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Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Posted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 8:37 pm
by Queequeg
Malcolm wrote:
Sun Sep 02, 2018 4:29 pm
They clearly felt they had a higher responsibility to make these various allegations known and the names of those accused, which in fact are found throughout all three reports.
I may have missed details but I don't think this is an accurate statement. The first report avoids naming names. The second report discusses the allegations against SMR, but still avoids naming names. The third report is where a decision is made to publicize the names of the people accused in some of the anonymous reports.

There are two approaches - one is Andrea Winn, and one is Carol Merchasin, Esq. Merchasin's reports are very good. She describes her methodology and evidence gathered, and explains the basis of her conclusions. These reports are focused on SMR.

Winn's approach is informal. In explaining her decision to name names, she offers a single explanation found on page 16 of the third report, "I believe the victims."
Whether this is "proper" or not, it is clearly a response to what appears to be pervasive and systematic shielding of elite Shambhalians from the consequences of their actions. It is clear they are trying to stimulate prosecutorial interest in these cases.
Fair? Would "fair" be a better word than "proper"?

I'm not sure if Wynn's intent is to get prosecutors to investigate. Nominally she continues to maintain that her purpose is to get the community reformed.

I'm not trying to defend Shambhala or anything like that. Reading these reports - its f'ing creepy. Not just the sexual abuse allegations, but the glimpse inside the organizational psychology. Its gross. It quacks like a cult.

That said, I am sensitive to the effect that uncorroborated accusations can have - once they're out, that's it. A minimum of investigation would make me a whole lot more comfortable here - was the accuser and PC in the same place at the same time when these alleged interactions took place? A little more than, "I believe them."

I really don't have any particular interest in any of this. I guess I jumped into the thread to respond to the hints of hysteria here. Which is probably a losing proposition given how rotten the underlying situation is. Its like complaining about the color of the carpet while the house is burning down.

:shrug:

Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 4:32 am
by TharpaChodron
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.

Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:16 am
by smcj
Just to be clear, apparently the new standard is that any suggestion of impropriety must be immediately deemed credible, and that we are retroactively faulting PC for a single anonymous report that she failed to adhere to that standard.

Going forward it seems like all clergy/congregant intimacy will be off limits. That will simplify the situation enormously, which is good. Up to this point it’s been a very confused and complicated situation, especially with the ‘crazy wisdom’ and ‘karma mudra’ teachings being misused. That wasn’t sustainable. Better to leave crazy wisdom and consort practice to jurisdictions that are not litigious.

Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:32 am
by PeterC
smcj wrote:
Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:16 am
Just to be clear, the new standard is that any suggestion of impropriety must be deemed credible, and that we are retroactively faulting PC for a single anonymous report that she failed to adhere to that standard.

Just sayin’...
That's not really fair. The "old" standard, which has been prevalent for centuries and is still the norm in most parts of the world, is that victims of abuse are not believed, are shamed for making accusations, and if the events are proven to have happened, they are then blamed for having caused them.

In the very, very recent past, there have been very limited examples of a reversal of that, of accusers being given the benefit of the doubt. This has been accompanied by a lot of complaining by men accused of abuse that this encourages witch-hunts and premature judgement. However reliable statistical evidence suggests that false accusations, though they do happen, are extremely rare, and vastly outweighed by the number of genuine reports that are suppressed, not believed or simply never made due to fear of the consequences. So the world is generally a bit better off by the pendulum swinging a little toward the victim.

I've reflected on QQ's issues with the accusations about PC and wondered what I would have done were I Andrea Winn (apart from never getting involved with that sangha in the first place). She could, and probably should, have:
1. Contacted PC to give her an opportunity to explain, rebut or comment
2. Contacted the person making the statement and asked for contextual detail - dates, places, etc.
3. In the absence of corroboration, she could have considered anonymizing PC in the account
...but I don't think she should have buried this completely, because as this discussion has shown, it's relevant information that most interested people will want to know.

