Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 3 Final Report: The nail: Br

The impulse to believe the absurd when presented with the unknowable is called religion. Whether this is wise or unwise is the domain of doctrine. Once you understand someone's doctrine, you understand their rationale for believing the absurd. At that point, it may no longer seem absurd. You can get to both sides of this conondrum from here.

Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 3 Final Report: The nail: Br

Postby admin » Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:07 am

Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 3 Final Report: The nail: Bringing things to a clear point
A 2-month Initiative To Bring Activating Healing Light To Sexualized Violence At The Core Of The Shambhala Buddhist Community

by Andrea M. Winn, MEd, MCS
With A New Investigation Memo From Carol Merchasin, J.D. Re: Alleged Sexual Assaults by Ösel Rangdröl Mukpo (aka Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche)
August 23, 2018

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This report is dedicated to inspiring a renewed Shambhala community that addresses harms and creates space for tenderness and goodness to flourish

Table of Contents:

• Welcome
• Is BPS a white woman initiative?
• The Wickwire Holm Investigation
• An Olive Branch Initiative
• Shambhala teaching on corrupt leadership
• The Acharya/Shastri system: Can good fruit grow from a rotten seed?
• What is a sexual predator?
• Who else is involved in these alleged crimes?
• The leaders involved in Ann's story
• The leader who allegedly raped Keith
• Other leaders
• More women's stories of Ösel Rangdröl Mukpo, aka Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche
• Statement on Complicity
• Statement on early poor behavior of the Sakyong
• What can Shambhala communities do for survivors?
• A lama's advice for dealing with images and visualizing your guru when your guru has allegedly committed crimes
• The Shambhala community must take responsibility for the future of the community
• The Buddhist Project Sunshine discussion group
• Buddhist Project Sunshine needs your support
• Concluding Wishes
• Acknowledgement And Gratitude To The Abuse Survivors
• Appendix 1: BPS 3-month organizational start up budget
• Appendix 2: Memo of New Findings of Buddhist Project Sunshine's Preliminary Investigation Into the Clergy Sexual Misconduct of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche - Carol Merchasin, J.D

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Andrea Winn

I am a Buddhist social activist who has been working to provide leadership for the *** least painful path *** forward for our community’s healing and getting to the other side of a complex and widespread situation of harm. I want the Shambhala community to make it through this and re-emerge as the sane, kind and beautiful Buddhist community that I know we all want....

Trungpa Rinpoche is my guru. When I first learned last December of his cocaine addiction and his abuse of women and animals, my world was rocked! ... For me the key has been holding space for my love, admiration and gratitude for Trungpa Rinpoche while deeply holding space for taking in the atrocities and betrayal. I say "deeply holding space" because trauma is a deep experience, and a special quality of holding needs to happen for the traumatized parts of ourselves to heal with integrity....

The objective of the group in light of the Phase 3 report is to provide comfort and support as the community grieves and discerns positive steps forward....

I believe the Shambhala community is particularly skilled in designing policies. We are about creating enlightened society....

I believe that given time and given some space free of corrupt leadership, the great minds and hearts within Shambhala can and will explore models of governance that resonate with core Shambhala values. Within such a wisdom womb space ...

Many of us have taken samaya, and this is a serious and deep vow to all of our vajra brothers and sisters. Many of us also feel a tremendous loyalty and dedication to fulfilling Trungpa Rinpoche’s vision, and now also the vision of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. Underlying all of this is a deep sense of commitment that we wish to live out. Part of this commitment is to be concerned about our community....

I was sexually abused as a child by multiple perpetrators in our community. When I was a young adult, I spoke up about the community’s sexual abuse problem and was demonized by my local Shambhala center, ostracized and forced to leave. The shocking truth is that almost all of the young people in my age group were sexually harassed and/or sexually abused. I don't know the statistics on the generations of children after mine. What I do know is that many of us have left the community, and for those who have stayed, their voices have been unheard. Beyond child sexual abuse, women continue to be abused in relationships with community leaders and by their sanghas....

This one-year vision was to gather a powerful group of concerned citizens to protect the integrity of the Shambhala lineage. We will do this through influencing the Shambhala community to acknowledge and repair past abuse of women and children in the community, and integrate new values that honour tenderness, vulnerability and other strengths typically associated with the feminine....

We are fiercely loyal to the vision of the Shambhala Teachings...

We work to create safety and stability in our own minds and in community through practicing Shamatha daily...

We are developing a contemplative spiritual framework for creating community change that is in alignment with Shambhala values....

There is a pattern that I personally experienced, and many women experienced, of being fiercely loyal to this community and taking every step imaginable to get support from community leaders. With the lack of responsiveness, for many of us, the only sane response was to make the heart breaking decision to leave the community. It is not only the worst imaginable decision to have to make, but it is confounded by deep questions about breaking samaya for those of us who entered the Vajrayana path in Shambhala....

There is a deep psychological challenge to stay in emotional connection with a community in which you were abused and the community either responded with lack of care, or worse, further abuse....

We are actively seeking written submissions from survivors of abuse within the Shambhala community to be part of this abuse awareness campaign in 2018....This phase of the work is about raising awareness. This is not about accusing an individual. Creating structures for justice will follow, and that will be the right time to name the abusers....

Submissions are Anonymous: no names and no historical features that reveal identities; Your Story – written with love and self-respect ...

We presented the findings to Shambhala International's mediator, Kathleen Franco, on May 24th, with our direct call for the Kalapa Council to hire a third-party neutral investigator to conduct a full investigation into the allegations of Sakyong Mipham's sexual assaults and sexual misconduct.

-- Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 3 Final Report, by Andrea M. Winn, MEd, MCS


level 2
Chaktsen
25 days ago
Actually, what you say is 100 percent true, the former sangyum you mention is extremely brave and sincere because she tells the truth about her own story and does so with complete honesty. She steps out and is willing to be genuine again and again. She has amazing courage and integrity. Andrea Winn cannot say the same, she uses other's stories to puff her ego and appear genuinely to be on the side of survivors, but has a huge way of taking credit for oh so much that she considers her accomplishments and exposures, which actually demeans the survivor's stories. No one should take credit for the pain and suffering survivors have endured. Beware of a wolf in sheep's clothing. The fact is she has a lot of the same qualities as the Sakyong, including that she uses people up, has serious issues with the truth, and even indulges in sexual harassment. If you check, it is easy to see. Check in with former volunteers of her organization, her financial reports, and survivors that have shared their stories with her only to hear versions of their stories slandered to others. It's sad that she has not yet been publicly exposed and that innocents continue to give money (that she pockets) to BPS.

level 3
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
a little information you could consider: i have a friend who experienced serious suicidal ideation recently, because of abuse by Mipham. An intervention followed, and she may be out of it. Without Andrea Winn's work, she wouldn't have been able to get out, I think. AW accomplished a lot, but may have done her own harm in the process— I didn't know any of that stuff. For people who have been helped, they don't need to know about AW's history. I am so glad my friend is alive, she means a lot to me and another suicide would have done me in.

level 4
Chaktsen
24 days ago
Equally, Andrea has caused tremendous harm to individuals that went to her as a resource. Your friend perhaps had a strength others didn't. Andrea's activity is not just in the past. She continues to slander survivors if they don't conform to her views and methods. She doesn't do so publicly but has no problem doing so in the backroom of BPS discussion groups. Did you know she has 2 backrooms to the BPS discussion groups where she discussed the personal stories of survivors, how volunteers were to respond to people and lots of slander, not to mention encouraging her volunteers to do the same? Most people don't know that and continue to take her at face value. In all honesty, your friends story was probably discussed there. It's sad. Because it means more cover up and dishonesty. Survivors usually have no idea they are being discussed in backroom.

level 5
hazulu
24 days ago
Nevertheless, Andrea Winn is the one who got the ball rolling, she almost single-handedly started a process that may well lead to the meltdown (long overdue) of this Shambhala charade. So give her some credit for that, please. And yes, she is a survivor too.

level 6
Chaktsen
24 days ago
No one does anything "Single handedly"...... Survivor stories shouldn't be her bread and butter. what she does with her own stories is up to her. What she does with other people's stories who trusted her, shouldn't be up to her. There are many factors regarding the Shambhala meltdown, never just one person's credit.

level 3
EdmundButler
24 days ago
Perhaps you could cut her some slack given her own experience with sexual abuse in Shambhala? Clearly she, like all of us, is healing. Nobody should expect perfection in anybody else, but when a frightened voice finds its courage those of us who have the liberty to listen can afford to be generous. She has almost single handedly broken open the lid on abuse in Shambhala and inspired others more than can be known, or even admitted in some cases.

You say, "If you check, it's easy to see". Well I don't see it the way you do and I'm not a moron, so where does leave your assertion? Flat, I submit. Don't shoot the messenger because the message implies an immense amount of trauma for thousands of people here, as yet still unfolding as this post reveals in my view. There are people having suicide ideation about all of this so before you shoot down Andrea human shortcomings in bravely flagging a serial sex offender posing as a Wizard, put them in your heart maybe? At the very least present evidence to back up your salacious inuendos.

Short History of Buddhist Project Sunshine

February 27, 2017 [Launch date Buddhist Project Sunshine]

Project Sunshine is a one-year project that was launched on Shambhala Day 2017 [February 27, 2017

February 15, 2018 [Phase 1 Report]

I took this 1-year project on as one lone person who cares about the health of the Shambhala community. It was more work than I ever could have imagined! This has been done with my full heart, and I am grateful that I gave myself this gift, and that it will hopefully be received as a gift to the community.

My volunteer position radically scales down today. I will continue giving 5 hours of time a week to follow ups from the project, including fielding questions and contributing to the discussion in the Facebook forum that will be offered soon. If the community gathers energy to take further action needing a project manager, we will need to raise funds for that. But for now, let's just talk!

March 24, 2018 [Go Fund Me Page created]

Buddhist Project Sunshine Go Fund Me page created March 24, 2018
https://www.gofundme.com/project-sunshine-phase-2

June 28, 2018 [Phase 2 Report]

Next steps for Buddhist Project Sunshine

I began working on Project Sunshine in January 2017. It has been over a year and a half of gruelling work. I put my heart out in this way in the hope that genuine healing can happen for the Shambhala community. I am grateful for the healing that has already begun. At the same time I have gone into personal financial debt of $37,500. Therefore, as Buddhist Project Sunshine is coming to the end of the funds raised, I am going on a semi-sabbatical as of Friday June 29th as I begin a small paid job to make money to support myself. I will continue to host the Buddhist Project Sunshine Discussion Forum through July 31st, as promised.

