Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

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Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby American Dream » Thu Jul 26, 2018 2:26 pm

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Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby liminalOyster » Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:27 pm

Great song by a band I never thought much of. But I don't follow it's place in the thread. What am I missing?
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Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby American Dream » Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:37 pm

Nothing more than that the feeling conveyed speaks somehow of the opening of the Mysteries, of worlds beyond. Or maybe that's just me...
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Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby liminalOyster » Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:20 pm

Thanks - thought I was densely overlooking something critical. I still laugh to remember Fred Armisen was in Damon Locks old band, Trenchmouth.

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Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby American Dream » Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:05 am



The manner in which Bahaism has been packaged since the time of Shoghi Effendi has been an increasing packaging of whiteness. Whatever its pretensions to universalism etc, in every conceivable way, modern Bahaism reflects the values, practices, worldview and perspectives of the white Anglo-European secular bourgeosie. This was the case in Iran under the Pahlavis, which is why the Baha'is were front and center with the levers of power, wealth and influence in their hands under that regime. It has also been the case with the Iranian Baha'i diaspora in the West since 1979.

http://wahidazal.blogspot.com/2018/07/w ... .html#more

elpuma » Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:36 am wrote:The Fatimiya Sufi Order and Ayahuasca

Propaganda Anonymous


The Fatimiya Sufi Order stands unique in its place as a Sufi order with Ayahuasca as a central sacrament. This may be the first Sufi order to utilize the medicine in its rituals, as well as the first mystery school that utilizes Ayhausca in accordance with Islamic and pre-Islamic religious metaphors. The order's founder plans on taking the medicine back to his homeland, Iran.

Originated by Iranian-born N. Wahid Azal in 2005, the Fatimiyas utilize Ayahuasca as their central sacrament, in a syncretic esoteric order that glorifies the archetypes of Islam, as the Santo Daime does Christianity. However, this is only the shell, says Azal. What is most important is the message inside (something I think Padrinho Sebastio may have agreed with). Or in Azal's words, “the exoteric aspect of Islam is merely a symbol to be contemplated rather than simply to be followed for its own sake, since for me behind this symbol there is a deeper esoteric truth that is necessarily beyond all creeds.”

Azal was initiated into Sufism in his twenties, after leaving the Bahai faith he was raised in. Azal professes to follow his own “personal gnostic religion of salvation” which he terms NUR, meaning “light.” I had the opportunity to ask him a few questions.

Prop: How did the Fatimiya Sufi Order come into being?

Wahid: The Fatimiya Sufi Order was born within an Ayahuasca experience I had in mid 2005. In this session La Madre -- whom in its Fatimiya context is referred to in its Iranian denotation as the Simorgh, the Fabulous Gryphon -- epiphanized for me as Fatima Zahra', Fatima the Radiant, namely, the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad. She gave me the directive within this session to begin the (capital 'W') Work of the Fatimiya. Most importantly it was in this session where She revealed in Arabic the Fatimiya formula of the shahada, translated as “testimony,” and made me utter it thirteen times, which is la ilaha illa allah fatima wajh allah, “there is no god but the Godhead, Fatima is the Face of the Godhead.”

Years before, however, and specifically on the night of my Sufi initiation, I had dreamed of Fatima who had likewise initiated me in the Mundus Imaginalis, or the Imaginal World. I dreamed I had entered the sacred precincts of the Ka'aba, in Mecca, on a Night of the Full Moon and there was no one there but me. The doors of the Ka'aba suddenly opened up and a female voice bade me to enter the inner sanctum of the Ka'aba. I entered the Ka'aba and there seated dressed in emerald green and wearing a white headdress, with the words Al-Hayy, translated as “the Living” written in Arabic on the headdress, was Fatima. She bade me to sit in front of Her and then commanded me to open my mouth. Laying next to Her was the double-edged sword of 'Ali, Zu'l-Fiqar. I opened my mouth and She grabbed my tongue and pierced it with Zu'l-Fiqar. Instead of pain, however, I felt ecstasy and was transported in the next scene of the dream to a dazzling desert landscape whose sands consisted of flakes of pure lustrous gold. I stood in this desert watching the Sun rise and as the Sun rose Fatima's face shone from within it fully unveiled. The higher this Imaginal Sun rose to its meridian, the more it formed itself into various shapes and forms, until it finally became the World Tree, the Tree of Life, or the Tree of Reality as I call it, whose roots reached into every expanse of Heaven and earth. I woke up! This was some 13 years or so before the Ayahuasca session just mentioned and it was such a vivid dream I can never forget it!

What role does Ayahuasca play in The Fatimiya Sufi Order?

The Tea is the sacrament forming the central experiential grounding of the Order's Work. Let me say this, though: we don't call the Fatimiya sacrament 'Ayahuasca'. We call it by its ancient Iranian-Mazdean name of 'Haoma'. This came about some two-and-a-half, nearly three years ago now on the insistence of the Ayahuasca itself during a session. During this session La Madre strongly advised that we stop using the Banisteriopsis Caapi Vine and instead opt from there on out to use the Peganum Harmala, or the Rue, instead. We do continue to use the Vine except only as an admixture now rather than as the base, and the Rue we do use comes directly from Iran. For Light, as I have mentioned elsewhere, we use the Peruvian and Hawaiian chacruna together as well as a local Australian acacia.

Note that the Rue has an old and central role in the Mazdean religion of ancient Iran and continues to do so to this very day amongst Iranian Shi'ites, be they Twelver, Isma'ili or Sufi. The Zoroastrians properly consider it to be the most sacred of their herbs, which they constantly burn in their prayer halls, and in Persian it is known as Esfand, also spelled 'Esphand'. Esfand is a shortened version of the Pahlavi form of the name Esfandmorz who is the Avestan Spendarmat or Spenta Armaiti, (trans. 'Holy' or 'Beneficient Devotion'), namely, the Zoroastrian Archangel of the Earth who is one of the six Amesha Spenta (trans. Bounteous Immortals) or archangelic hypostases of the Godhead Ahura Mazda/Ohrmazd. Spendarmat/Esfandomorz is the first amongst the three specifically feminine archangelic hypostases, or 'holy sparks,' of the Godhead, the other three being male, and in Mazdean cosmology She is considered to be the Earth-Mother with the plant itself as Her Theurgy.

The final national Iranian month of the year, Esfand (29 days between February-March), is named after Her in which month the Esfand plant itself is believed to be at its energetic peak. Our own angelology is somewhat different in its superficial external features from the traditional Mazdean one, but the inner intention is identical. For us likewise the final month of the thirteen-month NUR year is dedicated to the titular angelic-divinity of the Earth who with us is known as Hana'il.

Haoma, which is identical to the Vedic Soma, is of course the ancient Mazdean sacrament which, or 'who,' is simultaneously both the king of plants as well as an angel-divinity or titulary angel (Avestan 'yazata'), this time male. He appears mostly in the later Mazdean theology yet according to this later theology he plays a prominent role in the mission of the Prophet Zarathushtra himself in the initiation of the Mazdayasna ('the Good Religion', i.e. the proper Mazdean name for the Zoroastrian faith). The standing epithet of Haoma is "far from death" and he is known as the "lord of knowledge and power."

In terms of the sacrament itself, connections between it and the Esfand have been made in key texts on multiple occasions, leading one to connect the titulary angelic form of the sacrament as being, as it were, under the general patronage of Spendarmat Herself. Since the six Amesha Spenta (Bounteous Immortals) are really primary hypostases of the Singular Godhead, one can safely make the assertion connecting these titulary angelic-divinities (the 'yazatas') such as Haoma as representing further hypostases of the hypostasis. You will also find a similar sort of scheme in Suhrawardi where he speaks of the 'Mothers' (ummahat) (which are longitudinal or vertically situated archetypal-celestial realities) and the various 'Lords of the Species' (arbab al-naw') (i.e. their latitudinal or horizontally situated instantiations). This is for the basic traditional metaphysical symbolism.

