The Emerson Avenger

The Emerson Avenger is a "memory hole" free blog where censorship is scorned. This blog will "guard the right to know" about any injustices and abuses that corrupt Unitarian Universalism. Posters may speak and argue freely, according to conscience, about any injustices and abuses, or indeed hypocrisy, that they may know about so that the Avenger, in the form of justice and redress, may come surely and swiftly. . . "Slowly, slowly the Avenger comes, but comes surely." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

In 1992 I underwent a profound revelatory experience of God which revealed that the total solar eclipse "Eye of God" is a "Sign in the Heavens" that symbolizes God's divine omniscience. You may read about what Rev. Ray Drennan of the Unitarian Church of Montreal contemptuously dismissed as my "psychotic experience" here: http://revelationisnotsealed.homestead.com - This revelatory religious experience inspired me to propose an inter-religious celebration of Creation that would take place whenever a total solar eclipse took place over our planet. You may read about what Rev. Ray Drennan and other leading members of the Unitarian Church of Montreal falsely and maliciously labeled as a "cult" here: http://creationday.homestead.com - I am now an excommunicated Unitarian whose "alternative spiritual practice" includes publicly exposing and denouncing Unitarian*Universalist injustices, abuses, and hypocrisy. The Emerson Avenger blog will serve that purpose for me and hopefully others will share their concerns here. Dee Miller's term DIM Thinking is used frequently and appropriately on this blog. You may read more about what DIM Thinking is here - http://www.takecourage.org/defining.htm

Thursday, June 15, 2006

WWPD (i.e. What Would Rev. Peter Boullata Do?) Quite Regrettably For U*Us, Absolutely Nothing.

In his comment on my previous post Indrax asks what I am doing to work towards reconciliation with Montreal U*Us and then suggests that I am doing nothing at all to work towards reconciliation in his opinion. These two emails that were sent to the interim minister of the Unitarian Church of Montreal Rev. Peter Boullata, within the last year, should not only demonstrate that I have in fact made reasonable and even quite generous efforts to seek reconciliation with Montreal U*Us in the last several months but will also reveal that these efforts have been once again shunned, ignored and rejected by Montreal Unitarians aka Montreal U*Us who are obstinately unwilling, chronically unready, and apparently even pathologically unable to enter into the conflict resolution procedures that are necessary to resolve this decade old conflict in a manner that lives up to the quite evidently insincere (and even effectively fraudulent. . .) U*U claims to affirm and promote justice, equity and compassion in human relations.

Yes, you guessed it. . . Rev. Peter Boullata failed to respond to my email communications in any way, shape or form in spite of having clearly stated that he was interested in meeting with me during the encounter described in this email communication.

What is that famous saying that is attributed to Edmund Burke and which applies so well to Montreal Unitarians and no shortage of other U*Us?

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

What is the U*U covering lame excuse that Rev. Brian Kopke, the minister of the First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa, rather sheepishly bleated out in response to my personally challenging him about the fact that he and two other Canadian U*U ministers had negligently and complicitly failed or refused to responsibly act upon the serious and well-documented complaint that I had filed with them when they visited the Unitarian Church of Montreal to do the first "peer review" of Rev. Ray Drennan?

"Nobody did anything."

So true. . . Yes it is indeed the callously indifferent, grossly negligent, and effectively (if not knowingly and willfully. . .) complicit "do nothing" U*Us, Montreal Unitarians and otherwise, who are most responsible for the fact that after more than a decade this conflict, which arises out of the well-documented anti-religious intolerance and bigotry of Rev. Ray Drennan and other "fundamentalist atheist" U*US, is not even close to being resolved yet.

Indrax please be so kind as to contact Rev. Peter Boullata and ask him when he and other Montreal Unitarians are going to start to work towards reconciliation because it is patently obvious that they are doing nothing at all and have been doing nothing for about a decade now. I anxiously look forward to seeing their official response to your efforts posted here in the comments section. I expect that it will closely resemble the U*U spin of Anonymous U*Us obvious institutional denial and cover-up assuming you get any response at all that is. . .


