There are unsettling rumors arising from Poolesville. From many sources connected with the [Kunzang Palyul Choling] 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 who, while retaining a fondness for Jetsunma, blamed her for the near collapse of his marriage. '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."
Express the slightest doubt about Jetsunma or one of her schemes, or diverge even the slightest bit from the way she has prescribed, and you pay a severe price. Either directly, or through her nuns, especially Alana, she threatens apostates with insanity, death from cancer, and absolute isolation. She promises them they're bound for vajra hell. And sometimes . . . she'd vow to die herself if she doesn't get what she wants.
In the fall of 1992, the year of Jetsunma and Michael's divorce, sources say members of KPC made an effigy of Michael, with a banana to represent his penis, which is soon-to-be ex-wife smashed. His old colleagues read grievances to the dummy, and then took it outside where one member ran over it with a car. Another urinated on what was left.
In 1996, Jetsunma's devoted main attendant, Alana, through whom she often speaks, announced at a meeting that "ideally, your devotion for Jetsunma will reach the point where when you see her come down the road and cut the head off a sweet, innocent, little child, your only thought will be, oh, what a lucky child."
-Will Blythe, "Bad Karma," Mirabella, 1998.The recent Chinese-recognized rebirth of H. H. Penor Rinpoche as an unbearably cute little tyke in Tibet seems to have spiked a certain ongoing public interest in my online pieces dealing with the evil behavior of the poisonous viper Kunzang Palyul Choling (KPC) cultists and their insane and vindictive faux-Guru Alyce Zeoli aka Catharine Burroughs aka "Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo." So, I am now posting links to all of these pieces in one place -- here.
Tulku aficionados will recall that "Jetsunma" is one of the two notable American "Living Buddhas" recognized as a tulku by H. H. Penor Rinpoche. The other is the uncontroversial, relentlessly humble, and in no way sleazy or psychopathic Sensei Steven Seagal. But the rest of the glittering story gets extremely depressing.
Shakyamuni Buddha is said to have once predicted the degeneration of his Sangha sometime in the far future:
My monks will be without shame and without virtue, haughty, puffed up and wrathful, intoxicating themselves with alcoholic drinks. While they bear the banner of the Buddhas, they will only be serving themselves. They will have wives, sons and daughters, like householders. "You may not engage in sensual pleasures, in order that you not be born again as animals, ghosts or beings of hell.' Thus they will preach to the householders, but they themselves will be uncontrolled."Jetsunma" and her Kunzang Palyul Choling have fulfilled this prophecy to the finest detail, and even perversely beyond it. For instance, I know of no other "Buddhist" sangha that actually boasts of practicing "Dark Tantra Arts" against their enemies.
There is a mafia-esque "code of silence" among American Tibetan Buddhists regarding abusive practices in the various Vajrayana cults that have arisen in our land. In this case, I broke it. I could hardly have done otherwise. Once "Jetsunma" solemnly swore in her capacity as a "Wisdom Dakini" to her maniacal followers that I was really their great enemy William Cassidy, aka "Tenpa Rinpoche" -- who, after leaving the KPC's inner circle in 2007, had posted a series of devastating blog entries about the misbehavior of the cult and its deified "Spiritual Leader," and was showing no sign of letting up -- there was nothing else for me to do except quit the Internet and lie low for a few years. I chose to stand up and take it.
Oddly, I've never had any interest in Vajrayana and have never been involved in her cult or in any other. Yet they came after me like furies, and some of the consequences were serious.
Sincerity and directness is always the best way. The Kunzang Palyul Choling has in the past quite successfully suppressed not only stringent criticisms but also bare factual accounts of bad experiences had by various people with the cult and its nefarious Guru. I recall my own puzzlement at the difficulty of finding real information on this group anywhere online, back when they first began chasing me. That puzzlement was soon dispelled by a realization of the peculiar effectiveness of the KPC's gung-ho, "the gang's all here" style of haranguing people and issuing threats.
