Sunday, September 28, 2008

Trouble in Paradise

Journalist Will Spisak reports:

"The political undertones that surround Tibet make this issue all the more sensitive. With political, as well as religious, unity at stake, both sides have begun to ponder what a rift might mean for the future of Tibet. This presents a particular point of interest to the West. For decades, the Dalai Lama has been revered as a champion of peace and, as a result, we have developed a particular soft spot in our heart for him. However, if the claims made by the Western Shugden Society are true, and there is actual religious persecution occurring in Tibet and in the exiled communities, will the West be willing to confront our champion of peace on this issue? I am not suggesting that the claims are definite; however, if the problem persists and persecution becomes an undeniable reality, we will have to decide what is more valuable to us, a united Tibetan community able to reach an agreement with the Chinese or our basic belief in religious freedom."

To read the full article:

The Knight News

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dorje Shugden saved the Dalai Lama's life

This video shows evidence that it was Dorje Shugden whom the Dalai Lama relied upon for advice when fleeing Tibet in 1959.

It used to be common knowledge that Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden was responsible for the 14th Dalai Lama's escape from Tibet. This was until it became an inconvenient truth in the face of the Dalai Lama's ban of the practice of Dorje Shugden. It was edited out, to be replaced with the more politically expedient lie about it being the state oracle Nechung who helped. But the truth will always out, and there are still a few people alive today who remember the facts clearly and who have spoken about them for the record.

To find out more about this, visit, which gives the account of the Dalai Lama's translator Helmut Gassner who knew many of the people involved in the escape, and also, which includes an interview with one of the people who witnessed it.

The Dalai Lama's tutors were Dorje Shugen practitioners, and so were most of the Gelugpas around the Dalai Lama as he grew up. He himself was a Dorje Shugden practitioner until he was in his forties. Dorje Shugden practitioners helped the Dalai Lama in Tibet in many ways and for many years, even before this historic escape.

And then, after they had fled into exile, these Gelugpa Lamas were famously loyal and helpful to the Dalai Lama in the Tibetan exile community in India. For years they helped in the rebuilding of the community -- re-establishing monasteries, schools, hospitals and so on. They never considered themselves enemies of the Dalai Lama. 

As one of the comments on the unofficial Western Shugden Society blog says: 

"I was present at a few of the Western Shugden Society demonstrations. There was an old Tibetan man who was sitting in a chair at the very front demonstrating with us. Another Tibetan explained to me that this old man used to be one of the Dalai Lama's body guards, and that he helped the Dalai Lama escape to India. I remember him saying something like:

"We always protected the Dalai Lama, and now he says we try to harm him." 

It is very sad that someone who was at one time so devoted that he would have given his life for the Dalai Lama now has to demonstrate against his policies."

The Dalai Lama's ban of their religious practice is an inconceivable betrayal of their trust, aid and friendship. It makes no sense at all, except in a political arena where power means more than friendship and truth.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Cult of Dorje Shugden or the Cult of the Dalai Lama?

The Dalai Lama’s big lie

“In an interview with NEWSWEEK earlier this month, the Dalai Lama expressed his worries about the Dorje Shugden. "That cult is actually destroying the freedom of religious thought," he said.”
- Newsweek April 1997

“The problem with Dolgyal practice is that it presents the spirit Dolgyal (Shugden) as a Dharma protector and what’s more tends to promote the spirit as more important than the Buddha himself. If this trend goes unchecked, and innocent people become seduced by cult-like practices of this kind.”
- The Dalai Lama’s Advice Concerning Dolgyal (Shugden), June 2008

This shows that in ten years, nothing has changed. The Dalai Lama is consistently using this derogatory term in relation to Dorje Shugden practice and practitioners, throwing mud that he hopes will stick so that Buddhists who have faith in him will also share this view. He uses the term 'cult' to dismiss the practice and humiliate those who practise it, but -- as with most of the Dalai Lama's pronouncements – few of his fervent followers have checked to see if there is truth in what he is saying.

What is a cult?

Let's examine objectively the claim that Dorje Shugden practice is a cult.

Firstly, a definition from the Chambers Dictionary:

Cult: a an unorthodox or false religion; b the people adhering to such a system.

For the practice of Dorje Shugden to be a cult, it would have to be unorthodox and/or a false religion.

The practice of Dorje Shugden and the pure Gelugpa tradition is not unorthodox.

  • It is estimated that before the Dalai Lama began forcing Tibetans to give up the practice of this Deity 30 years ago, two thirds of Tibetan Buddhists were sincere Gelugpas who practiced Je Tsongkhapa’s tradition without mixing it with other traditions and relied upon Dorje Shugden as the main Dharma Protector of this tradition. Shugden practice was never regarded as heretical before the Dalai Lama began criticising it. It was a mainstream practice.
  • The Dalai Lama himself practised it until he was in his forties and his eminent Teacher Trijang Rinpoche -- the greatest Gelug Master of the twentieth century, who was the Throne Holder of Je Tsongkhapa's tradition -- also practised it and promoted it widely until his death. Most Gelug Lamas relied upon Dorje Shugden.
  • Before the Dalai Lama's ban, Shugden practice was relied upon as the main Dharma Protector of the Gelug tradition. If the practice of Dorje Shugden is cult-like, it follows that the Gelug tradition he has protected for the last 400 years must be a cult.
The practice of Dorje Shugden and the pure Gelugpa tradition is not a false religion.

  • This authentic spiritual practice was transmitted and practiced by great Gelug Spiritual Guides such as Tagpo Kelsang Khedrub Rinpoche, Phabongkha Rinpoche, Trijang Rinpoche, Song Rinpoche, Geshe Rabten, Geshe Ngawang Dargye, Domo Geshe Rinpoche, Lama Yeshe and Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, to name but a few -- not to mention many Sakya Masters such as Morchen Dorjechang Kunga Lhundrup. The integrity of these Masters is beyond reproach -- one has only to check their life stories to see their qualifications and their teachings to see that they taught the genuine Dharma of Buddha Shakyamuni. These great Masters are therefore completely trustworthy.
  • Dorje Shugden is an incarnation of the Wisdom Buddha Manjushri because he comes from a long line of enlightened Masters starting with Manjushri himself. The proofs by Trijang Dorjechang are irrefutable and are given here.
  • The spiritual benefits of relying upon Dorje Shugden are well known by those who sincerely pray to him with compassion. In his praise to Dorje Shugden, the 14th Dalai Lama says:
Especially pacify all harm to us, the yogis and entourages,
That arises because of previous karma and immediate conditions,
And spontaneously accomplish, just as we wish,
All good things, both spiritual and temporal!

These are precisely the results of practising this Dharma: all obstacles are pacified and all good conditions for quick spiritual progress are gathered through this Dharma Protector's blessings.

Why is the Dalai Lama getting away with this big lie?

In summary, there is no valid reason whatsoever for the Dalai Lama to keep using the word 'cult' in relation to Dorje Shugden practice. Dorje Shugden practice was in the mainstream of the Gelugpa tradition before the Dalai Lama's ban. It is neither heretical nor extreme, as can be seen by the way in which people rely upon this Buddha and the prayers they make to him.

How the Dalai Lama can get away with making such statements without valid reasons is astounding. No other leader's words would be accepted just because of who he is.

(And, even if some people agree with his view, it is still entirely wrong for the Dalai Lama to impose his view on those who do not agree through political and secular means, backed up by the Tibetan Government in Exile.)

