I've been posting my Zen notes, poems and aphorisms on Twitter since the summer of 2009. In December of that year, three very strange people began cyberstalking and harassing me through multiple Web sites and multiple (mostly anonymous) Twitter accounts. Their names are Alyce Zeoli -- aka "Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo," the controversial "founder and spiritual director" of an organization called the Kunzang Palyul Choling -- and David Williams and John Buhmeyer, so-called monks in that same purportedly Buddhist organization.(John Buhmeyer aka "Palzang" is now serving a twenty year sentence in the Arizona state pen for raping at least one little boy. More on that vile and stupid piece of business below.)
At the time Alyce Zeoli, David Williams and John Buhmeyer began cyberstalking me my glorious cat Bella, 18 years old, was dying slowly of kidney failure. See "The Miraculous." I told them about it and begged them, in a way they no doubt found abject and pathetic, to leave me alone. They mocked me for my trouble. After she died, these three ridiculed me again for the anguish I expressed to my friends on Twitter and made sarcastic jokes about it that were gleefully RTd by their whole group, with a generous sprinkling of LOL and ROTFLs. When I objected to this abuse, they piously informed me that everything that happens in the world is the result of karma, so clearly I must done something to earn my grief. In other words, these are not compassionate followers of the Buddha Dharma, but vicious people who behave in low and sadistic ways.
Note that all the official Kunzang Palyul Choling Twitter accounts were "blocked" by me from the very beginning, yet after getting blocked they continued to routinely RT and comment derisively on my postings, and new Twitter accounts with zero followers created solely for the purpose of attack popped up to harangue me just about every day. And for a while there, "Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo" herself contacted anyone who RTd or spoke well of me to inform them that I was actually a con man and a violent felon named "William Cassidy," aka Tenpa Rinpoche. If they told her to go away, she tended to resort to personal insult. Among many others, the cultists harassed and insulted an amazing woman named Clara Llum Ibanez, whom I personally consider to be a true Roshi, merely because she stood up to them and insisted I was not William Cassidy. This was all due to their ire at me for not folding and going offline.
The sheer intensity of it was breathtaking. I was systematically demonized by this entire crazed cult. By the end of 2010 alone I'd been subjected to well over 10,000 threatening, cajoling and mocking KPC tweets, as well as hundreds of slanderous, anonymously written blog posts. About a dozen Twitter friends messaged me privately to say that they feared for my life. What's more, during that year the Guru herself tried to interfere in every one of my online friendships and interactions. This would have been easier to deal with if "Jetsunma" was just an ordinary crazy woman -- but no, she was able to throw around the weight of a "lineage," a crown, a throne and deceptively cut-and-pasted quotes from famous lamas testifying to her supposed spiritual accomplishment. Nobody in the whole world has ever been more intensively or systematically "cyberstalked" than I was by "Jetsunma" and the KPC.
Many people were spooked by the KPC's psychotic behavior, and the resulting confusion made it very difficult for me to teach anyone Zen/Haragei. The Tulku and two monks seemed to take a sadistic pleasure in depriving me of an audience. Though I deleted my Twitter account and restarted it under a different name, or changed my Twitter handle, at least twenty times to elude these saffron-robed psychopaths, they always found me again within a few days via the "replies" or RTs of my friends. Zeoli, Buhmeyer and Williams also reposted screenshots of hundreds of my "tweets" on their foolishly named anonymous blog, "Protecting Nyingma," surrounded by paranoid aha! commentary, as "hard evidence" that I was actually William Cassidy. They've since quietly deleted those libelous posts -- but without apology or any admission of wrongdoing. This initial round of cult craziness went on for almost a whole year.
Alyce Zeoli (I refuse to call her "Jetsunma"without quotation marks, as this is a term of high respect one uses for a real Buddhist teacher) is renowned both on and offline for her tantrums, high handed arrogance and belittling response to the merest criticisms; while David Williams is infamous for rude, persistent, laughably obtuse attacks on all who don't fall in line with his Guru's bizarre pronouncements. John Buhmeyer was personally ordained as a monk by "Jetsunma" and allowed the run of the KPC "Temple" -- including access to visitors' children -- despite the fact that he'd served a previous prison sentence for child molestation.
