Friday, June 19, 2009

Played Holy, Saw Toli: Updated

Not a penthouse, but a powerhouse.

Thomas Fry, an American student and sometime visitor to Mongolia now tells the world (and we quote):

"... the temple that sent me here, has decided to withdraw me from Mongolia and suspend in-country operations. I’ll be heading home to the States in about 10 days, with no plans to return."

However, links on said organization's websites still continue to breathlessly solicit donations for what it calls "Mongolian Buddhism Revival."

Seems like we're not getting the whole story, as apparently, young Mr. Fry's welcome was wearing a bit thin, and U.S. Department of State was investigating. Odd they should come here, though, as we find ourselves sadly unable to give references:


On numerous occasions during his visits, Fry, who calls himself Konchog Norbu, and dresses up as a "Tibetan lama" reported (both privately and in public) that he felt himself at risk from shamans.


UPDATED: If this post seems mean-spirited, I should perhaps explain why I bother to comment at all. In the past, I encouraged the readers of this 'blog to donate money to this young man and his Mongolian adventure. I did this on impulse, because I wanted to find a way to help Mongolian Buddhists. Later, when I had the opportunity to examine the financial records, I realized what a mistake I had made. I felt very badly about this, and apparently so did the Internal Revenue Service.

It is a well-known trap to point out the faults of others and ignore your own. I freely admit that I have many faults, and if others like to point them out, that is fine with me. That is a blessing, actually, because it assists the faults to extinguish themselves -- which they will do -- naturally and eventually.

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5 reader comments:

Anonymous said...

This guy behaved less like a monk than any monk I ever met -- tea at the Railway Station, with sideways glances at ALL the girls. Good riddance.

Pius Ashe said...

You are right to bring this up. He has a lot to answer for not the least of which is conning people for money to fly his "translator" (really his alcoholic girlfriend) to America, then dumping her, then claiming she had a "breakdown" as a way to excuse an overstayed visa. I'll bet the reason that State Dept. is investigating him probably has something to do with visa fraud and if they aren't then maybe they should be. These two were a joke over here - he was a name-dropping "white lama" who pretended to teach and she was a drunk who pretended to translate.

Anonymous said...

Don't be afraid to tell it like it is.

TENPA said...

Dear Anonymous: I am not afraid of anything that walks or crawls (including posting what I believe needs posting) but I should probably tell you that I don't hold with derogatory comments about alcoholism, or characterizing people as "drunks." Sometimes it is both useful and necessary to extinguish intoxication with intoxication. One of the finest men I ever knew fundamentally died of alcoholism, and although I was in his company while he was drinking, I never saw him drunk. Anyway -- who knows what promises were made and broken to the lady in question? I don't, and probably neither do you, and you know what else? It isn't any of your business and it isn't any of my business beyond saying many, many prayers for all of the people involved or similarly situated. I myself am a drunk who pretends to translate. Danzan Ravjaa was a drunk who pretended to translate. What is the difference between a mind that thinks its sober and a mind that thinks its drunk? Maybe this kid Konchog is so blind, that with all his "dreaming of Danzan Ravjaa," he didn't realize that SHE was right in front of him all along.

Anonymous said...

You are way too kind. Everywhere this guy went he had his hand out, making the Mongolians pay for the privilege of "helping" them. Read his blog and you see what's REALLY important to him, the latest SUV, the new apartment, the treatment he gets, gifts of clothes, etcetera etcetera, whatever he could hustle up for himself in the little kingdom of his mind. Local people found him patronizing, visiting scholars found him obsequious, and to mention Danzanravjaa and his "translator" in the same breath insults Danzanravjaa. Save your mercy for the people who deserve it, the middle-aged women and the teen-aged girls who had their time and faith wasted while this boxtop Buddhist played make-believe monk.

As for you?

Damn right you should feel bad for recommending people donate. Now you finally see what sort these characters really are.