In response to criticism of his ideas, Wilber posted a purile rant in which he told people to suck his dick (then says if that offends you, you belong to the green meme, this being a reference to postmodernists, eco-spirituals, etc), rages against critics, launches an unprovoked personal attack on a colleague and former friend Frank Visser.
It became known as the "Earpy" controversy, after Wilber's self-identification with Wild West gunslinger Wyatt Earp
In an earlier version of this page I included some choice extracts of Wilber's post. In teh intervening three plus years I have mellowed towards Wilber. I certainly do see him as a perfect being in any respect. But who among us is perfect? Certainly not me.
This in no way means that I excuse Wilber's behaviour, or think it was under any circumstance in the slightest way justified or acceptible. I did not then, and I do not now. But I accept that he is just a guy with some intelligent things to say and less profound insights, but who unfortunately, being very sensitive to criticism, made the mistake (as many of the online community do) of losing his temper in public (i.e. on a blog). But what I find of greater concern though are those followers (one could only call them devotees, although Wilberians prefer the term fans) who see this schoolboy antics as a sign of an informed integral genius. That sort of cultic attitude to me is far more troubling then Wilber's own failings, about which I no longer have the slightest interest.
The t hing is, if you are a nobody and lose your temper, no-one really cares. If you are someone of importance, the ramifications are widely felt. It seems strangely old news to keep these links years later, but those who are interested in dusting off details of the controversy, Wilber's outburst elicited comment by Matthew Dalmann, long-time Wilber critic and anti-guruist Geoffrey Falk has a field day, and Frank Visser tries to sets the matter straight with Games pandits play: reply to Ken Wilber's raging rant and followed this some days later with "Criticism: Shadow or Challenge?" on the Wilber Watch blog, and an analysis of Wilber's follow-upt, which analyzes authoritarian cognitive strategies
Although Tuff-Ghost, long-time Wilber fan, is dismayed Vomiting Confetti: Wilber Criticism part I Vomiting Confetti: Wilber Criticism part II - Turn in your badge, most Wilber supporters seemed to be remarkably accepting of their leader's diatribe. The amazing thing is that these who are people who in other respects are highly intelligent, insightful, and spiritually-minded.
Michel Bauwen's editorial on Wilberism becoming a cult, was picked up in the blogosphere, here at http://deepsurface.net/2006/06/13/an-authoritarian-cult/. Michel's further comments on the cult of Wilber: http://blog.p2pfoundation.net/?p=245. His comments - insightful as always - have been incorporated into the present site
Again, I should point out that my concern here is not with Ken Wilber himself, who, in spite of his failings I think highly of in other respects, but with a certain cultic attitude among his "fans". I strongly feel that such unthinking cultism has no place in any true integral paradigm. It belongs to an outdated religious past, just like religious fundamentalism.