Of course, it needs to be underscored here that the contemporary, mainstream Zoroastrian community no longer use the Haoma or conduct the ritual and liturgical-sacrificial ceremonies they once had around it in ancient times. This is so because, just as with the Vedic Soma, knowledge of it amongst their mainstream was lost a long, long time ago, before the Zend Avesta itself was finally codified in its present form. It is possible there are Zoroastrian mobads (priests) out there that still posses this knowledge. But if they do, it is secret knowledge and one not advertised even amongst the mainstream of the community who know nothing of it. Given this, it is quite a bold claim we are making here in asserting that our Tea represents the Haoma. Nevertheless that is what the consciousness behind it has identified itself as to us on multiple occasions now. In fact before La Madre made us change our base from the Vine to the Rue, She insisted for some years before that the Tea was indeed the Haoma/Soma and so therefore its return to my people specifically. We shall see what the Spirit ultimately intends with all this, but it is my goal to take the Fatimiya Haoma to Iran someday soon, Goddess willing, when the present Islamist regime is no longer there, and to hold ceremony atop holy Mount Damavand in the Alborz mountains overlooking Tehran.

On the practical working level, our 'time', if you would, revolves around the sacrament and the ceremony around it -- or Workings as we call them. We usually drink once every fourteen days, that is, twice every NUR month. Before the actual drinking a usual Working begins with a cycle of recitations involving magical invocations and angelic calls, sacred formulas and prayers (in Arabic, Avestan and Sanskrit), and -- just as with the Zoroastrians and many Sufis in Iran -- the use of the Esfand smoke to purify and sacralize our space. There is also a Fatimiya ritual of the pentagram I formulated some years ago which I always use at the very beginning of this process. It involves a sixfold permutation of a single divine name in Arabic whilst drawing the symbol of the pentagram. We use talismans and amulets, all derived from the Islamic Sufi ruhaniya (white magical) tradition, the three most important being the symbol of the Greatest Name (ism al-a'zam) which in Iran is also known as the Dignity of the Sun (sharaf-e-shams); the Khamsa or Hand of Fatima; and a Talisman which was revealed to me some years ago inside an entheogenic state known as the Solomonic-Ka'aba of Eternity. After these preliminary recitations, which depending on the mood or astrological situation can sometimes take over an hour or more to complete, we drink. When we have drunk we begin the first dhikr (mantra) which is usually 4000 recitations of the dhikr of Ya Allah. We build ourselves into a high ecstatic state with this dhikr and by the time it has completed the Simorgh (the Fabulous Gryphon, our denotation for La Madre) has arrived!

Within the Santo Daime there is systematic openness to the notion of channeling spirits, vis-a-vis the work of Allen Kardec. Does the Fatimiya Sufi Order work with similar belief systems of channeling and "possession?" If so, what ideological forms and archetypes are they ensconced within?

This is both a good question as well as a controversial one that would require more than just a few paragraphs to unpack. But to put it bluntly, we basically reject the Kardecian spiritist template and agree with the arguments offered by Rene Guenon in his The Spiritist Fallacy regarding it.

Kardecian spiritism is popular in Brazil and has been part of its culture of spiritual discourse for over a century now. The Santo Daime as well as many of the other Ayahuasca churches over there have appropriated many of its key concepts and points of view. Not to take anything away from the Santo Daime per se or the other churches, but from any Hermetic (and I would argue any Traditional shamanic) conception of the universe there are grave problems with many of the perspectives offered by Kardecian spiritism as it is conceived. This is not to say that mediumship does not have its proper place in any genuine esoteric work. After all the role of the Oracle has been a central one in many traditional cultures and civilizations, and continues to be in many indigenous shamanic cultures even today. The bona fide shaman in my view is an Oracle. But there is a difference between the traditional Oracle and the modern channeler, and the breed of New Age channeler that Kardecian spiritism has spawned is not a traditional Oracle at all. In other words, these two, the New Age channeler and the traditional Oracle, are definitely not the same thing.

The function of the Oracle is fundamentally a prophetic one in the true sense of that word, and he or she is literally possessed by the spirit or divinity on whose behalf it speaks. This is, in my view, real possession by Spirit when the possession especially is coming from a higher plane, since such possession is really a hierophany, which then makes the recipient of such hierophany a hierophant.

You will also note, for example, that at the Temple of Apollo at Delphi in Ancient Greece the Oracle only prophesied once every seven days and not every day or at the whim of every terrestrial beckoning. Oracles in ancient times were also trained in their roles for long periods of time and were essentially initiated into it. They also exhibited certain unique traits and features different from most average mortals and were usually found quite young. In fact the life of an ancient temple Oracle was no different than that of many Tibetan Buddhist lamas, particularly in those schools of Tibetan Buddhism where a given lama incarnates (tulku) perpetually from body to body in each age.

To put it another way, the Oracle as hierophant and intercessor between Heaven and earth is a shaman-prophet(ess). Modern mediums and the urban cosmopolitan breed of New Age channelers are as far from that reality as one can possibly get, which is why, in my view, the contemporary scene seems to breed endless quackery and charlatanry in that regard. Also the question needs to be asked, what exactly are the contemporary Kardecian New Age channelers opening themselves up to? Personally I do not believe it to be the kind of Spirit (or spirits) that, for example, we meet speaking to Hermes Trismegistus in the tractate Poimandres of the Corpus Hermeticum.

For us, the question is not about 'channeling' this or that disincarnate entity at all, nor do we believe it is the goal of genuine spiritual work to be 'channeling' such beings. Our goal is to attain full realization of our Celestial-Angelic Double, the syzygy or Perfect Nature, what the Western esoteric tradition calls the Holy Guardian Angel. The consummation of this, to us, is what the Alchemical Tradition refers to as palingenesis (alchemical resurrection). To that end, the following Hymn to the Perfect Nature by Suhrawardi beautifully illustrates what our fundamental aims are in that regard:

O Thou, my Lord and Prince, most Holy Angel, my most precious and beloved spiritual being! Thou art my father and my mother, the Sun and the Moon, who gave birth to me in the world of the Pure Spirit, and Thou art my child and sibling in the world of my thought! With divine permission Thou art entirely dedicated to the government of my person! Thou art the one whose fervor intercedes for me before the Godhead, the God of all Gods, to make up for my deficiencies! O Thou who art clothed in the utmost radiance of the divine Lights! O Thou who resides at the summit of the degrees of perfection, I implore Thee, through the One who has overwhelmed Thee with such sublime nobility, who hath bestowed upon Thee such an immense effusion of grace! O precious one, may Thou manifest Thyself to me at the hour of the Supreme Epiphany! May Thou showest me Thy resplendent Face! May Thou be my mediator before the God of Gods in the effusion of the Siniatic Light of mystical Secrets! May Thou lift the veils of darkness from my heart! This I pray in the name of the One who hath claim over Thee and ranks over Thee! I call upon Thee, O Powers and sublime spiritual Angels, O Ye who art the wisdom of the sages, the sagacity of the seers and the knowledge of the wise! Hearken unto me and appear before me and bring me near to Thy magisterium! Guide me with Thy wisdom and protect me with Thy powers! Make me understand what I do not understand, realize what I do not realize and see what I do not see! Turn me away from the dangers that lurk in the ignorance, the forgetfulness and the hardness of my heart, in order to have me attain to the ranks of the ancient sages and inspired prophets, in whose hearts wisdom, insight, vigilance, discernment and comprehension made their permanent indwelling! May Thou also live forever in the innermost recesses of my heart, and never ever separate Thyself from me! Amen.

