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Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 1:55 pm
by American Dream
Hits of windowpane can be easily concealed, that's for sure. From the paramour of Timothy Leary, who has long been accused of having co-operated with the Feds (perhaps it is so? and/or perhaps an appeal to misogyny?):

Almost every time I visited TL in prison, I was stripped and searched, cavities and all, singled out because I was guilty of being in love with “The most dangerous man in America,” the one who, according to Richard Nixon, had killed more people than the Vietnam War.

One day while we were exchanging a goodbye kiss at the end of the visit. Timothy whispered in my ear “Bring me some acid.”

On the drive back to San Francisco, in the evening after the visit, I began to wonder how I could fulfill his wish without getting caught.

When I woke up the next morning, a fresh idea entered my mind, my belly button was the ideal hiding place for tiny tabs of transparent “Clear Light” acid.

In those days I had a friend who was an acid chemist; each time I saw him he would give me small transparent vials that contained each a thousand tabs of “Clear Light.” I carried one of those vials in my purse at all times. Everywhere I went I seeded the L.S.D with people who wanted to try the experience. Once when I was at the bank I seeded the cashier. The following week my favorite bank employee was gone, I imagined she had actually “turned on, tuned in and dropped out” from her boring bank job. I thought of her hanging out in the Height Ashbury, with flowers in her hair, listening to the Jefferson Airplane.

The following week I dressed for the visit, a long black skirt and a red tee shirt. The colors of Tantra, the ancient Indian practice of sexual union.

I carefully placed several peaces of transparent film soaked in Lysergic Acid inside my belly button. This, I thought with a feeling of defiance, is a cavity they will not search.

On the way to Folsom from San Francisco, just as we were driving through the city of Vacaville, I started to feel a slight change of perception. I realized some of the substance in my belly button, aided by pearls of sweat, had seeped through my skin and into my system. The California sky had turned deep blue, the color of the Lapis Lazuli stone. The friend who was driving me knew nothing of my altered state but I now perceived his feelings as clearly as I felt my own. As we passed huge fields of alfalfa, I saw the grass like hair upon the land, and this made me think of my mother. When she did not like my hair color she said I had green hair.

Folsom prison appeared to me like a medieval French dungeon where my prince was held under lock and chain. I wondered how the admission and search would go. Would my amplified fear cause me to do something that would threaten my access to the prison?

Everything went smoothly, that day they did not even bother to strip-search me. I walked down the yard with the other visitors. I felt exhilarated, I was smuggling dangerous drugs into their maximum-security prison. This was a victory over the cruel system that kept my lover away from me. I heard the clunk of heavy metal doors and Timothy appeared dressed in an orange jumpsuit and Adidas shoes. He still had that spring in his in his step that spoke volumes about his indomitable spirit.

We were allowed a hug and a kiss at the beginning of the visit. I had moved two tabs of acid from my navel to my mouth; I had already taken my dose so I gently passed them from my tongue to his. Our eyes met in a deep look of complicity. A strong feeling of anxiety flashed through me. This must be the worst “set and setting” for an acid trip anyone could chose. Love, I felt, would work it’s exquisite magic.

” My darling wife,” Timothy said. I smiled; this man was everything to me. A few months before, I had anchored my whole existence into him. Leaving my old life in Europe dangling in the distance. The visiting room at Folsom was our world, our bubble of intimacy. We sat together at a small table, and for four hours we imagined we were at a sidewalk café sipping champagne cocktails in the sunshine. The other prisoners, their wives and children, acted like normal families on a Sunday outing. The guards watched closely, making sure there was no illegal touching during the visit.

Timothy’s eyes met mine with a great look of tenderness. I could feel he loved me. Even in this dangerous atmosphere I felt protected by his presence. As the full force of the acid began to flood my brain, I cried softly, ” I yearn for you, I long for you, get out of here, I need you.” Timothy’s eyes where soft but the gray of his irises was the color of steel. “Soon, soon I will be with you, we will make a baby together and be lovers forever.”

Underneath the table our feet where touching, sometimes the guards turned a blind eye to these games. I felt the passion in his foot climb up my skirt and ravish me as if we where lying in a luscious bed together. An orgasm shook my body, my eyes narrowed with pleasure, like those of a cat purring with ecstasy. Tim’s eyes were locked into mine. We were both travelling on a moonbeam shining on a silver spider’s web. There was no more prison, no more freedom to be given or taken away. We were inside each other outside of time and space. Tim whispered, “Come into me deeper, deeper.”

I let myself slide into the endless abyss of his being as he opened his heart to me like no one had done before. I was a newborn baby lost in the gaze of the mother, undifferentiated and totally blissful. I could not talk but I could love beyond love, beyond any sense of separation. Timothy guided us on this extraordinary escape from prison, like Houdini breaking away from his chains, he was free and we were together beyond the restraints of human laws.