In light of financial uncertainty, and in the hopes that Buddhist Project Sunshine can continue, I am initiating a dialog with a number of people who contributed to Phase 2. We will explore possibilities for group leadership of the project. All decisions about the future or possible closing of the project will be announced on the Buddhist Project Sunshine community email list....

Buddhist Project Sunshine is hosting a thriving moderated discussion group, including healthy discussion threads about Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s abuses and Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche’s abuses. I (Andrea Winn) have specialized in the research and development of distance healing programs for the past 7 years. I have brought the best of what I know to designing a leading edge moderated discussion forum for anyone with a heart connection to Shambhala, so you can receive support for digesting this information and envisioning a bright future for yourself personally, and for the community. Learn more and register at: http://andreamwinn.com/offerings/projec ... ion_group/

July 31, 2018 [Buddhist Project Sunshine Discussion Forum shut down]

I will continue to host the Buddhist Project Sunshine Discussion Forum through July 31st, as promised.
http://andreamwinn.com/offerings/projec ... ion_group/

August 23, 2018 [Phase 3 Report]

Appendix 1: BPS 3-month organizational start up budget

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You can donate to Buddhist Project Sunshine at our on-going GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/project-sunshine-phase-2

***

Buddhist Project Sunshine needs your support

At the end of Phase 2 [Phase 2 Report was dated June 28, 2018], I announced I was retiring because I have been over working to achieve what we've achieved with this project, and I have gone into significant personal financial debt. However, there has been a continued need for the key role I have been playing. As well, there has been an outpouring of donations to Buddhist Project Sunshine. Two hundred and twenty three people have donated $16,564 since early April [Go Fund Me Page was created March 24, 2018], which is astounding! I am so grateful! So I have surrendered to the flow of goodness and continued my work.

I have formed and run this organization through heroic exertion and passionate focus. At this point a shift must happen, however, both for my own health and the health of BPS. We are not able to work at a scale appropriate to the needs of Shambhala's healing process without paid staff.

A member of our core leadership group did research and determined an appropriate 3-person staff structure for BPS running as a non-profit organization, with an Executive Director (myself), an Associate Director, and a Development Officer. We need an Associate Director to interview, support and manage our growing number of volunteers and a Development Officer to focus on getting charitable status and ensure our financial health through continued donations.

Over the past eight months, Shambhala International has chosen not to support Buddhist Project Sunshine in our efforts to support community healing or our investigation. Instead they have chosen to retain a separate, non-transparent investigation through Wickwire Holm and to hire An Olive Branch. It is clear that BPS will require community support outside of SI leadership to keep our work going.

I have prepared a 3-month budget with the intention of it giving us time to establish nonprofit status. The budget includes mid-range salary amounts for the three needed staff positions. I am including this 3-month budget in Appendix 1 with the hope that this work is proving meaningful enough to be supported in a more secure way. Since we must raise $47,000 in additional funds, this plan calls for seed money from major donors. We will gratefully receive emails to explore major donor relationships. I would like to speak with potential major donors personally. Please email: buddhistprojectsunshine@gmail.com .

Everyone can donate to Buddhist Project Sunshine at our on-going GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/project-sunshine-phase-2

I also feel it is important to share that by some cosmic karmic fluke, my core leadership group is unavailable for service as of this week (one is on family medical leave, another is on vacation, and another has taken a full time job). I will not have anyone answering Buddhist Project Sunshine email for the foreseeable future, so my ability to respond will undoubtedly be slow. Please be patient with our slow response for the next little while. I can assure you we will get to everyone's request as soon as possible.

***

January 17, 2019 [Andrea offers "Basic News Service" Jan. 2019 - April 2019 for additional $2,500]

BPS would like to offer a basic News Service for the winter while the staff and volunteers take time off to heal from 2018.

Why is news important?

Shambhala’s leadership seems to, unfortunately, still be covering things up. They are not sharing news that is important for the community to know.

We feel it is important for all people impacted by abuse in Shambhala to know about the three police investigations of Shambhala leaders, including Osel Mukpo, that are now open. We also feel it is important for you to have access to media articles, such as the series of articles in the Denver Post about the police investigation into Osel Mukpo.

Many Shambhalians are waiting for Shambhala’s Wickwire Holm investigation results. In the BPS Phase 3 report we detailed core problems with this investigation. The biggest problem being that according to Wickwire Holm, they will give the results of their investigation to the man who hired them: Alex Halpern. Mr. Halpern works closely for Osel Mukpo and has a conflict of interest for sharing the investigation report fully with the Interim Board. Furthermore, the Interim Board has sworn an oath of loyalty to Osel Mukpo, so this will be second layer of filtering of the investigation results before they will be shared with the community.

Carol Merchasin has some ideas for how these problems could be addressed with the Wickwire Holm investigation, and we hope to share her thoughts through the BPS communication channels.

We see BPS’s established communication channels as something of value. We hope you do too. Provided we can raise funds to run a news service, we will offer this news service over the winter. We need to raise $2,500 to offer this service January through April.

You can help ensure BPS can offer this news service by donating on our GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/project-sunshine-phase-2

***

February 4, 2019 [Buddhist Project Sunshine completed; Go Fund Me page shut down]

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$24,722 of $45,487 goal

With Buddhist Project Sunshine's mission complete, Andrea is closing her BPS social justice campaign February 4th, 2019

Without doubt, it can be said that the mission of Buddhist Project Sunshine has been accomplished at this point, and far more. The original mission was to bring healing light to the sexualized violence in Shambhala. That has happened beyond what I could ever have imagined two years ago, as in the last week the first Shambhala leader was arrested for sexually assaulting a minor and police investigations are now in progress with respect to Osel Mukpo and John Weber.

I am leaving the GofundMe campaign open until February 4th for anyone who would like to contribute to help me pay the debt I accumulated as I devoted my time and energy to BPS. My debt is $20,200. I made decisions along the way to continue to focus on BPS rather than shift my focus back to my coaching service because I personally needed the sexualized violence to be brought out into the light. I do not regret this. And now I am turning my attention to my own healing, paying my debt, and moving forward with a good life. I welcome financial help from those who feel they benefitted from my efforts. If you feel moved, you can contribute here.

I am sincerely grateful to every single person who contributed to the life changing positive work of this project.


level 4
Chaktsen
24 days ago
If only that same slack could be given to other survivors that don't ask for money, fame or a name from others suffering. It's not about perfection it is about transparency. Andrea DID NOT single handedly do anything! There were a lot of people that contributed to BPS and to making truths come out and sharing their stories. Do you know about the 2 backrooms of BPS? Ask around..... this is important. How would you feel if you were a survivor and knew that Andrea and her volunteers were discussing you behind your back and trying to decide how to best handle you? I was one of her victims, I don't need to prove anything. The pain I have endured from her negative activity is enough proof. I am not alone, ask other people that were involved in her organization and left. Chew this too: https://www.reddit.com/r/ShambhalaBuddh ... oughts_on/

Posted byu/Tsondru_Nordsin
Ex Mod/Ex Member5 months ago
Shastri Debbie McCubbin Provides Her Thoughts On Andrea Winn & Announces Intention To Step Down
Debbie McCubbin writes on Facebook

To start, I want to say clearly that I am not minimizing or challenging the important testimonies that have been publicized through Project Sunshine, and will most likely continue to surface for a while through various channels.

To the contrary -- as a result of these reports, I've chosen to step down as a Shastri for Mississauga and will be leaving the Shambhala community late this fall. (You see my previous post about stepping down by searching my name -- it's a comment under a post by Kathryn Rile for Julia Sagebien. If someone knows how to provide a link feel free to put that in the comments. ). I am incredibly appreciative and supportive of the brave people who have come forward, and hope that the Shambhala community can transform and heal through this crisis.

As I leave Shambhala, I want to offer some information that I hope will be helpful. Given that Andrea Winn and others have held Andrea up as a potential future leader or facilitator, I want to share a bit about my own experience. I was the Centre Director when Andrea left Toronto in 2002, and she also lived with me part-time for several months (currently I am not involved with Toronto, but another centre in the region, Mississauga). While the work she has done to bring these issues to light has been critical, I do feel that that shouldn't be confused with putting her into a leadership role, formal or informal.

Andrea has repeatedly mischaracterized what happened in Toronto at that time, though it's been hard to see a skillful way to raise that. Our Toronto Shambhala Centre council unanimously removed Andrea from leadership roles in 2002. There is a confidential report that was filed with the international Desung group at the time, about the reasons and the process our council went through. Andrea reporting sexual abuse was not part of that at all.

At the time Andrea did frequently share with others that she was involved in a Care and Conduct process with Shambhala International about sexual abuse when she was 16 (it was alleged to have occurred in Halifax, not Toronto); our issue was not that she shared that, but that she did it as a staff member at a Level V at great length, taking up time that was for participants. When she shared it as a participant or a colleague, there was no issue. She may believe what she is saying, as memory can be tricky; however, my memory about what happened in Toronto is supported by documents and emails from the time, as well as the recollections of other council members from that time.

From the report from that time, it is clear that the reasons for taking her out of leadership roles were her inability to work well with others; though she started out well, eventually most found her divisive, dishonest and manipulative. Some of her co-leaders in the LGBTQ group had appealed to the council to intervene, after many issues arose. In addition, her participation in the centre council as the rep for the LGBTQ group resulted in serious acrimony, after she took actions that were not agreed to by council, and then responded very aggressively when gently questioned about it. For some of these conflicts there is still an email trail preserved.

This situation caused about six months of intense suffering in our centre and many, many special council meetings as we worked through the countless issues that having her in a leadership role had created.

We did not 'kick her out of the centre' -- we took her out of two leadership roles. We eventually had to do it by email as she would not meet with the council to hear our concerns about her leadership style, despite repeated verbal and email invitations to do so. Again, this is well-documented in the report and by email trails.

