Sunday, August 21, 2011

Barbara O'Brien joins in the smear campaign against Nepali Buddhism

Barbara O'Brien, a Buddhist blogger for About.Com, is now fully on board with the ongoing international internet smear campaign against Nepali Buddhism. This smear campaign consists of simply repeating over and over again the baseless allegation that a Nepali Buddhist nun "faced expulsion" after she was raped. (Here is a link to O'Brien's recent contribution to the smear campaign.)

The most important thing to know is that nothing of the sort ever happened. Sadly it is true that a young Nepali nun was savagely raped by five men on the night of June 24, and that this nun is still struggling to recover emotionally and physically from the assault. But not one Buddhist organization or Buddhist official in Nepal (or anywhere else in the world) has ever said that this rape victim should be expelled from the nunnery in which she has trained for many years. In fact, the exact opposite is the case. Both the nunnery and the Nepal Buddhist Federation have stated unambiguously that she will be returned to the nunnery as soon as she is sufficiently recovered, and that her status as a nun has never been in doubt.

O'Brien claims that she believes these allegations because "a number of different reporters working for different media and independently of each other give pretty much the same version of what happened," and, therefore, according to O'Brien, "that’s probably about what happened."

But when I challenged O'Brien in the comments section of her blog to name three different journalist from three different media organizations who had all independently supported the allegation about the expulsion of the nun, O'Brien suddenly decided to close the comments section!

She could name only one "journalist", it turned out. And who might that be? None other than Sudeshna Sarkar, of course!

If you want to know more about the truth behind this smear campaign, look at these recent posts:

This blog has moved back to blogspot and will most likely remain here. That is all.

The bottom line is that I was somewhat hesitant about moving EGREGORES to wordpress, but I now have no reservations whatsoever about moving it back to blogspot. Issues include (1) they way wordpress fucked up old posts that were migrated, especially images and blockquotes, (2) wordpress' editor is even worse than blogspot's, which I didn't think was possible, (3) lack of flexibility (for instance you can't even look at, let alone edit, the html unless you pay $$$ for the priviledge), (4) more and better widgets are easily available on blogspot, etc.