Lev Lafayette, a one-time lefty activist and perpetual student once revealed in our predecessor publication as being engaged in the production of erotic videos during his horny undergraduate days, has re-emerged as a central figure in a plot to takeover an asset-rich left-wing house of worship, the Unitarian Church in inner-city East Melbourne.
A member of the VEXNEWS Investigation with a long-running interest in the quirky church has been provided has obtained a number of documents that make it clear that Lafayette plans to takeover the Church and institute radical new policies that his opponents fear could destroy the old institution that has existed for many decades.
Long-time members fear that the apparently fully-employed Lafayette â€œhas his eyesâ€ on the multi-million dollar property assets of the Church and plans on his using what heâ€™s so far learned studying an MBA (Technology Management) at the Chifley Business School to take inappropriate risks with the asset base that will almost certainly include taking on large amounts of debt in a quest to expand the church.
Church insiders say Lafayette claims financial expertise he doesnâ€™t have to make inaccurate declarations about the state of the asset-rich Church organisation. In his policy document that we have obtained he claims the church is making â€œsignificant lossesâ€ but doesnâ€™t mention this is principally due to a new method of calculating depreciation (a non-cash item) on the Churchâ€™s assets. In truth, insiders say, the Churchâ€™s real estate assets are rapidly appreciating – not declining – in value, something not reflected in its financial statements but no less true because of it.
THE CHURCH OF THE LEFTY NON-BELIEVER
The Church â€“ which extends its hospitality to atheists â€“ is a small â€˜lâ€™ liberal church in the United States. Its Melbourne chapter is perhaps even more so, with the parts of faith that are deemed â€œsupernaturalâ€ mostly rejected by adherents, with some equating historical figures like Fidel Castro with Jesus Christ and so on. Lev Lafayetteâ€™s agenda is designed to shake-up the organisation to not only make it more radical but to take a dictatorial approach with its governance that is seen by his opponents as potentially wrecking all theyâ€™ve built.
Recent sermons include â€˜Rise of Atheismâ€™, a presentation by the Colombian Food Workers Union on ‘May Day is all about workers rights’, anarchist Joe Toscano demanding the creation of a peopleâ€™s bank, denunciations of genetically modified foods and so on. Sounds like a few Uniting Church franchises in the inner-city.
A prospective talk on “â€˜Red Jesus â€“ Fascist Paul” will no doubt excite keen interest.
But Lafayette think the Church is stuck in a rut and is not radical enough.
Lafayetteâ€™s plans include changing the name of the Church, stacking the organisation full of his supporters, expanding to the eastern suburbs with a possible mortgage on the existing property to support the purchase of another, the replacement of the Church bible with a Jefferson Bible that strips out most of the original content, radical new voting procedures for the election of the Church hierarchy, and most ominously more â€œexecutive expediency.â€
The latter is a particularly curious â€“ if not Stalinist – campaign commitment and makes it clear that Lafayette would be a much less consultative Church leader than previous lefties whoâ€™ve been Chairperson.
Insiders say Lafayette has stacked the Church with new members who will blindly support him, regardless of the risks to the asset-base or the organisation. It is not known whether this will be enough for him to roll the current Chairman, a former union official, Peter Abrehart.
A controversial figure in the Church, Diane Anderson, who once terrorised the Higgins based membership of the ALP, has since left for her American homeland to so far unsuccessfully seize control of her motherâ€™s estate although was previously aligned with Lafayette.
That close association is thought by many Church members to reflect on his judgment as she was considered a highly divisive figure before being expelled by the Church for heresy in a move that still causes old-timers to chuckle or shake their heads with dismay about how far they had to go to get rid of her.
The election will be held on the 26th of September.