I’ve been having a few online conversations recently about Buddhist cults, and whether or not I should be de-listing certain centres from the canadianbuddhism.info directory on the basis of allegations about them. My position has been to take centres at face value and list them, but to openly share negative news on the Sumeru website. As Shakyamuni said: Don’t trust anyone, including me. Educate yourself, listen to what you are hearing and decide if it makes sense in your personal experience.
Sadly, Buddhist individuals and institutions are no more immune to bad behaviour than any other human beings. But that does not take away from the beacons of wisdom and compassion who lead us forward.
One suggestion I received was to put a “Like/Dislike” widget into each canadianbuddhism.info entry and to let the general public add their input. I rather “Like” that idea with a few provisos. For example, it would have to allow only one entry per person to avoid spamming. On the other hand, when I consider someone like His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the flood of dislikes he would no doubt receive from certain quarters, it really doesn’t make any sense to go with the opinion of the crowd.
To paraphrase George Carlin: When you consider how stupid the average person is, it’s scary to consider that half the people are stupider than that.
So, what to do? Ideas, anyone?