Showing posts with label Bob Malm. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bob Malm. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

BUSTED: Perjuring Priest Bob Malm Caught Lying to Bishop!


Episcopal priest Bob Malm

Check it out: In perjuring priest Bob Malm’s court filings, he PROVES conclusively that he lied to bishop Shannon Johnston. Yup, this comes directly from his own court filings, and is an email he sent to the bishop.

Specifically, he claims that I left RPJ Housing prior to coming to Grace. As he well knows, that is a boldfaced lie:
  • I hired Kelly while a member of Grace Church, and based largely on her mother’s comment that they could really use the money, as Kelly had not worked for an extended period of time.
  • Bob Malm discussed issues involving Kelly Gable and RPJ Housing with Elizabeth Legere in January 2014, and with Kelly Gable and me. 
  • Patrick Crerar and I discussed my employment with RPJ Housing multiple times, with my even hiring a member of La Gracia following discussions with him. 
  • I hired church member Amy Barron during my time at Grace Church. Amy worked at RPJ Housing’s offices at the Church of the Covenant. 
So, if there was any doubt that Bob Malm is a lying POS, this should put those doubts firmly to rest. And if anyone doubts my claims, I will be more than happy to subpoena multiple witnesses who can conclusively show that I was, in fact, executive director of RPJ Housing while a member of Grace Church. So, if Bob doesn’t agree that he lied to Bishop Shannon Johnston, he should file suit for defamation. In fact, I encourage him to do so.



Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Why Grace Church is Doomed to Fail



I’ve written about this before, but with litigation now ramping up against perjuring priest Bob Malm, his family, Grace Church, and the diocese, I am reflecting anew on why the parish and diocese are unlikely to spring back from the hot mess that Bob leaves behind.

As I see it, the problem is that the diocese and parish simply don’t get it. As in they don’t understand how to fix the underlying problems.

In recent years, even the Catholic church, long famous for trying to play hardball against anyone who called it to account, has learned that this approach simply makes things worse. Yes, the Catholic Church managed to buy years — some would say decades — of time with its coverups and no-hold barred litigation. But the day of reckoning has arrived, and it’s looking ugly. Yes, some dioceses have tried to restructure so as to place assets beyond the reach of creditors, and more than one diocese appears to be trying to play games with its cemeteries and other, less visible assets. But no matter how you parse it, Rome is shedding members in all directions, and even the Vatican itself appears poised to run a deficit. And I would be prepared to bet that very few of those leaving the Catholic Church will ever come back.

By contrast, the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia remains locked in a 1970’s approach to issues. When in doubt, deny everything. Then litigate, litigate, litigate, and hope you can sweep what’s left under the rug.

The problem is that conflict and misconduct don’t get resolved this way. Indeed, Bob Malm was a master at denying, avoiding, equivocating and doing everything in his power to to avoid addressing conflict or problems, even going so far as to lie in order to avoid dealing with things. But instead of taking the approach that perjuring priest Bob Malm is gone, and it’s a new day at Grace where people tell the truth and deal openly and honestly with conflict, the diocese is playing the very same games. That includes claiming that perjury is okay as long as no criminal charges result.

Sadly enough, there are still parishioners who like and admire Bob. And that’s likely to continue until the diocese has the integrity to openly disclose perjuring priest Bob Malm’s misconduct. Or, as the Rev. Robin Hammeal-Urban notes in her book on misconduct, it is only through disclosure that the church heals. Absent this, churches will, almost without exception, hold onto patterns of dysfunction that will extend for decades.

Unfortunately, this level of integrity simply doesn’t exist, either at Mayo House or the parish vestry. From the bishops, to JP Causey, right on down, it’s all about protecting the organization and its turf, versus doing what’s right. “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free,” simply doesn’t apply. Instead, the diocese and parish cling to, “It’s our lie, and our church, and we’ll do whatever we damn well want, thank you. And your response will be, ‘Thank you Sir, may I have another?’” Even at the vestry, there’s the whole, “well, people liked Bob—do we really want to go there?,” routine.

That also poses a problem for the next rector. Remember the old joke about not wanting to join any club that would have me as a member? Well, the same holds true for Grace. Specifically, any rector worth having is going to want to know that steps have been taken to come to terms with the past, to heal, to learn, and to grow. With that not happening, good candidates are going to take a pass. As one priest said to me about Grace, “God help whoever’s next. You couldn’t pay me enough.”

Nor is Michael Guy going to cut it. While he seems to be more sincere than was perjuring priest Bob Malm, his positive comments and his hints about forgiveness fall far short of what it is going to take to get the parish back on track.

Even worse, those candidates who might be willing to work with these problems face a further challenge, which is that the parish likely will still be in litigation one year after perjuring priest Bob Malm’s departure. Indeed, with litigation only now ramping up, we are probably at least a year away from any sort of outcome, which puts things close to the two-year mark. And for the record, I am not backing down any time soon. But then, five years into this conflict, folks hopefully realize that already. If nothing else, I outlasted Bob, and I can outlast Grace.

Nor do I think that Bishop Goff or the other fat cats at Mayo House have the integrity to admit that they are wrong. Yes, they might say pretty words in order to try to shut down the conflict, but actually owning up to the mess they have made of things and bringing in experts to fix it? You’ll sooner see a snowman in the fierce flames of the furnace room of hell on a hot day. In fact, one of the reasons for the current state of affairs is that, when Pat Wingo went on sabbatical, he had offered in writing that I could reach out to Bishop Goff if I needed help working through issues with Bob. That’s exactly what I did, only to have Susan take a pass. Meanwhile, Shannon Johnston, with his amazing ability to screw things up, had already sent out a letter in support of Bob, while ignoring my response to him.