They really do have "investigators" who dig up personal information on the cult's detractors. Anybody who stands up to them is likely to take some serious hits. Not so long ago I was startled to hear myself advise a journalist who'd contacted me about my experiences not to write a piece on the cult -- because I'd chatted with him on the phone just long enough to start to like him, and it was unpleasant for me to think of this decent man getting a slew of anonymous electronic threats.
So, I offer these pieces to interested people on the Internet not in order to perpetuate gossip or extend any ill-will, and even less because I claim spiritual perfection for myself, but simply as a public service. This is what happened, this is how it happened, and this is how it all turned out -- may we all learn something from it and so deepen our efforts to be better people.
I gave a concise account of the Kunzang Palyul Choling's vicious and thoroughly un-Buddha-like actions in "Crimes and Tulkus" and a slightly more detailed one in "The Deadly Viper Assassination Buddhists." For details of the pre-dawn tactical FBI ninja raid on my home that was one result of "Jetsunma's" conspiracy of terror, lies and deceptions, see: "A Short Interview with Andrew Wilson." For details of how the KPC cult threatened my girlfriend and accused me of conspiring with William Cassidy to fly mysterious helicopters over their Maryland temple, see: "High Plains Tulku", "The Tulku Peril," and "Il buono, il bruto, il tulku." For a note on the cult's particular addiction to harassing and tormenting people online with threatening messages, see "Deconstructing a Cult's Psyops." For careful and damning documentation of the Kunzang Palyul Choling's intent to cause both "substantial emotional distress" and actual physical harm to its perceived enemies, see "Snakes in the Eagle's Shadow" and "Cult-and-Paste: Protecting Nyingma from Andrew Wilson." See also my online appeals to Gyatrul Rinpoche and Karma Kuchen that finally brought the cult's two and a half years of cyberstalking me to an end in May, 2012. Here is an amusing little epigraph dealing with the cluelessness of the Keystone cops in my local FBI office. And finally, here is my Amazon review of The Buddha from Brooklyn.
For over two years starting in late autumn of 2009, when "Jetsunma" announced that I was definitely William Cassidy, she and her cult followers stalked and threatened me, interfering in my every online interaction and making it all but impossible for me to talk about Zen. Once it became clear that I wasn't William Cassidy the absurd and freakish abuse only intensified, with "Jetsunma" going so far as to direct message many of my online friends with the most bizarre rants and accusations.
As of February 2011, the Kunzang Palyul Choling cultists seemed to be riding high in their own estimation, with "Jetsunma" gloating on her official Twitter page that the group's prayers had put Cassidy in jail and mocking me for my various misfortunes with great zest and self-righteousness. But by August of that same year, John Buhmeyer aka "Palzang" -- "Jetsunma's" head monk and the cult's main spokesman -- was sitting in an Arizona prison cell starting out a 20 year mandatory sentence for multiple counts of child rape. Hello!
And in December of that same year, after a federal judge had scornfully dismissed all charges against Cassidy, "Jetsunma" herself fled "underground," dashing from "safe house" to "safe house" under 24 hour armed guard and communicating with her bewildered sangha only via cryptic and often quite crazy-sounding "tweets." She stayed in deep cover, kvetching and bemoaning her karma at the rate of over two hundred tweets a day, right up until the government dropped its own right to appeal the judge's decision in US vs. Cassidy.
Upon her return to the Poolesville Temple, "Jetsunma" and her unsavory associates started up yet another cyberhate campaign, this one directed solely at me, accusing me via multiple blog entries and tweets not only of having a "close relationship" with Cassidy but also of conspiring with him to fly mysterious helicopters over the KPC compound, dropping the name of my girlfriend in a threatening way, and suggesting that I ought to "feel the sharp edge of a knife."
Shortly after my appeals to Gyatrul Rinpoche and Karma Kuchen took the mysterious effect of silencing discussion about me on all KPC blogs and Twitter feeds simultaneously (in May of 2012), the KPC Temple was shut down by the fire department, and it has remained closed ever since due to the Temple's fund-raising problems. "Jetsunma" had to start selling off her million dollar jewelry collection just to keep the Temple afloat.
