Not So Happy

Written by Rob Hogendoorn

1 minute

These days, the ‘happiest man alive‘ isn’t so happy. Look at how concerned Matthieu Ricard is about his image. He likes to be perceived retroactively as having been on the right side of history all along. But he joined the resistance after the war.

Ricard wanted to redo his interview for the Arte-documentary, to appear more compassionate to the victims and survivors of abuse. As Wandrille Lanos told the French magazine Elle [my translation from the French]:

“I didn’t tell him that I was working with Elodie Emery, whose articles he knew from Marianne. I asked him to talk about Buddhism in general. He first asked me not to talk about what he calls ‘the gossip of the gossip.’ You have to imagine what a slap in the face of the victims this expression is! We did the interview last February: during over two hours of interview, we talked about fifty minutes about sexual abuse. It did not end badly, a week later he even sent me an email to tell me that he would like to show more compassion for the victims and offered to see me again. He never followed up, then we received a letter from a lawyer prohibiting us from using the interview.’

In the film, a former OKC-doctor gives testimony on Ricard’s alleged (fore)knowledge of the neglect, assaults and abuse of underage children. All that remains of Ricard’s ‘more compassionate’ stance is an ink black card and lame excuses on his blog.

Originally posted as a long-Tweet on September 9, 2022 (typos corrected).

About the author

Rob Hogendoorn

Investigative reporter and academic researcher Rob Hogendoorn (b. 1964) began researching the reception of Buddhism in Western society and culture in the early 1990s. His modus operandi remained the same ever since: independent, inquisitive and provocative.