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#OKCinfo

Breaking the Silence on Sexual Misconduct in Buddhist cults (read Sexual Abuses)
https://www.lionsroar.com/breaking-the-silence-on-sexual-misconduct/

#OKCinfo

Presse : OKC Pas « d’organisation criminelle » Jugement en Septembre 2018 ! #secte #toxique #PN

2 min read

Pas « d’organisation criminelle » Lors de son réquisitoire, l’avocat général Jean-François Godbille a renoncé à la prévention « d’organisation criminelle », jusqu’alors considérée comme la principale piste de l’accusation dans le procès de la secte bouddhiste OKC. Le magistrat s’en est expliqué pour éviter un écueil judiciaire. En effet, ...

Lors de son réquisitoire, l’avocat général Jean-François Godbille a renoncé à la prévention « d’organisation criminelle », jusqu’alors considérée comme la principale piste de l’accusation dans le procès de la secte bouddhiste OKC. Le magistrat s’en est expliqué pour éviter un écueil judiciaire. En effet, il y avait un risque, selon lui, de voir tout le dossier s’écrouler et reprendre à zéro. Ce qui aurait hypothéqué l’enjeu financier, colossal. M. Godbille a en effet demandé la confiscation du Château de Soleils ainsi que du patrimoine privé de Robert Spatz (yachts, villas en Espagne), mais aussi les biens immobiliers bruxellois liés à l’OKC. Et surtout, en plus de ces biens, il a réclamé la confiscation d’une somme dépassant huit millions d’euros contre Spatz. Au-delà des affaires de mœurs sordides, la bataille judiciaire se joue aussi dans les porte-monnaie.

O.Ml

Source LeSoir 4 mai 2018 page 10

#OKCinfo

Le gourou de la #secte OKC sera fixé en septembre #culte #secte #abussexuels #endoctrinement

5 min read

Source : le Soir 

Ven. 04 Mai 2018, Page 10

Après trois mois d’audience et une impression de sérénité tranchant avec la tension du premier procès, la cour d’appel a clos les débats dans la tentaculaire affaire de la secte OKC. Décision en septembre pour le gourou Robert Spatz, qui pourrait se faire confisquer des millions d’euros.

On en était resté à un premier procès de bruit et de fureur, théâtre d’un affrontement terrible entre parties civiles nouvellement constituées et avocats de la défense décidés à ne céder aucun pouce de terrain. Et l’on quitte le procès en appel avec un sentiment diffus de paix et, osons-le, de réconciliation. Ce jeudi matin s’est achevé le procès en appel de la secte bouddhiste OKC (Ogyen Kunzang Chöling) et de son gourou Robert Spatz, 74 ans. Et chacun, au palais de justice, savait que l’on marchait sur des braises lors de ce procès tenu devant une chambre spéciale de la cour. C’est Luc Maes, le premier président de la cour d’appel de Bruxelles, qui avait souhaité assurer la direction des débats, secondé par une présidente de cour d’assises et une présidente de cour du travail : pas des débutants.

La semaine dernière, l’avocat général Jean-François Godbille a requis une peine « d’au moins » quatre ans de prison à l’encontre de Robert Spatz, soit la confirmation de la peine infligée lors du premier procès, très inférieure aux réquisitions d’alors (treize ans ferme). Spatz est poursuivi pour viols, escroquerie et blanchiment. Le ministère public a également requis la confiscation de tous les biens immobiliers de l’ASBL OKC et de Robert Spatz, estimant qu’ils ont été acquis à la suite d’infractions financières.

Jeudi matin, M e Inès Wouters, avocate de l’ASBL OKC, a demandé l’acquittement pur et simple de sa cliente . « Nous sommes face à une

organisation qui poursuit un authentique but spirituel et qui n’avait pas l’objectif de commettre des infractions » , a-t-elle pointé, effectuant le parallèle avec le dossier de l’église belge de la Scientologie, victime d’un spectaculaire crash judiciaire en mars 2016 à Bruxelles.

La veille et l’avant-veille, son confrère M e Quentin Wauters, avocat d’un Robert Spatz absent sur certificat médical durant tout le procès, avait assuré une plaidoirie marathon longue de treize heures. Le pénaliste a insisté sur le fait que son client était un authentique lama dont le maître fut celui du dalaï-lama en personne. Il a également fustigé le rôle de parties civiles qui auraient cherché à décrédibiliser la communauté, mais aussi nié tout « lavage de cerveau » orchestré par Spatz, le gourou de l’OKC. Les faits de viol sont également niés, l’avocat évoquant des rituels tantriques acceptés par une femme adulte et consentante.

 

Témoignages sidérants

Une version complètement rejetée par les parties civiles, représentées par M e Dimitri de Béco et à l’origine du retentissement autour de ce procès. En effet, c’est sous l’impulsion d’une des victimes que des dizaines d’autres, venues de plusieurs continents, se sont rendues à Bruxelles afin de se constituer partie civile à l’audience et de déposer des témoignages pour certains complètement sidérants, racontant à quel point l’OKC fut la proie d’une dérive sectaire gravissime, sous l’autorité d’un gourou qui utilisait, selon eux et les premiers juges, son emprise pour assouvir ses appétits sexuels en dépit des règles de droit. Certaines victimes présumées ont vécu toute leur vie au sein de la secte.

L’OKC a été créée par Spatz en 1972 et a fait vivre des dizaines de familles dans des communautés réduites, au Portugal et dans le sud de la France (château de Soleils, à la Castellane). A un moment, tous les enfants nés au sein des communautés vivaient en complète autarcie tandis que leurs parents travaillaient au noir dans les restaurants de la secte, à Bruxelles. Aujourd’hui encore, un magasin de la rue de Stassart, à Ixelles, vend les produits « bios » issus des travaux des derniers membres de l’OKC.

