As according to the Buddha’s teaching in the Kalama Sutta, we should have wise enquiry for the truth, and be wary of blindly subscribing to unfounded hearsay, both online or offline. As long as not yet fully enlightened, not everything said by well known persons, even teachers with wide followings, has 100% guarantee of being always correct.
Below is a true case study, as carefully and accurately summarised and analysed. The actual sources of information are not shared here as their links might further mislead readers when spread without this commentary. This was written not to slander anyone, but to address an important matter rationally and factually, without fear or favour, to safeguard the Dharma and to protect fellow Buddhists and others who might be affected.
A teacher on 22.12.2011 spoke online with grave and apparent ‘conclusive certainty’ that there will be 3 days of darkness from 21.12.2012 onwards, that the world will enter the ‘zero dimension’ before going into the ‘fourth dimension’, that there will be much destruction and death, that technology (including modes of transport like planes, ships and cars) might fail, that there might be no electricity and gas, returning us to olden times. He held some papers as he spoke, and says this information is from the most authoritative report, from NASA.
11 days later, on 02.01.2012, he takes back ALL his words above in a vague manner in another video. He says there is lots of information (news) on disasters out there, that there is no need to bother, that they are not reliable, that whatever they are about, they are not important at all, that their origins are unknown, that there is no need to believe this and that, that to bother about such information is to practise Buddhism wrongly, that we should transform the environment with our minds instead, that if you want to, you can take a look at the information, that if you don’t want to, there is no need to at all.
1 day later, on 03.01.2012, he says that he received information that NASA is denouncing many 2012 hoaxes, which have no scientific proof, that this implies asking us not to believe them. He says, ‘Is there reason? We hear this to be reasonable. Why? The environment changes with the mind. If we all do not think about it, this matter will not be there. If you go and think about it, it will come.’
Here is a deeper analysis of problems with the above proclamations:
1. NASA did not say the above, that he first claimed on 22.12.2011. What NASA says can be seen at http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/2012.html There goes his so-called most authoritative report, right down the drain. Also, what is this zero to fourth dimension darkness and end of technology prediction, that was not even explained scientifically, even as a plausible theory?
2. He should openly apologise to his followers who became worried over his openly said words, and apologise for putting words in NASA’s mouth, even if he was merely parroting someone else’s blindly. The unnecessary panic and harm caused by his words is hard to measure indeed. Given his relatively high profile, can we imagine how many might lose faith in Buddhism and other Buddhist teachers generally as a result, when his hearsay is spread and sincerely believed in blindly? He should explain for his mistakes properly. There are some who might become depressed and contemplate drastic ‘measures’ like suicide too, to avoid experiencing an impending disaster.
3. He had taught much over the last few years on impending 2012 problems. When he simply said recently, that there is no need to bother about such information, how do his followers know which past information not to bother about any more? Does this include what he said before, and now? Which is the baby to keep and which the bathwater to throw out? His erroneous videos’ links are also spreading in an uncontrolled manner.
4. As he said that lots of information out there is unreliable and is unimportant in such a certain way, why did he rely on and spread such unreliable and unimportant information with ‘certainty’ in the first place? How do we know if future information from him on this (or other subjects) will be reliable or important, since he said there is no need to bother about ‘such information’ out there? Is he the only reliable source of information? If he is, he would not had said what is unreliable in the first place. He should simply unequivocally say what he said earlier about 2012 was unreliable, especially from the perspective of the truly reliable and authoritative source that he wrongly referenced from earlier – NASA!
5. It is irresponsible to say there is no need to bother about all information (news). Without information, how do we become informed of community and worldwide problems, such as the climate crisis and the misfortune of other beings, so as to do what is needed? Without information, how can anyone who heard his seriously wrong claims have rectified information? It is also wrong to make a sweeping statement that all information out there is not reliable, not important, or with unknown origins. E.g. NASA is reasonably reliable on an international basis (which is why hoaxsters ride upon its namesake). In fact, isn’t this why he made statements with reference to NASA, albeit inaccurately? With timely and appropriate information on various matters in the world, many problems can be avoided too – such as allaying panic due to 2012 hoaxes.
