Who is demonstrating against the Dalai Lama?
The protests against His Holiness the Dalai Lama are organised by the International Shugden Community (ISC) whose directors are senior teachers and members of the New Kadampa Tradition – International Kadampa Buddhist Union (NKT-IKBU). They are supported on the ground by other NKT followers and a minority of Tibetan Shugden practitioners who have proven links to Chinese interests. NKT teachers are all volunteers with no contracts or worker’s rights, although some are paid. There is some evidence from 2008 that shows a senior NKT teacher was removed from her NKT teaching role after publicly criticising the protests against His Holiness.
What is the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT)?
The NKT is a controversial New Religious Movement – academically analysed as being appreciably different from mainstream Buddhism. It was created as a legal entity by a Tibetan Buddhist monk called Kelsang Gyatso and his students in 1992. It can be called ‘separatist’ due to its official policies of separation from all Tibetan teachers except Kelsang Gyatso. Centres are advised never to accept invitations and to ignore requests for help from any Tibetan Buddhist group or teacher. The NKT is mentioned several times in an academic pamphlet on religious extremism in UK universities. The NKT functions like a ‘spiritual franchise’; each NKT centre or business is a member of the ‘Kadampa Buddhist Union’, is financially independent of the NKT and sustains any losses locally while all profits are passed directly to the NKT through the ‘International Temples Fund’. Each centre has to follow the ‘NKT Constitution’ and ‘Internal Rules’. There are exceptions [See ‘Who runs the NKT?] The NKT’s main daily spiritual practice chosen by Kelsang Gyatso is a Guru prayer to Je Tsongkhapa combined with prayers to Shugden, a Tibetan protector whose propitiation began in the 18th century amongst an elite male group of Gelug tantric meditators. The practice became popular during the 20th century until it was seen as provocative of sectarian dispute.
How is the NKT set up legally?
The purpose of the NKT is to ‘increase Buddhist faith in the world’ by ‘promoting the activities of the union of Kadampa Buddhist Centres known as the NKT-IKBU’, to ‘introduce the Buddhist Faith of the New Kadampa Tradition publicly’, to ‘exemplify Buddhist practice by service to the public’ and to ’emphasize the development’ of affiliated ‘Kadampa centres’, ‘publishing activities’ and ‘companies’. The NKT and each of its subsidiary businesses (such as centres) in the UK are registered as both a ‘company’ and a ‘charity’ (giving them tax free status). All ‘NKT’ centres are therefore independent businesses that are ‘spiritually affiliated’ with the NKT but are legally and financially independent entities. In other countries, a similar ‘independence’ is set up according to local laws. Local directors of NKT centres are the persons responsible in case of loss while the NKT generally takes no responsibility. Exceptions are the one remaining ‘Kadampa Hotel’ in Holland and the ‘Kadampa Primary School’; the former runs at a loss as did the latter until 2014. The Spanish (and its subsidiary Taiwanese) company owned by the NKT ran at a loss in 2014. The NKT also owns the London Kadampa Meditation Centre (KMC) and the German International Retreat Centre (IRC). As stated by NKT sources, the ‘business lineage’ of the NKT is considered equally as important as the spiritual in furthering the aims of the charity.
How big is the NKT?
The NKT has roughly 48 affiliated residential ‘Kadampa Buddhist’ (KBC) and ‘Kadampa Meditation’ (KMC) centres in the UK, 50 in the US, and more than 120 in the rest of the world. Approximately 600 venues are temporarily rented, often only by the hour, for giving classes. Even adding the temporary venues this does not add up to the ‘1,100 centres and groups’ the NKT claims that Kelsang Gyatso has established. The ‘World Peace Temples’ are temple buildings that are within the 16 Kadampa Meditation Centres such as that at Manjushri KMC, the ‘mother centre’ of the NKT. There are 3 international retreat centres, 32 World Peace Cafes, one ‘Kadampa Hotel’ in Holland and a children’s ‘Kadampa Primary School’ in England. Tharpa publishing company, which only publishes Kelsang Gyatso’s books and translates these into other languages including Chinese, has affiliates and distributes world wide. Profits are also collected from the NKT’s worldwide festivals and celebrations and through selling statues made in the Kadampa Art Studio at Manjushri.
Where does the NKT’s money go?
Every NKT business has the same intention as stated in the NKT’s ‘Internal Rules’ – ‘flourishing Kadam Dharma’ – all profits are directed to their ‘International Temples Fund’ (ITF) – which aims to create a New Kadampa Tradition temple in every major city in the world. Public accounts clarifying the specific activities and decisions of the International Temple Fund (ITF) are not available. To get some information about how these funds are collected from each NKT subsidiary and what they are used for it is necessary to view the financial accounts and websites of each NKT centre/business. The ITF can only be seen as a few figures in the final section of accounts for the ‘New Kadampa Tradition’. At the end of 2013, the ITF had £2.8 million designated funds with £14.7 million available as unrestricted funds giving a total of £17.5 million. Including this, the NKT had a total declared fund of £20.7 million. This does not reflect the real value of the NKT as if the NKT decides that any affiliated centre or business should be sold, all profit will revert to the ITF. Although NKT income had generally decreased in 2014, the ITF had risen to £18.6 million by December 2014. There are now a number of NKT teachers who have taught using Kelsang Gyatso’s methods for over thirty years. NKT ‘Resident Teachers’ – one for each NKT centre – are not funded by the NKT but by their local centres who also pay for the costs of their teacher’s international travel and study with the NKT. The NKT has no pension or retirement policy, no hospice and gives no job security. Due to this lack of support for NKT teachers and administrators and the pervasive use of volunteers, overheads are very low at only 6% of income in 2013.
How do NKT centres start?
Funds are collected locally with inspiring campaigns ‘for world peace’ and the opportunity to ‘spread the pure Dharma of Je Tsongkhapa’ and then interest-free loans may be given if the ITF considers a new centre viable. For instance, there is currently a ‘Train 50 teachers for London’ campaign and fundraising for plans to build a NKT ‘London Temple’ in Wimbledon with £800,000 allocated as a grant from the International Temples Fund. Unusually, this London centre was bought by the NKT in 2014 – new centres most often acquire their own mortgages. The older residential centres in the UK were started by using live-in volunteers who renovated large, empty buildings bought cheaply by the NKT. These volunteers lived mainly on state benefits. English Heritage and local council funding have been given to help with renovations as the buildings were ‘listed’ (protected) and the NKT provided needed new accommodation. The largest centre the NKT has – the ‘mother centre’ Manjushri Kadampa Meditation Centre in Cumbria, UK – was actually bought by the FPMT, another Tibetan Buddhist group, in 1975. In a deeply contentious dispute, Kelsang Gyatso kept Manjushri for his own purposes, even though he reportedly already had another residential centre given to him in York. According to oral accounts, his stated intention from the late 1970s in the UK – he arrived in 1977 – has been to promote ‘pure Dharma’ by creating his own ‘independent’ centres.
How does the NKT expand so easily?
