The Emerson Avenger

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

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Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

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

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Is Rev. Diane Rollert A Liar?

More to the point. . .

Did the Unitarian*Universalist aka U*U minister Rev. Diane Rollert, currently the not so settled minister of the Unitarian Church of Montreal, commit the crime of perjury by telling various falsehoods, and even some outright lies, during her sworn testimony as a prosecution witness in criminal court? Of course the only way to determine beyond a reasonable doubt whether or not Rev. Diane Rollert actually did commit perjury would be to have her charged with perjury, tried in criminal court, and obtain a conviction. Or she could just plead guilty I suppose. . . I will be seriously considering having Rev. Rollert charged with perjury, to say nothing of malicious prosecution, but knowing that accusations of perjury charges are rarely acted upon by prosecutors let alone brought to trial, I will present the facts here and allow the "Court Of Public Opinion" judge whether or not Rev. Diane Rollert is guilty of telling falsehoods and even some outright lies while under solemn oath to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, in a court of law.

In my well informed first-hand opinion Rev. Diane Rollert made a variety of misleading and outright false statements to the police, the prosecutor, and Québec Court during her deeply misguided effort to seek a restraining order against me on her highly questionable claims that she has "reasonable grounds" to believe that I will commit a "serious personal injury offence" against her. Not all of these misleading statements and falsehoods can be properly considered to be outright lies however since she may have genuinely believed what she was saying. That does not of course change the fact that such testimony was false aka untrue. For the purposes of my accusation that Rev. Diane Rollert committed perjury by lying while under oath to tell the truth in criminal court I will stick to her sworn testimony that can be best interpreted and understood as being outright lies and which may be quite readily proven to be lies. In this particular blog post I will not deal with the other less readily proveable falsehoods and lies that Rev. Diane Rollert told in Québec Court during her sworn testimony as a prosecution witness against me.

During my cross-examination of Rev. Diane Rollert I asked her if she had any irrational fears or phobias of any kind. She responded by outright denying having any kind of phobia or irrational fears etc. She even claimed to be perfectly normal "like everybody else" or words to that effect. I then produced her sermon titled 'No Atheist In The Foxhole' which was delivered at the Unitarian Church of Montreal on Sunday, October 21, 2007. In this sermon Rev. Diane Rollert speaks about her fear of flying. I asked Rev. Rollert to read some selected paragraphs from her sermon. Here are the pertinent words -

No atheist in the foxhole? The thought got me going. Now there’s something to think about as a Unitarian Universalist. No atheist in the trenches? No atheist on an airplane about to crash? For many years, flying would always bring out all my near-death fears. I’d look around at my fellow passengers and wonder if I should get to know them just in case we found ourselves on the brink of death. I’d grip the arms of my seat so tightly during take-off and landing that my knuckles would turn white.

Years ago, on a particularly bumpy flight, (you know, one of those flights when the plane keeps dropping thousands of feet unexpectedly) I found myself sitting next to a crying child. I could barely keep myself from shaking apart. So, I began to sing the one prayer I knew: Spirit of Life come unto me. Spirit of Life, the hymn I’d been singing with Unitarian Universalist congregations for years. Magically, we both calmed. I imagined the Spirit of Life, the Divine Mystery, present with us, and the spirit of my whole religious community singing in unison, holding us close as we bumped through the skies.

end quote

When confronted by her Sunday sermon that very clearly spoke about her intense fear of flying that can properly be considered to be an irrational fear of flying, a deep personal insecurity about flying, and even an outright flying phobia (i.e. aerophobia aka aviatophobia aka aviophobia aka pteromerhanophobia) Rev. Diane Rollert tried to deny suffering from any flying phobia or irrational fear of flying by claiming that her 'No Atheist In The Foxhole' sermon spoke only about one particularly turbulent flight that would have caused intense fear in anybody. That clearly false statement, to say nothing of her outright denial of having any irrational fears or phobias, can best be interpreted as being an outright lie and a rather foolish one at that in that her sermon very clearly states, "For many years, flying would always bring out all my near-death fears." Please note the "for many years" part. . . Please note also that Rev. Diane Rollert goes on to say, "I’d grip the arms of my seat so tightly during take-off and landing that my knuckles would turn white." That is clearly a general statement that obiously refers to more than one single flight, indeed it can be reasonably argued that it refers to most if not all of the flights that Rev. Rollert took over a period of "many years", most of which would have been perfectly normal take-offs and landings. Rev. Diane Rollert's 'No Atheist In The Foxhole' sermon quite evidently speaks about what most people would agree is an irrational fear of flying, if not a severe flying phobia, that spans "many years" and an indeterminate number of take-offs and landings.

