A former employee of Carlos Santana has sued the guitar hero and his wife for allegedly firing him for not being spiritual enough.
In a wrongful-termination suit filed in California on April 13, Bruce Kuhlman claims he was terminated at the urging of Santana's wife, Deborah, who was following the advice of her spiritual guru, Dr. Dan, according to a Reuters report.
Kuhlman claims in the suit that Dr. Dan, using his patented Neuro-Emotional Technique, informed the 59-year-old former employee that his "enlightenment/consciousness level" was too low because of his age and that "the more enlightened a person was, the closer to God he was and the better employee he was." Kuhlman began working as Santana's personal assistant in 1988 and was running the Santana band's licensing operation when he was fired last year.
He is seeking more than $100,000 in punitive damages from the couple and is also asking a judge to stop them from using the doctor's technique to "calibrate" employees.
According to Kuhlman, the calibration process was key to assessing new hires. He claims that when Deborah Santana hired three new female employees, she asked the doctor to calibrate them over the phone.
During the process, the doctor allegedly used his wife as a stand-in for the new employees and would push down on her arm while Deborah Santana told him information about the potential hires. "Based on this evaluation by Dr. Dan and his measure of the applicant's 'consciousness level,' Deborah would decide whether to hire them," according to the suit.
Kuhlman has also accused Deborah Santana of using slurs against male employees and claims in the suit that he was fired after missing an appointment with the doctor in April 2004. He claims that the missed meeting led to him being cut out of nearly $250,000 in performance bonuses from the licensing operation.
A lawyer for Santana would not comment to Reuters about the suit.
Santana has often spoken about his deep spirituality (see "Santana Says Angels Recommended Michelle Branch For Song"), even crediting his Supernatural sweep of the 2000 Grammys to a bearded angel named Metatron, who he said watches over him. Shortly after that year's eight-Grammy haul, he told Rolling Stone that Metatron visited him with the message: "You will be inside the radio frequency for the purpose of connecting the molecules with the light," which inspired him to make the album.