‘Bring European bison back to Dutch nature reserve’


This 13 June 2015 video is about bringing back European Bison to the Romanian Carpathians.

Regional TV Omroep Brabant in the Netherlands reports today that the management of nature reserve De Maashorst between Oss and Uden wants to introduce European bison.

Local authorities will still have to give permission for this. The (conservative) VVD political party has objections.

Wildcat back in Dutch province after centuries


This is a video about a parrot crossbill at Stabrechtse heide nature reserve in the Netherlands.

That bird now will have to look out, not only for feral cats

Dutch regional TV Omroep Brabant reports today that a wildcat was recorded by a camera trap at Stabrechtse heide.

This, warden Janneke de Groot says, may be the first time since the Middle Ages that a wildcat has been seen in Noord-Brabant province.

Not so long ago, also after a long absence, wildcats came back to another province, Limburg.

And now the wildcats have apparently gone further west. Maybe using the new wildlife corridors, Ms de Groot says.

Buddhist temple apologizes for sexual abuse


This video from the USA says about itself:

Zen Buddhist Leader Groped Female Followers

12 February 2013

“Since arriving in Los Angeles from Japan in 1962, the Buddhist teacher Joshu Sasaki, who is 105 years old, has taught thousands of Americans at his two Zen centers in the area and one in New Mexico. He has influenced thousands more enlightenment seekers through a chain of some 30 affiliated Zen centers from the Puget Sound to Princeton to Berlin. And he is known as a Buddhist teacher of Leonard Cohen, the poet and songwriter.”*

A 105 Zen Buddhist leader is under fire for groping many female followers over the years under the guise of helping them religiously and otherwise manipulating people. Did he abuse his power? Is this a reason to not trust religious leaders? Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian discuss.

*Read more from the New York Times: here.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Apology by temple in Waalwijk for abuse by monk

Today, 12:54

The Buddharama Temple in Waalwijk has apologized to victims of its former head monk Mettavihari in a statement.

The Thai Buddhist monk from 1974 to at least 1992 abused between twenty and thirty students, in Waalwijk and elsewhere. Also a victim who used to live near the temple has reported that at the age of 12 was he was abused by the monk.

President Toine van Beek of the current temple administration says he was shocked by the news which the NOS published last week. “My first feelings while processing the news was anger and compassion,” writes Van Beek. “Anger at Mettavihari and sympathy with the victims. The board of Buddharama realizes that now this still has an impact, day after day.”

Confidant

Van Beek had last week his first contact with a victim to hear how the temple administration can help best. Victims can now go to counselor Frank Uyttebroeck, who also has assisted other victims of abuse in Buddhist circles and has no connection with the temple.

Uyttebroeck will inter alia organize a meeting of victims. That meeting will not be in the temple itself, as NOS News reported earlier, but on neutral ground.

Van Beek has also contacted other temples and Buddhist centers to talk on measures to prevent sexual abuse by monks and teachers.

Sexually abused by a monk, a survivor speaks out


This video from the USA says about itself:

Zen Buddhism Sex Abuse Scandal

16 November 2013

Even Zen masters can be deviants. Inside the new book that unearths a disturbing pattern of affairs at the top of one of the largest Buddhist communities in the U.S…

Read more here.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

‘The monk patted me on my head, I was not used to that’

Today, 16:30

by Bas de Vries, NOS Net editor

He has never told the story to anyone. Even his wife does not know he has been abused by a Thai Buddhist monk in the second half of the 1970s when he was a 12-year-old in Waalwijk. “Or maybe I was even younger, I was in any case still in elementary school.” We will call him Huub, but that’s not his real name.

Huub did not like it at home. Therefore, he wandered about the streets. He became fascinated by the corner house a few hundred meters away. A temple where a large golden Buddha statue stood in the living room. Sometimes there were festivities and then the whole Talmastraat street was full of people in orange robes. Not exactly a commonplace spectacle for a little boy in Waalwijk of those years.

Bare feet

One day, one of those Thai men spoke to him. The monk was still relatively young. “At least not as old as those dirty old men you saw in the abuse cases in the Catholic Church.” The monk asked Huub if he wanted to come inside. He walked barefoot in slippers. Huub only now knows from the publicity of the past few days he was Mettavihari, the monk who – as far as is known now – in twenty years abused certainly dozens of young men and minors.

Huub was timid, but also very curious. So he went into that “strange-smelling” house. Huub got a cup of lemonade. To truly have a conversation with the five or six men there was not possible; he spoke no English. But that friendly smiling monk patted him on the head a few times. “And that did something with me. I experienced it as a form of love. I was not used to that at home. He seduced me completely.”

Fifteen minutes later he was outside again. With some brochures about Buddhism. Without pictures, just text. In this incomprehensible English.

A few times he went back. And still he got that lemonade again. Huub remembers that he thought: this house is built exactly in the same way as ours. A temple in a private house. The third or fourth time he had to go upstairs to the bedroom of the monk.

He starts crying uncontrollably when he tells what happened next. “I had to masturbate him. The expression is ‘as if transfixed to the ground’, but I was transfixed to the ground. Then I ran back down the stairs as fast as I could. Downstairs there were still the same five men.”

“I never went back. That temple a few years later moved to another street. I have very bad memories of that house. I live somewhere else now, but in my neighborhood there is a Buddhist center on a main street. If at all possible, I try not to drive along there.”

Shameful

He never told police about this. Once he went to the police in Waalwijk because of ill-treatment by his stepfather. But the abuse by the monk, he did tell them then. It was too shameful. “I just did not dare.”

“I have always kept this nasty experience to myself, but when those Catholic church affairs began to become known, then it all came back. I saw the news on the NOS [about other Buddhist clerical abuse cases] and I thought: I have been there as well!

Rare mosses discovery in Dutch Brabant


This video says about itself:

This is part two of my guide to mosses and other bryophytes. Part two provides a general introduction to mosses and how to identify them.

Translated from the Dutch BLWG bryologists:

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

In West Brabant there is a special forest reserve, the estate Mattemburgh. The forest on the estate was planted in 1880. For many decades, there has been no management in the forest, so many fallen trees are found there. On the rotting wood moss experts of KNNV Roosendaal found last year three nationally rare mosses: rustwort, Silesian feather-moss and Riccardia latifrons. Riccardia latifrons is very rare and was so far only known from forests in the Veluwe region.

Walking through the forest, one sees a wilderness of mushrooms, ferns and blueberries. But particularly striking are the many fallen and dead trees, especially pines. Recently, they attracted many mosses.

Cuckoo couple back from Africa, video


This 21 April 2015 video is about a cuckoo couple, just returned from Africa to Ecotourist farm De Biezen in Aarle-Rixtel village in Noord-Brabant province in the Netherlands.

The video shows first the female cuckoo, then the male. It also features a blackbird and a robin.

Good spadefoot toad news


This video is about a young common spadefoot toad; Poland, spring 2014.

Dutch Vroege Vogels radio reports about European common spadefoot toads.

This species was in danger of becoming extinct in the Netherlands. To prevent that, there was captive breeding in Nijmegen city. In 2012, hundreds of youngsters, bred in Nijmegen, were freed around Nuland village in Noord-Brabant province.

Spadefoot toads are doing well in the garden of Ignas van Bebber in Nuland. This week, he counted seventeen calling males and eleven spawn strings.