Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sexual Exploitation - Do You Know the Signs? (Part One, the Victims)

In my role as a sexual trauma therapist, I counsel men and women who are survivors of sexual abuse, molestation, assault, and exploitation. Their lives and their stories have taught me a lot about perpetrators.

For those who may wonder why I keep getting involved in trying to stop Marc Gafni's sexually exploitative "relationships" with students, this is part of the reason.

As much I have learned in the time I have worked with these men and women, I still do not fully understand the mechanisms in them that allows the perpetrator to select them as targets. But it seldom fails that if you put a male predator into a room with 100 women, he find the one or two women who he can prey upon. [Yes, I am using loaded language - it's appropriate to what is being discussed.]

I want to use some of the information I have found over the past few years to help others understand how and why Gafni behaves in this way, how and why he is able to target women, and how and why these women willingly entered in relationships with him.

This is part one, and here I focus on those who are victimized. In part two, I will look at the traits most common to predators. In both cases, I hope to offer a perspective informed by psychology and my belief that people are not inherently "bad" but, rather, act in ways we define as bad as a response to their wounding. This is not an attempt to deny responsibility (in predator or prey), but to offer explanations.

Part One: Beginning with the experience of the women

It's much easier for most of us to feel the suffering of the women in these situations (or men) than it is to find compassion for the predator/perpetrator. So let's begin with the easy piece - the experience of the women, including identifying when one is engaged in that type of dysfunction.

But we begin with a look at how widespread an issue this is and how it tends to play out in the broader sense in relationships involving power imbalances.

Here is the first big piece of the puzzle, courtesy of Joel Friedman and Marcia Mobilia Boumil, in Betrayal of trust: Sex and power in professional relationships.
It is about power and exploitation. It is about what happens when an unethical professional encounters a psychologically vulnerable patient, client, student, or other and decides to use her trust in him, primarily engendered by his power and position, to his own advantage—with little regard to the consequences for her. It is about the nature of these professionals who deceive themselves and those who rely on them, and the contexts which provide fertile ground for this deception to occur.
According to these authors, there are two basic ways that women (the book looks primarily at male predators, but also acknowledges that there are women doing this as well, although there is far less research on that variation) become "victims" of these predators (and I am not a fan of the word "victim," but it probably is the closest word to the actual situation for most of these women):
In the first, a victim is led to believe that this is an opportunity to share in an intimate relationship with a man whom, because of his power and position, she has come to respect, trust, and admire. Often he presents himself as a kind and caring professional, attentive to the needs of an unsuspecting female client, patient, or student and seeking to be helpful in whatever way his profession offers. At the same time, he is powerful and revered, a figure whose judgment one might otherwise never question. Often a victim becomes mesmerized by the thought that such an awesome person is interested, really interested, in her!

So what is wrong with that? In the great majority of cases, the intentions of the professional who approaches his clients, patients, students, and others in this manner are insincere. They are not based upon genuine interest in the individual; they are based upon the man's desire to use the relationship for his own sexual gratification: in short, to "exploit" her. And that's what's wrong. (p. 2)
The authors attribute awareness and intention here that I am not sure exists in some cases, but I will speak more on this in part two. And here is the other form this situation often takes:
In the second situation, the professional may or may not purport to have a genuine interest in his victim, but instead uses the professional relationship to coerce her, often subtly, to participate in a relationship with him. In these cases, the victim "consents" to the relationship, but her consent stems from fear that the professional services will be terminated if she does not acquiesce to his sexual desire. ....

In most cases the sexual relationship that results is short-lived; it lasts until the professional man gets what he wants from it or gets tired of it, and then it ends abruptly. The incidence of this form of professional misconduct is alarming, and the consequences to the victims are often tragic. (p. 2-3)
From the accounts of all of the women I have spoken with, Gafni tends to behave more in line with the first model - he seems to need the seduction - he seems to need the power that he gets with the seduction. Gafni even goes so far as to justify his behavior by saying that he is a teacher who has the development and discernment to hold a postconventional container in relationship with multiple women simultaneously. The evidence suggests otherwise.

Unrelatedly, Gafni's use of integral language in his teaching, which is a big part of his seduction, reminds me of something Robert Augustus Masters said on his Facebook page:
Employing integral terminology in one's communication is very different than communicating integrally.
That is exactly what it feels like each time I read or listen to Gafni - a lot of pretty, neat sounding words and a whole lot of nothing beneath - no real communication, only smoke and mirrors. But he is skillful in using those tricks to seduce women and men (he uses the same approaches to court the support of those with money and power).

But it never is so easy as it sounds. There is nothing illegal about Gafni's actions - unethical? yes; illegal? no. Still, the situation so often puts the student at such a disadvantage that most organizations have created an ethics code forbidding such relationships.
On one side of the equation are two adults who may desire a consensual sexual relationship with one another. The law views this as a fundamental right of privacy and is loath to interfere with people engaging in mutually agreeable conduct with one another (so long as it is neither illegal nor immoral). Indeed, the law strongly protects this constitutional provision that people have a right to freedom of association. Yet on the other side of the equation is the professions' recognition that their members, merely by virtue of their power and position, can exert undue influence over the individuals they serve. What appears to be a consensual relationship is so fraught with an inherent imbalance of power and opportunity for undue influence that it can cause patient, clients, and students seemingly voluntarily to consent to such relationships without knowing that they are actually being exploited. And when the relationship runs its course and the professional moves on to someone else, the effects on the exploited individual are often so devastating that the law and the professions themselves are finding it necessary to step in and take responsibility: in short, preventing unsuspecting individuals from becoming victims of this type of abuse. (p. 3-4)
Of all the professions implicated in these forms of abuse and exploitation, the mental health field has been the most proactive and has established the best boundaries for behavior by its practitioners. This is largely related to the fact that mental health professionals (of whatever form - psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, social workers, and so on) are tasked with identifying and knowing the weaknesses and wounding of their clients, which makes clients easy prey for sexual predators.
The reason that sexual exploitation is so significant in mental health is well understood. The mental health professional is engaged to analyze, understand, and influence the patient's psychological and emotional state. The therapist's work requires that he act so as to elicit and sustain a deep sense of trust from his patient. If he is successful, this results in her willingness to expose to him psychological weaknesses and points of vulnerability.

This scenario sets up a clear and direct opportunity for the mental health professional, who is often dealing with emotionally needy patients, to use the information that he has gathered during the therapy to manipulate them through their vulnerabilities: if he believes that a victim is insecure, he can become the perfect father; if he believes that she has poor self-esteem, he can promote a better self-image. The feelings of intimacy and attraction, which have physical as well as emotional components, are encouraged to develop during the therapy. They are supposed to be used as part of the healing process. If, instead, they are used to establish a sexual relationship, whether or not the therapist has a malicious motive, the harm that can be caused is often devastating.(p. 4)
Some estimates place the abuse rate in the mental health field at about 10-12 % (p. 10).

The only other profession I can think of that involves the same trust and vulnerability as the mental health profession is the role of spiritual adviser, director, teacher, or guru - no other role outside of mental health requires trust and vulnerability to the same degree.

