Firstly I didn't say it was a sect, secondly I didn't say they possessed a doctrine that there was no Buddha, I said that I have seen Mahayanists who have attempted to discredit the idea of a historical Buddha by taking up the position of agnosticism, for the purposes of an argument. I then qualified this by speculating upon what their personal view was more likely to be. Please do not misinterpret what I am saying.
The posts I am referring to are buried somewhere in this forum, perhaps from around January this year, and I will suss them out in my own time. My post was highly inflammatory and designed to be so, but I find it interesting that again we're going down a tangent instead of addressing the real issue - Authenticity.
Edit: This is the thread I was speaking of: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=3064&hilit=historical+buddha&start=140
You'll find a post of mine in a similar vein (if not more friendly and humble than I am these days) about halfway down, and the responses that follow, not just from the Ven. Huifeng but also from others have helped shape my opinion on this. To clarify it seems I have wrongly attributed (in my own mind) at least one clear cut statement to bhante, which is otherwise present on the following page (page 9) by another practitioner but I still feel the general drift of the response conforms to what I thought it had.
As I can feel a sh*tstorm brewing (and boy do I deserve some flack for this) I have to say that this particular point is tangential to what the point I am trying to make, it is an example of sidestepping the issue - Authenticity.
The most important thing for me is that there was a being who knew and saw the way the mind really works, he knew and saw the way the world and existence operate, he had knowledge and understanding beyond any other being and he offered a teaching that would lead to an end to suffering, this is evidenced to me in the Nikayas of the Pali Canon. A lot of time has passed since he ceased to be and my quest is to find out what he really taught. This is because I do not believe that everything out there is what the Buddha himself had said and if he has not said it nor endorsed it, being the supreme teacher, is it really worth practicing? It is clear to me that if it didn't come from a Buddha, or an Ariya, then it must be taken with a grain of salt and this is the line to which I slice my Dhamma-pie. I know what I have said will offend some, and for that I apologize to you, I have not exercised right speech, but I have said it nevertheless and I will be the one to experience it's results.