Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexually as

The impulse to believe the absurd when presented with the unknowable is called religion. Whether this is wise or unwise is the domain of doctrine. Once you understand someone's doctrine, you understand their rationale for believing the absurd. At that point, it may no longer seem absurd. You can get to both sides of this conondrum from here.

Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

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Part 1 of 2

Behind the Veil of Boulder Buddhism: Ed Sanders, The Party
When the Party's Over: An Interview with Allen Ginsberg

by Ed Sanders
Boulder Monthly
March, 1979
The Party: A chronological perspective on a confrontation at a Buddhist Seminary









That fall while Rinpoche was away, after one particularly difficult week, I phoned him to ask again for his help. He was at the 1975 seminary in Snowmass, Colorado, a program that lasted three months, and wouldn't be back for at least another month. The seminary that year in Snowmass ended up being quite difficult in certain respects. Against his better judgment, Rinpoche had allowed the American poet W S. Merwin, who had spent the summer at Naropa, and his girlfriend, Dana, to attend the seminary, although they were extremely new to our community. As the Vajrayana section of the seminary approached, Bill (Merwin) and Dana remained isolated from the rest of the participants, and Rinpoche felt they weren't connecting with him or with what he was trying to teach.

On Halloween things turned ugly. There was a costume party that night, which Bill and Dana tried to duck out of.
From what I heard, the situation got quite extreme. Rinpoche had suggested that rather than using costumes to disguise themselves, people should unmask and expose themselves. He told people that they should literally unmask by taking their clothes off. Everybody got naked. Rinpoche noticed that Bill and Dana weren't there. He insisted that they should come to the party too and sent students to rouse them from their room at the hotel. When they didn't answer the door, the messengers broke in through the balcony. Bill became alarmed and fearful, and he cut one of them with a jagged piece of broken glass. He and Dana were eventually brought down to the ballroom, where they were stripped of their clothing. It was pretty shocking.

A day or two later, Rinpoche told Merwin and Dana, as well as all the other participants, that they could leave the seminary or they could stay. They remained, but after the program ended, they left for good. The story filtered out of the seminary -- in fact, nobody was trying to hide what had happened. Investigating the incident actually became a class project in the poetics department at Naropa Institute a year or two later, and the story made its way into an article in Harper's magazine in 1979. Although I wasn't there when these events transpired, I was with Rinpoche in situations that were probably as extreme as that. If he felt that the elements of a situation were ripe to puncture delusion or self-deception, he never held back -- though I don't expect people to understand or accept this at face value.

-- Dragon Thunder: My Life with Chogyam Trungpa, by Diana J. Mukpo with Carolyn Rose Gimian


I was invited to teach a course at the Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics in June and July of 1977. I decided to title the course Investigative Poetry, based on the poetic principles explored in my book of the same name published by City Lights Books.

I prepared a series of lectures around the central themes of Investigative Poetry, namely that poets assume a greater portion of the description of historical events, as in ancient civilizations, utilizing data-collection and investigative techniques of a data retentive era such as ours.

It was my objective to encourage students to write samples of investigative verse, and for the entire group to take on an investigative project on an issue in the Denver-Boulder area. I had thought the group might choose to undertake some bardic sleuthery out at Rocky Flats, or to examine the strike that was then going on at the Coors company, or perhaps to fan out in the direction of Sterling, Colorado, to try to beam some hard Sophoclean light on the cattle mutilations case.

Prior to arrival at Naropa Institute I had never heard of the stripping incident at Snowmass, Colorado. Better to fill one's mind with the Galactic Land-Fill than the gossip of bard-babble. At an early meeting of the Investigative Poetry class, there was a general discussion on what sort of bardic sleuthery to undertake. To my surprise the class decided overwhelmingly to take a look at the circumstances of the Halloween party. Robert Bly had recently read in Boulder, and had delivered an energetic stage rendition of the stripping, which had created quite a stir. Wherever one went on the Boulder literary scene that summer, the matter was dancing on many lips, yet few seemed certain as to what actually had transpired at Snowmass. The National Endowment for the Arts had recently turned down a grant request from the Kerouac School, in part, it was thought, because of gossip about the Merwin-Naone-Trungpa matter spreading in literary circles. The case, as they say, was hot.

It seemed like a matter fit for careful elucidation. I agreed to procede, serving as project coordinator, with "Not to assume facts not in evidence" to be the guiding principle of the investigation. The main ground rules were that everyone participating should prepare detailed question lists, or Q-Lists, prior to interviews, and to try to tape record interviews where possible, and to write detailed reports and transcripts of interviews.

The Investigative Poetry Group was extremely eager to work, and the walls of my apartment at Naropa faculty housing grew fairly filled with large "now charts" tracing in chronological detail what was known about the stripping incident at that time. My apartment became the "Squad Room." The work was ceaseless. Investigators arrived early in the morning, to prepare Q-lists, to work on the now charts, to prepare transcripts of interviews. Sometimes there were five typewriters being used at once in the living room. A couple of times the work lasted till dawn.

The bulk of the 179-page report was finished in less than a month. Only the inspired dedication of the 24 people in the Investigative Poetry Group made it possible. Anyone who has spent time at Naropa will know the distractions -- the rounds of dinners, the readings, the lectures, the lure of the mountains, the parties, the logging of thrill-units.

It would be proper to say that Naropa was less than eager for the report to be written, but on the other hand at no time, then or now, did anyone try to suppress the investigation, or to harass anyone who was preparing it. In addition, the Kerouac School in my opinion is an important and unique institution of poetics in America. It bubbles with creativity; with the exchange of ideas on an elevated plateau. It has brought a vast spectrum of poets to Boulder from many different poetic and metaphysical perspectives. People no doubt will soon, if not already, begin to write PhD theses on the Kerouac School.

On the other hand, the incident at Snowmass was an encroachment that should not be allowed to be repeated. One sure way to prevent such encroachments among sane people is through relentless, ethical investigations such as the one that produced The Party.

Regarding publication of The Party, the Investigative Poetry Group proceded democratically. During the summer of 1977 the group voted to delay any decision on publication for a few months. In October-November of 1978 a vote was conducted by mail, with the result being 14-4 to publish. The full text will be published this year by Poetry, Crime, and Culture Books, Woodstock, New York.

-- Ed Sanders

Anne Waldman suggests Naropa to Merwin, New Year 1975

Anne and Merwin ran into each other in NYC street just before New Year 1975. Anne had met Merwin once or twice before but didn't know him personally very well, though she knew and respected his work.

Anne and Merwin met for a New Year's toast and had intense spiritual discussion -- "Meaning of life, death, pain."

"Merwin was asking me about teachers. Tibetan teachers. So he was interested in some way connecting with a teacher ... I don't think he had a clear idea of what he wanted to connect with, necessarily. We didn't know each other terribly well, but I guess he knew that Michael and I and John Giorno had travelled to India and connected with certain lamas there and he was curious about connecting himself in some way -- and I think it was fear of death, getting older, some kind of quest in his own life. We had a very interesting conversation about Buddhism and my relationship to it. I said I was not going back to India, in fact. I was going out to Naropa that summer, '75, to work and run the Kerouac School, but that it was a Buddhist situation and perhaps he could connect this way. Connect with Chogyam Trungpa. And I think he knew something about Chogyam Trungpa, perhaps read his books, I don't know.

"... I felt genuine warmth and compassion from Merwin in his wanting to come (to Naropa) and study Buddhism... It was Merwin's own decision to come. I merely suggested he come. He was very ripe for a move toward this."

-- Anne Waldman (Santoli) 6/23/77

Merwin at Naropa as a Buddhist student

Summer of '75 Merwin was interested in Trungpa as a teacher, was very adamant about his desire to go to the seminary. It was somewhat out of the ordinary ... people are supposed to apply a long time ahead of time ... there are certain advance requirements. "So it was a favor."

-- David Bolduc (M. McCabe) 6/24/77

Merwin came to Colorado with the idea of studying Buddhism and for the mountains ... had been interested in Buddhism for a long time: sat in meditation long before anyone knew ... had had contact with Trungpa before summer of '75 (lectures, might have met him informally) ... he has a strong belief in book learning and western intellectual study which set him in immediate temperamental opposition to Trungpa's 'crazy wisdom' direct experience ... he also has a strong populist belief in the complete privacy of individuals and of not submitting to external controls (he once turned down a lucrative teaching job because of his refusal to pledge allegiance to N.Y. Constitution) ... thought he could go to the seminary and study Tibetan Buddhism in a scholarly way without committing himself to the dogma or initiation ... thought he could simply live his own life there.

Matthews sees the incident as an inevitable clash of two entirely different ethos ... thinks there was no way to avoid it, though it needn't have taken such a vicious form.

-- Wm. Matthews (Blair) 6/24/ 77

"Merwin was at Naropa on the Path. He wasn't here for the poetry scene, that was the last thing he wanted to get involved with. In fact, he always kept a bit of a distance because he sees himself as a loner (in the literary scene) ... But he was very very generous in terms of the poetry scene because he was here for another ultimate purpose."

-- Anne Waldman (Santoli) 6/23/77

Merwin & Dana Naone

Merwin and Dana had gotten together just prior to Naropa. Newly connected. Like on their honeymoon. Dana is quite a bit younger than Merwin.

-- Anne Waldman (Santoli) 6/23/77

Merwin knew he would be treated special as poet laureate of New Yorker -- guest star of Trungpa and Trungpa's scene ... assured that he wouldn't be "Everyman." Merwin was invited to everything all summer at Naropa.

Merwin had very horny mentality -- liked girls a lot -- considered himself 'dashing.'

During the summer Merwin and Dana were overcompensating physically.

-- John Steinbeck IV (Santoli) 6/ 21/77

Dana was mannerly, from an aristocratic Hawaiian family. She was very happy about being with Bill -- "everything is wonderful" -- they never fought. She missed Hawaii. She and Bill had recently met in Hawaii. Dana was extremely possessive of Bill and jealous of the possibility of him flirting with other women.

-- Simone Lazzeri (Santoli) 7/5/77

Merwin got very seriously into the Buddhist practice -- meditating diligently and studying. Dana also got into it -- Dana is not a frivolous character.

-- Jim Hartz (Santoli) 6/28/77

Merwin teaches at Naropa

"Merwin was here as a student and prospective Buddhist ... and attended poetry classes. Dana was a student in the Visiting Poets Class. Merwin visited and participated out of his own generosity, got paid something but not officially paid like other poets. He told me he wanted to be here as a student rather than Bill Merwin the poet.

"He gave a reading with John Ashbery, two lectures in the Visiting Poets Academy and one special workshop to go over students' works."

Merwin asked Anne how she taught poetry, not believing you can actually teach poetry.

-- Anne Waldman (Santoli) 6/23/77

Merwin & Dana Naone attend the Trungpa ITS at RMDC following Naropa summer

Merwin and Dana went to the ITS (Intensive Training Seminar) taught by Trungpa at RMDC (Rocky Mt. Dharma Center, Livermore, Colorado) after the Naropa summer ended.

-- Anne Waldman (Santoli) 6/23/77

"Merwin and Dana had the nicest house at RMDC ... Before one of the last ITS Trungpa lectures, Merwin and Dana talked with Jeanine Hughes and I about seminary. Jeanine told Bill and Dana about the claustrophobia of being indoors with all those people ... Dana replied, 'But you can always go in your room and lock the door, right?'"

-- Tom Hast (Santoli) 7/5/77

Trungpa invites Merwin to seminary

"I think they [Merwin and Trungpa] had gotten friendly socially. Merwin had gotten very involved with Trungpa's weekly lectures and being a good student -- studying, reading the recommended material, taking notes." Merwin and Dana were sitting regularly.

"... so I really don't know what passed between them (Merwin and Trungpa). I would imagine it was some talk about poetry, some dharma talk, although at the time Merwin was really a beginning student although I think he was really applying himself and felt ready to jump in, and convinced Trungpa of that, you know, that he was ready for seminary. Just by his eagerness, curiosity, energy, attention, brightness, facility, all those things."

-- Anne Waldman (Santoli) 6/23/77

A lot of people said good things to Trungpa about Merwin that summer. Trungpa was seemingly more impressed with Merwin than any other of the poets -- he didn't invite any other of the poets to the seminary. Trungpa is usually skeptical of poets because of the way they work with ego.

-- Tom Hast (Santoli) 7/5/77

"Requirements [seminary] are more in the terms of understanding the three Marks of Existence. So it's not purely a question of how long have you been a member of Vajradhatu, but what kind of understanding you have ... Really, the fundamental basis is the sense of spiritual materialism. (Which is) 'Am I going to get something out of this?' . . . The basic criterion for going to the seminary, really, is understanding that that doesn't work, which is the same thing as understanding egolessness and impermanence."

No one quite knows if Merwin and Dana had that understanding. Rinpoche goes through the applications.

-- Jeremy Hayward (A. Trupp) 6/26/77

"Merwin very much wanted to go to seminary. During the time he was waiting to know he was very anxious, hoping it would work out.

"I don't think he knew what he was getting into (Merwin). And I really think he might have been much better off going to Tassajara and just sitting for a year. He had never done a retreat before he went to the seminary. He had never done a week retreat that I knew of. He was always with his woman, which you kind of put that aside when you go off on an individual retreat and so on. I really don't think he was really ready for the power of the teachings. As a Tantra student I have access to transcripts of that seminary -- it's very powerful. Very very powerful material.

"Trungpa is the one to say who's ready for it ... Right, he accepted Merwin. Well, maybe this is what's supposed to happen. Part of, ah, Merwin's journey."

-- Anne Waldman (Santoli) 6/23/77

On learning of his seminary acceptance, Merwin had to rearrange his plans for going back to France.

At a cliff house dinner party, a couple of days after Merwin's seminary acceptance, Dana's unusual nervousness gave Simone the impression that Dana was curious and fearing the seminary.

-- Simone Lazzeri (Santoli) 7/5/77

"If Dana had not been along, things might have been different for Merwin at the seminary ... she wasn't into anything at all except Bill. She was all excited about going to seminary but had absolutely no idea what was involved." Dana wasn't properly taken into account by Trungpa or Merwin in the seminary invitation.

-- Tom Hast (Santoli) 7/5/77

At the cliff house dinner a couple days after seminary acceptance Merwin said that Trungpa said something to him about giving up private space during the seminary acceptance conversation.

-- Simone Lazzeri (Santoli) 7/5/77

"The only person who is still a private individual in Germany is somebody who is asleep."

-- Robert Ley, from "The Origins of Totalitarianism, by Hannah Arendt

The Vajradhatu Seminary

The Seminary was held for three months, beginning around Saturday, September 1, 1975, and lasting till around Thanksgiving, November 27, 1975. It was held at a rented ski lodge (the Eldorado Lodge) in Snowmass, Colorado, located on Route 82, approximately 14 miles northwest of Aspen.

The layout of the lodge and grounds is important in understanding some of the events transpiring at the Seminary.

The ski lodge was located on a hill about three stone's throws from the meditation hall (a converted bar) which lay down the hill from the lodge. Living quarters, the swimming pool, and the room where the Halloween party was later held, all were located at the lodge.

Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche, lived at a separate house during the seminary.

-- Interviews with Alan Marlowe 6/26/77 and Paul Shippee 6/30/77 (Sanders)

According to an interview with Alan Marlowe, couples without children were housed on the top floor, including William Merwin, and Dana Naone: the middle floors by singles: and the basement by people with children.

General Information about the Seminary

Ron Stubbert was the coordinator of the 1975 Seminary. In an interview with Al Santoli on July 6, 1977, he related the following information about it:

- Cost for seminary was $550.00.

- The sponsoring group was Vajradhatu.

- Seminarians came from all over the United States.

- There were 125-130 people in attendance, chosen from around 450-600 applications.

- The seminary involved a great amount of sitting and disciplined study, so that spouses, unless part of the seminary, were discouraged from visiting: although in certain situations outside visitors were allowed.


How were individuals selected for the Seminary?

In an interview with Joshua Zim conducted on June 20, 1977, Zim stated that the final choice of people to attend Seminary was Trungpa, Rinpoche's. The usual qualifications were having previously sat a dathun (30 day sitting period) and taking courses at Naropa or study groups through Karma Dzong. However, the selection process was very subjective on Rinpoche's part, and involved "ripeness" and Rinpoche's "cooking up chemistry" and creating a group process. Zim said persons who were otherwise qualified by study and length of association with Rinpoche might not be selected to attend the seminary because they didn't fit in with the group Rinpoche was creating.

-- Joshua Zim (Al Sobel) 6/20/77

"... Rinpoche's been working with students for six years, seven years now, and all of us are constantly understanding new complexities and new subtleties of what the student-teacher relationship is, which is extremely central to vajrayana Buddhism and those of us who are Buddhists, and just as of the one hundred and thirty-five (135) persons at Seminary, you'd probably get 135 different understandings and emotional reactions as to what happened ... "

-- William Mc Keever (La Haye) 6/27/77

"No one was allowed in the seminary ... where Rinpoche didn't feel he had enough feeling of what was going on."

-- Jack Niland (Santoli) 6/23/77

The Course of Study

At the seminary, approximately a month's time each was devoted to Hinayana, Mahayana, and Vajrayana study, with Vajrayana study reserved for the concluding month of the seminary.

The schedule involved two weeks of lectures and classes followed by two weeks "where you'd do nothing but sit."

-- Jack Niland (Santoli) 6/23/77

"The discipline was kept by keeping records publicly posted of how much each person was sitting ... attendance was taken six times a day ... very boot camp, in that sense, that there was no honor system going on here at all."

-- Jack Niland (Santoli) 6/23/77

"It's like joining the army. You know what's going on, and you know what you're gonna get, what's going on ... You had to sit so many times ... pass so many examinations in Hinayana, Mahayana ... very structured."

-- Jack Niland (Santoli) 6/23/77

The Vajradhatu Seminary and perceptions of Merwin on the part of witnesses and friends.

1. Merwin thought he could go to the Seminary and study Tibetan Buddhism in a scholarly way without committing himself to the dogma or initiation ... (He) thought he could simply live his own life there.

-- Interview with William Matthew's (R. Blair) 6/24/77

2. Merwin has a strong belief in book learning, and western intellectual study, which set him in immediate temperamental opposition to Trungpa's 'crazy wisdom' direct experience. (He) also had a strong belief in the complete privacy of individuals, and of not submitting to external controls. He once turned down a lucrative teaching job because of his refusal to pledge allegiance to the N.Y. Constitution.

-- Interview with William Matthews (R. Blair) 6/24/77

Merwin and chanting at the Seminary

Merwin gave off a clean, pure image -- no meat, no bloody chants. He refused to gekkho because he would not recite the violent chants.

-- Interview with Persis McMillen (Santoli) 7/1/77

"... but the kind of vajrayana chants that we were doing from the beginning, vitality chants that have a good deal of very wrathful images in them -- you know, cutting off the heads of people and leaving them to Dharmadhatu ... Tibetan vajrayana art ... based on compassionate anger, where if you can't subdue your ego then you call upon wisdom to cut the aorta of ego . .. but everyone knows by then that the violent images are totally the idea of enlightened anger, vajra anger ... not to totally destroy you, but to only destroy your problem ... And that Merwin, in his questions, was constantly talking about God as a reference point and very peace and lighty, you know. He would do the chants that were very peaceful chants ... but whenever it came to a chant that had anything ... any kind of deity holding a sword in his or her hand ... he would make sort of a big point of not doing it ... putting his chant down and not chanting." [/b]

-- Jack Niland (Santoli) 6/23/77

William Merwin describes seminary, and the violent chants, and a possible Trungpa grudge

Question 3 (whether Trungpa might have borne a grudge because of anything before the party.) Speculation on Trungpa's state of mind, I think, is unlikely to lead very far. Doubly so since much of the information that he had about those studying at the seminary apparently was carried to him by confidants, his guards in particular. But at our one private meeting with him before the party, we had spoken of our objections to the bloodthirsty nature of some of the chants, and more particularly to his increasingly frequent and heavy sneers at other religious and contemplative traditions. We said that the attitude he was expressing toward other traditions was making us less and less open to the idea of taking vows with him. Incidentally, we were only in a limited sense students of Trungpa's. We had read his books and seminary transcripts, listened to tapes, and attended his lectures during the summer, and before seminary I had had one short interview with him. But we were members of no group in his organizations, had taken no vows at all with him, had made no promises to obey him. On the few occasions at which we'd spoken with Trungpa socially, during the summer, and at the one meeting with him at seminary before the party (and even at the one after it) we seemed to be able to speak together directly, relatively openly, and with good feeling; when he referred to the same subjects later, in public, his tone and manner were in sharp contrast with the way he talked with us in private.

-- William S. Merwin, letter to Pope, Pickering, and Trupp 7/20/77

Concerning the so-called Vajra Guards

According to several interviews, the Vajrayana Security Guards had not been formally constituted at the time of the 1975 Seminary. There is some indication (interview with Alan Marlowe on 6/26/77) that events transpiring at the Seminary may have been a factor in the formal organizing of the guards. According to an interview with Persis McMillen (Santoli, 7/1/77) the idea of "guards" at the seminary bothered Bill Merwin and others a lot: that a built-in power structure can appear, on its surface, to be a totalitarian venture.

"People would volunteer ... There would always be a ... a guard is kind of a loaded name ... loaded word. People would volunteer to keep watch over Rinpoche's house, so nobody would break in: so he wouldn't be disturbed by any crazy people around, which there were a few .... Someone ... a snowman at Aspen ... been known to harass in the past ... 1975.

"People volunteered, not specifically for that -- it was more out of devotion, friendliness with Rinpoche, to take some kind of delight in being in his house, letting people in, letting people out, that kind of thing. Also ... when he entertained."

-- Interview with Richard Assally (Faigao) 5/27/77

Merwin and Dana at the Seminary

"If one of them was sick, the other one would stay home. If one of them had kitchen duty, the other one would just do it anyway. So, they would be together ... They were never apart, and when they were together ... they were always entwined in some absurd physical contortion ... it was actually a joke."

-- Interview with Barbara Meier (Faigao) 6/29/77

"The main point was: Seminary is the kind of experience where everything is shaken up. Bill's reaction was to make himself even more solid in terms of his relationship to things. Bill's (goal) was to grow ... to sort of drown himself in this thing ... but he was also holding back. They [he and Dana] had their meals in their room ... Up to the point of the party he was fairly comfortable ... but his participation was not that ... I mean of all people there he was probably the most out of it."

-- Interview with David Bolduc (McCabe) 6/24/77

"Merwin had his very definite lifestyle, which included, for instance (at Zendo-like dinner in shrine room), he would have Dana wait on him ... She would go up and get his food and kind of serve it to him, sort of very, you know, slave-like."

