"…you can help a friend or relative in a high-demand group simply by engaging with them as if they are a full and rich person with their own ideas and autonomy. The work of Alexandra Stein suggests that modelling secure attachment is key to healing. Steve Hassan’s work suggests that appealing to a person’s “pre-cult” self can be very effective. A friend did that for me once with a letter. He helped free a part of me that had been locked up."
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.
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.
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.
Jo Taylor examines whether Triratna's mistakes from the past have been addressed properly, interviewing former members of the FWBO/Triratna
This article explores why Sangharakshita’s unique understanding of “conditionality” was a profound misunderstanding of the Dharma, the teaching of the Buddha. It is based on a public article, written by a Triratna order member in 2017, that explored Sangharashita’s “particular presentation” of the Dharma.
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.
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.