Randy Sogyal Rinpoche, Best-Selling Lecher

The impulse to believe the absurd when presented with the unknowable is called religion. Whether this is wise or unwise is the domain of doctrine. Once you understand someone's doctrine, you understand their rationale for believing the absurd. At that point, it may no longer seem absurd. You can get to both sides of this conondrum from here.

Re: Randy Sogyal Rinpoche, Best-Selling Lecher

Postby admin » Sat Jun 15, 2019 7:33 pm

Part 2 of 2

The lawsuit

Around the same time, one of Sogyal’s victims who became known as Janice Doe, consulted a San Francisco lawyer and on 2 November 1994 a suit was filed in The Superior Court of California seeking reparations from Sogyal Rinpoche aka Sogyal Lakar and The Spiritual Care for Living and Dying Network for assault and battery, infliction of emotional distress and breach of fiduciary duty. The suit also charged that Sogyal had seduced many other female students for his own sexual gratification by preying on their vulnerability. Three days later the story broke in several west coast newspapers, following a report by an agency journalist, Don Lattin, which included comment by Victoria Barlow: “I went to an apartment to see a highly esteemed lama to discuss religion”, she said, “he opened the door without a shirt on and with a can of beer in his hand.” Once they were on the sofa, Barlow continued, “Sogyal lunged at me with sloppy kisses and groping. I thought I should take it as a compliment so I surrendered to him – but it had a horrible effect on me and caused a lot of depression.” News of the lawsuit spread like wildfire across the Tibetan Buddhist grapevine. At first the Rigpa hierarchy appeared to be caught like rabbits in headlights – frozen and incapable of anything other than whimpers of denial. Later, when the shock waves had subsided, a letter was despatched to some students, acknowledging the existence of the lawsuit and containing a feeble attempt at damage limitation: “….allegations are only allegations. As far as we know they have no foundation”. Journalists who requested interviews with Sogyal were told he was “in retreat”. In January 1995 a feature about the lawsuit by Mary Finnigan appeared in the British national daily newspaper The Guardian. A few weeks later a broadcast version of the story, also by Mary Finnigan, ran on BBC Radio 4’s Sunday programme. Sogyal was scheduled to lead Rigpa’s annual UK Easter retreat, booked to happen at Harrow School, but someone at Harrow heard the BBC item and promptly cancelled the booking. “Rigpa was stuck with more than a hundred people and nowhere to go” says one of Sogyal’s organisers at the time. “All we could do was cram them into the shrine room in London.” In February 1995 the UK’s Telegraph Magazine featured a cover story on the Sogyal lawsuit by the journalist and author Mick Brown. In it, two English women spoke about their sexual encounters with Sogyal: P14 “Its a relationship that you haven’t chosen, agreed to or discussed”, said one woman, “Because he was my spiritual teacher I trusted that whatever he asked was in my best interests….by sleeping with the teacher you get a closeness to him which everyone is hankering after….but in fact it caused me a lot of pain that I wasn’t able to dissolve.” Another spoke about her distress at discovering that Sogyal was having sex with three other students, shortly after he initiated a relationship with her: “I came to the conclusion that Sogyal Rinpoche has used the teachings to attempt to keep me in a sexual relationship with him –one that I did not want to be in.” In common with other former Sogyal consorts, this woman “recognised that I was emotionally wounded and that my self-esteem was low, and that I no longer trusted myself or the spiritual path I had chosen.” According to one former Rigpa insider, “An unsavoury witch hunt was launched to find out the identity of the women who spoke to Mick Brown.” In a unique manifestation of his disapproval, The Dalai Lama withdrew from participation in a Living and Dying Conference scheduled by Rigpa to take place in California. The conference was cancelled. Sogyal also had to cancel an appearance at a prestigious event in New York, the Art of Dying conference. This time his excuse was “severe flu”. The glorification of Sogyal suffered a serious setback and in order to silence Janice Doe, Rigpa was forced to part with a large sum of money. Just how much money was involved in the out-of-court settlement is a closely guarded secret, but it is alleged to run into millions of dollars.

After the lawsuit

It took about two years – and a huge workload for Patrick Gaffney and other members of the Rigpa inner circle — to re-establish Sogyal as a globe trotting guru. “People left in droves” says one former Rigpa devotee. “I remember noticing there was no-one around who had been there when I first got involved, except for Patrick and Dominique Side.” Around this time Mary Finnigan interviewed the Dalai Lama about the Sogyal lawsuit. “He was very clear about the issue of sexual relations between teachers and disciples”, she says “he condemned it as unacceptable and told me he had advised Sogyal to settle down and ‘take a lawful wife’. “ P15 Sogyal’s response to this was to have an affair with an American woman called Mary-Anne, who became pregnant and gave birth to Sogyal’s son Yeshe. Asked if he would marry Mary-Anne he is said to have replied “that would be a step too far.” Even though by this time Sogyal had been placing the Dalai Lama at the top of his totem for many years, clearly he was not impressed by advice from the boss on his private life. “It was window dressing” says one former Sogyal dakini, “the Dalai Lama blessed the relationship, but Sogyal was never monogamous. One of his other women – Alison — saw herself as the ‘wife’ and she would not have allowed him to stop having sex with her.”

There is no doubt that the lawsuit made the Tibetan Buddhist community in the developed world take stock of its situation. Even in 1993, before the lawsuit, a group of western Buddhist teachers held a conference with the Dalai Lama. The statement the emerged from it included these words “… each student must be encouraged to take responsible measures to confront teachers with unethical aspects of their conduct. If the teacher shows no sign of reform, students should not hesitate to publicise any unethical behaviour of which there is irrefutable evidence. This should be done irrespective of other beneficial aspects of his or her work and of one’s spiritual commitment to that teacher. It should also be made clear in any publicity that such conduct is not in conformity with Buddhist teachings. No matter what level of spiritual attainment a teacher has, or claims to have reached, no person can stand above the norms of ethical conduct.” Although the Dalai Lama told the meeting that sexual misbehaviour should be publicised and errant teachers made to feel “regretful and embarrassed”, significantly in the light of subsequent developments, he declined to endorse the statement. As the reinvention of Sogyal’s credibility gathered momentum, leaks from within Rigpa indicated that he had no intention of changing his ways. Quite the contrary in fact, because in 1996 western Buddhist teachers met for the third time with the Dalai Lama and to the dismay of most of them, Sogyal was a high profile presence at the conference, holding forth vehemently about the perils of teaching Vajrayana without ‘authenticity, credentials and training’. “His chutzpah was breathtaking” says the American teacher Yvonne Rand. “We could hardly believe what we were experiencing. It was only our respect for the Dalai Lama that stopped several of us from walking out.” When asked why Sogyal was allowed to take part, the Dalai Lama’s private office came up with the lame excuse that they had to let all lamas know about the conference so they could attend if they wished. The standards perpetrated by the Tibetan diaspora headquarters in Dharamsala are becoming increasingly obvious to observers of Tibet, its religion and culture. At the turn of the 21st century the Dalai Lama had probably received hundreds of letters complaining about sexual and financial misbehaviour by Sogyal and other exiled lamas. While some letters are acknowledged with anodyne expressions of regret, to date there has been no action on the part of the exiled Tibetan authorities to deal effectively with the alleged offenders. Apart from withdrawing from the Living and Dying Conference, the Dalai Lama has never publicly criticised individual lamas. When asked by Mary Finnigan why Sogyal is usually a guest speaker at events with the Dalai Lama like the Kalachakra Initiation, Chhimed Rigdzin, an official in the Dalai Lama’s private office, responded “we don’t invite him”. Mary Finnigan pointed out that they don’t refuse him either.

Fast forward to 2006

Air France pilot Gerard Dubois was coming to the end of his career as a 747 captain. Since the year 2000 Gerard ran his professional and spiritual lives in tandem – off duty he spent his time as a serious, bordering-on-fanatical student with Sogyal Rinpoche. The extent of his commitment is illustrated by the fact that it spilled over into air time — he accomplished the gruelling Tibetan Buddhist preliminary practice known as the ngondro by using his rest periods during long distance flights to complete 108 thousand full body prostrations in the crew space behind the flight deck. Gerard worked his way through the Rigpa hierarchy to the point where he became a dharma teacher himself, alongside other members of the French elite, including Olivier Raurich, Phillipe Cornu and the late Francois Calmes. “I was looking for answers”, he says, “trying to find a way to make my mind free and open. I have to admit that I was hypnotised by Sogyal for six years. As I became more involved, I distanced myself from my family and friends and devoted myself totally to Rigpa – with my time, energy and money. As a result, I became completely anti-social, turned in on myself and one-track minded” Gerard points out that following the Rigpa path is extremely expensive: “You have to buy ritual objects and constantly update study material. You pay for courses, study days, statues, food offerings for the temple – the list is endless. You have to sponsor people who can’t afford retreats and for those who can, the price is exorbitant. They never stop asking for money– and its done with subtle persuasion – pretty speeches scripted specifically to make you put your hand in your pocket.” Other former Rigpa insiders confirm that there is relentless pressure to donate money. According to one of them: “I even heard Sogyal say to one man ‘just shut up and give me your money’ “.

Dakini Janine

The person who was probably most affected by Gerard’s obsession with Rigpa is his daughter Janine. Aged 22 in 2000 and outstandingly beautiful, she was already feeling parentally deprived because of Gerard’s professional absences. Determined to take every opportunity to be close to him, Janine started attending Sogyal’s teachings with her father – usually falling asleep against his back. Inevitably Sogyal’s lasciviously roving eye alighted on Janine and in due course she was lured into the brainwashing process that leads to his bedroom. In 2009 Janine spoke at length about her experiences with Sogyal in a series of recorded interviews. The way she was treated is identical in most respects to what happened to Dierdre Smith. “We were at a retreat in Germany. He sent for me during his rest period and asked me to massage his hands and feet,” she says. ”Afterwards he gave me his schedule and his phone numbers – and almost immediately I was invited to join him for a holiday in Australia. This seemed like a nice thing to do so I said yes. “I was met in Sydney by a wealthy family who were obviously under orders to look after me – and I was treated like a princess. They have a fabulous house where I was given a room and they arranged everything I wanted – yoga classes, shopping etc”.