6. If all Buddhists should shut ourselves from all information, how do we become active Bodhisattvas in engaging the world with compassion and wisdom skilfully? There is a limit to how much we can transform the environment with our limited mind transformation. If it is so easy to do so, this world will be a Pure Land instantly for everyone already. Why would there be the need to warn of disasters like he did? If we should just shut ourselves from all information, why did he share the wrong information with others in the first place, over such a long time too, which he now takes back? Shouldn’t he had shut himself from the hoaxes in the first place?
7. He often said he doesn’t read newspapers or watch the news because there is no need to. Yet he kept talking about ‘news’ of 2012 in a misguided manner recently. His 22.12.2011 announcement was especially ‘significant’ because he claimed it was officially (sic) from NASA, that it is of special concern. Yet, he says he doesn’t know where the information is really from 11 days later. Without more explanation, he just says that it, like other such information, is of no concern. How many might have heard of only his first or earlier announcements of an ‘impending disaster’ but not the second ‘corrective’ one? Out of compassion and wisdom, he should clarify more clearly and openly.
8. Unfortunately, this is not the first time he made ambiguous and misleading statements about an ‘impending disaster’ that is proven not true. As mentioned, may all be careful when listening to anyone, including teachers. Again, not all teachers are always right. In fact, few teachers are always right, as few are totally enlightened. In this recent case, if the information was passed to him by deluded followers, and if he believed in them and shared the information wrongly, he should just admit so to clear the air. He could had ironically victimised himself and others he preach to by blocking proper objective channels of information in the first place, as in point 7 above. Teachers’ delusions are ironically often created and sustained by their deluded students, but they themselves as teachers are always responsible too, for trusting unsound sources without sound discernment. Worse still, is pride and delusion that prevents proper apologies and clarifications for one’s grave mistakes.
9. On 03.01.2012, he still fails to apologise for his years of 2012 rumour-mongering despite now knowing NASA’s official stance. He simply says that there are many unscientific hoaxes, but does not say directly that what he has been saying on 2012 belongs to the same category, that he had been hoaxed into being a hoaxster too. He had been asking countless to believe conclusively in 2012 hoaxes, and now he simply says there is no need to believe them at all, that this is reasonable. That makes him unreasonable all along in rumour-mongering. He also sneaks around the issue by saying NASA implied that not thinking about a coming disaster is the way to avert it, as if the disaster is still a possibility. NASA has never said this, while giving this perspective is using NASA’s name to cover his mistakes. If this principle works 100%, he is totally guilty for making his followers keep thinking and worrying at length about a coming disaster in the recent years till today – that could have led to a real disaster. He should not have said anything about 2012 in the first place in any case then. Saying that simply not thinking about something will not make that thing come true is simplistic. For instance, we do not need to think of death but everyone unenlightened still dies some day, and just thinking about not dying does not make us immortal.
It cannot be said once and for all, that this episode of the 2012 hoax fueled by the said teacher has come to an end for good, as he might flip his words incoherently again, as above? Although he is seen as a good teacher by some, he is also known for generating major contentious Dharma issues in the eyes of other respectable Buddhist teachers, such as the popularisation of a compiled (and thus heavily edited) so-called ‘sutra’ not approved by any Buddhist Patriarch in history, that continues to cause needless division in the Buddhist community. Such a text cannot be said to be actual words of the Buddha, even if somewhat (but not exactly) aligned in principle. In his 02.01.2012 talk, he again tells his followers not to doubt this so-called ‘sutra’, that it is the best, that if it is doubted, one might miss the opportunity to reach their spiritual goal in this life. This is untrue because it would mean that no one else reached their spiritual goals by relying on the orthodox version of the sutra, which the last great Patriarch used too.
Despite respect for whatever good he has done, partially due to the above (and other issues not easy to detail here), it is now hard to respect his character, which seems to lack true contrition and repentance in speech and action for his mistakes. The only way he can regain respect from appalled fellow Buddhists is to realise and resolve his mistakes openly and clearly as soon as possible. (Some previous contentious issues have been politely sent to his organisations’ branches for clarifications years ago, but replies are still in want.)
