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

Friday, January 11, 2008

Unitarian*Universalist U*Us Should Be Humbled. . .

Robin Edgar January 6th, 2008 | 4:19 pm A Sometimes Unitarian*Universalist U*Us Should Be Humbled. . .

http://www.youtube.com/profile_videos?user=RobinEdgar&p=v

Trevor January 6th, 2008 | 5:53 pm I feel you should be as well, Robin. It’s completely fine if you want to call Unitarian Universalism a cult or a sect, but kindly explain why. I’m particularly curious as to how you intend to do so, seeing as how both require dogma or creeds of some fashion, and Unitarian Universalism has neither. I don’t have time to sort through your myriad of videos, but I do have time to read anything you choose to write here.

Robin Edgar January 10th, 2008 | 6:56 pm Actually intolerant and abusive fundamentalist atheist “Humanist” Unitarian*Universalists falsely and maliciously labeled my religious activities as a “cult” and “cult-like”. . . This insulting and defamatory attack on my religious activities is by no means completely fine. That is why I protest against such anti-religious intolerance and bigotry in front of the Unitarian Church of Montreal with picket signs that say -

CULT IS A FOUR LETTER WORD

and

“CHURCH” OF THE “CULT-LIKE” WITCH-HUNT

The UNSAFE SECT slogan refers to the fact that, in my own experience and that of other people, U*Uism (which is in fact a “sect” according to the standard dictionary definition of that word) is not “safe” according to its own definition of what constitutes a “Safe Congregation”.

http://archive.uua.org/cde/education/safecong.html

A few of my U*U Tube videos do explain all that.

My Emerson avenger blog provides more background about U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy.

See - http://emersonavenger.blogspot.com/

Trevor January 10th, 2008 | 7:43 pm Robin,

What, if anything, do you hope to accomplish with this? I understand that you had what you regard as a divine revelation of sorts, and I understand that the presiding minister labeled your beliefs as “cult-like”, but not only did this happen almost 16 years ago, I understand that this minister has since apologized. My question to you is this: after you had this divine revelation, did you attempt to convert anyone to the belief that eclipses are the “eye of God?” I have a very hard time believing that you were persecuted for merely having this belief.

You accuse UUs of participating in witch hunts, but I wonder: did they picket outside your house? Did they launch a hate-filled, unnecessary campaign against you? Or is it actually you who is participating in a witch hunt? I understand your desire to have your religious ideas regarded with respect, but this is not the way to go about it. Again, what is it you hope to accomplish with this highly unsuccessful campaign?

My difficulties:

1.) Your quarrel is with UU Montreal — not the UUA. As can be seen in every major religion, one congregation is hardly an indicator of the entire faith. Did you file an official grievance against this church with the UUA? Or did you just go out and make some picket signs instead of doing anything proactive?

2.) Call UUism a sect if that makes you feel better, but Unitarian thought stems back at least to the Council of Nicea in 325 C.E.; anyone who rejects the deity of Christ and believes, therefore, in the unity of God is a Unitarian. Simply disagreeing with the policy or behavior of a church doesn’t make it a cult, since you’re apparently so concerned with proper definitions of words. A cult involves fanatical devotion toward a central heretical belief and/or person and ostensibly uses some measure of exclusion in order to inculcate its members; UUism has no holy text or dogma and does not exalt its leaders even to the extent that the Christian church does.

3.) While many UUs are atheist or humanist — I am one of these — many are also theist, pagan, or even Christian. Some may even agree with you on the divine nature of eclipses — pagans especially. I find it to be a very interesting perspective, frankly, and I’m saddened by the apparent hostility with which this idea was met. However, if your present behavior is any indicator of how you handled your revelation in 1992, I’m fairly sure you went around trying to convert everyone, preaching that your revelation was the absolute truth. And your minister would have been correct — that is cultish behavior.

Congratulations — you are the one-man UU answer to Westboro Baptist Church. The proper response to hostility and intolerance is not more hostility and intolerance, sir. Remember: what we fear, we hate, and what we hate we become obsessed with. And you are obsessed. Free yourself!

Robin Edgar January 10th, 2008 | 11:32 pm :What, if anything, do you hope to accomplish with this?

Basically two things. 1. Warn the public about U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy, perhaps especially the anti-religious intolerance and bigotry that is found throughout the so-called U*U World. 2. Eventually convince U*Us to start practicing what they preach instead of repeatedly and continually making a total mockery of their purported principles and purposes and other claimed ideals.

