This will be a briefing on information emerging from Adidam regarding fundraising and the purposes to which funds are applied.
A world-wide "pazooza puja" fundraising party and internet auction is currently being held to raise money for Frank's "circumstance" -- including his art, his hobby collections, and his "yajna", or travels.
A special password-only website has been created, where numerous religious objects, art, jewely and personal items from Frank's household are depicted, and bids from devotees invited. Devotees are reminded that Adi Da himself will be watching to see who appreciates him the most:
Each item has a minimum bid bid listed. You may open bidding on any of the items listed below for the minimum listed. Beloved Adi Da Samraj has asked for a running daily tally of how much has been bid on each of the items. He will therefore be provided with the list of the highest bid and the name of the bidder. This will be an enjoyable way for our Beloved Heart-Master to directly Bless all those involved with this internet auction. ...Use of credit cards is required.
Approximately $200,000 has been raised recently, from the more than 100 former devotees of Frederick Lenz who have become followers of Adi Da.
Daists worldwide are being asked to kick in at least another $150,000 at the current "pazooza puja".
Each of the items in the auction is depicted in a photograph and supplied with a description crafted to excite the devotee who is avid to be in closer contact with Adi Da, by owning -- or perhaps wearing? -- something that has touched his divine body.
Item #BL86. Our Beloved Adi Da has actually worn the items from this bundle. His Blessing can be felt very tangibly in these clothing items. The items in this Bundle are as follows: a pair of deer skin slippers, a colorul (sic) knit hat of hot pink, green and red, red knitted booties, hot pink terry shorts, a tie dyed shawl, a batki leeveless kimon (sic), a batki lunghi and hara warmer. All are beautifully color co-ordinated and would add a wonderful feeling of Beloved Adi Da's Grace and Blessing to any hall. Minimum bid: $3000
Among the sacred objects offered, no doubt in a divine laughing fit, is a used Q-tip stained with Adi Da's precious earwax:
Occassionally (sic) very personal items come out of Beloved's House for Pazooza Pujas. This Q-tip was sent to the Pazooza Puja after Beloved used it. Imagine having something as intimate as that from the Lord of All the Worlds! ---Minimum bid: $108
Although the current fundraising "puja" is being promoted as "extraordinary" and of utmost significance for Frank's work, virtually all Adidam fundraisers are spoken of in these terms.
Fundraisers such as this are held all the time. In addition to regular tithing, Adidamers are constantly badgered for money for Frank's "circumstance", including his gifts to his family and his hobby collections. This happens approximately once every 2-3 months from February to October. From November to January fundraisers happen almost every weekend. During this time devotees are allowed to drink and party (use "accessories") and generally get into the spirit of giving.
Fundraisers usually bring in $75,000 or more in one night...occasionally as much as $150,000, according to the former insiders we talked to. However there are indications that devotees resources are being exhausted by endless appeals. The amounts have decreased in the last couple years. A recent "pazooza puja" raised only $25,000 -- and Adi Da expressed extreme disappointment to everyone.
As he has said many times, there is great spiritual purpose in his accepting and spending devotees money. Devotees don't practice, so he is unable to work directly with them, and his divine energy backs up in his body, causing him to fall ill. He says he therefore has to work with devotees through other means, such as accepting money from them...and spending it. As Frank puts it,
I do all kinds of Work in association with people and things and so on. Much of it, I do not talk about. It should be obvious to real devotees of Mine that I am up to Great Work, My Divine Work.
That is what his hobby collections are about -- so that his divine energy doesn't back up in his body due to devotees' non-receptivity, and so that he can work with devotees through the "art puja" articles that he acquires.
Most people know about Frank's Disney art collection -- it was begun in the 1970's. When I visited the Mountain of Attention in Lake County, California, in the late 1970's, the Disney collection was housed in a single room. Since then, we were informed, the collection has grown huge. There are now many individual rooms for different facets of the collection -- for instance, "the Disney bear room". When Frank is on the sanctuary grounds, he likes to go and sit in these rooms and enjoy the Disney toys, read his favorite Carl Barks Scrooge McDuck comics, or bless the world by gazing lovingly upon his stuffed bears.
In more recent years his attention turned to collecting glass paperweights.
Paperweight collecting is a whole subculture of the antiques and collectibles world. Originally intended as decorative objects to hold papers on a desk, these "jewels of glass" have evolved over centuries into fetishes which are sold at astronomical prices.
The sacred collection of paperweights is housed in His bedroom at Aham Da Asmi Sthan. Avatara Adi Da has said that to gaze at a paperweight, one might penetrate the very nature of light and consciousness. The optical quality crystal weights themselves, although apparently solid objects are truly a play of light. They are objects of such precision and beauty they transcend themselves, the flowers and objects embedded are more real and radiant than the flowers in nature itself.
Frank has an enormous collection of paperweights, some which were received as gifts, and most which he purchased at auction for thousands of dollars each. He enjoys perusing auction catalogs looking for rare paperweights, and when he finds one he wants, expense is no problem.
