Much is made of the Dalai Lama’s claim to never receive any payment for imparting ancient Buddhist wisdom to materialistic Westerners; but how does a simple monk travel and stay in splendor whilst not charging for his visits? Who pays and how?
Whenever articles are published that scratch the surface of the finances behind such tours the Dalai Lama’s team are quick to dismiss them. One example was the Dalai Lama’s visit to Albany to share a stage with Keith Raniere in exchange for which he reportedly received a $1-$2 million ‘donation’ to one of his charities.
The question is, if the Dalai Lama doesn’t receive payments or donations for these visits, who pays for the luxury accommodation he stays in and who pays for the private jet that he travels in? His current trip to Lithuania and Latvia is a case in point.
On the morning of June 11th, a Gulfstream G450 executive jet took off from the Al Bateen Executive Airport in Abu Dhabi. 3 hours later, it landed on the tarmac of Indira Gandhi International airport in New Delhi. This was its first journey in an extensive 10-day hire of the jet for the exclusive use of the Dalai Lama.
The Gulfstream G450 is a luxury private jet that can carry up to 16 passengers in addition to the two pilots and air hostess. The one chartered by the Dalai Lama belongs to Rotana Jet, a company based in the United Arab Emirates, whose chairman is Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saif Al Nahyan, a member of the ruling family of Abu Dhabi.
One aviation expert estimated the cost of hiring a Gulfstream G450 and crew for 10 days to be in the region of $750,000 – $850,000. The Private Fly website gives the charter cost of a G450 to be $150,000 (£113,000) for a round trip from London to Miami, so the estimated cost of the Dalai Lama’s charter of the jet seems to be in the right ballpark (https://www.privatefly.com/private-flights/how-much-does-a-private-flight-cost.html)
In addition to the cost of the jet, the Dalai Lama is currently residing in the Presidential Suite at the Radisson Blu Ridzene hotel in Riga which costs $1,087 (€937) a night. When you add on the cost of his entourage, food, Mercedes Benz limousine, and security, the Dalai Lama’s latest trip to Lithuania and Latvia comes in at one million dollars.
To pay for this, people are charged an entrance fee to events that he holds, such as talks in the Siemens Arena in Vilnius, Lithuania and the Skonto Hall in Riga, Latvia. According to the Dalai Lama’s own website, 2,500 people attended the event in Vilnius each paying $33 (€28.50) for a ticket. Total sales for the event would therefore be $82,500 before deducting the cost of hiring the venue and advertising. The other talk the Dalai Lama gave in Lithuania was in the courtyard of Vilnius University and entry was free.
In Latvia, he’s giving 3 days of teachings at the Skonto Hall to 4,000 people. Ticket prices for this event vary between $30 – $85 per day with 1,200 being sold at $85 and 2,800 at $30. This makes total ticket sales of $186,000 per day, or $558,000 for the whole 3 days.
If it costs $1,000,000 for the Dalai Lama’s travel and accommodations, yet the gross ticket income appears to be around $640,000, that leaves a shortfall of $360,000. When you also account for event overhead such as venue hire and advertising, it adds up to a loss of $500,000,
Is the Dalai Lama spending half a million dollars of his own money to teach people Buddhism or is there other money donated behind the scenes?
This is the precise type of arrangement that was reported to take place when the Dalai Lama visited Albany in 2009 to speak on stage to a largely NXIVM sex cult audience. It was reported that he was guaranteed a donation of $1 million by Seagram Heiresses Clare and Sara Bronfman – ardent devotees of now jailed sex cult leader Keith Raniere. That event, based on ticket sales, did not even cover the cost of the event.
If we are to believe Clare Bronfman, the Dalai Lama came to Albany to speak to a largely NXIVM audience without getting anything for it whatsoever. Onstage, on May 6, 2009, Clare Bronfman told the audience that revenues for the Dalai Lama event was $140,821 and that thecost to put on the event was $283,570 — which meant that the event lost $142,749.
The result was, Clare said, there was nothing to give the Dalai Lama from the event.
Ten days after the Dalai Lama spoke in Albany, The Dalai Lama Trust was founded [May 16, 2009].
According to the Dalai Lama trust’s IRS 990 for 2009 during the fiscal year between March 30, 2009 and March 30, 2010, $2.2 million in donations and royalties were received by The Dalai Lama Trust for 2009. It is possible that the forming of the foundation 10 days after the NXIVM speech of the Dalai Lama is entirely coincidental.
