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Silencing and Oblivion of Psychological Trauma

NKT-style abuse is gaining expert assessment.

Exerpted from the journal of Religions. Published: 10 November 2019.

Silencing and Oblivion of Psychological Trauma, Its Unconscious Aspects, and Their Impact on the Inflation of Vajrayāna. An Analysis of Cross-Group Dynamics and Recent Developments in Buddhist Groups Based on Qualitative Data (by Anne Iris Miriam Anders)

"The commercialization of Buddhist philosophy has led to decontextualization and indoctrinating issues across groups, as well as abuse and trauma in that context. The psychological mechanisms of rationalizing and silencing trauma were analyzed. The results show how supposedly Buddhist terminology and concepts are used to rationalize and justify economic, psychological and physical abuse. This is discussed against the background of psychological mechanisms of silencing trauma and the impact of ignoring the unconscious in that particular context. Inadequate consideration regarding the teacher–student relationship, combined with an unreflective use of Tibetan honorary titles and distorted conceptualizations of methods, such as the constant merging prescribed in so-called ‘guru yoga’, resulted in giving up self-responsibility and enhanced dependency. These new concepts, commercialized as ‘karma purification’ and ‘pure view’, have served to rationalize and conceal abuse, as well as to isolate the victims. Therefore, we are facing societal challenges, in terms of providing health and economic care to the victims and implementing preventive measures. This use of language also impacts on scientific discourse and Vajrayāna itself, and will affect many future generations.

Recently, severe damage to health has been reported in Vajrayāna groups, due to economic, physical and psychological abuse. It is the testimonies of witnesses and the victims themselves that reveal a covert attitude of personal enrichment and self-centeredness on the part of authorities and their entourages in painful detail.

The strategy behind establishing huge amounts of international centers involved appointing people who quite often were uneducated about their positions.

It has been facilitated by replacing the clear definitions of technical terms of Buddhist philosophy with an oversimplification of concepts, together with illogical reasoning, replacing logical conclusions with blind faith.

The monetary inflow and prevalent tendency towards naively idealizing Buddhist ideals once seemed to prove the established position-holders and their entourages right, despite their ignoring the realities of people in those groups or suppressing their expression. But, over the years, enrichment based on massive processes of exploitation and submission, especially towards the feminine, and the depersonalization of group members, leading to economic, physical and psychological abuse, became evident.

This reveals a strategy of masking human exploitation and traumatization by using spiritual guises and every available means to achieve concealment.

Now that we are facing its impact on the group dynamics of people played against each other, and on the health of individuals leaving such groups, the question arises of how these mainstream misconceptions designed to silence the unspeakable could ever be reversed, and their damage minimized inside as well as outside the established structures.

In addition to significant damage to the health of the long-term practitioners and those students, who abandoned a lot in the process of becoming involved, or were severely exploited and then exchanged for others, this has resulted in severe disappointment, due to misguided spirituality. In such settings, the misinterpretation of devotion as blind trust is just one of the manipulative methods applied.

In order to escape accountability for his crimes, the perpetrator does everything in his power to promote forgetting. Secrecy and silence are the perpetrator´s first line in defense. If secrecy fails, the perpetrator attacks the credibility of his victim. If he cannot silence her absolutely, he tries to make sure that no one listens. To this end, he marshals an impressive array of arguments, from the most blatant denial to the most sophisticated and elegant rationalization. After every atrocity one can expect to hear the same predictable apologies: it never happened; the victim lies; the victim exaggerates; the victim brought it upon herself; and in any case it is time to forget the past and move on. The more powerful the perpetrator, the greater is his prerogative to name and define reality, and the more completely his arguments prevail.

In the specific situation of indoctrination and manipulation with Buddhist terms and concepts, individuals of the entourages obtained special positions with privileges due to their physical proximity to leaders, and usually consider themselves to be above ordinary folk in a kind of spiritual narcissism.

Due to economic abuse, which many people do not see any way out of, considering their loss of resources due to conceptual preconditions of ‘karma purification’, together with the dangers of stalking and slander when simply distancing themselves from or leaving such a group , there are prolonged stays in, and delayed separation processes from, these organizations. People often abandon external social contacts in favor of their group, which is reinforced by doctrines forbidding engagement with non-Buddhists and joining other Buddhist groups.

However, even within their group, members receive little support in the case of damage, due to the conceptualization of ‘karma purification’, implemented or ordered by a supreme authority, which has to be accepted by all group members and will otherwise negatively affect them, the assignation of psychiatric diseases to those one wants to get rid of and the common taboo surrounding abuse. The loss of social contacts in turn impacts negatively on mental health.

From a victim, "Your emotional and psychological abuse has been perhaps more damaging than the physical scars you have left on us. When we have worked for you while organizing and setting up the infrastructure for you to teach at different places around the world (Europe, North America, Australia, and India and Nepal), your shaming and threatening have led some of your closest students and attendants to emotional breakdowns."

For the full report, see https://www.mdpi.com/2077-1444/10/11/622/htm?fbclid=IwAR2qFZvJuCE-OZJlHY9fPQKtFa2PlkHmbz1s6l6LfLyJBFM0smWc3PGc4sI

NKT relies on absolute devotion to its fake Geshe (and missing) founder, distorting the meaninful context of what it misappropriates from Buddhism in general and Tibetan Buddhism specifically, selling quick and easy enlightment in this lifetime in complete contradition of Buddhist teachings, dismissing the damage it causes and attacking its victims.

But, real people are subjected to real damage, and eggregiously, for a fee.