About

The purpose of this blog is to collect in one place examples of what the folks at E-sangha Watch refer to as

intra-Buddhist sectarian bias, misinformation, religious intolerance and ’sect bashing’

The posts listed here are random and are intended to provide a flavour of the goings on. If you have other examples that you would like to be added, then please email us at esanghareport at gmail.com, including details on date, url, subforum and thread topic.

“All the various types of teachings and spiritual paths are related to the different capacities of understanding that different individuals have. There does not exist, from an absolute point of view, any teaching that is more perfect or effective than another. A teaching’s value lies solely in the inner awakening which an individual can arrive at through it. If a person benefits from a given teaching, for that person that teaching is the supreme path, because it is suited to his or her nature and capacities. There is no sense in trying to judge it as more or less elevated in relation to other paths to realization.”

~ Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoch

56 Responses to “About”

  1. anon Says:

    This one deserves to be added

    http://www.lioncity.net/buddhism/index.php?showtopic=83529&st=60&p=1127237&#entry1127237

  2. Kevin Solway Says:

    I see that e-sangha watch is currently down. I wonder whether that’s because of the petty attempts by the e-sangha admins to have it shut down.

  3. jtsomo Says:

    I heard from a friend that it had been hacked. Its back up now.

  4. James Says:

    e-sangha is well intentioned but philosophically and ethically inconsistent. this is where it’s true danger comes from– good intentions in the face of unexamined biases and prejudices.

    what seems to matter most to those at the helm of e-sangha– is self preservation. e-sangha must survive. why? they are defending the true dharma. they are creating the true virtual sangha. this is more important than addressing the concerns of many of the community members. this is more important than moderators answering questions regarding their actions and the views that motivate their actions.

    ironically, this behavior is a classic pattern of abuse. it is common in domestic violence situations. the strategy is very simple: if you stand up to me, i’ll hurt you and alienate you from your peers. on e-sangha if one stands up to a moderator one is punished and banned. this is a destructive pattern for everyone involved when those holding the big stick are ordinary beings with afflictive emotions like anybody else. despite what some may think, and despite what some may wish to portray– e-sangha is run by a regular bunch of blokes.. not mahasiddhas.

  5. newkadampatruth Says:

    The New Kadampa Tradition is actually banned in its entirety from E-Sangha — that supposedly open Buddhist forum — even though it has many thousands of Buddhist Centers and students following the Mahayana Buddhist tradition of Je Tsongkhapa worldwide: http://www.kadampa.org

    The irrational and unjust “history” of that ban is explained here — please feel free to use any of this article on your blog if it is helpful.

    http://newkadampatruth.wordpress.com/2009/03/05/e-sangha-and-sect-bashing-continuation-of-the-cult-smear-history/

    An extract:

    Another E-Sangha global moderator called Namdrol (Malcolm Smith) joined in the discussion and over a period of many months provided E-Sangha members with a huge amount of astounding and sometimes laughable misinformation. For example:

    “Gyalpos also cause strife and cattle diseases. The outbreak of Mad Cow disease in Northern England a couple of years ago has been attributed to the strong presence of Shugden practitioners in Northern England.”

    Most recently, Namdrol incited forum members to more intolerance (on the occasion of the Dalai Lama’s being admitted to hospital for kidney stones):

    “We can all thank the Shugden people for HHDL’s present state of ill health.”

  6. floating_abu Says:

    Hi I posted this over at In Pursuit of Mysteries tonight as well. Repeated below as I think it’s worth knowing –

    Turns out that E-sangha not only DOES ban people for starting/associating with new Buddhist sites (in addition to the noted record of banning people silently and systematically) but they also read personal messages on the site.

    So basically if you are on their site KNOW THAT YOUR PMs ARE BEING MONITORED.

    So people should know of these privacy violations. Doesn’t feel very Buddhist to me…

  7. floating_abu Says:

    James

    Unfortunately I have also noted the situation is similar to hostile political environments -

    repression, silencing, non-transparency, enemies of the state, treating other forums as hostile/competition, refusing to hold discussions etc.

    It’s a bit sad really, not to mention ironic with all the articles on political situations over there.

  8. former esanga mod Says:

    esanga moderators are subject to the same abusive treatment by admins as general members. admins frequently remind moderators that esangha is an strict oligarchy, and that any concerns that a moderator may have regarding an admin action or decision must be addressed privately with an admin (not in the mod forum) . the admin style of management is based on the total use of verbal abuse, secrets, lies, power-playing, and absolute power.

    admins routinely:

    - ignore the esanga terms of service rules, and ignore esanga’s formal
    moderator decision-making process without announcement or
    explanation.

