As the largest Tibetan Buddhist organization in Taiwan, Bliss and Wisdom’s recent succession of controversies and scandals have attracted the attention of Tibetan media. The first to report on Bliss and Wisdom was Shambala Post on 6 Sep, which ran the article with a romantic photograph of Mary Jin admiring maple leaves in Canada.
Tibet Post reported briefly on the Bliss and Wisdom scandals on 29 Sep, then interviewed Bliss and Wisdom public relations officer Ven Ru Wei. To offer a balanced perspective, Tibet Post interviewed Ven Fan Yin for his response to Ven Ru Wei. Ven Fan Yin said,
If they are willing to change the situation, and take His Holiness the Dalai Lama and His Eminence the 102nd Ganden Tripa’s advice seriously, then Bliss and Wisdom can be accepted as a reputable Gelugpa and Buddhist organization. If they do not, then as BW vice-abbot Ven Ru De says, they can cut off ties with other Buddhist organizations, and disown the Tibetan and Chinese lineages, which is basically an admission that they are a cult.
Potala Post also carried news of Bliss and Wisdom on 4 Oct.
This is the full text of Tibet Post’s interview with Ven Fan Yin:
Chinese Communist Party has infiltrated Bliss & Wisdom: Former Abbot
Dharamshala — “Bliss & Wisdom’s main problem is that the Chinese Communist Party has infiltrated Bliss and Wisdom, using the Bliss and Wisdom leadership to distort Buddhism in favor of Chinese interests. They have diverted overseas Chinese disciples of His Holiness the Dalai Lama into the arms of the Chinese-sanctioned Panchen Lama lineage. I have seen with my own eyes how Mary Jin asked Master Jih-Chang to tell His Holiness the Dalai Lama that Dorje Shugden is not that bad after all,” asserts Ven Fan Yin, First abbot of Bliss and Wisdom sangha.
TPI journalist recently conducted an interview with Ven Fan Yin, First abbot of Bliss and Wisdom sangha to ask about the Buddhist organization in Taiwan — where over a thousand monks and nuns, as well as 100,000 followers worldwide live and pray mainly in Taiwan, Mainland China and the overseas Chinese diaspora — recently roiled by controversy. Read the full interview with Ven Shi Ru-wei, Public relations for the Bliss and Wisdom!
Tibet Post International (TPI): Please briefly introduce yourself?
Ven Fan Yin (FY) : Tiding over the Bliss and Wisdom crisis together: I was the first abbot of Fengshan Monastery, practicing sincerely under Master Jih-Chang. After Master passed away, Mary Jin Mengrong took over, and I continued my efforts to practice seriously. However, as Mary Jin’s power expanded over the years, some actions contrary to the spirit of dharma came to light. Also, I saw how the entire Bliss and Wisdom organization began to gravitate away from His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s lineage. I hoped to change this and offered my suggestions, but was treated as a troublemaker and suffered great persecution. Today, I have fortunately been able to escape from Mary Jin’s control, and with the permission of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, I have decided to publicize certain horrifying but deliberately concealed truths about Bliss and Wisdom.
Some may perhaps prefer not to listen to the truths I am about to reveal, thinking that all should be well since there are 800 monks in Bliss and Wisdom scrutinizing Mary Jin’s actions. Please think twice. Out of those 800 pairs of eyes, how many of those possess the magical powers needed to look thousands of miles away and pierce through Mary Jin’s secretive entourage?
I am only like a little shrimp fighting a gigantic whale; amidst a dangerous hail of bullets, I am only trying to reconstruct the truth. Through our united efforts, I only hope to encourage Bliss and Wisdom to awaken and reform, reverting into the legitimate Buddhist organization it once was, so that it may once again shine the light of goodness everywhere. I will attempt to answer these questions to the best of my ability. Although this may be a traumatizing blow to many faithful Bliss and Wisdom followers, Bliss and Wisdom’s future is in our hands. If we are willing to sincerely observe and examine the truth, what may cause us some heartbreak today shall bring us towards a bright future, and make this temporary discomfort worthwhile.
