July 16, 2010

Eido Shimano Roshi and Dai Bosatsu

flickr Just Us 3

In May, Robert Aitken Roshi published the following on his blog:

This is an open letter to Eido Tai Shimano Roshi:

Dear Tai San,

There are many reports of your abuse of women published on the web which indicate that you have been involved in breaking the precepts over a period of more than 40 years. I would like to urge you to come forth and make a statement in response to these accusations.

Sincerely yours,

Robert Aitken

A flurry of comments followed.

More recently, Nella Lou of Smiling Buddha Cabaret looked at the Zen Studies Society website and noticed that the page for Ethical Guidelines had been rewritten. Alerted by her post, we looked too. When we returned, however, some of the text had been struck out. See Nella Lou's post for the text before and after, and a fine job of online forensics.

The situation with Eido Shimano Roshi and his Dai Bosatsu Zendo is a loaded, delicate issue. We reached out to Dai Bosatsu to see if we could get some official word, but we haven't heard back. We will continue to keep you informed as this story develops.

[Image: Just Us 3]

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Tricycle » Press Release from Zen Studies Society's picture

[...] (See also these previous posts: Statement from Zen Studies Society, and Eido Shimano Roshi and Dai Bosatsu.) [...]

Philip Ryan's picture

The conversation here seems to have run its course, so we're going to close these comments. In a situation as tense as this one it can be difficult to keep one's comments respectful and considerate, and we thank you all for making the effort.

Philip Ryan
Web Editor

Brett Luther's picture

Julie: "You all sound like Jews or shallow “Christians”"... ugly, by any measure. and a heavy stone indeed.
and you seemed to miss the part in the ZSS statement where Shimano resigned due to misconduct.

Julie Dexter's picture

Brett, Sorry you interpret my comments as hateful. That's very odd. there is nothing hateful about it. Quite franckly the entire topic of Eido is petty & full of gossip and shouldn't even be a topic, that is my point.

(by the way, I don't podcast. Who did you say is hateful?

Good bye, All, and good luck with your stone throwing

Brett Luther's picture

Julie, your 'simple straight forward speech' was hateful, bigoted, and unthoughtful. Your latest posts are likewise petty and lacking a wider view.
But carry on. Get back to those Shimano podcasts.

Julie Dexter's picture

...ahhh! Great response ZSS! My prior post was not dircted at you but to those previous.

Oh...and on rereading, Shusan, my mention of "cave" didn't mean that I thought you should go back to caveman days, but a reference to a more solitary practice, as you seem to be very obsessed about Eido and "justice".

Julie Dexter's picture

Wow...so many lofty words.....so much book knowledge.....

Eshin Brenda...you rock!

John...sorry you don't like my analogy about the Judeo/"Christian" world. It simply is known for it's excessive judgementalism (as the Perspiring Practitioner as stated). I also don't get your reference to Nazis, but I guess that means something to you.

Yes, I prefer simple straightforward speech.

Basically, it matters not what Eido Roshi does or doesn't do. It's his snake to fight, not ours. And again, Yes, any student can walk away. Great teaching!

...and if this is the kind of "stories" tricycle is interested in, I will not bother to purchase. Waste of time

Tricycle » Statement from Zen Studies Society's picture

[...] Last week we indicated we’d contacted the Zen Studies Society (ZSS) regarding Eido Shimano Roshi’s status at the organization. The President of ZSS’s board sent the following statement in response: We are grateful beyond words for the incomparable gift of Eido Roshi’s Dharma treasure,  and for his unstinting efforts to root Rinzai Zen Buddhism in American soil. Ever at home in the unconditional realm he spurs us to go beyond the relative vista. [...]

Shusan's picture

I hear authentic practice, love of practice, and love for her teacher in Eshin's comments. I honor this. It is true none of us, nor any teacher, is perfect.
But love, as Eshin seems to say is even evidenced in Rinzai Zen, can be fierce. Love for our teacher, for his or her gifts and as a fellow human being, shouldn't confuse our fundamental responsibility to each other to act decently, respectfully, honestly. If someone does not do so, there should be accountability, for that person as much as anyone. Isn't this love - to stop someone from being in a position where they repeatedly cause harm to themselves and others?
Over and over, I hear so called "critics" saying that Shimano should simply be held accountable. That is all. He has avoided taking this kind of responsibility for decades, and has been allowed to do so by defenders (and you do defend him and his actions Eshin, despite saying occasionally you aren't). Not pilloried, not burned at stakes, not run out on a rail - but given the opportunity to come into a fuller humanity.
Eshin, I know for myself I am simply not "giving up" on anyone. Are you? Are you giving up on other sangha members who feel they have authentic grievances they wish to have addressed? ZSS seems to want to assist in this process now - a true Dharmic gesture.