    - delete and/or edit mod post without pre-discussion or explanation.

    - overrule mods and delete threads that are in disagreement with the
    two head admin’s unique, narrow understanding of buddhism.

    - threaten mods in front of other mods – yell at mods in all caps in
    the mod forum

    - strip mod status over dogma disagreements or for questioning
    admin behavior that is inconsistent with forum rules

    - routinely read mod pms and disclose their private contents in the
    mod forum.

    - admins have issued a list of buddhist sites to mods that they are
    forbidden to post at, under threat of being de-modded at esanga.

    - mods are also managed by the point system – admins hand out
    warning points without warning or explanation. same with
    suspension or banning. no warning or explanation.

    - One of the admins has a disgusting aggressive potty mouth when
    he’s posting in the mod forum and is mentally stable – paranoid,
    aggressive, w/ anger management difficulties..

    - Another one of the admins throws megalomaniacal shouting tantrums in which he claims that anyone who disagrees with his understanding of Buddhism isn’t a Buddhist. He also forbids that certain worlds be used when discussing Buddhism, at the threat of banning. One word on the list that comes to mind is “fundamentalist”. He also regularly issues new “rules” against things, shouting in all caps things like “XYZ IS NO LONGER ALLOWED. ***I WON”T HAVE IT***”

    these things are just the very tip of the iceberg. esanga is always desperate for new mods because admins fire them so often. and because many won’t stand for being targeted by admins with abusive treatment. and some just get disgusted and quit. there are a few long-term mods that hang in there, despite the abuse, hoping that the two looniest admins will eventually leave.

    So think about this the next time there’s a temptation to rant about the mods at esanga. Modding isn’t easy work, and it is all volunteer. esanga mods try to do their best to maintain an orderly environment, in spite of ugly abusive work conditions under two crazy admins, too many admin-issued dogma restrictions, and hundreds of newbies with attitude that they have to deal with all the time.

    I won’t even touch on the profit issue.

  9. esangareport Says:

    Yes, Lord of the Flies springs to mind.

    Whilst acknowledging that there have been / are currently good mods over there, the intention here is to highlight abuses by the ruling junta.

    If you spot any exchanges that you think have been unfairly recorded here, then please let us know.

  10. James Says:

    i am actually OK with the e-sangha admins asserting that e-sangha is a very strict oligarchy. that is more honest than most internet communities. e-sangha is the trip of teyes and namdrol and a few others. kewl. thanks for the head’s up on that. really, that’s quite righteously honest and transparent.

    where that falls apart is when the assertion of e-sangha being a strict oligarchy– that is, the trip of a few– is confused by assertions that the conduct of the elite are motivated by the dharma. that’s intellectually and spiritually dishonest. it is particularly dishonest as mods and admins are willing to act unilaterally in the name of the dharma– yet those same people are unwilling to take responsibility for those calls. quite bluntly, the entire e-sangha culture is constructed to prevent any of the e-sangha elite from being held accountable.

    i understand the concern of the e-sangha admins. they don’t want to let e-sangha devolve into the mosh pit that other forums were in the past. the fact that there is a growing number of contra e-sangha sites should show they have failed.

    i’ve known the mod side of e-sangha to be corrupt for some time.

    from the john q. citizen side of e-sangha, the dynamics are pretty bewildering. it is obvious that there is alot of back room action, it is also obvious that the rules are fluid and arbitrary and incredibly petty, petty and parochial in their scope. it is a little bewildering when one is banned without notice, much less dialogue, appeal and recourse.

  11. James Says:

    former e-sangha mod:

    you had said: So think about this the next time there’s a temptation to rant about the mods at esanga. Modding isn’t easy work, and it is all volunteer. esanga mods try to do their best to maintain an orderly environment, in spite of ugly abusive work conditions under two crazy admins, too many admin-issued dogma restrictions, and hundreds of newbies with attitude that they have to deal with all the time.

    point well taken. at the same time, who is the “official” face of e-sangha? for all intents and purposes, it is the mods. other than a few faq’s, the only interface to the engine of e-sangha is the mods– so the actions of the mods is the community’s only face. the autonomous admins are mods by default of their position.

    the problem with the actions of the mods being the only “face” of e-sangha is that the said actions are entirely beyond comment and discussion at the thread of banning.

  12. sangye Says:

    i had to leave, i asked mods on how to unregister myself. the problem there is that disagreement is not tolerated, unless you accept namdrol’s version Buddhadharma, you will be an unwelcomed visitor. it is definitely run by a clique and unpleasant to go there anymore.

    fortunately e-sangha is not anything but a website. i would still like to read the posts but want to be done with the politics.

