Mobbing: Organized Spiritual Abuse in the LCMS

Started by Matt Staneck, January 09, 2019, 09:05:32 AM

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D. Engebretson

Is it possible that the person or persons he is addressing here are known to him as "lurkers" who have registered as "guests" on the Forum?  I suspect they may have told him that they follow him here in his public comments, but like many guests they can do so with complete anonymity to the rest of us.  Just a thought.
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

peter_speckhard

Quote from: D. Engebretson on December 14, 2019, 09:05:43 AM
Is it possible that the person or persons he is addressing here are known to him as "lurkers" who have registered as "guests" on the Forum?  I suspect they may have told him that they follow him here in his public comments, but like many guests they can do so with complete anonymity to the rest of us.  Just a thought.
True, but that person didn't contact Ed via this forum, at least not publicly, so it is a bit inappropriate to put one half of this obviously antagonistic and bitter discussion here.

By the way, most lurkers aren't even registered as guests. They never log on at all, they just read the threads. The disadvantage of that approach is that then it doesn't keep track of what they've already read for them. They have to start at the beginning of every thread, and get no markers as to whether anything new has been posted.

Mark Brown

Quote from: Steven W Bohler on December 14, 2019, 09:02:18 AM
Quote from: Mark Brown on December 13, 2019, 10:04:10 PM
Quote from: Steven W Bohler on December 13, 2019, 07:36:13 PM
Quote from: Mark Brown on December 13, 2019, 03:24:33 PM
Peter, if there are supposedly public records on this, the records from a civil suit that the LCMS lost supposedly, that changes things.  It moves from an 8th commandment issue to just public fact.  Would those records be part of the mysterious material that we were told by the editors they researched?  If they are, could they point us at them now?

How would anyone know what public records to look for, regarding what civil suit, involving the LCMS in what way, with participants with the rather ordinary/common first names mentioned?

Well, I'd imagine a MO court, LCMS defendant, and a judgement issued against. Not a lawyer, but I have to imagine that would get you a good start if you had access to the specific database. Probably in last 10 years.

Do you have time to do that?  Especially at this time of year?  If Rev. Engelbrecht wants to use this forum for his personal purposes, then I would say it is up to him to fill in the blanks for the rest of its readers.  Or, as Rev. Speckhard wrote, to use the private message option here, or just not drag the rest of us into it.

If I had access to the system, I'd do it in a second.  Because if it is true, than there needs to be a real accounting.  I'm hyper-skeptical of the entire thing.  If anything happened, it always struck me as an over stressed and highly paranoid politically motivated attack.  But if there is a state judge, and a state jury, with actual evidence not just what sounded like paranoid assertions of minor inconveniences that the normal parish pastor experiences weekly, that would dramatically change my mind.  And the size and type of resolution would tell me a lot as well.  That is assuming there is one.  If there isn't one after this assertion, at this stage it would basically prove my skepticism. If I was the editor, I'd be putting in the time to prove I wasn't the conduit of a hoax.

Steven W Bohler

Quote from: Mark Brown on December 14, 2019, 10:25:53 AM
Quote from: Steven W Bohler on December 14, 2019, 09:02:18 AM
Quote from: Mark Brown on December 13, 2019, 10:04:10 PM
Quote from: Steven W Bohler on December 13, 2019, 07:36:13 PM
Quote from: Mark Brown on December 13, 2019, 03:24:33 PM
Peter, if there are supposedly public records on this, the records from a civil suit that the LCMS lost supposedly, that changes things.  It moves from an 8th commandment issue to just public fact.  Would those records be part of the mysterious material that we were told by the editors they researched?  If they are, could they point us at them now?

How would anyone know what public records to look for, regarding what civil suit, involving the LCMS in what way, with participants with the rather ordinary/common first names mentioned?

Well, I'd imagine a MO court, LCMS defendant, and a judgement issued against. Not a lawyer, but I have to imagine that would get you a good start if you had access to the specific database. Probably in last 10 years.

Do you have time to do that?  Especially at this time of year?  If Rev. Engelbrecht wants to use this forum for his personal purposes, then I would say it is up to him to fill in the blanks for the rest of its readers.  Or, as Rev. Speckhard wrote, to use the private message option here, or just not drag the rest of us into it.

If I had access to the system, I'd do it in a second.  Because if it is true, than there needs to be a real accounting.  I'm hyper-skeptical of the entire thing.  If anything happened, it always struck me as an over stressed and highly paranoid politically motivated attack.  But if there is a state judge, and a state jury, with actual evidence not just what sounded like paranoid assertions of minor inconveniences that the normal parish pastor experiences weekly, that would dramatically change my mind.  And the size and type of resolution would tell me a lot as well.  That is assuming there is one.  If there isn't one after this assertion, at this stage it would basically prove my skepticism. If I was the editor, I'd be putting in the time to prove I wasn't the conduit of a hoax.

