For over a decade Robert Thurman has been the Dalai Lama's righthand man and greatest promoter in the West, including when it comes to maligning Dorje Shugden practitioners and spreading false information. He has called Dorje Shugden practitioners a cult, murderers, crazies, the Taliban of Buddhism, Chinese agents, sectarian -- misleading people about them in a Newsweek magazine in 1997 and in various public lectures since then.
He has never given valid reasons or concrete evidence to back up his hostile statements. Instead, it seems he blindly follows the Dalai Lama's policy on discrimination against Dorje Shugden practitioners and the propaganda of the TGIE, hiding behind his various academic credentials and especially his personal friendship with the Dalai Lama. For example, his claim to fame on various profiles is that he was the first Westerner to be ordained as a monk by the Dalai Lama (an odd boast considering he was also one of the first Westerners to disrobe).
At the various Western Shugden Society demonstrations in the US, he refused to engage in any civilized dialogue or debate with the WSS spokesperson and instead angrily insulted her. His wife likewise rudely refused to have a discussion with a senior Buddhist nun (ordained for almost 20 years) and patronizingly told her to go away and learn about Buddhism.
On September 10 2008, the Western Shugden Society wrote Robert Thurman anOpen Letterrequesting him to back up his public claims:
Extract:If you, Robert Thurman, are not yourself lying, then you must show your evidence to prove your public statements: that Shugden people are sectarian, "the Buddhist Taliban" as you named them; and that the Western Shugden Society is working for the Chinese. You should show your evidence publicly through the internet before 25th October 2008. If your evidence does not appear by this date then we will conclude that you have lied publicly and are misleading people.