In the Media

“Guru Accused of ‘Mystical’ Baby Plot” – Carol Merchasin talks to The Daily Beast

Guru Accused of ‘Mystical’ Baby Plot in U.S. Rape Case
According to a lawsuit, a Buddhist leader in the Pacific Northwest told his victim she should give birth to his baby as the child could be anointed as an enlightened guru like him.


A young Buddhism student was raped and impregnated by her spiritual leader, who told her she should keep the baby because she would be giving birth to an enlightened guru like him, according to a lawsuit filed in Oregon.

Rachel Montgomery was a teenager when she began attending a Buddhist center in Eugene, Oregon. After a traumatic childhood, she initially found comfort and guidance at the Dzogchen Retreat Center led by a Tibetan Buddhist guru known as Choga, she told The Daily Beast in an interview.

A lawsuit filed in the Circuit Court of the State of Oregon in December accuses Dzogchen Khenpo Choga Rinpoche, a Tibetan who has also gone by the name Choying Rabjam, of sexual battery and sex trafficking. It alleges that he struck up an especially close relationship with Montgomery before twisting the Buddhist traditions of karma and tantra to abuse a student 27 years his junior.

The conditions for abuse are created by the sort of relations that people are encouraged to have with their spiritual teacher.

Tibetan insider

Carol Merchasin, an experienced lawyer and investigator acting for Montgomery, said the board should have taken immediate action once this kind of allegation came to their attention. “Under the laws of the United States and most countries, boards of these kinds of organizations have a fiduciary duty and they have a legal duty that they did not follow,” she said.