In fairness to Jundo and the other named teacher, it is nice of them to do what they are doing, and judging by the many posters, it is heartening to see how popular they are amongst their group.
Good for them, good for Trealeaf Zendo. Thanks to you for voicing your thoughts here.
On some of the points in this thread, I myself did/do have criteria of following a teacher, and that is that they have the real Dharma eye, insight, and sustained application to make them a teacher. Without this, and without them knowing the limits, the possibilities, the methods, the depths of all the Buddha's range of teaching -- and without their practical living application etc how else can I master what I wish to understand? I would say this has led me well as an ethos in my own fledgling Dharma practice.
I think it is possible, but weak, to say that no-one can say that anything (including Dharma) is more real or less - because whilst we can say we need to be open minded -- well I would also always follow someone who can show me the real light of Dharma. Ergo, my criteria was never 'nice guy' but genuine Dharma practitioner. Believe it or not, there IS a difference although it seems most people get stuck at the 'nice guy' part.
Likewise, my criteria was never no criminality associated, rather living and genuine Dharma energy and practice.
The clearest examples of course would be Gautama or Hakuin or Longchenpa, and the like. Of course in Dharma practice we can also differentiate but those teachers would likely teach you and I not to differentiate in more human ways such as compassion for all, tolerance and love etc.
It can seem like a fine line and I do believe it is tricky and subtle, which is why I always vote for real guidance, if you can find it for yourself and then also have the good karma to identify that which is true,
For those reasons, I would not generally vote for Treeleaf Zendo as I always wanted more - but this is not to say that many will not find it very useful, very helpful. And I believe it is for these good people. It is just like other Buddhist fora, and even Zen Forum International has funny hashtags like "teacher" for some people who are just in robes and nothing more. That could also be said to be faux yet you have people subscribing to this, so Jundo is similar in the whole scheme of things, and perhaps he is doing good work - I do not follow him nor have read him for many years now.
The only limitation I see with this online scenario is not the fake identity that shel said (given people can fake in any place or setting), but rather that the set up is too controlled, and that will never raise a real Zen lion IMO. (The controlled aspect is also probably what shel was alluding to in that it is easier to fake things online - as opposed to sustained real life interaction - and OK in saying so I concede to shel that that is probably also true, but also still some people can be fake even in real life for sustained periods so we all have to pick our bets in some way
) Regardless, lacking a master's guidance, my opinion is, the guidance is thereby self limited.
I apologise if these views are too confrontational and if I am wrong, I will be happy to discuss them further. I do know that my assessment is based on historical interactions with Jundo so I will add that caveat to it.