The cult of the Dalai Lama

Buddha himself advised those who wanted to follow him not just to accept his words but to check them carefully for the truth. Buddha's words of wisdom have benefited this world a great deal and are worthy of veneration and trust. However, the Dalai Lama's non-Buddhist words on the issue of Dorje Shugden have caused nothing but disharmony, division and suffering to the Buddhist community and are therefore not to be trusted.

Perhaps it is more appropriate to talk about the cult of the Dalai Lama, who is not the head of any spiritual tradition but who expects people to follow his spiritual diktats blindly, without checking the truth of what he is saying.

It is characteristic of a cult to unquestioningly follow a charismatic leader and to have no freedom as to what to practice. The Dalai Lama's ban gives people no freedom to follow the completely orthodox Buddhist practice of the Gelugpa tradition, symbolized by its Protector Dorje Shugden. He alone dictates what is Buddhist and what is not; and others -- assuming that he is a genuine religious authority rather than a self-appointed one -- blindly believe what he says despite hundreds of years of evidence to the contrary.

Posted courtesy of Lineage Holder.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Valuable resource -- new video section on subject of the Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden

There are a great number of videos now available on the subject of the Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden and someone has kindly collected these altogether for easy reference, with a sentence about them in some cases. They appear on the new Video section on the WisdomBuddhaDorjeShugden website (with which this blog is associated).

They are categorized in terms of who made them – the Western Shugden Society (WSS) and all the individual movie makers, concerned citizens.

We hope this will be a valuable resource for those wishing to see evidence of the persecution taking place, the background to the problem, the nature of the WSS demonstrations, and a great deal of other information and analysis in visual form.

This new Video section will be kept updated.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Background, history, analysis, stories about the Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden

This article was taken from the comment section of the New Statesman Faith Blog with the permission of the author. It is quite long but I decided to publish it all in one article -- so do get yourself a cup of tea and sit comfortably .... it includes a great deal of interesting background, history, analysis, stories and so on.

I would like also to give this story as I understand it, from my personal experience, research and reflections. No doubt I owe some data to the Dorje Shugden Devotees Charitable Society, and I've given them my thoughts too.

But mainly because I've been inside the Tibetan Buddhist world since the late seventies. A chunk of time.

Heartfelt gratitude to the New Statesman for this opportunity of telling the world about our plight.


This summer I watched a TV program --"Buddhist Warriors" -- where they were showing Buddhist monks of different nationalities engaged in street demonstrations. The journalist kept asking each of them the same question: how do you reconcile your (demonstrations, protests, etc.) with the fact that Buddhism is a religion of peace and love?

Although political activism is not new to monks, it’s true that – at least for those who consider them as a last frontier of goodness for humankind – it can be shocking to see them forced to abandon their prayers and dignified demeanor.

Although not shown in that program, many saw the demonstrations that a group of both Western and Tibetan monks staged against the Dalai Lama, and probably many were shocked or pained by them as well. The most painful, though, in this case, is to have to say that those members of the Buddhist monastic community were right, what they were saying is the truth.

In the case of the Dalai Lama, the mere idea of him being ordinary is for many practically unbearable. The world is convinced that he is the embodiment of everything good and noble. How can it accept that he be like any other being, capable of doing things that we don’t approve of? Some feel that if we were to accept such thing we would become orphans in a way, deprived of a model, of a supreme father, an enlightened sage … a friend, a spiritual friend. The day the world is going to see the Dalai Lama as an ordinary man and judge his deeds, we cannot say that the world is going to be a worse place than it is now, but for many people it’s going to feel cold, it’s going to taste bitter, it’s going to be sad.

That a Buddhist – I am a Buddhist from the depths of my heart – needs to show him in such ordinary aspect is among the saddest chores that a person can undertake.

Thinking of those protesters that followed the Dalai Lama from Germany to England, from Australia to the United States, culminating their demonstrations in Madison, Wisconsin – the place where he imparted his first Kalachakra to America – I am persuaded that many among them were sad from the marrow of their bones much before having to resort to demonstrations against him. The cry of the child abandoned by the mother, the cry of the adolescent child abused by his own father, these types of sadness might be a good image of the bewilderment and pain, a pain of the heart, searing, that so many Tibetans have been suffering since the Dalai Lama decided certain things, some years ago. Unheard of things.

The Press does not want to believe them, refuses to investigate. It’s understandable. To bring down that sacred figure, what suffering for many! People should perceive the magnitude of the pain that produces the decision to expose the owner of that holy name as not being what he appears to be.

The Dalai Lama's success comes no doubt from his constant talk about compassion and religious tolerance. It’s quite a feat to sustain such success merely with words while simultaneously promoting for years a witch hunt in the Tibetan community against a group of his fellow Buddhists.

These Buddhists, contrary to what people under his influence and misinformed journalists are saying, do not constitute a cult or some kind of sect, split from the greater Buddhist body. They were the most mainstream among the Tibetan Buddhists, the Gelugpas, until he turned them into outcasts.

The Dorje Shugden issue is being presented to the world as a religious matter. In a general way, anything Tibetan usually has a mixture of political and religious elements, but this particular question is considered by many Tibetans as a more specifically political issue. We've heard Tibetans saying, in this context: "We care more about Tibet than about Dharma, so don’t touch the Dalai Lama". The implications of such statements should be clear: "Even if he’s wrong in the religious field, we don’t care; he is our political champion and that’s what matters most to us".



The first moves against the practitioners of the Protector Deity Dorje Shugden had an internal political reason. We are talking of the late sixties and the seventies. The Dalai Lama and members of his entourage thought that he had to strengthen his authority over the whole of the Tibetan community to better face the world while in exile, and that a good way of doing this was to mix the beliefs and practices of the 4 schools of Tibetan Buddhism –Sakya, Nyingma, Kagyu and Gelug– creating thus, de facto, a single school with him at its head.

This was a political move without much religious basis, because while he was the political leader of Tibet, the Dalai Lama had never been its religious leader. Each sect had always had its own head, and in general it was accepted that the highest spiritual authority in Tibet was the Panchen Lama.

For the Gelugpa Lamas, the proposal of suppressing religious diversity by mixing up the practice of all lineages constituted a serious religious mistake, so they refused to accept it. The Dalai Lama didn't have any authority other than political to impose on them his idea. He is not the “Pope of Buddhism” as people believe, but more important: it is a tenet of Mahayana Buddhism that Lord Buddha taught many different Dharmas for different levels of practitioners. So the notion of heresy is not accepted, let alone the idea of persecuting other Buddhists.

Probably due to this lack of doctrinal basis to impose his will, the Dalai Lama decided to turn against the Dharma Protector of the Gelugpa lineage as a way to eliminate those Lamas who opposed him – his own teachers, the most revered and influential among Tibetans. Remember this, because today the Dalai Lama wants the world to believe that the Dorje Shugden people constitute a kind of cult. This is untrue. They were the most mainstream of Tibetan Buddhism.

For many years, the Dalai Lama was not very successful with the Gelugpa Lamas and monks in his attempts to vilify the Dharmapala Dorje Shugden. For the longest time all he obtained was that people would talk about the Protector in a hushed way so as not to wake up the Dalai Lama’s famous anger.


