Indentured Servants to the Royal Family of Trungpa, by Chris

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.

Indentured Servants to the Royal Family of Trungpa, by Chris

Postby admin » Sat Jul 27, 2019 2:04 am

Indentured Servants to the Royal Family of Trungpa [EXCERPT from Enthralled: The Guru Cult of Tibetan Buddhism]
by Christine A. Chandler, M.A., C.A.G.S.
© 2017 Christine A. Chandler, M.A., C.A.G.S.




While completing my indoctrination practices of ngondro and Shambhala training, my second husband and fellow cult-member, both of us still delusionally faithful to our dead guru, Trungpa, had decided to provide legal guardianship and direct care for his autistic disabled son [Tagtrug (Taggie) Mukpo].478 What was to be a temporary arrangement, became a six-and-a-half-year responsibility, over six, long winters, in Trungpa's little house in Vermont.

When we arrived, at Bhumi Pali Bhavan, as T's little house was named, T had blown through a group home situation in Vermont. His nuclear family was "unavailable," and there was no situation in this community to custodially take over his care. He was basically stranded. The alternative would be turning his care over to the State of Vermont, despite his very wealthy, extended family being alive, and more than well. A group, now very politically-correct, saw this as another potential scandal in the making, so soon after the Regent debacle, so they were stalling for time.

Deep in my cult-indoctrination, with my guru-delusional-soaked mind, a three-month seminary behind me, and summer weekends at Karme Choling to finish my prostrations, I had volunteered to take care of T for a few afternoons, when he was dumped on the Karme Choling porch by the State of Vermont. They couldn't reach his still legally responsible, 'enlightened' family in Hawaii, where they had relocated and were suddenly "unreachable," after the Regent scandal.

So, Karme Choling was given an ultimatum by the State of Vermont: either they take care of him, or he would become a ward of the State. Since T was very comfortable with me, and I was soaked in the mystical manipulation of the group, I believed it was a 'sign' of my duty to his dead father, my first guru, to offer to help. This decision, to take over the legal and custodial care of T, kept my new husband and me a total of nine more years in Trungpa's Tantric cult, and ten more years in the larger Tibetan Lamaist organizations.

Many students, like my husband and I, had been so indoctrinated by Trungpa and his teachings when he was alive, that he was more alive to us now that he was dead. Now, he could be a totally "perfect teacher," idealized without fault.

Living in Trungpa's little house, surrounded by his things, his formal style furniture, his ancient statue of Milarepa -- an Indian Tantric yogi of his Kagyu lineage -- his deftly rendered calligraphies, his little shrine in his bedroom, where we were now sleeping and where Trungpa and the Regent had slept, when they both gave retreats or vajra assemblies at Karme Choling; all this became a symbolic milieu, that quickly turned surreal and crazy-making.

We were in the fulcrum of the cult's insanity that became vivid when they were around T, since every imaginable, idealized projection, that individuals had about Trungpa, were now focused on him. "He was the Buddha himself" ... " "he was Trungpa's teacher in Tibet and only made it half-way into T's body, when he tried to reincarnate into his son" ... "his violence was a great teaching" ... "you both are so lucky to be taking care of the Buddha, himself" .... Hundreds of projections, like these, we observed and heard and experienced, over time, as T, my husband and I disappeared, as real people.

Many of these early Trungpa devotees who came to visit had babysat for T when he was a baby and toddler, before the Sixteenth Karmapa decided to whisk him back to Rumtek monastery in Sikkim, at six years old. After the Karmapa's first visit to the United States, he thought he could 'cure' T. I heard later, that this omniscient Karmapa had phoned back to the States, after only a few months, asking what he should do with T? He was stumped. But, by eighteen years old, T was back in Vermont again, after the Sixteenth Karmapa's death had left Rumtek, the Karmapa's monastery in Sikkim, in disarray; a disorder that culminated in violent intra-sect fighting over the Karmapa's coveted Black Crown.479 480

Once T was in Trungpa's little house, after his group home situation failed, he was now near Karme Choling, where so many of Trungpa students came to take teachings -- hundreds of them every month, from all over the world -- a stream of western nannies and babysitters from T's past -- dozens of them -- soon knocking at the front porch door for a visit. All of them were 'experts' on T's care, as they fawned over him and made him crazy, in their various ways. It was more important to prove what a special relationship they had had, and continue their projections, as though he were still four years old, than to actually learn what he needed. Now, he was a six-foot-two, violent, autistic young man of twenty-years old, whom they hadn't seen in sixteen years, and who had probably been quite neglected in the monastery, after the 16th Karmapa died. He was out of control, had just been kicked out of his group home for violent behaviors, and could be frighteningly ferocious and strong -- pinching and biting and attacking -- when you were least expecting it.

We were never told about these violent attacks that had been happening, since he arrived, and before we decided to become his caretakers and legal guardians; certainly not by a group that knows how to keep secrets well, and couldn't believe their luck that two, naive Trungpa students would take over the responsibility for his care. We would find out, the hard way, like everything we finally learned about this group, and only once we were already installed in Trungpa's house, and had signed the legal documents.