TPI: What is the current crisis at Bliss and Wisdom all about?
FY: Bliss and Wisdom’s main problem is that the Chinese Communist Party has infiltrated Bliss and Wisdom, using the Bliss and Wisdom leadership to distort Buddhism in favor of Chinese interests. They have diverted overseas Chinese disciples of His Holiness the Dalai Lama into the arms of the Chinese-sanctioned Panchen Lama lineage. I will explain as follows:
(1) False advertising
Bliss and Wisdom publicly pretends to rely on His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s lineage. Every year their monks go to India to receive vows and listen to His Holiness’ teachings. Sometimes, they also invite the three Gelugpa throne holders to Bliss and Wisdom’s monasteries in Taiwan and Canada to give teachings. However, in private they have been removing His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s photographs from centers, restricting monks from reading His Holiness’ books and listening to recordings of His Holiness’ teachings. They seek to discourage lay followers from going to other centers to attend teachings by other Rinpoches. In the organization, they harp on Mary Jin’s virtues all the time while nothing is said about His Holiness’ merits.
Bliss and Wisdom encourages its followers to support the Chinese-sanctioned Harwa Rinpoche, who is connected to the Chinese-sanctioned Panchen, by attending his teachings and giving him donations. Bliss and Wisdom’s website has attempted to obfuscate the current relationship between His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and the Chinese-sanctioned Panchen by claiming that both lineages were historically related and are still the same. Mary Jin’s chief attendant Ven Ru Fa has recently traveled to China to receive his bhikshu vows. All of this shows that Bliss and Wisdom is merely using His Holiness the Dalai Lama as a façade to cheat its followers.
(2) Building a personality cult
Mary Jin has proclaimed herself to be the throne-holder of Chinese Buddhism. Bliss and Wisdom arrogantly claims to be the best sangha, while privately criticizing the Tibetan monks in India for not following the vinaya, singling them out for using mobile phones, having dinner, and traveling out of the monastery. They claim that because the Tibetan monks are not upholding the vinaya purely, they are causing the Tibetan dharma to degenerate. Because of this, it falls to the Bliss and Wisdom sangha to succeed the dharma lineage. They also say that in the Prajnaparamita Sutra, the Buddha prophesized that after the dharma flourishes in Tibet for 500 years, it will then move northeast (interpreted by them as China) and flourish greatly for 500 years. The Bliss and Wisdom monks claim that since Bliss and Wisdom is the largest Tibetan Buddhist organization in Taiwan, it will be Bliss and Wisdom which brings the dharma from Tibet to China, and that Mary Jin will be the future spiritual leader of all of China. Since Mary Jin is the Chinese spiritual leader, she alleges that there are huge karmic obstructions preventing the Tibetan and Chinese spiritual leaders from meeting, which is why she could not meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
(3) Distorting Buddhist teachings
To cement Mary Jin’s position as successor guru, they have distorted the guru devotion teachings to an extreme. First they since Mary Jin was selected by Master Jih-Chang, disciples do not need to use their own discernment, because they are not as wise as their teacher. Moreover, they threaten disciples that criticizing their guru will send them to hell, so disciples are not allowed to discern whether the guru’s actions are in accordance with dharma. Any form of objective thinking is construed as finding fault with the guru. Discussing problems with Bliss and Wisdom is tantamount to slandering the guru. Not only does the person criticizing the guru go to hell, but so does everyone sharing the same water source. Therefore, one must not be “contaminated” by fault-finding people. Bliss and Wisdom strongly emphasizes the concept of seeing the guru as the Buddha, but the emphasis is placed only on seeing Mary Jin as the Buddha. Not even tantric gurus are as important as Mary Jin. (For details please refer to Ven Ru Jun’s discourse on 7 Aug 2017).
