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Cult or Culture (part 17)

April 5, 2012

…the only place in cyberspace where truth and true Buddhism live.

Soon I began to openly question the erratic behavior of certain Culture Center Clutch members. I genuinely wondered if some people assembled at the frequent gatherings were on or perhaps off of medication. Especially one guy in particular, who could never differentiate between the sound of his own voice and the sound of anyone else speaking, so he would talk incessantly while someone else was talking – and his monologue rants were always about what he had learned or had been instructed to do while working all over the world under the tutelage of the man with the glasses.

I began to openly question why the many meetings were so disorganized…the scrambling of the chairs on stage after gongyo…the snoring on stage during gongyo…the stampedes to snag the fresh fruit off the alter after gongyo… the people selected to read some message to the audience, who either needed glasses or who honestly couldn’t read as they stumbled over the simplest words in the announcement.

I began to openly question why the sole focus of every meeting was how many new people would attend and not on what would happen once they arrived.

I openly questioned why the Culture Center Clutch had an expensive state of the art sound system but did not have or would not pay anyone qualified to operate it. You could expect to hear the squelch of feedback anytime at any meeting, or you could expect to go to the microphone and hear no sound at all.

I openly questioned why the hand full of people who loyally did so much work, for the benefit of the Culture Clutch Center, were not rewarded with salaried positions – like one lady who had been a member of the Culture Center Clutch for forever and had also been out of work for over a year, who had amazing computer and business administration skills, who designed and printed all kinds of materials for the many meetings – who had meetings at her home and supplied refreshments and bottled water for dozens of people weekly…why couldn’t she do all those same tasks on staff?

There were staff, you know –people who got white window-envelopes sometimes handed to them as they sat and chanted with the rest of us.

Only two things come in white window-envelopes; invoices and checks…I’m gonna go with checks. TO BE CONTINUED 





One Comment leave one →
  1. April 5, 2012 10:17 am

    Thank you for authoring your experience, Roguebuddha.

    It’s refreshing to see that many of the same questions and frustrations that I experienced in my own time with the Culture Center Clutch did not occur in, according to many “leaders,” the void of the icchantika. I had studied other schools of Buddhism before ever visiting my local CCC, and these studies colored my perception of the discipline enough for me to know that what was offered via that local community was Buddhist in name only.

    I’m still recovering from that contact. I’m learning, by consulting the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren’s writings for myself, to weigh and evaluate Nichiren Buddhism as entirely separate from the CCC. It’s surprising how much actual dharma is contained in those sources as opposed to the writings of the man with glasses.

    Thank you again.

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