Myths, Facts, Light & Shadow and Marc Gafni

Injustice via the Internet: Myths, Facts, & Smear Campaigns in the Marc Gafni Story — An Exposé by Kerstin Tuschik Part 2 of 4

>> To Download a PDF of the Entire Essay Click Here <<

In Part One of this article, we looked at how postmodernity regressed into the post-truth era. We examined how the internet does not serve us well in distinguishing myths from facts and how all of us need to grow up in order to navigate the truth on the internet.

To really understand how this works however we need to move from general observations to specifics. For that reason in the next section of this essay, I want to offer the Marc Gafni Story[i] as a case study on how this post-truth and post-fact culture plays out in our news media as well as the internet.

Whether you have already heard or read about Marc Gafni or not, the core questions in stories like this are always the same: How do we discern between Myths and Facts? How can we gain at least some certainty, in this case not only about Marc, but also about his supporters and detractors, the organization and movement Marc has co-created, as well as his teachings and influence in the world?

I myself have been working with Marc Gafni and the Center for Integral Wisdom since 2011. Many of my friends have asked me about these issues and wanted to understand the truth and the underlying motives that drive this story.

We, at the Center for Integral Wisdom, have been silent for a long time now. It is time to tell the truth. The myths or downright lies that are repeated time and again through the media and the internet need to be counterbalanced with some facts. We also believe that this story is so (arche)typical for our postmodern culture that we consider this happening to us as part of our mission to participate in the evolution of public culture.

Before we dive into that, however, we need to answer one question:

Why Should You Care about the Marc Gafni Story?

What is so interesting about this story and this guy in particular, that makes it worthwhile for you to spend these next couple of minutes to even read this article?

There are two answers to that; two reasons why you, why we, why all of us should indeed care.

№1: It could happen to you or your loved ones.

In many ways, the Marc Gafni story acts as a didactic play about truth finding, justice, and actual malice[ii] in the age of postmodernity, our post-truth and post-fact culture, and the age of the internet.

The internet is a great tool that can help us connect with co-creators worldwide. In the next stage of human and cultural evolution that we are here to co-create, we will need it to serve our collective awakening in unprecedented ways.

Yet, like any other tool, it can be used for good or for bad. The greater the potential of anything, the more dangerous it is in the hands of evil. The internet is not an exception. The new possibilities that it offers require a new ethics. Public culture has to be evolved.

Being able to discern between myths and facts, especially on the Internet, will make all the difference in how you respond if or when it happens to you and your loved ones, as well as how you show up in public culture.

№2: This is a story of mythic proportions that reveals a new way for you to expand into greater love.

How we deal with our public figures and leaders tells us a lot about how we are dealing with our own light and shadow. Especially when we want to expand into our own leadership and contribute to the evolution of love and consciousness on this planet, we certainly need to come to terms with our shadow.

There is one thing that both Marc’s supporters and detractors seem to agree upon: Somehow, he is larger than life. No one seems to think that Marc Gafni is normal. Everyone agrees he is in a category by himself.

With a bold statement like that, we are obviously already leaving the realm of facts and entering the realm of myths. In some ways, this whole story is not about Marc, the person. Something akin to the age-old mythic battle between light and dark, love and un-love seems to be at play here. We will get to that in Part Four of this article.

The question that poses itself is whether he is a great avatar of light, imperfect and flawed yet at his core an outrageous lover who brings great gifts to the world? Or is he a dark lord whose core is demonic or sociopathic and motivates deeds of harm and deceit? The folks behind the smear campaign have worked very hard to normalize and inseminate the latter claims into public culture through the internet.

At the same time, many people believe that Marc Gafni and the think tank he has co-founded have great gifts to offer the world. Engaging this smear campaign in ways that lead to a genuine evolution of culture would be one of these gifts.

Let us now look at the two pictures painted about Marc Gafni that could not differ more:

Painting 1: Marc Gafni Is the Prophet of Eros

If we believe his supporters, Marc Gafni is a great Prophet or Poet of Eros telling a new story for humanity that is deeply needed by millions if not billions of people on this planet. He is a brilliant genius whose doctorate at Oxford University is a true masterpiece about which Rabbi Gershon Winkler, author of ten books of Jewish teaching and scholarship, writes:

“This work is a true masterpiece of the sort our people have not witnessed for many centuries, shaking us out of our stupor toward reclaiming life again, reclaiming our goddess heritage and teachings, and the bond with the ancient spark of Eros. Rabbi Gafni in his fine and original reading of Mordechai Lainer in a Lurianic act of exalted scholarship and love raises the spark of paganism and sets it in new evolved ethical context.”

