Open Letter to Joe Perez on Attacking Tami Simon

The following is a repost of an article first published on Integral Options on October 3, 2011.

http://integral-options.blogspot.com/2011/10/open-letter-to-joe-perez-on-attacking.html

This letter is in response to Joe Perez’s post this morning attacking Tami Simon for making a public statement to explain to me (and others) why she canceled publication of Marc Gafni’s book.

Note: this picture of Joe is from his Facebook profile picture album. It probably should be a white hat, since Joe is riding in to save Marc Gafni’s reputation and the future of the integral enterprise. Don’t heroes always wear white hats?

Anyway, this is a slightly edited version of the comment I left on his post.

Dear Joe,

You have the facts very wrong in blaming Tami Simon for Gafni’s problems. She canceled publication of his book, nothing more. And she did so because she only agreed to take him on as an author on the agreement that he would not be sleeping with students or involved in any more scandals – which he swore to her would not happen. And then it did. He lied to her and she chose not to be associated with someone who consistently acts in ways to derail his success and that of those associated with him. She honestly answered my questions about the situation and allowed me to post her comments (I cannot speak for her motivations, but I suspect she allowed me to share her comments in order to avoid a whisper campaign about the reasons the book had been pulled, which had somehow already been leaked prior to my post).

Integral Life (and Robb Smith) had been in the process of ending its relationship with Gafni for at least a year, long before this latest situation with Gafni’s lies. Diane Hamilton had distanced herself from Gafni well before any of this happened, as had several other integral teachers. Tami Simon had nothing to do with Robb’s decision to break ties with Gafni. The schism in the integral world rests solely on Gafni’s actions, not on anything Tami Simon did – and it’s exceedingly sad that you have been manipulated by Gafni into posting such a reckless attack on her character.

And for the record, the letter in support of Gafni attributed to Ken Wilber and Sally Kempton was written by Kempton and Gafni, not Wilber, he only allowed them to use his name. The same is true for the letter attributed to Robb Smith and Ken Wilber. I suspect Smith would prefer that letter be removed. But Gafni persuaded Wilber to add his name to it. If you will recall, that “letter” was originally a post at Integral Life written by Smith. Gafni has “reframed” it to look different than its original intention.

I know you are an intelligent and, I believe, compassionate man (despite the many and varied personal attacks you have made on me and now on Tami Simon), so I am saddened to see you fall under Ganfi’s seductions (he seduces men, too, just not sexually). The issue has always been Gafni’s need for power and control and the destructive ways he goes about getting it and keeping it. You seemed to see it clearly in some of what you have written above, but then you ignore your own observations to make claims for Gafni that sound hollow. How can a teacher on Unique Self be believed when he, as you rightly say, cannot even be trusted to stand in his own unique self without resorting to “distortions and evasions”?

Further, you have (I think) unwittingly become Gafni’s pawn in his usual format of attack when he is caught up in one of his repeated abuses of power and position – he attacks the character of those who have called him out on his actions (he did it to Luke Ford and Vicki Polin, as well as to the women he was involved with in Israel, his three ex-wives, and any woman who has spoken against him publicly) – in this case he has you attacking Tami Simon on his behalf, as well as intensifying the attacks you have already made on my character.

He read you perfectly. He saw in you a desire for position as the premier integral blog, which in his mind, and apparently yours, requires taking me and IOC down. He played you. He made me the enemy and then, by extension and association, made Tami Simon your target as well. This is his usual method – obscure the facts by attacking the messengers.

And finally, on a personal note, thanking me for the “courageous blog post which brought the entire matter into the light,” while you have done nothing but attack me and malign my character, is more than a little disingenuous. And for the record, intellectual property “theft” requires that I use material without attribution, which has never happened. I know you were running that attack long before Gafni got to you (and I suspect one of your own readers was spot on when he suggested it was part of your effort to be the #1, go-to integral blog, which requires discrediting me and IOC), but since then you seem to really be attached to that one method of discrediting me. But you purposely use the most inflammatory language you can find to totally misrepresent the truth.

I’m saddened to see you on the wrong side of this story.

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