Showing posts with label The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. Show all posts

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Transition Process Proves Neither Grace Church Nor the Diocese Get It

Grace Episcopal Alexandria

While it’s hardly news to many, the reality is that neither Grace Episcopal, the clergy perjury parish, nor the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, understand the depth or breadth of the problems at the church. Confirmation of this paradigm can be seen in the current approach to clergy transition, which is fundamentally flawed.

Specifically, in its transition process the church is pursuing a rector, while disregarding a better approach, which is for a priest in charge (PIC).

So what is a priest in charge, and why should Grace consider one?

A priest in charge is a priest retained on contract, typically for a three-year period. As such, she has tenure only during the contractual period, unlike a rector, who is (at least on paper) there for keeps.

Typically, a PIC is chosen when there’s been a long stay by the prior incumbent. Other reasons include:
  • A prior ministry ended in conflict
  • When misconduct has occurred
  • When there is a need for strategic planning
  • When there is a need to clarify mission
  • When there is a need to build financial capacity
  • Other issues as determined by the parish and the diocese.
In such cases, a consultant is retained and helps the PIC enter into a period of prayer, listening, healing, planning, pastoral care, and more.

In Grace’s case, it’s clear to any rational actor that things are a hot mess. Indeed, every one of the criteria above apply.  But the diocese takes the approach of “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil,” as it tries to cover up perjuring priest Bob Malm’s misconduct, and by extension that of Kelly Gable, Sugarland Chiow, and others. The parish, on the other hand, has lost perspective due to its narcissistic organizational characteristics.Thus, neither has any clue what it’s doing, nor do they have any interest in the feedback of others.

The problem of course is that ignoring these issues doesn’t make them go away. Indeed, it’s a basic principle of change management that conflict ignored is conflict multiplied. Perjuring priest Bob Malm spent 30 years not only ignoring conflict, but in many cases fomenting it with his childish games, petty maneuvering and self-serving conduct. (Just look at the financial disaster of perjuring priest Bob Malm’s $1.2 million personal residence if you need an example. Truly cringeworthy.) Additionally, he pointed attention within Grace at himself, not God. As a result, Grace is not only toxic, but its values are profoundly skewed.

There’s ample evidence of these effects of these issues. These include:
  • Plummeting attendance
  • Sharply declining number of pledging units
  • Repeated situations in which people have left the parish due to conflict
Indeed, these factors alone should be cause for profound concern.

Yet in almost every case members of the parish either ignore these factors, blame them on others, lie and deny that the issues exist, or shoot the messenger. Yet at its most basic this is a church in which it’s okay to drag a dying woman into court, for the rector to commit perjury, and for college-aged parishioners to urge others to commit suicide. Indeed, one has only to read perjuring priest Bob Malm’s venomous, lying emails, or Sugarland Chiow’s inflammatory rhetoric, to realize just how bad things are at Grace. But parishioners simply don’t want to go there. Or, as Robin Hammeal-Urban puts it, “If it can’t be conceived it can’t be perceived.”

It’s also important to keep in mind that contrary to Lisa Medley and other lying nitwits in the parish, I am far from the only person who’s run into these issues:
  • One former church employee described the place as having an “evil spirit.” 
  • Another college student abruptly walked out and transferred to St. Peter’s in the Woods after a bad experience in the choir. 
  • Numerous persons in the altar guild have come to tears over behavior there. Anne Caputo and others are aware of the bullying that goes on there.
  • John Cunningham left over misconduct. 
  • Mike, my husband, was forced out by perjuring priest Bob Malm just 16 months after being received into the denomination.
  • Kyle Babin experienced bullying and hateful conduct, both by staff and by parishioners.
  • Outside Episcopal clergy, who have tactfully described the parish as having “a lot of work to do.”
To his credit, Michael Guy has been willing to bring these issues up, albeit in general terms. But it takes more than a few sermons and articles in Grace Notes to undo 30 years of perjuring priest Bob Malm. Moreover, the diocese’s efforts to ignore Bob’s antics by saying it will only get involved if criminal charges are filed have done a profound disservice to the church, for it has forced our conflict into the courts, most notably those of popular opinion and the Alexandria Circuit Court. In that regard, it likely will be another 2-3 years before the lawsuits wind their way through the courts. And I will continue to share the truth of my experiences with Bob Malm ad infinitum. Thus, things will not be getting better any time soon, and parishioners and diocesan staff alike are just plain dumb if they think I am going to back down when someone goes after my mother and Mike.

