September 16, 2008

Dorje Shugden: Deity or Demon?

In case you haven’t noticed, there’s been a lot of activity on this blog and elsewhere around the Buddhist web relating to the Dorje Shugden controversy. While we take no position on this rather arcane sectarian dispute, we have covered it in the past. In order to shed some light on the controversy, we reproduce here the opening two pages of a special section from the Spring 1998 issue with links to the section's contents, including interviews with Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, leader of the New Kadampa Tradition, and Thubten Jigme Norbu, the recently deceased brother of the Dalai Lama. Click on the images below to see larger versions of the opening spread, and the links below that to read the articles themselves. - The Editors

Dorje Shugden page 1 Dorje Shugden page 2


[UPDATE: Thanks to Danny Fisher for pointing out the Wikipedia link on the controversy above.]

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Tom's picture

Bravo. Super. Stunning.

Where do I sign up?

Dorje's picture

I’m sure that great Lineage Gurus such as Nagarjuna and Chandrakirti would be appalled by your worship of a worldly spirit, used to promote sectarianism, which, unlike the Middle Way, is logically and morally unjustifiable.

Tamdrin's picture

One particular facet of this controversy that doesn't seem to have been explored in depth here is the tremendous problems Shugden practice creates in terms of the Tibetan Buddhist pantheon.
As it was stated above, in its early days Gyalchen Shugden was seen as a minor protective deity on a mundane level. As such a deity, there were certain mediums who acted as oracles -similar to many others in Tibetan Buddhism.
However, when, for political reasons, conservative members of the Gelug establishment tried to elevate the status of Shugden to that of a Buddha, a seemingly minor mascot of fundamentalism began to threaten the entire deity "hierarchy".
If Shugden was a Buddha, how could it manifest through oracles (this was always taught to be undesireable and impossible.
If Shugden manifested through oracles, why couldn't other Buddhas, like Tara, Chenrezig, Padmasambhava etc?

If HHDL and other lamas has allowed this to continue, this is exactly what could have ahppened. A bunch of mediums purporting to channel "fully enlightened"deities. And now you see the very truth in the Dalai Lama's statement - that Shugden could cause Tibetan Buddhism to degenerate into "mere spirit worship".

Now perhaps the NKT will say that Kalsang Gyatso doesn't rely on oracles. That maybe true, NOW (we know his uncle, a Shugden oracle, performed trances in order to give advice from Shugden about NKT as recently as the late 1990s). We also know that the Ohio non-NKT Shugden centres rely on the "Buddha speech"of the Shugden oracle for all major decisions (see their website).

However, the people who you claim to be trying to help do believe in these oracles, and that what the mediums say is the speech of an enlightened Buddha. Due to this "holy speech"of Shugden, many have engages in sectarian actions,.

Now some may argue that other Tibetans also rely on oracles, but these oracles have never been considered to channel "Buddhas", only oath bound protector deities. So, one can see this very important distinction means that these oracles are not considered infallible, whereas the Shugden oracle is.

It therefore doesn't take a PhD in BUddhist history to realize the tremendous problems Shugden presents for the authenticity of the Buddhist pantheon, not to mention taking into account the history of sectarianism associated with it.

Dorje's picture

Nice one, Kagyupa. I dare say the NKT won't get it though.

SeekingClarity's picture

Dorje and Rodney

On e-Sangha, Namdrol writes (#116)

As someone trained in the Sakya order - I can guarantee you that Shugden was never regarded as being anything more than a minor worldly protector placed in the retinue of Caturmukha Mahakala (my emphasis).

On Usenet (#117), Jeff Watt is quoted as saying

Shugden is completely a worldly deity. I have never seen any text or heard of any oral commentary coming from a Sakyapa Lama, living or dead, past or present, that states anything other than the worldly nature of Shugden. In particular, he is not regarded by Sakyapas as an emanation of Manjushri or of Yamantaka (my emphasis).

However, “never” does appear to be a bit strong. As Rodney notes (#1510), in Sachen Kunlo’s autobiography, he refers to DS as “the Great Compassionate One himself”. Thus it seems that the 31st Sakya Throneholder regarded DS as enlightened.

BTW, Rodney, what year was Sachen Kunlo’s autobiography?

According to Rabten’s post on Usenet (#4), in the autobiography of the 38th Sakya Throneholder, Tragshu Cholu Rinchen, he states

And the reason for that is, because he is the emanation of Gyalchen. Because he is the emanation of Gyalchen, he is Avalokiteshvara.

Jeff Watt’s response (#19) is interesting.

Later, Sakya Trizin Trakshu Thinley Rinchen (1871-1936) in his personal diaries written on scraps of paper starting from the age of 8 years records all his thoughts, dreams and miscellaneous experiences. After his passing these were collected and added to his biography. In these diaries, amongst many other topics, he muses over the nature of Shugden and the relationship between Shugden, his father (S.T. Kunga Nyingpo) and his grand-father (S.T. Tashi Rinchen) of whom Trakshu Thinley Rinchen was the incarnation. These are regarded as an interesting curiosity within the Drolma Podrang of the Khon family as well as being their personal family business.

As Rodney points out in #1607, Jeff Watt certainly doesn’t deny that Tragshu Cholu Rinchen held DS to be Avalokiteshvara! So it does seem to be the case that some Sakyas have regarded DS as enlightened. Dorje (#1600) comments that

The Sakya position has always been that this protector is a minor worldly spirit. This only changes when it is used by Sachen Kunlo to justify his own exalted status as a tulku with Indian origins. This claim is based on nothing but a Nyingma terma that the Nyingmapas don’t even give the importance to place in their own collection of tantras.

This rather implies that there was some serious politics going on at the time of Sachen Kunlo. Dorje, can you elaborate on this?

Sachen Kunlo’s dates were 1729-1783. Morchen Kunga Lhundrup’s dates were 1654-1726. Thus if Morchen held DS to be enlightened, Sachen Kunlo would not, as Dorje suggests, be the first to hold this view. However, I am unclear whether Rodney is suggesting this was Morchen’s view. Rodney writes in #1510

Also, related is that in historical terms Morchen Dorje Chang, according to his autobiography, entrusted Shugden earlier (1718) than Sakya Throne Holder Sonam Rinchen.

And in #1553 he writes

About Morchen Dorje Chang and earlier Sakyas, there appears to be no initiation in that lineage, perhaps only a lung here and there for various rituals (ie. rgyal gsol log ‘dren tshar gcod which Sachen Kunlo got from his father). Sonam Rinchen had the vision of Shugden riding the horse, while Morchen was the first to enumerate the 5 emanations of Shugden, which can be found in his ritual used at Trode Khangsar (rdo rje shugs ldan rtsal gyi gsol kha ‘phrin las ‘dod ‘jo). Morchen’s autobiography mentions he visited Trode Khangsar (page 598) so there is no doubt it existed at his time, although there is not much detail mentioned. Sachen Kunlo got Shugden riding the horse form from his father, and in the colophon of his wrathful torma much detail is mentioned about how this all came about. He mentions Morchen enumerated the five forms.

Rodney, does any of this imply that Morchen held DS to be enlightened? What do you mean when you say Morchen “entrusted” DS? From what you say about Morchen it does not seem that Dhongthog is incorrect when in The Earth Shaking Thunder he writes (p18)

Moreover, from his own subjective viewpoint, Phawong Khapa also introduced elaborations of Shugden such as, peaceful and wrathful forms, five-family forms, and sadhanas composed in the categories of outer, inner and secret (my emphasis).

For fuller quote see #1475.

Lineageholder's picture

Dear Dorje,

As I said, those were the facts. It's the chronology of what happened. This present dispute is the result of the Dalai Lama's views and actions.

This practice would never be acceptible in any Buddhist monastery, no matter who the Dalai Lama was or what he said about it.

It was acceptable to Kelsang Thubten Jigme Gyatso 1743-1811 (a tutor to the 9th Dalai Lama), Losang Thubten Wangchuk Jigme Gyatso 1775 – 1813 (head of the Gelugpa in Mongolia), Ngulchu Dharmabadra, the Indian master Shakya Shri Bhadra, the 11th Dalai Lama 1838 - 1856 (who installed Dorje Shugden as the Protector of the Gelugpa tradition), Gyara Tulku Rinpoche, Tomo Geshe Rinpoche (regarded by the 13th Dalai Lama as an emanation of Je Tsongkhapa), Serkong Rinpoche (regarded by the 13th Dalai Lama as Vajradhara),Tagpo Kelsang Khedrub Rinpoche, Pabongkha Rinpoche, Trijang Rinpoche, Ling Rinpoche, Khangsar Rinpoche, Tathag Rinpoche (in charge of the Tibetan Government after the death of the 13th Dalai Lama), Zong Rinpoche, Lobsang Tamdin, Ribur Rinpoche, Khen Rinpoche Losang Tharchin, Lati Rinpoche, Geshe Rabten, Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey, Khensur Rinpoche, Khechog Rinpoche, Dagyab Rinpoche, Gelek Rinpoche, Lama Yeshe, Lama Zopa Rinpoche (until he followed the Dalai Lama's 'advice' ) Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Yongyal Rinpoche, the 14th Dalai Lama (until he was in his forties), Dagom Rinpoche, Gonsar Rinpoche, Gangchen Rinpoche and countless others, but I suppose you know better and all these great Lama were wrong and unrealized?

Dorje's picture

Sorry, em, but I still think your point 4 is bs. It presuposes that inclusivism, in the sense of including other traditions in one's practice is bad for no reason. This is what happens when logic loses touch with actual reality.

The model you have is fair enough, but you employ it far too narrowly. I think we could say that if one extreme is sticking rigidly to one lama's interpretation of the Dharma whilst disparaging others, the other extreme is attempting to adopt all other religious and philosophical traditions indescriminately, Buddhist and non-Buddhist, much as some "New Age" practitioners might.

To say the opposite extreme of sectarianism is just to take teachings from other Mahayana Buddhist traditions is a bit odd. We can see the harm sectarianism does in the world. People were murdered, monasteries were forcibly coverted, images and texts were destroyed and many people suffered due to Phabongkhapa's sectarianism. To say that a person taking Mahayana Buddhist teachings from more than one lama is in any way equitable, is confused, isn't it?

The reason sectarianism is an extreme is ultimately because it lacks compassion and wisdom. The wisdom is that all Buddha's teachings are complimentary, especially at their highest levels. The assumption that your argument is based on is that the Buddha's teachings are in some way incompatible with each other. This is a false view.