Now we were in a real double bind. If we stopped caring for him, he was in danger of becoming a ward of the State and many, in Trungpa's inner circle, did not want that to happen. So, they were delighted that we would ask for so little in recompense.

Paying us pauper wages, (about 40 cents an hour each) for a 24/7 week, for the first six months, and 24/4, thereafter, we had to resume work at other professional jobs on our days off: my husband as part-time optician, and myself, working as a school psychology consultant in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. Being paid so little was a real 'blessing,' however, because it kept us partially sane and with our reasoning abilities basically intact. It forced us to keep one foot out of the cult; interacting with normal, non-cult members, i.e. regular and down-to-earth local Vermonters, who hadn't yet had these Tantric lamas and gurus take over some of their towns; like Barnet, Vermont. Karme Choling and a small Dalai Lama Gelugpa center, were the only two Tibetan Lamaist major centers in Vermont, at the time. They were joined by ten more, over the next two decades, gradually helping turn Vermont into a socialist state, that has elected a socialist/communist senator to represent them, for the last decade.

About two miles away from Karme Choling, and private, up a winter-treacherous, long hill, this little house on Little France Road became our new home with T. It was also where all the cocaine use, drinking and "crazy wisdom" partying took place, when Trungpa and his Regent were still alive.

My kind Christian and Native American neighbor, after a few months, saw me coming more "out" than staying enthralled with this group. Although, she must have sensed it before I did. She felt she could trust me. Besides her Vermont good sense, she had some further eye-opening stories to tell, about Karme Choling and Trungpa in the earlier days, when Trungpa and his Regent were alive, holding court on Little France Road. She had watched the drugged-out, naked dancing on the house's lawn; the crazy behaviors of Trungpa's devotees; the same disregard and insulting behaviors that these students of the 'highest dharma,' displayed, in front of their Scots-Presbyterian neighbors. These were the same behaviors that Trungpa and his early British devotees had engaged in at Samye Ling, in Scotland, where he wore out his welcome quickly there, with the same antics.481 Vermonters were a more tolerant lot, but that didn't mean they liked what they were seeing, or didn't believe this was a cult. However, by now, with the death and scandals behind them, and the glow of the Dalai Lama's Nobel Prize radiating out to them, Karme Choling had become seemingly integrated and tame in the eyes of the town; at least they were better at keeping their secrets than in Trungpa's and the Regent's days.

So, here we were, in Trungpa's little house, after T had not been able to handle a group home in Vermont; asked to leave for violent behavior said to be caused solely by the other residents' behaviors that a high 'enlightened' tulku, like T, just couldn't be around. That was the narrative that was repeated by Trungpa's inner circle, when we first arrived and were settled in, and before they started telling us the truth about his violence; after I had been violently attacked.

I was beginning to see a different pattern of why he went wild in that group home. His violent behaviors were always connected to, and seemed to occur after, visits from Trungpa's sangha who became reverential and deluded around him; indulging his every wish; infantilizing him with their numerous projections, and their inability to set any limits or boundaries for their guru's son. Many saw him as an 'enlightened' tulku and therefore one of their gurus too, as they would bow to him with their hands folded and 'reframe' everything he did as 'enlightened' activity. Many felt he should have no limits and boundaries, and be allowed to do what he wanted. His out-of-control behaviors were labeled, of course, as 'crazy wisdom' by many of them; just like his father's and his Regent's behaviors had been excused and denied with the same Tantric meme.

So, it wasn't until their influence and energy dissipated, and faded away -- hours, sometimes days -- after they left, that things could return to normal for a severely autistic young man who needed clear boundaries to feel safe.

Trungpa's sangha always caused chaos for him by treating him like a guru; refusing to see the truth of what he needed. You couldn't get past the firewall of their fantasies, and projections. They were all, more or less, in the bubble of the GURU MIND. But, seeing their crazy cult behaviors, helped us begin to lift our Shambhala bell-jars from over our heads.

While projecting all their delusional fantasies onto T, as they do on all Tibetan gurus and tulkus, it did not help that T looked just like his father, when Trungpa was around the same age as T was now. There were pictures of Trungpa in Tibet, that many early Trungpa cult members had on their shrines, and T could have been the young Trungpa's twin.482 So, it was natural that he came to the little house on Little France Road, surrounded by a myriad of idealized projections and insane cult fantasies of members, who believed T was also a "living Buddha," and that everything he did was always a 'great teaching.'

Others believed he could be "cured," and their proposed interventions were sometimes implemented, when we left him in their care. The more 'advanced' they were in their Tantric practices, the more delusional were their projections. I was to get a vivid experience of this group's arrogance through Trungpa's early students, who always "knew better." After all, most of these old nannies and caretakers were early students of the 'Old Man,' and therefore, that much closer to enlightenment, themselves.

Trungpa's eldest son, Osel Mukpo (later given the title Sakyong Mipham the Great Rinpoche by a Nyingmapa lama to give him more weight in his group) had taken over the reins of the organization, right after the Regent scandal went national and almost destroyed the organization, but didn't penetrate their delusions. They were operating with the usual, knee-jerk reaction in a cult, after the death of a guru, or after a major scandal -- this group had experienced both in a few years' time -- by creating an even thicker and more nostalgic fog around their dead gurus. Vajradhatu was no exception to this rule; even though this inner circle and their last guru they worshipped, the Vajra Regent, had just caused the death of one of their own because of these same delusional beliefs.

