Sara Bronfman’s Lover, Lama Tenzin, suspended by Dalai Lama over corruption claims

Lama Tenzin with Raniere-disciple Allison Mack, at Necker Island.
Lama Tenzin with Raniere-disciple Allison Mack, at Necker Island.

Readers of Frank Report might recall that Sara Bronfman introduced the ‘Venerable’ Lama Tenzin Dhonden, the self described ‘Personal Emissary for Peace for the Dalai Lama’, to Keith Raniere around 2008.

The three worked together to bring the Dalai Lama to Albany in 2009 and reportedly Sara Bronfman and the Lama Tenzin, a monk, became lovers for a time.

According to the Guardian,  on October 5, 2017, The Venerable Lama Tenzin, 53, was suspended as Secretary and Trustee of the Dalai Lama Trust.  The suspension pends an investigation into allegations that Lama Tenzin extorted payments from A Washington State businessman in 2008.

Daniel Kranzler claims he was forced to pay Lama Tenzin as much as $250,000, some of it in cash, to prevent the Lama Tenzin from working to cancel the Dalai Lama’s appearance at the Seeds of Compassion event in San Diego.

Lama Tenzin denies the allegations. He maintains he received $50,000 in legitimate salary, plus expenses for his work.  He retained Patterson Belknap, a New York City law firm, to defend against possible civil or criminal charges.

Attorneys for the firm said the event “occurred nearly a decade ago,” the accusations are “largely inaccurate and otherwise relate to conduct that is not unlawful, unethical, or even inappropriate” and were “designed to falsely and unfairly tarnish” Lama Tenzin’s reputation.

The case does raise two questions:

– Why did Kranzler wait nine years to come forward to claim he was extorted into making payments to Lama Tenzin?

– Why did the Dalai Lama suspend Lama Tenzin if the charges against him are so weak?

A Buddhist monk makes two vows: the renunciation of money and sex.  While Lama Tenzin may or may not be guilty of the charges in Washington State, the record is pretty clear that he broke his vow of celibacy with Sara Bronfman.

 

Lama Tenzin with Sara’s mother Georgia Bronfman.
Lama Tenzin with Sara’s mother Georgia Bronfman.

 

Lama Tenzin with Raniere-disciple Allison Mack, at Necker Island.
Lama Tenzin with Raniere-disciple Allison Mack, at Necker Island.

 

Sara with her host on Necker Island – Sir Richard Branson.
Sara with her host on Necker Island – Sir Richard Branson.

 

Keith Raniere and Nancy Salzman in the audience when the Dalai Lama appeared in Albany.
Keith Raniere and Nancy Salzman in the audience when the Dalai Lama appeared in Albany.

 

Raniere and Nancy Salzman flew to India to see the Dalai Lama and brought Sara and Clare with them. The Dalai Lama agreed to deliver a single lecture.  He was coming to the US for a Harvard University sponsored speaking engagement and could spare a couple of hours in Albany.

Sara called it a success.

“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,” Sara wrote on her blog. “In the end the truth prevailed, but in the process we lost participants, money and good faith.”

The press announced the rescheduling, noting that the Dalai Lama event moved from the 7,500 seat Albany Times-Union Center to the much smaller 2,800 seat Albany Palace Theater.

When questioned if there was any financial incentive from the Bronfmans connected with the Dalai Lama changing his mind about appearing in Albany, Lobsang Nyandak, representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the Americas, told the Times Union that the Dalai Lama would not receive money for his trip. When asked  for clarification, he said that whatever money was received would be “used for charitable and other purposes as per His Holiness’ guidance.”

Reportedly, two days before the Dalai Lama’s appearance in Albany, the Dalai Lama Trust was registered in New York State.

 

The Dalai Lama with Lama Tenzin.
The Dalai Lama with Lama Tenzin.
On May 6, the Dalai Lama spoke at Albany’s Palace Theatre to a crowd of about 2600.
On May 6, the Dalai Lama spoke at Albany’s Palace Theatre to a crowd of about 2600.

 

Onstage, the Dalai Lama presented Sara and Clare with white silk scarves, called “kataks,” which, according to Tibetan culture, symbolize purity.

The Dalai Lama appears onstage with Clare and Sara Bronfman.
The Dalai Lama appears onstage with Clare and Sara Bronfman.
On stage with the Dalai Lama. How much it cost the two heiresses for this moment is anybody’s guess.
On stage with the Dalai Lama. How much it cost the two heiresses for this moment is anybody’s guess.

 

Seated cross legged on a chair, the Dalai Lama spoke about compassion for an hour and a half.

When the time came for questions, the Dalai Lama was asked about his canceled, then re-scheduled, visit.

The Dalai Lama replied as follows:

Keith and Nancy listen attentively to the Dalai Lama.
Keith and Nancy listen attentively to the Dalai Lama.

 

“So when I met them personally in Dharamsala, I told them very friendly, very openly, ‘As far your sort of work for promotion of ethics, I fully support. 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, and change, make correction. If you not done [anything unethical], make clear all these allegations, truthfully, honestly, openly, transparently.’

“Then some media, I always telling media people, ‘media people should have long nose, as long as (audience laughs and applauds)

 

The NXIVM audience laughs when the Dalai Lama said the media should have a 'long nose.' I believe they thought he meant the media had the long nose of Pinocchio. But he asked the audience to stop laughing and explained he meant the long nose of the elephant.
The NXIVM audience laughs when the Dalai Lama said the media should have a ‘long nose.’ I believe they thought he meant the media had the long nose of Pinocchio. But he asked the audience to stop laughing and explained he meant the long nose of the elephant.

 

… wait, wait, wait…  [applause dies down] as long as an elephant nose and smell, in the front and behind. That’s very important. And make clear to the public what’s going on. Whether with the politician or with the mayor or religions people, the bishop or myself, must sort of watch and make clear, and inform public, provided it must be very honest, unbiased, objective, that’s important. Sometimes, say, one company financing a newspaper then newspaper report a little bit biased. I think not as biased as Chinese propaganda. But sometimes you see a little sort of biased sort of version also is happening. That must be avoided,  must be honest, truthful.

 

“So, now I think in front of,  I think the public, I want to to tell the media people, ‘please carry continuously, all these spots where you have some doubt, thorough investigation.’
“And 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? Not much use., Come face to face and talk, friendly, bluntly. Truth always win. So, more talk, more investigation, truth  will become more clear clear, clear, like that. So, that’s my answer.” (applause).
The Dalai Lama makes a seemingly prophetic utterance when he says that transparency will make truth about Keith Raniere clear.
The Dalai Lama makes a seemingly prophetic utterance when he says that transparency will make truth about Keith Raniere clear.

At the event’s conclusion, the Dalai Lama greeted Raniere on stage and placed a katak around his neck.

 

The Dalai Lama places the white scarf of purity on Keith Raniere
The Dalai Lama places the white scarf of purity on Keith Raniere

After the lecture, Sara wrote on her blog:

“As we stood in the rain to say goodbye to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, he touched each of our cheeks and held our faces next to his with the words ‘thank you’ and ‘see you again.’  Tears started running uncontrollably down my cheeks.…  his visit was a privilege we fought for….. It was a long road, and one paved with hardship, adversity, and tremendous growth….  However my hope for humanity was restored by possibly the greatest leader of our time…. who has a strong enough sense of himself not to seek external security, and who conforms to truth as his standard …. It was a victory for us, for this region and for humanity. I feel proud to have been a part of this great feat.”

Clare wrote on her blog.

“Due to the ongoing struggle several of my closest friends and I have (had) here in Albany – how we have been portrayed in the media – his visiting and message was particularly moving. 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.”

The Dalai Lama asked the media to investigate Keith Raniere.

The New York Post, Vanity Fair, Forbes, The New York Observer, the Nation, and the Albany Times Union reported many things previously unknown to the public.

This included allegations of statutory rape; efforts to hide the paternity of his son; a lovesick letter he sent followed by veiled death threats to his ex lover; and that, according to allegations contained in court records, the Bronfmans, following Keith Raniere’s advice, lost more than $150 million in bad real estate and commodities investments, and detailed Bronfman-Raniere’s history of litigation. The Times Union called NXIVM a “litigation machine.”

According to sources, Keith told his followers that the Times Union paid women to lie on the record.

 

Keith Raniere tells followers ‘the brighter the light the more the bugs.’
Keith Raniere tells followers ‘the brighter the light the more the bugs.’

 

Earlier this year, the Frank Report broke the story about the human branding and blackmail scheme of Raniere. The New York Times then turned that into a worldwide story.

Hundreds of media outlets have since stuck their long noses into the Raniere camp. The smell has been piquant.