-- Interview with Jack Niland (Santoli) 6/23/77

The Pea Shooters

Allegations had been made that Trungpa Rinpoche had, on occasion, shot people with peas through a pea shooter, during the early parts of the seminary: and that at some point had issued peas, peashooters, and goggles to his guards.

According to an interview with Paul Shippee (Sanders, 6/30/77) on one occasion a guard zapped Alan Marlowe in the eye with a pea, and Marlowe punched the guard out.

The Talk on Discipline

"What happened was that oddly enough Rinpoche thought we were all being too good ... trying too hard, and that was very suspicious."

It was in the middle of Mahayana study, about halfway through the seminary, when there was a meeting called for the lecture hall down the hill from the hotel.

"Absolute total attendance was required ... roll call.... The hotel was emptied. Then we were told that Rinpoche decided to cancel his talk on discipline."

Rinpoche was playing "an enormous practical joke on us."

The guards were outside, with "a huge stockpile of snowballs and peashooters ... " which "bombarded us."

"Everyone had a sack of peas, and it was like blasting your way back into the hotel.... It really got carried away ... squirting fire hoses up and down the hotel. People were shoveling snow into the hotel, as we took over floor by floor.... It was just like being kids .... Well, unfortunately, it got a little serious and people got genuinely pissed off."

-- Jack Niland (Santoli) 6/23/77


The snowball fight, the Toyota packed with snow, and the inidents between Trungpa's guards and the seminarians.

Regarding the night of the snowball fight (Ron Barnstone, one of the guards, objected in interview [Blair, 6/24/77] to calling incident a "snowball fight"). Alan Marlowe said that everybody was required to attend a lecture in the hall (the converted bar) down the hill from the lodge. The lecture was scheduled for 4:30 in the afternoon. Whereas, though, Trungpa is often late for lectures, it became apparent after a wait on this occasion of about one and one-half hours, that he was not going to show up, so people began leaving. When they left the lecture hall, they noted that the hotel up the hill was manned by snowball-hurling guards, on the roof and on the balconies.

-- Alan Marlowe (Sanders) 6/26/77

There were also guards "armed" with pea shooters outside the lecture hall, and apparently they spat dried legumes at the exiting seminarians, through plastic tubes.

-- Interview with Paul Shippee (Sanders) 6/30/77

Sides were quickly drawn. "We moved up the hill. They were throwing snowballs from the roof, and from the balconies," said Alan Marlowe. Marlowe felt that Trungpa wanted them to respond to the attack with maximum efficiency, so he led a small group that attempted to break into Trungpa's room. (Trungpa apparently was in a room on the top floor of the lodge.) Marlowe relates that he managed to get his arm inside Rinpoche's door, but that his cohorts waxed hesitant at that critical moment, and that his arm was thereupon nearly broken.

-- Alan Marlowe (Sanders) 6/26/77

Rinpoche apparently offered hmself upon a balcony as a snowball target. "... Rinpoche was standing up there on the balcony like this general leading his troops. Rinpoche to me was setting himself up as a target, 'cause he stayed on that balcony ... ice balls ... and he let everyone throw snowballs at him ... Rinpoche undermining our tight little concept of discipline ...

-- Jack Niland (Santoli) 6/23/77

Marlowe related that they had Rinpoche trapped on the top floor: he mentioned turning off the elevator buttons, and that the only exits were a couple of staircases. The staircases were being patrolled by people with fire hoses, who had in mind spraying Trungpa and guards with water.

Trungpa finally left the building and managed to get into his car, a Toyota owned by a couple attending the seminary, (Marty and Jane Janowitz [phonetic). Marlowe 6/26/77), one who was his driver, and one who was cooking for him. The Toyota, with Trungpa inside, was spritzed, with the result that water froze all over it. They then rocked the car back and forth, as if to overturn it, but relented, and Trungpa was borne away.

-- Interview with Alan Marlowe (Sanders) 6/26/77

Marlowe said that Merwin was assisting with the fire hoses.

-- Interview with Alan Marlowe (Sanders) 6/26/77

Blocking Rinpoche's car

"... People immediately went and sort of blocked Rinpoche's car and then the guards came and took the cars that were blocking and pushed them into a gully...."

-- Jack Niland (Santoli) 6/23/77

Retributive Plans and Plots

"... In the room, we're all goofing around on the idea of Paris Underground, getting code words, and now and then we'd say, 'oh, he's a spy (for Trungpa)' -- and it was all like this WWII espionage trip: and to see Merwin totally behind this, who was so uptight before, and wouldn't chant the violent chants, was just concerned about replanting flowers and recycling garbage ... He had so many crazy ideas about revenge, and I said, you know, he's not quite the ivory tower poet he pretends to be ..."

One of the ideas Niland recalls Merwin had, was to manufacture nitrous oxide, apparently for the purpose of zapping Trungpa during a lecture. "Merwin," he recalled, "was trying to definitely organize people to go into town to get these chemicals .... I just said, oh forget it, I'm just gonna go downstairs and get drunk ... that's chemical warfare, man ... but he knew how to make laughing gas .... And he was talking about a lot of other very preposterous schemes, most of which I've forgotten -- the only one I can think of was a weather balloon or something."

-- Jack Niland (Santoli) 6/23/77

"... Merwin was in this room ... and he was planning these wild things . .. he said that he knew how to make some kind of laughing gas ... we could go to Denver ... combine certain chemicals to make laughing gas ... and then there was all this talk about really getting back at Rinpoche, going over and trashing out his house and everything...."

-- Jack Niland (Santoli) 6/23/77

The Trash-out of Trungpa's House and the delivery of the pizzas

On the night of the snowball fight, Marlowe was in the group that ordered various deliveries to be made to Trungpa's house. He ordered 300 dollars worth of champagne and expensive alcoholic beverages to be delivered. They also called the fire department, the gas and electric company, and various pizzerias and taxi services, ordering deliveries: the aim being a batch of deliveries and arrivals around the same time.

Marlowe confirmed that while Trungpa was trapped in the hotel, his house was entered, and his clothing was removed, and his liquor. When Trungpa's possessions were finally returned, and his quarters were being straightened, that's when all the pizzas, liquor, taxis, et al., began arriving.

-- Alan Marlowe (Sanders) 6/26/77

Other allegations have been made that Trungpa's automobile was totally filled with snow.

The peashooter/snowball trash-out of Trungpa's house confrontation took place approximately two weeks prior to the Halloween party, which is the subject of this examination. It felt like a couple of weeks (later) ... everything had completely calmed down: everyone had completely forgotten about it -- time went by (chuckle) and we're in the middle of a sitting period (just before Halloween)."

-- Jack Niland (Santoli) 6/23/77

"One day during a lecture someone asked Kalu Rinpoche why lamas aren't like Marpa anymore, beating their disciples, giving them horrendous tasks to fulfill. He said these days the disciples' faith isn't strong enough. They would think that the lama was bad, maybe call the police if the lama beat them. Then he laughed."

-- Darjeeling Journal article by Bryan Miller in LOKA 2.

Concerning "Night Porter"

"Jack (Niland) had seen it in N.Y..... and said, 'oh, we all have to go,' and he organized essentially just through his chatter in the lounge; he created this whole environment where everybody was anxious to go to it."

-- Barbara Meier (Bataan Faigao) 6/29/77

Barbara Meier was asked how many seminarians had attended the movie. She replied, "I would say -- couple of dozen. I don't think Rinpoche went to that. He went and saw "Chinatown.'"

-- The Halloween Party 10/31/75

"The set-up of the Halloween party took us all totally by surprise, because it was the middle of a sitting period. Halloween fell in the middle of a week's sitting, so we just assumed that we weren't going to have a Halloween party. So the word came out that Rinpoche ordered us to have a Halloween party; nobody was particularly into it."

-- Jack Niland (Santoli) 6/23/77

Ron Barnstone was asked whether Rinpoche called the Halloween party. Barnstone responded: "That's just bullshit." Rinpoche did not call the party .... It was a spontaneous Halloween party ... though some people had been preparing costumes ....

-- Ron Barnstone (R. Blair) 6/24/77

Some people went into town to see "Night Porter" on their own accord a few nights before the Halloween party. Some people made jokes about it after the Merwin incident occurred.

-- Jack Niland (Santoli) 6/27/77

"It came out that the end of this sitting period we were going to have Vajrayana (they had gone through Hinayana and Mahayana). So ... Rinpoche ... not only did he command to have a Halloween party, but he also commanded that every one attend and wear a costume. It was very definitely set up as a kind of pre-Vajrayana feast, because the idea of Halloween, with all these bizarre costumes, and putting on masks -- it's kind of like admitting your neurosis -- like, who you come as, Halloween, on our scene, has been ... adopted as our Tantric holiday: because there's so many contradictions in it: the idea of unmasking and putting on masks, and dressing up: it's kind of getting totally samsaric, in other words.

"Vajrayana has a good deal to do with totally connecting with Samsara. So, the word was out, and everyone was quite shocked that we were going to have a party, that Rinpoche announced he was going to attend, that there was going to be very formal -- that Rinpoche had something in mind: that he wanted to have kind of a 'courtlike' atmosphere, and that every(one) had to wear a costume.

"So there was a good deal of problem .. .. because no one could go to town to buy a costume, because we weren't allowed to go to town then, even though a bunch of people snuck off and bought wigs and funny things.

"And the other problem was how can we get ready for it, because we had to sit right up to five o'clock (the evening of the party)."

-- Jack Niland (Santoli) 6/23/77

For another version, Barbara Meier was asked by Bataan Faigao if Rinpoche announced there was to be a party. She replied, "No, there was nothing: there was no announcement. .... All I knew was the year before there'd been a Halloween party. And it was in the middle of Ninthum (sitting) too: it wasn't during the study part at all.... I did know that everybody was going into Aspen to get a costume, or making a costume. Everyone was working on one, everybody knows that everyone was doing it ... I had to clean the shrine room that night, so I arrived late, but I put my costume on first, and then went. And people were doing incredibly elaborate things: building boxes and things. Some people spent a lot of money, and a lot of time, and a lot of energy on their trips."

"It was just some sense of it being a tradition, and that we were totally claustrophobic: we'd been sitting all too long: we'd been all holed up in this place together much too long; we wanted a real blow-out. .. . I remember sitting in the lounge, and it was just like a fashion show: people would walk by around the balcony."

-- Interview with Barbara Meier (Bataan Faigao ) 6/29/77

"Everyone spent a lot of time on costumes. I spent a good deal of the day painting peaceful and wrathful deities (on two people's bodies) with their cocks as tongues."

-- Interview with artist Jack Niland (Santoli) 6/23/77

Merwin's recollections of parties at the seminary and of early events at the Halloween Party.

Questions 4, 5, 6, 8. Concerning the incident itself, Robert's got the sequence wrong -- and the nature of the liquid Trungpa threw in my face.

In the days after the Halloween happenings, we both wrote detailed accounts of what we remembered, and have them here.

We were at the seminary on an odd footing, in the first place. At a social meeting, in Boulder, during the previous summer, we'd said to Trungpa that we would like to continue to study Buddhism in the autumn, at his seminary, which we knew about through Allen and other friends. Trungpa had said that the fall list was already full, but that if openings occurred he'd put us in. Later we were informed that we'd been admitted, but were asked to say nothing about it until seminary itself, because we'd been put in over a long waiting list, at Trungpa's own decision. So we felt that we'd been accorded a privilege -- which came to seem an awkward one. One of the assumptions of the seminary was a much older involvement with Trungpa and his methods, and a far less questioning commitment to them, than we, in fact, had.

I don't know of other public incidents of sexual or other violence, apart from the snowball happening. There'd been two other parties before the one on Halloween -- official parties, anyway. It had become a tradition to have such parties, blow-outs, before the few days off, after a period of some days of sitting practice. We'd left the other two parties early. There were many rumors of sexual activities, all sorts of partner-changing, at the seminary. That, and drinking, were both said to be encouraged as part of the teaching, though I have to say that Trungpa had never personally spoken to us on the subject. Dana never drinks: I drink along with friends I'm happy to be with, but not much. At the parties we danced together and went home together -- real squares. But not unique, there: other couples at the seminary did the same.

The Halloween party had been a topic for some weeks beforehand including doubts as to whether there would be an official party at all or not. Big deal, anyway. There had also been a build-up about the heaviness of the Tantric teachings that were about to descend on us through the medium of Trungpa, and blow all our minds.

I had been in bed for several days before the party with an allergy attack, but got up to go to it, for a while, at least. Semi-dark ski-lodge dining room: a unit of recent boom-resort architecture, by then much the worse for two months of seminary. We danced to records for an hour or so: stayed together despite several attempts, one of them pretty drunk, to separate us. Trungpa arrived around 10:30, looking baleful. Butch haircut. Flanked by guards -- fortunately, because he was very drunk, and they caught him twice, when he fell. He whispered with the guards. Something was said to be brewing: one of the secrets he'd been preparing. A few minutes later a woman student in her sixties was borne in, naked, held high by guards. She let them carry her around the room, then struggled to be let down. Finally she was released. and ran out. Trungpa giggled, did a strip tease, was carried around, in turn. Dressed again.

-- Wm. Merwin, letter to Pope, Trupp, and Pickering, 7/20/77
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

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Part 2 of 2

The ecdysis of Persis McMillen

Persis McMillen was one of those first stripped at the Halloween party. Early in the evening Persis met Trungpa and he told her that he was going to take off people's clothes. She thought he was kidding, didn't take it very seriously. After talking to her, Trungpa disappeared for an extended period of time.

-- Interview with Persis McMillen (Santoli) 7/1/77

Regarding the actual stripping, Persis McMillen recalled, "It happened so fast." She remembers the guards surrounding her, and it took them two minutes to take off her clothes. She was shocked: she didn't resist. The guards hoisted her while nude, aloft. Being a dancer, at first she took a poised dance pose, but after a few seconds felt differently: felt, in her words, "really trashed out." She ran upstairs. In her own words, she "felt sick," and "literally stripped," and " ... very, very upsetting."

-- Interview with Persis McMillen (Santoli) 7/1/77

After she went upstairs, Persis McMillen later put on her longest dress and came back down to the party.

-- Interview with Persis McMillen (Santoli) 7/1/77

Alan Marlowe pointed out that Rinpoche was "in the process of stripping everybody" when the issue of Merwin coming down to the party came up. So, in that context, Merwin was not singled out for ecdysis.

-- Interview with Alan Marlowe (Sanders) 6/26/77

"This stuff was happening with Persis McMillen. They were passing her around, and somebody else, I can't remember ... They took off all her clothes and they were passing her around."

-- Barbara Meier (Faigao) 6/29/77

In Satanic rites a woman, a virgin is much better, acting as an "altar" is essential. In the US I've seen wooden supports anatomically shaped so as to host the priestess in a laid down position. In Italy it's usually an uncomfortable table.

-- What I Saw at a Black Mass: An Interview with Massimo Introvigne, by Maria Grazia Cutulu

THE Jataka Tales, stories of the previous incarnations of Shakyamuni Buddha, as men, women, animals, in the long climb of the Bodhisattva to Buddha, are usually considered simply folk stories. They are more than that, they are a philosophy of history. They always end, "Monks, the wicked hunter was Devadatta, the helpless child was Ananda, and the kindly tiger, monks, was no other than myself."

Devadatta is the counter Buddha, sometimes considered his brother, who always goes about seeking whom he may devour with ignorance and trying to destroy the Buddha word. In some texts he is the actual leader of an anti-Buddha sect in the days of the historic Shakyamuni. He is always with us, spokesman for illusion.

Many believe Chogyam Trungpa has unquestionably done more harm to Buddhism in the United States than any man living. He has identified the Buddha Word with a gospel of illusions. But he will pass, as Devadatta passes, always a failure, through the Jataka Tales.

I do not believe in invoking the State, a deity of illusion, least of all against its own hallucinations. The CIA giveth, the CIA taketh away. But the powers that be would be well advised, to deport Trungpa to his native land, where after due reprocessing he might be given a hoe and sent to a commune in Northwest Tibet. One Aleister Crowley was enough for the Twentieth century. No matter, all passes. The Buddha Dharma alone endures.

 -- KENNETH REXROTH, from "The Great Naropa Poetry Wars: With a copious collection of germane documents assembled by the author, by Tom Clark

The ecdysis of Trungpa, Rinpoche

According to an interview with Alan Marlowe, Trungpa himself was nude for a while, apparently early in the party. Marlowe, it will be recalled, came nude to the party in the first place. Marlowe mentioned that he, Marlowe, was wearing Persis McMillen's red scarf tied around his membrum virile, while he and a woman named Diane Moberg lifted the nude Trungpa upon their shoulders.

-- Interview with Alan Marlowe (Sanders) 6/26/77

Trungpa earlier in the evening was carried nude over people's heads.

-- Interview with Richard Assally (Faigao and Santoli) 6/27/77

The ecdysis of Jack Niland

Jack Niland relates that he came to the party dressed as Enlightenment, wrapped in aluminum foil, with a burning candle atop his head. His costume tended to cause him to heat up, so, prior to the arrival of Trungpa, Niland removed it, and was sitting in the lobby by the fire. Then Trungpa arrived.

"All of a sudden Rinpoche walks in: and he walks in like Vajra Cop -- he walks in with four guards .... He looked at me, and said, 'You're not wearing a costume.'

''I'm sitting there (in the lobby) and all of a sudden I see this woman (Persis McMillen) come running out of the dining room stark naked .... She was giggling like mad ... Then a few other people came out and said, 'hey, somebody else is naked in there....'

"Then Rinpoche comes down the hallway again, and he said, 'Jack, you're not wearing a costume.' And I said. 'I told you Rinpoche, I had this great costume, and you missed it. It got too hot and I took it off.' ... He said. 'As long as you 're not going to wear a costume, you 're really not going to wear a costume. I have this great costume for you.' He said, 'Boys, do it,' and these four boys came over and grabbed me, and started to unbutton my clothes. I said, 'Wait a minute, what's going on?'

"... Then I said, wait a minute, this is a unique experience ... The only way to combat something like this is to go overboard into -- more than other people want you to. So I said. 'Wait a minute: you're not going to take my clothes off; I'm going to do a strip tease in the lobby ... I command you all to pick me up and take me into the dining room,' which was what they had in mind anyway.

"So the four guys pick me up, and they proceed to race me into the dining room ... They were bored because I wasn't resisting ... They finally just grabbed me and took me outside and threw me in the pool, which luckily was heated. All these people kept coming out and kidding me ... and I would reach up and pull them into the pool. So, there were people with wigs on and these costumes, in the pool, and everyone was just going crazy."

-- Interview with Jack Niland (Santoli) 6/23/77

After Trungpa arrives at the party

"I had a whole interchange with Rinpoche. I can't remember the order. I think it must have happened before ... He called me up to him. He saw me, and ... we got into this whole thing. He was picking up on my costume. The whole aggression. (She was in costume as a biker.) We started sort of like making out. I mean it was very lavish, and all these people were dancing, and sitting around (laughs), and we just started doing this whole thing. And he was being so brutal. He was being so physically brutal, and like, clawing my arm, and just, biting my lip, just so vicious. And then he did this whole thing with my cheek (bit into the skin, leaving tooth marks), and I was in this state of mind -- well, if that's what he wants, that's what I'll give him too. And I just came back with it. And we're in this intense, you know (makes unh-ing sound) like this you know, very tense, very, very tense ... Somebody else came up or something and I managed to get away. But it was very nonverbal, direct, powerful, intense brutal communication. I didn't know what to make of it at all."

-- Interview with Barbara Meier
(Faigao) 6/29/77

The Party and Vajra Feast Tradition

"They were just having a ball. It was this dynamite party: fantastic costumes. And then Rinpoche shows up and said he wanted to give us a talk about Vajrayana. And unmasking, and the idea of dancing and the vajra master. There's a very famous thing about vajra feasts in the old days in Tibet -- thousands upon thousands of people would have it in cemeteries ... and he was just having a mini-version of this.

"It's sort of a challenge to how enlightened or cool you are -- that you can get totally drunk and still know what you're doing. It's a very definite Tantric teaching that you can get as drunk as you want: you can still do it with dignity and awareness. That was a kind of teaching -- that you have to be able to handle the wildest kind of energy and still maintain your awareness."

-- Jack Niland (Santoli) 6/23/77

"Is everybody here?"

"... Rinpoche sat down, very dark room: this plate glass picture window is behind him, starry sky, snowy, moonlit landscape of snow -- very beautiful .... It started out simply, (Rinpoche) saying he wanted to give us a little talk, congratulate us all, talk about becoming a Vajrayana; and then he started saying, 'is everyone here?' ... Well, so and so isn't here. 'Knock on the door: go get them .... ' Very simple.

"Then it got down to 'who else isn't here?' -- 'Well, I noticed the Merwins (sic) aren't here.' 'All right, knock on the door: say that Rinpoche has invited you to the Vajra Dance, to the Vajra Feast ... ' It should be the ultimate privilege in our lifetime to go to something like this..."

-- Jack Niland (Santoli) 6/23/77


Demands from Trungpa for Merwin and Naone to come back to the Party.

We got ready for bed. Knock on the door. McKeaver (whom neither of us knew) saying that Rinpoche wanted us to come to the party. We talked it over, and answered that we'd been there, and now were going to bed. He said Rinpoche wanted to talk with us. We repeated that we were going to bed, and suggested that talking could wait until the next day. McKeaver insisted. Neither of us wanted to go down, but we said ok, we'd come. He left. We dressed and went down, peered in at the door, and thought it looked as bad as ever. We had no more wish to stay than before, and we went upstairs again. We thought they might not leave it at that, in the mood that seemed to prevail in the dining room, and that we'd do better to drive into town. As we were getting ready to go, another knock at the door. This time it was an order to come down. We said we'd been, and weren't coming down again. The pause that followed was full of McKeaver's shock. As he left I looked down the hall after him and saw heads peering around the corner. Guards, I suppose, or eager spectators, or both. McKeaver came back to say he had orders to take us down. We had locked the door, then, and I locked the big glass door onto the balcony. A crowd could be heard in the hall. Then threats began: they were going to break down the door if we didn't open it, and come in and get us, etc. Attempts at the lock, and at persuasion at the same time. 'Why didn't we want to come down?' We said we could see no reason to come down when neither of us wanted to. Laughs; jeers. The hall evidently pretty crowded. More threats. Who did I think I was, setting myself up to protect Dana? Sound of pass-keys being inserted. I held the button locked. Kicks and battering at the door. We moved a long chest of drawers against it -- the only piece of furniture that was much to the purpose. The telephones, by the way, had been disconnected in the rooms.

