Lucy James, a longtime Gyatso confidant, official transcriber of Gyatso teachings and Resident Teacher for several NKT centers, was effectively fired by Gyatso for questioning Gyatso's characterization of the 2008 NKT political campaign as non-political when the previous campaign, which Lucy James managed, was recognized by Gyatso as a political campaign against The Dalai Lama. Accordingly, Gyatso sent these emails to Lucy James during April 2008. NKT teachers have since reported that Lucy James is happy and on retreat. Reports are that Gyatso reassigned Lucy James to NKT's manager of its wikipedia entries, managing a shugden web site and using various ultra-egos to engage NKT critics.
"Date: Sun, 27 Apr 2008
Subject: Letter from Geshe-la FAO Managers & community of KMC Florida and Parbawatiya Center
With regard the demonstrations, I myself and my students have not done anything wrong. We have no political aim and we are not involved in any political issue but are simply trying to prevent the pure lineage of Je Tsongkhapa's doctrine from being destroyed by the Dalai Lama and we are trying to prevent future problems and dangers for Shugden practitioners throughout the world.
You know that not one single student of NKT Dharma Centres in Florida joined the demonstration in Hamilton, NY, and this week the Admin Director of KMC Florida has resigned saying:
Since the beginning of our involvement with the NKT we have been repeatedly told that the NKT was not involved in politics. Now that the NKT has opened up with its political position and begun demonstrating I can no longer be a part of the organization. This complete lack of honesty about the NKT's involvement in Tibetan politics is the reason for my departure.
This clearly shows that the students have seriously misunderstood the demonstrations through receiving wrong information from you – their Resident Teacher.
You directly told me that the NKT was involving in political activities and that this was against the NKT and Dharma Centre constitutions; this is completely untrue.
Previously I wrote two letters to the Resident Teachers and Admin Directors of NKT Dharma Centre's (which are pasted below) in which I clearly explained that the NKT was not organising the demonstrations, the NKT was not involved in political activity and there was no basis for either the NKT or Dharma Centre constitutions to be broken.
I am very sorry that you have not trusted me. Because you do not trust me I cannot work with you therefore my conclusion is that you should resign from being an NKT Resident Teacher. From 1st May 2008 you will no longer be an NKT Resident Teacher. I will prepare a new Resident Teacher for KMC Florida and Parbawatiya Center.
With much love and prayers,
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
Cc NKT Central Office, Gen-la Khyenrab, Gen-la Dekyong, Managers & community of KMC Florida and Parbawatiya Center
Letter #1, sent April 13, 2008
Dear Resident Teachers and Administrative Directors of NKT Dharma Centers,
You have received a copy of the letter sent to Sera Lachi, Sera Je and Sera Mey by The Western Shugden Society. From this you can understand that it is very possible that The Western Shugden Society will organise demonstrations against the Dalai Lama. Concerning this issue, we should know five things:
1. The demonstrations will be organised by The Western Shugden Society, not by the NKT.
2. The Western Shugden Society is the unification of all the Western Shugden practitioners, and NKT is a part of this main body.
3. When the main body, The Western Shugden Society, organises demonstrations, the NKT needs to voluntarily contribute and help.
4. There is no basis to break our constitution or internal rules because this is not organised by the NKT.
5. The Western Shugden Society organising the demonstrations is not for the purpose of the six monks only, it is the method to prevent the destruction of the pure lineage of Je Tsongkhapa, and to stop the extremely forceful campaign that the Dalai Lama is doing now to eradicate completely the practice of Dorje Shugden in India and other countries through unlawful actions.
We should recognise that the NKT is not involved politically, simply supporting The Western Shugden Society with these demonstrations. Peaceful demonstrations are respected by democratic governments, it is the position of the people, we should take this opportunity, there is no other method to stop the Dalai Lama´s campaign against Dorje Shugden practitioners.
There are three wheels of Dharma activities: 1) the wheel of studying Dharma, 2) the wheel of meditating on Dharma, and 3) the wheel of working for the Dharma. These demonstration actions are included within the wheel of working for the Dharma. Please keep this pure motivation.
With love and prayers,
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
Letter #2, sent prior to April 27, 2008
My Dear Students,
I need help from you to solve the Dorje Shugden problem created by the Dalai Lama. Right now the Dalai Lama is removing the Tibetan Shugden worshipers from the Buddhist community saying that Shugden worshipers are not Buddhist because they worship an evil spirit - Shugden. At the same time he is preparing to remove western Shugden worshipers from the Buddhist community with the same reasons. His aim is to destroy the pure lineage of Je Tsongkhapa´s doctrine. To stop this evil action, as the representative of the Western Shugden Society, I personally will organise demonstrations against the Dalai Lama directly. I requested Kelsang Pema and Kelsang Thubchen to do this job for me and they have accepted.
Please help Pema and Thubchen with whatever they need.