Both the church and the diocese are profoundly foolish not to get a PIC, then map out a plan towards healing and wholeness. Without those steps, the parish will remain rudderless, adrift, declining, and clueless about the path to a better future. Moreover, it will continue with the same conflict, ugly rhetoric, and un-Christian conduct that led to its precipitous decline in the first place. In short, the parish is at an inflection point, and it can make the decision to move towards health and wholeness, or it can make the decision to slide ever further into existential crisis.

For more information on the role of a priest-in-charge, visit the Diocese of Connecticut website. There is also a good document in PDF on the Diocese of Newark’s site.

An excellent example of the work of a priest-in-charge can be found here.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Upheaval at Episcopal Men’s Group Underscores Depth of Problems at Grace Episcopal, the Diocese

Shock waves are rippling throughout Episcopal men’s group The Brotherhood of St. Andrew after three African-American board members resigned in protest over the organization’s response to recent racial incidents. But even as the group reels from the upheaval on its board, its efforts to regain its footing illustrate the utter ineptitude and lack of Christian ethics at Grace Episcopal and the Diocese of Virginia.

In reports by the Episcopal News Service, the organization’s three top leaders committed the Brotherhood to “a new phase of the journey of truth-telling, learning, listening and ultimately, with God’s help, reconciliation.”

That begs the issue: Why are Grace Church and the diocese still trying to defend the indefensible? Like Bob Malm’s perjury, folks at the church urging me to commit suicide, and the church’s defamation per se? Or trying to drag a dying woman into court that couldn’t even physically leave her home?

The answer is clear: The diocese and the parish are nothing but badly run businesses that have zero interest in actual Christian values.

Over time, will the Brotherhood find reconciliation and healing? Quite possibly, it will, if it is sincere and continues to strive to do what’s right. But Grace Episcopal and the diocese are neither sincere nor committed to doing what’s right, so the outcome is clear. Reconciliation and healing simply won’t happen.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Grace Episcopal Alexandria, the Clergy Perjury Parish, Again Extends Deadline for Applications for Rector Position

Desperation is like stealing from the Mafia: you stand a good chance of attracting the wrong attention. — Douglas Horton

Desperation is never pretty. It’s not pretty in dating. It’s not pretty when job hunting. And it isn’t pretty when it involves a church looking for a new rector. And so it is with Grace Episcopal, the clergy perjury parish, where signs increasingly suggest that folks are taking a pass on what should be an A-list gig, the rector position.

Yesterday, the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia updated its website to show that the search committee has extended the deadline to apply until August 10. That’s the second extension.

Grace Episcopal Alexandria
Grace Episcopal Alexandria, the Clergy Perjury Parish, Again Extends
Deadline to Apply for Rector Position

The decision to do so is telling, indeed damning.

By rights, Grace Church should be, to use Shannon Johnston’s phrase, a “flagship.” With a decent income, loyal members, a gorgeous nave, close proximity to National Airport, close to trendy Del Ray, a long history of inclusion, and friendly members, at first blush Grace is a highly attractive calling.

But folks seem increasingly attuned to what Bob Malm himself termed the “dirty underbelly” of Grace church. The mere fact that one has to go to court in order to deal with misconduct in the parish speaks volumes. 

Even more telling is the fact that the diocese refuses to provide adult supervision to perjuring priest Bob Malm, or to wade in and do the hard work needed to make peace with the past. Indeed, the fact that the diocese has said in writing that it won’t get involved unless perjuring priest Bob Malm faces criminal charges shows that the corruption and incompetence extend right to Susan Goff herself. And the toxic miasma of perjuring priest Bob Malm, Sugarland Chiow, Alison Campbell, Lisa Medley and others has permeated every facet of life at Grace Episcopal Alexandria, where the place is so screwed up that parishioners actually think it’s okay to lie about each other, to urge others to commit suicide, and in Kelly Gable’s case, to accuse others of criminal conduct.