Can you please explain the role of Henry Corbin in the philosophy of your Sufi order? And what other scholars and holy men and women provide great insight to what you all are about?

The writings and visionary scholarship of Henry Corbin function as the theoretical framework and backdrop behind the Fatimiya's (for lack of a better word) basic 'doctrine'. By theory, however, I am speaking of theoria in the Greek sense of that word, i.e. contemplation. Corbin's spirited championing of the transformative power of the Active Imagination (not fantasy) as a divine faculty -- and, moreover, a faculty capable of a personal salvation within a secular world increasingly beset by totalitarianisms of all kinds -- is basically a gnostic intuition of the highest order and one needed to be more widely listened to. This is so because it is through the Active Imagination (capital 'I') whereby the soul as stranger to itself, and as prisoner within its own cosmic crypt of a materialized world, can ultimately find its unique individuated liberation and so its way back to Itself (i.e. to its heavenly Person or Twin, the Angel-of-its-being, its Daena, Perfect Nature, paredros or syzygy) and thus finally to the Celestial Pleroma of the All-Light.

Indigenous shamanisms the world over would whole heartedly agree here as well. Corbin's personal faith also rested on the trinity of "Earth, Angel and Woman." For us it is the other way around, "Woman, Angel and Earth," but the points of origin and departure remain fundamentally the same. Amongst the Fatimiyun I have often referred to Henry Corbin as a contemporary Magister Illuminatus, i.e. Master of Illumination, shaykh'ul-ishraq.

This is a title the 12th century martyr and Neo-Zoroastrian Hermeto-Platonic Sufi sage Shihabuddin Yahya Suhrawardi is known by, and a rank which according to his Illuminationist theosophy always requires an occupant in the world. While Suhrawardi in his own time revived the Wisdom (hikmat/khirad/sophia) of the sages of Ancient Pre-Islamic Persia through a largely Neoplatonic and Sufi interpretative lense, Corbin revived Suhrawardi's Ishraqi (illuminationist) theosophy of Light, Shi'ite gnosis in all its various hues and the entire esoteric legacy of Iranian spirituality for the world beyond the confines of the Islamic east.

Within his career, spanning some five decades, he had made, as it were, the initiatic pilgrimage to the Orient of Light (mashriq al-nur) through a fruitful academic and literary career which saw his orientation move intellectually from Heidegger to Suhrawardi (microcosm) and geographically from Paris to Tehran (macrocosm). To us, his emphasis on an emanationist metaphysics tempered by ecstasy and the Active Imagination, while simultaneously informed by a sophisticated comparative Angelology that proclaims a path of spiritual individuation, is precisely what the doctor ordered beyond both the paradoxical conundrums of the exoteric monotheisms as well as those spiritual stultifications of secular (post-)modernity or the fluffery of the New Age. In short, Corbin is the Platonist's quintessential contemporary Platonist, and we Fatimiyun are unashamed Platonists!

Henry Corbin aside, amongst the holy figures of the greater Tradition the writings and legacy of the 19th century Prophet-Messiah of Shiraz, Siyyid 'Ali Muhammad Shirazi, the Essence of the Seven Letters, the Primal Point, the Bab, are very important to us. In one sense the Fatimiya is in the greater Islamicate scheme of things very much a Neo-Babi or Neo-Bayani movement.

Babism, or the Bayani gnostic faith, was the original movement or religion that the contemporary Baha'i faith eventually emerged out of in the 1860s as the chief schism. From one point of view, the Bab and Babism was a sort of esoteric Twelver Shi'ite melding with Isma'ilism and Sufism -- something that would have made Henry Corbin salivate had Babism been correctly represented to him. While the Fatimiya's point of departure goes well beyond many of Babism's, at least exoteric, assumptions, we are nevertheless attempting to revive some of its core notions in our own way, albeit expanded beyond its originary suppositions.

For example, in its novel and even radical reinterpretation of the symbolic narrative of Adam and Eve in Genesis, the Bab's early commentary on the Quranic Surah of the Cow (al-baqara) is particularly apropos to what we are about. In it the Bab basically re-narrates the symbolic narrative of the fall of Adam (turning the features of the story on its head in the process) and states that it wasn't due to any sin committed by Eve that the fall occured. Rather the fall occurs because Adam failed to approach his wife in ecstasy in order to recognize her transfiguration as Fatima (or, the Divine Feminine) within the celestial Tree of Reality. In other words, the sin of the fall was Adam's and not Eve's. Let me quote you one of its key passages,

“And a thing may not draw nigh to [anything] beyond its origin. So when Adam drew nigh to the Tree of Reality (shajarat’ul-haqîqa) shining forth from Fatima [i.e. the transfiguration of Eve] by means of the drawing nigh of existence, he disobeyed his Lord, because God commanded him not to approach it, except through ecstasy (al-wijdân). Because at the time of ecstasy the 'thing drawn nigh unto' is the Tree and nothing other than it.” (Trans. Todd Lawson, “The Authority of the Feminine and Fatima’s Place in an Early Work by the Bab,” 2001).

For a 19th century Twelver Shi'ite, even a heterodox one, that is quite a profound Tantric statement, not to mention a statement of narrative not too dissimilar in its features to the Nag Hammadi Gnostic text known as the Apocalypse of Adam. I earlier mentioned Tahirih Qurrat'ul-'Ayn. Together with the Bab, her corpus of remaining writings (mostly poetry with only one or two prose works) are important as are the writings of the Bab's successor Subh-i-Azal. Additionally the collection of the esoteric sayings and statements of the Shi'ite Imams (as well as their treatment by assorted authors such as Rajab Bursi and Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsa'i) are continually reflected upon. Two of these are of special note here, these being the hadith kumayl or hadith al-haqiqa (the Tradition of Ultimate Reality) and the khutba tatanjiya (the Sermon Between the Two Gulfs).

Many other figures of the greater Tradition can be mentioned here, but the Hermes Trismegistus of the Corpus Hermeticum (particularly of the Poimandres) is germane as are all the pagan Neoplatonists from Plotinus to Proclus. The 12th/13th century Andalusian Sufi master Muhiyiddin Ibn 'Arabi is also one of our poles (aqtab), not to mention the earlier Persian Sufis such as Husayn ibn Mansour al-Hallaj, Ahmad Ghazzali and Ruzbehan Baqli. In magic and our practice of the Craft, the writings of Shaykh Ahmad al-Buni stand in a league of their own. Within the Indo-Aryan spectrum of things, the Prophet Zarathushtra is considered to be a holy figure by our Order and the Avesta is taken as scripture alongside the Qur'an and other Abrahamic Holy Books, not to mention Shakta Tantra texts such as the Devi Mahatmyam and the Mahanirvana Tantra.

Amongst contemporary Western figures, the writings of the Italian Julius Evola are core to our Work as are those of the Frenchman Rene Guenon. While we take the Neo-Traditionalist perspective represented by Evola and Guenon seriously, I should mention here as well that we are stricly speaking not Neo-Traditionalists and have some of our own philosophical disagreements and beefs with a few salient features of their overall point of view.

What does the future hold for The Fatimya Sufi Order?

