Peter Yeung’s use of the title “Rinpoche”

Peter Yeung (PY) will say he doesn’t use it, that it is his students who insist on calling him that. The thing is, by allowing, and passively encouraging (which we’ve seen him do), his students to call him Rinpoche, he is proving his lack of respect for, and understanding of, Tibetan Buddhism.

In Tibetan Buddhism, Rinpoche means something more than the translation “Precious one”. An idea of its meaning in Christian terms would be “cardinal”. The title is always and only bestowed by higher authorities. It is like “Tulku” in many respects. One cannot announce oneself a Tulku, only recognised authorities can do so. Having written evidence of being recognised as such is entirely the norm, and has been for centuries. For this reason, and unless he can produce evidence to back it up, he shouldn’t be allowing you to call him that.

“Rinpoche” is also not an honorific students can bestow out of respect or affection. In Tibetan Buddhist culture, students do not have the right to bestow this title. It would be like a congregation of a village church starting to call their local vicar “cardinal”. PY knows this very well.

That PY allows his students to do this is damaging, because it reduces the value of the office, and gives him status he has not earned.

When you hear of a real Rinpoche, you will think they are like PY. They are not. Simply on the practical level of studies undertaken and authority awarded by objective hierarchies, they are far more than he is. In the Tibetan Buddhist system they are also thought to have special status, similar to Tulkus.

When others hear PY is known as a Rinpoche, they will ascribe to him all sorts of authority and recognition he does not have. People will also assume a level of accountability that PY does not operate within. Rinpoches are held very closely accountable to their hierarchies, their lineages and often responsible for entire monasteries of people. Calling him Rinpoche means, certainly within Eastern cultures, people will assume that a certain level of external assurance has been applied to PY. It simply has not been.

It should also be noted that one of PY’s Western students told me that they started to call him Rinpoche only after students from Eastern cultures joined the group, and were calling him that. The Westerners felt they would be seen to be showing less respect than the Easterners if they didn’t start calling him that too, because it is one of the highest titles around. It didn’t arise out of joyful overwhelming feelings of admiration.

However, to truly understand this, we need to understand something about the reality in Eastern cultures:

Because “Rinpoche” (like cardinal) indicates very high social status, there is a big temptation to ascribe the title to one’s teacher. It’s the difference between having the local priest or a cardinal as one’s spiritual director, if one was Roman Catholic, and lived in a Roman Catholic country.

In the East, Lamas are very common. However, in those cultures, if one can say one’s teacher is a “Rinpoche”, then there’s an immediate increase in status that has real-world impacts. It’s virtue-signalling (and self-reassurance), as a Rinpoche would only pick top students to work with. It’s also a message about influence: direct access to a Rinpoche means the person will likely have other high-level connections. In the East, these things are super important. So, how much self-interest there was in this, should be carefully considered.

The bottom line is that it’s actually disrespecting Tibetan Buddhism to call PY Rinpoche. Whether that’s culturally relevant in the West, or not, can be debated. What can’t be debated is that if he was who he says he is, then he wouldn’t allow you to call him Rinpoche. He knows it’s not a title he can accept without betraying some fundamental, if invisible to most people, rules. In the same way, if he was who he says he is, he simply couldn’t advocate violence, or use aggression as much as he does. These facts expose a hypocrisy that cannot be denied.

He does claim plausible deniability, by saying his students call him Rinpoche of their own volition… but is this really credible when he is so aggressively controlling in every other respect? To us, it just reveals a deeper level of deception.

Objectively, that he allows his students to call him Rinpoche shows his need for external affirmation overrides his respect for the system he says he is part of. This tendency becomes dangerous when allied to cult-building techniques.

Do not fear Peter Yeung

To help anyone who still fears Peter Yeung, I thought it might be helpful to give more insight into Peter Yeung’s fundamental emotional and psychological weakness.

I hope this shows why he should be pitied, not feared. And also why he should be avoided.

Peter Yeung himself recounted the story that one of his teachers told him, over 25 years ago, to forgive his father. His response was to proudly declaim: “My father was never there, so there’s nothing to forgive!”

With that profoundly ignorant dismissal, he inevitably descended into playing out the role of the shadow-father: bullying, violent, aggressive, obsessed with status and being worshipped, helplessly drawn towards power for the sake of power, uncaring of the hurt he inflicts on others, and despicably cruel to those who place their trust in him.

Peter Yeung treats his students like fools, because he knows within himself that he is just a damaged child. Peter Yeung knows that anyone who seeks to learn from a damaged child must be a fool.

This is why Peter Yeung cannot stand any criticism, however constructive, however honest, however positive, and however much good it will do him.

Any hint of anything less than total worship drives him insane with rage, because to him, all he feels in that moment is his father’s (perceived) rejection of him.

I once saw him get into a literally insane cycle of denial, becoming more and more aggressive at every turn, when a very loyal (totally brainwashed) student was trying to very politely and gently tell him that there was a typo in a document. This student kept pointing out the typo because in her brainwashed state, she couldn’t conceive that Peter Yeung was more interested in being worshiped than seeing the truth of this tiny, insignificant error. He finally overwhelmed the student with his aggression, and she fell silent, entirely confused.

Peter Yeung was literally unable to even accept the presence of a typo, as it hinted he was not perfect. He didn’t think about this – he immediately reacted with violence, and locked into that, as his damaged child was frozen in agony inside himself.

Peter Yeung cannot stop himself from denigrating his students, both in class, and to anyone around him. I witnessed a Tulku gently reproach him for being so mean to his students, to which Peter Yeung reacted angrily (which is very bad behaviour towards a Tulku), and then went into an unstoppable rant about how worthless his students were. Peter Yeung went as far as to say that his students might give the impression of not being entirely worthless, but to trust him on this, as he knew his students better than anyone. The Tulku fell silent.

Peter Yeung is entirely blind to the fact that any teacher who feels that he must constantly denigrate his own students, because he genuinely believes them to be incompetent morons despite years of “learning at his feet”, is, by definition, a bad teacher. That this shows him to clearly be a bad Buddhist, and a bad human being, also doesn’t ever occur to him.

Peter Yeung is to be pitied, for he is entirely driven by the damaged child within himself that still cries out for his father’s love and approval. He experiences no satisfaction and no love. None of his students love him, they all fear him. Peter Yeung feels that fear is the best he can possibly hope for from anyone, because he cannot experience love, because that damaged child within himself feels eternally rejected, and is eternally in fear of further rejection.

Peter Yeung only ever feared his father, because his father was always absent, and so Peter Yeung always felt rejected or the threat of rejection. In taking on the role of a father figure to his students, Peter Yeung has no experience of love to draw on.

Peter Yeung is tortured by the fear of the damaged child that the reason his father was absent was because his father did not love him.

Penor Rinpoche consistently refused to allow Peter Yeung to show off his martial arts or other skills to him, despite Peter Yeung doing everything he could to get the chance to. I heard Peter Yeung say that he’d been trying for years to get the opportunity to do so, and failed every time. Peter Yeung complained bitterly about this, and could not understand why Penor Rinpoche showed zero interest in Peter Yeung’s “powers” – to the point where Penor Rinpoche would ‘accidently’ miss appointments during which Peter Yeung planned to show-off in front of him.

Peter Yeung is a huge disappointment to his teachers, his students, and himself. And, deep down, he knows it. This is why he has become more and more erratic, desperate and despotic over the years. He is locked in a self-destructive cycle by the damaged child he clings onto inside himself. He drags everyone around him into that destructive cycle, because he cannot face the essential emotional truth of his life and come to peace with it.

The only dangerous thing about Peter Yeung is that he believes the big lie he has told himself: that if he attains enough power over others (by any means he can) his daddy might finally love him. This is why he constantly lies to everyone around him, and even to Penor Rinpoche, as witnessed by another commentator in the other thread about Peter Yeung on this forum.

No matter what one thinks of Penor Rinpoche, to anyone who knows something about Tibetan Buddhism, and Tibetan culture, to be called a liar, in public, by the person who one calls his root guru is perhaps the most shameful thing that can possibly happen. It really is very clear evidence of who Peter Yeung is.