Here is some more background, courtesy of Google Search: before she became a "Buddhist," Alyce Zeoli was an ordinary spiritual cult leader and psychic who channeled the prophet Jeremiah and alien voices such as "Andor, Head of the Intergalactic Council," a demon named "Santu," and even the strange, high-pitched "Miss Buddha" in her suburban basement every Thursday night. At various times, according to the books and articles on her, she's claimed to clearly remember earlier incarnations in which she ruled an entire galaxy, ruled an ancient civilization on earth, &c. &c. Zeoli was recognized as the Tulku -- an enlightened reincarnated mindstream -- of an obscure sixteenth century cave-meditating Tibetan yogini named Ahkon Lhamo by no lesser lama than H. H. Penor Rinpoche, who later caused much head-shaking disbelief by also recognizing actor Steven Seagal as a Tulku. (Later, the disillusioned Penor Rinpoche confided to a journalist he would not be recognizing any more American tulkus -- since Americans tend to have "a problem with pride." And shortly before he died, Penor Rinpoche wrote a roughly worded letter to Jetsunma demanding that she stop referring to herself as a realized person and stop teaching Buddhadharma in his name.) At her spectacular widely televised "enthronement," for which she apparently tried to appear dignified but managed only to look scared, mean and self-centered, Alyce Zeoli's students gave her the honorific title "Jetsunma." Still later, another controversial Tibetan lama identified her as a current emanation of Princess Mandarava, one of Padmasambhava's tantric consorts. ("And was the Easter Bunny there, too?" - Sam Kinison.)
There's no detailed Google background available on cyberbully-monk David Williams. He seems pretty much a non-entity, defined only by his reckless devotion to satisfying the whims of the long con Guru he calls "an emanation of Primordial Wisdom." Why sell someone the Brooklyn Bridge, when you can sell them a Brooklyn Buddha?
As for John Buhmeyer, he was for a time both a high profile spokesman for the KPC and the hand-wringing, sob-story hatchet man in their online campaign to discredit William Cassidy. He also worked as a ghostwriter for the semi-literate "Jetsunma." So, ironically, many of the Guru's published "teachings" about compassion and perfect wisdom are in fact the words of a child molester.
The reason for these three weird people cyberstalking me, and relentlessly harassing anybody with whom I interacted on Twitter, is still mysterious. The catalyst may simply have been this: that when they showed up on Twitter in December of 2009 like the new whirlwind Inquisition, demanding to know the real life identities and qualifications of every person who was at that time discussing topics related to Buddhism and spreading fear about this William Cassidy, aka Tenpa Rinpoche, I was one of the few to remain unimpressed by the tulku mythology; I told them in plain language to get lost. I liked Kundun as much as anyone else. I am familiar with the Vajrayana and count a Tibetan lama as one of my informal teachers. Yet I felt these people were frauds, and I wasted no time saying so. Maybe this was my mistake -- I was too outspoken.
Why were these people so incensed about William Cassidy that in the autumn of 2009 "Jetsunma" ordered every single monk and nun in her organization to open a Twitter account devoted to pursuing and attacking him? Apparently, "Tenpa Rinpoche" had at one time belonged to the innermost circle of the Kunzang Palyul Choling cult, even serving as its Chief Operating Officer. But in 2007 he left the compound in Sedona, Arizona, taking with him a renegade nun named Nydia Alexander, and shortly afterward started posting a series of devastating articles on his blog about the misbehavior of both the cult and its deified "Spiritual Leader."
Although "Tenpa" operated his own official Twitter account, he posted on it rarely and then only to publicize links to new blog posts. He did not engage in any back-and-forth debates. But the Kunzang Palyul Choling seemed determined to flush him out, and when Cassidy did not go along with their plan these harpies became demented, running an endless loop of links to shrill and slanderous articles on their own anti-Cassidy blog, "Protecting Nyingma," and turning viciously on anybody who questioned either their methods or their Spiritual Leader's character and competence as a teacher of Buddhism. They especially swarmed, insulted and harassed @vajragurl, a Twitter account run by the ex-nun Nydia Alexander. And me.
Although Zeoli, Williams and Buhymeyer often claimed that since my Twitter account was anonymous (as it was at the time, though clearly not anymore) I must have something to hide, and therefore was beyond any possible doubt William Cassidy posing insidiously as a Zen teacher, they also spent an inordinate amount of time and energy trying to argue with, contradict and debunk me on matters of Zen. In these mini-debates they displayed a really outrageous ignorance about the most basic teachings of the Buddha.
Unfortunately, I did not take their many threats seriously enough, and failed to contact the police.
But these mentally disturbed people did not fail to collect any and every annoyed or exasperated counter-tweet of mine, some of them containing what might be considered by drawing room standards moderately rough language, though not so much so for the Internet, and these tweets they forwarded to the FBI via their high powered Washington law firm along with the many famous @vajragurl tweets that are said to have so horribly distressed poor victim Alyce Zeoli.
"Alyce Zeoli" -- a name I'd never even heard until the first of her childish insults appeared on my Twitter stream, and a name I truly wish I’d never had the displeasure of hearing!