As a result she chose to leave the Toronto centre. After she did leave, council members were approached by two community members who alleged additional serious and harmful misconduct on her part, that we hadn't previously known about. Neither wanted to file Care and Conduct complaints, as it seemed clear she had chosen to leave the centre; they just wanted us to know and to reinforce our decision to remove her from leadership.

So, while it is very important to support this work of transparency and change, I feel it is also important that members have this background information so that Andrea is not drawn into future Shambhala roles that would lead to more disharmony. I hope you can distinguish between my two intentions -- supporting the reporting of misconduct, while not supporting Andrea as a future leader in Shambhala.


Many of you know me and can guess how hard it is for me to post this. It's not my nature to be negative. I realize I am opening myself to criticism and part of me just wants to leave quietly! However, in my heart it doesn't feel right not to share this information about Andrea, and I feel that I am in a unique position to speak openly about this and help in a small way to create a better Shambhala for the future, even if I'm not part of it.


level 5
EdmundButler
23 days ago
So what is *your* direct experience here?

level 6
Chaktsen
3 points
23 days ago
I was a survivor that shared my story. I became a volunteer for BPS with the hope of helping fellow survivors. As a volunteer I found out about the BPS backrooms and saw that stories of survivors and what they were writing in the front room of BPS were being discussed behind the scenes. Volunteers discussed how they felt about the person, their stories and how to "handle" them this was done in a forum, private messages and in meetings. I also experienced Andrea telling volunteers how to manage people in the frontrooms. Finally, as a volunteer, I was abused directly by Andrea with her demeaning comments and aggressive requests, she even embarrassed me in front of other volunteers by making me sound low because I questioned what was happening. I began to question having a platform (backrooms as she called them) that the people in the "BPS front room" didn't know about. If survivors knew at the time that their stories were being shared on 2 other platforms behind their backs, I don't think as many people would have felt safe to share their experiences. I know I ended up feeling that way and it has caused me a lot of confusion, heartache and triggered me in many ways. There are other people that volunteered for BPS who know exactly what I am talking about. There are a lot of people that left the group because they did not feel that Andrea's method was kind.

level 7
EdmundButler
23 days ago
WOW. I'm so sorry your experience was so traumatic, in a situation where it appears you were seeking to be met with kindness, at the very least. I can only hope that you find the courage to speak your truth as a survivor, somehow, somewhere and in your own time. This last bit is paramount. You may feel, as I do, that others who don't know should be warned. It's so critical however to not attempt to warn before you feel you're ready to voice your heart.

It seems Andrea has not facilitated your voice, although it appears this was her intention. I sincerely hope you find a way to do this this, with or without the direct help of someone else.

level 8
Chaktsen
23 days ago
Thank you. I'm trying, I reached out to BPS because I thought it was a safe place. It's going to be awhile before I can do that again. I had kept my story quiet for a long time and thought finally there were others that communicated what they went through and it was similar to my experience. I am working with a therapist now one on one after the BPS fiasco, and hope that I will be able to communicate openly at some point about the abuses that I experienced while in the community. When I see Leslie Hayes speaking out, telling her truths and again and again standing up for the survivors instead of making them feel like they are something less than human I feel that there is hope for me. Leslie has never asked anyone for any money, she hasn't tried to become famous and she never uses survivor stories as a way to try and legitimize her own experiences. She's there for people. It is not the case with Andrea. I won't keep going on about it but I know that I am not the only survivor that was damaged by her.

level 9
EdmundButler
23 days ago
I think she's a very damaged person who has done a lot of healing, and feels more is required. That's purely my perception. That said, I was glad to meet Carol Merchasin via Andrea and felt they did a good thing together. It seems Carol corroborated the abuse Andrea suspected or knew was happening. That was so valuable in my view, and inspired me to publish my own story, which in turn inspired a friend to publish hers - a tale of abuse at Gampo Abbey.

I think there's so much trauma here that at times we lose sight of the benefit of being open with it - that of warning against. I don't mean to be simplistic - am I being? - and please know that I see you are in therapy and see that in itself, a;one, apart from all else and above all else as the most important thing. This was some crazy shit that went down. Don't doubt it!!

level 9
cedaro0o
23 days ago
As someone who was woken up from survivor stories, you have my deep sincere thanks. My sense was that most people who read the reports focused on Carol Merchasin's presentation of survivor stories and skipped Andrea's fluff.

I participated in the "Slack online chat forum" (Slack is the name of other online discussion tool) and witnessed on the front end the tensions you are speaking about with volunteers mentioning heated talk behind in the scenes. I wanted to share what I witnessed to corroborate your experience for others.

It is the survivor stories that are important. It is tragic that there was more pain through Andrea's process.


I wish you well in your healing. Please feel no obligation to do more than you've already done. I wish you health and happiness for your future!

level 10
Chaktsen
22 days ago
Just to say it somewhere: after my posts I received quite a number of really mean words in PMs about my speaking up about Andrea. It's kind of ironic. It's easy to make heroes and enemies, what's not easy is to be kind. I'm not lying. The BPS slack group 1-3 had a lot of poison and caused harm for people. Especially when people put their trust in the team, including in Andrea and then found out they were writing about them and their stories in closed forums without their knowledge, in the BPS backrooms. And that their private stories were shared with people they may not have wanted them shared with. If you want to make Andrea your heroine that's your choice and it has nothing to do with me. But equally, if I feel sadness and pain because of her actions, that should be ok too. We are all healing in some way and at some point, the survivors stories should become the priority and put in the forefront, not some concept of who started a communication about survivors or one single person's triumphs. Please check, there are other people out there that know exactly what I described about BPS and Andrea. There was a reason for the attrition rate of BPS support. If you want to keep supporting that organization that is your choice, but people have a right to know it is not pure in its activity and then they can decide on their own what they want to do. An organization that is suppose to be for survivors, that lies and manipulates them is probably not the best route for healing. But again, as long as people know how it functions in a transparent way, they can make their choice. I mean isn't that one of the big criticisms of Shambhala? Lack of transparency, using people and abuses? Why is it different in this scenario?

level 1
Metropolion
7 days ago
Hi Allthewholeworld and everybody!

I'm writing to you from the Southern Hemisphere. Thank you for all the work done and the healing process you've put in motion with your bodhisattva attitude and clear sensitivity. I'm writing now with answers on the detail of what happened in Chile 2002.

I've been a Shambhala practitioner since 93. I've been director, director of practice and education several times, teacher, MI, Ngöndro Instructor and all the other possible roles up to SS. So I know everybody there for a very long time. I have to say that I'm happy to feel that writing to you I'm among like minded and good heart human beings that have woken up from this sticky dream. The dream or aspiration of having a healthy good place on Earth where decency abides and makes all life flourish. But that's not the case of Shambhala and the Sakyong and of course in the Shambhala center in Santiago Chile.

I'm deeply sad, hurt and troubled on the way the "incident" in Chile has been silenced and covered up all these years. And of course I'm part of it, since as director I'm complicit in following the party line on that regards. I'm deeply ashamed for having done so and having faded out my critical intelligence.

As you may be aware of, every time we had teachers they really loooved the country, they used to say that everybody wanted to come teach here since it was so cool and pleasant. But if you looked at it deeply here, it was a place where that culture of abuse flourished without obstruction. All criticism was silenced, avoided, neglected and of course punished, with the smiley and soft Shambhala way of course, that was both brutal and cold and ad hominem. If you were not in total agreement with the right ones, one should forget about belonging to a sane "enlightened community", it becomes the best amplified version of the worse of any dysfunctional human group. The Catholic church scandals and Shambhala are twins in the way they deal with what they have created

So that's the environment, let's introduce you to the main players of the sexual assault that happened here.

The Sakyong have come invited by the actual Director Veronica Guzman, an old practitioner and also the promoters of the culture of abuse in Chile. Public talks were given with great success. The farewell dinner was held at the department where the Sakyong and his entourage was staying. That department belonged to a sangha member.

But if you want names about who was there, please ask Acharya Magaly Meneses. She was the Sakyong's translator in Chile and she was there. She was at the meeting where the sexual assault occurred (it wasn't rape since it was no penetration, if you want to have a technical clarity on it). Along with her was the actual Shastri Jaime Sepulveda and Francesca Nilo. All of them knew it all, so it's unbelievable when Meneses says publicly here in Chile that sexual abuse is something that happens in the North only, that she's talked to the victim and all is clear with no bad feelings from her side. Speaking like that is a crime, she only wants to keep her position and avoid any possible legal action against her. The same with the rest. Jaime Sepulveda was there too exchanging a row of drinks with the Sakyong. But of course he hasn't said a word in all these years and he keeps his position remaining in a convenient silence, the same with Francesca Nilo. All off them have been trying to brush things under the carpet, clenching their theets in order to pass the perfect storm that threatens to end their unchallenged positions. They want to remain alive in their positions for a better future. But things have been falling down little by little without stopping.

And don't forget Veronica Guzman, the director at the time of the sexual assault happened and actual executive director of a mindfulness institute in Santiago (http://www.mindfulness.cl). She made all the possible efforts to silence the whole situation, she's the first complicit. She created the standard that was followed later on this regard. And Julia Sagebien....oh please! She had her sexual predatory tours while in Chile. She is part of this culture because she wanted to behave like CT but her problem was that she doesn't like Mipham. That's why she was ostracized after all this. And now she speaks out loud against it! Why she didn't tell earlier? I do remember her garcon-like chauvinistic predatory behaviour here. To see her speaking as if something happens without her knowing is an insult to basic human intelligence.

These are the main actors, the players on what happened here in Chile in 2002. All of them know it all all the time. And they are part of the culture of abuse here in Chile. Their abusive actions continued later on regarding the Acharya and Shastris, they are the big part of the cultural problem Shambhala has. Here in Chile they are simply unwilling to see their long string of power and clerical abuses they have made here and to simply ask themselves if they have played a role in this catastrophe. Why? because Magaly Meneses became a close friend to the Sakyong after his visit in 2002 where she was her confident and translator. So whoever was protected by her had the protection of Shambhala International granted.