Typical.

Neither does Grace have the necessary introspection. My bet is that the vestry will try to get a rector in in who’s good at conflict resolution and hope for the best. But given that she or he will not enjoy meaningful support from the diocese, nor have an accurate perspective on conflict within the parish, that dog won’t hunt. And the parish does not realize that it cannot win the current litigation. Yes, it could prevail in court, but that simply adds fuel to the fire and guarantees that the conflict will continue. (Not to mention giving that much more for me and others to write about.) Put in other words, Bob threw the parish under the bus, but folks are blinded to that reality by their loyalty to Bob and their reluctance to admit their own mistakes.

That brings up a final but important point: The diocese tends to try to convince itself that it knows how to fix conflict, so it is unlikely to bring in outside experts. That said, the diocese is spectacularly bad at dealing with conflict, and in the case of Grace Church, a full-fledged intervention is necessary. Outside resources need to come in, wade through the mess, then discuss specific steps towards normalcy, including:

- Talking to others, versus about others.
- Avoiding triangulation.
- Assuming good intent.
- Respecting all opinions and perspectives, even if they are unpopular.
- Backing away from the emotion inherent in conflict.
- Recognizing that, approached properly, conflict can be a profoundly positive experience.
- Establishing written norms.

In short, any sort of resolution starts with the diocese recognizing that Bob occupied the position of power, as is always the case with relationships between clergy and congregants. Thus, it is incumbent for the diocese to start the painful but necessary process of telling the truth, which includes the fact that clergy are always responsible for maintaining appropriate boundaries — always. And that includes not lying about your parishioners, as Bob has done in my case, trying to bully them, or engaging in Bob’s manipulative games. Or, for that matter, committing perjury.

To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, “Bishop Goff, come tear down Bob’s lies. Come tell the truth.”

We’ll wait.


Monday, June 15, 2020

BREAKING NEWS: More Legal Developments

As many already know, some time ago I filed suit for defamation in general district court against Lindsey Malm Anders and Leslie Malm. Today, however, I notified Wayne Cyron, their attorney, that I will be removing the cases to circuit court.

The issue is that general district court is a court of limited jurisdiction, able to hear cases in which the amount in controversy is less than $25,000. Because I believe that several of Leslie and Lindsey’s written statements about me are defamatory per se, I have decided to pursue punitive damages of at least $350,000 against each. As a result, circuit court is the appropriate jurisdiction.

The other advantage of circuit court is that a wider range of discovery is permissible, including depositions, interrogatories, and requests for admission. The downside, though, is that it is a much more protracted process.

As a result of my decision, the first return dates of these cases, which were set for late June, early July, are now cancelled. I hope to have the new cases filed by the end of the week.

Once the new cases are filed, the defendants have 27 days to file a response, so it will likely be mid to late July before the cases start to move forward.

Friday, June 5, 2020

BREAKING NEWS: Kelly Gable Sued for Defamation Per Se



Yesterday evening I contacted Grace parishioner and world champion motormouth Kelly Gable, offering her the opportunity to either document her claim that I embezzled funds from a previous employer or to retract her claims in writing. I further informed her that if I did not hear from her by noon today I would file suit for defamation per se and seek punitive damages.

Having not heard from Kelly as requested, I filed the attached lawsuit against her earlier today.

Defamation per se is a defamatory statement that, inter alia, accuses another individual of engaging in criminal conduct. In such cases, damages are presumed and need not be proven.

There’s also the issue of the statute of limitations. While Virginia law provides for a two-year statute of limitations from the date of defamation, and no discovery rule to toll the statute of limitations in cases alleging defamation, it is clear that republication has recently occurred, most likely from the diocese to other third parties. In such cases, I submit that a tortfeasor like Kelly should not be permitted to escape liability when, as here, the original publication was defamatory per se and the republication could reasonably be expected.

It’s also interesting—perjuring priest Bob Malm republished these statements without privilege and thus also may be liable, depending on how recently he republished them.



Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Episcopal Cafe Confirms the Risks of Communal Singing During Pandemic



I’ve posted several times about the fact that perjuring priest Bob Malm continues his feckless indifference to the welfare of his parish due to his continued use of a choir during Sunday services, including the lack of social distancing evinced in St. Gabriel’s Vimeo feed.

Today, the risk has been confirmed by Episcopal Cafe.

In a piece written by John Chilton, the blog confirms that singing in a communal setting is a highly risky activity.

So the question becomes, “Will perjuring priest Bob Malm take things seriously and act to protect his parishioners?”

If history is any indicator — or Bob’s repeated instances of dabbing at his runny nose with a handkerchief while celebrating Mass provide a hint — the answer is hell no.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Looking for Jesus? You Won’t Find Him in the Discourse at Grace Church

As Grace Church prepares for Dysfunctional Bob’s departure and the arrival of an interim rector, one thing is painfully clear: Any interim brave enough (or perhaps foolish enough) to take the position has her work cut out for her. Specifically, after 30 years of Dysfunctional Bob and his sordid example, the way people in the church talk about each other, and to each other, is appalling.