As it turned out, none of my tweets were included in the affidavits or in the "criminal complaint" leading up to the arrest of William Cassidy in 2011. Apparently, in and of themselves my tweets were not considered especially noteworthy; nobody in law enforcement ever cited them as shocking outrages or claimed there was even the slightest thing illegal about them. Yet the FBI agent running the faux "investigation" seems to have thought that these tweets signaled some sort of collusion or partnering up with "Tenpa," and maybe got excited about the idea of uncovering a massive interstate conspiracy to say mean things to the Tulku lady.
Of course, Zeoli, Williams and Buhmeyer absent-mindedly neglected to inform the FBI about their own incessantly negative and provocative, often quite creepy, online activities against me and many unlucky others. Whoops! But I've since downloaded hundreds of pages from Twitter and Google caches documenting just this. Either I was lucky in downloading these pages faster than they were able to delete them, or these odd people simply do not understand how the Internet works. I expect to soon be making this puerile, repugnant cult material available for easy perusal by anyone with the patience and the stomach for it.
Here, for example, is just a taste of the cult vitriol I endured: an anonymous, rather immature person commenting on my poem "Hannya" (see above) and several of my Twitter posts under the mistaken assumption that they were written by William Cassidy. Multiply it five hundred to a thousand times and add constant personal assaults by a certain tulku and monk against my friends on Twitter as well as endless threats about the agonizing consequences of disrespecting a Living Buddha and you'll get a fair idea of what my online life was like for almost a whole year. Read further down that cached blog page for some additional crazed and disturbing stuff. Maybe this is just my imagination, but the style of the "poems" posted on this anonymously authored attack blog -- just one such blog of dozens created over that year -- seems quite reminiscent of some of the lama's own poetry.
Here also is a gleefully tasteless Twitter page created by somebody just to harangue William Cassidy in the voice and name of his deceased mother: @Haunted_Spirit. It creeped me out even though I'm not him. Note the ubiquitous and quite unsolicited replies here to my previous Twitter name, "Akebonojishi." Zeoli, Williams and Buhmeyer had recently announced to the entire cult group that I was Cassidy. Dozens of anonymous Twitter attack accounts like this one sprang up at about the same time, all of them laboring mightily to cause maximum "emotional distress." So who was really stalking whom? The New York Times seems to have missed out on an intriguing crime story.
Here also is "Jetsunma" herself on Twitter exchanging pithy observations about my character -- based solely on reading my Twitter page -- with John Buhmeyer. At the time John Buhmeyer repeatedly raped the young boy in Arizona he was a respected member of "the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery in North America," personally approved and ordained as a monk by "the emanation of Primordial Wisdom" herself (despite the fact that he had a prior conviction for sexual assault on a minor -- a fact which William Cassidy had revealed as early as 2009) and represented in his venerable Buddhist robes the thousand year old Nyingmapa school of Vajrayana Buddhism. He was also cyberstalking me with great zest and self-righteousness.
It's not as if stalking behavior by the Kunzang Palyul Choling hasn't been documented before. In this Slate article, a Washington Post journalist tells of being "frightened" by the threatening hate mail she got from Alyce Zeoli's nuns after she published a less than reverential book about their lama. And the book itself, or at least what I've read of it, describes some chilling cult-like activity.
The Buddha from Brooklyn was widely reviewed. Many of these reviews, as well as excerpts from the book itself, are available on the Internet. Leaving aside the quality of the writing and Sherrill's somewhat strange interpretation of events she witnesses, let's take a quick look at what a few of the reviewers had to say about its factual content. Newsweek: "Washington Post reporter Sherrill testifies to the charisma of Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo, nee Alyce Zeoli, but we see an apparent fraud: channeling, abusing credulous devotees, living high off their money." The Chicago Tribune: "Instead of Jetsunma's being the warmly wise purveyor of wisdom most people imagine a Buddhist monk to be, Sherrill reveals her as a stunningly egotistic demagogue of the most insidious kind. Unlike lamas in India, who raise money to feed their monks, Jetsunma squeezes every penny out of her followers for a $10,000-a-month salary that she blows mostly on clothes and makeup. She has little grasp of Buddhist precepts, and one visitor to the monastery remarks, 'It was weird how the monks all had jobs, went to work during the day, and came home and watched The Simpsons on TV.' There are terrifyingly cult-like meetings in which Jetsunma verbally abuses and even hits monks who have displeased -- or just disagreed with -- her." The LA Times: "[Jetsunma] is a rather complicated, if not thoroughly secular, person, given to certain personal and temperamental indulgences (megalomania, lying, verbal abuse, to name a few). She is also physically violent; in one instance, she hits a disciple in the face. She also accepts a $100,000 yearly salary while her students go into debt to pay her . . . In the end, Sherrill has written a spiritual horror story."
