FILM: Artwork for the 2018 documentary Conscious Light by Peter Harvey Wright and Blythe Masse.
FILM: Artwork for the 2018 documentary Conscious Light by Peter Harvey Wright and Blythe Masse.

Film on controversial religious movement announced

CONSCIOUS Light is a 65-minute documentary on the life of Adi Da Samraj, an American spiritual teacher, writer and artist and the founder of religious movement Adidam.

The film, screening in Lismore in February 2019, offers "extensive archival collection of film, photography, and audio recordings, as well as interviews with students who lived with Adi Da and practice his teachings," according to the film's website.

The documentary was completed by Adidam followers and filmmakers Peter Harvey Wright and Blythe Masse.

In its synopsis, the film promises "candid, often humorous, and spiritually profound exchanges between Avatar Adi Da and his students over the course of more than three decades, including transcendent moments of sublime silence and spiritual transmission. Viewers are drawn into a deeply intimate experience of Avatar Adi Da's living spiritual presence."

According to his Wikipedia page, Adi Da Samraj was born Franklin Albert Jones (1939 - 2008), in New York, USA.

He was the founder of a new religious movement known as Adidam.

Adi Da initially became known in the spiritual counterculture of the 1970s for his books and public talks.

He declared that he was a uniquely historic avatar (incarnation of a god or divinity in human form) and that devotional worship of him would be the sole means of spiritual enlightenment for anyone else.

The leader faced some controversial accusations of false imprisonment, brainwashing and sexual abuse, assault and involuntary servitude during the 1980s. Adi Dam was never convicted.

In 1973, Adi Da started to teach in a style he called "crazy wisdom", likening his methods to a tradition of yogic adepts who employed un-spiritual methods to awaken observer's consciousness.

According to media reports from that time, some followers reported having profound metaphysical experiences in Adi Da's presence, attributing these phenomena to his spiritual power. Others present remained skeptical, witnessing nothing supernatural.

In his 1991 book Holy Madness, German-Canadian Yoga philosophy author Geog Feuerstein confirms that during a period of teachings and activities known as the 'Garbage and the Goddess', Adi Da directed his followers what was called in 'sexual theater', a form of psychodrama that often involved public and group sex, the making of pornographic movies, and other intensified sexual practices.

In a foreword to the 2004 edition of Adi Da's autobiography The Knee Of Listening, religious scholar Jeffrey Kripal described Adi Da's doctrine as being "the most doctrinally thorough, the most philosophically sophisticated, the most culturally challenging, and the most creatively original literature currently available in the English language."

In 1983, Adi Da moved to the Fijian island of Naitaba, , and it became his primary residence until the end of his life.



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