Sexual and physical abuse in religious institutions

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Re: Sexual and physical abuse in religious institutions

Postby theanarchist » Fri May 23, 2014 10:06 am

Zhen Li wrote:Not every lama doesn't have a grudge. Not every lama is a torture victim. Let's be realistic.



Ah, and where have I written EVERY ?

Are you so desperately looking for material for polemic posts that you feel the need to distort what other users posted?
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Re: Sexual and physical abuse in religious institutions

Postby theanarchist » Fri May 23, 2014 3:04 pm

Minjeay wrote:
It was you who brought up the question of qualification, just assuming without knowing me about whether I'm allowed to make claims or not.
If you guys are fans of Tantra nobody hinders you from that. It might take some of you some lifes to waste, but if you want to do it, rather than considering what others tell you, that's absolutely up to you.




I believe that belittling any buddhist tradition as a "waste of time" is against the forum rules.
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Re: Sexual and physical abuse in religious institutions

Postby Zhen Li » Fri May 23, 2014 8:58 pm

theanarchist wrote:
Zhen Li wrote:Not every lama doesn't have a grudge. Not every lama is a torture victim. Let's be realistic.



Ah, and where have I written EVERY ?

Are you so desperately looking for material for polemic posts that you feel the need to distort what other users posted?

Sorry for the misunderstanding, I did not mean to imply that you said "every."
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Re: Sexual and physical abuse in religious institutions

Postby HandsomeMonkeyking » Sun Jul 12, 2015 9:54 pm

In China the Shaolin monks were not necessarily accepted by more mainstream Buddhist monks.

Why? Where can I read/learn more about that?
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Re: Tibetan institutional religous violence

Postby daelm » Sun Jul 12, 2015 11:02 pm

Indrajala wrote:
The difference though is that TB claims to produce siddhis and tulkus who are supposed to not be ordinary saṃsāric beings. Many tulkus are in charge of monastic organizations.



I don't think that siddhas and tulkus necessarily overlap much. There have many discussions about the tulku system, from both westerners and Tibetans, many of then highly critical.

Claiming therefore that the failures of tulkus, and monastic administrators somehow means vajrayana doesn't work doesn't follow. It does highlight where your interest in this issue lies, though.

Just out of curiosity, what kind of actual interventions do you suggest for the children at risk? That being the actual pressing concern.
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Re: Sexual and physical abuse in religious institutions

Postby SeeLion » Sun Jul 12, 2015 11:22 pm

In China the Shaolin monks were not necessarily accepted by more mainstream Buddhist monks.

Read an article about this recently and there can be a confusion about Shaolin monks ...

Shortly, the idea is that the "warrior monks" are not monks, they are a sort of lay-people, they don't take the full monk precepts.

In the same tample, Shaolin "full monks" do exist, but they are not the same.
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Re: Sexual and physical abuse in religious institutions

Postby daelm » Sun Jul 12, 2015 11:56 pm

Also, just to clarify Indrajala's contention that this is a specifically Tibetan problem, here are a selection of links from a pretty cursory Google search on the subject

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... laims.html

http://m.scmp.com/news/china/article/12 ... nservatism

http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2013/09/30/ ... l-assault/

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2 ... n-zen.html

http://www.inquisitr.com/1225799/two-ch ... -students/
http://mobile.nytimes.com/2013/02/12/wo ... rrer=&_r=0

http://www.nondualitymagazine.org/nondu ... egall..htm

http://www.wsj.com/articles/BL-CJB-18424


They range from China to New York, to Thailand, to the UK, and across both secular and religious institutions. Sexual abuse is pretty common everywhere, both in monasteries and out of them. It's a human problem, often exacerbated by close confinement of adults and children, or by single sex communities, rigid power structures and unquestionable adult authority, or by some combination of these. Same sex boarding schools, churches, etc all risk developing it, for pretty much the same reasons. Religious institutions, because they tend to be organised along explicitly authoritarian lines are particularly at risk. So are rural schools in China. So are Zen communities in the US.


