– Marc Gafni’s friends, collaborators, and colleagues speak out for the sake of restoring integrity. This statement by Integral Psychologist Elliott Ingersoll about “competitors” in the spiritual market place was first posted as a comment to the Center for Integral Wisdom statement on centerforintegralwisdom.org. You can read the statement below or listen to the audio. –

For the record, Marc and I had numerous dialogues prior to my joining CIW. In those dialogues he was forthright about his past and the implications of some of his choices he was not aware of but had now learned. More importantly a year later at a time when I was struggling and calling on spiritual figures I knew to make a stand on gun violence Marc was the only one who responded and reached out offering me space for blogging and sharing the messages I felt were vital. Marc has drawn together an extraordinary group of people in his think tank who are committed to and involved in work to end suffering. The people involved with the Center for Integral Wisdom are among the brightest and most passionate I have met.

I experience the attacks on Marc personally as cowardly and generally as mendacious. Why do I say “cowardly” in the first place? Well, anyone who knows me knows that I value free thought above all else and belief hardly at all. In that vein I check things out for myself. I have contacted five of the primary people feigning outrage because Marc has founded and is running an activist think tank and one who was trying to think through the issues. I contacted 3 of them several times and in a civil manner. One of the five got back to me and in his case he admitted he has no first-hand knowledge of the supposed “crimes” Marc is being smeared with but knew someone who did. Fine. I asked him if I could talk with that person. Turns out (of course) that person “wasn’t comfortable” speaking with me even though they speak publicly about this on a regular basis. How convenient. Not all of the discourse have been attacks though, and the person who was more evenhandedly thinking through the issues got back to me and engaged in a civil, heart-felt dialogue about spiritual teachings and the complexities of them.

I think generally the “attacks” are mendacious because many of them come from what we might think of as “competitors” in the spiritual market place. I admit this is speculation on my part but our center is achieving an increasingly high profile and we are all involved with work “on the ground” to ease suffering. Actually “doing” something would seem threatening to those who blather on about “transformation” but whose actual work in the world amounts to selling books or collecting speaking fees. I urge anyone reading this to think for themselves where Marc and the Center are concerned. Demand and seek out first-hand experience of our work and you will be amazed by what we are engaged in.

– Elliott Ingersoll, Ph.D.