In a blog post entitled 'Abuse Survivors to Robin Edgar: You Don’t Speak for Us
' the "collective authorship" of the Robin Edgar Sucks blog, who I have *very* reasonable grounds to believe consists primarily if not *exclusively* of one Rev. Victoria Weinstein aka Peacebang, posts a letter ostensibly addressed to me by self-described "survivors of sexual misconduct by Unitarian Universalist clergy and other leaders." I will respond to the content of that questionable blog post point-by-point below:
:In response to our latest blog post, we received a copy of this letter.
And just who did you receive a copy of "this letter" from Peacebang aka the "collective authorship" of the Robin Edgar Sucks blog? Did you receive it directly from the "group of survivors of sexual misconduct by Unitarian Universalist clergy and other leaders" or did it come into your hands via a third party?
:The authors had asked the Unitarian Church of Montreal to forward this to Robin Edgar in December of 2009; whether or not the church did so, we cannot say.
I can say that the Unitarian Church of Montreal has not yet forwarded this letter to me in any manner whatsoever. The UCM *could* have simply forwarded it to me by email if it was an "electronic communication" but did not do so. Representatives of the Unitarian Church of Montreal could also have handed it to me in person except that I have not protested in front of the Unitarian Church of Montreal since last November or December. I traditionally engage in a unilateral truce over Christmas with the exception of protesting during any solstice celebrations the UCM may hold, but I extended that unilateral truce until February 14th in the faint hope that UUA President Peter Morales might respond positively to my suggestion that he stand on the side of love for ALL victims of U*U clergy misconduct on National Standing On The Side Of Love Day. In the meantime a friend of mine suggested that I extend my unilateral truce until Easter and I decided that, all things considered, it wasn't such a bad idea. So I did just that. It can now be revealed that my Lenten practice consisted of giving up protesting in front of the Unitarian Church of Montreal for Lent. I do however intend to resume my protest Easter Sunday with some brand-spanking new picket sign slogans that end in -
:Suffice it to say, Robin Edgar continues to compare his “victimhood” to those who have been tragically used and abused by others.
I have never claimed to be a victim of clergy sexual misconduct, on the contrary I have repeatedly made it very clear that I am primarily concerned about non-sexual forms of clergy misconduct because non-sexual clergy misconduct is taken even less seriously than clergy sexual misconduct is by the UUA. The UUA has a very poor track record when it comes to dealing responsibly with clergy sexual misconduct and it has an even worse track record when it comes to dealing responsibly with non-sexual forms of clergy misconduct. I have never suggested that the non-sexual clergy misconduct that I and othe people have been subjected to by "less than perfect" U*U ministers is as bad as the worst forms of clergy sexual misconduct in which people are "tragically used and abused" by clergy. What I have said is that the non-sexual clergy misconduct that I and other people have been subjected to is as bad as, or even worse than, some of the less serious forms of clergy sexual misconduct. Have all of the writers of this "open letter" been "tragically used and abused" by U*U clergy, or is it possible that some or all of them are victims of comparatively low level clergy sexual misconduct?
:As the letter’s authors have requested, we are publishing its contents in full.
The $64,000 question here is -
Have this letter's "collective authorship" of self-described "survivors of sexual misconduct by Unitarian Universalist clergy" actually requested that the "collective authorship" of the Robin Edgar Sucks blog publish its contents in full on said attack blog which, if published by Rev. Victoria Weinstein and *other* "less than perfect" U*U clergy, may be seen as a form of non-sexual clergy misconduct in and of itself?
If these "survivors of sexual misconduct by Unitarian Universalist clergy" have in fact authorized Rev. Victoria Weinstein to publish their letter on the Robin Edgar Sucks blog I would have to say that they were very poorly advised or, to borrow a phrase from PeaceBang herself, they are crazy asshats. What on Earth would possess a small group of "survivors of sexual misconduct by Unitarian Universalist clergy" to authorize the publication of their letter to me on an attack blog that is obviously abusive, if not outright libelous, when there are so many other much more legitimate ways that they could make their letter public if they wanted too?