Après des centaines d’heures d’auditions, de plaidoiries et de réquisitoire, ainsi que plus de mille pages de conclusions d’avocats, la cour d’appel aura fort à faire durant tout l’été avant de rendre sa décision, le 18 septembre.

 

OCTAVE MOREL

robert Spatz aka Lama kunzang

#OKCinfo

Fundraiser by and for OKCinfo : Justice for OKCvictims #MeToo #Cult

We need all the help we can get, so if you can afford it all donations are welcome and will be used to pay for laywers fees, mental & physical support for the victims while this trial is ongoing, plane tickets to allow the civil parties living abroad to travel to be present at audiences and the judgement day in september, communications fees (website, communication tools) 

#OKCinfo

Presse : Le conseil de Robert Spatz, le gourou de la secte OKC, plaide l’acquittement

5 min read

Il va sans dire que les éluqubrations de Wauters et la quasi conversion des avocats Spatz à la doctrine de celui ci est un des aspects le plus troublant de ce procès, alors oui d'aucun dirait : mais il ne fait "que son travail", "il ne fait que représenter son client", oui en effet, mais encore faut il écouter ce qui sort de la bouche de ses avocats, les abberations, les mensonges, les détournements de fait et d'époque pour justifier et présenter une toute autre réalité, laisserais t'on un avocat "défendre" un terroriste en stygmatisant les victimes en toute impunité dans un tribunal dans un état de droit ? 
Pas n'importe comment, pas n'importe quoi, hors ici, des avocats défendent un pédophile récidiviste, un pervers narcissique dangereux (possiblement encore entrain de commettre des crimes similaires à l'heure ou ses lignes sont écrites) en le présentant comme un "bon père de famille" - ce qu'il n'a jamais été, même pour ses propres enfants - les "arguments" utilisés sont de l'ordre du débile, projetant toute sorte de fantasme sur des enfants, des jeunes filles, directement abusées par le seul être en qui elle plaçait toute leur confiance, parfois même leur vie de par l'endoctrinement et le lavage de cerveau généralisé qui prévalait dans la OKC au point d'en devenir une norme. 

Sans parler même de l'utilisation du monastère de Sechen, du nom de Mathieu Ricard et des "Maîtres" Tibétains en général pour asseoir la pseudo légitimité de la OKC, d'ailleur si Mathieu Ricard avait la moindre notion que son nom et celui de Sechen était utilisé par la OKC dans un tribunal, celui ci, peut être, prendrait officiellemnt ses distances mais surtout ce dernier ne resterait pas dans ses montagnes alors qu'en tant que réprésentant (qu'il le veuille ou pas, c'est un fait) du Bouddhisme en France mais plus généralement en Occident, il sortirait sur le devant de la scène pour néttoyer l'abcès et courageusement être en accord avec ce qu'il pense depuis plus de 20 ans à propos de la OKC mais principalement de Robert Spatz. En fin de compte c'est toujours plus facile de parler que de faire et encore plus quand cela concerne le travail de toute une vie, c'est valide pour MR ou la OKC ou l'UBB qui aura pris 20 ans à se distancier officiellement de la OKC. à bon entendeur salut !

Paru dans la DH, Mai 2018

L’avocat de Robert Spatz, fondateur de la communauté bouddhiste Ogyen Kunsang Choling (OKC), a contesté, mercredi devant la cour d’appel de Bruxelles, les accusations portées à l’encontre de son client pour des abus sexuels.

Dans ce dossier, l’OKC, quelques-uns de ses responsables et son chef spirituel Robert Spatz sont prévenus entre autres pour des délits financiers, des infractions à la législation du travail mais aussi pour des faits de prise en otage d’enfants.

Me Quentin Wauters a contesté les affirmations de femmes constituées partie civile au procès qui ont déclaré avoir été abusées sexuellement au sein de l’OKC par son client.

L’avocat a tout d’abord soutenu que certains faits étaient prescrits. Il a ensuite estimé que les récits des plaignantes ne tenaient pas la route, parlant de "frustrations d’adolescentes", celles-ci étant mineures à l’époque des faits, entre la fin des années 1980 et le début des années 1990.

Concernant une autre femme, ancienne membre de l’OKC, qui a affirmé avoir subi des attouchements de Robert Spatz lors d’un rituel et avoir ainsi été victime d’attentat à la pudeur, l’avocat de la défense a également plaidé l’acquittement.

Dans ce cas, M. Spatz reconnaît avoir initié la plaignante à des rituels tantriques, acceptés dans le bouddhisme selon l’avocat. Mais il conteste avoir voulu attenter à la pudeur de cette femme, affirmant qu’elle était adulte et consentante. La communauté bouddhiste Ogyen Kunsang Choling (OKC), son chef spirituel Robert Spatz et certains de ses responsables sont prévenus devant la cour d’appel de Bruxelles pour des délits financiers, des infractions à la législation du travail ainsi que pour des faits de prise en otage d’enfants. Robert Spatz est en outre prévenu pour abus sexuels.

 

#OKCinfo

#OKCinfo

Presse : Robert Spatz, «un imposteur, un escroc, un esclavagiste des temps modernes et un violeur»

7 min read

Paru dans l'Avenir 25 Avril 2018

La culpabilité de Robert Spatz, chef spirituel de la communauté bouddhiste Ogyen Kunsang Choling (OKC), a été requise en appel. Le «gourou» des années 80 est menacé de 4 ans de prison «minimum» pour des faits d’escroquerie, blanchiment d’argent et viol.

