Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

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amanitamusc
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Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by amanitamusc » Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:17 pm

TharpaChodron wrote:
Mon Sep 03, 2018 4:32 am
I met Pema Chodron privately when I was pretty young and naive, maybe 19 or 20. I expected her to be warm, compassionate, etc, but found otherwise. I came to her with a sincere question and felt immediately like I wasn't heard. She was cold, she completely misunderstood me, and ended up I ran out of there like a bat out of hell. I've always admired her writing and took my experience to be more about me being young and neurotic, nevertheless something rings true about this accusation.
Your intuition rang true.I'm glad you didn't get involved.

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Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by Knotty Veneer » Tue Sep 25, 2018 1:44 pm

amanitamusc wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:07 pm
However weak Pc's statement mukpo as Lama broke samaya,no repair.As far as Chodren, did she break Samaya? With such weak statement of remorse.Does this really help.
The future of shambala in light of the broken samaya going back to trungpa and continued with his withered fruit mukpo.
If the abused went to a male instead of pc and then that male gave this weak statement would they even be involved in in Shambala? I think not. The same should hold true for chodren.
What is the future of Shambala. :popcorn:
Although its mythology derives from the Kalachakra tantra, I’m not sure if Shambhala International sees itself as part of the Vajrayana. So, I’m not entirely sure that samaya is relevant here, in the same way it would be in the main Tibetan Vajrayana schools.

The relationship of the Shambhala organization to the Tibetan schools always kinda struck me as similar to that of the LDS to mainstream Christian churches. Shambhala is a uniquely American Puritan reimagining of TBism, dreaming of its own Buddhist Jerusalem in the New World.

I know thru friends that many folks within the local Shambhala center are at a loss and weighing up whether to leave.

In groups that have a top-down structure and focus on a single teacher, the leader is a single point of failure. The real problem here is that Shambhala has been through this before with the Thomas Rich scandal. Clearly they have learned nothing from that. Rich was not the problem, getting rid of him solved nothing really. The problem was the structure that allowed him, and subsequently the Sakyong to get away with unethical behavior.

Compare what happened with the San Francisco Zen Center with the Richard Baker scandal in the 80s. They instituted a council of Elders, introduced the concept of co-Abbots who served a fixed term, and purposely broke down any top-down hierarchy.
Shambhala needs to do what SFZC did – or similar. I fear though that their absurd religious monarchy thing will actually prevent any real institutional change.
“If you are going to put people on pedestals, at least wear a big hat” - Jake Thackray.

amanitamusc
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Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by amanitamusc » Tue Sep 25, 2018 1:58 pm

Knotty Veneer wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 1:44 pm
amanitamusc wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:07 pm
However weak Pc's statement mukpo as Lama broke samaya,no repair.As far as Chodren, did she break Samaya? With such weak statement of remorse.Does this really help.
The future of shambala in light of the broken samaya going back to trungpa and continued with his withered fruit mukpo.
If the abused went to a male instead of pc and then that male gave this weak statement would they even be involved in in Shambala? I think not. The same should hold true for chodren.
What is the future of Shambala. :popcorn:
Although its mythology derives from the Kalachakra tantra, I’m not sure if Shambhala International sees itself as part of the Vajrayana. So, I’m not entirely sure that samaya is relevant here, in the same way it would be in the main Tibetan Vajrayana schools.

The relationship of the Shambhala organization to the Tibetan schools always kinda struck me as similar to that of the LDS to mainstream Christian churches. Shambhala is a uniquely American Puritan reimagining of TBism, dreaming of its own Buddhist Jerusalem in the New World.

I know thru friends that many folks within the local Shambhala center are at a loss and weighing up whether to leave.

In groups that have a top-down structure and focus on a single teacher, the leader is a single point of failure. The real problem here is that Shambhala has been through this before with the Thomas Rich scandal. Clearly they have learned nothing from that. Rich was not the problem, getting rid of him solved nothing really. The problem was the structure that allowed him, and subsequently the Sakyong to get away with unethical behavior.

Compare what happened with the San Francisco Zen Center with the Richard Baker scandal in the 80s. They instituted a council of Elders, introduced the concept of co-Abbots who served a fixed term, and purposely broke down any top-down hierarchy.
Shambhala needs to do what SFZC did – or similar. I fear though that their absurd religious monarchy thing will actually prevent any real institutional change.
I truly feel for all that are suffering. How would any of us act under the ripening karma
and circumstances that we find ourselves in?

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Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by Simon E. » Tue Sep 25, 2018 7:57 pm

Yes its important to remind ourselves that there are real people with good intentions caught up in all this.
Back to fishin' folks... :namaste:

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Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by anjali » Wed Sep 26, 2018 8:33 pm

From Lion's Roar: Pema Chödrön apologizes for dismissing allegation of sexual assault from young woman.
On Saturday, famed Buddhist teacher Pema Chödrön released a statement responding to an allegation that she once dismissed a woman’s report that she was raped by a Shambhala Center director.
The article provides the full, lengthy letter from Pema Chodron to the Shambhala community.
The letter describes a culture within Shambhala that gave rise to sexual misconduct in the community. Chödrön says that in the 1970s Shambhala was “characterized by a lot of drinking and a lot of sex,” and continued to have a “free love culture” into the 1990s. She says that when women complained about inappropriate behavior, the default response was an attitude of “What’s the big deal? … That’s just what he’s like.” “In other words,” she writes, “this sexual behavior was considered no problem.”

Chödrön does not address the recent allegations of sexual assault and clergy sexual misconduct by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche — the head of Shambhala — or other other leaders in the community.

The letter follows in full, beginning with an introduction by the Transition Task Force:

Recently, we requested Ani Pema Chödrön, as a member of the Transition Task Force, to write a letter to the Shambhala community. The request arose as a way to share the outcome of her communication with the woman who spoke of Ani Pema in the third Project Sunshine document.

But it evolved as a request to share with the community how Shambhala might effect long-lasting culture change around the embedded patterns of sexual abuse and abuse of power. We deeply appreciate Ani Pema’s beautiful, honest, and humble response and advice for us all.

The Transition Task Force


Dear Shambhala Community:

I would like to share some thoughts I have about the need for a deep and lasting change in the Shambhala culture regarding sexual abuse of power. These thoughts are prompted by the reports of the Sakyong’s sexual misconduct and by reports of harm caused by many others in the sangha.
...
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Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by Mantrik » Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:44 pm

anjali wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 8:33 pm
From Lion's Roar: Pema Chödrön apologizes for dismissing allegation of sexual assault from young woman.
On Saturday, famed Buddhist teacher Pema Chödrön released a statement responding to an allegation that she once dismissed a woman’s report that she was raped by a Shambhala Center director.
The article provides the full, lengthy letter from Pema Chodron to the Shambhala community.
The letter describes a culture within Shambhala that gave rise to sexual misconduct in the community. Chödrön says that in the 1970s Shambhala was “characterized by a lot of drinking and a lot of sex,” and continued to have a “free love culture” into the 1990s. She says that when women complained about inappropriate behavior, the default response was an attitude of “What’s the big deal? … That’s just what he’s like.” “In other words,” she writes, “this sexual behavior was considered no problem.”

Chödrön does not address the recent allegations of sexual assault and clergy sexual misconduct by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche — the head of Shambhala — or other other leaders in the community.

The letter follows in full, beginning with an introduction by the Transition Task Force:

Recently, we requested Ani Pema Chödrön, as a member of the Transition Task Force, to write a letter to the Shambhala community. The request arose as a way to share the outcome of her communication with the woman who spoke of Ani Pema in the third Project Sunshine document.

But it evolved as a request to share with the community how Shambhala might effect long-lasting culture change around the embedded patterns of sexual abuse and abuse of power. We deeply appreciate Ani Pema’s beautiful, honest, and humble response and advice for us all.

The Transition Task Force


Dear Shambhala Community:

I would like to share some thoughts I have about the need for a deep and lasting change in the Shambhala culture regarding sexual abuse of power. These thoughts are prompted by the reports of the Sakyong’s sexual misconduct and by reports of harm caused by many others in the sangha.
...
Pathetic. Her response at the time shows her true nature.
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Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by Quay » Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:50 am

amanitamusc wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 1:58 pm
I truly feel for all that are suffering. How would any of us act under the ripening karma
and circumstances that we find ourselves in?
Indeed so. As the great 20th century philosopher Jim Morrison said, "No one here gets out alive."

Compassion is key for everyone involved.
"Knowledge is as infinite as the stars in the sky;
There is no end to all the subjects one could study.
It is better to grasp straight away their very essence--
The unchanging fortress of the Dharmakaya."