:TO: Mr. Robin Edgar
:CC: Rev. Diane Rollert, Unitarian Church of Montreal; Rev. Peter Morales, Unitarian Universalist Association; Ms. Jennifer Dickson, Canadian Unitarian Council
:We are a group of survivors of sexual misconduct by Unitarian Universalist clergy and other leaders. Some of us are still involved in UU groups at different levels, others have left. We do not claim to speak for all survivors, but we believe ourselves to be a representative group.
:We have taken the time to read your blog and comments on other sites, and the comments of other UU bloggers. Having maintained personal connections with one another, we have come together out of mutual concern to share our own impressions and observations. We do appreciate your support in raising awareness of the issue of sexual misconduct by UU religious leaders, and how UU organizations and leaders have responded to complaints and concerns. We also empathize with how you have been mistreated by some within UU circles.
Please note that this group of "survivors of sexual misconduct by Unitarian Universalist clergy" clearly states that it empathizes with how I have been mistreated by some within UU circles. That is clear acknowledgment that I have in fact been *mistreated* by some Unitarian*Universalists aka U*Us. To date this mistreatment has never been responsibly acknowledged by the Unitarian Church of Montreal or the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations aka the UUA and its very aptly named Ministerial *Fellowship* Committee.
:That is what makes this letter so difficult, for the evidence we have seen tells us that you are far from blameless yourself.
That depends on what "far from blameless" means and applies to. . . I suggest that this group of U*U clergy sexual misconduct survivors needs to elaborate on exactly what they mean by this statement. I do not deny returning abuse for abuse to those Unitarian*Universalists who have abused me and other people. Au contraire, I long ago warned U*Us that I was adopting a policy of returning abuse for abuse as a result of repeated and ongoing abusive behavior towards me and other people by Unitarian*Universalists. I have no intention whatsoever of changing that policy. I will change my tactics if and when Unitarian*Universalists finally respond to my legitimate grievances in a manner that genuinely honors and upholds U*U principles amd ideals rather than making a total mockery of them. I think the writers of this letter need to state clearly exactly what they believe I deserve blame for.
:Whatever abuses have been directed your way, we cannot see how they justify the level of abuse which you have heaped on others.
Really? I suggest that this group of CSM survivors should enter into a free and genuinely *responsible* search for the truth and meaning of the actual level of abuse that I have been subjected to by abusive Unitarian*Universalists at the Unitarian Church of Montreal, the UUA, and online. The comparatively few U*Us who get some verbal abuse heaped on them from your's truly are only reaping what they sow themselves, or are reaping some well-deserved "payback" for verbal and psychological abuse that they have effectively condoned, and even outright whitewashed, as leaders of the U*U religious community. I challenge this group of U*U clergy sexual abuse survivors to name a single Unitarian*Universalist who has not earned whatever insults, or other alleged abuse, that I may have subjected them to. Please do name those U*Us who I have insulted, or otherwise verbally abused, who are themselves *blameless*. I expect that it will be a very short list if you are able to name even one. . .
:Whatever shortcomings UUs may have, they do not deserve the level of rancor which you have been directing at them over the years.
I disagree. The individual Unitarian*Universalists who have mistreated me and other people, and those U*Us in positions of responsibility who have condoned the mistreatment and indeed *abuse* that I and other people have been subjected to, have in fact gone out of their way to earn the level of "rancor" that I have directed at them over the years. The fact of the matter is that I do not deserve the level of rancor which U*Us have directed at me for well over a decade now and have done virtually nothing to responsibly redress. N'est-ce pas? What did I do to deserve being labeled "psychotic" by Rev. Ray Drennan and have Creation Day defamed as a "cult" by Rev. Ray Drennan, Frank Greene, John Inder, and other intolerant and abusive Unitarian*Universalists? What precisely did I do to genuinely deserve the level of rancor which U*Us have been directing at me over the years? Not the least of this Big Fat U*U Rancor directed at me being the Robin Edgar Sucks blog itself which you have most ironically, and less than well advisedly. . . seen fit to post your letter to, unless of course the "collective authorship" of the RES blog aka Rev. Victoria Weinstein aka Peacebang posted your letter to the RES blog without your express permission. . .
:You demand moral perfection from UU ministers, leaders and writers – a level of perfection which you yourself have fallen far short of in your words and deeds, frequently lashing out at others, often for no reason than just being UU.