Here is an analysis of another one of his later problematic talks:
On 08.11.12, he released another video talk on the issue. Here are the relevant parts, with summarised translation and comments. (See comments section for Chinese transcript.)
Re: He says that today, he received a message asking him to say some words to everyone, which might include a layman Tan’s 21 questions raised. As they will take a long time, he wishes to only answer them simply.
Comments: If the questions are good, which they should be, or there would be no request to answer them, he should answer them all. Since many listen to his teachings by online video, he has no time constraint at all. As we will see, however, he answers only 2 questions, inadequately too, and ignores all the rest by giving many excuses and changing the subject. You can imagine how many more questions have reached him but are ignored, making his questionable teachings unquestionable while he continues giving them. This is true by personal experience, not just by this case.
Re: For the first question, he says many are now saying the impending 21.12.2012 disaster (which we know, is a non-event) was mentioned conclusively by him. It asks what was his intention for bringing up the American scientists’ information – whether it is to remind everyone to awaken, or if he really knows there is going to be a big disaster. He replies that the disaster is spoken of by foreigners.
Comments: However, as above (in the main article), it can be seen that he has, for numerous times, spoken very conclusively with grave seriousness on the matter, urging everyone to pay attention, endorsing the hoaxsters’ information. If this is not being conclusive, what is? Anyway, there was no sound scientific information, American or not, on any impending disaster. Note that he does not bring up NASA’s name – probably because he already knows by now, that NASA is debunking 2012 hoaxes. He had been paying attention to bogus science and those who rode on NASA’s name. So, the truth is, he did speak of impending disaster too; not just foreigners doing so. In fact, he amplified the hoax by sharing it with his audience. It is not so that he is no scientist that makes his delusional messages weak; that he appears as a monastic makes his reach stronger to a greater audience, even if he was just parroting lies.
Re: He says he saw the movie ’2012′ in 2010 at Kao Hsiung, with students who brought him there, when he was treating his periodontosis, that he had never stepped into a cinema for 50 years, that it was produced by foreigners, that he never said he made it, that many asked him whether he could say a few lines on it, that he said a few lines to remind all to be vigilant, that we should sincerely be mindful of Buddha and not bother about this matter, that the Buddhist sutras said it well, as he mentioned many times, that ‘all phenomena arise from the mind’, that we should keep thinking that Amituofo is so good, that there is no need to think about disasters.
Comments: He is known for bragging that he does not see doctors when sick, which is dangerous, but here, he says he went to treat an illness. Exactly because he has not seen a movie for years, why should he take a work of movie fiction seriously enough to even speak of watching about the movie repeatedly on other occasions, that urged others to see and take it seriously too? Is this not fear-mongering? He did not merely speak a few lines about 2012; he has spoken on it on many occasions, which caused much panic. If it is true, as he believes, that 2012 should not be bothered about, why did he bring it up so many times, while contradicting himself by saying that there is no need to think about disasters? He is probably doing some murky clarifying because in China by now, hundreds of people have been arrested for spreading 2012 doomsday hoaxes and he might know he is standing on shaky ground. He later speaks of his troubles with China. He still does not say once and for all clearly that the 2012 messages he said are not true.
Re: He says China has some who are not satisfied with him, thinking of all kinds of ways to obstruct him from returning, that he knows this all, that he is very grateful to them, that there are many rumours that he know of, that to sum it up, he sees those who criticise, obstruct and harm him to be those he is grateful to, because they help him to eradicate negative karma, be it created in this life or a past life, that he is very grateful that so many help him to eradicate karmic obstacles.
Comments: There are many people beyond those in China not satisfied with him. Those in China, based on this incident alone, and others, are wise to deter him from returning to spread his wrong teachings. Instead of admitting and apologising for his mistakes, he arrogantly thanks those who had been opposing him with good reasons – for protecting the Dharma. There is no need to guess if this resulted from his negative karma created in this or a past life – it was created in this life due to his clear and present mistakes, that he still lacks repentance for.
