We’ve never known much about Tara’s past, since she talks about it only rarely. On top of that, public information has been difficult to find because of all the names she’s had – Marjorie Larson, Marjorie Quinn, Tara Quinn, Tara Dadak, Ngawang Chodon, Domo Geshe Rinpoche, Tara Wangchuk – and we didn’t even know those for sure! Where did the names come from? What are the facts of her life?

We created a starting point based on Tara’s statements of her birthdate, being a Minnesota native, and the list of known names above. We pieced together further details after an exhaustive review of newspaper archives and public genealogical information. The timeline below sheds light on where the above names come from. It also shows some other milestones in her life and puts in perspective the sequence of her actions as Domo Geshe Rinpoche.1

Most items below are clickable. Clicking an item will show the document or record the information was taken from and in some cases more information on the item itself.

If only the year of an event is known, it is listed as January.


Born Marjorie Ann Larson

January 9, 1946 to Einar Larson (1915 – 1970) and Ethel Larson (1923 – 2013) in Hennepin county, Minnesota


Meets Domo Geshe Rinpoche

It is likely she changes her name to Tara some time after this.


Moves back to Minnesota

The exact date of the move is unknown.


Sells hand-made art items

The sales techniques used in this article echo the style that will later be seen in her attention-grabbing Facebook posts. She continues to create hand-made art to this day, selling much of it to her students. You can find it by Googling “Tara Wangchuk art.”  


Offers events as Ani Ngawang Chodon

She bills herself as a teacher and lecturer


Advertises under the name Lama Ngawang Chodon

Once people arrive at her talks, she tells them she is actually a Tibetan named Domo Geshe Rinpoche

Moves to Santa Rosa, California

Donations made it possible for her to buy a double-wide trailer home in a retirement community. Over the next 8 years, repairs would largely be done by ordained students or paid for by the White Conch non-profit organization formed at this time.


Ordains first monk

He was ordained a couple months after meeting her, and one day after asking for ordination. Both of these are extremely unusual. He was named Ngawang Sangay.

Leads a pilgrimage to India and Nepal

It was originally planned to be 4 months but goes long by 2 more months, as the main purpose of the trip – convincing Tibetan authorities to accept her claim – doesn’t go as planned.


Meets with administrators of Tharpa Choling

Tara was granted two separate meetings with the administrators of Domo Geshe Rinpoche’s monastery in India. Her translator later recounted what ended the second meeting. Chungtze said to her, “If you are Domo Geshe Rinpoche, then tell me the name your parents.” Tara drew a blank. Read the full account..Weiterlesen


Receives Letter from Dungkar Gonpa Society

Demanding she cease using the name Domo Geshe Rinpoche. Full letter can be read on the Resources page.


Purchases inexpensive house in Neillsville, Wisconsin

It is in heavy need of repairs and much of the renovations are done by her students. She calls this place the “Hermitage” as it becomes her new residence as well as the site of retreats. White Conch again covers many of the maintenance expenses.


Meets Namkha Rinpoche

He says he believes in her, but that he was absolutely not offering official recognition. He left it to the Dalai Lama to decide. His involvement was strange, since Namkha Rinpoche never knew Domo Geshe Rinpoche. Being from the Nyingma tradition, he would never normally be involved in the recognition..Weiterlesen


Brings her group to a week-long Switzerland event by the Dalai Lama

At Namkha Rinpoche’s invitation, for the purpose of getting recognition from the Dalai Lama. He does not grant her a meeting.


Purchases additional property down the road

This land is undeveloped and much larger. Once built on, it provides rooms for retreatants. Fundraising campaigns run through the non-profit organization become a regular occurrence, especially during group retreats. The Treasurer begins recommending to followers that they include White Conch in their will.


Opens Etsy store selling Tibetan Buddhist items

As of 2020, over 3000 sales were made and over 800 items are listed for sale. Students serve as models in numerous product photos.


Builds larger commercial retreat facility

After another, much larger fundraising campaign that brings in over $125,000. The original house, now dwarfed by her other properties, is sold. Her total property development as of January 2020 can be seen in the enclosed photo.


Membership stagnates

Comparing photos from 2005-2018 shows that despite a narrative of growth, Tara’s retreats still draw only 20-30 people. Photos taken from her public Facebook profile.


At least a dozen members live in Neillsville with her

Either on Tara’s property or after buying homes nearby