I think in a larger sense, this brings up some developmental issues Rinzai Zen in particular is facing, but has its manifestations in every lineage and family style. We are not Chinese, or Japanese, Tibetan or Korean. This is not Tang China, not do we live under a Shogunate. There are behaviors and teaching approaches that are not suitable for our time and place. I think we have more than enough violence and aggression in our world. You say "we should look more broadly at what Zen practice is and what truly constitutes abuse." I agree. After 20 years of practice, I see no need ever for scaring students, for "teaching them lessons", for denigrating them, for shaming them, for having sex with them. I just don't. This road is dead.
I do see the need for respect, gentleness, kindness, honor, uprightness, humor, humility, and the recognition of the fallibility of the teacher, at any time, at any moment, in any place.

Beyond this we have to realize that no matter how "strong" your zazen, this often has little effect on an individual's effectiveness in any given particular wordly aspect. Zazen is truly "good for nothing." So that is why Buddha gave us precepts. They give us direction off the cushion. They must be upheld, respected, and their direction constantly reviewed and renewed, as individuals in our lives and within organizations above all.

Perspiring Practitioner's picture

I have heard that Eido Roshi is possibly stepping down for good -- or already has -- from his responsibilities at Dai Bosatsu. Anyone heard anything about this? Anyway, these stories break my heart. Or at least make me shake my head. All I wanted to do was learn and practice Zen. And now I'm implicated by association with those who are misbehaving in the tradition in which I am a monk. I left Catholicism decades ago precisely to get away from this kind of hypocrisy. On the other hand, it is the vital, immediate, even dangerous quality of Zen that has always appealed to me. Did I imagine that it was a safe practice, free from the possibility of scandal, and of all moral complexity? If so, I never strayed very far from the naive Catholicism I supposedly left behind so many years ago. I find myself nodding my head when I read those web missives saying "You're overreacting! Shut up and practice and don't judge Eido. Stop being moralistic!" and also nodding my head at those saying "This behavior is unacceptable BS, pure ego on the part of the teacher, and Must Stop!" Here is my Koan: How can you have a practice that is transcendent and free of human morality on the one hand, but wherein decency and highly ethical behavior are still deeply considered and followed?

James Shaheen's picture


To address your question, we have never been presented with any evidence—or even a suggestion—of criminal wrongdoing. What we were told is what has been online and on people's lips for years now, so there was nothing said to us back then that everyone here hasn't already heard (I'd not have mentioned it otherwise). As I wrote earlier, we could not repeat in print what someone wished to say anonymously. Nor, at the time, were representatives at Dai Bosatsu interested in going on the record, if I remember correctly.

I don't want to be dismissive or to deny the pain this issue has caused others, but I will say that I hope that in time both sides can heal.


James Shaheen's picture


One of our editors deleted your comment. I'll know more about that tomorrow. I would say, though, that while your opinions are welcome, we ask that you be respectful. We're happy that someone your age has joined us and that you express an interest in Buddhist practice and its development in the West. And I appreciate your interest in ethics. I must add that I also enjoy your inimitable style, although I have deleted a few of your comments myself.

Continue to post, but try to keep in mind that discussions like these are sometimes heated, and rather than stoke the fire, we'd like to encourage people to base their views on reason and engage in a constructive exchange.

No offense intended, but try not to get personal. We've got enough of that going on!

