Showing posts with label Leslie Steffensen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Leslie Steffensen. Show all posts

Monday, January 21, 2019

See for Yourself: The 2016 Confidential Settlement Proposal that Dysfunctional Bob Malm Rejected

With Grace Episcopal Church set to hold its annual parish meeting Sunday the 27th, here’s a potentially useful inflection point. Specifically, in January 2016, through my attorney, I offered to settle the matter in exchange for nothing more than Bob Malm’s written agreement to act like a priest. That’s right — simply stop disparaging me and stop interfering in my participation in the church. Additionally, I asked that the matter be treated as confidential. All things that should be normative for a priest.

Through Sugarland Chiow, Bob rejected my offer, including my request for confidentiality. (I wasn’t aware clergy could pick and choose. Beware.)

As a result, I launched my social media campaign, which continues to this day, and will do so indefinitely. This has proven effective, although I may soon augment it with additional litigation.

Of course, that also underscores a key point: Even when faced with possible litigation and other actions with the potential to seriously damage Grace Church’s standing in the community, Bob Malm, with the advice of Sugarland Chiow, put his own perceived interests ahead of those of the church. Bob wanted revenge for my asking the diocese to mediate our dispute, and he didn’t care what that meant for Grace Church. And today we see the results, with church revenue and attendance down sharply, and all indications suggesting that things will only get worse over time. In fact, he still doesn’t give a red rat’s rear end about the church; his only interest appears to be shutting down criticism long enough to get the hell out of Dodge with his generous retirement in place.

In that vein, now that people understand what really does on behind the scenes at Grace Church Bob, being the manipulative little weasel he is, is playing his usual games, taking words out of context, lying repeatedly, claiming he’s been threatened, and asking the Alexandria police if there is any way they can take away my First Amendment rights. Having been repeatedly told that there isn’t, Bob’s fallback has been to argue “abuse of First Amendment rights,” in his emails to the diocese. And, of course, his old standby, which is to conduct smear campaigns behind the scenes. 

In all of this, of course, Bob conveniently overlooks the fact that that is the very reason for the First Amendment—to engender accountability, including for dirtbags like Dysfunctional Bob Malm. Meanwhile,  our recent litigation included numerous requests from Sugarland Chiow for confidentiality, including his trash settlement offer with — you guessed it — a confidentiality clause. Sorry, kids, that horse has left the barn.

This also touches on the issue of Bob’s real motivations. In that realm, there’s one thing that is abundantly clear to me , which is that, for Bob, it’s just a job. Nothing in Bob’s actions in any way suggests he’s a priest or Christian in anything but name only.

Check out my letter here in PDF.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

See for Yourself: Leslie Steffensen’s Irrational Email About Me

One thing about clergy at Grace Church: They have very few qualms about making statements of questionable veracity when it comes to their parishioners.

In the attached email, Leslie Steffensen makes a series of false statements, including:
  • That Mom’s blog is mine (and content in it), despite the facts that:
    • Mom had repeatedly made clear that she is the publisher of her blog.
    • I don’t have children and have never claimed to have children; nor do I want any.
    • I am not female.
    • I don’t drive a minivan.
    • I don’t have pets.
    • I don’t travel to Northern VA from the Midwest.
    • I haven’t been to Manhattan in many years.
    • I don’t refer to myself in the plural.
    • I don’t hang out in Del Ray, except to leaflet or protest.
    • I don’t hang with other family members when they protest or afterwards and have never claimed to do so.
    • The day folks were at The National Cathedral was a day I was at work the entire day, and I have time records and numerous other forms of documentation to prove it, including dozens of witnesses, several of whom have prepared notarized affidavits.
    • I have not been to The National Cathedral in more than seven years; it was shortly before the earthquake. Thus, I have been nowhere near her office, and frankly don’t care to be anywhere close to anything with the word “Episcopal” in it anyway. Nor do I want to be anywhere close to Bob Malm or Leslie Steffensen; if I choose to hang out with clergy, it will be with those who evince some indication that they adhere to Christian values.
    • Nowhere in my blog, or in Mom’s blog, does anyone mention adopted children. Nowhere. 
    • I have witnesses and documentation to prove all these points.
  • That I have made false statements about her. My only comments have been about her comments made during my background check; I have published the transcript here  and that clearly indicates that Leslie has stated that she is “not sure [I] can be trusted with money,” along with other statements intended to damage my reputation. Additionally, I have commented on the well-documented fact that Leslie was fully supportive of Dysfunctional Bob’s efforts to shun us, including denying us access to our own church. The email confirming that also has been published here; a copy is below.

  • That the events in question were, at the time of her email, three years prior. They were not. They dated to 2015, including the latter months of the year and, of course, continue to this day.
It’s these sorts of sneaky, ad hominem attacks behind the scenes and untruthful/inaccurate statements that are how clergy at St. Dysfunction respond when criticized. Never mind that Leslie has never had the integrity to address her concerns directly with me. At a minimum, you’d think, as clergy, Leslie would make damned sure of her facts before writing a stupid and un-Christian email like this. (While Leslie’s talking with her legal counsel, she should be sure to discuss defamation and the phrase “reckless disregard for the truth.” Also, “false statements of fact.”)

