【True Buddha Foundation Notice】 A Solemn Declaration: Defamatory News Reported by Next Magazine and Next Digital
On Jun. 21, 2017, Next Magazine and Next Digital published an article in their ''Breaking News'' section headlined ''Infighting in True Buddha School; Disciples Denounce Sheng-yen Lu's Severe Beating by His Successor.'' This news article was replete with deliberately false information, baseless rumors, and reckless slander. This blatant defamation was accompanied by an offensive and disgusting cartoon.
There is concern that defamatory misinformation about Living Buddha Lian-sheng, the True Buddha School (TBS), Master Lianning, and Master Liandian contained in this article may seriously mislead TBS devotees and the general public. To ensure that TBS devotees and the general public are accurately informed, True Buddha Foundation (TBF) hereby issues the following solemn declaration:
1. Living Buddha Lian-sheng is a living saint of absolute purity. Master Lianning is an acharya who deeply respects his guru, honors Buddhist teachings, and upholds precepts. The so-called ''infighting and severe beating'' alleged by Next Magazine/ Next Digital are totally false.
2. The Next Magazine/Next Digital article alleges that on Feb. 5, 2016, Master Lianning physically assaulted Living Buddha Lian-sheng Sheng-yen Lu while he was at Guasan Temple in Changhua, Taiwan, and that this assault took place in the presence of Master Lianji, the abbot of Guasan Temple. The truth is, Living Buddha Lian-sheng has never been present at Guasan Temple since performing a temple consecration and blessing on Dec. 23, 2014. Furthermore, Master Lianning and Master Lianji can both personally attest that this supposed ''incident at Guasan Temple'' alleged by Next media never in fact occurred. These facts prove that the Next media news report of this ''incident'' is an utterly fabricated frame-up and defamation of Living Buddha Lian-sheng, Master Lianning, and Master Lianji.
3. Both Master Lianning, TBS successor, and Master Liandian, CEO of TBS, deeply respect Living Buddha Lian-sheng, obey the precepts, and actively engage in the altruistic bodhi undertaking of saving sentient beings. We sincerely hope that, from now on,
4. Next media and all other media outlets will adhere to basic journalistic ethics prior to news publication, not engage in this kind of dishonest and defamatory news reporting, and refrain from publishing unverified news articles that damage the reputation of individuals and groups.
In cases of libel and defamation of this kind, TBF reserves all rights of judicial recourse under the law.
True Buddha Foundation
June 22, 2017