The Dalai Lama and Nxivm Revisited

Written by Rob Hogendoorn

20 minutes

Early 2009, the World Ethical Foundations Consortium cancelled the fourteenth Dalai Lama’s scheduled appearance on April 19th. The Dalai Lama was supposed to speak during a conference at the 17,500 seat Times Union Center in Albany, NY. According to his host Clare Bronfman, ‘His Holiness spent an entire year vetting us out. I believe him to be an incredibly well-educated man of deep critical thought who considers his participation in anything he does very deeply. Given the data of who we are and the research he has done on us for a year, he is still coming.’1 Even so, media reports on the foundation’s link to Nxivm (pronounced ‘Nexium’), a controversial self-help organisation based in Albany, gave the Dalai Lama pause for thought.2 However, shortly thereafter Nxivm-founder Keith Raniere (b. 1960), along with his followers Nancy Salzman, Sara Bronfman, and Mark Vicente, traveled to Dharamsala, India to meet with the Dalai Lama and address his concerns. The Dalai Lama persuaded himself that the allegations against Raniere and Nxivm were unfounded, and revoked his cancellation. The conference was rescheduled, and the Dalai Lama appeared  with Raniere at the 3,000 seat Palace Theater in Albany on May 6, 2009. He also wrote the foreword to The Sphinx and Thelxiepeia (2009), which was co-authored by Raniere.3

Among other things, the Dalai Lama wrote: ‘Exercising our critical faculties in the ethical realm entails taking responsibility for both our acts and their underlying motives. If we not take responsibility for our motives, whether positive or negative, the potential for harm is much greater. The moral value of a given act is to be judged in relation both to time, place, and circumstance and to the interest of everyone involved now and in the future. It is conceivable that a given act is ethically sound under one particular set of circumstances, but that at another time and place and under a different set of circumstances it may not be.’4

In 2018, Keith Raniere was arrested and indicted on a variety of charges, including sex trafficking, conspiracy, and forced labour. His trial began in 2019. The jury found Raniere guilty on all charges, such as sexual exploitation of a child, sex trafficking, identity theft, et cetera. In his sentencing memorandum, the Acting United States Attorney wrote:

Raniere’s post-conviction conduct reflects his total denial of culpability for the crimes of which he was convicted. While in prison, Raniere continues to regularly contact his supporters and has expressed contempt for his victims, the prosecution, and the Court. Raniere’s complete lack of acceptance of responsibility also counsels in favor of a sentence of life imprisonment.’5

In the first interview since his arrest, broadcast shortly before he would be sentenced, Raniere proclaimed his innocence and decried the “oppression” he had suffered.6 On October 27, 2020 Raniere was sentenced to 120 years in prison—effectively a life sentence—and was ordered to pay a $1.75 million fine. Sonia Moghe (CNN) wrote:

US District Judge Nicholas Garaufis read the sentence in Brooklyn federal court Tuesday, after more than a dozen people gave victim impact statements at his sentencing. Garaufis said in his decision that the crimes Raniere was convicted of are “cruel, perverse and extremely serious. (…) Despite everything that has happened and despite the countless victims who have given voice to their great pain, Mr. Raniere remains unmoved. Indeed, he maintains his innocence,” Garaufis said. “To him, the brave victims who have spoken out about the abuse suffered at his hands—including those who spoke today—are liars.”7

Nancy Salzman was also arrested in 2018. She entered a guilty plea and was released on 5 million dollar bail in 2019. She currently awaits her sentencing. Nxivm-financier Clare Bronfman, in turn, who served on its executive board between 2009 and 2018, pleaded guilty as well. On September 30, 2020, a federal judge sentenced Bronfman ‘to 81 months behind bars for providing financial support to the NXIVM sex cult.’ The prosecutors wanted a five year prison sentence.8 Her sister Sara Bronfman—like Clare, a heiress to the Seagram liquor fortune— was not criminally charged.9

Filmmaker and whistleblower Mark Vicente became involved with HBO’s nine-part documentary series about Nxivm, The Vow, which was aired between 23 August and 18 October 2020.10 The Dalai Lama’s meeting with Raniere in Dharamsala in 2009 was filmed by Vicente. His footage was first used in episode 5 of The Vow.11

Episode 6 of The Vow continued with scenes from the Dalai Lama’s actual visit to the Palace Theater, and of his private meeting with Keith Raniere. At that time, Clare Bronfman had just filed a criminal complaint with the Saratoga District Attorney against Barbara Bouchey, a former executive board member of Nxivm. Bouchey, who had been Clare Bronfman’s financial planner, resigned right before the Dalai Lama’s visit, along with eight key female followers. While she was in a sexual relationship with Raniere herself, Bouchey discovered that Raniere had sexual relations with other women in his entourage as well.