Did Janine query this – and wonder why it was happening? “Not really”, she says, “I assumed Sogyal was being paternal in an Asian way. But I still hadn’t seen him. Then suddenly, in the middle of the night, he decided it was time to go to the beach.” A convoy of cars set off. Janine found herself crammed into one of them with five other people, including Sogyal: “I didn’t get a good impression” she says, “he virtually ignored me, which was not at all the Asian papa way – I think this was the moment when he started to manipulate my feelings.” The time at the beach coincided with St Valentine’s day. Janine was ordered to wear a best dress and turn up at Sogyal’s house for dinner. At this moment she realised the whole set up was somewhat bizarre:

“There was Sogyal surrounded by five or six young pretty girls and there were no other men,” she says. “it was quite fun actually, we had nice drinks and we danced for him. Then at a certain point he asked me to go upstairs with him and massage his head. I made some sort of smart reply and he became angry.
He said I was too proud and he would have to break my pride.” A few months later Janine got a phone call asking her if she would like to take part in a special training. “I accepted because it seemed to clarify my relationship with him. It turned out that the people involved were all women. We were put to work in the “lama kitchen.” We called it hell, because it was an underground bunker – a horrible place. A Swiss woman (Renata) was in charge of us and the first three weeks were pure slavery – we worked non-stop doing the cleaning.“We never saw Sogyal, but they gave us documents listing all the instructions he has given about caring for him around the world. There was nothing about Buddhism, but we were told the whole process was a teaching.

“They made us work so hard we didn’t have time for proper meals. We had to grab food and eat standing up. We were constantly being told to run here or fetch this in a haphazard way – because basically Sogyal is not very organised. He says he wants something and you have 50 people panicking to get it in five minutes.” As Janine’s induction into the inner circle unfolded, she was assigned work inside Sogyal’s compound at Lerab Ling – two chalets and a garden surrounded by a high fence. The next stage involved being Sogyal’s personal servant – bringing his food and looking after him in minute detail – in the same manner described by Dierdre Smith.

“He made me the only person to interact with the other people. By this time I was sleeping on the floor in his room…every time he had a thought, I would write it down and communicate it. I had control of the phones and the walkie talkies.” Sogyal is pampered like a medieval monarch – with a clique of women trained to respond to his slightest whim – day and night, 24/7. He is never alone and never lifts a finger to do anything for himself. After grooming her at record speed (other girls complained she had been fast tracked out of ‘hell’s kitchen’), Sogyal pounced on Janine for the first time at a high stress moment: “We had arranged to go to dinner at a restaurant to celebrate one of the other girls’ (Minou) birthday. Whenever Sogyal does something like this it is a major operation, involving anything up to 20 people. We have to send an advance party to the restaurant to make sure everything is exactly how he wants it, we have to polish up the big cars, pack his bags, wash him, dress him, collect his pillows, tissues and so on.

I was at the centre of the storm, co-ordinating the various strands and at that time I had had only about three hours sleep a night for the past month.” When everything was ready and the people were waiting to leave, Sogyal and Janine were alone in his chalet: “He ordered me to take my clothes off. I thought it was another test, so I did as I was told. He told me to get onto the bed and we had sex. As this was happening he said ‘look into my eyes, this is the moment you connect with your master.’ There were no preliminaries, he did not use a condom, my pleasure was not in the picture and it was all over in about three minutes. Afterwards he made me swear to keep it a secret, even from the other girls, and said if I did not keep the samaya it would be very bad for my karma and for the karma of my family.

“It happened again of course, especially at times of stress – before a teaching for example he has to have his fix. Sometimes it was every day, sometimes less often depending on how many girls he was into, or what was happening. He is very selfish — he never asks what you would like, it’s always him giving orders. Sometimes there is some petting afterwards and he reminds you how lucky you are. Its not comfortable being in the same bed with Sogyal because he’s an anxious character and he doesn’t sleep well. He keeps waking up and wanting things, medicines or food and so on. “I blanked out my feelings for a while, but then I became very troubled, which was extremely difficult because I’d been sworn to secrecy and couldn’t talk about it with anyone. Things started to go wrong with my body. My periods stopped. I was in shock. I had to sneak out of Lerab Ling to do the test because I was scared I was pregnant.

“A young lama married to an American woman came to teach at Lerab Ling. He was by himself in the courtyard and I really needed to talk to someone because I knew something was really wrong. So I decided to talk to this lama, hoping he would explain it for me. I asked him ‘what’s a consort?’ He looked at me and he knew exactly what I was talking about. I burst into tears and that bastard said ‘if you are the consort of a master you are very lucky’ and that was it. That’s all he said.”

Dakinis who were in the harem (Alison, Anna, Minou, Nee, Lillie, Jackie, Renata, Lorraine) before Janine’s arrival gradually came to accept her as a team member. Eventually they announced that she should join them in an orgy. Janine was not keen. The other women pressurised her, insisting that they had to do whatever ‘Rinpoche’ wanted: “They were terrified of being beaten” says Janine. “During the time I was with him continuously, one of us would be beaten every day – because you forgot something or did something wrong. For one girl it was because the way she walked was too proud. I got a little less than the others – some would get a serious, really bad beating. He got irritated with me because when I did something wrong I would hand him something to hit me with and that would spoil the fun.”

Behind the thangkas

Janine recalls that setting up the space for an orgy involved taking down the thangkas from the chalet walls to reveal girlie pictures concealed behind them. A meeting took place during the summer of 2009, between Janine and a former Sogyal girlfriend Flora Sinclair — who was with him for a while during the 1980s. During this encounter, both of them recalled their problems with Sexually Transmitted Infections:

“He gave me a yellow bottle of disinfectant and told me to wash with it after we had sex”, says Flora. “I knew of four other women who were sleeping with him at the time – then one day I saw a different woman coming out of his room carrying a yellow bottle” Janine said that all the girls during her sojourn in the harem were constantly having to deal with STIs: “He never uses condoms”, she says, “my gynaecological record during that time was a disaster zone.” Ask Janine how she dealt with her situation and she says the only way she could cope was to close down into denial: “I didn’t think about it – I have a capacity to leave my body – I’m just not there”, she says, “but I felt so ashamed because I allowed it to happen. We were constantly humiliated. I was the only one who did not have to ask him for money and was not obliged to wear Barbie Doll clothes that he paid for. “One of the most humiliating things happened to Anna. Sogyal always has diarrhoea – his diabetes and his diarrhoea make him extremely irritable. We had to wipe his arse each time he took a crap. He also has haemorrhoids. Someone wiped his arse, then he asked her to stick a finger in and it hurt — so he went into a total fit and called in all the girls. He asked each of us to wipe him to see who was the best. That was the only time I heard him say something nice about Anna – he announced that it was one thing she could do well.”

Janine’s epiphany….

…..occurred when she was travelling alone on Eurostar:

“I’d been distancing myself from Sogyal for some time. I could do this because I was not dependent on him like the other girls. I’d always kept up my singing lessons and had friends outside Rigpa. There I was in the tunnel and the defences I’d built up started to collapse. I remembered things. I realised I’d been raped and from that point onwards the more I remembered, the sicker I got.”

Janine went into counselling and after initially keeping her experiences with Sogyal to herself, she eventually opened up with her therapist, who advised her to devise a closure ritual so that she could clear the psycho-emotional decks and move on:

“I was really ill – I kept getting infections and I had a fever for about three weeks. I had nightmares every night – I was an empty carcass and I thought I was going crazy. Realising I’d reached my limit, I took my counsellor’s advice and created a monstrous drawing and collage. I put myself in it and the other girls and I did a caricature of Sogyal like a Tibetan deity with lots of arms – but they were holding things like cash and the beating stick. Instead of clouds I put speech bubbles with the phrases in them that he used to intimidate and manipulate us.”

Janine took her artwork to Sogyal when he was leading the Rigpa UK Easter retreat. She also took two friends to ride shotgun – one of them a very big man. “We went into his formal reception room and I handed him the drawing and burst into floods of tears. There was a long silence – then he asked me what I wanted. I tried to say that I wanted him to stop what he’s doing, but he started to talk about money. I thought well, why not – I would like my expenses for the trip. I told him the ticket cost 450 Euros, so he got up and came back with an envelope. I left with my friends and when I opened the envelope I had a moment of pleasure – he’d given me 350, rather than the full amount so I knew I’d made him angry. “After this a lot of important Rigpa people called me. There were all sorts of threats and I heard that men were claiming I’d slept with them and were calling me a whore. But they should know that Sogyal is very possessive about the women he likes – he only lets the ones he wants to get rid of sleep with other men.
I know now that many of the things he does are punishable by law. I am not afraid of him”.

The three year retreat

While the Sogyal-Janine saga played out, Gerard was participating in Rigpa’s first three years, three months and three days retreat.

This is a traditional Tibetan Buddhist training programme, designed to bring about deep contemplative realisation and yogic insight. The retreat, involving intensive practice and seclusion from the outside world, began on August 9 2006 and ended on 21 November 2009.

However, true to form, Sogyal adapted the retreat to dovetail with his version of Tibetan Buddhism as a marketable commodity. One of Rigpa’s web sites described it thus:

“…the purpose of such a break is to re-emerge into the world refreshed and re-inspired, having further developed the mind’s innate qualities of peacefulness and clarity, and deepened the heart’s innate capacity for empathy and compassion.”

It does not mention any of the profound aspects of Buddhist meditation– ‘primordial emptiness’ for example, or ‘integration beyond duality’. In comparison with the way other lamas present Tibetan Buddhism, Sogyal’s programme could be equated with studying for primary school exams. Gerard Dubois – retired from flight duty and free from family obligations – sorted his external affairs and settled into Lerab Ling with every intention of staying the retreat distance, in the expectation that it would move his spiritual practice into a fresh dimension. Instead he found himself in a situation where the emphasis on group rather than solitary practice was wholly unproductive:

“I had no experiences” he says, “at the start I went along with what was happening, but eventually I gave up and instead of doing Tibetan meditation, I concealed a Zen text in my prayer books and read that when I was supposed to be meditating.”

The coup de grace on Gerard’s involvement with Rigpa came when he read a letter from Janine – three weeks after it had arrived. In it she confessed to her father that she had been in a sexual relationship with Sogyal. “I was very angry” he says.

