mind. . .

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

Even this MLK quote is highly pertinent to the unjustices and abuses that the UUA and the MFC are largely responsible for perpetuating and sustaining.

Segregation is the adultery of an illicit intercourse between injustice and immorality.

Indeed segregation is by no means the only wrong and inequity that may be very justifiably characterized as the adultery of an illicit intercourse between injustice and immorality. . . I dare say that that bon mot applies very well to the UUA's negligent and complicit response to clergy misconduct of various kinds, and other injustices and abuses within your "beloved community".


Beth Miller bmiller@uua.org wrote:

Dear Mr. Edgar,

I am sorry that you were unhappy with my reply to your concerns. Nonetheless, that is my reply and I have nothing more to say. I do not intend to engage further with you on either of the issues you have brought to my attention for the reasons previously stated.

Sincerely,
Beth Miller

the Rev. Beth Miller
Director, Ministry and Professional Leadership
Unitarian Universalist Association
25 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02108
BMiller@uua.org
www.uua.org
617-948-6407 phone
617-742-2875 fax

Assistant to the Director
A'Llyn Ettien
Phone 617-948-6406 AEttien@uua.org

---------------------------------------------------------
From: Robin Edgar robinedgar59@yahoo.ca
Sent: Wednesday, January 03, 2007 6:31 PM
To: Beth Miller; Tracey Robinson-Harris
Cc: William Sinkford; William Sinkford
Subject: RE: Procedures for filing a complaint against a U*U minister

Dear Rev. Beth Miller,

You must be a very busy person indeed if "current matters" kept you too busy to respond in any manner whatsoever to an email that I sent you about three months ago.

Considering just how inappropriately, indeed negligently and complicitly, the UUA's Ministerial Fellowship Committee responded to my original serious grievances arising from Rev. Ray Drennan's intolerant and abusive anti-religious attack on my monotheistic religious beliefs and practrices, I am not the least bit surprised that after having a look at "the Drennan file", you consider that it is not *appropriate* for you to analyze either the process or the outcome. It could prove to be just a bit problematic for the Unitarian Universalist Association and its negligent Ministerial Fellowship Committee if anyone in a position of authority and responsibility ever undertook to responsibly analyze both the process and the outcome and make official comments about it. N'est-ce pas?

You say that you support the response (or perhaps I should say the UUA's typically negligent and effectively complicit non-response) of Rev. Dr. Tracey Robinson-Harris, current Director of the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Congregational Services Staff Group, to my current clergy misconduct complaint against Rev. Victoria Weinstein that arises from her insulting and defamatory language, and other unbecoming conduct, as very publicly displayed on Rev. Weinstein's pseudonymous Peacebang blog.

Rev. Dr. Tracey Robinson-Harris is on record as claiming that -

Given the rules of the MFC and the nature of the issues you raise, it is not appropriate for the MFC to adjudicate.
If you feel that you have been defamed or libeled and wish redress that would be a matter for civil court action.

So am I correct in understanding that you agree that, "given the rules of the MFC", it is not appropriate for the UUA's Ministerial Fellowship Committee to adjudicate any case of clergy misconduct that involves the "issues" of a U*U minister insulting, slandering, libeling, or otherwise defaming a person on their blog, to say nothing of doing so in other ways?

Am I correct in understanding that the only recourse available to deal with injurious and untrue allegations made about someone or insulting and defamatory language directed at someone is for that person to bring a lawsuit against the minister in question?

Am I correct in understanding that it is still the current policy of the UUA, its Ministerial Fellowship Committee, and now its department of Congregational Services to allow verbally, emotionally, and psychologically abusive U*U ministers to insult, slander, libel, and defame people with complete impunity and no accountability whatsoever?

Rev. Dr. Tracey Robinson-Harris is also on record as claiming that -

It is the case that in this situation the minister’s blog is anonymous ( though you were able to identify the individual) and that she is free to express her opinions and to do so outside of her professional role as a minister serving a congregation.

I thus must conclude that you support Rev. Dr. Tracey Robinson-Harris' decision that Rev. Victoria Weinstein is free to express her deeply insulting, injurious, abusive, defamatory and libelous opinions on her Peacebang blog even though I have already pointed out to Rev. Robinson-Harris that her assertion that Rev. Weinstein's Peacebang blog it is "outside of her professional role as a minister" is open to dispute in that Rev. Victoria Weinstein proclaims on every page of her pseudonymous Peacebang blog that:

PeaceBang is the alter ego of a small town pastor serving an historic New England Unitarian Universalist congregation.

and that her Peacebang blog is about "Unitarian Universalism, UU Chrisitan (sic) spiritual practice, occasional cultural and political ravings, and the inner life of ministry."

Indeed quite recently Rev. Victoria Weinstein wrote on her blog that -

"I blog as an excercise in Unitarian Universalist and Christian evangelism, and as a way to share my passion for ministry and for religious life lived in community."

It should be glaringly obvious that Rev. Victoria Weinstein does not consider her Peacebang blog to be "outside of her professional role" as a U*U minister.
So how is it possible that you, and Rev. Dr. Tracey Robinson-Harris, and whoever else in the UUA and its department of Congregational Services participated in Rev. Dr. Tracey Robinson-Harris' highly questionable decision to dismiss my serious complaint abour Rev. Victoria Weinstein's unbecoming conduct, pretend that her Peacebang blog is actually "outside of her professional role as a minister"? Pray tell. . .

I asked Rev. Dr. Tracey Robinson-Harris a number of important questions that she has refused to answer. I expect you to answer these questions, including those that I just posed to you. Failure or refusal to answer my reasonable
questions will be interpreted as knowing and willful participation in UUA institutional stonewalling and denial. Your colleague Rev. Dr. Tracey Robinson-Harris has unfortunately already made her decision in that regard. You may wish to consider a making a wiser choice that actually lives up to the letter and the spirit of the purported principles and purposes of the U*U community and UUA President Bill Sinkford's Holiday Message that calls upon U*Us to "commit ourselves to the spiritual practice of waging peace—in our hearts, at home, in our congregations and communities, and in our world. . .

Let us rededicate ourselves to waging peace."

http://www.uua.org/president/061213_holiday.html

At present the UUA and U*Us more generally are not off to a very good start in that regard. There will be no peace until there is some genuine justice so I suggest that you and the rest of the UUA start practicing what President Bill Sinkford preached not so long ago by waging justice with me as part and parcel of waging peace with me. Failure or refusal to engage in waging peace with me will ensure that our little war of words will continue well into 2007 if not longer.

