Saturday, April 6, 2019

Bob Malm: Yet Another of His Lies

Here’s another good example of Bob Malm’s lies and misrepresentations.

The first screen cap is a message I sent to Bob when things heated back up in the summer of 2017, after several communications from parishioners that were hateful and homophobic. Note that I discuss the importance of publicly saying that bullying is not okay, and of reminding people that both sides had put the matter behind us. What the email does NOT include:
  • Any discussion of a public forum.
  • Any discussion of an apology from Bob.
Moreover, this is the only email I sent to Bob on this subject.

Now, in Bob’s subsequent email to Bishop Shannon and Canon Pat Wingo, see how Bob describes my email. Note his references to a public forum and an apology, and his claim that I asked him to take responsibility for the conflict. These are, to be blunt, lies.

I’d add that apropos Mom and other family members, several of whom have independent grievances against Bob, Bob indeed has made no effort to resolve their concerns. In fact, he has never discussed the matter with them. And, of course, there is Bob’s little antic of taking words out of context roughly one-third of the way through his endless run-on sentence.

Meanwhile, Bob’s email underscores an important point: Bob Malm is a liar. Or, to use Sugarland Chiow’s phrase, a “serial liar.” 

As such, Bob should not be serving as a priest, and you can quote me on that.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Another Lie By Bob Malm

Here’s another lie by Bob Malm. In this email, sent to parishioner Easter Thompson, Bob Malm tells her that no one who knows Grace Church takes me seriously. That’s an interesting and false claim; discussion below the break.

  • On the one hand, Bob’s email tries to throw shade on my concerns by essentially saying that no one in the know agrees. Yet those concerns repeatedly have been experienced by others, including those “in the know.” For example, the Rev. Anne Turner, who once served as Bob’s assistant rector, has provided pastoral care to a member of the altar guild who allegedly was bullied by Linda Waskowiscz. During her time at Grace, Anne also experienced outbursts from the church office staff. Thus, bullying within the church and by office staff is well-substantiated, and has been experienced by someone intimately familiar with the parish.
  • On the other hand, Bob’s statement also contradicts his later assertions that people are “terrorized” by me. If no one takes me seriously, how are they terrorized?
The third aspect, of course, is that this illustrates the crux of Bob ‘s bullying. Not only does he play people against each other, but his comments are decidedly contrary to the values set forth in the gospels, and inappropriate as a pastoral matter. (Screen caps from “Ten Signs Your Church is Bullying You,” found here.)

Indeed, dismissing concerns from church members is itself a form of bullying.

Or, put another way, the more Bob tries to brush off my concerns, the more he proves that they are warranted, including that Bob himself is toxic, and that his behavior is inappropriate. Meanwhile, the fact that parishioners like Easter Thompson can receive emails like the one in question and not see anything wrong with Bob’s conduct makes clear that the church has become toxic at every level. (Easter’s comments also are noteworthy in that she’s never said anything directly to me, despite the fact that she has my contact information. Triangulation, anyone? And how she sees any connection between writing generally on church abuse and Grace Church is beyond me. Perhaps it’s time for Easter to reduce her consumption of alcohol.)

Lastly, as I have stated in previous posts, no agreement to “follow the bishop’s....directives,” was made in Fredericksburg. That is a bold-faced lie — and nonsensical, as well, for I was not a member of the diocese of Virginia by the time Bob wrote this email.

Check it Out: Dysfunctional Bob Malm Earns More Than Billy Graham

Few who are familiar with Bob Malm’s history as rector of Grace Episcopal Church would argue that he’s busting his butt. Yes, Bob shows up for most vestry meetings, as well as a few other command performances. But being gone more than 2 months out of the year on various forms of vacation and leave, and never getting involved with ministries like the food pantry, Bob is not exactly breaking a sweat.

It may therefore come as a surprise to learn that Bob Malm earns more than Billy Graham did. With a compensation package that, including fringe and indirect, tops $200,000, Bob is nothing if not well compensated.

Below is a screen cap from Newsweek that reveals that Graham, responsible for a world-wide ministry, never exceeded $150,000 a year in compensation.

Must be great to be Grace Church and awash in a sea of cash! 

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Grace Church Members to Renew Baptismal Vows at Easter. I Call BS

Okay, so I’m a little slow at times.

Bob Malm and many others will be part of the Easter Vigil at Grace Episcopal this year, where inter alia they will renew their baptismal vows.

So how exactly does that work? Bob Malm commits perjury, tries to drag a dying woman into court, goes after innocent family members, lies repeatedly, and refers to people entrusted to his pastoral care as “sick and twisted,” and yet he’s standing up there in front of hundreds proclaiming the Gospel and renewing his vows to “respect the dignity of every human being?”

Given Bob’s track record, he should put a sock on it. Jesus may be Lord, but Jesus has nothing to do with Bob’s conduct, nor Jeff Chiow’s actions, nor much of the church’s behavior.

So, while Bob proclaims “Jesus is Lord,” I proclaim, “Bob Malm is a fraud.”

Grace Episcopal Now Hiring: Assistant Rector Wanted

Good Article on Attorney Obligations to Verify “Facts”

One of the most troubling things about this case is Episcopal Church attorney Jeff “Sugarland” Chiow’s false statements of fact to the courts. For those who may be unfamiliar with the details of my case, Jeff Chiow, a former vestry member of Grace Church, repeatedly made false statements in his pleadings, including false statements of fact. These include:
  • That I had never practiced law.
  • That I never served as a police officer.
  • That I violated the existing court order.
While Jeff and his clients (Bob Malm and Grace Episcopal Church) may argue that they did not intend to mislead the courts, the first two are statements of fact. As such, it is not sufficient to simply say, “Well, my client told me.” There is an affirmative duty to conduct reasonable independent inquiry. In this regard, even a cursory review of publicly available data would have made clear that these statements were fabrications,.