These earlier, large NKT residential centres are frequently remortgaged to send funds to the ITF. Bodhisattva Centre in Brighton sent £429,530 in 2013 as a loan, having remortgaged the centre for £522,032. This cost is then covered locally by charges for teachings and accommodation. Centre residents often temporarily ‘give up’ their rooms to be rented during main NKT teaching courses producing a ‘double’ rent. There are no discounts or free teachings for ordained sangha or concessions for low income students. Even working holiday visitors can be asked to pay for teachings. The NKT, through the ‘International Temples Fund’, is continually expanding its international property portfolio. It is not clear who makes the decisions about which properties to buy. Kelsang Gyatso previously secretly visited projected temple sites in person but this is no longer the case. According to centre websites, in 2014, the International Temples Fund (ITF) spent $4.75 million on two new centres in the US; one a street away from Hollywood Boulevard and the other in the Hamptons, New York State. Teachers for NKT centres are trained very quickly compared to teachers in any other Buddhist tradition. Students learn techniques to ‘transmit’ Kelsang Gyatso’s books to others. The ‘Special Teacher Training Programme’ [STTP] in London or online takes only 2 years. The residential programme at Manjushri only lasts 6 months. The requirement for entering the training is mainly ‘faith’, not any specific study or time spent in the NKT. Once on the training programme you can be asked to teach even if you have not completed any course; you only need to express the intention to complete it. No other training is given to or qualification taken by either teachers or administrators.
How does the NKT keep control of so many centres and teachers?
The NKT General Spiritual Director appoints and ‘authorises’ a resident teacher for every NKT centre in the world. Each resident teacher then decides who else is authorised to teach at their local centre. Resident teachers do not normally have any employment outside NKT centres and are often the only people maintained by a centre. The NKT system is kept consistent by the study programmes which focus on simplified and highly edited traditional Tibetan Buddhist texts with commentaries by Kelsang Gyatso. NKT teachers have to memorise and teach from these books. In many ways ‘the book is the teacher’ and if NKT teachers deviate from this style they are at risk of losing their teaching roles. Each summer the resident teachers are required to be in residence at Manjushri and all of those living outside the UK, even the most senior teachers, study on Neil Elliott’s London ‘STTP’ [Special Teacher Training Programme] online. Studies and exams are often repeated and the more complex books are seldom taught. Very few NKT teachers have finished the original TTP study of 12 books; the STTP has only 6. Students are encouraged to think of themselves as empowered ‘by the lineage’ and to be giving the ‘oral transmission’ of the texts to others. The teachings are given in a very simple, repetitive way and the accompanying meditations and sung prayers are in a slow ‘new age’ style. Ex members recall these for decades afterwards. The NKT gives very little ongoing supervision to resident teachers. This means that although the study programmes are systematic, each resident teacher has complete personal freedom to behave as they wish in their local centre. The NKT will only check if there are ‘complaints’. There is no system of training in ethical behaviour based on the Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Vinaya (code of ethics).
How can I identify an NKT centre?
Avoiding online criticisms of ‘the NKT’ in social media, newspapers, academia and by ex NKT followers the NKT have often repackaged their promotion. For universities, schools or health services they call themselves ‘Modern Buddhism’ or ‘Kadampa Buddhism’, ‘Modern Buddhism and Meditation’, ‘Meditate In London, etc. Local centres do not often mention ‘NKT’ in their ads. Instead they use their individual names such as Heruka Kadampa Meditation Centre, Manjushri Kadampa Meditation Centre, Kadampa Buddhist Centre, etc.
Who runs the NKT?
Power in the NKT is concentrated. The trustees of the NKT, who manage the NKT/ITF’s extensive funds, are the General Spiritual Director (GSD), and the Deputy Spiritual Director as well as two other NKT students. The executive officers are the Secretary and Deputy Secretaries of the NKT, the Secretary of the GSD and a treasurer. The Finance Committee is made up from these same 8 people. The NKT Secretary and Deputy Secretary also function as the Kadampa Meditation Centre and Temple Development directors. This gives them three roles each. The Education Council is made up of the ‘members’ of the NKT and consists of Kelsang Gyatso, each NKT centre and every resident teacher in the world. It is managed by the GSD and the NKT Secretary. Conflicts can be solved easily as all NKT teachers are appointed by the GSD and can be fired immediately and any changes that a local centre may try to make have to be authorised by all the members of the Education Council. The GSD is also a named Spiritual Director of every NKT centre. Where there have been serious conflicts which involved the Charity Commission in the UK, a threat of arrest for unsubstantiated charges of fraud was made by the police against one local director because he did not agree with NKT policy. The NKT has 27 paid employees. Who those employees are and what their salaries and responsibilities are cannot be determined from the trustees’ reports. Neil Elliott, the teacher of the online STTP in London, is teaching all the international Resident Teachers instead of, as would be expected, the GSD, who only trains them for 2 weeks each summer. Neil was previously the ‘heart disciple’ of Kelsang Gyatso but he resigned and disrobed amidst allegations of sexual misconduct in 1996. According to the NKT Internal Rules, no one who disrobes is allowed to teach again in the NKT. It seems that the NKT can ignore its own constitution when this is convenient.
Why are people attracted to the NKT?
In the UK, the NKT offers a very ‘British’ experience – tea, gardens and ‘pure’, simple meditation teachings with very few foreign words given by friendly teachers of your own nationality and culture. The NKT tries to use teachers from each culture in their home countries. Practising Dharma, even sophisticated tantric practices, is made easy and comfortable. Increasing personal satisfaction developed from meditating is linked up by the NKT with their project of ‘world peace’ – for promoting NKT ‘pure Dharma’ and creating temples all over the world. It is easy to feel you are being useful and compassionate if you support this.
What do the NKT celebrate?
The NKT have their own system of celebratory events unaligned to the Tibetan Buddhist calendar and do not go to any historically Buddhist places, such as Bodhgaya, on pilgrimage. Followers are only encouraged to attend NKT festivals.
How many New Kadampas are there?
There is no clear data on how many followers, students or centre residents the NKT has. The legal membership is mentioned under ‘Who runs the NKT’? The largest NKT centre is Manjushri KMC with approximately 90 live-in students; Bodhisattva KMC has less than thirty. UK centres tend to be residential; international centres tend to be smaller with space only for the teacher and a few others. The NKT’s main International Festivals are the Spring and Summer Festivals held at Manjushri KMC and the Fall Festival held at different centres each year, often where a new temple is being opened. NKT data for festival attendance and profit is as follows: 2014 Spring: 1,400 Summer: over 2,000 Fall: no data (New York) Profit: £741,670 (Profits from New York were kept by the New York World Peace Temple/KMC) 2013 Spring: 1,100 Summer: 2,500 Fall: 6,900 (Portugal) (Announced as Kelsang Gyatso’s last appearance in public) Profit: £998,981 2012 Spring: 1,400 Summer: 2,220 Fall: 750 (Spain) Profit: £836,135
How many people visit NKT centres?
Manjushri KMC, as a building of historic as well as religious interest, has a full programme of community access including guided tours and school visits. Most of these are charged. 2014: 15,000 adults, 2,000 children (900 Girl Guides) and another 900 on tours 2103: 13,800 adults and 2,225 children 2012: 13,500 adults and 2,200 children 2011: Under 11,000 Other NKT centres have open days and free short drop in meditation sessions to encourage visitors as well as facilitating school visits which are charged.
What are the complications of going to NKT classes?
