Child Abuse Rampant in Sinhalese Monasteries

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Child Abuse Rampant in Sinhalese Monasteries

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:15 pm

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Re: Child Abuse Rampant in Sinhalese Monasteries

Postby Josef » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:21 pm

Monasticism in all traditions is really finished in my opinion.
It is no longer useful on a large scale.
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Re: Child Abuse Rampant in Sinhalese Monasteries

Postby Lhug-Pa » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:35 pm

Agreed, Malcolm and Josef.

I don't now all the details about the situation in this article; however with the Roman Catholic church for example, there are simply too many reported child abuse incidents, to the point that many of them had to have actually happened.

At least for Vajrayana monks, there are many methods for transmuting the drops and winds. Yet even this is no guarantee that some Vajrayana monk's celibacy won't eventually become repression instead of sublimation.

And I don't have any definite overall opinion about institutional Buddhism; nonetheless, as with monasticism overall, secrecy is for the most part antiquated.

Expecting people to remain celibate, through beliefs and techniques that are often not much more than like a duck trying to stir the ocean, is preposterous.
Last edited by Lhug-Pa on Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:30 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Child Abuse Rampant in Sinhalese Monasteries

Postby Josef » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:39 pm

Lhug-Pa wrote:
At least for Vajrayana monks, there are many methods for transmuting the drops and winds. Yet even this is no guarantee that some monk's celibacy won't eventually become repression rather than sublimation.


Unfortunately from things I have heard I dont think these methods do much to prevent repression and abuse in Varjayana monasteries.
Take the present Kalu Rinpoche for example, who very courageously publicly spoke up about the abuse he experienced.
Also, considering that he is a highly valued tulku I dont even want to think about the kind of abuse young boys from poor, uneducated families experience in the monastic setting.
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Re: Child Abuse Rampant in Sinhalese Monasteries

Postby Will » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:44 pm

Celibacy is not impossible, yet sangha leaders enforcing expulsion and criminal penalties against the so-called monks, does seem impossible.

Can we all recall - Dharma Ending Age? :crying:
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Re: Child Abuse Rampant in Sinhalese Monasteries

Postby Blue Garuda » Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:36 pm

Josef wrote:
Lhug-Pa wrote:
At least for Vajrayana monks, there are many methods for transmuting the drops and winds. Yet even this is no guarantee that some monk's celibacy won't eventually become repression rather than sublimation.


Unfortunately from things I have heard I dont think these methods do much to prevent repression and abuse in Varjayana monasteries.
Take the present Kalu Rinpoche for example, who very courageously publicly spoke up about the abuse he experienced.
Also, considering that he is a highly valued tulku I dont even want to think about the kind of abuse young boys from poor, uneducated families experience in the monastic setting.


it is sad but true that we have examples of Vajrayana teachers who are drunks and lechers, or both.

One has even given his male prey HIV.

I'm not sure if the percentage of sexual predators in monasteries reflects the level in society at large, but one must ask if repression or suppression of sexual urges leads to extremes.

Vajrayana has the added temptation of taking a 'consort' and some have used this as an excuse for sexual predation.
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Re: Child Abuse Rampant in Sinhalese Monasteries

Postby Lhug-Pa » Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:30 pm

Josef, I don't know much about the said situation with the current Kalu Rinpoche, but a teacher once stated that he had found that many Buddhist monks had fallen into committing various types of sexual misconduct, mainly because they were being made to wait too long to be introduced to Karmamudra Sexual Yoga practices. So maybe even advanced transmutation practices like Tummo and Yantra Yoga eventually become not even enough to tame the beast for many people. Although as Will suggested, maybe celibacy is not impossible. But I think that most would at minimum need to do a lot of fairly advanced Yoga practices to achieve it over a long period of time.


And to make some corrections to my previous post since we have that editing time limit now:


Lhug-Pa wrote:Agreed, Malcolm and Josef.

I don't know all the details about the situation in this article; however with the Roman Catholic church for example, there are simply too many seperately reported child abuse incidents, to the point that many of them had to have actually happened.

