Child Abuse Rampant in Sinhalese Monasteries

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Re: Child Abuse Rampant in Sinhalese Monasteries

Postby JKhedrup » Tue Aug 14, 2012 5:50 am

So then why are we suggesting the abandoning of monasticism entirely? We can just posit that entrance to monastic institutions should be in the later teen years. Why this knee-jerk reaction "get rid of the monks". Instead, the call should be to protect the children. This simply requires raising the age of entrance ,not making monasteries orphanages, and putting in place child protection structures that are used in schools etc.

I really try to be a good monk and I still see an important role for the sangha. Instead of speaking of disgarding a cherished institution that is still of spiritual benefit, why not speak of transforming it? As the monasteries come under the eye of the broader world, in this modern age, scrutiny will lead to increased security for the children as well.

Celibacy not not transform every healthy male into a lecherous pervert. For many, it is a really beneficial companion on the spiritual path. I resent the implication that I and all other monks "should not be around children". We are not all guilty because of the sins of some! Clearly the solution is that children should be safeguarded, as they are in modern daycares etc. And orphan children should be raised in home like environments rather than monastic ones.

Malcolm you speak of Tibetans talking about incidences of abuse at the monasteries, but I have heard a number of similar stories from former students at the TCVs, where the minders are not monks but laypeople. Clearly,the perverse are led to environments with a large number of children. Celibacy is not the central issue here.

If we talk of getting rid of the sangha because of this we should also get rid of boyscouts, Big Brother and stepfathers- all of which have many members who have committed terrible acts of a sexual nature on children.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Child Abuse Rampant in Sinhalese Monasteries

Postby Indrajala » Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:02 am

JKhedrup wrote:So then why are we suggesting the abandoning of monasticism entirely? We can just posit that entrance to monastic institutions should be in the later teen years. Why this knee-jerk reaction "get rid of the monks". Instead, the call should be to protect the children. This simply requires raising the age of entrance ,not making monasteries orphanages, and putting in place child protection structures that are used in schools etc.


This makes the most sense. In some places where monasteries no longer act as orphanages the idea is that first you graduate high school and then you can consider becoming a monk. The original Vinaya requires one to be twenty years old before the bhikṣu precepts can be conferred. In such an arrangement the sangha is an organization for adults, which solves a lot of problems.


Celibacy not not transform every healthy male into a lecherous pervert. For many, it is a really beneficial companion on the spiritual path. I resent the implication that I and all other monks "should not be around children". We are not all guilty because of the sins of some! Clearly the solution is that children should be safeguarded, as they are in modern daycares etc. And orphan children should be raised in home like environments rather than monastic ones.


I like what they did in Dharamsala with the Tibetan children's school and housing up the hill. I visited there before and thought how wonderful their arrangement was. The kids all attend school and live communally in houses. They also get a Buddhist education without having to be in robes.
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Re: Child Abuse Rampant in Sinhalese Monasteries

Postby pueraeternus » Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:57 pm

JKhedrup wrote:Malcolm you speak of Tibetans talking about incidences of abuse at the monasteries, but I have heard a number of similar stories from former students at the TCVs, where the minders are not monks but laypeople. Clearly,the perverse are led to environments with a large number of children. Celibacy is not the central issue here.

If we talk of getting rid of the sangha because of this we should also get rid of boyscouts, Big Brother and stepfathers- all of which have many members who have committed terrible acts of a sexual nature on children.


The fact that such abuses are also perpetrated by lay practitioners, teachers (e.g. ngakpas and non-monastic clergy) or even just regular minders/helpers at centers, then according to the logic of those who recommend abolishing the sangha, we should also abolish all the rest - no lay practitioners, no lay teachers, no ngakpas, no helpers, no practice centers where children are allowed, etc! :smile:
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Re: Child Abuse Rampant in Sinhalese Monasteries

Postby Malcolm » Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:12 pm

JKhedrup wrote:So then why are we suggesting the abandoning of monasticism entirely?


Only one person made that suggestion and it was not me. Another person agreed, again not me.

Granted, I personally think that Buddhist monasticism is not very relevant in today's society, at least in the West, but that is a different issue.

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Re: Child Abuse Rampant in Sinhalese Monasteries

Postby JKhedrup » Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:21 pm

Malcolm,
Apologies. Actually, that part of the post was not a response to you, but to "Deep Blue Hum'. I know that you have read enough Sutras and other Buddhist literature to probably not suggest abandoning monasticism entirely, though you are critical of it (which I have been around long enough to be okay with, I am not wearing rose coloured glasses).

The latter part of my post, about the TCVs, was directed to you and that is why your name appeared. Because in fact I think that the problem has more to do with lack of oversight in the Tibetan institutions than monasticism or celibacy.
I have heard several stories of such abuse at both Tibetan and Indian boarding schools from some of the children and local concerned Westerners.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Child Abuse Rampant in Sinhalese Monasteries

Postby Malcolm » Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:31 pm

JKhedrup wrote:Malcolm,
Apologies. Actually, that part of the post was not a response to you, but to "Deep Blue Hum'. I know that you have read enough Sutras and other Buddhist literature to probably not suggest abandoning monasticism entirely, though you are critical of it (which I have been around long enough to be okay with, I am not wearing rose coloured glasses).

The latter part of my post, about the TCVs, was directed to you and that is why your name appeared. Because in fact I think that the problem has more to do with lack of oversight in the Tibetan institutions than monasticism or celibacy.
I have heard several stories of such abuse at both Tibetan and Indian boarding schools from some of the children and local concerned Westerners.



What I was referring to was the systematic child abuse in traditional pre-modern Tibetan monasteries.
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Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

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Re: Child Abuse Rampant in Sinhalese Monasteries

Postby Nosta » Tue Aug 14, 2012 5:06 pm

Its really very bad the abuse of children and also the degeneration of Sangha in this way.

In fact, thats not a Sangha. They are not buddhists from the moment they abuse.

Having a monastic life can be possible if you are strong like a lion. See, for instance, the biography of this great master:
http://www.holybooks.com/wp-content/upl ... ya-Mun.pdf
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