- Bob did not remove us from the directory until October. Thus, Caroline would have had to time travel.
- I was given no advisor or written notice from a reference panel. Thus, it either didn’t happen, or failed to follow church canons.
Thursday, July 11, 2019
++Justin Welby, the Diocese of Virginia, and Abuse: Casual Indifference, Lying, and Bullying as a Common Thread
It’s been an intertesting day for the Church of England. Today was the final day of hearings by the Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse, a commission that is examining the role of the church in child sex abuse. Among those testifying was the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who had been criticized during previous sessions as unfit to lead. His testimony was, to put in bluntly, appalling, and showed that he was, and is, utterly clueless when it comes to abuse. And the really troubling parts of his testimony are startlingly similar to the tactics employed by the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia and Bishop Susan Goff in their efforts to avoid dealing with Bob Malm’s abusive conduct. Particularly ugly is Welby’s facially false claim he didn’t treat allegations of misconduct involving an adult with “casual indifference,” which is exactly how the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia treats complaints of non-sexual clergy abuse involving adults.
++Welby’s woes center around an unidentified adult complainant, who contacted him while Welby was dean of the Liverpool Cathedral in 2011.The complainant attempted to notify Welby that he was being sexually harassed by a member of the cathedral staff. The result? The abuser remained on Welby’s staff, while Welby barred the victim from the grounds of the cathedral on the basis that he had been threatening to staff, and that the latter were very frightened of him.
Sound familiar? Sure does. It sounds for all the world like Bob Malm’s claim that people at Grace Church are frightened of me. That’s cute, since most only found about Mom’s blog and its supposed threats thanks to — you guessed it — none other than Dysfunctional Bob himself. And in that respect, Bob went to church officials, telling them that his family and staff were, “anxious, sometimes fearful.” At the same time, he got his wife Leslie all spun up; he also was the one who told Leslie about Mom’s blog. And so, back and forth, Bob played his little game of shuttle diplomacy. (Although he did slip up once, telling diocesan officials that his wife and daughter [Lindsey] took the matter far too seriously.
My bet? The abuser on Welby’s staff played this up, or possibly Welby himself. Interestingly, Welby, like Malm, also appears to have made a statement against interest. On the one hand, he claims that staff was frightened by the victim, yet says he would have rescinded the ban had the victim apologized. All I can say is they couldn’t have been all that scared, now could they? And it fails to recognize that victims of abuse, not suprisingly, get really angry, especially when they get the big brush-off.
To make matters worse, Welby told the complainant via email that his account, and that of the abuser, were entirely inconconsistent, and that absent independent verification, he could not assess which was true. That underscores the notion that Welby is clueless, for evidence overwhelmingly suggests that sexual misconduct is rarely falsely reported. And my experience is that people are doubly reluctant to complain when clergy is involved, for they instinctively know that they face a power imbalance. Thus, Welby doesn’t even grasp the dynamics of clergy abuse.
Next comes Welby’s claim that he took the matter seriously. That appears to be total horse crud, as the abuser stayed, and the victim got the heave-ho. On this matter, Welby says he regarded the matter as a disciplinary complaint, not a safeguarding one. So what? Welby doesn’t think adults get abused or sexually harassed? Ironically, in the diocese of Virginia, about the only way to get the diocese involved is to implicate sex; sex is the touchstone for a disciplinary complaint. Be that as it may, nothing in the record suggests Welby took any meaningful action. So yes, it looks for all the world like Welby treated the complaint with “casual indifference.”
Of course, that’s how the Diocese and Susan Goff have treated Bob Malm’s perjury. “Hey, he didn’t get convicted. What’s the big deal?”