Even before The Buddha from Brooklyn was published, "shocking" rumors were going around about "Jetsunma's" mentally unstable, criminal, and vicious behavior. In an article published in Mirabella in 1998 -- titled "Bad Karma" -- Esquire magazine Fiction Editor Will Blythe had this to say about "Jetsunma" and her unsavory cult followers:
There are unsettling rumors arising from Poolesville . . . From many sources connected with the Temple -- several insistent on anonymity for fear of reprisal -- come reports of beatings administered to monks and nuns by Jetsunma, of shady, even illegal financial dealings, of psychic abuse and manipulation eerily reminiscent of the early days of Jonestown . . . When it became known that Tenzin Chophak, a recently enthroned tulku and a translator for Penor Rinpoche, was talking openly to me about KPC, his electronic mailbox filled with anonymous hate messages and death threats, among them: "You better watch your back." "Testicular cancer will befall you, and in a hurry, I hope." "You will burn in Vajra hell for many kalpas for what you are doing" . . . I, too, was warned, by a former Temple member . . . 'She will fuck you royally," he said. "She has these people who think she's God. They might come burn your house down, put a bomb in your car. Or they'll put a hex on you and you'll have bad dreams for ten years."The FBI's investigation department must be slacking off, because as a result of Alyce Zeoli's complaint a team of federal agents in dark clothing broke into my Oregon home before dawn on the morning of February 15th, 2011. Hearing the shattered glass and tense, deranged-sounding men's voices screaming, "Get down here, now!" my girlfriend and I barricaded ourselves in an upstairs room to make a 911 call. After being informed by the 911 operator that it was the FBI in our house, we finally surrendered ourselves. And got handcuffed. Tensely, at gunpoint. The agents -- who seemed truly more frightened and shaky than we were -- then read out a search warrant for our computer equipment and cell phones and, after removing the handcuffs, questioned us both on the cheerful joint topic of "Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo" and "William Cassidy."
It was then, surrounded by well-armed men dressed in black paramilitary gear, that I was asked with a straight face how, where and when I'd first met William Cassidy, how often I checked in with him by phone, texts or e-mails, and exactly when I had last traveled to the California high desert for a presumed face-to-face sit down to work out the details of our nefarious plot to cause "Jetsunma" emotional distress via Twitter. The agents also spent an inordinate amount of time searching the basement and greenhouse, as if they hoped to find explosives or a maybe a cache of Tommy guns. I told them they were raiding the wrong compound; they must have taken a wrong turn at Albequerque, because where they really belonged was the Kunzang Palyul Choling enclave in Maryland. They informed me that the FBI agent who filed the affidavit leading to the armed invasion of my home is based, surprise, in Baltimore.
Note that one of Alyce Zeoli's high-priced "boutique" attorneys formerly served as legal counsel to Attorney General Janet Reno and still undoubtedly maintains friends in high places -- a fact that goes a long way toward explaining how this egregious perversion of justice came about. Although it's still sort of odd, because I thought Janet Reno was against doomsday cults. It also strikes me as bizarre for our government to be taking its orders from a crazy lady in a crown. Paying for this kind of high-octane legal help must take a rather large chunk out of the reported ten thousand dollars a month Alyce Zeoli receives (tax free) for her services as the Kunzang Palyul Choling's "Spiritual Director."
I later learned that on the very same morning William Cassidy was arrested in California in a similar pre-dawn tactical raid and transported in handcuffs and leg irons to Baltimore. There, he sat in the federal wing of a maximum security prison for 10 months on the charge of engaging in an online course of conduct alleged to have caused "substantial emotional distress" to Alyce Zeoli, ridiculously designated as "Victim 1" in the court documents. If this person is a "victim" I'm Snoopy. Did I ever tell you how I shot down the Red Baron?
According to the criminal complaint, which has to be one of the more stilted and improbable works of fiction I've ever read, Alyce Zeoli was so vexed -- or "emotionally distressed" -- by the content of William Cassidy's blogs and Twitter feed that she sequestered herself in her house for 18 months under 24/7 armed guard, going out only to meet with her psychiatrist. Sadly, I know from personal experience what she was doing to amuse herself during those long days and nights -- creating, wildly exploiting, and deleting multiple crazy Twitter accounts and blogs to threaten, creep out, abuse, and persecute perceived enemies (or, people she just didn't like that much). "Psycho Tulku, qu'est-ce que c'est?" All with the kind assistance of David Williams and John Buhmeyer, of course. With monks like these, who needs cronies?