Re: He says if you do not wish him to return, he would not, that he will definitely listen to your words, and follow your intentions, but that there is no need to create this disaster issue to find trouble with him, that he definitely never spoke of such words (on 2012). On the second question, he says there are presently many who break up his teachings to pick selective meanings, recording the parts he mentioned about 2012, mass-producing them for circulation. It asks if he agrees with doing this and what consequences it will bring. He replies that these students are harming him, that as mentioned, it makes him unable to return to China because of the obstacles they created, some of which might be intentional, some unintentional. He says he is so old already and near death, why should they use these methods to treat him, to create rumours to stir up matters?
Comments: Even if he really wants to return, he might not be able to due to governmental disgust with widespread falsehood from him. It is not just a matter of whether he wants to return or not, or following the wishes of anyone or not. He is the one who created the 2012 hoax problem on his part by repeatedly promoting it. It is not true that his teachings on 2012 were selectively spread as they remain largely intact in the many clips he spoke on it online. He did not point out any specifically unfairly excerpted messages too – because it is not possible, as they don’t exist. He had created his own obstacles for himself and others who believed the hoax through him. In fact, he has spoken about it conclusively on so many occasions in a self-contained fashion, while changing his teachings on it subtly and deviously time and again too, to suit the changing information available. If he is indeed, as he says later, a demonic teacher, as claimed by some, he being old is not a deterrence for spreading confusion. Just because he is old does not give him the right to create rumours to stir up fear over a non-event. Exactly because he is old, he should not talk nonsense, and ought to apologise clearly for all his misgivings, for having spread needless fear.
Re: He says some created rumours that he spoke of hoarding food, water and other life necessities, even to install solar power as when disaster strikes, there will be no electricity, water and food, that these rumours are creating panic, that if some hoard much food and fuel, it will bring social unrest. The questioner asks if he said such things and does he support doing so. He says if he supports, this is what he proposed – he had said that if you hoard food this way, when disaster comes, your family will be killed first because you have food, as others don’t, and they will grab yours, that doing so (hoarding) harms yourself, and does not save yourself… He says you have to store huge amounts, to be able to save 10,000 or 20,000 people. If so, he is agreeable, if you say to save your one family (only), he is not agreeable, as that brings disaster, which is why you should have a broad heart, then it is okay. If it is not with a broad heart, this cannot be done…
Comments: With his spreading of the 2012 hoax, it is only natural for people to think of hoarding survival stuff. He says he agrees only to hoarding big amounts for at least 10,000. This is senseless as how many can do it? He also implies that if you are hoarding only for your family, you should not. Again, this is senseless because it would mean one should give up saving one’s own family? Of course, there is no disaster, while his words already and continue to create panic and cause social unrest, as the questioner suggested.
Re: He says some say he is without a lineage of teachers, that he is an evil teacher, that they can say whatever they want. He says (with spiteful reverse psychology?) he is an evil teacher, you are true teachers, that true teachers come to save the world, that he the evil teacher will be able to be reborn in Pure Land, that if he cannot be reborn there and falls to hell, he is willing. He says no matter how you play tricks on him, he always proposes not answering questions and not explaining because this is how his karmic obstacles are cleared. He says if he is particular and explains, he would be wrong, which is why the 21 questions need not be spoken about (for answering). He says every day, he studies the ‘Infinite Life Sutra’ [false version], that everyone opposes this compiled version [as it is NOT the real sutra], but he has a mission to inherit (and spread) it because it was given to him by his teacher, that if he does not circulate this ‘sutra’, he is not practising according to the teachings, that he would be betraying his teacher and the path, that his misgivings would be real. He says no matter what you say, you are not his teacher, you do not have to shoulder this responsibility, that he is not needed by you, that you can say whatever you want. He asks why in the country (China) in the past, when there is creation of rumours to stir up matters, this person is (legally) guilty, but that now, there seems no more such law, that you can have free speech and publication, that you can simply slander, obstruct or bully those who are weak. He says that in his whole life, he is without support, money or power….