Later in her 'No Atheist In The Foxhole' sermon (as it was delivered in Montreal. . .) Rev. Rollert says, "It is absolutely true that I was unsure as any Unitarian Universalist seeker about my own theology, that I did not start praying to God until I found myself in a foxhole, on a flight. I was one big chicken, sure that I was about to die– no matter what anyone may have told me bout the statistical unlikelihood. And I prayed really, really hard. . ." Also, "I prayed feverishly during those few moments of takeoff and landing." And, "Like a child’s well-worn security blanket, I started to carry 23rd Psalm with me everywhere I went, not just on airplanes." Clearly Rev. Diane Rollert is not talking about just one single "particularly bumpy flight" here. Indeed Rev. Rollert is quite obviously talking about take-offs and landings that preceded that "particularly bumpy flight" during which she would "grip the arms of (her) seat so tightly during take-off and landing that (her) knuckles would turn white." It is equally obvious that Rev. Rollert then goes on to speak about how she "prayed feverishly during those few moments of takeoff and landing" on flights that followed her "atheist on a plane" epiphany. . .

Yes, in case any U*Us are wondering, that is indeed a 'Snakes On A Plane' reference given one of the common meanings of the word 'snake'. . . Speaking of a "deceitful" and even "treacherous" person, to say nothing of an "insidious enemy". . . It seems that, although she quite obviously does suffer from an intense irrational fear of flying, Rev. Diane Rollert has very little fear of lying. . . and that includes lying (or being knowingly and willfully misleading and deceptive in various other ways) while under a solemn oath to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth in a court of law.

Interestingly enough there is an older version of Rev. Diane Rollert's 'Atheist On A Plane' sermon available elsewhere on the internet. I was aware of this earlier version of her sermon at the time that I cross-examined aka questioned Rev. Diane Rollert* about her apparent flying phobia but I had not read it in full since I assumed that it was virtually identical to the Montreal sermon. I only read this earlier version in full the night before presenting my defence against Rev. Rollert's dubious allegations about me. In doing so I discovered some interesting differences between the two versions of this sermon that serve as evidence of Rev. Diane Rollert's apparent willingness to twist the truth or attempt to hide the truth. . . Do U*Us dare to compare?

First Parish Concord version:

No atheist on an airplane about to crash? Even before September 11th, flying has always brought out all my near-death fears, fears I have passed on to my daughter. Several years ago on a particularly bumpy flight, she began to cry and it was all I could do to keep myself from shaking apart.

I was one big chicken, sure that I was about to die, no matter what my husband calmly told me about the statistical likelihood. And I prayed really, really hard.

end quote

So. . . Rev. Diane Rollert's irrational fear of flying aka aviophobia aka aerophobia that *always* brought out her "near-death" fears (i.e not just on one "particularly bumpy flight" as she falsely, indeed quite deceitfully, claimed in her perjurious sworn testimony in Québec Court) was so intense, so outwardly obvious, and even so infectious and contagious. . . that she managed to infect her own daughter with it. Indeed the ever so anonymous "crying child" that, according to her Montreal sermon, Rev. Diane Rollert just "found" herself sitting next to on that "particularly bumpy flight" was none other than her very own daughter who she had no doubt already afflicted with her own "near-death fears" of flying. I dare say that I have some "reasonable grounds" to "fear" that Rev. Diane Rollert's daughter was most almost certainly crying because her mother was yet again overtly displaying her own intense "near-death fears" of flying. Most ironically, in that section 810.2 of the Canadian Criminal Code makes it clear that a "serious personal injury offence", as defined in section 752, can include conduct "inflicting or likely to inflict severe psychological damage on another person" it would seem that Rev. Diane Rollert's daughter may well have had some "reasonable grounds" to seek a restraining order against her own mother some years ago.

I really can't imagine why Rev. Diane Rollert wouldn't want the congregation of the Unitarian Church of Montreal to know that her deep-seated irrational fear of flying aka aviophobia was so intense and so contagious that she managed to bequeath it upon her very own daughter. . .

That being said, I now leave it up to the proverbial "Court of Public Opinion" as to whether or not Rev. Diane Rollert committed perjury when she testified under oath that a.) she did not suffer from any irrational fears and phobias whatsoever and that b.) her sermon titled 'No Atheist In The Foxhole' was about just one "particularly bumpy flight" that would have caused anybody to fear for their life. I would appreciate it if the "judge and jury" of the general public would submit their verdict by commenting below.

*scroll down to page 10 to read Rev. Diane Rollert's 'Blessed Are Those Who Question' sermon.

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14 Comments:

OpenID thefirstmorning said...

