|Shoko Asahara||Aum Shinrikyo||Group responsible for the 1995 sarin gas attack in the Tokyo subway. Asahara also claimed to be the Christ. Probably needless to say this is an insane & dangerous group
|Alon Bagwan Rinpoche|| ||See Dharmaling forum
|Dogo Barry Graham – |
Dogo Graham Sensei
|The Sitting Frog Zen Center, City Cave Zen||Serious questions about not only his references and qualifications as Dharma teacher, but also serious allegations of sexual misconduct and emotional abuse of women, see The Graham Scam and for a quick overview at Smilin Buddha Cabaret
|Ram Bahadur Bomjan (or Bomjon), a.k.a. the Buddha Boy, Palden Dorje, Maitriya Guru Maha Sambodhi, Dharma Sangha|| ||Bomjon became internationally known because of his seemingly endless meditation in Halhoria Forest in Nepal 2005. He has now built a strong following in Nepal and influential following abroad. However, several reports have appeared in the media on acts of corruption, violence, torture and abduction by this person who believes himself to be Maitreya Buddha (yes, another one, see under Maitreya below). This report by a victim of him gives an overview of the reported problems.
|Dorje Chang Buddha III – |
Wan Ko Yee –
Wan Ko Yeshe Norbu
| ||A ‘Buddha’ without history, flooding the internet with self-referring messages of his coming, using all the possible titles he can find…. ‘Highest Buddha’, ‘Supreme leader of Buddhism’, on and on. This makes me quite suspicious, but please check it out yourself. Google’s translation of this page is miserable, but I think it denies the point that the Karmapa is supposed to have recognized ‘Dorje Chang Buddha’ karmapaweb.blogspot.nl/2008/09/blog-post.html. See also www.pasadenastarnews.com and laist.com
|Lama Choedak Rinpoche (Canberra Australia)||Sakya Losal Choe Dzong||Serious allegations of sexual misconduct with his students, see this interview in Non-duality Magazine, and this article on the Buddhist Channel
|Lama Kelsang Chöpel|
– Gerhard Mattioli
| ||Serious allegatios of sexual abuse, including drugging women can be found at openboeddhisme.nl (website in Dutch).
|Andrew Cohen||Impersonal Enlightenment Fellowship||See his page on Wikipedia for some controversy links and writings. Cohen creates his own type of ‘Buddhism’.
|Dagri Rinpoche||Former teacher for FPMT||Several allegations of sexual misbehavior. In this update of November 2020, the FPMT confirms the findings of misbehavior in a fact-finding report by Faith Trust and permanently suspends Dagri from teaching in FPMT centers.
|Ikeda Daisaku ||Soka Gakkai||Website by ‘victims’. Especially critique on Ikeda Daisaku
|Candice O’Denver aka Lama or Rinpoche||Balanced View/Great Freedom||Although the teachings themselves are not usually questioned, she does make unlikely claims – like being ín ‘close contact’ with H.H. the Dalai Lama. The organization appears to be totally focussed on money. Courses are very costly to attend and members are constantly pushed for more donations. Fundraisers for all kinds of projects which never materialize, where all this money goes is unclear. Some critical websites: here, here and here.
|Lama Dondrup Dorje – Peter Yeung – Young||Pathgate Institute, UK||Allegations in the forum of Cult Education Institute are quite serious, but so far it seems from a limited number of sources. See also the blog pathgatesurvivors.com.
|Lama Dudjom Dorje||Dallas Karma Thegsum Choling||Admitted sexual misconduct. The board of directors recommended to remove the lama from the center, but members elected to keep him. There are allegations of him asking for considerble donations for private use. The KTC is currently negotiating settlement of a claim against it for the sexual abuse.
|Lama Ganchen Rinpoche|| ||Strong supporter of Shugden, not member of NKT (see below), but apparently rejects the views of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, just Google for shugden… These articles on Reuters expose the fact that China and Ganchen play a major role in the Dalai Lama protests for obvious political reasons. Besides this, there are reports of improper sexual behavior towards a nun, possibly more then one.
