Priest Shimano's Misconduct

by Aik Theng Chong, Singapore, The Buddhist Channel, Jan 7, 2010

I refer to your articles “Why Buddhism?: Violations of Trust in the Sexual Sphere” by Roshi Joan Halifax and “Mr Shimano, please stand down”, Editorial, The Buddhist Channel, both of Jan 3, 2011.

“We all know that rape as a weapon of war has been used against women and nations for thousands of years. Rape, forceable seduction, seduction through trickery, power and domination, seduction through loneliness or delusion have also been part of most, if not all, religions. Yes, if you want to demoralize a nation, rape its women, its daughters, its sisters, its wives........ And if you want to deepen the shadow of any religion, turn wisdom and compassion into hypocrisy, and stand by, conflict averse, as its male clergy disrespects women, has sex with female congregants, dominates women, abuses women, degrades or rapes them”.

Roshi Joan has aptly described above how singly a bad person can so easily bring harm and disrepute to a religion as a whole. Luckily, it did not involve any minors as well otherwise the damage done would be even greater.

The worst thing that he could have done was to hide under the cloak of a religion to commit all these wrongdoings, wrongdoings that he should very well be aware that Buddhism and in fact all major religions would never condone.

The only way to keep such person from committing further damage and causing more harm to Buddhism is to isolate him. The Zen Studies Society should take the first step by expelling him from the organization and dissociating themselves with him.

The Buddhist Channel is doing all Buddhists a great service by exposing his repugnant acts, hopefully others Buddhist internet sites and organizations will carry on from here to expose his misdeeds to as wide an audience as possible.