CASE 41-2018: Sogyal Rinpoche & Rigpa Cult
Legal Warning to Professor Robert Thurman
13 August 2020
Dear Professor Robert Thurman, based on the contents of your course on Tibetan-Indian Buddhism at Columbia University, the International Buddhist Ethics Committee has the duty to let you know a series of ethical and legal questions that you should take into consideration for an appropriate and correct practice of Buddhism.
- It has been known that in your Course you have taught that Buddhism is a model of civilization. You also spoke briefly on Buddhist Politics and counterculture, Buddhist Science and relativism, Buddhist Arts, parallels between Buddha and Jesus, the Bodhisattva as a Messianic figure, among other ideas. All this constitutes an absolute revalidation of the ideas developed over decades by the Maitriyana Buddhist Community, which is the most evolved Sangha of the 21st century. The problem is that you have made no kind of reference to this, especially the model of Buddhist Civilization of Purna (Integral) Buddhism composed of 20 disciplines, which might seem a vulgar attempt to copy or appropriation of cultural heritage. In fact, when you have mentioned at the end of your course that these ideas taught by you are unprecedented in the university field, you are incurring an absolute falsehood, not only copying ideas but even denying their origin, since Maitriyana’s Zen-University has been teaching this for decades, being the most evolved and developed university environment that exists in all of global Buddhism, creating and teaching not only 20 pathways of Integral (Purna) Buddhism but also 20 other paths of Super-Integral (Mahapurna) Buddhism, which represents not only a model of Buddhist Civilization of the past but also a model of Buddhist Civilization of the future respectively, and it seems that you consciously choose to ignore this. By deciding to ignore the creator of the ideas you are teaching, you are committing a violation of Buddhist ethics. And this cannot be tolerated, as the Prosecutor of the International Buddhist Ethics Committee has stated during the investigation on this matter.
- Other ideas taught by you that appear to be distorted copies of the Maitriyana are the 3 super educations, the Budhification process, and the Dalai Lama’s four hopes, all of which appear to be an attempt to copy or expropriate ideas such as Buddhization promoted by the model of Super-Integral Buddhism, and even the four pillars of Buddhist Socialism. Although it is important that the North American academic field begins to teach ideas developed by the Maitriyana, it is totally unethical that the spiritual authorship is unknown and the ideas are simply stolen to put a Hollywood Buddhism seal on them, such as the fraudulent writer Ken Wilber tried to do. This copy attempt is evident in people who lack knowledge in a field and they are simply trying to appropriate new approaches. In this sense, you have always been dedicated to translating and recognizing the Buddhist Psychology or Science of the mind, which is why you lack adequate knowledge in the approaches that you are now trying to appropriate, because for example, without any study of Buddhist Law there is no possibility of any model of Buddhist Civilization. Besides, if Buddhism was a civilization, it means it conforms now before the International Law what is called Indigenous Peoples and Tribal Communities, and that is something that the very Tibetan teachers that you translate are unaware of. Indeed, this legal-civilizational understanding was developed and evolved in the academic field by the Maitriyana, and not by you. This deserves to be valued and protected, not appropriated and distorted.
- On the other hand, in the course you teach you mentioned that the Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso is a messianic figure and the embodiment of the highest Tibetan ideals. This is a very serious mistake, considering that during the last 3 years the current Dalai Lama has decided to breach a series of ethical and legal indications made by the International Buddhist Ethics Committee. Indeed, the Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso (Patron of the IBC) deliberately decided to carry out several immoral behaviors that violate Buddhist Law: a) not to expel Bhaddanta Kumarabhivamsa who actively participated in the Rohingya Genocide in Myanmar from the IBC; b) not to expel Lama Lobzang, who actively participated in the Kumarabhivamsa cover-up, from the IBC; c) not to expel Sogyal Rinpoche, who actively participated in inhumane treatment of women; d) not to expel Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche who has been declared a false Buddhist teacher; e) not to require Matthieu Ricard & Karuna-Shechen to return dirty money they received from the RIGPA Criminal Cult; f) not to require Thaye Dorje 17th Gyalwa Karmapa and Ogyen Trinley Dorje 17th Gyalwang Karmapa of the Karma Kagyu lineage to expel Ole Nydahl who has been found Responsible for Violation of Buddhist ethical precepts and Attack on the Human Right to Freedom of Expression; g) not return the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal awarded by President Bush of the United States of America who has been sentenced for war crimes at the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal; h) not deliver information on international violations and crimes committed against the Tibetan People. Obviously, all these violations cannot be ignored by a messianic figure.
- In 2013 you have pointed out that you congratulate Sogyal Rinpoche to whom we all owe a debt of gratitude for having done a great job, such as bringing the Dalai Lama to Europe many times and for touching the lives of many students. This demonstration of congratulations to Sogyal Rinpoche is totally immoral in the context of the ethical sentence that has been made on him, considering him Responsible for Torture and Slavery, Fraud and Organized Crime, Violation of Women’s Rights, Violation of Buddhist Law, and Crimes against Humanity.
In conclusion, the International Buddhist Ethics Committee legally advises Professor Thurman should change his teaching methods, which are violating the foundational ethical precepts of Buddhism, such as not taking what is not one’s own.
If you wish being trained in the new field of spiritual knowledge that has been developed by the Maitriyana, a full scholarship can be provided to you, but an attempt of misappropriation will never be allowed. Even, in the event of worsening in this type of bad behavior on your part, the tradition from which you are a member will be held responsible, especially the guru who ordered you.
Hoping that you return to the correct path and do not violate the cultural heritage of the Maitriyana, we wish you a long and happy life, always with a spirit of reconciliation (maitri),
Master Maitreya Samyaksambuddha
President and Judge of the International Buddhist Ethics Committee & Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights