Former members of a Buddhist community allege that they have suffered abuse by the former head of the Triratna Buddhist Group, Dennis Lingwood in Norfolk.
The Triratna Buddhist Group has meditation centres worldwide and thousands of members enjoy meditation and teaching. Mr Lingwood resigned from an official role in the group in 2000.
Lingwood who was known as Sangharakshita would encourage young men to join the group and then encourage them to engage in sexual activity with him to, “make spiritual progress.”
The BBC has spoken to three former members who have explained that they were pressurised into engaging in sexual activity with Lingwood, “under the guise of friendship.”
Lingwood who is now 91 years old has acknowledged “his past sexual relationships with some members he had taught.” However, his victims are still waiting for a formal apology from the group.”
The group has said, “Over the years our community has learned much from early difficulties. The area of our history you raise- concerning past sexual relationships between Sangharakshita and other members of the order with some of the people they taught- this has been acknowledged by Sangarakshita. Though we are not a celibate order, we have, for many years, strongly discouraged sexual relationships between members of the order and those they teach, based on lessons from our own past.