Western Shugden Society – Review and Present Situation

The New Kadampa Tradition started in the midst of April 2008 a highly professional world wide media campaign under the guise of the front group Western Shugden Society, which has “no leader nor registered office”. The activities are “against the Dalai Lama” and have the aim “to stop his evil actions” of “inflicting terrible human rights abuses on his own people and interfering with the religious freedom of thousands and thousands of people around the world.”. WSS/NKT portray the Dalai Lama as a “liar”, “hypocrite”, and “21st Century Dictator” who is “cruel and evil”. Accusing him of being ‘The Saffron Robed Muslim´ who has throughout his life “pretended to be a Buddhist holy being giving Buddhist teachings” while having “stolen” the teachings “from Trijang Rinpoche.” (see The Tibetan Situation Today)

WSS/NKT demands:

  1. “To give freedom to practice Dorje Shugden to whoever wishes to rely upon this Deity.
  2. To stop completely the discrimination between Shugden and non-Shugden practitioners.
  3. To allow all Shugden monks and nuns who have been expelled from their monasteries and nunneries to return where they should receive the same material and spiritual rights as the non-Shugden practitioners.”

WSS state many points which from their point of view are proof of a systematic “religious persecution” by the Dalai Lama.

These points include that six Shugden monks were expelled from their monasteries. According to WSS this has been done “to fulfil the Dalai Lama’s wish”. According to a monk from Sera, Shugden monks forced events and their actions led to different disputes, which couldn’t be solved. Finally the monastery decided to expell the Shugden monks after they recognized that the preceding Sera administration’s “live and let live approach” failed.

According to WSS “The true creator of all these problems is the Dalai Lama” and they demand:

  1. “To reverse the expulsion of the six monks and allow them to return to Sera Monastery where they should receive the same spiritual and material rights as the other monks who do not follow Shugden.
  2. If you do not accept the first point, we will immediately organise worldwide public demonstrations directly against the Dalai lama whenever he visits any country.

If you have some wisdom you should understand how important the Dalai Lama´s reputation is—this is now in your hands. We need your answer by the 22nd April 2008″

Obviously HH the Dalai Lama didn’t fulfil these wishes. So the protests of WSS started 22nd April 2008 at Colgate University, USA.

To find out the dynamics of the conflicts, what happened exactly, and to get the complete picture of events will take a lot of time and effort to thoroughly investigate the events in India. Although there are some records and eye witness reports from both sides, they are still one perspective.

According to WSS:

Using his people like an army, the Dalai Lama has destroyed all Shugden Temples and shrines, caused millions of people to experience inhumane situations and unbearable feelings of pain, and expelled all Shugden practitioners from the Tibetan community. He has separated innocent people from their families, friends and community. As a result of these actions, thousands of Shugden practitioners have been forced to become refugees for the second time in their life as they try to escape such inhumane actions that exist in this modern world by seeking exile in other countries. Now, as recently as 8th February 2008, the Dalai Lama has expelled 900 monks from their monasteries. On January 9th 2008 he was invited to inaugurate a Prayer Hall for a large monastic community in South India. At this spiritual event he publicly announced a “Referendum on the practice of Dolgyal (Shugden)” and proposed a collection of votes on this issue with a deadline on 8th February 2008. Since when did the action of prayer become an object for political vote? And since when did voting become a “yes” or “no” game with colored sticks with no middle/neutral option for abstaining? Well, this is precisely the nature of the referendum held by the Dalai Lama and the direct cause for these 900 innocent monks being expelled from their monasteries in recent days.

According to a Bhikshuni:

“During the recent teachings in Drepung by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, His Holiness mentioned the issue of Shugden a number of times, and this time there was much more concern around the issue. His Holiness the Dalai Lama said (Geshe Dorje Damdrul was translating):

‘The government of China is funding lamas who support Shugden in order to create difficulties for me, especially they (the Chinese government) give financial support to these lamas if they cultivate Shugden. China is very critical of me and the Indian government is being pushed against me by saying that His Holiness the Dalai Lama is restricting religious freedom by saying you cannot practice Shugden. It is my duty to warn people, and then it is up to the individual to decide, so I am not restricting religious freedom.’

