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anti-Buddhist?

 
 
Bravery

BRAVE have been NKT survivors who have shared how and even why they were victimized by Gyatso's cult. Countless victims have been helped and hopefully countless others have been warned about what has happened inside NKT.

Taxpayers have also been victimized by Gyatso, who organizes political rallies around the world and on the Internet AT TAXPAYER EXPENSE. Taxpayers subsidize NKT as a bogus charity vis a vis tax breaks and by way of room rentals for residents.


Fists, threats, yelling politics from extremists wearing costumes, taxpayer subsidized

Buddhism has been victimized as well by Gyatso's controversial political religion, scorned by dozens of Buddhist organizations around the world. Gyatso misappropriated Tibetan Kadampa Buddhism, particularly Tsongkhapa's New Kadampa Buddhism gift to us 600 years ago. Gyatso defaces Tsongkhapa's legacy and portrays Buddhism as corrupt and in need of his fierce assault to institute Gyatso's dark 'purity'. (NKT is not Buddhism, it is a fake and a wealthy cancerous cult developing a vast real estate empire. It is Gyatsoism.)

More insidiously, NKT victimizes psychologically vulnerable visitors, members and its so-called monks and nuns with harmful mind control and UNLICENSED psychotherapy. Gyatso has damaged many lives.

While facing extreme threats to her reputation, livelihood and wellbeing, a very brave NKT survivor and clinical psychologist has been speaking out the past two years about her adverse NKT experience and assessment of NKT'a bogus 'therapeutics'. Last week, two profound commentaries were released, the subject of recent exposé essays here.

Today, February 18, 2020, Dr. Michelle Haslam started a petition to the Charity Commission for them to revoke NKT's charity status that enables substantial taxpayer subsidy and political protest rallies. Similar petitions should be filed around the world. NKT is not a legitimate charity and certainly does not deserve public subsidy.

Please click here to add your support to Dr. Haslam's quest on behalf of NKT survivors and those duped or yet to be duped by Gyatso/NKT.

Revoke Charitable status of The New Kadampa Tradition (NKT-IKBU)

The New Kadampa Tradition (NKT-IKBU) is a highly controversial organisation that markets itself as 'Modern Buddhism' and is registered as a charity in the UK (headquarters at Manjushri charity no: 1015054). The NKT claims that they offer courses on mental health problems such as 'Overcoming depression' 'Living without stress' and 'Overcoming anxiety'. However, the NKT have no understanding of mental health. Followers believe in a 'mental continuum' that passes between rebirths, and do not believe that trauma is a phenomenon. They believe in a 'self-cherishing mind' that must be destroyed, and practice dissociation from the body, from emotional pain, from surroundings (derealisation) and the sense of self (depersonalisation). In addition, senior members have attempted to publicly humiliate those with trauma through propaganda in order to discredit their testimonies (including myself).

The NKT claim that they teach mindfulness however they actually practice thought stopping, thought reform, emotion control, spiritual bypassing and visualisation. Their practices are therefore the opposite of mindfulness practices according to Western definitions. Due to the explosion of the mindfulness movement, vulnerable people with mental health difficulties are at risk of recruitment. Their 'contemplation meditation' practices as defined in their Notes on Teaching Skills match definitions of hypnosis. Former members report that they were 'brainwashed' and their critical thinking skills became impaired.

For further details of the false claims made in NKT advertising and the potential psychological damage through involvement please see my full report here: https://newkadampatraditionreport.org/the-latest-version-of-dr-michelle-haslams-full-analysis-of-the-nkt/

There are a growing number of testimonies of psychological, spiritual, financial, and alleged sexual abuse within the NKT (see https://newkadampatraditionreport.org/testimonies-found-elsewhere/ and https://buddhism-controversy-blog.com/2011/01/07/experiences-with-the-new-kadampa-tradition-and-kelsang-gyatso/ A large number of former members report that they have severe post traumatic stress after leaving. Whilst the NKT wrote a safeguarding policy in 2018, the abuse enabling teachings and prioritisation of protection of the reputation of the NKT make this meaningless. Karma and emptiness beliefs are used to blame the victim and deflect attention from the perpetrator, which is a problem widely reported across so called Buddhist groups.