From an Integral perspective, Dr. Zachary Stein, Integral Scholar and Metrics Theorist, Harvard University, adds:

“You will be compelled by the rigor and depth of the scholarship, while at the same time swooning from the beauty of the ideas. A work like this comes along once in a generation.”

He is the great evolutionary philosopher whose name is mentioned in the same breath as Sri Aurobindo, Teilhard de Chardin and Buckminster Fuller. Barbara Marx Hubbard, who has been called the Grande Dame of Conscious Evolution, writes in 2015:

“Marc is a continuation of the lineage of Sri Aurobindo, Teilhard de Chardin and Buckminster Fuller. He holds that lineage in the impulse of his being and his thinking. He began as the Hebrew wisdom expression of this impulse but has now moved beyond to the place of Homo universalis, a universal human.”

He is a charismatic teacher, a Rumi- or Solomon-like lover, a thought leader, a creator of communities, and a game changer. Michael Murphy, Founder of the Esalen Institute and Author of Golf in the Kingdom, puts it like this in 2012:

“It is very rare that one comes across a teacher or a book that is ‘changing the game.’ My friend, Dr. Marc Gafni is such a teacher. He is a rare combination of brilliance, depth, and heart. Marc’s teaching on the Unique Self in an evolutionary context is ‘changing the game.’”

His brilliant work Your Unique Self, for which he is well known, has been called seminal by Integral philosopher Ken Wilber.

Equipped with a brilliant intellect, charismatic charm, and a huge heart, he is not only a great scholar and a lover of people but also an embodied master of the dharma he transmits to his circle of students and collaborators. Dr. Kristina Kincaid, Director of the Outrageous Love Project at the Center for Integral Wisdom and the Director of the Integral Evolutionary Tantra Institute in New York City, writes about his teachings at the Fourth Summer Festival of Love in Holland, 2015:

“I had the profound honor and wild pleasure of participating with a most astounding team of Holy Rockstars standing audaciously together supporting Marc as the Living, Breathing, Alive, Aflame, Awakened, Dharma as he liberated Eros, in front of a crowd of over 250 people! WOW!”

You get the picture.

Yet, there is another picture that is painted just as vividly as this first one.

Let us call this:

Painting 2: Marc Gafni as the Diabolic Demon

No, I did not make that up.

I haven’t counted the number of times that Marc Gafni has literally been called diabolical or demonic. He is said to have demonic powers that he uses to manipulate people. People consider him something of a dark lord using his occult powers to perpetuate his own super stardom. I have even heard say from reliable sources there are those who have claimed he puts “demon seeds” into people.

Some say they fear his power and manipulations — claiming they cannot even be in the same room with him without fearing the loss of their own autonomy.

Here is a description from one of the major sources for this diabolical demon narrative. Donna Zerner, who we know to have been one of the driving forces behind the scenes in the making of this false narrative, tells this story in a public speech about the effect Marc had on her:

“And I was feeling like he was in my head all the time. It was like my brain was very foggy. I couldn’t think clearly. I felt like I was in a trance. I was neglecting my work. I was lying to my friends all the time. I didn’t make time for my spiritual practice, and I just felt totally ungrounded, un-centered. And then I got sick. I had a menstrual period that was unbelievably heavy that went on for 40 days, to the point where I was totally anemic and fainting. I literally felt like my life force was being sucked away by an energy vampire. I desperately needed to get out, but I felt so entangled in his web and I just, I could not figure a way out.”

It can be noted how she avoids any personal responsibility here and when she mentions her serious menstrual problems, she does not attribute them to any physical cause but to Marc’s “vampire” powers.

All of this could be rather comical if the people making such claims would not be so virulently obsessed about it. It is tempting to laugh at a negative meme[iii]. We would like to assume it has no power because it is ridiculous. However, when it is repeated again and again in the echo chambers of the internet where lies ricochet off each other unchallenged, an absurd negative meme can begin to be regarded as fact.

For example, he has been called a sociopath, pedophile, statutory rapist, serial abuser, and confessed child molester on the Internet as well as in various newspapers and magazines.

