The Cessation of the International Shugden Community / Dalai Lama protests

I guess you read or heard it already, the International Shugden Community (ISC) announced their “dissolving”. What is a bit mysterious is the why and if this is meant seriously. I want to share briefly some thoughts with you about this.

ISC announcement, made on 26th February 2016. www.internationalshugdencommunity.com

ISC announcement, made on 26th February 2016.
http://www.internationalshugdencommunity.com (PDF)

This announcement was made on the 26th February, 24 hours after Tibetans and Ex-NKT activists staged counter-protests against Neil Elliott’s teaching venue at Putney library.

Neil Elliott can be considered as the main ideologist behind the spread and expansion of the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT) as well as the creator and maintainer of the driving forces in how the NKT recruit new members and in how the NKT bind them skilfully to their organisation.

Its the NKT who ran those protests via ISC.

Those counter-protests against NKT centres in London and in Great Britain, I think, were very effective to raise awareness about the controversial background of the NKT and in that sense they are a real threat for the missionary drive that pervades the NKT since its inception. That’s why some ex-NKT (and so do I) rather speculate that the withdrawal from the Anti-Dalai Lama protests might likely be based on this perceived threat for their further expansion. However, Reuters or The Guardian specualte it was because of the investigative article by Reuters, “Special Report: China co-opts a Buddhist sect in global effort to smear Dalai Lama, from Dec 21, 2015.

Maybe it was a combination of both. In general, phenomena arise due to many causes and conditions. The cessation of the protests was even predicted by the Dalai Lama a while ago. It might be worth to note that the NKT / ISC dated their dissolution three months earlier, on December 1st 2015.

There is also a new piece written by Tsering Woeser on RFA, The Shugden Issue Used to be Just a Religious One. I cannot really agree with many points in it, however, I can fully subscribe to this point of view:

In indicating that followers of the Gelugpa school should drop their Shugden practice, the Dalai Lama is effectively handing over greater religious freedom to believers. It is effectively a negation of something negative that yields a positive. – Tsering Woeser

Some days ago I asked Linda Ciardiello, who takes part in the counter-protests, to send me images and to give a brief report about them, putting them into perspective with what The Guardian wrote. Here is her report / her thoughts and some images and a video of the NKT counter-protests.

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A “victory for real journalism” or a victory for determined activism?

by Linda Ciardiello
March 7, 2016

When the Dalai Lama visited England in the summer of 2015 it should have been a joyful occasion – a celebration for the UK Tibetan community in exile. But sadly his visit was marred by a series of overwhelmingly loud, intrusive and offensive protests by the New Kadampa Tradition, under the banner of their front group, the International Shugden Community. Greatly disturbed and hurt by the actions of the NKT, an independent group of London-based Tibetans decided the time had come to stand up to the NKT, to fight back, and to send them a clear message that their actions would no longer be tolerated by Tibetans. Thus a counter demonstration was staged by Tibetans and Tibet-supporters on September 18th outside KMC London, NKT’s main south London centre in Morden.

Through social media, a number of former members of NKT heard that this counter-protest had taken place and came forward to offer the Tibetans their help and expertise for further direct action against NKT. Thus the counter-protest movement against NKT quickly began to gather momentum, with a second demonstration being held outside NKT’s Shantideva Centre in Reading on November 8th. At this demonstration a speech was delivered addressed to the Resident Teacher there and to the Spiritual Directors of NKT stating “We Tibetans have been victimised, intimidated, harassed and disturbed by your actions towards our Dalai Lama to a degree beyond our tolerance and we are therefore asking you to please stop hurting us” and that their campaign against the Dalai Lama “has a political dimension which is aligning the NKT to serve the agenda of China’s brutally repressive dictatorship”. It has recently been rumoured that a week after this demonstration in Reading occurred, with its direct appeal to the NKT to desist from their campaign, a private email from ISC bosses was sent out to NKT anti-Dalai Lama activists to say that their protests would stop as of December 1st.

But no such email was received by anyone outside NKT/ISC and thus the counter-protest movement against the NKT continued to gather strength and confidence with a third demonstration staged outside NKT’s Brighton Centre on December 13th, followed by a fourth outside their Bristol centre on January 31st 2016 which garnered extensive press coverage in the Bristol Post and a fifth outside their Southampton centre on February 21st, which also gained press coverage in the Southampton Echo. Meanwhile, the counter-protest movement had spread internationally, with a demonstration staged outside a Public Talk in Vancouver, Canada given by Kelsang Khyenrab, NKT’s Deputy Spiritual Director on 10th February. During the question and answer session of his talk, Khyenrab was even confronted by a pro-Tibet activist in the audience who asked him what he had against the Dalai Lama and if he’d ever compared him to Hitler, at which Khyenrab attempted to wriggle out of his embarrassment by feigning amnesia.

