Someone earlier asked why we are so focused on the Grant Solomon case. That’s a good question, as it’s clearly outside our usual stomping grounds, at least on the face. But scratch the surface, and it’s easy to see why we’re interested and how this relates to other cases we’re covering.
Specifically, Solomon, McClain, and Malm all appear to be grandiose narcissists:
- All three are practiced at deception, able to convince judicatories, vestries, and others that they are innocent and guileless. Yet, right behind the scenes, they are vile, vicious, and vindictive.
- They focus on what others think of them, even as they say they can’t be bothered.
- All three have a carefully contrived image. In Malm’s case, it’s the superannuated all-American boy. In McClain’s case, it’s the academic hipster thing, with the “Fr. Chill” routine and the Escher tattoo. With Solomon, it’s the newscaster persona, with the dyed hair, the botox brow, and the spray tan.
- All three lie like cheap rugs—up, down, and all around. The lies are so predictable as to be laughable. Claims of mental illness, others being liars, domestic terrorists — they’re all reading from Narcissism 101.
- When it comes to children, McClain and Solomon pull the whole parental alienation thing.
- None of the three have issues engaging in criminal conduct. Whether it’s Malm’s repeated instances of perjury or Solomon and McClain ignoring protective orders, they think they’re special and can do whatever they want.
- All three are master manipulators. All three have little inner circles of loyalists and flying monkeys, trained to do their bidding and regularly lied to. Whether it’s Malm saying of church office staff, “Don’t worry about it, they’ll be retiring this year,” McClain telling people that Anglican Watch editor Eric Bonetti is a defrocked priest (not bloody likely), or Aaron claiming he’s a Christian and routinely played baseball with Grant, the truth was never an obstacle for these narcissists.
- All three deploy excess charm, bullying, and intimidation to gain the upper hand.
- None of the three can maintain healthy, long-term relationships.
- All three are proponents of cheap grace. As in, say you’re sorry and keep at it.
- All three treat their wives with contempt, referring to them in derogatory terms to parishioners and others.
- All three profess Christian values, which they extol through many fine words. But scratch the surface, and there’s nothing there.
- All three gaslight to avoid accountability. In McClain’s case, he falsely tells people a reference panel exonerated him. In Malm’s case, he claims reports of his conduct are all fabrications. Solomon claims it’s all about parental alienation without explaining why Grant and Gracie loathe him.
- All three try stupid lies to get away with things. That includes McClain’s lies about the previous Title IV case, Malm’s claims that his perjury was all the work of his attorney, or Solomon’s claims he was aware of concerns about his behavior towards Gracie, so he slept with a pillow between them in the same bed, they tell lies no one in their right mind is going to believe.
- All three have loyalists in their inner circle who are utterly blind to their outrageous lies. In Malm’s case, it’s his wife, Leslie. In Solomon’s case, it’s “leadership” at Grace Christian Academy. In McClain’s case, it’s Grandpa Joe, aka Joseph Gingrich.
We can say a lot more, but we’ll leave it at this: Narcissists cause deep and lasting trauma. And they are particularly dangerous when, as here, all three manage to pull God into their toxic mixture.
As always, our disclaimer to the inevitable lawyers: These are all allegations and opinion, so don’t bother.