Header image header image 2  
anti-Buddhist?

 
 
NKT UNHAPPY WITH NKT AND THE REST OF US TOO

One of NKT's most prolific representatives, known as 'lineageholder', responded recently (2/6/09) to a 1998 BBC video production available at The Official WebTV Station of the Central Tibetan Administration. 'Lineageholder' castigated the web site as "a deliberate propaganda spreading device of the Tibetan Government in Exile." To review the NKT nemesis web site, click here. (the relevant post by 'lineageholder' can be found in the 1,332 pages of comments to Trycycle's story entitled Dorje Shugden: Deity or Demon, post 2,019; click here)

'Lineageholder' particularly chastised the 30-minute BBC broadcast An Unholy Row as "yet another biased and unrepresentative documentary by the media. They never investigated any of the claims of abuse against Dorje Shugden practitioners in India because they were too busy bowing and scraping to the Dalai Lama, who they were obviously over-awed by. Instead they decided to ‘dig the dirt’ on the NKT."

Well, there is a lot of dirt to dig at NKT - ugly protests, hateful blog posts, despicable web sites apparently libeling practicing Buddhists, sexual abuse scandals by Gyatso heirs acknowledged but not prevented by Gyatso to help protect victims, virtually confiscating Manjushri Center from the Foundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Tradition, banning non-Gyatso books at NKT centers, thematic threats of litigation by NKT against its critics and expelled members, expelling those who question Gyatso from their homes, apparent allergy to practicing compassion, possible fraud against the British government for large quantities of public funds invested in NKT, and so on. As for investigation of purported abuse of Shugdenites, NKT prefers the coverage at Al Jazeera (see a previous essay entitled Shugdenites Turn to Al Jazeera for Solace).

NKT, through 'lineageholder', challenged BBC,

"They interviewed ‘ex-NKT members’ without once interviewing a present NKT member who was entirely happy with the tradition...Another point of deliberate deception is where they show Geshe Kelsang stepping onto the teaching throne, with ordained Sangha prostrating to him and ‘Guru, Founder’ playing in the background - the (false) implication being that NKT members prostrate to Geshe Kelsang regarding him as Buddha Shakyamuni."

Truly fascinating. NKT does not consider the interviews of Gyatso and his latest heir Khyenrab (aka Steve Booth) in An Unholy Row as representing NKT members happy with NKT.

Furthermore, Gyatso markets himself as as the Third Buddha, meaning that Gyatso has been the only new Buddha on earth for hundreds of years (as noted by an interviewee in the documentary, "To NKT practitioners, Geshe-la is indeed a Buddha, an enlightened being."). Gyatso says in An Unholy Row that,

"People thinking Geshe Kelsang is the Third Buddha is not a bad thing. Maybe they think like this because they have Pure Mind so maybe they think he's a Buddha. There is nothing wrong in that."

Remarkably, within the BBC documentary, Khyenrab alleges that Shugdenites are subject to substantial violence, e.g., are ostracized, vilified, fired from their jobs, driven out of their homes and stabbed. Shudenites accuse the Dalai Lama of crafting a "hit list" of NKTites/Shugenites who the Dalai Lama would like to eliminate. On the list of 10 entitled "Threats to eliminate the innocent," Gyatso is listed as number 1 for elimination at the hands of the Dalai Lama. Gyatso says, "I'm not afraid. I have nothing in my life. But I'd better not die early because I need people to have some hope, some progress to stop this problem."

This problem? The Dalai Lama according to NKT. Gyatso's claim that he better not die early because he needs people to have some hope is priceless.

As noted in the BBC documentary, these allegations pose a serious threat against the personal reputation of the Dalai Lama and the campaign for a free Tibet. Amnesty International dismissed the claims that the Dalai Lama was abusing human rights.

The BBC documentary noted that the war of words between NKTites/Shugdenites and the Dalai Lama/Tibetan Government in Exile may be turning into a real war because 3 close followers of the Dalai Lama were brutally murdered (by Shugdenites according to the police in India, who also believe that the government in China is harboring the murderers to further undermine the reputation of the Dalai Lama).