At least for Vajrayana monks, there are many methods for transmuting the drops and winds. Yet even this is no guarantee that some Vajrayana monk's celibacy won't eventually become repression instead of sublimation.

And I don't have any definite overall opinion about institutional Buddhism itself; nonetheless, as with monasticism overall, secrecy is for the most part antiquated.

(Of course we should always keep any Samaya that we receive)

Expecting people to remain celibate, through beliefs and techniques that are often not much more than like a duck trying to stir the ocean, is preposterous.
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Re: Child Abuse Rampant in Sinhalese Monasteries

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:36 pm

Will wrote:Can we all recall - Dharma Ending Age? :crying:


I don't think things were very different in the past in this respect. Judging by what went on in the European monasteries in the Middle Ages, it may have even been worse back then.

The painful truth (for those into Buddhism and/or Buddhadharma) is that it doesn't seem to matter much which religion we're talking about - whether we're having in mind Christian or Buddhist monasticism. Similarly ugly stories that both the establishment and zealous regular joes desperately want to keep under the carpet.
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Re: Child Abuse Rampant in Sinhalese Monasteries

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Aug 13, 2012 2:31 pm

It is worth noting that the Vajrayana teacher who transmitted HIV to the male disciples was not a monk, just to make that clear.
Also, one of the main cases mentioned in the article was related to the abuse of the children by the lay workers of the temple, not the monks. So clearly celibacy was not the main cause of the abuse in that case.

I think it is a tired argument that monasticism leads to child abuse. There is child abuse anywhere where adults deal with children- boyscouts, boarding school, air cadets, softball, kindergarten have all seen many scandals.

The abbot of Sera Mey I hear is proposing an entry age of 16 to the monastery. To me, this is a great idea. I was never so keen on the idea of child monks, to be perfectly honest. And 16 is still young enough to have a brain with the capacity to memorize and process all of the information that comes in Buddhist philosophical studies.

Lord Buddha in both the Mahayana and Theravada canon states the importance of the ordained sangha again and again, so I don't think labeling it as "no longer of use" should be taken lightly.

In the Hare Krishna organization child abuse was rampant and nearly completely destroyed its image. In some cases the abuse was by the sannyasis (celibate monks) of their order, but more often than not by lay schoolteachers appointed to the gurukula boarding schools. I think that in the end the steps they took to address this problem are worthy of note by spiritual organizations. There is an office of child protection that oversees abuse prevention and a code of behaviour for situations where adults are in positions of trust regarding children.

For me, my ordination has been the greatest teaching tool in my spiritual life. From the moments of utmost joy, to the moments where I considered re-entering laylife. It is a way of life which is suited to my character, aspirations and way of practice. Should such an option be taken away for those few seekers who can truly cultivate it?

For me celibacy really is a natural way of life and what I struggle with as a monk has mostly to do with the other restrictions (such as not being able to go out late at night dancing, having to work in an authoritarian structure etc.) I don't think the fact that being celibate is natural for me makes me grotesque or a pervert, although in modern society I am often made to feel this way, even with remarks from family and friends.

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Re: Child Abuse Rampant in Sinhalese Monasteries

Postby Malcolm » Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:44 pm

JKhedrup wrote:Also, one of the main cases mentioned in the article was related to the abuse of the children by the lay workers of the temple, not the monks. So clearly celibacy was not the main cause of the abuse in that case.



Research carried out by the BBC Sinhala service has revealed that over the last decade, nearly 110 Buddhist monks have been charged for sexual and physical assaults on minors in Sri Lanka.

I think it is a tired argument that monasticism leads to child abuse. There is child abuse anywhere where adults deal with children- boyscouts, boarding school, air cadets, softball, kindergarten have all seen many scandals.


Mixing children with "celibate" males inevitably results in pedophilia. This is proven in the case of the Catholic Church, and is as it turns out, is broadly true in Tibetan Buddhism as well. You just have no idea the number of stories I have heard from Tibetans about this issue.



Lord Buddha in both the Mahayana and Theravada canon states the importance of the ordained sangha again and again, so I don't think labeling it as "no longer of use" should be taken lightly.


