Sexual Abuse in Tibetan Buddhism


A western Tibetan Buddhist teacher, Osel Tendzin,  regent of  Chogyam Trungpa who brought  tantric Buddhism to the west,   seduces his male students into the higher tantric practices of the Vajrayana.  His  inner coterie of western students  and Vajradhatu Board  knows  he  has the HIV virus but believes, as he does, that  his  medieval tantric practices  prevent  him  from passing  this deadly virus on. This  inner circle not only allow him to  continue to seek out  sex with his students but continue to pimp for him to find new partners  because no one,  knowledgeable about his illness, dares to speak out or stop him.  After all, this  is their  appointed  guru,  their  master of the Vajrayana Tantra appointed as another “enlightened” lineage holder of their first teacher,  Chogyam Trungpa.

Since  Tantric  Buddhism  is really about  Hindu-based guru worship, not Buddhism,  and is a thought-controlling cult of unquestioning devotion to  Tibetan lamas, this group is deeply  programmed to  see a   guru’s  desires and wishes  as a command to be unquestioningly obeyed.   Besides, these sexual encounters with many bliss partners are encouraged by Tibetan Tantra teachings.

This  board of  directors of  Trungpa’s  Vajradhatu , (now renamed  Shambhala International) which includes  an American physician,  let this AIDS- infected regent and guru seduce and continue to have sex  with many,  mostly heterosexual,  male students for  several years, long after the dangers of the spread of  this deadly disease were  publicly well- known .  Keeping  back crucial information from the members of this Vajrayana tantric  community,  where sexual couplings and re-couplings  are considered  a sign of detachment and a lessening of ego-clinging for these “higher tantric practitioners” – with increasingly inflated egos from all their occult practices,  they know the sexual promiscuity of this regent , modeling his teacher Trungpa,  is habitually  flagrant and increasingly out of control. So these  administrators put hundreds  of members  of the community  in harm’s way.

Inevitably,   one of  his  students is infected by this teacher along with the  young man’s girlfriend.  It makes national news. This  young man’s subsequent death is  caused as much  by these guru-cult influences as the AIDS virus itself,  cult influences  that continue to enable the  behavior of  Tibetan Buddhist lamas  to this day.

For the Western devotees of this Tibetan Buddhist  lineage of the  Lama Trungpa, it is  all  just crazy wisdom,  leading to  a great and profound teaching of ‘one taste’, i.e. that things are neither good nor bad but pure in themselves.   Not even  apologies are  given to the young man’s family,  while it was often  overheard  in the delusional, cult-chatter of this  Vajrayana tantric group that the young man’s death  was a result of the guru’s  “blessings, ”  and accelerating his  ‘karmic cleansing’ for his future rebirth-all to  quicken his path to enlightenment.

Tibetan “Buddhism” is covered over with Buddhist concepts until one reaches the apex of its indoctrination, its “bait and switch” vajrayana essence and the main thread and fruition of its “path.”   All students of Tibetan Buddhism  are eventually involved in  tantric guru worship and are programmed to become lama cult devotees, who repeat the mantra “may I always obey my master and never reveal the secrets  of the vajrayana or may I rot in hell.” Yet, to the outside world, these tantric groups convince others they are non-theistic scholars, and teachers, psychotherapists,   “secular Buddhists” who are only engaged in the “science of the mind”  and are teaching “mindfulness meditation” techniques to bring happiness to the world.

Since history is  taught and considered  as just an  illusion in  this sangha of   Trungpa –  as it is in all Tibetan Buddhist groups- the white-washed and  newly named organization of  Shambhala International ,  is now video streaming   this  tantric teacher on several of  its recruiting websites, honoring this sexual exploiter that caused at least one death among his devotees.  His delusional students are starting to create  Dzogchen centers  from coast to coast in the U.S. 

Several years after this scandal involved Trungpa’s group,  a   sixty-year old  Western  teacher of this same Vajradhatu/Shambhala  organization has sex with  the ten- year old daughter of another community member.  The case is  quietly settled out of court and the teacher of tantra is given a slap on the hand by  a group  that takes “nothing happens”  to heart.  This slogan is soon on their car bumper stickers , from San Francisco to Boulder to Boston, reminding each other and the world that all is an illusion anyway.   Besides,  the vajrayana tantric teachings, including the Dalai Lama’s Kalachakra secret teachings, recommends a  ten or eleven- year- old  girl from a outcast class as an ‘ideal consort’ for the Lamas and their couple bliss practices. Sixteen and twenty year old females were also ideal.