Our future is literaly in the hands of the Great Mother, Fatima, the Simorgh. We do however wish to diffuse this Work more widely amongst those cross-sections of the Iranian community open to it, since it is very much needed there, and as mentioned earlier, the dream is one day to hold ceremony atop holy Mount Damavand in a free Iran. We do also envision a continuity to the Work of the Fatimiya after our present generation and to that end I should mention that in many ways what the Fatimiya is attempting to do is to return the sacredotal function of the hierophant back to woman as the holy initiatrix. In other words, within that specific cultural matrix, the role of the High Priest or shaykh has in our view expended itself and so must henceforth give way to that of the High Priestess or shaykha as penultimate intercessor between Heaven and earth. As such, in practical terms, we envision the future leadership of the Fatimiya Sufi Order to be in the hands of women who will take this Work to its higher levels of actualization, the Godhead willing!

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Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby American Dream » Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:44 pm

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Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby American Dream » Tue Jul 31, 2018 6:19 pm

Fortean Times: 2018-08-01

Read: https://www.pressreader.com/uk/fortean- ... 9536267172

American Dream » Fri Mar 03, 2017 8:35 pm wrote:Savitri Devi: The strange story of how a Hindu Hitler worshipper became an alt-right icon


A passionate animal rights activist and ecologist, she reportedly supported the death penalty for those who didn't respect animals.

She corresponded with fascists around the world, and associated with Britons Colin Jordan, leader of the World Union of National Socialists, and John Tyndall, leader of the National Front.

After retiring in 1970, she lived at the home of her friend Francoise Dior, the Nazi underground financier and niece of fashion designer Christian Dior, but was kicked out after reportedly not washing for the duration of her stay and chewing on garlic all day. She moved back to India, living alone with her pet cats and a cobra.

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/savitri-devi-s ... on-1608413
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Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby Elvis » Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:06 am

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-ne ... A8DiO.html

Telangana man worships photo of Donald Trump every day

Bussa Krishna says he began worshipping Donald Trump after he was pained by the killing of Srinivas Kuchibotla in an alleged hate crime in the US.

india Updated: Jun 21, 2018 22:03 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad


For Bussa Krishna, US President Donald Trump is no less than a god.

The 31-year-old small farmer from the remote Konne village in Telangana’s Jangaon district has installed a photograph of Trump in his puja room and worships it every day along with other Hindu gods. He offers vermillion, turmeric, flowers and at the end of his prayer does “aarti” to the photograph.

The idea of worshipping the US president struck Krishna after Srinivas Kuchibhotla, a software engineer from the state, was killed by a US navy veteran in an alleged act of hate crime in February last year.

“I was very much pained at the incident. I thought the only way the US president and his people could understand the greatness of Indians is to display our love and affection towards them. That is why I started worshipping Trump with a hope that the prayers would reach him one day,” he said.

“I believe Indians can win over anyone with their spiritual powers. When you cannot take on a mighty person directly, you can win over him with love and worship and that is what I am doing,” he added.


Worshipping politicians is not new to Indians as followers across the country have given divine status to political leaders as well as movie stars by erecting their statues and building temples to them.

Fans of late movie star turned chief minister MG Ramachandran have built several temples and shrines in neighbouring Tamil Nadu. His protege and late AIADMK leader J Jayalalithaa was also worshipped as a goddess and called Amma or mother by many of her supporters.

Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a temple dedicated to him in Rajkot, a city his home state of Gujarat. He was later removed after he expressed his disapproval, saying he was appalled.

Ironically, Krishna does not know much about Trump.

“I only know that he is the most strong and invincible leader in the world. What I liked about him was his bold attitude. Since he took part in World Wrestling Federation (WWF) competitions, he must be very powerful,” the school dropout said.

Krishna regularly posts photographs of him worshipping the US president on his Facebook page – Krish Raj.

“Nobody took me seriously and some people even called me a mad fellow, wondering how prayers in a remote village would reach Trump. But I have a strong faith in what I am doing,” he said.

Krishna even claimed that he received a message from Trump on Twitter on June 19.

“Krish from India is a very close friend of mine; out of the billions and billions of Indians, he is my favourite. He’s able to channel dragon energy from worshipping my photos; may be low-energy Jeb Bush should give it a try; I’d be happy send him a pic! See you soon Krish!” the message read.

It could not be independently verified whether the message was genuine but Krishna was on cloud nine.

“I am extremely happy to receive a message from Trump. I am sure he will remember me if he comes to India,” he said.

"It seems to be what we have now is a political system which has essentially become, for the last thirty or forty years, a war on the human imagination."
(David Graeber)
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Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby American Dream » Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:38 am

Sometimes I think Stockholm Syndrome goes farther than we commonly accept- both in regards to Trump, and far beyond.
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Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby American Dream » Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:55 am


Goddesses of antiquity offer Moses a path away from patriarchy – via funk and soul

The Book of Exodus chronicles the Israelites’ flight from slavery in Egypt under the guidance of Moses, and their eventual covenant with the Abrahamic God. While Jews celebrate this founding myth as a triumph, the Jewish US writer, cartoonist and filmmaker Nina Paley wonders whether the events of Exodus might represent a disaster rather than a triumph: The episode marks a pivot away from ‘humankind’s original deity’ Mother Earth, towards ‘agriculture, and its attendant sins of property, hierarchy and slavery’. Her animated feature film Seder-Masochism (2018) recasts the events from Exodus as a struggle between the prehistorical ‘Great Mother’ and the Abrahamic ‘forces of patriarchy’. In this brief excerpt from the film, feminine figurines and statues of goddesses from antiquity tower above a rather small and forlorn Moses. Capturing the triumphant spirit of the traditional Exodus reading, and turning it on its head, they dance and sing – somewhat surreally – to The Pointer Sisters’ 1976 hit ‘You Gotta Believe’, its repeated refrain asking ‘You gotta believe in something, why not believe in me?’
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Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby American Dream » Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:25 am

This Parasite Drugs Its Hosts With the Psychedelic Chemical in Shrooms

It also makes their butts fall off.


Imagine emerging into the sun after 17 long years spent lying underground, only for your butt to fall off.

That ignominious fate regularly befalls America’s cicadas. These bugs spend their youth underground, feeding on roots. After 13 or 17 years of this, they synchronously erupt from the soil in plagues of biblical proportions for a few weeks of song and sex. But on their way out, some of them encounter the spores of a fungus called Massospora.

A week after these encounters, the hard panels of the cicadas’ abdomens slough off, revealing a strange white “plug.” That’s the fungus, which has grown throughout the insect, consumed its organs, and converted the rear third of its body into a mass of spores. The de-derriered insects go about their business as if nothing unusual has happened. And as they fly around, the spores rain down from their exposed backsides, landing on other cicadas and saturating the soil. “We call them flying saltshakers of death,” says Matt Kasson, who studies fungi at West Virginia University.

Massospora and its butt-eating powers were first discovered in the 19th century, but Kasson and his colleagues have only just shown that it has another secret: It doses its victims with mind-altering drugs. Perhaps that’s why “the cicadas walk around as if nothing’s wrong even though a third of their body has fallen off,” Kasson says.

To study these fungi, “you really have to be in the right place at the right time,” Kasson says. For him, the time was May 2016, when billions of periodical cicadas emerged throughout the northeastern United States. He and his colleagues collected around 150 of the unfortunate saltshakers. And a year later, a colleague supplemented this collection with infected banger-wing cicadas—a different species that emerges annually.

Greg Boyce, a member of Kasson’s team, looked at all the chemicals found in the white fungal plugs of the various cicadas. And to his shock, he found that the banger-wings were loaded with psilocybin—the potent hallucinogen found in magic mushrooms. “At first, I thought: There’s absolutely no way,” he says. “It seemed impossible.” After all, no one has ever detected psilocybin in anything other than mushrooms, and those fungi have been evolving separately from Massospora for around 900 million years.

