Senior Reverend Barry Taylor, All Saints Church in Beverly Hills, has resigned: WHY?


The circumstances surrounding the resignation of the Reverend Barry Taylor stink of undisclosed Borgia-and-Medici style backstabbing in the Hallowed Halls of All Saints Beverly Hills and the Cathedral of Los Angeles…… Reverend Stephen Huber,  All Saints’ Rector for the past several years, alleged a “financial infraction” protected by “the confidentiality of the employment relationship.”

As a “Senior Associate Rector”…I want to know: how and if so how much would Barry have even had access to Church funds?  Beyond those necessary to manage his service—AS2, and the collection plates therefrom?    

In my personal experience, when a corporation, or a government, wants to get rid itself of someone exemplary, who poses a threat to the establishment, they will either () charge sexual misconduct, () charge financial mismanagement of some kind, () claim that the target individual is insane and mentally unstable.   Since the data are easiest to “fake” on the financial front—especially with regard to someone as well-known as Barry Taylor, the choice was obvious…. And yes, I have indeed experienced similar things—but that was back in “bad old Texas”…. not here in Enlightened Southern California…..

AS2 on one of the last two Sundays 08-31 or 09-07 2014

 

I never dreamt it was possible for AS2 to end so soon....

I never dreamt it was possible for AS2 to end so soon….

Barry Taylor Closeup Photo from ASBH WebThe Reverend Steve Huber, Rector of All Saints in Beverly Hills, is a nice guy.  I don’t know him very well at all, but I certainly have nothing against him.  Or, actually, I HAD nothing against him until yesterday…..  His announcements, by letter and (in Church) sermon, concerning the resignation of Senior Reverend Barry Taylor, however, leaves much to be desired.  

I have been following Barry irregularly since 2009, becoming more-and-more fascinated by his special intellect and style of preaching ever since I first heard him give a sermon based in part on references to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, in 2009, but especially last year and this year (2013-2014).  

Last winter, after Christmas, Barry gave a series of sermons entitled “Roots” using vegetal metaphors to analyze the origins and operations of the Christian Church—and expressly relating Christianity to Astronomy, Biology, Ecology, and Evolution.  

This past August, Barry gave a phenomenal series of four sermons entitled “Drugs, Art, Sex, and Religion” dealing in part with those topics directly and in part with the modernist psychological analysis of such things, beginning with the writings of Sigmund Freud.  

Barry’s Fifth Sermon in August, “Religion without Illusions” (an obvious and not at all illusory) allusion to Freud’s pamphlet pubished 1927: Die Zukunft Einer Illusion, was the culmination and dénouement of this series. But in that fifth sermon of the most amazing series of teachings I have ever encountered in any Church, anywhere, there were signs of something wrong.  Barry seemed constrained to speak his mind as forcefully and fully as usual.  And all month he had been advertising that there would be a reception after the Fifth Sermon on August 31, 2014, for the parishioners and members of his special AS2 congregation to discuss, criticize, and evaluate his presentations.    I know I was not alone in looking forward to that discussion.  But it did not happen.  And there was no explanation.  And Barry disappeared hurriedly out the back door after the sermon.

That was two weeks ago yesterday (August 31).  Last week, September 7, Barry again seemed not quite himself.  And then yesterday Reverend Huber announced Barry’s resignation….reporting that the Bishop of Los Angeles had demanded it.  And Reverend Huber darkly suggested that some sort of “financial infraction” relating to “the confidential nature of the employment relationship” had been committed.

To all that I say “Bollux” and demand to know more.

19 responses to “Senior Reverend Barry Taylor, All Saints Church in Beverly Hills, has resigned: WHY?

  1. I’m very upset about this as well and I think that the church should give us more of an explanation. Barry helped a lot of people – me being one of them.