|Rewatha Kamburawala|| ||Convicted for abusive behaviour as published on BBC news website.
|‘Geshe’ Kelsang Gyatso||New Kadampa Tradition (NKT)|
Many centers and groups world-wide
|Shugden controversy, rejection of views of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, unauthorized use of the Geshe title, expelled from own monastery, self-invented ordination of monks and nuns, claims of sexual abuse by ordained members high in the organization etc. Just Google for shugden… or a website of its critics and academic research. They have a team that constantly re-writes Wikipedia to erase any critical comments. These articles on Reuters finally expose the fact that China plays a major role in the Dalai Lama protests for obvious political reasons.
aka ‘semi-retired archbishop of the autocephalic Eastern Catholic Church’
aka Servant-Father Francis-Maria of the Immaculata
|Contemplative Order of Compassion||Dharma-teacher, but also archbishop of the autocephalic Eastern Catholic Church , which according to their own website, does not believe in the pope as head of the Catholic church, follows Tibetan Buddhism and he denounces the Dalai Lama (because of his understanding of the Shugden controversy) in a published book.
(Jeffrey S. Brooks)
|Great Western |
|Self-ordained monk??? According to his own About me, modesty is not one of his qualities. Whatever he is, it does not even appear to be Buddhist to me. This person cannot be a genuine Buddhist monk; probably even less a Buddhist teacher.
|Lama Jigme Gyatso|| ||See Dharmaling forum – possibly a fraud begging for money
|School of Tibetan Healing Chod||Allegations on not being qualified to give transmissions by his own teacher, see e.g. the CEI forum and the Varjacakra website.
|Jin Pu Ti, Jin Bodhi||Bodhi Meditation||See the ‘responses’ part of this web-page of Daily enlightenment
|Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo,|
(Alyce Louise Zeoli)
| ||Quite some controversy over this ‘first western woman to be recognized as a Tulku’ can even be found at Wikipedia – the controversial stuff has been carefully edited out of the page since 2010, so pls. refer to versions from 2009 to see info on restraining orders etc. It is not quite clear to me if the accusations are genuine or just part of a personal feud. There appears to be a feud with William Cassidi – also on this very list.
|Noah Levine||Against the Stream Meditation Society (ATS)||Noah Levine is accused of sexual misconduct, see this article in Tricycle. Levine was quickly suspended after this and the ATS plans to close all the centers soon after this news. A positive note: the handling of this situation by the ATS and Levine himself appears exemplary. See also this link, which still does not clarify much…
|Lin Yun||Black Tantric Buddhism||Apparently he admits himself that he is an imposter (see this page). Many signs of this being a cult are being reported.
|Eko (Michael) Little|
former abbot of Shasta Abbey
|Order of Buddhist Contemplatives||Mr. Little was dis-robed and kicked from the OBC after a damning inverstigation into spiritual and sexual abuse see the OBC connect forum.
|Maha Vajra, |
|Sukhi Devi’s temple / mahavajra.com||Another person calling himself enlightened… Received some unconfirmed messages of him producing his own version of Buddhism, and being a fraud. His ‘projects’ like Super Soldier, Force Combat and Mystic Knight appear to confirm his questionable reputation.
|Maitreya|| ||See a long list of ‘wanna-be’ Maitreyas at Sarlo’s Guru Rating Service .
