This second part of a report on Unitarian Universalism is not an unthinking and mean spirited attack on a religious denomination with a long history and a clean record but rather a thoughtful examination of the local UU congregation and how they have in my opinion lost their way and cut themselves loose from their own highly commendable point of origin. For people unfamiliar with this particular religious denomination, Ralph Waldo Emerson was a Unitarian pastor of great literary and philosophical renown who along with such notables of the so called “Concord Circle” as Henry David Thoreau were responsible for the philosophical school of Transcendentalism.
I was first introduced to both Emerson and Thoreau as a result of a high school English literature class taught by the rather eccentric old spinster lady Miss Kille who lived quietly with her female partner of many years in a home not too far away from Collingswood High School. It was a quite sedate section of the South Jersey town that was noted for its beautiful Autumn foliage. I can still remember the stunning red and gold of the autumn leaves and landscape as I walked to and from the school every day from my home which was located about two miles away. I lived near Newton Lake and the famous old Bates Mansion built in the mid 17th century by one of the early founders of Newton Township which is what the area was originally known as prior to its renaming and incorporation as the Borough of Collinswood. I went to high school with Scotty Bates a decedent of the original Bates family that founded Newton Township and built the Bates Mansion on what today is Lees Avenue.
Miss Kille was a real ball buster in the classroom and refused to put up with any nonsense, bad behavior, or poor performance in regard to completing assignments. In other words she was one of the very best teachers that I had in high school. We read numerous essays by Emerson and a few by Thoreau which really affected me and my view regarding my Catholic upbringing and how it seemed so out of tune with nature and the natural world. My small single parent family consisting of my mother, my younger brother, and myself had just moved from the apartment that my mother rented on the converted second floor of my maternal grandparents home at 700 Lees Avenue to 104 Wesley Avenue which was clear across town in a section of the town that bordered Haddon Township. Our new home was a two story brick row home built in the 1920s or 30s in a sections that was often referred to as the Lippincott homes after the builder whose son had lived down the street from me at one time.
I think that it is important for me to say that it was this previous exposure to the philosophy of Transcendentalism and the famous American Unitarian pastor Ralph Waldo Emerson that opened the door to my interest in Unitarian Universalism more generally and kept me coming back to the local UU Society here in Ormond Beach thinking that somehow I could rediscover and build on those feelings and insights that I had as a youth through being introduced by Miss Kille to the literary works of Emerson and Thoreau. Instead of that I found a tightly wound up group of seniors and hangers on interested only in furthering the ideological perspective of the Democratic Party that had nothing to do with religion. If there is any sort of religious mythology associated with this local Ormond Beach UU Society it would be the openly flaunted pagan worship of Gaia the Earth Goddess who like Ya-wee is a jealous Goddess who seems to hate all men unless they openly profess to be lesbian/gay or transvestites, or transexuals, or transgendered, or transwhatever.
One can grow exceedingly weary with all the variations of gender politics that this local UU Society seems to be capable of and while I applaud and support their stated mission of tolerance toward all there is a distinct undercurrent of hate at work amongst this congregation that is directed at men and boys along with all the anti-communist zeal that they have on top of that which in turn translates into a kind of biological hatred of the Russians and Chinese or any other particular group that is at the top of US imperialism’s hit list on any given day.
There is a descernable hatred for Arabs as the propagandistic viewpoint of the American power structure seems to be readily adopted by these folks without ever examining it for what it really is in spite of their never ending self congratulatory talk about themselves as being the most loving tolerant group of human beings on Earth when all evidences points to just the opposite sometimes.
Politics is about divisions and confronting others who refuse to see the world as they should regardless of what the facts might be. As I have told people in this local UU congregation many times it would be nice if we could come together for one hour a week on Sunday mornings and be free of politics for a while and just accept one another as human beings and grow from that experience. Such a suggestion is akin to pissing into the wind, i.e. it just gets you nowhere since the big mouth movers and shakers see the identity politics of Democratic Party as one aspect of their religion and Gaia worship as the other.
