PY’s use of the title PhD

I was there when PY was given his PhD, which prompted him to call himself “Dr Young” for several years (as referred to in the above post), until he found himself a new title (Lama).

The PhD was given to him by a Chinese friend of his who ran some kind of education establishment in the USA. If you know something about education in the USA you will know that these establishments basically only have satisfy financial criteria in order to award whatever certificates they want. Needless to say this establishment had no real standing or recognition of any kind. I can’t find any trace of it on the internet now.

This friend of his gave PY the PhD, because PY hosted this friend for a weekend in the UK.

That’s it. That’s the only reason he has a PhD. PY hosted a friend for a weekend.

The PhD is not worth the paper it was printed on, and for PY to call himself “Dr” for many years as a result, once again shows how deceptive he is.

It also shows how little respect PY has for any title or honorific. Many people work for years to get a PhD. He hosted a friend for the weekend, and had no shame in claiming the honour. Amongst the military, this is called “stolen valour”.

I saw this happen myself, directly, and was astonished when PY started to call himself “Dr” the following week, changing his business cards to relfect the new title.

PY’s use of “Lama” and “Rinpoche” follow the same pattern.

Misteaching the Middle Way

Peter Yeung openly reminds his students not to think, and not to read Buddhist texts. What we have come to realise as we free ourselves from his influence, is that if anyone actually utilised their critical minds, done their due diligence and investigated Buddha’s teachings, they would discover that PY does not have the deep understanding of Buddhism he claims to possess.

One of PY’s many distortions and misunderstanding of the Buddhist teachings is his complete misinterpretation of the Middle Way. He is the only “teacher” who teaches the Middle Way as “always moving forward”. Compare that to these two definitions from Tibetan Buddhist sources:

Middle Way (Tib. དབུ་མ་, Skt. madhyamāpratipad) can refer specifically to the Madhyamika school or, more generally, to the Buddha’s teachings as a whole, which present a path that avoids the two extremes of eternalism and nihilism.

Middle Way in the Sutrayana
In the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta in the Pali Canon, the first teaching the Buddha gave after his enlightenment which sets forth the four noble truths, he speaks of the Middle Way, the path of practice that avoids the two extremes of sensual indulgence on the one hand, and severe asceticism on the other. He identifies this way specifically as the noble eightfold path.

Middle way
The view presented in Shakyamuni Buddha’s prajñaparamita sutras and elucidated by Nagarjuna that all phenomena are dependent arisings, thereby avoiding the mistaken extremes of self-existence and non-existence, or eternalism and nihilism. Cf Madhyamaka.

(3) Or simply look up Wikipedia’s entry:

So “always moving forward” is not what Buddha taught. It is actually a reflection of PY’s personality, worldview and method, and also indicates his ruthless and narcissistic tendencies. For PY, it is enlightenment at all costs — the end justifies the means — there is no compromise. This is why he leaves a trail of destruction in his wake, broken and damaged students, disharmony within his sangha, and isolation of students from families, friends and society. This is causing harm, it is not compassionate, and it is definitely not Buddhism.

Example: PY’s projecting his ruthlessness to distort Pureland Buddhism — As long as you succeed in taking rebirth in Amitabha’s Pureland, enlightenment is guaranteed; thereafter you can go back in time to liberate all your fathers and mothers; therefore it is important to distance yourself from your current relationships (especially family), attend as many teachings and retreats as you can, and totally depend on him as a teacher to guide you.

If students knew the widely accepted meaning of the Middle Way, they will understand that PY’s way is not “middle”, it is in fact extreme and nihilistic, one of denial and self-mortification, no different from the Indian ascetic practices experienced and rejected by Lord Buddha.

Peter Young’s teachings and methods

Other facts about Dondrup Dorje’s (Peter Young / PY) that show who he really is:

1. PY teaches that fear is the opposite of hope.

The Dalai Lama says that hope is very important. So do all other authentic spiritual authorities. PY teaches his students to therefore abandon hope if they wish to free themselves from fear. PY does this deliberately to depress the emotional and mental states of his students, to rob them of any sense of a better future for themselves. Because it is based on lies, this method, of course, never works. It just gives PY more and more control over his students as they sink into depression.