Date: Wed, 15 Mar 2006 19:15:45 -0500 (EST)
From: "Robin Edgar"
Subject: Fwd: Shunning Me Will Get You Nowhere Fast ( previous letter to UCM Board attached )
To: peterboullata@ucmtl.ca

Dear Peter,

As per our conversation of this afternoon I am forwarding the email letter that I sent to you in September as I had said that I would following the brief encounter we had when you were entering the church as I was protesting one Sunday in early September last year. The heading refers to your shunning of me because it was written after our brief encounter downtown prior to my writing the letter where you refused to speak with me when I indicated that I wanted to have a brief chat with you. As I said today it was sent care of the UCM Church office because I did not have a direct email address for you at the time. If you did not receive it it is well within possibility that this is because it was knowingly and willfully suppressed by a church administrator. OTOH I did phone a few times asking if you had received it and never got any response from you. I do think that we should talk ASAHP so please get back to me to set up some kind of meeting. As per my attached communication I have no objection to have a third party present if you so wish but do not believe that this is necessary in terms of an initial meeting.

The first observance of World Day of Conscience will take place on March 29th and it will be observed in various countries around the globe. It is very much a grassroots affair so I am not in a position of being able to say precisely what will be happening on March 29th. It depends very much upon how the groups and individuals who receive the invitations to observe WDC respond to them.

Here are two pertinent URLs -

http://worlddayofconscience.blogspot.com/

http://worlddayofconscience.homestead.com/

The lack of comment activity on the blog does not mean that much. I have had plenty of positive feedback via private emails and other forms of online communication elsewhere on the inter-connected web of the internet. I am fully expecting at least modest observances of World Day of Conscience around the world on March 29th and, regardless of how many or how few people observe it, I will then begin planning the next observance for August 1st, 2008 which will provide over two years to organize and publicize the second observance of World Day of Conscience. Unitarian Universalists were invited to participate but so far very few have chosen to take up that invitation. UUA President Rev. Bill Sinkford was informed about World Day of Conscience via email several weeks ago but chose to ignore my communications.

I will provide more information when we have a follow-up meeting to our unplanned encounter earlier today. If I was a bit testy it was because you rudely shunned me immediately after I greeted you by saying that you had "nothing to say" to me and also because you engaged in a certain amount of denial and victim blaming which rubs me the wrong way.after a decade's worth of very well documented Unitarian Universalist injustices, abuses and hypocrisy. I was also more than a little bit tired after spending several 24 hour plus sessions on the internet promoting World Day of Conscience with little sleep in between them in the last week and a half or so.

For the time being I am prepared to limit our discussions to possible participation in the first observance of World Day of Conscience by yourself, other Montreal Unitarians, and indeed other Unitarian Universalists that you know who may be interested in observing World Day of Conscience on March 29th, and on future dates when the symbolic total solar eclipse "Eye of God" metaphorically "looks down from the heavens" on out planet Earth.

It was nice to be able to conclude our discussion that started off so poorly with a handshake and agreement to meet again soon.

Sincerely,

Robin Edgar

Note: forwarded message attached.
Forwarded Message
Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2005 17:04:53 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Robin Edgar"
Subject: Shunning Me Will Get You Nowhere Fast ( previous letter to UCM Board attached )
To: office@ucmtl.ca

From: Robin Edgar
(514) 996-3937

September 26, 2005


Dear Peter,

Your shunning behavior towards me during our chance encounter downtown last week does absolutely nothing to resolve the conflict that presently exists between me and the Unitarian Church of Montreal but, on the contrary, is rather detrimental to resolving this regrettable conflict in a genuinely just and equitable manner. On Sunday September 4th I informed you that you might soon be receiving a letter from me bringing you up to speed with the situation so you would know where things stand and what my current position is. You responded quite positively to that information by indicating to me that you looked forward to reading such a letter.

