HOW TO STEAL A MEDITATION SOCIETY... (in 9 months or less)!
Shouldn’t it really be you in the front of the room?
Follow these 12 * simple steps and get the recognition you deserve! No charisma? No problem! No experience? No problem! Don’t want to ruin your weekends following the 5th precept? Don’t let that stop you! Show’em how to do it right. There’s a world of admiration and respect waiting for you when you start leading your new Sangha!
Infiltrate the board of directors. Appoint your friends. They have no connection with Buddhism? Thats Ok! Just make sure to let everyone know about their valuable corporate expertise!
Discredit the founder/teacher, with accusations of “misconduct”. (Anonymous sources preferred!) Remember…keep it vague! In public statements and “listening sessions” no need to back up the “allegations” with actual facts. Just promote confusion and speculation! As the new leader you will inherit the “all-good” teacher projection, guaranteeing sangha acceptance of your pronouncements! The same religious practitioners will now paint the former teacher as “all-bad”! You don’t have to do anything. It’s subconscious!
Get and keep a propaganda campaign going!!! Anyone can chime in on your Facebook page where it appears that free speech is happening, but you can censor as you wish. Ideal for smears and blacklisting! Let your community imagine the worst…, that’s the idea. Keep them working for you! The perpetual state of “unknowing” will keep any pesky “facts” from derailing your goals.
Hire a private investigator! This ensures your influence over their biases, and as you are paying them, chances are good they’ll find what you’re looking for. (pro tip* make sure to know the outcome you would prefer ahead of time!)
Make up your own definitions of punishable offenses! These don’t have to be actual crimes. That’s so oppressive! Coming up with new “misconduct” guidelines that can be easily adapted at your convenience is key. Pro tip* …don’t forget keeping it vague is your best friend!
Have your own trial! Fair hearings no longer required. Internet says “predators” don’t deserve it! Who would participate in such an obvious railroading? …see step 7!
Rally the troops! Disgruntled current or former employees? Professional rivals? Spurned lovers? Anyone with an axe to grind will do. Waiting for a power grab…now is the time! Give them their opportunity to shine. Letting them tell their story will guarantee eternal support!
Tell the tabloids! Who cares if it’s a respected publication or not, just get it out there! Sensationalism will win the day.
Buddhist Church Ladies, (of all gender persuasions), Unite! This may be your most important untapped/overlooked resource. They will be vigilant in keeping the social media campaign alive. Reminding all how to do it right! Fueled by moral outrage they will tirelessly work for free!
Keep it corporate! Feeling momentary twinges of remorse? Meditate using the traditional phrases… “This is how it’s done”… “remember the optics” and… “Let’s all move on”. What do academic and corporate PR strategies have to do with Buddhism? Nothing! Don’t let that stop you. They know how to get what they want!!!!!!!
Scavenge the remains! Dissolve the non-profit corporation and pocket any remaining funds. Move your new meditation society into that now empty meditation space. Landlords love smooth transitions! Auction off anything of real value especially any limited edition art. Don’t forget the mailing list!
Need a new roster of teachers? We have you covered. Just use the old ones! See step 7. Sweep those old scandals under the rug and bring back your blasts from the past!
*Not those 12 steps, whatever you do don’t follow those twelve steps!
—The American Buddhist Staff