In addition, it is agreed by everyone that fear is actually the opposite of love. The opposite of hope is actually despair. PY teaches his students to despair of everything in the past, present and the future, so that he can then present himself as their only salvation. PY teaches his students that if they still feel fear (which he deliberately inflicts on them at every opportunity), then they should work even harder to abandon all hope.

As mentioned previously PY uses fear, and is driven by fear, because he does not know what love is, and is incapable of inspiring love in anyone.

This is why he teaches that fear is the opposite of hope. If his students realised that fear is the opposite of love, then they would quickly realise PY is actually treating them with the opposite of love.

2. PY teaches that human rights do not exist.

The Dalai Lama says that human rights are very important. PY teaches this to give his students the impression that they do not have any human rights, which enables PY to treat them as less than human. PY does this so that when he abuses his students, they feel that is it not a bad thing, that they deserve it, and most importantly that any sense his students might have that being abused should not be tolerated, is an illusion. If human rights do not exist, then what rights could his students claim to have not to be abused?

3. PY teaches that violence against children is correct and should be encouraged.

I (and many other students) witnessed him endorsing violence against child-monks at Namdroling monastery. I witnessed Penor Rinpoche (PR) asking his monks to stop using violence as a form of discipline against the child-monks. PR did this several times.

(It is well known that there is an a very sad, culturally driven, tendency in many Buddhist monasteries in India and Tibet to resort to violence as a means of discipline. The Dalai Lama speaks often about one of his tutors who used violence against him when he was a child).

PY specifically and repeatedly contradicted PR, saying violence was necessary. PY openly stated that PR didn’t know what he was talking about. For PY to contradict the direct teaching, and instruction, of PR shows the lack of sincerity PY has for the person he claims was his root guru.

Additionally, all educators and experts in child behaviour say that, in a nutshell, if an adult finds themselves reduced to using violence against children, they have already lost all authority and respect they might have had. It has also been scientifically proven that motivating children through violence is counter-productive.

In the bigger picture, encouraging violence against Buddhist monks, whether they are children or adults, is utterly in contradiction to all Buddhist (and spiritual) teaching.

PY says violence against child-monks is correct and to be encouraged, in order to make his students feel that when he is violent with them, it is correct and to be expected. PY justifies his violence against his own students, and makes his students feel that PY’s violence is correct, and useful.

4. If you want to know what real, recognised and endorsed by proper authorities think of Peter Young’s methods of teaching martial arts, and the way PY abuses his students, please contact Master Lam Kam Chuen. Master Lam is originally from Hong Kong, as was PY. Master Lam has known, and known of, Peter Young for many years. Master Lam is very clear about the destructive outsomes of PY’s methods. (


Fallout from an initially trivial event amongst C-list celebrities in UK has brought to public light the set of abusive practices now known as “gaslighting”. This is very useful enlanguaging. There’s a clearly expressed article about it here:

“Ten years ago I’d never heard the term “gaslighting”. But I realised something wasn’t right when I began to believe the person telling me that my mind was betraying me. I hadn’t just been lied to, I’d systematically and consciously been manipulated into questioning my own cognisance, driven into a spiral of self-loathing and constant anxiety by the belief that my perceptions were irrational and wrong.

“Gaslighting … is breaking down a person’s trust in their own mind – something so damaging it can take years to recover from. It’s a daily form of coercive manipulation designed to make someone so vulnerable and confused that they rely more on their abuser than on themselves. It exists in the same sphere of controlling behaviour as isolating someone from friends and family, making them entirely reliant on their [abuser]. A common form of gaslighting exists in the chillingly common abuser’s refrain: ‘You can’t leave me – no one will ever love you like I love you’.”

Gaslighting is Peter Young’s primary method at Pathgate.

