Showing posts with label COVID-19. Show all posts
Showing posts with label COVID-19. Show all posts

Monday, August 10, 2020

Perjuring Priest Bob Malm Continues to Test Boundaries at St. Gabriel’s

Bob Malm, perjuring priest

Previously, I posted about perjuring priest Bob Malm’s appalling disregard for the welfare of others, and his lack of leadership, in refusing to wear a face covering while leading services at St. Gabriel’s. True to form, Malm continues to play games with these issues.

Last Sunday, Malm officiated at St. Gabriel’s. And he wore a mask, at least initially. But he took it off in no time flat.

What’s telling though, is that, is that after the sermon perjuring priest Bob Malm did not put his face covering back on. While some might claim that this was inadvertent, I believe Wade Mullin’s comment about abusers constantly probing, testing, and renegotiating boundaries, which I previously posted, holds true.

Think about it this way: If perjuring priest Bob Malm actually wanted to lead by example, he would have promptly covered his face again. The same holds true if Bob Malm actually cared about the welfare of those around him — he would want to take every step he could to keep them safe. 

So in this small but symbolic move, Malm again tries to show he’s in charge, that he makes the decisions, and that he can’t be told what to do by church authorities or others. And it is a tiny probing of boundaries, so that somewhere down the road he can push things just a little further.

Of course, many who read this will dispute it. No doubt perjuring priest Bob Malm has spent a fair amount of time charm bombing St. Gabriel’s. But I’d bet you if you could have a candid conversation with Deacon Cathy, you’d see a much less attractive portrait of Bob. 

If you’re a member of St. Gabriel’s, I urge you to be alert to the possibility that all that glitters is not gold. Nor is all that is friendly indicative of faith. Nor does a good sermon mean that the person delivering it necessarily believes, or lives out, the content.

Friday, July 31, 2020

More on Perjuring Priest Bob Malm’s Failure to Comply With Pandemic Safety Laws, Guidelines

Having known perjuring priest Bob Malm for a number of years, I’m prepared to bet on his response to my allegations that he has disregarded diocesan and state requirements to ensure safety during the pandemic; perjuring priest Bob Malm likely told parishioners that he wasn’t aware. But that excuse doesn’t cut it.

Here is what the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts has to say on this topic:

Bob Malm, perjuring priest

“Clergy and lay leaders are to be well-informed about these directives.”

So why do we keep seeing St. Gabriel’s being one step behind the times when it comes to compliance? Accessing information is not exactly challenging. And these are life and death issues of safety for the very people who make up the church.

And again, why is perjuring priest Bob Malm not wearing a face mask? Isn’t he supposed to lead by example?

Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Perjuring Priest Bob Malm Repeatedly Violates Massachusetts State Health Laws During Pandemic

Somehow, I have the funny feeling that perjuring priest Bob Malm has been at it again. Specifically, I am told that St. Gabriel’s, the church where Bob serves as interim, decided at the 11th hour not to transition to Phase 2 of the diocesan reopening plan.

Here’s what the church’s website says:

Note the whole bit about “information we didn’t have” and about informing the media “as you think best.” Hmmm. Sounds to me like what really happened is that the diocese said no to the reopening plan, possibly because it was non-compliant with state and diocesan policy.

And while there may or may not be more to this story, one thing is clear, which is that perjuring priest Bob Malm routinely violates the law when leading services. Specifically, he doesn’t wear a face covering. But even more disturbing is the utter lack of leadership perjuring priest Bob Malm evinces as interim rector when he refuses to take basic measures to protect his own health, and that of others.

Let’s start by taking a look at the health and safety guidelines issued by the diocese for Phase 1, which were promulgated May 18 and formed the foundation for moving to Phase 2. Of relevance is the highlighted section, which allows only a cantor or soloist, provided he or she is at least 20 feet from others and in a well-ventilated area.

While one can debate whether the nave at St. Gabriel’s is well-ventilated, there’s no doubt that the parish is not compliant on other fronts.

Below is a screen cap from the May 26 service. Yup, that’s a choir, and while there’s more attention to safety than the early days of the pandemic—including the wearing of face coverings — the service features a small choir, less than 20 feet distancing (but not standing right next to each other, as was the case at first), and myriad other issues.

Eventually on June 14, we see the move to a soloist, but even then the distance is well inside of 20 feet.

Now let’s shift to a related issue, which is the Massachusetts Department of Health requirements during Phase 1, with reference to the highlighted area. You’ll see that it requires all staff and clergy to wear a face mask or covering while participating in worship. That’s right, all. No exceptions because clergy feel warm, think they sound funny when talking, think it looks goofy, believe they’re special, or any other reasons.

The face mask requirement loosens a little bit for clergy in Phase 2, but only while actively leading the service.

Meanwhile, as a workplace safety matter, Massachusetts requires all employers eligible to open in Phases 1, 2, and 3 to require face masks of all employees. Here’s the screen cap, with the face mask requirement located on the upper right.

Additionally, Plymouth County, in which St Gabriel’s is located, requires face coverings in all “essential” businesses. While the measure does not specifically reference churches, it is broadly worded and has an “included but not limited to,” clause. Moreover, businesses are required to implement signage at their entrances, per below:

Now, let’s take a look at perjuring priest Bob Malm’s response to these requirements. Or, to phrase it in another way, how Bob is leading by example. Or not.

Following is a screen cap from the last service at which perjuring priest Bob Malm officiated at St. Gabriel’s:

Perjuring priest Bob Malm just can’t keep
his hands away from his face
Yup, no face covering, and perjuring priest Bob Malm is contaminating furniture, AV equipment, albs, stoles, lecterns, prayer books, altar linens and more by wiping his snotty nose, then handling other items without washing his hands or using sanitizer.

