Takedown Culture & Marc Gafni: Nancy Levine’s Egregious Con-Job, A Modern Day Gaston From Beauty and The Beast
Atake down culture has come to dominate the Internet — It’s a culture in which smear campaigns with the intent of social murder have become common place.
Often times, it’s difficult for the average person browsing the Internet to recognize these campaigns because they appear to represent valid and trustworthy information. Adding to that, we’ve recently seen a new variety of smear campaigns that are disguised as activism — in the form of victim advocacy for survivors of sexual abuse — which play into a shared societal confirmation bias around sexual abuse. This, making it even more difficult to distinguish between legitimate activism and a smear campaign.
A brilliant example of this is seen in the Disney classic, Beauty and The Beast. If you’ve ever seen Beauty and The Beast, you’ll remember the particular scene in which the character Gaston leads a crowd on their way to attack the Beast, chanting “Kill the Beast!”. He sees himself as a rescuer. He is going to rescue the village from the predator, the Beast.
The beast is a leader — an imperfect leader — but clearly good, and on his own evolutionary journey of growth and transformation. He not only poses no threat, he is a force for the good, who honors the feminine and is deeply in love with the heroine, Belle.
When Belle, the true feminine, tries to intervene and stop Gaston, he violently throws her aside, saying, “You are either with us or against us” — a tell-tale sign that something deceptive lies beneath the ‘cause’ of keeping the village safe.
Posturing threats to anyone who doesn’t abide to the subscribed plan of attack is commonly used by the ring-leaders — like Gaston — of smear campaigns. The motto is: “Smear or we’ll smear you too.” You’re either with us or against us, and if you’re against us then we’ll be against you. It turns out that Gaston is in fact the villain, a perpetrator of violence hiding behind the guise of the rescuer.
Another example is Arthur Miller’s famous play, The Crucible, which describes the same dynamic in the story of the Salem witch hunts, in which teen age girls give first person testimony claiming that their neighbors are witches– The “testimonies” go unchallenged and the result is the cruel and unnecessary death of many innocent people.
Modern-day witch hunts often incite the same kind of frenzy through viral Internet memes. Unchallenged, first person testimonies often hide the collusion and ulterior motives of the accusers. “Kill the Beast!” is still the cry of the mob, and the ‘crime’ for which the so-called Beast is to be punished is often a trumped up crime against the feminine.
Sexual harassment is a terrible and often insidious form of abuse. Women have been silent victims of it for centuries. It is past time for all of us to speak and act against all forms of sexual abuse. However, in the frenzy that sometimes occurs when society mobilizes to end a long-standing evil, it is easy to target people who have done nothing to deserve punishment.
When sexual stories are retold in the public space in a manner different than how they happened, and cause trauma and suffering to so many people involved, the sexual is violated again.
False and distorted complaints about sexual events are themselves a new form of sexual abuse that has recently emerged in public culture. A perfect example of someone who has continuously perpetrated this kind of frenzy is a blogger named Nancy Levine who describes herself on her LinkedIn profile to be an advocate for changing the culture of sexual violence. Levine spent most of 2016 posting articles that attack author and speaker Marc Gafni, and by association, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey. Her posts attempt to smear Mackey with ‘guilt by association’, demanding that he publicly denounce Gafni or else be denounced himself.
Nancy Levine is a modern day Gaston figure. Both Levine and Gaston seem righteous and incite the mob. Both also disguise their attempted character assassination under the veneer of rescuing society from the Beast. Butcareful examination shows that they are not rescuers but are actually perpetrators. In Beauty and The Beast, the mob is composed of well meaning townspeople. In the same way, Nancy Levine has gathered a mob of unsuspecting Internet activists offering well-meaning support for a seemingly good cause. In Beauty and The Beast, the goal is to physically murder the beast. For Levine and her associates, the goal is social murder as I (Lisa) have described in other articles. And finally, anyone who is not aligned with their righteous cause will suffer the same consequence as Belle, thrown aside and subject to violent [Internet] attack.
How Nancy Levine Creates A Believable Sounding Lie
Levine’s style of ‘journalism’ uses several simple tactics to create a believable sounding lie:.
