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NKT's dropped its Australian real estate deal to the surprise of the sellers, who planned to file a lawsuit against NKT for inducing suffering and financial losses.

It is unclear whether this was a good or bad business decision on the part of NKT.

It is clear, however, that NKT is recognized as "a branch of Buddhism opposed to the Dalai Lama." NKT, which purports to be a Buddhist group unrelated to any other, opposes most religions and Buddhists, few of whom worship NKT's western god, Shugden.

From the Manawatu Standard in Australia...

"Highden Manor in Buddhist bust-up

An international legal wrangle is brewing after a British-based Buddhist faction left the owners of a boutique Manawatu hotel in the lurch by pulling out of a deal to buy it.

Highden Manor Estate owners Andrew Michaels and Avril Druker said they were devastated by the aborted sale and they had been trying to rebuild their business as they prepare to sue the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT) – a branch of Buddhism opposed to the Dalai Lama. While the couple wouldn't reveal how much the sale was for, an August valuation put its value at $2.4 million.

Mr Michaels said they had been forced to cancel valuable wedding bookings at the popular hotel and events centre in Awahuri because the sale of the property had been all but confirmed.

A contract was signed in March, subject to Overseas Investment Office (OIO) approval, but the deal fell over in August after the NKT withdrew its application, signalling doubt it could meet some conditions. Mr Michaels and Ms Druker have since tried to get the business cranking again, but said it was too late to recapture the summer wedding season.

Representatives of New Kadampa in Britain could not be reached for comment and did not respond to emails. Mr Michaels said NKT, a registered charity, had bought high-profile and historic properties throughout the world and Highden Manor Estate was approached soon after the venue's opening last year.

The group had planned to use Highden as a multi-purpose venue which would host a spiritual base, a national centre for Buddhist study and a visitor centre, he said.

Mr Michaels said the NKT had breached good faith by failing to pursue the purchase and Ms Druker said the organisation was not entitled to change its mind with impunity.

The Manawatu couple bought the former private school in December 2008 and opened the renovated facility in October last year.

Ms Druker said the site was now operating as before."

About NKT, the Australian Sangha Association noted...

"The ASA wishes to express its dismay at the conduct of robed members of the New Kadampa Tradition, Western Shugden Society and associated organizations during the teachings given by HH the Dalai Lama on 11-15 June 2008 at Olympic Stadium, Sydney, Australia.

The Dalai Lama's teachings were attended by over 6000 people who came to be inspired by the peaceful and harmonious message of Buddhism. Instead they were met by a large, organized group of protesters dressed in monastic robes shouting slogans. Noisy public demonstrations such as these are not appropriate behaviour for monks or nuns and have brought Buddhism in this country into disrepute.

The ASA recognizes there is a difference of opinion with the Dalai Lama on various issues. It is the right of NKT and WSS members to disagree with the Dalai Lama's opinions but their disagreement should be expressed in a peaceful, respectful and reasonable manner.

Therefore, in the spirit of Dharma and in accordance with Buddhist principles the ASA would encourage the NKT and WSS protesters to request forgiveness from the Dalai Lama for their behaviour and in future to conduct themselves with humility and restraint.

According to our information the robed members of this group have not taken monastic vows as defined by the Vinaya which...is the collection of teachings by the Buddha that articulate the moral discipline to be followed by the ordained community.

The Sangha is a 2500 year old institution which has always kept the Vinaya rules as its core practice. It is this moral code which is the foundation of Buddhist monasticism and adherence to it is what defines a person as a Buddhist monk or nun. It is the most important thing that we as monastics from different traditions have in common and is what enables us to come together under the auspices of the WBSC and ASA to celebrate our shared commitment to the Three Jewels.

Members of the NKT who wear robes do not follow this tradition. They have taken 5 precepts including a vow of celibacy and make 5 additional promises to behave in a manner consistent with Dharma and spiritual practice. This is indeed an admirable and praiseworthy commitment and we do not wish to imply that such practitioners are anything other than sincere and genuine in their devotion to the path. However it must be emphasised that this is not a monastic ordination according to the teachings of Buddha.

These precepts are said by their teacher Kelsang Gyatso to derive from the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra and he clearly states they are different from those found in the Vinaya. According to him a monk or a nun becomes a Bhikhu or Bhikhuni 'merely by holding these ten vows of ordination and developing a strong realisation of renunciation that is ever present in the mind.'

This definition has nothing in common with the traditionally accepted understanding of ordination and confuses the notion of a Bhikhu or Bhikhuni in the spiritual and conventional sense. From earliest times a 'true Bhikhu' has been one who realised the Dharma. However all Buddhist traditions, while fully understanding this, have always insisted on the necessity for the conventional Sangha to hold Vinaya vows properly received in accordance with the prescribed rituals.

The opinion of the ASA is that for NKT members to represent themselves to the public as authentic Buddhist monks and nuns is wrong and misleading.

One of the principal aims of the ASA is to help ensure the integrity and good reputation of Buddhism in general and the Sangha community in particular. We ourselves are not sure how to respond to this challenge but have decided to share our concerns with you...For now we feel that bringing this issue to the attention of the public is the best thing we can do."


Editors Note:
We are reminded of the approximately $2 million NKT is spending to build a 'meditation center' in Florida.

Follow NKT's new project to dupe the public here.

We have heard from the owners of Highden Manor...

"My wife and I are the owners of Highden Manor Estate. We find your website refreshing, as we, ironically, have admired basic Buddhist precepts our adult years.

I do wish to point out that Highden Manor Estate is not in Australia, but in New Zealand, and the article was written by the Manawatu Standard in Palmerston North, New Zealand.

Your website content relating to us, the aggrieved owners of Highden, and its failed sale to the NKT, is accurate.

I wish to point out that we are not vindictive individuals, and did wrestle with whether to follow the path of retribution toward NKT or not. In the end our faith in Buddhist principles (right action and principle) was shattered, and our feelings of betrayal motivated us to seek justice. We have set in motion the legal process, which at this point in time finds the NKT served with New Zealand High Court papers that require them to either respond by early May or be faced with a serious damages lawsuit."