The Importance of Outrage

When the Lewis Silkin Report detailing the results of the independent investigation into Sogyal Lakar/Rinpoche and the cover up by senior Rigpa management came out, it reawakened my outrage over Sogyal Rinpoche’s abuse of his close students. This video is a rant that includes satire of Tibetan Buddhist beliefs as taught in Rigpa and a call for people to do whatever it takes to make sure that the kind of abuses detailed in the report never happen again anywhere.

Why this took so long to post

I wasn’t going to post this video at first because I felt the outrage expressed in it might retraumatise or upset people or inspire them to negative actions, so this is a warning for those who are feeling tender or sick of all this, that maybe this isn’t the video for you.
In the end, I decided to post it because I realised that there is nothing wrong with outrage, so long as we don’t allow it to govern our actions. There is wisdom in outrage; it tells us that something is very wrong, and so it can motivate us to change things which can and should be changed. If we forget our outrage, we might become complacent, and spiritual abuse is not something we should ever be complacent about. The challenge in acting on something that outrages us is not to act out of anger or hatred or for revenge (acting that way doesn’t get the best results), but to act out of a genuine motivation to improve the world for the better.
The full  Lewis Silkin report can be read by clicking this link.

Destroying or preserving?

A comment left on the You Tube channel for this video says a lot: “A straight talking lady who fearlessly spells out the distorted views being taught in certain Tibetan Buddhist sanghas by inept Lamas and their senior students who are destroying the pure authentic wisdom lineage of Tibet.”
Though it’s nice to be called “fearless”, what struck me about this comment was the understanding that the kind of behaviour shown by Sogyal and Rigpa (and is still being shown by Rigpa) is destroying Tibet’s “pure authentic wisdom lineage”, not saving it.  We were taught in Rigpa that we were being taught the true vajrayana, but it’s a distorted interpretation of the teachings that allows abuse, fosters mindless lama worship, encourages manipulative cultish tactics, shores up the fuedal power structure, and treats students as slaves and women as sex objects.
Interpretations of the religion that lead to these kinds of things in practice are – despite what some lamas say – not vajrayana, and they certainly aren’t Buddhist – given that the essence of Buddhism is non-harming.  Sticking to beliefs that foster these sorts of things is only being true to the worst of Tibetan culture, the parts that both Tibetans and Westerners need to leave behind.
See this great article The 7 Worst Excuses for Ignoring Women’s Rights by Kunsang Dolma in which she talks about the attitude to women in traditional Tibetan culture and the need for Tibetan society to grow, not remain stuck in the past.

Current and previous students of Rigpa can participate in private discussion on this and other abuse-related topics on our What Now? Facebook Group. If you’re interested in joining, please contact us via the contact page and ask for an invite.
People from any Vajrayana sangha can join the Survivors of Vajrayana Abuse and Allies Facebook group for support. Click the link to request to join.
Anyone who has left a Buddhist sangha that had an abusive teacher can join the  Beyond the Temple Facebook Group. The focus in this group is not on the abuse, but on ourselves and our spiritual life as we recover from our experience and look to the future. Click here and request to join.
The What Now? Reference Material page has 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.
Those of you who are interested in ‘keeping Buddhism clean’ could ‘Like’ the Dharma Protectors Facebook page, which posts links to related articles as they come to hand.

52 Replies to “The Importance of Outrage”

  1. Thankyou for having the wisdom and courage to post this. I was in Rigpa for 10 years and followed the home retreat. At first it was an intensely spiritual experience and helped me enormously. I trusted wholeheartedly and embraced dharma. Over time I learnt about the earlier accusations and was really confused. I spent about eight years in confusion feeling both outrage and doubting myself. I became increasing angry inside and eventually distanced myself. It wasn’t until the letter that I really had the clarity to break away. I really hope I never again doubt myself when things just felt so wrong. I felt oppressed in the rigpa sangha and lost my own sense of integrity for a while. This blog has helped me heal and I don’t think I would have healed without it. Although this is my first post I have been following for over a year. Thankyou. I am now following the programme led by Mingyur Rinpoche cautiously. For me it’s about what works in practice to live a better life and what I recognise to be true about the nature of things. I hope we all can heal and the dharma flourishes in a positive way.