That begs the question: While perjuring priest Bob Malm may choose to be indifferent to his own welfare, or that of his wife and family, how can he stand in front of St. Gabriel’s, whether in person or via Vimeo, and display such a profound lack of concern for the welfare of others? Even as he babbles on about love? How does this exemplify leadership? Nor are these minor issues; they involve the potential for tremendous human suffering and loss. And if perjuring priest Bob Malm doesn’t follow the law, why should anyone else? (Not that I am encouraging anyone to disobey the law.)

Consider: Even Donald Trump, long the purveyor of conspiracy theories and weird claims that COVID-19 would go away on its own, has started wearing a face covering. True, it’s not out of concern for others, but rather because he fears losing the election. Even so, the point is valid: What does it say about Bob Malm when he doesn’t use a face covering, but Donald Trump does? Is Bob Malm really that special?

For the record, even when social distancing is possible — and many infectious disease experts believe 6 feet is not adequate — wearing a face mask reduces the both the risk of direct transmission as well as transmission via fomites, or inanimate surfaces that become contaminated. And keep in mind that singing, even with one person, is considered a high risk event.

On the other hand, keeping your snotty handkerchief in your back pocket, dabbing at your face, and touching other surfaces afterwards without using hand sanitizer or washing is a recipe for disaster. And given that perjuring priest Bob Malm is 68, he is high risk, as is his wife Leslie. And it’s especially troubling when in close proximity to the altar and other high-touch surfaces. (It’s worth noting that the state recommends that lecterns and other high-risk surfaces be protected with plexiglass shields, plastic, or other barriers.)

Bottom line, if your rector won’t comply with state law amidst the pandemic, or the commandment to love thy neighbor as thyself, or even just show enough respect for you to cover his face, you need to find a new rector. Pronto. And while you’re at it, you probably should ask some tough questions about the church and the diocese. It’s called lack of adult supervision.

COVID-19 is deadly serious. Don’t play games with your safety and that of others. And don’t tolerate anyone who does, especially when, as here, you are paying him and trusting him with both your spiritual and physical wellbeing.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Speaking of COVID-19 Stimulus Funds....

Grace Episcopal Church

COVID-19 relief funding is a topic that got a lot of attention on the diocesan weekly conference calls. Yet darned few Episcopal churches got money, the diocese got none that I can see, and Shrine Mont got a small amount. Nor did Grace get any, other than the funds that reached the school.

That begs the question: With much of the federal government still closed, and many parishioners sitting around bored, why didn’t the church apply? Or more to the point, given all the damage that Sugarland caused the church with his ad hominem attacks and ugly courtroom rhetoric, why didn’t he step up to the plate? Surely that would be a more useful way to spend one’s time than trying to drag dying women into court in violation of state law?

Sugarland, where are you when Grace Episcopal, the clergy perjury parish, needs you?

Saturday, July 18, 2020

BREAKING NEWS: There’s Been a Sighting!

Yup, there’s been a sighting. No, it’s not Nessie. It’s not the Abominable Snowman. It’s something far, far scarier. It’s Chris Byrnes, former head of school at Grace, who’s recently been sighted at St. Paul’s Alexandria as interim head of the preschool.

For starters, well-placed sources tell me that Chris has been hiring. That’s a curious thing. Last I heard, the pandemic was still raging. Church was still virtual. And giving at churches was still way down.

Indeed, I have been told that the St. Paul’s preschool is projecting a potential budget deficit of $100,000, or roughly 6 percent of the church’s pre-COVID plate and pledge income as reported for 2018. Yes, those numbers can and probably will change, but 100K or anywhere close to it is alarming just now.

So why on this green earth would Chris need to hire? Doesn’t any well-run organization try to align expenditures with income? Do vestry members know that the church, which is not a separate legal entity, will be on the hook for the loss? Do church members know? Are they good with subsidizing the preschool? Surely at a time like this there are plenty of other demands on church revenues. I can only say that, if the preschool is going to run a deficit like this, there needs to be whole lot of transparency and good governance as part of the deal.

Yet it appears that Chris is acting in a manner consistent with her tenure at Grace Episcopal School, which can scarcely be called a high water mark of good governance and Christian conduct. There, Chris was famous for empire building and an approach that can best be described as “what’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is mine.” The result was unnecessary tension between the church and school, tensions among school staff, and more. In short, neither good governance, nor helpful to the life of the church.

For example, in one case, Chris decided to do an end-run around the Grace vestry in order to bring a for-profit summer camp in to the building for the summer. She did so by hitting perjuring priest Bob Malm up directly, and I am told by school staff she did so deliberately in order to circumvent vestry scrutiny. But providing space to a for-profit is a per se violation of written parish policy, yet Chris allegedly signed the contract before the vestry even knew about it. This sort of manipulation and triangulation is highly inappropriate and damaging to relationships within church, and should not be tolerated, ignored, or condoned. In short, it is the opposite of good governance, and the opposite of how a healthy church should function. Nor should church employees like Chris knowingly violate written church policy; to do so is a breach of their fiduciary duty they owe the church as a matter of law. (No doubt it comes as a shock to learn that funds from the for-profit summer school did not go to the church.)

Even more disturbing is the fact that the for-profit summer camp did not follow diocesan guidelines for the protection of children. Kids were allowed to roam the building without supervision, and without two unrelated adults present at all times. This is in express violation of diocesan and parish policy, and as such is a serious legal and moral risk. Even worse, the school is not a separate legal entity, so Chris’ disregard for church policy places the church itself at risk.Meanwhile, there were repeated instances of damage to the building, and to my knowledge the church was never reimbursed. And when, as a warden I asked about the added costs related to the summer camp’s use of the building that fell to the church, Chris replied that she had “made arrangements.” That passive-aggressive response was arrogant, inappropriate, disruptive, disrespectful, and unhelpful. And it was an approach that was all too common.