Bust of luck in your senior year,


Eshin Brenda Shoshanna's picture

Dear Shusan,

No, you're quite right Zen training does not focus upon becoming a public relations advocate, but on speaking one's truth, despite the prevailing climate. I do not defend Eido Roshi's behavior -I am deeply sadened by it, and I only ask that we look more broadly at what Zen practice is and what truly constitutes abuse. There is much in Rinzai practice, throughout the ages, that walks a fine line. It can be very painful to have one's beliefs, opinions, and demands on others blown apart. It can feel abusive. Zen practice does not claim to walk the politically correct, acceptable road. It takes us into the depths of ourselves and our psyche - much healing, aliveness and discovery takes place, and also much pain and confusion. It's not a neat package. We learn to hold it all in the palm of our hands - without judgment. Anyone is free to leave the zendo, to leave Eido Roshi and find another place to practice and many have. We all have repetetive behaviors and patterns that live on, despite many gifts we have to share. Why wouldn't this be true of a Roshi, as well as anyone else? I have grieved a great deal over these incidents and of course wished it were otherwise....but to me, the great miracle of zazen practice is to continue throughout all kinds of events and disappointments, to sit with great patience and great love and as they say in Lojong, "Never give up on a person." Through this I have seen much pain dissolve, change happen and new birth come. And zazen is not therapy, it does not handle everything. . and the relationships we have in the zendo, as I see it, are not based upon cultural directives but upon something much deeper, that cannot be explained.

John's picture

This is one of the most dispiriting threads I've read in a long time.

Let's leave to one side the nonsensically simplistic suggestion that the women who felt wronged could just go find another teacher—a suggestion that betrays a stunning naivete about power and projection in human relationships, and especially in spiritual ones. Let's pass over, too, the sniping about journalistic responsibility, the morally relativistic arguments about alleged sexual misconduct that dismiss the context (precepts, anyone?), and the question of whether such issues within the sangha are problematic only if they remain hidden. (Trungpa gets a pass?)

What's most stunning to me is that what could have been a fruitful discussion has rather become a he said/she said tennis match that somehow devolved into ignorant foolishness like this: "You all sound like Jews or shallow 'Christians'….quick and anxious to judge, salivating to 'throw the first stone' and excited to gossip."

Yes, all those gossipy Jews and shallow, stone-throwing Christians. The only thing needed now to make this feature-complete for an online forum is some mention of Hitler and a comparison to Nazis.

To quote Julie Dexter one miserable second time, "Not Zen at all."

Shusan's picture

Julie- sorry to interrupt your podcast teishos. We generally don't live in caves here. We practice in sanghas, we hope to establish a flourishing practice for generations to come to find benefit, we wish to diminish harmful behaviors and increase helpful ones, and as Americans, we have a belief in social and political justice.

To say that a Zen "roshi" is not an authority is simple willful ignorance. The respectful discussion of matters like this is democracy and Dharma in action. To say that all record of scandal and misdeed should be destroyed so that we can lapse back into a cave of protected personal belief is a sad ethic to live by, more akin to Orwell than Rinzai.

Bodhidharma lived in one kind of cave. Can you tell the difference from yours?

palms together-

Julie Dexter's picture

I am so sorry to have come across this blurb. Not Zen at all.
You all sound like Jews or shallow "Christians"....quick and anxious to judge, salivating to "throw the first stone" and excited to gossip.

Firstly, I could care less what Eido did 40 years ago! Further, he is not a policeman, or fireman, mobster, or anyone of any particular authority. NO one is forcing anybody to study or associate with him. No one is chaining these poor vestal virgins to Eido's Zabutan! and there is not a woman under the age of 10 in NYC that wouldn't slap him in the face and walk out if they were being threatened. Unfortunately, I got sucked into reading all the crap from Aitken's archives. Why all that was even kept is a sign of bad Zen. It makes no difference whether he did or didn't do anything. That fact is....any one can walk away!! Period. ..and find another Zen Master.

Web-sights, blogs......so American, so ridiculous.

Well said Eshin Brenda!

Now that that is off my chest, let me get back to one of Eido's recorded teishos! ....and the rest of you should find a mountain cave.

Shusan's picture

A google search reveals Eshin Shoshanna is a mental health professional, published author, and Zen teacher. Who specializes in relationship advice!? Good heavens.

I can understand one affair, and one scandal. How can you defend, by your own description as student and teacher in that sangha, the repetition of this behavior over and over? Without any real consequence for Shimano? Absolutely astounding.

At the very least, there is abuse is to the sangha, having to endure such needless drama, and such poor guidance and leadership.

Shusan's picture

Astounding. Absolutely astounding. Eshin, I hope you are not involved in public relations.

I hardly even need to say anything. Your post is ready for text book or graduate thesis on cultic belief and moral relativism.