The surprises didn’t stop there. “I remember looking over at Greg one night and he had a strange look on his face,” Kasson recalls. “He said, ‘Have you ever heard of cathinone?’” Kasson hadn’t, but a quick search revealed that it’s an amphetamine. It had never been found in a fungus before. Indeed, it was known only from the khat plant that has long been chewed by people from the Middle East and the Horn of Africa. But apparently, cathinone is also produced by Massaspora as it infects periodical cicadas.

The team took great pains to check that Massospora really does contain these unexpected drugs. They showed that the substances are found only in the infected cicadas and not in the uninfected ones. They found that the fungus has the right genes for making these chemicals, and contains the precursor substances that you’d expect.

And at some point during this work, it dawned on Kasson that he was working with illicit substances. Psilocybin, in particular, is a Schedule I drug, and researchers who study it need a permit from the Drug Enforcement Administration. “I thought: Oh, crap,” he says. “Then I thought: OH CRAP. The DEA is going to come in here, tase me, and confiscate my flying saltshakers.”

He sent them an email. “This is … interesting,” read the initial response. “You have to understand that this is not something we normally get emails about.” After some discussion, the agency decided that no permit was required, since the drug is found in such small quantities within the cicadas, and since Kasson had no plans for concentrating it.

I asked Kasson if it’s possible to get high by eating Massospora-infected cicadas. Surprisingly, he didn’t say no. “Based on the ones we looked at, it would probably take a dozen or more,” he said. But it’s possible that earlier in the infections, before the conspicuous saltshaker stage, the fungus might pump out higher concentrations of these chemicals. Why? Kasson suspects that the drugs help the fungus control its hosts.

Infected cicadas behave strangely. Despite their horrific injuries, males become hyperactive and hypersexual. They frenetically try to mate with anything they can find, including with other males. They’ll even mimic the wing-flicking signals of females to lure males toward them. None of this does them any good—their genitals have either been devoured by the fungus or have fallen off with the rest of their butts. Instead, this behavior only benefits the fungus, allowing its spores to find new hosts.

Kasson suspects that cathinone and psilocybin are responsible for at least some of these behaviors. “If I had a limb amputated, I probably wouldn’t have a lot of pep in my step,” he said. “But these cicadas do. Something is giving them a bit more energy. The amphetamine could explain that.”

Psilocybin’s role is harder to explain. The drug might make humans hallucinate, but no one knows if cicadas would similarly trip. There is, however, a theory that magic mushrooms evolved psilocybin to reduce the appetites of insects that might compete with them for decaying wood. Perhaps by suppressing the appetites of cicadas, Massospora nudges them away from foraging and toward incessant mating.

There are many parasitic fungi that manipulate the behavior of insect hosts, including the famous Ophiocordyceps fungi, which can turn ants into zombies. “There’s a lot of curiosity about how these fungi might actually manipulate behavior, and this is the first time that anyone has identified chemical compounds that could play that role,” says Kathryn Bushley from the University of Minnesota. “That’s really significant.”

The discovery opens up a lot of questions, says Corrie Moreau from the Field Museum of Natural History. What exactly do these drugs do to the cicadas? And, she wonders, “do other cicada-infecting fungi share these same molecules, or has each manipulating fungus evolved a unique compound to induce the desired behavior?”

“And maybe there are other players involved,” Kasson added. He pointed to another study, which I wrote about last week, in which a different fungus seems to use a virus to control the minds of flies. “We might think that it’s just a host and a fungus, but maybe it’s more complicated than that.

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/arc ... ts/566324/
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Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby American Dream » Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:11 pm


"Have Drugs, Will Travel": An Excerpt from Graphic Novel "Confessions of a College Kingpin"

Journalist Seth Ferranti details his evolution from LSD kingpin to fugitive-on-the-run in this graphic novel excerpt. What will catch up to him first — the law or his inner demons?

Tuesday 07/31/2018
by Seth Ferranti

"Have drugs, will travel."

This was journalist and filmmaker Seth Ferranti's motto as a drug dealing teenage suburbanite who plied his trade in the heart of Americana.

Confessions of a College Kingpin relates his story of becoming an LSD and marijuana kingpin at the height of the War on Drugs. Ferranti went from a casual drug user, to a 24/7 stoner, to a reputable hustler by the age of 19, all before his future was pulled out from under him.

After getting busted by the police, the young gun ended up on the U.S. Marshals' Most Wanted list after faking his own death and going on the lam. When caught at age 22, Ferranti was sentenced to 25 years in prison for a first-time, nonviolent offense.

The former "poster boy" of prohibition has previously detailed his harrowing experiences within the criminal justice system for MERRY JANE, but now readers have the chance to embrace his "can't make it up" journey through the drug war in the form of a vibrant graphic novel. Check out an excerpt from issue #2 below, and order the whole release through Comixology here.

What will catch up to him first — the law or his inner demons?


More: https://merryjane.com/culture/confessio ... -july-2018
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Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby American Dream » Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:35 pm


INTERVIEW | Getting Gritty With Seth Ferranti – From selling acid to prison to graphic novels & more

Saira Viola: Tell me about the first time you took weed ?

Seth Ferranti: I smoked weed for the first-time when I was 13 years old. I was living in San Jose, California, and bought some tai sticks off this jerry-curled black guy. I was an All American Kid. I played sports and sung in the choir. I was a mama’s boy, but after that first joint my life kind of went on a different path. I started getting into drugs and partying and girls and money.

S.V. How does a self-confessed choir-singing mama’s boy from a safe, white, middle class neighbourhood go from smoking weed to distributing more than 100,000 doses of LSD?

S.F. I took to selling drugs naturally. LSD and marijuana mostly. I used to follow the Grateful Dead. Not necessarily for the music. I was chasing an acid connect. I got one too. Mail order straight from San Francisco. I would get 100 sheets of acid a month. I was living in Fairfax, Virginia. Right outside of our nation’s capital and I was flooding East Coast colleges with acid and kind bud. I liked to trip on acid. I felt like it expanded my mind. I envisioned myself as a kind of counterculture outlaw. Supplying acid and pot, things that are being used medically now. It was a natural progression. People just trusted me when I said I could move stuff. I remember convincing this Mexican cartel guy to stash 500 pounds of weed at one of my apartments. I was just good at stuff like that so I rose in the drug dealer hierarchy fast. I was scoring ounces from my older godbrother at the age of 16 and at nineteen he was selling pounds for me.

S.V. By the time you were 19 you were supplying 15 Colleges in 5 states with LSD and weed pulling in 20/30K a month. What did your parents think you were doing ?

S.F. Well I had my own place from the age of 17 onwards. I had a place at my parents too of course but I was hardly ever there. My parents were in denial. They didn’t want to believe that their little baby boy could be doing stuff like that. But it was evident. I didn’t work, I didn’t go to school, but I had money and a lot of money all the time. Plus I traveled all the time and went wherever I wanted when I wanted. It was probably the most free time of my life but I ended up in the penitentiary. I don’t regret anything that I did. It was all a learning experience for me. I was addicted to the money, the drugs, and the power. When you are the man, as in drug dealer, it’s like being a rock star for real. It just kind of snowballed and I thought it would never end. It was one big party. Looking back, I was kind of naive and even stupid in a way. All my friends from high school graduated and went off to college. I would drive up and see them once or twice a month and sell drugs to them and all their friends. Colleges go through a lot of drugs. I could have saved some of that money. But when money flows into your hands like water it flows out of your hands like water too.


S.V. Did you learn anything about the effects of LSD ?

