So after 25 years in the monastery, my teacher gave me a special second “final examination.” To prove that I understand what I learned, I had to go back to New York and start a diamond business…” – GMR, 8/2015
Why does Geshe Michael choose to start his relationship with the audiences on a lie? Showing a disregard for truth, the Diamond Cutter Institute (DCI) — headed by his longtime students Orit and Scott Vacek — posted the dishonest self-introduction on the DCI Facebook page. Perhaps his DCI cheerleaders and enablers are just too blinded by devotion to separate fact from fantasy. A more truthful version is that after about 6 years at the “monastery” — the little Rashi Gempil Ling Temple in Howell, New Jersey — the Princeton-educated Michael Roach asked an immigrant fresh from Israel for a job: “I begged him, ‘I’ll do anything, I’ll wash the windows, I’ll, I’ll clean the floor, I’ll do anything, just teach me the diamonds.’” And so the Princeton graduate started out as an “errand boy …carrying nondescript canvas bags filled with gold and diamonds” for Ofer Azrielant and his wife Aya. Having owned a successful jewelry business in Israel, the Jewish immigrant couple founded a jewelry-making company named Andin International Inc., not “Andin International Diamond Corporation” as Geshe Michael calls it. According to Jewish Business News, the enterprising couple quickly built Andin into “one of the three largest jewelry manufacturing companies in the United States.” The same news source recently reported that 17 Israeli businessmen had made the 2016 Forbes Billionaires list which is already crowded with Jews from America, Europe and elsewhere. If Geshe Michael could help his Jewish bosses make money — as he claims — by applying “karmic management” principles learned in Tibetan monasteries, it’s not clear why Tibetans have not managed to make the Forbes list.
Marketing his 12-level DCI seminars and workshops as a “universal training for ultimate success,” Geshe Michael and DCI teachers give paid lectures on “the ancient secrets for having everything in business and life” — with a focus on abundant wealth, excellent health, and perfect relationships. After the bogus self-introduction, Geshe Michael starts the audience on the dream of having money in abundance, readily available like the air we breathe: “I call it oxygen money,” he told a Japanese audience in 2011. Last year in Vietnam, he told 1000 people in the audience:
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
Geshe Michael frequently assures his audiences of the magic and ease of his four-step method:
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. You can “upgrade” your life partner from Economy class to Business class!… It is the technique I used to help build a $250 million company, and you can use it, easily.” 10/2015
Did his four steps really “help build a $250 million company” and will his audiences succeed easily? In 8 case studies, we examine whether the method has worked in the professional and personal lives of Geshe Michael and 7 of 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 fell apart in 2009, he wrote a letter to students and supporters asking for donations 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 generate 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 Geshe Michael could not even improve his personal finance on his own, did his method really help his Jewish bosses build a multi-million dollar company?
Cases 2 & 3: Eric Brinkman, who co-founded the Diamond Cutter Institute with Geshe Michael in 2009, is well-versed in explaining oxygen money: Continue reading