  13. anon Says:

    “What some people call “Zen” in the West bears little if any resemblance to
    Buddhism.”

    http://www.lioncity.net/buddhism/index.php?s=fd1a03c236ce9e9090e5403319a63df5&showtopic=86243&st=0&p=1161637&#entry1161637

  14. Simon Says:

    On another forum someone posed the question “what would be the result if a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder rose to the top of a Buddhist E Forum ? “. I think that question becomes more urgent with each passing week.

  15. jonno Says:

    I recently responded to a post titled-why did the Buddha leave his family?- I quoted a highly respected indian professors alternative version which was in no way disrespectful or offensive. I also said that I neither agreed or disagreed with his version but I thought it was interesting. Result—The post was removed and I was suspended from the site for 4 days. I contacted the moderater concerned who replied that I was suspended without explanation. Sounds to me like intolerance and fundamentalism, not Buddhistlike at all. namaste

  16. sangye Says:

    i am quoting from the site a reply to my reply to sunsimao’s post. it has been edited by jamyang norbu removing personal insult “(you something) FUNDY!”. i think sunsimaos was also edited say tibetans don’t know much but i think it said don’t know anything.


    QUOTE(sangye dorje @ Mar 30 2009, 02:44 AM)
    you haven’t been to the Boudha stupa on a saturday night. but when the tibetans are all saying the mantra their gurus gave them and circumambulating the stupa that isn’t real Buddhism as practiced here on e-sangha.

    QUOTE(Sunsimao @ Mar 26 2009, 11:14 AM)

    However, you are mostly wrong about the idea of the common people of Tibet being devout throughout Tibetan history. Even today, among the diaspora Tibetans aren’t very Buddhist, don’t know very much about Buddhism. Yes, maybe some mani or some superstitious cultural gestures. Of course, there are exceptions.

    (jamyang norbu below:)
    You don’t know who has been where, so change your aggro tone or you are outta here.

    now namdrol and his crew are taking to calling others who disagree with them fundamentalists. and they have been deleting alot of posts. i tried to pm one of the accused but system said that his inbox was full or he doesn’t have peremission to use messaging. actually its typical cult behavior. e-sangha has been taken over to promote namdrol’s views of Dharma. if i remember correctly he bullied posters at yahoo nyingma group, then made his own ati group. namdrol, imho, would benefit from becoming an attendant to one of his Lamas s they could help him with his ego and he could get an understanding beyond what one gets by reading books.

  17. James Says:

    i just attended some teaching in new england– and one of the e-sangha moderators was there.

    it’s interesting.

    this person was deferential to the lama, respectful to the senior students and ordained people, and very kind and open to talk to. at the same time, this is a person who viciously cuts into people on e-sangha, power-tripping and judging those he disagrees with.

    hypocrisy is death in dharma practice. generally, it’s a good idea to not say anything (that would include writing, emailing, etc.) that you wouldn’t say in front of your lama.

    if these mods and admins on e-sangha are fine with telling people off in front of their lamas, then, well, gee…

  18. sangye Says:

    e-sangha did ban me. its not for any recent post there though. must be from my posts here. :-} not a problem

  19. Myotai Says:

    I can add my experience to the above too. Banned for asking a question about HHDL and him being taken to court. No reasons given. No access to PM’s. No replies. Am still receiving scores of emails a day from threads I subscribed to with no way of reading them. I can’t even unsubscribe!!!

    Can we not contact their domain provider to complain re ‘Religious Intollerance’. I bet they wouldn’t want to be associated with a forum that was demonstrating such neo racism!

  20. Tony Says:

    I posted a message here to say why I had been banned and gagged from the eSangha forum…it doesn’t seem to have been passed by the moderators. Any reason for this???

  21. esangareport Says:

    Hi,

    Just laziness, apologies…

    I think it’s been approved now, let me know if not.

  22. Simon Says:

    Sunsimao was mentioned above. I wouldnt normally namecheck a non-mod poster, but I will make an exception for him. He and one of the other frequenters of the old Dzogchen Forum whose name excapes me ( but is always pictures with a bandana round his head like an East Street Band reject ) are among the most unpleasant and oafish elements on E Sangha. They appear to have license to post responses on any thread of a deeply mocking, dismissive, vulgar and angry nature, as much as any of Namdrols or Jamyang Norbus. Whats more they seem to have carte blanche to do so.
    Anyone dropping into E Sangha for the first time and seeing the posts and replies of this dysfunctional mini-mob would immediately think that something was wrong. If they were experienced in Buddhism the would realise that the problem was E Sangha. If they were not experienced they would think the problem was with Buddhism, or at least with Dzogchen.
    E Sangha has attracted a small core of angry inadequates who, fatally, think that their dysfunctional responses are a sign of their superior understanding.