NKT is also unhappy with Gyatso's edict,

"Some small group in our NKT society engage in meaningless activity on the internet, not only Sangha, some lay. This is incorrect. We are Kadampa practitioners, Kadampa Teachers. Why are we enjoying meaningless activity, discussion? We can have a meaningful discussion with pure practitioners or senior practitioners, Teachers. There is no meaning in talking about silly things publicly on the internet. Instead, make meaningful discussion with our pure practitioners, senior Teachers. Please give my message to the individuals of this group. Stop this kind of actions. Gen-la Khyenrab, give my message in email or writing. Stop meaningless discussion on the internet. If you wish, do meaningful discussion with senior Teachers or pure practitioners, or meaningful discussion with your Teacher. No meaning engaging in silly question and answers on the internet. Please Gen-la Khyenrab, pass my message. I am telling you for your purpose and our society's purpose. In this way, keep individuals and society pure and show very good example."

NKTites remain prolific and fierce bloggers and web site authors. Some NKTite/Shugdenite web sites include (any mention of Shugden and the Dalai Lama at any blog pertaining to Buddhism inevitably results in an avalanche of 'unholy' epithets from NKTites),

New Kadampa Truth Blog

NKT Truth Blog

New Kadampa Truth

Official Blog of Wisdom Buddha Dorje Shugden

Western Shugden Society Blog

Heart Jewel Blog

Scholars and Yogis Blog

Dorje Shugden Truth Blog (owned by 'lineageholder', who non-NKT Buddhist experts consider not credible and disingenuous at best and who may be Lucy James, who was removed from her senior Kadam status April 2008 by Gyatso and according to her local NKT center (where February 2009 is dedicated to Shugden) responding to phone calls asking about Lucy James informs callers that she is now focused on an NKT Internet ministry from Sarasota, FL; some opine that 'lineageholder' is Neil Elliott, previousy known as Gyatso's heir Thubten who was exposed for sexually abusing his NKT students (a story repeated by Gyatso's next heir, Samden, now known as Steve Wass))

In any case, 'lineageholder's' web site is a gold mine of confusion. For example,

"The Dalai Lama does not represent Buddhism for everybody. He is a political leader who has received a religious education and who happens to be a monk. He may be regarded as the leader of Tibetan Buddhism but in reality he cannot speak for any of the individual schools of Tibetan Buddhism because he is not the head of any school of Tibetan Buddhism, let alone any other Buddhist tradition in the world. The Dalai Lama is, in fact, the nominal leader of the Tibetan Government in Exile, nothing more. That is really as far as his authority goes; his spiritual authority is self-assumed...Actions speak louder than words. The Dalai Lama is full of words, but his actions speak differently. Talk of kindness is cheap – one has to act kindly to make a difference...The problem is that the Dalai Lama is not a person of great integrity."

Never mind the factual history of the 14 Dalai Lamas. Assess the hate from NKT-'friendly' web sites for the Dalai Lama for yourselves. More voluminous attacks of Dalai Lama history and the current (14th) Dalai Lama cannot be found. According to NKT, hundreds of millions of Buddhists around the world, hundreds of Buddhist monasteries and organizations, virtually all Tibetans and the Tibetan government for hundreds of years, the Nobel prize organization, thousands of academic researchers, thousands of book stores around the world, hundreds of newspapers and book publishers, over a billion non-Buddhists, and at least a hundred heads of state are all wrong about The Dalai Lama. Try finding a single book at amazon.com or anywhere else supporting NKT's campaign, as compared to hundreds of books supporting the Dalai Lama.

'Lineageholder' writes truthfully, "The Dalai Lama, who had won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for his non-violent opposition to the Chinese, was widely respected in the West and held to be a paragon of virtue, the most famous Buddhist on the planet, presiding over the beleaguered Shangri-la, Tibet. He had never been questioned before. His authority and opinions had never been challenged by Tibetans (or most Westerners) in 58 years of rule...The Dalai Lama’s vision for humanity as expressed in his public teachings is indeed right and reliable because it comes from the holy masters of the Gelugpa lineage of Tibetan Buddhism and ultimately from Buddha himself." (it also comes from all other lineages of Buddhism)

Western Shugden Society's Photostream

NKT Awareness Facebook

New Kadampa Truth Blog List

Heart Jewel

Dorje Shugden

Shugdenites Challenge Dr. Robert Thurman

The actual challenge.....try to find Buddhist compassion in these web sites.

