Huifeng wrote:Thank you for pointing out our faults and failures.
We hope to learn from your guidance and wisdom.
Passive-aggressive sarcasm doesn't really address the concerns issued above, especially that of individuals like Ven. Khedrup.
If you have a standing policy like this...
Doing the reverse serves no purpose in my experience.
I have more success in changing myself, than I ever do in changing others.
... then how do you expect to really succeed in keeping and retaining people when you demand soul-crushing conformity and obedience to authority? Clearly the system hasn't worked so well, so hopefully instead of simply saying "I have more success in changing myself" you'll seriously listen to criticism, especially from people like Ven. Khedrup.
And let's be honest - a lot of what we're talking about here relates to FGS.
I met some ex-FGS nuns not so long ago, and I thought it'd be nice if their concerns were taken seriously, especially since more of their relatives and friends will probably be recruited to go to Taiwan, maybe to experience the same disappointment and hardship.
In my travels I have met some ex-FGS monastics (they're still monks/nuns) and they all generally say the same things. They ran away. It wasn't a negotiated departure on good terms, because they couldn't leave without being permanently banished and ostracised. They just up and left, sometimes with great hardship because of their poverty and their family situation being no better financially.
FGS for better or worse is a representative of Chinese Buddhism and a substantial element in the global Buddhist world as I've come to discover even in India. I met an Indian monk who told me all about his former interactions with FGS, and this was out in the sticks! So what FGS does really matters.
If you start reading Chinese Buddhism or getting involved in some organization, you'll inevitably have to know about it as it is one of the largest Chinese Buddhist organizations in the world. FGS hosts academic conferences and has the Woodenfish program. It also recruits youth from Africa and the subcontinent, so again it is a significant element in the greater Buddhist world. The results of its decisions are not limited to FGS alone as it affects the outside world, too. In some cases quite a lot.
So hopefully criticism will aid in reforming things for the better. However, if you just react negatively to criticism instead of addressing it then people will just throw their arms up in disgust and maybe write FGS off as some kind of cult.