He may have researched it to some depth, but to me it seems he's bending the suttas to suite his view. See below (perhaps you might see otherwise):
It is noteworthy that the texts on the realization of stream-entry make no mention of any prior accomplishment in jhāna as a prerequisite for reaching the path. In fact, several texts show the breakthrough to stream-entry as occurring to someone without any prior meditative experience, simply by listening to the Buddha or an enlightened monk give a discourse on the Dhamma.
“No mention” doesn’t mean explicit “no prior jhāna” either. In fact, nothing needed as prerequisites including listening. According to Auto
and the AN 3.94
he quoted, even the Hitler would have become a sotapanna just like that!
It is noteworthy that this passage makes no mention of jhāna. While prior experience of jhāna would no doubt help to make the mind a more fit instrument for insight, it is surely significant that jhāna is not mentioned either as an accompaniment of the "entry upon the fixed course of rightness" or as a prerequisite for it.
It might be objected that several other passages on the two candidates for stream-entry implicitly include the jhānas among their meditative equipment. The details of these passages need not concern us here. What is of interest to us is that they assign to both the faith-follower and the Dhamma-follower the five spiritual faculties: faith, energy, mindfulness, concentration, and wisdom. The Indriya-saṃyutta states that the faculty of concentration "is to be seen among the four jhānas," and a definition of the concentration faculty includes the formula for the jhānas. Thus, if we argue deductively from these ascriptions and definitions, it would seem to follow as a matter of logic that both the Dhamma-follower and the faith-follower possess the jhānas. More broadly, since these faculties and powers belong to all noble disciples, not to monks alone, this might be held up as proof that all noble disciples, monks and lay followers, invariably possess the jhānas.
Yes, Indriya-saṃyutta states that the faculty of concentration which “is to be seen among the four jhānas” is among the meditative equipment of candidates for stream-entry. Eh … well ...
Such a conclusion would follow if we adopt a literal and deductive approach to the interpretation of the texts, but it is questionable whether such a hermeneutic is always appropriate when dealing with the formulaic definitions employed so often by the Nikāyas. To extract the intended meaning from such schematic definition, we require greater sensitivity to context, sensitivity guided by acquaintance with a wide assortment of relevant texts. Further, if we do opt for the literalist approach, then, since the passage simply inserts the formula for the four jhānas without qualification into the definition of the concentration faculty, we would have to conclude that all noble disciples, monks and lay followers alike, possess all four jhānas, not just one. Even more, they would have to possess the four jhānas already as faith-followers and Dhamma-followers, at the very entry to the path. This, however, seems too generous, and indicates that we need to be cautious in interpreting such formulaic definitions. In the case presently being considered, I would regard the use of the jhāna formula here as a way of showing the most eminent type of concentration to be developed by the noble disciple. I would not take it as a rigid pronouncement that all noble disciples actually possess all four jhānas, or even one of them.
Yet, “extracting the intended meaning” was a speciality of the likes of Buddhaghosa. However, let’s try it with great sensitivity:
Four jhānas > One jhāna > No jhāna > No etc.
But there is more to be said. When we attend closely to these texts, we see that a degree of flexibility is already built into them. In the analysis of the faculties at SN 48:9-10/V 197-98, the first sutta offers an alternative definition of the faculty of concentration that does not mention the four jhānas, while the following sutta gives both definitions conjointly. The alternative version runs thus: "And what, monks, is the faculty of concentration? Here, monks, a noble disciple gains concentration, gains one-pointedness of mind, having made release the object. This is called the faculty of concentration."
Yep! The degree of built-in flexibility to bend is 100%: The word “one-pointedness” =/= the word “jhāna”. Proven!
“Greater in battle than the man who would conquer a thousand-thousand men, is he who would conquer just one—himself.”