More than 20 years later the Tibetan leader suddenly decided to bring this old domestic tension with the Gelugpas to the general Tibetan community. He proclaimed a ban on Dorje Shugden and a tremendous persecution started then, with an inquisitorial destruction of books and images, the interdiction of holding civil jobs for the practitioners and much more. The Tibetan Draft Constitution that the Dalai Lama had much publicized as the basis for a democratic Tibet was altered to include a specific prohibition for the Dorje Shugden practitioners to hold public office.

Why all of a sudden had he done that? The absence of any new religious development and the events in the political field point to the fact that he needed the creation of a great red herring to cover an event that had taken place in Strasbourg, France, some months before receiving his Nobel Peace Prize. In that occasion, after decades of trying to convince the world that Tibet was an independent country, after prompting his Western followers to participate in the famous "Free Tibet" campaign that mobilized thousands of young Americans and other Westerners around the world, he gave up the independence of Tibet – offering China "autonomy" instead of independence – without ever once consulting the Tibetan people about it, nor alerting those many thousands of Westerners who had worked for him and for Tibetan independence … He gave up Tibet's independence all alone on his own.

His solitary, autocratic political move towards China practically remained unnoticed by the general Tibetan public, and the few individuals who became aware of it and were not in agreement with it didn't have time to conceive and start an opposition to the Dalai Lama because soon after that he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. When he received this extraordinary acknowledgment, Tibetans thought that the independence of their country was finally within reach. In the halo of victory of the Nobel Award, some oracular prophecies from his direct entourage confirmed the imminence of the so longed for independence.

But the years went by and the kindled hopes started vanishing. The victories ended up favoring only the person of the Dalai Lama, remaining exclusively in the field of his fame and public relations, while Tibet's destiny changed following the rhythm of changes in the Chinese regime. And thus a window of opportunity seemed to open for an important political opposition against the Dalai Lama. This was the opposition against his "autonomy" theory – a metaphorical word for his acceptance that Tibet is part of China – and it erupted in the last months of the year 1995, led by his brother Thupten Norbu, then residing in Indiana, USA. He created the Tibet Independence Movement and the Walks for Independence, openly defying his brother the Dalai Lama.


This brother deserves that someone writes his biography (apparently Harrier wrote one but I’ve never seen it). Although still living in Indiana he has unfortunately suffered a severe brainstroke. [Ed: He died last week.] He was the Tibetan liaison official between the Dalai Lama, the CIA and the freedom fighters at the time of the Tibetan guerrillas. When his mission ended – once president Nixon started the USA friendship with China – he was very unhappy and apparently never lost his dream for a free Tibet.

Someone who was for years among his closest people told me two interesting bits of information.

Norbu had at a certain point his and the Dalai Lama's old mother living with him. Both of them, mother and son, together with the people in their household, used to do the prayers to the Protector Dorje Shugden. Fortunately the old mother left this world many years before the ban. But not the son. It’s terrible to see how this person was forced by the power of his brother to give up his religious beliefs. In an interview with Donald Lopez he goes on and on echoing all the slandering that his powerful brother is circulating about the Protector and the Gelugpa Lamas.

But at the end of the interview, he pronounces a couple of sentences that utterly deny what he said before, acknowledging the good work that the Dorje Shugden people are doing in disseminating the teachings of Lord Buddha, and then saying:

"But, too, you know, the good and the bad, which one is it?"

I also learned that Thupten Norbu, once he knew about the intentions of his brother to abandon independence, secretly produced and printed pamphlets in favor of independence that he smuggled directly to Tibet, sown in people’s garments. Some years later, in 1995, he brought into the open his opposition against the Dalai Lama with the aforementioned Movement and the Walks for Independence.

But the Dalai Lama was not going to accept this rebellion against his will, so he had to make it disappear. In order to avoid the spread of the pro-independence movement among Tibetans – who are fiercely in love with their Motherland – apparently he considered that it was not enough to publicly scold his own elder brother – which he did while giving teachings in Japan; he needed to entirely divert the attention of Tibetans from such a dangerous issue. Thus, all of a sudden, in March 1996, he resurrected that old domestic disagreement with the Gelugpa Lamas, brought it to the general Tibetan public and came up with an idea that might sound strange to Western ears but for Tibetan ears held the strength of a powerful bomb: he declared that the Protector Dorje Shugden harmed his own health and the cause of Tibet and proclaimed a political ban against the deity.

In brief, at the end of the year 1995 began the pro-independence opposition against the Dalai Lama’s "autonomy" idea. In March 1996 the Dalai Lama issued the ban against the deity Dorje Shugden. These dates are not to be forgotten.

This red herring was a success. The persecution took inquisitorial tones, not only with the burning of sacred books and statues and even of houses of practitioners but with the prohibition for these to hold civil jobs, to attend public teachings and ceremonies, and many other unfortunate attacks on their human rights, as I will explain.


In March 1996, H.H. the Dalai Lama announced a ban against the worship of the Buddhist deity Dorje Shugden, declaring that such worship posed a "danger to his life and the cause of Tibet."

Nothing fans fanatic concern of Tibetans more violently than the thought that His Holiness' life could be in danger. Thus the Dalai Lama, deliberately giving this as a reason for justifying the ban on Dorje Shugden, triggered the heaviest of discords and the relentless persecution of the Gelugpas faithful to their religious commitments.

His Private Office issued a decree for everyone to stop practising Dorje Shugden, with instructions to make people aware of this through government offices, monasteries, associations, etc.

The Assembly of Tibetan People's Deputies (Parliament) passed a resolution banning the worship of Dorje Shugden by Tibetan government employees.

The Dalai Lama personally encouraged the Tibetan Youth Congress and the Women Association to enforce the ban. Consequently a group of nuns dragged into the street a holy Dorje Shugden statue consecrated by some of the highest Tibetan Lamas by using a rope attached to its neck. They spat at the statue, sat on it, broke it up into pieces, and threw the remains into the town's garbage dump.

The Tibetan Freedom Movement and the Guchusum Organization barred the worship of Dorje Shugden among their members.

All government employees were ordered to sign a declaration to the effect that they do not / will never worship Dorje Shugden. Those who didn’t comply lost their jobs.

The Tibetan Department of Health gave a special notice to doctors and staff:

"We should resolve not to worship Shugden in the future. If there is anyone who worships, they should repent the past and stop worshipping. They must submit a declaration that they will not worship in the future."

Employees of the Tibetan Children's Village were urged to take oaths against Dorje Shugden.

The Dalai Lama made it mandatory for administrators and abbots of all major Tibetan monasteries to enforce the ban. A campaign of intimidation and forced signatures set the stage for many acts of violence against the practitioners in the various monasteries.

Through his private office the Dalai Lama commissioned Sera Je monastery 21 days of wrathful exorcisms against Dorje Shugden and his practitioners.

The Tibetan Youth Congress implemented the ban in every Tibetan settlement, with house to house searches, desecration and burning of statues, paintings, and other holy objects.


All of this and much more happened in the first two months after the ban.

Then some voices from the West started questioning what was going on.

Consequently, on May 14 1996 the Kashag (Tibetan Cabinet) released a statement denying any religious suppression.

This was the first denial.

From that time on the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan government and all Tibetan institutions never stopped the persecution, simultaneously denying that it ever existed.

As mentioned before, the Draft Constitution of the Tibetans was changed to bar the practitioners of the deity from having civic responsibilities and in the facts all practitioners were forced to apostasy or were fired from their jobs.