I think it's also fair to ask: where was PC in all of this before these allegations being made about her? She hasn't made any public statement on the matter that I can find, but she really should. She's a public figure; she publishes a lot of self-help books ("When things fall apart", for instance); she has experience with a questionable dharma teacher herself; and she's prominent in the sangha. She of course had no obligation to say anything. But then neither did Tenzin Palmo or Tsultrim Allione, and their contributions were helpful, PC's would be too.

Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 8:03 am
by Berry
PeterC wrote:
Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:32 am

I think it's also fair to ask: where was PC in all of this before these allegations being made about her? She hasn't made any public statement on the matter that I can find, but she really should. She's a public figure; she publishes a lot of self-help books ("When things fall apart", for instance); she has experience with a questionable dharma teacher herself; and she's prominent in the sangha. She of course had no obligation to say anything. But then neither did Tenzin Palmo or Tsultrim Allione, and their contributions were helpful, PC's would be too.

:good:

Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:08 am
by Grigoris
PeterC wrote:
Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:32 am
I think it's also fair to ask: where was PC in all of this before these allegations being made about her? She hasn't made any public statement on the matter that I can find, but she really should. She's a public figure; she publishes a lot of self-help books ("When things fall apart", for instance); she has experience with a questionable dharma teacher herself; and she's prominent in the sangha. She of course had no obligation to say anything. But then neither did Tenzin Palmo or Tsultrim Allione, and their contributions were helpful, PC's would be too.
Personally, if I was Venerable Pema Chodron, given the prevailing attitudes, I would not make a statement either.

Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:18 am
by Knotty Veneer
I imagine PC has been advised not to speak publicly on this.

When something like this happens in a group as big as Shambhala and a country a litigious as the US or Canada, I think the first thing an organization will do is try to dampen the fire until they can work out how they are going to respond. If you have lots of different folks making statements and reports appearing in the media on a daily basis, it makes it much more difficult to provide a coherent response.

Unfortunately this can also be (or at least look like) circling the wagons and keeping heads down until the shooting has stopped. For PC on her own to make a statement would undermine the Shambhala organization of which she is a prominent part. I can't see her doing that unless she decided to leave it.

I think for those who simply enjoy her books and have no connection to the Shambhala organization, her silence is disappointing. I am going to err on the side of generosity and imagine she, like everyone else in Shambhala, is going through a tough time on this.

Not all teachers have feet of clay, but some teachers' feet occasionally can get pretty muddy.

Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:58 am
by amanitamusc
I don't have much contact with others in person but when i leave the house i have
my small voice activated time sensitive body camera.
I started this because of cop corruption and harassment.
With the way things are i do not plan on stopping this practice.
In some states this is illegal but not in Arizona as long is its not on in someones
house,or public restrooms,changing rooms.
I would think this practice would be helpful for many people in situations
like VPC finds herself in.

Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 12:17 pm
by Berry
Here's an article from Halifax:

"How many knew of Shambhala abuses? "

https://www.thecoast.ca/halifax/how-man ... d=16830135

.

Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:00 pm
by Quay
Berry wrote:
Mon Sep 03, 2018 12:17 pm
Here's an article from Halifax:

"How many knew of Shambhala abuses? "

https://www.thecoast.ca/halifax/how-man ... d=16830135

.
A good question. The article also mentions that Winn is working on a Phase Four of the report which will touch on "historical harms in the Shambhala community." I wonder how far back the report will go?

Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:18 pm
by Nemo
Dominance based hierarchies have innate problems. Shambala loves and idolizes them. Shakyamuni never did. They made this problem and confronting dominance and hierarchy is the only meaningful way out. Maybe this is what they are meant to do? Dismantling this demon based on materialist philosophies could save the world.

Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:26 pm
by DGA
Grigoris wrote:
Mon Sep 03, 2018 11:40 am
Knotty Veneer wrote:
Mon Sep 03, 2018 10:26 am
I think you are overstepping the mark, Greg. A simple shorthand does not constitute disrespect.
You are quite right. The entire thread has a climate of disrespect, the "PC" part is merely a part of the general trend of disrespect.
Disrespect to whom?

Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:41 pm
by Grigoris
This is the issue:
Among other allegations in the investigation is a story from a woman called “Ann,” who alleges that Mukpo assaulted her on a number of occasions, including twice while surrounded by men from his “inner circle.” On one of those occasions, Mukpo suggested she should engage in sexual contact with the other men present, asking her, “What can you do for them?”
In comparison to this, everything in this thread is meaningless waffle.

Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 4:01 pm
by gb9810

Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 4:10 pm
by Mr. G
Glad to see she admitted it.

Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 4:13 pm
by Norwegian
In the third Project Sunshine, I was described as having said some very unskillful, unkind words to a young woman who confided in me that she had been raped and become pregnant by the director of her Shambhala Center. Through An Olive Branch, I was able to get the young woman’s permission to contact her, and then we were able to talk.
I began by apologizing for the things I had said
We talked for a long time, and ultimately the apology gave rise to a very insightful and honest conversation. In the end, we both said we felt good about the outcome of meeting one another like this, and I was able to tell her that I feel very differently now; I believe what she told me and, going forward, I hope to be a better listener and not again say such insensitive and hurtful remarks to those who come to me for help.
I think the above quotes from Pema Chodron are important. Because they confirm that Pema Chodron did indeed say these things to the woman cited before. But now there seems to have been a reconciliation, which is good.

Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Posted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:42 am
by amanitamusc
"Hopes to be a better listener" How nice.
Maybe she will have a stern talk with Mukpo :rolleye:

Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Posted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:30 am
by Knotty Veneer
amanitamusc wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:42 am
"Hopes to be a better listener" How nice.
Maybe she will have a stern talk with Mukpo :rolleye:
Well, it's certainly a positive step to admit she was wrong, apologize and say she now believes the woman she dismissed before.

And I agree with her that Shambhala is experiencing the ripening of some very old karma – going all the way back to Trungpa and Vajradhatu. Indeed, I’d go further and suggest that they are experiencing the ripening of karma of the institutionalized hierarchy and patriarchy that is built into the Shambhala vision. Surely, this is what always happens in any community organized as a feudal monarchy?

Also, the letter does not really put forward any real solution to stop it happening again, other than the rather weak determination to be a better listener. But then again, I think Shambhala needs to review it’s entire culture and organizing principle. That’s a big job.

Can the Kingdom of Shambhala ever really become a democracy?

Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Posted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:45 am
by Simon E.
:good:

It all started as a humorous response. CTR wanted to distance himself from the hippy/vegan/homespun image of Buddhism.
He saw that as much a trap and fixed personality stance as he saw the suited 9-5 corporation man.
Mr Businessman with a minus sign.
What better way to challenge the idea that Buddhism was a hippy religion than to put his followers into uniform and announce a strict social hierarchy with an actual King at the top of the heap?

But it all went wrong. Some of his followers took it all too seriously, and eventually so did CTR himself.

That was the cultural heritage that formed Shambala. The seeds of what followed were in there at its birth.

Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Posted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:07 pm
by amanitamusc
Knotty Veneer wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:30 am
amanitamusc wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:42 am
"Hopes to be a better listener" How nice.
Maybe she will have a stern talk with Mukpo :rolleye:
Well, it's certainly a positive step to admit she was wrong, apologize and say she now believes the woman she dismissed before.

And I agree with her that Shambhala is experiencing the ripening of some very old karma – going all the way back to Trungpa and Vajradhatu. Indeed, I’d go further and suggest that they are experiencing the ripening of karma of the institutionalized hierarchy and patriarchy that is built into the Shambhala vision. Surely, this is what always happens in any community organized as a feudal monarchy?

Also, the letter does not really put forward any real solution to stop it happening again, other than the rather weak determination to be a better listener. But then again, I think Shambhala needs to review it’s entire culture and organizing principle. That’s a big job.

Can the Kingdom of Shambhala ever really become a democracy?
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: