Thursday, August 30, 2018

Shambhala Denies All Allegations of Misconduct

Shambhalas letter of Denial to the community 
"Dear Community -
We are writing to you in the wake of today’s release of more allegations of misconduct and criminal behavior regarding the Sakyong and board members that were released in Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 3.
We want to be clear to you, our community, that based on the information provided, Shambhala, the Sakyong and the four Board members named in these allegations categorically deny the substance of the allegations, which are not only unfounded, but are each based on speculative and unsubstantiated claims.  The publication of such salacious and defamatory information is grossly irresponsible.
Over the past six months, Shambhala has made it clear that we take any claims of misconduct extremely seriously. We invite and encourage anyone with a claim of harm to bring such claims forward through one of the three channels we have opened.  Our focus remains on the appropriate healing and rebuilding of our community, especially as we move through this leadership transition.
There are three ways to report a claim of harm:
  • Third-Party Investigation: Claims of sexual assault or misconduct by any teacher or leader in the Shambhala community can be raised directly to the independent investigator, Selina Bath, of Wickwire Holm. Ms. Bath can be reached by e-mail or phone at (902) 482-7030.
  • Care and Conduct Process:  Shambhala’s Care and Conduct policy exists to address cases of harm within the community and provide a path forward for all parties when a complaint has been brought against a Shambhala office holder. Click here to contact the International Care and Conduct panel.
  • An Olive Branch: An Olive Branch will serve as a neutral third-party to receive stories of harm and provide victim advocacy services. In the coming weeks, they will open a Listening Post where stories can be brought forward. Questions about this work may be directed to Katheryn Wiedman, Co-Director of An Olive Branch and Project Director, by e-mail.
Further, we are disappointed to learn of the continued attempts to discredit the integrity of Wickwire Holm’s independent investigation and the work of An Olive Branch, both neutral and independent third-party organizations working to provide services to those who have felt harmed in the community.

  • For questions about the investigation and Shambhala’s relationship to Wickwire Holm, please refer to the community e-mail that was sent on August 11, 2018 which includes a statement from Wickwire Holm.

  • To read about An Olive Branch’s complete scope of work, please refer to the community e-mail that was sent on July 20, 2018 to the community by An Olive Branch.

From the beginning of this process in February, our intent has always been to promptly and thoroughly investigate all claims by anyone who has felt harmed within the Shambhala community, to effectively remedy all claims that are substantiated, and to create a strong and healthy sangha.

As always, we welcome your feedback, questions and concerns at

We also invite you to contact the Transition Task Force with questions or suggestions about the leadership transition process at

With appreciation,
The Outgoing Kalapa Council
Josh Silberstein, Chair
Jane Arthur
David Brown
Wendy Friedman
Jesse Grimes
Mitchell Levy
Adam Lobel
Robert Reichner
Christoph Schönherr"

The FACT Team

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Renee Linnell on Meghan Kelly Show

We've talked to Renee Linnell several times about her experience in a cult. She has generously sent us advanced readers copies of her book.

She will be interviewed live on the Megyn Kelly TODAY show on September 5th at 9a.m. e.s.t
answering questions about her book, The Burn Zone and why she joined a cult.

 Be sure to check it out and if you are in Aspen Oct 9th she will be at the Explore Bookseller 221 E. Main St. Aspen at 5:30pm for a discussion and book signing.

Congratulations Renee!

The FACT Team

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Sex, Lies & Abuse in Shambhala

An update to our recent expose on Shambhala - here is the most recent blog post from Chris Chandler, Author of Enthralled: The Guru Cult of Tibetan Buddhism.

"Recently, I have been receiving comments on my last post,  “Divide and Conquer’  suggesting that it was the mental state of the person and her CAT story  that caused it to be removed from Facebook, and because it “couldn’t be corroborated.”

Couldn’t be corroborated by the same inner circle;  same people who have enabled the sexual abuse for the last forty years and counting?

So, now comes  the ‘crazy neurotic woman’ defense of the perpetrators and enablers. The usual one. I realize there are a lot of aspects to this CAT story.   I also know, having been inside this group,  that  I shudder at the thought of what it must have done to your mental state to be one of Trungpa’s seven wives .

All of his other six wives and their mental states should be questioned for still keeping the secrets.  In fact every one’s mental state , who is still in this cult, after what has been revealed about their leaders and their inner circle in Shambhala, should be evaluated,  if they aren’t running  for the exit and shouting “No More!”