Sincerely,

Robin Edgar


Beth Miller bmiller@uua.org wrote:

I apologize for the delay. Current matters have kept me busy.

I have read the Drennan file and see no reason to comment in any way. This case was handled and closed long before my arrival and it is not appropriate for me to analyze either the process or the outcome.

As to your complaint against Rev. Weinstein, that matter is in Rev. Robinson-Harris’ hands and I support her response to you.

Sincerely,

Beth Miller

the Rev. Beth Miller
Director, Ministry and Professional Leadership
Unitarian Universalist Association
25 Beacon Street
Boston , MA 02108
BMiller@uua.org
www.uua.org
617-948-6407 phone
617-742-2875 fax

Assistant to the Director
A'Llyn Ettien
Phone 617-948-6406 AEttien@uua.org

---------------------------------------------------------

From: Robin Edgar robinedgar59@yahoo.ca
Sent: Tuesday, January 02, 2007 7:26 PM
To: Beth Miller
Cc: William Sinkford; Tracey Robinson-Harris
Subject: RE: Procedures for filing a complaint against a U*U minister

Dear Rev. Miller,

It is now three months since you said that you would "look at the (Rev. Ray Drennan) file when I get back, though, and contact you then." I have had no response whatsoever from you. I am asking you and your department to responsibly review how that serious complaint about Rev. Ray Drennan's anti-religious intolerance and related insulting and defamatory injurious and untrue allegations about me, my monotheistic religious beliefs, and my perfectly acceptable religious activities was (mis)handled by the UUA's aptly named Ministerial Fellowship Committee even if it did occur prior to your arrival.

As you are aware from the recent email correspondence with Rev. Tracey Robinson-Harris that I cc'd to you a couple of times now, I am far from satisfied with how she has (mis)handled my recent formal complaint against Rev. Victoria Weinstein. Even if you refuse to reopen and re-examine my complaints against Rev. Ray Drennan I expect you to invest the time and effort to "second guess" a complaint about similarly insulting and defamatory unbecoming conduct by a U*U minister that has not been resolved to my satisfaction on your watch.

Thank-you,

Robin Edgar


Beth Miller bmiller@uua.org wrote:

Dear Robin Edgar,

I am away from Boston now and will not be back in my office until 11/8. Since I have only been with the UUA since July and have no knowledge of the situation you're speaking of, I really can't comment at all right now. I will look at the file when I get back, though, and contact you then. I will say, however, that I am unlikely to try to second guess something that was resolved, even if not to your satisfaction, prior to my arrival.

Thanks for pointing out the inconsistency in our website. I will see about getting that fixed.

Beth Miller

the Rev. Beth Miller
Director, Ministry and Professional Leadership
Unitarian Universalist Association
25 Beacon Street
Boston , MA 02108
BMiller@uua.org
www.uua.org
617-948-6407 phone
617-742-2875 fax

Assistant to the Director
A'Llyn Ettien
Phone 617-948-6406 AEttien@uua.org


---------------------------------------------------------

From: Robin Edgar robinedgar59@yahoo.ca
Sent: Fri 11/3/2006 3:52 PM
To: Beth Miller
Subject: RE: Procedures for filing a complaint against a U*U minister

Dear Beth Miller,

Thank you for your prompt response to my query about filing a complaint against a U*U minister for unbecoming conduct. The UUA web site seemed to indicate that you were the primary contact person. You might want to review what is stated on the UUA web site about the complaint filing process to ensure that it is up-to-date. I will contact Tracey Robinson-Harris about this complaint.

You seem to indicate that you exercise oversight of the response to complaints against ministers by the Ministerial Fellowship Committee and that you interface with the minister through whatever actions they take. In fact I have been very poorly served by the Ministerial Fellowship Committee in terms of its response to a previous complaint against a different minister. The Ministerial Fellowship Committee under the directorship of Rev. Diane Miller, and later under the directorship of Rev. David Hubner, failed to responsibly deal with a complaint about unbecoming conduct by Rev. Ray Drennan of the Unitarian Church of Montreal. I would appreciate it if you could provide advice as to how I can take steps to ensure that Rev. Ray Drennan faces real accountability for his verbally and psychologically abusive clergy misconduct and how the Ministerial Fellowship Committee can be held accountable for its apparently incompetent and/or negligent responses to my earlier complaints that effectively condoned Rev. Ray Drennan's clergy misconduct. Any helpful advice as to how I may appeal the previous decisions made by the MFC would be greatly appreciated.

Thank-you,

Robin Edgar


Beth Miller bmiller@uua.org wrote:

Dear Robin Edgar,

Formal complaints are handled by Tracey Robinson-Harris, Director of Congregational Services. The procedure is outlines on the UUA website at:

http://www.uua.org/cde/ethics/complaintprocess.html

This process keeps me and my staff from a potential conflict of interest as we deal with the response to the complaint by the Ministeial Fellowship Committee and interface with the minister through whatever actions they take.

I am saddened to know that you are having serious difficulty with one of our ministers and hope that you will be well served by the UUA, whatever the outcome.

Best Regards,

Beth

the Rev. Beth Miller
Director, Ministry and Professional Leadership
Unitarian Universalist Association
25 Beacon Street
Boston , MA 02108
BMiller@uua.org
www.uua.org
617-948-6407 phone
617-742-2875 fax

Assistant to the Director
A'Llyn Ettien
Phone 617-948-6406 AEttien@uua.org


---------------------------------------------------------

From: Robin Edgar robinedgar59@yahoo.ca
Sent: Wed 11/1/2006 4:02 PM
To: Beth Miller
Subject: Procedures for filing a complaint against a U*U minister

Dear Ms. Miller,

It is my intention to bring a complaint for unethical conduct unbecoming a minister against a U*U minster in the coming days. I would appreciate it if you could inform me of what the current procedures are for bringing such a complaint against a U*U minister are. Is it possible for all written communications to be conducted using email or will it be necessary to send a hard copy letter by conventional mail in the form of a registered letter.

Thank you,

Robin Edgar

UUA President William G. Sinkford's Martin Luther King Day Message Applies Well To UU Clergy Misconduct Issues

I was struck by just how well UUA President William G. Sinkford's Martin Luther King Day message could apply to the issue of U*U clergy misconduct, and other injustices and abuses that occur within the Unitarian Universalist religious community. I am reproducing President Bill Sinkford's message here completely intact but will link appropriate words and phrases that refer to people of color and the racism to Google searches pertinent to the issues of U*U clergy misconduct and/or anti-religious intolerance and bigotry. I will be calling upon UUA President Bill Sinkford to apply both the letter and the spirit of this Martin Luther King Day message to the issues of clergy misconduct, anti-religious intolerance and bigotry, and other injustices and abuses that occur within what he calls the "beloved community" of Unitarian Universalism.