L’avocat général Jean-François Godbille a requis, mardi après-midi, la culpabilité du chef spirituel de la communauté bouddhiste Ogyen Kunsang Choling (OKC), Robert Spatz, pour des faits d’escroquerie, de blanchiment d’argent et de viol. Il a estimé que la peine de 4 ans de prison prononcée en première instance devait au minimum être confirmée, voire aggravée d’un an supplémentaire. Dans ce dossier, l’OKC, quelques-uns de ses membres et son chef spirituel Robert Spatz sont prévenus entre autres pour des délits financiers, des infractions à la législation du travail mais aussi pour prise en otage d’enfants.

L’avocat général Jean-François Godbille a requis, au terme d’un réquisitoire de 6 heures, la culpabilité de Robert Spatz pour diverses préventions touchant à la manière dont il a géré l’OKC, une communauté religieuse qu’il avait fondée dans les années 1970 à Bruxelles.

L’avocat général a décrit l’intéressé comme le gourou d’une secte, comme «un imposteur, un escroc, un esclavagiste des temps modernes et un violeur».

Il a soutenu que cet homme avait soutiré des sommes d’argent importantes aux adeptes de l’OKC et avait ensuite blanchi cet argent. Il a aussi considéré qu’il avait contraint les adeptes à travailler bénévolement dans des restaurants et des magasins qui généraient des bénéfices importants.

L’avocat général a également requis une peine de 2 ans de prison avec sursis à l’encontre de Jeanne B., qui a secondé Robert Spatz dans ses activités, et notamment dans ses opérations financières.

Il a ensuite requis la suspension du prononcé concernant l’épouse et le fils de Robert Spatz ainsi qu’un membre de l’OKC qui avait agi comme comptable au sein de celle-ci.

Enfin, l’avocat général a requis la confiscation de tous les biens immobiliers de l’ASBL OKC et de Robert Spatz, estimant qu’ils ont été acquis grâce à des fonds issus d’infractions.

Selon le ministère public, sur le plan des infractions à la législation du travail, il apparaît clairement des rapports d’enquête que les différentes sociétés qui géraient les restaurants et les magasins avaient été créées pour permettre à l’ASBL OKC d’avoir des activités lucratives.

Selon lui, les personnes qui travaillaient dans ces établissements auraient dû être soumises à la législation du travail. Elles auraient dû agir dans le cadre de contrats, bénéficier d’un salaire et d’une assurance maladie-invalidité, car tout montre qu’elles y travaillaient sous les ordres de quelqu’un, «quitte à reverser ensuite une partie de leur salaire sous forme de dons à la communauté OKC», a ajouté l’avocat général.

«Cette façon d’arracher des enfants à leurs parents est d’une violence morale totale»

Le représentant du ministère public a également demandé de déclarer la prévention de prise en otage d’enfants entre 1999 et 2009 établie à charge de l’ASBL OKC, ainsi que celle d’organisation criminelle.

«Cette façon d’arracher des enfants à leurs parents est d’une violence morale totale! On a trompé ces parents, ces adeptes de l’OKC qui auraient tout fait plutôt que perdre leur vie spirituelle. On a abusé de leur crédulité», a-t-il dit.

Enfin, l’avocat général a requis la culpabilité de Robert Spatz pour le viol d’une jeune femme de la communauté OKC. Même si celle-ci s’est par la suite rétractée, affirmant qu’elle était amoureuse de Robert Spatz et qu’elle avait déposé plainte sous le coup de la colère et de la frustration, le contexte de dévoilement des faits est clair, d’après le ministère public.

Le rappel des faits

La communauté bouddhiste Ogyen Kunsang Choling (OKC), son chef spirituel Robert Spatz et certains de ses membres sont prévenus devant la cour d’appel de Bruxelles pour des délits financiers, des infractions à la législation du travail mais aussi pour des faits de prise en otage d’enfants.

Le second est également prévenu pour abus sexuels sur des filles et des femmes qui faisaient partie de l’OKC.

Cette communauté avait été fondée à Bruxelles en 1972 par Robert Spatz, appelé le Lama Kunzang Dorjé. Cet homme charismatique avait réuni autour de lui de nombreuses personnes en quête de spiritualité, notamment des couples avec enfants, séduits par l’idée d’une vie en communauté.

Malnutrition

Entre les années 1980 et 2000, les enfants des membres avaient été envoyés dans des propriétés de l’OKC au Portugal et en France, notamment au domaine Château-de-Soleils à Castellane en Provence. Certains, constitués partie civile au procès, disent y avoir subi des actes de maltraitance et y avoir souffert de malnutrition.

Pendant ce temps, les parents, eux, travaillaient à Bruxelles dans des restaurants et des magasins de l’OKC sans être payés, selon l’enquête.

Enfin, en 1995, une jeune femme de cette communauté avait affirmé avoir été victime d’abus sexuels du «lama», Robert Spatz. D’autres femmes (mineurs au moment des faits) avaient ensuite dit avoir également été abusées sexuellement par celui-ci.

En 1997, une opération franco-belge avait mené des perquisitions en région bruxelloise et à Castellane. Une enquête appronfondie avait ainsi été entamée pour diverses infractions supposées, du délit financier aux faits de moeurs, et avait débouché sur un renvoi en correctionnelle de la communauté et de certains de ses responsables.