What about the mental state of all the parents in this group, that let  their own children be sexually groomed, their fellow cult members be sexually exploited on a massive scale,  and their leader keep a harem of seven wives, illegally, while his Regent infected his students with AIDS, one of them dies,  and they never even think to  go to the police? What kind of group mental state is THAT?
That is the question that should be asked.

Of course, the CAT story couldn’t be corroborated. Who, part of that inner circle of Trungpa’s who were there,  during the most ‘secret part’ of his Tantric teachings on ‘no good-no bad’; his most deeply cult-controlled members, who formally vowed to him and the group  to  ‘never reveal the secrets of the Vajrayana or may I shrink up and rot” are going to support her?  Or corroborate her story?

I took that vow; they all take that vow, and unless some other brave soul tells the truth, which is now unlikely, this requires an investigation at the level of what is happening with the Catholic Church,  whose members are clearly not as mentally disturbed nor cult-controlled as those in  these guru-worshiping groups, like Shambhala International. THAT is the big difference between the sexual abuse in the Catholic Church and in these Tibetan Lamaist cults like Shambhala.  The Catholics actually go to the police. Shambhala’s abuse, it should be clear by now, requires an outside investigation, just as the Catholic Church.

My article is not about the person who blew the whistle on Trungpa ( as great a ‘sin’ in their group as mine is for writing a book about him and all of them and so we must be destroyed, defamed, smeared and made unimportant)  it is about how these Tibetan Lamas ALWAYS are let off the hook, because of their very large enabling system;  that always surrounds them.  Bigger than just their own overarching hierarchy of control. They were allowed to become a ‘Buddhist’ mega church that has now enfolded the other Buddhist streams into their net of influence because of other Buddhist groups, like Zen and Theravada, and their own greedy collusion with the mindfulness movement.   A mega-billion corporate movement ‘too big to fail’  simply because of the egregious abuses of its founder, Chogyam Trungpa.

The much bigger question is not about this CAT story of the author,  but why the very well-documented, sexual grooming of young girls,  sexual abuse of women and illegal harem keeping of women, in not one, but two of the major Tibetan ‘Buddhist’ centers, Lama Sogyal of Rigpa,  and now Trungpa’s group, Shambhala/ Vajradhatu,  have been allowed off the hook and then off  the radar again and again,  while the Catholic Church is being destroyed. Granted, their own sexual abuses are abhorrent, but not written into and justified by the Vajrayana Tantric Teachings themselves.   And, the Catholics are demanding criminal action.

Why are Lamaist and Hindu guru groups of Tantric Vajrayana, the new replacement falsely-named ‘secular religion’ for Judaeo-Christianity,   being allowed to handle their ‘institutionalized’ abuse in-house, AGAIN. That is the question uppermost in my mind these days."

Link to Christine Chandlers Blog:

The Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 3 Final Report:

In addition, here is a recent email we've received from the Expose we published about Shambhala:

"I was deeply disturbed to read the account from one of Chogynam Trungpa Rinpoche's wives about animal cruelty. In the same post (May 7, 2018), it is stated: "In addition, we have included another personal account of explicit animal abuse committed by Rinpoche written by John Riley Perks in his book, The Mahāsiddha and His Idiot Servant." Unfortunately, the resolution of the photo is too poor to read the text and the book appears to be long out of print. Do you know where I could find a higher-resolution image or a text excerpt of the passage? I had been planning on joining the Shambhala community and attending some retreats until the recent abuse allegations broke, and now I feel like I may have dodged a bullet. It seems like a lot of people are trying to say that the current abuse committed by the Sakyong is not indicative of the values of the organization, but the more I read, the worse it gets. Any additional information would be greatly appreciated.


We replied with further reading materials and evidence for this person and her response was:

"Thanks so much for the documents. I think it's fair to say that I will not be getting involved with Shambhala.

I was introduced to them through Pema Chodron's books (my therapist recommended them; I hear Oprah is also a fan). I had some doubts about CTR's "crazy wisdom" methods, but it seems like everyone, including Chodron, continue to be apologists for his behavior, even 30+ years later. I thought that I could overlook the alcoholism and cocaine use and bigamy by viewing him as a deeply troubled human being (aren't we all, to an extent) but still a great teacher with deep wisdom, but now he looks more like a charlatan who surrounded himself with people who still believe to this day that they can't say a bad word about him without violating their samaya vows and being sent to vajra hell. 

