I’ve always said that Conservative Leaders can learn a great deal from the great Numbers Game operators of my childhood, and while researching recent events in British Columbia it became clear I’m not the only one who feels that way. That’s because during the course of reading back through evidence from little David Short, the Sydney-bred and Jensen-trained show pony in charge of the schism and failed property theft at St John’s Shaughnessy, Vancouver, I’ve discovered enough number shuffling to do a Bernie Madoff prospectus proud.
The play starts back in May of this year, when little David told the court that his congregation’s membership had “totaled 2,000” in the late 90’s, before falling to 1,100 in 2007, and subsequently increasing to 1,500 in 2009. All of which are very different figures to that presented by the Anglican Network in Canada’s November2009 spreadsheet, which claims an attendance of 800.
Now if the last number is correct it means that between a quarter and a fifth of all Bobby Duncan’s Canadian cult members are in just one now property-less church, something which can’t help bring to mind an image of someone attempting to carry most of their eggs in a non-existent basket. If the earlier numbers are correct Bobby’s scenario is even worse – more than two-thirds of his flock might be homeless, which will make fleecing them in order to subsidize his predilections for litigation and travel extremely difficult.
Either way this all makes little David Short look about as trustworthy as the Archbishop of Sydney’s investment strategy. If 800 is the true number someone must have either been telling fibs in court (a practice Canadian law rather unsportingly calls ‘perjury’) or between May and November he’s managed to wipe out over 46% of his congregation – something that even the most godless apostate liberals can’t easily achieve. And at the rate of 700 people leaving every six months Short will by this time next year be the first Schismatic Conservative to boast of a negatively sized congregation.
Yet that isn’t all, since he also told the court that 98% of his congregation voted to leave the Anglican Church of Canada, and that about 200 people had quit St. John’s as a result of the controversy. So if only half of those leaving St. John’s had opposed schism the 2% translates into a figure of 100 votes against – which means a total voting congregation of 5,000. A figure not even David Short has been prepared to throw around while under oath. Either most of those not interested in joining ACNA didn’t vote, or the vote was rigged, or else they didn’t know what they were voting for, or changed their mind afterwards. Or someone’s told more lies. Whichever way it spins, the numbers smell worse than little Peter Jensen’s balance sheet.
I'm Father Christian and I teach the Bible.