Open Letter to Robert Thurman from the Western Shugden Society

This letter was posted on the Western Shugden Society website today:

An Open Letter

To Robert Thurman,

We the Western Shugden Society are writing this letter regarding your previous public statement that Shugden people are sectarian, naming them “the Buddhist Taliban”; and your recent public statement that the Western Shugden Society protestors are “working for the Chinese”.

As you know, Shugden people want to practice the Gelug tradition purely, without mixing with the Nyingma tradition. Because of this the Dalai Lama has said to Shugden people that they are sectarian. In truth, the Nyingmapa also want to practice their Nyingma tradition purely without mixing with the Gelug tradition; and it is the same for the Sakyapa and Kagyupa. So according to the Dalai Lama’s view, the Nyingmapa, Sakyapa and Kagyupa are also sectarian, but he only says that Shugden people are sectarian. In reality he is lying.

If you, Robert Thurman, are not yourself lying, then you must show your evidence to prove your public statements: that Shugden people are sectarian, “the Buddhist Taliban” as you named them; and that the Western Shugden Society is working for the Chinese. You should show your evidence publicly through the internet before 25th October 2008. If your evidence does not appear by this date then we will conclude that you have lied publicly and are misleading people.


Western Shugden Society

9 responses to “Open Letter to Robert Thurman from the Western Shugden Society

  • Thom

    Inside the Tibetan Mongolian Cultural Center with the Dalia Lama’s family having fun.

    In 1979 in Bloomington,Indiana. We built the Tibetan Cultural Center at the request of the Dalia Lama, to act as a respository for the Vast Treasure Trove of Knowledge. Which at that time, the Cultural Revolution appeared to have litle chance of surviving with any kind of substance.
    Before the fame of Daliai Lama was world renowned and he was teaching to maybe 30 or 40 people and no security guards or admission fees. Just one on one! Now this was very nice and dharma flourished in Southern Indiana and Wisconsin.

    Years later in 1996. Everything changed with his stepping over the boundaries of our differing cultures by violating others Religious Beliefs and Persecuting only one of the 1,000 Dieties of the Mahayanna Buddhist Pathenon, Shri Dorje Shugden. The same that the 5th took measures to eradicate before seizeing absolute control over Tibet, with the full power of the Mongolian Cavalry slaughtering his opposition.

    I do know that the stuff that is going on in the name of Lord Buddha and Tibet, has nothing to do with The Teachings of Buddha ,and it should not be confused as the same.
    The Lamas bought over 20 Tibetan Mahayanna Buddhist Monks. We proceeded to build Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang Rinpoche first Monastery in the Americas. He dedicated this monastery to the Preservation of the Teachngs of Je T’songkhapa.
    Gonsar Tulku enshrined Shri Dorje Shugden to be the Protector of Dagom Geden Tensung Ling Monastery, forever,
    Just as Lord Buddha said, “The Wheel Of Dharma, will turn to the Land of the Red Men” where it will flourish.

    It would be normal for all Buddhist Practioners to rejoice in the establishment of the dharma in the West.
    Instead, we are attacked for Preserving the Teachings and Humiliated in the media as Devil Worshippers.
    This year has shown the true face of Tibet’s Ancient Tribalism conflicting values and Priciples with Modern Nation States.

    Now, we have people like Taliban Bob Thurman appointed to sit as Chair of the Tibetan Mongolian Cultural Center. Where the reports from the locals go like this and the liars and deceivers as Bob and his compatriots continue to run amuck and steal what they can, while they can get away with it.
    “Oh negative energy abounds out there even now. Kunyang and Jigme Norbu took funds and hundreds of thousands of them for years for their own personal use. They also took money out of the equity of the buildings out there–well over a million dollars supposedly from that alone. Then the bank who hadn’t been paid in forever foreclosed and it went up to one day before a sheriffs sale before would have confiscated the proeperty.

    H.H. was able to get the money together to stave the banks off for a month or something. Then in the end he had to ask four very wealthy people he knew personally to save it, which they did, by paying off all of the loans. Meanwhile Kunyang and Jigme still drive around town in very expensive automobiles, still have their restaurants and lots of rental property. So in 2003 I think it was

    The entire place was re-organized and the Norbu family had to sign off of everything out there. So Norbu has been and was being taken care of by monks and lay tibetan men or he would have been in a nursing home. The house they built for themselves in the back part of those 108 acres .

    I believe Kunyang no longer lived there even. So yeah, bad blood as they say. Jetsun Pema showed up and hair went up on end with her sister-in-law.

    I am the only person around here that gave significant money to the center over the years that is still around. And I left town and only came and went now and then. For a long time the Norbus and (Mr. Norbu was not sick at this time) kept the gates locked and you couldn’t even go out there.

    But during those years I always figured he needed that privacy. I mean you know what a life, made him kind of crazy in my opinion.

    When all the re-organization happened, Dalai Lama appointed Arji Rinpoches to head the center. In short, it’s been more of the same and worse.

    Arji ‘s story is difficult to be sure, but he is a real dictator and doesn’t like women except to be the oh the great one! Oh kow tow! You know how it is…a very male oriented society even if the women in Tibet had a measure of more freedom that those in the rest of Asia .

    He was tight with the communists for years after his release from prison camp for supposedly 16 years. You know the whole story is never told…

    So more of the same, the ‘public’ will not be allowed to attend the traditional cremation for Tagster Norbu.
    Compare that to little Lama Yesche, who didn’t even hold a gesche degree but had more flourishing centers world wide than just about any one else! He wanted all people who could come from all over the world to attend his cremation–his final teachings. He died at age 49. So it goes with the Norbu family. Kunyang is out there along with Jigme strutting around ‘in control’ for a short time again. Never learned, just never learned. Meanwhile Jetsun Pema was sent immediately by H.H. to supervise the arrangements, and of course Pare Rinpoche is there. I think H.H. sent Pare rinpoche for this purpose I really do, to see his brother out!

    This is the way Bod deals with the rustics in Indiana. He will do little but use it a podium to further lie and deceive the wide-eyed western people.

