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.