Wednesday, January 18, 2006

In the Kali Yuga, Everyone Gets the Guru They Deserve

A poster at the Daism Forum makes a legitimate complaint about my last post below on "Lies, Half-Truths...":

Well, there's the disclaimer, right there, in the beginning of the text you quoted:

"Getting highly specific would require a journalistic approach of really investigating each incident, and would involve breaking the personal confidences of people involved. Who has time for all that work?"

Yeah... who wants to actually do any fact-checking on these allegations and vicious slander? "Who has time for all that work?", the author says. Just write and repeat any damn thing you want. Facts are not important. Besides, they're too much work to corroborate. Who has time to find out if any of it's true? In other words, the author of that text doesn't want to be bothered with the facts.

Mr. Happy (as this poster calls himself) is correct that I'm not providing a detailed and carefully researched body of evidence to support the claims of abuse in Adidam that can be utterly authentic in the journalistic sense for all third parties. As said, that really would require a huge effort on my part. It would mean interviewing all the parties involved, substantiating claims with medical records, phone records, data of all kinds, the kind of investigation a district attorney would have to mount to present a case in court and get a conviction. I don't have those kinds of resources. Who does? I simply have my own 30 years of experience with Adidam, and the information I gleaned during that time from people I knew. It was enough to convince me beyond any doubt that the pattern of abuse being spoken of on this forum was true in general, even if I didn't know the details of every single incident reported.

Mr. Happy is right that this isn't really enough to expect outsiders with no experience of Adidam other than reading books and talking to a few missionaries to believe that what is said by critics of Adidam is true. Even first person accounts posted on the Daism Forum can be viewed skeptically. I can - and in a moment I will - tell harrowing stories of abuse that I learned about directly from those involved, but anyone is free to disbelieve them if they choose and ascribe whatever motives they like to me or those involved. People are also free to rationalize or justify these things if they so choose. The only answer I really have to people like Mr. Happy is that if they feel moved towards Adidam in spite of these warnings, then get closer, make a serious approach to Adidam, but take the same skeptical attitude he has brought to these warnings and apply it to Adidam as well. In other words, don't merely take their word for their claims, but ask for proof, evidence, testimony from people directly involved. Ask to speak to old timers with insider status and demand that they come clean about everything they know. And then judge for yourself just how truthful they seem. If they deny all these charges of abuse, and you judge them to be trustworthy and honest, then join up and find out for yourself. Just keep asking questions and don't settle for anything less than the full truth. If they won't tell you what you need to know, but tell you that you aren't ready or mature enough for that kind of "access", take that into account when assessing whether critics of Adidam are telling the truth.

People like Mr. Happy pop up all the time. They are good, honest people with real questions who won't settle for anything less than direct proof. This is a good quality that should be encouraged in people, even if it is rather frustrating and impossible to fully satisfy. Mr. Happy may get a little belligerant and hostile to people who don't satisfy his questions, but this too is a good quality. All I can say is that I hope Mr. Happy can bring that same quality into Adidam, because it desperately needs people like him. Unfortunately, I don't think that Mr. Happy will find himself very welcome in Adidam if he applies this same skeptical and demanding approach to the claims and denials that Adidam makes. He will be told that he's not yet ready for esoteric practice until he can put aside these kinds of issues and reservations and questions. Somehow I don't think that's in Mr. Happy's nature, and so I don't worry too much that he will fall into the Adidam cult trap.

Mr. Happy reminds me of a similar fellow who came to the forum six months ago or so. He raised exactlty the same issues of evidence and proof, and had almost exactly the same demanding and skeptical attitude. He too was unsatisfied by the lack of courtroom-quality evidence of abuse, and he was told exactly the same thing I and others on the forum are telling Mr. Happy - to go and find out for himself. Apparently he did so, and a couple of months later he reappeared on the forum making a full apology for not taking Adidam's critics more seriously. Whatever he found out was more than enough to convince him that Adidam was not what it purported to be. And I'm confident that Mr. Happy's experience will turn out similarly. There really is no place in Adidam for people like Mr. Happy, unfortunately. Unless, of course, they willingly suppress themselves and decide to ignore their own conscience in the hope of gaining Adi Da's Grace thereby.

