A shocking documentary aired Tuesday on Arte about sexual and financial abuse by Tibetan lamas. Elodie Emery and Wandril Llanos, two journalists who investigated the Dalai Lama for more than ten years, were slow to act.
“Buddhism the law of silence”: that’s the title of a shocking documentary broadcast on Arte on Tuesday and a book coming out on Wednesday. The testimonies collected by two journalists, Elodie Emery and Wandril Llanos, evoke humiliations, psychological and physical abuse, sexual violence and rape.
Act of Peace
More than thirty witnesses refer to thirteen lamas in many countries. They condemn an organization that encourages this kind of abuse because of the special relationship that unites Buddhist priests and disciples.
Therefore, when a disciple chooses a guru, their vow is considered sacred and unbreakable. Buddhism says that if they are broken, the disciple and his loved ones will get karmic results. So the master is always right and should not be questioned. Therefore, a system that allows abusers, strong in their spiritual ascendancy, to take advantage of the situation.
The Dalai Lama charged
The inquiry also notes that the Dalai Lama has not taken a clear stand against these abuses since 1993. A group of Buddhist teachers informed him of the Lama’s problematic actions. The highest spiritual leader of the Tibetans will wisely reject him in 2017, when the corruption is so great. This lama will die unconcerned about justice.
Victims tried to warn the Dalai Lama about five different lamas in 2018.
Switzerland is also concerned
Switzerland, which has Europe’s largest Tibetan community, is also concerned by the allegations. In 2018, a complaint was even filed by a woman for sexual acts causing ordinary bodily harm and sexual acts on a person lacking rational capacity. It targeted a lama from Lausanne who was very important in the Buddhist community at the time. The alleged facts and practice are still ongoing between 2007 and 2012.
René Longet, co-director of the Romanti section of the Swiss Tibetan Friendship Association, interviewed in La Matinale on Wednesday, said the perpetrators of these acts were simply “imposters” and not representatives of Tibetan Buddhism. “It happens in all religions, this kind of abuse is not inherent in Buddhism,” he insists. Note that at the time of the interview, he had not yet seen the film, but had only read an article on the subject in a Sunday paper.
In Belgium, another llama is also under investigation following multiple complaints. Both journalists suspect that the number of victims is much higher than the evidence collected.
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