What’s truly shocking is that Peter Young very openly forces people to question their own cognisance in this destructive way. He claims it is the only method that breaks down the “non-enlightened mind”, and thus open the enlightened mind. His victims believe this, decimating their own lives as a result.

The straightforward proof that this claim is a lie is: Peter Young uses fear and violence. Only someone who knows they are in the wrong, and seeks manipulative power over another, uses fear and violence. There is no need for fear and violence. That is the big lie. Objectively, in observable fact, across the world, throughout all recorded history, and today, in every field, fear and violence closes people off, shuts them down and reduces their capacity for development.

Someone who is working from good intent, and seeks another person’s liberation, uses positive reinforcement. This is scientifically true, psychologically true, pedagogically true, and spiritually true. The Buddha also constantly told his followers to listen to their own minds, and to very beware of those fakers who taught anything else.

Spiritual Narcissist

This is a revealing article excerpted from Prophetic Charisma:

From the stories I’ve heard Peter Young tell about himself, this article about how and why people become “gurus”, describes him accurately. Those who read it will understand, scientifically, precisely why to some people it really looks like PY has metanormal abilities … and that they are fake.

A few excerpts:

“The leader comprehends his environment ‘only as an extension of his own narcissistic universe,’ and he understands others ‘only insofar–but here with the keenest empathy!–as they can serve as tools toward his narcissistic ends’, … the main point is that the charismatic personality possesses an acute perception of the feelings and behaviors of others. Yet he is unable to truly empathize with them, to feel within himself some resonance with their feelings. He interprets what he observes … but not with any genuine opening of the heart. … Lacking empathic responsiveness, he relates his observations to his beliefs rather than to his feelings.”

“It is likely that in such persons the capacity for communication with another’s unconscious … makes them a superspecialist in understanding unconscious states, while at the same time limiting their ability to understand ordinary life. Psychoanalyst Helm Stierlin relates this ability to narcissism.”

“… narcissistic leaders are ‘superempathic’ with themselves … the leader is recognized as charismatic only by those whose needs he addresses and whose values he shares. … his superempathy with his self may appear as an extraordinary insight into the world as they know it.”

“He learns to focus on their hurts … and he urges them to identify their needs with his. … to melt them into his personality, bringing them and their actions under his control. … As his followers change, he may develop a steadily increasing contempt for them … .”

“He is sustained by his subjective heroics–he is a legend in his own mind–and he tends to perceive other people as types and clichés rather than as individuals. When they behave differently from how he wills, proving that they are not part of his self, he feels rejected and treats their behavior as a personal affront, a frightening and mysterious disturbance to his solipsistic universe. Thus the prophet suffers when his reality is exposed as fantasy.”

“The feeling is of watching a pattern of behavior that is consistent but strained … too persuasive and reassuring to be real. … as if, in needing to have an answer for everything in order to appear omniscient, the leaders had organized much of their personalities into bundles of memorized ‘response sets’ … At times he may be remote, at other moments powerfully present, and later still, just peculiar.”

All of PY’s victims (“students”) have witnessed for themselves how PY epitomises these last 3 paragraphs. Even his most fundamentalist followers would agree they describe him. In fact, if he read this, I think PY himself would absolutely agree this is an accurate description of him, and how he feels when anyone doesn’t obey his every command. To him, that pain he feels when he is not obeyed is proof of his godlike status. The worse he feels about the people around him, the more godlike he is. He really is a legend in his own mind! Donald Trump is another good example of this.

The old nursery rhyme: “I’m the king of the castle, and you’re the dirty rascal” comes to mind. Perhaps it resonates with children when they are developing through (natural) infant narcissism into healthy sense of self, what the article summarises as ” … reconcil[ing] the grandiosity of ‘Mommy and I are one’ with his need to achieve a secure … identity’. PY never developed beyond this nursery-rhyme-level of human interaction. He does not have a secure identity. That’s why he HAS TO constantly show everyone that he is the king of the castle, and why he HAS TO constantly show everyone that they are dirty rascals. This is a very good example of what the Buddhists identify as karma. PY literally cannot stop himself from doing this, due to the choices he has made in his life.

