"Follow the Money"

This was one of the great phrases uttered by ‘Deep Throat’ to Bob Woodward back in the early 70s when the Watergate scandal was in full swing. Ironically, 30+ years later, Mark Felt could be repeating that phrase, but this time, in relation to his money grubbing relatives.

I just finished reading the full Vanity Fair story revealing the identity of ‘Deep Throat’  – W. Mark Felt, at the time the number two man at the FBI. The article paints a picture of a man in conflict. A man desperately concerned with the perception of others. The reason he kept his identity a secret for so long was simple – he was worried about what other people would think of his actions. He worried about people accusing him of being disloyal. He worried about not upholding the honor of being an FBI man. By staying quiet, he could avoid any public scorn. He could avoid having to confront the issue. It was a safe place to be. As long as he was anonymous, his shame could stay deep inside his conscience.

What was it that broke Mark Felt’s silence? It wasn’t Woodward. The Vanity Fair piece makes a point to emphasize that Woodward didn’t want to break his promise to keep Felt’s identity hidden. Even to the end, he kept his conversations with Felt’s family vague. I respect that.

Carl Bernstein didn’t force Felt to come out either, although the story recounts an instance where Bernstein’s son told a friend that his Dad fingered Felt as the infamous source. 

Ben Bradlee kept his word too…he didn’t out Felt.

So, what was it? What was it that pushed Mark Felt to finally tell the world who he really was?

It was the money.

No, Mark Felt didn’t feel the need to get rich over his celebrity. He was content to let his secret die with him. It was Felt’s family who pressured the former FBI agent to announce his identity. Over the course of 3 or 4 years, Felt’s daughter Joan led the charge which pushed him to go public.

In the Vanity Fair piece, Joan Felt recounted the following:

“Bob Woodward’s gonna get all the glory for this, but we could make at least enough money to pay some bills, like the debt I’ve run up for the kids’ education. Let’s do it for the family.”

“Let’s do it for the family.” A ‘Class A’ guilt trip line if I’ve ever heard one. 

Joan Felt guilted her father into revealing his secret so she could profit from it. She secretly hoped that Felt and Woodward would collaborate together on a book. Why? Because the two coming out together would mean more money for her. Woodward’s marquis name would be good for at least another couple of million dollars in royalty advance money.

Look at all the pictures released yesterday during the moment when Felt met the media at his front door. Who is there with him? Joan Felt. Who’s smiling larger than anyone? Joan Felt. Who is posing with Mark Felt in Vanity Fair? Joan Felt. And why not? Joan Felt is getting her 15 minutes of fame.

Yet Mark Felt’s smile is not nearly as bright.

The former FBI agent now known as ‘Deep Throat’ will die soon. He’s reportedly 91 years of age, and his memory of the Watergate days has weakened. Years from now though, Joan Felt will be still be banking proceeds bought from the secret her father tried so hard to keep.

Joan has it all figured out.  A father’s $hame can make you rich.

More: NYT provides more evidence of the Felt greed.



  1. Trailer for ‘All the President’s Men’

    The talking heads and pundits are saying that the “Deep Throat” fascination is misguided hype. W. Mark Felt, the old FBI man who fed information to the Watergate reporters, would’ve been prosecuted back in the day if he’d revealed his identity, and tha…

  2. Jody Tresidder says:

    Painful scraping of the barrel audible here…so, Joan Felt has candidly admitted she certainly wouldn’t mind cashing in on helping her father set the record straight and Mark Felt had undeniably mixed motives for assisting the Watergate reporters. And that’s..er, what? Contemptible? Pitiful? Extraordinary? A sorry footnote?
    Such piety!

  3. The hypocrasy of all this is not lost on many out here. Essentially the argument was advanced during the Clinton impeachment that if the motivation of the prosecution were questionable, then the actions don’t matter.

    Now, we have a guy who was passed over for J. Edgar Hoover’s job, and so ratted out Nixon to the press. A man later pardoned by Reagan for Felt’s involvement in illegal breakins during the 60’s and 70’s because “he thought he was doing what was right for the nation.” And we have him coming forward now, so his daughter can rake in some dough.