  2. Dear Moonfire,
    First of all I want to express my appreciation for your message and courage to post that. I was, as I wrote some time ago, involved as director of the Kosmos Center in Amsterdam in hosting seminars and lectures of LSR and RIGPA. That meant that I joined these too, and at that time thought that I was really learning something important: about life. Now the messanger is revealed as a fraude and abuser I see it as utmost important to acknowledge that the message is completely corrupted too. That is a painfull insight, because anyone that was on this voyage will have to start from zero again.
    Your message and work I see as beacons to work towards new light in this darkness. And also as a message of hope, because you, we are not alone.
    Thank you!

  3. Thankyou you express it all so well.
    This quote from Judith Herman ( author of Trauma and Recovery) seems appropriate here talking of abusers and relating this to the way Rigpa is behaving.
    It is very tempting to take the side of the perpetrator. All the perpetrator asks is that the bystander do nothing. He appeals to the universal desire to see, hear, and speak no evil. The victim, on the contrary, asks the bystander to share the burden of pain. The victim demands action, engagement, and remembering.”

    1. @ex la la
      You mean people are mentally and emotionally lazy at the expense of others, namely the victims.
      This is was always a main stream in Rigpa.

  4. from 47.27 the answer to the question about. Very very interseting in regard to this whole cult & glamour thing ! The play of energies and perceptions and projections. “You get what you want (& need)” in a way.
    “That’s what glamour is… the being throwing out an energy & making you see what you want to see” ?! Some sort of hypnosis… “Behind the enery they maybe completely different”. How deceptive all this is… profound lerarning about the play of energies for sure

  5. What kind of stupid propaganda is this? “Lama” Jampa Thaye isn’t really “speaking out” at all. This “lama” only uses this opportunity to spread more anti-Western contempt and hatred, blaming Western culture for the corruption in Tibetan Buddhism, refusing to acknowledge how corrupt this tradition has always been. It is disgusting to read an “article” like this, which is nothing more than more anti-Western propaganda, disguised as “speaking out” against lama abuse. It’s really just an attempt to get people to “blame the West” for all the ills and corruption within Tibetan Buddhism and to shield his own teachers from any scrutiny.
    While he does have a point that Western “Buddhism” is in danger of becoming diluted by New Age, fluffy, politically correct, self centered b.s., he completely overlooks the fact that the cycle of abuse within Tibetan Buddhism goes WAY BEYOND just that. The diluting of traditional Buddhism is a real issue, but it is another topic of conversation, which is only partially related to lama abuse. It’s time for people to admit that the corruption of Buddhist teachers is a HUMAN problem and not just a “Western” problem, and many Buddhist teachers in all traditions have always been drunk on power and they have always been abusing their students. The students have always been gullible and willing to sell themselves at the feet of their “gurus” who often abuse their trust. He only BRIEFLY touches on the fact that Buddhism as a religious institution has ALWAYS had these HUMAN problems, and that this is NOT just a Western thing. It’s interesting that Western Buddhist “teachers” have even more hatred and contempt for their own culture than the hatred and contempt that many Tibetan lamas express. This self-hatred is really puzzling. There can be no “reform” within Tibetan Buddhism until people own up to the fact that too much power in the hands of humans (in ANY culture) leads to corruption. There is no way that this is ever going to change because human nature is human nature. Period.