– Longchenpa.

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Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Thu Sep 27, 2018 6:08 am

Mantrik wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:44 pm
anjali wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 8:33 pm
From Lion's Roar: Pema Chödrön apologizes for dismissing allegation of sexual assault from young woman.
On Saturday, famed Buddhist teacher Pema Chödrön released a statement responding to an allegation that she once dismissed a woman’s report that she was raped by a Shambhala Center director.
The article provides the full, lengthy letter from Pema Chodron to the Shambhala community.
The letter describes a culture within Shambhala that gave rise to sexual misconduct in the community. Chödrön says that in the 1970s Shambhala was “characterized by a lot of drinking and a lot of sex,” and continued to have a “free love culture” into the 1990s. She says that when women complained about inappropriate behavior, the default response was an attitude of “What’s the big deal? … That’s just what he’s like.” “In other words,” she writes, “this sexual behavior was considered no problem.”

Chödrön does not address the recent allegations of sexual assault and clergy sexual misconduct by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche — the head of Shambhala — or other other leaders in the community.

The letter follows in full, beginning with an introduction by the Transition Task Force:

Recently, we requested Ani Pema Chödrön, as a member of the Transition Task Force, to write a letter to the Shambhala community. The request arose as a way to share the outcome of her communication with the woman who spoke of Ani Pema in the third Project Sunshine document.

But it evolved as a request to share with the community how Shambhala might effect long-lasting culture change around the embedded patterns of sexual abuse and abuse of power. We deeply appreciate Ani Pema’s beautiful, honest, and humble response and advice for us all.

The Transition Task Force


Dear Shambhala Community:

I would like to share some thoughts I have about the need for a deep and lasting change in the Shambhala culture regarding sexual abuse of power. These thoughts are prompted by the reports of the Sakyong’s sexual misconduct and by reports of harm caused by many others in the sangha.
...
Pathetic. Her response at the time shows her true nature.

Someone being uncompassionate in one instance "shows their true nature"? Really? I can certainly understand being less enthused about her as a teacher (providing one was enthused in the first place) after these revelations, but pretending she is some shitty monster due to one instance of moral failing is a pretty unrealistic attitude.
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Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by Fortyeightvows » Thu Sep 27, 2018 6:52 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 6:08 am
Someone being uncompassionate in one instance "shows their true nature"? Really? I can certainly understand being less enthused about her as a teacher (providing one was enthused in the first place) after these revelations, but pretending she is some shitty monster due to one instance of moral failing is a pretty unrealistic attitude.
This is such an amazing post.
Someone being uncompassionate in one instance "shows their true nature"?
This is a very good question!
There is so much wisdom in this one question.

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Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by Mantrik » Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:34 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 6:08 am


Someone being uncompassionate in one instance "shows their true nature"? Really? I can certainly understand being less enthused about her as a teacher (providing one was enthused in the first place) after these revelations, but pretending she is some shitty monster due to one instance of moral failing is a pretty unrealistic attitude.
Have you morphed into a different Mod?

Yes, it is perfectly possible that her response revealed her real nature and that, like quite a few we have discussed, the rest is a facade. Neither do we know how many other times she ignored what was going on or 'victim shamed'. Women do collude in the sexual abuse of other women, you know.

I won't grace the rest of the 'shitty monster' invention of yours with a response, as that was not my assertion. This straw man virus is catching, it seems.
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Om Thathpurushaya Vidhmahe
Suvarna Pakshaya Dheemahe
Thanno Garuda Prachodayath

Micchāmi Dukkaḍaṃ (मिच्छामि दुक्कडम्)

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Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by Simon E. » Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:42 am

I have no wish to be Simon -in -the- middle- here... :smile: But...

She has, as the cockneys have it... previous.

I knew her a little when she was Deirdre Brown, a very conscientious student of Chime Rinpoche.

She then became a student of CTR and I saw little of her but heard about her promotion through the ranks.
She then developed some kind of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and was ill for quite some time. Shortly after she recovered she was given all sorts of honours by Sakya Mipham.

This preamble is leading up to the real point of my post. There is NO WAY that she could not have not known about the degree of abuse, drug and booze fuelled outrages, and general chaos around CTR.
Many of us did. Some of us acted on that knowledge. Others like Deidre went into Denial.
Her reaction to the young woman was merely an extension of her propensity to Denial.

