Criticism and critiques

external link The Strange Case of Adi Da - a critique of Da is provided by Ken Wilber.  Formerly an ardent supporter, Wilber became dissilusioned by the cultic behaviour of Da's followers and his whole organisation.  Wilber's critique prompted rebuttals by Da's devotees, which in turn encouraged replies by critics.  The entire flame was available on-line, beginning at or thereabouts, but I can't find it now.  I think all the old stuff's been deleted.  :-(

external link The strange case of Franklin Jones, - another critique, by Scott Lowe, originally published in book form (in DA: The Strange Case of Franklin Jones by Scott Lowe and David Lane (Walnut CA: Mt. San Antonio College, 1996).  The following phrase made me laugh because it is so typical of all these new late 20th century religious movements:

There have been a few new developments on the Da-watching front in the last few years, ranging from the predictable (a new name, Adi Da, "the Primal Da"?) to the unlikely (Saniel Bonder, one of the most ardent of the guru's devotees and publicists, has set himself up as an enlightened successor to Da, apparently without the approval of the Master). The community continues to exalt Da as the "World Teacher"; his "Emergence" is now being touted as the greatest event in the history of our galaxy, perhaps even the most spiritually significant occurrence since the Big Bang.

And said one person who posted on the Aurobindo mail list

IMHO I do feel that Da did have a genuine initial breakthrough Spiritual experience but just shows what pathologies can result when we lack true sincerity and proper aspiration for the complete transformation of all parts of our being

It reminds me of a declaration by one of the last bonafide Vaishnava Acharyas - Vallabacharya :
"No one is superior to a Jnani who chants the name of the Divine"
In Humility


internal link A reply regarding (and supporting) Master Da

Web links Links Web links

Web Site The Daism Seminar - a large amount of material here - includes DAISM (Adi Da) (message board), The Knee of Daism (~Deconstructing Adi Da~, a collection of posts from the on-line Ken Wilber Forum on the controversial topic of Adi Da) and Daism Research Index (a database of internet documents and links to documents relevant to Daism and/or its founder, Franklin Jones (Adi Da).) See also
FRANK - an inquiry of Adi Da (Franklin Jones) - This weblog collects in one space some of the investigations and critiques Elias has made of Franklin Albert Jones (aka Adi Da, Da Free John, Bubba Free John, etc etc) over the past years. It also includes the personal narrative of Elias' experiences with F.A.J. and his community from 1975 to 1982.

Web Page The Truth About Da's "Realization" (part of the Shambhala publication's external linkKen Wilber forum

Web Page Derek Bishop's Spiritual Autobiography: Avatar Adi Da Samraj, Daism, and Adidam Criticism: September 11, 2003

Presents a post by Georg Feuerstein regarding his wife's seduction by "Heart-Master" Adi Da Samraj (Franklin Jones). Describes how Frank uses alcohol and subtle coercion to delude and seduce his devotees. Argues the deluding nature of alcohol and cigarettes, in that alcohol suppresses the nervous system, and cigarettes constrict the circulatory system and emotional centers.

Argues that rather than performing any real spiritual function, Adi Da's actual impact is the destruction of devotees' self-esteem, friendships, finances, and mental and emotional health.

Presents commentary by Feuerstein regarding when to leave a guru.

Presents an overview of Abraham Maslow's argument that "deficit needs" (food, safety, sense of belonging, esteem) must be met before "being needs" (peak experiences, Self-realization) can be attained. Depicts Maslow's work as one of many that offers insight into the harm and delusion caused by the cultic practices and depraved "shock therapy" engaged by Franklin Jones.

Presents a humorous post from the Daism Forum regarding Frank's getting women high on marijuana and Jack Daniels and then seducing them in his "Divine Bedroom".

Web Page Da avatar, da bomb, da bum - chapter from Stripping the Gurus by Geoffrey D. Falk.


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page by M.Alan Kazlev
page uploaded 13 September 1999
last modified 13 June 2005