Figures appeared on the balcony, tried the glass door. We turned off the lights. Then a long session of alternate and mixed threats and coaxing us to open up, come down, "get it over with" -- the overall tone menacing, angry, contemptuous. I said that we didn't mean to open the door to them: that there were only two of us, and heaven knew how many of them, and that if they did break the door down to come in and get us, I would hurt the first ones in, if I could. There was a case of empty beer bottles in the bathroom, near the door. Loring Palmer, a former student of Suzuki Roshi's, and a friend, came to the door and asked me to let him in, to talk about it. I said I couldn't, with that crowd behind him. I begged him to keep out of it. Carl Springer, a Naropa director (whom we didn't know) came and pled at the door, very emotional, saying that he was our friend, and that this was our last chance: urging us to open the door for him (and the crowd) and come down.

-- from letter, W.S. Merwin to Trupp, Pickering, Pope, 7/20/77


Alan Marlowe recalls that negotiations with Merwin and Dana to get them to come to the party began circa 9 p.m., and went on and on, maybe for a couple of hours, with the stripping incident not occurring until around midnight.

-- Interview with Alan Marlowe (Sanders ) 6/23/77

"Oh, Merwin says that he's very tired and he and Dana would like to go to sleep so they can get up early the next morning and sit. Rinpoche saying, would you please tell them the Vajra Master has extended an invitation to Mr. Merwin to attend the Vajra Dance...

"Merwin says that he's definitely gone to sleep, and he definitely was at the dance: there's no reason for coming back, and he's already in bed, and that's it.

"Rinpoche going back and saying that this is part of the thing, and he's not only requested, he's sort of required to come ... that Rinpoche wants him there.

"Coming back down: Merwin: Rinpoche cannot tell him when he goes to bed: Rinpoche can tell him when to sit, and when to study, but no one is going to tell him when to go to bed.

"Then things got heavier and heavier. Rinpoche would start out by giving a talk, saying, 'I really admire Merwin's poetry, and I'm a great fan of his, and I think he's doing really well, but there's a certain kind of resistance going on, and he's under the idea that he wants to study Vajrayana and he really wants to practice Buddhism, and I want you to realize that I'm really going to insist that Merwin come down here no matter what, or what it takes.'

"... Everyone was getting very tired by then: it was getting late, around midnight. People were exhausted, drunk ... My own particular take was, God, Merwin, the worst that could happen is you get your clothes taken off ... 'OK, tell Merwin we're going to break down the door if he doesn't want to come down.

"... And no one wanted to do it; nobody wanted to do it. No one knows how to break down a door. And then ... loads of people are saying. 'Drop it, Rinpoche.'"

-- Jack Niland (Santoli) 6/23/77

"This one guard in particular [Ron Barnstone] ... people were worried about breaking the door because it had been bad enough trashing out the hotel with the fire hoses (the night of the snowball fight) ... people started really freaking out. What is Rinpoche trying to do? ... endless discussion ... if you guys want to stay here and study vajrayana you have to attend, or split immediately. Rinpoche saying, 'I want that door broken down.'"

-- Jack Niland (Santoli) 6/23/77

The Breaking-in of Bill Merwin's and Dana Naone's door

"They went down and told Rinpoche, 'Merwin's barricaded himself and there is no way to break down the door, can't we drop it?' Rinpoche says, 'Break through the plate glass window' ... So the guards ... decided to simultaneously break through the door and enter the plate glass window."

-- Jack Niland (Santoli) 6/23/77

In an interview, Randy Blair asked Ron Barnstone about Niland's story that Barnstone may have intervened with Rinpoche, asking him not to order Merwin's door broken down. Barnstone laughed, and said, "No, that's not true."

-- Interview with Ron Barnstone (Blair) 6/24/77

"All these tough guys trying to decide who's going to do it. So finally they decided on a plan of action. Merwin had a balcony. It was a three or four foot leap from the next balcony. People said, we'll never be able to break down this door, so let's leap over there and see if we can get through the sliding glass door ... They could see through the sliding glass door that not only had Merwin locked it, but he had barricaded himself in the room with huge amounts of furniture piled against the door."

-- Jack Niland (Santoli) 6/23/77

The Glass Storm

"David Darwent -- he was the person who broke in through the glass window -- it was three stories up, and he climbs over, broke the window ... This whole thing about a 'glass storm.' I remember that vision, that image, very powerful -- A rain, a rain of glass, shattered glass."

-- Interview with Barbara Meier (Faigao) 6/29/77

"... The first guy to break through the plate glass window [David Darwent] throws a chair through it and cuts himself up."

"... People were worried about breaking the door, because it had been bad enough trashing out the hotel with the fire hoses .... People started really freaking out -- What is Rinpoche trying to do? ... Endless discussion ... 'If you guys want to stay here and study Vajrayana, you have to attend, or split immediately: Rinpoche saying, 'I want that door broken down.'"

-- Jack Niland (Santoli) 6/23/77

William S. Merwin cuts some faces

Although a long time member of the American pacifist community, Merwin, striking with beer bottles, caused them to break, and cut several people who were entering his room, creating wounds, one of which reportedly required 18 stitches, and the other 12, to close.

"Loring [Palmer, the first to enter] was this totally gentle guy, ex-Zenny ya know, just the most gentle guy in the world, I mean just so sweet ... He was the cook there, into organic foods, and he went and tried to have a long talk ... So once the door was broken down, the furniture pushed aside, Loring was the first one in: luckily the first two guys in wore glasses, cause Merwin came out with a broken beer bottle and went straight for their eyes. Loring got some really bad cuts."

-- Jack Niland (Santoli) 6/23/77

"Loring gets cut up, and Loring was on the trip of 'hey, I'm your friend!' and he just got cut, really badly around the eye, chin, cheek, and this guy is one of these guys that's very delicate looking, so it really shows up."

-- Niland (Santoli) 6/23/77

"The next guy in, after Loring, was this very macho guy that prides himself on his karate knowledge, Ron Barnstone. So he went charging in ... So Barnstone got cut as if the beer bottle went around the eye like he was aiming so exactly, you know; the circle went like this. If he'd been an inch off, someone would have been eyeless, but he was so exact in his aim."

-- Niland (Santoli) 6/23/77

After entering the room

"When I went into the room, he was quite berserk and came at me with a broken beer bottle, and I said again, sort of to indicate where the aggression was coming from, I just stood there and I said, 'Bill, I'm your friend. Why don't you come down?' And he said, just kind of went berserk ... And I said, 'If you're going to hit me, go ahead.' And he stopped for a minute, but then a minute later he gave me a good punch in the eye. And I had a black eye for a while."

-- Interview with William McKeever (LaHaye) 6/27/77

"So apparently they just grabbed him and the word got back that Rinpoche had sent out the word ... that Merwin was not to be harmed at all, because by then people were getting pissed. And the word was out that no matter what Merwin does to anyone, he is not to be harmed, except for physically subduing him. So, by then the guys charged in -- the story we were getting back was that Merwin, ya know, they got the beer bottle out of his hand, and a bunch of guys grabbed him and did a hammerlock on him. He started ranting and raving that he basically was trying to protect his girl friend, and that became his central theme ..."

-- Interview with Jack Niland (Santoli) 6/23/77

"He (Merwin) did say that when he saw the blood dripping out of Loring's eye, he realized that he had to [inaudible -- let go of?] something but it was only in as much as he would go downstairs, and stop putting up a fight."

-- Interview with Barbara Meier (Faigao) 6/29/77

At the party while waiting for the couple to be brought down

"... And then Rinpoche went into the thing, before Merwin got down, about this is obviously Vajrayana -- the idea here is to unmask. Before we study Vajrayana we have to be willing to expose every bit of our neurosis ... and it's all very symbolic and obvious: that exposing yourself sometimes means literally doing it, and that you can't hope to deal with your neuroses if you're not going to admit them to anyone ....

-- Jack Niland (Santoli) 6/23/77

Breaking, Cutting, Resisting, Surrendering

Then someone announced, with satisfaction, that Rinpoche had sent an order to bring us down "at any cost". Evidently it was just what some had been waiting for. They started to smash at the door in unison with something heavy; I never saw what it was, but I'd heard something earlier about getting a beam from somewhere. We pushed as hard as we could, but finally the lock (a brass knob) was forced through the wood, and that door gave way. As the first hand came through I hit it with a bottle, and as the opening widened I reached around and struck down, hitting something I couldn't see. The bottle broke. I passed the broken top of it to my left hand, took another, reached through and struck downward again, not seeing who or what I was hitting at, and again the bottle broke. At that point Dana shrieked, and there was a loud crashing as the big glass balcony door was smashed, by McKeaver, among others, with another heavy object -- a large rock, I think. It was taken away afterwards before I had a chance to look closely. I crossed the room and started to beat the remnants of the glass door outward onto the balcony, pushing with the broken bottles, but meanwhile the crowd forced its way into the room behind us, from the hall. Dana was shouting, "Police! why doesn't somebody call the police?" but they laughed at her, women too, and Trungpa later mocked her for that, in one of his lectures.

They surrounded us. Dana was backed into a corner. They kept away from the broken bottles I was holding out. It was then that McKeaver asked if I wanted to kill him. As I remember, my answer was to tell him to keep his distance. If I'd "gone berserk", or hit him, as he claims, he'd probably have scars. The way he'd just made his way into the room, for one thing, would seem inconsistent with his statement that "all physical damage" was my doing. If he told me at that moment that he was my friend, as he says he did, I may not have taken the statement very seriously. Another disciple of Trungpa's, Richard Assally (?), was trying to edge along the wall toward Dana, meanwhile coaxing us both, sentimentally, to come and
"dance with the energies" -- a phrase that was getting a lot of use.

It was at this point that they led my (in fact) friend Loring up in front of me, and I saw that his face had been cut by a bottle at the door, and was streaming blood. At the sight, I suddenly fell helpless, put my arms out, and let them take the bottles. They bent my arms back and piled onto me, and as they did, Dana started to fight. It was she who dealt out the black eye -- or eyes. (We thought there was only one: a tall man named Hirsch. Neither of us remembers that McKeever got one. Oh well.)

-- W.S. Merwin, letter to Pope, Pickering, and Trupp, 7-20-77

Were Bill Merwin and Dana Naone dragged downstairs to the party?

Randy Blair asked guard Ron Barnstone if the couple were dragged downstairs. Barnstone replied that they went under their own power.

-- Interview with Ron Barnstone (Blair) 6/24/77

Persis McMillen said that Merwin and Dana were definitely dragged down.

-- Interview with Persis McMillen (Santoli) 7/1/77

What was Trungpa's costume?

At this point you and I are in costume. He wore what he usually was wearing ... At this time this was jeans, and suspenders, and a checkered flannel shirt."

-- Interview with Richard Assally (Faigao) 6/27/77


Tableau for the Confrontation

"Here's Rinpoche, here's the other door, and they brought them in like this. Merwin and Dana are standing here like this and I was right here ... Maybe like three people between me and Rinpoche. And then this whole crowd of people like this. I felt almost very 'on stage' myself. And the other stairway was over here. I can remember feeling -- had no idea what was going on, I had no idea. I got a whiff of Rinpoche's power, and I realized that like anything could happen, anything. And my mind started going crazy. I started having, like, hallucinations in terms of what could happen. Meanwhile, this is all going just more and more intense.

"And Merwin's calling Rinpoche names. Like, I think even names like 'charlatan' and 'why do you have to drag people out of their rooms -- what is this -- who do you think you are -- I don't have to -- you're not my teacher, you're not my guru.' Meanwhile, Dana is screaming, and I responded much more powerfully to her than to him."

-- Interview with Barbara Meier (Faigao) 6/29/77

Dana Naone describes being brought down

"... We were let up, and walked down to the dining hall escorted by guards.

"Everyone in the dining hall (a number of people had gone to bed earlier) was ranged in a semi-circle around Trungpa. As we entered the circle, I said they were all "a bunch of cowards." There was a terrific argument with Trungpa -- angry and heated, though neither of us shouted. He said we had not accepted his invitation, and talked about our aggressions and violent acts."

-- Dana Naone, letter dated July 25, 1977, to Trupp, Pickering, Tom Pope

The Putative Orientality Rap

Allegations have been made that Trungpa spoke to Dana, when she was brought before him, of her orientality.

"Rinpoche talking to Dana, said, 'You're oriental; you're smarter than this. You might be playing slave to this white man but you and I know where it's at. We're both oriental ... we know where it's at.' Then he started to talk about 'my country being ripped out from under me, and it was the Chinese communists who did it ... If there's one thing I want to see in my lifetime, it's to see my country back. Only one oriental to another can understand that.' He said, 'I know your background, Dana ... ' He kept doing this super racist thing ... very cutting, and her only response was, 'You're a Nazi, you're a Nazi,' and 'Someone call the police.' She was completely freaking out."

-- Interview with Jack Niland (Santoli) 6/23/77

Trungpa told Dana that he wanted Tibet back. In an interview Persis McMillen stated she had the feeling Trungpa was saying 'you are oriental, you shouldn't be opposing ...' in "seductive manner."

-- Interview with Persis McMillen (Santoli) 7/1/77

"He started commenting on her orientalness."

-- Interview with Paul Shippee (Sanders) 6/30/77

Dana Naone remembers the rap

"William characterized his use of guards and physical force as fascistic; 'What about the people who instigate wars?' I asked. His response was the Chinese communists had ripped off his country, and he wanted to rip off theirs. Leaning forward, over me (he was seated in a chair, and we were sitting on the floor in front of him), he said that he and I understood each other, and could talk to each other, but that William was a white man. We had something between us because of our ancestry, which excluded William, he repeated, and I felt he was trying to use that as a seductive argument to divide William and me. I told him that he was barking up the wrong tree. Several times we were asked. 'What's your secret? 'No secret,' we said."

-- Dana Naone, letter dated July 25, 1977 to Trupp, Pickering, and Pope.

W.S. Merwin recalls being taken down to the Party, the orientality rap, the "lion's mouth" discussion, and a brief exchange regarding fascism, plus the stripping.

They piled onto Dana, too, until someone, probably Tom Reikan, told them to lay off, and they let us go. We said we'd go down by ourselves, if they kept their hands off us. Tom told us they would, and we went down. The hall was crowded with onlookers. Dana shouted again. "Why doesn't somebody call the police?" One of the women insulted her, told her to shut up. One of the male disciples threw a glass of wine in her face. I didn't see it, and she said nothing about it until afterwards.

In the dining-room, Trungpa seated in a chair: a ring of subdued party-goers sitting on the floor. As we walked in, Dana looked around and said loudly, "You're all a bunch of cowards."

Trungpa called us to come over in front of him, looked up at me, and said. "I hear you've been making a lot of trouble." Grabbed my free hand to try to force me down, saying, "Sit down." (The other hand had been bleeding a lot and was wrapped in a towel.) When he let go, we sat down on the floor. He said we hadn't accepted his invitation. I said that if we had to accept it it wasn't an invitation. He insisted that it was an invitation. An invitation, I said, allowed the other person the privilege of declining. We pushed that around a bit. The way he saw it, no force seemed to have been used, except by us. I reminded him that we'd never promised to obey him. He said, "Ah, but you asked to come." Then, dramatically, "into the lion's mouth!" I said that they'd developed big corkscrews, new, for forcing coyotes out of their burrows, and that maybe he ought to get one, to do his job more easily. He said he wasn't interested. Cross. That he wanted us to join in his celebration. I said that we'd thought it was lugubrious, and that as I understood it, one couldn't be forced to celebrate, if it was to mean anything. In one of these exchanges he got angry and threw his glass of sake in my face. "That's sake," he told me. He turned to Dana and said. "You and I can understand each other better. You're an Asiatic." And more on that tack. I think Dana should recount what their conversation consisted of. She was very clear, and she I turned him off that one. In an exchange with us both the subjects of fascism came up. I said I thought his use of a gang, and of intimidation, was fascistic. He said the Chinese had ripped off his country, and that he wanted to rip off theirs. The whole question of violence, then. How violent we were. Dana asked him, "And what about the people who start violence and wars in the first place?" He said, "What's the matter with wars?" And in the pause that followed that, he changed the subject, said he wanted us to join in the dance and celebration and take our clothes off." At that point; then and there, we both refused, saying that it was one more non-invitation. He asked, "Why not? What was our secret? Why didn't we want to undress?" To Dana he said, "Are you afraid to show your pubic hair?" We said there was no secret: we didn't dig his party, weren't there at our own choice, and didn't feel like undressing. He said that if we wouldn't undress, we'd be stripped, and he ordered his guards to do the job. They dragged us apart, and it was then that Dana started screaming. Several of them on each of us, holding us down. Only two men, Dennis White and Bill King, both of whom were married, with small children there at the seminary, said a word to try to stop it, on Dana's behalf. Trungpa stood up and punched Bill King in the face, called him a son-of-a-bitch, and told him not to interfere. The guards grabbed Bill King and got him out of there. One of the guards who'd stayed out of it, went out and vomited, as we heard later. When I was let go I got up and lunged at Trungpa. But there were three guards in between, and all I could swing at him, through the crowd, was a left, which was wrapped in the towel, and scarcely reached his mouth. It didn't amount to much, and I was dragged off, of course.

"See?" Trungpa said, "It's not so bad, is it?" When I asked, "Why us?" I meant not just the stripping, but why had we been chosen, out of all the others who'd retired early from the "celebration." But I dropped the subject -- what was the point? Everybody rushed and took their clothes off, as though that was all it was really about. It must have been a relief. Some of them said it was: that they'd shared the whole thing with us. I asked if he was ready to call off his dogs and let us go. He said yes, and as we started out he came after us, saying something about how he really loved us. We went up to the room, where a few people were starting to pick up the broken glass and stretch plastic over the balcony door. (Laura Kaufman, whom we know only slightly, meticulously cleaned the whole bathroom.) And from there a friend drove us to the hospital.

-- William S. Merwin letter to Pope, Pickering, and Trupp, 7/20/77

The stripping

Niland recalls Trungpa saying "You still have to be stripped." Niland relates: "That's when Merwin said, 'all along I've just been trying to protect my woman. No one's going to see her naked body ... ' So first they said, 'O.K. Merwin, take your clothes off.' He said, 'I refuse, you'll have to take them off ...' So he (Trungpa) said, 'Guards, take his clothes off ...' And he passively let people undress him."

After Merwin, Niland recalls Rinpoche saying, "Now Dana." Then, Niland relates: "He (Merwin) said, 'No, not Dana.' (Rinpoche began) talking to him in his own terms about poetry ... that any poet worth his salt has to be willing to take his clothes off, even sometimes literally. Rinpoche was saying, 'I mean you no harm, I really like you.' ... He was in a position to be very gracious at that point.

"Merwin wasn't buying any of it. He was screaming: 'Hitler, bastard, Nazi, cop!' Then they went to strip Dana . . . and she fought back! .. . Then Dana was standing there, perfectly pretty girl, no scars, everyone 's wondering, does she have scars or something? A long discourse went down about art and poetry and Vajrayana and Rinpoche assuring them ...."

-- Interview with Jack Niland (Santoli ) 6/23/77

The stripping

The only nude people during the Trungpa and Merwin confrontation were two nude people who came to the party that way -- standing next to Trungpa.

-- Interview with Richard Assally, (Faigao & Santoli) 6/27/77

Richard Assally, who removed her clothing, recalled her as being rather passive while her clothes were taken off. He asked her to relax.

-- Interview with Richard Assally (Faigao & Santoli) 6/27/77

Barbara Meier watched the incident, standing on a nearby table

"We (Dana and she) were just trying to become slight friends. She was hysterical and she was looking around the room. 'What's the matter with you? Won't anybody help me? Won't someone help me? Won't someone call the police? Please, please call the police, somebody stop, stop this.'

"And she'd say, 'Joseph! what's the matter with you? Help me!' And she'd look at somebody else. 'Help me! Who are you? What kind of a friend are you? How can you let them do this to us; you're all cowards! You're all cowards! ... '
Well, that was very powerful. It was very heavy -- I just -- my feminine button was pushed. I just really wanted to go out there and help her and I swear to God, I mean, I was just -- just on the verge of like, you know, doing something ... and the next thing, man, her clothes were off, and Merwin's clothes were off and she's screaming and ... kicking, and flailing around, and there's like sort of an instant circle of guards around them. I mean, everybody's bristled like that.

"And the things that were going through my mind ... Oh my God, I don't believe this. I just really can't believe this is happening; what's gonna happen next. I had just had this whole thing with Rinpoche too -- which was incomprehensible to me. I just didn't understand what was going on. It was like his vajra anger somehow. His wrath, like all of a sudden he was a Mahakala, he was a wrathful deity ... And somehow the whole 'take' on it was that this was an expression of our own lack of ... this was how our frivolity and indulgence was met. And was thrown back at us. And I had no idea how far it had to go, for us ... to realize it, and I really regretted getting so stoned ... because I did realize something very powerful and potent was going on.

-- Interview with Barbara Meier (Faigao) 6/29/77

Cursing the vajra master

"She's screaming, Rinpoche and Merwin are fighting, arguing, and Rinpoche is sitting up in his chair like this; I'd never seen him like that before; but I'd never seen him come back so fast from these name callings. I'd never heard anyone call him names before. Insults. I'd never heard that -- I was shocked.

-- Barbaro Meier (Bataan Faigao) 6/29/77

Did somebody come to Dana Naone's assistance?

"I think, well, Ricky (Richard Assally), I think, started to, and then Rinpoche hit him in the face ... Richard Assally, Rinpoche hit him in the face, and said, 'strip her,' -- Oh, maybe he said 'strip her' and then Richard hesitated for a minute. I think he was, I'm pretty sure he was hit, and then he just like, 'snap', and did it. He said it was very 'powerful: like a heavy thing to do, you know, he felt close to her. I mean he was relating with her, and so it was very hard to 'obey' the guru. There was like this twist happening. So at a certain point he just did it, he (Assally) just cut through his own attachment and did it.

-- Interview with Barbara Meier (Faigao) 6/29/77

Dana Naone's account of the stripping

"Trungpa said we were invited to take our clothes off, or have them taken off for us. Neither of us felt it was an invitation, and the guards were ordered to do the job. I tried to hang on to William but we were pulled apart, and I lunged at Trungpa and twisted my fingers in his belt. Guards dragged me off and pinned me to the floor. I could see William struggling a few feet away from me. I fought, and called to friends, men and women, whose faces I saw in the crowd -- to call the police. No one did. Only one man, Bill King, broke through to where I was lying at Trungpa's feet, shouting. "Leave her alone" and "Stop it." Trungpa rose above me, from his chair, and knocked Bill King down with a punch, swearing at him, and ordering that no one interfere. He was dragged away. (Dennis White was the only other person in the crowd who tried to protest: he appealed to Trungpa -- during the argument William and I were having with him -- to leave me out of it, but Trungpa told him to shut up.) Richard Assally was stripping me, while others held me down. Trungpa began punching Assally in the head, and urging him to do it faster. The rest of my clothes were torn off."