Such web sites, thousands of deplorable NKT blog posts, NKT press interviews, NKT protest rallies (typically along side the Chinese Government, which has been trying to overthrow the Dalai Lama for 60 years, using Shugden and inculcating Shugden worship in Tibet (click here for impact of Chinese Government on Tibetan Buddhist peaceful demonstrators)), NKT's preference for the treachery of Shugden over the loving legacy of Buddha Shakyamuni (some NKTites have credited Shugden for the Dalai Lama's recent hospitalizations; Gyatso's boasts about his teachers who articulated that Shugden's purpose was to murder and destroy), the deleterious impact of NKT's public attacks on the general public turning many away from Buddhism, NKT's use of empowerment festivals to build hate against the Dalai Lama and other sincere Buddhists, recurring NKT threats to sue its criics, the sexual misconduct of NKT's leadership, NKT's bible (The Tibetan Situation Today), Gyatso's letters to the media and NKT's discredited high officers, and NKT's political rival with the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in Exile REVEAL THE RESULTS OF NKT'S DOGMA - a vane struggle against the tenets of Buddhism to the detriment of all living beings. NKT's cancerous ego-building holier-than-thou allegience to the worst forms of suffering and its self-appointed Third Buddha and fake Geshe is ruining many lives. NKT is doing anything it can to undue the beneficial impact of sincere Buddhist practitioners and teachers on us. Sometimes with its pretty-face pretense, sometimes with its raw ugly face, NKT is using its renegade breakaway movement to destroy Buddhism (which is coincidentally consistent with Shugden's utility to destroy non-fundamentalists and legitimate schools of Buddhism).

NKT sees Communist Government in China its ally in Shugden promotion and against the Dalai Lama and Tibet

The following Internet posts from NKTites are common...

“And wouldn’t China promote it bigger and better than anyone. After all they have economic power base that is growing by the month. We have to look beyond this generation alone. We have to look at China and her relationship with Dorje Shugden long after the Dalai Lama has passed on…China is making Dorje Shugden bigger and bigger."

"Then from China, Dorje Shugden’s practice will spread to the multitudes of Chinese speaking areas of Asia, then the world. Everyone respects China either for monetary, business or cultural reasons. It is after all one of the greatest cultures known to man past and present. It will be the number one culture in the world as it has been in ancient times in the near future due to economic growth. Everything Chinese will be respected and proliferated in the world. In the near future, the tide will turn towards the east and that is China. Everything Chinese will be sought after, praised and valued. Even today, many governments do not wish to offend the Chinese government in hopes of securing lucrative deals. After all, isn’t bringing prosperity one of the main functions of any government whether Democratic or Socialist?…making Dorje Shugden the most popularly known Buddhist deity next to Kuan Yin in China at this time."

NKTites wish Shugden to be the most popularly known Buddhist Deity!

Thousands of caustic NKT Internet blog posts and its dozen or so campaign web sites portray a disturbing image of an organization unfortunately selling itself as Buddhism.
NKTcircle

'Lineageholder's' criticism of Stephen Batchelor's comments in An Unholy Row is revealing, "As for Stephen Batchelor’s contribution, he’s being asked to speak about the NKT but he doesn’t even know anything about them, never having been to any meetings or been a member. How can he be presented as an authority? Of course he’s an authority on Buddhism but he can’t be an authority on the individual traditions of Buddhism, especially NKT, because he has no experience." Thus, one can be an acknowledged "authority on Buddhism" but have no understanding of NKT - indicating, therefore, that NKT is very different from Buddhism (true). The claim that someone critical of NKT does not know anything about NKT is a recurring but mistaken theme from NKT (coincidentally, NKT recently made the same charge against one of its benefactors named 'truthsquad' (see a previous essay on this web site entitled NKT, Wrong Again)). NKT can hardly honestly say with any accuracy that Stephen Batchelor knows nothing about NKT or has never visited a NKT center. After all, Gyatso grants tantric and other high empowerments to those who may be attending NKT for the first time.

Stephen Batchelor's comment, regardless of NKT's public relations smokescreen, is correct,

"When you have a group like the NKT who have broken away from mainstream Tibetan Buddhism, then clearly all the authority comes to rest on one person. You have a somewhat aggressive organization that deeply believes in the value of what it’s doing. If you question the authority, that doesn’t go down well. You are expected to conform. There are amazing promises given to you if you do follow the path as they teach it. So, consequently, it does lead to a rather fanatic mentality."

Readers are urged to develop their own conclusions about NKT and the degree to which NKT is a respectable Buddhist organization and promotes, practices or accomplishes compassion.

Please, ask yourself - was the BBC documentary An Unholy Row biased as NKT contends 10 years after its production? (Click here to watch the BBC documentary, which features extended commentary by Gyatso and his latest heir.)