:I understand that you had what you regard as a divine revelation of sorts, and I understand that the presiding minister labeled your beliefs as “cult-like”,

Then you misunderstand. Actually Rev. Ray Drennan contemptuously labeled my religious beliefs as “silliness and fantasy” and angril and abusively labeled my “divine revelation of sorts” as “your psychotic experience.” He then went on to falsely and maliciously label my religious practices, primarily in the form of an inter-religious celebration of Creation called Creation Day as “your cult.”

:but not only did this happen almost 16 years ago,

The initial events happened in late 1995 but the slander has been reinforced and even effectively endorsed by U*Us for over 15 years now. The slanderous allegations have never been retracted and other
U*Us have continued to spread them. I was told by one UCM member that many of the members of the Unitarian Church of Montreal actually believe that I am “psychotic” because church leaders not only never did anything to clear my name of that injurious and untrue slander but some actually reinforced it.

:I understand that this minister has since apologized.

Under the duress of my making it clear to him that I would accuse him of lying to the Board as a result of his attemoting to deny having said what he actually said he offered something that he called an apology. I do not consider it to be an apology at all but, even if it can be considered to be an apology, it is an insincere, inadequate and purely expedient one that does not acknowledge any wrongdoing and does not retract Rev. Ray Drennan`s insulting and defamatory words. That is why I call it a sorry excuse for an apology. He was given the opportunity to provide a new and improved apology but obstinately refused to do so. No one should be obliged to accept a purely expedient “apology” that is insincere, inadequate, and even effectively repeats the original insults and defamation by making it clear that the “apologizer” stands by his or her words.

See - http://emersonavenger.blogspot.com/2006/02/rev-ray-drennans-sorry-excuse-for.html

:My question to you is this: after you had this divine revelation, did you attempt to convert anyone to the belief that eclipses are the “eye of God?” I have a very hard time believing that you were persecuted for merely having this belief.

I tried to share the revelation but in no way forced it upon anyone. In that Rev.l Ray Drennan and other fundamentalist atheist “Humanist” Montreal U*Us clearly believe I am seriously mentally ill simply for claiming to have undergone a profound revelatory experience of God I think you can be quite sure that I have been persecuted for merely having this belief. Labeling my beliefs as “silliness and fantasy” and the religious experience that informed them as “your psychotic experience” is clearly an intolerant and abusive attack on the beliefs themselves. It might interest you to know that Rev. Ray Drennan and other fundamentalist atheist U*U clergy believe that God is a “non-existent being”, belief in God is an “illusion” and even “seems primitive.” You might find this recent Emerson Avenger blog post to be quite informative -

http://emersonavenger.blogspot.com/2008/01/disillusioning-yet-another.html

:You accuse UUs of participating in witch hunts, but I wonder: did they picket outside your house?

No they just labeled me “psychotic” inside my house and inside my “church”. . . And the other stuff too of course. Accusing someone of belonging to a cult is the 21st century equivalent of accsuing someone of being a witch. Likewise, accusing someone as being “psychotic” has pretty much the same social dynamic as accusing someone of being “possessed” not so long ago. My public protest only began after enduring morev than two years of U*U witch-hunting during which time I was expelled from the Unitarian Church for six months for doing nothing more than delivering a letter of grievance to the Board.

:Did they launch a hate-filled, unnecessary campaign against you?

Indeed Rev. Ray Drennan and a certain number of other Montreal U*Us did exactly that and it was condoned, and effectively endorsed, by the Board and congregation of the Unitarian Church of Montreal as well as the UUA`s aptly named Ministerial Fellowship Committee. My own campaign against these and other U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy is neither hate-filled nor unnecessry. Yes ther is some strongly worded critcism of very real U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy but there is little that can be properly described as “hate-filled”.

:Or is it actually you who is participating in a witch hunt?

I don`t think so. No more so than anyone else who protests against very real and well documented injustices and abuses. Every slogan on my picket signs is supported by evidence as are all of my blog posts. I am telling some unpleasant truths about U*Us but, to closely paraphrase one of my all time favorite fundamentalist atheists Richard Dawkins, “If it’s true that it causes U*Us to feel despair, that’s tough. It’s still the truth. I do not owe U*Us condolence or consolation; I doesn’t owe U*Us a nice warm feeling inside. If it’s true, it’s true, and U*Us had better live with it.”

http://www.beliefnet.com/story/178/story_17889_1.html

:I understand your desire to have your religious ideas regarded with respect, but this is not the way to go about it.

