Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Breaking News: Grace Episcopal Lawsuit Moves Forward



Earlier today, the Alexandria General District court heard my motion to compel. It also received various motions from Diane DiBlasio, the attorney for Grace Episcopal, the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, and Bishop Susan Goff. The defense motions included a motion to dismiss with prejudice and a motion requesting a bill of particulars. The latter sets forth the reasons a plaintiff believes she or he has a legal cause of action.

The only motion on which the court ruled was the request to schedule a bill of particulars. Thus, I will be filing that pleading by the end of January, the defense will file its response by the end of February, and we will hold the next hearing in March.

Afterwards, I had a moment to chat with Diane, who is very professional and capable. My heads-up to her, which I hope informs her efforts and those of her clients, centers around Bob Malm’s perjury during the discovery phrase of my appeal. (Recall that Bob falsely claimed that my mom, or someone purporting to be her, “time after time” contacted him. This he cited as a primary reason he believed mom’s blog to really be mine.)

So, it will be interesting to see if the diocese, Bishop Goff, and Grace Episcopal want to defend Bob Malm’s perjury. That said, if past performance is any indicator, all three will do their utmost to defend his conduct.

It’s also interesting that defense counsel attempted to assert that this is an internal ecclesiastical matter. With the parish having taken the matter to court in the first place, it is difficult to conclude that this indeed is not subject to judicial review. That said, in fairness to defense counsel, she had little to go on.

Bob Malm, perjuring priest.

Grace Episcopal, the clergy perjury parish.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

A Must-Watch: The Rev. Wade Mullen Describes Planet Malm Perfectly

Check out Twitter buddy Wade Mullen’s excellent video presentation on spiritual abuse. Well worth a look and possibly enlightening for members of Planet Malm and the diocese who approach with an open mind. And yes, I find many of the forms of manipulation described here to be an accurate description of Bob Malm’s conduct.

Also, check out the excellent part on supplication (institutional protection of abusers) at 32:28. Bob Malm and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, writ large.

Lastly, take a look at Wade’s description of how his former church moved to healing by admitting specifically the ways in which it had engaged in spiritual abuse. You won’t see anything like that from Grace Church or the Diocese of Virginia; both are organizational narcissists and believe their conduct to be beyond reproach.



Monday, December 16, 2019

Grace’s Claim that It’s Been Careful With Expenses in Amusing, Disingenuous


One of the amusing things is the claim in Grace church publications that it’s been careful with expenses, and thus people should fulfill their pledges. That’s not only a partial truth, but it’s disingenuous as well.

Let me be clear: Over the past couple of years, the parish indeed has been careful with cash flow. In saying that, I am choosing my words carefully.

But over time, the parish has been anything but prudent. 
  • It way overpaid for Bob Malm, a feckless rector if there ever was one. Indeed, Bob was overpaid by 40-70K a year and compensated more highly than the bishop in charge of pastoral development at church headquarters. And Bob did a whole lot less work, of that you can be assured.
  • It tore down the rectory, an asset worth roughly $700,000, instead tossing a ton of cash at Bob Malm, totaling more than $1 million during Malm’s tenure.
  • It wrote off $100,000 in debt that Bob owed the church, giving it to him as a bonus.
  • It contributed $3,000 from savings for Chris Byrnes’ farewell party, a silly and wasteful extravagance at a time when church employees got a sheet cake at coffee hour as their good bye.
  • It cut employee health care benefits to “balance the budget” at a time when it was paying Bob Malm a $100,000 bonus.
  • It has consistently deferred maintenance, resulting in costly after-the-fact repairs.
  • It has consistently underpaid its commitment to the diocese, while claiming that it is a “center for outreach and healing.” I call bull on that.
  • It lost thousands of dollars via stale checks that disappeared into the parish administrator Charlotte Payne Wright’s office, only to be found after the latter’ s departure. And you cannot convince me that people didn’t call to ask why their checks hadn’t been cashed. 
  • It failed to establish a finance manual as required by denominational policy, which if done properly would have established policies and procedures sufficient to prevent the loss of funds described above.
Moreover, it failed to account for the cost of Bob Malm and Sugarland Chiow’s misconduct. Nothing in life is free, and Bob’s committing perjury, Sugarland’s false courtroom statements of law and fact, their efforts to drag a dying woman into court, all carry with them a cost. The cost is that people are departing the parish for less toxic environs, while the Sugarland Chiow’s, Lisa Medley’s and Alison Campbells of the parish cling like barnacles to the hull of a sinking ship. The result is declining revenue and attendance, and to date I have seen no meaningful effort to address these issues.

Speaking of Lisa Medley, Bob’s conduct also served as a benchmark for parishioners, and I believe that it was he who made people like Lisa think that their childish, hateful behavior was okay. Indeed, Leslie Malm proved to be every bit as childish, deceitful and hateful as Lisa, and that is saying something. 

So, this pledge season, remember: This is not only a parish where people urge others to commit suicide, it’s a church where Lisa Medley thinks it’s okay to publish details on people’s giving on social media. 

And as you contemplate those facts, consider: The parish has been careful with its funds only because it’s run out of funds to squander. If there were funds left to blow, Bob Malm would have had a party that would have made Chris’ pale by comparison.





Saturday, December 14, 2019

Perjuring Priest Robert Malm Now at St. Gabriel’s Marion Massachusetts

Perjuring priest Robert Malm is now at St. Gabriel’s Marion Massachusetts. Bad news for that church!


Positive Signs at St. Dysfunction, aka Grace Episcopal Church



As Grace church begins the lengthy process of transition, there are some positive signs. The church, diocese, and vestry deserve kudos for these changes.

First and foremost, we see the wardens and vestry finally assuming their proper role under the Episcopal canons. Instead of Bob Malm personally choosing the executive committee, which is a violation of the canons, and then controlling decisions via his hand-chosen inner circle, we are seeing the wardens and vestry actually exercising leadership as they communicate with the parish, make decisions, and try to map out a path forward for the parish.

Second, we are seeing the parish back away from Bob Malm’s knee-jerk instinct towards controlling and restricting the flow of information. This includes publishing pledge totals (versus deliberately vague information), and greater transparency about decision making. 

The problem with Bob Malm’s approach is that secrecy is deadly to a voluntary organization like a church, which depends on the labor, giving and participation of members. Instead of accurate information, secrecy begets the ugly gossip that has roiled for years right behind the scenes at Grace church, ranging from rumors of affairs, to speculation about the sexual orientation of married persons, to claims that one person had a penile implant (seriously!). Such rumor and speculation may seem like harmless fun, but it’s ugly, damaging, hateful, and a powerful disincentive for outsiders to join the church. And it’s often used by persons like Alison Campbell when they want to play the Mean Girls game.

Ironically, Bob’s efforts to control information, which were intended to curtail my access to information, had zero effect on me, other than giving me one more topic to blog about. Data regarding parish giving and governance is readily available via other sources and, like all organizations, there are always plenty of internal sources to leak data. Indeed, more than one member has speculated that all the secrecy means there must be something to hide—which, given Bob’s perjury and other misconduct, is spot-on.