(this essay is not intended to pick on 'lineageholder', who is or will eventually be a wonderful person. this essay addresses NKT dogma.)

 

gyatso

 

Khyenrab, Gyatso's latest heir, displaying NKT's bible
Khyenrab

 

Khyenrab's ultra-ego fighting the Dalai Lama, Dekyong to his right
Khyenrab

 

Editor's Note:
A sensitive matter is also reviewed, albeit too briefly, in the BBC documentary An Unholy Row - advanced tantric empowerments granted by Gyatso largely to hundreds of neophyte NKT followers enmasse at NKT festivals, a particularly disturbing matter in light of the proclivity of NKT senior clergy to engage in sexual misconduct - a matter acknowledged at least in part by Gyatso (writing to one of his previous discredited heirs),

"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."

Gyatso will retire later this year, turning over the reigns to Khyenrab to lead NKT after Gyatso's last festival to grant mass Shugden and tantric empowerments. "Everyone is Welcome."

According to NKT,

"After 2009 Venerable Geshe-la is not taking any commitment to grant Heruka and Vajrayogini empowerments. We understand this from him directly so if you wish to receive these empowerments from Geshe-la you should attend the Summer Festival 2009."

Gyatso goes Tantra

So alluring, so promising....enlightenment during this lifetime through imagined and actual sexual yogas brilliantly marketed above as a beautiful goddess dakini offering her leading man sensual delights in the chamber at the end of the inviting walkway. And of course, Gyatso is pleased. We can be too.

Quoting Jessica Simpson in a Direct TV advertisement, "I don't know what that is but I want it." And, so do hundreds of predominatly young shortcutting quickpathers at Gyatso festivals - NKT clergy and lay members alike, often with their children by their sides.

In this editor's opinion, NKT's provocative and immoral approach to tantra is a truly abusive and cavalier distortion of the rich legacy of Indo-Tibetan Buddhism and the meaning of enlightenment. It is sanctimonious and sacrilegious at our expense, cultivating ego and a false sense of superiority over others. The posts of NKTites on Internet blogs embarrasingly reveal their deep emotional attachments to making fun of Buddhists. Their 'faith' feeds and rationalizes for them their destructive ego gratification and blind boasts of supremacy.

Such offensive overture combines with Gyatso's self award of his one-of-a-kind fake Geshe degree, creation of a renegade hate-mongering religion, attacking the living emanation of Avalokiteshvara (the Dalai Lama), criticizing Tibetan Buddhism and Tibet as degenerate, and subjugating all other Buddhists and legitimate forms of Buddhism to piece together a spiteful quest against Tibetan Lamas and individual Buddhists who disagree with Gyatso's ego-building self-crippling new commercial religion that does little to help relieve suffering and against the Dalai Lama because he merited more attention from Gyatso's teachers when they were young and because of being the living emanation of Avalokiteshvara achieved more success than Gyatso in spreading compassion around the world. (Avalokiteshvara is the Buddha of Compassion)

It was profoundly ironic for Gyatso to grant mass empowerments of Avalokiteshvara at a NKT festival last year while simultaneously recruiting participants and planning for protests against Avalokiteshvara (the Dalai Lama). Sadly, to NKT faithful, this made some sort of sense, exemplifying the problem of stamping out individual reflection of holiness, a tactic integral to the NKT strategy - eshewing ethical appraisals to generate cultish fanaticism.

For all the promises made about tantra by NKT, apparently they have never worked since Gyatso is, according to NKT, only the third Buddha ever. According to NKT, Tsongkhapa became a Buddha after death and never practiced the only way to achieve enlightenment during one's lifetime - completion stage practices of highest yoga tantra.

For more information about Tantra, consider the following in the library of a contributor to this web site,

