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, November 30, 2009

The Ravishing Desmond Ravenstone aka Mr. U*U BDSM Wants To Know How Far Over The Rainbow U*Us Are Prepared To Go. . .


Mr. U*U BDSM Desmond Ravenstone is a bit of a stickler for copyright it seems and has said that if I or anyone else wants to share his ideas about the continU*Um of BDSM and The U*U Movement with others, to please link directly to this page. I may however include a short quote from it, not more than 20% of the total text, without the ravishing Desmond Ravenstone's express permission. I believe that's called "fair use". I hope that Desmond doesn't mind my somewhat "ravishing" non-consensual "fair use" of his poor quality scanned photo of Mr. U*U BDSM for the purposes of U*U commentary, U*U criticism, U*U news reporting, U*U research, teaching U*Us a lesson or two. . . or other "less than gentlemanly" U*U scholarship. :-)

Herewith a "fair use" quote from Another Hue in the Rainbow: Learning About the BDSM Community; An Information Packet for UU Leaders and Congregations - By Desmond Ravenstone

BDSM and UU Principles

Do the principles and practices of BDSM fit in with those of Unitarian Universalism. Yes!

* The inherent worth and dignity of every person

We believe that each person should be treated with respect, regardless of their gender, sexual/affectional orientation, ethnicity, political views, relationship status or preferred means of sexual or erotic expression.

Here is *some* of Desmond Ravenstone's no doubt expert advice as to what U*Us can do for Mr. BDSM and other BDSM people. . .

Read more about BDSM and other sexual minorities, and be willing to pass on this information to others. Two highly recommended books are When Someone You Love is Kinky by Dossie Easton and Catherine A. Liszt, and Bound to be Free by Charles Moser and JJ Madeson (see the list of suggested books on the last page).

Find local BDSM organizations in or near your community, and contact their leaders; keep their resources on hand, and maintain communication with them. You can also join an online discussion group of UUs with BDSM interests at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OUUCH.

When you hear misconceptions and distortions about BDSM and the BDSM community being repeated in your UU congregation, gently correct them; emphasize how those involved with BDSM engage in safe, sane and consensual practices.

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Is Calvin "Oh Oh" Dame A Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Because He Is A Defellowshipped "Less Than Excellent" Unitarian*Universalist Minister?

Probably. . .



Would U*Us buy a house of ill repute from this man?


I do not know the exact nature of former U*U minister Rev. Calvin O. Dame's clergy sexual misconduct that apparently ravaged, if not "ravished". . . the congregation of the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Augusta Maine but it must have been quite serious for the UUA's Ministerial *Fellowship* Committee to defellowship Rev. Dame as I have been told they did.

I can't help but notice that the UUCC of Augusta Maine are -

Affirming the free and responsible search for truth and meaning.

Would it be too much to ask for the UUCC and/or UUA and MFC to help U*Us enter into a genuinely free and responsible search for the truth and meaning of what actually happened at the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Augusta Maine? Would this U*U his*story not merit an article in the UU World magazine perhaps? Doesn't the U*U public have a right to know about not only Rev. Calvin O. Dame's damaging clergy sexual misconduct but how the congregation of the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Augusta Maine and the UUA's Ministerial *Fellowship* Committee somewhat belatedly responded to it?

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Yet Another Unitarian Universalist "Leap Of Faith". . .

Go ahead U*Us. . . Make my day.
Take this U*U "leap of faith". ;-)

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Caveat Emptor U*Us "Less Than Competent" Ministerial Fellowship Committee Members Allow "Less Than Excellent" U*U Ministers aka Abusive Clergy To. . .

Disparage, diminish, or indeed insultingly and abusively demean people with complete impunity aka zero accountability. . .

In other words the UUA's Ministerial Fellowship Committee quite happily allows "less than polite" U*U ministers to "less than responsibly" and considerably "less than temperately" speak scornfully and/or in derogation of pretty much ANY person in private or even in public, with *one* notable, and more importantly, *hypocritical* exception.

Here is my response to Rev. Christine Robinson's "final caveat" disclaimer on the Sepculating (sic) on Ministerial Formation post of her iminister blog. Rev. Robinson is pretty good about posting a fair number of my critical comments on her blog posts about "excellence in ministry" but this one is unlikely to see the light of day over there. As usual I am embedding some additional hyperlinks for those U*Us who care to engage in a free and responsible search for the truth and meaning of what I am saying -

Rev. Robinsonson said - Final caveat: Nothing contained in this post is in any way meant disparage, diminish, or demean the fine, competent, and dedicated individuals who serve, or have served, on the MFC.

Nice internet "disclaimer" Rev. Robinson. ;-)

As you well know Christine, you and all other *fellowshipped* U*U ministers are party to the "Code of Silence" that is written into the UUMA Guidelines and Code of Professional Practice aka its questionably ethical "Code of Ethics". . .

How does it go again?

Let's see. . .

"I will not speak scornfully or in derogation of any colleague in public. In any private conversation critical of a colleague, I will speak responsibly and temperately."

So even if you *are* sorely tempted to publicly disparage, diminish, or even outright demean the "less than fine", "less than competent", and "less than dedicated" individuals who *also* serve, or have served, on the MFC you could not do so without risking being sanctioned by the UUMA or MFC could you? Thankfully for U*Us U*U Worldwide The Emerson Avenger is not party to the UUMA's questionably ethical "Code Of Ethics" and thus TEA is *free* to publicly disparage, diminish, or on occasion knowingly and willfully demean those "less than fine", "less than competent", and "less than dedicated" individuals who serve, or have served, on the UUA's very aptly named Ministerial *Fellowship* Committee who are clearly snd unequivocally guilty of hypocritically allowing "less than excellent" U*U ministers to freely and irresponsibly disparage, diminish, and/or demean your's truly and rather too many other people. In fact, there is *really* no question that the MFC has less than competently, to say nothing of less than ethically. . . allowed intolerant and/or abusive U*U ministers to "get away with murder" in the form of character assassination of me and other "fine people".

Am I wrong about anything that I have said here Rev. Robinson?

If so please feel free to responsibly and temperately correct me.

After all I believe that those "less than fine", "less than competent", and "less than dedicated" individuals on the Ministerial *Fellowship* Committee sometimes need to be "less than responsibly" and "less than temperately" *corrected* when they have said something wrong. . . I mean, after all, if these "less than competent" MFC officials allow "less than polite" U*U ministers to dish it out they ought to be able to take it eh? :-)

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

U*U Seminarian Paul Oakley Has Just Delivered A Short Sermon On Sin And Repentance That I Believe U*Us Would Do *Well* To Read

And then *responsibly* pay heed to. . .

Hopefully the once and future Rev. Paul Oakley won't mind too much if The Emerson Avenger plagU*Urizes a *good* chunk of his excellent Sunday sermon titled 'Sin and the First Principle' so that U*Us may better *appreciate* it. In fact I am kind of hoping that Paul will be honored by my decision to make some "fair use" of his fine words -

Former UUA President Rev. Bill Schulz takes a different approach to the First Principle than do many UUs. He says outright that "inherent worth and dignity" is quite simply not a true representation of reality. Rather, the member congregations of the UUA have *covenanted* to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person. Article II of the UUA Bylaws says nothing about that being an objectively true statement, nor does it say we have to believe it is true (which requirement would be a creedal statement), rather it is a *commitment* to affirm and promote this principle along with the others. That is, we agree to *act* in ways that fulfill a joint-and-several commitment to act AS IF it were true. Not because of the *other* person's inherent reality, but because we have faith that it makes us better to act as if the other person is a person of inherent worth and dignity. . .

But given all the above, might it still be possible, even desirable, to think of repentance as a liturgical and spiritual practice worthy of a Unitarian Universalism stripped bare of its pretensions and irrational fears? That is, repentance as an act of primary theology. Neither theodicy nor a theology of evil (both of which are secondary) is necessary for that. A clear sense and willingness to admit that we are imperfect and sometimes do harm, sometimes even intentionally, however, is paramount.