Regretfully the world automatically protected the Dalai Lama's fame, never believing that the Lord of compassion was persecuting his own people. The state of denial of the Press regarding the actions of the Dalai Lama is a whole other matter, a phenomenon worthy of specialized research.

YEAR 2008

In the meantime, it seems that the Chinese government never believed the sincerity of the Dalai Lama’s desire to bring Tibet back to what the Dalai Lama called "Mother China". It's impossible to know if they are right or wrong in their mistrust. They do know that he badly wants to go back to the Potala of his youth but they don't find a motive to believe that he only wants to return there "as a simple monk", without any desire for political activity. One thing seems sure: they didn't measure the profundity of his personal desire for returning to his country.

Today it seems obvious that the Dalai Lama chose 2008, the year of the Olympic Games, to try to force China into accepting him back, on his own terms. A number of journalists, politicians, and specialists of international affairs believe that the riots in Tibet took place under his instigation, to corner China at such a delicate moment of its history. We don't know if this is true or not; in any case he jumped to the occasion provided by the violence in Tibet to try to make his aspiration of returning Tibet to Mother China a reality.

But again he needed peace at home while proclaiming to the world –this time very loud– his solution of handing Tibet to China, so different from his heroic fight for freedom in the past. The problem was that the exile Tibetans hate this solution. The Dalai Lama could not run the risk of losing face at such a significant historic moment because of actions from his own people, those stubborn pro-independence minded Tibetans.


So he used the same "distraction": he rekindled and intensified the persecution against the Dorje Shugden practitioners. He put all Tibetans on this terrible mission: locate them and erase them from the Tibetan world. Tibetans are today, as I write, massively following the unfortunate advice of their leader, and it’s working to an extent that the world prefers to ignore.

The opposition in the name of independence still exists, but its people are too involved in implementing this new witch hunt. There is another factor: they don’t dare truly oppose the leader. They might talk a little bit to the Press from time to time, but since 1996 they never organized again true actions of opposition. They know better. They've seen a clear mirror of the danger of opposing the Dalai Lama: the practitioners of Dorje Shugden. These Gelugpas who refused to give up their religious commitments are treated as traitors sold to the Chinese, as Chinese spies, and regularly and falsely accused to the Indian police of various crimes –in general of being a threat to the Dalai Lama and in particular of the heinous Dharamsala homicides of three monks. Even though the Indian Judiciary never found an author, and never found any fault in the people of the Shugden Charitable Society accused by the Tibetan government, the Dalai Lama keeps repeating that the culprits were the Dorje Shugden practitioners, with some people of the Press and well known people from the academic milieu irresponsibly perpetuating the calumny.

This ultimate chapter of the religious persecution started last January, 2008, and the main victims were the great universities for higher Buddhist studies, the Southern India monasteries. Although through the years their authorities had to pay lip service to the ban issued by the leader, and this had caused trouble to the faithful Gelugpas, they still had a big number of Shugden practitioners peacefully living in Ganden and Sera, indistinguishable from the other monks, doing everything together, daily prayers, Sojong or confession, studies of the demanding philosophical syllabus, Logic debate, examinations, preparation of food, administration and financial chores… proof that in more than 30 years the Dalai Lama hadn’t truly convinced the knowledgeable Geshes and monks of the Gelugpas that there was anything wrong with the Protector’s practice. Their actions against the lineage for the most part were/are performed under the monumental threat of the Dalai Lama’s power.

The year of the Olympics gave him the opportunity to both exterminate the Protector’s devotion in the Tibetan people and use it as a means of distracting the pro-independence Tibetans. So he went to Southern India in January and personally ordered the abbots and disciplinarians to organize a caricature of the Vinaya vote against the Deity and the religious followers. Who would have dared oppose him? A mere thousand monks, today separated from their fellow monks by physical walls and the wall of the schism imposed by the Dalai Lama. During this last wave of persecution, it was in those monasteries that were first forced the oaths in front of deities swearing that one does not worship the Protector Dorje Shugden, and swearing that one is never again going to have the slightest human relation with his practitioners. Even very young monks had to take the oath.

There started the final push to impose the ostracism, the segregation, the creation of an outcast group of Tibetans that Tibetans cannot even talk to. The Dalai Lama honored his own word: some years ago he had said to a group of people who tried to engage him in dialog to abate his wrath against the Gelugpa practitioners: "It’s going to get worse for them; it’s going to be like the Cultural Revolution."


At least a thousand monks have been expelled from their monasteries –Ganden and Sera. Such forced schism is huge and constitutes the ultimate religious transgression: to divide the Sangha. But the lay people suffer too, defenseless in the midst of fanaticized communities. After the Winter 2008 events, the campaign of forced signatures and oaths is being extended to non-monks in the remotest parts of the world where you can find Tibetans, pervading the whole of the monastic and lay communities, from Southern India to Darjeeling, from Sikkim to Queens, New York.

In a restaurant that I know well, in Jackson Heights, NY, they posted the photos of the monks who are asking for religious freedom as if they were wanted criminals. The hate language included, of course, the accusation of receiving money from the Chinese. Those poor monks, working 12 hours chopping vegetables or being bus boys in restaurants or doing construction work … They were among the first exiled when the persecution started in 1996, now they don’t have any other place to hide. If this is happening in New York, people should try to imagine what is going on in India and Tibet, where even the kids of practitioners are victims: when they are not expelled from schools, they are being purposely isolated and not talked to, as if they were pariahs.

Accustomed to his leadership, disoriented by exile, most Tibetans have chosen to stick to their Dalai Lama, ignore his failures and accuse others for the loss of their country. So under the Dalai Lama’s instigation, the Dorje Shugden practitioners have become the scapegoat at whom anybody can throw a stone.

The suffering in the fractured Tibetan community and the destroyed Buddhist Sangha is difficult to describe completely because it’s all pervading. Some days ago I was walking the streets of Sunnyside, New York, with a friend, a young Tibetan monk from India. All of a sudden a young lay Tibetan caught up with us and said hello to the monk and they started talking, half in Tibetan half in English. Tibetans usually ask all kinds of questions, and the obvious one this time was where each of them came from. My friend mentioned a name that I didn’t understand, and the other Tibetan said "Oh, yeah, in the settlement I come from, we also have that monastery". After a little while this young guy reached his destination and said good bye. Then I asked the monk: "I never heard of your monastery having a branch in Southern India, what were you talking about?" And he answered:

"Well, I didn’t tell him the true name; my monastery is well known for being faithful to Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and the Protector, so if I had said its true name to him, he would have felt so much hatred."

I wish other people could have seen the monk’s face. He remained calm, but a subtle compassion mixed with sadness pervaded his features, an expression that said something like 'such waste, such misfortune'. It was obvious that he was protecting the mind of the other person with his innocent lie. But nothing could protect him from the situation.

A couple from India were also visiting the United States at the beginning of the summer. They told us about some small misfortunes that they had encountered since people discovered that they were the relatives of a famous Gelugpa Lama's reincarnation – friends who stopped visiting them or calling them on the phone. These people, though, are professionals holding doctorates and have jobs and activities that have nothing to do with Tibetan issues. Most Tibetans do not have such a good situation. They entirely depend on their own Tibetan community; if they are ostracized they become like the living dead, they don’t find friends nor support anywhere.