In the snow ranges of Tibet,
Owing to the kindness of sublime beings of the past,
Many profound teachings were taught.

These days most practitioners
Hold the various teachings to be contradictory
Like heat and cold.
They praise some teachings and disparage others.

Some holy beings have said that
Madhyamika, Mahamudra and Mahasandhi
Are like sugar, molasses and honey:
One is as good as the other.
For this reason, I have listened to
And reflected on all of them without partiality.

Sectarian practitioners with aversion and attachment,
Please don't reprimand me.

When the immaculate white snow mountain
Of Madhayamika, Mahamudra and Mahasandhi
Is bathed in the sunlight of pure perception,
The stream of blessings will certainly flow.

-Shabkar Tsogdruk Rangdrol

The various doctrinal views found in the provinces of U, Tsang and Ngari
Are all the very teaching of the Victorious One.
How fine if, not allowing the demon of sectarianism to ignite animosity,
The radiance of the jewel of pure perception would encompass all.

- Panchen Lobsang Yeshe

Although many different names have been given-
Great Perfection (Dzogchen), Great Seal (Mahamudra) and Great Madhyamaka,
Path and Fruit, Object of Cutting, and Pacification -
When they are investigated by a Yogin
Who has cultivated them experientially,
He arrives at just one intention.

- Panchen Lobsang Chokyi Gyaltsen

Lineageholder's picture

Dear Tenzin P,

Yeah, right, more 'neutral' stuff from academics? Nope. More propaganda from the Tibetan Government in Exile. Anything from Dharamsala can be throughly rejected.

Tenzin Peljor's picture

Dear "Lineageholder",

Of course it is said that in general Buddhist refuge protects from harm, but does this mean if you take refuge you are protected from being tortured, abused or to become a victim of a fraud? How literal do you take the texts? Do you think you have more knowledge and understanding than Tai Situ Rinpoche or the Dalai Lama?

It is true that I didn't meet Tai Situ Rinpoche, but I have asked different Rinpoches from the Kagyue tradition who exactly said this, not only this, they give their followers the strong recommendation to remove all books and material from Geshe Kelsang Gyatso and NKT from their flat, because it creates hindrances for their spiritual practice and life.

There are reasons why the Vajrayana has vows to avoid at all costs to have contact with negative companions who have broken their vows. It is said, for those seeking realisations, you should not even come into their shadow.

This you can find similar advice also in the Sutra stated by the Buddha himself:

Do not devote yourself
To bad companions and wicked beings.
Devote yourself to holy people,
And to spiritual friends.

By devotion to people like that
You will do goodness, not wrong.

By devotion to faithful and wise people
Who have heard much and pondered many things,
By heeding their fine words, even from afar,
Their special qualities are attained here.

When one does no wrong yet
Is devoted to evil people,
One will still be abused,
For others suppose that this one too is bad.

The devotee acquires the same faults
As the person not worthy of devotion,
Like an untainted arrow smeared
With the poison of a tainted sheath.

Steadfast ones who fear the taint of faults,
Do not befriend bad people.
By close reliance and devotion
To one's companion,
Soon one becomes just like
The object of one's devotion.

The censure of the wise
Is far preferable
To the eulogy or praise
Of the infant.

Devotion to infants brings misery.
Since they are like one's foe,
It is best to never see or hear
Or have devotion for such people.

If there would be no danger with negative companions and negative forces (Mara or Demons) why the Buddha has taught about this? If refuge is sufficient he should have taught 'just take refuge than all things will be solved', but he didn't. Buddhism, the teachings of the Buddha, are far more complex, than Geshe Kelsang teaches to his devotees.

You spin the facts, when you claim I would believe my sources without question. This is just your assumption. What do you know?

Do you know how much good experience cult members had with Shoko Asharas or the Guru from the Jonestown? They had a lot of good experience with their gurus, so much that some of them even clung to them even after they recognized how crazy and mental sick their gurus were. It could be good to read some cult literature - especially Lifton. If you are subscribed to Tricycle-online you can read the interview Shainberg/Lifton: - this could be very helpful.

If you wish to check, you need an open, unbiased mind and intelligence. This is what Je Tsongkhapa said. If you are bound by being partisan or lack of discriminating intelligence, you can recognize nothing but the wrong, you can not even recognize your own bias, pride and presumptions.

So CHECK CHECK CHECK - yes! - but also acquire beforehand the qualities to be able to check. Sadly this teaching by Aryadeva/Chandrakriti/Tsongkhapa about the three defining characteristics a Mahayana student should possess is not taught by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.

BTW, I just recognized this peak of confusion by one of NKT's blogs:

"Evidence of Deception: In the Dalai Lama’s Own Words"

Maybe a sign of the degenerate times is that the wise are perceived by the infants as childish and the childish are perceived by the infants as wise?

For the quote about the three defining characteristics a Mahayana adept should have see:

it's somewhere in the middle after I quoted Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.

Keep your chins up, t

Friendoftruth's picture

Dear Space,

There is a Mexican saying: "Hot pepper in the other person's eye doesn't hurt".

You are probably young and inexperienced, and hopefully quite at ease in life. You still don't know the true suffering of suffering. When it will come, and it will come, such is the nature of things in this world, may be then you will learn to respect the pain of others.

The Draft Constitution information it's just an objective example of the political persecution. A civil rights transgression.

The religious part and the human side of this tragedy you don't understand. Enjoy your beatific ignorance, it will pass.

dougal's picture

i'd choose one Thomas Canada over a hundred of your political lamas and rinpoches.

he has a good heart and he tries sincerely to practise Dharma (and no, he's not NKT).

them? not so much, apparently...

NKT Insider's picture

Whilst I agree with Gary Beesley's sentiments about disengaging from 'the fight against the claw of DS and the NKT' my fear is that the NKT will continue their global missionary zeal to dominate Buddhism in the west and with the help of the China rewrite history in the east.

Whether one believes in the esoteric power of spirit worship or not (and as a Buddhist I do) the worldly power (financial muscle) of the NKT is undeniable - and I believe there is a strong connection between the two.

Take a look at the following link - It is my personal believe that the sentiment of this video is core to the ideology of the NKT from top to bottom. NKT people may feel this is an altruistic intention and a fulfilment of their Bodhisattva vows but I feel it is mixing Buddhism with western style evangelism and is totally alien to the concept of Buddhism as a personal philosophy. I speak as a former teacher in the NKT for 8 years who practised Dogyal.

For effect II will not explain the origins of the video just yet because I feel this is separate from the essential point I am trying to make. It's not difficult to work it out.

Lineageholder's picture

Hi Gyalpo,

Firstly, your quote is misattributed: it's not from Nagarjuna, it's actually from Chandrakirti's 'Guide to the Middle Way', U ma la jug pa.

I'm sure that great Lineage Gurus such as Nagarjuna and Chandrakirti would be appalled by your misuse of this precious text which was written by Chandrakirti with the sole intention to liberate us from samsara by helping us to realize emptiness, not to justify the worldly politics of the Tibetan Government in Exile, which, unlike the Middle Way, is logically and morally unjustifiable.

Dorje's picture

I should also point out that Kelsang has blatantly lied about his protector practice saying that the sectarianism involved in it only became a problem after the Dalai Lama made an issue of it. The fact that Kelsang won't admit is that this sectarian protector has been controversial since way before the Dalai Lama ever spoke out against it.

The Dalai Lama now accepts the long standing criticisms of this protector cult and has acted to remove its worship from his tradition and those monasteries that fall under the Ganden Phodrang. This move has been needed to tackle the sectarianism that has cast a long shadow over Tibetan religious life, not, as Kelsang claims, to 'merge' all Tibetan Buddhist traditions. Kelsang knows this. That he dishonestly teaches his naive western cult members something that he knows not to be true is a testimant to his lack of integrity.

If anyone wishes to find out more about the abusive and exploitative actions of the NKT, please watch the BBC documentary “An Unholy Row” found on the following website:

Kagyupa's picture

Because of emptiness, don't you understand that it only matters what is imputed based on those monk's robes? They have shaved heads, and wear maroon, and have Tibetan names...and so if we impute "gelong" onto them, no problem, right?

Lineageholder's picture

Dear Dorje and TP,

Well, I can see that my last post got you upset! I'm sorry about that, I didn't mean to imply that Tibetan Buddhism has degenerated because I don't know, but if you are saying, Dorje, that is is concerned with worldly things and politics this is the only inevitable conclusion.

As you know, the eight worldly concerns are abandoned through meditation on death and impermanence. As the great Teacher Atisha used to say to his disciples:

Give up on this life!

I completely disagree with Dorje when he says:

The fact is, Buddhism, in its interactions with ‘the world’ (as if it was somehow separate from the world) has always engaged in political and worldly actions to some degree. You don’t get rich sponsors like Anathapindika or Dharma Kings like Ashoka without.

Buddha was not in the least bit worldly and never engaged in worldly or political actions, that is, actions motivated by the eight worldly concerns. I can only assume that we have a different understanding of the words "worldly actions", but that's what I mean.

You correct way to get rich sponsors is by teaching the pure Buddhadharma with an unselfish motivation (compassion or bodhichitta). People with resources then receive those teachings, develop a pure motivation, see the value of Dharma and want to support your activities to benefit others.

The incorrect way to get rich sponsors is touting for some kind of 'business deal' motivated by worldly concerns, using the Dharma as a mere commodity with a 'I'll help you if you help me" mentality.

I assume that's not what you meant, Dorje?

Dorje's picture

"These are the facts"

The controversial protector worship includes teachings that say all other traditions lead to hell. It praises this protector for killing specific sentient beings for not adopting sectarian exclusivism or harming them so that their future lives bear no positive result.

This practice would never be acceptible in any Buddhist monastery, no matter who the Dalai Lama was or what he said about it.

Tenzin Peljor's picture

Dear em,
i gave some quick thoughts which came to my mind while glancing the thread. These thoughts mainly express my present understanding. To refine or to correct it is a good opportunity, so thank you for the challenge.

I try to examine this a bit without having much a certain favourable view at the moment.

You asked different times to reply to point 4 when I've understood it right, haven't I?

"4. In terms of non-sectarianism, Buddhism posits a middle way between the extremes of sectarianism and eclecticism. To maintain the middle way and not fall into one of these extremes, we need both inclusivism and exclusivism together."

The non-sectarian ri-me approach is according to my teacher, to be firmly based in one tradition but to be open to learn from other traditions the Dharma as well. This includes to learn from the wisdom of someone on the street or a child as well.