I heard the guard announce the end of the visit “Five minutes before termination.”

Finally we could embrace each other. Timothy said “We will be together again next week, I will write you every day.” We held each other, I felt his warm breath on my lips, his body was strong from the hours of yoga he practiced in his cell. Every atom of my body docked onto his .

Then he skipped out the door and into the belly of the dungeon.

I felt like I was waking from a dream, the story of the last few hours disappearing into a fog inside my brain. I walked towards the gate of the prison sad and elated at the same time.

Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:46 pm
by American Dream

Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:46 am
by American Dream
Ergot, as illustrated by Jan Christiaan Sepp in Jan Kops’s Flora Batava of Afbeeldingen en Beschrijving van Nederlandsche Gewassen (Pictures and Description of Dutch Crops), 1865.


In September 1933, just a few months after Adolf Hitler came to power, the Austrian writer Leo Perutz published Saint Peter’s Snow, a remarkable novel about an outlandish pharmacological plot to send Germany back into the Middle Ages. A reactionary nobleman, the Baron von Malchin, has discovered that all outbreaks of religious frenzy during the Middle Ages—flagellations, witch hunts, crusades, and the like—were preceded by the consumption of bread infected with a fungus known as Saint Peter’s snow. This connection allows Malchin to explain, once and for all, the disappearance of Christianity. Since the intensity of faith depended on fungal infestations, religion was doomed by the arrival of modern agricultural methods. Secularization was the regrettable effect of industrial fertilizers.

But Malchin has a plan to turn history around. Chemistry, the very science that destroyed faith, will resurrect it. Hired chemists will extract and refine the psychoactive alkaloids of the fungus and administer them to the unsuspecting peasants living in the village near Malchin’s estate. To make certain that the spiritually mobilized masses act appropriately, Malchin has located a direct descendant of legendary medieval emperor Frederick II (1194–1250) to rule over them. Eventually the whole of Germany will return to the pharmacologically resuscitated Middle Ages and rally behind a charismatic leader. And so Malchin proceeds to hand out the faith drug to his peasants, but then—well, you will have to read Perutz’s novel (available in Eric Mosbacher’s fine translation from Arcade) to know what happens.

Saint Peter’s Snow is one of the few novels that deserve the overused epithet prophetic. Anticipating the complex conspiracy tales that would start to flood shelves in the 1980s, Perutz undertook a lot of research to arrive at a semicredible mixture of arcane historical tidbits and esoteric scientific explanations. The basic facts are clear: “Saint Peter’s snow” is an obscure regional name for what is commonly known as ergot; ergot is a fungal disease of cereal grasses, especially rye; and consumption of ergot-infested bread can cause ergotism, the symptoms of which include phantasms, delusions, and hallucinations—that is, all the psychic convulsions that religions thrive on. Indeed, over the past decades, scholars such as Mary K. Matossian have argued in earnest what Perutz presented as fiction: that bygone outbreaks of religious frenzy, including the Salem witch hunt of 1692, were caused by ergot.

And then there is the infamous pharmaco-prophetic ingredient at the center of the novel. (Psychedelically initiated readers will no doubt know exactly where this paragraph is headed.) The psychoactive compounds of ergot are alkaloids such as ergonovine and ergotamine. Their possible medicinal applications were the target of extensive research while Perutz was writing his novel. In 1938 and then again in 1943, Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann manipulated the alkaloids’ lysergic acids and came up with the promising substance Lysergsäurediethylamid, or LSD-25. On April 19, 1943, the most exciting Swiss day of World War II, Hofmann ingested a quarter of a milligram (he thought he was being cautious; we know better) to study its effects. Riding home on his bike he experienced all the psychic tremors and upsurges Malchin intended to mobilize among his peasants. Indeed, had Hofmann read Saint Peter’s Snow, he might have recognized in Malchin’s nefarious plot a twisted reflection of his own, more humane aspirations. The true importance of acid, Hofmann wrote years later in LSD: My Problem Child (1979), lies “in the possibility of providing material aid to meditation aimed at the mystical experience of a deeper, comprehensive reality. Such a use accords entirely with the essence and working character of LSD as a sacred drug.” Malchin would have agreed. Let’s beef up our synapses to make them fit for God.

