Report to the Boards of Trustees of Rigpa Fellowship UK, and

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Re: Report to the Boards of Trustees of Rigpa Fellowship UK,

Postby admin » Wed Mar 18, 2020 11:06 pm

Senior Rigpa Students Ask for Sogyal Rinpoche to Be Reinstalled: Sources
by Matthew Remski
December 10, 2018

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Credible sources say a petition letter (copied below) is being circulated amongst the inner circles of the Rigpa International organization, and is gathering signatures of support. It has been translated into English, most likely from Dutch.

The petition letter asks for the Rigpa “Vision Board” to reinstall Sogyal Lakar (aka Sogyal Rinpoche) as the public spiritual guide for the organization.

The petition letter lists seventeen original signatories. Emails to six of these signatories requesting comment have gone unanswered. The names have been redacted in the copy below, pending a response.

A source says that most of the signatories make up part of a core practice group at Rigpa’s Lerab Ling temple, located in southern France.

Rigpa’s Vision Board took over organizational leadership in August of 2017, after Lakar was forced to retire following accusations of physical, sexual, emotional and financial abuses brought against him by eight former devotees in an open letter published a month earlier.

The petition letter asks for Lakar to be effectively reinstalled as spiritual figurehead of Rigpa. It uses the language of inclusivity to argue that Rigpa students who “don’t have a problem” with the abuse allegations against Lakar are now unfairly marginalized because of the controversy.

The petition letter rebuffs the recommendations made by a recent independent investigation into the allegations, commissioned by Rigpa. The investigation, conducted by the London law firm Lewis Silkin, confirmed that Sogyal Lakar committed “serious physical, sexual, and emotional abuse” and that for decades, senior Rigpa management enabled Lakar’s behaviors and “failed to address them, leaving others at risk.”

The first recommendation of the 50-page report was that “Sogyal Lakar should not take part in any future event organised by Rigpa or otherwise have contact with its students” and that Rigpa should “disassociate itself from Sogyal Lakar as fully as possible. Following the independent investigation, Rigpa issued a statement that said, “Rigpa commits to act upon the report’s recommendations.”

The petition letter ignores the recommendations, saying, “…we continue to have full confidence in Sogyal Rinpoche. We will always take him to be our root teacher…”

It makes no concrete suggestions as to what Lakar’s rehabilitation within the organization would look like. Lakar, 71, has recently received treatment for colon cancer.

The Dalai Lama has repeatedly spoken out in the last 18 months about Lakar’s abusive behavior and Rigpa’s exploitation of students.

The Vision Board, to whom the petition letter is addressed, is staffed by five non-Tibetan devotees, and advised by three Tibetan lamas.

One of the lamas is Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, who mocked the eight original complainants in October 2017 with a satirical “Sex Contract” that would purportedly secure consent from devotees for various sex acts with their teachers.


Sex Contract
by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
October, 2017

I thought this might come in handy for Rinpoches like myself who are not omniscient, not omnipotent, and not well trained; who don't give enough preparatory training on the prerequisites to their students; and who get carried away by their own self-agendas and, from time to time, by their hormones. MAKE LOVE NOT HEADLINES! SCREW WITHOUT GETTING SCREWED! Bender and Boner Law has over 70 combined years' experience in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. We are sensitive to the special needs of Gurus and Rinpoches who desire to save all sentient beings yet also wish to have fulfilling sex lives. Let one of our ironclad consent forms protect you from fears of future litigation. Our in-house psychologists are on call 24/7 to assess your potential partners for any unsuitable moral quirks and/or tendencies to play victim. If you've already made a few mistakes, (and who hasn't?), don't worry! We can still save your reputation, your assets, and your ass. Free initial consultation. Call us before it's too late! See our website at http://www.theyconsented.com

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DEED OF AGREEMENT

PARTIES


_____

and

Bender & Boner Lawyers
Address:
P:
F:
E:
http://www.benderandboner.com

Operative Provision

It is agreed that P1 and P2 (hereinafter "the Parties") are desirous to have consensual sex in the terms that follow:

1. The time period of consent shall begin on execution of this agreement and continue until _____ or until such time as the agreement is terminated in accordance with the provisions below.

2. Either party may terminate this agreement at any time expressly by verbally informing the other party of his/her desire to do so on the video recording articulated in this agreement, or by giving prior adequate written Notice as set out below.

3. Notices -- A communication required by this deed, by a party to another, must be in writing and may be given to them by being:

(a) Delivered personally; or

(b) Posted to their address specified in this agreement, or as later notified by them, in which case it will be treated as having been received on the second business day after posting; or

(c) Faxed to the facsimile number of the party with acknowledgment of receipt received electronically by the sender, when it will be treated as received on the day of sending; or

(d) Sent by email to their email address, when it will be treated as received on that day.