  23. James Says:

    Somebody posted the following on e-sangha. It was titled “What can i post without drama?” I thought it was clever. Not mean. No ad hominem attacks. At the same time quite pointed and critical. Needless to say, it didn’t last a half hour. I’m sure the person who posted is in the e-sangha equivalent of Abu Ghraib.

    Drama, drama, drama… Yes, I have read the rules of this forum, but maybe we should add the following Ten Commandments as an addendum:

    1. I am Buddha and I am a jealous god, and thou shalt have no other god before me.
    2. Thou shalt not criticize the Dalai Lama.
    3. Thou shalt not discuss Dzogchen.
    4. Thou shalt put down other people’s whole lineages.
    5. Thou shalt think that your teaching is the only way.
    6. Thou shalt brag about how many empowerments and transmissions thou hast received.
    7. Thou shalt make sarcastic remarks and devalue other people’s spiritual realization.
    8. Thou shalt turn Dharma into an egocentric spiritual trip.
    9. Thou shalt close all the interesting threads.
    10. Thou shalt turn a good topic into a battleground of personal attacks, instead of healthy view-sharing.

    Maybe, I should start reading the Torah. The Ten Commandments in the Torah are WAY better.

    P.S. Or maybe I should just go to sleep and wake up to see this tread closed just like all the other ones I wanted to read.

    Of course I’m sharing this anonymously because… well, I have to share it, it’s brilliant… but the mods will probably sort through the sever logs of who viewed the post… and banish me to e-sangha re-education camp along with the author. I guess I’ll be in good company.

  24. Karl Jacob Says:

    does anybody know, why they just deleted the thread about david carradine ?

    is he a H.H. ?

    this ppl are so weird, it´s scary.

  25. noodlebowl Says:

    “… but the mods will probably sort through the sever logs of who viewed the post… and banish me to e-sangha re-education camp along with the author. I guess I’ll be in good company.”

    I had no idea one could search the server logs of who even VIEWS a particular post.

    In any case, fear not.

    The ‘e-sangha re-education camp’ is a playspace and Buddhafield, full of good cheer, kindly attention and wisdom from many sources.

  26. anicca Says:

    I joined e sangha a month ago and just left it
    on account of arbitrary, abrupt and confusing moderation.
    I have had several threads closed for reasons
    that I don’t understand and that weren’t explained–
    some on entirely innocent topics, as far as I could tell.

    In the one case where I wrote the administrator asking what
    had happened,
    it became apparent he hadn’t read, or tried to
    understand, the thread
    he had closed. When I pointed out that I had
    said the opposite of what he said I said,
    there was no response.

    I don’t mind orthodoxy, but the orthodoxy being
    enforced is so brittle than even
    posts defending orthodoxy are stricken.
    One never knows when it’s going to happen.

    I work professionally in religious studies,
    and was saddened by this experience.

  27. karl marx Says:

    I, too, was once banned from e-sangha, under a username I am not using right now. I merely posed a question regarding the Karmapa. I believe he was stranded with some followers in some weather condition in India or Nepal and they had him airlifted out. They couldn’t take everybody so I wondered (in a post) why he didn’t stay with his followers. I was banned from certain ip addresses I logged in from. i have returned because i enjoy the forum,but i agree that any drop of critical thinking when it comes to tibetan lamas, rinpoche, gurus,etc.. is not tolerated. It’s ironic because I have great deal of respect for the tibetan tradition, but there seems to be more arrogance than buddhism going on there in the tibetan schools discussion forum.

    namaste

  28. Basil Says:

    E-sangha’s new terms of service:

    By entering The Temple of the Thousand Foot High Golden Flower, formerly known as E-sangha, you agree to refer to the object of reverence only as “The Golden Flower” and that any use of the words “cast iron,” “gilded,” or any variations or permutations of those terms within the Temple will be valid and legal cause for your immediate ejection.

    You further understand that you agree to waive, and hereby do waive, any legal or equitable rights or remedies you have or may have against The Temple of the Thousand Foot High Golden Flower with respect thereto, and agree to indemnify and hold The Temple of the Thousand Foot High Golden Flower, its owners/operators, affiliates, and/or licensors, moderators and administrators harmless to the fullest extent allowed by law regarding all matters related to your use of The Temple of the Thousand Foot High Golden Flower.

