Tag Archives: karmapa controversy

Did Dalai Lama’s Successor (Orgyen Trinley) Have Plastic Surgery?

This video brings up some interesting questions about Orgyen Trinley’s eyes.

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Goodbye Shangri-la – excerpts from the new book by Michael Parenti

Michael ParentiAlthough I don’t agree with everything Michael Parenti writes in his new book God and his Demons, he does make a lot of good points about the Dalai Lama. He points out the dark side of many religions from the many evils committed in the name of “holy causes”. The majority of his criticism of Buddhism is aimed at the Dalai Lama and the feudal theocracy of old Tibet. Below are some excerpts from the book.


Tibet was no Shangri-la

“Many Buddhist maintain that, before the Chinese crackdown in 1959, old Tibet was a spiritually oriented kingdom free from the corrupting lifestyles and egoistic materialism that beset modern industrialized society. News media and Hollywood films have portrayed the Tibetan theocracy as a veritable Shangri-la. The Dalai Lama himself stated that “the pervasive influence of Buddhism” in Tibet “amid the wide open spaces of an unspoiled environment resulted in a society dedicated to peace and harmony. We enjoyed freedom and contentment.”
Serf working the fields in old Tibet
“Until 1959, when the Dalai Lama last presided over Tibet, most of the arable land was still organized into manorial estates worked by serfs and owned by monasteries and secular landlords… The commander in chief of the Tibetan army, a member of the Dalai Lama’s lay Cabinet, owned 4,000 square kilometers of land and 3,500 serfs. Old Tibet has been misrepresented by some of its admirers as “a nation that required no police force because its people voluntarily observed the laws of karma.” In fact, it had a professional army, albeit a small one, that served mainly as a gendarme for the landlords to keep order and hunt down runaway serfs.”

“One twenty-two-year-old woman, herself a runaway serf, reports: “Pretty serf girls were usually taken by the owner as house servants and used as he wished.” Fugitive serfs who fled were hunted down by the landlord’s men and beaten mercilessly. Serfs were taxed upon getting married and taxed for every birth and death in the family. They were taxed for planting a tree in their yard and for keeping animals, taxed for religious festivals and for public dancing, and taxed for being sent to prison and upon being released. Those who could not find work were taxed for being unemployed, and if they traveled to another village in search of work, they paid a passage tax.”

“Whatever wrongs and new oppressions introduced by the Chinese after 1959, they did abolish slavery and the Tibetan serfdom system of unpaid labor. They eliminated the landlords’ crushing taxes, started work projects, and greatly reduced unemployment and beggary. They established health clinics and secular schools and constructed running water and electrical systems in Lhasa. Since 1950 the Tibetan population has doubled and its life span has risen from thirty-six years to the present average of sixty-five years.”

“Both the Dalai Lama and his advisor and youngest brother, Tendzin Choegyal, claimed that “more that 1.2 million Tibetans are dead as a result of the Chinese occupation.” The official 1953 census – six years before the Chinese crackdown – recorded the entire population residing in Tibet proper at 1,274,000. Other census counts put the population within Tibet at about 2 million. If the Chinese killed 1.2 million in the early 1960s, then almost all of Tibet would have been depopulated, transformed into a killing field dotted with death camps and mass graves, of which there seems to be no evidence. What is difficult to procure is hard data on the number of Tibetans who might have perished because of the Chinese occupation.”

The Dalai Lama’s connections to the CIA and big banking financiers

“The Dalai Lama’s organization itself eventually admitted that it had received millions of dollars from the CIA during the 1960s.”

“Into the twenty-first century, the US Congress continued to allocate funds to the Tibetan exile community via the National Endowment for Democracy and other conduits that are more respectable sounding that the CIA. In addition, the Dalai Lama received money from financier George Soros.”

Background information from Wikipedia

George Soros was a former member of the Board of Directors of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) regularly provides funding to opposition candidates in elections in countries other than the USA. According to Allen Weinstein, one of the founders of NED, “A lot of what we [NED] do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.”

On its official website, in the history section, its difference from the covert nature of CIA activities is explained:

In the aftermath of World War II, faced with threats to our democratic allies and without any mechanism to channel political assistance, U.S. policy makers resorted to covert means, secretly sending advisers, equipment, and funds to support newspapers and parties under siege in Europe. When it was revealed in the late 1960’s that some American PVO’s were receiving covert funding from the CIA to wage the battle of ideas at international forums, the Johnson Administration concluded that such funding should cease, recommending establishment of “a public-private mechanism” to fund overseas activities openly.


Supporting the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and the bombing of Yugoslavia

“What of the years of carnage and destruction wrought by US forces in Iraq, a war condemned by most of the world – even by a conservative pope? The Dalai Lama was undecided: “The Iraq war – it’s too early to say, right or wrong.” Earlier he had voiced support for the US/NATO military intervention and seventy-eight days’ bombing of Yugoslavia, and the destruction of that viable social democracy. He also supported the US/NATO military intervention into Afghanistan.”

The Karmapa controversy

“A difference arose over the selection of the seventeenth Karmapa, head tulku of the Kagyu, with the Dalai Lama and others supporting one candidate and most of the Kagyu monks supporting another, firing a dozen years of conflict, punctuated by intermittent riots and the looting of the Karmapa’s monastery in Rumtek, India, by supporters of the Dalai Lama.”

