Sexual Abuse & Misconduct
Sangharakshita Had a Sex Life -- So What?
As was clear in Sangharakshita’s own life, his underlying desire for sex was never adequately addressed and a consequence of this is that it did indeed lead to suffering, for himself and for his partners and now due to recurring media exposure, the wider Triratna sangha. We would like to know why, if a retreat led by teaching couples gives the wrong impression, what kind of impression does it give for the founder of a new Buddhist order to sexually manipulate his disciples? This is the real issue.
Early FWBO (Triratna) article espousing 'Greek Love'
This article, titled 'Leaving Mother and Initiation into Manhood'. was submitted by an Order member to a very early FWBO (Triratna) magazine, 'Mitrata', in 1977 and was reportedly very influential at the time. Yashomitra, in his letter (see testimonies) cited this document as having directly influenced his vulnerability to being sexually abused.
As Alan JW wrote in Buddhism controversy blog ( https://buddhism-controversy-blog.com/.../triratna-the.../ ) ; "[...] it gives a unique insight into the mind-set that promoted the, much discussed, concept of ‘Greek Love’ as a valid approach to the Buddhist path: according to the late Dennis Lingwood (Sangharakshita), and some senior members of his Order. An eccentric notion that has seriously damaged his, and his organisation’s, reputation.‘Greek Love’ is a pseudo-intellectual attempt to justify homosexually based mentoring relationships between, experienced members of the Triratna Order… and their proteges called Mitras: by definition an unequal liaison."
Another former Order member observed: "The obverse side of this celebration of the ephebe was the denigration of women and it came with immense psychological pressure for many men for whom it was unwelcome."
Inside Out East BBC programme about Triratna
Jo Taylor examines whether Triratna's mistakes from the past have been addressed properly, interviewing former members of the FWBO/Triratna
2017 Guardian Article on Abuse in Triratna
One of the UK’s largest Buddhist orders has been forced to report allegations of sexual abuse after a former follower claimed he was coerced into sex with one of its elders.
2019 Guardian Article on Abuse in Triratna
Lingwood encouraged heterosexual followers to experiment with homosexuality as a means of expanding their minds; he was deeply critical of the nuclear family and of mixed-sex communities in general; he encouraged young men to break away from their families.
Silencing and Oblivion of Psychological Trauma, Its Unconscious Aspects, and Their Impact on the Inflation of Vajrayāna
The commercialization of Buddhist philosophy has led to decontextualization and indoctrinating issues across groups, as well as abuse and trauma in that context. Methodologically, from an interdisciplinary approach, based on the current situation in international Buddhist groups and citations of victims from the ongoing research, the psychological mechanisms of rationalizing and silencing trauma were analyzed. The results show how supposedly Buddhist terminology and concepts are used to rationalize and justify economic, psychological and physical abuse.
The Elephant in the Shrine Room
Bjorn Hunsdieck's Account
An account of a much younger man's sexual relationship with Sangharakshita.