Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Answer to a question... Adidam / Jim Jones

Anonymous said...
Didn't the People's Temple try to open a retreat or something in or near Trinidad a few years ago? I'm talking maybe in the late 90's?

I'm pretty sure what you are referring to is... Adi Da, whose "Adidam" organization owns land in Trinidad, was given the name "Franklin Jones" upon his birth in Long Island, N.Y., in 1939. During the `60s, he gained some notoriety as "Da Free John," an author of spiritual books. Today, the Adidam Web site bills him as the "promised God-man" who has the power to "perfectly fulfill the deepest longings of the human heart." (see "Adidam comes to the North Coast," North Coast Journal, Jan. 14, 1999)

That is to say, no relation to People's Temple. But, you know, Dan Hamburg doesn't think it is a cult: "As a practicing devotee, Hamburg said that he does daily meditation sessions and sends about 10 percent of his income to Adi Da. Despite the apparent similarities, Hamburg said that he didn't think it was fair to compare Adidam to a cult. For one thing, people are free to come and go from the organization without fear of anything worse than griping from former co-worshippers.

"When I quit the Democratic party, a lot of people dumped shit on my head," he said. "If you break the code, there's a price to pay. But in Adidam, the only price is maybe some people think you're a quitter, or that you don't get it. That's it."

Then again: During a New Year's Eve day interview, 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. Prior to September, few area residents had heard of the religion known as Adidam or its leader, Adi Da.

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. Calladine emphatically argues against the notion Adidam is anything like a cult, and says traffic concerns are being addressed.

But in 1985 Adi Da was the target of a lawsuit accusing him of leading a cult marked by sexual abuse, humiliation and greed. The accusations were false, church leaders contend, and the lawsuit was later dropped.

In a series of articles in April 1985, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Adi Da's alleged exploits during the 1970s in the San Francisco Bay area and in a "hermitage" on the remote Fijian island of Naitauba, quoting former members, one of whom sued leaders of the religious group on charges of sexual abuse. At the same time, a half dozen angry defectors accused the religious group of false imprisonment, brainwashing, sexual abuse, assault and involuntary servitude. High-ranking members of Adidam, then known as Johannine Daist Communion, responded with a lawsuit of their own, accusing the disgruntled former followers of extortion.

At the time, Adi Da was known as Da Free John and his commune was based in the Marin County city of San Rafael. Thirteen years ago, the Chronicle wrote, Free John's empire built primarily on the earnings of followers was worth an estimated $5 million....

All denied: Both of the lawsuits were eventually dropped, said Michael Wood, Adidam's attorney and a member since 1973. He recalled 1985 as a difficult time for the church and said the accusations all stemmed from a bitter divorce between a member and former member.

More on Adidam

From the Rick A. Ross Institute
A database of information about cults, destructive cults, controversial groups and movements.
From the Cult Awareness and Information Centre

Brand New Development:

From Hank Sims Dandy: "Blast the trumpets to announce the arrival of Beloved Adi Da Samraj, the gregarious guru who maintains an ashram and sometime residence in Trinidad! The Da's already been through a number of incarnations..." "Adi Da" is now an international artiste... "You have to wonder, don't you -- how does a guy go from cheesy holy man to international art celeb in zero time?


  1. Hey, not to be TOO off- topic, but doesn't that guy look like that little elf type guy, Obe...whatever...from the Star Wars movies?

  2. Yoda. Yeah, you're right!
    "Try not. Do, or Do not. There is no try."

  3. Yeah. That's it: Yoda!

  4. He does look like Yoda. Why do otherwise intelligent people let themselves be let themselves become mindless twits enthralled with these guru types offering bliss for sale? Why did I get this gnostic solitary path Christian communitarian prophet job that has no tax-deductible religious organization behind it and zero followers and no Rolls Royce benies and (sob), no adoring buxom devotees..

    serves me right for booking my pilgrimage to Israel instead of India..

  5. LOL, You're just too honest, Steve. You don't have it in you to fleece the flock.

  6. I have to say that Dan Hamburg's quote about the Democratic party cracked me up a bit - worse than a cult.

  7. Here ya go -
    ” An evil man can do good…
    but it takes religion, politics or power for a good man to do evil.

    The Lucifer Effect: Understanding how good people turn evil... a review

  8. Dan Hamburg could have made a comeback if he played his cards right. He was swept out of office at the same time as a lot of other Dems accross the nation. It wasn't really about him. A lot of people still liked him. It's too bad he decided to ruin any chance of ever being taken seriously ever again, by joining a cult. I don't blame him for leaving the Democratic Party. I do, however, wonder why such a smart person would fall for something so stupid.

  9. Pretty weird, huh, Shane. I guess it is a followers mentality. A good question.

    Alot of people still trying to answer that question with regards to People's Temple. There were alot of good, and smart, people who got sucked in, and killed. Tragic, a rip in the fiber of the universe that may never heal.

  10. Is this the same fellow that is having the art show at Westhaven Center for the Arts? I read about it in The Journal.


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