The Emerson Avenger

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

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Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

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

Friday, May 23, 2008

Rev. George Exoo aka Reverend Death Is A U*U In The Media. . .

But U*Us would never know it if U*Us looked for some recent mention of Rev. George Exoo on the U*U World blog U*Us In The Media web page. . . Apparently the U*U World magazine and blog would prefer to pretend that Rev. George Exoo aka Reverend Death is quite unworthy of any mention in U*Us In The Media, even though Jon Ronson's television documentary about Rev. George Exoo, and many of the recent media announcements and reviews of 'Reverend Death', clearly identify Rev. Exoo as an American Unitarian minister. There is not the slightest mention of Jon Ronson's 'Reverend Death' television documentary or the print media announcements and reviews of 'Reverend Death' in the May 23, 2008, Unitarian Universalists in the Media blog entry inspite of the fact that the documentary was aired on Britain's Channel 4 on Monday May 19th 2008 and was reviewed by several British newspapers, magazines and news websites. A search for Reverend Death George Exoo in Google News currently finds about nine results including this unflattering review by Andrew Billen in the prestigious London TIMES newspaper:

To see a genuinely sick man, you needed to watch Jon Ronson's documentary Reverend Death (Channel 4) in which he followed America's Rev George Exoo as he went round encouraging the terminally well to top themselves. “This is a great adventure. Look forward to it,” our Rev Peter Pan told a depressed woman who, when the moment came, stood up and toasted herself a bagel instead. This was a rich, dark comedy of a documentary. At one euthanasia-practitioners get- together, Exoo even extolled the “comic resonances” in his work. I think he meant “cosmic”. The only mystery was why Ronson, who filmed Exoo for six years, kept claiming to like the creep.

As previously noted, 'The Guardian' ran this article about 'Reverend Death' written by Jon Ronson himself.

'The Herald' ran this review by David Belcher on May 20th.

'The Citizen', and related regional newspapers such as 'The Lancashire Evening Telegraph', ran this brief review by Jon Anson., apparently a British web based news service, posted this short announcement of the airing of 'Reverend Death' - It's a tough choice between More4 and Channel 4, however, as Jon Ronson documentary Reverend Death (22:00) tells of the morally confusing story of George Exoo, a Virginia pastor who has taken part in more than 100 assisted suicides.

'My Park Magazine' ran this brief review that concludes by asking, “If you think your calling from God is to help people die, are you a saint or something more dangerous?”

The List, posted the following announcement and review by Brian Donaldson as far back as May 8th - Jon Ronson is a documentary maker who likes to take his chances and with Reverend Death (Channel 4, Mon 19 May, 10pm ••••) he’s returned to the same kind of territory he travelled to with Kidneys for Jesus as some religious people conduct themselves in a way that might be considered distinctly unreligious. Over the course of six years, Ronson has followed the story of George Exoo, a Unitarian minister who assisted the suicides of countless lost souls across America, even stretching his Grim Reaper-like influence into Ireland. What made him controversial (if you don’t think the subject is already teetering on the dubious) is that terminally ill individuals are not the people he’s seeing off into the next life, but a bunch of folks who are merely kind of miserable.

A standard Google search turns up even more British media previews and reviews of 'Reverend Death' including this one by Michal Dzierza on The Orange website. This review on the TV Scoop website is worth a read.

So what gives? Why does the editorial staff of the UU World blog want to bury 'Reverend Death', and the numerous British media reports about this documentary about Unitarian minister Rev. George Exoo, from the view of the eyes of lifelong U*Us U*U Worldwide? After all it's not like they haven't ever mentioned Rev. George Exoo as a Unitarian*Universalist aka U*U in the Media before. . .

Update: 25.05.2008 2:oopm from the Sunday papers. . .

Kathryn Flett of The Observer had this to say about 'Reverend Death' -
By the time I got to Reverend Death, Jon Ronson's surreally disturbing (all the more so for being lightly handled) documentary about George Exoo, a Mr Magoo-ish Unitarian pastor from West Virginia whose 'calling' is helping people commit suicide, I was starting to feel queasy; by the time Exoo bolted from chronic fatigue syndrome sufferer Pam's house, because, instead of swallowing her poison as agreed, she had chosen to fix herself a bagel with cream cheese, I was gagging.

Pam didn't die that night, but later, assisted by George. As a former sufferer of CFS myself, this depressed me enormously. While it's certainly miserable as hell, CFS is very often also curable by, among other things, embracing a rigorous diet that not only excludes the questionable attentions of a 'Reverend Death', but also, painfully ironically, processed white flour products such as bagels. And if that's a tasteless note to end on, then it's been a tasteless sort of week.

Hermione Eyre of The Independent wrote - Jon Ronson's Reverend Death was a vividly creepy portrait of the irresponsible face of euthanasia, Dr George Exoo, a Unitarian minister from West Virginia who claims to have assisted 102 suicides. Ronson started off with a sympathetic attitude, but slowly grew disenchanted. Very slowly. "Now I've spent a few years with George I'm beginning to wonder if he's too in love with death ...", he mused. There is a problem with these faux-naive broadcasters, who are always beginning to wonder if it gets dark at the end of the day. Just because it's called the Idiot Box doesn't mean you have to pretend to be one to get on it.

