Bullies in the Pews (Case #1: Adult Leaders)
Shawn M. Gordon
I hate bullies. It seems my 51 years of life has been fairly consumed either being attacked by them or protecting other people that are attacked by them. I could get into the whole pathology of it, but that isn’t the point of this paper, this might run long, so bear with me. First some background on me;
I’m 5’7”, not abnormally short, but short enough that it made me a target when I was a kid and shorter. Being a “brainiac”, a bookworm and shy didn’t help things. Just before entering 7th grade, my parents divorced, we moved and I changed schools. I was left in charge of my 4 younger sisters, so couldn’t leave to make new friends, consequently I didn’t do much of anything and put on weight to top it off. This made 7th grade hell, we all have our horror stories, but I was spat on, attacked by groups, rocks thrown in my face, knocked off my bike, nearly drowned by a group of bullies (odd, it was always a group of people bigger than me), I have caps on my 2 bottom front teeth to this day from having them broken. Over that summer I started swimming every day, weight training, running and I got to about 120 pounds, could bench press 250 and curl 150. I had a standing broad jump of 10 feet and could jump over a shopping cart from a stand still, and thus began the new year.
I was sitting at recess reading a book and my arch nemesis came over with his gang to attack me. I exploded and beat him so badly he was out of school for weeks. I was never bothered again in that school, other than to help other kids being bullied. This pattern would repeat through my life, it always seems to require some outburst of anger or strength to overwhelm the bully into realizing his life was actually in danger. This isn’t my preferred method of living my life, but it allowed me to live my life with only minor issues. What I learned though, was that anytime someone attacked me physically or verbally, was to come back as strong as humanly possible and smack them down.
I also belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon). I was born to it, spent most of my adult life inactive but came back in 2012 a few months before my wife of 20 years decided that drugs, alcohol and young boys were better than being a wife and mother, and we divorced. I’m a single dad with sole custody of 2 teenage kids, self employed and with one car, and my father, who is my rock and inspiration is dying of cancer. The wonderful people at my church probably saved my life and consequently, that of my children. About a year later, one of my two kids decided to also join the church as it had also really filled a gap for her and been just a tremendous blessing. The wonderful thing about the church is the theology and the people. The worst thing about the church is also the people.
I know there is a lot of potential good in organized religion and the LDS church is one of the best in wielding it, but I make a much better Chief than an Indian and I don’t just follow things blindly, especially if there are better ways to accomplish something, or people are approaching an issue with blinders on. The problem stems from egos and power, even in an organization where the “power” isn’t really anything “real”, it’s just organizing dances. Some of these people, especially the bullies, will latch on to this tiny bit of power and shout down any dissenting voice. I doubt the behavior is even on a conscious level, but it’s amazing how often it is from a physically large man.
That is a very long lead-up to the ridiculous interactions I’ve had with some of the “leadership” for the church singles in my geographic area. The prior leadership of this group was amazing, did great work, but someone in power didn’t like him and forced him out, threw around words and terms like “asshole”, “abusing your priesthood” and practicing “unrighteous dominion”, that man was Bryan King, he’s about 6’4” and a lawyer. He’s attacked me too, and he’s developed this culture of abuse of power and refusal to listen to anyone other than himself. I’m going to focus on a particular incident now which Bryan isn’t a part of, but again, he created and supports this culture of bullying and abuse, which I have documented communication of, so there is no libel or slander or hearsay here.
Mormons like to have singles dances, they have them for the teens, young adults, regular adults and old adults. When I was young we had bands, now they are all DJ’s. For some reason, the aforementioned groups leadership (OCSC) always uses the same DJ. He is not a very good DJ, people complain every time he does a dance, the leadership at OCSC claim they don’t know of another DJ, but there are other dances in this area every week with other DJ’s that get rave reviews. I had determined to stop wasting my money when Jon is the DJ and I’d said publicly on two occasions what I thought of his skills, or lack thereof. Lots of other people complain but are afraid to do it publicly, and now I know why after the vicious attacks from OCSC leadership. If you dare voice a complaint you will be vilified, ostracized, attacked and blacklisted. Everyone is afraid to speak-up, except for stupid me that wasn’t aware of the culture.
A new dance event was posted on Facebook for Valentines Day 2015 but oddly, the DJ wasn’t listed with the event. The DJ is listed for every other event, so I posted “Who will the DJ be?”, I’d give you a screen capture, but they deleted the question, however I did capture the ad for the dance, where you can see the DJ is not listed. Odd.
I wanted to know so I could decide if I wanted to attend. So I posted the question again, just straight “who will the DJ be?”, some other people chimed in asking as well. This was also deleted and then during the night I got the following message on Facebook at about 1:30am, remember, all I did was ask who the DJ would be.