Truth and Reconciliation:

Unitarian Universalist Reflections on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Introduction by the Reverend William G. Sinkford

On the day that we honor the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I have no choice but to speak. However, like many persons of color in our faith, and far beyond our faith, I struggle to find a voice, to find the words that might move us forward. It feels to me that Unitarian Universalists have been stuck around the issue of race for far too long.

The South African Truth and Reconciliation process, now being used widely not only in Africa but in Latin America as well, ties the possibility of reconciliation to the honest confession of truth. Truth of past harms and oversights. Truth of past failures in the attempt to find and create justice. Anything short of real truth telling is a search for cheap reconciliation. We all have truths to discover and to tell. The claim of innocence cannot be an option for any of us, because ignorance of the truth does not alter its legacy. As the Reverend Al Sharpton says, people of color have a history, not a hallucination.

Getting the history right is important, because our memories can be selective. For example, Unitarian Universalists want to remember and hold up our support of Dr. King in Selma and to honor the deaths there of James Reeb and Viola Liuzzo. What we don't always want to remember is that King was witnessing in Memphis for economic justice for garbage collectors, of all races, when he was killed. He had recognized the truth that race and class in this country are inextricably intertwined. If our work for racial justice does not engage with the realities of class it is doomed to fail. Likewise, if we try to reconcile class inequities without acknowledging race, those efforts are equally doomed.

Though Martin Luther King, Jr. did not coin the term "beloved community," this vision for loving and just human relationships and the accompanying practice of reconciliation were central to his ministry. In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, several Unitarian Universalists have offered reflections on how Unitarian Universalists can engage in our own truth-telling process and begin the task of reconciliation. We asked these questions:

What truth needs to be told?

With whom do we need to be reconciled so that Unitarian Universalism can move toward the Beloved Community?

Throughout the spring I'll give persons of diverse racial and ethnic identities an opportunity to provide their answers as well.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Will UUA President William G. Sinkford aka Rev. Bill Sinkford Practice What He Preaches About "Waging Peace"?

The following is a copy of the text of an email that I just sent to UUA President William G. Sinkford reminding him that I need an R.S.V.P. to the invitation to begin waging peace with me that I sent him last week, A.S.A.H.P. I am hoping that he will take the first steps towards waging peace with me by responding appropriately to this email by the end of this week. i.e. Friday, January 12, 2007

Date: Mon, 8 Jan 2007 13:28:31 -0500 (EST)
From: "Robin Edgar" robinedgar59@yahoo.ca Add to Address Book
Subject: Re: An Invitation To Dedicate Yourself To Waging Peace With Me In 2007
To: "Bill Sinkford" bsinkford@uua.org, "William Sinkford" wsinkford@uua.org

Dear President Sinkford,

Although this invitation is a somewhat light hearted response to your Holiday Message for 2006 it is also a very serious invitation for you, and all other UUs, to live up to both the letter and the spirit of your words calling upon UUs to "commit ourselves to the spiritual practice of waging peace—in our hearts, at home, in our congregations and communities, and in our world." I have given you and the UUA several opportunities to do just that over the last several years but unfortunately both you and the UUA have missed those windows of opportunity to engage in genuinely waging peace with me by waging some genuine justice, equity and compassion in your human relations with me.

This invitation for you and all other UUs to dedicate yourself to waging peace with me, other victims of UU clergy misconduct, and victims of other UU injustices and abuses of various kinds is a bona fide invitation for you and all other UUs to genuinely stand on the side of love by standing on the side of justice, equity and compassion in human relations and other UU principles.

Please respond appropriately to the R.S.V.P. A.S.A.H.P.

We are already more than one week into the New Year and you and other UUs have shown no signs of being ready, willing or able to engage in waging peace with me. Au contraire, so far, there is only evidence that the UUA and UUs more generally would prefer to continue waging a war of words with me in 2007. I am calling upon you to set an example for UUs by making a sincere and realistic effort to live up to your words about waging peace. You cannot remain passive as you have been for several years now. It is time for you and all other UUs, to move from the futile to the effective, from the stagnant to the active, from the destructive to the creative way of life.

I would appreciate a response to my R.S.V.P. by the end of this week. I would like you to set a goal for peace to be well on its way to being restored by the implementation of some genuine restorative justice by the UUA GA in June.

Sincerely,

Robin Edgar



Robin Edgar wrote:

Dear President Sinkford,

You And All Other Unitarian Universalists aka UUs Are Cordially Invited To Dedicate Yourselves To Waging Peace With Me In 2007

Sincerely,

Robin Edgar


R.S.V.P.*












* Répondez s’il vous plaît

Sunday, January 07, 2007

On The "Psychotic" Reaction Of Rev. Ray Drennan And The Unitarian Church Of Montreal

ROTFLMU*UO!

I ran a Google search on - "Positive Picketing" Unitarians - in order to track down and provide links to my previous posts about the Unitarian Church of Montreal's deeply misguided, outrageously hypocritical, and completely futile positive picketing campaign of the spring of 2001. In doing so I discovered that Rev. Ray Drennan had actually preached about the Unitarian Church of Montreal's "Positive Picketing Campaign" in his Easter Sunday sermon, titled Easter=MC2 of April 15th, 2001. I think that I may have known about this before but, if so, it had completely slipped my mind and I was thus quite surprised to see that Rev. Ray Drennan had actually spoken about the Unitarian Church of Montreal's DIM Thinking "positive picketers" in a Sunday sermon.

Here is the pertinent part of the sermon which leads up to its conclusion -

What transformation might you wish for in your life or in the world around you on this Easter day? Matter and solidity of being stuck in a rut are "conceptual frameworks of our minds". Changing our minds, altering our perception, imagining something different can release the energy needed to make it happen. Everything that seems so solid, so difficult and is standing in our way can be changed into dancing energy and will eventually be changed into energy. We did just that a few weeks ago. A few weeks ago the negative energy of our lone picketer seemed immovable. Then we changed our way of looking at and through our positive picketing campaign changed it into dancing energy.

end quote

Talk about utterly delusional thinking! And to think that Rev. Ray Drennan and no shortage of other U*Us, Montreal Unitarians or otherwise. . . believe that I am delusional to say nothing of a "psychotic" "mentally unbalanced" "nutcase".

