Showing posts with label Bob Malm abuse of authority. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bob Malm abuse of authority. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Bob Malm, Troll

Years ago I had a wonderful, mixed-breed dog named Sugar. She was a gentle, affectionate creature, with some amusing quirks.

One of those quirks was that any time she passed gas, she would turn around, look indignantly at her backside, and pretend like she had no idea what was going on back there. Of course, she didn’t fool anyone, but she felt she had to go through the motions.

And so it is with Bob Malm. His stream of innuendo centered on my mental health, as well as his overt, written claims that I am mentally ill, are both defamatory and painfully obvious. As such, they are an abusive use of the authority entrusted to him as clergy.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Statement by Bishop Adams Underscores Bob Malm’s Hypocrisy

The Episcopal Church in South Carolina recently made an interesting statement apropos the Lawrencian dissidents. The statement underscores the fact that there is absolutely nothing Christian in Bob Malm’s current smear campaign and effort to avoid accountability by falsely claiming that he’s been threatened.

Here’s what loyalist bishop Skip Adams said:
The break in fellowship within The Episcopal Church that occurred in 2012 must certainly grieve the heart of God. Ever since the break, reconciliation has been our constant prayer. We of The Episcopal Church want to be able to explore every possibility for making reconciliation a reality. 
We have no desire for any member of a congregation to leave his or her church building. Our aim is restoration and unity. We want to work together in mutual respect for the benefit of all, so that we can continue to be about the Good News of Jesus.
That contrasts sharply with Bob’s false police reports and his efforts to force a dying woman, my mother, to testify on his behalf. You’d think that, having lost his own mother (sorry Bob, not a proper noun. It’s lower-case.) only a little over three years ago, he’d have some respect for the dying.

My opinion: Bob Malm is a priest in name only. And like Jesus’ description of the Scribes and Pharisees, Grace is pretty on the outside. But inside it’s rotten and full of decay—like Bob M<alm’s conduct. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Where’s Bob Malm When You Need Him?

With the recent death in my family, I was a little behind the eight-ball in learning of this. But when I saw the news about Roman Catholic priest Michael Briese throwing a black family out of his church during a funeral, I had to conclude that just like Bob Malm, he thinks the place is his.

Heck, maybe Bob can send an email to the family telling them to find a new parish.

Check out the news of Bob Malm’s bullying buddy at

Sunday, July 1, 2018

The Financial Fragility of Grace Episcopal Church

Much was made in the closing months of 2017 about the fact that Grace Church has a budget surplus. But this triumphalism is both empty and dangerous for the parish, as it overlooks the parish’s tremendous financial vulnerability.

Let me start by saying that parishioners have stepped up their individual pledges by almost 17 percent over the past two years. That is a good sign, to be sure.

At the same time, however, the church has lost more than 100 pledging units during the same period of time. Additionally, costs relating to the physical plant are skyrocketing. Average Sunday attendance — a barometer of how compelling the fellowship, worship, and other Sunday ministries are — has dropped by more than 17 percent in the past two years.

But the real risk comes when you look at the concentration of giving in the parish. Three families, all well-known to parishioners, comprise well over 10 percent of all annual giving. Additionally, much of last year’s surplus is attributable to appreciated stock gifts from these same donors. It also bears mentioning that all three families are largely retired. That means that they days when they can support Grace at current levels are fast drawing to a close.

Yet safe money says that most vestry members have no understanding of this phenomena. Lose any one of the three as donors for any reason, and things get ugly in a hurry. Yet there is no plan to deal with this risk, and other than the trust fund, there is very little saved for the future. Indeed, as I have pointed out before, operating cash reserves are dangerously low, and nowhere near recommended levels for a church of this size. Yet the good times continue to roll, and cost structures remain much too high, including the massive expenditures necessitated by the cost sharing arrangement with the school. This means that utilities and other non-fungible costs are shared 50/50 with the school, despite the fact that the school consumes the lion’s share of utilities, and causes much of the wear and tear on the building and grounds. Yet there is little evidence that the school produces members for the church or otherwise benefits the church’s long-term mission.

In fairness, the school is much more collegial these days, and the old empire-building days on the part of the school seem to be over. Additionally, Patty, the new head of school, appears both more approachable and more engaged than was Chris Byrnes. Nonetheless, I continue to have long-term reservations about the willingness or ability of parishioners to subsidize the school.