To be human is to be phobic about death- thus, the mad rush to the doctors every time we feel badly and the elaborate after death scenarios we construct with our religions.

And we are phobic about death because- by and large- we assume our egos define us. We are constantly on the lookout for justice and perceived injustice, as if the opinions of others have some bearing on our being. That being the case, we see God as the final arbitrator, and- since noone has escaped death thus far, are afraid we'll end up like every despot, scoundrel, and sad sack who's ever lived, and died- as dust. And so we desperately pray, or hand over to the doctors a lifetime of savings for a couple extra months.

Acceptance of our temporality is vital to our own peace and world peace. I think the sermon and the previous satements she made only reflect the genral confusion of most of humankind who are stuck in non-acceptance..

Tuesday, June 10, 2008 7:32:00 pm  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

Well that is all very philosophical and all but the question here is whether or not Rev. Diane Rollert told flasehoods and outrighht lies while under oath to tell the truth in a court of law and thus committed perjury. *That* is the question.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008 7:38:00 pm  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

Needless to say I meant to write:

the question here is whether or not Rev. Diane Rollert told falsehoods and outright lies

Tuesday, June 10, 2008 7:39:00 pm  
Anonymous Flackrum said...

I certainly couldn't give a full opinion on the matter without the full transcript, but it certainly sounds as if she contradicted herself by saying she had no irrational fears.

Phobia of flying is definitely an irrational fear.

BTW, the word verification to post this comment is qtotflyq. It made me chuckle.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008 6:46:00 am  
Blogger Chalicechick said...

I'd say she was just using a more precise definition of "phobia" than you were.

Sure, informally, we say that anyone who dislikes roller coasters is "phobic about heights."

But actually, phobia in the classic, psychological sense is something much stronger. The clinical definition includes the requirement that the fear actually screw with your life. It sounds like Rollert has flown quite a bit and her fear hasn't messed with hers.

I have a friend who is actually phobic about heights in the accurate sense of the term. She's so incredibly scared of heights that she can't go swimming, because the moment she feels like there's nothing underneath her feet, she has a panic attack.

Someone with Rollert's knowledge of statistics knows that most air accidents take place during takeoff and landing, and I'd say someone who gets scared sitting on a plane that is going through turbulance is not aviophobic and is "like everybody else." If turbulance wasn't scary, they stewardess wouldn't warn us about it. Rollert is probably blaming herself unfairly for her kid being scared of something that most people are at least a little nervous about.

We rationally know that roller coasters aren't dangerous, but most of us find them scary. Indeed, that's the fun of riding them for people who like them. So I'd say being a little bit scared of something that we know is actually OK is very normal.

True aviophobia is more like, oh, someone willing to sail to North Korea from America to get out of flying there or someone so scared of flying that they tell their boss in their job interview that they can't fly, and when the boss makes them do it anyway they take a wacky combination of anxiety meds and have to be removed from the plane.

Do you honestly think a few quick choruses of "spirit of life" would calm those two people down?

CC

Wednesday, June 11, 2008 10:32:00 am  
Blogger Chalicechick said...

Oh, and persuant to the legal definition of perjury, when you ask us if she committed perjury, you are not asking us if WE think the Rev. Rollert's fears are irrational and phobic and beyond the fears suffered by most people*, you are asking us if we think REV. ROLLERT thinks her fears are irrational and phobic and beyond the normal fears suffered by "most people." If she doesn't think so, it doesn't matter if the entire rest of the world thinks she's wrong, she hasn't committed perjury.

This is why you don't usually see perjury cases on questions that come down to matters of opinion.

Also, I'm inclined to think that if the Rev. Rollert did see her nervousness on planes as a clinical issue, she would have said so as it is pretty much irrelevant to the case at hand. "She's afraid of planes, so her fears about me must be completely irrational" is a weird argument and I can't see it convincing anybody.

I would have phrased the question
"Has a psychological professional ever diagnosed you with a phobia?"
which is not a question of opinion and has a much more clear cut answer.

CC

*The answer to this question might be very interesting, but doesn't matter as far as perjury is concerned.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008 11:04:00 am  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

Blah, blah, blah. . .

:"She's afraid of planes, so her fears about me must be completely irrational" is a weird argument and I can't see it convincing anybody.

Try *could* instead of must CC. . . If Rev. Diane Rollert suffers from irrational if not outright paranoid "near-death fears" of flying it stands to reason that her claims to be "very frightened" and even "terrified" of me may not be based on "reasonable grounds". Be assured that plenty of people are already convinced by that argument.

:I would have phrased the question
"Has a psychological professional ever diagnosed you with a phobia?"
which is not a question of opinion and has a much more clear cut answer.

