5 Aug 2017
Taichung, Taiwan – Taiwanese Buddhist leaders gathered at Nanputuo Temple (南普陀寺) in Taichung city on Saturday afternoon to discuss the recent controversies surrounding GEBIS. At the meeting, senior Taiwanese Buddhist monks denounced GEBIS’ spiritual leader Mary Jin (金夢蓉) for her sexual exploitation of young monks and novices, her use of spirit visitations as a means of manipulation, illegally imprisoning monks in Canada, and financial irregularities in the organization.
The meeting was initiated by Venerable Ru Jing (如凈法師), the current abbot of Fengshan Monastery (GEBIS/Bliss and Wisdom’s Taiwanese sangha), and Fengshan Monastery spokesman Venerable Ru De (如得法師), in order to rebut accusations of impropriety in the monastery. After they pulled out at the last minute, Nanputuo Temple decided to proceed with the meeting anyway, said Nanputuo Temple vice-abbot Venerable Ben Yin (本因法師).
Present at the meeting, however, were Venerable Fan Yin (梵因法師), the first abbot of Fengshan Monastery, and Venerable Jing Ming (凈明法師), the second abbot of Fengshan Monastery, both of whom testified against Mary Jin. The two former abbots were recently expelled from Fengshan Monastery for criticizing the organization, according to a statement on their website (here and here).
View the full video of the proceedings here (in Chinese only):
Ven Jing Ming explained that Mary Jin requires a monk or novice to sleep in her room every night, to “protect her from demons”. “The Buddha’s rules prohibit monks from spending the night under the same roof as a woman,” replied Ven Tien Yin, a vinaya expert from Cheng Jue Temple in Taiwan. “When monks travel overseas, they should stay overnight at a temple if possible; if monks have to spend the night at a hotel, they should confess the transgression. At the very least, they should not be spending the night with a woman in the same room. That would arouse considerable suspicion.”
“Mary Jin pretends to have spirits visit her, and the spirit told the monks that having sex with Mary Jin was not against their vows,” said Ven Jing Ming. “I was appalled. That is not what the monks’ code of conduct says.”
“She claims to be the reincarnation of Khedrub Je, told Master Jih-Chang that he was Gyaltsab Je, and that she needed to have sex with monks to give birth to Lama Tsongkhapa in order to complete the holy trinity,” said Ven Jing Ming to sniggers from the audience.
Venerable Fan Yin, who was confined on Prince Edward Island and had his passport impounded on the orders of Mary Jin in an attempt to silence him, told the monks gathered at Nanputuo that “a novice monk confessed on audio to Ven Jing Ming and I that he was deceived into having sex with Mary Jin. He saw the error of his ways, and wanted to speak to the Dalai Lama about it. He was given death threats and his family was harassed repeatedly, to the point that he later agreed to sign a declaration stating that he never had sex with Mary Jin.”
The two former abbots asked the lay people to leave before playing the audio to the monks and nuns in attendance.
Your correspondent spoke to former GEBIS monk Chung, who is familiar with both GEBIS in PEI and Fengshan Monastery in Taiwan. “Phone and internet usage is strictly controlled and monitored in the monastery to provide a cloistered environment for the monks to practice. Leaving the monastery without permission is not allowed,” says Chung. “In Taiwan, it’s not impossible to sneak out. The nearest bus stop is no more than a 10-minute walk away from the monastery, and there are settlements nearby. In PEI, there’s no one around for miles. Most of the monks don’t speak enough English to seek help from the locals or the police anyway.”
In July, the two former abbots, accompanied by Ven Ben Yin and other monks, traveled to Ladakh in India to meet the Dalai Lama. The monks asked the Dalai Lama what should be done if their guru behaves in a manner contrary to the Buddha’s vinaya (code of conduct), to which the Dalai Lama replied, “Usually, we should take the vinaya as the guiding principle. Even if what the guru says is against the vinaya, we should still take the vinaya as the guiding principle.”
At the session in Ladakh, one of the monks asked the Dalai Lama, “when the guru transgresses the vinaya, can we leave her, and expose her wrongdoing?”
“Of course you can! Let the public know about this transgression of the vinaya, this wrongdoing,” replied the Dalai Lama.
Meanwhile, Bliss and Wisdom followers around the world are reacting unfavorably to the scandalous revelations. “Isn’t she running a harem full of dudes? That’s crazy!” said Christine, a former Bliss and Wisdom follower living in Germany.
“I wonder if she likes white guys? I’m francophone so I might be getting bonus points for that,” said Eloi, a handsome Toronto resident who used to attend classes at GEBIS Toronto.
“She’s insatiable,” added Hong Kong resident Tian Tian.