Chapter 22 – Moon Mail

FmlCteXKrom my book Unscrewed: Becoming Whole Again. My personal story of abuse, shame, guilt, addiction, failure, rehab, jail and victory.

(Warning some of Gary’s communiques may make no sense to you. Complete emails are posted in print book appendix).

Four days later on Good Friday 2006, the day honoring Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins, a multi-year odyssey of electronic bullying, harassment and message board posts, along with unsigned letters, fake identities, phone call hang ups, something that I do not know what to call it except an attempted “shakedown” was just beginning.  Some of the actors identified themselves. One, the police made an ID after subpoenaing his internet records. The rest I can only make assumptions and speculations based on prior experiences. The harassment began on Good Friday when Gary Robinson sent me what has become known as the “Faux Olive Branch” email. He did sign it, but I also traced it to his insurance office computer, since the IP address on the email matched the IP address on some of the threatening emails that were sent earlier to the other pastor under the pen name of “Darren Liff”.

After the judge had exposed the light of truth once and for all in the public record, Gary Robinson was suddenly offering me what he referred to as an “olive branch” and seeming taking responsibility for  what I had thought all long – that he had been the driving force behind the whole sordid episode of the church hijacking.  As stunning as it is, Gary actually wrote this in his email of April 14 and later in a snail mail of April 17:

“You and I are the leaders of our families. What we say goes and we are very good at what we do. We should commend each other. You have hurt my son and I have hurt your son. If you feel you were vindicated in the courtroom on Monday then so was I. I nearly put your son in jail

(I do not understand what he is talking about here.  I was the one on trial not my son.) But I am sure our sons would ask us to lay our swords down…we, you and I have the power to lay this issue aside…

I will say this…if any of this email gets out, in its entirety or in any portion, the olive branch will be withdrawn…

I will accept one and only one response. It’s not very religious but we both understand what it means…’Uncle’.  I will not accept any more than just one word…’Uncle’…’”

Yikes! To me, those were revealing statements. I could not believe he was actually writing those kinds of things in an email. His email seemed to us to be an attempt to convince his own impotent ego of his imagined power. It was all about everybody except the supposed victim.  If Kelly was the person who was so emotionally traumatized, why was not she the focus of Gary’s thoughts? How did “our sons” become the victims?  To me the answer is quite obvious.  By Gary’s own admission, he had been after me with a “sword”. As he was trying to destroy me, all I had in my hand was a shield; I was merely trying to survive. I never held a sword either figuratively or literally. The charges were dismissed so anyway you cut it the Robinson’s looked bad.  What was left of their credibility had taken a hit on the scales of justice. To use an old southern euphemism, they had crapped in their nest.

In September of 2005, when Lou Alvarez had beseeched Dale to reverse course before he split the church, Dale has responded, “Lou we have determined that no more than ten people will leave”.  The actual number who walked was around three hundred! When, due to their own evil actions, the bottom fell out, they then tried to actually put me in prison in a feeble attempt to “win”.  And now I had Gary emailing me talking about “swords” and boasting that in his family what he says goes. I find that very scary; so do mental health professions. But unfortunately that was just the beginning of what has come to be known as “Moon Mail” from Gary.

And it got even more bizarre and frightening. Since I did not respond to his “Faux Olive Branch”, a few days later I went to my mailbox and there was an envelope with this obvious fake return address: “ Nashville TN”. For what reason he went to that trouble escapes me, because when I opened it here is what I found:

April 17, 2006

“There has been no response from my email of 04/14/2006. Whether a response is received or not, this is a generous second invitation to lay down the sword.

The document is attached…”

Then there were more ramblings. Gary had totally flipped out on me. Since I did not respond to his email, now he was trying to intimidate me by snail mail. Again I ignored him.  I soon realized that he does not like to be ignored.

On April 26, 2006 I received the following email from Gary Robinson. “Since there has been no response from my email of 04/14/2006 and from my letter on 04/17/2006, you’re not responding is accepted as a no to the olive branch.  They say time passes quickly.  In truth, time stays and we pass quickly.  No matter…there is a right time for everything.

‘Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (MSG)

There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth:

A right time for birth and another for death,

A right time to plant and another to reap,

A right time to kill and another to heal,

A right time to destroy and another to construct,

A right time to cry and another to laugh,

A right time to lament and another to cheer,

A right time to make love and another to abstain,

A right time to embrace and another to part,

A right time to search and another to count your losses,

A right time to hold on and another to let go,

A right time to rip out and another to mend,

A right time to shut up and another to speak up,

A right time to love and another to hate,

A right time to wage war and another to make peace.

