Uncovering the truth about Pathgate & Lama Dondrup Dorje

A tradition ostensibly predicated on principles of compassion and wisdom should never tolerate abuse. Teachers who attempt to cloak their perversity and cruelty as “enlightened activity” should be exposed and we need to comfort their victims, not denigate them.

– An ex-monk and ex-Buddhist

This website is created by ex-followers of “Lama” Dondrup Dorje (Peter Yeung / Young) from the so-called “Pathgate Institute of Buddhist Studies” based in Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK. Some of us were long-time committed and devoted followers 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 followers, 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 to his followers 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 followers, usually in public.

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

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

    d) He has engaged in sexually predatory behaviour towards his female followers.
    e) He manipulates followers into giving up their careers, family commitments and priorities, and devote themselves to him.
    f) His teaching sessions usually degenerates into boasting about his abilities and accomplishments, while denigrating his followers .
    g) He discourages his followers from reading Buddhist texts, and having contact with or learning from other teachers.
    h) Any follower who does not conform to his will are directly or indirectly forced out of the community by his verbal, emotional and psychological abuse.

 

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

    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 followers.

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

    d) Followers 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) Followers who leave the community are often psychologically and emotionally traumatised and some have sought psychiatric treatment.

    h) When followers 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 social support because Peter Yeung coerces current followers to isolate them.

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

    k) Ex-followers are often fearful of speaking up. Some are terrified of spiritual attacks, and a few have reported such attacks after they exited Pathgate.

    l) Current and ex-followers suffer from mental health issues, some of which are severe e.g., psychosis.

     

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 followers go to.

     

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

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

To those who have been isolated and remained silent until now, we look forward to reconnect with you and join a growing movement to uncover the harm that Peter Yeung have caused, and to heal from the abuse.

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