A first contact with Buddhist teachings can transform lives – but this is mainly attributed to Kelsang Gyatso and the NKT, not to Buddha or to Tibetan Buddhism. Students are soon made to feel they should ‘return the kindness of the Guru’ in giving them the NKT centres and the NKT’s ‘special’ Dharma by working for and giving to a centre as well as helping others to do so. Special, exclusive commitments to the NKT are added to the ‘simple Buddhist path’ the NKT teach through the tantric and refuge vows students are soon expected to take if they wish their path to enlightenment to be faster. These commitments oblige students to practice Shugden prayers and meditations daily, to promote the NKT Dharma and not to criticise the NKT. Ordination vows keep the ordained tied to the NKT. Their ordination is not to ‘Buddha’ but to the NKT with Kelsang Gyatso as their spiritual guide for all future lives. Kelsang Gyatso gives a simple ordination of ten promises based on avoiding 5 non virtues and ‘practising contentment’ and celibacy. This ‘transforms’ into ‘full’ ordination only by following the NKT path and changing one’s motivation, not by taking more vows, as is the case in all other ‘full’ Buddhist ordinations. A sense of obligation and loyalty to the NKT develops that in practice becomes ‘obedience’ to ‘Geshe-la’s (Kelsang Gyatso’s) wishes’. Followers also describe feeling they are ‘special’ because they are committed to a ‘special’, unique and fast path which they consider superior to any Tibetan Buddhist presentation.
What will paying for NKT classes and volunteering in the NKT promote?
Money given to the NKT will expand and promote the NKT all over the world – without respecting the Human Rights of NKT followers who are volunteering for the organisation. There are no labour rights, pension schemes, etc. Any NKT teacher can be asked to leave their role immediately without any recompense for their work. Money given for meditation classes will also be contributing to protests against the Dalai Lama – NKT teachers are living on stipends from their local NKT centres whilst protesting as ‘members of the ISC’. Each NKT centre pays the costs of its own resident teacher, not the NKT. Therefore, to prove that a centre has no involvement with the protests, each one would have to prove either that their resident teacher did not attend the protests or that whilst attending the customary NKT stipend was not paid to their teacher.
Why is it difficult to leave the NKT?
NKT ordination cannot be transferred. NKT teachings have an intense focus on the special purity of their own presentation that often prevents a stress free appreciation of other teachings. People easily feel guilty about ‘breaking vows’ and a deep sense of loss at losing their NKT roles and NKT Dharma. Leaving the group may mean starting a completely new social life. People may have given all their savings to the NKT and not worked in an ordinary career for decades. Some may have, simply, nowhere else to go.
What do ex NKT followers report?
People can become ‘addicted’ to the NKT world view in which activities outside the NKT world become ‘meaningless’. Personal ambition can easily become deeply attached to the NKT project of world expansion and the role of ‘being a Buddhist teacher’. Ex NKT followers frequently mention anxiety, depression and exhaustion caused by overwork and coping with unrealistic expectations from senior NKT teachers and managers only trained in promoting the NKT. There is no other training in counselling, administrative or executive skills. There is no ‘duty of care’ towards any teacher or student in the NKT.
What concerns about Shugden does the Dalai Lama have?
His Holiness does not say that no one should practice Shugden but is warning against the possible consequences of doing so. In certain cases the practice of Shugden can lead to a deeply sectarian exaggeration of the ‘purity’ of a particular kind of Buddhism, destroying unity between practitioners as well as affecting their health and leading towards the breaking of refuge vows. Therefore, for their well being, he recommends that his own tantric students do not practice Shugden.
Is the NKT Tibetan?
The NKT stated recently that they are an ‘independent Western Buddhist tradition’ and that ‘the NKT is not Tibetan Buddhism but Western Buddhism’. It should be questioned then, why NKT monks and nuns are given Tibetan names and use Tibetan Buddhist ordination robes. The NKT state that their ‘spiritual practice’ is based on the study programmes of ‘Buddha’s teachings of sutra and tantra‘. However Kelsang Gyatso, the NKT’s founder and ‘ordaining master’ is only a Buddhist teacher on the basis of his own Tibetan Buddhist training and ordination as a Tibetan Buddhist monk. The NKT state that ‘there is no connection whatsoever between this spiritual tradition and the Dalai Lama’ but Kelsang Gyatso is known to have attended teachings from the Dalai Lama whilst he was studying.
Is there a precedent for NKT students or Shugden practitioners having to ‘choose’ between the advice of different teachers?
The ISC campaign states that His Holiness the Dalai Lama has made Shugden practitioners suffer as they have been forced to choose between keeping their Shugden commitments, which may be family and/or Guru based, and following His Holiness’ advice. However, when Kelsang Gyatso was finalising the creation of his own tradition in the early 1990s, residents at Manjushri Institute (later KMC) were forced to choose between Kelsang Gyatso and any other teacher they might follow. Kelsang Gyatso claimed exclusivity. It is unthinkable for the Dalai Lama or any ethical Tibetan teacher to demand exclusivity.
Why are the protests against the Dalai Lama so defamatory?
If the NKT are not ‘Tibetan’ and the Dalai Lama’s view of Shugden is only a request to followers committed to his tantric initiation practices, then why should the NKT in the guise of the ISC continue to protest using unethical but legal protest techniques such as ridicule and noise? There is documentation showing that the use of ‘ridicule’ is a deliberate ISC policy promoted by senior NKT members most probably due to the lack of serious evidence that can be verified by third parties to support their exaggerated claims. Within the last year ISC followers have claimed both ‘six million’, ‘four million’ and now only ‘many thousands’ of Shugden practitioners suffering from abuses supposedly caused by His Holiness’s advice on Shugden.
Why has the ISC changed its four points?
The ISC recently changed its four points; demands made to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The ISC had claimed continuing ‘persecution’ and ‘prejudice’ and called for the return of the Shugden monks to their monasteries. The ISC no longer calls for the return of the monks. Shugden monks in India are now content with separate institutions as this policy managed by the monasteries through democratic voting has been successful. There is now very little evidence of any direct conflict in the streets of Bykaluppe. NKT monks and nuns have far fewer rights within the NKT than any monk at Shar Gaden and Serpom – the Shugden monasteries in India.
Why are the protests damaging for the Tibetan cause?
The protests create confusion about Tibetan Buddhism and the role the Dalai Lama has in Tibetan society. Buddhism is embedded in Tibetan culture and the management of a country using the ethics of spiritual practice is seen as deeply valuable. The ISC campaign minimises and ridicules the Dalai Lama’s concern for his people as ‘political’. Importantly, the protests deflect attention from the abhorrent and documented persecution of Tibetans within China that Human Rights organisations such as Amnesty International so clearly reveal. The Chinese government supports Shugden and creates further conflict within Tibetan society – third party evidence can be found of people being imprisoned for criticising Shugden worship.
What are the benefits of the protests for the NKT?