Former members have widely reported that they were encouraged to fraudulently claim benefits in order to funnel the money into the organisation, and that current residents are still doing so. The NKT appear to have around 19 million pounds to date, most of which is in their International Temples Fund. The so called Temple Fund account is found at the bottom of the main accounts as a subsidiary with no specification as to where the money was from.

Five days following the release of Be Scofield's expose article (https://gurumag.com/inside-kelsang-gyatsos-new-kadampa-tradition/ which outlines various forms of deception and abuse, and NKT's attacks on whistle-blowers (which include death threats, legal threats and threats to ruin peoples reputations and livelihoods), the abusive defamation website against myself (www.dr-michelle-haslam.com) was removed. This is further evidence it was written by them in order to discredit the report I wrote above, and that they are panicking after this received attention from the media.

The Charity Commission have not yet investigated. Each centre is registered with a separate charity number meaning that the NKT-IKBU is not held responsible for difficulties at their individual centres. Due to the gaslighting of and attacks on whistle-blowers, some former members report that they remain too traumatised or confused to make complaints. Therefore myself and many of the other survivors believe a petition to government is necessary in order to facilitate the removal of the NKT-IKBU's charity status.

Dr Michelle Haslam
(Clinical Psychologist, former resident of Nagarjuna Kadampa Meditation Centre and advocate for NKT survivors)

Some have been raped, some have been destroyed in mind and reputation, some have been defrauded financially, some have been threatened and some have been victimized by dangerous psychotherapy.

Governments (representatives of the public responsible for public welfare) should not support extremist and mind control cults, especially those defrauding the public, assaulting the public and conducting retributions campaigns against the public...while wrongly profiting and developing a vast real estate empire through deceit while doing so.

Please support the brave NKT survivors and defrauded taxpayers. Please support Dr. Michelle Haslam's bravery. Several dozen have signed the petition.

A signatory noted, "Apart from the above mentioned reasons I'm signing this petition because the NKT is simply NOT a charitable organization as they conduct zero charitable activities and use volunteer work freely to build structures. All their programs are for payment only and the profits go towards extension and accumulation of real estate."

Another signatory noted, "I was in the NKT and know the harm that it does."

And another, "As a mental health professional who has been helping cult members since 1976, I support this effort to protect the public!"

And another, "I'm signing because I believe that the practices taught by the NKT can be harmful to someone with mental illness. They are widely regarded by other buddhist groups as a pseudo buddhist cult."

And another, "The NKT does not deserve the government's funds. The NKT may kid themselves that the dharma teachings they give out for a price are a charitable service. But I wish they wouldn't teach dharma. The world would be better off without their corrupt influence. The worst thing about them to me is the sheer disingenuousness of how they present themselves to newcomers. They false advertise pervasively and play continuous games of bait and switch with the public. Just look at the website of their New York temple, conveniently titled Meditation In New York. You know, for all those stressed out New Yorkers seeking a little *buzzword* MINDFULNESS in their sad, worldly lives. Those who have been there know well that they are about a lot more than just meditation. And yes, they know what they are doing. I feel sorry for the people still involved with them. I really do. But this charade of respectability has to stop, and not just in England, but in New York too."

And another, "I was an NKT member for nearly 15 years. They take as much money as they possibly can from their members. They are focused on accumulating wealth on the backs of their members, through donations and free labour."

And another, "I was a resident for 5 years at one of their centres, I left when there were many problems with Rats, and High ranking Monks and Nuns having sexual affairs. Also I was not happy with the way they collected funds to repair the roof, then used them for other things? I think that is stealing!"

And another, "Predatory org—not legit buddhist org."

 

Editors Note
Numerous reports of adverse effects from Gyatso/NKT have been published. Some have been life debilitating, eg rape, extreme psychological trauma, suicidal obsession and severe retribution. Some have lost their families and life savings.

Many have been described on this web site.