Comments: Indeed, many say he is an evil teacher – only because his teachings exhibit evil for confusing the masses. He continually says he refuses to answer criticisms, while this itself is already a reply – a defiant reply of no reply, because there is no way he can answer critics’ sound questions. He uses his ‘fearlessness’ of hell to create faith in his teachings. The truth is, even Mara and his demons are also not afraid of hell because of great delusion, which is why they continue doing evil. His ‘fearlessness’ is not a guarantee that he is not wrong or demonically influenced. He continues his pretense to be innocent by saying not replying is the right thing to do, to clear his karmic obstacles. The truth is, this only increases them as he does not systematically answer the good questions posed to him systematically. Even the Buddha answers all queries, save extremely very few occasions when silence is indeed the best answer. In fact, much of the Buddha’s teachings arise from clarification of various doubts. The Buddha never taught that keeping silent can clear negative karma. If so, those who cannot speak from birth must have cleared a lot of negative karma already. Non-answers either cause more doubt in his integrity or encourage more blind faith among his followers. Keeping silent if you are really maligned also lets the maligners create more negative karma, which is not compassionate at all, even cruel. Here, he excuses himself from the list of 21 questions easily. Note that the questions were so far all respectfully posed. They were simply asking for clarifications; they were not out to blame or slander him. He has no good reason not to answer them. At this point, it is as if hopeless that you can ever get important answers from him on the issue. The so-called ‘sutra’ he studies in not a true sutra. It is causing division in the Buddhist community. Here are problems with the text:
法藏法师：《无量寿经》会集本的18种问题 (Ven. Fa Zang):
大安法师： 印祖是否见到了夏会本? (Ven. Da An):
The authentic Infinite Life Sutra used By Pure Land Patriarchs (including the last 13th Patriarch Great Master Yin Guang, who spoke against using compiled versions of sutras, saying doing so is to stir up a needless issue when there is no issue with the true version already in use – ‘无事生事’):
Real practice according to the Buddha’s true teachings (依教奉行) is to spread only real sutras as spoken by the Buddha. Real non-betrayal of our fundamental teacher the Buddha (and not other teachers) is to do this or it would be betrayal of the path (背师叛道). His misgivings are therefore already real and great. It is not true at all that slander is not subject to law. In China, there is tight control against totally free speech and publication. Take for instance, the hundreds arrested over a cult spreading 2012 doomsday hearsay. Here, he pretends to be slandered, when he is slandering proper critics instead. He pretends to be obstructed from teaching in China, when he is obstructed for good reason. He pretends to be weak when he is strong in his continual spreading of wrong messages. He says he is without support, money and power but he heads an international organisation that funds his living expenses and spread of confusing messages.
Re: He says if you have questions, you can telephone him and he will reply he did not said those words (on 2012 hoax) and he never told anyone to do so. He says if there is really a disaster, on storing some food, what’s not good about that? He says being prepared is better than not being prepared, but you must remember to save others, and cannot just save yourself, that this is the warning he raised, that if you only save yourself, that would be harming yourself, as when disaster comes, others know you have food and water at home and will kill you first and rob your resources – this is certain, which is why if you really want to do so, you must give rise to a great heart to be able to save at least 10,000 people and you would be a Bodhisattva. He says whether there will be a disaster or not, he does not know, that you know better than him, that he never said such things, that you all are creating the rumours, forming your own words.
Comments: Again, he claims he never said anything on the 2012 hoax. With so much video evidence online, he is clearly lying, trying to disclaim what he said multiple times. There are also first-hand accounts of people who have visited him being warned of 2012 in person by him, shown a hoax map of how the world will be submerged in 2012. He also wrote letters to his disciples about 2012, who further warned their students of 2012 around the world. Here, he contradicts himself by saying it’s good to store some food, when ‘some food’ is not little, emphasised to be for 10,000 people. Instead of allaying fears of the unfounded 2012 hoax, he affirms it subtly by saying it’s good to be prepared. His is truly a message that spreads fear and panic because the average person cannot store food for 10,000 people. Who can, if you don’t own a warehouse or shop? At the same time, he says it is useless to store food only for yourself or you will certainly be quickly killed. In short, the average person is given no hope at all. Realistically, even if a disaster does happen, those in charge of warehouses and shops might be the ones who are first killed by the masses – as these are the most obvious hoarding spots. Beyond 2012, this is not the first time he spoke of preparing necessities for non-disasters. As long as people don’t realise this, they might be fooled by him again in future. He attempts to absolve all responsibilities by saying he does not know if there will be a 2012 disaster or not – after years of spreading fear, speaking with certainty that there will be disaster. Again, he denies having said such things, when all evidence is against him. He also tries to be ambiguous by pushing the question of whether there will be a disaster or not to the audience. But he just mentioned a while ago that he did raise a warning! He says the audience are the ones who created the rumours when the issue all along is that he spoke of disaster with certainty to them in the first place – repeatedly, along with other 2012 hoaxsters. He is the one slandering his audience, passing the buck unfairly to them.