Both in 1996-7 and in 2008 the NKT organised demonstrations against His Holiness the Dalai Lama that coincided with the public exposure on the internet of the alleged sexual misconduct of Deputy Spiritual Directors of the NKT who in each case were ordained monks. His Holiness has not changed his general advice on Shugden since 1996 except to suggest a referendum on Shugden in 2008. Facilitating the independence of Shugden followers stemmed increasing conflict. Therefore what caused NKT followers to start their demonstrations and defamations again in 2014? A possible cause is another crisis of power; the need for cohesion when a strong ‘good image’ at the pinnacle of the NKT is missing; Kelsang Gyatso has not been seen in public nor appeared in any videos or photos since October 2013, nor has his death been announced. Followers are only told what are ‘Geshe-la’s wishes’ and are expected to follow them. Protests against the Dalai Lama increase solidarity and pride within the ISC/NKT. This reinforces the protesters’ sense of being ‘heroic’ and ‘victimised Kadampas’ saving Tibetans from ‘impure Dharma’ and the ‘mixing of politics with religion’. Surely a concern for the well being of his own people is a sign of the compassion of a spiritual leader not of his corruption? The protests also keep NKT followers distanced from understanding the non sectarian approach of the Dalai Lama – the protesters are ignorant of Tibetan history, culture and Buddhist practice. The giving up of personal independence to the ‘perfect Guru’ and his intentions are NKT practices through which they mistakenly see and judge Tibetan Buddhist practice and practitioners. They deeply misunderstand the open, humanitarian and tolerant ethos of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Why are there demonstrations against His Holiness the Dalai Lama?
In Tibetan Buddhism there is no expectation that any person should follow the instructions of a teacher they do not respect. The ISC/NKT followers show no respect for His Holiness so there is no expectation whatsoever that they should follow his advice. Tibetan Shugden Buddhists in India either practice independently of His Holiness or they follow his advice; some now live in independent Shugden monasteries and others simply practice Shugden in private to keep their family or other commitments. Shugden monasteries have the proven support of His Holiness and their Tibetan monastic institutions of origin promoted their independence. The needs of Shugden practitioners have been respected. There is no substantial evidence of Human Rights abuses. Any serious conflict relating to Shugden has dissipated. However, followers of the Dalai Lama are still subject to the harassment of loud drumming and shouting which, whenever legally possible, have been happily used by NKT/ISC followers to prevent His teachings from being heard peacefully in the west. NKT, ex NKT and others are also subject to continuous attempts at silencing any criticism of the NKT/ISC. Social media is covered with NKT/ISC anti Dalai Lama defamations. The NKT/ISC’s own behaviour displays what His Holiness warns against as a possible consequence of Shugden practice – divisive sectarian behaviour. It is precisely this kind of behaviour that creates more fear and puts Shugden practitioners into disrepute. It is no longer possible for ISC protesters to insist they are ‘behaving independently’ of the NKT when, instead of teaching meditation, senior NKT teachers are following His Holiness around the world. What business or spiritual organisation would allow its members so much freedom to follow concerns it did not share? If the NKT’s ‘Modern Buddhists’ really have no debt or connection to Tibetan Buddhism, as they say, then surely they should acknowledge their lack of knowledge of Tibetan ways of being. But then on what grounds can they claim to have exclusive access to the ‘only pure Dharma’ of Je Tsongkhapa – a Tibetan teacher whose lineage they claim to follow without studying his books and methods – and upon what right can they then claim to have the wisdom to judge His Holiness so harshly? Perhaps NKT followers suffer nostalgia for the roots they have cut. Recently published public accounts show that the NKT has lost considerable income in the last year. Tibetan Buddhism, via His Holiness, continues to flourish outside the Tibetan world. Carol McQuire New Kadampa Survivors September 13th 2015
Threat to His Holiness the Dalai Lama from Shugden fanatics: The Undeniable Evidence of Chinese government’s plot. I would like to say Tashi Delek to all the fellow Tibetans inside and outside Tibet. My name is Tsering Tashi, some people call me Lama Tseta. My hometown is Lithang. I thought it is not right if I don’t share what I know to my fellow Tibetans. When I see some people using the Dolgyal issue to collude with communist China and destroy the Tibetan community and vilify His Holiness the Dalai Lama beyond limits, I couldn’t bear and feel that by voluntarily relating what I know to the public it might have great benefit. There are many dedicated and courageous people amongst us Tibetans who explain and clarify the Dolgyal issue to the public, I thought that even I can voluntarily share my knowledge on this issue which will benefit the public. This is because, I have friends among those who join hands with Communist China by using Dolgyal issue, and have personal contact and know a lot of secrets of those Dolgyal followers. Therefore, I feel that if I explain the issue, it will be of immense benefit. After arriving in India from Tibet, I enrolled in Pomra Khangtsen of Sera Mey. There were many shugden propitiators in Pomra Khangtsen. After some years, in 1997, Panglung Gyalchen Kuten, who resides in Taiwan and who appoints all officials, had appointed me as one of the four officials. In the year 1999, I was appointed as the Chairman of Regional Shugden Society by Shugden and through this, I came into contact with Shugden. Neither do I have faith in Shugden, nor believe in it. I clearly know that Shugden is fake and cannot go into a trance. This is because, in the year 1997, I was appointed as one of four officials in Pomra Khangtsen, and in the year 1999, I was appointed as the chairman and thus started my connection with them. My relationship with shugden propitiators was first initiated after I was appointed by Shugden himself. The main reason why I have to explain about the way of working is that they maintain connection with communist China. The Chinese Communists clearly know that His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the jewel of the world, central nerve of Tibetan people, and savior on the issue of existence or death of Tibet. Therefore, China always tells the shugden propitiators that the Dalai Lamas from the 1st to the 13th are not your enemies; the 14th Dalai lama is your enemy and also the enemy of Chinese Communists. Therefore, we must work together in confronting him. Such advices are made. The people to whom they give these advises are those few evil people who regularly demonstrate around the world. I cannot bear it if I don’t explain knowing about their many activities in different parts of the world. Also, as a Tibetan, this will also have a bearing on my Karmic consequences. Since from a young age of 16 until 80, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has worked tirelessly for the welfare of Tibetan people and these people do not appreciate the benevolence of HHDL and instead do such things and, especially, when a Tibetan demonstrate against HHDL, I cannot bear at all. Earlier, the Chinese Communists have used many young Chinese students to demonstrate, however when these youngsters became more knowledgeable and had opportunity to meet HHDL and ask questions, they became aware of truth and the understanding of the great activities of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who always thinks of every being in the universe, who promotes religious harmony, and works for world peace. Therefore this led to the decrease in the number of Chinese participating in the demonstration. Thus, China saw the best opportunity of using Dolgyal propitiators in our Tibetan community, financed them and gave them unlimited tasks. Therefore, since I am one of peoples who know these works being carried out in Tibetan community, I thought it wouldn’t be right not to share this information. This is the main reason I am sharing the information. When they first contacted China, they did with two departments. One was the United Front Work Department and other one is the Lhasa City Public Security Bureau. When establishing contact with the Lhasa City Public Security Bureau, it was Kunchok Gyaltsen, Gen Sangser(Gelek Gyatso, who currently lives in Delhi), and me, who went to Nepal to meet their officials. From their side, there were two of them namely Li San and Phunam. When we met them, we gave them few conditions from our side saying that that we’ve around 20,000 