Apropos the third claim, violating the court’s order, nothing in the law, the facts, or Sugarland’s pleadings themselves supports this conclusion. Intentionally misleading the court in this matter is a serious violation of an attorney’s ethical obligations as an officer of the court.

As one attorney and author states, “zealous advocacy is not synonymous with recklessness or indifference.” Meaning one cannot simply toss assertions out there and hope that something sticks, as Jeff Chiow has done.

Of course, in doing so, Jeff is doing so as the church’s representative, so as an organization, Grace Church is equally culpable.

Read the full article, published in the New York Law Journal, at

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Best Description I’ve Seen for Bob Malm

Is Your Priest a Sociopath?

Is your priest a sociopath? Before you reject the question out of hand, ask yourself: Is he or she highly articulate? Seemingly very self-assured? Charismatic? Do they make up lies on the fly to suit their needs? Never accept responsibility or if so, do so only on a token basis?

If the answer to these questions is yes, you may have a sociopath on your hands.

Reprinted below with permission from Believe the Sign is the full article, found at

Sociopathic Leadership

Some message churches have become cult-like. Just as a cult cannot be truly explored or understood without understanding its leader, so these churches cannot be understood without clearly understanding the pastor. 
These unique message pastors generally have charismatic personalities - inescapable magnetism, winning style, and self-assurance - with which they promote their unique message within the message. Even more important than charisma; however, is their persuasive skills which are more important to the longevity of the church than the pastor’s charisma.

The Profile of a Sociopathic Pastor

Sociopath and psychopath are really the same thing. The term "sociopath" is preferred by those that see the causes of the condition as due to social factors and early environment, while the term "psychopath" is used by those who believe that there are psychological, biological, and genetic factors involved in addition to environmental factors. Typically psychopathy refers to a condition where the individual lacks a sense of empathy or morality, while sociopathy differs in sense of right and wrong from the average person.
Psychopathy is most commonly assessed with the Hare Psychopathy Checklist, Revised (or the PCL-R) created by Dr. Robert Hare which is a 40 point scale. Any score that is greater or equal to 25 would generally be considered a psychopath (or sociopath). A normal score would be considered to be 5 or less.
In the case of a sociopathic pastor, they may exhibit some, or all, of the following characteristics to a greater or lesser extent:

Glibness and Superficial Charm

Glibness is a hallmark of sociopathic pastors. They are able to use language effortlessly to beguile, confuse, and convince. They are captive story tellers, and are persuasive. They have the capacity to destroy their detractors verbally or disarm them emotionally.

Manipulative and Cunning

Sociopathic pastors do not recognize the individuality or rights of others, which makes any and all self-serving behaviors permissible. This type of person is adept at interpersonal manipulation based on charm. The manipulator appears to be helpful, charming, even ingratiating or appearing to put the church first, but is covertly hostile and domineering.

Grandiose sense of self

Sociopath pastors enjoy tremendous feelings of entitlement. They believe everything is owed them as a right. They present themselves as a special leader: enlightened, a vehicle of God, uniquely gifted, the only appropriate leader of the church, and sometimes the most humble of the humble.
Paranoia often accompanies the grandiosity, reinforcing the sequestering of the group and the need for protection against any one who has left the church. They create an us versus them mentality.

Pathological Lying

Sociopathic pastors lie coolly and easily, even when it is obvious they are being untruthful. They lie for no apparent reason, even when it would seem easier and safer to tell the truth. Confronting these lies may provoke an unpredictably intense rage or simply a smile. It is often difficult to determine whether the lies are an actual delusional distortion of reality or are expressed with the conscious or unconscious intent to deceive.
These manipulators are rarely original thinkers. Plagiarists and thieves, they seldom credit the true originators of their ideas.
They are extremely convincing and forceful in the expression of their views. For them, objective truth does not exist. The only “truth” is whatever will help them achieve their needs. This type of opportunism is very difficult to understand for those who are not sociopaths. For this reason, followers are more apt to invent or go along with all kinds of explanations and rationales for apparent inconsistencies in behavior: “I know my pastor must have had a good reason for doing this” or “He did it because he loves me—even though it hurts.”

Lack of Remorse, Shame, and Guilt

At the core of a Sociopath is a deep-seated rage, which is split off (i.e. psychologically separated from the rest of the self) and repressed. Some researchers theorize that this is caused by feeling abandoned in infancy or early childhood.
They see those around them as objects, targets, or opportunities, not as people. They do not have real friends; sociopathic pastors have victims and accomplices - that later end up victims. To the sociopath the end justify the means, and there is no place for feelings of remorse, shame, or guilt. Nothing gets in their way.

Shallow Emotions

While sociopathic pastors may display outbursts of emotion, these are more often than not responses calculated to obtain a certain result. They rarely reveal a range of emotions, and those they do reveal are superficial at best, and fabricated at worst.
Positive feelings of warmth, joy, love, and compassion are more feigned than experienced. They are unmoved by things that would upset the normal person, but outraged by insignificant matters. They are bystanders to the emotional lives of others, perhaps envious and scornful of feelings they cannot have or understand. In the end, psychopaths are cold, with shallow emotions, and they live in a dark world of their own.
Hiding behind the “mask of sanity,” the sociopathic pastor exposes feelings only insofar as they serve an ulterior motive. He casts himself in a role of total control, which he plays to the hilt.
What is most promised by the Gospel and the church — peace, joy, love, and security — are goals that are forever out of reach of the leader, and thus also the followers. Since the leader is not genuine, neither are his promises.

Incapacity for Love

Although he may refer to himself, for example, as the “living embodiment of God’s love,” the leader is tragically flawed because he is unable to give or receive love. Love substitutes are given instead.
The leader’s tremendous need to be loved may be accompanied by an equally strong disbelief in the love offered by his followers, which results in often cruel and harsh “testing” of his devotees.

