Wilber and Gafni
Feb 18, 2016 — Dear Change.org signatories,
Thank you again for taking a strong public stand on Marc Gafni with our Change.org petition. The outpouring of support and particularly the stories shared in the comments section have been heartwarming.
The petition helped spark dozens of media pieces. Many leaders and organizations have disassociated from Marc. We are definitely making progress in preventing future harm!
However, Marc is still attracting followers, partly due to ongoing support from several key leaders, particularly Ken Wilber. Ken’s endorsements of Gafni and discrediting of the victims’s testimonies have given Gafni the credibility and prominence he’s needed to rise as a spiritual teacher despite his scandal-ridden history. Wilber needs to be motivated to break his silence and disavow his longtime alliance with Gafni, in order to help dismantle Gafni’s network of support and his ability to do future harm.
I'm writing today to ask for your help in putting pressure on Wilber, who remains one of the most prominent public defenders who has not broken with Marc.
Wilber is scheduled as a presenter at the Wisdom 2.0 conference Feb. 20-22 and we feel that conference producers should know that Wilber is enabling a serial abuser and thus should not be featured at this gathering of more than 3000 high tech and spiritual leaders.
Could you take a minute and forward the below note (personalized however you see fit) to the conference organizers at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
RE: Raising my concern about Ken Wilber as a presenter
Dear Wisdom 2.0 producers,
Please add my voice to the many raising grave concern about the damage you will do by featuring Ken Wilber as a presenter in your upcoming conference. I am asking that you please remove him as a presenter for his protection of serial abuser Marc Gafni. Protecting a serial abuser and enabling him to hurt more people is not the kind of conduct that is worthy of a Wisdom 2.0 presenter, much less a trusted spiritual leader. It is essential that we hold our spiritual leaders accountable and that Wilber is held accountable for his support of Gafni. Associating him with the quality of programming expected of Wisdom 2.0 cheapens and discredits your important work.
I am a signatory to a Change.org petition signed by more than 100 Rabbis and Jewish cultural leaders strongly warned people about our knowledge of activities of Marc Gafni, who has left a trail of decades of sexual abuse, lying, plagiarism, and betrayals of trust. More than 3000 others have joined us, many with direct testimonials you can read in the comments.
Gafni has recently been called a "New Age Cosby" in the Huffington Post. There have been more than 30 public articles about him in the last five weeks, including in the New York Times, HuffingtonPost, New York Daily News, Alternet, Forward, Tablet, Jewish Week, Times of Israel, Haaretz, and Religious News Service.
Several victims have also gone forward with their direct testimonials in recent weeks, including two who were underage when molested and his third wife, who is as yet anonymous. In addition, male spiritual leaders who were once friends and allies of Gafni have written about how they were manipulated by him, and why they no longer support him.
Here's a list of all the known pieces to date: http://integral-options.blogspot.com/2016/01/a-regularly-updated-list-of-current.html
Despite this extensive media coverage, Ken Wilber remains one of Gafni's most prominent defenders and enablers, as a co-founder of the Center for Integral Wisdom with him. Over the years he has issued several public statements such as this one, http://www.marcgafni.com/resp/on-controversy-by-sally-kempton-and-ken-wilber/, in which he praises Gafni and discredits the people brave enough to tell the truth about Gafni’s abuse.
Wilber claims to have researched Gafni's past and found nothing worse than him being an "insensitive boyfriend," a comment in the New York Times article that was devastating and infuriating to Gafni's many victims who have experienced severe trauma.
We understand that Wilber has actually been privy to many direct testimonies and in-depth allegations and seems to have chosen to minimize this history publicly to protect Gafni. I join with my fellow signatories in calling for you to investigate this matter and to dismiss Wilber from your program unless he makes a public disassociation and repudiation of Gafni.
We cannot risk having more lives traumatized.
Thank you all for your courage and for your commitment to ending ending this abuse, once and for all.
In solidarity and blessing,
Rabbi David Ingber