Going forward, the church would be well-served by returning to publishing vestry minutes. The reality is that posting this information on the bulletin board outside the office door does nothing. Yes, persons may glance at it, but no one is really going to glean much information as they try to read it standing in a busy hallway. Similarly, few are going to go to the trouble of contacting Amy Medrick, which in itself alerts clergy to their interest in governance issues.

Similarly, the parish annual report should be on the website. Not providing it keeps nothing secret, and I am well aware of the sharp declines under Bob Malm  in pledging units, average Sunday attendance, and other barometers of parish health.

Same for the parish budget. As I have said in previous posts, both the budget and the so-called audit should be available on the website. Lisa Medley claims there is “complete transparency,” but that is absolute bullcrap. Indeed, the vestry does not see the audit engagement letter or the results, let alone parishioners, and existing safeguards were not adequate to prevent Richard Newman from being overpaid for many months, until Jeff Aaron spotted the issue. (I have always suspected that his disclosure of the matter resulted in Bob Malm shoving him out the door. Bob does not like it when his negligence comes to light.) Nor were they adequate to detect the thousands of dollars in unaccounted-for stale checks and cash found in the parish administrator’s office after she retired in 2014.

Keep in mind, too, that the parish will soon have to compile a parish portfolio as part of the search process. All this data needs to be included, and not in a glossed-over manner. The reality is that Bob Malm’s tenure ended with the parish in a period of precipitous, perhaps terminal, decline marked by conflict, outrageous clergy misconduct (aided and abetted by Sugarland Chiow and the vestry), declining giving and participation, and an utter lack of any sort of strategic plan or vision for the future. Indeed, during his final five years, even Malm’s admirers felt that he was thoroughly burned out, indifferent, and focused simply on paying the bills long enough to make it into retirement.

The good news in all of this is that the current wardens are well-suited to the task at hand, and hopefully future wardens will be as well. That said, there remain serious questions about the ability of the parish to recognize, let alone address, the mess left behind after 30 years of Bob Malm.

Monday, December 9, 2019

See for Yourself: The 2016 Confidential Settlement Proposal that Dysfunctional Bob Malm Rejected

Repost 

With Grace Episcopal Church set to hold its annual parish meeting Sunday the 27th, here’s a potentially useful inflection point. Specifically, in January 2016, through my attorney, I offered to settle the matter in exchange for nothing more than Bob Malm’s written agreement to act like a priest. That’s right — simply stop disparaging me and stop interfering in my participation in the church. Additionally, I asked that the matter be treated as confidential. All things that should be normative for a priest.

Through Sugarland Chiow, Bob rejected my offer, including my request for confidentiality. (I wasn’t aware clergy could pick and choose. Beware.)

As a result, I launched my social media campaign, which continues to this day, and will do so indefinitely. This has proven effective, although I may soon augment it with additional litigation.

Of course, that also underscores a key point: Even when faced with possible litigation and other actions with the potential to seriously damage Grace Church’s standing in the community, Bob Malm, with the advice of Sugarland Chiow, put his own perceived interests ahead of those of the church. Bob wanted revenge for my asking the diocese to mediate our dispute, and he didn’t care what that meant for Grace Church. And today we see the results, with church revenue and attendance down sharply, and all indications suggesting that things will only get worse over time. In fact, he still doesn’t give a red rat’s rear end about the church; his only interest appears to be shutting down criticism long enough to get the hell out of Dodge with his generous retirement in place.

In that vein, now that people understand what really does on behind the scenes at Grace Church Bob, being the manipulative little weasel he is, is playing his usual games, taking words out of context, lying repeatedly, claiming he’s been threatened, and asking the Alexandria police if there is any way they can take away my First Amendment rights. Having been repeatedly told that there isn’t, Bob’s fallback has been to argue “abuse of First Amendment rights,” in his emails to the diocese. And, of course, his old standby, which is to conduct smear campaigns behind the scenes. 

In all of this, of course, Bob conveniently overlooks the fact that that is the very reason for the First Amendment—to engender accountability, including for dirtbags like Dysfunctional Bob Malm. Meanwhile,  our recent litigation included numerous requests from Sugarland Chiow for confidentiality, including his trash settlement offer with — you guessed it — a confidentiality clause. Sorry, kids, that horse has left the barn.

This also touches on the issue of Bob’s real motivations. In that realm, there’s one thing that is abundantly clear to me, which is that, for Bob, it’s just a job. Nothing in Bob’s actions in any way suggests he’s a priest or Christian in anything but name only.

Check out my letter here in PDF.

Just Like the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia and Bob Malm, Church Ignored Warning Signs in Brian Boucher Case



Before we go further, let me say up front: To my knowledge, Bob Malm is not accused of any form of sexual impropriety.

That said, the case of convicted Canadian pedophile priest Brian Boucher sounds alarmingly similar to my experiences with Bob Malm and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, both in terms of Boucher’s manipulative, possibly sociopathic, behavior and the diocese’s efforts to avoid dealing with the real issues. Indeed, in Boucher’s case, the diocese appears to have taken the matter more seriously than has the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, for the former at least spent time and effort addressing the more obvious signs that Boucher was maladjusted.

In reviewing the Boucher media coverage, the first thing one notices is Boucher’s attention to his physical appearance. Even when headed to jail, Boucher consistently looks put together and carefully pressed. This is very similar to Bob Malm, who often appears inordinately consumed with keeping his SUV clean and polished, his tan, his hair color, and even his efforts to conceal his hair loss via transplants.

Then one transitions to Boucher’s conduct, in which, much like Bob Malm, he attempts to manipulate the world around him to suit his needs. Those of importance to him get attention and flattery, while those unimportant to him get ignored. Similarly, those who expressed concern about Boucher’s conduct found themselves denied access to the church and rectory buildings. Indeed, Boucher attempted to fire one parish employee who spoke out, and multiple families left Boucher’s parish, rather than comply with his manipulative behavior. Such conduct is strikingly similar to that of Bob Malm, even down to trying to deny access to the church building to critics.

Similarly, critics feared Boucher’s temper, which sounds suspiciously like the classic narcissistic rage. Boucher’s attempts at domination and control, much like Malm’s behavior, also seem to witnesses to be antithetical to his alleged calling as a priest.

Then we read about Boucher’s divisive conduct, in which he surrounds himself with a circle of loyalists who protect him and alert him to criticism from within the parish. Again, very similar to Bob Malm.

Turning to the diocese, we see that time and again officials turned a blind eye to the myriad warning signs of trouble. Yes, the church may have spent considerable time and trouble to deal with Boucher’s controlling behavior, but it never was willing to delve further into the issues, including assessing root causes behind the behavior. Indeed, even prior to ordination, those who feared Boucher was unsuited to the priesthood were ignored and brushed off.

This sounds very much like Bob Malm, where some parishioners, even as early as his calling to the church in Portsmouth NH, appear to have recognized that something was not right. For example, when Bob was in New Hampshire, one parishioner allegedly ran for vestry solely in order to see what Bob was “going to do to my church.”  While seemingly innocuous and easily dismissed, that sort of gut reaction to Bob should have been a warning sign.

