Uncovering the truth about Pathgate & Lama Dondrup Dorje

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

– Edmund Burke

This website is created by ex-students of “Lama” Dondrup Dorje (Peter Yeung / Young) from Pathgate Institute of Buddhist Studies headquartered in Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK. Some of us were long-time committed and devoted students who have left or forced out of his community due to his pattern of ethical misconduct over the past 30 years.

Following recent revelations about other teachers who were abusing Buddhism, lineage, and students, we feel very strongly that it is our responsibility to bring to public attention that Palyul’s, H.H. Penor Rinpoche’s and Namdroling’s reputation are being misused by this teacher. We wish to bring to light the real harm he has caused, and continues to cause, his students past and present.

Our concerns are as follows:

1. Peter Yeung’s aggressive, controlling, narcissistic and manipulative behaviour

    a) He engages in verbal abuse such as shouting, shaming and humiliation of regular students, usually in public.

    b) He inflicts emotional and psychological abuse by instilling guilt and fear in students, such as threatening them with karmic retribution.

    c) His aggression even extends to instances of physical assaults on students.

    d) He manipulates students into giving up their careers, family commitments and priorities, and devote themselves to him.
    e) His teaching sessions usually degenerates into boasting about his abilities and accomplishments, and then denigrating his students.
    f) He discourages his students from reading Buddhist texts, and having contact with or learning from other teachers.
    g) Any student who does not conform to his will are directly or indirectly forced out of the sangha by his verbal, emotional and psychological abuse.

 

2. The effects on his students and ex-students:

    a) Instead of compassion, wisdom and joy, there is an atmosphere of fear, confusion and unhappiness.

    b) There is no real trust and openness amongst students.

    c) Long-term brainwashing has disabled students’ capacity to think for themselves and function properly.

    d) Students become more isolated from mainstream society, families and friends over time.

    e) Many are manipulated into giving up their careers and depleting their financial resources. They are pressured into providing free labour for Pathgate and some are burnt out.

    f) They become dependent on Peter Yeung who progressively controls more and more aspects of their lives.

    g) Students who leave the sangha are often psychologically and emotionally traumatised and some have sought psychiatric treatment.

    h) When students leave, Peter Yeung engages in character assassination, painting them as obscured, evil and destined for misfortune. He does this indiscriminately, separating long-term friends and even family members.

    i) Most found themselves alone with no support from other students because Peter Yeung coerces students to isolate them. Even now, we find it difficult to contact ex-students.

    j) Ex-students whom we have managed to contact personally, have reported very negative experiences with him. The commonality of their experience is striking.

    k) Most students who leave are often fearful of speaking up. Some are terrified of spiritual attack, and a few have reported such attacks after they exited Pathgate.

    l) We observed at least two students developing psychosis during their time in Pathgate.

     

3. Questionable qualifications and lack of accountability:

    a) Peter Yeung claims to be a long-time disciple of the late Holiness Penor Rinpoche and therefore affiliated to the Palyul Lineage. However, the official website of the Palyul Lineage and its official list of affiliated global centres does not include Pathgate Institute’s centres. We also note that there is already a Palyul Centre in London, UK.

    b) Previous emails to Palyul and Namdroling Monastery requesting for verification of Pathgate and Peter Yeung’s authenticity were unanswered.

    c) Peter Yeung is a layperson but wears the Tibetan monastic robes, which he calls the “lama robes”. Eyewitnesses confirm Peter Yeung received these robes in an honorary capacity, and not after following the usual course of Buddhist study.

    d) Peter Yeung also seems to have no letters or other certificates of lineage or authorisation to teach from H.H. Penor Rinpoche or Palyul. Yet he presents himself as having the ability to teach the highest forms of Buddhism.

    e) Despite extensive research, we can find no evidence of Pathgate Institute being registered as a charity or religious organisation, yet it claims both affiliations.

    f) There appear to be no real accountability as to where the monetary offerings of students go to.

     

We acknowledge that Peter Yeung has contributed resources to multiple Palyul projects over the years. Many students were also introduced to the Buddhadharma because of him. Unfortunately, it can never justify the harm he has caused directly and indirectly to students and ex-students, all of which we have experienced and witnessed first-hand.

Peter Yeung is not currently teaching Vajrayana Buddhism to his students, and as far as we know, none of his student have taken any formal tantric vows (samaya). It is therefore our conclusion that we have been abused in the name of “Guru Yoga”.