She presents distorted claims as true. Then, based on those false premises, she enlists unsuspecting yet well-intentioned people, to sign off in support, of what appears on the surface to be a noble cause.
She relies on fact that people are lazy. Since most people are busy and do not have time to check facts for themselves, it’s not difficult to get credible people to lend their names to a false cause. In fact, virtually none of the unsuspecting good people who have lent their names to Levine’s attacks have examined evidence or even checked the most elementary of facts or timelines. Levine then manipulatively points to the mis-informed signers of her petition as as social proof for the integrity of her claims. The Internet has no fact checking mechanism making it easy for people like Nancy Levine to sow misinformation in the public space.
She uses the guise of ‘victim advocacy’ to justify Sexual McCarthyism. Levine’s particular method of deception as noted, is to flood the reader with ostensibly credible names whose views seem to support her distorted claims. However, a more careful look reveals that her attack is based on false premises and that it and ignores all of the substantive factual information which refutes both the substance and tone of her posts.
Levine’s approach is reminiscent of Joseph McCarthy’s witch hunt, publicity stunts that wrapped themselves in the flag of anti communism to create a smokescreen that covered politically motivated character assassinations. She engages in what lawyer Alan Dershowitz calls ‘Sexual McCarthyism’ wrapping herself in the flag of victim advocacy in order to create a smokescreen for nothing less than an Internet-fueled character assassination.
As we saw in the last election, when false claims are repeated often enough online, people begin to believe them to be true. We must advocate for true victims of sexual abuse, and there’s no question that it’s high time such incidents are brought into the public eye. We all remember that only a few decades ago,claims of abuse were ignored, and leaders were considered immune from sexual complaints. The fact that we now take claims of abuse seriously represents an important advance in justice. Moreover, we must be willing to challenge sexually abusive leaders — whoever they may be.
However, a new abusive phenomenon is emerging. False or distorted claims of abuse are assumed to be true and widely disseminated online. Furthermore, a takedown culture allows politically or personally degraded motives for attacking leaders to be covered up by the flag of victim advocacy. Any mistake is seized on, exaggerated, distorted and then mixed in with false claims for the expressed purpose of character assassination in service of hidden agenda. In this environment any leader can be the subject of a smear campaign intended to “takedown” him or her based on false or distorted claims.
The Facts That Kill Nancy Levine’s Agenda
In order to understand how Nancy Levine’s maligned use of victim advocacy has contributed to the widespread degradation of truth in Internet discourse, we will clearly present the facts to give an accurate representation of background and context.
Who Is Marc Gafni?
Dr. Marc Gafni is the president of the Center for Integral Wisdom, an activist think tank committed “to evolving the source code of culture and consciousness”. Gafni is the author of ten books, and is known primarily as a public intellectual and cultural theorist. His primary work is around the evolution of culture and consciousness through a new Universe Story rooted in a new vision of identity which he calls Unique Self.
Some of Gafni’s important work is on Eros as a social, political and ethical force, and on a new vision of relationships and sexuality. According to many his work is seminal. His colleagues, students and close friends agree that hHe is a big person, kind and loving, provocative and out of the box — extraordinary according to all accounts. His integrity and goodness is affirmed by dozens of his close associates today. (To get a sense of him it is worth reading the sixty or so blog posts at the end of the Center’s public statement of a year ago. He is implacably opposed to the old “sage on the stage model” and instead advocates for what he calls a “Unique Self Symphony” in which everyone is empowered to give their unique gifts.
As might be expected from a theorist of Eros, he has led a somewhat unconventional life. Like all leaders, he has made mistakes in the normal arc of human relationship, which he has owned and apologized for in both public and private forums. Like many leaders of his ilk, Gafni attracts committed associates, but also criticism, and since 2006 has repeatedly been attacked by a few highly vocal former associates who have gone out of their way to enlist others in their campaign to destroy his reputation, the most recent campaign in 2016.