The Electronic Frontier Foundation submitted an Amicus motion on Cassidy's behalf to dismiss the entire case on First Amendment grounds. See U.S. vs. Cassidy, also this interesting article. "In this case, the government has presented the novel and dangerous theory that the use of a public communication service like Twitter to criticize a well-known individual can result in criminal liability based on the personal sensibilities of the person being criticized." (What's more, the untested statute that the government is trying to use to imprison William Cassidy could just as easily be used against Alyce Zeoli and David Williams, insofar as their cyberstalking caused me "substantial emotional distress.") Cassidy was released on December 16, 2011 by order of Judge Roger W. Titus, who agreed with the Electronic Frontier Foundation and summarily dismissed the puerile horseshit case.
Note that while the whole Kunzang Palyul Choling Sangha was focused on their Guru's "emotional distress" due to William Cassidy's blogs and Twitter feed, this happened. This felon was not just any Kunzang Palyul Choling monk. According to Sedona, Arizona online arrest records, it was John Buhmeyer himself (Case Number J-1302-CR-201104562. One count of sexual contact with a minor, two counts of sexual assault. Jailed right now.) Fascinatingly, in 2010 "violent felon" and "con man" William Cassidy repeatedly and very publicly called for this disturbed man to be removed from any situation where he might be in contact with children. - Ah! Yet another example of the nefariousness of Tenpa Rinpoche! It's a good thing they got him off the streets and deprived him of an Internet connection for 10 months. Feel free to mentally insert a "sarcasm" emoticon here.
Personally, I regard the whole business as a distraction from the clear truth of Zen. But it is an undeniable fact that these three Kunzang Palyul Choling players at one time or another mocked, stalked, harassed, or insulted every single one my friends on Twitter. Their sordid record of cyberbullying would certainly have come to light at Cassidy's trial and provoked many head-scratching questions. Like, since when does the federal government arbitrarily take sides in Internet flame wars? Also: why wasn't there a warrant to seize the Kunzang Palyul Choling's computer equipment?
If William Cassidy deserved to sit in a jail in Maryland awaiting trial, then clearly Alyce Zeoli, John Buhmeyer and David Williams deserved to sit in jail in Oregon awaiting trial also. These insane people tormented me and harassed my friends and online interlocutors night and day for almost a whole year, doing everything in their power to try to force me offline on the pretense that I was their great enemy William Cassidy. When they couldn't drive me offline, they made false, misleading statements to an FBI agent in order to have my home invaded in the dark by screaming men with guns, wasting precious federal time and resources besides putting lives at risk. Fraud, racketeering, conspiracy to manipulate law enforcement in order to violate other people's civil rights and to commit an act of domestic terrorism -- what's next for the Brooklyn Buddhists?
Those same unbelievably sad, bewildered and angry co-conspirators now claim that even though it has been proven beyond any possible doubt that I was not, as they swore up down and sideways to everyone who would listen (including the FBI), William Cassidy himself, still I must somehow be connected to the man -- and they publish their ignorant, libelous opinion about a person unknown to them along with my name on the official blog of their purported Sangha.
Psychopath that she is, the tulku in question still often mentions me and sometimes RTs my tweets mockingly on her Twitter page, never mind that she is now and always has been "blocked," and uses the same type of inflammatory language about me she did all last year. For example, here is a recent tweet posted by the Buddha from Brooklyn that was later e-mailed to me by a thoughtful online friend: "Poor Muju. Still lying and crying. Tell it to the Judge, wipe the nose, be a man. Better solution. #GROWup." Note: @MuJuShinkyo is my Twitter name. How wonderfully compassionate!
[My online friends tell me that soon after I quoted this gratuitously nasty "tweet" here on my blog, the Tulku's Twitter abuse of me suddenly and completely ceased. I imagine that Alyce Zeoli's lawyer finally went beyond "a word to the wise" approach and stepped hard on the brakes. However, the crude and defamatory "Protecting Nyingma" attack blog, written anonymously by cowardly fake "Buddhist" monk David Williams, does continue to link me by name to William Cassidy -- when in fact the only link between us is that we were both targeted, with varying degrees of success, by the same viper's nest of orange-robed, role-playing mock-Vajrayanist psychopaths.]
Neither the mentally deranged tulku nor the emotionally and intellectually stunted monk capo have yet acknowledged any error in judgement, nor offered the barest hint of an apology. But at some point they did quietly remove every last scrap of the "hard evidence" supposedly proving that I am William Cassidy they'd posted anywhere online. Weird! I wonder why they would do a thing like that!
As early as November, 2011, the Venerable Gyatrul Rinpoche called a KPC flunky onto the carpet & berated him at long & uncomfortable length, albeit with the usual ingratiating Tibetan vagueness, suggesting that the cultists might spend less time fighting with critics & more time developing merit & practicing compassion for all sentient beings. Alyce Zeoli, of course, was too cowardly to show up & take that bitter medicine.