Should I say more?
|Ken McLeod||Unfettered Mind||Accusations of sexual inappropriate behavior in more then one case, see this blog of a victim
|Lama Christie McNally||Diamond Mountain University||Student and ex-partner of Geshe Michael Roach (see below). Apart from her controversial relationship with a monk (Michael Roach), the way she presents herself is more then questionable, as is explained in Badkarmanews.blogspot.com
|Rigdzin Namkha Rinpoche|| ||Serious allegations on sexual misconduct with women, including Nepalese nuns. A Dutch report of a woman being sxually abused by Rigdzin Namkha, see this webpage, and an article in Dutch here about two other women and his unacceptable sexual behaviour.
|Dennis Genpo Merzel||White Plum Asanga ||“Disrobed” as a Buddhist priest after admitting to sexual misconduct and resigned from the White Plum Asanga in February 2011. He still wants to continue teaching, but other Zen teachers requested him to stop teaching completely.
|Dorin Genpo Osho|
aka Hans Rudolf Döring
|Bodaisan Shoboji||In total 7 cases of sexual abuse are under investigation, see this article (in German). At the time he seemed to live in the area of Augsburg. According to German Wikipedia he is convicted for over 7 years in prison.
|Lama Norlha Rinpoche||Kagyu Thubten Chöling Monastery||Retired as abbot from Kagyu Thubten Chöling Monastery in 2017 after allegations of sexual misconduct. The monastery appears to have taken proper measures to avoid further abuse. See the mocd webpage for more info.
|Ole Nydahl||Diamond Way Buddhism||Influential western teacher of Tibetan Buddhism, whose sexual behavior and opinions are frowned upon by quite a few Buddhists as ‘politically incorrect’ or worse, as can be seen at the Wikipedia article about him. At the Austrian ÖBR he is not welcome anymore for his racist, sexist and anti-Islamic utterings. He has also threatened with legal steps against people who report what he himself says. See more in this article in German.
|Panchen Lama Gyaltsen Norbu|| ||Fake head of Tibetan Buddhism, chosen by the (anti-religion!) Chinese government. The current Dalai Lama named Gedhun Choekyi Nyima on May 14, 1995 to be the true rebirth. The latter (genuine rebirth) vanished from public eye shortly after being recognised, aged six. (from Wikipedia)
aka Nurbu Lama, Longbu
| ||Author of ‘Love Sutra Lama’ was convicted for sexual assault end of 2015. See this report of the court case in 2018. Difficult to figure out for me what is the complete truth in this story, but it appears serious enough for a caution.
|Dorin Genpo Osho|
aka Hans Rudolf Döring
|Hakuin Zen Gemeinschaft||According to Augsburger Allgemeine, accused and partial admittance of sexual abuse of several children, see Augsburger Allgemeine link1, link2, link3, In total, 7 cases of abuse are now in court, see this article.
|Domo Geshe Rinpoche, |
aka Marjorie Wangchuk,
aka Tara Wangchuk,
aka Marjorie Tara Dadak (Marjorie Quinn-Dadak)
|White Conch |
|Serious doubts about her being the rebirth of Geshe Domo and more, see this specific website, which undermines her most important claims.
|Lu Jun Hong, |
|Oriental Radio||Claims to be Guanyin Bodhisattva’s manifestation in publicity materials, mixes Dharma teachings with his own inventions . See the ‘responses’ part of this web-page of Daily enlightenment. Also, see this from Major Buddhist associations in Malaysia, which says e.g. “not the real teachings of the Buddha”.
|Kim Katami |
aka Pema Rinpoche
|Open Heart||Completely over-the-top claims of his own realisations. Read for example through this discussion at Dharma Wheel. The Open letter to Buddhist forums by Open Heart Sangha makes an interesting read, but merely confirms Katami is a self-proclaimed teacher with extraordinary paranormal gifts – unconfirmed by qualified masters.
|Reggie Ray||Shambhala, Dharma ocean||Reports on abuse of power and emotional/psychological abuse of students. See links in the Reddit forum on ShambhalaBuddhism: 1, 2, 3, 4. See also this open letter by former students. A special website on the abuses: leavingdharmaocean.com
|Shenphen Rinpoche|| ||Accusations of severe child abuse & rape, unconfirmed report of him being sentenced for that in Slovenia. However, I also heard reports that the local Catholic community invented everything to rid themselves of a non-Catholic teacher.
|Lama Kunzang Dorje|
aka Robert Spatz
|Ogyen Kunzang Choling||Very disturbing allegations and actual conviction for sexual abuse, see this website, especially notice the slides at then end with some very disturbing quotes on what KD believes to be the correct behavior towards one’s teacher – like never listening to other teachers: a clear red flag for cults.
