Thursday, August 30, 2018

Shambhala Denies All Allegations of Misconduct




Shambhalas letter of Denial to the community 
 
"Dear Community -
 
We are writing to you in the wake of today’s release of more allegations of misconduct and criminal behavior regarding the Sakyong and board members that were released in Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 3.
 
We want to be clear to you, our community, that based on the information provided, Shambhala, the Sakyong and the four Board members named in these allegations categorically deny the substance of the allegations, which are not only unfounded, but are each based on speculative and unsubstantiated claims.  The publication of such salacious and defamatory information is grossly irresponsible.
 
Over the past six months, Shambhala has made it clear that we take any claims of misconduct extremely seriously. We invite and encourage anyone with a claim of harm to bring such claims forward through one of the three channels we have opened.  Our focus remains on the appropriate healing and rebuilding of our community, especially as we move through this leadership transition.
 
There are three ways to report a claim of harm:
 
  • Third-Party Investigation: Claims of sexual assault or misconduct by any teacher or leader in the Shambhala community can be raised directly to the independent investigator, Selina Bath, of Wickwire Holm. Ms. Bath can be reached by e-mail or phone at (902) 482-7030.
     
  • Care and Conduct Process:  Shambhala’s Care and Conduct policy exists to address cases of harm within the community and provide a path forward for all parties when a complaint has been brought against a Shambhala office holder. Click here to contact the International Care and Conduct panel.
     
  • An Olive Branch: An Olive Branch will serve as a neutral third-party to receive stories of harm and provide victim advocacy services. In the coming weeks, they will open a Listening Post where stories can be brought forward. Questions about this work may be directed to Katheryn Wiedman, Co-Director of An Olive Branch and Project Director, by e-mail.
 
Further, we are disappointed to learn of the continued attempts to discredit the integrity of Wickwire Holm’s independent investigation and the work of An Olive Branch, both neutral and independent third-party organizations working to provide services to those who have felt harmed in the community.


  • For questions about the investigation and Shambhala’s relationship to Wickwire Holm, please refer to the community e-mail that was sent on August 11, 2018 which includes a statement from Wickwire Holm.


  • To read about An Olive Branch’s complete scope of work, please refer to the community e-mail that was sent on July 20, 2018 to the community by An Olive Branch.

From the beginning of this process in February, our intent has always been to promptly and thoroughly investigate all claims by anyone who has felt harmed within the Shambhala community, to effectively remedy all claims that are substantiated, and to create a strong and healthy sangha.

As always, we welcome your feedback, questions and concerns at kalapacouncil@shambhala.org.

We also invite you to contact the Transition Task Force with questions or suggestions about the leadership transition process at transitiontaskforce@shambhala.org.


With appreciation,
The Outgoing Kalapa Council
Josh Silberstein, Chair
Jane Arthur
David Brown
Wendy Friedman
Jesse Grimes
Mitchell Levy
Adam Lobel
Robert Reichner
Christoph Schönherr"



The FACT Team

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