With a forthcoming UK visit by the Dalai Lama planned for April, the counter-protest movement had no plans to let up with their pressure on NKT, as they set out to target the London NKT centres in the weeks prior to the visit, with Neil Elliott as a particular target. Elliott is the most senior teacher in the NKT and is understood to be the real “power behind the throne” of Kelsang Gyatso and the NKT. He is suspected to be the prime “mover and shaker” of their attacks on the Dalai Lama and the secret chief of their International Shugden Community. Thus on Thursday 25th of February a counter-protest was held outside Putney library, his teaching venue for one of their “branch classes”. The protesters caught sight of Neil Elliott and his assistant approaching the venue and some could not contain their anger with him, loudly denouncing him and his “cult” with “shame on you!” and “leave Tibetans alone!”

Within 24 hours of Elliott’s public humiliation a public announcement was issued by the International Shugden Community stating that they had already announced protests against the Dalai Lama would stop as of December 1st, and in addition it had now been decided that the ISC would disband completely and all their websites would be removed by March 10th. This announcement has been greeted with some relief but also considerable suspicion by Tibetans and former NKT members, not least because similar announcements have been made in the past, only for them to change their mind, break their word and regroup under a different name. The ISC is in fact the third front group NKT has created to mount their attacks on the Dalai Lama.

The announcement was met by NKT members and Shugden worshippers with surprise, disbelief and considerable confusion – no explanation was given for the decision. Some NKT members declared that perhaps the decision had been made because they “had won” – despite the fact that the Dalai Lama has not changed his stance on Shugden worship at all and has not accepted any of their demands. Yet perhaps they have won in the sense of the damage they have wrought on the Dalai Lama’s reputation in some people’s eyes – but that damage is as nothing compared to the damage they have done to their own reputation!

There was also the declaration that if need be, the NKT will re-group in the future. It’s not surprising therefore that Tibetans and former NKT do not trust the ISC’s announcement and nothing short of a public announcement and apology by the NKT themselves, not their front group, would ease that distrust. Thus the counter-protest movement against NKT continues and there have been two further demonstrations since the announcement was made – one outside Elliott’s class in Morden on Tuesday 1st March and one outside a day course NKT held at University College London in Bloomsbury on Saturday 5th March – with more to come.

Meanwhile, the Guardian newspaper has reported the collapse of the ISC in an article published on 28th February, as a footnote to the concerted attack made on the Guardian by the NKT/ISC for their unfavourable report on NKT’s activities and motives back in the summer, where they were labelled as an “extremist sect”:

”It’s worth recording that the same journalist’s reporting was vindicated last week when an international Buddhist sect which he claimed last summer was funded by the Chinese to denounce the Dalai Lama, announced it was dissolving. The sect had mounted a concerted email campaign against the paper, and held a protest near our London office demanding that the story be withdrawn. Then Reuters established beyond doubt the link between the International Shugden Community and the Chinese communist party. Collapse of protest – and a victory for real journalism”

Bullet point summary

  1. Dalai Lama visit to UK in the summer of 2015 marred by NKT/ISC’s very loud and intrusive protests.
  2. Tibetans and Tibet supporters stage counter-protest outside KMC London in Morden on September 18th
  3. Tibetans and ex-NKT join forces to stage protest outside NKT’s Reading Centre on November 8th. Appeal made in speech to NKT to stop hurting Tibetans and stop working to China’s anti-Tibet agenda.
  4. 15th November: ISC make private announcement to their members that protests against the Dalai Lama will stop as of December 1st (Publicly rumoured at end of February)
  5. 13th December: Tibetans and ex-NKT protest outside NKT Brighton centre.
  6. 31st January: Tibetans and ex-NKT protest outside NKT Bristol Centre – extensive press coverage in Bristol Post.
  7. 10th February: Canadian Tibetans and ex-NKT stage protest outside Public Talk given by NKT’s Deputy Spiritual Director, Kelsang Khyenrab in Vancouver. Khyenrab is publicly confronted by Tibet supporter during his talk.
  8. 21st February: Tibetans and ex-NKT protest outside Southampton NKT Centre – coverage in Southampton Echo.
  9. 25th February: Tibetans and ex-NKT protest outside KMC Branch class in Putney given by Neil Elliott – considered the “power behind the throne” of Kelsang Gyatso, NKT and the ISC. Elliott publicly confronted and humiliated by Tibetans in the street outside the venue.
  10. 25th February: Public announcement that ISC have ceased demonstrations against the Dalai Lama and will disband as of 10th March. No explanation given.
  11. NKT members reaction: surprise, confusion, disbelief and declaration that it is because they have “won” and that if they need to they will regroup in the future.
  12. Anti-NKT demonstrations continue – 1st March: KMC London, Morden; 5th March: KMC Bloomsbury branch. More to follow.
  13. 28th February: Guardian newspaper announces dissolution of ISC, putting it down to Reuters confirmation that they are funded by the Chinese government and describing it as “a victory for real journalism”.

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ISC announcement as found on 12 March 2016. www.internationalshugdencommunity.com

ISC announcement as found on 12 March 2016. http://www.internationalshugdencommunity.com

Websites gone include

  • Dalailama Truth Facebook and Twitter
  • Western Shugden Society website
  • DalaiLamaNews website
  • InternationalShugdenCommunity website

The URLs remain active for these sites. In some cases, a short statement concerning the dissolution of the ISC and its media has replaced the content.

