In the third section of the Marc Gafni story, I wrote about how important it is for good people to seek truth, for not everything is what it appears.
Marc Gafni and the Tell Tale Sign of a Smear Campaign: Intense Demonization
It has been months since the Marc Gafni smear campaign began. I have been deeply gratified, overwhelmed in fact, to see how the Center for Integral Wisdom has responded as a community. As I said earlier, I sat in on a Zoom call last February, at the beginning of the smear campaign, with some thirty of my friends, as each of us stated our commitment to try and find Spirit’s next move forward in this. Not one vindictive person in the whole group and that tone was set by Marc Gafni himself. We know that Marc is not the only person who has ever been smeared. So we decided that it would be helpful to public culture if we responded by showing people what has been done here. We want people to understand that while this happened to us, it happens to others and we need to stand against this sort of smearing in our society. Witness 11/8/16—the future depends on it.
It took some real effort to create this smear campaign against Marc Gafni. Dinan, Ingber and the others gathered the resources for this smear campaign, planned its phases, let the lies unfold, and watched the damage tear people apart. This organized campaign has generated almost a hundred articles, blog posts, and Facebook posts. The same set of distorted facts, rumors and outright lies were repeated again and again within the self-referencing echo chamber on the web. The lies started with the assumption that the 2006 ‘complaints’ in Israel were true when they are clearly FALSE!—Mariana Caplan and Clint Fuhs. But this was only the beginning of the effort.
One of the tell tale signs of something very corrupt is the quality of virulent demonization that accompanies a smear campaign. Listen to the following article, which appeared at the beginning of the smear campaign. The writer, Carolyn Baker does not know Marc Gafni. She has never spoken to him, nor did she contact him, with any request for information. She appeared out of nowhere in early 2016, obviously enrolled by smear campaign organizers. When you read what she writes you have to understand that this level of demonization opens up the most frightening impulses within human beings. It represents the kind of behavior that Lisa Engles referred to, when she called the smear campaign against Marc Gafni, an act of attempted social murder. Here is what Carolyn Baker wrote.
“In the case of Gafni, evidence is mounting that he may be a sociopath, devoid of conscience and therefore the pangs of guilt with which most humans struggle. The shadow, in fact, may not be the issue for him in this situation because the dynamics of the shadow require that an individual have a conscience. The presence of conscience causes us to repress aspects of ourselves that do not resonate with what we consider morally sound, and we therefore bury those in the unconscious mind, or we choose to examine them and resolve the issue. Individuals without conscience, however, live out rather than repress their demons.”
That these statements are utterly groundless. They are based on speculation without any supporting evidence or clinical evaluation. Hell, the word “sociopath” first appeared in an angry letter posted by Marc’s ex-wife back in 2006. It’s irresponsible and cruel to write about someone you’ve never met and suggest he has no conscience. This line of rhetoric in the smear campaign is the modern day equivalent of calling someone a witch in Salem, MA. But none of this bothers the writer. This in and of itself reveals ulterior motives. Will Dinan and company stop at nothing? The answer is sadly, “Yes.” But unlike Carolyn, or Stephen for that matter, I know Marc—and this damaging, groundless and just plain mean rhetoric does bother me. It makes me suspicious. It seems Carolyn was enrolled into this, which to me, somehow makes it worse. Was money exchanged? I cannot say. But I do know that when Marc’s representative called Carolyn Baker in an attempt to clarify issues and set up an interview, she hung up the phone.
Contrast what she writes with what the single most qualified person on the face of the globe has to say about Marc Gafni’s inner psychological nature—that would be his therapist, Peter Dunlap, Ph.D., and it all becomes very clear. The following evaluation appears as part of 58 blog posts written in response to the smear campaign last February. Simply compare the tone and content of those posts to the tone and content of the smear campaign, and you can find your own truth. It is worth reading Dr. Dunlap carefully. I was initially going to excerpt him here, but have instead included the post in its entirety:
I am writing in support of Marc Gafni. I am a therapist and a political psychologist. Normally I work behind the scenes but, in light of recent public assault on Marc Gafni, I feel morally obligated to call out the irresponsible attacks that are not only harmful to Marc but also are destructive to the Integral community.
I have functioned as Marc’s therapist over the last several years, which places me in a unique position to know his consciousness, his strengths and limitations. While intellectually brilliant, Marc is committed to ongoing psychological work as part of his life practice, which he approaches with genuine humility. While others have known him longer, I know him well.
