SUBSTANTIATED sexual, physical and psychological allegations against Buddhist spiritual leader and Rigpa founder Sogyal Rinpoche in a September, 2018 investigation report make sickening reading.
The guru whose "fast path to enlightenment" introduced jaded Westerners to the concept of mindfulness, and spawned an industry in the process, beat members of his inner circle on a daily basis, including an Australian Buddhist nun and young, vulnerable "lama care team" attendants.
He coerced and intimidated young women into sex by abusing his power and the unquestioning obedience required of a student to a "master". He offered one young woman to another lama. He had a male attendant film and photograph girlfriends and young female attendants he ordered to strip naked.
The abuse occurred around the world, but many instances of abuse occurred on the Hunter's doorstep - at Rigpa centres at Myall Lakes and Blueys Beach, described by Rigpa as "sacred places" because of Sogyal's time spent there.
His quotes were valued and followed by millions around the world, including: "Our lives are lived in intense and anxious struggle, in a swirl of speed and aggression, in competing, grasping, possessing and achieving, forever burdening ourselves with extraneous activities and preoccupations."
Yet this was a man who lived what an investigation found was a "five star existence", involving a "steady supply of sensual pleasures" such as personal chefs, entertainment, cigars, drivers, masseuses and expensive restaurants.
All in plain sight of his followers.
Rigpa, like so many religious organisations before it, has been forced to account for its part in facilitating Sogyal's abuse since the 1990s. It has failed, just as the Catholic and Anglican churches, the Salvation Army, the Jehovah's Witnesses, Australian Christian Churches and so many other religions have failed to protect followers from abusive leaders.
The hypocrisy of a religion professing one thing, while its unchallengeable leader acts the opposite, is laid bare again to a community now being urged to accept that religious "freedoms" are at risk.
Rigpa's flowery words in the wake of this scandal are familiar, but not convincing.