Maybe this already agrees with you position "we need both inclusivism and exclusivism together."?

Probably it would be good to investigate the understanding of the Rime approach*:

for an explanation of the ri-me approach see:

or video:

* It is wrong what WSS claims that Rime would be a separate Buddhist tradition, it is an approach.

SeekingClarity's picture


In #866 you say

I think sectarianism is belief that other traditions are inferior AND then acting on that belief to suppress these traditions.

Now you seem to be saying that simply to believe other traditions to be inferior is enough to consitute sectarianism. But this would surely mean that as Gorampa believed Je Tsongkhapa's view of the two truths to be inferior to his own, he was being sectarian?

Lineageholder's picture

Dear Tenzin,

Do you even know what Buddhist Refuge is and what benefits it confers? You make me wonder sometimes. I know these are degenerate times, but hey, come on! Anyone who goes for refuge doesn't need to fear so Tai Situ's comment is hilarious, as I said.

Actually for 'hilarious' read 'absurd'.

What does Tai Situ or any other Master of another Buddhist tradition know about the Gelugpas or Dorje Shugden? You amaze me - you won't believe the words of your Guru, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, but you believe someone you probably haven't even met just because of their status. I'm speechless. Did Buddha teach his followers to be so gullible? I think not!

Also, you seem to believe any utterance by a Tibetologist or academic without question. What makes them right? I don't care if anyone is 'Dr' this or 'Professor' that, you need to check. How much do they know, but more importantly, how much do they experience? Only Buddha doesn't make mistakes and what did he teach, even about his own infallible teaching? CHECK CHECK CHECK!

namkhah's picture

Friendoftruth: Do you know the annual salary range of these TGIE 'public offices'? It is probably less than you get in a month, maybe even weekly. The vicarious anguish you feel from your upholstered western seat is misplaced. All these socalled reports from foreigners are highly overblown, its a sort of compassion imperialism you are preaching after having cherry picked the bits of tibetan culture you like.

namkhah's picture

So, who do you have? Thom Canada, Nga Lama Kundeling, Gangchen and K. Gyatso...that's the best the pure lineage you can manage?

Namkhah's picture

Thank you for posting the above, the misinformation and ethnocentric hate campaign of NKT/WSS will end badly for the cult, of this there is no doubt. It is hoped that young people in the west will seek answers to their philosophical questions elsewhere and abandon the Nasty Kedampas forever.

Gyalpo's picture

Dear WSS: Here is a quote from Nagarjuna:


The analyses in this treatise are not given
Out of an excessive fondness for debate.
It is not our fault if, in the course of this teaching,
Other philosophical systems come to be destroyed.

–Introduction to the Middle Way, VI, 118

Dorje's picture

The NKT regard Kelsang Gyatso as some kind of idealistic Shangri-la spiritual pin up because that’s how he’s painted himself. In fact is he’s a politician and dictator who oppresses others’ religious freedoms but the NKT either can’t or doesn’t want to accept the evidence for this; that’s irresponsible denial.

I can understand why they don’t want to accept it. Everyone needs hope but regardless of how much they want to cling onto their idealistic fantasy about Kelsang, time will change their view. It’s already been shown that he lied about his heart-sons' sexual abuse of their assistants.

Dorje's picture

"No one is shouting at a ‘Gelong’ "

Yes there are. People fraudulently dressed as monastic sangha are shouting at a gelong. If you hold the vows of the vinaya you follow the vinaya. If you don't, you don't. It's pretty simple really.

Previously you said the vinaya that the Buddha devised is no loonger appropriate for the modern western world. Why on earth do you imagine dressing in Tibetan monks robes, shaving the head and changing your name to a Tibetan name is in any way appropriate to the modern western world? You're just keeping the appearance and discarding the content.

Tenzin Peljor's picture

The accusation of others (the whole of Tibetan Buddhism) of having worldly and political motivations and abusing Buddha's teaching for samsaric goals as NKT / some NKT members issue it directly or indirectly, while NKT emphasize at the same time the own purity of motivation and practice is nothing else than rhetorical politics or a boosting of the ego. It serves to keep members within the group and to sever them from Tibetan Buddhism, the Sangha and the masters of Buddhism - who are all no members of NKT nor affiliated with NKT.

Every good cult follows this pattern: the inner organisation's world and the own leader are pure, clean and supreme - beyond any doubt - the outer organisation's world and the outer leaders are degenerated, impure, unclean and dangerous - they should be doubted. Moreover the outer world and what they say about the own leader and his organisation is a threat to the group and peace in general and confirms only how degenerated the outer world is and how right the own group and its leader is...self-centred, self-circling, and self-righteous patterns as far as the eye can see.

Because NKT is so keen to announce them as pure Dharma practitioners they should be measured with it: Dharma practice does not include to accuse others of assumed impure motivations, but to recognize the own impure motivations and to correct them or to make them known - like the Kadampa master Geshe Ben Gungyal announced himself in public to be a thief when he recognized that he was in the process of stealing of what was not given.

With such a Dharma attitude the self-destructive NKT/WSS campaign would collapse. The banners and transparents can be used or recycled for NKT's own situation: 'Please Geshe-la give us religious freedom', 'Stop NKT hypocrisy', 'stop lying', 'stop abuse within NKT', 'don't oppress us to venerate the Dalai Lama', 'don't sever us from the holy masters of Buddhism'....

Just like the Kadampa master Atisha said:

"Since all the happiness and suffering of this life arise from previous actions, do not blame others."

"Do not look for faults in others, but look for faults in yourself, and purge them like bad blood."

"Do not contemplate your own good qualities, but contemplate the good qualities of others, and respect everyone as a servant would."

So, now please NKT leadership and devoted members since you are the last remaining upholders of the Kadampa school and Tibetan Buddhism is so much degenerated, please follow the examples of the Kadampa masters and do not pervert what they said and practised.

To put it in the common WSS phrasing and to relate it with the Modern Day Kadampas brochure of NKT's official website:

"If you, NKT, are not yourself lying, then you must show your evidence to prove your public statements: that you are pure Kadampas, who "were not only great scholars but also spiritual practitioners of immense purity and sincerity" and that you do not create "problems due to the mixing of Dharma and politics, using the holy Dharma of Buddha’s teachings for political aims." You should show your evidence publicly through the internet before 25th February 2009. If your evidence does not appear by this date then we will conclude that you have lied publicly and are misleading people. We will conclude that you do not follow what you preach, that you violate the purpose of NKT and are hypocrites. We will conclude that, you "do not cultivate and maintain a good relationships with others. You have no inner peace and no chance to gain pure happiness. Without inner peace, outer peace is impossible. If your mind is not peaceful then even if you have ideal conditions, you find that you are not happy. On the other hand when you experience peaceful states of mind, you can be happy even if our external conditions are bad. Therefore, the development of these qualities is of the utmost importance for your daily happiness, and for our society in general."

Lineageholder's picture

Dear Harry,

These are the facts, what has actually happened:

1. The Dalai Lama introduced an institutional ban of Dorje Shugden in 1996

2. There was an enforced signature campaign to make people comply

3. The Shugden Supporters Community engaged in demonstration against
the Dalai Lama to try to overturn the ban. It didn't work

4. The Dalai Lama and his supporters vilified NKT and Geshe Kelsang because of his opposition. in 1998, SSC stopped their activities.

5. The Shugden Society was formed in India for those who refused to give up their practice. They too demonstrated, to no avail.

6. Everything went quiet for a while, although there was still persecution of Shugden practitioners in India.

7. January 2008 - the Dalai Lama visited the monasteries in Southern India and re-ignited the sectarian division between Shugdens and non-Shugdens because no one was listening to his ban. He instituted a completely undemocratic referendum which could only have one result - support for the ban once again. The enforced signature campaign began again, but this time in the wider Tibetan communities in the West as well,and this time foreswearing having any contact or giving support to Shugden practitioners. Families were split.

8. Shugden monks were expelled from their monasteries by the Abbots, which the Dalai Lama praised them for.

9. Some Shugden monks remained in their monasteries,but segregated from the rest of the community, living in fear of expulsion

10. These monks were denied essential amenities such as being able to go into certain shops, receiving medical care and travel visas

11. The Western Shugden Society was formed and sent letters and emails to the Dalai Lama and each member of the TGIE requesting the Dalai Lama to reinstate the monks, otherwise there would be worldwide demonstrations. No reply was received.

12 Demonstrations were carried out by WSS, which includes Tibetans, in the USA, Australia, Germany, UK and France.

The reasons why the Dalai Lama instituted this ban in the first place are debatable, but it was his action that initiated all of this. If you look through the chronology, you'll see that the formation of the SSC and the WSS was a reaction against the Dalai Lama's draconian actions. Of course there is karma, of course this is happening because we all created the cause, but the Dalai Lama's actions have initiated this whole situation, undeniably.

Who else's responsibility is it? Everything that has happened has been a response to his actions. That is black and white.

From this, I do understand what the WSS is doing - standing up for religious freedom and against ostracism.

Tenzin Peljor's picture

I agree very much with Dorje in # 1140 - #1142

“Is my understanding that everything and anything can be taken to an extreme (even non-attachment and emptiness)?”

I have a problem with this position, to be completely non-attached is according to Buddhism no extreme, this is wisdom which liberates the mind and understands the nature of samsaric appearances. With this kind of argumentation we could also argue Bodhicitta can be taken to an extreme or as you say emptiness. However an extreme view is a view which is unrealistic or does not accord with reality. Emptiness and Bodhicitta accord with reality and are realistic. How can they be taken to an extreme?

They can be extremely misinterpreted, misrepresented or a misunderstanding can be applied in an extreme way or an extreme self-grasping mind may abuse the conception of them to ornament the own ego while having no real insight in them.

If you look in the Jatakamala you can see that the Bodhisattva’s approach to generosity was perceived by his fellows to be an extreme, but from the pov of Bodhicitta it was no extreme.

The difficulty with labelling of ‘extreme’ and ‘middle way’ I think is, that this has to been done in a relative conventional world and the imputation is much based on one’s own understanding of reality or the Dharma. There is also no absolute middle way or absolute extreme, though middle ways and extremes exist, relative in dependence on other phenomena.

With respect to exclusivism and inclusivism I wrote this recently to someone in an email:

In general for me it is quite the same from the doctrinal pov, eclectic or rather exclusive approach, I think both work and both have their limitations. If an approach is rather constructive or destructive depends probably on more factors. An eclectic approach may be so open that people get lost, an exclusive approach so focused that people get narrow minded. […] (I do not believe that the problems which some see in both organisations are so much based on the approach, rather on other factors.)