In light of the recent spate of attacks, let me just say that Marc is psychologically sound, a significantly empathic and ethical person whose character bears no resemblance to the projections described on the web. Marc’s goodness, commitment to transformation, and core integrity are, based on my work with him, beyond question. To even need to say this is almost inappropriate, but given the memes that have expressed themselves in the blogosphere, the self-evident may need to be stated.
To really understand Marc is to realize that he is somewhat of a mutant. What I mean is that he is gifted in very specific and important ways that are unusual and rare. Those gifts need to be protected even as Marc continues to model what I believe all leaders should do — to continue to do ongoing work with foundational issues. What is unusual about Marc are his larger than life gifts as well as his profound humility. Marc has specifically said that he is willing to meet and work with anyone who might have an issue with him. I have seen him make that offer and have seen those who are willing to dialogue as well as those who have refused, preferring to attack him rather than look at their own self responsibility and personal dynamics.
While he can be fiery and is quick to speak, he also pauses and listens. And when he listens you can see him taking in the feelings of another; he slows down, his face relaxes, showing his pain, and he turns to meet the other in their difference. This is part of his integrity. Since first meeting Marc he has worked to expand his understanding of his own responsibilities in leading people into the work of forming an integral global consciousness.
To understand the projections on the web, to borrow Ken Wilber’s thinking, all four quadrants need to be taken into account, including and especially the cultural, political lower quadrants on both the right and left side. In order to fully understand the false complaints against Marc of ten years ago we need to examine the political complexity within Integral and the organizing force within the new age community that helped catalyze these events—Clint Fuhs. We can understand and meet this attack by recognizing it as, in part, a mythic/archetypal phenomenon and respond to it in relation to group dynamics. From this frame it is possible to contain and redirect such scapegoating energies. In other words, we need to catch our collective breath and show enough humility to not resort to the type of black and white thinking that currently dominates our political world. It is not surprising that we too would internalize and act out such chaotic dynamics.
The current attack on his person is unwarranted and obligates the Integral community to do its own soul searching. It is my hope that we can turn our attention toward our own shadow, much as Marc has shown me he is willing to do. As William Stafford writes: “the darkness around us is deep.”
Peter T. Dunlap Ph.D.
Clinical and Political Psychology
On Marc Gafni, Clinical, and Political Psychology
The smear campaign against Marc Gafni, replete with its smug, self-righteous judgments proclaimed loudly by bystanders, has surfaced in a loosely gathered group of people who think of themselves as “evolutionaries.” In other words, these are people who believe that the whole point of life and creation is for the evolutionary impulse to move towards greater beauty and unity. We know that growth and development are extraordinarily difficult. We know they require a person to look into their lives and view those things that bring deep shame. To do so raises huge fear—the opposite of love. We know that this must take place in an environment of care, a context that calls forth healing. Marc has always been available to engage in a serious process of fact checking and transformation in which all parties, himself included, acknowledge responsibility for whatever they have done—such a serious process would have to include the airing of false complaints and smear campaigns. Marc is, far and away, the person most hurt by all of this, and yet he is the only one who has offered an apology for his part in “creating the conditions” that allowed false complaints to happen. That pretty much says it all.
We let Marc down. We let one another down. We let the feminine down. We must do better.
So I say to Marc’s virulent enemies: enough is enough. It is past time to cease and desist. Integrity cannot move forward from here—not with you manipulating the system, trying to distort our perceptions. We shall always seek transformation, development, and growth. Marc’s friends will challenge him to develop and grow just as he challenges us. Why do you think we love him? Because he has brought profound and challenging insight to our lives and has guided many of us through moments of growth. We all must seek maturity though, for this process of evolution takes wisdom, an understanding of the way creation evolves. That has been sorely lacking.
It’s time, time for this to end. Too many people have been hurt. The way it ends is for good people to stand and be counted, doing what spiritual teachers so rarely do, when there may be a price to pay. We need to stand for the ideals that we preach and one of those is “truth.” If we’ve learned nothing in these last weeks, it is that we must demand and seek truth. So I ask you, “Where will you stand? Where will ‘we’ go from here?”
For more on Marc Gafni and his story you can visit WhoIsMarcGafni.com. The site is a compendium of articles, videos, interviews and the like, which offer a very different narrative from that of the smear campaign. It has the “ring of truth” and I encourage the reader to use the site.
Links to the other parts of this essay: