NKT's new book, A Great Deception, is NKT koolaid not swallowed by all NKTites.
For example, a long-time member of NKT recently posted these views about NKT's book,
"It''s important to reveal harmful actions to benefit and protect others. Unfortunately, this book steps beyond this positive intention and makes dramatic statements full of judgment and "black and white" assumptions. I've practiced with the NKT for several years, and the tone of this book feels contrary to the extraordinary teachings, oral and written, I've received from Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. For instance, Gesha-la has taught we cannot know the motivations of others; yet, this book makes repeated claims to know the intentions and motivations of the Dalai Lama, asserting among other things that he constantly schemes to gain power because he is "self-serving" and a "troublemaker." I've also been taught not to focus on the "faults" of others, but to look at my own delusions and explore the nature of my own mind. So I feel puzzled by the book's extreme focus on the alleged "faults" of the Dalai Lama. It is one thing to present facts and exhaustive research in a clear, non-biased manner - from a place of wisdom and compassion; it is another to write what might read to a newcomer like some strange vendetta. It is one thing to reveal harmful actions; it is another to make personal attacks and resort to name-calling.
This book may well contain valid, vital information the world needs, but its propensity to make overgeneralized, unbalanced comments leaves me feeling uncertain about what is, actually, "true" about the Dalai Lama. For instance, the book claims the Dalai Lama has done "nothing" for Tibetans or world peace; yet, I know from my own experience this statement is false. I've been to McLeod Gang and have witnessed for myself a strong, joyful Tibetan community, an extremely well-organized schooling system for orphans and the children of Tibetan refugees, and a world premier Tibetan medical school, all developed under the guidance of the Dalai Lama. I have numerous friends who know peace from hearing and studying under the Dalai Lama, and it's undeniable that hundreds of thousands of Westerners now benefit from the study and practice of Buddhism thanks to the Dalai Lama's visible presence and teachings, particularly on happiness. Perhaps the Dalai Lama's actions have done harm; they have certainly been of benefit.
Unfortunately, how this book is written undermines the credibility and potential effectiveness of it and the NKT, and may be more likely to promote bitter divisiveness than encourage the kind of clarity and harmony that organically spring from unbiased truth - the kind of clarity and harmony I have experienced during retreats with Geshe-la."
Another NKT advocate wrote,
"I started reading the book last night. I have never been more disgusted with both sides of this issue. This book, so far, seems more about the negative than the positive. Where is the positive support of Dorje Shugden from the NKT? Where is the history of this deity or the good things that he has done for his practitioners? Why is it necessary to point out the negatives about HH the Dalai Lama? I don't agree with HH or with the ban on Dorje Shugden but I also don't feel it is necessary to badmouth HH to say that I feel he is wrong."
Someone who left NKT recently wrote,
"May NKT's ability to hurt others soon be diminished."
Looks like these folks are at risk of being banned and ridiculed by NKT.
A Shugden supporter recently noted,
"Bearing in mind that I’m a practitioner, I thought I would like this book…but it turned out to be the opposite; it’s the one book I cannot bear to read.
The synopsis of the book states very clearly that it has four main aims:
1 . To liberation millions of innocent practitioners of the Buddhist Deity Dorje Shugden and their families from suffering
2. To restore peace and harmony between Shugden and non-Shugden practitioners
3. To re-establish the common spiritual activities of Shugden and non-Shugden practitioners
4. To free Buddhism from political pollution
Having read and contemplated upon the book, I fail to see how the book achieves any of the four main aims in its entirety.
I find a book that’s full of contradictions – it criticises the Dalai Lama for being under the Chinese payroll or being Communist, and yet almost praises the Chinese in other instances for liberating Tibet. It’s also very sneaky about how it portrays the Dalai Lama – on Page 216, for example, the wording makes it sound as though th Dalai Lama himself requested for the American troops.
The book also leaves out how the Karmapa endorsed by the Dalai Lama, was also endorsed by other Karma Kagyu lamas, for example Tai Situ Rinpoche. The book makes it sound as though the Dalai Lama personally hand-picked his choice of Karmapa. (and anyway why can’t there be two Karmapas???)
Thus because of how crafty the language is, I recommend everyone read the book with a pinch of salt.
I find a book that takes advantage of some people’s poor understanding of Buddhist philosophy. For example, they label the Dalai Lama as arrogant for saying he will not bow to or take orders from Nechung. However, the Dalai Lama is commonly believed by Tibetans and some Buddhist practitioners to be an emanation of Buddha of Compassion (Chenrezig). Therefore, to protect their minds, it would not be proper for him to bow or receive instructions from a Dharma Protector. I find a book that imposes Western ideologies as the set standard of how to behave. For example, the authors deemed eye-gougings as a medieval punishment. It may not be right but the authors did not mention that Tibet was still very isolated as a nation during the time all these eyewitness reports were written, and therefore the judicial processes may not have mirrored those in the rest of the world. No doubt it is cruel, but the Tibetans lack of exposure to the rest of the world meant many of them were still stuck in their old ways.
I cannot see how a book so vitriolic will restore peace and harmony, and re-establish common spiritual activities between Shugden and non-Shugden practitioners when it is entirely devoted to debasing the reputation of who the non-Shugden practitioners deem their inspiration. How does such a schismatic book establish any common ground in the sectarian division between Shugden and non-Shugden practitioners? I cannot see this book will free Buddhism from political pollution. Half the book argues that religion and politics should not mix…so why was the book written, as it only adds fuel to the fire? How can it free Buddhism from political pollution, when its venomous nature and political agenda against the Dalai Lama mires it in politics?
Okay okay, perhaps I could be a bit more generous – one aim this book has come a little close to achieving is being an example of the mess of politics. It is the perfect example of if you want to be a Buddhist, then let go of politics because it’s not a good mix.
And there is information in this book that prompts thinking – for example the issue of combining four schools of Buddhism into one, the issue of nepotism and the issue of HH the Dalai Lama’s brother purportedly embezzling funds and engaging in arms trading.
Therefore, I’m glad there is a book out there that supports Dorje Shugden, and I do think this book is very well-researched and supported by references (well except for Chapter 2, where cross-referencing is conspicuously absent).
However, this book is so emotionally driven and intent on destroying the Dalai Lama’s reputation that it loses all credibility.
Still, I do feel it’s worth a read, only if it’s balanced out with other sources of information because there’s a danger you may accept such an extremist view as the only view."