Thursday, September 22, 2011

John Dupuy - My Opinion on the Marc Gafni Situation

I may not be involved with the Boulder version of Integral anymore, but I have not abandoned the people to whom I promised support in the efforts to expose Marc Gafni's manipulations and lies. So here is the latest.

Integral Recovery expert and psychotherapist John Dupuy has offered (on his Integral Life blog) the most compassionate, honest, and psychologically accurate perspectives on the Marc Gafni situation from anyone in the Integral community. If there were more leaders like Dupuy in the community, more of us would have remained involved.

But then there is Robb Smith, CEO of Integral Life, who made this comment on his Facebook page:
I gave Marc a chance many said I should not have. It was probably a mistake to give him leadership authority, but I wanted first hand experience of his character. I read all the material that he presented in his defense and it was convincing. It took me about a year to figure out how he put it all together, and that's when I started to make the separation.
Really, it only took you a year? And yet Gafni kept teaching for two more years - often highlighted as a leader and featured speaker - with no warning to members or his students that he had lied about the Israel situation, that he manufactured the "evidence" that he claimed cleared him? Where is the leadership in that?

I want to believe you are coming from the best interest of the community Robb, but then you reveal how you really weren't stepping up. I'm struggling to understand your actions . . . .

Anyway, here is John's statement:

My Opinion on the Marc Gafni Situation

Posted September 22nd, 2011 by john dupuy in Spiritual Leadership

This is a post that I wrote about 3 days ago, concerning Marc Gafni and the latest debacle. As a courtesy, I sent this post to Marc, saying that I am posting this and quoted the biblical reference Proverbs 27:6: Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. I immediately received a call from Marc, in which he threatened me with legal action and an internet campaign to discredit my character based on all of the personal information that he has found out about me during our years of friendship. To which I say good luck on the legal action and stay posted for the character assassination, which is either going to be very boring or very creative.

In the last few days I have consulted with many friends and colleagues over the nature of this post, to include Ken Wilber and Sally Kempton, and I have decided that I will not be silenced. Ultimately, what influenced my decision to post this was the realization that came out during a conversation with Sally Kempton, myself and my wife, Pam - and that is, I think I owe this to the younger generations of our world-wide Integral community. As this latest sexual scandal emerged with Marc, I have heard from many people who are very hurt by Marc's actions and generally feeling very disillusioned with our Integral spiritual teachers and role models. Based on that, I am posting this. I do this after much reflection and prayer, with sadness and clarity. I still hold out the hand of friendship to Marc but as a real friend, and not as an enabler. And let me be clear, it is not we who are speaking about this who are causing this problem, it is Marc's behaviors and choices that has brought this on. As I teach to my recovery students, the truth hurts, but it doesn't kill, and ultimately, lies kill. So with much love to Marc and all those concerned, and to our worldwide Integral family.
That is the introduction to the post. The threat of lawsuits and character assassination is normal operating procedure for Gafni. A senior student of Marc's named MartyC is currently doing his best to attack me and discredit me wherever he can on the web, so Hey John, join the club! 

Here is the most important passage from John's statement - he confirms and restates what many of us have been saying for years:
It appears to be all part of a single pattern, starting long before Israel, and continuing into the present. As I have struggled with this latest debacle and scandal, I have experienced myriad emotions, from being heartsick, feeling helpless, to being righteously pissed. As I write this, I feel sadness, as I am very loyal to my family and friends. But I believe that Marc has behaved in a way that is unworthy of the position of leadership and authority that he has been granted in our Integral circles. His behaviors, his absolute incapacity to own anything, and his incredible ability to manipulate and play the victim, are simply beyond the pale and unacceptable. I believe Marc is in panic mode right now and his behaviors have caused catastrophic events in his life: losing a major publishing deal, losing his connection as a major personality and teacher at Integral Life, and the questioning by people around the world about his fitness to be a leader in the world spirituality arena. Yet Marc continues to play the victim and spin new angles and even new dharmas to justify his very unwise and dysfunctional behaviors.

