I came to the NKT in June of this year.
I will not be going back.
My time in the NKT was very short, but long enough to see that there is a culture of verbal abuse that is accepted by the management hierarchy.
While in Brazil, the monk in charge of the building project on three occasions threatened me with physical violence in order to "break through my self cherishing." It is my understanding from others who were on the project that his verbal assaults are typical of his behaviour, they have been ongoing for many years.
His managers, when they arrived, Rabchog and Genla Dekyong, both told me that I should take it on the chin, that if I am a Kadampa I would understand that it is my self cherishing mind holding onto my I... Blah Blah Blah.
I have found in my short experience in the NKT that any rational explanation of why one cannot attend puja, or more profoundly do certain types of work in Brazil is often met with the response that "you do not have enough faith" or "you need to do more for your guru" or some other such nonsense.
I have been practicing Buddhism for a very long time. Buddha has been in my family since I was a child. The suggestion that I do not have enough faith in Buddha is so profoundly demented that it just makes me shake my head and feel compassion for those who have been polluted by the manipulative mind of control and abuse. It is a gangster mentality of uniformity, control, and manipulation.
That being said I have been so delighted to meet so many new friends from around the world. The teaching for me ultimately is the understanding that I already have all the tools I need in my own mind. I know that I simply need to continue my Zazen practice while following the 16 Bodhissattva precepts which I took many many years ago.
I have a profoundly deep respect for Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, it was delightful to meet him in person and hold him warmly in a friendly hug. It was also a blessing to give my Bodhissattva vow in his presence. Such a joy.
I will be around so to speak, not as a member of the NKT, but as a fellow Buddhist following the teachings of Buddha Shakyamuni. (Buddha Shakyamuni, not some latter day saints of Buddhism with some strange 'quick' paths which seem to just lead people to the hell realms...)
In emptiness there is no tradition.
The author of this essay has published variants on various web sites, adding "On another occasion he described to me how quickly he could kill me. It is my understanding from others who were on the project that his verbal assaults are typical of his behaviour, they have been ongoing for many years."
We just received a comment from NKT about this report.
"November 19, 2010.
You may have recently read an email or posting from Matt MacCurdy about Kelsang Khyentse, the Building Manager of Manjushri KMC.
We know Khyentse very well. Khyentse himself has told people that before he met Dharma, he had angry behaviour. He has said that since he met Dharma and became a member of the NKT community, he has pacified his previous anger problem and has found a peaceful and meaningful life.
Khyentse helped to build the Temple at KMC New York for many years. There were no problems and people were happy with him. Then he worked on the building projects at KMC France, KMC Germany and KMC Spain for several years – again there weren't any problems and people were happy with him. Normally as the Building Manager here at Manjushri KMC, Khyentse works with groups of people and again everyone is happy with him. So we understand that Khyentse is telling the truth when he says that through meeting Dharma, he has pacified his previous anger problem.
Unfortunatly this year in Brazil, two things happened - Khyentse had very heavy responsibility for the Temple building project with tight completion deadlines and also some people caused him to become angry. Because of this, his previous angry behaviour returned. We are very sorry that this happened.
NKT Managers we are now asking Khyentse to please maintain a peaceful mind, and we are also trying to prevent other people from causing his anger to return. In this way we believe that such problems can be avoided in the future.
I hope this information is helpful to you,
NKT – IKBU General Secretary on behalf of NKT-IKBU
-- NKT Office
Ulverston, Cumbria LA12 9QQ
[+44] (0)1229 588 533
Skype : nktsecretary"
We applaud NKT for validating the report as well as saying they will try to curtail this problem inside NKT. We do not know if NKT's anger psychoanalyis is correct.
Subsequent to posting this report and NKT's responce here, substantial commentary has been posted critical of NKT's corporate culture of arrogance which fuels NKT's anger. Many have presented similar personaly stories. This report is not an isolated or resolved incident.
Thus, NKT has a course now promising to treat its followers' anger....