Similarly, the ongoing flight of pledging units and the departure of numerous former leaders from Grace Church should be more than a warning sign to the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia; it should be the equivalent of Cheyenne Mountain’s air raid siren blaring in the night. People don’t pack up and leave a church in which they’re invested for trivial reasons. Instead, when they leave in droves, it’s because something is seriously wrong.

Will the church vestry and the diocese ever comprehend the real issues here? I doubt it. Between thirty years of Bob’s manipulative behavior, the organizational narcissism in the parish, and the inconvenience that would come with addressing Bob Malm’s misconduct, there is little reason for optimism.

For more on Boucher and the church’s attempt to avoid dealing with the real issues, visit the CBC’s investigative report at https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/brian-boucher-history-investigation-1.5383177.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

If Grace is Such a Slice of Paradise, Why is it Shedding Members? Further Reflections on the Church’s Organizational Narcissism

One of the noteworthy things about my conflict with Bob Malm and Grace Episcopal Church has been the extent of organizational narcissism in the church. This has been typified by the reactions of parishioners, who remain clueless about how their behavior appears to outsiders, while continuing to think that somehow it benefits the parish.

For example, consider the conduct of Sally Schneider, who rolled up to me one day and said, in her typically saccharine way, “Shame on you, Eric Bonetti,” repeating this several times. Sally has zero first-hand knowledge of the conflict, yet thinks she can wade in and pass judgment. Yet I’d be prepared to bet that she would not regard Bob Malm’s perjury as kosher, nor his attempt to drag a dying woman into court.

Similarly, Lisa Medley, who doesn’t even have the backbone to post comments under her own name, preferring instead handles like, “Long-time parishioner,” still can’t figure out why third parties look at her ad hominem attacks on me and respond with comments like, “This group of parishioners is circling the wagons and while they seem sane to themselves, they seem immature and hateful to outsiders who are looking at their behavior.”



The same holds true for Alison Campbell, who tells people that she is “just the messenger,” even as she uses the altar guild and others to try to cause trouble within the parish. She may think that somehow she’s benefitting the parish, Kelly Gable, or others, but the reality is she’s simply showing herself to be childish and hateful, while underscoring that Grace is toxic. 

Then we come to the Kemp Williams and Jean Reeds of the place, who are happy to gossip within the church about others and their perceptions of them, yet see no need to discuss those issues directly with the persons involved. Just spend a few minutes searching this blog and you will find examples of their truly ugly comments.

Also among the better examples of toxic behavior at Grace Church are the comments from a twenty-something in the parish, who urged me to commit suicide in the post below.





And of course, we cannot forget Sugarland Chiow, with his multiple false statements of law and fact to the courts, his inflammatory rhetoric, and his various courtroom fabrications, including that I never practiced law. Jeff claims that the church is threatened by “domestic terrorism,” yet brings his wife and children there on a regular basis. 

Nor can we forget Big Bad Bob, with his lying under oath (aka perjury), his lies to parishioners, and his false police reports. Truly, the ugly stuff rolls downhill.

Even more problematic is the fact that this sort of behavior is, for many, acceptable within the church. This underscores the organizational narcissism that exists at every level in the church. Yes, attendance and giving are at record lows in the parish, and yes, one-third of pledging units have stopped pledging in recent years. And many have left the parish altogether, preferring somewhere where the Ten Commandments aren’t just a bit of arcane trivia. But the fact remains that many continue to provide financial and other support for this toxic mess. Nor have any of the people identified above ever taken responsibility for their own conduct.

Thus far, parish leaders also have ignored the many things that could be done to address these issues. For example, the vestry could adopt a statement of normative behaviors, making clear the type of conduct that rightly should be present in any church. It could specifically address bullying. It could bring in outside experts in addressing conflict. Yet none of these things have happened, nor have they been discussed in any meaningful way.

Will Michael Guy and the vestry be up to the task? Can they drain the swamp that is Grace Episcopal? 

I doubt it.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

A Shout Out To St. Gabriel’s, Marion Massachusetts



If you are a member or friend of St. Gabriel’s parish in Massachusetts and you are reading this, good for you. While I can’t guarantee that you’ll agree with the opinions in this post, my hope is that they will be helpful to you.

If you’ve come across this blog, you may be wondering where to start, and what this blog means.

Before we go further, let’s acknowledge something: Bob Malm can turn on the charm when he chooses to. He is intelligent, he can be engaging, he is articulate. He’s adept at telling people what they want to hear. Indeed, has has said that he would have chosen to be a politician if he had not become a priest, and he has many of the attributes needed to be successful as a politician.

At the same time, I believe you have a problem on your hands, one that places your church at risk. Far too often, churchgoers conflate friendly with faithful, but the two are not coterminous. Indeed, they may be opposites, and therein lies the danger.

Right behind Bob’s engaging demeanor exists a very different reality, which is that Bob is a priest in name only. In the past, he has lied under oath, attempted to drag my mother, dying of COPD, into court, lied to parishioners and his vestry, and more, all in the name of trying to shut down public criticism of his misfeasance, malfeasance and nonfeasance during his time as rector of Grace Episcopal Church, his last job. 

Apropos his lies to his parish, he falsely stated that I left the church on my own. That is a lie, as evinced by the email, which you can find on this site, in which he directed my husband Mike and me to find a new church. You also will find a copy of my confirmatory email to Mike Jones, a fellow parishioner, in which Mike confirmed that Bob had contacted him to direct him to exclude me from the life of the parish. And Bob acknowledged during a meeting with bishop Shannon Johnston in Fredericksburg Virginia that this was a lie saying, “I don’t know what planet you live on, but when someone does something to me, I do something to them.” Also present in the room was Canon Pat Wingo.

Bob was also largely indifferent to the wellbeing of Grace Church. During his time as rector, the church office and business records were a shambles. Cash went AWOL without explanation, with thousands of dollars in loose cash and stale checks found in the parish administrator’s office after she left; she was a hoarder, and her space could best be described as a death trap. Additionally, church staff bullied parishioners, including me, Deborah Crabtree, and others, while Bob consistently turned a blind eye. Nor was Bob compliant with church canons—during my years at the church, the parish did not have a church finance manual as required by canon, despite Bob having been rector for more than 25 years. And yet Bob claims no one shirked their responsibility. 

Behind the scenes, Bob also causes unhealthy church dynamics, referring to parishioners as “assholes,” and “spies,” and other disparaging comments. In short, Bob models a lack of respect for the baptismal covenant that has caused more than one person to say, “I would never belong to your church, and it’s because of the way people talk to each other.”

Apropos these comments, Bob tells people that I am mentally ill, that I threatened him, and a whole bunch of other hogwash, all of which is part of a larger smear campaign on his part. Yet there is ample documentation of his misconduct on this site.

Most telling is the fact that during the last 5 years of Bob Malm’s tenure at Grace Church, the parish shed one-third of its pledging units, going from 317 units in 2014 to 208 last year.

Bob can lie and try to diminish criticism all he wants, but if Grace was such a slice of paradise under Bob Malm, why are people leaving?