In my work with addicts, over the years, I have become very used to seeing lives ruined by addictive acting out. It’s kind of par for the course in the disease of addiction. I have also seen many lives come back from the brink of death and complete dishonor. Not only have I seen lives come back, but I have seen them come back with renewed strength, compassion, devotion, and humility. But it ain’t easy and it takes a lot of work. The first step is to admit that you have a problem and take responsibility. I don’t see this with Marc. Marc is always the victim and always the martyr.

As I have sat with this, talked and emailed with my friends and colleagues in the Integral movement from around the world, I have realized a deep pattern of dysfunction, manipulation, and narcissism in Marc’s case. These are three words that, interestingly enough, characterize the disease of addiction. I had hoped against hope that Marc would learn from his past mistakes and sense of calling, as he brought forth his important teachings of the Unique Self and World Spirituality, and that this would keep his dysfunctional and apparently compulsive behaviors in check. That has obviously not happened. He has hurt his family, his friends, his supporters and our Integral community.
He concludes with this statement, which is both loving and hopeful:
I offer this in the spirit of personal sadness as well as hope that Marc can repent and heal. And I hope that we all can grow up a little bit, though we may have been hurt and disillusioned by the behaviors of our role models and spiritual teachers in the past—that we will not use this as an opportunity to become cynical but that we will challenge ourselves to become those leaders that we had wished we had. God help us all.
But I have already become cynical. So I guess I am one of the lost ones.

Perhaps the only thing that might change my perspective is a direct, video statement from Ken Wilber himself. I'd like to hear an apology for allowing Marc back into the Integral limelight, and for his comments comparing Gafni's accusers to neo-Nazis (the letter was attributed to Sally Kempton and Ken Wilber - it used to be featured on Gafni's blog, but is now gone):
The evidence makes it abundantly clear that the horrendous claims made about Marc on what can only be described as Internet vendetta or hate sites hidden beneath the fig leaf of victim advocacy, are without a shred of truth. To even need say this is in some sense offensive. It is somewhat like a Jewish person needing to deny anti–Semitic claims on a neo–Nazi site.
I was asked to post that letter last summer on the comments section of a post I wrote critical of Gafni being featured at the Integral Theory Conference.There is still a letter on Gafni's site attributed to Robb Smith and Ken Wilber (used to only be Robb) - I wonder if that will also come down?

13 comments:

Howthorn said...

My Harryman, this is a good post from Mr. Dupuy, but you are not accurate to call him and "expert." John Dupyu has definitely been an Enabler. He is also partly responsible for having assisted in Marc Gafni's return to teaching after the Israli incident. And he speaks of how Gafni won't admit his mistakes. That is very true. Gafni continues to pose himself as a "victim." However, Dupuy is doing the same thing. He is not saying "I am sorry, along with Diane and Sally and Robb smith, I too am responsible for having brought Gafni back out of the woods." Dupuy needs to do some repenting as well.

WH said...

Howthorn,

I wasn't aware of his role in bringing Gafni back - in what ways did he act as an enabler? I know he and Gafni are friends, but I have not seen them teaching together or otherwise in mutual support, but I also not on the inside.

MartyC said...

Hi Bill,

You're apparently having trouble telling the difference between "attack and discredit" and criticism. My post at Joe Perez's blog (http://joe-perez.com/blog/2011/09/exposed-on-bill-harrymans-expose-on-marc-gafnis-personal-relationships/#comment-17805) was intended to point to the way in which you and the Gafni critics engage in this "debate," the use of heresay and the unacknowledged bias. It wasn't an attack on you, or to discredit you, primarily; it was a critique on how you're going about this, your muckraking and self-righteousness. You as a person are probably fine and well intentioned, but I disagree with how you're going about this with Marc.