Together, the nine apostates hoped to “wake up” other people in Nxivm and get the government involved, to hold Keith Raniere accountable. In response, Clare Bronfman, Keith Raniere, and Nxivm announced that they would bring civil charges against Barbara Bouchey. ‘Of course, it didn’t do anything,’ Bouchey said, looking back on the failed intervention that immediately preceded the Dalai Lama’s visit.

This is a transcript of the scenes in The Vow that directly involve the Dalai Lama:

Episode 5

Talk 1300: Rare Media Appearance by Bronfman Sisters to Defend NXIVM

Talk 1300: ‘It’s 8.32 here at Talk 1300. We are back. Look who’s here, kids! The Bronfman—can I say sisters?—Clare and Sara. Why do we keep hearing negative things about NXIVM if you two embrace it as openly as you do? Clare, I’ll start with you.’

Clare Bronfman: ‘I think because, unfortunately, controversy sells newspapers. There’s the conundrum that, you know, for many years there has been a lot of real negative about NXIVM. However, His Holiness the Dalai Lama is coming, having thoroughly vetted it out.’

Talk 1300: ‘Well this is a powerful figure coming to the area. Are you both personal friends with him, and how did that relationship all begin?’

Sara Bronfman: ‘I think because of who our father is and my experience growing up, I always had this calling to find people who were humanitarian figures in the world and work with them, you know. And about two and a half years ago, I heard His Holiness speaking and I thought to myself: maybe I could meet him and maybe I could introduce him to Keith, because I think that Keith is a scientist and His Holiness is a great philosopher.’

Talk 1300: ‘That’s Keith Raniere.’

Sara Bronfman: ‘Keith Raniere, yeah.’

Talk 1300: ‘Let me ask you: is this somebody you wanted to meet and introduce to Keith Raniere, or was this somebody that Raniere may have pushed you to meet?’

Sara Bronfman: ‘No no, I wanted to meet him, yeah! NXIVM is a goal setting program and that was my goal. So, I persistently worked towards it, saying to myself I want to meet the Dalai Lama and make it happen.’

Meeting in the Dalai Lama’s Residence

Mark Vicente: ‘I think that the whole idea about having him come was to basically vindicate Raniere. And then what happened is that event got canceled. Because there was a lot of negative press, the Dalai Lama was pressured. And he said something to the effect of, you know, we need to examine these things before we take a next step. That’s when myself, Nancy Salzman, Sara Bronfman, and Keith Raniere went to Dharamsala to try to convince the Dalai Lama that, you know, Keith Raniere was a good guy, and to please come. And so I went, to document the whole meeting.

Dalai Lama: ‘Good morning.’

All: ‘Good morning.’

Dalai Lama: ‘What do you want to say?’

Keith Raniere: ‘I guess, first and foremost, I want to apologize. The things written about me are not true. And to the best of my knowledge, the factual information is not true. But it is my responsibility and I do want to change that.’

Dalai Lama: ‘So, my close friends, you see, asked me about their reservation and they requested me I should not go. Your case is very controversial: the organisation, a controversial person. So, from previous experience I have to take precautions. If behind this beautiful sort of face is some rotten things there, then this is wrong. You are deceiving me and then I don’t want to be involved, clear. That’s what it is now. Anyway, you’re very, very serious.’

Robert Thurman: ‘But in a way, Your Holiness, the different things proven against him and he has lawsuits against others… These are going on, right?’

Sara Bronfman: ‘There is no lawsuit.’

Robert Thurman: ‘Oh, they are all settled? All lawsuits are settled?’

Nancy Salzman: ‘They’re not against him, none of them are against him.’