  6. This article by Lama Jampa Thaye (David Stott), an ordinarily very intelligent man, is so disappointing that I felt I should put aside my caution about posting here and say something. What’s most annoying about his comments is that he blames Westerners for falling too easily for “fake masters” and “snake oil salesmen,” and for not being smart enough to distinguish them from the real thing. Well, how are we to do this when these vile characters are so blithely endorsed by the traditionalists whom Stott admires, who validate the scoundrels by visiting and teaching at their centers, or putting them on thrones, or writing forewords to their books, or by being too coy to warn their followers about the abuses that have been brought to their attention? What a crummy article. Ugh!

    1. I agree. This is typical Tibetan arrogance, making the problem all the student’s fault, because we don’t recognise fake lamas teaching fake dharma. He clearly doesn’t realise just how careful Sogyal was to give us ‘genuine’ dharma, and that those same beliefs that enabled the abuse are held up by the likes of Dzongsar Khyentse as being important aspects of ‘genuine’ vajrayana. Is this the Buddhism he considers genuine, the one where we must be obedient, silent and see even abuse as enlightened action? Is our speaking out about abuse the complaining he’s talking about? I expect so.
      The suggestion here is that Buddhism is tough and if we don’t like it, it’s because we want something soft and easy. This is the exact thing supporters of lama abuse say, it’s the ‘well if you don’t like being hit’ go to Mahayana or Theravaden Buddhism. It’s not, ‘abuse is unacceptable.’
      It’s a terrible article, vague, condescending, and lacking in compassion or awareness of just how willing Western students were to take the tough route. It was not their desire for an easy path that was the problem in Rigpa or that lead them to speak up; it was that Sogyal took advantage of their willingness to embrace the hard path. But here we have the same kind of victim blaming and cultural arrogance we see from other fundamentalist lamas.
      Getting rid of abuse in Buddhism is not watering it down! It’s purifying it.
      I suspect that any genuine Vajrayana Buddhism shorn of it’s Tibetan cultural baggage (which is clearly what we need to do) would not be recognised by someone like this as Buddhism.
      I would not follow this lama.

      1. @ Moonfire
        I was reading your comment, which I agree with completely, and when I reached: “The suggestion here is that Buddhism is tough and if we don’t like it, it’s because we want something soft and easy. ” I suddenly realized there’s yet another reason I didn’t appreciate his article…’s so macho, a kind of muscular Buddhism that’s typical of so many lamas and so much of Tibetan Buddhism in general.
        It’s actually quite laughable because most of them live very “soft and easy” pampered lives, shielded from any real difficulties or physical hardships that come with many traditionally male professions.
        I suppose because most religions are male inventions, run by men for the benefit of men who are obsessed with status, hierarchy, power, control and advantage over others, the same problems will always occur.
        I’m not hopeful, but maybe students of the dharma would have a better future if having a pair of testicles automatically disqualified anyone from becoming a spiritual teacher.
        ( With apologies to Stephen Batchelor )….not so much “Buddhism without beliefs” as “Buddhism without bollocks.”
        Probably won’t catch on I suppose.

        1. @Pete,
          I don’t think the women would act much better than the men. Look at how there are so many women enablers around these lamas, even if they aren’t sitting on thrones. Also, look at the ones who are! Jetsunma comes to mind as one example…

  7. As I commented below the article on Tricycle’s website: “Let’s not forget that many bona fide Tibetan Buddhist lamas have known all along that Western Buddhists were being duped by charismatic Tibetan Buddhist ‘lamas’, and stood by doing nothing. Some of them even enabled these impostors out of clear self-interest. I suppose that “this is the way it’s always been” too, and it deserves being mentioned as well.”