Interestingly, the same search brought this, below, up. Tibetans are discussing these issues, as part of a greater conversation about their culture and future. And just like in the US and Europe, there are opposing forces of conservatism and activism. To pretend that they're not going through this change is both disingenuous, and insulting to the Tibetans doing so. Worse, using the suffering of kids to advance polemical points is pretty grim. It's a particularly nasty way to grind an axe.

http://m.huffpost.com/uk/entry/3851112

:focus:
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Re: Sexual and physical abuse in religious institutions

Postby daelm » Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:05 am


So basically you're saying Ven. Khedrup that the abbots that run the monasteries are no different than school principals?
gassho
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Many, if not most, monastics are administrators. Not only in the Tibetan system, but in the Theravada and Japanese schools too.
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Re: Sexual and physical abuse in religious institutions

Postby smcj » Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:06 am

As a country Old Tibet was pretty groovy--if you compare it to other 13th century societies. Tibetans in the diaspora have got a bit of catching up to do to pass muster by the modern world's standards.
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Re: Sexual and physical abuse in religious institutions

Postby dreambow » Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:57 am

'Churning out' enlightened beings. Enlightenment is very rare in any religion or spiritual path. One has to take these bold, sweeping comments with a pinch of salt.
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Re: Sexual and physical abuse in religious institutions

Postby smcj » Mon Jul 13, 2015 1:17 am

dreambow wrote:'Churning out' enlightened beings. Enlightenment is very rare in any religion or spiritual path. One has to take these bold, sweeping comments with a pinch of salt.

For the idea of "lineage" to be valid there would have to be at least a few people with some level of realization each generation stretching back to ancient India. So yes, still rare, but at the same time remarkably consistent.

I like to typify the monasteries as a particular kind of muck that lotus flowers can grow out of.
Unless I am quoting scripture or a recognized authority my posts are my opinions only and not "Dharma". I offer my posts for entertainment purposes only. I hope you find them either interesting or enjoyable--but don't take anything I say to heart without running it by your own teacher first!
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Re: Tibetan institutional religous violence

Postby Indrajala » Mon Jul 13, 2015 2:39 am

daelm wrote:Just out of curiosity, what kind of actual interventions do you suggest for the children at risk? That being the actual pressing concern.


Children should not be placed in monasteries from the start. Religious education is one thing, but children need their parents.
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Re: Sexual and physical abuse in religious institutions

Postby Indrajala » Mon Jul 13, 2015 2:41 am

daelm wrote:Also, just to clarify Indrajala's contention that this is a specifically Tibetan problem, here are a selection of links from a pretty cursory Google search on the subject


I don't recall saying this was specifically a Tibetan problem. I'm well aware it exists in other sanghas (I was a monk, and I heard plenty of stories).
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Re: Sexual and physical abuse in religious institutions

Postby dreambow » Mon Jul 13, 2015 2:49 am

"Children should not be placed in monasteries from the start. Religious education is one thing, but children need their parents" I totally agree. One can see how easily common sense and the obvious is circumvented.
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Re: Tibetan institutional religous violence

Postby plwk » Mon Jul 13, 2015 3:04 am

Children should not be placed in monasteries from the start. Religious education is one thing, but children need their parents.
In my worthless opinion, It's not so straightforward as some would like it to be...

Firstly, yes, in an ideal world, they should not. In a not so ideal world back then and in some parts of the world now, monasteries are their escape ticket from grinding poverty, one meager meal a day and access to basic education/literacy, until their parents and countries learn on how to upgrade social infrastructure and economic opportunities.

Secondly, on what I call the 'exceptions'... here & here. Are we to deprive these genuine cases of 'ripened affinities'?
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Re: Tibetan institutional religous violence

Postby daelm » Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:02 am

Indrajala wrote:
daelm wrote:Just out of curiosity, what kind of actual interventions do you suggest for the children at risk? That being the actual pressing concern.


Children should not be placed in monasteries from the start. Religious education is one thing, but children need their parents.


Yes, but what interventions do you suggest to achieve this? How do you propose educating Tibetan parents on the subject? And how can we protect them, once that is achieved. (The Chinese examples, in the links I posted above, show a problem endemic to Chinese schools. The Tibetan Autonomous Region is likely to be developed along the same lines in future.)
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Re: Sexual and physical abuse in religious institutions

Postby daelm » Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:23 am

Rory:

"And this is my own opinion, I think those young Tibetan children would be better off brought up in China with a decent education then stuck in India with no escape and a dead end future."