How it begins

There are always signs of impending dysfunction in these relationships, but too few women know the signs or are aware enough to act on them:
All too often victims of sexual exploitation report that they noticed early on in the professional relationship that something about the relationship did not seem right. Either the professional seemed distracted from the purpose of the relationship or he seemed to take an unusual interest in them without any real basis for doing so. Many victims ignore these early indications, either attributing their suspicions to their own hypersensitivity or perhaps even being flattered by the extra attention. But in many cases it is just these early indications, when recognized, that can prevent an abusive situation from developing.

The first important step in recognizing activity that may lead to sexual abuse is being aware of those intuitive feelings that indicate an impending boundary violation. These are the early warning signs or "red flags" that signal that a bad situation may be brewing. In fact, intuition or instinct is one of the most effective tools for sensing what is going on in the early stages of sexual exploitation. For people who are in turmoil, confused, or frightened, or those who are inexperienced, trusting one's own instincts is a difficult task. In some cases it is this very inability to rely on oneself that has brought about the need for professional assistance. Maybe there's a crisis: the individual is emotionally distraught, lacks knowledge, or perhaps is just not confident about her own capacity to understand what is going on. Perhaps the possibility of being exploited by a professional is just so foreign a notion that it never even enters her mind. Indeed, it is those very people who are least able to call upon or trust their own instincts who become vulnerable to the judgments, opinions, influence, and coercion of people who try or pretend to help. Finally, sometimes it is a student who is frightened, inexperienced, immature, or perhaps overly ambitious who comes under the influence of an exploitative teacher. On the surface, he appears to be concerned, caring, knowledgeable, and a reputable authority who can be trusted. In short, sexual exploitation can occur under the most unassuming circumstances and anyone can become a victim. (Friedman & Boumil, p. 48-49)
The student, the client, the devotee is always in the position of trusting the professional. But he is driven by other needs than simply teaching or helping. In the language of the Voice Dialogue model, it is a matter of subpersonalities interacting, generally below the level of awareness (although some predators are certainly aware of their actions).

Hal and Sidra Stone talk about relationships as the manifestation of inner parts filling each other's needs. Here is a basic explanation of the human bonding patterns in male-female relationships:
This is their diagram, sort of:

     Mother . . . . .[the woman]. . . . Daughter
     Son . . . . . . . [the man] . . . . . . Father

Here is their explanation:

In this diagram we see the basic male-female bonding pattern. The mother side of the woman is bonded to the son side of the man (the M-S axis), and the father side of the man is bonded to the daughter side of the woman (the F-D axis). This diagram illustrates the basic bonding pattern that exists in all male and female relationships before the development of any kind of awareness. It is a normal and natural process. It cannot be eliminated, nor would eliminating it be desirable; these bonding patterns contain much life and vitality. They often provide warmth and nurturing. The problem is that without awareness they are very likely to turn negative. In addition, the two people miss what is possible in the interaction of two aware egos.
Once we get involved (attraction is enough involvement), the basic patterns gets layered very quickly and very complexly. In the exploitive bonding pattern, the child of the male needs something he never received as a child, and the child in the female is also wounded in some way.

In the male, there is some form of protector part that tries to keep the wounded child safe and has found ways to do so that are effective but are not healthy for other people in his life. For the predator, it is seduction and romance/sex that makes the child feel loved and desired, which is what he craves.

In the woman, the child part needs to be seen and appreciated, needs to be seduced and seen as attractive. She may look for this need to be filled in ways that are not healthy. She may also have a part that has learned that seduction is a way to meet her needs.

When these two get together, from the outside it looks like mutual seduction and consent. But neither person is really fully aware of what the shadow parts of their personality are doing, nor are they aware of the dysfunction inherent in the relationship they are building.

This is in large part why it feels unconscionable to me that Gafni be allowed to continue in his current role, especially taking private students. He is acting from childish needs and presenting a supposed "integral" explanation - it's an individual example of the classic pre/trans fallacy that Ken Wilber has been teaching about for two decades or so.

More importantly, since Gafni is teaching about his own version of "sacred sexuality," the temptation for teacher and student to act out the teachings is considerable. We already know that Gafni will do this and that he feels justified in doing so because of his self-professed spiritual development.  Likewise, we also know that he lacks discernment in picking women who are capable of "holding the container." Generally, these women would have nothing to do with a (pre?)conventional teacher such as himself, unless they also have some form of wounding.

But the women he targets DO have some wounding or vulnerability that he can sense, and goes to great lengths to feel the situation out before making his move. He feels he is above such conventional ethics codes that might prohibit his behavior. Yet they were designed specifically for people like him.

Are we really willing to believe that this man who has been involved in sex scandals his whole life as a spiritual man (thirty years or more now) is capable of having healthy relationships of any kind? After three divorces and the rumored imminent end to a relationship with the mother of his youngest child? Are we really to believe that he is going to check in with Ken Wilber and whoever else is supposed to monitor him when he wants to bed a student? Not likely.

Betrayal bonds and trauma bonds

Patrick Carnes has written a lot about sex addiction and the women who get involved with and stay involved with these men (and again, the majority of offenders are men, although women seem to be working hard to catch up). The same material applies to men who exploit their positions of power in relationships.

In fact, most men who are exploitive also engage in other forms of dysfunctional sexuality - porn addiction is the most common comorbid behavior.

Carnes tends to refer to the relational bonding between a predator and prey as trauma bonds or as betrayal bonds (The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships). These are some of the qualifiers for the trauma bond, or betrayal bond.
With denial and repression in place, all the trauma solutions are available in the service of the trauma bond. Reactivity, arousal, blocking, splitting, abstinence, shame and trauma repetition can be accomplished in the context of the relationship. 
  • Reactivity comes with constant chaos, involvement and betrayal. There is always something to induce the cycles of old to activate the victim, victimizer and rescuer scenarios. 
  • Arousal surges in the relationship with high risk, intensity and sometimes violent sex. Anger, fear and anxiety create a neurochemical cascade that makes sane relationships boring. 
  • Blocking occurs when there is the honeymoon or “I have pushed you too far” phase. Seductive and pleasing efforts to “make up for it” are calming and provide temporary relief. 
  • Splitting happens when the victim dissociates from the chaos or from obsessing about the partner. Internal dialogues with your partner would be an example. 
  • Abstinence manifests in many ways, including the obvious: staying in the relationship without needs being met, or worse, living in deprivation because the chaos prevents you from taking care of yourself, so martyrdom seems functional. 
  • Shame appears in the form of despair about yourself, in feeling defective because the victim has absorbed the shame of the perpetrator (carried shame), and in believing in your unworthiness. 
  • Repetition cycles the “working model” of how relationships should work over and over again. Each recycle repeats the victimization of the past. 
In short, you have an addictive relationship that results in compulsive involvement and compulsive relationship patterns. For Tom, being with Barbara put in place all the paths that people use addictively. (Carnes, 2010, Kindle Locations 2011-2029).
In an article simply titled Trauma Bonds, Carnes identifies the signs to look for in identifying the presence of a trauma bond:
Exploitive relationships create trauma bonds. These occur when a victim bonds with someone who is destructive to them. Similarly, adult survivors of abusive and dysfunctional families struggle with bonds that are rooted in their own trauma experiences. To be loyal to that which does not work - or worse, to a person who is toxic, exploitive, or destructive to the client, is a form of insanity.

