Lama Ivo Kalushev of Bulgaria

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Re: Lama Ivo Kalushev of Bulgaria

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Sat Oct 12, 2013 8:00 pm

What's the difference between a "cult", and just an obnoxious group that one doesn't like?

I mean, the line gets pretty blurry in places.

I see so much "anti-cult" stuff out there, but really..doesn't one need more than just cheezy behavior to throw that term around?
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Re: Lama Ivo Kalushev of Bulgaria

Postby disjointed » Sat Oct 12, 2013 8:12 pm

Ah, good, then I can tell an abbreviated version of my story.

Before I was an adult I left my family to live with a Buddhist cult that I thought was legitimate.
When I got there the guru laid out rules that I thought were legitimate and insisted I cut off ties with others in order to live with them and practice dharma.
He must of liked me because he used me as his interim for the rest of the group.
The idea that I was special was like a collar and the idea that he was special was the basis for my being special so I defended him.
He used drugs on me a lot, calling them sacraments and I can remember blacking out, crawling around on the ground throwing up.
I'm fairly certain I was drug raped, the gaps in my memory are significant, sometimes spanning several days.
Many people died before I was involved. One young man died while experiencing a frightening hallucination from a drug mixture he was given while I was involved.
People were held against their will when they were "possessed", possessed because the objected to something the guru did.
The cult leader was never made responsible for this because everyone involved covered up for him and it was just considered an overdose.
He used other people to run drugs.
He presented himself as a terton and told us that other lamas had validated his termas.
What he taught was a fusion of shamanism and Vajrayana, relying a lot on hallucinogens with his close group while his primary sources of support were from cocaine, pills, and marijuana whom he lent followers as free labor to.
He was very prohibitive of learning from other teachers and instead taught basically only stories of Tilopa and Naropa. Anything that validated him and prevented people from questioning.

I spent almost a year of my life living in a drug den, when I left I had PTSD and spent some time homeless because I had cut myself off from everyone else like he told me.
Other people involved dropped off like flies and were replaced by new members. A constant new supply of seekers and the "well if you don't like it leave" meant that the victims felt like it was their choice to be abused and the new members(sycophants) defended the cult in the same way we had in the past. When I tried to warn new people they tried to discredit me by saying I was a hysterical stalker of the guru. I get apology letters still from people who have survived the cult.

Meanwhile, Sakya Trizen, like yourself Malcolm, did nothing to warn people about this cult using his name to validate itself, nor did he respond to people trying to verify the cult leader's claims.
Because it wasn't his problem apparently and or because he had no understanding of the lives that were unnecessarily being ended and twisted by his complacency when all it required was a single warning with his signature.
And that's why I asked you if you were ever the victim of a cult.

And because it took me years to be deprogrammed by dissecting the manipulative tactics used on me I am quick to recognize them and point them out when I see them.
Interestingly enough, there have actually been dozens, or maybe even hundreds of similar Vajrayana cults in America. The scope of this problem is baffling.
Last edited by disjointed on Sat Oct 12, 2013 8:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Lama Ivo Kalushev of Bulgaria

Postby dzogchungpa » Sat Oct 12, 2013 8:20 pm

What group are you talking about?
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Re: Lama Ivo Kalushev of Bulgaria

Postby disjointed » Sat Oct 12, 2013 8:20 pm

I tried to verify this cult leader's credibility by contacting lamas he said were his teachers before I joined. But they never responded. I couldn't find anything except for old students he told me were just bad eggs to indicate something was wrong. By the time I moved into the community there was always the threat of being kicked out if I didn't agree.
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Re: Lama Ivo Kalushev of Bulgaria

Postby heart » Sat Oct 12, 2013 8:22 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Listen, we are talking about _religion_. All religions are cults by definition.

Just live and let live. If Ivo is the next Jim Jones, well, it is too early to tell, isn't it?

