Check For Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself, Buddhist Controversy

Previously we wrote the two articles below, most notably the second article regarding Calvin Elmer Malone the convicted paedophile and author of the book ‘Razor-wire Dharma: A Buddhist Life in Prison’.

In this article we would like to continue the points raised in that article to not just talk about an individual author but Buddhist lineages in general.

Kelsang Samden at New Kadampa Tradition

Kelsang Samden (Gen-la Samden) former senior teacher and General Spiritual Director of the New Kadampa Tradition had multiple allegations of sexual relationships and allegedly attempting to establish sexual lineage within the New Kadampa Tradition with both female and male students. In 2008 Kelsang Samden was disrobed.

Outside of sexual allegations the New Kadampa Tradition also faces controversy in the on-going Dorje Shugden controversy. The New Kadampa Tradition community has continued to noisily protest outside Buddhist teachings by HH Dalai Lama.

Dennis Lingwood (Sangharakshita) at Triratna

Dennis Lingwood (Sangharakshita) founder of the Triratna organisation (previously Friends of the Western Buddhist Order) has faced allegations of students that they were coerced into sex in 1970s and 80s with elders of UK’s Triratna order. In 2016 Lingwood issued a statement expressing “deep regret for all the occasions on which I have hurt, harmed or upset fellow Buddhists, and ask for their forgiveness”.

Sogyal Rinpoche at Rigpa

Sogyal Rinpoche founder of the Rigpa organisation and author of the ‘Tibetan Book of Living and Dying’ book has faced allegations of sexual, physical, and psychological abuse. In 2017 entered a period of retreat and reflection.

Multiple Teachers at Shambhala

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche founder of Shambhala was controversial as an ordained monk, including tobacco, alcohol, and drug use, as well as sexual relations with multiple female students. Chogyam Trungpa failed at recruiting Tenzin Palmo, the subject of the book ‘Cave in the Snow’. Chogyam Trungpa formally renounced his monastic vows in 1969.

Earlier in 2018 the Shambhala leadership admitted sexual behaviour within the community to start an open conversation and process with students.

Michael Roach at Diamond Mountain Center

Michael Roach established Diamond Mountain Center and author of ‘The Diamond Cutter’ book. Despite being ordained as a monk and wearing the robes of a monk, Michael Roach married. Michael Roach separated from his wife in 2009.

Ashin Wirathu in Myanmar (Burma)

Ashin Wirathu is the abbot in the New Maesoeyin Monastery and spiritual leader of the 969 Buddhist Nationalist movement in Myanmar (Burma). He preaches against the country’s Muslim minority, encouraging lay Buddhists to shun Muslim business and communities.

That is enough for now, this has been a lot to read and write about. We will continue this discussion in the next article. Here are two more links to other blogs that discuss similar issues.

Love, @happyops