Her books are good though.
Back to fishin' folks... :namaste:

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Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by amanitamusc » Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:13 am

Simon E. wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:42 am
I have no wish to be Simon -in -the- middle- here... :smile: But...

She has, as the cockneys have it... previous.

I knew her a little when she was Deirdre Brown, a very conscientious student of Chime Rinpoche.

She then became a student of CTR and I saw little of her but heard about her promotion through the ranks.
She then developed some kind of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and was ill for quite some time. Shortly after she recovered she was given all sorts of honours by Sakya Mipham.

This preamble is leading up to the real point of my post. There is NO WAY that she could not have not known about the degree of abuse, drug and booze fuelled outrages, and general chaos around CTR.
Many of us did. Some of us acted on that knowledge. Others like Deidre went into Denial.
Her reaction to the young woman was merely an extension of her propensity to Denial.

Her books are good though.
She seems unwilling to face her demons.She could use some time with Lama Tsultrim Allione,
instead of a trying to revamp shambala.

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Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by Anders » Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:52 am

I feel that it is important to remember that whatever moral failings she had and may presently have, none of them are in fact her true nature. Their true nature is: subject to change according to causes and conditions.
It is easier to recognise in thoughts arising on the cushion but for applying dharma to life at large, I think all the more important to bear in mind. Whatever her faults, she too will one day become a buddha.

That being said, looking from the perspective of her qualities as a teacher and not just any other person, and whilst bearing in mind the difficulties of correctly interpreting on a single written letter, I don't personally get a deeper sense of sincere repentance from it. I reckon pema chodron probably believes she is being sincere, but the sense I get from it is as much a repentance borne of necessity. Maybe that will suffice for her situation going forwards. That she actually took action to call and apologise has merit regardless. But, based on the admittedly scant evidence, it's not something that tells me "here's someone whose come out wiser from sincere soul searching".
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

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Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by Knotty Veneer » Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:15 am

Anders wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:52 am
I feel that it is important to remember that whatever moral failings she had and may presently have, none of them are in fact her true nature. Their true nature is: subject to change according to causes and conditions.
It is easier to recognise in thoughts arising on the cushion but for applying dharma to life at large, I think all the more important to bear in mind. Whatever her faults, she too will one day become a buddha.

That being said, looking from the perspective of her qualities as a teacher and not just any other person, and whilst bearing in mind the difficulties of correctly interpreting on a single written letter, I don't personally get a deeper sense of sincere repentance from it. I reckon pema chodron probably believes she is being sincere, but the sense I get from it is as much a repentance borne of necessity. Maybe that will suffice for her situation going forwards. That she actually took action to call and apologise has merit regardless. But, based on the admittedly scant evidence, it's not something that tells me "here's someone whose come out wiser from sincere soul searching".
I don’t think we should write off Pema Chodron just for this this incident. It goes to show that even experienced practitioners are liable to fall into group-think sometimes.

To my mind the situation with the Sakyong was bound to happen. Make someone an absolute monarch and they will abuse their power. And when they do their subjects will rise up and depose them.

As I pointed out in an earlier post, Shambhala did not learn from the scandal around the all-powerful Vajra Regent Thomas Rich and so were doomed to repeat it.

It’ll be interesting to see if this scandal finally opens their eyes to their flawed institutional structure or they’ll fudge it until the next scandal.
“If you are going to put people on pedestals, at least wear a big hat” - Jake Thackray.

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Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by Simon E. » Thu Sep 27, 2018 3:30 pm

An addendum to my post above. Until Enlightenment, we are all in psychological Denial about some aspect of our lives, And the more important the issue is to us, the more Denial is a temptation.
CTR and Mukpo are very important to Pema Chodron.
It would be understandable if she can only approach the reality of the situation slowly.
Back to fishin' folks... :namaste:

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Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by Anders » Thu Sep 27, 2018 3:40 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 3:30 pm
An addendum to my post above. Until Enlightenment, we are all in psychological Denial about some aspect of our lives, And the more important the issue is to us, the more Denial is a temptation.
CTR and Mukpo are very important to Pema Chodron.
It would be understandable if she can only approach the reality of the situation slowly.
Absolutely.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra

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Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by amanitamusc » Thu Sep 27, 2018 3:50 pm

Knotty Veneer wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:15 am
Anders wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:52 am
I feel that it is important to remember that whatever moral failings she had and may presently have, none of them are in fact her true nature. Their true nature is: subject to change according to causes and conditions.
It is easier to recognise in thoughts arising on the cushion but for applying dharma to life at large, I think all the more important to bear in mind. Whatever her faults, she too will one day become a buddha.