My picket sign slogan that says -

"CHURCH" OF THE "PSYCHOTIC" REACTION

refers to the fact that Rev. Ray Drennan reactively, to say nothing of reactionarily. . . attacked my revelatory religious experience by rudely interupting me and sneeringly and angrily saying,

"You mean your psychotic experience."

as I was trying to explain my mystical and indeed quite prophetic religious experience to him on the fateful date of Thursday November 9th, 1995.

Needless to say the picket sign slogan could be alternatively interpreted as suggesting that the Unitarian Church of Montreal is just a tad delusional itself in its highly questionable reactions to my revelatory religious experience, but also in its quite delusional reactions to my serious grievances and subsequent protest activities arising from Rev. Ray Drennan's demeaning and abusive attack on me.

I would strongly suggest that the congregation of the Unitarian Church of Montreal, under the spiritual and indeed moral and ethical leadership of its new settled minister Rev. Diane Rollert, would be very well advised to pay heed to Rev. Ray Drennan's outrageously hypocritical, but otherwise highly advisable. . . words. Montreal Unitarians, and indeed the UUA, its Ministerial Fellowship Committee, and the greater U*U religious community need to start changing their minds about refusing to engage in waging peace with me. Unitarian Universalistst need to start altering their perceptions about me that are seriously tainted by prejudice, misinformation, disinformation and outright lies. Montreal Unitarians, and U*Us more generally, need to start imagining something different, such as finally throwing in the proverbial towel and admitting to their decade worth of serious errors of judgement, to say nothing of considerable delusional thinking, and release the energy that is needed to start waging peace by doing what is necessary to make genuine justice, genuine equity and genuine compassion in human relations happen with me and other victims of U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy. . .

More later. This post will evolve a bit but I am posting it now.

WASU Montreal Unitarian U*U Keith Robinson Strikes Again!

Keith Robinson is one of the few Montreal Unitarian U*Us who have had the stupidity to label my religious activities as a "cult" to my face. The only other two to do so are Rev. Ray Drennan and John Inder. Although I was reliably informed by a former member of the Unitarian Church of Montreal that Frank Greene, a former President of the Unitarian Church of Montreal, had repeatedly called Creation Day a "cult" during a conversation with said person, he had only made various snide insinuations about Creation Day and my other religious activities as being a "cult" in his conversations with me. The worst of these snide insinuations that Creation Day and some of my other religious activities were a "cult" occurred when Frank Greene said, "I hope what you're doing doesn't have anything to do with the Solar Temple. . ." in the fall of 1994 while I was working on organizing the first celebration of Creation Day. That snide insinuation of a possible link between my religious practices and the Solar Temple cult was made very soon after the Solar Temple mass suicides were reported in the news.

In that both John Inder and Keith Robinson had the unmitigated gall to call Creation Day a "cult" to my face while I was standing outside the Unitarian Church of Montreal protesting against the previous false and malicious labeling of Creation Day as a "cult" by Rev. Ray Drennan and UCM President Frank Greene by displaying a picket sign slogan that says -

CULT IS A FOUR LETTER WORD

one has to question their intelligence, to say nothing of their apparent lack of conscience.

Keith Robinson likes to make various snarky comments as he passes me on his way into the Unitarian Church of Montreal. In fact it is somewhat of a rarity for him to pass by me without making some kind of snarky comment. On the other hand however it is becoming something of a rarity for me to see him at all because, like many members of the Unitarian Church of Montreal, Keith Robinson is aging and the frequency of his attendance of Sunday services at the Unitarian Church of Montreal seems to be dwindling. . . Today Keith Robinson decided to attend a Sunday service and he stopped to make a snarky comment as I walked past him with my picket signs. Here is what he said, this is as close to an exact quote and full sentence as anyone* could possibly want -

"If brains were made out of cloth, you wouldn't have enough to make a cycling cap for a baby ant."

I don't know how many days, weeks, or months it took him to come up with that elaborate yet rather brainless witticism but it would appear to be original to Keith Robinson. I can't find evidence of a similar witticism using appropriate Google searches. No doubt Keith Robinson gleefully looked forward to being able to smite me with his brainless witticism about brainlessness the next time that we passed each other one Sunday. Most ironically Keith Robinson's brainless witticism about me being brainless is rather more applicable to himself, to say nothing of the rest of the congregation of the Unitarian Church of Montreal, and indeed the UUA and its clearly quite brainless Ministerial Fellowship Committee and department of Congregational Services.

The simple fact that the whole congregation of the Unitarian Church of Montreal has quite consciencelessly and indeed more than a little bit brainlessly walked past my picket signs for over eight years now is evidence enough of the brainlessness of Montreal Unitarians but there is plenty more well documented evidence of brainless behaviour by Montreal Unitarians than that. The negligent and complicit response of the UUA's Ministerial Fellowship Committee under the "leadership" of Rev. Diane Miller can be properly described as being unthinking, brainless, and indeed thoughtless. Likewise, the very recent and very well documented negligent and complicit response to my clergy misconduct complaint about the insulting and defamatory unbecoming conduct of Rev. Victoria Weinstein by the UUA's department of Congregational Services under the questionable "leadership" of Rev. Dr. Tracey Robinson-Harris can quite justifiably be characterized as unthinking, brainless, and thoughtless, to say nothing of DIM Thinking. . .


*James Andrix, aka the indrax troll, being a case in point. . .

Saturday, January 06, 2007

In The "Better Late Than Never" Department. . .

U*Us interested in clergy misconduct issues should try to attend this seminar as the Andover Newton Theological School next week. I only found out about it today. If I had known earlier I might have headed down there myself. . .

Ethics and Abuse In The Ministerial Relationship
Start Date: January 8th, 2007
End Date: January 12th, 2007
M-F 8:30 am to 12:30 pm
Andover Newton Theological School
Here's a seminar to help clergy meet the ethical challenges of congregational life and ministerial practice: Ethics and Abuse In The Ministerial Relationship, Jan. 8-12, 2007, M-F 8:30 am to 12:30 pm sponsored annually by UU Students at ANTS. An ethical analysis of both competence and abuse in the ministerial relationship, the program is designed to help clergy and lay leaders identify unethical or potentially abusive conduct and to encourage ethical, competent ministries. A must for ministerial candidates, interns and newly settled ministers. To register contact the seminar's leader, the Rev. Deborah J. Pope-Lance, by email RevDPL@earthlink.net. Deborah, both a community minister and a licensed therapist, maintains a private therapy practice in the Boston area and provides coaching and support to clergy in challenging ministries, often in the aftermath of predecessors' misconduct. She is co-author of a recent Alban Institute book, When A Congregation is Betrayed: Responding to Clergy Misconduct.

Friday, January 05, 2007

La Commission Des Droits De La Personne Du Québec Ma Faite Passer Un Sapin. . .



I did another lunch hour protest in front of the offices of the Quebec Human Rights Commission aka La Commission Des Droits De La Personne Du Québec this afternoon. Yesterday was such a beautiful warm and sunny day that I decided that it was just a bit *too* good to devote a couple of hours to my QHRC protest so I spent the time enjoying the sun in the Plateau Mont-Royal district of beautiful Montreal.

For a few weeks now I have thought of bringing a pine tree to my Quebec Human Rights Commission protest to referrence the very Québecois saying "Passe moi pas un sapin" which effectively means don't screw me over or, more politely, don't sell me a bill of goods. It seems that it's original meaning had to do with the practice of unethical lumber producers of substituting cheap pine wood for higher quality wood but "faire passer un sapin" now has a much more general meaning of cheating someone or otherwise jerking them around.

Just the other night I had rescued an ex-Xmas tree that was being thrown out for the garbage and stashed it away for future use in my Quebec Human Rights Commission protest but divine providence intervened on my behalf today. . . As I was protesting in Old Montreal in front of the old "skyscraper" that houses the offices of the Quebec Human Rights Commission I happened to notice that an ex-Xmas tree was being lowered to the sidewalk from a second story balcony of the Nordheimer Hotel across the street from my protest. This providential opportunity was just to good to miss! I mean "retired" Christmas trees quite literally descending from heaven right before my very eyes! What more could I possibly ask for? ;-)

After taking a few photos of the providential lowering of the retired Christmas trees I crossed the street and and asked the hotel maintenance people if I could borrow one of their no longer wanted Christmas trees for a bit. I explained to them that the Quebec Human Rights Commission, aka la Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse du Québec, ma fait passer un sapin et je veux le retourner. . . They were happy to oblige me and I carried one of the denuded pine trees across St. Jacques Street and deposited it on the left side of the entry into the office building for an impromptu photo opportunity. The office building's concierge was out in a flash and I explained to him that I was just going to take a few pictures of the tree with my picket signs on it and then the proverbial sapin would be promptly and appropriately disposed of. He seemed to be quite OK with that proposition and went back into the building.

A security guard came out almost immediately afterwards and I told the security guard that I was just going to take a few pictures and then get rid of the unwanted Christmas tree. He was pretty obliging and patiently waited while I spent a few minutes taking a bunch of photos of the QHRC's symbolic sapin with various configurations of picket signs resting on it. After all was said and done I took the proverbial sapin back to where it had providentialy come from and the janitor came out to sweep up the few pine needles that were left behind on the steps of the building.

There is not much else to report on the Quebec Human Rights Commission protest front other than I had a few chats with members of the general public that were all very positive, sympathetic, and supportive once I had explained to them what my protest was all about.

UUgRRl Is Speaking Truth In Love To U*Us. . .

As a result of running a blogger.com search on Rev. Tracey Robinson-Harris, the Director of the UUA's Department of Congregational Services that is now initially handling U*U clergy misconduct complaints in order to provide a "safer"* process. . . I just became aware of the brand spanking new Speaking Truth To Power blog of UUgrrl that is dedicated to dealing with the procedural aspects of how Unitarian Universalists address U*U clergy sexual misconduct. This is a very promising development as there are serious problems with the current UUA procedures for handling cases of clergy misconduct, be it sexual misconduct or otherwise, in spite of UUA pretense about having significantly improved procedures over the years. Please note that the UUgrrl is asserting that the procedures themselves are seriously flawed. It is quite another matter that the UUA, its Congregational Services department, the Ministerial Fellowship Committee, and other responsible parties including individual U*U "churches" do a botch up job of implementing these flawed procedures in any case. . .

Happy New Year and welcome to the U*U blogosphere UUgrrl! Your presence is most appreciated.

More later. . .

* As evidenced by Rev. Dr. Tracey Robinson-Harris' evidently negligent and complicit decision to do absolutely nothing about Rev. Victoria Weinstein's obviously insulting and not so obviously** defamatory unbecoming conduct on her pseudonymous Peacebang blog the new process would appear to be very safe indeed for unmentionable U*U ministers who egregiously insult and defame people on their blogs behind the cowardly cover of pseudonymity.

** Rev. Victoria Weinstein aka Peacebang "memory holed" her insulting comment that defamed and/or libeled me in order to hide the evidence and cover her proverbial U*U.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Emerson Avenger aka Robin Edgar Invites UUA President Bill Sinkford And All Other UUs To Dedicate Themselves To Waging Peace With Him In 2007

In light of UUA President Rev. William G. Sinkford's Holiday Message of December 13th, 2006 the following email was just sent to UUA President William G. Sinkford aka Rev. Bill Sinkford by Robin Edgar aka The Emerson Avenger. It will be most interesting to see how President Sinkford responds to it or indeed *if* President Sinkford responds to it.


Date: Wed, 3 Jan 2007 19:44:19 -0500 (EST)
From: "Robin Edgar"
Subject: An Invitation To Dedicate Yourself To Waging Peace With Me In 2007
To: "Bill Sinkford" , "William Sinkford"
CC: AllOtherUUs@UUworld.org

Dear President Sinkford,

You And All Other Unitarian Universalists aka UUs Are Cordially Invited To Dedicate Yourselves To Waging Peace With Me In 2007

Sincerely,

Robin Edgar


R.S.V.P.*












* Répondez s’il vous plaît

How Rev. Dr. Tracey Robinson-Harris Rededicates Herself To Waging Peace In 2007. . .

The following is an email string of all of my email correspondence with Rev. Dr. Tracey Robinson-Harris, Director of the Unitarian Universalist Association's department of Congregational Services, regarding my formal complaint against Rev. Victoria Weinstein that arises from the insulting and defamatory language, and other injurious unbecoming conduct, of Rev. Weinstein on her pseudonymous Peacebang blog. In order to properly understand this string U*Us, or anyone else who may be interested in learning about institutional stonewalling and denial, would do well to read it from the bottom up. . . I dare say that Rev. Tracey Robinson-Harris' obviously negligent, and effectively complicit, response to my complaint about Rev. Victoria Weinstein's obviously unbecoming conduct on her pseudonymous Peacebang blog does a serious disservice to not only historic New England Unitarian Universalist congregations, but all UUA congregations. This initial commentary will evolve a bit over the next day or two but what is below this point will not change.


Date: Wed, 3 Jan 2007 16:13:10 -0500 (EST)
From: "Robin Edgar"
Subject: RE: The UUA and MFC are acting in bad faith once again. . .
To: "Tracey Robinson-Harris" , bmiller@uua.org
CC: "Bill Sinkford" , "William Sinkford"

Woden's Day January 3rd, 2007

Dear Rev. Dr. Tracey Robinson-Harris,

I have been given absolutely minimal information about the basis for your decision which I can only assume represents the decision of not only the UUA's Department of Congregational Services, but also the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations as a whole. Your response is completely unsatisfactory, not only in terms of the negligent and effectively complicit refusal to hold Rev. Victoria Weinstein, of First Parish Unitarian Church of Norwell, in any way accountable for her unbecoming conduct that includes deeply insulting and outright defamatory libelous attacks on me and various other people on her Peacebang blog, but also in terms of your failure and refusal to answer my perfectly reasonable questions about that highly questionable decision.

My questions arose out of the fact that the information that you provided about the basis for that decision was absolutely minimal and didn't really say amything meaningful at all. I will not waste any more time with you as it is abundantly obvious that the UUA is intent on playing it's standard game of institutional stonewalling and denial with respect to clergy misconduct, to say nothing of other internal U*U injustices and abuses.

Since you are clearly not part of the solution you are part of the problem and your evidently negligent and effectively complicit response to my serious complaint about Rev. Victoria Weinstein's obviously unbecoming conduct will be dealt with accordingly. I read with interest UUA President Rev. William G. Sinkford's 2006 Holiday Message which called upon U*Us to "commit ourselves to the spiritual practice of waging peace—in our hearts, at home, in our congregations and communities, and in our world. . . Let us rededicate ourselves to waging peace."

http://www.uua.org/president/061213_holiday.html

It would appear that you, the UUA, and U*Us more generally, to say nothing of UUA President Rev. Bill Sinkford himself are not off to a very good start in that regard.

Sincerely,

Robin Edgar


Tracey Robinson-Harris wrote:
Dear Robin,

You have been informed of the decision regarding your complaint and given information about the basis for our decision.
I will not be providing any further information in this matter.
Tracey


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Robin Edgar [mailto:robinedgar59@yahoo.ca]
Sent: Tuesday, January 02, 2007 6:03 PM
To: Tracey Robinson-Harris; Beth Miller
Cc: William Sinkford ; wsinkford@uua.org; Leslie Staples
Subject: Re: The UUA and MFC are acting in bad faith once again. . .

Dear Tracey,

I would appreciate a timely response to the email that I sent you on December 20th by the end of this week. I expect you to provide truthful and accurate answers to all of the reasonable questions that I posed in it.

Thank you,

Robin Edgar


Robin Edgar wrote:

Dear Tracey,

Please forgive me for saying so but I believe that far from being "in faith" you are acting in considerable bad faith in response to my complaint against Rev. Victoria Weinstein. I expect you to provide direct answers to all of the direct and pertinent questions that I posed to you in my previous email dated Wednesday, December 13, 2006 2:49 PM.

Herewith my point-by-point response to your most recent email message -

: In a situation such as the one you describe, we would strongly recommend that the concerns be addressed by direct communication with the minister involved, as you have already done. I understand that you were disappointed in the response you received.

Yes, I did directly communicate with Rev. Victoria Weinstein as per your recommendation and I was indeed disappointed by her response which is precisely why I brought Rev. Victoria Weinstein's unbecoming conduct to your attention. I expect the UUA and it's department of ministry to hold Rev. Victoria Weinstein accountable for her unbecoming conduct that includes, but is not limited to, injuriously defaming me on her Peacebang blog.

: It is the case that in this situation the minister’s blog is anonymous ( though you were able to identify the individual) and that she is free to express her opinions and to do so outside of her professional role as a minister serving a congregation.

I put it to you that the UUMA Guidelines clearly state that a U*U minister needs to be mindful of his or her words and actions that are "outside of their professional role as a minister serving a congregation" and deemed to be part of their "private life" thus, even if what you say above was true, Rev. Victoria Weinstein should face some form of accountability for her insulting and defamatory language towards me and other people. The fact of the matter however is that Rev. Victoria Weinstein clearly identifies herself as "a small town pastor serving an historic New England Unitarian Universalist congregation" in her blog profile which is posted at the top of every single blog post on her pseudonymous Peacebang blog.

That means that this post -

http://peacebang.blogspot.com/2006/03/state-senator-bill-napolis-fantasy.html

and other Peacebang blog posts that contain insulting and defamatory language, or otherwise display conduct unbecoming of a minister, are not in fact "outside of" Rev. Victoria Weinstein's "professional role as a minister" even though her real name and the U*U congregation that she is serving are not identified. I put it to you that, precisely because she hides behind the "mask" of anonymity or pseudonymity and does not identify which "historic New England Unitarian Universalist congregation" she is actually serving, Rev. Victoria Weinstein's insulting and defamatory blog posts reflect badly on ALL historic New England Unitarian Universalist congregations. . . N'est-ce pas Tracey?

: After a close review of your complaint and the rules which guide the Ministerial Fellowship Committee in their work, the decision was made that this complaint is not appropriate for the MFC to adjudicate.

Then I guess that means that MFC rules, as they are currently formulated and expressed, allow U*U ministers to insult and defame people on their blogs with complete impunity. No accountability whatsoever. How is it possible that it is "not appropriate" for the Ministerial Fellowship Committee to hold a U*U minister accountable for publicly spouting insulting and defamatory language directed at me and other people, including the clergy of other denominations and U.S. Senators, and other conduct that the vast majority of the American public would agree is quite unbecoming of a minister? Would you please be so kind as to send me a copy of these MFC rules or direct me to where they are posted to the internet so that I may examine them, point out the obvious flaws in these rules that allow U*U ministers to insult and defame people with complete impunity, and make recommendations for changes that would ensure that U*U ministers will in future face some genuine accountability for insulting and defaming people?

: The guidelines that you reference are those of the UU Ministers Association and not the Ministerial Fellowship Committee. These are separate bodies, each with their own procedures and rules.

Then it would appear that there is a glaring lack of harmony between the UUMA Guidelines and the rules of the Ministerial Fellowship Committee. How is this possible Tracey? Why is this so? Why has this situation not already been addressed and corrected? Please be so kind as to inform me how I may go about holding Rev. Victoria Weinstein accountable to both letter and the spirit of the UUMA Guidelines or the conduct of ministry which make it abundantly clear that her insulting and defamatory language towards me and other people is anything but becoming conduct of a U*U minister.

: I know that you wished for a different outcome in this matter.

Be assured that in the coming days, weeks, months, and possibly even years the UUA and the greater U*U religious community will wish that there had been a different outcome in this matter. . .