Please simply review the Shimano-Aitken archives for plenty of evidence of women who are quite explicit about their claims of abuse (I know I know, you discount them because the names have been redacted. Bit of a catch-22 that one. But you apparently know some quite well). I would argue that abuse can be quite subtle and pernicious, esp. when institutionalized, quietly undermining the very foundations of trust, intimacy, and faith, with evidence not surfacing in the psyche for months or years to come. it is not just a blow to the head, or physical rape.

Just because a student, patient, or parishioner 'comes on' to you, it may be your very moral obligation to refuse such advances, or at the very least disclose if pursued. The ZSS guidelines themselves are unequivocal on this point, not to mention nearly every institutional code of conduct across the board, for professional codes of conduct from the board room to health professionals to every university campus.

Shimano has compassion from all sides I think. I know I feel it for him. It's expression can become clearer when he admits to everything all of his students, pro and con, are admitting to all over the internet.

Steve's picture

I did not want moral guidance from Shimano. I had a good upbringing that taught me right from wrong long before I met Shimano. What I wanted, and want I received was meditation guidance, how to sit and what to do while sitting. That is what I learned from him, little more, other than some cultural differences.

I have heard him speak about being in love often, and heard of him expressing sorrow for his part in past affairs that had damaged the stability of the sangha.

I didn't say 'everyone knew', many did. And when they came hard against Shimano and their their own suffering egos, used the knowledge of his past behavior to battle him.

Again, in the cases of other public leaders sex lives exposed, isn't it those they were involved with who come forward? In other words, their 'victims'? So, where are Shimano's victims of abuse? And if sexual abuse is alleged, then why haven't there been legal actions?
I understand the delicate nature of a meditation student's trust being manipulated, but is the nature of this 'abuse' criminal or simply morally/precept-wise wrong? I am trying to determine if a crime was committed or not?

I'm sure in Trunga's regent's case of knowingly infecting someone with AIDS would be considered criminal. And yet you feel 'mixed' about his legacy?

I still like to hear from Tricycle as to why they removed Grover's post. I personally appreciate the input from a young man who has heard his one-time student of Trunga, now parent, discussing an so-called important buddhist leader's behavior, despite his trivial problem of punctation/grammar. I don't support this move to remove his post.

Eshin Brenda Shoshanna's picture

Everyone speaks of the abuse of women by Eido Roshi'.The women have declared they were abused...(As stated above by another, I, too, would like names and specifics to back up this serious claim). Other blogs speak of Eido Roshi molesting women. The rhetoric gets more and more heated. There is absoultey no evidence of Eido Roshi molesting anyone. I have known Eido Roshi for years. These relationships were consensual, usually with the women flirting and coming onto him, despite the fact that his wife was a member of their sangha. I am not condoing his behavior, I do not think it's a good idea to have this kind of relationship with a student, but let's try to look at it with a larger eye. Most of these relationships went on for quite some time. The women usually felt abused and became upset when they learned that they weren't the only one...that there was a history of this. How do we actually know what happened during the affairs?? No one cried abuse then. And, as I said, the relationships often lasted for quite awhile. When it all came into the open a lot or rage, shock and upset stirred the sangha. Expectations and idealizations, were all exploded. A primal family configuration seemed to be re-enacted.

Yes, we have to understand and heal all the threads that make up this mosaic - but to demonize Eido Roshi is one sided, and unfair. Unless you were there during the course of these relationships, unless you know exactly what happened, you cannot say it was abuse. A power deferential does not necessarily constitute abuse...there are many, many sexual relationships in the world with a power differential. Many women are drawn to powerful men and have been over the ages. You can say it is not a wise or constructive course of action.....but why the vehemence of this rage? Where does it really belong? What is really motivating it? These are also important questions...And once again, I must ask, what about all the kindness, wisdom, strength and patience Eido has given to others? Do these all go up in smoke? Our Buddhist practice teaches compassion under all conditions. Where is the compassion for Eido Roshi now?

Shusan's picture

And perhaps Grover's post was deleted because it was an off-topic, rambling, sophomoric, punctuation/grammar-free account of his mother's opinions on "Trungpa the rimpoche"? This is my guess. I for one appreciate a little quality control on blog threads. I support the move.

Shusan's picture

I in no way defend Trungpa, and I am not alone in finding it difficult to fully comprehend him or his legacy - it is mixed at the very least. He supposedly (lamely I feel) said do as I say, not as I do. Many did as he did, and much dysfunction resulted. Again, another topic.