Robert Thurman: ‘There are no lawsuits? And you don’t have lawsuits against the…’

Nancy Salzman: ‘We’ve actually…

Keith Raniere: ‘Yeah, can I give you a little bit of the history?’

Robert Thurman: ‘Sure.’

Keith Raniere: ‘It is my belief that all of the accusations against us are not true, and…’

Robert Thurman: ‘OK.’

Dalai Lama: ‘But you must prove that now.’

Robert Thurman: ‘Yes.’

Keith Raniere: ‘Yeah.’

Dalai Lama: ‘Must prove.’

Keith Raniere: ‘The things that are said are not only just opinion, but the facts that they use are incorrect: to propagate that we are a cult, we are a cult, we are a cult, with no evidence.’

Robert Thurman: ‘Right.’

Dalai Lama: ‘Like the Chinese Communists discard me as a demon, without much reasons! [laughing] Also, you see, I think, now it looks as if, you see, he’s innocent!’

Robert Thurman: ‘He looks human!’ [Laughter]

Dalai Lama: ‘And, you see, we’re dedicated both to science. That is a good thing, isn’t it?’

Unknown: ‘Yeah. OK, so we’ll meet tomorrow morning.’

Unknown: ‘Tomorrow at 9 AM.’

Dalai Lama: ‘Bye bye, bye bye, see you again, tomorrow.’

Mark Vicente: ‘And at the very end, the tail end of the meeting, somehow he said yes. You know, this was the moment that Raniere would finally be vindicated.’

Keith Raniere: ‘And I’ll write His Holiness a letter, relating to what’s going on with what I see as the strategic things with China and Tibet. We aren’t facing anything compared to that. You know, I wish I could apply my skill. But he does not want that right now. [Laughing] He didn’t like my hair.’

Episode 6

Newsreader: ‘A significant cultural event for the capitol region: the appearance of the iconic spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. The Tibetan Buddhist monk who won a Nobel Peace Prize and has admirers all over the globe, came to Albany today, the result of an invitation from the World Ethical Foundations, which is founded by two sisters heiresses of the Seagram’s liquor corporation.’

Barbara Bouchey: ‘Two weeks after I quit, the Dalai Lama agreed to tack on Albany to his already twenty three city tour. And then they milked it. I mean: it was all over their website and articles went out, you know, letters… In the meantime, behind the scenes, my whole criminal case was going on. And the Bronfmans and Keith [Raniere] had already networked locally with many prominent law firms. The name carried weight and I couldn’t find an attorney. Who do you think wants to represent me?

Raniere Meets the Dalai Lama Again

Keith Raniere: ‘Well, sometimes there are some people that come that seem to have bad intent. But I never want to believe that. At what point do you take action definitively?’

Dalai Lama: ‘Oh, I mean if [there’s] a bad motivation, truly, then sometimes it’s necessary to take an appropriate measure, without a self-centered, sort of, egoistic sort of feeling… [If] I get more fame or I get more followers, than that is a self-centered attitude. And also, you all have to judge your own guru.’

Keith Raniere: ‘I’m not a guru.’

Dalai Lama: ‘Oh.’

Keith Raniere: ‘I’m not a guru.’

Dalai Lama: ‘Or teacher, then. Good.’

Barbara Bouchey: ‘And after that—I have the actual Nxivm announcement—they announced proudly that they were improving things. They’re going to change the board.’

Public Talk

During the press conference that preceded his talk in the Palace Theater, the Dalai Lama sidestepped a question about his appearance at an event sponsored by Nxivm.12 But he did reply to a question from the audience during his public talk about the reason why his visit was first cancelled.13 This is a transcript of the Dalai Lama’s answer:

Dalai Lama: ‘Firstly, I received [an] invitation that, in principle, I accepted. Then I received some request [that] I should not go there, because this is controversial, some allegations. Than we carried [out] further investigations. Then finally, including this organisation’s teacher and some friends came to see me in Dharamsala. And I discussed, I observed.

Basically, they are carrying some kind of movement about ethics. Then, as I mentioned earlier, it is my moral responsibility to support any movement, by any person who carry, who are working for ethics. Because of today world, many problems [are] essentially our own creation, and nobody wants more problems. But due to a lack of ethics, lacks of principle, this unwanted man-made problem happened. Whether politician, whether businessman, whether religious person, whether anyone: moral principle is very essential, like backbone. So therefor I felt—I feel—it is my moral responsibility.