Gerard demanded an interview with Sogyal, who was initially wary but then admitted he had had sex with Janine. He tried to shift the blame onto her – claiming that she had seduced him and that he was at first resistant, but later gave in to her demands.

Gerard was inclined to believe his daughter’s version of what happened and this, coupled with his disillusionment with Tibetan spiritual practice, made him decide to leave the retreat – but not before he had shared his feelings with other retreatants: “We were not allowed to talk” he says, “but we found ways to communicate.” As a result some of the 200 people present also left the retreat – some shocked at the revelation, others realising that their pre-existing doubts were well founded.


During the time that Sogyal has been active as a lama in the developed world, the deep split between his public persona and his private life has been observed by several people who were not involved with him sexually. These include former assistants, a former member of Rigpa UK, an anonymous witness who was the manager of a Rigpa centre and Louella – who cooked for Sogyal while he was teaching in Montreal.

“I was in his apartment all day. Most of the time Sogyal was with his two dakinis Janine and Anna. I saw him furious and yelling insults at Janine, saying things like ‘she’s such a stupid woman’. He ran after her trying to hit her as she ran away, crying. When he noticed me there, he became very uneasy and tried to explain that he had to act like this because she had made a mistake.

“When he was taking a bath he used to shout for Janine. I asked Anna what was wrong with him. She replied that he needed Janine to wash him. I was astonished at this – coming from a lama who claims to be as powerful as Padmasambhava. I left Rigpa because in my view the way Sogyal acts is autocratic and abusive and Rigpa was becoming increasingly like a cult. Sogyal orders people around without any respect for their personal needs. Although I am still interested in Buddhism, I do not have confidence in Sogyal.”

The abuse witnessed by Louella and experienced by Dierdre and Janine begs the question – why do Sogyal’s Dakinis tolerate his behaviour? There is a core group who have been in this role for a long time, as well as a steady input of new recruits. Considering that beatings and other forms of abuse have been happening for many years, why have so few women felt motivated to speak out?

In answer to the first question – members of Sogyal’s harem have very high status within Rigpa. They are the closest to the guru and the propaganda line is that they are chosen for their spiritual qualities. On the second question, most of them are indoctrinated into keeping silent in order to ‘protect the dharma’. Some are embarrassed by the fact that they allowed themselves to be duped by a con man – and after extricating themselves from his clutches want to move on from the experience, rather than re-live it (painfully) in interviews. Also there is an element of sado-masochism in the relationship between Sogyal and his harem. Janine maintains that one woman in particular welcomes the beatings. In 2011 a woman who wishes to remain anonymous wrote about her experiences with Sogyal:

“It’s all so subtle and manipulative you just don’t realise what’s happening and you get ensnared in the dogma web. Fear and suspicion play a big part in controlling you. I remember I seriously started to have doubts about 5 years ago. I was ordered to give Alison a massage and she confided in me that she was SR’s main consort and that he had a harem. She said after he made love to her he just rolled over with no tenderness and she confessed how hard she found it and how jealous all the girls were of each other – that they are very competitive. She said she had been told to make a vow with 2 other main girls in the harem so that they couldn’t have sexual relations with anyone else but were kind of married exclusively to him.

“The following Easter retreat I had lost a lot of weight (he likes them skinny) and had just come out of a long relationship. As soon as SR knew this he started on me. He started to grab me and kiss me, but I would push him away. The worst time was when he’d eaten some Tibetan cheese and kissed me and poured the contents in my mouth — horrific. He also started to court another young girl who is married. She’s his consort now.

“The following summer I was called into his chalet with Alison and Lorraine when he took Alison’s breasts out and kissed them and took mine out but thankfully didn’t do anything to me, I think it was to see how I would react. He kissed Lorraine (who is Patrick’s partner) and then ordered me to give Alison a massage. That same summer he called me on my own into his chalet and said he wanted to open me up a little. I felt very trapped and frozen. I just stood there. He kissed me then told me to lift my skirt because he wanted to look at my bottom. Then he asked me if I thought he was a good kisser – how pathetic is that? I eventually said I didn’t want anything and I left. After that I was ignored by Sogyal and his entourage were horrible to me.”

Marie Lefevre had a salaried job with Rigpa Paris, working for 8 to 12 hours a day. She witnessed a number of circumstances and events which aroused grave doubts and caused her to leave.

“I noticed that people are brainwashed and that Rigpa is run more like a business mafia than a spiritual organisation. They are obsessed with appearances — Sogyal urges his people to buy expensive clothes and products and to look smart. Money given by devout students is used to buy luxuries for Sogyal – and people who have outlived their usefulness are discarded in a very cruel manner.”

After 36 years of high profile activity as a spiritual mentor, it was inevitable that the dichotomy between the man and his message would become known. In 2009 internet blogs in French and English (Les Trois Mondes and Dialogue Ireland) attracted testimonies from a wide spectrum of people disillusioned with Rigpa and distressed by sexual encounters with Sogyal. A Google search tag lined ‘Sogyal Rinpoche abuse’ reveals a range of internet chatter along the same lines. It has to be said that some postings defend the man with obvious sincerity, whilst others are emotional outpourings from people who have invested their hopes and aspirations in a charismatic leader whose shortcomings are being revealed through the lens of public scrutiny.

In 2011 Sogyal’s sex life came under mainstream media scrutiny again. The Canadian production company Cogent Benger made a half hour investigative television documentary called In the Name of Enlightenment. It was broadcast on Vision TV in Canada on 27 May as an item in a four part series on sexual abuse in religions. It featured among others, Victoria Barlow, Mary Finnigan, a Canadian former Rigpa student Denise and the Buddhist teachers Stephen and Martine Batchelor. Reports based on this documentary appeared in The Irish Sunday Times and The Guardian newspapers.

In October 2011 the French news magazine Marianne carried a six page feature on one of Sogyal’s teaching retreats at Lerab Ling. It was compiled from material gathered by an undercover journalist, Elodie Emery. The tone of the reportage alternates from coy to sarcastic to ‘shock horror’ and contains allegations which would not get past legal scrutiny at mainstream British media. It does, however, vividly illustrate the dysfunctional ambiance of a Rigpa event and it highlights Sogyal’s bully boy tactics, the pleasure he derives from making people squirm and his ruthlessly cruel treatment of one participant, who was stumbling towards an agonised confession in front of 500 retreatants. Emery also reported that Sogyal’s display of self-importance included claims that people had been cured of cancer and blindness as a result of their devotion to him.

Most of the thousands of spiritual seekers worldwide who still revere Sogyal choose to remain in denial. They have probably been advised against doing internet searches, on the basis that awareness of his hidden agenda would adversely affect their Buddhist practice. There are two taboos in Buddhist organisations – both of which have merit and both of which can be used as manipulative tools. One of them is an injunction against gossip – useful when trying to establish a calm mental state, but also useful to prevent the circulation of critical comment. The second is samaya – the indestructible bond of loyalty that is one of the key tenets of Tibetan Buddhism. It supports the relationship between teacher and neophyte – but it can be deployed unscrupulously as a threat – break your samaya and attract dire consequences to yourself and your loved ones. Tibetan lamas who have taken empowerments from the same guru regard themselves as vajra brothers, bound by samaya. This is probably one explanation for the fact that the majority of lamas teaching in the developed world have closed ranks around Sogyal – regardless of their misgivings about his modus operandi. A more cynical view hinges on the fact that Sogyal pulls in a great deal of money – some of which is channelled into Tibetan worthy causes. There is a Tibetan prophecy attributed to Padmasambhava which goes like this:

When the Iron Bird flies and horses run on wheels, the Tibetan people will be scattered like ants across the world and the dharma will come to the land of the red man.

If it really was uttered in the 8th century, it is a potent illustration of the qualities of Tibetan Buddhism that have attracted a huge worldwide following and made the predication come true. Sogyal and his cohorts have built an empire on the basis of that tradition, but they have turned their version of it into a cult around a celebrity guru – losing sight of core principles in their quest for ever-expanding power, influence and cash flow.

Pseudonyms are used to protect some individuals. Their words are on record and their identities are known.
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Re: Randy Sogyal Rinpoche, Best-Selling Lecher

Postby admin » Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:22 am

Trauma in Buddhist Community
by Dr. Pilar Jennings
September 5, 2017



After a summer of extended retreat, I came back to learn of the latest allegations of Sogyal Rinpoche’s severe misconduct. Perhaps like those of you who have spent much of your life in Buddhist communities, I’ve been deeply distressed by what I’ve learned. And as a fellow Buddhist and clinician I’d like briefly to respond.

What feels most important to confirm and validate is that the students who have come forward, and perhaps many others, have been traumatized by this abusive behavior. As a clinician, I underscore this for one primary reason. Trauma research indicates that we humans are extraordinarily resilient. We can withstand all manner of shocking loss and catastrophic pain, and still go on to live a meaningful, creative, and even joyful life. There is no suffering we can’t recover from. However, what can cause irreparable harm is any serious trauma that is either denied or minimized. When this happens, our very sense of perception is compromised. Our ability to trust our own feelings and experience can be shattered, leaving people feeling radically isolated and adrift in a meaningless world.

For this reason I’d like clearly to state that Sogyal’s Rinpoche’s predatorial and compulsive behavior has been truly unacceptable. There is no “crazy wisdom” in causing physical or psychological harm to another sentient being, or to exploit students for sexual and narcissistic gratification. And the suggestions that abusive behavior by spiritual teachers has any value, causes great harm to the victims of the abuse, and to the abusers through the denial of their psychopathology in need of care and clinical treatment.

I’d like to make a pitch for spiritual communities to grapple with the limits of spiritual practice to effectively address psychological and psychiatric issues that could be addressed through well-developed methods in other healing traditions. We Buddhist clinicians have been making efforts for decades to offer ways to work collaboratively in spiritual and clinical communities, so that psychological issues that arise in spiritual practitioners and teachers may be effectively treated. It is a terrible shame that Sogyal Rinpoche’s students most harmed by his sadistic behavior were left to feel that they weren’t adequately implementing the Buddha-Dharma, or that their suffering was self-inflicted. They deserved care and healing treatment available outside their community, treatment that might also have salvaged their trust in the spiritual methods they’d been learning.