  • Thom

    Defend the Dharmapala’s Monastery
    Dagom GedenTensung Ling

    Excerpts Herald Telephone Interviews
    Thubten Norbu
    Tibetan Mongolian Cultural Center

    “The Dalai Lama has actually repudiated his own spiritual guide, which is, again, very un-Buddhist. The Dalai Lama himself offered prayers to Dorje Shugden for 40 years.
    Yet now he repudiates him. And he won’t say why.”This is a worldly deity”.
    The Dalai Lama’s elder brother, retired Indiana University professor Thubten J. Norbu, talked about the controversy at his home outside Bloomington. And his mind is somewhat clear about the Shugden dispute.
    “This is a free country. If these people want to worship a ghost, they can worship a ghost.
    But I believe this is a worldly deity and this is not Buddhism, you know”.
    Norbu said he did not know why his brother, the Dalai Lama, turned against Shugden.
    “He must have his reasons.
    My brother is one to thoroughly study everything.
    He knows what he is doing.”
    He practiced Shugden himself, until 1995. When he also had to give up his practice to please his brothers’s wishes.
    Thom Canada, who donated the 100-acre site in 1979 on the south of town that includes the cultural center and Norbu home, is now a supporter of the Shugden postion of religious freedom, and it’s beleagured practitioners.
    He has donated land next to Cascades Park for a monastery accommodating Shugden worshippers and sees himself as a “rescue” resource for persecuted Shugden followers that endure suppression and violation of their Civil Rights from the Dalia Lama.

    “I’ve gotten a death threat myself,” Canada said last week. “So when they say there is no persecution going on, don’t believe it. There are vigilantes out there who at least believe they are doing the Dalai Lama’s will. They told me ‘We’re going to kill you and we’re going to kill all the other lamas, one by one.'”
    Bruce E. Wilson, who leads a small, third congregation of Tibetan Buddhism followers in Bloomington, says, “There is a Tibetan proverb that says you can’t have politics without religion and religion without politics. I think in the U.S. our great strength is the separation of church and state, and it’s not hard to see why.”
    If there is one thing all factions agree on regarding the Shugden controversy it is the quintessentially Buddhist notion that each individual must seek his or her own answers and that no one should accept any one point of view simply because someone else does.
    “Buddha said, ‘Monks, just as skilled persons, accept gold after testing it, by heating, cutting and rubbing it. Likewise, you should accept my words after examining them. Do not do so out of respect (for me),” Wilson recited.

    I’m sure there’s quite a few Shugden practitioners who are attempting to remain silent about the Dalai Lama. Because of the West’s perception of him, in other words, they are acting and speaking for the wrong reasons, motivated out of self-interests and agendas, as well as pride.
    Times have changed.
    I cannot believe there is any discussions as to how polite we should be to the enemy of the Lineage?
    I find it difficult to understand how anyone here cannot have a real understanding of a man.
    Who claims to have the same mind continuum as the 5th & 13th Dalia lama.
    Would not understand the depth of pain our Vajra Brothers suffered.
    The 13th Dalia lama had their skins peeled from their bodies, very slowly over several days, until they succumbed, only 70_80 years ago.

    Their cime was to place a piece of paper in Dalia lama shoe.
    Imagine with Dalia lama admitted mind continuum.
    As being exactly the same as the 5th & 13th Dalia lama
    How much spite and scorn he has to hold for all of the centuries.
    Even now in the light of day. He attempts the same now as those he flayed alive.
    Only today,he uses false allegations and character assassination to
    dismember his victims.
    Dalia lama acts with much vengeful spite towards our brothers & Sisters and defamed our Teachers.
    He is sick and his days are Very numbered.

    The beauty of our position,as I see it.
    Is we have truth and honesty on our side.
    It doesn’t matter what they think about us at all.
    Because we do not have to scheme and lie and try to trick anyone.
    As they do.

    I remember old Taliban Bob equating us to the Taliban, “Just like the Taliban”.
    They had a full color photo of Dorje Shugden inside of Newsweek, and the story made Dorje Shugden look as alien to Mahayana Buddhism as a Catholic Cross would look like in a Mosque.
    However they published a full color photo that made world circulation for everyone to get a glance of the Protector. Somehow they thought this made Shugden look different than theother 1,000 dieties of Mahayanna Buddhism. Twisted logic from Twisted Bob. Bob told me that he had taken over 800 LSD trips one night over a bottle of wine. That impressed me at the time.

    I thought it rather a rash choice to make in defense of the Dalia lama to portray Shugden in
    I would have at that point in 1996_1999, thought if incredibly rude and ill-mannered to depict or reveal such intimate knowledge of Buddhism in a common tabloid as Bob choose to do.
    But he choose to do as he does now. Make a fool out of himself
    But that was then and not now. Now we know what it is and what to name it.Lies and Deceit!

    They tried to tie murder wrap on Dragpa Gyaltesen, and it was thrown out of court.
    But the stigma stuck in their repetoire of lying and deceitfulness

    I figure we can unravel this package the same way it was wrapped up to begin with.
    We need to continue to say the simple truth over and over and over again.
    Call him whatever you want.
    Because for too long people have been afraid to call him anything, other than your Holiness.
    Well now, he no longer deserves or warrants any more respect than to call him Fred.
    He is ordinary and does not practice the precepts.
    No matter how much he sits and prays with Inter Faith Groups.
    He is nothing more than a person like all the rest of us and is going through changes.

