First, may I thank you all for your loving concern. I am touched and astounded that so many of you are trying to protect me! You have my gratitude.
Please allow me to reassure you all: there is no need to keep this back and forth going now. I have enough intelligence, from so many sources that if I am threatened I have immediately actionable information. I have been assured of this, and we are ready for anything.
Therefore, for those who may be my students, please let it go. I promise you we have what we need. Many of you have your own issues with him. I cannot speak to that. Especially the older cases, they were before he was involved with us. Some of you hardly know me and have your own very real grievances. If you wish to keep this going it is up to you.
I don’t like wars. Big or small. If we keep this going we are no better than them. These are my thoughts. They are in the gutter. Don’t join them.
Again, I have all the info I need for action. And I am completely protected.
In the Dharma
The parable of the prodigal son is well-known and well-documented in art and literature, appearing everywhere from paintings by Rembrandt to a ballet by Balanchine to a song by the Rolling Stones. It tells of a wayward son who demands his early inheritance and abandons his family, spending (and losing) the money on wild living, and hitting bottom before he comes to his senses and returns home, intending to seek forgiveness with his new-found humility. The father welcomes him with open arms and orders a huge celebration, which makes the older son jealous. The father comforts the older son by reminding him that he has never been separate from what the younger son has missed – the love and care of his father – and is a cause for rejoicing.
Upon reading the public confession of Michelle Grissom, I was reminded of this story. Her words and her return to supporting KPC and Jetusunma indicate her humility and remorse for her earlier actions. Jetsunma’s response, like the father’s, is one of ultimate kindness and compassion. Buddhism teaches that every non-virtuous act can be purified, and Jetsunma is living proof of this truth. Meanwhile, “Tenpa” is jealous that the root of his unfounded attack on KPC has now been shown to be false, and that he has built a house of cards with his hatred that is rapidly dismantling around him. One would think it would be wise for him to learn from this universal theme of redemption.
In his post of August 28, William Cassidy (who calls himself “Tulku Urgyen Tenpa”), pretends to the authority of Trungpa Rinpoche in order to complain about instances of perverted sangha and lineage. And he should know. Mr. Cassidy has no sangha. Mr. Cassidy has no lineage. The honorifics he uses (“Tulku” and “Rinpoche”) are self-conferred. The lines he cites (see below) are well chosen: they perfectly mirror his own practice and efforts.
The leader and his flock reinforce each other’s
identities. As is said in the Sutra of the Treasury of Buddha,
‘If someone teaches with ignorance, it is worse than if he
took the lives of the inhabitants of three iniverses, because
his ability to teach the dharma is impure.’ Inevitably this
organization, this collective ego, will look for further
confirmation of its health and existence. It may even take
as its credentials the transmission of the lineage, the
teachings of the great masters, but it will be a prostitution
of those teachings
William Cassidy’s post today, August 27, 2009, is yet another brazen example of a batterer’s sociopathic thought process. Here is a quote from his post “…once upon a time, you dreamed that somebody came clump, clump, clumping up the stairs to your bedroom and did you an injury. Notions of ‘who,’ or ‘why’ just don’t matter. Maybe it was somebody you knew. Maybe it was the bogeyman. Maybe you were secretly in love with the bogeyman and wished he would come.” Imagine. This is from a man who likes to think that he understands Buddhism, even thinks of himself as a teacher. And yet he is twisted enough to think that any woman would WANT to be attacked. No one WANTS to be attacked. Violence is a form of hatred. We have pointed out in a previous post the characteristics of a batterer. In this post, we see that he is psyching himself up to attack his current object of interest. And who might that be? Cassidy has been cyberstaIlking Jetsunma Akhon Lhamo for more than a year now. He is a dangerous man who when frustrated and can’t get what he wants, will beat it out of any woman, no matter whether she is a girlfriend, his mother, or his wife.
