FWBO commentary by BBC. Insight into their ways!

Analysis of Criticisms Levelled at the Friends of the Western Buddhist

Order, with Particular Reference to Claims Made in Relation to

Activities at the FWBO’s Dublin Buddhist Centre

http://www.dialogueireland.org/dicontent/media/AnalysisofCriticisms.pdf

125 Responses

  1. Since the BBC Inside Out East programme was aired on 26.9.16, all visible references to Triratna have disappeared from http://www.karuna.org
    Is this a coincidence?
    Perhaps others could have a look and see if it is clear which UK Buddhist organisation is running the charity? What happens when you enter Triratna into the site’s own Search box? It is also of interest to know whether the ‘education’ which forms part of the charity ‘work’ is inclusive still of spreading the dharma as presented by Sangharakshita, whose name (as Urgyen Sangharakshita, no less) only crops up on a page connected to a hostel for young boys …
    If someone from Karuna is reading this, you may be able to explain the decision to remove all visible links to Triratna? With metta.

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  2. Both ex-Yashomitra and ex-Prasannasiddhi were below the coeval age of consent, for the early to mid-1980’s.
    The latter OM was a full-time partner for Sangharakshita during this period for several years, so Sr certainly knew his age; ergo, he knew he was breaking the law – in any case ignorance of the details of the law is no defence (I’m told) in a court case. There is already enough evidence to prosecute Sr for offences against minors (I have reason to believe there were more than two); it just needs the CPS to make the decision to charge this pernicious man.
    I should also repeat (as I pointed out in my article ‘Grooming by Sangharakshita was the order of the day…..’ actually DI’s choice of title) that Sr, aided and abetted by Subhuti, deliberately lied to his public in an interview posted on Triratna websites in 2009. Sr backed by Subhuti claimed he had been celibate since the mid-1980’s. I have written proof he had a sexual relationship with a German Mitra, circa 2004. Many OM’S have seen the same written account that has been freely circulated: how do they justify their continuing Order membership?
    Thanks to ‘Jo m’ for (her?) contributions.

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  3. In their media response to the BBC Inside Out East programme on Triratna, broadcast on 26th September 2016, Munisha (Caroline Hopper) in consultation with others, wrote “Sangharakshita has always believed his relationships were consensual, and this being the case it would be inappropriate for anyone to apologise on his behalf.”
    Munisha is operating here as media and communications liaison officer and has other roles, too.
    This is interesting writing as it has two meanings. ‘This being the case’ could refer back to Sangharakshita’s belief and it could be an assertion that what he believes is in fact the case. Or both? It is a partisan assertion.
    It is also interesting that the media statement seeks to distance Trirtana from Sanharakshita (he has stepped down from leadership) but at the same time complete devotion is expected from order members (and mitra) in practice e.g. prostrations, Bhante’s long life anthem, suspension of order members, who express concerns and doubts about Bhante and now even an ultimatum for an order member to leave his partner if she/he begins to suspect that something very dubious, possibly criminal, has been taking place. Double standards? Double think? Hubble hubble toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble …..

    How has she and those who wrote the response come to the conclusion that the relationships were consensual, especially given that several victims detail the manipulation involved? Mark Dunlop has not veered from the description he first gave of hating Sangharakshita’s physical demands, parading as spiritual teachings.
    Also, as the safeguarding officer, she surely must know that she is not supposed to ‘try’ the allegations presented? Surely she must know that no-one under the age of consent can give consent? Not even narcissistic Sangharakshita can get consent from someone below the age of consent. It is against the law. What is her stance on breaches of the law? What about serious breaches of the law such as sex with disciples below the age of consent?

    Oh and she also decided to portray Sangharakshita as blind, whereas it would be more appropriate to speech precepts to describe him as visually impaired. Needing to harness sympathy for someone she is so obviously devoted to is one thing, but she cannot be an impartial safeguarding officer if her love for Sangharakshita is blind to serious breaches of the law.
    It is high time an external safeguarding team investigated what policies and procedures are in place, so that the past, the present and the future are all given the spotlight they deserve.

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  4. Since the programme was aired on September 26th, someone in the order has been very busy removing some potentially damaging (incriminating?) materials posted up. For example, here is one of the pages of the order’s Response to the FWBO Files about sex :http://response.fwbo.org/fwbo-files/response30.html

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  5. Thanks Alan

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  6. Sangharakshita is shown in a video taken from ‘Clear Vision’ (intended for schoolchildren) saying that the period of his [promiscuous] sexual activity, was a very creative period for him, was good for the Triratna/FWBO, and (I’m told from the same interview on Clear Vision, although I didn’t catch this part), has no regrets. Triratna removed this interview from Clear Vision just before the broadcast. Fortunately the program makers had a recording to show – suitable material for children?

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  7. Thanks for this excellent summary.

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  8. One of the commenters was going to ask the BBC to allow us to link to the programme, but have heard nothing. Would anyone like t give us a report and and a précis of the programme?

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  9. Yes, you do need permission from the BBC, before transferring a recording, or iplayer TV clip, onto YouTube or anywhere else.

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  10. BBC 1 Inside Out Eastern Region on Monday September 26th at 7.30pm / Sky channel 961
    The religious centre is also a retreat centre.

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  11. Hello, maybe this link would work. (for the item on Triratna) http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07w44r4

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  12. Alan thanks for this notification. Apparently there are people from the original programme involved. 1. The Player can only be accessed in the UK and there would copyright issues.
    2. Someone who has contacted me has asked the BBC whether we could put it up.
    3. It is still important though to put it up.

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  13. BBC East are showing a short TV item on the Triratna/FWBO cult as part of their’ Inside Out’ program, on the 26 September at 7.30 pm. This will address issues of abusive behaviour practised and promoted by senior members of Sangharakshita’s ‘order’.
    You can watch this on BBC iPlayer after 9pm, same evening. If anyone knows how to transfer a 10 min, or so, TV clip from iPlayer onto ‘You Tube’ then please do: I have no idea how to do this.
    Perhaps Dialogue Ireland can put this TV piece onto their website? It deserves a much wider audience than Eastern England! Well worth watching.

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  14. Adhistahana is in Herefordshire http://adhisthana.org

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  15. This is Adhisthana in Herefordshire, used to be a centre for autism specialism …. http://adhisthana.org
    http://adhisthana.org
    Sangharakshita lives here with attendant(s)

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  16. FWBO, Triratna, TBC …. Seemingly, no conscience at having left idealistic workers penniless and with no pension … Their labour has bought the 5.9 million mansion for Sr and co in Hertfordshire aka Adhistana aka Coddington Court … But nothing is in place to assist them … No problems of conscience referring its members to the monies generated by ‘worldly and mundane’ people outside the order … How much council tax is paid by Adhistana, and other communities, does anyone know?

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  17. New article on ‘Greek Love’ and gaslighting https://dialogueireland.wordpress.com/

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  18. Dhammarati’s mail was dated 14th of juni 2016

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  19. I feel you could argue that a lacuna in dealing with unresolved issues from the past might lead/has led to sustaining rather then preventing and adequate dealing with present situations.
    Also that dealing with apropriote integrity and expertise will open a door to dealing more adequately still with unresolved issues from the past.

    I feel this is inconsistent:
    > ”These procedures, however, are mainly systematising what is already in place and effective in different parts of the movement”,
    while:
    > ”The recommendations were not adopted (by the European Chairs however, not because they disagreed, but ) because some centres felt that they were not thorough enough, and that more thought, and more training, was needed.
    in combination also with:
    > these recommendation not being made available at request locally nor on meta level (my experience)
    and:
    > actual unskilfull situations being left unadressed, ignored or not taken serieus. (in all kinds of undermining ways and dynamics). (my experience)

    I feel there is reason to question lawfully:
    > the effectiveness of the mentioned current procedures, involving indeed assymetrical desisionpower and (also deriving from this) other psychological(ly undermining) dynamics
    and examine
    > what consequences are /have been of this and for whom.

    Also taken into account that:
    > there is a (worldwide) proces of implementation of quidelines going on and supposedly stimulated and:
    > ordermembers are allready making public statements and referring to the alleged quidelines being available,
    its seems weird not to make them available at specific and well argumented request.
    It should be questioned:
    > why this is (are they not supposed to be helpfull??)

    And it should get adressed:
    > how complex traumatisation occurs when dealing with the effects of boundary crossing situations involves more boundary crossing.

    The question should be asked:
    > if trirata is taking sufficient responsability
    and:
    > doing what is needed for individuals who feel they have suffered / are suffering from boundary crossing (on top of boundary crossing) situations and behaviour
    to:
    > feel heard and either supported adequately or/and offered certain (hopefully somewhat healing) consequences.

    Wishing all acceptance and courage for trying to make a difference and the wisdom to know when what is needed and to keep finding connection, a sense of safety, inspiration and keep up the faith.

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  20. It is interesting to read more of your experiences and to see how Bodhipaksa and Dharmarati have responded to you. What is the date of the letter from Dharmarati to you? This group, indeed, has need of boundaries between order members and those they have teaching and decision making power over. Unfortunately, some of the Dharma as presented by Sangharakshita promotes lack of boundaries and this, as we know, has created / creates devastating consequences for some. Historical issues remain. Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences here, Sarah.

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  21. Does any of this cover the serious, very serious, allegations from the past, I ask. How serious does serious have to be for it to actually be dealt with seriously? Whose definition of serious will be used, I wonder. When is a boundary a boundary for this group? Is anyone at the top exempt from boundaries? All in house? external scrutiny?

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  22. Below is what Dhammarati wrote.
    From previous information I understand there is already a process going on of implementation of a previous draft/paper with quidelines around relationships in the order.
    Which has already been implemented for example at the Birmingham Buddhist centre, where you can find them on their website, as well as some centres in the US, according to Munisha (triratna european communication and liason officer) as well as Bodhipaksa.
    The by Dhammarati mentioned already ”existing structures of centre Trustees, President and Preceptors” which ” would give some ways to address any concerns” leaves, as I understand it, the responsibility to individual centres.
    That ”these”, as Dhammarati says, (new) ”procedures, however, are mainly systematising what is already in place and effective in different parts of the movement” leaves the question, as far as i am concerned, what that says about these ”existing structures” and the new papers namely that they don’t seem to guarantee adequately dealing with with, and further traumatisation.

    ”Munisha began to draft a set of ethical guidelines for Triratna centres some time ago, for discussion at the Triratna International Council and the meeting of our European Chairs. The area of sexual relationships within the order and community was discussed, and we made a number of recommendations. The recommendations were not adopted by the European Chairs however, not because they disagreed, but because some centres felt that they were not thorough enough, and that more thought, and more training, was needed.

    Since then, Munisha has been developing specific policies for child protection, and for those working with vulnerable adults, as well as developing further the more general ethical guidelines for centres.
    The new papers have the support of the International Order convenors, and the chair of the Preceptors’ College, but they’re still recommendations. Until they’re adopted, there is no Triratna wide agreed framework, and individual centres have their own procedures.

    The way decisions are made in Triranta on important matters like this is largely by consensus, which means that a process of adoption can take some time.
    The new guidelines will be discussed at the steering group of our International Council in the next couple of weeks, and if recommended by them, will be discussed at the whole meeting of the International Council in August, then recommended to the meetings of centre chairs internationally later in the Summer.

    These procedures, however, are mainly systematising what is already in place and effective in different parts of the movement: in the meantime, I’d hope that the existing structures of centre Trustees, President and Preceptors would give some ways to address any concerns.