M


I really don't think that is correct by any scientific definition of the word cult. Cult is even more difficult to define than the word religion. But perhaps this is a emotional response from you, if so the scientific definition matters less.

/magnus
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Re: Lama Ivo Kalushev of Bulgaria

Postby michaelb » Sat Oct 12, 2013 8:32 pm

Malcolm wrote:Basically, let me lay it out for you: Was anyone raped? Was any money embezzled? Was anyone deprived of their civil rights?
If the answer to those questions is no, then it is none of our business what these people or any one else is doing.

Allegations of people being raped, having money embezzled and being deprived of their civil rights have been levelled against the most well known controversial 'Buddhist' groups in the west; NKT and Rigpa, for example.

I understand the caution not to turn into a Dharma cop and but if I was about to get involved with one of these groups I'd like to know about it and I'd hope Dharma practitioners on forums like this would have enough compassion to let me know before I stumbled into such a group.
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Re: Lama Ivo Kalushev of Bulgaria

Postby disjointed » Sat Oct 12, 2013 8:46 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:What group are you talking about?


Dzogchungpa, allow me some ambiguity in this case as this cult leader is still trying to rebuild his cult and might try to contact me if I give a name.
If you are on good terms with Malcolm he can tell you about the cult in FL, he has been aware of it for decades.
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Re: Lama Ivo Kalushev of Bulgaria

Postby Malcolm » Sat Oct 12, 2013 8:46 pm

michaelb wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Basically, let me lay it out for you: Was anyone raped? Was any money embezzled? Was anyone deprived of their civil rights?
If the answer to those questions is no, then it is none of our business what these people or any one else is doing.

Allegations of people being raped, having money embezzled and being deprived of their civil rights have been levelled against the most well known controversial 'Buddhist' groups in the west; NKT and Rigpa, for example.

I understand the caution not to turn into a Dharma cop and but if I was about to get involved with one of these groups I'd like to know about it and I'd hope Dharma practitioners on forums like this would have enough compassion to let me know before I stumbled into such a group.


1: formal religious veneration : worship
2: a system of religious beliefs and ritual; also : its body of adherents
3: a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; also : its body of adherents
4: a system for the cure of disease based on dogma set forth by its promulgator <health cults>

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cult
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Re: Lama Ivo Kalushev of Bulgaria

Postby Malcolm » Sat Oct 12, 2013 8:52 pm

disjointed wrote: Meanwhile, Sakya Trizen, like yourself Malcolm, did nothing to warn people about this cult using his name to validate itself, nor did he respond to people trying to verify the cult leader's claims.


Well, that is frankly false, as far as I am concerned. I warned many people.

But it is true I never waged a campaign against this person. That is not my job.
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Re: Lama Ivo Kalushev of Bulgaria

Postby Karma Dorje » Sat Oct 12, 2013 9:02 pm

disjointed wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:What group are you talking about?


Dzogchungpa, allow me some ambiguity in this case as this cult leader is still trying to rebuild his cult and might try to contact me if I give a name.
If you are on good terms with Malcolm he can tell you about the cult in FL, he has been aware of it for decades.


So let me get this straight: you call out someone you don't know by name based on reading a website but you won't name someone you have firsthand knowledge of wrongdoing by to warn others? And when Simon and I don't go along with your little vendetta because we prefer evidence over vague insinuation we are sycophants? I am not sure you are cut out for this whole dharma vigilante thing.
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Re: Lama Ivo Kalushev of Bulgaria

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Sat Oct 12, 2013 9:04 pm

Karma Dorje wrote:
disjointed wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:What group are you talking about?


Dzogchungpa, allow me some ambiguity in this case as this cult leader is still trying to rebuild his cult and might try to contact me if I give a name.
If you are on good terms with Malcolm he can tell you about the cult in FL, he has been aware of it for decades.


So let me get this straight: you call out someone you don't know by name based on reading a website but you won't name someone you have firsthand knowledge of wrongdoing by to warn others? And when Simon and I don't go along with your little vendetta because we prefer evidence over vague insinuation we are sycophants? I am not sure you are cut out for this whole dharma vigilante thing.


