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

Monday, June 22, 2009

Mir Hossein Mousavi And Rev. Tony Lorenzen Support The Emerson Avenger's Right To Protest Against Unitarian*Universalist Lies And Fraud. . .

Rev. Tony Lorenzen the current minister of Pathways Unitarian*Universalist Church in Southlake, Texas has not only publicly endorsed my right to protest against Unitarian*Universalist lies and fraud, to say nothing of various other U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy, but he has even urged me to exercise my rights lest I get out of shape. . . I couldn't agree more, and I fully intend to once again exercise my right to protest against Unitarian*Universalist lies and fraud and various other U*U injustices, abuses, and hypocrisy in front of the alleged Unitarian*Unitarian Church of Montreal in the coming weeks and months.

Maybe I will even "resurrect" my "classic" picket sign slogan. . .

"CHURCH" OF FRAUD

That being said I will once again give Rev. Diane Rollert and the alleged Unitarian Church of Montreal an opportunity to enter into dialogue with me towards the end of resolving our conflict in a manner that genuinely honors and upholds U*U principles and purposes rather than flagrantly disregarding them and outright flaunting them as these U*Us so like to do. . . In fact I already did that last Sunday when I told Rev. Rollert and other leading Montreal Unitarians, such as current UCM President David Kersulis, that they would be well advised to enter into dialogue with me rather than further escalating this ludicrously drawn out conflict with more legal harassment and police harassment etc. I will however formally put that reasonable proposal in writing in the coming days and send it as an "electronic communication" and possibly even a registered letter.

As I orally informed them just over a week ago now, I will give the leaders of the Unitarian Church of Montreal the rest of June, all of July, and all of August to try to resolve this conflict in a manner that lives up to their "covenant" to affirm and promote justice, equity, and compassion in human relations before resuming my protest full time in September if they fail or refuse to do so. . . My peaceful public protest in front of the Unitarian Church of Montreal will be temporarily suspended as soon as the leaders of the Unitarian Church of Montreal agree to enter into dialogue with me and actually meet with me for an initial meeting. If Montreal Unitarian U*Us agree to this proposal my peaceful public protest in front of the Unitarian Church of Montreal will remain suspended for as long as I believe that any dialogue and conflict resolution that the Unitarian Church of Montreal agrees to enter into is productive and worthwhile.

Here is the comment that I just submitted to the Too comfortable to complain? post on Rev. Tony Lorenzen's Sunflower Chalice blog -

"Mr. Mousavi is correct. Protesting to lies and fraud is your right. And if you don’t exercise your rights, you get out of shape. Get in shape"

Don't worry Tony, I am very much in shape when it comes to exercising my rights and protesting against lies and fraud and other U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy. . .

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26 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Rev. Tony Lorenzen ... has not only publicly endorsed my right to protest against Unitarian*Universalist lies and fraud, to say nothing of various other U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy, but he has even urged me to exercise my rights lest I get out of shape"

So I went to his blog "Sunflower Chalice" and read his remarks.

Robin, he's not even talking about you. He's talking about Iran, and about protest in general. That doesn't mean he "endorses" you -- I wonder if he's even heard of you.

Monday, June 22, 2009 11:15:00 pm  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

ROTFLMU*UO! You obviously have little or no appreciation of my use of satire, parody, and irony oh so anonymous one. May I take it that you have no sense of humour? I am pretty sure that Mir Hossein Mousavi was not talking about me personally either when he said -

Protesting to lies and fraud is your right.

Clearly the lies and fraud that Mr. Mousavi was referring to are the alleged lies and fraud involved in the recent presidential elections in Iran and possibly other lies and fraud engaged in by Iranian political and religious leaders. Equally clearly, Rev. Tony Lorenzen decided to use that Mousavi quote in his blog post promoting Medicare for all in which he suggested that Americans, and perhaps even Unitarian*Universalists. . . are too comfortable to protest about matters that negatively affect their lives. Rev. Tony Lorenzen went on to say -

Mr. Mousavi is correct. Protesting to lies and fraud is your right. And if you don’t exercise your rights, you get out of shape. Get in shape.

As you noted yourself in your own poorly thought through comment here, Rev. Tony Lorenzen was talking about about protest in general. . . In doing so Rev. Tony Lorenzen, if not Iranian presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, effectively supports my right to protest against lies and fraud perpetrated and-or perpetuated by Unitarian*Universalists. N'est-ce pas?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009 11:36:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's the problem ... it's hard to know when you should be taken seriously.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009 5:39:00 pm  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

Well AFAIAC I should be taken quite seriously even when I am engaging in satire and parody etc. about the serious issues that I raise on this blog. After all most satirists are dealing with serious subjects. . . I am quite serious about the fact that the public statements of Iranian Presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi and Rev. Tony Lorenzen of Pathways Unitarian*Universalist Church *effectively* support my right to protest against Unitarian*Universalist lies and fraud even though their statements are not about me and they probably do not know of me personally. For the record I never said that either or both of them endorse me personally, or even support my specific cause. I simply said that Rev. Tony Lorenzen "publicly endorsed my *right* protest against Unitarian*Universalist lies and fraud, to say nothing of various other U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy." When Mir Hossein Mousavi says -

"Protesting to lies and fraud is your right."

and Rev. Tony Lorenzen says -

"Mr. Mousavi is correct. Protesting to lies and fraud is your right. And if you don’t exercise your rights, you get out of shape. Get in shape"

they are both indirectly supporting my own right to protest against Unitarian*Universalist lies and fraud for the simple reason that they are pretty much supporting everybody's right to protest against any "lies and fraud" and *everybody* includes your's truly aka The Emerson Avenger. . . It's really that simple Anonyomouse and thus should be a bit of a "no brainer" to properly understand what my blog title *really* meant.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009 8:01:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat

Allow me to give you a basic lesson in logic...

