President Sideways? Not Bloody Likely.

Remember when I mentioned that Naropa University was seeking a new president for the institution and I threw my hat in the ring? Well, I received an e-mail today from the search committee. It was a nicely written form letter that side-steps any of the real issues I brought up in my letter, so I thought I’d share it with you all.

Dear Ms. Sideways,

Thank you for your interest in the search for the President of Naropa University. We were pleased to have the opportunity to consider your application. As you might imagine, this opportunity has attracted an array of strong applicants, each of whom would bring distinct strengths and accomplishments to the role. While your background is impressive, the search committee is focusing on other candidates who appear to be a closer fit for the particular requirements of the position.

Thank you for taking the time to contact us.


Alan Wichlei
Vice President and Director
Isaacson, Miller

Phillip Petree
Search Consultant
Isaacson, Miller

I wonder what exactly in my background is impressive, apart from my courage to tell them the truth about this institution and how/why it needs reform. But I digress, it was a very nicely written form letter and I decided to write them a nicely written letter as well.

Dear Sirs:

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Thank you very much for your nicely-worded form letter. I do hope that you find an appropriate candidate for the position of Naropa’s President. No, I don’t mean appropriate as in a mere continuation of the fraud and abuse that goes on at Naropa on a daily basis. No, I do not mean the suppression of science and the creation of a cult-like atmosphere. I mean a President that has the strength to rid the institution of it’s fraudulent elements and make it an institution that students, faculty, staff and alumni can truly be proud of.

In Ordo Templi Orientis, we do not praise all of Crowley’s words, opinions or utterances. Hell, I think some of the more critical people of Crowley are in the Order. However, I have to say that Naropa University still perpetuates a cult of personality around Trungpa and enables the type of fraud and abuse that Trungpa perpetuated in his Shambhala/Vajradhatu organization.

I hope you can find a President that can make Naropa a good institution. I’m not hoping for a world-class institution (well, not within my lifetime) but I hope they can make Naropa something worth keeping around. Because right now, the abuses and fraud perpetuated by the administration at Naropa is disgusting.

Love is the Law, Love under Will.

Most sincerely,

Jessica E. Sideways

If you would like to let Naropa’s presidential search committee know what you think, you should e-mail them! The e-mail address for Mr. Petree above is In addition, you can find the information for the presidential search committee on MyNaropa.


Applying for the Presidency

Apparently, Naropa University is searching for a new President… and since I need a new job, I think this would be a perfect match… if only they weren’t so mired in fraud. So, I write a letter to the search committee and throw my hat in the ring. After all, if I am going to be President of Naropa University, big changes are going to have to be made to the institution. Big changes indeed.

To Whom It May Concern:

My name is Jessica Sideways and I am requesting consideration for the position of president of Naropa University. Now, I am certain that a number of you may have heard of me and in less than positive manners. After all, I have been sued by Naropa for the crime of telling the truth about Naropa University online. The reason why Naropa University apparently does not want the truth about itself to be revealed is that Naropa University is an institution mired in fraud and scandal. It hurts a great deal of it’s faculty, staff, student and alumni – as well as the world at large.

So, why in the world would I be applying to a position at a University that I feel is mired in fraud and scandal? Because I believe that it needs to be saved so that the good people that attend Naropa University can actually get value for their educational dollar. Because I believe that Naropa University can function without the fraud and abuse that it has become so intertwined with. Because I am a skeptic, with a clear vision which is not clouded with religious admiration of Chogyam Trungpa and I can tell you the truth. Because I am the best thing for Naropa University and therefore, the least likely person to be considered for the position of it’s president.

You see, I know full well that the Board of Trustees will not have the courage to select me as president of Naropa University – because they are not interested in running a clean house with someone that will stop all of the fraud and abuse and help to make reparations to those harmed by Naropa University. I am pretty confident that the Board of Trustees will select someone that will allow the culture of abuse to go on unchecked, while offering false lofty promises. So I do this in vein, with the glimmering hope that at least one person at Naropa University isn’t interested in perpetuating the fraud and abuse this institution is known for.

