“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.