Report to the Boards of Trustees of Rigpa Fellowship UK, and

The impulse to believe the absurd when presented with the unknowable is called religion. Whether this is wise or unwise is the domain of doctrine. Once you understand someone's doctrine, you understand their rationale for believing the absurd. At that point, it may no longer seem absurd. You can get to both sides of this conondrum from here.

Re: Report to the Boards of Trustees of Rigpa Fellowship UK,

Postby admin » Sat May 04, 2019 5:59 am

Findings

On the basis of the evidence available to me, it is clear that a number of senior individuals within Rigpa management have been aware of serious concerns about the behaviour of Sogyal Lakar since, at least, the mid-1990s.

Witness P appears to have had the most knowledge of the allegations of impropriety as Witness P handled the Janice Doe claim, attended the UK trustee meetings in the mid-90s, attended the meeting called by Witness B and was involved in the issues surrounding Student 27. It is also Witness P who was understood to have raised these issues with Sogyal, according to Witness N.

I conclude that Witness P’s devotion to Sogyal Lakar has resulted in Witness P refusing to accept the possibility that anything Sogyal had done might have been wrong. In my view, it appears that Witness P has made no meaningful efforts to establish whether or not the allegations are true. I believe that this reaction arises out of his view that students who are unhappy should simply leave quietly – Witness P was not really concerned about whether these things happened, but seems to have been prepared to accept that Sogyal intended no harm, regardless of what happened.

I asked Witness P whether Witness P thought a guru could ever be bad, to which Witness P responded “if it [I] said never you would think I have been brainwashed”. Witness P agreed that mistakes may have been made “due to cultural differences”, but I was not able to understand what Witness P understood those cultural differences to be.

Witness P’s letter to Witness D was, in my view, designed to manipulate Witness D into dropping his concerns about Student 27. I believe this demonstrates a proactive cover-up, not just a failure to deal with things adequately. I also find Witness P is responsible for telling others that complainants should not be believed, for example, those of Janice Doe and Student 27.

Witness O went to some length to deny holding any management responsibility that could cause Witness O to be responsible for anything that has happened, yet Witness O was clearly heavily involved in the issues raised during the 1990s – it was Witness O who was tasked with investigating them and devising the relevant policy documents to protect against these concerns. Witness O was involved in relation to denying what had happened to Student 27 and Witness O had a pivotal role in the “representing Rigpa” training.
Witness O said to me “there has been a lot of rumour and innuendo, a lot of people talking on behalf of people, a lot of exaggeration and gossip – we can’t act on that as an organisation. Why in the space of forty years hasn’t anyone complained?” I found this to be an extraordinary statement from someone who was aware of Janice Doe and Student 27, as well as the complaints brought to their attention by Witness B, which I do not believe can reasonably be dismissed as mere gossip or rumour.

At the start of my meeting with Witness O, Witness O said [about the letter writers] “I’m not blaming them, [Vajrayana] is subtle and complex, but what they say shows something fundamentally hasn’t clicked … there are grains of truth in [the Complaint] but they are exaggerated and distorted”. But Witness O later said to me “we don’t believe that [Sogyal] abuses people, it’s not the [letter writers’] understanding either – it’s a mystery for me why in this letter they have changed their mind”. Witness O also described it as “pretty heart-breaking to see these friends turn against everything; I don’t believe [Sogyal] has been harming people like this”.

In my opinion, Witness O is not prepared to accept that Sogyal has done wrong; I believe that has always been the case and this seems to be why Witness O has not been prepared to take any complaints seriously over the years. In my view, Witness O’s mind is closed even to the outcome of Rigpa’s own investigation.


I remain somewhat perplexed as to Witness N’s role. Many witnesses who spoke to me were adamant that Witness N would have known about all of the abuse that was going on, but when pressed were not able to provide me with clear evidence to demonstrate this. It is apparent that Witness N attended the meeting with Witness B in 1994, but it seems Witness N was not involved in the follow-up to that meeting involving the Charity Commission and Inform. I am concerned, however, that Witness N did not tell me about this meeting, which I think would be hard to forget in this context, notwithstanding the passage of time.

I received evidence from some witnesses that Witness N had provided real and valuable help to some individuals; Witness F felt that Witness N was supportive when Witness F left Rigpa, and Witness E understood that Student 5 considers that she would have “gone under” if it wasn’t for Witness N’s help. During our interview, Witness N was prepared to acknowledge the experience of the letter writers – for example, Witness N said:

“I was very shocked to read [Witness F]’s experience, I don’t want to say that [Witness F] didn’t experience this. [Witness F] is a very sincere person and evidently [Witness F] did. Something has gone awry”.