So, if you are interested in cleaning house and running a quality institution that provides a quality education, I am the person you should contact. If not, then there are a number of cult-head bozos that you can probably spiff up for the job.

Most sincerely,
Jessica Sideways

Any takers on how successful I could be at getting the job of Queen of Shit Heap Mountain, I mean President of Naropa University? ;-P

UPDATE: I got an automated reply from the search committee. Woot!

Thank you for your interest in our search for the President of Naropa University. If you are an applicant, we want to assure you that we will carefully review your material. If you have nominated someone, we will be sure to share your nomination with our client.

A draft of the position profile has been attached for your review. This draft will be finalized mid-February and we will e-mail the new version to you as soon as it is completed.

A thorough search and serious consideration of all candidates takes time; we appreciate your patience. We will contact you if we need more information.

Again, thank you again for your interest in this exciting opportunity.

***This is an automatic response***

And of course, here’s the document that was attached. So, who thinks I could be in the running. Anyone? No? Okay, then.

The International Symposia for Contemplative Studies and Naropa

English: Naropa University Administration building

Image via Wikipedia

This year, the International Symposia for Contemplative Studies is going to be held in Denver, Colorado. I recently read that Naropa University is co-sponsoring this event, which is likely to be very troublesome. But look at how they are misrepresented on the website of the International Symposia for Contemplative Studies:

Naropa University is a private, nonprofit, nonsectarian liberal arts institution dedicated to advancing contemplative education. This approach to learning integrates the best of Eastern and Western educational traditions, helping students know themselves more deeply and engage constructively with others. The university comprises a four-year undergraduate college and graduate programs in the arts, education, environmental leadership, psychology and religious studies. Naropa University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. To learn more, visit http:///

What are some problems with this statement? Well, firstly – Naropa is NOT nonsectarian. Naropa is strongly affiliated with Shambhala Buddhism and was set up as a way to grant Shambhala Buddhism/Vajradhatu some undeserved legitimacy through scholarship. Secondly, Naropa University operates much like a cult, which does not jive with the statement that it helps students “engage constructively with others”. In fact, the followers of Trungpa in Boulder can be outright vicious and Naropa is a location where they seem to converge. This is especially true during events such as Shambhala Day and Community Practice Day.

So, what is the International Symposia and what are it’s goals? Well, according to it’s website:

The purpose of the International Symposia for Contemplative Studies is to bring together academics and other interested attendees for presentation, discussion, and collaborative networking in the fields of contemplative basic science, contemplative clinical science, contemplative philosophy and humanities, contemplative education, and those domains of contemplative practice that relate to and interact with these fields of research and scholarship. These distinct, though overlapping fields of contemplative study each focus on advancing our understanding of the human mind and how training the mind through the use of contemplative practices can lead to a reduction in suffering, enhanced health and cognitive/emotional functioning, greater happiness, and increased social harmony.

Now, here is the question that you probably started to ask – what the hell does Naropa have with contemplative basic science or clinical science? Furthermore, what does Naropa have to do with research (considering that Naropa University is NOT an institution that does research). Furthermore, Naropa University and Shambhala Buddhism have nothing to do with trying to reduce suffering, enhancing health/cognitive and emotional function, increasing happiness nor increasing social harmony. The concept of Shambhala’s “Crazy Wisdom” and it’s application in our world seem to show that to be the case without a doubt.

So, to the directors of this conference, I must ask this question: how in the world does partnering up with Naropa University work to achieve your goals? Considering that the people that choose to and enjoy working for Naropa University/Shambhala Buddhism seem to have sociopathic tendencies or enjoy being sociopaths themselves, I think that you could have chosen better company to keep. So, the question you have to ask yourselves is whether being in cahoots with Naropa University is worth it? Furthermore, is it worth it to promote a University that has harmed or contributed to the harm of so many people?

Naropa Is Looking for a Librarian

Naropa University, the prolific purveyor of fraud in higher education, has posted a job listing on in search of a librarian. I know that it can be hard to find academic librarian positions and that a position at Naropa may very well be tempting but I must urge caution to potential applicants to this school. Their lack of adherence to ethics and their willingness to sell a subpar education to their students should not be overlooked. They dislike freedom of speech, as I have personally experienced due to the fact that they have attempted to sue me for voicing several facts about Naropa University and their shady business dealings. They dislike skepticism and they dislike research, which is why their University is lacking research but has adherence to woo in abundance. Trust me, you would do better passing this job up – unless you don’t care about the truth.