In one particularly alarming case involving the summer camp, a little boy was trapped in the men’s room by the motion activated lights; when they turned off, he could not find his way out, and I found him screaming and crying in terror. The camp counselor was nonchalant, saying, “I wondered where he had gone,” despite the fact she was almost certainly within earshot of his desperate cries for help. And Chris did not seem all that concerned by the little boy’s terror, despite the fact that he apparently had been trapped for 90 minutes.Needless to say, I was apoplectic, and the experience haunts me to this day. No child should go through that.

But what was most troubling was what I perceived to be Chris’ penchant for triangulation and manipulation. Far too often, Chris forgot that she was a parish employee, instead trying to come in and tell church leadership how things were going to come down. And as illustrated by the discussion of the for-profit summer camp, Chris was not above forum shopping to get the results she wanted.

Nor was she above conduct of questionable veracity. On more than one occasion, I asked Chris not to manually adjust valves on the HVAC system, yet she did so anyway, then pretended that she had no idea what I was talking about. The result was thousands of dollars in unnecessary HVAC expenses, and it should come as no surprise that Chris didn’t have the integrity to step up to the plate and pay the resulting bills.

Chris also was interesting on the issue of cost sharing between the church and the school. For example, she would demand to see line item detail on phone bills, on the alleged basis that the school was paying for others’ long distance calls. But phone lines were a flat rate that included long distance, and I think she knew that. My belief was that her real reason for wanting the bills was to see who was calling whom. And while Chris would try to nickel and dime the school’s portion of cost sharing, when I deliberately let funds through that were in the school’s favor, she didn’t say a word. (I donated earmarked funds to offset the cost of my experiment.)

I also got feedback from multiple vendors that they perceived Chris to be a control freak. While I cannot independently verify that, I heard similar comments from school staff.

There also were issues with space sharing, with Chris on multiple occasions trying to take over space belonging to church ministries through subterfuge. Again: the school itself is a church ministry. As an employee, Chris had no business playing these games.

It’s also interesting that although vestry members had both the right and the legal obligation to see school financials and board minutes, Chris did her best to keep such information from the vestry. Yet transparency, including salary information, should be a hallmark of any well-run non-profit. Thus, I had grave concerns about Chris’ financial disclosures and governance practices, and those concerns continue to this day.

Nor did I find Chris’ fun and games to be helpful. If she had a concern with disclosure, the appropriate way to address it was to speak at a vestry meeting. Behind the scenes antics, triangulation, and other silliness is unhelpful, childish, and would have gotten Chris fired in any well-run organization. But then no one has ever accused Grace Church, the clergy perjury parish, of being well-run.

Well-placed sources say that at least one church leader at St. Paul’s has already resigned due to Chris’ antics, and I am prepared to bet that there will be others, and additional discord, when all is said and done. Certainly, the search consultants who were brought in following Chris’ departure got an earful, and I am prepared to bet they, or others connected with the search process, would be willing to share feedback with St. Paul’s.

While we’re on the topic, how exactly does one operate a socially distanced preschool? Some health experts have said they believe reopening schools will be catastrophic, particularly in light of the juxtaposition with the annual influenza season. And it seems to me even more problematic in light of the high percentage of folks at St. Paul’s over age 65 or otherwise at risk.

If nothing else, were I on the vestry I would want answers to these questions. Nothing is more important than the safety of parishioners, their families, and friends, and those served by the church. The last thing the church needs is a COVID-19 outbreak emerging from the preschool.

I’m also curious about Chris’ path to St. Paul’s.

My understanding is that she was a facilities coordinator at Episcopal High School, which would seem to be inconsistent with her previous experience as a school administrator. But then, church members who had spent years as school administrators were none too keen on Chris during her tenure with Grace, noting her propensity to brush off unexpected visitors, to work with her office door closed, and to otherwise close herself off from the ebb and flow of life within the school. In short, Chris was not thought to exhibit the warmth, the openness, and the interest in others needed to encourage a lively, vibrant school environment that fosters respect, joy and inclusion.

Perhaps this explains the odd back and forth between purported early childhood experience, school administration, and facilities management. Nor am I aware of any hands-on teaching experience at EHS, yet some are under the impression that Chris taught a computer class while there. I would welcome any clarification that others might provide on these issues, especially since I know of few facilities coordinators who teach classes.

It’s also worth noting that Chris’s LinkedIn profile doesn’t reflect the fact that she retired from Grace — replete with a $6K barbecue for her farewell; the church stupidly paid its half from savings. Perhaps the $6K would have been better spend on the education of the children whose parents pay $20K a year for the privilege of sending their children to Grace Episcopal School. If nothing else, sorry folks, I work too hard to donate money to subsidize $6K farewell parties at church. I’d gladly give the funds to help the homeless or maintain the building, but a picnic? Not so much. If Grace Church has that kind of money lying around, it doesn’t need my funds.

At the end of the day, rather than appointing Chris, a purported interim, to the school’s executive committee, church leaders would be far better off asking why she’s hiring additional staff when the preschool already is facing a deficit. Or why, at a time when St. Rita’s, Alfred Street Baptist, and Grace Episcopal School were all chowing down at the COVID-19 stimulus feed trough, Chris Byrnes, with her many years of experience, wasn’t leading the charge to get St. Paul’s access to stimulus funds? Perhaps instead of hiring, Chris should have been working to increase funding. (I base that comment on ProPublica’s database of COVID-19 grant recipients, which does not show St. Paul’s as getting any funds. If  stimulus funds did in fact reach St. Paul’s, I would be happy to receive that clarification.)