To make matters worse, some issues are irreparable. There is no way to make peace with my mother, for example, now that she is dead. 

Indeed, even with perjuring priest Bob Malm gone for what soon will be a year, Grace Church’s reputation is getting worse, not better. One has only to look at its efforts to defend its actions in court to see that no one at Grace is interested in changing. Instead, they are interested in justifying their conduct and continuing in exactly the same vein as always.

And the current litigation has provided myriad examples of profoundly ugly conduct within the parish—enough that even the most generous cannot avoid the conclusion that there are real problems at the church.

Now, with the parish again pushing back its already extended deadline for applying for the position of rector, the place is starting to smell of desperation. That’s really bad news for the church, and much like stealing from the Mafia, it’s likely to attract attention of all the wrong sort. In fact, that awful smell isn’t just desperation — it’s the stench of rot and corruption. Just like Jesus’ whitewashed tombs, the place is pretty on the exterior, but filled with death and decay on the inside.

The reality is this: No rector worth her salt is going to be willing to come in and muck out the filth that perjuring priest Bob Malm left behind. That’s especially true when, as here, the diocese has washed its hands of the matter. Thus, Grace needs to consider the possibility that the best it can do is to get in long-term supply clergy, possibly David Crosby or another member of the “Bobby Malm, You’re Amazing,” fan boys.

But however the rector search plays out, of this you can be certain: I am not backing down. Anyone who bullies Mike or my Mom has me to contend with, and I am tenacious.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Petition Seeking Independent Investigation of Perjuring Priest Bob Malm Passes 18,000 Signatures



Even as the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia and Bishop Susan “No Charges, No Foul” Goff continue to insist that they will only address clergy misconduct if criminal charges are brought, my petition demanding an independent investigation and meaningful results based on that investigation continues to motor along.

As of a few minutes ago, we passed the 18,000 signatures mark, and we continue to garner signatures as we move to 20,000 signatures and beyond.

Awareness on change.org is particularly important due to the underlying demographics. With a total of more than 50 million users, the majority of whom are in the 35-44 age cohort, animal rights, human rights (including BLM and LGBTQIA+), and general social justice issues loom large for users. Thus, there is a strong alignment with the values that The Episcopal Church allegedly espouses.

As a result, the diocese’s continued defense of perjury and other misconduct by Bob Malm is fast undercutting its reputation with future generations. That is appropriate, for any church that can say with a straight face that it will only deal with criminal conduct if there are criminal charges is a church only in name. But Susan Goff and the other fat cats at Mayo House are determined to ride the TEC gravy train off into retirement, secure in their generous retirement plan, and utterly indifferent to the effect that their conduct is having on those they falsely claim to care about.

To think that when I started my petition I was hoping to get maybe 300 signatures.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

BREAKING NEWS: Perjuring Priest Bob Malm Lies AGAIN!

One of the early phases of litigation is the issuance of requests for admission, also referred to as RFA’s, which I sent to perjuring priest Bob Malm as part of my filing suit against him. True to form, Bob Malm lied in his response.

In my seventh RFA, I asked perjuring priest Bob Malm to admit that he instructed church staff to exclude me and Mike from the parish per below.


Now, look at perjuring priest Bob Malm’s response, in which he lies:



That is a bold-faced lie, and here’s why. As perjuring priest Bob Malm well knows, there are two ways under church canons to leave an Episcopal parish. One is to die; the other to request a letter of transfer. I did the latter in 2017 — almost two years later — and I did so in writing. Mike remained an inactive member of Grace Church until we sent a request in writing through Bishop Todd Ousley, the intake officer for the House of Bishops, to remove our names from all church records in 2018. The result was that I left St. Paul’s K Street, and that parish forwarded a request to Grace Church to remove Mike’s name from all church records. But in 2015 our names had already disappeared from the directory, our donations not reflected in the church bulletin, and more. In fact, Lisa Doelp was one of the people who knew of Bob’s games, when she told me in writing that my flower donation would not go into the bulletin, adding that it is “out of [her] hands.”

