Lawsuits, Media Circuses, and "Anti-Adi Da" Websites

1. Introduction

How do you find a marriage partner? How can you trust someone you fall in love with? Well, sometimes it doesn't work out; sometimes you have to get a divorce. But you don't necessarily take that person to court because you feel the person "used you" or represented himself in false colors. It is an affair of the heart. So, too, with religion, which is ultimately an affair of the heart. The more restrictions and safeguards you put on religion, the more danger there is of institutionalizing it entirely and then losing the spark and mystery of it.

Lex Hixon, Ph.D., religious scholar and mystic, 1989 interview
(Lex was the narrator of A Difficult Man,
a 1974 movie about the teaching and work of Adi Da)

Back in the mid-1980s, a couple of lawsuits were brought against Adidam and Adi Da Samraj by a few disaffected former devotees. When these lawsuits were made public, given the nature of modern sensationalistic journalism, a generally negative public attitude toward "gurus", and the exaggerated language that commonly appears in legal complaints, a kind of "media circus" erupted. There was significant newspaper and television coverage, including a Today Show "exposé" about Adidam as a "religious cult".

In the process of discovering Adi Da, a significant number of people run across "anti-Adi Da" websites that seek to combine decades-old newspaper clippings about these lawsuits, the associated "media circus", and Adi Da's "Crazy Wise" play with devotees in general at the time, into an argument against becoming Adi Da's devotee now.

For this reason, we have created this special section to set the record straight — and to relieve and strengthen the hearts of those who otherwise are attracted to Adi Da and His extraordinary offering of the Way of Adidam.

So read, and be relieved! But then do continue your process of discovering Adi Da by exploring the rest of this site. This small section is mostly about what Adi Da is not. But the bulk of this site — the truly interesting and amazing part of it — is all about Who Adi Da is. (Click here for more about this.)

In contrast with the handful of detractors out there on the Web, hundreds of devotees and appreciators of Adi Da have contributed to this site, communicating a completely different story and a most extraordinary Spiritual opportunity.

So if you have doubts. . . join the club! Many of Adi Da's devotees went through a process where they initially had to grapple with their doubts; but where — in the end — the impact of Adi Da's Divine Revelation on their hearts was too powerful to dismiss, and ultimately, would transcend those doubts. Here's a story of a young man going through exactly that process recently, and coming out the other side.

In 2009, I came across The Knee of Listening at my university's library in upstate New York. On the back, there was a testimonial from Alan Watts, who I am fond of, and I think I had also seen a recommendation from Robert Anton Wilson in one of Wilson's books. So, I borrowed the book.

I read parts of The Knee of Listening, but I guess you could say I was not pulled in at the time. I returned it and didn't give it a second thought.

Then — I think it was 2011 — I had a dream where I entered a building, some sort of center of Adi Da's. A receptionist told me "Adi Da is ready to see you now." So I walked into a small room where Adi Da was sitting on a platform that wrapped around the room. He got up, walked over to me, and, without saying anything, He put his hands on my shoulders — and I was filled head-to-toe with the most incredible bliss I have ever experienced. All of my perpetual, self-contracted seeking activity was released in that moment. I was home. Every cell in my body was radiating illuminated ecstasy. Although He didn't say anything, my overwhelming impression of His communication was that I needed to "Stop!".

This dream is easily one of the most powerful experiences of my life. Upon waking up, I went to one of the Adidam websites where it says in the FAQs, "If Adi Da appears in your dreams or visions, this is a sign of who He is, and the most appropriate response would be to look into His teachings and reach out to His devotees." So I ordered a copy of The Liberating Word CD, and went back to the library and borrowed The Knee of Listening a second time.

At some point in this renewed investigation of Adi Da's Teachings, I came across the Today Show "exposé", and some of the negative websites that try to paint a not-so-pretty picture of Adi Da, and this was a put-off for me. So I put Adidam on the back-burner as I finished college and moved to Colorado. I did not give Adi Da much thought from 2012-2015.

However, this past spring (2016), I decided that the dream in 2011 was one of the most meaningful spiritual occasions of my life. So, for the past eight months, I have been more or less firmly committed to an investigation of Adi Da's teachings, listening and re-listening to several hours of His talks per week, relating these experiences and teachings to my friends and meditation teachers, and reading more of His writings. I also am going to take the Da Avatar intro course.

December, 2016
Colorado Springs, Colorado

For devotees who fully "come out the other side", the difference, in a nutshell, is this: If you discover for real that someone actually is the Divine in human form, and is providing you with the means for Realizing the Divine — the Divine State of Perfect, Eternal Happiness — everything else becomes utterly peripheral.