This is where this "open letter" starts to *really* go off the rails. . .
This self-professed group of "survivors of sexual misconduct by Unitarian Universalist clergy" are very badly mistaken here. I do not demand moral perfection from U*U ministers. Far from it. . . I have only filed two formal clergy misconduct complaints against U*U ministers and in both instances the ministers had behaved in a manner that is clearly and unequivocally deeply insulting, outright defamatory, and otherwise verbally and psychologically abusive. This is hardly demanding moral perfection from U*U ministers.
Heck in both cases I could have filed a clergy misconduct complaint much earlier than I actually did if I was demanding "moral perfection" from these "less than perfect" U*U ministers. I only filed formal complaints when the highly questionable and definitely insulting and abusive behavior of these "less than perfect" U*U ministers got completely out of hand, such as when Rev. Victoria Weinstein stridently attacked Roman Catholics for alleged clergy sexual abuse at a time when one of her very own parishioners at First Parish Norwell, one Richard Buell, had just been convicted of forcible rape of preteen girls, including a neighbor's daughter and a "female family member" who in all probability was his own granddaughter. . . And that is not to say that he hadn't raped his daughters as well. I have heard that the statute of limitations prevented his own daughters from having him charged with rape. I only filed my unbecoming conduct complaint against Rev. Victoria Weinstein *after* she had displayed extreme hypocrisy and had attempted to cover up and hide egregious clergy sexual abuse on the part of U*U minister Rev. Mack W. Mitchell
who raped underage Tibetan refugees and the sexual abuse of her own congregant Richard Buell who (dare I say it?) tragically used and abused preteen girls
If not believe me I can say quite a bit more about this DIM Thinking
And I challenge all of you who wrote this letter to provide a single scrap of evidence to support your dubious allegation that I *often* "lash out" at people "for no reason than just being UU". I doubt that you can point to one single credible example of me doing that. In virtually every case I am criticizing the questionable *behavior* of U*Us. To the best of my knowledge and recollection I have never "lashed out" at anyone simply because they were a U*U. I certainly have "poked fun" at *resigned* CUC Executive Director Mary Bennett's Big Fat U*U Corporate Identity Fi*ass*co
but that is simply a matter of mocking and ridiculing an inept and foolish U*Unilateral decision made by Mary Bennett who had previously earned my disrespect for condoning, and even lauding, Rev. Ray Drennan's intolerant and insulting public attack on former Canadian prime minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau's Roman Catholic state funeral in the Montreal Gazette. . . I will cease and desist from *that* particular mockery and ridicule of U*U foolishness when U*Us finally stop using famous U*U Kurt Vonnegut Jr.'s "picture of an asshole"
to symbolize the self-vaunted "inclusiveness" of The U*U Movement
:Worse yet, when this is brought to your attention, not only do you admit to being rude and insulting, but you respond with a level of self-justification which reminds us all too painfully of the same rationalizations our abusers gave for their acts against us.
I am sorry but if Unitarian*Universalists allow their "less than perfect" clergy and lay people to "dish out" extremely rude, deeply insulting, and outright defamatory verbal attacks on me and other people they had better be prepared to *take it*. I practiced considerable restraint for years after Rev. Ray Drennan's insulting and abusive attack on me but U*Us not only repeatedly and quite obstinately refused to hold him accountable for his non-sexual clergy misconduct, indeed his non-sexual clergy *abuse*, but punished me for complaining about it by expelling me from the Unitarian Church of Montreal. It was only after repeated rude and insulting attacks on me by U*Us that I decided to return abuse for abuse for tactical reasons.
Don't talk to me about rationalizations. Outrageously hypocritical UUA administrators like Rev. Diane Miller
, Rev. Beth Miller
and Rev. Dr. Tracey Robinson-Harris
go to extreme lengths to create Big Fat U*U Rationalizations for the obviously insulting and abusive behavior of "less than perfect" U*U clergy like Rev. Ray Drennan
and Rev. Victoria Weinstein
Besides the fact that I have been repeatedly insulted and defamed by U*Us, it is the very fact that the UUA and MFC have on two separate occasions ruled that it is acceptable for Unitarian*Universalist ministers to launch extremely rude, deeply insulting, outright defamatory, and otherwise verbally and psychologically abusive attacks on me and other people that has caused me to adopt a policy of being just as rude and insulting as U*U clergy are happily allowed to be by the UUA and MFC where I think it is justifiable to be rude and insulting. My own "in your face" rude behavior, which often only consists of feeding the words of U*Us right back to them with my "Eat Your Words" Diet, is intended to persuade U*Us to use their round heads to change their minds about allowing U*U ministers to be extremely rude and deeply insulting towards me and other people.