I have to agree...it seems really bad form to publicly go off about this, up to the point of accusing others of inaction, and then not be willing to denounce the person oneself. If the person is that bad, surely it warrants naming them.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: Lama Ivo Kalushev of Bulgaria

Postby Ivo » Sat Oct 12, 2013 9:07 pm

So be sure to ask Ivo questions about his childhood, his family, his education, his finances, where he lives, how often he has bowel movements, anything that brings him down to the level of a human.


Well... I think that on the skydharma website they put all the other info, except the bowel movement thing. Sorry we missed that, it somehow completely slipped our collective cult mind.
So, to the point. I have bowel movements usually once a day these last months. Still adjusting to the Mexican climate and the heat, so the consistency of what comes out is still... inconsistent. The last few days it is more goat-like than human like, but still hard. At 39 years of age I continue to be amazed that every time I go to the toilet the experience is slightly different, unique. How is this possible I do not know.
I have always had problems with my bowels in my life. As a child I had IBS, a not very pleasant thing. When the spasms hit you you wish you were dead, especially if you are a kid. I used to spend a good deal of my early childhood in hospitals for this reason (hint: a genesis of a cult leader mentality). As the years passed I learned how to deal with this and what was actually going on. Now, on the rare occasions when it returns I go straight to the toilet and usually things get right quickly... As you can imagine I can give much more exhaustive information, just tell me if it is needed and what exactly you need to know.

By the way, sorry to hear about your childhood and that you got misled and used. We live in a messy world and we have to use our reasoning to get our bearings. Often even this is not enough and the karmic wind just starts blowing. I guess this is the reason the Buddhist teaching exists.



P.S. Sorry to distract you all from the "nature of a cult" discussion, when I see my name on the topic title vanity takes over and I just can not control myself :smile:
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Re: Lama Ivo Kalushev of Bulgaria

Postby smcj » Sat Oct 12, 2013 9:11 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:What's the difference between a "cult", and just an obnoxious group that one doesn't like?

Dharma definitions tend to be precise. Allow me to use an imprecise definition of the 8 worldly dharmas for this discussion.

The 8 worldly dharmas are based on money, sex, power and prestige. In a cult 'power' means control, usually control of people's lives; where they live, who they see, what they do. Once control is established the members are sexually, financially, or otherwise taken advantage of. Unfortunately the very traditional teachings on guru yoga lend themselves to this type of abuse quite readily.

I do not accuse anybody of being a cult--at least not in this thread so far. Better to light a candle than curse the darkness.
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
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Re: Lama Ivo Kalushev of Bulgaria

Postby Karma Dorje » Sat Oct 12, 2013 9:16 pm

smcj wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:What's the difference between a "cult", and just an obnoxious group that one doesn't like?

Dharma definitions tend to be precise. Allow me to use an imprecise definition of the 8 worldly dharmas for this discussion.

The 8 worldly dharmas are based on money, sex, power and prestige. In a cult 'power' means control, usually control of people's lives; where they live, who they see, what they do. Once control is established the members are sexually, financially, or otherwise taken advantage of. Unfortunately the very traditional teachings on guru yoga lend themselves to this type of abuse quite readily.


So... yer basic religion, in other words?
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Re: Lama Ivo Kalushev of Bulgaria

Postby heart » Sat Oct 12, 2013 9:20 pm

Malcolm wrote:
disjointed wrote: Meanwhile, Sakya Trizen, like yourself Malcolm, did nothing to warn people about this cult using his name to validate itself, nor did he respond to people trying to verify the cult leader's claims.


Well, that is frankly false, as far as I am concerned. I warned many people.

But it is true I never waged a campaign against this person. That is not my job.


So do you ind telling us who it is? I never heard such a crazy story in all my time as a practitioner.

