This is a new and alarming comment just posted in Elephant's Update article that I link to above:
ekanthomason38p · 14 hours ago
KALI - "I would like to know why McNally references Kali and not Vajrayogini in her letter." writes Matt.
Alright, thank you Kelly Rigpa (which I hope is pseudonym for a DM board member) and Lauren. Let's get it all out in the open. I have hesitated to bring this forward but in response to the Dali Lama's words and compassion for GMR and Christie, I must bring this into the discussion and debate and hope that it benefits as many people as possible. http://www.kashiashram.com/advice_dl.htm
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At the end of the 2009 fall term, there was a 10-day residential Kali initiation as part of the tantra course. It was not part of the original 6-year syllabus GMR presented to us at the Tiger Rider discourses. Christie felt a connection to Kali and wanted to have Kali as a protector of the retreat valley. As far as I know, Kali is an unenlightened Hindu deity and it seems odd to have this be a part of our buddhist studies. It wasn't what I signed up for.
Before I say more, I would like to remind the reader that, technically, since the founding of Diamond Mountain, Geshe Michael has continuously been the sole Spiritual Director. As a result, all spiritual activities of this kind are his full load to carry.
Is there any one of the 100+ people who attended the Kali initiation that did not make an immediate connection between that initiation and the recent tragic events at DM? All of us were very well trained in karmic correlations.
In this DM lineage, initiations are given to individuals rather than to a room full of people. The initiation was divided into two parts. I must say that GMR's part was very sweet and beautiful and it was reminiscent of a Dempo Kanjo ceremony I was fortunate enough to attend in Japan.
On the other hand, Christie's initiation occurred at night up in the very large Lama Dome on the top of a hill, which is now part of the retreat valley. The path was long, dark, isolated and rough terrain. Each person had to take off their clothes and don a robe similar to a graduation robe. The dome was all lit with candlelight on both sides of a meandering path that led to where Christie sat on some sort of a throne. One of my friends said she started crying as soon as she entered because she was so frightened. My own thought was "Oh, how theatrical."
This Kali initiation included blood sacrifices, knives, samurai long swords, a temple full of every imaginable weapon. People were grabbed, blindfolded, walked up the wash (stream bed) and stuffed into a box.
Christie: "Kali requires something from you. She requires your blood." I was given a little medical device to stab my finger with. It was rather dull from use and I had to make several attempts to get a drop of blood.
Christie swaggered up to me holding a long knife and ran her finger over the sharp edge in a threatening way, saying, "Kali requires more of you." She reminded me of a beautiful swashbuckling pirate.
SAMURAI LONG SWORD
Christie handed me the long sword and told me to perform for her. I wielded it for a few minutes while imagining I was killing my mental afflictions.
Everything you can imagine. Rifles, AK47, bows, cross-bows, chainsaws, wicked looking garden implements. I am really not into weapons and don't remember them all. We were told to handle them and imagine what it would be like to use them.
I did not go in the box and can only pass on what I was told. Jigme herself avoided going with the 'spiritual thugs' by flat out refusing to come out of her house or come near by door. People were grabbed off the road, blindfolded, slightly roughed up and stuffed into a wooden box about 4 foot cubed. My housemate with severe hip problems was forced into this. At the end of the initiation, we had a ceremony and burned the box.
The dome has a small meditation dome connected to it. Ian was meditating in there while all this was happening. At one point, Christie took me back with him. I was told to close my eyes, so I went into meditation. Then she led me out. I did not have a connection with Ian and did not want him to be a part of the initiation but what could I do?
I repeat: Is there any one of the 100+ people who attended the Kali initiation that did not make an immediate connection between that initiation and the recent tragic events at DM?
So, yes DM people, do have some debate about this. What is the karma of this? These dark deeds need to come out in the open. Should a buddhist university really be doing such things? How far from a balanced center can things get? Would any of you have submitted to something like this before DM? Why hasn't anyone else come forward? Look how much the six years of mind training has changed your ability to discriminate. Or, do you believe this is a good thing?