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NKT's Abuse Doctrine

Drs. Amy Langenberg and Ann Gleig gave us a captivating-but-saddening glimpse into their powerful research into sexual-abusive 'Buddhist' clergy (venue: New College in Sarasota, FL and youtube livestream, October 4, 2021). They are collaborating on a book-length study of sexual violation in 'Buddhist' communities titled 'Abuse, Sex, and the Sangha' (Yale University Press, forthcoming). Their work will make significant academic and abuse-preventative contributions.

New College was a poignant venue given its proximity to NKT's business temple in Sarasota marketing promises of sex appeal, mental health, ego gratification, financial success and spiritual happiness...at a price of course, which has made NKT a taxpayer-subsidized $100+ million real estate empire and perhaps the largest Buddhism-replacement organization in the world.

While NKT markets itself as the New Kadampa Tradition, NKT has little in common with the true New Kadampa Tradition introduced in Tibet by Tsongkhapa 600+ years ago and practiced by millions of Tibetan and western Buddhists; in fact Tsongkhapa's many books and their clergy/sangha adherents are banned inside NKT.

Rightly, Drs. Langenberg and Gleig interview abuse survivors and generally find that corrective measures announced by the perpetrating organizations are mostly 'performative', ie empty political statements. Certainly, based on reports of hundreds of NKT survivors this has been the case for NKT, which has a long record of sexual, financial, unlicensed psychotherapy and Buddhism abuse.

Drs. Langenberg and Gleig reviewed several 'community' responses, ie reactions from perpetrating 'sanghas', eg denial and blame the victim.

NKT horribly and dangerously extends its denial and blame-the-victim responses to victims reporting their NKT abuse by proclaiming that its abuse and its victims and their happiness do not exist (distorting Nagarjuna's profound teachings about 'emptiness'), thereby rationalizing and intensifying its abuse doctrine. (NKT enables its distortions of Buddhism by banning the core texts of Buddhism flourishing for 2,000 years and legitimate teachers inside NKT.)

Drs. Langenberg and Gleig could prominently add to their list active measures of retaliation, revenge, threats of litigation, sexual harassment, disparaging the victim's psychological/mental status with the victim's employer, victim defamation, silencing and caustic Internet campaigns against the victims. Ruin rather than protect.

Hundreds of NKT survivors know these active measures by NKT all too well. Some have suffered greatly, including by job loss, housing eviction, panic attacks, emotional degradation, separation from society and family, isolation, long-term psychological damage, paranoia, sense of worthlessness, despair, personal injury and suicide.

NKT's wrongful acts have been reviewed often in the media and academic treatises for 30 years.

One NKT retaliation is especially egregious. Against Dr. Michelle Haslam NKT invented a fake psychologist, Robert Harrison, to cause Dr. Haslam's termination of employment and to publish a disgusting web site focused solely on Dr. Haslam, incorporating her name in the web page url and diagnosing her as hysterical. (see Defame and Destroy)

We urge Drs. Langenberg and Gleig to explore NKT, reach out to NKT survivors (https://www.facebook.com/groups/exposingthenkt/?ref=br_rs) and contact Dr. Haslam. Dr. Haslam, like Drs. Langenberg and Gleig, is also reviewing sexual abuse by 'Buddhist' clergy. (https://newkadampatraditionreport.org and https://twitter.com/shellhaslam)

We very much look forward to Drs. Langenberg's and Gleig's exposition regarding doctrinal constraints and rationalizations, mistakes 'sangha' members make when replacing their family with the 'sangha', the charasmatic authority of clergy, replacing the full meaning of Buddhism in its historical and cultural contexts with a selection of sellable snipets engineered for western audiences, the devestation of followers when they are told that they, their happiness and their abuse do not exist in order to rationalize, deny and deflect the harm caused by clergy. And, teaching Emptiness and Tantra has no place in any sangha that strips away historical, cultural and doctrinal contexts and protections (only infrequently considered or accomplished in western sangha and banned in fake sangha like NKT).