His Holiness spoke a lot about the issue and as in the past explained His reasons for taking this stand.

His Holiness has asked for a referendum among the Tibetans regarding 2 questions:

1. Do you want to practice Shugden?
2. Do you want to be a part of a community sharing facilities, materials, doing Dharma activity together where some of the community practice Shugden? (This a concern especially in the monasteries where some monks still practice)

If the vote is more than 60% yes on both, then His Holiness the Dalai Lama said He will not even speak one word on the subject again!”

I feel that the actions taken at Sera were probably a result of what HH said, and it was not HH himself who was behind them. I cannot imagine that HH would ask people to sign statements vowing that they would never practice Shugden, or ask that monks be expelled if they do the practice. It seems he expressed his concerns, and perhaps the monks at Sera took these actions.

According to a Bhikshu:

I then travelled to Sera, where I stayed for a further four weeks. After less than a week of the teachings having ended in Drepung, all Sera monks were summoned to the monastery and those outside the monastery had to return within one month. The day after my arrival in Sera, Je and Me monks were signing the declaration [see above]. This is not just filling in a form, but each monk has to stand up in front of the entire Sera Je or Me assembly and declare that they won’t practice DS and then sign the declaration. This was done in accordance with the practices as outlined in the vinaya (the code of conduct for monks as set forth by Lord Buddha). Those that refuse to sign the declaration will be expelled (Drepung and Ganden had already expelled monks). Sera Je only has 4 monks who are practising and all are in Switzerland (Gonsar Rinpoche etc.), but for Sera Me, it is a much more serious issue as they have a few hundred monks who do the practice.

The day I left Sera, in mid-February, Me was conducting the final declarations, including those of the two kamptsen’s that have monks that do this practice. As DS practitioners have a reputation, there was a large presence of Indian policemen who were searching all the monks before they entered the Dukang. Sera Me’s gekyö (the disciplinarian who was named in the letter by the Western Shugden Society) had reportedly visited the chief of police in Mysore, and given him a list of names of people who should be investigated in case he was murdered (fortunately I am not aware that there has been any violence). But it is a very sad state of affairs when the police feel that they need to come into a monastery and that one of the most senior administrator’s fears that a fellow monk may murder him. Maybe it is time for a decisive conclusion!

Now some months later, Gonsar Rinpoche and his three geshes have been expelled by Je and 300 Me monks have been expelled. Unfortunately the difficulty in Me is continuing as these monks refuse to leave the monastery.

Life has at least returned to some normality. Whilst I was in Sera sojong (the monk’s purification ceremony) wasn’t performed, Me didn’t hold evening debate (there was less than a week’s classes between the end of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s teachings and the start of the Losar holidays), and all other joint activities were cancelled and the Lachi premises were closed. Sojong was only performed for the first time, two weeks ago!

Because all conflicts are solved in monasteries based on the Vinaya, and from the perspective of the welfare of the majority, it will be hard to judge the events without knowing that background. The way to solve conflicts in Tibetan monasteries is well explained by the previous (100th) Ganden Tripa, the Head of the Gelugpas, Lobsang Nyingma Rinpoche:

The Mahayana teachings advocate an altruistic attitude of sacrificing few for the sake of many. Thus why is it not possible for one, who acclaims oneself to be a Mahayana, to stop worshipping these dubious gods and deities for the sake and benefit of the Tibetans in whole and for the well-being of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In the Vinaya [Buddhist code of discipline], it is held that since a controversial issue is settled by picking the mandatory twig by “accepting the voice of many by the few” the resolution should be accepted by all. As it has been supported by ninety five percent it would be wise and advisable for the remaining five percent to stop worshipping the deity keeping in mind that there exists provisions such as the four Severe Punishments [Nan tur bzhi], the seven Expulsions [Gnas dbyung bdun] and the four Convictions [Grangs gzhug bzhi] in the Vinaya [Code of Discipline].(see Statement Ganden Tripa)

To avoid conflicts and to protect lay people from losing faith in monks and nuns, the Buddha set up different rules which – when kept – avoid disputes and turmoil:

  1. Not Causing a Division within the Sangha (monastic order)
  2. Not Siding with a schismatic (e.g. Geshe Kelsang Gyatso)
  3. Not Causing lay people to lose faith in the Sangha
  4. Heeding advice about one’s offences

It is obvious that these rules are not kept by those few Tibetan monks who support now the WSS/NKT protests. The Vinaya is very different from worldly perspectives. Mixed with a Western context and values a clash, confusion and a loss of faith in Buddhism will be a natural outcome. Buddhists don’t appreciate the harsh abusive language and noisy aggressive public protests of WSS. There are to many points contradicting Buddhist principles and Buddhist ethics.

