…..occurred when she was travelling alone on Eurostar:
“I’d been distancing myself from Sogyal for some time. I could do this because I was not dependent on him like the other girls. I’d always kept up my singing lessons and had friends outside Rigpa. There I was in the tunnel and the defences I’d built up started to collapse. I remembered things. I realised I’d been raped and from that point onwards the more I remembered, the sicker I got.”
Janine went into counselling and after initially keeping her experiences with Sogyal to herself, she eventually opened up with her therapist, who advised her to devise a closure ritual so that she could clear the psycho-emotional decks and move on:
“I was really ill – I kept getting infections and I had a fever for about three weeks. I had nightmares every night – I was an empty carcass and I thought I was going crazy. Realising I’d reached my limit, I took my counsellor’s advice and created a monstrous drawing and collage. I put myself in it and the other girls and I did a caricature of Sogyal like a Tibetan deity with lots of arms – but they were holding things like cash and the beating stick. Instead of clouds I put speech bubbles with the phrases in them that he used to intimidate and manipulate us.”
Janine took her artwork to Sogyal when he was leading the Rigpa UK Easter retreat. She also took two friends to ride shotgun – one of them a very big man.
“We went into his formal reception room and I handed him the drawing and burst into floods of tears. There was a long silence – then he asked me what I wanted. I tried to say that I wanted him to stop what he’s doing, but he started to talk about money. I thought well, why not – I would like my expenses for the trip. I told him the ticket cost 450 Euros, so he got up and came back with an envelope. I left with my friends and when I opened the envelope I had a moment of pleasure – he’d given me 350, rather than the full amount so I knew I’d made him angry.
“After this a lot of important Rigpa people called me. There were all sorts of threats and I heard that men were claiming I’d slept with them and were calling me a whore. But they should know that Sogyal is very possessive about the women he likes – he only lets the ones he wants to get rid off sleep with other men. I know now that many of the things he does are punishable by law.
I am not afraid of him”.