To students and especially ex-students who have been isolated and remained silent till this point in time out of fear, we hope that you can reach out to us to share your story, be part of a growing movement to uncover the harm that Peter Yeung have caused, and to heal from the abuse. We are here to support you.

Unrealistic Fantasy Toxic Bubble

The following is a testimony extracted from an email exchange with a former student “Kate” during the 2010s, reproduced with permission. It has been slightly edited for grammar and clarity. Victims’ names have been changed, details and dates have been redacted to protect their identities.


Hi “Christine”,

Ah, good that you have seen the [Cult Education Institute] forum, so many comments there resonate with what me and “Rachel” experienced.

In early 201? [date redacted] I made the mistake to place my trust in Loday (Marcus) and PY and believe that place was a safe environment to send Rachel for a short length of time for some respite. Instead of respite she was slowly indoctrinated and abused over a ten-month period, right up until our escape on [date redacted].

I best not go into too much detail into what she endured without her permission, but she might be able to tell you herself in time, she is still somewhat fragile from the ordeal, but she has made a remarkable recovery over the last two years.

Personally, I can tell you I visited Rachel in February, just for a few days. The next time I saw her was in July at the start of the Summer “retreat” — and I noticed there was a huge change in her, that I couldn’t quite put my finger on; she didn’t look well, but you, Christine made her smile and her mood lifted in your presence.

I had planned to stay for one week, however, Loday insisted I stay longer and emotionally blackmailed me with the threat of demons if I left. I wanted to leave but I wanted Rachel to come with me.

As I attended the “teachings” It slowly dawned on me that most of what was being said was disturbing. I also slowly figured out I was being lied to, spied on, under some sort of surveillance, blackmailed, expected to obey instructions/orders against my will, and so on.

One lunchtime in August/Sept I went to the library (in secret — remember library & books/reading were banned!) and I happened to bump into the recently “disrobed ani” who PY had thrown out. It was so very sad, she looked so different dressed in plain clothes with her hair grown out, her eyes were red raw and swollen — through crying. She was in a state, but did not disclose any info or confide in me. I did not let on I had seen and spoken to her — I only told Rachel. But I was thinking What The Blazes is going on here?!

To cut another long story short, just before that Summer “retreat” I had managed to secure a new rented home [details redacted] in [location redacted]. [Something serious occurred and] I was instructed not to return to my home to sort things out. So inevitably I was promptly served eviction notice from my landlord [details redacted]. Eventually, end of Sept, and without PY or Loday’s permission, I left Newcastle to go home only to find I was indeed homeless and everything was a mess.

Back home, I packed the boxes up and sorted out what needed to be done. I then returned to Newcastle to get Rachel out. Upon my return Loday was off hand with me, and I think he was told not to speak to me. The fact Loday had interfered in my life to such a degree to contributing making me homeless jolted Rachel into the stark reality of how dangerous, abusive and controlling these people were. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Loday told Rachel that me being made homeless was not a problem — it was karma, nothing to worry about! Loday continued to lie, break promises, snitch/report back to PY all information he could gather etc. As I’ve said before, I realise Loday is a victim and he was obeying PY’s orders with all he was saying and doing. Personally, I didn’t witness any actions of a real Buddhist. Loday was living in an unrealistic fantasy toxic bubble! But like everyone there, he was brainwashed.

Shortly after this, in October a weekend teaching took place and PY called me names (i.e. garbage), verbally abused me, humiliated me and berated me the whole day in front of everyone [details redacted] and threw a heavy stick at my head that slammed against the wall behind me. [Details redacted]

I phoned a friend of mine in [location redacted] to ask for a £25 loan for diesel for my car so that we could secretly pack my car up and quietly escape. I needed the loan for diesel to drive us to [location redacted], because ALL our money had been taken by them — their financial abuse. We had almost completed the task of packing my car up, and one of the Ani’s smelled a rat, and discovered we were preparing to leave. She tried to coerce Rachel to stay, telling her to sit down and wait for PY to return from his trip abroad, she said it was “important to at least listen to PY or ask permission to leave with his blessing”. Yeah, can you believe that! Anyhow, I was in a rush to go, so I bundled the last things in the car and then I ushered Rachel into my car and off we went.

When we reached [location redacted], Rachel found a safe place with the help of an ex-student, and I had to live in the back of my car for seven months over the freezing cold winter, (due to their financial abuse we were so broke it took a while to get on my feet) BUT freezing and starving to death in my car was better than being with that bunch of perpetrators. Eventually, after 7 months of my car, I secured new housing.