Here is the comment that I just submitted in response to Paul's sermon -

Excellent blog post cum sermon BTW Paul.

And a much needed one in the "less than perfect" U*U World AFA*I*AC. Too many of the U*Us I know seem to be pathologically averse to responsibly acknowledging their "mistakes" aka "imperfections" aka *sins*. I dare say that a clear sense and willingness to admit that U*Us are imperfect and sometimes do harm, sometimes even intentionally. . . is indeed paramount to enjoying "right relations" with the dreaded Emerson Avenger. It is pretty important in enjoying "right relations" with his more mild mannered "altar ego" Robin Edgar too. :-)

Believe it or not I had a little chat about sin and repentance with a "less than perfect" U*U minister who sent me an unwanted Thanksgiving gift earlier tonight, immediately prior to seeing this short sermon of yours and reading it. Well maybe it is more of a monologue aka "rant" at this point. . . ;-)

U*Us U*U World-wide would do *well* to take your sermon here to *heart* and Stand On The Side Of Love for people who they have intentionally or unintentionally demonized or marginalized, or otherwise harmed in various ways. Of course everyone else in the "real world" would do well to do that as well which was pretty much the inspiration for World Day of Conscience. In fact WDC was largely inspired by the quite regrettable conscienceless behavior of some of the U*Us I know who cannot bring themselves to admit that they are imperfect and sometimes do harm. I guess that conscienceless U*Us who are severely allergic to repentance and reconciliation are good for something after all. :-)

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Is Rev. Clyde Grubbs *Really* Suggesting That U*U Ministerial Candidates Are Victims Of Abuse Meted Out By The Regional Sub-Committees On Candidacy?!!

As part of her series of blog posts on "excellence in ministry" and ministerial formation Rev. Christine Robinson has posted a "guest post" written by Rev. Clyde Grubbs en*titled 'Ministerial Education; Ideas from Clyde Grubbs' which seems to suggest that Rev. Grubbs believes that U*U ministerial candidates are somehow victims and "survivors" of "abuse" in terms of their screenings by the Ministerial Fellowship Committee's Regional Sub-Committees On Candidacy.

The exact words of Rev. Clyve Grubbs are -

"Like child abuse victims many survivors enter our ministry resentful and regard the good people who serve on the RSCs and MFC as "strangers," "people with their own agendas" and other language indicating alienation rather feeling collegially embraced."

Quite the interesting analogy don't U*Us think?

Or is Rev. Clyde Grubbs just a big fat U*U troll trying to stir up trouble?

Would Rev. Clyde Grubbs care to elaborate on this unusual and somewhat disturbing analogy?

Is Rev. Grubbs suggesting that Unitarian*Universalist ministerial candidates are *really* victims and "survivors" of some form of "abuse" meted out to them by the "good people" who serve on the MFC's Regional Sub-Committees on Candidacy and/or victims of other "abuse" courtesy of the UUA's Ministerial *Fellowship* Committee? Does he believe that the screening process for U*U ministerial candidates itself is inherently abusive? Or is Rev. Clyde Grubbs just yet another Unitarian*Universalist minister suffering from a case of U*U foot-in-mouth disease?

I will have more to say about Rev. Clyde Grubbs' allegations or insinuations later, but first I want to give Rev. Grubbs an opportunity to explain his rather unusual public statement that apparently equates the Ministerial *Fellowship* Committee's screening process of brand-spanking new U*U ministerial candidates with "child abuse".

Here is the fuller context of Rev. Clyde Grubbs' somewhat bizarre words for those who want it -

When the Regional SubCommittee(s) on Candidacy was proposed in the early 1990s it was supposed to function as a UU version of an in care system. The advocates talked of retreats and getting to know the students and finding ways to discern who should continue and who should not. By the time the RSCs were actually instituted in the late 1990s the vision had been watered down to a way to discourage unlikely aspirants to the ministry before they acquired to much debt. The RSCs have failed even this more modest goal.

We must conclude that the RSCs have devolved to just another hoop for students to jump over, granting candidate status based on an interview and paper work. They function simply to prescreen aspirants and while that function takes some burden from the MFC it does not change the quality of the ministerial formation process at all. Students are screened rather than nurtured and formed. Like child abuse victims many survivors enter our ministry resentful and regard the good people who serve on the RSCs and MFC as "strangers," "people with their own agendas" and other language indicating alienation rather feeling collegially embraced. For me, the Unitarian Universalist Ministry belongs the community of Unitarian Universalists and we together serve that community. Our process of credentialing must be part of a process of formation for full participation in that Unitarian Universalist Ministry.

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A Thanksgiving Gift For Unitarian Universalists - A Few "Cl*ass*ic" U*UTube Videos Of Montreal Unitarian U*Us Doing Their Best. . .

ChaliceChick's "less than wise" crack about Unitarian*Universalists, or at least the U*Us attending *her* no doubt exemplary U*U church, "doing their best" has prompted me to "rebroadcast" a few "cl*ass*ic" U*UTube videos of Montreal Unitarian U*Us doing their best in the inimitable way that only U*Us can do. . .



Behold U*U COP doing his best to be a U*U "Citizens' Police Officer" while Jack Cobb and other Montreal Unitarian U*Us do their Sunday best to pretend that absolU*Utely nothing is happening. . .

What was it that George Bernard Shaw said about indifference?

Oh yeah. . .

"The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that's the essense of inhumanity."



Behold Montreal Unitarian U*U Juan Vera doing his best not to appear in a U*UTube video, and doing his best to Deny, Ignore, and Minimize the U*U injustices, abuses, and hypocrisy that I have been protesting against for over a decade now.

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British Comedian Pat Condell Is A Proud Aggressive Atheist Who Is The Very Model Of *Some* Modern Unitarian*Universalists. . .

Why does this YouTube video remind me of some of the intolerant aggressive "fundamentalist atheist" "Humanist" U*Us I have the misfortune to know? U*Us know the ones. . . The in-your-face aggressive atheists that former UUA President Rev. Dr. John A* Buehrens once got former Humanist U*U Dr. Rieux all riled up by "name-calling" them "obnoxious atheists" in his book 'My Chosen Faith' but for some inexplicable reason none-the-less allowed to be more than a little bit obnoxious, to say nothing of intolerant and aggressive, towards me and other God believing people.



Is it possible that British stand-up comedian Pat Condell is somehow trying to establish his credentials as yet another "obnoxious atheist" Unitarian*Universalist ministerial candidate that Rev. Ray Drennan and other intolerant and aggressive "fundamentalist atheist" "Humanist" U*U ministers would be only too happy to welcome into the *Fellowship* of Unitarian*Universalist ministers?

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Are Unitarian Universalists *Really* Doing Their Best In Their Human Relations With Me, To Say Nothing Of More Generally?

U*UberBlogger ChaliceChick made the mistake of *pretending* that the members of her U*U church are "doing their best" in a comment on the 'Who Do You Hate' post of David G. Markham's UU A Way Of Life blog. It annoys The Emerson Avenger to no end when people claim to be "doing their best" when their alleged and/or self-professed "doing their best" is pathetic mediocrity and lameness at best and "doing their worst" at worst. . . Here is the questioning manner in which I responded to ChaliceChick's questionable comment. Due to a Blogger technical glitch I have been unable to actually post the comment yet -

ROTFLMU*UO! I am not going to come down hard on your particular U*U church CC because I do not know enough about its own failings and hypocrisy to justifiably do so, but it really annoys me when U*Us claim to be "human beings who are doing their best" when the "best" U*Us can do is outrageously hypocritical and makes a total mockery of U*U principles and ideals. . . Too many U*Us, including rather too many U*U clergy, fail miserably to actually honor and uphold the claimed principles and ideals of Unitarian*Universalism. Heck all too often I have had to deal with U*Us who obstinately refuse to practice what U*Uism preaches. Just a couple of weeks ago in Ottawa hypocritical U*U clergy acted in a manner that was extremely dismissive of my peaceful public protest against the "fundamentalist atheist" anti-religious intolerance and bigotry that I and too many other people have been subjected to in U*U Unwelcoming Congregations and the UUA's grossly negligent and effectively complicit responses to my own and other people's complaints about U*U clergy misconduct. If repeatedly disregarding and outright violating U*U principles is the "best" that U*Us can do who the Hell would want to be a U*U? So enough with the U*U BS that pretends "we are doing our best", because all too often the "best" U*Us can do is do their worst to someone. . . Your point about U*Us hating President George Bush and other Republican politicians, to say nothing of ever so *liberal* me, being a perfect example of U*Us "doing their best". . . Right CC?