Some friends of mine are sending money to help an old monk that takes care of a small Buddhist shrine somewhere in India. This monk lives alone. The last time they sent money they didn’t have any answer from him. Some days ago they finally were able to talk to him on the phone. He said that he had received something from the bank, but he didn’t know what it was, because the Tibetan friend that usually helped him with these matters had stopped helping and even visiting him. The local Tibetan Association, following the rules of the Dalai Lama, had had a signature campaign, and the friend of the monk had to swear and sign against the Dorje Shugden practitioners, so he could not go back to help him because the old monk had not forsaken his devotion to the Protector. Now I wonder: how many old monks have been abandoned by their own people because of the actions of the Dalai Lama? And worst of all: how many were forced to forsake their religious faith in order not to be abandoned by their people?

I have only told some of the stories I personally know. But the pain out there is incalculable.

  • People are denied travel documents because of their faith.
  • Monks coming from Tibet to India looking for higher Buddhist education are forbidden to reach a monastery if they do not sign giving up their faith in the Protector.
  • hildren have been expelled from schools in India because their parents are Dorje Shugden followers. Some of these kids end up being sent to Nepal for them to be able to receive an education.
  • In the Tibetan settlements the practitioners can see their photos nailed to trees or street posts denouncing them as Chinese spies, because they have the courage of not giving up the practices that their Lamas gave them or that they traditionally received from their families.
  • The monks following their faith have been denied access to their monastery’s kitchens and food provisions – even though the funds for the monk’s food came, in a specific case, directly from the donation of a renowned Lama who until his recent demise never ceased being a Protector’s practitioner – they are forbidden to enter the Tibetan stores in the neighboring settlements and forced to go far away to shop for basic daily needs in Indian stores.
  • If another Tibetan sees them he crosses the street.
  • In one of the big monasteries a gigantic wall was built in order that they will not be seen by others.
  • They have been called unclean by the Tibetan Government – that only follows orders from the Dalai Lama. Other names and insults are not worth mentioning.


There is another angle to this already sad story. The Dalai Lama has been exporting his unholy crusade to the rest of the world. It’s painful to see how Western Buddhists belonging to Dharma Centers fanaticized in favor of the Tibetan leader are following the Dalai Lama's lead, slandering the practitioners of the Ganden tradition just because they try to keep intact the teachings and transmissions of their Gurus.

Just think how would you like it if your students or your family receive emails or phone calls stating that you are a demon worshipper, or a bad person who opposes the kind Dalai Lama.

I find it shocking that Western Buddhists would give up our best values of the "other" Enlightenment, the one which gave us our sense of human rights, by which we were able to end slavery and so many awful things that humans did to humans up until not so long ago. In our Western world, we have really made progress in this area, and I've been thinking that it’s a shame and a pity that Westerners would so easily accompany the Dalai Lama in the discrimination, slandering and persecution of others because of their religious beliefs. This is a very serious matter.

If I were a politician, a political leader, an educator, I would be very worried. The basic principles that our founding fathers defended, the Dalai Lama is transgressing, and there are people perfectly aware of this that are defending him.

Says TIME magazine, commenting on the aggression that the Dorje Shugden practitioners suffered in the streets of New York from the Dalai Lama’s followers:

"Most scholars e-mailed for this story were hesitant to line up behind the Shugdenpas, partly … because many are themselves deeply invested in the Dalai Lama, and partly because of the whiff of fundamentalism and recklessness that clings to the sect."

And TIME forgets to mention that "fundamentalism" (recklessness is a new one) is the main accusation that the Dalai Lama invented to justify his religious persecution.

If scholars adopt as their own the arguments used by the Dalai Lama, what recourse is left to the victims? And those scholars, discussing at length a mystical figure like Dorje Shugden, as if it belonged to their field, did they ever realize that it does not matter the nature of the deity, it does not matter if their supporters are fundamentalists or not (and they are not) … nobody has the right to do to them what the Dalai Lama is doing? How come they, the intelligent ones, the knowledgeable ones, the ones who should know better, find justifications for the abuse, the segregation?

I would very much like that people interested not only in human rights but in the educational side of human rights were able to investigate this matter and react. This poison is so malignant ... it might be almost impossible to find an antidote if things are left as they are right now.


But the Dalai Lama is saying that there never was a ban against Dorje Shugden, only his good advice against an evil spirit or against spirit worshipping. This is a startling, nakedly untrue statement.

On the other hand, it could be answered to him, and it has been answered, that if such tremendous misunderstanding had taken place, his compassionate obvious action should be to publicly state that there is no such ban against Dorje Shugden and that the Dorje Shugden practitioners are as worthy of respect as any other Buddhist practitioner, and he should also publicly demand that they be restored to their original dignity, both as religious people and as Tibetan citizens. But he does not want to do this, such an easy way to stop such immense suffering.

I apologize to whoever follows his teachings, I apologize for him, for his using the holy words of Lord Buddha and at the same time doing the opposite of what these words teach. Do not believe the Dalai Lama, but please do not doubt of the supreme goodness of the holy Dharma.


What I said at the beginning about how sad it is for a Buddhist to have to expose the Dalai Lama is not rhetorical. It took me years to start writing. I’ve seen a close friend literally die because of this issue, a few years after the ban on the Protector. I chose to stop my thoughts after that, because I feared to follow her. Our hearts were broken and we were not Tibetans, I don’t want to imagine the pain of Tibetans. Still today there is a tremendous sadness, because of course we love him. The Dalai Lama is for us like a beloved uncle or elder brother gone crazy. One cannot stop loving him.

But one has to stop what he is doing because it’s wrong.

Then there are the millions of our fellow human brothers and sisters, most of them non-Buddhists, that might only have him as the model of what goodness is. To destroy the god of their innocent Pantheon is just awful, it breaks the heart of a decent person, not to mention what it does to someone who has adopted the Mahayana ideal.

But one has to stop what he is doing because it’s wrong.

After years of mental silence I came back to the issue. He made me come back. The Dalai Lama. What he did to our Sangha last winter is beyond description. So here is the first motivation for exposing him: we have to protect the persecuted monks. Now we know that the Dalai Lama is true to his own word: he said that he wanted to finish what he had started –the destruction of the faithful Gelugpas, the ones who didn’t abandon their Teachers, the ones guilty of preserving the transmissions that their Lamas gave them, the ones guilty of keeping the sacred bond with their Gurus– and he is doing it, he is destroying them.

Now the schism has taken place and the monks are separated, but even though the land where they live belongs to India, we know that the Dalai Lama is not satisfied, he wants to erase them from the Tibetan world, so as soon as the world forgets a little about the demonstrations, he is going to send again his people to expel them even from their now segregated quarters.

So one has to stop what he is doing because it’s wrong and he is hurting living beings.



And then look: here are our Lamas. You probably don’t know who was Pabongka Deche Nyingpo, Trijang Dorjechang, Domo Geshe Rinpoche, Zong Rinpoche, Rabten Rinpoche, Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin, and all the others. Their hearts were an ocean of love and compassion, of blissful wisdom. They were friends to all beings, to all religions, to all Buddhists. Now the Press and the Academia are repeating the Dalai Lama’s calumny: that he banned the Protector of their lineage because it promotes a sectarian mind, because our greatest Gelugpa Lamas were sectarian.

