There has been a lot of talk about the book, Buddha From Brooklyn, written and published in the 1990s by Martha Sherrill. During the course of research, our writers noticed the nice and relatively new website by Martha Sherrill: http://marthasherrill.com/. Martha now lives in Massachusetts with her family after spending time in California, and the Washington DC area. She has published four books, one of which is a story of Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo, the founder and spiritual director of Kunzang Palyul Choling, a Buddhist temple in Maryland. For more information on Jetsunma and KPC you can visit their website at www.tara.org. Sherrill’s book was written from her very ordinary perspective. In fact, we are told that it wasn’t until the book was published that members of KPC actually knew what was going to be in the book. Apparently Sherrill put a nice little fictitious twist about half way through the book without any facts to back up her claims. We are told that members of KPC were shocked to read what actually came out in the book.
One could argue that the damage the book has caused to Jetsunma and KPC is tremendous (it’s been posted all over the internet, and even used in William Cassidy’s defense tactics). However, we have found many in our research that indicated it was how they found KPC, and so grateful that they did. The controversy did not sway them from wanting to know more about Buddhism, and Jetsunma. Further, after learning of Jetsunma’s recognition by the late His Holiness Penor Rinpoche and the tremendous support from His Holiness Karma Kuchen Rinpoche, any doubt soon dissipated https://protectingnyingma2.wordpress.com/2010/05/29/smokescreen/.
Sherrill has no comment regarding her book, or the lies the book holds, even after the confession of Michelle Grissom, who was interviewed in depth by Sherrill for the book and spoke many untruths herself. http://icarusancalion.livejournal.com/894371.html
We are told that some folks from KPC actually tried to make contact with Martha, and she wouldn’t return phone calls or emails. They simply wanted to understand why she wrote stories about them that were not true. Perhaps she was more interested in fame instead of the truth.
Let’s ask a few questions. How does one write such a book about a recognized and enthroned Tulku, yet doesn’t even consider herself Buddhist? How is it that she would understand the Teacher / Student relationship, which is the very heart of Vajrayana Buddhism. No, Martha was looking for a story, and took something precious, made Hollywood out of it, and then called it non-fiction.
We found a quote from Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo that seems appropriate here:
“The enemy is a Dharma in disguise. Gently observe subjective/ objective hope/fear and gain experience to go deeper.”