ABOUT THE DASA
William Griffith (known as DASA) was ordained and licensed in 2006 as a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is a graduate of the United States Institute of Peace with a certification in conflict analysis and served on the War Crimes Committee and Human Rights Institute of the International Bar Association in London.A gay prostitute in his early years, Griffith became an erotic artist and supported sex workers rights. He argued that Jesus said it best when he declared to the Pharisees that 'prostitutes would enter the kingdom of God...' before they would. He once said "I would rather be around a group of prostitutes than a group of politicians any time. The prostitutes have integrity."He has been a radio host for more than a decade, and is a writer, lecturer, and is a member of the National Association of Christian Ministers, The Association of Clergy International, The Red Letter Christians Movement, Renegade Pastors Network and the Fellowship of Reconciliation.Rev. Griffith served as Senior Pastor of Evangel Pacific Ministries until resigning to lead the Oikos Community and The Bonhoeffer Academy. Rev. Alysyn Bourque replaced him as Senior Pastor. She a transgendered woman, and lives with her two children in Los Angeles. .Griffith took vows to observe the Twelve Marks of New Monasticism and established a small intentional community of new monastics at Oikos. He also took vows of poverty, observe marital chastity and adheres to Esoteric Christianity, and serves the poorest of the poor and the homeless.When founding the Oikos Community, a variety of names were considered for the leader of the community of new monastics. Rev. William Griffith chose the title "Dasa". Dasa originally had the connotation of 'enemy', but later acquired religious connotations. In contemporary usage, the surname Dasa designates a 'servant of God' or 'devotee'. Dasa can also be used as a suffix to a given name in order to indicate "servant" or "slave".Rev. Griffith is called 'Dasa' by Oikos Community members, mostly young, new monastics who have come from the streets as prostitutes, drug addicts or homeless. He chose the name to emphasize his servanthood and insists on being a servant-slave to his fellow monastics."It is about doing what Christ said", Griffith explained, "Denying myself daily, picking up my cross and following Him. I am on this earth to love, to serve and to give all I have to God and humanity."Rev. Griffith wears nothing more than a dhoti, sandals and a shawl, taking extreme vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. He and Alysyn chose chastity in their marriage and Griffith remains devoted to a lifelong vow of celibacy. Alysyn is Griffith's spiritual superior and oversees that his vows are strictly observed.Griffith made the decision to remove all western clothing from his wardrobe. His only clothes are a pair of sandals and three dhotis. He said he insisted on living his vows as a lifestyle and offering to God. His suits, shirts shoes and other clothing items were given to the homeless of Los Angeles.Drawing as his days on the street as a prostitute, he is a member of HIPS (Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive, and a member of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the Prostitutes Collective and is an outspoken advocate for sex workers. Griffith spearheaded the Rock & the Rainbow Outreach to homeless LGBT youth and initiated a street condom distribution program through the outreach."The authentic gospel of Jesus Christ is radical and revolutionary. it turns the world upside down and when we are called as disciples, we must answer that call prepared to give up everything", says Dasa. Alysyn Bourque, as Prioress of Oikos, is Griffith's physical and spiritual superior. An amendment to the Oikos Constitution freed her from her duties as Griffith's wife after nine years and she restored her maiden name and is now single. She remains Griffith's soulmate. Griffith's vows, including celibacy, were restrictive in the extreme to his wife and leaders suggested she free herself from those bonds. Griffith is androgynous and represents both male and female in the Way of the Elohim.