I asked a much broader question for a reason CC.

:*The answer to this question might be very interesting, but doesn't matter as far as perjury is concerned.

I take note of the fact that you totally ignore the follow-up question that was asked that Rev. Diane Rollert answered in a manner that can be best understood as an outright lie CC. In fact it is her answer to the follow-up question that most people will agree constitutes perjury in that she knew very well that her sermon was by no means about one single "particularly bumpy flight" but "many years" worth of "near-death fears" of flying. N'est-ce pas CC?

Monday, June 23, 2008 3:08:00 pm  
Blogger Chalicechick said...

But she keeps flying. It isn't impacting her life substantially.

So it isn't a phobia. And it isn't that irrational or that strong. Her reaction as she describes it sounds a lot like my reaction to roller coasters, and I still ride those.

Again, people who are really afraid of something avoid that thing. If she's been flying for many years, she clearly doesn't see her fears as that bad.

And besides, even if you're right, you have no way of proving she committed perjury because you phrased it as a question of opinion, not a question of fact.

As long as she can claim she interpreted the question the way I did, there's no way you can get her on perjury.

CC

Wednesday, June 25, 2008 7:28:00 am  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

ROTFLMU*UO! I *once again* take note of the fact that you totally ignore the *follow-up question* that was asked that Rev. Diane Rollert answered in a manner that can be best understood as an outright lie CC. Rev. Rollert tried to pretend that her 'No Atheist In The Foxhole' sermon spoke only about one particularly turbulent flight that would have caused intense fear in anybody but this is a provable false statement that she had to know was untrue. Her sermon, which she has delivered at least twice in her career as a U*U minister, clearly speaks about an intense fear of flying that has lasted fro "many years". Most people of intelligence and conscience will agree that that false statement is an outright lie. In any case, most intelligent people will also agree that Rev. Diane Rollert's intense fear of flying, as described in this sermon, most certainly is an irrational fear of flying that has all the hallmarks of a flying phobia. I might add that if Rev. Diane Rollert can be so "very frightened" and even "terrified" of one of the safest methods of transportation that she may be well become "very frightened" and even "terrified" of other things that pose virtually no danger to her. Then again she could very well be lying about being "very frightened" and even "terrified" of me. Certainly there is nothing in what I have said to her, or any other U*U for that matter, that can be properly interpreted as "reasonable grounds" to fear that I will commit a "serious personal injury offence" against anyone, U*U or otherwise.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008 12:45:00 pm  
Blogger Chalicechick said...

I didn't ignore the followup question at all. Though she mentions that she has been afraid of planes before, the sermon itself only does talk about one particularly turbulent flight.

She refers to other flights generally, but she only really talks about one. Does she describe other flights in the sermon?

Again, she keeps flying, and she doesn't require medication to do it.

How bad can the fear be? People who are seriously afraid of heights don't stand at the edge of tall buildings and then sing "spirit of life" and find themselves calmed down. People who are seriously afraid of spiders don't let spiders crawl on them, sing "spirit of life" and find they are OK.

If she's so irrationally terrified of flying, why doesn't she take the train? Dan Harper is taking the train for like 1,500 miles this week to get to GA.

My guess is, she thinks to herself "I don't like to fly, but it just takes a couple to hours to fly and it would take days to go by train. So I probably will be scared for a little bit at the takeoff and landing, but it's just easier to fly because the train takes too long."

That's just not the way irrationally fearful people or phobic people think. Again, note that when I searched google for examples of aviophobia, I hit a guy wanting to sail to Korea from North America.

CC

Wednesday, June 25, 2008 2:11:00 pm  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

ROTFLMU*UO!

ChaliceChick playing defense attorney. . . What a joke.

:I didn't ignore the followup question at all.

Yes you did. You totally evaded what I said.

:Though she mentions that she has been afraid of planes before, the sermon itself only does talk about one particularly turbulent flight.

You forgot and since CC. . .

:She refers to other flights generally, but she only really talks about one. Does she describe other flights in the sermon?

Generally I wouldn't bother to answer such a stupid question. Yes she does CC, in a *general* sense about her *generalized* fear of flying. . .

For *many years*, flying would *always* bring out all *my near-death fears*. I’d look around at my fellow passengers and wonder if I should get to know them just in case we found ourselves on the brink of death. I’d grip the arms of my seat so tightly during take-off and landing that my knuckles would turn white.

The above quote was a *general* description of how Rev. Diane Rollert *generally* (dare I say *always*?) felt when she flew on commercial aircraft. It describes her feelings and behaviour on *other flights* spread over a period of "many years".