On the other hand The Time Magazine is of course correct when stating:

What pushes the current allegations into a potential human rights matter is the contention that those who won’t take the oaths are denied monastery I.D. cards that the Tibetan Government in Exile allegedly requires to process visa requests through to the Indian government.[1] (Most of the Tibetan diaspora lives in India.) “Families are being torn apart,” reads Shugden literature.

One week before starting the series of protests at Colgate University until now WSS/NKT has set up a considerable quantity of anonymous websites, the main one in 11 languages, issuing a great number of press releases, “sending out glossy leaflets to selected Buddhists, publicising protests on various websites, giving interviews, and sending letters to Buddhist organisations” (TripleGem), and printing and spreading brochures (e.g. “The Tibetan Situation Today“). A number of YouTube Videos were produced, and in every suited forum the message of WSS has been published. The campaign included also to remove critical information from Wikipedia, using sockpuppets and blocking strategies, removing academic sources from related Wikiepdia articles while adding sources of anonymous websites.

Recently the NKT secretary has set up a new anonymous website, New Kadampa Truth, attacking some Buddhist masters and some Buddhist individuals – who disagree with them – including the ASA and researcher David N. Kay whose academic paper about NKT is portrayed as being “heavily biased” and “who had his own disgruntled history with the NKT”. After NKT members removed the History of NKT, based on Kay’s research, from the NKT-Wikipedia article, the NKT secretary offers now their own understanding of The Emergence of NKT in Britain.

A Buddhist, who is no former member of NKT, concerned about the present development and viewing NKT as a cult, has set up the anonymous website Buddhism under assault. According to him this is his respond to NKT’s “ugly attacks on esteemed Tibetan teachers of Buddhism – The Dalai Lama, Lama Yeshe (died 1984), Lama Zopa, Lama Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche – and 5 other individuals.” A group of former NKT members set up the Blog New Kadampa Truths.

The former Wikepdia articles which were published before April, 15, 2008 have been saved on a separate website. Those interested can see the differences by comparing the articles, reading the talk pages and screening the history of the respective articles.

The Dalai Lama’s or his representatives’ responses to the accusations are:

In a BBC interview, “the Dalai Lama said he had not advocated a ban, but he had stopped the worship of the spirit because it was not Buddhist in nature. The protesters said they wanted to discuss the issue with the Dalai Lama. The exiled Tibetan leader said people were free to protest and it was up to individuals to decide.”

Tsering Tashi, the Dalai Lama’s representative in London, told AFP later that they respected the Shugden Buddhists’ right to protest but said their allegations were untrue. He added, “the group had not made any formal request to meet the Dalai Lama or his representatives.”

The NYT quoted the Dalai Lama: “This is just spirit worship,” he said. “After I read more about it, I realized my mistake and dropped my practice.”, “I think 99 percent of Tibetans follow my practice. Some small portion worship this spirit. I am committed to freedom of speech, freedom of talk. So I say to them, enjoy freedom of talk.”

