Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 3 Final Report (Shambhala/Sakyong Mipham/etc)

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PeterC
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Re: Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 3 Final Report (Shambhala/Sakyong Mipham/etc)

Post by PeterC »

Wayfarer wrote: Thu Aug 23, 2018 10:32 pm Shambhala has issued a statement.
In a statement Thursday, Shambhala International rejected the report's findings.

"These allegations are not only unfounded, but they each are based on speculative and unsubstantiated claims made by a single unnamed source," the Buddhist organization said of one series of allegations in the report.

"For Project Sunshine to publish such salacious and defamatory information is grossly irresponsible."

The statement is a departure from the organization's response to earlier reports, which recognized that Shambhala was part of a "broader cultural reckoning in contemporary society."
https://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/new ... st-leader/
The language they use in the statement is clearly based around the standard for libel. She was reckless as to whether the statements were true or actually knew them to be false, she knew the statements would cause damage, denying that any pattern of behavior is implied, etc. IMO it’s a very bad strategy for them, as they know that enough of the statements probably are true that they wouldn’t win. I suspect what prompted the change in tactics was the report explicitly naming members of the cabal, rather than just pointing the finger at Mukpo - I.e. it finally sunk in that they may face liability too, and hence the pretence of ‘peace and reconciliation’ was dropped.

I genuinely don’t understand why people tolerate this sort of behavior for a moment. It’s as if attaching the word “vajra” to something switches off peoples’ critical thinking. “Here, drink this poison”. “No way!” “But it’s vajra poison.” “Oh ok then, if you say so...”.

The only line in the report that wasn’t entirely depressing was the reference to “vajra pimps”. But then again, that we would even need to coin that term is profoundly depressing.
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Re: Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 3 Final Report (Shambhala/Sakyong Mipham/etc)

Post by Wayfarer »

I don’t want to convey the idea that I posted that quote in because I am supporting or defending whatever has happened. It was simply that when I did a search on that story, one of the first links that came up was a statement by the organisation so I thought for the sake of completeness it was worth noting that a statement had been published.
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PeterC
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Re: Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 3 Final Report (Shambhala/Sakyong Mipham/etc)

Post by PeterC »

Wayfarer wrote: Fri Aug 24, 2018 6:30 am I don’t want to convey the idea that I posted that quote in because I am supporting or defending whatever has happened. It was simply that when I did a search on that story, one of the first links that came up was a statement by the organisation so I thought for the sake of completeness it was worth noting that a statement had been published.
I didn’t think you did think that at all. The statement was very relevant and worth posting. It was complete self-serving BS and badly misjudged, but very relevant.
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Re: Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 3 Final Report (Shambhala/Sakyong Mipham/etc)

Post by Arupajhana7 »

Shambhala now is denying everything. Are they going to outright deny everything that happened in this most recent claim? Or are they going to try and claim it was all consensual?
It seems they want to deny this most recent and severe claim. But it looks to me that everything prior to this was half acknowledged as being true. That gives the possibility that this one has validity to it as well. It's challenging because at this point we know Shambhala leaders lied about and covered up the abuses detailed in the first two reports, why are we to suddenly start trusting them now? They have taken the "hard" version of Samaya, and they have also taken Shambhala Acharya vows, Kasang vows, Kusung vows, "court" vows, and who knows how many other vows.
As a now former Shambhala member, I don't trust the leadership at all.
I acknowledge that there is a possibility that some things from the new story might not be provable, but given how bizzar and weird my own experiences were at the court, it seems to be a realistic possibility.
I never saw sexual abuse. But there was a lot of really weird stuff, secret wealth/mansions and person-worship type of behavior towards the Sakyong.
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Re: Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 3 Final Report (Shambhala/Sakyong Mipham/etc)

Post by Schrödinger’s Yidam »

passel wrote: Fri Aug 24, 2018 3:54 am
smcj wrote: Fri Aug 24, 2018 3:34 am At this point I think it safe to say the courts will have a great deal of influence on how the Dharma comes to the West.
More than the press you think?
Yes.
When organizations (and their officers) are sued into bankruptcy, and when people go to jail, it will have more of an impact than just a PR problem.
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Re: Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 3 Final Report (Shambhala/Sakyong Mipham/etc)

Post by Mr. G »

TheSynergist wrote: Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:41 am If that statement about Pema Chödrön is correct, that is very disappointing, though not surprising. Pema Chödrön has taught alongside Mipham and her silence about the scandal has IMHO been suspicious. *sigh*
Pema Chödrön's silence was a cop out.
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Malcolm
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Re: Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 3 Final Report (Shambhala/Sakyong Mipham/etc)

Post by Malcolm »

smcj wrote: Fri Aug 24, 2018 3:34 am At this point I think it safe to say the courts will have a great deal of influence on how the Dharma comes to the West.
The state has always had a major influence over Buddhist schools in every country in which Buddhism has spread, including kingdoms in India.