I’d also note that, to my knowledge, Bob has no formal interim training. That is troubling, because a good transition minister has some very specific tasks ahead of her or him. I do not believe Bob is capable of achieving these goals.

Please do yourself a favor: Do your utmost not to let Bob Malm trash your parish. He’ll smile, give you hugs, and tell you that your church is a holy place, but behind the scenes he may well cause profound damage to your parish.


Monday, December 2, 2019

Lisa Medley Proves Grace Church is Toxic

One of the ironic things about Grace Episcopal is that, as Lisa Medley and others attempt to demonstrate that the church is not toxic, they engage in the very behavior that makes it toxic.

Below are comments from Lisa Medley aka the Princess Porcine, in which she claims that bullying and shunning have never occurred at Grace Church. Yet she and her buddy Alison Campbell were two of the parishioners to engage in the most egregious misconduct.

Moreover, Bob’s decision, confirmed via his email to me, my confirmation email to Jeff Aaron (who denied us access to the church building), and the email from Jones (in which he confirmed that Bob had been in touch to tell him to remove me from participation in parish activities) all confirm that Bob did direct a campaign of shunning and harassment directed at me and Mike. And just like children who try to say, “I didn’t do it,” despite the fact they clearly broke the window, left a mess, etc., Lisa and her ilk don’t have the maturity to recognize that lying and denying don’t make the underlying issue go away.

Meanwhile, nothing in Lisa’s post, or other communication from the church, suggests any genuine concern for me, Mike, or my mother.  Indeed, I have some great film footage of Lisa and others making obscene gestures at me—a wonderful testimony to the depth of their Christian faith.

And for the record, others have had similar experiences, as evinced by John Cunningham’s confirmation below. Even one Episcopal priest, well familiar with the situation at Grace Church, has said gently, “They have a lot of work to do.”

In her comments at The Wartburg Watch, Lisa Medley, aka the Princess Porcine, shows what she and Grace Church are really about.



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

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

Check it out.

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

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


















Saturday, November 30, 2019

Reflections on Friendly Versus Faithful


One of the things I learned from my experiences with perjuring priest Bob Malm and toxic Grace Episcopal church is that many people conflate friendly with faithful. As in, “Bob’s a good guy,” or “you’ll be welcomed with open arms.” Yes, Bob Malm is an ostensibly friendly guy. Yes, Grace Episcopal is a seemingly friendly church. But right behind both exist layers of toxic behavior that are contrary to the real meaning of Christianity.

It’s interesting: From friendly, people attribute ethical qualities. As one chucklehead at Christ Church said, “Why would you say that about a good man like Bob Malm?” referring to my assertion that Bob Malm committed perjury. Yet it doesn’t take much interaction at all to discover that Bob is a man who lies under oath, tries to drag the dying into court, deliberately misuses funds, directs church staff to exclude others, and goes after innocent family members in pursuit of his vendettas. In short, he is the antithesis of what one should expect of a priest.

My advice to anyone sizing up a new church or a new clergyperson: Take your time. Watch their actions. Ignore the flattery, smiles, hugs, and other window dressing.

I’d also point out that Bob’s comments about others are inappropriate for clergy, or anyone for that matter. Referring to Jan Spence as an “asshole,” or Lisa Doelp as “like a little spy,” is wrong. Nor do I believe his comments about Lisa. Nor do these sorts of comments build up others.

Similarly, folks can talk all they want about what a friendly church Grace is. but that doesn’t justify things like the bullying, gossip, and other inappropriate conduct that come from office staff, the choir, and the altar guild. Nor is there ever any excuse for urging people to commit suicide, Alison Campbell’s fun and games, or Lisa Medley’s toxic behavior. The fact that Bob Malm turns a blind eye to this sort of conduct and allows folks like this to serve in leadership positions reveals just how thoroughly broken Grace Church is. Grace, like many spiritually abusive churches, is like a yew, with pretty red berries. Yes, they are beautiful on the surface, but if you partake of them, you will find that they are toxic.

These issues extend to the diocese itself, where there is zero concept of accountability and no clergy discipline, unless the alleged misconduct involves sex. It is sad that The Episcopal Church is locked into a Madmen-era notion of misconduct in which only sex counts.

Lastly, to young people who turn their back on organized religion due to issues like this, I say this: You are spot on. Any church or denomination in which this sort of thing is okay is not one you should support. You won’t find Jesus or God in the midst of these modern-day Scribes and Pharisees.

Friday, November 29, 2019

As Bob Malm Transitions to St. Gabriel’s, An Important Reminder About His Lies

As Bob Malm prepares to settle in as interim rector at St. Gabriel’s, Marion Massachusetts, it’s important to remember that his lies even extend to information he provides church members.

In one instance, Bob and Jeff “Sugarland” Chiow falsely told the congregation and church staff via the talking points below that Mike and I left the church on our own. But if that is the case, why then did he instruct church staff to exclude us, including not publishing our names in church publications, or providing the door access codes? And why did he send us the following email?

Bob Malm and Sugarland Chiow lie to church members

Email from perjuring priest Bob Malm instructing us to find a new parish
Speaking of, having not communicated with Mike, why would Bob include Mike, received into The Episcopal Church 16 months earlier, in his email? Even if I arguably I left on my own, Bob had no reason to include Mike, but one: Spite. And it takes a particularly obnoxious piece of trailer park trash to come after Mike. Not to mention arrogant for assuming (wrongly, as it happens) that Mike would be interested in the Christian church after dealing with Bob Malm and his hypocrisy, as well as the collective hypocrisy of Grace Church.

And while we’re at it, why would Bob contact other volunteers to instruct them to exclude us? How is that Christian? Why would it be necessary if I allegedly had already left on my own? Yet that is what clearly occurred, as evinced by this email exchange with Mike Jones.

Email from Mike Jones


My take on things: Any priest who, like Bob Malm, lies to his own parishioners should no longer be a priest.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving!


Repost: Wondering Eagle Article

Grace Episcopal Alexandria, the clergy perjury parish


The article in the Wondering Eagle blog covering my situation is particularly well done. In light of the present litigation against the parish, the diocese, and Bishop Goff, it seems appropriate to republish this piece. It also appears on a separate page on this blog.

                                                                       # # #

This is a sad post that I wish I didn’t have to get up. This is actually my first venture into mainstream Protestantism. Most of the time I write about evangelical issues, Acts 29, the Evangelical Free Church of America and other topics such as atheism and doubt. I was approached by Eric Bonetti who told me about his situation with Grace Episcopal Church in Alexandria, Virginia. I became sad to hear about what happened and told Eric that he is free to publish whatever he would like to here at The Wondering Eagle. I write quite a bit about churches in the Washington, D.C. area. So this situation falls into that perspective. This story was first told over at The Wartburg Watch. The original post was taken down, and this post stood in its place. “Good Faith Discussions On Both Side Have Led to a Resolution Between Eric Bonetti and Grace Episcopal Church.”