The Agreement

4. I, _____, P1 hereby declare under penalty of perjury that I am over 18 years old, and have furnished P2 with official identification substantiating this declaration. (Photocopy of official identification attached as Appendix 1)

(If P1 is under 18, a copy of her/his official identification along with copies of statutes showing age of consent both in place in which sexual acts take place and in place where P1 resides, should be attached as Appendix 1A)

5. I, _____, P2 hereby declare under penalty of perjury that I am over 18 years old and have furnished P1 with official identification substantiating this declaration. (Photocopy of official identification attached as Appendix 2)

(If P2 is under 18, a copy of her/his official identification along with copies of statutes showing age of consent both in place in which sexual acts take place and in place where P2 resides, should be attached as Appendix 2A)

6. The Parties further declare that this agreement is made of their own free will and that neither, nor anyone near or dear to either, has been threatened with harm or embarrassment. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

7. The Parties further declare that they are at this time not under the influence of alcohol, drugs or medication, and they have voluntarily submitted to a blood test to substantiate this declaration. (photocopy of blood test attached as Appendices 3 and 4 respectively). _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

8. The Parties further declare that they are not being influenced or coerced into a sexual relationship with the other party by any power imbalance or any other differential between the Parties due to their position, and that their relationship as defined in this agreement, is a purely sexual one which has no bearing or effect on other relationships that may also be engaged in, be that student/teacher, guru/disciple or any other relationship. _____P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

9. The Parties are aware that any sexual activities that they engage in are purely physical in nature and are unrelated and totally separate from any spiritual, Buddhist, Vajrayana, Tantric or other such practices in which either party may also separately engage in. _____ PI (initial) _____ (P2) (initial)

10. The Parties are entering into this agreement freely and have been made aware that it has no bearing or relationship to any so called samaya that either may otherwise have with the other. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

11. The Parties are informed that any agreement made by to enter or not to into a sexual relationship with the other would have no effect, either positive or negative, to any pre-existing or subsequent samaya that might or might not exist between the two of them. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

12. It is completely understood and agreed by the Parties that neither party has made any promises, guarantees, suggestions, or insinuations that the other party will benefit spiritually, psychologically, karmically or materially in any way from this agreement to have consensual sex. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

13. The Parties also fully understand that by engaging in sex with each other, s/he does not thereby become any kind of spiritual consort, khandro, daka, dakini, spokesperson, better person, or teacher, nor will such sexual acts result in a change in the Party's position in any hierarchy or mandala that may or may not exist. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

14. Each party warrants that s/he does not suffer from any sexual, serious, infectious or life-threatening illness or disease including, but not limited to, HIV, Herpes and Hepatitis, and the like, and agrees to be examined by a physician of the other Party's choice (or a physician agreed by the Parties) and is willing to submit to any required blood and medical tests whenever requested. (Results of medical and blood tests both parties attached as Appendix 5). If, during the term of this agreement, either party should be diagnosed with or become aware of any such illness, he/she undertakes to inform the other immediately thereafter and in any event, prior to any subsequent form of physical contact between the Parties. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

15. Both Parties agree that this contract does not create an exclusive relationship between the Parties, and that either or both may pursue other relationships while this agreement is in effect. However, each party agrees to avoid any type of unprotected sex with persons other than their respective spouses during the term of this agreement. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

16. Contraception: If it is possible for either party to become pregnant, the Parties agree to use an agreed form of contraception on an ongoing basis. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

17. If either party does become pregnant to the other party, the pregnant party agrees to terminate the said pregnancy unless otherwise agreed by the other party. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

18. Both Parties agree that this is a private agreement not to be disclosed to third parties except in case of accusation of sexual misconduct by the agreeing party. If he/she shows or makes public this agreement without accusation of sexual misconduct, it is agreed that he/she will be liable for damages for invasion of privacy. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

Activities

19. The parties agree to engage in the following activities as initialed by them for the full term of this agreement:

a. Full body touching (external only) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

b. Kissing with/without the insertion of tongue into mouth _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

c. Digital penetration (receiving) _____ (specify orifice(s) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

d. Digital penetration (giving) _____ {specify orifice(s) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

e. Vajra worship (receiving as vajra master) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

f. Vajra worship (giving as daka/dakini) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

g. Yoni worship (receiving as yoni goddess) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

h. Yoni worship (giving as yoni devotee) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

i. Oral sex (receiving) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

j. Oral sex (giving) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

k. Vaginal sex (receiving) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

l. Vaginal sex (giving) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

m. Anal sex (receiving) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

n. Anal sex (giving) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

o. Cream pie (receiving) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

p. Cream pie (receiving) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

q. Vaginal sex toys (receiving) _____ (specify toys) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