According to Kasur Tashi Wangdi, the Dalai Lama’s representative in America:

“There’s no suppression! His Holiness made it very clear that according to his own observations over many years—in fact, he himself used to worship Shugden—and over many years of his own experience and observation and investigation, he found that this practice is not according to Buddhist practice. That practice is also bringing in divisions within the Buddhist traditions. The practitioners are attaching more importance than the basic Buddhist practice, and therefore he felt that it’s a practice that he would not approve of and therefore he advised people to not engage in it. But he made it very clear right from the beginning it was up to the individuals. He has a responsibility to explain the negative aspects of it and then it’s up to the individuals to decide on their own. Officially there has never been any repression or denial of rights to practitioners. But after His Holiness’ advice many monastic orders adopted rules and regulations that would not accept practitioners of Shugden worship in their monastic order. The followers have set up their own groups and they are free to function. But it’s in the right of institutions to make their own decisions.” and “There’s some misunderstanding that groups taking their own actions is the policy of the Tibetan government, but it’s not. Institutions take advice and it is within their right to say they do not want Shugden worship. But now if a group of people say they want to set up their own institution because they are different practitioners, which is within their right.” (see Interview with Tashi Wangdi)

According to The Time Magazine:

“Shugden practitioners deny that they are fundamentalist, purist or violent, and have renewed their complaints in light of an intensifying crackdown by the Dalai Lama. He — or people acting in his perceived interests — has expanded the loyalty demand from abbots to monks and even laypeople as far afield as France. In a nod to the Tibetan Government in Exile’s self-definition as a democracy, each monastery has been taking a referendum on Shugden. When the “anti” faction inevitably wins, the monks pledge to renounce Shugden and deny spiritual or material aid to those who hold out. In transcripts that Shugdenpas allege record the Dalai Lama’s comments, he sounds atypically (to the Western ear) authoritarian. “Shugden devotees are growing in your monastery,” he is quoted as snapping at one abbot. “If you are this inept, you had better resign.”

[...]

The problem is that in Tibet most people shun those whom they think the Dalai Lama wants them to shun. The protesters display photos of signs they say have gone up recently in Tibet urging shopkeepers not to do business with tainted monks. They could be written by anybody, but most people assume they know the ultimate author of the signs.

Experts seem to think that there is something to the Shugden allegations. “There is considerable anecdotal evidence to support what they say,” Stephen Batchelor, co-founder of the Sharpham College for Buddhist Studies and Contemporary Enquiry, wrote in an email to TIME, although, he adds, “I have yet to see any hard evidence.” Wrote Donald Lopez of the University of Michigan, “Buddhist monks who apply for an Identity Certificates must also submit a letter form their abbot. I was told that there may have been cases in which, contrary to the policy of the Government-in-Exile, monks who worship Shugden have not been provided with such a letter.”

A witness from Sera and TibetInfoNet portrayed the situation in India from the perspective of what happened in Sera and what lamas and how the PR of China are involved.

The Australian Sangha Association (ASA) issued an official statement, suggesting to the protesters: “Therefore, in the spirit of Dharma and in accordance with Buddhist principles the ASA would encourage the NKT and WSS protesters to request forgiveness from the Dalai Lama for their behaviour and in future to conduct themselves with humility and restraint.” Regarding the status of NKT monks and nuns whether being authentic Buddhist monks and nuns or not, the Australian Sangha Association expressed their opinion “that for NKT members to represent themselves to the public as authentic Buddhist monks and nuns is wrong and misleading.”

NKT published 24 hours later their point of view “NKT monks and nuns are authentic and try to show a good and practical example of service, celibacy and humility for our modern world. Buddha Shakyamuni himself said that the Vinaya should be practiced in accordance with what is most acceptable for society. The NKT is following this advice from Buddha.”. According to NKT ASA is “delivering a misleading and injurious statement”; “Nowadays, in Tibetan Buddhism, …in practice many of these are broken from the day the vows are taken. We should appreciate that the NKT is acting honestly, in accordance with this reality, following the truth. They are not pretending to be lofty or important simply by collecting a large number of vows that are subsequently not possible for a modern-day practitioner to keep.” The statement of ASA is felt as being led by “bias” and “a mixture of religion and politics”. (see also How important is the Vinaya?)

With the same claim, mixing Dharma with politics, Geshe Kelsang expressed in the past his discontentment with the Buddhist approach of Lama Yeshe – who invited him in 1977 to England in his main center (Manjushri Institute, Ulverston) – the Dalai Lama, the Gelug school and the Tibetan diaspora. Finally this claim and different radical views and policies of Geshe Kelsang, as well as his growing insularity, led to a schism with Lama Yeshe and his organisation (FPMT) and his breakaway and isolation from the Gelug school,Tibetan Buddhism and the monasteries and ordained Sangha. As a result, since its inception in 1991, NKT is isolated from the Buddhist world and Tibetan Buddhism.