Now, anything to do with Trungpa and his "royal family" was even more sacrosanct than before. Their propensity for idealized projections allowed many students of Trungpa to completely deny, not only how profoundly handicapped T was, but also to deny how ordinary was their replacement King, Trungpa's older son, Osel Mukpo. In a few years, he would have to be coronated by the Tibetan Nyingmapa lama, Penor Rinpoche, who declared Osel Mukpo: 'Mipham the Great!'; a canonized and idealized Nyingmapa 'scholar' tulku of the nineteenth century, whose 'stream of energy' had somehow entered this Boulder High School drop-out's body at the ripe old age of thirty-two. Apparently, Osel Mukpo needed this big a boost and intellectual overlay. Disillusioned, old Trungpa students would mumble, amongst themselves, how 'Mipham the Great' had declared, on his deathbed, he would never 'reincarnate.'

Trungpa's son -- King of Shambhala II -- was now believed to be residing in the "dharmakaya"; a place outside of time and space. After his coronation as "Mipham the Great" he could now be the symbol of Old Tibet. And Osel Mukpo did all he could to bring the Trungpa community back to the middle ages with a more medieval Tibetan Royal Theocracy of God Kings and with a brocaded throne that needed a ladder to serve him his tea;483 while pretending to the public to be the most 'westernized,' hip and cool lama: a marathon runner, 'author,' and Vimeo and YouTube star.

Any actions, engaged in by the royal family and their new King of Shambhala, were now 'great blessings from their Lamaist lineage of great teachers.' That's the doctrinaire rule in Tibetan Tantric Buddhism for all tulkus and their royal plutocracy. Who can criticize a 'blessing' from a bodhisattva 'greater than a king?' And now they had another crazy wisdom tulku, Trungpa's handicapped son with his western wife [Diana], T., living in Trungpa's little house, upon whom they could also project all their fantasies; like a blank state.

Other Tibetan lamas came to visit T, with their own superstitious projections. One Sakya lineage tulku, a female lama, who had attracted a coven of witches to her retreat at Karme Choling, told us he was "possessed by a demon" and should immediately go back to Rumtek, or another monastery for protection. Another Tibetan tulku gave the usual tulku advice "that he needed a female consort," and all would be fine. Of course, the woman might have been accidently killed in the process, given T's level of violence whenever he got agitated or excited. That seemed all right to many of the advanced male practitioners in the group and to these misogynistic Tibetan lamas, since it would be an "offering" to a high incarnation of the Sixteenth Karmapa's teacher. The lamas were used to "offering young girls" to high lamas; whatever might happen to them.

We had a permanent, front-row seat to see the Vajradhatu/Shambhala psychosis, in all its colors, with its insane guru-worship and Tulkuism, by watching it through the eyes of T. These Trungpa devotees, like all devotees of Tibetan lamas, simply refused to see ordinary reality. They wanted to see the Kingdom of Shangri-la. That was the movie always running inside their heads.

Since no one, in typical Vajradhatu fashion, told us just how violent T was, then of course they denied other negative behaviors, just like they always do when it comes to their gurus and tulkus. With T, it was no different, such as when he was eating his own feces, when we first arrived, and his breath smelled bad for a week. The previous caretaker, still in charge; a spacey L.A artist, western Shambhala teacher and dreamy, guru-worshiper of the dead Trungpa, never noticed the cause. Or, perhaps he saw T's shit as transformed essence.

This denial around T's behavior became, at times, a life-threatening experience for us and everyone that cared for him. T might attack, unexpectedly, if you were driving the car, fifty-five-miles-per-hour on the highway, or if you were in the bank, in a restaurant and it got too loud, or babies were crying; any place where he might get anxious and stressed, and the boundaries were unfamiliar to him, or you had to set a limit; particularly right after a cult-devotee ignored your advice, and had been fawning all over him, getting him hyperactive and making him crazy, leaving us with the aftermath of their projections.

Since T was to be seen as a "sacred being" who could do no wrong, and everything he did do was omniscient, a "blessing," and "crazy wisdom," then the very word "violence," around his behavior, would have been anathema to their delusional minds. After his many first attacks with me, when seeing my severely black and blue underarms after I had been violently attacked and pinched, the cult-devotees, smoking on the Karme Choling porch after their many group prostrations to their lineage tree of Tibetan gurus in the Karme Choling prostration shrineroom, smugly declared it was a great "blessing," these attacks, and I should be grateful for all of it, because it was helping me burn-off my lifetimes of negative karma.

After a few months of this, I was starting to suspect that this group might be crazy. I didn't yet know how crazy.

This insane milieu of Trungpa's sangha added to our difficult job as caretakers and administrators of his home, trying to set consistent boundaries and a safer, less crazy-making environment for him. He liked things to be always the same routine, and so we accommodated to that, as much as we could, and his violent attacks subsided, as long as we limited his exposure to other cult members, keeping his life very stable and routine and mostly the same.

