Sex and Violence in Tibetan Buddhism,: The Rise and Fall of Sogyal Rinpoche

Sex and Violence in Tibetan Buddhism,: The Rise and Fall of Sogyal Rinpoche

by Mary Finnigan, Rob Hogendoorn


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This book is the story of how a penniless Tibetan refugee with fierce ambition managed to establish himself in the West as a renowned Buddhist lama and hoodwink thousands of people, including show business luminaries, tycoons and politicians, for more than 30 years.

Sogyal Lakar left his birthplace in eastern Tibet aged eight when his family fled the Chinese invasion to seek refuge in India. Arriving in England in the early 1970s, he brought with him traditional ideas and attitudes rooted in a culture whose spiritual sophisticated was coupled with near-feudal social norms.

His transition was spectacularly successful. Sogyal Rinpoche, as he became known, was a charismatic multi-millionaire, credited as the author of a best-selling book. He starred in a Hollywood movie and his Rigpa Fellowship attracted followers across the globe. At the peak of his fame he was the most powerful and best-known Tibetan holy man after the Dalai Lama.

But, as revealed here, it turns out that Sogyal was a charlatan who was never trained as a lama. He stands accused of financial and sexual misconduct, physical violence and fabricated credentials. Now seriously ill, he is a fugitive rumoured to be in Thailand beyond the reach of police and civil investigations.

This book does not sensationalise the perverse behaviour that caused profound suffering to scores of devotees. Based on interviews with victims and eyewitnesses, together with detailed research and first-hand experience, it echoes the feminist perspective highlighted by the Me Too and Times Up movements. It is also a story about the culture clash that occurs when the misogyny of old Tibet is greeted with naïve acceptance and adulation by spiritual seekers in the West.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780986377099
Publisher: Jorvik Press
Publication date: 06/25/2019
Pages: 204
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.43(d)

About the Author

Mary Finnigan is a British author, journalist and broadcaster. She is a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner, whose appreciation for this spiritual path remains intact, despite recent critical revelations.

Table of Contents



1 Top of the Game

2 Early Days and Turbulent Times

3 School Days in India

4 Drugs, David and Dharma

5 Squats and Sogyal

6 Doubts and Setbacks

7 Fame

8 Seduction and a Lawsuit

9 Mimi and Guy

10 Hubris and Nemesis

11 The Letter

12 The Aftermath

13 A Very Sick Man

14 Cracks in the Party Line

15 Another Letter

16 Damage Limitation

17 The Report

18 Breakthrough

19 The End of an Era?


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