There was one person for example who not knowing Marc at all but being very connected to the smear campaign organizers wrote to a friend about Marc using all of these names in one short blistering letter. He had never met Marc but had taken the claims spawned by the smear campaign as a given. Somehow, that letter found its way to Marc and he reached out to the author of the letter. They met in a beautiful and moving meeting of significant depth and authenticity at the end of which the author apologized, acknowledging that it was now, based on new information, self-evident to him that none of the claims were true.

The fact that these memes are self-evidently absurd for anyone who has even cursorily checked facts does not prevent a negative meme from being spread on the internet. While the spreading of derogatory, for example racist or anti-Semitic, memes has a tragic and time-honored history, the internet has totally changed the game. As Joshua Trachtenberg points out in his book The Devil and the Jews, the Jews were regularly called black magicians. They were also regularly accused of sexual deviance or rape of Christian women. Paradoxically, Marc Gafni has been made “the Jew” by the Jews.

Disseminating a false meme today is a new art form. It is possible for a group of people to focus on one individual and scapegoat him or her. Narrative trumps and smear campaigns — for example about Barack Obama not being born in the USA — a favorite canard of what has been called the “Birther” movement, is taken as true by tens of millions of people.

While new fact-checking websites have sprung up all over the internet, they cannot keep up with the fake news sites that are being created simultaneously and get far more clicks than the real news. In our post-fact world, clicks have become the new currency.

Anne Applebaum writes in “Fact-checking in a ‘post-fact world’” in “The Washington Post”:

“All people are more likely to believe in “facts” that confirm their preexisting opinions and to dismiss those that don’t. But those with unusually strong opinions — those who are more partisan — are less likely to change their views, more likely to claim that fact-checkers themselves are “biased,” and even more likely to spread their views aggressively to their friends. This has always been the case, but social media now multiplies the phenomenon: In a world where people get most of their information from friends, fact-checking doesn’t reach those who need it most.”

My View of the two Paintings of Marc Gafni:

Here is an only partially tongue in cheek summation: Pretty much everyone agrees that Marc Gafni is a magician. Those who work with him today, day in and day out, and dozens of people who are highly conscious, intelligent and discerning think of him as something like a White Magician. The demonizers, with their hidden agendas — we will get to that in a moment — have tried to turn him into a black magician.

Obviously, these two narratives are not exactly two. There are as many versions of these two paintings as there are people. Yet, whatever people think of Marc, it seems to fall into one of these two categories. People in category 1 view Marc as a deeply good and healthy human being with enormous gifts and normal human flaws, and with both the audacity AND the humility to give his gifts for the sake of the evolution of love. People in category 2 on the other hand, see his audacity to try and change the world as proof for his narcissistic grandiosity and his normal human flaws as proof for his sociopathy.

I wouldn’t be working for Marc Gafni and the Center for Integral Wisdom if I didn’t agree — at least in broad strokes — to Painting 1. I believe in our mission to change something in the source code of culture that desperately needs to be changed.

I see Marc as an intellectual and spiritual genius who has so much to give to the world that the world truly needs.

I believe that many people watch or listen to his popular talks and do not grasp the huge depth of his teachings. Most of Marc Gafni’s public talks are what he has called second simplicity, a simplicity that transcends and includes the complexity that precedes it. People watching these talks, all too often do not see the underlying profound scholarship and deep mystical realization that is the source of these teachings. To find your way into those depths, a first start would be to read Radical Kabbalah or to study with him at Mystery School or Wisdom School.

On top of all that, I see Marc as a very unusual and profoundly loving human being, who loves many people in a very personal way and who has a unique capacity to hold and care for many people in his huge heart.

I have seen him teach in front of a room with just a few or with hundreds of people with love and wisdom pouring out from him, opening every heart and every mind in that room. I have seen him work hard for hours, days and weeks in a row with a rare combination of energy, love, commitment, diversity, and focus. I have seen him loving the person in front of him and giving her his undivided, loving attention, whether it is a waiter, student, co-worker, academic scholar, or important donor. I have seen him in countless private moments, talking either to me or to a small group of us and I know that he is the same outrageous lover in private as he is in public.

Yet, obviously, he has normal human flaws like every other living person — with Marc being the first to admit that.

Contrary to beliefs of his being a master manipulator, I have seen him struggle to regain his balance when something hit him off-guard, admitting to it openly and finding it back within minutes. I have seen him receive feedback, admit a mistake, and apologize easily and readily under many circumstances. I have seen him learn and grow, asking for and accepting the wisdom of others and giving them credit for it.