To be sure, it took me a long time to spot this issue myself. Indeed, it was a member of the Grace Episcopal School staff, herself Episcopal, who pointed it out to me in 2014. Her exact words: “I would never belong to your church, and it’s because of the way people talk to each other. And it goes right to the top. And I’ll tell you right now, Bob will never say anything about it. And because he engages in a certain amount of it himself, he shows people that it’s alright.”

At the time, I foolishly came to Bob’s defense; it was more than a year later before I finally realized that she was absolutely correct.

Now, with the advantage of hindsight, and having seen firsthand that Dysfunctional Bob is morally bankrupt and a perjurer as well, I realize that this ugly discourse does indeed permeate every aspect of Grace Church. Whether it’s Alison Campbell and her fun and games with the altar guild; Lisa Medley and her bullying/bitchy behavior; Teresa Preston and her gestures that indicate she believes I’m mentally ill; Eric Waskowiscz, Amy Medrick and others with their one-gun salutes to Jesus, or Bob Malm in his emails to the vestry and the diocese, there is a profoundly un-Christian attitude within the church that comes to the surface when parishioners talk to each other.

Before we go further, I am not the only one to notice it. Kyle Babin, himself the target of bullying by choir members, called it an “evil spirit” at Grace Church.  Former member John Cunningham posted to Facebook, saying he left the parish due to bullying and other abusive conduct (screen cap below).



Additionally, folks at the Wartburg Watch commented on ugly comments from Lisa Medley and Leslie Malm; the former didn’t even have the courage to post under her name. Their comment: “[these parishioners] seem sane to themselves, they seem immature and hateful to outsiders looking at their behavior.” (Screen cap below)


Going right to the top, we have Dysfunctional Bob’s email to the vestry, in which he describes me as a “sad individual...starving for attention.” While this is an interesting bit of projection from Bob Malm, who regularly curries adulation in order to support his shaky sense of self, the fact the he feels comfortable talking about a former parishioner to the vestry in this manner is telling and illustrates the church culture that Bob has promoted during his 30 years with the parish. (Screen cap below.)




Of course, there also is the comment from a college-aged member of Lisa Medley’s family, in which she urges me to commit suicide. (Screen cap below.)


So what can an interim do to address this situation? Establishing written norms would be helpful, but unpacking and fixing 30 years’ of Dysfunctional Bob’s toxic behavior and lessons learned within the parish about conflict resolution will probably take professional intervention. Even then, it’s an uphill battle, and both the diocese and church members like to sweep such issues under the rug and deny that an issue exists. Indeed, toxic parishioners like Lisa Medley not only deny that an issue exists, but also attack anyone who raises these issues. (Screen cap below.)



It should also be noted that Dee Parsons, publisher of the Wartburg Watch, herself experienced Bob Malm’s efforts at bullying and manipulating her. First, Bob tried the noisy bluster approach, which didn’t work at all. Then he tried flattery. Then he tried manipulation, claiming that Dee had promised to take down any posts about me, all the while ignoring Dee’s recommendation to work towards reconciliation.

As one looks at other correspondence from within the parish, including Jean Reed’s speculation that I am mentally ill, as well as former friend Kemp Williams comments, one reaches the same conclusion that user Ishy, a commenter on the Wartburg Watch, came to as she asked church members:

“What kind of Christians are you? I don’t see any love or concern for Eric in your posts. I don’t see that you tried to do anything about it other than make sure Eric couldn’t come back either. (Emphasis added. Original in screen cap above.)

That conclusion holds true for Bishop Susan Goff on down to the Grace Church vestry and membership. Nowhere is there any evidence of any real concern including for Mike and my other family members hurt by Bob Malm’s conduct, and that of the church. 

So, if you are a prospective interim and you are reading this, just know that if you take the job you are going to have one toxic mess on your hands, and one that requires professional outside intervention.

On the other hand, if you are a church leader reading this and contemplating hiring Bob Malm as supply clergy, you should know that this is part of the baggage that comes with Bob Malm. Caveat emptor.

Lastly, if you are a prospective member, it is important to know that right behind the beautiful, friendly exterior, this is the sort of internal rot that runs rampant at Grace Church. If you join the parish, this is part of the package deal. To quote Proverbs, “in the tongue is the power of life and death.”

Grace Church is just plain bad karma.




Thursday, April 23, 2020

Repost: See for Yourself: Perjuring Priest Bob Malm’s Original Request for a Protective Order Shows the Real Grace Church

This one is great. In it, we see perjuring priest Bob’s facially inadequate claims of threats,  which have, thus far, enjoyed Jeff “Sugarland” Chiow’s professional support. In addition, more of perjuring priest Bob Malm’s intimations of mental illness (including multiple personalities, a disorder closely associated with severe abuse), as well as his facially irrelevant letter from the bishop and his references to blogging. Note too that perjuring priest Bob Malm lies in his chronology about the meeting in Fredericksburg; at no time was there any discussion about “following the bishop’s guidance.” To the contrary, perjuring priest Bob Malm agreed to stop his bullying. It’s also noteworthy that perjuring priest Bob Malm lied in front of the bishop, falsely stating, “Having resigned from the vestry, you were no longer eligible to serve as a trustee.” To which I replied, “Why then, are none of your current trustees vestry members?” Perjuring priest Bob Malm had no response to that.

Check it out.

Meanwhile, as interim pastor Michael Guy talks about preaching the Gospel, this is how Grace Church preaches the gospel in real life. As in, “by their fruits you shall know them.”

