God’s love delivered with bombs and guns:
Muslim insurgents in Thailand’s troubled southern Muslim provinces launched a series of similarly timed reprisal attacks. The 29 assaults included bombings and arson after … about 50 fighters wearing combat uniforms assaulted a Thai marine corps base in Narathiwat’s Bacho district. … Since November 2004 the region has been roiled by a rising insurgency by militants seeking an independent Muslim state in southern Thailand. More than 5,300 Thais, both Buddhist and Muslim, have died in the violence.
Nice to see such vitality in our senior citizens:
A 105-year-old Zen Buddhist master has been accused of sexually assaulting his female students during private teaching sessions. Joshu Sasaki, best known for being the teacher of artist Leonard Cohen, has allegedly groped and sexually harassed women across the U.S. for over 50 years. An independent council of Buddhist leaders recently admitted to ignoring years of accusations against the famously charismatic ‘roshi’. …
Nikki Stubbs, who spent three years studying under Mr Sasaki in the early 00s, said that when she spoke up about Mr Sasaki touching her breasts during private lessons and asking her to massage his penis, a monk told her ‘sexualizing was teaching for particular women’. His theory, she told the newspaper. was that ‘such physicality could check a woman’s overly strong ego’. Another victim, who has been kept anonymous, studied under Mr Sasaki at Mount Baldy Zen Centre in the 90s. She said Mr Sasaki would justify groping her during ‘sanzen’, private meetings, by saying ‘True love is giving yourself to everything.’
Mr. Sasaki is in
good bad company, it was revealed:
Such charges have become more frequent in Zen Buddhism. Several other teachers have been accused of misconduct recently, notably Eido Shimano, who in 2010 was asked to resign from the Zen Studies Society in Manhattan over allegations that he had sex with students. Critics and victims have pointed to a Zen culture of secrecy, patriarchy and sexism, and to the quasi-religious worship of the Zen master, who can easily abuse his status.
All of this is disturbing enough, but it pales compared to the cases of Buddhist monks right here in America who molest children, sometimes for months or years on end. What do their temples do when such abuse comes to light? Why, they take a page from the Catholic playbook.
The meeting took place at Wat Dhammaram, a cavernous Theravada Buddhist temple on the southwest edge of Chicago. A tearful 12-year-old told three monks how another monk had turned off the lights during a tutoring session, lifted her shirt and kissed and fondled her breasts while pressing against her, according to a lawsuit. Shortly after that meeting, one of the monks sent a letter to the girl’s family, saying the temple’s monastic community had resolved the matter, the lawsuit says. The “wrongdoer had accepted what he had done,” wrote P. Boonshoo Sriburin, and within days would “leave the temple permanently” by flying back to Thailand. “We have done our best to restore the order,” the letter said. But 11 years later, the monk, Camnong Boa-Ubol, serves at a temple in California, where he says he interacts with children even as he faces a second claim, supported by DNA, that he impregnated a girl in the Chicago area. …
A monk charged with sexual assault of a child in Harris County, Texas, also is missing. The charges came in January after a 16-year-old girl confided in her high school counselor that the monk had been having sex with her for months, according to the complaint. Sgt. William Lilly, of the Harris County sheriff’s office, said he visited the temple in search of the monk after the teen’s outcry and “just got the sense they weren’t going to help.” Days later, the monk’s attorney announced his client had fled and was believed to be in Cambodia. Where is the monk now? The temple’s president could not say.
The Chicago Tribune has more.
[image from Dim Sum Funeral]