Person A is physically attacked, and knocks her assailant unconscious in an act of self defense.

Person B voices support for her, and her asserting that all people have a right to self defense.

Person C, who believes his "right of self defense" includes planting land mines in his front yard and blaring ear-splitting music into the neighborhood to deter "those nasty lying vicious idiots" declares that A and B support him.

Problem: A and B have no idea who C is, what C is doing in the name of self defense, and who or what C is allegedly defending himself against.

C is engaging in the fallacy of justifying the specific from the general (a dicto simpliciter ad dictum secundum quid).

One person's protest is another person harassment. Especially when you won't publicize what specifically you want from the congregation and the UU movement. No hifalutin demands for "justice" - tell us all exactly what it will take to end your relentless crusade.

Otherwise ... why take it seriously?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009 8:53:00 pm  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

Sorry anonymouse but your lesson in "logic" is what I call U*U BS. Both Mir Hossein Mousavi snd Rev. Tony Lorenzen agree that protesting against "lies and fraud" is a basic human right. I am sure that both will agree that protesting against various other injustices and abuses is a basic human right. I am protesting against "lies and fraud" on the part of U*Us and various other U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy. The last time checked I am not throwing rocks or firebombs at anyone, as some protesters against "lies and fraud" in Iran are doing so my protest against U*U "lies and fraud" is actually a lot more peaceful than what is happening in Iran at the moment. In fact, U*Us have threatened me with physical violence and I have been physically assaulted on a few occasions by U*Us so I am arguably more peaceful and non-violent than these belligerent U*Us.

Your "logic" aka U*U BS is a classic straw man argument. I am not in fact engaging in any fallacy of justifying the specific from the general. The right to protest against lies and fraud, or anything else for that matter, is a basic human right that both Mir Hossein Mousavi and Rev. Tony Lorenzen clearly support. They thus support my basic human *right* to protest against U*U "lies and fraud". The fact that they do not know me personally, do not know what "lies and fraud" or other injustices and abuses I am protesting against, and are equally unaware of my methods of protest, are all irrelevant to the fact that they support my *right* to protest. I never at any time suggested that they endorsed or supported my methods of protest only my *right* to protest.

"One person's protest is another person harassment."

No doubt the Iranian government sees the protests against alleged election fraud as harassment. . .

:Especially when you won't publicize what specifically you want from the congregation and the UU movement.

I have in fact publicizes what specifically I want in the past in letters to the Board and congregation of the Unitarian Church of Montreal and the UUA. My grievances and related demands were dismissed out of hand and I was punished for trying to share my concerns with my fellow U*Us.

:No hifalutin demands for "justice" - tell us all exactly what it will take to end your relentless crusade.

I will tell U*Us in positions of responsibility who are actually capable of resolving this conflict what it will take to end my relentless crusade when they agree to enter into dialogue with me and initiate viable conflict resolution procedures. As it is I just told U*Us in this very blog post what U*Us need to do to have me temporarily suspend my peaceful public protest in front of the Unitarian Church of Montreal and will be sending a formal noticed of this to Rev. Diane Rollert and the Board of the Unitarian Church of Montreal in the coming days.

:Otherwise ... why take it seriously?

There are lots of reasons for U*Us to take my "crusade" seriously even if I choose to never end it. N'est-ca pas Anonymouse? My "crusade" should be taken seriously for what it says about the U*U religious community and what impact that has on the U*U religious community.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009 12:17:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, as to the fallacy...

Defending a general right of protest does not mean a person agrees with your specific protest. That's what you don't seem to get.

Second, as to your protest and terms...

If you're only going to disclose your specific demands (if any) to "U*Us in positions of responsibility who are actually capable of resolving this conflict" then that begs the question of whether you have any specific demands. When you ask for "viable conflict resolution procedures" but won't specify what you consider those procedures to be, then how are they to know whether any overture towards dialogue will actually lead to anything?

Many years ago, an organization of former fundamentalists called for a boycott of Pepsi because it caved in to the Christian Right. I wrote back that I wouldn't endorse their boycott, because it had no specific demand which, if met, would end it. Protests have goals.

I don't see any goals on your part, other than venting your spleen at an entire denomination. That's why it's so hard to take you seriously.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009 7:23:00 am  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

What *you* don't seem to get is that I never suggested that Mir Hossein Mousavi and/or Rev. Tony Lorenzen agree with my specific protest. As I have already clearly explained in defending a general right of protest, or at minimum a right to protest against "lies and fraud" they are defending aka supporting my *right* to protest Unitarian*Universalist lies and fraud as the title of this blog post says.

:If you're only going to disclose your specific demands (if any) to "U*Us in positions of responsibility who are actually capable of resolving this conflict" then that begs the question of whether you have any specific demands.

No it doesn't. It only means that for various very good reasons I believe that it is best to present specific demands to those who are actually in a position to meet those demands. Also I am quite flexible and open to some negotiation when it comes to settling this conflict, I am also open to U*Us in positions of responsibility proposing just and equitable solutions to this conflict. I have made specific demands in the past and can and will do so again. One demand that is not open to negotiation is that I expect both the Unitarian Church of Montreal and the UUA to offer comprehensive apologies that acknowledge not only the wrongfulness and harmfulness of Rev. Ray Drennan's behavior towards me but their negligent, effectively complicit, and unjustly punitive responses to my legitimate complaints. It is unfortunate that Rev. Ray Drennan, the Unitarian Church of Montreal, and the UUA did not respond positively to my very reasonable demands much earlier in this conflict when all I was asking for was an apology that responsibly acknowledged wrongdoing and formally retracted the demeaning and abusive words that Rev. Ray Drennan uttered in his insulting and defamatory attack on me. The Unitarian Church of Montreal, the UUA, and that U*U community more generally are in a much deeper hole today than they were in 1995 through 1997, a hole that they have dug for themselves with their continual and ongoing negligent, complicit, and unjustly punitive response(s) to my serious grievances.

