Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Randy Rabbi

Anyone read the July Catalyst's "Trial by Internet"/Marc Gafni piece? It's about a New Agey defrocked rabbi with a long history of sexual peccadilloes ("unconventional" and "bohemian" is how he prefers to describe his personal life). Two years ago, he "retreated" to Utah and lately managed to enlist editor/publisher Greta deJong, blogger Jeff Bell and even former SLC Mayor Rocky Anderson to rise to his defense and explain how how he isn't a sexual predator.

He claims that Internet bloggers of questionable character have placed him in their cross hairs and ruined his life.

Sexual improprieties have dogged Gafni since he was 19, when he allegedly became involved with a 13 year old. The Catalyst article characterizes the relationship as no more than "petting," and "mutually engaged." However, in a 2004 Jewish Week article by editor Gary Rosenblatt, Gafni explained his involvement by essentially blaming the girl: "I was a stupid kid and we were in love. She was 14 going on 35, and I never forced her."

Sorry, Rabbi, but had that played out in Utah, you'd have likely done time and then had yet another Internet headache to contend with: the state's sex offender registry.

Gafni’s not the first guru to grope nor is he the first high-profile guy to admit guilt and then try to wrestle his way out of the hornet's nest, claiming he was set up (Larry Craig, anyone?). That Rocky, a ladies' man himself, would speak up for a guy like Gafni in some ways is not surprising, but on a larger plane, it is.

I found myself wondering how the rabbi ended up here, in Salt Lake City, a land where even Jews are considered gentiles. Then a light bulb came on: our culture's begrudging tolerance of "Big Love." Here, we don't arrest guys with more than one wife. And the women, a few anyway, will even go along with it. Would seem to work well with his M.O.

Moral of the story: don't "do" the women you work or church with, and then only one at a time. And the old "hell hath no fury ..." Hey, even "powerful" women—evolved and spiritual feminists—get jealous. Guess you know that now. (Jerre Wroble)


  1. I am sure that you do not intend to intentionally tell an untruth or libel anyone.

    I was involved in this story. Gafni's relationship - was when he was just out of high school with a woman who was in her first year of high school - is exactly as Catalyst characterized it.

    Gordon Barland who is a highly respected polygraph expert supported Gafni' assertion in this regard.

    I saw the polygraph test itself which supported two assertions;

    that the relationship was in a loving context

    that Gafni contact with the woman was limited in the way Catyalyst suggested.

    so while this may have been unwise and even inappropriate it is not as it has been characterized by Gafni's opponents whose agendas sadly have little to do with truth or integrity.

    The quote in the Jewish week - having discussed this with Gafni is taken out of context. I would respectfully suggest that you call Gafni himself or Jeff Bell the lead writer on the story, to check the facts. You are welcome I am sure to contact Gafni at

    I am sure that your intentions were honorable in writing. None of this is meant as an attack - merely as an important clarification which I am sure you will appreciate.

    Wishing you a good day.

  2. last two things which i left out of the last blog.

    the woman was 14 in high school and not thirteen.

    and Gafni's life is far from ruined. Call him and meet him.

    All of of us are sure that his teaching in act two of his life will be deeper wiser and more profound then it might have been if this had not happened.

  3. Great job, Salt Lake Weekly. You just outed a major suspected predator who is also listed by The Awareness Center. Their entry on Gafni is located HERE. The public needs to know more about this.

  4. Blogger? That's all I get is blogger? C'mon, I do more than that.

  5. So ... Jerre write a smart assed article about a serious topic all, it seems, in an attempt to make a Rocky Anderson joke. That's good use of the freedom of the press. Good show, SLWeekly.

    Then, Deseret Dawg, completly skipping either the article being made fun of or the documentary evidence on the Rabbi's website, links back to the fake organization run by a woman who claims to have killed and eaten babies while being raised by Satanic Jews.

    Good job, SL Weekly. Really nailed that one down in the name of news, didn't you?

  6. I think I will have to ignore the previous comments in order to make the snarky comment I intended to in the first place, and *then* I will touch briefly on the first comment (the rest are just trolls).

    re:Moral of the Story, don't hook up with girls at church.

    I thought the whole point of going to church was to meet hotties to take home and bed. No sex with co-workers? C'mon! That leaves me with the bar, the library, and the supermarket, and public transportation. tsk. Some choice ;)

    On the topic of the first comment: It appears that his PR team is working full force and scouring blogs for any mention of him in order to 'set the record straight'. Good job anonymous!

  7. you're kiddingJuly 21, 2008 at 10:49 AM

    We're supposed to give the rabbi a pass because he was an adult "in a loving relationship" with a 14-year-old. I think FLDS boss Warren Jeffs, and all of his followers in Texas have been saying the same thing for decades, right?

    Gimme a break! It's called statutory rape. You can get all dreamy and new agey about it,profess it was all in the name of live. If a guy like that ever came after my teenager, he'd be nursing a hole where his nuts are.

  8. Rabbi Marc!

    Welcome back! We look forward to your teachings, your website, your blog, and your presence.

    And we have your back in battling the hate blogs.

    Much love, Deep bow,

  9. Comment No. 1 by Anonymous and the last one by Satguru were both written by Gafni himself. Anyone who knows him even a little can tell...

    The reason he is in SL is Diane Hamilton. Zan Master, supporter and lover of Gafni.

    Gafni claims the relationship with the 14 yo was “in loving context”; she claims she was forced and raped. There is a big gap between the two stories and I tend to go a long with the 14 yo kid.
    There is also a 16 yo girl who was sexually abused by Gafni. He was then 25 and married. He threatened her not to tell but she did, so he opened a campaign to discredit her. He says that the Polygraph cleared him on this matter, but few people who were once close to him were kind enough to share with me that behind close doors he admits to have had a sexual relationship with her, but he will forever deny it, cause saying the truth will get him into much trouble. This just to show you what a polygraph test is really worth.

    Marc will keep on doing what he knows best, claim that he is a victim of evil women, preach for love and eros and continue to abuse and ruined the live of more man and women. This of course till the next time someone will have the courage to say the truth. This guy is stuck in the same cycle his entire life. He had a chance to break free but I guess his psychological patterns are unbreakable.

    He keeps on saying that he did a “life review” but it seems to me that the only thing he did in the last two years is damage control and prepare for his comeback.

    He is a sad and sick person, I wish him healing.



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