But Jetsunma is not the only woman who has to deal with this kind of mentally deranged menace. According to the US Department of Justice, more than one million women in the US are stalked each year. We want to reach out to such women. In an effort to do so, we have launched a new blog called Cyber Stalker Alert. The mission of this blog is to “empower women who are being stalked.” ”As Buddhists, we wish to help women recognize that true compassion is not to be equated with submissiveness, passivity, or tolerance of harmful behavior. Stopping a stalker is the only way to help a stalker. We aim to help women recognize patterns of abuse and find resources to deal with that abuse. Resources are available in the community, but they are also available within…… We invite you to visit the blog, it is currently under construction.
In this way, may the poison that Mr. Cassidy spews forth through his words and deeds, be transformed into something that may benefit many beings. May all women be empowered and have the courage to stand up to aggression.
“Stupas are representations of the Buddha’s mind. As such, stupas reveal the path to enlightenment, or in other words, how the mind can be transformed into enlightenment.” from Benefits and Practices related to Statues and Stupas: Teachings and Instructions by Lama Zopa Rinpoche, p.11 These cherished and revered monuments, pour forth blessings on all beings who encounter them. That is their purpose. In order to fulfill their purpose, they must be built and consecrated properly.
An interesting article on the subject has good advice on the importance of “doing it right.” ”However, it can be firmly stated that building a stupa is not to be undertaken casually, no matter what the size. According to the instructions I have received, it is important the whole process is supervised by someone who really knows about them, and so far, these individuals tend to be Tibetan Lamas (for Tibetan style chortens). For the styles that developed in Shri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, China and elsewhere, obviously the appropriate experienced practitioner should be consulted. The point is, setting about building one merely based on information gained from the Internet, or books, is not good enough. In fact, the Lama who has taught me about stupas was quite serious about it, and said a stupa built without the appropriate consecrations and supervision could be termed a “black” stupa, and as such might actually have a detrimental effect on the local environment, rather than a harmonizing influence.”
And what happens if a stupa is built incorrectly? The article goes on to say that the stupa is considered “black.” ”I quizzed Lama Samten about this:
‘Black’ literally means (in this context) ‘no proportions, no consecration’ (inner and outer), ‘like a body with no guts.’ He said motivation was the most important (so your motivation for building it needs to be as pure / positive as possible).”
From this we can gather that the three key points are knowledge and wisdom about the proper construction of a stupa, the presence of an authorized and realized master to consecrate the stupa, and the proper intention. We must wonder what William Cassidy, known felon and conartist who masquerades as Tulku Tenpa, intends to do with stupas? He does not know how to build a stupa. He certainly can’t consecrate a stupa. What stupa building lama will do the consecration, considering that Cassidy has no lineage nor thinks one is important ? As for motivation? One wonders about his nefarious intentions for these pure structures of virtue. Does he intend to use them to magnetize the unsuspecting? His attempts to highjack the Dharma are deeply saddening
I think the work you are doing to protect Dharma is essential. I have been following your site and it is a real eye-opener. There really are many unqualified and crooked “spiritual teachers” out there. And recently, to my great sadness, faux Lamas.
People like Cassidy are cruel. So many starting fresh in Dharma are like little children, in awe, in love with the whole scene. These people are easy marks for a charlatan like him. Heartbreaking, really, when there are so many flawless Lamas.
He will also prey on the deluded. Those who know a little Dharma, but not enough to spot a fake who builds up the ego and tells them what they want to hear. That too is cruel. Students disillusioned by some event along the way should always be sent back to their Root Gurus to purify the non-virtue. The Root Guru is everything in Vajrayana. They are the very mirror through which one works the path.
If one leaves the connection with the Root tainted or broken there is never a good result. And though we may convince ourselves otherwise, there is no further progress toward realization.
I see that Cassidy really hammers on Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo constantly. Yet she is renowned as a pure teacher, compassionate, loved. And she is the spiritual descendant of some amazing Dharma heros. She is properly recognized, properly enthroned, properly documented.
The criminal history of this Cassidy is amazing. And it is outrageous that anyone would follow him to the hell realms. How sad! I feel you should take all this to the police. And show them every single bit of information you have.
Please continue your work! We who stand for pure dharma support and pray for you.
Please keep Jetsunma safe! There is no one else like her in the whole world.