Oh, and still looking for an abuse story? How about this one, which I confirmed from both parties involved (other than Adi Da himself). For context, understand that this occurred in the course of what Adi Da calls an "emotional sexual intensive". In the general community, emotional-sexual considerations involve psychological probing into the emotional patterning each individual brings into their relationships. Adi Da's theory is that it is this emotional-sexual patterning that obstructs people's ability to advance into the "higher stages" of spiritual practice. So it is proposed that people can only overcome the limitations of beginner practice by engaging in a rigorous "inspection" of their own emotional-sexual patterns of reactivity, and surrender them in contemplation of the Guru. Harmless enough so far? Well, in Adi Da's personal company, this practice is taken several steps further. Essentially, Adi Da is given carte blanche to do whatever he wants with devotees, emotionally and sexually, to say whatever he wants to them, and to tell them to do whatever he wants, emotionally and sexually, with himself and others involved in the "intensive", which means anyone in the room at the time. Devotees who are invited into these "intensives" are expected to comply with whatever Adi Da asks them to do. They could theoretically say no, but practically speaking that would be the end of this level of relationship to Adi Da, and so the pressure is quite strong to submit to whatever he asks.

And what are people asked to do? Well, most commonly it involves being asked to fuck other people while your partner watches (only couples get invited to these things, except for woman who are Adi Da's own "wives"), or being fucked while your partner watches. Sometimes it involves fucking Adi Da, if you're a woman, or if you're a man, having your woman taken into another room where Adi Da fucks her, or sodomizes her (he's really into anal sex), or gets a blow job. Often it involves multiple partners and quite a lot of very humiliating sexual practices. Sometimes it requires men to have sex with other men, and women to have sex with other women. It often involves sex toys, dildos, blow-up dolls, stirrups, leather, and various other sexual playthings. It is all directed personally by Adi Da himself, and not benignly at all, but with the intention of brining out the very worst jealousies, fears, hatreds, and sorrows human beings are capable of. The idea is not to have a fun little orgy, but to deliberately provoke the deepest emotional reactions that lurk in the souls of the people involved. In this it often succeeds. Where it tends to fail is in producing any discernable spiritual benefit to the people involved. As I've mentioned before, I've spoken with people who have been deeply involved in this "hidden" aspect of Adi Da's "teaching method", and none of them have reported any benefit from it. One woman even confronted Adi Da personally and asked why he persisted in this whole "emotional sexual theater" when it didn't seem to do anyone any good, but only left them as shattered husks who were scarred and wounded without much in the way of redeeming benefit. He simply brushed her question aside, saying she couldn't see "the whole picture". And that is about the only explanation most were left with, that on some unseen level this theater was purifying them of karmas they couldn't otherwise be purified of.

I was talking just recently with a friend of mine who's still in the community about this, and he mentioned that he'd heard recently (I haven't confirmed this, so it's not entirely reliable), that Adi Da had recently said something to the effect that he now regretted all those years of sexual theater because none of it had amounted to anything. My friend is still a loyal Daist, a lifer, who manages to disregard all these things with amazing aplomb. So I asked him how that could be - how could the so-called Divine Avatar, who is supposed to act with perfect knowledge of what is right for each one of his devotees, who acts only for the benefit of the enlightement of all beings, could have made such a collossal error for the last 30 years or so. He didn't really have an answer for that, except to say that it had all been "an experiment". I asked how stupid you had to be to think that this kind of experiment had a chance in hell of doing anyone any good. Maybe, just maybe, in some crazed psychotherapist's mind, you might try it once our twice to see what came of it, but to spend the better part of 30 years doing it over and over and over again, what kind of sheer perversity was that? It has to go beyond mere incompetance, it requires a certain kind of sick and depraved mind to do that to people. And let's not pretend it was done entirely willingly. Most of these people utterly dreaded being dragged in for another round of this kind of thing. They would try to beg out of it, or keep their spouse out of it at least, but the pressures are incredibly intense in Adidam, and remember, this is God asking you to do this for the sake of your enlightenment, how can you say no?

