June 7, 2005

Update on Joan Felt / Adidam

I had written about the daughter of Deep Throat (Mark Felt) here and two people left comments that deserve a closer inspection. In my post, I looked at Rick Ross's websites entry on Franklin Jones. He is now called Adi Da Samraj and lives quite the life (private island in Fiji, nine wives, the best of food and drink) while his followers live in almost poverty so as to keep sending him money. Great photo -- I am reminded of a horribly spoiled and self-indulgent five year old boy.
Anyway, as I had said, two comments were left. The first one pointed to a blog by a Randy Hayes - a software author who was involved with Adida for a while. Needless to say, the blog was very critical and mentioned his dealings with lawyers. Unfortunately, although I had it on the screen last evening, as I was writing this decided to hit [F5] to refresh it and see if anything had been posted since then. It now returns the dreaded Blogger 404:
Click for full-size Image
Also, for a look at the amount of money that is expected by Adi Da, check out the second comment which is this link: Adidam Tithing Guide (October 9, 2001). Here are a few excerpts: From Adi Da writing on Money:
Do not lock yourself into circumstances that are non-productive. Create arrangements that support your individual and collective responsibility for money and for your support of [Adidam Samrajashram, Adidam], and the community organization. Do this maximally and collectively. Such responsibility is a most serious and real dimension of your Spiritual commitment. Understand your responsibility in these terms, and never violate it. Uphold these financial agreements as a sacred commitment. They are a clear sign of your devotional surrender to Me.
And the Money? Sit down and brace yourselves:
All Adidam members are required by their vow to Sri Adi Da to pay tithes & fees:

Payments for Sacred Purposes @ 15% of Gross Income
Congregational Services Fee: $10/month.
Wisdom Express Fee: subscription to the newly published Teaching Word -about $25/month.
Regional Fee to pay the regional expenses: $55/month.
Samrajya Fee: $108 annual fee due each July.
They then list these other "Optional Pledges"
Optional Pledges:
  • Yajna Pledge
  • Sacred Development Fee (formerly the Avadhoot Fund)
  • Other Outstanding Pledges (e.g. Auctions)
  • Gifting and Fundraising: Funds must come from excess and cannot jeopardize tithe and fee obligations.
And if you do not pay, they have varying levels of penalties for starting at two months delinquent -- here is what happens if you are three months late:
3 months behind: If you fall 3 months (90 days) behind, you will be required to have a cultural consideration and to make a new agreement about immediate resumption of payments. If the new agreement is not kept, you will be put "on hold". "On hold" means you are restricted from access to the Sanctuaries as well as from participation in Darshan occasions, celebrations, Guruvara, parish, and other community events. However, the "on hold" status does not relieve you of your cultural responsibilities (including financial).
Christ on a Corn Dog -- if ANY main-stream church had these financial requirements, there would be such a public outcry. If a priest or minister excommunicated a parishioner for not paying for three months, they would be removed from office. (Not being given Darshan is essentially the same as not being able to take a sacrament and/or receive teachings.) My first wife was very spiritual and we were involved in the Sufi tradition for some years. Islamic based but truly a Religion of Peace -- wonderful people. One thing that I really liked is that they had some of the world Sufi teachers coming through the Northwest for Darshan and teachings and although there were fees to attend, they were never exorbitant and if you were unable to pay, there were options to work, a few scholarships and no one complained if you only contributed a few $$$ if that was all you were able to pay. The fees charged by these teachers were not that much more than their transportation and lodging expenses -- they were operating from a pure desire to spread the word and teach people. The fact that Adi Da is so money-grubbing and lives in such luxury tips his spiritual practice over the edge and lands it squarely in Cult land. Posted by DaveH at June 7, 2005 4:30 PM