The ‘Boulder Monthly’ (1979)

Written by Rob Hogendoorn

1 minute

In March 1979, Charles Manson and The Family-biographer Ed Sanders and his Investigative Poetry Group at Naropa Institute published a small part of their report on a bacchanal in the nude led by Chögyam Trungpa in the Boulder Monthly.

During a ‘Vajradhatu Seminary,’ the American poet William S. Merwin and his girlfriend Dana Naone were assaulted, molested, and forcibly undressed on the orders of Trungpa.

After the March 1979 issue of the Boulder Monthly came out, followers of Trungpa tried to buy up as many copies at the newsagent’s and other outlets as they could find.

One of their main concerns was that a major fund raising effort and accreditation procedure by the founders of Naropa University would be derailed by the scandal. One of the issues that escaped eventually found its way to the Netherlands where I’ve archived it for posterity.

Besides outtakes from the report The Party that was created in 1977, the Boulder Monthly included a long interview with Allen Ginsberg by Tom Clark. Clark went on to publish The Great Naropa Poetry Wars (1980), “with a copious collection of germane documents assembled by the author.”

For a discussion of the immediate effects of the Boulder Monthly report, including the Dalai Lama’s cancelation of a visit to Boulder, see Not the Tibetan Way: The Dalai Lama’s Realpolitik Concerning Abusive Teachers by Stuart Lachs and myself.

Boulder Monthly - Behind the Veil of Boulder Buddhism (March 1979)

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.