This following situation is not specifically related to the AOB report, but is relevant to the report, because it establishes a pattern of how claims have been handled throughout this process, whether directly through the AOB report, or through other claims brought against our organization.
The understanding by some people in our community is that they would receive money if they made complaints. When asked directly, multiple people confirmed this was their understanding.
One adult, who was once a child attending MPA, recently made a claim that he was abused while attending MPA, and when offered, requested money for counselling.
He said that in conversations via social media channels, he was told he just had to say he was abused at MPA, summer solstice kids camp, or children’s camp after solstice, and he would receive money. “If you make a report of abuse to AOB, you’ll receive money”. He said “why not? It’s free money”.
Being part of the Listening Tour convinced him that he was an abuse victim and that he was wronged and deserved something. He contacted AOB to say he was beat up and called names. After telling his story, AOB asked him, “Do you want to receive counselling?” He said yes and he said he received a check. He did not actually receive counselling.
He said he and his friends were told there is possibly more money coming in the future. He also said that a lawyer is working on a lawsuit against the SSSC. They are working on this through the “listening tours”. He said “Old people are stupid. We are recording their conversations at the listening tours and taking screen shots and building a case against the Dharma”. Lawyers have told them that because the SSSC is making payments to the next gen for counselling, it is an “admission” of wrongdoing, and so it will help their case.
There was no ID check; he said he knew his ID would not be checked and no one would cross reference his story. He received money; “Free money” for “counselling”. He did not have to provide proof that counselling took place.
His understanding was that the money came from SSSC via AOB. He said that the people receiving money are not supposed to talk about it; that they had to verbally agree to confidentiality. He said he was breaking the agreement by admitting he was paid. He would not say what amount he and others were paid. Later, other people confirmed people are receiving $1200.