On balance, I believe that Witness N knew that some people were being harmed by their involvement with Sogyal Lakar. I conclude that Witness N did not take sufficient action to stop this or prevent future harm being caused, but did made some efforts to intervene to help specific individuals.

There are other individuals who held management positions and, it is alleged, had knowledge of the allegations against Sogyal. This includes, for example, Student 21, Student 22, Student 23 and Student 24. I recommend that their knowledge should be investigated further if they are to retain management roles or positions of influence in future.

I am satisfied that the organisation had several opportunities to realise and address the extent of the harm that was being caused, but failed to take these. The efforts made to investigate these issues and protect students in future were, in my assessment, entirely inadequate and, in some cases, there is evidence that proactive steps have been taken to discredit those raising concerns.

That said, I recognise that a number of the witnesses I spoke to and who have now left Rigpa had also seen things that they knew were wrong but had felt unable to speak up for a long time. It is clear that, by speaking out, these individuals feel that they have to leave behind the ‘Rigpa family’ and their support networks. In addition, they have had to lose their relationship with their teacher and, to a degree, their beliefs. Speaking out appears to require a willingness to ‘step off the path to enlightenment’, and many are not ready to do that. It should not, therefore, be overlooked, that the Rigpa management witnesses referred to above are also students of Sogyal and will have likely faced huge difficulties in speaking out against him, assuming that they felt that there was a need to do so.

As a final note, several of the witnesses expressed their unhappiness at the way Rigpa had responded to the Complaint. As this issue strictly falls outside the scope of this investigation, I will not address this further in this report but it is right to acknowledge their concerns.
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Re: Report to the Boards of Trustees of Rigpa Fellowship UK,

Postby admin » Sat May 04, 2019 6:02 am

Further allegations

Throughout the course of this investigation I have been contacted by a number of additional people who have further stories of abuse. Regrettably, the scope of this investigation has had to be limited to investigating the Complaint and there came a point when it was not feasible to conduct further interviews.

I have assured those who raised concerns with me that I would alert Rigpa to the fact that there are more concerned students and former students who would like the opportunity to be heard.

To ensure a proper investigation is undertaken, any such process needs to be truly independent of the influence of those individuals who I conclude have been involved in failing to deal with concerns for many years.
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Re: Report to the Boards of Trustees of Rigpa Fellowship UK,

Postby admin » Sat May 04, 2019 6:04 am

Recommendations

I have been asked to set out any recommendations that I have for change within Rigpa as a result of my findings. My practical recommendations are set out below. Should they be accepted, there will be detailed work to be done in implementing the recommendations across the Rigpa organisation, which operates in a number of different territories. It will be necessary in a number of respects to take into account local laws, regulations and guidance in each such territory as well as having regard to the legal personality and governance structure through which Rigpa operates in each territory.

There are also a number of matters which may require further investigation before the Rigpa leadership is able to reach final decisions in relation to this overall matter. The possibility of such further investigations is referred to at various points above.

Before moving to implement the recommendations below, my view is that the leadership of Rigpa should consider first the overall effect of these findings on its mission and work as an organisation. In the United Kingdom, for example, the trustees would need to consider whether the findings of the report, the resources required to act on the recommendations and the degree to which the work and profile of Rigpa has in the past been closely associated with the persona of Sogyal Lakar, make it possible for the organisation to move past these events and operate sustainably and successfully in the future. Appropriate advice should be taken on this and it should be noted that in raising this issue for the trustees I do not seek to guide their decision either way, such guidance being outside the scope of my investigation and remit.

Assuming that the Rigpa leadership concludes that the appropriate overall course is to put in place structures and procedures to ensure that its work as an organisation can continue in the future without the risk of harm, I recommend the following:

1. Sogyal Lakar should not take part in any future event organised by Rigpa or otherwise have contact with its students;

2. Rigpa should take steps to disassociate itself from Sogyal Lakar as fully as is possible (having regard to any legal arrangements which may for the time being connect the organisation with him);

3. Rigpa leadership in each country (being the trustees or equivalent) and the Vision Board should, as necessary, be refreshed in order to ensure that;

a. its members are unconnected with the harmful events referred to in this report and so can credibly lead the programme of changes required;

b. its members are all publically committed to the concept that abuse will not be tolerated by anyone, or against anyone, within Rigpa (including teachers); and

c. wherever possible, the leadership should include some members who are unconnected with the student body, for example lay trustees as such would be recognised in the United Kingdom.