-- Dana Naone, letter dated July 25, 1977 to Trupp, Pickering, and Pope

Dana called out to Landy [Landon] Mallery for help, while in front of Trungpa. Mallery informed Al Santoli in an interview that he wouldn't help her because he knew Rinpoche "well enough." A few people, recalled Mallery, did try to help.

-- Interview with Landy [Landon] Mallery (Santoli) 6/30/77

Bill King tried to help her, but three guys pulled him away.

-- Interview with Paul Shippee (Sanders) 6/30/77

Bill King was hit. Phil Richmond was also hit.

-- Interview with Barbara Meier ( Faigao) 6/29/77

According to Allen Ginsberg, Merwin's version of the seminary incident included this verbal exchange between Merwin and Trungpa:

Merwin: "I didn't make any promises to you."

Trungpa: "You put your head in the lion's mouth."

-- Interview with Allen Ginsberg, 6/24/77 (Dorskind, Fryberger, Nager)

Ginsberg said Merwin's view or the "upshot" was: "'I respect Trungpa a great deal.' 'I love Trungpa a great deal,' or something like: 'I've learned a great deal from him, and I never want to see him again.'"

-- Interview with Alan Ginsberg, 6/24/77 (Dorskind, Fryberger, Nager)

"The next thing after that I remember is that Merwin and Dana are standing together, facing Rinpoche, just completely huddled around each other. (They are nude.) Very beautiful. Adam and Eve. They are (laughs) gorgeous bodies ... The whole thing, just visually, was very elegant somehow. It was like a melodrama ... He's protecting her, and she's sobbing, and she's yelling. 'How could you do this to us?' And he's saying something about. 'Well, I'm not ashamed,' and then the next thing I can remember, is him saying something about 'Well, if we have the guts to do it, what's the matter with the rest of you cowards?' At which point, it was just amazing, without any hesitation whatsoever, everyone else, a hundred other people in that room, took off their clothes ... The music went back on, they left the room, and people started dancing again."

-- Interview with Barbara Meier (Faigao) 6/29/77

Pan-Party Ecdysis

"... Then Merwin said, 'Why us? ... Why are we the only two people in this room standing here naked in front of you?' ... Someone in the audience cried out, 'OK Merwin, we're all going to be naked.' And every fucking person in the place took their clothes off. The music went back on. Rinpoche said. 'let's dance'.

-- Jack Niland (Santoli) 6/23/77

Text of Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche letter to seminarians, placed in mail boxes morning after Halloween party:

"Evening of October 31, 1975

Dear friends.

In order to present comprehensive communication between the students and myself, I have come to the conclusion that we need to break the ice of our personal concealment. It is time for us all to be honest. If you want to maintain your patterns of hiding your deception, you are invited to leave the seminary before the Vajrayana teachings begin. Since your neurosis is already an open secret, you could be braver in unmasking it. Without commitment to yourself, there is no ground to present the Vajrayana teachings to you. I invite you to be yourself, without trips. I would like to encourage you to make a proper relationship to the coming Vajrayana talks. This requires of you the understanding that we are not fooling each other. Since you are all pretty involved in the teachings, your attempt at deception is a useless hesitation. In order to recognize your personal deceit, you must understand the umbilical cord between you and me. You must offer your neurosis as a feast to celebrate your entrance into the vajra teachings. Those of you who wish to leave will not be given a refund, but your karmic debt will continue as the vividness of your memory cannot be forgotten.


Chogyam Trungpa, the Venerable Vajra, Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche."

(Text not paragraphed: text delivered via taped interview by Jack Niland, 6/23/77 to A. Santoli.)


[Hiroko Nagata] Toyama, why did you come to the mountain?


[Mieko Toyama] Why? I came for military training.

[Hiroko Nagata] No, I mean what feelings prompted you to come?


[Mieko Toyama] In order to advance the revolutionary war,
I understood that I would have to become a soldier.
In the enduring stage of conflict of the global revolutionary war,
we must develop the revolutionary war in advanced countries ...

[Hiroko Nagata] But you, why did you come here?


You haven't said a word about yourself.
Why did you come to the mountain?


[Mieko Toyama] What do you want me to say?

[Hiroko Nagata] We don't want to hear those kinds of things, but your actual feelings.
We want to know why you want to be a revolutionary soldier.

[Mieko Toyama] For the revolutionary war, we must take on a militant quality and ...


[Hiroko Nagata] No, that's not it. In more practical terms.
Because it is an extremely real situation we face.
why did you put on makeup this morning?
Why do you need makeup in the mountains?


Why are you growing your hair out?

[Mieko Toyama] Before, my hair was short, and the police knew that so
I decided to grow it in order to do underground activities.

[Hiroko Nagata] If that's the case, why not just use a wig?
I think there's another reason.
What is it?

[Kaneko] Toyama, why don't you take off your ring?


[Mieko Toyama] It's important. My mom gave it to me.


[Kaneko] Aren't you brushing your hair during meetings?


[Shindo] She just became a soldier, and we haven't addressed the female issues yet.
I accept responsibility for addressing the issue.

[Ozaki] This is probably a difference between city safe houses and mountain bases.
I think it's a difference in style between the RAF and the RLF.

[Hiroko Nagata] What have you all done since you came to the mountain?
You haven't done a thing.
The RAF doesn't understand anything.


You have this great mountain hut and plenty of food.
But living in a mountain base isn't so simple.
If things are like this,


all the work put in by the RLF will be meaningless


There's no way we can work together.


[Tsuneo Mori] We accept the RLF's criticisms of Toyama as general critiques of the RAF.


Though the RLF's group and self-criticisms emerged naturally,


evaluation from the perspective of the communist movement is also worthy.


We must address the relations between each revolutionary group from that perspective.
Through mutual critique, from each individual becoming communist
the all-out war can be won.
No objection!
Thus, until comrade Toyama criticizes her activities and becomes a communist,
we will not let her leave the mountain.
All of us will support comrade Toyama's self-critique.
She herself must work hard to go through critique.
Additionally, self-criticism is demanded of all others who require it.
Anyone leaving the mountain for something other than prescribed duty
will be executed.
No objection!

[Everyone] No objection!

-- United Red Army, directed by Koji Wakamatsu

William Merwin and Dana Naone decide to stay on at the seminary

"He went and had a talk with Trungpa the next day, in which Rinpoche said he no longer had to attend classes because Merwin said he felt very self conscious. He stuck it out; he showed up every time for Rinpoche's talks only. Otherwise he just stuck it out in his room, seemed to go for long drives in the country, and show up only in the evening."

Santoli asked Jack Niland if Merwin actually went through Vajrayana. Niland replied, "Absolutely -- Sat there every day."

-- Jack Niland (Santoli) 6/23/77

It is reported that William Merwin, during a meeting apparently subsequent to the stripping, gave Trungpa a present of a sheath knife.

-- Interview with Paul Shippee (Sanders) 6/30/77

Jack Niland, in the company of Persis McMillen, ran into Merwin in Aspen the next day. Niland recalls: "He (Merwin) said something about Rinpoche being drunk and really blowing it. He was on the trip that he was perfectly correct in his behavior and Rinpoche blew it, that he was just human. He said 'Rinpoche really made a fool of himself last night, didn't he?' This guy didn't get it at all."

-- Jack Niland (Santoli) 6/23/77

Alan Marlowe saw William Merwin at lunch the next day, after the party, and Merwin expressed sorrow over the cutting up of Loring Palmer and sending him to the hospital.

-- Alan Marlowe (Sanders) 6/26/77

Persis McMillen also, like Merwin and Dana Naone, stayed on at the seminary after the stripping. In an interview McMillen recalled that Trungpa extended Merwin and Dana a personal invitation to stay. They stayed on nearly to the end of the seminary. Trungpa seemed open and tolerant to Merwin and Dana.

-- Persis McMillen (Santoli) 7/1/77

"The second from the last night of the seminary ... it was announced that they were going to have a ... party and show slides of the dance (Halloween party) ... Merwin split about an hour before the slide show and party."

-- Jack Niland (Santoli) 6/23/77

"Joseph and I went up to their room, or they came into our rooms. They were talking about the invasion of their privacy. And the brutality, and the violence. And they were just appalled. They couldn't reconcile that experience with their conception of Buddhism, and meditation. It was just incomprehensible to them ... It was very difficult for me because I remembered the sort of bleary space that I'd been in that night, the impulse to want to help Dana, and I didn't want to apologize to them for not having helped, and they were really at fault at that, that no one had helped them, that no one had stood up for them, that we were all sheep, on and on ... just completely relentless in their version of the situation. But here we were, actually sitting down, talking; we had been friends, there was some notion that we might conceivably continue to be friends, and yet, this schism had occurred, and I really didn't want to cop out on any level. I was trying to say, 'well, vajrayana teachings were ruthless; compassion takes many forms.' And they had some rapid fire answer to every statement, which in one way or another defended their sense of 'self' -- their sense of propriety. It was impenetrable.

"I actually burst into tears. I felt so frustrated ... The situation was so impossible."

-- Interview with Barbara Meier (Faigao) 6/29/77

The reasons for staying on at the seminary

Questions 9 & 10. About why we stayed on: whether he apologized.

The day after the happenings, as his letter was tacked up, a verbal message came to us through the officers of the seminary, inviting us (yes) to stay on, "either as students or as guests". We sent back another, saying that we needed to know what he meant by those terms, and asking to see him. Several days later we were granted an interview. Quiet and polite. More on the subject of the invitation which we'd refused, and his disappointment. He asked us to stay on. I said the decision must be Dana's, since I thought she had had much the worst of it. He urged her to please stay. Said there would be no more incidents: "one landmark was enough". We had talked it over, of course, and we did so again, in front of him. We'd come to study the whole course; we'd taken it (as he knew) seriously: we wanted to finish what we'd begun, and not be scared off. The last lap, about to begin, was the famous Tantric teachings. We said that if we stayed, it would be with no guarantees of obedience, trust, or personal devotion to him. He said alright: so did we, and we shook hands. No apology on either side. He said he was disappointed in our trying to hold ourselves together after the incident: going to class, talking to people as normally as possible. In his view we should have broken down, in some public way. I said I was appalled at what had happened, but that if the circumstances were to repeat themselves, I imagined that I would act in the same way. We stayed on until the end of the Tantric teachings, the last examination, three weeks later, attending his lectures, but going to other things irregularly. The day after the examinations, the prospect of another seminary party (including slides of Halloween) and of a coming blizzard forecast on the radio, that might keep us snowbound there for several more days, did not seem like things we wanted to hang around for, and we left.

-- W.S. Merwin, letter to Pope, Trupp, and Pickering, 7/20/77

Ed Sanders on Poetry, Crime and Culture


A native of Kansas, youthful figure skating champion, collegiate classics scholar at New York University, Ed Sanders first assaulted the world of contemporary culture and politics in the early 60's when he swam out to the Polaris nuclear submarine in a Connecticut harbor and boarded it illegally as a gesture of pacifist protest. This episode he celebrated in a work of verse, Poem From Jail. Soon thereafter he became editor of a seminal New York City mimeograph publication, Fuck You, A Magazine of the Arts: manager of the Peace Eye Bookshop; and founder-composer-vocalist of The Fugs, a rock 'n roll group of legendary stature. He published Peace Eye Poems and gathered prosaic Lower East Side street data for his later Tales of Beatnik Glory. Moving west, he spent a year covering the Charles Manson affair, first for the L.A. Free Press and later in an epic narrative, The Family: and made two albums of free-form country rock for Warners, Ed Sander's Truck Stop and Beer Cans on the Moon. Since then he has published 20,000 A.D., a book of poems manifesting his concerns with ancient history, and has done extensive investigative research in such fields as political assassinations, cattle mutilations and domestic intelligence. His current projects include the development of an "electronic pulse lyre" and the preparation of a performance piece called "The Karen Silkwood Cantata." He currently resides with his wife and daughter in Woodstock, NY., where he edits the Poetry, Crime and Culture Press.

But what I, and everyone else at the paper, could have done without was the Mansonoids.

Kirby had brought in poet and former Fug Ed Sanders from New York to cover the murder trial of Charlie Manson. As soon as he hit the tarmac at LAX, Ed was writing stuff about how the Establishment was railroading this innocent hippie tribe in order to crush the Counterculture.

Charlie and his Family loved the coverage. They loved the paper. They loved Ed. There were more of them on the loose than anybody not at the Freep realized. And as the trial progressed, every stoned-out nut in California seemed to want to join the Manson Family too...

The Mansonoids trusted Ed. They trusted him so much that they told him about all these other neat snuffs they had done that only their good buddies at the Free Press now knew about, hee, hee, hee....

So early on we all knew that Manson & Co. were indeed the crazed killers the wicked Establishment claimed they were, but Kirby had to keep on their good side, such as it was, the Freep had to hew to the Mansonsoid line, print Charlie's poems and manifestos, or the murderous creeps hanging around the paper might not like us any more....

-- Norman Spinrad: Autobiography, by Norman Spinrad

Report prepared and written by members of the Investigative Poetry Group, at the Naropa Institute, June 16-July 13, 1977, with additions in August & September, 1977.

The Investigative Poetry Group included members of the Investigative Poetry class, first session, Naropa Institute: Antler, Arnold Aprill, Randy Blair, Whitney Blauvellt, Glenn Dorskind, Philip Fryberger, Wayne Hall, Jan Johnson, Simon La Haye, Helen Luster, Matthew McCabe, Richard Nager, Brad Pearman, Mark Pickering, Tom Pope, Al Santoli, Mark Sargent, Alan Sobel, and Arthur Trupp, with special additional work by Balaan Faigao, Tasha Robbins, Miriam Sanders, and Simone Lazzeri.

Ed Sanders, investigative coordinator. Albert Santoli, associate. Title by Deirdre Sanders & Rick Nager.

The Party: A Chronological Perspective on a Confrontation at a Buddhist Seminary

© 1977 Poetry, Crime, & Culture Press

Box 729 Woodstock, N.Y. 12498

No portion of this report may be copied without written permission of Poetry, Crime & Culture Press. Illustrations by Glenn Eddy © 1973 Shambhala.
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Tue Feb 26, 2019 10:59 pm

What I Saw at a Black Mass: An Interview with Massimo Introvigne
by Maria Grazia Cutuli
From "The Devil is Among Us", published by Epoca on September 28, 1993.



"The climate wasn't an orgiastic one. I didn't hear teeth grinding like you can read in the books. There was a sacred atmosphere though. And no doubt it was sinister". It's May 1989. After a number of months spent seeking out contacts, assuring they would remain anonymous, finally Massimo Introvigne is allowed to attend a black mass, celebrated by one of the two Churches of Satan in Turin.

The Catholic scientist, since 1998 Director of CESNUR -- Center of Studies on New Religions whose members are both laymen and clerics [its President is the Bishop of Foggia, Mons. Casale] including scholars from all over the world -- had previously attended the Satanic rites of Satanists in New York and in San Fernando Valley, near Los Angeles. But there, The Churches of Satan are public organizations and their addresses are even included in the yellow pages. Nothing to do with the discretion and mystery surrounding secretive cults like those in Turin.

EPOCA: Mr. Introvigne, how did you succeed in overcoming the mistrust of the people from Turin?

INTROVIGNE: I've frequented cult circles for years. I found my Satanist contacts among people practising sex magic. Although I'm a Catholic, I enjoy a good reputation. It was they who sought me out. At times, we met in neutral territories; then they allowed me to attend their rites.

EPOCA: Where did the rite take place?

INTROVIGNE: In a private apartment of the old part of town, probably used as a storehouse, with a room nearly ten meters long.

EPOCA: How was the furniture?

INTROVIGNE: Essential. With no black painted walls, like you can see in the US or in other deserted Satanic chapels discovered also in Turin. Just an altar, at the center, with a dark pall, similar to those used for funerals. There was a statuette showing the devil with a erect phallus, at least 30 centimetres long ... A lot of devil shaped red candles, a "hand of glory" and a presumably human skull.

EPOCA: Who attended the mass?

INTROVIGNE: There were about twenty people, all standing. On average, they were quite young, 30 years or more, I guess. There were a few women: not more than seven or eight. They all wore normal clothes, except the celebrant who was black dressed, with a mantle reaching his feet and a hood on his shoulders.

EPOCA: How was the rite held?

INTROVIGNE: It started by invoking Satan, in a shaky Latin, according to the classic liturgy which turns the Catholic liturgy upside down. The faithful replied to the texts by heart. There was a sequel of ritual acts such as: lighting candles, Satanic spells, manipulation of objects, which lasted about twenty minutes. Then a priestess came in.

EPOCA: What do you mean?

INTROVIGNE: In Satanic rites a woman, a virgin is much better, acting as an "altar" is essential. In the US I've seen wooden supports anatomically shaped so as to host the priestess in a laid down position. In Italy it's usually an uncomfortable table. That's why, I guess, the woman came in after the rite had already started.

EPOCA: How old did she appear to be?

INTROVIGNE: I don't think she was a chaste young woman. She was 40, more or less, good-looking, but really embarrassed. Maybe it was her first experience in this field. Again, in America I've seen naked women moving with extreme naturalness. Not in this case. She entered covered with a bathrobe. She took it off and stretched out on the altar.

EPOCA: What happened then?

INTROVIGNE: The "priest" carried out the rite with the deconsecration of the Host(they assured me it wasn't a stolen host). He put it on the woman's body and then he quickly, quite in a furtive manner, dipped it in her vagina.Then he raised the chalice. The elixir, a mixture of sperm and vaginal secretions which serves for giving immortality and creating the "body of glory", had been prepared in advance and was ready.

EPOCA: Did any copulation take place?

INTROVIGNE: Yes it did, soon after. But it was quite short. It lasted a couple of minutes more or less. And it was just between the priest and the woman-altar. It was like if the act was mimed, unlike the ceremonies where I've seen celebrant and "altar" find pleasure while executing the rite, a rite where the faithful as well took part.

EPOCA: What did the followers do meanwhile?

INTROVIGNE: They drank from the chalice. But they remained rigorously dressed.

EPOCA: Did they sing any hymn?

INTROVIGNE: No, they didn't. They mumbled some invocations to the devil, while there was an atmosphere of strong emotional tension. There were neither songs, nor musical instruments, unlike the US where you can often hear a pianola accompaniment.

EPOCA: In what manner did the ceremony end?

INTROVIGNE: The priest blessed the faithful using a liquid which I guess was water. Manuals talk about urine ... and it should be the woman-altar who produces it. But I don't definitely believe that the lady from Turin, who was already really embarrassed, could be willing to be of any help.
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:22 pm

Satanism Black Mass



"Satanism", is the worship and imitation of the biblical Satan or Lucifer. It is the antithesis of Judaism and Christianity. Satan is referred as the brother of Christ, the one who was cast out of heaven, and whom the Satanists worship. Condemned by the Bible and the Church.

The "emblem", is a pentagram, like the one of witchcraft, but inverted, with the face of Satan on it. It is not witchcraft, although in practice the edges of Satanism and Witchcraft are blurred.

The "credo", is summed up in "do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law",coined by Crowley in "The Book of the Law".

There are two kinds of Satanism:

1- Those who believe that Satan exists and is a powerful force ... withanimals and children sacrificed to worship him and get his favors, and theBlack Mass as the main rite.

2- Those who believe that Satan does not exist, but it is merely the symbol or personification of fleshy human desires and appetites ... and they try to imitate it, with all kind of sins, pleasures and selfishness,lying, steeling, killing ...

Categories of Satanists:

There are not many Satanists, may be less than 10,000 in the world! ...only curiosity and sensationalism pays them much attention, and the actual satanic activity has been greatly exaggerated.

But there are several categories:

1- Group secretive Satanists: They believe that Satan really exists.

The "Traditional", hate Christianity, celebrate the Black Mass, in the cup they drink blood of a sacrificial animal or human, to mimic the Mass.

"Nontraditional", from Neo-Platonism, Eastern Mysticism, and Islam, or off-shots of the Kabbalah, Theosophy, Rosicrucianism, Freemasonry ... the"blood" they drink is not necessarily a parody of the Catholic Mass, butto partake of the "fire energy" that blood provides.

2- Public Church Satanists:

No secret, hold worship services open to the public, based mostly on the writings of Anton LaVey's "Satanic Bible", and they believe that Satan is a symbolic force: The Church of Satan of LaVey, Temple of Set. The Church of Thelema of Crowley, the Order of the Golden Down, and derivations of the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO), may also be included in this category.

3- Youth Gang Satanists, that may or may not believe that Satan exists: "Dabblers" who see Satanism as a symbol of rebellion against any authority. For most, interest in Satanism is a passing fad influenced by drugs, sex, and rock-and-roll, but with serious consequences, like in the spectacular case of Charles Mason, or Andrew Newell who stabbed his mate to death, or Peter McKenzie who sexually abused 13 children.

4- Individual Satanists, often disturbed individuals,neurotic or psychotic, like most Satanists!

Morality of Satanism:

"Do what you will" is the general principle. What is "bad" in the Bible becomes "good"; sin!, and Satan will be with you! ... they call it"freedom of choice"; they believe to get powers to perform magic by doing evil acts.

At the low level, they burn crosses, spray Satanic graffiti, dig up graves...

A higher level is by burning churches, doing all kind of sexual aberrations,stealing, drugs ...

Children sexual abuse is a higher level ... and, of course,the ultimate evil is "killing", children or adults, the greatest release of magical energy.

Black Mass:

This is the ultimate rite for a real Satanist to obtain magic powers: A blasphemous Mass, where the altar is a nude woman, and the vagina is the tabernacle. If possible, a real Host stolen from a Catholic Church is placed in the vagina in the midst of reciting distorted psalms with hot music and all kind of obscenities, cursing Jesus and honoring Satan. The fake priest ends up having real sex, with the Host still in the vagina.

If a baby can be slaughtered during the ritual, they will drink his blood and eat his flesh, to mimic the most the Eucharist ...

Ideally, a Black Mass is to be celebrated by a "real heretic Priest",that, even in sin, can celebrate Mass effectively.

The prayers end with the strongest expression of Satanism: "Shemhaforash",the word pronounced by God when he created the World, and, while spitting on a cross or stepping on it, they all cry out "Hail, Satan".

And,of course, it may end up with a sexual orgy with all kind of abominations and abuses, under the influence of drugs.

Groups of Satanists Today:

1-The "Traditional Secretive Satanists":

They are the "real thing", with the Black Mass, and their number is unknown, though it is estimated in "hundreds" in the world.

