Updated: Rinzai-Ji responds to allegations of sexual misconduct by Joshu Sasaki; community meeting announced
Following on last week’s news of a gathering among the board of directors of Rinzai-Ji to address allegations of sexual conduct by Joshu Sasaki Roshi, Adam Tebbe of Sweeping Zen (the Tebbe-run website that has been instrumental in creating discussion in the matter) reports:
“Yesterday (11/30/2012), Kogan Seiju Bob Mammoser, Osho (of the Albuquerque Zen Center) sent out a letter addressed ‘To whom it may concern,’ on behalf of Rinzai-ji Oshos. It is unclear what role the Board of Directors, the body in charge of governance at Rinzai-ji, will now have in the direction being taken. According to Seiju’s letter, representatives of the Board (not the Board itself) will be invited to participate.” Update: Buddhadharma News has received a copy of the letter. It reads, in full:
“To whom it may concern,“The oshos of Joshu Sasaki Roshi are deeply troubled by the allegations of abuse involving some of the students who have practiced at our centers.“In order to thoroughly address this matter, on the weekend of January 5-6, 2013, the Mount Baldy Zen Center will host a meeting for the oshos of our community together with an independent, professional facilitator trained in addressing such matters. We will also invite representatives of the Mt. Baldy Board, the Rinzai-ji Board, as well as members of the ordained sangha to attend. This meeting will be the necessary first step to clarify within our organization what is an extremely difficult and complex issue. We welcome any suggestions or comments that sangha members might have regarding this meeting and the issues to be discussed. Confidentiality is guaranteed. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.“We bow deeply with folded hands for your patience and understanding as we attempt to deal with what is a matter of crucial importance for our community.“On behalf of the Rinzai-ji Oshos,“Kogan Seiju Bob Mammoser”
Tebbe’s post notes that while he and his site have been pursuing the story, Sweeping Zen was not, as of the time of his report, a direct recipient of the Board’s letter. You can read his full report here.