Soon after Kelsang Gyatso stepped up his Shugen demonstrations and fired senior Resident Teacher Lucy James for not supporting their politics, he wrote a letter to the Network of Buddhist Organizations in the United Kingdom, home of NKT's headquarters.
Kelsang Gyatso sought to transfer the blame for the problems arising from his Shugden demonstrations to the respected Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT). Rather cowardly.
Kelsang Gyatso invents facts, eg, there are millions of Shugenites who are suffering greatly because others prefer not to worship Shugden. He ridicules the Network of Buddhist Organizations for rejoicing about this and finds the Organization's judgement dishonest.
(By the way, why can't most of us live in peace for not worshiping Shugden, must we endure NKT's bashing forever? I have never seen anyone rejoicing about Kelsang Gyatso's Shugden campaign except NKT. The rest of us are appalled.)
Kelsang Gyatso blames other Buddhists for political activities while claiming that his protest rallies against the head of the Tibetan Government in Exile are not political. He calls people who prefer not to associate with Shugdenites political, whereas in Kelsang Gyatso's view his protest rallies on behalf of Shugdenites are not political....logic as fake as Kelsang Gyatso's Geshe degree.
Kelsang Gyatso wants FPMT to pay for perceived financial losses of NKT businesses, its outlet centers that rely on public subsidy, donations and free labor...on the backs of which NKT has developed substantial wealth.
Kelsang Gyatso's letter....
"23 May 2008
To: Jamie Cresswell, Chair of Network of Buddhist Organisations UK
Thank you for your letter to the NKT Secretary Steve Cowing, which gives me the opportunity to clarify the very sad and unnecessary problem between the Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden practitioners throughout the world.
It is public knowledge that millions of Dorje Shugden practitioners are experiencing great suffering and sorrow caused by the Dalai Lama´s religious discrimination. You personally may rejoice about this. The people who are joining the demonstrations are not doing anything wrong, they do not have political intentions, they are simply requesting the Dalai Lama to give religious freedom. But you are not happy with these people. I find that your judgement is very dishonest.
In your letter you strongly urge the leaders of the NKT to ask their members not to demonstrate against the Dalai Lama. But individual NKT people have choice: the NKT leaders cannot impede their freedom of speech; this is not a Tibetan feudal society.
(quite disingenuous; NKT denies the rest of us our choice not to worship its Shugden idol, which is worshiped by some of its few thousand members; even the Tibetan Shugden is not worshiped by millions; most Buddhists in the world know nothing about either the NKT or Tibetan Shugden; since the 1950s, Tibet has been ruled by China)
I appreciate that the NBO does not accept its members engaging in political activities. For this reason, I strongly urge you to remove the London Jamyang Buddhist Centre from the NBO because this centre is single-pointedly implementing the political activities that are causing so many Dharma centres of Shugden practitioners, including the NKT, to suffer spiritually and materially.
As evidence to prove this we can quote the FMPT website: http://www.fpmt.org/organization/announcements/shugden/
FROM LAMA ZOPA RINPOCHE, SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR OF THE FPMT
Excerpt from a letter to Lozang Jinpa, private secretary to His Holiness the Dalai Lama - April 2001:
"The FPMT Board of Directors has just made a policy regarding the practice of Shugden.
FPMT will not invite anyone who practices this as a resident teacher or a visiting teacher. Of course sometimes it is difficult to say if someone is hiding the practice. Can you please inform His Holiness of this". [The line "Can you please inform His Holiness of this" has just recently been removed.]
A senior monk of the FPMT, Venerable Yeshe Sangye, has himself publicly denounced the FPMT policing and witch-hunting activities, saying (using his own words):
"After all, if we as FPMT members criticize others who practice Dorje Shugden, then that will accumulate very heavy karma. Why? Because we destroy the faith of others in their gurus. Do we have the right to do that? Does Lama Zopa's closeness with H.H. the Dalai Lama validate FPMT CENTRES AND MEMBERS TO BE SOME KIND OF SPIRITUAL POLICE".
(it has been reported that 'Yeshe Sangye' is not a senior monk of FPMT and may not even be known by FPMT; via Google search, I can find no reference to a 'Yeshe Sangye' other than on NKT/Shugenite web sites, neither can I find any reference on FPMT's web site; 'he' is not a member of FPMT's monastic community nor is 'he' associated with any FPMT center; NKT distributed this alleged letter in 2008, its last sentence is telling...."As I have not said anything for over twenty years."; silence since approximately 1988 or before! Kelsang Gyatso's assurance that Yeshe Sangye is a senior monk of FPMT appears false)
We know that Jamyang Buddhist Centre has been and is one of the most politically active FPMT centres against Dorje Shugden people since the beginning of the issue, and is implementing the Dalai Lama's religious persecution. We also understand that the problem of Dorje Shugden was originally brought into the UK and the West by London Jamyang Buddhist Centre through the Dalai Lama. Therefore, Jamyang Buddhist Centre and their spiritual leader, Lama Zopa, are the main source of this problem in the West.