Then we have Welby’s claim that he apologized to Matthew Ineson, who allegedly was raped by a Church of England vicar; the latter committed suicide when the allegations came to light. I personally have been in touch with Ineson, and find his evidence convincing that Welby never did apologize, and that his one alleged apology was not even possible, given the larger timeline of events. This is much like the Rev. Caroline Parkinson’s false claim, in writing, that the reference panel in July 2015 considered Bob Malm’s decision to remove us from the church directory. The latter was an obvious lie:
So, I agree with Ineson’s statement that Welby has demonstrated “breathtaking hypocrisy.” And his comments about how the CoE has responded to his complaints exactly mirror my experiences with the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia:
“I know from my own experience, and the experience of others, that safeguarding within the C of E is appalling,” Ineson said. “The church has colluded with the cover-up of abuse and has obstructed justice for those whose lives have been ruined by the actions of its clergy. I have been fighting for five years for the church to recognise its responsibilities and I’m still being met with attempts to bully me into dropping my case.”
Yes, ++is engaged in breathtaking hypocrisy. So is the CoE. And The Episcopal Church is equally culpable, with the corruption and hypocrisy extending all the way to ++Curry, +Todd Ousley, +Johnston and +Goff.
Any church that is willing to lie, deflect, bully, and ignore abuse in this manner is morally bankrupt.
Saturday, April 13, 2019
Remember when I posted that the Episcopal Church is morally bankrupt? Well, today’s email from Todd Ousley, the national intake officer for complaints against Episcopal bishops, confirms it.
Previously, I contacted the Diocese about Bob Malm’s perjury. Sure enough, the Diocese brushed off my concerns without even investigating. So, I kicked things upstairs to Todd Ousley. Sure enough, his response was essentially that as long as the diocese invokes Title IV in its response, that’s all that’s required. This, no matter how outrageous the conduct, the Diocese is free to dismiss it in this manner.
In my case, proving Bob Malm’s perjury is very simple. All the Diocese has to do is ask Bob for proof of his claim that Mom made multiple appointments with him—a claim at the very heart of his recent court case. But it refuses to even lift a finger.
Proof that The Episcopal Church is irretrievably dysfunctional.
Saturday, September 1, 2018
See for Yourself: I Confront the Episcopal Bishops of Virginia over Bob Malm’s Lies to the Circuit Court, Inappropriate Comments
Earlier today, I contacted Bishop Shannon Johnston; Bishop Susan Goff; and the national intake officer for Title IV, Bishop Todd Ousley via email to alert all involved of Bob Malm’s lies set forth in his most recent court filing. In the filing, sent to the Alexandria Circuit Court, Bob told three lies:
- That I have violated the existing protective order.
- That I was never a police officer.
- That I was never admitted to practice law.
As documented in my previous post, all three are flagrantly false.
Copied on the email were my two attorneys, as well as my friend Dee Parsons, publisher of The Wartburg Watch. The latter will be running an update in the coming weeks about Bob’s behavior since December 2017, including his filing of a bogus request for a protective order against me.
Will Bishop Shannon do anything about Bob Malm’s lies? Doubtful, given that he himself has falsely claimed that these matters were “investigated and resolved long ago.” But the reality is that Title IV intake officers do not have investigatory powers, and are not trained as investigators. Their only investigatory powers extend to making a preliminary inquiry in order to “understand the matter complained of.” If a matter requires investigation, it is sent out for investigation, which never happened. Instead, the matter was brushed off, dismissed out of hand, and without the pastoral response (which is not the same as pastoral care) required under Title IV.
Additionally, when Bishop Shannon and I met with Bob Malm in person, we all agreed that our ceasefire only extended to those parties in the room. In short, it did not include Mike, Mom, or anyone else. Thus, one cannot say that a conflict has been resolved when only two of the principals were involved.
Moreover, when the diocese was previously notified of Bob’s various falsehoods, including perjury, it stated in writing that these matters were not “of weighty and material importance to the ministry of the church.”
As a result, I have concluded that both the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia and the Episcopal Church overall are morally bankrupt. If bullying, harassment, shunning, lying and perjury aren’t actionable, what the hell is? Indeed, at this point, Bishop Shannon has stated in writing that he supports Bob Malm, so it logically follows that he supports these behaviors. Nor has Bishop Shannon retracted his written statement.