Fair enough.  You mention access to "the system".  I do not know what that system is, but am guessing it is some sort of record by states of such suits.  Who would have access to such a system?  Would there be more than one system (one per state?)?  Do you or I, as rostered members of the synod, have a right to know these suits and their resolutions? 

Mark Brown

Quote from: Steven W Bohler on December 14, 2019, 12:10:34 PM
Quote from: Mark Brown on December 14, 2019, 10:25:53 AM
Quote from: Steven W Bohler on December 14, 2019, 09:02:18 AM
Quote from: Mark Brown on December 13, 2019, 10:04:10 PM
Quote from: Steven W Bohler on December 13, 2019, 07:36:13 PM
Quote from: Mark Brown on December 13, 2019, 03:24:33 PM
Peter, if there are supposedly public records on this, the records from a civil suit that the LCMS lost supposedly, that changes things.  It moves from an 8th commandment issue to just public fact.  Would those records be part of the mysterious material that we were told by the editors they researched?  If they are, could they point us at them now?

How would anyone know what public records to look for, regarding what civil suit, involving the LCMS in what way, with participants with the rather ordinary/common first names mentioned?

Well, I'd imagine a MO court, LCMS defendant, and a judgement issued against. Not a lawyer, but I have to imagine that would get you a good start if you had access to the specific database. Probably in last 10 years.

Do you have time to do that?  Especially at this time of year?  If Rev. Engelbrecht wants to use this forum for his personal purposes, then I would say it is up to him to fill in the blanks for the rest of its readers.  Or, as Rev. Speckhard wrote, to use the private message option here, or just not drag the rest of us into it.

If I had access to the system, I'd do it in a second.  Because if it is true, than there needs to be a real accounting.  I'm hyper-skeptical of the entire thing.  If anything happened, it always struck me as an over stressed and highly paranoid politically motivated attack.  But if there is a state judge, and a state jury, with actual evidence not just what sounded like paranoid assertions of minor inconveniences that the normal parish pastor experiences weekly, that would dramatically change my mind.  And the size and type of resolution would tell me a lot as well.  That is assuming there is one.  If there isn't one after this assertion, at this stage it would basically prove my skepticism. If I was the editor, I'd be putting in the time to prove I wasn't the conduit of a hoax.

Fair enough.  You mention access to "the system".  I do not know what that system is, but am guessing it is some sort of record by states of such suits.  Who would have access to such a system?  Would there be more than one system (one per state?)?  Do you or I, as rostered members of the synod, have a right to know these suits and their resolutions?

Remember, I'm not a lawyer, but here is what I do know.

1) Court records, unless sealed by orders, are public record.
2) They typically get recorded by the court in question with each state having their own system.  Here is a link to the State of Missouri's. https://www.courts.mo.gov/casenet/cases/searchCases.do?searchType=name
3) That public free available search is usually akin to using Alta Vista in 1998 to search the web.  If you know exactly the name, exactly as it is spelled, and everything else exactly, what you want might pop up in the top 10.  There is also the massive possibility that what you want is just spelled wrong and you will never find it.
4) Depending upon the state, the public electronic cache might be way behind.
5) Actual lawyers usually pay a significant amount to Westlaw or Lexis or some other system that themselves index, catalog and iron out the problems with all the raw info.  They are like Yahoo/Google combined for cases.  And they ignore those state boundaries.  The also typically get new info in before the free state stuff.

So I've looked at the "LCMS" and the "Lutheran Church Missouri Synod" at the state site.  There are a significant number of cases, but most of them are settled and most of them are about contested wills and trusts.  (I'm assuming that Grandma left the farm or some significant amount to the church and usually a child who expected more is challenging the will or the dictates of the trust.)  And, well, Alta Vista was never very good.  You really need someone who has access to google for lawsuits.

Mark Brown

Quote from: Mark Brown on December 14, 2019, 10:25:53 AM
Quote from: Steven W Bohler on December 14, 2019, 09:02:18 AM
Quote from: Mark Brown on December 13, 2019, 10:04:10 PM
Quote from: Steven W Bohler on December 13, 2019, 07:36:13 PM
Quote from: Mark Brown on December 13, 2019, 03:24:33 PM
Peter, if there are supposedly public records on this, the records from a civil suit that the LCMS lost supposedly, that changes things.  It moves from an 8th commandment issue to just public fact.  Would those records be part of the mysterious material that we were told by the editors they researched?  If they are, could they point us at them now?

How would anyone know what public records to look for, regarding what civil suit, involving the LCMS in what way, with participants with the rather ordinary/common first names mentioned?