One can have compassion for such a stunted, pain-filled, fear-driven person; but also we need to recognise they are extremely dangerous to everyone around them. PY is a child in permanent tantrum, but with 60+ years of practice in making sure others share the torment of his internal experience. That sharing is what you really get for your money when you go to one of his teachings. He truly believes you deserve it.

Emerging from the Pathgate Cult

A couple of quotes highly relevant to the Pathgate cult from this webpage on The Difficulties of Emerging from a Cult:

“If they have to start thinking for themselves they will have to deal not only with the pain they ran away from in the first place, but also the realization that they were being manipulated and abused by Castaneda for years as well.”

I had to overcome this difficulty in myself, and I have seen other people PY has brainwashed stop themselves from getting free because of this precise combination of reasons. PY directly and openly commands his students: “Don’t think”.

“The exclusion of family and other outside contacts, rigid moral judgments of the unconverted outside world, and restriction of sexual behavior are all geared to increasing followers’ commitment to the goals of the group and in some cases to its powerful leader.”

This is precisely how Pathgate, PY’s organisation, works. I have witnessed PY, openly and clearly, tell his students that to go home at Christmas actually harms their families.

The warped logic goes like this:

The student is not enlightened, so going home for Christmas will bring unenlightened energy back to their families. Since it is unenlightened, it is cause for suffering. Therefore, the individual is actively choosing to bring suffering on their loved ones if they want to go home for Christmas.

Instead, PY says, the student will learn to be enlightened if they attend PY’s teachings over Christmas, so it is more loving towards one’s family to stay away from them and attend further brainwashing sessions.

Note, PY curses the individual just for wanting to go home for Christmas. This way, even if the individual wasn’t planning to go home, he causes everyone to feel bad.

Actually going home for Christmas is, of course, in PY’s judgement far far worse, and results in massive negative reception from group members when the individual returns. Group members actively participate in this negativity because they are jealous of the people brave enough to have gone home.

“Some former cult members were happy during their membership, gratified to submerge their troubled selves into a selfless whole.”

This is why PY’s students, particularly the senior ones, are extremely dangerous. They know that PY is a fake. They prefer to sacrifice other people to PY’s predation, than face their own troubled selves.

“… they had felt themselves powerless to carry out their desire to leave because of psychological and social pressures from companions and officials inside. They often speak of a combination of guilt over defecting and fear of the cult’s retaliation — excommunication — if they tried. In addition, they were uncertain over how they would manage in the outside world that they had for so long held in contempt.

I have witnessed this amongst PY’s victims. They feel that the outside world is another planet. Other posters on this thread illustrate how deeply and effectively PY programs his victims to fear retaliation for leaving.

“They get you to believing that they alone know how to save the world

PY says that only he knows how to save the world (gain enlightenment). He openly states that no other teacher should be listened to, no other books read, even if fully endorsed by Buddhist authorities, because either:

1. PY says it better.
2. Everyone else is wrong (despite being endorsed).
3. The student is so stupid that, even if they miraculously come across a source that is not simply wrong, she/he will misunderstand everything that has not been pre-vetted by PY.

PY constantly and vehemently warns his students against seeking to learn from any other source than him. He states it will confuse the student, and cause them to lose any wisdom / blessing they gain from PY. PY says this can happen even after years of studying with him: one wrong book read and the student has to start again from zero!

What PY is actually acknowledging here is that if anyone compares what PY teaches to what real Buddhists teach, there will be confusion – because what PY teaches is fake.

“Many ex-cult members fear they will never recover their full functioning. Learning from the group that most of those affected eventually come to feel fully competent and independent is most encouraging for them.”

I have had this fear, and I can testify that the journey to competence and independence is both possible and hugely rewarding. It’s worth it, and it does get better.

As we advance, we see clearer and clearer that these predators are pathetic individuals who failed at life and making any friends. That human truth frees us faster and faster.

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.