:Again, she keeps flying, and she doesn't require medication to do it.

Other sufferers of irrational fear of flying aka aviophobia etc. keep on flying CC. Who told you that Rev. Diane Rollert "doesn't require medication" to calm her nerves when flying CC? That would be considered to be inadmissible "hearsay evidence" in a court of law, only I have reasonable grounds to believe that you never actually heard anyone say it in any case. Right?

:How bad can the fear be?

Quite evidently bad enough for Rev. Diane Rollert to grip the arms of her seat so tightly during take-off and landing that her knuckles would turn white. Bad enough to for Rev. Rollert to pray *feverishly* during those few moments of takeoff and landing. Bad enough that flying has *always* brought out all Rev. Rollert's *near-death fears* and to even pass those fears on to her daughter.

Don't expect your unfounded assumptions, unsubstantiated allegations, and speculative imaginings to get you very far in a court of law CC or on this blog for that matter.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008 8:50:00 pm  
Blogger Chalicechick said...

You keep avoiding the question of why she would keep flying if she was so irrationally terrified.

I assumed that she took no medication because the fear was still there. If she had taken medication to calm herself down, none of the stuff in the sermon would have happend. A couple of Xanax, and she would have either slept for the whole trip or just been really calm and happy. But she wasn't, so she probably didn't take medication.

Also, in the sermon, she was trying to make a point of how scared she was. If she was trying to do that, she would almost certainly have brought up the medication because it would have helped make her point.

That's simple deductive reasoning, and while there's no guarantee I'm correct, it's not hearsay at all. Hearsay doesn't mean what you think it means. (I realize all the shots about how I would be a lousy attorney are intended to hurt my feelings, and they do little bit*, but it's pretty hard to take them seriously when you keep using words and concepts you don't understand. Just argue from common sense. You're really good at that and it makes the argument more fun when we're on an even playing field.)

I'm not an attorney, we're just arguing for fun here, but if I were, all I would have to do to show her innocent of perjury is show that it is POSSIBLE for her to interpret your broad question in a way that she personally could have perceived that she was telling the truth.

Because what is "irrational" is a matter of opinion and because she's behaving more like someone on a roller coaster than someone actually terrified of flying, I'd say it's quite possible she could take answer in the negative.

Also, she could take a clinical approach to your question and answer it the negative because the fear hasn't kept her from flying.

If nothing else, and I don't want to say she did this because I don't know, she can always claim that she's not all that scared of planes, she exaggerated her own fear for the purposes of writing a good sermon. The sermon isn't sworn testimony and she can be less than truthful there without fear of legal consequence. The sermon is your only evidence, and an admission that she was exaggerating there would leave you with no proof or perjury, merely proof that she told a tall tale to make a point, something ministers have a tendency to do.

CC

*Let's not bother with you pretending you're insulting me because you're concerned for my career, old friend. I know that's your usual defense for when I call you on insulting my legal skills, but we both know it's sort of silly and not at all the way you would actually behave if you were actually concerned.

Besides, telling a first year law student that she's not a lawyer yet is pointless even if it were out of concern.

Thursday, June 26, 2008 8:07:00 am  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

:I'm not an attorney, we're just arguing for fun here, but if I were, all I would have to do to show her innocent of perjury is show that it is POSSIBLE for her to interpret your broad question in a way that she personally could have perceived that she was telling the truth.

Sorry CC but the *provable* out and out lie that Rev. Diane Rollert told while under oath is that the sermon in question was not about a generalized fear of flying but about one particularly frightening flight. Anyone who bothers to read the sermon, which I note is no longer available to be read on the Unitarian Church of Montreal's website aka "memory-holed". . . can see that, while she does speak about one "particularly bumpy flight", she *also* speaks about a severe fear of flying that spans *many years*. . . To wit -

For many years, flying would always bring out all my near-death fears. I’d look around at my fellow passengers and wonder if I should get to know them just in case we found ourselves on the brink of death. I’d grip the arms of my seat so tightly during take-off and landing that my knuckles would turn white.

So she lied when she claimed that the sermon was only about one particularly scary flight. She lied to hide her more generalized severe fear of flying.

Monday, July 13, 2009 2:57:00 pm  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

Gotta love the fact that Canadian U*U minister, and current ICUU President, Rev. Brian J. Kiely of the Unitarian Church of Edmonton, preserved the very words that prove beyond any reasonable doubt that Rev. Diane Rollert lied while under sworn oath to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth to Quebec Court judge Rollande Matte in a Remembrance Day sermon that he delivered on November 9, 2008. . . No U*Us?

Monday, July 13, 2009 3:15:00 pm  

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