David is right CC *some* U*Us certainly do hate me and have expressed that hate quite clearly. Every bit as clearly as the hate that you have heard U*Us express towards President George W. Bush and other Republicans etc. Rev. Ray Drennan's and other U*Us' false and malicious labeling of Creation Day as a "cult", and me as "psychotic", is a fine example of such U*U hate, but by no means the only one. . . When I tried to take steps to deal with Rev. Drennan's fear-mongering "hate speech" arising from his obvious anti-religious intolerance and bigotry in order to prevent his hate, and that of other intolerant and abusive "fundamentalist atheist" Humanist U*Us, from spreading amongst the congregation of the Unitarian Church of Montreal and escalating even further (as it has now done. . .) the "best" that UUA President John Buehrens could do was to *pretend* that Rev. Ray Drennan's obviously intolerant and abusive behavior was not worth investigating but that my informing the congregation about Drennan's attack on me during 'Joys and Concerns' one Sunday after the UCM's Board had failed to do anything about it was some kind of terrible social faux pas, if not a crime worthy of intervention by "the secular authorities". . . The "best" that the UUA's very aptly named Ministerial Fellowship Committee could do was to effectively condone Rev. Ray Drennan's intolerant, insulting, and abusive attack on me by *pretending* that it was "within the appropriate guidelines of ministerial leadership." The "best" that the Board and congregation of the Unitarian Church of Montreal could do in response to my serious grievances was to throw me out of their alleged "church" for six months for submitting one more letter of grievance about Rev. Drennan's clergy misconduct than they cared to ignore and throw in the recycling bin. . . Later they permanently expelled me aka "excommunicated" me because I dared to tarnish their undeserved public image by going public about "the best" that these outrageously hypocritical U*Us can do. . . You know very well that I can say a lot more about "the best" that Unitarian*Universalists can do, and that it would all be very true if not very well documented. . . Right CC? So maybe U*Us should stop *pretending* that they are "doing their best" when their "best" is genuinely pathetic if not outright appalling. Since when is "doing your worst" equivalent with "doing your best" CC?

Captain Thomas R. Beall, USN (ret.) you are absolutely 100% correct in saying,

"I'm not sure I agree that we are not hypocrites. We say we respect the inherent worth and dignity blah, blah, blah and the interdependent web of all blah blah blah but we can't agree to say no to war - out of fear, complacency, and prejudice, as I think you have said."

Hell, U*Us can't even agree to say no to the "war of words" that they have been engaged in with me for about twice as long as the Iraq war now. Am I wrong CC? How many times have I invited U*Us to wage peace with me only to have then totally ignore my R.S.V.P. invitation or even irresponsibly escalate this "war of words" by seeking a restraining order against me when I sought dialogue with them? This is "the best" that U*Us are capable of CC?

Captain Thomas R. Beall you just earned yourself an honorary commission in the U*U Jihad Navy, if not a real one if you would care to help me fire some broadsides at internal U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy. . . In fact I had been meaning to offer you one earlier based on your previous prophetic words on your blog. Welcome aboard. Let me know if you what kind of ship you would like to command. The U*U Jihad Navy has everything from slightly modified Iowa Class battleships* that we kind of borrowed from the U.S. Navy since they weren't making much use of them, to our brand-spanking new state of the art stealth submarines aka U*U Boats. :-)

For the record there is no hate in anything I said above, not even a whole lot of anger either, I consider hatred as a very dangerous emotion that is often as damaging to the person doing the hating as the target of their hate. No, I am just saying what I feel needs to be said about hateful U*Us who are "doing their worst" in the hope that U*Us who definitely are not "doing their best" will finally wake up and realize that the U*U hate and other injustices, abuses, and hypocrisy that I have been exposing and denouncing (but which most U*Us who are aware of it have willfully ignored, and thus tacitly condoned, for well over a decade now. . .) is ultimately damaging to the U*U religious community as a whole. I think it's got something to do with that interconnected and interdependent web that U*Us talk about aka "blah blah blah" about, but often fail to even remotely comprehend. . .

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Dysfunctional U*U Congregations Often Call "Less Than Excellent" Dysfunctional U*U Ministers

And, in doing so, "compound their problems."

But don't take my word for it U*Us.

Take Rev. Christine Robinson's word for it. . .

"And Robin is also correct that it is sometimes the case. . . perhaps even often the case. . . that dysfunctional congregations often call dysfunctional ministers and compound their problems. This is one of many issues that is difficult to manage in congregational polity. In our system, the congregation is ultimately in charge of its affairs, functional or dysfunctional."

Here is my response to Rev. Robinson's affirmative *validating* response to my comment suggesting that:

"*some* toxic/dysfunctional U*U congregations seem to be quite happy to call similarly toxic/dysfunctional ministers. A real U*U World example of that dynamic would be a U*U congregation dominated by intolerant dogmatic atheists s*electing an intolerant dogmatic atheist as its minister but not doubt there are other examples."

As usual I am adding some additional hyperlinks to supporting evidence in the form of pertinent blog posts and Google searches so that U*Us, or anyone else for that matter. . . can engage in a free, and hopefully genuinely responsible, search for the truth and meaning of what Rev. Christine Robinson and I are both affirming about dysfunctional U*U Unwelcoming Congregations and dysfunctional U*U ministers -

It is true that as a result of congregational polity each U*U congregation is ultimately in charge of its own affairs, functional or dysfunctional. AFAIAC Congregational polity is a serious weakness and detriment when it comes to responsibly dealing with toxic/dysfunctional congregations that give The U*U Movement™ a bad name. How does the UUA *real* in toxic/dysfunctional U*U congregations? In my own direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder known as U*Uism it simply doesn't do anything at all. . . The UUA may even effectively encourage and enable some forms of toxic/dysfunctional behavior on the part of its congregations and ministers if my own bitter experience with the UUA is any indication.

The fact of the matter is that the UUA *is* still ultimately responsible for holding toxic/dysfunctional U*U clergy accountable for their harmful words and actions and it stands to good old Unitarian Reason* that such "less than excellent" U*U ministers are likely to have at least one or two clergy misconduct complaints brought against them during their careers. *If* the UUA and MFC, to say nothing of the UUMA, did a better job of responsibly holding toxic/dysfunctional U*U clergy accountable for their harmful and damaging words and actions when a misconduct complaint is brought against them such action *could* indirectly help to correct and heal the toxic/dysfunctional U*U churches that they serve.

Even when a congregation itself is not all that toxic and/or dysfunctional to begin with, U*U congregations that back toxic/dysfunctional U*U ministers to the hilt when a clergy misconduct complaint is brought against their minister can and do quickly become toxic/dysfunctional as a result of failing to responsibly redress the complaint, as well as ostracizing or otherwise demonizing and marginalizing the people who brought the complaint against the minister. Such unproductive behavior seems to be a very common "social dynamic" in cases of clergy misconduct, regardless of the religion or denomination involved. Regrettably Unitarian*Universalists are not above engaging in such complicit and collusive DIM Thinking, which denies, ignores, and minimizes the victim's grievances. In fact clergy misconduct victims are often subjected to various forms of victim blaming and otherwise demonized and marginalized by implicated congregations, thus only aggravating and escalating the original injustices and abuses perpetrated by the toxic/dysfunctional clergy person.