A number of signs exist for the presence of a betrayal bond:

1. When everyone around the client is having negative reactions so strong the client is covering up, defending, or explaining a relationship.
2. When there is a constant pattern of non-performance and the client continues to expect them to follow through anyway.
3. When there are repetitive, destructive fights that are no win for anybody.
4. When others are horrified by something that has happened to the client and the client isn’t.
5. When the client obsesses about showing someone that they are wrong about the abuse, their relationship, or their treatment of the client.
6. When the client feels loyal to someone even though the client harbors secrets that are damaging to others.
7. When the client moves closer to someone who is destructive with the desire of converting them to a non-abuser.
8. When someone’s talents, charisma, or contributions causes the client to overlook destructive, exploitive, or degrading acts.
9. When the client cannot detach from someone even though the client does not trust, like or care for the person.
10. When the client misses a relationship even to the point of nostalgia and longing that was so awful it almost destroyed the client.
11. When extraordinary demands are placed on the client to measure up as a way to cover up exploitation of the client.
12. When the client keeps secret someone’s destructive behavior because of all of the good they have done or the importance of their position or career.
13. When the history of their relationship is about contracts or promises that have been broken, which the client are asked to overlook.

They all involve exploitation of trust or power or both. They all can result in a bond with a person who is dangerous and exploitive. Signs of betrayal bonding include misplaced loyalty, inability to detach, and self-destructive denial. Professional therapists can be so focused on their client’s woundedness, they will overlook the trauma bonds that may remain. 
There are also a variety of self-tests or inventories one can take to identify whether one is involved in an abusive and/or exploitive relationship. Here is one from Carnes, presented by Insideout Living, Inc.:
Traumatic Bonding Self Test 

By Patrick Carnes, Ph.D.

The following are a series of statements which describe traumatic bonding in which a person bonds on the basis of betrayal. The result is what we call a "betrayal bond". Check each "Yes" response as appropriate.

1) Do you obsess about people who have hurt you even through they are long gone?

2) Do you continue to seek contact with people whom you know will cause you further pain?

3) Do you go "overboard" to help people who have been destructive to you?

4) Do you continue to be a "team" member when obviously things are becoming destructive?

5) Do you continue attempts to get people to like you who are clearly using you?

6) Do you trust people again and again who are proven to be unreliable?

7) Are you unable to retreat from unhealthy relationships?

8) Do you try to be understood by those who clearly do not care?

9) Do you choose to stay in conflict with others when it would cost you nothing to walk away?

10) Do you persist in trying to convince people that there is a problem and they are not willing to listen?

11) Are you loyal to people who have betrayed you?

12) Do you attract untrustworthy people?

13) Have you kept damaging secrets about exploitation or abuse?

14) Do you continue contact with an abuser who acknowledges no responsibility?

15) Do you find yourself covering up, defending, or explaining a relationship?

16) When there is a constant pattern of non-performance in a relationship, do you continue to expect them to follow through anyway?

17) Do you have repetitive, destructive fights that are no win for anybody?

18) Do you find that others are horrified by something that has happened to you and you are not?

19) Do you obsess about showing someone that they are wrong about you, your relationship, or their treatment of you?

20) Do you feel stuck because you know what the other is doing is destructive, but you believe you cannot do anything about it?

21) Do you feel loyal to someone even though you harbor secrets that are damaging to others?

22) Do you move closer to someone you know is destructive to you even though you do not trust, like or care for the person?

23) Does someone's talents, charisma, or contributions cause you to overlook destructive, exploitive, or degrading acts?

24) Do you find you cannot detach from someone even though you do not trust, like or care for the person?

25) Do you find yourself missing a relationship, even to the point of nostalgia and longing, that was so awful it almost destroyed you?

26) Are extraordinary demands placed on you to measure up as a way to cover up exploitation?

27) Do you keep secret someone's destructive behavior because of all of the good they have done or the importance of their position or career?

28) Does your relationship have contacts or promises that have been broken which you are asked to overlook?

29) Are you attracted to "dangerous" people?

30) Do you stay in a relationship longer than you should?
If you can answer yes to several of these questions, you may want to reconsider the relationship you are in and begin to talk to someone who understands what may be happening to you.

Finally, a little more from Carnes on trauma bonds and disrupting trauma bonds:

1. trauma cycles are repeated
2. the victim believes in his or her uniqueness
3. the victim mistakes intensity for intimacy
4. the trauma endures over time
5. there are increasing amounts of fear
6. the fear-induced neurochemical reactions occur earlier in life and affect the organic development of the brain
7. the trauma is preceded by earlier victimization
8. the victim is surrounded by reactivity and extreme responses
9. the betrayal of power relationships is greater
10. the betrayal of trusted relationships is greater


1. healthy bonds are available
2. a group or community can debrief or re-role the victim
3. the victim can identify
   (a) cycles of abuse
   (b) roles of victim, victimizer, and rescuer
4. the victim learns
   (a) how to psychologically distance from intensity
   (b) boundary-setting strategies
5. metaphors (images) exist for the victim to use in the moment
6. the victim can reframe interactions of trauma
7. the victim understands the role of carried shame
8. the victim accepts trauma bond’s systematic nature (avoiding blame)

~ Adapted from Patrick J. Carnes
These bonds can be disrupted - and the best way to do so is to break the silence - seek support and counseling - or just simply walk away.

Most predators will shame you and blame you and make it all your fault - don't listen. That is how he tries to control the situation.

Sometimes, the predator will erupt into a narcissistic rage, fully convinced that it is his right to be sexual with whomever he desires, and direct that rage at you for violating his "trust." He will remain convinced that he has done nothing wrong and is being betrayed by the woman/women involved.

But this is his wounding - and it is from his wounding that these behaviors develop. More on that in the next installment.


Leela said...

As usual, your sharing is deeply thought out, documented and clear. One of the most insidious after effects of abuse is the lingering vulnerability to predators. Attempting to take full responsibility as an adult in relation to sexuality when aspects of the self have not progressed through developmental stages is difficult enough to accomplish. Navigating this terrain in the presence of predators can and does lead to devastating revictimization. I feel we have a duty to protect each other through such vulnerable reclaiming of the self and I appreciate that you take action to this end. Healing needs to happen for the predators too. Their best chance at not continuing the cycle of violence is to be held accountable and face consequence that requires them to take responsibility for healing their own woundedness.

MartyC said...