Moreover, given the recent allegations that have emerged that Bishop Shannon covered up the sexual harassment of a female church worker by a priest under his supervision, sexual harassment appears to be acceptable as well.
In short, The Episcopal Church is every bit as broken as the Catholic Church, and Bishop Shannon appears to be every bit as corrupt as any of the Catholic Bishops; his only interest is in protecting the church’s reputation, and he doesn’t get a red rat’s rear end about who gets hurt in the process.
The Episcopal Church has no relation whatsoever to the teachings of Jesus.
Friday, June 1, 2018
Years ago, a mentor of mine told me, “The best way to deal with some people is to not deal with them at all.” And so it is with The Episcopal Church.
Today I asked Bishop Todd Ousley, the national intake officer for The Episcopal Church (meaning he handles Title IV issues involving bishops) to help me have my name removed from all Episcopal Church records. It’s a long overdue and happy decision, not just for Bob Malm, but for me as well. Note that I am not transferring anywhere; instead, I’m asking for the equivalent of dropping my records in the shredder.
My decision ends a lifetime in The Episcopal Church, although I wandered away for a number of years during college.
Why did I leave? Primarily because increasingly it is clear to me that The Episcopal Church is irreparably broken. In a day and age when government and corporate America not only protect whistleblowers, but actually require disclosure of potential wrongdoing as a condition of employment, The Episcopal Church remains adamantly opposed to providing a safe environment in which to do so. What’s worse is it is stuck in a 1960’s, Madmen-era time warp, where the only kind of clergy misconduct that counts is that which involves an affair or jail time. Clergy who have an affair unbeknownst to their congregants are deemed worthy of being defrocked, but those who openly engage in retaliation for a good-faith report under church disciplinary canons, or who tolerate sexual harassment in the workplace, are treated as not having engaged in behavior “of weighty and material importance to the ministry of the church.” Moreover, The Episcopal Church typically thinks of sexual harassment as being sexual in nature, which is legally and morally wrong. All too often, it is gender-based in nature and, as such, it is illegal under state and Federal law.
The church’s narcissistic approach to such things also is both amusing and telling: The bad conduct of its clergy is not material to its ministry, but would you please quit complaining about it? You might damage the reputation of the church.
Sorry, kids, you can’t have it both ways.
The church also is focused on all the wrong things. While I fully supported the litigation against the Anglican dissidents, I also came to realize that if The Episcopal Church spent half the time, energy and money it spent fighting over a bunch of crappy old properties on ministry and on healing its own issues, it would be a very different church.
It’s also ludicrous that the church litigated to the ends of the earth over its rights as a hierarchical denomination, but when you ask the hierarchy to provide some adult supervision to wayward clergy, it declines to get involved. Why waste time and money on a bunch of irrelevant fat cats hanging out at Mayo House and other creaking old heaps when they serve absolutely zero purpose?
The church’s inability to understand why Bob Malm’s behavior is unacceptable further underscores its irrelevance. Only in a very poorly run church would his behavior be okay. In any other setting he would have gotten the heave-ho within the first year, and probably sooner rather than later. The fact that hoarding, bullying, and the other stupid antics that have gone on at Grace Church have been ignored for so long at every level makes clear that The Episcopal Church is sadly dysfunctional, top to bottom. Nor do I particularly want to subsidize any organization that shows so little respect for the human and financial resources entrusted to it.
In looking over Bob’s correspondence with others, it’s also interesting that both he and others within the church, including the Grace vestry, think that his descriptions of his own parishioners are appropriate, including referring to me as “sick,” and “dysfunctional.” If that is ethical pastoral conduct in The Episcopal Church, no thanks, you can keep it. (Note to Jeff Chiow: Don’t bother. Both quotes come from independent sources.) Same for providing financial support so that Bob Malm can spend his month every year at the beach, all while acting like a superannuated prep school bully and a spoiled, narcissistic brat.
