William L. Cassidy – a CONpendium
Do you want to protect yourself and your organization from falling for a con-man? As with protection from any predator, knowledge of his nature is the first step.
We offer the following account of the activity of William L. Cassidy, currently operating scams in the Dharma community under the name Tulku Urgyen Tenpa Rinpoche, and on twitter as @tenparinpoche. Cassidy also operates @tulkuogyen on twitter and Tulku Ogyen’s blog. We feel that scrutiny of his sheds light on his current activities.
We have presented a great deal of information in this post–so grab a cup of coffee or tea and settle in for the story. The images below will lead you to source articles online, so you can see where we obtained our information—you don’t need to take our word for it! We simply want you to be able to make an informed decision, should you have the misfortune to have this person touch your life.
Cassidy has claimed over the years to have CIA experience, especially concerning Asian investigations. Here is a list of the books he authored while wearing this hat:
http://www.iaaci.com/Features/features.htm Link to booklist
In connection with this Asian investigations background, Cassidy claims particular expertise in regard to money laundering in Asia.
http://www.michelpicard.ca/document/013.pdf Link to PDF on Chinese Money Laundering
In the list below of books he authored, you can see a range of subjects, from his paper “Political Kidnapping,” authored in 1978, to his pamphlet “Quick or Dead,” authored in 1994.
If you study this list, you can see that in 1991 he was peddling himself as an expert in Asian Gang Violence:
By the early 1990’s, he had taken up residence in Las Vegas, associated with ex-mob lawyer (now mayor!) Oscar Goodman.
Here you can see a review of his storied past, including his claim to have sold classified weapons to a foreign government. Note the continued references to his “expertise” in money laundering and drug trafficking operations in Asia.
Las Vegas Sun column on Cassidy’s background:
During the highly publicized trial of the murder of Ted Binion, Cassidy first acted on behalf of the defense, taking their money, and then, having been arrested and imprisoned himself, tried to negotiate his own deal to work for the prosecution. Here is a sampling of articles from that period, documenting his consistent record of empty promises and violent behavior:
Las Vegas Sun story about Cassidy threats: http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2000/aug/01/break-in-plan-alleged-in-binion-case/ This snippet shows Cassidy’s rip-off of the defense, but also indicates he made threats and bragged about killing people–very powerful.
Las Vegas Review Journal article on his indictment for rape of his wife, April 2003: http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2003/Apr-24-Thu-2003/news/21177468.html
Las Vegas Sun column about Cassidy’s double dealing: http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2003/jul/29/columnist-jeff-german-cassidy-says-binion-murdered/
You can see in this final article, above, that Cassidy was playing both sides of this case for his own profit.
Although, since the end of the Binion trial, journalistic scrutiny of Cassidy has diminished, there is still some documented activity available online.
The listing of Dharma Centers in Las Vegas, shown below, clearly shows William L. Cassidy going by the name of “Jigme Lingpa.” After he was granted probation and released from prison, he apparently began operating a website, www.nyingmapa.us, which has since been taken down. Note that he was NOT using the name “Tenpa” at that time. Emails in our possession from that time period show him using the name “jigmerinpoche.”
TibetanBuddhistSangha Dharmaweb snippet: http://www.dharmaweb.org/index.php/Nevada
We can only guess about why Cassidy would need to leave Las Vegas and begin using a series of aliases (link to the page), but, reading through his history, one can see he may have made a few enemies there.
Beginning in the fall of 2007, Cassidy made contact with a monk stationed in Mongolia on behalf of Kunzang Palyul Choling, where the monk was helping the Mongolians re-establish their traditional Buddhism. That monk, taken by Cassidy’s eloquent words and heavy praise, came to believe “Tulku Tenpa” was actually a real Tulku. Cassidy presented himself as ill, having only months to live, and living a pathetic existence in a California desert. In a fateful series of events, the monk convinced his teacher to take this ailing man in. The full story can be found in this post:
Post about Cassidy and KPC: https://protectingnyingma2.wordpress.com/2009/12/11/the-tulku-not/
Within several months after his first contact with the monk’s organization, KPC, it became apparent that neither was Cassidy ill, nor was he the Tulku he claimed to be. Unfortunately, he had already managed to gain the trust of the organization, to such a point that he was briefly given access to their financial records. (He had claimed extensive experience in helping non-profits operate successfully.) He was in this position for only a matter of days before his fraud was uncovered, but during that time gathered every piece of financial information he could.
Once KPC had received confirmation from His Holiness Penor Rinpoche that Cassidy was not in fact a Tulku, Cassidy was offered the opportunity to stay and be cared for in his illness. He was, however, told he could no longer be involved in organizational operations because of his untruthfulness. Within a day of this news, he left the organization.
Cassidy began a vicious campaign against KPC and Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo, KPC Spiritual Director. He started by offering for download from his blog http://tibetanaltar.blogspot.com all financial documents he had obtained while with KPC and had taken with him when he left:
Post offering documents for download: a link is not available, as the post has been taken down. The screenshot above is from our archives.
At that point the organization began researching this man, and discovered his extensive history online.
After leaving KPC in Sedona, Arizona, Cassidy returned to California, where his past caught up with him, and he was arrested for violation of his parole. He ultimately spent another year in prison and was released in late January of 2009. You can see his record here:
Upon release from prison in 2009, Cassidy resumed his attacks.
Since late 2009, Cassidy has continued his attacks on KPC and Jetsunma through twitter avatars @crystalsally and @femnikki, amongst others.
Cassidy has now begun a new scheme, attempting to infiltrate yet another branch of Palyul through association with Tulku Ogyen Rinpoche. Cassidy operates Tulku Ogyen’s twitter account and his blog (link to post.) What is particularly dangerous in this arrangement is that a real Tulku in the Palyul Lineage has freely given Cassidy permission to operate his sites. Cassidy did not waste time in taking advantage of this opportunity:
Screenshot of “TulkuOgyen” saying Cassidy was recognized by Dudjom Rinpoche:
Please note that His Holiness Penor Rinpoche advised KPC in 2008 was that no such recognition took place in the Nyingma School. (And when you read the screenshot above, bear in mind that it is William Cassidy behind that curtain.)
While we are concerned for Tulku Ogyen that Cassidy has managed to gain at least the appearance of his cooperation in these schemes, we can do our best to warn the cyberworld. Please, heed the warning of some who have studied this man for more than two years now: you can count on Cassidy to lie, to deceive for his own benefit only, and to lack moral restraint. He has a demonstrated record of violent crime. He has purportedly bragged about killing people. He has an extensive history in gang and mafia-related operations involving the US and Asia.
Do you really want to trust this man?