    The Temple of the Thousand Foot High Golden Flower does not endorse any opinion, recommendation or advice expressed by its employees in the course of ejecting unwanted personages from The Temple of the Thousand Foot High Golden Flower, and expressly disclaims any and all liability in connection with said ejections.

    You agree to indemnify, save, and hold The Temple of the Thousand Foot High Golden Flower, its affiliated companies, administrators and moderators harmless from any claims, losses, damages, liabilities, including attorneys’ fees, arising out of your use or misuse of The Temple of the Thousand Foot High Golden Flower, violation of these Terms, violation of the rights of any other person or entity, or any breach of the representations, warranties, and covenants made by you herein.

    The Golden Temple reserves the right, at your expense, to assume the exclusive defense and control of any matter for which you are required to indemnify The Temple of the Thousand Foot High Golden Flower and you agree to cooperate with The Golden Temple’s defense of these claims. You and The Temple of the Thousand Foot High Golden Flower agree that any cause of action arising out of or related to The Temple of the Thousand Foot High Golden Flower must commence within 3 months after the cause of action accrues. Otherwise, such cause of action is permanently barred.

  29. Floating_Abu Says:

    Perhaps genkaku’s phrase of “The teacher may be a liar, but zazen is no liar” has some application here.

    Just don’t give up on your own practice regardless of what you encounter.

    With best wishes.

  30. Simon Says:

    Thats all very well Floating Abu for people with an established practice. I doubt if many of them dump their sitting because Namdrol is in a strop. They just approach E sangha with more caution. What though of those people who approach E sangha all shiny eyed and new to Buddhism ? I would imagine that many of them on seeing the mods in full flow, run a mile and are never seen again.

  31. island Says:

    I was posting at e-sangha as of earlier today and suddenly I was banned. The problem is that I posted a complaint on E-Sangha Watch about a set of incidents with a moderator that the admins themselves apologized for, so they admitted they were wrong in my case.

    Can it really be true that one site has the authority and right to ban members for anything they say elsewhere on the internet?

    That is not just over-reaching. It smacks of paranoia. And is unethical and possibly illegal.

  32. Simon Says:

    Realistically it is not illegal. Unbuddhist and unpleasant yes. I think the legalities of the situation have been fairly well tested. One of the basic problems is the fact that E Sangha is registered in Singapore, where different laws and mores are in force.

  33. qwerty Says:

    man, I just posted an entirely innocent question on e-sangha and BAM! an ordained westerner swoops in and says HOW DARE YOU IMPOSE YOUR CHRISTIAN IDEOLOGY. even if I were trying to start a dhamma fight (I’m not) what makes people think that’s the best way to defuse the situation?

  34. Simon Says:

    Hmmm. Mixed feelings abou that one qwerty. I dont know the thread you are referring to, but the E sangha TOS do make it clear that they will not allow comparisons to be made between other religions and Buddhism. That has been the case for at least four or five years. So whatever we might feel it is not inconsistant with its own TOS. Its not an arbitary whim of one man, like so much of what goes on on E Sangha.

  35. another_anon Says:

    I have recently posted a question about the HHDL and an apparent court case. I was refered to another thread bashing the Kadampa Buddhists and my thread was immediately closed.

    Why close my thread that was asking a legitimate question but leave another slagging off other Buddhists open???

    Unbelievable….!!!

  36. jmb Says:

    I’m glad I found openbuddha, e-sangha watch and e-sangha alert. Although I think e-sangha provides a huge amount of good information in the various topics, I had a growing unpleasant feeling about the rules and moderators.
    Good to see I’m not crazy.

  37. Bob Says:

    I am currently on my third account on e-sangha. I have been ban twice before for openly questioning their policies including closing of topics, deleting members posts, or change their post with out their permission.

  38. Bread N Butter Says:

    http://www.lioncity.net/buddhism/index.php?showtopic=92287&st=60
    E-sangha, Buddhist Forum and Buddhism Forum > Topics in Buddhism > General Buddhism Discussion

    Thread Title: Vibhajjavada Buddhism, What is E-Sangha’s stance on this?
    Date started: Aug 15 2009
    Dates of following posts: Aug 28 & 29 – 2009
    Page no.: 4

    ———————–

    Anders Honore (Moderator): “To put it bluntly, Gudo [Nishijima] doesn’t know what he is talking about. ”