Although NKT acknowledges that “mistakes have been made” and NKT states “we are genuinely sorry for those mistakes and trying honestly to learn from them”, as long as NKT leadership repeats the same old narrow-minded habits using extremely skilful defence and attack means (we are pure and good persons “acting honestly” while concerned Buddhist lack proper motivation, are hostile or “pretending to be lofty or important”), there seem to be less hope for a positive change in NKT. Just some new Internal Rules will not end, what inwardly, in the heart, has gone wrong.

Annotation

Due to a lack of information and inconsistent information, it is difficult to give a clear picture of the actual situation in India – the situation for the monasteries and for the expelled monks.

According to a Bhikshu, who received this information from a Sera Geshe: “Sera Me has expelled 180 monks – 80 from Nepal and 100 from the same area in Tibet that the former Zong Rinpoche came from. They have left the monastery and have formed their own monastery just outside Sera. They are being supported financially by the usual lot from Europe and the Chinese government.” According to a Getsul closely related to Sera, only few monks have been expelled “they had to issue warnings to about a hundred monks but ended up having to expel only a handful!” he added: “Even during the initial ‘stick’ referendum the supporters of HH Dalai Lama won by a large margin.”

Latest News

August 12, 2008

Sera Monastery (India): Situation for the Expelled Monks and the Monks abiding in Sera

According to a monk from Sera Monastery:

During the worst of crisis, Mey was almost closed by the police and a Sojong at Lachi was delayed for +4 hours by the police, some in riot geat. The Pomra’s wanted to come and had called the police to help. Anyhow, it’s done now but it was a SERIOUS crisis that lasted many months. Those who have not pledged still live in Sera but have “established” a monastery, separate to Sera Mey. They do their own debates, prayers, food and school. They kept the buildings of the old Kangsten and the new one being built, plus, well, almost everything…! We don’t care and, we don’t need to go anymore to those horrible night prayers that went well into the night. We may have less pocket money but what we have is clean. Could not be more happy.

See also

[1] The problem with this suggestion, made by the Time Magazine, is that Tibet scholar Robert Barnett of Columbia University clearly stated to Time Magazine, that “ID cards are not given out by the exile administration, but by the Indian authorities”.  (see TibetanReview.net) Another problem which should be taken into consideration is that China favours monks practising Shugden by mainly giving them permission to undertake studies in India. (see: Hillman, Ben, 2005, Monastic Politics and the Local State in China: Authority and Autonomy in an Ethnically Tibetan Prefecture, The China Journal, No. 54, July 2005, p. 38) The more Shugden monks arrive in India and enter the monasteries for studies, the more tensions there will be. For China such policies are a perfect means to undermine the unity of the Tibetans and to sow discord. A Western monk who lived in Sera Je, India, and speaks fluently colloquial Tibetan reported to me that monks in the Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in India assume strongly that the Chinese secret service is sponsoring Shugden pujas in the Gelug monasteries to provoke more schism and quarrel. A Tibetan doctor reported to me that Kundeling Rinpoche (Nga-Lama), who has close ties and a lot of sympathy for China’s presence in Tibet (see France 24 TV), offered money to local Indian people nearby Sera Je if they start protests against ‘the Dalai Lama’s religious intolerance’—however, the Indians refused to do this saying that it is better to have good long-term relations with the monasteries than accepting short term benefit by getting some money.

Comments

  1. thankyou Tenzin,
    unbiased and informative.
    I think what some people keep forgetting is that the Dalai Lama is asking HIS students to stop the practice of Dorje Shugden, not anyone else.

    Surely the Dalai Lama can be expected to become more forceful with this request since he first started making it over 30yrs ago!

    emily

  2. Hello Tenzin,

    One small but important correction, please modify if you can:

    “According to him this is his respond to NKT’s “ugly attacks on esteemed Tibetan teachers of Buddhism – The Dalai Lama, Lama Yeshe (died 1984), Lama Zopa, Lama Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche – and 5 other individuals.”

