False Claims About Marc Gafni

This short statement outlines the facts behind the distorted posts made about Marc Gafni online and in other forums.

As often happens in public life in the internet age, a small group of people can conduct a campaign to discredit a public figure by repeating false or distorted statements over and over until they are assumed to be true.

Though it is always difficult to know whether a public figure should respond to or ignore such campaigns, many leading public figures have dealt with these kinds of challenges successfully. Because we believe that it is important to set the record straight, the board of Center for Integral Wisdom decided to create a special section called Response to False Web Claims, which contains a full public record response to these issues.

The most shocking of these false claims is the heinous distortion which has occasionally circulated, calling Marc a confessed child rapist. The alleged incident referenced a relationship from when Marc was 19 years old. Just after Marc graduated from high school, he had a youthful romance with a girl who was in her first year of high school (14). They dated for several months and their physical relationship was limited to above-the-waist contact. Marc ended the relationship because he felt that it was in violation of the Orthodox code of sexual behavior, which prohibits any premarital physical contact. Marc was heartbroken to end the relationship. She wrote a letter after the relationship ended saying to Marc that he was her great love, attesting to the full depth and integrity of the relationship, and asking Marc not to end the relationship. Independent expert third party corroboration has confirmed this letter and Marc’s version of these events 33 years ago. This corroborative material is available upon request.

Incomplete facts and distorted narrative from this incident were posted in some web forums. One glaring inaccuracy is that the posts do not identify that Marc was 19 years old when this incident happened. Nor do they identify the very limited physical contact in the relationship. Instead, this historical incident from Marc’s teenage years has consistently been framed in a way that implies that Marc, as a forty or fifty year old adult teacher, had sexual relations with a 14 year old girl. The primary disreputable page that made this claim is no longer on the web but scattered references to it occasionally appear. Marc first became aware that this relationship from his late teens was being distorted in this way twenty years after the relationship ended. There has never been any legal or factual basis to this gross distortion.