    Why the liberals who hailed Nixon’s near impeachment, and who defended Clinton so venomously, questioning the motivation of the Republicans and Linda Tripp, fail to see the hypocracy and irony of these latest events, I am at a loss. It does not give me a lot of confidence in their intelligence or judgement.

  4. Alvin Ng says:

    I’m lucky enough to actually be able to say I’m a former student of Joan Felt, and she is nothing remotely close to a greedy person. She is the nicest person I have actually met, always came to class cheeful. Yes, she most likely is going to be recieving money, but I know she did not pressure her father into admitting it just because of personal greed. She always cares for other people, I mean, she’s caring for her father when she herself is a full-time college professor, so that smile isn’t big because of greed, it’s big because of her father. I may not know this story in it’s fullness, but I do know this person as a person, and I do hope that means something in supporting what I have said.

  5. Jody Tresidder says:

    Ben’s spelling does not give me much confidence in his judgement:)

  6. Felt needed the pension he had earned as Hoover’s boy. He did what Hoover threatened to do whenever a pol contemplated crossing/replacing him, he spilled the beans. A vindictive sycophant.

  7. Edward Mitchell says:

    You are right about money being the motive, but mainly for Joan Felt, and you are missing something very important about Joan Felt, something some bloggers know. You need to follow the money!

    Back in 1985, the Today show did a brilliant expose on the Da Free John: cult.http://www.rickross.com/reference/adida/adida1.html. The situation is no better today, it’s just well hidden with the now self-proclaimed God Man and Avatar, the very and first full incarnation of the Divine, living on his own island in Fiji, and lots of slick propaganda. He renounced US citizenship a while back.

    And what does that have to do with Joan Felt? She’s a long time member of, and public contact for, and contributor to, that cult! So guess where the money goes…?

    The mainstream media is being conned by the same cult, now called Adidam, once again. The mainstream media seem to have fallen for the con that Joan Felt is a single mom who needs money for her son’s law school. But, you along with other mainstream are still being conned by the notorious Adidam cult (formerly Da Free John cult exposed by NBC back in 1985), for which Joan Felt is the public contact, which bloggers have already realized and which is why her name and phone number was mysteriously taken off the Adidam website, just search on Joan Felt, for example here:


    There is an obvious cult guru needs money connection here, seen just by searching for Joan Felt+Adidam. It should be obvious why Woodward was concerned about family pressures on his old friend and Mark Felt’s ability to really decide how his outing story would be told. Regardless of how one feels about what Mark Felt did, Joan Felt needs money primarily because the cult takes and needs money from her, and her father is too gone today to realize the implication that cult is the main beneficiary. This is what the cult expects her to do with the money she makes, and the public has a right to know that and who profits:

