Daism Report #4

The New Pattern

by  Elias


After leaving Los Angeles, and journeying by train to his house in Trinidad in Humbolt County, Adi Da is now back in The Mountain of Attention sanctuary in Lake County, California. Sources say that he is talking about flying to the East Coast as early as next week.

What follows is a kind of wrap-up of events since my last report. As before, brief quotations have been supplied from communications that were distributed to the entire Adidam community. They are offered here to provide an objective basis for scholarly discussion. No violation of copyright is intended, and these passages are quoted under Section 107 (Fair Use Provisions) of United States Copyright Law.
 

LEAVING LOS ANGELES

Frank originally went to Los Angeles for extensive medical tests, following a series of anxiety attacks in April and early May. He stayed in two different residences -- causing enough disturbance in both places that the neighbors complained to the police. Whether the tests were complete is not clear, but on Saturday, June 10, Frank began to experience renewed symptoms in his body, became very disturbed, and began "a consideration" about changing the way he does his work.

In what has been referred to as "a meltdown moment", he decided everything was wrong, nothing was working, and he needed to return to his hermitage in Trinidad, on the coast of northern California.

He left Los Angeles on Wednesday, June 14, and traveled north by train. After stopping overnight at a hotel, he was driven the rest of the way to Tat Sundaram, his private residence high on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. He was greeted by about "one hundred devotees and contact people" who had been hurriedly brought there on retreat.

Beloved got out of the car at Tat Sundaram and walked straight around the side of the House to the back porch and gazed out to sea. The sun was setting. Beloved stood there with great Concentration for about five minutes, the great rock in the sea right in front of Him. Then He walked back around to the front door and a flower mala was placed around His neck as He entered the House. Beloved toured the House and went upstairs to His Bedroom. Then He came down to receive the daily kava offering in the Darshan Hall.

...Once the kava ceremony began it was very clear that the God-Man, Adi Da Samraj had Assumed His Seat in His Hermitage again with full Force. We had been travelling with Him for two days during which Beloved had been joking with us, and making allowances for the public circumstances we were in with Him, but now there was no doubt that He was back on His own sacred Ground. His Descent was profound.


THE NORTH COAST JOURNAL REPORT

[This section of the Daism Report contains background information on Trinidad and the purchase of Tat Sundaram.]

Trinidad, California, a town of about 400 people, may be one of the most scenic spots on the planet. A web search pulls up dozens of websites about Trinidad, including lots of great pictures. Here's a few of the best sites:

Exploring Trinidad
Map of Trinidad
Images of Trinidad
Trinidad Chamber of Commerce

The Trinidad Chamber of Commerce describes Trinidad this way:

The Trinidad area is home to fishermen, woodsmen, retirees, educators, and artists in paint, print, wool, wood, poetry, photography, food, and friendliness. It's a marine resort for salmon, lingcod, rock fish, bottom fish, surf fish, crabbing, and clamming. There is a state park in town and Redwood National Park just up the road, with almost continuous state and county parks in between.

It is a community with a rich variety of activities and organizations providing a satisfying spectrum of life experiences: the Chamber of Commerce, the Womens Civic Club, the Lions Club, Patricks Point Garden Club, the Humboldt North Coast Land Trust, the Trinidad Museum Society, the Tsurai Ancestral Society, The Westhaven Ladies Club, and the Trinidad Community Choir that gives voice to the community's celebrations.

A wealth of fine entertainment is just down the road; the Pacific Arts Center, the Humboldt Light Opera, Ferndale Repertory Theater, Dell'Arte Players Company, Humboldt State University Center Arts, and the North Coast Repertory Theater for starters.

Most religious denominations are served in Trinidad and neighboring communities. Formal educational opportunities range from preschool to graduate school.

Trinidad's climate is mild, usually in the mid-50's during winter, and in summer, the heat often gentled by the fog, mid-60's are typical. The average annual rainfall is 52 inches.

A January 1999 article in The North Coast Journal describes Adidam's arrival in Humbolt County and the purchase of the house in Trinidad:

...Devotee Jim Calladine said the religious group was closing escrow on a Stagecoach Road home and had just had its offer accepted to purchase the Shadow Lodge.

News of the religious group's arrival has led some residents to question if the organization is a cult, while others are concerned about increased traffic in their quiet neighborhood.

...It was 1997 when Adi Da first began talking about visiting this area. As the former operator of 75 Canadian travel agency offices, Calladine was assigned the job of making the trip arrangements and conducted research visits with his wife as far north as Brookings, Ore. An excursion into Oregon and possibly Canada was planned for fall 1998.

"That trip started in the middle of September and the first stop was here in Trinidad," Calladine said. "We had a rented house called Abalone Cove which was down on Patricks Point Drive. We were there for a couple of nights and (Adi Da) loved it. And, in fact, the first thing he said was, `I want to stay longer here.'"