***

level 2
CachitadelBoddhi [Julia Sagebien]
3 days ago
Buenos dias Metropolion. Greetings from the Caribbean. I read your post about events in the Chilean sangha. It inspired me to write to you to suggest that you and I open up the discussion about some of the themes you explore in you post.

Three points are particularly important for me to clarify:

You bring up a very important question: why is there no further investigation on SMR's inappropriate behaviour towards 'Andrea'. You seem to imply that -- because the incident has not been mentioned since the Sunshine Report where the details of the incident were described by Ms. Merchasin, and I posted my addendum to that report published in Shambhala Facebook -- there must be some sort of cover up. However, the reality is quite different. Andrea herself felt that, as far as far as she was concerned, the issue had been laid to rest.

I suggest that you write to Carol Marchasin directly and review the process that involved several conversations between her, Andrea, and me as a 'corroborating witness.'
I also suggest you read the Facebook posting with my recollections of the Chile incident.

In my findings published last week, http://andreamwinn.com/offerings/project_sunshine, I wrote, “The allegation of a rape in Chile is just that – an allegation that is second or third hand at best. I have no means of determining whether it is true or false or whether it can even be investigated.”

Within 24 hours of the Phase II Report’s June 28th airing on the Buddhist Project Sunshine blog and on Facebook, a woman came forward to tell the story of her 2002 encounter with the Sakyong in Chile. I interviewed her several times and I interviewed a corroborating witness as well. I also interviewed a kusung who came forward and was able to corroborate certain details. Once again, I will say, as I did in my prior report, that this can only be considered a preliminary investigation. A full investigation must give the Sakyong, leaders of SI and others the opportunity to give their version of this incident.

This woman [1] alleges that the Sakyong attempted to have sex with her against her will when he came to Chile to teach in 2002. At that time, she was 30 years old. What follows are the details of her allegation and others that have been raised about this incident.

Allegation #1: The Sakyong sexually assaulted a woman while teaching in Chile in 2002.

The Sakyong invited this Chilean woman to work as an assistant cook for a dinner party on his final night in Santiago, Chile. At some point in the evening, the Sakyong invited all the staff to join the gathering, because he wanted to read some poetry. He was visibly drunk. He asked the Chilean woman to sit next to him. All of a sudden, he took her hand and dragged her to the bathroom. She said that she thought he was going to vomit and that he needed her help.

Once in the bathroom, the Sakyong locked the door and stood in front of it, blocking her exit. He groped her breasts and began trying to remove her clothes. He forced her hand to his genitals, even though she told him “no” several times. She alleges that she told him “No, I don’t want to do this.” She also told him, “I have a boyfriend.” He replied, “That doesn’t matter.” He continued to touch her, to force her to touch him and to tell her that she needed to have sex with him. After some time, in her estimation perhaps 15-20 minutes, [2] she pushed the Sakyong away from the bathroom door, unlocked it and escaped.

She immediately described the assault to the cook, who was still present. The next day, she spoke about it to a person who was traveling with the Sakyong (the Corroborating Witness). The Corroborating Witness was able to confirm that the story the Chilean woman recounted in 2002, one day after the attack, was in all relevant details, the same story the Chilean woman told me this week.

Credibility, Corroboration and Pattern of Behavior

I found this woman very credible. She reached out immediately after the incident to others, telling them the same story; her contemporaneous account to the Corroborating Witness further strengthens her credibility. The Corroborating Witness is also credible; she is a long-time Shambhala Buddhist student with no motive to lie. The Corroborating Witness’s memory of what she was told about the incident is consistent with the Chilean woman’s version.

-- Update on the Findings of Sexual Misconduct of the Sakyong (Sexual assault in Chile), by Carol Merchasin


2) You allege that my distancing myself from Shambhala is the result of the fact that I don’t like the Sakyong. Have you ever spoken to me directly or is this an impression you got from conversation you have had with many others who have not spoken to me either? Despite all the rebuff that I have experienced from SMR and from the administration for my public resistance to a path I simply no longer recognized -- I actually, love the man. I recognize all his limitations and confusions, but he is part of my ‘family’. Nevertheless, I have serious differences with him regarding the self-serving elimination of the Kagyu and Nyingma Lineages (other live teachers who hold transmission and are accomplished) from our sangha's spiritual command.

3) As per my alleged 'sexually predatory trips' -- I would like you to provide specific evidence of your claims. As an educator in academic settings and as an educator in dharma -- I consider my students absolutely off limits. I have very close women friends in Chile -– but that is all they were –- very close friends. Once during a seminary at SMC, I had a relationship with a member of the Iberoamerican sangha. I immediately recused myself as her MI and the relationship was conducted between two rather mature consenting adults. Yes -- power differentials are implied in this relationship -- but how are we even going to date across power strata? I am not sure a total ban is most productive approach. I suggest you ask those who you think I preyed upon and provide evidence that there was indeed such an abuse of authority and abrogation of duty on my part. Stylistically -- yup -- you got me. I am flamboyant, extroverted, loving and do have a certain le garcon style. That is simply who I am -- in Chile, in Havana, in Canada and everywhere else. Perhaps you are reading too much into a style? If you find this style offensive, I apologize for any unintended disturbance I may have caused you. But, in return, I request that you consider that perhaps you have a deep prejudice towards people of my style of personality and are projecting all sorts of malfeasance when there is none. Worth contemplating.

Metropolion -- we definitely need to have to our collective inappropriate behaviour outed. But making the kinds of unfounded allegations you itemized in your post -- only confuses the matter because finding the truth becomes simply a matter of 'I said -- you said' instead of a constructive collective understanding of the real dynamics that need to be changed. Please, consult with Attorney Merchasin, Andrea, and those you think I sexually preyed upon. Let me us know what you find.

In addition, should you want to enter a private conversation with me, I am also open to that. Perhaps together we can address the real harm and leave the spurious allegations of harm aside. We have enough serious and real harm to worry about.

Thank you for reading to you and all on this thread.

JS

-- Inside the Tiny Pathetic World of Sakyong Mipham, by allthewholeworld
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Re: Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 3 Final Report: The nail

Postby admin » Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:35 am

Welcome

Buddhist Project Sunshine is a grass roots initiative to bring healing light to the sexualized violence embedded within our precious Shambhala community. It is through bringing light to the truth of what has happened that we are empowered to create positive and healthy changes. The sole purpose of this work is to create the possibility for protecting our sacred lineage and re-envisioning a community that will hold, guard and birth a pure Shambhala lineage for generations to come.

I, Andrea Winn, have been one woman as a driving force behind Buddhist Project Sunshine (BPS). However, the spirit of BPS has resonated increasingly with others, and there is now a core group of people working with me. In addition, a community has gathered in the BPS discussion group, and they are connecting, sharing their grief, sharing ideas, and envisioning good ways forward. Beyond BPS, like-minded people have been publishing blogs that are bringing further clear light to the corruption that has woven its way into the fabric of our community.

As in the previous reports, I will speak from my own point of view. However, there is a wider space opening now, and I hope that others will feel a warm invitation to become part of this movement, contributing their own inspiration and desire for a just and kind Buddhist community. I want to emphasize that many are calling for a community where there is a greater presence of true feminine wisdom. This is in contrast to recent contributions from some women Acharyas which seem to serve more to lull people back into the emotionally disconnected space from which the corruption arose and distract the community from the truths which must be faced for true healing to occur.

As I have said in the past, this healing initiative is inspired by Yeshe Tsogyal.

-- Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 3 Final Report, by Andrea M. Winn, MEd, MCS


As in the Phase 2 report, my contribution is intended to be an introduction and helpful context for the findings of the ongoing investigation by Carol Merchasin. Carol is a competent and seasoned investigator doing her work in a professional and independent way to bring forward good information for the use of this community. I am serving as your Buddhist social activist/protector/healer; when I see an image of the Umbrella Mother, that is how I often feel in my role. Carol's and my roles are very different, and by bringing our work together, it has been igniting a natural evolution of positive social change. Carol and I are like a good Reese's peanut butter cup, bringing together two elements to create something far beyond the two elements.

I also see the image of a ring with a precious jewel in my mind. If Carol's information is the precious jewel, then I am attempting to fashion a good setting for that precious jewel, so it is a useful ring. I would like your reading this report to be more than an experience of “hard cold facts”. I would like this to be about a heart transformation of a precious community. I am encouraging each of you to face the difficult information you will read in Carol's memo with an open heart and take responsibility for creating a good future for yourself and the children of our community. The Shambhala teachings are so very important for the people of the contemporary world. The difficult work we are now engaging is part of a healing transformation for world communities beyond the Shambhala community, and communities well into the future.

To recap where we have come so far, in the February 15th Phase 1 report I brought to light embedded sexualized violence within the Shambhala community. In response, the Kalapa Council publicly announced 'ABHORRENT SEXUAL BEHAVIOR' by Shambhala teachers.

In the June 28th Phase 2 report a BPS collaborative team released results of a preliminary investigation into alleged sexual assaults by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, hereafter referred to by his name, Ösel Rangdröl Mukpo. The report shared clear patterns occurring in his alleged assaults.

Following the release of the Phase 2 report, another woman who alleged she was sexually assaulted by Mr. Mukpo in Chile came forward. Carol Merchasin prepared a follow up memo detailing that alleged assault which BPS published July 10, 2018. Carol suggested a neutral third party investigation into the clergy sexual misconduct of Ösel Rangdröl Mukpo as an appropriate next step.

The Shambhala community responded bravely to the information shared in the Phase 2 report. Due to community pressure, the Kalapa Council resigned en masse and Mr. Mukpo stepped back from all duties while he would be investigated. These are remarkable and heartening results in a short time, and it is due to the powerful force of truth that is now resonating within the community.

