I have seen MUCH more aggression from Trungpa followers than I have from his critics. So perhaps the real question should be why Shambhalists, etc. feel the need to constantly defend their infallible master. It's well known that you can't harm an Enlightened being, so there's no need to defend. So why do it?
Everybody brings up the whole "disparaging the guru" thing as soon as somebody questions the easily questionable
behavior of Trungpa.
Personally, I never met Trungpa. I'm not going to say whether or not he was an effective teacher, because I don't have first-hand experience of his teachings. However, I have had WAY too much exposure to some of his more notable students. I attended Naropa University for a year before I couldn't handle the cult-like atmosphere any longer. Some of his "Acharyas" and high-level students were my professors, and I even ended up dropping some of those courses, because it was just a big-ol indoctrination system. You couldn't question the actions or teachings of Trungpa. You couldn't call Shambhala Buddhist, but you couldn't call it non-Buddhist or else you'd get chewed out. Hell, in one class, I got in trouble for using the term "bodhicitta" instead of "sad heart of the warrior." And when I used the word "emptiness," the professor promptly informed me that we were not discussing Buddhist teachings, but rather the teachings of Shambhala.
So yes, I suppose you could say that I have a problem with Trungpa's students. And the Shambhala organization that completely stripped the Trungpa Tulku of any and all rights of leadership in the organization that he originated. Hell, the Sakyong even enthroned himself the head of Surmang Monastery...and don't even get me started on the "royal family." Ew.
I was told at one point, by one of the all-powerful Dorje Kasung (the "Vajra guards that stripped those writers' clothes off at that party way back when...against their will) that my Lama is going to the vajra hells for leaving Trungpa after he acted EXTREMELY inappropriately. The Dorje Kasung were also, in my experience, always the most disrespectful, cocky, and intoxicated members of the classes I was in (alcoholism is rampant in the Boulder Shambhala community...not surprisingly...). Despite their lack of knowledge of Vajrayana, they paraded around as if they were Mahasiddhas themselves. It was extremely off-putting.
I went into my experience at Naropa with some preconceived notions about Trungpa, but it was the attitude and conduct of the Shambhala community that I was most disgusted with. I think the Trungpa issues have been beaten to death. His alcoholism was clearly out of hand (and PS, that car accident was a result of drunk driving...so I think blaming the car accident for his alcohol dependence is a weak excuse...), his cocaine addiction was a well covered-up issue as well, he was sexually inappropriate (asking a nun to have phone sex with you is never
ok), and he could potentially be found guilty of murder in today's court system (telling somebody with AIDS to continue having unprotected sex with his students makes you somewhat responsible for the deaths that occurred because of it...). But since Trungpa is no longer around, his conduct really doesn't affect me. But his organization and students do. Those are where I have my issues. I think the mark of a great teacher is the attainment of his/her students.
Aaaaaand, in the wake of Losar/"Shambhala Day," I think there is a very unfortunate trend in the Shambhala community that has emerged in the last decade (not necessarily with the Vajradhatu folk...), where there is absolutely NO respect whatsoever for Tibet or the Tibetan people. Very few young Shambhalists have any interest in learning Tibetan language, examining the Tibetan culture, or even offering their thoughts to the atrocities occurring in Tibet. On March 10th, I was the only Naropa student to march in the Tibetan Uprising Day demonstration in Denver, and hell, my Tibetan language professor didn't even give me an excused absence for it. My grade dropped because of it. I talked to an older Tibetan man at the protest, and he told me that he was amazed to see a Naropa Student who cared about the Tibetan cause. I was very saddened by that.
Sorry for the rant. I'm just tired of being accused of simply "following the trend" of disliking Trungpa. Do I think he has some shitty karma to deal with now? Aboslutely. Did he make some amazing contributions to the spreading of Vajrayana in the west? Definitely. But Shambhala International makes me sick, and I think there needs
to be some questioning of the intent of some of his students, and of the Shambhala organization in general.
Sorry if I offended anybody. If you have benefitted from Shambhala or Trungpa's teachings, awesome. Good for you. But don't tell me I'm deluded or ignorant for not accepting it.