But then, given that Leslie once told me (and later repeated her claim in front of others), that she has seen an apparition in the hallway outside the clergy  offices at St. Dysfunction, Kirk Steffensen’s comments about “spewing delusional crap” may strike rather closer to home than he intended. Or perhaps the word “hallucinations” applies. Or maybe this is a case of paranoid schizophrenia. I don’t have any way to know, but I am increasingly concerned for my safety, given Kirk Steffensen’s comments about Mike’s employment, the irrational nature of Leslie’s comments, and her statements about seeing apparitions of the dead. In fact, sounds like an implied threat to me.

The fact that behavior like this is acceptable for clergy in The Episcopal Church speaks volumes as to why The Episcopal Church and St. Dysfunction are dying. Nor are these behaviors all that unusual in churches—they are exactly how abusive Catholic priests respond when someone reports them. Smear the victim, try to discredit the victim, everything except for the sort of accountability that Jesus modeled. Even when Leslie wrote to my Mom to ostensibly apologize for her conduct, she couched things in terms of her “inexpert response” as a new priest. My take, though, is that when it comes to manipulative behavior and refusing to be accountable for her actions, Leslie’s far from inexpert. Indeed, she’s quite adept, and appears to have issues with deep-seated but well-concealed anger. (Just ask her to tell you about her numerous fistfights in high school.)

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

See for Yourself: Documentation that Bishop Shannon Johnston Violated Church Disciplinary Canons

Here is another interesting point of reference. Under Title IV, the Episcopal disciplinary canons, the reference panel, which is responsible for referring a case for resolution, has four options for dealing with a complaint. These options include:
  1. No further action except for the pastoral response mandated by Canon IV.8 at the time of intake.
  2. Conciliation pursuant to Canon IV.10.
  3. Investigation pursuant to Canon IV.11.
  4. Referral to the bishop for possible agreement on terms of discipline pursuant to Canon IV.9.
Instead, the diocese attempted, with Bishop Shannon’s full knowledge, to dismiss my complaint at the reference panel stage, thus violating its own canons, or laws.

Moreover, it:
  • Breached confidentiality by improperly combining, and disclosing, the existence of an independent complaint, filed by my mother.
  • Failed to provide the pastoral response mandate by Canon IV.8.
  • Inserted snotty, rude, dismissive language, accusing others of behaving badly, despite the fact that Title IV only covers clergy. (The latter changes on January 1, 2019)
  • Ignored written documentation that misuse of donations was illegal.
  • Improperly contacted respondents during the intake phase of the case.
  • Makes an interesting assumption, which is that anyone would want to have anything to do with The Episcopal Church after this experience.
Here’s the diocese’s notice:

Additionally, when I pointed out the diocese’s violation of church canons, it ignored me.

Here is my email:

Decide for yourself whether you believe Bishop Shannon Johnston responds appropriately to victims of clergy abuse, and see you think of his pastoral ethics.

My take: It is, shall we say, duplicitous and disingenuous to violate church canons, then accuse others of behaving badly. And you have to love a church that argues that the canons mean that it has an ownership interest in all parish property within the diocese, and yet it is free to disregard the very same canons any time it feels like doing so.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

See for Yourself: Leslie Steffensen’s Response to Background Check

Today and over the next few days, I’ll be releasing additional documentation of bad behavior at Grace Episcopal Church.

Today’s installment is former assistant rector Leslie Steffensen’s responses about me when a background check was conducted in conjunction with a promotion I received at a retail job. As is often the case, the background check included time that I essentially took off from work in order to deal with issues at Grace following Bob’s accident in February 2014.

Check out Leslie’s intimations about “suspicious activities,” and the comments about being emotionally involved in crisis. This from someone who was visibly emotional on several occasions following Bob’s accident. Who said no good deed in church goes unpunished?

Apropos administrative staff, Leslie also omits a salient point, which is that numerous people have had such issues, Leslie herself included, as well as clergy including Patrick Crerar and Anne Turner. Hmmm.

I’ll also soon release an email from Kirk Steffensen that further speaks to the Christian values of members of the church.

Monday, July 23, 2018

See for Yourself: Kirk Steffensen’s Message

It’s been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. With that in mind, here’s a screen cap of a message my Mom received from the husband of former assistant rector Leslie Steffensen.

Typical behavior from members of St. Dysfunction Grace Episcopal Church.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

See for Yourself: Twitizen Tells It Like it Is

Here is one of the many responses received last night as I was tweeting about my experiences at Grace Episcopal Church.

The fact that people at St. Dysfunction Grace Church aka Planet Malm remain blind to Bob’s facially inappropriate conduct tells you all you need to know about the church.