The Dalai Lama’s secretary, Lama Tenzin Dhonden, has been suspended. High ranking members of The Dalai Lama’s Tibetan government in exile say that Lama Tenzin faced an internal investigation after accusations surfaced about an alleged extortion of a businessman in connection to an appearance of The Dalai Lama in California.
Lama Tenzin might have escaped censure for that episode, since there were two sides to that story.
See Sara Bronfman’s Lover, Lama Tenzin, suspended by Dalai Lama over corruption claims
What is looming larger is Lama Tenzin’s ties to NXIVM. It was through Lama Tenzin that the Dalai Lama came to Albany to speak in May 2009 and greet Keith Raniere onstage.
It goes deeper: I suspect a large part of the reason for Lama Tenzin’s suspension is that he violated his vows of celibacy as a monk when he engaged in a well known and sordid sexual affair with Sara Bronfman, a high ranking member of NXIVM.
Buddhist monks take strict vows of chastity.
There have been several stories about Lama Tenzin’s suspension in the Guardian and elsewhere.
The latest story, from Trike Daily, a Tibetan Buddhism publication, brings NXIVM front and center in the controversy. Tenzin Dhonden, Dalai Lama’s Gatekeeper and “Personal Emissary for Peace,” Replaced as Executive Secretary
The sub-headline of Trike’s story speaks volumes:
“Tenzin Dhonden apparently faced an internal investigation after allegations of corruption, bullying, and ties to the cult Nxivm.”
Lama Tenzin Dhonden’s has been replaced by Tashi Namgyal Khamshitsang as acting secretary.
According to Trike: “His departure was welcomed by Thupten Jinpa, His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s longtime translator, in a letter sent to Dalai Lama Trust members and obtained by Tricycle.
“For someone who have had the honor and good fortune to serve His Holiness for over three decades, it had been painful to see how His Holiness’ name and legacy was slowly getting caught in unnecessary distractions (Albany-based NXIVM) and discordant messages (of rich and celebrity orientation).” Mr. Jinpa wrote.
Thupten Jinpa acted as translator when the Dalai Lama appeared in Albany in May 2009. Also on stage were the Bronfman sisters, Sara and Clare Bronfman, both of whom are high ranking members of NXIVM and Seagrams heiresses.
I took the trouble to comment on the Trike story as follows:
Sorry, but this name was very funny to me.
The Khata or scarf of goodwill is offered for many reasons in Tibetan culture. It can be offered to say Hello, goodbye or to wish someone good luck: Climbers who undertake Mt Everest are often blessed with a khata and attend a puja hosted by a Buddhist lama for safe passage in the mountains. Khata’s can also be offered as a sign of respect. When the Dalai lama offers a Khata it is meant to signify purity of intention or the beginning of the relationship. It represents the pure heart of the giver.
So the significance of a White Khata in Tibetan Buddhism is vastly different then that of the low ranking NXIVM white sash.
It is believed that Susan White, longtime Bronfman family friend and the one who suggested Sara enroll in NXIVM back circa 2002 ish walked in on the the hot tub canoodling between Sara and Lama Tenzin in Los Angeles.