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Some Final Remarks

The NKT has been banned on Reddit – most of you might know – with rather dubious reasons. And when Stephen Pritchards of The Guardian writes “Then Reuters established beyond doubt the link between the International Shugden Community and the Chinese communist party. Collapse of protest – and a victory for real journalism.”, he is not really correct. Why?

Reuters established what other sources had already established, that China backs Shugden groups in India and Tibet; but Reuters did not establish that China backs financially the Western ISC which was founded and ran by the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT). However, some of the few Tibetans among the protesters have a clear link to China and to officials of the Chinese Communist Party. The merit of the Reuters investigative article is that it gave a rather holistic picture of the whole and ended the prevailing confusion of many international media about this tricky subject.

IMO, the whole international media coverage of the Shugden controversy is rather a testimony of the low quality and lack of expertise in religious matters of the media. It rather testfies that journalists and newspapers / media work and investigate under time pressure, and while lacking expertise, they have to hastily fill pages or broadcasts with interesting (attention catching) news – at the cost of sober and precise information. Their output in this context has very often left readers in confusion, ill informed and even misinformed up to that they offered their readers without further verifications (missing to contact academic experts), the propaganda of a media savvy campaigning group that has never shown any restraint from lying, distorting and manipulating information. The few well investigated articles can’t neutralise really the huge amount of ill informed press articles and documentaries that have been published over the last decades.

I hope this delusion has now an end and people can focus on relevant issues.

Last edited on March 12, 2016 at 12:57 pm

Updates

Comments

  1. jigmeyeshe says:

    Wonderful summary. Thank you for this work.

    I would add that the leaflets distributed in London include mention of Neil Elliott’s questionable past as an ‘ethical’ spiritual teacher. Perhaps the leaflets could be uploaded here as well?

    Here are some links about Neil Elliott and the NKT:

    The ambition of Kelsang Gyatso for London – what is affected by the protests against their expansion:

    Until this abuse of Tibetan Buddhism in the name of the NKT’s World Peace (Domination) Temple Project’ stops and the NKT respect and acknowledge their debt to Tibetan Buddhism as it is now, then there is no real significance to this latest announcement. It does not indicate that the arrogance towards and cultural appropriation of Tibetan Buddhism by the NKT will stop.

    We have to continue to raise awareness all over the world about the real nature of the NKT, what it says about Tibetans and Tibetan culture and what their teachers have been doing against His Holiness and against NKT followers and leavers. There are hundreds of people who have the most heart rending stories about their difficult experiences in the NKT and their long task of recovery. The abuse of Human Rights within the NKT and against those who leave still needs to be made public knowledge. A mere ‘pause’ in the NKT teachers’ ISC activities means very little in this context.

  2. I find it sad that Buddhists and those involved in the campaign against the NKT ISC should seek to bolster their own images by claiming almost sole responsibility for this ending of hostilities. AS we know, the Buddha taught that all things arise through a multitude of causes and conditions; the NKT decision is no different. Many activists have worked for many years to help bring this about; it is not just something that has happened overnight. How many ex NKT would have been involved in the protests without the early Guardian article in 96 or the BBC program in 97, for example. In short, we have all contributed to this moment, not just one small group of individuals, a group that has only relatively recently beome involved in raising public awareness of the issue

    As for whether the newspapers were a contributory factor, the Dalai Lama told Reuters “he was aware of the decision by the ISC to disband. “I don’t know,” he said, when asked what was behind the group’s announcement. “Your article was something complete, holistic sort of presentation, it was very helpful,” he added, referring to the Reuters investigation.”.

    I have little doubt that he would also feel that the demos contributed. However, as Buddhists, should we dare to claim the ability to discern the causes and conditions that led to this moment? Instead of blowing our own trumpets/paddling our own canoes in childish attempts to claim responsibility, wouldnt be better off congratulating one another on having worked together to achieve this wonderful result? Blowing ones own trumpet over this is a sign of not seeing the wider picture and dare i say it, a lack of understanding of how reality works

    Amazingly, the decision by the NKT to end the demos seems to have more potential to undermine the unity of their enemies than anything they did when the protests were ongoing.

    And BTW, didnt I read somewhere that you disagreed with the demos Tenzin?

    in summary, before any of us claim responsibility, let us first acknowledge the hard work and efforts of those of us who started this fight twenty years ago, without whom many of us would not even be here or ever have escaped the NKT

    • Its a dependent arising and its hard to say what are the exact causes. I think many causes and conditions contributed to the cessation of the protests. And even if there was a “final cause” – which means something that really pushed the decision – other causes and conditions contributed too and might have been very necessary for the final withdrawal.

      And BTW, didnt I read somewhere that you disagreed with the demos Tenzin?