The doctrinal approach a group follows may be a result of other group related factors which, as far as I can see in these cases, are based mainly on the background and history of the group, and especially the leader’s own understanding and approach, and their own personal history. So, for me, the doctrinal approach of both groups boil down to the personal approaches of Shantarakshita and Geshe Kelsang Gyatso respectively, their biographies, which form the basis of their teachings, their policies, and finally the group’s understanding and which approach they finally follow.

To say it frank in the case of NKT: GKG’s views on himself, his role in the West, the Gelugpas/Dalai Lama (‘mixing Dharma with politics’), as well as his education background of being related mainly with very conservative Gelug lamas, form the basis of his understanding, this he has put into the policies the NKT is now following, and the approach they prefer.

My point is, I think there is no problem to follow exclusive one tradition if one is aware of avoiding sectarianism. The problem is if one does not know other traditions (as LH has openly admitted), and experience is only based on one’s own tradition the likelihood that sectarianism develops is quite high.

With respect to NKT’s approach and the quote em gave of GKG, the words of GKG sounds always very nice but one has really to check what really is the understanding, the actions and the actual practice.

In that context it should be noted that NKT is not exclusive focusing on one tradition (Gelugpa / Je Tsongkhpa or Kadampa / Atisha), they exclusive focus on one teacher, GKG, and only his books and only his teachings, his centers, his policies, this decisions etc. The teachings of NKT are highly selective. This is clearly an extreme relative to the Indian-Tibetan Buddhist approach, including Je Tsongkhapa, Atisha and all the Gelug masters - including Pabongkha Rinpoche and Trijang Rinpoche, because not even the latter two expected disciples should only study their texts. If one asks why they do this, a correct answer would be:
- because they see GKG as an unfailing omniscient Buddha
- -> therefore his works are unfailing, the scriptures of a Buddha
- -> his views, judgement, policies and leadership is unfailing
- they see these books as presenting the complete entire path to enlightenment
- -> therefore nothing more than reliance on GKG, his books and his NKT is needed to reach quickly enlightenment
- the times are very degenerated, NKT has the pure path, the outer NKT world is quite degenerated
- -> therefore there is no need to receive Dharma outside of NKT context and to 'mix' it with NKT's 'pure path' and thereby destroying its 'essential purity' and 'harming all sentient beings'

These are the main beliefs of NKT promoted by GKG, his successors, close students and his exclusive publisher Tharpa.

The pride, attachment, sectarianism and hostility deriving from these views and the setting of NKT is really rather something hidden, only recognizable by open introspection or by examining and judging the present WSS activities carefully.

With respect to a non-sectarian open approach Jamgong Kongtrul also warned:

»The scholars and siddhas of the various schools make their own individual presentations of the dharma. Each one is full of strong points and supported by valid reasoning. If you are well grounded in the presentations of your own tradition, then it is unnecessary to be sectarian. But if you get mixed up about the various tenets and the terminology, then you lack even a foothold in your own tradition. You try to use someone else's system to support your understanding, and then get all tangled up, like a bad weaver, concerning the view, meditation, conduct, and result. Unless you have certainty in your own system, you cannot use reasoning to support your scriptures, and you cannot challenge the assertions of others. You become a laughing stock in the eyes of the learned ones. It would be much better to possess a clear understanding of your own tradition.
In summary, one must see all the teachings as without contradiction, and consider all the scriptures as instructions. This will cause the root of sectarianism and prejudice to dry up, and give you a firm foundation in the Buddhas teachings. At that point, hundreds of doors to the eighty-four thousand teachings of the dharma will simultaneously be open to you.«

on the other hand he said:

»Just as a king overpowered by self-interest
Is not worthy of being the protector of the kingdom,
A sectarian person is not worthy of being a holder of the dharma.
Not only that, he is unworthy of upholding even his own tradition.«

»The noble ones share a single ultimate view,
But arrogant ones bend that to their own interests.
Those who show all the teachings of the Buddha as without
contradiction can be considered learned people. But who would be
foolish enough to think that those who cause
discord are holders of the dharma?«

So, I think probably there have to be applied more differentiation or analysis to examine these issues more deeply.

Dorje's picture

"Presumably, you don’t hold Pabongka’s view per se to constitute sectarianim?"

I do. They are. And he acted on them.

Tenzin Peljor's picture

Yes I have evidence:

- 1st this is one of the foremost masters of Kagyue school and this is clearly what he says (or are only Geshe Kelsang Gyatso's pov true?),
- secondly this view has been repeatedly reported to me by different Kagyuepa masters,
- thirdly it was confirmed in a personal communication with a Tibetologist of the University of Hamburg,
- fourthly, also Mumford states: Dorje Shugden is "extremely popular, but held in awe and feared among Tibetans because he is highly punitive.” Mumford 1989:125-126.

I think your statements are hilarious, because you believe only your self-published sources or your Guru, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Of course he does not tell this his followers...

You suggest that all the genuine Tibetan Buddhist masters and Tibetan Buddhist are the blind slaves of HHDL or somewhat irrational? I think you do this because this is the situation within NKT, isn't it?

So what is "true"what is "projection" what is " hilarious"?

Friendoftruth's picture

I would like to enter this lengthty discussion just to recall some simple facts.

Since March 1996 there is a political/religious ban against a Deity and against its practitioners.
The Draft Constitution of Tibet, supposedly for a future democratic Tibet, was changed in order to ban the Gelugpas practicing Dorje Shugden from public offices.
Tibetan families and Tibetan monks around the world are being demanded from the Tibetan organizations following the injonctions of the Dalai Lama and the TGIE to take an oath against the Deity in front of other deities and to swear that they are not going to have any human relation whatsoever with the practitioners.The repercussions of this segregation in the daily lives of people that are utterly dependent on their community are difficult to describe -and to imagine too, unless you are Tibetan.

This simple list contains just words. These words have been repeated in so many blogs around the world that they might not be rendering any more the sound of suffering, the anguish of the ostracized, that they should, instead, convey.

The Dalai Lama has been inflicting immeasurable pain in his own people and also in many like myself, a non Tibetan practitioner, that love him dearly and are crushed by his actions.

I sincerely do not think it's proper to back the Dalai Lama in his wrong behaviour. If the Guru-disciple relationship makes you incapable of condemning his actions then it would be decent to just keep quiet. I'm not even talking about Buddhist behaviour, just plain human decency, a minimum or respect for those suffering from the Dalai Lama's actions.

I suggest that we all sincerely pray and dedicate our merit -also- for the end of this sad tale, this religious tragedy.

Best to all.

Tenzin Peljor's picture

When a group of some people attacks a government and their representatives, I think this has to put into perspective. Why are these few radical people given so much weight?

That's why I suggest the statements of the The Tibetan Administration on Controversy Surrounding Dorjee Shugden Practice:

and neutral sources e.g.: Tibetan Religion and Politics by Samten G. Karmay, Director of Research emeritus, National Centre of Scientific Research (CNRS), Paris:

Gyalpo Nyi's picture

I received the following letter with the request to post it on this blog.

Dear xxxxxx

Thank you so much for your kind letter and expression of concern for my family and myself. I must say, the last few months have been trying and the knowledge that others are praying for our well being certainly does help lighten the load considerably.

As to why I found it necessary to withdraw the book, believe me, it was not an easy decision, particularly after the significant amount of time, research and funds I put into the book. ‘Cuckoo’ was three years in the writing, researching and legal scrutiny, and it was not very easy to abandon the project after having learned so much about the history of the deity, and the nature of the NKT.

My principle reasons for withdrawing the book were financial and, more importantly, the effects the impending publication began to have on my wife.I will explain these after outlining the financial constraints of the situation.

I was somewhat surprised at the widespread attempts across the web to suggest that the book had been withdrawn for the reason that it contained libelous untruths. I thought the letter I posted on the web via Dialogue Ireland WordPress made it quite clear that the reason I had withdrawn the book was because, despite the fact that all the information in the book was evidenced and already in the public domain, I came to the conclusion that I could not match the legal costs of a libel case, in particular because the NKT have, in the past chosen Schillings, amongst the UKs most costly and libel law firms, a partnership with a reputation in legal circles of unremitting ruthlessness, to act on their behalf.

As you know, England itself has a notorious reputation in international legal circles because of the huge imbalances in its archaic libel laws. These imbalances facilitate the issue of Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation,(SLAPPs) lawsuits served to intimidate and silence opponents by burdening them with the excessive costs of legal defence so that they withdraw any criticism or opposition. This was the background to the famous Mclibel case in 1994 where two individuals, who could not match the legal might of McDonalds were found guilty of libeling the huge multi-national in a leaflet they published.

In the Mclibel case, it took nearly ten years for the European Court of Human Rights to overturn the ruling on the basis of the fact the couple had been denied their freedom of expression under the European Convention on Human Rights. I do not have the time or funds to engage in such a lengthy and expensive legal battle. Nor, as a Buddhist, do I feel that engagement in such embittered wars of words is befitting of my faith.

The content of the legal threat letters, which I have attached for your own perusal, do however throw up some rather interesting issues; I’ll leave you to read the letters yourself and make your own observations on some of the startling contradictions contained therein.

The second, more sinister reason for the withdrawal of the book was, as I said, the effects that began to manifest through my wife.

About two days after it became public knowledge that ‘A Cuckoo in the Peacock Palace’ was to be published, she began to bleed heavily. At first, we thought this might simply be a period but after day five of continuous heavy blood flow, I began to become more than a little concerned.

The concern increased when, on the morning of day six she awoke to tell me she had had the strangest dream: ” I dreamt I was being strangled by a bearded demonic figure” she told me. “I managed to struggle free and ran out of the house, where I was approached by a kind looking man, who took me by the hand and began to comfort me”. “But, when I looked down”she continued, “I saw that his nails had grown into claws and that the claws were beginning to penetrate my hand”. At that point, she woke up.

I didn’t say anything to her at first, but those who know anything about the experiences of those who have offended Shugden will recognize both of these, the strangling and the claws, as being a clear indication that one has incurred the displeasure of the deity. The strangling dreams have been reported frequently by those who have formerly propitiated, then abandoned the deity and are well documented. The claws are reminiscent of a dream the current Dalai Lama had some years ago in which he says “I dreamt that I was sitting on my bed. Beside my bed was a small boy, about seven or eight years old, whom I took to be Dolgyal. This boy was holding my right hand. When I looked again, I saw that where he held my hand the boy’s fingernails were changing into claws and he was extending them.”