    It’s only in the last two or three years, since the development of the comparatively new International Council, that this kind of international co-ordination between the different Areas of Triratna has been possible. They are also trying to agree a more explicit procedure for addressing concerns and complaints: beginning with local order members, but when something is too serious to be addressed at a local level, a more formal procedure involving the centre president, and if necessary the Area or International Council meetings. Each area has so far worked out its own procedures as they have been needed.

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  23. Yes, Triratna have produced a set of safeguarding documents regarding children and vulnerable adults.
    Dear site viewers: Have any current order members, who view this site, seen anything covering other ‘boundaries’? An order member was apparently ‘suspended’ recently. Can anyone give us information?

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  24. It goes without saying though that: ‘’boundary crossing behaviour goes much further than rules and regulations. The boundary is the personal integrity of the other person. There are no final definitions of violence or abuse. The pragmatic definition is maybe: to not grant the experience of another person the right to exist.’’

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  25. But the(ir) dillemma: can the european council support these quidelines/codes of conduct/ethical polocies to be made available for refering to without them then being available for anyone who feels they want to still adress things. As if they look anything like the vipassana codes of ethics, as some ordermembers seem to think they do, then anyone who still has unresolved issues should theoratically be able to refere to them and that implies more accountability has to be given.
    So i suspect i wil not be getting an answer… But we’ll see.
    Maybe you could all write to the european council about this asking for these quidelines.:-)
    Write to the chair Dhammarati, who is the initiativetaker and writer of them.

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  26. Dear Dharmapeace,

    Unfortunately Bodhipaksa removed the comments made on his website in the closing of the comments-option. I wrote him i was sorry as i would have liked to get back with the answer (when and if) given by the triratna European council to my question (below).

    I did get some acknowledgement from him in a private correspondence:
    In Triratna we don’t have adequate safeguards. Although I assume (perhaps naively) that most centres have a code of conduct around such things, it occurs to me that that doesn’t necessarily cover the situation of outside teachers getting involved with students. And I don’t think that an order member talking to his or her chapter is enough.
    I’m also sorry to hear that you’re not getting more support from your local sangha. It seems it’s very easy for spiritual communities to “close ranks” in the face of criticism.”

    ————————————————————————————

    It think it makes sense that as long as the past is not dealt with properly, it is likely to water down the ethical standards and also obscure appropriate response to painfull situations coming from (also lesser) unskilful behaviour.

    I have had a romantic relationship with a senior order member. I was a ‘friend’ (in triratna hiërarchy) who went on retreat with him.

    So i am trying to work through this; i am seeing a therapist. I am very glad i am getting heard around this outside Triratna and still have some friends left from the sangha. (addition: well that is still not concluded actually)
    Trying to make positive connections again around the dharma elsewhere (and in myself). And allowing the sometimes incredible sadness to be felt.

    I have gathered some information in my proces.

    So far; some of the major facts about the availability of policies around relationships between teacher and students/retreatants in Triratna:

    This was mentioned by him in a comment on an article in an online Buddhist magazine here. This ordermember is also member of a platform a bit like the NBO in the UK.
    Though i have not been helped to them despite having asked and having motivated my request.

    I have understood now though that it is not quite the case that in the UK there are already these policies, and found that there is quite a lot of internal ‘confusion’ here, not so much around the policies existence but around the availability and transparency, but that there is something in process but/and that there are no ‘official’ guidelines yet, relating to this.
    An other reliable source said: some guidelines have been drafted, by originally the preceptors college and then it was taken to the European Chairs Assembly, but that not all centres have worked on the guidelines in the same way.
    I found there was one centre in the UK that has worked with this and have developed a set of ethical codes/policies around this which is in Birmingham.
    I have also had contact with someone who was involved in the original writing of this, or as she called it: a set of general ethical guidelines, a project initiated by Dhammarati, Chair of Triratna’s International Council. She said it would still take a while before these where commonly agreed upon.

    So, that has been quite ‘informative’, but not actual helpful for getting access to these apparently existing drafts, to be used as a reference for addressing some things.

    I have not yet been helped to see this and eventually i have also complained about this. That didt help me to them, but it has not been denied there is something. I have had extended ‘communication”around this, though rather one sidedly.
    There has been there has been evasiveness.
    In short: I have experienced rather undermining dynamics in dealing with this.
    Although i have been told that my experience was undermining the need for implementation of such guidelines i was still eventually asked: Why do you (still) want to see them, what do you want to do with them, do you want to destroy him?
    My overall experience indeed has been that apparently my need to see these drafts as a help to addressing some of the complicated issues i have run into impose a tread of some kind. Probably going all the way back to some issues in the past.(if not just in the present).
    And that very undermining dynamics are taking place that obscure a current situation from being dealt with the appropriate integrity.

    I added, as i have not been responded to (though given apologies it might take a while) that if a yes/no answer to my question would in their view not be sufficient, could they maybe say something about criteria for these initial drafts to be made available, if not implemented yet at the respective centres?
    And that its seems very odd, to say the least, there has been this apparent symmetry in the availability.

    Interesting developments are that in my country actually we have, since last year, a (governmental) ‘organ’ for reporting (sexual) boundary issues (and further complications)/abuse in Buddhist communities.
    It feels supportive knowing there is and will be more ‘pressure’
    (/correction) for sanga’s to look at themselves, at their dynamices etc.
    This and a general chance in awareness will probably/hopefully create more possibility for successfully civil procedures when addressing things properly seem impossible inside communities. To address the neglect itself.
    Creating a more supportive environment for coming out with certain
    experiences, saying hey this is not ok and not aligned
    with Buddhism either… Important in my view and for me personally.

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  27. With reference to above comment: I’m told Bodhipaksa is a Preceptor (a super-loyal senior Triratna OM), so he is unlikely to give space to anything but vaguely worded concerns about his organisation’s dark underside. Sarah’s comments are very vague, and so permissible. It’s interesting that Bodhipaksa allows himself the comment, that Sangharakshita’s sexual ‘explorations’ were ‘unwise’, and that young people were hurt. This seems to be an acceptable view to take in the Order, as I’ve seen these phrases used before. His comments on the situation at the Croydon centre in the 80’s are disingenuous, as I was there for a period, and he was not!
    A document has come to light which purports to: Safeguard the Order in India. It seems to be the work of the Preceptors responsible for Triratna India. Apparently there has been much unethical behaviour going on, in this wing of the Order: adultery, OM’s inflicting violence or legal action against each other, etc. The Preceptors propose to impose disciplinary action against the miscreants responsible, in the form of: suspensions from the Order, probationary periods, even expulsions.
    Meanwhile in Britain, OM’s are safe in the knowledge that such draconian measures have only been visited on their numbers in rare and extreme cases. It seems that the Indian OM’s have decided, that as their esteemed teacher has behaved unethically with apparent impunity, why shouldn’t they? The reaction of the Preceptors reeks of 19 century British imperialism: the British Raj, and the harsh treatment of Indian rebels. One set of standards for Indian OM’s, another for our own superior western OM’s. Although I’ve read the document carefully, I am unable to provide an internet link to it….perhaps someone else can?

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  28. A lady recently detailed her painful experiences of an order member on wildmind website in the comments section. Bodhipaksa has allowed her to make observations, but is blocking my replyhttp://www.wildmind.org/about/fwbo Hopefully, , she will find us here and gain some support and acknowledgement that, as she suspects, all is not well.
    You can find the thread if you google wildmind and sexual abuse in the google search. Perhaps others could try offering her a reply?

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  29. Eventually, the truth is told …. the spotlight is on those who denied support to those who disclosured abuse. Triratna is also failing to act on disclosures of abuse. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/15/damning-report-reveals-church-of-england-failure-to-act-on-abuse

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  30. This is stories from Netherlands where similar is being investigated and we hope that this also can happen in UK
    http://www.nltimes.nl/2015/05/25/buddhist-monks-sexual-abuse-revealed/

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  31. It is fantastic that the order have made such special efforts to support Yashomitra and Mark Dunlop since the order realised Sangharakshita had indeed been having all the sex they had seen him (and some of themselves) having with ‘less spiritually advanced’ disciples for decades. This document indicates how Vishvapanni helped Yashomitra in 1993 when he was told about the abuses that happened at Padmaoloka i.e. ten years before Yasho wrote his 2003 letter and it is wonderful that the order put so much in place to support those who told the truth about the kalyana mitrata and Greek love abuses. They responded so well to Mark and Yasho when they described the abuses and have made sure that they are safe and well and fully supported in every way possible, paragons of safeguarding….
    .. Oh, whoops …. Read it wrong …. They have made sure that Sangharakshita and others who copied him are safe and well and basking in adoration. safeguarding Sangharakshita and the order has always been the order. How old were all these young men? How old was Sangharakshita? Age of consent?
    ‘Not believing someone who is telling the truth is a form of violence’ … Who wrote that? https://www.freebuddhistaudio.com/texts/othertexts/Vishvapani/FBA104_Growing_Pains.pdf

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  32. http://www.ex-cult.org/fwbo/Guardian.htm
    The article that told us what was really going on. The team behind this deserve recognition for investigative journalism, too, as do BBC for sending up alarm flares with the documentary at top of this page …

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  33. Dear Emahaho: We almost certainly knew each other, as I was also intensely involved in Triratna: especially during the late 70’s; most of the 80’s and late 90’s.
    I was, effectively, frozen out for being too outspoken in challenging the rewritten, sanitised version of FWBO history given to new Mitra’s, in my presence – I was furious!

    You can help enormously, by writing more about your experiences on this comment thread: just a bit at a time if you prefer, you don’t have to write an entire article – unless you really want to. Writing about your experiences does have a therapeutic value, and will help you come to terms with what happened.

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  34. Section 7 could almost be a satire of FWBO Triratna The Buddhist Centre and Sangharakshita, who likens his sexual experimentation to experimental theatre then reframes the past and the role of the teacher and Buddhist robes and then struggles at 3.20 with vocabulary, very telling vocabulary … https://www.freebuddhistaudio.com/audio/details?num=IV02

    Spot on comments from ex-Mitra above on celibacy and robes, too …

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  35. Dear Emahaho, thank you for joining us on this discussion group and contributing to the breaking of the silences and ‘reframing’ of events that have gone on for too long. Dennis Lingwood was very clever indeed as he wove his sexual needs into the very fabric of the Dharma as presented by Sangharakshita. Light will shine in the dark spaces thanks to people like you coming forward with more information.

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  36. I was intensely involved, and deeply traumatised by the london buddhist centre, in the 1980s.
    I saw Sangharakshita choose a series of very young, good looking boys as his ‘companion’. There were endless rumours about his approching numerous male followers for sex, most of whom felt unable to refuse. It was a more or less ‘open secret’, when asked directly, he would lie.
    Please let me know how I can help. Sangharakshita and his enablers must be held accountable, and truth established. I believe many suffer greviously from the secrets, lies, manipulation and abuse.

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  37. Satire is still needed http://www.ex-cult.org/fwbo/BunkerAp.htm

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  38. Well done and more to those who have spoken out about abuses in FWBO/ Triratna because that takes balls and guts for sure and to those with real insight and investigative skills, who never give up on shining light into all the dark corners of manipulations, secrecy and cover ups …

    http://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/jan/28/spotlight-review-catholic-church-called-to-account-over-child-abuse

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  39. Re Teacher comment above

    The nice ‘Buddhist priests’ you spoke to don’t control the policies of the Triratna group: only Dennis Lingwood and his inner circle of favoured order members (preceptors) have that privilege. Their teaching differs from genuine Buddhist doctrine in an important respect: they promote a non-existent concept called ‘the higher evolution’ and an attendant ‘Spiral path’.