Callousness and Lack of Empathy

Sociopathic pastors readily take advantage of others, expressing utter contempt for the feelings of others. Someone in distress is not important to them. Although intelligent, perceptive, and quite good at sizing people up, they make no real connections with others. They use their “people skills” to exploit, abuse, and wield power.
Sociopathic pastors are unable to truly empathize with the pain of their victims. Church members engage in denial about this callousness, because it’s so difficult to believe that someone they love so much could intentionally hurt them. It therefore becomes easier to rationalize the leader’s behavior as necessary for the general or individual “good.”


Sociopathic pastors rarely accept blame for their failures or mistakes. Scapegoating is common, and blame falls upon followers, those outside the group, a member’s family, the government, Satan — anyone and everyone but themselves.

Entrepreneurial Versatility

Sociopathic pastors have an innate ability to attract followers who have the skills and connections that they themselves may lack. The longevity of the group is dependent on the willingness of the leadership to adapt as needed to preserve the group.

Recognizing a Sociopathic Pastor

As you read the descriptions above, you may notice characteristics that match and explain some of the attributes, attitudes, and behaviors of your pastor. Unmasking or demystifying the leader is an important part of postcult recovery. Becoming familiar with the characteristics of this personality disorder may help you prevent being revictimized. 
Here are some questions to ask about your own experience:
  • How well did you know your leader? Was it through firsthand knowledge or others’ accounts? 
  • What did you feel when you met him or her? 
  • Did those feelings change during the time you spent in the group or relationship? 
  • Was your leader charismatic, charming, quick-witted, or able to sway a crowd? How were those qualities used by your leader to get his or her way?
  • Did you believe your leader to have special powers, exalted spirituality, or special knowledge? Do you still believe that?
  • Did you ever catch your leader lying or faking? Being inconsistent? How did you rationalize what you saw and heard when it was clearly aberrant, irrational, or abusive? 
  • How did your leader rationalize his or her behavior when it was aberrant, irrational, or abusive? 
  • How many of the traits listed above did you observe in your leader? 
  • Were there second-level leaders in your group? Did they psychologically resemble the leader or were they devoted disciples blindly following orders? 
  • What do you know of your leader’s childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood? Does he or she fit the pattern?

General References

Lalich, Janja and Tobias, Madeleine, Take Back Your Life: Recovering from Cults and Abusive RelationshipsChapter 4 - The Cult Leader, Bay Tree Publishing, 2nd edition (May 30, 2006)

Monday, April 1, 2019

Invitation to Victims at Tenth Presbyterian

As several who have been following this story know, I increasingly believe there is much more to the story of potential abuse at Tenth Presbyterian in Philadelphia. Indeed, I have had several recent conversations that suggest that issues may go back to Phil Ryken’s time as pastor, and several folks have shared anecdotes that are deeply concerning.

So, my offer is this: If you have been abused at Tenth Presbyterian, or by someone connected with the church, get in touch with me. Dee Parsons of The Wartburg Watch knows how to get in touch with me, and all conversations are confidential unless you specifically request otherwise. My promise to you is to listen respectfully, no matter what you tell me, and to be entirely supportive.

Or feel free to HMU on Twitter @gracealexwatch.

I welcome your comments.

Greetings from Mayo House

Monday greetings from Mayo House, the somewhat ratty headquarters of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. Located in an antebellum mansion in Richmond marked by peeling paint, broken fencing and a disgracefully unkempt yard, Mayo House has long struck me as emblematic of the decline of The Episcopal Church: Big, outdated, inefficient, bloated, crumbling and uncomfortable, yet an asset that a dying church tenaciously clings to as a vestigial reminder of a privileged past. And much like Catholic dioceses, spectacularly inefficient and willing to trade its integrity for its survival.

Anyway, nothing like a glorious spring day to remind the diocese and the good Christians of Grace Church that I am not going away any time soon.

Bob Malm perjuring priest

Bob Malm: Time to Man Up

Sunday, March 31, 2019

More Correspondence from Tenth Presbyterian

Today I received more correspondence between Tenth Presbyterian and Phil Snyder. None of it’s pretty, and it thoroughly underscores the lack of a genuine Christian ethos among leadership at the church. Further, I’ll add that Liam Goligher sounds disturbingly like Dysfunctional Bob Malm, including the allegations that Liam has committed perjury. Needless to say, I am dubious about the long-term prospects for any church where this sort of behavior is acceptable. I also question where the good Christians of Tenth Presbyterian acquired the notion that they are authorized to restrict First Amendment rights on public fora, like the sidewalk in front of the church. And, like Bob Malm, the seeming lies about threatening and harassing conduct reflect a thoroughly broken ethical reference point.

I’d also point out, as I have apropos Grace Episcopal, that friendly is not faithful. Bob Malm, and likely Liam Goligher, can be quite personable and engaging, But that doesn’t mean that he has any real faith, and it’s important to recognize the difference. If you support a clergyperson because you like him or her, without regard for their conduct, you are simply worshiping an idol. And turning a blind eye to perjury and other misconduct is to make oneself equally culpable.

Moreover, like Bob Malm and his perjury, the only thing that Tenth Presbyterian has accomplished is to increase awareness of its apparent propensity for bullying and its inept handling of allegations of sexual misconduct. Plus, the church all but guarantees that there will be additional protests and leafleting at the church.


This Week: Protests and More Leafleting

So today’s protests plans had to be called off due to some latebreaking issues, but things are on for this week. I’ll be leafleting more of Beverly Hills, and I plan to surface at Mayo House sometime this week to remind folks of Bob Malm’s perjury and the diocese’s laissez-fair attitude towards that matter.

More to come!

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Tweet About Wartburg Watch Article Seen More than 100,000 Times

Check it out: My tweet about the Wartburg Watch article covering my situation has now been seen more than 100,000 times, with placement both in Northern Virginia and nationwide.

The bad news of Bob Malm just keeps on spreading, especially among the 20-somethings that make up the bulk of Twitizens, and the future of the church.

My reminder to young people: Perjury is acceptable behavior for Episcopal clergy. Bullying the dying is acceptable for Episcopal clergy. Going after innocent family members is acceptable for Episcopal clergy.