This is all clinically sound, and speaks to general patterns, certainly. But to then say that these generalities by definition apply to this recent case, and by definition define the nature of the choices of Marc's student, is both logically wrong, and disrespectful of her. And I think it's distorting for you to make such a post with all its generalities without referring to the specific information on hand, being the student's public response (found about comments down at So here is what she says:

"Here is my truth within these events: I am a fully empowered adult woman who has been working on behalf of what I want to bring into the world. In the natural course of doing so, I have stepped into many different roles and ways of relating, and done so in the most responsible way I know. One of these included for a time an intimate dynamic with Marc that expressed itself sexually. To suggest that this violated our student-teacher relationship, or that I was in any way victimized, is actually a degradation of the feminine, and of the masculine too. I had a relationship with Marc that was beautiful and profoundly mutual. Marc is direct, clear, and loving. He is also powerful and complex, as are most dynamic men and women. However, there is not a bone in his body which does not deeply honor the feminine. Marc is strategic, but always for the sake of the larger good and not for personal or crass ends. In my work with him in both teaching and organizational contexts, I have been deeply moved by witnessing his loyalty and dedication to the highest good possible for everyone around him. I have watched his eyes light up as he has shared ideas about the ways in which he might stand for a human being's deepest unfolding. He cares immensely about the people he teaches, works with, and even casually interacts with, in the same passionately intimate sense that that he cares about his lovers, about the dharma or about the evolution of consciousness. I have watched him follow through with people in ways that demand a level of sacrifice and devotion that are beyond what anyone might imagine.

So I want to stand for my own power in my loving relationship with Marc, my teacher, colleague and friend. It is truly time for the emergence of an integral feminine that does not let itself be hijacked by masculine power games, or lose itself in a supposedly 'feminine' refusal to own power. I have no wish to step further into the blogosphere. My deepest hope is that these conversations be resolved in a quiet and dignified way. However, if any unfair negative consequences emerge from this matrix, I will stand in the ways I feel called to do; I will speak out powerfully about anyone willing to manipulate the powerful feminine for their own power ends or to close their heart when confronted with the authentic complexity of relationship."

william harryman said...

Marty C,

I read her statement - knowing as I do from the other people involved that this was NOT how she felt days or weeks before that letter showed up, and reading in the letter both Marc's and Sally's verbiage, let's say I am skeptical. I would happily speak with her by Skype if she needs to convince me otherwise. Somehow I don't see that happening since Marc has forbidden her to speak with the other woman involved. Oh, wait, isn't that one of the red flags?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. I'm one of Gafni's victims from years back, and Patrick Carnes' book has been invaluable to me and many other of his victims in understanding how we were vulnerable to his devastating exploitation, and how to release ourselves from the trauma bond.

Several of the other women and I had a good laugh reading "Marcy's" statement, which was obviously written by Marc himself. He's using the exact same language, word for word, which he wrote in support letters he would coerce us into signing years ago. As someone who knows him well, trust me: almost every sentence in that letter is the complete opposite of the truth.

Looking back, the things we did to cover up for him seem absurd, but it's amazing how women (and men) become persuaded to compromise they're integrity when they're in the "Gafni trance." Marcy's still trapped in it (as are Mariana and Sally) but we're praying that they recognize the cost of staying in his pathologically narcissistic world and wake up soon. There are many of us who will be happy to offer these women support, friendship and understanding whenever they're ready to break free.

Jean said...

As someone who who resonates with Jungian/personal archetypal/mythology (being a storyteller, I do), I have found Marion Woodman's explorations of the dark masculine, i.e. demon lover, and dark feminine, i.e. negative mother, to be illuminating on these issues and kinds of relationships. Unconsciously compulsive and springing from toxic unhealed wounds, they are never to be considered "evolved." Just a thought for people who are interested in Jungian thought.

Mark said...

And I think it's distorting for you to make such a post with all its generalities without referring to the specific information on hand...

What's "distorting" in the constructions of all Gafni's supporters is the implicit pretense that this is a singular event with no prior history, no previous scandals, no flight from prosecution in Israel, no recriminative broken marriages, no multiple testimonies from women who say they were deceived and then counseled to deceive others, no multiple testimonies from business colleagues that show a recurring pattern of elaborately maintained lies and ventriloquizing of defenses through students, no history of harassment and threats to ward off public criticism; no institutional pronouncement from Integral headquarters that all charges against Gafni, from previous lovers and critics were "categorically false" and reminiscent of "neo-Nazi hate sites"; no consideration that this hateful smearing of all previous women and critics involved with Gafni structurally created the distrust and penumbra of countersecrecy whereby the whistleblowers and the wounded who still want to keep one foot in the integral world confide their stories and proof to a few people like Bill whose integrity was established for them by nearly being blacklisted for his previous opposition, and so on, and so on, and so on, year after dreary year.

Only by framing this as a single, discrete, "complex" affair without precedent can Gafni's supporters pretend that his critics are hysterical busybodies overreacting to what is a merely an ambiguous private matter and motivated by some inexplicable,
intrusive, "projective," fascistic hatred. The affective "excess" of the critics is fashioned by erasing the past.

It's a tiresome and dishonest rhetoric.

Federico said...

THANK you again William.

I read this today on Augustus Masters PhD Facebook Page:

"So-called "informed consent" is centered by the myth of consenting adults. In sexual circumstances many of us may not be clearly considering what's really going on and what's at stake, instead making choices from a desire (likely rooted in childhood) to get approval, love, or security, or to be distracted from our suffering. At such times we're acting not as consenting adults but as adult-erated children whose "consent" is mostly an expression of unresolved woundedness or unmet nonsexual needs."

Liz said...

I'm looking forward to part two.

If it weren't so sad, it would be funny reading "Marcy's" statement. Reading it with no context, it's all words with no meaning, a complete load of BS all on its own. Read in context, it's such a clear enactment of what you wrote about women covering up for their abusers that it's skin-crawlingly difficult to read.

None of us are too smart to live in denial.

MartyC said...

This exchange is like that morbid fascination with car wrecks--it's so terrible, but I can't look away.

Mark (in the comment above), really? Who has ever said, implied, or tried to present this as an "isolated incident"? Can you point that out? There's so much public information on this, how much footnoting has to go on here? Of course there is a history with Marc, and with the" scandal" of 5 years ago. Ugh, now the defaming gets automatically spread out to anyone who doesn't go along with the "Marc is evil" narrative.

And in line with that, here's an interesting summary article written about the Israel events:

In it, it's described how his original accusers in Israel had questionable motives, and how emails that contradicted their claim of Marc's abuse were deleted from his computer. When they were recovered later by the data recovery techs, the emails (according to the sources cited in the article) did not show a pattern of abuse and manipulation, but rather individual women engaged in non-coerced relationships. Isn't it rather distorted to refer to the accusers' testimonials without also referring to this part of the record?

This is not, of course, to say that everyone who makes a claim, in this case against Marc, is suspect. OF COURSE. And: people have mixed motivations. I know of two cases in my own life where adults were jailed for what turned out to be false accusations from children, who were using sexual molestation claims as a way of attacking adults who, basically, were not doing what the kids wanted (in one case, supplying them with marijuana). And this resulted in jail time and no convictions when the evidence was actually examined.

