Rigpa’s Vision is Still Missing the Vital Point

The new Rigpa statement “Rigpa’s Vision” put out by the Rigpa Vision Board contains the following statement:

It is also clear that the Rigpa leadership has made mistakes that we need to learn from. This includes not hearing, supporting or guiding some of our students appropriately. We are truly sorry for the hurt this has caused, and feel a strong commitment to making deep changes and ensuring that we do not repeat these mistakes again under any circumstances.

Is this an apology for their cover up of abuse and gaslighting of members?

This is not an apology to those who were abused during their time in Rigpa or even to the general student as regards their breach of trust. What they’re apologising for is not enabling and covering up abuse, but their ‘mistakes’ in not ‘hearing, supporting or guiding some of our students appropriately ‘. In the usual Rigpa style, this merely diverts attention away from the main issue – abuse and its cover up.

On top of this, they say they’re sorry for ‘the hurt this has caused’ instead ofthe harm we have caused‘. Their use of ‘this has’ instead of ‘we have’ indicates a lack of willingness to accept that they through their ‘mistakes’ have actually caused harm. And by using the word ‘hurt’ instead of ‘harm’ they are once again diminishing actual harm to a mere feeling that people have felt ‘hurt’.

Their list of ‘mistakes’ for which they are ‘truly sorry’ leaves out essential issues: covering up and enabling physical, emotional, sexual and financial abuse, truth-teller shaming, and manipulation of the community’s perception (gaslighting). Instead they are sorry that they didn’t hear and support students, which sounds great, but what do they actually mean by ‘supporting or guiding some of our students appropriately’?

What is meant by ‘guiding appropriately’?

What would this mean if a young woman was ordered to undress and perform a sex act. How exactly would Rigpa hear, support and guide her?

‘Guided’ is an extremely dangerous choice of words. Given the Rigpa world-view, the only direction they could’ve conceivably guided anyone they or Sogyal harmed was either toward accepting their lama’s abuse as a teaching or to let someone know they ‘weren’t ready’, which would have been a not-so-subtle punch in the belly of their spiritual aspirations.

Then there is the guidance of the group as a whole. And there was plenty of it. Indoctrination is a better word for it. Why else would all of us have sat there in the teachings while a very large percentage of it was given over to berating people for the smallest errors? Why else did we hear nervous testimonies from his harem, feel nauseous, wish it was over, and still continue on? Why else did many people come away from these teachings talking about how inspiring they were? They fucked with our heads, to be sure. And that was their ‘guidance’.

What Now? group member

What constitues ‘adequate preparation’

The statement goes on to say;

In addition to setting clear boundaries, we have learned the importance of emphasizing that the decision to practise Vajrayana or Dzogchen with the guidance of a teacher is a personal choice. It is not a condition for being part of the Rigpa community. What is more, it has become clear that it is the responsibility of the teacher to adequately prepare the student for the Vajarayana path. This is something that the student must consciously decide to embark upon through proper preparation and a formal request.

Is, for example, being ordered to undress and perform a sex act part of the Vajrayana path in Rigpa? And if it is, what does Rigpa think is an adequate preparation?

We permit guides to take people into the “death zone” on Everest, where roughly 10% of them will die. Navy SEALs train past the point of safety. But they are fully aware of the risks. They know the ways the task will damage them.

In terms of Rigpa, ‘adequate preparation’ would first be to inform the student of exactly what they mean by ‘the vajrayana path’ in terms of the student’s relationship with their teacher, including how to test the qualifications of such a teacher. It would involve – before committing to such a relationship – observing the relationship students in the inner circle have with their teacher and hearing about what embarking upon the vajrayana path would mean for them in terms of Sogyal’s behaviour . What they are commiting to must be completely transparent, which means that the very worst of it should be clear. There should also be proof that can be examined for what the “result” will be.

Think about the preparation people do before they get married, how well they know their partner.  Preparation would also involve knowing that the relationship is not exclusive, on either side, and knowing how to call it quits – how to leave without threat or coercion. And does the Rigpa belief system even permit leaving without risking hell? Will instructors tell potential vajrayana students that once they’ve made their ‘formal request’, they aren’t even allowed to interpret the kinds of behaviour attributed to Sogyal as abuse?

All these aspects need to be made clear.