    Forum Member: “So he [Gudo] is a very respected Zen Buddhist priest and teacher, but he doesn’t know what he is talking about. According to Thich Nhat Hanh, another very respected Zen Buddhist monk, teacher, and author, as well as a poet and peace activist, says the Nikayas and Agamas are not the authentic teachings of Gautama Buddha, but doesn’t know what he is talking about either. No wonder they don’t come on to this forum – they are seemingly too ignorant of the truth and don’t want to be put to shame by you guys. [TNH quote in member's signature: "Of course the Nikayas and Agamas are closer to the original form of the Buddha's teachings, but they have been altered and modified by the understanding and practice of the traditions that have passed them down. Modern scholars and practitioners should be able to restore original Buddhism from the available texts of both the Southern and Northern Traditions" - Appendix, 'Old Path, White Clouds']

    Caritas (Moderator): “well. on gudo.
    he is misused, and there is a problem with translation of ideas in some cases. [...]
    …it is pretty clear where nishijima stands regarding the statements, just as it is clear where dogen stood, and you should stop abusing the zen tradition in this forum please [NOTE: This statement was not aimed at Anders Honore; fellow Moderator to Caritas, who said Gudo is ignorant, but at the Forum Member, who had not seemingly abused Gudo and "his Zen" at all - he was in fact apparently supporting Gudo].
    [...]
    you should also please stop misusing the quote by thich nhat hanh. until you have some specific references describing the objects of his statement it is completely irresponsible to abuse the words of this teacher, especially in response to a venerable who has kindly taken the time out of his day to correct your heavily misguided conceptualizations in a specific way.”
    ————————-
    Summary: Threads on Gudo Nishijima, respected Soto Zen Buddhist priest, and his teachings (especially rebirth), are unwelcome (which filters down to Brad Warner also), and Thich Nhat Hanh, incredibly respected Vietnamese Zen Buddhist teacher, is also over-ridden and censored by Moderators somehow suggesting his very clear statements regarding the scriptures Esangha bases it’s ToS on in a fundamentalist way are in fact ambiguous.

    Conclusion: E-Sangha is falling apart; it’s corrupted, poisoned, and in it’s undermining of the analytical ability of it’s members, it will naturally be cast off like a dead brown leaf from an Autumn Tree. Never mind – just another lesson in the seasons of the human condition.

  39. joseph Says:

    Well today an E-sanga (now banned)member posted links to this and a few other sites like it and simply asked what was whatm Good bye, no comments,back in defense, and the posts were deleted

  40. Simon Says:

    WE can add to the list of “Dzogchen Fundmentalists” on E Sangha the name of “Pero”, who is currenty dismissing all but his own view of CNNR, in the same rude and dismissive way that seems to be the only way that E Sangha Dzogchen people now how. I cant help wondering what Namkhai Norbu would make of the representation he receives on E Sangha.

  41. Simon Says:

    A new tactic has emerged. In recent months Namdrol has kept a much lower profile. Two of the most active mods are Caritas and The Giant Albion. They operate in a very different way from Namdrol. Instead of simply banning people and invisibling posts they tie all debates up into more and more elaborate philosophical discussion with academic jokes sprinkled liberally until the OP ususlly gives up and posts in the Coffee Lounge instead. The exception is when a post comes in from another philosopher with a Buddhist tinge, at which point the ennuei becomes acute as a game of philosphy face-off ensues. The poor old OP who has posed some perfectly good question of something practical in nature is left stranded as the egos clash like rutting moose. They are polite. They are courteous, but they effectively bog all dialogue down in a whelter of words.

  42. Albert Ellis Says:

    The tragedy of Esangha is that it gives newbies an ideological impression of Buddhism. To claim that such is “wrong”, in itself would just heighten the defensive/aggressive attitude that is already dominant at Esangha. Like other ideological empires, Esangha adherents will justify themselves by defending their ideology as “correct” and hence what is correct leads to the eradication of ignorance, hence suffering is relieved, and hence such a view is compassionate. “I’m doing you a favor by beating you”. Sound familiar?

    The bottom line on Esangha is to not to disagree with the moderators or administrators (some are more tolerant than others). Supposedly one gets 10 warnings before they are kicked out, but they are hardly warnings if the moderators refuse giving reasons. One is left to guess.

    My best guesses are that I disagreed with an interpretative bias of a moderator (or they with me). Instead of discussing it, the moderator wins by either erasing the message, closing the thread, suspending or banning the poster (me), making the entire thread disappear, or any combination of the above. I suppose that if I were in elementary school, I could expect such behavior from teachers, but it was not expected on a Buddhist site. Rather the tactics are intimidation; play by my rules or else. Again, perfectly OK on a commercial site, but not on a site using the word, sangha in its name. They mean arya sangha perhaps, where the moderators and administrators are Aryans, and the faithful tow the party line.

