Questions for Rigpa on the Investigation.

One of the excellent things someone in Rigpa management did immediately after the letter came out was to set up an email address where students could send emails about their concerns. Even better was that for some time people actually got replies. Pleasant respectful replies but all with the same message, which essentially was to talk to someone in the sangha.

Unfortunately  a letter sent to one of the holding group requesting that we set up a liason between Rigpa International management and the What Now? group did not receive a reply. Nor has Patrick Gaffney replied to an email send a week or more ago requesting,  an opening of communication with What Now? But those in the What Now? group are very concerned that the soon to be commenced (or so we believe) investigation be conducted properly, and we wanted to have some input into that.

So, a representative of the What Now? Facebook group sent the following email to whoever reads what comes into the email address set up for student concerns.

Please note that this does not represent the feelings of all members of the group, just some of them. So read ‘we’ in this letter to refer to ‘some members of the group.’

Dear Rigpa Share

The ‘What Now’ group is much relieved that an independent investigation will  commence in the coming few weeks. In recent days we have asked members, what are their most pressing concerns about this pending investigation? There has been much feedback which we feel obliged to share before the investigation does commence.

In the lead up to this, Rigpa has indicated that any team leading the investigation would be comprised of several specialists with proven experience in this field, those being, people who have a background of investigating breaches of normal ethical codes in large religious or spiritual organisations. Prior to the actual start of the process, it would be best, in the interest of transparency, that some of our initial questions be answered.

Can Rigpa presently elaborate on the backgrounds and qualifications of this investigative team? And if not presently, when so?

Can Rigpa confirm if the organisation known as ‘An Olive Branch’ will be part of the investigative team?

Can Rigpa clarify the methods and procedures that will be applied in this investigation?

Can Rigpa clarify that despite Sogyal Rinpoche being on retreat, that he will be able to, and required to, answer any questions the team may have.

What measures will be taken to ensure no additional unnecessary suffering will be inflicted on those who already feel traumatised by actions against or involving them?

How does Rigpa intend to approach, protect and provided witnesses that are required to give testimony. How will assurances of fair treatment be provided?

Above all else, can Rigpa elaborate on the safety measures that have been taken to ensure that there remains a complete separation between the investigative body and a Rigpa management team, that has by circumstance, been involved in choosing the make up of, and directive’s of this body, while still knowing they themselves will also be investigated by that very same body for any possible wrong doing?

‘What Now’ group members have already highlighted many area’s, in specific detail, they would like to see covered in the investigation, however, there is little purpose in expressing these to Rigpa unless some clarity is first provided on the points we have just raised.

We trust that Rigpa understands the necessity for an ongoing dialogue in this process with ‘What Now’ members despite an understandable desire for things to be left unsaid until the completion of the investigation and publication of it’s findings.

It is, we believe, essential for Rigpa to acccept that any investigation that does proceed ‘without’ the support and input of ‘What Now’ members, would simply be a great waste of time and effort for all parties involved.

We look forward to your response with both anticipation and appreciation.

Update: A reply was received with the message that the letter would be forwarded to those organising the investigation for them to consider the points. Cheers!


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.

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34 thoughts on “Questions for Rigpa on the Investigation.

  1. Sexual abuse cannot be investigated by the perpetrators , the deniers, and the enablers. Which is what is being proposed by this typical make-up of trying to keep this in-house.

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    1. @hookknife,

      I noticed that your book on Amazon is sometimes not available. Is that because it’s selling well and it has to be reprinted?

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      1. Thanks for asking. Since my book featured Sogyal as one of the main players in the long history of sexual abuse and it’s cover-ups inside the sealed world of Lamaism, and my nearly thirty years of experience with these same perpetrators, enablers and deniers, and how they have always avoided criminal charges by keeping it all ‘ in-house’ as well as my experience in professionally dealing with systems of sexual abuse, including the worst forms,: religiously justified and sadistic forms, which are what we are dealing with here, it was important to update my book to include the latest regarding Sogyal and Rigpa. It will be back up for sale in a week.

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        1. I see. Thanks for your reply. (You may need to update it often, since there is always new stuff happening re: Sogyal, etc.)

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          1. That was a cute set-up for advertising your book Chris/hookknife/Catlover. I think it’s not kind to come on this blog with tricks and an agenda, Chris. It’s not kind to take advantage of people who are struggling. If you can’t be completely transparent, then perhaps you shouldn’t engage.

            Liked by 1 person

                1. Because I’ve seen her use the name “hookknife” before on other forums. (I don’t think she is hiding behind that pseudonym, btw.) For crying out loud! Stop thinking I’m Chris, lol!

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                  1. Cat lover, not only were you aware that Chris posted under that other pseudonym (meaning you visit DI regularly), you also are checking up on her book regularly. That’s fine, it’s your right, but I am concerned about anyone who can tolerate DI for even one minute. It makes more sense to believe that you are either Chris herself or in regular contact with her, with a common agenda. When I have engaged with her in the past, she often had several personas and she often had a secret thing going with other bloggers. Nonetheless, it is only right that we take you at your word, because I would never want to harm anyone by suspecting their motives. So I take you at your word.

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                    1. You’re not taking me at my word because you suspect that I am in “regular contact” with her or that I have some “agenda.” This shows that you are biased and judging people without knowing them. Yes I have visited DI, but I have no personal connection with them, nor am I in “regular contact” with Chris, or anyone else. I am just one disillusioned, former devotee of Tibetan Buddhism, who is now seriously questioning the whole thing. Your attitude is a big turn off, and it does nothing to renew my faith in TB.