shugden propitiators and we will submit ourselves to China, we will do whatever CPC tells us, we won’t follow His Holiness the Dalai Lama; we are not struggling for Tibet’s independence, and that we will accept the Panchen Lama recognised by China. These conditions were given to them through Lhasa City Public Security Bureau. After few months, we got reply saying that you have already contacted China’s United Front Work Department through Gangchen Lama, now you can send us confidential information of Central Tibetan Administration’s etc. You can directly contact with United Front Work Department. From then onwards, Delhi shugden society and China’s United Front Work Department established direct connection. The one who’s advising and assigning the tasks on their side is the person name Zhu Pu Zhang, his Chinese name is Zhu Weiqun. The Tibetan official’s name is Sithar. The person who contacts with them from Chinese embassy in Delhi is Wangdu from Gyalthang. Sithar is from Derge; he is the Vice Minister of the United Front Work Department. Earlier when they contacted him, he was called the Director (Ju-zhang) of Bureau no. 2 (Er-ju). From then onwards, if shugden society needs money, they get it through Gangchen Lama. They can get directly by going there or they can collect from Chinese embassy. This is how they started their relationship; this is how Shugden society ’s central committee started having direct connection with China. As far as I know, Nagpo Gyatso, Athar Tsering and people like them had contact with China from way back. Before coming to US, Athar Tsering was one of the key people of Kunchok Gyaltsen. He has contact with China personally as well as officially. Officially means having connections in the name of shugden society with United Front Work Department and personally he has connection with Chinese intelligence. Even Nagpo Gyatso is like that. He went back to Tibet from India and when he came back to India, Indian intelligence came to know about his work and didn’t allow him in India. Thus he went to Chinese embassy in Nepal and informed everything. He was then assisted by Nepalese government and was sent back to Lhasa. From Lhasa with help from United Front Work Department, he came to US. He is someone who has contact with China from before. After arriving in US, he started vilifying HHDL, creating dissension amongst Tibetans, working for disunity amongst the community, and to create conflicts amongst religious groups by vilifying religious leaders and spreading disinformation by deliberately labelling certain people as shugden worshippers, who actually are not. Thus, these kind of creating discord in the Tibetan society are duties given by China. Since their main work is to create dissension within Tibetan society, it is very dangerous and Tibetan public must be cautious of such acts. Secondly, concerning His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s personal safety , earlier they plotted to kill four people and in the list were Samdhong Rinpoche, Khamtrul Rinpoche, Ku-ngo Tara, Head of the Institute for Buddhist Dialectical Studies Lobsang Gyatso, and Khamtrul Rinpoche consisting of four people. From the lists, one was already killed, who was head of the Institute for Buddhist Dialectical Studies. Later, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso as the lead, Ngalama, Tritul, Gangchen, Kunchok Gyaltsen, Chatreng Yeshi and Chime inserted His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s name and made it five. They’ve killed the head of the Institute for Buddhist Dialectical Studies but didn’t get an opportunity to touch the other four. However, if an opportunity is got, they will surely kill HHDL. This is because, Athar Tsering keeps saying this to many people. He says one day he will kill the Dalai Lama. He once told a businessman that he will be paid huge amount by the Chinese Governmentif he’s able to kill His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Like this, their work got worst and worst, while their relationship with China became stronger. It is hundred per cent certain that acting on behalf of the Chinese Communists, they create differences within Tibetan people and threaten the life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. I am saying this with clear proof and photographs. A person claiming to be Lama named Dechen Trulku, who these days vilifies HHDL without any restraint initially do not have special contact with China. Later he got married to a sister of Nagpo Gyatso. After that he was introduced to the United Front Work Department and Lhasa City Public Security Bureau. He thus got the all these tasks from the China with the help of Nagpo Gyatso and I can say that categorically. Since I have travelled with Nagpo Gyatso, I am well aware of all his contacts with China. The person whom Athar Tsering contacts in Chinese embassy is a Chinese man named Mr. Wang, who is fluent in Tibetan. He’s the one who gives money to Athar Tsering. He is well supported by Chinese embassy and he has both Chinese and Nepalese passports. Nepalese passport is procured through their own means, whereas Chinese passport is easily given to them by China. Phabongkha Rinpoche travels numerous times to China and is being assisted by China many times. Phabongkha cannot be blamed because, Kunchok Gyaltsen and Chatreng Yeshi have threatened him saying that if you do not stay nicely propitiating shugden, we will not let you off easily. The warning is clearly recorded in a tape recorder. Phabongkha is coward and is scared. All their work is for the Communist China and they do not have even a small dedication for Tibet and Tibetan people and their work is merely to destroy. There’s not even a single person who thinks of promoting the activities of Phabongkha and Trichang Rinpoche. They merely say shugden is a deity but in truth they do not do any work in propitiating shugden. Their main tasks have been to malign someone who is dedicated to the Central Tibtetan Administration, vilify His Holiness the Dalai Lama without any restrain, and create dissension within Tibetan society. To date their activities have been merely to do these activities. Therefore, it made me think that that it would be completely wrong from my side if I don’t explain it now. I know they have contact with China and I thought the time has come for me to reveal what I know and so I had to do so. There’s a Phelgyeling abbot named Gen Thardoe. He has close contact with China and had been to China many times. We have gone together, too. He’s already taken all the money China has given him. He established contact with China and we both went together to China many times. We met Chinese leaders, we met Zhu Pu Zhang and Sithar. The most important work is, in Nepal the Chinese intelligence have established two restaurants and a travel agency, which provides permits to tourists going to China. There are few Tibetans who work for the Lhasa City Public Bureau Security. Some are in a hotel named Rai-sing. The cook in that restaurant works for the Chinese intelligence and so is the cashier. Other than few service men who are Nepalese, rest of them are those working for the Chinese intelligence. The restaurant is the place where they meet; Athar Tsering and Chinese intelligence officials have met there many times. The restaurant is located on the 7th floor and there’s a small dining room inside that restaurant. If they meet inside that small room, nobody will know. There’s one restaurant near the palace of Nepalese king that was started by the Chinese intelligence and there are a few such places. Another issue is that, after killing the master of the Institute for Buddhist Dialectical Studies, since they didn’t pay the assassinators on time, Lobsang Phuntsok came specifically to Nepal from Tibet to collect money. When problems arose after he arrived in Nepal, Phabongka Rinpoche, Gen Thardoe and ChoezayTingay, the chairman of shugden society in Nepal, spoke to Lobsang Phuntsok saying that it wouldn’t be good if he creates issue since this is too dangerous and at the end managed to send him back to China. Thus they have used such people to kill people where killing is required, beaten many people who needed to be beaten. Actually they did wicked things. I have worked in this, including as the chairman. I clearly know it. I have both photographs and proofs. I have both Nepalese and Chinese passports. I went many times with them and worked many times for them. Since they didn’t pull back from doing such unrestrained action and stood against the Tibetan people, I would not be at ease if I am not able to explain the truth to the Tibetan public without even thinking about my life. I have spoken today sacrificing my life. If anything ever happens to me, there is no one else to suspect other than the Dholgyal propitiators. If they get a chance, it is hundred per cent certain that they would want to kill me. This is because my speaking out has revealed many of their