The Dalai Lama’s official website denied reports that he received any donation from this event, let alone one million, yet we can see from this event and from his latest tour – and others like it – that there must be some income or donations other than just ticket sales. Otherwise, he’d be bankrupt by now.
None of this is to suggest impropriety but rather to validate a source who declared that the Bronfmans offered the Dalai Lama one million to speak for NXIVM and that it was her impression that there was never any concern about his or one of his organizations accepting it.
May 2009: The Dalai Lama, after calling upon Keith Raniere to be transparent, gives hims a white sash.
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.” In addition, he was credited in the Starz docuseries 'Seduced' for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.
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 premieres on May 22, 2022.
IMDb — Frank Parlato
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The website for the Dali Lama does not work. The 2016 tax return shows 7 Million Frank. Looks like almost a 1 million plus is being put in each year. Can some else look at these documents?
Found it. It does seem possible that the. Bronfman gals are contributing 1 million a year. Look at the tax returns for the trust
Who can you trust? All that money that could be used for good spent on such unnecccessary accomodations
There are valid, legitimate concerns for the Dalai Lama’s safety. While it is only a Radisson, I wouldn’t fault him for staying somewhere even more expensive if it made security easier to handle for him.
I think it would be fairly difficult to ensure his safety at a Motel 6 or a Days Inn.
It is also safer for him to fly private than commercial.
It seems to me very little of the donations are actually spent on travel expense.
This is all about marketing from a NXIVM perspective. So what if you lose a couple hundred thousand dollars, when you can talk up that this dude visited Albany, New York at the behest of Vanguard. That is pure gold.
Great article Frank. You’re a good investigator.
I’m wondering why the Dalai Lama’s english is so broken? I’ve known people who picked up fluent english in less than a year.
Yet he gives speeches to millions around the world (presumably lots of them in english) and he’s been doing this for like 50 years, and yet he fucken can’t speak fluent english yet?
I’m beginning to question his overall intelligence and/or his laziness. If he can’t pickup fluent english without speaking in broken sentences, then he’s either lazy as fuck or just not very intelligent.
Plus I don’t believe in reincarnation. I believe he’s just a guy who got anointed as something special by true believers who wanted him to be that special person.
I’m sure he’s a great man and leader, but saying you’re reincarnated doesn’t make it true. Otherwise Nancy is Hitler and Toni is Goering. 🙂
The broken English is just part of his schtick. He speaks perfect English when ordering at a restaurant.
– Yet he gives speeches to millions around the world (presumably lots of them in english) and he’s been doing this for like 50 years, and yet he fucken can’t speak fluent english yet?
– I’m beginning to question his overall intelligence and/or his laziness. If he can’t pickup fluent english without speaking in broken sentences, then he’s either lazy as fuck or just not very intelligent.
I think he’s taking the Mr. Myagi thing a little too far.
If linguistic fluency were the only standard for intelligence, then many academics are utter dolts. The Dalai Lama, as reported by scientists, has evinced a tremendous fluency in neuroscience and can handle detailed conversations with physicists. He can also take apart a film projector and reassemble it.
The world does not revolve solely around the English language.
It’s usually only monolingual that think it does.
fucken ?? What language are you writing ?
Was the sexual affair between Tenzin and Sara before the Dalai Lama’s visit, and part of the “payment” to bring DL to Albany…or did it happen after the visit and was unrelated?
And how long did it last?
There have been posts here by a “Lama expert” who claims the Dalai Lama’s sect also has sex cult aspects. Could Tezin and Sara’s hook up be an aspect of that…or just two crazy kids in love?
Thank you, Indy Hack and Frank Parlato!!!
Fascinating information. So the Dalai Lama and Keith Raniere have one thing in common: they both live far above their means.
Much differentiates them. Only one is actually compassionate and making this world a better place and only one thinks Keith Raniere should be investigated. Regarding the latter, that is one thing that we all share, and happily so does (finally, after many years) the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice.
Believing in the Dalai is just another folly. I’d be wary of believing in religious leaders who travel in style and have large sums of money being paid to them under the table through their various charities that aren’t publicly accounted for.
The Dalai goes around and says the standard cliches about ethics and compassion yada yada, but what does he actually do?
He tries to stay at least 2 steps ahead of the Chinese.