Ever since Hofmann’s enhanced bike ride, April 19 has been celebrated as Bicycle Day. It is, of course, pure coincidence (though the psychedelically initiated tend to claim there are no real coincidences) that Bicycle Day directly precedes April 20, the day that lives in infamy as Hitler’s birthday. But this historical accident points to the political message of Perutz’s novel. In his monologues, Malchin explains how in the year 1094 Saint Peter’s snow crept up Italy into France and Hungary, triggering the First Crusade in 1095. Now, as Perutz is writing his novel, a political fungus causing mass delusions of resurrected past grandeur is about to migrate from Italy to Germany, and it, too, will precipitate crusades eastward. Fascism is a collective acid trip gone horribly wrong. ... trol-68683

Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:42 am
by American Dream
The first Gaia idea came about with the following line of reasoning: “If today’s humans, via their industries, can spread chemical products over the Earth that I can detect with my instruments, then it is certainly possible that all terrestrial biochemistry could also be the product of living beings. If humans can so radically modify their environment in so little time, then other beings could have done it as well over hundreds of millions of years.” Earth is well and truly an artificially conceived kind of technosphere for which living things are engineers as blind as termites. You have to be an engineer and inventor like Lovelock to understand this entanglement.

So Gaia has nothing to do with any New Age idea of the Earth in a millennial balance, but rather emerges, as Lenton emphasizes over dinner, from a very specific industrial and technological situation: a violent technological rupture, blending the conquest of space, plus the nuclear and cold wars, that we were later to summarize under the label of the “Anthropocene” and that is accompanied by a cultural rupture symbolized by California in the 1960s. Drugs, sex, cybernetics, the conquest of space, the Vietnam War, computers, and the nuclear threat: this is the matrix from which Gaia was born, in violence, artifice, and war.

Bruno Latour Tracks Down Gaia

Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:22 pm
by liminalOyster

Leaked notes reveal Buddhist leader coerced female students into sex
Stories of drunken parties and sexual misconduct are emerging from his inner circle.
JUL 6, 2018, 8:00 AM
Sakyong Mipham sings a book during a program in Munich, Germany, on Feb. 2, 2007. CREDIT: Robertivanc via Flickr
A senior official in the Buddhist group Shambhala International admitted Monday that its head, prominent Buddhist teacher and author Sakyong Mipham, had coercive sexual relationships with his female students, according to meeting notes obtained by ThinkProgress.

The notes come from a private video call Monday between ground-level Shambhala leaders and its governing body, called the Kalapa Council. They reveal a crisis of leadership, with members calling for Mipham, the council, or both to step down in the wake of a sex scandal that has rocked the organization.


“There is no one holding this body accountable right now,” one person told the council during a question-and-answer session. “That’s not ok [sic]. I want to see some accountability. I want to see members step down.”

Mipham and the Kalapa Council referred requests for comment to the public relations firm Hiltzik Strategies, which declined to comment on the record.

Last week, the advocacy group Buddhist Project Sunshine published a report detailing allegations of coercive relationships and sexual assault by Mipham — including a second-hand allegation that a woman in Chile accused him of rape.

Senior officials within Shambhala made several other previously unpublished disclosures during the hour-and-a-half-long call, including:

Shambhala is hiring the Halifax law firm Wickwire Holm to investigate the allegations against Mipham.
Two members of the Kalapa Council — a governing body within the organization whose members have been appointed by Mipham himself — have held separate interventions with Mipham in the past over his heavy drinking and his louche behavior with women, one of which lead to him going on “retreat.”
A council member and another senior official seemed to admit to the facts of a 2011 incident in which Mipham allegedly sexually assaulted a woman in the kitchen of his Halifax home after the first birthday party for one of his daughters.
Shambhala nevertheless believes the Chile allegation to be untrue and said that the organization has “first-hand witnesses who indicate it isn’t true.”
In a letter sent to Shambhala members before the report’s release last week, Mipham acknowledged what he called “relationships” with his female students in the past, but he stopped short of admitting to any sexual misconduct.


“I have recently learned that some of these women have shared experiences of feeling harmed as a result of these relationships,” Mipham wrote. “I am now making a public apology.”

Mipham echoed those sentiments at the beginning of the call Monday, apologizing again for this behavior, saying he has “a lot of hard work to do” and that he feels “sad and embarrassed” about the disclosures. He did not go into detail about his behavior or how it might have affected the women involved.

Early in the call, one member of the council, Adam Lobel, described the “wild culture of drinking, spontaneous poetry, and parties” he witnessed while working closely with Mipham in the early to mid 2000s.

“A lot of what we saw with women was consensual,” Lobel said. “What was disturbing was his inability to connect with women as a human being [sic].”

Lobel described what he saw during that time as “off and confusing.” Eventually, Lobel said, an intervention was staged that led to Mipham being sent on a “retreat” after which he appeared to settle down — evidenced by fewer instances of drunken public debauchery and his 2006 marriage to Khandro Tseyang.


“The story line I’ve had in my mind is one of human growth and healing,” Lobel said before admitting that the organization needs to own up to Mipham’s history with women.

But at least one woman has said Mipham sexually assaulted her since his marriage in 2006. In the Buddhist Project Sunshine report and an interview with ThinkProgress, the woman described how Mipham lifted up her skirt, groped her breasts, and began drunkenly kissing her in the kitchen of his Halifax home in 2011 after the birthday party for his one-year-old daughter.