secrets. I am one of their people to work on shugden and among the key people to travel to China. Even Dragom Rinpoche has contact with Lhasa City Public Security Bureau. I was with him when he went to meet Lhasa City Public Security Bureau. Their objective is to keep relationship with the Chinese intelligence; they don’t have thoughts for the Tibetan people, and do not think of the Gelug doctrine. Geshe Kelsang, Gangchen, Nga Lama and Tritul etc for the sake of their own name, manipulates people who dislike His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who do not appreciate their own religious lineage. They try to present their religious lineage beyond limits as if they are superior to Buddha. Thus to protect such self-created position, they manipulate random followers of shugden. It would be very sad if we do not know the truth because they keep meeting senior CPC’s leaders and they have established a large shugden association in China. A former monk of Sera Pomra Khangtsen, named Tenzin Palchok, has established close relationship with China and these days he travels to and fro. Likewise, Thupten Phurbu has allied with China and has established a large shugden association in China. China’s central government bears their expenses, and also China has appointed Thupten Phurbu to keep in contact with high lamas abroad. He meets Geshe Kelsang, Gonsar in Switzerland, Gangchen, reincarnation of Trichang Rinpoche etc and he does various work and reports to China. They join hands like dogs with wolves and creates an enormous enemy against Tibetan people, and leave a large black mark. It is very dangerous if we don’t know of this. If we really think well, we are on the verge of life or death. Even though the Tibetan people are at such a critical stage of suffering, His Holiness the Dalai Lama single-handedly worked to save Tibet. China is well aware of this and since His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s activities on this world are strengthening day by day, they are trying to manipulate countries and through these countries to undermine our strength. Due to His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s blessings, instead of rather than being able to undermine his activities, they are strengthening day by day. Assuming that the Shugden issue as the best opportunity, it is hundred per cent certain that whatever resources needed are being spent by the Chinese intelligence and the United Front Work Department to educate and cultivate them, and assigning them various tasks through which it creates discord within the Tibetan community. My biggest wish is that we Tibetans become aware of such issue. It is the Chinese government that is behind the establishment of so called Tibetan Public Talk and which bears the expenses. It is clear that the Chinese government bears all the expenses of the Tibetan Public Talk and the demonstration wherever HHDL visits. This is because they laid the plan in 2005. They apprised the Central Government, Zhu Weiqun and Sithar, in 2005 that they would vilify His Holiness the Dalai Lama and demonstrate against him in 2008 and would heed whatever China tells them to do. They mentioned this in 2005 and plans were completed for demonstrations in 2008. Their response was that if you could drag the Dalai Lama to court and demonstrate , we will spent any amount of expenses that is required. This is what I’ve actually heard and seen. I clearly know what Zhu Puzhang a.k.a. Zhu Weiqun himself said when he came to Nepal. Nagpo Gyatso, Dechen Trulku and Athar Tsering are merely joining hands with the Chinese Communists. They do not believe in Shugden nor have faith in Trichang Rinpoche or Phabongka Rinpoche. Within the Shugden propitiating community, lamas like Trichang Rinpoche and Phabongka Rinpoche are being used for financial gain. They do not have faith in Gelug, and nor is it for the Shugden issue. It’s just for the sake of getting money and monetary gain. When Athar Tsering was in the monastery, not knowing how to go about things, the ones who taught him, educated him, were his two tutors, who are the ones heeding the counsel of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. They both are masters who heed the counsel of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Likewise, so called Dechen Trulku’s tutor is someone who heeds the counsel of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He would regularly advice all his disciples that they must heed advice of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and those who don’t heed would not be allowed to stay in Gosog Ladrang. Gosog Rinpoche Sungrab Gyatso expels those disciples who do not heed His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s advice, and so the so called Dechen Truku had already been expelled from Ladrang a long time back. The reason that they didn’t listen to their teacher and did those things is for money and politics; it is difficult to accept that they did these because they have actual faith and belief and acceptance of religion. CPC’s spirit has entered in them. Even Nagpo Gyatso is like this. He took his monk’s ordination from of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Even though he became an ordained monk in front of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, he raises slogans asking His Holiness the Dalai Lama not to lie; it is clear that he does not believe in religious practice. The work they are doing poses a threat to the life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. When they were in the Monastic institution, if we look at who their tutors were, from whom did they receive their novice monk’s ordination, from whom they receive their ordained monk’s ordination, which lamas did they seek as their teachers, it will be clear that it is on account of money and politics. We can know that they are being used by the Chinese Communists. When the letter, stating that there are more than 10,00 0shugden propitiators, and that they be allowed to go to China, was presented, the United Front Work Department said that it is more useful to the Central Government if you the more than 20,000 people stay back in India and undertake activities there. It’s of no use coming back. To support Shugden propitiators in China, we can relax the policy in the monasteries. However, you must continue demonstrating against His Holiness the Dalai Lama since our enemy is same. Communist China’s enemy is the 14th Dalai Lama, your enemy is also the 14th Dalai Lama. We must eliminate him. They have said this. They work on the basis of saying such things. Whatever CPC is saying, some evil people in dolgyal society have sold out all the Dholgyal propitiators to China. The Dholgyal society has been undertaking activities that create dissension within the Tibetan community and pose a threat to the life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. We must all watch carefully as they are currently undertaking activities in various foreign countries on behalf of the Chinese Communists that harm the Tibetan people and Tibetan nation. Otherwise, at this point of life and death situation for the Tibetan people, it is only because of the efforts solely by His Holiness the Dalai Lama that we are able to walk around with our head raised high. Every Tibetan should be aware of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s tireless work from the age of 16 years until now. Every Tibetan must be aware of his life in danger wherever we go. If peace has to prevail throughout the world in general, everyone has a duty to protect his life. We must be careful and watchful of such people. They will make contact and create discord within Tibetan society by doing the work for China. At a time when His Holiness the Dalai Lama is not undertaking political activities, devoting himself solely to religious activities, if we do not become careful, China has got a good opportunity. They have already got the resources for creating discord in the Tibetan society and sending various people. Since His Holiness the Dalai Lama has resigned from politics, they have got the best time. Those Dolgyal propitiators who demonstrate on international platforms vilifying His Holiness the Dalai Lama beyond limit are a threat to the life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. They are undertaking all over on behalf of the Chinese Communists to harm the Tibetan politics and religion. Thus, one point that I want to make is that we must be very watchful of such people. Secondly, in the year 1999, when I was working for shugden society, one day Kunchok Gyaltsen, Chatreng Yeshi, Nga Lama and others came down to Ganden and I was summoned to Ganden from Sera. At that time I was the chairman of shugden society. I was told that we need to go to see the then Ganden Tri Rinpoche, Gen Lobsang Nyima who was in Loseling. They have held a Gelug general assembly where they have drawn up a plan to separate mouth and moustache, water and