:When you ask for "viable conflict resolution procedures" but won't specify what you consider those procedures to be, then how are they to know whether any overture towards dialogue will actually lead to anything?

Don't be ridiculous. The UUA, and possibly even the Unitarian Church of Montreal, already have various conflict resolution procedures in place for dealing with these kinds of situations, they have simply refused to responsibly implement them. Most ironically the Unitarian Church of Montreal held a workshop on conflict resolution in 1996 or 1997 and then remarkably foolishly failed, and more likely just plain refused. . . to use the conflict resolution procedures outlined during that workshop in this conflict. How are the Unitarian Church of Montreal and UUA to know whether any overture towards dialogue will actually lead to anything in *any* conflict anonymouse? The only way to find out where dialogue leads in any confl;ict is to enter into dialogue but, so far, both the UUA and Unitarian Church of Montreal have obstinately refused to enter into dialogue with me. As I have already mentioned Rev. Diane Rollert's deeply misguided attempt to seek a restraining order against me was largely an effort to make it impossible for any meaningful dialogue to take place. That is a measure of just how desperate U*Us are to avoid any dialogue in this matter because they know that once dialogue begins they are going to have to start responsibly acknowledging the various injustices, abuses, and hypocrisy that I am complaining about and hubris filled U*Us just can't bring themselves to do that can they anonymouse?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009 11:59:00 am  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

:Many years ago, an organization of former fundamentalists called for a boycott of Pepsi because it caved in to the Christian Right. I wrote back that I wouldn't endorse their boycott, because it had no specific demand which, if met, would end it. Protests have goals.

My goals are reasonably clear to most people anonymouse. The fact that I am prepared to leave some goals open to discussion and negotiation doesn't mean that I don't have any goals.

:I don't see any goals on your part, other than venting your spleen at an entire denomination.

I guess that you are not looking hard enough. . .

:That's why it's so hard to take you seriously.

As I suggested earlier, even if my one and only goal was to vent my spleen at the entire "Uncommonly Hypocritical Denomination" known as Unitarian*Universalism aka The U*U Movement, which is clearly not the case, that would not be good a reason to not take me seriously. If my alleged spleen venting has a negative impact on the public image and reputation of the denomination as a whole, or even only tarnishes the image of the UUA in Boston and the Unitarian Church of Montreal, it seems to me that U*Us would be well advised to take that spleen venting seriously.

I have clear goals, and recommendations for change and reform in the handling of clergy misconduct complaints and other U*U problems, and U*Us will know exactly what they are once U*Us in positions of responsibility in Montreal and Boston responsibly enter into dialogue with me towards the goal of resolving this conflict which has now been dragged out for well over a decade as a result of egregious institutional stonewalling and denial, and additional injustices and abuses, on the part of the UUA and Unitarian Church of Montreal. This ludicrously drawn-out conflict can be resolved in a manner that genuinely upholds U*U principles and purposes such as that calling for justice, equity and compassion in human relations, but only when U*U finally agree to genuinely honor and uphold the "covenants" that they currently only emptily and insincerely, if not outright fraudulently, "affirm and promote" all the while flagrantly disregarding them and wantonly violating them via their well-documented words and actions. . .

Wednesday, June 24, 2009 11:59:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So you'll go out of your way to repeat all of your complaints to the whole world, but you will only repeat what you want to a select few?

Listen, if you want more people to stand by you in this crusade, then they deserve to know what it is that you want - in detail.

So, let me make it easy for you. I'll ask a set of straightforward questions, with the simple answers for each (mostly yes or no).

1) Do you want to be reinstated as a member of the Unitarian Church of Montreal - YES or NO?

2) Do you want the Unitarian Church of Montreal to recognize and/or observe "Creation Day" whenever there is a solar eclipse - YES or NO?

3) Do you want certain people removed from UCM membership - YES or NO? If so, WHO?

4) Do you want certain people removed from the leadership of the UCM - YES or NO? If so, WHO?

5) Do you want certain people removed from Unitarian Universalist ministry - YES or NO? If so, WHO?

6) Do you want specific changes to the bylaws and governance of UCM - YES or NO?

7) Do you wat specific changes to the bylaws and governance of the Canadian Unitarian Council - YES or NO?

8) Do you want specific changes to the bylaws and governance of the UUA - YES or NO?

9) Do you want specific changes to the bylaws and governance of the UU Ministerial Association and/or Ministerial Fellowship Committee - YES or NO?

Simple, straightforward answers, please - do you want any of these things, and who (if any) do you want gone?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009 8:38:00 pm  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

I have already stated in detail what I want in the past and those statements were ignored, dismissed and rejected as I already said. It is partly for that reason albeit not only for that reason that I think it best to only state what I want in detail once the UUA and Unitarian Church of Montreal agree to enter into dialogue. Also, as I just said, I am somewhat flexible about what I want and I am open to proposals for settlement of this dispute from both the UUA and Unitarian Church of Montreal. I have always been open to the UUA and Unitarian Church of Montreal making reasonable suggestions for how to settle this conflict but they have both quite obstinately refused to do so so far.

:Listen, if you want more people to stand by you in this crusade, then they deserve to know what it is that you want - in detail.