Of course, there’s also the Biblical argument, too often forgotten in The Episcopal Church. Jesus said,  “By their fruits you shall know them,” but I do not see Chris’ conduct as being reflective in any way of a healthy relationship with God or others. It certainly does not foster the sort of respect that should be normative within a church.

So why is St. Paul’s not asking tough questions? And why are highly skilled lay leaders resigning, allegedly due to their interactions with Chris?

Folks, this is not what church is supposed to be about.

Grace Episcopal Alexandria: Sharp Decline in Virtual Attendance Calls Into Question the Survival of the Church

Grace Episcopal Alexandria

Grace Episcopal Alexandria

Grace Episcopal Alexandria
Most recent

Several local Episcopal parishes are seeing continuing surges in online attendance amidst the COVID-19, with the result that some even say that going online is the best thing that ever happened to them. But Grace Episcopal, the clergy perjury parish, is seeing a precipitous decline in online attendance. The news spells trouble for the church and suggests that it is sliding further into existential crisis.

In 2018, the last year for which there were official numbers, average Sunday attendance (ASA) at Grace had declined to 253. That represents a drop from recent years, which typically ran about 315. 

Why does that matter? Because ASA has long been considered a key barometer of church health. Specifically, people may pledge, not pledge, get married, stay single, have children, not have children — all events that touch on the life of the parish — but if they aren’t turning out on Sunday it’s a fair inference that there is nothing drawing them to community.

Of course, in the midst of the pandemic, ASA doesn’t fully apply, and hits on services uploaded to YouTube won’t accrue all on Sunday.

But one would think that virtual attendance would correlate loosely with ASA, perhaps running somewhat lower to account for elderly persons, those of limited income, and others who may not be able to access online services. (For the record, arrangements can and should be made for these folks, whether it’s mailing them bulletins and audio tapes, phone calls, or socially distanced visits.)

So where does Grace Episcopal, the clergy perjury parish, stand?

The answer is not good.

Coming into Easter, numbers were looking pretty solid. For example:
  • Lent 5:  382 
  • Palm Sunday: 461
  • Easter: 483
  • Easter 2: 285
In short, hardly a case of people breaking down the virtual doors, but still respectable.

Now, let’s look at recent numbers.
  • Pentecost 3: 139
  • Pentecost 4: 162
  • Pentecost 5: 123
To be fair, attendance historically drops in summer. But these numbers are unprecedented, and they are consistent.

But that’s really damning are the most recent numbers. For example, as of this writing, the July 15 evening prayer service has zero hits. That’s right—not even staff or vestry members bothered to surf by. Similarly, the video about the windows of Grace, which inplicates a big, expensive, and time-consuming project, only scored 114 hits. That is not good. And average virtual attendance is running just 141–a decline of 44.14%!

My hunch is that several factors are at play. One is that perjuring priest Bob Malm, like many narcissists, is a compelling actor/preacher. His voice breaks at all the right places, his inflection creates a sense of urgency, and he is appropriately animated. His Jesus-babble may have had no substance behind it, but it sounded good, even as he was committing perjury and otherwise engaging in misconduct. In other words, Bob would have you conclude that the storefront is the store, and he made sure the facade is Gucci.

Michael Guy, on the other hand, appears sincere, but his delivery is solid, slow, measured. Thus, if you’re looking for the superficial theatrics, you’re going to be disappointed. In other words, Michael would have you ignore the storefront, but step inside, do some shopping, form your own conclusions.

Of course, it is not fair to compare one priest with another, for each brings his own skills to the table. Unfortunately, after 30 years of perjuring priest Bob Malm, folks at Grace Episcopal Alexandria, the clergy perjury parish, don’t have the spiritual maturity to understand this. 

Second is the fact that Grace remains closed at a time when NVA is reopening. That’s a prudent choice, but it also means that Grace’s online offerings face increased competition. Of course, as the pandemic drags on, people increasingly realize we neither will, nor should, go back to the way we were any time soon.

Third is the fact that Grace continues to stay close to home when it comes to filling positions. Whether it’s pulling in Jason Roberson (he of the infamous “thriving and flourishing” fib), or drawing on Chrissie Crosby to fill the family ministry role, the church is having trouble attracting fresh blood, and with good reason. But at the same time, drinking from the same well over time results in stale water, and the parish really needs to pull in some vibrant new personalities and perspectives. It needs to be willing to turn over a new leaf on every front and to ask the tough questions.

People tell me Bob Malm is gone to try to incentivize me to stop my criticism of the church and its conduct, but the reality is the church itself has done nothing to shift away from its worship of Bob Malm and his feckless years as rector. In just a few years Falls Church went from 115 members to being larger than Grace Church in every respect, while perjuring priest Bob Malm pulled in his 200K a year, played golf, jogged, and spent a month at the beach every summer. All while parish financial records were a shambles, governance a disaster, and the church continued to watch its budget, ASA, and membership shrink.

Fourth is the fact that, as my conflict with the parish drags on, it becomes increasingly clear that the emperor has no cloths. The Lisa Medleys, Sugarland Chiows, David Crosbys, Lisa Gardners and other sycophants and enablers can engage in all the ad hominem attacks they want, but the reality remains unchanged: This is a church where it’s okay for:
  • Clergy to commit perjury.
  • Clergy to lie to their parish and bishop.
  • Members to engage in defamation per se (yes, that would be Kelly Gable),
  • The church to try to drag a dying woman into court in violation of state law, and more. 
And one has only to look to the numerous emails from perjuring priest Bob Malm, the ugly rhetoric from Sugarland Chiow, the utter unwillingness of Bishop Goff to provide adult supervision, and the blithering cluelessness of David Crosby with his whole “two sides to every story,” to realize just what a hot mess Grace Church is. 