Soon after moving to [location redacted], an ex-student told us of their dreadful experiences with PY. We also got in touch with INFORM who were helpful, they were familiar with PY and others had given statements to them about what they had endured. 

It was a series of events to realise this was a sham, and that criminal offences were taking place, and that we were victims of PY and his brainwashed followers.

[Details redacted]

As I have said, what I have written here is the tip of the iceberg, there is SO MUCH more, it is the simple short version, and I have mentioned the episodes that triggered my survival instincts that we had to get safe, we were being brainwashed, manipulated, and relentlessly abused etc.

I hope this has helped you grasp some understanding of why we escaped. 

“Kate”


If you require information and/or support with regards to recovery from cults, here are several organisations you can contact.

UK:
Inform
https://inform.ac/

DialogCentre UK
http://dialogcentre.org.uk

Cult Information Centre
https://cultinformation.org.uk/

Australia:
Cult Consulting Australia
https://www.cultconsulting.org/content/cult-consulting-australia

How Peter Yeung financially exploits his students

Having extracted myself from Pathgate before completely depleting my financial resources, and before completely losing my connection to mainstream society, I can’t help but feel immense relief. I spent much time reacquainting myself with authentic Buddhist teachings and filtering out PY’s distortions, in order to free myself from his brainwashing around the Buddhist concept of merit, karma and utilisation of financial resources. This led to my realisation that PY’s relationship with students is nothing more than an exploitative one.  

Having personally spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to PY’s cause, and having seen others do the same, I can only say that PY’s exploitation of sincere spiritual aspirants to fuel his narcissism is truly horrifying.

In this post, I will focus on the material or financial aspect of PY’s exploitation. But make no mistake, PY exploits his students in multiple ways.


1. PY portrays himself as a sage who is worthy of receiving offerings

PY, throughout the years, hints to his student that he is a sage, and it is essential to stay close to a “man with knowledge of virtue” (his own translation of kalyanamitra).

He recycles quotes such as “you generate more merit by making offering to a single skin pore of your guru than to countless Buddhas in the 10 directions,” and more recently, loves to quote Chapter 11 of the Sutra Forty-Two Chapters (which incidentally, is his retreat topic this year):

Fields of Blessings
The Buddha said:
 “It is better to offer food to a single virtuous person than to one hundred evil people.
 “It is better to offer food to one who observes the Five Precepts than to one thousand virtuous people.
  “It is better to offer food to one stream-enterer than to ten thousand who observe the Five Precepts.
  “It is better to offer food to one once-returner than to one million stream-enterers.
  “It is better to offer food to one non-returner than to ten million once-returners.
  “It is better to offer food to one arhat than to one hundred million non-returners.
  “It is better to offer food to one pratyekabuddha than to one billion arhats.
 “It is better to offer food to one of the Buddhas of the three periods of time than to ten billion pratyekabuddhas.
 “It is better to offer food to one of ‘no thought’, ‘no abidance’, ‘no cultivation’, and ‘no attainment’ than to a hundred billion Buddhas of the three periods of time.”
(Source)

Through this “teaching”, PY achieves 2 objectives. Firstly, he infers that he is a being beyond the level of a Buddha or pratyekabuddhas. And that making offerings to him would generate infinite merit.

I remember clearly the smug look on PY’s face when he said that very last verse. At that time, I berated myself for picking that up, and reminded myself, “Oh, Rinpoche is reflecting to me the conceit in my mind.” This was yet another case of cognitive dissonance. I had objectively observed the recurrent arrogant behaviour by PY, but within the authoritarian cult environment, the only way for me to resolve the conflicting thoughts was to blame myself. Looking back at it now, I feel nothing but pure disgust.

Secondly, PY discourages students from channelling financial resources into anything other than his own activities. Over the years, PY tells his students that doing charity is useless — their money should be used to propagate Dharma instead. The huge irony here is that PY uses his students’ money to do charity under his very own “Pathgate Partnership Programme”, and claims credit all for himself.


2. PY conditions students to believe material offerings is the key to generate merit

Having deceived students into believing he is worthy of receiving offerings, PY then talks about merit, a lot. “There are 3 ways to generate merit,” he would say. “The best way is to put the teaching into practice. Secondly, serve your teacher. And lastly, make material offerings. I was very fortunate to have done all three with H.H. Penor Rinpoche.”