  8. I read this piece by Lama Thaye with interest, because if there really is hope for Tibetan Buddhism in the West, then we could expect a lama who is both traditionally authorized and a mature, educated westerner who is married and has a family to have an understanding of the dynamics of the abuse and exploitation that has taken place in a Tibetan Buddhist context and a clear unbiased view of the cultural and religious structure that has enabled it.
    As Rob pointed out, at the very least, some acknowledgement of the destructive effect of the mute complicity and moral indifference of almost the entire Tibetan religious elite, including his own lineage holders, would be a reasonable (although very minimal) expectation.
    But what I read is a rather self-satisfied, slightly pompous and arrogant version of victim-blaming with the old « a few rotten apples » excuse, thrown in and I agree entirely with the analyses above in so I won’t expand on that, other than to say that what struck me the most was the absence of any convincing psychological understanding or empathy for the victims or concern for the enormous damage done.
    I’ve never heard of him before, and I’ve no reason to assume that he’s not an otherwise intelligent and decent person, but I think his real concern is to protect his business and in that he’s no different from so many other lamas, his western education and cultural experience make no difference at all. He and his family aren’t victims of Tibetan Buddhism, they almost certainly live quite well off it, so his perspective predominantly reflects that.
    It’s disappointing but not surprising: being a lama is a secure job for life, and an easy one too, where you effectively get well paid for sitting down for prolonged periods, reading, singing, ringing a bell and so on, talking for a while to an adoring, possibly credulous audience who will fund your lifestyle, travel and accommodation and some of them will even work for nothing. Nice work……if you like that sort of thing.
    He’s also making a sales pitch, (you can never have too many students after all.) So of course he’s going to say : “In today’s Western society, where the dominant cultural systems are failing to provide explanations for life’s philosophical questions, a space has opened up that Buddhism is uniquely suited to address.”
    As if the purpose of philosophy wasn’t to live a better life but just to satisfy some existential questions that most of the world’s population doesn’t have time for because they’re too preoccupied trying to eat, not get killed or caught up in ecological disasters.
    And what explanations to philosophical questions did the “dominant cultural system” of Tibetan Buddhism provide in a thousand years? Did it advocate social equality, human rights, universal healthcare and education, access to justice and the rule of law….that sort of thing?
    Not at all, it produced a philosophy riddled with primitive beliefs, medieval superstition and magical thinking that underpinned and justified a brutal feudal, theocratic caste system……..and we’ve only just experienced a small fraction of that ourselves. He may like to pretend that was an aberration but the history of Tibet proves otherwise.
    Imperfect and risky as they are, our “dominant systems” are at least heading in the right direction and for some reason the resulting society and advantages seem to be so much more attractive to lamas, Tibetan and western, than an austere, rustic life in the remote Himalayas.
    And what profound answer does he have to give to our questions about abuse, corruption and exploitation by some Tibetan lamas and the institutional complicity of the rest?
    “ In fact, the answer is clear. They have embraced a Buddhism largely of their own projections,”
    Are we all clear about that ? …….it’s all our fault and he’d like us to shut up about it now.
    I wonder if he has his own throne…….

      1. In my many years as a Tib Buddhist practitioner never before have i seen such a scruffily attired gent ascend a throne!

        1. @matilda7,
          Apparently, anyone in the Karma Kagyu sect (whichever branch) can become a lama if they have finished a three year retreat. That’s why there was suddenly a whole new crop of Western “lamas” who have popped out of nowhere on the teaching circuit. They are just people who somehow managed to find the time (and money) to complete a three year retreat.

        2. @ Matilda
          …..and we British are known for our impeccable dress-sense and sartorial elegance too. Still, credit where it’s due: at least he hasn’t got a pointy brocade hat to go with it.

        1. The swastika is an ancient symbol which has nothing to do with Nazis. The Nazis took the symbol, reversed the image, and changed the meaning, much as Satanists took the pentagram and reversed it, changed its meaning, etc.

            1. @ Catlover
              Interesting. I just looked up the history, it’s fascinating, and apparently the Nazi version is usually inclined at 45 degrees. Still it looks a bit of an unfortunate choice, like calling your little boy Adolf.
              Sorry, just my sense of humour…..

          1. @ Matilda
            Yes, you’re quite right I do, but this thread hasn’t conformed to Godwin’s law yet so I couldn’t resist. Although strictly speaking I think it needs someone to be compared to Hitler rather than just a passing reference to the Nazis. Plenty of time though…..

    1. @Pete and all.
      Some very positive lines stand out for me in Lama Thaye’s post:
      “Some charismatic leaders take advantage of Western misconceptions rather than correct them..”
      “Either a free-floating meditation detached entirely from the other two trainings is formulated or ethics and wisdom are corrupted by spurious notions such as “crazy wisdom.”
      “.. embraced a Buddhism largely of their own projections, albeit in some cases with some skilful prompting by the kind of Asian or Western teachers who are active in the spiritual marketplace. It is a Buddhism shorn of anything objectionable to the upscale inhabitants of London, Santa Monica, and Manhattan. It’s a Buddhism in which the moral seriousness of traditional Buddhism, a seriousness grounded in respect for others, has been amputated.”
      “rather than abandoning self-centredness (and the other powerful gods of our age) and turning instead to Buddhism, we have found, or so we think, a religion that can accommodate them.”
      “I don’t see much room for the ordinary, unshowy man or woman with their dirty hands and struggles”
      “First of all, we gave them their power, out of a mixture of credulity and lack of curiosity about Buddhism itself.”
      It seems there is plenty of criticism of Buddhist masters in this post, but that at the slightest hint we bear some responsibility, “blaming the victim” is thrown out.
      Lama Thaya’s post seems to be encouraging us to be unmoved by notions such as “crazy wisdom”, question our self-centeredness and projections, adopt a “seriousness grounded in respect for others”, make room for ” the ordinary, unshowy man or woman with their dirty hands and struggles” and to take back our power by being skeptical and curious about Buddhism itself.

    2. Well said @Pete. And this guy is a Westerner! I thought he was Tibetan. He sounded just like OT. And he’s on a frickin throne. Thrones are the first bit of cultural bagage that needs to be thrown, along with any so-called lama who is attached to sitting on them.
      @ricknew There’s a tendancy I’ve noticed in some lamas, like DZK, who say some things that sound right, but then they also say things that actually cut right through those right-sounding words. This article is like that. We have to be careful not to swallow the whole thing just because some of what he says sounds right – which is what I did with Sogyal. He’s so vague on what he means by the terms he’s using, that really he isn’t saying very much at all, and in the end what comes over is his arrogance and his feeling that, despite the things you point out, it’s all the Western student’s fault because we want a softer form of Buddhism. But actually that wasn’t the problem in Rigpa. The problem was that we embraced the ‘hard’ form, which is what he appears to be avocating for.

      1. @Moonfire,
        “There’s a tendency I’ve noticed in some lamas, like DZK, who say some things that sound right, but then they also say things that actually cut right through those right-sounding words. This article is like that. We have to be careful not to swallow the whole thing just because some of what he says sounds right …”
        I totally agree with this. I would also add that they say what sounds right on purpose to trick people into thinking that they are on their side. Then they say what they REALLY think mixed in and hope no one will notice. They also hope to subtly influence people if they can just get them relaxed enough to not be on guard.

      2. @Moonfire,
        Well, it seems that all the lamas sit on thrones. Which one doesn’t?
        The only male Tibetan teacher I EVER saw who refused to sit on a throne, or special seat, was Palden Gyatso, (although he’s a monk, and not officially a lama).

        1. @ Catlover
          If as you say, you automatically get to be a lama after a three-year retreat, then maybe the diploma comes with a self-assembly flat-pack throne from Ikea. Naturally there are some screws missing and the instructions are for a book-case, so this is the final test of your realisation.

          1. @Pete,
            Lol! I wish lamas were tested with frustrating stuff like that. Sometimes they don’t get any testing at all, lol! 😀
            Actually, I think it is mostly the Karma Kagyus that make people lamas on the basis of three year retreats. (Lamas from other lineages have even joked about it.) I am not sure what the “criteria” for being a lama is in other lineages. Also, some of the Karma Kagyus are born into it, (such as the Karmapa). In other lineages, it also varies.

