Huseng wrote:It is generally assumed that having a hierarchy coupled with orthodox institutions somehow prevents false teachers as it should in theory provide quality control. When you have a top-down institution where everyone is on the same game page and deviance is not tolerated, you get stability. This is why the traditional hierarchical structure is seen as a pillar of stability, and moreover just as necessary as ever, if not more in our present day.
While this might be true to some effect, just looking at Taiwan this really isn't entirely true.
Despite having a few very large Buddhist institutions with the old fashioned hierarchy and education systems for monastics, you still have organizations and groups outside the large institutions teaching false dharma in Buddhist garb.
In western countries, you might not have large monastic organizations, but nevertheless you have plenty of qualified dharma teachers as well as individuals spouting nonsense and even some cults self-identifying as Buddhist.
So, is a hierarchy and orthodox institution really necessary to prevent false teachers and adharma from spreading? Even in places where you have traditional organizations, you still get false teachers and adharma.
Institutions have surrounded themselves with ritual and and a self-protecting hierarchy. Even if not preaching 'false dharma' their actions sometimes do not accord with what they teach.
I'm personally tired of accusations that this or that school or Guru is 'false' - because it is sometimes a self-cherishing, hypocritical and elitist remark made by the 'big boys' to protect their dominance.
Buddha is not currently communicating his judgement on the 'Dharma' of groups, sects, schools etc.
This does not create a vacancy for the boss of any living sect to set himself up as judge, or even a dictator making verbal or physical attacks on others who do not conform (or surrender).
Moral discipline and 'false dharma' must not defined by the most powerful player in the market, but by the words of Buddha himself.
Last time I looked, for example, Shakyamuni hadn't made an announcement on which Tibetan Oracle to follow.