Noteworthy

News and notes, updated periodically. Please send new items to americanguru@ymail.com.

August 2012
Aesthetic Realism is a Cult – a very informative and helpful site by former cult members

July 2012
Two recent reader reviews of American Guru posted on Amazon, worth a read.

January 2012
EnlightenNext announces the success of its third annual Meditation Marathon

12/22/2011
More on the Marc Gafni abuse story:
“A Journey Through Clergy Abuse” by Zvi Bellin
And more comments here and here and here.

12/1/2011
The following letter was received from a former student of EnlightenNext-

I recently ordered Andrew’s latest book, Evolutionary Enlightenment, and the first two sentences of the Acknowledgements were striking. Andrew wrote:

“First and Foremost, I want to thank and bow deeply to all of my teachers, most especially H.W.L. Poojnja, who set me free. I want to thank all of my students, past and present, and whose dedication and commitment to my vision has enabled me to give rise to emergent potentials I could never have brought forth on my own.”

I was aware of Andrew’s new found love and appreciation for Poonjaji, but I had no idea that extended to his other teachers. In the past, the main role Andrew’s former teachers served in his stories was to illustrate his own integrity, as he confronted each one in turn for their lack of integrity, and moved on. In Autobiography of an Awakening, he wrote, “With my martial arts instructor, my Indian Guru and now my meditation teacher, the same event had occurred. In all three cases, when I made a deliberate attempt to speak honestly and directly with them about inconsistencies in their behavior in relationship to their own teaching, they all responded with anger, outrage or complete disinterest in the very real and important points I was trying to bring to their attention.” Even after his breakup with Poonjaji, he acknowledged him as a deeply enlightened (albeit duplicitous) man, but I don’t remember him ever speaking of his other teachers with even that degree of respect.

And correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t remember Andrew ever expressing gratitude towards his students for making what he did possible as he does here; certainly not his former students. I remember on at least one occasion in a public teaching he said he owed his students nothing. As recently as 2 years ago, he wrote a blog post “Other Side of the Rainbow” that congratulated himself for all the effort and sacrifice he put into giving rise to new potentials without giving even the slightest acknowledgement of that of his students. I guess it’s a positive development that he’d publicly express some gratitude to those of us who gave years of our lives to supporting his vision. On the other hand, the phrase “dedication to my vision,” rankles; it’s true of course, and in retrospect it was what was fundamentally wrong with the enterprise we were all a part of.

11/2/2011
This just in…
“Andrew Cohen is on the cover of this week’s edition of Publishers Weekly Magazine!!!!” …and…
“This man will change the way you think about spirituality forever.”
see more here.

Then someone sent me this: “Publishers Weekly, the Reed Business Information-owned trade publication targeting book publishers, librarians, booksellers and literary agents, has been selling its cover space to advertisers for more than 25 years.”

And just to make sure, I called Publishers Weekly and spoke with their rep who confirmed that the Andrew Cohen cover was a paid cover.

But that hasn’t stopped the praise from rolling in.

10/28/11
Visitation from the Unknown on BuddhaGeek.

A hot discussion on the merits of Andrew Cohen’s philosophy gets shut down by the site owner. Why? Well, because it’s better to have such discussions in person, or at least somewhere else besides his blog. See it here:
http://www.buddhistgeeks.com/2011/10/bg-235-a-visitation-from-the-unknown/

9/12/11
BREAKING: Marc Gafni’s Sexual Impropriety Re- Emerges
Will Integral Leadership Step Up this Time?

“Integral Abuse” by Be Scofield has more background, (scroll down to section about Marc Gafni)
There’s a discussion on Integral World Forum
…plus Ken Wilber weighs in on the issue