    Once Dalia he realizes that he is an ordinary human.
    He will be like the “Last Emperor of China”!
    It’s just now we find that he is like a hungry ghost pursuing obsessions life time after life time vainly attempting to prove himself more adept, advanced and skilled than his superior, Dragpa Gyaltsen.
    Whom he or his ministers stole his life force by shoving katas down his throat to cease his life functions and he became the Supreme Protector of The Dharma and provides each and every one of us the very best conditions of environment for us to mediate.
    To achieve enlightenment and be happy all of the time. Sounds pretty scary to me.
    What do you think?
    Dalia’s ghost obsesses on one thing and one thing only.
    Because his phantom has been unable to acccept his misdeeds.
    That being when he decided to murder the Wisdom Buddha, Dragpa Gyaltsen.
    I think of how the Hobbits rediscovered the ring and then one was killed and the other went on for hundreds of years in unimaginable isolation and suffering all deluded states imaginable self cherishing apparitions that blind him of his true state of guilt of murdering his friend to posses the ring . Thus enraptured with his delusions he flees from his mind’s judgement.
    It causes me to reflect on this a little.
    He wears the abhorrence of his crime similarly as in “The Portrait of Dorian Grey”, betrayed by his own mind’s evil nature.
    Dalia lama carries this imprint of misdeed as a porter carries his load up a hillside.
    He always stoops and not from humility.
    But from the weight of carrying the Three Poisons over hundreds of years.
    Dalia is making strategic errors now .It read clearly how desperate he is to see that his facade is crumbling before his eyes, with all his lies, he broadcasts them all over the world.
    He does not consider how lies fly faster, than when he was a kid growing up in Lhasa.
    His lies are moving faster than the speed of light in a cyclotron.
    The lies are moving him out of his castle and onto the playing field.
    The lies pile up higher than all the Bones of Mount Meru. For everyone to see the truth behind his lies.
    All the conjured rituals of fear mongering he has created will come back to him in full stark clarity of his deepest fears being realized are exposed for the whole world to know.
    Total disclosure of his misdeeds will eventually make him grateful to the Protector and lamas for healing this festering sore. He will be grateful eventually. I promise!
    Now he looks quite sick.
    Look into his face and eyes, and you can see his sickness.

    I remember Dagom Rinpoche and Norbu meeting at the TCC .
    I was giving Dagom Rinpoche a tour of my town and we drove up to the Tibetan Cultural Center on a whim and I was unprepared for what happened next was beyond belief.
    We drove up to Chorten and there was old Tagster standing guard and Rinpoche was smiling
    at Norbu and giggling a little through the car window. They obviously knew one another.
    Norbu literally turned red and his face took on a demon of some sort. He snarled at me and told me leave.
    I got out of the van and stood up in his face and asked. Why he is so rude to a new friend of mine and a lama?
    I stared into eyes I had never noticed in the last 33 years.
    I saw hate incarnate in my face.
    I almost crawled on top of him in that minute.
    Rinpoche called me back in and said, forget him.
    I drove away never to speak to him again.

    Mr. Norbu predicted, “I will be reborn as a Burro in Tijuana Mexico. ”
    I used to argue and say, that this would never be.
    Now, I understand why he would say this again and again.

    He’d been selling OUT his countrymen and convinced them to sacrifice their lives in a nasty little guerrilla war for the KGB and the CIA for years.
    He once was human and once he was a monk, But
    He’d been doing this long before I ever met him!
    However a promise is a promise.

    The situation in India is where it is today.
    Because even after the Boss cooled down for a few years, everyone thought our work is done.
    In fact, I was sent a letter from the Monastery in India that said,”Our Work Is Done”.
    So no one did anything, and thought, “we’ll just quietly practice our Dharma and maybe they’ll leave us alone.”
    Like before!
    That’s what I was told me happened after the flaying of the monks alive back in the 1930’s.
    We’re Buddhist, we can handle a little roughing up every now and then.
    Besides we have our vows to protect.
    Now, we’ve done nothing for years, and everyone gets concerned and jumps up and down and runs around in panic and surprise that he was at it again.
    I remember all the kind words.
    It got absolutely no where, whatsoever.
    “If you ain’t got nothing, you ain’t got nothing to lose”
    So stack up the attachments and people hang on to what holds them back.

    I remember the most single moving act of a monk in 1964 Viet Nam lighting himself up in a lotus position with a jerry can of gasoline to protest the US presence, bringing more heartbreak to Viet Nam.
    He never wavered as the flames consumed his body.
    He remained in perfect equipoise as he taught me enough at 16 not to join the army at 18.
    Was this too violent or abusive to others less learned , young or naive, than he ?
    Did he break a vow with his act?
    He stunned the world or my world with a totally alien and illegal act.
    Was it suicide or sacrifice or a teaching?
    I’m sure his motivation was Bodichitta inspired.
    What I think is that any words that can bring this useless suffering to an end is far better than being forced to light oneself up to prove a point or gain attention.
    What gets headlines and brings attention to the plight of the monks and the gross violations being perpetrated upon all of us who believe in total Equality for all sentient beings.
    I think the lamas and monks have set the tone from how it feels from their side of the planet.
    Not ours, over here in the relative comfort of the West.
    Kunden ling and others are taking the heat in New Delhi with constant pressures from the goon squads of the Dalia lama.
    Remember how that felt back then? I do!
    However the stakes have changed and it is apparent by the recent news that DL and Thurman have completely come unhinged. He’s put Bob in the hot seat to lie thoroughly right before the court hearing in New Delhi.
    Bob always says outrageous stuff to get himself worked up. It helps him to lie more convincingly to himself.

    All we had to do last time was build a Shugden Monastery in Bloomingtonto get his attention.
    He came running to destroy the Shugden Sangha with the full force of the Kalachakra.
    Just like a Hungry Ghost with an obsession!

    We’ve definitely got Fred’s attention and he’s ticked off.
    That’s good!

    Now if we can only keep him going until he gets flustered.
    He’s prone to go off the deep end about this issue.
    Good now they’ll look like lunatics.
    It’s called turning the tables.
    All we need do is let them fall into their own bed of lies.

    Moment Of Truth!

    Dalia lama looked through the National News tonight and said, “I will not stop Tibetans from expressing their religious freedom. I am freedom man.”
    I almost lost my dinner with this absurd and untruthful statement.
    A man in robes,lying is not a monk, nor a lama.

    It is enough for any of us to know, that real danger is here.

    The bigger they are, the harder or farther they fall.
    So, I am going to be listening for a big thump.

    I feel happy that the Protector is bringing on the Sun Shine, and it’s never darker than before the dawn.
    We’ve been “Watchers For The Dawn’, for a long time.
    I think I see a beam of light shine forth in the dawn of morning first light.

    I think that the Masters await until the stream clears and runs clean.
    Giving us just enough time to prepare.

