Triratna, like other cult-like groups, has an opaque an unaccountable approach to leadership and power based on "Charistmatic Authority"
The following content has been tagged "Charismatic Authority & Power":
Submitted on 8th Feb 2023
This is a personal account from a woman ex-order member in Triratna, including her observations on how institutionalised views about women, families and parenthood interacted with coercion about life choices; something that she both witnessed and experienced firsthand in the group as part of ordination training courses.
In a cult, the ability to decide if and when to have a child — perhaps the most basic decision in a woman’s life — is taken over…
This is one reason why, though women and men both suffer in the iron grip of charismatic and authoritarian cult leaders, women followers face a unique set of life-altering issues
Alexandra Stein on NBC
Submitted on 6th Feb 2023
This is an account that was written in a private 'in-house' Triratna forum in 2017 by an Order member recounting sexual abuse by his teacher, Sangharakshita.
The author's name has been omitted to respect his privacy and because the author was not consulted about making this story public. However, I believe that it is in the public interest to hear this story. This personal testimony offers a very clear, straightforward personal account of Sangharakshita’s predatory sexual behaviour; a pattern that this Buddhist teacher repeated with numerous other young male disciples over a period of at least three decades. It also offers a striking account of how Sangharakshita responded without understanding, remorse or compassion when this young man explained the lasting harmful and confusing effects that his behaviour had had on him. By numerous accounts this was consistent with Sangharakshita's typical attitude or response to all those whom he had sexually abused.
Submitted on 20th May 2020
College members, appointed to their positions for life by their peers, lack the accountability that was lacking in the case of the charismatic founder. Since any procedures or mechanisms aimed at ensuring accountability are devised by the College and are overseen by College members, it is impossible to ensure any kind of impartial review of their conduct. There is little inclination for those benefiting from the charisma of office to introduce lego-rational measures that might hold them accountable to insiders (much less outsiders) or to entertain any shrinkage of their role -- a role that, due to the mythmaking that surrounds them, only they are thought capable of fulfilling.
Submitted on 27th Apr 2020
In his memoir, Sangharakshita offers no hint of apology or remorse for his behaviour towards me. Looking back over my time in the FWBO (now called Triratna), it has been quite a shock to me to realise how cold hearted, devious and manipulative some people can be, even when they are people claiming to practise an ethical and spiritual way of life. Sangharakshita’s behaviour seems consistent with what I have subsequently learned about the behaviour of narcissists and psychopaths.
Submitted on 14th Jul 2020
"At the DBU member congregation at the end of April 2018 in Germany, Munisha, who was invited officially by the DBU council to teach on Safeguarding, introduced herself as a Safeguarding Officer of Triratna, while in fact she spoke more from the perspective of a PR spokesperson of the Triratna Buddhist Order (TBO). She basically whitewashed the history of the TBO, making the audience at one point even laugh about the victims whom she called “lovers”. The audience laughed when Munisha presented in a slide the record that Sangharakshita had 1.41 “lovers per year”. The pain of those whose faith and openness, whose spiritual quest has been betrayed must exist in another world – far far away or somewhere in this number 1.41. Munisha used a language that not only sought to normalise abuse but to deflect the audience’s attention from it . . . As a witness with some background knowledge, I found Munisha’s entire presentation an ugly feat of whitewashing and propaganda which really caused me pain just hearing it."
Submitted on 26th Apr 2020
In 1987 the then Vajrakumara (Mark Dunlop) wrote a letter to the order gazette exposing Sangharakshita's sexually abusive actions toward him over a number of years. At this time there was little interest in Mark's allegations and no action was taken. Mark, fearing Sangharakshita would continue to engage in abusive behaviour with other young men, said his next step would be to talk to the press. At this point Sangharakshita expelled him from the order.
Submitted on 19th Apr 2020
A fascinating in-depth conversation between Alexandra Stein and Chris Shelton on the subject of Steins academic paper, 'Love, Terror and Brainwashing'. Drawing on their personal experiences in different political or religious cults, they discuss the particular dynamics of what attracts, hoodwinks and binds people to high demand groups (or 'cults') and what can help people recover.
Submitted on 16th Apr 2020
The Order depicted in this paper, and in the papers that have followed it, is very different from the Order I was told I was joining in 1993. In particular, the Order's relationship to Bhante, as portrayed in these papers, is fundamentally different from what I was led to believe when I was Ordained. This is not just the natural and organic development of what went before - it is, in some respects, a direct reversal of key principles that I had signed up to.
Submitted on 12th Apr 2020
One of the most influential resignation letters.
Submitted on 11th Apr 2020
To what extent does Triratna satisfy the definition of a cult?