    These ideas are nothing to do with Buddhism, and in fact lay the basis for a form of Theocratic Fascism which is all too evident in the history and structure of this organisation.

    Genuine Buddhism is concerned with the acquisition of insight into the true nature of reality and consciousness: which are ultimately the same. This is achieved through the practice of insight meditation (vipassana), over a very long time: traditionally many lifetimes. Mr Lingwood’s Triratna order, do not teach this vitally important practice in their public classes and retreats. As a mitra, I was discouraged from embarking on any form of such meditation.

    Instead of highlighting the importance of insight practice, the Triratna group place commitment to a rigid and, historically, morally corrupt hierarchy at the centre of their activities: which they refer to as ‘Going for refuge to the three jewels’. In the case of this group, this means blind, uncritical obedience to: Lingwood, his twisted version of the Buddha’s teachings, and unquestioning trust in his preceptors, and other senior order members.

    These seniors spend a good deal of time trying to control and keep in line their junior OM’s and mitras – who form the backbone of the TBC group. They do this by suppressing and distorting information about the past history and behaviour of the order.

    Many more recent OM’s have little or no knowledge of the culture of abuse (psychological, emotional and sexual) which was an accepted part of the ordination process during the 1980’s. They believe that Lingwood was careful to get the consent of men he had sex with: instead of luring youths into sexual liaisons with vague suggestions of ‘spiritual benefits’. Effectively these people have been ordained under false pretenses.

    Genuine Buddhists have no interest in controlling and manipulating a large group of people: indeed they know that this is unachievable.

    Lingwood’s concept of a ‘higher evolution’ leads to the belief, amongst his followers, that he and his preceptors are more ‘spiritually evolved’ than the rest of the human race, and thus that their actions and behaviour cannot be criticised or questioned. This is Theocratic Fascism and nothing to do with Genuine Buddhism.

    Concerned teachers and parents can do the public and our children a great service, by persuading schools and education authorities to avoid ‘Clear Vision’, and not invite Triratna personnel for classroom visits. Look to other Buddhist groups for these services: after rigorous research on the internet.

    It is an all too ‘Clear Vision’ to a non- Buddhist totalitarian nightmare.

    Ex-Mitra

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  40. Sangharakshita quotes http://www.azquotes.com/author/37783-Sangharakshita …. Worrying that it is easy to get hold of this stuff. Power, sex, obedience to master Bhante ….

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  41. When a Triratna priest spoke to me about coming into my school they used their Triratna names and not officially traceable names. It was the same when I phoned them. I am very worried about this now given all the concerns raised above and on the internet. And yes, it’s true the website I went to just said The Buddhist Centre and not Triratna Centre, so that is also misleading. It seems as though some awful stuff may have happened over the years and alarm bells are ringing for sure about making use of Clear Vision and a Triratna guest. The people I spoke to seemed very nice, but that’s not good enough given all the discussion I have seen on this site. It seems as though this is a stand-alone group with one powerful guru teacher at the top who former members and other Buddhist groups have been very concerned about for a very long time. I will continue to do my homework and avoid introducing Triratna people and ideas to school students.

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  42. Sangharakshita wanted sex with young men not mature men. He managed to twist up kalyana mitrata to suit his sexual preference for young men and then taught that greek love and all the men into boyz stuff was the way to get further on the FWBO Triratna path. All the stuff is still out there ready to be passed on again coz noone is taking it down yet. Schoolkidz can get hold of manipulations bigging up Sangharkshita. You have to get out and away from this cultic stuff to see how you get manipulated. Sorry for those who are still stuck in feeling grateful to a sexual manipulator. More sorry for those who got manipulated for sex. He manipulates the rest to adore him and bow down to him. That is cultic. Jimmy Savile stuff on the news today.

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  43. The Triratnasaurus dilemma

    Sanghakshita wishes to transcend the dichotomy between celibacy and non-celibacy.
    He has made the remarkable discovery, that although he is obligated to be celibate whilst wearing the orange kesa, or bikkhu robes – which after-all are intended as an affirmation of the condition of celibacy – he is under no such requirement once these textiles are removed from about his person; rather in the manner of the removal of a chastity belt. Indeed he is free to indulge in carnal pleasures as much as desired.

    Thus he is enabled to explore the duality of these two states in a sharper, more enhanced relief: hastening the arising of the bodhicitta, and stream entry into the field of the archetypal Buddhas.

    Unfortunately, he is first left with the altogether more intractable problem, of how to transcend the duality of being a “Buddhist” teacher, and a prolific sexual abuser of vulnerable young men!

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  44. Vishvapani is telling us that we cannot criticise our teacher, our kalyana mitrata or He (Bhante / Sngharakshita) who dwells above and beyond us in a misty land signposted Dharma ….. Check out the delusions below from Vishvapanis’ Wise Attention website under Our Relationship to Bhante …. these Bhante Boys now Bhante blokes are still mentally b******ed by nonstop exposure to Sangharakshita and the ideology he presents as Buddhism …

    Vishvapani tells us order members that:

    Nevertheless Bhante is important to all Order members, whether we think about that importance or not. Even if Bhante is not our preceptor, even if we have never spoken to him, or perhaps never seen him, and even if the relationship is changing, Bhante is still out teacher. Tibetans speak of one teacher being one’s root guru. This person may not be the first to teach us meditation, but they have a special place in our hearts, because they have enabled us to see the Dharma. In some sense similar to this, Bhante is a teacher to us all. His elucidation has made the Dharma accessible to us, so everything we have gained from practising the Dharma is traceable back to – or perhaps I should say through – him. That is why, as Bhante explained in his talk on Wesak last year, Buddhist tradition stresses that we should feel gratitude towards our teachers. Gratitude is a natural and healthy response if we value what we have received.

    Furthermore, in our ordination ceremonies each of us recites a set of ‘ordination vows’, the first line of which is ‘with loyalty to my teachers … I accept this ordination.’ I must confess that I have no recollection whatsoever of taking doing this at my own ordination, but I am confident enough in Subhuti to assume that he did not forget, and that these lines were lost in a haze of euphoria. Be that as it may, now that I know this is what I vowed I am happy to restate this affirmation. Not only have I vowed loyalty to my teachers, but I feel it, simply because they are my teachers, and because of everything I have gained from them.

    In other words we need teachers, mentors, guides on the path. The Buddha is our ultimate teacher, and our kalyana mitras are our immediate mentors. But Bhante has a crucial place between these distant and proximate objects I won’t dwell now on why we need people to fulfil these roles – let me take that as read. More pertinent is that we consider our own responsibilities in this regard – consider, that is, what it is to be a disciple. We don’t have a word for this in the FWBO. We don’t even have a word for the junior party in a kalyana mitra relationship. But in Sanskrit there is the word shaiksha, one who offers him or herself for training – specifically the three trainings of sila, samadhi, and prajna. Then there is the word shishya, a contemplator, one who observes or ‘takes in’ his teacher’s character and qualities. And finally there is the word bhajana, meaning a receptacle or pot into which the Dharma may be poured. According to a Tibetan analogy some pots are upturned, unreceptive to the Dharma. Some are holed and whatever is poured in drains away, just as the Dharma pours from our unretentive minds when we forget what we have been taught. And some pots are filled with poisonous herbs which contaminate the water just as our own negative states of mind may taint what we have been taught. So to the extent that we wish to commit ourselves to the Dharma our responsibility is to become a pure vessel, a true disciple.

    Not only is Bhante our teacher, he is the founder of our Order, and the chief elucidator of what Buddhism means for us. In my dealings with other Buddhists, I am often struck that aspects of Bhante’s role which Order members usually take for granted, can seem extraordinary or even outrageous to outsiders. It is no commonplace thing to found a Buddhist Order, as opposed to establishing an existing one in a new context. Buddhist history does not readily offer precedents for consciously establishing a new Order outside the categories of monks and lay people. For our critics this is a knock-down argument that demonstrates that the Western Buddhist order lacks legitimacy, and on its own terms this argument cannot be countered. I won’t rehearse the arguments concerning legitimacy of our Order and movement now – I feel I have spent quite enough time doing so over the last three years. Today I want to rejoice in the benefits of Bhante’s approach.

    End of Vishvapani section

    Awokadharma here: So, Vishvapani tells us that ‘we in the order’ cannot criticise a teacher at the best of times let alone a kalyana mitrata and in this article he is now raising Bhante to the status of a demi-Buddha?

    Vishvapani – YOU are promoting / raising the status of a horny, lustful and manipulative teacher, even if he did set up his own self-styled group, who manipulated a whole load of OMs to get involved in accepting, promoting and / or defending abuses of power via kalyana sexo mitrata and Greek love …. “In my dealings with other Buddhists, I am often struck that aspects of Bhante’s role which Order members usually take for granted, can seem extraordinary or even outrageous to outsiders.” says Vishvapani …. YES because you are taking for granted something that IS extraordinary and outrageous because it is also actually proven to be harmful and dangerous.

    You are asleep still, Vishvapani. I pray that one day, before it is too late for you, that you will awaken and see reality as it really is. May light and clarity suffuse you and may you be humbled before those you have accused and maligned. May the scales fall from your eyes and may you truly experience the loving teachings of the Buddha.

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  45. Kulananda exposed …

    8. Buddhashanti:
    “A week ago on a journey up to Blackburn for our chapter meeting I learnt that these ‘explorations’ were for a much longer period and that during this period Bhante had worn the yellow kesa, had worn robes, and had travelled to India in the robes of an anagarika. … And the length of time of Bhante’s sexual activity had its influence on other order members and some, however naively, tried to emulate him as Kulananda admits that he did. This suggests that there are grains of truth in the Guardian piece. One of them being that some order members used Bhante’s example for their own exploration of sex in the furtherance of Kalyana-mitrata.”

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  46. http://www.ex-cult.org/fwbo/ShabCol1.htm
    You guys seen / remember this? And Shabda 2?
    Shabda is order magazine. Its confidential one to remember

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  47. here is resignation of Dr. Andrew Skilton, Buddhist scholar at Kings London SOAS http://triratna-news.blogspot.co.uk/2010/10/lights-are-going-out.html

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  48. Mitra indoctrination is friendly, slow, charming, steady and assured …. You get hooked and reeled in slowly but surely by order members (most really nice people) glowing with how grateful they are to Sangharakshita, who have vowed their commitment to him and his version of dharma, via a quasi marriage ceremony in The Secret Realm (Guyaloka) somewhere in pain. Before you know it as a Mitra, u are reverencing Sangharakshita and have allowed yourself to be seduced into bowing to his image on a shrine, singing his White Tara and reverencing his image on the Refuge Tree, where he put himself. This is the Year 3 study guide. Yes, It is still all Sangharakshita and Windhorse (in house publishing) material as far as I can see. Party lines are still taught … And you will come across all the stuff the Guardian and BBC flagged up, so be warned – then manipulative questions for discussion are suggested … Reading this again, I am struck by just how patronising it all is. It took me a lot of pain and suffering to see through all this and getting out was not easy. You get addicted to and dependent on the group … Oh and by the way, he has convinced you you are not in a group, but a spiritual community , comprised of true individuals ….
    You won’t be told about resignations. Dr. Andrew Skilton resigned years ago, but Mitra I met recently had not been told this, even when his name cropped up. I’m post his resignation letter on here.
    The tragedy is that so many good people get seduced into this. I got out. Hope you can stay out or get out. You don’t need Sangharakshita’s perversion of Buddhism in your life. https://www.freebuddhistaudio.com/study/yearthreefiles/Students/Year%20Three,%20Module%203%20-%20Sangharakshita%20and%20the%20History%20of%20the%20FWBO-Triratna.pdf/

    Typo, maybe Freudian slip – Ordination place is in Spain.