So too, teachers such as Sogyal Rinpoche need psychological, and at times, psychiatric help. His behavior is indicative of rage reactions and compulsive power-seeking in line with severe and pathological narcissism. How many students might have been protected if he had had clinical support and intervention?
This is a question I ask with respect to people for whom the Dharma is sacred. I am also a devoted Tibetan Buddhist practitioner, but equally I respect the reality and power of the psyche, with its unconscious motivations and impulses, and with the ripple effects of early trauma that is almost invariably enacted regardless of our spiritual development.

Mostly, I want to offer to anyone harmed in this community my genuine wish for your deepest well-being, for your healing process, and for the respect you deserve for coming forward, if you did, and for simply withstanding the suffering you endured as you courageously seek efforts at recovery. In this way, you are affirming for us all the Buddha’s primary teaching – that understanding the causes of suffering and its end is our noble objective in this life. I stand with you until you are freed from the complex suffering I imagine you now face, as do my friends and colleagues in the small but growing community of Buddhist clinicians. Your experience is an important teaching to all Buddhists, now affirmed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, to cut through delusions of non-truth in the spirit of reducing harm and increasing well-being for all.

Addendum: For further reading, I highly recommend Daniel Shaw’s Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of Subjugation, for an excellent exploration of narcissism and its impact on spiritual communities.
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Re: Randy Sogyal Rinpoche, Best-Selling Lecher

Postby admin » Thu Aug 29, 2019 11:42 pm

Sogyal's Confession
by Charles Carreon
August 29, 2019



The devoted gathered 'round the lama's bed,
The nurses came and went in scrubs attire,
A nun adjusted a pillow under his head,
In the hallway, everyone was quiet,
Though he could not eat, he had the perfect diet.

The morphine pump, his dearest companion,
Kept pumping, bless it,
The monitors measuring pulse and breath,
Marked the line between life and death.
It was all the best it could be.

The lama had been a media sensation,
To read his book on Living and Dying
Was as good as performing many prostrations,
It dispelled fears of the afterlife
And anxieties about the present.

So many were inspired by his expressions
Thousands followed him,
Temples rose up like magic under his hand,
And all this in a foreign land,
Far from the place of his birth on the roof of the world.

The great lamas knew he had his faults,
Some wise-guys said they had their doubts,
But captains of industry can't be wrong,
And to make their donations,
They gathered in throngs.

Those with initials after their names,
Therapists, philosophers, psychologists and knaves,
Lauded him in print and on screen,
They were all so delighted to be seen
With a bona-fide spiritual money machine.

He was a thought-leader, a paradigm-shifter,
A brother to all, especially the sisters,
His compassionate speeches caused women to quiver,
And though sometimes he raged, it was all to good purpose,
Heavens knew his intention was always to help us.

His followers grew in numbers and wealth,
His kingdom on earth was in excellent health.
What money could buy, he bought,
And what it could not, he demanded and got.

But the sands of the hourglass ever were falling,
The hands of the clock never stopped turning,
The candle of his life always was burning,
Like it burns for us all, till at last comes the call.

When he heard the word that freezes every man's heart,
He sat up in his sick-bed with a noticeable start,
He reached out a hand to the nun sitting there,
Fixed her with a terrified, anxious stare.

"Bring a notepad," he said, "I've something to say
I have spent my life lying, but there's no point in that now,
The truth has been waiting too many a day,
I must make my confession, and you write it down."

When the nun fetched a notebook and readied her pen,
He steadied himself and in earnest confessed,
Relieving himself of all in his breast.
He named all his victims, all he could remember,
From earliest January to the latest December.
Tears fell from his eyes, and sobs burst from his chest,
His life not quite wasted, he was doing his best.
He apologized deeply to those he'd deceived,
And swore that his teachings could not be believed.
He was ignorant, proud, and vain, he admitted.
Since the world was a fool, he simply bullshitted.
When they bought it, he couldn't say no to their needs,
He redoubled his lying, screamed his misdeeds,
But they just adored it, called his sins crazy wisdom,
Called him the enlightened one.
"Don't you understand?" he begged someone to see,
"Fame and wealth were torturing me!"
But the room remained silent.
The eyes were all dry.
He had no friends anywhere,
So he just had to die.

When the monitors went silent,
They all left the room,
As silent and desolate as an empty tomb.
Friendless he came, friendless he went,
A life of mad indulgence
Madly spent.

An authoritative prelate approached the nun
Who'd written all the words down
As Sogyal had requested.
"You did well to record them,
But they must not be published,
The lineage would be blemished,
The Buddha's teachings tarnished."

"But," replied the nun, clutching still the pad,
"These were the only honest things he ever said,
And surely we should honor the wishes of the dead."
The wiser man snatched the book from her hand,
"You clearly do not understand the gravity of what you're saying.
These last ravings have no meaning
Compared with his lifetime of marvelous teaching.
I will dispose of them appropriately.
You will thank me for it ultimately."
But still she persisted, "It doesn't seem right.
He confessed on his deathbed,
They should see the light!"
"Nonsense, child," the wise one demurred,
"I'm not sure you're right about what you think you heard.
He was a man of perfect demeanor,
Without flaw or stain on his sacred honor.
Why, you must be high on marijuana --
Our great Bodhisattva has passed into nirvana."
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Re: Randy Sogyal Rinpoche, Best-Selling Lecher

Postby admin » Sun Sep 01, 2019 4:03 am

Paying Homage to Sogyal Rinpoche
by sogyalrinpoche.org
Accessed: 8/31/19




Sogyal Rinpoche was a world-renowned Buddhist teacher from Tibet, recognized as the incarnation of a great master and visionary saint of the nineteenth century, Tertön Sogyal Lerab Lingpa. Sogyal Rinpoche entered into parinirvana on 28th August, 2019.

Many lamas and friends have sent heartfelt messages and testimonies honouring Sogyal Rinpoche and his accomplishments, and offering their advice and prayers.



Condolences to precious mother Mayum-la, sister Dechen-la and the Rigpa Sangha,

We all have heard the sad news about Sogyal Rinpoche leaving his body. Everyone has the right to choose their faith, and based on that faith, there are many traditional practices we can do at this time—practices for ourselves and practices for the teacher.

The essential link between student and teacher is the teaching. Now, the connection is no longer with the embodied Lama, but rather with the pure dharmakaya Lama. It is a potent time to allow your own unborn nature and the Lama’s dharmakaya essence to mingle together and merge. With that essence as a basis, we can make offerings, supplications, pujas and prayers for swift rebirth.

Also, I want to thank the students and medical team who took care of him at the end of his life, as his physical health deteriorated.

Tsoknyi Rinpoche



To all my friends, brothers and sisters of the Rigpa sangha from East and West and especially to all the members and staff of Lerab Ling, I Namkha Rinpoche want to say a few respectful words.

Today we have heard the very sad news that he who was like the eyes in our head and the heart in our chest, for the Buddhist teachings in general, more specifically for the followers of the earlier translation school, the Nyingmapas and even more so for the many thousands of sangha members of the Rigpa centres, the Lord of Refuge Sogyal Rinpoche has passed into Nirvana. It is with immeasurable sadness that I want to express my deepest condolences.

Generally, all worldly phenomena are like an illusion and a dream, so we will all have to follow the same path. However, now, in order to fulfil the enlightened intentions of our precious glorious Lama, to pacify the obstacles of the paths and bhumis and to quickly see again the golden face of his precious rebirth, I strongly encourage all of you the Rigpa sangha members, no matter who you are, to keep harmony and pure discipline and to diligently create a vast amount of merit during the following 49 days of his passing.

From here, all the members of the different sanghas of the Rigdzin Community and all lamas, tulkus, khenpos and masters who are connected with me, inside and outside of Tibet, will surely make effort in doing aspiration prayers, making offerings, accumulations of merit and practicing virtues activities.

Thus, this was offered by Rigdzin Namkha Gyatso Rinpoche with great sadness at noon of the 28th of August 2019.


Mindrolling Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche

Dear Noble Sangha,

It is through the display of the dissolution of the physical body that the Guru bestows the final and one of the most pithy instructions to one' students. But for a student, it can also be one of the saddest and most challenging of times leaving one with feelings of grief, loss and even abandonment. It might feel as if the passing of one’s teacher is like the brilliant sun suddenly disappearing and one encounters such a moment with uncertainty, fear and a sense of being bereft of stability or reference point. However, despite such feelings of loss, this is not the time to let uncertainty, fear and sadness take over. It is at such a time that we also feel an intense and raw connection with the teacher and both death and the teachings come most vividly to mind. We then forge an even more deepened and intimate connection to the teacher from that raw mind that is so tender at the moment.

And from such tenderness, a student's heart opens up and a stream of undying gratitude flows out for the infinite kindness of the Guru and his immeasurable wisdom, compassion and skillful means. Through the joining of this deep gratitude and the Guru's compassionate regard, the Guru's blessings shower upon the student in a continuous amrita stream. With this downpour of blessings, now is the time to once again connect with the heart of the Guru and his teachings with renewed vigor and strengthen the basis of clarity and confidence in the view of the Dharma.

With renewed vigor and confidence in the Three Jewels, when one gives rise to unmitigated devotion to the Guru, we come face to face with the all-pervasive nature of the Guru.
I have often thought that the absence of the Guru's physical presence actually allows us to experience the teacher much more pervasively. When the Guru is alive, we tend to think of our Guru as living in a particular place and time. We might think, “Oh, my teacher is in India today and it is 3:00 p.m. there now.” But when the Guru passes on, we are able to understand that the Guru is actually everywhere, in every moment. In this way, we are able to free ourselves from our own narrow view about the teacher and his physical manifestation and understand the all-pervasive nature just as it is. Through one's passing, the Guru shows us the ephemeral quality of life, time, space and phenomena.

With hearts strengthened by devotion and confidence in the Three Jewels, the blessings of the Guru flow uninterruptedly. For such a heart, anything is possible. And so, with such a courageous heart, with complete faith in the Dharma and devotion to the Guru, use this time to develop even more steadfastness in your heart and commitment to the authentic teachings of Shakyamuni. As you practice, remember that you are able to understand, practice and accomplish these practices due to the tremendous generosity and dedication of the Guru and that every word and every gesture you make in your practice resonates with the Guru's kindness. And you can only repay that generosity by continuing to practice as deeply and consistently as possible and dedicating one's life to the service of the Three Jewels.

