The following short piece, authored by Claire Molinard, is an update to her two articles on Wikipedia distortion and particularly the distortions on Marc Gafni’s Wikipedia page.
Here are the links to the two important original articles.
Read “How Wikipedia is used for Internet Abuse – Part 1” on Patheos.
Read “How Wikipedia is used for Internet Abuse – Part 2” on Patheos.
The first article cites the extensive literature documenting how personal wiki-pages are often hijacked and become platforms for some of the most vicious expressions of misinformation, slander and distortion. The second article turns to Dr. Marc Gafni’s Wikipedia page to illustrate some of these issues. This third article will briefly list just a fraction of the false facts, distortions and misinformation on the current Marc Gafni wiki-page.
How Wikipedia is used for Internet Abuse – Part 3
May 20, 2021 by Claire Molinard
- Dr. Gafni has never been associated with the New Age Movement, as Wiki suggests. Marc Gafni is not a New Age Spiritual teacher, he is the co-president and senior scholar, together with Dr. Zachary Stein, in a leading Think Tank, which he co-founded with Sally Kempton, Mariana Caplan and Ken Wilber, called the Center for Integral Wisdom. He similarly serves as the executive Director and senior scholar at the Foundation for Conscious Evolution. He took this position at the request of Barbara Marx Hubbard, the original founder of the Foundation for Conscious Evolution. Dr. Gafni also serves as the co-founder, together with Barbara Marx Hubbard, and current Director of the Office for the Future.
- The first paragraph of Wiki suggests that Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, the leader of the Jewish Renewal Movement, revoked Dr. Gafni’s ordination in 2006. In that Gafni was banned from teaching at Jewish Renewal events. Here is the more accurate information: the false claims of sexual harassment made against Dr. Gafni in 2006, were organized and later supported by key figures within, and closely associated with, the Jewish Renewal Movement. Those figures include David Ingber, the only student that Dr. Gafni had expelled from his circle. David was originally ordained by Dr. Gafni. Dr. Gafni revoked that ordination, based on grossly, unethical conduct on David’s part.
- Dr. Gafni’s was never a student of Zalman’s, he never studied with him, rather he was a peer and for a short time a colleague. Given that Zalman’s theatrical statement that he was revoking Gafni’s ordination, was just that: political theatrics with no substance.
- Zalman’s personal funding was directly connected with sources directly involved, or close friends with those directly involved, in supporting the false claims in 2006.
- When the false claims were made in 2006, Zalman never contacted Gafni to ascertain the facts. Gafni attempted to contact Zalman multiple times. Zalman however was politically constrained and fearful and afraid to do the right thing by actually checking facts in a fair and appropriate way. Days before Zalman died he expressed remorse to a close confidante of this for how he had handled all of this.
- Similarly the Jewish Renewal Movement, a small group of Zalman’s students never contacted Gafni or ascertained facts in any way.
- It’s also well known and documented in any number of sources that Gafni was a highly beloved teacher in Zalman’s Jewish Renewal Movement, and second only to Zalman in the amount of students and the depth of their commitment. This caused enormous tension between Zalman and Gafni, particularly as Gafni was not Zalman’s student and would have taken the Jewish Renewal Movement in different directions.
- In terms of the statements on Wikipedia suggesting that Rabbi Riskin revoked Gafni’s ordination 1994, the following information is relevant.
1. Gafni held three rabbinic ordinations of which the ordination from Rabbi Riskin was only one. Rabbi Gafni is presently fully ordained even though he does not actively function in a formal rabbinic capacity but instead leads the activist think tank, Center for Integral Wisdom which he co-founded with Ken Wilber, Sally Kempton, and Marianna Kaplan.
2. In 2004 Gafni wrote Riskin and suggested that their paths on a number of levels had split so significantly, that he felt it was inappropriate for him to retain Riskin’s ordination, which he respectfully returned. Gafni is unaware, nor has he ever been informed of any fair process in which his ordination from Riskin was revoked. Gafni has not had any contact with Riskin for decades and certainly no fact-checking conversations have ever happened, which would allow for the evidentiary refutation of the false claims made on the internet and other media forums, which themselves did no fact-checking whatsoever.
- The second part of Wiki’s opening paragraph talks about the story of Sara Kabakov. Sara’s false claims have been extensively refuted on multiple occasions by Dr.Gafni over the last two decades. The following two articles, one by Gafni and two by third parties, detail those evidentiary refutations.