Well I might be prepared to provide more detail privately and *confidentially* to someone who I knew for sure was a true ally and not someone who was more interested in trying to obstruct justice in this matter. I do not know quite where you stand and you seem to be more anti than pro at the moment. I am thus not likely to share all *that* much with you. Since your questions are quite reasonable I will none-the-less answer some of them here and now -

1) Do you want to be reinstated as a member of the Unitarian Church of Montreal - YES or NO?

In that the expulsion was unjust I want that unjust punitive expulsion for going public with my grievance acknowledged as an injustice and overturned. OTOH I do not necessarily want my membership in the Unitarian Church of Montreal reinstated. That would be open to discussion but to be blunt I am not terribly interested in being a member of a Unitarian Church that has repeatedly proven itself to be stunningly hypocritical.


2) Do you want the Unitarian Church of Montreal to recognize and/or observe "Creation Day" whenever there is a solar eclipse - YES or NO?

Inspite of misleading statements made by Montreal Unitarians and other U*Us that was never a demand of mine. In fact at one point John Inder pretty much offered to allow Creation Day to be celebrated in the UCM again if I dropped my grievances against Rev. Ray Drennan. That was not acceptable then and is not acceptable now. I do however expect the UUA and Unitarian Church of Montreal to responsibly acknowledge the wrongfulness and harmfulness of the false and malicious labeling of Creation Day as a "cult" by Rev. Ray Drennan, Frank Greene, John Inder and other U*Us.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009 10:17:00 pm  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

3) Do you want certain people removed from UCM membership - YES or NO? If so, WHO?

Again, this was never a demand of mine but I think that it is an option to be explored in terms of disciplinary action for those Montreal Unitarian U*Us who are most directly responsible for the injustices and abuses I have been subjected to, especially those who are responsible for the unjust punitive expulsions that I was, and still am, subjected to. *If* that option was to be exercised Frank Greene and John Inder would be on the short list of people to be expelled. That being said I am open to discussion of other ways that those people who unjustly expelled me from the Unitarian Church of Montreal can face real accountability without being expelled themselves.

4) Do you want certain people removed from the leadership of the UCM - YES or NO? If so, WHO?

At this point in time I cannot think of anyone who I would want to be removed from the leadership of the Unitarian Church of Montreal. Most of the people directly responsible for this conflict are no longer in leadership positions although they may still hold considerable influence behind the scenes. That being said, Rev. Diane Rollert has displayed abysmal leadership with regard to this conflict so far and if she does not change her tune, agree to enter into dialogue with me, and participate in viable conflict resolution procedures she might be well advised to resign and hand over the mess she inherited to someone who is more capable of responsibly dealing with it. Simply put if Rev. Diane Rollert cannot handle the "heat" she should quietly remove herself from the "kitchen". Still I intend to communicate with her directly in the coming days and try to persuade her to do the proverbial right thing.

5) Do you want certain people removed from Unitarian Universalist ministry - YES or NO? If so, WHO?

Rev. Ray Drennan is gone and I have already provided an answer insofar as Rev. Diane Rollert is concerned. I do want both the UUA and Unitarian Church of Montreal to reopen and review my original complaint against Rev. Ray Drennan and review how it was handled at both levels. I expect both the UUA and Unitarian church of Montreal to responsible acknowledge that my initial complaint was badly mishandled by the UUA and MFC and the Board and congregation of the Unitarian Church of Montreal. Those people most responsible for the mishandling of my initial grievances should face some form of accountability for their negligent, incompetent, and effectively complicit dismissal of my complaint(s).

6) Do you want specific changes to the bylaws and governance of UCM - YES or NO?

The Unitarian Church of Montreal misused and abused the UUA's Disruptive Behavior Policy in it's efforts to silence me. It also disregarded the letter of its bylaws in most if not all of the expulsions. I am not even all that aware of what the current bylaws say but I would certainly want its bylaws to be reviewed and revised where this is warranted.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009 10:18:00 pm  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

7) Do you wat specific changes to the bylaws and governance of the Canadian Unitarian Council - YES or NO?

Good question. The CUC has managed to avoid any significant role in this conflict by asserting that congregational polity does not allow it to intervene. Clergy misconduct complaints are currently the problem of implicated churches and the UUA's department of ministry in Boston. The CUC long ago washed its hands of any responsibility in this matter. Still, in that the CUC has since become considerably more independent from the UUA, perhaps the bylaws and governance of the CUC should be reviewed towards the end of the CUC taking on more responsibility when Canadian U*U ministers behave badly. Personally I feel that both the CUC and the UUA should be ready, willing, and able to discipline those U*U congregations that egregiously violate the claimed principles and purposes and other bylaws of the UUA and CUC. I did, and still do, feel that both the CUC and UUA should have been able to intervene constructively when the Board and congregation of the Unitarian Church of Montreal proved to be unready, unwilling and unable to deal responsibly with my grievances. Regrettably the CUC and UUA had already proven themselves to be unwilling to deal responsibly with my complaint in the early stages of this conflict. In fact I believe that Rev. Diane Miller bears a very high degree of responsibility in this matter in that her negligent and effectively complicit dismissal of my complaint against Rev. Drennan did nothing to encourage the Unitarian Church of Montreal to settle this conflict in a genuinely just, equitable and compassionate manner. Once Rev. Diane Miller had asserted that Rev. Ray Drennan's insulting and intolerant behavior was "within the appropriate guidelines of ministerial leadership" my ability to obtain justice in this matter was seriously compromised. That is one of the reasons that I have repeatedly demanded that the UUA must review that negligent and incompetent ruling of Rev. Diane Miller but, so far, the UUA has obstinately refused to responsibly reexamine the file.

8) Do you want specific changes to the bylaws and governance of the UUA - YES or NO?

Yes, I think that both the current bylaws and the manner of governance of the UUA need to be reviewed and revised with respect to the handling of clergy misconduct complaints, if not various other things. The process is still quite flawed. That being said, in that the Unitarian Church of Montreal and the UUA simply disregarded existing bylaws that could have been implemented to bring this conflict to a genuinely just and equitable resolution years ago, it is not enough to just review and revise the bylaws etc. Steps have to be taken to ensure that UUA bylaws and church bylaws are properly acted upon and enforced. Both the UUA and Unitarian Church of Montreal have failed and even refused to act upon existing bylaws in this matter and I expect this is true of other cases of clergy misconduct. For example Rev. Diane Miller's pretense that Rev. Ray Drennan's insulting and abusive behavior was "within the appropriate guidelines" is a falsehood if not a lie AFAIAC. The UUMA guidelines of the time (1996) contained several clauses that Rev. Ray Drennan clearly disregarded and outright violated AFAIAC yet the UUA pretended that his behavior was "within the appropriate guidelines." I am still waiting for the UUA to explain to me how Rev. Ray Drennan's demeaning and abusive conduct, as I described it in considerable detail in my initial letter of grievance against him, was "within" the letter and the spirit of the UUMA guidelines.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009 10:20:00 pm  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

9) Do you want specific changes to the bylaws and governance of the UU Ministerial Association and/or Ministerial Fellowship Committee - YES or NO?

AFAIAC the bylaws and governance of the UU Ministerial Association and Ministerial Fellowship Committee need to be reviewed and revised. Various recommendations for reform have already been made by Rev. Fred Muir and other U*Us concerned about (mis)handling of clergy misconduct complaints but, so far, many if not most of these recommendations for reform have not been acted upon. It is my opinion, and that of other people involved in clergy misconduct issues, that outgoing UUA President Rev. William G. Sinkford leaves a legacy of neglect and failure when it comes to the UUA's response to clergy misconduct of all kinds.

:Simple, straightforward answers, please - do you want any of these things, and who (if any) do you want gone?

Are the above straightforward answers good enough for starters?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009 10:20:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Are the above straightforward answers good enough for starters?"

Straightforward?? I ask "yes-or-no" questions and it takes four whole comments for you to reply! Did you ever think that this excessive verbiage is part and parcel of the problem - that you spend so much time talking as to bore and annoy your audience?

No, I'm still not clear what you want. There's so much long-winded verbiage that it's difficult to parse out the basics. Okay, you don't want to return to UCM or have them celebrate Creation Day with you. So why picket them? Why demand a meeting with them? Why do you want anything to do with them?

And if this is also the way you talk to people, I would not blame anyone, UU or otherwise, to decline entering into a supposed dialogue with you. Reminds me of the "friendly conversations" my former building manager would have with people - he'd block the only exit to the room and proceed to go on an incredibly long monologue about every topic of interest to him for over two hours. No kidding, three of us were stuck in his office, forced to listen to him, unable to get a word in edgewise, and never listening when any of us kept reminding him that we had to leave.

You write the way he talks, only you cover fewer topics and he at least has a friendlier tone. And if you talk the way you write, who would want to be stuck in a room listening to you?

Go back to the nine questions. Answer them YES or NO. Then try - really try - to sum up what you want in a paragraph which only takes thirty seconds to read aloud.

THAT is how you get things done.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009 11:00:00 pm  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

5) Do you want certain people removed from Unitarian Universalist ministry - YES or NO? If so, WHO?

Reprise. . . Rev. Ray Drennan is "gone" as in no longer the minister of the Unitarian Church of Montreal but he is still a "fellowshipped" U*U minister. I personally believe that if one looks at the proverbial "big picture" of the harm that Rev. Ray Drennan is responsible for but has yet to take any real responsibility for he may well be deserving of being defellowshipped my the MFC. That however is only a matter that the Ministerial Fellowship Committee can decide. For the record, to my knowledge, my complaints against Rev. Ray Drennan were never put before the full Ministerial Fellowship Committee. My grievances were prescreened by the executive of the MFC and I am not even sure if the full executive were involved. In fact this is something that needs to be reviewed and revised AFAIAC. I think that any and all clergy misconduct complaints brought against U*U ministers should not be prescreened and should be made known to the full Ministerial Fellowship Committee in order to minimize the possibility that a few people screen out legitimate complaints due to negligence and incompetence etc. OTOH I am not convinced that the very aptly named Ministerial Fellowship Committee should be handling clergy misconduct complaints at all but, as long as it is, all complaints should be made known to every single one of its members and not just the executive. At present the situation may even be worse than it was when I filed my complaint in 1996 in that the UUA's department of Congregational Services was put in charge of prescreening clergy misconduct complaints before they even reached the MFC at all. . . For all I know that meant that clergy misconduct complaints may well have been prescreened by Rev. Dr. Tracey Robinson-Harris and not a single other UUA administrator. Certainly that is the impression I got when I filed my "experimental" unbecoming conduct complaint against Rev. Victoria Weinstein aka Peacebang to see if the UUA were doing a better job of handling clergy misconduct complaints in 2006 than they were a decade earlier. . . Needless to say they were not doing such a great job and my clergy misconduct complaint against Rev. Victoria Weinstein was dismissed out of hand. The UUA will be presented with an opportunity to get it right when I file a formal complaint against Rev. Dr. Timothy W. Jensen, and possibly one or two other U*U ministers who insult and defame people on their blogs, following the election of the next President of the UUA. Hopefully under the leadership of rev. Dr. Laurel Hallman, or possibly Rev. Peter Morales, the UUA will do a better job of responding to complaints about insulting and abusive U*U clergy, to say nothing of other forms of clergy misconduct.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009 11:03:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

YOU STILL DO NOT GET IT!