Re: … He says whatever you wish to say about him, he will admit because if he admits to his misgivings, you will be comfortable and happy, that where Bodhisattvas are will enable all sentient beings to rejoice… He says if you do not welcome him, he can only practise mindfulness of Buddha well to be reborn in Pure Land, that other than this, he does not know anything else…
Comments: If it is really true that it does not matter to him what others say of him, why make this speech about anything they say? If there is nothing worth clarifying, why clarify anything? And if there is something worth clarifying (e.g. the 21 questions), why not clarify them properly? If he is really not guilty, it is a big mistake to claim that maligners will be comfortable and happy when he accepts their ‘false’ criticism. To allow falsehood to spread when you have the power to stop it lacks compassion, creating negative karma for oneself and others who malign you. To let others rejoice in falsehood is not the way of the Bodhisattva; it is the way of Mara. Here, he hints that he is a Bodhisattva or is practising the Bodhisattva path by letting any ‘unfounded’ criticism attack him. Such hinting is arrogant. He pretends to be magnanimous when this is his easy way out, of implying that he made no mistakes, that all criticism about him is wrong, which is why he need not respond at all – when the truth is, much, if not all of the criticism is relevant, which is exactly why it is ignored by him. He is arrogant in implying he can simply go Pure Land if not welcomed. He had openly and clearly said he would go Pure Land by end of 2012, but later said he did not say so. Such are his lies. He simply says one thing certainly but says he certainly did not say that later. His teachings on 2012 follow the same pattern. He says other than going Pure Land, he does not know anything else. If so, what did he talk so much about 2012 repeatedly, as if he knew so much conclusively? And he is still not deceased today, after knowing, as he claimed, he is not welcome by many, while claiming all he knows is about going Pure Land.
Re: He says he heard that where there is true teaching of sutras and mindfulness of Buddha, these benefit that place, this creates a little merit… To the West (of Hong Kong) is China mainland along the sea, which he hopes will have no disaster. He says if he does not have this intention (of averting disaster there), he would have left Hong Kong to go to other places. If not, why would he not go other places that really beg him (to go there), all of which have environments better than Hong Kong?
Comments: He distances himself slightly by saying he heard of the belief that sutra-preaching and mindfulness of Buddha can benefit a place. This is probably in case there turns out to be a real disaster? He says his stay in Hong Kong is to help prevent disaster – which is totally imaginary in the case of the ‘one’ at the end of 2012. He speaks as if of heroically sacrificing his own welfare to save China when he probably does not go elsewhere as there is no Chinese-speaking community that welcomes him adequately – not even China?
Re: He says all the world’s disasters are not spoken by him, but published in the newspapers, that you should know better than him, that he only wishes to simply explain the subject. He says he does not wish to know much, that others around him know this… He says in his whole life, he has never had the intention to harm anyone, to be jealous, to be arrogant – this he says, he can admit he has been able to do in his life.
Comments: There were no reports in any respectable newspapers saying there would be a disaster at the end of 2012. What he promoted were clearly hoaxes. His so-called simple yet repeated explanations with nonsensical unscientific scenarios caused much needless fear and panic. If he does not wish to know much, why speak so much on it to get others to worry so much? His last statement itself is arrogant, claiming non-arrogance and high integrity, which is clearly questionable because he already harmed many with spread of the 2012 hoax, that he never clearly took back totally.