But at the same time [there were] these allegations. So, when I met them personally in Dharamsala, I told them very friendly, very openly: “As far as your sort of work for promotion of ethics, I fully support, it is my moral responsibility. But at the same time, those allegations you must make very clear if you have done something wrong you must accept, you must admit, change make correction. If you’ve not done [wrong], make clear all these allegations—truthfully, honestly, openly, transparently.”

Then some media: I’m always telling the media people, [that they] should have a long nose, as long as—[applause], wait, wait, wait—as long as an elephant’s nose and smell in the front and behind. That’s very important. And make clear to the public what’s going on. Whether [it’s] a politician, or the mayor [laughing], or religious people, the bishops, or myself, [they] must sort of watch and make clear, inform the public, provided it must be very honest, unbiased, objective, that’s important! Sometimes, say one company finances a newspaper and then the newspaper report [is] a little bit biased. I think not as biased a Chinese propaganda—but sometimes, you see, a little sort of biased version is also happening. They must avoid that: they must be honest, truthful.

So now, I think, in front of the public I want to tell the media people: please carry [out] continuously thorough investigations. All these spots where you have some doubts: thorough investigation. And on those concerned people’s side: also make clear. All your work must be transparent. So that’s my view. So I feel no problem. Come here, meet people, and talk. Because of some criticism, remain distance, [is] not much use. Come face to face, and talk; friendly, bluntly. Truth always remains truth. So [through] more talk, more investigation the truth becomes more clear, clear, clear. So, that’s my answer.’14

Clare Bronfman noted shortly after the event: ‘His coming brought about a certain contradiction: what is written about NXIVM, Keith, Sara and myself in the press—being labeled as a cult—and a world leader showing his support for us after thorough investigation. How do you resolve such a contradiction?’15

To which Sara Bronfman added: ‘After an onslaught of negative articles and powerful local personalities voicing their lack of support for his proposed visit, His Holiness postponed until the truth became evident. In the end the truth prevailed, but in the process we lost participants, money and good faith.  However my hope for humanity was restored by possibly the greatest leader of our time. A leader who values humanity above all else, who has a strong enough sense of himself not to seek external security, and who conforms to truth as his standard, nothing short of it. I could say he stood for us this past Wednesday, but he stood for more than us – he stood for truth, justice and morality. It was a victory for us, for this region and for humanity. I feel proud to have been a part of this great feat.’16

Episode 7

Episode 7 of The Vow, titled ‘Blame and Responsibility’, follows Catherine Oxenberg, who’s trying to save her daughter India, enroute to investigative journalist Frank Parlato. His platform has published extensively about Nxivm and Keith Raniere since 2015. Parlato was the first to publish a report about DOS (‘Dominus Obsequious Sororium’), the ‘sisterhood’ that branded female ‘sex slaves’ with the initials of Keith Raniere and Nxivm’s ‘second in command’ Alison Mack.17 Mack was arrested and indicted in 2018. 18 She was released on a 5 million dollar bond, pending trial. Mack pleaded guilty to racketeering in 2019 and is currently awaiting sentencing. In episode 7 of The Vow, Catherine Oxenberg is shown calling her mother, Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia, to ask her to reach out to Charles, Prince of Wales, the heir apparent to the British throne.

Catherine Oxenberg: ‘Mum! You picked up!’

Princess Elizabeth: ‘What?’

Catherine Oxenberg: ‘I said: “Hello!”

Princess Elizabeth: ‘Hello, hello, darling.’

Catherine Oxenberg: ‘Listen, I need you to do something.’

Princess Elizabeth: ‘Yes?’

Catherine Oxenberg: ‘Can you call Charles and get in direct contact with the Dalai Lama?’ I want to tell him that my daughter is being held as a sex slave to this organization, because he should probably make some sort of public statement and Charles is very close with him.’

Princess Elizabeth: ‘Well I did have the contact for one of the Lamas there. Do you remember I’ve been there? I can check back through my diary and see if I can find him.’

Catherine Oxenberg: ‘Fantastic! All right.’