Some of you have asked me as to what prayers and offerings can be made at this moment. There are many things you can do and I am sure many wonderful masters will guide you in this but the best offering that you could make to your Guru at such a time is to come together as a sangha and practice together. Year after year, teaching after teaching, the Guru transmitted the Dharma to you as a sangha with the hope that you would accomplish those practices together as a sangha. There can be no more profound way to honor the Guru than to fulfill this hope and to realize the strength and inspiration that sangha gives us. Now is the best time to make the commitment to continue the practice of the Buddhadharma and to vow that each passing year will only bring about increased study, practice and genuine unfolding of our own innate Buddhanature.

As for prayers, practice Guru Yoga, remembering that all gurus are gathered within Guru Rinpoche. Recite the Vajra Guru mantra and prayers. Remembering the indivisibility of one’s teacher with Guru Rinpoche, do Guru Yoga and mantra practice. At this time and in future, come together as a sangha and embody the perfect example of the Guru by practicing together as vajra brothers and sisters fortunate enough to be united by the golden thread of unbroken lineage, teachings and transmissions from the Guru. Please know that I am sending my prayers to all of you and the entire Rigpa Sangha is ever in my thoughts and prayers. Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche.


At this very sad time, like many of you, we have just received the very sad news of Kyabjé Sogyal Rinpoche`s passing into Parinirvana. And all of us are deeply saddened at this very, very unfortunate time for all sentient beings, to have heard of this very, very difficult news. And all our prayers and thoughts are with you at this time.

Of course, the passing away of one’s teacher is one of the most saddest and challenging of times for all dharma practitioners. It is also during such a time that one’s devotion, and every profound teaching that one has received has to be brought into one’s own mind and practised.

Whenever one’s teacher passes away a meditator and a student experiences a situation which is like the brilliant sun completely disappearing during the daytime. And during this moment one often encounters a sense of, a moment of uncertainty, and such an uncertainty brings fear and not knowing.

It is very important therefore, to turn one’s mind, not just to the extreme loss that one has experienced, and particularly not letting the fear and the uncertainty and the sadness overwhelm you, but express one’s gratitude for the tremendous blessing and the wisdom and compassion that one has received. And recalling all of the profound teachings, and the devotion in your heart to become the basis of clarity, and even more steadfastness and certainty of the view of the dharma.

Therefore, it is one of the best offerings that we can make is to be together in harmony, turn to the practice, and especially keep in heart the practice of Guru Rinpoche. All of our great teachers, and Sogyal Rinpoche particularly, is gathered within the mindstream of the great Mahaguru, Guru Rinpoche.

Therefore, supplicate to Guru Rinpoche, do Vajra Guru mantras and all of the various Guru Rinpoche prayers and within Guru Rinpoche see the indivisibleness of one’s own guru. And supplicate, and generate devotion. Reciting the Guru Rinpoche mantra, the Guru Rinpoche prayers, particularly the Tsik dun soldep, the Seven Line supplication to Padmakara, as well as continuing with all of your practices. And doing the Guru Yoga practices will be very, very, I think, helpful for each practitioner.

And as also, express one’s devotion to one’s own Guru, and allow one’s self to really feel the presence of the Guru with you. I have personally often thought that while, when the physical presence of the teacher is no longer with us there is tremendous sadness. But at the passing of one’s own Guru I felt also very much that simply the absence of the physical presence of the Guru somehow made oneself feel even more close and more near, and that the Guru was in every moment, everywhere.

And so therefore, I’m sure that with your hearts united together in devotion and prayers you will each one of you find Sogyal Rinpoche immediately with you at this very moment. And even more close and more immediate than you have ever felt before.

So please turn to practice. Stay strong. This is a moment where the entire Rigpa sangha needs to be together in harmony and truly embodying perfect example of practitioners and students of a most wonderful teacher.

We all remain with you in our prayers, in our thoughts and we send you all our prayers and blessings, and we hope that each one of you will find strength in your practice.


Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche

My sangha and I wish to offer our deepest condolences to Sogyal Rinpoche’s family and the Rigpa sangha for the untimely passing of His Eminence Sogyal Rinpoche. Throughout his lifetime, he brought the teaching of Buddha Shakyamuni to thousands of people, and established monasteries and Dharma centers throughout the world. Also Sogyal Rinpoche invited many highly realized Rinpoches to give empowerments, profound instructions and reading transmissions. In particular, he provided many students of Buddhism with the opportunity to practice the Dharma intensively during both short and long retreats, which was of great benefit for many students. Therefore, his passing away is a great loss.

Let us make heartfelt prayers that all Rinpoche’s Dharma projects will be quickly fulfilled and that his reincarnation swiftly returns. May his devoted students continue to practice, and may their practice flourish.

Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche from Gomde Pyrenees, France.


Khenchen Namdrol Rinpoche

A Letter to Comfort and Console the Mind

respectfully written for the international Rigpa Sangha disciples

On August 28th 2019, at the very moment that I heard the sad news of the departure of the great doctrine upholder, Sogyal Rinpoche, I felt very disheartened. At the same time, I immediately read the Sole Heir of the Doctrine Tantra that Liberates through Contact and the root text on the Great Perfection, the Precious Treasure of the Dharmadhatu, with pure aspirations. My aspirations are that the deceased one fully pacify all obstacles on the grounds and paths and swiftly realize the state of the Primordial Protector, Samantabhadra. I pray that he may once again benefit the doctrine and sentient beings as limitless as space itself.

Whoever is his disciple will certainly feel a sense of deep sadness and loss at this time, for that is the nature of this world of ours. However, that alone will not bring any benefit, so mainly it is crucial to think as follows. With pure faith and samaya that does not waver, one should give rise to a sense of responsibility to ensure that the legacy of Rinpoche’s vast enlightened activity of bringing benefit to the doctrine and beings in this world will continue to be ever-increasing in the years ahead. Holding this aspiration is the responsibility of all disciples. Please, everyone, bear this in mind.

In addition, I think it is of great benefit for Sogyal Rinpoche’s journey through the grounds and paths, as well as all disciples’ purification of deteriorations concerning any aspects of samaya, to recite the Stainless Confession Tantra, as well as to chant the one hundred syllable mantra or the concise six syllable mantra as much as possible at this time.

For myself, I will continue as much as I can to offer prayers and present offerings on Rinpoche’s behalf.

Written at Pharping, Nepal on August 29th 2019, Tibetan 2146, on the 29th day of the sixth month by Khenpo Namdrol.


Khenchen Pema Sherab Rinpoche

Message from Khenchen Pema Sherab Rinpoche to all the Rigpa students worldwide

I was saddened to hear of the passing away of Sogyal Rinpoche, receiving the news when I was preparing to travel from India to France. Owing to the above circumstance, I could not send a detailed message to all the Rigpa students at that moment. Now that I have arrived in Paris, I thought I would share my thoughts in a more elaborate way.

First of all, I would like to offer my condolences to all the devoted students of Sogyal Rinpoche, with his departure from this world into parinirvana. I sincerely share the moment of grief and pain that you all are experiencing now.

When Rinpoche was sick, you all did everything that you could in your own way, in order to see to the restoration of his health—from physically attending to him at his bedside and providing the best possible treatment, to praying for his good health from afar and performing various pujas for his well-being. These efforts show how much you cared for your master and how devoted you are to him.

Even though the demise of the master is heartbreaking, we as practitioners should know that this very event in itself is the greatest teaching of impermanence that the master can provide the students. Even the Buddha left this world, which echoes the most profound teaching: “All conditioned phenomena are ephemeral.” Hence, we should learn from this fact and try to make the best use of our existence.

Sogyal Rinpoche has left behind a wealth of teachings, instructions and guidance for all the Rigpa centers throughout the world, and the time has come for all his students to renew their faith in him and reaffirm their commitment to his messages of love, compassion, wisdom and enlightenment.

In order to continue Sogyal Rinpoche’s enlightened activities and his far-reaching vision for the world and for all sentient beings, all his students should stay united and focused at this critical juncture and take all the necessary measures to ensure that his legacy continues into the distant future for the benefit of all.

From the time that Rinpoche was unwell till his last breath, I had been praying for his good health and long life. Even after his passing away, I pray that there is no obstacle to his advancement in the stages of the path to enlightenment.

I also offer my prayers for all the Rigpa students so that you gain the mental strength to turn adversities into the path and to make your lives meaningful through the study and practice of the Buddhadharma.

With heartfelt wishes,
Khenpo Pema Sherab




Ling Rinpoche

29th August 2019

Dear Rigpa Sangha, Students and Friends

I would like to extend my heartfelt condolences on the sad passing of your beloved Teacher, Sogyal Rinpoche. I am thinking of you all at this difficult time, and I am deeply sorry for your loss.

Rinpoche knew my predecessor, HH Kyabje Yongdzin Ling Rinpoche, and I feel there is a karmic connection between us which has carried on through this lifetime. I want to reassure you that I am making prayers for the swift return of Rinpoche, so that He can continue His precious Dharma activities.

I have met many of you on my travels to Rigpa centers world wide over the years, and I have been touched by the sincerity and courage with which you have addressed the recent challenges in your Dharma community. It is due to Rinpoche’s kindness that you have had this opportunity to meet the Buddha Dharma, the source of every happiness up to Enlightenment, at this time in the world when the Teachings are so rare. I encourage all of you to make prayers and dedications for the swift return of Rinpoche, and to continue putting into practice the precious Dharma instructions that you have been fortunate to receive.

I offer all of you my blessings and I pray that you will always have the guidance of perfect, pure Mahayana Virtuous Friends, and that all of your dharma activities will be successful.

Kindest regards,
Ling Rinpoche

Khenpo Tashi Tseten

A respectful request to all beloved Rigpa students:

Today I heard that the sublime Khyabje Sogyal Rinpoche, who has been most exceedingly kind in serving the teachings of the Buddha and sentient beings, has appeared to merge his wisdom mind into the dharmadhatu from the perspective of his disciples who still fixate upon permanence. With respect, I am immeasurably saddened, and I also console you.