r. Vaginal sex toys (giving) _____ (specify toys) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

s. Anal sex toys (receiving) _____ (specify toys) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

t. Anal sex toys (giving) _____ (specify toys) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

u. Restraint, including CIA approved stress positions, using the following devices _____ (specify devices) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

v. Use of following devices in or on the body _____ (specify) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

w. BDSM (sub) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

x. BDSM (dom) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

y. Water sports (being golden showered) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

z. Water sports (golden showering) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

aa. Defecation (receiving) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

bb. Defecation (giving) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

cc. Participation in group sex with _____ males _____ females _____ other. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

dd. Participation in orgy or orgies with numerous males, females, and others. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

ee. Animal love (receiving) If the jurisdiction permits specify acceptable animal(s) _____ _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

ff. Animal love (giving) If the jurisdiction permits specify acceptable animal(s) _____ _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

gg. Young love (giving) subject to how young the jurisdiction permits _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

hh. Young love (receiving) subject to how young the jurisdiction permits _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

ii. necrophilia _____ (specify gender of corpse(s) and acceptable activities. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

jj. use of pornography _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial) _____ (specify) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

kk. Other activities _____ (specify) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

NB: if further details are required to specify certain activities, the Parties are to continue on a separate sheet of paper adequately marked and annex to this agreement).

20. Whereas both Parties are aware that attraction may escalate during the agreed upon sexual activities, and that the parties may desire to engage in activities heretofore not consented to, the Parties agree as follows:

a) There shall be no sexual activity of any kind other than that specified and consented to in this agreement without the establishment of a new, separate agreement. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

b) Sexual activity of a kind other than that specified and consented to in this agreement shall be consented to by mutual verbal consent during the activities engaged in under the consent given in the present agreement. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

20. During any of the above activities either party may say "Code Yellow" and the other party may continue with the activity, but must proceed slowly, with caution. If either party says, "Code Red" both parties shall immediately cease any and all activities. The Parties may then resume activities other than the "Code Red" activity, if both Parties are in agreement, or either party may call a halt to all activities for any specified time period. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

21. This agreement may be terminated at any time by either/or both Parties either verbally on the recording device (see 22 and 23 below) or in writing (See Operative Provisions 1 and 2 above). The terms of this agreement may be changed at any time only by the agreement of both parties either verbally on the recording device (see 22 and 22 below) or in writing (See Operative Provisions 1 and 2 above).

22. The Parties agree that the law firm of Bender and Boner (hereinafter "The Firm"), or its agent, will prior to the beginning of any activities, set up an unobtrusive video or other recording device to record the reading and signing of this contract, and any and all subsequent foreplay and/or sexual acts occurring during the term of this agreement solely for the purpose of demonstrating that any and all acts were freely consented to and agreed upon by both Parties and did not fall outside of or go beyond the boundaries set forth in this agreement, and the Parties agree that only The Firm will have possession of such recording and that neither will any member or agent of The Firm ever view or listen to such recording nor will it ever be shown to third parties except as specified below in Section 23. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

23. The Firm, by the signature of its officer or agent below, agrees that any recordings made in regard to this contract will be kept in a secure locked safe in The Firm's offices or safe deposit box in its bank and that no member of The Firm, or its agents, will ever view it nor will it ever be revealed to any third parties, in any manner, unless a party makes an allegation of sexual misconduct, goes to the police or the courts, to the press or any media, including social media, or any third parties with accusations or allegations of sexual misconduct, coercion, or maqkes claims of having been harmed, misled, or mistreated in any way by the other party.

___________________ (signature of principal or agent of The Firm)

24. I have had the opportunity to fully review this agreement and to have this agreement reviewed by an attorney of my own choosing. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

25. Prior to signing this agreement, a member of The Firm or its agent has read this agreement to me aloud, answered any question that I might have, and I fully understand it. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

This agreement is made this _____ day of the month of _____ in the year 20_____ between _____ (hereinafter "P1" and ______ (hereinafter "P2")

RECITALS

OPERATIVE PART

Interpretation


This deed of agreement to engage in consensual sex is governed by the laws of the jurisdiction it is executed in or in which the parties reside, and the parties, submit to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of that jurisdiction.

In the interpretation of this deed:

(a) Words denoting the singular include the plural and vice versa; words denoting individuals or persons include particular body parts and appendages, and vice versa; references to documents or agreements also mean those documents or agreement as changed, novated or replace, and words denoting one gender include all genders including transgender; and

(b) Grammatical forms of defined words or phrases have corresponding meanings.