2- The "Non-Traditional" Satanists:

These believe that Satan exists, honor him, pray to him, but the celebrations are very different in each group.

3- "Aleister Crowley", (1875-1947) never considered himself a Satanist, but his writings, "The Book of the Law" and "The Equinox" became the basis for modern Satanism. In 1920 he founded an "Abbey of Thelema" in Cefalu, Sicily, considered Satanism, to destroy Christianity. It was brought to America by Jack Parsons who blew up himself experimenting with drugs. Crowley did in England what LaVey did in America, he became a drug addict, and his son mysteriously died during a private ritual that only the two attended. Afterward, Crowley became a babbling, incoherent idiot.A Black Mass was performed at his funeral.

4- "Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO)", emphasizes sexual magic. Some derivative satanic groups have come forth from OTO in America: OTO, in Fort Myers, Florida; in Dublin, California; Ordo Templi Astarte (O.T.A.),or Church of Hermetic Science; Bennu Phoenix Temple of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Down ...

5- The Church of Satan:

Founded, by Anton S. LaVey in San Francisco, California, in 1966, on Walpurgisnach or April 30, the most celebrated feast of the Witchcraft.

LaVey, appeared as the Devil in the film "Rosemary's Baby", and was technical director of another film, "The Devil's Rain". His most famous disciple was Sammy Davis Junior, who later regretted experimenting with Satanism. Film star Jaine Mansfield was also a member of the Church of Satan, which has an estimated 5,000 members.

On "The Satanic Bible", the "9 Satanic Statements" claim that "Satan represents indulgence, instead of abstinence". Represents materialism, instead of pipe dreams. Vengeance,instead of turning the other cheek. Satan represents man as just another animal, more often worse, the most vicious animal of all!.

"Here and now is our day of joy", proclaims, "eye for eye, tooth for tooth, aye four-fold, a hundred fold!"... kindness to those who deserve it, but if you want to kill them, do it!, morally or physically, because the main doctrine is "do what you want".

It falls in the category of "public Satanism", with a symbolic Satan...but in the rites, "a nude woman" is the altar... and that's non only symbolic!.

In the prayers, Satan is invoked and honored, and Jesus Christ is cursed ... and that's not jut a symbol !... 19 prayers are recited in "enochian language", a kind of old Arabic not spoken by anyone,and some of them end with this English translation: "Be friendly unto me, for I am the same!- the true worshiper of the highest and ineffable King of Hell".

In "The Satanic Rituals", there are some of the highly offensive and blasphemous words for a Black Mass: "Thou, thou who, in my capacity of Priest, I force, weather thou wilt or no, to descend into this host, to incarnate thyself into this bread Jesus,artisan of hoaxes, bandit of homages, robber of affection- hear!... O lasting foulness of Bethlehem, we would have thee confess thy impudent cheats, thy inexplicable crimes!. We would drive deeper the nails into thy hands, press down the crown of thorns upon thy brow, and bring blood from the dry wounds...

...cursed Nazarene, abstractor of stupid parities, impotent king, fugitive god!... O Infernal Majesty, condemn him to the pit, evermore to suffer in perpetual anguish. Bring Thy wrath upon him, O Prince of Darkness..."

But what is more scary, is to think that every time "we sin", you and I, "we crucify again the Son of God, making a public mockery of Him" (Hebrews 6:6)... my be LaVey is right in something!... when we sin, you and I, are worse than animals, the most vicious animals of all!... may Jesus have mercy of all of us!. Thank you, glorious Jesus, my Redeemer, the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords... and in the name of Jesus Christ I order Satan to get out of the heart of any Satanist or Witch who may read these lines. Thank you, dear Jesus, the King of Glory, you are dethroning Satan from many hearts every day, right now!. Praise to you, Jesus of Nazareth,the only one God, to whom is all the praise and glory and honor for ever and ever. Amen.

6- "Temple of Set":

It is an offspring of LaVey's Church of Satan, founded in 1975 by US Lieutenant Colonel Michael Aquino,with 1,000 members. The name "Set" comes from the Egyptian god Set-Ham. It claims to be more moral than the Church of Satan! ... but Aquino maintains an avid interest in Nazi culture, and Nazi insignia are occasionally worn by members of the Temple.

It has a functioning British branch, with only 55 members, but well-organized: David Austern sits in his word processor and instructions zipto and fro across the Atlantic. The "Temple" is a black fabric-lined garage, with black carpet and a black-draped altar decorated with black candles and a plastic skull. Austern is a homosexual.

7- "The Society of the Dark Lily", is run by a women who suffers from multiple sclerosis. The farm in Scotland where she lives is the headquarters of the organization, and the scene of debauched, sadistic beating of naked young girls.

8- "Young Gang Satanists":

Teenage dabblers is the third category of Satanists mentioned, and probably the largest.

Adolescents, are notoriously easily bored,perpetually on a quest for the different. They are naturally curious about spiritual matters, and are likely to rebel against the conventions of their upbringing. The occult, and especially its false promise of powers to change both themselves and the world, is a compelling lure, and there are "many points of entry" of Satan:

1- "A Friend",is the main "point of entry" of Satan: Many teenagers become "rebels"against their parents and the establishment, but "slaves" to their friends:

If the friend uses pants with a hole in the back, he is got to use it! ... if he is on the occult, he is got to try it, and be even more daring! ...

2- "Fantasy Games",are also good points of entry: of Satan Ouija, Tarot Cards, Dungeons and Dragons (D and D) ... This one, the respectable D and D, is very dangerous: You don't need boards, only a pencil, paper, and your imagination. Each player assumes the identity of a character of his choice, he becomes an "actor", and so familiar with the character, that he may end up becoming one with him ... most characters worship a deity, and some of them can cast spells and do magic ...

Don't get into these apparent respectable games. They may look harmless fun ... but many have end up in sexual abuse, insanity, suicide, murder... and they are an easy point of entry into the dabbling Occult and Satanism ...

3- "Heavy Metal Music",is another good route into the Occult and Satanism, and into death and suicide: Among the songs that blatantly proselytize Satanic rituals and the Occult, are:
- "Show no Mercy", by Kerr King, who shuts out, "in Lord Satan we trust".
- "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath", by Black Sabbath.
- "Shout at the Devil", by Motley Crue.
- "Holy Hell" by Possessed, with references to defiled crosses, black masses, magic, and ends up with "kill the people, cut the heads, cut the throats".
- Ozzy Osbourne, in "Suicide Solution".
- "Kill 'Em All", by Metallica.
- The groups Judas Priest, KISS, Iron Maden...

4- "Adults", also actively recruit youngsters into the Occult and Satanism, with the lure of free drugs, drink and promiscuous sex ...

Satanism in the"Catholic Church"?:

Satan attacks the Church from "without" (1 Peter), and from "within" (2 Peter). There is a kind of Satanism when someone proclaims in the Church:
- The Bible is "not" the word of God.
- A person called "Satan" does not exist.
- We do not have to accept the teachings of the Church or the Pope on matters of faith and morals
- Christ did not resurrected physically.
- Jesus in not really present in the Eucharist.
- Fornication, adultery, abortion, homosexual relations, masturbation is not always wrong.
- If you have a "mortal sin", you do not have to confess before receiving the Holy Eucharist.

These "Satanic doctrines" are taught in some Catholic seminaries,universities, work-shops, and have found the way in some textbooks and pulpits.

4- Fetishes, Talismans,Amulets, Charms, Superstitions, Potions,Curses, Spells, Magic Prayers, Spoils (In Spanish: Despojos, Riegos,Velaciones).

This is the fourth group of "Magic".

-Some of them may look harmless, but all of them are to honor the Devil and trust in him, not in God!, and that's why the Bible condemns all of them as "prostitution against God".

There is much "ignorance" on this, not usually malice ... but if you drink a poison by ignorance, you are going to die, even without malice... and in the name of Jesus Christ I order the Devil to get out of any person who reads these lines and is wearing or practicing any of the above... Thank you, Jesus, I praise you, because you are enlightening and delivering many people every day ... right now!

"Fetish":A Portuguese word meaning "enchantment", is an object or potion or writing given by a witch with false magic powers.

"Talisman": An Arabic word, "tilsman",meaning "magnet of power", is an object held to have magical or protective powers: A rock, a crystal, a metal, a doll, a cloth... a ring, a bracelet,a chain... throw them away!... Trust in Jesus!... get a crucifix... the rings, bracelets, and colors of Astrology honor Satan... those wore just for adornment or therapy have nothing to do with this.

"Amulet":An Arabic word, "hamelet", which means "hanging": It is like a talisman against evil or injury, or for good luck: A medal with a chain around the neck, a stone hanging in the neck, a pendent... the difference between an"Amulet" and a "Christian Medal", is that the Amulet honors Satan and his Demons, placing the trust in them, while the Christian Medal honors God and his Saints, placing the trust in them...

The Astrological or Santeria medals honor the Devil ... throw them away, wear instead a medal of Jesus or his Mother, or any real Christian Saint ...the Astrological or Santeria collars, honor Satan ... get rid of them !...wear instead a Christian Rosary.

"Charm": A small ornament worn on a chain or bracelet. When worn for its purported magical or luck effects, they are of Satan, like any amulet or talisman.

"Superstition":It is a belief, practice, or rite, that is maintained despite evidence that it is unfounded or irrational ... we all know about them ... forget them!, don't place your life on an irrational chance or magic, place it in the hands of the real God ... trust in God!.
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Thu Feb 28, 2019 1:12 am

Part 1 of 2

The Mahasiddha and His Idiot Servant [EXCERPT]
by John Riley Perks [John Andrews]
© 2004 by John Riley Perks



My mother was a Wicca spiritual healer and practical nurse. My grandmother, who was a nurse physician, would take my mother along on her rounds. One of the stories my mother liked to tell of her childhood travels with my grandmother was about the death of Freedom. Freedom was the first name of an old woman of the village who lived in a cottage where the animals still lived in the bottom half of the house, providing winter heat for the humans who lived upstairs. Word had come that Freedom was dying and my grandmother and mother went to the house where the old woman now lived alone with a cow. They climbed the ladder and found Freedom lying on her straw-mattress bed, her breathing shallow and her consciousness coming and going. My grandmother told my mother to stay with Freedom and to lay her out after she died. This entailed plugging her anus and vagina with cotton and tying closed her mouth. Then my grandmother left to visit another patient.

It was night and although it was not my mother's first experience with death, it was her first time of being alone with a dying person. She was terrified. The wind blew out the kerosene lamp. My mother clung to Freedom's hand, asking and praying for her not to die before my grandmother returned. The cow below made sounds like demons ascending the ladder and with the labored breathing and twitching of Freedom, the screeching of owls, the yelling of night hawks, and the house moving in the night wind, my mother was near to fainting.

It was at least two hours before my grandmother returned to find my frightened mother still grasping Freedom's hand. Lighting the lamp and inspecting Freedom, my grandmother exclaimed in a sharp tone, "Dolly, Freedom is dead. Go and get the Vicar's dining room table leaf and we will lay her out." I can always see my mother as a fourteen-year-old girl terrified and beset by spirits, yet crossing the village alone at night to return with the table leaf under her arm to lay out the dead Freedom. It was this story and her act of bravery that always inspired me to go beyond my fears. Even at an early age I admired her willingness to tell me this story, not only of her bravery, but of her fears in handling the beings and spirits that surrounded her.


I had decided to make a sacred object out of Rinpoche. In order to do that I would be very formal in a British way. Now Max, who was more laid-back, California-style, would greet Rinpoche in the morning by saying, "Hi, Rinpoche, I suppose you want breakfast." Max would not even get up out of his chair, but would continue to read the newspaper. This pissed the hell out of me. The more formally British I got, the more relaxed Max seemed to get.

This got to the point where I really wanted to throttle Max for not behaving correctly as I thought he should, and I told Rinpoche I was ready to knock some sense into him.

"Well, we can't do that," he said. "Let's play some tricks on him."

Max was a speed freak whenever he got up, whether it was morning or evening. He would throw on his kimono and jump into his slippers, which he kept outside his bedroom door. He would just slide his feet into the slippers and take off down the hall. One night Rinpoche sent the grateful Max off to bed early.

"You look tired, Max; better go to bed," he said.

We waited about an hour or two and then we went upstairs and securely glued Max's slippers to the floor. Rinpoche was rolling around stifling his laughter. The next morning we were up before Max, sitting in the kitchen having tea. The kitchen was right under Max's room. We heard him get up, rush out his door, and then, bang! He hit hard on the upstairs floor. Down he came to the kitchen.

"Say, Rinpoche," he exclaimed, "someone glued my slippers to the floor." I burst out laughing.

Rinpoche looked at him and said, "Perhaps it was an illusion." Then he started to chuckle.

The following week was passing in an unusually quiet and peaceful manner when Rinpoche said to me, "Johnny, can you put something that will smell in Max's room."

"You mean like scent, Sir?" I asked, not really understanding his intent.

"No, no," he looked at me like I was crazy. "Something that will stink."

We were eating fish, so I said, "Well, Sir, I could nail a piece of fish up under his bed."

"Great," he said, nodding his head.

So I put a large piece of halibut into a net bag and nailed it to the underside of Max's bed. When I opened my bedroom door the next morning the entire hallway smelled like Fulton's fish market. Max said nothing and both Rinpoche and I were quite surprised. We thought that he must have twigged it but the next day the whole house smelled of rotten fish. Max dame downstairs and said, "John, I think there is a dead mouse in the wall in my room. Could you take a look? I'm going to move to another room."

That same day, believe it or not, I found a dead mouse on the lawn. As Max was moving over to the new room I went upstairs and chipped away at part of the wall and pretended to find the dead mouse.

After Max moved everything into his new room, I nailed the dead fish to the bottom of his new bed. When Max complained about the smell again, Rinpoche said, "Your smell must be following you around."

I had always been a hunter. It was part of my self-sufficient trip of taking care of myself in the wilderness -- not just of the forest but of the world. Now that I was a Buddhist I reacted in horror to killing, although playing with guns for purely self-defense was something I was sure that the Buddha would have agreed with. In any case, hunting seemed more humane than a slaughterhouse.

When I was a young farmhand I had never been to a state-registered slaughterhouse. I had no more idea of the procedure than did the black-and-white cow we were taking there. The inside was stainless steel and white tile with a cement floor. An electric hoist with a hook on it ran down the center of the room. The place reeked of Pine-Sol. The smell made the atmosphere even more surrealistic. We had to coerce the cow into the room by twisting her tail. She was wide-eyed with terror. One of the fellows attached chain cuffs to her rear legs and ran the chain up the hook on the electric hoist. He pressed the red button on the wall and the hoist slowly gathered in the chain and lifted the animal. The cow's body hung in the air only inches above the floor. A pair of pliers attached to a rope was put into the cow's flaring nostrils. I was told to pull the rope so that the cow's neck was stretch tight. The other fellow took a large butcher's knife and with a swift swing he struck the cow's stretched neck. The cow's blood burst out across the room with great force. I was so shocked I let go of the rope. The head of the cow was only half severed. The cow, swinging slightly, convulsed while it hung suspended in the center of the room. Blood spewed out of her severed neck in all directions. Her mouth opened and closed in silent bellows as air rushed in and out of her exposed windpipe.

One of the fellows, enjoying my shock, took a cup and filled it with blood from the cow's streaming jugular vein. He offered the steaming cup to me. "Want some? It puts lead in your pencil." Now, thoroughly amused by my repulsion, he laughed loudly and drank the hot blood, leaving red stains on his lips. Within an hour the cow was skinned, disemboweled, cut into sections, and hung in the cooler. I decided I liked hunting -- it was more romantic.

In order to be a successful hunter you had to first understand and appreciate the hunted animal. You had to know its lifestyle, its nature, its habitat. You had to actually enter its world. You had to realize that like yourself, an animal and its world are alive, and that life and death, being alive, have a quality of magic -- a sacredness.

I had a holy concept of sacredness, regarding some things as holy and others as untouchable. My shrine in my Buddhist practice was like something out of House & Garden magazine -- flowers, candles and incense, and beautiful Tibetan pictures. I was on my way to becoming a real holy man.

Rinpoche could see my progress in practicing Buddhism and he started to bother me about hunting. He wanted me to take him hunting. "I want to kill something," he said. "I have never killed anything. I've just been a Buddhist monk all my life."

I would always refuse. "It would not be right for you to kill something, Sir."

Seeing Rinpoche in a slaughterhouse or even hunting didn't seem right to me. It didn't fit my concept of a holy man. The hunting queries continued for some time until one morning a flock of snowbirds gathered on the frozen lawn where I had thrown some old bread. Rinpoche picked up the .22 rifle from the kitchen corner. He walked toward the window and said, "Right, Johnny? We're going to shoot some birds."

I protested. "Sir, we've been through this a mission times. Please hand me back the gun."

Rinpoche, always one to enjoy himself, began to leap around the room in his kimono singing, "I'm going to kill. I'm going to kill." I didn't like the way it sounded at all. I took the gun from him and loaded it. But I also moved the rear sight out of line. I opened the kitchen window.

"Here you are, Sir," I said as I handed the gun to Rinpoche. "It's all ready to fire."

Rinpoche took aim at the birds and fired the single-shot rifle into the morning air. The birds flew off and not one was left dead. I threw more bread out and Rinpoche fired and again no birds were killed. We both laughed. I wasn't surprised, as he probably couldn't have hit the barn with those readjusted sights.

Rinpoche looked directly at me and said, "Oh, you're just an English gentleman, you couldn't kill a bird either." It was a challenge and I took the bait.

"Oh?" I said, accepting the wager.

So I took the gun and aimed, using only the front sights on the rifle and picturing the rear sights in my mind. I killed a bird, much to my own delight and Rinpoche's surprise. I walked out, picked up the bird's carcass, and wave it to Rinpoche and Max.

As I helped Rinpoche up the stairs to bed that night he said, "Johnny, do you know what killing that bird means?

"No, Sir," I said.

"It means you will get married and your first child will be a boy will be a tulku. Also it will cause a slight interruption in our living situation.

I was dumbfounded. I had no idea what relationship there was between the events of that morning and my having a son. Rinpoche didn't expand on it, so I let it go and silently put him to bed.

Two days later Rinpoche and Max were in town shopping and got stuck in a heavy snowstorm. They had to stay overnight at an inn. Rinpoche called and told me with a chuckle, "We've been held up by a snowbird." A slight interruption. Interestingly, I have not killed anything since. Later I did get married and our first child was a daughter whom we called Sophie. Rinpoche announced that she was a reincarnation of G.I. Gurdjieff.

"But Gurdjieff was a man," I said.

"Yes," said Rinpoche, "that's Gurdjieff's joke on us."


Somehow during this winter of the retreat year my handle on what I thought of as reality was becoming a little insecure. Out of seemingly nowhere I started having panic attacks, rapid heartbeat, and hyperventilation. I was sure I was going to die on the spot and I was certain there was a ghost following me around the house. So I asked Rinpoche if he had seen any ghosts in the house.

"Only two," he replied.

I almost fainted.

One night I had a dream of talking to a woman in her late thirties. She was wearing a long dress and holding my outstretched hand. She was talking about building the farmhouse where we were staying. "When were you born?" I asked.

"May, 1853," she said.

I did the math in my dreaming mind, pulled my hand away and sat up in the bed, awake, with my heart racing.

When I was physically with Rinpoche I did not have panic attacks but I was certain that he was somehow the cause of it all. It did not occur to me that Buddha's message, "Nothing whatsoever should be clung to," applied to me. My Britishness was part of "me." I had made my living by being British and if I gave that up what would I become? American, French, Italian? I mean, you can't just become nothing. But the fear was growing in me that Rinpoche was somehow nothing -- a gap. How could "I" act as nothing? Where do you start? After all, the Path of Accumulation was the Path of Accumulating, not the Path of Nothingness. The Path of Accumulation meant that I was going to get something. Here I was being invited to jump into empty nothingness. Not even invited, I was being pushed -- caught between a rock and a hard place. My memories of war became a welcome and safe distraction. I felt that if I could keep these away from Rinpoche I could hang on to some semblance of sanity. Every time the world would start melting around him I would take refuge in the only thing left in my thinking mind, my memories.

Rinpoche said he would like to target shoot. I had my .38 revolver, which I had purchased to protect Rinpoche (some joke), and a .22-caliber single-shot rifle. Now I went out and purchased a ruger .223-caliber semiautomatic with a thirty-round clip. I set up a target area in the garden that resembled World War II in miniature, with plastic soldiers, tanks, and trucks. Rinpoche, Max, and I would go out and blast them. Rinpoche called them the Mara Army. "You could be victorious over the troops of Mara, Johnny," he said. That sounded good but what the hell did it mean? I looked up Mara in the encyclopedia and it said "Mara is the Lord of the Sixth Heaven of the Desire Realm and is often depicted with a hundred arms and riding on an elephant."

Oh, I thought, mythology. I felt better. It's not real. But just in case, I started to look for an elephant rifle. Perhaps a Winchester .375 H and H Magnum might do the trick.

One evening Rinpoche and I were sitting in the kitchen. Max rushed in from shopping in town. Now, the closet and basement doors were next to each other and both doors looked the same. The basement stairs were very steep and ran down about twelve feet. Max was distractedly talking to us as he took off his coat, opened the wrong door, and, not looking, reached in to hang it up. Rinpoche yelled, "Shunyata," as Max and his coat fell into the basement. Unhurt except for a few scrapes, Max climbed out.

"Rinpoche," said Max, "You should have yelled to stop me."

"Why?" replied Rinpoche. "You could have gotten enlightened."

That night we went out to dinner at the local inn. Rinpoche had me purchase some cigars and secretly put some gunpowder in one of them for Max. the three of us sat in the inn causally smoking our stogies, two of us waiting in anticipation for the other one to explode. This went on for some time until Max, with the cigar still in his mouth, took a big puff and the cigar let out a big whoosh rather than an explosion. Flaming sparks and smoke shot out across the room from the cigar. Max remained pretty cool and said, "Your idea, I expect, Rinpoche." The three of us laughed.

However, the truth was that Max was a nervous wreck, and beneath my dignified British facade so was I. Finally, Max asked Rinpoche if he could go back to Boulder for a few weeks. Rinpoche gave his okay and Max departed, leaving Rinpoche and me alone in a house surrounded by deep snow. By necessity Max left his dog, Myson, with us. One night after supper Rinpoche said, "Get Myson and bring him in here." I dragged the shaking dog into the kitchen and following Rinpoche's instructions I sat him on the floor and covered his eyes with a blindfold. I set up stands with lighted candles by either side of his head. Myson couldn't move his head without being burned. Rinpoche took a potato and hit Myson on the head with it. When the dog moved, the fur on his ear would catch on fire. I put out the flames. Now and then Rinpoche would scrape his chair across the tiled floor and whack him again on the head with a potato.