    This man has one major agenda, and that is to Destroy The Teachings That Dorje Shugden Protects and The Lama Chopa Guru Lineages with Single Pointedness of mind.
    This is what Dalia lama is doing.
    One Dream, One World, One Master, which he aspires to be.
    He is not mincing words or hesitating for even one second to accomplish his obsession to destroy all traces of Dorje Shugden from this world.
    We must defend ourselves.
    It is not surprising that the Dalia lama’s clique of rich actors choose to attempt to ruin one of the few events that the world celebrates in concord together.
    The individual spirit’s power to unite us by their victories.
    We share with enthusiasm and bask in the light of their achievements.
    The Olympics began in the cradle of western democracy principles and ideals. Tibetan never experienced any thing remotely resembling democracy under the 14 Dalia lamas over the last 400 years.
    The Dalia lineage devised a Medieval slave_serf class structure that rode on the backs of the Tibetan people for far too long. He called in the Mongolian calvary to force all the different school under his control by force and became the Supreme Dictator of Tibet, similar to the modern communist state of North Korea

    It was Radio Free Tibet,that announced the location of the recently reincarnation of the Panchen lama in 1991.
    The Chinese authorities picked him up in a matter of hours.
    The Panchen lama is of equal authority as the DL.

    It was the PRC that liberated the people of Tibet.
    This Dalia lama is no different now after 49 years, than his predecessors.
    Only a month before he incited the rioting in Tibet.
    The Dalia lama threw out a 350 year old respected order of the The Tibetan Mahayana Gulug lineage of Dorje Shugden into the streets of India. Thousands of the clergy are now confronted by Tibetan Vigilante goons that stated they will harass them out of the Tibetan Colonies in India.
    He wears two mantles of authority that tread daily on our Founding Father’s Principles of Equality and Freedom of Speech and Religion.
    He does not adhere to our Bill Of Rights.
    Nor would he know what to do with our rights inside his government in exile.
    The western news reporting is as blind to the history of the Dalia lama as are the Free Tibet people are. Free to go back to a free Tibet that never existed except as a despot’s medieval time warp.
    Democracy is not the Free Tibet the Dalia lama strives to emulate.
    He is free to glory in his own emulation of himself.
    Not the values of the American Founding Fathers Belief In Equality. Which he, Bob Thurman and his side kick, Richard Gere have betrayed.

    We need to address whomever our direct Masters or Teachers and seek their immediate input and advice on dealing with this looming crisis in the Colonies.
    If we in the west contemplate inflation and shortages and depressions. We can only imagine the stress that is arising on the Indian Sub Continent with food and fuel shortages with unfavorable crop yields anticipated, due to drought.
    We might consider that the additional stress the Dalia lama has placed upon the local economy by his erratic and tenacious behavior towards his own people.
    It is clear that many people are emotionally charged and flailing and thrashing blindly against anyone the Dalia lama scorns. Which includes the Chinese and Dorje Shugden Devotees.
    Acting in unison will help to bring about the desired results for this witch hunt implemented by the mind of a backward medieval dictatorial Potentate.
    Or shall we do as before and simple practice our Dharma in quiet, and maybe nobody will notice us and leave us alone.
    It hasn’t worked before and there is no reason to think it will resolve itself so easily this time.
    Get off your pillows, stand up and ask yourself and others.What can I do?
    Now in this moment and the next.
    Your Protector needs you to act as he directs each and every one of us in our audiences with him.You might be in for the ride of your life.
    Protetor Power is an overwhelmingly out of the body experience in real time.
    All we need to do is say Yes! I will, and I can do whatever it is you need for me to do, right now.
    Enlightenment is like that. The Now is all there is, so let’s start acting like our Brothers and Sisters for those that need our help now.
    Who else will , if we do not.
    Now the brothers India share the tale of darkness and despair of Vigilantes,who have sworn to bring us to an end.
    So unite us, Love is all you need.

    I am glad my words have been of some comfort and if it is any more help please know that you are not alone. With the way things are going I am sure you will not be the last.
    Fortunately, I am very familiar with Thom Canada as a spiritual warrior who has inspired people like me, to shatter the silence of fear and clamorously defend our precious lineage. He has helped unveil the man behind the curtain so we can see for ourselves the nature of deceit and destruction handed out by the DL. He has made every sacrifice in the effort to make sure that freedom is near. I will let others fill you in on the history if they want, I do not think that is my business. What matters to me is his actions carried out on behalf of our great Protector, Gyelchen Dorje Shugden.
    ar with the workings of the DL and his administration. They do not operate ethically and morally.I have witnessed many great lamas, members of the Sangha and simple lay people go through the same types of persecution. In feudal Tibet the punishment of being excommunicated and ostracized were reserved for those who were the greatest threats. This mentality is carried on to this day.The only difference is that Tibet does not have a land to banish us from so the tactics of splitting and isolation from the community are now used. The DL and his administration still live in the dark ages yet present themselves as following Buddhist principles to the world and speak of peace. Thinking people who come in contact with this system recognize it and see fault in it. We do a service to our fellow human beings when we bring this to light.
    , I am glad to see that u have had contact with several great masters of our lineage. In times like this I have found solace in the teachings and words of advice from our great lineage masters for they continue to guide me out of this difficult and trying time of afflictions and the impermanent reality of existence.

    Your contributions to the Buddha Dharma thus far will continue to help people long after we’re gone.In some ways the hardships you have endured may not have been in vain.It could have helped clear or alleviate the obstacles and negative karma for the pure gelug tradition to flourish in the west.I applaud you for your willingness to keep an open mind and generous heart to possibly continue helping our brethren in the near future despite your bitter experiences with Tibetans. Pls know that there are still many people who see your good nature, your pure motivation, your unwavering faith and passion for Dorje Shugden and unquestionable willingness to help. This speaks to the kind of person you are. Many tend to misunderstand your passion for anger or scorn.

    Thom Canada is a spiritual warrior who has inspired people like me to shatter the silence of fear and clamorously defend our precious lineage. He has helped unveil the man behind the curtain so we can see for ourselves the nature of deceit and destruction handed out by the DL. He has made every sacrifice in the effort to make sure that freedom is near. I will let others fill you in on the history if they want, I do not think that is my business. What matters to me is his actions carried out on behalf of our great Protector, Gyelchen Dorje Shugden.