Maybe look into the Chinese situation a little more. That decent education you describe is true for pockets of that community, and the future for many if not most young Chinese is one of industrial hardship, in some or other manufacturing concern. They're not having the greatest of times either.

China didn't take over Tibet on a principled civilising mission. China took over Tibet partly in service of settling an historical feud, partly for the realpolitik aim of buffering their border - China entered the Korean war for the same reason at the beginning of the decade - partly driven by ideological stupidity and the mission to spread the word of Mao, partly for acquisition of land and resources. Since doing so, their record is atrocious, both to people and the environment. This is entirely unsurprisin. Essentially, what China is doing here is no different to what Leopold of Belgium did to the Congo - had it been done 100 years ago, most people would have passed it by. However times have changed, marginally, and we no longer automatically accept the premise that "the wogs need educating" as being a valid justification for loss of autonomy and self-rule, and we also expect our barbarity to be more discreet.

Secondly, whether you think well of Tibetans in India or not, they have taken a principled stance in favor of real autonomy. They're been trying to maintain a discrete cultural core, rather than accept becoming third-rate indigenous people in the Chinese hierarchy, whereas Tibetans in the TAR are at real risk of occupying the same status in China as Native Americans do in the US. You may not like that cultural core, and there are components of it that urgently need modernising, but for Tibetans in the TAR, the cultural core that is held intact in India is a vital touchstone, as their status and quality of life is eroded on all other fronts.

The question for Tibetans outside the TAR, is how to transition to modernity, remain intact as a world culture, and not break the bonds with the TAR. That transition to modernity deserves support, and critical discussion is a form of support. Simply acceding to the Chinese programme is the worst of all possible outcomes. If your real concern is the quality of education accessible by Tibetans in India, consider the fact that they are in India. Indian education is therefore available to them, and many are moving towards it.

I started this thread thinking that those posting about Chinese abuses were reacting defensively. I'm starting to think that's not the case. There are a lot of assumptions underlying this from people posting here that are never actually articulated.
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Re: Sexual and physical abuse in religious institutions

Postby daelm » Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:39 am

[*]
Indrajala wrote:l was a monk, and I heard plenty of stories.


Oh nice. This is off-topic, but when were you a monk and in what tradition? Genuine curiosity.
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Re: Sexual and physical abuse in religious institutions

Postby smcj » Mon Jul 13, 2015 8:01 am

daelm wrote:[*]
Indrajala wrote:l was a monk, and I heard plenty of stories.


Oh nice. This is off-topic, but when were you a monk and in what tradition? Genuine curiosity.

His monastic status was vetted a while back here at DW. However the fact that he used the past tense is news around here I believe.
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Re: Sexual and physical abuse in religious institutions

Postby daelm » Mon Jul 13, 2015 8:05 am

Rory, I should also clarify that I'm not particularly pro-monasteries. In both Europe and Asia they largely served bureaucratic functions. I would personally like to see them evolve towards something closer to quietist universities, with an associated yogic stream of practice, and cede all other functions. I also don't think that lifetime enrollment is necessarily effective. And I have no high regard for the tulku system. While I don't doubt that serious practitioners leave traces on their next life, often highly concentrated traces, and that in some cases may even direct that life, I don't think that the tulku system represented that. It seems largely to have served historical and regional ends. So I don't have a horse in this race that way.

Nevertheless, I understand that these structures have a current role, and that they serve purposes, especially under the current circumstances. Some of those, for example, are as proxies for secular schools, others as welfare centers. I'm also aware that they are at risk of abuse and embed serious social flaws. I think it's possible to reform them, without assuming that the Chinese approach is necessary. It's not a zero sum game. I also think that such reform will come from Tibetans, and supporters of Tibetans, as part of an unavoidable modernization. To that end, the Tibetan community in exile is critical, because this is where such reform and evolution will occur.

The backlash against Tibetan Buddhism, of which this thread is just one example, is a - probably necessary - backlash against the simplistic notion that everything Tibetan was good. It's a corrective for westerners, to a western idea. When it is used as a platform for statements of policy, it's always going to be wrong, because both the pro and anti positions lack nuance.
Last edited by daelm on Mon Jul 13, 2015 8:18 am, edited 2 times in total.
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