The claims made in the original smear in 2006 were based on intentionally distorted accounts of several of Gafni’s past relationships with mature adult women — relationships that substantive email and other documentation shows were fully mutual and consensual at the time. The motive for the smear campaign seems to have been largely professional rivalry disguised as victim advocacy. In a move that has become all too familiar to followers of internet takedowns, the original instigators, directly and indirectly, of the attack on Gafni in 2006, used Gafni’s history of post-conventional relationships as their justification for attacking him. Given the current climate around issues of sexuality, their obvious tactic was to accuse Gafni — falsely, as it happens — of sexual harassment. The same people involved in 2006 teamed up with a ‘New Age’ entrepreneur to instigate the highly orchestrated 2016 smear campaign in which they created an anti-Gafni Internet meme.
Responsible parties have investigated these claims carefully, and concluded that the anti-Gafni meme is based on false information, larded with distorted ‘facts’ and assumptions. Among those who defend Gafni’s characterare several leading sexual trauma therapists, abuse advocates, and psychologists, many of whom who have worked on behalf of genuine victims for decades. All, including Gafni, stand fully against all forms of sexual harassment.
Gafni has repeatedly called for facilitated mediation with the people behind the attacks, in a setting that would include substantive fact checking as well as inquiry into the motives and collusions behind the attacks.
Nancy Levine’s Questionable Motives
Nancy Levine, who describes herself as a ‘sexual abuse activist,’ appeared out of nowhere, two weeks after the 2016 anti-Gafni smear campaign began. She lives in Marin county close to one of the organizers of the smear campaign and is directly affiliated with a former associate of Gafni’s who is a major actor in the false complaints of sexual harassment over ten years ago.
Whether she is primarily interested in attacking Gafni is unclear, because the core of her campaign has been aimed at a former Chair of Gafni’s think tank, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey. For the last year she has sent out press releases under the letterhead of her own one-woman organization, addressed to Mackey’s Board of Directors, as well as to institutions where Mackey speaks, and professional associates of Mackey’s.
Her letters and posts attack Mackey for not publically denouncing a so-called ‘sexual abuser.’ To advance her campaign, she has attempted to disrupt Mackey’s relationship with his publisher, and even brought a small group to picket outside Whole Foods stores in New York and Los Angeles.
Levine bases her claims about Gafni on an story told by Sara Kabakov, about a teenage relationship Sara had with Gafni when he was 19 and she was 14 years old. This relationship took place nearly 40 years ago, when Gafni was just out of high school and the young woman was a high-school freshman. The relationship was limited to teenage necking, and by Gafni’s account, was consensual and mutually loving at the time. Kabakov, in hindsight, claims that she felt manipulated in the relationship, a feeling that she never reported to Gafni himself. She has has also changed her story about what actually happened in the relationship several times.
Levine always reports the story without mentioning the fact that Gafni was a teenager at the time he knew Sara. Instead, she gives the false and apparently deliberate impression that the relationship was an actual sexual assault by a thirty or forty or fifty year old “former rabbi” or spiritual teacher on a 13 or 14 year old girl. The reader is left with the impression of a 50 year old teacher having sex with a 13 or 14 year old girl- something that never happened. This has been confirmed by extensive expert polygraph administered at Gafni’s request by one of the leading polygraph experts in the world. She also fails to mention the verified collusion between the various parties involved in the campaign against Gafni, and their possible motivations which has been described in well researched articles here. She never mentions that Gafni and others have responded in detail to these false attacks, in numerous public posts over many years.
Based on this misrepresentation of the facts, rooted in both omission and distortion, Levine makes use of public forums to tar those who associate with Gafni and to intimidate them with threats of economic reprisals such as boycotts and the cancellation of their events and publications.
Understanding Levine’s Motives Requires Understanding The Victim Triangle
Psychological theorists describe a well-known phenomenon called the victim triangle. In this, one person identifies another as a ‘victim’ and designates themselves as a ‘rescuer’. The ‘rescuer’ then attacks the so called ‘perpetrator’ for alleged transgressions against the ‘victim’. But when the alleged rescuer is making false or distorted claims and using those claims to wrongly attack someone, then he or she actually becomes the perpetrator. In effect, the rescuer disguises their perpetration under the veneer of victim advocacy. Levine’s obsessive pursuit of Gafni and his associates is a classic example of a ‘rescuer’ acting as a ‘perpetrator’.