In my own well documented "bad experience" with what I have reasonable grounds to believe is a rather dysfunctional U*U congregation, if not a toxic one, as well as a few toxic and dysfunctional U*U ministers who clearly have some "issues", indeed at least one of them has a diagnosed mental illness, UUA and MFC "oversight" of "less than excellent" U*U ministers means irresponsibly *overlooking* aka disregarding their toxic and/or dysfunctional behavior when it is brought to the attention of the UUA and MFC. I have the UUA and MFC "records" which document this fact and, as per Rev. David O. Rankin's apparently "obsolete" little red UUA tract 'What We Believe', they are publicly "open to scrutiny" by U*Us who *care* to know how the UUA and MFC responded to my clergy misconduct complaints against two of these toxic and dysfunctional U*U ministers. Yes, there are a few others who I have not bothered to file complaints against yet, having little or no confidence that the UUA and MFC are ready, willing, and able to responsibly handle non-sexual clergy misconduct complaints about toxic U*U clergy who insult and defame people, or otherwise verbally abuse people, in a manner that actually honors and upholds the Seven Principles of Unitarian*Universalism.

In short, if the UUA and MFC did a better job of responsibly holding "less than excellent" U*U ministers accountable for their toxic and dysfunctional words and actions when clergy misconduct complaints are brought against them, and provided some genuine restorative justice to the victims of ALL forms of clergy misconduct, there might be fewer toxic and/or dysfunctional Unwelcoming Congregations in the U*U World. . .


* Capital 'R' Reason aka rationality that seems to be sorely lacking in the U*U World these days. . .

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Friday, November 27, 2009

Rev. Dan Hotchkiss On The Cost Of UUA And MFC Credentialing "Mistakes" Like Ordaining U*U Clergy With "Poor Mental Health" And Personality Disorders

Rev. Christine Robinson is doing yet another Unitarian*Universalist series of blog posts about "excellence in ministry" that is actually focussing on various problems with U*U ministerial formation. This series of blog posts is well worth reading, especially if you are concerned about the UUA's ongoing failure (if not obstinate refusal) to deal responsibly with the harmful and damaging dysfunctional behavior of what Rev. Christine Robinson euphemistically refers to as "less than excellent" U*U ministers. Today Rev. Robinson decided to post an older comment by Rev. Dan Hotchkiss as a "front page news" blog post titled 'The cost of credentialing "mistakes"'. I happen to believe that a good chunk of Rev. Dan Hotchkiss' prophetic words also merit being posted verbatim here on The Emerson Avenger blog as a brand-spanking new TEA blog post, especially since I will add some (im)pertinent hyperlinks to Rev. Hotchkiss' cautionary words which link to blog posts and Google searches that provide some big fat U*U *examples* of the kind of "less than excellent" U*U clergy, and various other U*U problems, that church and synagogue consultant Rev. Dan Hotchkiss is talking about.

Herewith the pertinent content of 'The cost of credentialing "mistakes"' -

My experience as UUA settlement (now transitions) director, 1990-97, was that the search committees not only gave more time and attention to candidates, but also were the only part of the system that consistently had the spine to say no. The seminaries had a financial incentive to say yes; the MFC caught flak whenever they said no, and so did I. My impression is that the MFC says no a little more often than it did then, but that the Department has relinquished the gatekeeper role. So more than ever, the search committees are the place where the buck stops. When they make a mistake, though, three years' bad experience is a high price for the congregation.

My first thought is that a congregation evaluates a minister's performance, up close, personal, and continually and is perfectly free to part company with that minister long before preliminary Fellowship is over. For the MFC, a pattern of short tenures would surely weigh very heavily against the granting of Final Fellowship, just as it does now.

However, since the main reason... I believe the only stated reason, for the whole credentialing process is to try to prevent the high cost (to congregations, although ministers and their families bear a high cost, too) of inept, unprepared, or unsuitable persons getting through the search process and doing harm to congregations, I think we should ask ourselves (and probably gather real data on) the kinds of ministerial issues which do real harm to congregations. Because, as any HR director will tell you, every time you hire somebody you take a risk, and even pros have a considerable failure rate. No credentialing process will make ministerial settlement easy or foolproof.

snip

The settlement "mistakes" that I think of as terribly costly and damaging, the ones which come up over and over again in histories of congregations are not simple matters of lack of skill or focus, they are instead matters of poor ministerial mental health, personality disorder, leadership style, lack of emotional intelligence, and inability to maintain good boundaries. (All of these problems can become predominant in the lay leadership of a congregation, which also causes settlement failures but that's another subject.) It may be that others have a different take on this issue, but if I could wave my magic wand, I'd give us a foolproof tool for weeding out candidates with the above issues. Lacking the magic wand, I'd focus ministerial credentialing on doing a better job on this part of the score.

For the past 30 years, ministers have been screened for mental health and fitness in a psychological exam (the old days) or Career Center Screening (current practice). There is almost always a psychologist on the MFC. But it's clear to me that these tools are not adequate to the task and people with significant problems slip through. Fewer now than in the old days, and there's less damage done now that, as a society, a denomination, and a professional organization we've become clearer about the incredible damage that sexual misconduct can do and are quicker to report it and act on it. Still, I wonder if we are using state of the art tools. (Actually, I'm pretty sure that we are not). Because my observation is that this is where the rubber of preventing harm hits the credentialing road.

end quote

Here is the comment that I just submitted in response to Rev. Hotchkiss' words. Hopefully Rev. Robinson will see fit to post it to her moderated iminister blog -

Rev. Dan Hotchkiss' words here should be paid heed to by ALL U*Us but especially UUA administrators and the Ministerial Fellowship Committee. There is one little quibble that I feel needs mentioning. In concluding by speaking about "the incredible damage that sexual misconduct can do" Rev. Hotchkiss seems to fail to understand that various non-sexual forms of clergy misconduct can be every bit as damaging to not only the victims of the misconduct but the implicated congregations and ultimately the greater U*U religious community. AFAIAC The UUA and MFC have made a very serious mistake in apparently thinking that if the clergy misconduct complained about is not sexual in nature that it is not worth responsibly dealing with. That is certainly true of my own case but I believe that it is true of many other cases of non-sexual clergy misconduct as well. The UUA and MFC need to broaden their narrow focus and deal seriously with complaints about non-sexual forms of clergy misconduct, and not just "less than excellent" U*U ministers plagiarizing their colleagues' Sunday sermons. . .

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

War Made Easy By Unitarian*Universalist U*Us Refusing To *Practice* Conflict Resolution And Peacemaking With Victims Of U*U Clergy Misconduct

The following is a somewhat lengthy response to some questions that U*U blogger David G. Markham asked me in responding to a comment that I made on his 'War Made Easy' blog post.

U*Us talk the talk about restorative justice and peacemaking but, at least in my well-documented case, abjectly fail or indeed obstinately refuse to make the slightest effort to walk what they talk. I have repeatedly requested/demanded that the UUA and Unitarian Church of Montreal responsibly implement the policies that they claim to adhere to with respect to clergy misconduct and congregational safety etc. but thay have repeatedly refused to do so. Upon fully resuming my public protest in front of the Unitarian Church of Montreal this September I told the President of the UCM's Board that I was prepared to voluntarily suspend my protest indefinitely as long as the leaders of the Unitarian Church of Montreal agreed to enter into dialogue with me and that dialogue proved to be productive. Last Sunday he told me flat out that "the board don't want to negotiate".

So nothing has changed.

It's the same old same old. . .

When I sought dialogue with Rev. Diane Rollert she pretended that my emails contained threats against her personal safety (do try to find any threats in them) and sought a restraining order against me on the basis of claiming to have "reasonable grounds to fear" that I would commit a "serious personal injury offence" against her or other church members. Rev. Rollert rounded up various other Montreal Unitarians to provide depositions to the police about how deathly afraid they were that I would do a Jim Adkisson on them as it were. Of course this was months *before* Jim David Adkisson more or less materialized the paranoid fantasies of Rev. Diane Rollert and other Montreal Unitarians hundreds of miles south of Montreal in Knoxville, Tennessee. . .