milk. If we threaten them they will not be able to accomplish this. As a way of threatening, some of us have to meet Ganden Tri Rinpoche and ask him few questions. They said I was appointed as the main questioner. Whether they were testing whether to trust me or not, , they were testing me. Whatever, I was sent along with Athar Tsering, Kunchok Gyaltsen’s cousin Choezay and the chairman of the GandenS hugden society, named Choezay Sherab. Seven or eight of us went before Ganden Tri Rinpoche. Tri Rinpoche was there. Since I have never met Tri Rinpoche before, the person to whom I asked whether Tri Rinpoche was there or not was Tri Rinpoche himself. The person told me he was there, went inside and sat on the throne. I offered three prostations before him. Athar Tsering told me not to prostate. Tri Rinpoche said there was no need to prostrate and then asked us to sit down and asked why we were here. I then told him I am the chairman of shugden society and that we are sent by shugden society in Delhi to ask about the Gelug general assembly decision to separate mouth and mustache, water and milk. I need clear answers. What is the reason for separating mouth and mustache, water and milk within the Gelug community. Then Choezay and others spoke much about you abbot and former abbots not shouldering Gelug responsibility well, They mentioned good things. They mentioned bad things. They mentioned various things. Then Tri Rinpoche said that those who do not abide by the rules of Gelug are you, shugden society. You have written baseless books and it is not a good thing. His Holiness the Dalai Lama is like the sun for whole world and producing various books really crosses the limit. I have been thinking of meeting you, and you people came here on right time today. If you people are practicing the Gelug doctrine, then if you practice what Je rinpoche said you don’t need to do more than that. When you undertake various activities, it harms the whole Gelug doctrine. Since it is not good doing bad things, you must avoid doing such things. In one of the books, you have falsely written that Ganden Tri Rinpoche propitiates shugden. You should never do that. As far as I am concerned, Kyabje Trichang Rinpoche is my root guru. I had completely given up propitiating shugdenin front of Kyabje Trichang Rinpoche. I had not made any prior life commitments, and after the advice of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, I did observation and voluntarily approached KyabjeTrichang Rinpoche in Varanasi and made this clear. I do not have any connection at all. When you say such things, you are going against the wishes of Kyabje Trichang Rinpoche. If you really heed the wishes of Khabje Trichang Rinpoche, then you must know that Kyabje Trichang Rinpoche has said that His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s deeds will be admirable and grand, something that has not happened with the various other reincarnations of Dalai Lama, whose work benefits Buddhism. Trichang Rinpoche’s real advice is to serve His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Tri Rinpoche also said that establishing your society and doing various things is not a good deed at all. They told him many different things. Athar Tsering threatened by saying that if you do not revoke those resolutions we won’t let you off easily. Tri Rinpoche replied that whatever you do, we will never withdraw them. These resolutions are passed by abbot and former abbots considering the broader welfare of the Gelug tradition and not by a single person like me who can take back or keep it as I like. He clearly mentioned that this cannot be withdrawn. While going inside, they had arranged for a video and tape record to record everything. They recorded everything and came down. After coming down, when the tape was played infront of Nga lama, Kunchok Gyaltsen, Chatreng Yeshi, Gen Chime and others, nothing was recorded, nor was there video recording. They were all astonished. They had plans of using the recorded audio and video of the conversation with Tri Rinpoche and since nothing was there they could not use them. In 1996, in Sera Pomra Khangtsen, when those who had connection with Geshe Kelsang and Nga lama, launched a movement against keeping His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s portrait, many of the monks coming from Tibet said the portrait should not be removed. During that time, an old monk said His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s portrait should not be taken away no matter what. He mentioned that before Kyabje Trichang Rinpoche’s death, they were all summoned at the upper floor of Sera mey and were told by Trichang Rinpoche that if in future His Holiness the Dalai Lama gives advice about Shugden issue, you must heed the advice of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, if you ever lose faith in His Holiness the Dalai Lama, you will all go to hell. Trichang Rinpoche said you should never lose faith in His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Whathever Trichang Rinpoche told to those old monks of Sera Pomra Khangtsen who revere and trust him was retold to us by the old monk during our meeting. From these it is clear. They are the ones who do not follow the advice of Kyabje Trichang Rinpoche, do not pay heed to the advices of Trichang Rinpoche and Phabongka; rather it is for their own money and position without any thoughts of practicing the Gelug tradition for the propagation of the doctrine. They do not have the slightest dedication for Tibet and Tibetan people. In Tibet, we do not have freedom and there are lots of political restrictions. Outside Tibet, we are only about a hundred thousand Tibetans but have faced such problems. At a time when we act on behalf of the Tibetans in Tibet and thus get good coverage throughout the world, they act on behalf of China and where required condemn Sikyong and Tibetan Parliament. They confront everyone who works for the government [Central Tibetan Administration]. Especially, see how they vilify the courageous heroes of Tibet and the Tibetan people? They are able to give a misinterpretation when a Tibetan self-immolates for the cause of the Tibetan issue. Our Tibetan should look. Joining the Chinese Communists they are given tasks and get money. It is important that we be alert and watchful of the people, whose names I mentioned above. Since I have seen and also went with them, it is a clear truth that they have connection with Communist China and get money from it. Likewise, around two hundred of their people from Nepal, Ganden and Serpom monastery got together and went saying they want to demolish all the offices of the Tibetan Administration, similar to the real arrival of Communist Chinese. It was Indian intelligence who stopped them, or else they might have destroyed many offices of the Tibetan Administration. Even though they have already killed people they needed to kill, they also sent over 200 people to Dharsamsala. It is only because the Indian intelligence stopped them or else everyone must have reached there. If they had really reached there, how much problem would have been created? How saddened would His Holiness the Dalai Lama have been? Someone who has worked since early age of 16 to 80, whether we accept religion or not, we have such a kind leader. They had the will to raise their hands against the offices of the Tibetan Administration, which is located near him. So if we Tibetans do not become cautious and be alert, it is not about whether they can propitiate shugden or not. I want to say that I know for sure that their aim is to work for Communist China’s politics and destroy religion and culture of Tibet, befriend with CPC and to secure their position, and for this use a few of their subordinates. Generally speaking, there are lots of issues. Since the year 1996 to 2008/2009, I have full experience of how Dolgyal society came in contact with China, all the relationships, facts of going with them and working with them. I have friends and acquaintances in the Dolgyal society and clearly know what they have done. In the end, in a nutshell what I want to say is that they join hands with Communist Chinese mainly to create obstacles to the glorious activities of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in the world, to pose a threat to HHDL’s life, to destroy the Tibetan people and the Tibetan Administration, to create disunity amongst three provinces of Tibet, and attempting to infiltrate and do various activities are their main focus. I want to say that they are being paid by CPC and work as a representative of CPC. Lastly, my prayers to the six million Tibetan people for long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who’s our eyes and heart, the refuge for this life and the next. I pray that we all six million Tibetan people unite and heed his advice and may the just cause of Tibet see a solution soon. (The filming stopped after he burst into tears after that).
