On July 7, 2022 Tenzin Peljor (also known as Tenpel and Michael Jäckel) published a blogpost by a “vetted contributor” who claims that a “court mandated paternity test” confirmed that the seventeenth Karmapa fathered a child.
According to Peljor’s anonymous source, who he claims is “close to the Karmapa,” the child’s mother and the karmapa are seeking a “settlement out of court” that “would allow the records of the paternity test to remain sealed.”
Peljor’s blog claims that the “deal under discussion” would settle a “civil rape case in New York and the child support and alimony case in British Columbia in Canada.”
Moreover, he reports, if an out-of-court settlement is reached “the results of the paternity (…) would not have to be revealed publicly in court. If a non-disclosure agreement is also signed, none of the information surrounding the alleged sexual assault or intimate relationship between the Karmapa and his disciple will be disclosed to the public.”
Peljor’s activities are not subject to oversight and do not conform to basic journalistic or academic norms. He routinely ‘quotes’—who knows?—anonymous ‘sources’ and ‘experts’ while consistently failing to hear both sides before publishing.
Thus proceeding by trial and error, Peljor habitually changes his own contributions afterwards, to adapt his storyline to the evolving narrative on his blog, retroactively improving upon his original assertions.
In this case, prodded by a reader who pointed out that publishing leaked, uncorroborated ‘evidence’ might hurt the interests of the involved parties, Peljor admitted to not having asked the child’s mother (or her lawyers’) response ahead of publication.
Needless to say, Peljor’s publication aims to pre-empt the alleged “deal under discussion” by voiding the alleged “non-disclosure agreement” as far as the paternity test is concerned.
His modus operandi inserts and privileges his ulterior motives—ulterior, that is, to the parties involved in the confidential negotiations on a comprehensive out-of-court settlement he claims to report.
He now says that he preferred the article to be posted by “an established newspaper,” thereby glossing over that professionals raise the journalistic bar and burden of proof much higher than he does.
In point of fact, Peljor’s intercession may have relegated the alleged ‘confirmation’ of the karmapa’s fatherhood to the realm of innuendo—perhaps the aim all along.
Obviously, evidence of the impropriety of the seventeenth Karmapa’s sexual, religious, and financial conduct is very newsworthy. A proactive defense against factual reporting by credible media might be: leave it to @PeljorTenzin.
Originally posted as a long-Tweet on July 19, 2022 (slight edits for clarity and links added).