      As I said, its not my taste. I wouldn’t do it. For my taste this is too offensive / intrusive. However, I respect the decision of others and I am open to see and to acknowledge that the protest can raise some awareness and prevent people to be caught into the damaging NKT system. On the other hand the whole can be seen as a “we” against “them” intra-Buddhist fight and then it is rather damaging. I have no final opinion in this I have to admit …

      (Sorry, out of a lack of time, I only glanced through this comment very quickly and picked up two thoughts. Maybe, if I have more time, I will read the new comments in full.)

      • “the whole can be seen as a “we” against “them” intra-Buddhist fight and then it is rather damaging”
        Indeed. And if the NKT now decide to resume their protests as a result of continued anti NKT protests, claiming that they are under attack even though they have capitulated and so they might as well continue, I wonder if the ex NKT/Tibetans will be so ready to claim responsibility for that? Its a very dangerous tactic.
        I personally feel that their decision came about because of the combined efforts of many over twenty years ,plus the financial and reputational damage of their own protests to the NKTs image and finances. China seems also to have realised the game is up. The demonstrations by tibetans and ex nkt clearly helped. HOWEVER, like HHDL “i DO NOT KNOW” why they made the decision.
        In summary, let us rejoice in this event and not waste time bickering over who gets the brownie points. AND NEXT TIME there is an anti NKT demo, how about a poster that says “Thank you NKT: A VERY GOOD DECISION FOR ALL CONCERNED”???

        • jigmeyeshe says:

          We can’t ‘thank’ the NKT, can we? The NKT’ didn’t organise the protests against the Dalai Lama, did it? And because the anti Dalai Lama online defamation continues and the NKT followers don’t appear to have changed their views at all, then I would say that most of us, having seen 1997 , 2007-8 and 2014-5 are just waiting for the chameleon to appear under a different name again. The public still needs to be informed about what the NKT is.

    • Hi NO NAME. I read now your comment and also Linda’s piece in the post in full.

      I agree with you, no party should or can claim the “success” for themselves. A lot of people have worked over the past decades to bring more light onto this in different ways – not to forget HH the Dalai Lama, Tibetans themselves, academic experts or individuals like Thubten Gonpo, E-Sangha, people on Google Groups, some journalists etc etc.

      When I get it correctly, The Guardian claimed in a highly speculative manner “Collapse of protest – and a victory for real journalism” and Linda’s response just addresses this shortsightedness when she took a header “A ‘victory for real journalism’ or a victory for determined activism?”. I rather understand it as rather sporty reply to a too much self-assertive journalist. All in all she focuses then on activities Tibetans and she did and she gives an interesting account into that without claiming that it were them who ceased the protests.

      Of course ex-NKT speculate that the sudden withdrawal might be based on these protests but its a speculation. And it can be true or not but it doesn’t mean that she/I/we think, this were the only cause. (I expressed this already with the sentence “Maybe it was a combination of both” and by using the term “speculate”.)

      However, I can understand your worries. So, I agree fully with your proposal

      let us … acknowledge the hard work and efforts of those of us who started this fight twenty years ago, without whom many of us would not even be here or ever have escaped the NKT

      In that sense, thank you and everybody else,
      _()_

  3. as i said elsewhere
    i find it astounding that people assume that this decision was made because of a single protest against Neil Elliott, simply because it came around the same time as a public talk he gave. If somebody dies in hospital, do we assume the cause of death to be their lying in a hospital bed immediately beforehand? .To make such short sighted assessments of causes overlooks the tremendous hard work of all the activists who have tirelessly worked to inform the public about the NKT ISC for years, spending hour after hour, year after year working to bring about this result. Its no surprise that this somewhat juvenile ‘own trumpet blowing’,claim should come from someone involved in the demonstrations. The evidence given is the false claim by the NKT ISC that their decision to dissolve came on Dec 1st and since this spurious date claim preceded the demo, the demo was the cause,Those with memories longer than a goldfish will recall for instance that the Reuters article came subsequent to that date. Dare I suggest that publication of the truth about the ISCs involvement with China by one of the worlds most respected news agencies MIGHT have had something to do with it? What about the survey by an NKT insider that showed that 2/3 of NKT members felt the demos were wrong and damaging? And what about all the other newspaper articles that have voiced outrage at the demonstrations, or the numerous websites run by people who have committed themselves to keeping the public safe by informing them about the truth behind the NKT facade for decades?
    To claim the decision to end the demos was simply the result of one counter demonstration is to overlook the fact that this decision, like all appearances, arose through numerous causes and conditions and through the efforts of many dedicated servants of the dharma who have selflessly served HH, sometimes to the extent even that they began to doubt their own sanity, for many, many years, often at great personal cost.
    Instead of childishly claiming sole personal responsibility for the demo’s end, in an effort to procure spiritually materialistic brownie points, should we not be rejoicing together that the NKT have finally begun to realise the damage they have been doing to the Dharma, the Tibetan cause and even themselves? Instead of doubting the purity of their intent and claiming this is just another ploy, devised to buy them more time and protect profits, would we not be better praising them for finally showing some sense?

    • Thank you no name! I just updated the post and added two sentences: “In general, phenomena arise due to many causes and conditions. The cessation of the protests was even predicted by the Dalai Lama a while ago.” Maybe this makes it clearer?