I have said it before, and will say it again: There are NOT two sides to every story. 
  • There is no such thing as a good racist, nor are there good people on both sides.
  • There is no excuse for bullying Mike out of the church. 
  • There is no acceptable explanation for clergy perjury. 
  • There is no excuse for defamation per se. 
  • There is no excuse for urging others to commit suicide.
  • There is no excuse for trying to subpoena a dying woman in violation of the law. 
  • There is no acceptable reason for Sugarland Chiow’s courtroom fabrications and ugly rhetoric. 
  • There is no acceptable reason for clergy like David Crosby to make excuses for these behaviors. It’s time for David to grow a pair and say no to misconduct in the parish.
So will David Crosby and other purported parish leaders “man up” and act like Christians? I doubt it.

Grace Episcopal Alexandria
Sorry, David, there are NOT two sides to every story. And you should not use this line, particularly if someone has been abused in any manner whatsoever. That includes spiritual abuse. In other words, as a priest, you are a clueless dolt.

Meanwhile the church faces the grim reality that most insurance policies don’t cover punitive damages. And with multiple claims for punitive damages lurking, the parish faces the possibility of losing the trust fund, the building and more. Not to mention that, not being incorporated, Grace church offers parishioners no shield from personal liability. That means that if insurance does not cover judgments against the church, individual members could personally be on the hook, including a new rector. (This should not come as a surprise to members. Vestry members have a moral and legal obligation to provide accurate, timely information about governance issues to church members. So if you are hearing about this for the first time from this blog, you should be asking tough questions of the vestry and the diocese. I’d add that I long ago urged Bob Malm to explore setting up a corporate entity for the church. You can see how that turned out. Meanwhile, Kelly Motormouth Gable continues to insist that her claims are truthful. Talk about a great way to tick off both a plaintiff and the courts.)

Nor are parish leaders unaware of the peril facing Grace Church. For example, the discussion about hiring Chrissie until January, when the church will know more about its budget and its new rector, speaks volumes about the current state of affairs. The reality is that the parish may not have the money to have someone in that slot next year, and every indicator suggests that giving will continue to trend down. That trend will accelerate should we see COVID-19 related deaths in the parish.

Meanwhile, there’s one given, which is that the current state of affairs is likely to continue for the indefinite future. And that includes my opposition to abusive, hypocritical conduct at Grace and those who enable it by turning a blind eye.

I am not going away any time soon. I will not be bullied into silence. I will not be bought. Meanwhile, my blog is a few days away from zooming past 200,000 hits—many more hits than the church website garners.

Grace Episcopal Alexandria

Grace Church surely is in a bad way. And the old joke about any club that would have me as a member isn’t one that I would join holds true: Any priest with the skills to fix Grace Church likely is smart enough to stay away.

Or as one priest, a noted author, canonically resident in DioVA said to me, “You couldn’t pay me enough.”

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Check it Out: Grace Episcopal School Receives COVID-19 Bailout Funds

Grace Episcopal School Alexandria

Grace Episcopal School, which bloviates on its website about how “We believe that good character grows from daily acts of honesty, respect, responsibility, compassion, and courage. We pledge ourselves to develop these ideals with integrity, striving to do what is right at all times,” yet seemingly had no problem with perjuring priest Bob Malm as chaplain, just gobbled down a COVID-19 bailout.

Grace Episcopal School Alexandria

According to Pro Publica, the school gobbled down federal funds in an amount of $150,000 - $350,000. The school was somewhat slow off the mark, coming in behind both St. Rita’s school and Cindi Bermudez’s Maid to Clean.

No word yet from Princess Patti on her views on trying to drag a dying woman into court in violation of state law, despite the fact that perjuring priest Bob Malm lists Princess Patti in his talking points as a contact for information on our conflict.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Shrine Mont Defies Logic, Suggests it Will Open Late This Year

Before we take the plunge, let me say this: I have no existing quarrel with Shrine Mont. That said, its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is straight out of “Dumb and Dumber.”

In recent communiques, the retreat says it may open late this year, and that it’s following the pandemic closely. Okay fine, but that misses the mark.

Rosslyn, the other diocesan retreat and situs of the bishop’s residence, wisely announced several weeks ago that it is closed for the remainder of the year. And while I recognize that Shrine Mont often is one of the few local jobs available for youth in the area, it needs to close too.

The reality is that we are not in the late stages of the pandemic. We’re not even in the middle stages. Indeed, based on the relatively small percentage of the population infected, we are in the very early stages.

Nor is a vaccine or effective treatment a given. While odds favor both, the reality is that viruses remain potent, nimble foes, with the ability to mutate and otherwise respond to changing medical interventions. And while some Americans are already chafing at stay-at-home directives, viruses are able to play a long waiting game, with degraded forms of viruses even found in mummies.

To make matters worse, church attendance is recognized as a super-spreading event. While I am no fan of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia and its feckless approach to governance, to its credit the diocese itself recognizes this in its announcements regarding regathering.

The problem with Shrine Mont, however, is that the very things that make it unique and fun are risky. That includes:
  • Communal dining
  • Singing events
  • Sharing rooms
  • Socializing in close quarters and more,
Indeed, even check-in is risky when folks must gather in a hotel lobby, and I cannot see any way that rooms can be sanitized to a level that supports the volume of traffic that Shrine Mont experiences. Indeed, many of the rooms don’t even have adequate distancing between beds and outside windows, given that there is no air conditioning.

