Organisation Rigpa international
Charity regulator criticises Buddhist charity for putting students at risk of harm
Inquiry found former trustees failed to recognise seriousness of allegations against spiritual leader
publiziert 20.11.2020 durch die The Charity Commission
"Failure to provide a safe environment for students, staff and volunteers The inquiry criticises safeguarding policies that the charity previously linked to on its website. It says that these blurred the distinction between consent and submission and placed too much responsibility for safeguarding on the student rather than the teacher. These policies were developed by the international Rigpa body – the inquiry found that the former trustees were insufficiently rigorous in their consideration and analysis of the policies and procedures produced by the international Rigpa body. The former trustees should have ensured that any international policies referred to were sufficient for UK regulations and law. The inquiry concluded that former trustees and senior management figures at the charity were responsible for mismanagement and misconduct, particularly around how former trustees responded to safeguarding concerns. The report says that their inability to create a safe culture within the charity exposed some beneficiaries to harm." https://www.gov.uk/government/news/charity-regulator-criticises-buddhist-charity-for-putting-students-at-risk-of-harm
Decision Charity Inquiry: Rigpa Fellowship, publiziert am 20.11.2020
"Concerns over the extent to which the charity provided a safe environment for its beneficiaries, staff and volunteers The inquiry found that the charity’s safeguarding policies and procedures at that time were inadequate and insufficiently robust to protect beneficiaries in the UK from the risks of serious harm. In particular, the former Trustees of the charity placed too much reliance on policies and procedures produced by the international Rigpa body and provided links to these policies on the charity’s website. The policies and procedures produced by the international Rigpa body were not found to adequately address potential safeguarding risks to beneficiaries in the UK (for example by blurring the distinction between consent and submission and placing too much responsibility for safeguarding on the beneficiary rather than the teacher). The former Trustees did not consider or devise safeguarding policies on their own and deferred to the international Rigpa body. The former Trustees were insufficiently rigorous in their consideration and analysis of the policies and procedures produced by the international Rigpa body. The former Trustees should have ensured that any international policies referred to were sufficient for UK regulations and law."
"Charity regulator removes trustee from Rigpa Fellowship Trustee permanently removed from trusteeship after failing to protect people" publiziert am 23.9.2019 durch die Charity Commission
"A charity trustee has been removed from her role and banned from trusteeship, after failing to respond appropriately to serious abuse within Rigpa Fellowship (registered charity number 279315). A statutory inquiry by the Charity Commission has found that Susan Burrows had knowledge of instances and allegations of improper acts and sexual and physical abuse against students at the charity, but failed to take appropriate action in response. Ms Burrows either failed to recognise or sought to downplay the seriousness of allegations, and is responsible for misconduct and/or mismanagement in the administration of the charity.Ms Burrows was therefore removed from her position by the inquiry and entered onto the list of removed trustees on 20 September 2019. She is also permanently disqualified from serving as a trustee or senior manager of any charity in England and Wales, under section 178 of the Charities Act.
Amy Spiller, Head of Investigations Team at the Charity Commission, said: Serious failings in the leadership of this charity led to people it was supposed to help being harmed and let down. Trustees hold important positions of trust, and are rightly expected to take all appropriate steps to keep people safe. The appalling abuses and failings that occurred here run counter to everything people associate with charity. It is right that we have been able to hold those responsible to account. I hope this will bring some comfort to those so badly affected by what went on at Rigpa Fellowship. The safety and wellbeing of beneficiaries and those that come into contact with a charity must always be a priority for its trustees and staff.The Commission has been engaging with Rigpa Fellowship since August 2017 over serious concerns about adult safeguarding. Concerns escalated during this engagement, prompting the opening of the statutory inquiry in November 2018, and in April 2019 the inquiry disqualified former trustee, Patrick Gaffney.The inquiry continues. The Commission intends to publish a full report, setting out its findings and conclusions, in due course."