Then he tells his students, “But since you don’t practise, you don’t know how to serve your teacher, the best way for you to generate merit, is to make material offerings. What if you don’t have resources? Give your time and effort.”

That we students are not practising, do not understand how to practise, serve the teacher poorly or lack the opportunity to serve is reinforced by PY constantly.

“Who is practising here? No one!” He would often sneer at us atop his so-called lama seat. PY conditions students to believe that they have such poor spiritual conditions that the only way to ever progress on the path was to make material offerings.

“To understand the teachings, you need merit. You don’t understand the teaching because you do not have enough merit. How to generate merit? Practise generosity, give!”

This, by the way, is totally inaccurate. Students do not understand PY’s teaching because as noted by anon27, PY’s teaching is extremely confusing. I have first-hand knowledge of this, as I had years of listening and then reverse-engineering his teaching style. I can verify that PY’s teaching lacks structure, is blatantly plagiaristic and lacks substance (more about this in future). He has successfully tricked his students, especially the Westerners into believing they are listening to something extremely profound, when most of his teaching content is already widely available on the internet. I even remembered him spending half a teaching session reading a Wikipedia article from his iPad, and then boasting how eclectic his teaching is.

As a result of the conditioning around merit and the practice of giving, I, for many years, threw myself wholeheartedly into PY’s cause, and seen others do the same.

I’ve seen a young entrepreneur with 2 successful businesses gave all that up progressively, travelled around the world with PY, and gradually depleted all her resources over a 7-8 year period. This is the same student who goes shopping with PY for his Prada clothing and shoes (PY’s favourite luxury brand), and two Dior suits for PY’s nephew’s wedding, all using students’ money.

I’ve seen another student who dropped a successful career in the financial industry completely, and spends her time and resources nowadays travelling and supporting PY’s activities and projects; while rubbing her fellow students the wrong way with ever increasing self-righteousness.

I’ve heard how PY instructed a long-time student to sell her investment property years ago, so that she could use the money to travel and attend his classes. The same student, now in middle age, scraps along today in a part-time job and gets put down constantly by PY for her anxiety, fear and cluelessness.

I’ve been told by another ex-student how under PY’s guidance, borrowed money to buy plane tickets to attend his retreat.

I’ve witnessed most of the remaining monks and nuns (around a third of them has left PY) continue to eke out a living working in dead end jobs, only to offer most of their income to PY.

I’ve observed, for the most part, students have become stuck in a rut, because PY destroys their motivation for any material progress in life, unless it has him at the centre of it. I’ve also seen how he set students up for stagnation, by encouraging them to attend more and more of his classes, when they do not have the economic conditions to do so.

As an outsider now, I can’t help but recall how miserable these students actually looked, because PY have programmed them to believe that they are in this economic state due to their poor practice.

I myself, stopped working totally after a few years with PY, because it simply became impossible to hold down a job with the amount of travelling I was doing. “There is nothing more important than attending teaching,” I would remind myself then.

PY had us believe that if we just have enough faith in him, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas would take care of us. “Just look at me,” PY claims, “I’ve never asked for anything in my life, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas took care of everything for me.” (That is a blatant lie by the way, if one examines his history of manipulative behaviour.)


3. PY exploits his students’ feelings of indebtedness to him

Through setting up his students to fail financially, PY utilises the opportunity to present himself as a generous and compassionate teacher. He would display acts of kindness and generosity (always publicly), such as sponsoring group meals, buying clothes, gifts, or giving students money to buy plane tickets to attend his “teachings”.

This is just one of many psychological tricks he plays on students; if they had a normal livelihood and were sensible about how much material offerings to give, none of them would require PY’s gestures of financial support. Instead, students are tricked into perceiving that these gestures as proof that PY is a living Buddha, and feel indebted to him. To “repay the guru’s kindness”, the students offer more and more of their time, effort and resources to PY.

In essence, PY has created an illusory debt bondage, a vicious cycle where PY exploits students’ genuine feelings of gratitude to become richer and more powerful, while students become poorer, more dependent on him, and feel endlessly indebted.

This kind of psychological manipulation is why PY vehemently distances his students from modern psychology, because it will expose his psychopathologies. I heard how one young student became highly distressed because she was specifically “advised” by PY not to choose psychology for her university studies, and she, under the influence of her brainwashed mother, complied.


4. PY targets the financially wealthy, and they get preferential treatment

PY preaches a lot about the Buddhist notion of equanimity, but with distance and time to reflect on his behaviours over the years, I conclude without a shadow of a doubt that there is nothing equal about the way he interacts with students.