Go back to all nine questions.

Answer each one YES or NO.

Try very hard to write something which summarizes what you want, and only takes thirty seconds to read.

That's how you start a dialogue. That's how you get things done.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009 11:21:00 pm  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

:Straightforward?? I ask "yes-or-no" questions and it takes four whole comments for you to reply!

Wrong. It takes one word for me to say yes or no but it is necessary to qualify what I mean when I answer yes or no otherwise U*Us will get all kinds of wrong ideas in their heads as they are so wont to do. . . You asked for detail and I provided detail and then you criticize me for providing detail. Go figure. . .

:Did you ever think that this excessive verbiage is part and parcel of the problem - that you spend so much time talking as to bore and annoy your audience?

Actually when I am actually talking I use a lot less "verbiage". I have gotten into the habit of loading my internet writings with keywords so my blog posts and comments show up in more Google searches. . . It's a hard habit to break, especially when I know how many visitors I get as a result of quite unusual Google searches.

:No, I'm still not clear what you want. There's so much long-winded verbiage that it's difficult to parse out the basics.

For you perhaps, but most people can figure out what I am saying quite readily.

:Okay, you don't want to return to UCM or have them celebrate Creation Day with you. So why picket them? Why demand a meeting with them? Why do you want anything to do with them?

Those questions have already been answered many times over and since you don't like me to repeat myself, and apparently can't handle detailed responses, I will not repeat those answers now. The answers are no brainers to most people of intelligence and conscience. If someone who had been sexually harassed, or even sexually assaulted aka raped, by a U*U minister was picketing a U*U church and demanding justice from it would you ask those stupid questions anonymouse?

:And if this is also the way you talk to people, I would not blame anyone, UU or otherwise, to decline entering into a supposed dialogue with you.

As I said, this is not how I talk with people but, even if it was, it would not be a valid excuse for refusing to enter into dialogue with me. The fact of the matter is that I more than adequately answered the questions you posed to me. Maybe that's the problem. . . you got more than you bargained for and can't handle it.

:Reminds me of the "friendly conversations" my former building manager would have with people - he'd block the only exit to the room and proceed to go on an incredibly long monologue about every topic of interest to him for over two hours. No kidding, three of us were stuck in his office, forced to listen to him, unable to get a word in edgewise, and never listening when any of us kept reminding him that we had to leave.

Nobody is stopping you from leaving anonymouse. . . Be my guest.

:You write the way he talks, only you cover fewer topics and he at least has a friendlier tone. And if you talk the way you write, who would want to be stuck in a room listening to you?

As I said I do not talk the way I write. If you want to know how I talk I suggest that you view some of my U*UTube videos such as this conversation with Montreal Unitarian U*U Juan Vera for example.

:Go back to the nine questions. Answer them YES or NO. Then try - really try - to sum up what you want in a paragraph which only takes thirty seconds to read aloud.

I already have answered your questions "yes" or "no" and I am not rewriting my additional qualifications to those answers. Most people can well understand what I am saying.

:THAT is how you get things done.

Weren't you the one talking about hubris a while back anonymouse? It seems to me that there is just a tad of overweening pride, superciliousness, and arrogance in your attitude displayed here. I am not saying much more to you at all until you identify yourself with your real name as per my comment policy.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009 11:30:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're not answering the question.

Saturating a comment or post with verbs so you can get more Google hits is not the same as "detail." Specificity does not require many words, it requires clarity.

Be clear, be concise.

Imagine that you are sitting in a room with three people. They ask the question: "What do you want?" There's no Google search engine, just three human beings. How do you answer them, clearly and concisely?

And as for your demand that I identify myself ... So you can then track me down and treat me as you've treated so many who have questioned or disagreed with you? No thank you. Besides, what a person has to say is more important than who the person is.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009 11:43:00 pm  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

:You're not answering the question.

Wrong. I have more than adequately answered your questions and I am very confident that most people will agree that I have answered your questions. What I have not done is acceded to your own arrogant demands.

:Saturating a comment or post with verbs so you can get more Google hits is not the same as "detail."

I didn't say it was. I have done a bit of both. I have provided plenty of detail in my answers to your questions and, as seems to be my habit now, I have quite automatically used a certain amount of "internetese" to increase the number of readers of this post.

:Specificity does not require many words, it requires clarity.

And I think that my detailed answers have been very clear even if they are a bit verbose.

:Be clear, be concise.

I am clear even if somewhat "less than concise".

:Imagine that you are sitting in a room with three people. They ask the question: "What do you want?" There's no Google search engine, just three human beings. How do you answer them, clearly and concisely?

I told you that I am not rewriting my answers anonymouse. If you cannot understand them that is *your* problem not mine.

:And as for your demand that I identify myself ... So you can then track me down and treat me as you've treated so many who have questioned or disagreed with you?

Excuse me anonymouse but I *am* currently treating you like I have treated so many who have questioned or disagreed with you. The only difference is that you are too cowardly to attach your name to your rather questionable words. . .

:No thank you. Besides, what a person has to say is more important than who the person is.