In the interests of collegiality, fair play, and the equitable administration of justice, I have given attorneys for Bob Malm, the church and the diocese a heads-up on this matter, versus playing gotcha. Since attorneys cannot willfully turn a blind eye to fabrications on the part of their clients, hopefully Wayne Cyron and Diane DiBlasio — both of whom I like — will take steps to ensure that their clients proffer only truthful information.

Of course, it speaks volumes about the current state of the Episcopal Church when one has to ask its attorneys to ensure that the church is truthful in its courtroom conduct.

Bob Malm, perjuring priest, lies again.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

BREAKING: Perjuring Priest Bob Malm Sued for $375,000 in Fairfax Circuit Court

Moments ago, I filed suit for abuse of process and the intentional infliction of emotional distress in the Fairfax County Circuit Court against perjuring priest Bob Malm. Damages requested exceed $375,000.

A copy of the filing, case number  2020 06840, is available in PDF here.

Regrettably, this course of action became necessary after the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia repeatedly refused my request to mediate the dispute on the grounds that it is “not of weighty and material importance to the ministry of the church.”

As I have said many times, the fact that The Episcopal Church says perjury is acceptable conduct for clergy unless they face criminal charges tells you all you need to know about the denomination and its ethical worldview.

Perjuring Priest Bob Malm Has Been Sued

Monday, May 18, 2020

Grace Church and Perjuring Priest Bob Malm: Believe Them. They’ve Shown You Who They Are.


This is a church where it’s okay for the rector to commit perjury, where parishioners bully each other, urge others to commit suicide, flip others off, call bloggers “domestic terrorists,” and try to drag the dying into court. It’s a place where the rector calls his own parishioners “sick,” “twisted,” and “dysfunctional.”

So why are you expecting something different from this sad, dysfunctional, toxic church? Or this sad, dysfunctional, toxic diocese, where the ethical standard is so low that priests are only held accountable if they face criminal charges?

They have already shown you their true colors.

Believe them the first time.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

BREAKING NEWS: Court Cases Rescheduled Due to COVID-19 Pandemic, Grace Episcopal May Still be in Court in 2021

COVID-19 Crisis Delays Grace Episcopal Court Cases

With multiple lawsuits now under way against Grace Episcopal Church, the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, Susan Goff, and members of Bob Malm’s family, there is a monkey wrench thrown into things by virtue of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the case of the suit against Grace Church, Susan Goff, and the diocese, the court has continued the motions hearing until June 19. That date does not work for counsel representing the defendants, so opposing counsel and I are trying to work out a new date so that we might submit a praecipe to the court requesting the change.

In the lawsuit against Leslie Malm for defamation, the initial return date has moved to June 26, although that date also may require adjustment. Meantime, I am in discussions with some of the attorneys who represented the dissident groups in the so-called property recovery litigation about possibly expanding the suit. Needless to say, her potential liability in tort is not confined to defamation.

Experts point out that, at its current rate of decline, The Episcopal Church only has about 17 Easters to go. That said, due to scheduling issues arising from the COVID-19 crisis, it increasingly looks Grace Episcopal and the Diocese will still be in court when the 16th-to-last Easter rolls around. Specifically, in response to the pandemic, the motions court hearing date has been postponed until June 19. Unfortunately, defense counsel has a conflict on that date, so it will probably be the end of June or July before we can resolve the various motions pending before the court,

Similarly, dates remain up in the air for the defamation suit against Lindsey Malm Anders, and I may also expand her case with the assistance of legal counsel.

Lastly, while I cannot share details, Bob Malm certainly remains on my radar, as well as the attorneys representing Mom’s estate. Suffice it to say there will be more news on those issues in the coming weeks.