#OKCinfo

Presse : OKC: organisation criminelle ou association de malfaiteurs? @ogyenkun #secte #nuisible #bouddhisme

5 min read

Il va s'en dire que les arguments avancés par Godin, même si bien construit sont une avalanche de mensonges et de détournements de faits et de vérités dans le but unique de dédouaner la OKC, ses responsables et ses membres de la dérive grave entreprise par eux et laissé faire par les parents/membres d'OKC depuis sa constitution jusqu'au perquisition de 1997. Godin aura fait un bon travail, sur le tard pour dissocier OKC de Robert Spatz, mais faisant appel avec RS et ne prenenant ces distances que tardivement il est très clair pour nous que ce stratagème n'a pour but que de donner l'illusion que OKC est hors de l'emprise de son fondateur et créateur: Robert Spatz aka Lama Kunzang. 

Paru dans l'Avenir du 28 Avril 2018

Dans le dossier de la secte, le procureur général a renoncé à plusieurs préventions relatives à une organisation criminelle.

L’enquête sur la secte OKC a commencé en 1997 et ceux, parmi les lecteurs, qui ont perdu le fil, se souviennent peut-être des images spectaculaires de l’assaut donné par une centaine de CRS qui ont escaladé les murs de l’enceinte de l’impressionnant «Château de Soleils», à Castellane, dans le sud de la France. Cette immense propriété appartenait en nom personnel à Robert Spatz, le gourou de la secte, âgé aujourd’hui de 74 ans. Pas moins de 51 enfants sont passés par ce centre de (ré) éducation.

Ce qui vaut à la secte des poursuites du chef de prise d’otages. Car les parents travaillaient bénévolement à Bruxelles dans des restaurants végétariens, ainsi que dans une épicerie, tandis que l’éducation et l’enseignement de leurs enfants étaient pris en charge par les lieutenants de Robert Spatz.

Un empire financier

Derrière les activités visibles de cette communauté, se dissimulait aussi un empire financier et immobilier. D’ailleurs, des ouvriers/employés d’OKC étaient également affectés à l’entretien, à la restauration, voire à la rénovation des immeubles du cheptel immobilier du gourou. Et c’est à travers cet enchevêtrement de sociétés, dont certaines sont logées dans des paradis fiscaux, que le procureur général, Jean-François Godbille, a cru débusquer un gang de loubards financiers, soit, plus juridiquement, une organisation criminelle.

Avec la grande humanité qui le caractérise, le représentant du ministère public a annoncé qu’il ne souhaitait pas mettre à terre les petites gens qui vivent dans cette communauté. De sorte qu’il a conclu à l’acquittement des personnes morales – les entreprises – du chef d’organisation criminelle et qu’il ne requiert pas de confiscations de ce chef-là. C’est un bon point pour la défense, sinon qu’au lieu de se défendre du chef d’organisation criminelle, les plaideurs devront argumenter sur le terrain de l’association de malfaiteurs… Bref, du côté de la défense, Me Luc Godin a plaidé le dépassement du délai raisonnable endéans lequel tout suspect a le droit d’être jugé. De faire valoir qu’à trois reprises, des chambres des mises en accusation ont décrété le non-lieu pour cette raison.

Des chiffres fous!

« Nous sommes 20 ans après les premières inculpations. L’instruction a duré 13 ans. La période infractionnelle s’étend sur 30 ans. Des chiffres fous », a souligné Me Godin. Le plaideur a conclu sur l’inégalité des armes entre les parties poursuivantes et la défense. En effet, au début du procès devant le premier juge, quantité de personnes inconnues sont venues se constituer parties civiles et livrer des récits dantesques à propos de ce qu’ils ont vécu. Par contre, la plupart des témoins réclamés par les prévenus n’ont pas pu être entendus. En conséquence, Me Godin a estimé que le procès était inéquitable…

 

#OKCinfo

Procès OKC - Spatz : Communiqué de presse de L'Union Bouddhique Belge #UBB #Belga #Buddhisme

Le procès OKC

Le jugement particulièrement bien motivé prononcé le 15/09/2016 par le Tribunal Correctionnel de Bruxelles dans le cadre du procès dit « de l’OKC » dénonce des comportements contraires à nos règles les plus élémentaires de vie en société dont le sieur Robert SPATZ (alias « Lama KUNZANG ») et d’autres personnes de son entourage se sont rendues coupables. Ces comportements sont évidemment aussi en totale contradiction avec les valeurs véhiculées depuis 2500 ans au sein de la tradition bouddhiste.

En conséquence, l’Union Bouddhique Belge salue le travail accompli par le pouvoir judiciaire pour clarifier les faits reprochés aux différentes personnes condamnées et elle exprime envers les victimes de leurs agissements sa plus profonde compassion.

Le chemin que le Bouddha a proposé à quiconque d’expérimenter a pour objectif ultime de libérer les êtres sensibles de toute souffrance physique ou morale. Ce cheminement implique une démarche de clarification de nos intentions individuelles et collectives, mais aussi un réel engagement sociétal visant à épauler tous ceux qui souffrent.

Dans cet esprit, les centres reconnus par l’Union Bouddhique Belge accueilleront évidemment avec une particulière bienveillance toute personne ayant été blessée au travers des actes dénoncés par le tribunal et qui souhaiterait y trouver un soutien spirituel.

#OKCinfo

Jour J pour connaître la date de l'appel interjeté par OKC-Spatz https://www.facebook.com/events/176379539616208/

#OKCinfo

#OKCinfo

TV : Les dérives sectaires : "Dans les griffes du gourou"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vn03iTuvBho
Julie Denayer et son équipe de journalistes infiltrés nous emmènent dans un monde secret, celui des dérives sectaires. Pour affronter la fin du monde ou la société, des gourous n'hésitent pas à manipuler les hommes, les femmes et même les enfants. Au cœur de Bruxelles, un Pasteur annonce des miracles, alors que d'autres prétendent guérir les maladies les plus graves comme le cancer en excluant les médicaments. L'équipe de "Face Cachée" s'est immiscée au cœur de ces mouvements bien présents chez nous en Belgique pour y découvrir à Liège, Charleroi ou encore Bruxelles, des pratiques choquantes, dangereuses, coûteuses ou pire mortelles. Cette nouvelle enquête dévoile des pratiques insoupçonnées en Belgique mais aussi des témoignages poignants.