We were torn for the first few years to want him to "be part of the community." But, the community turned out to have the neurosis of a personality-disordered cult/commune group.484 It was the hardest part of our being with him, and the most difficult to balance. On the one hand, since T's support came from the donations of the sangha, and not from his wealthy extended family, we felt we had to keep him visible. But, the sangha always made him crazy and wild, and seeing their lack of the most common sense, around him, and their delusional projections, up close and personal, when with him, what it did do was start waking us up to the insanity of, at least, this one, guru-worshiping, Tantric cult.

After two years of crazy-making for all three of us, we eliminated most cult devotees from his list of occasional respite caretakers. Thanks to T, we had to withdraw more from the group mind, and all of us were happier without visits from the Karme Choling sangha. We found that having ordinary Vermonters providing respite care for him, instead, was best. Good sense Vermonters, whose heads were not filled with gurus and in a mindfulness trance. That has continued to be his best care model, even today.

As part of our meager remuneration, we could freely attend all talks and retreats of Trungpa's son, Osel Mukpo, and of all the other lamas who came to teach at Trungpa's centers. In other words, our continued indoctrination was free, unlike the others who had to pay for their programming. And there were dozens of Tibetan Lamas that came to Karme Choling, now that Trungpa and his Regent were dead, to try out "their chops" by teaching the already indoctrinated Trungpa students, with the secret hope of gathering new recruits into their own fledgling flocks. It was also to make sure none of us strayed from the larger Tibetan Tantric cult net, when the Regent scandal was so fresh in our minds.

Most of these high lamas felt they should pay a visit to T and all of them did; as respect for one of their own tulku lama incarnations. Status for these lamas is dependent on the status of their former incarnations from past lives, and T was considered the teacher of their 16th Karmapa with very high status in the lama hierarchy; the teacher of their God King, and own guru. Nevertheless, since most of them had known T at Rumtek in Sikkim, when he lived there with them, none of them fawned all over him. They must have known this made him crazy. The lamas were not as thick as their devotees.

Since T was still officially the first Prince of Shambhala, and recognized as a high tulku at his birth by the Sixteenth Karmapa, when his autism hadn't yet appeared, the 16th Karmapa, and the whole Karma Kagyu lineage, must have had big plans for T when he was born. Until the lamas, more practical than their devotees, finally acknowledged he was too handicapped to get his own throne.

Once that happened, things died down, quite a bit. Particularly when Trungpa's son, King Lama Jr., Osel Mukpo, decided that T couldn't make any money for his Shambhala sangha. He used to joke about it, but now that I know how this Lamaist hierarchy thinks about money, and all the time, and what the real role their tulkus have been for their 'Buddhism' -- as the money-makers and brand names -- I now know Osel Mukpo was dead serious.

Besides our tiny salaries, room and board, and free indoctrination in the larger Karma Kagyu organization, we started receiving lots of award pins. Community members had always been receiving pins for the completion of this or that number of retreats and programs, and for the most servitude to the Mukpo clan; the greater the service, the higher ranking the pin. Pins that indicated status to others and/or showed your practice credentials, and what level you had "achieved." This was the reward system in this status-conscious world of Tibetan Tantra, even though Trungpa had always said, in typical doublespeak fashion, that there was "nothing to achieve."485

The Shambhala award pins were operant conditioning tactics and Asian ranking emblems on your clothing, that would tell everyone else just how close to the center of the royalty you were; how "in" the "inner circle," and how much you had slaved away your life. Receiving our Mukpo Royalty court pins: purple triangles with two gold stripes and military bars in the same colors for our kasung uniforms, was the extent of the Mukpo gratitude for 'outstanding service'; bestowed in a group ceremony at our graduating Shambhala retreat. This replaced having to talk to my husband or me, or call us occasionally, just to see how we were doing, or if we needed anything.

We never received one phone call from the extended family, in all the six and a half years that we cared for T, and only a few, pro-forma visits from his brother, King Mukpo of Shambhala, II, so it would appear that he was 'involved' in what was happening with T. Those detached visits didn't occur every year, even when he was just down the street, at Karme Choling.

Trungpa's extended family never wanted to be financially or physically responsible for T again. That became more than clear. They just wanted him to be taken care of by the sangha, like they did everything that inconvenienced them. They wanted this burden and inconvenience to be out of their sight and out of mind, while at the same time presenting the image that they were very concerned, compassionate and involved in his care.
We had taken over their responsibilities for their son and brother. It would have been a painful reminder to the rest of the sangha, if they actually associated with his situation; it would be a glaring reminder that something was not right with this enlightened picture; that all was not perfect in the Shambhala Kingdom, ruled over by these models of compassionate living.486

One high lama gave us fifty dollars of his collected cash for T's care, handed over in the ubiquitous white envelope, after his teaching retreat at Karme Choling. Giving others money is something Tibetan lamas are loathe to do, and to give away their own cash is absolutely the worst imaginable thing. I remember thinking how very kind he was, considering the flow of money was reversed. But then T was "one of their own" and this old-fashioned lama still stood on tulku ceremony when with another higher status tulku.

