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 Hello my name is

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Christopher Hamacher



Posts : 39
Join date : 2012-02-17

PostSubject: Hello my name is   Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:20 pm

Hello,

The first thing I should say is that I'm not a former OBC student nor have I ever even been to any OBC temple. But I am interested in cases of abuse by Zen teachers and have been following the situation at the Zen Studies Society in New York, as well as a similar case here in Germany, for some time. Ex-ZSS members have a bit of an online community at the blog "genkaku again" but the level of debate there leaves a bit to be desired. So I thought I'd check this forum out; apparently there are quite a few parallels between the OBC and the ZSS and I find that very interesting. For example, the fact that the OBC hired the FaithTrust Institute after Mr. Little resigned: the ZSS initially contacted FTI as well, but then decided to go with a much more flaky "mediator" group so they wouldn't actually have to make any serious changes. I gather that many people here were unsatisfied that the FTI report didn't go far enough, to which I say: you should be happy that you got one at all!

Anyway, I've checked out a few threads here already, but are there any in particular posts/topics that you could point me to that give a good introduction to the problems with Jiyu Kennett and Eko Little?

And is it correct that you are thinking of winding this board down? Would it therefore be inappropriate to start talking about Shimano and opening up a whole new can of worms, so to speak?
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Isan
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Posts : 915
Join date : 2010-07-27
Location : California

PostSubject: Re: Hello my name is   Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:09 pm

Christopher Hamacher wrote:


Anyway, I've checked out a few threads here already, but are there any in particular posts/topics that you could point me to that give a good introduction to the problems with Jiyu Kennett and Eko Little?

And is it correct that you are thinking of winding this board down? Would it therefore be inappropriate to start talking about Shimano and opening up a whole new can of worms, so to speak?

Hello Christopher,

Welcome to the forum!

There are a couple of threads specifically about Eko Little and the events surrounding his departure - look in the OBC Experiences section. More generally if you take a little time in this section and also in the introductions section (where many former monks have made statements about why they left the OBC) you will quickly get an overview. Regarding the forum winding down I don't believe there's any intention of taking it offline. Activity here has slowed quite a bit due to conversations running their course that's all. I should think it would be OK for you to start a thread about ZSS, perhaps in the Theory and Practice section, but I'm sure Lise (the main admin) will weigh in about it.
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Jcbaran

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Join date : 2010-11-13
Age : 66
Location : New York, NY

PostSubject: Re: Hello my name is   Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:51 pm

I think it would be fine and appropriate to talk about the Shimano situation, how Zen and Buddhist groups respond to controversy, criticism, excess of authority, questioning and so forth. Shimano is just another example and as you probably know, there are still other situations with Zen teachers that remain in the closet. The more light, the more closet doors opening, the more truth telling - the better, as far as I'm concerned.

The Eko situation was probably far less extreme than with some of these other "masters" who were or are sexually involved with their students - but the issues and mind-set is precisely the same. And more deeply, it is the abuse of power, the delusion that because someone wears fancy robes or has a title or had a spiritual experience or two, he or she is now beyond karma, beyond morality, beyond consequences, is divine in all their thoughts and deeds, can do no wrong, and that their disciples are play things, dolls in their doll house.
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Lise
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Age : 42

PostSubject: Re: Hello my name is   Sun Feb 19, 2012 5:34 pm

Hello Christopher and all, I've been away a bit, sorry. I think it's fine to start threads on Shimano or other teachers/groups. Observation of the forum rules is appreciated, cheers-

Edited to say, I didn't mean that anybody on this thread hasn't been observing the rules, I just wanted to make a quick mention of it as a general advertisement Smile
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ddolmar

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Posts : 190
Join date : 2010-08-26
Location : Redding, CA

PostSubject: Re: Hello my name is   Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:07 am

HI Christopher, and welcome.

I would be curious to know more about the German case, if you can point me to a conversation that seems worth the time, in your opinion.

Josh makes a great point about the sex scandal: it certainly isn't beside the point, but it's only a piece of a much larger problem.

One convo I got a lot out of being involved in (and which I somewhat inadvertently started) was this: http://obcconnect.forumotion.net/t88-after-the-conclave-first-steps. I highly recommend listening to Reverend Master Meian's apology in the opening minutes of her Dharma talk (link in the first post of the thread), before reading much further...that was the true impetus for the discussion.

Another was the FTI Report discussion, from the announcement to hire FTI through the unauthorized leaking of their report's executive summary: http://obcconnect.forumotion.net/t258-assessment-by-faithtrust.

But I don't really have "favorite" threads...much of the best reading (dare I say enlightening reading?) is from the former monks who have taken the trouble to really dissect the problems inherent in the master/disciple relationship, and particularly how things went off the rails for them within OBC. I shouldn't name names, but I hope you will come to agree that some of the writing here by these folks is often fascinating, occasionally brilliant (as internet threads go, certainly), and psychologically very astute.
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Christopher Hamacher



Posts : 39
Join date : 2012-02-17

PostSubject: Re: Hello my name is   Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:37 am

Hi ddolmar,

I would love to shout about the German case from the top of every mountain, but unfortunately right now there is a bit of a legal tie-up. As very often happens with cults - Scientology for example - they are very aggressive towards critics and try to keep them quiet. So for the time being I'd rather not say anything more. If you read German, though, please do check out the blog "buddhistische-sekten.de".

Jcbaran:

I agree that sex is seldom the problem per se, and regret the way some people cast Shimano as a "sex addict", for example. Like you say, there are many fundamental problems with Zen practice and just because they lead to different kinds of abuse doesn't mean that the ZSS and OBC are apples and oranges. But I will start a new thread with some more thoughts on this.
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Isan
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PostSubject: Re: Hello my name is   Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:25 am

Christopher Hamacher wrote:
I'd rather not say anything more. If you read German, though, please do check out the blog "buddhistische-sekten.de".

For those who would like to read the blog but can't read German there is Google Translate:

http://translate.google.com/

Type "buddhistische-sekten.de" right in the box (without the quotation marks).
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