In all of this, the notable thing is that Bob Malm tried to lie his way into misusing the court system to shut down criticism. In so doing, he went down the proverbial rabbit hole, pulling Jeff Sugarland Chiow, the parish, the diocese, and his family into what can only be described as a hot mess. But then, with Bob Malm having consistently placed his own perceived needs ahead of those of anyone else, the outcome comes as no surprise.

Bob et al would also do well to remember that I long ago structured my persona affairs such that I am judgment proof. All assets are either held in irrevocable trust, owned solely by Mike, or in other forms of ownership exempt from judicial process.

Of course, had Bob and Sugarland Chiow had half the common sense God gave a goat, they would have considered such factors long ago. But Bob’s initial hope was to somehow convince law enforcement that writing about him was a crime, But with no lese majeste statutes on the books to cover Episcopal clergy in the US, and the thorny issue of the First Amendment standing in his way, perjuring priest Bob Malm wound up in over his head in record time.

The result is lasting damage to the parish, as well as awareness by literally hundreds of bloggers and more than a million social media users of the church’s actions, initiated by Bob Malm and enjoying the full support of the church vestry and diocesan bishops. Nor is there any possibility that I will go away quietly any time soon. In short, the diocese and parish, as well as Sugarland Chiow and perjuring priest Bob Malm, placed themselves in a catch-22 situation in which no possible scenario exists in which they win. At this point, the only question is how badly they lose, and whether the parish will survive, which is looking less likely by the day.

Moreover, the diocese’s farcical and ugly claim that its clergy will only be held to account if they face criminal charges reveals how illusory church canons are, for they specifically forbid clergy from engaging in conduct involving “dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation”— no criminal charges required. At the same time, it is clear for all to see that the diocese has no claim to moral authority.

Any denomination in which it is okay for Bob Malm to commit perjury is in sorry shape indeed.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Safe Church and DioVA: One of the Diocese’s Major Governance Failures

One of the many downsides of the years of property recovery litigation here in DioVA is that it diverted massive amounts of time and attention from ordinary governance issues. This power vacuum  extended even to day-to-day accountability among Mayo House staff, and it was exacerbated by +Shannon’s indifference to getting involved in the details and his adversarial management style.

But one of the diocese’s biggest failings, and one still ignored by Susan Goff, was the need to update and expand on existing sexual misconduct prevention policies, to include Safe Church training.

As things stand, diocesan policies cover sexual misconduct involving children and vulnerable adults. But there is no next to no training on boundary issues, bullying, and the many other ways in which church power differentials can prove harmful. This is particularly the case with clergy like Bob Malm, who had virtually no meaningful supervision during his tenure with Grace Church, either from the diocese or the vestry.

This is at variance with the work done by the Rev. Canon Robin Hammeal-Urban, the Rev. Canon Carol Cole Flanagan, and others in drafting the current Safe Church Model Policies, available here in PDF. The new policies establish standards for LGBTQ+ members, define “vulnerable adults,” and more. Additionally, they establish standards for auditing every three years, much as is done in the Catholic Church.

Work in Other Dioceses


Many dioceses, including Connecticut, where Robin Hammeal-Urban serves, have adopted professional guidelines for clergy and policies for the inclusion of registered sex offenders in parish life. Copies of relevant Connecticut documents are available here.

Meanwhile, Bishop Goff has her visioning initiative under way, in which she seeks to map out a vision for the future. But without an effective governance framework in place, any such effort is likely to flounder. And while Goff talks about her vision for an inclusive church, the church is not effectively inclusive if it permits bullying and other non-sexual misconduct.

In my case, look at the Model Policy’s definition of violence:


See the reference to “isolation from others?” That is exactly what Bob Malm did when he instructed parish staff to isolate Mike and me. Oh, and BTW, Mike’s age at the time placed him within the definition of “vulnerable adult.” Yet per the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia’s written statement, Bob’s conduct is not of “weighty and material importance to the ministry of the church.” And Mom, who was dying of COPD, certainly met the definition.

Bullying


The seriousness of this situation is underscored by the Diocese of Connecticut’s Safe Church training materials, here in PDF.