Shimano on the other hand has accumulated a long list of allegations, of at worst potential abuse, at best very poor leadership.

He is married. He is the abbot of a temple, and a visible religious figurehead. He should not be having illicit "affairs" - single, much less plural. Period. If he has had them, then like numbers of other leaders in various fields, he should be held accountable and he respond honestly about them when they are made public; even saying simply 'this is how I live my life. You can choose to respect this or not.' Steve seems to say 'everyone knew this 'open secret'. Only some used this information for their own purposes.' As if they are the wrongdoers? I think this game is called "blame the victim" or perhaps "kill the messenger." And it is no way to lead people. Such excuses sound like the kind of poison concocted in a poisonous environment.

It's about transparency. Religious leaders should be held to a higher standard - they instruct us in moral matters. Shimano holds himself out to be a leader among Buddhist practitioners, and is treated as such. We take vows to abstain from lying, sexual misconduct, etc. Nonetheless, we will inevitably lie, we will hurt others. Then we must repent, apologize, and in this repentance act as guides to others. As Buddhists, as human beings. Perhaps with such honesty healing can take place, and even new students might be drawn to such honesty and courage.

Again, simply as Aitken asks, he should make a statement. Even ZSS says misdeeds occurred. Who? When? Why say this, at this time? In 40 years, with accusation after accusation, bitterness and recrimination festering, where are the apologies? These things are not happening in every sangha in the US. Others have had trouble, owned it, and moved on to flourish. Shimano clearly has gifts. But perhaps with strong Dharma comes strong karma.

And let us not forget the letter from 8 senior American Zen teachers sent 13 years ago to Shimano asking him to be disciplined and held accountable for abuses in previous decades. Nothing happened then. Here we still are, same story, all the worse for wear.


Steve's picture

Yes, Tricycle, why did you delete Grover's first post? What is your reason?

Steve's picture

I know of no women currently making claims of 'abuse' against Shimano. One who recently admitted to an affair. Did she claim abuse? Only you and a few others are making this claim. Where are the women making claims of abuse, Shusan? We now know of the incidents in Hawaii where 2 women were hospitalized, one who had an psychotic episode, triggered by Shimano's seduction. He was then single, fresh out of years in a monastery. Why say Trunga students knew full well and excuse them from the responsibility of protecting women (and men) entering their sanhga who came for teachings and not sex? Did Shimano ever claim to be celibate or monogamous? And how about Trunga's regent who engaged students in sexual activities knowing he had AIDS? No, this isn't a discussion about Trungpa and his students but relevant nonetheless. Many of Shimano's students knew he was sleeping around and only after other difficulties surfaced between Shimano and his students did they use this knowledge against him. Trunga and his regent have done serious harm, perhaps even caused a lifetime of illness and even death by their uncontrolled lust and breaking of the precepts and you say 'perhaps somewhat helpful'?

Shusan's picture

this is not a discussion about Trungpa. But the contrast is perhaps somewhat helpful. Trungpa never claimed to be celibate or monogamous. For good or ill, his students knew full well he was "sleeping around" and drinking heavily, and could decide for themselves if this behavior was acceptable to them or not. He never lied or misled regarding any of his actions, sexual or financial. Also, no women I am aware of complained of abuse by him. This is apparently not the case with Shimano.

James Shaheen's picture


"It does seem however that in light of the recent accessibility of Aitken’s archives re: Shimano, and no shortage of former students and board members with clear willingness to voice their stories online, that there is a story here waiting to be written."

I will write more on this later.

James Shaheen's picture

Dear Shusan and Kobutsu,

Thank you for your responses.

As one of our editors pointed out, had it not been for the internet, I don't know that the issue would have been forced the way it is being forced now. Kudos to those who have written diligently and responsibly.

As for not finding people to go on the record ten years ago (actually, it was more like fifteen or so years ago): the former editor did everything she could, and she was not one to shy away from difficult issues. Keep in mind at least one non-Buddhist publication, and one far better resourced, found themselves likewise constrained. So allow yourself to believe it.

The posts Marnie Froberg wrote, linked to in this post, alerted us to the rewritten ethical guidelines on ZSS's site. The deleted bold text she resurrected in particular prompted us to contact Dai Bosatsu.