True enough. Maybe you should tell that to all those U*Us who censor and suppress me just because of who I am rather than because of what I have to say. . . It does happen you know. There are some U*Us who suppress perfectly reasonable comments just because I made them. . . The fact remains that many of those people who write under the cover of anonymity and pseudonymity are more inclined to be arrogant, rude, and offensive. I expect people posting comments here to have the guts to attach their real names to their words so that they may be held accountable for the things that they say. Even if that accountability is only to be judged in the court of public opinion as is pretty much the case here. I am not impressed with cowards who post whatever BS they want to, U*U BS or otherwise, with little or no possibility of being held personally accountable for their questionable words. If you want our conversation to continue you will identify yourself.

Thursday, June 25, 2009 1:02:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again, you blame others for your behavior. Because others censor you just for who you are, you say this gives you the right to engage them as you do. Sorry, ain't buying it.

Word count is not the same as detail. All I can gather is that you want a change in the way UUs handle conflict resolution. But it's lost in the grandiloquence of so many adjectives and repetitive phrasing. What kind of procedure are you looking for? Have other UU groups instituted models which you would like?

People have their reasons for not disclosing names. Why is it so important that others identify themselves to you? Why are you not willing to listen unless a legal name is attached to the message?

Thursday, June 25, 2009 7:26:00 am  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

:Once again, you blame others for your behavior.

It is perfectly legitimate to blame others if one's behavior is the direct consequence of the behavior of others. If Rev. Ray Drennan and other Montreal Unitarian U*Us had not falsely and maliciously labeled Creation Day as a cult, and Montreal Unitarian U*Us and top level UUA officials including former UUA President Rev. Dr. John A. Buehrens had not allowed Rev. Drennan etc. to get away with that slander, and even punished me for complaining about it, it is highly unlikely that I would have publicly protested in front of the Unitarian Church of Montreal with a picket sign slogan saying -

CULT IS A FOUR LETTER WORD

If Rev. Victoria Weinstein had not insulted and defamed me and other people on her Peacebang blog, and her insulting and defamatory attacks had not been effectively condoned by both Rev. Dr. Tracey Robinson-Harris and Rev. Beth Miller, numerous Emerson Avenger blog posts would simply not exist.

:Because others censor you just for who you are, you say this gives you the right to engage them as you do. Sorry, ain't buying it.

Actually I never said that. There was no connection between my informing you that some U*Us censor and suppress me just because of who I am and the fact that I reserve the right to respond to U*Us who insult and abuse other people with some insults of my own. These are two different issues that I never connected. Only you did so in your head whicvh makes me question your ability to understand plain English. Don't fret too much though since you are by no means the only U*U I know who seems to be unable to properly interpret and understand plain English.

:Word count is not the same as detail.

I am quite aware of that.

:All I can gather is that you want a change in the way UUs handle conflict resolution. But it's lost in the grandiloquence of so many adjectives and repetitive phrasing. What kind of procedure are you looking for? Have other UU groups instituted models which you would like?

Thursday, June 25, 2009 12:00:00 pm  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

I am not going to go into all the details of what procedural changes may be needed if only because the UUA is quite coy about just what guidelines it uses. I cannot properly make detailed recommendations for changes and reform until I have a better idea of what procedures the UUA is actually using. For example I assumed that the MFC referred to the UUMA Guidelines in their assessment of clergy misconduct but Rev. Dr. Tracey Robinson-Harris asserted that they use a different set of guidelines or at least gave me that impression in my communications with her. In any case it is my policy not to help the UUA to improve its flawed bylaws and procedures until *after* it has responsibly redressed my existing grievances.

:People have their reasons for not disclosing names. Why is it so important that others identify themselves to you?

I find that people who write under the cover of anonymity are often more arrogant and offensive than they would otherwise be although that is not always the case. Besides that anonymous posters tend to spread more lies and disinformation than people who may be held accountable for their words. You have already misunderstood me at best or misrepresented me at worst. . .

:Why are you not willing to listen unless a legal name is attached to the message?

I am willing to listen. This is a memory hole free blog so every comment posted to it remains visible to be read, with one notable exception that only serves to prove the rule, but I have a right to choose not to engage with anonymous commenters or move their comments to the U*U Hole if they are off-topic SPAM or excessively offensive etc. If you want to continue our conversation much longer than it has gone so far it would be best to identify yourself. You might want to be a little more polite too. As a rule I am civil and respectful towards those U*Us who show civility and respect when talking with me. It is usually only offensive and abusive U*Us who get the back of my hand although sometimes stupid U*Us don't inspire me to be polite either.

Thursday, June 25, 2009 12:00:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This morning I emailed a friend, mentioning this exchange. Here is his reply and advice:

Yes, I’m very much aware of RE, and frankly I’m surprised you of all people have decided to engage him. His writing is an example of what I call “verbal bludgeoning”, the basic philosophy of which is: “If you can’t persuade by logic and evidence, then overwhelm with tons of redundancy.”

Of course he can’t stand anonymous comments. You’re taking control away from him. But you’re also giving him attention, which he is even more desperate for (hence his antics picketing UCM, writing letters and comments, his blog etc.)

My advice: Don’t give him the attention. Let him have control in his petty little online fiefdom, and go about your life. He’s never going to learn, because he’s so convinced of the rightness of his rightness. Besides, if he ever does find out who you are, and leaks it to [*****], you know what the consequences could be.


So I will end with just one more comment. You do not write in "plain English", Robin - you write in your own brand of jargon. All you had to do was outline what kind of conflict resolution procedure you wanted, and you refused to do so. Meanwhile, you drone on and on and on about how other UUs have "done you wrong", and how these wrongs supposedly justify your own online behavior.

As my wise friend advised, I leave you to your corner of cyberspace. I have more productive things to do.