Two women are accusing Sogyal Rinpoche—the founder of a leading Buddhist organization—of “rape” and “non-consensual” sex in a book that will be published on Thursday. 17.7.2019
"Charity Commission disqualifies trustee from Rigpa Fellowship Trustee failed to protect people who came into contact with the charity" published 13 June 2019 durch die Charity Commission
"A trustee has been disqualified from all charities for a period of 8 years as a result of an ongoing Charity Commission inquiry into the Rigpa Fellowship charity. Patrick Gaffney was serving as a trustee of the charity, which is based in London and has objects to advance the Buddhist religion. Evidence uncovered by the Commission shows Mr Gaffney had knowledge of instances and allegations of improper acts and sexual and physical abuse against students at the charity. Mr Gaffney failed to take appropriate action in response to this information and is therefore responsible for misconduct and/or mismanagement in the administration of the charity. He was entered onto the list of disqualified trustees on 12 April 2019.
Amy Spiller, Head of Investigations Team at the Charity Commission, said: We are continuing to investigate concerns about this charity via our ongoing statutory inquiry. However, the safety and wellbeing of beneficiaries and those that come into contact with the charity, must always be a priority for the trustees and staff of a charity. This trustee has been disqualified with immediate effect for failing in his duty to protect those who came into contact with the charity. The public rightly expect charities to be safe places, where people are free from harm. Where we find charities that are failing in this essential duty, we will take action to remove those responsible. The Commission has been engaging with the charity since August 2017 over serious concerns about adult safeguarding. Concerns escalated during this engagement, prompting the opening of a statutory inquiry on 8 November 2018. It is the Commission’s policy to publish a report at the conclusion of the case."
Folgen der Untersuchung durch die Charity Commission für England und Wales: Ausschluss von Patrick Gaffney durch die Charity Commission für England und Wales von der Tätigkeit als Trustee in allen Wohltätigkeitsorganisationen für einen Zeitraum von 8 Jahren bis zum 12. April 2027. Siehe "Register der entfernten Trustees": http://apps.charitycommission.gov.uk/trusteeregister/result.aspx?namepart=gaffney&fbclid=IwAR2DnL2J6a1NkA20wx-dga1-iK4A4EIOtmiSULg9mxaqPWN__Yr__k4nQ2A Abrufdatum: 7.5.2019
The Rigpa International Newsletter: Connection or Disconnection? von Pawula, S. 8.4.2019
"When I read the recent Rigpa International Newsletter, titled “Sangha Connection,” I sense a profound disconnect between the leadership of Rigpa and those who feel concern about the abuse that has occurred in Rigpa—both victim/survivors and everyone else who felt deeply impacted. [...] Remembering the Victims
All the while Rigpa celebrates itself, there are victim/survivors and other disenchanted former members who struggle in recovery. [...] Trauma can be healed, but it takes time – especially the kind of trauma that occurs as a resulted of repeated abuse over a number of years—the kind of abuse that occurred to a number of students in Rigpa.