Considering Resignation

When an independent director begins to feel that there is a fundamental divide, either between the director and the rest of the board, or between the nonexecutive directors and management, he or she must think carefully about what his or her duties as a director require. If there is no reason to believe that anything illegal or unethical is happening, but rather that the differences stem from an essential disagreement on the strategy or future of the company, the director should consider whether he or she can be an effective voice on the board or if he or she no longer is serving the interests of shareholders by being a dissenting board member. While healthy dissent and discussion are essential to the functioning of an effective board, fundamental and consistent disagreement may be only frustrating and disruptive to all parties.[16] If—perhaps with the advice of counsel—the director in such circumstances concludes that it is in the company’s best interests for him to resign, it is likely that the director can and should do so amicably. Even in this context though, the director should obtain independent advice as to whether he or she has any obligation to make public disclosure of the circumstances involving his or her departure from the board.[17]

Once an independent director suspects or becomes aware of corporate malfeasance, the director’s duties, obligations and responsibilities may change. As an initial step, the director should attempt to take reasonable steps to stop any ongoing legal or ethical violations. The director should consider engaging the board in discussions with attorneys and accountants to uncover the apparent violations and figure out the steps that need to be taken by the company and the board. Many of these decisions involve legal judgments, and the directors should be able to rely on the expertise of independent counsel in making any such determinations. The directors should also take steps to provide that the board’s discoveries and actions are accurately and appropriately recorded in the board minutes.[18] If possible without exacerbating controversy, the director should try to have his or her concerns recorded consistently as the matter unfolds, to avoid any appearance or perception that the individual director, the independent directors, or the board as a whole, as applicable, might have acted inappropriately once the issue was discovered.

When a director’s attempts to investigate an apparent problem are met with stonewalling by management or other directors, or when a director’s efforts to cause the board to take action are met with intractable resistance, the director is likely to consider resignation as he or she likely will believe that his or her ability to effect change has been compromised. In such circumstances, the director should seek independent counsel experienced with board and governance matters and the applicable legal requirements; after all, as one commentator put it, “the danger of being perceived by regulators, the SEC, or a jury as one who has been drawn into wrongdoing can escalate very quickly.”[19] This is particularly true not only because a director bears responsibility for his or her own actions and those of the board until his or her resignation takes effect, but also because “it will be unusual for a resigning director not to have accrued a degree of potential culpability for the issues(s) that eventually led to resignation since these types of matters often have a long fuse but tend to start in an anodyne way.”[20] A resigning director should submit a written statement to the chairman of the board for circulation to the board and possibly to shareholders as well. When a director resigns in protest, any resignation letter to the company is required to be filed as an exhibit to the company’s Form 8-K announcing the resignation.[21]

A director faced with intractable corporate malfeasance must consider whether a noisy resignation will harm the company more than it helps. Resigning noisily is a way of calling public attention to the company’s problems—which may indeed be an effective way to bring the malfeasors to account for their actions—but also can harm the company and its various constituencies in the short- and long-term. Moreover, having resigned, the director no longer has any power to determine whether the illegal or unethical activity has in fact ceased, or to help the company recover from the effects of the purported malfeasance. The loss of a strong voice can weaken the remaining independent directors and even undermine the board’s efforts to investigate and remedy the wrongdoing. Unfortunately (from the director’s perspective), under certain circumstances, the director may have a duty to stay on the board for his or her full term if doing so may help minimize harm to the company and attendant losses to shareholders.

In both of the cases discussed above, the Delaware Chancery Court was critical of the independent directors’ decision to resign. Chancellor Strine observed: “[T]here are some circumstances in which running away does not immunize you. It in fact involves breach of duty…. If these directors are going to eventually testify that at the time that they quit they believed that the chief executive officer of the company had stolen the assets out from under the company, and they did not cause the company to … do anything, but they simply quit, I’m not sure that that’s a decision that itself is not a breach of fiduciary duty.”[22]
Similarly, Vice Chancellor Glasscock commented in a footnote in Rich v. Chong, “It may be that some of the former independent directors … attempted to fulfill their duties in good faith…. Nonetheless, even though [two of them] purported to resign in protest against mismanagement, those directors could still conceivably be liable to the stockholders for breach of fiduciary duty…. I do not prejudge the independent directors before evidence has been presented, but neither are those directors automatically exonerated because of their resignations.”[23] Both decisions found it “troubling that independent directors would abandon a troubled company to the sole control of those who have harmed the company.”[24]

In the wake of Puda Coal and Rich v. Chong, it has been suggested that a director who discovers corporate malfeasance and cannot get management to respond has a duty to sue the company on behalf of the shareholders.[25] However, a suit by a director against management or other board members of a rogue company is guaranteed to be expensive and unpleasant and is likely not covered by directors’ and officers’ insurance.[26] Another option proposed by one commentator is that a director in that situation may support legal action taken by a plaintiffs’ law firm.[27] Indeed, Chancellor Strine suggested near the end of his bench ruling that the stockholder plaintiffs and former-director defendants might actually have a commonality of interest as against the other defendants in the case and justice might be better served by joining together to bring the true malfeasors to account.[28]

In our view, it is unlikely that a litigation-related option will be the best choice for most directors, even those faced with corporate misconduct and intractable management. That said, directors in that unfortunate situation will have to consider carefully the individual circumstances and available options. Directors who have conscientiously fulfilled their duties at all times of their directorship—including with respect to the circumstances of their resignation, if they do resign—will have the benefit of the protections of the business judgment rule. Directors who prioritize their fiduciary duties to the stockholders and their personal integrity will, with the assistance of experienced legal counsel, find a path through any corporate crisis. In addition, sufficient diligence prior to accepting a directorship may permit a director to avoid the problem in its entirety.[29][/size][/b][7]

-- Can You Resign from the Board of a Troubled Company?, by David A. Katz and Laura A. McIntosh


More women came forward to me following the Phase 2 report alleging sexual assaults and pressure to give both money and property to Mr. Mukpo by Mr. Mukpo and his senior staff. I asked Carol Merchasin to continue her investigation.

Be sure to read Carol Merchasin's Memo Of Findings, with important new allegations at the end of this report.

There are important aspects to this situation that need to be looked at, and I will go through what I see as those aspects here in this report. Of particular note, when is enough enough? How do we know when a leadership system is too far gone, and when the right thing to do is to end it?

I propose that we have enough information at this point to make a decision. I place the information we have collected into the hands of the community, as ultimately it is you who will make this decision.

But first, I'd like for us to consider a question a few have had about the orientation of the leadership of Buddhist Project Sunshine.
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Re: Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 3 Final Report: The nail

Postby admin » Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:35 am

Is BPS a white woman initiative?

People have been asking, is BPS a white woman initiative? It is true that the BPS reports have been produced by Carol and myself, both white women. It is important to note that not all of the abuse survivors are white in skin color, so we are not exclusively a white woman initiative. In February 2018 I actively asked for women of color to join the leadership of BPS. That invitation is still there and will always remain because every community is stronger through inclusivity and embracing diversity.

Shambhala is a spiritual community, and I am going to assume that any spiritual person reading this report understands there are dimensions beyond this material world. We understand we have our relative reality, and there is also something beyond what we see with our physical eyes.

Last summer I attended a couple of programs with a Brazilian shaman. During the second program the shaman suddenly remarked that she saw me as a red woman dancing in flames. Although she has no knowledge of Tibetan Buddhism, when the shaman said this I felt she was seeing the fruit of my years of Vajrayogini [1] practice.

Vajrayogini’s Naked Body

As a meditational deity, Vajrayogini is seen as having a naked 16-year-old body. She is radiantly beautiful and possesses a passionate nature. Her practice teaches us, not to repress passion, but rather to relate to it in a constructive way by transforming it into wisdom. Vajrayogini’s naked body symbolizes her freedom from ordinary conceptions and appearances. She is bronze in color, symbolizing the fierce arousal of desire and indicating Vajrayogini's ability to transform passion into the realization of emptiness and compassion. Her breasts are full and aroused, showing that she herself experiences great bliss and also that she bestows the attainment of great bliss upon practitioners.

-- Reclining Vajrayogini, by tibethiddenfalls.com


Image
VAJRAYOGINI FIGHTS BACK FOR ALL WOMANHOOD!, by Tara Carreon
[Vajrayogini] These goddamned lamas sexually abused me then turned me into a cannibal! Well, I am out of here! So please don't worship the female sacrifice!


As I have said in the past, this healing initiative is inspired by Yeshe Tsogyal, in the particular form of Yumka, who is also red in colour. It would perhaps be most accurate then to say that Buddhist Project Sunshine is a Red Woman [2] initiative, and there are men, women and gender-queer folks of all skin colors who resonate with the passion and Prajna of the red dakini and are part of this movement.

After attaining enlightenment, [Yeshe Tsogyal] acted for the benefit of others. Guru Padmasambhava sent her to Nepal to free an acharya. It was a very difficult trip at that time. While she was travelling she encountered seven robbers. They planned to steal her goods. When they approached her she visualized them as deities and saw herself as giving her jewelry to them as offerings and with this attitude she did so. When the robbers heard her sweet voice and saw her beauty they planned to rape her. Out of compassion she had sexual relations with them. As a result they were freed from all their obscurations and negativities. When they realized her compassion they felt regret for their actions and apologized.

-- A Biography of Yeshe Tsogyal, medicinebuddhasangha.org


Patriarchy is a challenge across cultures, and we are coming up against it full force now in the Shambhala community. A big part of patriarchy's power is through its ability to divide people. The work I have done through Buddhist Project Sunshine has opened up greater space in Shambhala for all people to be treated better, whether they be People of Colour, people of various sexual orientations, people on the spectrum of gender identities, and all other forms of diversity. The more we can open our hearts to the diversity of human experience, the stronger we will be as a community. I believe that, and I welcome collaborative relationship with people from a wealth of cultural diversity to join in with and contribute to BPS activities in ways that feel right for them.

I would like to call attention now to some specific ways that patriarchy affects women. It divides women through isolating them and making them think their experiences are theirs alone, and no one else would understand what they have gone through. It also punishes them for speaking their experiences of oppression publicly.

Patriarchy not only divides women from each other, it also divides women from themselves, teaching them to hate sacred female processes like menstruation and menopause. It burns my soul to see how women are turned from the sacredness of being a woman as manifested through our bodies in these sacred body processes.

Patriarchy has continued its assault, even on women in Tibetan Buddhism. I have had women come to me saying they are triggered by the term, “dakini”. I have read stories about how men in the Shambhala community called girls and teenage girls "dakinis" in a sexualized way that is about male conquest of not only young female bodies but also the spirit of these girls. I am deeply saddened to hear this, and my heart goes out to everyone who has been traumatized either directly or vicariously [3] through this abusive male cooptation of the sacred dakini of Tibetan Buddhism.