Moreover, Bob has done what is, at best, a half-assed job at work, and the vestry turned around and gave him a $100,000 bonus for his shoddy efforts. What the hell? Obviously, way too much money on the church’s hands, so it sure doesn’t need my money. Or yours. Again, though, the larger issue is the lack of understanding and awareness. Regarding shoddy work performance as worthy of this sort of over-the-top reward is just clueless and reflects personal affection for Bob trumping common sense and good judgment, as well as the fact that Bob points the executive committee in violation of church canons. It also reinforces to people the cavalier attitude within the church towards the resources entrusted to its care.
Then there’s the issue of the trauma The Episcopal Church has caused for my mom, Mike, and all those affected by Grace Church’s deliberate misuse of memorial donations. As I kiddingly told a third party, “Anytime you mix God, dead mothers, and money, things are bound to get ugly.”A somewhat flippant remark, but still very true. The Episcopal Church has caused a tremendous amount of unhappiness for family members and there’s no way I can be true to them and support the church.
Looking forward, I don’t particularly believe in a vengeful God. That said, I have the feeling that old age will not be pretty for Bob Malm. That’s often the case with people like him, and it certainly was true for his father. Being stuck on Jekyll Island with nothing to do but drink beer, play golf, jog, fight with his wife, and occasionally serve as supply clergy sounds appropriately hellish — and that comes from someone who likes golf and running. Not only is karma a bear, but it has a wicked sense of humor. It’s going to have a lot of fun with Bob in the coming years.
Nor am I sanguine about the future of The Episcopal Church. Millennials typically have a pretty good nose for things, and I suspect they will prove adept at spotting the problems in The Episcopal Church. More and more, the denomination just looks old, tired, clueless, and self-indulgent. Kind of like Bob Malm.
Meanwhile, I’ll continue to update this blog, protest, and update social media for as long as Bob’s protective order is in place. Once it ends, this site will remain, to serve as a reminder of Bob’s childish games, and to point up why The Episcopal Church is lurching towards collapse.
In the near-term, legal action against several individuals, as well as Grace Episcopal Church and the diocese, for defamation and several related claims appears increasingly likely. (I have some real academy award winners, in writing, from the relevant persons, and am well within the statute of limitations for the juiciest of the bunch.)
That said, I’m not particularly concerned about criticizing The Episcopal Church or otherwise trying to hold its collective feet to the fire. The church is fast becoming irrelevant, and no one cares what happens to it anyway. That’s for the best, as it’s done so badly with its own internal issues, who the hell wants it messing with sensitive topics like gun control and race relations? It would have a lot more credibility on these issues if it took seriously the disparate pay that its own female clergy receive, or the dichotomy between clergy and lay pay and benefits. Or even its own inability to address sexual harassment in the church in a meaningful way.
Nor am I impressed by the current “listening sessions” regarding sexual harassment. The church has had 2,000 years to listen, and I see no signs whatsoever that any meaningful changes will result. Spare me.
Neither am I interested in any sort of “reconciliation” with Bob Malm or folks at Grace Church. Not only does Bob have a conveniently faulty theological understanding of the term, but I know him well enough to know that the minute I’d turn my back he’d be working behind the scenes to try and get me. Or, as Bob said in front of the bishop, “I don’t know what planet you live on, but when someone does something to me, I do something to them.” Fitting, and fully reflective of his understanding of Christianity. So, having turned my back on the church and its attendant nonsense of that sort, Bob and I don’t have enough in common to even bother. Bob can keep his church and his tawdry brand of Christianity. Similarly, The Episcopal Church’s understanding of repentance and reconciliation is theologically flawed, and I have neither the time nor the interest to engage with a church that doesn’t understand its own theology.
It’s cool saying goodbye to The Episcopal Church and not at all sad. As I get older, I realize the importance of knowing when it’s time to toss the baggage, and the value of traveling light.
This should have happened long ago.