Andin tale: the Time Traveler

Why the blatant lie?

According to his website, Geshe Michael Roach started working at Andin in 1981 (about six years after graduating from Princeton), was “ordained as a full Buddhist monk” in 1983, and then was “awarded the Geshe degree” in 1995.

In promotional videos in 2011 and 2012, Geshe Michael repeatedly claimed that he started at Andin after graduating from Sera Mey.

I graduated from that monastery, from the course that’s called the Geshe, or Master of Buddhism, … and then my own teachers, when I finished the examinations they took me into a room and they said, “We’d like you to do an extra examination.” And I said, “Well, what kind of examination?” And they challenged me to go to New York City, to start a business, they said I should start a diamond business, and they said they wanted to know if I could bring it up to a million dollars in one year simply by using the principles that they had taught me in the monastery…So I did start a business, I helped found a company called Andin International…

I was the first Westerner to finish at my monastery the Geshe degree, and then my teachers asked me, “We’d like you to do an extra part of an examination, an extra examination.” Then I, you know, I said, “What is the extra examination?” And they said, “Well, we’d like you to go to New York, and we’d like you to start a business, and we’d like you to use the principles of mental seeds and karma, which you learned in the monastery, and we want to see if you can use those principles in order to make a successful company, and then we will donate all the money to the Tibetan refugees.” So I agreed, and I went to New York City. I started a business, I helped to found a business, a diamond business called Andin International…

And when you do the geshe, a thousand people examine you in Tibetan language, and then if you pass, you get one of these big yellow hats. Then my teacher told me you have one more examination. And I said “What’s that?” And he said “You’ve to go to New York” and I said “Why?”, and he said “You have to make a business”, and I said “Why a business? I don’t like business.” He said “I want to see if you can make one million dollars in one year using the knowledge we gave you in the monastery, using the knowledge of the special book we called Diamond Cutter.” So I didn’t want to do it, but I went and then last year, after many years we sold that company it has reached 250 million dollars per year in sales of diamonds.

Did Geshe Michael tell the truth about his own life, or did he really travel back in time to 1981, possibly in a DeLorean?

Update 8/2015: Two years after the publication of this article, Geshe Michael still insists on telling a lie:

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…” 8/2015

—–
I lied, I do lie… Why, why is it that we’re still lying, why is it that I’m still lying after … twenty years of Buddhist education? It’s, it’s your instincts. It is your instincts…and it is because I didn’t study well enough, or I didn’t meditate on what I knew.” Geshe Michael Roach, ACI Course 1, 1993

“Be truthful. Don’t lie; and lying means giving someone else an impression about things that you yourself know not to be true.” Geshe Michael Roach, Karmic Management, 2009

Related post: A three-year retreat tale Why did he lie about the result of his retreat?

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2 comments

  1. pg

    Thanks for this blog. I was about to buy his book, but done some resarch as always, especially when it comes to spirituality stuff. Do you mind my asking who writes this blog?

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