The Buddha's person has become as misrepresented as his teaching. The Buddha was a typical Indian Holy Man in appearance and did not have gold-coloured skin, a curly crewcut, a big bump on his head, long slit ear-lobes, a smooth face like a eunuch or a head like a football.
The Buddha's teaching was clear and simple and easy to understand and produced a lot of Enlightenment during his lifetime. Inevitably, with his death the clarity of his teaching has become progressively obscured and today we need to return to the original purity of his message.
The Buddha's First Noble Truth - that all life is suffering - has been generally agreed to have been a mistake. Scryers conclude that the Buddha was a depressive and we all have to start from what we know. Abbots usually just quietly ignore the First Noble Truth and get on with the training, which is the main thing.
The essence of the Dharma is this: you and all you see around you are ONE SINGLE THING. What you see about you is individual, but not independent - all things are part of a unity. The technical term for this belief is "pantheism". The Mahayana Buddhists would describe that single thing as the Universal or Cosmic Mind. That teaching would have been completely accepted by the Buddha's contemporaries as an assumed fact.
The Buddha's practical instruction was that you should attune yourself to the Universal Mind. The word "meditation", which derives from the Latin word meaning to think, is incorrect - the correct word is "attunement". What you should be attempting to do is to stop the usual run of thoughts and to concentrate on a crackling whistling noise you hear in your head. There are a number of head-noises and you should be careful to concentrate on the correct one. It has been described as "like the sound of burning grass". Everyone is tuned-in to a minimal extent to the Universal Mind, but by concentrating on that signal and trying to increase it - just as you'd tune a radio to a faint station - you tune in more accurately and the volume of the signal increases. In short - tune in and turn up the volume.
In Rinzai Zen monasteries you would be doing 6 to 8 hours of this every day under the supervision of a Roshi, or training monk. "Enlightenment" takes between 2 and 3 months in a Rinzai Zen monastery and consists of bringing that crackling whistle noise up and up in volume until a sensation of bubbles coming out of the top of the head presages a sensation of devastating ecstasy as full tuning-in to the Universal Mind is achieved.
The achievement of Enlightenment is just the beginning of spiritual growth.
One of the early fruits of Enlightenment is the ability to develop psychic abilities and the specific ability of scrying - or clairvoyance - knowledge of the future - is the cause of the main problem.
Immoral esoteric - or secret - scryers have used this ability to enrich themselves and have denied the truth about Enlightenment - attuning yourself to the Universal Mind - to everyone else to keep the competition out. Several attempts were made to kill the Buddha during his lifetime for just this reason. Most of the Earth's religions have either been gutted of the truth or have had additions made until the original truth has been all but lost in the clutter.
Politicians have also played a major part in the corruption of religions in order to facilitate their antisocial (ie evil) control and influence over their fellow humans.
It is the duty off all loyal servants of the Universal Mind to oppose oppression, corruption, dishonesty of all kinds and any alien intervention from beyond our Universe which opposes the will of the Universal Mind.
That includes attempts by alien-led secret police organisations to oppose the gaining of enlightenment by intimidation of the subconscious mind by various covert means.
Totally reject all attempts to intimidate or to delay full attunement to the Universal Mind.