Thanks for the work that you do to make information available about these organizations. I naively thought that the Catholic church held the monopoly on clergy abuse. I am looking forward to reading the third installment of the Project Sunshine report that is due out later this month.


Thank you,
The FACT Team

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Gang Related Trafficking, Stalking and Manipulation.

We've been receiving a higher than usual number of complaints and emails for support regarding
gang related stalking, trafficking, intimidation and manipulation. Several individuals and families are reaching out for help.

Here are just a couple of recent reports we've received:

"Real social dynamics in Los Angeles is trafficking women and gang stalking them while covertly using their social media and stolen cell phone data to covertly sexually groom, manipulate, and condition women and also lure them out of their homes. They are an underground mafia based on fight club who has chapters of people doing illegal things internationally like millions of men who are sexist and far right connected to white supremacy and the proud boys/oath keeps. I worked for them for a while online from my home in XXXX and when they didn’t pay me after a year and a half I stopped working for them. Well they’ve started gang stalking me and threatening me while trying to lure me out of my home to possibly rape me. I’m not sure but I am informing every authority in California of this gang activity and abuse movement towards women. I didn’t know about he abuse I was working with them to try to counteract their bad behavior and cause I seriously need to make money to support my disabled child... they were getting. Kicked out of countries for bad and sexist behavior and I was tying to help as I thought it could be a win win but it turns out they really are criminals and rape rings and traffickers! Already filed another report with LAPD, The FBI, Human Trafficking, and the Bel Air PD. They are also affiliated with the oath keepers which is an anti government organization."

"Hello. I'm a full time father I have 4 kids an a finance. For the past 6 years we have been monitored by a cult. We live in Anaheim Ca. I've figured it out an I am very certain that it is a cult who manipulates Christian faith an black magic. They have been trying to break us apart for years. I believe they are going after my kids. We've been poisoned. Threatened. They lured us to home an different living situations. They have all of our personal information. Now we are stuck in a hotel. Where the maids an mangers are part of it. They sneak in our room when we leave to cast spells an poison are food an drinks. The do death stress letting us know when they are around. Honk there horns abruptly. They knock an pound on our walls. Constantly trying to out us in dress to break us down an our immune system. Then poison us. I feel they are after my kids. Some are people of higher power. Policeman an landlords. I'm looking for help. We need out an far away from this location. It's gotten to the point my oldest daughter notices."

The National Criminal Justice Reference Service wrote an abstract about this titled, Comparison of Cults and Gangs: Dimensions of Coercive Power and Malevolent Authority.

Here's a portion of that abstract and the link to the full report:

"Groups regarded as "cults" have much in common with groups regarded as "gangs" in modern American society. They are similar in that both groups restrict members' exercise of freedom in thought and belief; both demand unquestioning obedience from their members; both have self-appointed authoritarian leaders; and once persons join both types of groups, they tend to undergo certain predictable personality changes. Cults, like gangs, fall in the realm of deviance, and both types of groups encourage members to become situationally dependent on the "group identity." Both gangs and cults recruit members based on the human need to be accepted and be a part of a group that will affirm personal significance. The primary difference between cults and gangs is that cults have as their axial principle of organization some spiritual/religious/ideological belief system; gangs, on the other hand, are commonly perceived to have no such well-developed belief system. Further, gangs are more sinister in terms of the use of violence against their own members and those outside the gang. Disobedience in a cult occasions much less severe discipline, and violence against non-cult members is not common behavior for cult members."

Link to Full abstract: 

The FACT Team 

Monday, August 20, 2018

Divide and Conquer Strategies

This blog post by Chris Chandler, Author of Enthralled: The Guru Cult of Tibetan Buddhism, speaks volumes about Divide and Conquer Strategies that cults use to manipulate their members.  

"They are able to get to members still inside or almost out of this group, Shambhala/Vajradhatu,  because it is a group that is glued to each other socially and psychologically, since they were teens and young adults ( or toddlers)  and there are few ‘survivors’ of this muddle of social groupthink.   They will not go to the police. They have been taught not to believe in western laws, ethics, or western authority.   Only their  ‘sacred truths’ are real."

Read her full article Here 

These Divide and Conquer Strategies are very common in high control, high demand groups and cults such as Shambhala, Scientology, Jehovah's Witnesses and many others.

The FACT Team

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