Over the years professionals working in the field of Domestic Violence have been able to identify common character traits of batterers. A checklist of these traits can help the abused to determine whether they are at risk. Why is domestic violence the subject of a post on this site? Because William Cassidy exhibits many of these character traits, and should be viewed with the same extreme caution as one would of a known abuser. We used the following references for this post:
Person has a history of reacting to problems with violence.
- William Cassidy has a very long rap sheet that includes first degree arson and battery. See: http://protectingnyingma.wordpress.com/2009/08/20/inmate-1018572-nevada-department-of-corrections-or-what-to-avoid-when-choosing-a-spiritual-friend/. This is a man who was convicted and served time in prison for assault on his wife. Here is an excerpt from the Las Vegas Review Journal, DATE, about Cassidy’s case:
“A former aide to Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman was indicted Wednesday on sex assault, arson, stalking and kidnapping charges.
The indictment was unsealed Wednesday against William L. Cassidy, who resigned from his mayoral aide position in 2001 following an arrest on a domestic violence charge.
Cassidy was charged with raping his wife, Xiao Ping, on Feb. 19.
Within two days of that attack, authorities say, the woman’s business was the scene of a fire that caused about $100,000 damage. Authorities subsequently named Cassidy a suspect in the blaze at Silk Road Accu Pressure/Pan Pacific Management Inc.
In addition, the indictment charges Cassidy with stalking and beating his wife. A domestic violence charge lodged against Cassidy is listed as a third offense in court documents.
“There has been an escalating level of violence for several years,” Clark County prosecutor Conrad Claus said.
In asking District Judge Gene Porter to set bail at $500,000, Claus said Cassidy has claimed to have connections to the Central Intelligence Agency. Claus labeled Cassidy a potential flight risk, saying he has multiple international connections.
“He’s been talking about ending his own life,” Klaus said, adding that “we may have (further) injury or death to the victim” if Cassidy was released.” Read Full Article
Unfortunately, this propensity for abuse began when he was young. The following is from a letter we received from a concerned reader who knew Cassidy personally:
In addition to being unabashedly deceitful for self-gain and also just for amusement, Bill was also very vindictive and violent. Typically, however, he vented his aggressions only upon those who were decidedly weaker than he — particularly females. It became clear to me after only a short time that Bill actually hated women. Many of Bill’s “girlfriends” got beat up by him. This tendency reached critical mass in May of 1966. One of the directors at the community theatre had made arrangements for Bill to work in a “summer stock” production in a semi-professional theatre in Flatrock, NC. Bill was extremely excited about this. However, when the time came for Bill to leave for North Carolina, his mother had changed her mind about the whole thing and told him he couldn’t go. She knew that he would go anyway, if he had the means, so she had hidden the bus ticket. Bill was so furious at this that after his mother had refused numerous times to tell him where the ticket was, he began beating her with his fists and finally struck her on the side of her neck, knocking her unconscious. I was an eye witness to this entire scene and I was horrified. I thought that he had killed her and I was literally petrified, unable to speak or move. While she was still laying motionless on the floor, Bill was furiously ransacking the house, searching for the bus ticket. After about fifteen minutes Mrs. Cassidy regained consciousness and Bill immediately began insisting again that she tell him where she had hidden the ticket. Still on the floor, she conceded and told him where it was.
See the full letter here.
Trait #2. The person has been involved in a series of previous battering relationships:
Much of the evidence presented under the previous heading applies to this trait as well. A quick persual of his rap sheet shows multiple convictions and a pattern of violence. [put the additional quote from the http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2003/Apr-24-Thu-2003/news/21177468.html here]. There are also additional examples of girlfriends that suffered his abuse from the anonymous letter:
- Genny finally got tired of getting beat up by Bill and left him.
- During the few months that I lived in that apartment with Bill and Shari (and Sandy), I witnessed numerous acts of physical violence and almost constant verbal abuse. I asked Shari many times why she didn’t just leave him and on one occasion she confided that she was afraid he would kill her if she tried to leave him…..Bill continued to abuse Shari and finally she was hospitalized. She was subsequently Baker-acted and institutionalized whereupon Bill moved back to California
Trait #3. The person has problems with alcohol and/or drug abuse.
