Dalai Lama Secretary denies $1 million paid to speak for Raniere; Yet Dalai Lama Trust founded 10 days after Albany speech with $2 million in donations

After accepting a substantial donation said to be $1 million from Clare and Sara Bronfman, The Dalai Lama presents their Christlike Vanguard with a white scarf costing $20.
The Dalai Lama presents Vanguard with a white scarf.

By Frank Parlato’

The Dalai Lama’s secretary has denied the Dalai Lama was paid $1 million by Clare and Sara Bronfman to endorse cult leader Keith Raniere. That may be true. He might have been paid $2 million.


The Dalai Lama’s secretary, Tseten Samdup Chhoekyapa, wrote:
Clarification in Response to the Daily Mail Story of 24 January 2018
The 24 January 2018 Daily Mail article by Ryan Parry regarding an appearance by His Holiness the Dalai Lama at an event held in Albany, New York in 2009 contains incorrect statements and untrue allegations.We wish to categorically state that His Holiness the Dalai Lama never takes an honorarium or fee of any sort,  nor does he require that any payment be made to charities or organizations, as a condition of his making a personal appearance. Therefore, the reported allegation has no basis. Neither His Holiness the Dalai Lama nor the Dalai Lama Foundation ever received the alleged $1 million in connection with His Holiness’s appearance in Albany. As reported in the Daily Mail, during His Holiness’s talk in Albany in 2009, he called on the media to investigate the allegations made about the NXIVM organization and its founder, and was quite clear that the truth should be exposed.

It is true, the Dalai Lama asked the media to investigate Keith Raniere. But whether he received money or not is another issue. Let’s parse the above statement a little:

The Dalai Lama’s secretary said the Dalai Lama “never takes an honorarium or fee of any sort”.

A donation is not a fee or an honorarium.

The secretary said: “nor does he require that any payment be made to charities or organizations, as a condition of his making a personal appearance.”

Again, the secretary says a payment was not required. But he does not say a donation was not made by Clare and Sara Bronfman.

The Dalai Lama appeared in Albany on May 6, 2009 and he gave Raniere a white scarf onstage. He allowed the Bronfman sisters to sit onstage with him. {For readers unaware, Keith Raniere heads a cult called NXIVM, which brands women on their pubic region with his initials and requires them to give him nude photos of themselves and other damaging material in case they reveal the secrets of his cult.]

The Dalai Lama may have received a donation that was understood to be an “unconditional donation”, not connected to his speaking engagement in Albany.

He may have agreed to speak in Albany and they may have agreed the donation was unconnected to his speaking so, therefore, it not ‘connected’ to his appearance.

The Dalai Lama’s secretary does not deny that the Bronfmans donated money.  The Secretary said, “Neither His Holiness the Dalai Lama nor the Dalai Lama Foundation ever received the alleged $1 million in connection with His Holiness’s appearance in Albany.” [emphasis mine].

I get it: He did not receive the $1 million ‘in connection with His Holiness’s appearance’ but, again, the secretary does not say the Dalai Lama did not get $1 million [or possibly more] from the Bronfmans.

He only states the Dalai Lama did not get $1 million ‘in connection with his appearance’.

It may have been what is called an ‘unconditional donation.’

Now let us look at some coincidences:

The Dalai Lama spoke in Albany on May 6, 2009.

The Dalai Lama Trust was founded May 16, 2009. [10 days later].

The IRS return shows $2.2 million in unconditional donations and royalties for The Dalai Lama Trust for 2009.
It could be a coincidence, but it is peculiar that the Dalai Lama appears in Albany on May 6, 2009 and 10 days later, The Dalai Lama Trust is formed in the USA – and gets $2 million plus in donations etc..
When I worked for NXIVM/Bronfmans, I was told by a high ranking NXIVM official that, prior to the Dalai Lama’s coming to speak [before he canceled the first time], the Bronfman sisters pledged to donate $1 million to him.
When he canceled, the sisters, plus Keith Raniere and Lama Tenzin, rushed to India to get the Dalai Lama to change his mind. I was no longer working for NXIVM. But I heard they offered the Dalai Lama another million [making it $2 million]. I never confirmed the second million and I never saw the checks.
It may be true the Bronfmans did not donate anything. But it seems far-fetched that the Dalai Lama came at his own expense to Albany and got nothing in return. And then a trust suddenly opens in the US just 10 days after his appearance?
What do you think?
Keith Raniere and Nancy Salzman listen to the Dalai Lama speak in Albany.