Pastor Guy, welcome to Grace Episcopal, the clergy perjury parish.


















Thursday, March 12, 2020

Run! My Advice to Millennials and Gen Z’ers About The Episcopal Church

Priestly perjury plant, in honor of Bob Malm
Today I wanted to share my thoughts on The Episcopal Church with millenials and gen z-er’s. My advice: Keep doing what you’re doing and steer clear of the church. Or, if you’re not already doing that run, don’t walk, to the nearest exit.

When it comes to young people, studies offer some good news for society: Much like millennials, gen z’ers are compassionate, concerned about others, and inclusive. They’re also unlikely to hold rigid notions of right and wrong when it comes to sexual ethics and other issues.

Ten years ago, I would have said those trends spell good news for The Episcopal Church. Inclusive, free-thinking, concerned about social justice and the environment, the church seemed a good fit for generations to come.

Today, I know better. Time after time, I’ve seen how The Episcopal Church talks a good game, while in reality it remains stuck in a Madmen-era time warp.

For example, one hears recited at worship the Baptismal Covenant, in which Episcopalians promise to “respect the dignity of every human being.” Sounds good on paper, but this is a church that is just starting to address sexual harassment, almost 50 years ago after such conduct became verboten in corporate America.

Similarly, the clericalism of the church, in which clergy are treated as somehow superior to laity, is not just hypocritical. It’s repulsive. The folks in the pews are the ones who support the food pantry, the homeless shelter and more through donations of time and money. These are given after what, for many, is already a 50-60 hour workweek. This contrasts sharply with Bob Malm, with his regular work hours, $200,000 compensation package, $100,000 bonus, month at the beach every summer and time off for marathons and golf.

Nor would this oversized clericalism necessarily be a bad thing if Bob lived an exemplary life. But as I’ve discussed elsewhere, when criticized for his conduct towards parishioners, Bob has no problem yelling, “Why should I give a fuck?” (Yes, there were witnesses.) Bob commits perjury, lies to vestry members and parishioners repeatedly, tries to drag the dying into court, and curses like a sailor at sporting events. (Yup, witnesses to that, too.)

For the record, I don’t have an issue with cursing, but it’s not something I expect regularly from a priest. The rest I don’t expect from anyone, let alone a priest.

Right about now, the Bob Malm fan club, including Bob himself, responds by saying, “Well, he’s human too.” I get that, but most of us don’t try to drag the dying into court. We have an issue with perjury. We have an issue with lying to people we claim to care about. And we have an issue with bullying and harassment, whether in church, school, or the workplace. In other words, Bob’s conduct is far below what we hope for in our friends, let alone our clergy.

Nor do I think most of us have much in common with a overaged frat boy whose life revolves around beer, running, golf and the beach, with bad hair color, alligator skin, nasty teeth and an ugly hair transplant. If nothing else, few get to spend a month at the beach every year. In fact many, myself included, haven’t had a vacation in years.

Nor is the problem confined to Grace Church. In fact, The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia has repeatedly said in writing that it doesn’t have an issue with Bob’s conduct. That specifically includes:
  • Bullying.
  • Failing to safeguard church funds (think thousands of dollars of cash previously unaccounted for, as well as numerous spare checks and bank deposits routinely showing up at the bank in amounts different than what is on the deposit ticket.)
  • Possible gender-based harassment.
The icing on the cake is when the diocese said, in writing, that Bob’s perjury only counts if he faces criminal charges. I even emailed Bishop Susan Goff about that, and appealed to Melissa Hollerith. The latter is the priest in charge of the clergy disciplinary committee. This sort of facially broken ethical reference point illustrates all too well how the church’s main priority is protecting the organization, versus doing what’s right. It’s exactly the reason young people already distrust the church, and I can assure them these issues are not getting any better over time.

Indeed, the diocese and parish are still in court, trying to defend Bob Malm’s perjury. So it’s fair to say that the diocese has had numerous opportunities to fix things, but its priority is not, and never has been, acting with integrity.

The diocese also likes to have things both ways. When it comes to clergy discipline, the diocese will point people to church wardens, or local elected leaders, oblivious to the fact that Bob Malm chooses the wardens at Grace Church. “The bishop really doesn’t have that level of authority,” says Todd Ousley, a senior denominational official who handles clergy discipline.

Yet in recent days we have seen Bishop Goff, the leader of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, shut down almost all church worship meetings through the end of the month due to the coronavirus. So help me understand: How does that work? How can Goff have the power to shutter churches throughout the diocese, but not the ability to address clergy misconduct in local parishes?

Couple that with the church’s priorities and things really get ugly. Grace Episcopal can afford to pay Malm a $100,000 bonus, but it devotes less than 3 percent of its budget to caring for those in need? How does that work? And telling me that the school is part of its ministry is just bogus. So what? Kids learn how to properly wax Mommy and Daddy’s Escalade? Please. 

Then we get to folks at Grace Church urging me to commit suicide, bullying each other and more. Jesus loved everyone, but folks at Grace church flip you off if you criticize the church. Nice.

Or Jeff “Sugarland” Chiow, the church’s attorney, with his inflammatory rhetoric, fake places and fake events. Or naming part of the church building after perjuring priest Bob Malm. All I can say is if any of these issues reflect your idea of Christianity, no thanks. You can keep it.