(4) A spiritual prison of mind-control
In the Bliss and Wisdom sangha, one may not hold different views from those in authority. No one is allowed to harbor doubts about Mary Jin. The Marco organization, comprising monks from Mary Jin’s entourage, centralizes authority and wields power. Marco monks control all resources of the monastery, controlling all important matters in the sangha, and control the beliefs and thinking of monks in an authoritarian fashion. Living in the sangha, if you offend the powerful Marco monks, you will constantly live in terror. It is impossible to live according to one’s conscience and have a rational, objective discussion about vinaya and monastic rules. From 2008 to 2012, I was confined on Prince Edward Island in Canada for “improper guru devotion”. Despite falling very ill, I was not allowed to return to Taiwan to seek medical attention. My parents were not allowed to contact me and were desperately looking for my whereabouts for two years, which the Bliss and Wisdom leadership completely ignored. My father fell ill and till today still has high blood pressure. Such incidents happen regularly in Bliss and Wisdom.
(5) The corruption of power: sex and money
Mary Jin took advantage of her position to seduce and manipulate young monks into having sex with her. The monks were brainwashed into thinking that they were practicing tantra. Such allegations have emerged every now and then, with some victims coming out to testify. Financially, donated funds are diverted for unknown purposes and official accounts are unclear. Many monks’ bank accounts were used for money laundering. Four bank accounts, registered under my name, were used by Bliss and Wisdom for transferring funds as much as NT$100 million.
TPI: What are the major problems you are facing right now at Bliss & Wisdom?
a. Mary Jin’s past
After Mary Jin graduated from high school, she joined the Zhong Gong qigong cult, quickly rising up the ranks, and was blacklisted by the Chinese government. She began learning Buddhism in an attempt to whitewash herself, and after learning the lamrim chenmo from Bliss and Wisdom she sought contact with Master Jih-Chang. She asked Master Jih-Chang to exorcise demons possessing her, and then claimed that a spirit named “Guru Kong” possessed her to make contact with Master Jih-Chang. “Guru Kong” spoke at length about Master Jih-Chang and Mary Jin’s past lives together as master and disciple. Master Jih-Chang was smitten by those tales and started behaving erratically, believing in prophecies from the spirits which possessed Mary Jin. As a result, Mary Jin quickly became Master Jih-Chang’s confidant. Although senior monks had their reservations about Mary Jin and repeatedly advised Master Jih-Chang to be careful, Master Jih-Chang did not heed their advice. This sowed the seed for all the ludicrous events which followed, and was the reason why Master Jih-Chang could be manipulated and cheated by Mary Jin. Mary Jin claims to have many lineage masters and teachers, but His Holiness the Dalai Lama and His Eminence the Ganden Trisur Rizong Rinpoche have never recognized her. It is time for Bliss and Wisdom to be transparent about Mary Jin’s past, instead of whining about unfounded rumors while refusing to publicize any meaningful biographical details about Mary Jin. If they really have nothing to hide, they should make all details about her past public.
b. Types of shocking scandals
i. Appeals to myth and magic, sullying the purity of Buddhism
Mary Jin claimed that “Guru Kong” prophesized that Lama Tsongkhapa wished to be reborn on Chinese soil, and instructed Mary Jin to become the holy mother, with an outstanding monk from Fengshan Monastery to be the holy father. Thus began the holy conception scheme to conceive Lama Tsongkhapa. The scheme was indeed initiated, which numerous senior monks can vouch for.
ii. Mary Jin’s promiscuous conduct
Mary Jin was already married with a daughter when she divorced her husband. She then moved in with the abbots of two monasteries in succession, causing them to lose their vows of celibacy. After taking over Bliss and Wisdom, she has been co-habiting with the Marco monks for years, using tantric practices as an excuse to seduce monks into having sex with her. At a vinaya session in Nanputuo Temple, Ven Fan Yin played an audio recording of a novice monk admitting that Mary Jin seduced him into breaking his vows. The audio recording has not been publicly released.