What isn’t being made explicit

But Rigpa is not making their attitude towards abuse in vajrayana clear. What they aren’t saying, but what is suggested by their whole approach to the matter of Sogyal’s behaviour is that they think that abuse is an acceptable part of vajrayana, so long as people are ‘prepared’ and have given ‘consent’.

It’s DZK’s approach; it’s reflected in the problematic area of the code of conduct, and is made explicit in the teachings on How to Follow a Teacher in The Words of My Perfect Teacher which is a core text of the Rigpa sangha.

Dzongsar Khyentse (DZK), a key spiritual advisor for Rigpa, said in his first statement on the matter of Sogyal’s abuse:

‘If Sogyal Rinpoche had made sure that all the necessary prerequisites has been adhered to and fulfilled, then from the vajrayana point of view, there is nothing wrong with Sogyal Rinpoche’s subsequent actions.’’

Dzongsar Khyentse, Rigpa spiritual advisor.

People tell me that DZK has said that because Sogyal isn’t a qualified teacher and the students weren’t properly prepared, then what Sogyal did was wrong, but DZK has never said that it also would’ve been wrong if he had been a qualified teacher and the victims were ‘prepared’. He never said that such behaviour is not an acceptable part of vajrayana, and neither has the Rigpa Vision Board. On the contrary, DZK has made it very clear that he thinks abuse is quite acceptable in the context of a qualified vajrayana guru:

‘Once you have completely and soberly surrendered, you may not interpret certain manifestations and activities of the guru as the abuse of power. If you want to be fully enlightened, you can’t worry about abuse.’

Dzongsar Khyentse, p 19,The Guru Drinks Bourbon?

Is abuse really acceptable in vajrayana?

It appears that Rigpa and their advisors do consider abuse acceptable by vajrayana teachers. Thankfully, other Tibetan Buddhist teachers disagree.

The practice of tantra is never an excuse for unethical behaviour.’

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

Few have been willing to publically state a stance that indicates that they agree with HHDL. Those who have are listed on our Which Lamas are Trustworthy? page.

Physical, sexual, and psychological abuse are not teaching tools.’

Mingyur Rinpoche, When a Buddhist Teacher Crosses the Line

Tenzin Palmo recently wrote an endorsement for my book Fallout: Recovering from Abuse in Tibetan Buddhism, (coming out in July). In speaking of the ‘appalling behaviour and the subsequent efforts, by those who seek to maintain their power and control, to condone such conduct and meanwhile denigrate the victims,’ she says:

In this feudal outlook, both physical violence and sexual predatory behaviour towards dependents are viewed as acceptable. … This is a complete distortion of the impeccable Vajrayana path and creates much confusion, disenchantment and pain.

Jetsumna Tenzin Palmo

The vital point

Until Rigpa actually denounces Sogyal’s abusive behaviour and says that such behaviour has no place in vajrayana, they cannot be considered a ‘safe’ organisation relgardless of their code of conduct. Any organisation that, even if only at ‘advanced’ levels of engagement, gives a teacher absolute authority to do what he wants – especially if abuse is supported by their belief system – requires absolute obedience and gives the student no right to question is a potentially harmful cult. Rigpa may not demand these things at an entrance level, but they’re still there at the core of the organisation in the area they consider the most profound and important. Shambala is the same.

Making the vajrayana distinct from other levels of the path is a good move for clarity in the curriculum, but it’s also a way to encourage new membership by making people think they’re safe at the introductory levels. The trouble with this approach, however, is that if they don’t reveal to beginners what will be expected of them at a later level of engagement with the organisation, then they’re being deceptive, which is a method of cult induction.

How cult induction works in Rigpa

Once people enter the Rigpa organisation, if they follow the Rigpa path, which – even if the community recognises that not everyone has to take that path to be part of Rigpa – holds vajrayana and dzogchen as the ultimate teachings, that’s where people will likely end up, simply because that’s where the path leads.

In Rigpa, recognition of the nature of one’s mind is considered the answer to all our problems, the one thing that will lead us quickly to enligtenment. That message comes through all levels of the Rigpa curriculum. And according to Rigpa, you can only get that by having an introduction by a qualified vajrayana/dzogchen teacher. To get that, you have to sign up for the vajrayana/dzogchen ‘level of spiritual instruction.’ It’s supposed to be the fastest and highest path – and who doesn’t want that?

By the time students get to the point of giving their ‘consent’, they’ll be so indoctrinated with ideas of the validity and supremacy of that path, that they’ll take that step with all the same trust that we did and will be subjected to the same beliefs that kept students in an abusive relationship.