    Of course we are always free to go elsewhere, which is the point; i.e., if you don’t tow the party line, then you are not welcome on Esangha. Although Esangha may be attempting to build their empire, waiting to cash in on the fad of Eastern religionism, it might be best to not associate with hypocrites and control freaks, albeit they are merely misguided – have Buddhanature, and eventually must awaken.

    This is all a great “object” lesson about the degeneration of the Buddha dharma in the present age. There it is, just another example. What indeed did Buddha teach and how can we keep that lamp aflame?

    Light and metta

  43. me Says:

    Nope. It’s STILL down.

    Hmmmmm …

  44. carl Says:

    anybody may have their own forum homepage. anybody may set up rules for members of their forum homepage. and nobody is urged to become a member of any forum.

  45. Gerry Says:

    Hello,

    I posted to “Bön Banned”, but it disappeared…

    I find a certain irony in Malcom’s vehement comments about Bön, when in fact Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche and Chögyal Namkhai Norbu are very good friends and have been so for years. Malcom “allowed” the Bön subforum out of curiousity about the Bönpo approach to Dzogchen – he thinks it is the same as the Nyingmapas (heh!).

    For some reason I can no longer go to E-Sangha – either their site is down or some computer whiz put the whammy on – doesn’t matter since for the most part it is as described in the various posts above.

    Best wishes.

  46. Saraha Says:

    Dear All,

    Ban I’m All

    First I was banned at Apologetics for a Gnostic interpretation of Genesis then Glorian Gnostics banned me for discussing how their first noble truth is not Good Gotama’s first noble truth according to suttas while e-sangha so far is the most diverse of traditions in one area and at least we are not beating each other with sticks and throwing stones but sometimes words can feel like that at least in till somebody whacks you with a stick…lol.

    Anyway this seems to be a common problem on any forum and my suggestion is that first mods may be banned by members,3 I should think in agreement.

    Mod term is limited to one month and is volunteer chosen at random from e-sangha members interested in being a mod..

    Nuts and bolts are outsourced and have no powers over content/direction,etc like your accountant..

    metta

  47. sangye Says:

    since i was banned, i started using a different ip and new user name. i posted in the thread on the fake lama that a Guru should should be realized. a couple of the pedantic posters jumped all over me fr saying that. kirtu also said an ordinary person can be a guru but quoted Jamgon Kngtrul over several long posts and acuple of days to show it. JK started by saying that there are four types of spiritual guides – ordinary person, monk, bodhisatva and tulku. an ordinary person can be a spiritual guide in the beginning of the path but at the end of quotation JK sid to teach tantra one must be realized. i pointed this out to the pedants. next time i tried to go to the forum i could not get in, and i still get sql errors saying user 72808 etc. iits not just my isp because i used at&t on my mobile to connect and that gets the same sql errors. re

  48. sangye Says:

    (continued from above) are the two things connected? in the reginald ray thread that was pinned but gone now, namdrol said that RR can put himself in vajra master retreat and as long as one does the accumulations and fire puja with or without any signs of accomplishment or connection with a lineage one is a vajra master. this contradicts Jamgon Kongtrul. unpinned and deleted also is the tulku thread that rolled out the reforms to tibetan buddhism namdrol, jamyang norbu et al were pushing such as stripping everyone from HHDL on down of the title tulku, etc. all sounds to me like someone is lowering the bar to becoming a guru. can someone tell me if bhappy is banned?

  49. James Says:

    e-sangha appears to be hacked. this is only going to increase the paranoia of the e-sangha mafia.

  50. durkhrod chogori Says:

    This happens because people rely excessively today on the Internet and other media instead of more traditional approaches to various spiritual traditions, namely retreats, solitude and physical guidance from an expert teacher. The former approach is a direct consequence from the globalized and technical world we are currently facing which has relaxed significantly the latter. But in our case more does not equal to better, since the student will be certainly confused due to the massive amount of information they are receiving with the result of becoming too dependant on information instead of actual practice. Besides this mess is surely the ideal breeding ground for defilements such as conceit, delusion, wrong views and doubt.

    “When drinking tea, don’t talk of coffee. When drinking coffee, don’t talk of tea. Wholly give yourself up. Have no illusion about death, your mind or your body” (Tao Te Ching).

  51. Simon Says:

    I could not agree more Durkrhod Chogori. The kind of problems we see on E Sangha ( and on other Buddhist websites ) are in large part an internet phenomenon, speculative views and emotional outbursts that would not be acceptable in the flesh flourish and grow.