And one of the main things I was trying to call you out on, at the Perez post, was that you don't offer evidence or reply to direct challenge. So here, yes, that would be terrible if Marc cooked the books on his Israel situation. Ok, now, prove it, or point to where that's been proven. For you or Smith to say that he manufactured the evidence--ok, maybe, I don't know. Can you prove it? Really, do you have the evidence you say, and if so, it shouldn't it be put out there?

Does that clarify what I'm trying to do? I certainly have my attachment, for many reasons, to Marc and his teaching, to CWS, to Integral, etc., but I also want to know what the DOCUMENTED truth is, not just what the he-said-she-said is. Can you do that.

Best wishes,
MartyC

Anonymous said...

Marc & Dupuy have been teaching together:

http://www.youtube.com/user/marcgafni18#g/search

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4BXrv3vgl8

Anonymous said...

Dear MartyC,

If WH is going wrong at it,then so does Marc.

Marc has no "DOCUMENTED truth", just letters and articles he wrote himself telling his side of the story.

Why is it o.k. for Marc to put his own version on-line as "the truth"?

The only truth out there is the growing number of people who were once close to Marc, and have experienced his manipulation and abuse first hand.

Now they speak.

MartyC said...

Dear Anonymous (use your name, please),

Wrong, it's not just self reports from Marc, which is clear from his site. There is a polygraph report, emails from the relationships in Israel, and testimonials from various teachers (some now, essentially, retracted, while some stand by him). Are the emails public? No. Would I like to check them? Yes, but I understand the trickiness of that. Could Marc be lying about all this? Of course. Do a number of teachers say they've reviewed the Israel evidence and cleared him for that, based on the evidence? Yes.

Which, as elsewhere, makes me wonder whether you, unnamed one, are a lier or simply incompetent, in the way you misrepresent the record.

Again (as Joe Perez just commented in response to Bill's message on Perez's site), this discourse is so corrupt, not keeping to the norms of debate (to paraphrase Perez), ie, citing your evidence. And as of now, Bill has not taken up the challenge of actually responding to Marc's position statement, Perez' criticisms (especially that Bill is committing copyright infringement by his quoting huge chunks of other writers' work), or mine that his behavior is one of a vindictive hypocrit who (in keeping with the ethos of the mean Green meme) abrogates to himself the right to deploy violence (in this case, give the lack of evidence to support his claims against Marc, character assassination) when in his estimation violence has been done. In other words, that his ends justify his means.

And to again make what seems to be a very subtle point on this blog: Marc could be totally as accused, but the evidence that is claimed by Bill and others is not presented to be reviewed by the community, and thus the quality of the discourse becomes corrupt if not slanderous. There was a strong move towards emphasizing facts and evidence that rose out of the witch hunts of the middle ages, called the Enlightenment. Apparently we've had two more stage developments since then, but please, you all, at least come up to the level of the 1500's.

MartyC

Howthorn said...

Mr. Harryman, It was very early on in Gafni arriving in SLC that Mr. Dupuy (obviously tricked by the Gafni "Aura") started allowing Gafni to start teaching again with the other enabler, Ms. Diane Hamilton. Many of us from SLC were aware. He writes in this post too: "Marc and I began our relationship there. Shortly thereafter, my wife Pam and I hosted a workshop in our home, with about 18 participants, where Marc and Diane Hamilton were the principal teachers."

Mr. Dupuy, like Mr. Robb Smith, and others created the perfect conditions for Gafni to take to the stage again. Amazing that there is no apology for that. He too probably needs to say, "Sorry, My Bad."

john dupuy said...

Hey Guys, John Dupuy here. Let me set the record straight, guilty as charged! I enabled Marc Gafni. I thought he could change and he was so gifted blah blah. It took awhile for me to put all togather. And I'm really sorry. My wife Pam to her credit never trusted Marc. We argued about Marc a lot. And it has become paifully clear that she was dead on and I was wrong. I will probably hear "I told you so"
for the rest of my life. I hope this is clear I really blew this one

WH said...

