This blog has always been backed up by a Secret Facebook group where discussions on the topic of abuse by Sogyal Rinpoche and issues in Rigpa that supported it can be had in a private supportive space, but at some point most people have processed the issues and want to move on with their spiritual path.
So for students who have left Rigpa and don’t want to talk about it anymore, but would like to stay in contact with other ex-Rigpa students, we have created the Dharma Companions Facebook Group. The group aims to support students no matter where their path takes them. We share info and compile lists of online courses with reputable teachers and we share what is happening for us. The result is often inspiring and always heart-warming. If you’re interested, click the link and ask to join. You will need to answer some questions before being admitted to the group.
Those of you who are interested in ‘keeping Tibetan Buddhism clean’ in general could ‘Like’ the Dharma Protectors Facebook page. Links to posts on this blog will be posted there as well as links to other relevant information related to the wider issues involved.
Be sure to check out the What Now? Reference Material page for links to a wealth of articles in the topics related to abuse in Buddhist communities. For links to places to assist in healing from abuse see the sangha care resources page.
More personal and private support for current and previous students of Rigpa can be found in the What Now? Facebook group. Please contact us via the contact page and ask for an invite. Please use the email address you use on Facebook.
3 Replies to “Ongoing Support for ex-Rigpa Students”
Thank you for your meticulous work to offer a range of different kinds of support.
Few days ago this film has been broadcasted by Bayrischer Rundfunk and deals with abuse in organisations and master-student or therapeut-patient relationships:
This blog is very useful for many of us, but it’s now obvious that all the understanding and all the well-intentioned, reasonable suggestions put forward to help heal and lessen the severity of years of abuse by SR have been completely and wilfully ignored by those in the Rigpa management who are in a position to respond positively.
In fact they have actively made the situation worse by the choice of such response as they have made; namely inviting fundamentalist lamas to blame the victims and threaten them with hell.
OT has just recently spent three hours in Paris doing precisely this, yet again.
This isn’t primarily an argument about doctrinal interpretation of religious belief but a matter of criminality and it should now be obvious to even the most optimistic among us that the Rigpa management has never had any intention of addressing the problem honestly and never will. Nobody could say they weren’t given the time or the opportunity.
There has been much talk of healing and reform, but it’s now evidently a process that will have to be undertaken in the complete absence of any cooperation from Rigpa as an organisation, and may only be possible on an individual or collective basis outside the strictures of the Rigpa sangha where people will continue to find themselves victims of this kind of oppressive attempt at control and indoctrination by fear that seeks to use twisted religious authority to exploit their emotional and spiritual vulnerability.
Quite apart from and taking precedence over these considerations is the necessity to try and prevent this kind of harm from ever taking place again, and the only way to do this is to address that criminality in a practical way, because anything else will ultimately be ineffective.
Here are the contact details for the judicial processes that are now ongoing and gathering information from anyone who has been affected and wishes to contribute, testify or lodge a formal complaint and obtain redress. This is primarily for French nationals but will also include anyone who has experienced abuse on French territory. ( This information is provided with the active consent of the parties concerned and needs to be passed on freely and disseminated as widely as possible )
Commandant Carbonneaux, Head of the police department in charge of the investigation, who is in liaison with the Procureur of Montpellier;
Email address : Laurent.firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone number : (0033) – 01 57 44 11 64
A specialist lawyer is working on the case with ADFI of Montpellier :
Phone number: 04 67 79 70 68
All of us who are or have even been affected have a clear moral responsibility to take action and this is an effective way of doing it.
Awareness of abuse is currently increasing dramatically, and more and more people are finding the courage to speak out. This is not an easy think to do, but it is essential and now is the time to expose and rid society of these primitive, patriarchal forms of abuse whatever the context, religious or secular.
For anyone that considers themselves to be a Buddhist, surely it’s not enough to subscribe passively to the principle of compassion without putting it into practice when the opportunity presents itself to bring to an end current and prevent future suffering.