Anyway, that's the context. Think of it what you will. Now the little story: One of these women, a long-time "kanya" or "wife" of Adi Da, well known and loved in the community for her gentle and kindly nature, needs greater insight about herself, because she has the bad habit of talking back to Adi Da now and then. For this, she is beaten by Adi Da and a male devotee, then raped by both of them. The whole time the woman is screaming and shouting "No! No! No!" without any response from them. Instead, Adi Da eggs the other guy on, demanding that he beat and rape this woman against her will. The guy, who told me this story, said that it was the most emotionally devastating experience he'd ever had. I gather that was Adi Da's intention. He did it because he felt he had to, but he in no way wanted to do this, and it has haunted him for years and years since. The woman said to me afterwards, "I deserved it", which seems to be the most common explanation I get from the women around Adi Da about this kind of abuse and humiliation. I gather that the idea was that women need to learn to submit, to overcome their emotional-sexual resistance to submission and surrender, and that they all have fantasies of being raped, and somehow by enacting this rape scene she would be purified of some inner emotional patterning that was preventing her enlightenment. That's the general justification for all of these kinds of incidents. If you choose to accept that kind of explanation, that's fine. But the evidence doesn't show any signs of God-realization resulting from this method. Instead, it just produces battered and bruised people with emotional scarring worthy of Abu Graib. That even Adi Da is finally getting around to realizing this doesn't work doesn't speak very well for his abilities as a spiritual teacher. He may have loads of shakti and write some pretty good literature, but on the human level, as an actual teacher of spiritual practice, he seems to leave a lot to be desired. Unless your desires are of a similarly perverse nature, that is.

So once again, Mr. Happy, if you are reading this, go ahead and find out if this sort of story is true. Who knows, maybe it really won't happen again. Maybe Da is just too old for this sort of thing anymore. But there's plenty of other signs in Adidam that things are "off" there. Look for them and see what you think of the "emotional patterning" of Adidam. Decide for yourself if theirs is the kind of pattern you want to adapt yourself to. If it is, bully for you, enjoy yourself, and I hope you get the enlightenment you are looking for. All I can think of to say is quote Papaji (Poonja Swami), who when people would tell him about abusive Gurus would often say, "This is the Kali Yuga. Everyone gets the Guru they deserve." Maybe that's what the woman in that story meant.


friend said...

"Once a philosopher, twice a pervert." frank 1981

Great post BY. It does everyone a great service. I was thinking how impossible it would be to meet Mr. H's demands for proof. One would have to somehow have documented and catalogued one's memory of everything one had experienced, heard and read throughout one's interest in frank, a lengthy period, even for me. Just simple things like documenting frank's drug and alcohol consumption over the years, though obvious, would be almost impossibly difficult. What would it take to "prove" that? I was actually trying to find the reference to frank saying he was giving up dope after his vedanta experience when I came across this 1981 quote of frank's on Beezone:

“I took on these conditions, but not in order to live that way forever. I considered it to my satisfaction so that whatever could be said about understanding and transcending a particular state, I said. When I was fully satisfied then I would completely abandon whatever that ritual was that I had associated myself with. So when there was absolutely nothing more to consider about drinking, that was the end of it. There wasn't any reason to do it anymore, because we had considered it to the point where one could transcend it by truly entering into the consideration. There's nothing more to do except repeat it. And as somebody once said about a night in a male whorehouse, "Once a philosopher, twice a pervert." To do it again with everybody would be just to be destroyed by it. To do it the first time has merit as a philosophical or spiritual exercise, from the point of view of teaching other people. So that's the reason for all that theatre, and that's why it will not be repeated.”
frank, 1981

Sounds sensible like a lot of stuff frank says but has little bearing on what he actually does.

Reading that, I thought perhaps one way his drinking and sexual antics could be chronicled might be to follow the number of times he claimed to have given it all up. For example, there was the end of the Garbage and the Goddess period in the mid seventies; this quote from 1981; then the quotes after the lawsuits after 1986 and so on, all statements of renunciation that never amounted to anything.

But even that's just idle musing on my part. I am not about to follow up on it. I don't think any proof would be sufficient. As you say, one has to find out for oneself. Thanks for your input on that discussion. I actually documented this post, just in case someone asks me where I heard that one. Brutal stuff.

bob said...

Good Evening, my Friend!

Yes, the rain continues, a good hailstorm today in mid-afternoon!