  • Thom

    “Confederation of Shambala Warriors!
    Unite and Fight All Forms of Tyranny!
    Convene The Gathering Force Of Dorje Shugden Warriors to Defend The Dharmapala’s Lineage!
    All Voices in Concord as One!
    The Enemy Does Not Delay for One Minute to Place Us In Our Graves!
    Come Together Now, Before It Is Too Late!”

  • Thom

    Tibetan Religion and Politics
    Phayul[Saturday, September 13, 2008 12:16]
    Samten G. Karmay

    Karmay, Samten Gyaltsen
    The Tibetans prided themselves on what they believed to be a unique tradition, the “combination of religion and politics” (chosi zungdrel). The concept itself goes a long way back in Tibet’s history. However, many other countries still have similar traditions. It was only at the beginning of the 20th century that countries like France and Japan began to have the legislation for the separation of church and state that gave birth to the idea of practicing religion as a personal belief not regulated by the state. The process of secularization has been slow, but it is moving inexorably forward. This state secularism is the modern trend in many countries the world over.

    It was startling to see a political meeting that took place in Dharamsala on May 3-4 2008 and broadcast on YouTube. It was attended by the heads of all the Tibetan religious sects and was presided over by HH the Dalai Lama. One of the topics of the discussion was the tulku issue, the reincarnated lamas, but the outcome of the discussion has not been reported. Not a single layman took part in the gathering not to mention any women. One wondered what happened to the famous democratization of the exiled Tibetan community in India.

    The separation of church and state does not imply abandoning the practice of the established religion. Far from it, it secures freedom of religious exercise and therefore the right of personal choice whether one wishes to practice a religion or not. Furthermore it establishes the neutrality of the state as far as the religious denominations are concerned. In the case of Tibet there would be no preferential status whether it is the Bon, Nyingma, Sakya, Kagyu or Gelug traditions or even the Tibetan Moslems and Christians. What the “separation” does imply, however, is the government and religious institutions being kept independent from one and another and not combined as in the Tibetan political tradition.

    A secular state is therefore neutral when it deals with religion by not supporting or opposing any particular sect nor does it give any preferential treatment for a citizen who belongs to a particular religion.

    Buddhism as a state religion
    Buddhism became the state religion of Tibet in the reign of the emperor Tri Song Detsen (742-797) and it remained so till the end of the Pugyal Dynasty in 941 AD. During the imperial period the emperors were the supreme heads of the state and the emperors were entirely laymen. The fact that Buddhism was the state religion did not affect the personal choice of faith among its members and in the country. However, the imperial government did subsidize Buddhist establishments such as building temples and contributing to their maintenance and this was considered to be meritorious work.

    There were other periods during which time a lay government was in power in Tibet, for example, during the Tsang Desi’s regime (c.1600-1642) which was most remarkable in its attempt to revive the national glory of the lay government of the imperial period.

    The beginning of theocracy
    However, in 1642 the Tsang Desi’s government was toppled by the combined forces of Tibetans and Mongols at the instigation of the Gelug sect which effectively empowered the Fifth Dalai Lama (1617-1685), as the head of state. He had been, until 1642, merely the abbot of Drepung Monastery. A new era of theocracy was ushered in with the total supremacy of the clergy and the subordination of laymen to it. At the time of the Sakya and Pakmotu administrations from the 13th to the 15th centuries there were of course elements of theocratic development, but from 1642 the Ganden Potrang, the official seat of the government in Drepung Monastery, came to symbolize the supreme power in both the theory and practice of a theocratic government. This was indeed a political triumph that Buddhism had never known in its history in Tibet.

    The term “theocracy” is normally defined as a form of government in which a ‘god’ or ‘deity’ is recognized as the supreme ruler. In Tibet’s case the Dalai Lamas are considered as the manifestation of the Buddhist deity of compassion. In this theocratic system the head of the state was not only the political leader of the people, but also their spiritual master. In other words, the whole population was subjected and put in the position of spiritual disciple to the master. Within the context of this essentially religious bond no devotee would ever dream of opposing the view of the master, because that would be tantamount to breaking the sacred relationship between the master and the disciple. How does this fit with the discussion of democracy among the Tibetans in exile for whom HH the Dalai Lama is the political leader, but who nonetheless bestows on them the Kalachakra initiation?

    Since the head of the state was a “monk-king” (domtsun gyalpo) the entire manner of raising children was immersed in religious education from a very young age without it ever being realized where this was going to lead. In such a system there was no personal choice of the religion that an individual wished to practice. One became aware of what one was subjected to only when one reached a mature age. In other words the faith was simply imposed by the state. The idea of the right of personal choice of one’s own faith was therefore totally unknown and in modern terms denied. Important and even enlightening as this religious education might be, it had the undesirable effect of barring the entire population from contact with any kind of progressive or modern education over the last three hundred and sixty years. It is no wonder that the outspoken French socialist Minister of Culture, Claude Allègre, once remarked that he had never come across a Tibetan who was a biologist, archeologist, mathematician or physicist.

    An incarnate Lama as ruler
    The head of the state in Tibet, however, was never meant to be a tulku, a reincarnate lama. This status was inherited incidentally through the Fifth Dalai Lama when he was ushered in as the leader of the country. The irony is that not only he himself was a reincarnate lama, but he also embarked on creating others, for example, the Panchen Lama Lobzang Yeshe (1663-1737), who was recognized as the tulku of Panchen Lama Lobzang Chogyen (1567-1662), in 1667, by the Fifth Dalai Lama. This initiated the rapid increase of the number of tulkus especially in the Gelug sect. Perhaps one does not need to raise the question as to whether this tulku system ever served the national interest of Tibet at all. It is high time for the Tibetans to learn lessons from the checkered history of the tulku system that has caused so much political instability and disunity for Tibet.

    In the 20th century alone, national unity completely broke down when one lama was set against the other as the pawns of great powers such as the Manchus, British India, the Russian Empire, the Guomintang government and now the Communist Party of China. In general, throughout the history of Tibet the tulku institution has invariably been the cause of schism, political intrigue and sectarian squabbles. Because of the tulku tradition we have now two Panchen Lamas and two Karmapas. Are we going to have two Dalai Lamas?