My point is that, many of Marc's critics feel it's fair game to undercut anything he or his supporters/friends/colleagues say as (to summarize), "What do you expect of a sexual predator and his minions?" If everything he says is de facto to be questioned, suspect, why isn't this also applicable to his accusers? In other words, if his (and his students, etc.) self-report is held as just that, why not everyone else in the "discussion"? Because someone cries foul, why does that de facto mean they are being truthful or accurate? I'm not, AT ALL, saying that's true by definition. Please pause and hear that. And...what is said about Marc is true of every other human: people can lie, and people can distort to suit their conscious and unconscious agendas.

MartyC said...

(following on from my last comment)

Now for my testimonial: I have know Marc for several years, with more contact this last year as the Center for World Spirituality has gotten going. I referred my wife to him as a private study student. She has a shit-detector that is finely tuned, and yet, in her curmudgeonly way, signed off on him and took up a year of study. In that time, neither of us have ever--EVER--been asked by Marc to do anything unethical, to cover up anything of any kind, been fed any teaching that enjoined subservience, obedience, financial manipulation, institutional malfeasance, or sexual impropriety. He has never, ever made advances on me or my wife of any kind, and where he was working with us around aspects of our relationship, was TOTALLY and COMPELETLY (and rather stunningly, given the tricky terrain) ethical.

I am a psychotherapist by trade, and a skeptic by heart, and like my wife, have a personally and professionally trained shit-detector, and in my personal experience (remember, many testimonials are in the same category, accounts and interpretations of personal experience) have never felt uncomfortable with Marc at an ethical level. (He's a logistic pain in the ass, but thankfully has a assistant.) More than that, I and my wife have gotten profound teachings and transmission from Marc that will be with us lifelong in their beauty and depth.

Now, can I be wrong and duped? OF COURSE! But two things: one, my radar has never blipped danger with him, and I know myself pretty well, and clinically know the signs and felt-sense of sociopathy and sexual predatation, so I don't believe that's happening. And second, if I'm totally wrong about him, I take responsibility for my choices in allying and staying allyed with him, and will take the knocks if wrong. This is MY choice to make; everyone involved is making their choices and needs to own their choices (as, OF COURSE, Marc does, and has from what I see, his). To do otherwise is to deny that I have a responsibility as a student as much as Marc as a teacher, and therefore disempower myself and get into the righteous victimhood stance.

(The Masters quote above: c'mon, really? If that's being presented as true of Marc's students, isn't it true of you, Federico, that your sexual and relational choices are really not consensual, but rather, are driven by motivations you can't see, and therefore you are actually being preyed upon by your partners? Or do you simply exclude yourself from what Masters is saying, and grant yourself the right to determine who it does pertain to?)

So, that's my testimonial. And if Marc's critics (please stop with the anonymous posting and put your name behind your criticisms and accusations) are consistent, then this should carry the equal value and weight as other personal experiences of Marc. Right? Isn't that reasonable?


Federico said...

Hi Marty.

I have worked with Masters and know his work quite well.

That quote applies only to teenager like behavior, like the desire for disordered, parallel multiple sex partners typical of so called bohemian (read, promiscuous) life styles.

You have to understand that many of the progressive accepted, liberal sexual conducts, are truly psychological disorders trying to self-validate themselves as "options" or "choices", and that is the target of Masters quote.

In other words: If you are having a normal sexual life with one partner, commited emotionally and being honest and pure of intention and heart, that quote most probably doesn't fits you. If you are psychosexually mature, it doesn't fit you.

If you have a so-called bohemian life style, and think you are CHOOSING that as a "sexual choice" in "plain adulthood", then that's the message of the quote: it is just teenager, psychosexually hurt behavior in seemingly adult drags.

Masters is addressing quite eloquently the problem of green progressive memes, which try to validate psychologically distorted behavior as "new choices" or "freedom". Of course, freedom is not about changing one convention for another in an infinite cycle of trying to break rules (that's teenager behavior!), but realizing your True Nature, free from everything through everything.

If you need more explanation I can give it to you Marty. But if you want to keep thinking in extreme liberal terms of "everybody do with their sexual life whatever they want" (like, if they want to have sex with an hipopotamous, so be it, is their life!) then you are not probably going to understand me.


MartyC said...

Hi Federico,

Wow. I mean, wow. You've just taken it upon yourself and enlisted Masters (does he really believe as you do?) that any non-conventional relationship is by definition a regression. Really? It's simply impossible to have multiple sex partners and not be acting out a pathology? It sounds nice, if Fox News conservative, to say that's true in theory, now it's on you to prove it in fact.

And regarding talking in "extreme liberal terms": How many qualifications does a guy have to make to get a break around here? Go back and read my post and count how many times I about fall over myself given clarification and qualification. And yet you describe it as extreme. Sheesh.
read what I actually said, or Marc for that matter. He's very clear that polyamory is not for everyone, or anyone all the time (see his statement on As much as I love having sex with hippopotamus, I know it's not for everyone, or even for me all the time (I limit myself to weekends). So how can you call that extreme? I thinks it's a rather conservative stance, especially since I limit our sexual encounters to the missionary position.

And look at your control of the terms of discourse in your last paragraph, where you say, essentially, if you don't agree with my frame of reference, you won't be able to understand me (and why I'm right). You misread my statement, define it as extreme (when I said nothing extreme or hyper-Green, which, by the way, I find obnoxious as well, but not from your conservative position), then if I defend my position I can be written off because you've already pre-defined it. Sheesh.

So in that vein: if you keep thinking in this ultra-conservative, regressive vein, where anything but a classic monogomous relationship is defined as the height of sexual and relation maturation, then not only are you going to not understand my obviously, and clearly, and uncontrovertably more mature position, but I'm going to have to keep using sarcasm. I don't want to, and it hurts me, but I have no other choice.

Also best (really, you seem genuinely sincere in your beliefs),

Federico said...

Dear MaryC,
I have not said a word (yet) about polyamory.

What Marc did is PROMISCUITY, not polyamory. Polyamory people are honest with each other, respect contracts and don't harm others with their actions. They dont "cheat", manupulate, and lie.

Marc is promiscuous. He was defending HIS CHOICE OF MONOGAMY in the opening of his world spirituality series!

Also, Marc manipulate people and hurt them, like these 2 women were, as TAMI SIMON proven, even if then they were coherced into disclosing otherwise.

He also lied and betrayed many, like Ken Wilber himself and Diane Hamilton, people to whom he PROMISED to not relate with students again under ANY circumstances. Those people put their reputation to defend this ruin.

All that said, Polyamory, as a SERIOUS engagement contract with others, is respectable and I do believe you can have second tier polyamory.

Yet, it IS the case that Mature Monogamy is higher in development than that.

Why? because of a simple fact: the higher developmental relationship is the one with most DEPTH.

And you know how the rule goes right? More depth, LESS SPAN.

If you have relationship with 20 friends, you cannot dedicate the same amount of energy, attention, and care, that you can to 3.

Same with love. If you have one partner, you concentrate ALL your romantic loving energy and libido into one. That creates an amount of Depth that is impossible to equate with any relationship in which that LIMITED amount of energy is shared.

It is a common mistake of polyamorous to speak in unlimited, infinite terms, as if human love would be unlimited.