The Chinese community in Newcastle, who Peter Yeung has tried to engage with and impress many times over the years, refuse to have anything to do with him. The Tai Chi Union of Great Britain refuse to have anything to do with him. From the little information I have, the Tibetan Buddhist community, including Palyul, Nyingma and Namdroling Monastery, refuse to have anything to do with him now that Penor Rinpoche is gone. Every institution (like Newcastle University) or group who hired out spaces for Peter Yeung to teach in over the years, more or less quickly refused to continue to rent him their space.

All the students I saw over the years who had some talent and intelligence, got as far away as possible from him, as quickly as possible, after they’d spent some time with him. Everyone of any value, from every walk of life, refuses to have anything to do with him.

The only students who remain are brainwashed, obsessed with obtaining power themselves, or in such fear that they dare not leave. These are the people who surround him. Peter Yeung is very clever, and cannot fail to see and understand this. Peter Yeung is however, entirely blind to the reason for it. He has told himself that it is because he is such an advanced being that no one understands him.

Peter Yeung therefore lives out a life of constant rejection by anyone who could give him a sense of self-worth. He relives again and again the fundamental rejection-trauma he experienced through the absence of his father when he was a child (and throughout the rest of his life). This is his own personal hell, that he creates everyday for himself.

The last 15 or so years he has built a new persona based on his supposed “perfect” understanding of Buddhism… yet he even gets 4 Noble Truths totally wrong. The 4 Noble Truths are the most basic and easy to understand introductory level of Buddhist thought. A child can understand them. Peter Yeung gets them totally wrong because he has interpreted them to feed his lust for power.

Peter Yeung claims to be a Vajrayana expert (as well as Hinyana and Mahayana expert, of course) … and yet is still ridiculing his own senior student, in public. The senior student has been with him for more than 20 years. Peter Yeung is so blind to his own shortcomings that he cannot see that if his senior student “deserves” this ridicule as part of “Vajrayana advanced practice”, then it is Peter Yeung who is at fault, who is incompetent.

Peter Yeung is no different to Donald Trump – reduced to puffing himself up with blatant lies backed up by the most puerile bullying of those around him… and totally unaware that anyone with half a brain recognises him clearly, and with ample data-driven evidence, as a total fool and incompetent. Like Donald Trump, Peter Yeung is dangerous, and to be avoided, but at the same time pitied for being a sham of a man.

This is the truth of it.

Has Peter Yeung really helped you?

We agree that Peter Yeung does provide some help. Very sadly, his help is corrupt. His objective to is to earn money from you, and gain total power over you, so you keep paying him and worshiping him. This means that the help he has given you comes at a very high price, a price that real Tibetan Buddhists do not ask anyone to pay. He doesn’t help so you advance, he helps so that you pay him money and worship.

The “generosity” Peter Yeung displays is always an investment. He gives so people feel in debt to him, and pay him back more over time. He is very clever at giving just enough to impress a person, or other people, then extracting huge payback in terms of money or worship. This is the same as a fisherman who puts bait on a line. This is not generosity.

As well as extorting money and worship from you, because Peter Yeung uses fear, he actually stops his students moving towards enlightenment. That is the hidden price. Look at the senior students. They live in fear of Peter Yeung. This is the opposite of enlightenment.

His help is also, from our research and wider experience, at a very basic level. He deliberately keeps his teaching to a very basic level so his students do not advance, which means they end up paying him money for a long time. He then blames his students for their lack of advancement, which I’m sure you’ve seen and experienced. This also is deliberate, to ensure you keep paying him money and worship, and also gives the student low self-esteem, which directly blocks the path to enlightenment. Real Tibetan Buddhist teachers give their students high self-esteem, it is in all the texts. This is because, exactly as the Buddha says, a student needs high self-esteem to achieve enlightenment: the person has to feel they are worthy of enlightenment (precious human birth). This is the same in any field of endeavour: a person must believe they can reach the goal, or they simply will not reach it. Peter Yeung programs his students, using standard brainwashing and terror techniques, to believe they deserve nothing. They therefore achieve nothing.

Something that took us a long time to understand, and is again confirmed by other people’s experiences who after some time found their master to be corrupt, is that the student does advance, even if the master is corrupt. Spending hours in prayer and meditation, and living as best as you can as a Buddhist, has good effects. This is your energy at work within Buddhism, it has nothing to do with Peter Yeung. Peter Yeung makes it seem to all his students that any advances you make are because of him. The truth is, advances you make in your development are because of your work! This is clear in all the Buddhist texts.

All the students we’ve seen over the years who make progress in Buddhism, leave Peter Yeung because they all come to the same conclusion: they start to see that he is corrupt. This is another reason Peter Yeung deliberately does his best to stop his students advancing. He knows that if they advance, they will see through his lies, and stop paying him money.

The people Peter Yeung “helped” would have gotten much better, much quicker, and paying much less money, if they had studied with someone else. They say Peter Yeung helped them because they are ignorant of how much better quality help there is out there; also to make it seem like their investment of money time and worship was worthwhile (no one likes admitting they’ve bought a piece of shit); and also makes it seem like they are “improved” (so better than they were before, and by implication, probably better than you!).

If you look at his senior students – has he really “helped” them? What have they actually been “helped” to do?

Worship Peter Yeung, yes.
Pay money to Peter Yeung, yes.
Give up their lives to Peter Yeung, yes.

But has anyone who Peter Yeung “helped” actually achieved anything positive and real? No.

We’ve seen his students over many years, and they have actually become worse human beings over time. Look at their lives: they live in modern slavery in those houses, paying all their money to Peter Yeung, every moment of their day controlled by Peter Yeung, and living in constant fear of Peter Yeung.

This is not Buddhism, and it is not “help”.

Look at the students: do they achieve their goals in Buddhism and in life? Do they have good relationships with people in the real world?

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.

We all did this because we all realised he was stopping us from achieving enlightenment, not helping us. We all realised he was sabotaging our relationships in the real world (particularly with family). We all realised that he would attack and belittle any skills we had or developed, making us dependent on him.

Buddha encouraged all students to ask real questions, all the time. It is our responsibility as Buddhists to ask questions, and get real answers. You’ll probably have a lot of questions as you see the truth more clearly about the Pathgate cult, and might need some moral support. We’re here for you.

For many years I was “Lama” Dondrup Dorje’s loyal student…

We will be transferring the information posted on the Cult Education Institute forum by one of us ex-students:
https://forum.culteducation.com/read.php?12,138276

Here is the first post.

For many years I was Peter Young’s (“lama” Dondrup Dorje) loyal student.

My opinion is the following:

1. He is a very dangerous, highly educated, exceptionally skilful, narcissist.

2. Pathgate Institute is definitely a cult. It has zero endorsement from the real Buddhist community.

3. He has developed extraordinary personal power through martial arts, esoteric practices, and long- term practice of brainwashing / social conditioning techniques.

4. He is totally ruthless. He will do anything, to anyone, including short-term positive actions, and ingratiating himself with real lineages, in order to achieve a goal.

5. He is obsessed with achieving a sense of self-worth through being superior to others. Despite his undoubted personal achievements (gaining power over others), he is tortured by a sense of self-worthlessness. This drives him to achieve extraordinary powers, and to degrade everyone around him.

6. He feels genuinely justified in the same way all dictators feels genuinely justified. At any moment, anything he decides is good, is good; and anything he decides is bad, is bad. What he decides is good or bad, or the people that he decides are good or bad, change at his whim.

7. He totally believes power = spiritual blessing.

8. He draws people in by pretending to offer to share the secrets of his power and skill. In 20 years, I have never seen this offering ever bear fruit. His senior students are allowed to advance just enough that they’re not totally ridiculous at first sight, giving away the game. 5 minutes with any of them is enough to see their seeming achievements are build on sand.

9. When “teaching”, he shares information in a way that guarantees nobody understands him, then blames the student for failing to learn, making the student feel worthless, or karmically cursed.

For example: He said “I don’t care how much you’ve been abused in your life, as long as you are angry about it, it will happen again”. This is, effectively, in a very limited way, a true statement. However, First: anyone who has been abused will react very badly to this, it is abuse on abuse. No abuse victim will learn a single thing from knowing this. Second: He doesn’t say how to address the anger one feels about being abused. This leaves the abuse victim in a terrible state of guilt for feeling angry about being abused. Again, abuse on abuse. Third: This opens the student to further abuse, as the student starts to try to not feel angry about being abused, in order to not attract further abuse. This, of course, enables further abuse to happen, which is Peter Young’s objective.