Vinaya session in Nanputuo Temple:
iii. Master Jih-Chang’s suspicious death in Mainland China
Mary Jin claimed that “Guru Kong” prophesized that Master Jih-Chang would live to 120 years, but at 70 Master Jih-Chang was already weak and sickly. He was cheated by Mary Jin to travel to Xiamen, China for medical treatment. Mary Jin deliberately sent an inept doctor to treat Master Jih-Chang, which caused Master Jih-Chang to die a terrible and painful death, but Mary Jin claimed that Master Jih-Chang emanated as a wrathful deity and that she could see wrathful deities and Buddhas when he died. They did not do proper prayers and practices at his death, but quickly cremated his body in three days. Mary Jin claimed that temperatures in the cremation chamber were too high so relics could not be formed, but told followers in Taiwan that Master Jih-Chang passed away peacefully and colorful relics were produced. Many monks and committee members can vouch for this version of events. iv. Questionable succession
When Master Jih-Chang passed away on 15 Oct 2004, he did not formally appoint Mary Jin as successor. Therefore, most Bliss and Wisdom monks and followers could only believe a few senior monks and attendants who were parroting Mary Jin’s version of events. They were led by this small group of monks to believe that Mary Jin had extraordinary powers, and that Master Jih-Chang selected Mary Jin as successor based on her merit. A will was forged claiming that Master Jih-Chang selected Mary Jin as successor, but it has never been publicly displayed. v. Diverting donated funds
Since Mary Jin took over, Bliss and Wisdom actively raised funds on various pretexts, only to divert these funds to buy dozens of extravagant mansions for Mary Jin. Mary Jin enjoyed a luxurious and extravagant lifestyle, sharing her new-found wealth with her family by buying mansions for them with donations. Donors were asked to agree to not receive receipts, making it convenient for Bliss and Wisdom to avoid an audit trail and launder the money overseas. Business ventures like selling precious gems and seafood were kept secret from followers. Profits from such ventures were never publicized. Many years ago, Bliss and Wisdom raised huge amounts of funds for its mega-temple in Taiwan, but these funds were instead diverted to China to help Harwa Rinpoche build a huge monastery. Ven Fan Yin has gone on Taiwanese television to display receipts showing evidence of Bliss and Wisdom’s deceitful fund-raising methods (where a clause allowed funds for the Taiwanese mega-temple to be diverted to other causes), but Bliss and Wisdom still insists that funds were never diverted.
vi. Flouting Buddhist guidelines for sangha
The Bliss and Wisdom sangha is controlled by Mary Jin, a lay woman, who can scold and threaten monks whenever she likes. The concept of consensus-based decision-making in the sangha is only a farce. Power is centralized around the Marco monks, who routinely confiscate belongings and confine monks who defy them. The sangha is extremely hierarchical, and only several important Marco monks in Mary Jin’s entourage can live together with Mary Jin in her mansion. The other monks in the monastery must live 20 to a room. In such crowded and stressful conditions, they sleep poorly and emotional outbursts are common. Many monks display symptoms of depression. Mary Jin also uses male monks as her personal attendants; the 5-6 of them are the most powerful monks in the monastery. With the power they wield, her attendants behave arrogantly and bully the senior monks.
TPI: In their statements, they have said they have never had any ties to any political party in any country, including Chinese government, as well as the CCP. What is your response? How you prove that Chinese government and CCP is using Bliss & Wisdom to undermine His Holiness the Dalai Lama.?
i. Reports here have discussed the issue:
Based on information available publicly, Harwa Rinpoche has ties to the 10th Panchen Lama and organizations linked to the CCP. Also, Bliss and Wisdom has publicly acknowledged the close relationship between Harwa Rinpoche and Mary Jin. ii. I would like to point out that there will not be any concrete evidence for Chinese attempts to sabotage and infiltrate Bliss and Wisdom. However, we make some observations and inductions from Bliss and Wisdom’s actions in relation to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, especially in 2008, when Bliss and Wisdom stopped organizing the Taiwanese teaching by His Holiness in Dharamshala. Instead, Bliss and Wisdom has moved closer and closer to Harwa Rinpoche, who is sanctioned by China and has assumed positions in the China National People’s Congress.
iii. In 2015, when Mary Jin came to Taiwan, the first thing she did was to visit Master Hsing-Yun, a senior Taiwanese Buddhist leader. Master Hsing-Yun’s organization has been cultivating close relations with the Chinese Communist Party for over a decade, and has good relations with Xi Jinping himself. When His Holiness the Dalai Lama visited Taiwan in 2009, Master Hsing-Yun denounced His Holiness as a political figure in an attempt to keep the Chinese happy.