The bleeding continued unabated to the point that I decided to seek urgent medical advice and, within hours of seeing the doctor, my wife was rushed into hospital for emergency transfusions.

They ascertained on arrival, that while the human body ordinarily contains around 5.5 litres of blood, my wife had only around 2.8. She continued to bleed profusely for the next few days, though her symptoms were alleviated somewhat by regular transfusions. She eventually stabilised and the bleeding was stemmed after about a week.Once the bleeding stopped however, my wife had to endure painful and intrusive examinations, initially while conscious. These examinations revealed a small growth in her uterus, which was immediately removed. Fortunately, after making prayers and desisting from further activities in relation to the publication, we have recently learned that the growth was non-malignant.

Of course, some might argue that my wife’s condition was induced by psychosomatic causes, this being a response conditioned by a combination of subliminal fear and a knowledge of the manner in which the wrath of the deity manifests.

However, unlike myself, my wife knew absolutely nothing of the manner in which Shugden’s displeasure manifests; neither is it something that I have ever discussed with her nor is it anything of which she has ever read. Until I finally explained the significance of the dreams, she had no knowledge of, nor interest in such matters and the explanation that there was the possibility that the affliction was the result of my having offended the deity came as a great shock to her.

I’m sure you can see from this why it has been impossible for me to continue with the book; though I would, hopefully, willingly sacrifice my life for the Dharma, it is certainly not appropriate to consider sacrificing that of my wife, the mother of my children. In short, not only was the future livelihood of my family under threat; circumstances appeared to indicate that their very lives might be under threat. I therefore felt it imperative that I withdraw the publication.

Despite the above, there is a definite bright side to all this. Now that I have abandoned work on the project, as well as my wife’s illness subsiding, I have become aware of the great value of remaining totally detached at all levels from the highly politicized internecine disputes that characterize Western Buddhism and instead, focusing on the Dharma itself.

I believe it was Jamgon Kongtrul the Great who observed that any sense of allegiance to a particular school, sect or view is a massive hindrance to the development of one’s own understanding. This allegiance to a particular faction, combined with the cult of personality endemic in Western Buddhist organizations nowadays, is, in my opinion, the basis of all that is wrong with Buddhism in the West in the 21st century.

At least in my own case, these obstacles have presented me with the opportunity to abandon involvement in endless childish games and instead focus on that which is truly meaningful. I only wish that others involved in this unholy row would realize this and stop fighting. Otherwise, it is only matter of time before naive and inexperienced Westerners, many of whom appear to consider themselves great experts in their faith despite having seen only one face of the jewel, destroy the Dharma. It took the Tibetans 1200 years to screw things up; we Westerners seem to have managed the same in less than 40!

With many, many thanks for you concern and good wishes,



2010-05-16 NKT Letter to Gary Beesley
2010-05-14 NKT Letter to Arena Books

Zombie Uprising 2.0's picture

The discussion at this venue is now one year old. By posting photos of 9/11, the Third Reich and so forth online, to bolster your bizarre cult PR campaign as well NKT/WSS' liberal usage of half- baked pseudo-buddhistic jargon regarding shunyata and so forth and misinformed political speculation, NKT/WSS has shot itself in the foot. This is the second time NKT harpies with fictitious names have lost the debate, the first round was in the 90's.
The price of being so consummately disingenuous will be dear for the New Kadampa Tradition, one hopes fatally so for this disgraceful cabala of deluded westerners.

Gyalpo's picture

Personally i am not satisfied that Shugden cultists are innocent of the Dharamsala murders–one would think they would attempt to clear their reputation rather than go on the offensive in such an obnoxious and un-Buddhist fashion.

Dorje's picture

This doesn’t say that the 13th Dalai Lama banned the practice, only that Pabongkhapa was not allowed to say that Dorje Shugden was an enlightened being.
Nobody says that the 13th Dalai Lama banned this practice, only that he restricted it and inparticular told Phabongkhapa not to take refuge in it as it was a worldly protector. Pretty much what Gyatso says and what Rodney denies.

"Any Buddhist refrains from taking refuge in worldly spirits."

You don't.

If he’s not willfully deceiving others about this, then he’s ignorant. I’m not sure which is worse for the most famous Buddhist in the world. In saying this protector is a worldly spirit, he is following the teachings of his lineage lamas. In saying this protector is harmful, he is following the teachings of his lineage lamas. He is either lying or ignorant? Much like Gyatso who either didn't know about the sexual abuse carried out by his closest students (ignorant) or turned a blind eye to it and pretend it didn't happen (lying and negligent.)

Dorje's picture

This is exactly what the NKT tell their followers. Tibetan Buddhism is mixed with politics and worldly motivations and is corrupt and degenerate and no longer a viable path. They spout this while claiming benefits and buying up properties to expand their empire, issuing edicts to cover up for the latest sex scandal involving a senior teacher, and organising political protests again the Dalai Lama. The NKT are even shameless enough to accuse others of hypocrisy.

The fact is, Buddhism, in its interactions with 'the world' (as if it was somehow separate from the world) has always engaged in political and worldly actions to some degree. You don't get rich sponsors like Anathapindika or Dharma Kings like Ashoka without.

harry (gandul)'s picture

I mean, i agree that TP seems to have it in for the NKT and i don't agree with the general view he paints of NKT and GKG.

I just don't understand a lot of what the WSS is doing. They seem to paint quite a black and white picture of the DL, and put the whole blame of this situation onto him.

emptymountains's picture

Dear SC,

I never said that sectarianism and non-sectarianism are not opposites. I just happen to think that eclecticism is another extreme, whic also opposes non-sectarianism. So, I think there are two possible opposites.

Buddha says "neither self nor no-self" and "neither desire nor no-desire." Buddhism identifies a middle way that is not easily expressed in dualistic language. Even formal logic insists on "P or not-P" in its "law of excluded middle."

I want to give you another example. You said previously, "Virtue (good) is the opposite of non-virtue (bad)." However, 'good' in Buddhism entails both wisdom and compassion. If we have only one or the other, this causes harm. For example, compassion without wisdom is called "crazy compassion" or "idiot compassion," so even if you have a compassionate motivation but no skillful means, you can still cause harm. (Do you remember the story of the man who saved the dying fish?) So, this is an example of virtue gone bad(!), just like asecticism and nihilism, which are non-attachment (i.e., renunciation) and emptiness taken to an extreme, respectively.

I mean you no disrespect, but your last two posts prove my point that we need to agree upon our terms via Buddha's tripartite model before moving on. I hope this is not asking too much of you, because if you are a Buddhist, you should already be quite familiar with #'s 1, 2, and 3 above. Then the only question being asked of you at this point is whether #4 is correct. Why should I burden you with more if what I have proposed so far is too big a stretch for you? For example, if someone cannot accept that there is a middle way between an inherently existent self and a totally non-existent self, what more can one say?


SeekingClarity's picture


In #877 you say
Even if you think mixing practices from traditions will ultimately bear no good fruit, then we can say that their practice will not go as well as it would had they just taken Gelug teachings, but since when was not being a very good practitioner punishable by death?

It seems to me that this is to massively underplay how Pabonkga saw it. For him other traditions were, in the words of Chris Rea, the road to hell. As he says

these days the views of all Sakyas, Kagyus, Nyingmas and so on are erroneous. They are not even Svatantra or Cittamatra, let alone the view of Prasanga Madhyamaka – meditating only the nihilist view like tirthikas and Hashang. If one upholds the nihilist view, the result is nothing other than going to Avichi hell.

Given he took this view one would imagine he also held that DS took this view. And if DS takes this view, then actions to prevent thismixing, wrathful if necessary, would logically be the order of the day.

Presumably, you don't hold Pabongka's view per se to constitute sectarianim? It would be, for example, his followers acting on his view to forcibly convert monateries that would constitute sectarianism?

Even if Pabongkas views of the other traditions are not in themselves sectarian, they are pretty jaundiced and it seems to me that this goes to the heart of the matter. It's this jaundiced view that, presumably, serves as a rationale for DS to prevent mixing.

Lineageholder's picture

Dear Tenzin Peljor,

“We Kaygu followers normally do not mention this name without fear. There is no Shugden practitioner among Kagyu followers. The reason why we fear the one I name just now, is because we believe that he causes obstacles to spiritual practice and brings discord in families and among the community of monks.”

Evidence? None. Hilarious! What does anyone under the protective care of the Three Jewels have to fear from an inferior spirit, which is how they regard Dorje Shugden?

Tai Situ's statement about Dorje Shugden definitely applies to the Dalai Lama though! We fear him because he does cause obstacles to spiritual practice (by destroying peace and harmony in the Buddhist community through his sectarian actions) and brings discord in families (by not allowing Shugden and non-Shugden members of a family to have anything to do with each other) and among the community of monks (by demanding segregation, or demanding that Shugden monks be expelled from their monasteries)

The Dalai Lama is provably guilty on all charges whereas Tai Situ's fear is unfounded, unproven and superstitious. If this is what Tai Situ fears, he should fear the Dalai Lama more than Dorje Shugden!

Case dismissed - another example of you blindly following whatever you are told. When are you going to start thinking for yourself?

All Traditions are Rime's picture

"this council, right now, has the power to remove GKG from office asGeneral Spiritual Director of NKT-IKBU if his behaviour were to be found to be harmful to the development of Buddhadharma in this world."

They wouldn't dare, and you know it. We have seen what happens to those who dare to question the actions of Geshe Kelsang:
Letter by Geshe-la to Lucy James:
"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."
Was the committee consulted on this decision according to the NKT-IKBU internatl rules? If Geshe Kelsang asked for a teacher to be removed for questioning his actions, who would dare oppose him?
Guru devotion as taught in many Vajrayana traditions (I won't single out NKT in this) trumps any other sort of rules. In this case, anyone who broke Guru devotion in NKT would be ousted, this is very clear from the actions of your organization.

"NKT students do look at a variety of texts because many texts are quoted in Geshe Kelsang’s books."
Doesn't cut it - Tsongkhapa's books also contain quotes from many masters. His students still studied heaps of other texts. Your assertion does not change the fact that Geshe Kelsang is the first guru to instal a system of complete reliance on his tomes alone as the authority in his organization, in the entire history of Tibetan Buddhism.