    Recently the Religious Affairs Department of the Chinese government implemented a new law called “Order no. 5”, containing 14 articles on “Management Measures for the Reincarnation of ‘Living Buddhas’ in Tibetan Buddhism”. The Chinese government’s strict control over tulku recognition further proves how politically vulnerable this system is and to what extent the tulku tradition can be exploited for political ends by an occupying power against the interests of the Tibetan people.

    HH the 14th Dalai Lama has already announced that he will have no political role if “genuine autonomy” is established in Tibet. However, I believe that the Dalai Lama institution should be maintained if the majority of the Tibetan people agree upon it. Thus, in a future constitution this one should be the only incarnation in the country, and without any political prerogative. Ganden Monastery would be an ideal residence for the future Dalai Lamas if they wish to be a real “simple monk”.

    In the interview given to Euronews (August 11, 2008) HH the 14th Dalai Lama stated, I quote: “The Dalai Lama’s rule is now outdated.” If this is indeed the case, and I believe it to be so. it is desirable for the Tibetan people start to planning for the future with his help. He is the only one who has such long term world-wide experience and whose authority is unrivaled amongst Tibetan leaders. A decisive action is needed to be taken and very urgently. If he wishes he can assist the Tibetans in sorting out the theocratic conundrum in order to finally leave an unambiguous political legacy in the form of a total separation of religion and politics.

    Unless and until the Tibetan people come to comprehend the need for the separation of religion and state they will never be able to create a healthy and unified community under a truly democratically elected leader.

    They do not need to look far a field for a good example of this. In 2008 Bhutan, the Himalayan kingdom, very successfully introduced a parliamentary democratic system. Although the Kagyu sect is the official religion of state as represented by the Zhung Datsang, this was left aside and did not play any role in the election. Its new constitution states “It shall be the responsibility of religious institutions and personalities to promote the spiritual heritage of the country while also ensuring that religion remains separate from politics in Bhutan..”(article 3.3,

    Of course it appears inconceivable or even sacrilegious to break the taboo on the separation of religion and state for the Tibetans, but we can no longer hide our heads in the sand.

    Secularism, sectarianism
    In an interview given in Tokyo, April 2008, HH the Dalai Lama stated that he favoured in fact “secularism”. The reason he gave was that “secularism” has no room for “sectarianism”. Indeed Tibetan Buddhism has often been plagued by sectarian strife and this is still continuing in spite of HH the Dalai Lama’s strenuous efforts to discourage and condemn it. It is precisely because of sectarianism that he has himself abandoned the cult of the deity Shugden, as well as forbidding it in all religious institutions in the exiled community. The main reason for forsaking this cult is that it engenders a sense of the superiority on the part of the Geluk clergy and it acts as an anathema to the other sects. It is not only a question of spirit-worship as people tend to claim when explaining why the cult has been forbidden.

    A secularization of the exiled community should contribute towards solving the unending sectarian problems and lead to true unity amongst the Tibetan people, without any further religious interference in the political domain.

    One lie after another. One might actually believe his story. Why doesn’t he just step down and join the rank and file?

  • Thom

    Michael Parenti stated the following, citing Erik Curren from his book “The Buddha’s Not Smiling”:

    “For hundreds of years competing Tibetan Buddhist sects engaged in bitterly violent clashes and summary executions. In 1660, the 5th Dalai Lama was faced with a rebellion in Tsang province, the stronghold of the rival Kagyu sect with its high lama known as the Karmapa. The 5th Dalai Lama called for harsh retribution against the rebels, directing the Mongol army to obliterate the male and female lines, and the offspring too “like eggs smashed against rocks…. In short, annihilate any traces of them, even their names.”

    This is why it is called_”HIS-STORY”.
    The Scribes work over time to rewrite history and proclaim they have been modernizing Tibet ever since the 5th Dalia lama “ACCIDENTALLY”, became the Dictator of Tibet.
    We can take pride that the Founding Father of The United States Of America, did, what even a holy lama could not, has not and will never give up and or willingly relenquish power to the People. If he could,he would have by now. His lies multiply with all the others telling his lies in one form or another. He lies and people die.
    George Washington stepped down, and gave up the power to rule a nation as Dictator or King.
    He proved his principles.
    Unlike the duplicitious deceiving nature of the Dalia lama lineage. They hold onto their power,even through death.
    It is the “Best Scam_ Con Game”, going on for over 400 years

  • Thom

    Here Bob Taliaban Thurman, are the opinions of your contemporaries. That free Tibet and your inciting the BORED youth as an Idiotic Soujourn to Becoming Just a Bunch Of Idiots.

    September 08, 2008 Issue
    The American Conservative

    Radical Chic / Why liberals love Tibet OThey are not just idiots. They are useful idiots!

    By Brendan O’Neill

    Whenever a protester wins the fulsome praise of politicians, the media, and especially the radical’s own mother and father, I get suspicious.

    In 1993, as an angry 19-year-old, I marched against police racism in East London, coming nose-to-nose with truncheon-wielding, hot-blooded coppers. In 1994, I joined an irate throng outside the American Embassy in London to register my opposition to Clinton’s invasion of Haiti. I also marched against NATO’s bombing of the Bosnian Serbs in 1995, its air assault on Yugoslavia in 1999, and its invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. Not once did I receive a pat on the back from a politician or sycophantic coverage in a sympathetic broadsheet. As for my parents, they thought I was certifiably off my rocker.

    How different it has been for Lucy Fairbrother, the British 23-year-old Free Tibet protester who was deported from Beijing after hanging a banner reading “Tibet will be free” outside the Bird’s Nest stadium. On Aug. 6, two days before the Olympic Games kicked off, Fairbrother and three other Free Tibet activists scaled 120-foot-tall lighting poles close to the stadium and unfurled their banner for the clicking cameras of the world media. Overnight, Lucy—the daughter of a former director of Barings Bank—was transformed into a plucky hero. Upon her arrival at London City Airport, she was snapped by swarms of paparazzi and asked for her views on the future of China and Tibet. Her grinning mug shot graced the pages of every newspaper the following day, where she was described as “brave,” “committed,” and the “best of British.” Her mother beamed with pride. “I’m so proud of her. She is doing what she feels is right, and what I feel is right,” she declared. Normally, parental approval would sound the death knell to the career of any self-respecting protester, yet in the Tale of Lucy Fairbrother, her mother’s voice merely joined the deafening chorus of approval.

