NKT is determined to keep bringing negative attention to itself. Ultimately, this pattern of behavior will be seen as NKT's greatest impediment and far more potent than criticisms from NKT survivors and analysts. NKT's own legendary negativity and condescending bravado are the sources of its controversy.
A few days before the release of another book about NKT, this one entitled 'A Cuckoo in the Peacock Palace: The Decline of Tradition in 21st Century Western Buddhism and the Rise of the New Kadampa Tradition', NKT threatened the book's publisher and author.
Because of the NKT's threat against the livelihood of the author's family, the author withdrew his book from publication.
NKT supporters, in turn, boasted on Internet blogs that NKT had stifled the book's publication, branded it libel filled with lies without seeing any more than the book's title, and claimed that the author withdrew his book from publication because he agreed with NKT's assessment of his book, itself based on reading the book's title on amazon.com.
From a letter on NKT letterhead dated May 14, 2010 from the Resident Teacher (John McBretney) of NKT's Heruka Center in London...
"From the title itself and having read the table of contents that appears on Amazon's website, we infer that the book, if published, would be very damaging to the reputation of the New Kadampa Tradition and its Founder Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. There are approximately 1,200 NKT Centres throughout the world all of which would suffer serious financial loss. In addition, the spiritual lives of thousands of NKT students would be harmed, in some cases irreparably. The financial losses and personal suffering due to discouragement and loss of faith caused by the book's publication would be very great.
If the book is defamatory to the NKT and Geshe Kelsang, the NKT will sue for damages and an apology in open court. The consequences of legal action by the NKT will be very serious.
We need a reply from you by 2l May 2010 to our request to read the manuscript of the book otherwise we will put this matter in the hands of our lawyers."
NKT claims that it inferred very damaging information from an advertisement on amazon.com!
Based on this ad, NKT determined the book was libelous and threatened to sue the author.
However, NKT's alleged inferences are not facts. Based on the book's description and table of contents, the book mostly if not completely contained information about NKT already discussed at length by NKT supporters, survivors and analysts.
Perhaps NKT feared that the book made this information too readily available and presented it in too compelling a manner compared to other books addressing NKT sold on amazon.com. Clearly, NKT feared this book.
Notably, NKT did not claim that the book actually contained content defamatory to NKT. NKT claimed IF it did, then it would sue the author. Apparently, NKT had not read the book.
"The consequences of legal action by the NKT will be very serious," according to NKT. Sounds ominous (and odious).
Most likely, however, legal action by NKT would be very serious for NKT because the process of litigation would involve discovery of significant information from NKT, eg financial records, its profits and losses, its internal memoranda, how NKT handled its many sexual abuse scandals, what NKT does specifically with its government subsidies, its financial relationships and associations with WSS, Shugden organizations and China, etc.
To examine NKT's proof of its claims for the court to assess the merit if any of NKT's lawsuit, NKT would also have to provide further information about its claims through depositions under oath to tell the truth of NKT's management, resident teachers, board of directors, NKT financial contributors, government contacts, business heads, corporate officers, accountants, renters, and key business, real estate, marketing and public relations employees, agencies and consultants.
As founder of NKT, its leader for 20 years, for directing NKT's protest rallies, for threatening lawsuits before and for his oversight if not design of the current threat, Kelsang Gyatso would need to be deposed under oath and provide to the court and parties of NKT's lawsuit his files and diaries. This deposition and various others would likely be videotaped.
Most likely, all this information would be made public and provide dramatic material for subtantial media coverage, new NKT analyses and books about NKT.
In the already established environment of...
- thousands of Internet posts from NKT supporters attacking others
- thousands more from NKT survivors and analysts describing NKT's cult
- various books and tens of thousands of blog posts already published addressing NKT's cult
- various sexual abuse scandals inside NKT
- NKT protest rallies around the world, books and web sites against the most admired Buddhist in the world
- numerous vile youtube videos posted by NKT supporters
- numerous NKT support web sites attacking NKT survivors and various Buddhist Lamas
- assessments of NKT's war by Tibetan Lamas and other respected teachers
- TIbetans praying that NKT will cease its war
NKT singles out a future book as the cause of serious financial loss of NKT ... a small book amidst a massive sea of concern over NKT's actions.
Next, John McBretney, again on behalf of NKT, wrote the book's author May 16, 2010,
"In the title and subtitle of this book you are deliberately and directly implying that the development of the New Kadampa Tradition has caused the Gelug Buddhist Tradition to decline.
You have publicized this false implication widely through the Internet, and in this way you are denigrating the reputation of the 1,200 Buddhist Centres of the New Kadampa Tradition throughout the world. This will of course cause great damage to the public moral and financial standing of all these Centres, now and far into the future.
