The following is a repost of an article first published on Integral Options on May 16, 2006.
Being first to respond to something always has its risks. Having been away from my computer all day (more on why in another post — oy . . .), it turns out most people think Wilber’s ego and need to keep the image of II clean have gotten in the way of doing the right thing. Matthew Dallman was especially hard on Wilber, and as much as it pains me to say so, I think MD is right to a certain extent.
I also agree with Tuff Ghost — Wilber has a history of associating with questionable teachers. Many point to Andrew Cohen as the example with the most support. Cohen is horrible, and many use that to condemn What is Enlightenment? as well. If the magazine were merely a tool of Cohen’s enormous ego, I might agree. But there are a diversity of teachers and traditions presented there. I guess I side with ~C4Chaos on that score.
Back to Wilber. I still think that Wilber is doing the best he can to help his friend and appear to be offering some kind of stern but compassionate response. That said, I think he is failing in many ways.
MD is right that a ten-point-plan is rather egotisitical. And he may have been overboard in accusing the associated Jewish groups of firing up the Mean Green Meme, but I suspect there is probably a whole lot of hating going on. Moreover, I think Wilber should be extending himself to the victims more than to Gafni. After all, part of Gafni’s prestige (that put him a position of power necessary to become an abuser) comes from being associated with Wilber and II, especialy after the previous allegations.
Having just now read Gafni’s statement, I think any anger being expressed is justified. It’s all about him, much as Wilber’s statement was all about Wilber and Gafni. Neither response paid necessary respect to the women who were damaged by Gafni’s actions. They’ll get their day in court, but who is going to get them the best therapsits available to guide their recovery? Who is going to set up a committee of the finest psychologists available to make sure their treatment is effective?
Wilber has more explaining to do.
Thanks to everyone who has explored this issue in their blogs, including Jay (here and here) and ebuddha (here and here), who I neglected to mention above.