In the category of tragic and troublesome comes a story of creepy cult stuff and death, this time out of the supposed sanctum of a Buddhist retreat center. The April 22nd death of Ian Thornson, a 38-year-old Buddhist practitioner at Geshe Michael Roach’s Diamond Mountain in Arizona, has been much cause for concern, investigation and unanswered questions.
In December 2010 Ian and 39 others an had set off on the “Great Retreat,” 3 years, 3 months and 3 days. On April 22, 2012 he was found dead in a cave of apparent dehydration.
We were first alerted to something fishy by YogaCityNYC’s post. Though not entirely yoga related, this story brings to light a disturbing chain of events revealing, as Matthew Remski pointed out, alignment with cult-like “spirituality-induced delusions of grandeur, magical thinking, denial, and Stockholm Syndrome symptoms.” That sounds vaguely familiar.
This is some crazy shit if Remski’s research and personal experience check out.
He writes via elephant journal:
Ian Thorson, 38, died on the morning of 4/22/12 of apparent dehydration in a cave in southeastern Arizona, after having been banished by the administration of nearby Diamond Mountain University, which is under the leadership of “Geshe” Michael Roach. Thorson’s wife, “Lama” Christie McNally, was rescued from the death scene by helicopter. Thorson had for years exhibited signs of mental illness and violence towards others, including McNally, who had recently stabbed him, presumably in self-defence.
Remski goes way in-depth about the underground connections and seediness and yes, sexual relations, guru worship and the alleged shady ethics of Geshe Michael Roach. Remski is calling for Geshe Michael to step down and for the board to step in and protect the safety of the remaining retreat goers.
Read the whole tale in all its disturbing glory here.
Letter from Geshe Michael posted April 26th on the Diamond Mountain website.
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