They stayed an additional night in Trinidad before continuing to Portland, where Adidam's leader announced he wanted to return to Trinidad.

"And so I headed back down here while everybody else was still up there to find a place where we could stay," Calladine recalled. The ideal home would be available for extended stays or possible purchase.

The group obtained a lease with option to buy for an unoccupied 2,700-square-foot home on Stagecoach Drive. [The house has since been named Tat Sundaram -- "This is Beautiful", or "It's a Beautiful Thing".]

Since Adi Da had already left Portland, Calladine videotaped the home and drove the tape up to Brookings for a midnight showing to his teacher. Returning at 2 a.m. with Adi Da's approval, Calladine arranged for a furious top-to-bottom cleaning of the home with the help of teams who rushed up from the Lake County sanctuary.

Adi Da arrived in Trinidad later that day. A month later, in October, it was decided the group would purchase the property. When news of Adidam's arrival spread, homeowners from the North Stagecoach Road Association worried aloud that the group might convert the house into a church, changing the character of the rural neighborhood.

"That was not our intention then, or now, or ever will be because this place will actually be used by my teacher only for certain times of the year; probably for two or three months of the year," Calladine said. "It's used as a residence. However, in addition to being used as a residence, people do come over, small groups of people at a time probably 10, 12, perhaps 15 maximum when he is around, not on any kind of predictable schedule."

Along with Adi Da, two other people will stay in the house. And several followers have rented homes around the city of Trinidad, including a "serving staff" that cooks and delivers meals to the house as well as the rental that Calladine and his wife share with Bill Dunkelberger, a former Marine Corps lieutenant colonel with Vietnam combat experience, and his wife, who maintains a daily journal of the group's activities in Trinidad.

...The new year should also see the completion of Adidam's purchase of Trinidad's Shadow Lodge [now called "Walk About Joy"], which will likely house seven to eight couples year-round, with additional members staying there on retreat when their leader is in town.

As for the Stagecoach Road neighbors, the religious group recently met with some two dozen neighborhood residents.

"They had various concerns including: Are we a cult? And, what are we doing there?" Calladine said. "We aired everything and we said to the neighbors, `Look, your complaints about traffic are completely right. There's been way too much traffic and that will change.' And it has. Because we were just disorganized. There was quite a bit of traffic and it was annoying to the neighbors. And quite properly. ...

"So we discussed everything with them and subsequently we heard from many of them, almost all of them, saying that they understand our situation and they've kind of relaxed about it now that they know where we're at and where we're coming from."

...[Adidam officials] refused a reporter's request to interview or meet the man. And devotee Calladine went further, asking that a reporter not even drive by the Stagecoach Road house.


After the closing, Adi Da wrote a poem about his new house:

Tat Sundaram! All of this (that arises and passes) Is Beautiful! All of this (arising and passing) Is Self-Existing (As Consciousness Itself) and Self-Radiant (As Primal Energy Itself, or Light Itself--Which Is Happiness Itself)! Therefore, let all of this Be So!

Tat Sundaram!
All Of This Is Sacred!
All Of This Is Beautiful!
And So Be you!


ADIDAM STATISTICS AND CHANGES

During the period of darshans in Los Angeles, Frank decided that too many uncommitted people were getting in to see him. He proposed to tighten the rules--

The qualifications being proposed by the Samrajya for coming to receive Beloved's Darshan included the offering either of significant dakshina (money), a significant gift of service (beyond one's agreed responsibilities), or bringing to Beloved a new person who is ready to come under vow as His devotee.

But then Adi Da received news that no less than 31 new student-novices had come under vow during the month of May. No matter than every one of these 31 newbies was an ex-follower of Frederick Lenz (see Daism Reports #1 and #2), recruited by their friends -- Frank was sure that a world-wide change was taking place. Immediately he decided to continue the openness that had begun to establish itself during his Los Angeles stay.

And so, the Samrajya process of access now requires that everyone who comes to see Beloved on retreat should:

--write a letter of want and need to Beloved
--bring a gift of service

In other words, every prospective retreatant should describe in their letter of want and need how they are enhancing their service to Beloved via any recent accomplishments or financial gifts, or service projects, over and above their established agreements.

It is interesting to note that 31 new students is considered a significant recruitment by this community. Frank was similarly impressed to learn that 76 people, world-wide, were taking courses about the Way of Adidam.

Our investigations have revealed that Adidam, as it is currently constituted, is a very small organization, in the neighborhood of a thousand members.

One official report indicates that, in addition to a small number of Advocates, "as of April there were 890 Student Beginners and 235 Student Novices." But sources indicate that these numbers are inflated. When people leave the community their names are kept on the rolls as long as possible, often a year or more, so that Frank will not see declining numbers.