Moreover, while there seemingly is little community transmission of the virus in rural areas within Virginia, many of the big churches come from Richmond and NVA, both epicenters of the outbreak. Thus, Shrine Mont runs the risk of bringing clusters of cases into the Shenandoah Valley, with a very real possibility of infecting camp counselors and kitchen staff.

At the end of the day, church remains a super-spreading event, whether it occurs indoors at churches in Northern VA, or at the comparatively rural Shrine Mont. And neither will be safe for clergy and parishioners who are 65+ or who have chronic health diseases any time soon. And the risk of adverse publicity remains great, for a cluster of cases originating at Shrine Mont would garner headlines nationwide, and put the lie to the diocese’s claims of putting the needs of others first.

Then there is the issue of the unknown effects of the disease. With some patients reporting ongoing cognitive difficulties, kidney and lung damage, and inflammatory responses throughout the body, plus the recent deaths of children due to previously unrecognized manifestations of the disease, it’s much too early to think about “nice-to-have” events like Shrine Mont.

To make matters worse, Shrine Mont continues to hold out hope that it will have groups there this summer. But for the reasons referenced above, this is a profoundly bad idea, and the diocese, Susan Goff, and Shrine Mont all make themselves look stupid by hedging their bets.

But then, given that the diocese is okay with Bob Malm’s perjury on the grounds that he did not face criminal charges, and his appalling courtroom conduct, there’s little reason to suspect that it will ultimately act in a particularly ethical manner when it comes to Shrine Mont.

We’ll see.

In the meantime, Shrine Mont needs to do the right thing, quit beating around the bush, and recognize that it simply cannot ensure a reasonable level of safety in the midst of a pandemic.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Perjuring Priest Bob Malm Continues to Place Church Members at Risk of COVID-19

You have to hand it to perjuring priest Bob Malm. Not only is he reckless and indifferent when it comes to the obligations of being clergy, but he is remarkably stubborn—an ugly combination in the best of times.

Now, in the midst of a global pandemic, perjuring priest Bob Malm continues to ignore basic precautions to prevent the transmission of the virus. These measures include not touching one’s face or nose and washing one’s hands before and after if one absolutely must do so. Even more important is recognizing that singing in a choir is considered a “super-spreader” event, which aerosolizes respiratory droplets, thus making participation in a church choir highly risky.

In the attached screen cap from perjuring priest Bob Malm’s May 3rd service at St. Gabriel’s Marion Massachusetts, we see Bob yet again wiping his nose with a handkerchief, with no before or after sanitation. As a result, he places himself at risk, while contaminating vestments, altar linens, his wireless microphone and everything else he touches with any bacterial or viral cultures present.

Even more worrisome, choir members are much less than 6 feet apart. Ideally, there should be no choir members present, but if that is a necessity, they should be spread as far apart as possible throughout the nave. Not only does that not happen, but everyone at the room is considered high risk due to age.

So, my message to St. Gabriel’s is this: If you take nothing else from this blog, please be aware that if you are participating in Sunday services during the lockdown you are placing yourself, your church, your loved ones, and your community at risk. While you no doubt are well-intentioned, love of others requires that you do all you can to prevent the spread of the pandemic.

To learn more about the risks of airborne transmission during the pandemic, see
Perjuring priest Bob Malm places church members at risk of COVID-19

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Roslyn Retreat Center Closes for Remainder of 2020

The Roslyn Retreat Center, one of two retreat centers owned and operated by the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, today announced that it is furloughing employees and closing for the remainder of 2020. The move is in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Per remarks for Bishop Susan “It’s Not Misconduct if there are No Criminal Charges” Goff, the news was first relayed to staff at Shrine Mont, which is still debating how best to respond to the pandemic. Curiously, Shrine Mont is currently saying that it will open for the season in late May — prior to the lifting of the governor’s lockdown, and well before the pandemic is predicted to peak in the state.

In Roslyn’s case, news of the closure is not yet posted on the center’s website. I believe, however, in light of the denomination’s aging demographics and the fact that the CDC has deemed worship services and choir practices to be “super spreader” events, that the decision to close is appropriate.

The financial implications of the closures of diocesan-related organizations will be severe. While these organizations will have relatively limited carrying costs, especially with the furloughs, grounds maintenance and other structural expenses continue, regardless of whether they are open or closed. Moreover, while the diocese historically is relatively secretive about the details of its finances, it appears to derive several hundred thousand dollars a year in income from these facilities. That’s important at a time when the diocesan budget is declining on average more than 2% every year.

My guess is that Shine Mont also will close for the year, as there’s simply no way to safely move large groups through, particularly in light of the number of persons who share rooms, and the common dining facilities. But one way or another, the diocese faces some damned rocky times ahead.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

More Evidence of the Hypocrisy of Perjuring Priest Bob Malm

One of perjuring priest Bob Malm’s least attractive qualities is his tendency to tell people what he thinks they want to hear, even when it’s not true. And this appears to be starting anew at St. Gabriel’s in Marion, Mass., where perjuring priest Bob Malm serves as interim rector.

In a local news story covering the effect of COVID-19 churches in his area, perjuring priest Bob Malm says:

That is inconsistent with his behavior as rector of Grace Church, where Bob didn’t even bother to meet regularly with church wardens. Even when, as in my case, they had his back while he was out on disability. Yet Bob never failed to get in his month at the beach, his junkets “out of town,” his week off for the Boston Marathon, and more. Indeed, Bob traveled to Massachusetts twice, and to Georgia once, while still collecting disability in 2014. Too sick to come to work, but not too sick to travel more than 3,528 miles by car and to spend six weeks at the beach.