4. Professional management should be appointed at each major Rigpa centre. Wherever possible, the management team should include some members who are not part of the student body. Care should be taken to ensure that all members of management are able to perform their responsibilities and are not inhibited in doing so, for example, as a consequence of considering themselves bound to demonstrate ‘unwavering respect’ towards the guru.

5. An appropriate risk assessment addressing the whole range of the organisation’s activities should be conducted and regularly refreshed. The risk assessment should specifically address teaching practices which are, or have been, associated with the Dzogchen Mandala - careful, well guided judgments will need to be made on the future use of such practices in the organisation’s work. For the avoidance of doubt any practice amounting to abuse of a student should never be tolerated.

6. A comprehensive and written safeguarding policy should be put in place to ensure that:

a. sexual relationships between teachers and students are either prohibited entirely, or subject to specific safeguarding measures to ensure there can be no abuse of power;

b. any ‘lama care’ that is deemed to be necessary is carried out in a way which ensures the health and safety of those providing these services is adequately protected;

c. mechanisms for the confidential reporting of concerns are clear and can be easily found by those with concerns;

d. reports of any incidents and allegations are recorded and stored in a secure and proper way;

e. incidents and allegations are promptly investigated in accordance with the policy with appropriate follow up action taken;

f. consideration is given to reporting serious incidents to relevant law enforcement authorities and/or regulators; and

g. the management and leadership of each Rigpa entity is aware of and properly trained in its responsibilities.

7. An abuse helpline outside of Rigpa should be set up, in addition to the internal reporting mechanisms made available.

8. To the extent that it has not done so already, Rigpa should review its fundraising activities to ensure that these are compliant with local laws and regulations. This review should specifically include contexts in which Rigpa events such as retreats may be used as an opportunity for third parties such as external speakers to raise funds for other causes and/or invite gratuity payments on their own behalf. There should be absolute clarity on the proper uses of all such funds.


9. A clear approach to the engagement of speakers and teachers should be established which ensures that they are aware of relevant policies, including the safeguarding and fundraising policies, before having contact with students.

10. So far as is consistent with the wider financial responsibilities of Rigpa, a fund should be created to provide professional counselling to those affected by abuse.

11. An appropriate programme of communications related to the above steps should be undertaken with the letter writers, students and the wider Rigpa community. In addition to a first communication setting out Rigpa’s commitment to a safe and secure environment for all students and the steps to be taken in achieving that, regular updates should be given until the programme of changes has been completed.

12. Rigpa’s leadership should consider (taking further advice as necessary) the extent to which it is obliged to report any of the matters set out in this report to law enforcement authorities or relevant regulators in each applicable jurisdiction.
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Re: Report to the Boards of Trustees of Rigpa Fellowship UK,

Postby admin » Sat Jun 15, 2019 7:18 pm

Charity Commission disqualifies trustee from Rigpa Fellowship: Trustee failed to protect people who came into contact with the charity
by The Charity Commission
Published 13 June 2019

A trustee has been disqualified from all charities for a period of 8 years as a result of an ongoing Charity Commission inquiry into the Rigpa Fellowship charity.

Patrick Gaffney was serving as a trustee of the charity, which is based in London and has objects to advance the Buddhist religion.

Evidence uncovered by the Commission shows Mr Gaffney had knowledge of instances and allegations of improper acts and sexual and physical abuse against students at the charity.

Mr Gaffney failed to take appropriate action in response to this information and is therefore responsible for misconduct and/or mismanagement in the administration of the charity.

He was entered onto the list of disqualified trustees on 12 April 2019.

Amy Spiller, Head of Investigations Team at the Charity Commission, said:

We are continuing to investigate concerns about this charity via our ongoing statutory inquiry. However, the safety and wellbeing of beneficiaries and those that come into contact with the charity, must always be a priority for the trustees and staff of a charity. This trustee has been disqualified with immediate effect for failing in his duty to protect those who came into contact with the charity.

The public rightly expect charities to be safe places, where people are free from harm. Where we find charities that are failing in this essential duty, we will take action to remove those responsible.