Conservatively then, the membership of Adidam is around 1000 people at this time, probably less. For a group this small, 31 new members is a shot in the arm, especially if they are tithing $3,000 to $4,000 a month, as most of the Rama-Lenzite's do.

The financial situation for most Adidamites is pretty scary. Their obligations to their guru include the following:

--15% of gross income tithe
--the Congregational Services fee
--the 5% Treasures support
--regional support fees
--book prepay (you buy books before they are printed)
--magazine and Internet subscriptions
--fundraisers and auctions
--emergency fundraisers
--financial gifts "over and above established agreements"

Curiously, after all these years, Adidam has never been able to develop a really successful community business -- one that would free devotees from the exorbitant drain on their personal incomes. In fact, Frank has tended to sabotage all such efforts, even while demanding that devotees become as successful as possible in the world.

Finally, it is worth noting that as Frank approaches his 61st birthday...

It does have to be considered at this point that there are no practitioners in the advanced and ultimate stages.
[his words on June 17, 2000]

THE NEW PATTERN

Frank has recently revealed that he is "not a tantric"...nor is he to be considered a "crazy-wise" adept.

All of that, he says, was a reflection of devotees, and the world. Devotees were informed that "something has burned up in him", and he has moved into the absolute purity of "the divine as man". Accordingly, Adidam must make this clear in its presentations.

The public-relations book The Promised God Man Is Here will be completely rewritten "to reflect Who He Is in His Purity". Meaning, one supposes, all the "naughty bits", already "explicated" for the general public, will be further sanitized, or taken out entirely.

AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: Years ago, when I began to Work, what I did was not My Way but a reflection of My devotees. I Submitted Myself in order to Teach them, but, in that process, I was not Revealing Myself. It was about revealing my devotees to themselves. That was the nature of My Purity. I made that Submission and did that Work until the time came when I Revealed Myself as I Am. That was My Divine Emergence. And so the revelation, during My Teaching Years, was never about Me, Myself. It was about Revealing the Way of Adidam to all and addressing the world and its present-time reality. There was nothing conventional about it.

The distinction between Who I Am and what egos are about has to be made clear. I could not ignore the sexual realities in My devotees, and so I Worked with them. I Worked according to the nature of the people I Taught. There were many teachers in the 70s and 80s and even now, who have engaged in sexuality and the so-called "tantric" manner of Teaching. But the way that others worked cannot be used to describe what I did. I did my Teaching Work as a satire on conventional life and religion, revealing the bullshit and the absurdity and the egoic nature of it all. And I Revealed the egoic nature of every strategy that human beings are up to.

Anyone who is really sensitive to Me knows Who I Am and knows that I maintain My Sign in this world in a "Raymond" manner [a reference to a character in Adi Da's avante garde novel, The Mummery].

I am not here to posture and talk and seem or engage in illusions about Spiritual life. Generally now, I do not have much to say. The only way you can recognize Me is through the sight and feeling of Me. So either you feel My Transmission or you don't. I show Myself Divinely to those who are sensitive to Me and relate to Me rightly. And My Siddhis are shown only in this manner. Otherwise I maintain a kind of invisibility and naturalness.


SURFING WITH FRANK

Recently, after allowing his website to go fallow for more than a year, Frank began to reconsider the role of the Internet.

AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: The Internet principle is a means altogether for the mission, for education, and taking everyone into My Circumstance. It is an important link to make because it makes the process global. It is a new communicative means that must be used. When I brought this up in the 70s it did not exist.
Following this recent consideration, Frank decided to begin offering monthly darshan via the Internet.

AVATARA ADI DA SAMRAJ: I cannot possibly do my Emerging Work in the context that it has been done previously because I cannot be interactive with thousands. And so there has to be a different way of contact. The Internet is the means and Darshan is the process-- but not Me giving lectures on the Internet, or interacting in a personal way. That is not at all required. My Function is Vast and Complex. I cannot Function as a social, human entity. All the Spiritual and psychic connectiveness that exists between Me and all beings is alive and must be cultivated. The Internet has changed the situation for all. It has made this possibility of My Working globally. By using the Internet I am not going to be less connected. On the contrary, it should be a means to connect further to every one. And so there is the culture of Adidam with its organization and Mission and there is the existing Literature to study. And then there is the Internet means, which is a global mechanism through which people can come and sit with Me. I do not Function any longer through an interactive Play. And so, Sittings with Me via the Internet can be very much a part of My global Work.

THE QUANDRA MAI RUMORS

There is apparently some substance to recent rumors that one of Frank's wives -- Quandra Sukha Mai (Bonnie Beavan) -- has been elevated above the other.