    • Hi no name, with respect to your third comment. I think neither I nor Linda or ex-NKT were so narrow minded to claim that the counter-protests were or are the sole cause of the withdrawal. However, how it is been phrased and put together can give that impression and seems to be short sighted. But I didn’t take it all too literal nor boastful. It came also to my mind yesterday that it is true that there are so many causes and conditions – including what appears to be an increased critical stance on the protests within the NKT. (Not to speak about all the prayers, protector pujas or shugden.info etc.)

      Lets appreciate – as you suggested – the work of ALL THOSE WHO DID SOMETHING and not to allow to get carried away by a narrow view on it.

      However, I think you also see it now a bit too narrow now when you write “To claim the decision to end the demos was simply the result of one counter demonstration is to overlook the fact that this decision,” – who did that? I cannot really see it but maybe I am a bit blind and partial at the moment. You seem also to exaggerate a bit when you write “childishly claiming sole personal responsibility for the demo’s end, in an effort to procure spiritually materialistic brownie points”. I think this was not the point in neither what I, Linda or Carol wrote, wasn’t it?

      However, I understand where you come from and thank you for your criticism and the reminder to have a broad and less self-centred or narrow perspective.

      I doubt if the NKT realised anything like this “the NKT have finally begun to realise the damage they have been doing to the Dharma, the Tibetan cause” I assume they realised only that it harmed themselves. Narcissistic organisations change if it hurts themselves and their conviction that they did this all FOR the Dharma and Tibetans seems to be quite strong (remember, I demonstrated too and know quite well the thinking and views + ideology & emotions behind it).

      I feel it is save to “doubt the purity of their intent” and I think it is only reasonable to doubt the honesty and pervasion of their new announcement because we can learn from the past

      However in October 1998 we decided to completely stop being involved in this Shugden issue because we realized that in reality this is a Tibetan political problem and not the problem of Buddhism in general or the NKT. We made our decision public at this time — everyone knows the NKT and myself completely stopped being involved in this Shugden issue at all levels.

      https://www.send2press.com/PRnetwire/pr_02_1125-dalailama.shtml
      A newspaper wrote in 2000 or 2002 (I think it was Sidney Morning Harold, I could not find the text on a quick glance) that an NKT follower or Shugden insider said that they cannot wait long (to continue) – ok it took them 10 years but it continued.

      However, I would be careful to claim “another ploy” too because it seems Kelsang Gyatso is no driving force anymore, and it seems, the survival and continuation + expansion of NKT is more important than the fight of KG and his personal grudge against HHDL. And since it was ALWAYS Kelsang Gyatso who initiated and pushed the protests it is totally unlikely that he can do this again in the future. Therefore, the likelihood of any new round of protests is very low. And though the shared picture of an enemy bound/binds NKT folks emotionally together, they can’t win too many new followers by playing the Anti-Dalai Lama card so extensively and visibly … 

      I would praise someone who goes beyond his or her usually limits or did an extreme act of compassion or care. I can’t see that here. However, I am grateful and happy to be jobless regarding this :-)

      OK, lets rest in peace, wisdom and mutual respect and remembering the kindness of others – including the NKT. They helped us to make our live also somewhat meaningful – if we didn’t accumulate too much negative karma against them – ha ha ha! :-)

    • Linksnot $ says:

      The links between china and protestors like Adar was made in the article. NKT chose to make adar spokesperson and featured him front row. They knew of connections and were not bothered. Until Reuters. Then embarassing for them so disband.

      • Accepting Tibetans with China connections in the front row and featuring them (to increase the own creditability) is no proof that ISC is funded by China but just NKT accepting such people to use them for their own Anti-Dalai Lama trip.

        • NO NAME says:

          Where did Llinksnot$ say that it proved funding? [ The clue to his / her intent is in the name] All he alleged was that it proved links. Youre quite right Tenzin; the Reuters piece didnt prove that NOR DID IT SAY THAT! I just dont get you Tenzin. in repeatedly arguing against this NON CLAIM, you are creating a straw man argument AND counter arguments, for the NKT to use as an excuse to reopen hostilities.

          Lets get this straight. the Reuters piece neither proved NOR CLAIMED Chinese funding. However, it did much more than prove ” just NKT accepting such people to use them for their own Anti-Dalai Lama trip”

          What it did was assert that certain Tibetans who have been instrumental in helping coordinate and front NKT ISC demos were SIMULTANEOUSLY in direct communication with senior Chinese government official and HHDL hater Zhu Weiqun and that the probability was that these links were acting as a conduit for the conveyance of guidance and instructions to NKT ISC demo leaders from this official as part of the CPC campaign to undermine HH. Tseta, Indian intelligence and US security services confirmed their belief of the same. I can assure you Reuters had substantial photograph and testimonial evidence of all these links

          This may not convince you Tenzin but the fact that the NKT reacted in the way they did added even greater weight to these suggestions and would certainly seem to have caused them to reconsider their tactics.

