Abuse in Buddhism
I just read about the open letter from students of Sogyal Rinpoche, in which they mention in 12 pages physical, emotional and sexual abuse from him.
I have first hand experienced an abusive lama, who used his position to manipulate me into a sexual relationship. It was NOT a Rinpoche - to state this very clear! - nonetheless a lama.
I have also seen and experienced how high masters misuse donations to build big mansions and there are known issues with this with India's government. Such case was one in Bir, resulting in all foreign visitors having to get a permit from the government to visit Tibetan settlements, with the mean to control and track from where donations came from and what they do with them.
It is an "open secret" that many lamas and high masters have been using their position to abuse their students in many ways. I know of people who have been blackmailed by their sanghas to remain silent, who have been bullied and forced out of their communities when they spoke up. I also know of so many misconducts of lamas, khenpos, rinpoches, etc. who get involved with their students or even translators, with the concept of having "dakinis" and practicing "tantric forms of Buddhism".
We cried out loud when those behaviors became so evident in priests - we couldn't longer ignore them, when the Catholic church and community tried to silent those allegations.
But now that it hits home we try to ignore the facts, we blame the victims, because victim shaming is easier than to see and accept the truth, and we try to dehumanize, humiliate not only the victims, but also the "press" that publishes those articles almost in a Trumpanian way.
I don't know in person Sogyal Rinpoche and his sangha, and while I believe that for certain he has done many great things, I also am very reluctant to believe he is a saint. When so many people speak out, there is something behind it.
As Westerners we tend to romanticize Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism and the culture, we put our teachers on altars and we are taught that questioning them and seeing them as impure beings is just our own dirty mind projecting our impurity to them.
I think this is just another way of manipulating our mind, of emotionally being blackmailed to believe we are the ones at fault.
Institutionalized victim shaming is the most dangerous form and although I am still a Buddhist, I still follow Tibetan Buddhism, I also refuse to be a blind follower and support this institutionalized religion.