"You seem to imply that Geshe Kelsang is on some kind of ego trip. If you met the man, you would realize how wrong you are"
I met him in in the USA in the mid 1990s before this mess. Although I practice mostly Karma Kagyu these days I have read several of his books: Joyful Path, Tantric Grounds and Paths, Understanding the Mind and Guide to Dakini Land.

"he has consistently taught publicly and privately over the years that we need to apply wisdom in our reliance on our Gurus, and to check that their instructions are in accordance with Lord Buddha’s doctrine."
I have attended 5 teaching events over the years with HH Dalai Lama in North America. He says exactly the same thing, and ironically it is this reasoning that he has used in order to explain why he disagrees with Trijang Rinpoche on Shugden.

"Both Geshe Kelsang and the Dalai Lama share the same root Guru but the Dalai Lama rarely mentions him"
To use your reasoning, how many teachigs of HH have you attended? Obvisously none, because he mentiones Trijang Rinpoche, Ling Rinpoche, Dilgo Kyentse Rinpoche and his other teachers with gratitude frequently. I doubt HHDL is the webmaster of his own website anymore than Geshe Kelsang is the webmaster of
"If you say that following the teachings of one person is ‘dangerous’, please give logical reasons why, not simply ‘this hasn’t happened before"
Because when only one person's texts are used as the final authority for all teachings delivered in the temples of a world-wide movement it leads to stagnation and lack of flexibility.

"If Geshe Kelsang’s books perfectly transmit all the stages of the path to enlightenment, why is it not possible to attain enlightenment by relying upon these explanations alone?"
It would be the first time in the history of Tibetan Buddhism. And this statement of yours reveal why I feel his ego is involved here. Where did you learn this statement? Is this how your Geshe trained his students to respond?

"Has any other author compiled all the instructions of Sutra and Tantra that lead to enlightenment before, and presented them in a way that makes them easy to practise? Even the Dalai Lama has not done that."
Obviously you haven't read many of the books by the Dalai Lama and the published works of the Dalai Lama's teachings. They cover everything from the Lojong Teachings to the Guru Puja to Mahamudra to Madhyamika to Generation Stage practice. Do you have any idea how many transcripts and books by the Dalai Lama have been published and what topics they cover? Probably not...


Nice practice of patience with the online "yelling". How many are we talking about? NKT/WSS can't even agree on the numbers.
-First it was 1000 monks in the monasteries.
-But some said 400 had been asked to stay away from the prayers.
-Then it was millions.
How many Tibetans live in India again? How many are Gelugpas? Then it was tens of thousands.... Pick a number and stick with it. The inability of your campaign to do even this reveals your lack of real knowledge about the whole situation.

"you do think, right?"
In turn yelling and making personal attacks. I can see why many on the web say it is pointless to engage with NKT "Dharma Students".

"just in case you’d forgotten what this is about…"

My point is, why doesn't NKT address the very real abuses within its own organization instead of attacking others on a situation it clearly has only shaky facts about. But instead, NKT promotes former sexual harassers to positions of power in this campaign:

Is NKT Going Crazy?
As previously discussed on this web site, NKT/WSS appears to be using a contrived Shugden controversy as a ploy to overthrow The Dalai Lama, either because Gyatso cannot recover from his Dalai Lama envy or because NKT/WSS - as many have reported - is alligned with the Chinese government against The Dalai Lama's leadership of the Tibetan people (the jury is still out about whether NKT and the Chinese government are cooperating in their goals to remove The Dalai Lama).

Kundeling Rinpoche, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit against The Dalai Lama in India (this lawsuit is endorsed by NKT/WSS) stated, “I approve the Chinese presence in Tibet. What we are living with the Dalai Lama today shows how authoritarian his theocratic regime must have been in the past. It was much more violent than what Tibetans are living today under Chinese rule...If we had to live with him (The Dalai Lama), we could have possibly been crucified." The newscast in which Kundeling presented support for China's occupation of and cultural genocide in Tibet also reviewed horrific graphic details of the brutal murders of 3 monks loyal to to The Dalai Lama at the hands of Shugdenites (according to police in India). A 10/2/08 news story reported that Tibet's capital is under heavy security, religious activity had mostly gone underground, and Exile groups say that "patriotic education" in schools and monasteries is requiring Tibetans to reaffirm their loyalty to the state and denounce the Dalai Lama. (for more information on this Shugdenite violence against associates of The Dalai Lama click here)

NKT/WSS has just released a new attack against The Dalai Lama (a month ago, they said he was not a Buddhist; now, they are saying he is not The Dalai Lama).

September 29, 2008, about a month after proclaiming that The Dalai Lama is not a Buddhist, NKT/WSS's headline article claimed that The Dalai Lama (14th and current) was selected as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama based on deceit (the 13th Dalai Lama died in 1933). According to NKT/WSS's latest sorcery, The Dalai Lama is now - all of a sudden - a false Dalai Lama. Just as NKT/WSS twisted history to promote Shugden, it now twists history again to illegitimize The Dalai Lama (paralleling tactics of the Chinese government to end The Dalai Lama's influence over Tibet that a dozen Dalai Lamas have exercised for 400 years).

NKT/WSS claims that Reting Lama, worried about his position in Tibet's government, devised a scheme to select the wrong boy as the reincarnated 13th Dalai Lama in a Muslim villiage on the border with China (1938). When threatened with civil war, the ministers of the Tibet's government acquiesced to the blackmail. When it came time for Reting Lama to grant the false reincarnation his ordination vows, Reting Lama claimed he could not because so many people knew of his sexual and other immoralities.

Reting Lama selected his teacher, Taktra Rinpoche, to ordain and teach the boy. But, according to WSS/NKT, the boy never accepted Buddhism and showed no interest in any spiritual practice. Frustrated by his failures, Taktra Rinpoche selected two other teachers for the boy, Ling Rinpoche and Trijang Rinpoche.

For lying about his bogus selection of the new Dalai Lama, Reting Rinpoche was imprisoned and eventually confessed the truth to Tibet's Chief MInister. Reting Rinpoche died soon thereafter (May 8, 1947); NKT/WSS suggest that he was executed by the Tibetan government.

Because of fear that China was about to invade Tibet and the false reincarnation had improved his spiritual qualifications because of his teachings from Ling Rinpoche and Trijang Rinpoche, Taktra Rinpoche, Trijang Rinpoche and Ling Rinpoche persuaded the Tibetan government to delay removal of the boy as the reincarnated Dalai Lama.

In 1959, because of the Chinese overthrow of Tibet, the purportedly false Dalai Lama escaped to India to set up a Tibetan Government in Exile, which has hidden the truth about the false Dalai Lama, who (according to NKT/WSS) "for over forty years has spread only false information that has exaggerated the good qualities of this false Dalai Lama throughout the world. In truth, they are lying. Their policy of mixing religion with politics has caused great damage to the reputation of Buddhism in general. We can see how all of Lhamo Dhondup’s (i.e., NKT false Dalai Lama) opportunities came from the supreme kindness of his two teachers – Ling Rinpoche and Trijang Rinpoche – yet how did he return their kindness? In The Ocean of Truth Explained it says: ‘Later, in Dharamsala, India, Ling Rinpoche died of a heart attack because the Dalai Lama refused his request to stop giving encouragement that Gelugpas should practise the Nyingma tradition. And Trijang Rinpoche died of a heart attack because the Dalai Lama refused his request to stop banning the practice of Dorje Shugden.’"

In this amazing story of lies (according to NKT/WSS), NKT/WSS does not explain why Trijang Rinpoche went along with the purported lie which ultimately caused Trijang Rinpoche to die of a heart attack (NKT/WSS believes that Trijang was a reincarnation of Shugden/Tsongkhapa/Manjushri and that Shugden is a Buddha).

According to Zemey Tulku's Yellow book published in the 1970s, Reting Rinpoche was killed by Shugden for receiving Nyingma teachings. Notably, NKT/WSS asserts that "Ling Rinpoche died of a heart attack because the Dalai Lama refused his request to stop giving encouragement that Gelugpas should practise the Nyingma tradition. And Trijang Rinpoche died of a heart attack because the Dalai Lama refused his request to stop banning the practice of Dorje Shugden.’" Apparently, consistent with Shugden lore and Pabongkha's depoloyment and promotion of Shugden to a Buddha to harm and murder, Shugden is a serial killer, who NKT embraces as its primary deity. Despicable.

The full Tibetan title of Zimey Rinpoche’s text translates as ‘Account of the Protective Deity Dorje Shugden, Chief Guardian of the Gelug Sect, and of the Punishments meted out to Religious and Lay Leaders who incurred His Wrath’. The book was published in 1973 but not circulated publicly until 1975. For the portion of the Yellow Book translated into English click here.

The Yellow Book talks about Reting in glowing terms and acknowledges his recognition of the correct Dalai Lama. It says that things only went wrong when Reting took Nyingma and Dzogchen teachings.


Regent Reting Rinpoche had to suffer punishment with the king's order. The misfortune was caused by the miraculous power of the Dharma protector great Dorjee Shugden. Let me explain. The fourth Reting Rinpoche, Ngawang Yeshi Tenpai Gyaltsen, offered the entire possession of Reting Ladang to the Tibetan Government and requested His Holiness the 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso, not to search for the future Reting reincarnation. But His Holiness Thubten Gyatso returned everything back to the Ladang and asked them to search for the reincarnation. Accordingly the search party found the reincarnation in a simple family in Dakpo. This Rinpoche had made his foot prints on rocks. I saw one in the Reting monastery. One day while his mother was away the soup started boiling and overflowed from the earthen pot. So he closed the pot with his shoe lace. He displayed such miraculous powers while he was only a child. On the advice of His Holiness Thubten Gyatso, he was recognized as the 5th Reting Rinpoche and named Thubten Jampel Yeshi Gyaltsen. He was admitted to Sera Je College where he completed his religious education. When H.H. Thubten Gyatso visited the Reting monastery in the water- monkey year, it seemed that he left some instructions to Reting Rinpoche concerning the governance of the nation.

His Holiness the Thirteenth Dalai Lama passed away in the water-bird year. For about two months the Prime Minister and the Kashag held the responsibility of the Government. After that the General Assembly nominated the Reting Rinpoche, Gaden throne Holder Yeshi Palden and Yongzin Phurchok Jamgon Rinpoche for the regency. The Reting Rinpoche's name was confirmed with traditional tests were done in front of Lord Avaloketeshvara in the Potala Palace. Accordingly he was enthroned as the Regent on the 10th day of the first month of the wood-dog year. Thus he held the responsibility to head the Gaden Phodrang, the Tibetan Government. He took particular interest in the construction of the tomb of the thirteenth Dalai Lama and the search for the next reincarnation. He personally went to the precious lake and saw the visions which gave clear signals of the reincarnation. He then recognized and enthroned the right reincarnation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Those were indeed some of his wonderful deeds.

