The Controversy

Update: New information here

Editor’s note: Against monastic vows, Geshe Michael Roach got married to Christie McNally in 1998. The couple divorced in 2010, and news of their secret marriage came out in 2012. Much more noteworthy are Geshe Michael’s questionable teachings and claims.

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When Geshe Michael Roach came out of this retreat, it became public knowledge that he was no longer alone. He had taken Christie McNally, who accompanied him in retreat, as his “consort” and this is where the controversy began. Monks have strict vows about their behavior with women and Geshe Michael Roach now displayed behavior which would appear to break one of his root vows and render his monks ordination invalid. To this day he wears the robes of a monk and claims that he is still ordained. Upon further investigation it became clear that Geshe Michael Roach had taken Christie as a “consort” well before his three year retreat. In late 1999 he stayed at Root Institute for Wisdom Culture, an FPMT center in Bodhgaya, India. During this stay he secretly took Christie into his room every night, against the center’s policy and the center director’s knowledge.

I became aware that Geshe Michael Roach was taking Christie McNally into his room each night towards the end of his stay at Root Institute. As he was an invited teacher, and his behavior broke the rules of the center, it placed us in a very difficult situation. I believe that it was this type of behavior that led to his later ban from teaching in FPMT centers.

– Anthony Simmons, Former Director, Root Institute for Wisdom Culture

During his 3 year retreat, he continuously lied during his quiet retreat teachings, stating that he was alone, when in fact the two spent the entire 3 years in the same room.

Today, Geshe Michael Roach is concentrating on building Diamond Mountain, his center in Arizona, and teaching Yoga in locations around America.

The following points must be considered:

  • The Office of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama has informed Geshe Michael Roach in writing that he is no longer welcome to visit Dharamsala (the home of the Dalai Lama).
  • Geshe Michael Roach, by his own admission, is no longer welcome to visit his home monastery, Sera Mey, and has not visited there for some years, despite travelling regularly to India.
  • Learned tantra and sutra master, Gyumed Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Jampa, from Sera Mey, told Geshe Michael Roach that he should disrobe.
  • Geshe Michael Roach has been blacklisted from teaching in the over 140 centers of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), whereas before his 3 year retreat he was welcome to teach. The FPMT is a well respected organization both within and without the Buddhist world community.

Update: New information here

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