However, even though it appears to us impure students that the master himself has passed beyond sorrow, the inexhaustible wisdom of his enlightened mind never wavers from constantly seeing all sentient beings. So everyone should strive to practice guru yoga, and merge your own mind with the master’s wisdom mind as much as you can. Since the true nature of mind, a luminous and empty unity, is indivisible with the master’s wisdom mind, there is no better way to fulfil the master’s wishes and perfect your own accumulation of merit and wisdom than the practice of guru yoga. So I kindly request us all to make our best effort to practice this way.

Offered with respect from Namdroling by the khenpo for the Rigpa Shedra in Nepal, Khenpo Tashi Tseten on August 28, 2019.


Chagdud Khadro

Sogyal Rinpoche’s exit from the theater of this life is a sad loss for us as Chagdud Rinpoche’s students, for the Nyingma tradition, and for the Buddha dharma. He was a maestro of activity, an impresario of sacred events, who set a high standard for preservation of teachings and propagation of lineage. He was extremely kind and supportive of me personally and a good dharma brother to Chagdud Rinpoche. In Tibet their monasteries faced each other on opposite mountains for centuries. In 1987, at one of Sogyal Rinpoche’s dynamic retreats in France, Chagdud Rinpoche said to me, “I felt the presence of Vajra Guru.” After that his loyalty to Sogyal Rinpoche was unshakable.

Sogyal Rinpoche’s devoted students are heartbroken, of course. But, they will find, as we did after the passing of Chagdud Rinpoche, that his presence is not absent. Like the glow of the setting sun, his transcendent sacred intention will become clearer, more beautifully luminous. They will know it in their hearts.

Chagdud Khadro


Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche

We are deeply saddened by the news of Sogyal Rinpoche's passing.

Sogyal Rinpoche played a very important role for Buddha dharma in general, and specially for the Nyingma school by spreading the teachings of Padmasambhava. We feel sorry for this great loss.

As we always talk about impermanence, we should take the passing away of a spiritual master as a teaching for showing us how everything is impermanent.

I request all his students to gather together, practice and to continue to be strong and support his dharma activities.

The Shechen Monasteries in Nepal, India, Bhutan and Tibet will offer lamps and prayers for Sogyal Rinpoche.


Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Yangsi Rinpoche

To the disciples of Ven. Sogyal Rinpoche

Dear Friends,

I have just received the sad news that, after a long battle with illness, Sogyal Rinpoche has passed away. In general, it is always sad to hear of the passing of great masters, and this is especially true when you are close to the master who has passed away. It is, nevertheless, simply the way of things.

I feel that when a master is alive, it is essential disciples receive their instructions and teachings with faith and devotion. And, when they pass on, to honour their memory through devotion – our practice and conduct.

I’d like to take the opportunity to remind you of something you will have heard many times before: genuine disciples should be harmonious, have pure, unblemished samaya, and unwavering devotion. This is especially important now - the time of Rinpoche’s passing Sogyal Rinpoche was very close to my predecessor, Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche; from whom he received numerous empowerments, instructions, and transmissions. Personally, I believe that if a connection between master and disciple is strong, it will remain, unwavering.

My connection to Sogyal Rinpoche is very strong. Rinpoche was always very kind and caring toward me, a feeling that is reciprocated. I have always felt very close to and protective of Sogyal Rinpoche, especially so in the recent times of his illness.

Rinpoche requested me to visit him and the centres of his activity – the Rigpa Centres around the world (especially Lerab Ling) – many times. However, due to family commitments – attending and serving my father, Tsikey Chokling Rinpoche – I wasn’t able to fulfil Rinpoche’s wishes and for that I apologise.

I want to request you, the disciples of Sogyal Rinpoche, to be harmonious; to practice the teachings, you have received properly and without hypocrisy; to be unwavering in your devotion. To supplicate Rinpoche and work to fulfil and sustain all of his activities and wishes. May they all be free of obscuration and obstacle. I will also make prayers and dedicate in the same way.

May the blessings of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas; of Guru Rinpoche, and all the great masters be with us all.

Yours truly,

Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Yangsi Rinpoche, Ugyen Tenzin Jigme Lhundrup.


Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche

Dear Noble Sangha of Rigpa,

Though it is not traditional to mourn the passing of a teacher in an ordinary way, I cannot help but feel the magnitude of the loss of Sogyal Rinpoche leaving this planet today. He was a great pioneer in bringing Buddhadharma to thousands in the new world after Tibet lost its independence and many masters had to flee into exile. Ironically, one consequence of this tragedy was the possibility for the Tibetan lineage of Buddhadharma to spread outside of Tibet. Many great teachers like His Holiness Dalai Lama, my own root teacher Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, his teacher Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro, Dudjom Rinpoche, and many others, all went into exile and spread the dharma widely. But the generation of teachers like Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Sogyal Rinpoche, and several others, came to the West. They resided here, formed communities, taught tirelessly, and thus changed the landscape of Tibetan Buddhism in the world.

The loss of Sogyal Rinpoche is the end of an era. Rinpoche had a magnetic persona which inspired great commitment and dedication in his disciples to build communities around the world. These were places where thousands could come together and not only dip their toes in the water of holy Dharma but become truly committed to the practice lineage of Vajrayana Tibetan Buddhism.

I therefore can’t help but mourn the loss of Sogyal Rinpoche and feel deeply for his disciples everywhere, especially at this time. I can only encourage you to carry on with courage and solidarity, to stay on course in the path of Dharma, and to keep serving the vision of Rigpa with dedication. You have all shown yourselves to be great examples for others to follow in generations to come. I now pray for Rinpoche to be reunited with his own masters, and with the Master of Masters, the Lotus-Born, in the Glorious Copper-Colored Mountain, in one mandala.

I send my thoughts and prayers for the Rigpa Sangha and my deepest condolences.

With Immense Warmth of Tsewa—Love—for You All,

Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche


Khandro Tseringma

I am so sorry and sad to hear the news about Sogyal Rinpoche. In his lifetime his disciples served him in the very best way possible. Now it is time that we all need to pray for His rebirth for the benefit of all sentient beings. Especially pray for Rinpoche’s wishes to serve others and set them in the right direction to achieve Bodhichitta and emptiness. Therefore, all disciples please practice for Rinpoche’s teachings for Bodhichitta and emptiness - this is the best way to fulfil Rinpoche’s wishes and it is also the best way to achieve nirvana ourselves. It is not useful to become sad. I will also pray for His rebirth for the benefit of all sentient beings.


Ringu Tulku Rinpoche

Sogyal Rinpoche: As I Remember

I was deeply saddened to hear the news of the passing away of Sogyal Rinpoche this afternoon, 28th August 2019. I knew him from childhood and he remained a friend to me all his life. I first met him when he was studying in Dr. Graham’s Home School in Kalimpong.

Dr. Graham's Homes (formerly St. Andrew's Colonial Homes) was founded in 1900 by Reverend Dr. John Anderson Graham, a missionary of the Church of Scotland, who settled in Kalimpong and worked with the local community for several years during the turn of the 20th century. Whilst working in Edinburgh as a clerk in the Civil Service, Graham was influenced and encouraged by the Minister of his Church, the Reverend John McMurtrie, to be ordained in the Ministry of God.

-- Dr. Graham's Homes, by Wikipedia

Every weekends and vacations he went to see his Masters and Khenpo’s to study Dharma. He was sent for western education as he later graduated from prestigious St. Stephan’s College, Delhi, but the deep impact left by Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro in his childhood never dwindled.

St. Stephen's College is a constituent college of the University of Delhi. Widely regarded as one of the oldest and most prestigious colleges for arts and sciences in India,[2] the institution has produced a line of distinguished alumni.[3] It was established by the Cambridge Mission to Delhi. The college admits both undergraduates and post-graduates, and awards degrees in liberal arts and sciences under the purview of the University of Delhi.[4] As of 2017, the Governing Body of the College has unilaterally initiated a move towards making it an autonomous institution.

The history of St. Stephen's College can be traced to St. Stephen's High School, founded in 1854 by the Reverend Samuel Scott Allnutt, Chaplain of Delhi, run by the Delhi Mission of the United Society. With the closure of Government College, Delhi in 1879 because of financial problems, Reverend Thomas Valpy French, immediately urged the Cambridge Mission, an Anglican mission organised by the alumni of University of Cambridge, to fill the breach.[5] The other major aim for the foundation of the college was response to British Indian Government's policy of promoting English education in India.[6] It was the Reverend Samuel Scott Allnutt of St. John's College, Cambridge, who was mainly responsible for founding the college. Finally on 1 February 1881, in support of the work of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, the Cambridge Brotherhood founded the St. Stephen's College. The Reverend Samuel Scott Allnutt served as its first principal.[7]

The Cambridge Mission to Delhi was an Anglican Christian missionary initiative to India in the mid 19th and early 20th centuries led by graduates of Cambridge University. Individual members of the mission community are credited with helping to establish St. Stephens's College, a constituent College of the current University of Delhi, for social reform initiatives, and for providing support in the later years of the Indian independence movement.

The mission was formally established in 1877 under the leadership of Rev. Edward Bickersteth (1850–1897).

In 1877, Rev. Edward Bickersteth a Fellow of Pembroke College accompanied by Rev. John D.M. Murray, of St. John's College set out to India to support the mission work and educational initiatives of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel.[1] The work of the Cambridge Mission followed in the footsteps of earlier Delhi mission initiatives by the Revd. Midgley John Jennings. Bickersteth and Murray, like many other early participants in the mission were students of the influential Cambridge biblical scholar and Regius Professor of Divinity, Brooke Foss Westcott.

Although Rev. Murray was obliged to return to England early due to ill health, the Rev. H.F. Blackett of St. John's College, the Rev. H.C. Carlyon of Sidney Sussex College and the Rev. Samuel Scott Allnutt of St. John's College all joined the mission in 1878.[2] The mission further expanded in 1879 with the addition of Rev. George Lefroy, who subsequently was assigned Bishop of Lahore in 1899 and later Calcutta in 1912.