    Sri Adi Da: The first responsibility of My devotee is financial service to [Adidam Samrajashram]. (Money, p.15)
    Understanding that protection and maintenance of one´s Sat-Guru is the first and anciently honored life-obligation of the devotee, …I vow to maximize my service to and support of the Sacred Treasures of Adidam by the following Means…: Tithing monthly at least ten percent of my gross income…. (Sacred Vow Of Commitment And Responsibility For Prepared (Or Demonstrating) Student-Beginners)
    Sri Adi Da: Tithing is the traditional financial gesture of a religious practitioner. The principle of tithing, and of any form of regular financial support, is that one gives a portion of one´s goods to the Divine for the Sake of the Divine. Such a gift is given without expectations. One gives to the Divine because the Divine is the Divine, and because the Divine has Purposes that must be served, not only by right use of money but by all the forms of human energy. The tithe is not the same as the dues paid by a club member. Nor is it a payment in expectation for services. The tithe is a gift to the Divine. (Money, p. 14)
    Sri Adi Da: In the Way of the Heart, all monetary gifts serve the Spiritual purposes to which you are committed with Me. They allow Me to do My Work. Your financial obligation is a Spiritual matter, not just a financial matter. All that I mean by the term “money”—including life, energy, love, work, and commitment—is the resource for the movement of My Work into the world. Through your gifts of money, you are expanding My Capability to have an influence in the world. Therefore, find new and fully productive ways to develop income, individually and collectively. Maximize your contribution, and increase it whenever possible. (Money, p. 18)
    Sri Adi Da: Do not lock yourself into circumstances that are non-productive. Create arrangements that support your individual and collective responsibility for money and for your support of [Adidam Samrajashram, Adidam], and the community organization. Do this maximally and collectively. Such responsibility is a most serious and real dimension of your Spiritual commitment. Understand your responsibility in these terms, and never violate it. Uphold these financial agreements as a sacred commitment. They are a clear sign of your devotional surrender to Me. (Money, p. 15)
    Sri Adi Da: Financial participation is as much a matter of your practice as is the maintenance of dietary conditions and formal devotional exercises. Therefore, signs of irresponsibility for financial participation are signs of the failure of self-transcending practice. Furthermore, the unique result of financial irresponsibility is that the collective suffers. Your failures to fulfill all the forms of the personal discipline I have Given to My devotees generally affect only your individual growth, but the entire community of My devotees suffers any financial irresponsibility on your part. (Money, p. 16)
    Sri Adi Da: There are no devotees until there are people under vows who know what a vow is all about and know that they must fulfill it no matter what. …To be a member of Adidam, even a student-novice, you must be under vows and expected to fulfill them. And if you don´t, you´re supposed to be suspended from the gathering. (November 2, 1996)
    All Adidam members are required by their vow to Sri Adi Da to pay tithes & fees:
    A. Tithe: Payments for Sacred Purposes @ 15% of Gross Income:
    1 – Support of the Love-Ananda Samrajya Foundation (formerly the TDL Trust), including Adidam Samrajashram: 10% of gross income/month.
    Gross income is all taxable and nontaxable income realized by you before any taxes, expenses, exemptions, or other deductions are subtracted. Gross income includes but is not limited to wages, salary, tips, commissions, bonuses, interest, dividends, annuities, alimony, homemaker’s share, educational grants or scholarships, rents, royalties, business income, and extraordinary income (e.g. gifts, inheritance, gains on sale of property, etc.). Excluded from gross income are borrowed funds, legitimate business expenses, Social Security, unemployment benefits, other government subsidies, and pensions.
    Possible additional exclusions from gross income:
    – Income derived from employment by Adidam.
    – That part of income paid to a partner or an ex-partner as homemaker´s share or alimony.
    – Child support received (not child support paid).
    – Legitimate immigration expense.
    – Tuition expense of those enrolled in full-time study or other legitimate career or income development programs.
    Note: If a person´s income as defined above is significantly lower than income required to support the standard of living of that person, an appropriate tithe will be estimated based on the money required to support the style of living.
    2 – Support of the Sacred Treasures and the Adidam Central Institution: 5% of gross income/month. This support is for maintenance and preservation of the Sacred Treasures (i.e., Quandramama, the Mountain of Attention, the Sacred Archives, the Adidam Library, and the Sacred Art) and running the Institution (i.e., the legal, fiscal, administrative, and communications functions). In other words, this support is not for providing services to members.
    B. Fees for Services:
    3 – Congregational Services Fee: $10/month. This fee ensures that all aspects of access to Beloved are handled by the gathering, including everything associated with communications, the retreat process, and the care and glorification of the places of access in Beloved´s Principal Hermitage.
    4 – Wisdom Express Fee: subscription to the newly published Teaching Word -about $25/month.
    5 – Regional Fee to pay the regional expenses: $55/month. Nonpayment of the regional fee may mean that you are barred from participating in regional activities.