Well, I'd imagine a MO court, LCMS defendant, and a judgement issued against. Not a lawyer, but I have to imagine that would get you a good start if you had access to the specific database. Probably in last 10 years.

Do you have time to do that?  Especially at this time of year?  If Rev. Engelbrecht wants to use this forum for his personal purposes, then I would say it is up to him to fill in the blanks for the rest of its readers.  Or, as Rev. Speckhard wrote, to use the private message option here, or just not drag the rest of us into it.

If I had access to the system, I'd do it in a second.  Because if it is true, than there needs to be a real accounting.  I'm hyper-skeptical of the entire thing.  If anything happened, it always struck me as an over stressed and highly paranoid politically motivated attack.  But if there is a state judge, and a state jury, with actual evidence not just what sounded like paranoid assertions of minor inconveniences that the normal parish pastor experiences weekly, that would dramatically change my mind.  And the size and type of resolution would tell me a lot as well.  That is assuming there is one.  If there isn't one after this assertion, at this stage it would basically prove my skepticism. If I was the editor, I'd be putting in the time to prove I wasn't the conduit of a hoax.

So, I'm assuming that since nobody has followed up with the public information from an actual court, and since I appear to be the only one who tried (bigger fool I was), we can all just file this entire episode away as political dirty tricks, somebody on the outside trying to use someone unwell to smear a candidate during silly season.  And going forward that should color everything that we hear from those sources.  True? Maybe those people who appear to have used an unwell man should feel some responsibility and make sure he gets some help.  But that would just be me continuing to be a fool.  Thinking that remorse might attach to something done in pursuit of the "the higher good". 

Dan Fienen

Quote from: Mark Brown on July 14, 2020, 12:10:25 PMI can't say stunning anymore because it is clear what the NYT's has become.  Neither can I really say powerful, because I doubt even this would cause any reflection by those left.  But this resignation letter from Bari Weiss should be both of those things stunning and powerful.  There just aren't ears to hear at the NYT. https://www.bariweiss.com/resignation-letter
QuoteTwitter is not on the masthead of The New York Times. But Twitter has become its ultimate editor. As the ethics and mores of that platform have become those of the paper, the paper itself has increasingly become a kind of performance space. Stories are chosen and told in a way to satisfy the narrowest of audiences, rather than to allow a curious public to read about the world and then draw their own conclusions. I was always taught that journalists were charged with writing the first rough draft of history. Now, history itself is one more ephemeral thing molded to fit the needs of a predetermined narrative.My own forays into Wrongthink have made me the subject of constant bullying by colleagues who disagree with my views. They have called me a Nazi and a racist; I have learned to brush off comments about how I'm "writing about the Jews again." Several colleagues perceived to be friendly with me were badgered by coworkers. My work and my character are openly demeaned on company-wide Slack channels where masthead editors regularly weigh in. There, some coworkers insist I need to be rooted out if this company is to be a truly "inclusive" one, while others post ax emojis next to my name. Still other New York Times employees publicly smear me as a liar and a bigot on Twitter with no fear that harassing me will be met with appropriate action. They never are.There are terms for all of this: unlawful discrimination, hostile work environment, and constructive discharge. I'm no legal expert. But I know that this is wrong.
Maybe I should have cross-posted on mobbing... (It might also have some reflection on that phenomenon.  Why those who are generally "on the right" just couldn't believe anything about that, while it was those generally "on the left" who took it immediately as gospel.  Political cleansing of formerly broadly liberal institutions is a much much bigger thing on the left.)


I agree, what Bari Weiss describes could well come under the heading of mobbing. I also think your comment interesting to say the least that those who would generally be considered on the left more readily believe reports of mobbing, perhaps because it has been a standard part of the Left's playbook for a long time.

I am reminded of the absolute horror with which the prospect of more conservatives on the Supreme Court was met. It would upset the proper balance (i.e. Liberal) of the court and they would immediately undo all the good Liberal actions that the court has taken. Apparently, judicial activism being the standard judicial mode of the Left is assumed of the Right. As the Liberal wing of the court overwhelmingly marches lock step, so the would the Conservative wing? Except it doesn't.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

Dave Benke

I didn't know what thread to stick this in, and maybe this has been brought up (mind turning to jelly) but somebody sent me an email this weekend about what I guess is in the end a pro-mobbing ruling by the Commission on Constitutional Matters of the LCMS, namely that there can be no district conventions unless they're in person, so no virtual conventions.  In other words, if you want to have a convention, you have to get your mob on. 

Thankfully, this could lead to a proliferation of the Atlantic District One Day Convention model, with an upgrade to 2.0.  The 2.0 level would have the convention take place only on one calendar day.  We used to have them in a 24 hour period from noon to noon on a Friday/Saturday.  Now I think they could easily git 'er done between say 9:30 and 4 PM on a Saturday.  To add another feature, I think they could do that outdoors with a nice speaker system. 