And people use the "proofs" that the Dalai Lama has handed them, from obscure historic gossip that obviously he is manipulating. He manipulates events that occurred under our eyes, as I showed above, what credibility can be lent to his version of history? Why don’t they look into what happened in our present time, where every action of those slandered Lamas, the ultimate Dorje Shugden people, contradicted and still contradict the Dalai Lama? Those Dorje Shugden people were his people, the great Lamas who stayed with him in the very difficult first decades of exile, nurturing him and helping him and helping every exiled Tibetan from every one of the Buddhist schools, without the slightest discrimination, with a love and a sense of profound care that should be shown to the world as the true example of what Buddhism is.

The accusation of fundamentalism against them has been conceived to please Western ears. It’s a childish one, if it were not so tragic. As I said before, in Mahayana Buddhism we believe that the Buddha taught many different Dharmas to suit the minds of different levels of practitioners. Because of this it’s extremely important to keep the lineages of instruction and transmission pure, not to mix them, in order that they can serve their purpose for those who need them. This is not only true for the Gelugpas, but for the other sects as well. The refusal of mixing lineages is a protection of diversity among the variegated Buddhist tenets. Where is the fundamentalism in this position?

Those Lamas defamed by their egregious pupil were true living Buddhas, true embodiments of love and compassion. They were the living proofs of the wrongdoings of the Dalai Lama, and like innocent lambs they mostly never answered, following the Lojong rule that one does not defend oneself but leaves whatever victory to others, in order not to disturb their minds.

Those true Princes of Peace are still with us, although most all of them departed to the Pure Lands. They are with us through their precious, infinitely beneficial teachings. This is what the Dalai Lama wants to destroy: our sacred bond with our Gurus, with the ones who taught us what to keep and what to abandon, the ones who are never going to forsake us, all the beings suffering in samsara, so how could we forsake them? If we follow the Dalai Lama’s advice, we loose our connection to the source of all goodness, our Lamas.

But the Dalai Lama has destroyed their good name, their credibility. He says in the famous video of the Swiss television, talking about his and our Gurus: "Yes, wrong, they are wrong!" A lineage of almost 400 hundred years of enlightened beings that have been venerating the Protector Buddha Dorje Shugden is wrong and he, alone, right? This does not stand to reason.

Are our kind Lamas going to go down in history as evil spirit worshippers? No. The world needs to know the truth.

Of course, our enlightened Gurus don’t have the slightest need for our help. So here is the deepest motivation for exposing the Dalai Lama: all the beings in this world of suffering need our Lamas and sooner or later in the infinite round of lives they are going to encounter their teachings. At least that is what we desire, what we hope for. We cannot allow that the momentary imbalance of an individual, just because he is famous and has an endearing smile, destroys the good name of the lineage, the teachings and the Lamas. Many have abandoned already the noble ones because of his calumnies. That is why this has to cease, for the benefit of all beings.

That is why we have to stop the actions of the Dalai Lama.

Posted courtesy of Friend of Truth.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

'Very hard for us' - Dalai Lama and religious freedom

Taken from Cincinnati City Beat

Tibet Fest supports endangered tradition
BY Gregory Flannery | Posted 09/18/2008

Kuten Lama, who teaches at the Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Colerain Township, hosts Tibet Fest this weekend in Clifton.

When the Dalai Lama fled persecution, he found refuge in India. But where do people persecuted by the Dalai Lama go? Cincinnati.

This weekend the monks of Gaden Samdrupling (GSL) Buddhist Monastery will serve Tibetan cuisine, exhibit elaborate hand-painted silks (thangkas) and talk about peace at Tibet Fest, a two-day celebration at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center. Proceeds benefit a spiritual lineage that's under threat of extinction.

These refugees from a most unlikely oppressor -- the Dalai Lama, a Nobel Peace Prize winner -- have found a home in a most unlikely setting. GSL is less than a mile from the hyper-suburban sprawl of Colerain Avenue, a proximity belied by the quietude that reigns over the 8.5-acre monastery.

Given the pressure the GSL monks have faced, a festival might seem surprising. But that hints at the very point that the monks want to make: You can't find peace by trying to change your enemies.

"The true enemy is in ourselves," says Kuten Lama, resident teacher at GSL.

"In our delusions is the true enemy. If you want to defeat the enemy, you need to defeat your delusions and anger."

'Very hard for us'

Myths about the Dalai Lama abound in the West. He is not, in fact, the head of Buddhism around the world; he isn't even the head of Tibetan Buddhism. Before the Chinese invasion, he didn't preside over Shangri-la; Tibet was a feudal society, a place of extreme poverty ruled by a theocracy supported by a wealthy nobility.

While the Dalai Lama smiles beatifically, his policies as head of the Tibetan Government in Exile have suppressed religious freedom.

At issue is a devotional practice the Dalai Lama once followed but has now decided to stamp out. This involves honoring Dorje Shugden, a wisdom Buddha who is an important part of the lineage that GSL Monastery and millions of Tibetans follow.

The Dalai Lama hasn't simply discouraged honoring Dorje Shugden. Declaring the deity an evil spirit, he's vowed to crush the tradition.

The Tibetan Government in Exile denies identity cards to Tibetan nationals who refuse to sign oaths renouncing the deity, leaving them unable to travel, hold jobs or receive aid, according to Lisa Farnsworth, a law professor at Indiana University. Monks who hold fast to their loyalty to Dorje Shugden have been expelled from monasteries, she says, and others have been denied food or barred from participating in prayer rituals.

"We're talking about basic human rights -- being able to eat, being able to have housing, (not) having your life threatened," Farnsworth says. "You can talk about love and compassion all you want, but people are being hurt by the Dalai Lama's actions."

The issue attracted attention earlier this summer when a crowd leaving the Dalai Lama's lecture in New York City started heckling Dorje Shugden followers who held signs saying, "Dalai Lama, Give Us Religious Freedom." Police officers urged the protesters to leave the scene for their own safety.

"There were 50 police officers there who said, 'We can't protect you. You've got to get on the buses and get out of here,' " Farnsworth says.

Farnsworth is a lay student at Dagom Tensung Ling Monastery in Bloomington, Ind., GSL's "sister" monastery.

"There was one primary reason why we established our monastery: to preserve our lineage," Kuten Lama says. "The hardship is because (the Dalai Lama) took our religious freedom, our human rights. But it is very hard for us ordinary persons to explain to the world because he is so powerful and famous and our words are not too important."

Taming the monkey

The spirituality and culture that GSL will celebrate this weekend at Tibet Fest are rich in color and flavor. The monks prepare the meals, featuring Tibetan vegetables, noodle threads and momos.

"Momos are dumplings with meat or with potatoes and cheese, but it tastes different from the dumplings that you get in Chinese restaurants," says Jamyang Lama, a monk, translator and teacher at GSL. "They contain secret Tibetan spices and a lot of love."

The festival includes a photography exhibition documenting a 2007 pilgrimage to Mongolia by monks and students from Cincinnati and Bloomington. The photos of shrines in the Gobi desert, like the prayer room at GSL, capture something of the paradox of Buddhism -- a tradition that employs an intricate iconography while holding that all phenomena are essentially empty.

"Tibetan culture is very intricate, very ancient, very colorful and very symbolic," Jamyang Lama says. "The most important is how art and culture connects with the mind and happiness. When you study the Tibetan culture and heritage, you learn how to cultivate happiness and be kind."

The festival includes lectures such as "Taming Monkey Mind."

"'Monkey mind' is a metaphor," Jamyang Lama says. "Our mind is like a monkey, always jumping and striking things. It never sits still. In this lecture, we talk about meditation so everything you do can be more productive and beneficial."

