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I just deleted the section Critism. Rather too much of a door mat. Look up catholic; there is no external links to critics. if they don't need them neither do we.

You can't really compare an individual to an institution. This article is not really complete without mentioning in more detail some of the more controversial things about Sangharakshita. I know it is difficult to do this and maintain NPOV, but the article is incomplete in its present form. Davidreid 12:54, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

Actually Sangharakshita left India as he was about to be prosecuted and many of those he cites as teachers have no memory of him at all, or just that he attended teachings. Most of his claims are provably false.

This is the usual thing; unsupported accusations, made by anonymous people. Sangharakshita has been back to India many times subsequently, and appears never to have been prosecuted for anything in his life - perhaps the informant could supply some evidence of this claim. All of his previous teachers are dead, so it is probably true to say they have no memory of him. I know people personally who met Dhardo Rimpoche, and Chetul Sangye Dorje while they were alive and they seemed to have non trouble remembering, and were very please to meet Sangharakshita's disciples. I'd be interested to see this anonymous person accurately describe a 'claim' made by Sangharakshita, and then prove it false. mahābāla 11:34, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)
FWBOarticle here. I have added a new section which is compliation of links critical of Sangharakshita

I have removed these links for the same reasons as I give in Talk:Friends_of_the_Western_Buddhist_Order: they are to material that is anonynmous, unsubstantiated, breaches copyright, etc etc. It is acknowledged that there is a view point here that some may feel deserves more attention in the article. But it needs to be done in the article not simply by adding a lot of dubious external links. Please do see the Wiki style guide on the use of external links if you have any doubts. Since user user:FWBOarticle seems to very keen to have this debate I suggest we do it over on the FWBO talk page in order not to have too many threads going at once. mahābāla 10:46, 11 Jul 2004 (UTC)

How can the matter be addressed if every reference is deleted on the grounds of being anonynmous, unsubstantiated and breaching copyright? The Wikipedia ethos allows references which are anonynmous and even unsubstantiated; breach of copyright can be avoided by judicious use of rephrasing.
Nuttyskin (talk) 15:09, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

I have added the name and the date of the guardian article by Annet Madeleine Bunting. See you on the FWBO talk page.

Wow, what happend here. FWBOarticle

I have reverted the entire edit. 1. The last edit seems to be straight copy from ex-FWBO. You can't do something like this in this site. Read the site's policy 2. The presentation is awful compared to the old one. 3. Granted that the previous article were straight FWBO publicity, that doesn't mean you can "delete" such view. What is more appropriate is to "attribute" such POV. FWBOarticle

the titles Geshe, Rinpoche, and Kyabje[edit]

Someone at deleted the sentence "Sangharakshita was the first Western Buddhist to be given the titles Geshe, Rinpoche, and Kyabje". I'm reverting it because of lack of citing, comment, or reasoning. --Andkaha(talk) 10:47, 25 September 2005 (UTC)

I've deleted this again. It's up to whoever originally inserted this to cite their source. I have worked closely with Sangharakshita for over twenty years and never heard any reference to these titles being applied, which is hardly surprising as they are Tibetan. He had a Tibetan teacher but certainly never studied for a geshe degree. I suppose some students in Kalimpong might have used these forms of address informally, but even that I think that unlikely, as they were mostly Indians. Shantavira 18:23, 26 September 2005 (UTC)

I am astonished that there is no mention of the public controversies regarding charges of Sangharakshita's sexual misconduct in relgard to his young students. This is widely discussed throughout the Buddhist world. Failure to mention this is dishonest and misleading.

Please sign your comments and provide some support for your statement ("is widely discussed"). --- Andkaha(talk) 00:52, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

Regarding sectarianism[edit]

I removed the text Ironically, while doctrinally the FWBO embraced most forms of Buddhism, its refusal to allow non-FWBO teachers into its Centres, and its past discouragement of FWBO members from visiting other Buddhist groups, created the very sectarianism it had set out to avoid for two reasons:

  1. What constitutes a "non-FWBO teacher"? I know events that are run by non-Order Members and/or by people from outside the WBO.
  2. There is no such thing as a "FWBO member", there are Order Members of the WBO though. I know WBO Order Members who have visited other groups, and there are a large number of people who regularly visit FWBO centres that also visit other Buddhist movements and also completely different spiritual groups.

