What Readers are Saying
‘Written with spiritual insight, emotional literacy, and common sense, this down-to-earth, wise, and healing book should be read by anyone who is thinking of joining, is part of, or thinking of leaving a religious group, whether it is Buddhist or not.’ Geoffrey Beatson, psychotherapist.
‘In recent years the long-standing problem of physical, sexual and psychological abuse of students by their spiritual teachers has been revealed and highlighted. Tahlia Newland takes the classic case of Sogyal Lakar and the Rigpa organisation to explore and try to understand the dynamics behind this painful issue. Her report lays bare the harm and anguish left behind in the wake of such appalling behaviour and the subsequent efforts, by those who seek to maintain their power and control, to condone such conduct and meanwhile denigrate the victims. In this feudal outlook, both physical violence and sexual predatory behaviour towards dependents are viewed as acceptable. In certain cases this power-based attitude has sought to be imported into Western Dharma circles. This is a complete distortion of the impeccable Vajrayana path and creates much confusion, disenchantment and pain. So we are grateful to Ms Newland for bravely looking into this controversial issue with such compassion and insight.’ Jetsumna Tenzin Palmo.
‘This fine work reveals the excruciating pain, resistance and fear of those within the Rigpa organisation as they grapple with a huge shift in perspective of the teacher they loved and admired—the insightful, brilliant and yet deeply flawed author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying—and shows how people can come together in the age of the internet to find truth and express love and caring for one another. The author captures this painful moment in Buddhism’s history where cruelty—that most harmful of human flaws and the polar opposite of loving-kindness—has crept into and corrupted the Buddhadharma. She brings both compassion for survivors and deeply penetrating wisdom, dispelling the myth of crazy wisdom and enlightenment-by-abuse with a clear-headed vision.’ Dr Jack Wicks
‘Written with passion and clarity, this shocking expose is a must-read for anyone who has ever been involved with Rigpa and a compelling account of what can go wrong in religious groups for everyone else. Though she pulls no punches, Newland writes with compassion for the victims and makes an attempt at understanding the flawed human beings behind the guru masks. Tibetan Buddhism as always seemed like the ‘good guy’ of religions; to discover corruption of the message at the heart of some groups is painful, even for one who has only ever been an outsider.’ Barbara Scott Emmett, author.