    P.S This is bloke zone.

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  49. No more secrets …. good advice …. http://www.lionsroar.com/bdwinter2014/

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  50. I am a shocked attendee of the Colchester Buddhist Centrewho, because of misgivings re the sexual discrimination practised, decided to explore what might be on the internet. I never expected the welter of information, much of it seemingly authentic and reliable. I am sickened by all this. I previously belonged to, indeed worked for, a well known Tibetan Buddhist organisation, and had to leave when I could not synchronise revelations about this lama with my own ethical beliefs. I was heartbroken. This time I am sad and trying not to have doubts about any buddhist groups. I welcome the legal investigations, and remain sad and horrified. Jean Copping Smith

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  51. Ex-Mitra I am glad to see your campaign gathering momentum. The much bigger fish of Tibetan Buddhism has a massive case against it in regard to its policy of Consort sex which is deeply embedded in this Lamaism doctrine.
    https://dialogueireland.wordpress.com/2016/01/11/david-bowie-mary-finnegan-and-the-marketing-of-tibetan-lamas/

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  52. The whole sorry saga of sexual kalyana mitrata started in 1977. OM member Chintamani published an article in the fwbo newsletter called: ‘Leaving mother and initiation into manhood’, around August that year. One of its suggestions was that men could benefit from sexual relationships with other men, to free them from ‘maternal dependence’.

    This article is unsurprisingly not available online – last time I checked – and so hard to obtain; but many former fwbo members will have read it, and Yashomitra mentioned it, and its content, in his letter to Shabda of 2003.

    Around 6 months later, Subhuti expanded this notion into the infamous Greek Love concept, which he strongly endorsed. This started the long period of homosexual relationships between OM’s and mitras, that spanned the entire 1980’s and beyond.

    Kulananda was at the forefront of this perversion of Buddhist teaching. According to the author of the ‘FWBO-FILES’, a former mitra attached to the London Buddhist Centre, has made claims of his sexual abuse or exploitation by Kulanada during the 1980’s. I was told in the mid-80’s, that Kulananda was having sex with so many men in his community, Sukhavati, that a mitra who was close to Kulananda, was asked by him to share the burden of these sexual chores; the purpose of them being, in some cases, to promote and enhance a mitra’s quest for ordination.

    As I wrote in my article: ‘Inside the cult of Sangharakshita’, available on another DI webpage, Kulananda deliberately lied to the public about important aspects of the fwbo’s history, in a letter to the Guardian newspaper in Oct 1997 – so this is a morally corrupt individual!

    Many people ordained within the past 20 years, seem to have been given a dishonest account of Sangharakshita’s sexual history. They were often told that he was gay, and had embarked on sexual relationships with some fwbo men with their consent. The truth is that Mr Lingwood had sex with up to 200 young men, mostly hetrosexual (as he seemed to like converting straight youths to his own orientation until he fancied a change of partner), and in some cases below the age of consent as it was at the time.

    How many of these more recent order members, would have pursued ordination had they had known this? According to a recent comment (see above), Lingwood was having sex with Triratna men as late as the year 2000 – despite his reported claim of being celibate from the late 1980’s!

    There are legal proceedings currently going on concerning the sexual abuse of minors at Padmaloka in Norfolk, sometime in the 1990’s. Because there are reporting restrictions, for legal reasons, I can’t write more on this matter.

    There is also an ongoing investigation into Sangharakshita’s personal sexual abuse of minors – but again I can’t elaborate for the same reason. So all of this ugly history will soon be made public; and I am determined, with others, that it indeed will!

    Ex-Mitra

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  53. https://thebuddhistcentre.com/system/files/groups/files/triratna_model_vulnerable_adults_protection_policy_2015_1.pdf

    How can anyone in Triratna NOT see that we need to address abuse issues involving Sangharakshita and kalyana mitras, who abused young adults under the age of consent? Addressing issues does not mean hiding them, fogging them and denying them.

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  54. An FWBO Triratna member, Kulananda (Kulananda (Michael Chaskalson) signed this. This is called ‘Hiding in the open’ and ‘hypocrisy’ as there is irrefutable evidence that sexual abuses took place and that Sangharakshita and others promoted it as ‘kalyana mitrata’. Kulananda knows about the allegations and was actively promoting this abuse of ‘kalyana mitrata’. The order still share the materials that promote and underpin such abusive behaviour. When this comes out in full, as it will, will Kulananda use this as evidence that he never saw any allegations of sexual abuse and that he was not involved? Maybe signing this was an astute political move when allegations first came out on BBC to suggest that he is on the side of the protectors against abuse and to cover up abuse he knows for sure about? Do ex-Mitra and others have additional information about Kulananda’s activities as a kalyana mitra and hard copies of what he wrote in Shabda? Maybe he still does not understand what constitutes ‘the norms of ethical conduct?’ That still seems to be the abiding problem in this group. Outsiders are abnormal or bigots for not accepting Sangharakshita’s promotion of kalayana mitrata FWBO style. Maybe they still think that Sangharakshita’s views are normal and ethical, so see nothing wrong in signing this? How many precepts does Kulananda blitz by signing this?

    “On March 16-19, 1993, a meeting was held in Dharamsala, India, between His Holiness The Fourteenth Dalai Lama and a group of twenty-two Western dharma teachers from the major Buddhist traditions in Europe and America. Also present were the Tibetan lamas Drikung Chetsang Rinpoche, Pachen Otrul Rinpoche, and Amchok Rinpoche. The aim of the meeting was to discuss openly a wide range of issues concerning the transmission of Budhadharma to Western lands.

    The following statement ensued from the meeting:
    “Each student must be encouraged to take responsible measures to confront teachers with unethical aspects of their conduct. If the teacher shows no sign of reform, students should not hesitate to publicize any unethical behavior of which there is irrefutable evidence. This should be done irrespective of other beneficial aspects of his or her work and of one’s spiritual commitment to that teacher. It should also be made clear in any publicity that such conduct is not in conformity with Buddhist teachings. No matter what level of spiritual attainment a teacher has, or claims to have, reached, no person can stand above the norms of ethical conduct.”
    Signed:
    Fred von Allmen, Brendan Lee Kennedy, Ven. Ajahn Amaro, Bodhin Kjolhede Sensei, Jack Kornfield, Martine Batchelor, Dharmachari Kulananda, Stephen Batchelor, Jakusho Bill Kwong Roshi, Alex Berzin, Lama Namgyal (Daniel Boschero), Ven. Thubten Chodron (Cherry Greene), Ven. Tenzin Palmo, Lama Drupgyu Crony Chapman), Ven. Thubten Pende (James Dougherty), Lopon Claude aEsnee, Lama Surya Das (Jeffrey Miller), Edie Irwin, Robert Thurman, Junpo Sensei (Denis Kelly), Sylvia Wetzel.”

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  55. This came to our school RE department recently:
    https://thebuddhistcentre.com/system/files/groups/files/TriratnaChildProtection%201-14.pdf

    Triratna are NOT doing what they say they do on this, their own document.

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  56. Responding Well To Those Who Have Been Abused

    Religious communities are exposing those in power, who have abused positions of trust. The Anglican Safeguarding Team worked with victims to bring Bishop Peter Ball to justice for sexual abuse of aspiring priests in their late teens and early twenties.
    Triratna are seeking to be included in recent CofE umbrella statements, essentially signing up to something they have never done despite concerted efforts from people inside and outside the order. Safeguarding means dealing with historic sexual abusers, including current leadership of FWBO aka Triratna aka The Buddhist Centre and removing or annotating ‘scripture’, written by same leadership which promotes such abuse ….
    (Similar to recent work on ‘Mein Kampf’)
    https://www.churchofengland.org/media/2257646/responding%20well.pdf
    Any order member of Triratna, who has read or who reads allegations of abuse written in any form by mitra and order members is thus made responsible for safeguarding – past, present and future – and responsible for exposing those who abused, whoever they are and however powerful they are.

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  57. Reading Subhuti’s turgid and unimaginative prose is an ordeal in itself; but he has made some real whoppers in his time.
    It was Subhuti who (with single-sex fanatic Chintamani) championed the ‘doctrine’ of Greek Luv (kiss 💋) in 1978. I may not have been the only Mitra to have been sexually assaulted as a consequence.
    Alex Subhuti was even captured in full flight extolling the ‘virtues’ of said doctrine in an edition of the secret Order newsletter Shabda (which I sometimes read as a naughty fwbo mitra) in 1986, 8 years later.
    To compound this felony, it was Alex who ‘ghost wrote’ Sangharakshita’s secret manifesto ‘Men, Women and Angels’, which precipitated the departure of several disgusted female OM’s from the Order.
    You would think that Subhuti would have learnt his lesson by now, wouldn’t you?
    No chance: here he is again, suggesting that Triratna members share their kids with Uncle, Aunty and. Cousin Triratnasaurus (a private joke).
    Always assuming that they are not like Cousin Kevin and Uncle Ernie from the movie (and The Who’s album): Tommy.
    “You won’t shout as I fiddle about, fiddle about, fiddle about!”
    On yer bike mate!
    Ex- Mitra

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  58. That was originally published in Madhyamavani: Spring 2000 Issue 3 (Birmingham: Madhyamaloka, 2000). It must have been tough for Subhuti (Alex Kennedy) trying to control everyone less spiritually advanced than him and Sangharakshita and making sure everyone is somehow controlling everyone else and keeping them on the straight and narrow aka spiral FWBO spiritual path. Was it Subhuti Alex, who had the honour of finding Sangharakshita in bed with yet another mitra yet again in Birmingham around the same time? One or more bedfellows this time? Maybe it was Sadderloka, who found Sangers up to his spiritual tricks again.
    Any of the growing number of Ex-OMs or mitra able to fill in the gaps?
    Maybe Sangharakshita just wanted to start the new millennium with a spiritually advantageous bang whilst being celibately celibate, of course. If you are as enlightened as Sangharakshita, it is possible to be celebately celebate and not be celibate at the same time. The man is so sensitive.

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  59. So, says Subhuti, the leadership tell followers they might possibly have children if they absolutely have to endanger their spiritual path as long as they are up for handing them over to single sex community friends, their FWBO ‘aunty or uncle’ …. (alarm bells!) http://madhyamavani.fwbo.org/3/marriage.html

    Still suggests lots of single sex single sex ……..

    More gratitude to Bhante for all his single sex single sex single sex ….

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  60. Many thanks to ex omm for the info on recent order resignations. I remember Jayanatha as a very emotional person, obviously of some integrity as emotional people often are. All the best to him, I hope he finds a new spiritual home in another Buddhist group.

    Nagaraja used to appear on BBC 1 on a Sunday morning prog’ for some time as I recall. Morale must have become a serious issue for him to go.

    Perhaps ex omm can update future resignations when he sees fit. We need some inside info’ from this secretive enclave from time to time.