- Also from the anonymous letter, we learn that: Bill was already an alcoholic by age fourteen, drinking about 1/2 a bottle of either Jim Beam or Jack Daniel’s every day. A day after accusing Jetsunma Akhon Lhamo, a female Vajrayana master, of being an alcoholic, Cassidy goes on to attack Alcoholics Anonymous. http://tibetanaltar.blogspot.com/2009/08/alcohol-metaphor-ayurveda-and-yet.html
Trait #4. The person has a low or contemptuous attitude towards women in general.
From the examples violence towards his wives, his girlfriends, and even his mother, it is clear that he does not respect women.
Trait #5. The person seems emotionally out of control or extreme.
- On August 21st Cassidy lashed out in a rage online against Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo, the object of his current obsession. He rants about her life, offering no substantiating evidence for any of his accusations. In his tirade he attempts to demean every accomplishment she has achieved. Perhaps embarrassed by the public display of his rage, he has subsequently removed this entry from his blog. However it may be seen in a cached version of the blog here: http://188.8.131.52/search?q=cache:0h1e7LfLntsJ:tibetanaltar.blogspot.com/2009/08/lineage-of schemes.html+lineage+of+schemes+digital+tibetan+altar&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=safari
- In a post dated August 17th, Cassidy accuses her of being everything from mentally ill to plotting against him, and calling her well known spiritual community a cult: http://184.108.40.206/search?q=cache:Q-FuoHRrV2AJ:tibetanaltar.blogspot.com/2009/08/taking-some-time-off.html+out+of+poolesville+digital+tibetan+altar&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=safari.
- On August 8th he once again attacks her credibility as a Spiritual Teacher and accuses her organization of being nothing more than a cult: http://220.127.116.11/search?q=cache:wTaQX6UP3WcJ:tibetanaltar.blogspot.com/2009/08/following-spiritual-master.html+following+a+spiritual+master+digital+tibetan+altar&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=safari
Trait #6. The person has a “dual personality”
From http://www.bwri.com/danger3.htm: “A potential batterer may seem like two entirely different people, sometimes kind and loving, at other times harsh, critical, sarcastic and abusive. The biggest danger signal to look for here is when these moods appear. A batterer will often present a charming and affable face to the world and turn into a devil at home. If the person seems able to control his or her “duality” and use it to advantage, he or she is almost certainly a batterer.”
After his offensive post on August 22, he made a post of apology the next day. http://tibetanaltar.blogspot.com/2009/08/anybody-can-ride-tame-ones.html As he says in the post, “Sometimes those big brutes will buck around and knock you silly, so it takes a while to shake the cobwebs out and stop seeing stars.” Apparently he felt the need to delete all his ranting posts from his blog, but they are still visible in cache.
In his post on August 23, http://tibetanaltar.blogspot.com/2009/08/one-thing-leads-to-another.html he attempts to distract from all the ranting by appearing to be an honest, upright Dharma practitioner doing very beneficial things. He still cannot resist the veiled threats however: ” You know, they say that if — for whatever reason — a person takes even the smallest, blindest, most hesitant step in the direction of obstructing such activity, the eventual result will be like hitting a tree at 100mph.”
Trait #7. The person is unreasonably jealous.
This is another post that was deleted, but an obvious attempt to make the object of his obsession jealous. He refers to Jetsunma as “Pearl.”
Trait #7. The person has weapons and is obsessed with them.
Cassidy is an author of several books on knives, knife fighting and how to kill with knives. http://protectingnyingma.wordpress.com/books/
Consider this an invitation to everyone to explore the spiritual and cultural treasures embodied at Kunzang Palyul Choling (KPC), through the kindness of Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo and the Palyul Lineage. In addition to the recently established website there is mention of tibetanbuddhistaltar.org, and a newly renovated tara.org; the physical mandala is intended as a constant source of refuge. The Prayer Room is always open, 24 hours a day, to those who wish to meditate or pray. KPC offers a regular schedule of teachings (seetara.org under “Programs and Events”) with webcasts for many of them, and frequent visits by lamas of the Palyul Lineage (His Holiness Karma Kuchen Rinpoche, enthroned to succeed His Holiness Penor Rinpoche, is visiting October 12 – 19). In addition, open during daylight hours, KPC offers a 65 acre Peace Park with walking trails and gardens. The grounds include 19 outdoor stupas, including the Migyur Dorje stupa, which is dedicated to health and healing. The temple also houses nine small stupas, and, like any center of Dharma practice, numerous sacred images to guide meditation and inspire contemplation. In Sedona, Arizona, KPC under Jetsunma’s guidance has established a Peace Park with two stupas: the Amitabha Stupa and the White Tara Stupa. May all beings benefit by this and similar displays of the enlightened mind of our teachers!