"Sir," I began hesitantly, trying to stop him.

"Shut up," snapped Rinpoche, "and hand me another potato."

I started to empathize with the dog. In fact, I became the dog. I was blindfolded and was banged on the head with a spud and if I turned my head my hears would burn and there was the squealing sound of the chair on the floor. Pissing in my pants I was that dog not being able to move, feeling terrified and at the same time excited. Finally, the scraping chair and the potato throwing stopped and we released the shaking dog, who ran upstairs to Max's empty room.

"That's how you train students," Rinpoche calmly stated to me.

"Jesus," I thought, "that's pretty barbaric."

Rinpoche had me change the telephone number so that Max could not call us before he came back. He arrived, bags in hand, concerned that he had not been able to reach us. Before he could say much else, Myson rushed in and jumped all over him in exuberant delight. Rinpoche deliberately scraped the kitchen chair across the tiled floor. The terrified dog shot out of the house and fled across the field. Max was shocked and pointedly asked, "Rinpoche, what did you do to my dog?"

"I don't see any dog," he replied, looking at me.

"I got it!" I said, with the realization of being blindfolded and having three things happen to you at once, knowing the scraping and the disappearance of the dog were both somehow illusion. In fact, it was all illusion. Everything was illusion, but real. Rinpoche smiled and warmly greeted Max.

Did I get it? Not then.

“It was summer of 1985. I "married" Rinpoche on June 12th of that year. I met him around May 31st at a wedding of Jackie Rushforth and Bakes Mitchell in the back yard of Marlow and Michael Root's home. That year, we had our wedding at RMDC a few days before Assembly, then we had Seminary and Encampment happened during Seminary.

That was the year he spoke of limited bloodshed and taking over the city of Halifax and the Provence of Nova Scotia. We were in the middle of the Mahayana portion of seminary teachings. For weeks, CTR (Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche) had been asking everyone he saw if they had seen a cat. He asked the head cook, the shrine master, and all of his servants if they'd seen one. We returned to our cabin late one night after a talk and there was this beautiful tabby cat sitting on the porch. I said, "Here kitty, kitty" and it came right over to me, purring and rubbing against my legs. I picked it up and said: "Here, Sweetie. Here's the cat you've been wanting."

I can't remember exactly which guard was on duty, but I think it was Jim Gimian, and of course Mitchell Levy. Someone took the cat from me and Rinpoche ordered them to tie him to the table on the porch. He instructed them to make a tight noose out of a rope so the cat didn't get away. He stood over his guards to examine the knots and make sure they were secure. I was curious at this point, wondering what this enlightened master had in mind for the cat. I knew there were serious rodent problems on the land and I assumed he wanted to use the cat for this problem.

Then, he instructed the guard to bring him some logs from the fire pit that was in front of the porch, down a slight slope. We took our seats. Rinpoche was seated to my right and there was a table between us for his drinks. He ordered a sake. The logs were on his right side, so he could use his good arm. (His left side was paralyzed due to a car accident that happened in his late twenties.)

The cat was still tied by a noose to the table. Rinpoche picked up a log and hurled it at the cat, which jumped off the table and hung from the noose. It was making a terrible gurgling sound. He finally got some footing on the edge of the deck and made it back onto the porch. Rinpoche hurled another log, making contact and the cat let out a horrible scream as the air was knocked out of him.

I said: "Sweetie, stop! What are you doing? Why are you doing this?" He said something about hating cats because they played with their food and didn't cry at the Buddha’s funeral. He continued to torture the poor animal. I was crying and begging him to stop.

I said, "I gave you the cat. Please stop it!" I'll never forget his response. He looked at me and said: "You are responsible for this karma" and he giggled. I got up to try and stop him and he firmly told me to sit down. One of the guards stepped closer to me and stood in a threatening manner to keep me in my place.

The torture went on for what seemed like hours, until finally the poor cat made a run for his life with the patio table bouncing after him. It was clear he had a broken back leg. I'm sure that cat died. I looked for him or the table for the rest of Seminary and never found either. I imagined him fleeing up the mountain and the table catching on something and strangling him.

I was completely traumatized by the event, but it was never spoken of again. Rinpoche told me the "karma" from this event was good. I was dumbfounded. A common feeling I had when around Rinpoche was that there were things going on that I simply could not understand. It seemed like other people, with a knowing nod of their heads, understood things on a deeper level than I. I was in fear of exposing my ignorance, so i learned not to question and to go with the crowd around him. They didn't appear to have any problems with what he did. Such was the depth of their devotion. I just needed to generate more devotion to Rinpoche and one day I might understand.”

-- by Leslie Hays

It was during this retreat in Massachusetts that Rinpoche started envisioning a developing the Kingdom of Shambhala. The Kalapa Court would be Rinpoche's home and it was to be in my charge. Instead of being Rinpoche's butler I would soon be Master of the House. I would become a Dapon in charge of the Court Kusung, or servant guards -- in Buddhist terms, Bodhisattva Guardians. Molly, one of Rinpoche's students, came down from Karme Choling. She was an illustration artist and she and Rinpoche together designed the Shambhala flag -- a white ground with blue, red, white, and orange stripes on the leading edge and the yellow sun in the white field. Rinpoche designed and drew the Shambhala arms of the tiger, lion, garuda, and dragon, which are soon on the cover of Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior (published by Shambhala Publications, Inc., 1984)

I was excited about this creative time. This was going to be a real kingdom with its location in Nova Scotia, Canada. I would be safe within that reality, or so I thought. One day Rinpoche said to me, "Well, you know, Johnny, someone has to ask me."

"Ask you what?" I said.

"Ask me to become Earth Holder, the Monarch of Shambhala."

"Well, I'll ask you," I replied.

"Great!" said Rinpoche. We planed the event for the Tibetan New Year. I cut a tree for a flagpole and Max planned a dinner. Then at sunrise on the New Year the three of us got up and dressed in our best attire. As the sun rose in the eastern sky I asked Rinpoche formally if he would become Sakyong for the benefit of all beings.

He replied, "Yes."

I fired off a twenty-one shot salute from my pistol and Max ran the Shambhala flag up the pole. We saluted and shouted "Hip, hip, hurray!" then followed up by singing the Shambhala anthem. Max and I went into the dining room and feasted with the new Sakyong. I was joyful and excited, but underneath, my uneasiness continued to alternately swell and subside. Somehow the reality of the "gap" was still lurking below my world of this-and-that. On an intellectual level that was still fairly primitive I had some understanding of Buddhism. I knew what it was supposed to look like -- peaceful, calm, wise, compassionate. I knew enough to say, "Yes, I got it," but at the same time it was not in my gut on a visceral level. I thought perhaps I should do a retreat, since it would give me a change to get away, relax, and get myself together before things went too far.

I could see myself robed, sitting under a pine tree in meditation posture with the sunlight playing on my shoulders and the wind in the pines. "Yes, that's it," I concluded, so I asked Rinpoche.

"Not a chance," he growled.

"But, Sir, I could finish my prostrations and do the other practices ... take the Vajrayogini abhisheka with David and the Regent and ..."

"No hope of that," he snapped.

Shit. I was trapped again, stuck in the life of a servant bursting with resentment. Then he gave me one of those smiles that light up the whole dark universe. It penetrated into my murk and dissolved it and I was better and worse off simultaneously.

"One day you will be Sir John Perks," he said.

Wow, I thought. Sir John Perks of the Kingdom of Shambhala. I was full of hope again.

Aloneness, when it hit, ruined my hopes and expectations. I was walking to the car in Greenfield, having done the shopping, when it struck. I was suddenly overwhelmed with a sense of total aloneness and stopped dead in my tracks. There was no John Perks. There was nothing to be alone. Had "nothing" been a mental concept, it would have been something to hold onto. Then I panicked.

Only now, looking back, can I say that it was an overwhelming realization of nonexistence. The only way that I can convey what the experience was like is to ask the reader to imagine that all you think you are is totally fabricated. What you are is totally manipulated and conditioned by your own mind. Had I completely realized this at the time I would have died on the spot from a heart attack. For what was under assault was my thinking mind, its solid reality, what and who I thought I was. That which I thought was reality was, in fact, totally empty. This was the great "switcheroo," or turnaround.

Desperately trying to get back to what I still thought was my solidity I staggered to the car, trying not to hyperventilate. I managed to drive to the Howard Johnson's Motel bar. I ordered a double gin and tonic and drank it down like a glass of water.

"Are you okay?" asked the bartender. Where had I heard that phrase before?

"Fine, fine," I said and ordered another double. Sir John Perks had better get a suit of armor, I thought wryly.

But the attacks became more frequent. Then I had a realization. Sex! If I felt so alone why not have a partner? I asked Rinpoche if I could have a lady friend up on some weekends. To my surprise he said yes. So I invited a friend from Boston to visit. But it gave me no relief. In fact, it made the aloneness sharper and I felt as if I were going to die any second. One day at breakfast Rinpoche said to me, "Johnny, isn't it strange how orgasm and death feel the same?"

I blocked his words for the moment and panicked later.

Relief came several days later when he said, "Johnny, let's take a trip to London."

I pretended not to be excited, and to make sure, I asked, "To London, England, Sir?"

"Yes," he answered matter-of-factly. "We need to get some Shambhala medals made there and we could get some military uniforms." I brightened up. Trooping of the Colors meets sir John Perks. I had a mission.

"Let's stay at the Winston Churchill Hotel," he suggested.

National pride swelled in my chest. Shambhala was going to be British after all. As a safety procedure I went to the local doctor and got prescriptions of Librium and Tagamet for my panic and stomach pain. Sam, the publisher of Shambhala publications, was to meet us in London where he had an office. On the aircraft Rinpoche and I sat together. He was quite upbeat and talked about all the things we would do in London: restaurants, nightclubs, theater, and clothing stores. The air stewardess asked what we would like to drink. Rinpoche ordered his usual. "Ginandtonicus," pronounced as the name of the Roman general from the Asterisk Comic Books.

"You could teach people etiquette, Johnny," said Rinpoche. He went on talking about military uniforms, tuxedos, evening dress, balls, dancing, and formal dinners. Excitedly I joined in with further ideas. Rinpoche said, "Yes! Yes! Yes! Let's do it. We will grow old together." Bliss and joy returned, drowning out the emptiness.

And so it came to pass. In London we stayed at the Winston Churchill. We took the designs of the Shambhala medals to the jewelers to be made. We ordered uniforms at Grieves and Hawks on Savile Row -- a general's uniform for Rinpoche, a major's uniform for me. Rinpoche used his family name on the order form, Mr. C.T. Mukpo. I used my original birth name, John Andrews. The clerk looked at Rinpoche's form in a quizzical way and asked, "Who is Mr. C.T. Mukpo?"

I hesitated, my mind searching for a realistic answer. Finally I said the first true thing I had ever said in my life.

"I have absolutely no idea."
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

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Part 2 of 2


I felt my luck was turning. I believed that because I was willing to do anything to be close to Rinpoche -- especially the things that other people didn't want to do, like washing dishes, cleaning house, and ironing clothes -- I had somehow tricked Rinpoche into taking me on the retreat so that he could instruct me in how to become an enlightened siddha. It did not occur to me until years later that he was the one who had tricked me by going along with my whole trip. This was also the beginning of seemingly unrelated events that began to undermine my habitual patterns of operating.

It's interesting that Rinpoche was willing to go through my whole gun attachment with me even to the extent of making me his bodyguard. It was the beginning of his helping me create my ultimate fantasy world, with occasional hints that there might be other realities. These other realities had the effect on me of creating extreme anxiety and panic.

My mind could not grasp even intellectually the idea of impermanence or the idea of groundlessness. That challenged the idea of "I" being a solid entity. I was afraid of things I couldn't see and did not understand. And I was terrified of ghosts. Having experienced them in my early childhood they brought terror and panic. Rinpoche had the ability to make seemingly unimportant comments at the exact moment that they became magnified in my mind. It was his timing that terrified me. He seemed to be able to read my mind before the thoughts had been formulated. I began to have the uneasy feeling that I did not know what kind of being he was. And that meant that all my manipulated power over him to whatever end was useless. This brought up the interesting dilemma of how I was going to get what I wanted.

The acid trip where Rinpoche focused my mind by working with Duncan and the "great turnaround" was my first realization of looking at phenomena as they really are, without logical, intellectual, or other mental projections. Needless to say, that state didn't last very long -- a matter of hours; then I was thrown back to my ordinary mode of operation very quickly. My aggression in wanting to confront Max Rinpoche turned into playing tricks, so he introduced to my mind an alternative way of dealing with the situation which was more creative and playful. One might call it my early introduction to crazy wisdom, where one uses the energy as it arises then joins with it and presents reality. People say "Be here now." But for someone lost in illusions this makes no sense unless it can be shown in actual, ordinary, on-the-spot situations. That's what the crazy wisdom teacher does continually. Sometimes the student gets it and sometimes he doesn't. Most of the time, I didn't. But much later there was some realization.

The episode with Myson, the dog, blindfolded, sitting on the floor, reflected my basic state. The candles on either side of his head related to aspects of bad and good, or samsara and nirvana. The potato as a representation of the phenomenal world whacking one on the head was initiated by the guru. If one turns one's head one way or the other, one's ears catch on fire. At this point one is still blind. Reacting to the fear and pain by trying to escape, one is overpowered by even more emotional traumas. The conditioning aspect of scraping the chair across the floor formulates how one will react, thus perpetuating how we perceive the world. When the chair is scraped later on, in our confused state of mind we run because we are reminded of our basic pain. The sound of the chair is basic emptiness -- a state that we are most terrified of -- so we run.

The idea of my own death was extremely terrifying to me. It meant not only the termination of my bodily pleasures and delights but also the termination of what I had built up as the image of John Perks. The end of all of that created extreme anxiety, and somewhere within the deep recesses of my mind I panicked as my I-ness began slipping away. I would have run away, but I was in love with Rinpoche and he kept offering me new opportunities related to my fantasies to explore and feel safe in -- which of course he ultimately undermined. Although my devotion was somewhat primitive, it was there to stay forever.

Although I did not realize it at the time there seemed to be connections between the killing of the bird at the retreat and Siddha Vyadhalipa; between the hunting Mahasiddha Savaripa; and between the action with the dog and Mahasidda Kukkuripa. Later, while practicing the Sadhana of Vajrayogini and meditating on the actions of my guru while in retreat, I found my connection to these three Siddhas to be one of remarkable coincidence, in that I was able to take instruction from other beings such as birds, fishes, and dogs. And as examples, the compassionate lives of these Siddhas are always of great inspiration to me.


Spring came to the Massachusetts hill country with rain, mud, and peeping frogs. On one of our walks by the farm pond Rinpoche noticed the frog spawn jelly in the water. I explained how we could put it into an aquarium and watch them change into tadpoles. He seemed excited about that and helped me set up the aquarium next to his bed so we could watch the transformation every day. When Rinpoche awakened every morning we would peer into the aquarium and Rinpoche would exclaim, "Breaking out of the egg!" On the way to the bathroom he went, singing, "Breaking out, breaking out of the eggs."

Our bathroom routine was always the same I would prearrange the two kinds of soap, the shampoo, the towels, the toothpaste, toothbrushes, and the hairbrushes. I would follow Rinpoche into the bathroom and help him take off his kimono, which I hung on the door. Then he would peer into the mirror making faces and singing songs. This time it was the egg hatching song. I looked at my own image in the mirror and then over to his. I started to panic as I realized his image was not in the mirror. For a second, I stopped. Then, there it was, smiling and making faces. I was puzzled but I did not say anything, as I thought it was my faulty perception. As this began to happen more often, I felt that somehow he was playing a trick on me, so I paid extreme attention in the morning to the mirror antics. Nothing happened for several weeks, everything was quite normal, and I concluded that it had all been my hallucination. Then, when I was not expecting anything, he disappeared from the mirror again.

"How do you do that?" I asked him on the spot.

He chuckled and said, "You just do it."

While he was in the shower I handed him the soap and continued, "Is the trick with the mirror or my mind?"

"Both," he said, washing soap out of his hair. I was struck dumb. My reality was being stretched thin.

"You have a good heart, Johnny." Rinpoche's face is right in my face. His eyes are big and luminous, like two planets in space. "You have a good heart, Johnny," he says again. He smiles and the warmth of the sun washes over me penetrating throughout my body. Somehow I know I am dreaming, but I can't wake up. "You have a good heart, Johnny."

"But, Sir," I protest, "my ancestors were thieves, murderers, rapists, plunderers, enslavers, liars, hedonists, deceivers, destroyers, and I'm just a ghost." The pain of looking is horrendous. It's like a golden spear thrust into my heart.

I fall into the Thames and I am unable to swim. I touch the black mud in the river bottom, the sound of rushing water is in my ears. I enter midnight blue, vast and empty. The next thing I remember, I am sitting on the bank in the sunlight, my clothes muddy and soaked with water. I look around for my savior. There is nobody in sight. I must be a ghost, I think. Will I ever be human again? A living ghost, asleep, unable to wake up.

My mother does abortions. One young girl leaves a baby on the doorstep. It is small and delicate like a white porcelain doll. It has been carefully washed and wrapped in a white lace tablecloth. Its eyes are closed. Mother heats up the coal stove in the kitchen until it glows red hot. Picking up the dead child by the head, she drops it into the open flame and quickly replaces the metal round lid. In a few seconds the baby's head shoots out of the stove with the iron ring as a hat. Looking like a demon it discharges flames out of its eyes and mouth before descending, disintegrating in the heat. It is unnamed. No hands mourn the ashes.

Winnie comes for an abortion in a fur coat. She is always drunk. She stumbles against me, her whiskey breath enters my lungs. She vomits on the floor and my mother cleans it up. I wash down her coat.

"You have to go over to Winnie's house and clean it up. While you are there, go up to the bedroom and under the bed you will find cooking pots filled with money. Take some."

She thrusts Winnie's house keys into my hand. I take the train to Winnie's house, a few stops on the loop line. I open the front door and proceed up the stairs to the bedroom, but there is no doorknob on the door. Someone has taken it away so it can't be opened. But the ghost is clever. With a kitchen knife I open the door and there under the bed are many sizes of saucepans, pots, and kettles. I take the lids off them, one by one. The first is filled with pound notes, another with fives, and another with tens -- all stuffed full. I fill my pockets and rush home. Winnie is still sleeping on the couch, snoring her whiskey breath. I hand my mother the keys and three hundred pounds.

My father stands in the street at night, the searchlights swinging in the sky. Bombs are thudding, whamp. He has his rifle. Someone yells "parachutes." He opens the bolt and pushes a round into the chamber. The streetlights reflect off a white parachute carrying a flare. It floats out of the blackness. My father is wearing my mother's slip in the darkness. He put it on thinking it was his undershirt. He has on his army boots, his khaki wool pants, his tin hat, and he's holding his .303 Enfield rifle, but with my mother's lace-topped slip on his chest, in the flare light he looks like a ghost.

Five of us are living on a hill overlooking a placid pond with ducks and geese swimming in the still water. We are armed with various weapons, shotguns, and rifles. I yell, "Open fire!" The sound is deafening. The pond erupts. Nothing can live beneath the hail of lead missiles. Cordite fills the air. I run up the ridge and bayonet a Zulu. His blood spurts out from the aorta, splashing across the operating room wall. My gown and mask are drenched. The patient is dead within seconds, blood oozing over the green tile floor. The ping of the monitor stops. Helen is tied to the bed. Jeff and I are licking her body. Grace is sucking her vagina. Kay pushes me up against the shower wall in Taos. She holds me there, jerking me off into the raining water. Sperm runs down the drain. A chicken burns in the dustbin. I ride my butcher's bike, the basket full of meat, on a Saturday delivery. The "Keep Left" sign disintegrates. I fly through the air before I even hear the explosion. Blood runs from my nose and ears. The V-2 rocket has hit the next street. I vomit. "You have a good heart, Johnny." The pain of suffering is so intense, we all decide to become ghosts, like my father, his father, and their fathers in the mud trenches and the mothers coughing up dead babies, stacking them upon the parapets, fighting, unable to distinguish the living and the dead. Watch the game show as a ghost. Pretend over tea nothing is happening. Let me drink myself into painless ghostliness. The Nazi officer wants to shake hands in the middle of the death camp. The corpses are piled high, waxy skin over wretched bones. He offers his hand to the Allied officer. It is not accepted, as a bulldozer is plowing up the bodies. Jill is leaving Jeff. Henry is leaving Marcy and the kids. Chogyam is eating the leg of a dead baby in the charnel ground. The red sow-bitch is drinking pus out of a skull. Vajrasattva is in the mirror. I try to enter but I hit my face on the glass. It breaks my spectacles, cutting my face. Nancy is pretending none of this is happening by shopping at Bloomingdale's. William is bending down bare-bottomed waiting for the cane. Jenny is masturbating in the closet. Percy is dancing in Duluth.

Rinpoche says, "Johnny is hard to catch -- he's like a ghost."

Fuck you, I think. It's my right to run from suffering, to cry in the bottom of a hole for a million years, eating and screaming and fucking, trapped in a solid egg. It's my right, it's my ...

"You have a good heart, Johnny."

I cry out in my dream, looking around for my savior. There is no one in sight. Unable to swim I drown and become a ghost on the riverbank. Chogyam taps on the egg. I gasp and wake, dreaming into the day.

I listened to the sounds of the house. I could hear Rinpoche and his dog, Ganesh snoring down the hall. Max was still asleep. I wiped the sweat from my body, readjusted my thoughts, and went down the hall to the bathroom. As I showered I felt thankful it was only a dream. In time I could forget it. Ignoring the pain, I re-collected myself into the collection of images that maintained my self-illusion, dreaming I was awake.

Nevertheless, there remained in the recesses of my mind the paranoia that something was hidden. At unexpected times I was swept with the terror and uncertainty of my reality. My groundedness had begun to slip away and the terror of emptiness found me standing at the edge of an abyss.


"The way to get money from Rinpoche is to ask him as he wakes up," says Osel. [Osel Mukpo was later to become Mipham Rinpoche and the Sakyong of Shambhala Buddhism].

Rinpoche's twelve-year-old son is visiting from Boulder. He wants to buy a model airplane and needs the money.

"He always says yes to anything as he wakes up," Osel explains to me.

Up we go to the bedroom. Osel stands over the sleeping body of his father.

"Rinpoche, Rinpoche," he calls softly. "Can I have some money to buy a toy airplane?"