Execution Page

Executed as a deed on this _____ day of the month of _____ in the year 20_____.

This agreement is to be executed by both parties before a member of The Firm or its agent and two competent witness over 18 years of age, one witness to be chosen by each party. Immediately prior to the initiation of any the activities elucidated above, the parties shall have listened to the reading aloud of this agreement in its entirety by a member of The Firm, or it agent, and if in agreement, shall initial and sign where appropriate.

___________________
Signature Party 1 (P1)

___________________
Printed or typed name Part 1 (P1)

___________________
Signature Party 2 (P2)

___________________
Printed or typed name Party 2 (P2)

___________________
Signature Witness 1

___________________
Printed or typed name Witness 1

___________________
Signature Witness 2

___________________
Printed or typed name Witness 2


More recently, he trolled Rohingya refugees with a rambling letter of praise for Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Another Vision Board lama is Khenchen Namdrol Rinpoche, who gave a speech at Lerab Ling in September condemning the eight letter writers, suggesting they are possessed by demonic spirits. The speech was live-translated for a cheering audience by Shambhala Publications author Sangye Khandro (Nancy Gay Gustafson).

A source says that most of the signatories are part of the “Lerab Ling Practicing Sangha.” The Practicing Sangha was formed at Lerab Ling after its founding in 1992 and are distinguished by their high degree of loyalty and devotion to Lakar.

Lerab Ling functions as the organization’s administrative and spiritual headquarters. It was home to Sogyal Lakar before he fled French authorities after accusations against him were first made public. In May 2018 French police raided Lerab Ling as part of an ongoing investigation in Lakar’s abuse. Rigpa and Lerab Ling temple were both suspended by the French Buddhist Union following the open letter by the eight original complainants.

Lerab Ling continues to host programmes for both the public and dedicated Rigpa students. The next public event, “Living in Harmony with what Really Matters”, is scheduled for over the holidays.

In the summers, the centre also hosts Buddhist camps for children and teens.

A letter to the Vision Board about our concerns regarding the current direction.

Firstly. Thank you for all you do to preserve the Dharma and Sangha. We are so happy to be part of the effort you have made so far to take care of those in the Rigpa Sangha who have been hurt. Sangha unity is foremost in our minds as advised – for us it means a Sangha where each and every member is allowed to hold views and openly practice as we believe in.

It has been more than a year of healing and the direction we now seem to be heading, is of concern to us. The profile of retreats and courses that are being promoted and views being held are of concern to us.

We now feel that slowly, the needs of those in the Sangha who don’t have a problem is perhaps being over-looked or just not highlighted. We worry that by continuing to remain quiet in order to give space to our dharma siblings who were hurt, might indeed be mis-construed to mean we hold the same views.

So this letter is to state that we continue to have full confidence in Sogyal Rinpoche. We will always take him to be our root teacher and we bring this body of students to your kind attention. We request to be provided forums where we are able to openly express our devotion and practice the lineage of which Sogyal Rinpoche is an integral part. The peaceful co-existence of these events together with the ones already taking place will make for real sangha inclusivity.

Secondly.

The question of spiritual integrity is of concern to us. No matter how noble a reason, we believe there are certain lines which cannot be crossed. Commitments and rules for students following the path of Dzogchen is one of them. What we hear to be occurring at Dzogchen retreats is of great concern to us.

In the same vein, we have full confidence that you will hold any rules and commitments that pertain all level of the spiritual path – Vinaya, Mahayana, Vajrayana – in their entirety and not make them flexible to accommodate varying views and conveniences. We will be grateful if you continue to uphold spiritual integrity above and beyond the success of an organization.

Thirdly and most importantly.

The upholding of the spiritual lineage carried through by Sogyal Rinpoche. For us, we believe what differentiates Dharma centres is their spiritual lineage. At Rigpa we had the greatest fortune to be blessed with the lineage of the unsurpassed Dzogpa-chenpo. This is our crown jewel, our greatest blessing, our glory - which sets us apart from any other centre. Most importantly it our gift to give the world, for all sentient beings and the future of Dharma. This most precious gift – the greatest of compassions – we can only give if we have it ourselves.

We believe that this is a living lineage of blessing, transmitted person to person and it is embodied in the person of Sogyal Rinpoche as an irreplaceable link in this chain. And it is simply not possible to uphold this lineage without him being squarely at the centre of it. Hence it is unclear to us how we can preserve this our most precious possession in the current direction of barely being able to say his name.

Thank you again for all you do. We hope that together we will be able to exit this period of difficulty – stronger and wiser – and continue to keep Rigpa as the gift it is to the world.

[names of 17 signatories]
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