Unfortunately before I could get around to writing the intended letter I was subjected to a threat of physical violence against me by a church goer on Sunday September 11th as I was conducting my usual protest activities. I felt it necessary to report that threat to the police and they acted upon my call by arresting the individual who made the threat against me. I can only assume that your shunning behavior when I encountered you last week results directly from that police intervention during your second Sunday service as interim minister of the Unitarian Church of Montreal. I put it to you that your shunning behavior is misdirected and that, if you should be shunning anyone at all, it should be the person who made the threat against my safety and well-being and thus is ultimately responsible for the subsequent police intervention that presumably caused some disruption of your Sunday service. Your anger and/or disappointment would also be more appropriately directed towards those past and current leaders of the Unitarian Church of Montreal who have abjectly failed and obstinately refused to undertake the responsible measures that are required to resolve this drawn out conflict in a manner that is genuinely just and equitable and in accordance with other pertinent Unitarian Universalist principles.

Prior to your shunning of me last week my attitude towards you was on the positive side of neutral and I had some reason to believe that under your leadership as interim minister of the Unitarian Church of Montreal this conflict could potentially be resolved with genuine justice, equity, and compassion. I still believe that this may still be possible however it will certainly require an appropriate attitude adjustment on your part. When I indicated that I would like to talk with you briefly last week it was because I thought that it would be a good idea to informally discuss matters with you prior to writing the letter that I had indicated that I intended to send you. Having a prior chat with you about the conflict might have helped me to formulate my intended initial letter to you in a way that might facilitate a just and equitable resolution of the conflict.

The attached email was sent to all UCM Board members soon after I became aware of Rev. Ray Drennan's impending resignation. A fair number of printed copies were also distributed to members entering the church on Sundays as I protested. Until I discuss matters further with you it, along with this email, will have to serve as the letter that brings you up to date with current situation. You will see that UCM Board members and those other members who received copies of the letter were clearly warned that my protest activities would continue into the term of the interim minister and even the permanent replacement minister if they failed or refused to subject Rev. Ray Drennan to full accountability for his intolerant and abusive words and actions towards me.

I am asking you to rethink your currently unproductive and unwelcoming attitude towards me and to agree to meet with me in the near future to discuss the current situation in an effort to resolve this ongoing conflict. The only way to resolve this conflict in a genuinely just and equitable manner is through frank and open communication and meaningful dialogue with subsequent appropriate action on the part of the Board and congregation of the Unitarian Church of Montreal. You may reach me by phone at (514) 996-3937. If you are uncomfortable with meeting with me for a private personal discussion of the situation I have no objection to a few other people being present at an initial meeting with you. In fact, as always, I am more than willing to frankly and openly discuss this conflict with the Board of the Unitarian Church of Montreal, an appropriate sub-committee of the church, or an informal group of church members who are genuinely interested in attempting to finally resolve this drawn out conflict in a manner that actually lives up to the letter and the spirit of Unitarian Universalist principles rather than flagrantly disregarding them and outright flaunting them as has been the case so far.

If you take a genuinely just, equitable, and indeed compassionate leadership position in this conflict and make a sincere and hopefully successful effort to resolve it while you are interim minister you should come out of it looking very good indeed. If however, like so many other thoughtless UUs, you choose to continue to contemptuously shun me and deny me my right to genuine justice and equity by doing little or nothing to try to redress the injustices and abuses that I have been subjected to by Rev. Ray Drennan, other UCM leaders, and the Unitarian Church of Montreal as an institution, I can assure you that the conflict will escalate to levels as yet unseen and that neither you nor the Unitarian Church of Montreal will look very good to anyone.

Knowing what littke I do know about you I am still reasonably confident that after some thoughtful reflection you will agree that making a sincere effort to resolve this conflict so that the next permanent minister of the Unitarian Church of Montreal does not have to deal with it is the only right thing to do. With an appropriate change of attitude on your part I hereby stand ready to continue to communicate with you, to meet with you in person, and to try to collaborate with you in any sincere attempt that you undertake towards arriving at a genuinely just, genuinely equitable, and genuinely compassionate resolution of this conflict in the coming weeks and months. The sooner that you and indeed other leaders of the Unitarian Church of Montreal responsibly open lines of communication with me, rather than willfully ignoring me and outright shunning me, the sooner a just and equitable resolution of this long drawn out conflict may be attained.