Nor did Bob make any greater effort during his final year as rector. Indeed, like many narcissists, Bob tried to manage perceptions on the way out the door by volunteering just how feckless he had been, saying:

And given that Grace church, like most churches, pretty much recycles the same vestry members over time, this is a stunning admission.

But then, given that hanging with perjuring priest Bob Malm is not exactly a slice of paradise, perhaps the folks at St. Gabriel’s should count themselves lucky.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

BREAKING NEWS: Announcement that DioVA Is Suspending all Live-streaming from Churches Spells Additional Trouble for Grace

Yesterday, DioVA announced that it is suspending all live-streaming from church buildings and shutting church offices except on the basis of unavoidable need. The move, while morally sound, is likely to spell further trouble for Grace Church and other parishes facing challenges.

My hunch is that the diocese’s willingness to address the matter from an ethical perspective doesn’t reflect any new found organizational integrity. Rather, I believe it’s driven largely by bishop Susan Goff’s recent cancer diagnosis and the advice of her physicians, who would undoubtedly tell her she is in a very high risk category during the pandemic due to age and the immunosuppresssive effects of both cancer and radiation treatment.

Could the diocese finally be placing integrity over organizational survival? Perhaps, but its dismal track record on such things would make this a startling outcome. I mean, the whole unwillingness to even investigate Bob Malm’s perjury suggests a church every bit as corrupt as the Catholic church, and in some ways even more so.

Meanwhile, the diocese is in communication with parishes in transition, to see whether they wish to move forward or not. Those fairly far along likely will finish the process, but Grace and others just starting down that road probably will pull the plug. After all, what is left of the parish after the pandemic, including liturgical practices, may look very different. And the reality is that the aging demographics of The Episcopal Church means that it will be particularly hard hit, both in terms of the death of members and the inability of members, faced with a sharp recession, to maintain support for the parish.

Of course, in all of this, the question arises: If clergy are “working from home,” what exactly do they do? Yes, they can be in touch with parishioners by phone, and they can offer prayers for the dying via Skype. But it all sounds very much like Bob Malm “working from home” when his mother had cancer, Yes, some emails got answered and phone calls made, but my sense is that most of what got accomplished was playing golf—and a lot of it, at that.

So, with no live services, and no streaming services from churches for the foreseeeable future, why is Grace spending more than $220,000 a year on the building?

It’s a tough question to answer. And having no vision for the future does not make things any easier.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Planning to Enroll Your Child at Grace School Next Year? If So, You are Stupid

As I reported in an earlier post, experts state that COVID-19 can survive on the soles of shoes for five days. Experts express particular concern for children, who are by nature inclined to handle shoes, and to play while on the floor.

With this in mind, and in light of the numerous food-insecure and homeless people who access the main entrance to the building — the same one used by the school — parents must ask if Grace provides an appropriately clean environment.

Additionally, the increased presence of tuberculosis and other readily transmissible airborne diseases by cohorts of limited economic means places Grace Episcopal School children at risk.

Moreover, I have issues with Patti Culbreth’s personal and professional integrity. Specifically, her blind willingness to jump on board the Bob Malm/Sugarland Chiow perjury bandwagon absent any firsthand contact with me, as evinced by internal church memorandum obtained during discovery, suggests Patti is not one to make independent moral decisions. In a world disrupted by vicious tribalism and a blind willingness to follow so-called leaders, the last thing students need is a head of school who lacks critical thinking skills.

Simply put, Grace Episcopal School is not a good environment for students in various ways.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Perjuring Priest Bob Malm Remains Oblivious to COVID-18, Places Congregation at Risk

And the damned pig doesn’t even wash his hands after taking communion and before offering it to the congregation.

Don’t be surprised when members of St. Gabriel’s contract COVID-19.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Grace Episcopal Alexandria Food Pantry Places Parishioners and Students at Heightened Risk of COVID-19

Grace Episcopal Food Pantry Creates Elevated Risk of COVID-19 Exposure to School Students and Others

Let me say upfront: I fully support efforts to alleviate poverty and food insecurity. But the presence of the food pantry at Grace Church creates serious ongoing issues of potential exposure to COVID-19 for students at the church school, as well as parishioners and staff.

The problem is that the food insecure and marginally housed or homeless persons typically lack access to medical care and testing. Further, they often are unable to maintain social distancing, and will lack access to COVID-19 testing for the forseeable future.

"This virus is quite transmissible through relatively casual contact, making this pathogen very hard to contain," says James Lloyd-Smith, co-author a UCLA study on the topic. Moreover, the virus can travel on shoes for at least five days, according to another study. This results in widespread transmission, including to areas that would otherwise seem unlikely to experience exposure.

While children may be less affected by COVID-19 than those in older cohorts, those with asthma and other preexisting conditions are at elevated risk. Further, children at Grace School may unwittingly bring the virus home and expose parents, grandparents and others in vulnerable cohorts.

The New England Journal of Medicine also reports that the virus can live for at least three days on door handles, light switches and other high-use hard surfaces. Ibid.

Thus, with the Grace Church food pantry remaining open during this period of social distancing, floors and hard surfaces in and around the Commons — which includes the entrance to the school —have the potential to spread the virus through all parts of the building, particularly via foot traffic. Given the high percentage of persons age 65 and above in the parish, this creates enormous risk when in-person worship resumes at the church.

For these reasons, all persons at high risk of infection should avoid entering the building until such time as a vaccine and wide-spread testing are available. Additionally, those at risk should pay close attention to efforts to develop some form of treatment for the disease; as things stand, all medical professionals can do is provide mechanical ventilation and other supportive measures until the disease has run its course. And the elderly should carefully contemplate the words of American Health Care Association Mark Parkinson, who said, “The grim reality is that, for the elderly, COVID-19 is an almost perfect killing machine.”