In short, if you’re looking for a faith community, think twice before joining The Episcopal Church. It is morally bankrupt.

Bob Malm: The Wartburg Watch

Friday, March 29, 2019

Yet Another of Bob Malm’s Courtroom Lies

Here’s another example of Bob Malm’s many lies.

In this filing with the Alexandria Circuit Court, Bob Malm assures the court that I never practiced law, and never served as a police officer.

Here is a copy of my  Pennsylvania attorney license registration, which shows that I am now happily retired:

And here is a photo of me, taken in 2007, at DC Pride, where I and other sworn officers represented the Arlington Police Department.

Bob Malm, perjuring priest.

Bob Malm, lying trailer park trash.

Bob Malm’s Other Lie Under Oath

Here is Bob Malm’s other lie under oath.

In his written responses to my interrogatories, a component of our recent litigation, Bob Malm claimed under oath that the only person in his family whom he knew to have blogged about our conflict was his wife, Leslie.

Yet Bob knew from the get-go that his daughter Lindsey (Malm) Anders had done so. Indeed it was Lindsey who first called the police over a post on Fairfax Underground that she didn’t like, under the rather stupid notion that the police can force people to take down written materials that others find objectionable. Bob knew this all along, and senior officials at the Alexandria police department have confirmed Lindsey’s role, as described above.

Here is Bob’s lie:

Here is Bob’s oath and signature, made in front of Jane Rosman:

It’s also telling: In an email to the diocese of Virginia, Bob notes Lindsey’s role in the matter, while dismissing the conflict as unimportant:

Bob Malm. Perjuring priest.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Still More Disturbing Correspondence from Tenth Presbyterian

Recently I received additional emails and correspondence relating to the debacle at Tenth Presbyterian in Philadelphia. The debacle includes multiple allegations of sexual misconduct; a seeming lack of accountability by the pastor, Liam Goligher; and possible efforts by the church and its law firm to suppress criticism by former member Phil Snyder. Most importantly, I believe that the church evinces an appalling lack of concern for those hurt by these actions.

In the first email, posted below, Frank Pulcini, who appears to be a member of Tenth Presbytrerian, discusses the allegations of sexual misconduct in the church’s basement, which it refers to as “the catacombs.” To Frank’s credit, he urges a engaged approach to the issue, including stepping up security and notifying others about the issue, as well as providing care for the alleged victim and pulling in the police. I also am grateful that Frank contemplated the safety of children—an issue too often overlooked.

At the same time, there are some disconcerting aspects to Frank’s message. For example, he urges church leadership not “to keep this hushed,” further noting that no one called 911 at the time of the alleged incident. Moreover, it appears that no one had notified the police. The notion that the church can handle this incident — which sounds like a case of sexual assault — is shocking and appalling, and sounds very much like the Catholic Church and its efforts to handle its own sexual abuse issues internally. The results of the latter are well-known, and should have been enough to make any reasonable clergyperson think twice before trying to handle things personally.

Here is the content of Frank’s email:

The second email, while brief, is equally troubling. An exchange between Phil and Liam Goligher, it shows that Goligher was personally aware of the allegations of sexual misconduct. But what is truly telling is the suggestion that they catch up after Sunday services.

I don’t know about you, but the time after services at every church I’ve ever attended has been a whirlwind of little kids, coffee, small talk, and people coming and going. It’s a great place to find out how elderly friends are doing, or if those who are sick and shut in need anything. But as a place to address  allegations of sexual misconduct, it is about the worst possible place and time imaginable. Thus, unless I am mischaracterizing life at Tenth Presbyterian, Goligher’s follow-up suggests a shockingly cavalier approach to a potentially devastating issue, particularly for the woman who allegedly was assaulted. In other words, yikes. Just yikes.

Here’s the email:

The third email I’m posting today is an email sent to various people following Phil’s loss of his defamation case in the Philadelphia courts. When reading it, keep in mind that these are allegations, and to my knowledge, nothing has been proven in a court of law. 

That said, I believe Phil. Issues involving sexual misconduct and the safety of church members should have been handled with dispatch. There’s no reason this should have been acrimonious, difficult, or divisive. Yet even in these cursory emails, it looks very much like church officials are trying to sidestep and downplay the matter.

Of course, that raises the question why. Why would the church not want the police involved? Why would it not want transparency? I don’t know the answer, but my gut instinct is that it has something to hide, and that there’s more to this than meets the eye.

I’d also like to add that I admire Phil’s tenacity. In my dispute with Bob Malm, I know what he’s experiencing, and I am willing to bet he’s been called everything from insane to a stalker and more. Been there, done that. Churches know no bounds when it comes to ad hominem attacks on those who challenge the status quo, in my case even urging me to commit suicide. I hope that true Christians will offer support, encouragement and prayer on Phil’s behalf.

Apropos the issue of defamation, I no longer practice law, having happily retired, and no longer am licensed to practice law. That said, it’s a basic notion of defamation law that substantial truth is a defense. Thus, while Phil may have used inaccurate legal terminology, it appears that some sort of involuntary sexual misconduct did occur. I therefore believe Phil to be correct when he says that it is not slander, horrible or otherwise. I express no opinion as to whether Goligher indeed has engaged in criminal activity.

Of course, as a practical matter, if you are a church official, is it in your best interest to discourage reporting of misconduct? Of course not. If you do, you run the risk of potential personal and organizational liability, as well as devastating reputational damage. The fact that Tenth Presbyterian appears to be rabidly doing so again suggests to me that something is seriously wrong at the church. Moreover, if Phil’s conclusion that the church is blaming the victim is accurate, then things really are ugly at Tenth Presbyterian.

