Vapid Commiseration

Written by Rob Hogendoorn

1 minute

These days, Tenzin Peljor calls himself a ‘freelance monk.’ He’s a council-member of the German Buddhist Union (DBU). His hand is clearly visible in the most non-sensical parts of DBU’s recent position statement on the documentary ‘Abuse in Buddhism: The Law of Silence‘.

Perhaps for the first time, the conduct of the Dalai Lama and Matthieu Ricard has become the subject of investigative journalism. This takes some getting used to. But it’s an example worth emulating: treat larger-than-life Buddhist authority figures with skepticism.

For instance, put his Office’s refusal to schedule an interview for ‘Abuse in Buddhism: The Law of Silence’ in the context of Josh Baran‘s claim that the Dalai Lama made it known in no uncertain terms that he was done responding to questions about sexual abuse (Josh Baran’s remarks start at 46.40 mins.). Perhaps COVID-19 was just a convenient excuse?

Why should the Dalai Lama get a free pass on this sort of thing? Who’s the next reporter to ask him for an interview on sexual abuse? How will his Office respond then?

It’s irrefutable that the Dalai Lama broke his promises to Buddhist teachers and victims and survivors of abuse alike.

Likewise, it’s indisputable that he and Matthieu Ricard continued to endorse and elevate Buddhist teachers they knew to be abusive. That’s the subject at hand.

It’s about time that people see through the fabricated ‘excuses’ and ‘justifications’ with which the likes of Tenzin Peljor and the German Buddhist Union‘ absolve’ the Dalai Lama from any accountability whatsoever—while changing the subject into vapid commiseration.

Originally posted as a long-Tweet on September 23, 2022 (with slight edits and added links).

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.