Secret of the Vajra World: The Tantric Buddhism of Tibet. Reginald Ray
The Bliss of Inner Fire. Lama Yeshe
Ornament of Stainless Light. Khedrup Norsang Gyatso
The Treasury of Knowledge: Esoteric Instructions. Jamgon Kongtrul
The Treasury of Knowledge: Systems of Buddhist Tantra. Jamgon Kongtrul
The Treasury of Knowledge: The Elements of Tantric Practice. Jamgon Kongtrul.
Ornament of Stainless Light. Khedrup Norsang Gyatso
Dakini's Warm Breath. Judith Simmer-Brown
Highest Yoga Tantra. Daniel Cozort
Yoga Tantra: Paths to Magical Feats. The Dalai Lama, Tsongkhapa & Jeffrey Hopkins
Diety Yoga. The Dalai Lama, Tsongkhapa and Jeffrey Hopkins
Tantra in Tibet. The Dalai Lama, Tsongkhapa and Jeffrey Hopkins
The Six Yogas of Naropa. Glenn Mullins
Readings on the Six Yogas of Naropa. Glenn Mullin
Secret Buddhism: Vajrayana Practices. Kalu Rinpoche
Tantric Ethics. Tsongkhapa
The Rise of Esoteric Buddhism in Tibet. Eva Dargyay
The Life of Milarepa. translated, Lobsang Lhalungp
Mind Beyond Death. Dzogchen Donlop
Tsongkhapa's Final Exposition of Wisdom. Jeffrey Hopkins
Sky Dancer: The Secret Life and Songs of the Lady Yeshe Tsogyel. Kieth Dowman
The Handbook of Tibetan Buddhist Symbols. Robert Beer
Buddhist Symbolism in Tibetan Thangkas. Ben Meulenbeld
The Cakrasamvara Tantra: The Discourse of Sri Heruka. David Gray
Passionate Enlightenment. Miranda Shaw

Books written by Gyatso,

Essence of Vajrayana
Tantric Grounds and Paths
Guide to Dakini Land
Clear Light of Bliss
Mahamudra Tantra

Sadanas published by NKT,

The Root Tantra of Heruka and Vajrayogini
Quick Paths to Great Bliss

 

Postscript:
On February 9, 2009, 'lineageholder' published on the Tricycle blog referenced in the first paragraph of this essay (see post 2,085),

"NKTworld is garbage. It has misrepresented me and my views."

The essay above quoted 'lineageholder' verbatim as well as provided the web link presenting 'lineageholder's' views in the essay's first paragraph. Readers are encouraged to come to their own conclusions about who is telling the truth.

Of course, 'lineageholder' has a right to his/her opinion, true or not. Presumably, 'lineageholder's' claim that this web site is garbage is an opinion, not a libelous attack.

After hundreds if not thousands of hours of research as well as intensive use of widely published references throughout this web site, editors of this web site have yet to receive or find credible evidence that journalistic commentary and opinions not generated by NKT contained in this web site are false, garbage, or misrepresentative - all of which would not knowingly or maliciously be presented in this web site. Noted since the inauguration of this web site, reasoned input is invited. Certainly, purported corrections of fact (documented with credible evidence) will be reviewed seriously and appropriate action taken. Little if anything in this web site has not been presented elsewhere, typically published by respectable media and in respectable journals and book references.

A collection of NKT-'friendly' web sites was included in the essay above to assist readers in their inquiry and to help make NKT policy and politics readily available for analysis. Editors of this web site, in view of NKT's vitriol against Buddhists and Buddhism and its thematic threat of litigation, generally disagree with NKT public policy, abuse of tantra, and mistreatment of its members, ex-members, Buddhists, Lamas, (real) Geshes, Tibetans, monasteries, governments, heads of state, authors, media and journalists who question NKT. Again, readers must come to their own conclusions from their experience and inquiry about NKT and its dedication to Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, asking themselves how NKT's assault on the Dalai Lama and individual Buddhists displays compassion and wisdom. Is NKT's quest for supremacy worth the adverse image of Buddhism presented to the public at NKT's protests and in NKT's derogatory and possibly defamatory web sites?

It remains baffling that NKTites generate so many vitriolic web pages and blog posts after their 'Third Buddha' chastised them (an unfaithful faithful following?),

"Some small group in our NKT society engage in meaningless activity on the internet, not only Sangha, some lay. This is incorrect. We are Kadampa practitioners, Kadampa Teachers. Why are we enjoying meaningless activity, discussion? We can have a meaningful discussion with pure practitioners or senior practitioners, Teachers. There is no meaning in talking about silly things publicly on the internet. Instead, make meaningful discussion with our pure practitioners, senior Teachers. Please give my message to the individuals of this group. Stop this kind of actions. Gen-la Khyenrab, give my message in email or writing. Stop meaningless discussion on the internet. If you wish, do meaningful discussion with senior Teachers or pure practitioners, or meaningful discussion with your Teacher. No meaning engaging in silly question and answers on the internet. Please Gen-la Khyenrab, pass my message. I am telling you for your purpose and our society's purpose. In this way, keep individuals and society pure and show very good example."