Thursday, June 25, 2009 6:16:00 pm  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

You really are *too* funny anonymouse. Perhaps you and your ever so "wise friend" can explain to everyone how I could possibly "leak" your name to whoever or whatever [*****] is when your name would be publicly attached to your comments here? You sound like some of the deeply insecure if not outright paranoid U*Us I have the misfortune to know. . .

:His writing is an example of what I call “verbal bludgeoning”, the basic philosophy of which is: “If you can’t persuade by logic and evidence, then overwhelm with tons of redundancy.”

I do not deny that my style of writing can be a form of "verbal bludgeoning" at times but its not my fault if obstinately willfully ignorant U*Us refuse to be persuaded by logic and evidence. . . I would not have to repeat myself if U*Us responded appropriately to the logic and evidence I present in the first place would I? Thankfully however plenty of people of intelligence and conscience, including some U*Us who have don't have their heads firmly embedded up their U*U are persuaded by my logic and evidence and acknowledge that I am right from time to time.

:Of course he can’t stand anonymous comments. You’re taking control away from him.

I can "stand" anonymous comments. If I couldn't "stand" them I could deal with them in any number of ways, including refusing to allow them in the first place. If anyone can't stand having control taken away from them it is those U*Us who go to extreme lengths to try to censor and suppress my legitimate criticism and dissent. Here is just one example of a Totalitarian Unitarian who can't stand having control taken away from him. . . Believe me I can post plenty of other examples of Totalitarian Unitarian U*Us who can't stand having control taken away from them.

:But you’re also giving him attention, which he is even more desperate for (hence his antics picketing UCM, writing letters and comments, his blog etc.)

That's right. I guess that all that those protesters risking their lives in Iran want is a little bit of attention. . . I guess that all UUA President Sinkford, and other U*U clergy who engage in the ersatz "civil disobedience" of deliberately getting themselves arrested on minor criminal charges in order to reap media *attention* so desperately want is a little personal attention for their over-weening egos eh?

:My advice: Don’t give him the attention. Let him have control in his petty little online fiefdom, and go about your life.

That's me exercising so much "control" in my "petty little online fiefdom" that I have allowed you and everyone else posting here to say whatever you want to say and have not "memory holed" one single comment in the whole history of this blog. . . The only reason that one single comment from James Andrix aka the indrax troll ended up in semi-permanent the limbo of Blogger's moderation function is that I was pretty much forced to very temporarily use the "moderation" function as a result of his egregious spamming of my blog. Do you want to know who *really* goes to desperate lengths to exercise rigid control of a petty little fiefdom? The leaders of the Unitarian Church of Montreal, to say nothing of the leaders of that "tiny, declining, fringe religion" known as The U*U Movement.

Thursday, June 25, 2009 9:37:00 pm  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

:He’s never going to learn, because he’s so convinced of the rightness of his rightness.

That assertion is much more applicable to the outrageously hypocritical U*Us who are so convinced of the rightness of their rightness. U*U moral morons like Rev. Diane Miller who obstinately insist that Rev. Ray Drennan's obviously intolerant and abusive behavior is "within the appropriate guidelines of ministerial leadership" or that puffed up U*U AssHat former UUA President Rev. Dr. John Buehrens who apparently believes that once a U*U minister is "elected" as the minister of a U*U "church" that he and/or she may not be publicly criticized by anyone. Or how about Rev. Dr. Tracey Robinson-Harris and Rev. Beth Miller who are so convinced of the rightness of their rightness in deciding that Rev. Victoria Weinstein aka Peacebang can insult and defame people with complete impunity because she does so (or did so. . .) under the cowardly cover of internet anonymity? At least I am *right* in my rightness regarding U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy. . . The same cannot be said about the "rightness" of any number of clearly *wrong* U*U clergy and UUA officials.

:Besides, if he ever does find out who you are, and leaks it to [*****], you know what the consequences could be.

ROTFLMUU*UO! What a joke! The funniest thing about this assertion of your ever so wise friend, besides the aforementioned insecurity and paranoia that is all too prevalent amongst U*Us in general and U*U clergy in particular. . . is that it clearly indicates that you could face some kind of negative consequences from someone (or some group) other than myself for what you have posted in your comments here. N'est-ce pas anonymouse?

:So I will end with just one more comment. You do not write in "plain English", Robin - you write in your own brand of jargon.

Most of what I write is "plain English" even if some of that plain English may indeed *also* be a form of jargon that I call "internetese". That jargon is calculated to increase the number of readers of my blog posts and it works very well. I have readers from all around the world who arrive here from all kinds of interesting Google searches as some of my The Wonderful Wizard of U*Us blog posts demonstrate.

:All you had to do was outline what kind of conflict resolution procedure you wanted, and you refused to do so.

I did *more* than outline what kind of conflict resolution procedure I expect. I answered your questions in considerable detail, detail that you had asked for previously, and then you criticized me for being too detailed.

:Meanwhile, you drone on and on and on about how other UUs have "done you wrong", and how these wrongs supposedly justify your own online behavior.

And why not anonymouse? There would be no need for me to drone on and on ad nauseum about U*U injustices, abuses, and hypocrisy that not only affect me personally but a good number of other people who U*Us, including abusive U*U clergy and grossly negligent and incompetent UUA officials, have done wrong to if U*Us actually honored and upheld U*U principles and ideals rather than violate them again and again and again. . .

:As my wise friend advised, I leave you to your corner of cyberspace. I have more productive things to do.

That's fine by me anonymouse. I have more productive things to do myself than argue endlessly with you. In fact, amongst other things, I really should be spending my time productively by keeping an eye on the latest developments of the UUA presidential election, making pertinent comments on various U*U blogs, and creating some brand new blog posts here.

Thursday, June 25, 2009 9:38:00 pm  

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