          Deductive reasoning [ a German favourite?] is highly flawed as we all know, somewhat black and white and literal in its interpretation of facts. But inferential reasoning is also a way of establishing the veracity of assertions-why not try it? At present, all you are doing is writing the NKTs hate war battle plans and straw man arguments and responses for them.

          • Dear no name, sorry, at the moment I am quite busy that’s why I had no time to read your recent comments etc. Will try to read & to reply next weekend when there is highly likely more time. t

  4. Hang on a minute NoName! Your criticism of my position on this is unwarranted – as you would see if you took the time to examine what I have said more closely. I do not claim that it was solely the counter-protests that were the reason the ISC have disbanded! I noted that the announcement came within 24 hours of the protest outside Neil’s talk in Putney, yes – but did not say they came to the decision JUST because of that! It was more relevant to note in the context that the timing suggests that the real, secret controller of the ISC is Neil Elliott. You can see from the post I made here in Exposing NKT that my view is that the counter-protest movement was a contributing factor to the decision only. https://www.facebook.com/groups/exposingthenkt/permalink/967989096604797/

    Also, the Tibetan group who are the main people behind the counter-protests have stated that the counter-protests will end after the end of the Dalai Lama’s visit to UK in April – provided there are no more NKT-led demonstrations or attacks on him during his visit. The position of the counter-protest organisers is explained here:

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/exposingthenkt/permalink/965465460190494/

    “Further to the recent announcement that NKT have decided to disband the International Shugden Community and are not planning any further demonstrations against the Dalai Lama, it has been decided that the demonstrations against NKT will continue at least until the Dalai Lama’s visit to the UK in April is completed. This is because similar announcements have been made in the past, only for them to change their minds and/or regroup under a different front-group banner. Indeed on the Dalai Lama Truth Faceook page run by ISC, NKT people have stated that they think they have “won”, but that if they feel the need in the future they will regroup and start their hate campaign all over again.
    If NKT do not cause any trouble during the visit, this will be acknowledged and thanks given to NKT for desisting from their campaign to vilifiy and discredit the Dalai Lama during his visit here. The Tibetans will then stop from any further anti-NKT action, with the proviso that if the NKT start their attacks again, albeit no longer under the auspices of the ISC, then their counter-protests will also resume.”

  5. Furthermore, No Name, I suggest you examine your own response itself if your looking for childish reactions!

    Obviously, if it weren’t for the great work of Tenzin, Carol, David Cutshaw and many others such as the creators of http://www.NKTWorld.org and http://www.NewKadampaTruths.org I would never have been informed and outraged enough as I was by the antics of the NKT to have gotten involved in any of this, let alone thrown so much energy into supporting the counter-protest movement. Thank you to everyone who woke me up to this and inspired me to take some direct action!

    • Hey laughingdaquini, lets rest with wisdom: things arise due to many causes and conditions and lets rest in mutual gratitude and kindness. Lets remember all of the people who did something – including in those in the CTA or the NKT itself or journalists and academics … Palden Lhamo, Nechung ;-)

  6. “Thank you to everyone who woke me up to this and inspired me to take some direct action!”
    YOURE WELCOME!
    Having contributed to many of these sites and assisted each of these individuals, I guess I can claim responsibility in part for your actions ;)
    as i said above
    “Amazingly, the decision by the NKT to end the demos seems to have more potential to undermine the unity of their enemies than anything they did when the protests were ongoing”.
    Your response confirms this. So, I wish you well and ill leave judgement to the gods
    Best wishes

    • jigmeyeshe says:

      Exactly what ‘unity’ is there to be undermined? Overwhelmingly, the ‘campaign’ against the protests, if we can call it that, was the cumulative result of many individuals working separately far more than they ever worked in ‘unity’ together. Where is this marvelous ‘unity’ which will now be destroyed? I think it’s business as usual, isn’t it?

      • I think no name is speaking about to see the hard work of so many in their effort to correct an extremely distorted but very effective campaign against the Dalai Lama. The unity he is referring to, I guess, is in a shared motivation to do something against these bullying, stalking, harassments and lies. And I think this is a driving force for many who got active. Appreciating and acknowledging the good and hard work of others is also a great thing and a great Dharma practice. I like no names reminder and I am grateful to him as well as anybody else. I think he has also a point to remind a broader picture; though I think nobody of us claimed or thought to be the “final cause” of the decision. If this happened this would be indeed childish because as he correctly pointed out there are many causes and conditions and at the end not even the NKT might know what the “real cause” was ;-) Ha ha ha!

    • Dear ALL.
      Lets keep mutual respect, appreciation, gratitude and stay friends. It would be indeed amazing to make a problem out of the cessation of the ISC.

      Ha ha ha, did Dolgyal get hold on us (or our ego)?

