In the very, very small meadow of Michelle Grissom, of Seattle, Washington -- the storied victim of a notorious incident involving New Age teacher Alyce Zeoli ("Jetsunma") that led to the latter's arrest on assault charges in Maryland -- there are numerous changes of prevailing wind.
To be fair to all concerned -- since we have quoted her in the past -- I think we should report that Ms. Grissom, also known as Dechen, from the Martha Sherrill book Buddha From Brooklyn, has now, over a decade after the fact, written a long, sometimes rambling statement (entitled "My Way," with no apologies to Frank Sinatra) in which she expresses deep regret for her actions and flatly says that she lied -- to the police, to Ms. Sherrill, to her friends, colleagues, lamas, and the world at large.
I've read her statement very carefully, and if it is true, then she is to be commended for owning up to something that caused a great deal of confusion among otherwise well-meaning people. To do this obviously takes a major cathartic episode, or courage, and possibly some of both. However, "truth" is this case seems to be rather an ambiguous concept.
Ms. Grissom -- a formerly ordained, twelve year veteran nun from the KPC temple in Poolesville, Maryland -- openly admits to perjury in her statement, and although the statute of limitations precludes her prosecution, it does cast a rather serious pall over anything else she might have to say on impacted matters, now or in the future. For the rest of her life, the question will inevitably be:
"Were you lying then, or are you lying now?"
I have never met Ms. Grissom, spoken to Ms. Grissom, nor corresponded with Ms. Grissom. I simply do not know the person. However, I have in the past placed some reliance upon her published and reported statements -- statements which she now recants in their entirety -- and to the extent that I have done so, I now post this clarification of events, and will cross-index as appropriate.
Sometimes we just have to accept people at their word. If we rely upon this, and it later turns out that we have been deceived, we just have to accept that as well. Things like this happen all the time in this world, and one doesn't need to feel this way or that way.
Anyway -- here are links to the "back story" on this one:
Locking the Stable After the Horse Already Gone
The Monkey Queen's Mistake
The Lion's Corpse (principal statement)
All Sentient Beings Wish for Happiness
Toga, Toga, Toga
Stablizing the Mind
Buddhist Cults, Or How I Became Frankenstein and Learned to Love the Mob
Hellbound and Happy About It
Benefit of A Thousand Lights and Flowers
Played Holy, Saw Toli
Spy vs Spy
Befhel ist Befhel: The Nazi Sangha
Following A Spiritual Master
Sedona, the Succubus, and the Stupa
The 4:20 Out of Poolesville
And Now... Thaganapa
One of the Eighty-Four Siddhas was known as the "Man Who Always Tells Lies," or Thaganapa. He used lying as an antidote to lying, meditating on all things being false from the very beginning. What Jigme Lingpa refers to as the "great lying projection," isn't it?
"As for the existing things of this world of appearances,
what is not known to be true is seen as false.
Indeed, knowing and the objects of knowing are all false;
so if the six senses and their objects are false,
where do you find the truth?
And so you remain in the misery of samsara.
O child, if you do not recognize the false is false,
you take it as true; and like a waterwheel,
you are lost again and again in samsara.
Therefore you should actually meditate on the falseness of all existing things.
Just as words are false,
so also are the physical forms and such.
So grasping this, meditate on the false."
Keywords: Michelle Grissom, Dechen, Buddha From Brooklyn, Alyce Zeoli, Jetsunma, Buddhist cults, My Way, Seattle