The Commission has been engaging with the charity since August 2017 over serious concerns about adult safeguarding. Concerns escalated during this engagement, prompting the opening of a statutory inquiry on 8 November 2018.

It is the Commission’s policy to publish a report at the conclusion of the case.44

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Re: Report to the Boards of Trustees of Rigpa Fellowship UK,

Postby admin » Wed Mar 18, 2020 11:00 pm

Trustee of UK charity 'covered up abuse' by Buddhist guru: Rigpa Fellowship’s Patrick Gaffney had knowledge of improper acts, watchdog found
by Simon Murphy @murphy_simon
The Guardian
Mon 2 Sep 2019 06.29 EDTLast modified on Mon 2 Sep 2019 15.05 EDT

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Sogyal Lakar died on Wednesday after going into hiding following the sexual misconduct claims. Photograph: Joel Robine/AFP/Getty Images

A British charity founded by a disgraced Buddhist guru, who died last week after he was accused of sexual misconduct towards some of his followers, faces further controversy after it emerged that one of its trustees was found responsible for covering up abuse.

Patrick Gaffney was a trustee of the Rigpa Fellowship, which was founded by the Tibetan guru Sogyal Lakar, known as Sogyal Rinpoche, who died aged 72 in Thailand on Wednesday after going into hiding following the claims.

Weeks before Lakar’s death, Gaffney – the guru’s right-hand man who co-edited his bestselling The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying – was banned by a watchdog from working with charities for eight years.

The British devotee, 70, who Lakar described as “one of my oldest and closest students” after the pair met at Cambridge University in 1970, faced the sanction after an inquiry by the Charity Commission.

According to the Times, the watchdog uncovered evidence that Gaffney had “knowledge of instances and allegations of improper acts and sexual and physical abuse against students”.

Announcing its decision in June, the commission said: “Mr Gaffney failed to take appropriate action in response to this information and is therefore responsible for misconduct and/or mismanagement in the administration of the charity.”

Amy Spiller, the head of the commission’s investigations team, said: “We are continuing to investigate concerns about this charity via our ongoing statutory inquiry. However, the safety and wellbeing of beneficiaries and those that come into contact with the charity must always be a priority for the trustees and staff of a charity. This trustee has been disqualified with immediate effect for failing in his duty to protect those who came into contact with the charity.”

Celebrity readers of Lakar’s book included the Radiohead singer, Thom Yorke, and the actor John Cleese. The Rigpa Fellowship announced Lakar’s death, which came after complications during his cancer treatment, with “deep sadness” on its website.

Lakar founded the fellowship, which runs a Buddhist centre in Islington, north London, in 1979. Lakar served as the charity’s spiritual director before he “retired” in August 2017 following the allegations. Gaffney was appointed to the charity’s “visionary board” after Lakar stood down.

The charity, which runs courses and seminars, has centres around the world including in Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh.

An investigation conducted by the legal firm Lewis Silkin, commissioned by the fellowship, concluded last year that “some students of Sogyal Lakar … have been subjected to serious physical, sexual and emotional abuse by him”.

It added that “there were senior individuals within Rigpa who were aware of at least some of these issues and failed to address them, leaving others at risk”.

The fellowship said: “Patrick Gaffney was a trustee of the English charity but resigned last year. We have adopted a new grievance procedure that includes an independent council, who can receive complaints brought by members and the public.”
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Re: Report to the Boards of Trustees of Rigpa Fellowship UK,

Postby admin » Wed Mar 18, 2020 11:06 pm

Senior Rigpa Students Ask for Sogyal Rinpoche to Be Reinstalled: Sources
by Matthew Remski
December 10, 2018

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Credible sources say a petition letter (copied below) is being circulated amongst the inner circles of the Rigpa International organization, and is gathering signatures of support. It has been translated into English, most likely from Dutch.

The petition letter asks for the Rigpa “Vision Board” to reinstall Sogyal Lakar (aka Sogyal Rinpoche) as the public spiritual guide for the organization.

The petition letter lists seventeen original signatories. Emails to six of these signatories requesting comment have gone unanswered. The names have been redacted in the copy below, pending a response.

A source says that most of the signatories make up part of a core practice group at Rigpa’s Lerab Ling temple, located in southern France.

Rigpa’s Vision Board took over organizational leadership in August of 2017, after Lakar was forced to retire following accusations of physical, sexual, emotional and financial abuses brought against him by eight former devotees in an open letter published a month earlier.