On the fourth day of the tenth month of the earth-hare year, the Reting Rinpoche did the hair cutting ceremony of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. In the last month of that year, he resigned from the post of regency after seven years of service. He had the traditional responsibility to uphold pure Kadampa tradition. His own monastery was the seat of Dromton Gyalpai Jungne. Moreover since the first Reting Rinpoche, Trichen Ngawang Chokden, tutor of His Holiness Kelsang Gyatso, the subsequent reincarnations preserved and propagated pure Gelug tradition. Many illustrious Gelug masters including Je Phaphongka exhorted and persuaded him to maintain and promote the stainless tradition of the great Lama Tsongkhapa. But the Reting Rinpoche did not pay any heed and he sought a number of hidden-treasure teachings of the Nyingma order from Tsenyi Tulku of Chamdo. He also received full transmission on Dzongchen from Sangye Dorjee. Thus the Reting Rinpoche departed from the tradition of his masters.

The final misfortune began to show up when the Reting Rinpoche had disagreement with the then Regent, Tadak. The government found evidence that the Reting Rinpoche had plotted against the life of the Regent Tadak. So, Kalon Surkhang Wangchen Gelek and Kalon Lhalu Gyurme Tsewang Dorjee went to the Reting monastery along with their force and arrested the Reting Rinpoche. Headed by Tsenyi Tulku, many monks from the Sera Je college revolted against the Tibetan government with arms. As the tension grew between the Sera Je College and the government, the latter increased its force and an intense fighting continued for days. Under the command of Kalsang Tsultrim, the government army fired at the Reting monastery and cause much destruction.

When the Reting Rinpoche and his friend Khardo Tulku was interrogated by the General Assembly, the latter confessed that they were guilty. The Reting Rinpoche also acknowledged his mistakes and pleaded for a chance to confess to the Regent himself. The appeal was sent through the Kashag with the endorsement of the General Assembly. But the appeal was rejected. The Reting Rinpoche was kept in Sharchen Chog under tight security with the officials, Lhungshar Orgyen Namdol and Rupon Kalsang Damdul in command. While he was in confinement, he suddenly passed away in the night on the 17th of the third month. No outsider had any knowledge of the cause of his death.

The Yellow Book also chronicles injuries, unending disasters and 22 other assassinations at the hands of Shugden against those straying from a sect of Gelug fundamentalists. On the other hand, the Yellow Book describes Pabongkha's recovery from strange dreams and poisoning caused by Shugden after Pabongkha abandoned Nyingma teachings and dedicated himself "to practice and propagate pure Gelug tradition free of defilements." Accordingly, Shugden serves to harm and murder enemies of fundamentalism but will protect those who promote fundamentalism.

According to the Yellow Book, Pabongkha's conversion occurred after Chinese troops had entered Tibet, which would have been during the 1950s.

Will NKT/WSS give Shugden credit for The Dalai Lama's current illness and cancellation of his public appearances, and ultimately his death - the purported fate of other Lamas and government officials because they advised against Shugden worship?

On August 26, 2008, NKT's Lucy James described the Yellow Book as a "superstitious claptrap." This is remarkable because the book's contents are scripture-like teachings of Gyatso's root guru, Trijang Rinpoche about his training from Pabongkha (who elevated Shugden to a Buddha to harm and murder rival Lamas and government officials to promote a fundamentalist sect within Tibetan Gelugpa).

In his letter to the editor in Newsweek responding to two 1997 Newsweek reports about NKT's controversial campaign against The Dalai Lama, Gyatso wrote, "If the practice of Dorje Shugden is harmful then it follows that Je Phabongkhapa was not an authentic Buddhist master, and if he was not then there is no doubt that his heart disciples, Kyabje Ling Rinpoche and Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche (the Senior and Junior Tutors of HH the Dalai Lama) were also not authentic. These three Lamas are the most important Gelugpa Lamas of recent times. If these three are not pure Teachers then there is no doubt that the entire practice of the Gelug Tradition is invalid."

WOW. Gyatso's root gurus as well as many other Lamas and the Tibetan people have recognized that Shugden's purpose is harmful and murderous. And, Gyatso's reason to create NKT in England was that Tibetan Buddhism, particularly the Gelugpa, had degenerated ("invalid" according to Gyatso in 1997), thereby necessitating Gyatso's creation in 1990 of the only pure form of Buddhism in the world. Gyatso also claims that he is the only protector of Pabongkha's theology. Apparently, however, in 1997 Gyatso abandoned Trijang Rinpoche and Pabongkha because they were not authentic Buddhist masters. Gyatso's latest claim against The Dalai Lama (that he is a false Dalai Lama) indicates that Gyatso's schizophrenia is intensifying. NKT/WSS, representing Gyatso, claim surreal political melodrama: “Shugden practitioners are currently ‘the jews of Buddhism’, a persecuted minority for no real reason.” Next, Gyatso may blame lack of the world's support for Shugdenism the cause of global warming and financial melt downs.

Contradicting NKT/WSS's new attack on The Dalai Lama as fake, Gyatso wrote a dedication in Meaningful to Behold to The Dalai Lama (later editions removed this dedication).

If NKT/WSS is correct in its novel and new announcement that The Dalai Lama is a false Dalai Lama, then not only its lineage guru (Trijang Rinpoche) was lying in his recognition of the validity of The Dalai Lama, so have countless Tibetan Lamas and respected organizations, e.g., HH Karmapa, the current Trijang Rinpoche (reincarnation), the late Ling Rinpoche, the current Ling Rinpoche, HH Sakya Trizin, the late Minling Trichin Rinpoche, HH Penor Rinpoche, HH Phakchog Rinpoche, Kyabje Choden Rinpoche, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, Kyabje Zopa Rinpoche, the late Kirti Tzenshap Rinpoche, the late and current Zong Rinpoche, the late and current Serkong Rinpoche, Khen Rinpoche (abbots) of the main Gelug monasteries:, Sera Mey and Jey Monasteries, Ganden Shartse and Jangtse Monasteries, Drepung Gomang and Loseling, Tashi Lhunpo, Dzongkhar Choede, Namgyal Dratsang, Dialectics Institute, and more , as well as hundreds of millions of Buddhists around the world, hundreds of Buddhist monasteries and organizations, 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. In effect, NKT/WSS under Gyatso's 'leadership' claims virtually everyone else in this world and many living beings Gyatso considers as enlightened are lying. Preposterous, just as Gyatso's worship of Shugden's mythic supremacy.

Without coroner reports, it cannot be determined whether the NKT/WSS diagnoses are correct of heart attack deaths caused by The Dalai Lama instead of coronary artery disease or other medical pathology. The Dalai Lama has never been criminally charged or found guilty of the murders purported by NKT/WSS to have been caused by The Dalai Lama. It would appear, therefore, that once again, NKT/WSS is publishing libel against The Dalai Lama about never-before alleged or adjudicated criminal conduct. Is anything NKT/WSS says against The Dalai Lama true? Probably not. Is anything NKT/WSS says about the basis for Shugden worship as a Buddha true? Probably not.

Since Gyatso abandoned Tibetan Buddhism because in his view, marketed as a Buddha's view by NKT, that Tibetan Buddhism is degenerate, Gyatso's battle with The Dalai Lama (who Gyatso considers a false Dalai Lama) is clearly a battle to overthrow The Dalai Lama. Thus, NKT protests along side Chinese government representatives at The Dalai Lama's public appearances (their goals are the same).

Interestingly, in 2000, The Dalai Lama (who NKT/WSS considers fake and not a Buddhist) refused to accept the validity of the 2 year old boy installed by the Chinese government as the reincarnation of Reting Lama. (Also, China kidnapped the rightful Panchen Lama and installed its puppet in 1995 to mandate Shugden worship as a tactic to diminish The Dalai Lama.)

In an open letter to The Dalai Lama, Reting Hutuktu representing himself as the 6th Reting, a Tibetan not installed by China's government as the living reincarnation of the 5th Reting Lama, wrote July 2006, (selections; for full letter click here)

"Great lies have been circulated about my former incarnation, circulated by those who seek to hide their wrongdoings and evil nature. Foul propaganda was spread to denigrate the 5th Reting Hutuktu and to muster support for the slaughter of his disciples.

All that you have by way of authority was initiated and bestowed by my predecessor at great sacrifice to himself. Your family enjoyed his protection, and that you even survived at the hands of your captors is owed to his blessing.

Although young at that time you are none the less the true incarnation of the Dalai Lama and as such have the presence of mind to discern for yourself.

Shugden lies at the heart of all the discord. Shugden is the sole source of the conflicts during my reign.

Your thirteenth incarnation, great and strong, who was the source of refuge to my own incarnation, led fearlessly the battle to cast Shugden from the hearts and minds of all would-be dharma practitioners. You as the great Thirteenth rebuked the root of the poisonous lineage at that time only to become caught in the branches of that poisonous lineage tree in your next incarnation!

Trijang was the force who spread the doctrine of downfall to all peoples of high and low status, Tibetan and of other races. The greatest servant of Shugden in our entire history, he succeeded in destroying the living tradition of Je Tsong Kapa. This fact is obvious to any person who studies logic with a clear mind.

May all beings that seek true Dharma meet with authentic and qualified teachers and not fall into the hands of spiritual rapists and frauds."

NKT's Shugden heros Trijang and Pabongkha have some explaining to do.

A poignant comment was posted about NKT's new attack a few hours after its publication:

Firstly, from a personal perspective, I see the NKT's highly politicised attack on HH for 'mixing politics with religion' as ludicrous. How could it be otherwise? HH is the spiritual and temporal leader of the Tibetan peoples. 'Spiritual AND temporal'. I therefore see no reason for HH NOT to mix politics with religion-that's his job.

Secondly, it should be remembered that Reting Rinpoche, who was HH's earliest mentor and who had strong Nyingma leanings, eventually died in the hands of the Tibetan establishment, an establishment which was largely controlled by two of Pabonka's closest disciples, Taktra and Trijang Rinpoche. The murder of Reting was a clear act on the part of Pabonka's descendants to regain control of Tibetan religion/politics after the Thirteenth had dared to speak out against the Gelug political establishment/Pabonka/the practice of DS. Just as Pabonka himself immediately siezed the opportunity to reinstigate the practice of DS in Gelug monasteries after the death of the 13th, his descendants attempted to further re-establish their influence through persistent attacks on, and the eventual murder of, Reting at a time when HH was still very young and perhaps naive about the political machinations of those appointed as his teachers and advisors.

In repeating these attacks on Reting, the NKT are simply continuing the battle of that small group of Gelug fundamentalists who, for the last three generations, have been trying to sieze back the power that was taken away from them during the reign of the 13th. They therefore show themselves to be exactly what they are: megalomaniacs intent on controlling Tibetan Dharma at the expense of the genuine followers of the four major Buddhist traditions. This is exactly what Pabonka was up to and, perhaps through a liitle too much unquestioning devotion and a little less political intent, Trijang after him. In attacking Reting, the NKT are simply demonstrating to the world that they are the descendants of that small group of Gellug fundamentalists who had been playing politics with Tibetan religion for centuries. They are clearly the inheritors of a perverse and highly politicised approach to Tibetan Dharma first demonstrated by Pabonka and his disciples.Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!


If The Dalai Lama is Not The Dalai Lama, Why Do You Call Him The Dalai Lama?

NKT's US spiritual leader Dekyong protesting The Dalai Lama
reading NKT's assault weapon, The Tibetan Situation Today

Editor's Note:
October 2, 2008, a couple days after this essay was posted, a Shugdenite blog response was published (click here).

The proffered distinction between NKT and WSS is not credible. Note the photograph above showing Dekyong, one of only 2 'Gen-las' in NKT, the highest rank in NKT below Gyatso. See the photograph below for Gyatso's other Gen-la (who Gyatso selected as his heir) is pictured at a protest also displaying The Tibetan Situation Today. In April, prior to the wave of protests, Gyatso wrote "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." Pema is the lead PR agent and media spokesperson for the protests.

A statement relied upon by the blogger is precious - "There are potentially hundreds of thousands of WSS supporters worldwide and over the coming months (or years if needs be) they will engage in more and more activities to bring the Dalai Lama’s unlawful and unconstitutional actions to light..In May 2008, at the Spring Festival at Manjushri Kadampa Meditation Centre, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso (the Spiritual Director of the NKT) explained that he was supporting these demonstrations because the spiritual lives of Shugden practitioners throughout the world are in danger and he wants to help them..Finally, it is worth noting that NKT practitioners are free to attend the demonstrations or not as they choose (and they do choose), as these have nothing to do with the NKT organization." In April, Gyatso fired the most senior Kadam in NKT, Lucy James, for questioning the potests and not supplying anyone from NKT in Florida for the Colgate protest. Also, in April, the Administrative Director for Lucy Jame's KMC in Florida resigned because of the political nature of Gyatso's protests. October 2, NKT/WSS sent the Tibetan Government in Exile (in India) another ultimatum like it did in April - stop The Dalai Lama or the protests will continue (for letter click here).

"According to a NKT insider, "I was under the impression everyone was aware WSS is based at Manjushri run by Neill Elliott under Gyatso's instructions. I was sitting next to him when he was talking to Pema organising future demos. At the moment he has been asked to attack HHDL in anyway he can ie his teachings, speeches etc from Gyatso. Under him are 2 sangha and Lucy James. Everyone is aware it is Neill. I was living there when it was set up. It was discused openly enough." (Neill Elliott, aka Thubten, is one of the Gyatso heirs involved with sexual abuse as a senior NKT monk; the next Gyatso heir caught up in sexual abuse is Stephen Wass, aka Samden)."

Clearly, NKT has some house cleaning to do. Now, if you can tell me in all honesty the above paragraph sent to NKTworld is a fabrication, and you have first hand knowledge of this,I will listen.

Otherwise, arguing religion with you is as pointless as arguing it with my cousin. (My cousin is a Jehovah's Witness).

Good day.

Gyalpo's picture

Ya, right, NKT is not itself in politics or lawsuits because they would lose their charitable status in the UK. Either did Benedict Arnold. K. Gyatso is assured a special place in the Traitors' Hall of Shame. China will erect a statue of him holding a human heart and a dagger.

Jah Wwobble's picture

Politicians have been asking for an enquiry for years

World Tibet Network News
Sunday, July 14, 1996


1. Call to close sect's benefit loophole

The Guardian, London: Saturday 13 July, 1996 (page 10)

Madeleine Bunting - Religious Affairs Editor

Labour has urged the Government to plug a loophole
in housing benefit which Britain's richest and fastest
growing Buddhist sect has exploited to fund the purchase
of a series of substantial properties.

Chris Smith the shadow social security spokesman,
urged an immediate investigation into the New Kadampa
Tradition (NKT), a Buddhist sect set up in 1991 which has
over 20 affiliated residential centres. Former members
claim the majority of the 300 odd residential members are
on housing benefit, which is paid in rent to the centres
to fund their mortgages.

The Department of Social Security is effectively
subsidising the NKT's expansion to the tune of hundreds
of thousands of pounds.

Mr. Smith said: "There must be an immediate
investigation. If there is a loophole, the Government
should plug it as rapidly as possible. Meanwhile members
of the NKT are involved in a series of demonstrations as
the Dalai Lama arrives in Europe today ahead of his
arrival in Britain on Monday. Coach-loads are leaving
from the NKT's headquarters near Ulverston Cumbria, to
attend a demonstration organised by the Shugden
Supporters Community in Zurich.

The demonstrators - they claim that the Dalai Lama
opposes religious freedom because he has banned a
centuries-old religious practice - are also planning to
picket the Buddhist Society in London on Tuesday.

Organisers of the Dalai Lama's UK visit are
increasingly anxious about the possibility of disruption
from the activities of the Shugden Supporters Community

The Tibet government in exile has vigourously
denied the allegations against the Dalai Lama as

More details have emerged following the Guardian's
investigation published last week, of how NKT-affiliated
residential centres use the benefit system.

Early next month, the NKT headquarters at Conishead
Priory, Ulverston, is holding one of it's main fund-
raising events of the year, a two week summer festival
for more than 1,500 followers, likely to generate a
surplus of well over =A3100,000.

Former members of the NKT have come forward to claim
that nearly all the approximately 90 residents of
Conishead Priory are on income support and housing
benefit, which they pay as rent. With rents of =A3160-=A3190
a month, this amounts to the Department of Social
Security paying out more than =A313,000 a month in benefits.
Ex-NKT members claim this pattern is duplicated at many
centres affiliated to the NKT.

Conishead Priory has developed another source of
income during during the festivals, held three times a
year. Residents have to leave the rooms for which they
receive the benefit to make way for paying guests.

Chris Bussell had been a monk in the NKT at Ulverston for
two years before he left last year.

Ultimately Mr Bussell felt he was receiving money he
was not entitled to. The founder of the NKT is a semi-
reclusive Tibetan monk, called Gehe Kelsang. Mr Bussell
decided to hand back his vows and wrote a letter of
explanation to Kelsang, telling him he had a "moral
responsibility to inform people to act within the law."
He received no reply.

Namkhah's picture

Dear Lineageholder: I was starting to think you vocal people had withdrawn in defeat for good. Even your less-than-eloquent American spokesperson Thom Canada, who wants non-western Tibetan Buddhists, you know, Asians, to @#$% off and be deported. Anyway I'm glad you didn't lose your voice like Zimey Tulku. The very morning he was to bless Five Forms of Guy with Big Hat statues he commissioned in Darjeeling, he dropped dead. I guess he found out what dharmapala really means.

namkhah's picture

Lineageholder:Clean your own house of sex scandals, homosexual teachers cheating on "vows" etc before judging others, particularly since you are ignorant of the language and just troll the internet for slimy gossip to dredge up.

Lineageholder's picture

Dear Dorje,

You quote Geshe Kelsang as saying:

Although Je Phabongkhapa’s view is that Dorje Shugden is an enlightened being, the 13th Dalai Lama, using his political power, did not allow Je Phabongkhapa to publicize this view, so he had to accept the lower position of Dorje Shugden.

This doesn't say that the 13th Dalai Lama banned the practice, only that Pabongkhapa was not allowed to say that Dorje Shugden was an enlightened being. As far as I can see, there's no evidence of a ban.

This shows the kali yuga is fast approaching when people dressed as the monastic sangha whilst holding nothing more than upasika vows shout at a fully ordained gelong for criticising taking refuge in worldly spirits.

No, the kali yuga is fast approaching when someone who is regarded as an emanation of Chenrezig bans the protector practice of his Gurus, denies that there is a ban, creates a schism in the Sangha and puts pressure on Tibetans to abandon their spiritual commitments to their Gurus.

No one is shouting at a 'Gelong' (we don't know if he actually has renunciation or not, so we have to say he has the name only because of the number of vows that he holds) for criticising taking refuge in worldly spirits. Any Buddhist refrains from taking refuge in worldly spirits. What he's being accused of - being a liar - is because he is lying that Dorje Shugden is a spirit who is harming his health and the cause of Tibetan independence, he's lying when he says there is no ban on the practice, and he's lying that his Gurus were wrong. If he's not willfully deceiving others about this, then he's ignorant. I'm not sure which is worse for the most famous Buddhist in the world.

Dear Rodney,

Also is the entire volume of rituals collected by the Mongolian Lobsang Tamdin (1867 - 1937) political? He documents the dissemination of the practice in Mongolia and Amdo, and describes him as the Protector of Tsongkhapa, and makes no mention of any of Pabongkha’s rituals, therefore he was not influenced by him. Not only that he writes about the Shugden initiation that started from the Eighth Kirti reincarnation of Amdo Rongchen Kirti Lobsang Trinley (1849-1904), who describes Shugden as the Protector of Tsongkhapa.

I'm curious - Is there any evidence that they regarded him as a Buddha?

Lineageholder's picture

Dear Dorje

Ah, Nyingje. You’re so naive.

I know that in this degenerate time people can have worldly and political motivations, but that's not Buddhism is it? Has Tibetan Buddhism degenerated so far that everything is worldly and political and Buddha's teachings are merely used to further samsaric goals? I sincerely hope not. If there's no pure practice, there's no Tibetan Buddhism -it's over.

harry (gandul)'s picture

"You want to impute deception on everything related to the NKT"

Come on LH, it's not like some people aren't doing the same with the Dalai Lama, right?