We are 23 ex-adepts' children, constituted as civil parties in the current trial against the guru Robert Spatz (alias, "Lama Kunzang") and the sect Ogyen Kunzang Choling (OKC). Several of us have filed complaints of rape and sexual abuse of minors. Other ex-adepts have also filed complaints: Spatz is accused of manipulating OKC members for personal and criminal purposes.
OKC was created in the 1970s by Spatz with the (according to him) aim of working for the "transmission and putting into practice of the Buddhist teachings of the Tibetan tradition". While community life was dreamed of as a utopian and idyllic alternative, it would prove to be dictated by a sadistic and pedophile manipulator.
As the trial judge established, the followers were exploited for his benefit. While they worked tirelessly on a voluntary basis - then as false self-employed under/unpaid - in Belgium, Portugal and Spain, their children, therefore us, were sent to Château de Soleils (alias "Nyigma Dzong"), a place isolated from everything in the Alpes de Haute-Provence.
Robert Spatz was sentenced in the first instance in 2016, following a 20-year trial (1997), to 4 years suspended imprisonment and compensation for multiple charges, including hostage-taking of children with aggravating circumstances of torture, sexual abuse and rape of young teenage girls, and more than 100 reprehensible acts ranging from the use of forgery and extortion to money laundering.
It is following the appeal of this decision by Spatz and OKC that we ask you for help because we do not have sufficient resources to obtain justice.
Out of sight, we were indoctrinated with hours of daily prayers and "religious" practices specific to Spatz. Without any other reference, far from our parents who were described to us as polluted corrupted by their emotions and Western civilization, we learned to rely on him, day and night.
Physical and psychological abuses
Before the court of first instance, we described severe deprivations: emotional, nutritional, medical, educational. Physical and psychological violences were daily: beatings with sticks, confinement, running outside barefoot in the snow, deprivation of food, having to stay outside at night are just a few examples.
It was impossible for us to realize the injustice we were suffering and we were terrified at the thought of disobeying. The pain was presented as beneficial. We were told that suffering was good for us, that it would harden us and prepare us to survive to the end of the world. We grew up with the idea that the end of the world was near, and Spatz wanted to prepare us as warriors. According to Spatz, only those living on the "pure land of Nyigma-Dzong" would survive.
Sexual abuses of young girls
The young girls were probably the most affected by the drifts of the guru. Spatz was taking teenage girls (raised in Nyigma-Dzong) for domestic service from the age of 12 and 13, and secretly using them to satisfy his sexual needs under the pretext of practicing "Tantric rituals".
The difficult reconstruction
When we left this organization, we all had the greatest difficulty adapting to the world and rebuilding ourselves psychologically. Some of us have the great disappointment of having parents who continue to defend Robert Spatz whom they worship as an emanation of Buddha on earth rather than taking the side of their children.
In 2016, Robert Spatz was convicted in the first instance on multiple charges, including hostage-taking of children with aggravating circumstances of torture, sexual abuse and rape of young teenage girls, and more than 100 punishable acts ranging from forgery and extortion to money laundering. We hoped that this decision would be final but Robert Spatz, having sufficient funds allowing him to drag out the sentence which was all in all light considering the charges (4 years of prison suspended and fines), and OKC (partially acquitted because considered as victim of Spatz) lodged an appeal.
...and the appeal
It is because of this appeal that we need help to fund our defence costs. We have reduced these costs to a minimum - two lawyers for 23 civil parties, while Spatz and its organisation have 7 lawyers!
We are fortunate to have talented lawyers who believe in our cause, despite our inability to pay them properly for their service.
This is a complex appeal that must take place over a minimum period of six months and will require them to work long hours.
We need your support in order to be able to carry out our defence and restore justice
As a result of our stolen youth, few of us have sufficient resources to pay these two lawyers. We can only count on the generosity and solidarity of those who believe in our fight to carry out our defense and restore justice... We have calculated that we would have to raise the sum of 30 000 euros to compensate our lawyers, so any donation is welcome.
...and the verdict of the Appeal
Inadmissibility of proceedings! Years of investigation and judicial proceedings that the court dismissed with a wave of its hands. The testimonies that these people who grew up in the cult made great efforts to overcome their emotions after growing up in the sect were not even examined. Read More
Help us bring justice back and reclaim some of our stolen childhood
“ Often because we would nod during the prayer, chat during the meal, forget the umpteenth letter of the Tibetan alphabet or display intolerance, in short everything was a pretext to get a blow in the back, to get our ears pulled in which we would whisper with a horrible accent: "wait tonight you will see". ” read more
“ It took me years to break through the spell of secrecy and speak up about Spatz, but I finally brought criminal and civil complaints against him in 1998. I found out later that three other women had done the same. ” read more
“ They were going towards the end of time, preparing for violence. That was our perspective for the future. (...) Why study, why develop the slightest personal ambition when the only perspective constructed was the end of time, this fantasized background? ” read more
In the press
You can help us by giving via Gofundme, and by sharing this page.
it is also possible to make a bank transfer.
We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your contribution.
How we will use the funds
- Pay our lawyers
- Pay medical expenses (mainly psychological support)
- Pay transportation costs for civil parties living abroad
- Pay the communication costs of the OKCinfo initiative
Any surplus will be donated to organisations fighting against sectarian drifts and sexual abuse.
OKCinfo was launched at the end of 2015 as a desperate last minute attempt in an existing trial launched by the Belgian state against the OKC sect nearly 20 years earlier.
The 23 of us - supported by more than 40 other former OKC-born young children - have since been supported by talented lawyers ready to champion our cause.
The initiative was born from the realization that if we, children of the first, second and third generation, did not speak, the sect guru and the clique around him would manipulate the trial and the court to establish that there are no victims, no complaints, nothing, that it is not a sect but a "community of Tibetan Buddhist inspiration" persecuted by the Belgian state.