If You Really Cared If you really cared about the students who were abused by Sogyal Rinpoche, you would know this. You would make an effort to become trauma informed. And once you were, if you really took the information in, out of respect for what they endured and knowing its long-term effects, you could never write a newsletter that begins as this one did. While I might seem like a killjoy, I would prefer to open a Rigpa International Sangha Connection newsletter and read, as the first entry, an announcement of how Rigpa teams worldwide had attended an in-depth training to learn about trauma, its impacts, and how to provide trauma-informed care. That would give me hope that real change is taking place in Rigpa [...] Making it easy to forget that abuse has ever occurred. This is the Rigpa modus operandi: Riding It Out." in http://howdidithappen.org/rigpa-newsletter-connection-disconnection/
Aktuelle Untersuchung der Charity Commission für England und Wales in Bezug auf das Rigpa Fellowship:
Berichterstattung vom 29.11.2018: "The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, is today announcing that it has opened a statutory inquiry into Rigpa Fellowship [...]. The inquiry was opened on 8 November 2018. The charity, which is based in London, has objects to advance the Buddhist religion, and provides religious education, training and activities. [...] The inquiry will examine the charity’s governance, policies and practices with regard to adult safeguarding, particularly in relation to:
- its response, general handling and disclosure to the Commission and other agencies in relation to serious adult safeguarding incidents
- its responsibility to provide a safe environment for its beneficiaries, staff and other charity workers in the delivery of its programmes
More generally the inquiry will examine the charity’s:
- recruitment and supervision of its employees, volunteers and other charity workers
- financial controls and their application
- responsibility to maintain its reputation as a charity which can be entrusted with public support and the confidence of its beneficiaries, staff and volunteers
It is the Commission’s policy, after an inquiry has concluded, to publish a report detailing what issues the inquiry looked at, what actions were undertaken as part of the inquiry and what the outcomes were."
aus: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-charity-inquiry-rigpa-fellowship Abrufdatum: 2.12.2018
Berichterstattung zum Lewis Silkin Report vom 9.9.2018: "Last year the Telegraph published a series of allegations made by eight senior and long-standing current and former students against Sogyal, whose book The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying has sold more than three million copies around the world, making him the best known Tibetan Buddhist teacher after the Dalai Lama. The report, undertaken by the law firm Lewis Silkin to investigate the claims at the behest of Rigpa, confirms a shocking catalogue of physical, sexual and emotional abuse by Sogyal against students. It also concludes: “senior individuals within Rigpa were aware of at least some of these issues and failed to address them, leaving others at risk”. Yet such allegations of widespread abuse – and subsequent cover up – within the Tibetan Buddhist community is not restricted to Rigpa alone"
aus: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/09/09/tibetan-buddhism-facing-abuse-scandal/?WT.mc_id=tmg_share_em Abrufdatum: 10.12.2018
"In her findings Karen Baxter described one of the unnamed Rigpa managers who assisted with the report as being “guarded, hostile and inconsistent”. Another senior member of the management team was described by the lawyer as “not prepared to hold Sogyal to account”. A statement released on September 5 by Rigpa’s ‘vision board’ and all of its individual national boards stated “we feel deeply sorry and apologise for the hurt experienced by past and present members”. The organisation has also committed to act upon all of the report recommendations, which include disassociating from Sogyal as fully as possible and removing those in leadership tainted by the scandal. The investigation has only relied on the UK’s civil standard of proof and it remains to be seen whether any criminal charges may ensue."
aus: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/09/09/tibetan-buddhism-facing-abuse-scandal/?WT.mc_id=tmg_share_em Abrufdatum: 10.12.2018
Hausdurchsuchung in Lerab Ling:
"La quiétude de la communauté bouddhiste et du centre de retraite Lérab Ling à Roqueredonde dans l'Hérault a été une nouvelle fois mise à mal. Mi-septembre, les forces de l'ordre ont perquisitionné le site sur le Larzac. Ils ont trouvé beaucoup d'argent liquide et recueilli des témoignages."
aus: https://france3-regions.francetvinfo.fr/occitanie/herault/herault-temple-bouddhiste-lerab-ling-roqueredonde-sa-communaute-perquisitionnes-1546754.html Abrufdatum: 2.12.2018
Lewis Silkin Report am 22.8.2018 Englische Version zum Herunterladen hier: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/580dbe87e6f2e16700cb79fe/t/5b8f7c1e1ae6cfb38491e668/1536130081917/Lewis+Silkin+report.pdf Abrufdatum 5.9.2018
Deutsche Version: https://www.rigpa.org/independent-investigation-report Abrufdatum 1.3.2019
Offener Brief am 17.7.2017 https://www.lionsroar.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Letter-to-Sogyal-Lakar-14-06-2017-.pdf