Meanwhile, parents are well-advised to avoid re-enrolling their children at Grace Episcopal School.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Perjuring Priest Bob Malm Shows Why Social Distance Doesn’t Work at Church

These photos were taken shortly before perjuring priest Bob Malm handled several small children in preparation for baptism—no hand sanitizer in sight! And moments later, he conducts Holy Eucharist.

So much for avoiding touching your face.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

COVD-19 Hastens the End for Dying Grace Episcopal Church

While few at Grace Church, aka St. Dysfunction, are sufficiently forward-looking to recognize it, there are more COVD-19 problems in store for the parish.

Consider the theory that the pandemic will die down as the summer months approach due to increasing humidity. While there’s ample reason to be skeptical, if it’s true, the news carries with it some delayed bad news, which is that Shrine Mont likely will be closed. That’s because if the increased humidity of summer discourages the virus, the decreased humidity of fall and increased dust and pollen occurring at the time of Shrine Mont will surely bring a resurgence. Same for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Epiphany and Easter. In short, until a vaccine is developed, this is the new normal.

So, what’s left of Grace Church and its deplorable ethics should probably be realistic and recognize that the earlier predictions that The Episcopal Church will have no Sunday worshipers in 30 years no longer holds true at Grace Church. My prediction is that it’s got 5-10 years max. And given the hypocrisy and misconduct I have seen in the parish, the day Grace closes won’t be a day too soon.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Perjuring Priest Bob Malm Finally Gets Some Adult Supervision

Perjuring Priest Bob Malm Finally Does the Right Thing and Pulls the Plug on in-Person Worship at St. Gabriel’s

Over time, there is one thing that is consistent about perjuring priest Bob Malm: He is never a leader when it comes to moral and ethical issues. Whether it’s turning a blind eye to bullying by church staff who report to him, or misconduct by parish “leaders” that he has appointed, or his own lies, misuse of funds, and other misconduct, Bob is at best amoral.

And so it is with his new gig at St. Gabriel’s, Marion. While the government is urging people to avoid unnecessary interaction, and self-quarantine for those age 65 and over, Bob Malm until now has simply ignored these suggestions. Yes, last Sunday he avoided physical contact with parishioners, but  the few attendees at services were overwhelmingly high risk.

To make matters worse, many were in close proximity to each other, thus putting themselves one cough or sneeze away from exposure and possible death. Moreover, viral exposure is an exponential thing, with one infected person potentially exposing dozens if not hundreds of others. Thus, even if you don’t care what happens to your parishioners, you risk causing harm to the larger community. This in turn deprives the church of any claim to moral legitimacy.

Fortunately, it appears that the bishop offered some adult supervision and asked the parish to stop in-person services. This is the only ethically appropriate outcome, and needs to continue for at least another month.

All I can say is it is about damned time.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Perjuring Priest Bob Malm Holds Services as Usual Despite Pandemic

As medical experts and government officials worldwide urge greater social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, perjuring priest Bob Malm continues true to form, holding services at St. Gabriel’s Marion anyway. The move comes despite the fact that Malm and many in his parish are at high risk due to age and other factors.

To be clear, the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts has taken a largely hands-off approach to the issue, placing responsibility in the hands of local churches. But as I have discussed elsewhere, that decision is problematic, for it sidesteps one of the very reasons to have a bishop, which is to make choices in the best interest of the church as a whole. This is particularly the case when, as here, there will be strong feelings with parishes on all sides of specific issues. In short, there are times when it is best for bishops to take local clergy out of the line of fire.

Complicating the situation at St. Gabriel’s is Bob Malm’s tendency to view himself as invincible. Malm himself noted this trait following his accident in which he broke his neck, but I have seen no evidence to suggest that this aspect of his personality, often seen in those with narcissistic personality disorder, has diminished over time.

There are larger issues at play. As a priest, Bob’s first priority should be the wellbeing of his parish. In that respect, his decision to hold services as usual was a profound moral failure. While attendance at St. Gabriel’s was sparse, many attendees were 65+ and thus at elevated risk of death due to COVID-19.

Nor were adequate safeguards implemented. While changes were made to the service to prevent physical contact and shared communion, many in the congregation, altar party and choir were in close physical proximity to others.

With the primary route of transmission the distribution of bodily fluids via coughing and sneezing, many in the congregation were one good sneeze away from potential exposure. Thus, the situation mirrors that of Christ Church Georgetown, where the rector was careful to use hand sanitizer and to otherwise take steps to protect parishioners. Yet despite these precautions, more than 550 people are now in quarantine.

The breadth of the Christ Church quarantine underscores another ethical aspect of Malm’s conduct, which is that it implicates others beyond those sitting in the pews. Specifically, if exposure occurs, each person who returns home potentially spreads the virus to dozens of others in supermarkets, movie theaters, restaurants and more. Nor does Bob’s conduct inspire ethical conduct; folks likely will conclude that if it’s safe to go to church, it is safe to go out to dinner, the movies, etc.

In the midst of the pandemic, all involved need to put aside perceived self-interest and act for the greater good. That means doing everything possible to limit interaction with others, to reduce risk, and to protect against this most serious threat. The risk is particularly high in Massachusetts, which has a large number of cases. Moreover, many are carrying the virus but are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms, and thus are unknowingly spreading the disease.

If clergy like Bob Malm aren’t prepared to lead the way, why should we think that others will do what is necessary to protect our communities? And what excuse will Malm and others give if members of the congregation do get sick and die from exposure at the church?

Yet another sad example of Bob Malm’s lack of moral leadership.