Monday, August 07, 2006

Beware The Esangha (E-Sangha)

Here's a funny story.

I've been involved for the past few years with the Esangha, an Internet forum claiming to represent all accepted schools of Buddhism. Since it attracts such a large number of visitors, I was happy to get involved in what seemed to be an accepting sort of environment.

Of course, I restricted myself mainly to posting in the Theravada forum, but soon found that though it claimed to be a forum for "discussing the teachings of Theravada Buddhism", it was being used by the administrators as a means of pushing Mahayana Buddhist doctrine on those not otherwise so inclined.

Upon complaining, I was told privately of how the majority of the admin are Mahayana, they've been threating the few Theravadin moderators with expulsion whenever they disagree with the way things are run, and are completely unconcerned with how their actions are perceived by the forum members. Indeed, my complaints were replied to with statements like "Administrators have power over life and death."

Expressing concern over this, and the potential for legal action against the Esangha forum as a result of their fraudulant use of the Theravada, I was accused of threatening the administrator and promptly suspended from the forum. :D

What a funny thing. Luckily there are other good Buddhist forums out there:

Web Sangha:
http://www.websangha.org

Sirimangalo Forum:
http://forum.sirimangalo.org/

The latter is Theravada-only... it's always quieter that way :)