Given Master Hsing-Yun’s stature and age, he typically only receives the highest-level Taiwanese politicians in person. However, he openly received Mary Jin in person and praised her as a good leader. One might guess that such a departure from his usual protocol in receiving a Chinese lady has something to do with Bliss and Wisdom’s relationship with China.
TPI: Can you provide us the details, showing sufficient proof that Bliss & Wisdom and its spiritual master have links to the Chinese government, CCP and China recognized Panchen Lama, undermining His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Tibetan Buddhism?
FY: Let’s look at this article on BW’s official website:
According to BW, “The teachings of His Holiness (“H.H.”) the Dalai Lama and His Holiness (“H.H.”) the Panchen Lama are of the same origin. There is no need to choose.”
That may have been true 100 years ago, but the situation today is that the 10th Panchen Lama was sometimes pro-China and sometimes persecuted by China, while the genuine 11th Panchen Lama has been kidnapped and a Chinese-appointed one installed in his place. If Bliss and Wisdom wants to be honest about the HH Dalai Lama vs the HH Panchen Lama lineage, they should state clearly which Panchen they support. Do they support the Chinese-appointed 11th Panchen Lama, who most Tibetans consider to be fake? Most of BW’s followers do not know much about the Panchen Lamas, so vague statements like “HHDL and the Panchen lineages are the same” can fool them. People with some historical knowledge will not be so easily fooled.
TPI: A group of Chinese and Taiwanese met with His Holiness the Dalai Lama recently, His Holiness has given Bliss & Wisdom advise to deal the problems, urging both sides to discuss and make it clear to public. What was your reaction on his advise?
FY: Of course, even His Holiness the Dalai Lama and His Eminence the 102nd Ganden Tripa praise Bliss and Wisdom for the good work it has done in teaching the dharma. I am sure many Taiwanese would also agree that BW has done a lot of good. But His Holiness the Dalai Lama, His Eminence the 102nd Ganden Tripa, and many Taiwanese sanghas and Buddhist leaders think that it is not acceptable for a lay woman to control a bhikshu sangha, or for her to live with monks in the same house and use them as her personal attendants. That is the central issue and Bliss and Wisdom should not dodge it. If they are willing to change the situation, and take His Holiness the Dalai Lama and His Eminence the 102nd Ganden Tripa’s advice seriously, then Bliss and Wisdom can be accepted as a reputable Gelugpa and Buddhist organization. If they do not, then as BW vice-abbot Ven Ru De says, they can cut off ties with other Buddhist organizations, and disown the Tibetan and Chinese lineages, which is basically an admission that they are a cult.
TPI: You have said that the organization has a special relationship/connection to Dorjee Shugden groups, Harwa Rinpoche and Panchen Lama, recognized by the Chinese government. What evidences you have to support your claims?
i. What follows is some publicly available information about Harwa Rinpoche.
ii. Relationship with Dorje Shugden Bliss & Wisdom’s puja text shows “Shugden” in Chinese, but not in Tibetan. BW should explain what “Shugden” is doing in its torma offering text.
I have privately asked the editors of Bliss and Wisdom’s puja text, and they informed me that the addition of “Shugden” was an instruction from superiors. Who are these superiors? Probably Mary Jin.
iii. I have seen with my own eyes how Mary Jin asked Master Jih-Chang to tell His Holiness the Dalai Lama that Dorje Shugden is not that bad after all, and that she was willing to mediate between His Holiness and Dorje Shugden. Given this incident, we can reasonably suspect that she has close connection to Dorje Shugden.
iv. Many lay followers requested Rinpoches to do divinations, which revealed Mary Jin’s association with Dorje Shugden. In my many years in Bliss and Wisdom, I have not seen anyone practice Dorje Shugden. The one time I discovered Shugden material, I quickly alerted the others and got rid of them.
