I can't be sure, but my instinct tells me that I am about to step in a minefield. I want to seek your advice on how to handle the situation. Here is the brief story:
The background: my PhD thesis is almost ready for submission and I am now working on turning it into several publishable papers. I have identified a few potentially suitable outlets, with one of them a special issue in a prestigious journal in our field edited by my advisor's ex-student (who he has been close with and has influences on). One of the essays in my thesis fits perfectly the scope of the special issue that has a deadline 3 weeks. I want to revise my essay to fit the requirements and submit to the special issue, but my advisor has been trying to stop me using three reasons: (1). It takes a long time to write a paper for a top journal and I wouldn't be able to make it; (2). The journal usually publishes highly technical papers and my multidisciplinary mix-method paper does not at all fit methodologically (actually, the special issue calls openly for these types of papers); and (3). If I rush to submit my paper, it'd certainly be rejected and if I then revise and re-submit it to other less prestigious journals, I'd likely run into the same reviewers and be seen very badly in this community. When I told him that I felt comfortable meeting the submission deadline, that I understood the possibility of getting rejected and would take it as a learning experiences, and quoted the section of the "call for paper" that shows my method actually fits the scope, he seemed to lose his temper, became quite upset, and sent me a message saying something like "it doesn't work this way" and another journal (similar level of prestige, but he does not publish there often, and it is edited by other scholars) would be a better fit. His arguments obviously are not convincing to me.
More background: I sent him this essay 6 months ago and he seemed to start working towards this direction since then. Actually, the idea of that special issue might be from him (he as a highly influential academic in this field organized a workshop soon after with many people from different disciplines coming to talk about this topic, and he mentioned back then that he'd write a few papers based on the workshop, probably planning to publish in this special issue). And I also asked for his advice on selecting journals for the other four papers from my thesis, he pointed me to those lower-ranked journals which I think is not a fair evaluation of my work (I have received very positive feedback on my thesis from other academics in our field), neither a good-willed gesture an advisor would show to his students. So I now have the strange feeling that he might be trying to slow down my progress as a young and promising scholar in the same are. He is seen as a world renowned so-called "guru" in this field. I am also concerned that he might have already used my ideas (interesting and new) in the essay that I sent him 6 months ago to write his papers and might have already submitted them to the same special issue.
My question: what should I do now? I feel it is a right thing to do to submit to the special issue. But I am afraid that might expose him if he'd done something unethical (he is about to retire and it is certainly not the most graceful way to go). I am also afraid that he might sabotage my job search for tenure-track positions as he will be one of the two key references for me. However, I also feel strongly about standing up for what I believe is right, and not to tolerate unethical behaviors around me. I think tolerating such exploitation (if it actually exists) would only reinforce such behaviors and empower these human sharks.
Please share your thoughts and offer your advice. Thank you in advance.