We see a large difference between Kelsang Gyatso's books and NKT's actions.
His books are largely straightforward presentations of Tibetan Buddhism, though NKT denies any connection with Tibetan Buddhism, even though NKT claims to live by the wondrous teachings of Tsongkhapa, a most eminent Tibetan Buddhist. After all, Kelsang Gyatso was a Tibetan Buddhist before he wasn't.
We have little debate with Kelsang Gyatso's Buddhism books. We disagree with the portrait presented to the public by NKT's protest rallies, Internet attacks, clergy and member abuse, scandals, two recent political manifestos and demands to interfere with Tibetan Buddhism and Tibet.
We do not agree based on the evidence and even NKT's 2-decade-long campaign against him that the Dalai Lama is horrible, bogus, wrongly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, a Nazi, a CIA puppet and a liar as NKT insists. Contrary to the Shugdenite lawsuit against him trumpeted by NKT, the Supreme Court in India didn't think so either.
Like about 100,000 Tibetans, the Dalai Lama lives in exile from his homeland where the Dalai Lama legacy has no authority since its Communist takeover during the 1950s when he was in his twenties. Since then, he has worked more than most, or maybe anyone else, to spread the profound ideals of Buddhism around the world and is respected around the world by hundreds of millions of us.
NKT's obsession with the Tibetan Shugden matter which goes back 350 years has no relevance whatsoever to NKT, which is not subject in anyway to Tibetan Shugden policy and the views of any of the 14 Dalai Lamas.
NKT is free to worship its Westernized Shugden and disregard Shakyamuni's teachings, though we wish they would keep it private.
NKT's vile Internet chatter and attacks against its survivors help no one. Its litigation threat tactic is misdirected.
Some of us used to be NKT regulars and contributed many thousands of dollars and substantial labor, but left because of its politics and hate.
All we can recommend to NKT supporteres is to read, if nothing else, Kelsang Gyatso's books on Buddhism. We have, many times. This would offer them a beginning to a beneficial future.
We regret that many NKT supporters will find these sentiments as they did the Welcome Message on our home page - unreasonable, filled with rants, poorly written and conceived, misinformed, incompetent and spiritual arson.
May love and compassion prevail in all of our individual and collective journeys.
We reprint this note from this web site's recent comment (An NKT Voice) because it encapsulates part of our view. Much of the rest appears on our home page, particularly the Welcome Message.
It and discussion over a recently withdrawn book have elicited some interesting comments from NKT supporters (amidst much name calling). Perhaps, promising developments.
"I suggest those who are now critical, were also 'sincere and willing to learn' when first meeting the NKT...Whatever their reasons for disenchantment, they have become critical."
"my intention is not to try to debate, because that is just a waste of time—I already know I wouldn't get anywhere. However, I am increasing my own understanding and faith through this effort."
"I engage (NKT WORLD) only because it sparks some wisdom within me which I otherwise wouldn't have uncovered, understanding that the goal is never to convince..."
"they may have something to say. We may not agree with their argument, but it is that and not the person which should be 'attacked'."
"Since the opening of this blog site (about NKT WORLD), the Editor at NKTWorld.org has re-affirmed thrice that he is willing to learn. For example:
* there has always been a standing invitation for credible information… we know of nothing untrue on this web site other than material generated by NKT, NKT WORLD seeks accuracy
* A point of criticism has been made that we will not concede a point that we or one of our essayists were incorrect about. This is not true.
* Let's learn what we can."
"My ultimate hope is that both sides of the debate can stop talking past each other and start talking to each other."
Hopefully, we are not being too optimistic in calling such comments promising developments.
Sure, many resist change. But, many can. Ultimately, we all will.
Consider this recent blog comment,
"Well, while the book might be crap, and therefore it would seem sensible to wipe out the crap before it hits the public fan, I think there is a rather problematic tendency at work here: Avoidance of crap.
All Buddhist traditions and organizations operating in the West seem to do this. They seek to isolate themselves from all crap. They cannot handle any crap. They avoid the crap. This is utterly harmful tendency, and will lead into Buddhist Institutions isolating and fossilizing themselves. This tendency seems to come from Asian Buddhism, it must be added. The outcome of this is that Organized Buddhism will become fossilized, irrelevant and meaningless, as can be observed from Asian countries. Dead formalism is the future of all the existing Traditions, if this tendency is not countered in time.
Just look at the various issues raging in the Buddhist World. Sex scandals of many Tibetan High Lamas, Karmapa-issue, Diamonway-issues, FWBO-antics, Zen-lineality-issues, Soka Gakkai Pure Land issue, and whatever. There seems to be a general unease with handling these things, as they seem to be just crap and crappy issues. If there is a troubling issue, when have you seen the disputing parties share a space and admit that they do not agree? To even agree on the disagreement, and accepting the opposing points of view, without the other becoming "the other"? When have two practitioners continued to treat each other as practitioners while simply agreeing that there are some deep issues and rifts between, and then nevertheless continued to practice together? Whenever crap comes, people avoid it all, by distancing themselves from the other party, or throwing the other party away. There is no dialogue there, only two monologues shouted with megaphones over the fence, for a fence there is, never a shared space - sometimes even literally, as we know. Then "our party" is clean, and over the fence there is just dirt, crap, faults, and confusion. No need to talk after that, is there. This is the current situation of Buddhism. We all isolate ourselves into our own little compartments.
Because we Buddhists cannot live with crap, we are crap ourselves."
...a point essentially made many times on this web site, though it may be an odd point to non-Buddhists.