Sur RTL TVI Vendredi 01 déc. 2017 à 19:45 - 40min

#OKCinfo

A Storm is Coming: Tibetan #Buddhism in the West #SexAbuse #TeacherPredator #Meetoo

In Nyima Dzong, people were indoctrinated to see everything in a positive light. Negative thoughts were said to be signs of a clouded mind. Only Robert S. allegedly had access to ‘true reality’. He quoted Tibetan teachers with whom he had supposedly studied in India. And various Tibetan teachers made him seem legitimate by visiting the OKC over the years, for example the Dalai Lama in 1990. By that time, many instances of sexual abuse had apparently already occurred.
Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/americanbuddhist/2017/11/a-storm-is-coming-tibetan-buddhism-in-the-west...

Buddhist scholar Bernard Faure recounts several of the scandals of Western Buddhism in his book on Buddhist sexuality, The Red Thread, but then warns us, “The problem is by no means limited to Western interpretations of Mahāyāna: it is also found in Asian forms of Mahāyāna and Theravāda… [F]ar from being mere accidents due to individual personalities, [the scandals] may also be seen as structural problems, having deeper social, psychological, and cultural roots. These behaviors found some doctrinal justification in the teachings of Mahāyāna or Great Vehicle— particularly in its most radical versions,Vajrayāna and Chan/Zen.”

#OKCinfo

If you don't know the OKC-Spatz story here is 3 articles you should definitely read :

Testimony from an Ogyen Kunzang Choling survivor. https://buddhism-controversy-blog.com/2017/10/29/testimony-from-an-ogyen-kunsang-choling-okc-survivo...
verdict: 4 years suspended sentence : https://buddhism-controversy-blog.com/2017/03/11/robert-spatz-the-ogyen-kunsang-choling-cults-guru-g...
Abuse and Buddhism - Behind the Smiling Facade : https://www.info-buddhism.com/Abuse_and_Buddhism-Behind_the_Smiling_Facade-Anna_Sawerthal.html

#OKCinfo

#OKCinfo

Another insulting, supposedly "humorous" Dzongsar Jamyang Khentse rant against "Liberal Westerners" #Buddhism

Another insulting, supposedly "humorous" Dzongsar Jamyang Khentse rant against "Liberal Westerners" #Buddhism

Is Dzongsar the new Tibetan Trump ? 

  • Such Arrogance !

  • Dzongzar has totally lost the plot. He's a ham actor playing to the gallery. His "humour" is not even vaguely funny. He misses every point that matters. The price you pay for celebrity status. He'd be better off sticking to makingmovies.

  • He has been mocking victims for a while so this might be him live. he is clearly angry at westerners. he used to talk about a buddhism with ethical and critical thinking as companions to knowledge. for about four years he has been openly disparaging western human rights standards, and western democracy,and believe it or not praising donald trump. usually in throw away lines. i suppose he thinks he's funny. 

#OKCinfo

#OKCinfo

Testimony from an Ogyen Kunzang Choling (OKC) Survivor #sexualabuse #buddhism #rape #meetoo

23 min read

Nyima Dzong in the 80's

The following comment was posted by a Buddhist as a comment after having shared Ben’s powerpoint presentation “40 Years of Abuse in the Name of Dharma by ex-OKC born-kids” on Facebook.

Ben who stands behind this entire thing has a financial interest and is generally against Buddhism. The whole matter is already old and has been judicially negotiated for years. Ben’s goal is to close the center. But the center has nothing more to do with Robert Spatz and has been under the direction of Sechen monastery / Rabjam Rinpoche for years. Pictures of Robert Spatz, his long-life prayers, have long since been removed. Khenpo Tsethen is independent and what is said about him is out of thin air, simply a lie! Have you ever talked with Khenpo, Rabjam Rinpoche or were you in Nyima Dzong? As a monk, would you like to spread lies about Khenpo Tsethen without ever having spoken to him? Do you want to be part of the fact that people, monks lose their homes, and since they have devoted themselves entirely to the Dharma, they do not have a pension and end up in the middle of the age, or end up in the street? You can write about Robert Spatz, but PLEASE leave people out who have nothing to do with him. This article you have posted here contains untruths. Please check it!¹

Here is a response to that comment by a woman who was a child in the OKC.

A little history may help in understanding why this accusation is not only wrong but offensive and hurtful. For the sake of clarity, in this explanation when I speak of the “adults” of OKC I am talking about members who joined the community as adults, of their own free will. When I mention the “children” of OKC, I am referring to those of us who were either born into OKC or brought to the community by our parents when we were small. We are now adults of various ages ranging from the twenties to the forties and doing our best to piece ourselves together while coping with the devastating after-effects of our childhoods in the community. These effects range from trauma to pragmatic issues resulting from a lack of education (most of us were taken out of school at age 14), lack of parental guidance or financial support and difficulties integrating into ordinary society.

OKC was created in 1972 by Robert Spatz and a few others.