With the arrival of a larger group of Cambridge educated Anglican missionaries, Bickersteth moved to establish a more structured residential community for the mission, which came to be known as the Cambridge Brotherhood. This pattern of communal living for unmarried mission clergy was replicated at a later date by Bickersteth in Tokyo, with the establishment of the St. Andrew's Brotherhood on his appointment in 1886 as missionary bishop to Japan.[3]

Among church pastoral initiatives in support of the work of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, the Cambridge Brotherhood in 1881 established St. Stephens's College, a constituent College of the current University of Delhi.

St Stephen's Hospital, Delhi was the biggest hospital that was a part of the Cambridge Mission to Delhi. There were several smaller hospitals in the surrounding area that were also associated with the mission. Jenny Muller was the first full-time doctor on staff at St. Stephen's Hospital in Delhi. Marie Elizabeth Hayes, a native a Raheny, Ireland, was another influential medical missionary. As a result of her work on the Cambridge Mission to Delhi, there is a ward in St. Stephen's Hospital names the "Marie Hayes" Ward.

In 1904, Rev. Frederick Western and Rev. Charles Freer Andrews travelled to India to join the mission community and teach at St. Stephen's College. As a close friend and associate of Mahatma Gandhi, Andrews was also later widely known for his work on social reform issues and support of the Indian Independence Movement.

In 1968, the Cambridge Mission to Delhi was formally absorbed into the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (USPG), a United Kingdom based registered Anglican charity now known as the United Society or Us [4]

-- Cambridge Mission to Delhi, by Wikipedia

The college's first premises were in Chandni Chowk, Delhi with 5 boarders and three professors, and was an affiliate of the University of Calcutta,[8] but later in 1882, it changed its affiliation to Punjab University. The Punjab University received its charter more than one year after the founding of St. Stephen's College, which became one of the two institutions first affiliated to it and moved into premises in Kashmiri Gate, Delhi.[9]

In 1906, Principal The Rev. G. Hibbert Ware abdicated his post in favour of Susil Kumar Rudra who became the first Indian to head a major educational institution in India. The decision was frowned upon at the time, but Principal Susil Kumar Rudra proved to have a tenure of extraordinary importance for the college.[10]

Reverend C. F. Andrews, a prominent lecturer at the college and member of the Cambridge Brotherhood, was active in the Indian independence movement, and was named 'Deenbandhu' (which means, friend of the poor) by Mahatma Gandhi on account of his work with the needy and with the trade union movement. Currently, a portrait of Reverend C. F. Andrews is hung beside the portrait of his good friend Rabindranath Tagore in the Principal's office. It is also believed that Rabindranath Tagore completed the English translation of 'Gitanjali', for which he was subsequently awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, while a guest at the college.[5]

With the establishment of the University of Delhi in 1922, the college became a constituent college of the University.[11]

Women were first admitted in 1928, as there were no women's colleges in Delhi affiliated with the Anglican Church at the time; after the founding of Miranda House in 1949, women were not accepted as students until 1975.[12]

-- St. Stephen's College, Delhi, by Wikipedia

His confidence in Dharma and his devotion to his Gurus took him to devote all his life to Dharma. He was teaching Dharma to his fellow students in school as well as in University and continued even when the King of Sikkim sent him to Cambridge University for further studies in UK.

His greatest delight was to share what he learnt from his masters that helped him so much. He succeeded to bring the essence of Dharma to the modern world in an unparalleled way. His book, Tibetan Book of Living and Dying touched millions of people all over the world. I have met people in every nook and corner of the world who told me that his teachings have transformed their lives. He worked tirelessly with his students and he often boasted about how devoted and hard working his students were. He established the Rigpa organisation and succeeded to bring to the West some of the greatest masters of the time.

I have never heard him speak badly about anybody in my life. Even when some of his trusted students attacked him with most serious accusations he did not say one bad word against them. He quietly resigned and left. His only wish was that Rigpa would continue to serve the purpose that he established it for and bring genuine Dharma to the people of this world. He repeatedly asked me to come and teach in its centres and support it to grow. I am sure he asked this to many Lamas and Masters. He soon took ill and passed away. I have lost a true friend who I will never cease to miss.

Ringu Tulku



H.E. Khamtrul Rinpoche

Kyabjé Khamtrul Rinpoche was very saddened to hear about the Parinirvana of Terton Sogyal Rinpoche. Rinpoche with Tokden Achoe send theirs prayers and stand with Rigpa community at this time of sorrow.

Rinpoche has instructed Khampagar Monastery, Institute, Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery and Tashi Jong community to hold Lama Chodpa prayers for Terton Sogyal Rinpoche.

Rinpoche’s heart goes to all the Rigpa Sangha and they all are in thoughts and prayers.

© 2018 Sogyal Rinpoche
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Re: Randy Sogyal Rinpoche, Best-Selling Lecher

Postby admin » Sun Sep 01, 2019 4:29 am

Petition Launched / Dharma Teachers: Retract Your Homages to Sogyal
by Charles Carreon


Sign the Petition at Change.org

To: Mindrolling Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche, Khenchen Namdrol Rinpoche, Khenchen Pema Sherab Rinpoche, Ling Rinpoche, Khenpo Tashi Tseten, Chagdud Khadro, Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche, Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Yangsi Rinpoche, Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, Khandro Tseringma, Ringu Tulku Rinpoche, H.E. Khamtrul Rinpoche

Dear Dharma Teachers:

It was with shock and dismay that we, the undersigned Dharma students, read your homages to Sogyal Lakha published at https://sogyalrinpoche.org/paying-homage-to-sogyal-rinpoche. Several of you describe his death as a "Parinirvana." You advise us that "his enlightened mind never wavers from constantly seeing all sentient beings," that his death provides "the most pithy instructions," that "his transcendent sacred intention will become clearer," and "the time has come for all his students to renew their faith in him."

We have considered you to be especially perceptive human beings, compassionate teachers of kindness, thoughtful men and women who work for the benefit of others. Thus, we are shocked when we read your eulogies of Sogyal, because your words ignore the sufferings of the many people who suffered physical and sexual assaults, financial exploitation, and emotional anguish at the hands of Sogyal Lakhar.

We are surprised that you seem unaware that Sogyal suffered from personality faults that made him unsuitable to be venerated as a spiritual teacher, a vajra guru. Eight close former students and assistants of Sogyal's revealed his "lavish, gluttonous and sybaritic lifestyle," in a detailed 12-page letter. The letter documented how his physical abuse had left "students with bloody injuries and permanent scars," and how he had used his Dharma authority to "gain access to young women, and to coerce, intimidate and manipulate them into giving [him] sexual favors." Rigpa hired a law firm to investigate the charges against Sogyal, and their report concluded that "students of Sogyal Lakar (who were part of the ‘inner circle’, as described later in this report) have been subjected to serious physical, sexual and emotional abuse by him." There have been several articles in international news outlets with titles like "Sexual assaults and violent rages ... Inside the dark world of Buddhist teacher Sogyal Rinpoche." A book has been published entitled "Sex and Violence in Tibetan Buddhism: The Rise and Fall of Sogyal Rinpoche."

With all this information available, it is disturbing that you are advising us to imagine Sogyal as our guru, sending comforting blessings to us from the bardo. Some of you project that we are suffering in his absence, but this is not what we are thinking about. Our minds are on his victims, who deserve compassion and respect. You wrote eulogies that implicitly assume that Sogyal had no victims. Your words made them disappear.

The UK Charity Commission took action to protect Rigpa students from Sogyal on April 12, 2019, by disqualifying Patrick Gaffney "with immediate effect," from serving as a Rigpa trustee, "for failing in his duty to protect those who came in contact with the charity." The Charity Commission explained, "the public expects charities to be safe places, where people are free from harm." The Charity Commission disqualified Gaffney because, "where we find charities that are failing in this essential duty, we will take action to remove those responsible." For the same reason -- because students expect Dharma centers to be safe places, where "teachers" will not prey upon them, you should not be rendering homage to Sogyal Lakhar, who injured his Dharma students under the guise of providing them with spiritual guidance.

If you affirm Sogyal Lakhar's conduct, you justify the injuries he caused, and show little respect for those he injured. Because we cannot believe this was your intention, we respectfully request that you retract your homages to Sogyal Lakhar. Your retraction will benefit his victims and the Dharma.

Sign the Petition at Change.org
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Re: Randy Sogyal Rinpoche, Best-Selling Lecher

Postby admin » Mon Sep 02, 2019 1:40 am

Beyond the Temple: "Sadness, yes, but ..."
by beyondthetemple.com
Accessed: 9/1/19


AUGUST 31, 2019 AT 6:50 PM
Ah the myth building begins – soon he’ll become a legend, like Trungpa before him.
Keeps the machine greased, keeps people com[ing] – and with it the money.
Don’t for get to donate to his Paarinirvana ! – https://donations.rigpa.org/en/make_a_d ... ighlight/8

Been there
AUGUST 31, 2019 AT 9:19 PM
I just read all the words of praise to S L from various lamas on the Facebook page. Each of them must have been aware of the details of SL’s crimes and abuses, and yet they only had nice things to say. Their apparent indifference to his depravity, and to the very real suffering that he caused, reveals each and every one of them now to be untrustworthy.

Edmund Butler
SEPTEMBER 1, 2019 AT 4:31 AM
The lamas’ eulogies reveal the entrenched nepotism in Tibetan Buddhism which is increasing its impotence. They fantasise about thousands of devoted students the world over, legitimising their religion while ignoring the suffering of the abused from among those students. Clearly it is entirely wrong to expect empathy from these people.

The essence of buddhism for me is to alleviate suffering. What a chronic waste of training that these people are now failing to do that, and instead promote yet deeper immersion into the cultic illusions on which so many of their sanghas rest. These people stand out, alone amongst everyone else who is now commenting on Sogyal’s death as the ONLY bunch who pretend he was not abusive. They should all be collectively called out on their utterly disingenuous hypocrisy, and relentlessly. In one stupid move that have deligitimised whatever authority they may have had as arbiters of ethical behaviour.

Look at one example from among these sycophants – Dzigar Kongtrul. He once told a clearly confused (western) victim of Sogyal’s sexual crimes that she was lucky to be his consort. Now here he is saying, “…You have all shown yourselves to be great examples for others to follow in generations to come”, as if a senior 8 of those people didn’t inspire a mass exodus of students with revelations of intense abuse just the other day. He goes on, “I now pray for Rinpoche to be reunited with his own masters”, ignoring the fact he never had any formal teachers or training.

