Chögyam Trungpa was a Tibetan Buddhist monk who escaped from Tibet to India and went to Oxford University in England. While in England, he married one of his 16 year old students and he got so drunk, he had an automobile collision into a joke shop in Scotland. Trungpa took the title “Rinpoche” because he had some serious ego problems (the title “Rinpoche” means “precious one”, and is only really used for kings), as there were Buddhist monks that enabled him and fed his ego while he was in Tibet. He formed the Vajradhatu Buddhist organization in America and created several retreat camps in the United States and across the world. He took roots in Boulder, Colorado for many years, forming a huge Shambhala community and creating Naropa University for the purpose of lending some sort of credence to his teachings.
Trungpa died in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1987 due to some serious drug use and while his wife denies it, his personal friend and physician confirmed it on the Chögyam Trungpa Chronicles. Trungpa was known to be a heavy alcoholic, giving lectures when he was drunk off his ass and it was likely that he also did cocaine. So he was like other cult leaders like L. Ron Hubbard, because when the going gets tough, those who are unable to handle it get stoned – which is understandable. After all, Trungpa had sexually assaulted the poet laureate W.S. Merwin and his girlfriend, Dana Naone at a seminary in Snowmass, Colorado and the interviews of people from the seminary were circulating around Boulder. They were eventually published, first as excerpts in Boulder Monthly and the Great Naropa Poetry Wars, which helped to spread the word about Naropa University and it’s abuses. However, the book has gone out of print and the author has lost his courage and is unwilling to let anyone republish his words – even if they would be willing to pay him for the privilege. (I know this because I offered to pay him to publish a free version online).
Trungpa believed that he was the only way to learn Buddhism and told a practitioner named Floy Van Der Berg that if she left his circle, she “would be eaten by the wolves”. This was after she was told by Trungpa to get pregnant by another person in the community and he told the man who inseminated her to move to Canada and for Floy to go on welfare. Trungpa had sex with a number of women in his circle, especially with those who were already married.