Adidam and Numbers
The World Religions & Spirituality Project (WRSP) established in 2010 at Virginia Commonwealth University whose mission is to provide objective, reliable and comprehensive information about the world’s diverse array of religious and spiritual groups estimates:
“Despite (Adi) Da’s prolific writing and extensive publishing efforts, his community grew slowly and from most accounts never expanded much beyond 1,000 committed members at any time, though perhaps 20,000 or so spiritual seekers have been involved at least briefly with his organization over the last forty years.”
Beezone, a non-profit educational corporation established in 1998 estimates this number to be considerably larger. Beezone has a large section of its library dedicated to Adi Da and has always analyzed its traffic, which is considerable. But ALSO understands making any conclusions drawn from those numbers are as Steven Pinker, the author of The Better Angels of Our Nature reminds us. “Narratives without statistics are blind, statistics without narratives are empty.”
Without turning this short reference into a long paper, Beezone estimates that well over 30,000 people have had some form of formal, social or corresponding relationship to Adidam, Adi Da and his teaching literature. Given the fact that there presently a little more than 1,000 members (some nominally and an overwhelming majority elderly) of Adidam, it can be conservatively and accurately stated that only 3% of the total number of people interested in Adi Da and Adidam have found their way into the formal gathering. To understand this further you have to be reminded of what Adi Da wrote in The Aletheon: “to be a full participant in the culture of Adidam, you must have fully established the foundation practice of the Reality-Way of Adidam. You must not still be in or of the “world.” You must have turned away from “worldliness,” and you must have embraced the foundation discipline of the only-by-Me Revealed and Given Reality-Way of Adidam.”
It is worth noting that AdidaUpClose.com (Chris Tong) has done work on this topic, The Number of Devotees and draws the conclusion that the low numbers do not relate to ‘The Truth’ of Adi Da but to the ‘demand’ of the esoteric Way of Adidam. Beezone agrees and adds since Adi Da asks and ‘shouted” about this question almost every day of his life but as Adi Da states in 2005, that “without a culture, there is no mission” and a active mission was what he always asked for.
And so, back to Beezone’s interview