That being said, looking from the perspective of her qualities as a teacher and not just any other person, and whilst bearing in mind the difficulties of correctly interpreting on a single written letter, I don't personally get a deeper sense of sincere repentance from it. I reckon pema chodron probably believes she is being sincere, but the sense I get from it is as much a repentance borne of necessity. Maybe that will suffice for her situation going forwards. That she actually took action to call and apologise has merit regardless. But, based on the admittedly scant evidence, it's not something that tells me "here's someone whose come out wiser from sincere soul searching".
I don’t think we should write off Pema Chodron just for this this incident. It goes to show that even experienced practitioners are liable to fall into group-think sometimes.

To my mind the situation with the Sakyong was bound to happen. Make someone an absolute monarch and they will abuse their power. And when they do their subjects will rise up and depose them.

As I pointed out in an earlier post, Shambhala did not learn from the scandal around the all-powerful Vajra Regent Thomas Rich and so were doomed to repeat it.

It’ll be interesting to see if this scandal finally opens their eyes to their flawed institutional structure or they’ll fudge it until the next scandal.
We will see.

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Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:01 pm

Mantrik wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:34 am
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 6:08 am


Someone being uncompassionate in one instance "shows their true nature"? Really? I can certainly understand being less enthused about her as a teacher (providing one was enthused in the first place) after these revelations, but pretending she is some shitty monster due to one instance of moral failing is a pretty unrealistic attitude.
Have you morphed into a different Mod?

Yes, it is perfectly possible that her response revealed her real nature and that, like quite a few we have discussed, the rest is a facade. Neither do we know how many other times she ignored what was going on or 'victim shamed'. Women do collude in the sexual abuse of other women, you know.

I won't grace the rest of the 'shitty monster' invention of yours with a response, as that was not my assertion. This straw man virus is catching, it seems.
Indeed we don't know those things, so essentializing her as having the 'true nature' of condoning abuse is probably not a great idea.

It wasn't a straw man, but a fairly reasonable inference based on what you said. If you want me to make a different inference then make less definitive statements about the essential nature of someone's character I guess. Why get so personal? I've morphed into a different mod for disagreeing with one off the cuff statement you made?
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Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by justsit » Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:37 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 3:30 pm
CTR and Mukpo are very important to Pema Chodron.
I'm confused about the relationships here. When CTR died in 1987, did PC take Mukpo as her teacher (he was then 25yo)? AFAIK more recently she has been a student of Dzigar Kongtrul [Nyingma*].

According to the Gampo Abbey website - "Under the spiritual direction of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, the spiritual head of Shambhala International, Gampo Abbey is guided by our abbot the Venerable Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche [Kagyu*] and our principal teacher Acharya Pema Chödrön." *(bracket info mine)

So Mukpo is important to her in her role as teacher at GA but not as her personal teacher??

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Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by Mantrik » Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:50 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:01 pm
Mantrik wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:34 am
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 6:08 am


Someone being uncompassionate in one instance "shows their true nature"? Really? I can certainly understand being less enthused about her as a teacher (providing one was enthused in the first place) after these revelations, but pretending she is some shitty monster due to one instance of moral failing is a pretty unrealistic attitude.
Have you morphed into a different Mod?

Yes, it is perfectly possible that her response revealed her real nature and that, like quite a few we have discussed, the rest is a facade. Neither do we know how many other times she ignored what was going on or 'victim shamed'. Women do collude in the sexual abuse of other women, you know.

I won't grace the rest of the 'shitty monster' invention of yours with a response, as that was not my assertion. This straw man virus is catching, it seems.
Indeed we don't know those things, so essentializing her as having the 'true nature' of condoning abuse is probably not a great idea.

It wasn't a straw man, but a fairly reasonable inference based on what you said. If you want me to make a different inference then make less definitive statements about the essential nature of someone's character I guess. Why get so personal? I've morphed into a different mod for disagreeing with one off the cuff statement you made?
I did not say she was a shitty monster. Inventing that phrase so you could disagree with it reminded me of someone else's behaviour. That's all.
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Om Thathpurushaya Vidhmahe
Suvarna Pakshaya Dheemahe
Thanno Garuda Prachodayath

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