Tonight's special guest is John (a pseudonym), an ex-Buddhist monk of 18 years, an activist, writer, and a child abuse survivor living with PTSD. John has long advocated against physical, sexual, and psychological abuse and exploitation that was occurring in the Buddhist Centers. He officially left being a monk six months ago after his best friend's child was raped by a lama who is now under investigation for crimes against multiple child victims. John writes, "Abuse and abuse-coddling is rampant in Buddhist centers and there still is little accountability for perpetrators nor compassion for victims." He continues, “I've created petitions and written to Buddhist leaders from my former Buddhist tradition (Vajrayana Buddhism) multiple times and never received one response. I believe that the abuse of children in Buddhism is as pervasive as the Catholic church, but less well-known.” John is a former foster youth, part of the LGBTQ community, and had left the Catholic Church due to abuses within it prior to becoming a monk. His research has uncovered the problem of rape occurring prolifically in Buddhist monasteries and centers all across the world. His message to the public and our listeners is, "I advise those still involved or thinking about becoming involved with Tibetan/Vajrayana Buddhism to be very careful. If I had known what I know now, I would never have joined." John offers this article from the 'Lion's Roar' Buddhist Wisdom web site to bolster his point: "Breaking the Silence on Sexual Misconduct." He says, "For those still involved, please stand up to corruption and support the victims of abuse. It's what real bodhisattvas would do, not the sycophantic sucking up to and enabling of abusive lamas who destroy lives and faith."
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