In my view, the power of the dakini is the antidote to our current situation. She represents the essence of feminine wisdom. She is the ultimate mother figure. She is the source of wisdom and gives birth to awakening in the practitioner. She helps us re-member who we really are. She helps us re-connect with our inherent wisdom so we are enabled to speak truth to power. She helps us see our true allies in speaking truth, and… she helps us see those who are working to cloak the truth in murky darkness.


The notion that Vajrayana is male-oriented is a mistake.

-- Sangye Khandro, (Nancy Gay Gustafson), Western consort of Gyatrul Rinpoche.511


Nancy Gustafson ... is well aware ... what Tibetan Tantric practices and views about women are all about: that these views are profoundly male-oriented and there is absolutely no equality for women to even imagine they are on an equal footing with the lamas, their sexual guru masters, greater than kings. Or that they would dare to think this was a reciprocal relationship, with any expectations on the young women's part. They are sexual objects for the lamas, these 'great bodhisattvas,' who are doing the women a favor by having sex with them.... This is a misogynistic, sexually obsessed and very, male-oriented world view; a cult of androcentric guru-worship and these Tibetan lamas are determined to keep it that way; and expand it. Like all sexual abuse systems, they always have their female enablers by their side; thought-controlled to help them succeed....

It was once understood that sexual abusers, in abusive systems, always convince their victims that they are special and lucky; admonishing them to keep quiet about the abuse because 'others wouldn't understand.' But today, instead of this clinical understanding of sexual abuse and its operating dynamics, we have an increasing number of enabling professional westerners, with PhDs, many of them social workers, psychologists and psychotherapists, even nurses and physicians, who are either enthralled by these misogynistic Tibetan lamas and fooled, or are the deeply brain-washed members of this Tantric cult.512 Or both. Yet, they consider, and call themselves 'feminists,' teaching at our universities, in religious, psychology; anthropology, or gender studies departments and, in turn, confusing thousands of western female students.513 Some even specialize in sexual abuse, as I did.
They were purposely targeted by these lamas to be fooled. This is what the influence of Tantra does. It turns lies into the truth and the world upside down and now psychologists, influenced by these lamas, are enabling sexual abuse, too....

So, when the sexual abuse tsunami of Sogyal's public documentary was released on Canadian television, alleging the same physical and sexual abuse of another student, and it hit the mainstream news in the spring of 2011, with Sogyal's abuse now public,516 these same players: all the celebrity Tibetan lamas; their western sexual consorts and enablers; their Tantric Buddhist academic and psychologist protectors; their billionaire friends; their media outlets, that controlled the news; all of those, who had been so successful before, went into overdrive, to protect Lama Sogyal, all over the United States, France, Britain and Australia, where he has his largest presence and his largest centers. The other celebrity Tibetan lamas, with their own sexual consorts and celebrity Tantric psychologists and mindfulness meditation teachers in tow, like Dan Goleman and Sharon Salzberg, all appeared at Sogyal's Rigpa centers and gave retreats, or gave their own retreats at other centers, all praising Sogyal.517 Many wrote positive featured articles or had videos made,518 elevating Sogyal in their sanghas with pictures of his celebrity, lama pals, hugging Lama Sogyal; those who also keep sexual consorts. These lamas wrote letters of endorsement of Lama Sogyal, to be published, on his Rigpa site. Out of this collusion and damage control campaign, the brainchild, "Dakini Power," was born, with the help of a naive young journalist in Germany; Michaela Haas, smitten by Lamaism, when studying in Nepal. It not only boosted Lamaism's faux-feminism, but also her international career.519

Dakini Power: The Trojan Horse for the West

The Tibetan lamas, and their western enablers, now created, together, a massive, damage control vehicle. Not only did they bring out the five-star, female sexual abuse enablers: the sexual consorts of high lamas, the celebrity nuns of Tibetan Tantra, and even a Zen nun; but even Lama Sogyal did his part, by making his Auntie Khandro, the sexual consort of a much older, now dead lama in Tibet, suddenly elevated into being an 'extraordinary Buddhist master' and built a stupa for her at his Rigpa center.520 This 'dakini mask' killed two birds with one stone: covered up the lamas' sexual abuses, yet again, and created the possibility of new, naive female recruits being swept into Tantra by the Dakini Power books, blogs and articles; a form of procurement for the lamas, as well as a big and important part of their damage control campaign for the public to make all the Tibetan lamas, even Sogyal, a great 'feminist.' After all, it had been working for the Dalai Lama.521

Writing books and creating movements that can be marketed at new-age seminars as the new "spiritualized feminism,"522 these sexual consorts and nuns of the lamas have rationalized their own enabling of the sexual abuse, by making themselves powerful as make-believe dakinis and women of wisdom; not victims of the lamas and of their own fantasy-filled minds.

They can justify having engaged in ordinary sex with some old lama, even marrying him if they come to him with enough money, or a skill that he needs. They can pretend to themselves, to the sangha community, and to the public at large, that the lamas are "divine" and, by so doing, they bestow divinity on themselves.
Because they are given great status in these western Tibetan Buddhist sanghas for keeping their lips sealed, they rationalize the harm that was done and the harm that they are in turn doing, to young women and men, with their pretenses and cover-ups of the Tibetan lamas' institutionalized sexual abuse.

Sangye Khandro, a.k.a. Nancy Gustafson, Lama Gyatrul's translator, western wife, 'dakini wisdom woman,' and sexual abuse enabler for these Tibetan lamas, in her promotion of the false view that the "Vajrayana is not male-oriented,"523 is proof of how deep and disturbing the lama cult control is upon the sexually-used women inside these Tibetan Buddhist sanghas. As well as what a confusing influence they are having on a critical mass of western women, whom the lamas and their enablers have targeted. If not seduced into Tantra as new recruits, these naive young women will be, at the least, fooled with this "dakini" and goddess blitz into believing that Tibetan Buddhism is benign, romantic and exotic; even superior to other religions in its gender equality for women. This creates a massive wall of protection, a large circle of unwitting, female enablers for the lamas, allowing their Tantric abuse to continue, without consequences.

What must it do to these 'dakini' women, with their inflated self-worth over, time, who are now declaring themselves 'extraordinary,' like the lamas say about themselves? What might be the depression underneath; a depression that can never be confronted? These are women with no power, but the vicarious power of what their Tibetan Tantric lamas give them. They are placed in a golden cage as sirens for their lamas, singing out lies.


But, for those many more discarded, western female disciples, the less worthy sexual consorts, the ones that were not the 'chosen ones' for their harems, or as one of their wives, or as a featured dakini in the lamas' propaganda books, these other women are under great pressure in their groups to repress their own individual feelings. They must adhere to the group narrative; a narrative of idealization and denial, no matter what they are really feeling. Those feelings get buried. It is easy to understand the psychological stress that would coerce everyone to keep silent and to choose the path of least resistance in such a completely sealed milieu both inside and outside; falling instead for an idealized fantasy as a refuge. To reveal the secrets, you will go to vajra hell, be shunned by your community, which is now your whole social group and, for the dharma brats, your family, as well. Any feelings of individual hurt, or distress, must always be repressed as "ego"; that boogey-man label that represents all common sense and reason that you left outside the shrineroom door long ago, and that could have set you free....

Religious sexual abuse has always been the most difficult to address because of the delusional and rigid belief systems that keep it going. It is considered impossible to cut through, from the inside. The female enablers of the sexual abuse, those who know what Tantra and its sexual practices are about, are doubly bound. To adhere to their religious tenets, commitments, and vows of being a Vajrayana Tantric Buddhist, they must see and obey their gurus as though 'perfect living Buddhas,' whose sexual demands are 'blessings' which they must accept as a great connection with a bodhisattva, greater than a king, or else look away. The only other choice is to leave a situation and call it out. Few are yet willing to do that.

The lamas, like all expert propagandists and cult leaders, know the magic of words alone -- such as the mantra -- and the power that words hold, by being repeated, over and over, for years. "Dakini power" has become one of the lamas' newest mantras and western memes, that hopes to create the opposite of what the word purports to mean: the total disempowerment of women, on a massive scale, to gradually nail all females down.

The only science these Tibetan lamas and their enablers engage in is the science of rhetoric and propaganda. The Dalai Lama will consult both his oracle575 and his many public relations people for his next strategy and tactic campaign to keep more western women in their place. But it is getting more difficult to do, as the years go by. Dakini power is wearing thin. He is hoping his 'mindfulness meditation' will keep everyone, male and female, no longer able to judge between right and wrong. That is why it is being spread all over the West, like a virus, by these Tantric cult members, who have vowed to keep their lamas' secrets while perpetuating their world....

No group is more cult-controlled than these sexual consorts, enabling nuns, and token female tulkus of the Tibetan lamas and their Tantra, who are pushing their way into western womens' hearts, to fool them. No group is more dangerous to all ordinary women in the world, with their 'spiritualized feminism' and their gender-equality and compassion talk; a Trojan horse, created by the lamas and their enabling consorts, to weaken and disempower women's rights in western nations, and to ensure that misogyny and sexual exploitation will continue, unabated, as all the real gender-equality gains, that western women fought for, so long and hard, in western countries, will dissolve and disappear, as these lamas and their "dharma" of Tantric Buddhism gain more hold on our nations as they nail more real female energy down.

The network they have created, of so many female, sexual abuse enablers, unwitting or otherwise, particularly in the psychology, social work and psychotherapy professions, has reached national crisis proportions, but remains a hidden reason that sexual abuse in western countries is getting worse.

Until this is exposed, sexual abuse will increase all over the world, as more young women are being confused and double-binded by the masters of manipulation and their enablers: the Tibetan lamas and their hapless female protectors, these Women of Folly and Fairy Tales, not Women of Wisdom who, for perks and vicarious power, are singing out lies for their gurus and masters and making it that much harder to confront sexual abuse wherever we find it. They should be abashed and remorseful about what they are boldly promoting; not bragging in their books about how 'extraordinary' and wise they are. But these are cult members that don't apologize, even when their enabling and lying has resulted in the death of one of their own. So, it is unlikely that they will ever wake up and tell the truth.

