One of the sections of the new book A Great Deception – The Ruling Lama’s Policies asks the question “Where has all the money gone?” with regard to the Campaign for a Free Tibet.
Here’s a quote from the book:
The amount of money raised for the Tibetan causes over the last few decades – which most contributors in the West have been led to believe is for a free Tibet – probably runs into hundreds of millions, in not billions of dollars. If these funds are not being used for a free, independent Tibet (because the Dalai Lama stopped aiming for a this as early as the 1980s), then what is this money being collected for?
This is a section of the article Selling Tibet to the World printed on June 5, 2008 by Michael Backman which is featured in A Great Deception:
GUCCI, iPod, Facebook, Tibet – these are among the world’s hot brands, for which brand integrity is everything.
Tibet, as a brand, works particularly well. It brings in millions, and Hollywood A-listers queue to endorse it. What’s more, they do it for free. Creative director and brand chief executive, the Dalai Lama, will visit Australia again next week. He will preside over a five-day Tibetan prayer instruction course in Sydney. A company has been set up to handle the visit – Dalai Lama in Australia Limited.
Tickets for the event can be bought online even from The Age’s own Box Office website along with tickets for Bjorn Again and The Pink Floyd Experience. But few are as expensive as the Dalai Lama experience, with tickets ranging from $800 for front seats to $450 for seats at the back. Tickets for good seats for the Sunday session alone are $248. Lunch is extra – between $18 and $27 for a pre-ordered lunch box. A clothing range has even been created. There are polo shirts, baseball caps – even men’s muscle tees emblazoned with the endless Buddhist knot. From street chic to urban cool, baby, this monk has funk.
Saving Tibet, like Saving Private Ryan, is a good earner. Everyone’s into it, even China. Back in April, a factory in China’s Guangdong province was exposed as one of the manufacturers of the Free Tibet flags so prominent in the anti-Olympic torch protests in Britain, France and the US. The factory workers claimed they had no idea what the colourful flags represented. Blame China’s state-controlled media for that.