The petition letter asks for Lakar to be effectively reinstalled as spiritual figurehead of Rigpa. It uses the language of inclusivity to argue that Rigpa students who “don’t have a problem” with the abuse allegations against Lakar are now unfairly marginalized because of the controversy.

The petition letter rebuffs the recommendations made by a recent independent investigation into the allegations, commissioned by Rigpa. The investigation, conducted by the London law firm Lewis Silkin, confirmed that Sogyal Lakar committed “serious physical, sexual, and emotional abuse” and that for decades, senior Rigpa management enabled Lakar’s behaviors and “failed to address them, leaving others at risk.”

The first recommendation of the 50-page report was that “Sogyal Lakar should not take part in any future event organised by Rigpa or otherwise have contact with its students” and that Rigpa should “disassociate itself from Sogyal Lakar as fully as possible. Following the independent investigation, Rigpa issued a statement that said, “Rigpa commits to act upon the report’s recommendations.”

The petition letter ignores the recommendations, saying, “…we continue to have full confidence in Sogyal Rinpoche. We will always take him to be our root teacher…”

It makes no concrete suggestions as to what Lakar’s rehabilitation within the organization would look like. Lakar, 71, has recently received treatment for colon cancer.

The Dalai Lama has repeatedly spoken out in the last 18 months about Lakar’s abusive behavior and Rigpa’s exploitation of students.

The Vision Board, to whom the petition letter is addressed, is staffed by five non-Tibetan devotees, and advised by three Tibetan lamas.

One of the lamas is Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, who mocked the eight original complainants in October 2017 with a satirical “Sex Contract” that would purportedly secure consent from devotees for various sex acts with their teachers.


Sex Contract
by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
October, 2017

I thought this might come in handy for Rinpoches like myself who are not omniscient, not omnipotent, and not well trained; who don't give enough preparatory training on the prerequisites to their students; and who get carried away by their own self-agendas and, from time to time, by their hormones. MAKE LOVE NOT HEADLINES! SCREW WITHOUT GETTING SCREWED! Bender and Boner Law has over 70 combined years' experience in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. We are sensitive to the special needs of Gurus and Rinpoches who desire to save all sentient beings yet also wish to have fulfilling sex lives. Let one of our ironclad consent forms protect you from fears of future litigation. Our in-house psychologists are on call 24/7 to assess your potential partners for any unsuitable moral quirks and/or tendencies to play victim. If you've already made a few mistakes, (and who hasn't?), don't worry! We can still save your reputation, your assets, and your ass. Free initial consultation. Call us before it's too late! See our website at http://www.theyconsented.com

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DEED OF AGREEMENT

PARTIES


_____

and

Bender & Boner Lawyers
Address:
P:
F:
E:
http://www.benderandboner.com

Operative Provision

It is agreed that P1 and P2 (hereinafter "the Parties") are desirous to have consensual sex in the terms that follow:

1. The time period of consent shall begin on execution of this agreement and continue until _____ or until such time as the agreement is terminated in accordance with the provisions below.

2. Either party may terminate this agreement at any time expressly by verbally informing the other party of his/her desire to do so on the video recording articulated in this agreement, or by giving prior adequate written Notice as set out below.

3. Notices -- A communication required by this deed, by a party to another, must be in writing and may be given to them by being:

(a) Delivered personally; or

(b) Posted to their address specified in this agreement, or as later notified by them, in which case it will be treated as having been received on the second business day after posting; or

(c) Faxed to the facsimile number of the party with acknowledgment of receipt received electronically by the sender, when it will be treated as received on the day of sending; or

(d) Sent by email to their email address, when it will be treated as received on that day.

The Agreement

4. I, _____, P1 hereby declare under penalty of perjury that I am over 18 years old, and have furnished P2 with official identification substantiating this declaration. (Photocopy of official identification attached as Appendix 1)

(If P1 is under 18, a copy of her/his official identification along with copies of statutes showing age of consent both in place in which sexual acts take place and in place where P1 resides, should be attached as Appendix 1A)

5. I, _____, P2 hereby declare under penalty of perjury that I am over 18 years old and have furnished P1 with official identification substantiating this declaration. (Photocopy of official identification attached as Appendix 2)

(If P2 is under 18, a copy of her/his official identification along with copies of statutes showing age of consent both in place in which sexual acts take place and in place where P2 resides, should be attached as Appendix 2A)