If you want to know what is happening inside the Tibetan lamas' sanghas, it would be better not to ask the women, still inside these cult groups of massive thought-control. Ask the whistleblowers, who are free of these lamas, no longer under their cult control, and aren't willing to sell their sisters down the river, for a book deal, a throne, and a lama hat of their own. If you can find them.


-- The Dakinis and Their "Spiritualized Feminism," [EXCERPT from Enthralled: The Guru Cult of Tibetan Buddhism], by Christine A. Chandler, M.A., C.A.G.S.


May Shambhala, and greater Tibetan Buddhism, be fiercely protected by the Great Mother Dakini, and may we see the power of her benevolence through the goodness now arising in our community. Having recollected the power of the dakini, let’s explore facets of our current situation in Shambhala.

_______________

Notes:

1 A red female Tibetan Buddhist deity who is dancing in flames.

2 I would like to acknowledge with due respect Indigenous women who use the term "Red Woman" to identify their race. My use of this term is different.

3 Experiencing trauma through someone close that has been violated; for instance a father is vicariously traumatized when his daughter was raped by a community member.
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Re: Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 3 Final Report: The nail

Postby admin » Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:36 am

The Wickwire Holm Investigation

Buddhist Project Sunshine asked the Kalapa Council to initiate a neutral third-party investigation of Ösel Rangdröl Mukpo. Rather than initiate a neutral investigation, it appears they have hired a firm to collect information for them. There has been no guarantee that all findings will be shared with the community. People within Mr. Mukpo's leadership system will have control of the information and use it as they decide to use it.

Furthermore, we asked for an investigation into Ösel Rangdröl Mukpo. Instead, the Kalapa Council hired their firm to investigate all Shambhala leaders for sexual misconduct. It appears their objective is to discern whether there is a problem in the Shambhala community with sexual misconduct by leaders. We note that the Kalapa Council claimed in February of this year that there is a problem with Shambhala teachers committing ‘ABHORRENT SEXUAL BEHAVIOR’. So I ask, why is the Council spending the community’s money on this investigation?

Will the results of this investigation lead to advocacy and support being given to victims to press criminal charges against Ösel Rangdröl Mukpo and other Shambhala teachers?

The key element missing in this investigation is the investigating firm needs to hired by someone with vested interest in hearing the truth -– someone who wants to know what bad things are happening. To find someone like this, an organization has to go high enough up or go outside the organization.

A good example for us to look to is the Willow Creek Community Church near Chicago [4]. As reported in the New York Times, Willow Creek announced last August it's plan to "launch a new independent investigation into allegations that the Rev. Bill Hybels, the church’s influential founding pastor, sexually harassed female co-workers and a congregant over many years." [5] Bill Hybels is the spiritual leader of a mega church, and he has been accused of sexually assaulting several women. This church has done two failed investigations initiated by leaders within the church. The hierarchy of the church cannot do this. This is parallel to what is happening here in Shambhala with the Kalapa Council. In the new independent investigation, Willow Creek is pulling together people from outside the church who will manage the investigation.

When I have discussed this with people around me, they have asked, "Who could do that for Shambhala?" I suggested the Dalai Lama, but some people don't see him as a suitable candidate. The other idea I had was Buddhist Project Sunshine. We are dedicated to the truth coming out, and if funds were gathered for a proper investigation and our own organizational staffing needs to oversee such an investigation, this could be possible. Perhaps the Shambhala community will come up with other options for initiating an investigation that will provide the information the community needs to move forward from the abuses of Mr. Mukpo and his senior staff. Or perhaps the community will feel there is enough evidence already to have closure and move forward.

_______________

Notes:

4 This is the same situation referred to in Carol's memo.

5 https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/06/us/w ... ation.html
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Re: Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 3 Final Report: The nail

Postby admin » Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:36 am

An Olive Branch Initiative

At the same time that they announced the Wickwire Holm investigation, the Kalapa Council announced an initiative with An Olive Branch. The two key elements to this initiative that stand out to me are: (1) the Listening Post to listen to victims of abuse and (2) they will advise Shambhala institution leaders on policy changes. Like the Wickwire Holm investigation, I have questions about what the true, clear objective is for this initiative and who it ultimately serves: the welfare of the community or the continuation of the existing leadership system.

It is not clear to me exactly what the purpose of the Listening Post is. I believe victims need more than being listened to. They deserve to be heard and also supported in seeking reparation for the harms they have experienced by perpetrators and in some cases, Shambhala communities who have demonized the victims to protect the perpetrators. In contrast, the Olive Branch listening post seems to be more about soothing people so they are no longer upset. This reminds me of the "Fixer" role that senior Shambhala women leaders have played in quieting victims of Mr. Mukpo's alleged sexual assaults. Once a victim feels heard and is befriended, they quietly go away.

Why would An Olive Branch decide what is needed for our governance? I believe the Shambhala community is particularly skilled in designing policies. We are about creating enlightened society. If we fell off the mark under the leadership of the Mukpos, we nevertheless have substantial resources: solid teachings, practices, and students who are well-seasoned in these practices, have keen minds, and are deeply caring people.

I believe we are beyond the time of being told what to do and what we need. It is my firm conviction that the Shambhala community is growing up through this process and is taking responsibility for its own good future.

I believe that given time and given some space free of corrupt leadership, the great minds and hearts within Shambhala can and will explore models of governance that resonate with core Shambhala values. Within such a wisdom womb space, we can develop good ways to address sexual violence and all harms against our humanity so that we create a community that nurtures us all as dharma practitioners.
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Re: Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 3 Final Report: The nail

Postby admin » Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:36 am

Shambhala teaching on corrupt leadership

Two separate people recently sent me an excerpt from The Court Vision & Practice, by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Chapter 10 “Corruption”, pp 53 – 54. This book is CTR’s

instruction manual on the roles and discipline of the leaders of the Shambhala Kingdom. “Corruption arises from two problems: first, the warrior-statesman is neglecting his meditative practice; and second, he is becoming sloppy, forgetting the discipline and awareness that are necessary to keep him a true warrior-statesman. This corruption manifests itself in three main symptoms:

• the first is pleasure-seeking, love of luxury and sexual indulgence;

• the second is love of power and indulgence in the abuse of one’s subordinates;

• the third is infatuation with one’s charisma and intelligence. In all of these cases the perpetuator of corruption is actually damaging the Kingdom of Shambhala.

When an official is possessed by a corruption-causing neurosis he suddenly becomes powerful. Thus he recruits his own proteges and demands hospitality from the gullible who revere his power. Some people, observing this, are shocked but are fearful of expressing their opinions. Others just go along with it—because it is the art of corruption to be much easier to go along with than to oppose.

When an official has no understanding of enlightened dignity he loses his sense of genuineness. Such a person relates only with his own version of the world. Although he might have to work with his colleagues, his ultimate aim is purely to convince them to agree with him. Stupidity and lack of gentleness in this corrupt official perpetuate his abuse of his subordinates. Since he does not allow any genuine feedback from the world, if his subordinates express negativity they are charged with being traitors; whereas if they are sympathetic and supportive they are just being conned into his corruption.”

What is interesting is that this description of corruption is made in contrast to the goodness of the Sakyong. The Sakyong is the gold standard by which we measure other leaders. However, in our case it is Ösel Rangdröl Mukpo himself who through a growing number of allegations exhibits this corruption.
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Re: Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 3 Final Report: The nail

Postby admin » Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:37 am

The Acharya/Shastri system: Can good fruit grow from a rotten seed?

Ösel Rangdröl Mukpo formed an extensive system of authorized teachers: Acharyas and Shastris. In traditional cult literature, this is a technique used by cult leaders to gather in spiritually gifted people and make them subservient to the will of the cult leader. I wonder to what degree this has happened in Shambhala.

On July 20, 2018, former Shastri Ethan Nichtern published his statement, “Stepping Down As ‘Shastri,' Staying For The Shambhala Community”. In it he writes, “the senior teacher titles (Shastri and Acharya) which are given solely at the discretion of the Sakyong, are another example of the non-transparency and monolithic power structure which must end…. merit and transparency are not the primary reasons we have our titles. We have our titles primarily because of the perception that we are loyal to Sakyong Mipham, specifically.” Mr. Nichtern writes of his experience of the culture around the giving of these titles:

“I became a Shastri in 2010 when the title was first created, but I heard multiple rumors from different sources, starting in about 2006, that Sakyong Mipham was considering giving me a senior teacher title. He never spoke to me directly about this, I just heard it from various others. The clear story shared with me was that, before such a title was offered, there had to be some “energetic shift” into open-hearted loyalty which the Sakyong was looking for. Not the testimony of students, not the number of hours of teaching experience or practice experience, not the reviewed recommendation of peers or mentors or the man himself based on one’s conduct as both student and teacher, but an energetic read of some sort which only he could oversee, an invisible litmus test of devotion, a silent signaling of one’s loyalty to him and the lineage. I never really knew what this meant, but friends I trust reported deeply intuitive experiences with him on an almost psychic level, and I had many powerful experiences of connection with him on a pre-verbal level during my own practice. So for about a decade, I “trusted the process.”

Meanwhile, I kept doing the best I could working with students, with the organization, and with my own personal obstacles and shortcomings as I practiced these teachings on and off the cushion. Until just a year or two ago, I so often felt the subtle need—which was undoubtedly based on my own misunderstanding of the teachings—to “perform” my loyalty whenever I was in the presence of the Sakyong. Nobody said I had to do this, but something was always assumed, something floating in the air around him, an atmospheric persuasion that I found myself prone to as well. He wanted to be talked to a certain way, and if you were going to be around him, you had to comply or else you just wouldn’t be around him. And if you couldn’t be around him, he wouldn’t empower you at a higher level. It was that simple, though usually unstated, and to be clear, I never experienced anything from him personally other than a quiet, opaque gentleness. But ours was also a relationship with almost no genuine feedback about the path forward for me as either student or teacher, and without any honest conversation about what either person felt.

