Anglican Watch

Diocese of Southern Ohio files Title IV complaint against Dan McClain, convenes hearing panel

Episcopal priest Daniel McClain

There may actually be a glimmer of hope in the sinkhole that is the Episcopal Title IV process. Yesterday, the Diocese of Southern OH filed a formal Title IV complaint against Dan McClain, rector-elect of St. Paul’’s Dayton. The move follows an extensive Title IV investigation by an attorney of the allegations against McClain, and comes as a result of the Title IV complaint Anglican Watch filed against McClain.

Among the allegations are many already known to this publication, as well as some new ones. All the allegations are alarming and paint a picture of a deeply troubled individual and someone unqualified to serve as clergy.

Key points:

  • Apparently, McClain admits to his affair with “Plant Lady,” on the basis that his current marriage is broken. Coming from clergy, that’s pretty rich — trading “until death do us part” for “until I announce otherwise.”  (Plant Lady is remarkably stupid — or perhaps mentally ill — if she thinks a relationship begun in adultery will be happy or successful. Feel free to quote us.)
  • The report reflects something Anglican Watch has known for a long time, which is that many people are afraid of Dan and find him to be narcissistic, domineering, manipulative and controlling.
  • Several persons were sufficiently afraid of Dan that they refused to be interviewed. That is a damning notion, for fear is not of God. Ever. That right there should be enough to pull the plug on McClain as a priest. As in, if ANYONE if afraid of your priest, run. Like. Hell.
  • We have long heard of questionable finances in the parish. The investigatory report reveals an astonishing level of breakdown in financial controls, and what amounts to allegations of theft by conversion, given Dan’s using parish funds to pay for the kids’ meals, etc. So yes, a forensic audit is needed.
  • As to the loan for Dan to get a mortgage, we find it improbable that there was not a very specific agreement. After all, these are donated funds, so careful stewardship is the operative phrase.
  • Speaking of financial issues, the alleged fraudulent efforts to get loans by Dan lends credence to reports of drug use or prostitutes. While we have no first-hand knowledge of these issues, we recommend that the attempted financial fraud be reported to law enforcement. Additionally, we recommend that the diocese show up without notice and conduct both hair and urine sample testing on Dan. LabCorps should be able to help, and we suspect the results will show drug Dan’s using drugs. These signs of financial distress suggest something is very, very wrong.
  • We also again note that while Dan McClain tries to reduce his support obligations on the basis his pay has been cut, he has money to wine and dine Plant Lady and get another nasty tattoo. What kind of adult doesn’t care for his or her family members? Such a loser.
  • As to the Boonshoft incident, we investigated that situation inside and out. While enforcement is usually in civil court, versus via the police, we are confident that Dan knew exactly what he was doing. Indeed, he apparently called the Boonshoft in advance to ensure Kate was there, then pointedly parked in front of her transit van. The thing is only slightly smaller than the Queen Mary II, and all it needs is an indoor swimming pool to pass for the highway version of the latest in the Cunard Line. So the notion his behavior wasn’t intentional or knowing is laughable.
  • We are sympathetic to Kate McClain and the complaints about her hiring. Narcissists are famous for causing dissension and thrive on it, and we believe Kate was told no one else wanted the job. Our guess is she would have much preferred being home with her kids, anyway.
  • The bit about Dan McClain and ignoring COVID masking protocols comports with several other narcissists we know, including the infamous Bob Malm, who was even baptizing babies at the height of the pandemic with zero protection. It’s one thing to be an idiotic narcissist who thinks he’s indestructible, another thing entirely to neglect to care for others.
  • McClain’s exorcism, which we’ve long known about, is not only seriously creepster, but his explanation about not needing the bishop’s approval because a building was involved is disingenuous hogwash. Dan needs to take the fast train back to Liberty University, where he can muck around with his Holy Spirit Power and other BS. And if anything or anyone needs an exorcism, it’s Dan himself. We propose submerging him in holy water for an hour and see what comes out.
  • Any time you get a priest — whether Dan McClain or Bob Malm — who tampers with the functioning of the vestry, it’s another RUN LIKE HELL moment. Whether folks like Daniel or not is irrelevant—this is a breakdown in governance of epic proportions.
  • Allegedly leaving his teenaged son at home for days at a time, apparently to conduct his affair with Plant Lady? We get that at 16, kids can be alone for extended periods if they are mature. But it’s also a time when children need extraordinary amounts of love, encouragement, and support. That raises the question: What sort of jackass leaves his son alone so he can have an affair?

Most telling is an email we and others received, which hits the nail right on the head and is quoted in the report:

It is with a heavy, and frankly fearful heart that I send this email. I would come to you directly, but have seen over and over that when Father Dan realizes someone doesn’t support him fully, he eviscerates their character, often through well-thought out lies. His manipulations are precise and know no bounds. I am genuinely afraid of him to the extent that I signed up for an anonymous email. I’m afraid for everyone at St. Paul’s who crosses his path and for all who’ve stood up to him before now. Please look into his treatment of his family further. Please reach back out to people who have already submitted concerns. Behind his façade he is a very scary man. I will most likely delete this account. I know this doesn’t give you much to go so, and I do apologize. I’m very afraid of him.

Also very familiar is the language that follows in the complaint:

The characterization of Respondent as manipulative was particularly prevalent in the interviews. At least seven of those interviewed referred without any prompting to Respondent’s capacity and ability to manipulate others to get what he wanted. There were numerous allegations of Respondent’s practice of saying things to an individual and then later denying the comment or turning it around to his advantage. The interview with his supervisor at a prior parish suggests that these alleged tendencies on Respondent’s part were not something new when he came to St. Paul’s, as he referred to Respondent as arrogant, dictatorial, ham-handed, and manipulative, noting that Respondent tended to “cut off” anyone who did not share his views.

Reference was made above to a couple of specific instances in which Respondent allegedly shunned or castigated people who either had opposed him or disagreed with him.
There were also specific allegations of efforts to retaliate by Respondent.

A final word, before the McClainites rush to his defense and claim we’re biased: You’re right. We have zero tolerance for abusive clergy, and that includes spiritual abuse in the form of narcissism, manipulation, threats, shunning, and the other antics we see coming from Dan McClain.

This is one priest who cannot hit the road fast enough. If we’re lucky, maybe Liberty University will have this one back.

Let’s hope so. But then, our evangelical sisters and brothers may be too smart to fall for McClain’s bag of tricks.


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