S.F. I took 75 hits of acid once. I ended up crawling down these steps backwards in Three Rivers Stadium after a Dead show because it was like a cliff to me.

http://gonzotoday.com/2017/11/15/interv ... -novels-2/
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Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby liminalOyster » Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:33 pm

Portrait of the sakyong as a fallen man
Shambhala Buddhism reckons with its #MeToo moment and contemplates a path forward.
By Stephanie Domet

Correction: This story originally stated the Shambhala School is owned by Shambhala International. While the two organizations share a name, they are not affiliated. The story has been updated to reflect this.

Rhonda Newcombe can’t look her guru in the eye. There are a couple reasons for that, chief among them the allegations against Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche of sexual abuse and assault.

The last time she was at the Halifax Shambhala Centre, for a community meeting, Newcombe found it unnerving to see all the books up on display, and to see his picture up on the wall. And though Newcombe has a student-teacher relationship with the sakyong, “there’s no going to him and saying, ‘This is how I feel about you,’ and getting some kind of feedback on that.”

On Monday, June 25, Mipham sent a letter to his community acknowledging that he had “engaged in relationships with women in the Shambhala community” and apologizing for “experiences of feeling harmed” some women had reported “as a result of these relationships.” Three days later, allegations were published that the sakyong had sexually assaulted two women and had an emotionally abusive sexual relationship with another. And nearly two weeks after those allegations—as detailed in a report from an initiative called Project Sunshine—the sakyong once more addressed his community in a letter.

Expressing “complete heartbreak,” “sorrow” and “accountability” for the pain Shambhalians were feeling, Mipham said he fully supports a third-party investigation of the allegations against him. He also said he would step back from his teaching and administrative roles in Shambhala International.

“I stood up in the Shambhala Centre,” Newcombe says, recalling that community meeting in July, “and said what I would ask him is: If these teachings are so absolutely precious, why would you do such things and think it would never come back?”

She shakes her head, incredulity on her face creasing into sorrow. “So, you know, I am absolutely heartbroken.”

Newcombe should brace for more heartbreak.

Both of the first two Buddhism Project Sunshine reports (the first, published February 15, included allegations of assault against teachers and community members) indicate evidence that the spiritual organization’s governing body knew about the allegations of harm by their leader and either did little to nothing to assist the people who said they’d been assaulted or, at worst, actively covered up and perhaps enabled the behaviour to continue.

Andrea Winn, who wrote those reports based on investigations by lawyer Carol Merchasin, says a third will be released on August 23. She predicts, with confidence, that its impact on the sakyong will be serious.

“He’s not going to be able to return to lead this community.”


The 55-year-old Mipham heads an international religious organization with more than 200 centres primarily in Canada, the United States, Europe and South America. In Halifax, the Shambhala Buddhist community (or sangha) comprised around 480 members at the time of this writing, though Shambhala Centre director Michelle Munro allows that may change in coming weeks.

“We have lost a small percentage of members. Any loss of members is challenging as a community and impactful to our financial stability. But it certainly is not daily. Or in droves.”

That financial stability is a very real concern. Members of the Halifax centre on Tower Road provide a monthly donation, and many serve as volunteers to help the centre carry out its work of offering drop-in meditation sessions, along with classes and retreats to practicing students and sometimes the general public.

Shambhala International’s headquarters are here in Halifax and the sakyong maintains a residence—a mansion on the Northwest Arm called the Kalapa Court—at which he spends about a month per year. In addition to the Halifax Shambhala Centre, Nova Scotia is also home to two retreat centres—Gampo Abbey in Pleasant Bay, Cape Breton and Dorje Denma Ling, near Tatamagouche.

The Shambhala School in north end Halifax, meanwhile, shares a name with Shambhala, and emphasizes mindfulness practice, but is not affiliated with Shambhala International. It's a nondenominational independent school.

The sangha’s roots in this city go back to the late 1970s, when five families—all students of the sakyong’s father, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche—moved to Nova Scotia. Trungpa moved here himself from Boulder, Colorado in 1986, and many of his students followed.

Marguerite Drescher’s parents were among those trailblazers. They arrived in 1979, and she was born into Shambhala Buddhism two years later. Drescher owns Brave Space, which facilitates workshops and offers leadership training, among other services. She’s been thinking a lot about the sangha and her place in it—not just in the last few months, but for several decades.

“I am a member of the loyal resistance,” she offers, with a twist of a grin. “Shambhala is my community. It’s my home, my family. The birthright teachings and culture that I was offered have continued to be incredibly meaningful to me—but I have railed against the toxic structures in our community, since I became aware of them.”

She was not surprised by the allegations in the first Project Sunshine report. Drescher says she knew of similar experiences. Still, there was an element of shock for her at how numbed she had become to those stories.

“How could I have not been more outraged?” she asks. “How did this get so normalized in me that I haven’t completely ditched, or been screaming my head off?”

In fact, Drescher has been screaming her head off. When she was 16, she and a group of seven or eight other girls wrote a letter to the local Shambhala Centre newspaper, calling out some men in their community for the way they objectified teenage girls.

“Creepy old man stuff,” she says. “They would make comments like, ‘Ooh, the beautiful dakinis.’ It was just this objectifying yuck. The weird hugs.”

And the women and men in her life seemed to dismiss all the behaviour as just the way things were.

“There was an air of, ‘Oh, it’s different here, in our spiritual bubble. It’s not the same as the world out there,’” she says. “I can’t say a particular person said it to me at a particular time, but it’s what I learned.”
“When you take a vow to a teacher and that teacher harms you and you have to continue to bow to that person, to supplicate, it’s so harmful.”
click to tweet
Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche was born in Tibet in 1939. He was the lineage holder of the Vajrayana school of Tibetan Buddhism and for the Shambhala teachings, which were mainly concerned with using mindfulness meditation to help create an enlightened society with a core belief in basic human goodness.

Trungpa left Tibet in the uprising and fled with the Dalai Lama to India. He studied at Oxford, lived and taught meditation in Scotland for a time (where David Bowie was one of his students) and in 1970, then 31 years old, he married a wealthy 16-year-old and emigrated to America.

He was a controversial guru, who smoked, drank and had sex with his students. Trungpa coined the phrase “crazy wisdom” to describe some of the boundary pushing ways in which he sought to wake up his students. On one well-documented occasion at a Colorado retreat in 1975, he sent his guards—the Dorje Kasung—to break into the room of poet WS Merwin and his girlfriend Dana Naone and take them both, against their will, to a party where they were stripped naked while Naone begged for help.

In 1976, Trungpa empowered Thomas Rich as Vajra Regent, making him the next lineage holder of the Vajrayana teachings. The next year, he visited Nova Scotia for the first time, and began to think about moving his followers here. In 1979, he empowered his eldest son Osel Mukpo, then 17 years old, as successor to the Shambhala lineage. Trungpa died in Halifax in 1987, likely of complications arising from alcohol abuse.

Thomas Rich, the Vajra Regent, was a physical therapist from New Jersey. He met Trungpa in Colorado in 1971 and began studying with him. Trungpa would later write that Rich was his “prime student.”

Rich assumed leadership of Trungpa’s organization in 1987 and held it till his own death, of complications arising from HIV/AIDS, in 1990. Rich knew about his diagnosis for three years, and withheld it from his community of students and sex partners (many were both). Some contracted HIV. One subsequently contracted AIDS and infected his own partner before dying. At least one man (who was straight and married) accused Rich of rape.

This was the Buddhist community Osel Mukpo inherited. Born in 1962, he’s said to be a reincarnation of Mipham the Great. The future sakyong spent the first seven years of his life in a refugee camp in India with his mother, a Buddhist nun, while his father studied at Oxford. He eventually joined Trungpa in Scotland when he was seven and followed his father to Colorado in 1972.

He was 25 when his father died, and 33 when he took his seat as Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, holder of the Vajrayana lineage and the Shambhala teachings.