The Tibetan state chose Vajrayāna over Chinese Mahāyāna. Various states in Southeast Asia chose Theravada over Mahāyāna. The Chinese Gvt. for centuries regulated entry into monastic life as well as the monasteries. The same is true in Japan.
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Re: Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 3 Final Report (Shambhala/Sakyong Mipham/etc)

Post by TheSynergist »

PeterC wrote: Fri Aug 24, 2018 6:27 am I suspect what prompted the change in tactics was the report explicitly naming members of the cabal, rather than just pointing the finger at Mukpo - I.e. it finally sunk in that they may face liability too, and hence the pretence of ‘peace and reconciliation’ was dropped.
Yeah, this is what I'm what I'm thinking, too. The enablers in the org were likely hoping to throw Mipham under the bus and move on, but now they are worried that might not be good enough.
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Re: Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 3 Final Report (Shambhala/Sakyong Mipham/etc)

Post by Malcolm »

TheSynergist wrote: Fri Aug 24, 2018 4:48 pm
PeterC wrote: Fri Aug 24, 2018 6:27 am I suspect what prompted the change in tactics was the report explicitly naming members of the cabal, rather than just pointing the finger at Mukpo - I.e. it finally sunk in that they may face liability too, and hence the pretence of ‘peace and reconciliation’ was dropped.
Yeah, this is what I'm what I'm thinking, too. The enablers in the org were likely hoping to throw Mipham under the bus and move on, but now they are worried that might not be good enough.
It looks like some people may be going to jail over this, if any of the allegations can be proven in court. As it stands, I don't see how Shambhala survives this without firing Mukpo, etc.
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Re: Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 3 Final Report (Shambhala/Sakyong Mipham/etc)

Post by Karma Dorje »

Malcolm wrote: Fri Aug 24, 2018 5:25 pm It looks like some people may be going to jail over this, if any of the allegations can be proven in court. As it stands, I don't see how Shambhala survives this without firing Mukpo, etc.
It's hard to see how they survive even if they fire Mukpo. If any civil suits are launched they could end up bankrupt.

Not to mention the entire Shambala organization is premised on a "monarch" that is now radioactive. They can't just 'splain their way out of this one.
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Re: Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 3 Final Report (Shambhala/Sakyong Mipham/etc)

Post by kirtu »

Karma Dorje wrote: Fri Aug 24, 2018 5:58 pm
Malcolm wrote: Fri Aug 24, 2018 5:25 pm It looks like some people may be going to jail over this, if any of the allegations can be proven in court. As it stands, I don't see how Shambhala survives this without firing Mukpo, etc.
It's hard to see how they survive even if they fire Mukpo. If any civil suits are launched they could end up bankrupt.

Not to mention the entire Shambala organization is premised on a "monarch" that is now radioactive. They can't just 'splain their way out of this one.
There are a couple of ways but they have to drop or walk back the assertion that Shambhala is lineage based and without Mukpo there is no lineage.

It's Thomas Rich all over again although now much worse.

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Malcolm
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Re: Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 3 Final Report (Shambhala/Sakyong Mipham/etc)

Post by Malcolm »

Karma Dorje wrote: Fri Aug 24, 2018 5:58 pm
Malcolm wrote: Fri Aug 24, 2018 5:25 pm It looks like some people may be going to jail over this, if any of the allegations can be proven in court. As it stands, I don't see how Shambhala survives this without firing Mukpo, etc.
It's hard to see how they survive even if they fire Mukpo. If any civil suits are launched they could end up bankrupt.

Not to mention the entire Shambala organization is premised on a "monarch" that is now radioactive. They can't just 'splain their way out of this one.
True.
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Re: Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 3 Final Report (Shambhala/Sakyong Mipham/etc)

Post by kirtu »

Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
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Re: Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 3 Final Report (Shambhala/Sakyong Mipham/etc)

Post by gb9810 »

seen on FB, just FYI (one of the comments under Lion's Roar's story)

Posted by Nick Trautz

A word of caution to those inclined to read the latest sunshine report: Some of the allegations are demonstrably, totally, and almost comically false. I have been an advocate of space and listening and belief of survivors, and it is clear that Shambhala and the Sakyong do have a history of abusive practices. However, I feel it is my duty to discredit what I know to be untrue, for the sake of broader compassion and truth. I was in a position to verify or dispute much of what one survivor alleges, and I know most of the sexual allegations to be totally fabricated/imagined/hallucinated. I was interviewed by Carol, the investigator, and found her quite professional at the time. She took very seriously my evidence that the claimant was fabricating/misremembering certain details (details which Carol rushed to have removed from the report before it went to press, because they were discredited by me; Carol was also diligent about verifying the wording of my statements before things went to press. I appreciated that). However, her investigation is insufficient in that people who could easily invalidate the allegations were not approached (including myself in regards to many specifics). I would not so readily comment in social media on a criminal or on an official internal/external investigation, but people should be clear about the fact that Project Sunshine is nothing more or less than an act of free speech; its legal status is no different than, say, someone dressed like a pumpkin jumping up and down on the street corner proclaiming the apocalypse. I am exercising my free speech in disputing this element of the report (while recognizing that other elements of BPS's work are valuable). And the damaging nature of easily discredited libelous claims exposes Andrea Winn to litigation. Every allegation should be investigated, but I am disappointed in BPS's work with the "Ann" story, and I am now worried about the integrity of the entire project.
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Re: Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 3 Final Report (Shambhala/Sakyong Mipham/etc)

