British politician and barrister Sue-Ellen Cassiana “Suella” Braverman has held the position of Home Secretary since 6 September 2022. For the years 2020–2022, she served as the Attorney General of England and Wales.
Since 2015, she has represented the Hampshire constituency of Fareham as an MP. She led the European Research Group as its chair from June 19, 2017, until January 9, 2018, and she is a member of the Conservative Party.
Theresa May appointed her to her current position as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union in the reshuffle that took place in January of 2018.
Later that year, after first resigned to protest the proposed Northern Ireland backstop, she returned to the benches. In the cabinet reshuffle that took place in February 2020, Boris Johnson named Braverman as Attorney General for England and Wales and Advocate General for Northern Ireland.
The Observer has learned that the newly appointed attorney general is a member of a strange religious cult that continues to idolize its founder despite well-documented charges that he was a serial sexual abuser.
Suella Braverman Controversy
Once one of the greatest Buddhist sects in the UK, the Triratna order has been rocked by charges of sexual misconduct, abuse, and inappropriate behavior. Suella Braverman is a mitra Sanskrit meaning “friend” within the Triratna order.
One of the biggest shocks of Thursday’s dramatic cabinet reshuffle was her appointment to replace Geoffrey Cox. Her appointment came after Sajid Javid resigned as chancellor.
Braverman declined to comment yesterday night on her ties to the order, but she is known to visit the London Buddhist Centre, a major hub for Triratna, on a monthly basis.
Vishvapani, a member of the order, posted last week that he was happy about Braverman becoming the first Buddhist attorney general. His Facebook timeline features a photo of the late Dennis Lingwood, the founder of the order. The comment was removed afterward for some reason.
Since Suella Braverman is a prominent member of the cult, many may wonder how her affiliation with the group affects her professional judgment as the government’s top lawyer.
Former follower Mark Dunlop claimed he felt compelled to have sex with Lingwood during a four-year period, and he said the new attorney general had undoubtedly been aware of the long-standing claims against the organization.
Over the years, many of Lingwood’s male followers have claimed that they were pressured into having sex with him because of his powerful position. However, his legacy is being preserved through the Triratna community.
The importance of Lingwood to Triratna is emphasized on its webpages, which include several images of him and his works.
Lingwood, who adopted the Buddhist name Sangharakshita and passed away in 2018 at the age of 93, was known for presiding over a sexually licentious society inside the Buddhist subculture.
According to a survey of 423 Triratna followers conducted by the Observer and completed by nine members calling themselves the Interkula, 13% reported having “experienced sexual misconduct by either Sangharakshita or other Triratna order members, in previous and recent times.”
While “some good progress” had been made in responding to the misconduct, the report notes that “other types of misconduct were also reported,” such as “male order members becoming sexually involved with very vulnerable women” and “inappropriate behavior by a female order member.”
I know of multiple situations, and the facts are horrific,” the paper quotes a 15-year order member as stating. One of the most prominent OMs is accused of trying to discourage a victim from testifying to the authorities if they are interrogated.
There has been controversy around the past sexual conduct of our founder, Urgyen Sangharakshita, and others,” the Buddhist Centre website, which promotes the Triratna society, admits.
In retrospect, “Sangharakshita himself submitted a statement of contrition concerning his own past, endorsed by the Triratna college of public preceptors,” as the article puts it.
I did not act as my position in the movement expected or even as a sincere Buddhist,” Lingwood admitted in December 2016. In particular, I am reflecting on the occasions when I have caused pain, harm, or upset to other Buddhists, either within or outside of Triratna.
I would like to make clear that Sangharakshita has never been accused, charged, or convicted of any crime,” Munisha, a Triratna spokesperson who uses the Buddhist name Munisha, said.
As Triratna’s chief security officer, I’ve personally checked in with the police about his sex life, and they assured me that nothing I was informed about his sexual encounters constituted a crime.
Within the legal community, Braverman has also caused some contention. She has criticized the Human Rights Act and said that “judicial review has ballooned since the 1960s” while calling for the United Kingdom to “take back authority, not only from the EU but from the court.”
According to Simon Davis, president of the Law Society of England and Wales, “the job of the judges is to give effect to the intent of parliament,” whereas the purpose of judicial review is to uphold the authority of parliament rather than weaken it.
The Supreme Court’s decisions on Article 50 and Prorogation were, respectively, a strong and reassuring sign for parliamentarians that the law was on their side. The rule of law and the United Kingdom’s reputation for fairness and impartiality rely on a court that is free from political or corporate influence.
“The independence of our judges is crucial to ensuring that the rule of law remains the foundation of our justice system,” said Amanda Pinto QC, chair of the Bar Council. To put it simply, nobody is immune to justice.
The Bar Association has high hopes that the current administration will do its part to protect the rule of law. The Lord Chancellor and the Attorney General play critical responsibilities in upholding these values.
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