With much love and prayers
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
Manjushri Kadampa Meditation Centre
Ulverston, Cumbria LA12 9QQ
[+44] (0)1229 588 533
Another Gyatso exchange - between Gyatso and Samden (the heir Gyatso named in 2005 to become Gyatso's successor as NKT spiritual director but terminated about two years later over sexual conduct) - glimpses more tragically into Gyatso's mind and legacy, as well as glimpses into internal deceit and political rivalries for power.
After some time as Gyatso's heir, Samden resigned, prompting this letter from Gyatso to Samden February 2007...
I have received your email in which you resign from being NKT Deputy Spiritual
Director. The reason given for this resignation, that the duties and
responsibilities of the NKT General Spiritual Director will be too heavy for
you, is valid. Therefore, I accept your resignation.
I would like to suggest that the effectiveness of your resignation from being
Deputy Spiritual Director should be from 1st May 2007. Until then please
complete your commitments to teach at various Festivals and Dharma Celebrations.
With much love and prayers,
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso"
But rumors swirled about Samden, leading him to write to his ex students in NKT...
"After one year of silence, I would like out of fairness to those who
know me, to write a few words.
I have just spent two months caring for my mother. During this time, I
heard and read many unusual reports about myself. I am surprised and
disappointed that many practitioners appear to be holding incorrect
beliefs, to have drawn wrong conclusions, and to have made harsh
judgements in relation to my departure.
I would like to make it clear that in February 2007, I made the
decision to leave in order to prepare for and engage in long-term
retreat. This decision was founded upon a pure intention, to maintain
the lineage of Je Tsongkhapa, and become a perfect Teacher. I did not
leave because I felt I had made mistakes; nor was I asked to do so for
any such reason.
I believe that a decision that I leave was already made by others -
founded upon impure intention, ambition. My departure was already
a 'fate' accompli - I could not have stayed.
My reputation has since been deliberately sullied, even though
Venerable Geshe-la in one of the last emails I received from him
said "NKT will always respect you, I promise." This has been done to
convince people of my apparent wrongdoings, and to wield more authority
Under the guise of service to the Spiritual Guide, the Tradition is
being misdirected, even subverted. As senior practitioners continue to
meet with a similar fate, it is being left in the hands of the
ambitious, who abuse their authority. A crack has formed within our
Tradition, weakening it. With only compliants allowed to assume or
remain in any position, with priorities upside down, and with methods
of management unacceptable in modern society, I dissociate myself with
what will eventually become evident to all.
I understand there is a difference between reliance and compliance, and
the results they bring.
I am still acting upon my original decision; my intention to uphold the
Tradition of Je Tsongkhapa will not change. I no longer wear my robes,
yet at no time have I thought of 'dis'robing; and in order to achieve
my goal I am committing myself wholeheartedly to one whom I believe is
qualified to help me do so. I remain committed to Venerable Geshe-la
and to our Tradition.
I have no wish to bring any harm through writing this. There will be no
further communication from me.
I wish everyone the very best in their spiritual training.
With much love and appreciation for all the support you have shown me
over the years.
May the doctrine of Conqueror Losang Dragpa flourish for evermore."
Gyatso's response to Steven Wass (ex Samden)...
"I have received your email message. You have destroyed the NKTs
reputation and the power of all NKT Resident Teachers. Through your
actions so many ordained Teachers have disrobed following your view
which is opposite to Buddhist view – you tried to spread a sexual
lineage which you yourself created. Even in society a Teacher cannot
have sex with students. After you left many people confessed to me
that you had had sex with them. You had sex with so many students and
through your deceptive actions one nun tried to commit suicide because
of your sexual behaviour towards her.
Because the NKTs reputation and power of the Resident Teachers has
been destroyed by your activities now the future development of the
NKT will be difficult both materially and spiritually. However, I
myself and all my students are working hard to recover the damage you
made. We will never allow your sexual lineage to spread in this
I have no connection with you.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso"
Difficult to explain, Gyatso's and Shugden's supreme omniscience purported by NKT were incapable of protecting dharma. Not so difficult to explain, however, when NKT's political purposes and strategies are examined.
Presaging the result if not the goal of Gyatso's metastasizing campaign for domination and against Buddhism, which declined to new depths of shame in 2008, Gyatso correctly diagnosed the root cause of NKT's cancer - the destruction of whatever holy spirituality NKT had. Gyatso transformed NKT's potential accomplishments and merits achievable by helping The Dalai Lama and others spread Tibetan New Kadampa Buddhism to the West into a villainous cult rejecting Tibetan Buddhism seemingly dedicated to harming its clergy and the world's community of sacred living beings.
September 3, 2008, NKT responded to someone who resigned from NKT with 31 reasons (see essay entitled, 'Lame Excuse, Again').
"Kadam Lucy james from florida in the us and kadam Bjorn have been asked to step down from teaching by Kelsang Gyatso himself because they expressed concern over the Western Shugden Society."