It’s also curious. Even when the vestry was urged to cut back in 2014, parish leaders responded by saying that there was little to cut back. And yet more than $80,000 has been pared from the budget in recent years, including ending the ludicrous $9000 annual grant to the school, which was both unneeded and silly in light of their church’s subsidy of the school’s operating costs.

The upshot is that the church would be wise to start from a zero-based budget, then to ask what programs are ministries are essential, and budget from there. Nor should there be any more bonuses to Bob Malm or other staff absent an annual performance review and the achievement of specific and measurable outcomes. Hint: Bullying and shunning should not be part of any clergy person’s job performance, ever.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

“The Power of Courageous Leadership”: Laughable Moments in Bob Malm’s Sermon

In a recent sermon, Bob Malm apparently attempts to manage perceptions of his lack of leadership and management skills by telling parishioners that he is reading Nancy Koehn’s book, “Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times.” That’s pretty funny, actually, as Koehn’s key messages illustrate just how dismal Bob’s performance as rector really is.

Consider Koehn’s comments during a recent Harvard business school inteview (emphasis added):

Gerdeman: You say in the book that we live in a moment when our collective faith in government, business, and religion is waning. Do you think people have a growing concern that we’re experiencing a void in great leadership? 
Koehn: There’s no question we have a leadership vacuum here. It’s not confined to the executive wing. It’s also in Congress and across the political spectrum. 
This void is partly a result of the lapses of integrity and judgment and decency that contributed to the financial crisis of 2008—and regrettably, many of these lapses were never made right, just as many of the people responsible for them were not held accountable. And this lowered standards for people in power in a range of organizations. 
At the same time, we voters have become seduced by what I call “leadership bling”: by who’s on the red carpet, who got rich quick, by who seems sexy and full of charisma and decisiveness. All this interest in celebrity and wealth has kept us from focusing on what really matters in the people we elect and follow and that is people of strong and decent character, people who want to serve others and advance the collective good. 
Given that the one constant during Bob’s time as rector has been his pursuit of his own needs, and his indifference to the interests of the parish, that’s pretty rich. Or, as Bob once responded when I expressed concern about parish leaders leaving due to unhappiness with Bob, “Why should I give a f***? People transfer all the time.”
In another part of the interview, Koehn discusses Shackleford, the great explorer of the Antarctic and his ability to foster teamwork:
Without Shackleton’s ability to foster cohesion among his team, those folks wouldn’t have survived. It started with how he selected people for his team. He hired for attitude and trained for skill. 
Yet Bob appears to select people based on their loyalty to him, He then provides no training, and he almost entirely ignores organizational dynamics. 
In short, Bob is the very antithesis of the leadership skills Koehn identifies. Yes, he may pull in some buzzwords that he uses to sound good in the future, but the reality is he has zero interest in being a principled, successful leader. Nor does Bob reflect God’s love. He merely uses the words to pursue self-love. And if history is any indicator, Bob will talk loudly and try to sound confident, but at the end of the day he’ll still be a bully who picks on people like Mike who are not in a position to fight back. 
That is not courageous leadership.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Breaking News: 2018 Social Media Seen More Than 500,000 Times!

Social media is a wonderful thing, including its ability to reach the entire world in a matter of minutes. And social media has been a key component in getting word out of Bob Malm’s questionable ethics and conduct, including instructing staff to engage in shunning.

Sometime in the next few days, we pass a major milestone, which is that 2018 social media posts on these topics soon will have been seen 500,000 times nationwide.

Not to bad for a church with less than 2 million members!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Mike Also Asks to be Dropped from all Episcopal Church Records

My husband Mike, who was received into The Episcopal Church during the Great Vigil of 2014, today asked that his name be removed from all church records. The move follows his decision last year to renounce the Christian faith. The decision is based exclusively on Bob Malm’s conduct.

As he put it, “Throw my records in the shredder.”

Nice move Bob. Of this I am sure: God does not look favorably on clergy whose conduct results in those entrusted to their care renouncing their faith.

Just saying.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Context: I Previously Offered to Settle

As Bob Malm noisily tries to convince the fat cats at Mayo House and the Alexandria police department that I am mean, threatening and mentally ill, true to form he conveniently omits a salient fact, which is that in 2015 I offered to settle our differences. Through Jeff Chiow, Bob turned down my offer, yet now he angrily looks for a way to force an end to the dispute, which simply is not going to happen.

Specifically, shortly after Leslie Steffensen’s stupid and remarkably un-Christian response to my background check, my attorney contacted Bob and shared that we intended to file suit for defamation. We offered to drop the case if Bob agreed to two things:
  1. End his campaign of disparagement.
  2. Stop his interference with the practice of my faith.
Of course, both should be normative for clergy, but through Jeff Chiow, Bob rejected my offer. So, Bob now gets what he wanted, which is a continuation of the conflict.