While the SOURCE of human love is unlimited, human love is not. At least you have to agree that it is limited in its expression, by things like time.

If you have a job, and dedicate to the welfare of others, plus a couple of friends and family to take care of, think about it: with the time you have left, to relate romantically, which is the highest/better way to invest it?

One only relationship (less span), with all your energy concentrated.

The similarities between conservatives and Integral are many to the inexpert eye, for the same reason that pre and trans are similar -to the inexpert eye-.

Also, one tend to see everything over-our-heads as lesser.
I'm not a conservative nor a liberal. I have had many experiences that would be off the charts for a conservative and very cool for a liberal. Yet I never harmed anybody, I was always 100% sincere, I never coherced or manipulated someone into doing something (or not speaking about it), and I have been always responsible of my actions to the last consequences of that.

Conservative is Amber or Orange, Liberal IS GREEN.

We want to overcome it. Both.

Overcoming Orange is evident and easy, but overcoming Green is not easy because many of us (actually not myself!) have still a feet on progressive/liberal values, and realizing them for what they are many times implies change, change that no one wants to do, and that take courage.

I encourage you to read Masters work. He is of the only people in the Integral World that is truly representing Second Tier relationships.

Read him Marty,
and cut your relationships with Marc.

He is sick and needs help.

And he NEEDS his friends to leave him, so that he can realize and change for good.

All blessings,

MartyC said...

Hi Federico,

You know, weirdly enough, I really feel a respect for your conviction that I haven't felt with any of the blog posts by William or other commenters. I think you're multiply wrong, but sense that you're not actually malicious in intent. (But I get you don't seem to care for sarcasm. Which makes me sad.)

So: my bad for conflating what you're defining as promiscuous with polyamory, in misunderstanding your point. I don't see Marc advocating promiscuity--can you point that out in his writings or recordings or interviews or whatnot, because I haven't seen it, i.e., as a shallow emphasis on multiple sex partners--but I agree promiscuity is by definition a shallow sexuality. I don't particularly judge it--it's just what it is, and that's fairly shallow. And as a hypocrite for endorsing monogomy (at CWS event): I don't think he was saying that needs to be true for him (or anyone else) all the time, did you? You read it as duplicity?

Also, you and others need to stop speaking about the two women "who were hurt." Obviously the non-student feels hurt, but go back and read Marcy's description, and PLEASE do not assume you know more than you do. It's so disrespectful of her and of her taking responsibility for her actions, disempowering in the name of empowerment. (And as for her writing sounding the same as Marc, for Christ sake, she's a student of Marc's! I often sound like Wilber in writing style, not because he's dictated what I then put my name on, but because I'm as student of his! Again, sheesh.)

Ok. So, I think you're being too theoretical, and overreaching your own knowledge of the persons involved. Theoretically, and generally, I agree that most people probably are not able to have healthy polyamory, or rather, deep polyamory. In my experience personally and clinically, it usually is some form of covering up, bypassing, etc.

But isn't it a bit too far to say that "Mature Monogomy" is always deeper? You're stating it, sure, but then you seem to be "proving" your statement in terms of your own statements/definitions. What I'm questioning is not that you're generally or mostly right, but that your position is always right, in all circumstances, as if talking about a mathematical formula. Your conviction, again, seems heartfelt, but overreaching.

Also, I wonder how old you are, because at 42, I probably can't count anymore how many times I've been an asshole towards people, particularly the ones closest to me. I could probably count on a hand how I wasn't sincere, open, forthright, etc., just today. This is what we humans do, and as a therapist (are you studying to be/acting as a clinician, hence working with Masters?) my job is less to eradicate those actions as to encourage people to hold their own complexity, including their (and I'm assuming your) very, very dark places. Maybe you've attained saintliness, but in my experience, that kind of categorical statement about oneself means there's bypassing going on. But I suppose you can have the benefit of the doubt.

Also--and this may be quibbling--the goal is to integrate the 1st tier levels, not overcome them. There's no dominance of one level over another in integration.

So with Marc, can he fuck up and hurt people, and does he have a shadow? Of course. Has he shit to atone for? I'm sure. As a teacher (as me as a therapist) does he have high standards? Of course. But to call him "sick" goes way too far. Many will testify (as I did above) to his goodness, and value as a teacher, and kindness, etc. And you can't simply write that off--well, you can, but it's dishonest to simply respond with, “What does one expect from a bunch of tools?” Please be respectful in that way.

MartyC said...

(Sorry for the over 4100 character posts...and...)

By the way, in terms of lying, don't hold up Diane Hamilton as a victim. I have deep, deep respect for her, including a time at the ISE1, where, in a public meeting, she said, "I just lied through my teeth." These big personalities cast big shadows--WHICH IS NOT an excuse for bad behavior!--but I don't hold them up to ridiculous and idealized standards. As I said, I'll take responsibilities for my choices and my affiliations, and your dogmatic idea that he "needs" his friends to abandon him is probably the one ugly thing you said in your post. I hope you don't treat your own friends in the same manner.

So my suggestion (since you offered me one) to you is to check how much you actually know, how much you think you know, and take a good look at how pure you really are. You make some decent points, but in my opinion go too far in our conclusions.

That said, I do hope you're actually as saint, because we need more of them.

Also with blessings,

Federico said...

Dear MartyC,
I'm worried to not remember all your points in my answer, I don't have time to read it many times so here I go with the best answer I can come up during a break in my morning job!

Yes, USUALLY, people that claim saintliness or that do not speak openly of their shadows, have MORE shadow than the people that show it.

Though, there is (like with everything a PRE-CONV-TRANS development, where people with Big shadows that are covered are PRE (the ones that point out shadows in others but don't see/recognize them in themselves), there is CONV, people like Diane or Marc, full of shadows that SOMETIMES they recognize, and there IS TRANS, the ones that had overcome to an amazing degree their shadow material or completely transformed it.

Transform shadow is more easy than it seems. When I said I worked with Masters, it was as a patient (he being my therapist). He is my therapist number 10 :o) I am 28, and I have done some 12 years of therapy, all kinds and flavors, on and off since I was 10.

When you push therapy that harder, and with so much passion, effectively shadow become integrated parts of your personality. Some that you may not like that much (for example, I have to bear that I am more sexual than almost all my peers, and behave morally and ethically bearing that outrageous amount of desire without hurting anybody with that).

I was aware and able to put myself in the shoes of others since I was 12 and started to be interested in women. I felt that they deserved deep respect and caring, and that no one should disrespect them.

In all these years relating both as friend, lover, and commited partner, I can proudly say that I have never ever cheated.

I am not speaking about not cheating any of my two relatioship partners. I am speaking of never kissing a girl if I kissed another one in the last days, when I was a teeneger. I am speaking of closing all my (paid!) dating accounts as a single once I met somebody and felt a connection was developing.

The bottom line is a continuous, unending struggle to put my own desires aside and put myself in the shoes of the other person. What I would like to receive? Would I like this woman to be kissing me and be a day after with another person? I would then act in the way I would like to be treated, even if the other person wasn't behaving in similar ways.