Tibet Fest is part of a fundraising effort for construction of a new monastery in traditional Tibetan architectural style. Students at UC's College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning helped create the concept for the new building.

The expansion bodes well for a lineage experiencing a double persecution.

"We are hoping to build a monastery and heritage center that will be a great asset to Cincinnati," Jamyang Lama says. "It will be very special for the city because there are few cities in this country that have this kind of presence. There is a growing interest in studying our beliefs and traditions in the community. Therefore our space in the monastery is too small."

TIBET FEST will be held 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center, 3711 Clifton Ave. Admission is free.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Pressure mounts on the Dalai Lama to solve the problem of religious freedom amongst Tibetan exiles

News Update from Dorje Shugden Devotees Charitable Society, Delhi, India, September 16 2008

Delegation from the European Tibet Support group urge a resolution to the conflict

Recently, five delegates from the European Tibet Support group came to Dharamasala. They said:

“For the last few months, Shugden devotees have protested widely. They are alleging that there is no religious freedom in the Tibetan exile community. A lot of world have picked up on this news and people are starting to pay attention to the issue.

On the other hand, we are fighting for religious freedom in Tibet. When there is a claim of a violation of religious freedom amongst Tibetan exiles, it is difficult for us to do our work.

Therefore, it would be good if you could solve this problem among yourselves.”
The speaker of the Tibetan parliament and some others said that they would discuss the issue during the session and invite the European delegates. However, Kalon Tripa Samdhong said there was no need to invite them since it is a Tibetan issue, and that they are not yet ready to reply to the European delegates.

Court proceedings against the Dalai Lama and Kalon Tripa Samdhong

The first hearing was held at the Delhi High Court on September 12. The lawyer for the Dalai Lama and Samdhong Rinpoche sought more time, surprisingly saying that they could not reply yet. They have sought an extension until November 19 2008.

Posted courtesy of the Dorje Shugden Devotees Charitable Society

Monday, September 15, 2008

Part Two: TV documentary by France 24: The Dalai Lama's Demons

Recently, France 24 sent journalists to India to investigate the claims of religious persecution by Dorje Shugden practitioners at the hands of the Dalai Lama and his supporters. This is what they found. Here we continue with Part Two of comments on this report. Part One can be found here.

Clarification of inaccuracies within the report

While, generally speaking, the report documents well the persecution against Dorje Shugden practitioners, there are nonetheless a few points that require clarification.

1.      Dorje Shugden practitioners are Chinese collaborators.  The inferences from the report range from Dorje Shugden practitioners are appreciative of the Chinese contribution to Tibet, through to they are receiving funding from the Chinese, through to they are outright collaborators with the Chinese.  This can be clarified as follows:

a.      There is no evidence whatsoever linking Dorje Shugden practitioners with the Chinese.  This is just a baseless allegation repeated again and again.  A lie repeated frequently does not become an actual truth, but it can become popular assumption, or at least enough of a rumour that people begin to doubt.  A good example is the often-repeated accusation that Barack Obama is a Muslim. 

b.      The only evidence that has been produced to 'prove' that Dorje Shugden practitioners are working for the Chinese is a couple of pictures of Dorje Shugden supporters meeting with Chinese officials.  Although there are far more pictures of the Dalai Lama with Chinese officials, nobody makes the absurd suggestion that such photos are a basis for saying he is working for the Chinese.  Anybody who has dealings in Tibet will need to have interaction with Chinese officials.  If there is 'no doubt' that Dorje Shugden practitioners are Chinese collaborators infiltrating the Tibetan community, then surely there must be more evidence than the picture of the back of somebody's head!  Surely this picture alone cannot be the basis of a systematic, 30 year campaign to completely eliminate 'even the memory of the name of Dorje Shugden' (the Dalai Lama's self-declared goal).

c.      During the Cultural Revolution, Mao would frequently declare that somebody was a Nationalist Spy or a Revisionist, and use this accusation as a means of discrediting any opposition.  It seems the Dalai Lama is holding himself true to his words that his persecution of Dorje Shugden practitioners will be like the Cultural Revolution.

d.      Any time that Tibetan officials or defenders are pressed to provide evidence substantiating their claims, all they can do is say 'everybody knows this to be so'.  Everybody may believe this to be so due to 30 years of propaganda and slander by the Dalai Lama, but history is replete with examples of everybody in a population believing what the propaganda says (Nazi Germany, Stalin's Russia, Mao's China, Kim's North Korea, Castro's Cuba, etc.).  It is a fair question to ask 'what is the basis of this belief?'  'What is the evidence substantiating this claim?'  If this is to be the basis of widespread religious persecution, a betrayal of the very principles that the Tibetan community is supposed to stand for (Religious Freedom) then surely it is fair to ask for proof whether the accusation is true or not.

e.      Any independent investigation would reveal that Dorje Shugden practitioners are receiving no financial support whatsoever from the Chinese.  Any independent investigation would reveal that these accusations are nothing other than convenient government lies designed to demonize and discredit any opposition.

2.      Objection:  But what about the pro-Chinese comments of Kundaling Rinpoche.  Surely this shows that Dorje Shugden practitioners are Chinese sympathizers.

a.      It is possible that a few Dorje Shugden practitioners, such as the individual shown in the interview, may feel that Tibet is better off under the Chinese than under the leadership of the Dalai Lama.  But this is an extreme minority view.  Any independent investigation would reveal that the overwhelming majority of Dorje Shugden practitioners are just as committed to the Tibetan cause as any other Tibetan or Buddhist practitioner. 

b.      This statement confuses cause and effect.  The Dalai Lama supporters say that Dorje Shugden practitioners are Chinese supporters (cause), therefore they need to be restricted (effect).  But the causality is actually reversed.  The Dalai Lama is persecuting Dorje Shugden practitioners (cause), which then may cause a small minority of them to prefer the Chinese (effect).  Absent the persecution, there would be no basis for this preference.  It is the ban itself that is creating sympathy for the Chinese cause; therefore, to remove such sympathy from Tibetan society, a more appropriate solution would be to lift the ban.

c.      To be unambiguously clear, the pro-Chinese sentiments expressed by Kundaling Rinpoche are in no way reflective of the views of the Western Shugden Society or the overwhelming majority of Dorje Shugden practitioners.  The Western Shugden Society has no political opinions whatsoever.  Its only objective is the restoration of religious freedom for Dorje Shugden practitioners.  It takes no position whatsoever on Tibetan politics, other than how it impacts religious freedom.

d.      Besides, feeling that China has brought some benefit to Tibet does not make somebody a Chinese agent or infiltrator.  This is a political opinion.  Oppositional political opinions are illegal only in authoritarian regimes.  The life blood of democracy is free opposition.  Either the Dalai Lama wishes to make Tibetan society democratic, at which point he should embrace opposition; or he declares that any opposition is national treason, at which point he forfeits any claim at being a democrat. 

e.      Even if there do exist a few Dorje Shugden practitioners who are Chinese agents, this is in no way a justification for the 'collective punishment' of all Dorje Shugden practitioners.  Why should innocent people be punished for the views of some?  If action needs to be taken against some individuals, then it should be targeted against those individuals, not against an entire spiritual population.

