Sunday, June 1, 2008

What Happened: Inside a Culture of Deception

Dear Friend,

Should New England Quakers be worried?

New York Yearly Meeting (NYYM) and New England Yearly Meeting (NEYM) of the of the Religious Society of Friends are talking at ‘high levels’ such as at a recent retreat in Connecticut. The Clerk of NYYM is the featured guest at NEYM’s annual sessions in summer 2008.

Should NEYM be worried that NYYM is exporting its malfeasance of finances and of governance? (Hint: Yes.)

Scott McLellan, a former United States White House Press Secretary was criticized today for staying in his high-paying job and reaping the benefits of the luxe-life of a presidential administration, quietly leaving, then coming out later and making another fortune writing a kiss-and-tell book named – “What Happened”.

At least I publicly quit and didn’t continue to receive scholarships to go on boondoggle vacations to New York Yearly Meeting’s 20% more expensive annual sessions location, rotate off my committee service then tell all. I quit when it was obvious that reasoning and cajoling in New York Yearly Meeting Financial Services Committee didn’t work and when I was finally uninvited from a critical budget meeting for asking the Treasurer a serious question regarding a perpetually recurring large expense.*

I quit after a year earlier enduring a gang-banging by goons who stood against me and by those who enabled them without my presence in any clearness, for a financial position in the big-time dollars arena of New York (City) Quarterly Meeting. I was gang-banged a third time at the local level when I was asked to audit the books, and would not let go of evidence of theft that came forth in my own Monthly Meeting. But I did begin, with other Friends' support, the bottom-up financing that will be NYYM’s savior, if the movement back to the manner of Friends is not crushed in the near future by the self-serving elite who care not a bit for the governed in local communities. The ministers care about the money that the locals send them, however.

Lies are endemic within NYYM, and to this Friend, they are not unlike those by the current presidential administration. Granted, people died and continue to die as a result of lies in the U.S. government. But lies are lies, the lack of integrity shown in both NYYM, a Quaker organization, for God's sake, and the lies from the U.S. government - grow up from simple lies - later into big lies.

So, consider this: We’ve been told again this week what we already knew – every centralized government administration is insular, seeking only to protect itself, and lies to the people through what is called a press secretary. CEO’s of big corporations lie to the public through their public relations or ‘corporate communications’ chief. Do you think lying stops with civil government and big business? Look at the stakes (the money) for any organization and you’ll see the reasons to lie no matter if they are a church or not. NYYM’s modicum of lies is via paid employees.

How about the lies by church governments, non-profit and religious organizations who want to maintain high-paying, unaccountable undefined, sometimes no-show jobs? Some of these are paid positions which the holders also serve on committees (in an obvious conflict of interest) which make decisions to distribute other people’s money? Why do these inured people continue to maintain themselves even when they no longer or poorly serve the public or their constituency? This instead of waking up one day and realizing to themselves “Gee, our group or organization is just not relevant anymore, let’s go our separate ways, join other groups that are managed better and are relevant.” and lay themselves down? (Or at least find another annual meeting site where it costs less to arrive, costs less to spend time there and there are more places to camp?)

The prophet George Carlin said this little more bluntly:

"In the bullshit department, a businessman can’t hold a candle to a clergyman [religious government]. When it comes to bullshit, big-time, major league bullshit, you have to stand in awe of religion.

…. religion takes in billions or dollars, they pay no taxes, and they always need a little more – you talk about a good bullshit story – holy shit."

The reasons New York Yearly Meeting lies (or maybe just gives out bullshit) is that the insular self-serving elite that run it and who are engineering its demise – whom the employees truly work for – is propped up by a vacation and a retreat center where there will always be wealthy folks who will get a good deal on a cheap vacation, get a chance to sail, swim, or sit on the front porch looking out over Lake George with their kids and grandkids and get the added bonus of feeling religious at the same time. But the hard truth is that lies have to be told in order to maintain NYYM as a religious government. The declining and apathetic constituency mostly still continues to send in its money, based on what a committee of a few decides.

NYYM and NEYM are talking at ‘high levels’ such as at the recent retreat in Connecticut. The Clerk of NYYM is the featured speaker at NEYM’s annual sessions this summer. Should NEYM be worried that NYYM is exporting its malfeasance to NEYM? (Hint: Yes.)

* And that question I asked in order to be uninvited to the NYYM budget meeting in September 2006? It has to do with the bookkeeping service, part of the waste in government, that NEYM has contemplated or has hired on recommendation by the head honcho string-puller at NYYM. See all the questions including this big question.

Eric Hoffer had something to say about propaganda that we’re fed by U.S. Presidents and high-minded, powerful Quakers - “Propaganda does not deceive people; it merely helps them to deceive themselves.”

In Friendship,

Glenn R.

A Cost Comparison
Three Annual Sessions