In 2014 ,   Naropa University, the first  Tibetan tantric college  in the West,  founded by this same Chogyam Trungpa and staffed and run by a  Naropa Board that includes  Trungpa’s  first  Western students,   maintain their guru vows and forty-five  years of denial and knee-jerk cover-up behaviors for all their gurus.

Continue reading Sexual Abuse in Tibetan Buddhism

David Bowie, Mary Finnegan and the Marketing of Tibetan Lamas

Mary Finnegan has a new book about David Bowie called the Psychedelic Suburbia: David Bowie and the Beckenham Arts Lab.

You can read it in about two hours. It’s all about who was there, who was who and leaves one with the feeling of who cares.  Well, aficionados of David Bowie  will care and read it, particularly now that he is dead, and young people into his music, and the idea of a “fluid” self as a life choice.   So will those curious about the  “sex, rock and roll” and  early drug scene in the sixties. A pretty large and  marketable crowd.

What is interesting is that in  Mary’s blog post,   in 2013, in the archives at her website Flower Raj she reveals her reason for writing: to expose the”horror stories”  and  “dark side, the very dark side” of  Tibetan Buddhism because of corrupt Tibetan lamas, she says,  and the naiveté of old flower children like Mary.

In this  post she notes that she  had become a “one-woman activist”  exposing Lama Sogyal and his corruptions and the  shadow side of Tibetan Buddhism which she knew well.  Mary did become   a one woman activist and she did expose Sogyal, the predator Tibetan  lama , relentlessly, in article after article in the British Guardian.  Mary  had been in  Lama Soygal’s  inner circle for years.  She was  even one of his older,  female students who ‘pimped” for him finding young and naive women to join his Lama harem.  Unknown to the public,  pimping for their Tibetan  lamas is a common task for many devoted Western students inside their communities or sanghas.

Mary is even more explicit about her  experiences  in her  short memoir about Sogyal,  written anonymously, about  her days in his Rigpa community entitled: “Behind the Thangkas,”

This would have been the better book and more helpful to the younger generation who  will,  sadly,  be fooled by   Tibetan “Buddhism” as so many before them have been  by this book  about David Bowie and his early days at Samye Ling.   Sadly, because  Mary  was almost a  feminist voice for the many women  abused by this Tibetan lama and so many others like him–a feminist voice with experience of the sexual abuse inside these Tibetan Buddhists sanghas that now  appears forever silenced.  The lamas have been silencing their women for hundreds of years.  They don’t have to put them in burqas–they just have to control their minds.

As Mary  says, “she was going to walk away” from Tibetan Buddhism, and “never come back.” Unfortunately for her and all those she could have warned,  Namkai Norbu , and his “genius”  kept that from happening.

Still, its odd that Mary doesn’t refer to  Chogyam Trungpa  when she writes about  Samye Ling  in her book–where Bowie first found his occult Tibetan Buddhism and surely  found Chogyam Trungpa.

Trungpa was the head abbot at Samye Ling ,  the first tantric center of “crazy wisdom” in the West,   where David Bowie found Trungpa.

But Trungpa isn’t mentioned.  How strange.

Perhaps it’s because  of what the lamas know about Trungpa,  and his chaotic  tantric storm cloud that gathered and poured down  so much confusion on the West,  from which it has never recovered.

The drug and rock and roll scene that Trungpa gathered at Samye Ling when Westerners were being first programmed to hate their own  civilization, was the perfect vehicle to introduce,  by stealth,  the playground for his  “enlightened dictatorship. ”   In  Tibetan Buddhism “anything goes” if it creates chaos and confusion in your host countries to eventually tame them and then control them.

After the ‘shock and awe” period that may take a few generations, because Tibetan Buddhism is a program of its own in “shock and awe.”  Trungpa had come to the West to  create a monarchy of God Kings,  like himself.   Asians with dreams of  world empire,  who  always take the  long view –they are  not taught to be in a rush,  like us.