I do not lie. I told my women EVERYTHING, even if I had a dream with their best friend, I would confess that. I always believed that radical honesty is nessesary.

I never said MartyC that accross the board ALL monogamy is better than ALL polyamory.

I only said that MATURE Monogamy, the type Jesus and Magdalene, Ken and Treya, Augustus and Diane, and Cynthia Bourgeault and her parter had, is the highest possible spiritual attainment, when two souls LITERALLY become one.

Look at the Tibetan Tantras, is one woman, one man.

That is the of course by definition the most depth you can ever achieve.

Masters add that there is something important in a one-to-one relationship which is the vulnerability of having only one partner. It's her or nothing.

When you have multiple partners, if something goes wrong, unconsciously your emotional bonds are multiple hence there is not such vulnerability, you are not going to finish without anything.

So yes, Polyamory, even in its deepest expressions, still lacks the depths of the highest expressions of Monogamy.

Granted that you don't see that type of monogamy so often. I did experienced it myself with my last partner, and in many ways it was wondrous.

No one to my knowledge is denying a basic goodness in Marc. I do believe he have that. I do believe that everybody have it, by the way.

When I said that his friends should leave him, is JUST if he doesn't recognize what he did.

Federico said...

It is important that he face some shock in order to come to his senses and start healing.

Another option would be to be close to him with the truth. I did that with some friends, being close and yet telling every minute how bad they were behaving. Usually though, it doesn;t work.

I tell you what is the deeper problem here.

Marc is not Integral. No one in the integral movement (I have spoken personally with everybody and yet I cannot of course name any, but think of anyone you may like, and probably I spoke with him about this...) think that he is integral.

He and Mariana present many Green meme characteristics and failures, which is perfectly fine.

This are things that happen ALL THE TIME in free love communities, it have been happening since the 60's! so what's the big deal?

The big deal is that we are an Integral community, presenting a turning point, a transcend and include of the best of all the previous stages, including Green.

But if that is so, we do have to stop behaving like green. We CANNOT be "just another green community", and having wavering blurred morals is one of the best ways to prove we are just boomers matching testosterone with strongens (still!).

About disempowering Marcy, the issue is not empowering or disempowering but knowing how much power she REALLY has!

A woman that relates to a spiritual teacher married some months after the birth of his child while he is also having sex with another women both in silence while he in the past have to flu from his own country because of previous abuses and was accepted back under scrutiny....SHEEESSSHHH!!! (to paraphrase you!)

That woman has CERO power. If you want to empower her, you have to help her mature.

She right now is a 9 year old girl. This is not a sexist issue. It could happen to a man with a woman spiritual teacher.

A more psychosexually developed woman, with more power, would be empowered enought TO NOT PUT herself in such situation. Everything beautiful she may have experienced she can experience with a single man, or with a polyamorous man in a deep, committed polyamory.

AND we know that the other woman did suffer.

So what else do you need to make your judgement MartyC?

No one is telling that he is the devil. At least I am not. I am saying that the guy needs help.

Sick? you don't like that word? How do you call manipulative behavior, bipolar disorder, radical dishonesty?

During a WHOLE YEAR in the future of love teleseries Gafni DID AVOCATED for Monogamy as the choice that he has made.

It IS HYPOCRIT to now claim that he is a polyamorous, and it is an INSULT to polyamory.

People then finish thinking that polyamory is just about doing whatever the fuck you want, whereas some are very serious practitioners, respectful and commited.

There are no excuses to continue to endorse him, dear MartyC.

I think it's great that you stay by his side as a dear friend. But if you want to help him, help him recognize and understand what he did.

He was expulsed from ISE. He was erased from Integral Life. He may be expulsed from Center of World Spirituality. He was expulsed from all orders he has worked so far.

Expulsed, always, in controversial scandals.

What else do you need?

be honest.


HeatherUK said...

Part One.

Oh dear, here we go. Warning if you are sensitive to Red Language.

I am by far not as well spoken as Marty, although I trust I could kick his ass if I wanted to.

Sigh. All this crap just makes it so hard to not tear some new assholes into people, although I will likely end up doing so, because I am SO done with this. Plus the fact that I've had far too much coffee today which is making me just want to go off on people around this stuff.

The "detractors" of Marc get to scream and lynch, we "defenders" get to be "nice and polite and well thought out" (sometimes sarcastic) but ultimately just "dismissed" as if we are mindless sheep that have no minds or abilities of discernment of our own. And that really fucking pisses me off.

ESPECIALLY the shit about Marcy having zero power, being a "young girl", being a victim in this situation. If you fucking know Marcy personally, you WOULD NOT BE SAYING THAT. And this is what gets me; that no matter what she might say or how much power she actually had in this situation, she is just going to be put down as some vulnerable blonde twit who just didn't know any better. As I will be after this, I'm sure.

PU-LEASE. That is SO fucking degrading to her (and I DO know her personally) and to me as a student and a woman. I find it actually abusive to say "We're just trying to protect the vulnerable, innocent women!! Because they obviously don't know what they are doing, can't say no, and have no mind, are easy prey, have no ability of discernment, no power, no ANYTHING in this situation." And to KEEP SAYING IT no matter what the facts actually might be, no matter if any woman in question ACTUALLY knows what she is doing, can say YES or NO, has a very intelligent mind, is hella not easy prey, absolutely has excellent abilities of discernment, a lot of fucking power, and a whole bunch of something goddamn special. And okay, just going to bust out and say it, because I've been dying to and well, too much fucking coffee... but FUCK YOU.

Continued...... (stupid word limit....)

HeatherUK said...

Part Two. Warning again, blah blah.

You want sick? I'M SICK of this shit. I work with "sick" every day in my job. I have an educated, trained and personal ability to see "sick". Did Marc hand over a loaded weapon to his detractors? You bet. Did he endanger the community I've finally felt like I can put some REAL energy into (CWS)? You bet. Am I mad about that? You fucking bet. Not at all mad about the sexual stuff. I've spoken to Marcy directly and am satisfied on this issue. Will I have Red words with Marc? You bet your ass I will. Is Marc sick? Not in any fucking DSM-IV criteria I've seen. Traits? OF COURSE. Lords, in the scope of things, my characterlogical structure is primarily schizoid with a slathering of borderline, sprinkles of narcissism. Am I diagnosable? No. Only with depression and anxiety at one point in my life. (Although I'm sure at this point you are trying to put a code on me.)

By the way, Marc was never married to his most recent partner, they had been parted at the point in question. As Marty has said, please check your facts.

Oh, and that crap around relationships and it being all fucking two souls become one is bullshit. I am a Unique Self that can create a spiritual path IN a relationship but I AM NOT that relationship. Considering the changing of how relationships are put together these days (one woman & one woman, one man & one man, one man & several women, one woman & several men, one woman & one man, one transgender & one woman, one transgender & one man, the sometimes ever changing gay communities, one perfer-not-to-label & several who-knows-how-to-define), it seems a bit out dated to say the highest possible spiritual attainment can only be made "one woman, one man".

Slash me as you wish, I'm rather getting to the place where I really don't give a good goddamn. And am actually finding this voice quite freeing.