    6- Samrajya Fee: $108 annual fee due each July, collected to cover expenses related to making Darshan available to devotees. Payment of this fee is a pre-requisite for Darshan.
    C. Optional Pledges:
    7 – Yajna Pledge
    8 – Sacred Development Fee (formerly the Avadhoot Fund)
    9 – Other Outstanding Pledges (e.g. Auctions)
    10- Gifting and Fundraising: Funds must come from excess and cannot jeopardize tithe and fee obligations.
    The first category (Payments for Sacred Purposes) has priority over the second category (Fees for Services). All devotees, including student-novices, are required to pay at least 10% or $100, whichever is greater. However, by special agreement, there may be some rare temporary exemptions from part of the Payments for Sacred Purposes. Maintaining a tithe of at least 10% is a necessary requirement for student membership.
    Within the second category (Fees for Services), there is no hierarchy; these fees for services are obligatory for all devotees. Therefore, if a devotee is granted an exemption relative to the Payments for Sacred Purposes, this does not prevent him or her from participating in fees for services rendered, since devotees need to receive specific services and those services cost money to deliver. Generally, except in rare cases, no one is exempt from paying the fees for services. Exemptions from tithe and the Treasures support do not prevent or excuse devotees from participating in the second category (Fees for Services).
    If by agreement you do not pay your full share of your monthly financial obligations, until you pay your full share of 15% tithe and other fees and eliminate all outstanding unfulfilled pledges, you are NOT qualified to gift Beloved Adi Da beyond $9/gift.
    Payments are made each month by automatic deduction from checking account, by credit card charge, or by check. If paying by check, mail your check (payable to Adidam) directly to Dieuwke Pebesma at the following address:
    Adidam, 4286 Redwood Highway, Suite G, San Rafael, CA 94903-2645, Attention: Dieuwke Pebesma
    Dawn Horse Press pre-pay is paid directly through the Wisdom Express, by registering online via http://www.Adidam.org or by phone (877-770-0772).
    All payments are due in full by the 5th of each month. Those who do not pay their full tithe & fees by the 25th will be charged a $10 late fee due with their tithe & fee payment.
    a) 2 months behind: You will lose good standing if you fall 2 months (60 days) behind in paying your full agreed-to tithe and fees. This means you will be restricted from access to any of the Sanctuaries. When a restricted practitioner has made a financial agreement that is acceptable to the community CFO or parish financial rep, and/or has paid any overdue tithe and fees in full, the restriction will be lifted.
    b) 3 months behind: If you fall 3 months (90 days) behind, you will be required to have a cultural consideration and to make a new agreement about immediate resumption of payments. If the new agreement is not kept, you will be put “on hold”. “On hold” means you are restricted from access to the Sanctuaries as well as from participation in Darshan occasions, celebrations, Guruvara, parish, and other community events. However, the “on hold” status does not relieve you of your cultural responsibilities (including financial).
    c) 4 months behind: If you fall 4 months (120 days) behind and you fail to sign an acceptable agreement and/or pay any overdue tithe and fees in full immediately, you will be suspended from the 2nd congregation. To again become a student under vow, you must re-apply to, and when you re-apply, you will be required to demonstrate your seriousness by tithing for 1 to 6 months before again coming under vow.
    Note: Maintaining a tithe of at least 10% and no lower than $100 is a necessary requirement for student membership.
    Below are reasons for which practitioners may qualify to be considered for a partial exemption agreement. These special financial agreements are approved on a case-by-case basis, using extreme financial hardship (usually a gross income of less than $1500/month) as the measure. Most partial exemption agreements are temporary, usually lasting for 3 months. When a valid exemption agreement expires, full monthly 15% tithe and fees must be paid, or a new exemption agreement must be approved.
    A request for exemption is made to your parish financial rep and must be accompanied by a personal income disclosure, a current expense statement, a current statement of assets and liabilities, the reason for requesting an exemption, and a plan to come to full compliance with all financial obligations. The plan for full compliance must include concrete goals and a timeline re. projected increases in income and tithe. Any agreement that is not due to one of the qualifying situations listed below can be for only 1-3 months, and when it expires, any new agreement must be for an increased tithe and fees amount.
    All exemption agreements approved by the parish financial rep must also be approved by the regional exemptions review board, and then by an individual or group appointed by the senior LRO leadership. If a devotee´s disclosed income is significantly lower than the income required to support his/her standard of living, an appropriate tithe will be estimated based on the money required to support the style of living. Also, all would-be students are to be gainfully employed, working at their potential, responsible for their living.
    It is the particular responsibility of the regional CFO to insure that exemption agreements are duly reviewed and approved by the regional financial board. Appeal of a request for a temporary partial exemption agreement rejected by the regional financial board may be made through the office of the CFO or CSM to the LRO Central leadership.
    The good standing status of a student is certified jointly by the regional CFO and the student CSM.