:You claim to speak for all who have been abused by unethical UU leaders.
Do I really? Please show how me where I claim to be a spokesperson for "all who have been abused by unethical UU leaders."
:Whenever you speak of such, you always bring it back to your experience, your victimhood, and your grievances.
Due in no small measure to the fact that my own experience is very well documented and I obviously know what I am talking about. I present my experience as a well documented example of the negligent and effectively complicit response of the UUA and implicated U*U churches to non-sexual clergy misconduct. If I had access to church records and other documents about other mishandled cases of U*U clergy misconduct, either sexual misconduct or non-sexual misconduct, I would be only too happy to share those cases publicly as well. Wherever it is possible for me to present reliable information about other cases of U*U clergy misconduct from publicly available sources I do so.
:Whether you intend to or not, you have made us feel that our concerns are merely a tool for your own personal agenda – another painful reminder of how those who sexually and emotionally manipulate and abuse try to make it seem like they are the ones being used and excluded.
Excuse me but one only has to enter into a free and *responsible* search for the truth and meaning of what I am saying to determine that I have most certainly been verbally and psychologically abused by U*Us and subsequently excluded for daring to complain about that well-documented verbal and psychological abuse. How many Unitarians do you know who have been permanently expelled from their church for daring to publicly complain about U*U clergy misconduct and other U*U injustices and abuses? Are you aware that Rev. Ray Drennan is totally estranged from his two eldest daughters as a result of his verbal and psychological abuse?
Didn't think so. . .
:We and other survivors have worked long and hard to improve the situation within UU organizations. We are not in full agreement as to the level of progress, but we do believe that some progress has been made.
And what exactly have you got to show for all your long and hard work?
Do tell. . .
Really. I mean it. Tell everyone about all of the positive results your long and hard work has actually produced. I don't see much evidence of any *real* progress at the UUA. On the contrary I even see some evidence of regression and disarray (to put it politely) and I am not alone in that assessment. Just ask uugrrl
. . .
Do you really think that the First Unitarian Church of Nashville would feel it necessary to create the UU Safety Net website
if it believed that the UUA response to clergy sexual misconduct was adequate?
:Some of us maintain contacts with UU leaders to continue this work – and we have found ourselves torn between appreciating your support and experience, and having to distance ourselves from so many of the things you say and do.
I have regrettably come to the conclusion that the UUA needs a bit of a "bad cop" breathing over its shoulder. I have given the UUA every opportunity to have me act as a "good cop" and have been repeatedly rebuffed by UUA officials, including three UUA Presidents now. Feel free to distance yourselves from some of the things that I say and do, but thanks none-the-less for at least grudgingly acknowledging that you do appreciate my support and experience. I will drop the "bad cop" role once the UUA and Unitarian Church of Montreal both take responsible steps that allow me to play a "good cop" role, not before. . . The fact of the matter is that the UUA could definitely benefit from my input and advice but I am not going to be giving much good advice to the UUA until they start to show some respect for me and other victims of U*U clergy misconduct.
:We believe that you do not intend to hurt us, that you share our sense of indignation and desire for justice.
You believe correctly then. When I see some real justice, real equity and genuine compassion coming from the UUA and Unitarian Church of Montreal I will be a lot more polite about pointing out U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy; but as long as the UUA pretends that verbally and psychologically abusive U*U ministers can insult and defame people to their corpse-cold Unitarian heart's content with complete impunity, indeed not the slightest accountability, as evidenced by the Robin Edgar Sucks blog itself which I have very reasonable grounds to believe is authored by one or more "less than perfect" U*U ministers. . . I reserve the right to be in-your-face rude to U*Us when I feel that hypocritical U*Us have gone out of their way to earn my indignation.
