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Some Questions For Real-world Methods
Other similar accusations are swirling around other centres elsewhere in Europe. There are huge cover ups in the Catholic church, but what has happened within Tibetan Buddhism is totally along the same lines, says Mary Finnigan, an author and journalist who has been chronicling such alleged misdemeanours since the mid-80s and is a long-standing critic of Sogyal. The Dalai Lama with Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche in 2006Credit:Zuma The rise and fall of Sogyal Rinpoche encapsulates many of the ongoing struggles of exported Tibetan Buddhism. His teachings offered the possible attainment of spiritual enlightenment in a single lifetime, in return for utter devotion. The student gives total obedience to the lama a bond which, if broken, is believed to result in banishment to vajra hell, an infinity of unfortunate rebirths. The report author Karen Baxter details widespread evidence that members of Sogyals inner circle who catered for his every need, including providing massages as he fell asleep were subjected to repeated acts of brutal violence. The lamas wooden backscratcher was a favoured method for beating people, as was punching them in the stomach. Baxter says she has been provided with evidence of one individual being knocked unconscious, others being left bleeding and concussed. While the report could not find sufficient evidence to uphold some of the sexual abuse claims, including that Sogyal conducted relationships with girls under the age of 16, she does outline significant first-hand evidence of young women being coerced, manipulated and intimidated into providing sexual favours. Whole lives have fallen apart, the damage is huge One witness, a teenager who arrived at a Rigpa retreat seeking respite from depression and self-harm, was asked to strip a week after coming to work in the lama kitchen. When she refused, she alleges, she was beaten and then later forced into sex. Speaking to the Telegraph on the condition of anonymity one of the eight original complainants described how Sogyal taught [us] to believe we were the problem, that we werent seeing purely. Another person who assisted the investigation described how victims whole lives have fallen apart. The damage is huge. Allegations against Sogyal Rinpoche have circulated privately for decades. In 1994, an American student using the legal pseudonym Janice Doe sued claiming he used his spiritual status to sexually and physically abuse her.
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