: Our original decision remains unchanged.

And just what is *our* original decision Tracey? I don't believe that that decision has been very clearly expressed yet. I expect you to detail exactly what that decision is and how it was arrived at. I also expect you to provide clear answers to each and every one of the very pertinent questions that I have asked in this email and in the previous emails that I have sent you that remain unanswered.

:There will be no further UUA review or action on this complaint.

If that is the position of the UUA I will consider the UUA to be acting in bad faith in response to legitimate grievances arising from insulting and defamatory language and other unbecoming conduct by a U*U minister. I will consider the UUA to not only be negligent in its response to my legitimate grievances but effectively complicit in the insulting and defamatory unbecoming conduct of U*U ministers that it abjectly fails and even obstinately refuses to hold accountable for their demeaning and abusive clergy misconduct. I will govern myself accordingly.

Sincerely,

Robin Edgar


Tracey Robinson-Harris wrote:
Dear Robin,

In a situation such as the one you describe, we would strongly recommend that the concerns be addressed by direct communication with the minister involved, as you have already done. I understand that you were disappointed in the response you received.

It is the case that in this situation the minister’s blog is anonymous ( though you were able to identify the individual) and that she is free to express her opinions and to do so outside of her professional role as a minister serving a congregation.

After a close review of your complaint and the rules which guide the Ministerial Fellowship Committee in their work, the decision was made that this complaint is not appropriate for the MFC to adjudicate. The guidelines that you reference are those of the UU Ministers Association and not the Ministerial Fellowship Committee. These are separate bodies, each with their own procedures and rules.

I know that you wished for a different outcome in this matter. Our original decision remains unchanged. There will be no further UUA review or action on this complaint.

In faith,
Tracey Robinson-Harris


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Robin Edgar [mailto:robinedgar59@yahoo.ca]
Sent: Wednesday, December 13, 2006 2:49 PM
To: Tracey Robinson-Harris
Subject: RE: Complaint Procedures For Unbecoming Conduct

Hi Tracey,

As I stated in my initial complaint, Rev. Victoria Weinstein's language, as exhibited on her Peacebang blog, is not only insulting and defamatory towards myself but insults and defames other people or is otherwise quite offensive. Her conduct on her blog would seem to violate several clauses of the UUMA Guidelines for the conduct of ministry. You might want to review them again -

http://uuma.org/documents/guidelines.html

Regardless of whether or not I or other people may be able to bring a civil suit against Rev. Weinstein for defamation or libel I would hope that the UUA would have procedures in place for disciplining ministers for such obviously unbecoming conduct. You seem to be suggesting that your "thorough review" of my complaint against Rev. Victoria Weinstein found no misconduct or "unbecoming conduct" worth acting upon and that you consider her behavior described in my complaint to be "within the guidelines" of the UUMA. Is this so or am I misinterpreting your response to my complaint?

I would like to know exactly what the conclusions of the "thorough review" of my complaints against Rev. Weinstein are.

What is your assessment of Rev. Weinstein's behaviour as described in my complaint?

Is it considered to be becoming of a U*U minister?

Is it within the letter and the spirit of the UUMA Guidelines for the conduct of ministry?

What documents or records, if any, arose out of my complaint?
Is there a written report of the "thorough review" that you can provide to me for scrutiny?

On what grounds do you claim that the issues that I raise in my complaint against Rev. Victoria Weinsten are not appropriate for the MFC to adjudicate?

Please provide clear and forthright answers to all of the above questions.

Thank you,

Robin Edgar

Tracey Robinson-Harris wrote:
Robin,
Given the rules of the MFC and the nature of the issues you raise, it is not appropriate for the MFC to adjudicate.
If you feel that you have been defamed or libeled and wish redress that would be a matter for civil court action.

Tracey


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Robin Edgar [mailto:robinedgar59@yahoo.ca]
Sent: Wednesday, December 13, 2006 12:36 PM
To: Tracey Robinson-Harris
Subject: RE: Complaint Procedures For Unbecoming Conduct

Hi Tracey,

Could you please elaborate on what you mean here?

Can you please tell me what the conclusions of the thorough review of my complaint against Rev. Victoria Weinstein are?

Thank-you,

Robin Edgar

Tracey Robinson-Harris wrote:
Robin,

A thorough review of your complaint against the Rev. Victoria Weinstein has been completed. This complaint will not be forwarded to the Ministerial Fellowship Committee.

Tracey Robinson-Harris


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Robin Edgar [mailto:robinedgar59@yahoo.ca]
Sent: Monday, December 04, 2006 4:43 PM
To: Tracey Robinson-Harris
Subject: RE: Complaint Procedures For Unbecoming Conduct

Hi Tracey,

I would appreciate it if you could provide a brief progress report and let me know where things stand. I noticed that Rev. Weinstein has deleted some older problematic posts from her Peacebang blog although it appears that she has left others intact including those that I specifically pointed out.

Thank you,

Robin Edgar


Tracey Robinson-Harris wrote:
Robin,
I am currently out of the office and will not be back in Boston til Nov 20th. I will review your complaint and get back to you as soon as possible.

Tracey


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Robin Edgar
Sent: Fri 11/10/2006 3:58 PM
To: Tracey Robinson-Harris
Subject: RE: Complaint Procedures For Unbecoming Conduct
November 10, 2006

Dear Rev. Tracey Robinson-Harris,

I read the document that you provided as an attachment and it seems to me that, at least initially, email communications will be sufficient. Please notify me if at any time you require hard copy sent to you by registered mail. I may send you a letter by registered mail in any case but for now I will initiate the complaint process using email communications.

The minister that I am bringing the complaint against is Rev. Victoria Weinstein of First Parish Church (Unitarian) in Norwell , Massachusetts . My complaint against her arises from what I consider to be unbecoming conduct in terms of written material that she has posted to her pseudonymous Peacebang blog. Some of that material constituted an insulting and defamatory attack on me, based purely on hearsay, that I only became aware of about six months after she first posted it. I am however also concerned with other posts on her Peacebang blog that insult and defame other people in a manner that I believe most people would consider to be unbecoming any minister U*U or otherwise.

It should be understood that although Rev. Victoria Weinstein's Peacebang blog is pseudonymous she none-the-less describes herself with these words in her personal profile that appears at the top of each page -

PeaceBang is the much sassier and brassier alter ego of a perfectly well-behaved, gracious and affectionate small-town pastor of a lovely New England Unitarian congregation.