And then there’s the book which proclaims the same ideas – the importance of getting the introduction to the nature of mind and the necessity of complete devotion to a teacher in order to get it. The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying is what sent me off in search of dzogchen. I couldn’t get there fast enough! If Rigpa doesn’t want the TBLD to be considered a cult induction manual, then they need to be totally transparent, not just with those wanting to enter the vajrayana path but also with those entering their basic courses. They need to tell them where the path is leading and what will be expected of them at that point. Will they do that?

The bottom line

This latest statement makes it clear, once again, that Rigpa leadership apparently do not see what has occurred as abuse but as some sort of misunderstanding or failure to prepare students for the kinds of behaviors they deem appropriate in vajrayana – like hitting, slapping, knocking people unconscious, and sexual coercion.

Would you enter Rigpa or Shambala or any other organisation if you knew that at the ‘highest’ levels of their spiritual belief system, you’d be asked you to consent to an agreement that meant that the teacher could abuse you if he or she felt like it, and that you would not be able to complain or disobey? Does this coincide with what you know of the Buddha’s core teachings and values? What about common sense?

(The image of a path into darkness is by Lutz Peter from Pixabay)

You might also be interested to know that Patrick Gaffney has been disqualified by the UK Charity commission from acting as a trustee of any charity for a period of 8 years.

If you’d like a more private place to chat about your ongoing spiritual path after you’ve left an abusive community, you can join the Beyond the Temple Facebook group. This group is for people who don’t want to talk about abuse, but want to keep in touch and share their discoveries, inspiration and challenges as they move on with their lives.

If you want to talk about abuse, then Rigpa or ex-Rigpa students can join the secret What Now? groupApply via the contact form here, telling us about yourself and why you want to join the group. 

Students from other Vajrayana communities who need somewhere where they can talk about abuse and find survivor support can join the Survivors of Vajrayana Abuse and their Allies group.  

Note that you will not be added to these groups if you don’t answer the questions.

The Facebook page and You Tube Channel associated with this blog are called Living in Peace and Clarity. Click the relevant link on the side bar to ‘Like’ and ‘Subscribe’.

35 Replies to “Rigpa’s Vision is Still Missing the Vital Point”

  1. Thank you very much. Good analysis! I totally agree with it.

    Bottom line is, once you enter the Vajrayana level as understood by Rigpa and DKR, the guru can physically, emotionally, sexually and financially abuse you, while you are not allowed to even think “abuse”. Having given consent to that total power scheme over your life – because you strive for enlightenment and the highest teachings to achieve it – you can’t complaint. You are stuck in a perfect catch 22. While this happened quickly to many in the past within Rigpa it now happens later in your career within Rigpa. What a vision!

    I think on the front pages of all Rigpa websites the Charity Commissions should enforce a statement like:

    “WARNING: If you follow Rigpa and Rigpa’s highest teachings, the guru can physically, emotionally, sexually and financially abuse you, while you are not even allowed to think ‘abuse’. Since you give your consent first, you can’t complaint later. However, we will properly prepare you to subscribe to accept your surrender to this total power scheme over you.”

    Such a statement would be true as well as honest and enlightening to the potential spiritual seekers.

    1. Yes, that would be true transparency. I doubt we’ll see it though. Why? Because they know no one would sign up for that.

    1. I got confirmation from a very reliable source that it is all true what the woman says. The FPMT didn’t handle this well and appropriate and according to their own ethical guidelines it seems. The view of the higher spiritual authorities seems to overwrite the written down ethical procedures, making them meaningless or mere PR tools.

      Very brave woman! Here Tibet Sun is reporting: https://www.tibetsun.com/news/2019/05/08/tibetan-lama-dagri-rinpoche-faces-me-too-allegations

      Compared with the many good Geshes and Rinpoches with integrity actually it are a few IMO but the problem is the dealing with it, the denials, whitewashing, brushing under the carpet, siding and protecting the wrongdoer, not reaching out to and not protecting the victims or potential future victims.

      The Buddhist establishment does the same faults and is going to loose credibility as the Catholic Church. You would have thought they can do better? Forget it.