|Lodro Rinzler||MNDFL meditation studios|
|Allegations of sexual misconduct, see this link. Not sure if this was part of an attack on him as he left because of accusations against Sakyong Mipham .
|Rients Ritskes||zen.nl (Dutch)||His own teacher, Tsushimoto Roshi accuses him of teaching his own, self-invented teachings and unjustly using titles like zen-master, roshi sensei and dai-osho. Zen.nl is a commercial organisation which appears to earn a lot of money by ‘educating’ Zen teachers rather then religious or non-profit as one would expect. See this Dutch blog. Zen.nl
|Geshe Michael Roach|| ||He apparently managed to ‘qualify’ as Geshe by paying donations to a monastery and receiving an honorary geshe-title. Since a few years, he makes outrageous claims of realizations. He also claims to be a monk, but has sexual relations and wears long hair; clear contradictions to the monks vows he has taken. His Dharma teachings appear to go way off in a similar way. See e.g. http://www.diamond-cutter.org and see this letter from His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s office (scroll down the page a little).
|Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche||Shambhala||Sexual abuse of women; links Tricycle.org, Lionsroar.com, New York Times. Shambhala has apologised. It should be noted that Shambhala’s founder Chögyam Trungpa was well-known for his alcohol abuse and womanising. American-born Ösel Tendzin was leader of Shambhala between Sakyong and Trungpa, and he is known for having sex with people while having AIDS and not informing his partners, see this article in the NYT.
(died in 2018)
|Friends of the |
|See http://www.ex-cult.org/fwbo/fwbofiles.htm Most criticism appears directed towards the founder Sangharakshita and his sexual habits. Being a large organisation, the intentions of the FWBO itself are sometimes questioned as well, but appear generally not serious.
|10th Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche ||Benchen monastery|
|Claims of sexual and ethical misconduct by several women, substantiated with intimate photos, audio and written messages from SN’s personal Wechat account. Neither SN nor his followers have attempted to resolve or investigate these allegations privately and worse, have retaliated with slanderous and bullying attacks.
|Joshu Sasaki||Former Abbot of Rinzai-ji||Serious allegations of fraud and seual misbehavior, see http://sasakiarchive.com/ and http://sweepingzen.com/tag/joshu-sasaki/
‘Living Buddha Lian-shen’ , Lu Sheng Yan
Not be confused with respected Zen Teacher, Ven. Sheng-Yen (or Chen-Yen)
|True Buddha |
(Zhen Fo Zhong)
|See: http://www.buddhismaustralia.org/cults.htm or Wikipedia Shen-yen’s extravagant claims of authority as a Buddhist master are questionable at best. He even gives Kalachakra initiations based on…who knows…
None of his followers so far have been able to explain to me how he became a qualified Kalachakra master, they merely re-state his unfounded claims; please feel welcome to email me if you can actually substantiate his qualifications.
|Eido Shimano Roshi|
aka Tai San
aka Muishitsu Eido Sotai Shimano, Roshi
|Former abbot of Dai Bosatsu Zendo, New York, and |
chairman of Zen Studies Society
|Severe accusations of sexual harassment and more at shimanoarchive.com, see e.g. this article
|Edward A. Penney|
(Edo Shonin, aka – et al.)
and William Van Gordon
|Pine Forest Sangha, |
Awake to Wisdom
|More then dubious qualifications, see the Edward Penny Archive or EdoShoninArchive.com
|Sogyal Rinpoche||Rigpa||Some people claim that not Sogyal Rinpoche, but Andrew Harvey wrote The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. More on that here. But things have gone much worse, see this blog and this blog . See also this disturbing open letter from 8 of his senior students from 2017. See this disturbing Independent Investigation Report, and a Blog of ex-students.