Marguerite Drescher remembers him as shy and awkward, growing up in Halifax. Though she’d heard stories of his “bad-boy behaviour” and knew people who had relationships with him, she always thought it wasn’t that bad.

“I did go to parties, we went out to Reflections after Shambhala events,” she says. “My girlfriend at the time and I danced with him at Reflections, and went back to the Court with lots of people, but I had no inkling that the kinds of things that were [alleged] in that report were happening.”

Others never saw that “bad-boy behaviour.” Julia Creighton hews to an old Buddhist teaching that students should “live three valleys away from their teacher.” Or, in this case, in Chester. She had no idea Mipham drank. The accusations against him left her shocked.

Creighton and her husband became students of Trungpa Rinpoche when he arrived in Nova Scotia in the ’80s. After he died, Creighton continued her studies with the sakyong.

Not everyone made that transition so easily. After Mipham took his seat and merged the Shambhala and Vajrayana teachings into Shambhala Buddhism, many in the sangha rebelled. Some longtime members saw a young man who was learning, sometimes faltering, to take his seat. It seemed Mipham had a disparate plan from his father’s vision. Some people weren’t willing to stick it out.

Creighton, though, studied with the sakyong and took Samaya with him. It’s the most advanced of a series of vows a Shambhala Buddhism student might take. It’s also complicated to explain, says Noel McLellan, senior teacher in Halifax who was born to Shambhalian parents and grew up in Colorado.

“It’s basically vowing to understand yourself as being in a very alive relationship with reality. I can’t escape from it so I’ll be with it, surrender to it, relate to it wholeheartedly.”

He acknowledges that’s a big bite to chew. So Shambhalians who take Samaya in fact “begin with a relationship with the teacher, and have the aspiration to open themselves unconditionally to their teacher.”

For some students who spoke with The Coast, this means viewing their teacher as the Buddha—enlightened, moral, impeccable, even. And for many, that’s been hard to square with what this man is alleged to have done.
“Shambhala isn’t the sakyong. He’s one senior teacher. Buddhism is very old. It’s not owned by him.”
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The first draft of the Buddhism Project Sunshine Phase One report was an admission of failure.

Andrea Winn, who’d grown up in a Buddhist family in California and Colorado, among other places, had spent a year trying to gather stories of sexual assault and abuse in Shambhala. Winn’s own experience, as she writes in the Phase One report, was one of childhood sexual abuse.

She alleges that most Shambhala children in her generation have been abused.

“A good friend of mine went to the 20-some people in my generation and there were only two of them that were not sexually abused,” she says. “And that generation includes Osel Mukpo, the current sakyong.”

Winn, now 50, doesn’t know if her friend asked the sakyong. She does know it’s been difficult for people in Shambhala to speak about what’s happened. When she first emailed everyone she could think of, explaining she was trying to gather stories, she didn’t receive a single one.

She was ready to call Project Sunshine a failure. She’d lived with her own secrets and demons for long enough, but it seemed that would be the end of things. But a posting in a Facebook group shook out a few stories. Then a few more. Anonymous accounts detailed an emotionally abusive marriage with a senior teacher; a sexual assault at the home of a woman who held a leadership position in the Halifax sangha, who would not reveal to the assaulted woman the name of her assailant; a genderqueer man who was assaulted by a sangha member on retreats; and many more.

In each case, the person at the heart of the story sought some help through their local Shambhala Centre or with teachers they knew. In each case, they felt unheard and unhelped.

Once the Phase One report came out in February, things started happening quickly. Winn was gratified people had come forward, and wasn’t surprised when more continued to find the strength to say what they had experienced.

“I knew there were stories,” she says. “There’s another woman in [Halifax] who for years had been doing the work of receiving women who’d been abused. So I knew it was widespread.”

Winn presented her Phase One report to the Kalapa Council, Shambhala International’s governing body, before she released it publicly in the hopes Project Sunshine and Shambhala could work together to develop better ways to address sexual assault and abuse in the community. But the leadership ended that relationship instead. Winn says they knew the publication date of the Phase Two report, and that it would deal with allegations against the sakyong.

That, she says, likely explains the timing of the sakyong’s first letter to the sangha on June 25. The Kalapa Council, meanwhile, announced on July 6 that its members would step down.
“If he called upon you, you went, and you didn’t necessarily have the right to say no, which is all kinds of frightening that somebody would wield that power over people.”
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“The most important thing is for anyone who has been hurt or harmed to get the care that they deserve,” says Wendy Friedman, Halifax business owner and now former Kalapa Council member.

Friedman, who resigned alongside her colleagues earlier this month, did not agree to an interview but did provide a statement by email in which she writes that Shambhala’s practices, people and teachers have been the anchor and inspiration for most of her life.

“It seems pretty clear that we’re not immune to carelessness, mistakes and harm—so now is our moment of reckoning,” writes Friedman.

Much of the communication in this crisis has taken the form of written statements and public letters—authored by the sakyong, by the Kalapa Council, by senior teachers and directors at Shambhala Centres. Additionally, centres have held community meetings to give people a chance to talk about the allegations face-to-face. But so much more has been happening online.

If Andrea Winn lit the spark, social media fanned it into a roaring fire. On Twitter, on Reddit, in text messages and on Facebook, in public posts and private groups, the international sangha has been battling it out in a way that will be familiar to anyone who’s ever read the comments on any story about sexual assault in the age of #MeToo. Some defend their teacher. Others question the women. Many do both.

Some are struggling with Andrea Winn’s credibility and motivation. Others say she’s a liar who wants to dismantle Shambhala International.

Then there are those lauding her and the work she’s done—the current and former Shambhalians who’ve donated money to keep Project Sunshine going.

Some feel the framed photos of the sakyong should be covered up at the Shambhala Centre. Some centres elsewhere have already taken that step. There are those who believe Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s photo should be covered too, for good measure.

Many who have left Shambhala over the years exchange harrowing stories of abuse at the hands of senior teachers, people in positions of authority, even Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche himself—abuse they maintain was systematically denied, explained away or brushed under the rug.

Shambhala International declined an invitation to be interviewed for this piece, through the PR firm it hired. A request for an interview with Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche was also declined. The local Shambhala Centre would not speak specifically to questions about the Project Sunshine reports, though director Michelle Munro did agree to answer some questions by email.

This week, the outgoing Kalapa Council announced a transition team to oversee Shambhala International’s new governing board, and a process to “help improve future governance, leadership and representation.”

The transition task force includes Pema Chodron, who leads Gampo Abbey in Cape Breton, and Andrew Sacamano, a senior teacher born into Shambhala who grew up in Halifax. It’s facilitated by Basia Solarz, who works for the Nova Scotia Health Authority. Like so many parts of this story, the transition team is also causing a divide in the sangha.

“Some persons feel there are task force members who are complicit in the abuse and silencing the abuse,” says one local Shambhala member. “Many are very happy with the formation of the task force and the people on it.”

At the time of this writing, no formal complaints have been lodged with Halifax Regional Police about Mipham, but Shambhala International has hired Wickwire Holm, a business law firm in Halifax, which will investigate the Project Sunshine allegations and any others that can be collected between now and October.

Shambhala International has also engaged An Olive Branch, which provides “services to organizations in conflict after a beloved teacher has been accused of misconduct.”

Friedman says everyone, not just those within Shambhala, needs to look honestly at the issues of patriarchy, privilege, race and gender power if things are to change.

“I hope that the Shambhala sangha can find our way to a transparent, brave community that includes the beauty of the teachings and culture that I, and many of my friends, love and value,” she says. “It will never be perfect, but messy is real, and I’m good with real.”