In short, The Episcopal Church has damned little to do with Jesus, and everything to do with being a little clique of well-heeled members of a religious club. So if you are a young person — or any age, for that matter — do yourself a favor: Look for meaning, ethics, and connection with others elsewhere. You’re going to be sadly disappointed with The Episcopal Church.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Bob Malm and Sugarland Chiow: A Painful Lack of Common Sense



You have to hand it to Bob Malm, Sugarland Chiow, the Grace vestry and the diocese: None of them have half the common sense God gave a goat. Not Christian ethics, not Christ-like behavior. Just good old-fashioned common sense, like don’t stick your finger in a light socket. Or don’t dive into a swimming pool if you’re not sure there’s water in it. Or don’t wander around in the dark if you don’t know where the stairs are.

Specifically, I’m thinking of my conflict with Bob Malm. Both Bob and the parish would have been far better off had Bob heeded my July 2014 warning to quit the fun and games. Or if they had taken me up on my offer in 2015 to settle our dispute in exchange for nothing more than an agreement to leave me alone; through Sugarland, Bob refused my offer.

Then there’s the matter of our previous ceasefire. Bob specifically agreed that he understood that our agreement only extended to me. Not to Mike, not to Mom, not to others. Yet in no time flat he was back to his fun and games, trying to manipulate people on all fronts.

Then there’s the matter of Bob Malm’s perjury. Did he really think that was going to work? His daughter Lindsey allegedly called the police over a post on Fairfax Underground that she didn’t like, and next thing you know Bob has pulled the parish in right behind Lindsey. Smooth move, Bob.

Then we got to Sugarland’s inflammatory rhetoric and courtroom fabrications. Because court filings generally are open to public inspection, much of that is now a public record, available for all the world to see. Did he really think calling me a “domestic terrorist” was going to help the church? Folks seeing that sort of nonsense wind up rolling their eyes and heading for a church with a slightly more, um, Christian ethos. Or leaving church altogether.

And of course the diocese has trashed its own reputation by claiming that clergy perjury is okay unless criminal charges are involved. Facially amoral positions such as this make clear that the diocese is nothing but a badly run nonprofit. Same for the blind eye the diocese turned towards Bob Malm and his efforts to drag a dying woman into court. Did anyone really think that would end well for Bob, the parish or diocese?

In short, there’s nothing even arguably Christian about Bob, the parish or the diocese. One has only to look at their conduct to realize that the Episcopal church is morally bankrupt and mired in the filth of its own hypocrisy. As a result, I predict that, absent a sea change, the forecast that TEC will have no Sunday worshippers in 30 years will come true much sooner for Grace Episcopal and the diocese.

There’s simply no longer any good reason to be a member of The Episcopal Church. 

Monday, February 24, 2020

Diocese of Western Massachusetts Response to Allegations of Abuse Stands in Sharp Contrast to that of DioVA and Susan Goff


Earlier today, the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts released a statement in the case of Gregory Lisby, an Episcopal priest who allegedly has admitted to possession of child pornography. Further, evidence has emerged that Lisby may have abused a teen in the parish.

In a letter to the diocese, Bishop Douglas Fisher says:
“I am deeply saddened to know that a priest is alleged to have committed such a grievous sin,” Fisher wrote, “and on behalf of the entire church, I offer my most heartfelt apology to the victim, the victim’s family and to everyone whose trust in the church has been violated. 
“I cannot undo this terrible situation, but I can commit our diocese to telling the truth and seeking healing and reconciliation for anyone who has been harmed by Lisby.”
That stands in marked contrast to the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, which has consistently engaged in coverup of Bob Malm’s misconduct. This includes insisting that it will not so much as look into allegations that Malm has committed perjury, repeatedly made false statements of law and fact to the courts, and more. Indeed, via the Rev. Sven vanBaars, the diocese has said it will only take action if Malm faces criminal charges.

Currently, the diocese and Church Insurance are defending their conduct in court. That includes throwing money at the matter, even going so far as to hire a transcription service for the first return—something that almost never happens. In short, the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia is diing everything in its power to avoid telling the truth.

Meanwhile, church members continue to make obscene gestures at me and otherwise demonstrate just how toxic their brand of “Christianity” really is.

Caveat emptor—the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, Grace Episcopal Church and Bishop Susan Goff are morally bankrupt.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Shout Out to David Crosby

Given that David Crosby likes to materialize here in cyber from time to time with with his hypocritical church-speak, Jesus-babble, and claims to be able to assess mental illness without so much as speaking directly to the subject, here’s a quote for him from Canon Robin Hammeal-Urban’s excellent book on clergy misconduct, “Wholeness After Betrayal”:
By failing to disclose truths, we are in essence lying by omission....for our relationships to be trustworthy and authentic, we need to know the truth about ourselves and others. This is particularly true for all members of congregations who have been betrayed by a trusted leader, lay or ordained. Misconduct erodes trust, not only between the offender and the primary victim, but also among other members of a congregation. To begin to rebuild or establish trust, it is essential that misconduct, which typically involves secrets and secretive behavior, be brought to light.
My questions to David:
  • If you really are a Christian, why are you afraid to look into the question of Bob Malm’s perjury? 
  • Do you really think anyone believes Bob’s claim, made in writing, that I left on my own? If he did, why did Bob feel the need to tell church staff to exclude me? 
  • Why did Bob Malm include Mike Smith in his vendetta? 
  • Do you understand that failing to tell the truth is not only lying by omission, it will ultimately result in the collapse of Grace Church? 
It will soon be Lent, David. Time to tell the truth. The whole “there are two sides to every story” routine doesn’t cut it.