    There are no attacks on Lama Yeshe or Lama Zopa in the site newkadampatruth.org. Kelsang Gyatso has always held these two lamas in high esteem.

    In the (may i say anonymous?) site Buddhism under Assault on the front piece, it says regarding the section Behind the Lies of New Kadampa Truth website:

    “Crossing a remarkable line, the global NKT cult has created a web site attacking 8 other Buddhists”

    there are only 6 people listed as People who Post on the Internet Against the NKT. Not a single bad word is said against Lama Yeshe or Lama Zopa.

    [...]
    ‘NKTruth’ quote deleted

    Best,
    Harry

    comment TP:
    Thank you Harry!

    I deleted the ‘NKTruth’ quote, you can quote it if you wish to discuss it.

    My present thought is, it may be true that Lama Zopa Rinpoche or Lama Yeshe are not attacked directly. I checked, they are mentioned on the website “Behind the lies”. Correct? So this means they are accused of being “behind the lies”. Correct? How and in what way they are “behind the lies”? To list a person on a website with the title “Behind the lies” is no bad word?

    Regarding your wish for correction. This man with the anonymous website sees an “attack”, you don’t see an attack. By quoting him, this is just quoting his view. This is no proof that he is correct. Other’s views are also quoted. This is also no proof that they are correct. The number of eight seems to be correct: 3 high Lamas + 5 Individuals =8.

    Best Wishes.

  3. Thank you Tenzin,

    You are right, the presentation is a bit odd. Nevertheless upon reading one understands that Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa are most certainly not being attacked. If we read it like a book it would go something like this:

    Title: Behind the Lies

    Chapters: * Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT)
    * Sadness & Irony
    * chapter 3, etc

    In the first chapter the author explains his view of the FPMT’s activities against the NKT. In the second chapter, called sadness and irony, he praises LY and LZ for being sincere DS practitioners and proceeds to say that it is sad that their own disciples are so active in smearing DS. Imagine a book called “mastermind thieves of the XX century”, there could perfectly well be a chapter about heroic detectives. Would we logically assume that because the book is titled “thieves” that these detectives were actually crooks too? I don’t think so. I have just made it more complicated really :)

    So to answer your questions.

    “I checked, they are mentioned on the website “Behind the lies”. Correct? So this means they are accused of being “behind the lies”. Correct?”

    Yeah they are mentioned on this site. No the fact that they are mentioned does not mean they are being accused of being “behind the lies”.

    “How and in what way they are “behind the lies”? What lies they exactly spread? To list a person on a website with the title “Behind the lies” is no bad word?”

    I don’t know exactly why the author has put them there. Perhaps as he is criticizing the FPMT he wants to make it clear that he is not criticizing it’s founders, thereby not really criticizing the tradition but the current behaviour of some of it’s adherents (just my opinion). Last two questions: None, i think. Not necessarily, it depends on various factors.

    So unless you disagree with me, you are quoting something which you know is false.

    Anyway it’s nice talking with you, i like your attitude about different peoples different views and perspectives.

    Regards,
    Harry

    Ps: Do you know the author of Buddhism under assault?

    comment TP
    No, I don’t know the author. He seems to be a free minded person, and puts the things together for himself. He is, according to his site, no former NKT member.

    Thank you for your response.
    Regarding quotes:
    The point of quotes is to give the reader different povs. If you quote what you can only agree with this is one-sided, based on personal pov. As you can see I quote also what WSS/NKT say. Do you think I agree with this or that I acknowledge this as being correct?

    If you ask for my personal opinion, I see this website on the one hand as a defence, a right which I respect, and I see the means they apply include also attacks. Its a quite strange site. Never I would set up such a site. I think this site is self-destructive.

    Regarding the content of the site:
    The NKTruth-site is the classical NKT mix of semi-truth, untruths, some truths, and based on that mix making up a story which proves they are the poor & pure honest victims – and – the other persons the bad lying guys led by grudge and hostility, mixing Dharma with politics; persons wishing to destroy them. Most of what is said there is not correct, it is wrong or misleading. Some points are correct. Some points are out of the context.

