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Michael Schulson – The Sex Scandal Following Whole Foods’ Guru

Over the holidays, the New York Times ran a punishing profile of Marc Gafni, an ex-rabbi who reinvented himself as a New Age spiritual leader.

A founder of the Center for Integral Wisdom and organizer of the Success 3.0 Summit, Gafni has built a New Age brand around two trademark concepts—Unique Self and Outrageous Love—which, like much of “Integral Theory,” seems to draw from psychotherapy, Eastern and Western religious traditions, and philosophy. Or as his website’s biography puts it, “[Gafni] teaches on the cutting edge of philosophy in the West, helping to evolve a new ‘dharma,’ or meta-theory of Integral meaning that is helping to re-shape key pivoting points in consciousness and culture.”

There’s also reason to believe that Gafni is a sexual predator. At the Times, religion journalist Mark Oppenheimer (a friend and mentor of mine) lays out the allegations in detail, which include assault, statutory rape, emotional abuse, and exploitation of the counselor-student power dynamic. “My personal opinion is that Marc Gafni has a pathology,” Rabbi David Ingber, a former associate of Gafni’s, told me.

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