This email was sent by Jack Petranker, longtime member of Tarthang Tulku’s organizations, sent me this e-mail when the organization decided to take action against Mr Maitland after learning (for the second time) about his sexual harassment of and retaliation toward me – the emphasis on the sentence there have been issues is mine:
Jack Petranker <firstname.lastname@example.org> Sat, May 11, 2013 at 6:21 PM ReplyTo: email@example.com
Apart from me, Ralph, and Carolyn (and Janet), Leslie has been brought in as well.
What I meant about handling this “with care” is that we want to treat it seriously; there have been issues with Arnaud in the past, as I’m sure you know, and it does not seem right to look the other way.
We will be discussing where we stand by phone tomorrow. If you have any wishes about how you’d like us to proceed, that would be helpful. We’re aware of your wish to stay active at DP and especially with Kum Nye Dancing.
Best wishes, Jack
Jack Petranker, Director
Center for Creative Inquiry
New ways to know . . . . . more ways to experience
Here is an image of the actual e-mail:
As you can see in comments on other entries on this blog, other women have mentioned that they know people who were also harassed by Mr Maitland or that they themselves were.
Mr Maitland is not the only member of the Nyingma organizations who approached students in this way. Mr Petranker made an inappropriate gesture toward me when I was working for him; fortunately, he backed off when I told him it was inappropriate and I hoped it would never happen again.
One has to ask oneself it one wants study with, support, or be a part of an organization that would turn a blind eye to this kind of behavior. It is because people continue to support organizations that allow this type of behavior that it can be allowed to continue. It is bad enough when it happens in ordinary workplaces, but to happen in a space where someone comes for spiritual training and refuge, that goes against everything that the Dharma is about.
Though the organizations say that they teach and spread the teachings of the Dharma and of Tarthang Tulku, I am fairly certain that neither the Dharma nor Tarthang Tulku would condone sexual harassment. Anyone who would support or defend the position and actions that the Nyingma organizations have taken over the years with regard to sexual harassment clearly does not embody, practice, or even understand the Dharma. People were thrown out of sanghas in the time of Shakyamuni Buddha for repeated transgressions like this, and even lesser ones. That is the standard we need to have in this day and age as well.