Sexual abuse, mental manipulation and embezzlement: Tibetan Buddhism is shaken by serious scandals.
An in-depth account that lifts the veil on the unspiritual underbelly of a religion revered in Europe. His name is Ricardo Mendes and, as a young man, he lived through hell in a Buddhist community in Castellane, far from the ideal of wisdom advocated by its founder, Robert Spatz.
Now in search of justice and having filed a civil suit, Ricardo tells how the Belgian lama encouraged his disciples to abandon their offspring to him, leaving him free to do as he pleased. Physical abuse, deprivation of food and freedom or rape of girls were the daily lot of unprotected children. However, these abuses are not an exception: since Tibetan Buddhism became a fashionable phenomenon in the 1960s, particularly in Europe, sexual and financial scandals have multiplied, while its masters in exile have prospered.
An international icon, the Dalai Lama himself has long covered up the secret dealings of those who serve the expansion of his religion: with an economy based on charity, the latter must avoid too flashy a business…
The Lama Sogyal
Rinpoche, who became the head of an empire after the publication of his bestseller The Tibetan Book of Life and Death, was nevertheless denounced by many victims for his immoderate taste for luxury, his violent authoritarianism and his sexual excesses.
In the back rooms of monasteries, “People take charisma for a spiritual quality.
Thanks to its revelations and the quality of its contributors, this edifying documentary helps to unravel the “flowery” Western view of exotic Tibetan Buddhism.
It reminds us that this religion requires total devotion on the part of the student, who must certify to his master that he will keep secret the initiations to which he must submit: an ideal breeding ground for covering abuses of all kinds with a blanket of silence.
The research carried out by journalist Élodie Emery and documentary filmmaker Wandrille Lanos refines the perception of this spirituality, which is adorned with so many virtues, including poverty. Buddhism, a veritable multinational company, has its own head offices, by-products (including meditation), subsidiaries (Buddhist centers for the wealthy), communication strategies and agencies specializing in crisis management.
With numerous testimonies, including researchers and abused followers who tell the story behind the scenes, this in-depth account lifts the veil on the impostures of Buddhism, which is so popular in the West for its quest for inner peace.
Direction : Elodie Emery Wandrille Lanos
Producer Tv Presse Productions