The next person to appear in episode 7 is former high-ranking member Susan Dones, who left Nxivm in 2009, right before the Dalai Lama’s speaking engagement at its event in Albany, New York and the writing of his foreword to The Sphinx and Thelxiepeia.19 Dones tells her story against the backdrop of new footage Keith Raniere’s visit to the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India in the early Spring of 2009.

Mark Vicente: ‘Susan Dones was one of the nine that left back in 2009. And then they just went after her. She was sued on almost 200 charges. And she defended herself and won. She’s an amazing woman. And she totally understands how it all works.’

Susan Dones: ‘It took me about three months to educate my judge of really who they were dealing with. He goes: “Ms. Dones, these are very serious charges, and should get an attorney.” And I said: “Your Honour, I would love to have an attorney, but you do not understand who my adversaries are. At a minimum, this is going to cost me half a million dollars.”

I said: “You don’t know it yet, but they lied about everything, and I believe I can prove that they’ve lied about everything. I have the truth on my side. None of them pay taxes, and none of them have ever been investigated. They’ve been turned in multiple times. And the state of New York and the IRS don’t do anything.”

I call him The Teflon Man because things slide off of him so easy. Like now there’s a lot of sensationalism and the international press,  and people are saying: “Oh, we got to look into these allegations.” But if Keith [Raniere] is not found guilty of anything, all he’s going to do is reinvent himself, just like he did in 2009. And they’re going to rebuild. And they’re just gonna continue to come after us because that’s the way Keith is.’

Footage of Keith Raniere’s meeting with the Dalai Lama does not figure in the rest of the episodes, other than as a backdrop in episode 9, framing a recap of Raniere’s vain attempt at self-justification that had him deny his moral agency altogether.

‘Unnecessary Distractions’

According to filed court documents, former Nxivm-members Barbara Bouchey and Kristin Keefe allege that Lama Tenzin Dhonden, a celibate monk and the Dalai Lama’s self-proclaimed ‘personal emissary for peace’ to the United States of America, had an affair with Clare Bronfman during a Nxivm-seminar at Necker Island, circa 2009.20 Dhonden became a trustee of The Dalai Lama’s Trust (known as The Dalai Lama Foundation since 2016) in 2011.21 However, he was suspended by the trust’s board in 2017, over corruption claims unrelated to Nxivm. 22

At the time, The Guardian quoted a letter from the Dalai Lama’s interpreter and translator Thupten Jinpa to the trustees, as saying: ‘I would like to join many others in expressing my deep gratitude to you all for stepping in to protect the precious reputation and legacy of His Holiness through effecting the recent transition of the leadership of the Dalai Lama Trust.’ The Guardian continues: Jinpa, a former monk who has translated and edited about a dozen books by the Dalai Lama, wrote that it had been “painful” to see the spiritual leader’s name and legacy snagged by “unnecessary distractions … and discordant messages” which he said reflected “celebrity orientation”. Jinpa’s letter did not name Dhonden but said that under his stewardship the trust had alienated allies with “embarrassing” and “bullying” behaviour:

Most sadly, the Trust has unfortunately acquired a reputation of being authoritarian, confrontational, petty, and uncaring, characteristics so far removed from His Holiness’ personal ethics.23

Wendy Biddlecombe Agsar’s report for Tricycle: The Buddhist Review makes clear that Jinpa wrote to the trustees about the Dalai Lama ‘slowly getting caught’ in ‘unneccessary distractions’ such as  ‘Albany-based Nxivm.’24 As his interpreter, Jinpa himself sat on stage with the Dalai Lama during his public talk in the Palace Theater in 2009.

Even so, following an internal investigation by the Trust’s board in 2018, Dhonden was cleared and reinstated. The Dalai Lama endorsed the board’s decision in a written letter dated April 18, 2019, stating that there is an “absence of evidence” supporting the allegations of financial impropriety made against Lama Tenzin Dhonden.25

Postscript: The original post has been updated several times, to reflect the content of the consecutive episodes of The Vow as they were broadcast by HBO and present the most recent developments. Also, it has been republished with a different title.