--Andkaha(talk) 10:31, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Regarding the author

I don't know who wrote this article on Sangharakshita, but it seems to me to be the work of a disciple. As such you should "declare an interest". (cf Your teacher criticised Philip Mellor for not revealing he was a Roman Catholic in "The FWBO and Protestant Buddhism"). Wikipedia is supposed to be neutral, and no doubt you are sincere, but it is very hard for a disciple to be neutral. Remarkably, the Wikipedia article on the FWBO itself is considerably more neutral. Regarding the sectarianism issue, OF COURSE the FWBO is sectarian, just like most other large spiritual groups tend to be. It is not a criminal offence, just part of human nature. As a disciple, you cannot see this (again unsurprisingly), and so you are nit-picking the rules and regs of Wikipedia to avoid having it said. I think there needs to be a Wikipedia policy around disciples writing biographies of teachers - look at the Rajneesh site for a much worse example! Dave Simmonds

PS I've got no problem when you are writing FWBO publicity, but this is not the place for that!

PPS Why have you written this article? Is it out of a dispassionate interest in the subject? Can you honestly say that you aren't also trying to give a good impression of Sangharakshita?


This article is devoid of contents from verified source. Vapour


I will apply for deletion of this article. Lack of verifiable reference being the main reason. Vapour


I agree with Vapour. It would be easy to bicker about S but why bother? He isnt any particularly well known figure (in the world/national scheme of things) and all the arguing about him has been done in the FWBO files. The sooner he fades into the past the better for all of us including those at the FWBO. Why not just delete the article on S rather then polluting Wikipedia with all the bickering that has gone on around S? I say DELETE it. How do we get that done? (PS I dont think the page is fair the way it is at the moment, as it is one-sided in my opinion and if S is to be promoted using things like Wikipedia people should know about the bad stuff too). —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Badpz (talkcontribs) 21:04, 17 April 2007 (UTC).

another comment[edit]

Please don't delete it! I'm going to work hard this summer to read as many scholarly articles as I can on the fwbo. Once I've done that I'm sure I'll be able to help out by adding attribution. You're right, Sangharakshita isn't well known compared to Suzuki Roshi, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, etc. But he is still hugely important as a controversial figure in British Buddhism, and wikipedia is likely to be the first place people go to find out more about him. Once it's attributed we can work on a criticism section. Okay? Rupa zero 14:22, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

I have no problem with contents which has reference to the third party, verifiable source. The majority of contents, on the other hand, are self referential and amount to self promotion. I will not nominate the article itself for deletion due to the fact that he is mentioned in media and several third party publication. However, I will nominate section which has no reference source outside of FWBO. 14:24, 3 September 2009 (UTC)


The FWBO often prides itself on being 'controversial', eg Subhuti's book Women Men and Angels, as if that is somehow of significance in itself. You say that S is 'hugely important as a controversial figure in British Buddhism'. I don't think he is controversial in the sense of creating interesting debate in British Buddhism: that would indeed be of significance. I think he is 'controversial' more in the sense that people find aspects of his teaching and behaviour repugnant e.g. the inferiority of women, the undermining of families, the use of his position to gain sexual favours, the demonisation of Mark Dunlop for pointing this out, the group-think he encouraged (while claiming the opposite) that is so obvious from outside the WBO (but hard to see from within) and so on. I am not suggesting that members of the WBO generally share these characteristics, but S himself is in any ways not very edifying, and his personal imbalances, which are sizeable, have had an unhealthy effect on literally thousands of people. Dave Simmons. 16:22, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

yet another comment[edit]

Could I please ask that this article not be deleted? I stumbled upon it while looking for information regarding the FWBO. I think its often a matter of opinion as to wether someone is well known or not. After all most people in the UK have never heard of W.B. Yeats, does that mean his entry should be removed? Should Wikipedia only have entries on the Paris Hiltons of this planet? Google gives me the impression that this person has some controversial stuff written about him. I dont know what to believe, hence I thought wikipedia, being a neutral source of information would provide factual information about this person and possible prove/dispell some myths. But here I am writing for people not to delete an entry just because people dont like him! The man founded the FWBO, one of the largest buddhist schools in the UK, thats significant to me, its enough for me to want to google his name before going to their seminars. And I suspect quite a lot of people will want to do the same.