6. The Parties further declare that this agreement is made of their own free will and that neither, nor anyone near or dear to either, has been threatened with harm or embarrassment. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

7. The Parties further declare that they are at this time not under the influence of alcohol, drugs or medication, and they have voluntarily submitted to a blood test to substantiate this declaration. (photocopy of blood test attached as Appendices 3 and 4 respectively). _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

8. The Parties further declare that they are not being influenced or coerced into a sexual relationship with the other party by any power imbalance or any other differential between the Parties due to their position, and that their relationship as defined in this agreement, is a purely sexual one which has no bearing or effect on other relationships that may also be engaged in, be that student/teacher, guru/disciple or any other relationship. _____P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

9. The Parties are aware that any sexual activities that they engage in are purely physical in nature and are unrelated and totally separate from any spiritual, Buddhist, Vajrayana, Tantric or other such practices in which either party may also separately engage in. _____ PI (initial) _____ (P2) (initial)

10. The Parties are entering into this agreement freely and have been made aware that it has no bearing or relationship to any so called samaya that either may otherwise have with the other. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

11. The Parties are informed that any agreement made by to enter or not to into a sexual relationship with the other would have no effect, either positive or negative, to any pre-existing or subsequent samaya that might or might not exist between the two of them. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

12. It is completely understood and agreed by the Parties that neither party has made any promises, guarantees, suggestions, or insinuations that the other party will benefit spiritually, psychologically, karmically or materially in any way from this agreement to have consensual sex. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

13. The Parties also fully understand that by engaging in sex with each other, s/he does not thereby become any kind of spiritual consort, khandro, daka, dakini, spokesperson, better person, or teacher, nor will such sexual acts result in a change in the Party's position in any hierarchy or mandala that may or may not exist. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

14. Each party warrants that s/he does not suffer from any sexual, serious, infectious or life-threatening illness or disease including, but not limited to, HIV, Herpes and Hepatitis, and the like, and agrees to be examined by a physician of the other Party's choice (or a physician agreed by the Parties) and is willing to submit to any required blood and medical tests whenever requested. (Results of medical and blood tests both parties attached as Appendix 5). If, during the term of this agreement, either party should be diagnosed with or become aware of any such illness, he/she undertakes to inform the other immediately thereafter and in any event, prior to any subsequent form of physical contact between the Parties. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

15. Both Parties agree that this contract does not create an exclusive relationship between the Parties, and that either or both may pursue other relationships while this agreement is in effect. However, each party agrees to avoid any type of unprotected sex with persons other than their respective spouses during the term of this agreement. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

16. Contraception: If it is possible for either party to become pregnant, the Parties agree to use an agreed form of contraception on an ongoing basis. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

17. If either party does become pregnant to the other party, the pregnant party agrees to terminate the said pregnancy unless otherwise agreed by the other party. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

18. Both Parties agree that this is a private agreement not to be disclosed to third parties except in case of accusation of sexual misconduct by the agreeing party. If he/she shows or makes public this agreement without accusation of sexual misconduct, it is agreed that he/she will be liable for damages for invasion of privacy. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

Activities

19. The parties agree to engage in the following activities as initialed by them for the full term of this agreement:

a. Full body touching (external only) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

b. Kissing with/without the insertion of tongue into mouth _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

c. Digital penetration (receiving) _____ (specify orifice(s) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

d. Digital penetration (giving) _____ {specify orifice(s) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

e. Vajra worship (receiving as vajra master) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

f. Vajra worship (giving as daka/dakini) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

g. Yoni worship (receiving as yoni goddess) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

h. Yoni worship (giving as yoni devotee) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

i. Oral sex (receiving) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

j. Oral sex (giving) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

k. Vaginal sex (receiving) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

l. Vaginal sex (giving) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

m. Anal sex (receiving) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

n. Anal sex (giving) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

o. Cream pie (receiving) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

p. Cream pie (receiving) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

q. Vaginal sex toys (receiving) _____ (specify toys) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

r. Vaginal sex toys (giving) _____ (specify toys) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

s. Anal sex toys (receiving) _____ (specify toys) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

t. Anal sex toys (giving) _____ (specify toys) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

u. Restraint, including CIA approved stress positions, using the following devices _____ (specify devices) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

v. Use of following devices in or on the body _____ (specify) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

w. BDSM (sub) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

x. BDSM (dom) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

y. Water sports (being golden showered) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