Once, on short notice, he flew halfway across the world to “help” a student’s daughter over a weekend. I was puzzled and surprised by this gesture. This student in question was also shocked but due to the feeling of indebtedness as described above, offered an envelope with money that more than covered PY’s air fare. This student has since left Pathgate because he saw through its financial irregularities, but only after tens of thousands of dollars in donations.

Looking back, it is clear to us that PY only did what he did because he knew this student was financially wealthy. This single trip was no more than an investment that will pay off infinitely bigger in future. PY wouldn’t never have done it if it was another student of lesser financial capacity. Circumstantial evidence tells me this was not the first time PY did this either.

Over the years, I have witnessed PY’s pattern of “lovebombing” towards the financially wealthy, and their relatives. I’ve seen him flatter and try to impress them over initial interactions. I remembered feeling puzzled about why PY was extra nice to them. I have personally been the receiving end of one of his tantrums, when he was late for an appointment with a rich foreign student wannabe. I have heard from others how he would rage at students when he failed to impress his potential cash cows, and blamed his students for interfering with his plans.

Once hooked onto PY’s spell, these financially well-off students would be told, “the wealth you have in this life is due to the merit generated in past lives, so make use of it now,” going on to imply that they should devote their resources to him and his projects instead. In general, he implicitly discourages his lay students from finding work, because “mundane work creates negative karma,” unless of course, the work serves PY’s personal agenda.

Personally, I remembered picking up PY’s subtle but unmistakable excitement in his voice when I revealed to him I had passive income. PY had even openly said to me once, “If you do not know what to do with your money, give them to me!”

PY characterised students and potential students in terms of “investability”. That’s what I believe he ultimately sees his students as: investment property, not human beings. My observations leads me to conclude that he only keeps the “good investments” around him. When an “investment” goes bad, he discards them ruthlessly, and then proceeds to utterly destroy them in the eyes of the “good investments”, who in turn feel superior as “practitioners who had not lost their way”, and remain loyal, but actually in an unconscious state of fearful submission.


Conclusion

In sum, PY has been exceptionally manipulative and had distorted Buddhism to financially exploit his students. By shedding light on this, one would realise that this pattern of exploitation is prevalent among cults / high-demand groups — further evidence that Pathgate is no more than a cult of personality around PY.  

I hope that this lengthy post helps elucidate the sinister paradigm past and present students have been subjected to. I pray that current students will one day, in their financial doldrums and emotional misery, snap out of the brainwashing and see the truth about their situation. But I pray even more that most don’t need to reach that sorry state.

A timeline of PY

This is anon27’s timeline of PY. He was a student at Pathgate for 20 years.

1993

PY was a small-time martial arts teacher, with about 6 dedicated students and 20-40 casual students spread across London and Newcastle. He was just trying to break into the alternative healing / wellness world. He’d bought a large house with a pool in the basement with the first, and only, brainwashed person, a lady. The plan was for him to set up some kind of treatment centre there, based around PY’s chi kung power. 

She was super dedicated to him – in love / obsessed with him actually, but he was very casual with her. A few months later, she’d split away, keeping the house. He was very pissed off, and gave no real reasons for what had happened, but said he was “letting it all go”, so we should all just forget about it. We never saw or heard from her again. 

Later it became clear the house / money to buy it had always been hers, which is the real reason why he “let it go”. He’d given us the impression that it was the result of, and next step with, a very successful business he’d been building. It wasn’t.

~1994

PY’s claims of superpowers became much more pronounced, but all from martial arts. He lost all his “normal” students over the next time period, leaving a very small core group. Even within that small group, most if not all of us left PY at at least one point or another, but came back.

~1996

He started the 3 year Chi Kung foundation study. What was striking about it was that despite PY saying there would be exams and tests, there never were. The way he taught it was also a lot of waffle. It took me years to realise that without any kind of testing, none of us knew if we were “doing it right”, there was no sense of advancement, and PY didn’t have to actually teach anything!

This meant nobody really learned anything more than if they had picked up a book, but we were paying top dollar of course. It was all martial arts with supposedly esoteric Chi Kung.

~2000

I became aware he was talking a lot more about Buddhism, and started mentioning his trips to see HH. This is when he openly spoke about infiltrating HH’s circle and presence by pretending to be a photographer. He was proud that he’d found this sneaky way in, because it allowed him into places he otherwise wouldn’t have got into, and to be physically way closer to HH than he would otherwise have been, which also meant other people thought he was a lot more important than he was.

