[Contribution from Boris from Rick Ross site]
My wife is a Nydahl follower (and was before I met her). I'm a lax catholic.
I went to see what he was all about when he held a lecture in Budapest (2003), read some of his books and interviews. I agree with some things said in this thread, disagree with other accusations (persecution of those who leave, pressure not to read certain things, I have seen no evidence of that). But what bothers me most hasn't even been mentioned here as far as I can see.
1) I saw him tell 3000 hungarian listeners, this is a quote from memory “Some people talk about Islam without having read its sacred texts. I have read all of the Quran and it is, based on its texts, an almost objectively evil religion, especially against women. For example it says in the Quran “if you beat your women, beat them with green boughs, for they hurt more”.
I happen to work in a muslim country (Turkey), I've traveled in muslim countries. I've read the Quran, so as not to be ignorant. I'm critical myself of Islam. But there is nothing like what Ole said in the Quran. I checked it and had it doublechecked by others.
So I wrote him an email and asked where he got his quote from. He answered (so it's not true one can't email him, as someone here said) that “I've been told it's somewhere in the Sharia”.
Obviously “I've been told” is not the same as “I've read it myself”, as he pretended in front of 3000 young and avidly listening followers. And “Sharia” (islamic law with it's myriad opinions and schools of thought) is not the same as “Quran”.
So I thought this guy is dangerous, because he seems relaxed and likeable, and huge numbers of young people looking for orientation in this confusing life believe his every word, and he either lies or talks irresponsibly, perhaps wanting to impress, and what he says seems imbued with christian (rather than buddhist) prejudice = a vehicle/catalyst of hatred = the opposite of what I thought Buddhism was about.
2) Answering a question from the crowd as to wether they should enter into love relationships with people who do not follow him: “Of course it would be good to be with someone who shares your interests. But never mind, be with whom you want – as long as that person doesnt criticize your beliefs. If he or she does, then they don't respect you, and in such cases maybe it would be better to separate.” - I couldn't believe my ears. He was actually recommending splitting if your companion is critical of Nydahl.
3)About reincarnation, the most frightening quote was “people are reborn according to their merits. So, if they have been great sinners, they will be reborn into a very uncomfortable and difficult life, for example in Black Africa.” - So there you go: Black Africans were great sinners in their previous lives. Is this already crude racism or just one devious step removed?
I attended a party of his followers soon after. Never again! I thought only skinheads and neonazis talk like that. Most were quite normal until a “buddhist” guy turned up who started ranting about Africans and Muslims and how they will swamp our good white Europe, and how we must rise against it and beat them back, and how Ole was the only one to see the danger. - Most of the others hadn't been talking politics, but now that he mentioned it, everyone agreed – even when I confronted them about how aggressive their beliefs actually are.
My opinion: What this guy teaches would never be taught by a tibetan buddhist. He and some of his preachers even insinuate it from time to time: Tibetans, as far is Buddhism is concerned, aren't up to it anymore. (is this some kind of Western supremacy, even in things spiritual?) -
So from then on I refused to finance my wife's several “meditation courses” per year, each of which cost anywhere from a few dozen to a few hundred Euros, what with food and accomodation. Lectures by travelling Ole-preachers also cost a modest entry fee. Hey, they can"t build their centres from nothing. I don't want to finance this guy.