At any rate, it seems Mr. Jones made a critical error of judgment early in his practice, and that was: presuming that he was ready. The rest has been pretty much a complication of that initial confusion.

"But there are scores of those who take themselves to be spiritually inspired and perfect beings. They expect the common herd to honor and respect their every word. The ignorant people rush towards them for spiritual succor and do their bidding. In fact, the pseudo-Saints are caught in a snare of greed, hence what the people get in return is not the blessings of satisfaction, but ashes."

~Sri Niz


MJ said...

I don’t know whether such things that you write about are true or not, but even if they are 100% factually accurate descriptions of events, the point is not the event itself but whether the individual actually can resort to God Communion in their darkest moments, or any moment, via heart surrender, and thereby transcend by Grace of the Guru, their usual karmic destiny.
I don’t know about anyone else, but Adi Da Samraj has clearly given me the means to do that, when I choose to. And not in 10 millennium would I have ever, ever found out how to resort to, or find that Place of God Contemplation on my own. No way. I could not even have imagined how to do it. Or even had the slightest notion of how such a Divine Resource could, exist or be contacted apart from my own head trip notions of it, which fall light years short of what is actually the case. And I have a really excellent imagination, so that is saying something. Its one thing to have notions of giving one's life up to something Greater than yourself, and to have grandiose ideas of what it would, or should be like. But it is quite another thing to come face to face with Real God Communion, via a means that had nothing to do with yourself, other than to turn toward what one recognized on the deepest level of ones being, before a single word was ever, read, or spoken, or heard, as the Absolute Truth.
I am describing my own experience here, not describing idealistic notions about these things.
I'm not saying that I am not just another asshole. And I’m not saying that I have attained some sort of advanced stage of life. No way. I’m just the same as every other slob on the street. But the gift of God Communion I have been given by Adi Da is very, very real.
While I certainly understand your alarm at all the factual “truths" which you have uncovered in your time in Adidam
(and I’ve got you beat by having been here even longer myself), I may even agree with some or most of the "facts"-- although they are ALMOST ALWAYS padded; based on the emotional state of the individual, don’t ever kid yourself that they are not.
But I think that you give the appearance, by reading your words, that you have forgotten, or lost what was at the core of all of it-- which is this liberating aspect of God Communion which has been freely given to all.
I find it to be the one thing which keeps me sane, in a world which is just one insane display of egoic tribal dominance after another, mostly bereft of any gesture resembling love except in little moments here and there. Look around for a few seconds and you see that humanity is committing suicide in multiple ways. And most of it is based in greed and dominance for power, all lovely examples of the finest that the ego has to offer.
Do you really think there is going to be all that much left of human life on this globe in 100 years? 50 years? 30 years?
In that light your tales of woe here are much like rearranging the deck chairs on the titanic.
Still, there is no blame associated with one trying to make sense out of their little corner of the world. And in that spirit I stipulate that any seemingly untoward action of Aid Da's mentioned above, if taken strictly in its own context of appearances, does indeed seem horrific. (Although not uniqely so when compared to the tens of thousands of examples that can be seen on the daily news).
And that if one looses the connection to God Communion which is freely being given in Adi Da's company in the midst of these occasions and at all other times, then that is all one is left with-- the "uncontestable facts"
and then of course, it is all a terrible trick being played to "pick our collective pockets". But I have found that when I rely upon that core matter of my association with Adi Da, then a profound means of Heart feeling arises in the midst of an event which shows me a whole new way to be in the midst of it, whether that moment is the most pleasant little incident, or the most uncomfortable and seemingly monsterous moment. Because ITS ALL THE SAME, whether good moment or bad. Its the same egoic response-- the games and travesty and horror of the ego, its all staring at yourself, its all self fascination to death. At least, that is what I have noticed . It’s that notion of Narcissus that Adi Da has so lucidly written and spoken about... People thinking they are addressing or being in relationship to others, or helping others, when all they are doing is wandering in their own minds, not noticing that by taking one point of view exclusive to all others (which is what it is to be born in this world) they are only talking to themselves, enamored with themselves, defining their own Realty and then spending the rest of their lives in reaction to their own definitions.
To truly get a grasp on that truth is fundamentally and profoundly sobering. If those events that you seem to spend much or your waking moments dwelling on, are factually true, the part you leave out is that Adi Da is working those events from the standpoint of his Divine Siddhi, that he is not just, or even at all using mere "psychology" to effect change, and that he works on much more profound levels than that. That the Divine in the form of Incarnate Spiritual Masters has not yet had a breakthrough in the world of egos, which will prevent humanity from destroying itself. So, philosophically speaking, just what the hell is God, or Godman Incarnate, going to do to Wake us up before it is too late? And whose else but God has a ghost of chance of succedding? You? Me? Forget it!