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  61. Bishop Peter Ball also established his own religious order and was held in high esteem. It took years for the victims to be believed ….http://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/archives/007151.html

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  62. Update on who has resigned ….
    Uttamara
    Jayasiddhi
    Karunagatu
    Khajit
    Dayajit
    Abhayaditya
    Prasannajiri
    Dharmadakini
    Samayadevi
    Abhayasuri
    Jayanatha
    Kamalojoti
    Subhaga
    Abhayadhi
    Nagaraja
    Saralamati Peter Holdsworth
    Silaprabha
    Suketu
    Gunapalita
    Sumuni
    Varadakini
    Amaradeva
    Manjudaaka
    Vasumitra
    Kavindu
    Jayasiddhi ‘ I feel unable to reference Sangharakshita in the way I understood ‘referencing my teachers’ when I took the ordination vows. I do not reverence Sangharakshita, which is the basic reason I am resigning.’
    Moksanda (current PP and leadership) tells us that Sumuni ‘had a difficult relationship with order members in Valencia’ and ‘He tells me that he is relieved to have resigned’.

    Resignation info is difficult to find as various sites where it is posted have come and gone. Sanghajala seems to have come and gone but maybe not …. Shabda Milestones … Connection Forums …. You would have to be totally on the button to track the latest link. The Order are very concerned that outside eyes do not hear about the resignations and the reasons for resignations. Dr. Andrew Skelton also resigned, but at least that letter was published at his request in Shabda. We don’t dwell on resignations in our meetings or remind each other of uncomfortable material. Living with stirred up mixed feelings is what we have practised. Prospective Mitra and order members are not offered the truth about Triratna ex FWBO aka The Buddhist Centre.

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  63. He was right about Tibetan Buddhism being Lamaism. Likely it was too heterosexual with its consort sex.

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  64. And her we have similar ‘Buddhist’ abuses with a ‘collegiate system’ supposedly being able to monitor behaviour …. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2012/oct/08/tibetan-lamas-buddhism Sangharakshita was anti Tibetan Buddhism, but copied the worst aspects of it!

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  65. This is the same story – just a different religious organisation: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-35110405
    If you are or have been in the FWBO / Triratna / The Buddhist Centre and know something, do the ethical thing …..
    Sangharakshita even wrote the equivalent ‘gospel’ to ensnare his followers into the sexual acts he said were evidence of ‘spiritual friendship: Clever, but deceptive, manipulative and in many cases illegal …. Lots of people in this order have hidden the truth, vilified the abused and worshipped the perpetrator(s) who claimed they were ‘more spiritually advanced’ …..
    It seems on and off site minors suffered from this man- boy love fixation, promoted by Sangharakshita’s ideology.

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  66. The secrets of Shabda, for the eyes of Order Members only …. http://www.ex-cult.org/fwbo/ShabCol2.htm

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  67. Good job Sangharakshita was celibate on retreats in Il Convento….

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  68. Is this what schools need when they are looking for materials on Buddhism? The Clear Vision site might seem to be yet another online shrine to Sangharakshita??http://www.clear-vision.org/Home-Use/Triratna-photos/Image-Preview.aspx?i=6396&r=/Home-Use/triratna-Photos/Sangharakshita/1980s.aspx

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  69. So Sangharakshita encouraged his followers to read and engage with man/ youth ‘Greek Love’, written by a man, who was later prosecuted for multiple child molestation. Sangharakshita also developed a relationship with Alan Ginsberg in Kalimpong helping him to find out whether tantric sex with a boy was possible and later wrote poems for him and about him. Here are Ginsberg and Sangharakshita outside Sanghrakshita’s flat… Ginsberg seems to have supported NAMBLA, the North American Man Boy Love Association. And now we hear that someone at Padmaloka has shown too much interest in a minor? http://www.clear-vision.org/Home-Use/Triratna-photos/Image-Preview.aspx?i=7791&r=/Home-Use/triratna-Photos/Image-Search.aspx?page=120
    And this picture is on the website, which is created for school use?

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  70. Is there a recently resigned Order Member who can tell us what happened at Padmaloka retreat centre some time in the 90’s? We know that serious allegations have been made about a sexual incident involving minor(s).
    We know that a very hush-hush Order gathering was convened to “discuss” this. We also know that at least 4 members of the order have resigned as a consequence.
    Seniors and Preceptors are trying to suppress public knowledge of these events: effectively conspiring to pervert the course of justice!
    Please give us an anonymous comment if you have more info: we can’t let them get away with hiding the truth, can we?

    Ex-Mitra

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  71. I am alarmed that what I thought was a ‘general’ website about Buddhism is in fact a ‘Sangharakshita’ focused Triratna site …. How can some of the teachings still be included? http://www.clear-vision.org/Home/Home/Search.aspx?IndexCatalogue=Entire%20Site&SearchQuery=Sangharakshita/
    WHo endorsed the use of Sangharakshita’s teachings for school use and when?

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  72. The police take cases of sexual assault on men very seriously. http://www.norfolk.police.uk/safetyadvice/rapetimetostop/malerape.aspx

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  73. The joy and fascination of Buddhism … followed by sex abuse and cover ups …. Similarities with FWBO / Triratna / The Buddhist Centre: https://m.youtube.com/watch?autoplay=1&v=yWhIivvmMnk

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  74. And what became of the author of ‘Greek Love’, the above mentioned book much touted in FWBO inner circles by Sangharakshita and other FWBO ‘spiritual friends’? According to Wiki and many more sources ……..https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_H._Breen#Personal_life
    There are also grim and tragic links to his wife, son and daughter … grim reading …

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  75. I am totally against anyone discriminating against homosexuals, but I am also totally against any teacher / religious leader – man or woman – of any sexual orientation – using and abusing their teacher power and status to manipulate young followers into sex acts for the teacher’s pleasure. This is what Sangharakshita was able to do for a very long time. It was sexual abuse of minors. It was deceitful and manipulative of all – teenagers or older. The book Greek Love and anti-women literature was widely given to young men to read, copies were placed in men’s communities and young men were lead to believe that sex between teacher and disciples, within Kalyana Mitrata, was the way to further their spiritual development….Sangharakshita abused his position and his young disciples. Others, some still in our order, followed his lead. I totally agree with ex-Mitra’s comment above.

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  76. Sadly, the fwbo/tbc is not the only ‘buddhist’ group with a leader/ founder mired in allegations of sexual misconduct. I’m told that the founders of the Shambhala community and the Rigpa group have both had such claims made about their own sexually predatory behaviour.

    I have just read an article in the Tricycle newsletter, nearly 3 years old now, which issues an apology from the Osho Council of Rinzai-ji about such conduct from their own head: Joshu Sasaki Roshi. This has a lengthy comment from a WBO order member I met once or twice, called Jayanatha. I hope that J doesn’t mind my paraphrasing some of his comments, as it is done with some respect towards him personally. He bemoans the fact that the fwbo/tbc are highly unlikely to ever issue an apology, for the gross misconduct of Sangharakshita and some of his more extreme order followers – agreed!

    Jayanatha writes that he was specifically warned by a senior order member (possibly a so-called Preceptor) that if he didn’t curtail his tendency to question the moral integrity of his ‘teacher’, then some senior order members would reveal embarrassing facts about his own past, as retribution! To his great credit, J was undeterred by this infantile and spiteful threat. He mentions that some order members had already suffered the indignity of ‘darker’ aspects of their lives being revealed in just this manner – for criticising Sangharakshita’s despicable past behaviour.

    Those of us with long histories of involvement in the fwbo/tbc will recognise this kind of nastiness, as being an unavoidable facet of life in this irresponsible organisation. It is for this reason, that I was at pains to write about the psychological and emotional abuse, that was a conspicuous mode of conduct in the past of the fwbo/tbc; and is likely to recur: because of the denial of its past existence by Kulananda and other senior order members.

    Jayanatha writes that Sangharakshita had young men sent to his room during retreats, who would then realise that he wanted to have sex with them. According to Vishvapani, some of these lads were below the age of consent, which he declares was 21 at that time – the early 1980’s especially.

    This makes it possible for Mr Lingwood to be charged and prosecuted for crimes of the sexual abuse of minors, and I hope this will be done: if only to have him cautioned and placed on the register of sex offenders. I personally have some qualms about seeing a 90 year old man sent to prison! We will see how this pans out.

    Ex-Mitra

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  77. This story of historical sex abuse in South Wales has just hit the press today. The truth involving historical sex abuse cases is coming out all over the UK. It will also come out for victims of Sangharakshita and those who also copied his lead to abuse others in FWBO / Triratna Buddhist Order.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-34768461

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  78. I have just posted this to the comments section of Vishvapani’s piece called ‘Sexual Abuse is society’s Shadow’ on his Wise Attention website. He did not allow my post, suggesting that his order consider developing compassion for the victims of the sexual abuse perpetrated by Sangharakshita and some in his order, so he may not want this one either.

    Taken from discussion on the Dialogue Ireland BBC FWBO website page: Could you, Vishvapani, have written as you did in your letter to Norman Fischer “Some of the girl students were under the age of consent and had not always felt free to say no….” and not seen the light (or rather dark) then?

    Would you like your son to experience what some boys and young men in your order experienced? To be under the age of consent and not to feel free to say no ….?
    Would you feel that your son would be wrong to speak out if he recognised abuse as abuse and spoke out?

    How about ‘My son was under the age of consent and had not felt free to say no to his headteacher, who was a man aged 56’ Who would you seek to protect then? Your son speaking out or the 56 year old man, who used his position of power and authority as a headteacher to get him to perform sex acts? Please examine your conscience, Vishvapani.

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  79. Just play with the pronouns and gender markers but keep the master as a man. A tragic tale.

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  80. I just read those letters between Vishvapani and Norman Fischer and then looked at Vishvapani’s post called Sexual Abuse is society’s shadow on Wiseattention.org.

    Could Vishvpani have written “Some of the girl students were under the age of consent and had not always felt free to say no….” and not seen the light (or rather dark) himself?
    He seems such a genuinely kind man in contexts which do not involve sexual abuse in his own group, which refers to itself as a spiritual community.

    Let’s play around with pronouns, gender markers and the fairytale genre ….

    Let us start with a man in late middle age, who had made himself Headteacher, Master Extremis. He was so wise that he had written the whole curriculum himself, including all the materials about sex, relationships and families. He knew in his wise heart that the girls would make better progress if they did not see their normal friends and families anymore and continually warned them about the dangers of sexual abuse in such families. He cut off all links to other schools, so that his girls had the best chances to learn that sex with the teachers was the proven way to break through into educational enlightenment. The master lovingly controlled every aspect of his institution. He wrote and lectured (teaching from the front or on top) and also wrote the exam materials which might, if a girl were really up for it, mean she could progress to the higher forms and eventually start teaching others from the lower forms. The girls could even get tapes of his lectures to listen to in bed at night if he and his dedicated teachers were on the job with other students as part of their unselfish extended hours programme, dedicating themselves to educational enlightenment. The wise and mystical gentleman also designed the graduation ceremony and took his girls off for several months into wild and mountainous regions – often Spain – to make sure that they were fully immured in his teaching before they basically married him, prostrating themselves in front of him in blue dresses, vowing forever to be loyal to him and to spreading the Last Word on Education as presented by their master. He had also written all the study materials and the exam materials, so that they could not be distracted or confused by the wrong sort of education. He asked his experienced teachers, who loved him so dearly and whose bookshelves groaned under the weight of their master to make sure the girls felt that they could demonstrate progress in understanding his teaching on sex, relationships and family. He modelled his best practice methodology and asked his Deputy Head to write the staff manual on his enlightened educational breakthroughs concerning sex, relationships and family life. His staff eagerly put their master’s wisdom into practice for 20 years or so…. and all lived happily until an evil girl woke up to the fact that they had all been asleep in an induced coma …..