~2002

I went for a class, and things had changed. Prayers had started, as had prostrations to PY. He talked a heck of a lot, then we did a bit of martial arts. It all struck me as extraordinary. “Classes” had become “teachings”, more often. PY had become fixated on creating his enlightened lama persona, and was well on the way to doing so, though martial arts were still a big part of things and he wasn’t quite as inflated as he then became.

~2006

PY had fully become who we now know him as, but wasn’t quite as obvious about it as he is now. At Namdroling, PY was in very bad character throughout, which I later realised was partly because he was manipluating the final steps with various people around the monastery to getting his lama robes, and it wasn’t as easy as he’d thought it would be. He got his lama robes, and to me at least, this marked his terminal decline. He’d become so nasty, I packed up my stuff and left.

2010s

Over the years I fought the brainwashing, reached my conclusions, but still had a few doubts, and wanted to see what had become of the students who had stayed (I figured that if they’d advanced more than me, it would have evidence I was wrong), so I went for a class. It was as I’d remembered, but worse. The students who had stayed hadn’t changed one bit! They’d in fact gotten more suppressed and introverted.

I thoroughly checked afterwards what I’d learned and not learned, and found that PY had spent hours saying nothing useful. I went to one more class, to know for absolutely sure, and that was it for me.

A History of Deceit (1)

I have wondered over the years why Peter Yeung (PY) didn’t have more students from his local area in Newcastle, or the UK for that matter; international students make up the bulk of his current following.

PY brainwashed these students by explaining that locals lack the merit to learn from around an authentic lama. But a simple examination would reveal the more straightforward truth — locals have had 40 years to familiarise themselves with PY’s true character and methods.

Quoting anon27 from this blog post:

Over 20 years, every student we saw that achieve things either in Buddhism, in martial arts, or in life, or who had good relationships in the real world, left Peter Yeung.

Here are some comments extracted from various forums regarding experiences with PY:


With regards to the below underlined statement…

…archived Pathgate webpages reveal a now deleted section called Media Report on Dr. P Young. One can’t help but notice the consistency of writing style in these articles.

The Pathgate website also used to include huge sections devoted to praising PY:
Testimony of The Miraculous Acts of Truth
Reflection On Being A Student of Lama Dondrup Dorje

When I read through them before I became a student, I remembered thinking that the writing all appear remarkably similar in tone, as if they were edited by the same person. I also had lingering doubts about why a so-called Buddhist teacher would need such lavish praise from his students, it just seemed over the top, and unaligned with Buddhist ethics.

Notably, PY instructed these sections to be removed in 2012, as he evolved his persona from martial artist to full-fledged Buddhist teacher — I was around when this happened.


The below post is consistent with the testimony of “J”, who wrote about his experience with PY in the 70s here, regarding his pattern of claiming expertise and authority to teach when he has none:


The following is sent to our Facebook page early this year:

Again, this corresponds to prior testimonies, in this case provided by a forum poster here, who said:

‘Aside from his first name, the only thing I ever heard Penor Rinpoche call Peter was a liar. This was during the summer retreat, where Rinpoche said he did not “take money from liars”, and refused Peter’s monetary offering in front of the entire group of retreatants.’


Finally, a recent comment by an ex-student on this blog post.

Peter Yeung’s history of deception extends back for 40 years. Apologists may believe that critics who speak out are isolated cases — disgruntled ex-students or jealous competitors. But this is simply not true. Given the small size of PY’s following and the secrecy surrounding his organisation, the amount of testimonies and allegations against him, as I have compiled here, should be considered to be extremely significant.

Peter Young barred from entering Australia

After more than a decade of illegally teaching religion and receiving money from Australians, sources have reported to us that “Lama” Dondrup Dorje A.K.A. Peter Young (PY) has been barred from entering Australia during his attempted entry in January 2019. 

PY was stopped by the Australian Border Force for trying to enter the country as a visitor on a UK passport, when he is there to generate income from his distorted brand of Buddhist teaching and Tai Chi classes. He has never applied for a permit to work as a religious teacher all these years. He is a fraudulent Buddhist teacher committing immigration fraud and tax fraud. On top of that, he encouraged his local student host to violate building regulations. This non-compliance placed his student at risk for breaking civil laws. These are all illegal and criminal activities.