Eric I am sorry this developed. My hope is that you find peace and closure. Also that your family is spared from harassment. Your story gave me hope that I would find peace one day. My hope is that you will find peace. Perhaps this and other blog posts can help bring the Episcopal Church back to the table. Until that develops this blog is yours to use as you see fit.

Rector Files Possibly False Police Report 


Readers of The Wartburg Watch may remember a story from fall 2016 covering allegations of shunning and other spiritual abuse at Grace Episcopal church in Alexandria Virginia. The article recounted reports that rector Bob Malm had instructed clergy, staff, and lay leaders in the parish to shun a parishioner, Eric Bonetti, and members of his family, after Bonetti complained of bullying and gross mismanagement by the rector. To make matters worse, the Episcopal diocese of Virginia, which was promptly informed of Malm’s misconduct, repeatedly ignored requests to intervene.

This post updates readers on developments since the article ran at The Wartburg Watch, as well as recent disturbing actions on the part of the rector. While I am not particularly familiar with the dynamics of mainline denominations, this situation appears to be a particularly troubling abuse of power, both at the diocesan and parish level. Further, the parish’s response, which seems greatly influenced by the rector and his actions, is disturbing.

Background

To update readers, since the article on The Wartburg Watch, the diocese of Virginia intervened. A series of meetings were held, including one in Fredericksburg involving the Rev. Malm, Eric and others. Details have largely been kept confidential, but it is my understanding that the following key areas of agreement were reached:

  • The Rev. Malm would stop shunning and bullying parishioners.
  • Eric would be welcome in the unlikely event he wanted to attend Grace Church.
  • Eric would shutter his blog recounting his experience of being shunned, with the understanding that other members of his family and friends were also blogging about the matter (in his words, “blogging up a storm”), that they likely would continue to do so despite efforts to reduce tensions, and that all involved needed to be okay with that. In short, the agreement applied only to those persons actually in the room.

Given that Eric’s family was not included in the Fredericksburg meeting, it should come as no surprise that several continued to blog, and are doing so to this day. Some of their comments are angry. Some helpful. Some petty. Some funny. But none appear to be defamatory or threatening. Instead, they appear to reflect the normal range of emotions people experience when their trust is betrayed by clergy.

Recent Events 

Flash forward to September of 2017. At that point, Eric became increasingly aware that tensions remained high, and that family members were increasingly irritated by the situation. Specific concerns included:
  • A written suggestion by a parishioner that Eric “go kill himself.” 
  • A written threat by another church member to interfere with his spouse’s employment. 
  • Other inappropriate communications from members of Grace Church. 
  • A “fauxpology” from a clergyperson who previously worked at Grace Church, that among other things inappropriately revealed certain pastoral confidences. 
In an effort to quell things, Eric wrote to the Rev. Malm and the diocese, suggesting that both sides publicly make peace as a way to show that there were no sides to take in the matter. While diocesan officials encouraged this approach, the Rev. Malm brushed aside the suggestion. Not to be deterred, Eric contacted Episcopal Bishop Susan Goff, who similarly refused her assistance.

In November 2017, Eric was contacted by diocesan staff, seeking his assistance in tamping down online criticism of the church from his family. By that time confronted with his own serious health issues, the challenges of two family members nearing end of life, and a busy time at work, Eric declined to get involved, but emailed a series of observations and suggestions to the diocese that he hoped would at least provide a framework for resolution of the conflict.

That seemed to be the end of things.

Then, on December 21, Eric received a call at a non-public work number from SGT Salas of the Alexandria police department. During the conversation, SGT Salas indicated that the Rev. Malm feared for his safety due to the blogging of Eric’s family members. He also suggested that parishioners and even children in the parish were in fear.

Eric declined to get involved, and the conversation ended with SGT Salas allegedly telling Eric, “Until this matter is resolved, you will immediately be arrested if you enter church property. Subsequently, Eric discovered that SGT Salas had left his jurisdiction, traveled to Fairfax County, ignored no trespassing signs at Eric’s condominium, and entered his locked condo building to leave a note on the door. The seeming message, “We know where you are, and we’re watching you.”

Eric immediately filed an internal affairs complaint with the city of Alexandria, complaining of SGT Salas’ efforts at intimidation; his threat of arrest, which was linked to resolution of the conflict; SGT Salas’ involvement in a civil matter involving internal church matters; and his inaccurate portrayal of family member blogs as potentially involving terroristic threats. He also noted that SGT Salas’ threat specifically violated the agreement reached with Shannon Johnston, the Episcopal bishop of Virginia, regarding being welcome at Grace church; and asked that the department investigate whether the Rev. Malm may have filed a false police report, noting that as recently as September that the rector had said no one had mentioned the dispute to him in several months.

The latter seems a particularly good point. If indeed, as recently as September, no one had brought the matter up, how could the Rev. Malm now claim that people, himself included, fear for their lives? Can someone please point me to language or specific conduct that is threatening? If the argument is merely that Eric’s family members are “blogging up a storm,” there is nothing illegal about that. The First Amendment has no limit on the amount or quantity of free speech.

Concurrently, Eric complained in writing to the diocese, which as of this writing has neither responded, nor seemingly taken any action in this matter. That’s troubling: Why would the diocese not at least offer to provide pastoral care or support? If it is serious about resolving the matter, how does silence meet that goal? It seems to me that the diocese is reverting to its old habits of ignoring things and hoping they will go away.

My take on things 

Let’s assume for a minute that the Rev. Malm’s seeming assertions are correct, which is that Eric is in fact the person doing the blogging. Were that the case, Eric still would be entitled to do so, for there is no quid pro quo when it comes to shunning or other forms of abuse. Clergy who abuse their parishioners simply need to stop, and they need to be held accountable. The persons they abuse owe them nothing, and if blogging helps Eric or his family bounce back from their experiences, then that is exactly what they should do.

Second, recent events underscore the need to take church security seriously. But absent a specific threat such that a reasonable person would fear for their safety, Alexandria City police should not get involved in civil matters involving churches. Moreover, linking the threat of arrest to resolution of this conflict seems a clear effort at intimidation, as does calling Eric at non-public work numbers and showing up inside his locked condo building to leave notes.

Third, there are disturbing suggestions that the Rev. Malm himself is the source of this smear campaign. For example, in confidential correspondence dating from 2016, Malm appears to refer to Eric as “unbalanced.” There’s also evidence to suggest that the rector has shared this view with his family members and others, who appear in public fora to have referred to Eric as “sick.” Yet there is no evidence that the Rev. Malm is a mental health expert, or has consulted with one. (Indeed, it is considered unethical to attempt to diagnose a person without meeting him or her.) Even were that the case, comments such as this reflect badly on the Rev. Malm and the entire parish, and are not the way matters of this sort should be handled. Calling the police on a former parishioner is something that should not be done lightly and, if considered necessary, should have been done with the bishop as a full participant in the conversation. That’s particularly the case, when as here, the bishop was personally involved in negotiating the previous ceasefire.

Fourth, it is noteworthy that never once has the Rev. Malm reached out directly to Eric to share his concerns or work towards reconciliation. That in itself speaks volumes. Indeed, when SGT Salas was asked about this, he claimed that the Rev. Malm “fears for his safety,” yet only a few weeks earlier the bishop was trying to reach Eric by phone? If Salas’ assertion is accurate, wouldn’t the bishop have similar concerns?