In this case, Levine rationalizes her obsession with writing articles and press releases, that target Gafni, as ‘protecting other innocent victims from him’. Her associates deploy egregiously false characterizations of Gafni as a ‘pedophile’ and ‘child molester’ in order to engender public outrage.Yet, none of these claims about him are true.
Levine, through cheaply bought online press releases, continues to disseminate these and other false facts across multiple online platforms.
Levine has never met Gafni, and has refused to sincerely speak to him or any of his associates about the story. She appears never to have reviewed any of the extensive published information refuting her claims. Nor has she ever made a genuine effort to check the facts.
It may or may not be coincidental that Levine lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, close to one of the primary organizers of the 2016 smear. Some of Gafni’s associates have suggested that she was enrolled, directly or indirectly, to act as the in-house pseudo-journalist for the smear campaign.
Attacking a Target by Intimidation
Smear campaigns have long relied on the tactic of intimidation, making it so costly to support the target of a smear, that friends and professional associates step away or denounce the person under attack. One particularly effective technique is the threat of economic boycott, aimed at a corporation associated with a target. Another is the threat of reputation damage. Often that by itself is sufficient to bully the associates of the subject of the smear into disassociating or denouncing him. This has become increasingly common as a means of marginalizing people who come under fire from perpetrators disguised as legitimate activists.
Levine’s anti-Gafni attacks make use of this tactic by aiming her posts at Mackey and Whole Foods. Here is one example of her bullying tactics:
Every time John Mackey gives a public talk she, directly or indirectly, publishes a press release. Under the ‘Press Release’ rubric, she repeatedly publishes distorted assertions about Gafni, attacks Mackey as a Gafni ‘supporter, ’and then demands that Mackey denounce Gafni or risk being denounced himself.
Facts that make it obvious that Levine’s posts are a form of tabloid-style writing disguised as credible activism and journalist.
For a period of time, John Mackey together with several dozen other well-known leaders in their fields served on the advisory board board of the Center for Integral Wisdom. He naturally finished his term over a year ago. Gafni and Mackey currently have no formal relationship.
Levine ignores the fact that Mackey and Gafni are not formally linked and ignores the substantive refutations that have been published by a number of writers. Instead, she uses the Gafni story to frivolously attack Mackey, and uses Mackey’s public stature to maliciously attack Gafni.
Now we turn to the substance of Levine’s claims.
Since the claims against Gafni and what really happened have already beenwritten about, this article we will simply show how Levine used her false ‘facts’ to lead the reader to believe that a 30 or 40 or 50 year old Marc Gafni confessed to having sex with a 14 year old girl and then vulgarly justified it by saying, “She was 14 going on 35 and I never forced her.”
False Fact One: “Marc Gafni, a spiritual leader is “credibly accused” of sexually abusing a 14 year-old girl.” Note: Gafni’s age isn’t given, which makes it easy for a reader to assume that he was an adult spiritual teacher at the time of the relationship.
False Fact Two: “Gafni confesses to having sex with a 14 year old girl.” He never confessed, because the supposed sexual encounter never took place.
False Fact Three: “Gafni justifies having sex with a 14 year old girl by saying “she was 14 going on 35 and I never forced her.’”
False Fact Four: Levine cites ‘experts’ who say that Marc confessed to having sex with the girl”. The implication here is that there are now informed experts validating the first three false facts. The ‘experts’ however, have no information other than what Levine told them, and have done no investigation of the situation. In truth, they are simply people who have been designated ‘experts’ by a blogger who has apparently fed them false facts and printed the false conclusions that they drew from these false facts.
False Fact Five: The bloggers, and Levine, constantly create a malicious false equivalency between Gafni’s single teenage necking relationship, and the abuse of young children by Catholic priests as told in the movie Spotlight, the Jerry Sandusky child abuse story, campus rape and the Bill Cosby story.
False Fact Six: Disturbing images of crying girls, no older than five or six years old, are used as illustrations in the blog posts, implying that Gafni is having sex with little girls.