:But even a noble sentiment can get twisted into something hurtful, and unfortunately we have come to see that in your case.
Tell that to Rev. Victoria Weinstein aka Peacebang. I seem to recall her twisting a U.S. state senator's sorry ass onto the Statue of Liberty's torch a while back. . .
What were her exact words?
Oh ya. . .
"Here's my sodomy fantasy, senator Bill Napoli anally impaled on the Statue of Liberty's torch."
Now there's a Big Fat U*U Noble Sentiment
for you eh?
One that the UUA all but officially approved of. . .
I say that what's good for *that* Big Fat U*U Goose is good for *this* Excommunicated Unitarian Gander.
If U*Us allow their "less than perfect" ministers to say hurtful and damaging things about me and other people they should not be surprised if I, or indeed others, retaliate every now and then. I have repeatedly asked for real restorative justice and U*Us have repeatedly, indeed quite obstinately, refused to provide any justice whatsoever; so I mete out my own retributive justice on this blog from time to time.
:One example of this is your pattern of tracking down those who doubt or disagree with your methods, and lashing out at them to the point of harassment – this is the main reason why we have declined to put our names to this letter.
I do not go "tracking down those who doubt or disagree" with my methods. I occasionally "out" abusive U*U clergy be their abuse of a sexual nature or non-sexual nature. As a rule the only people I "lash out" at are people who have thoroughly earned a good tongue lashing through their own words and actions. I challenge you to name a single person who I have "lashed out" at who has not said or done something that deserved a good tongue lashing. Don't you think that the Robin Edgar Sucks blog is a fine example of U*Us, indeed almost certainly one or more U*U ministers, lashing out at me to the point of harassment? Yet you see fit to publish your letter on it, unless of course it was published without your knowledge or consent. . .
:We are respectfully asking that you no longer speak on our behalf, and consider how painful your actions have become.
I do not consider speaking openly about U*U clergy sexual misconduct to be speaking on your behalf as though I were some kind of official spokesperson for U*U CSM victims. I will continue to speak out about U*U clergy sexual misconduct when I feel that there is good reason to do so. This blog is dedicated to talking about ALL U*U injustices, abuses, and hypocrisy and clergy sexual misconduct is most certainly included amongst those categories.
As far as how painful my actions have become goes, all I can say is that U*Us would do well to give some thought to just how painful the words and actions of some of their ministers are and, above and beyond that, just how painful the UUA's ongoing negligent response to clergy misconduct complaints is to those people who are victims of any form of clergy misconduct. I am quite aware of how painful *some* of my words and actions have become. My own carefully chosen painful words and actions directed at hypocritical U*Us are intended to be just a tad painful to intolerant and abusive U*Us in general, and "less than perfect" U*U clergy in particular, as well as all of those complacent and callously indifferent "corpse-cold" Unitarian*Universalists who condone or otherwise enable U*U clergy abuse and other U*U injustices and abuses.
:We say this to you with out of empathy and compassion. We know all too well how pain can lead to rage, how the desire to set things right can become distorted into a lust for personal retribution.
Rage is not an emotion that I have much truck with. I have much better control over my anger than most people do. You only have to see how calmly I react to U*U COP's harassment
to see that I don't get angry easily. As far as personal retribution goes, if the UUA and MFC abjectly fail and obstinately refuse to provide any justice, equity, or compassion to victims of U*U clergy misconduct, I see no reason why I and other victims of U*U clergy misconduct
shouldn't subject abusive U*U clergy
and negligent UUA administrators
to some strongly worded public criticism.
:But we have also come to know the joy and peace of healing, of letting go and moving on. We can only hope that you will begin that process yourself.
Not likely. I have absolutely no intention of "letting go and moving on" until *after* the UUA and Unitarian Church of Montreal provide some long overdue restorative justice to me and other victims of U*U clergy misconduct. I have no intention whatsoever of rewarding the egregious institutional stonewalling and denial of either the UUA or the Unitarian Church of Montreal.
No justice. No peace.
Labels: alleged U*U clergy sexual misconduct, Rev. Beth Miller, Rev. Diane Miller, Rev. Dr. Tracey Robinson-Harris, Rev. Dr. Victoria Weinstein, rev. victoria weinstein, The "Eat Your Words" Diet