Fifth, it does not appear that the parish or the Rev. Malm have ever reached out to Eric’s family or friends to apologize, to make restitution, or to otherwise fix things. Why, then, would anyone be surprised that they are still angry and upset?

Sixth, anyone who’s ever dealt with intra-family dynamics knows that they are messy, complicated things in the best of times. No one can or should blame a man who is dealing with family members at the end of life and his own serious health issues for feeling that he can only do so much.

Bottom line, to outsiders, Grace Episcopal Church looks to be a toxic church, petty, hateful, mean spirited, and lacking in personal and organizational integrity. There is no set of circumstances — ever — that justifies Christians urging others to commit suicide, engaging in shunning, or in filing questionable police reports against former parishioners.

My hope for the sake of all involved is that, even if Eric and his family can’t or don’t want to be part of the conversation, the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia will take immediate steps to take the high road, end this controversy, and offer a meaningful pastoral response to all hurt by the Rev. Malm and his actions. Clergy involved in this matter need to be held accountable, and the diocese needs to stop worrying about blogs and start worrying about people. As it stands, Eric and his family have every right to be upset with both the diocese and the parish.

As to the Alexandria police department, my take is that it got pulled in by the fact that Bob Malm is a priest, and failed to do its homework. As a result, the department looks bad and has made a difficult situation worse. A public apology certainly would not be inappropriate at this point, and the department should have clear guidelines in place as to what constitutes a “terroristic threat,” and when it will get involved in civil matters involving churches. Bloggers who criticize abusive churches should not be getting calls from the police, no matter how angry, virulent, or frequent their comments, absent specific threats to safety.

Finally, if it turns out that the Rev. Malm did file a false police report, my view is that he should be held accountable both at law and as an ecclesiastical matter. There is no excuse for using the police department for pursuing personal vendettas.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Media Advisory: Motions Court Set for Dec. 18


 
Several fellow bloggers and reporters have asked about my next step in the lawsuit.

The answer is that motions court is set for December 18 at 1:30 in the Alexandria General District Court. There, the court will consider my motion to compel the church and diocese to provide copies of materials relevant to Bob Malm’s courtroom claims, including his fabrication that my mom or someone claiming to be her contacted him repeatedly.

If you’re covering the story, feel free to come by. I’m happy to talk with you after the hearing.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Online Court Case Information

Someone recently asked how they could access independent information on the court case now pending against Grace Episcopal Alexandria, Bishop Susan Goff, and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia in conjunction with Bob Malm’s perjury. 


I will provide information on the other court cases as they are filed.




Monday, November 25, 2019

Grace Episcopal, the Clergy Perjury Parish



Response: Why Does the Diocese Defend Bob Malm and His Perjury?

The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia: Mad Men Revisited

Someone recently asked me why the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia continues to defend Bob Malm, his perjury, and Grace Episcopal’s attempts to game the legal system. Of course, only the diocese knows for sure, but I believe I know why.

In large measure, it’s the same paradigm, I believe, as led diocesan officials to support Bishop Bruno, despite clear evidence he’d behaved badly on multiple occasions. Specifically, trust in people known to the diocese, combined with arrogance, complacency, and a psychological paradigm in which questioning one’s preconceived notions intertwines with fear of questioning one’s faith. On top of that, there’s evidence to suggest that diocesan chancellor, JP Causey, gives folks bad legal advice, in which he urges diocesan officials to take a hands-off approach in order to minimize potential liability, despite canonical requirements to the contrary and larger ethical issues. And there’s the gut instinct to protect the institution at all costs, even when doing so actually results in lasting damage.

Of course, it is this same confluence of factors that leads churches to ignore sexual abuse. The Catholic church has been handling issues this way for decades, with predictably disastrous results. And the church adheres to a Madmen-era definition of abuse: Unless it involves children or sex, it doesn’t count.

At the same time, the one thing that can be said for the vestry at Grace church and the diocese is that Christianity has nothing to do with their conduct. Even a rudimentary review of the evidence would make clear that Bob Malm misused the legal system, lied to the courts, and committed perjury during discovery. But the diocese doesn’t want to go there, as doing so would uncover these inconvenient truths. And parishioners continue with their laughable, “Bob Malm wouldn’t do that,” routine.

In short, no matter how things play out in court, it’s important to realize that this situation illustrates a larger truth, which is that there is simply nothing Christian about the diocese of Virginia or its officials. Yes, there are churches in the diocese that do hold to a real faith, but they face profound challenges when they send money to an utterly broken and corrupt diocese.

So, if you are looking for real Christian faith, my advice is to look elsewhere. Otherwise, you may wind up wasting a lot of time, money and energy on an utterly illusory situation.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Victims of Abuse Beware: Sven vanBaars Elected as Clergy Delegate




Well, it is official: The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia is morally bankrupt. Specifically, the Rev. Sven vanBaars, rector of the Abingdon parish and ethically challenged Title IV intake officer for the diocese, has been elected a clergy delegate to general convention.

Why do I say that vanBaars is morally bankrupt? Because he has said, in writing, that he will only address illegal clergy conduct if criminal charges are brought.

That’s right. Assuming he has the integrity to be consistent with his reasoning in the Bob Malm case, clergy sexual abuse, theft, homicide—you name it—all are okay as long as criminal charges aren’t brought. No investigation required.

The truly scary thing is that vanBaars serves on the diocesan committee on constitution and canons. That’s alongside diocesan chancellor JP Causey who, while respected by the CANA crowd, is so indifferent to the well-being of church members that he allegedly tells the bishops to ignore the canonical requirement of a pastoral response in Title IV cases. Damn the canons—protect the bureaucracy at all costs. Don’t get too involved, lest you place yourself at legal risk.

That’s a shame, for when you lose sight of the importance of caring about other people, you lose sight of what it means to be a Christian. 

As I have said before, Christianity and the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement are two very different and disconnected things.

Meanwhile, my advice to those hurt by the church is this: Don’t go to the diocese. And don’t go to Sven vanBaars. Both lack compassion. Both lack understanding. Both lack integrity.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Bob Malm, Conflicts of Interest, and Private Inurement



As I have mentioned before on this blog, I have numerous concerns about governance at Grace Episcopal. Among these are allegations of conflicts of interest on Bob Malm’s part, the possibility of private inurement, and lack of adequate internal checks and balances to prevent these issues.

One of the allegations is that Bob Malm improperly influenced Grace Episcopal School to offer classes to older children. This, it is alleged, he did so that his son James could attend school at Grace, before heading off to St. Rita’s, then Woodberry Forest. While love for one’s children is normal, the end result may be inappropriate if church resources were redirected to meet Bob’s needs, without any assessment of the viability of serving older children. Nor have I seen evidence that the vestry was involved in this decision; if it was, it appears likely that its only role was as a rubber stamp.