What I am going about is exposing and denouncing well-documented U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy, and not just those that directly effect me. I think that this is one of a variety of ways to go about it.

:Again, what is it you hope to accomplish with this highly unsuccessful campaign?

Actually the campaign is very successful when it comes to exposing and demnouncing U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy. If it is not as successful in prompting U*Us to actually practice what they preach rather than repeatedkly and continuously making a total mockery of most if not all of their claimed principles and ideals that is because U*Us are obstinately unwilling, chronically unredy and seemingly quite unable to acknowledge their own injustices, abuses and hypocrisy and responsibly redress the injustices and change their unacceptable behaviour towards me and other people. The misplaced pride and incredible hubris of the U*Us really is quite stunning, which is precisely why I believe that U*Us must be humbled. . .

:My difficulties: 1.) Your quarrel is with UU Montreal — not the UUA.

You are quite mistaken about that. The UUA is responsible for dealing with clergy misconduct and it abjectly failed, and even obstinateky refused, to respond appropriately to my serious complaints about Rev. Ray Drennan`s demeaning and abusive clergy misconduct. The UUA is also responsible for perpetrating and/or perpetuating various other U*U injustices and abuses, to say nothing of hypocrisy. It has a terrible track record when it comes to responsibly handling cases of clergy misconduct of all kinds, including clergy sexual misconduct.

:As can be seen in every major religion, one congregation is hardly an indicator of the entire faith.

I agree. Believe me, while I have always said that what happened to me at the hands of Montreal Unitarians is an abberation and something of a worst case scenario, there is lots of evidence of anti-religious intolerance and bigotry throughout the U*U religious community, to say nothing of other injustices and abuses etc. The UUA, and the entire U*U faith, have failed miserably to respond in responsibility to my own grievances and those of many other poeple.

:Did you file an official grievance against this church with the UUA?

No. I files an official grievance against Rev. Ray Drennan with the UUA and it`s aptly named Ministerial Fellowship Committee dismissed my complaint and proclaimed that Rev. Ray Drennan`s intolerant and abusive (dare I say hate-filled?) behaviour was “within the appropriate guidelines of ministerial leadership.” To date the UUA has not changed its position on that. I am not even sure if one can bring a complaint against a U*U “church” or congregation, although I do believe that this should be possible if a U*U “church” willfully disregards and flagrantly violates the principles and purposes that U*U congregations purportedly “covenant” to affirm and promote, as the Unitarian Church of Montreal has repeatedly and effectively continuously done throughout this entire conflict. Personally I believe that there are many grounds upon which the Unitarian Church of Montreal could be cut loose from the U*U World but this is very unlikely to ever happen.

:Or did you just go out and make some picket signs instead of doing anything proactive?

I did not make any picket signs until all other avenues had been exhausted and both Montreal Unitarian U*Us, and the UUA`s Ministerial Fellowship Committe, had clerly stated that they considered the matter to be closed. My public protest activity, which one insightful U*U minister has rightly described as my “alternative spiritual practice” began in the spring of 1998, more than two years after I filed my first complaint against Rev. Drennan and after I had been unjustly expelled from the “church” for a full six months for being proactive by placing an important letter of grievance in the letter boxes of UCM Board members and subsequently trying to distribute a version of that letter to congregants leaving the church.

2.) Call UUism a sect if that makes you feel better, but Unitarian thought stems back at least to the Council of Nicea in 325 C.E.; anyone who rejects the deity of Christ and believes, therefore, in the unity of God is a Unitarian.

I am quite aware of the history of small `u` unitarianism. The current U*U “religious community” in America, Canada, and elsewhere in the world, fits the standard dictionary definition of the word “sect”.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sect

The Unitarian Church of Montreal in particular, and the U*U “sect” more generally, is not “safe” (according to the terms of their own Safe Congregations policy) for me, as well as a fair number of other people who U*Us have harmed in various ways.

Hence the witticism of my UNSAFE SECT? picket sign slogan which obviously references the phrase “safe sex”. I am only using the word “sect” to underscore to U*Us just how pejorative the `C` word is, and because it makes for a great two word zinger picket sign slogan that goes over very well with the general public. I rarely use it in any other context. But a sect is a sect is a sect.

:Simply disagreeing with the policy or behavior of a church doesn’t make it a cult,

Agreed. I have never at any time said that the Unitarian Church of Montreal, or the greater U*U religious community is a “cult”. On the contrary, I am protesting against the fact that several leaders of the Unitarian Church of Montreal, and some other U*Us here and there, have falsely and maliciously labeled Creation Day and/or my other religious activities as a “cult”. This intolerant and abusive slandering of my religious activities has been and still is condoned, and effectively endorsed and thus reinforced, by the Unitarian Church of Montreal, the UUA, and rather too many other U*Us.

:since you’re apparently so concerned with proper definitions of words. A cult involves fanatical devotion toward a central heretical belief and/or person and ostensibly uses some measure of exclusion in order to inculcate its members;

I am perfectly aware of what that four letter word means Trevor. That is precisely why I am demanding that Rev. Ray Drennan, FRank Greene, John Inder and other intolerant Unitarian*Universalist U*Us must face accountability for using that four letter word against me and my religious activities. That is why one of the picket sign slogan that I usually carry in my hands says -

CULT IS A FOUR LETTER WORD

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9K5xpWrg_I

:UUism has no holy text or dogma and does not exalt its leaders even to the extent that the Christian church does.

You are right about the holy text part. The dogma part is open to some debate. U*Uism does seem to *protect* its leaders even to the extent that the Christian church does. . .

:3.) While many UUs are atheist or humanist — I am one of these — many are also theist, pagan, or even Christian.

I am fully aware of that.

:Some may even agree with you on the divine nature of eclipses — pagans especially.

You got that part right Trevor -

http://www.cuups.org/content/publications/spring_97.html#divine

:I find it to be a very interesting perspective, frankly, and I’m saddened by the apparent hostility with which this idea was met.

I genuinely appreciate that Trevor. I do believe that true Humanist can appreciate much of what I am saying and proposing, even if they have doubts about the revelation of God part. Unfortunately however, intolerant and abusive fundamentalist atheist “Humanist” U*Us, who I believe dishonor the word Humanist (hence the quotations marks) have been allowed to respond to my proposals with considerably hostility and maliciousness, without facing the slightest accountability from the Unitarian Church of Montreal, the UUA, or the greater U*U community. For over fifteen years now. . .

:However, if your present behavior is any indicator of how you handled your revelation in 1992, I’m fairly sure you went around trying to convert everyone, preaching that your revelation was the absolute truth. And your minister would have been correct — that is cultish behavior.

My present behaviour is very different from how I behaved prior to being repeatedly insulted and abused by hostile and malicious U*Us. My open letter to U*Us, that was published in the spring 1997 CUUPs newsletter, should be a good indication of the reasonably diplomatic manner in which I tried to share my claimed revelation with U*Us. Please note that it was written more than a year *after* I had been maliciously attacked by Rev. Ray Drennan and Frank Greene and has had my formal complaints rejected by both the Unitarian Church of Montreal and the UUA, at a time when I was under considerable duress. . . I never forced anything on anyone and only asked that my claims be responsibly investigated by the U*U community and that they help me to share what I was claiming. That open letter very accurately reflects what I was saying in the years prior to Rev. Ray Drennan`s attack on me and after it. My public protest against U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy is on a very different level, and it is only on the level that it is now because U*Us have repeatedly demeaned and attacked me.

:Congratulations — you are the one-man UU answer to Westboro Baptist Church.

Oh really? I don`t believe that I have ever displayed any picket sign slogans that say GOD HATES U*Us, nor do I have any intention of ever doing so. I am a sweet little pussycat compared to Fred Phelps. Indeed some of the verbal and physical attacks that U*Us have subjected me to are rather more comparable to Fred Phelps` behaviour than anything I have ever said or done.

:The proper response to hostility and intolerance is not more hostility and intolerance, sir.

That may be so but I tried that route for years and got absolutely nowhere with U*Us so after a while I decided to give U*Us a taste of their own bitter medicine. In any case I am only intolernant of U*U intlernace and other U*U injustices, abuses and hypcrisy. Likewise any hostility that I may engage in is usuallt directed at very real U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy. Indeed even Totalitarian U*U tyranny. . . What was it that “famous U*U” Thomas Jefferson said Trevor?

“I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”

Interestingly enough, this declaration of Thomas Jefferson was apparently in response to people printing lying pamphlets against him. . . Seems to me that we have a lot in common there.

:Remember: what we fear, we hate, and what we hate we become obsessed with. And you are obsessed. Free yourself!