Sincerely,

Robin Edgar

(514) 996-3937

8 Comments:

Blogger indrax said...

Do you want to know why people think you're crazy? It's because you talk like a crazy person.
The heading refers to your shunning of me because it was written after our brief encounter downtown prior to my writing the letter where you refused to speak with me when I indicated that I wanted to have a brief chat with you.

You wanna diagram that sentence? I'm afraid it's about to become self aware, because it already seems to know about every other communication you've had with this guy.

In fact your entire first paragraph is about past, present or potential communication.

The rest of that letter is about WDC, which is basicly creation day, which is what this whole claptrap started over.

So the first letter goes something like this:
Peter:
I we're talking I like to talk. You seem to hate me

Do me a favor.

Robin

Except you took much longer to say it, and said it far less clearly.
I won't even get into the defensiveness about WDC participation.

I'll just go right to the summary of the second letter.
Peter:
you still seem to hate me and I'm still talking to you.
somebody hit me and you're mean. shape up!
I used to sort of like you but you're not doing a good job


Ok, nevermind, I can't even get through this one to write a summary.

But nowhere in there was any step towards reconciliation. If you think this is how you get people to forgive you, let alone apologize to you, then you really are crazy.

Be brief, be clear, be friendly.

Friday, June 16, 2006 1:17:00 am  
Blogger The Emerson Avenger said...

:Do you want to know why people think you're crazy?

Not many people think I'm crazy Indrax. Just delusional U*Us for the most part. . . Need I remind you that public response to my ongoing protest activity is overwhelmingly positive and supportive? Many people who know about this conflict think that the Unitarian Church of Montreal is crazier than I am. In fact, I once asked the editor of a Montreal weekly newspaper what the police had said about me when he had spoken to them about my protest activities in terms of researching an article and his response was -

"They think the church is crazier than you are."

:It's because you talk like a crazy person.

Wrong. I may be a bit long-winded at times but I hardly talk like a crazy person. Quite frankly I could provide plenty of examples of how Rev. Ray Drennan and various other U*U "religious leaders" and lay people are more appropraitely accused of that. That sentence was written for Rev. Peter Boullata's benefit, it referred to one specific example of shunning behaviour on his part, and I am quite sure understood exactly what I was referring to.

:In fact your entire first paragraph is about past, present or potential communication.

And you have a problem with that?

:The rest of that letter is about WDC, which is basicly creation day,

Wrong. World Day of Conscience is quite different from Creation Day. There is some overlap but there are very obvious significant differences that most intelligent people who freely and responsibly compare the two observances can easily discern.

:which is what this whole claptrap started over.

Claptrap is hardly the word to describe this ongoing conflict.

:But nowhere in there was any step towards reconciliation.

Wrong. Most people of intelligence and conscience who read these two letters will readily perceive that I made some significant and indeed generous steps towards reconciliation but that Rev. Peter Boullata, and any and all other U*Us who may have been aware of these communications, either ignored them or rejected them.

:If you think this is how you get people to forgive you, let alone apologize to you, then you really are crazy.

ROTFLMU*UO Do you really think that I am trying to get U*Us to forgive me? If so you are crazy yourself. Please be so kind as to provide a list of things that I should seek forgiveness from U*Us for.

:Be brief, be clear, be friendly.

I am perfectly capable of being extemely brief and crystal clear. Some of my picket sign slogans consist of only two words and hit the nail right on the head. Most are only a half-dozen words or so and very clearly expose and denounce the U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy that I have been protesting against for about a decade now. I am under no obligation to be friendly to unfriendly U*Us, or anyone else whose well-documented words and actions are the complete anti-thesis of friendly. Considering how rudely Rev. Peter Boullata behaved towards me on at least two occasions I was rather more civil and "friendly" than he deserved under the circumstances.