    Would we accept this if girls and women were the victims? No.
    Boys and young men deserve the same dignity and respect as female victims. It is THE SAME crime. Just play with the pronouns above to get the real story of Sangharakshita’s order

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  81. Vishvapani and Norman Fischer show no concern about those who were the victims here. The victims get blamed for speaking out and Mark Dunlop gets a huge verbal thump for ‘vilifying’ the order and going on to ‘publish potentially damaging material from Shabda.’ (What about all Sangharakshita’s proven to be devastatingly destructive teachings about sex, relationships and women that the order, in various guises and under various nomenclature, still continue to publish and push all over the net and all over the world via their in-house(s) media empire? This abuse could easily happen again as it slips in so manipulatively between the sheets of Sangharakshita’s teachings on paper, audio and video) What if some Sangharakshita devotee in Eastern Europe gets hold of this as the ‘right’ Dharma, as they very easily could, and begins the whole thing there? The order is, apparently, currently seeking translators to spread the Dharma as presented by Sangharakshita even further. There is even a fund for this. And after all, one pledges – vows – to spread his Dharma when one gets ordained AND be completely loyal to him … It is a very frightening situation. Those who know about this can help prevent future abuses. What if it gets presented to even a handful of the vulnerable Dalits in India, who are so grateful to Karuna Trust or the Hungarian gypsy community should a current or future order member seek to show his devotion to Sangharakshita’s teaching by imparting it as ‘authentic Sangharakshita’, which in fact it is. As Sangharakshita states in the bbc video above, many of the people who are drawn to the order are very vulnerable …… The Dalits and many Eastern European youngsters are for sure very vulnerable. Sangharakshita’s teachings on sex, women and the family sanction such abuse and offer a way into sex through the front spiritual door. Sexual predators can spot vulnerablity a long way off. If you are reading this and know something, please do something to prevent this sort of thing happening to someone else …. Let’s hope that something can be done to prevent this as the order will not; the mouthpieces of the order are more concerned with expansion than the truth; more concerned with protecting themselves and Bhante than those he harmed and those he / some of them / some of their disciples will harm unless a stop is finally found to this madness.
    In the letter exchange between Vishvapani and Norman Fischer there is no mention about concern for or caring for those who suffered / continue to suffer due to Sangharakshita’s manipulations of the Dharma at all; Norman Fischer even suggests that Vishvapani and others hold Sangharakshita close and show him they love him! (gulp) Yet again, evidence that he is protected by the community. Where was and is the protection – or even concern – for those who were spiritually and sexually manipulated by Sangharakshita? They clearly suffered and most probably still are suffering …. What about the families of these men, who Sangharakshita – oh so gently and very very ‘spiritually’ – encouraged to reject girlfriends and children in favour of his own sexual needs? Did Sangharakshita support his sexual conquests with money if it helped keep them away from their girlfriends and children, I wonder. We now know that Mark Dunlop, Prasannahsiddi, Yashomitra and ex-Mitra on this comments thread have suffered due to sexual abuses and it must be hard to come to terms to the fact that it was sexual abuse that they experienced. If you have to go to extensive counselling. including Survivors UK (which supports male victims of sexual assault and rape) you must have been / be in a very dark place. Sangharakshita put young men there. The order’s silence is keeping them there.
    At what point will the order look into reality and realise that they are all collectively responsible for the past, the present and the future?
    If anyone knows about this, they need to help those who suffer and those who may – will – fall victim to all this unless they do help. The order has refused time and time again to support the victims.
    If the order can’t or will not look beyond their own needs at the sexual abuse honestly, it may be time for someone to ask an outside agency to do so. The letter from Vishvapani to Norman Fischer admits that many young men victims were under age and that some did not feel they could say no ……

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  82. Have I missed something? Oh yes, of course …. it was all for their own spiritual development. He was HELPING them …. helping those poor boys trapped in lower evolution conditioning; he would help them free themselves from their conditioning and – Dharma forbid – thoughts about relationships with women; he would help them progress into higher spiritual realms; he would help them unblock and deepen their understanding of spiritual practice, especially kalyana mitrata aka sex with Bhante and older blokes.
    He was certainly helping himself to their bodies.

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  83. Here is the link: http://www.freebuddhistaudio.com/texts/read?num=FBA97&at=text&q=zen&p=3
    He’s the organisations communications officer now, i think.
    The Fissher reply helps feed the party line.

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  84. Re: Ex mitra on September 25th. Vishvapani answers your queries about the laws concerning consent in his letter to Norman Fisher which is posted in full, with the answer, on Free Buddhist audio, another Triratna site.

    “Some of the men were very young, even under the age of consent, which had been 21, and they hadn’t always felt free to say no. And when he moved on some of them felt dumped. Perhaps that was the worst thing, because it suggested that it hadn’t been about friendship at all in the first place”.
    He also tells Norman Fisher that in response to Yashomitra’s letter: “Some felt that what they had received from Sangharakshita was so important that anything else didn’t matter. But others were stirred up. Even though they had known all long what had happened, now their mixed feelings were disturbed”.
    The letter reads like a fairytale about a poor, misunderstood mystical figure
    “What could they say that wouldn’t involve criticising their teacher?” he asks.

    “Some of the men were very young, even under the age of consent, which had been 21, and they hadn’t always felt free to say no ….”
    Even if they were above the age of consent, the second part of that statement hits the manipulation on the head …. They hadn’t always felt free to say no.
    Sangharakshita deemed himself above the law and manipulated young men into sex for him. Or have I missed something?

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  85. Interesting, the Triratna site and Bodhipaksa have this as a link on their wildmind site. http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/12/the-zen-predator-of-the-upper-east-side/383831/ The blind spot about their own order is clearly a huge black hole. At the same time, Bodhipaksa or another FWBO / Triratna order member offer a course on ‘Letting Go Into Reality’….. If only they could and would ….

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  86. Try Show Comments on this link http://www.wildmind.org/about/fwbo

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  87. Look at the comment thread on this to see the party line still very much in operation. We had no joy in getting Bodhipaksa to accept our questions on his thread. he even compares Sangharakshita to a parent who one should make allowances for …. There are NO allowances for parents masturbating onto their charges! It is abusive. Full stop. http://www.wildmind.org/about/fwboDharmapeace and friends

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  88. In case anyone wanted any evidence about the ideology behind the manipulations …. http://www.tricycle.com/reviews/women-men-and-angels

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  89. twelve years ago or so there was an Order Convention at Wymondham College to discuss the contents and fallout from Yashos letter. There was an open discussion just male order members and men were asked to say if they had had sexual relations with Sangharakshita and how they felt about it. Quite a lot of men said that they had had sexual relations with Bhante and some said that they had benefited spiritually from this and some said that Sangharakshita had helped them extricate themselves from neurotic relationships with women. It was uncomfortable at the time for anyone to offer much of a different opinion as this was a peer group situation of men who had taken ordination and vowed to be loyal to their teacher Bhante. Sangharakshitas teaching about women and the family could make you feel you were getting good spiritual marks from the teacher for acting out what he taught as right such as keeping sexual relationships with women at the edge of your mandala and staying clear of your own kids and family. Maybe some of the gay guys actually enjoyed some of the sex but some especially the young ones may not have had any real choice in all the kalyana mitrata teaching from Sangharakshita and older order members. Some heterosexual guys got caught up in all this for sure. Sangharakshita had a lot of power over people. Still does. Some men might still believe they benefited spiritually but it is Sangharakshita who set the criteria for demonstrating spiritual benefit and progress – sexual contact with him and other older order members who were your spiritual friends. You dont have to look far to find all that stuff on line. Scary.

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  90. Kalyana mitrata get capital letters in this document, which is rather worrying in the light of some of Sangharakshita’s and Subhuti’s teaching on how the more experienced and ‘more spiritually advanced’ can pass on their views on sex to disciples (and disciples of disciples?) It is all still available in print (and the minds of some of the current disciples?) There is an interesting section on maintaining high moral standards and how to expel order members. At least the word ‘Safeguarding’ appears, but sadly only in the context of ‘Safeguarding the Order’. The document does appear to smack of continued ego-clinging as all are to remain faithful to Sangharakshita and his teaching. http://subhuti.info/sites/subhuti.info/files/pdf/A_High_Degree_of_Commonality-principles_26_March_2014.pdf

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  91. Ex-Mitra re: October 13 at 2.23pm

    Yes, I remember Prassanasiddhi and knew of his resignation. He was a pleasant young guy from New Zealand, I was told; he seemed to like having me in his study groups.
    Ex-Prassana’ was one of a line of ‘close companions’ of Sangharakshita, and was his consort for several years in the 80’s.

    The first companion for S was Terry Delamare in the 1960’s. People from that time, who knew both, said that this was a sexual relationship – despite S’s denial in his ‘Conversations with Sangharakshita…….’, work of fiction. Terry committed suicide in the very early days of the fwbo, in the late 60’s.

    Apart from Prassanasiddhi, at least 3 other consorts of S have resigned from the order: ex-Vajrakumara; ex-Uvaraj and of course ex Yasho’; and these are just the ones I know about! The obvious inference is that close friendship with Sangharakshita is seriously damaging to ones mental and emotional well-being. The point is, of course, that S liked to manipulate heterosexual youths into having sex with him, and then coldly discard them when he fancied a change. The effect of this destructive behaviour on his conquests, already confused with their sexual orientation by S’s manipulatory conduct, was understandably devastating.

    Any decent human being could understand the devastation S’s behaviour would cause – except the hard core of his ‘order’. They have lived in S’s self created universe for so long, that normal standards of decency are regarded as ‘part of the LOWER evolution’!

    Vishvapani was a friend of Yashomitra in the early 80’s in Croydon, and later at a London centre. I have read a piece written by Vishvapani , in which he explains that Ex-Yasho’ had told him of the story of his ‘seduction’ by Sangharakshita and his friend order member X, some 10 years before ex-Yasho’s letter was written: ie, in around 1993.

    This confirms the veracity of Ex-Yasho’s story: after all, why would Yasho tell such a dangerous tale of the sexual misconduct of his teacher at a time, early 1990’s, when he was a committed and respected senior order member; and then repeat the same story 10 years later, when he was going through a personal crisis.

    Yet Sangharakshita’s clear intention, in claiming he has no recollection of his sexual relationship with Ex-Yasho, was to cast doubt on the allegation. Vishvapani has effectively proved that there can be no doubt: ex-Yasho’ was telling the truth, and Sangharakshita has degraded himself into telling a lie – let’s not beat about the bush here!

    I rest my case.

