The Latest Marc Gafni Controversy

Here is some background on Rabbi Marc Gafni.

Here are the latest charges regarding the rabbi’s consensual relationships with two women:

Integral life has removed Gafni as a contributor to their website and as MC of the Integral Spiritual Experience 3 Conference.

Sounds True has cancelled publication of his upcoming book and severed ties with his Center for World Spirituality.

In an effort to discover what might be behind these developments, I have been in conversation with both Robb Smith, CEO of Integral Life, and Tami Simon, owner and publisher of Sounds True.

Robb and I have not had a chance to speak personally, but Tami kindly sent me the following response (posted with her permission):

When I first started working with Marc a couple of years ago, Marc and I spoke openly about his history and what he claimed were false accusations against him related to alleged sexual improprieties. Several influential people spoke up in his defense and equally several people warned me not to trust Marc. I came to believe that whatever had happened in the past, Marc was beginning a new chapter in his life. Marc explicitly stated to me that he was not going to be involved in sexual relationships with students, that even if he deemed such relationships to be consensual, he did not believe that engaging in relationships with students would support his efforts to be an effective teacher. In considering publishing Marc’s work, the most important thing to me was the actual quality of the written work. When he submitted “Your Unique Self” in its edited form, I appreciated the content and message of the book. The quality of the book combined with the force of his conviction regarding how he would conduct himself as a teacher moving forward convinced me to take a risk on publishing his work.

In the past several weeks, new and incontrovertible information came to light that made me aware that Marc was involved in a sexual relationship with a student and that the relationship was shrouded in secrecy. There was an obvious lack of alignment between Marc’s words to me and his actions. I learned about Marc’s sexual relationship with a student from another woman who was having a sexual relationship with Marc. This woman was also asked by Marc to keep her relationship with him a secret. In talking with this woman, I learned how emotionally damaging this secrecy was for her, how it cut her off from emotional support and connection. I also learned quite a bit about how she felt manipulated by Marc, about how often she witnessed Marc telling lies to cover his tracks, and how upset she was to find herself caught in such a web of lies.

Discovering this new information, it became clear to me that it was not in integrity for me personally or for Sounds True as a company to publish Marc’s books or to support him as a spiritual teacher in the world. I do not trust Marc Gafni. I do not trust what he says, and I do not trust that he acts in the best interests of his students or his professional alliances.

Rabbi Marc Gafni writes:

39) In my life, several months ago, I stepped out of the domestic romantic container that I was in with my partner – by mutual and loving agreement.

40) After that time I had two relationships with powerful adult women.

41) I shared these relationships with a close woman friend and advisor in these matters.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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