I like the impartialality of Wikipedia, I'm not heavily involved in Wikipedia (I've added to a few entries, but not enough to want to be an editor). But I appreciate, or was lead to believe, that wikipedia tries to emulate an encyclopedia - it doesn't take a political position! Hence you dont see slanderous stuff written about Hitler or Mussolini or people trying to wipe those entries because they dont like those people? Please could that level of professionalism be maintained and this entry not deleted. Thank you. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:09, August 30, 2007 (UTC)

I would second that this article should not be deleted. The subject is a founder of a minor religious movement, and also the author of some fairly successful books on Buddhism, which have been bought outside of the FWBO. He has been the subject of articles in books, and newspapers too (not all criticial).--MacRusgail (talk) 11:44, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

On criticism and "importance"[edit]

There seems to be two threads running through this talk page that strike me as odd.

1) Criticism. Certainly, the Sangharakshita entry is the place where criticism should be. Any entry on a historical figure with a NPOV would include the kinds of information that has been deleted. There is enough verifiable source material, as well as the Guardian article to make it a bit silly not to have some small reference to it. I can agree that a link to the ex-FWBO files is not necessary, but a link to the Guardian article seems proper. At the moment, the entry on S has no critisism, but the entry for FWBO has it. This strikes me as odd. (Can you imagine, for example, an L. Ron Hubbard entry with out critical information to be neutral?)

2) Importance. The idea the S is too minor a figure to have his own entry is absurd and reflects a non-NPOV, I think. He founded his own spiritual movement with thousands of members and is a prolific author. Whether we like him or not has nothing to do with the fact that he certainly is "important" enough to have an entry. Tom F. (talk) 08:02, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

And another comment I can't see what's wrong with a link to the FWBO-files. That site brings together much of the verifiable criticism of S and the FWBO. Or is it other aspects of the site that you do not wish people to encounter? Are you trying to protect the FWBO? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:31, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

Not in the least I have no motivation to protect anyone. I'm just offering my opinion on what constitutes a NPOV. Though much of the information in the files are relevant, the site, in it's entirety is certainly not neutral. Are you neutral?

If you read my whole post, in which the comment on the files was just a minor point, you would see I am advocating putting the criticism back in the article. So who exactly am I trying to protect? Tom F. (talk) 07:43, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

Reversion of article on Sangharakshita[edit]

Hi Chuckiesdad,

Thanks for your message about my edit on Sangharakshita, which I am planning as the first of many. You state the reason for removal as "lack of proper sources" / source only a blog, but in fact the additions I made are directly suported by articles in (and were referenced by me to) a paper publication called Shabda. So as far as I can see the additions I made are perfectly legal.

In fact if you look at the rest of the article there are no atributions/references at all. By the criteria you state ie "lack of proper sources" -my text is about the only text on the page that meets Wikipedias standards!

Would you please reinstate my edits?


TBP —Preceding unsigned comment added by Thebuddhaspiece (talkcontribs) 13:01, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

seeking balance[edit]

Have taken in FWBO pages as well as the 'FWBO files'; could anyone suggest other sources from which one might be able to draw one's own conclusions? (talk) 02:26, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Sources is the key here. Re some recent edits, I think it would be interesting if Sangharakshita doesn't meditate much, or thinks Zen isn't Buddhist, as variously alleged. If true, it would be nice to see these things sourced. Otherwise, they have to be cut. Bluehotel (talk) 19:40, 10 June 2009 (UTC)


I noticed recently that the page had been nominated for deletion, and had decided to try making some improvements to prevent that from happening. In the meantime the nomination has been withdrawn, but I intend to follow through with my decision.

I'm in the process of going through the article from top to bottom and adding citations. Unfortunately the article as it stands is neither well supported by citations nor complete, and so I'm also adding material as I go, using only reputable and reliable third party sources, which includes neither FWBO sources nor the web sites of the organization's often anonymous critics. I will include critical material, aiming to offer a balanced appraisal of Sangharakshita's life and legacy, as best I can. Wikipedia's policies on the biographies of living persons mandate erring on the side of caution with critical material, but that should not rule out a balanced and objective summary of criticisms drawn from reputable and reliable third party sources.

It may take several weeks for me to work my way through the entire article, but I do have every intention of rewriting the entire article as quickly as I possibly can. Tathaataa (talk) 07:13, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

Conflict of interest[edit]

It is evident that some of the editors of this page have a conflict of interest violating Wikipedia policy, because they are Order members. The user names are a dead giveaway.--MacRusgail (talk) 10:27, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

Since the article is about an individual rather than an organisation, I think COI would only occur if the subject or his close associates were to edit.Martinlc (talk) 15:52, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
This is not the case, active members of the WBO venerate Sangharakshita, and in some cases would deny any criticisms of him. If you don't believe that Order members are editing this page, there's a user just above - Tathaataa - who is almost certainly one. If we had an article about the Pope, which was written exclusively from the Vatican perspective, this would be biased too.--MacRusgail (talk) 11:42, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
It's better to light a candle than to curse the darkness, MacRusgail. Rather than speculate on the motives and affiliations of those who are contributing to the article, why not do some legwork and find some verifiable, reputable, third-party (especially scholarly) perspectives on Sangharakshita -- critical or otherwise. Tathaataa (talk) 03:20, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
If someone's going to light one, or curse the darkness, it's better that they do so from a neutral perspective. You evidently, do not have a neutral POV. -MacRusgail (talk) 16:50, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
As long as contributions are Verifiable by RS and conform to NPOV, I don'ty see why those familiar with a topic cannot contribute. Your Pope article would benefit from the contributions of the Vatican; if other POVs were needed too, that's fine. We would expect a politician's entry to broadly reflect how they are seen by their supporters, plus how they are seen by neutral observes and critics, and I don't see that this is different. It would help, of course, if contributors didn't delete well-sourced critical comment or add unsourced praise, but that's NPOV not COI, I think.Martinlc (talk) 12:17, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
Unsourced praise is unacceptable in a Wikipedia article, and it should be deleted. However I'm not aware of any such material in the article as it stands. Well-sourced critical comment is fine, of course. The third-party material I've read has been complimentary thus far, but any criticism from reputable sources should certainly be considered for inclusion. I plan to keep working on this article, to make every statement verifiable and from reputable third-parties, and to ensure balance. It'll take a while, and I'm sure there will be some criticism both from fans and critics of Sangharakshita. Tathaataa (talk) 03:20, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

List of specific factual claims to be added (NPOV)[edit]

This article is currently a mix of advertising and fiction.

Would others please add to this list.

(1) The section dealing with Sangharakshita's period in India can hardly ignore the fact that his "mission" there ended in disaster, and with his being denounced by the movement that this Wikipedia article claims he was the glorious leader of: "As a mark of protest, on this 25th day of December, the 72nd anniversary of the burning of the 'Manusmirti', we are burning your photograph publicly…". Presumably, the article should deal with the facts of what happened in S.'s actual career in India, including the conditions of his "fleeing" crowds of angry protestors, who denounced him both for sexual misconduct and illicit drug use (these are not minor omissions in an article that relentlessly glorifies its subject!).

(2) There is hardly a single factual source for this article aside from the old article in The Guardian, and yet the facts disclosed in that article are not admitted here, and are instead denied.

Many more issues could be added to this list.

In terms of the article as it now stands: if it isn't factual, and it isn't cited, please delete it. At this point, I honestly don't see why the entire article shouldn't be deleted outright. Conversely, there would be nothing wrong with a short article that just provides the date of birth, and undisputed facts about his life. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not an advertising agency. Jep Tong (talk) 22:27, 10 October 2012 (UTC)

Place of birth[edit]

The infobox says that Sangharakshita was born in Tooting, whereas the text (Early life section) says that he was born in Stockwell. So where was he actually born? Criric (talk) 12:58, 9 March 2015 (UTC)