Im not stating I have the answers here.Im only stating that the affairs of the Divine Adept are vastly bigger than what we are seeing "in the room". There are lots of documented cases when movements of Great Realizers coincidentally gave the appearance of sudden changes in historical world events . Seeing AId Da's work on the level of mere psychology is examining events at the lowest common denominator of mere appearances in the room, rather than noticing that on the historic perspective, true Realizers operate on the level of Consciousness that encompases the world, just not the room. Therefore critisizig Adi Da's actions at that level of the room only, is as way of talking to yourself, or describing the scene in terms own of your own immediate congnition, your interpretation of events, and on that basis, criticising it. But that does that mean that you are then "right?" Does that mean that you are even close in understanding what was going on? Of course not. Although it may appear to you that what you are saying is "obvious"
To put it another way, what makes you think that it has been any different in the "back room" situations, or even front room situations of any Great Realizer that has lived throughout history? These beings are not coming from the same standpoint of you or me. Not even a little bit!
Niyandanda threw rocks, the Zen Roshi's beat for no apart reason with sticks, Jesus pounded the financial officers of that church, Krishna is glorified for having broken up tens of thousands of marriages, Durkpal Kunley was a serial rapist, Marpa was a public drunkard and had at least one of his devotees repeatedly beaten, and consigned to hard labor to endlessly build one temple after another, only to have him tear it down again, Tilopa had Naropa jump into a pool of leaches with the sole purpose of "breaking" him. Master, after Master, after Master screamed and beat and yes, even raped their devotees. (Although the sexual abuse aspect demonstrated by Great Realizers is documented rarer in the East, because I suspect, except for the Tantric and Taoist traditions, the matter of sexual relations is far more of a western hang-up then an eastern one). And those are just things that we have read about. Gods knows what ungodly behavior those past Masters committed which never made it past the internal censors of historians of the day.
So what is it you are complaining about exactly? Is it Adi Da's reported behavior? Rather, doesn’t your complaint go to the heart breaking "discovery" of the appearances of the "incontestablly horrific facts" regarding the behavior of just about every Great Master whom was ever lived?
In a world where everything and everyone is felt, more or less, in terms of betrayal, it is particularly heart breaking and devastating to have God, or one who would be a direct conduit to God, (which is basically the same thing to the human psyche)seem to enact the very heart of betrayal? Is it not?
I suspect that is why a number of people who leave Adi Da's teaching, never having allowed themselves to notice or resort to the Gift of Grace of God Communion freely given, spend the rest of their lives, apparently, making a big stink about it, instead of just taking stock of themselves and after a few months or years moving on. Or those people may notice what in Adi Da's company they percieve of merely as displays of energy, of Shakti, instead of feeling deeper, and noticing how Adi Da is providing the Means which liberates on the level of Consciousness, and Communion.
I know confession is good for the soul, but there are individuals who have been writing about their involvement in AdiDam that took place over two decades or even three decades ago!THey appear to be emotionally stuck in that place that they have been meditating on for 30 years, never able to move on with their lives in that sense. (which makes sense, because who is going to argue with Adi Da's point that you become what you meditate on. Especially if you spend 30 years and more meditating on what you percieve as betrayal?) Then you're going to walk around as the betrayed one every day of the REST of your life as well. And, your going to WANT to spill your guts out in Blogs like this because it feels so unconfortable to keep those self generated feelings of betrayal to yourself)
I say, enough is enough. Get a life, huh fella? (not addressing you Conrad, as you haven’t been at it that long,...yet.) But I digress...
Do you honestly think that if you had the position of "a fly on the wall" for each and every one of these Great Master teachers throughout history, that you wouldn't feel just as devastated as you feel now because of "the incontestable horrific facts"?
I have talked to a number of individuals who have been through similarly difficult kinds of events with Adi Da. However, a number of them reported to me the opposite reaction to difficult incidents then the kinds of responses you reported, when they were involved with Adi Da. Many of them told me that even though the incident was terrible in the moment, that 6 months later, or whatever, they found themselves with a much more sane and healthy place then they had ever been in before. Or they told me that it gave them a much more sober understanding of the destructiveness of the ego. And that they now understood just what Adi Da was trying to do. And that it strengthened their ability to resort to The Divine rather than weakened it.
You see, the problem in these kinds of issues, the reason why neither you nor I can "win" this debate is that these matters have always been a matter of INDIVIDUAL heart discrimination on the part of each participant. One person can go through an event getting only caught up in the events themselves and leave it devastated, while another person comes through it while resorting to Communion with God in some fashion, a Gift completely given by the Master's Divine Grace and the devotees willingness to receive it, and perhaps goes thru a crisis which is followed afterwards with a new clarity and strength, or a new humility and soberness in their recognition of the dead ends of the ego.
Which one of the people in this the two sides of this example are in a position to say the other one is wrong? Neither, actaully. One side will say that the other side is not noticing the truth of the events and the other side will say that the first side is deluded and that if they only knew the real "goings on" behind the scenes they would get smart and leave. So fundamental communication is not taking place between the two parties because they are each coming from two entire different perceptions of Realty.
Consequently, you are free to make your confession of "brokenness".
I make my own confession that Adi Da has given me the Resource of God Communion,which I can resort to any moment in which I am smart enough to choose it, rather then dwell in the fascination of my own projections. That Gift of Communion with God, which has saved my life countless numbers of times, and continues to save it every day-- I would not want to imagine my life without that ultimately Precious Gift of Divine Grace. And I wish you peace.-MJ

