Category: Geshe Michael Roach

Fact check

How did Geshe Michael Roach’s four-step method work out for him and his top students? What is the #1 lesson to learn from his new Sedona College of International Management?

According to Geshe Michael Roach, he graduated from Princeton University in 1975 and immediately became a novice monk at a small Buddhist temple in New Jersey, and then went to work for a New York jewelry company called Andin International in 1981 at age 28. But since at least 2011, when speaking to audiences around the world Geshe Michael has frequently introduced himself with a false narrative:

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 [Andin International]…” – GMR, 8/2015

Why does Geshe Michael start the relationship with his audiences on such falsehood? Showing a disregard for basic 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 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 reported last month 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, he starts the audience on the dream of having money in abundance, readily available like the air we breathe: “I call it oxygen money,” Geshe Michael told a Japanese audience in 2011.

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

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 talks about the ease of using his four-step method to plant 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 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 0: 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?

With his secret marriage ended in divorce and the ex-wife calling him a “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, Geshe Michael told the audience in Vietnam:

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 his “seed system” did not work as advertised: on their 2006 trip to India, despite having tried his method and everything that they could think of, he and McNally once again suffered from “Delhi belly,” the same gastrointestinal problem that had plagued them in all previous trips: “we were very sick there, and there is nothing you can do.” During their marriage, he tried to use his method to get the breakfast cereal that he wanted, but failed and gave up after years of working on that simple goal. In 2010, Geshe Michael entered a competition to be a talk show host but failed the preliminary round. He then auditioned to give a TED talk (not a local TEDx) but again failed to get selected. With so many real-life examples of undeniable failures, why is he marketing his failed system around the world? How successful are 7 of his top students and how much “oxygen money” have they made? Continue reading

Mission Implausible: “Coffee Meditation” and the Four-Step Method

Can Geshe Michael’s four steps possibly work?

According to Geshe Michael Roach, his “coffee meditation” and 4-step method can help people make money, have good health, and find a perfect spouse or improve the current life partner: 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 approach: Continue reading