I would later learn that some of the cash, collected by these Tibetan lamas in those white envelopes, supposedly for their charitable fundraisers and events, was often distributed to their family members or to other lamas' and their families in attendance. So, he was acting upon correct tulku form. Tibetan Lamaism is a kleptocracy of nepotism that has its own rules, behind the scenes.

A Japanese calligraphy master and Dzogchen teacher, the late Kobun Chino Roshi, one of the Buddhist Zen teachers that Trungpa had known, visited us several times. He had been close friends with Trungpa, when T was a little boy, and he came to visit T whenever he was at Karme Choling. He seemed to genuinely care about T and was interested in how we were doing. He brought us gifts, such as special batches of his own green tea or beautiful brocaded fabrics and exquisite calligraphies he and his brother had made. Japan considered him and his brother, master calligraphers, or "roshis" of the brush. His work was executed perfectly, but spontaneously before our eyes, in a few seconds; calligraphy that was stunningly precise, individualistic, and beautiful. He and Trungpa both shared that confidence of the brush. I later heard he died when trying to save his young daughter from drowning. Very sad.

Even though Trungpa's widow and son -- the Dowager Queen of Shambhala and the new Shambhala King II -- had truncated educations and restricted lives, they were now great wise beings, just by being of the royal family of Mukpo -- Trungpa's Great Mukpo Clan -- with a whole community of so-called academically-educated westerners, acting delusionally crazy around them, believing these ordinary people were inordinately knowledgeable, wise and extraordinarily compassionate; a real royal aristocracy of amazing kindness, generosity and wisdom; instead of all this being merely projections and idealizations made up in their devotees' heads. These were ordinary people who were thrust into strange and bizarre circumstances, when very young, that affected their ability to empathize and be socially normal, about the most ordinary things. But they clearly liked the perks, and played their parts, again, once the King of Shambhala II became Mipham the Great and needed a royal family entourage gathered around him for formal events, since he was still single and playing the field.

There were no boundaries between the imagination and the truth in Trungpa's group, or in any Tibetan Tantric Buddhist group I experienced. As for us, we were now living, not quite inside this looking glass mirror of Trungpa's Wonderland, but somewhere in between. Not in and not quite out, but with a different perspective now, of at least this one Tibetan Buddhist group: Trungpa's Kingdom of Shambhala; his "enlightened society."

When we had to host T's brother, the new made-up King, we would have to host him and the sycophants that surrounded him, all groveling in a daze. This created a very uncomfortable atmosphere, but assured that Shambhala King Jr. would be protected from anything real with us. Even for these brief visits, with all his bright-faced minions at attention, it was a great chore. But I was still not fully aware of these feelings I was still shelving for my real "enlightenment" that finally snapped me out of this cult.

These emotions were now clamoring to be acknowledged, as spontaneous, honest comments would just slip out of my mouth. I was always relieved when these stilted, surreal visits were over. Trungpa and the Regent, at least, would have been more fun, albeit creating even more chaos for us.

Although these were Americans, this Mukpo extended family clan had spent their whole lives in Trungpa's entourage; his crazy medieval Asian Shambhala court, with everyone bowing and fawning around them, while nothing in their real lives could remain stable around Trungpa's delusions, and his sangha's' projections. It is amazing they weren't all stark raving mad, as a result. But they were affected by all this, that was becoming very clear. One way they coped, was to isolate themselves, as much as possible, and have their true-believers spin out their public image, that had little to do with the truth.

During the last, scheduled annual visit, in 1996, when we had put in our time and were done with this Kingdom of Shambhala, as we sat waiting for hours, while my mother lay sick in the St. Johnsbury Hospital, we waited for the "great earth protector," -- T's brother and King Junior, Osel Mukpo, Mipham the Great, King of Shambhala, of the Enlightened Society -- to show up for his latest scheduled, token visit, while T got increasingly-agitated, because his container was broken up. He liked things predictable so he was pacing the house. We gave up, and all of us got in the car, and headed to see my mother, with T. in the backseat, trying to calm him down.

The earth protector never did come for that visit that we waited for all day, as T stayed agitated and anxious. But his minions put out the usual newspeak in their Karme Choling newsletter; the usual lies for their lamas that they are programmed to make up, about "what a wonderful visit the Sakyong had with his brother." That kind of nonsense.
So, the myth of these Tibetan gurus being "great bodhisattvas" is always broadcast out, so the money keeps flowing in.

We were still enabling their baloney, too. I was beginning to learn that lying is first nature to gurus and guru-worshiping devotees of Tibetan Buddhism. Presenting a perfect picture of an enlightened society of compassionate leaders is the main job of the inner circle of western enablers, to keep their own cognitive dissonance at bay and to propagandize and proselytize for their masters and gurus, their Tibetan lamas; right to the end. The first thing that goes, in the cult of Tibetan Tantra, is telling the truth to yourself. Truth does not matter when you are taught that everything is an illusion, anyway. In fact, lying to yourself becomes common, as lying by the inner circle becomes second nature for those in a cult. Besides, it is considered bodhisattva activity, per Tantra's doctrine of the Law of Inversion, if lying means bringing more people into your groups. In the Tantric Vajrayana world view: 'nothing happens'; there is no right and wrong; everything is fluid; and doesn't exist, anyway. What's more, we had been taking vows to never speak out against our teachers; no matter what egregious behaviors we saw with our imperfect perception.

