With all the attention focused on Hollywood sleezeballs in the last few years, it’s easy to forget that religion was the original home of dudes using their power and influence to inappropriately creep on women. This kind of shit is almost expected in Christianity, but Buddhism is supposed to be better right? I mean, it’s not even a religion per se, which is I suppose why many find revelations like this so surprising. It’s almost as if, gasp, men often attain positions of power because they want to fuck as many women as humanly possible. Shocking I know, but it’s really more surprising that this behavior was tolerated for the vast majority of human history than it is that we’re finally doing something about it. (from the Fake News Times):
In a shrine on the sixth floor of a Manhattan office building, a photo of a man in golden robes hangs above an altar. Another photo of him sits upon a throne.
He is the head of one of the largest Buddhist organizations in the West, Shambhala International, a network of more than 200 outposts in over 30 countries where thousands come for training in meditation and mindfulness and some delve into deeper mysteries.
The man is Mipham Rinpoche. He is known as the Sakyong, a Tibetan word that translates roughly as king, and his students take vows to follow him that are binding across lifetimes. These days, they are feeling sad, confused, angry and betrayed.
Late last month, a former Shambhala teacher released a report alleging that the Sakyong had sexually abused and exploited some of his most devoted female followers for years. Women quoted in the report wrote of drunken groping and forcefully extracted sexual favors. The report said that senior leaders at Shambhala — an organization whose motto is “Making Enlightened Society Possible” — knew of the Sakyong’s misconduct and covered it up.
The Sakyong apologized a few days before the report was formally released, admitting to “relationships” with women in the community, some of whom “shared experiences of feeling harmed as a result.” Followers and Shambhala groups around the world demanded more action.
On Friday, it came: The governing council of Shambhala International, which is based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, resigned en masse, “in the interest of beginning a healing process for our community.”
I gotta be honest, I watched the Jon Oliver Dalai Lama episode a few weeks ago and found myself thinking: “How is this shit not ridiculous exactly?” Meditation is great and I agree with a lot of Buddhist tenets, but seriously, a guy choosing a child as his reincarnated successor? The Government then abducting the kid and then choosing their own? I don’t know, doesn’t seem any less ridiculous than Scientology or Thelema in my world.