FOLLOW THE MONEY
Someone just posted on the Shambhala Network, questions regarding the relation of the Potrang to Shambhala. With all of the other seriously harmful behavior happening, the alarming nature of the financial dealings and structure of the Potrang have not been given adequate attention. I have felt strongly for a very long time that there is something really shady and murky going on with the Portrang. Who is the Potrang? Who does it benefit, how are the funds used, why are there transfers from Shambhala to the Potrang? Why does the Potrang take out loans against Shambhala real estate? How is their money spent and from where does it come? What assets has the Potrang appropriated?
I was at an event a few years back where the Director of Shambhala Mountain Center stood up and offered all of the assets of SMC to the Potrang/Sakyong. Does anyone else remember this? Does the Director of a practice center have the right to give assets – SMC land and real estate to the Potrang? Has this happened with other centers? Maybe this was merely a symbolic gesture on the part of Michael Gaynor, but still is is worrying and seems so inappropriate to just offer assets of Shambhala to another entity of questionable mission and practices. Furthermore I have been told that there was $500K given to SMC for staff housing long time ago that the Potrang appropriated.
I had great hopes that the Interim Board would seriously investigate the apparent appropriation of Shambhala funds and assets by the Potrang and the weird shell game that the Potrang seems to be engaged in. How does the Potrang distribute funds to its members and to the Sakyong? Why was it not responsible to pay for the lawyers and the investigations? Why does only Shambhala have to pay the legal and investigative expenditures? Why does Shambhala have to consider selling Marpa House because it “owes” the Potrang over $1M? Why doesn’t Shambhala simply NOT pay the Portrang rather than sell Marpa House? Seriously who in their right mind would foreclose on Marpa House and let it be sold, rather than sell one of 5 overlarge “courts” ? The Potrang seems to be a front for misusing the funds of Shambhala, supporting lavish lifestyles and the like, while Shambhala is in financial crisis, chronically underpays their shoestring staff, and is actually considering selling Marpa House to make ends meet. But again it is important to emphasize that the only reason Marpa House has to be sold is that some sort of “debt” to the Potrang must be paid.
Furthermore, I was very disappointed and dismayed that the IB seemed so unable to ask hard questions of the Potrang, its funding, why there were transfers of huge amounts of funds from Shambhala to the Potrang, and even why the Potrang exists and for disclosure of their financial records. The IB was also seemingly unable or willing to ask hard questions regarding the Sakyong and his extravagant lifestyle. Here is what the IB offered as an answer to the question of why not sell off the 3 to 4 empty over-large houses of the Sakyong, rather than Marpa House. The answer they offered in their report is so astoundingly lame it boggles the mind:
Question: Why not sell one of the Kalapa Courts? Lame Answer of the IB “We understand that the Sakyong and the Sakyong Wangmo want us to know that they are fully aware of the difficulty of this situation and are continuing to reduce Potrang expenses. After much consideration, weighing both financial and community impact, they have decided to close the Boulder Court at this time, and put the property on the market for rental.” Seriously, the IB accepted this lame answer? Reduce expenses and rent the property of their 4th home, but not sell it to help pay legal expenses and save Marpa House? Who made these really odd rules?
I know the other non-financial harm done is much more serious but I feel the financial mismanagement and possibly even illegal appropriation of funds and assets needs to be examined and is urgent. Expose the Protrang! Does anyone else feel this way?
P.S. Here is the post from the Shambhala forum:
Potrang vs. Shambhala Canada- time for class action suit? in the forum Sangha Talk (Global Discussion Forum):
A quick visit to the Nova Scotia Registry of Joint Stock Companies for info on THE SAKYONG POTRANG CANADA and “Shambhala Canada Society will tell you who has decision power and a visit to the Registry office located in Access Nova Scotia Offices throughout NS (and you probably can access this info in any Maritime province Access office) & $25 will buy you the ByLaws.Interesting to note that the POTRANG is the non-profit church and VAJRADHATU BUDDHIST CHURCH became the Shambhala Canada Society in 2014. And that the POTRANG is for the exclusive support of Mr Mukpo, his family and Kalapa Court.(from a 2015 paper on governance structure by Josh Silberstein.) Many of the same people serve in both organizations.After several requests for the Bylaws to the various Shambhala Boards, I have not received an answer or the bylaws. Without knowledge of these, i.e. how real change can actually occur according to the By Laws of each group, no amount of requesting change in the organizational structure or financial allocation, etc. will make a difference.Based on the way things have been going, financial allocations appear to be less than beneficial to the overall health of Shambhala & its assets & I’m wondering fiduciary responsibility to whom or what??I’m not a lawyer, but I suggest that these people have had, and still have, the ultimate decision making power for how our donations have been or will be spent including property sales or refinancing: such as $450,00 mortgage taken in 7/2016 on Dorje Denma Ling & $1,430,000 mortgage taken in 2017 on Halifax Kalapa Court & they have threatened to do the same for the Halifax Shambhala Center. These are only the 3 of the properties for which the Shambhala Canada Society is the officially registered owner and the people below made these decisions: (scroll down for Shambhala C S info)Business/Organization Name: THE SAKYONG POTRANG CANADARegistry ID: 3269761Type: Extra-Provincial CorporationNature of Business: CHURCH – N0N PROFITStatus: ActiveJurisdiction: CanadaRegistered Office: 601 – 5121 SACKVILLE STREETHALIFAX NS Canada B3J 1K1Mailing Address: 601 – 5121 SACKVILLE STREETHALIFAX NS Canada B3J 1K1Previous Name: THE SAKYONG LADRANG CANADAPEOPLEName Position Civic Address Mailing AddressJEFF ROSEN Director 1760 BLOOMINGDALE TERRACEHALIFAX NS B3H 4E5JOSHUA SILBERSTEIN Director 1150 HAWTORN AVE.BOULDER CO 80301TSEYANG P. MUKPO Director 316 PURCELLS COVE ROADHALIFAX NS B3P 1C6MIPHAM J. MUKPO Director 316 PURCELLS COVE ROADHALIFAX NS B3P 1C6LANDON N. MALLERY Director 5841 CHAIN ROCK DRIVEHALIFAX NS B3H 1A2JOSHUA SILBERSTEIN VICE PRESIDENT 1150 HAWTORN AVE.BOULDER CO 80301LANDON N. MALLERY SEC/TREASURER 5841 CHAIN ROCK DRIVEHALIFAX NS B3H 1A2MIPHAM J. MUKPO PRESIDENT 316 PURCELLS COVE ROADHALIFAX NS B3P 1C6LANDON MALLERY Recognized Agent 5841 CHAIN ROCK DRIVEHALIFAX NS B3H 1A2 5841 CHAIN ROCK DRIVEHALIFAX NS B3H 1A2ACTIVITIESActivity DateAnnual Renewal 2019-02-04Annual Renewal 2018-01-09Annual Statement Filed 2018-01-08Annual Renewal 2017-01-12Annual Statement Filed 2017-01-10Effective Date of Name Change 2016-03-10Filed Name Change 2016-03-10Annual Renewal 2016-01-27Annual Statement Filed 2016-01-27Annual Renewal 2015-02-02Annual Statement Filed 2015-01-30Annual Renewal 2014-01-20Annual Statement Filed 2014-01-20Filed Document 2013-02-06Registered 2013-02-06Incorporated in other Jurisdiction 2012-01-12Show All CollapseRELATED REGISTRATIONSThere are no related registrations on file for this company.SHAMBHALA CANADA SOCIETY:Business/Organization Name: SHAMBHALA CANADA SOCIETYRegistry ID: 1940101Type: SocietyNature of Business:Status: Active