“I felt like I just did something I didn’t want to do, and I didn’t have a way out,” the woman, who asked to remain anonymous out of fear of reprisal, told ThinkProgress. “I felt trapped … There was no one there to help me. I felt alone.”

During the call Monday, two senior Shambhala officials, one of whom is on the Kalapa Council, seemed to concede the facts of that incident and said they tried to provide support to the woman afterward.

“She told me her account a couple of days after,” one of the officials said. “I said what happened was not ok [sic] and it’s not your fault. I shared my feelings with [Mipham].”

Shambhala is not aware of any incidents since 2011, according to notes from the Monday call.

ThinkProgress is not identifying the two senior officials in order to protect the identity of the woman who says Mipham sexually assaulted her.


Toward the end of the call, an unnamed person said they had a sexual relationship with Mipham in 2003 and challenged Lobel’s assertion that the relationships he saw Mipham engage in were all consensual.

“I had a relationship with [Mipham] in 2003,” the person said. “I don’t feel it was consensual, given the power difference.”

“All of us are lea[r]ning a lot about power dynamics,” Lobel responded. “I no longer see those relationships as consensual in that same way. I’m sorry for any of the pain you have gone through.”

Lobel did not respond to a request for comment on the leaked notes.

Mipham showed visible regret as he addressed the call Monday, according to a brief summary of the call posted online by the Shambhala meditation center in Atlanta, Georgia. Some of those who participated in the call expressed gratitude at what they described as his decision to discuss his past with greater honesty.

But others have said that it’s time for the organization’s rigid, top-down leadership structure to change. That will be difficult for an organization that’s viewed itself as building an enlightened society with Mipham as the literal king at its center — complete with a royal court, attendants, titles, a flag, and an anthem.

Sue Gilman, a Shambhala teacher, summarized the mood she saw among the group’s rank-and-file in an email included in the summary published by the Atlanta, Georgia center.

“The Sakyong must step down until full investigations have happened,” Gillman wrote. “The Kalapa Council has to dissolve and a transitional governing body [be] put in place. The monarchy needs to go. This needs to happen now, not in a month

Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:40 pm
by American Dream
My key question is whether the rank and file members of Shambhala can- and do- freely discuss these controversies and feel the power to hold the leadership accountable for abuses.

My personal sense is that Shambhala is kinda hot shit these days and all this would not per se invalidate the positive gains that some participants might claim. That said, Cultism is, I think, best understood as a broad spectrum and I am concerned about any spiritual association that includes these sorts of behaviors.

Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:56 pm
by liminalOyster
For them to survive there will need to be a break with their oldest principle of monarchy. I'm kind of optimistic that the membership may essentially take over their local centers but I have little to no faith in their leadership.

Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:05 pm
by American Dream
Yeah, there's a long history to the clashes that occur when North American autonomous tendencies meet hierarchical ones from Asia...

Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:17 am
by American Dream
Bargaining Even With the Spiritual


It is not necessary to be adept at Candomblé, Umbanda, Quimbanda, to be graced by the great kings and queens of the occult, the unpalpable, each time we live is a new knowledge, Lord Time teaches, just open the mind to what is shown, to appropriate what is good, to distribute love, justly. The spiritual is not capitalist, it is not for sale, only understands who knows gratitude and inner peace.

Jal Souza

Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:46 pm
by liminalOyster
Watching the waterfall of reveals, I am firmly convinced it is over for Shambhala International. Frankly, I hope it is.

What about the financial side of Shambhala?
Morning File, Tuesday, July 10, 2018

In a letter published Friday, the entire Kalapa Council, the highest leadership body in the Shambhala Buddhist community, resigned their positions. The letter reads:

Dear Shambhalians,

In the interest of beginning a healing process for our community, the Kalapa Councillors will step down from our posts.

In this time of groundlessness, there is a wish for more clarity and answers, but the truth is that much is unknown. We recognize that parts of our system are broken, and need to dissolve in order to make room for real change.

It is our desire to exit responsibly. There will be a phased departure so that there is a board in place to uphold the legal and financial responsibilities of the organization. Advisors in transitioning leadership groups are assisting Shambhala in planning how to structure and communicate this progression. We are also reading and listening to all of the feedback that you are sharing. We will share more details soon as we integrate advice and learn more.

Additionally, we want to formally announce several developments that have been confirmed in the last few days.

The agreement with An Olive Branch has been signed. They will bring their expertise to serve as a neutral party for receiving stories of harm, survivor advocacy and consulting on our policies going forward. An Olive Branch will also personally introduce themselves to you, the Shambhala community, shortly.