  1. Mueller, Chris, & Jon Campbell. (2009, March 31). Dalai Lama comes with controversy. Albany Student Press, pp. 1-2. Retrieved September 30, 2020; Parry, Mark. (2009, March 13). For Dalai Lama, third choice is charmed. Times Union.
  2. Ettkin, Brian. (2009, April 6). Dalai Lama cancels his visit to Albany. Times Union. Retrieved October 1, 2020.
  3. For a comprehensive discussion of the Dalai Lama’s long-term interactions with Shōkō Asahara, the infamous leader of Aum Shinrikyō cult that attacked travelers in the underground of Tokyo with sarin nerve gas, see Knave or Fool? The Dalai Lama and Shōkō Asahara Affair Revisited.
  4. The full text of the Dalai Lama’s foreword to The Sphinx and Thelxiepeia reads : ‘We human being are naturally intelligent and we also have some freedom and flexibility of thought and action. This wonderful intelligence is one of our unique human qualities. However, whether we use it properly or not depends on our motivation, and our motivation should be guided by truth and transparency. Humane values and ethics give our lives meaning. Science and technology expand our ability to understand and change life. Today, our impact on the natural environment has grown to the point that we are doing damage to the planet as a whole. We can no longer think of economies and societies as separate. In our global community they are increasingly interdependent and our actions affect not just ourselves, but our neighbours throughout the world as well. Now, more than ever, it is important that we examine the impact of our actions on each other as individuals, peoples, countries and inhabitants of this planet. Exercising our critical faculties in the ethical realm entails taking responsibility for both our acts and their underlying motives. If we not take responsibility for our motives, whether positive or negative, the potential for harm is much greater. The moral value of a given act is to be judged in relation both to time, place, and circumstance and to the interest of everyone involved now and in the future. It is conceivable that a given act is ethically sound under one particular set of circumstances, but that at another time and place and under a different set of circumstances it may not be. The authors of this book present readers with a challenge. In seeking to contribute to building a compassionate, ethical humanity they often discuss recognized problems from unfamiliar angles. In the part of the world from which I come, there is a well known adage that even when offered gold, the wise test it, beating it and burning it to ensure its value before accepting it. This means that rather than take any advice on trust, we should think about it and ask ourselves if it is useful. If we decide it is, then the sensible thing is to put it into practice. April 13, 2009’ The cover of the book makes a special note of his foreword.
  5. Ducharme, Seth D. (2020). The Government’s Sentencing Memorandum as to Defendent Keith Raneire. United States District Court, Eastern District of New York. Retrieved October 1, 2020; a.u. (2020). NXIVM Founder Keith Raniere Speaks Out From Prison Ahead Of Sentencing. Retrieved October 28, 2020.
  6. NBC Nightly News. (2020). NXIVM Founder Keith Raniere Speaks Out From Prison Ahead Of Sentencing. Retrieved October 28, 2020.
  7. Moghe, Sonia. (2020). Nxivm founder sentenced to the remainder of his life in prison. Retrieved October 28, 2020; Hong, Nicole & Sean Piccoli. (2020). Keith Raniere, Leader of Nxivm Sex Cult, Is Sentenced to 120 Years in Prison. Retrieved October 28, 2020; Jacobs, Shayna. (2020). NXIVM ‘cult’ leader Keith Raniere sentenced to 120 years in prison. Retrieved October 28, 2020.
  8. Li, David K. (2020). NXIVM sex cult benefactor Clare Bronfman sentenced to more than 6 years behind bars. Retrieved October 1, 2020.