Best to you both,


Shusan's picture

ps there is some implication in Mr Sheehan's response that I brought up Tricycle's subservience to advertisers' interests in my post. I'd just like to point out I did not.

Shusan's picture

Dear James-
as a former journalist myself, I understand your position. It does seem however that in light of the recent accessibility of Aitken's archives re: Shimano, and no shortage of former students and board members with clear willingness to voice their stories online, that there is a story here waiting to be written. You can write a story and keep witness identities protected in some cases - though I know that you ahve to have some willing to be named. I can't believe you couldn't find a few even 10 years ago. I am sorry that ten years have passed since there was an opportunity to possibly bring Shimano's alleged abuses to an end, or at least his institutional license to engage in them.

The story continues to unfold - this post itself is a part of it. To 'anonymous' - I simply suggest you do some more research. After all, even ZSS is acknowledging inappropriate relationships, and their own failures, to some degree. I think it is an extraordinary development in Buddha Dharma that these kinds of abuses will be harder to contain and hide, and that students can enter into relationships with teachers with clearer eyes and wider disclosure.
With respect-

Kobutsu Malone's picture

You're right, I am in error and should have not made that statement. I apologize. I will refrain from further commentary here.

James Shaheen's picture

@ Kobutsu - It's just this sort of insinuation, whatever the circumstances, that is so grossly unfair. Either bring it out in the open or don't. Your statement is an example of something you can get away with writing online. But it's still irresponsible.

Kobutsu Malone's picture

I am excruciatingly aware of how unwillingness to go on record makes things difficult to report. The information I am privy to makes the Shimano Archives pale in comparison.

James Shaheen's picture


I believe you are saying that it was a failure on Tricycle's part to not publish the sort of story about Shimano that you'd like to see. In fact, we were prepared to publish a story over ten years ago. The parties bringing accusations, however, decided that they would not allow their names to be used. We would have had to quote "anonymous sources." With accusations as serious as the ones leveled against Shimano, anonymous sources would not have been sufficient. At the time, another larger, non-Buddhist publication had to make the same decision.

While it's understandable that the parties did not want to see their names in print, we did not have a story without them—in fact, the story was ready to go otherwise. There are other stories for which this has been the case also.

If your mention of advertisers is meant to suggest that we would not write anything out of fear of losing a half-page ad, no, that is not the case. We've lost ads for things we've published before and we're still here.

Kobutsu: It's much, much easier to say things online with impunity than it is in print. As you must know by now, just the mention of lawyers requires that we spend precious time and resources preparing for all possibilities. You also know that an unwillingness to go on the record makes things difficult to report, too.

Thank you for your comments,


Terry's picture

If something has been documented it is not slander.

The history of Buddhism in America? Mr. Shimano has aptly demonstrated the power of delusion-perhaps he is a master perpetrator of the biggest Zen joke ever. There's an awakening and a legacy for you.

anonymous's picture

Above posts by familiar people who for months were publishing slanders on the internet seem to find a one place now...
What a history of Buddhism in America will say about this?

Very sad legacy by these people....

Shusan's picture

Tricycle- it is about time you are pursuing this story. There are (not-difficult to believe) alleagtions of a yet another recent affair between Shimano and a female student - hidden and lied about, like all the others. The Shimano-Aitken letter archive now accessible online not only reveals that Shimano has not only engaged in deeply hurtful behavior for decades, and that he has systematically been protected while continuing to do so, but that he may not even be an official heir of Soen Nakagawa, and that his Japanese colleagues apparently do not view him as such. There are deeply serious allegations and controversies surrounding this man and his activities stem to stern, and it is about time that the press begin to enact some sort of due diligence. Why is it taking so long?

Kobutsu Malone's picture

What is "loaded" are the systematic coverups that have been propagated for the past forty years. The facts are readily available for the whole world to see, examine, and reach their own conclusions about: www(dot)shimanoarchive(dot)com

adam's picture

"We reached out to Dai Bosatsu to see if we could get some official word, but we haven’t heard back. We will continue to keep you informed as this story develops."

Glad to hear Tricycle took some interest. In the old days, news organizations didn't just wait passively for the news to come to them -- they actively searched and researched all possible venues that might shed light on the topic...even when the topic included its advertisers. And why did they do this? Because readers learn more (and in this case can practice a more honest Buddhism) when the facts are open to assessment and discussion.