Many have also been accumulated here,

EXPERIENCES WITH THE NEW KADAMPA TRADITION AND KELSANG GYATSO

We admire their bravery.

Two examples among hundreds published over the last 30 years...

An assessment was published in 2009 by Stephen Shettini in his book 'The Novice: Why I Became a Buddhist Monk, Why I Quit and What I Learned'.

An excerpt,

"The New Kadampa Tradition (NKT) has emerged as a player in the Dolgyal affair, a vocal opposition to the Dalai Lama and a cult to be reckoned with. Its founder, the Sera Jey monk Kelsang Gyatso, was installed as a spiritual advisor for Lama Yeshe’s Manjushri Institute back in the early eighties, and promptly commandeered it. That Tibetan imagery and lore can be turned to such forms isn’t at all surprising, but its growth is astonishingly so. The NKT is firmly established in more than two dozen countries, with assets running into the hundreds of millions. Back in 1982, I translated a seven-day course for Geshe Kelsang Gyatso in the Lama Tzongkhapa Institute in Italy. I found him a pedantic teacher and an irascible man, one of very few Tibetan teachers to whom I took a visceral dislike.

I’ve corresponded with several NKT members who initially took up arms against my provocative little web page on the topic. In the end, they admitted that they were in search of a sympathetic ear, and ultimately a way out. This is a guilt-driven rather than a military-style cult, making its web both insidious and sticky."

Another from Ivy Wallace in an essay published elsewhere in 2014, 'FINALLY, AFTER YEARS OF FANATICISM, I BEGAN OPENING MY EYES'.

"I was in the NKT for 5 years. My initial year there was incredible. Everyone was so kind and seemed so happy. I stayed on the outskirts for a while, only going to General Program (GP) classes once a week or a puja here or there. I was befriended on Facebook by practically everyone within a few weeks. Each time I went to the center I was bombarded with attention by nuns and starry-eyed students, which made me feel extremely welcome. Eventually one nun started asking me if I wanted to build merit by cleaning the bathrooms at the center once a week. It took me about a year to work my way into the “inner circle” of the center this way. I began volunteering for reception shifts, helping in the bookshop, doing flower offerings, cooking meals, assisting the teacher in his branch classes, and of course, cleaning the bathrooms. I became close friends with some of the more senior members of the center and soon began considering moving in to the center myself, and perhaps even ordaining.

I began noticing the way they coldly discard people once they’ve overworked them, how they spiritually abuse the elderly and sick by telling them to purify their negative karma, how they fabricated an extensive defamation campaign against the Dalai Lama, how they covered up sex scandals, how they indoctrinated children in the kid’s classes. So many things were wrong!

I became obsessed with controlling my thoughts, feeling immensely guilty and full of self-loathing if anything negative ever crossed my mind. The same nun who got me to clean bathrooms eventually convinced me that my family didn’t understand me now that I was a Kadampa. She told me that the center was my true home where I could move along the path to enlightenment with my peers. All the NKT people I’d met were so happy (on the surface) and I figured that they must be doing something right — so I slowly phased out my family. I began spending holidays at the center with the Kadampas. I began spending all my money on traveling to festivals and going to empowerments. When I ran out of money and couldn’t fly to festival, I offered to stay and take care of the center while everyone else went. I was treated like a holy martyr, which I have to admit, I kind of enjoyed at the time, though now when I think back on it I am disgusted with myself.

With a heavy heart, I quietly stopped going to the center. No one ever contacted me to see where I went or what happened, even though I’d been very close friends with them for 5 years. They all unfriended me from Facebook after I posted a picture of the Dalai Lama with a quote about kindness. It took me years to come to grips with the fact that I was in a cult. My entire life was built up and then shattered. I’ve been going to therapy ever since but I still am very distrustful of people, particularly dharma teachers. I haven’t been able to meditate because every time I sit my mind is flooded with memories. The NKT is an extremely dangerous organization that has ruined the lives of a lot of genuine spiritual practitioners. I hope that anyone reading my story will think twice about joining their ranks."

There have been hundreds of such reports from NKT survivors, many far more horrible.