Update on November 14, 2020
Nov 14, 2020 —
It’s been a long time since our last update (December 22, 2019), and we now have some important news to share with you. Below is a brief summary of key events of the past year, and especially the past week:
· In October, 2019 the FPMT Board hired FaithTrust Institute (FTI) to conduct an independent fact-finding assessment of allegations of sexual misconduct on the part of Dagri Rinpoche. A confidential mailbox was set up so anyone who experienced or witnessed harm by Dagri Rinpoche could make a report.
· On Sept. 19, 2020, FaithTrust delivered to the FPMT Board the final report of their almost year-long assessment, and the FPMT Board promised to publish the FaithTrust summary report within 30 days (i.e. by Oct. 19).
· That date came and went without any report being published. We learned that the FPMT Board planned to publish their report on Nov. 6, but that plan was reversed at the last minute, with no explanation given.
· On Nov. 9, the women who reported the allegations, with the help of an Advocacy Group, sent an email to many Dharma friends and centers, asking them to write to the FPMT Board and request them to release the report. This email included their own report on some of the allegations. You can read this report here: https://storage.ning.com/topology/rest/1.0/file/get/8160341693?profile=original
· Between Nov. 6-12, the majority of the members of the FPMT Board resigned.
· On Nov. 13, the FPMT Board posted an update on their website about the findings of the assessment, and stating “we accept that, according to the standard applied by FaithTrust Institute, Dagri Rinpoche committed sexual misconduct, which also qualifies as spiritual abuse given his position as a spiritual teacher. We have unanimously determined that the temporary suspension of Dagri Rinpoche from the list of registered FPMT teachers (from which FPMT centers can choose to invite to provide Dharma teachings) is now permanent.”
· You can read the full FPMT update here: https://fpmt.org/fpmt-community-news/statement/nov-13-2020-update/
We wish to reiterate that our motivation for this petition and campaign was not to damage the reputation of Dagri Rinpoche or any other Lama, nor to interfere with the virtuous activities of the FPMT. On the contrary, we wish to create the causes and conditions for the Buddha-Dharma to flourish throughout the world and benefit as many people as possible. But in this degenerate age when people are losing faith in leaders and in social and religious institutions, it is of great importance to reaffirm personal and institutional integrity. Without this, trust disintegrates and ethical conduct drastically declines. In addition, the loss of trust in spiritual leaders will damage Buddhist followers for many lifetimes.
And just to be clear: the report of the women’s allegations mentioned above was not written by us, but by the women themselves, together with the Advocacy Group, whose names appear at the end of the letter.
We are pleased that the FPMT Board conducted an impartial independent investigation as we requested. We are also pleased that after this investigation, it has accepted the truth of the allegations, acknowledged that Dagri Rinpoche’s behavior towards these women constituted both sexual misconduct and spiritual abuse, and clearly stated that such behavior is unacceptable. We request the FPMT to now fulfill its commitment and publish the complete and unedited summary report prepared by Faith Trust.
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