Unitarian Universalism Has A Big Fat U*U Clergy Sexual Misconduct Problem. . .
But don't take *my* word for it U*Us, take the word of UU World contributing editor Kimberly French, as published in a recent UU World article about Unitarian Universalism's Big Fat U*U Clergy Sexual Misconduct Problem in the Winter 2014 edition of UU World magazine titled -
Reforms take aim at clergy misconduct
In these two quite revealing paragraphs -
Unitarian Universalism has its own problem. We have even had our share of media scandals. Clergy sexual misconduct — ministers who have sexual relationships with their parishioners — has damaged individuals, families, whole congregations, and Unitarian Universalism’s credibility.
How widespread is the problem? There’s no way to know. But the Rev. Deborah Pope-Lance, whose research and consulting has focused on the impact of clergy misconduct on UU congregations for the past thirty years, believes most congregations have been affected by it. “As many as two-thirds of our congregations have been served in living memory by a minister known to have engaged in sexual misconduct there or elsewhere,” she said. “At first I said that timidly because we can’t imagine our ministers would do that, but now we know they can and have.”
I have previously blogged about how UU clergy sexual misconduct expert Rev. Deborah Pope-Lance has spoken about how a group of UUA interim ministers who had served as "after pastors" following the resignation or dismissal of UU ministers who had been found to be guilty of clergy sexual misconduct had decided to try to found out just how many UUA congregations had been affected by UU clergy sexual misconduct and had stopped counting when they reached a total of no less than 400 "less than safe" congregations. I have previously, and even quite repeatedly. . . made the point that, in that these disillusioned UU "after pastors" simply stopped counting when they reached the round number of 400 UUA congregations affected by clergy sexual misconduct, there might well be dozens or even hundreds more such "less than safe" UU congregations.
Following the 2013 UUA GA, Rev. Gail Seavey of UU Safety Net told me that she and other UU Safety Net members had discovered that UUism's clergy sexual misconduct problem was even worse than UU Safety Net had previously been aware of because, after speaking with people about UU CSM during the 2013 UUA General Assembly, it became clear to them that UU clergy sexual misconduct had been significantly under-reported. Now clergy sexual misconduct expert Rev. Deborah Pope-Lance is on public record in the most recent edition of the UU World magazine quite authoritatively asserting that,
“As many as two-thirds of our congregations have been served in living memory by a minister known to have engaged in sexual misconduct there or elsewhere. At first I said that timidly because we can’t imagine our ministers would do that, but now we know they can and have.”
That is well over 600 UUA congregations that have been served by a Unitarian Universalist minister who is *known* to have committed clergy sexual misconduct of one kind or another. That is well over 50% more than the 400 UUA congregations that a group of UU "after pastors" had previously calculated to have been affected by UU clergy sexual misconduct of one kind or another.
Although this quite revealing UU World article about UU clergy sexual misconduct is finally "coming out" about just how extensive UUism's clergy sexual misconduct problem really is, it is still spinning the story in such a way as to keep some of the more disturbing aspects of UUism's clergy sexual misconduct problem hidden from the eyes of UU World readers and the general public. It is quite frankly ludicrous for Kimberly French to assert that "There’s no way to know" how "widespread" UUism's clergy sexual misconduct problem really is when the UUA is in a position to know very well exactly how many UU ministers have been credibly accused of one form of clergy sexual misconduct or another, and which specific UUA congregations have been served by a UU ministers who are "known to have engaged in sexual misconduct there or elsewhere". Right? According to Rev. Deborah Pope-Lance and other Unitarian Universalists "in the know" about UU clergy sexual misconduct, that number is no less than 400 UUA congregations and may well be as high as "two-thirds of (UUA) congregations". The only question that remains about just how "widespread" UUism's clergy sexual misconduct problem is, is. . .
"To what extent has UU clergy sexual misconduct been under-reported?"
Another significant problem with this UU World article is that it does not report at all on very recent attempts by the UUA to cover-up and hide UU clergy sexual misconduct, or to deny and minimize UU clergy sexual misconduct as much as UUA leaders like UUA President Rev. Peter "Beyond Belief" Morales and UUA Moderator Jim Key feel that they can get away with. . . There is not the slightest mention of the fact that the current UUA administration, led by UUA President Rev. Dr. Peter Morales, has falsely accused me of the archaic crime of blasphemous libel in Bill Cosby style legal bullying that is quite obviously intended to cover-up and deny "such despicable crimes as pedophilia and rape" committed by "certain Unitarian Universalist ministers".