Below is the definition of bullying:



Note the part about lack of empathy; which certainly would describe Bob Malm’s conduct towards my Mom.

Role of Grace Church Parishioners and Diocesan Staff

Now, look at the information from the Diocese of CT on bystanders to bullying. As you can see, those who stand silently by when witnessing bullying are considered validators. 



Given that most people at Grace Church are well aware of Bob Malm’s efforts to bully me and Mike, yet remain silent, they qualify as validators. And diocesan staff occupy roles from that of assistants to validators; none are defenders.

Conclusion

Not only is the Diocese of Virginia woefully behind the times when it comes to ensuring that its churches are welcoming and inclusive, but it is has absolutely no concept that this is the case. Indeed, it is so caught up in its own little world that it recently voted Sven vanBaars as a delegate to General Convention—the very same priest who says in writing that perjury is only a problem form clergy if they face criminal charges.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

BREAKING NEWS: Susan Goff Diagnosed With Cancer



The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia yesterday reported that Bishop Susan Goff has been diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer. The cancer is not aggressive, and her prognosis reportedly excellent.

Goff will undergo surgery shortly before Easter, and will undergo chemo in the weeks that follow. She reports that her Sunday visitations will continue as planned, but her weekday work may have to be adjusted in light of her treatment.

Goff states that her succession plans remain unchanged, which call for the election of a bishop diocesan in 2022, at which time she will return to the role of bishop suffragen, retiring in 2023.

A blog and special email address have been set up to stay in touch with Bishop Goff, which can be accessed at http://www.thediocese.net/who-we-are/our-bishops/bishop-goff/healing-grace/




Friday, February 28, 2020

BREAKING NEWS: Petition Seeking Full, Fair, Independent Investigation of Perjuring Priest Bob Malm Passes 5,000 Signatures

My petition seeking a full, fair, independent investigation into perjuring priest Bob Malm’s conduct has zoomed past 5000 signatures. As a result, signatures equal 7.28 percent of the 2018 membership of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, which fell to 68,902 members, down 13 percent over a ten-year period.

Signatures equate to 9.18 percent of the 2018 membership of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, where perjuring priest Bob Malm now serves as interim at St. Gabriel’s, Marion.

Total signatures are more than 5 times the total 2018 membership of Grace Church.

Meanwhile, the diocese, which is unwilling to address Bob Malm’s perjury, says it’s forming a Committee on Reconciliation. But how can the diocese hope to achieve any sort of reconciliation when it is consistently unwilling to speak the truth?

Hypocrisy, thy name is Episcopal.







Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Check it Out: More Lenten Hypocrisy from Bishop Susan Goff

You have to hand it to bishop Susan Goff and the other fat cats at Mayo House—they have real chutzpah. The sort that just makes me laugh at their hypocrisy.

In her Lenten message, Bishop Susan Goff gases on about the winter of our souls, and the spring-like blossoms that can be found if we look. She cites several examples, most notably: “in the reconciliation that comes when we dare to listen without judgment and speak without reproach..”

That begs the question: How does this comport with brushing off Bob Malm’s perjury by saying you’ll only take action if he faces criminal charges? Doesn’t charity start at home? How is brushing off misconduct “listening?”

If that is the best she can do, Susan Goff would do all involved a favor by retiring.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Important Reminder: Possible Gender-Based Harassment at Grace Church


In the midst of the ongoing litigation involving Grace Episcopal Church, the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, Susan Goff, and others, there’s an important issue that does not always get a lot of attention. That issue is that my original complaint to the Diocese included concerns about potential gender-based harassment in the parish.

What’s shocking is that, despite that, the Rev. Carolyn Parkinson, once a candidate for bishop diocesan and, at the time, intake officer for the diocese, dismissed my concerns out of hand, saying that they didn’t so much as warrant an investigation. Moreover, she did so with Bishop Shannon Johnston’s support. And she and other diocesan officials ignored Bob Malm’s subsequent retaliation and deliberate misuse of memorial donations to the parish. In her exact words, the allegations are “not of weighty and material importance to the ministry of the church.”