The Dorje Shugden controversy

“The Dalai Lama manifests a less than perfect tolerance for other religious denominations. He banned the worship of certain old masters and deities, claiming that such devotions cause Tibetan Buddhism to degenerate into idolatry. Many Tibetans living in India who venerate the Dorje Shugden deity testified to being subjected to threats and severe beatings. Their homes and crops were burned and their herds taken away by self-identified supporters of the Dalai Lama. While claiming to have not heard of these violent incidents, the Dalai Lama did opine that “if the goal is good then the method, even if apparently of the violent kind is permissible.”


The Karmapa Controversy – Video


The Assassination of Gungthang Tsultrim


Below are two paragraphs of an article on the Karmapa controversy website that have been published in the book A Great Deception – The Ruling Lama’s Policies in the section entitled The Assassination of Gungthang Tsultrim.

‘In 1964, the government-in-exile of the Dalai Lama wanted to introduce social, economic and religious reforms to the recently evicted Tibetans. Gyalo Thondrub, the Dalai Lama’s audacious brother, decided that the best answer to Mao’s invasion and destruction of their country was to adapt Tibet and Tibetan policy in exile to the new Communist realities. He boldly proposed to abolish the old Buddhist schools, to do away with the rich, religious show, and thus bring the high lamas to the ground. “No more thrones, rituals, or gold brocades,” he was rumoured to have uttered. The spiritual hierarchies of the Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya and the corollary sub-orders fell victim to slander and reproach. His words struck fear into the lamas’ hearts. As more details of the elaborate plan began to emerge, it became clear that a coup against three of the schools was being hatched. The new religious body that would replace the traditional lineages was to be controlled by the Gelugpa hierarchy. The worried lamas rushed to Karmapa for help.’

‘When in 1976, Gungthang Tsultrim, the political head of the alliance, was murdered and the assassin confessed to operate on orders from the Tibetan cabinet. Hired for the job, he was paid rupees three hundred thousand by the Tibetan government-in-exile in Dharamsala. The Tibetan government-in-exile had also offered him more money for eliminating the 16th Karmapa, he confessed.’


The Karmapa Controversy

[blip.tv ?posts_id=2955341&dest=-1]

The above video clip includes interviews with Trinley Thaye Dorje and Shamar Rinpoche about the recognition of the 17th Karmapa. Below is another excerpt from the new book A Great Deception – The Ruling Lama’s Policies.

After the Sixteenth Karmapa passed away, the Dalai Lama took the unprecedented step of using his own power to force the selection of the Karmapa’s reincarnation. This was entirely unwarranted because historically the selection has always been an intenal matter solely under the jurisdiction of the Kagyu spiritual tradition itself. There were two candidates: one born in Chinese-occupied Tibet, the candidate officially recognized by the Chinese authorities; and the other born in India and recognized by the great Kagyu spiritual master Shamar Rinpoche. Shamar Rinpoche’s lineage has been closely connected with the Karmapa lineage since the 13th century, and he has been considered second only to the Karmapa himself within the Kagyu tradition. The Dalai Lama sided with the Chinese and ‘officially’ recognized their candidate, a decision that caused chaos within the Kagyu tradition, producing a deep schism between those who follow the Dalai Lama and those who follow Shamar Rinpoche. This schism has divided this spiritual tradition against itself, and at times has led to violence.

This is just one paragraph from the section entitled The Karmapa Affair in A Great Deception.


The Dalai Lama Has Also Caused Divisions in the Kagyu Lineage

The Karmapa Controversy

The Dalai Lama has also caused divisions in the Kagyu lineage by appointing the 17th Karmapa (Urgyen Trinley Dorje). A large percentage of Kagyupas don’t follow the Dalai Lama appointed Karmapa, instead they follow the Karmapa appointed by the Shamarpa (Trinley Thaye Dorje).

Below is part of an interview in Buddhism Today with Trinley Thaye Dorje (the Karmapa appointed according to the traditions of the Kagyu lineage).

Buddhism Today: How is a Karmapa recognized?

Trinley Thaye Dorje: The main holders of the Karma Kagyu Lineage are the so-called Black Hat Karmapas and the Red Hat Karmapas. The first refers to my own line of reincarnations. The later refers to the line of reincarnations of the Kunzig Shamarpas. In many cases the Karmapas have recognized the respective next Shamarpa and the Shamarpas in turn the next Karmapa. This is also what has occurred with my recognition. It was the 14th Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche who confirmed that I am the incarnation of the 16th Karmapa.
Of course, the whole principle of reincarnation is not easy to understand, in particular if one is not familiar with Buddhism. Normally, samsaric beings are reborn through the power of their karma and their emotions. In the case of the successive lines of the Karmapa reincarnations this is different. Taking rebirth happens due to the wish to be reborn to help sentient beings. In this way I took rebirth as the 17th Karmapa.

Buddhism Today: The Dalai Lama has not recognized you as the Karmapa. Would such recognition be important for you?

Trinley Thaye Dorje: The Dalai Lama is certainly a great man. The Karma Kagyu school, however, is an independent lineage and, according to our tradition, the Karmapas have to be confirmed in this Karma Kagyu lineage and not by the Dalai Lama. There is no need for that.

Also see the Karmapa Controversy on the Wisdom Buddha Dorje Shugden Blog