Even now, the KPC continues to keep close watch on "Jetsunma's" Wikipedia page, instantly deleting all reference to her wrongdoing. (Yet she can't scrub everything. Here is a page chock-full of unpleasant facts about "Jetsunma" and the KPC Temple.)
And here is the most recent deleted Wikipedia passage, every word of it the simple and incisive truth, linking directly to documents which prove that "Jetsunma" and every single KPC member who spoke to the FBI about Cassidy perjured themselves and that Ms. Jessica Nye, the gung-ho and inexperienced FBI agent in charge of the so-called "investigation" -- who actually cited the cult's anonymously authored hate blog in her affidavit as a source of factual information! -- also perjured herself and/or acted in reckless disregard for the truth:
In 2011, Jetsunma was again featured in the national news, this time as the purported victim of a "cyberstalking" campaign run on Twitter and blogs by a William Lawrence Cassidy, aka "Tenpa Rinpoche," who had briefly been not only a member of the Kunzang Palyul Choling but also its Chief Operating Officer. William Lawrence Cassidy was arrested in California and flown to Maryland, where he spent 10 months in a federal prison before the government's case was thrown out of court in a noteworthy decision by federal Judge Roger W. Titus.
According to the sworn affidavit in support of the criminal complaint against Cassidy, Jetsunma spent over 18 months paralyzed with fear, leaving her house only to visit a psychiatrist. During that time she received twice-daily briefings by a committee of nine KPC monks and nuns about the most recent activity dealing with her and the KPC on blogs and Twitter. As the FBI agent remarked, "[She] does not believe that she has long to live and believes her professional career is ruined. She has on occasion hired armed guards to protect her residence for fear of her life."
William Lawrence Cassidy in his turn filed a detailed motion based on Franks vs. Delaware, requesting a hearing to suppress all evidence in the case and to dismiss the charges against him. This document argues that the FBI agent who drafted the affidavit leading to the criminal complaint acted in "in reckless disregard for the truth" by omitting information that would have "defeated a finding of probable cause" for Cassidy's arrest. In it, Cassidy and his lawyers cite and quote a number of "tweets" posted by KPC members, including Jetsunma herself, containing the same type of threatening and abusive, often obscene, language for which Cassidy was arrested and indicted. According to the motion, the FBI agent's affidavit "included no information about the back and forth nature of Mr. Cassidy’s online interactions with KPC, including multiple requests by him that they cease and desist their abuse, and several clear statements that Mr. Cassidy intended them no harm."
While Cassidy's case was dismissed on the free speech issue before the judge had an opportunity to consider his motion, this document does highlight the aggressive nature of the KPC's treatment of "critics" online. For example: "The monks and nuns of KPC also interacted with Mr. Cassidy via Twitter. Several of them tweet almost as frequently as Ms. Zeoli. One or more of them also maintain a separate blog, http://protectingnyingma2.wordpress.com, which is mainly concerned with writing about Mr. Cassidy and any other person who criticizes or comments about KPC. This blog was cited as a factual source in Agent Nye’s affidavit."
Many other blogs and Twitter accounts dedicated to attacking William Cassidy and other critics of the KPC still exist online today. For example, a blog from 2008 called "Tenpathic: Holding Back the Darkness" contains multiple pages savagely attacking Cassidy and an ex-KPC nun named "Julie Green" (aka Nydia Alexander) providing not only photographs of the couple and a business listing for Cassidy but also a Google map to Cassidy's house in California, along with statements that "Julie Green" left the sangha because she was deluded, confused, depressed and suffering from a mental disorder. The same blog posts a threatening statement about the couple by Jetsunma, saying: "They speak hate, they breathe hate, and the vile pus of their hatred is their nectar. At the time of their death [sic] they will see what they have done."The KPC cult, headed by a vicious and self-obsessed psychopath, needs to be forcibly restrained. I am not the one to do that, but I intend at least to keep online all the blog pieces I've posted as a potent reminder of Alyce Zeoli's deceitful viciousness and her followers' wild and criminal actions. "The weed of crime bears bitter fruit. Crime does not pay; the Tulku knows!"