Likewise, although UUA Moderator Jim Key's dubious "official apology" to UU clergy sexual misconduct victims is mentioned in the article in the two paragraphs reproduced below -
In June, Key told the General Assembly in Providence, Rhode Island, “I want to express my deepest apologies to those of you who have been victims of UU clergy sexual misconduct, whether you have come forward or not. . . . It is unacceptable that a minister has taken advantage of you sexually and emotionally. It was not your fault.”
Key’s apology was not the first. At the 2000 General Assembly, the UUA’s then-Executive Vice President Kay Montgomery also apologized for clergy misconduct. Over the past two decades the UUA has made many reforms, especially in ministerial education. But misconduct survivors feel leaders are only now beginning to listen to them and ask how to help repair the damage.
Kimberly French and the UU World's editors totally avoid openly discussing the fact that UUA Moderator Jim Key told at least two brazen bald-faced lies in what was supposed to be a UUA Board official apology to UU clergy sexual misconduct victims in falsely making the following claims -
“I am speaking of incidents of UU clergy, albeit a very small number, ignoring professional ethics and boundaries who preyed on vulnerable congregants. There were no incidents of abuse of children or elders in my investigations.”
Most ironically, both of these demonstrably false assertions, which Jim Key knew to be false aka UnTrue before he had the Big Fat U*U Audacity to brazenly utter them in front of thousands of UU delegates in his highly questionable "official apology" to UU clergy sexual misconduct victims that was sandwiched into the middle of his 1st Moderator's Report to a UUA General Assembly, are proven to be brazen bald-faced lies by Kimberly French's UU World article itself. The article makes it abundantly clear that as many as two thirds of the UUA's 1000 or so congregations have been served by UU clergy who are guilty of clergy sexual misconduct, and the article also briefly mentions the fact that Rev. Mack Wallace Mitchell was convicted of raping teenage Tibetan refugees who he had lured away from their families in India with promises of a better life in America.
Kimberly French writes -
In the most shocking case, the Rev. Mack Mitchell was arrested and convicted in 1992 for raping a teenage girl he had helped to emigrate from Tibet. Mitchell lost his job and ministerial fellowship, after members of the Massachusetts congregation he served raised an alarm. He was imprisoned for three years.
I guess in UUA Moderator Jim Key's self-deluded mind the repeated rape of vulnerable teenage Tibetan refugees by a UU minister doesn't count as incidents of abuse of children. . . Not that I didn't personally tell Jim Key about some other incidents of pedophilia engaged in by "less than perfect" UU ministers, aka incidents of UU clergy sexual abuse of children. . . when I spoke with him on the phone in our Inter-National Conversation On UU Clergy Misconduct in September of 2013, more than 9 months prior to his botched "official apology" to UU clergy sexual misconduct victims which apparently do not include persons of inherent worth and dignity who have been victims of "such despicable crimes as pedophilia and rape" committed by UU clergy pedophiles and rapists. . .
Funny how UUA leaders like UUA President Rev. Dr. Peter "Beyond Belief" Morales, and former UUA Executive *Vice* President Kathleen "Kay" Montgomery, to name but two. . . can can hire Stikeman Elliott Barristers & Solicitors litigation lawyers to use the term "such despicable crimes as pedophilia and rape" in Bill Cosby style legal bullying that misuse Canada's blasphemy law in legal intimidation that is quite obviously intended to cover-up and deny the fact that "certain Unitarian Universalist ministers" have not only engaged in "such despicable crimes as pedophilia and rape", but *some* of them, such as Rev. Mack W. Mitchell to name but one. . . have actually been convicted of committing "such despicable crimes as pedophilia and rape" and jailed for their despicable crimes, but UUA leaders are chronically unready, obstinately unwilling and even pathologically unable to bring themselves to use this very same phrase to describe pedophilia and rape when ostensibly offering an official apology for UU clergy sexual misconduct which, in spite of Jim Key's brazen bald-faced lies, most certainly includes "such despicable crimes as pedophilia and rape" . . .
Labels: Chris Walton, Kimberly French, Rev. Deborah Pope-Lance, Rev. Mack Mitchell, Stikeman Elliott LLP, U*U clergy sexual misconduct, UU World editors, UUA Official Apology To Victims Of Clergy Sexual Misconduct