We have engaged Wickwire Holm, a law firm based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to act as the third-party investigator to look into stories of abuse or misconduct involving any teacher or leader in the Shambhala community.
We will offer more details on both of these processes very soon. We are committed to communicating regularly and transparently with the community as new information or updates develop.

Despite this groundless situation, we believe that this community has a path forward from which Shambhala can emerge as a healthier, more supportive, and more inclusive sangha.

Sending heartfelt appreciation to the noble sangha,

The Kalapa Council

Josh Silberstein, Chair
Jane Arthur
David Brown
Wendy Friedman
Jesse Grimes
Mitchell Levy
Adam Lobel
Robert Reichner
Christoph Schönherr

With the exception of Reichner and Schönherr, the signees are also directors of the Shambhala Canada Society, the registered society that runs Shambhala affairs in Canada. The letter does not say if the signees also resigned from the Society.

Josh Silberstein uses a Boulder, Colorado address. Jane Arthur, who is described in corporate papers as the “Minister of Shambhala Governance,” uses a Danville, Vermont address. Mitchell Levy is from Providence, Rhode Island. Adam Lobel is from Pittsburgh. The other signees are in Halifax. The best known is probably Wendy Friedman, owner of Biscuit General Store.

“Meanwhile, Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, has announced that its board of directors has asked Sakyong Mipham to step down from his positions as Naropa Lineage Holder and non-voting board member, and that he has submitted his resignations,” reports the Buddhist publication The Lion’s Roar:

The joint announcement by the university’s board chair and president states, “We have reviewed the accounts presented by several women who, at the time of the encounters, were members of Shambhala International, relating abuse that occurred as recently as 2011. We find these stories credible and believable.”

When I look at the allegations against Sakyong Mipham I see abuses of power that are couched in a culture that cultivated and excused it. And I suspect that abuse of power is probably not limited to sexual abuse. I’m particularly interested in the financial side of Shambhala.

The income flow of the Shambhala community was explained in this chart, published by Barbara Blouin in the renegade Radio Free Shambhala in 2009:


Parallel to that complex money flow is the Skayong Ladrang Canada, which has recently changed its name to the Skayong Potrang Canada. The directors of the Landrang (and now the Potrang) are Jeff Rosen, Joshua Silberstein, Tseyang Mukpo, Mipham Mukpo, and Landon Mallery. With the exception of Siberstein, all are Halifax-area residents.

“Formally, the Sakyong Ladrang is a non-profit organization, a 501-C3, and its primary purpose is to protect and support the Sakyong lineage,” Suter Dubose, “councilor” of the Sakyong Ladrang, told an interviewer in 2009. “The reason is fairly obvious; without the Sakyong lineage, there is not a Shambhala lineage extending into the future past a generation or two. In addition, the Ladrang protects the relics and the assets of the Sakyong lineage.”

In practice, I’m told by people with knowledge of the organization, the Landrang/Potrang is funded by gifts from the Shambhala community, and the funds are entirely unaccounted for.

Many people are now trying to untangle the financial relationships of the various Shambhala organizations with Sakyong Mipham. As well, there’s an attempt to better understand who owns what property — some of the Colorado property appears to be owned by Sakyong Mipham outright, and I am searching property records in Nova Scotia.

You’ll see from the chart above that some of the revenue for the central Shambhala organization comes from the many Shambhala Centers around the world, and particularly in the United States. At least one of those centers is now in open revolt; the San Diego Shambhala Center announced last week:

– On Sunday, July 1, the following announcement was made and posted at the center: “Effective immediately, all donations made to the San Diego Shambhala Meditation Center will remain at the local center. Transfers of monetary support to Shambhala International are suspended until further notice. Donations made to the San Diego Center go towards our operating expenses of rent, utilities, Internet access, and insurance.”

– As of Sunday, July 1, at the request of members, the opening chants at public sitting will not contain the Supplication to the Shambhala Lineage or the Homage.

– On Saturday, July 7 we will host a community meeting at the main Center with Shastri Ruth Wallen and Shastri Marcy Fink at 7:30 p.m. More details will be available in the weekly announcements and the website,

– The Encinitas Wednesday book discussion will replace the current selection by Sakyong Mipham with “The Road Home,” by Ethan Nichtern.

– Printed copies of both Project Sunshine Reports as well as the most relevant email communications are available at the center for anyone who wants to read them there.

– There has been a request to remove the photos of the Sakyong and possibly also of Chogyam Trungpa from the main meditation hall and the community room. We are continuing to receive community feedback on this. Please let us know if you have a comment or opinion to share.