Wrong. I am not particularly obsessed Trevor. I am just very patient and persistent, as many people have noted with approval. People who see my long term protest against U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy, and approve of it, use words like “dedicated” “steadfast” and “persevering”. . . Hate is not an emotion that I have much truck with, and people who know me know that. Likewise fear is not an emotion that has much hold on me. I am not afraid of much that U*Us can throw at me. If you want to see someone whom seems to be overcome with irrational fear, and even possibly outright paranoia, I would suggest having a closer look at Rev. Diane Rollert.

http://www.google.ca/search?hl=fr&q=The+fear+of+%22Diane+Rollert%22.+.+.+&meta=

Good night and good luck.

U*Us just may need it. . .

Trevor January 11th, 2008 | 12:15 am You call it patience, I call it an obsession, especially when almost every single hit on the first page of that Google search comes from something you wrote. I have no reason to believe anything you’ve said regarding your treatment at UCM, and frankly I think your entire experience has been blown out of proportion to the point of self-parody. You’re doing exactly what the Scientologists do when anyone criticizes them — it’s not a good model to follow.

I have no idea why you feel the need to leave unsolicited comments on blogs making even passing references to UUism, but I hope you’ve fulfilled whatever purpose that was. Just remember: the more a man knows, the less he speaks. Trolling blogs and prompting a minister to request a restraining order due to your behavior don’t exactly advance your cause.

Robin Edgar Your comment is awaiting moderation. January 11th, 2008 | 1:57 pm :You call it patience, I call it an obsession,

I suggest that you look up the dictionary definition of the word obsession Trevor. In any case, even if I am little “obsessed” with seeking some justice, equity and compassion for myself and other people who have been harmed by U*Us, I can think of a lot worse things to be “obsessed” with. I dare say that Montreal Unitarian U*Us, the UUA, and no shortage of individual U*Us are quite obsessive in their obstinate refusal to responsibly acknowledge and correct the U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy that I am protesting against. Would I seem “obsessed” if U*Us had settled this matter in a manner that actually lived up to U*U principles and purposes back in 1996 instead of doing everything they can to stonewall me and other victims of U*U injustices and abuses for years and even decades?

:especially when almost every single hit on the first page of that Google search comes from something you wrote.

There are two reasons for that Trevor. The simple fact that U*Us have obstinately, and indeed quite obsessively. . . refused to responsibly redress my grievances for over a decade means that there is a considerable accumulation of posts about it. Divide the number of posts into the number of years I have been protesting against U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy on the internet and I might seem rather more patient, dedicated and persistent than “obsessed”. U*Us cannot accuse me of being “obsessed” with seeking justice in this matter without revealing the flip side of that coin which is that Montreal Unitarian U*Us, and the UUA, are more than a little bit “obsessed” when it comes to refusing to admit any wrongdoing and doing everything they can to silence my criticism of U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy. I dare say that this Montreal Totalitarian Unitarian seems to be just a tad “obsessed” with chucking my picket signs into the street, doesn’t he? And that is but one small example of Montreal U*Us who are “obsessed” with Denying, Ignoring and Minimizing the injustices, abuses and hypocrisy that I am protesting against.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xfxw1yZAS0M

:I have no reason to believe anything you’ve said regarding your treatment at UCM,

Yes you do Trevor. You actually have plenty of reason to believe most of what I have said about my treatment at the Unitarian, Church of Montreal. Everything is very well documented and I have made much of that documentation available on the internet. You are just Denying, Ignoring and Minimizing the well-documented injustices, abuses and hypocrisy that I am protesting against.

:and frankly I think your entire experience has been blown out of proportion to the point of self-parody.

Not really Trevor. Unless of course you are talking about how U*Us have blown things out of proportion to the point of self-parody. . .

http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&q=The+fears+of+%22Diane+Rollert%22.+.+.&btnG=Google+Search&meta=

:You’re doing exactly what the Scientologists do when anyone criticizes them — it’s not a good model to follow.

Oh really? Please let me know *exactly* what the Scientologists do when anyone criticizes them Trevor. Chances are pretty good that I have more reason to show that U*Us are following that model. . .

:I have no idea why you feel the need to leave unsolicited comments on blogs making even passing references to UUism, but I hope you’ve fulfilled whatever purpose that was.

It’s called exposing U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy and I have amply fulfilled that need here.

:Just remember: the more a man knows, the less he speaks. Trolling blogs and prompting a minister to request a restraining order due to your behavior don’t exactly advance your cause.

Actually, you and other U*Us will discover that Rev. Diane Rollert’s deeply misguided, and far from justified, attempt to seek a restraining order does anything but advance the U*U cause.

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