    Episcopal priest David Crosby. Friend to perjuring priest Bob Malm.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Spiritual Abuse and Healthy Churches: Good Article in CT

There’s a good podcast on Christianity Today (“CT”) that discusses spiritual abuse in churches, why it’s often difficult to spot, and typically even harder to address. The information is very relevant to Grace Episcopal Church and the spiritual abuse/toxic dynamics within the parish. Take a listen here.

Key points:

Spiritual abuse, which often involves bullying and manipulation, typically is hard to detect, as it usually involves an ongoing series of small acts that, when examined individually, appear innocuous, but when taken as a whole, form a damning pattern.
  • Rejection of critical feedback, something I observed many times with Bob Malm, is a key indicator of spiritual abuse. Indeed, Bob refused all accountability, either ducking the issue with fabrications, such as saying of church office staff, “Don’t worry about it, they’ll be retiring this year,” or trying to shut it down via explosive outbursts of rage, as in when Lee Meeks brought up governance concerns concerning the Shrine Mont event at a vestry meeting.
  • Church leaders who engage in spiritual abuse often are adept at manipulating perceptions, thus making it difficult for people to realize just unhealthy a church has become. 
    • For example, consider Bob Malm’s “confession” in his final Grace Notes before retirement, in which he states, “in 30 years, I’ve not visited as much as I would have liked. As an example, out of the 15 current Vestry (sic) members, I’ve only visited the homes of 8!” That sort of pseudo-confession is typical of spiritually abusive leadership, and in Bob’s case amusing, as he never lacked time for golf, running/marathons or his month at the beach every summer. Indeed, I don’t recall ever hearing of Bob showing up at a hypothermia shelter, the homeless shelter, or any other ministry, except for Art on the Avenue and the annual altar guild tea. Hardly a grueling schedule, even by the most generous of standards.
  • Because spiritually abusive churches tend to place leaders on a pedestal, they tend to demonize critics. Moreover, one never sees concern within the church for those viewed as critics. 
    • While insiders view the situation as normal, outsiders may view church members’ conduct as childish, hateful, and toxic. Consider the comments on The Wartburg Watch, when Leslie Malm and Lisa Medley went on the attack after the publication covered Bob’s behavior at Grace Church. As one commenter put it, “While these parishioners may seem sane to themselves, they appear childish and hateful to outsiders viewing their actions.” 
    • Similarly, Kemp Williams’ emails about me, in which he says, “It is abundantly clear that Eric is psychopathic,” further illustrate the level of discourse within the parish. Leaving aside the fact that one would hope for better from members of the church, Kemp appears oblivious to the legal concept that opinion may be defamatory if the matter is provable as a matter of fact. The fact that conversations of this sort are acceptable and normative at Grace Church makes clear the depth and breadth of the issues within the parish, and the extent to which the diocese’s laissez faire attitude toward the parish is causing lasting harm. Here is Kemp’s email:


  • Because information flow within spiritually abusive churches often is tightly controlled, people rarely talk to others, preferring instead to talk about others. This is the case at Grace Church, where Bob tried to keep control of information by not releasing financial data, restricting dissemination of vestry minutes, and more. That trend continues to this day, and the fallout is reflected in Kemp’s email above. Given that Kemp has never discussed this thoughts directly with me, and Bob was for years largely indifferent to church security, one sees how this toxic paradigm plays out.
  • Denominational leaders, like Susan Goff, typically are willfully ignorant about issues of abuse, particularly spiritual abuse. They don’t understand it, and be choosing not to bring in those who do understand it and can advise them appropriately, they offer tacit and sometimes explicit support.
  • Toxic churches like Grace typically cause healthy individuals to seek other churches, leaving sycophants, empaths, enablers, and peacemakers at the helm. While these individuals often are well-meaning, they may have little appetite for directly addressing problems, particularly when the problems are as challenging as those involved in spiritual abuse. This certainly has played out at Grace Church, which has shed almost half of its pledging units in recent years, as well as numerous members.
    • Ironically, Lisa Medley claims that that I have said that my conflict is responsible for the church’s declining fortunes and that these issues transcend my conflict with Bob and the parish. She is correct that the parish’s problems go far beyond this conflict; indeed, her toxic responses underscore this reality.
    • Similarly, as the Rev. Robin Hammeal-Urban (canon to the ordinary for the diocese of Connecticut) notes, it is not the person who discloses abuse that is the cause of the harm that results. It is the abuser who is responsible for the harm. Thus, one can see in Kemp Williams’ email the classic response of a toxic church when abuse comes to light.
    • A healthy parish would be unaffected by the criticism of a former parishioner, no matter how noisy he or she might be. It is only as people realize that there indeed are serious problems that they begin to reduce their commitment to the church.
      • The fact that Bob Malm committed perjury, tried to drag a dying woman into court, repeatedly proffered false information to the courts, then tried to paper over the mess by seeking a settlement agreement containing non-disclosure and anti-disparagement clauses indicates just how toxic the church has become. 
  • As Dominique Benninger notes in recent media coverage of his experiences with spiritual abuse, “It is hard to trust once your faith has been used against you.”
  • In short, the best way to become a healthy church is to be a healthy church. And just like an alcoholic starts the road to recovery by acknowledging their problem, Grace Church will only be healthy when it tells the truth about what has transpired and the problems it faces. And like an alcoholic, Grace Church’s illness is progressive, meaning that left untreated it will only get worse, likely becoming terminal if it continues.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Reflections: Ethics, Legal Practice and Representing Lindsey Anders and Leslie Malm

Comment from Twitter About Bob Malm’s Conduct

Earlier today, I received a copy of a document indicating that Lindsey Anders and Leslie Malm are now represented by legal counsel in Alexandria. Out of respect for the attorney involved, I am not yet prepared to disclose the document, nor the identity of legal counsel. I do, however, want to reflect on the challenges facing legal counsel in such situations.