Of particular interest to me is whether the various Shambhala organizations have been violating tax laws. The Ladrang, for example, says on its provincial registry that it is a “church,” and yet the money raised appears to benefit only one person — Sakyong Mipham, and I suppose his family. And the Shambhala Canada Society was previously registered as the Vajradhatu Buddhist Church; I don’t know why the name was changed. It appears that licensing or other fees collected from the Shambhala centers are run through Shambhala International, but I don’t know if that income is declared as business income or of a charitable nature. ... shambhala/

Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:44 pm
by American Dream ... rs-resign/

Shambhala Leaders Step Down After Abuse Allegations Shake Community

Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche stops teaching as the governing Kalapa Council resigns

By Matthew Abrahams JUL 09, 2018


Shambhala International’s leader, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, has announced that he will step aside amid an investigation into his alleged sexual abuse of students, and the organization’s governing body, the Kalapa Council, said that all nine of its members will resign—leaving the community with an uncertain future.

The Sakyong will stop teaching and step away from his administrative duties until an investigation is completed, he said in a statement released on July 6. He has also resigned from the board of trustees at Naropa University and as the Naropa Lineage Holder, according to a statement from the university released a day earlier.

The Kalapa Council, meanwhile, is planning a “phased departure” as they hand over their responsibilities to new leadership, who have yet to be determined.

“We recognize that parts of our system are broken, and need to dissolve in order to make room for real change,” they said in a July 6 statement.

The change in leadership was spurred by a series of sexual abuse allegations against Shambhala teachers over the past few months. The accusations were contained in two reports created by Project Sunshine, a group that Shambhalian and abuse survivor Andrea Winn started over a year ago, initially as a support network for other survivors. The first report, which was released in February, described five accounts of misconduct that included childhood sexual abuse, betrayal by senior leaders, and a male sangha member exposing himself on retreat. “Phase two” of Project Sunshine, released in late June, revealed allegations against the Sakyong himself. Two women described being abused by him during boozy private parties. (He preempted the report with a statement three days before its publication that apologized for harmful “relationships.”)

Winn told Tricycle on Monday that she was encouraged by Shambhala’s leadership shake-up.

“The Sakyong stepping aside during the investigation is an action we have been calling for since we presented the initial findings of our preliminary investigation to the Kalapa Council,” Winn said.

She also said the Kalapa Council’s resignations was a “positive step that was called for from the community as they lost confidence in that governing body,” adding that three senior members were accused by the Sakyong’s alleged victims of having been “complicit” in the abuse.

The fallout has left many Shambhala members feeling lost; a July 8 statement from Shambhala’s female teachers described a sense of “groundlessness” amid their institution’s upheaval.

“Our Shambhala world has been turned upside down,” reads the statement from the Women Acharyas [instructors] of Shambhala. “As women, we have experienced the impact of systemic power imbalance in our community; some of us have also personally experienced gendered harm in our journeys. . . We encourage you to listen, nurture each other, and stay strong as a sangha [community] and as friends.””

“We support the Sakyong’s decision to step back from teaching for now,” it continued. “We appreciate how he has brilliantly introduced thousands of people to the path of dharma . . . At the same time, we now see a lot of pain, sadness, outrage, and fear in our community . . . Our eyes have been opened to many of the patterns we have not seen before.”

During a talk at the Tara Mandala center in Colorado on July 1, the prominent Tibetan Buddhist teachers Lama Tsultrim Allione and Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo also discussed the sexual abuse allegations against the Sakyong.

Lama Tsultrim noted that it is the communities whose leaders admit fault, and then either change or leave, that tend to survive scandals. But if the leaders refuse to take responsibility, she said, practitioners have the option leave. “Remember that the dharma is yours,” she counseled the audience. “No one can take it away from you . . . So you’ll be OK. You’ll find another sangha, you’ll find other friends, and go on.”

Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo remarked that sexual abuse—a “deep-rooted problem” in Buddhism and Western culture at large—has long existed underground. “As it is now coming more to the surface,” she said, “it may be very painful, but I believe that pain, if we embrace it with compassion and wisdom and understanding and acceptance, can heal.”

Shastri Ethan Nichtern, a second generation Shambhalian and senior teacher, also voiced his “devastation” at discovering the harm caused by his supposedly “progressive” guru. He explained in a blog post how despite seeing itself as an alternative society ruled by compassion, Shambhala still exists in a culture influenced by the historical patriarchal structures of both Tibet and the West. However, Nichtern said he would stay with the community to try to engender change, saying that leaving would be “as impossible as pretending I am not a member of my own family.”

Meanwhile, the Kalapa Council said that they have hired the law firm Wickwire Holm to continue investigating accusations of abuse or misconduct in Shambhala. They have also signed an agreement with the third-party group An Olive Branch to improve their sexual misconduct reporting policies.

The Sakyong office said in the July 6 statement that he “fully supports a third-party investigation and wishes to provide the time and space for it to properly occur. He will use this time to enter a period of self-reflection.”

Shambhala has reportedly hired the public relations firm Hiltzik Strategies—headed by Matthew Hiltzik, who has represented Harvey Weinstein, Justin Bieber, Katie Couric, and former Fox News host Glenn Beck. Hiltzik also has ties to the Trump administration.

Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:46 am
by American Dream
Buddhist leader locked his victim in a bathroom to sexually assault her, report claims

The group's senior leadership reportedly knew about the incident and did nothing.

JUL 11, 2018, 9:04 AM


Sakyong Mipham, a prominent Buddhist teacher who has appeared on stage with the Dalai Lama and Queen Noor of Jordan, allegedly locked a woman in a bathroom and forcibly groped her during a drunken party in Santiago, Chile, in 2002, according to a report published Wednesday by the advocacy group Buddhist Project Sunshine.

Mipham heads a global network of more than 200 Buddhist centers called Shambhala International. The report alleges members of its board of directors knew about the incident in Chile as early as 2002.


“I found this woman very credible,” the report’s author, retired employment lawyer Carol Merchasin, wrote. “She reached out immediately after the incident to others, telling them the same story; her contemporaneous account to the Corroborating Witness further strengthens her credibility.”

Shambhala International referred ThinkProgress’ requests for comment to the public relations firm Hiltzik Stategies, which referred them to Mipham’s personal lawyer, Michael Scott, of the Halifax, Canada, firm Patterson Law.

Shambhala has hired Halifax law firm Wickwire Holm to investigate other allegations of sexual assault against Mipham published last month.

“Out of respect for the integrity of the independent investigation, my client will, for the moment, be offering no comment,” Scott told ThinkProgress in response to questions about those other allegations.

The new allegation is harrowing: During a party, Mipham allegedly pulled the woman into a bathroom, then locked the door and stood in front of it, barring her escape. Then he proceeded to grope her, put her hand on his genitals, and try to undress her, all while she said “no” and “I don’t want to do this.” When she told him she had a boyfriend, he responded, simply, “That doesn’t matter.” After about 15 minutes in the bathroom, the woman said she managed to push him away from the door and escape. By that time, all the other guests had left the party.

Continues: ... a79dde3bc/

Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:21 pm
by American Dream
Trigger Warning

The ‘King’ of Shambhala Buddhism, Undone by #MeToo

A photo of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, the leader of Shambhala International, sits on a throne reserved for him inside the group’s New York center, but he has taken leave amid charges of sexual abuse. Credit Gabriella Angotti-Jones/The New York Times

By Andy Newman
July 11, 2018

In a shrine on the sixth floor of a Manhattan office building, a photo of a man in golden robes hangs above the altar. Another photo of him sits upon a throne.

He is the head of one of the largest Buddhist organizations in the West, Shambhala International, a network of more than 200 outposts in over 30 countries where thousands come for training in meditation and mindfulness and some delve into deeper mysteries.

The man is Mipham Rinpoche. He is known as the Sakyong, a Tibetan word that translates roughly as king, and his students take vows to follow him that are binding across lifetimes. These days, they are feeling sad, confused, angry and betrayed.

Late last month, a former Shambhala teacher released a report alleging that the Sakyong had sexually abused and exploited some of his most devoted female followers for years. Women quoted in the report wrote of drunken groping and forcefully extracted sexual favors. The report said that senior leaders at Shambhala —- an organization whose motto is “Making Enlightened Society Possible” — knew of the Sakyong’s misconduct and covered it up.

The Sakyong apologized a few days before the report was formally released, admitting to “relationships” with women in the community, some of whom “shared experiences of feeling harmed as a result.” Followers and Shambhala groups around the world demanded more action.

On Friday, it came: The governing council of Shambhala International, which is based in Halifax, Canada, resigned en masse, “in the interest of beginning a healing process for our community.”

That night, the Sakyong, 55, took leave from running Shambhala as an outside firm investigates abuse allegations against him and other Shambhala teachers. He would, the announcement stated, “enter a period of self-reflection.”

The Sakyong is not only another executive or religious leader dethroned by #MeToo, but he is the sole holder of the most sacred teachings in a custody chain that goes back centuries, the only one who can transmit them, according to the traditions of his lineage.

A few days before the Sakyong stepped aside, Ramoes Gaston, a volunteer at the Manhattan center, on West 22nd Street, who has studied Shambhala for eight years, said the revelations had ripped his world apart.

“I don’t want it to be exposed,” Mr. Gaston said. “But it has to be exposed.”

The downfall of a Buddhist leader in the West accused of sexual impropriety has become its own sorry tradition. Last year, Lama Norlha Rinpoche, who founded a monastery in Wappingers Falls, N.Y., retired after allegations of sexual misconduct. So did Sogyal Rinpoche, author of “The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying,” who was accused of decades of sexual assaults and violent rage. In the Zen tradition, fallen masters include Joshu Sasaki and Eido Shimano, two of the leading proponents of Zen in America.

