What is in the best interest of the Buddhadharma is much more important than anything concerning an individual guru. Therefore, if it is necessary to criticize a guru to save the Buddhadharma or to benefit several hundred of their disciples, do not hesitate.
… It is essential to distinguish between two things: the person and their action. We criticize the action, not the person… Speaking out against the action does not mean that we hate the person… Thus, we may criticize a teacher’s abusive actions or negative qualities while we respect them as a person at the same time… Motivation is the key: speaking out of hatred or desire for revenge is wrong. However, if we know that by not speaking out, their bad behavior will continue and will harm the Buddhadharma, and we still remain silent, that is wrong.”
We call on knowledgeable members of the sangha to help Geshe Michael Roach and the teachers at his Diamond Cutter Institute abandon their mistaken views which they are spreading around the world to “almost 25,000 people” a year.
This blog aims to empower readers with reliable information on Geshe Michael and challenge his questionable claims and teachings. We started this blog in 2012 and took inspiration from the now defunct diamond-cutter.org, a website created by Anthony Simmons to challenge Geshe Michael’s teaching and conduct. Mr. Simmons was the director of FPMT's Root Institute in Bodhgaya, India, and he wrote all the articles for that site which was archived and can still be retrieved by the Wayback Machine. We have reproduced some articles from the site on this blog.
We’d like to invite readers — especially his students and supporters — to comment and provide corrections, criticisms, feedback, and additional information in order to help us correct errors and minimize confirmation bias. We can not guarantee the blog content to be 100% accurate, but we can assure that it is more factual than many of Geshe Michael’s statements about his own life.
However, faith in one’s guru does not mean blind faith. It does not mean believing “My guru is perfect,” even though your guru is not perfect. It is not pretending that your guru’s defects are qualities. It is not rationalizing every foible of the guru into a superhuman virtue. After all, most gurus will have defects. You need to recognize them for what they are.” – Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, a personal tutor to the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje
If students sincerely point out the faults of the guru and explain any contradictory behavior, this will, in fact, help the guru to correct that behavior and adjust any wrong actions.” – The Dalai Lama
Should the guru manifest un-dharmic qualities or give teachings contradicting dharma, the instruction on seeing the spiritual master as perfect must give way to reason and dharma wisdom.” – The Dalai Lama
If the spiritual master is following a wrong path, which is contrary to mainline teachings, the student should be able to take a stand and not blindly follow that path.” – The Dalai Lama
Therefore, as students, you should first watch and investigate thoroughly. Do not consider someone as a teacher or guru until you have certain confidence in the person’s integrity. This is very important. Then, second, even after that, if some unhealthy things happen, you have the liberty to reject them. Students should make sure that they don’t spoil the guru. This is very important.” – The Dalai Lama
Diamond-Cutter.org has been created due to growing public concern about the behavior and teachings of Geshe Michael Roach.
This web site now averages over 600 unique visits per day, and over 98% of emails sent to us are supportive.
Please read this site with an open mind. It is intended to be informative and factual.
- About the parties involved in this web site
- The reason for creating this web site
- A Note to Geshe Michael Roach Students
- No Lama is beyond investigation
- Our Promise
- This web site is not affiliated with any Buddhist organization, lama or group. It is owned, funded and maintained by individuals on a purely voluntary basis.
- The domain name Diamond-Cutter.org is registered to Gary Friedman as a public service. Articles and information on this site have been contributed by individuals, most of whom wish to remain anonymous due to their association with other Buddhist organisations. All materials are edited and approved by Gary Friedman. Gary Friedman has been an active student if Tibetan Buddhism for since 1990 and has undertaken extensive retreat and study.
- Diamond-Cutter.org is hosted and maintained free of cost by Strategy Internet Solutions as a public service.
- All those involved in contributing to this site are practicing Buddhists in the Tibetan tradition.
- Some contributors to this site have completed the majority of Geshe Michael Roach’s ACI courses and attended a number of Geshe Michael Roach’s teachings on various occasions.
- To present a factual account of the behavior of Geshe Michael Roach and his teachings, and allow the individual to make an informed choice as to whether he is a legitimate Buddhist teacher or not.
- To clarify misconceptions about Buddhism that Geshe Michael Roach’s behavior may bring about, and prevent confusion as to what is legitimate Buddhist practice and behavior, and what is not.
We freely admit that Geshe Michael Roach has instigated some wonderful projects, such as ACIP and wish him all happiness both ultimate and temporal.
We understand that it is always upsetting to hear perceived criticism of ones Lama. Please read the facts presented here carefully, and check them with other students to ascertain their correctness.
If you read carefully, you will find no criticism of Geshe Michael Roach on this site. The site merely presents possibilities and facts. It is up to the reader to to interpret these facts and possibilities.
Please understand that just because one may have faith in a teacher does not mean that they are necessarily suitable to be labeled as a “Qualified Mahayana Lama”.
It is correct to understand, as Geshe Michael Roach teaches, that “Lama” is merely ones projection, however the reality is that Geshe Michael Roach (or anyone else) may or may not be a suitable base to label “qualified Lama”.
As one wise person wrote in the forum of this web site:
“…the Taliban Mullahs are Lamas. Their followers consider them such. Can we simply support their violent regime because they are considered Lamas by their followers? There IS such a thing as conventional reality which we must live in, and recognise its functionality. Just because someone is labeled a Lama by some does not mean they are a suitable basis for that label.”
No Lama is beyond investigation, especially those who present a controversial and unconventional aspect, as does Geshe Michael Roach. Please understand that while you may have only been exposed to Geshe Michael Roach’s close mandala of students, there is considerable concern in the wider Buddhist community about his behavior and teachings.
The intention of this site is to open avenues for discussion, so that people can decide about Geshe Michael Roach themselves, based on their own investigation and wisdom.
“When teachers break the precepts, behaving in ways that are clearly damaging to themselves and others, students must face the situation, even though this can be challenging, criticize openly, that’s the only way.” — His Holiness the Dalai Lama
If anyone can prove beyond doubt that any of the information on this web site is fabricated or incorrect, we will immediately print an apology and remove that particular information.
Disclaimer: We work hard to provide reliable content on this blog, but can NOT guarantee the information is 100% accurate. Readers are advised to do their own fact checking.