Then, it is perfectly alright to pretend you are a simple Buddhist group, or a secular place to learn 'mindfulness meditation,' to bring happiness to others; to lure them into your monolithic, androcentric, Tantric cult; where your gurus are sexually abusing their students; exploiting them for their free labor and money; to build out your Adi-Buddha world, by stealth; to undermine democracy and replace it with a Tantric dictatorship of Lord Chakravartins. It's not abuse, or deception; its "blessings." Many of these cult members of Tibetan Tantra have no idea they are telling lies, anyway; because they can now believe two opposite things at once.

But, lying for the gurus by the inner circle, while lying to yourself, is also how the group inevitably sinks into the amorality of Tantra, while touting themselves as the most morally superior, spiritual group in the world. Lying, and more lying is the shuttle with which Tantra weaves its amoral net.

It is stunning to me now, that I could write a featured article for the Iron Wheel, the bimonthly, propaganda journal of Trungpa's vajra guard, when I was still inside the cult. Here is part of my "ode of denial", my idealized projection, both defenses of borderline neurotics, and the typical hyperbole that comes from the mouths of Tibetan Buddhist cult members, about how lucky we were to be taking care of our gurus:

After about two years things did calm down a bit and took on the quality of about a thousand desk shifts487 with occasional moments of sheer terror. We looked at books, watched television, listened to music, did military drill up and down the road at BPB for exercise, visited Karme Choling, took T(sic) to a Tibetan doctor in New York City, even a psychic in New Hampshire. We had lots of wonderful visits from great teachers, such as Ato Rinpoche, Pema Chodron, Khenpo Tsultrim Rinpoche, Kobun Chino Roshi and particularly visits from his brother, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, whose gentleness, and devotion to T(sic) through all this time was instrumental in us maintaining our home with T(sic), The kindness he showed to us and the implicit trust he extended to us in caring for his brother was quite amazing.

Quite Amazing? Well, it was amazing, but not in the way I am portraying it above. Amazing that I could write this dribble while his brother's behavior was amazingly cold and indifferent, imperious and uncaring. I quote from my article from this propaganda newspeak of Shambhala's Military Army of Mice, only to show the fractured state of mind I was in, such that I could repress and deny my true feelings for so long; still lying to myself and to others, while knowing the truth, buried inside my heart. What a schizoid frame of mind Tibetan Tantric cults create for their western students.

When I think about the people, still enthralled by their gurus, I totally understand everyone's split and crazy minds. I can see it so clearly now, but couldn't then. That is what you do, when you are the western students of these Tibetan lamas who see behind the curtain. You automatically lie, and cover-up for them. Most particularly, you lie to yourself, while never knowing you are doing either, until you are out from under their false-hearted influence.

The defenses of denial, idealized projection, compartmentalization and repression are defenses often observed from those who are members of a cult, but who have not shown signs of mental disturbance before.488 I was also exhibiting, in my glowing praise of the family, what clinical psychologists used to refer to as a "reaction formation" -- a way to hide one's true feelings, particularly to oneself -- by displaying the opposite of what one is truly feeling. All these defenses are considered unhealthy states of mind, by every western-trained psychologist in clinical skills, left on earth. They are certainly not behaviors reflective of those who have achieved a more sublime and transcendent peace of mind. But we were trapped. Our whole lives were caught up in this cult; smack in the center of it, believing we were keeping our samaya489 with our first guru, Trungpa, trying to keep T from becoming a ward of the State. In other words, picking up the weight of his own family's responsibility, so they didn't have to be burdened. Just like the whole Trungpa community had always been doing; as though it was 1230 AD. in Tibet.

What I remember, now that I am completely out, is that my mind was in a strange, bright, fugue-like state, always shelving my true feelings away, for the sake of protecting the image of the lamas and this family of Trungpa, as well as my own image as a good Tantric student, with my own delusional projections onto a dead lama. My denial and my own continuously, inflamed hubris -- fanned by all the other cult members, always telling us what great bodhisattvas my husband and I were, for taking care of our guru's son -- all of this became part of reinforced delusions, strengthened by the inner circle, and all the other Tibetan lamas, that came and went.

This flattery from the inner circle and these high lamas kept my husband and me in our 'very special' cocoon; spun tighter and tighter; a cocoon that all western Tibetan Buddhists are cleverly swirled and twisted in, as they come to believe that they are engaged in the 'highest of teachings' and are now the 'saved that must save everyone else.'

When I look at these sentences I wrote, for that group speak vehicle, The Iron Wheel, the newsletter of the most indoctrinated of Trungpa's followers, his vajra guards, I can't believe the level of my denial, as I wrote the very opposite of what was true. It is embarrassing and astonishing to read it now. Who was this person?

I wrote the same "amazing" preface to everything I wrote and said, about my situation, the teachings, and my Tibetan teachers. All western Tibetan Buddhist cult members, in the same fugue state I was in, write about everything having to do with these teachings and their guru lamas as being "amazing," "precious," "delightful," "powerful," "radiating," "blessings" "aspiring," "enriching" and how they are in a state of "amazed" enthrallment, all the time.