  9. Andrews, Suzanna. (2010). The Heiresses and the Cult. Vanity Fair. Retrieved October 24, 2020; Freedman, Michael. (2003). Cult of Personality. Forbes, p. 88. Tkacik, Maureen. (2010). Poor Little Rich Girls: The Ballad of Sara and Clare Bronfman. Retrieved October 24, 2020; Odato, James & Jennifer Gish. (2012, February 12). In Raniere’s shadows. Times Union; Meier, Barry. (2017). Inside a Secretive Group Where Women Are Branded. The New York Times. Retrieved September 23, 2020; Barcella, Laura. (2017). Is NXIVM a Cult? What we know. Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 24, 2020; Yakowicz, Will. (2019). When We Exposed Keith Raniere, The Leader Of The Nxivm ‘Sex Cult’. Retrieved September 26, 2020; Moynihan, Colin. (2019). Former Member of Sex Cult Describes How She Became ‘Slave’. Retrieved October 28, 2020; Moynihan, Colin. (2019). Nxivm: How a Sex Cult Leader Seduced and Programmed His Followers. The New York Times. Retrieved September 23, 2020; Moynihan, Colin & Barry Meier. (2019). Clare Bronfman Pleads Guilty in Nxivm ‘Sex Cult’ Case, Leaving Leader to Stand Trial Alone. The New York Times. Retrieved September 23, 2020; Moynihan, Colin. (2020). Nxivm ‘Sex Cult’ Leader Should Get Life in Prison, Prosecutors Say. The New York Times. Retrieved September 23, 2020; Correa, Carla. (2020). A Timeline of the Nxivm Sex Cult Case. Retrieved October 28, 2020; Rosen, R. D. (2020). Nxivm leader belongs in pantheon of human evil. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  10. Ryan, Maureen. (2020). Review: ‘The Vow’ Follows Nxivm Down Dark, Damaging Paths. The New York Times. Retrieved September 23, 2020. Vincenty, Samantha. (2020). The Vow Explains How NXIVM’s Allison Mack Went from “Smallville” to Leading a Sex CultThe Oprah Magazine. Retrieved December 6, 2020.
  11. Parry, Ryan. (2018). Dalai Lama was paid $1 million to endorse women-branding ‘sex cult’ after secret deal between Buddhist’s celibate U.S. emissary and his Seagram billionaire ‘lover’. The Daily Mail. Retrieved September 23, 2020; Author unknown. (2018). Clarification in Response to the Daily Mail Story of January 24, 2018. Retrieved September 23, 2020.
  12. Grondahl, Paul. (2009). A Message of Wisdom, Compassion. Retrieved October 1, 2020.
  13. Gyatso, Tenzin (the fourteenth Dalai Lama). (2009). H.H. the Dalai Lama: Public Talk in Albany. Retrieved September 30, 2020. Question starts at circa 44.15 mins.
  14. For a comprehensive discussion of the Dalai Lama’s media strategy after Aum Shinrikyō’s nerve gas attack in Tokyo, see Knave or Fool? The Dalai Lama and Shōkō Asahara Affair Revisited.
  15. Bronfman, Clare. (2009). His Holiness inspires us to evaluate. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
  16. Bronfman, Sara. (2009). His Holiness the Dalai Lama Finally Came to Albany. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
  17. United States of America against Keith Raniere, also known as “Vanguard,” Clare Bronfman, Allison Mack, Kathy Russel, Lauren Salzman, and Nancy Salzman, also known as “Prefect”: Superseding Indictment. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  18. Parlato, Frank. (2017). Part 1: The Slave Women of DOS—Revealed. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  19. Parlato, Frank (2020). Susan Dones’ Powerful Message to Clare Bronfman in Court. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  20. Rowe, Peter. (2015, June 13). Secrets of the Dalai Lama’s modest emissary for peace. The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved October 24, 2020; Parlato, Frank (2017). Sara Bronfman’s Lover, Lama Tenzin, suspended by Dalai Lama over corruption claims. Retrieved October 24, 2017.
  21. A.u. (2011). The Dalai Lama Trust: About us. Retrieved October 24, 2020; The Dalai Lama Trust: Form 990 2011 (14 February 2013).
  22. Hudson, Mike. (2017). NXIVM ‘Cult’ named as part of the reason Dalai Lama suspends secretary Lama Tenzin Dhonden. Retrieved October 24, 2020; Ellison, Katherine & Rory Caroll (2017, October 27). Revealed: Dalai Lama’s ‘personal emissary’ suspended over corruption claims. The Guardian. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  23. Caroll, Rory. (2017, November 29). Controversial monk and Dalai Lama aide replaced amid corruption accusations. The Guardian. Retrieved October 24, 2020.
  24. Biddlecombe Agsar, Wendy. (2017). Tenzin Dhonden, Dalai Lama’s Gatekeeper and “Personal Emissary for Peace,” Replaced as Executive Secretary. Retrieved October 24, 2020.
  25. A.u. (2019). His Holiness The Dalai Lama Finds Tenzin Dhonden Innocent Of Allegations Of Wrongdoing. Retrieved 24 October, 2020.

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.