Thanks John, I admire your willingness to own your mistake - some others have not been so willing to take an unequivocal stand

MartyC said...

I forgot to post the link to Marc's position statement in the post above, which is: http://www.marcgafni.com/?p=3002&lan=english. It's important that it not get lost in the shuffle.

And Bill, could you please at least go on record why you won't respond directly to Marc's points in this document?

You haven't shown any ethical backbone up until now, but maybe there's a possibility of some redemption in the eyes of the community? You're not too far gone, buddy. No one is.

Half-sarcasm aside, I'm hoping that, while a sector of your readership is too far gone in their own truthiness (Stephen Colbert's word, defined as, "truthiness is a 'truth' that a person claims to know intuitively 'from the gut' without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or facts"), others who are not already ideologically committed can see in your (Bill's and his "attaboy squad's") refusal to engage respectfully with the facts your essentially corrupt, unethical, defamatory, and self-righteous position on all this.

But really, buddy, it's never too late to change.

MartyC

Federico said...

Bless you John and William.
Integrity. It feels like a shower of safety falling all over you from the sun.
THANK YOU for doing this.
Federico

HeatherUK said...

If you're REALLY interested in what Marc has to say, go to his post and ACTUALLY READ IT and I would LOVE to see a point by point response to his point by point response. I want facts. If you got 'em, WH, man up and post them. That's what we've been asking for all along. Point by point, facts, PROVE IT.

http://www.marcgafni.com/?p=3002

MartyC said...

For the record, here is Marc Gafni's response to John Dupuy's post (this is from the Integral Life forums, at: http://integrallife.com/member/john-dupuy/blog/my-opinion-marc-gafni-situation)

(Marc's response:)
"Dear John,

I am sending you much love as always.

Let's for now clarify a couple of things. First, when I talked to you before you posted it was in front of a forum of people, one of whom was listening closely to the conversation. There was no threat of a lawsuit not any sort of other threat. So let's be gentle and accurate here my friend.

What I said to you was that you were missing lots of information in all four quadrants and that you should not post until you had really heard all perspectives in all four quadrants.

Sally Kempton whom you imply supported your realization that you needed to post in fact did the precise opposite. She spend ninety precious minutes when she was exhausted talking to you, explaining that your characterization of me was highly inaccurate. Not only did that not dissuade you but you imply that she supported your post. A little bit slippery here my friend.

To the point. I love you John. We have a long context to our relationship which clearly influenced the nature of your post on many levels. The entire context is missing from your post. In that sense your post contains not only content lies but very dramatic and glaring context lies. But let me ignore that for the time being.

Let me address your core point directly. Simple fact. Addiction is one prism. I know it is your favorite prism and the one you like and probably know best.
But it simply does not fit here. I have lived for long stretches of time within monogamous containers. I do not have a problem -thank god - disciplining my sexuality. If I did I would seek help for it without shame.

I am fully curious and passionately interested in what my part was in the contribution system that created this round of internet explosion. It is also clearly the case to any discerning reader that this issue became wildly disproportionate to its true size because the blogosphere blew it up, and then with no small amount of thinly veiled agenda and malice referred to as a "debacle" and "scandal".

Strange when the sense of debacle and scandal itself has been created by the very blogosphere players that were describing it as such. The key player in this were each motivated by their own interests and agendas in all four quadrants.

All of that however does not mean that I am without responsibility. To suggest that would indeed be narcissism on my part. Whatever my part is in the contribution system that created this conversation, I want to own one hundred percent of it. If I have a blind spot that did not see the potential danger in the complexity of my relationships nor the vulnerability and pain engendered by privacy and containers then I want to see it and own it.

All that said, it is the motivations that are still presently hidden from the public eye that blew this up way beyond any reason, decency and proportion. Sad to say.

I have written a much longer and more nuanced response to your post John which I will send you before I post so you can tell me if I got anything wrong.

In the meantime I am sending you much love.

--Marc Gafni