    • Charles Edward Lincoln III

      I had lunch with Reverend Stephen Huber on Thursday. He was extremely kind and gracious about my questions and blogging rants, but he kept all details very much “under his hat”. I asked him whether the alleged “infraction” was a question of civil or criminal law, and he said something on the order of “probably criminal…but nobody plans to press charges against him.” We are left with the approximate same answer as before, “He Sinned” and “it was serious” and “he acknowledged fault and was ashamed.” I asked Rev. Huber whether “the quantities of money involved were so great that restitution was impossible” and Huber said, “No, probably not”. So I asked, “why not put him on suspension pending restitution, then?” Or just ask him to return the money and perhaps admit wrongdoing to the Congregation and ask their forgiveness? But as of today, I cannot tell you whether Barry grabbed a couple of hundred dollars out of the collection plate to pay an overdue electrical or phone bill or whether he somehow accessed Church funds electronically to buy himself a nice little retirement Island in Fiji…. Obviously, one cannot compel answers from people unwilling to speak, and I guess that, technically, we as parishioners have no LEGAL rights to any information at all… the Church being a private organization and all that (blasted First Amendment doctrine of Separation of Church and State, doesn’t trouble people in England, Ireland, Israel, or even Canada…but we’re stuck with it I guess: there is no “official public function” of the Church as an arm of the state as there would be in the UK and Canada where the Queen is the head of our Church…and Parliament must approve the Book of Common Prayer). But that’s the whole story on what I learned. Steve emphatically denied that it was merely a matter of style or doctrine or personalities. I remain of the opinion that the Reverend Huber is an extremely nice guy—I like him—but he’s probably a very good poker player (he knows how to keep his cards hidden).

  2. Thanks for answering me in such detail. I have been at such a loss the last week knowing I didn’t have Barry’s sermon to look forward to on Sunday. He has made such a difference in my life. What did Reverend Huber say when you asked him about a suspension with restitution? We are all human and we all make mistakes. From what I have learned, Christianity is all about forgiveness and second chances. If the church weighs out all the good Barry did for people against whatever bad choice he made, I think that the good would win. I also feel that the Congregation should have a say in the matter and Barry should be allowed to speak to us and come clean with us. Really, that would probably be the more difficult thing to do – to stand before us and admit his bad choices and own them. I am going tomorrow to voice my opinion but it will be very hard knowing that I won’t hear Barry’s take on things when I walk through the doors tomorrow!

    • Charles Edward Lincoln III

      I think we need to start a “Barry Taylor Withdrawal Support Group”—I know I’m going to miss him terribly…. but even more than his absence, I regret that I didn’t get to know him more personally. In response to your question, when I asked Steve Huber whether a suspension with restitution were possible, he basically said that they hadn’t even considered it. I get the impression that somehow it all happened very fast (of course, that’s the impression Steve Huber WANTED me to have of course…..but in all fairness the good Rector was effective at making me listen and at preventing me from poking holes in his explanation). The analytical and suspicious side of my legally trained skepticism and academically honed inquisitive nature both coincide and continue to make me believe that there are parts of the story which are being hushed up…. But Steve Huber succeeded insofar as he completely defused my anger. I agree with you that the Church did not behave in a very Christian manner…. towards Barry or those of us who love and feel drawn to Barry’s teachings. Unless we know precisely what happened, we will never have a chance to know what we would think….whether we would find Barry’s misdeeds “originally sinful” or not…. Intellectually, I continue to suspect a cover up, but of what I cannot imagine… I am disheartened in the extreme, but Steve convinced me that further inquiry on my part at least was futile. They are good, these clergymen, and there are no guarantees of “due process” in the Church—it is a private employer, as I said earlier, and not bound by the rules that would apply in England or Canada where our Church is “Established” as part of the government. I hope and pray that Barry will write to me or several of us one day—that’s why I publish my e-mail again here: charles.e.lincoln@gmail.com, in addition to the fact that Barry or anyone else could comment here—or call me at 504-777-5023 or 310-430-6936 or fax 310-278-9684.

  3. Does anyone know where Barry went? Will he be sharing his incisive observations from another venue,
    Lloyd

    • Charles Edward Lincoln III

      Dear Lloyd:
      I had lunch with the Rector, Reverend Stephen Huber, one week ago Thursday (on September 18), and got only a little more information than the Church had already made available:
      Steve said that Barry has admitted to a “financial infraction” but that no criminal charges or civl lawsuit would be filed.
      Steve said that the Bishop insisted on Barry’s resignation, but that “to his credit” Barry offered his resignation immediately.
      Steve said that Barry was leaving last week (around September 19) to visit his mother in England and that from there he would go to South Africa.
      In short, for better or for worse, Steve kept up the “Stone Wall” around any specific details that the Church had obviously decided on from the beginning. Maybe there’s a legitimate reason for this “Stone Wall” but I fail to see it. Barry Taylor is a public figure to whom many of us were deeply attached and on whom many of us, including me, had come to depend for weekly doses of serious inspiration and reflection.
      Last Sunday, September 21, 2014, I was disgusted that All Saints used the (extremely familiar to me anyhow), “Delphi Method” of “divide and conquer to create consensus”—rather than having a large parish meeting and discussing and airing all positions publicly, the AS2 Congregation was divided into tiny discussion groups with specially appointed “group leaders”.
      The inevitable result of Delphi is that people who might otherwise form coalitions or alliances on any position are kept separate from each other and never even know of each other’s existence…. I had hoped some might contact me because of my half dozen blog posts… but none did.
      My firm suspicion is that Barry did something to offend the Church Hierarchy or current “Politically Correct” Orthodoxy. Barry was anything but “dull normal”, but dull normal is the RULE of our Church…or so it seems…
      Was it because he dared to mix Freud and psychoanalysis with religion? Was it because his presentations on Drugs, Art, Sex, and Religion, followed by “Religion without Illusions” offered too much hope for the revival of a Vital, Thinking Christianity?

  4. Hi Charles. Anna here. We met formally last week at ASBH’s town hall meeting (if that’s what we’re calling it). What’s your email? I have news on where Barry will be preaching starting next week. Maybe you’ve already received it. I just wanted to make sure.

  5. Oops – never mind. Just found it above.

  6. Hi, I am so sorry to read all this hubaloo sourrounding Rev. Barry. He is a most unique voice for the church and it wouldn’t suprise me if he was removed due to his last series….just a suspicion. I would love to know where he is now. Or if he is even still in LA.

    • Charles Edward Lincoln III

      You should have gotten in touch yesterday.
      Barry was back in action today at
      Village Church of Westwood Lutheran Church
      343 S Church Ln
      Los Angeles, California 90049
      Phone (310) 472-7510
      He got a good turnout—89 of us from All Saints showed up and signed up and some counted substantially more in the audience than that. This is just a one month, experimental and transitional period.

      It is a HORRIBLE SHAME what All Saints has done (1) to Barry, (2) to us, (3) to All Saints Church and AS2, and (4) to the Episcopal Church and the Cause of Modern Christianity Generally. I am very distressed at the notion that the “mainstream” Episcopal Church seems only intent on grinding Christianity dead into the ground…..but that’s the only way I can explain forcing Barry to resign on such ridiculous, trivial grounds. It makes one appreciate the need for “open trials” and full “due process of law”. In essence, Barry was fired for taking a few dollars out of the collection plate, over a period of months perhaps it amounted to $500 or $600 but Barry has a modest salary sufficient to support a modest flat in Santa Monica while Rector Stephen Huber has a mansion in Beverly Hills (for free) as part of his salary, with swimming pool and servants included. Read Isaiah 59….they growl like bears and moan like doves, but no man speaks truly and he who calls for justice makes himself a target of all those who spin spiders’ webs and lay adders’ eggs….

      • Ok, good to know. We just found out about all this mess when my husband attended All Saints service yesterday. Is this going to be a permanent home for him now? What happened to him visiting his a Mom in England then going on to South Africa? I will say, it’s not cool that he took the money but sometimes things look dire and you make poor choices. He’s human. I’m just not understanding why he couldn’t confess to church members and ask for forgiveness. I’m sure that wasn’t an option given to him. They wanted him out. At least he’s still here in LA.