    1 – Institutional employees:
    a) Those who formally serve the Samraja (including those who provide fulltime service to Samraja Hermitage Sanctuaries, and full-time cultural servers who are part of the Samraja) are exempted from 15% tithe, and all other fees. If such devotees make or receive significant income (gross income more than $1500/month) from sources outside Adidam, they must tithe on this income unless there is a special agreement with the Samraja to support Beloved´s Circumstance directly.
    b) Treasures employees (including BRC and fabrications employees) may be exempt (if approved by senior Treasures and Samraja management) from paying 15% tithe on that portion of their income derived from their institutional employment, since institutional wages are established at a level that assumes no tithe obligation. However, they will be required to pay a minimal regional fee and Sanctuary Access fee. Treasures employees who gross more than $1500/month from employment or other sources outside Adidam must also pay the 15% tithe on that “outside” income.
    c) Pan Com and Advocacy employees may be exempt (if approved by senior Pan Com and Samraja management) from paying 15% tithe on that portion of their income derived from their institutional employment, since institutional wages are established at a level that assumes no tithe obligation. However, they will be required to pay a minimal regional fee and Sanctuary Access fee. Pan Com or Advocacy employees who gross more than $1500/month from employment or other sources outside Adidam must also pay the 15% tithe on that “outside” income.
    Those who serve the Samraja, Treasures, Pan Com or Advocacy who are not formal full or part-time servers of those entities are required to tithe according to the tithing guidelines for the general membership on page 2 of this guide.
    2 – Students enrolled in full-time study:
    Students who are enrolled in full-time study or other programs which are approved by Adidam as legitimate vehicles for career or income development may exclude tuition expenses from their gross income and also may be granted a temporary full or partial exemption from 15% tithe and fees when financial hardship is demonstrated (gross income is less than $1500/month).
    3 – Retired or permanently disabled persons:
    Retired or permanently disabled persons on restricted incomes and/or past the age when income-earning service in the world would be expected of them may be granted a permanent partial exemption from 15% tithe and fees when financial hardship is demonstrated (gross income generation capacity is less than $1500/month).
    4 – Other circumstances of need:
    Practitioners who demonstrate financial hardship (gross income is less than $1500/month) due to other circumstances of need, such as single parent or temporary physical disability or unemployment, may be granted a temporary full or partial exemption from 15% tithe and fees.
    1 – Those with personal debt:
    Devotees are not to incur debt. An exception to this principle is secured debt, i.e. homes, cars, etc. may be financed as long as that debt does not interfere with one’s ability to also pay full monthly financial obligations to Adidam. Credit card charges should be paid in full each month. If you have debt, you must still pay your full tithes and fees and at the same time work to retire the debt as soon as possible without incurring more debt. Anyone applying to become a student novice must demonstrate that they can eliminate any unsecured debt in one year while still maintaining their full tithe and fees obligation to Adidam.
    In rare cases, a devotee may not be able to financially maintain appropriate life obligations and tithe because of a very heavy debt load. In such circumstances, the devotee should meet with the Debt Clinic (financial rep or CFO and regional exemption review board) to work out a formal, culturally agreed upon plan for retiring his/her debt, which may include paying a reduced tithe for a specific period of time (usually 3 months). Such agreements must be ratified by the regional CFO and may be reviewed by the LRO board.

