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…..

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

The 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.

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

  1. Avatar Cindy says:

    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.

    • 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).

      • Avatar Cindy Rogin says:

        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!

        • 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.

          • Avatar Lloyd says:

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

            • 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?

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