"Yes," comes the drowsy answer from the blanket-covered pile in the bed. "Ask Johnny to take some money from my wallet." Then the blanket goes back to its familiar snore. Osel looks at me with a knowing smile, proud at having outwitted his dad.

Pretty good trick, I think.

Years later, however, the trick worked in reverse. When Osel wanted money for a dirt bike Rinpoche said, "Okay, I'll give you a hundred dollars for sitting in meditation for one hour." Easy money, thought Osel. He sat for three hours and made three hundred dollars. The next time he wanted something the price went down to fifty dollars an hour, then twenty-five an hour, then ten, then five. In the end he was sitting for a week to get a hundred bucks. would always hide when his Holiness the Karmapa or Khyentse Rinpoche would visit.

"I don't want to be a tulku," he would say to me. "I don't want to be a tulku." To me, it sounded like Brer Rabbit not wanting to be thrown into the brier patch.

"I don't want to be a tulku," he pleaded to me.

"Okay, okay," I said. "Let's hide and go to the movies."

Osel brightened. "Great!" he said, "What's showing?"

I opened the paper. "The Man Who Would Be King," I read aloud. We went, and on the way home he was Danny and I was Peachy.


Author (middle), with Gregory Bateson (left) and Jim Herndon (right), at an education workshop at Naropa Institute. Photo: George Holmes

It was at UCSC that Bandler met John Grinder, a radical young professor of linguistics. In the laid-back university community, Grinder cultivated an iconoclastic mystique, boasting that he had been a Green Beret. He collected a small, devoted group of followers, the most prominent of whom was Richard Bandler. Together they began using linguistics to study psychology. Even before it had a name, their work was controversial: some students referred to Grinder's class, in which Bandler taught, as Mindfucking 101. In March 1973, Bandler earned his bachelor's degree, and two years later a master's in theoretical psychology from Lone Mountain College in San Francisco.

First Bandler, then Grinder, had moved to a commune in the Santa Cruz Mountains owned by Robert Spitzer, who envisioned it as a self-sustained artistic and intellectual community. Among those who lived at the former nudist colony were Raven Lang, whose Birth Book had helped spawn a home birth movement; and Gregory Bateson, the British anthropologist who conceived the double-bind theory of schizophrenia.

A lean, wiry man with a goatee and piercing brown eyes, Bandler did not get along with many residents of the Alba Road community. He was intense and temperamental, one remembers, and did not participate in communal life. Within a few weeks of his arrival, members of the commune asked Spitzer to evict him. Spitzer refused.

While living on Alba Road, Bandler bragged about using large amounts of cocaine.

For Grinder and Bandler it was a fertile time. They sat for hours in the sun room of Bateson's house, listening to Bateson discuss his innovative ideas, which became the intellectual foundation of NLP. (As described by one student, Bateson taught that "[Human beings] create the world that we perceive ... because we select and edit the reality we see to conform to our beliefs about what sort of world we live in.") Working with films and tape recordings, Bandler and Grinder dissected the work of Satir and Perls, hoping to understand the techniques -- linguistic and nonverbal -- that caused seemingly magical changes in their clients. Through Bateson, they met and studied with Milton Erickson, the famed psychiatrist-hypnotist, and began using hypnosis to treat clients.

Bandler was only 25 when his first book, The Structure of Magic, was published in 1975. Written with Grinder, it attempted to codify and describe their analysis of Satir's and Perls's therapies. In separate introductions, Satir and Bateson expressed excitement about this research, for it seemed to hold potential for developing better therapists: if effective therapy, like all "magic," had discernible structure, then anyone could learn to perform it.

-- The Bandler Method, by Frank Clancy and Heidi Yorkshire

THE WICCA CULT: The WICCA cult came to the surface early during the post-war period, as a legalized association for the promotion of witchcraft. It is the leading publicly known international association of witches in the world today. In the United States, WICCA's outstanding sponsor is the New York Anglican (Episcopal) diocese, under Bishop Paul Moore. Officially, New York's Anglican Cathedral of St. John the Divine has promoted the spread of WICCA witchery through its Lindisfarne center. The late Gregory Bateson conducted such an operation out of the Lindisfarne center during the 1970s. No later than the 1970s, and perhaps still today, the crypt of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, is the headquarters for solemn ceremonies of the British (Venerable) Order of Malta. Key figures, such as Gregory Bateson's former spouse, Dame Margaret Mead, associated with that British order, have been associated with projects in support of the Satanist "Age of Aquarius" cause.

-- Real History of Satanism, by Lyndon LaRouche

In 635AD Saint Aidan came from Iona and chose to found his monastery on The Holy Island of Lindisfarne. The Christian message flourished here and spread throughout the world.

-- The Holy Island of Lindisfarne, by

Rinpoche: Perhaps sometime you could go to Iona and read the Sadhana of Mahamudra in the cathedral."

Johnny: "Why?"

Rinpoche: "The air is very clear there. You will like it."

Johnny: "Okay, Sir. I'll do it."

Rinpoche: "Great! Let's drink to that."

They both drank sake.

In the summer of 2002 Johnny read the Sadhana of Mahamudra in the cathedral watchtower next to Saint Columba's shrine on the island of Iona. I realized again: Rinpoche manifested as Saint Columba and Johnny as Diarmait, his servant.

-- The Mahasiddha and His Idiot Servant, by John Riley Perks

Samuel Bercholz, Swedish publishing executive. Vice president, board directors Vajradhatu, Association Buddhist Meditation Centers, Boulder, since 1977; director Temple of Understanding, New York City, since 1986 ...

-- Samuel Bercholz, by

The Temple of Understanding has chapters overseas and was based in New York at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in Morningside Heights before moving in the 1990's to its present center, on Fifth Avenue at 56th Street.

-- The Temple of Understanding: Over 50 Years of Cross Cultural & Interfaith Education, by

"If you put God outside," Gregory Bateson warns, "and set him vis-a-vis his creation and if you have the idea that you are created in his image, you will logically and naturally see yourself as outside and against the things around you. And as you arrogate all mind to yourself, you will see the world around you as mindless and therefore not entitled to moral or ethical consideration. The environment will seem to be yours to exploit. Your survival unit will be you and your folks or conspecifics against the environment of other social units, other races, and the brutes and vegetables."

-- Green Paradise Lost, by Elizabeth Dodson Gray

The philosopher Gregory Bateson expressed this agnosticism in his own special way:

The individual mind is immanent but not only in the body. It is immanent also in pathways and messages outside the body; and there is a larger mind of which the individual mind is only a sub-system. This larger mind is comparable to God and is perhaps what some people mean by God, but it is still immanent in the total interconnected social systems and planetary ecology.

-- The Ages of Gaia: A Biography of Our Living Earth, by James Lovelock

Dr. Gregory Bateson, anthropologist with the OSS, and the former husband of anthropologist Margaret Mead, became the director of a hallucinogenic drug experimental clinic at the Palo Alto Veterans Administration Hospital. Through drug experimentation on patients, already hospitalized for psychological problems, Bateson established a core of “initiates” into the nest of Isis Cults, which Huxley had founded in southern California and in San Francisco. Foremost among his Palo Alto recruits was Ken Kesey. By 1967, through Kesey’s efforts in disseminating the drug, they created the “Summer of Love”, in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco.

-- Terrorism and the Illuminati -- A Three Thousand Year History, by David Livingston

For the unprepared mind, however, LSD can be a nightmare. When the drug is administered in a sterile laboratory under fluorescent lights by white-coated physicians who attach electrodes and nonchalantly warn the subject that he will go crazy for a while, the odds favor a psychotomimetic reaction, or "bummer." This became apparent to poet Allen Ginsberg when he took LSD for the first time at the Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto, California, in 1959. Ginsberg was already familiar with psychedelic substances, having experimented with peyote on a number of occasions. As yet, however, there was no underground supply of LSD, and it was virtually impossible for layfolk to procure samples of the drug. Thus he was pleased when Gregory Bateson, [Formerly a member of the Research and Analysis Branch of the OSS, Bateson was the husband and co-worker of anthropologist Margaret Mead. An exceptional intellect, he was turned on to acid by Dr. Harold Abramson, one of the CIA's chief LSD specialists] the anthropologist, put him in touch with a team of doctors in Palo Alto. Ginsberg had no way of knowing that one of the researchers associated with the institute, Dr. Charles Savage, had conducted hallucinogenic drug experiments for the US Navy in the early 1950s.

-- Acid Dreams, The Complete Social History of LSD: The CIA, The Sixties, And Beyond, by Martin A. Lee & Bruce Shlain

After Oklahoma City, the potential of the right-wing anti-government evangelical fanatics for terrorism and violence was re-affirmed by an armed standoff between police and "Republic of Texas" activists demanding the secession of Texas in April 1997. This insurrection was led by Richard Otto, alias "White Eagle," who put out a call inviting members of militias around the country to come to the site, armed for a shootout. The agent provocateur Otto turned out to have been "trained and set into motion by an Air Force officer who toured the world practicing New Age pagan rituals, in consultation with senior British intelligence drug-rock-sex gurus such as Gregory Bateson." Otto finally surrendered on May 3, 1997. (Tony Chaitkin, "The Militias and Pentecostalism")

-- 9/11 Synthetic Terrorism Made in USA, by Webster Griffin Tarpley

Harold Abramson apparently got a great kick out of getting his learned friends high on LSD. He first turned on Frank Fremont-Smith, head of the Macy Foundation which passed CIA money to Abramson. In this cozy little world where everyone knew everybody, Fremont-Smith organized the conferences that spread the word about LSD to the academic hinterlands. Abramson also gave Gregory Bateson, Margaret Mead's former husband, his first LSD. In 1959 Bateson, in turn, helped arrange for a beat poet friend of his named Allen Ginsberg to take the drug at a research program located off the Stanford campus. No stranger to the hallucinogenic effects of peyote, Ginsberg reacted badly to what he describes as "the closed little doctor's room full of instruments," where he took the drug. Although he was allowed to listen to records of his choice (he chose a Gertrude Stein reading, a Tibetan mandala, and Wagner), Ginsberg felt he "was being connected to Big Brother's brain." He says that the experience resulted in "a slight paranoia that hung on all my acid experiences through the mid-1960s until I learned from meditation how to disperse that."

Anthropologist and philosopher Gregory Bateson then worked at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Palo Alto. From 1959 on, Dr. Leo Hollister was testing LSD at that same hospital. Hollister says he entered the hallucinogenic field reluctantly because of the "unscientific" work of the early LSD researchers. He refers specifically to most of the people who attended Macy conferences. Thus, hoping to improve on CIA- and military-funded work, Hollister tried drugs out on student volunteers, including a certain Ken Kesey, in 1960. Kesey said he was a jock who had only been drunk once before, but on three successive Tuesdays, he tried different psychedelics. "Six weeks later I'd bought my first ounce of grass," Kesey later wrote, adding, "Six months later I had a job at that hospital as a psychiatric aide." Out of that experience, using drugs while he wrote, Kesey turned out One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. He went on to become the counterculture's second most famous LSD visionary, spreading the creed throughout the land, as Tom Wolfe would chronicle in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.

-- The Search for the "Manchurian Candidate": The CIA and Mind Control, by John Marks

In preparation for the writing of The Mind Possessed, Dr. Sargant and his team had conducted exhaustive field research, profiling modern-day primitive religious cults, including a wide range of irrationalist, nominally Christian, denominations that particularly proliferated in the most backward rural areas of the American Deep South. This was the America of Elmer Gantry, of "barking dog" convulsions and circus-tent revival meetings.

The Sargant book drew the parallel between such primitive people under the influence of witch doctors, fundamentalist preachers and pagan gods, and the victims of the 1960s drug/rock/sex counterculture. Describing the historical accounts of the celebrations of the ancient Greek pagan god Dionysus, Dr. Sargant wrote:

"Many of the other dancers approached very near trance, and showed states of increased suggestibility at the end of a long and intensive period of repetitive and monotonous dancing. They looked very much like fans of the Beatles or other 'pop groups' after a long session of dancing."

Indeed, a concluding chapter of The Mind Possessed had profiled the newest form of fundamentalist religious irrationalism, "Beatlemania."

One of the clear lessons to come out of the Sargant studies, and other similar profiling work by such Cybernetics Group/CCF players as Dr. Margaret Mead and her husband, LSD-experimenter Dr. Gregory Bateson, was that the most efficient means of promoting irrationalist cults was to exploit existing movements and subcultures.

-- The CCF and the God of Thunder Cult: British Promotion of Irrational Belief Systems in America, by Stanley Ezrol & Jeffrey Steinberg

This investigation [Oklahoma City Bombing] began with a probe into the armed standoff between police and "Republic of Texas" members demanding the secession of Texas, in April 1997. This writer telephoned into the besieged compound and interviewed Richard Otto, alias "White Eagle," who said he was asking members of militias around the country to come to the site, armed for a shootout.

I checked Otto's background, and then shared my findings informally with militia members and others who might have been drawn into the provocation. Otto, it turns out, had been trained and set into motion by an Air Force officer who toured the world practicing New Age pagan rituals, in consultation with senior British intelligence drug-rock-sex gurus such as Gregory Bateson. This unappetizing profile, subsequently spread around by wary militants themselves, helped to discredit and defeat the provocation.

-- Who is Wagging Your Neighbor's Tongue? The Militias and Pentecostalism, by Antony Chaitkin

The retreat in Charlemonte. The Prince tries on his military cap. He instructed the author to outline a m oustache with magic marker to see what it would look like. Photo: Author

Rinpoche sleeping out in the garden of the house at 7th and Aurora. Photographer unknown.

Gold Lake Oil safari to Texas on the search for black gold. Author and Trungpa Rinpoche at site. Photographer unknown.

Rinpoche answering the phone at the Kalapa Court. Photographer unknown.

A strategic military conference between Major John Perks and Major James Gimian. Photographer unknown.

He said, "Let's put on our uniforms and go and have our pictures taken together."
"Why?" I asked.
"It will help later on," he replied.

Rinpoche in his Scottish Highland regalia with the Eliot Clan kilt. Photo: George Holmes/Blair Hansen

Commodore Major Sir John Perks inspecting the troops before a raid. Photographer unknown.

Rev. Bill Burns and author performing a Celtic Buddhist marriage. Photo: T. McCarthy, 2002.

Author and Ven. Margaret Junge, Celtic Buddhist Lineage Holder, drinking Guinness in Ireland. Photo: Bill Burns, 2001.

In the name of the Profound Brilliant Just Powerful All-Victorious Rigden, his glorious Sakyong on earth, Dorje Dradul of Mukpo Dong, hereby installs
Proclaimed and Sealed at The Kalapa Court, the Seat of the Kingdom of Shambhala, by the profound Brilliant Just Powerful All-Victorious Sakyong Mukpopa, the glorious Dorje Dradul, in the year of the Earth Horse of the sixteenth Rapjung, the first month, the twenty-seventh day; March 5, 1978.

In the name of the Profound Brilliant Just Powerful All-Victorious Rigden, his glorious Sakyong on earth, the Dharmaraja Dorje Dradul of Mukpo Dong, hereby awards
for merit in the service of
the Dorje Dradul's military
Proclaimed and sealed at the Kalapa Court by the Heavenly-appointed Profound Brilliant Just Powerful All-Victorious Sakyong Mukpopa Dorje Dradul of the Kingdom of Shambhala, in the year of the Earth Sheep of the Sixteenth Rapjung, the first month, the first day: February 27, 1979.

In the name of the Profound Brilliant Just Powerful All Victorious Rigden, his glorious Sakyong on earth, the Dharmaraja Dorje Dradul of Mukpo Dong, hereby admits
for outstanding contribution to
the Culture of the Kingdom of Shambhala
Proclaimed and sealed at the kalapa Court by the Heavenly-appointed Profound Brilliant Just Powerful All-Victorious Sakyong Mukpopa Dorje Dradul of the Kingdom of Shambhala, in the year of the Iron Monkey of the Sixteenth Rapjung, the first month, the first day: February 17, 1980

In the name of the Profound Brilliant Just Powerful All-Victorious Rigden, his glorious Sakyong on earth, the Dharmaraja Dorje Dradul of Mukpo Dong, hereby creates
of the Most Radiant and Perky
PROCLAIMED AND SEALED at The Kalapa Court by the Heavenly-Appointed Profound Brilliant Just Powerful All-Victoriouis Sakyong Mukpopa Dorje Dradul of the Kingdom of Shambhala, in the year of the Iron Bird of the Sixteenth Rapjung, the first month, the first day, February 5, 1981

In the name of the Profound Brilliant Justs Powerful All-Victorious Rigden, his glorious Sakyong on earth, the Dharmaraja Dorje Dradul of Mukpo Dong, hereby appoints
to the office of
PROCLAIMED AND SEALED at The Kalapa Court by the Heavenly-Appointed Profound Brilliant Just Powerful All-Victorious Sakyong Mukpopa Dorje Dradul of the Kingdom of Shambhala, in the year of the Iron Bird of the Sixteenth Rapjung, the first month, the first day: February 5, 1981.

Bonnie Johnny Forever
Meeting with you is a test of one's gallantry
Meeting with you is so tempting
That I want to grow old with you.
So we could be strong together.
Discovering such a bonnie Johnny
Is equal to meeting living basic goodness.
It is one of the best treasures that the Mukpo family discovered.
We would like to welcome you as part of our family
Please join and stay with us
As the Chamberlain, the Kusung Dapon
Or for that matter, just basic bonnie Johnny.
May the Rigden Fathers protect you.
Happy Birthday.
Our love and affection to you on this occasion
And for many years to come.

-- Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
March 13, 1981

In the name of the Profound Brilliant Just Powerful All-Victorious Rigden, his glorious Sakyong on earth, the Makkyi Rapjam Dorje Dradul of Mukpo Dong, hereby commends
for exemplary loyal service and
historic contribution in the office
of first Kusung Dapon of the
Dorje Kasung of the Kingdom of Shambhala
and hereby appoints him to the office of
Of the Purnachandra Division
of the Dorje Kasung of the
Kingdom of Shambhala

PROCLAIMED AND SEALED at The Kalapa Court by the
Heavenly-Appointed Profound Brilliant Just Powerful
All-Victorious Sakyong Mukpopa Dorje Dradul of the
Kingdom of Shabhala, in the year of the Water Dog
of the Sixteenth Rapjung, the first month, the first
day: February 24, 1982.

During the late 1960s and early 1970s, he spent much of his time at sea on his personal fleet of ships as "Commodore" of the Sea Organization, an elite, paramilitary group of Scientologists.[8][9] Some ex-members and scholars have described the Sea Org as a totalitarian organization marked by intensive surveillance and a lack of freedom.[10] His expedition came to an end when Britain, Greece, Spain, Portugal, and Venezuela all closed their ports to his fleet.

-- L. Ron Hubbard, by Wikipedia

In the name of the Profound Brilliant Just Powerful All-Victorious Rigden, his glorious Sakyong on earth, the Dharmaraja Dorje Dradul of Mukpo Dong, hereby designates
for very devoted and outrageous service
to The Kalapa Court
PROCLAIMED AND SEALED at The Kalapa Court by the Heavenly-Appointed Profound Brilliant Just Powerful All-Victorious Sakyong Mukpopa Dorje Dradul of the Kingdom of Shambhala, in the year of the Water Dog of the Sixteenth Rapjung, the first month, the first day: February 24, 1982.

About the Author:

John Riley Perks, born in 1934, experienced in early childhood the bombing of England during World War II, which is written about in the manuscript. He went to university in England and immigrated to America in 1950. He started a commune and school in the Adirondacks which has been written about in the book Pagan Time by Micah Perks, published by Counterpoint in 2001. He met Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche in 1973 and became his butler, attendant, and personal secretary for seven years. After this he became a butler for Bill Cosby for five years, Senator Jay Rockefeller for one year, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Acker for five years, and Mrs. Harris Farnstock [Fahnestock] for three years. Presently he is a Buddhist teacher at the AnaDaire Buddhist Center in Vermont and is currently writing a new book about Celtic Buddhism. John Riley Perks is married, has eight children, and lives in a cottage by the sea in Vermont.
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:10 am

CIA Gave Aid to Tibetan Exiles in '60s, Files Show
by Jim Mann
Los Angeles Times
September 15, 1998



WASHINGTON — For much of the 1960s, the CIA provided the Tibetan exile movement with $1.7 million a year for operations against China, including an annual subsidy of $180,000 for the Dalai Lama, according to newly released U.S. intelligence documents.

The money for the Tibetans and the Dalai Lama was part of the CIA's worldwide effort during the height of the Cold War to undermine Communist governments, particularly in the Soviet Union and China. In fact, the U.S. government committee that approved the Tibetan operations also authorized the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.

The documents, published last month by the State Department, illustrate the historical background of the situation in Tibet today, in which China continues to accuse the Dalai Lama of being an agent of foreign forces seeking to separate Tibet from China.

The CIA's program encompassed support of Tibetan guerrillas in Nepal, a covert military training site in Colorado, "Tibet Houses" established to promote Tibetan causes in New York and Geneva, education for Tibetan operatives at Cornell University and supplies for reconnaissance teams.

"The purpose of the program . . . is to keep the political concept of an autonomous Tibet alive within Tibet and among foreign nations, principally India, and to build a capability for resistance against possible political developments inside Communist China," explains one memo written by top U.S. intelligence officials.

Relationship Was Mutually Beneficial

The declassified historical documents provide the first inside details of the CIA's decade-long covert program to support the Tibetan independence movement. At the time of the intelligence operation, the CIA was seeking to weaken Mao Tse-tung's hold over China. And the Tibetan exiles were looking for help to keep their movement alive after the Dalai Lama and his supporters fled Tibet following an unsuccessful 1959 revolt against Chinese rule.

Tibetan exiles and the Dalai Lama have acknowledged for many years that they once received support from U.S. intelligence. But until now, Washington has refused to release any information about the CIA's Tibetan operations.

The U.S. intelligence support for the Tibetans ended in the early 1970s after the Nixon administration's diplomatic opening to China, according to the Dalai Lama's writings, former CIA officials and independent scholars.

The Dalai Lama wrote in his autobiography that the cutoff in the 1970s showed that the assistance from the Americans "had been a reflection of their anti-Communist policies rather than genuine support for the restoration of Tibetan independence."

The newly published files show that the collaboration between U.S. intelligence and the Tibetans was less than ideal. "The Tibetans by nature did not appear to be congenitally inclined toward conspiratorial proficiency," a top CIA official says ruefully in one memo.

The budget figures for the CIA's Tibetan program are contained in a memo dated Jan. 9, 1964. It was evidently written to help justify continued funding for the clandestine intelligence operation.

"Support of 2,100 Tibetan guerrillas based in Nepal: $500,000," the document says. "Subsidy to the Dalai Lama: $180,000." After listing several other costs, it concludes: "Total: $1,735,000." The files show that this budget request was approved soon afterward.