I don't believe in the "positive feedback" principles of 'The Secret' that seems to be popular with *some* New-Agey U*Us but maybe U*Us should none-the-less err on the side of caution by being a bit more careful about the negative thought forms they put out to the U*Universe. It's a bit of a disturbing "coincidence" that while Montreal Unitarian U*Us were conjuring up paranoid delusions of your's truly entering the Unitarian Church of Montreal with a gun and shooting Montreal U*Us to death that a genuinely deranged "lone gunman" decided to go on a rampage down the road a bit. I *do* believe in what Carl Gustav Jung called "synchronicity".

I am not joking, some Montreal Unitarians actually claimed to fear that I would enter the Unitarian Church of Montreal with a firearm or two and murder U*Us. They even pretended that this was an "immanent threat" that required immediate action by the police, even though there were no genuinely *reasonable* grounds to hold to this paranoid belief. Of course that is giving these U*Us the benefit of the doubt and assuming they weren't just lying through their teeth in order to obtain some relief from my peaceful public protest in front of their alleged Unitarian Church. . . You should see some of the paranoid and/or perjurious depositions that Montreal Unitarian U*Us made to the Montreal police force in yet another Unitarian*Universalist cynical and misguided effort to force an end to my peaceful public protest.

In fact you will almost certainly get that opportunity in the near future since I fully intend to post some or all of them to the internet so that U*Us and other people can see for themselves the kind of paranoia and/or fear-mongering I am dealing with. I tried to nip this U*U paranoia and fear-mongering in the bud by formally complaining about Rev. Ray Drennan's labeling me as "psychotic" and slandering Creation Day as a "cult" way back in 1996 but no. . . the UUA's aptly named Ministerial *Fellowship* Committee under the dubious leadership of its Executive Secretary aka Director Rev. Diane Miller just had to pretend that Rev. Drennan's obvious insulting and defamatory fear-mongering which arose out of his dogmatic fundamentalist atheism, and most probably some deep personal insecurities as well, was "within the appropriate guidelines of ministerial leadership."

Now I have to deal with U*Us, apparently including some other "less than secure" U*U clerics, publicly suggesting that I am "a dangerously deranged psycho/sociopath" who is intent on entering the Unitarian Church of Montreal with a gun and murdering "less than innocent" U*Us. Apparently these paranoid U*Us are blissfully unaware of the fact that I am strongly opposed to the death penalty for far worse crimes than just being outrageously hypocritical assholes, and have never owned so much as a BB gun in my whole life. . . The fact of the matter is that I have been peacefully protesting in front of the Unitarian Church of Montreal for over a decade now and, to the very best of my knowledge, no Montreal Unitarian U*U has ever received the slightest scratch or bruise because I have been totally non-violent in the course of my "non-violent direct action" of publicly protesting against U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy.

Even when Montreal Unitarian U*Us were assaulting me on occasion I did not return the violence in an effort to defend myself but simply warned them that if they did not cease and desist that they would be charged with assault. One moronic Queen's Counsel lawyer by the name of Kenneth Howard QC failed to heed my clear warning when he technically assaulted me while in the process of stealing some of my picket signs. Kenneth clearly thought he was above the law thanks to his status as a Queen's Counsel lawyer. He found out the hard way that he was not quite as above the law as he quite delusionally believed. . . although he did get off a bit easier than if he had not been a QC lawyer. Kenneth ultimately copped a plea and was subjected to "non-judicial treatment" for his criminal acts of theft and assault against me and thus avoided adding a criminal record to his credentials.

The only "death threats" or other threats of violence that have been uttered in this ongoing war of words are those that have been directed at me by Montreal Unitarians, as well as some veiled threats made by U*Us online. One Montreal Unitarian who threatened to "punch (my) fucking lights out" one Sunday morning was charged with uttering threats. After initially denying having made this threat that a 911 dispatcher characterized as "death threats" because people don't always come too after having their fucking lights punched out. . . he too finally copped a plea after I quite generously allowed him to be subjected to "non-judicial treatment" for his criminal act as well. I even waived the restraining order that I could have had him subjected to as a result of him pleading guilty to threatening me, since I felt that any threat that he *might* have posed to me had been effectively neutralized by his guilty plea.

My generosity towards this belligerent U*U was rewarded by Rev. Diane Rollert and other Montreal Unitarians presenting highly misleading depositions to the police, and/or misleading and even outright false sworn testimony in court, in order to obtain a year long restraining order against me. They were "lucky" enough to get a biased judge who was clearly prejudiced against me because I decided to represent myself rather than hire a lawyer. AFAIAC concerned Montreal Unitarians never proved that they had any "reasonable grounds" for their paranoid fantasies about me but the female judge granted the restraining order anyway. I am confident that a more reasonable judge would not have granted the restraining order given the same highly questionable depositions and sworn testimony.

Rev. Diane Rollert even told one easily provable lie in her sworn testimony, along with some other less provable lies such as pretending that I "screamed" at her during this early encounter with her, but the judge did not care about that, even though I clearly pointed out the readily provable lie in my cross-examination of Rev. Rollert. For the record I have never "screamed" at anyone in the whole course of this conflict. I have very good control over my emotions and "screaming" is just not my style. I believe that Rev. Diane Rollert falsely accused me of "screaming" at her because she wanted to portray me as mentally unbalanced, as per the fear-mongering slander I have been fighting against for the better part of fifteen years now.

So, getting back to your questions David. Here is a suggestion. Why not ask the UUA and Unitarian Church of Montreal what "victim/offender reconcilation conferences or peacemaking circles" they have ever entered into with me. The answer is none aka zero aka love. You might then ask them why they have failed (indeed refused) for well over a decade to enter into ANY form of viable conflict resolution process with me. Of course there are people at the UUA, and indeed the UCM, who are quite familiar with various conflict resolution practices but quite regrettably for all concerned they absolutely refuse to responsibly *practice* them. Of course such practices would help my situation (and no doubt some others. . .) but in my experience the U*Us at the UUA and UCM are pathologically allergic to admitting to any kind of misconduct, injustice, or other wrongdoing, hence their incredibly stubborn refusal to enter into dialogue with me for more than a decade.

I have been a bit slow off the mark to directly contact UUA President Peter Morales and request/demand that he take steps to ensure that the UUA finally takes responsible steps towards resolving this conflict but I intend to do so very soon. Various distractions kept me from doing so in September and October, or earlier this month. We will see how he responds to my communication (if at all) but unfortunately I am not all that optimistic about how President Morales will respond to my "electronic communication". After all the UUA Board of Trustees has ignored all of my previous emails, or lamely passed the buck right back to the very same UUA administrators whose negligence and incompetence caused me to contact the UUA's BOT in the first place. Needless to say these implicated UUA administrators stood on the side of love by doing absolutely nothing at all to responsibly redress my grievances after UUA Trustees passed the buck back to them. . . Forgive me for mixing sports metaphors but that seems to be par for the course for U*Us.

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Reverend Doctor Or Reverend Debtor? The Obvious And Subtle Consequences Of The Debt Peonage Of U*U Ministers. . .

Within the last week or so there have been several blog posts about the debt load that U*U ministers carry as a result of the high cost of the university education that is required to become an ordained U*U minister. Rev. Christine Robinson just posted a brand-spanking new one titled 'The Cost of Ministerial Formation'. I am pretty sure that she is using the word "cost" in its fullest sense here, not just the financial/monetary cost of the high cost of ministerial formation. . . Amongst other things Rev. Robinson says - "This is causing all kinds of obvious and subtle consequences and so... folks are talking."

U*Us might be well advised to read *costs*, both financial costs and otherwise, where Rev. Robinson says "consequences". . .

Here is how I responded to Rev. Robinson's statement in a comment that I submitted to her iminister blog post. This critical comment courtesy of The Emerson Avenger may or may not see the light of day on Rev. Robinson's iminister blog depending on which side of caution Rev. Robinsion cares to err today. . . :-) Some typos have been corrected and I may add some more (im)pertinent links to it later -

It seems to me that one of the possible subtle consequences of such a high debt load, if not a glaringly obvious one. . . is that U*U seminarians and rookie ministers may be afraid to speak out against internal U*U injustices and abuses for fear of losing their existing or prospective jobs in retaliation for any whistle-blowing they might do. It seems to me that the greater the debt load a minister carries the less likely they are to dare to rock the proverbial boat. Does anyone care to talk about *that* potential consequence of a high debt load? Are U*U seminarians and rookie ministers *beholden* to the UUA and the U*U congregations who might hire them as ministers?