Lastly, we see the most recent correspondence from Gary Samms, the attorney for Tenth Presbyterian, in which he attempts to persuade Phil to quit communicating about this situation. While I appreciate its professional tone and demeanor (versus that of a certain government contracts attorney in Washington, DC), as a former attorney I find it noteworthy that it doesn’t claim that Phil is engaging in defamation. My guess is that Gary knows that Phil’s assertions are accurate, and far from defamatory. This, combined with the fact that an inflammatory letter would simply result in further criticism, suggests to me that the church knows that there’s not much it can do to shut down criticism.

Of course, that begs the issue: If people at Tenth Christian really are Christians, why did they try to get an injunction against Phil in the first place? It seems clear that he was neither violent, nor threatening. As such, the church appears to have borne false witness. The fact that the church pursued such a course of action yet again leads me to conclude that it is hiding something—possibly something quite serious. Otherwise, why would the church engage in what appears to be profoundly unethical behavior? And behavior that is so very damaging to its reputation? Moreover, its actions suggest this is not an emotionally or spiritually safe church, nor one that is safe against sexual abuse. If nothing else, it’s profoundly stupid for Liam to announce his decision that the incident at a pastor’s home was a “cultural misunderstanding.” The appropriate response was to notify the police immediately, and possibly to hire independent counsel to investigate the matter and notify the deacons, staff and congregation of its findings. Beyond that, a visit from a law enforcement crime prevention expert or a consultant in church security would have been a wise move. There is simply no reason for Liam Goligher to play junior police officer.

That said, Gary talks about facts not at Phil’s disposal. If the former can prove that the church handled allegations of sexual misconduct appropriately, I am, of course, more than happy to publish that information. Same goes for evidence that Phil indeed was violent and threatening. Or if Gary or the church wish to refute my belief that there’s more to this sordid tale than meets the eye, I am happy to hear them out. Somehow, I have the feeling the phone’s not going to be ringing off the hook any time soon.

In the meantime, I am looking forward to receiving more information on this case, and am committed to publishing this information as I receive it.

Until then, my advice to Tenth Presbyterian is this: Don’t pull a Bob Malm aka be stupid. Act like Christians and make things right. Just as Bob’s efforts have done nothing to shut down criticism of him (indeed, Bob’s conduct has exacerbated his reputational woes) so too will Tenth Presbyterian only compund its problems if it continues down its current path.

Susan Goff, Bishop and Hypocrite

Monday, March 25, 2019

Disturbing Emails Raise Concerns About Possible Cover-Up of Sexual Abuse at Tenth Presbyterian

As wave after wave of scandals hit the Catholic and Southern Baptist churches over allegations of sexual abuse, pastor Liam Goligher and Tenth Presbyterian in Philadelphia appear determined to drag their church into the same quagmire. Indeed, recent emails that I have received suggest a profound lack of concern for victims of sexual abuse, as well as the possibility of a coverup by church officials.

Today, I’m publishing these emails. Having seen the same sort of passive-aggressive language in my own dealings with abusive clergy in The Episcopal Church, the response of church officials sounds all too familiar.

Of course, I’m not privy to all the details of this situation. But these three emails raise some powerful and disturbing questions:
  • If Liam Goligher and Tenth Presbyterian really care about victims of sexual and other forms of abuse, why wouldn’t they treat Phil Snyder’s efforts as a welcome opportunity to speak up on behalf of possible victims?
  • How could Session have already addressed the issue when the parties seemingly most effected/involved hadn’t been there during the discussions?
  • Why wouldn’t the church itself have called the police? Isn’t that the criticism of the Catholic church, that it tries to handle allegations of abuse internally?
  • Why would the church excommunicate Phil and apparently falsely claim he was being threatening if it didn’t have anything to hide?
  • Why would Dave Collins state in his email that Session now considers the matter to be “closed,” without stating an outcome? Moreover, the reference to matters “directly observed,” sounds very much like an effort to silence a whistleblower, especially when coupled with the shallow reference to “prayer and encouragement.”
  • Why would the alleged victim fear possible retaliation from church officials if Tenth Prsbyterian is a safe environment? My experience is that when people fear reprisals there’s a high likelihood that spiritual abuse is occurring right behind the scenes.
  • Why on this green earth would you ever bring legal action against former parishioner (as in filing for an injunction)? As in my case, when a church goes to court with a member it invariably reveals that, right behind the scenes, it’s a very troubled place.  And just like the Catholic church, the ends don’t justify the means.
My take: The church’s actions sound very much like there’s more—much more—to this story. If it has nothing to hide, why the bad behavior? Why go to court over something that it should welcome, which is people coming forward with concerns? In a day and age when it’s illegal for publicly traded companies to retaliate, why do churches think it’s okay for them to do so? Churches like Tenth Presbyterian simply illustrate that, rhetoric notwithstanding, they are no friend to the poor, the outcast, the oppressed — and that includes those who may have experienced sexual violence or abuse.

I suspect that, in the coming weeks, we’re going to find out that these issues are just the tip of the iceberg at Tenth Presbyterian. Yes, these are unproven allegations, but they have the ring of truth, and there are so many disturbing aspects to this situation that I can only conclude this is one highly toxic church.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Greetings from Historic Christ Church

Sunday greetings from historic Christ Church!

Beautiful weather, and most people have been very nice. As always, a few laughable moments, including:
  • Christine Cheever, a member of Grace Church, mind already made up, who claimed that it’s not possible that Bob committed perjury on the basis that she “knows him.”  Nothing like faith in all the wrong things, eh?
  • One parishioner, who asked how I could perjure “a good man like Bob Malm,” to which I replied, “It happens to be true, and if he disagrees, he’s more than welcome to sue.”
  • Another parishioner, in full-on passive-aggressive mode, who said, “I don’t know what this has to do with Christ Church.” Um, body of Christ, anyone?
  • Several with the nervous but smug half-smile that churchgoers trot out when they don’t know how to respond to something that rattles their stained glass tower.
Of course, no one got the other part right: Inviting the lepers at the gate in for coffee. Only evangelical churches have ever gotten that side of things. I mean, if you’re a Christian, and you see someone hungry, thirsty, or hurt by the church, why wouldn’t you invite him in? Something about as you have done to the least of these. (Clergy entirely avoided me, BTW.)