In April, 2012, shortly after the government declined to appeal Judge Titus' decision in the horseshit case against William Cassidy, the KPC launched yet another massive multi-blog and Twitter campaign accusing me not only of trying to kill their Leader by "distressing" her emotionally with sardonic remarks posted on my own Twitter page, but also of conspiring with William Cassidy to fly mysterious helicopters over the cult's Maryland compound. The cult "investigators" at Protecting Nyingma taunted me with the words, "Andrew and Cassidy, sitting in a tree . . . " These anonymous bloggers also dropped the name of my girlfriend, which presumably the KPC's "investigators" had found via Google search, and speculated in offensive terms about our romantic relationship. One of the blog posts even suggested that I ought to feel "the sharp edge of a knife." And "Jetsunma" herself announced on her official Twitter page that she planned to "sue" me for posting amusing excerpts from Martha Sherrill's The Buddha from Brooklyn. See my "The Tulku Peril," and also "High Plains Tulku." But this bizarre renewed stalking campaign came to an abrupt end in May, 2012, just about a month after I had posted public appeals for help addressed to H. H. Karma Kuchen and H. H. Gyatrul Rinpoche on multiple online "Buddhist forums."
Added Note: "Buddhist BS Redux," or, "The Tinfoil Ushnisha Hits the Fan"
It grieves me to see that a man named Bill Schwartz, who was also briefly stalked and harassed by the same two crazed Savonarolas, the crazed child-molesting "monk" and their entire crazed Sangha (but, for a little while there on Twitter, who wasn't?), and who was (just like William Cassidy) dubbed a "cyberstalker" by the whole deranged cult group, has lately been beating his drum online to the effect that the FBI raid I mentioned here proves I must have been guilty of something. It doesn't. In fact, I was never charged with anything to be guilty or not guilty of, which makes his remarks defamatory as well as stupid. And even if I had been charged with something, as William Cassidy was, the charge would be untrue. It's rather fortunate that under our justice system a police raid is not by itself proof of wrongdoing.
The FBI agents in my house seemed to believe I knew William Cassidy personally -- but I didn't, and they couldn't have found any evidence of my knowing him on my cell-phone or laptop or anywhere else because there is and was none. (The agents also seemed confused about who was actually writing my blogs, showing some real astonishment when I told them I was the sole author. One of those blogs contained a single mention of "Jetsunma" as a vicious and rather stupid Guru cyberstalker who'd ordered her students to harass all my friends.)
This is the same Bill Schwartz whom Elephant Journal editor Waylon Lewis described in a recent online interview as "a bored maniacal bully." He's also, I'm sad to say, a smooth and well-practiced liar. Bardo wouldn't melt in his mouth. For about a year, Bill Schwartz gained much sympathy on Twitter -- mine also -- by claiming that he was dying of "incurable congestive heart failure." Then one day he announced that he had gone into a miraculous remission. Soon afterward he was describing his daily skateboarding regimen, and boasting of wining and dining in expensive Chicago restaurants. So far I've heard nothing about the international team of physicians and medical researchers who must now be studying him closely to figure out how to replicate this miracle. But I'll keep my eye on The New England Journal of Medicine.
Bill Schwartz's current problems with me go back to when I broke his noisy one man "boycott" of Elephant Journal by giving his habitual Dharma punching-bag Waylon Lewis this piece to publish. It was soon after this that he publicly accused me of "disrespecting [Tibetan] Buddhism," and began to slander me on Twitter with an endlessly repeated baseless illogical harangue to the effect that I must have "threatened" Alyce Zeoli. Why? Because the FBI showed up at my house on the same day that they arrested William Cassidy in California. But not even William Cassidy was charged with making threats -- and what's more, he's since been exonerated by a federal judge of the crime of "cyberstalking"!
Only weak or confused (or perhaps senile) people indulge in defamation, slander, and cyberbullying. In Zen we have a tradition of Mondo, or "Dharma combat," whereby we confront each other and try to push toward greater awareness and realization. But this is not a tiresome matter of boasting about "slapping the snot" out of your interlocutors. (Gross, by the way, Bill.) Bill Schwartz, a Vajrayanist (like Alyce Zeoli, David Williams and John Buhmeyer) who claims to speak for all Buddhists yet refers casually to making people he dislikes his "bitches" -- he's renowned online for his brutal tirades, and especially for harassing younger and better-looking male Buddhists with crude sexual innuendo -- took offense at some more recent remarks I made to him and has apparently decided to punish me for my boldness in a characteristically mean, low, and calculating way.