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              1. Yes, it’s good to get information about what happened, but primarily in order for concerned people and (ex-)rigpa members to communicate with each other. I don’t know if it’s necessary to buy a book or use this website for promotion. Sources of literature could be free – that would be more in line with any ethics, wouldn’t it ? What about offering a free download ?

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                1. @ Starshine, @chrillerloungeXX People might want to check out those’resources’ and the orientation of the author before endorsing their promotion here. @Starshine, wasn’t it you who cautioned that the purpose of this blog was not to provide an open forum for the wreckers who can see nothing good in Tibetan Buddhism and desire its annihilation?

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                    1. Starshine, you wrote “It’s good to find out about resources so people can read more.” A little mea culpa wouldn’t go astray, before we “move on”.

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                  1. Hi cerberus, what do you want?! Please do not put words in my mouth. I never promoted any book and I see something good in Tibetan Buddhism. Generalising instead of discernment and a calm discriminating mind does not lead anywhere. At least I can not to follow.

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                    1. @chrillerloungeXX, you asked for a free download, did you not? I am merely pointing out the orientation of the author. There’s no need to shoot the messenger. And who’s cerberus?!!

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                2. Nobody is using this website to promote anything. I asked Chris a question about her book because I was wondering why it is often not available. (Yes, I am watching her book on Amazon, but I have not bought a copy yet. I haven’t decided about whether I will buy a copy yet.) It was the only way I could get in touch with her because, contrary to what some people here seem to think, I am not in regular contact with her. I asked her a question and she replied. That is all. She posted no links or ads for her book, so stop jumping to conclusions.

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    1. After discussion it was agreed that a Facebook page was too easily confused with the private group and that to avoid confusion, What Now? shouldn’t expand beyond the blog and group. So a couple of members set up an alternative page called Dharma Protectors, which though it will post lnks to blog posts here, is not officially associated with What Now? https://www.facebook.com/dharmaprotectors3/

      Liked by 1 person

  2. @ matilda7
    thanks for asking: cerberus is a scary dog barking at everything that he does not know or understand, because he’s so nervous and agitated. But maybe inside he might be longing for just a friendly word and a treat and wag his tail. But he can’t because he has to act fiercely, that’s his job. Or at least he feels that it’s his job. Don’t know why.

    Now, to answer your question: My suggestion to offer a free download of the book was meant a bit ironical, just to hint to the fact that maybe this is not a point of sale or a place to promote your products and gain some financial profit.

    But indeed, it could be interesting for any reader to look inside the book. Then he or she could get an idea about the content of the book. Even if I don’t like that book (in fact I think it has a horrible cover and sounds quite distorted or even vicious) I trust that everyone can make their own judgement. Moreover I am quite sure that no free download will be offered here.

    Why should that be misunderstood as “endorsing” it ?
    That could be the assumption of someone who projects bad intentions. Why is that? I have no idea.

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    1. Thanks for a more considered response. I used ‘endorsing’ in a general sense. As for “bad intentions” you’re attributing an awful lot to my straightforward comment and it’s offensive. Frankly, your first two comments in response to mine were pretty rude and aggressive. It would be good if you could just acknowledge that so we can all move on from this digression.

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      1. Reading this exchange is a bit of a hoot. I cannot rid myself of the picture of one person– Chris– sitting behind a puppet stage, taking on all these personas and trying to keep track of who’s on first. Do excuse me if I offend, but it really is a very strange discussion, with only Matilda 7 coming out with any authenticity as a real person. And there are just too many references by both Catlover and that other strange name that remind me of Chris! Like who, but Chris (and Catlover and that other name), is discussing whether or not they like Tibetan Buddhism?

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        1. @Joanne,

          Sorry, but I am a real person, and I’m not Chris. You’re imagination is working overtime, lol! There is more than one person in the world who isn’t in love with Tibetan Buddhism, and as time goes on, there will be more and more disillusioned people. You’re just gonna have to get used to it. For someone who doesn’t like to judge, you’re certainly quite judgemental. Doesn’t that bother you at all?

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          1. You’re the one who is making trouble here, Joanne. I asked Chris a simple question and she answered. YOU are the one who is blowing it up into a big deal. if you could just let it go, then the whole thing would just die. Let it go already. It’s time to apply the Buddhist practice of letting go. I for one would love to let it go, so enough already!

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  3. I, ME, wrote a book in which I give the proof that the Dalai Lama and Tibetan Buddhists are not humans, but aliens coming from an other galaxy. If somebody is interested I can give you the link to MY book at Amazon_com. The mission on earth of Sogyal L. and other Lamas is to procreate with beautiful human women. The women get pregnant without knowing, and the newborn babies leave the planet in a flying saucer.
    Buddhism is just a cover for this evil project.
    Give up Tibetan Buddhism !
    Don’t give them your money, it’s better to use it for a copy of MY book.

    [In order to avoid the bad the karma of lying : this is just a joke in response to the conversation above]

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      1. I would only add that the first time Catlover appeared on the What Now? blog was in a conversation with Chris, in another little advertising stint for Chris’s book.

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        1. I was not in an “advertising stint” conversation about her book I don’t even know what first conversation you’re referring to. Someone else mentioned her book earlier on the “What Now” blog, not me. I am done arguing with you. If you don’t stop this, I am requesting to the mods that this thread be closed.

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