Good Night Lama – The “Blackmail Tape”



The voice of Jacqueline Keely, Lama Yeshe’s Administrative Assistant:

This tape recording is a message from Geshe Kelsang Gyatso delivered to Lama Thubten Yeshe on July 22, 1983 by Chip Rodarmor and Geshe Kelsang’s translator. At enormous expense Geshe Kelsang sent Chip and Tenzin all the way from England to California especially to represent Geshe Kelsang by delivering his blackmail. We hope that these facts are clearly apparent to you.

The voice of Chip Rodarmor:

Dear Lama Yeshe, thank you very much for your gifts to us which Tenzin and I both deeply appreciated. We were deeply disappointed at not being able to see you. We feel that we were unable to accomplish one of the most important purposes of our visit to you, which was to explain the urgency and serious dangers in the present situation. We meant to protect you and to protect the FPMT from very serious legal dangers, which would be extremely damaging to your reputation and of FPMT internationally. We do not feel, therefore, that your taped response to our first meeting is acceptable under the circumstances and, therefore, urge you to consider very carefully this taped communication. Please know that we are sincerely and faithfully trying to protect you from these dangers but that you are ignoring us. Please do not ignore us now. The situation at present is that present trustees of the Manjushri Institute, including Peter Kedge and Harvey Horrocks, are involved in irregularities with respect to and violations of the terms of the Manjushri Institute Trust Deed. These constitute civil illegalities and please appreciate that some of these are major. They are very important – and that some of these are viewed by the Charities Commission as extremely serious and could constitute a basis for the removal of three of the four trustees of the Manjushri Institute, including Peter Kedge, Harvey Horrocks and yourself, Lama.

Please also appreciate that the situation, that the present situation, especially with respect to the trustees of the institute, also involve criminal illegalities. Many of these are very serious violations of the law with respect to the conduct of business operations, particularly Lotus Trading Company. Some of these illegalities are extremely serious criminal actions carried out by the trustees themselves and others very closely connected with FPMT. Tenzin and I are not in a position to say what these illegalities are. But if you wish to know the details, and if you wish to know the people involved we urge you to call Peter Kedge or Harvey Horrocks and ask them because they know and its very possible that Jacie Keeley knows as well. Who is involved in the criminal illegalities? Basically, they are key members of FPMT, of the FPMT organisation.

Now at present, the Charities Commission holds a type-written report numbering close to 100 pages which not only summarise a number of civil and criminal illegalities with respect to the conduct of the management of Manjushri Institute but also contains supporting evidence. Please also appreciate that our attorney in London, who is an expert in Charity Law, also holds details of the most serious criminal illegalities conducted by some of the trustees and others and supporting evidence. Now, the immediate consequence of not signing the agreement that we presented to you a few days ago is that our attorney in London will turn over the details of the most serious criminal illegalities to the Solicitor General’s Office. The consequence of this will be a police investigation of the trustees of the Manjushri Institute in addition to the conduct of the FPMT organisation. In addition to this the Charities Commission will start a full investigation of the civil and criminal illegalities contained in the report which I mentioned – which the Charities Commission already has and has examined over the last few weeks, but at our request, is not investigating yet. This report explicitly requests the Charities Commission to remove three trustees from the Manjushri Institute, including Peter Kedge, Harvey Horrocks and you, Lama. And the details given are the illegalities, which I have already mentioned.

Lama, please also appreciate the overall consequence of these actions proceeding in the court and also in the Charities Commission. Please realise that there probably will be a public trial of trustees of the Manjushri Institute in addition to other key FPMT people. Please also appreciate that you, Lama, will probably have to go to court to answer questions and possibly even to stand trial. If prosecuted, trustees of the Manjushri Institute will probably go to jail and possibly also other members of the FPMT. And finally, the Charities Commission, through its own investigation, and as a result of the public trial, and possible prosecution of trustees and other FPMT will formally remove the 3 trustees I have mentioned from the Manjushri Institute. Now please appreciate that the FPMT, as a result of this, will be disgraced internationally. The purpose of Tenzin and my coming from England to see you in California was to impress upon you the grave seriousness of the present situation and to obtain your signature on the agreement we presented to you along with the letter from the Institute. This action we have taken has been at the recommendation of the Charities Commission and also of our own attorney in England.

As you said in your tape that you agree with the proposal that we have offered you, then please sign the agreement now to take back to England with us on Monday. If we are unable to return to England with your signature on that agreement, which you have already indicated you agreed with, then please know, Lama, without doubt that civil and legal actions will commence next week.

Lama, I will call you at 10:30 tomorrow morning to hear your response to this communication. I sincerely hope from the very bottom of my heart that you will be willing to sign the agreement, which represents an extremely tolerant, and an extremely peaceful solution to this overall problem under the circumstances. However, if there are further questions that you wish to ask – if there is any way in which Tenzin or myself can be of further assistance to you in understanding the present situation please let us know and we are completely at you disposal from now until the time that we actually have to leave for England, which is Monday afternoon. Please listen to my tape carefully so that you do understand completely what is involved and that there will be no regret in the future if legal actions are, in fact, taken. Good night, Lama.

For Geshe Kelsang Gyatso’s expulsion from Sera Je Monastery see