    This should confirm that there is nothing remotely radical, much less progressive, about jumping on the Free Tibet bandwagon. Instead, yelling “Free Tibet!” from the top of a pole in Beijing or outside the Chinese Embassy in London, where Free Tibet activists gather every day, will win you a round of applause from bankers, editors, and even Prince Charles, a supporter of the Tibet cause who is reportedly impressed by the Fairbrother girl.

    “Free Tibet” has become the cry of the backward and the reactionary. Across the West, it has been turned into the pet cause of poor little rich girls (and boys) who feel disillusioned with modernity and cynical about China and for whom Tibet has become a mystical playground that must be protected from the evil forces of progress.

    Though the campaign has the word “free” in its title, the Free Tibet lobby has little to say about political freedom in Tibet. It rarely demands that Tibetans be granted the right to vote or organize their own protests. Instead, it focuses on protecting the “cultural integrity” of Tibet and the religious freedom of its Buddhist monks. Students for a Free Tibet, an international group of which Lucy Fairbrother is a member, frets that Chinese development in Tibet—including its “extraction of natural resources” and its “large-scale infrastructure projects”—will “erase existing socio-cultural and political divisions between China [and Tibet].” Tellingly, activists refer to China’s presence in Tibet as a form of “cultural genocide,” where the alleged hampering of ancient practices, rather than the denial of democratic rights, is the real crime. This is a campaign not for political self-determination for the people of Tibet but for the protection of a cultural entity imagined and reified by Western activists. It is about maintaining Tibet in a time warp for the benefit of protesters cum eco-tourists.

    The essentially narcissistic focus of Free Tibet campaigners is revealed in their two main obsessions: passionate opposition to China’s modernization of the Himalayan kingdom and outrage that Beijing will not allow the Dalai Lama to return and assume his “rightful” position as Tibet’s leader.

    Free Tibet activists expend much of their energy campaigning against anything that smells modern—especially Chinese jobs, industry, and infrastructure. They are currently agitated by China’s construction of the Gormo-Lhasa rail line, a spectacularly ambitious project that will allow trains to run from the heart of China into Tibet. Apparently such things are a threat to Tibetans’ way of life, which—in the eyes of comfortable Westerners and the daughters of rich bankers—is honorably simple and rustic, and must be kept so.

    At the same time, Western campaigners’ unquestioning support for the Dalai Lama suggests they see Tibetans as an immature people who need a godlike figure to lead them. The Dalai Lama was never elected by anybody. Indeed, some perceptive writers argue that the idolization of the Dalai Lama, by both powerful Westerners and many Tibetans themselves, has impeded the development of democracy. In her book The Tibetan Independence Movement, Jane Ardley writes, “[It] is apparent that it is the Dalai Lama’s role as ultimate spiritual authority that is holding back the political process of democratization. The assumption that he occupies the correct moral ground from a spiritual perspective means that any challenge to his political authority may be interpreted as anti-religious.”

    Far from assisting the emergence of freedom, Free Tibet activists want to preserve Tibet as a museum, to keep it as a land cut off from modernity. And far from bringing democracy to Tibet, the activists’ slavish worship of the Dalai Lama has helped to stifle, as Ardley further writes, “the opportunity for opposition and expression of different views,” the very lifeblood of the democratic way.

    Tibet has long been the plaything of people disillusioned with the modern world. Since James Hilton wrote Lost Horizon in 1933, in which Tibet was depicted as “Shangri-la,” it has been used and abused, turned into an idealized land of goodness and purity by aristocratic and artistic elements in the West who despise the pace of change over here and like the idea of a natural, politics-free land “over there.” In his 1991 book Sacred Tibet, Philip Rawson wrote, “Tibetan culture offers powerful, untarnished and coherent alternatives to Western egotistical lifestyles, our short attention span, our gradually more pointless pursuit of material satisfactions.”

    The driving force behind Tibetophilia today is not political solidarity with the Tibetans and certainly not any positive argument for full democratic equality, but rather a sense of disgust with Western life. In Rawson’s words, “the West perceives some lack within itself” and seeks to find fulfilment in the ostensibly preserved “pure East.” Ironically, then, Free Tibet activism has a colonial bent to it: wealthy Westerners pursuing emotional occupation.

    In this simple world, Tibet is always good and China is always bad. As Donald S. Lopez Jr. argues in Prisoners of Shangri-La: Tibetan Buddhism and the West, many Westerners talk of the Chinese in Tibet as “an undifferentiated mass of godless Communists overrunning a peaceful land devoted only to ethereal pursuits” and come to see Tibetans as “superhuman” and the Chinese as “subhuman.” That demonization fits well with the agenda of many Western governments and media outlets. Hence the adoration heaped on Ms. Fairbrother and her friends, who can congratulate themselves. They are not just idiots. They are useful idiots.


    Brendan O’Neill is editor of spiked (

    The American Conservative welcomes letters to the editor.
    Send letters to:

  • Thom

    Now Robert Thurman, Do You Lie as a Man Advisng a Man in Robes to Lie? Or do You Just Lie and Decide to Try Hide Your Lies With This Insanity You’ve Fostered Toe Perptuate? I do not need to wait unitl October to know you are a Traitor and a Liar to the Dharma and to the Democratice Principles of Our Founding Fathers Bill of Rights With Your violaton of the US Constitution.Both You Have Sworn Allegiance.
    If what you say, is what you are? Why did you say what you’ve said below and why do you lie now before the World, that We receive silver from the PRC? Bob you enough about me to know that this is a total and complete Nazi_Republican fabrication that you have concocted to rile up the Tibetan Peasants and cause suffering. You are walking contradiction of LDS induced pathological conundrums.
    I csn gurantee that if this were true, you would not be in the situation that you have bought your way into over the years with Richard and Uma’s tithes.
    I see that you will seek as many continuances for thr Dalia Lama’s day in court? Sooner or later,Bob. You and Dalia will have to face the music. The tide has turned for you Bob and the Battle that rages within yours and Dalia mind will finally see the Light Of Day!
    Old School Bob, tsk! tsk! follws in the footsteps of the Cold War and barbarous interpretation of the Lord Buddhas Way with your language skills is grating to the Tibean ears.B

