Buddhasiha Ipswich Evolution Storetelling lies about people behind their back, refusal to apologize

Buddhasiha was involved in speaking ill about one of the ex-employees of the Ipswich Evolution store named Free Spirit.

He claimed that they were involved in serious criminal activity and had tried to blackmail the business in order to cause it losses. That was false.

Buddhasiha spoke ill of him because he raised ethical concerns about how the store operated, its recruitment policies and its attitudes toward those who are heterosexual.

He has refused to apologize, even though that would have involved a simple 10 minute trip to a notary office.

telling lies about people behind their back, refusal to apologize
telling lies about people behind their back, refusal to apologize

Responses

  • An
    AnonymousReviewer862 May 22, 2017

    at the time I also took work in the Ipswich Evolution Gift Shop which was run by Windhorse Trading – one arm of the FWBO, set up in order to create profits to give away to good causes including supporting the running of the local Buddhist centres. The shops sold a range of things like candles, wind-chimes, picture frames, cushions and other similar items.

    In my opinion and experience the FWBO was an abusive movement within which I experienced deriding treatment, chastisement, disrespect and severe emotional abuse. It was only after I had fully left the movement and detoxed from that toxic control energy several years later was I able to recognize that it was unhealthy abuse.

    My only regret was that I did not see the signs sooner before investing a lot of my time into their centres and businesses. It is mentioned here in the benefit of public interest. I am also well past organizations threatening to sue me for not keeping quiet. In every instance this has happened in my life invariably I have been able to speak the truth later without reprisal – despite gag orders and the like.

    Problems started for me when the Order began to attempt to interfere in my personal life including my relationship decisions. There were lots of silly rules about what one could and could not say in the centres. If it challenged some invisible ‘status-quo’ or some
    unspoken rule one could not say it.

    There were ways you were expected to behave – except there was no way of knowing what those expectations or rules actually were because in reality they only existed in the minds of the Order members who made them up as they went along to maintain their position of illusory superiority! (cult dynamic)

    I was once chastised by the entire Ipswich Order for saying something inappropriate at a party – although none of them to this day would ever admit to what it was. Things you did, shared or mentioned would be noted by the Order (in most instances mentally), only to be used against one later when one wanted a new work contract in the shop.

    Thus the decision making process that was used in order to select people was based
    on peoples personal preferences, tainted by their unresolved control issues as well as being highly illegal.

    Each morning before we started work in the shop there would be a ‘tune in’ where we would share our processes and say what was going on for us. There was a core team and a team of part timers. What the part timers shared could be used later against them if they wanted to secure additional work. There were a serious amount of silly rules in place – so many it was surprising the shop managed to operate for so long.

    It finally closed in 2015.

    The leader of the movement called Sangharakshita, involved in a sexual abuse scandal, formally apologized. The root cause was that he was anti-heterosexual, and explains somewhat what happened to me.

    0 Votes
  • An
    AnonymousReviewer862 May 22, 2017

    Confession proof attached

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  • An
    AnonymousReviewer862 May 22, 2017

    I also took work in the Ipswich Evolution Gift Shop which was run by Windhorse Trading – one arm of the FWBO, set up in order to create profits to give away to good causes including supporting the running of the local Buddhist centres. The shops sold a range of things like candles, wind-chimes, picture frames, cushions and other similar items.

    In retrospect it seemed unusual that the Buddhist centres could not sustain themselves financially – but the deeper cause was the matter of self-sacrifice and giving the Dharma (spiritual teaching) away for free or cheap to those who did not respect it.

    People could come in for meditation class, put pittance in the dana (collections) bowl and then go back out into the world to carry on their usual activities.

    Many a time I saw such individuals donate the smallest amount possible (or nothing!) and then head to the pub after class.

    The Order (all those ordained in the FWBO) believed that helping others took precedence – even if their own position was weakened in the process.

    Thus the FWBO needed a stream of volunteers and low paid workers to keep its businesses and centres operational. So Buddhists who worked in the shop received support salaries (another term for a low wage salary) which included some payments for retreats.

    It seemed back then that mixing work and spiritual practice may not be such a bad idea
    – although in due course I came to regret the choice to do it in this movement.

