You have to hand it to perjuring priest Bob Malm, Sugarland Chiow, and to a lesser extent Kelly Motormouth Gable — they have really done a number on Grace Episcopal Church and the search for a new rector.
Consider two possibilities:
Mere use of the word “murder” in a blog, etc., truly is a threat and not protected speech under the First Amendment. In other words, welcome to Sugarland!
In that case, we can look to Sugarland Chiow’s pleadings filed in the Venango Coubty courts, in which he says, “This is a case of domestic terrorism.” We can give context to this claim through his filings in the Alexandria Courts, in which he claims that I, “surely am dangerous.” How did we know that? According to Sugarland, it is by virtue of withdrawing my appeal. Thus, according to Sugarland’s reasoning, it’s appropriate to impose sanctions, for as we well know, that is the best way to deal with dangerous people.
That begs the question: If I am a candidate for rector, do I want to serve a church that claims to be threatened by domestic terrorists? Unless I am totally cray-cray, the answer likely is no. That’s doubly the case if I have a family, and I’ll surely think twice when I realize just how expensive Northern VA is.
|Why drink the KoolAid when you can swill the Sugarland Shine?|
The second possibility is that Grace’s pleadings are not true. Thus, Grace faces potential legal liability, as well as the ethical and spiritual challenges posed by a priest who commits perjury, a vestry that supports his efforts, and parish leaders like Sugarland Chiow who aid and abet his efforts. Not to mention the ugly, inflammatory rhetoric coming out of the parish, including Sugarland’s court pleadings, Lisa Medley’s multiple lies and disclosure of confidential giving, and comments from someone, most likely Lucy Medley, urging me to commit suicide. In other words, welcome to Sugarland!
Wow. If this is the case, we’re talking about a profoundly toxic church. As Jesus said, “by their fruits you shall know them,” and this is one ugly, stinkin’ crock of goo. In fact, clergy who love God, love their neighbor, and haven’t lost their sense of smell due to COVID-19 can smell it ten miles away, twenty if they are downwind.
Rector candidates thus face the challenge not only of living in this environment, but also trying to fix it. Both are herculean tasks, especially after 30 years of Bob Malm. All I can say is yikes.
Of course, the possibility also exists that the parish will pull down another narcissist. She, or more likely he, will come replete with a stellar resume, good looks (they are nothing if not well groomed), a carefully crafted image, athleticism (gotta look good on all fronts), tremendous verbal faculty, and an amazing ability to tell people what they want to hear. And Grace is, on its face, an target for another narcissist, for he or she will readily recognize that the church is a narcissistic organization, onto which they can attach themselves in record time. When he does, the narcissist will paper things over with earnest-sounding apologies, lots of hugs and smiles, the word “love” bouncing around in all directions, and more. But there will be no meaningful resolution, and Grace will have another layer of glitter affixed to its toxic infrastructure.
This is highly likely. While Mary Hix is, I think, wise enough to spot this issue, I don’t know that anyone else on the search committee is, with the possible exception of Tracy Enger.
That said, this presents a dilemma all its own for the narcissist: Should I run the risk of dealing with the six lawsuits now under way and the potential personal liability that attaches, or move on to easier pickings? My guess is most will consider this to be too much work to be worth the trouble, for narcissists are famous for underperforming at their jobs, while telling themselves and others that they are great.
That said, if Grace does pull down another narcissistic rector, things will get ugly in a hurry. Narcissists are invariably toxic, and they build narcissistic constructs around them. Given how far Grace Episcopal Alexandria, the clergy perjury parish, already is along that curve, if that does happen, Grace is a goner. Done. Kaput. No mas. Au revoir.
And a third possibility:
Of course there is a third potential outcome, which reflects the fact that many clergy are conflict avoidant. Specifically, many qualified candidates won’t want to parse these issues, but instead take a pass and move on. Given that TEC often follows the path of least resistance, that is a likely outcome, but one that will only become apparent over time as it becomes clear that B-list candidates are applying for what should be an A-list calling.
There’s also the possibility that candidates for rector take a preliminary look at applying, but quickly self-select and join this category, simply by asking, “What have you done to resolve this conflict?” Any sort of meaningful questioning will quickly reveal that, other than the token effort to slap some lipstick on this pig at the Fredericksburg meeting, the answer is nothing. And at this point we are no longer in a position to negotiate, for I have seen the middle finger from the good Christians of Grace Church far too often to be willing to talk to them, and have invoked my right under state law to have no contact from members of the church.
Moreover, klaxons will be sounding in all directions when candidates realize that the diocesan posture on these issues is one of no-criminal-charges-no-foul. That reveals just how toxic and broken things are, and it goes all the way to Bishop Goff herself. And it’s not like she hasn’t heard directly from me on these matters; she has many times, and instead sits in splendid silence in that fusty old antebellum heap, Mayo House.
And like any narcissistic organization, the denizens of Grace Episcopal Alexandria, the clergy perjury parish, will never concede the possibility that the organization suffers from narcissism. Indeed, it will all be the fault of that crazed former member, Eric Bonetti, who resigned from the church and then started harassing us. You know the drill, and Lisa Medley is happy to help you rehearse. If she’s not around, hit up Alison Campbell or Kelly Motormouth Gable. In fact, let’s grab a few drinks and talk about it.
Not matter how things turn out, thanks to perjuring priest Bob Malm, Sugarland Chiow, and now Motormouth Gable, things are not pointed in a good direction for Grace Church.
Welcome to Sugarland!