Now, I don’t take kindly to being attacked, and on the surface this doesn’t seem so horrible, but it is the leap in logic to get to this point from my question that set me off, because I had a decent idea of what the background conversation was. I know this woman and I’ve always been nice to her when I see her, her event management skills leave something to be desired, but she’s a volunteer, so what do you expect. Since the reaction to my simple question was so ridiculous, I responded in kind, in very strong terms as I do not take kindly to being bullied and attacked, especially under false pretenses.
I went to work and apparently some emails were going back and forth between the pearl clutchers that were gathering their pitchforks and torches for later. For some reason this guy Robert Musich sent to me along with some threats. I didn’t recognize his name, but after some back and forth (which you will see in a bit) I checked some old emails and yep, about 16 months ago he’d physically threatened me. Robert likes to boast his physical dimensions in his online profile that he is 6’2” with a 45” chest and 34” waist, which you can see here:
This profile was easily found in a quick Google search as you can see here, it’s the second result:
Now we have 2 things happening at the same time, Robert is emailing me all of their discussion about me, and he is threatening me on Facebook. First we’ll organize the email thread, and note, Angela did in fact Facebook block me, thus making it impossible for me to know about ANY church events from OCSC which represents somewhere around 10,000 singles in the area.
Now Robert Musich emailed and private messaged me the same thing at the same time, which you can see here, along with my response:
Since I didn’t remember Robert from the last time he’d physically threatened me 16 months previous, I did some quick email and google searches, which resulted in seeing his online dating profile, which I screenshot-ed and sent to him and told him he should update his waist size to what it currently is. This resulted in the following exchange, which finished up as part of the email thread. For some reason Robert Musich kept jumping between Facebook IM and email.
Finally we finish up with the email exchange with Robert Musich, so there is some duplication, you have to read it from the bottom up for the thread, but you can see the beginning of the chat log that is snipped in an earlier image. Robert is very big on attacking people and then screaming that he is going to get a restraining order if you respond to him. This is an empty threat because he can’t get one for something like that, and he isn’t going to spend the time. Only truly disturbed people run around attacking and threatening people to get their way, but you can judge for yourself. I haven’t studied psychology in decades, so I can’t really make a clinical diagnoses for what Roberts actual issues are.
As I go through these challenges with some of the people at church, it puts me in a very difficult position because I talk to and counsel a very large number of new or inactive members. I want to vent my frustrations, but I can’t because these people will get the wrong impression of the church as a whole. Could I have handled things differently? Sure, but turning the other cheek usually gets me hit on the other side. When a group is supposed to be helping others and have this level of hatred and poison dripping down from the leadership, I find it very hard to stay calm, especially when I’m threatened, especially when I’m threatened by a serial bully who likes to make threats and has no intent to do anything, simply to intimidate because his threats didn’t work the first time.
Robert Musich is a bully and he runs a cabal of bullies. Nothing good will come of it. I hate to think how many people just quietly walked away after they were shouted down by Robert and Bryan and their gang, never to return. If you don’t speak up, no one knows what is happening, just suddenly, no one is left.
Update May 27, 2015
I just ran across this article about Robert Musich, apparently he is not only a bully but he is now up on federal charges for theft and fraud, the short article reads:
“A West Covina, California man who allegedly scammed hundreds of people in three states was arrested Sunday in Lake Havasu City. 46-year-old Robert Musich allegedly billed victims in Arizona, Nevada and California for fire insurance inspections that were never performed. Musich was jailed on a federal warrant charging him with theft and fraud.”
Another more detailed news story is here.
Then there is also this screenshot of the newspaper, they incorrectly refer to Robert as Brian as they confuse him with another involved person, but it’s the same guy and mugshot.
Robert pleaded guilty and agreed to pay restitution, he managed to avoid the jail time and is on 3 years probation, but that is just for the Nevada charges:
Robert was arrested again in California in September 2016 on the additional charges and is facing nearly 12 years in jail. He was sentenced in June 2017 to 7 years and is then subject to another 3 years in Nevada for parole violations as well has over a half million dollars in restitution and nearly $100,000 in taxes and fines in California. Read it here.
Then to wrap it up, I thought I’d inform the group of people that Robert had involved before, including out of work attorney Bryan King who has also been a massive problem around here as I mentioned earlier. You can see the email exchange with Bryan below. Note how he threatens to have Robert file a slander lawsuit against me for simply reporting what was already in the news. This is a typical tactic to shut down discussion to try and scare you into doing what the bully wants. In this case, since Bryan has a law degree, he likes to use both the law and the church as a shield and righteous sword to force people to his will.