Studying the  “Art of War” inside and out, like Trungpa taught his military arm to do.   Trungpa believed in “soft power”  to create  a civilization jihad  by stealth.   “Infiltrate”  he eventually told us– after he  first getting us in his tantric  net.   “Clean up your act”,  “dress in suits and ties,” “cut your hair.”  “Go  forth and spread the word.”   Trungpa’s students have never stopped recruiting and propagandizing for their first guru and the vows they took to “perpetuate his world.”

Pairing up with Allen Ginsberg and Joni Mitchell and other rock and roll stars in California and their drug scene, particularly the groupies,  didn’t hurt either. These folks all became  Trungpa’s first idiots utiles, in marketing him and helping him to cast his  first net over a critical mass of our generation.   Just as David Bowie was such a useful marketing tool to confuse  a whole generation of trust-fund Brits in the late sixties…. so why not use him again?  For a new group of star-struck groupies?  David Bowie might have come out of his Tibetan Lama phase but not so for many of  his groupies.  That appears much harder for them.

Trungpa was  acting openly about  Tibetan Buddhism’s institutional , sexual exploitation of women ( and men)  for all the public to see. The other lamas hated him for that.  That is probably why Namkai Norbu,  Mary’s new guru to obey, made sure she left Trungpa out of the book.  Guru-worshipers always obey their lamas and Trungpa, you see, was unabashedly  revealing the truth about Tibetan Buddhism  and its medieval, misogynistic, androcentric Lamaism , which so much of the rest of it he seemed to dislike.  He didn’t really like  the hierarchy of Lamaism.  Except for its  medieval sexual practices and the confusion it can create in a group if you  are a little tyrant tulku who wants to  completely control others with your  narcissistic, apocalyptic plans–plans shared by every other Tibetan lama on the planet earth while they fool everyone with their  many Westernized masks.

Trungpa unabashedly proclaimed North America as his land to conquer.  Having more wit and a sense of humor,  that none of these other lamas do, he couldn’t help but make  a caricature of the British nobility  combined with  Asian totalitarian ambitions with his  “Shambhala Court” at the end.

At least that’s what I want to  imagine,  when I slip back into thought- controlled vestiges buried deep in the recesses of my mind.  I find myself still wanting to excuse him for the mess that he created.   “Maybe”, I ponder, “that’s why he drank himself to death.”

It’s hard  for ex-Tibetan Buddhists  to not knee-jerk excuses for their first guru.

Sometimes,  in my  much less frequent,  nostalgic moments,  thinking about  Trungpa,   I believe he might have been  torn about what he was doing in the West and to us. He  was always warning  us about what he was really up to- ” Nothing is going to save you”   he said  and “don’t believe in anything without first checking it out,  not even me”.

His pet peeve with Westerners  was their tendency toward “idiot compassion.”   Now the fruition of the progressive set and their dangerous idealism,  with their malas and meditation,  have brought a  pathological altruism” to a level of insanity,  putting us all in harms’ way .   “Compassion without wisdom” is idiotic, and “peace, love and light ” is for the “very spiritual naive.”  That is what Trungpa was always telling us.  You could say,  without any exaggeration,  those were  Trungpa’s  constant themes.

Then Trungpa’s  notorious regent, Thomas Rich,   got AIDS, and he and Trungpa kept it a secret while their inner circle of guru-worshiping  Western cult members,   obligingly still pimped  to find  him his homosexual partners, long after the cause of the spread of this deadly disease was well-known.  That is how stupid Westerners become inside these Tibetan Buddhist sanghas,  taught  that “facts don’t exist” and ” there is no right or wrong.”  This caused the death of at least one of his young male students.    Too serious, too awful,  for even the distracted United States to completely forget.  It’s there in our collective unconscious, always ready to rear its ugly head. Even the Tibetan lamas know this behavior is hard to excuse.

So Trungpa is left out of Mary’s book about Bowie, even though that was the major influence in his life regarding Tibetan “Buddhism” Lamas since him, following in his footsteps,  have helped the West hate itself  for three generations now.  Millennials should start reading the real  history of Tibet like their mothers and fathers never bothered to do.  There is a chance they are seeing through all this “love and light” that is pushing us over a cliff.