These people are in fact blind to the suffering they profess to dispel with their flowery, exotic ways and it is ironic in the extreme that Sogyal’s death should now be the catalyst which exposes the rot of this dysfunctional lamaism in on of the clearest such displays in perhaps decades.

Since they cannot self-police in line with their mystical, holier than thou ways from an inaccessible Shangri-La, the Courts will happily oblige in sending all of these people a clear message about the gross injustices which they are perpetuating in the name of the dharma in publishing this despicable messages, once the ongoing investigations wrap up here.

As westerners, however, we must collectively stop worshiping this magical thinking that says anything exotically eastern is better than me and can be my saviour. We must stop expecting the Dalai Lama to fix everything with a statement of reprimand. If we know its due, we should speak it ourselves without waiting for him or any of his friends to say it on our behalf, subservient, cowering and emotionally lesser than. That is wrong view.

Perhaps then the other sycophants such as Dzongsar Khyentse and Osel Mukpo will chime in, once they have gotten over their reluctance to say anything which may be seen as either putting themselves on a pedestal above the law or, in the case of the latter, downright hypocritical.

SEPTEMBER 1, 2019 AT 5:05 AM
I came to the conclusion that the hierarchy of Tibetan Buddhism was institutionally rotten a long time ago, but I’ve never seen it proved with such sickening clarity.

Page after page of glowing sycophantic praise for a mentally disturbed man who sexually abused countless vulnerable women for his own gratification whenever he could, leaving them with enduring trauma; a narcissistic bully who mentally and physically brutalized hundreds of devoted students to assuage his sense of insecurity whenever he felt like it, causing them humiliation and long-lasting emotional distress; a greedy posturing fraud who misused the sincere good will of thousands of decent people to enrich and elevate himself, leaving them bereft and disillusioned.

And where are all his victims amidst this gushing torrent of lofty spiritual praise?……..not even one word among thousands……for these people who call themselves “teachers” it’s not just that the victims are unimportant…..they simply don’t exist.

The unwritten line at the end of each letter is: ” I’ll expect my cash in due course.”

There you have the real face of Tibetan Buddhism.

And his devoted followers, still clinging to the memory of this odious man? Where are all the supposedly life-enhancing experiences he conferred on them now? Where is all that profound insight, where is all the kindness, compassion and moral clarity they say they learnt sitting at his feet for years that makes them who they think they are now?

Despite waiting patiently and looking carefully, most of us outside Rigpa can detect no sign of any of it……and there never will be, because compassion will never rise from indifference, kindness cannot be produced by cruelty, and understanding will never come out of willful denial.

Of course our emotional reactions can be complicated, but personally I can’t understand why anyone would feel even a moment’s sadness at the death of a man who has wreaked such irreversible destruction on so many lives as Sogyal has.

If my attitude seems uncompromising it’s because I believe that many people, both in or outside of Tibetan Buddhism, especially those on the sidelines, who weren’t so directly affected, still haven’t taken the real measure of what happened, what it says about Tibetan Buddhism and what a dangerous criminal Sogyal was. This is not neutral at all.

They insist he’s “In meditation” when of course he’s just dead…..but this is the start of the sordid process of revising history and re-writing the truth to justify violence and abuse, to make a religious rapist into a saint, and it’ll run and run.

When they enact the primitive goulish ritual of bricking up his embalmed corpse in a stupa with great ceremony and reverence, amidst clouds of incense, tears of regret and mawkish emotion, their collective denial……and anyone else’s faint moral ambiguity, will be creating the ideal conditions for it to happen all over again.

SEPTEMBER 2, 2019 AT 12:19 AM
@ Matilda

Thanks for posting the link to the petition…..this is going to be interesting, although I expect it’ll produce the same telling lack of response as the previous invitation to lamas to comment on the subject.

As to the concluding part: “If you affirm Sogyal Lakhar’s conduct, you justify the injuries he caused, and show little respect for those he injured. Because we cannot believe this was your intention…….”

Well, it’s true but I believe that was exactly their intention and it’s good that as many people as possible become aware of it. Even if it might come as a disappointment, it could save them wasting their time in future.
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Re: Randy Sogyal Rinpoche, Best-Selling Lecher

Postby admin » Mon Sep 02, 2019 11:59 am

Deification, Damnation & Delusion: The Method in the Madness of Sogyal's Eulogists
by Charles Carreon
September 2, 2019


Many of us asked ourselves, when we read the florid homages to Sogyal Lakhar posted on the Rigpa website, authored by twelve Tibetan lamas* and one American woman with a Vajrayana following, "What were they thinking?" This is an excellent question, and one that can be approached by asking ourselves, "What might they otherwise have done?"

Well, let us see. If Sogyal wasn't a crazy wisdom guru whose every act was sanctified by his attainment of Dharmakaya wisdom in a prior lifetime, compassionately emerging from the pure Sambhogakaya realm, due to auspicious circumstances, for the benefit of sentient beings who otherwise would be lost in the wiles of a degenerate age, what would he be? He would be a man who, lacking any real education in the Dharma, but blessed with the gift of gab and devoid of scruples, seized the opportunity to impersonate a Tibetan guru, and took the world for a ride, milking his followers for sex, money, and adulation. Arrogantly claiming attainments that he lacked, he demanded offerings, and converted them to his pursuit of pleasure and self-aggrandizement. Instead of realizing the pure nature of awareness as the union of emptiness and compassion, as the union of Samantabhadra and Samantabadri, wisdom and skillful means, he engaged in fornication, telling his "consorts" that they were receiving blessings, when in truth they had simply been seduced by a lecherous lama.

Well, according to the Vajrayana teachings, what happens to such a person? Tibetan Dharma students are all familiar with the answer -- such a person has committed the most heinous of sins, the misuse of tantric practices for worldly purposes, and their penalty cannot be remitted or delayed. There will be no stopping-place in the bardo for them, for they will "fly like an arrow into the lowest hell."

So let us place ourselves in the position of those who, like the Thirteen Eulogists, know all of this, and realize that, at some point, people are going to start saying that Sogyal is roasting in vajra hell until the end of the aeon. That just sounds awful. Think about it. Sogyal was fond of threatening people with vajra hell himself -- so much so that in the Lewis Silkin report, the author noted:

"Witnesses told me that Sogyal Lakar’s teachings describe a Samaya breaker as being condemned to Vajra Hell; I was told that this is described at length in historic teachings as the worst of the eighteen hells and a place of eternal torture. I heard evidence that breaking Samaya is taught by Sogyal to be the worst thing a student can do; it is said that it will damage their own health, the health of their family and cause harm to the teacher / damage his long life. Many witnesses considered that there was pressure on them to keep their Samaya. *** The fact that many of the witnesses I spoke to considered that they are, or were, bound by Samaya, and felt that they would be said to be breaking that vow by speaking to me, has been a particularly challenging aspect of this investigation. It is also a factor which I have had to take into account when assessing the credibility of the evidence available to me."

So there seems to be a terrible irony inherent in this story. The one who threatens others with hell goes to hell. Of course, when you think about it further, you realize that Sogyal obviously didn't believe in vajra hell, otherwise he wouldn't have been cavorting along the edge of the precipice above the blazing pit. For fake Tibetan lamas like Sogyal, Vajra hell is strictly what we might call an "export product" -- you sell it to others, but you don't consume it yourself. Fraudsters always realize the goods they are selling aren't what they claim. If you keep thinking about it, there is a serious risk that you, yourself, will begin to doubt the entire concept of vajra hell. And once that happens, well, the whole darn house of crazy might just start coming apart.

Looking at the situation from the viewpoint of the Thirteen Eulogists, there was only one thing to do. Roll out the Big Lie. No half-measures would do, because even if you try to excuse Sogyal's failings as those of a man made of flesh, subject to earthly temptations, who nevertheless disseminated a lot of holy ideas, and helped other lamas to get access to his funding sources, which must certainly be virtuous, the fact is -- a strict interpretation of the rules sees him frying in hell at least until the Milky Way collapses into the black hole at its center. And these kinds of contemplations are very dangerous.

The truth is, Sogyal's reckless conduct put the entire ship of Tibetan Dharma at risk. He punched a hole right through the hull, and the ocean of samsara was gushing in. Like money, organized religion is built on mass belief. When belief in a religion dissolves, all its tenets and promises become as useless as a stack of Confederate dollars, and the priests of that religion are bankrupt. Conduct like Sogyal's -- and the Sakyong Miphams, to cite another example -- cause a run on the bank of belief, and that leads to a run on the bank of real dollars, which as we know, is a genuine catastrophe. Rigpa and Shambhala have both been sucking wind for a while. Big donors, after all, do their due diligence, and nobody wants to put their money in an organization with questionable charitable bona fides. And little donors, well they keep up the altars, they provide the Sakyong with clean linen and pleasant environments. Once they depart, things can get pretty shabby pretty quick.

Sure, you say, all of this may be true, but what's it matter to the Thirteen Eulogists? So Rigpa collapses, the faithful lose their faith -- one man gathers what another man spills -- Rigpa's loss could be their gain. Why not just remain silent on the matter? Because they are not going to sit by and watch one of the largest aggregations of faith and donors, of real estate and students, simply collapse upon itself, as if they were disinterested anchorites on retreat in their desert caves. They are going to move on those Rigpa students, comfort them in their bereavement -- Sogyal after all built his empire on seducing the bereaved -- ladle adulation over the dead guru like ghee on a lingham, and make everyone feel all right. They are going to scoop up those Rigpa students, the poor lost little lambs, gather them into the sheepfold and get them all bleating happily together, so safe in their tender Dharma love, just like that nasty old wolf had never been here. And all those people who say Sogyal was the wolf -- well we just won't let them in here -- they were the wolf. Yeah, they were the wolf, those nasty people who said Sogyal was the wolf. That's the plan. Gather those little sheep together, comfort them in their hour of need, and then, just like Sogyal, shear them of their wool.



* One of those lamas, Rigdzin Namkha Gyatso Rinpoche, had his eulogy deleted after it was posted. Some have stated that he is under investigation for sexual assault in Switzerland. I haven't confirmed this. A copy of the original RNGR eulogy is preserved at this link.

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