|Suma Ching Hai || ||See: http://www.buddhismaustralia.org/cults.htm , the Rick Ross forum, or this critical article
|Tara Drolkhar Rinpoche / Tara Tulku Drimed Drolkar / |
| ||See Dharmaling forum
| ||See Dharmaling discussion forum
|Traktung Rinpoche||Flaming Jewel|
|See: http://www3.telus.net/public/sarlo/Ynonice.htm#belowor http://approachingaro.org/hhdl Quite presumptuous claims, little or no proof? Relation with controversial Aro Ter. No major controversy reported though. Sorry, the links appear to change often and may be dead; whether this is a good or a bad sign, I don’t know…
|Brian Ruhe || ||Besides spreading half-truths and incorrect information about Buddhism, he mocks Buddhist traditions other then ‘his own’ Theravada tradition. This Canadian ‘teacher’ also appears to be a fan of Hitler and NAZIs, is and enemy to Jews in general and denies the holocaust. Other hobbies appear to be UFO’s, alien abductions and conspiracies. Only his calls for donations are consistent… Recently received a report of sexual harrassment to make the list of someone with mental problems complete. Check the Brian Ruhe Show.
|Tsem Tulku ||Kechara, Malaysia||After years of denial, Tsem Tulku has admitted he practies or at least practiced Shugden. This practice is of course his own decision, but not being straightforward about his practice is controversial at best. In recently publicised teachings of around 2005 he vehemently declares he will never stop this practice. Around 2008 he apparently vowed he stopped, but still supported the website shugden.com. These articles on Reuters finally expose the fact that China plays a major role in the Dalai Lama protests by Shugden protesters for obvious political reasons.
|Tulku Urgyen Tenpa /|
Not to be confused with Tibetan Tulku Urgyen
| ||Some quite heavy accusations vented e.g. in this blog. However, I received information that this blog was created by students of Jetsunma Ahkon, who is on this very list. I have no idea what is true or false here.
|Phra Dhammachayo / Dhammajayo /|
|Wat Phra Dhammakaya/ Dhammakaya Foundation||See: http://www.buddhismaustralia.org/cults.htm, Wikipedia, Rick Ross, and Dhammawheel, it seems that the ‘World Fellowship of Buddhist Youth in Thailand’ has practically become part of the Dhammakaya organisation. Accusations of embezzlement, the abbot is sought by the Thai police.
| ||I Kuan Tao |
(Tian Tao) /
Yi Guan Dao
|Ani Tenzin Kalsang a.k.a.|
|Tengye Ling Tibetan Buddhist Temple||Very disturbing points listed in a blog that is unfortunately not accessible anymore, varying from physical and emotional abuse to misuse of funds and unfounded claims of titles and spiritual realizations etc.
|Thich Thien Son||Pagode Path Hue ||Allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior, see http://blog.buddhistische-sekten.de/ . The ‘Deutschen Buddhistischen Ordensgemeinschaft e.V.’ expelled him as member in 2010 after receiving 5 different written statements of sexual abuse and abuses of power. Apparently, he also admitted sexual abuse of a 12 year old boy.
|Tri Dao a.k.a.|
Hai “Harry” Hoang
| ||According to this News website, he impersonates as security guard, possibly police, and now a monk. Likely suffers from mental illness. Claims to be ordained at Chua Phat Phap (Southwest Florida Buddhist Inc), but the abbot says he was not ordained there.
|‘Living Buddha’ Dechan Jueren|
aka Master Yu
|Dari Rulai Temple, Puente, Ca, USA||Charges outrageous course fees, focuses on practices for wealth and success – especially his own. He appoints ‘Vajracharya’s’ (tantric masters) after rediculously short trainings. In March 2011 charging £375 for (1 U$) masks supposedly against radiation sickness during the Japanese nuclear disaster after the tsunami!
|Dr. Klaus Zernickow |
a.k.a. Sotetsu Yuzen
|First Zen Community of Berlin, Mumon kai||Accused of long-term, systematic abuse of their students, with allegations ranging from sexual predation to financial improprieties. See theZensite.com