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Frank Parlato

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Dalai Lama Trust.
Dalai Lama Trust.
5 years ago

Lama Tenzin Dhonden was the secretary of the Trust. and it doesnt take a rocket scientist to figure out that the donation got the Dalai Lama to Albany and was used to start the trust. DL may have been protected from actually knowing it was actually a bribe to appear but it would not be the first shady financial dealings of said trust.


5 years ago

It makes sense that Lama Tenzin Dhonden was the one who was corrupted by KR and then used as a weapon to influence the DL to speak in Albany. I have no reason to believe the DL has anything but good intentions, and it’s sad that the workings of this cult and KR are resulting in even really good people getting a bad name.

Darth VanDouche - Chicken Shit
Darth VanDouche - Chicken Shit
5 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

This would be true if the DL had no idea about the financial compensation that the charity received and that it was all Lama Tenzin Dhonden’s doing. Typically, big-wigs like the DL don’t travel thousands of miles to give their support for something without knowing the details and background information about what they are lending their tacit support to. It’s understandable to garner free travel and board expenses and a some fee (though often they are waived), but one or two million dollars worth for a religious leader? That’s pretty outrageous. If he trusted Tenzin without looking into it himself, you can chalk it up to delegation of duty or naivety. But the fact that the DL had initially cancelled at first and then decided to do it because someone changed his mind for some reason and you have this large some of money being paid around the same time, it simply does not look good.

5 years ago

Natural coincidences are never as prompt or exact as the Dalai Lama’s appearance for NXIVM in Albany and his setting up The Dalai Lama Trust. It may seem like Keith has a clever and confusing Wonderland set up for us, but it’s not – the mask and facade are cracking, Keith!

fed up
fed up
5 years ago

Why did Dalai say he was not compensated when we all know he received a large sum of money from Bronfmans in exchange for his appearance? Does he expect us to believe that he flew all the way across the world to Smallbany to speak to an obscure high-control group whose leader had been accused of allegedly raping several underaged girls? And there are multiple witnesses who can vouch for the transaction. I would have hoped for transparency from His Holiness – same as he requested from ESP – No one should be above accountability. Especially someone who calls himself “His Holiness” that’s kind of high bar to live up to. Nothing wrong with accepting money, (except the source was somewhat questionable or else he wouldn’t have canceled once) but there is something wrong with not admitting it. Tut, tut…

Darth VanDouche - Chicken Shit
Darth VanDouche - Chicken Shit
5 years ago
Reply to  fed up

The DL was pretty much bribed to come to Albany. That much is true. Of course, he had to do his typical DL stuff, i.e., talk about compassion and ethics. He also took the time to urge the cult to be transparent (advice not intended to be heeded by it as anyone can see today). All of these were said with a kind of save face even if he truly believes in all of these things. It’s intetesting how even a man labeled as your “Holiness” can rationalize the sketchiness away with a little good. Put a little bit of white paint in black, it still stays pretty black. Put a little bit more, it’s still gray.

5 years ago

I think there is no smoke without fire ….. and someone who does not work can not travel like DL without money ;;;;;; Travel is not free …. and DL is just a man like any other and can be worse taking advantage of his situation.

F.D.C. Willard
F.D.C. Willard
5 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

These logic chains do not work that strictly in reality. Regarding the smoke and fire.

if it rains => the street gets wet
the street is wet ≠> it rained; the dog might have peed on it

And even if he took the money personally for a talk in Albany there is nothing wrong about that. If someone would offer you 1M for a nice chat you would most probably take the money as well. He did not do anything evil by sitting on a stage. On the contrary, he was criticizing KR before all this. As the cult loves quotes from famous people I will let one here in the defense of His Holiness.

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard Feyman

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” Parlato was also credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083
Email: frankreport76@gmail.com


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