    In my opinion and experience the FWBO was an abusive movement within which I experienced deriding treatment, chastisement, disrespect and severe emotional abuse. It was only after I had fully left the movement and detoxed from that toxic control energy several years later was I able to recognize that it was unhealthy abuse.

    My only regret was that I did not see the signs sooner before investing a lot of my time into their centres and businesses. It is mentioned here in the benefit of public interest. I am also well past organizations threatening to sue me for not keeping quiet. In every instance this has happened in my life invariably I have been able to speak the truth later without reprisal – despite gag orders and the like.

    Problems started for me when the Order began to attempt to interfere in my personal life including my relationship decisions. There were lots of silly rules about what one could and could not say in the centres. If it challenged some invisible ‘status-quo’ or some
    unspoken rule one could not say it.

    There were ways you were expected to behave – except there was no way of knowing what those expectations or rules actually were because in reality they only existed in the minds of the Order members who made them up as they went along to maintain their position of illusory superiority! (cult dynamic)

    I say illusory for anyone that needs to control other beings in order to stay in a position of power does not have access to true spiritual power. I was once chastised by the entire Ipswich Order for saying something inappropriate at a party – although none of them to this day would ever admit to what it was. Things you did, shared or mentioned would be noted by the Order (in most instances mentally), only to be used against one later when one wanted a new work contract in the shop.

    Thus the decision making process that was used in order to select people was based
    on peoples personal preferences, tainted by their unresolved control issues as well as being highly illegal.

    Each morning before we started work in the shop there would be a ‘tune in’ where we would share our processes and say what was going on for us. There was a core team and a team of part timers. What the part timers shared could be used later against them if they wanted to secure additional work. There were a seriousamount of silly rules in place – so many it was surprising the shop managed to operate for so long.

    It finally closed in 2015.

    Anyway, in those days I was still exploring my relationship life along with with my sexuality – like we all do at some point in this reality. It is part of being human. So I was still signed up for ‘internet dating’ and I would go and meet women in different towns – much to the disdain of the local Order.

    dating
    Beware of the Ipswich Buddhist Centre if you like internet dating!
    Of course the Order had their own relationships and some of them running classes were also dating students on the side, something I would never advocate as a Spiritual Master.

    Others in the Order had admitted to having gay sex with the founder of the movement Sangharakshita. Just Google the FWBO Files.

    I will not name those who admitted to such things but suffice to say there were many who shared such things with me – enough to show me that those who were ordained in the beginning were ordained out of favoritism because they consented to casual gay sex with Sangharakshita.

    sangharakshita
    Sangharakshita
    Thus I saw the movement had no serious spiritual credibility as it was tainted by serious breaches of the sexual conduct precept. I am not gay myself and have no issue with homosexuality in itself – but sexuality and spirituality rarely mix well and can give rise to a host of serious ethics violations and abuses.

    One of my own relationships became serious so I gave 11 weeks’ notice to leave the shop team. Those 11 weeks were hard work as my girlfriend at the time was sick and lived 200k away. I only had to give 4 weeks’ notice but I felt I owed the shop team a favour so I stayed longer. Such a decision later proved to be to my detriment.

    When I left the shop to start with everything was fine and no complaints were ever made.

    ….

    I ended up going back to Ipswich for a year or so – which in retrospect was not such a great plan in light of what unfolded later. At the same time the Order did specifically invite me back to Ipswich and the Ipswich Buddhist Centre and thus invited me into their movement to be a mirror for any lessons that I later embodied for them.

    So in 2007 when I wanted to work in the Evolution shop again the main Order member involved in its running – Saddharaja – became really challenged despite the Order inviting me back to the area to work and live. He sanctioned an illegal interview process in which I had to agree to not do internet dating and I was asked about my sexual practices. The shop team and himself claimed that previously I did not do much work, did not fulfil my
    responsibilities and (to quote them) needed to be put in a very small box.

    If I did not comply the box would get smaller and smaller!

    I needed the work at the time so I was in a bit of a tight situation but very quickly things started to go downhill with this kind of control in place. If I was friendly with a female customer there was a follow-up interrogation to see whether I was trying to chat her up and it was forbidden to have a girlfriend visit the store in working hours (although others had the same privilege and used it often!).