z. Water sports (golden showering) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

aa. Defecation (receiving) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

bb. Defecation (giving) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

cc. Participation in group sex with _____ males _____ females _____ other. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

dd. Participation in orgy or orgies with numerous males, females, and others. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

ee. Animal love (receiving) If the jurisdiction permits specify acceptable animal(s) _____ _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

ff. Animal love (giving) If the jurisdiction permits specify acceptable animal(s) _____ _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

gg. Young love (giving) subject to how young the jurisdiction permits _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

hh. Young love (receiving) subject to how young the jurisdiction permits _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

ii. necrophilia _____ (specify gender of corpse(s) and acceptable activities. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

jj. use of pornography _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial) _____ (specify) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

kk. Other activities _____ (specify) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

NB: if further details are required to specify certain activities, the Parties are to continue on a separate sheet of paper adequately marked and annex to this agreement).

20. Whereas both Parties are aware that attraction may escalate during the agreed upon sexual activities, and that the parties may desire to engage in activities heretofore not consented to, the Parties agree as follows:

a) There shall be no sexual activity of any kind other than that specified and consented to in this agreement without the establishment of a new, separate agreement. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

b) Sexual activity of a kind other than that specified and consented to in this agreement shall be consented to by mutual verbal consent during the activities engaged in under the consent given in the present agreement. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

20. During any of the above activities either party may say "Code Yellow" and the other party may continue with the activity, but must proceed slowly, with caution. If either party says, "Code Red" both parties shall immediately cease any and all activities. The Parties may then resume activities other than the "Code Red" activity, if both Parties are in agreement, or either party may call a halt to all activities for any specified time period. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

21. This agreement may be terminated at any time by either/or both Parties either verbally on the recording device (see 22 and 23 below) or in writing (See Operative Provisions 1 and 2 above). The terms of this agreement may be changed at any time only by the agreement of both parties either verbally on the recording device (see 22 and 22 below) or in writing (See Operative Provisions 1 and 2 above).

22. The Parties agree that the law firm of Bender and Boner (hereinafter "The Firm"), or its agent, will prior to the beginning of any activities, set up an unobtrusive video or other recording device to record the reading and signing of this contract, and any and all subsequent foreplay and/or sexual acts occurring during the term of this agreement solely for the purpose of demonstrating that any and all acts were freely consented to and agreed upon by both Parties and did not fall outside of or go beyond the boundaries set forth in this agreement, and the Parties agree that only The Firm will have possession of such recording and that neither will any member or agent of The Firm ever view or listen to such recording nor will it ever be shown to third parties except as specified below in Section 23. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

23. The Firm, by the signature of its officer or agent below, agrees that any recordings made in regard to this contract will be kept in a secure locked safe in The Firm's offices or safe deposit box in its bank and that no member of The Firm, or its agents, will ever view it nor will it ever be revealed to any third parties, in any manner, unless a party makes an allegation of sexual misconduct, goes to the police or the courts, to the press or any media, including social media, or any third parties with accusations or allegations of sexual misconduct, coercion, or maqkes claims of having been harmed, misled, or mistreated in any way by the other party.

___________________ (signature of principal or agent of The Firm)

24. I have had the opportunity to fully review this agreement and to have this agreement reviewed by an attorney of my own choosing. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

25. Prior to signing this agreement, a member of The Firm or its agent has read this agreement to me aloud, answered any question that I might have, and I fully understand it. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

This agreement is made this _____ day of the month of _____ in the year 20_____ between _____ (hereinafter "P1" and ______ (hereinafter "P2")

RECITALS

OPERATIVE PART

Interpretation


This deed of agreement to engage in consensual sex is governed by the laws of the jurisdiction it is executed in or in which the parties reside, and the parties, submit to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of that jurisdiction.

In the interpretation of this deed:

(a) Words denoting the singular include the plural and vice versa; words denoting individuals or persons include particular body parts and appendages, and vice versa; references to documents or agreements also mean those documents or agreement as changed, novated or replace, and words denoting one gender include all genders including transgender; and

(b) Grammatical forms of defined words or phrases have corresponding meanings.

Execution Page

Executed as a deed on this _____ day of the month of _____ in the year 20_____.

