Buddhism is in the middle of a scandal after the Dalai Lama recognized he had knowledge about the abuses that several students live with their teachers
On September 15, the world was surprised when the Dalai Lama, the highest leader of Buddhism in Tibet, publicly acknowledged he was aware of abuses of all kinds, especially sexual, by some leaders of that religion.
Leer en español: "Ya sabía esas cosas": Dalai Lama sobre los casos de abuso sexual
"I already knew those things, nothing new," the religious leader said with some serenity. The statements, according to El Espectador, were given during a meeting with four of the Buddhist students who practice the cult in the Netherlands.
The silence of the Dalai Lama
The same Colombian newspaper specified that the Dalai Lama knew about the excesses on the part of Buddhist teachers towards their pupils since the 90s, when he received some letters in his office. They explained the atrocities that students lived in places of refuge and learning.
"The monks used their position to pay for a life of luxury with possessions of their students, intimidated, and manipulated to convince them that their violations were the way to 'enlightenment," explained El Mundo, from Spain.
However, the same Spanish publication also highlighted the conversation with the Dutch researcher Rob Hogendoorn, who indicated that during the meeting with the four victims in Holland, the Dalai Lama "did not seem to be aware of the seriousness of what happened and put a face of surprise at all times".
On the contrary, he only made a call to order and stressed that "self-discipline is important".
However, this attitude was not enough for the victims present in Rotterdam, especially for the Buddhist Oane Bijlsma, who led the accusers in the meeting with the Tibetan leader. "In Asia, violence or sexual assaults tend to be seen as part of life (...) And it's not just about adults. Children are also abused in monasteries", Bijlsma said in statements collected by El País.
Due to these accusations, the #MeTooGuru campaign has been created. This is directly related to the #MeToo movement that at the end of last year accompanied the statements of sexual abuse against film producer Harvey Weinstein and other Hollywood celebrities.
According to ABC, the label aims to "denounce the harassment that the gurus of religions play, such as Buddhism."
The most famous cases
Throughout this 2018 two of the most controversial facts regarding the abuses of Buddhist teachers in the world have been known. The first has to do with Sogyal Lakar Rinpoche, master of Oane Bijlsma in 2010. "A man surrounded by young women and helpers, who lived in great luxuries and spent thousands of euros on hotels, food and Cuban cigars. And that hit and shouted and mistreated (...) Sogyal justified the abuse as a way to dismantle the ego, to convert the feelings of rejection that implies in a spiritual achievement", described Oane.
Currently, according to El Mundo, France and Great Britain are investigating Sogyal Rinpoche for the violation of students' human rights.
The second case occurred in China and resulted in the resignation of Shi Xuecheng, as head of the Chinese Buddhist Association, after he was accused of abusing six of the nuns who were part of his monastery, the Longquan temple in Beijing, CNN reported.
Scandals in Catholicism
However, Buddhism is not the only religion that has been contaminated by cases of abuse (sexual and psychological). In 2018, Catholicism has suffered one of its worst years in relation to the mistreatment of its parishioners, especially children.
For example, in Chile, there are more than 266 cases of sexual abuse of Catholic believers, of which, according to the Chilean Public Prosecutor's Office cited by El Clarín, almost 180 are children.
According to the Argentine newspaper, among those involved are 150 active members of the Church (bishops, priests, and lay people who support parish activities).
Other countries such as Brazil and the United States are also involved in cases of pedophilia and other types of abuse. The North American country was the first in which this problematic was discovered.
SER chain explained that although it was in the 90s when this scandal broke out, in the United States, the records of complaints date back to 1950 with about one thousand three hundred victims and more than 300 religious investigated.
LatinAmerican Post | Christopher Ramírez
Translated from ""Ya sabía esas cosas": Dalai Lama sobre los casos de abuso sexual"