    Thus working with the movement the second time around was like being in an emotional straightjacket. Relationships with females outside of the movement became very alluring as a result and I went on to have secret dates on my days off that the shop never found out about. There was also a big deal about those in the movement should be looking to meet their need for emotional intimacy within the Order.

    The only trouble with that approach was that emotional intimacy and friendship was dangled in front of someone in a ‘carrot and stick’ manner – thus if one complied with the expectations and demands of the Order one got friendship, if one did not – one got chastised, ridiculed or badly treated in some other way. Thus the notion of spiritual friendship within the FWBO was very conditional – at least in my experience.

    Work was challenging as I could not get satisfactory references from Evolution despite them having previously offered me a job anywhere country-wide.. For many months I worked part time in minimum wage jobs maxing out my credit cards just to stay afloat. I could not even get a job in a card shop. So I lost a lot of money and in retrospect this is what Tribunal cases are for – to compensate those who suffer through illegal and unjust employment practices.

    The Tribunal process had started and it was not long before I received intimidatory legal letters suggesting that I drop the case, otherwise I may have to pay the legal costs incurred by Windhorse Evolution. Back then, I did not have much self-respect or confidence and thus it was not so difficult for them to bully me into dropping the case even though they would have undoubtedly lost. .

    I also could not afford proper legal representation back then and the Evolution shop team had destroyed a lot of the evidence including vital emails and internal memos. In my opinion, it was done with intent in order to cover up the truth and most (but not all) of the Ipswich Buddhist Centre rallied to their defense in order to try and suppress the scandal.

    So Windhorse lawyers suggested I sign a ‘gag-order’ which prevented me from ever talking about what happened. So readers may wonder why I am writing about it many years later, as many in the movement have been very upset and/or challenged about my version of events in recent times. In my opinion, the ‘gag-order’ was presented under conditions of duress (sign this or pay all of our costs – which I later found out very rarely happens anyway) and there was no opportunity for me to seek fair legal counsel.

    I have also witnessed enough companies in my life pull the same kind of nonsense – ie doing something unethical or unjust to me and then threatening to sue me in return if I ever talked about it. In the end, suppressing or intimidating someone into silence rarely turns out well for the bullies – as sooner or later that same person will speak up adamantly when they recapitulate the lost energy from the situation.

    On one level they would have had no idea that I would become a spiritual teacher myself, yet on another level the FBWO subconsciously needed a mirror in order to face the demons of the past (cult behaviour and sexual ethics scandals), things that were still present in the movement when I was there.

    It was only at the beginning of 2015 that I felt the recapitulation had not been completed – amplified by the fact that this movement had never apologized for their conduct. I have had to do a lot of forgiveness – self-forgiveness for allowing this movement to abuse my basic rights as an individual. After a lot of reflection I felt mentioning the FWBO and The Ipswich Buddhist Centre was warranted.

    It also serves as a statement that interfering with people’s basic rights to explore relationships and bullying people into silence is not OK regardless of what one legal structures one uses or hides behind to maintain that agenda.

    If one picks on someone called ‘Free Spirit’ to do that too, there is obviously going to be some kind of consequence later. So on one level – I feel the Order really asked for it – yet I also appreciate that the gravity of the lesson was probably more than they had anticipated at the time.

    The FWBO (now Triratna Buddhist Community) continued to ignore the lessons and my concerns – even years later when I sought a formal apology, and then went on to help a criminally fraudulent company put me in jail, which was unsuccessful, because he himself had a dishonest deposition and because Spiritual Masters are immune from the karma of dishonesty.

    In the end, I believe that the FWBO and the Ipswich Buddhist Centre needed a strong mirror and thus the Universe conspired a set of scenarios to bring the movement and I together for a time, so that these lessons could be presented for resolution.

    As of 2016. their apology is still outstanding.

    As a footnote, the leader of the movement Sangharakshita has formally confessed to abuses in the past around sexual ethics, and in that case, the root cause was because the FWBO were anti-heterosexual, which explains what happened to me.

    https://ipswichbuddhistcentre.wordpress.com/2016/10/26/ipswich-buddhist-centre-experience/

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