};-{) said...

hi bob,

i believe frankie made a "critical error" too, but i believe it goes way back to the beginning and the reason why he began his odyssey. i am convinced that for frankie, gaining power was what motivated him, an it is that selfish desire that has overshadowed everything that he has done and will do.

frankie's desire for power has prevented him from mastering self-control.

frankie's desire for power has prevented him from mastering generosity.

frankie's desire for power has prevented him from mastering compassion.

i used to think that frankie needed a few good slaps upside the back of his fat head to open his eyes, but then i thought that it was probably slaps received as a child that created frankie's debilitating desire for power.

may frankie do better next time around.

Mike said...

Geez, Louise, there's another
"MJ" out there? Now, I'm
really upset.

This is a good examination,
Conrad. Guess I better add
time to my printer card and
take this stuff home to read.
(Inc. the other subjects posted.)

Anonymous said...

George Feurstein has updated his classic work 'Holy madness'recently (2006). The chpater on Adi Da has been revised significantly. The author mentions the so called 'Lopez Island Event' which occured in the Year 2000. According to him Da had prophesised that the world would acknowledge him in the year 2000. As a result of this, Da suffered a mental breakdown around April 2000 due to high level of anxiety. Yet I have never seen this prophesy in any of the Dawn Horse produced books/articles prior to yr 2000. I wonder if this is a myth propagated by disgruntled ex devotees. Where is the proof that Da actually made this prophesy?

Anonymous said...

Adi da is a complete eogist and a fake guru. There are no issues about that. Its a pity that the garbage he writes in his books and the cult of his personality will be around to dupe devotees after his recent death.

He should have stayed with the great siddha guru swami muktananda and gained true enlightenment. A great soul such as swami muktananda could have led old frankie to enlightenment. Instead adi da left muktananda believing he was enlghtened when he wasn't in the slightest and took a trip down the path of self delusionment. Got any adi da samraj books? Do yourself a favour and throw them in the bin. That is where this kind of garbage should be. Shame on you adi da for the way you led your life and all the people you have duped and will dupe in the future as people read your books. Shame on you for such a life as yours. Shame on you for what you did! Shame on you because you had the biggest ego of all.

Broken yogi, do you think that the organisation will continue on now adi da has passed away? Do you think in-fighting and a power struggle will bring the organisation down?