NKT would like with this letter to propose to you that you completely remove all the negative information about the New Kadampa Tradition, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso and Dorje Shugden from your forthcoming book. If you sincerely agree to do this, then the 1,200 Buddhist Centres of the New Kadampa Tradition will patiently accept the immense harm that you have already done to their reputation by spreading.
If you do not accept this proposal, then the NKT will have no choice but to engage in legal action against you and your publisher to protect all the Buddhist Centres of the New Kadampa Tradition. The NKT would sue for compensation for the further great damage to its moral and financial standing that the book would cause.
We need to receive your answer before 1 June 2010. If we do not receive your answer by then, we will conclude that you have not accepted our proposal."
Notably, NKT is threatening litigation for an alleged implication of something almost certainly not contained in the book.
After 15 years of NKT blaming the Gelug tradition for its decline, NKT now transfers the blame to itself based on NKT inferences from an unpublished book's title and subtitle ('Cuckoo in the Peacock Palace: The Decline of Tradition in 21st Century Western Buddhism and the Rise of the New Kadampa Tradition'). In fact, nothing in the book's title or subtitle makes this claim. Nevertheless, NKT believes that the book will have so much credibility that it single-handedly will cause the decline of the Gelug tradition of Tibetan Buddhism (something that NKT claims occurred long ago already) as well as NKT's corporate empire. Furthermore, NKT claims it is not a form of Tibetan Buddhism.
NKT does not care about the Gelug tradition. It cares about its corporate wealth.
NKT's blame for its demise on others is a recurring theme with NKT.
For example, Kelsang Gyatso, NKT's founder, wrote Kelsang Samden, one of Kelsang Gyatso's heirs booted by NKT,
"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 world."
Is NKT saying that NKT was destroyed a few years ago, rebuilt itself and now threatening an unpublished author so as not to be destroyed again, "now and far into the future"?
NKT chose an author of an unpublished book to threaten legal action rather than any of the following...
Kelsang Gyatso for distributing an email saying he will personally organize protests against The Dalai Lama (years earlier, Kelsang Gyatso determined his campaign to be a political one)
The Australian Sangha Association for informing the public that "the opinion of the ASA is that for NKT members to represent themselves to the public as authentic Buddhist monks and nuns is wrong and misleading."
Dhongtog Tulku Tenpai Gyaltsen's for writing a book (Earth Shaking Thunder of True Word) about NKT's battle with the Dalai Lama
The Dalai Lama for recommending that his people not worship NKT's principle deity
Robert Thurman for referring to NKT as the Taliban of Tibetan Buddhism in 1997 in a Newsweek article about NKT
Sera Je Monastery for saying that Gyatso is possessed by a demon
the 100th Ganden Tripa for wondering why Shugden needs so much protection from humans, esteemed Buddhist Lamas for not worshiping Shugden
'Tricycle: The Buddhist Review' for its 1998 articles associating Shugden, NKT and murders of Dalai Lama associates (one of Tricycle's blogs about NKT would take 1,648 pages to print)
the whole of Tibetan Buddhism which Gyatso sees as degenerate
NKT's ex clergy and lay members for reporting their debilitating experiences in NKT
the individuals against whom NKT created a web site, to among other attacks publicize sordid psychiatric biographies (a favorite technique of NKT), www.newkadampatruth.org
amazon.com for presenting critical comments about Gyatso's books and for advertising a new book that NKT claims would ruin NKT
Google for presenting user groups with critical comments about NKT
Yahoo for presenting user groups with critical comments about NKT
the media for reporting NKT news
book authors and publishers for critical documented examinations of NKT's 2 decades of controversy
blog discussion forums for examining NKT's admitted faults
hundreds of Internet bloggers struggling with NKT's abuse
NKT's ultra-ego, WSS, for contributing to the mess NKT is in
the billions of people in the world who do not believe NKT's 'faith' that the Dalai Lama is a fake Dalai Lama, not a Buddhist, a dictator, a spy, a liar and a murderer
Incredibly, NKT claims that it will accept the alleged immense harm that the author has allegedly already caused by the the author's 'widely publicized' comments about NKT on the Internet. Notably, NKT's web sites set up to identify NKT's enemies have yet to mention this author, who NKT alleges would ruin NKT if his book was published and has already caused immense harm.
Clearly, NKT feared this book. NKT feared that this book would have decisive impact greater than thousands of previous commentaries about NKT. Wow. The book, based on its title and table of contents alone, was a blockbuster in NKT's eyes.
This is NKT at work, the antithesis of Shakyamuni, Tsongkhapa and Buddhism.
NKT's audacity to blame others for its problems seems boundless.
Paraphrasing a recent essayist here, NKT is a circus of superstition.