TPI: Their allegations are criticizing you, by saying Bliss and Wisdom still has healthy relationships with the major sanghas within the Taiwan Buddhist communities and has received their heart-warming support. They said you used the tactic of one-sided accusations with no basis to spread rumours. How you respond to them that your side represents Taiwan’s Buddhist community?
FY: Taiwanese Buddhist leaders gathered at Nanputuo Temple in August to denounce BW for allowing a lay woman to control the bhikshu sangha. https://ladakh2017blog.wordpress.com/2017/08/07/gebis-denounced/ Nanpuoto Temple is a reputable Buddhist institute in Taiwan, and has a very special relationship with Bliss and Wisdom. Master Jih-Chang first taught the lamrim chenmo at Nanputuo Temple when he returned to Taiwan from India. Many Nanputuo monks know the senior Bliss and Wisdom monks personally, and a number of senior Bliss and Wisdom monks were formerly graduates of Nanputuo Buddhist Institute themselves.
Also, many Taiwanese monks are criticizing Bliss and Wisdom’s actions on Facebook and Youtube. One of the more outspoken ones is Ven Ziran. https://ladakh2017blog.wordpress.com/2017/08/17/rude-visits-ziran/
Although His Holiness the Dalai Lama and His Eminence the 102nd Ganden Tripa praise Bliss and Wisdom for the good work it has done in teaching the dharma, they are in agreement with senior Taiwanese monks that it is unacceptable for a lay woman to control a bhikshu sangha, or for her to live with monks in the same house and use them as her pesonal attendants. That is the central issue and BW should not dodge it. We hope that Bliss and Wisdom will take their advice seriously, and revert to becoming a reputable Gelugpa and Buddhist organization. If they do not, then as Bliss and Wisdom vice-abbot Ven Ru De says, they should simply set up their own religious movement.
TPI: Anything you may think or prove their claims/criticisms/demands are wrong and you and your group are at the right place?
FY: Bliss and Wisdom vice-abbot Ven Ru De has already said that Bliss and Wisdom belongs neither Tibetan Buddhist nor Chinese Buddhist lineages. That may be a clever tactic to say that other organizations have no right to criticize Bliss and Wisdom and tell them that it is against the vinaya, but that statement backfired very badly because Bliss and Wisdom basically admitted that it is a cult, since it will not listen to its Tibetan lineage masters or the Taiwanese Chinese Buddhist community.
TPI: If your statements are accurate, the current crisis is definitely hurting the relationship between Bliss & Wisdom and His Holiness the Dalai Lama, as well as its relationship with other Buddhist organizations all over the world. What is your reaction and how you explain the current relationship between Bliss & Wisdom and His Holiness the Dalai Lama?
FY: Plenty of public documentation leave no doubt at all that Master Jih-Chang saw His Holiness the Dalai Lama as his teacher, which His Holiness has acknowledged publicly. Bliss and Wisdom has taken His Holiness as its main spiritual leader and teacher. Also, when Master Jih-Chang passed away, His Holiness told Bliss and Wisdom that:
“In future, as though he were still alive, I shall take the responsibility of taking care of both monks and lay followers of the organization, and keep praying for your efforts in upholding the pure teachings. If you have any problems, just as in the past, don’t be afraid to ask me directly. I will also express my thoughts to you.”
Mary Jin has now seized Master Jih-Chang’s position and claims to be his successor. However, in her leadership of the organization, is she really succeeding Master Jih-Chang’s legacy and spirit? We should examine closely how these two leaders have been directing the organization. Unlike Master Jih-Chang, Mary Jin attempted to build a personality cult around herself, eclipsing His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s stature in the hearts of Bliss and Wisdom followers. She has discreetly diverted His Holiness’ disciples to Harwa Rinpoche and the fake Chinese Panchen system. Abandoning our original lineage, and cheating Bliss and Wisdom followers is extremely deceitful and unbecoming.