Levine uses these precisely layered false ‘facts’, highly emotional terms (like ‘sexual predator’) and manipulative images to publicly bully Gafni’s associate into denouncing him. The consequence of not meeting the demands? A public shaming and call to boycott Mackey’s organization.
She deploys the well-known “smear or be smeared” tactic made famous by the House Un-American Activities Committee of the 1950s, and particularly its modern incarnation, internet abuse and bullying. As has already been pointed out extensively in other articles (Fuhs, Engles1, Engles2, Molinard, Tuschik) however, none of the layered lies are true. Let us however briefly recapitulate the facts here:
- Gafni never had sex with a 13 or 14 year old girl or any other under-aged person.
- Gafni never confessed to having sex with a 13 or 14 year old girl.
- At the time of the story in question, Gafni was right out of high school. Gafni met the girl (Sara Kabakov) when he was just out of high school, a 19 year old boy, and she was in high school, a 14 year old girl. They are now both adults in their 50’s.
- The sum total of their contact was mutual teenage necking, which was declared by both parties at the time to have been a positive experience and an expression of love.
- At the time of these events (1979–80) the age difference between them was not considered as problematic as it would be today, and Gafni maintains that he was not aware that it was an issue. He has repeatedly expressed regret for any mistakes he made in a relationship that he considered to have been loving and romantic for both parties.
- At the time of the relationship Sara gave no indication whatsoever that her experience of the relationship was anything other then positive.
- Gafni had no idea that Sara was seeing their relationship differently than what she had expressed as a as their mutually positive experience. He first heard of it when he read her words on the Internet, 25 years after their short relationship was over.
- Gafni was neither a spiritual teacher or rabbi or rabbinical student at the time, all of which have falsely been claimed by either Kabakov or her advocates.
- Kabakov has significantly contradicted herself in different versions of the story over the years.
- Gafni’s version of the events (both of the nature of the contact, and the positive quality of the relationship — including a love letter written to Gafni by Kabakov after the relationship was over) has been validated by extensive polygraph testing. The polygraph expert, was director of polygraph research for the US Department of Defense, one of the leaders in the world in the field, concluded that there was .001% chance that Gafni was not telling the truth about the extent or nature of their relationship.
- The veracity of polygraph is directly correlated to the expertise of the person administering the test. For this reason Gafni went to the best person available in the United States for an extensive polygraph.
- There is ample evidence that Kabakov has been closely associated, for many decades with a group of people who have gone out of their way to damage Gafni and his work. Kabakov has also been associated with a discredited ‘therapist,’ known to encourage false memories.
At one point, Levine had 16 articles posted on her LinkedIn profile. All but one used her ‘campaign’ Gafni as evidence of her ostensibly valiant stand against sexual abuse. She has recently taken some of those articles down, but continues hiding her association with the smear campaign against Gafni (she began posting her anti-Gafni articles at the exact same time that the smear campaign began) behind the veneer of victim advocacy.
She continues to enroll others — many of them sexual victim advocates who we assume are doing important work in other contexts — into supporting her. She does this by continually presenting the same false facts, and refusing to mention or take into account the refutations that Gafni and others have made available.
Inevitably, the false facts that Levine has propagated have become internet staples, and even viral memes.
Negative Meme Propagation vs. Journalism
As an example, here is a story that appeared recently in an article in a college newspaper, the Badger Herald, out of Madison, Wisconsin. Written by University of Wisconsin freshman Kort Driessen, it reveals just how a negative meme, this case planted repeatedly by Levine, propagates. Driessen writes:
“John Mackey, the CEO of Whole Foods and director of Conscious Capitalism, has recently proven exactly why this is true. Mackey released a statement last June pledging his loyalty to his friend Marc Gafni, an ex-rabbi accused of child molestation and using his position to extort children. Gafni said of one of his young accusers, ‘She was 14 going on 35, and I never forced her.’”
Reading this, an uninformed reader would naturally assume that as a mature adult — perhaps 30, 40, or 50 years old, Gafni has used his Rabbinical position to sexually ‘extort’ children. The writer seems unaware that this is a fabricated narrative. In fact, like many people who take their information solely from the Internet, he seems to have no problem making up the claim that Gafni ‘extorts’ (whatever that means!) children. He implies that Kabakov is just one of his ‘young accusers’.