When I told Bill Schwartz in one of our Twitter dialogues that he was "behaving like a low human being" he replied, "I'll show you just how low I can go." And I was not disappointed. There seems to be a tendency on the part of American Vajrayanists to confuse "wrathful activity" with low sadism. Such confusion may not be unrelated to "Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome." What's the karmic retribution quotient on a "Bona Fide" Buddhist for "making somebody his bitch"?
By the way, the Kunzang Palyul Choling not only accused Bill Schwartz of cyberstalking "Jetsunma," but also apparently reported him to the police at least once, as these messages exchanged by them in 2010 (I've cut-and-pasted them into consecutive order) clearly show:
"@JALpalyul: RT @JALpalyul: @SangyeH No requests have stopped @RyderJaphy and his cohort from tearing up #Palyul or... http://tmi.me/5iCOY
@JALpalyul Yes, he keeps changing the angle of his attacks to draw in more hateful followers. Only takes one unstable mind to act on it.
RT @aAaChantal: Have never known ANYONE like @ryderjaphy 2udge & lie abt another lineage. Breakage of Refuge & Bodhisattva vows as Buddhist
RT @JALpalyul: @SangyeH This freak @RyderJaphy is aiming 4 that. To incite violence against us, getting tutored... http://tmi.me/5iD39 /Yes
@JALpalyul @aAaChantal I think a police report is a good idea, Jetsunma. @Ryderjaphy should be held responsible for his actions.
@JALpalyul 1/2 hr ago @Ryderjaphy to @BurmaShiva--a follower --KPC "problem" is "ours to resolve." That's a threat.
@JALpalyul In "Gift of Fear" author said dangerous stalkers build a case 4 violence, justify it to themselves. @Ryderjaphy doing that
@JALpalyul: @SangyeH @Ryderjaphy I think we will call it in then. @kpcmonk // I think police should be called
RT @JALpalyul: @kpcmonk @SangyeH this is getting very weird. Dangerous. I feel we shld file a police report & connect dots. He is obsessed.
RT @JALpalyul: @SangyeH @Ryderjaphy @kpcmonk I know a factual & ethical person wld know how, + take the time. Agenda much? OK, gonna report."
Note the typical Kunzang Palyul Choling MO of mocking and slandering their critics with a barrage of insults and threats from a slew of anonymous Twitter attack accounts and anonymous defamation blogs such as Chidar Roots, then reacting to their target's indignation on "official" KPC Twitter accounts and blogs with feigned terror and accusations of "cyberstalking." It's all playbook. If Bill Schwartz's online presence had been anonymous, like mine, he too would have been raided by the FBI, because the naive and credulous FBI agent in the Baltimore office completely swallowed "Jetsunma's" lies.
Yet here is Bill Schwartz gloating, gloating in his lead-footed prose (on Google Circles, no less!) over the FBI raid on my house:
[Wilson] was duped, bested, out maneuvered, publicly humiliated, made [Alyce Zeoli's] bitch. It was an awesome sight to behold what she did to Mr Cassidy and Mr Wilson. As someone that did battle with her online I must give Ms Zeoli and Mr Williams their due credit [but not "Palzang," apparently]. Ms Zeoli put Mr Cassidy in jail, had the FBI raid Mr Wison's home, forced Mr Lewis, publisher of Elephant Journal, to not publish someone that he described to Tricycle Magazine as his "star" contributor and ultimately fire the best writer of Buddhist commentary on the internet [here Bill is speaking modestly of himself]. I tip my hat, as a Buddhist, to Ms Zeoli. Only a Buddhist could have done what she did. I consider Ms Zeoli to be, as a tulku, without accomplishment, other than being recognized as a tulku. Without question though, I must acknowledge that she at one point in her life aspired to be a Buddhist. Only a Buddhist could have done what she did to Mr Cassidy, Mr Wilson, and Mr Lewis.Huh! If the tinfoil hat-tipping Bill Schwartz is right that to be a Buddhist is to be an aggressively narcissistic sociopath, I personally want nothing to do with Buddhism. Also, I am not so sure that the mere fact of getting guns pointed at my head by over-excited federal agents makes me anybody's "bitch." I suspect that one only turns into a bitch by behaving like a bitch, as Bill Schwartz typically does.
What's more, it seems just possible that it was not me but "Jetsunma" herself who was "duped, bested, publicly humiliated" by the FBI raid, since it definitely proved that this "Emanation of Primordial Wisdom" was flat wrong in identifying me with William Cassidy -- just as she was flat wrong in claiming that the whole world would end by earthquakes, fire and floods in 1999. Anyway, it seems I came out of that tense raid with my chin up and went on writing whatever I wanted to write on my blog, Twitter and wherever else. I never censored myself, as Bill Schwartz boasts of doing, in order to avoid trouble.
