New sites concerning the Triratna Buddhist Community

Posted on August 24, 2010



Prasannasiddhi and Sangharakshita, 1980s

Prasannasiddhi and Sangharakshita, 1980s

Three new blog sites concerning the scandal-dogged Triratna Buddhist Community (renamed from the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order) which appeared in recent months have come to my attention. The first, “Triratna Buddhism is a Cult” appeared in July, reproducing a letter sent by a former member “Prasannasiddhi” to senior Triratna official Dhammarati and other “Order Members”. Prasannasiddhi outlines the sexual and emotional abuse he suffered at the hands of Sangharakshita, adding to the growing catalogue of ethically dubious behaviour by Sangharakshita and his organisation over the last half a century.

Two other blog sites then appeared in early August. One “Triratna News” seems to have been established by Prasannasiddhi himself, warning people of the danger of moving into Triratna communities and urging those in them them to get out immediately. The other “Triratna Buddhist Community News” takes a satirical view of recent developments with the FWBO/Triratna Buddhist Community reminiscent of some of the treatment given by the famous FWBO Files. It casts a critical eye over Sangharakshita’s “spiritual, even tantric” serial homogamy, speculates on the underlying reasons behind the recent name change, and reflects on why any modern woman would want to join or remain part of a group which propagates such a misogynistic view, for which the responsibility is laid firmly upon Sangharakshita and his close student Subhuti (his controversial book “Women, Men and Angels: An Inquiry Concerning the Relative Spiritual Aptitudes of Men and Women” can still be ordered online).

All rather unpleasant stuff. I hope that with time Buddhism in the UK will be able to clean itself of these stains.