Seeing the issue of September last now still remains open, what are the options from today forward?  Ecclesiastes chapter 3 has pointed them out very clearly. As was indicated in the offer presented by email and direct mail… yours is still the next move. To every action there is a reaction. If an action is decided upon a reaction takes place. There is no action if there is no action. However a German Proverb says it well, ‘He who has burned his mouth blows into his soup.’

In the final analysis Ecclesiastes 3:15 sums it up correctly. ‘Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before; and God will call the past to account.’ It is time for something. What time is it? As God watches it must be a matter of who decides to blow first.

Again I chose not to respond. The truth is I could not have responded had I wished to. I was at a loss as to what Gary was saying!

So on Saturday May 27, Gary sent more Moon Email.

“America is a great place. Here it is Memorial Day weekend and we have the right to free speech and the same right of laughter. Life is too short to be serious and so often laughter follows someone’s free speech. Personally, I prefer a good laugh each day, and laughter for me brings great joy. Laughing is such great fun and the Creator also enjoys it as the Psalmist wrote, ‘The One enthroned in heaven laughs’.  G.K. Chesterton said it as well as could be said, ‘Madmen are always serious; they go mad from lack of humor’. It’s especially funny, though, how some folks try to impress others that they are like Mother Teresa when people are doubled over joyously laughing as to how much they are like Archie Bunker. Since the end of April the laugh track has become louder and louder.  The non-computer addressed postcards to folks at HPC announcing your next move-laughter. Then the first line in the disclaimer at the bottom of your email on May 3 said, ‘The document accompanying this transmission may contain confidential health information that is legally protected.’ Health information? What laughter that one brought (I am clueless what he is talking about). And the statement at the bottom of your most recent emails © 2006 John Gouldener All Rights Reserved. That’s really funny. Your signature as large as you dared make it on your newsletter- that’s priceless laughter. Your disclaimer saying, ‘we had a computer failure and our purged list was lost’-another really big dose of laughter for everyone on that one too. Then your email to David Friedli on Saturday morning before Mother’s Day-something funny like that was expected out of you again, and you came through with flying colors and the laughter continued.  And then finally the unspeakable laughter came along…your newspaper ad with the same link on it. After all that money was spent by you on newspaper advertising showing the website, laughter reached new levels because, I hope you find this as funny as I do, your website keeps on showing the meeting address as the hysterical Cohn Adult Learning Center’s auditorium.  If you change the website in any way, I will always be able to joyously say I was the one that cared enough to inform you-now isn’t that a big laugh.

The Bible says ‘ashes to ashes, dust to dust’. I have kept your ashes alive in my heart hoping to be helpful enough to bring you back to real life, and even going so far as offering you an olive branch on Good Friday. You refused…I guess there just isn’t enough compassion for some folks…so I just laugh. Burying your ashes alive in my heart did not work…you would not let it work…so I’ll just keep on laughing because of all the joy you bring. You can keep on doing what the rest of us have the power not do… sending more entertaining emails to HPC people and continue merrily walking by us in malls and parking lots and driving by us on streets and continue sending letters with no return address…but laughing always works. So thanks for all the funnies, but especially thanks for the website funny-because it continues to give plenty of folks an old heartfelt joyous laugh”.

Gary Robinson

(Again I am at a loss to explain other than our website did have an incorrect address for a time.)

By this point in time I myself was certainly not laughing.  I had been exposed to “Robinson Rage” several times in the past. I had become concerned for my safety and I met with the police as well as a psychologist. Both gave me advice and I heeded it. Seven days later, Gary sent me another cryptic message via his insurance agency email account.

“Yesterday I received something in the mail with a Nashville postmark on it that I did not understand. It took me back to when I was a teenager and I went with my dad early Saturday mornings to the leather tannery where he worked. We got up at 4:30, ate at a little restaurant, and got to his workplace about 5:00.

My job was to sweep the entire fifth floor. The smell of new leather still brings me back to that place. After I had finishing the sweeping I liked to go to the Oak Hill Avenue side of the building and spit out the window at people walking down the sidewalk five stories below. If I was lucky enough to hit them I would duck back inside so they did not know where it came from. Once I was even bold enough to drop water balloons out of the window-luckily they missed.

I always wondered why I did such a thing. It seemed neat when I was 15. But, then again, I really was still an immature child then. The Bible tells us about such things in I Corinthians…”When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.”