Robert Spatz alias Lama Kunzang

Over the next few years it grew into a community with religious centers in several countries. These centers included shops, restaurants and yoga facilities located in cities such as Brussels and Athens and isolated communities such as Nyima-Dzong. At Nyima-Dzong, members lived an alternate lifestyle in isolation from the “outside world” in a group of ancient buildings nestled in a secluded valley in the French Alps. Initially, this was a community of adults, but in the late 70s several families joined the community with small children and the first OKC babies were born on site. Each family was assigned to live in a single room with virtually no furniture other than the ubiquitous little altar bearing a photo of Spatz. We slept on the floor and piled our few belongings in the corners. The community did not have electricity or running water during the early years. We shared communal outhouses and lined up with bowls three times a day for food doled out by the communal kitchen, where food was cooked over a wood-burning stove. For the most part, we ate what we could grow, which meant that most meals consisted of turnips, carrots, and nettles that we picked in the wild, usually boiled without spices or salt. Children took lessons in a one-room schoolhouse tended by one teacher with very limited supplies. We had very little time with our parents, less than when we lived “outside,” because of the rigorous work and prayer schedule that we all followed seven days a week. Meanwhile, Spatz lived in luxury in a huge mansion in Brussels, driving a jaguar from one center to another, and relaxing by drinking wine and listening to Wagner on his yacht. His own children lived in the mansion with him, and were educated in exclusive private schools.

In the early eighties, a new system was announced. Rather than living with their parents, the children would live in dorms. We were triaged into three groups, the “bigs,” who were aged 10-12, the “mediums” who were 5-10, and the “smalls,” who were 2-4. A supervisor was assigned to each group, and there was no need for the parents to interact with their children at all. In fact, parents were under pressure not to interact with their children. Parents were told that they were filled with toxic thoughts and emotions and they were poisoning their children by their presence. If they wanted their children to grow up pure and strong, and to have a chance at enlightenment, it was imperative for them to pull away. Some parents went so far as to turn their heads when encountering a group of children, to avoid crossing eyes with their own child. This burden of becoming the enlightened future of the community fell heavily upon our shoulders as well. As children, we were expected to need nothing, want nothing, to give up our most prized dreams and possessions without complaint, to have no wishes, ambitions, goals, loves or fears. We were supposed to diligently work, study and pray every day without experiencing any emotion or receiving any attention, recognition or approval. However, there were plenty of adults willing to help us get rid of our egos by criticizing, and belittling us, even bullying us and/or taking our possessions. They shut down any complaint with the retort that our egos were talking, always the big egos leading us into shallow and selfish behavior; we should stop with all the self-importance, learn some humility and spend our days praying instead of complaining.

Children at Château de Soleils (Nyima Dzong)

After separating families on site, it was only a small step for Spatz to start literally sending the parents away, usually off to the cities where they could make money for the community by staffing its shops and restaurants, where many of them worked seven days a week without pay. Also, the families already living in Brussels were pressured to send their kids off to live in France. In addition to religious pressure and shaming, Spatz also used tactics such as telling people they were free to leave the community immediately if they were not willing to part from their kids. These were people who had quit their jobs, sold their homes and belongings and severed ties with their families to join the community. They had donated everything they owned and had nowhere to go. One after another, parents made the heartbreaking choice to send their children away to be raised at Nyima-Dzong. Even tiny two and three-years olds fell victim to this forced separation. Parents were only allowed to visit their children at Spatz’s whim. Some parents were allowed to visit twice a year, others once a year, others even less than that. I heard from one girl that she didn’t see her mother for almost three years, so long that she forgot what she looked like and struggled to pick her out in a crowd.

In the 90’s, the number of children living at OKC swelled and the number of adults shrank to just a small group tasked with raising the children. These adults for the most part had no experience with childcare and some of them had mental problems that made them unfit to be trusted with children. These adults were on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with no vacations or holidays, such that even the kindest ones among them were vulnerable to caving under the stress and mistreating children. Also, once Spatz had the parents safely out of the way, he advocated an increasingly harsh lifestyle for the children. The schedule became more rigid, the food sparse to the point where children would steal vegetables from the garden in the dead of night, sitting in the fresh dirt to gobble them down as soon as they pulled them from the ground. Punishments were increasingly harsh. Small children were locked overnight in a shoe closet infested with rats, deprived of food sometimes for multiple days, forced to run endless circles barefoot in the snow and hit with switches. A pedophile ran rampant among the little girls, showering naked with them and slipping his hand under their nightgowns when he put them to bed. Yet another deranged disciple preferred to bully the boys, calling them to his room at night after charging them with small crimes, or sometimes no crime at all, and holding them down after stuffing a dirty handkerchief in their mouth so they wouldn’t make too much noise while he beat them black and blue.

Scenes: Children at Château de Soleils (Nyima Dzong)

When the oldest kids in this group reached their teens and grew rebellious, Spatz separated them from the smaller children and sent them to live in a community in Portugal. In a new twist, he began to include alcohol in his religious ceremonies. Kids were not only invited, but forced to drink, so much that by the end of some prayer sessions there were children throwing up all over the temple and others passed out on the floor who were unceremoniously piled into a cart and dumped in their rooms to recover. These teenagers were taught to fight, and told that they were in training to fight for their lives in an upcoming war that would bring an end to the world as we know it. Around this time Spatz also went through a Gypsy phase, where he traveled cross country in caravans with select members of the community, including teenage girls, partying along the way.

Screenshot from the video: Anniversaire Robert Spatz 13avril2001.mp4
(The children in this image are of another generation than the author of this post.)

As for me, I am one of the older children in the group. My family joined this community in the late 70s, when I was a small child. I was taken out of school at 14 and for the next three years I was routinely sexually abused by Spatz. I want to be clear that this was not a relationship that had even the pretense of being consensual; Spatz procured my obedience with trickery, intimidation and outright threats of harm to both me and members of my family. As a child, I used to look up to Spatz and think of him as a kind, fatherly figure, but during those three years I learned to hate him, so much so that I would feel sick to my stomach at the sound of his car pulling up to the building. In the face of total parental abdication, I had no-one to turn to. Spatz had full control over my fate. For all practical purposes, I was a captive, forbidden to leave the community even for brief visits to family members outside.

In the end, my older brother is the one who offered me a means of escape, when I was 17. I am one of the fortunate few who had some financial support from my family after I got out. Although it wasn’t easy, I managed to go back to school and get a college degree. I wanted to forget what I lived through at Nyima-Dzong and I tried hard to do so, but I found out that something more than willpower is required to heal from such an experience. Also, I was always worried about the children I had left behind, especially the younger girls. I worried that by escaping I had left behind a void that Spatz would simply fill with the next youngest girl. As it turns out, I was only half right – Spatz had already moved on to a couple of the next youngest girls long before I left, after taking the precaution of having his disciples move me away from Nyima-Dzong to a different location, so that I wouldn’t notice what he was doing.

It took me years to break through the spell of secrecy and speak up about Spatz, but I finally brought criminal and civil complaints against him in 1998. I found out later that three other women had done the same. After making these complaints I received a call from a woman in the community that I had loved as a child and for a second I thought she had called to tell me that she was sad or upset to hear about what happened to me. But that wasn’t it at all. She wanted me to drop the charges against Spatz because she was afraid that he would be sent to prison and the community would be shut down. People would be put out on the street, with no money and nowhere to go. What happened to me was in the past, she said, so couldn’t I just let it go instead of moving forward with a lawsuit that might ruin the lives of many innocent people? When I asked about other girls, she glossed over the question. I hung up feeling hurt by her indifference, and also wondering for the first time if the huge secret that I thought I had guarded for years was actually not a secret at all. The thought crossed my mind that perhaps some of Spatz’s disciples didn’t mind offering up a girl to Spatz every now and then in exchange for his continued patronage and support of the community.

I stood firm, but other disciples approached my family with the same logic, asking them to stop me from wreaking havoc on the community, and they fell prey to guilt. My mother pressured me to stop. My brother, who had been my only ally for years, told me that he wished me the best but he could not support what I was doing because he was worried about the fate of friends and family members still in the community. I tried to tell them that this was just a story that the community was using to manipulate them. Personally, I thought it was a little sick for the adults to purchase their religious blessings and financial security at the cost of their children’s suffering. Plus, I never believed that Spatz would support these people in their old age, as they expected him to do. It was because of Spatz that these people were destitute – he was the one who convinced them to donate everything to him and live in poverty while he freely spent the money he gathered. But I realized over time that the two of them were ashamed of my actions and felt guilty by association. They came back from visits to the community acting surprised and grateful that people were willing to talk to them despite what I had done. Ridiculously, it became a situation where my family was persuaded that they needed to protect Spatz and OKC from me, rather than the other way around. My brother eventually succumbed to guilt and wrote a letter to the Belgian police in 1998 suggesting that they ought not believe my story. He didn’t have the courage to tell me about this betrayal – I found out about it at the trial last year when Spatz’s lawyers tried to use it as evidence to discredit me. I know that my mother and brother both love me and that, at the time, they acted out of confusion, and under the influence of religious manipulation. I love them as well, and aside from issues related to OKC they have been the best mother and brother I could wish for. The trial last year stirred up all these issues and precipitated some long discussions among us and I am grateful that they have come to understand the situation more clearly and support me in what I am doing. The point I want to make is not to criticize them, but to show how insidious religious brainwashing can be, to the extent of turning loving family members against each other.

I’m sharing this story not to talk about myself but because it echoes the experience of the other OKC children. This worn out theme has been trotted out over and over again for 20 years now: OKC is a charming community filled with good people who will be provided with financial support and loving care in their elder years – but this wondrous existence is on the brink of being ruined by the selfish headstrong children of OKC who think only about themselves. OKC used this story for years to stop the younger generation of OKC from speaking up. It’s an effective tactic to use on kids who were raised to disregard their own well-being and avoid selfishness like the plague. For the most part, the OKC children who decided to testify at trial went through a very difficult personal struggle because of these accusations, and some of them backed out (despite suffering horrific abuse) because they couldn’t handle the guilt trip or disapproval of their parents. And many of them have family members who fell victim to the same guilt trips as my own family, and made statements to the police or tribunal trying to discredit them. These are family members of abused children! Cousins, uncles, siblings, parents knowingly undermining these children in an effort to protect Spatz and OKC.

 

In truth, Spatz created a network of companies that manage all money, people and assets related to OKC. The Belgian tribunal found that these companies, even the ones styled as non-profits and religious organizations, actually operated for the financial benefit of Spatz, rather than the community or the disciples. Money has been laundered back and forth between these companies over the years to the detriment of the people that they are supposed to benefit. How does one man manage to control the finances of multiple organizations and the lives of multiple people? Through his closest, most loyal disciples, who I think of as his “lieutenants.” During the trial, some of the former OKC disciples tried to seize control of the Belgian OKC organization away from Spatz. They were successful in getting him to retire as officer of the company, but his lieutenants then intimidated the group into submitting to Spatz’s continued control. Spatz’s lieutenants are the officers of some of the other OKC-related organizations. They still live in his centers – I know of at least one who still lives at Nyima-Dzong.

I don’t know anything about the Kenpo, but I assume he is financed by OKC Belgium or OKC France, both of which are still controlled by Spatz most loyal disciples. And, while OKC may have removed Spatz’ photo from their website, the photo still sits on its throne in the temple at Nyima-Dzong.