Anyway, what Mary leaves out of her blog post in 2013,  under “Controversy” is that Namkai Norbu , her new guru, was  in the middle of the celebrity lamas who all circled wagons around Sogyal the abuser,  when the CBC documentary in Canada aired.   Even though Norbu tells all his students not to be “political” he was engaged in the political cover-up of the decade with the other celebrity Tibetan lamas. For Tibetan lamas  not  to be political is like not breathing.  They only say that “non-political” stuff for their students so their students won’t pay attention to how political the lamas are.

So this endorsement, protection and therefore enabling  of Sogyal  the predator, by her new Tibetan teacher,  Norbu, was happening  at the same time that Mary was attempting so hard to expose Sogyal abuses and get someone to listen .

Namkai Norbu wrote a glowing letter of endorsement for Sogyal in the summer of 2011, right after the  documentary film was released. He had a picture taken of the two lamas together, him and Sogyal,  glad-handing and arm hugging for the camera.  Both the letter and picture were immediately put up on Sogyal’s “Rigpa” website as if to say:  “See! it has to be lies because your gurus all love Sogyal, the money-making lama from Lakar! ”  All the lamas were panicking, knowing how dangerous this film about Sogyal was to them if their own Western students got a whiff of something spoiling their meditation cloud.

Mary also seems oblivious to the fact that Norbu, her new Tibetan teacher, would not appreciate her “one woman activism” at all. He had come out officially in his own sangha against “feminism” explicitly, wrote about it in his published talks for his sangha, and had hounded Tsultrim Allione,  a female Tibetan teacher, into ‘heretic land” along with the rest of the Lama mafia who compelled her into silence  with the threat of excommunication and hell realms from the Lama cartel for trying to expose the sexual abuse of these high Tibetan lamas. She, too, was completely silenced – with a hat of her own and a throne.

Norbu had actually declared that “feminism and Dzogchen”  the latter his specialty Buddhist practice, could never be compatible. The two were not possible to do together. He wrote these anti-feminist screeds as he was bad mouthing feminists like Ms. Allione. He made it quite clear that you couldn’t be a feminist and a Dzogchen practitioner at the same time. I  bring this up, because Mary does mention Norbu and “Dzogchen” as a marketing pitch for her new lama.

Interestingly,  Mary can still refer to herself as a ‘feminist’ in the same breath as being a  “Dzogchen student of Norbu”   without the predictable Norbu condemnation. May I suggest what  changed is that the Tibetan Lamas have taken up one of their many politically- correct masks,,  the one labelled  “feminism”   among their marketing props.

This mask was specially created to fool all Western women into believing that the Tibetan lamas are feminist activists, too.  That’s why  the Dalai Lama said, “I am a feminist,   while he and his diaspora of exiled Tibetan lamas  turn everything they touch into chaos to help undermine our Western culture that differentiates us from eleventh century medieval rule and  a priestly patriarchy of gurus and their misogynistic teachings that negates female energy  except for birthing  their tulkus and  being their sexual consorts to help them reach enlightenment, not something they believe women can do in those female bodies.

Just like in Old Tibet. That’s what they want to create all over the world.  They are all stuck in  Tibet circa 1130 A.D. , while only physically here on their thrones. They teach  Westerners,  that are foolish enough to walk into their trap,   to  mouth empty,  double talk  just like them,  repeating the words the lamas  have learned from the West  like:  “compassion,”   “feminism” “peace” and “equality” and  even  “ecology,” too. They manage to create Western  “empty vessels,” that’s what they told us all to become,  detached from   family,  children and  stable relations – that’s all there in Mary’s book , too; the children who had to adapt to a topsy-turvy lifestyle while Mary was pursuing “enlightenment” and  David Bowie.    Middle class values that are   Western values -they were the first things that had to go, when following the Tibetan Lamas.

Now Mary,  like the few Western Tibetan Buddhists feminists before her – I can count them on one hand and not use all my fingers-  those  who have tried to speak out and get the Western world to wake up and listen- is never going to speak  a negative word again, at least not about  her Tibetan masters, her gurus and their abuses.  That’s what always happens when the lamas  fold someone back into their tantric net. Tantra actually means “net.”

Mary’s lips are now sealed forever.

They “got cha ” Mary.

These clever lamas .

They almost always do.

Particularly the flower children that want to still live in the twenty-something world of their old rock and roll glory days. After all, it is the dream world that your new teacher,  Norbu,  has always said is what is “really true.”



Christine A. Chandler, M.A., C.A.G.S.

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