(Full disclosure: Marty is my husband. We regularly have threesomes with hippopotami. I am a private study student of Marc's (oooh, I guess that makes me tainted meat and just easy mindless prey therefore getting to disregard everything I have said as hysterical, mind controlled sheep girl!!). Yes, I am well educated, with an actual bullshit detector. Yes, I am fucking blonde. No, I did not fucking sleep with Marc. Yes, I do so fucking enjoy engaging RED, we need more of it. Let's see, what else can I say to completely turn you off... Oh, I'm a violent, video game playing nerd who thinks "enlightenment" means you become an empty, eros-less, mind-fucked zombie. That should do it.)

Federico said...

My dear (last writer), did you read that me and many others stated that this is NOT about "indefense WOMEN", but about indefense PEOPLE?

In Chile, a couple of years ago, a similar situation happened, but the victim was a man.

This is NOT about a gender disempowering the other (that's a green concern). We are equals in power and in NOT HAVING POWER when we are under the spell of somebody that have more power than us.

Stop the "disempowered girl" argument as claiming a sexist traditional thing going on.

As far as the two souls become one, that's the basis of ALL spiritual traditions, the final union of the energies in the body AND the final union of the two souls into one.

Ken had attested to have this experience with Treya, which last till today.

If you want to continue being a Unique Self, independent (all green values) then that's fine. Independence is followed by Interdependence, the next stage.

In interdependence you do become one not just as a realization of the ground of being (when you are one already) but in the subtle realm. You feel what the other feel, and know what the other think.

I'm sorry you haven't experience this so far. You will not, if you do not hear the ones that have experience this and teach about it.

You could start listening to the talks between Cynthia and Ken.

All best


Federico said...

Oh, another thing (to the last writer): There is nothing outdated about one Male energy or essence and one female energy or essence.

Even Marc has preached about how that particular union is Ultimate and re-arises after the green "we are all equal" stand.

Though, no one say it has to be A MAN and A WOMAN. Gender and essence are independent. We ALL have BOTH essences.

Man TEND to identify with the male essence, but that's not always the case. Similarly the women.

But yes, JUST ONE of each essence, with the opposite essence, becoming one, is the most basic (and secret) teaching of Christianity, Buddhism, Taoism, and all traditions.

And, I'm also talking by personal experience.


MartyC said...

Dear Federico,

You are the most darling zealot! If you're ever in San Francisco, please look me up. I'd love to have a cup of joe and make stupid-shit arguments with each other and try to all Integral one up each other, because you seem to be all right at heart. Totally wrong in many other ways, but so endearing.

Much love,

p.s. C'mon, buddy, when you say that Marcy is "under the spell of somebody that has more power," i.e., Marc, how do you know? Really, not talking with her or knowing her, how can you make that assumption? Yer so cute...

Dr. Marc G. Lucas said...

As a phd in psychology with several trauma related qualifications working in the field of adult acute trauma prevention and intervention and co-founder of the section/professional group for acute intervention psychology (Notfallpsychologie) in the German Association for Psychology I recommend this text for the psychological background and insight it offers. Personally I warned about the developments in integral circles more than a year ago and worked out a draft for a negotiated statement for integral teachers months ago. I will gladly send it to everybody interested. Lets not get pinned in a debate on who is right and who is wrong, and what Gafnis did or did not, but learn to develop a new model for integral thinking and integral teachers that helps end this neverending discussion in a healthier way.

william harryman said...

Hi Marc,

I would love to see what you have written - and if you are ok with it, I'd like to share it here on the blog (if not, I'd still like to see it, as would John Wagnon and some others I know).


william harryman said...

to James Barrow, UK -

I deleted Sarah's comment, which is may be true, because she was sharing information she did not have the right to share and which could cause serious issues for the person who told her about it

let's just say that Marc, Mariana, and Marcy are trying to sort out the reality of the issue

the losers here will be Mariana and Marcy, so they are the ones my heart goes out to

Anonymous said...

OK, thanks Bill. I think now that was a very reasonable and concerned course of action to take. Good call.
James Barrow

Arjuna Ardagh said...

Thank you for this article and thanks to all for the comments. There is certainly truth to what you write about these patterns as universal and dangerous. I do feel, however, that we need to take it easy here is jumping to conclusions about other people's reality. I talked to Marcy on the phone a few days ago. She expressed to me, with some passion and certainty, the same sentiments that are in her letter. Marc was out of the country. So while Marc may well have his issues to face, as we all do, and while Marcy may as well, I feel it is presumptuous and insulting to Marcy to refuse to allow her free choice in her opinions. She does not feel that she was manipulated, and she feels she entered into this situation with free choice. If we keep to the facts, our understanding of the complex emotional currents underneath will be richer, and not simple degenerate into a reenactment of the Crucible.

Michael Ricksecker said...

Fighting against therapist abuse!

Resources concerning this type of exploitation:

Anonymous said...

I stumbled across your site after someone posted an older Masculine Heart post on sex addiction, of which I struggle. (Unlike my alcoholism and drug addictions, it is a little harder to pinpoint a recovery date, but I will say the last year has shown marked healing and health.) That article, BTW, was very good and helpful.

At the end of that post, you mentioned "news" on this site and that led me to this article - which is very revealing, accurate, and healing.

I don't want to go into gross detail, but suffice it to say, my 20s were not healthy years. Towards the end of that decade, I found hope and healing through many paths - mostly spiritual. I found recovery from drugs and alcohol over the next 5-6 years, but the sex addiction, though repressed, was still killing me.

The reason I'm writing is because of your explanation of sexual exploitation by men of power. In my experience, you documented this well.

For a brief time (two years), I served as a spiritual leader of a large group of young adults. This was over 15 years ago. During that time, I found myself in several relationships. At the time, I believed each to be consensual - but in retrospect, especially as I read this post, I realize there were some serious issues.

Several of the women I was involved with, also had positions of authority and responsibility, but their backgrounds were filled with brokenness and wounding. I do not, even after reading this article, believe these were exploitive relationships - but, to use your terms, there was some trauma bonding that fed my addiction, need for seduction, sex/romance, and to be the protector.

Unfortunately, and to my shame, there was an instance where a woman 16 years younger than me began to show interest. When I would speak to the larger group, her attention was riveting. She was beautiful, intelligent, and eager to learn. I attempted to maintain good boundaries, and yet, she was persistent. I had no accountability system in place, and I was going through some personal and professional changes.

Soon, we began to meet one on one - innocently. But, it did not end innocently, and that haunts me. I was wrong. Very wrong.

Over the course of the next few years at grad school, I followed your pattern of abstinence (from relationships), but was still engaged in porn. I had opportunity to repeat the experience with other young women, but erected clear boundaries with them very early - never talking with them outside of the public space and avoiding intimate conversations.

Understanding the brokenness in my own past, and on a continual path of recovery in my addictions, your post has enabled me to see my continual vulnerability in this arena. Plus, it has allowed me to see past what often appears "innocent" - but often leads towards bad outcomes.

I also understand, and many women need to understand, that just because I'm remorseful, it does not mean I'm safe.