The Emerson Avenger

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

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Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

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

Monday, January 25, 2010

Does The Ministerial *Fellowship* Committee Take Non-Sexual Forms Of Clergy Misconduct Seriously? Not In My Experience And Observation

The following is an electronic communication aka email that I sent to an apparently well-respected and seemingly quite influential Unitarian*Universalist minister in late November of 2009. It was part of a recent private and confidential email dialogue that I had with them. This email effectively ended that dialogue since the minister has decided that they do not want to respond to the questions that I posed to them in it. This is par for the course for much of the private email dialogue that I have had with a number of UU ministers over the years. As a rule the dialogue ends when I ask some hard questions that they do not want to answer.

With the minister's express permission I am posting this email to The Emerson Avenger blog, with indentifying elements removed from it, in the hope that some other UU ministers might care to responsibly deal with the issues raised in this electronic communication and provide their answers to the questions that I pose in it. I am not however holding my breath. . .

UU ministers may consider this blog post to be something of an "open letter" addressed to all UU clergy. I have corrected a few typos and may add some (in)appropriate hyperlinks to the text. That is all for now but I may add some more (im)pertinent commentary later -

From: Robin Edgar
Subject: X
To: X
Received: X

Why would an "excommunicated" Unitarian be subscribed to the UU World magazine Rev. X? I do look at the online version every now and then but the kind of notices you speak about don't seem to be published online. Rev. Calvin O. Dame's name was not on the most recent list of defellowshipped UU ministers I have seen but it could be several months, or even a few years, out of date knowing how the UUA operates.

The fact that all cases of defellowshipping involve sexual misconduct, with one notable exception, only underlines my point about the UUA and MFC not taking non-sexual forms of ministerial misconduct very seriously, unless of course it involves plagiarizing fellow ministers. I find it outrageously hypocritical that a U*U minister who plagiarized sermons was forced to resign and defellowshipped but U*U ministers who deeply insult and even outright defame me and other people face zero accountability from the UUA and MFC.

I never sought the firing and defellowshipping of Rev. Ray Drennan or Rev. Victoria Weinstein. Nowhere will you find a demand from me that either of them should be fired or defellowshipped, although some U*Us have falsely claimed that I demanded that Ray Drennan be fired. I fully agree that lesser sanctions should be implemented where it is appropriate to do so. Imagine where the U*U community might be today if the UUA and MFC had responsibly told Rev. Ray Drennan and Rev. Victoria Weinstein, to say nothing of some other deeply insulting and/or verbally abusive "less than excellent" U*U ministers, to formally retract their insults and defamation and properly apologize to those people who they had insulted or defamed or otherwise verbally abused?

Where did the MFC get it into its head that Rev. Ray Drennan's obvious antireligious intolerance and bigotry was "within the appropriate guidelines of ministerial leadership"?

Where did the MFC get it into its head that Rev. Victoria Weinstein could publicly insult and defame me and other people on her Peacebang blog as long as she did it under the cowardly cover of internet anonymity?

The hypocritical double standards exercised by the MFC are outrageous and shameful. How is it that U*U ministers pledge not to speak in derogation of a colleague in public but may speak in deeply insulting and outright defamatory derogation of pretty much anyone else? U*U ministers have glaring hypocrisy written into the UUMA Guidelines AFAIAC.

:exact quote from UU minister deleted - The minister noted that there are times when UU ministers behave badly but nobody complains about their behavior. . .

Of course. . . Presumably you are speaking here of times when "less than excellent" U*U ministers behave badly but no other U*U minister calls them to account. "There are times" Rev. X? How about almost all the time? Of course this abject and ongoing failure of U*U ministers to call their "less than excellent" professional colleagues to account has nothing at all to do with the hypocritical "Code of Silence" that is written into the UUMA Guidelines does it? How is it possible that, in the 13 or so years since I filed my clergy misconduct complaint against Rev. Ray Drennan, not a single U*U minister has ever demanded that he face accountability for his antireligious bigotry and related demeaning and abusive attack on me, to say nothing of his other unjust and abusive behavior towards me and other people? How did Drennan get to be appointed to an MFC Sub-Committee on Candidacy when he was obviously an intolerant "fundamentalist atheist" U*U minister?

Do tell Rev. X I am all ears.

The fact of the matter is that there is a great deal that *can* be done about all forms of clergy misconduct, and a great deal that really *should* be done about past injustices and abuses that have been perpetuated for years and decades as a result of the negligent and effectively complicit responses to clergy misconduct complaints by the UUA and MFC and implicated U*U churches. It is not my fault that all too often U*Us choose to do nothing. . .

It might interest you to know that when I challenged Rev. Brian Kopke of the Ottawa Unitarian Church (now retired) about his own and two other Canadian U*U minister's complete failure to responsibly address my serious grievances against Rev. Ray Drennan when I handed them a very complete file about them when they performed his first peer review he sheepishly responded to me by saying -

"Nobody did anything."

As if this was an excuse for his own standing on the side of love as in zero. . .

The fact of the matter is that his three word lame excuse is, at least on one level, actually a fairly accurate assessment of what happened and what is still happening. . . U*Us have repeatedly and continuously done *nothing* to respond to my complaints and grievances in a manner that actually honors and upholds U*U principles and purposes such as justice, equity and compassion in human relations, to say nothing of the inherent worth and dignity of every person. But it is not entirely true that "nobody did anything." Montreal Unitarians, the UUA and MFC, and individual U*Us (including too many U*U clergy) have gone to considerable lengths to try to silence me and even punish me for daring to complain about the U*U injustices and abuses that I have been a direct victim of, or have become aware of over the years that U*Us have chosen to do nothing to responsibly redress my grievances.

I urge you and your colleagues in U*U ministry to get to work on that long overdue task. . .

How about if you and a few other respected U*U ministers gather up the moral courage and common decency to say "enough's enough" and demand that the UUA and MFC, or indeed the UUMA, finally responsibly address my serious grievances and provide some real and tangible restorative justice to me and ALL other victims of U*U clergy misconduct?


Robin Edgar

P.S. I do not understand quite what you are saying in your concluding sentence and don`t want to speculate so please clarify what you mean.

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