Nobody but me had ever stood up to the Kunzang Palyul Choling cultists before. Certainly not Bill Schwartz, whose Buddhist braggadocio deflated like a pricked balloon in the face of Alyce Zeoli's threats, and whose "star commentator" status didn't keep him from soaking his overalls even as he sprinted for the nearest hills. And it's only because I couldn't be rattled, but stayed cool and went on writing my blog articles in the face of the cultists' incessant threatening clamor and dark manipulation of the FBI, that their fund-raising is now stymied and (consequently) their Temple locked and shuttered. So in fact the rabid cultists were really the ones who got "duped, bested, publicly humiliated, out-maneuvered " -- and Alyce Zeoli, the crowned and enthroned tulku and former ruler of a whole alien galaxy, became my bitch.
The solitary bright sword of Zen cut right through Zeoli's mountain of stupa-fying cult horseshit.
Aside from all that, I will only note again my mild astonishment that "Jetsunma" seems to have gotten away clean and dry (at least as far as the law is concerned) with deliberately manipulating a federal agent into using the power of the government to attack her enemies -- a cynical, vicious and devious crime that might have, and still could, put her and David Williams both in prison beside "Palzang" for many years under various conspiracy and racketeering statutes. But karma might have better mopping-up plans than I can personally imagine for these idiots.
Like the Kunzang Palyul Choling cultists, who out of paranoia arrogate to themselves the quite unearned and undeserved right to engage in "wrathful activity," Bill Schwartz sets out in a low and devious way to harm a person he feels has shown him disrespect. And once more I call upon all sincere Tibetan-tradition Buddhists to publicly repudiate such evil (and quite boring) behavior, which runs counter to the Buddhist Law!
Update, October, 2014: I am delighted to hear that Bill Schwartz at least now publicly admits on his blog, "I can vouch that Andrew was indeed a victim of Penor Rinpoche's cult" (though really it is "Jetsunma's" cult, Penor Rinpoche having written a roughly worded letter to "Jetsunma" shortly before he entered Paranirvana ordering her to stop referring to herself as a "realized person" and also to stop teaching Buddhadharma in his name), which he also rightly calls "the most dangerous Tibetan Buddhist cult in America today."
It will be interesting to see how the newly enthroned tulku of Penor Rinpoche will deal with the big electronic mess created by "Jetsunma" and her cronies once he comes of age.
Human beings have an innate sense of justice. When we hear of a fight, we instantly want to know who was the victim and who was the aggressor. I am pleased that Bill Schwartz now recognizes that I was merely the victim (by accident, no less) of an astonishingly petty hate and terror campaign run by this mafia-esque "Buddhist Sangha."
I didn't provoke an iota of their violent, obscene and threatening abuse, nor did anything I say online in response merit the disturbing fury of a predawn tactical FBI raid on my home and the confiscation of my computer and cell-phone to be pored over by a recklessly gullible and inept witch-hunting federal agent (and finally handed back to me with no word of apology or explanation).
But -- the fact that I was the victim in this fight doesn't mean I necessarily got the worst of it. The KPC relies on small donations in response to their shrill and incessant fund-raising appeals via the Internet, and for the past two years the central Maryland temple has been shut down for lack of cash.
The rapid downgrading of the "Miss Brooklyn Buddha" brand just might have something minor to do with the fact that my public appeals to H. H. Karma Kuchen and H. H. Gyatrul Rinpoche, and the searingly truthful articles about my long drawn-out ordeal at the hands of "Jetsunma" and her cynical thugs, now appear at or near the top of every Google search page related to "Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo" and the Kunzang Palyul Choling.
I was also the one who discovered and publicized the curious fact that John Buhmeyer had been arrested and imprisoned for child rape even as the cultists gloated over their success in lying "Jetsunma's" nemesis William Cassidy into federal lock-up, and make no mistake about it: the faux-Tulku has since had plenty of trouble washing her hands of the odious "Palzang." More than likely, she had to pay out quite a tidy sum of donated cash to settle the resulting lawsuit out of court.
Although the KPC online clean-up crew manages to keep "Jetsunma's" Wikipedia page scrubbed of any mention of controversy -- critical edits typically dropping off the page within just a few hours of posting -- people who look for information about her on any Web search engine can hardly avoid running into my blog pieces dealing with the insane, criminal viciousness of this enthroned Bogus-sattva and her maniacal Zeolibots. Not too shabby for a non-Buddhist! Emaho! as they say.
See "The Tulku of Terror: A Retrospective," and also my "Open Message to Karma Kuchen Rinpoche", "Open Message to Gyatrul Rinpoche," "Snakes in the Eagle's Shadow," and "A Short Interview with Andrew Wilson (February 15, 2011)"