  2. “This includes not hearing, supporting or guiding some of our students appropriately.” i think that can easily and logically be extended to “all your students” because you lied and you lied to protect lies and you continue to lie upon that. “You” means these Rigpa spokes people who think “media training” is an excuse to lie, or that it is a business, and that the ends – of which there is harm, loss, confusion justifies the means. There is a lifestyle for sure which people can enjoy but it is built upon a lie – there is a utopian vision – that is built upon excluding anyone who doesn’t fit or who tries to remind people when harm and lies are blocking the search for the truth. This is like the catholic church – a decade from now will we find that sexual abuse is like some kind of rite of passage and this is what all the Tibetan Lamas see as their way to “receive what happiness they deserve” in exchange for some concept of blessings. I’m outraged by the meaningless apologies and the absolute lack of interest in humanity of Rigpa where I was a monk for so many years.

  3. Regarding the news above about Dagri Rinpoche (maybe we should start putting “Rinpoche” in scare quotes when referring to these guys, so that the title itself doesn’t eventually lose all meaning), I hope that FPMT will take strong action against him and issue a public statement apologizing and promising to do better in the future when handling these kinds of issues.

  4. Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse wrote: ‘Once you have completely and soberly surrendered, you may not interpret certain manifestations and activities of the guru as the abuse of power. If you want to be fully enlightened, you can’t worry about abuse.’

    Maybe ‘you’ may not or cannot, but the rest of society may, can, and will.

    I’ve been present in the court room where Dutch ‘tantramasseur’ Nico D. tried to argue that ‘tantric penetration’ is radically different from ordinary penetration.

    His ‘tantric’ excuses and justifications didn’t fly however, and he was sentenced to 30 months in prison and a professional ban. He was taken into custody as he stood up after hearing the verdict—think of it as a matter of public (mental) health concern.

    There’s no tantric exemption in a court of law, and I dare Dzongsar or any other ‘Vajra Master’ to prove me wrong. Let’s see how confident they are, really.

  5. A tantric exemption – wouldn’t that be like them saying “our spiritual status allows us to rape women and use our power over students in socially unacceptable ways”. You’re right Rob, that would never hold up in court!

    1. I wonder about some comments on the Tibet Sun article about the Dagri Rinpoche story from Tibetan women, whether or not they are authentic. If they are authentic, they are powerful and maybe a tide is turning in that camp.

      The first reads:

      “Dear Tibetan sisters,

      IT is time that we Tibetan women must come out and speak loudly against sexual abuse by monks, Geshe, Trulku, Rinpoche and Lamas. I know of 100s of Tibetan women who have been abused by Lamas and monks. We are forced to keep silent because of shame associated with the sex. The worst is some of the assistant sexual concerns minor and young boys and girls.

      The problem is Tibetan monks, Lamas, Geshe, Trulkus and Rinpoches are brought up in monasteries and not contact with women, and they don’t know how to talk to a woman. When they reach adulthood, their sexual desire and urges are strong, and the only way they know is by force.

      I avoid being alone with any male religious figures because whenever I have been alone, lamas have tried to force themselves on me. Very often when I am walking alone, a monk would expose himself.

      It is time that the Tibetan women should speak out against sexual abuse by our religious figures.”

    2. Exactly, and these lamas know this full well: that’s why they tend to go ‘on retreat’ in undisclosed locations in Asia, rather than test their understandings in Western courtrooms. They think of themselves as royalty, but these lamas are very aware that they’re ordinary citizens under the law—like the rest of us.

      Even the Charter of the Tibetans-in-exile has no provision for lamas, tulkus, and rinpoches and that would exempt them from being criminally prosecuted for the kind of conduct that Sogyal and Sakyong Mipham routinely exhibited:


      Indeed, the Charter has no special provisions for lamas, tulkus, and rinpoches at all, so that in the view of the Central Tibetan Administration they’re ordinary citizens under the law too. Besides, the Tibetans in exile subscribe to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It was translated by the Office of the Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama:


      Article 3 (‘Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person’); article 4 (‘No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms’); article 5 (‘No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment’); and article 6 (‘Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law’) come to mind.

      Even so, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche would like to have us believe that ‘submission to the Vajra Master’ suspends Tibetan Buddhist devotees’ right to be recognized before the law and have their (human) rights upheld in court.

      The Tibetan word for islām is Khaché (Wyl. kha che, denoting people from Kashmir). Perhaps Dzongsar can introduce the loan word islām (‘voluntary submission to God’) into the Tibetan language. After all, the Tibetan word for ‘submissive’ (Nyim chung, Wyl. snyim chung) translates as ‘small’, ‘weak’, ‘dull’, ‘inferior’, which sounds decidedly less heroic. He could then pitch his view on devotion under the moniker Islāma.