      • Leslie and Steve Dyce

        Hi Charles,
        My Husband and I are looking for Barry Taylor to attend his new church service. We attended All Saint’s just because of Barry. Is he still at Village Church @ 11:30? Thanks for your help.
        paira.dyce@verizon.net
        Leslie and Steve Dyce

  7. What time is the service?

    • Charles Edward Lincoln III

      11:30 am at the westwood Lutheran on Church Street in Brentwood. I am happy to say that Barry is still himself, much stronger and more confident on his second Sunday than on his first. This Sunday, October 26, will be his third. It is a smaller and humbler place than All Saints, with a much less Central Location. But then, the same could be said of Bethlehem.

  8. I’m more than delighted to learn that Barry is back in Los Angeles, and teaching. I had not gone to All Saints since he left and after missing dearly the spiritual inspiration and uplifting; I decided to stop in to see who or what is there lead the AS2 service. As expected, I was disappointed and felt a tremendous loss! I later came home to go online and research Barry and so thrilled to learn that he is back. I’m hoping he will stay and can’t wait to catch his sermon next Sunday, November 9th.

    Sally Greig

  9. Trying to contact Barry Taylor any help appreciated.

  10. It’s just weird and suspicious to me that Barry, a professor at Fuller Seminary, would need the several hundred dollars from the collection plate. But that’s the farthest I’ll say about the All Saints church then.

    • Charles Edward Lincoln III

      You think it’s “weird and suspicious” that a Priest would draw money from the collection plate rather than filling out a bunch of forms to get reimbursement or an advance? Well…. interesting. Because that was Barry’s REAL sin…. if any sin it was. For what purpose does the collection plate passed around after the Reverend’s Sermon at a church serve if not, at least in part, to support the clergy? Now, there is obviously abuse. When I first approached Reverend Steve Huber, the Rector of All Saints, I asked him whether Barry had bought himself a Ferrari or an Island in Fiji or Tahiti? Honestly, for a preacher in Beverly Hills, a Ferrari might be considered a necessity. What do poor slobs like me look with with a five year old Porsche Cayenne? Pretty pathetic, let me tell you…. But arguably, a major luxury purchase, even for a priest in Beverly Hills, might be considered abusive. But if filling out forms to get and give money is the BE ALL AND END ALL of honor and honesty… then Our Lord Jesus and all his Apostles were surely total scoundrels… Did anybody count the fish or the loaves either before or after the feeding of 5,000? Was there an investigation for fraud or conversion, racketeering even? By any exchange rate, 5,000 fish sandwiches is worth a LOT more than Barry was accused of taking….No, filling out forms and handling paperwork? That’s the business of the pharisees and Caiaphas and all the other “Jerusalem Establishment”, including especially the moneychangers in the Temple….whom Jesus called a “Den of Thieves.” Filling out forms may be the delight of lawyers and bankers, a boon to the IRS and California Franchise Tax Board for auditing purposes, but it is not the stuff of Religious Poetry, Music, or Human Behavior and Psychology. Those are the areas where Barry sublimely flourishes, and where he stood head and shoulders above all the other clergy at All Saints in Beverly Hills and almost every other Episcopal Congregation I know anywhere. The Episcopal Church is dying because it conforms to the IRS 501(c)(3) norms and all the other norms set by modern Pharisees of the Legal and Accounting Professions…. “God Save us from Legal Formalities”—God made the Sabbath for man, not man for the Sabbath…. and I would presume that the same is true of every other legal norm….

  11. Hi – I know I’m very late to this conversation – but Barry’s services have meant a great deal to me. After a long time away, I showed up at All Saints this morning hoping to attend his service and was shocked to hear he has gone. I’ve been scouring the Internet for recent information but am having trouble finding any. Is the 11:45 service at Lutheran Village Church ongoing? If so I will be sure to attend this Sunday. Thanks!
    Jonathan
    Jonathan.bodywork@gmail.com

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