This September 2012 video about a disgraced Buddhist leader says about itself:
“In the Name of Enlightenment – Sex Scandal in Religion” – About Sogyal Rinpoche
Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche by senior Rigpa members (14 July 2017) & its consequences so far: here.
Translated from Dutch NOS TV, 10 September 2018:
‘The Dalai Lama now almost protects abusers‘
Her Tibetan Buddhist teacher has beaten her, she says. He humbled her publicly in his center in Switzerland. He also abused her sexually three times in the period between 2007 and 2013. She experienced severe mental problems, which she has now overcome with professional help.
Now Dutch Cecile (surname known to the editors) together with other abuse victims wants to call the Dalai Lama to account during his visit to the Netherlands. Half an hour of his time is enough, she stresses. It would be the first time that he would talk to victims.
The Dalai Lama did, however, show himself in the past with teachers who abused their pupils. In a video, Cecile tells why this is dangerous.
Cecile is well aware that Tibetan Buddhism can not be compared to the Roman Catholic Church, which has a clear hierarchy. Buddhism has no cardinals or bishops, who are appointed by the spiritual leader and can also be dismissed again.
But that does not mean that the Dalai Lama can not take action against this kind of misconduct. “It is really time for him to see what his role is in Buddhism in Europe, to attract people to false leaders by honouring them with visits and other expressions of appreciation, and I am one of those people who were totally wrongfooted. I came to Buddhism because I saw a photo of my teacher Namkha Rinpoche with the Dalai Lama.”
“In that photo, Namkha appeared to be very humble. I thought: that is a virtuous man; he is in all respects close to the Dalai Lama. In practice, the opposite was the case. This kind of visits makes the Dalai Lama almost a protector of false teachers.”
What Cecile did not know then, but does know now, is that the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism had previously been warned about her teacher Namkha Rinpoche. A Dutch Buddhist sent the Dalai Lama a worried e-mail at the end of 2006. A few days later an answer came from an employee, which showed that other accusations against Namkha had already been received. “Of which one is of a sexual nature“.
But because Namkha denied and there was no further hard evidence, nothing happened. The advice by the Dalai Lama employee was not to make too much noise about these kinds of issues. “If we feel uncomfortable with a teacher, then it is best to take some distance, and it is also good not to talk too sharply or divisively with other pupils, but to gently move away.”
This is all so disheartening and appalling.
Definitely. In probably all religions, there is the risk of people abusing their authority.
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