10. He loves to ridicule his students individually in front of the group. Public-shaming is one his favourite things. He claims it does the individual good, in precisely the same way the Communist Chinese do.

11. He becomes extremely jealous of any of his students who do achieve some kind of advancement through sheer struggle amidst the tide of his wrong-guidance, and sabotages them, either directly or indirectly.

12. If he fails to sabotage them, or when sabotaged they manage to keep some sense of self-worth, he drives them away from the group, saying they are (in summary) evil.

13. He splinters his student’s sense of self, and isolates them, claiming that this is the way to practice the level of dedication that leads to success. He believes this to be true, because it is what he did.

14. He fully expects his students to be as ruthless and narcissistic as he is. If they are not, they deserve to be exploited to the max.

15. None of his students show any signs of success as a result of what they “learn” from him, on any level. The students who have been with him for a long time are all very damaged, sad, scared and confused people. I’ve personally been around them for a very long time, and they become actually non-functioning in any normal situation.

16. His method, both overtly and covertly, is to make his students utterly dependent on him. He calls this “Guru Yoga”, totally debasing and corrupting a real Buddhist practice.

17. He does share some wisdom, some insight, some healings etc., but only enough to keep people paying him money and adoration, and generate more for himself. He does it only for his own good. He is exceptionally clever at this. Most of the actually real information he shares can be obtained from basic YouTube video or any basic self-help book. He charges a fortune for this information, and students pay it, because these occasional glimmers of real information seem like diamonds compared to the confusing nonsense he gives out the majority of the time.

18. In 20 years, I have not seen one of his students begin to teach. Those who are in charge of centres around Europe and the world do not teach for themselves in this sense. They are puppets. Every single one was appointed as centre-leader to open new income streams, not because they are qualified.

19. He programs his students to be self-hating, and to lose all motivation for anything that doesn’t have him at the centre and goal.

20. He is utterly convinced that he is doing the right thing, and that anyone who doesn’t agree with him or his methods is (in summary) evil, or at minimum in a state of pitiful delusion. He convinces his students of this. He rewards those students who buy into this view by making them feel superior to everyone else.

21. He is exceptionally clever with what he says, and how he acts, so that nothing can be “pinned on him”, including pretending to be enlightened without ever actually saying the words. His students all think they’re being insightful by seeing him as enlightened when he doesn’t explicitly say so. He makes them think they’re “seeing with wisdom”, so he doesn’t have to say it.

22. He feeds off his students, and at the same time ridicules them at every turn. Part of that ridicule is getting them to believe he is enlightened without ever saying it. He, very clearly once one sees what he’s doing, thinks it’s hilarious his students are so gullible as to imagine he is enlightened, without him having to convince them in any way.

23. He bought his lamahood with cash and favours, it was not earned. I was there when it happened.

24. He does not teach Buddhism, he uses Buddhism as a frame to advance his narcissism.

25. I have never seen one of his students achieve anything of any worth or value that they wouldn’t have achieved by themselves, and much quicker if they’d been away from his influence. I have seen many of students become much less capable at things they used to be good at.

26. He truly believes, and openly states that “fear makes the world go round”. This, in one phrase, explains everything about him, his insecurities, and his methods. That he doesn’t even hide this as his world-view is another example of how he ridicules his students – he has them so brainwashed they don’t realise he is subjecting them to this paradigm.

27. Every one of his students is terrified of him. He makes them think this is the correct psychological position for accelerated learning.

28. He attracts students with the promise of power. If you are attracted to him, be warned he will use your lust for power to trap you in powerlessness.

I learned a lot from my time with him.

However, it is the kind of learning one gets from horrible experience.

In that sense it is valuable, but I only just managed to get out with my mind intact. It’s taken me years to be able to speak up on this forum.

The time and money I spent on him, if spent elsewhere, would have advanced me 1000 times further.

I have seen many others destroyed, burnt-out or succumb to what can only be described as a kind of deliberate imbecility.

STAY THE F**K AWAY FROM HIM.

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.