Re: …. He says what he knows he answers, that he does not anyhow creates rumours of that he does not know. He says he had learnt the Dharma for 60 years and not know much, unlike you, who know much, that he really ignorant and ill-informed, that in everyday life, he is limited by the sutras, that other than the sutras, he does not waste time on other things… He says now that he is old, his road is almost finished for walking, that he cannot waste time, which is why the year before the last (2010) during Qingming, he started focusing on teaching ‘Infinite Life Sutra’, to focus on mindfulness of Amituofo, no longer seeing other things. He hopes everyone forgives him (for not teaching other things; not for having taught about the 2012 hoax), that he had put in all his efforts for China and the world for peace prayers, that for some of his misgivings, he hopes everyone forgives him… and wishes the Dharma ceremonies for protection of the world and alleviation of disasters to be successful and completed.
Comments: It is not true that what he knows he answers. We have seen him simply put aside 21 questions, saying he does not bother about them and other related questions. He says he does not anyhow create rumours – but he did spread them and continues to do so in this talk. He states his number of years of learning to contrast the listener’s, which is likely to be much less as he is old, while claiming you must know more than him – this is subtle arrogance pretending to be great humility. Indeed, he is ignorant and ill-informed on 2012, but if he already knows how deluded he is, he should apologise for having spread the 2012 hoax in the first place. Note again, that he tries to appear humble, yet while saying he immerses only in the sutras, which is not true. If as he said, everything else is a waste of time, why did he bother focusing on spreading the 2012 hoax? He said since 2010, he focuses only on Pure Land teachings and does not see anything else. However, as above, in that year, he saw the ’2012′ movie many times and started talking about it – all the way! Note that his apology is for choosing to be focused on Pure Land teachings, and teaching nothing else; not for having added the 2012 hoax into the mix. When he speaks of peace prayers and Dharma ceremonies, the audience might take it that they are for ‘saving the world’ from a real disaster literally (though such ceremonies are common in Buddhist practice throughout history). As such, his last line actually subtly reaffirms that the 2012 hoax he had been spreading might be real. Some mistaken this talk to be his apology for spreading the 2012 hoax, but as analysed, it is not so at all － especially since he was never ever apologetic about it in this talk or before in any clear manner. In this talk, he simply elaborately denies having played any part in popularising the hoax, while subtly continuing to do just that throughout and to the end, with the creation of more inexcusable excuses. The asking for forgiveness for ‘some’ of his misgivings is not specific of which and is thus insincere, apologising for nothing in particular at all, especially after having repeatedly claiming he is blameless.
Here is an analysis of yet another one of his problematic talks, right before the ‘big day’:
On 20.12.12, he mentioned this. Here are the relevant parts, with summarised translation and comments. (See comments section for Chinese transcript.)
Re: 21 December 2012 is tomorrow. Looks like there is not going to be any matter (disaster). For this, we have to be grateful to the people of the world today, whether with religious beliefs or not, who for this big matter prayed. Mindfulness of Buddha and dedicating merits is prayer, the Buddhist method of prayer, requesting Bodhisattvas’ compassionate blessings to dissolve and alleviate disaster. If it cannot be dissolved, it will be alleviated, to let us have ample time to change our ways, and the disaster will slowly be dissolved. If we still are presumptuous, about this matter still in doubt, unwilling to change our ways, thinking this is false, is deceiving people, still doing evil, with greed, hatred, delusion and arrogance, killing, stealing, having sexual misconduct and lying, not only not stopping these, but increasing them, this disaster will be delayed, for a few days, months or years. Who can determine? We ourselves decide.
Comments: The opening is ridiculous. He says, just because there is nothing wrong on the day before the supposed disaster-day, that there won’t be a disaster the next day. On 08.11.12, he already said he is not certain if there will be disaster on 21.12.12 (though he also indirectly contradicts himself by saying he is certain too), but now he says he is certain there will not be – based on no proof, similar to how he was first without proof of the non-disaster’s coming.
He attempts to wrap up yet extend the 2012 hoax by again affirming that there was actually, otherwise certainly supposed to be a disaster on 21.12.12, but that it was dissolved due to religious practices. Just as there is absolutely no proof that there was an impending disaster, there is absolutely no proof that it was dissolved. What he said is as good as saying on any day that because the world is good enough then, an imaginary flying spaghetti monster did not kill many, though the monster might still be coming, just delayed. There is no evidence of such a monster in the first place, while there is now rock solid evidence of non-disaster on 21.12.12 that all the 2012 hoaxes are what they are – mere hoaxes.
