It really is fairly straight forward…even more so for monks [via Safe Harbor: Guidelines, Process, and Resources for Ethics and Conduct in Buddhist Communities from the Buddhist Peace Fellowship.]
So Theravadan monks, you have a mess in your house. A mess that you sweep from one room to another expecting that it will disappear into the air. But no matter the amount of sweeping, no matter the amount of pushing, all you did is relocate your problem and put others at risk. Are you going to get the child-abusers out of your temples or are you going to let it get swept under the rug for another 14 years? Because if you turn your backs on this your practice is SHIT. An absolute, steaming pile of dog-shit. Not worth a dime if you stay silent about this. If you are not posting, blogging, writing letters, facebooking, tweeting or walking out of your comfortable temples then you have strayed right off the path and you can’t possible lecture anyone on the Dharma.
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 “wrong doer 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.
So. What are you going to do about this? This is your house, control it. If you are a monk it is your god-damned duty to speak out. If you are a practitioner then I think you need to demand accountability from your monks. The zennies already fucking failed this task many times over. It isn’t a competition, clean your house. It took twenty years for practitioners and teachers to confront the sexual predation of Eido Shimano and have it brought into the open.
But at Wat Dhammaram, the temple on the edge of Chicago, the monks did not see Boa-Ubol’s alleged abuse of the 12-year-old as cause to strip him of his title because there was no sexual intercourse, said Sriburin, the monk who penned the letter to the girl’s family.
“As long as we don’t know any sexual intercourse, we have no reason to charge anybody on that ground,” Sriburin said. “… We were informed that he just touched body.”
No words. No words.
“I’m sure most of the monks are living up to their calling,” said Numrich, a professor at the Theological Consortium of Greater Columbus, Ohio.
No, they are not. They may not have been a perpetrated a crime, they may not have fathered a child with a child, they may be as celibate as a new moon but by remaining silent they are not living up to their calling. Not by a long shot. Not one little bit. Not. Even. Close.
“Each student must be encouraged to take responsible measures to confront teachers with unethical aspects of their conduct. If the teacher shows no sign of reform, students should not hesitate to publicize any unethical behavior of which there is irrefutable evidence. This should be done irrespective of other beneficial aspects of his or her work and of one’s spiritual commitment to that teacher. It should also be made clear in any publicity that such conduct is not in conformity with Buddhist teachings. No matter what level of spiritual attainment a teacher has, or claims to have, reached, no person can stand above the norms of ethical conduct.” — A hard learned lesson via Shimano Archive
A woman who alleges she was sexually assaulted by a monk at a Theravada Buddhist temple in Chicago holds her 11-year-old daughter, who was conceived, according to her mother, during the assaults. (Stacey Wescott, Chicago Tribune)