2. Details


Lawsuits and Media Circuses — Chris Tong presents the basic facts, which are pretty straightforward. Two lawsuits were filed, and out-of-court settlements reached. The Marin County Superior Court dismissed the primary lawsuit.

A judge dismissed the case, ruling that there was no legal basis for the lawsuit.
An Interview with Brian O'Mahony

An Interview with Brian O'Mahony — Brian O'Mahony has been a devotee of Adi Da for many years. The one major lawsuit against Adidam was brought by Brian's wife at the time (1985). In this interview, Brian speaks candidly about that time, the lawsuit, the media circus that ensued, and what to make of it all more than twenty years later.


"Dissident" Ex-Devotees and "Anti-Adi Da" Websites
Question: What about the "dissident" ex-devotees who express negative feelings about Adi Da and Adidam on the Web?

Brief answer: A recent independent study shows that most ex-devotees are not negatively disposed toward Adi Da and Adidam — quite the contrary! But a small number of unrepresentative (but very vocal) ex-devotees have created critical websites that are often mistaken for the majority view among ex-devotees. And as it turns out, even some of those most vocal critics are communicating a new and very different understanding of Adi Da these days.

3. Adi Da's Divine Response to Doubts About Him

Adi Da is not an ordinary man; He is the Divine, in human form. For this reason, His "response" to doubts about Him — including doubts raised by the negative websites mentioned earlier — often takes an extraordinary and miraculous form, and does not require Him to be physically alive or even in the same room as the person who has the questions or doubts. Here are just a few stories and articles that show how the Divine Revelation of Who Adi Da is dissolves the questions and the questioner, and sets the heart free, restored to Happiness.

A Laser-Like “Beam” of Energy Shot Out of My Heart — Anne Henderson was giving a public presentation about Adidam in Los Angeles. She had been told ahead of time that someone associated with one of the negative websites was planning to attend and ask her "embarassing" questions. At one point, a man spoke up from the back of the room and she knew this was the guy. As she began to answer him, Adi Da took over, and gave His response, using Anne as His vessel.

Anne Henderson
Alaya Gernon

No Doubts Whatsoever — Alaya Gernon: "I was attracted to and felt a pull to Adi Da Samraj. He appeared in many dreams, and I read His Word avidly. But my resistance to fully turning to Him was also real. It was centered around the various allegations on "negative websites", and the doubts raised in me by these allegations . . . Even so, my attraction to Adi Da overwhelmed my doubt and resistance. I became Adi Da's devotee in 2009. This initiated a profound process of purification, which culminated in Adi Da gifting me with His Divine State of Prior Unity. I was relieved of all my doubts, and was left with no doubts whatsoever about Who He is.

Restored to Perfect Happiness — Chris Tong describes a moment in Adi Da's Company where all he could see was a roomful of apparent cult members, all following their apparently megalomanical leader. And then a miracle occurred: Adi Da revealed Himself to be the Divine. The troubling vision vanished, and all doubts were dissolved in Adi Da's Divine State of Perfect Happiness.

Chris Tong
Doubt Mind

Doubt Mind — Even after the "testing" (through asking questions, etc.) of one's potential Spiritual Master has been sufficient, doubts can continue to arise as an automaticity, and can sometimes prevent one from completing the process of becoming a devotee. Indeed, even after one has become the devotee of a great Spiritual Master on the basis of profound Spiritual Revelation, doubts can still occur. For this reason, it is good to understand the actual mechanism and habit of doubt, so one can cease to take ungrounded doubts seriously.

The Spiritual Transmission MasterThe Spiritual Transmission Master — If there is a single greatest point of confusion about Adidam and Avatar Adi Da, it is this: the idea and the tradition of the Spiritual Transmission Master is completely absent from contemporary culture. This article explains how Spiritual Transmission Masters transmit their Spiritual Realization to their devotees, and how devotees Realize the Master's State by duplication, in accord with the principle: "you become what you meditate on."

Without being aware of the existence of Spiritual Transmission Masters, when one sees pictures of devotees prostrating before another man, or engaged in some kind of devotional expression, one cannot help but think "cult" and "cult master" because that it is the only contemporary concept available for "explaining" such behavior. The idea that the devotee may be prostrating at the Master's feet because they are receiving an overwhelming Spiritual Transmission radiating from the Master never crosses one's mind!


Quotations from and/or photographs of Avatar Adi Da Samraj used by permission of the copyright owner:
© Copyrighted materials used with the permission of The Avataric Samrajya of Adidam Pty Ltd, as trustee for The Avataric Samrajya of Adidam. All rights reserved. None of these materials may be disseminated or otherwise used for any non-personal purpose without the prior agreement of the copyright owner. ADIDAM is a trademark of The Avataric Samrajya of Adidam Pty Ltd, as Trustee for the Avataric Samrajya of Adidam.

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