Many years ago, when I had just received a medical diagnosis, I sank into depression and tried to look for spiritual solutions for my existential dilemmas. For a brief period I joined a Buddhist prayer group. It was enviable and unbearable - to witness this unquestioning blind faith, the ability to suspend your critical faculties and believe in just about anything you were told. You chanted a mantra (in Japanese) and the "mystical law" would begin to miraculously work. If your situation improved, it was the mystical law. If it worsened, it was the mystical law. Could some things just be attributed to coincidence, or more worldly reasons? Not really. I had so many questions and doubts but I couldn't find a single person I could look up to for guidance because that group came across to me as a severe case of the blind leading the blind. Then I was led to this man. He was from my parents' generation, a venerable member of the group. He had battled an illness similar to mine, and recovered, through what others in that group were inclined to call a miracle, though I don't recall him ever saying that. I was struck by how well and, paradoxically enough, how rationally and scientifically he spoke. Clearly the man was extraordinarily intelligent. I bit the apple. His words persuaded me to stay in the group (a little longer). I also remember a remark of his that one day people would treat cancer by simply popping pills, but only if the mystical law would allow that to happen. I was glad I had found a sane person to talk to in that group. But something was strange and uncomfortable about that penetrating gaze. And then I got a call from a friend who knew him. She said, please, never be alone in a room with this man. He is a known molester of young women. I could now instantly sense the intense perversion behind all the smooth talking. I had no idea why he held an important position in that group, but I quit immediately. (I also have no clue why this friend still continues to be a member of this group.) And so, the other day, I heard that this man had died. Of cancer. Or the mystical law. The woman who gave me this information spoke with a great deal of admiration for him.