Sunday, June 6, 2010

Universal Life Church

Negative Bombardment from Mikey Cauley
Hi All,

Recently, I have been bombarded with negativity by a guy named Michael Cauley. He's part of the ulc monastery and has made his own little website 'seminary'.  He has been slamming me on every forum he can find, including Facebook and (probably) MySpace as well.  I already posted this on Facebook, but feel free to re-post it anywhere you think is appropriate.

Instead of following the tenets of ULC, he has decided to go on a smear campaign of both me (personally) and the ULC Seminary in general, Headquarters in Modesto, and a few occasional swipes at He is saying all sorts of untrue things, as well as some technically 'true' things, but taken out of context and misrepresented.

I'd like to believe that somewhere in his heart, he thinks he is doing something that's right. He keeps referencing a site that the monastery themselves put up, and assuming it's correct. Perhaps he is merely a pawn in a bigger game. Either way, I've chosen to keep my distance because ugliness and poison has a way of hurting everyone it touches. However, good information is always helpful.

Sigh. Okay. Here we go.

The ULC was started by Kirby Hensley in 1959 in Modesto, CA. Kirby fought very hard for people to have the right to be ordained. Without him and his struggles, none of us would be where we are, as far as being ordained. If there was ever anything he did that was legally inappropriate, I don't know anything about it and it would have had to have been a long time ago.

Daniel Zimmerman started the site, originally with the intention of doing it for headquarters. At one point, their ideas separated, so HQ made their own site ( They chugged along for several years, with Daniel accepting ordinations, which he forwarded to headquarters. About 7 years ago or so, I started helping Daniel with the site. I was not employed there, but did it to help and to sell my first book.

Yes, Daniel had talked to me about selling me the site. We had no formal agreement of any kind. We had just talked about it as something to happen in the future. I found out that he had been lying the whole time in order to get me to do more work for him for free. He kept telling me it was 'sweat equity', while having no intention of ever selling the site to me or anyone. He wrote emails to someone on his board saying what a fool I was to keep working for him and was very pleased at how he was taking advantage of me. This, on top of the growing unease with how he thought of and referred to our ULC ministers, made me decide it was time to leave.

I had been trying for some time to convince Daniel to add a seminary aspect to the site and he was resistant. He wanted to do his monk program, which I found offensive (due to the nature of the materials he presented, not monks in general.) I wanted a seminary to add credibility to people's ordination and to give them more training. I also wanted to increase the feeling of community. He didn't care about any of that.

So I left and started my own site. When I was working with Daniel, I had urged him to re-design the site. He was resistant, but agreed if I was willing to pay to have it done. I agreed to pay for half, knowing it would help everything in the long run. I hired a programmer, who did it at a reduce price and worked with me to come up with the improved design. When I left to start my own site, I hired the same programmer (and paid him for the information) to create a similar template framework. There's nothing wrong with that. I re-wrote all of the text throughout the site and it has been evolving ever since.

I have been accepting ordination requests and forwarding them to headquarters from the first day I went online. I have asked for authorization, but headquarters has denied it. Due to the legal issues going on, I believe they don't want to authorize anyone or step outside of what they are comfortable with. Perhaps, when the legal issues are resolved, Andre (Kirby's son) will talk to the board about authorizing me. I am fully in support of HQ in Modesto and will continue to remain so.

Two years later, George Freeman (aka 'Br. Martin') used Daniel's poor behavior (and yes, it appears it was really odd behavior) as an excuse to stage a coup and take the site from Daniel. He claims it was all done legally, but that is in dispute. On my website, I made references to the ongoing legal battles and made outside references to them.

When the site was taken, Daniel did what he could to take it down, but George had control over it the domain name. At that time, headquarters withdrew their authorization and support. George has since been buying up every domain name he can think of to spam the search engines and to mislead people into thinking that they are the 'real' ULC.

Michael keeps 'pointing out' that I started the Seminary without the permission of the monastery board. He is absolutely correct. I also did it without the permission of the Baptists, the Catholics, the president of the United States, Taco Bell or anyone else. I believe this is also true of most of the websites on the internet. I did not need their permission. No ULC minister needs permission to start a ULC website.

As for claims about my courses all being free on the internet. That's too ridiculous to address.

The degrees are not accredited, nor have I claimed they were. They were, however, approved by the California Bureau of Post Secondary Education under the Religious Exemption Clause. Each course was reviewed and approved. That dept. closed a couple of years ago, but the approval still stands.

Also, the Seminary is most definitely a church. We incorporated as a church in Aug. of 2004. Our paperwork is posted on the site. I'm not sure why he is saying we're not, when it's so clearly posted that we are. We incorporated two years before the 'monastery storehouse' did.

Let's see, what else. Oh yeah, someone else said he's been talking about his poverty and my wealth. When it comes to great friends, a loving partner, fantastic kids, a vocation I love, and spiritual connection -- I am one of the wealthiest people I know. As for money -- I don't recall reviewing my taxes with him. Yes, I do get paid for the products we sell, but I'd hardly say I'm wealthy. As a matter of fact, in addition to doing the website 40hrs. a week, I teach karate, officiate at weddings, work as a mobile DJ, occasionally do mystery shopping, and get child support in order to make ends meet. I'm like the rest of you in that I do what I do because I love it.

I'm trying to remember what other silly things he has said. I didn't read much of what he wrote, but I did get a lot of phone calls and emails about it.

As far as Kevin at He's an honest and kind man. His site is a bookstore. He has never claimed otherwise. He and I have a good relationship and we refer people back and forth as appropriate. I always wish him good things.

Headquarters (the real one in Modesto) is run by Andre Hensley. As far as I have ever seen, he does a great job and is an honest man. They get a ton of ordinations that they have to put in by hand every day. They do letters of authorization and hand-type the credentials and other items. They aren't perfect, but none of us are. I haven't seen any dishonesty from them and they've always been fair with me.

Someone must have hurt or neglected Mr. Cauley badly when he was a child. Physically or emotionally. I don't know what. He has made it a habit of calling our ministers and yelling at them, calling them names and more. He does this with anyone who disagrees with him. I find people like that to be exhausting to be around and I choose to stay away from them.

Many of you have already 'unfriended' him and have found that he continues to pester you for a friend-add. Consider what kind of energy you want in your life before deciding how you wish to proceed.

I greatly appreciate all the loving support I've received from so many of you. This is why I love what I do. :)




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1 comment:

Robert said...

Good for you Amy! I was wondering why Cauley was sending out so many negative messages. You have taken the high road and that is all you need to do. Blessing continue to be with you and you go about your day and vocation!