  52. Karl Says:

    where r all u guys posting now ?

  53. Simon Says:

    Dhamma Wheel, Kurt. It has a sister site for the Mahayana called Dharma Wheel.

  54. Kalden Yungdrung Says:

    Dear all,

    Yes e-sangha did disappear like all illusion does one time….

    Malcolm and Co. did not like or accept the view of the Bonpos.
    When they don’t call themselves Buddhists like the Vajrayana do, they the Bonpos are not Buddhist and are out.That means, Bon would not be the 5th or first Tibetan tradition, like the Dalai Lamas (sth and 14th) already declared, but according Malcolms personal view they are not belonging to Tibetan Buddhism and are therefore to be abandonnned from e-sangha.

    Also did not he like the posigtion that Dzogchen was not a part of the Buddha Shakyamuni’ teachings.

    Well if Malcolm would be a lopon or geshe he would be known better.
    Also do i doubt if his Shakya teachers who gave to him his degree, would be happy with his extreme, and wrong interpretations.

    Also very strange that nobody did wrote to His Holiness the Shakya Trizin about Malcolms power play.

    Yes it is a not good advertisement regarding the Shakya that they have a globe moderator working at the web, e-sangha, who proclaims certain things which end all in discrimination, regarding the unity of the Tibetans in exile. Or has he some teachers who defend still the before 1959 Tibetan politics in exile?

    Personal do i think that he did not understand as a “lopon” certain historical facts like in case of Dzogchen, Bon and who all can be a Buiddha or not………I certainly know that his tgeachers know it better.

    I guess they would not be happy to see that certain persons after 1959, would continue with this sectarian view and politics from before 1959.

    Even the 14th Dalai Lama made that clear that Bon is a valueble Tibetan tradition and did allready in 1967 declared thaT Bon has a seat in the Kashag (Tibetan parliamentin exile).

    Well but Malcolm and Co form their own home made US Kashag.
    In the USA is everything possible and here we can think about the e-sangha gang.

    When Malcolm would defend his position behind a table in front of a Bon Geshe like the Menri Ponlop, he would get big problems in defending his personal extreme view.

    Further is it a shame for the/our general Dharma that certain persons like Macolm explain this Dharma on their way and vision to the dummies under us!

    Best wishes

    Kalden Yungdrung / chairman foundation Yungdrung Rignga Ling

  55. brother peace Says:

    Dear Friends,

    It is funny to see how we digress, I included, from the main topic. I use myself as an example and you as my mirror.

    About a year ago I was using and appreciating the information provided on E Sangha. I found some useful information as well as some opinionated and derogatory responses (as expected in an open forum).

    During one of my readings I saw, clearly, an attack on a specific Buddhist tradition and in the Mahayana section I saw some consistent, biased, and unskillful speech which seemed to contradict my experience, so naturally, as a practitioner, I had to question more deeply, not to judge, but simply to understand the source of the confusion. As I tried to question more deeply I was banned from commenting on the issue ( I did not receive any warnings). I tried to write personal Emails to the facilitator but there was no wish, or attempt, to communicate with me.

    Anyone, especially a monk or an administrator of a discussion site, has to have compassion, wisdom, and skillfulness to effectively lead an open discussion forum otherwise it becomes just like all the other misleading information out there.

    On the internet it is easy to use harmful speech, it is easy to denounce, but these are just our opinions, views and perceptions. It seemed to me that anyone who spoke in accordance with the views of the administrators, even if that view was clearly malicious and intending ill-will, would have their comment published. If you had a disagreement, even out of a simple and genuine curiosity, it was thought of as provocative and misleading.

    I appreciate the potential of this type of site. It has the potential to be very beneficial but the administrators have to be practitioners of Buddhism, not just intellectuals, in order to see what is clearly biased; in order to see how their views may be erroneous; in order to promote skillful speech, right speech. Otherwise we are causing the entire Buddha-dharma to degenerate, which I think this site may have contributed to by causing skepticism and doubt in it’s readers.

    If we have discouraged someone from engaging in their own personal investigation of a tradition or sect we have caused harm indeed, caused doubt, confusion, and bias. Based on what? Something we think we know something about.

    It seems that the site is currently inoperative. I hope we can learn from our mistakes in order to improve our ability to communicate effectively and skilfully, timely and truthfully.

    Best wishes and good health, dear readers.

  56. daimond Says:

    well, hi iam daimond i former are from e-sangha that my first forum until it’s shut down right now i am in http://www.freesangha.com/forums/ a few member of e-sangha gather there right no

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