    2 – Full-time homemakers:
    Full-time homemakers who are dependent on others for their financial support are not eligible for exemptions. They are responsible for paying full tithes and fees based on their homemaker’s allowance or income share from their spouse.
    3 – New student-novices:
    New student-novices are expected to pay full tithes and fees upon entry into the student-novice program. In rare cases, special exemptions might be granted. If so, the new student novice must demonstrate that he/she will be able to meet all financial obligations within 6-12 months or by the time of transition to student beginner. Anyone applying to become a student novice also must demonstrate that he/she can eliminate any unsecured debt in one year while still meeting all Adidam financial obligations.
    The tithe and fee agreement should be reviewed and a new agreement made any time there is a change in a practitioner’s income or financial circumstance. At a minimum, this agreement should be reviewed and renewed each year, even if there has been no change in your financial situation. Any time a tithe and fee agreement is made or renewed, please complete the personal income and expense disclosure forms along with a new financial contribution agreement or a new financial contribution exemption agreement. Return your signed agreement to your parish financial rep or CFO. Be sure to keep a photocopy of the completed forms for your records. Whether or not you are requesting an exemption, you must provide your parish financial rep a current, completed personal income disclosure form, a current expense itemization, and a current statement of assets and liabilities. If you are requesting an exemption, you must also provide the reasons why you are requesting an exemption and a short term (3 months) and long term plan outlining when you can come to full compliance.
    1 – Begins with you:
    One aspect of mature human participation in life is to hold ourselves accountable for supportive money generation and fulfilling our financial obligations. As a student of Adidam, please animate this sign of maturity and do not wait for a reminder, if at anytime you feel that your full tithe and fee obligation cannot be met or whenever it is otherwise time to make a new financial agreement. Contact your parish financial rep or regional CFO for a financial consideration. They will work with you to explore how you can meet your financial obligations.
    Remember, if at any time your income situation has changed from that upon which your current agreement is based, or whenever your current financial agreement expires, you must make a new agreement. Such new agreements must be made by the end of the month following your income change or agreement expiration.
    2 – Monthly Statement of Financial Obligations:
    Each month, you will receive a monthly statement of financial obligations that will include a summary of your annual payments to date. Please review this statement each month. If you have any questions regarding your statement, please contact Michel Winand, the Bay Area CFO.
    3 – Parish Financial Rep or Community CFO:
    The parish financial rep or regional CFO offers parish members guidance in making new financial agreements. The parish financial rep´s or regional CFO´s goal is to remain sensitive to individual needs and requirements while at the same time supporting practitioners in remaining or becoming fully aligned to Beloved Adi Da´s Instruction regarding their sacred tithe and fee obligations. Whenever you fail to meet the mark in your financial obligations, your first line of help is within your parish setting. Remember, it is not the CFO´s or financial rep´s responsibility to chase you down if payments are overdue or if it is time for you to make a new agreement. Rather, you must contact your parish financial rep and take responsibility to resolve your financial situation at the parish level.

    Source: http://lightmind.com/thevoid/daism/tithing.html

    There is lots more information at the site which revealed the connection, http://lightmind.com/library/daismfiles/.

    Ironically, this guru now he stands to make hundreds of thousands or more off this story for expanding his cult, and the public doesn’t even know it, but they should

  8. Someone Else says:

    “Follow the money” was dialogue written by William Goldman for the movie _All the President’s Men_. No reason to think Mark Felt ever said it during Watergate.

  9. My 22 yr old son is enthralled (seduced)by the writings of Adidam. A devotee just sent him “The Knee…” which he is reading. This cult and this guy Frank scares me. I have been searching for information about how he is scamming and can only find info on the 1985 legal case, inc. the Rick Ross articles. I would think there would be many people out there who realize how they were exploited and can report what they have experienced first hand. My assessment is that a very intellent and clever man has found a perfect way to emass a fortune by seducing a lot of people into believing he is Divine. Please give me any factual information to help steer my son way before he gets completely sucked in.

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