We are heartened by the Australian authorities’ response, as this will protect real Buddhists and aspiring Buddhists in Australia from being corrupted by PY. This also stops PY from further harming the current Pathgate students in Australia. Hopefully, this move by the Australian Border Force sends a clear signal that causes the current students to think critically: 

“If my teacher is authentic, why would he be stopped by government authorities?”
“As Buddhists, are we exempted from the laws of the land?”
“What is our teacher’s stance on this and how are his activities and actions reflecting it?”

It is actually common knowledge to students of PY that he operates under the radar of authorities of the countries he “teaches” in. PY explains this as “not drawing unnecessary attention.” He actually boasts about this to students frequently, as this has allowed him to slip in and out of countries quietly, and students to facilitate the movement with large sums of money on his behalf for many years.

Ex-students have come to realise that this is another of PY’s manipulation and brainwashing. For PY to believe that he is an superior spiritual teacher who is above the laws of the land, indicates his blatant lack of respect for them. And to passively encourage and therefore implicate his students into breaking laws for his personal agenda, shows how little care he has for them. These are classic signs of a narcissist and a sociopath. 

Another way to explain this: PY knows that he is a fake, so he cannot establish legal religious entities within the countries he operates in. The bottom line is that he does not have the credentials, recognition, and legitimacy to set up a legally recognised Buddhist centre with financial accountability anywhere in the world, even within his native UK. Any attempt to do so by himself and his students will give the game away.

International efforts are now expanding to get authorities to investigate PY and Pathgate in the various countries he has a presence in. We would like to encourage anyone who reads this and/or has a loved one in Pathgate and is concerned for their social, psychological and financial well-being, to report to your local authorities PY’s and Pathgate’s illegal activities. Your effort in preventing this cult from causing further harm is very much a public service, and is greatly appreciated by survivors of Pathgate.

Peter Y the Martial Artist

The following is a message sent to us through this website by a former student from the late 70s. It has been slightly edited and formatted. It confirms what ex-students have suspected based on their personal experiences: that Peter Young’s character is questionable and he has undermined students for decades.

I’d like to tell you about Peter Y the Martial Artist. (I must apologise as I’m not the most educated but I’m trying to make this readable.)

My name is John and in the late 70’s I read a magazine article about Tai Chi (I believed it and wanted to know more). My best friend’s wife trained as a dancer and her teacher was a Master. I went to his Gym, it was on the corner of Clayton Street and Pink Lane in Newcastle. On the front door was a poster saying what was taught there, as I remember there was Tai-Chi, Shaolin Kung Fu, Ballroom Dancing, Something like Cha Cha Dancing?, Aerobics, Etc.

Anyway, Peter told me that I’d have to train in his Shaolin class as ‘the Internal Arts’ were reserved for his inner school.

Anyway, several months later, I was one of his ‘top’ students but I knew something was wrong (I come from a Travelling Family who fight for fun), there was no contact, and there was no inner school?

Anyway, I parted contact with Peter (however all his talk about Chinese Martial Arts had wetted my appetite) I joined Edmund Ng’s ‘Choy Lay Fut’ club in Newcastle.

Edmund is the guy who does the Lion Dancing at Chinese New Year. A Great Club, with Great fighters (Alan H, proper smashed me up).

Anyway, word got round that Peter was saying he was trained in Choy Lay Fut, Edmund was pretty pi##ed off, Arranged a meeting (it was at the Happiness Inn Restaurant at the Haymarket in Newcastle).

(I now understand about lineage in the Martial Arts, if you teach you state who your teacher was, Peter couldn’t.)

Anyway as I could fight, Edmund took me under his wing, (the bloke is a pretty tough guy) Edmund told Peter never to pretend to teach Chinese Martial Arts again and Peter barked back at Edmund, Edmund then walked up to him and beat Peter up (He beat Peter up bad, there was blood streaming from his left ear).

Peter then had to pay for our meal (there was at least 8 of us) and promised never to tell anyone he knew Choy Lay Fut.

For relevance to your site, Peter never told/taught me about Buddhism, he told me he was a Taoist Master (which I believed) he is pretty charismatic.
I know that some will question this however luckily I have been on his path gate website and you can see his martial arts videos, they are proper dancing videos, (any dancer can emulate any martial arts move only better) (the early ones feature KW, ask him).

Sorry for this ramble but this guy Peter is a nasty bit of work, he really undermined my confidence for the period I was with him.

(Just for reference, as well as training with Edmund I have also trained with a lot more Martial Artists (Peter used to forbid this), for example John Aiken from High Bridge but the best (in my view) is the Hartlepool Boy Mr John Dawson, a true Teacher.