He also points out that by this time, it is merely a reflection of what it was back in the day.


For me, my ordination has been the greatest teaching tool in my spiritual life. From the moments of utmost joy, to the moments where I considered re-entering laylife. It is a way of life which is suited to my character, aspirations and way of practice. Should such an option be taken away for those few seekers who can truly cultivate it?

For me celibacy really is a natural way of life and what I struggle with as a monk has mostly to do with the other restrictions (such as not being able to go out late at night dancing, having to work in an authoritarian structure etc.) I don't think the fact that being celibate is natural for me makes me grotesque or a pervert, although in modern society I am often made to feel this way, even with remarks from family and friends.


The issue is not personal choice, but institutional facts.

Why was one of Buddha's first acts after leaving the palace to shave his hair and don the robe of a shramana?


Shakyamuni Buddha was not the only Buddha. Not all Buddhas create a monastic sanga -- Sikhin, for example. And the answer is that in that day and age, shramanas were more respected as spiritual teachers than lay persons such as brahmins.

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Re: Child Abuse Rampant in Sinhalese Monasteries

Postby deepbluehum » Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:57 pm

Therefore we should create Vedic-Buddhist brahmins and follow that.

We don't need spiritual authorities. Hell with 'em.
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Re: Child Abuse Rampant in Sinhalese Monasteries

Postby Jnana » Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:41 am

JKhedrup wrote:It is worth noting that the Vajrayana teacher who transmitted HIV to the male disciples was not a monk, just to make that clear.
Also, one of the main cases mentioned in the article was related to the abuse of the children by the lay workers of the temple, not the monks. So clearly celibacy was not the main cause of the abuse in that case.

I think it is a tired argument that monasticism leads to child abuse. There is child abuse anywhere where adults deal with children- boyscouts, boarding school, air cadets, softball, kindergarten have all seen many scandals.

The abbot of Sera Mey I hear is proposing an entry age of 16 to the monastery. To me, this is a great idea. I was never so keen on the idea of child monks, to be perfectly honest. And 16 is still young enough to have a brain with the capacity to memorize and process all of the information that comes in Buddhist philosophical studies.

Lord Buddha in both the Mahayana and Theravada canon states the importance of the ordained sangha again and again, so I don't think labeling it as "no longer of use" should be taken lightly.

In the Hare Krishna organization child abuse was rampant and nearly completely destroyed its image. In some cases the abuse was by the sannyasis (celibate monks) of their order, but more often than not by lay schoolteachers appointed to the gurukula boarding schools. I think that in the end the steps they took to address this problem are worthy of note by spiritual organizations. There is an office of child protection that oversees abuse prevention and a code of behaviour for situations where adults are in positions of trust regarding children.

For me, my ordination has been the greatest teaching tool in my spiritual life. From the moments of utmost joy, to the moments where I considered re-entering laylife. It is a way of life which is suited to my character, aspirations and way of practice. Should such an option be taken away for those few seekers who can truly cultivate it?

For me celibacy really is a natural way of life and what I struggle with as a monk has mostly to do with the other restrictions (such as not being able to go out late at night dancing, having to work in an authoritarian structure etc.) I don't think the fact that being celibate is natural for me makes me grotesque or a pervert, although in modern society I am often made to feel this way, even with remarks from family and friends.

Why was one of Buddha's first acts after leaving the palace to shave his hair and don the robe of a shramana?

:good:
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Re: Child Abuse Rampant in Sinhalese Monasteries

Postby Indrajala » Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:00 am

Malcolm wrote:Shakyamuni Buddha was not the only Buddha. Not all Buddhas create a monastic sanga -- Sikhin, for example.


What is the source for this? I've heard this as well and would like to identify specifically where this account comes from.
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Re: Child Abuse Rampant in Sinhalese Monasteries

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:16 am

In the [Theravada] Buddhavamsa (chronicle of prior Buddhas), all had the four-fold assembly of monks, nuns, lay men, and lay women.
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Re: Child Abuse Rampant in Sinhalese Monasteries

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:17 am

JKhedrup wrote:I think it is a tired argument that monasticism leads to child abuse. There is child abuse anywhere where adults deal with children- boyscouts, boarding school, air cadets, softball, kindergarten have all seen many scandals.