That’s pretty shocking, but there’s more.

Later, Caroline lied, saying that the matter of our exclusion from the church directory had been considered in the summer of 2015. That’s an interesting claim, as the matter didn’t even arise until that fall. As I sarcastically noted at the tine, I was not aware that one of the benefits of ordination was the ability to time travel.

Bishop Shannon also lied, claiming in a letter to the parish that the matter had been investigated and resolved long ago. But the matter was not investigated within the meaning of Title IV, which is the process through which it came to the attention of the diocese. It was brushed off and dismissed as not “of weighty and material importance to the ministry of the church.” The diocese took the same line apropos Bob Malm’s perjury.

So, if you are thinking about getting involved in The Episcopal Church, just know that it talks a good game when it comes to #metoo and #churchtoo. But the reality is that allegations of potential gender-based harassment are something the church considers to be unimportant. Same goes for readily verifiable allegations of perjury by Bob Malm.

So much for the Episcopal church’s claim to be loving, liberating, and life-giving.

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.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Worthy Read: When Narcissism Comes to Church

I’ve been reading a lot lately, and there’s a good book that sums up perfectly my experiences with perjuring priest Bob Malm and Grace Episcopal church. Titled, When Narcissism Comes to Church the book is written by David Orrison.

Following is an excerpt from his blog that well describes the organizational narcissism at Grace
Church:
Too many people have found the church, the institutional local church, to be uncaring and so wrapped up in preserving its image that it will support the abuser in hopes that the victim will just go away and be quiet. We saw another example of this in the news this past week. Another church worker abused a young girl, and the church leaders just moved him to another place. Why does this happen? How can this happen in the church?
The answer is this overwhelming concern for image. In their drive to be seen as superior, some churches would rather ignore the victims than deal with the scandal. When hurting people can be ignored for the sake of the superior image, that’s narcissism. 
Christians expect to be able to go to church leadership when they are hurting. When they are pushed away, or sin is covered up, something is very wrong. Narcissism creeps in to depersonalize and victimize.
 Of course, this paradigm is problematic in the near-term for multiple reasons, including:

  • The fact that Bob Malm, who seems to me to have been the narcissist-in-chief for the past 30 years, is now gone.
  • No healthy priest with a good handle on organizational dynamics is likely to want to serve as rector; only another narcissist could or would fit the bill. 
  • Like any narcissist, the organizational narcissist that is Grace Church sees nothing wrong with its current conduct or attitudes, in which people are drawn to Bob Malm, versus God, and any behavior is justified as long as it meets Bob Malm’s perceived needs, and by extension those of the organization.
  • The diocese is every bit as clueless and organizationally narcissistic as are Bob Malm and Grace Church. Thus, with the diocese fully supporting the current situation at Grace Church, there is zero chance of meaningful change.
Thus, Grace needs to transform from a religion club to a church—a sea change that goes to the very heart of its existence. Unless it does so, it will eventually cease to exist, and yet it remains wedded to its current modus operandi.

By the way, there’s a good post on Dave’s blog about branding, differentiation, and religion, located here. If you read the post, keep in the back of your mind Grace’s role as the only full-time Anglo-Catholic parish in Northern VA. Think too, of Bob Malm’s claim that, “I don’t think I’m exaggerating too much, when I suggest that at Grace Church we know, we practice “true religion”. (Sept. 3, 2017 sermon)

This, from a church where the rector commits perjury, deliberately misuses funds, instructs staff to shun members, and tries to drag the dying into court.


Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Grace Episcopal Lawsuit: Update

Updated information on the Grace Episcopal Alexandria lawsuit


As I’m working on the lengthy process of analyzing and organizing the information needed for my bill of particulars — a court document that lays out the plaintiff’s specific allegations in a lawsuit — there’s also a minor change in scheduling. Specifically, attorneys for the diocese, Susan Goff and the parish are not available on the initially selected date for the hearing on my motion to compel. So I’m looking to see if there is a date that will work for them.