    3. The Australian police have made it very clear that you can believe what you want, but religious beliefs are not a defence in a court of law. Everyone must follow the law. No exemptions.

  6. Maybe we should start referring to Rigpa (meaning the organization, not the actual awakened state) as Digpa, the Tibetan word for bad deeds. A cheap shot, maybe? But they make such a large and tempting target. And what’s the status of the investigations by the French police that we were hearing so much about?

    1. Great idea. Digpa it is! Except when required for search engine optimisation. We do want people to be able to find our criticism after all.
      I don’t know whats happening with those investigations.

  7. A book has just been published in German:Der ermächtigte Meister: Eine systemische Rekonstruktion am Beispiel des Skandals um Sogyal Rinpoche
    It deals with the way Rigpa covered up the scandal:the communication strategies, etc.

    1. I thought that this month another book by Hoogendoorn and the Irish journalist is going to be publiced as well

      1. The book by the two journalists will be published in june.Sex and violence in Tibetan buddhism;The rise and fall of Sogyal Rinpoche.

        1. That’s right: I’m one of those two journalists, the other being Mary Finnigan—who’s English, not Irish. The book is in production now, and it will be published in June. Once the precise release date is set, I’ll post a notice here. It will be available online as hardcopy and as e-book.

          1. If you send me a blog post about it when it’s available (including purchase links and the cover image) I’ll post it here for you.

  8. Another reason for not referring to “Rigpa” anymore is that it is really rather a precious word for those of us who still are trying to follow the path. I find myself sometimes feeling a little jarred when it is referred to in a teaching.

    1. When I Am in a bad mood about this all and especially when DKR pops up, in my mind a call them BB’s blowjob buddhists. , becaus untill now we didnot change very much by leaving Rigpa .

      1. Sogyal is out of the way and the eyes of a huge number of people have been opened. I think that’s a big change. And the independent investigation blew the denial out of the water.

        1. Yes in that way you are right, but I was thinking about the remainers (who send me messages we miss you, we have a heart relation with you) and with that strange idea remain because otherwise buddhism will not spread in the west. All the lies and manipulations they were good at ,these kind of persons are now in power especially on the local sangha level.

  9. Meanwhile, the FPMT has suspended Dagri Rinpoche: https://fpmt.org/fpmt-community-news/unpublished/update-regarding-dagri-rinpoche/

    At the same time, in this context, while addressing Dagri Rinpoche’s students, Lama Zopa had this to say about guru devotion:


    Mind you, about two important Shugden devotees who were his own teacher and teacher’s teacher Lama Zopa argued thus:

    ‘But Kyabjé Trijang Rinpoché and Kyabjé Dechen Nyingpo are buddhas. Their practice of Dölgyal is the act of showing an ordinary aspect for us. Showing an “ordinary aspect” means displaying flaws. Without showing us this ordinary aspect, we cannot be rescued from saṃsāra. Showing the aspect of having flaws leads us to enlightenment. It is so extremely kind of the guru to show this; it is like the guru is giving us skies filled with wish-granting jewels.’ (source: Gavin Kilty,’Understanding the Case Against Shukden’ (Kindle Locations 105-108). Wisdom Publications. Kindle Edition).

    1. They really cover their own asses, don’t they. All in the guise of ‘the teachings’ which we must follow slavishly if we want ‘enlightenment.’

    2. I think Lama Zopa is suffering from cognitive dissonance. He simply can’t believe that this person who is supposedly so holy could do the things he’s been accused of. And he’s rolling out the TB party line that allows lamas to do what they want with impunity. This must be distressing for those who have been following him thinking that their code of conduct protects them from abusive teachers. Clearly it doesn’t.

      1. In 2004, I had an interview with Lama Thubten Zopa, the spiritual head of the FPMT and the Dutch Maitreya Institute. I visited Lama Zopa in the guest room of its Amsterdam centre. The interview was held shortly after it had become known that Lama Ösel (b. 1985), the tulku of Lama Zopa’s guru Lama Thubten Yeshe (1935-1984), decided to leave Sera monastery in the South of India and pursue his education at a boarding school in Switzerland. Since then, Lama Ösel, presently known as Ösel Hita Torres, has given back his monk’s vows and established himself as a filmmaker.