So, next time Bob starts complaining about being “attacked,” about slander and defamation (he clearly does not know what the words mean), and carrying on about how the police should not permit people to criticize him, keep in mind that Bob chose for this conflict to continue. True to form, having made an arrogant, mean-spirited, reckless and really dumb choice, Bob now hopes to convince others to bail him out from his own stupidity.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Newsflash: Grace Church is #Clueless

In all of this, one of the amusing things is that neither Bob Malm, not Jeff Chiow, nor David Crosby,  nor the Grace Church vestry, nor church members, get it. That’s right, #clueless.

Newsflash: The problem you have is not negative reviews of your sad church. Nor will efforts to make negative reviews go away succeed. In fact, the more you attempt the latter, the worse you make things for yourself. For example, Bob Malm’s campaign of innuendo about “dysfunction” and “health” is now a laughing stock in some circles, and will be for a long time to come. The fact that, as a church, you buy into his silliness just adds to the amusement.

Newsflash #2: When people look at your conduct, they don’t see anything even remotely Christian, and it has nothing to do with my blogging.

Nor do the following work:
  1. Suggesting that I commit suicide.
  2. Contacting my employer and current church.
  3. Claiming that I am delusional, for there are plenty of original source materials on this blog, with many more to come, including Jeff Chiow’s inflammatory and abusive legal pleadings. 
  4. Arguing that there are two sides to every story. The conduct documented in this blog is wrong and un-Christian, no matter how you parse the issues.
  5. Lying about what has transpired.
  6. Threatening me or my family.
  7. Claiming you took Ambien, LOL. (For the record, no one’s tried that line yet, but doing so would be in keeping with Bob Malm’s usual antics.)
Newsflash #3: The reality is straightforward: The only way to have people regard your sad church as healthy is to be healthy. No shunning, no bullying, no parking lot conversations about former parishioners, no emails about your perceptions of the mental health of others, no threats, no innuendo, no lies claiming that I left on my own. When the day comes (unlikely as that is) that I and others who have criticized you can walk into Grace Church and be welcome, then you will be on the road to health. (For those of you who are still shaking your heads, Google “prodigal son.” Yeah, in the Bible.)

Until you change your behavior, Grace Church will continue its precipitous decline. People are not stupid, and they understand that sooner or later they too will experience your toxic behavior if they associate with you.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

The Condescension of Christ

One of the things I have really seen throughout this conflict is how poorly trained Episcopal clergy are in conflict resolution, and how quick they are to resort to patronizing condescension — what I kiddingly refer to as the condescension of Christ.

While I have discussed the matter with relatively few clergy in the diocese of Virginia, the vast majority either resort to tired old saws about forgiveness that are not theologically sound, or dismissive BS about how I’m being hateful, etc.

But the reality is that Jesus had little use for clergy who saw themselves as better by virtue of their role as clergy. Nor do he shun people —including the “hateful,” such as tax collectors.

This faulty understanding of forgiveness, redemption and welcome, combined with lack of accountability and an unwillingness to tackle difficult issues, exists at all levels of The Episcopal Church. Some have rightly noted that this paradigm interferes with the church’s ability to address impairment, but the reality is it extends to challenges, problems, and conflict at every level of the denomination.

The Jesus I know is the Jesus of the radical welcome, the protestor against injustice, and the friend to the outcast. Most Episcopal clergy, however, know nothing of these things. Theirs is a fictitious Jesus: The Jesus of the prep school and the golf course.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Bob Malm Seeks to Suppress Documentation of His Misconduct

One of the things that is obvious from the emails and other items obtained directly from various third-party sources is that Bob Malm desperately wants to suppress release of documentation related to his misconduct.

For example, in several cases Bob, who knows he does not have a whole lot of credibility with folks at the Wartburg Watch, has trotted out his wife Leslie to plead his case for suppression, including of the original article about my experience with shunning at Grace Episcopal Church. The refrain is the usual Bob Malm fun and games, “You don’t care about the truth.” “Is that healthy?”  Blah, blah, blah.

Why is Bob so eager to suppress the truth? If, in fact, he believes that I have threatened him, why would he not want word spread as widely as possible? If you’re facing a security risk, isn’t the best way to address it to enlist the eyes and ears of the surrounding community?