    Ex-Mitra

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  92. As Vishvapani, a senior FWBO / Triratna order member, who often presents the Thought For The Day on BBC Radio 4 is not willing to accept the 8 points I outlined above on October 13th on his comments thread, I will put his thoughts on teacher-student or rather Bhante – student relations here: http://www.wiseattention.org/3511-2/

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  93. Ex-MItra and others: Have you seen this resignation letter? It indicates the pressures that a young heterosexual man was put under to give up heterosexuality at the hands of Bhante Sangharakshita Lingwood for ‘the sake of the Dharma’. It is tragic that he lost his family because of his spiritual hero’s manipulations and deceit. Sangharakshita clearly got off (literally!) on young heterosexual men. They are not to blame for this. He was ‘teaching’ them for their own good and they believed in the goodness of their spiritual guide. They are not responsible for this. He is. http://triratna-news.blogspot.co.uk/2010/07/sid-and-his-trousers.html

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  94. Re: FWBO / TRIRATNA
    1. With or without a capital T, Bhante, which means teacher and venerable sir / Sangharakshita, which some scholars translate as ‘protected by the community’, was and is the teacher / The Teacher, the head and lead spiritual guide, tutor and mentor of a religious order, with his order members being apparently ‘less spiritually advanced’ than him, according to their ranking in his spiritual hierarchy.
    2. OMs continue to be deferential to him in terms of venerating him in word, nomenclature, action, symbol and semiotics. He appears on the refuge tree, OMs and others prostrate themselves at a shrine with his image on and they chant the white tara especially created for him. There can never have been any sense of ‘we are equal / level’. Those in the order practise Buddhism crucially AS PRESENTED BY SANGHARAKSHITA. He is more than ‘above’ anyone else in terms of power and status in this self-created hierarchy.
    3. The ‘spiritual curriculum’ that he imparted to his much younger male order members was that homosexual contact with men, particularly older order members with younger ones, would deepen their spiritual awareness and spiritual practice aka kalyana mitrata. It also included encouraging heterosexual men into bed with him – seemingly for their own spiritual good – and keeping them as far away from ‘dangerous’ heterosexual relationships and their families as much as possible. He exploited their deep connection to him as their spiritual leader. How was an eager and enthusiastic, a spiritually aspiring young man, moved so forcibly by the Dharma able to work out what was real Buddhism and what were Sangharakshita’s own additions / spin into the ‘spiritual curriculum’ that Sangharakshita / Bhante / Dennis Lingwood ultimately benefited from himself? Sangharakshita was not open about his sexual orientation, as Subhuti points out in ‘Conversations with Bhante’, and blaming a disciple for not understanding that Sangharakshit was gay / homosexual all along is unskillful. Sangharakshita should not have spiritually seduced and exploited any of his disciples into bed with him. Full stop.
    4. The mouthpieces of Sangharakshita’s order continue to support Sangharakshita and are not able to see that 3. is the problem. Some of the heterosexual men, who were ‘had’ by Sangharakshita eventually saw the manipulation and abuse for what it is, even if they were so immured in his ideology at the time that they could not see it for what it was. Time, distance and discussing things with those outside the order has given them the strength to speak up as themselves rather than as someone under the influence of charismatic and ultra ‘nice’ Sangharakshita.
    5. Sangharakshita’s ‘spiritual curriculum’ imparted that sex between men was to be be explored and there were, in fact there are still no safeguards in place to prevent the long term damage caused by his sexual / spiritual curriculum, which is still in print. Single sex activities were set up, according to Subhuti, to stop sexual tensions in a group. Single sex isolation led to this abuse. Isolating mitras and OMs from their friends and families as long and as often as possible is still very much on the Triratna agenda e.g. 7 weeks if you are involved in collecting money for an appeal.
    6. Sangharakshita and the order have never apologised to those he misused and manipulated. Until that happens the victims and the order cannot heal. If anything, Sangharakshita has simply said (Conversations with Bhante) that he had a very enjoyable time having lots of sex with lots of his disciples, that his body is amazingly receptive to orgasmic pleasure and that sex was ‘no big deal’. He has openly admitted to having had sex with his students and cannot see that this is completely unethical a) as a teacher and b) because the sex acts he encouraged were actually part of his own invented spiritual curriculum.
    7. There are very clear similarities with this case: http://www.sussex.police.uk/whats-happening/latest/news-stories/2015/09/08/retired-bishop-admits-indecency-offences
    8. I suggest that the order move first to apologise for the abuses of the past, even if Sangharakshita won’t. The police are more than interested in cases like this and there will be no hiding place for anyone in the order if the interest leads to the truth.

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  95. Dear DP re: Anonomous October 5 at 2.30pm

    I was never a member of Sangharakshita’s order. I was officially a ‘going for refuge mitra’; I opted out of the

    ordination process due to ill-treatment at the hands of members of the order. I was not the only one.
    I have written at length about my experiences and history in the fwbo/tbc in the document ‘inside the cult of

    sangharakshita its formative years’, which you can find on another webpage of Dialogue Ireland – try a search using

    this title.
    Since leaving – or being ‘frozen out’- of the fwbo/tbc, I have been affiliated to the Vipassana Trust; hence my

    contacts with members of the order, or mitras (more committed workers for fwbo/tbc services and businesses), are few

    and far between. I sometimes contact them for imformation – although as you hint at, these contacts are a bit

    awkward for both parties, and so rare. Please read my commentary for much revealing info’ about Sangharakshita’s

    behaviour and organisation – just a bit of publicity for my efforts!

    Best Wishes: Ex-Mitra

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  96. And there are clear similarities with this case … Manipulated ‘with a cloak of spirituality’. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34460481

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  97. Actually, it is far more than likely that the order member, who locked Yoshamitra in the room and raped him (i.e. it was planned and premeditated e.g. use of key or lock to the room, the victim did not give consent to sex taking place plus victim was in a locked room and was ideologically / spiritually groomed / shocked into not resisting) will have continued to prey on young men. He may have joined a different Buddhist group or worked with young men in some way with the ‘Buddhist’ guise actually protecting him from scrutiny as a very convenient ‘cover’. He will, I think, have found some way to ”get’ young men. How old might he be now? Safeguarding protections are still quite recent. The police are now willing to look at cases of historical sexual abuse of women and men. Ex-Yoshamitra’s description above shows his attacker’s predatory and frightening ways. I would not be surprised to find an abuse trail for this man. Having been protected by the order by simply moving him on, this man will most likely have continued to prey on vulnerable young men in some other organisation / way here or abroad. Recent arrests of catholic priests, who were ‘moved on’ attest to this type of predator and the protection given to them by a religious order. Male rape / sexual assault is only now getting the attention it deserves. It has been a crime too easy to get away with for too long. Sangharakshita then went on to use the young man himself for HIS own sexual gratification. He USED the young man, who turned to him for help. Once rendered even more vulnerable by the first assault, Yoshamitra, still olnly 17, was easy to prey on and Sangharaksita’s own ideology, still available in print, promoted such abuse as kalyana mitrita. It is NOT Yoshamitra’s fault that he fell victim to any of this. Those who sexually assaulted him ARE to blame however long ago it was.

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  98. Dear ex-Mitra: How did you manage to leave the order after twenty years of involvement? What stages did you go through to finally get out? Do you still have any contact to former ‘friends’ and if so, how easy is this for them / you? Wishing you very well. DP

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  99. The ultimate aim of those in the order is to spread the Dharma crucially ‘as presented by Sangharakshita’ including in India and via Karuna Trust. It is interesting to see how the reader is seduced into accepting group control of one’s working AND free time as the most effective spiritual practice according to Sangharakshita even whilst doing door to door collections. There are resonances with other forms of seduction. On the trust’s website, the extent of it actual connection to FWBO / Triratna is played down. Why? http://www.appeals.karuna.org/the-experience.html

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  100. I am not 100% sure of the identity of the order member who ‘seduced’ ex-Yashomitra in 1980. I have reason to believe it may well be an individual who left the order a few years after ex-Yasho’s letter was made public. This is just based on my knowledge of the behaviour of friends of Sangharakshita – not nearly enough for proof.
    Whoever it was committed a serious criminal offence: I believe the age of consent in Britain at the time was 18: for gay sexual encounters ( I tried to check this on the internet with no luck; anyone know for sure?) Ex- Yasho’ had just turned 17 at the time of the ‘assault’ – from his account – so this individual could still be prosecuted!
    What I find most disturbing, is that hardliners in the order, including Sangharakshita and Subhuti, seem to feel no remorse for the harm they did to people by promoting extreme ideas and modes of conduct. Sangharakshita was pressured into giving a half-hearted, ‘sorry if ….’ general apology, which convinced only his supporters. Has he apologised to the individuals themselves – I think not.
    Other hardliners, took the view that anyone who resisted gay sexual advances, or ‘feedback’ abuse, was ’emotionally blocked’ and ‘unreceptive’ to the order. Although this was in the past it could all happen again, because the order has consistently lied about the more sordid details of the past of the fwbo/tbc. I have never heard of Bodhipaska, but his attitude seems similar to those I encountered amongst order hardliners in the past – frightening really!
    Ex-Yasho’ himself never harmed anyone, and was a good, helpful and hardworking member of the order – one of the best I met during my 20+ years of intermittent involvement.
    Sangharakshita is now 90 years old; the bulk of the order, I imagine, will support him for the few years he has left. After he dies, they will attempt to reinvent themselves without his endless, unhelpful interference. How, or if, this will work can only really be guessed at by the upper echelons of the order. As I pointed out in my commentary, it is very difficult, emotionally, for people to leave the order; so supporting sangharakshita is a necessary default position to take.

    Ex-Mitra

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  101. It is very damning that those who are the victims of abuse and indeed rape are being blamed by ordained members such as Bodhipaska, whose real name I do not know, whilst perpetrators including Sangharachitta i.e. Dennis Lingwood are still being protected and bowed down to. It is shocking to those capable of thought and compassion when reading ex-Yoshamitra’s letter of resignation to realise that he was groomed and then raped, whilst still a school boy, during his first visit to Padmaloka and subsequently used as a sexual partner by Lingwood, using Lingwood’s version of the spiritual path as inducement. Not resisting a sexual advance is not the same as consenting; Being locked on a room and ‘done’, following grooming via literature and FWBO (new name Triratna) ‘befriending’ IS rape. Male rape needs to be taken as seriously as female rape. Historical sexual assault / rape is as serious as recent sexual assault / rape and it is good that cases of historical abuse by charismatic figures and/ or religious ‘leaders’ are now coming out into the open. Who is the man who locked Yoshamitra in the room at Padmaloka? Why do the order continue to protect Bhante, who has misused his teacher position so flagrantly to abuse young men and wreck many lives and families?

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  102. Kulananda’s assertion (see: letter to Guardian @ http://www.ex-cult.org/fwbo/Guardian.htm ) that unethical behaviour, specifically sexual, psychological and emotional abuse, only happened at one centre – ie, the Croydon centre – is blatantly untrue. I attracted the unwanted sexual attentions of same sex members of Sangharakshita’s order at another community/centre in 1978; and I and other mitras (meaning more committed fwbo/tbc followers and often workers) were sometimes brutally abused, psychologically and emotionally, at the same centre – far from Croydon – in the mid-1980’s.
    In fact, the practice of bullying people, with aggressive, hostile, and often wildly inaccurate criticism, was adopted by many order members as a policy in the 1980’s: to prepare mitras for ordination into Sangharakshita’s order. It was given the euphemistic name of ‘feedback’ or ‘fierce friendship’. I, and other mitras who had asked for ordination, were viciously and relentlessly subjected to this kind of abuse – the purpose? To make us ‘more receptive to the order’ and thus ‘suitable candidates for ordination’! Unbelievably, this was the explanation given to me by at least one order member; I emphasise again: not at the Croydon centre.
    Sangharakshita, and his chief disciple Subhuti, knew that this behaviour was going on – but did nothing to stop, or monitor, it. Indeed they quietly supported and approved of it.
    I still suffer from ‘trust issues’, as a painful legacy of the ill-treatment I received at the hands of some members of Sangharakshita’s order. As ex-Yashomitra, in his now famous open letter pointed out: ‘Many people were damaged as a result of the way things were’; I know from past conversation that this was part of what he meant.
    The fact that Sangharakshita’s order has never admitted that this sort of behaviour was commonplace, throughout UK fwbo/tbc centres, makes it much more likely that a new generation of order members, bearing an extreme agenda based on past procedures, will inaugurate a new wave of bullying and abuse, at some near future time. Those who do not learn from history …..
    Please look elsewhere for classes and courses in Buddhism/meditation. Do not risk your mental and emotional wellbeing with Sangharakshita’s dangerous and irresponsible ‘order’.
    A former veteran fwbo mitra

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  103. Guácala.