I have no ill will at all toward Gaia and her avowed pagan worshipers; I just think that such doctrines have very little to do with Unitarianism. My sincere hope is that I will not have to divorce myself from this group but at this point I think that it might be my best option. Recent developments and convinced me that there are some very strange things going on with some of the people in this congregation that perhaps border on the criminal. Case in point would be the very strange behavior of one Linda K. who claims to be of Armenian ancestry, hails from Iran, and was forced to leave that country with her mother some time after the revolution there in 1979. My past association with such types from time spent in Philadelphia, home of the ultra-Zionist Furth family, has convinced me that this mafia like group of Persian exiles has a definite CIA connection. Formerly back in the days of the Shah they were on the payroll of SAVAK which was the Shah’s brutal secret police.
Case in point #2 for my suspicions of Linda K. and her underhanded nature that often goes by the name of tradecraft is the fact that I am president of a Florida non profit by the name of We’ve-A-Voice, Inc. that is hoping to build a low power FM community run radio station here in Ormond Beach. It was Linda K. who suggested to me that I should go to the largest FM radio station in Daytona Beach and tell them about my plans so as to see if there was anything that they could do in furtherance of our community based mission. It was shortly after this that the wife of the owner of WROD stood up a Florida non profit with no real community presence to contest our right to the FCC licence. As indicated on their FCC filing they were retaining an expensive Washington, D.C. law firm specializing in FCC issues. It didn’t take long for me to realize that what Linda K. had really done was to get me to inform the owners of the largest FM radio station in Daytona Beach of our non profits plans for bidding on an FCC licence to operate a low power FM radio station in the same market that WROD was in. The only purpose of the counter bid submitted by the owner of WROD is to keep us, i.e. We’ve-A-Voice, Inc. off the air.
Case in point #3 is the fact that a week ago I received an e-mail sent out by Linda K. telling me that she is stuck in Turkey without and money or passport as all her bank cards and travel document had been stolen and she was desperate and without money. She requested that I send her the money necessary for her to fly back to the US. When I called the office manager of the UU congregation to ask if she had any information about the matter she very angrily shouted at me just to delete the e-mail because it was spam and then abruptly hung up. When I had a chance to ask Linda K. about the e-mail and if as others were saying her e-mail account had been hacked she said that she didn’t know anything about it and seemed to be quite amused by the whole affair as if nothing had happened.
One of my first thought after hearing the explanation that this was a fraudulent attempt to get money from people via the internet was to think about reporting it to the FBI cybercrime unit online that handles such matters. Then I realized based upon my past experience with Linda K. that this is exactly what this provocation on her part was all about, i.e. to get me (and/or others)to become some sort of an FBI informant.
I probably should make mention of the fact that one week prior to this event Linda K. had marched herself up to the front of the congregation as is the custom with UUs to make a decidedly political statement about the Turkish government refusing to accept responsibility for the Armenian Genocide that occurred in the first decade of the 20th century. Political statement are only allowed by the politically correct crowd all others need not apply. If a non member of this inner church/society elite attempts to make any kind of a political statement the microphone will be angrily taken way by the usher holding it and you will be left there looking stupid and forlorn foolish talking to yourself and no one else.
Case in point #4 would be the fact that while the Islamaphobic campaign within the congregation is real it is also subtly in support of wars and militarism which common sense would indicate is very much at variance with the UU statement of principles which is why this particular campaign of hate and support of war has to be subtle.
So with that said by way of introduction what happened this past Sunday seems understandable and applicable to the established pattern. One of the only African-Americans in the congregation who has rock star status simply because he is an African American and can thus lend credibility to this congregations delusional thinking about itself grabs the congregations attention and the microphone to announce that his wife who works for GEICO Insurance Co. is in the Middle East on a business trip and that he is very concerned about her, etc. etc. etc.
After the service when I asked this gentleman why GEICO Insurance would be sending its employees to the Middle East he claimed that it was not GEICO, that he had made a mistake when he spoke but knew that it was some sort of an insurance company his wife worked for but did not remember the name. That seemed a little bit odd but it got even odder when I asked him which country his wife had traveled to. He said that he could not remember because he was (conveniently?) having one of those senior moments. It was however mission accomplished in regard to exploiting the fear factor in regard to Arabs/Islam/the Middle East, etc.
There is a pattern here that is very troubling and it is the pattern of a gangster run pseudo religious outfit that in actuality may be functioning as a cut out for US intelligence in one of its many and varied gestapo like forms. I can be no party to such nonsense and have a responsibility as a writer/journalist to inform not the FBI but the American public in regard to this matter which is precisely what I am doing by writing this article.
Note-this article was originally posted to Open Salon on 11-17-2014