I have been working with Marc Gafni on an almost daily basis for years now; and I must say that nothing I have experienced even vaguely resembles the picture of Marc that has been painted in this smear campaign or the earlier campaigns that are recycled here.

Of course, the attackers will dismiss my view as irrelevant because I work with Marc at the Center. Yet, actually, the precise opposite may be said to be true.

With all the material online about Marc, it is impossible for anyone to get close to him without having to do their own research and come to their own conclusions. That was definitely true for me when I got involved with the Center in 2011. In my assessment of Marc, I have always relied on my own experiences, that of close friends, as well as objective evidence.

The picture that all of us working with Marc are somehow mindless sheep that are brainwashed by him is just ridiculous. Nowhere else in the world so far have I encountered a more mindful, intelligent and loving tribe than at the Center for Integral Wisdom. Even in the midst of this attack, our ONLY concern has been how we can respond to this with integrity, truth, and love.

There are dozens of people, all of high integrity and high discernment, working actively with Marc Gafni and the Center. I interact with them constantly. The atmosphere is clean, open and premises on radical autonomy and Unique Self integrity.

I am honored and delighted to be part of such a wonderful team. And yes, we do collaborate often in our writings — especially when it comes to responding to these accusations. That collaboration involves a beautiful and good process of clarification of our thoughts in these matters.

The fact that some people try to make such a process somehow sordid is indicative of their consciousness, not mine or Marc’s.

Whenever I post something under my name, I naturally have the final say in what I write and post. Never ever have I experienced any pressure or manipulation from Marc or anybody else in our organization to write anything that I did not want to write. I actually challenge Marc often and have always found him open and responsive to my perspectives. That is why I can say with confidence that I stand by every word in my articles and posts as an Integral thinker, a woman and a human being. What I write is one hundred percent mine.

The question that people usually ask however is twofold.

First, how can one person evoke such opposed reactions? Second, is there a way to reconcile these different views?

W ith two pictures of one and the same person that differ so much we naturally need to know: Who is Marc Gafni? Is one of these paintings true and the other one false? If one is false then, how did the false narrative come into existence? Is it just a misinterpretation of the facts? Or is there a fake Marc Gafni meme that has been intentionally created and spread by a group of people with ulterior motives? If only one of the narratives is true, which one is it? Or does the truth lie somewhere in the middle, as many people suggest?

I, myself, am a person who likes to reconcile opposites and heal polarizations. “The truth lies somewhere in the middle” is a meme that speaks to my innermost yearning. I mostly try to see both sides and find ways to settle the differences.

So, I asked myself:

Did Marc’s normal human flaws have somehow played a role in creating the demon narrative about him?

How would you feel if somebody took the worst moments of your life and put them together into a public narrative about who you are?

Marc in my personal experience always recognizes mistakes and owns any shadow element that lives in him. He constantly says that none of us is without shadow — we are all “imperfect vessels for the light.”

Could that be the origin of this narrative? I do not think so.

In fact, in these kinds of stories, the Middle Way is the lazy way out:

There is a great book on character assassination by Martijn Icks and 
Eric Shiraev called Character Assassination throughout the Ages
, a well-researched, very deep and credible book that looks at how these kinds of things happen. It points out that in fact, certain kinds of “big people” who are trailblazers in different ways, almost always evoke equally strong negative and positive reactions. It is however when that person is fundamentally threatening to another group of people, be they competitors, former allies, or those who have acted wrongly against such a person and want to cover it up, that the intense demonization comes into play.

The allegations against Marc Gafni are just too absurd and horrendous, the vitriol that accompanies them is too intense, to be satisfied with the meme of the middle truth. In this case, the middle way of splitting the negative and the positive evaluations down the middle would simply be a gross form of untruth.

In February 2016, Daniel Schmachtenberger posted his view of Marc Gafni online, based on his own personal experience with Marc as well as careful reading of the extensive online material of the detractors.