    To state at least one point clearly: I didn’t lie. There is not one single lie I made about NKT. Also HHDL does not lie by saying that Shugden is a harmful spirit. Also those saying NKT is a cult – from their pov – is not a lie. A view is not a lie. Accusing others who do not lie of lying is incorrect. Correct?

    However, I don’t name these wrong accusations by NKT ‘lies’, I name them ‘misinformation’, because a lie is conscious wrong speech. Most of what NKT is saying is based on confusion, they believe it to be true. So it is not a lie, it is only wrong view based on distortion of reality. To recognize a lie you must know for sure that the person is saying something which he knows is not true. For this you need to know the person well or you must have some evidence.

    I think the NKTruth-Website tells more about NKT’s way of seeing things than the truth – it is the ‘NKT-truth’, yes. Who likes to believe it, he will believe it. I see it very different and I know me, the setting and those persons involved much better than NKT, who is judging things from their isolated NKT world. But as it is a perspective, NKT’s perspective, its ok for me. As HH the Dalai Lama said, at least I try to think as generous as he does: “Let them enjoy freedom of speech!”.

    Thank you also, best wishes, TP

  4. Sorry, i forgot, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche’s name is also mentioned very close to LY and LZ’s names. Does that mean that he also is “behind the lies”?

    H

    reply
    Hi Henry,
    I subsume my understanding and include Trijang Rinpoche at the end, because things have to be seen in context…

    The use of the word lie is misleading, it’s a mean to denounce the persons mentioned, including FPMT – and to convince the reader that NKT is wrongly portrayed and a victim of ‘evil minded’ persons.

    The context of the website is to show that HHDL and FPMT are organizing attacks against NKT and want to destroy them. “so why is the FPMT attacking us? It can only be because FPMT members have become a political tool of the Dalai Lama’s to fulfill his wish to destroy this tradition.”

    The means NKT apply are accusations, they misuse the word lie and they are using also indirect speech to imply that FPMT is involved: “traditionally competitive to the NKT that pretends to be uninvolved in attacking the NKT but has its fingerprints all over the smear campaign on the web.”, this is also clear by listing FPMT on the top of the page “Behind the lies”.

    Trijang Rinpoche is used to denounce them indirectly as well, because every body knows LY & LZR gave up Shugden and according to Shugdenpa’s pov, they have therefore broken with their root Guru, the most grave sin from their pov.

    It is a very skilful contorting site as any thing I know from NKT.
    Keep your chins up, tp

  5. Hi Tenzin,

    My last comment is not a reply to your last post. I posted it right after the one before but for some reason as i am writing this and having read your reply the post is still “awaiting moderation”. Bit busy next few days, will try and squeeze in some time to reply.

    Best,
    Harry

  6. Hello Tenzin,

    The conversation is a bit hard to follow as i only pulled you up about the supposed accusations against LY and LZ. To this you pointed out that this was only a quote, but then you said it’s obvious that the accusations are correct because they’re are on a site called “behind the lies”. I then gave a solid argument as to why that is not necessarily the case. In your last two posts you avoided the matter and instead went on about the different ways in which you think the Newkadampatruth site is faulty.

    I am eager to debate to try and discover truth but i am aware that this is tricky as we are both on different sides of the fence.

    Best,
    Harry

    comment
    Sorry Harry, maybe I lost the thread and the point. Let’s check or bring clarity in it.

    Your understanding is: LY/LTZ are not attacked. I didn’t investigate this much in the beginning, and said it is mainly a quote, using a quote is no proof that the content of it is correct.
    Your pov is that its a bit weird that they are at that site title but GKG has respect for them and the site is not attacking them. When I remember correctly, I replied – by closer checking the site – they are attacked by just being listed at a site “Behind the Lies” this is clearly no honour or mutually respect, whereas you said before “no bad word is said about them”. Yes, no bad word but being listed at a site”Behind the lies” is no honour either.

    Then you introduced the argument that Trijang Rinpoche is also listed at “Behind the Lies”, does this mean he is attacked? Well, very good point. I checked the site again and my reply was now by referring to the context of the site and to put it together with what is not said, you know there are things between the lines. Maybe I didn’t express it clearly.