    ight of Day!
    We examine the Buddha’s fundamental teachings that contribute to peace-building and peacekeeping in the world. A Buddhist worldview based on the principle of dependent origination, its analysis of the causes of conflicts and violence, and the open communication and participatory decision-making procedures in social organizations, would inform and provide useful paths for theoretical approaches and research-based applications in peace studies. In particular, the Buddhist observation and reflection techniques developed for more than 2,500 years may start an “inner revolution” (ROBERT THURMAN, 1998) among warring people as well as peace activists: enabling them to see more clearly the multilateral forces operating in the situation, and reexamining the appropriateness of own causes and behaviors. The true value of nonviolence, compassion and altruism advocated by Buddhism would also inspire all people on the path of peace. Given the will, the insight, the perseverance, and the proactive creativity to realize the infinite possibilities latent in the dependently originated reality, peace, from the Buddhist perspective, is realistic and achievable; and, aiming at making a more just and humane world, peacemaking is an imminent, common responsibility mandated by the interdependent

  • Thom

    If he could, he would do as before, and slaughter the Western Shugden People and any of his perceived foes.Instead all he can do this time, is to sputter lies and false accusations from his throne and pick up sticks.
    As with his previous days, when he had more latitude to batter his enemy’s children to death against the rocks and to make their women barren, the “Great Fifth” .

    The Dalai Lamas as Supreme War Lords

    These days there is an unwillingness to speak about this terrible civil war between the Gelugpas and the Kagyupas from which the “Great Fifth” emerged as the hero of the battlefield. We know that the Fifth Dalai Lama called up the war god Begtse against the Tibetans several times so as to force through his political will. Additionally, in eastern Tibet he was celebrated as an incarnation of the ancient hero, Gesar. He himself was the author of a number of battle hymns like the following:

    Brave and tested are the warriors,

    sharp and irresistible the weapons,

    hard and unbreakable the shields,

    Fleet and enduring the horses.

    (Sierksma, 1966, p. 140)

    This brutal call to absolutely annihilate the enemy into its third generation was also composed by him:

    Make the lines like trees that have had their roots cut;

    Make the female lines like brooks that have dried up in winter;

    Make the children and grandchildren like eggs smashed against rocks;

    Make the servants and followers like heaps of grass consumed by fire;

    Make their dominion like a lamp whose oil has been exhausted;

    In short, annihilate any traces of them, even their names.

    (quoted by Sperling, 2001, p. 318)

    With these instructions I(the preeminent historical model for the current Fourteenth Dalai Lama) turned to the Mongolians under Gushri Khan and thus legitimated the terrible deeds they inflicted upon the Tibetans. „One may say with some confidence,” Elliot Sperling writes, „that the Fifth Dalai Lama does not fit the standard image that many people today have of a Dalai Lama, particularly the image of a Nobel Peace Prize laureate” (Sperling, 2001, p. 319). Barely two centuries later (at the end of the 18th century) a Red Hat lama sought revenge for the humiliation of his order by the Dalai Lama, and fetched the Indian gurkhas into the country.

    The “Great Thirteenth” himself formed an army consisting of regular troops, a lay militia, and the “golden army” as the monastic soldiers were known. Warrior monks were nothing out of the ordinary in the Tibet of old, although their training and their military equipment was less than desirable. They firmly believed in the law of violence, worshipped their special deities, and maintained their own secret cults. Lama ‘Longear’ was the leader of the troops in the lamasery, it says in western travel report of a lama commander (at the start of the twentieth century). “Although a monk, he didn’t know how to say his prayers and because he had killed several people was not allowed to have part in the chanting services. But he was considered a man of courage and audacity — greatly feared in the lamasery, a mighty friend and terror to his enemies” (quoted by Sierksma, 1966, p. 130).

    The Tibetan army assembled by the Thirteenth Dalai Lama was composed of three services: the cavalry, equipped with lances and breastplates, the somewhat more modern infantry, and the artillery. Oddly enough, the name of Allah was engraved in the riders’ helmets. These came from a Mohammedan army which was said to have once moved against Lhasa. A terrible snowstorm surprised them and froze them all to death. Their weapons and armor were later brought into the capital and displayed there in an annual parade. It was probably believed that the helmets would offer protection in the battle against the Mohammedans — the arch-enemy from the Kalachakra Tantra — since they would not dare to fire at the holy name of their supreme god.

    This army of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama, to a large part composed of serfs, was more or less picturesque, which naturally did their warlike, “unBuddhist” performance no harm. Yet one did not just fight with weapons in the hand but also operated magically. During the “Great Prayer Festival” for example tormas (dough figures) of the cavalry and the infantry were thrown into a fire so as to do harm to the enemies of the land through this fire magic. Every single sacrificial offering was supposed to later “function [like a] bomb” in reality (Chö-Yang, vol. 1 no. 2, 1987, p. 93). [3]

    He is the Deceiver and Lies with his Colorful Tapestries of Deceit to the Naive and Innocents.

  • Jackson

    Supporters of the Hollywood monk have always lied publicly and have misled people; our friend Robert Thurman is no exception.
    We have always heard or saw them producing false news about the Chinese governemt on Tibet, because most of news has no prove, simply lied and misled the public.
    Chinese government has been re-building monastries for the last thirty years. Monastries, temples, mosques, churches were destroyed during the cultural revolution 1965-1975, that was Mao’s time, but the Hollywood monk supporters are still saying, the Chinese government are continuing to destroy monastries. It is to prove they are big liers.
    Recently when the Hollywood monk was in France, their supporters saying Chinese government was killing 140 Tibetan in one town, then change to 400 people. They were saying back and forth, sometimes saying 140, other times saying 400. The news indicated Hollywood monk was saying 140 Tibetans were killed, then the Hollywood monk personally made it clearly that he did not say it.
    All news coming out of the supporters of Hollywood monk, I always dismissed as false news; because almost 100% of the time it is the case.
    I am happy Western Shugden Society can come out to expose their lie and clean up the bad image on Buddhism.

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