We, the undersigned, as former members of the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT), and ex-practitioners of Dorje Shugden, are appalled and saddened that those who were once our NKT sangha demonstrate against and defame His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Inaccuracies and distortions of what we know to be the truth have been published as fact. The New Kadampa Tradition currently operates as the ‘International Shugden Community’ (ISC) and also as the ‘Western Shugden Society’ (WSS). Many allegations and insults are made against His Holiness which are completely unwarranted. At demonstrations and on numerous web sites and Facebook pages, the NKT/ISC viciously attacks the reputation of His Holiness. We have tried to address inaccuracies with the group, but without success. We believe it is time to speak out with one voice. Here we highlight a few of the issues created by the New Kadampa Tradition, their leader Kelsang Gyatso, and his followers: 1) The ‘NKT/WSS/ISC’ say that His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a ‘liar’. A difference of opinion does not equate to lying. His Holiness holds a different opinion from Kelsang Gyatso and the NKT about the nature and history of Dolgyal Shugden and the effects of this practice upon the well-being of His Holiness, the Tibetan people and their cause. To call His Holiness a ‘liar’ because of this difference of opinion makes no sense. 2) The ‘NKT/WSS/ISC’ claim that His Holiness the Dalai Lama has gone against all his teachers, broken his samaya and destroyed the lineage of Je Tsongkhapa by rejecting the practice of Dolgyal Shugden. His Holiness states that after conducting extensive research into the history and problems of Shugden practice, he consulted with his Junior Tutor Trijang Rinpoche and explained the reasons why it was his duty to reject this practice. The historical record shows that Shugden practice is often contentiously associated with sectarian views and ‘distorted aspiration’ and was viewed as problematic by His Holiness’ Senior Tutor, Ling Rinpoche. In fact, in this action His Holiness was actually following a course which, according to Buddhist scriptures and past masters, as Kelsang Gyatso himself states, is absolutely correct and appropriate. In his book Clear Light of Bliss Kelsang Gyatso states: “When deciding which doctrine to rely upon, we should not be satisfied with the fame or reputation of a particular teacher, but instead should examine what he or she teaches. If, upon investigation, we find the teachings reasonable and faultless, we should accept them, but if they lack these qualities we should reject them, no matter how famous or charismatic their expounder might be.” Kelsang Gyatso therefore contradicts his own advice when he asserts that His Holiness has broken his samaya with Trijang Rinpoche. 3) Kelsang Gyatso also claims that by rejecting one particular protector practice, this means that His Holiness the Dalai Lama is rejecting all Gelug teachings, the lineage of Je Tsongkhapa. His Holiness has not rejected all Gelug teachings and still holds his lineage gurus in the highest esteem. Kelsang Gyatso, however, is never seen in public with any teachers connected to the lineage he claims to represent. He is alone, without the influence of either peers or superiors. He created the NKT in 1992 after a schism with another Tibetan Buddhist group which invited him to the UK to teach in 1977 and whose property he then kept as the ‘mother centre’ of the NKT. In 1996 he was unanimously expelled from Sera Je Tibetan Buddhist monastery, where he trained, for being a ‘holder of broken commitments and wrong view’. As he is the only Tibetan teacher in his own tradition of ‘Modern Buddhism’, with his own ‘new’ ordination and no study of the traditional Vinaya teachings of Buddha Shakyamuni, he also effectively isolates his own students from the wider Buddhist world. 4) In 1998 Kelsang Gyatso stated that the NKT would no longer be involved in any further demonstrations against His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He admitted that the Shugden issue was, in reality, an issue of Tibetan politics and promised that the NKT would not take part in any further inappropriate actions. Since then Kelsang Gyatso and the NKT have organised two further rounds of protests, one beginning in 2008, and the latest round currently being staged. 5) In 2008 Kelsang Gyatso wrote to all his dharma centres stating that he was personally organising the NKT’s participation in the protests. He also said the protests were being organised by a group called the Western Shugden Society (WSS). A simple check reveals that all the Directors of WSS were and are members of the New Kadampa Tradition. Yet the NKT often denies that they have any connection to the WSS. Kelsang Pema, Gyatso’s former assistant, informed journalists that the WSS had no leader. 6) Even if the NKT say that it is only an ‘individual decision’ for a student to support the protests, we know that at present the ISC directly and actively recruits protestors and fundraises for demonstrations against His Holiness the Dalai Lama inside NKT centres. 7) The 2014 NKT campaign is delivered by its latest front group, the International Shugden Community. Currently, the ISC has two registered groups. In Norway ISC records show the Executive Director and Chairman to be NKT teachers. The ISC US based non-profit company in California shares an address with a large health food company of which Len Foley, an ex NKT teacher, is CEO. His wife, Rebecca Gauthier, an NKT Resident Teacher, is also spokesperson for the ISC in the US. The ISC front-man is a senior NKT monk named Kelsang Rabten. In his YouTube “News Broadcasts” Kelsang Rabten does not wear his monk’s robes and appears to be a professional journalist. He hides his status and biased position. One ISC video uses footage of young Burmese monks conducting traditional alms-rounds to fraudulently misrepresent the situation in India regarding the supposed ‘ostracism’ of Shugden followers. Techniques such as these are deceitful, designed only to exaggerate their claims against His Holiness. 8) The allegation that the Dalai Lama is engaging in repression of Freedom of Religion is, in fact, more relevant to the way the NKT itself operates. NKT Centres are dedicated to the exclusive devotion of Kelsang Gyatso. NKT centres and teachers are only permitted to teach from books written by Kelsang Gyatso. Teachers other than those trained by the NKT and appointed by Kelsang Gyatso are not allowed. Ordained NKT people and others are told they will be reborn in the hell realms and may not get enlightened if they leave the NKT. 9) There are many documented cases where the NKT threatened to sue using libel law and thus silenced other Buddhist organisations, umbrella groups, internet discussion forums and academics, authors and publishers. People inside the group can realistically fear social exclusion, illegal eviction or police arrest if they criticise policies. In our experience, the NKT generally prioritises the expansion of the group over the welfare of individuals. The NKT Survivors internet group numbers over 1,200 subscribers. There is no Dalai Lama Survivor’s group. 10) With the backdrop of continued Human Rights abuses against the Tibetan people, who number little more than 6 million in total, and the mass slaughter of an unknown number of Tibetans due to the Chinese occupation and colonisation often quoted as being more than one million, claims made by the ISC such as that ‘4 million Dorje Shugden practitioners are suffering’ are obviously lies. No established Human Rights group or court has ever confirmed any of the NKT/WSS or ISC’s claims of intentional Human Rights abuses by His Holiness the Dalai Lama or the Central Tibetan Administration. In 2010 the Indian High Court rejected a law suit by Shugden followers because of ‘vague averments’ and ‘absence of any specific instances of any such attacks’. We offer our support to the Tibetan people in their struggle to preserve their lives and their culture and question the intentions of those who use this culture but appear not to support this struggle. Both in 1996-7 and in 2008 the demonstrations against His Holiness the Dalai Lama coincided with the public exposure on the internet of the alleged sexual misconduct of the Deputy Spiritual Directors of the NKT. In view of the consistently unkind behaviour of his own organisation, we feel that Kelsang Gyatso and his students can have no moral right for making such attempts to discredit and defame His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Those of us who once belonged to the New Kadampa Tradition are resolved to bring these inaccuracies, disinformation, and outright lies to light. Who better to reveal the truth than we who were once inside the organisation? 19th August 2014 Carol McQuire Jamie Kostek Lynne Cracknell Ani Tsultrim Graham Smetham Linda Ciardiello Ian Thomas David Cutshaw Robert Helms Steve Maxwell Michael Brown Charles Wesley Andrew Durling Andrew Cheadle Kevan Webb Tenzin Peljor James Tregaskis Tim Ford Karma Yonten Amanda Zinski Stuart Everard Andrea Ballance Richard Litchfield David Silver Supporters Lyn G Farrell Charlie Worthington Tony Allen Cynthia von Hendricks Ashoka von Hendricks Dan Ballance Joanne Clark