First, let’s look at the ethical issues confronting attorneys. Per the professional rules, these include the duty of candor to the tribunal. That means being truthful with the court, including not permitting deception by silence. Further, the ABA contemplates that attorneys must correct false material evidence, including that offered during discovery. This may take the form of private remonstration, supplemental answers to interrogatories, and more. But if the client fails to correct the deception, the lawyer may be forced to take matters into her own hands, even possibly having to withdraw from representation and disclose the false testimony to the tribunal. And while the rules talk about “actual knowledge,” and “reasonable steps,” neither can an attorney turn a willingly blind eye to client fabrications.

In the case of Bob Malm, I submit that Jeff “Sugarland” Chiow’s conduct failed to comport with these requirements. He knew, or had cause to know, that Bob committed perjury by claiming that Mom, or someone purporting to be her, contacted him repeatedly to set up appointments, then canceled. This simply didn’t happen, yet Bob and his attorney took no steps to correct his perjury. Moreover, the issue is material, as he cites this as one of the reasons for his assertion that Mom’s blog was really mine. Moreover, Bob separately asserted under oath that all of the answers to his interrogatories were true, so he lied a second time. Yet I have seen no evidence to suggest that Sugarland corrected his client’s lies. And then there is Bob’s fabrication that, to his knowledge, only his wife had blogged about our conflict...the list goes on. (Those new to the matter may wish to discover elsewhere in this blog the reasons behind Sugarland’s moniker.) 

Into this ethical morass we have a second issue, which is how members of the Malm family handle conflict. My conclusion is that Bob often gaslights others, or engages in revisionist history. Both Leslie and Lindsey appear to have picked up this habit, although to a lesser extent. Some examples:
  • Leslie Malm’s alleged claim to third parties that I admitted in court that Mom’s blog was really mine, both facially ludicrous and false. 
  • False assertions as to the genesis of our conflict.
  • Leslie Malm’s claim that I have stated that my mother was in her 90’s.
  • Fabrications in which they allege that I have misused church funds, engaged in criminal activity, and am mentally ill.
Woven as a thread throughout is juvenile behavior and ad hominem attacks by the Malms, ranging from comments about my sexual orientation, to remarks about the size of various body parts, to remarks about my mother. None of these are pretty, yet Bob and his family seemingly are all about outward appearance. 

Thus, the perennial issue facing all attorneys seemingly is at play here, which is whether Lindsey and Leslie will be candid and truthful with their legal counsel. Will they admit to their behavior, or will they try to pull a fast one on legal counsel? Past conduct suggests that the answer could well be the latter.

That of course raises other questions, including whether counsel for the diocese will ignore prior courtroom fabrications on the part of Bob and the parish. While both client and counsel may well find this to be a tempting route, the long-term interests of the diocese, the parish, and The Episcopal Church suggest disclosure is the wiser course. Nor is it wise to defend a series of fabrications, misleading statements of law and fact to the courts, ad hominem attacks, and other questionable conduct on the part of Bob Malm, Sugarland Chiow, and the parish.

There’s also the reality that, in litigation, the biggest issues often are non-legal in nature, ill-suited to resolution in the courts. Bob Malm’s strategy of decreeing critics “domestic terrorists,” his ugly and false comments to the parish vestry, to church members, and to others about me (non-privileged, since I was no longer a member of the parish, and I believe made with malice), have caused lasting damage to the church, the diocese, and the bishopric, regardless of the outcome of these cases. Indeed, some of Bob’s ugliest comments were made within the church, and having met with no objection, may illustrate larger issues within the organization. Nor is it easy to defend efforts to subpoena a dying woman in violation of Pennsylvania law.

In short, no matter how long this and the related cases are in litigation, and they could well go on for years, the harm caused by Bob Malm’s misconduct and that of parish legal counsel is largely irreparable. 

Next up: The ethical perils of representing multiple parties.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Sad News: Mom has Died


My last photo of Mom
Early yesterday, Mom died, literally minutes before I got to her home. The end was peaceful, as she dozed off and simply slipped away. I sat with her for the next several hours, holding her soft, frail hand, telling her I love her. Finally, a medical professional was able to brave the icy roads to declare her dead, and I went to the hotel for a few hours of fitful sleep.

Mom did manage to hang in there much longer than medical experts anticipated, due to both being a fighter and her skill as a retired RN. And she had several things she wanted to see happen before she died, including the end of abusive priest Bob Malm’s fraudulent protective order against me, which expired this past Friday. And she took gleeful pride in seeing photos of me and a small group of fellow protestors last Sunday, directly in front of Grace Episcopal Alexandria, my former church, where Bob Malm was rector for 30 years. Indeed, until the last 24 hours, Mom remained as alert as ever, even though she was unable to communicate.