/magnus
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Re: Lama Ivo Kalushev of Bulgaria

Postby Malcolm » Sat Oct 12, 2013 9:21 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:What group are you talking about?


He is talking about a guy in florida named Luis Riesgo.
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Re: Lama Ivo Kalushev of Bulgaria

Postby disjointed » Sat Oct 12, 2013 9:24 pm

KD, there is a fair amount of online information on the cult I mentioned now. Though Sakya Trizen still has not done ANYTHING to discredit it.

Ivo, it is good that you have returned and responded as you have.
Because now I can ask you, as a human, what makes you more qualified than your teachers and what makes you a worthy receptacle of termas as opposed to the other people in this forum.

Why are you better?
What makes you special?
What reasonings can you provide for your superiority over the rest of Nyingma that doesn't recognize the gift you have sacrificed your comfort to give to the world?
Why do you know better than everyone else what is dharma and what is not?

It's easy enough to use double speak.
Feign humility when confronted with your claims of superiority.
Why I'm just a lowly run of the mill terton who knows better than all my Nyingma teachers and I have the deepest respect for everything they taught me even though it is not applicable to this era and needs to be replaced with the better stuff I'm revealing.
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Re: Lama Ivo Kalushev of Bulgaria

Postby Malcolm » Sat Oct 12, 2013 9:30 pm

disjointed wrote:KD, there is a fair amount of online information on the cult I mentioned now. Though Sakya Trizen still has not done ANYTHING to discredit it.


That is because Sakya Trizen never endorsed it, nor had anything to do with starting LR's fantasy to begin with.
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Re: Lama Ivo Kalushev of Bulgaria

Postby heart » Sat Oct 12, 2013 9:39 pm

Ivo wrote:P.S. Sorry to distract you all from the "nature of a cult" discussion, when I see my name on the topic title vanity takes over and I just can not control myself :smile:


:smile:

Hi Ivo,

Thank you for answering yourself, tend to make discussions a little more real. I am mainly curious about these two cycles of teachings you discovered (now when the matter of your bowel movements are clarified). Is there something you can tell us about the manner they were received and why you consider them valid? I remember that in Tulku Thondrups book on the terma tradition he mentions that some practitioners have visions of practices but when practiced they bring neither benefit nor harm. How did you gain confidence that these teachings would actually benefit others? Also in what language where they received and what were the circumstances that you discovered them?

I must confess that I still quite surprised when I read your site. I haven't heard from you for years but I can't say I expected this. :smile:

/magnus
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Re: Lama Ivo Kalushev of Bulgaria

Postby Ivo » Sat Oct 12, 2013 9:40 pm

Ivo, it is good that you have returned and responded as you have.
Because now I can ask you, as a human, what makes you more qualified than your teachers and what makes you a worthy receptacle of termas as opposed to the other people in this forum.


I am definitely NOT more qualified than anyone, what makes you ask these questions?

Why are you better?


Of course I am not.

What makes you special?


Nothing.

What reasonings can you provide for your superiority over the rest of Nyingma that doesn't recognize the gift you have sacrificed your comfort to give to the world?


Amazing sentence. No idea what you are talking about.

Why do you know better than everyone else what is dharma and what is not?


If we even try to define 'Dharma' we will get lost very fast. But, normally speaking, my own understanding of the Dharma is only relevant to the few misguided individuals who stubbornly believe they can study with me. And I have never made any claims about being able to differentiate dharma from non-dharma.

It's easy enough to use double speak.
Feign humility when confronted with your claims of superiority.
Why I'm just a lowly run of the mill terton who knows better than all my Nyingma teachers and I have the deepest respect for everything they taught me even though it is not applicable to this era and needs to be replaced with the better stuff I'm revealing.


I don't know where you are getting your ideas from. Certainly not from our website, or if you are, then you have an interesting way of reading it.

I am trying to answer Alfredo's post now. You will have some more material soon. Keep your strength.
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