But Ronson redeemed himself, boldly confronting one of the self-described midwives of death: "It sounds pretty sick to me, and I don't think you should do it."

Unlike, say, Mark Dolan, he is a presenter of depth, whose simple style gained momentum. He ended Reverend Death with powerful misgivings about Exoo's vocation. "I wonder how much less corrupting the love of a calling is than the love of money."

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

The UUA's National False Advertising Campaign Gets Worse. . .

This latest U*U print media advertisement, published in the May 12, 2008 issue of TIME magazine as part of the UUA's national marketing campaign, presents the deliberately “provocative” slogan -


Followed up by the following “disclaimer” -

Is this any way to talk about religion? Maybe you yearn for an open-minded, spiritual community where people respect each other’s beliefs and worship together as one faith. Where no one’s idea of God is better than another’s.
Welcome to Unitarian Universalism.

This UUA advertisement reeks of false and fraudulent advertising, to say nothing of outrageous hypocrisy. . . in that plenty of U*Us, including no shortage of U*U clergy, are absolutely convinced that their beliefs about God (or lack thereof. . .) are considerably better than those of other people. Fundamentalist atheist U*U ministers preach from their wayward pulpits that God is a “non-existent being”, that belief in God “seems primitive”, and that most religious rituals (except their own U*U rituals of course. . .) are “meaningless.” Oh so superior Humanist U*Us quite regularly make it ever so clear to God believing people that their devout belief in the non-existence of God is infinitely better than any and all belief in God. In fact one of the two candidates for the next President of the UUA Rev. Peter Morales, the Senior Minister of Jefferson Unitarian Church in Golden Colorado, has even publicly pronounced most other religions to be “obsolete religions” in his Sunday sermon titled A Religion For Our Time in which he officially announced his candidacy for UUA President. Is this any way to talk about religion? It sure is for a good number of utterly shameless U*Us, including arrogant U*U ministers. . .

Anyone who genuinely yearns for an open-minded, spiritual community where people respect each other’s beliefs and worship together as one faith might be well advised to look further afield than the Unitarian*Universalist “religious community” because there are no shortage of stunningly small-minded, narrow-minded, close-minded, and outright suspicious-minded U*Us who quite regularly express deep disrespect, and even outright hostility and contempt, for other people’s religious beliefs and practices.

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Wow! No Less Than Five Exclamation Marks!

And a whole lot more U*U bullshit. . .

Reverend Death aka Rev. George Exoo On U*UTube

As I mentioned in a comment on ChaliceChick's blog yesterday, (former?) U*U minister Rev. George Exoo is featured in a British television documentary titled 'Reverend Death'. The full documentary about Unitarian*Universalist minister Rev. George Exoo's self-described "Compassionate Chaplaincy" is temporarily available online on the Channel 4 web site, but only if one is residing in the United Kingdom. . . I decided to try to find some clips from this documentary on YouTube and quickly found the two clips embedded below. I am not going to say much at this point in time but will simply allow Emerson Avenger blog readers to view these U*UTube clips and decide for themselves just how ethical, or not. . . Rev. George Exoo's rather questionable "mission" of encouraging, enabling and even practically assisting people to commit suicide, even though they are not suffering from any terminal illness, is. I will post links to, or embed here, more clips from 'Reverend Death' if and when I find them.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The First Principle Of U*Uism And Clergy Misconduct

This just posted somewhere in the U*U blogosphere. . .

Victims of clergy misconduct committed by U*U ministers very quickly discover not only just how unimportant they are but just how important the ministers who are guilty of clergy misconduct are. . . This rather deplorable U*U principle applies to victims of both sexual and non-sexual forms of clergy misconduct.

Update: 22.05.2008 9:45pm

I thanked Shannon for not memory holing my comment and she responded by saying the following -

While I am convinced that not all humans have a good grasp on principles such as the inherent worth and dignity of all people, or all beings, I am uncertain as to what my post about how to help children develop their own concepts of "each person is important" has to do with clergy misconduct of any nature.

I answered that statement with this comment -

Well for starters children can be, and have been. . . victims of clergy misconduct committed by U*U ministers, including egregious sexual misconduct such as rape. That being said my comment was mainly responding to the first two or three paragraphs of your post which were much more general in their scope. I dare say that most children probably have a better grasp on the moral and ethical implications of clergy misconduct than some of the U*U clergy and UUA officials I know. . .

Yet Another Update: 23.05.2008 3:00pm

Shannon said...

children are victims of people. lets not get that mixed up with religion.

10:14 PM

Robin Edgar said...

When the people who victimize children, or indeed adults. . . are U*U ministers, and their clergy misconduct (sexual misconduct or otherwise) is tolerated, or even effectively endorsed, by other U*Us including individual U*U congregations and the UUA, that *is* mixed up with the U*U religion. It is an unfortunate fact that the UUA has failed miserably to provide restorative justice to victims of clergy misconduct of all kinds and continues to do so. In fact it appears that the UUA is currently unwilling to provide genuine restorative justice to victims of clergy misconduct. Needless to say this means that the UUA is utterly betraying the First Principle of U*Uism, to say nothing of the Second Principle of U*Uism which calls upon U*Us to work for justice, equity and compassion in human relations.

1:54 PM

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