Similarly, the 2014 bonus the church paid to Bob Malm, which was 10% of gross annual income, may have been private inurement within the meaning of the Internal Revenue Code. Thus, this gift may place at jeopardy the church’s tax exempt status. But even if it doesn’t, the optics of this decision are terrible, coming at a time when the church faced massive expenditures over the next few years. Even worse, we are not talking about a rector whose compensation package was in any way subpar—rather, we are talking about a rector who received one out of every five dollars given to the church. And this gift was made at the same time the church announced it was cutting health benefits to employees in order to balance the budget.

What is troubling, though, is that neither the vestry nor the diocese appear willing to examine these issues. Still more disconcerting is that the church’s loan to Bob Malm was carried off the books for almost a decade, with many vestry members, myself included, not even aware of it. It’s also worth noting that Bob’s bonus was more than 3 times the church’s annual on-budget expenditures to assist those in need.

Taken as a whole, these issues are profoundly unsettling.

See for Yourself: Bob Malm Claims the Right to Use the Court System to “Discipline” Former Church Members

Need further evidence that Bob is trying to game the court system? In this email to Wartburg Watch editor Dee Parsons, Bob claims the right to use the court system as a “disciplinary measure” against me, a former member. Hmmm, what next? The auto-de-fe? I know—it’s the Episcosition, Judge Robert Hiller Malm presiding. Heretics, report to courtroom 3. Infidels, courtroom 2. Those who criticize the Grand Inquisitor, report directly to the dungeons.

If Jesus is “truth,” (gotta love how Bob uses quotation marks to beg meaning. Must be a Tabor thing.) I wonder what Jesus thinks about fabrications in court pleadings. Something about false witness....

I’m wondering, too: “Commonwealth Court” and its “Magistrate.” Never heard of such a thing. Is that located in Jeff Chiow’s imaginary, “Sugarland Texas”?











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.


See for Yourself: Bob Malm Refers to Me as a “Sad Individual, Starving for Attention” in an Email to the St. Dysfunction Vestry

Here we have another email in which Bob Malm tries to discredit me by referring to me as a “sad individual, starved for attention.” That’s a curious claim, since I state in writing in December 2017 that I wanted no further contact from Bob Malm.

As always, we see a total lack of appropriate pastoral presence on Bob Malm’s part, as well as the usual organizational narcissism of St. Dysfunction. And the “constant support” of the diocese—yet another reason to throw in the towel when it comes to the Diocese of Virginia.

Of course, there’s also no sign that Amy Medrick, or any vestry members, told Bob that this sort of discourse about Christians entrusted to Bob’s pastoral care is inappropriate. And while it would be inappropriate at almost any other church, this sort of thing is acceptable at Grace church.

Prospective interims, beware! This is the stained glass cesspool that is Grace Episcopal church.

#fakechristians





Thursday, November 21, 2019

See for Yourself: Twitizen Refers to Bob Malm as “Bat Guano Crazy”

This was her comment after reading Bob Malm’ email to Dee Parsons claiming the right to use the court system to impose “discipline” (his word choice), on me, a former member of his parish.




Check it Out: Perjuring Priest Bob Malm Contradicts Himself

Here’s another example of perjuring priest Bob Malm’s questionable veracity. In the screen cap below, Bob Malm says he does not believe I would abide by the terms of any agreement in resolution of our conflict. Yet just five months later, perjuring priest Bob Malm sent me a settlement proposal, which I rejected lock, stock and barrel, despite the fact it offered to drop the protective order. Even more tellingly, after a token nod to staying away from Bob, his proposal proceeded to bloviate on for several pages about not criticizing the parish. Even more laughably, the proposal said that Bob would not publicly condone derogatory comments from the parish or school—given that Bob’s modus operandi is behind-the-scenes manipulation, that is an illusory promise if there ever was one.



And below is the link to the badly drafted settlement proposal prepared by Sugarland Chiow and sent to me on behalf of perjuring priest Bob Malm and Grace Episcopal church.

https://www.gracealexwatch.org/p/bobs-settlement-proposal.html

Bob Malm, perjuring priest

Grace Episcopal, the clergy perjury parish

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.




As Interim Starts at Grace Episcopal Alexandria, Questions Remain


As Grace Episcopal prepares to welcome the Rev. Michael B. Guy, Sr. as interim rector, questions remain about the parish’s direction and ability to transition successfully to a new rector.

First, some background. Guy is ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, or ELCA, which is in full communion with The Episcopal Church. Formerly pastor at a predominantly African-American church in Baltimore, he also has served as interim senior pastor at Resurrection ELCA in North Arlington. Guy also is known to have participated in ecumenical activities with The Episcopal Church.

Meanwhile, Grace’s pledge season is under way. The usual loyal givers have pledged, with an average annual pledge increasing to just under $4,000. Others will follow suit, with final results based in some measure on how people feel about the church’s direction during the coming months. To the church’s credit, it appears to be stepping back from Bob Malm’s “let’s say as little as possible,” approach, which all but guarantees declines in giving. (Hint to Malmites who read this: Lack of transparency is deadly to churches.)

But will Grace fully welcome Guy? That remains to be seen. After 30 years of Dysfunctional Bob and his congenial but faith-free approach to Christianity, how will folks react to a rector who has no experience with the Anglo-Catholic tradition?

On the one hand, Guy’s loose denominational ties may stand him in good stead. More than one Episcopal priest with knowledge of the situation at Grace has said that there is not enough money in all of Christendom to convince them to serve as interim at Grace. Not only are 30 years of Malm’s feckless performance as rector a difficult precedent, but the organizational narcissism at Grace goes to its very core. And no one wants the ocean of conflict at Grace to attach to their professional reputation, particularly since the church’s precipitous decline in recent years places it at heightened risk of closure. So Guy’s distance from diocesan politics and other intra-church nonsense may be helpful.

On the other hand, there are indications that the inevitable comparisons to Malm already have begun. Guy clearly does not display the same interpersonal attributes as Bob, and his writing seems stiffer than Bob’s. At the same time, he appears to take his faith seriously, which is a profound change from Bob. And somehow I don’t see Guy staying up until the wee hours at Shrine Mont, loudly socializing as the people around him get plastered.

It also will be interesting to see how race plays out. While Grace has a long record of being inclusive, it has never had an African-American rector, as will be the case with Guy, and the percentage of minorities in the pews is shockingly low given the composition of the surrounding community. Nor is being a minority protection against conflict emanating from the altar guild and other special interest groups in the parish.

Most challenging, though, is dealing with the wake of Bob’s narcissism. For years, the whole modus operandi at the parish has been Bob drawing attention to himself, versus God, seeking adulation at every turn. Such an approach is toxic to the long-term health of any church, yet there is no sign that Guy,  the vestry, or the diocese recognize that this is the underlying challenge at the church. Nor is there any sign that they have the skill sets to address these problems. Moreover, the first time the good Christian ladies of the altar guild or choir feel that Guy has tramped on their toes, he’s going through the grist mill, rear end first.