Oh well. That’s Christianity for you.But again, on the whole folks here are very nice.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

This Weekend: More Protests and Leafletting

This weekend, I plan to protest outside one of Alexandria’s Episcopal churches on Sunday; I’ll keep which one close to the vest for now.

I also plan to leaflet at least 250 more homes, again focusing on Beverly Hills and the area around Grace Church.

Fun times!

HBC and Grace Church: When a Collapsing Mega-Church has More Integrity Than The Episcopal Church

Those who follow church abuse stories, particularly in evangelical churches, may be all too familiar with the collapse of Harvest Bible Chapel (HBC). The latter is a Chicago-based mega-church that not that long ago was considered one of the fastest growing in the world. Recently, however, founder James MacDonald was ousted amidst a series of complaints about bullying, abusive behavior, and lack of financial transparency, with the final straw being the collapse of a defamation lawsuit against critics of the church’s operations.

Before we go further, let me say that MacDonald sounds very much like Bob Malm. Charismatic, manipulative, intelligent, sometimes bullying, and apparently at times of questionable veracity, the two could be cut from the same cloth. Indeed, when called on the carpet, both claim to be victims, and both try to keep key financial and operational data close to the cuff. Both surround themselves with admirers and sycophants who serve to protect them, and both exercise largely unilateral control over their churches, having gutted mechanisms that otherwise ensure accountability.

But the real point of this post is about the HBC lawsuit, which collapsed when the church declined to subpoena unwilling participants in the lawsuit against their will. Some of this, to be fair, appears to have been because MacDonald and allies feared that more would come out than they were ready to deal with — an issue that would have occurred in my litigation with Bob Malm, thanks to his multiple fabrications and perjury.

Regardless of the reasons that HBC decided to drop its lawsuit, however, its conduct stands in marked contrast to that of Grace Episcopal Church, Dysfunctional Bob Malm, Jeff “Sugarland” Chiow, and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. In its litigation with me, Grace Church attempted to drag my mother, dying of COPD, into court in another state, despite the fact that this is not permitted in Pennsylvania in such cases absent leave of court. Indeed, when the Pennsylvania courts quashed Grace’s subpoena, Grace fought vociferously, arguing in its written pleadings that it was dealing with a case of “domestic terrorism.”

Oh, and while you’re at it, check out the bit about MacDonald’s allegedly inappropriate comments. Guess that referring to your parishioners as “sick” “twisted,” and “domestic terrorists” would fall within the ambit of “inappropriate.”

So progressive Episcopalians may look down their WASPy noses at evangelical churches, but when it comes to ethics, even failing evangelical churches have better moral compasses than the Episcopal diocese of Virginia, its bishops, and the folks over at Grace Church, aka St. Dysfunction.

Finally, as I’ve pointed out many times, vestry members, family members (yeah that would be Leslie Malm), clergy (yup, David Crosby), parishioners, and diocesan staff who support Bob’s efforts are just as culpable.

Truly, a sorry lot.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Yet Another Blast From the Past: Lisa Medley’s Lies on The Wartburg Watch

Here’s another example of the sort of BS that comes out of Grace Episcopal, aka St. Dysfunction: Lisa Medley’s comments on The Wartburg Watch, characterized by her typical fabrications, combined with a certain lack of mastery of the facts.

Lisa’s comments were posted in response to the second Wartburg Watch article on my situation at Grace Episcopal Church. On one level, they pointedly duck the biggest issue, which is Bob Malm’s perjury. Under oath, Bob stated inter alia that my Mom made and other family members repeatedly made appointments with him and no-showed. This is a bold-faced lie, as it simply didn’t happen, and Bob has produced no evidence to back up his claims.

On another level, we see Lisa’s strained relationship with the truth, including her statement that I spent the last six months of my time at Grace lobbying to get the parish admin fired. That’s an interesting claim, since the employee in question had resigned more than a year earlier, in the summer of 2014. But hey, when was bearing false witness ever an issue for Lisa, Bob Malm, or people at Grace church?

Of course, there’s also her unsupported claim that my response to Bob’s misconduct is based on her being named senior warden. How she reaches that conclusion is a curious thing, since anyone who knows me at all knows I like working with the physical plant and would have loved to have served as junior warden for another year. But again, truthfulness does not appear to be Lisa’s strong suit. Same for her assertion about readership of this blog—without access to the login, how would she know what readership is? Not to mention the church’s website has had nowhere near the same number of hits during that times, especially from outside the parish.

Then there’s her claim that I’m the only person who’s complained. That’s either a case of dishonesty on her part, cluelessness, or some combination of both. She likely has seen John Cunningham’s Facebook post, in which he states for all the world to see that he had very similar experiences. I also can think of a number of other people who’ve left for similar reasons, and it’s highly likely she does too. Of course, she conveniently ignores her bitchy, manipulative behavior, which started when she and several others decide to wade into my previous issues with Kelly Gable. She is well aware of this conduct, as are numerous others, both in her family and the church.

Lisa’s comments about Dysfunctional Bob “humbling” himself also are amusingly dishonest. Bob’s apology was directed to Mike, whom no one claims did anything wrong. How apologizing to an innocent family member that Bob decided to include in his vendetta is “humbling” himself escapes me—I guess it was a long trip down Mount Olympus. That said, Bob has never apologized to me, likely never will, and doesn’t have the um....spine....needed to do so.

Then we turn to Lisa’s efforts to throw shade on Dee’s assertion that the church is declining. The reality, however, is that both the church’s own reports and the annual parochial report reveal that the church has lost more than 100 pledging units, while the church’s budget continues its steady decline. That data also is available on this blog.