Circling back to the original accusation, I am troubled by the premise that the members of OKC should be protected because they have “nothing to do” with the wrongs perpetrated by Spatz. This is a fiction that lives on in part because, contrary to accusations, the OKC children are absurdly compassionate and forgiving. Most of the OKC disciples were complicit in one way or another in the abuse and neglect of the community’s children. Those that were not complicit are at the very least guilty of turning a blind eye in a situation where a compassionate human would ordinarily be expected to lend a hand. We (the OKC children) know that the adults were deceived and indoctrinated by Spatz and we know that he had a terrible way of twisting the truth and the religion, making acts of kindness seem like crimes, and crimes like acts of kindness. So we forgive the people who beat, neglected and mistreated us, or led us to his bedroom in the dead of night, choosing instead to focus on Spatz as the ultimate cause of the harm.

It is one thing to forgive the adults; it is quite another thing to engage in the pretense that they are innocent, and yet another thing entirely to attack the children who suffered a lifetime of abuse and accuse these children of selfishness! Make no mistake, some of these adults did terrible things. To give one example among many: one girl testified at trial that when she was 12 Spatz “gave” her as a girlfriend to a young man that he favored, and sent them off to travel with his gypsy caravan. One night, this older boy drank too much while partying with the adults and hauled the girl into his caravan, where he raped her. When he passed out she emerged from the caravan crying and went to sit by the campfire where she announced “I’ve just been raped, does anyone even care?” There was an awkward pause, and that’s the end of the story. No-one did a thing. This girl brought charges against Spatz for sexually assaulting her a year later, but insisted that she did not want to bring charges against the boy who raped her because she felt that he had been twisted and abused by Spatz as well and he had suffered enough. She also forgave the adults who allowed the boy to get drunk and haul her into a caravan, and who took no action after finding out about the rape – going so far as to refuse to disclose their names in order to protect them. Why? Because she feels pity for them, because she knows as we all do that Spatz hurt and controlled everyone. The boys chose to forgive the sick, twisted individual who came up with pretenses to beat them violently. And all the children have forgiven the parents who neglected and abandoned them.

Since there have also been accusations directly against Ben, I feel the need to point out that he is acting on behalf of a group of 25-30 former OKC kids, many of whom are still Buddhists themselves, and most of whom were plaintiffs in the trial against OKC. Any attack on Ben is, practically speaking, an attack on all of the OKC children. Speaking for the younger generation, right now what the children need is a little compassion and support from the world in light of the traumas that they have lived through and the life challenges that they currently face. To continue to attack them is simply cruel. Many of these kids have a parent who is still in OKC, or halfway in. And all of the kids are concerned about the financial well-being of the remaining members. No-one wants to see these people on the street! But most of these children believe, like I do, that Spatz has no intent to provide for his disciples in their old age. Spatz has sucked people dry over the years, to the point of half-starving children and depriving even terminally ill disciples of medical care. Anyone who believes that Spatz will generously take care of his disciples once they have nothing more to give him is sadly naïve. If Spatz was truly concerned, he could take action right now by setting up individual pensions for his disciples using the money he has hoarded for himself all of these years. Why focus the blame on the children instead of on Spatz, who has been found guilty of violating employment laws and appropriating the community’s money for his personal use?

In fact, the OKC children have had endless discussions about how to deal with the problem of elders aging in the community with no savings or accumulated social security. For this reason, we all supported the people trying to take OKC away from Spatz and hoped they would be successful. And if they had been successful and OKC was truly and irrevocably free from Spatz and his lieutenants, we would support OKC. I believe that most of us would like nothing more than to see Spatz’s disciples recreate a Buddhist community independent of Spatz and make it thrive. But we will not support an OKC that continues to dominate and mistreat people, and funnel money to Spatz.

Incidentally, the tribunal appeared to be concerned for the well-being of aging disciples as well. The court’s solution was to seize Spatz’s assets and create a fund to use as an alternative to social security for all of the adults who worked undeclared and without pay for OKC for most of their lives. That solution in my opinion is also better than letting things rock on as they are, which will result in financial hardship to everyone but Spatz and his most loyal lieutenants in the end. My only fear (which I believe is shared by some of the other children) is that there are adults so deeply entranced by Spatz that they will turn around and give the money right back to him.

The 20-year-old lawsuit against Spatz is not over. The case finally went to trial in 2016, and now it is on appeal, and we are all still holding our breath waiting for the final outcome. Nothing is over or resolved – not yet.


¹ Ben made clear that his goal is not to close the center. He is the spokes person of 23 civil parties, some of the older generations of youngsters (now adults) from OKC. There are now 170 charges against OKC by the Belgian Justice system. Eleven sexual abuse cases were presented in front of the court. In total there are 46 civil parties, some from the 1997 inquiry and all the others from the trial in 2016. A detailed clarification by Ben will be posted soon on this blog.

If you want to financially support the court case of the victims against Robert Spatz, you can donate via the Aide aux victimes de Robert Spatz GoFundMe Campaign.

 

#OKCinfo

Testimony from an Ogyen Kunzang Choling (OKC) Survivor

I am troubled by the premise that the members of OKC should be protected because they have “nothing to do” with the wrongs perpetrated by Spatz. This is a fiction that lives on in part because, contrary to accusations, the OKC children are absurdly compassionate and forgiving. Most of the OKC disciples were complicit in one way or another in the abuse and neglect of the community’s children. Those that were not complicit are at the very least guilty of turning a blind eye in a situation where a compassionate human would ordinarily be expected to lend a hand. We (the OKC children) know that the adults were deceived and indoctrinated by Spatz and we know that he had a terrible way of twisting the truth and the religion, making acts of kindness seem like crimes, and crimes like acts of kindness. So we forgive the people who beat, neglected and mistreated us, or led us to his bedroom in the dead of night, choosing instead to focus on Spatz as the ultimate cause of the harm.

 

#OKCinfo

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