Using the Internet to Attempt Social Murder

by Dr. Kristina Kincaid & Chahat Corten

The internet has become a tool for the circulation and perpetuation of gross falsehoods and distortions. Unfortunately, we live in a post-fact society, where fake news generates more engagement than truth on social media and has an enormous impact on shaping people’s viewpoints and beliefs.

False Claims

A case study to make the general point is the story of Marc Gafni and his alleged sexual abuse as it has played out on the internet. It’s a compelling case that’s gained attention in the spiritual enlightenment and Jewish renewal worlds.

The Case of Marc Gafni

In the internet age, it is not uncommon for a small group of people to effectively conduct a campaign to discredit a public figure by repeating false or distorted statements over and over until they are assumed to be true.

Who Are the Key Players?

There’s always a motive in a false sexual story, and often people encouraging the story behind the scenes. While this is not space in this to share the extensive research and myriad legal and other documents that disclose the key organizers of the smear campaign against Marc Gafni, we will share here some of our conclusions.

The Internet and Sexual McCarthyism

This kind of false attack has been appropriately labeled by Prof. Alan Dershowitz as ‘sexual McCarthyism’. In the 1950s, Senator Joseph McCarthy made a career out of accusing innocent people of communist sympathies. He essentially hijacked the understandable repulsion that Americans felt for the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and used his power as a public figure to smear innocent people and to demand that their friends denounce them.

The Claims and What Really Happened

One central lie of the Marc Gafni smear campaign is that he is “sexually abusive”, a “pedophile”, and/or a “confessed child rapist”. These claims have been continually recycled on social media and in blog posts and published op-ed articles.

She Changes Her Story.

In her earlier tellings of the story, Kabakov describes an uncomfortably graphic story filled with what sound like caricatures of classic abuse stories. ’ Yet, these claims are completely left out of her most recent tellings of the story. She also changes her age — in one story she’s 14, and in another she’s 13. One Newspaper editor told Marc directly that Sara had claimed they had sexual relations. In other articles Sara said they did not. Now she seems to have acknowledged the limited nature of their contact but continues to tell a false story about the tenor and quality of their relationship.

Update: Sensationalism Instead of Journalism — The In-House Blogger for the Smear Campaign

Blogger and pseudo journalist, Nancy Levine, who claims on her LinkedIn profile to be an advocate for changing the culture of sexual violence, has spent most of 2016 exclusively posting articles about one of Gafni’s good friend board chair for several years, John Mackey, demanding in stalinist like fashion, that he denounce Gafni or else, be denounced himself.

Negative Meme Propagation vs. Journalism

Having all of the information cited above, you can understand the full level of abuse in the following: .

Deconstructing the Motives and Method of the Petitions: Lie Upon Lie, Petition Upon Petition

This most recent petition is based on an earlier petition and letter organized against Gafni by the key perpetrators of the smear campaign. David Ingber organized the petition and Stephen Dinan organized the signing of a letter by 25 respected spiritual teachers and 100 rabbis. Dinan and Ingber along with Donna Zerner, Chaya Lester and one or two others remained in constant touch with each other while orchestrating the smear campaign.

Internet Hate, Distortion and Abuse

The apparent disinterest in fact checking and disregard of the professional standards of truth seeking have created an atmosphere that is frighteningly characteristic of internet lynch mob behavior that Ghonim describes in his TED talk .

Dr. Kristina Kincaid is an Author, Sexologist, Speaker, Master Embodiment Teacher and Director of Integral Evolutionary Tantra Institute in New York City.

Dr. Kristina Kincaid is an Author, Sexologist, Speaker, Master Embodiment Teacher and Director of Integral Evolutionary Tantra Institute in New York City.