Posts Tagged With: vandalism

Amsterdam’s Ungracious, Self-Serving Mayor

Mayor Ann Thane made an official statement today that the generous donation of video cameras in 2012 by the Buddhist World Peace and Health Organization was “basically worthless”. What an ungrateful and unprofessional statement to make. This was a professional video surveillance system that should have been installed two years ago. The twenty camera wireless video surveillance system was donated by WPHO member Sky Deng, whose company LYD Technology USA Inc. produces the systems. Dr. Govind Rao even donated $6,000 to pay for the camera system installation.  Smaller scale video systems produced by Sky Deng’s company now cover the Amsterdam Goddess of Mercy Temple and rectory, Amsterdam Five Buddha Temple and rectory, private homes owned by the WPHO in Amsterdam as well as this blogger’s residence. These camera systems all run very well. Video clips from this blogger’s surveillance system helped the APD identify vandals that damaged property on Grove Street.

The City is now scrambling to save face after an incident last week where vandals caused thousands of dollars worth of damage to a downtown hotel that was closed pending renovation.

The statement posted by Mayor Ann Thane on Facebook:

In response to the senseless destruction at the downtown hotel, please know that our police department will hunt down these criminals and prosecute them to the full extent of the law. Amsterdam Police Department Chief of Police Gregory Culick informs me that the camera guy was in his office yesterday to discuss finishing installation of the cameras they had ordered (the cameras donated to us by the World Peace and Health Organization two years ago were basically worthless.) New beat patrols had been instituted about a month ago. If you are willing and able to help be the eyes and ears of the APD, please call 842-1100 for more information.

This link to my 2012 blog article describes the camera donation: Buddhists Donate Security Cameras to the City of Amsterdam

This is a link to former Gazette reporter Ed Munger’s article describing the donation: Buddhists Give Amsterdam 20 Video Cameras

Amsterdam Mayor Ann Thane owes the WPHO a formal apology for that despicable statement and should accept blame for not following through with the camera installation. The Mayor keeps reminding us that she alone is responsible for the day to day operation of the city.

  Mayor Ann Thane, you failed the citizens of Amsterdam!


Categories: Amsterdam, Media, Politics, Technology, WPHO | Tags: , , , , ,


I woke today to find this thoughtless act of vandalism perpetrated on the Goddess of Mercy Temple across from my house.

The World Peace and Health Organization made its presence known in Amsterdam, New York in 2010 when the Buddhist Order bought a number of abandoned properties including two former Catholic Churches.

The former St Michael’s Church was painstakingly restored by the order after the Catholic Diocese hired a private firm to strip the church of anything of value including stained glass windows, altars and pews doing much damage to the interior.

Goddess of Mercy Temple

The newly restored building was named The Goddess of Mercy Temple and the WPHO did a wonderful job building new altars and importing valuable statues from China that symbolize their faith.  They celebrated the newly restored temple in June 2010..

Goddess of Mercy Temple Interior

Goddess of Mercy Statuary

There has been much controversy surrounding the “occupation” of Amsterdam by the WPHO, some of it can be attributed to Xenophobia while the rest may be an issue of faith.  Although they live in a restored Jesuit dormitory in Auriesville, they maintain a presence in Amsterdam by holding classes in the former Lithuanian Catholic Church on East Main Street (Five Buddha Temple) and services in The Goddess of Mercy Temple on Grove Street.

WHPHO Headquarters in Auriesville, NY

Five BuddhaTemple

Several documented instances of vandalism to the properties owned by the WPHO over the past year and a half with two break-ins occurring this summer to the rectory building adjacent to the Goddess of Mercy Temple, have strained relations with the City of Amsterdam  The WPHO take these break-in personally, as an affront to their presence in the City which in turn (they claim) caused financial backers to withdraw from their ambitious project to transform Amsterdam into a city of peace and health.  This plan was revealed through several press conferences held in 2010.

WPHO Press Conference

The World Peace and Health Organizations continues its mission of wellness through a health dharma (Guang Huan Mi Zong) taught by their leader Holy Master Ziguang Shang Shi

Holy Master Ziguang Shang Shi

The WPHO owns 48 City properties and several other properties in surrounding communities. They continue to move forward with their mission, often at the cost of property maintenance and oversight.  This winter the majority of the group will be traveling back to China where they continue their mission of recruitment and finance, leaving only a skeleton crew to maintain the properties.

Categories: Amsterdam, Law, WPHO | Tags: , , , , ,

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