Some critics of the Western Shugden Society have claimed that its agenda is a political one and that the new book, 'A Great Deception' is a political book.
So, is this the case? The answer is, quite simply, 'no'. The reason is that the stated aims of the book are spiritual:
To liberate millions of innocent practitioners of the Buddhist Deity Dorje Shugden and their families from suffering
To restore peace and harmony between Shugden and non-Shugden practitioners
To re-establish the common spiritual activities of Shugden and non-Shugden practitioners
To free Buddhism from political pollution
The book functions spiritually like a Dharma Protector, protecting not only Dorje Shugden practitioners from slander, ostracism and persecution by exposing the Dalai Lama's lies and 'setting the record straight' but also protecting the Gelugpa tradition whose reputation has suffered greatly through the Dalai Lama's arrogant statement that all his Teachers and Lineage Gurus were 'wrong'.
Indirectly the book protects ALL schools of Tibetan Buddhism. By exposing the Dalai Lama's plan to create a new school of Buddhism by merging all the schools together, with him as the head, it will avert the destruction of Tibetan Buddhism. If the Dalai Lama were to succeed with his plan, it would destroy the precious and unique enlightenment-giving qualities of each tradition but the Dalai Lama doesn't care about Buddhism - this is his plan to consolidate and protect his personal power over the Tibetan people and to ensure a position as a religious leader if he should ever return to a Tibet that is governed as an autonomous region within China.
In a review of Buddha’s Not Smiling: Uncovering Corruption at the Heart of Tibetan Buddhism Today, by Erik D. Curren, Lama Karma Wangchuk wrote:
Curren’s account of the United Party initiative will be shocking to many readers. The United Party was a plan run by the Dalai Lama’s brother Gyalo Thondup to unite all Tibetans, regardless of their region or religious affiliation, into a coherent group able to stand together against the Chinese. The most controversial part of the plan was a scheme to combine the four Buddhist schools and the Bon religion—governed separately for more than five hundred years back in Tibet —under a single administration led by the Dalai Lama. “When word of the United Party’s religious reform got out in 1964, the exiled government was unprepared for the angry opposition that leaders of the religious schools expressed. To them, this unification plan appeared as a thinly disguised scheme for the exile government to confiscate the monasteries that dozens of lamas had begun to re-establish in exile with funds they had raised themselves.”
Although the Dalai Lama's plan failed when he tried to do this in the early 1960's, thanks mainly to opposition by the 16th Karmapa and the Thirteen Tibetan settlements, he never gave up on his plan. His banning of Dorje Shugden is part of this plan. This ban has two main purposes - to divert attention from his failure to obtain any good results for the Tibetan people in terms of Tibetan independence or even autonomy within China, and to weaken the Gelugpa tradition so that he can merge all four schools of Tibetan Buddhism together and guarantee himself religious power as head of this new school. Since his intentions are completely self-serving and worldly, it can be seen that he is not a valid spiritual leader or spiritual guide. The faults of mixing religion and politics are there for all to see.
The purpose of 'A Great Deception' is similar to that of 'Buddha's not Smiling' – an attempt to uncover corruption at the heart of Tibetan Buddhism, that heart being the Dalai Lama's 'lama policy' of mixing politics and religion. Just as 'Buddha's not Smiling' is an expose of the Karmapa controversy, so 'A Great Deception' is an expose of the Dorje Shugden controversy.
One reason why 'A Great Deception' might be mistaken for a political book is that, in order to highlight the hypocrisy and deception of the Dalai Lama, it investigates his political actions, subsequent failures and the devastating effect that these religiopolitical actions are having on Buddhist practitioners and society at large. As the book states, the only person who can put an end to this is the Dalai Lama himself:
In Tibetan society, anyone who has views and intentions that are different from those of the Dalai Lama is immediately accused of not being Tibetan; they are criticised, threatened and ostracised. This happened in the past and is happening to Dorje Shugden practitioners today. From this alone we can see that Lama Policy continues to have a devastating effect on society. This problem cannot be solved unless the lama himself changes his own attitude. (p18)
The hope of publishing a book such as 'A Great Deception' is that it will bring pressure to bear on the Dalai Lama to change his disastrous policy. Sadly, being self-serving, this will only happen if his reputation and power are affected. Until now, he has arrogantly refused to discuss the Dorje Shugden issue with concerned practitioners.
We can see that all the problems of division and disharmony in the Buddhist community these days, whether due to the Dorje Shugden issue or the Karmapa issue, are due to the power and ambitions of one person: the Fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet and it is he and he alone who can solve these problems. Let us hope that as public awareness of 'Lama Policy' grows the Dalai Lama will be forced to abandon it in favour of a separation between 'church and state' in Tibetan society. Only this will remove the political pollution in Tibetan Buddhism and enable it to function as a pure path to liberation and enlightenment for all living beings.