First, let me share Daniel’s own experience of Marc:

● Re plagiarism — I have experienced Marc credit me and others for things he’s learned, more than anyone else I have worked with professionally. This actually stands out.
● Re sociopathy — I have seen Marc apologize and show sadness and remorse. I see him empathize often and genuinely, and extend support at cost to himself, where there is nothing tangible to be gained.
● Re intimate relationships — I know several of his previous partners who are still close friends and allies and respect him and feel respected by him.
● Re ethics and sexuality — I think Marc’s teachings on this topic are profound and offer something otherwise missing to the field ethics.
● Re emotional manipulation — Most of the people that have worked closely with Marc in recent years that I know of feel respected and honored in the connection and because of that, have stayed friends despite social pressure to distance arising from this campaign.

Even more importantly, Daniel talks about the danger of getting caught up in the negative memes about Marc that were being spread by the smear campaign at that time:

1. Faulty pattern recognition. They will thoughtfully give the benefit of the doubt that likely some of the allegations are made up or exaggerated but assume that some have to be true — it couldn’t all come from nowhere. They will say things like “where there is smoke there must be fire” and figure enough wrongdoing to be cautious at least. This is actually a form of presumption of guilt without due process.
2. Appeal to authority. Someone they trust or respect wrote something or signed or shared an article. They must have done their research so we can put our energy where they did.
3. Groupthink. This is the same as appeal to authority but the authority is the crowd. That many people couldn’t be wrong.
4. Erring on the side of safety. In lieu of knowing all the facts, let’s err on the side of safety and assume there is danger. That’s better than erring on the other side and possibly condoning or allowing harm. This is another rationalization for presuming guilt. . . . This doesn’t factor the harm of wrongful incrimination.
5. Misplaced ‘moderateness’. In lieu of knowing everything, they will assume some is true and some isn’t, as a form of reasonable moderateness and bias away from extremism and towards reconciliatory points of view. Except that when there are actual facts, they matter and should be pursued.

If we want to avoid these fallacies and come to our own conclusions, we need to understand how to discern between a legitimate public critique and a smear campaign.

How Do We Know the Truth about Marc Gafni?–Four Litmus Tests

In order to discern truth from myths or even outrageous lies — when it comes to sex scandals, righteous or false complaints, and smear campaigns — there are a few litmus tests of discernment we can apply. Mariana Caplan unveiled these key litmus tests in her essay on Marc Gafni, An Unexpected Twist: False Complaints against Teachers[iv]. I will build and expand on her list.

1) Have the accusers spoken carefully to all parties involved in the issue before taking action? This minimal bar is even prior to the second litmus test, fact checking.

2) Has a fact-checking mechanism been set up to check and cross check all available evidence before any action is taken? Are there effective and safe pathways for direct meeting, clarifying facts, investigating how various parties are affiliated, the historical context of the relationships, checking possible ulterior motives on all sides, and more? All of these are variables that are necessary to investigate before taking action. A related question: Is there a forum that has the capacity to take account of new evidence as it emerges that might change initial conclusions?

3) Is there a method available for holding all sides accountable, making amends and creating closure through healing and transformation for both sides? Or does one side of the conflict demand the annihilation of the other side no matter what?

4) Is the accused party treated with dignity, or is he or she dehumanized, demonized and treated with cruelty?

It is more than slightly indicative of what is going on in the Marc Gafni story, that the parties attacking Gafni have the wrong answers for all of these questions.

Let’s start from the bottom up.

We have already addressed the demonization that many of Marc Gafni’s detractors tend to use. So, according to Litmus Test №4, Marc’s detractors have already failed our examination. I have, on the other hand and contrary to what his detractors have said about him, never seen Marc lash out at any of them. I have been with him in person or on skype in several situations where most people would have lashed out with fury. Yet, even when I see Marc outraged, he still holds even his most virulent attackers in a genuine love. He does not demonize them even when others around him move in that direction. He always holds them in their complexity and even finds something good to say about pretty much everyone.

№3 — setting up pathways for healing and transformation — doesn’t seem so obvious. Transformation and healing can be a matter of years if not decades. Yet, with an impartial 3rd party in play, there can at least be a process set up that can clarify facts and then over time bring about healing and transformation.

Despite the fact that the objective record indicates that Marc is the one who has been terribly wronged and abused, Marc has offered to meet with anyone in a professional mediated context time and again. There is a long email record of Marc reaching out seeking clarification, healing and resolution.

He wants to “clarify facts and adduce objective evidence” and then from that place, seek “healing, transformation and forgiveness on all sides.” I know that Marc would forgive the terrible suffering that he has experienced, immediately, if there were any takers in genuine healing and transformation. He has said so — many times — in both public and private contexts.

