Fact Check: Top 10 Success Stories

How successful are Geshe Michael Roach’s top students? What is the #1 lesson to learn at his Sedona College of International Management?

Since 2009 when he founded the Diamond Cutter Institute, Geshe Michael Roach and his top students have traveled the world to teach “the ancient secrets for having everything in business and life.” Focusing on wealth, health, and relationships, Geshe Michael starts in each country with a seminar on how to use principles of karma to plant “oxygen money”, and introduces people to the idea of having money in abundance, readily available like the air we breathe:

This system really works. For us money can become like oxygen… I don’t have to worry about the air, there’s enough air… If I want to breathe, I just {inhale} and the air will come in… When I want money, I just use the Diamond Cutter seed system, and then money comes to me.” 6/2015

In one country after another, he tells the audiences that his seed system can help them achieve financial freedom and much more:

Tonight we’re going to talk about oxygen money… In 15 minutes I will teach you how you can make $250 million business, have a beautiful partner, have energy and save the world…just listen! …Oxygen money, beautiful partner, youth, and inner peace — you don’t need to choose, you can have them all.” 7/2015

He frequently mentions the ease of using four steps in his system to plant karmic seeds for amazing success:

We will teach you four steps for creating any result you would like in your life. You can achieve great corporate success and personal success… It is the technique I used to help build a $250 million company, and you can use it, easily.” 10/2015

Did his four-step method actually “help build a $250 million company”, and will his audiences succeed easily? In 10 cases, we examine how well the method has worked for him and his top students.

Case 1: Could Geshe Michael use his method to solve his own marital and financial problems? When his secret marriage to Christie McNally broke down in 2009 and they had “$30,000 in credit card debt and little else”, he wrote a letter to students and supporters asking for money to buy him a new home: “… I would like to unashamedly ask if any of you would consider helping me to purchase the Rainbow House, with either a gift or a loan.” Having failed to make oxygen money to pay for his own house, he now owes people a debt of gratitude:

‘Home’ for me means Rainbow House… This place was bought and paid for by a huge group of my friends and students about 5 years ago, and I would like once more to express my grateful thanks to each of you who contributed. This is the first time in my life that I have had my own home, and it means a lot to me.” 12/2014

Since he could not even improve his personal finance on his own, did his “karmic management” really help his Jewish bosses build a multi-million dollar company?

Despite his secret marriage ending in divorce and the ex-wife calling him a bitter and “formidable enemy”, Geshe Michael had the chutzpah to write The Karma of Love and give talks titled “Perfect Relationships” and “Relationships Never End”. If his method really works, why did it not save his marriage or prevent “a huge number of break ups” among his most advanced students?

Just like in other countries, he told an audience in Vietnam last year:

People ask me: “Can I use this system in my relationships, in my family or can I use it in my business relationships?” Yeah, you can use the same seeds, same principles. Some people ask me: “I have a bad back or I have some stomach problem. Can I use these seeds to solve my health problems?” Yeah, you can use these seeds for everything.” 6/2015

Besides his failed marriage, it’s obvious that the seed system did not work as claimed: A) On their 2006 trip to India, despite having tried his method and everything that they could think of, Geshe Michael and McNally once again suffered from “Delhi belly”, the gastrointestinal problem that had plagued them in all previous trips: “we were very sick there, and there’s nothing you can do.” B) During their marriage, he tried using his method to get the breakfast that he wanted, but failed and gave up after years of working on that simple goal. C) In 2010, he entered a competition to be a talk show host but failed the audition round. D) He next auditioned to give a TED talk (not TEDx) but again failed to get selected.

Despite such undeniable failures, Geshe Michael and the Diamond Cutter Institute (DCI) market his failed system to unsuspecting audiences around the world. Avoiding Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States, he and his “DCI global team” go to many non-English speaking countries in Asia, Europe, and Latin America to hold DCI seminars and workshops. Each of 12 DCI levels of training begins with his introductory talk (usually about 30 euros a ticket) and is followed by two days of pricey workshop and retreat. In Germany, tickets start at almost 700 euros for DCI Level 1 and 1300 euros for DCI Level 9, premium tickets that provide personal attention from Geshe Michael cost 3000 euros.

Cases 2 & 3: Ignoring Geshe Michael’s divorce and “the huge number of break-ups that happened constantly” at Diamond Mountain, Nick Lashaw lavished praise on Geshe Michael’s Karma of Love: “A wonderful reference for all of your relationship needs! This book is a brilliant elucidation on the workings of karma and how to apply it to your life!” Lashaw and his wife Erin teach at DCI workshops and seminars in many countries and according to their GoFundMe page, “work so hard to help others realize their dreams”. Without a hint of irony, the well-educated couple stated that they had found “the house of their dreams”, but would “need a little help to come up with the down payment on the house, and thought to humbly ask” for donations. As DCI teachers and coaches, don’t they know what seeds to plant to make themselves well-off? Or has the seed system failed because it is rooted in Geshe Michael’s misinterpretation of how karma works? Continue reading

Self-delusion: a proof of concept

Why did Geshe Michael Roach abandon his method?

In 2005, when Geshe Michael Roach and Christie McNally were still married and eating off the same plate, he presented a proof of concept of how his “karmic management” method could be applied to solve everyday relationship issues. In a talk titled “Spiritual Partners: the Goddess Code,” Geshe Michael spoke of his daily predicament at breakfast time: he wanted plain Cheerios but she loved adding strawberries to the cereal and because they ate from the same bowl, he had quite a first-world problem. How did he plant karmic seeds so that “the net result is that everyone is happy”? The talk’s transcript reveals that his method didn’t end with a win-win situation. A careful reading instead shows that his method hadn’t worked and he abandoned it for a new tactic: Continue reading