BuddhaSoup wrote:... organizations that seem to have as a hidden agenda sexual conquest.
Mr Man wrote:Hi Kim
What starts as human fallibility seems to often end up as deliberate exploitation. When one party has (or takes) power and authority they also have to take the responsibility. I don't think "transference" can be used as an excuse for absolution.
BuddhaSoup wrote:Many in the modern west have argued that if a teacher's teaching is, on one hand, highly authentic, it matters not what his other hand is doing. Ven. Thanissaro has disagreed, and he suggested that it matters very much what the other hand is doing in terms of evaluating whether a teacher is one to be followed. "Now, is the dharma something you can point to with only one hand? Can the other hand ever really be invisible?" http://www.urbandharma.org/udharma3/interview1.html
BuddhaSoup wrote:Thanks, Kim and Mr. Man, for your thoughtful posts.
One of the articles that I found is this one, from the Guardian. http://www.fwbo-files.com/guardian_article_v2.htm
"Subhuti argued in an FWBO internal magazine in 1986 that it could be beneficial to change sexual orientation as a way of recognising - and liberating yourself from - your conditioning; and that a teacher/mentor could use sex as a way of opening up communication with their pupil. Homosexual sex was promoted as more conducive to the spiritual life than heterosexual sex. Some members tried to raise the alarm, warning that novices were being damaged by sexually predatory teachers and demanding an end to the "glorification of homoerotic feelings"."
My reasoning for writing the original post stems from being so impressed with Subhuti's "Buddhist Manifesto" thesis, and then, after investigating the author and reading more of Sangharakshita's history, the story began to ring true of what I have read in the past of the man-boy indoctrination in the Catholic church, the church of my family of origin. One of the diocese has been found to have created seminaries for young men, that were really sex camps for one of the Cardinals and his pedophile bishop friends. It's shocking stuff, but suggests the lengths that predators will go to to create opportunities for sexual conquest.
I recoil from this stuff as I feel strongly that the Vinaya was one well thought out means to keep abuses out of the sangha. Many in the modern west have argued that if a teacher's teaching is, on one hand, highly authentic, it matters not what his other hand is doing. Ven. Thanissaro has disagreed, and he suggested that it matters very much what the other hand is doing in terms of evaluating whether a teacher is one to be followed. "Now, is the dharma something you can point to with only one hand? Can the other hand ever really be invisible?" http://www.urbandharma.org/udharma3/interview1.html
Triratna seems to be a large and very well funded organization; beautiful websites, well produced videos and international travel. Subhuti is highly articulate and persuasive. Yet behind the curtains of this organization seems to be something very curious and possibly dark. If this were a xtian evangelical cult, I wouldn't take the time to write about them, but these are very skilled, articulate 'Buddhists,' attracting large numbers. Again, I'll take the rural, rustic, dusty Wats with the Vinaya monks and noble Bhikkhunis any day of the week....
BlackBird wrote:Hey Buddhasoup, as far as I can recall. Triratna has a bit of a dark past. I know it is not that way today, and there are many members of the organisation that I respect, including (correct me if i'm wrong) yourself. In the fwbofiles website numerous sources give detailed experiences of sexual harassment, and it would seem there was a definite pressure put on certain individuals to have intercourse with other certain members, there was also a pressure for heterosexual men to 'try' being homosexual, or 'try' having homosexual intercourse, among other nasty and unskillful happenings. It seems it was a dark time indeed. I am glad the organization has move beyond those murky waters.
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