Now back to yesterday. I received for the first time, as members of our family have received in the past, an envelope without a return address. Prior to the ugly incident of last September we never received childish mail like this. When our family saw this pattern develop we had a meeting. It was obvious that people who would not take credit for what they were sending were not writing anything credible.  The outcome of the meeting was that any mail we received from little people so immature as to leave off return addresses…we would just put them in an unopened file. This was done yesterday.

Now whether the mail I received yesterday came from you or one of your supporters or someone else does not really matter to me. The fact is stuff like this has been going on since September last and we do not care to open such spineless envelopes sent in this manner.

We should be thankful, however, for authentic people like writers Simon Wiesenthal, Henri Nouwen, Frederick Buechner, Michael Ryan and John Powell in his book “Why Am I Afraid to Tell You Who I Am” for laying bare their souls but also for attaching their names to their works. We can believe what they said for they were not spitting out of windows and then hiding.

And finally, two other things…1) you are welcome for the recent heads-up I gave you on your old website. I see the location address is now correct thanks to me, and   2)…your new website has a different look. We thought the color scheme we used on the HPC website was classy and we are touched to see someone copying it. I, though, would have chosen a more creative approach…you know-a self-inspired original color combination. I remember way back when some other church used our “Jeans at Church” idea and we all had a big laugh about it (I still have that other churches mailer). Stuff like this lightens my day.”


Sent:    Saturday, June 10, 2006 9:23PM

“Your latest email to some of our HPC folks is offensive to me. It is a bland attempt to misinform by leaving the true details of an incident hidden so can build up your self-esteem. Paper is known for its memory and the paper trail on you is enormous.  I will put together my response and email it to you. I will then send it first to the Gilgs. You have honestly crossed the line with me on this one. To boldly say expunged and then spin it…are you stupid or are you just acting stupid? Welcome to my world”.


On that one I did laugh. He called me “stupid” and then said “Welcome to My world”.

6-14-06 Email from Gary Robinson


“In life you can find God in the simplest of things. In a flower growing up toward you with its petals open to the sun filling the air with the aroma of God. God is there. God can be seen in tomato plants and watermelon patches, in a sunflower and a cornfield. He’s in the magnificence of vertical upward growth and smell.

But poop…that is another matter. Poop does not fall up…poop falls down and when it does it plops.  People that are in love with themselves who walk around with their nose in the air are going to step in poop. You can be looking up trying to convince people that you are searching for God when all the while you have poop on your shoes. Poop is down here. God is up there. And when you step in it you might as well admit it because everyone around you can smell it on you. And then you might as well not blame anyone else for having stepped in it because everyone including God knows it was your own fault.

And because poops falls down, if it hits us it assuredly comes from above. There’s a bird up there-he pooped and it hit you. We all understand that. And there is a God up there, and when He has had enough He says that He will allow the same thing to happen.

When asked, “What is human Nature?” Psychiatrist Dr. Scott Peck stated it this way, “Human nature is to go to the bathroom in your pants.” And that is what wee immature people do.

For instance…Cain and Abel were the first two children of Adam and Eve. Cain was the oldest and Abel the younger. Genesis chapter 4 (MSG Bible) tells a very sad story of the older man who could not control his human nature and it mastered him

Cain lost his temper and went into a sulk. God spoke to Cain: “Why this tantrum? Why the sulking? If you do well, won’t you be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is lying in wait for you, ready to pounce; it’s out to get you, you’ve got to master it.” (Cain did not master his serious problem and a loathsome act then takes place)  God said, “What have you done… you’ll be driven from this ground…it will no longer give you its best… Cain left the presence of God and lived in No-Man’s-Land, east of Eden.

And there is a real good reason why God does things like that…it is because it’s one of the many promises in the Bible.

And here is a Biblical promise found in the Message Bible in Galatians 5:19-21 plainly stating God’s affirmation…” It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on.

This isn’t the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God’s kingdom.” So when you use your freedom to indulge in any of the stinking accumulation of things as Phil mentions above in Galatians, God knows you smell like poop and God says you will not inherit heaven. Plop.

It simply all comes down to this… by not mastering your sin Phil says you continually pull the handle on the porcelain receptacle until in the end you cause the poop to plop on yourself. How sad…and to others how terribly shtick.


Gary’s Moon Mail pretty much speaks for itself.

Coming up next : “Sin Genome”

For the complete beta version of my book  for free Unscrewed: Becoming Whole Again. My personal story of abuse, shame, guilt, addiction, failure,rehab and victory.

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