No memorial service is planned, but if you would like to do something to honor Mom’s life and the love she brought to so many, please share this petition or chip in a few dollars so that others can sign.

My deepest thanks to everyone who has traveled with Mom and me on this most difficult journey.

https://www.change.org/abusivebobmalm

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Further Proof Grace Episcopal Alexandria is Toxic

Yesterday, someone associated with Grace Episcopal posted several abusive comments on my change.org petition. I’ve included a screen cap below. And while I have turned these over to the police, as Virginia law makes direct contact of this sort potentially criminal, there’s a larger point here.



The larger point is that, even on a petition involving a dying person, people at Grace Church think this sort of thing is okay. And even having lost almost 1/3 of the church’s pledging units, a 33 percent decline in the church budget since 2008, and a 17 percent decline in attendance, they still don’t get it.

People at Grace Episcopal actually think this sort of behavior is okay for Christians. And they have absolutely no clue why 2/3 of people under age 30 have no use for organized religion, and why 1/3 are actively hostile to religion.

My advice: Avoid Grace Church at all costs. This is just the tip of the iceberg. And avoid Bob Malm—given his attitude and comments about parishioners, it should come as no surprise that people think this sort of childishness is okay.

And if you want to speak out about this sort of childishness, sign my petition at http://www.change.org/abusivebobmalm. Or email Bishop Susan Goff to share your thoughts at
sgoff@thediocese.net

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Check it Out: Petition Continues to Garner Signatures, Approaches 300



One of the amusing things about my social media presence is that Lisa Gardner, Lindsey Malm Anders and the other trolls connected with Grace Episcopal like to claim that no one supports my efforts. That of course is a bunch of hooey.

Leaving aside Dee Parsons and my almost 1500 Twitter followers, we are fast approaching 300 signatories on my petition to the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia to conduct a full, fair, and impartial investigation of Bob Malm’s abusive conduct. Again, impartial — not an untrained intake officer violating policy and calling up Bob Malm to ask him if he did anything wrong, then calling that an investigation.

Of course, the large number of people supporting me underscores another issue with Bob Malm, Grace Episcopal, Sugarland Chiow, and the Diocese of Virginia. The issue is that truth was never a relevant factor for any of the above when it comes to addressing conflict or acting like Christians. 

Nor does Bob Malm’s disclaimer, “Well, I’m not Jesus,” hold water. While the dissimilarity between Bob Malm and Jesus is well established, the disconnect does not justify perjury and other illegal behavior. In short, Bob’s comment is a red herring, nothing more.

Check it Out: Unless You’re Convicted, Perjury Is Okay for Clergy in The Episcopal Church

Here’s a good one: Another Title IV notice of dismissal from the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia.

Where to start?
  • First, there is no requirement of a criminal conviction for conduct to be prohibited under Title IV. Indeed, Canon IV.4.1(h.6) makes clear that conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation is forbidden, period.
  • Second, it is not the role of the intake officer to assess whether a violation has taken place. It’s simply to ask two questions: If true, would the matter complained of be a violation of the canons and, if so, would it be “of weighty and material importance to the ministry of the church.” Nothing more. Beyond that, the reference panel handles everything.
  • Third, there is no Title IV requirement of confidentiality apropos laity, and I refuse to be silenced by the church.  Requesting silence from those hurt by the church is highly inappropriate, just as is the case with the non-disclosure agreements of the Catholic Church.
  • Fourth, the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia has repeatedly ousted clergy for violations of Title IV, even when the complaint involves criminal conduct but there is no conviction. Out of respect for others, I don’t plan to publicly share specifics, but it is at best disingenuous for the diocese to contend that conviction is a prerequisite for a successful Title IV complaint.
  • Fifth, as of January 1, 2019, the identity of complainants is confidential per the express provisions of Title IV. So why is Bob copied on this and provided with my name? The diocese itself has violated Title IV.
  • Sixth, the diocese has repeatedly refused to provide the pastoral response required under Title IV, which must occur any time a complaint is made to the intake officer. Yes, even in cases of dismissal.
  • Seventh, police don’t charge suspects. Commonwealth attorneys do. Perjury also is notoriously hard to prosecute, so Mr. vanBaars essentially is saying that perjury is fair game for Episcopal clergy.
Screwed up, thy name is Episcopal.







Monday, January 20, 2020

Mark Your Calendar!

Mark your calendar now for the resumption of protests directly outside Planet Malm, beginning January 25, 2020.

Our first Sunday back will be marked by several special guests, who will be joining us from out of state. We’ll also be filming, as we do now when demonstrating and leafleting, so we’ll be looking for plenty of Grace Episcopal’s one-gun salute to Jesus.

So come on out and help us develop our next “God’s Grace for All” video!




Sunday, January 19, 2020

Check it Out: BlakeWrites Covers My Story

More media coverage of perjuring priest Bob Malm, Grace Episcopal Church, and St. Gabriel’s in Marion Massachusetts today as online publication BlakeWrites covers my story at https://www.blakewrites.com/articles/abuses-of-power-by-clergy

Bob Malm, perjuring priest

Grace Episcopal, the clergy perjury parish


Wednesday, January 8, 2020

BREAKING NEWS: SNAP Enters the Fray

Earlier today, I got some good news, which is that the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) will start sharing information on my change.org petition to hold perjuring priest Bob Malm accountable. Additionally, executive director Zach Heiner signed my petition.

Good news as we move into 2020.