Post by Karma Dorje »

Nick Trautz wrote: ...say, someone dressed like a pumpkin jumping up and down on the street corner proclaiming the apocalypse.
Shambala practitioners of all people shouldn't be making fun of the way other people dress.
Last edited by Karma Dorje on Fri Aug 24, 2018 9:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 3 Final Report (Shambhala/Sakyong Mipham/etc)

Post by gb9810 »

Karma Dorje wrote: Fri Aug 24, 2018 9:44 pm
gb9810 wrote: Fri Aug 24, 2018 9:33 pm ...say, someone dressed like a pumpkin jumping up and down on the street corner proclaiming the apocalypse.
Shambala practitioners of all people shouldn't be making fun of the way other people dress.
:rolling:
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Re: Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 3 Final Report (Shambhala/Sakyong Mipham/etc)

Post by Karma Dorje »

Karma Dorje wrote: Fri Aug 24, 2018 9:44 pm
Nick Trautz wrote: ...say, someone dressed like a pumpkin jumping up and down on the street corner proclaiming the apocalypse.
Shambala practitioners of all people shouldn't be making fun of the way other people dress.
Or their eschatology for that matter.
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Re: Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 3 Final Report (Shambhala/Sakyong Mipham/etc)

Post by TheSynergist »

gb9810 wrote: Fri Aug 24, 2018 9:33 pm seen on FB, just FYI (one of the comments under Lion's Roar's story)

Posted by Nick Trautz

A word of caution to those inclined to read the latest sunshine report: Some of the allegations are demonstrably, totally, and almost comically false. I have been an advocate of space and listening and belief of survivors, and it is clear that Shambhala and the Sakyong do have a history of abusive practices. However, I feel it is my duty to discredit what I know to be untrue, for the sake of broader compassion and truth. I was in a position to verify or dispute much of what one survivor alleges, and I know most of the sexual allegations to be totally fabricated/imagined/hallucinated. I was interviewed by Carol, the investigator, and found her quite professional at the time. She took very seriously my evidence that the claimant was fabricating/misremembering certain details (details which Carol rushed to have removed from the report before it went to press, because they were discredited by me; Carol was also diligent about verifying the wording of my statements before things went to press. I appreciated that). However, her investigation is insufficient in that people who could easily invalidate the allegations were not approached (including myself in regards to many specifics). I would not so readily comment in social media on a criminal or on an official internal/external investigation, but people should be clear about the fact that Project Sunshine is nothing more or less than an act of free speech; its legal status is no different than, say, someone dressed like a pumpkin jumping up and down on the street corner proclaiming the apocalypse. I am exercising my free speech in disputing this element of the report (while recognizing that other elements of BPS's work are valuable). And the damaging nature of easily discredited libelous claims exposes Andrea Winn to litigation. Every allegation should be investigated, but I am disappointed in BPS's work with the "Ann" story, and I am now worried about the integrity of the entire project.
Interesting. Based on the last line, I'm assuming the "Ann" section in the most suspect? Because the author (Carol? Andrea?) seemed to admit at times that she didn't have corroboration for some of her claims.
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Re: Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 3 Final Report (Shambhala/Sakyong Mipham/etc)

Post by PeterC »

kirtu wrote: Fri Aug 24, 2018 6:03 pm There are a couple of ways but they have to drop or walk back the assertion that Shambhala is lineage based and without Mukpo there is no lineage.
That’s a tough one. Their entire claim to fame is that Mukpo Jr. is the only person who has received, practiced and can transmit Mukpo Sr.’s shambhala termas. So no Mukpo = no shambhala. And it’s very hard to see how they rehabilitate him at this point.

What they don’t seem to understand is that all of this is no more than free speech. None of the statements here were taken under oath or evidence submitted to a court. An investigation by shambhala themselves has no more standing than one done by anyone else. People can choose to believe anything they want. And infortunately for shambhala the first few rounds of reporting by Sunshine were both credible and not really refuted by anyone - so it becomes hard for them to then selectively refute the third round. None of this even needs to get to a court to be effective.
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Re: Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 3 Final Report (Shambhala/Sakyong Mipham/etc)

Post by Arupajhana7 »

PeterC wrote: Sat Aug 25, 2018 2:22 am
And infortunately for shambhala the first few rounds of reporting by Sunshine were both credible and not really refuted by anyone - so it becomes hard for them to then selectively refute the third round. None of this even needs to get to a court to be effective.
I personally don't trust the leadership on this. They have taken too many vows that put them In a compromised position.

We already know they have lied about and covered up some abuse. It seems there was a passive acknowledgement of the truth of the first two reports.
So now when they deny this it puts a lot of questions into my mind. Is it that there are some falsehoods in the Ann story? Or is it that because of the severity of the claims that they are forced to take stronger legal language in response? Is it because more of the leadership was named?

Am I to believe that, although they have lied about and covered up abuse in the past, they are not doing so now?
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