I do look forward to seeing your list of things that I need to seek forgiveness for from U*Us. It should prove to be most enlightening. I take not of the fact that you are now firmly in the camp of the victim blamers. . .

Friday, June 16, 2006 1:39:00 pm  
Blogger indrax said...

And you have a problem that?
Yes, yes I do.
First, on just a basic email communitaion level, you explain the meaning of your subject line. That's a)weird b)shows that your subject line was bad, and that even you didn't expect it to be understood, and c)further delays getting to the point.
(What was your point by the way? Can you state it in one sentence? Why did you write this email?)
Secondly, the paragraph makes you appear obsessed with communication, especially combined with your other writing.
Thirdly, it is unfreindly in this context. You start your letter listing all the interactions you've had, and how he has wronged you. Your subject line itself paints a picture of you sitting in judgement over him, this is not how you start a request for reconciliation.
Fourth, it is completely unnecessary and dehumanizing. He probably remembers every interaction he's had with you, why list them? If he has forgotten a conversation or two, how does that impact your intention going forward of achieving reconciliation?
Is it that you think he's stupid? or you want to treat him as a child? or that you are in fact not writing to him but to the public audience for when you republish the letter, and you want to embarrass im and 'document your case'?

On my own blog, and other UU blogs, you have often made offtopic and redundant posts about your cause. Rather than writing to the person on the other end of the blog, who already knows about your case, but was talking about something else, you write out a long history which can only be targeted to other passers-by.
EVEN IF your situation is relevant to the topic, if you are talking to me you will mention it in passing, because I've heard everything you've had to say. If somebody else's blogpost really warrants a retelling then write a post on your own blog and link it.

My point is, you can't be asking for reconciliation if you're not person-to-person.

World Day of Conscience is quite different from Creation Day.
If that were really true, you would have explained WDC in your letter, instead of simply 'linking' to it. To the UUCM, your involvement, and your theology being integral to WDC must completely overshadow the differences. (which are what? An emphasis on conscience instead of creation?)
And how is asking them to participate in WDC conducive to reconciliation? It seems like throwing salt in wounds, and rather audacious to even ask.

Most people of intelligence and conscience who read these two letters will readily perceive that I made some significant and indeed generous steps towards reconciliation.
Show me one sentence that, in context, represents a real step towards reconciliation. I'll define 'context' as the sentences immediately before and after. I don't think you went three sentences without expressing negativity towards either Peter or the church.

I am perfectly capable of being extemely brief and crystal clear.
Good, do it.
I'm not convinced of the clarity of your signs, though.

Please be so kind as to provide a list of things that I should seek forgiveness from U*Us for.
I'll be brief, clear and friendly.

You are an ass.

To expand on this a little:
* You demanded 'validation' of your spiritual experience, ignoring that UU's were uncomfortable granting that 'validation'.
* You failed to graciously accept that after having hosted creation day once, the church did not want to host it again.
* Most of all: You mock the democratic choice of the congregation to expell you, and ignore the possibility that they had valid reasons to do so.

There is more, but you still haven't provided a good timeline of events, so it's hard to keep everything straight. This is what I distinctly remember.

You got rejected by unitarians, not just one or two, or the board, but the majority of a congregation. These are people you had dealt with for years, they knew you, they had seen your activities. They decided you were disruptive.

Yet you insist you were not. You mock their democracy, their commitment to their ideals, their entire denomination. You set yourself as their advesary, and you think this will get them to propitiate?(I just learned this word from the Scientologists.)

EVEN IF you were completely innocent in all this, if you want reconciliation, you still have to be friendly.

I am under no obligation to be friendly to unfriendly U*Us, or anyone else whose well-documented words and actions are the complete anti-thesis of friendly.
You are under an obligation to be friendly. You are obligated to yourself, because of your chosen goal, to work towards reconciliation.

Are you on good speaking terms with anyone affiliated with the church? Is there any routine official correspondence between you and the chruch? How do you expect reconciliation without civil conversations? How do you expect civil conversations if you put people down every three sentences, and never admit any fault? Hell I don't think I've ever seen you compassionately acknowledge another person's feelings at all. Well, maybe the cops.