          2. Actually, the real test would be that after the lama can’t get the throne from IKEA put together, he realizes that he doesn’t need a throne and he sits humbly on the floor, lol! Also, he has no attachment to the throne he couldn’t assemble, and no attachment to sitting on the floor either, lol! See? Even I can write true dharmic stories with profound messages, lol! 😀

            1. @ Catlover
              Certainly as profound as some teachings I’ve heard. (Of course the throne itself is neither assembled, not assembled nor neither nor both.)
              Have you considered accepting students?

              1. @Pete,
                Can I act up and do “crazy wisdom” stuff, sit on my own throne, and have a bunch of worshiping students who do whatever I say, lol? It sounds kinda fun! 😀

      3. Hi Moonfire,
        Thanks for your post. What do you find problematic about below?
        – Be unmoved by notions such as “crazy wisdom
        – Question our self-centeredness and projections
        – Adopt a seriousness grounded in respect for others
        – Make room for the ordinary, unshowy man or woman with their dirty hands and struggles
        – Take back our power by being skeptical and curious about Buddhism itself.

        1. @Rick,
          If you cherry pick select passages from the article, then of course, it’s gonna *sound* okay. The problem is that when you carefully read the whole article in context, the underlying message comes across quite differently. Moonfire pointed out (and I agree with her) that he mixed things in that *sound* good with things that don’t. This is what they ALL do (or most of them) in order to fool people. If you can’t see this for yourself then their strategy is working on you. As Moonfire pointed out (and I consider it very good advice to remember), be careful not to swallow EVERYTHING they say just because some things seem to *sound* right. It’s easy to miss the propaganda they slip in, which doesn’t sound right, and it even contradicts the things that do sound good. Lamas like this one and DKR do it on purpose just to trick people. It is a good strategy because it seems to fool a lot of people. Please don’t be one of them.

        2. Hi Rick,
          Nothing ‘problematic’ as such……actually nothing much at all, in the sense that there’s nothing there that all of us haven’t already figured out, in some cases a very long time ago indeed.
          He’s much too late coming up with this stuff, and like most other lamas it might have meant something if he’d spoken up quite a while back, but now it’s just opportunism and his version carries a lot of implied contempt and precious little understanding or empathy.
          Have you noticed that even when lamas do finally get round to speaking up, ( if they ever do that is) they only do so in an extremely indirect and vague way, nothing specific, they never describe what’s happened, they never mention the abuse and exploitation or the victims, they never criticize the perpetrators directly, they never address their own silence, indifference, endorsement of abusers and de facto complicity, they never question the structural aspects of Vajrayana that create an environment for abuse and inequality.
          And they appear to be completely ignorant or uninterested in the real nature of the damage done and the long and complex healing processes that are required for victims.
          They see none of this, including the victims, as their problem and take no responsibility for any of it. They probably might worry about the potential loss of prestige and income, but not too much. Significantly they’re almost all male and the great majority of the worst affected victims are female.
          They are all completely unaffected…..and it shows.
          Where is the much vaunted ‘boundless compassion for all sentient beings’ in all this?
          By definition, abuse is always weighted heavily against the victim and in favour of the abuser and in Tibetan Buddhism in the West this has been the case for decades and it’s only just now beginning to change slightly, but very slowly indeed.
          Nobody can say with confidence that institutions such as Rigpa will really change, they will probably survive, and who knows that the whole process won’t be repeated all over again in other circumstances by other lamas, because frankly they don’t seem to have much to fear as justice and reparation haven’t even started and may never do so in any meaningful form.
          The only certain thing is that a great deal of damage has been done and for victims, healing can take an entire lifetime.
          In the light of this, Lama Thaye’s effort is without doubt one of the very worst I’ve read so far, and I can’t see how anyone who is a victim of sexual, psychological, physical or spiritual abuse in any way or degree, could possibly benefit from this kind of sanctimonious posturing, that, when you read it carefully, basically just focuses on how wonderful and authentic he thinks he is and how stupid he thinks everyone who was abused or deceived is.
          How does that help anyone and what exactly is the point of it except to promote himself ?

