Down, down, down… own work, CC-BY.
The list of leaders who have fallen from grace due to various bad behaviors is long. Recently, it was reported that Sogyal Rinpoche, the ‘most famous Buddhist after the Dalai Lama’ was accused of serious misconduct. According to the article, he’s living in Tibet, and been disowned by the Dalai Lama. It seems like these sorts of stories never end. A quick search on ‘list of disgraced religious leaders’ turns up quite a few hits.
If there’s a silver lining to this, it is reported that the Dalai Lama not only brought this up, but maintained (again!) that you shouldn’t blindly follow anyone, including himself. This, of course, is a core tenet of Buddhism – don’t take anything on face value, and do the investigation into truth by your own hand. This is pretty much a basic thing, and one of the attractive qualities of Buddhism.
Are there any politicians or other leaders so brave and honest that they can say, “don’t follow me blindly?” We need smart and capable leaders, and ones who know from day one that we shouldn’t trust them blindly. Otherwise, they’ll eventually wind up on one of those lists.