Still Up to His Old Tricks
Never one to leave well enough alone, Bill Cassidy has now entered the fray in yet another “controversy” (his words). This time he is taking on the Karmapa, or rather the Karmapas as there have been two separate recognitions of the 17th Karmapa, one, Thaye Dorje, by the Sharmapa, the Karmapa’s regent, and the other, Urgyen Trinley, by Tai Situ Rinpoche, the Dalai Lama, and just about everybody else. Specifically Cassidy brought up an unpleasant dispute involving a well-known Hong Kong singer and actress, Anita Mui, who died in 2003 at age 40 and bequeathed her estate, worth about $13 million, to the New Horizon Buddhist Association, an organization in Thaye Dorje’s camp. The will was contested by Anita Mui’s mother and was only just resolved in favor of the will, leaving her mother only a relatively small monthly stipend. While this may seem like a relatively none newsworthy event, particularly for anyone living outside of Hong Kong, Cassidy plays it up as if he were the National Enquirer. He even brags about it.
It is not necessary to go into the details of the two Karmapa controversy here. Much has been written about it, and while it was initially a hot controversy, it is very much yesterday’s news nowadays. Basically both camps have agreed to disagree, and while some hard feelings no doubt remain, nearly everyone defers to Urgyen Trinley as the authentic Karmapa. This is an issue that concerns the Kagyu lineage and should remain so. It should not become fodder for Cassidy’s continuing attacks on Buddhism in general, nor should the legal battle over Anita Mui’s will be tied in any way to the two Karmapa controversy. They are two very separate issues, and the issue of the will really is not a Buddhist issue at all. Attempting to tie them together is, at the very least, repugnant.
But that’s what Mr. Cassidy is all about, injecting doubt into students’ minds, trying to stir up discontent and schism where there is none, judging pure teachers when he himself is nothing but a con man and convicted felon. So how does that work, Bill? How do you get off judging anybody? It would be ludicrous if it wasn’t so pathetic. Can he possibly not realize the immense damage he is causing to himself?
It is particularly ironic that Cassidy would carp about a lineage controversy when he himself, who claims to be a tulku, of all things, has no lineage at all. All he has is a bag of hot air.