          1. @Pete,
            Excellent post and I agree.
            I’s like to add that I think the point is to make sure that Tibetan lamas aren’t blamed and to put as much blame as possible on the West. I am so sick of their “blame the West” mantra that they keep saying over and over again, even the Western teachers.

          2. I wasn’t surprised to see that Lama Thaye is a Westerner. The article doesn’t just reflect some problematic attitudes we have seen coming from Tibetan Buddhist lamas, but also it reflects some attitudes I’ve seen with senior and privileged Western students as well– those who carry on the mission so well. In my experience, sometimes it felt like there was a competition presented by old-time students on who can take the tough stuff better.
            And Rick, I think you often come from a position where you feel that students aren’t doing the work of introspection and just blaming Tibetan Buddhist establishment without acknowledging their own part. Probably if you are just viewing the situation from What Now discussions, that would be understandable. However, as I have seen from the Facebook groups working on healing, students are digging deep to understand how they came to this place of deep pain and struggle and betrayal. For myself personally, I have a tendency to blame myself for everything and finding the courage to speak out against power and abuse is an important part of healing for me– and for the community.
            But also, the biggest mistake we students have made in the past was to allow our discrimination and moral code to erode– we allowed ourselves to believe that wrong was right. We looked at people being harmed and we looked away. So this has to be fixed first, a priority. We have to say, this is wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. This is what makes articles such as Lama Thaye’s so insidious– he is eroding that one fact with all sorts of cut de sacs. And then we’re back on the merry-go-round.

            1. @ Joanne
              A really good post. You’re absolutely right to point out that westerners are the ones doing the work of introspection, and deep, critical self-examination…..because lamas certainly aren’t doing that at all.
              The initial exposure of abuse over 25 years ago was exclusively from westerners, who’ve also made many attempts since, including the recent effort by the 8. Who’s running forums like this and others on social media? Who’s actively discussing all this and trying to resolve issues and find solutions, involve the justice system and bring abusers to account? Who’s doing their best to spread information and warn potential victims?
              And who are the victims who now have to resolve the trauma and deception, re-orient their lives and come to terms with all their wasted time, energy and money, all expended in good faith, that have enabled Tibetan Buddhism to flourish here and allowed a whole religious elite, including the venerable Mr. Stott, to have an easy life?
              Of course abusers get blamed, and so do those in positions of power who have remained silent and why should their victims ever feel guilty about that?
              As you say this is a priority: we need to make it clear that as far as many of us are concerned, there’s no longer going to be a free ride for abusers, exploiters, complicit enablers or bullshitters no matter how long and impressive their lineage, or how long they’ve been in the job.
              Joanne, it’s brave of you to say that you have a tendency to blame yourself for everything: it made me reflect on just how much this is constantly inculcated by traditional teachings, so that even if like me, you didn’t have that tendency at all to begin with, you soon will.
              It’s so effective and pervasive that even students who become victims of severe abuse and violence will blame themselves automatically and only come to face the truth with great difficulty, and some may never be able to. It’s a very destructive belief, an abuser’s strategy that has nothing at all to do with “accepting responsibility.”
              After leaving Rigpa, I was lucky to be able to revert to my normal habits quite quickly: I got back in touch with the profound wisdom of my inner bastard and started to blame everyone else instead. I know there’s no currently accepted psychological or therapeutic research or opinion to support that, but I can recommend at least trying it as a way of recovery.

              1. Thanks, @ Pete & @ Joanne.
                These are great responses and I there is a lot there. I’ll think about these for a while and try to reply with a “yes…and…”

    1. @Úlfarinn,
      Actually, there is a theory that there was an ancient Aryan race in India, so the Nazis were very interested in India. In fact, they sent expeditions all around the world to study occult secrets. It was power they were after.

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