It gets worse. The effect of this false news story is to lead a reader to believe that several little girls credibly accused a Rabbi of “using his position” to molest (“extort”) children. The only problem with this narrative is that it’s completely untrue. He literally made it up. This is a perfect example of how negative memes are easily propagated on the Internet without a semblance of fact checking or verification.
In the next line of his story, Kort Driessen writes:
“In response, more than 130 activists, students, and professors have recently signed an open letter to Whole Foods and Conscious Capitalism, imploring them and Mackey to open a dialogue concerning sexual violence and rape. As of yet, there has been no response”.
Again, reading this, you would think that a 50 year old Gafni recently dismissed a claim of child molestation and in response 130 people signed a petition against John Mackey for supporting Gafni. Mackey is presented as being callously insensitive to sexual abuse, even though that is the furthest thing from the truth. Mackey, like Gafni, obviously stands strongly against any form of sexual violence both in his personal life and his professional life.
Levine and others, however, cynically hijack the mantle of the victim advocate to falsely and manipulatively suggest that she is on the side of victims, while Mackey is not. The writer above talks about Levine’s petition “imploring Mackey” to open a dialogue concerning sexual violence and rape. The implication is that despite the desperate pleas of ‘victim advocates’ like Nancy Levine, Mackey is essentially supporting sexual abuse, by not denouncing Gafni.
But of course Mackey does nothing of the kind. Like all responsible people, he stands fully against all form of sexual violence and rape. He has said this many times. Moreover, Gafni has substantively refuted the false or distorted claims that have been circulated about him. Other writers carefully researched these claims against Gafni, and found them to be non-substantive.
These articles, replete with extensive information and research have been published on Medium as well as WhoIsMarcGafni.com. Gafni has repeatedly offered to meet directly to clarify facts and create authentic resolution time and again and been consistently ignored.
This petition against Mackey, like an earlier one against Gafni circulated by one of Gafni’s former students (a man whom Gafni dismissed from his circle in 2005) was organized as part of a deliberate and well organized smear campaign. Not a single signer of either petition made an attempt to contact Marc Gafni to check facts. The signers base their support for the petition on the assumption that the authors of the smear campaign are telling the truth.
How does this kind of travesty take place?
Here is a likely scenario. Levine calls or writes sexual abuse activists. They carelessly authorize her to use their name without any fact checking and Levine adds their name to her petition.
The fact that Nancy Levine’s petition is based on a false version of a story — a version that never happened — is completely buried. The reader assumes that someone claiming to be an activist would check facts carefully before signing their name to a petition. Levine then manipulatively uses the authority of her signatories as social proof of the truth of her narrative.
Nancy Levine: The Art of Deception
In another post, Levine takes statements of Gafni’s completely out of context, in order to support her false claims. Gafni had written a series of tweets and given several talks during a live online broadcast, asking attendees to imagine what it might look like if we related to all our political leaders, including Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and others, as “Outrageous Lovers.” Gafni uses the term “Outrageous Lover’ to describe a person who goes out of his or her way to perform acts of kindness and love on a wide scale. To suggest that his suggestions have anything to do with sexual assault is self evidently absurd yet Levine assumes that her readers will not know the context of the quotes, nor will they have seen the post below or heard the recorded talk where Gafni discussed this topic.
We reprint it here:
December 20, 2016
by Dr. Marc Gafni
What would our world look like if we looked at our leaders as the potential Outrageous Lovers that they already are, instead of looking at them through the lens of suspicion and mistrust?
That does not mean that we abandon healthy skepticism, fact checking, or any of that. It does mean a shift in perception, in which we look for the highest in a person and through the potency of that perception, we call people to actually be their most noble self. For in truth that is the deepest yearning of every human being.
Gafni shared this thought in a several talks at Evolutionary Church and in other forums and in a series of tweets over the last couple of weeks.