Whatever any individual Shambhalian’s view on what has happened, and what should happen next, this is a community rocked to its core by these allegations—some because they’d had no idea and others because they’re finally coming to light.

Laura Burke is in that latter camp. She’s been “pulling away” from Shambhala for about four years, ever since a friend confided in her that “something” had happened to her at the hands of the sakyong after his daughter’s first birthday party in 2011.

Burke knows more of those details now, contained as they are in the second Project Sunshine report. She runs a hand through her short hair in exasperation, thinking about what she’s read.

“This revelation is putting words to something I’ve been feeling inside for many years,” she says. “It’s been empowering to watch my friend come forward with her story. It was heartbreaking to watch her struggle. When you take a vow to a teacher, and that teacher harms you and you have to continue to bow to that person, to supplicate, it’s so harmful.”

Burke found Shambhala in her late teens. It was a balm to her Catholic upbringing, and her childhood nightmares of hell. The potential to emancipate one’s mind from suffering was fascinating to her. It seemed not just a religious, but proto-psychological system of being.

These days, the comfort and liberation Burke once found in Shambhala teachings have turned to something darker. Her attempts to understand her friend’s experience have been unsatisfying.

“I went to what I thought would be safe places,” she says, “like a teacher who knew enough of the details of my friend’s situation that she should have pursued an inquiry. And she just said, ‘I’m sure he didn’t mean it.’”

When she first crossed the threshold of the Halifax Shambhala Centre 15 years ago, Rhonda Newcombe was a single parent of three whose parenting style “wasn’t working out for me,” she says.

“I found that by going to these meditation courses, meditation was helping me as a parent to take what comes, and not be so reactionary.”

That training has been useful these days.

“I’m seeing a lot of heartbreak in the community, a lot of confusion. In some instances this is ironic, this is part of our teachings, to deal with having no ground—that all just dropped out from under me, how do I deal with that?” Newcombe says on a hot summer day at a downtown coffee shop. “Well, just be with it. So being with that is actually very, very raw. And that’s what I’ve been hearing from people.”

India Gailey says she wasn’t surprised to hear there were allegations of assault among some teachers and community members. The 25-year-old, child of parents who were students of Trungpa Rinpoche and who accepted his son as the new sakyong, is part of a new generation calling out sexual violence in society at large.

It’s understandable it would occur in Shambhala. But still, it’s heartbreaking to have it confirmed.

“The conflict around all of this. Everything exploding around it,” she says. “No one knows what’s going to happen and that’s scary. This thing people have devoted their whole lives to is crumbling apart.”
“I would rather not have the profound transformative teachings of Buddhism, than to have the risk of that kind of harm and sexual violence.”
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The schism created when Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche took his seat still festers in Halifax, where divisions sprang up within families and between friends. Many still speak of the pain of that schism as fresh and heartbreaking. On top of that schism comes a new one: How should Shambhala move forward after everything that’s come to light? And, maybe more impossible to consider, can it do so without a sakyong?

He’s the core to many of Shambhala’s practices, and a guru to many students. Still, says Rhonda Newcombe, she’s not sure the sakyong should “take leadership again.” She considers it.

“That’s a hard pill to swallow and I don’t say that lightly at all. But how do you sexually assault people and then turn around a year or two later and say, ‘All better! You should look at me as fine now.’ Other people would say separate the teachings and the teacher, but I can’t.”

At the heart of Shambhala Buddhism is a belief that no one is irredeemable—where there’s life, there’s hope. Many Shambhalians talk about the sakyong with love. That’s how he signs his letters to them, as well. This love is close to the surface for Julia Creighton. Though she’s never had one-on-one time with the sakyong, her eyes well up when she considers the pain he’s likely in.

“He’s human,” she says, “and I will not turn my back on anyone, him or the women. There’s value in every human being.”

Laura Burke is able to find compassion for Mipham as well—to a point.

“There’s always been an immense amount of pressure on the sakyong. He’s had a weird bubble of a life, but I don’t think that means he shouldn’t have been accountable the whole time for these things.”

Though the Kalapa Council has stepped down, questions remain about their role in what seems like a cover-up of a pattern of behaviour.

That resonates with Newcombe. “There are people caring for him. Did nobody go, ‘Stop, you have to stop, you’re hurting someone.’ Or say to him, ‘Rinpoche, you’re going to be very mad at me, and I’m OK with that.’”

Still, Newcombe acknowledges how difficult it is to say that to a guru, let alone to the lineage holder of two strains of Tibetan Buddhism and the Shambhala teachings.

“Some people feel you can’t say no to the teacher, and for some women who had ‘relationships’”—she draws quotation marks in the air—“with the sakyong, they didn’t feel they had an option. If he called upon you, you went, and you didn’t necessarily have the right to say no, which is all kinds of frightening that somebody would wield that power over people.”

“Shambhala isn’t the sakyong,” says Burke. “He’s one senior teacher. Buddhism is very old. It’s not owned by him.”

While new teachings, or “terma,” would come to the sangha through the sakyong alone, Burke points out that there are plenty of teachings to contemplate already, and if there are going to be new teachings, maybe they could come from a teacher with a social justice lens.

For Marguerite Drescher, change is already afoot. She’s been volunteering with Shambhala’s office of social engagement, and she’s seeing a grassroots swelling of care and support.

“It’s really inspiring to see, as the centre implodes, the edges have some surround.” She gestures in a wide ring in front of her chest. “It is really open. It’s not about trying to get people to stay or convince them of anything, just holding space for whatever is coming up.”

Whatever happens next, for some in the sangha, the allegations against the sakyong and senior teachers has been a lightning rod for their own role in the community—and what it could be going forward.

“I honestly feel more engaged than ever,” says India Gailey. “I want to be part of the conversation and help figure things out even though I have no answers.”

Shambhala might rise again like a phoenix, but its rebirth will have to happen without the many souls who came to the sangha looking to find peace and instead found torment.

“I care more about people, the safety and dignity of people’s bodies and space and lives,” says Drescher. “I would rather not have the profound transformative teachings of Buddhism, than to have the risk of that kind of harm and sexual violence.”

Ultimately, the answer may lie within each Shambhalian, says Noel McLellan.

“My understanding of what the sakyong is about, essentially from his teachings, is that everyone is a sakyong—an Earth protector, someone who cares about the whole Earth and holds up the essential goodness of everyone. So Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche officially has the title but in a way we are all the leader of our own life, our own mandala.”

It’s a view Andrea Winn shares. In the Phase Two report of Project Sunshine, she proposes that all Shambhala students should consider themselves lineage holders, responsible for bringing teachings forward.

It’s clearly not gonna happen with the sakyong, she says. Right now, the sangha is in a transition state, believing Mipham will go to rehab and come back healed in a year or two. When the third Project Sunshine report is released later this month, Winn believes a return to Shambhala will no longer be an option.

“The information in that will make it clear that he can never come back,” she says. “So that leaves one option. For this to go forward, we’ll have to figure out another way that is without a sakyong.”

Stephanie Domet is a writer in Halifax.

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Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby American Dream » Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:44 pm

liminalOyster » Fri Aug 03, 2018 12:33 pm wrote:
Both of the first two Buddhism Project Sunshine reports (the first, published February 15, included allegations of assault against teachers and community members) indicate evidence that the spiritual organization’s governing body knew about the allegations of harm by their leader and either did little to nothing to assist the people who said they’d been assaulted or, at worst, actively covered up and perhaps enabled the behaviour to continue.

Andrea Winn, who wrote those reports based on investigations by lawyer Carol Merchasin, says a third will be released on August 23. She predicts, with confidence, that its impact on the sakyong will be serious.

“He’s not going to be able to return to lead this community.”

This will be a real test for the communities and individuals concerned.
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