One of the issues that Bob has created for both the church and the school is concern among parents about safety. With that in mind, let’s explore the issue, while recognizing that safety includes both physical safety and spiritual/emotional safety.
In the realm of physical safety, Bob likes to stir up fears about outsiders; his wife, Leslie, allegedly has told third parties that teachers at the school fear I will come in and “shoot up the place.” Leaving aside the fact that I am polygraphed, have a full background check that goes back much, much further than a federal security clearance, and have successfully passed the police psychological exam (all of which is a long way of saying that Bob is full of bullcrud), the reality is that children are most often injured or abused by people they know.
With that in mind, let’s look at who’s welcome at Grace Church. This includes the parish pedophile, who as discussed before both has boundary issues with children, as well as 24/7 access to the entire building, thus providing ample opportunities to be alone with a child.
But the bad news doesn’t stop there. Another parishioner committed felony theft, using keys belonging to a family member to steal multiple laptops. Yet Bob Malm declined to press charges, and to my knowledge did not inform the vestry that a felony theft had occurred. And yet that person has been alone in the building on multiple occasions since the theft.
Given these issues, were I a parent I’d have some real concerns, both about physical safety and about the security of personal belongings. Persons willing to engage in felony theft are, by definition, much more likely than the population at large to commit a variety of serious crimes. And the pedophile already has engaged in inappropriate behavior towards children; there are additional warning signs that I am not at liberty to share here.
To my mind, the most risky aspect of Grace Church and school is spiritual and emotional. Why? Because these can be insiduous, difficult to address, and hard to prevent.
In this space, Bob Malm aka Dysfunctional Bob is not a good instructor for the school’s religion courses, as his content is not age appropriate. This lack of calibration is troubling, for it suggests Bob may also not fully recognize that, to thrive, children need to be in a safe, emotionally healthy environment.
In that regard, I have personally seen Bob’s tantrums, as well as his petty machinations and smear campaigns. Of course, the larger issue is what values children learn when they see a priest, a perceived authority figure, who:
- Lies to others.
- Engages in smear campaigns.
- Manipulates people.
- Commits perjury.
- Bullies innocent family members (think Mike)
- Tries to subpoena a dying parent in an effort to bully me.
- Uses an attorney, Jeff “Sugarland” Chiow, who takes personal vendettas into the courtroom and deploys unprofessional, inflammatory rhetoric.
In short, anything other than the most superficial contact with Dysfunctional Bob may well be unhealthy for children, and indeed the miasma Bob exudes may even touch children indirectly, as parishioners take their cues from Bob.
So next time Bob starts bloviating about fences, panic buttons, rekeying locks, and changing codes on alarm systems, my message to parents is this:
You should be far more concerned about the security risks inherent in welcoming felons and pedophiles to the building, and giving them 24/7 access to the facilities, than to Bob’s ludicrous claims that he’s been threatened. And don’t minimize the unseen risks to children of Bob’s repeated ethics and boundary issues. If nothing else, Bob’s conduct carries with it an important message and damaging message, which is that bullying is okay.