The best documentation of Lisa’s conduct and ethical worldview, however, is her comments themselves. There’s nothing even remotely Christian about them, and she clearly learned very little from the criticism over her previous remarks on The Wartburg Watch, in which third parties told her that she was “childish and hateful,” among other things. Yes, she tried to back into things by shifting to a more passive-aggressive approach, but that did absolutely nothing to conceal her real motives and attitude.

Most significantly, Lisa’s comments underscore another issue, which is the level of discourse at Grace church under Bob Malm. The fact that anyone would consider her tone or content to be appropriate shows that Grace is a toxic church. And it’s exactly that attitude that gives rise to comments like her daughter’s urging me to “go kill” myself — proof positive that Grace church is nothing but a religion-based social club, and not a particularly good one at that.

So, my advice is this: If you decide to become involved with Grace Church, take your time, look, listen and learn. While people are friendly and welcoming, this sort of discourse and gossip lurks right behind the scenes and tells you what’s really going on in people’s hearts.

Or, as the Bible says, “The tongue has the power of life and death.” In Grace’s Church, people’s tongues far too often opt for an approach that doesn’t affirm life.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Breaking News: 10th Presbyterian Church

As many know, some time ago I covered the situation of Phil Snyder and 10th Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. Among other things, Phil alleges that the church falsely claimed that he was violent and threatening while protesting and leafleting outside the church. His videotaping of his actions suggests, however, that this was not the case; subsequently, Phil filed a civil suit for defamation over these issues.

Unfortunately, Phil did not prevail in court. That said, my belief is that Phil was not threatening, and that the church bore false witness against him.

I plan to publish additional materials about this situation over the coming days, and may launch an independent blog dedicated to this issue.

Stay tuned for details!

Bob Malm Wishes You a Holy Lent

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Check it Out: More Defamation from Lindsey Malm

Wonder if Lindsey realizes that the statue of limitations under Virginia state law is one year from publication? 

Of course, the larger issue is that you only have to look at the children if you want to learn about the parents. So when Bob Malm prattles on with the rhetorical question, “Will our children have faith?”, the answer in his case is that they don’t. Moreover, the values one sees in Lindsey are likely values she learned at home.

Another damning indictment of Bob Malm, Leslie Malm, and Grace Church.

Monday, March 18, 2019

More on Grace Church’s HVAC Project

With the general, HVAC, and mechanical contractors now in place for Grace Church’s HVAC project, there are two outstanding issues, both of which may affect the church for years to come. To my knowledge, neither has been satisfactorily answered, either by Bob Malm, or the vestry. Yet both warrant further thought and reflection.

First is the issue of the church subsidizing school operations by doing without pastoral and other resources. Yes, Bob Malm is wildly overpaid, particularly given his feckless job performance. But that’s besides the point. As things stand, the only way the church can cover the expenses associated with this project is to hold off on the assistant rector position for as long as possible, and to otherwise cut overhead. That is not good, especially given that Dysfunctional Bob must, under the canons, retire within the next four years. In short, this is a time to strengthen community, and shifting resources away from that goal can only have negative consequences.

Also appalling is that poorly compensated employees, including the sexton and office staff, face regressive taxation as part of these efforts at cost reduction. The church can afford to walk away from $100,000 in debt that Bob Malm owed it, but it can no longer afford to pay the total cost of health insurance for its employees? How does that work? Moreover, Pedro negotiated his compensation package based on the notion that the church would cover his family insurance. Unless the church addressed that issue in its plans, it has double-crossed Pedro and his family. So much for social justice.

Of course, that also raises the larger question of why parishioners should do without pastoral care in order to pay for the AC. The school produces no obvious benefit to the church and already enjoys the subsidy of the 50/50 split on non-fungible costs, despite the fact that it consumes the lion’s share of utilities. Overhead already is much too high with Bob’s ridiculous compensation package, as well as its penchant for full-time employees. So why are people stepping up their pledges to make ends meet, when hundreds of thousands of dollars are going in support of a quasi-independent entity that, over the years, has shown scant respect for the church?

My take on things is that asking parishioners to do without in order to air condition the school is a recipe for long-term trouble, likely to build resentment over time. For years, Chris Byrnes played her empire-building games, yet now it’s suddenly “your school,” in communications with parishioners? Hot dog—Bob must think people have really short memories.

Second is the issue of AC in the nave and undercroft themselves. Woefully inadequate and inefficient in both areas, the compressor is much too large in the undercroft, while there is not nearly enough capacity in the nave. Moreover, air flow in the nave ducts is inadequate for the space and relevant load. Yet these issues are being ignored, despite the fact that the school’s use of the nave, expressed as a percentage of total use, is commensurate with the church’s use of Merrow Hall. But the school is not planning to help fund work on these areas. As a result, the church is uncomfortable for summer weddings, funerals, and other command performances—hardly helpful when the church already is shedding pledging units and members. Thus, one must question why the church is going in debt to pay for HVAC in Merrow Hall, when no thought has been given to its own HVAC woes. And again, all within the context of a $100,000 bonus for Bob Malm—a thoroughly undeserving recipient if there ever was one. Keep in mind, too, that both compressors, the one for the undercroft and the one for the nave, are past actuarial end of life. And being 20-ton units, neither will be cheap to replace. If either fails during the life of the HVAC loan, it’s going to be a tough squeeze to find a solution.

Exacerbating these issues is the fact that financing the HVAC work in the manner currently envisioned prevents funding of issues of primary importance to the church, but secondary importance to the school. For example, neither elevator, nor the parking lot entrance, meet modern handicapped accessibility standards. While probably not a huge deal to the school, the aging population at the church already struggles to access some parts of the building. Similarly, interior directional signage is non-ADA compliant, as it does not include Braille. Thus, persons with limited visual acuity would find Grace church a daunting environment, with its long hallways, numerous doors, and multiple levels. In addition, lighting is woefully inadequate in the third floor hallway, as well as the basement-level stairs outside the church office.

In short, while the vendors chosen for the work are reputable and likely will do an excellent job on the project, the current approach to the project almost guarantees further woes for the church at a time when it’s already in precipitous decline and facing a “lame duck” and largely indifferent rector.