I have given this a LOT of thought. I have read my e-mail and it reads pretty bad, I read like a thug (perhaps I am, I was A Doorman/Bouncer in Newcastle for 22 years). Peter, really tried to convince me that he was a Master and as a teenager I totally totally believed him, but luckily coming from a travelling family (where fighting is the norm) I finally understood he was lying to me. He did mess me up in the late 1970’s (I with “K” was his top student), he is good at twisting/bamboozling things, however I was showing my Uncle some techniques and without my compliance my Uncle spanked me. It took me a year and a half to realize Peter was a phony (but it still pi””es me off). I was lucky (he only wasted 18 months of my life) Please feel free to use any information I provide you with any way you want.

Its hard to admit to yourself that you have been duped. (Peter always used to say that Chinese Masters expected total loyalty. No they don’t!)

J.

Peter Young’s relationship with Palyul and H.H. Penor Rinpoche

Peter Young (PY) has no official connection to Nyingma, Palyul or Namdroling. Past emails to Namdroling verifying his authenticity were unanswered. This is the Tibetan way of saying “he is nothing to do with us”. They refuse to acknowledge PY. I have never seen any real connection with Palyul. PY puts their name on the Pathgate website, and that’s all.

I was there when he started to say he was part of Palyul, and it was like someone having been to a place a few times, then saying “oh I’m part of it”. He is lying about this.

Another poster on this forum said he saw the late Holiness Penor Rinpoche (HH) call PY a liar in front of a group of retreatants. Nowadays, PY simply tells his students that he was “scorned very badly” by HH. He claims he did not know why HH was scorning him, he believes that HH was purifying his karma and using him to teach the other students present. 

Yet the truth is, HH was simply calling PY out for who he is, a liar. For PY to spin this event to paint himself in a good light shows the jaw-dropping lack of shame and remorse.

I was there when PY started his relationship with HH. PY boasted about how he forced himself into HH’s inner circle by pretending to be a professional photographer who just wanted to take pictures (so he had to be allowed to be nearby at all times). I didn’t just hear about it, I saw it happen. Also ask the senior student, he knows.

PY was not a professional photographer, so he was lying to HH and his circle of high lamas, so he could get close to them.  

PY then wanted to self-publish a coffee-table book of HH in order to hide this lie, but since his photographs lacked quality (because he wasn’t a professional), he said that publishing a book like that was too expensive.

HH didn’t like PY, and treated him with disdain. I saw this myself when I was at Namdroling. The times I saw PY with HH, HH did not seem to hold PY in any kind of high regard. In fact, I’d say HH was very careful around PY, and very careful to keep distance from him.

In fact, I heard PY complain about the distance HH kept from him several times. Yes, PY spent time around HH, but I think PY has turned that into “I was his special student”. He’s lying. It’s like someone going to a nightclub a few times with a celebrity, and turning that into “oh yeah we are super special friends”.

HH had patience with PY because PY brought a lot of money to the monastery, and had developed political ties to influential people in the monastery (again through money and also by manipulating the monks’ awe at PY having so many Western students).

I saw HH give PY the lama robes ceremoniously, in return for a lot of money. It was not in recognition of PY’s status. I don’t believe PY when he says HH gave him authority to teach. In Tibetan Buddhism, that kind of authority is always backed up by a signed document from the high lama. The Rinpoche at the official Europe Palyul Centre has such a document.
The Tibetans did this to stop fake gurus. PY does not have such a document from HH. 

When I have seen PY interact with other Buddhists it is not positive. He is a constant state of agitation, and always trying to impress them.

PY also behaves generally in a way that is nothing like how I’ve experienced real Tibetan Buddhist Lamas behave. The only Buddhist teachers who behave like PY, are those who have since been exposed at fakes and abusers. This has been true since the 1970s, it’s all documented. 

The only teachers who talk about using “crazy wisdom” are the fakes – they use it as an excuse to act like arseholes. The real teachers who use crazy wisdom don’t need to explain that is what they are doing, because even when “crazy”, what they do is positive and effective.

PY is neither positive nor effective, so he has to tell people he’s using “crazy wisdom” to explain his behaviour. He needs the excuse of “crazy wisdom”, otherwise he’s just an arsehole. If you take the excuse of “crazy wisdom” from PY, you see immediately who he really is, someone who is nasty to everyone around him, so he can exploit them, so he doesn’t have to get a job.