Legal Disclaimer
The following information is based on experience of The Friends of the Western Buddhist Order (FWBO) in the UK, and should therefore be taken as applying only to FWBO bodies located in the UK. Readers in other parts of the world should make their own inquiries as to whether or not the information provided here is relevant to their local situation.

The purpose of this ex-FWBO site is to provide information about some of the harmful aspects of the FWBO. The FWBO's own website is: http://www.fwbo.org

According to the Buddhist magazine Tricycle (Summer 1999): 'The Friends of the Western Buddhist Order (FWBO) is one of the three largest Buddhist organizations in Britain, with several thousand members, including eighty centers worldwide, ten of them in America, numerous businesses and residential communities, and an annual gross income of between $8 million and $16 million.'

People visiting an FWBO centre for the first time will generally meet members who are friendly and sincere. However, while ordinary members are usually sincere in their desire to follow a Buddhist way of life, they do not control the FWBO, and have no power to prevent any abuses. Behind the friendly public face of the FWBO, there is a hidden dark side.

In the UK, the FWBO operates through a series of registered Charities, which run the various public centres, retreat centres, businesses, and residential communities. All these different charities are supposedly autonomous and self-governing, but in fact they are all centrally controlled through the Western Buddhist Order (WBO), and in particular by an inner core of senior order members, called Preceptors.

The stated goal of these Charities is 'the advancement of the Buddhist religion', but the real goal of the Order which controls these Charities is the advancement of the FWBO's wealth and influence, and the dissemination of a specious, non-Buddhist ideology, invented by their founder Sangharakshita, which, among other things, attacks family values and promotes homosexuality as spiritually superior to heterosexuality.

In simple terms, FWBO public centres ostensibly teach Buddhism and meditation, but really act as a front for recruiting people to work voluntarily or for low wages in FWBO charities and businesses. Profits from the businesses are covenanted back to FWBO charities, thus avoiding tax. To a lesser extent, FWBO public centres are also used as a front to procure teenagers and young men for the homosexual leadership of the FWBO.

Below are various articles and reports critical of the FWBO.

The Guardian Article Oct 1997 (3,600 words)
The FWBO Files (20,000 words, 140 kb)
The Response to the FWBO's Response (53,000 words, 343 kb)