An article by a prominent Western Buddhist, investigating the unusual emphasis placed by Triratna on Sangharakshita, with its attendant dangers.
Article by Matthew Remski explaining how and why all cult members are abuse victims to varying degrees
Attachment theory provides a key to understanding the emotional damage from growing up in a cult, explain Alexandra Stein and Mary Russell
There are various definitions of cults. We use one grounded in the work of psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton3 and Hannah Arendt:4 ‘A cultic system is formed and controlled by a charismatic authoritarian leader or leadership body. It is a rigidly bounded, steeply hierarchical, isolating social system, supported and represented by a total, exclusive ideology. The leader sets in motion processes of coercive persuasion (also known as “brainwashing”), designed to isolate and control followers.
After leaving the New Kamdampa Tradition, psychologist Dr Michelle Haslam was involved with Triratna – the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order. She shares insights into her time with both of these groups.
The FWBO Files is one of the earliest, most comprehensive and thoroughly rehearsed exposés of the group, focusing mostly on Sangharakshita. Its author, a Buddhist scholar and practitioner who was never directly involved in FWBO/Triratna, was deeply concerned about the effect Sangharakshita was having on the development of Buddhism in the United Kingdom.
It covers Sangharakshita's history, from India and Kalimpong to Hampstead and the setting up of the Western Buddhist Order, and goes into his lack of traditional training, the un-Buddhist nature of many of his teachings, his predatory sexual behaviour and more.
First published in 1997, it provoked a response from the organisation, and may be one of the key reasons why the organisation changed its name.