Not good.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

New Signage: Bob Malm, Perjuring Priest

New signage, just in time for Lent!

Oh, and when Bob inevitably tries to lie his way out of this one, just ask him for his proof that my Mom made an appointment with him. Ever.

Yet under oath Bob claims she did. 

Bob Malm, perjuring priest 

Handling of Sexual Misconduct Allegations at National Cathedral Stands in Marked Contrast to the Diocese of Virginia

According to WTOP, the schools at the National Cathedral have expanded their investigation into potential sexual misconduct to include two additional schools operating on the premises, co-ed Beauvoir School and the all-girls National Cathedral School. The original investigation only involved St. Albans boy’s school and started over allegations of inappropriate activity by Vaughn Keith, a teacher at the school who later died of complications from HIV.

“Our responsibility is not only to protect children, but also to be what Isaiah called ‘the repairers of the breach,'” said cathedral Dean Rev. Randolph Hollerith. “We aim to offer healing to anyone who hurt, and to try and repair any breach of trust that was broken.”

This approach is in sharp contrast to the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, which continues to refuse to even investigate allegations of perjury and other misconduct by Bob Malm, rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Alexandria. This refusal is based in part on advice from the diocesan chancellor, who also advised the diocese to ignore the canonical requirement of a pastoral response in the Title IV clergy disciplinary case at St. Thomas’, McLean.

Small wonder that the CANA/GAFCON crowd has little respect for the diocese of Virginia and church canons, when the diocese itself feels free to ignore the latter whenever it so suits.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Heartfelt Thoughts Go Out to My Muslim Friends and Neighbors

In the wake of today’s horrific events in the mosques of Christchurch New Zealand, my heartfelt thoughts go out to all affected by this horrible example of hatred.

I also categorically reject those who, like Dysfunctional Bob Malm and Jeff Sugarland Chiow, use claims of “domestic terrorism” to try to suppress free speech. Those who engage in behavior of this sort demonstrate a lack of respect for our freedoms, and for the pain and suffering of those affected by violence and hatred. Triviliazing situations such as today’s tragic shootings is an appalling violation of the baptismal covenant, and conclusively demonstrates both Bob Malm and Jeff Chiow’s real motivations. Moreover, anyone supporting their efforts in this arena is equally culpable.

I will soon be joining friends for services at a nearby mosque and am proud to stand with my Muslim friends and neighbors.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Bob Malm’s Many Lies

Here, in a concise visual format, is a summary of some of Bob Malm’s lies. Some were lies he told to me. Others are lies he has told about me. Several were made under oath, and thus constitute perjury.

Of course, if Bob Malm wishes to produce documentation that my Mom has made appointments with him, for example, I am happy to publish that here. That said, unless he is prepared to fabricate that as well, he has no such proof.

Bob’s lies told under oath include:
  • That my Mom made appointments with him.
  • That his wife Leslie is the only family member that he knew to have blogged about our conflict. (He knew at the time he made the statement that his daughter Lindsey had as well.)
  • That I was never licensed as an attorney.
  • That I never served as police officer.
  • That I violated the existing court order.
Bob’s lie about trustees was told in front of Bishop Shannon Johnston and Canon Pat Wingo in Fredericksburg, and confirmed by his failure to produce documents, which my lawyer requested, to support his claim.

Bob’s lie about the church office staff was told to me in the church offices. I later found out that Bob allegedly told the same lie to Phil Smith several years prior, when the latter served as junior warden.

Keep in mind, too, that per the Episcopal canons, clergy are held to a higher standard. So if Bob tells you, “Well, we were pretty sure Eric never practiced law, so that came as a surprise,” ask when it became okay to present speculation as facts when offering pleadings in court. Then ask where the higher standard is for clergy. Keep in mind, too, that at no point did Bob add an sort of disclaimer, such as “based on our research, we believe that Mr. Bonetti did not practice law.” Instead, these were presented as facts, with no disclaimers or qualification.

Of course, the big granddaddy of all Bob’s lies is that he was threatened. Examining his own filing shows that he took words out of context in facially ludicrous fashion. For example, the presence of the word “suicide” on a blog does not constitute a threat, either as practical matter nor as a point of law. Similarly, Mom’s longstanding handle, “the Killer B’s,” is also used by members of pro sports teams, as well as a band in Richmond. Are those threats?

So, Bob is either a liar, or he’s a complete and total whack-a-doodle. They’re not mutually exclusive, however; my opinion is that Bob is both.

That also raises an interesting issue: Jeff “Sugarland” Chiow has said he represents the church, Bob, and Bob’s wife, Leslie. With ample evidence available to Jeff that his client has lied, is he obligated to act in Bob’s best interest? The church’s? If it’s the former, Sugarland is obligated to maintain a confidence. If it’s the latter, he may have obligations to disclose to the parish. Certainly, Sugarland’s aiding and abetting Bob’s perjury has not done much to help the church’s standing in the community, and it makes a mockery of the whole notion of Lent as a season of repentance and introspection. But then, given Sugarland’s inclusion of various fabrications as well as inflammatory rhetoric in his pleadings, I wouldn’t look to Jeff as a source of ethical conduct.

Bob Malm’s lies

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Reminder: No Contact

It should be unnecessary, but as a reminder, I have specifically asked Bob Malm, in writing, to have no contact with me, either directly or through others. Moreover, no member of Grace Church, its vestry, or the diocese should contact me or Mike without my advance permission.

Anyone violating this request will be regarded as violating § 18.2-60.3 of the Virginia Code (Stalking; penalty), which inter alia provides:

“If the person contacts or follows or attempts to contact or follow the person at whom the conduct is directed after being given actual notice that the person does not want to be contacted or followed, such actions shall be prima facie evidence that the person intended to place that other person, or reasonably should have known that the other person was placed, in reasonable fear of death, criminal sexual assault, or bodily injury to himself or a family or household member.”