A later document indicates that these annual expenses continued at the same level for four more years, until 1968. At that point, the CIA scrubbed its training programs for Tibetans inside the United States and cut the budget for the entire program to just below $1.2 million a year.

In his 1990 autobiography, "Freedom in Exile," the Dalai Lama explained that his two brothers made contact with the CIA during a trip to India in 1956. The CIA agreed to help, "not because they cared about Tibetan independence, but as part of their worldwide efforts to destabilize all Communist governments," the Dalai Lama wrote.

"Naturally, my brothers judged it wise to keep this information from me. They knew what my reaction would have been."

The Dalai Lama also wrote regretfully in his book that the CIA had trained and equipped Tibetan guerrillas who conducted raids into Tibet from a base camp in Nepal.

The effect of these operations "only resulted in more suffering for the people of Tibet. Worse, these activities gave the Chinese government the opportunity to blame the efforts of those seeking to regain Tibetan independence on the activities of foreign powers--whereas, of course, it was an entirely Tibetan initiative."

Lodi Gyari, the Dalai Lama's personal representative in Washington, said last week that he had no knowledge of the CIA's $180,000-a-year subsidy or how the money was spent.

"I have no clue whatsoever," Gyari said. Speaking more generally of the CIA's past support for the Tibetans, Gyari acknowledged: "It is an open secret. We do not deny it."

Agency Has Resisted Release of Details
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:58 am

Samuel Bercholz
publishing executive
Accessed: 3/5/19




Samuel Bercholz, Swedish publishing executive. Vice president, board directors Vajradhatu, Association Buddhist Meditation Centers, Boulder, since 1977; director Temple of Understanding, New York City, since 1986, C.G. Jung Foundation, New York City, since 1990; president Dana Home Care Association, Boulder, 1978—1986; board directors, trustee Naropa Institute, since 1976; Member of Western Book Publications Association (secretary 1974-1976).


Bercholz, Samuel was born on July 5, 1947 in Malmo, Sweden. Son of Rubin H. and Rose (Winter) Bercholz.


Attended, George Washington University, 1965. Attended, San Francisco State University, 1966—1969.


Director Temple of Understanding, New York City, 1986, C.G. Jung Found. Editor: Sacred Art of the World, several vols. Editor Maitreya, 1970-1976.

Editor ReVision, 1982-1986. President Dana Home Care Association, Boulder, 1978-1986.


Vice president, board directors Vajradhatu, Association Buddhist Meditation Centers, Boulder, since 1977. Director Temple of Understanding, New York City, since 1986, C.G. Jung Foundation, New York City, since 1990. President Dana Home Care Association, Boulder, 1978—1986.

Board directors, trustee Naropa Institute, since 1976. Member of Western Book Publications Association (secretary 1974-1976).


Married Hazel Silber, 1972. Children: Sara Hamsa, Ivan Martin Pawo.

father: Rubin H. Bercholz
mother: Rose (Winter) Bercholz
spouse: Hazel Silber
child: Sara Hamsa Bercholz
child: Ivan Martin Pawo Bercholz
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Wed Mar 06, 2019 4:04 am

The Temple of Understanding: Over 50 Years of Cross Cultural & Interfaith Education
Accessed: 3/5/19



Our Founder


Juliet Hollister and Albert Schweitzer, 1960

In 1960, Juliet Hollister (1916-2000) created the Temple of Understanding (TOU) after a realization that the world was in grave danger unless the gifts, wisdom, and insights of religious traditions could be recognized and cultivated to promote positive social change. She is the first woman to have founded an interfaith organization. Eleanor Roosevelt was among the first to endorse the concept. In the late 1950’s, Juliet traveled the globe, bearing letters of introduction from the former First Lady, in order to gather support from the world’s religious and political leaders. In her letters of introduction, Mrs. Roosevelt wrote:

“May this greatly needed Temple of Understanding come into realization soon, for our world surely needs the inspiration and leadership of such a ‘Spiritual United Nations’.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

That year, Juliet met with luminaries such as Egyptian President Nasser, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Pope John XXIII, and Albert Schweitzer – who responded to her request for a meeting with, “Come at once and I will send a canoe.”

After their meeting, Dr. Schweitzer signed Juliet’s travel log “My hopes and prayers are with you in the realization of the great Temple of Understanding, which has a profound significance … The Spirit burns in many flames.”

Living My Dream - Juliet Hollister

A few years later, in the December 1962 issue of Life Magazine, the cover article described “’Juliet Hollister’s Wonderful Obsession’ as a mission ‘to draw people together to build a movement embracing all faiths.'” This article and the subsequent CBS News documentary gave the TOU international recognition and support, affording Juliet access to other luminaries such as Egyptian President Anwar-el Sadat, Carl Sagan and Dr. Hans Kung. With the support of these and other Founding Friends, the TOU was positioned to host Spiritual Summits in Calcutta (1968) and Geneva (1970). These events allowed religious and spiritual leaders from around the world to open dialogues about injustice, religious persecution, and intolerance. Spiritual Summit V (1975) was the first interfaith conference to be held at the United Nations, and it laid the groundwork for the TOU’s continuing involvement.

The complete story of Juliet’s relationship with the TOU is told in her memoir, Living My Dream.

For Juliet’s New York Times obituary, click here.

Juliet Garretson Hollister, in whose kitchen an interfaith organization called the Temple of Understanding was born 40 years ago, died on Sunday at her home in Greenwich, Conn. She was 84.

In 1960, at a time when nuclear Armageddon was not unthinkable, she felt the need to do something, she said later.

As she recalled it, she was sitting in her kitchen when, over peanut butter sandwiches, she told a like-minded friend, ''The world is in a mess.'' Her prescription, for a starter, was to promote dialogue and understanding among the world's religions.

Mrs. Hollister, who was ''just a nice little mother,'' as she put it, at first got nowhere. She was also, however, the wife of a well-connected partner in a Manhattan law firm and did not simply take the ''no'' of foundation executives. Then she met Eleanor Roosevelt, who liked her idea and opened doors for her.

Mrs. Hollister's idea became the Temple of Understanding, which grew into an international educational group recognized by the United Nations as a nongovernmental organization.

As its moving spirit and chairwoman, Mrs. Hollister met and became acquainted with world figures like the Dalai Lama. From its Manhattan headquarters and under her leadership, the group organized symposiums, round-table discussions at the United Nations, educational projects, global forums and spiritual summit meetings abroad.

In addition to Mrs. Roosevelt, she was supported by Dr. Albert Schweitzer; Pope John XXIII; U Thant, secretary general of the United Nations; Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India; and President Anwar el-Sadat of Egypt.

The Temple of Understanding has chapters overseas and was based in New York at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in Morningside Heights before moving in the 1990's to its present center, on Fifth Avenue at 56th Street.

THE WICCA CULT: The WICCA cult came to the surface early during the post-war period, as a legalized association for the promotion of witchcraft. It is the leading publicly known international association of witches in the world today. In the United States, WICCA's outstanding sponsor is the New York Anglican (Episcopal) diocese, under Bishop Paul Moore. Officially, New York's Anglican Cathedral of St. John the Divine has promoted the spread of WICCA witchery through its Lindisfarne center. The late Gregory Bateson conducted such an operation out of the Lindisfarne center during the 1970s.

No later than the 1970s, and perhaps still today, the crypt of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, is the headquarters for solemn ceremonies of the British (Venerable) Order of Malta. Key figures, such as Gregory Bateson's former spouse, Dame Margaret Mead, associated with that British order, have been associated with projects in support of the Satanist "Age of Aquarius" cause.

-- Real History of Satanism, by Lyndon LaRouche

Mrs. Hollister's husband, Dickerman Hollister, died in 1983. She is survived by their two sons, G. Clay, of Chevy Chase, Md., and Dickerman Jr., of Greenwich; a daughter, Catharine H. Ecton of Cabin John, Md.; six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Juliet Garretson was born in Forest Hills, Queens. She studied comparative religion at Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary, but as a woman found the road to a career in theology blocked.

But reading up on the world's great faiths, she became convinced that they all, in one way or another, shared basic humane principles.

That belief inspired her concept of the Temple of Understanding as an educational platform and a meeting place for people to learn about one another's creeds: what Eleanor Roosevelt called a ''spiritual United Nations.''

-- Juliet Garretson Hollister, 84; Led Temple of Understanding, by Wolfgang Saxon, 11/30/2000

Juliet Garretson Hollister, 84, housewife who started an international educational group called Temple of Understanding. Hollister was born in Forest Hills, N.Y., and studied comparative religion at Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary. As a woman she found her pursuit of a career in theology stymied. She married a prominent Manhattan lawyer named Dickerson Hollister but did not abandon her interests in world religions. She was a Connecticut housewife who was eating a peanut butter sandwich with a friend one day in 1959 when she began to wonder what the world would be like without religious conflict. That conversation led her to found the Temple of Understanding in 1960. Her idea was to convene religious leaders from all over the world in a dialogue to reduce religious strife. The organization received an early boost from Eleanor Roosevelt, the former first lady, who arranged for Hollister to meet with Jawaharlal Nehru, then India's prime minister, and other world leaders. The Temple of Understanding has held six "spiritual summits" with religious leaders since 1969. The first was held in Calcutta. Later meetings were held in Oxford, Moscow and Kyoto, Japan. Other supporters have included Albert Schweitzer, Pope John XXIII and United Nations Secretary-General U Thant. The New York-based organization has advised the United Nations and is registered with the United Nations as a nongovernmental organization. One of the primary sponsors of the interfaith prayer service at the annual opening of the U.N. General Assembly, it is the oldest global interfaith organization in the United States.

-- Juliet Hollister; Worked for Religious Tolerance, by Los Angeles Times, 12/17/00

My dear friend Juliet Hollister passed away in 2001. She was 84, going on 24. I never really dwelt on her age, for to know her was to know a youthful spirit, though more than likely a very old soul. Forty years ago, from her kitchen in Greenwich, Connecticut, this then housewife and mother gave birth to a vision that became The Temple of Understanding, a United Nations sanctioned forum for the promotion of dialogue and understanding among and between the great religions of the world. Juliet’s friend, Eleanor Roosevelt, called it, The Spiritual United Nations.

Born in Forest Hills, New York, Juliet studied comparative religion at Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary, but as she once told me, “It was not an easy matter at the time for a woman to pursue a career in theology.” After devouring books on the major religions of the world, she became convinced that there was much more that united the great faiths than divided them. She became a living testament to this conviction.

Juliet carried a natural dignity and patrician-like quality, yet was devoid of the all-too-well known nuisances of the ego. She was truly a person without guile, pretense, or condescension. Her personality exuded a great big huggable charm. She had a passion and kindness that combined with a keen intelligence and unusually intense interest in people. She was a kind of magnet, and her presence was felt the moment one found oneself in her company.

Juliet’s life and her magnificent vision were, in a word, simple. I use this word in the highest complimentary sense. The same word comes to mind as I think about one of her dearest friends, His Holiness The Dalai Lama. Ask the Dalai Lama who he is, and he will quickly reply, “I’m just a simple Tibetan monk, nothing more.” Ask the same of Juliet Hollister, and she would respond, “I’m just a simple little mother from Greenwich, Connecticut.” They shared the quality of authenticity. The privilege of meeting authentic persons is truly sweet and illuminating.

The first words I ever heard Juliet say were, “How can I help you?” She had just telephoned me after learning about an idea for a spiritual, human potential television channel I had been trying to generate support for. Before I knew it, she invited me to come to her cottage-like home in Greenwich for tea and to share my vision. She was herself a great storyteller. And the story she loved to tell the most was about her beloved Temple of Understanding, and how that vision became reality.

As she would tell it, “It all began on a day in 1960, sitting in the kitchen of my Greenwich home with a friend, snacking on peanut butter sandwiches, talking about what a mess the world was in, with the spectre of nuclear Armageddon not a remote possibility, when as if out of nowhere, a light turned on in my mind and I excitedly saw an antidote, an ongoing forum where dialogue and understanding could be promoted by bringing all the world’s religions together under one roof.” Juliet would later say that the energy of this idea was enormous, and “I was convinced that I had to do something to bring it into the world.”

She brought the idea to her husband, Dickerman Hollister, a well-networked partner in a Manhattan law firm. After fruitless meetings with foundation executives, Dickerman arranged for his wife to meet Eleanor Roosevelt, at one of the former First Lady’s well-known salons. When approached with the idea, Mrs. Roosevelt immediately became excited, and arranged for Juliet to share her vision with some of the great political, religious, and citizen leaders on a whirlwind ‘round-the-world trip. Joined by her youngest son, Dickie, the Connecticut housewife and mother met privately with U Thant, secretary general of the United Nations; Pope John XXIII; President Nasser of Egypt and his vice president, a young Anwar el-Sadat; Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister; Dr. Albert Schweitzer; and the Dalai Lama. Juliet recounts that every leader greeted her idea with resounding and enthusiastic support, except for President Nasser. Though he wasn’t a very pleasant man, he was willing to hear about the idea, and “I remember Mr. Sadat, in an earlier meeting, a much more sympathetic person, as having liked the idea very much,” she recalled. “But in the President’s office, when I actually had the gall to suggest to Mr. Nasser, a vehement enemy of Israel, that it would be a feather in his cap if he initiated peace with that country, he immediately yelled for his security guards to put me and my little boy under arrest, and we were actually thrown into prison!”

The situation looked very bleak, she said, until her son Dickie, when asked by some guards why they were arrested, drew a circle on the dirt floor of the prison cell with his finger, with the symbols of the world’s great religions inscribed inside the circle. “See,” said Dickie, “we want to help bring all the religions together in peace and harmony.” Within the hour, sympathetic guards got word to Mr. Sadat, who gave permission to free Juliet and her son. They were quietly put on the next plane out of the country, unbeknownst to Mr. Nasser.

With the support and blessings of many of the world’s top leaders, Mrs. Hollister’s vision became The Temple of Understanding, which grew into an international educational group recognized by the United Nations as a non-governmental organization. From its Manhattan headquarters, and guided by her leadership and moving spirit, the group organizes symposiums, round-table discussions, educational projects, global forums, and spiritual summit meetings abroad. These summits became a meeting ground for the world’s major spiritual leaders.

The Temple of Understanding also played a key role in developing the North American Interfaith Network, an association of local, regional, national and international interfaith organizations, faith communities, and educational institutions. Conferences are now held annually.

In 1997, the board of directors of The Temple of Understanding created the annual Juliet Hollister Awards. The Award has been given in two categories: one for religious figures who have brought interfaith values into churches, temples, and mosques, and the other for secular figures who have promoted greater understanding of spiritual values in the arts, media, government, science, and law. The award recipients have included: Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan; The Very Reverend James Morton; His Holiness Sri Swami Satchidananda; Maestro Ravi Shankar; Mary Robinson, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights; and His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama. In 1999, the Award was given to Nelson Mandela at the Parliament of the World’s Religions gathering in Cape Town, South Africa. And in subsequent years, other recipients included Chelsea Clinton, in 2010.

I attended the 1997 event, the first Juliet Hollister Awards banquet, at the United Nations. There was Juliet, beaming and resplendent in a blue and gold Indian sari, entering the ballroom to the wild and affectionate acclaim of the 1,000 guests. In 1998, in the magnificent palatial-like hall of the Cipriani Restaurant in Manhattan, sitting next to her beloved friend, the Dalai Lama, more than 2,000 guests stood to give her a long rousing ovation.

“If you love an idea, an idea that is larger than yourself, then love it with all your heart; love it enough to act on it,” she once told me. “Love it enough to put it into the world,” she said. “Don’t give up until you do.”

Juliet succeeded in making her overarching dream a reality. “One unfulfilled dream that I must leave to those who follow me to fulfill,” she said, “is to build and erect the physical Temple of Understanding on the land we purchased years ago in Washington, D.C. The architectural blueprint of the plans for the Temple, executed as well, are also awaiting the hands of the builders when the proper funding comes in,” she said.

After an appearance on The God Squad, the television show co-hosted by a rabbi and a priest on the Telicare Television Network of Long Island, Juliet began to soulfully reflect on the state of the world. “There is so much work yet to be done,” she said. “It is so clear to me that all we have to do is awaken to the fact that we are all ONE, or as my friend Father Thomas Merton has so rightly said, “We are already ONE . . . what we have to become is what we already are.” Said Juliet: “It seems so simple, doesn’t it? Yet so much more work to do. So much more work.”

Above all other places, Juliet loved Kashmir, “the most beautiful spot in all the planet.” She owned a houseboat there, and whenever she could, she would go there “to rest and luxuriate my soul in the sheer beauty of its sacred mountains and skies.” She knew that Kashmir was a place of political conflict and potential danger, yet it would never stop her from making her trips. “I feel the angels are protecting me, and when I go to visit, I always pray that the physical beauty of this God’s world will transform into a beauty experienced on a more ethereal level, penetrating into the hearts and minds of every human being, so that there is beauty too in all our dealings with one another.”

Juliet believed she could see through the veil between life on this side and life in the hereafter and that there was a continuity of consciousness that moved into another plane of existence.

“It’s so clear to me,” she often said, and she firmly believed that one day science would validate and confirm the existence of another side. Juliet was a member of an organization called INIT, comprising a number of leading scientists from around the world, some of them Nobel Laureates, who were conducting technical experiments to secure contact and verify communication from conscious entities who had departed the earthly plane. She claimed that in one of these experiments, she had actually received a visual and audio communication from her beloved husband, Dickerman, who died in 1983.

Bill Moyers, a member of The Temple of Understanding, once said, “I used to think that The Temple of Understanding was an act of sentiment. Now I believe it is an essential strategy for survival.” And for Juliet Garretson Hollister, it has also become her living legacy to a world so very much in its need.

Mike Schwager is host of the Internet radio show, The Enrichment Hour, on WSRadio(dot)com. He is editor of two spiritual blogs, http://www.Enrichment(dot)com, and http://www.EnrichOurWorld(dot)net. Mike is also a communications consultant, serving organizations as a speech writer, media interview trainer and publicist (http://www.mediamavens(dot)com, and http://www.TVtraining(dot)tv). E-mail him at:

-- Gatekeeper of the Temple of the Heart: Juliet Hollister, Founder of The Temple of Understanding, by Mike Schwager, 03/25/2015
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The Legacy of Juliet Hollister
by Alison Van Dyk
October 9, 2011



Juliet Hollister (l.) with her good friend Barbard Marx Hubbard at a 1997 Stanford University planning conference during United Religions Initiative’s formation.

Sometimes the most amazing events are the most improbable. How, during a lunch of peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, did a spark ignite a movement that to this day grows and travels around the world? That is exactly what happened when Juliet Hollister, a housewife and mother of three, while having lunch with a friend, was commiserating over the dire state of the world. Her friend suddenly suggested that someone should bring the leaders of the world’s religions together to work towards peace. A flash of inspiration went off in Juliet’s heart and mind. From that moment on, magical things seemed to happen around Juliet and her “Wonderful Obsession,” a name coined by the Time-Life Magazine article about her, published in 1962.

Imagine a housewife, with no college education or theological degree, accomplishing this. Many of Juliet’s friends told her it was impossible, even dangerous. In 1960, bringing the religions of the world together was so controversial that three Christian ministers in her town felt compelled to visit her, telling her she had no right to pursue such a radical idea. Juliet had no resources except her vision, determination, and the love of a wise and supportive husband, Dickerman, who told her to pray for guidance.

In 1960 there were no interfaith organizations in North America. The International Association for Religious Freedom had relocated in Europe, an organization that began shortly after the First Historic Interfaith Conference in Chicago in 1890. Juliet saw an opportunity to develop interfaith understanding when so many religious traditions of her day were split on dogma and insistent on proselytizing. Juliet’s vision convinced her that interfaith understanding was the only way forward for the human family. Her journey to reignite the interfaith movement in the U.S. was fraught with struggle but ultimately succeeded.

Two days after Juliet began to pray for help, as her husband had suggested, a surprise invitation to dinner resulted in the opportunity to meet Eleanor Roosevelt at a salon in New York City. If anyone could help her, Juliet knew it was this great lady. But with many famous people in attendance, Juliet was about to despair of an audience with Ms. Roosevelt. Then she remembered Dickerman’s words, and she began to pray. Minutes later Eleanor Roosevelt turned to Juliet and asked what she could do to help, and thus began a deep and lasting friendship.

With Eleanor’s letters of introduction, Juliet was able to gain audience with Pope John XXIII, Prime Minister Nehru and President Nasser on a whirlwind tour with her young son Dickerman Jr. in tow. A delightful account of this magical adventure is documented in Juliet’s memoires, “Living My Dream.” Eleanor encouraged the fledgling organization to join the UN as an NGO and Eleanor coined the phrase “A Spiritual United Nations” to describe its mission. The name “Temple of Understanding” was given to Juliet in India by a diplomat’s wife to describe the sacred temple of the body, sacred space, and a place where the divine resides.

Front cover of Juliet Holister’s Living My Dream, her story of the Temple of Understanding.

Obviously inheriting his mother’s belief in the impossible, 10-year-old Dickerman Jr. was “randomly” picking numbers out of the phone book in India to see who might be interested in supporting his mother’s ideas. Juliet’s subsequent cold call to the B.K. Birla household resulted in a meeting with one of the most powerful families in all of India, supporters who became patrons and provided major support for the first Temple of Understand Summit Conference in Calcutta in 1968. Was that luck, chance, or divine guidance? Juliet was always humble and reserved about her belief and deep connection with a universal spiritual guidance beyond any one faith but acknowledged by all religious traditions. She embraced diversity as the crucible in which a connection to the divine was accessible to all of humanity.

This first Summit was attended by eminent religious leaders, including Thomas Merton, who addressed the audience with the defining statement of the interfaith movement, “What we have to discover is that we are already one.” A young Tibetan monk listening to the conference via short wave radio in Dharamsala, India, was so impressed with this unique gathering that he sent his sister to invite Juliet to visit him. This began a lifelong friendship with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who years later, upon receiving the Hollister award, referred to Juliet as my “Lama Mama.”

To know Juliet was to love her. She had a flair for the dramatic and an incorrigible sense of humor. Her innocent curiosity was beguiling – yet many times I witnessed her sharp intellect at work surprising politicians, academics and religious leaders with her grasp of international affairs and her vision of interfaith understanding. Juliet rejoiced in the flourishing of the interfaith movement; she was in attendance when the Parliament of the World’s Religions was formed in 1993 and when United Religions Initiative began in 1995. One of the most remarkable persons in the interfaith movement, Juliet’s contributions were monumental in their scope, and yet her legacy is best remembered by those who knew her personally.
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