At the time this picture below was taken, I was still a lay-priest in the Order of Nichiren Shoshu of America (NSA). After much study, I finally received my Gohonzon on February 5, 1988.
The Eyes of Lithium (2005). Photo by Al Wiggins Jr.
Though Nichiren Shoshu of America no longer exists, there are five points of contention concerning my former position in NSA that must be meticulously attended to and decisively dealt with. At issue are the slanderous statements against me and my military service, and the insults against my faith, made by school psychologist Dr. Grace Seibert-Larke (and her colleagues), at Bridgewater State College, (now Bridgewater State University) in Bridgewater, Massachusetts that led to the hoax of April 2004. I call them "the Five Points."
The slanders are three:
1. Dr. Grace Siebert-Larke told BSC Campus Police Chief David Tillinghast that I was bringing weapons to campus with the intention of hurting people, which in turn compelled the campus police to treat me as a threat to the rest of the campus community. During the confrontation between me and Chief Tillinghast; I invited him to search me and my car. He accepted my invitation, and conducted an extensive search, but failed to find weapons of any kind.
2. With respect to my career in the U.S. Army, Dr. Grace Siebert-Larke reported in her notes that I was kicked out of the service on "drug charges." That is, and will always be, a bold-faced lie. I was honorably discharged after over six years of loyal service to the people of the nation I love. On that subject, nothing follows.
3. Dr. Siebert-Larke also said I was an officer in the U.S. Army, and a member of the military intelligence during my time in service, which was totally false and purposely misleading. I actually began my career as an enlisted man in combat arms as an artilleryman & weapons mechanic. My MOS: 13B(U6).
When I re-enlisted, I became a member of the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps. I was trained in the use and maintenance of the various (small arms) weapons issued by U.S. Army at the time. Though I was trained at Ft. Lewis, Washington, I became an armorer for the Military Intelligence Center & School in Ft. Huachuca, Arizona in the early 1980's. As an armorer, I was also qualified to be an instructor in small arms training and as a firing range NCO.
Now for the insults. There are two, but they will be counted as points four and five:
4. Though Dr. Siebert-Larke never met me or examined me, she cited me for dancing joyfully to "Buddhistic music" in the privacy of my own home. She went on to say said that my dancing religious music was evidence of "mania" and used it as a pretext to have me forcibly hospitalized in the psych ward at Brockton Hospital in Brockton, Massachusetts.
5. In her initial notes, Dr. Seibert Larke mentioned the name of the artist whose music I danced to. His name is Krishna Das, but his song wasn't Buddhist at all. It was Hindu. The name of the selection was, "Om Namah Shivaya." The dance I was doing that night, the dance I was trying to emulate in my own way, was none other than the cosmic dance of Lord Shiva Nataraj - the Destroyer of Ignorance.
Ten years ago today, I was discharged from Brockton Hospital after six days of deprivation that were the precursor to five years of incessant suffering. So it is only fitting that this is the day I return to the practice that's made me so very happy for so many years: Yogacara. It has helped me overcome all manner of physical infirmities since my stroke, it helped me break my body's addiction to the drugs foisted upon me at the hospital, and it continues to serve me well.
With deep love and devotion, I call it my "Karmic Boomerang."