GEBIS (Bliss and Wisdom) monks discuss brainwashing tactics to contain fallout from recent scandals, consider suing Taiwanese blogger; Ven Ru Lin’s crude remarks caught on hot mic and leaked online; monks tell rumor-mongers: “Go to hell!”
Of late, Bliss and Wisdom monks have been frantically trying to contain the fallout from recent scandals by brainwashing their followers, a move the monks term “disinfection”. After one such phone call by Venerable Ru Lin (如林法師), he failed to hang up the phone properly, allowing the ensuing conversation with other monks to be captured on hot mic and leaked online. Ven Ru Lin is a high-ranking deacon (執事) in Bliss and Wisdom’s Fengshan Monastery, an executive position for monks who handle important external, legal and financial matters.
In the audio recording, the monks discuss how to brainwash the followers, asking repeatedly, “Can we disinfect them like this?” They also proposed asking senior monks and abbot Ven Ru Jing to take other corrective measures, such as stopping monks from holding GEBIS guru Mary Jin’s coats in public. “Tell them that our guru lives with women in another building separate from other monks, don’t even admit that she lives in the same building as the monks,” said a voice in the recording. Perhaps fearing repercussions in the secretive organization for making these suggestions, a monk proposed saying that other people made the suggestion, in an attempt to deflect responsibility.
Here is the recording (spoken mainly in the Taiwanese Hokkien dialect with Chinese captions):
The fact that Mary Jin lives together with monks and novices is no secret. Even the location of her mansions in Prince Edward Island and Singapore, where she lives with monks and novices, have already been leaked online. Her mansion in Singapore also includes a swimming pool. First abbot Ven Fan Yin has also discussed the issue with Mary Jin before. As to what constitutes “living together with a woman”, vinaya expert Ven Tian Yin explained the Buddha’s monastic rules in a session on 5th Aug at Nanputuo Temple:
According to the bhikshu vinaya in the Sarvāstivāda canon, a monk may not spend the night with a woman under the same roof, or in a compound with a common point of entry. This is the Buddha’s compassion – if we follow this rule, there will be no danger of going down a slippery slope and end up transgressing our root vows of celibacy.
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.
Ven Fan Yin previously pointed out that not only does Mary Jin live together with monks and novices under the same roof, spending every night with a monk in her room for “protection from demons”, she has also manipulated numerous monks into transgressing their vows of celibacy with her. Many of the monks who are enthusiastically defending Mary Jin today, and serve as her closest confidants and attendants, are the same monks who lost their celibacy to her.
In the leaked recording, the monks also expressed worry that Ven Fan Yin’s scandalous revelations would prove to be a deadly blow for the organization, saying:
This is terrible…this is terrible, what do we do?
According to an informed source, the Buddhist Association of the Republic of China, an umbrella organization for Buddhist groups in Taiwan, gathered in Bliss and Wisdom’s Hushan Campus in 2016 for an annual meeting. Bliss and Wisdom monks took the opportunity to introduce Taiwanese Buddhist elders to Mary Jin, as well as Bliss and Wisdom’s achievements, in an attempt to receive recognition from mainstream Taiwanese Buddhist groups. However, many elders continued to disapprove of Bliss and Wisdom’s practice of having a lay woman lead the sangha. Now that Mary Jin’s abusive and exploitative behavior has been publicized, getting mainstream Taiwanese Buddhist groups to accept Bliss and Wisdom will be an uphill task.
In order to prevent Ven Fan Yin’s allegations from circulating online, the monks contemplated legal action against a Taiwanese blog, 宗師家族開心談法.
We can sue him, find out who published that blog.
If it’s a website we can sue him, go sue him! Find someone to uncover his identity. He’s destroying our organization, so we can sue him.
Several days ago, this correspondent has received evidence that Bliss and Wisdom has hired a Canadian law firm based in Toronto to investigate this blog. It appears that Bliss and Wisdom is mulling legal action against this blog. This blog is hosted on WordPress servers in the United States. Likewise, 宗師家族開心談法 is also hosted on American site Blogspot.
WordPress’ legal policy states:
It is our policy to turn over private user information only upon receipt of either (1) a valid order from a US court, or (2) a subpoena served as part of an existing lawsuit that complies with Rule 45 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and/or the California Discovery Act. Litigants should ensure that any such requests comply with the US SPEECH Act, 28 U.S.C. 4101 et seq.
Therefore, should Bliss and Wisdom consider suing this blog, even if they are willing to fork out exorbitant legal costs for American and Canadian lawyers, they need the US courts to issue a subpoena first. Given the protections for freedom of speech in the United States, it appears impossible that Bliss and Wisdom would succeed.
Ven Ru Lin also cited a crude joke made by Mary Jin, comparing the recent scandalous allegations to marital infidelity:
Suppose I am your mother, and you are my son. When other people tell you that your mother is committing adultery, are you going to accuse your mother of adultery right away? Is this logical? Somehow I find Mary Jin’s line of reasoning very amusing…
When other people say, “Hey, your mom’s got a lover”, you should tell them, “My mom’s got a lover? Go to hell!” Will we do this? Very amusing.
Mary Jin told us, why do you Taiwanese monks and lay people believe everything that people say? Your ears are so pliable. Mary Jin’s greatest worry is that people jump to conclusion without evidence. Sounds like fun.