      PEACE

    • I love you all! :-) We are like a family. We might argue and fight a bit but that is normal – well, it is in my family at least. I’d rather be like that than have to walk around on egg-shells all the time, afraid of offending someone by being honest about what I think or feel. I prefer honesty and openess always – even if feelings do get hurt from time to time – including my own. It’s all good! :-)

  7. arebuddh!stsrac!stc0m is still up. I guess that means the ISC lied about taking down all their websites, or the website actually belongs to someone connected to Kechara House. FYI, the server for the website is in Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia. I’m sure that has been brought up before, along with the “unfounded” accusation that Sandy Clarke is involved.
    Maybe you should check the history of the domain going back to it’s creation in 2014? Hmm? Maybe? No? You don’t want to for some reason? Maybe you should invite the people from Kechara House to write an article about how it and other sites don’t belong to them?
    https://whoisology.com/archive_7/arebuddhistsracist.com
    Get the history while you can. There are ways to make these domain history records go away.

    • Thank you. I though also that the racist website could belong to Kechara. However, at the end I don’t mind at all. Let them be racist, let them be spooky. I am sorry for the people who take IndyHack and this rubbish seriously ;-)

    • Well if they took down AreBuddhistsRacists.com along with all their other sites, that would be admitting that they were lying all along about Indyhack being an “independent journalist” – wouldn’t it? So they have no choice but to leave it up for the time being, at least.

  8. The NKT was only helping Kechara House with spam accounts smearing the Dalai Lama. Kechara House is the source. Whatever you think is wrong with NKT, Kechara House is at least 10 times worse. Kechara House’s smear campaign is only just starting. It’s not just overt websites like arebuddh!stsrac!st, it’s also dozens of other websites and countless social media accounts that will explode with anti-Tibetan attacks and promotion of Chinese pseudo-Buddhism and China in general.

    Do you understand? These websites are just building up their user base and credibility right now by pretending to be neutral and existing for a different purpose. Websites that pretend to be about diets, pet care, and spiritualism are going to turn into propaganda sites later. This is going on at Kechara right now.

    China wants to OWN Buddhism and they intend to do it though the internet and then a surge of Chinese backed fake Buddhist teachers.

    People are doing what they can by documenting it from the inside, but people on the outside also need to shore up Buddhism so no one will fall for these tricks.

    This isn’t a prediction or a guess, I’m telling you what they’re doing. It won’t do anyone any good for me to expose the sites now, they will just shut them down, pretend I was lying, and create other sites.

    • Ok, guys. I think you are making some politics here by putting IndyHack and the racist site close to Kechara. IndyHack is no Asian, he is British as far as most understood it. What comes from Kechara or anti-Kechara or NKT damage control teams is propaganda which is hard to comprehend and feels usually like “fog bombing”. After those “fog bombs” there is no clarity only more confusion.

      Either you guys, “39” or “owl” or “Nitroglycerine Maracas” (a comment I deleted) give something substantial and reasonable information or no further comment by you will be approved. I won’t allow to make this blog a propaganda arm for you.

      When I got it correctly, the ABR site was listed as being hosted in Malaysia initially. ABR is by far more connected to the NKT and UK than to Kechara and Tsem and his followers.

  9. I wrote to Len Foley a couple of weeks ago. Of course I do not expect a reply from him, but here is that letter:

    https://middlewayshugden.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/letter-to-len-foley-isc/

    During the last 8 months, I have also been sending a standard letter/booklet to many major NKT centres and KMCs run by admins or teachers notably involved in the ISC. Of course nobody responded, but I have been able to see peaks in activity on my blog shortly thereafter, relating to whichever country I had recently written to.

    Compared to a few years ago, it seems that people within the NKT slowly began taking note of the criticism towards them – albeit silently, without comment. It looks like their Shugden initiative finally achieved what many of us predicted would be its outcome: it imploded in on itself.

    Writers on this blog come from many different points of view and opinions, but hopefully something positive has come from all of this. We should not ‘freu uns zu früh’, perhaps ISC will simply appear in another form, but I doubt it: they have damaged their own brand so significantly, all they really want to do now is hush it all up and forget about it. Nonetheless, as my letter to Len says, they should be responsible, give a proper statement and explanation for their actions and dissolution.

    But if they don’t… then they don’t ;-) There are more important things in the world.

    • Thank you Maik.

      He he he

      Nonetheless, as my letter to Len says, they should be responsible, give a proper statement and explanation for their actions and dissolution.

      I think this is an impossible task for such a deceptive organisation ;-) “A Great Deception”, their book titles, expressed their own nature ;-)

      I will read your letter in the next days.

      Yes, far more important things in the world …

  10. Dear Tenpel,
    Since ISC has backed down with the protests, don’t you think that it is time that you guys should wind down your rhetoric too? We are after all, followers of the Buddha’s teachings according to our own lineage and teachers. You see, the protest ended suddenly but it can also start up again and be even stronger than before. So, it will be nice if we all go on our own merry ways.

    • Hi Lovett, what rhetoric are you referring to? Is there something not correct and needs a correction on the factual level? Do you think because the protests were announced to end it is not allowed to express one’s own thoughts, opinions or facts? Should I understand “but it can also start up again and be even stronger than before. So, it will be nice if we all go on our own merry ways” as a blackmailing? Thanks for the clarifications.

