‘Diamond Way’ is a group claiming to follow the Karma Kagyu branch of Tibetan Buddhism. It has a long history of controversy since it’s founding in 1972 by Ole Nydahl, a Danish man. Ole Nydahl (known as Lama Ole by followers) was travelling in India and Nepal, and smuggling drugs back home to Denmark when he met the 16th Karmapa. On his return to Denmark, he was arrested, convicted and imprisoned for drug smuggling. After his release, he founded the ‘Diamond Way’ group.
His use of the term Lama and encouragement for this followers to do the same is also controversial. Tibetan Lamas have to do a minimum of 3 year’s retreat before being allowed to use the title. Ole Nydahl has done no such retreat or training. Nydahl himself is also a highly controversial figure. There has long been accusations that he has had sex with his female followers. When confronted about this, he replied “There’s no teacher-student relationship involved in that. They’re Diamond Way Buddhists, but they’re not my students in that moment. They’re equal partners.”
His political views are also controversial. He has long been a vocal critic of Islam, and frequently makes disparaging comments about black Africans. Former members have complained of death threats and smear campaigns since leaving, and also referred to the group as a cult.
We tried to contact Diamond Way centres in the UK, but there was no response.