Here are the tweets…
We live in a world of outrageous pain. The only response is #OutrageousLove. @realDonaldTrump is an Outrageous Lover. http://bit.ly/2hDOkDv
We live in a world of outrageous pain. The only response is #OutrageousLove. @HillaryClinton is an Outrageous Lover. http://bit.ly/2hDOkDv
We live in a world of outrageous pain. The only response is #OutrageousLove. @BarackObama is an Outrageous Lover. http://bit.ly/2hDOkDv
We live in a world of outrageous pain. The only response is #OutrageousLove. @SarahPalinUSA is an Outrageous Lover. http://bit.ly/2hDOkDv
We live in a world of outrageous pain. The only response is #OutrageousLove. @MichelleObama is an Outrageous Lover. http://bit.ly/2hDOkDv
Here’s how Levine reported Gafni’s remarks:
“In November, soon after Donald Trump’s vulgar brag “grab them by the p***y” made headlines, Gafni tweeted: ‘Donald Trump is an Outrageous Lover.”
The implication of course is that Gafni is saying that Trump’s remarks about sexual assault are a form of outrageous love which he supports.
This is a typical example of the many false and distorted ways in which Levine conducts her advocacy.
The kind of Internet abuse that has been perpetrated by Levine and her associates is part of larger social challenge that we all need to engage in the digital age.
As we have seen during the last election cycle and beyond, the internet has become a tool for the circulation and perpetuation of gross falsehoods and distortions. Many editorial writers have commented on the fact that ‘fake news’ often generates more engagement than truth on social media — witness the made up ‘Pizzagate scandal’ in which a Virginia pizza parlor was targeted as the center of a sexual trafficking network — These memes have had an enormous impact on shaping people’s viewpoints and beliefs.
It has become the new normal to disseminate misinformation on the internet. Instead of being a tool that we use to connect and communicate ideas that serve to unite and awaken human, social and planetary potential, the internet is often used to manipulate and divide peoples and nations.
Fake news posts have now become one of the easiest ways for a person, or an organized group of people to take down political, cultural and spiritual leaders.
Women Attacked by Levine
Gafni hasn’t been the only victim of Levine’s vicious attacks. Two associates of Gafni’s were also subjected to Levine’s harassment.
Kristina Kincaid, one of the co-authors of this articles, describes below her own experience of Levine’s tactics, followed by the account of eminent futurist Barbara Marx Hubbard. As she points out, this kind of thing can happen to any public or semi-public figure, and by association to their friends and family members.
Here is Kincaid’s account:
Once Levine puts her false story into the space, she then goes after anyone who has actually looked into the facts and drawn a different conclusion than hers. She attempts to intimidate anyone who challenges her fake facts. When they refuse to denounce Gafni, she then goes after their employers and clients. She has done this to several people who work with Gafni, myself included.
Levine sent emails to institutions with which I am affiliated. The emails are manipulative and bullying, and call on the institutions to end their association with me if I don’t denounce Marc. Based on the false ‘facts’ about Gafni, they threaten to attack not only me but the institution itself if they continue to be associated with anyone who associates with Gafni.
This is the age-old tactic of the inquisitor. For such a person, facts don’t matter. Anyone who challenges their narrative deserves to be destroyed. Nancy is a self-appointed inquisitor masquerading as a victim advocate and investigative blogger.
The eminent futurist, Barbara Marx Hubbard, was also subject to attacks from Levine and her associates. She writes in an email:
Many other people who are colleagues of Marc Gafni have been attacked, by Nancy Levine in a thinly disguised attempt to destroy their reputations and careers. I myself has been attacked by Nancy Levine’s co-conspirators in the smear campaign.
This behavior is worse than simply false attacks. This is an effort to destroy the capacity of others to earn their living. What is the hidden motivation of Nancy Levine? I am completely convinced, based on extensive information and personal experience, that the motives of the attacks against me had nothing to do with victim advocacy. That was just their clever disguise. I am outraged by this anti-democratic and anti-evolutionary behavior. I am speaking out and will continue to do so until this conflict is justly resolved.
The Internet has produced two kinds of investigative bloggers and activists. Those who serve journalistic truth, who check facts and evidence and those who use the Internet as a bully pulpit in the service of their careers or prejudices, often to attack leaders with distorted narratives and fake facts.
It’s time that we all learn to discern the difference!