Exactly. And most of the perpetrators are/were married older men, not celibate monastics of any kind.
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Re: Child Abuse Rampant in Sinhalese Monasteries

Postby Malcolm » Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:37 am

David N. Snyder wrote:
JKhedrup wrote:I think it is a tired argument that monasticism leads to child abuse. There is child abuse anywhere where adults deal with children- boyscouts, boarding school, air cadets, softball, kindergarten have all seen many scandals.


Exactly. And most of the perpetrators are/were married older men, not celibate monastics of any kind.


Read the article again.
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Re: Child Abuse Rampant in Sinhalese Monasteries

Postby Virgo » Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:01 am

Children should not be around celibate males in that regard. Children should not even be novice monks. These days our socities have structures and programs in place to house kids that don't have homes. This wasn't always the case in the past.

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Re: Child Abuse Rampant in Sinhalese Monasteries

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:10 am

Malcolm wrote:Read the article again.


Okay.

Research carried out by the BBC Sinhala service has revealed that over the last decade, nearly 110 Buddhist monks have been charged for sexual and physical assaults on minors in Sri Lanka.

He and another leading monk in the town of Anuradhapura, Namalwewa Rathnasara Thera, are currently released on bail in relation to the accusations - which they vehemently deny.


Innocent until proven guilty.

If they are guilty then the monks in question should be hung from the nearest tree (metaphorically); disrobed and placed in prison until their next life.

These are terrible crimes, if true. I don't know the statistics about which is more likely to engage in such behavior (clergy or non-clergy), but I do know that when a clergy member or another person of power / famous person commits such an act or is accused of such an act, it is newsworthy. When the average Joe does so, it is not newsworthy. Thus, the media gives the illusion that celibate monks are all sex-crazed pedophiles, which is not the case in 99.9% of the clergy.
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Re: Child Abuse Rampant in Sinhalese Monasteries

Postby Malcolm » Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:28 am

David N. Snyder wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Read the article again.


Okay.

Research carried out by the BBC Sinhala service has revealed that over the last decade, nearly 110 Buddhist monks have been charged for sexual and physical assaults on minors in Sri Lanka.

He and another leading monk in the town of Anuradhapura, Namalwewa Rathnasara Thera, are currently released on bail in relation to the accusations - which they vehemently deny.


Innocent until proven guilty.

If they are guilty then the monks in question should be hung from the nearest tree (metaphorically); disrobed and placed in prison until their next life.

These are terrible crimes, if true. I don't know the statistics about which is more likely to engage in such behavior (clergy or non-clergy), but I do know that when a clergy member or another person of power / famous person commits such an act or is accused of such an act, it is newsworthy. When the average Joe does so, it is not newsworthy. Thus, the media gives the illusion that celibate monks are all sex-crazed pedophiles, which is not the case in 99.9% of the clergy.


Unlike you, I have no confidence that Buddhist monastics are statistically less like to commit acts of sexual abuse than Catholic Clergy.
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Re: Child Abuse Rampant in Sinhalese Monasteries

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Aug 14, 2012 5:30 am

Malcolm wrote:Unlike you, I have no confidence that Buddhist monastics are statistically less like to commit acts of sexual abuse than Catholic Clergy.


I didn't say that, but I can see how you might have thought that I implied that. I am saying that there may be the same rate of sex offenders among the general (non-celibate) population as there is among celibate clergy (and no I didn't differentiate between Buddhist and Catholic).

If that is the case, celibacy is not a factor and does not make celibate people into sex-crazed offenders. Although, if there is a higher rate among celibate clergy, there could still be another factor involved -- offenders joining monastic institutions to hide or do such offenses. The statistics may not even exist to adequately test any hypothesis, since as I said it is not newsworthy when the average Joe commits such crimes, but it is front page when a clergy or famous person does.
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