Jamyang Buddhist Centre and its leader Lama Zopa are responsible for the great damage that they have caused to the development of thousands of Dharma centres that follow Dorje Shugden. We are going to ask Jamyang Buddhist Centre and its leader Lama Zopa to pay compensation to these Dharma centres, who have lost their reputation and sustained great damage to their development over many years, all caused by the negative policies of Jamyang Buddhist Centre and Lama Zopa.
Of course NKT representatives will attend the next NBO meeting because the NKT is a member. My question is, what are you going to do about Jamyang Buddhist Centre?
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso"
(the Geshe degree is fake)
About a year later, NKT's board of directors sent a letter to the Network of Buddhist Organizations demanding that it change its membership rules to suit NKT. NKT demands its version of political democracy, that it's demand should outweigh the Network of Buddhist Organization's rules for membership.
NKT, again, threatened legal action,
"If we fail to resolve this conflict through peaceful methods there is no doubt that we will therefore need to engage in legal action..."
Can you imagine Buddha Shakyamuni resorting to such desperation?
Once again, Kelsang Gystso looks irresponsible by trying to transfer his responsibility to FPMT (the organization that first invited Kelsang Gyatso to the West to give teachings in Tibetan Buddhism, which he has since relinquished).
Two previous essays discuss NKT' ire for FPMT.
NKT' Best Defense and Just Another Fundamentalist
It's is always remarkable to be reminded that NKT blames others for its members losing faith. Recently, an NKT supporter who created a web site to castigate this web site's collection of essays and editorials claimed this web site is destroying NKT member faith as well. Unlikely. Far more likely, NKT actions, conspiracy paranoia, protest rallies, banning members who question NKT politics, throwing members out of their NKT apartments, NKT's business wealth and several other disturbing behaviors inevitably cause NKT members to become disillusioned.
A previous essayists reminded us that Kelsang Gyatso, while he claims his Shugdenism is not political, also claims it is....
"In April of this year (1996) I received many strong requests from Tibetans living in India, and some requests from Western people who have connections with Tibetans, to help them achieve freedom of worship for the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden. I received many letters and much information about the ban on this practice. At the beginning I completely ignored this and I thought I would never involve myself in this Tibetan political problem.
On the other hand, I thought that if I became involved in these politics I would be criticized by many people and that even my life may be at risk, but finally I said to myself that I must stop self-cherishing and work for the welfare of these people. First, we organized to publish all the information we had received from India through many different newspapers in the United Kingdom, but no-one would print it.
After the third demonstration, I strongly requested the members of the Shugden Supporters Community to stop all political activity immediately.
...in October 1998 we decided to completely stop being involved in this Shugden issue because we realised 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.
This was my first experience of politics in this life. I pray that this will never happen again in the future.
However, my letter upset many Tibetan people and many Western practitioners who regard HH as their root Guru. I would like to apologize sincerely to all of them."
Shugden is "a Tibetan political problem" that Kelsang Gyatso uses to tear down the Dalai Lama....and his supporters adore him for it.
From a previous Editors Note....
About its summer festival last year purported by NKT to be a spiritual event, an attendee noted...
"I went to the festival or should I say political extremism gone mad. There were posters everywhere you looked, recruiting for the French demo against His Holiness. They were on all doors 2 a time inside and out. In all rooms, hallways. On mobile cooking points, walls and outbuildings. Even on the temple wall. The chapel was used as a meeting point. Even more posters! The walls were covered as were the doors and tables! It felt like a BNP political rally. The ordained, although they have not taken ordination vows, were sitting round tables watching videos of themselves at the demos! Attachment? Some told me they were prepared to use violence. Hatred? Why? Geshe-la wants us to win at all costs. Confusion? They have truly been poisoned. [..] I found the whole thing quite perverse. G.K giving an empowerment of Avalokiteshvara while before and after festival gathering and organising his Stormtroopers to attack the Living Embodiment of Avalokiteshvara? For an individual to use such an important time in peoples lives to suit his own ignorance I found quite disturbing and sad. With His Holiness at least we have hope for the future."
Does this face of NKT look spiritual or political to you?