It is also ridiculous to think that it is so easy for the world to relieve itself of a global disaster. The climate crisis is still ongoing for instance. Political conflicts continue and nations still suffer from a recovering economy. What real measurable disaster was there any relief from? This is not to say proper religious practices don’t work in preventing disaster, but there are no religions (or qualified scientists), not even the Mayans’ religion, that predicted any disaster in 2012 in the first place. His claim is of false relief from a non-existent disaster that was never coming. There is also no trace of any disaster being alleviated on 21.12.12, such as a predicted major quake becoming minor.
Here, you see him affirming again of his disaster hoax, and furthers it – by saying it might have just been postponed. Again, he continues to create needless fear and panic – by leaving the next disaster-day open to speculation. Are we supposed to hoard food for 10,000 or not, and for when? Blinded followers will unfortunately religiously stay tuned for his next hoax date.
Of course, this world being samsaric, it is always facing some impending disasters big and small. Will any upcoming disaster be labelled by him as a ‘told you so’? Anything minor can be said by him to be the result of the major 2012 disaster made minor and postponed. Because of the way he phrases his words, he will always win the confidence of his less intelligent followers – not because he is truthful but because of the unprovable nature of his baseless claims. However, careful analysis of his words already unequivocally reveals that he cannot be trusted on such matters, much less spiritual matters.
Anyway, whether there is a 2012 disaster postponed or not, the ‘super-disaster’ of personal death for every individual is always approaching and can arrive at any time for anyone. There is therefore no need to spread extra fear by insisting there is another unprovable impending disaster. As long as alive, whether there is any lethal disaster coming or not, now is thus always the time to better ourselves. It is misleading and dangerous to say we are given ample time by anyone, as again, death for individuals can happen at any moment, dependent on one’s own karma. Of course, we should change our ways for the better, and this need not be motivated by any imaginary super-disaster; just personal death.
It is ridiculous indeed to say doubting the 2012 disaster or its possible postponement is being presumptuous as he is the one presumptuous all along in claiming there is a 2012 non-disaster and its imaginary postponement, while insisting with all lack of reason that he is not being presumptuous, while asking everyone to be as presumptuous as him. Those who do not doubt him by now are severely deluded indeed.
We must grow in wisdom from this 2012 episode, knowing that it was false and deceitful all along. If not, we will fall victim to the next hoax that springs from more arrogant delusional teachings from him or someone similar. He should stop his evil deceit. Not stopping and now increasing it, he will reap more major disaster for himself. He is already losing followers and making people have doubts on Buddhism mixed with his false teachings. His negative karma is immense indeed. Who can determine for how long disaster is delayed for him? It could be a few days, months or years. Who can determine? He himself decides when to repent.
As predicted accurately based on analysis of his devious character, he fulfilled this ‘prophecy’ about him saying the disaster had been delayed after the non-event of 21.12.12: http://thedailyenlightenment.com/2012/08/this-prophecy-could-save-your-life-today-or-tomorrow This article further comments on his 20.12.12 statement above, on why it is not sensible: http://thedailyenlightenment.com/2013/01/dont-tell-me-you-saved-the-world And as this article on demonic behavior explains, he is further fitting the description of being demonic by proving to the world that he likes to, as the Buddha warned us against, repeatedly speak of imaginary disasters, even after 21.12.12 proved to be a non-event: http://thedailyenlightenment.com/2012/12/the-buddhas-warnings-against-demonic-false-teachers Even if he is not influenced by external demons to perpetuate his delusional teachings, he is already overwhelmed by his inner demons, especially self-righteous arrogance that refuses to listen to sound criticism against his harmful ways. All signs show he remains unrepentant. May he and his followers awaken from their grave mistakes soon. Amituofo.
- Various Dharma Protectors
Buddhist Questions & Answers on 2012
This Prophecy Could Save Your Life Today (Or Tomorrow)?
How To Advise Friends Affected By 2012 Hearsay?
The Buddha’s Warnings Against Demonic False Teachers
Don’t Tell Me You Saved The World