Meanwhile, the defendants have declined at this time to stipulate that neither the diocese nor other defendants have documentation to support Bob Malm’s claim that my mother contacted him repeatedly. That said, it’s a given that they don’t, as Bob Malm lied under oath on this topic, which he cited as one of the foundational reasons for his assertion that I threatened him.

I’d also add one observation about defense counsel, which is that the attorneys involved are infinitely more professional than Sugarland Chiow with his ad hominem attacks, repeated false statements of law and fact to the courts, and his inflammatory rhetoric. In short, while we sit on opposite sides of this issue, it is good to see that some measure of civility, professionalism, and decorum remains in the practice of law, especially since licensed attorneys are officers of the court. Moreover, Chiow’s conduct only further erodes the parish’s reputation, as does the diocese’s statement that it supports Bob Malm and, by extension, his conduct. 

Lastly, I’ve let defense counsel know that I intend to subpoena Dee Parsons, editor of The Wartburg Watch, when we go to trial. Dee already knows and is fully supportive,

So, nothing too exciting yet. I will continue to provide updates as we move forward.




Sunday, November 17, 2019

Reflections on Abuse, the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, and the Failure of Leadership

Lately I’ve had several fascinating discussions with experts on abuse about the topic of why organizations like the Episcopal church tolerate and conceal abuse. While many of the conversations have, predictably enough, centered on sexual abuse, the underlying issues remain relevant.

To be clear, Bob Malm is not accused of sexual misconduct. Nor is anyone within the diocese. But at the same time, as far as I can tell the diocese has steadfastly refused to address Bob Malm’s perjury, or even to follow its own canons when it comes to clergy discipline.

One consistent theme in the discussions I’ve had has been that organizations tend to try to protect their reputation, even at the expense of doing something so basic as protecting children. As a result, a culture of silence grows, and group think sets in.

Another person reminded me that narcissistic personalities are often incredibly gifted manipulators, with emotional predators typically able to portray an image of kindness and compassion that is able to fool even a skilled tribunal. And so it would seem in the case of Bob Malm, who is able to portray a friendly, congenial, supportive personality, while masking a lack of genuine empathy for those entrusted to his pastoral care. Certainly, his willingness to go after Mike in his vendetta, his multiple lies to parishioners and others, his inflammatory courtroom rhetoric, and his willingness to pursue a terminally ill woman suggest that he is not someone who should have ever been ordained in the first place. 





But the most important thing I have heard and read suggests that a failure in leadership goes right to the top. In that regard, +Shannon and +Susan have both repeatedly shown that they do not understand the dynamics of abuse. nor do they have any real desire to address it, beyond those situations in which doing so is absolutely unavoidable. And given that the bishops have taken a pass on misuse of funds and perjury, it is difficult to imagine that much other than sexual misconduct would ever get their attention. Indeed, it was laughably ironic when Caroline Parkinson said, in response to my concerns about the alleged child molester in the parish. “Now you’re talking about something that actually matters.”

In fairness to diocesan officials, that also illustrates the very limited training clergy actually have in mental health and abuse prevention. But then, given the number of toxic clergy I have encountered, perhaps it is best that they not get further access to this sort of information. Indeed, some authors suggest that narcissists often treat counseling as nothing more than training sessions in which they learn how to become more adept at getting away with misconduct.

But no matter how you parse it, it is clear to me that the failure of leadership in the diocese extends all the way to the top. And it is that very failure that leads to communication like the one that follows, from a young adult member of Grace Church. Tellingly, Bob Malm tried to claim in court that this was a threat against him. The sad reality, though, is it’s an indictment of him, the parish and the diocese.






Monday, October 21, 2019

Breaking News: Lawsuit Filed

Earlier today, I filed a lawsuit against Grace Episcopal Church, the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, and Bishop Susan Goff. All parties have been alerted to the importance of maintaining relevant records. In addition, per the existing court orders, I have reminded the defendants that they may not use any material I send them to contact Bob Malm or his family.

Additional defendants likely will be added in the coming days, and subpoenas will go out shortly as well as other discovery requests, etc. 

The initial hearing date is set for January 30, 2020.