His detractors, on the other hand, keep avoiding these meetings. There are some attackers and ostensible victims who tell people that they would meet but when Marc readily agrees to, they back out.

They have claimed that they cannot get close to him — even in a mediated context — because they feared that he would use his “demonic powers” to manipulate them. Presbyterian Minister Rev. Sam Alexander in his blog post writes about one such situation in which he was directly involved. He called the claim that Marc Gafni would manipulate them in a mediated meeting with him, “a load of horseshit” and reported that Marc was completely ready to meet and that the persons in question each found excuses to back out.

About №1 and 2 — talking to all parties and creating a mechanism for fact checking — I can definitely say that this has not happened. The attackers have not spoken to Marc. Irrevocably damaging action in the written and oral word as well as in deed has been taken by them time and again over the last ten years without ever engaging in dialogue or in fact checking.

Even some of the so-called journalists who have written articles about Marc Gafni have refused to check facts. Carolyn Baker, for example, wrote two virulent and false portrayals of Marc in a blog for the Huffington Post in early 2016. She has no relationship to Marc or anyone at the think tank. Seemingly she was recruited by the organizers of the 2016 smear campaign who dumped over fifty blogs and articles onto the internet in the first quarter of 2016. There was no triggering event. The articles simply appeared out of nowhere, organized in larger part directly or indirectly by Stephen Dinan. Baker hung up the phone on our staff-person who called to share with her numerous facts that refuted her story. She does not know Marc, has never reached out to him, etc. Yet she had no problem characterizing Marc as a sociopath who is “not like the rest of us.”

I personally have read most, if not all of the first person accounts, written by the supposed victims, telling their story and making numerous factual assertions about what did or did not happen. I have been in contact with trusted friends and colleagues who collectively, at different stages, had personal contact with virtually all of the key actors — the “supposed victims” in this and the previous smear campaign. I have also read the extensive evidence that Marc Gafni’s team has gathered over many years from many sources including hundreds of emails written by the alleged “victims” which — to say it straight — shows that they did not tell the truth. This extensive trove of evidence presents very blatant contradictions between what actually happened and what has been claimed in public. This leads me to realize that the people claiming to be victims and others supporting them who have set themselves up as rescuers are in fact acting as perpetrators.


In the next part of this essay, I will focus on the second litmus test as discussed above. This second test is the need for fact checking. While Marc’s detractors fail this test — we cannot. In Part Three of this essay I will discern nine myths that I have found on the internet about Marc Gafni and give you the facts that refute them.

>> Read Part Three Here <<

>> To Download a PDF of the Entire Essay, Click Here <<

For more information on Marc Gafni and his story, please visit WhoIsMarcGafni.com.


Endnotes

[i] Dr. Marc Gafni is a Visionary Philosopher, Author, and Social Innovator. He is the Co-Founder and President of the Center for Integral Wisdom, an Activist Think Tank committed to evolving the source code of human existence based on what Marc has called “The Universe: A Love Story” principles.

[ii] “Actual Malice refers to a legal distinction as is pointed out in this article:

“Melania Trump’s lawsuit describes both publishers’ conduct as “despicable, abhorrent, intentional, malicious, and oppressive.” But the legal battle will hinge on a specific descriptor her lawsuit used to describe Tarpley and the Daily Mail’s actions: “actual malice,” which basically means that the publishers knew, or should have known, that something they published was false.”

[iii] A meme as we use the term here is “a cultural item that is transmitted by repetition and replication in a manner analogous to the biological transmission of genes.” http://www.dictionary.com/browse/meme

[iv] Mariana Caplan first wrote about these litmus tests in her essay An Unexpected Twist: False Complaints Against Teachers concerning scandals with spiritual teachers:

“There are a number of simple litmus tests of discernment which reveal whether the critique of a teacher in an apparent scandal is primarily motivated by a desire to protect the innocent, or is just a convenient veneer which hides the malice, fear, jealousy, or power motivations of those who decry the scandal and who may even benefit from it.
The first litmus test is: Have the spiritual leaders and others involved spoken carefully to all parties involved in the issue before taking action?
Second: Has a fact-checking mechanism set up to check, and cross check, all available evidence regarding the claims of both sides before taking action?
Third: Is there a protocol for healing and forgiveness which is effective and safe for both sides?
Fourth: Is the accused party treated with dignity, or is he or she dehumanized, demonized and treated with cruelty?”