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Who Destroyed the Dalai Lama’s Reputation?

The article below was written by Ron Cook.

With the release of the book A Great Deception – The Ruling Lama’s Policies many will conclude that the Western Shugden Society is intent on destroying the reputation of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso. Such a conclusion is both specious reasoning and absurd. This is because the Dalai Lama has completely savaged his own reputation. His innumerable contradictory words and activities are the poison that is solely responsible for any downfall. Like any self-destructive celebrity the Dalai Lama need only look in the mirror to find the source of all his problems.

If one does a little research it is easy to find example after example of conflicting statements coming from the mouth of the Dalai Lama. For example, is the Dalai Lama a religious leader or politician? The Dalai Lama provides his answer: “To be interested in religion you have to be involved in politics.”1 He has also said things like, “Political institutions and religious institutions should be separate; it is safer if they are kept away from each other.”2 Then during the same interview, and only moments later, he contradicts himself by saying “…politics and religion should be combined.”3 How does advocating blending ‘church and state’ foster a good reputation? Historically the combination has only produced intense suffering and injustice. His advocacy is no doubt due to his previous stewardship of Tibet prior to his 1959 exodus. “We are punished for feudalism. Every event is due to one’s karma.”4 This was the Dalai Lama’s response to a question as to why Tibetans had lost both their independence and why they were having no success in regain it. Does he remember who the feudal lord of Tibet was?

Does being on the CIA’s payroll enhance or discredit the reputation of a supposed fully omniscient Buddha of Compassion? Is collecting millions of dollars for a ‘free Tibet’ while at the same time abandoning independence and instead seeking autonomy within China not a contradiction? Why was their no referendum from six million Tibetans? Again, does this enhance or discredit his reputation? Does being a spokesperson for Apple Computers or guest editor of the fashion magazine Vogue, help increase his reputation as a pure spiritual practitioner? How does saying that Shoko Asahara, [leader and convicted murderer of the Japanese AUM Cult] has a ‘mind of a Buddha’ provide him with a credible reputation? Does attending Hollywood parties and staying in the world’s most luxurious hotels accord with the vows and commitments of a ‘simple Buddhist monk?’ Does supporting India’s testing of nuclear weapons an admirable quality of a Nobel Peace Prize recipient? Does saying ‘I am half Marxist, half Buddhist’ win favour with Marxists, Buddhists, or anyone for that matter?

The Dalai Lama said the following at a speech at the Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies, Dharamsala, May 29, 1991:

“Now, when we try to become a complete democracy, the present election system becomes a bit of a problem. We have used the word ‘secularism’ in our draft charter. Experts interpret this word differently. But in our Charter the word is defined in Tibetan as remey …(it roughly means that the state will not discriminate among different religions). Therefore, if our constitution is based on this principle, it, for all practical purposes, incorporates the essence of all religions, whether we give it the name of religion or not. However, if we use the word religion, we will be narrowing the scope of this constitution. On the contrary, if we use the phrase ‘natural and innate spiritual qualities of human beings,’ it will embrace the whole of humanity.”

In a speech to the Lithuanian Parliament, October 1, 1991 the Dalai Lama said:

“Of course, sometimes religion has been used to create divisions and problems between people. That is very unfortunate and sad because I believe religion should do the opposite: it should develop harmony, compassion and understanding among people. The fact that there are differences should not create conflict. It is useful to have different religions so that people can practice the religion that best fits their mental disposition.”

Apparently such altruism applies to all of humanity except Dorje Shugden practitioners. How does expounding such noble policies like this (and then invoking a systematic persecution and attempted purge of Dorje Shugden adherents from the Tibetan and Buddhist communities around the world), enhance his reputation? Considering the fact that at the time of these speeches he had already been advising his followers not to practice Dorje Shugden for over a decade, makes these words particularly hypocritical.

Writing two autobiographies and consulting on a movie revolving around his early years in Tibet has certainly enhanced his reputation. Unfortunately no authentic Buddhist spiritual leader would ever consider wasting their time fawning about themselves because it directly contradicts Buddha’s teachings on self-centeredness. Similarly, does including on his official website lists of both his honors and awards and all the politicians he has met, indicate anything more than an egotistical proclamation?

The unsavory words and actions of the Dalai Lama are so extensive that the book A Great Deception could not possibly explore them all. It only focuses on some of the most egregious contradictions. Followers of the Dalai Lama may be outraged by what they read but they merely suffer from the self-deception of seeing the emperor’s new clothes. No doubt it is unbearable to entertain the thought that they have been utterly deceived by a master political and spiritual illusionist. No matter what evidence is presented they will likely choose to remain in denial, and apply blind faith. However, they should keep in mind that the Western Shugden Society and others would have no justifiable or corroborated basis for criticism had the Dalai Lama not provided it in overabundance. The undeniable truth is that Dalai Lama destroyed his reputation many years ago.

1 Interview by Paul Vallely, ‘The Independent’ Saturday, 9 December 2000

2 Extract from All You Ever Wanted To Know From His Holiness The Dalai Lama On Happiness, Life, Living, and Much More: Conversations with Rajiv Mehrotra, 23 January, 2010.

3 Ibid.

4 Interview by Johan Hari, ‘The Independent’ 7 June, 2004.

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