The easy part is elections, actually.  They're over quickly anyway now with the pad system.  So all elections could take place probably before lunch.  The pre-convention speeches by candidates (if that's your gig) could be podcast, not part of the actual convention.  The extra bible studies and speechifying efforts could be remitted in advance or sent as a PDF or powerpoint. 

The hard part is the resolutions and extended debate.  There you'd have to put together some initial rules for discussion, vote them in, and limit some of the debate in that way. 

The national convention is a little different, but not that much - the election of the president is already over and done by mail ballot, so that precedent has already been set.  (That's actually interesting - the national presidential election in the LCMS is by mail-in ballot - why are district president elections or other elections not able to be done that way?)  Again, the "new normal" could become a two or three day national convention at most. 

Dave Benke
It's OK to Pray

David Mahsman

Most districts have the better part of a year to pray for a vaccine and then actually get it before their conventions. Sorry about the Dakotas.

Timothy Schenks

Quote from: David Mahsman on July 19, 2020, 10:47:07 PM
Most districts have the better part of a year to pray for a vaccine and then actually get it before their conventions. Sorry about the Dakotas.

So will you require the vaccine to be a delegate to a district or synod convention?
LCMS Layman

David Mahsman

Quote from: Timothy Schenks on July 20, 2020, 03:46:52 AM
Quote from: David Mahsman on July 19, 2020, 10:47:07 PM
Most districts have the better part of a year to pray for a vaccine and then actually get it before their conventions. Sorry about the Dakotas.

So will you require the vaccine to be a delegate to a district or synod convention?

No. But I don't think that we will be totally out of the woods with COVID-19 until we have a vaccine and people get it.

Richard Johnson

Quote from: David Mahsman on July 21, 2020, 01:46:37 PM


No. But I don't think that we will be totally out of the woods with COVID-19 until we have a vaccine and people get it.

And it's the last phrase that troubles me. About 50% of those polled are hesitant or downright resistant to getting the vaccine. And when you realize that about 45% of Americans don't both to get a flu vaccine each year, well . . .
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Jim Butler

Quote from: Richard Johnson on July 21, 2020, 02:04:30 PM
Quote from: David Mahsman on July 21, 2020, 01:46:37 PM


No. But I don't think that we will be totally out of the woods with COVID-19 until we have a vaccine and people get it.

And it's the last phrase that troubles me. About 50% of those polled are hesitant or downright resistant to getting the vaccine. And when you realize that about 45% of Americans don't both to get a flu vaccine each year, well . . .

I've never bothered to get a flu shot. One of the nursing homes I go to required me to get one a few years back (the provided it for free)...and I got the flu. Maybe I'll do it when I turn 60 this year.

SARS-CoV-2 might be a different story. The survival rate for people 60+ isn't too good. And it currently has mutated into a more contagious strain (I read one blog that said 10x more contagious than at first).

OTOH, I've read other blogs that say that while it is more contagious, it is also weaker. One article in the Boston Globe said that's one of the reasons why there's never been a vaccine for a coronavirus--they tend to die off while the research for the vaccine taking place. One of the reasons why we've gotten a head start with this one is that researchers were able to pull the SARS and MERS vaccine research and pick it up again.

One thing is for sure about the future: we can't predict it!
"Pastor Butler... [is] deaf to the cries of people like me, dismissing our concerns as Satanic scenarios, denouncing our faith and our very existence."--Charles Austin

Richard Johnson

Quote from: jebutler on July 21, 2020, 02:43:36 PM

I've never bothered to get a flu shot. One of the nursing homes I go to required me to get one a few years back (the provided it for free)...and I got the flu. Maybe I'll do it when I turn 60 this year.



Time was when they didn't really recommend flu shots for those under--I think it was 60, maybe 65--unless you were in a profession where you had frequent contact with elderly people. As a pastor, I was, so I've been getting one every year for many years--not for myself so much at first, but for the vulnerable people I called on. Now I'm the vulnerable one, but now they're also suggested the shots for most adults regardless of age, and they are so abundantly available (drug stores, KMart, Walmart, etc.) that it's not much of a bother to do it. Never had a reaction more serious than a sore arm for a day, and can't recall ever having had the flu. I tend more toward getting bronchitis and sinus infections at the drop of a hat, so I wish they'd find a vaccine for those. But I do have to say that the stay home and mask orders kept even those away from me this year.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Weedon

I almost never get the flu shot; and almost never get the flu. Did last year, though. But so did everyone in our school; turns out the flu they vaccinated against wasn't the one we had sweep through here. I think I might get the flu once every ten years or so on average. I suppose I'm in the higher risk category these days, but I still haven't decided what I want to be when I grow up...

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