To the observant within Grace Church, this doesn’t come as news, but Bob Malm’s smear campaign, which currently focuses on suggestions that I am mentally ill, continues.
- It is documented that Bob contacted both an employer of mine and my current church to complain of my protests. By Bob’s own written admission, he brought up the matter with my employer.
- In court, Bob repeatedly suggested the same, including offering innuendo based on my protesting in cold weather.
- In an email to Wartburg Watch publisher Dee Parsons, Bob asked the rhetorical question, “Is that even healthy?”
Of course, what is really dysfunctional and sad is any situation in which a member of the clergy feels that this is appropriate conduct. Rather than acting as a shepherd of his flock, in cases like this Bob fulfills the role of wolf in sheep’s clothing. And this behavior is, in my experience, typical of Bob’s conduct—lots of behind-the-scenes manipulation and Machiavellian power plays.
In such cases, the inherent imbalance of power between clergy and parishioners means the latter will often uncritically adopt the views of clergy. That has happened in the case of Grace Church, and I have in my possession a defamatory per se communication from a parishioner on the topic of my mental health. (In cases of defamation per se, damages do not need to be proved, and the plaintiff can move directly to judgment, including potential punitive damages.)
Meanwhile, I like Bob’s comments about “Dysfunction Junction” sufficiently that I am going to use the phrase to refer to Grace Church going forward. Or, maybe I’ll refer to the church as St. Dysfunction Episcopal Church.