The Prairie Dog Question

I neglected to comment on the prairie dog issue simple because, it does not seem like such an interesting story and frankly, it pales in comparison to the lifetime of suffering that Naropa alumni undergo once they graduate and figure out that their degrees are essentially worth less than the paper they are printed on and yet, they are around $40,000 (to say nothing of their parents, if they roped someone into taking out PLUS loans). Well, I was wrong – the prairie dog issue is an important one, when you consider that it is indicative of the true spirit of the administration at Naropa. Especially considering how they are handling it. The Sycamore, the online unofficial student newspaper of Naropa University (yes, the one where I am seen attending the launch party), has reported that the administration at Naropa University has said that they do not want the community’s input on the prairie dog issue. That’s right, they do not want anyone to talk about this issue, just like I am sure that Chogyam Trungpa was uncomfortable with people talking about his sexual assault of Dana Naone and W.S. Merwin. Or how they do not like how people create websites exposing their fraud and abuse. Naropa University is simply not a place where free speech or student input is desired if it goes against what the administration wants.

So, what does the administration of Naropa University plan to do? Well, considering the fact that they are no stranger to shifty dealings, they will most likely go and send their star attorney, Nathan Stone, to try to threaten them to take down their website and send the content and domain names to Naropa University. Then, they will probably gas the prairie dogs at night, when the Nalanda campus is not scheduled to have any classes or student group meetings – shutting down the campus in advance for “meetings”. After all, why would the administration of Naropa University choose to act in a honourable way? Humane traps cost a lot more money than simple extermination.

Goss-Grove Creates Mural, Daily Camera Makes a Connection to Include Naropa University

According to an article on the Daily Camera’s website, the Goss-Grove neighbourhood in Boulder is creating a mural on the street to mark itself as the geographic centre of Boulder. How they surveyed that, I have no idea, given the fact that their neighbourhood is further west than centre but I digress. The thing that irritated me the most about the project, and the really insidious thing about it, is that they say that the crystals and lotus flower that they have painted into the mural resemble Naropa University. Yes, that’s right, the beacon of fraud and abuse that emanates just south of their neighbourhood from it’s Arapahoe campus. If you want my opinion, and I assume you do which is why you are on this particular website, I honestly feel that Naropa University should not be something that is honoured as a part of Goss-Grove. Especially since the Goss-Grove community is so close to the centre of fraud and also contains Snow Lion, Naropa University’s Student Housing Community. It is shameful how the Daily Camera makes such a connection to include Naropa University in the mural when the fact of the matter is that Naropa University drains the life out of this community.

Naropa University inspires the worst in politicians and “civic leaders”, which comes at no real surprise when you look at their history. When they started scouting for a bigger site outside of Boulder because they wanted to combine all three of their campuses, for what reason, I have no idea. After all, Naropa does not want to clean up it’s act and become a honest University that offers degrees to students at a fair price for their value. No, I am certain that what they probably want to do with the new campus is to avoid all of the expensive property taxes that come with owning four different properties at various locations throughout Boulder, Colorado while continuing to raise tuition rates sky high. However, when this plan was announced, Boulder’s City Council bent over backwards to try to keep this hot bed of fraud from leaving their city. I wonder if they would do the same for all of the cocaine dealers and ponzi scheme companies? I wonder what the hell the deal is with these Boulder politicians embracing Naropa University’s fraud and abuse?

If the Goss Grove neighbourhood really did intend to honour Naropa University, then you are honouring the fraud that keeps many of Naropa’s “students” unemployed and mired into deep debt, long after graduation. If the Goss Grove neighbourhood did not intend to honour Naropa University, they should call for the Daily Camera to print a retraction, saying that Goss Grove does not support the fraud and abuse committed by Naropa University on a day to day basis. But the thing about it is, I really, honestly think that it is the latter given how much of the Trungpa koolaid has been drank in that area…