"It is true that Kadam Bjorn did express concerns about the demonstrations; after all, he was the recipient of death threats in 1996 from Tibetans loyal to the Dalai Lama in Switzerland. Out of concern for Bjorn’s safety, Geshe Kelsang asked Bjorn to resign. Later when Geshe Kelsang asked if Bjorn would like to resume his previous roles, Bjorn respectfully declined for personal and professional reasons. There is no disagreement or disharmony between Geshe Kelsang and Bjorn, and, in fact, Bjorn was at the forefront during the demonstrations in Germany.
However, these types of accusations do point to a larger issue: Neither Lucy or Bjorn have made any complaints about what took place and by all accounts stayed happy and peaceful throughout. They remain loyal and practicing disciples of Geshe Kelsang and the NKT. As long as that’s the case, then what happens between them and their Spiritual Guide is, quite frankly, their business and not ours. No one had the right to put Lucy’s private letter from Geshe Kelsang on the Internet for example; this was not ethical.
Imagine the Internet chatter that would have surrounded, say, Marpa’s treatment of Milarepa, or Tilopa’s treatment of Naropa, had the Internet existed in those ancient times. Both Lucy and Bjorn have been disciples of Geshe Kelsang for more than 25 years. It is the function of a Mahayana Spiritual Guide to challenge his or her senior disciples to help them make spiritual progress. Sometimes the nature of that challenge may not be immediately apparent to outside observers; but as long as the disciples themselves are finding it meaningful and beneficial, then what business is it of ours to complain?"
Interesting, NKT confirmed that Kadam Bjorn expressed concerns about the NKT protests. Bravo, Bjorn. Lucy James most certainly expressed concerns about the political protests and was also chastised by Gyatso for not sending any troopers from Florida toward NKT head count at their protests; one reaon for Lucy James' concern may be that Gyatso promised in 1998 that he would stop his protests....oops, he lied (NKT's modus operandi).
The Gyatso Dear Lucy email was not private. It was distributed by NKT without wish for confidentiality (actually, just the opposite according to Dekyong) and thus it and others pertaining to Lucy James distributed freely by NKT were widely available on the Internet.
Ironically, masters of the unethical, NKT asserts that reprinting Gyatso's public email is unethical - while NKT perpetrates extensive unethical behavior as its modus operandi, e.g., publishing on the Internet libelous psychiatric biographies of NKT ex-members and critics, almost certainly not only to demean them but to scare its remaining clergy and members from independency.
As for concerns that Lucy had with Gyatso's expansion of his fetish with The Dalai Lama, Gyatso's negative attitude about them is telling (see above). Accordingly, its publication by NKT for wide distribution is a convoluted ethical dilemma, or circular spin, within NKT. Indeed, by all accounts, Lucy James is very happy directing NKT's hate campaign and denigration of Buddhism from Sarasota, FL.
How did NKT find out about Marpa's and Tilopa's treatment of Milarepa and Naropa, respectively? Private mail exchanges? No. The stories were distributed for public consumption by the principles. Gyatso simply used the modern communication device, an email.
Even though NKT denies Buddhism, we are all connected. Therefore, what happens between Gyatso and his devotees IS our business. Simply because Gyatso is unethical does not make the ways we are afforded to examine his wrong path themselves unethical. Moreover, it IS also our business to complain about delusions being taught as NKT pure-path faith ruining so many people's lives.
For additional information about and from Lucy James, see this essay.
Interestingly, Lucy James' departure has also been noted elsewhere....
The Fake Geshe Strikes Again: Kelsang Gyatso Sacks One of His Top Advisors
Kelsang Gyatso known as the 'Fake Geshe' expelled by his former monastery's abbots and Geshes who was ordered recently by Beijing to orchestrate demonstrations with his network against His Holiness the Dalai Lama was confronted by one of his top advisers about becoming so vocally political. Lucy James who is a senior NKT (New Kadampa Tradition) cadre and teaches the top people in Kelsang's network questioned Kelsang about the wisdom of becoming so overtly political by organizing the worldwide demonstrations. She emphasized that the NKT should concern itself with Buddhist practice only. He refuses that everyone can see it is a direct order from Beijing so close to the Olympics. Kelsang Gyatso became furious since the timing shows he is clearly following Beijing's orders and lost his temper sacking Lucy James from her executive duties. He then also sacked her as a resident teacher. Kelsang Gyatso was so angry at being reminded by so many of his aids of how he has been exposed that he did not stop there and expelled Lucy from her home too. Miss James had earlier refused to sign a chain email to urge people to attend the demonstrations. Kelsang Gyatso himself had sent an email to NKT members urging them to attend. Many members refused to believe and partake in the actions obviously timed to benefit the Beijing Olympics PR machine unless they heard from him personally. Even after receiving the email from Kelsang Gyatso, most members refused to join the suspect actions timed so obviously to benefit the Chinese regime's publicity drive for the summer. Lucy James had also advised her centers' students personally not to join the embarrassingly timed pickets and demonstrations against His Holiness the Dalai Lama.