    What I wanted to say is, that Trijang Rinpoche is used by NKT/GKG as a weapon against those who gave up Shugden, just by mentioning him as the Root Guru of these teachers – He is “Your Root Guru” is more a thread in NKT – GKG/NKT wishes to express indirectly that Trijang Rinpoche is their spiritual authority and this implies from Shugdenpa’a view that they have broken with him. In that context I see the use of Trijang Rinpoche at that site as a indirect mean to attack the three Gelug Lamas. (*)

    If I am still unclear please don’t hesitate to say it frankly! Thanks a lot, TP

    (*) As the Delhi Shugden Society puts their view: Dorje Shugden Devotees Religious and Charitable Society, New Delhi, Nov 1996 wrote in a letter to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, that he has created “a great deal of anguish among a large number of Tibetans and the followers of several prominent Lamas who spread the Dharma to thousands of non-Tibetans around the world”, because his ban of the Shugden practice “is forcing almost all of the Gelugpa Lamas who have spread the Dharma to the West to break their vow and commitments to either to His Holiness or to their root Guru, who is also the root Guru of His Holiness, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche.”

  7. harrybe says:

    Ok Tenzin, you win : )

    Your debating skills are better than mine.

    I’m still not convinced though so i’m writing to newkadampatruth to ask them what they think on the matter. If you like i’ll let you know their answer.

    Take care,
    Harry

    comment
    Thank you Harry. Maybe I was not open enough. I argued following my understanding and based on that I tried to clarify the points you have raised. I may be a person hard to convince, because I know the Shugdenpa’s side, the detractor’s side and academical researches and their respective arguments a bit; but I try to be open for good arguments and corrections. Thank you and please feel free to debate it again or to insist on points where you feel, you have a strong argument or I am wrong.

    I am happy if you defeat me! If you defeat me I will follow Geshe Kelsang again – although my main teacher, a Kaguepa, will not take delight in it if I do this…. :-)

    Yes please feel free to add what NKTruths replied. I am interested in it.

    If you like to investigate the setting and claims of NK-Truths, you can also check my ‘hostile’ Amazon Reviews which, according to NKTruths, do not focus on the book; and you can read the former WP articles which, according to NKTruths, are strong biased; also you can check how Kay, who is, according to NKTruths, heavily biased, highly respected among academics. You can also check how I manipulated, according to NKTruths, former members at NKSurvivors. Here the links:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A255G3TT5J4Y07/ref=cm_cr_pr_auth_rev?ie=UTF8&sort_by=MostRecentReview
    http://info-buddhism.com/index.html#nkt
    http://info-buddhism.com/dorje_shugden_controversy.html
    http://info-buddhism.com/geshe_kelsang_gyatso.html
    http://thedorjeshugdengroup.wordpress.com/2008/07/24/academic-researches-regarding-shugden-controversy-nkt/
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/newkadampasurvivors/

    Best wishes, t

  8. Dear Tenzin,

    please don’t forget the NKT and WSS are seperate organizations – it is not only NKT practitioners who are being ostracized from the Buddhist community, but also Tibetans in exile – I believe you are aware that many (I think 100 at one stage) Tibetan practitioners who were not NKT also demostrated in America.

    Thank you< J

    comment TP
    WSS is a front group of NKT. What is a front group? see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Front_organisation
    Geshe Kelsang Gyatso set up WSS and WSS is run and promoted by NKT. WSS and NKT are only separate by names. You’ll find the same with Scientology front groups who also fight for religious freedom.

  9. Tenzin,

    You know as well as I do that there are many Tibetan Gelugpas who are members of the WSS.

    J.

    comment TP
    There are some few Gelugpa members who join the protests. There are not many Tibetan Gelugpas. Many and few are relative terms. Compared with 6 Million Tibetans and 100.000 Tibetans in exile about 20-40 or less Tibetans are few not many. Even if they were 100 they are still few. They are also few compared with the amount of NKT members (Westerners) who organised and perform the protests. NKT members and Westerners may make 80-90% of the protesters. In Nantes I saw just one single Tibetan among the protesters. Maybe there were 5-10 among 100-200 protesters?

    Exaggeration and putting a spin on the facts are main tools for propaganda or spin doctors.

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