Quandra Nirvanasati (Elizabeth Brown) is hardly ever mentioned in communications these days, whereas previously both were always equally referred to or involved. Sources indicate that Frank accused Ms. Brown of displaying "too much ego" over the matter of the Rama devotees coming into the inner circle. She was sent away for several weeks to live with her family in Massachusetts. Since her return she has not been given rooms close to her husband, as was formerly the custom.

The number one wife, Bonnie Beavan, is now sometimes referred to as Quandramaj Sukhamaj -- a distinct elevation in name, following the Hindu manner of naming.


THE RAMA-LENZITES vs ADIDAM OLD-TIMERS

The tension between the former followers of Frederick Lenz and the long-time devotees of Franklin Jones has not abated -- in fact, it has continued to fester and grow. Old-timers are reported "feeling disoriented" by the "new pattern" of the Lenzites. In their private conversations deep resentment of the newcomers is often expressed. Spokemen for the old-timers have made cautious appeals to Frank to go back to the old ways, but he has turned them down cold.

Meanwhile the Rama-Lenzites are having their own problems. Some of them are beginning to crack under Frank's demands. Others, who are required to keep working in their high-tech big-bucks jobs are resentful of their friends who have been initiated into Frank's inner circle.

Old-timers and ex-devotees who know them have humorously described the Lenzites as similar to the dark-suited agents of the Matrix (in the film of the name).

And, last but not least, the very first Rama-Lenzite who came over to Frank has now been tossed out of her position in Frank's inner circle and sent down to the larger community. (So what else is new?) This woman is said to have single-handedly brought most of the Lenzites into Frank's influence.

[Editorial note: What goes around comes around. Frank is sending you a message, Lenzies -- "Service to me is not about becoming a bigshot. It is always and forever about humiliation." ]


THE MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN

The descriptions of recent darshan occasions can be quite touching to read. Clearly the membership at large, which only sees Adi Da occasionally, continues to have a profound transference to him. They do see him as God, and desperately want to please him and win his approval, even if it means sacrificing their lives.

At the beginning of the Darshan occasion, Beloved looked very Serious, even a little stern. And then He began to fill the room with His Spirit-Presence, doing His mysterious Alchemy. Toward the end His Kheyala (facial mudras) was breathtaking. His Lips would spread showing His Teeth, and the Light and Force in the room would somehow magnify. His Face was Moved by Blissful Love in Looks of ego-obliterating world-forgetting Joy, Fierce Ecstasy, Indescribable.

But sources paint a quite different picture of what goes on behind the scenes. When the veil is pulled away, and "the man behind the curtain" is revealed, Frank comes across as incessantly foul-mouthed, petty, nagging, totally self-obsessed and controlling. His life is a constant stream of decision-making about his hobbies and his possessions. He obsesses about money, and he micro-manages virtually every detail of ashram life.

Among his intimates he often refers to the devotees as "dummies", "damn phonies", "kiss-ass retards", and "high-faluting egos" who "diddle me with their crap". (And those are only a few of the nice things he says about his followers.) His private conversation is laced with obscenities. This is a man who would feel right at home in any workingman's drinking establishment. One can't help thinking of President Nixon and the split between his public and private personna.

Despite his "rough edges", these days Frank doesn't enjoy the give and take of relationship with real men. It is clear that the men he keeps close to him quickly develop an emasculated quality. After awhile, their faces take on an ashen red-eyed look, like victims of vampirism. Anybody who dares to stand up to his bullying is quickly sent packing.
 
Frank has always been famous for his mood swings -- but of late these seem to be increasing. Sources report that he has to be handled with kid gloves at all times. He will begin to ruminate obsessively about some detail and be unable to get off it, until one of his wives skillfully directs his attention to something else -- sort of like the way you treat a child or a mental patient.

And yet, to be fair, he impresses some who are intimate with him as almost childlike in his vulnerability. His masseuse reports:

When I massaged Beloved a few days ago I intuitively "saw" His Cosmic Form--the term that came to me was "Star Body". It wasn't that I saw Him literally as the Star, but rather that I saw Him containing everything in the Cosmos. I could feel without a doubt that my working on His human Body was affecting larger matters. I sensed that by releasing the tightness in specific areas in His physical Body, some corresponding changes were occurring at the Cosmic level. This had nothing to do with me. It was a revelation Beloved gave me about His Divine Body. (weeping again) I was overwhelmed by the Sacrifice of His Incarnation, and how essential it is that we do the service to His Body, because it literally affects everything.

One of the sweetest things in massaging Beloved is the way He puts up His arms at the end--like a baby--so that I can lift Him up. So it turns into an embrace, and I just kiss His shoulders.

Still no word on who bought the broken Q-tip or what they paid for it. But we did learn that in a previous auction one of Frank's half-smoked cigarette butts went for $800. Surely a Q-tip is worth twice that amount!

Elias


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