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  104. It is of note that Lama Thubten Yeshe ordained an Italian hermaphrodite in the 1980s as a monk. At the time he said that, in Tibet, when people were born with ‘incomplete organs’ (as the Tibetans refer to such occurrences) special ceremonies were performed, ceremonies which led to those of indeterminate sex developing complete organs of whichever sex was deemed more appropriate. This strikes me as lot less painful than what Jivaka had to endure.
    One wonders whether S’ unwillingness to ordain Jivaka was because he knew, even at that time, that his own ordination was a sham (as he was to admit decades later) and that he was therefore unqualified to become involved in the actual proceedings. Either way, his promise not to expose J and subsequent decision tot totally contradict himself and do the opposite is a clear indication of the awful character of this egotistic abuser of the Buddhist faith and human beings

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  105. Google:” glbtg Michael Dillon in India.”An extract from Pagan Kennedy ‘s book:”The first man- made man”.published by Bloomsbury 2007.Dillon, an orphan from aristocracy ,had become the first person ever to undergo a medical operation from female to male.Harassed by tabloids,Dillon ,a navy surgeon,had fled to india because he had heard of a monastery run by an Englishman.He guessed it was a place where you could start a new life.During their stay together,Dillon confided to Sangharakshita about his operation.S.promised never to repeat such confidences.Dillon writes”I trusted him because he was both a fellow English man and a monk.Sangharakshita assigned him chores;Dillon became his secretary.Even though he had prestigious degrees he performed the menial work without complaint and regarded him as his guru.Sangharakshita expected him yo obey orders, eat whatever he was served and sleep where he was given a bedroll.
    The Theravadans had refused to ordain him, because of his “third sex”.A Tibetan Rinpoche had agreed .Dillon asked Sangharakshita to translate for the ceremony.Sangharakshita fired back a letter in triplicate to the Rinpoche and other leaders in Sarnath.the letter revealed Jivaka’s real name, details of the sex change and many fake accusations;the Rinpoche handed Dillon the letter and explained that the ordination was off., too politically dangerous now;Through professor Guenther’s help,Dillon managed a meeting with the prince of Ladakh;”the prince gave me a look of compassion I will never forget”He assured him that one day he could be ordained as a full- fledged monk.He joined Rinzon’s monastery where he experienced happiness for the first time.He published “the life of Milarepa under his monk name Lopzang Jivaka.

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  106. Apparently, he was suspicious of Dillon, who lived in Kalimpong at the same time. While he did allow him to write about Ambedkar for the maha Bodhi Journal while he edited it (see the FWBO Files page ‘Sangharakshita and Ambedkar’-perhaps only doing so to undermine Amb without beign directly seen to do so), he is said to have treated him as a little strange and to have kept him at a distance. Perhaps it was Dillons indeterminate sexual status that S found troubling; he refused to grant him ordination(although, he could not have done so, since he himself did not receive ordination so perhaps it was this that made S uncomfortable) Havent seen the Fisher thing but that S should treat others with contempt is hardly surprising-it seems to be have been his normal modus operandi for most of his sick and perverse life

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  107. When Sangharakshita dies, the myth of the “wise,enigmatic man” will develop,from Dennis,to Urgyen, to Rinpoche.(they tried that one some time ago, but obviously,it did not work out)
    Witnesses of his past also disappear.Who knows these days how he conducted himself with Michael Dillon, writer of the life of Milarepa under the name Lobzang Jivaka.An article appeared in theTricycle review summer 2007 issue,,quickly reinterpreted by WBO/TBC but republished on Rev Danny Fisher dite on june 13 2009.It shows the real face of Sangharakshita.

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  108. Dominique

    The central government runs a department which oversees the activities in all schools nationally. Unfortunately, the schools themselves are answerable only to the local government offices and sometimes, as in all provinces, there is little connection at national and local levels. This discrepancy allows for proven perpetrators of sexual abuse to continue their work, even where the proof has been shown at national and local levels. What it boils down to is, neither local nor national government departments want to admit to having made mistakes.

    The FWBO placed MASSIVE emphasis on gaining favour at national and local levels throughout the 70s and 80s. As a result, local and national advisors employed them. Now, in the subsequent melee, no one seems willing to admit their mistakes BECAUSE OF PARTY POLITICS

    The good news is, after the FWBO Files, the FWBO have become so famous/infamous that people are becoming very wary of them (thats why, for instance, less men than women go to their classes nowadays-theyre frightened of getting abused!) However, because of the OLD Boys Network, the power games continue, and will DO SO UNTIL SANGHARAKSHITA DIES Then, wait for the blood on the carpet!! THE KNIVES ARE ALREADY OUT

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  109. How can Triratna be allowed there?

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  110. TBC/FWO but also many businesses such as Windhorse trading, Windhorse travels, Evolution shops,Wild mind etc etc.The system has not changed since the seventies:employ idealisticyoung people eager to be accepted in the community for less than minimum wage, make huge profit while declaring yourself a charity by reinvesting the profits in properties, trading abroad and salaries for ordained members who are thus bound to stay and follow the ideology of the organisation now controlled by a “College of preceptors”, basically senior ordained members all related somehow, Srimala, her brother in charge of India, her ex husband Sona and her lover Subhuti, Sangharakshita’s right hand.
    Clear Vision is another business selling photos, audio tapes and videos online.For 3 pounds, while an automatic button advises you to donate another 10 pounds, you can purchase a photo of Sangharakshita’s mother in her kitchen..I thought family was the source of all evils according to him.Sangharakshita in swimming trunks on the beach with young men, including one he abused.
    Clear Vision have special links with schools in which they teach children;Can anyone explain to me how the Education Ministry in Manchester can allow this?
    Sangharakshita is banned from India for sexual abuse;How can h

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  111. http://vajratool.wordpress.com/2010/08/24/new-sites-concerning-the-triratna-buddhist-community/
    Dear Mahamati,

    I am writing to ask you to withdraw my name from the Order list, etc. As I expect you know I have had nothing to do with WBO/TBC activities for well over a decade now, and minimal involvement for some time before that, and I wish to make it clear that this position is a matter of choice rather than forgetfulness on my part. I have regarded myself as no longer a part of ‘the Order’ for a long time and it is now probably overdue for me to make this absolutely clear to all concerned.

    My decision to do this is, amongst other things, connected with the subject of various materials now in the public domain, most notably the self-deceiving document “Conversations with Bhante”, and the character of the collective response over the years to the issues that are raised therein. While I fully accept the well-meaning and good faith of members of the WBO/TBC, there is also a collective self-deception at work in connection with certain past events and present attitudes which I regard as deleterious to the welfare of all those involved, past and present. I would summarise my concerns as being focused in the areas of sexual misconduct, inadequate boundaries and cultic or controlling group behaviours, compounded by the lack of informed and truly moral leadership on how the Order should understand and respond to these problems, as shown for example by your and Subhuti’s rapturous endorsement of “Conversations…”. It is particularly damning that no-one addresses the crucial factor of the breach of fiduciary duty and teacher-disciple boundaries. Everyone inside the WBO/TBC, it seems, is engaged in denial of how destructive such behaviour can be and has been.

    I note in a recent document that Sangharakshita laments that a resigning member does not write to him as his preceptor. He clearly does not understand that where he has ‘cashed in’ his spiritual status for personal sexual gratification, no obligation remains on the part of the ordinand.

    I have written about aspects of all these issues at some length but here is not the place in which to go into further detail. I do understand that many members believe (or is it hope?) that by remaining uncritical of Sangharakshita’s sexual misconduct and other aspects of TBC/WBO behaviour they are exhibiting a kind of spiritual strength. Unfortunately this is not the case, and they are merely exhibiting their indifference to the moral issues raised in these areas, and clinging cravenly to the identities given by their often lengthy membership of the TBC/WBO.

    I hope you are able and willing to reflect on the truth of what I have written.

    With my best wishes,

    Andrew Skilton (ex-Sthiramati)

    I would be most grateful if you would publish this letter in Shabda so that other members of the WBO/TBC are unambiguously informed of my

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  112. http://nicklbc.wordpress.com/

    This page is about the London Buddhist Centre, which is also an FWBO/TBMSG centre. reading it, the parallels between Dublin and London,as well as the plces mentioned in the program are obvious. If anybody wants to know what institutionalised abuse looks like, look no further!

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  113. Thank you Dominique for sharing this. The FWBO (who have now changed their name to TBMSG because of all the bad publicity on the internet around the FWBO name) are still in denial about this and, despite claiming to have been open about things, still try to hide away behind lame excuses concerning the 60s and social mores. The reality, as you say, is one of suicides, widespread psychological damage and broken lives. The games continue as we speak, as more and more older members resign and speak out. Your contribution confrims everything critics have said. Hopefully we will reach a tipping point at some stage and people will realize that, if the roots are rotten, the whole tree must be poisonous

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  114. It would be hilarious if it was not a tragedy.Young people have committed suicide, others had to battle depression and had to have long psychotherapy after having been sexually abused by Sangharakshita.
    I was one of the first women to be drawn to the FWBO in the seventies,looking for spirituality and answers to life.I was vulnerable, idealistic,rebellious.Sangharakshita presented the vision of a new society, based apparently on friendship,loving kindness, refusal of material consumerism.He was skilled at convincing young people, that the Buddhist path meant leaving behind the old model of family life to live in single-sex communities,abandon our current jobs and set up “right businesses” in fact working undeclared for peanuts while collecting funds for the FWBO.I was a school teacher in France.I left everything to live in a women’s community with a one year old child.I was and witnessed other men and women being bullied by the top order members .I lived in a squat .I was left in a room with a leaking roof while the men order members were the only ones allowed to stay in the newly renovated buildings at the fire station in London.A lot of members,including my “preceptors” left the order when faced with Sangharakshita’s coercing young men into sharing his bed at Padmaloka and imposing sex on them.During my first retreat in Holland, a friend of mine , a seventeen years old boy who had hitchhiked with me from France ,had to leave as Sangharakshita was becoming too interested in him.It took me years to break the denial that this organisation had nothing to do with real Buddhism.It is only through meeting an authentic teacher and getting married that I realised what I had put myself and my child throught hat these single sex communities were only a pretext for the sexual gratification of a man who is now planning his way out, looking for a 1.5 million pound property for sale.

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  115. Interesting-If you google FWBO and ‘abuse’ this newly posted video appears at No 5!! Popular already DI!!And after only 24 hours!

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  116. Well done DI for getting this info posted. The abuse that the program refers to was subsequently found to be far more widespread.AFAIK, the same ideas were still being promoted as late as the middle 90s, at least in a homosexual context. Your briefing document on the Dublin Buddhist Centre would seem to indicate that similar ideas to those used by FWBO seniors to incite male to male sexual abuse, were used in Dublin to facilitate male to female sexual abuse, where such abuse is based on a power imbalance between teacher and student. Perhaps here would be the place for those with more recent experience of FWBO (or TBMSG) as they are now called to post their experiences

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