Of course, His Holiness the Dalai Lama cannot be harmed in body or in his spirit of bodhichitta. However, kidnapping His Holiness’ beloved disciples and putting them under the evil claws of the Chinese Communists and Shugden is tantamount to harming His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Also, how well disciples keep their samaya vows will directly affect His Holiness’ longevity.
TPI: You have raised several corruption cases, include a lack of transparency, sexual abuses, misappropriations of funds, and misuse of power at the organization. What are the sufficient evidences? You also said there were several sexual abuses against many ordained monks while living inside the organisation. What evidences you have to support your claims?
i. Licentious behavior with monks
At a vinaya session in Nanputuo Temple, Ven Fan Yin played an audio recording of a novice monk admitting that Mary Jin seduced him into breaking his vows. The audio recording has not been publicly released. Vinaya session in Nanputuo Temple:
ii. Deceitful fund-raising methods
Ven Fan Yin has gone on Taiwanese television to display receipts showing evidence of Bliss and Wisdom’s deceitful fund-raising methods.
Bliss and Wisdom still insists that funds were never diverted. If so, they should get an independent auditor to check all accounts and publicize the findings. Even better, they should publicize a list of all companies and properties connected to Bliss and Wisdom, including the expensive houses Mary Jin lives in, and audit all accounts connected to those companies and property purchases as well. The fact that Bliss and Wisdom has yet to do that clearly suggests that they have something to hide.
iii. Creating myths and abusing power
It is difficult to gather evidence for these claims because Mary Jin’s teachings are strictly controlled. However, many followers who attended retreats at Bliss and Wisdom will hear stories from Bliss and Wisdom monks about Mary Jin’s supposed magical powers. Mary Jin has created a Marco organization outside of the sangha, with a hierarchical and authoritarian system of control. Mary Jin is herself surrounded and shielded by the Marco monks, and her whereabouts are always kept secret. No one knows where she is or what she is doing. Even if the abbot wants to meet her, he has to receive approval from the Marco monks. Sometimes even after a long wait, he may not even get to meet Mary Jin, but if the abbot makes decisions without her approval, he gets a good scolding from her. All the monks know about this.
TPI: Finally, please feel free if you have any other important that we may forgetting and any special message to your supporters around the world.
FY: In the past, Master Jih-Chang was a very involved and hands-on leader. As much as possible, he would attend and oversee retreats and events; even when he was old and sick, he would try to give short teachings. His virtuous and compassionate behavior, witnessed by his disciples directly, won them over sincerely. There was no such thing as rampant fund-raising. Followers were never pressured or encouraged to give donations, except through their own initiative. Funds were used judiciously.
When Mary Jin took over, things were completely reversed. She hides behind the scenes, manipulating and controlling monks from a distance with high-pressure tactics. It is no wonder that monks are complaining all the time. All of Bliss and Wisdom’s enterprises have lost their original social and environmental goals, subsumed by the pursuit of profit. Bliss and Wisdom appears to grow larger by the day, but it is gradually betraying the Buddhist spirit, and will finally crumble under the light of truth. Numerous wrongdoings and scandals, accumulated over the years like time bombs, have finally exploded into the open.
Master Jih-Chang toiled for years to build Bliss and Wisdom into a spiritual home, aided by faithful and innocent followers who were inspired by his conduct. However, his organization has been quietly hijacked by a nefarious group for the sake of power and money, even discreetly replacing the lineage. If you love Bliss and Wisdom, and wish to uphold the pure dharma now sullied by Bliss and Wisdom’s actions, please observe and reflect on these events rationally and objectively. It is your actions which will determine whether the dharma will flourish or degenerate. I pray that with our united and determined efforts, we can put pressure on Bliss and Wisdom to change for the better, reverting to the simple and pure Buddhist organization it once was and should be. This is also the best we can do in memory of our beloved Master Jih-Chang.
The views expressed in this interview are personal and may not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Tibet Post International (TPI).