Cult members always describe their leader and their groups as 'extraordinary, blessed and everyone is so fortunate' and, in these Shambhala groups, 'everyone is so grateful to be in the presence of their royal god king and his family,' waiting on them hand and foot. A little Shambhala North Korea, in the middle of the United States. This is what Tibetan lamas have relied on -- this complete cult control of their serfs and slaves, and now their western devotees -- particularly the completely indoctrinated students of Trungpa, who are the most far gone.

Given the level of stress we were under, in our sixth year of taking over the responsibilities for someone else's child, in a family constellation of imperious and unreachable members, pretending to be transcendentally generous and wise, my true voice was starting to slip out, in small ways, at public sangha meetings.

The inner circle of the King of Shambhala was now starting to get worried; they needed to try and nip this in the bud. They started contacting us more, telephoning us, now that we might be becoming "a problem" for their image. I am sure they were afraid that we might start telling people the truth about this enlightened royal family and their "compassion." This delusional clique had been covering up for this Mukpo family, for over two decades, and we had been helping them do it for the last six and a half years. They must have sensed they were losing control of these two cult members who were waking up, and who were no longer going to play the "big lying game."

Our defenses were breaking up. The real "blessing" of our unique, front row seat was that we had stepped through the mirror, and were now on the outside, looking in -- not quite all the way out -- about three-quarters out, and one more shock, one more shove, was all that was going to be needed to push us out completely, to the other side.

My years inside this Shambhala cult had taken its toll on me, in a group whom I never trusted; whose inner circle's hypocrisy and my own, were gathering like a storm inside me, creating a very different kind of "wrathful warriorship" than what Trungpa and his group had in mind.

There was only one problem. I thought that Trungpa's Shambhala group was an exception; that it was a group that had become cult-like and crazy, under the leadership of Trungpa's son. But, this had nothing at all to do with Tibetan Buddhism, itself. It was because the new King of Shambhala wasn't "enlightened," like Trungpa, and was weakening the precious mandala that his father, my perfect first guru, Saint Trungpa, created.

I had fallen under the "exception rule." It was the last thread in the Tantric net to be cut; the last knot to be untied, to unravel the whole thing.



478 I refer to Trungpa's first son, with his wife, Diana, as T.
479 Curren, Erik D., The Buddha's Not Smiling: Uncovering Corruption at the Heart of Tibetan  Buddhism, (Palo Alto, CA: Alaya Press) 2006.
480 The Black Crown of the Karmapas is a 'magical black hat' said to be made of the pubic hair of 'dakinis' i.e. the lamas' sexual  consorts, over the centuries, and put the wearer in an omniscient state. All part of the only  history the lamas know or teach: magical fairy tales about themselves and their amazing qualities.  What it really symbolizes is the lamas absorbing and nailing all female energy down and  the now the billion-dollar empire of the Karma Kagyu lineage; a lineage the lamas have been internecine fighting about for decades, and are still. The Chinese Government's 17th Karmapa, however, has won out, unless the people of Sikkim and India wake up; as they are also drowning in gurus and guru-worship.
481 Mendick, Robert, "Abuse alleged at monastery for Tibet exiles," Independent Website,  9 September 2000, ... 98788.html
482 Trungpa#/media/File:Trungpa_from_  Khenpo_gangshar2_cropped_image.jpg
483 The inner joke, among the Tibetan lamas, was: the 'higher the throne, the smaller the  'realization.'
484 Salande, Joseph D, and David R. Perkins, "An Object Relations Approach to Cult Membership," American Journal of Psychotherapy, Vol 65, No 4 (2011): 381-391,
485 The Great Mipham, Trungpa's son, has been recently giving out even more awards and pins at Shambhala International, going from a few dozen or so in the past, to now 1400 awards throughout the world. This will keep the cult members, it is hoped, providing even more service to their GOD KING, Osel Mukpo, to get even higher future pins and awards. For a  description and list of the pins and awards see: last accessed March 17th, 2017, ... ce-awards/
486 We did get a token visit from the royal Mukpo family, T's biological mother and stepfather, once we had given our notice but were still there taking care of T; months later at the little house on Little France Road. They came in expecting, as usual, to be served; while we were forced into also having to keep their son and brother T relaxed and non-anxious over the visit.  It was bizarre and crazy-making .. But, just another experience that helped my husband and I break away from Shambhala and its 'enlightened society.'
487 "desk shifts” were a common and very boring duty of fledgling new vajra guards when a high lama or teacher like Trungpa or the Regent were in residence at a center or were giving a retreat. This was a gatekeeper role when outside visitors came to see their gurus.
488 Salande, Joseph D. and David R. Perkins, "An Object Relations Approach to Cult  Membership," American Journal of Psychotherapy, Vol 65, No 4, 2011, 381-391, ... An_object_ relations_approach_to_cult_membership  489 "samaya" refers to the oath bound relationship you have with your guru in Vajrayana Tantric Buddhism. It is part of the abhisheka (empowerment or initiation) ceremony that creates a bond between the guru and disciple, for lifetimes. One renews one's samaya every time one engages in Tantric practices.
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Re: Indentured Servants to the Royal Family of Trungpa, by C