This agreement is to be executed by both parties before a member of The Firm or its agent and two competent witness over 18 years of age, one witness to be chosen by each party. Immediately prior to the initiation of any the activities elucidated above, the parties shall have listened to the reading aloud of this agreement in its entirety by a member of The Firm, or it agent, and if in agreement, shall initial and sign where appropriate.

___________________
Signature Party 1 (P1)

___________________
Printed or typed name Part 1 (P1)

___________________
Signature Party 2 (P2)

___________________
Printed or typed name Party 2 (P2)

___________________
Signature Witness 1

___________________
Printed or typed name Witness 1

___________________
Signature Witness 2

___________________
Printed or typed name Witness 2


More recently, he trolled Rohingya refugees with a rambling letter of praise for Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Another Vision Board lama is Khenchen Namdrol Rinpoche, who gave a speech at Lerab Ling in September condemning the eight letter writers, suggesting they are possessed by demonic spirits. The speech was live-translated for a cheering audience by Shambhala Publications author Sangye Khandro (Nancy Gay Gustafson).

A source says that most of the signatories are part of the “Lerab Ling Practicing Sangha.” The Practicing Sangha was formed at Lerab Ling after its founding in 1992 and are distinguished by their high degree of loyalty and devotion to Lakar.

Lerab Ling functions as the organization’s administrative and spiritual headquarters. It was home to Sogyal Lakar before he fled French authorities after accusations against him were first made public. In May 2018 French police raided Lerab Ling as part of an ongoing investigation in Lakar’s abuse. Rigpa and Lerab Ling temple were both suspended by the French Buddhist Union following the open letter by the eight original complainants.

Lerab Ling continues to host programmes for both the public and dedicated Rigpa students. The next public event, “Living in Harmony with what Really Matters”, is scheduled for over the holidays.

In the summers, the centre also hosts Buddhist camps for children and teens.

A letter to the Vision Board about our concerns regarding the current direction.

Firstly. Thank you for all you do to preserve the Dharma and Sangha. We are so happy to be part of the effort you have made so far to take care of those in the Rigpa Sangha who have been hurt. Sangha unity is foremost in our minds as advised – for us it means a Sangha where each and every member is allowed to hold views and openly practice as we believe in.

It has been more than a year of healing and the direction we now seem to be heading, is of concern to us. The profile of retreats and courses that are being promoted and views being held are of concern to us.

We now feel that slowly, the needs of those in the Sangha who don’t have a problem is perhaps being over-looked or just not highlighted. We worry that by continuing to remain quiet in order to give space to our dharma siblings who were hurt, might indeed be mis-construed to mean we hold the same views.

So this letter is to state that we continue to have full confidence in Sogyal Rinpoche. We will always take him to be our root teacher and we bring this body of students to your kind attention. We request to be provided forums where we are able to openly express our devotion and practice the lineage of which Sogyal Rinpoche is an integral part. The peaceful co-existence of these events together with the ones already taking place will make for real sangha inclusivity.

Secondly.

The question of spiritual integrity is of concern to us. No matter how noble a reason, we believe there are certain lines which cannot be crossed. Commitments and rules for students following the path of Dzogchen is one of them. What we hear to be occurring at Dzogchen retreats is of great concern to us.

In the same vein, we have full confidence that you will hold any rules and commitments that pertain all level of the spiritual path – Vinaya, Mahayana, Vajrayana – in their entirety and not make them flexible to accommodate varying views and conveniences. We will be grateful if you continue to uphold spiritual integrity above and beyond the success of an organization.

Thirdly and most importantly.

The upholding of the spiritual lineage carried through by Sogyal Rinpoche. For us, we believe what differentiates Dharma centres is their spiritual lineage. At Rigpa we had the greatest fortune to be blessed with the lineage of the unsurpassed Dzogpa-chenpo. This is our crown jewel, our greatest blessing, our glory - which sets us apart from any other centre. Most importantly it our gift to give the world, for all sentient beings and the future of Dharma. This most precious gift – the greatest of compassions – we can only give if we have it ourselves.

We believe that this is a living lineage of blessing, transmitted person to person and it is embodied in the person of Sogyal Rinpoche as an irreplaceable link in this chain. And it is simply not possible to uphold this lineage without him being squarely at the centre of it. Hence it is unclear to us how we can preserve this our most precious possession in the current direction of barely being able to say his name.

Thank you again for all you do. We hope that together we will be able to exit this period of difficulty – stronger and wiser – and continue to keep Rigpa as the gift it is to the world.

[names of 17 signatories]
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