Thursday, April 19, 2018

UPDATE: Noah accused of nonconsensual sex

Snooping investigators of Wisdom Quarterly; letter from

Hi, I'm Noah. She's a liar! All the sex we had was consensual, I think, I'm pretty sure.
We have known for weeks. Yet, we have have sat on our findings so ATS can do its investigations, if they are going to. Here's the scoop: It does not look good for Noah Levine. It looks bad, but not that bad.

The Board or the "ATS Grievance Council" found the allegations/accusations "credible," according to Mary Stancavage. She said so at a regularly-scheduled meeting at ATS in Santa Monica that discussed the situation after she put the gag on everyone present by insisting we only use "right speech" (of which she would be the judge, one presumes) when discussing this in the group. 

Then she repeated that the allegations they read about in the complaint were "credible." Then she said not to read anything into her having used of the word "credible" twice. Mm hmm.

All of this is to say that the people on the inside believe what they read in the secret letter written by the accuser, who is not the victim herself but a friend or teacher. We'd like to see that letter so everyone can hear the accusations. What were they told he did? Noah Levine is alleged to have had sex that was not always consensual. What is another word for sex that is not consensual? Mm hmm. 

We're keeping our mouths shut until we're told we can speak. Until then we'll whisper.

But on the upside, the woman herself did not make the allegations to the Board. She told another woman, possibly her teacher. And that woman saw fit to contact the Board. So the allegations are coming from a third party. Levine offered to meet with the Board and the woman and call her a "liar" to her face or in any case explain himself. We have to agree that a woman one is having consensual sex with cannot, after the fact, say that some of those times it was "not consensual." But she has. And so PC a person as Levine should have known that, even if it was not expressed in so many words.

Maybe they'll fire me. Will I keep my license?
The Board, we are told, is comprised of a bunch of lawyer types and insiders. Who could expect much more from them than saving the business? The woman should step forward and accuse Levine rather than doing it by proxy.

In any case, we can predict the future already. The friend or teacher making the allegations is available to tell anyone what she was told. It is not a secret from everyone. It is just being kept from "the sangha" because, well, why upset them? One supposes, as in the Harvey Weinstein cases, this woman can be paid off to keep silent. Will the Board do that with our donations? How aggressive is Jack Kornfield's investigation going? That was not mentioned. "Guilty as charged" we might have titled this post, but there's more nuance to it. And Levine is no longer married, nor do we think that woman was, so it was not sexual misconduct in the strict Buddhist sense. A popular sutra we've translated deals with that topic.

Should we say more to upset the cart, to give our opinion, our findings? Nah, this is painful enough. Let everyone wait so the Board can disappoint appease everyone on their own time.

Against the Stream's official update letter
Dear Sangha [ATS, DP, RR Community],

We are writing with an update about the current situation at Against the Stream. As you know, a few weeks ago ATS received notice of allegations involving our founding teacher Noah Levine. The Board and Teachers’ Council deemed these allegations worthy of investigation and, as is protocol in such cases, Noah was asked to step down from all his teaching duties.

The ATS Grievance Council has convened and collected information relating to the concerns. We have retained an independent investigator to conduct the investigation and make findings of fact which will be provided to the Grievance Council. We currently anticipate that the investigative process will be complete in approximately three to four weeks, and a report will be provided by the investigator shortly thereafter. The Grievance Council will then review the report and make recommendations based on the findings. This is the information we can share at this time while maintaining the integrity of the investigative process and respecting all involved in the process. We will let you know if anything in this projected time frame changes.

We understand this is a difficult time for all involved and sitting with uncertainty and all the accompanying emotions can be a challenge. We recognize the hurt and confusion that is being felt by many in the community and we are doing our best to be expedient as well as holding safe spaces to practice together.

With gratitude for your patience,

Against the Stream


Anonymous said...

Wow, love to see how you guys protect the real pervert, the jerk known as Surya Das, and turn on one of your own. Surya Das loss 90% of his sangha because he started screwing one of the women in his sangha during a retreat. Lama Willa Miller told me, during a phone call, that she considered the female the "most vulnerable" of all the women in the sangha. She also said the female was not what she would “expect” Das to be “attracted too.” That she wasn’t the “type of women” he’d been with before. But of course she’s speaking of women he openly dated - oh by the way - that also includes 3 women that I know of from his sangha prior to all this going down. But the women he sexually took advantage of was hidden away and not one when was openly dating. Of course Das was married during all of this and his wife - a non-Buddhist - left him due to his sexual misconduct. Once Das was done with his victim, she observed another woman heading into Das' bedroom during another retreat. She then told Lama Miller about the sexual abuse (Oh and by the way, surprise, surprise, Lama Miller is now, once again a supporter of Das!). Lama Miller and ALL the other teachers associated with Das left him behind and took most of the sangha. They formed Natural Dharma Fellowship without Das.

You're all hypocrites! Das tried to bed me for years. Following me. Calling me. Sending me emails pretending to be someone else. They guy’s a mess. He used to literally follow me around and I have witnesses! He just doesn’t understand no! Nothing deterred him. Year after year, I had to deal with this pig and no one helped me, no one turned on him. He was married during this time. You guys don't give a crap about women as long as you continue to support Das. Ask yourself, how many other women like me are out there. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s been harassed by Das.

In your article you speak of “Cornfield” and his “investigation.” Kornfield is a close friend of Das. One time I rejected Das’ invitation to give me a ride. I guess he finally realized he was never going to get anywhere with me, it took years to convey this message. The next day, Das sicced Kornfield on me during a Dharma event. In fact, Kornfield singled me out to have a talk with me. I’d never met or had spoken to Cornfield. He tried to intimidate me and force me to leave the Dharma event. When I stood my ground, called me a “demon” and refereed to Das as his “close friend.” Kornfield is no saint. ALL YOU PATHETIC HIPPIES protect each other. Maybe it’s all the time you spent/spend consuming drugs together.

Wake up! Here’s a clue for all you Vipassana teachers. During a 2 week retreat w/Kyabj√© Trulshik Rinpoche he told two thousand attendees to not bother with American Vipassana teachers. He told us you’re all leading your students nowhere. Like lambs to the slaughter.

Noah’s not my teacher but he’s an amazing teacher. Look at all the sangha he’s created. Think of how many people he’s brought to the Dharma who would never be with us today. There is no way he’s anywhere as bad as Das. Das has a known history of bedding his female AND male students due to his inclination of bi-sexuality. You hypocrites will not escape your Karma.

Anonymous said...

I personally will not be part of an organization that isn't transparent - teference the beginning of 'How it Works' - 'incapable of being honest with themselves.' If they can't be honest about the very premise of their organization who's to say it won't happen again? No thanks.

Anonymous said...

There is no way he’s anywhere as bad as Das...that's your biggest defense for Noah? He's "not as bad"??? Jeez, you are a fool.

Anonymous said...

My wife dated him years ago and said "he's not a good person" this comes as no surprise to her.