Postby admin » Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:21 pm

Chris Chandler’s Expose of Shambhala as a Mind Control Cult is Required Reading
by Tara Carreon
August 13, 2019



The Shambhala organization is in crisis, and Chris Chandler is perhaps the most fearless and best-informed of its critics. Shambhala's spiritual leader, the "Sakyong Mipham," has been outed as a sexual assaulter and heavy drinker with a bad habit of assaulting his female followers, and even the internal investigators hired to sanitize the problem ended up by confirming his bad behavior. Revenues from new students and book sales have fallen off the charts, and local centers have stopped sending the required 25% of revenues to the mothership. Numerous old students have left the fold, and compromising pages on the website are regularly being scrubbed. Two senior Shambhala teachers have been arrested for child sex abuse, and the organization has issued denials of corporate knowledge eerily reminiscent of the Catholic Church's approach to its own pedophile crisis.

Chris Chandler's qualifications to write an expose of Shambhala are unmatched. She devoted the better part of her adult life to serving the group, became a member of the "Kasung" corps of uniformed disciplinary officers who patrol the premises when teachings occur, and ultimately was so trusted by the Mukpo Family that she became the full time caretaker for Taggie Mukpo, the autistic son of bad-boy lama Chogyam Trungpa, whose own proclivity for alcohol and cocaine drove him to an early grave and may have cursed Taggie with fetal alcohol syndrome. Chris reveals how the Mukpo Family failed to provide for Taggie's care, and entirely abandoned him to the care of the State of Vermont, even as his mother indulged a familial taste for the finer things in life, including international travel, multiple homes, dressage horses, lavish parties, fine food, drink, and apparel.

Chris and her husband were both part of the group, and due to their insider status, were able to attend all manner of secret ceremonies and initiations that were altogether inaccessible to the public, and available to insiders only after meeting study prerequisites and shelling out lots of cash. Chris explains how the Shambhala system of "mindfulness meditation" forms the basis for cult indoctrination, fostering a blank, uncritical mind-state and an attitude of childlike dependency among followers, even as they boast that they are developing "warrior confidence," and an ability to confront the challenges in life with the "energy of basic goodness."

Perhaps most important for those who are dabbling in "Shambhala training," Chris reveals that this veneer of "secular spiritual" that supposedly does not endorse any faith-based beliefs, is actually the entryway to a supernatural view of life that focuses on weird practices like visualizing oneself as a Mongolian warlord astride his white charger, hacking down legions of heretics in order to establish an "Enlightened Society." Once Chris's book opened the door to this revelation for me, I was able to find other Shambhala apostates posting online about this "bait and switch" approach. Shambhala Training, it turns out, gradually pushes the trainees towards the doorway of cultic fetishism, and when the student gets to "Level 5," they are given a very persuasive shove through the portal, whereupon they find themselves in a place they never intended to go -- the "Kalapa KIngdom."

What is this Kalapa Kingdom? It is the pure, fanciful invention of Chogyam Trungpa, the inventor of the entire Shambhala system, that he constructed out of a hodgepodge of belief systems, relying especially heavily on the Japanese cultural traditions of calligraphy, flower arranging, and martial philosophy. Trungpa, it turns out, was fascinated with militarism, and in a master stroke of "reconciling the opposites," conjoined the sanctimonious mystagoguery of Tibetan Buddhism with the toxic heirarchicalism of Japanese Imperial Buddhism to create a bizarre hybrid that, surprisingly enough, held considerable appeal for a core group of believers.

Having come to the land of democracy, Trungpa found himself free to set up a monarchy, and surrounded himself with a "Court" of sycophants who fostered ever-grander delusions in his alcohol and cocaine-charged brain. His word was absolute law, all of his relatives were deified, and his servants catered to his every wish, believing that they were thereby paving their own path to enlightenment. Within this "Enlightened Society of Shambhala Warriors," no one could draw an independent breath, and everything went according to Trungpa's wishes. When he died at the age of 48, his body destroyed from drug and alcohol abuse, and his son took the "Kalapa Throne," the party continued unabated. But in his attempt to fill his father's shoes, the Sakyong Mipham laid down a trail of drunken misconduct that now, in the era of #MeToo, has become the bane of this imaginary monarchy.

You will, inevitably, be hearing more about the collapse of the Shambhala Empire, because its rotten foundations have begun to give way, and the entire superstructure is tilting. If you want to understand the faulty architecture of this cult, that gives itself the name of Buddhism, but deserves to be shelved next to Hubbard's Scientology and Moon's Unification Church, you can find no better guide than Chandler's compelling tome. While at times she repeats thematic conclusions that have already been well-expressed, I did not find that it impeded readability, although I occasionally skimmed over some paragraphs that presented ideas with which I had already become familiar. Those who think that she draws too many unwarranted inferences of worldwide conspiracy from the evidence would do well to research the various actors whom she implicates in the plot to take down American independent thinking -- the Dalai Lama's publicity army exists for a reason, and that reason is entirely political.
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