    • You would like dialogue to end, wouldn’t you, Lovett?
      Big boy Tsem is still pumping effluent into the environment daily. He would love to expand with bricks and mortar centres into America and Canada the way the NKT cult empire has, but so far has no real toehold. In fact, Tsem’s legal blunders in Oakland, CA cost a bundle, were a major setback for Kechara’s reputation and also demonstrated that Tsem’s self-styled ‘clairvoyance’ is flawed, to say the least. It is vital Kechara not be allowed to ruin the mental health of this part of the world unopposed. To that end, and particularly until sincere apology and full, transparent financial disclosure by Kechara are offered, retreat is not an option.

      • Anonymoose says:

        What happened in Oakland?

        I recently read that phrad0rjeshugdennet is on a server in Santa Monica, California near Tsem’s tax dodge non-profit. Is that related?

        • One can only imagine the expense to the “charity” Kechara of flying legal counsel out to Malaysia for meetings, flying Kechara cultists out to California and of course the stiff retainer for the law firms involved. The first leave to take discovery the identity of John Does 1, 2 and 3 in court was denied twice by Donna M. Ryu, Magistrate Judge, United States District Court, N.D. California. A 4th John Doe was added for the second unsuccessful attempt before the cult’s high-priced legal team resigned the case.

          http://www.leagle.com/decision/In%20FDCO%2020150520C31/KECHARA%20HOUSE%20BUDDHIST%20ASSOCIATION%20MALAYSIA%20v.%20DOES%201-3#

          https://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/california/candce/4:2015cv00332/284105/22

          Although Tsem fancies himself as an American, as a Grade 9 dropout, his self-cherishing fantasies of libel tourism revenge are not based on legal reality and cost him dearly. Even had the case proceeded, it is highly unlikely a ‘John Doe’ would be extradited to the US from Hong Kong, for example, for simply posting on the Internet.
          Kechara has no hesitation reposting others’ intellectual property, both visuals and written articles on their sites, yet are outraged when someone else reposts their own exact words.
          The retreat of ISC appears to be an even greater shock to Kechara than the Duke Okkelberg fraud affair, rendering a large proportion of Kechara’s backlog of propaganda stories obsolete and flawed.

          • That’s really weird that they tried to sue people for talking about them online because it would allow an investigation into the claims and people would get warrants to check out their accounts online. You’d have to be really really REEEEEALLY dense to do what Kechara House did.

            Duke Okkelberg?

            I don’t understand why their propaganda stories are obsolete since ISC is gone.

            • “a large proportion of Kechara’s backlog of propaganda stories (are rendered) obsolete and flawed.”

              Do you continue to read advertisements of stores that have gone bankrupt? Does anyone care about the past lineup of football clubs that have disbanded? No, because such trivia is irrelevant.
              So likewise, the cult website’s (DS.com) list of futile past ISC demonstrations ought to be embarrassing to them. Do they still think it is somehow awesome? Their ‘movement’ has abandoned them to the obscurity of a Malaysian backwater of overseas Chinese converts led by Tsem, the Jim Jones of our time.

    • ….ahhh …in the typical NKT style of passive-aggressive blackmail. “All go on our merry way” shall we while you sharpen your knives for the next stab in the back to the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people, under a new front-group. ISC is only the third one NKT created so far, after all. What’s the next one going to be called? Shugden Community United Members? That would make an excellent acronym :-)

      • Maybe better we ignore them. It seems some people want to stir up things and to confuse people.

      • All the more reason to not acknowledge their pseudo dissolution. They will be back under a new name. Maybe they’ll play a new angle.

        The anti-Tsem group(s), which is(are) composed of people that have been harmed by Tsem or people who don’t like propaganda deception, is(are) frantically busy with collecting information on new age and health websites that the shugden/china groups have been making.

        The new angle used by China probably won’t be under the pretense of Buddhism, but under the pretense of being outsiders to the shugden issue that just hate Tibetans and the Dalai Lama for fabricated reasons or no reason at all. So instead of trying to forumlate a coherent argument against the Dalai Lama using false information like “millions of shugden practitioners”, they’ll just be trying to create a “buzz” of anti-Dalai Lama sentiment in the hopes that people will adopt that same attitude without knowing anything about the actual Tibetans or the Dalai Lama.

        • I changed your username to the pseudonym you used already. Commenters are asked to stick to one pseudonym / username on this blog to avoid confusion. Thank you for your understanding.

  11. I updated the post with a new article by Tibetologist Thierry Dodin, “Shugden followers are not giving up protests against the Dalai Lama”.

  12. I don’t know about the NKT, but Kechara House gets money from China through front businesses that launder the money. The Kechara House restaurants in Nepal, Malaysia, and Shanghai exist solely to launder money from the Chinese government and facilitate meetings between Kechara House people and Chinese agents and officials. The anti-Tsem people have video and audio of one such meeting at Kechara Tea House in Shanghai.

    • This could well be the case and sounds likely. However the protests in the West have nothing (or at least not much at all) to do with Tsem or Kechara.

Trackbacks

  1. […] the disbandment of the International Shugden Community (ISC), I expressed some reservations in a blog entry (see Some Final Remarks). Unlike many claims made online and in print – for instance on […]

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