Complicating things is the tendency in the diocese to sweep matters under the rug and hope that they will go away — an approach Bob used for any issue he didn’t feel like dealing with. Missing money? It will get resolved eventually. Utterly useless and ineffective staff? Don’t worry about it—they’ll be retiring this year. Misconduct by staff? It will have to wait until after my vacation.

But if the diocese and parish don’t deal with the elephant in the living room, sooner or later the elephant will get restless and ultimately demolish the living room. Nor would this be the first time that the diocese has said, and I quote, “Just hang in there ‘til we can get someone in there.”

In short, unless the parish and diocese are prepared to deal directly with these issues, it’s not too much longer before Grace church closes its doors for good.  Unfortunately, 30 years of Bob Malm may be an experience from which the parish simply cannot recover.



Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Tired of Boring Churches? If So, Grace Episcopal May be Right For You

Tired of boring churches? If so, consider Grace Episcopal, the clergy perjury parish.


New Website Covers Bob Malm’s Role as Interim, St. Gabriel’s Marion Massachusetts

There’s a new blog in town, and this one covers perjuring priest Bob Malm’s new role as interim rector of St. Gabriel’s, in his hometown of Marion Massachusetts.

Visit the new blog at www.stgabrielsepiscopal.org to learn more.

Bob Malm, perjuring priest


Breaking News: Greg Kelley, Alleged Child Abuser Whose Conviction Was Overturned, Sends Threatening Emails to Fellow Blogger

“If you chose to ignore me. You will highly regret it. I’m not playing around anymore. You are absolutely disgusting and quite frankly I believe a judge will see it the same way. ”



If my experience with abusive Episcopal priest Bob Malm has taught me anything, it’s the importance of maintaining free speech. That includes standing up for fellow bloggers. So, before we go any further, let me say this to Greg Kelley:

I’m publishing about you too. If you want to make Amy “highly regret” anything, I guess you’ll need to come after me as well.

# # #

Those who follow issues of abuse may be familiar with the case of Greg Kelley, the former Leander Texas football star who was convicted in 2014 of aggravated sexual assault of a four-year-old-boy at a Leander home daycare center.

After serving time in prison, the Texas Supreme Court overturned Kelley’s conviction, citing problems with the police investigation. “I was given my freedom and I’m happy with it,” said Kelley.

Of the story, fellow blogger Amy Smith of the Watchkeep blog says she first learned about this case from news reports during Greg Kelley’s trial and conviction in 2014. Along with fellow blogger and friend, Dee Parsons at The Wartburg Watch, she posted an open letter of support on her blog to the child sexual abuse victim that testified in the criminal case against Greg Kelley. After his conviction, Kelley voluntarily accepted a sentencing plea deal for 25 years in prison and waived his right to appeal.

On August 12, 2014, after Greg Kelley’s conviction, Amy posted Cedar Park Police Chief Sean Mannix’s internal department staff email regarding the Greg Kelley case with the chief’s permission. The email is a matter of public record.

In another blog post, One with Courage, Amy wrote:

I received a phone call yesterday afternoon from Pastor Bob Brydon of Generations Church who is helping lead the effort to “fight for GK,” the man convicted of super aggravated sexual assault of a 4 year-old boy, in prison for 25 years after accepting a sentencing deal waiving his right to appeal. Bob immediately let me know how offended he was at our statement, saying he considered it “slander.” I asked what was slanderous about it, but he did not answer. He just began a rant about how the “real perp” is still out there on the streets.

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests: TX Church to Hold Rally for Admitted Molester

Fight for GK: they said








Things Heat Up

Then, on Saturday, November 16, 2019, Amy received three emails in a thread from Greg Kelley. After the first one, she did not respond. He sent the second email about an hour and a half later. Amy did not respond. He sent the third email later that night. She has not responded to that email either.




Email 1:

Hello Amy, you might remember me… Greg Kelley. The same guy you said all of those nasty things about when I was being falsely accused and wrongfully convicted?

Well… I’m sure you’ve already heard but I’m exonerated now, all 9 judges of the CCA have declared me innocent.

I just wanted to send you this message because while you were tag teaming with the chief of police of CPPD to slander my name, my family and everyone who loves and fought for me, I was on the sideline taking note of all of it.

Fighting for my innocence is over, now it’s ACCOUNTABILITY FOR THE PEOPLE WHO DID THIS TO ME.

The chief and cedar park is in HOT WATER right now. Don’t believe me? Google it.

I wanted to send you a friendly reminder that I have not forgotten how you were part of the problem and I really don’t like bullies.

*that little stunt you pulled about me living at jakes… that’s all documented.

Good luck Amy.

Email 2:

Let me know if you are interested in resolving this outside of court, my terms are pretty simple.

Let me remind you the false allegation you filed against me at Jakes house IS A CRIME and quite frankly I’m looking for one good reason not to file a law suit on you. That’s right, with the help of the Texas rangers and private investigators you are exposed on so many levels. Hope you have a good lawyer because I have several. Do the right thing Amy.

Email 3:

If you chose to ignore me. You will highly regret it. I’m not playing around anymore. You are absolutely disgusting and quite frankly I believe a judge will see it the same way.

Of these emails, Amy says:

Greg Kelley stated that with the help of the Texas Rangers and private investigators, I am “exposed on so many levels.” I emailed the Texas Rangers headquarters in Austin, Texas yesterday. I received a reply today saying that I could contact the Ranger Austin Northwest Field Office at 512-464-3732 and request to speak to a local Ranger. I called that number this morning and spoke with Brenda who answered. I explained why I was calling, and that Greg Kelley stated in an email that I had been investigated by the Texas Rangers. She took my contact information, and said she would give it to the Ranger assigned to the Greg Kelley case.






My Questions

So if Greg has all these lawyers at his beck and call, why is he making stupid statements of this sort? The very first thing any good lawyer will tell a client in his situation is to make no comments. None. Even worse, don’t make contact with witnesses, those who have written about the situation, or others connected with the case. Judges have a profound dislike for subjects threatening people, and Greg’s behavior is, at best, stupid. And for those who want to invoke God, all I can say is the claims in the media about Greg’s alleged use of AdultFriendFinder.com for multiple incidents of sex with strangers certainly don’t suggest that Greg is a particularly devout person.

In Closing

There’s been a really ugly side to the whole #fightforGK thing. It’s one thing to question a conviction, to advocate for him, to support him. It’s another thing altogether to try to intimidate bloggers. We’re a resilient bunch, and we look out for each other. If you come after one of us, you come after all of us.

So. I’m glad Amy contacted law enforcement and I stand with Amy. I will do everything I can to support her.

In the meantime, my advice to Greg and those who support him is to go no-contact with Amy and other bloggers. You are doing yourselves no favors.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Bob Malm’s Statement Against Interest Underscores His Questionable Veracity

Here is a good reminder of Bob Malm’s manipulative, dishonest conduct.

At a time when Bob was claiming he needed a protective order to deal with threats from me — threats that he refused to specify, even when ordered by the court to do so — Bob was making statements against interest, including this email to the Episcopal bishop of Virginia, in which he says that his wife and one of his daughters “give this [conflict] so much more attention than it deserves.”

Later, more evidence of questionable veracity on Bob Malm’s part.