I think the answer is clear, which is that Bob Malm knows full well that neither I, nor anyone in my family, has threatened him or anyone else. Instead, he tries to bootstrap his way into that argument by relying on misplaced perceptions of trust based on his ostensible role as clergy, then the endless smear tactics. “Is that healthy?”

If Bob really believed his own rhetoric, he would welcome full public disclosure and let the chips fall where they may. The fact that Bob feels the need, both directly and through Jeff Chiow, to try and game the system speaks more eloquently to his true motives than any statement I could make. And it speaks volumes to the personal and professional integrity of both Bob Malm and Jeff Chiow.

Moreover, the more ardently Bob and Jeff adhere to this position, the more thoroughly they undercut public perceptions, both of Grace Church and the Episcopal Church as a whole.

That may not be a bad thing.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Further Proof The Episcopal Church Needs Whistleblower Protection

I recently asked a fellow blogger — someone very well known in The Episcopal Church and a delegate to General Convention — about the proposal from the Standing Commission on Constitution and Canons’ proposal to include whistleblower protection. Leaving out personally identifiable information, here’s the response (emphasis added):

Hi Eric, 
I haven't finished reading the whole SCCC report yet, but I haven't seen whistleblower protection so far. A couple of years ago, we were revising our HR manual at _________. 
Our board treasurer mentioned that he'd met resistance his whole life in Episcopal entities about putting in whistleblower protections. He was surprised we were all so eager to provide this. I don't understand why the whole church isn't this way. 
I've had other friends who met retaliation for filing Title IV charges. And I myself didn't report bullying a couple of years ago, because I didn't have confidence the charges would be handled well. So I have some sympathy. 
All of which is to say, I'm very sorry you had that experience. I hope you've found a great church home, and I'm sorry that you were forced out. 
When I get to the end of the report, I'll note if they made this (promised) provision. If not, I'll be sure to raise the issue.
Blessings to you on your journey.
Believe it or not, I admire this person for being able to stick with The Episcopal Church. After a lifetime as a member, I have come to the conclusion that the church is simply too sketch, aka morally bankrupt, for me to remain a member. And I don’t see any reason to give sacrificially so that some fat-cat priest can live life large, come and go as he pleases, and ignore the requirements of his letter of agreement whenever it suits him.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Bob Malm Announces Protective Order at Grace Vestry Meeting

Never one to shy away from making public his own ill-advised ideas, Bob Malm recently announced his efforts to get a protective order against me at the January 16, 2018 Grace Church vestry meeting, despite admitting in open court that I have not threatened him or anyone else at Grace Church. Meanwhile, his wife Leslie continues to falsely represent what has transpired.

See the vestry minutes at:

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Apparently I’m Not The Only Person to Conclude Bob Malm is Sketch

As I was protesting this morning, a distinguished looking middle-aged gentleman in a grey Toyota SUV parked nearby. He crossed several intersections on foot to come over and ask me about my situation; I replied in very generic terms.

His response was that his daughter had attended Grace Episcopal School for several years, and that he was not at all surprised at Bob’s actions. We made some further small talk, and before he left he again said, pointedly, that he was not surprised at Bob’s actions.

That’s telling, because Bob likes to claim that he’s never heard such criticisms before. And that may well be true; Bob is not one to listen to, or accept, positive criticism.

With that, off to grab a quick bite to eat before protesting outside VTS for a while.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Email from Mom

As Bob Malm goes around claiming that Mom’s blog is mine, that begs an obvious question: Having received email from Mom before, and knowing that she previously filed a complaint against him with the Diocese of Virginia relating to his misconduct, why would Bob not deal directly with her? Indeed, if he truly believes Mom’s blog is threatening (a laughable proposition, given that she suffers from end-stage emphysema), why would he not raise that question directly with her?

My belief is that Bob doesn’t choose to, simply because it’s easier for him to promulgate his false view of reality if he does not, in fact, allow reality to intrude. I mean, wouldn’t a sensible person deal directly with the person who has already been in communication with him? Wouldn’t that seem like a prudent thing to do before you start calling the police and others? Of course it would, and certainly not inappropriate for a member of the clergy. But then, in light of things like Bob’s oft-repeated claim in response to complaints about church office staff, “Don’t worry about it, they’ll be retiring this year,” there’s already ample reason to question Bob’s veracity. Note, too, that neither the diocese nor Bob has ever done anything to address Mom’s concerns, so why would either think that those concerns are now resolved?

Here’s a copy of Mom’s email, replete with the VIP list of cc’s.