3.      Dorje Shugden practitioners engage in violence, commit murder and instigate arson.  Therefore, they need to be stopped.

a.      This is another incidence of a lie repeated often enough becoming publicly held myth.  With such a serious accusation, it is fair to ask the question:  what is the evidence?  Once again, when pressed, Tibetan leaders will reply 'everybody knows this.'  This is not evidence -- this is simply proof that the Dalai Lama's smear campaign has been effective. 

b.      When the Indian police investigated the accused Dorje Shugden practitioners, no evidence whatsoever was found against them, and they were cleared of all charges against them.  This has not stopped the Tibetan Government in Exile to continue to repeat and publish the accusation at every possible juncture.  Read a detailed account of the police investigation

c.      Showing pictures of murdered people and saying it was Dorje Shugden practitioners who did it does not prove that Dorje Shugden practitioners committed such awful crimes, it merely proves that some people were murdered.  It says nothing at all about who did it.

d.      Such murders are tragic, and anybody who committed such actions is not Buddhist.  Such violence must be condemned in the strongest possible terms, and all genuine Buddhists, Dorje Shugden practitioners included, share the moral outrage that such crimes are committed. 

e.      The crimes of a few misguided extremists cannot be a justification for punishing and demonizing an entire spiritual population.  Even if it was some extremist Dorje Shugden practitioners who committed these crimes (something we completely deny, this response is being made as a hypothetical), then it is those individuals who should be tracked down and punished, not the entire community of Dorje Shugden practitioners.  Surely any thinking person would not say all Muslims are murderers and should be punished just because some extremists engage in acts of terrorism.  The vast majority of Muslims are peace-loving, honourable people, and so should be treated with dignity, freedom and respect.  The whole world shares the moral outrage at the collective punishment of all Palestinians due to the actions of a few suicide bombers.  These are innocent people who should not be punished for crimes they did not commit.  In the same way, even if some extremist Dorje Shugden practitioners did commit such awful crimes (which, again, we deny), this is not a justification for punishing and persecuting innocent people.


In conclusion, we thank the producers and reporters of France 24 for having the courage and journalistic integrity to investigate the simple question of whether the Dalai Lama practices at home what he preaches abroad.  This documentary demonstrates clearly that there are serious violations of religious freedom and other human rights taking place against Dorje Shugden practitioners and the source of such persecution is none other than the Dalai Lama himself.  As the report accurately described:  there is 'spiritual apartheid' taking place and it is 'taboo' to question the Dalai Lama.

We invite France 24 to investigate further the points clarified in this response.  Baseless rumour and often-repeated allegation is not evidence.  If an investigation were to take place, it would clearly show that these allegations have no foundation in reality and are nothing other than a government-orchestrated effort to silence and discredit any opposition.  The truth can never be defeated.

Posted courtesy of Dspak.

TV documentary by France 24: The Dalai Lama's Demons

Recently, France 24 sent journalists to India to investigate the claims of religious persecution by Dorje Shugden practitioners at the hands of the Dalai Lama and his supporters. This is what they found. Please read on for comments to this TV documentary.


First of all, it is wonderful that France 24 has taken the time to investigate what is actually going on within the Tibetan community in exile. In public, the Dalai Lama is the global champion of religious freedom, yet at home in secret he is persecuting his own people. It is almost unthinkable that the Dalai Lama would blatantly betray that which is he most known for. It would be like finding out that Santa Clause abuses children, so people just think 'it can't be.' But as this documentary shows, there is truly spiritual apartheid.

Our fear is that such hypocrisy will destroy the Dalai Lama's moral authority much in the same way that the US engaging in torture has destroyed any remaining US moral authority. In the end, all Dorje Shugden practitioners are asking for is for the Dalai Lama to practice at home what he preaches abroad.

These comments will first indicate what the documentary got right, and then in Part Two it will clarify some issues that were misleading.

What the documentary got right

In general, except for the clarifications mentioned below, this documentary demonstrates beyond any doubt the types of things taking place within the Tibetan community against Dorje Shugden practitioners.

In particular, the report shows clear evidence of 'spiritual apartheid'. Widespread persecution of Dorje Shugden practitioners includes:

1. Dorje Shugden practitioners are denied entry into stores, shops and even hospitals. So they cannot get access to food, basic social services or medical care in their own community due solely to their religion.

2. The Tibetan people have taken an oath to the Dalai Lama swearing that they will deny material or spiritual support to any Dorje Shugden practitioner. And the Tibetan people are carrying out this oath.

3. Dorje Shugden practitioners are treated as outlaws. Their portraits are posted on the walls, like they are criminals.

4. Dorje Shugden practitioners have been shunned from their community, essentially being driven into exile from the exile community. They live in fear of people harassing them, threatening them, etc. Many Dorje Shugden practitioners have been forced to flee their community and live in exile.

5. Dorje Shugden practitioners are accused of being against the Dalai Lama, traitors, rebels and Chinese spies and collaborators.

6. The report shows that the persecution of Dorje Shugden practitioners is politically motivated. The report correctly calls it a witch hunt motivated by fear of Chinese infiltration within the Tibetan community. It shows that opposition to Dorje Shugden practitioners is taking place at the highest political levels within the Tibetan community, including the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Prime Minister, Samdhong Rinpoche.

7. It shows that people are forced to choose between Dorje Shugden and the Dalai Lama, and if they choose to maintain their religion, then they are expelled from their monasteries and community.

8. The report shows it is extremely taboo to criticise the Dalai Lama. Since he is supposed to be a God, anything he says automatically becomes the rule of law. If somebody criticises the Dalai Lama, then it is taken as automatic 'proof' that they are a Chinese spy or collaborator who is against the cause of Tibet.

9. The report shows that Dalai Lama is a hypocrite – preaching tolerance and religious freedom around the world, but at home practicing persecution.

10. It shows that any reporting of what is going on receives a hostile response. Cameras are smashed, those speaking out against the ban are harrassed, etc. If this takes place with the cameras rolling, imagine what takes place when nobody is looking…

11. The report shows clearly how all of this comes from the Dalai Lama himself. The Dalai Lama is the one who is the origin of all of this persecution, and it is he who ordered that all Dorje Shugden practitioners be expelled from their monasteries and the Tibetan community at once.

12. The report shows the number of people who have been affected by this ban – more than 4 million Tibetans.

a. Some argue that this number is exaggerated, saying that there is currently only a small minority of people practicing Dorje Shugden. However, it is historically undeniable that prior to the Dalai Lama beginning his crusade against Dorje Shugden practitioners 30 years ago, upwards of 60% of the 8 million total population of Tibet relied upon Dorje Shugden. So 4 million is actually a conservative estimate of the number of people affected by this ban.

b. To say that this number is exaggerated and that there is only a small number of people who are (currently) affected by this ban is very misleading. The reason why there is only a small minority currently affected by the Dalai Lama's actions is precisely because the Dalai Lama has been so successful over the last 30 years in systematically destroying the practice. The very fact that there are currently so few Dorje Shugden practitioners left today is itself the proof of the effect of the Dalai Lama's actions. There are currently very few Jews left in Eastern Europe because Hitler almost succeeded in wiping them out, but this does not mean that the holocaust did not affect many people.

c. There are two possibilities. Either there is a large number of Dorje Shugden practitioners, at which point the persecution being committed by the Dalai Lama is widespread; or it is a small number, at which point Dorje Shugden practitioners are not a threat, so they should be left alone to practice in freedom.

Posted courtesy of Dspak.