I now realize that this performance of loyalty (mixed with true, genuine gratitude for him and his teachings) made me energetically complicit in all of the systemic problems that have caused harm. To be clear, I knew very little of the Sakyong’s personal life, and I knew nothing of the abuse or assault allegations against him until they were made public at the end of June and early July 2018. But, like so many others in our community, I did want Sakyong Mipham to see me, and I wanted him to like me, and I wanted him to agree to give me more power to help others along the path that he held. I could argue that the whole reason I wanted him to empower me further was that I wanted to help others more (via offering vows and so forth), but that’s far too easy and innocent to claim. I now realize that this toxic performance of loyalties, mixed with genuine respect and admiration for our lineage, created an inauthentic and codependent relationship between us as well, and I would like to take responsibility for my part in that shared performance. ” [6]


I salute Ethan Nichtern for his transparency and the leadership he has shown through his stepping down as Shastri. I specifically respect him for:

1. Rejecting the prestige of status given within a system that sorely lacks integrity

2. Sharing with us a glimpse into the culture around these senior teacher titles

3. Sharing his personal experience around his decision to give up his title so we know exactly where he is coming from

I wonder what goodness could come from the dissolution of Ösel Rangdröl Mukpo’s system, and instead developing a system based on the merits and teaching gifts of Shambhala teachers, as Mr. Nicthern suggests. In what ways might the gifts of senior teachers be released and uplifted through abandoning the former system and bringing them into a system based on their merits.

I also note that the Transition Task Force that has been appointed to oversee a transition in Shambhala leadership is filled with people authorized within the system Mr. Nichtern described - A leadership system that has been re-traumatizing abuse victims for decades. For instance, one woman shared the following statement about the first person named in the Transition Task Force, Ani Pema Chödrön, to be included in this report:

" I was raped at the age of 21 by a Shambhala Center director. This led to a pregnancy and then a miscarriage. About a year later I approached Pema Chödrön to disclose what had happened. As a respected practitioner and also as a woman, it was my expectation that I would find an ally.

Instead, Ani Pema told me bluntly, "I don't believe you." I was shattered. After further discussion with her, Ani Pema then said, “Well, I wasn't there, but if it's true I suspect that you were into it."

To be not believed, and then to have it suggested to me that I was being untruthful about something so difficult, was retraumatizing to say the least. To this date, and despite having had opportunities, Pema Chödrön has never apologized to me for these comments.

What I would like to know is: what are Pema Chödrön's intentions in joining the Transition Team? If other survivors come forth with their stories, will she believe them? Will she discourage others from speaking out? Will she suggest to others that they secretly enjoyed it?

Through speaking out, it is my intention and wish that this may incite meaningful change and be of benefit to all beings."


Are the acharyas on the Transition Team invested in maintaining Mr. Mukpo at the head of our community, and is that appropriate? Several acharyas are encouraging students to accept the possibility of him coming back to his former position and restoring the status quo. Acharya Suzann Duquette, who is also on the Task Force, appears to see no other alternative. In a letter she wrote to the staff and residents of Karme Chöling:

"Human mistakes have to be included or there is no path… Acknowledging our mistakes is key to this. This is true for both teachers and ourselves… Shambhala doesn't exist without lineage. If we take away the Sakyong or the Sakyong and the Vidyadhara's photos, we are removing the Shambhala lineage… The Sakyong is taking time away from teaching and administration to do very challenging personal work. He has already started that work. At the same time, he is still the Sakyong, the Shambhala lineage holder… Shambhala doesn't exist without lineage."


Are our acharyas and Dorje Kasung leadership caught in a black box, where there are no other acceptable options but to hang on to a leadership system that revolves around an alleged serial sexual predator?

_______________

Notes:

6 Read Ethan Nichtern's full statement at: http://www.ethannichtern.com/stepping-downas- shastri-staying-for-the-shambhala-community/
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Re: Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 3 Final Report: The nail

Postby admin » Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:37 am

What is a sexual predator?

As I have heard the growing number of allegations about the behaviour of Ösel Rangdröl Mukpo, I have wondered if these patterns fit what is know as a sexual predator. LegalBeagle.com defines the term:

"In the broad sense of the word, sexual predators are people who commit sexual crimes. The term ‘predator,' however, usually indicates a repeat offender who enjoys the feeling of ‘hunting down’ his prey. Many sexual predators attack only a particular type of victim, such as children of a certain age, sex or race. Sexual predators are usually friendly, self-assured individuals who target their victims carefully, rather than choosing at random.” [7]


Over time, Ann began to feel like the Sakyong believed that she was “his possession” and that he “owned” her. This was familiar to her from her childhood and it was deeply disturbing. Ann knew it was not a good situation, but she did not want to leave the sangha and the teachings. [1]

Ann became increasingly uncomfortable with her feeling that the Sakyong was using her for sex as she had been used as a prostitute. But he was her guru. Ann discussed her concerns with female Acharyas and other senior Shambhala women leaders. She specifically asked them whether the statement in one of the restricted Sadhana practices that reads, “whatever the guru commands I will follow” meant that she had to have sex with him “on demand” in the middle of the night, give money that she didn’t have, and be controlled by him. But they either didn’t seem to care, or they essentially said that it was “not a big deal” or that she should be happy about the situation, because it was “an honor” and it proved that she was “special.”

As Ann continued to question what was happening, she asked a male Shambhala leader: “Why did he choose me? Why is he doing this to me?” Ann asked this because she felt that the Sakyong actually did not like her but that he only wanted to control her. The Acharya told her to be careful. He said, “The Sakyong does this — he looks for trauma survivors. He takes vulnerable women and makes them his possession.”

-- Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 3 Final Report, by Andrea M. Winn, MEd, MCS


In an article in Psychology Today entitled, “The Thinking Processes of Sexual Predators”, Dr. Samenow describes the mentality of a sexual predator:

“Sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape obviously are sex offenses. But they have little to do with sex itself. The people who are making headlines for their exploitation of women employed by their company likely have had no shortage of opportunities for consensual sex. Sexual predators have plenty of sexual experience but it is shallow. Sex is a control operation for them. They ordain the time and place of the encounter. Seeking a conquest is the overriding aspect. The perpetrator cares little what his ‘partner’ experiences. The idea is to conquer a body, not have a relationship. Achieving his objective provides him with a buildup. He has sex on his mind a great deal of the time, looking at females as potential targets.” [8]


I encourage you to read the full article, as it compellingly matches the patterns emerging from the BPS investigation into allegations of Ösel Rangdröl Mukpo’s sexual misconduct.

Can sexual predators change and become good men? TIME published an article in May 2018, “Can Bad Men Change? What It’s Like Inside Sex Offender Therapy” [9]. This article states, “therapy–when paired with tough parole restrictions–can significantly reduce the chance of re-offending, according to the American Psychological Association.” Lisa Anderson, a lawyer who represents survivors of rape, states, “It’s hard for me to believe that someone could violently ignore the will of another and then be taught not to cross that line,” says Anderson. “But if it’s possible to teach them empathy, then that should be mandatory.”

This article points towards the helpfulness of the real consequences of criminal prosecution in combination with competent sex offender therapy for offenders who are open to change. I believe the people of Shambhala will appreciate reading the stories of how a couple of therapists work with sex offenders in this article in ways that resonate with our values as Shambhalians. I encourage you to read the full article.

It is important to note that the depth of this therapeutic process realistically takes years. Such a substantive process cannot even begin until a man admits he has a problem and actively wants to change. It is also important to note that these therapists will not agree to work with every perpetrator, because they know some perpetrators are not open to engaging a process to change.

_______________

Notes:

7 https://legalbeagle.com/5048506-definit ... dator.html

8 https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/bl ... ethinking- processes-sexual-predators

9 http://time.com/5272337/sex-offenders-t ... treatment/
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Re: Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 3 Final Report: The nail

Postby admin » Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:38 am

Who else is involved in these alleged crimes?

This section names other people involved in the allegations detailed in Carol's memo at the end of this report. I have included these names because people have emailed me and asked me to name the other people involved. This transparency is needed for the community to move forward in a more clear and grounded way.

Carol is a seasoned and professional Investigator, and she will not print the names of Shambhala leaders involved in these situations of misconduct without full corroboration from other witnesses. I respect her professional ethics.

I am a Buddhist social activist who has been working to provide leadership for the *** least painful path *** forward for our community’s healing and getting to the other side of a complex and widespread situation of harm. I want the Shambhala community to make it through this and re-emerge as the sane, kind and beautiful Buddhist community that I know we all want.

Therefore, although Carol is not naming all those involved in her memo, I am going to be naming Shambhala leaders here. I believe the victims. In fact I have known one of the victims since I was 16 years old -- that’s 35 years. And I believe the community deserves, and in fact NEEDS to know the allegations about the people involved for us to get to the other side of an effective healing process.

I also want to make clear that Carol offers anonymity to people who make statements to her in her investigations. That anonymity is always honoured. None of the people named below were interviewed, and so there has been no breach of trust.
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Re: Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 3 Final Report: The nail

Postby admin » Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:38 am

The leaders involved in Ann's story

The leaders who are alleged to have been involved in group sexual assaults are:

• Adam Lobel
• David Brown
• Josh Silberstein
• Jesse Grimes

I’d like to clarify the meaning of the term I use here, “group sexual assault”.

I am using the term, “group sexual assault” to refer to these situations to bring to light the seriousness of the situation when there is the involvement of other men. There is an extra level of coercive force and intimidation when you have a group of men involved with an assault versus it being just one man. I certainly see all men responsible for the group dynamic created through that assault.

Some people may assume ‘group sexual assault’ means that every man physically touched the woman. That is not the case in either of these assaults. Only Osel Mukpo is alleged to have sexually touched Ann.


I contacted the Toronto Rape Crisis Center for their input on my using the term “group sexual assault” to describe the two alleged incidents in Carol's report, and they saw no problem with my using this term.

In conclusion, I don’t know that we have adequate language to describe the full dynamic of what is alleged to have happened here. The dynamic of many men and one woman, and the many layers of understandable intimidation need to be taken into account.

Ann also reported a senior Shambhala teacher who allegedly had full knowledge of Mr. Mukpo's alleged crimes, and not only knew of them, but even facilitated one of them. Ann sent me this description to include in this report:

"Dan Hessey is the person I told about the condo and he was to handle the quit claim deed. He was also the person who warned me that the Sakyong chooses trauma survivors and to be careful."
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