Gates of Dharma
We note with pleasure that Jetsunma Akhon Lhamo has recently started a new website called Tibetan Buddhist Altar.org. It appears that the website is to provide people with a place of refuge no matter where they are in the world. They don’t have to be at a Temple or in a shrine room to gaze at sacred images, read the Dharma, and take refuge in what is truly wholesome. The site includes a blog, as well as galleries of sacred images, altars, and teachers.
A particularly inspiring comment was left on the blog today from Ann, referring to a teaching on Compassion – “Thank you for this teaching. A link to this appeared in my inbox just when I needed it. I have known a number of practitioners who left the dharma and had to face that possibility for myself. Now after 10 years of dharma I am teetering there. Due to your kindness in posting this article, now I vow to cultivate compassion every day. I pray that it will bring me back to consistent practice. Thank you.”
Hopefully Ann and others who are teetering will find true refuge, be strengthened, and swiftly accomplish the Path.
We are on the look out for other Gates of Dharma that can benefit beings. We encourage you to share ones that you have found.
We have come to understand that a communication from an attorney at law was recently addressed to Michelle Grissom, courageous former student of Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo. Michelle has recently confessed the details of her own 13 year-long web campaign against Jetsunma, information that has very much influenced public dialogue.
Interesting to note that the communication to Michelle from attorney Jan M. Heger was couched as an e-mail. Unlike most attorney communications, this one was not on official law firm letterhead. Mr. Heger, who included no telephone or physical address in the communication, claimed to be out of the country. Research indicates his law firm is located in Laguna Niguel, California.
Being curious about the attorney named above, we have searched out facts about his career. A feature that struck us immediately was the following notation on his AVVO profile: “This lawyer has been cited for professional misconduct by a state disciplinary authority.” (Two instances: 1993 and 1991.)
More interesting: Mr. Heger’s firm received fees from the Bayou Group, a hedge fund firm in Stamford, Conn., that was accused by federal prosecutors on Sept. 1, 2005, of conducting a $300 million fraud. The New York Times on September 17, 2005, notes Mr. Heger’s involvement in the following way:
Over the course of three weeks in June of this year, a lawyer named Jan Morton Heger received $461,000 in payments from Bayou Securities, according to the financial statements. Mr. Heger had not shown up in documents from previous periods. He did not respond to an e-mail message requesting comment and a telephone number for him was out of service.
At the time of these payments, in June 2005, the amount represented about three times the firm’s net capital as of March of that year.
Also of note: Mr. Heger represented Leo E. Wanta in his unsuccessful case against the State of Wisconsin. Mr. Wanta’s appeal of conviction for tax evasion was denied in 2004. The case has been a preoccupation of conspiracy theorists because of Mr. Wanta’s involvement as a U.S. Treasury official in the highly controversial case of a deposit of $18 billion worth of post-Cold-War funds in Swiss banks. Mr. Wanta was involved as trustee (co-trustee with former President George H. W. Bush) of those funds.
Mr. Heger has elsewhere been involved in news about international finance. In 1998, the board of the Commercial Bank of Greece rejected his bid for take-over of Ionian Bank, a mid-size Greek bank, as follows:
Commercial’s director general Mr. G. Michelis said the two bids submitted by Jan Morton Heger and the Exchange Finance Overseas group did not satisfy two of the basic terms of the tender, namely that the price should be paid-up wholly in cash upon transfer, and that the prospective buyers’ proposal should be accompanied by a certificate of a bank acceptable to the seller, validating their ability to pay the value of the shares.