Arnaud Maitland Sexual Harassment Abuse
Tibetan Nyingma Meditation Center
Jack Petranker - Tarthang Tulku
Berkeley California 2020

A comment from a long-time member of the community acknowledging what has been happening:

“…I just want to acknowledge what you said as true. As a long-term member of the organization I was and am truly shamed with this situation. A classical denial reaction is not what I would expect from us, or from any Buddhist practitioner, not for that extended period of time anyhow. I am truly sorry for your pain.”

Between Sept 2012 and May 2013, I was sexually harassed by Arnaud Maitland while I was volunteering at Dharma Publishing. It started off as persistent pursuit and evolved into a six-month period of subtle and vicious retaliation. I reported this to senior members of the TNMC community, and they did nothing until May of 2013. At that time, in May 2013, Jack Petranker, Vice President of Dharma Publishing and a senior member said “We’ve had problems like this with him before, and this time, we think we should take it seriously.” After a series of meetings, I was asked to leave, and Mr. Maitland was allowed to continue with his activities. 

He sends emails in which he refers to you as ‘dear’. He will share seemingly intimate details about his work, travel, or personal life. He responds quickly, almost immediately to your emails for a while, and you have the feeling you can actually sense when he reads them. He has given you glib reasons for why you should be in a relationship with him – you’re the first student he’s ever fallen in love with, or things are not going well between him and his wife, for example. He approached at least one woman during a retreat and told her that he wanted to have ‘a special Nyingma relationship’ with her; she is not the first one he has said that to.

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RB – October 14, 2017
Hi, thank you very much for this blog. What you report is true. Soon everything will come to light. This man is a mentally ill person, protected by a religious organization for decades. He is an abusive, liar, manipulator and ill egocentric.

In 2014 there was a very large movement within Odiyan and Ratna Ling but the lama protected it. As the director at that time was also protected by Ratna Ling, her name is Rosalyn White, as one Janet Smith and another Anette Kögler. What is disgusting is knowing that many women in the organization, with managerial positions, protect it.

They promised the lawyers of the organization that they would throw him out. But only one year apart. He continues teaching today. It is serious, very serious as they accuse women who denounce it as “emotionally unstable” “liars” “crazy” … I am sure that all this soon comes to light. Hug!

Lauren Clay – March 10, 2016
Hello, thank you for sharing your story and wanting to seek justice. I am really sorry you went through this. What you are saying it’s true, there is evidence supporting that you were not the only one. Jack Petranker is aware of what’s happening. In 2014, four women submitted letters reporting sexual harassment by Arnaud Maitland. One and each of these victims were immediately fired and accused of being “mentally imbalanced”. This abuse needs to stop! This man has been harassing women for decades!

Lilian – March 21, 2016
I know why the organization is hiding this ugly and dark part of itself. It is not because there is a higher purpose, a larger vision, or because Arnaud brings in lots of money with his retreats. It is out of fear and confusion. It is prioritizing rationality and calm above truth and reality. The people leading it are only interested in protecting the organization and themselves. I do not regret the time I spent there, for I was introduced to and eventually became very intimate with my own spirituality.

When we do not rise fully to the challenges and occasions in life, we lose the best part of ourselves. It is very sad because while I was there I felt TNMC had so much potential to grow and transform, but until TNMC acknowledges the experiences of these women—respecting their stories of grief and pain—it will remain an organization that is dead inside with no other paths to travel on other than one leading to further and further disintegration and disassociation. Their heads are in the clouds, chasing rainbows.

Evakarin – August 30, 2016 
YES!! SO glad to have found this! And relieved. This man really can act in a strange way! Something is very wrong with him. He talked and acted in strange ways in a retreat I was in. In spite of all his training in Kum Nye and Dharma.

A self-centered male, eh! And one thing I was thinking, he strangely – according to what he is supposed to teach – seems to be in some way very caught up in his head!?? But maybe, he is a bit charismatic, and surely the organization is afraid to be set up in bad light.

I think that it is a very, very important task printing and spreading all these old Buddhist texts!!!! That is the main course as I see it. But someone should help this man to stop these bad behaviors!! Thank you for sharing this, it helped me to feel that I CAN rely on what I am feeling, when something IS wrong.