The "crown jewel" of the collection is a large glass paperweight with a coiled salamander inside it. Frank was the anonymous buyer of this paperweight at an auction at Sotheby's in April, 1998. He paid $159,000. Devotees were told of the auction, and held celebratory parties when Frank's bid won the day.
An article describing the auction sale was published in Forbes Magazine:
ON APR. 29 somebody plunked down $156,500 for a paperweight at Sotheby's New York. That's a handsome price for a globe of glass, even one encasing a coiled salamander flecked with silver and enamel, nestled in a bed of flowers. Made in the latter half of the 19th century, the Pantin Magnum Salamander Weight from the now-defunct Pantin factory in France is one of 14 known to exist. Most of the other 13 reside in places like the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, N.Y. and the Art Institute of Chicago.
The entire article can be read online at www.forbes.com/forbes/98/0601/6111186a.htm.
Frank's latest hobby is collecting photographs by famous black and white photographers. He is particularly interested in Harry Callahan prints. Sources say that he will pay $30,000 and up for a print that he wants.
A gallery presentation of Adi Da's own black and white photography is currently being scheduled in Los Angeles. He is reported to be calling this presentation "Illuminata". I have seen some of the landscape photographs -- they are very very good.
A prominent devotee who introduced the "pazooza puja", had this to say in his presentation--
Beloved's art and photography is an extraordinary sign. In addition, there are the collections that we've worked on as a sangha...they are the great treasure for Adidam, the sign for the future. The collections are a sign of beloved's discrimination, and devotees' discrimination makes it possible. Look at the Disney collection. It is a sign of art -- non-confrontational. There is Disney, the glass art, all of the collections. ...It is obvious to everyone that the photography collection can go out there as an obvious sign of Beloved's understanding of photography.
The funds raised to support Adi Da's "circumstance" go for many other things besides his expensive hobbies. He also regularly lavishes expensive gifts on his wives and children. Large amounts are allocated to each person on Frank's gift-giving list -- sources say between $20,000 and $30,000 per person, for birthdays and Christmas. Expensive jewelery will be purchased, designer clothing -- the gifts of a King to his Consorts and his Princesses. These gifts are never reported to the community at large. And the recipients are generally careful not to wear the gifts in the company of devotees.
One of the complaints of the so-called "dissidents" who left Adidam in the mid-1980's was that the guru spent wasteful amounts of money on his own whims and personal appetites. All indications are that Frank's prodigal spending of devotee's money has never moderated, but over the years grown to grandiose proportions. One senses that money has become identified with the conductivity of spiritual energy in his mind. As he sits atop the financial pyramid, he loves drawing in huge amounts of "energy" from those who worship him, and then "radiating" it out in unrestrained consumerism. No matter to him that many of his devotees have become impoverished due to his extravagance. And no matter that the money is never spent on funding hospitals, soup-kitchens, or AIDS research. The "teaching demonstration" is not about charity, but about satisfying the infinite desires of a "godman". In Frank's mind it is all a proof and demonstration of his great liberation, and his vast power over this world.
If you are devotee, and cash in your retirement account so that your guru can buy a paperweight, don't expect much thanks. On a rare occasion you may get a note from one of his intimates, saying "Beloved sends his blessings." More than likely you will never hear anything. Only those of significant means -- who are viewed as sources of future funds -- will be lavished with attention for their gifts.
Frank has repeatedly said, in recent months, that the year 2000 is the year he will be recognized by the world. He has even gone so far as to claim that Christians will recognize him as the Second Coming of Christ.
Lately though, he seems to be losing faith in himself as the World Teacher. We were told that he tried to approach Madonna, and draw her in as a devotee. She, like most of the "contacts" he has been seeing, has so far not been moved to respond. (It is rather amazing that he would think it possible that a raving narcissist like Madonna would surrender herself to him. But then, isn't that what Daism is about -- the rule of Lord Narcissus over "ordinary" narcissists?)
This observer has been astounded, over the years, to watch the essential materialism of Franklin Jones emerge as an overriding theme of his life with devotees. At some point, early in his career, he learned what L. Ron Hubbard and P.T. Barnum learned before him -- unconscious people can be turned into cash cows, by the power of fascination. Forget about liberating people to the awakening of the Heart -- real awakening would be a total threat to the system of taxation and plundering constructed by such stage magician "spiritual masters".
The funny thing is, after thirty years of these hijinks, it is becoming increasingly obvious that human beings are a lot smarter than Franklin Jones ever imagined. It turns out that most people can recognize a charlatan -- and he has been defeated by the innate spirit of Truth in the thousands who have investigated his books and his community.
And so Adi Da finds himself, at age 60, a rather pitiful figure in a wheelchair, a man who scolds the entire world for not giving him the recognition he deserves. As compensation, he spends money, and turns more and more to his art, his hobbies, and his vast collection of Teddy Bears.