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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: vdesign ()
Date: March 09, 2009 02:28PM

Seems to me that the main contributors to the thread have well entrenched opinions on the subject.
I am not going to try spoil your fun so all the best and take care!

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: Outsider ()
Date: March 09, 2009 06:40PM

Thank you Suenam, you have hit the nail square on the head with that last post. Righteousness is the word I would use and that sums up how hard it is to debate with members of DW without seeming to be 'attacking', 'anti', 'non buddhist', etc. Words from Shamar Rinpoche should however be beyond the righteous tendancies????

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: Emma C ()
Date: March 15, 2009 05:12PM

Interesting posts, thanks. In my experience (as a former member), such abuse does take place in the form of financial extortion and mental abuse. I guess in such a an environment where sexual promiscuity is encouraged and enforced, it shouldn't be a surprise that sexual abuse also occurs. What is however most alarming is the group's reactions. There is a collective and systematic attempt to sweep any such things under the carpet, just as is done with Ole Nydahl's true views, despite the fact that most in the groups are brainwashed into 'agreeing' with them! The abused is told it is their fault that they were abused, and is simply due to their karma.

I feel it is suitable to repeat something I saw in the NKT thread: "Bad behaviour is not a sign of a enlightenment!"
This is also gets me thinking - is Diamond Way the NKT of the Kagyu school?

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: March 15, 2009 09:51PM

To my personal satisfaction, I believe I have identified a pattern within some discussions of troubled sanghas that, I am now convinced, tremendously hampers
any discussion and resolution of power abuse on the part of a leader,.

I read all 52 pages of the E sangha discussion thread on Ole N--it took days, but I recommend this exercise to all interested in this matter.

Along the way, I re-read the terms of use for E-sangha and noticed something I had not seen efore:

Their definition of Right Speech is to refrain from blame.

I thought, this is well and good.

But if a leader abuses power, how can one NOT use blame?

(Note: some time later, former participants on e-sangha revealed that administration of that venue was having problems.

For more, go here:

And, the more serious the alleged abuses of leadership prerogative and power, the more vigorous and painful the descriptions of the departure from Dharma would be.

So the worse the situation, the more a suffering person would find him or herself muzzled.

This struck me as unsatisfactory. Language is supposed to support us not thwart us.

I reached for a dictionary and looked the definitions of 'blame' in English.

I discovered that in the dictionary there are TWO usages for 'blame' , and that most Buddhist defenitions of right speech defined as 'not to blame' acknowledge only one of the meanings of blame, and ignore the second of the two--leaving a zone of silence, an absence of verbal matching, for a most important matter--harmful abuses of leadership.

The two English language definitions of 'blame' are these:

1) to blame something on someone--that is to attribute intrinsic fault to that person, that the person is inherantly bad or unworthy.

2) Blaming a person for contributing to a pattern of harm--that is blame in the sense of assigning agency or responsiblity to a persons role or actions.

Definition #1 Is by Buddhist guidelines is harmful speech--and forbidden.

Definition #2, seeing that a person (especially a powerholder like Ole) has a role in a chain of cause and effect, such as disrupting relationships between DW and non-DW people--thats definion is ignored in most descriptions of Right/Wrong speech.

But, I contend that Definition #2 is not wrong speech at all, for real Buddhism Buddhism traces the role of cause and effect in generating suffering..

So, the first definition of 'blame' is the only definition tacitly recognized in most Buddhist definitions of right speech...--both E-sangha, and also in Buddhist cults.

By acknowleding Definition #1 of blame but not acknowledging Definition #2, this leaves no language available by which to attribute responsiblity to a leader for use or abuse of power.

The only language available is to put that responsibility on the students, the underlings--never on the leader. identify a person's place in and agency in, a pattern of cause and effect. When someone is a leader, that person has agency and it is entirely appropriate and in line with Dharma to see where that person possesses agency and how that leader is contributing to a distressing chain of cause and effect.

But.. all too often, only the follower's contributions to a bad sitaution are analyzed and spoken of. The leader, the powerholder, always manages to escape scrutiny for his or her contribution to a chain of cause and effect--which is ludicrous, given that leadership means increased agency.

Next , when I read the thread on e-sanga I noticed this:

Two levels of discourse, one for long time members 'in the know' and quite a different much less candid pattern of disclosure when outsiders or new converts arrived for the discussion.

In the dharma discussion on E-sangha I am convinced that what I saw was a pattern in which many persons involved with Ole for years, expressed thoughtful and detailed concerns about the internal affairs of DW and expressed their concerns with great frankness--and a far greater level of detail--than ever took place on

But what I found troubling was that the long time DW practitioners who were concerned about Ole and who stated their concerns with great frankness and with specific details but only when talking with other old timers.

For--as I read through, the 52 page thread, (which only ended last year), I noticed how quicly the old timers changed thier tones and minimized the significance of what they had previously written the instant a person arrived who stated that he or she was new to the Dharma.

It reminded me of how grown ups suddenly hush up and stop discussing sensitive topics the instant they see a child walk into the room.

The arrival of someone who identified as a newcomer triggered the troubled old timers to minimize the significance of what they had just said to each other.

They would promptly address the newcomer, minimize what they had just said, becaues they did not want to make the Dharma look bad or discourage the new arrival, thus undercutting their stated concerns.

I had the impression some old time members of DW were in great pain.

Thirty years before, Ole had been instrumental in connecting them with Kagyu Tibetan Buddhism, which they dearly loved, and Ole was one of the very, very few in Europe available to do this, thirty years ago.

To give decades of ones youth and life to the Dharma to the point of sacrificing other options can make it hard to question ones root guru, no matter what troubling mutations have taken place in the mean time. So it may be possible that old timers may fluctuate within themselves feeling great anguish and doubt at how DW is currently being run, and then dread to question the wisdom of decisions they made decades earlier and try to reassure themselves as well as reassuring the newcomers.

This weather vane pattern of disclosure can confuse new arrivals.

(Today many more teachers are available who are far more reliable sources and whose habits and mannerisms are less distracting than Oles.)

So, to re-iterate: What I saw was one level of discourse, and disclosure--very troubled and very frank, amongst the old timers and insiders and then a different level of discourse when the old timers realized they were being visited by newcomers. All at once, they'd turn reassuring, much the way grownups discuss painful and signifcant matters amongst themselves and then with hold or water down that same information when the children show up.

But what I was troubled by was how the old timers blamed Westerners for wanting infantile and easy Dharma--'baby food' as one person put it.

When from my reading of the transcript these old timers were themselves infantalizing
new arrivals by not giving them full disclosure of what the old timers truly found troubling about this organization and its internal affairs.

This 'Two Levels of Disclosure' pattern--one level for old timers and a watered down
level for newbies in which troubling 'family secrets' are concealed or minimized, is to me a pattern that will prevent resolution of the troubles.

(Corboy note: some time later, former participants from e-sangha revealed that venue's administrators were having problems.

For more, go here:



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/22/2018 02:26AM by corboy.

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: Emma C ()
Date: March 17, 2009 04:34AM

Interesting point Corboy. Could this be evidence of these two points in my quote a few pages back?


6. There is one rule for those lower in the hierarchy, and another for those at the top. For instance, Diamond Way teaches that adultery is wrong (in common with authentic Buddhism), but at the same time, Ole Nydahl is known to have had affairs with several of his students, and had a mistress called Caty Hartung as well as his wife, Hannah.

7. The true beliefs of the group are kept secret from members until they are sufficiently brainwashed, and before that are lied to, just as Diamond Way lies to the public about it's true beliefs. Members only get to the really weird stuff once they get higher up in the hierarchy. Those higher up in this heirachy lie to both those lower down and to the public at large about their true beliefs. Their excuse for this is to simply say people are "not ready". (sounds like not sufficiently brainwashed to me!)

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: March 17, 2009 10:37PM

What do you think?

I am asking this because what I see happening in Tibetan Buddhism is people too often
wait for some more experienced person, someone higher in the hierarchy, to validate them.

Or people sit around hoping that the leader of the lineage (in this case the 17th Karmapa whoever he is) will come in like Magic Daddy or Superman and clean up the mess.

What if the leader of the lineage is too young or too damn polite to do anything? Or doesnt want to say anything because he doesnt want to lose access to financial support provided by a western run Kagyu organization whose internal affairs are troubled, but happens to be cash rich--very cash rich?

And we are in the middle of a global recession, no less?

What if the leader of the lineage is not going to come in like magic and clean it all up?

If no one higher up is willing to clean up the organization, teach manners to Ole, or validate your own hunch, you risk staying trapped unless you can decide for yourself whether to trust your own reading of the evidence.

That is why I strongly suggest all interested persons read the entire 52 page thread on E-sangha and take careful note how the disclosure level seems to fluctuate any time someone arrives and states they are a newcomer.

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: Emma C ()
Date: March 18, 2009 04:17PM

I think what I said, I was merely wondering what you thought. :)

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: March 18, 2009 10:19PM

Become your own Buddha.

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: Emma C ()
Date: March 19, 2009 01:40AM

I am my own Buddha, Abraham, Jesus, Guru Nanak and Mohammed (just to piss the DW groupies off). Just as long as I am not my own Ole Nydahl :p

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: Outsider ()
Date: March 22, 2009 09:11PM

We have talked previously of DW existing as a cult of personality, I heard something interesting last week which centered around the birthday of Ole Nydahl, check out the following:

[] (See March 15)


I guess the second link is just simple fun really but I know several centers were partaking in meditation throughout 19.03 to celebrate the birthday

Cult of Personality whether directed by the leader or disciples is still a Cult of Personality, what will happen when Ole passes on from this life, who takes over, where does all the money go (that is being raised in the 600 or so global centers for material gains (purchase of real estate)), some honest feedback from DW memebers would be appreciated

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