The following is from correspondence received from an ex-devotee and former long-time associate of the Adi Da community,who wishes to remain anonymous. I cannot conform the truth of what is being said here, But I am reporting it because it's controversial contents may be of interets to readers in the ambigious guru phenomon. Franklin/Adi Da is presented as a pretty negative character here; actually quite similar (ablet different) to Sai Baba in the seriousness of these allegations. If we place alongside this account the positive recommendations of devotees, and do not deny or denigrate or dismisss either side, we have the paradoxical nature of the Intermediate Zone
I am now presenting the correspondence, without making any statements regarding its validity or not. A few even more controversial sections have been deleted. However there is no reason why the deleted material may not be true. It's just that what is said here is controversial enough. - MAK
26 May 2006
I liked your web page on Franklin, think it's one of the few balanced things out there. He is a puzzle and a very unusual figure.
Let me start by saying that I was involved with that way for almost 20 years. Much of my experience confirms what you say, except that I was much closer, and was present for most of the teaching talks that got edited into books. I took it very seriously, and exhausted myself doing it. Interestingly, I will say that I did get results that were real and profound. I don't know if it is even possible to communicate it. I have marveled at the ability of anyone to do as Franklin has done if what was my experience and for a time realization is true of him. I look back at that time, and much of it was good. The community is mostly made of very good people. The way of life is mostly a good one, and for the most part the community is highly moral.
There are three rings to the community. There is the outer one, which is moral, sane, intelligent and really very good. There is the buffer zone that stands between the inner circle/intimates and the community. That is composed of people who are variable, but mostly very earnest, some heavy duty climber types, and some who are criminal. This circle is the one that causes people to get flung out most often and frequently very disturbed and disaffected. The inner circle is the most problematic. Those who get closest are not the best. And it has been my observation over the years that many of them do not get better or become better human beings, quite the reverse, rather like the old timers in the buffer group. Instead, those who survive and prosper become fluent and habitual liars, cheats, and even simple thieves. They all become masterful manipulators and good at intimidation. People come away from these inner circle "considerations" abused, angry, freaked out, etcetera.
One has to ask over years of time, "What's up with that?"
That said, I am no longer involved, although I try to maintain friendly relations with the community. I am somewhat afraid of Franklin, and do not trust him nor his inner circle. I have gathered evidence that would be admissible in court that confirms that he and the inner circle have lied for years, and probably from the very beginning about Franklin's use of drugs of all kinds. His community has become pervaded by drug use, primarily marijuana, with some alcohol thrown in. What I came to be with and be involved in is no more.
I also know that one of the "healers" in the community treated him with an Ayurvedic medical treatment for many years which treatment contained a lot of mercury. Enough mercury to cause symptoms of blindness and psychosis. I was never able to get samples for analysis, but when I found that out and did the timing, it corresponds well to his becoming more florid - to the point of bizarre.
Franklin has been on medications to function at all since the days in Maria Hoop in Holland when he went off into the woods and wouldn't come back. Various things, from antidepressants and antianxiety medications to Viagra. He's unable to function and cope without taking drugs. That's a very disturbing thing and makes it hard to believe that he is truly "enlightened" unless you expand that quite a bit. And yet, that ineffable presence remains.
I also have been in the room in later years when Franklin had drifted. By that I mean that in the earlier days he would come out with something and say it with that intense delivery of his. But I have been there since when he quite clearly was just confabulating, saying things that couldn't possibly be true and were contradictory with what he had said shortly before. But he did it with the same delivery.
I agree that Franklin has a real presence, and that it is profound. What Franklin/Adi Da/etcetera truly is? I don't believe I or anyone else will be able to categorize him. Myth making is already going on around him. Few will know and fewer will care to seriously look at what he is/was. Most will form snap judgments.
Franklin is, unfortunately, a sociopathic exploiter of people. He has systematically stripped women of their inheritances, and if someone has something happen, or is even dying, he will not direct that a cent of the money he takes be used to help them. The "kanyas" who come and go? Many of them are women with significant inheritances. Franklin systematically abuses them, he's a master at it and at social manipulation. He casts them out or they just fall out, devastated, destroyed, and emotionally broken so they can't fight or attack him after. But he romances them and strips them of their money. After that he is done with them.
And yet, there is a spiritual something there that is as if not more real than other religions, and it was stronger in the past. I relate to it like technlogy now. The Tibetans understand this and say that the phenomenon of a yogi with great siddhis arising who becomes dark in some form(s) is common. Most who are involved with the group are decent people, or start out that way. They become damaged by it though, and that is the bottom line for me in the end. After more than 2 decades, what has he wrought? There are none in his inner circle whom I respect. People are used and sucked dry by him, then cast away like trash. His family, well, I just don't like them very much. Those who are at the innermost sanctum? They get worse and worse, not better and better. That's the bottom line, and the proof that this is not true "crazy wisdom". This is the proof that it is sociopathy mixed with yogic capacity.
13 June, 2006
MAK: All these gurus have feet of clay, even Ken Wilber seems to have lost it, from the evidence of a recent diatribe on his blog ranting against his critics. You should read about Wilber's friend Andrew Cohen; scary parallels with Da in the abusiveness department (see What enlightnemnet and enlightenment nixt blogs)
Absolute power corrupts absolutely
Only a few gurus like the Dalai Lama, Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, Vivekananda, Ramakrishna, Nityanada etc seem to have been the real thing.
14 Jun 2006<[>My thinking at this point is that the phenomenon is actually one of humans in groups, not specifically of gurus. By the way, if you want a chilling example, read the history of Mohammed. There are some remarkable parallels with Franklin Jones. Both were initially recognized by their first wives as god or god's representative on earth. Both took multiple wives and changed their teachings to accommodate their sexual whims. Both committed rapes. Franklin would be a general leading armies in another time, it's just that he can't do it in this one.
Whether this guru's side of this phenomenon is about "losing it" is questionable in my mind. I say that because what "losing it" means is all about your frame of reference. You and I think of this as "losing it" because of our judeo Christian cultural heritage that defines goodness and rightness as including humility. This is definitely not true of all cultures. The last 5 years in working in developing parts of the world made that very clear to me. In that sense, what is right? At a basic level it is the species talking, and the "god gene" is organizing people into movements to propagate itself better than those who don't have it.
Andrew Cohen, I know of him peripherally in the sense that a number of ex-Daists went to him.
Getting back to this as a group phenomenon, I think the major difference between Franklin, Ken Wilber and those you listed is that the Dalai Lama, Ramakrishna, etcetera, live within a larger culture and tradition. The Tibetans if you go to Nepal and talk to them know about such tendencies. There is a tape of Muktananda saying that Franklin is a dark yogi who will lead many into darkness. This reminds me of what one sees in larger political movements such as Communism which also acquired very similar adherents. Some of those still pump out apologist writings today. The communist world was taken over by dark gangsters taking advantage of naive idealism. They conducted programs that would make Sauron proud. But, over time, that system evolved as human groups do, with intelligent and principled people making their way into positions of power. By the time it fell it was mostly just another system. Same thing is already happening in Adidam.
Within Adidam, for a long time, now, almost 2 decades, Franklin has ranted with increasing frequency about how the regular student body is not what he is about and hems him in. At this point it is the primary content of his rantings that are translated into "notes" for the membership. It's also quite true. I think it is the best thing going in that organization and evidence of good human character. The regular run of student (the inner circle is very small) is an intelligent, highly principled, kind and thoughtful person. The inner circle knows that and it is why they are so very careful to hide as well as they can and spin things so aggressively.
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