It is thus clear that Rev. Victoria Weinstein represents herself as a Unitarian minister in a small town somewhere in New England . Various posts on her blog make it clear that she is in the Boston area. From my perspective any insulting and defamatory language, or otherwise unbecoming conduct, exhibited on her Peacebang blog thus tarnishes the image of Unitarian*Universalism over a broad area since few people know exactly which U*U minister Peacebang is.

Perhaps the most egregious example of unbecoming conduct that I have seen on her Peacebang blog is a post that attacks a U.S. Senator who no doubt deserved some strong criticism but Rev. Victoria Weinstein's strident insulting and defamatory attack on the senator in question does not reflect well on her, the profession of ministry U*U or otherwise, or the U*U community as a whole.

You may read that insulting and defamatory attack on a senator here -

http://peacebang.blogspot.com/2006/03/state-senator-bill-napolis-fantasy.html

Here are some pertinent excerpts:

"First of all, you crazy asshat, how does sodomy fit into your scenario about unwanted pregnancy?"

"Here's my sodomy fantasy: South Dakota State Senator Bill Napoli anally impaled on the Statue of Liberty's torch."

It seems that in a follow-up comment to the original post Rev. Victoria Weinstein even incites telephone harassment of the senator by providing his home phone number and suggesting that people call him up -

Sen. William Napoli, Republican, Rapid City ,
businessman, 341-2370 (home), 348-7373 (work).

CALL HIM UP!

Most recently Rev. Victoria Weinstein stridently attacked Catholics over the issue of clergy sexual misconduct without making the slightest mention of the fact that the U*U religious community has its own serious problems with clergy sexual misconduct. When I posted comments that pointed out her own "community denial" she deleted almost all of them in what I consider to be acts of church censorship and suppression of legitimate criticism and dissent. Only after I challenged her did she make any mention whatsoever of U*U clergy sexual misconduct in follow-up comments.

http://peacebang.blogspot.com/2006/10/violating-privacy-of-mind-and-body.html

Rev. Victoria Weinstein's hyped up attack on Catholics came at a time when one of her own parishioners was just convicted of raping a neighbour's daughter and his own daughter. I thus consider Rev. Weinstein's strident scapegoating of Catholics over the issue of sexual abuse to be remarkably hypocritical unbecoming conduct. If she wanted to discuss sexual abuse, including the rape of minors, without referring to the situation in her own parish she could have and should have used previous instances of U*U clergy sexual abuse that much more closely resembled the situation in her own church, most notably the Rev. Mack Mitchell rape case that much more closely resembles what happened in her own parish than the alleged fondling of Mark Foley by a Catholic priest.

Rev. Weinstein's insulting and defamatory attack on me of late July 2005 almost pales in comparison to her attack on Senator Napoli but it is serious enough in its own right, especially since it further circulated and reinforced previous slanderous rumours about me spread by U*Us, including that of Rev. Ray Drennan of the Unitarian Church of Montreal who suggested that I was suffering from a serious mentally illness, specifically psychosis, in November of 1996. Quite regrettably the UUA and its Ministerial Fellowship Committee badly mishandled my formal complaint against Rev. Ray Drennan by effectively condoning his injurious and untrue attack on me and my religious beliefs and practices. Had the MFC done its job properly Rev. Victoria Weinstein might never have defamed me on her blog.

In December of 2005 I discovered that in a follow-up comment to one of her blog posts Rev. Victoria Weinstein had characterized me as a "hostile" and "crazy" person who she did not have a "crucifix big enough to ward off" thus suggesting that I was some kind of evil vampire. When I quite reasonably and politely confronted her about this online libel she initially refused to do anything about it at all. I suggested that the best thing that she could do to set a good example was to leave the libelous comment intact on her blog but post a retraction and formal written apology that clearly acknowledged the wrongfulness and harmfulness of her libelous attack on me as a follow-up comment in the same thread. Rev. Victoria Weinstein refused to do the right thing, as suggested by me, and instead simply deleted the offending post against my own express wishes that it remain visible as an object lesson with an appropriate retraction and apology attached. The thread may be viewed here -

http://peacebang.blogspot.com/2005/07/obesity-steakhouse.html

As far as I am concerned Rev. Victoria Weinstein's self-censorship of her libelous personal attack on me was motivated more out of a desire to protect herself from any accountability by hiding the evidence of her online libel than an attempt to reduce any harm done to me as a result of her insulting and defamatory language. Had Rev. Weinstein desired to reduce the damage that she had done to me by spreading libelous malicious gossip about me on her Peacebang blog she could have and would have posted the retraction and apology that I had requested from her. To date she has obstinately refused to apologize to me even in private communications. I do believe that a public apology posted on her blog is in order in terms of her libelous personal attack on me. As far as any other unbecoming conduct that does not directly affect me goes I leave it up to you to browse through her blog and determine for yourself what posts may be considered to be unbecoming a minister.

I will leave this matter in your hands and those of other UUA officials who may have a role to play in responsibly dealing with this complaint about unbecoming conduct on the part of Rev. Victoria Weinstein. I look forward to receiving some genuine restorative justice in response to my serious complaint. Likewise I expect the UUA to deal responsibly with Rev. Victoria Weinstein's unbecoming conduct that does not directly affect me. I stand ready to answer any questions that you or anyone else from the UUA may have.

I look forward to seeing how the Unitarian Universalist Association currently handles complaints about non-sexual clergy misconduct that involve slanderous and libelous personal attacks on people by U*U ministers because, in the not so distant past, the UUA and its Ministerial Fellowship Committee have abjectly failed to responsibly handle such unbecoming conduct complaints. In fact the UUA and MFC have even effectively condoned and endorsed such insulting and defamatory personal attacks perpetrated by U*U clergy by claiming that they are "within the appropriate guidelines of ministerial leadership." I hope that things have significantly improved since then.

Sincerely,

Robin Edgar


Tracey Robinson-Harris wrote:
Robin,
The attached document outlines the process. PLease take a look at this information and then let me know if you have questions.

Tracey


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Robin Edgar
Sent: Tue 11/7/2006 3:29 PM
To: trobinson@uua.org
Subject: Complaint Procedures For Unbecoming Conduct
Dear

Beth Miller has informed me that you are the correct UUA official to contact about filing a clergy misconduct complaint against a U*U minister.

It is my intention to bring a complaint for unethical conduct unbecoming a minister against a U*U minster in the coming days.

I would appreciate it if you could inform me of what the current procedures are for bringing such a complaint against a U*U minister are.

Is it possible for all written communications to be conducted using email or will it be necessary to send a hard copy letter by conventional mail in the form of a registered letter?

Thank you,

Robin Edgar