In Shambhala, bad behavior runs in the bloodline. The organization was founded by the Sakyong’s Tibet-born father, Chögyam Trungpa, a wildly charismatic man, brilliant teacher and embodiment of the concept known as “crazy wisdom” whose alcoholic exploits and womanizing were well known. He died in 1987. In between Chögyam Trungpa and the Sakyong, Shambhala was led by an American-born Buddhist who is mainly remembered for having sex with students even after he knew that he had AIDS.

The hyperconcentration of authority in the most revered teachers of Tibetan Buddhism lends itself to abuse, said Lama Tsultrim Allione, one of the first American women to be ordained a Tibetan Buddhist nun and a former member of Chögyam Trungpa’s group who knew the Sakyong when he was a child.

“One is told that one must see the lama as the Buddha and that anything the lama does is perfect and that whatever might seem wrong with it, that is your impure vision,” said Lama Tsultrim, who leads a Buddhist center in Colorado and just published a book, “Wisdom Rising: Journey Into the Mandala of the Empowered Feminine.”

In Shambhala, Lama Tsultrim said, “The level of institutionalized hierarchy is quite extraordinary,” with the Sakyong functioning “sort of like a divine king.” His inner circle, with its ministers and attendants, is called the “court.” He has a personal flag that local centers can buy for $350, to fly when he visits.

The woman behind the exposé, Andrea Winn, grew up in the Shambhala community in Halifax and says that she and many other children were sexually abused by adults in the community.

In early 2017 — months before #MeToo became a cultural phenomenon — she launched a yearlong effort, “Project Sunshine,” to gather accounts by survivors of the abuse. The resulting report, published in February, prompted Shambhala International to announce “an effort to address issues of past harm in our community.”

The Sakyong praised survivors for “bravery and courage” in speaking out, without mentioning any misconduct of his own. But the report also prompted women who said they had been abused by the Sakyong to come forward, providing material for the second report, released June 28.

One woman wrote that for years, before he was married, the Sakyong would kiss and grope her when he got drunk. Like many women around the Sakyong, she desperately hoped to become his wife, she wrote, and she rationalized his boorishness by telling herself that the Sakyong was trying to show her “the patterns of my own poverty mentality and grasping.”

Another woman wrote that the Sakyong summoned her one night and when she refused to have sex with him, he pushed her face toward his penis and said, “You might as well finish this.” She wrote, “I was so embarrassed and horrified I did it.” A third woman wrote that the Sakyong groped her in 2011, after his daughter’s first birthday party.

Yet another woman came forward on Tuesday and said that at a dinner in Chile in 2002, a drunken Sakyong pulled her into the bathroom and locked and blocked the door.

“He started to grope me and try to undress me,” the woman said by phone, speaking on condition of anonymity. “I was like ‘No, no, I have a boyfriend.’ He said, ‘It doesn’t matter.’ ” She said the Sakyong grabbed her hand and put it on his penis through his robe before she escaped.

With the exception of the 2011 incident, the allegations against the Sakyong date from before 2006. They were vetted by a retired employment lawyer, Carol Merchasin, who had contacted Ms. Winn after the first report was released. Ms. Merchasin said she found all the accounts to be credible.

The Sakyong would not comment on the accounts “out of respect for the integrity of the independent investigation,” said his lawyer, Michael Scott.

Ms. Winn, 50, a leadership coach based in Halifax, said of the council’s resignation and the Sakyong’s stepping aside: “It came as a surprise, and as a huge relief. Now I feel that there’s this possibility for healing.”

Local centers are dealing with the fallout in their own ways. At the New Haven center, the Sakyong’s photo has been taken down.

At a meeting at the New York center last week, several people who had found refuge in Shambhala from their own histories of addiction and sexual abuse said that they no longer felt safe, and a teacher, Kevin Bogle, resigned in protest.

“I have been livid this entire week from the news that has been reported and the harm that has been committed,” he told the gathering.

Many of the Sakyong’s followers are praying for him. Mr. Gaston of the New York center said that when he sees the Sakyong’s photo above the altar, he thinks about the pain the Sakyong must have been in that would have led him to cause such harm to others. “With every breath I exhale,” he said, “I hope that some of my mercy is communicated to him.” ... nduct.html

Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:19 pm
by liminalOyster
This is perhaps the saddest part to me:

At a meeting at the New York center last week, several people who had found refuge in Shambhala from their own histories of addiction and sexual abuse said that they no longer felt safe

Dharma communities always draw alot of traumatized people, many of whom have substance abuse histories. The double whammy of learning the patriarch is not what he seemed and a predator must be quite intense.

Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:25 pm
by American Dream
People are crying, their worlds have been turned upside down. They are inconsolable and highly distressed. Others don't want to talk about it and have blanked out the ugly truths they just can't deal with.