It's bad enough that there is a Code of Silence forbidding U*U ministers to publicly criticize their colleagues written into the UUMA Guidelines, to say nothing of an even worse unwritten Code of Silence that too many U*U ministers hold to, but this apparent modern variation on "debt peonage" whereby U*U ministers must spend a decade or more repaying the debt they accumulated earning the MDivs or PhDs is just a tad troubling. . .

Does Reverend Doctor = Reverend Debtor?

Apparently so. . .

end quote

Rev. Robinson concludes her blog post sharing her concerns about the high cost of ministerial formation with these prophetic words -

"I grieve for the many people of modest means who will not be able to afford to prepare for our ministry, and I grieve for what we are missing from them. I also worry that our current situation fills our ministry with people who are so sure of their call from the very beginning, or so heedless of the financial risks that they are taking that they will do this...leading to a ministry devoid of the more humble, frugal, and cautious persons who would also serve us well."

I have to admit that I have not met very many humble, frugal, and cautious Unitarian*Universalist ministers.

Au contraire. . .

Yes there are a few exceptions who are indeed quite humble and cautious, and even frugal but God knows that there are a few too many U*U ministers who display far more hubris than humbleness and are anything but cautious in the harmful and damaging things that they say and/or do. No I dare say that it is not only financial risks that these prideful and arrogant U*U ministers are heedless of although these non-financial risks that they so heedlessly and indeed so foolishly take ultimately cost the UUA and individual U*U congegations plenty of money, if only in the form of the loss of the pledges and donations of actual or prospective church members. Could it be that the apparent lack of humble, frugal, and cautious Unitarian*Universalist ministers is one of the reasons that Unitarian*Universalism is "a tiny, declining, fringe religion" according to UUA President Peter Morales?

Come to think of it. . . it wasn't all that humble or cautious of Rev. Morales to dismissively write off pretty much every other religion in the world as "obsolete religions, created for another time" in his "stump speech" announcing his candidacy for UUA President. Is UUA President Peter Morales completely heedless of, aka oblivious to. . . the risk of his well-documented blanket condemnation of pretty much all of the *other* religions in the world in his misguided effort to try to present Unitarian*Universalism aka The Tiny Declining Fringe Religion™ as "the religion for our time"? It seems to me that if President Morales was not *heedless* of that risk that he would have responsibly acknowledged that he "misspoke" a bit and "recalibrated" his "loose canon" blanket condemnation of a whole bunch of "old religions" by now. . .

Here is one last cautionary note playing off of, and expanding upon, Rev. Christine Robinson's cautionary words -

Unitarian*Universalist ministers who are "heedless of the financial risks that they are taking" when entering seminary to become U*U ministers may well be similarly heedless of the serious financial risks that they may take in the future with their church finances, or indeed UUA finances if or when these U*U ministers become UUA administrators.

Can U*Us say Pathways Fiasco?

That is but one single example, amongst too many others I know of (and no doubt even more U*U financial shit*uations that I am completely unaware of. . .), how "less than humble", "less than frugal", and "less than cautious" U*U ministers have flushed many thousands of dollars, if not some millions of dollars. . . down the proverbial toilet.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Chalica Organizers Want To Know What ACTIONS U*Us Can Take To Empower Big Fat U*U Principle 2 - Justice, Equity And Compassion In Human Relations

That's right U*Us. Chalica is just around the corner and Chalica organizers have created a Facebook page for Chalica. Here is the comment that I just posted to The Wall of the Chalica Facebook site in response to Chalica organizers asking what ACTIONS U*Us can take to empower the second principle of Unitarian*Universalism during Chalica -

"Chalica! wants to know what ACTIONS we can take to empower Principle 2: Justice, equity and compassion in human relations."

Well you could draw up a petition or write letters to UUA President Peter Morales and the UUA Board of Trustees demanding that the UUA must actually provide restorative justice for *all* victims of clergy misconduct, both clergy sexual misconduct and ALL non-sexual forms of clergy misconduct as well, rather than just emptily and insincerely talking about it for the last decade or so. . .

If you want a sample letter you can find this "less than diplomatic" one on The Emerson Avenger blog.

http://emersonavenger.blogspot.com/2009/01/when-will-uua-president-bill-sinkford.html

They say that charity begins at home. Perhaps the justice, equity, and compassion in human relations that U*Us talk about but often fail, and sometimes even refuse. . . to actually practice themselves should begin at home too.

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Did Santa Barbara Unitarian*Universalists *Really* Boast Some Of The Most Lurid Sex Scandals In Town Not So Long Ago?

In a satirical "rant" about Santa Barbara Unitarian*Universalists in the Santa Barbara Independent newspaper titled -

'Bark Not, Want Not - Angry Poodle Howls at the Unitarian Church'

Santa Barbara Independent columnist Nick Welsh asserts that -

"It wasn’t too long ago that Unitarians boasted some of the most lurid sex scandals in town."

That was too good a foil for The Emerson Avenger to resist playing off. . .

Here is the comment that I successfully submitted in response to this less than flattering expose of Santa Barbara Unitarian Universalists -

"It wasn’t too long ago that Unitarians boasted some of the most lurid sex scandals in town."

To quote Bill Clausen -

I didn't know about this. Tell me more please. . . :-)

Was this alleged lurid Unitarian sex scandal as lurid as "manic" U*U minister Rev. Victoria Weinstein's publicly aired "sodomy fantasy" which luridly imagined state Senator Bill Napoli "anally impaled on the Statue of Liberty's torch"?

Was it as lurid as Rev. Weinstein's "pillar of the church" parishioner Richard Buell being convicted of the forcible rape of a couple of preteen girls, including a "a female family member" who was most likely one of his grand-daughters?

Was it as lurid as U*U minister Rev. Mack Mitchell's forcible rape of teenaged Tibetan refugees who he lured from India to his parish in Northboro MA with promises of a new and better life in America?

And did Santa Barbara Unitarians *really* boast about this lurid sex scandal?

I wouldn't put it past *some* utterly shameless Unitarians to actually boast about their sex scandals. . . In fact I know some Unitarians who would probably take it as a compliment if one accused them of having no shame.

end quote

With 20/20 hind*sight it occurs to me that I *really* should have asked -

Were these alleged lurid Unitarian sex scandals as lurid as (fill in the big fat U*U blank)

After all the Angry Poodle aka Nick Welsh *did* say -

"It wasn’t too long ago that Unitarians boasted some of the most lurid sex scandals in town."

Clearly Nick is speaking about more than one lurid sex scandal that Santa Barbara Unitarians "boasted" of, possibly even several. . .

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Consider What You're Still Paying For U*Us. . .

U*U consultant Mike Durral urges his readers not to stay at hotels that support the porno industry by having adult movies on TV on the Consider What You're Paying For post of his Ten Minutes or Less blog that is intended to provide "Helpful hints for busy clergy and lay leaders."

Mike Durral goes on to say -

Ask before you make a reservation. Do not be swayed by the argument that "the market demands it." This is complete hogwash.

Mike invites readers comments by saying that -

"Readers are welcome to add their own ideas about things that work well in church."

So I took him at his word and posted the following "Eat Your Words Diet" style comment to Mike's currently unmoderated blog -

I urge your readers not to pray in churches that support pornographic ministry by having U*U preachers share their lurid sodomy fantasies on their blogs. Ask the UUA before you go to church on Sunday. Do not be swayed by the argument that "the minister’s blog is anonymous" thus "she is free to express her opinions and to do so outside of her professional role as a minister serving a congregation." This is complete hogwash courtesy of "retired" Congregational Services director Rev. Dr. Tracey Robinson-Harris and seconded by Ministerial *Fellowship* Committee Executive Secretary Rev. Beth Miller.

end quote

For the record I don't *really* advocate an actual boycott of U*U churches just because the UUA happily allows a big fat U*U "loose canon" (as it were) to have her sodomy fantasy and eat it too. . . but I do think that the UUA *really* needs to change its rather shitty tune about such unbecoming conduct on the part of U*U ministers.

The of course there is actual clergy sexual misconduct committed by U*U ministers, some of which might well provide some quite interesting adult video material. . . but it seems to me that if U*U lay person Mike Durrel can suggest that U*Us should boycott hotels that provide pornographic films as part of their service to the public then he and other like-minded U*U lay people *might* want to apply the same principle to the UUA and/or individual U*U churches which not only allow U*U ministers to post porngraphic material to their blogs, but have also done little or nothing to hold U*U ministers accountable when they have engaged in diverse forms of clergy sexual misconduct.

No U*Us?

So U*Us please do seriously consider what you're still paying for, and will continue to pay for for some time yet. . . as a result individual U*U churches and the UUA doing little or nothing to hold U*U ministers accountable for their pornographic tirades on their blogs, or much more serious unbecoming conduct including, but not limited to, some quite serious clergy sexual misconduct.

Come to think of it. . . didn't it cost U*Us at least one church membership at the Arlington Street Church in Boston as a result of its allowing Mr. U*U BDSM Desmond Ravenstone to go around cracking his big fat U*U bullwhip in said U*U "church"?

Isn't that pretty much a live BDSM show in a U*U "church"?

Kinda makes adult videos in hotel rooms seem kinda lame. . .

No U*Us?

Sometimes I think U*Us really are "crackers" as in *crazy* when they allow U*U lay people and/or U*U clergy to say and do things that most people would agree are highly questionable at best and seriously harmful and damaging at worst.

So please do consider this Emerson Avenger blog post to provide some more helpful hints for busy clergy and lay leaders. . .

Not that I haven't been providing all kinds of helpful hints for busy U*U clergy and lay leaders for the better part of 15 years now.

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Is Every Member Of The UUA Board Of Trustees *Really* Doing Everything Possible To Make The UUA Stronger And Further The U*U Movement™

I think not. . .

I fact I *know* from bitter personal experience that both collectively and individually UUA Trustees are by no means doing everything possible to make the UUA stronger and further The U*U Movement™, unless of course doing little or nothing to deal responsibly with U*U clergy misconduct of all kinds, and obstinately refusing to provide any *real* restorative justice for ALL victims of U*U clergy misconduct, is *their* deeply misguided way of "doing everything possible to make our association stronger and further the movement" as per Mountain Desert District UUA Trustee Lew Phinney's "play-by-play" of his first Board meeting as a UUA Trustee entitled -

First Board Meeting


Here is the "rant" that I just submitted as a comment to UUA Trustee Lew Phinney's "moderated" aka censored UUA Trustee Lew blog -

"The most impressive part was working closely with an outstanding group of truly dedicated UUs – everyone doing everything possible to make our association stronger and further the movement."

I am far from impressed with past incarnations of the UUA Board of Trustees Lew. I have reasonable grounds to believe that many if not most other victims of U*U clergy misconduct of various kinds are also "less than impressed" with UUA Trustees, both individually and collectively. If the UUA Board of Trustees truly was an "outstanding group of truly dedicated UUs" with "everyone doing everything possible to make our association stronger and further the movement" *all* UUA Trustees would have done a lot more to ensure that ANY and ALL clergy misconduct complaints were responsibly handled by the UUA and its regrettably all too appropriately named Ministerial *Fellowship* Committee in a manner that genuinely upholds U*U principles and purposes rather than flagrantly disregarding them and outright flaunting them. AFAIAC If *everyone* on the UUA Board of Trustees was genuinely doing *everything* possible to make the Unitarian Universalist Association stronger, and further The U*U Movement™ more generally, the UUA Board of Trustees would not have repeatedly ignored my emails demanding some genuine and tangible restorative justice for myself and ALL other victims of any and all forms of clergy misconduct perpetrated by U*U ministers and perpetuated by both the UUA and individual U*U congregations who obstinately refuse to subject transgressive U*U clergy to any real *accountability* for their damaging words and actions that harm individual people, whole UUA congregations, and The U*U Movement™ in general. In most cases I never even received the courtesy of a reply to my emails demanding some genuine justice and equity, if not a little compassion, for myself and other victims of clergy misconduct. On one occasion the UUA Board of Trustees informed me that they had referred my complaint to the Board right back to the very same "less than excellent" (to say nothing of "less than competent") UUA administrators whose obviously negligent and effectively complicit mishandling of my clergy misconduct complaints (and no doubt others) I was asking the Board to responsibly review and correct.

What, if anything. . . has the UUA Board of Trustees done to address the issue of clergy misconduct in general and move towards providing genuine restorative justice for ALL victims of U*U clergy misconduct since UUA GA 2009 Lew?

What, if anything. . . has Rev. Peter Morales said or done about responsibly reforming the UUA's handling of clergy misconduct complaints, and finally getting around to providing the restoerative justice the UUA promised victims of clergy misconduct the better part of a decade ago now. . . since being elected as President of the UUA at the 2009 UUA GA?

If you were to answer *nothing* I would not be the least bit surprised Lew, nor would other victims of U*U clergy misconduct and well informed advocates for victims of U*U clergy misconduct, but please do answer my serious questions here as best you can Lew.

The UUA Board of Trustees will be receiving some new emails from me in the coming weeks once again demanding some genuine and tangible restorative justice for myself and every single other victim of ANY and ALL forms of clergy misconduct committed by U*U ministers who has yet to receive any real restorative justice for the harm and damage that they have suffered not only as a result of "less than excellent" U*U clergy behaving badly in various ways, but as a result of the negligent and effectively complicit responses to their clergy misconduct complaints by the UUA and its ever so aptly named Ministerial *Fellowship* Committee.

So, stay tuned. . .

Quite frankly Lew, the UUA Board of Trustees should be ashamed of how they have willfully ignored my previous electronic communications with them, or lamely passed the proverbial buck right back to the same incompetent UUA officials whose well-documented negligent and effective complicit responses to clergy misconduct caused me to share my concerns with the UUA Board of Trustees in the first place, but I long ago learned that rather too many U*Us have no shame. Indeed it would appear that some U*Us are so utterly shameless that they would respond to being accused of having no shame by taking it as a compliment. . .

I expect better from U*Us in general and the UUA Board of Trustees and UUA administrators in particular. So I hereby formally call upon you and every single other UUA Trustee to say and do absolutely *everything* that you possibly can say and do to ensure that I and ALL other victims of clergy misconduct committed by U*U ministers receive some long overdue restorative justice before the next UUA GA. I call upon you and all other UUA Trustees not to let me and other victims of clergy misconduct committed by U*U ministers down yet again. You can start by doing *everything* in your power to ensure that every single one of us receives a personal apology from the UUA for the obviously negligent and effectively complicit manner that the UUA responded to our legitimate complaints about the harmful and damaging words and actions of "less than excellent" Unitarian*Universalist clergy.

Sincerely,

Robin Edgar

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Thursday, November 05, 2009

UUA President Peter Morales Says That Fear And Misinformation Have Stood In The Way Of Justice

Rev. Peter Morales was referring to the democratic vote by "the people of Maine" to "withhold the right of equal marriage from same-sex couples" in an official UUA statement titled UUA President Issues Statement on Maine Marriage Equality Defeat but it is clear from his public statement that the principle has a much broader application. In fact "fear and misinformation" have stood in the way of justice for myself and other victims of clergy misconduct of various kinds for decades now. I can even go so far as to say that, at least in my own well-documented case, it would appear that some outright paranoia on the part of *some* U*Us, as well as "misinformation" that in some cases can be reasonably described as being outright slander and libel, are the proverbial "root cause" of the injustices and abuses that I have been seeking some restorative justice for for over a decade now.

I have been meaning to directly contact UUA President Peter Morales to seek redress and restorative justice for myself and other victims of U*U clergy misconduct for some months now. I had intended to give Rev. Morales about three months to settle in as UUA President before contacting him, but I am now a month or more behind schedule thanks to various distractions that occurred in September and October. In light of a number of potentially useful public statements that President Morales made in September and October I am glad that I did not contact him sooner since he has made several pertinent statements that I can remind him of when I do finally contact him.

I had in fact intended to emphasize the harmful fear-mongering aspect of Rev. Ray Drennan's false and malicious labeling of me as "psychotic" and Creation Day as a "cult", as well as other paranoid fear-mongering perpetrated by some U*U ministers, such as the deeply insecure (if not outright paranoid) Rev. Diane Rollert's highly questionable decision to seek a restraining order against me in response to my seeking dialogue with her a couple of years ago, to say nothing of the cowardly anonymous libeling of me as "a dangerously deranged psycho/sociopath" by the late Rev. Dr. Timothy W. Jensen in my letter to President Morales. So UUA President Morales' recent public statement about how "fear and misinformation have stood in the way of justice" in the past is a very welcome development indeed.

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Sunday, November 01, 2009

Dis*Illusioned U*U Minister Rev. Scott Wells Can’t Find Any Classic Unitarian*Universalist Texts In Esperanto

Not even Channing’s Baltimore Sermon (or the like) in some pre-WWI source, and Google’s not much help.

So. . . Rev. Scott Wells plaintively asks U*U Souls U*U World*wide on his Unitarianism or Universalism in Esperanto? blog post -

Anyone know of something?


The Esperanto Avenger waggishly replies -

More to the point Scott. . .

Does anybody *care*?

Can U*Us say "tiny, declining, fringe language"?

end quote


Or, in no doubt garbled aka badly translated Esperanto -

Pli al la punkto Scott. . .

Ĉu iu ajn * interesiĝas *?

Povas U*Us dir "eta, regresanta, flanka lingvo"?

Here are the Seven Principles of The Tiny Declining Fringe Religion™ aka The U*U Movement aka Unitarian*Universalism no doubt "less than perfectly" translated into the tiny, declining, fringe language known as Esperanto, which equally doubtlessly will make it all the easier for Unitarian*Universalist U*Us to conveniently "forget" them.

Ni, la membro kongregacioj de la Unitarian*Universalisma Asocio, interligo asert kaj antaŭenig:

1. La esencan merit kaj digno de ĉiu persono.

2. Justeco, egaleco, kaj kompato en homaj rilatoj.

3. Akcepto de reciproke kaj instigo al spirita kresko de niaj kongregacioj.

4. Libera kaj respondec serĉo pri vero kaj signifo.

5. La rajto je konscienco kaj la uzo de la procezo demokrata ene de niaj kongregacioj kaj socio ĝenerala

6. La celo de komunumo universala kun paco, libereco, kaj justeco por ĉiuj.

7. Respekto por la interdependa araneaĵo de ĉiuj ekzisto el kiu(j) ni estas parto.

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All Saints Day As Observed Or Indeed Celebrated In The Emerson Avenger's Religious Calendar. . .

As I mentioned in a comment on Rev. Kit Ketcham's slightly premature blog post about All Souls' Day earlier today, All Saints' Day has a special place in The Emerson Avenger's "religious calendar", if only because it is the day that was finally chosen as the first actual trial date when I defended myself against the trumped up criminal charges of disrupting a religious service (i.e. Section 176.3 of the Canadian Criminal Code) that the DIM Thinking leaders of the so-called Unitarian Church of Montreal had me falsely arrested on in December 2000 in yet another deeply misguided, to say nothing of outrageously hypocritical. . . effort to over-ride and/or abrogate my Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guaranteed right to engage in peaceful public protest against U*U injustices, abuses, and hypocrisy in front of this alleged Unitarian "church".

To observe*celebrate this auspicious occasion I will re*post this old post from the CFUU forum which describes in some detail the events leading up to the eight month delay in the trial date which had originally been scheduled for February 21st, 2002 -


: Last Sunday as I was engaging in my "alternative spiritual practice" of protesting against the demeaning and abusive labeling of my religious activities as a "manipulative and secretive" CULT by Rev. Ray Drennan and other leading members of the Unitarian "Church" of Montreal (to say nothing of other demeaning and abusive behavior by these and other UUs) I was approached by John Inder the Past President of the Unitarian "Church" of Montreal. It seemed that he wanted to gloat over the fact that my trial on "public nuisance" charges was upcoming on the 21st of this month. During our conversation he repeatedly referred to Creation Day and my other religious activities and/or beliefs as a "cult" and "cult-like", he also referred to me as a "nutcase protestor" and a "nacissistic" (sic) one at that... This was the first time that he had actually used the "C" word openly although in the past he had indirectly insinuated these things. Needless to say when I asked him to explain to me just how Creation Day and/or my other religious activities were a "cult" or even "cult-like" he in typical UU fashion said that this was his "opinion" and that he was not required to back up his "opinion" with facts... I said that as long as he and other UUs insisted on labeling my religious activities as a "cult" I would be obliged to continue picketing the Unitarian "Church" of Montreal with a sign saying CULT IS A FOUR LETTER WORD... No doubt he was baiting me and just waiting for me to say this and he immediately responded that in his "opinion" I would not be picketing the UCM for much longer. I replied by saying don't be so sure about that...

As it turns out I received a subpoena in my mailbox on Tuesday morning. I thought that it was most probably a reminder of the February 21st trial. On opening it however it turned out to be a subpoena asking me to come to court this morning because one of the UCM's witnesses against me had asked for a postponement of the trial because it conflicted with surgery that he had to undergo.

I showed up at the Montreal court house at 9 am this morning as the subpoena had suggested and noted that my name was the very last name on the long list of people to be processed. It was 11:30 by the time I was finally called up but I spent the time productively by going over all the evidence that I will present to defend myself and by rereading the charges and UU "evidence" against me. I found that there were some problems with the UU "evidence" and was able to sort them out by having a nice chat with the court official representing the "crown" when the judge took a twenty minute break. When asked if I had any objections to the postponement of the trial I needless to say replied that I had no objections at all. I noted that since the reason for postponement was surgery that it might be wise to set a date a few weeks or even a few months later. The judge agreed of course and suggested May 24th as a possible date saying that otherwise my trial for being an alleged "public nuisance" would have to be put off until November... The police officer checked the prosecution's schedule in his laptop computer and indicated that May 24th was not convenient so the judge rescheduled the trial for November 1st. When the judge asked me if I had any objections to this new court date I said not at all and even noted that it was a very propitious date, All Saints Day, which prompted a smile from at least one or two court officials.

When I think back to all the deliberate stalling and institutional denial and stonewalling that I have had to put up with from UUs who repeatedly refused to responsibly address my legitimate grievances I can't help but think that this significant delay in the trial date is a form of divine justice that they thoroughly deserve. I guess that I will be picketing them for several more months unless they come to their senses and offer to negotiate a settlement of this dispute that actually lives up to UU "covenants" to affirm and promote justice, equity and compassion in human relations. BTW The Quebec Civil Liberties Union seems to finally be taking and interest in this case. Things could get quite interesting between now and All Souls' Day...

end quote

So here we are on All Saints' Day November 1st 2009 and very little has changed.

All Souls' Day could still be interesting though...

I might well dedicate All U*U Souls' Day to blogging about some of the ass*inine U*U Souls I have had the displeasure of dealing with throughout The War of the U*U World.

I dare say that it was quite prophetic of me to tell Montreal Unitarian U*U Soul John Inder that he should not be so sure that I would not be protesting in front of the Unitarian Church of Montreal for much longer way back in February of 2002. . .

No U*Us?

Chances are pretty good that I will still be protesting in front of the Unitarian Church of Montreal in February of 2010 with picket signs saying CULT IS A FOUR LETTER WORD and UNSAFE SECT? etc. etc. unless certain U*U Souls in Montreal and Boston finally get around to pulling their DIM Thinking heads out of their U*Us and *finally* take steps towards responsibly settling this ludicrously drawn out war of words in a manner that actually honors and upholds the Seven Principles of Unitarian*Universalism and other claimed U*U ideals.

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