        This is a link to the transcript of this interview, titled ‘Lama Zopa: “People In The West Think That Buddhism Needs To Change, Not Them”‘: https://www.robhogendoorn.nl/portfolio/lama-zopa-people-in-the-west-think-that-buddhism-needs-to-change-not-them/

      2. Tahlia, could it be said that they are all suffering cognitive dissonance – Sogyal, OTR, DKR, the Sakyong, Dagri, and the loyal enablers of their inner circles?

        Sogyal was quoted as saying that he “couldn’t recognise himself” in the accounts of his former students. A case in point?

        1. The teachers, I think, believe that they truly are so special that they can do what they like. That’s the rap they’ve been given since infants, and Tibetan culture gives them free reign to do what they want. Cognitive dissonance comes in when someone is trying to evaluate negative claims against someone they think is good and ‘above’worldly views, it’s when bad behaviour just doesn’t fit their picture of that person. Also if they reject such behaviour in others, they’re faced with the fact that their own behaviour is likely not much better. Why don’t they all come out and say it’s wrong, because what we think of as sexual misconduct, they see as the perks and rights of the job.

          1. Yes Tahlia, but you can also have cog diss in relation to your own behaviour, when it clashes with the beliefs you hold about yourself, whether you realise there’s a disconnect or not.

  10. Most every newsletter of the Dutch Rigpa Foundation published since 1989 has been digitized lately. These newsletter are highly informative. Their availability makes it possible to retrace the steps of Sogyal and his followers during Rigpa’s expansion in the 1990s and beyond. One of the best examples of Sogyal’s self-presentation during this period is a verbatim quote from the July 1993 Newsletter, which I translated back into English:

    ”When H.H. the Dalai Lama and many other great teachers first came to the West, there was a great deal of enthusiasm among many people to follow the teachings. It saddens me that those same people—I see this in America, for example—went back to Samsara. They have returned to the so-called normal life; they have a lot of babies, they have become fat, they watch football and have forgotten the Dharma. The older Dharma students are overcome by some kind of. Even though there are centres and communities of practitioners, even though people were lucky enough to be guided by a great teacher, even though they were practicing, many people are losing the path.

    Before you truly understand the Dharma and have developed your distinctive wisdom, a distinctive capacity that helps you choose between what you must accept and what you must give up, obstacles will come up and you will be distracted. You are influenced by people, for example by your friends, sometimes even by your therapist. There is a danger that if you engage too much psychologically, or engage in aura reading, healing and things like that, it becomes an obstacle to the Dharma. That is really true, I want to be clear about this. I am not saying that psychology is not important, it is very necessary and part of your development, but therapists, teachers or healers can abuse it and influence people who are not so strong.

    I recently heard about a psychotherapist who I thought was very solid, who had met a healer who had read his aura and told him that Buddhism was not good for him. Even though he had met teachers like the Dalai Lama and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, he still believed this healer. This is not good. I am not saying that therapy is wrong; I certainly do not say that. But therapists and healers have a responsibility. If someone is weak and easily influenced, you should not tell such things. After all, what we call karma also exists for healers and therapists. Unfortunately we don’t see that.

    One of the unfortunate things in life is that we only see what we see. Since we are limited by what we see, we judge. We judge things the way we feel. You say, “I feel it.” Of course you feel this or that, but your feeling is only your feeling at that moment. As soon as you know more, it changes. In the West, I sometimes sense a slight arrogance, which says: “I feel this, this is my vision, this is my way.” This is also very common among the Dutch, who are extremely independent. But independence is a trap; it is not openness. Healers ought to refrain from negatively influencing people.’

    To me, this is the Pied Piper of Kham playing his flute. Everything’s already in place: the hubris, the narcissism, the infantilism, the sectarianism, the gaslighting, the immorality and the endemic abuse. Not just of Sogyal, but of his followers as well.

    By now, only true believers—that is, the undying devotees who are unable to see through their own hubris, narcissism, infantilism, sectarianism, gaslighting, immorality and abuse—will be left in positions of leadership. It’s just not reasonable to expect them, of all people, to change their ways. Of course they miss the point: they were socialized—and eagerly let themselves be socialized—into missing the vital point. Their apparent readiness to act as willing executioners, ‘working toward the leader’, is the very way in which they’ve turned themselves into the chosen ones.

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