“Omission is the most powerful form of lie.”
As Jason Roberson, Michael Guy, and the now largely moribund Diocese of Virginia continue to bloviate about telling the truth and becoming beloved community, they dig themselves further into the current ethical hole in which they reside.
How so? Is not telling the truth essential to reconciliation and becoming beloved community?
Indeed, telling the truth is the first step towards any healthy relationship.
Lying, on the other hand, is invariably corrosive to a relationship, even when undetected. And letting lying lies lie is, in some ways, even worse, for the hidden corrosive value of deception continues to eat at the fabric of healthy relationships, while ignoring the ethical imperative of truth telling.
Even worse is when a person or organization proclaims that it is changing its ways, yet does nothing meaningful to make it happen. Thus, existing lies become buried under a veneer of truth and wholeness that ultimately proves to be nothing more than whitewash and coverup.
In the case of Grace Episcopal Alexandria, the clergy perjury parish, the church continues to lie by omission. Neither Bob Malm, nor the church’s dysfunctional vestry, nor its current clergy, nor its core members, are willing to tell the truth. Indeed, they have so little respect for the parish and its wellbeing that they continue to try to defend their conduct in court. The church’s priority has become winning in court, versus conducting itself as befits Christians. It has become nothing but a very badly run nonprofit.
As a result, all the world can see for itself the lies of Grace Church, including:
- Perjuring priest Bob Malm’s claim that he was threatened by “domestic terrorism,”
- Sugarland Chiow’s fake places, fake events, and fabrications in his legal pleadings.
- Bob Malm’s claim that Mom or someone purporting to be her contacted him repeatedly to set up appointments, only to cancel.
- Bob Malm’s lie that Mike resigned his membership in the parish in 2015.
- Kelly Motormouth Gable and perjuring priest Bob Malm’s defamatory claim that I embezzled money from a previous employer. And that’s a particularly hard one to avoid, as we have yet to see perjuring priest Bob Malm or Kelly Gable take me up on my suggestion that they call the police.
Indeed, even third-party publications, like The Wartburg Watch, openly and expressly refer to the church’s lies as just that — lies.
Yet perjuring priest Bob Malm and the parish continue to make things worse by trying to defend their conduct in court, claiming that it was justified, appropriate, not tortuous, you name it.
In short, they try every trick in the book to avoid being adults and admitting to their misconduct. That’s how cowards and bullies deal with things. That’s not how Christians should deal with things. And yes, perjuring priest Bob Malm and Sugarland Chiow are bullies and cowards. Feel free to quote me.
Meanwhile, folks like the Princess Porcine, Lisa Medley, make things still worse when they deliberately mischaracterize the church’s problems. For example, at one point, Lisa claimed that I “narcissistically attributed” the problems at the church to a conflict of my own making.
That’s absolutely false.
I give Grace Church full credit for the mess it has made of itself.
That includes Lisa, with her willingness to disclose confidential giving in the parish, and her myriad lies, including about how I wasn’t given the door code because “it had been months” since I attended (when in reality it was three weeks), full recognition for the damage she has done to the church and its reputation. Same goes for Alison Campbell and others, including the toxic person who is so unhealthy that she thinks it’s okay to urge me to commit suicide. Their actions paint a damning picture of a toxic church that Jesus would and does find disgusting and repulsive.
As to the comments of the Princess Porcine, Lisa Medley, and others about being flawed human beings and how this should, by extension, give them a pass on their behavior, no such luck. That sort of logical fallacy is the excuse that sociopaths and narcissists use to avoid accountability. We’re all flawed human beings, but that doesn’t justify Bob Malm’s perjury, Sugarland Chiow’s fabrications, or the other egregious misconduct in the parish. That includes Lisa’s childish and hateful conduct.
In short, the church continues to lie, both overtly and by omission, when it claims to be striving to become the beloved community, even as it attempts to minimize and defend its misconduct.
And in case it hasn’t dawned on members of the clergy, the vestry, or the search committee, let me be the first to spring it on them: No priest worth having is going to be willing to come to Grace Episcopal Alexandria until the church demonstrates, through tangible, concrete actions, that it is willing to own up to its past, tell the truth, and work towards healing.
And because folks at Grace will misread the previous paragraph in an effort to make my comments align with their thinking, let me be clear: No priest worth having will come to Grace Church. Yes, the church can hire a rector, but he or she will either be another narcissist, seemingly immensely likable on the surface while being toxic at the core. Or the new rector will be clueless, inept and lacking in self-esteem. But even someone who specializes in helping toxic churches regroup — and they are out there — will only take the gig if there is a meaningful commitment to change. Just like an alcoholic, the first step to healing is for the church to admit it has a problem. And Grace Church is utterly unwilling to do so.
For the record, owning up to its past does NOT include anything akin to Sugarland Chiow’s jacked up settlement proposal with a confidentiality clause and an “agreed-upon statement” that babbles on nonsensically about “in the spirit of healing.”
Indeed, before Sugarland and perjuring priest Bob Malm realized I wasn’t going to roll over, they declined in writing my offer to settle our dispute in exchange for nothing more than their written agreement to leave me and Mike alone. They also rejected our request for confidentiality.
Well, guess what? Sugarland and perjuring priest Bob Malm got their wish. No confidentiality and no end to the conflict. I can and will outlast Grace Church, regardless of the outcome of the present litigation. In fact, I am sufficiently irritated by the church’s conduct that I would be perfectly happy to lose the present lawsuits. Doing so would just give me that much more to write about, and Grace Church has nothing that I want or need. In short, Grace Church holds no power, no clout, and no leverage in this conflict.
Healing involves truth telling. It does not include incentivizing Sugarland Chiow’s fabrications, inflammatory rhetoric, and un-Christian conduct. Any effort to sweep Grace Church’s misconduct under the rug simply further damages the church, and reinforces how little Sugarland Chiow and others at the parish understand what is required for healing in a faith community.