You want to be a memeber of the church again, that absolutely can not happen if a significant number of the people there dislike you. Even if your official membership were magically restored, your participation would be meaningless. Even if a majority reinstated you, if a third held a grudge you could never really feel welcome.
On the flip side, if even a few members became your allies they could be a powerful voice for attempting reconciliation.

In general, people pretty much have to not hate you to understand that they've wronged you by sending you away, and they have to kind of like you in order to go out of their way to set things right.

Relying on raw ethical logic will leave you on the sidewalk for 10 years. They're pissed at you, solve that problem first.

Saturday, June 17, 2006 12:13:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The withdrawal of Mr. Edgar’s membership from the Unitarian Church of Montreal was not motivated by his religious beliefs, but by his disruptive and aggressive behaviour towards the members of this congregation. His inappropriate behaviour has continued for more than ten years. Seven years ago he was brought before a Disruptive Behaviour Committee, where over the next three years attempts were made to have him moderate his unacceptable behaviours. He would agree to proposed solutions and then go on as before. He was repeatedly warned that failure to comply with what he had agreed to do would result in serious consequences. Over this period, he was suspended from participation in Church life for six months. Unfortunately, upon his return his behaviour worsened , and he was suspended for an additional year. Again when he returned, his inappropriate behaviour continued. Finally in November 1999, at a meeting of the full congregation, during which he spoke on his own behalf, a congregational vote was taken and his membership was revoked. This decade long process, during which sincere attempts were made by the congregation to negotiate a solution, ended when it became clear that he had no intention of ceasing his disruptive and aggressive behaviours. It should be noted that Reverend Ray Drennan did apologise, in person, on more than one occasion. However, this did not meet with Mr Edgar’s satisfaction. Mr. Edgar has redressed his grievances to whomever he has saw fit, be it the UUA, CUC, etc., and his complaint to the Quebec Human Rights Commission in 2002 was summarily dismissed as being without merit. Mr Edgar continues to picket the church in the futile belief that the Church will act. Reverend Drennan is no longer the minister as he left to follow his own life’s journey; and the church has simply moved on.

Thursday, June 22, 2006 1:03:00 pm  
Blogger The Emerson Avenger said...

Wow! It looks like the DIM Thinking Anonymous U*U actually posted this already discredited and thoroughly *rebutted* U*U institutional denial to four different posts here in the space of a few minutes. Way to go Anonymous U*U! You really are doing a great job of publicly demonstrating just how anal U*Us can be. . . ;-)

Thursday, June 22, 2006 3:28:00 pm  
Blogger The Emerson Avenger said...

Here is a link to my point-by-point rebuttal of Anonymous U*U's assinine U*U "damage control".

Friday, June 23, 2006 9:46:00 pm  
Blogger Jamie Goodwin said...

A ding ding ding ding dididing ding bing bing pscht,
Dorhrm bom bom bedom bem bom bedom bom bum ba ba bom bom,
Bouuuuum bom bom bedahm, Bom be barbedarm bedabedabedabeda
Bbrrrrrimm bbrrrrramm bbbrrrrrrrrraaammmmm ddddddraammm,
Bah bah baah baah ba wheeeeeee-eeeee-eeeee!

Sunday, July 09, 2006 5:49:00 am  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

Hi Jaime,

I just stumbled across this stunningly infantile U*U drivel of yours once again as a result of Googling Rev. Peter Boullata. Allow me to closely paraphrase what Peacebang, aka Rev. Victoria Weinstein, said about this recent blog post on your Trivium blog.

What you've written contributes nothing but idiocy to the conversation. It asks no interesting questions nor does it even pretend to respect the validity of those with whom you disagree (and I mean THEIR validity, not just their position). The infantile ignorance and Bah-bah-baah tone here are something I would expect to see from a preschooler. . .

Friday, July 27, 2007 3:07:00 pm  

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