October 4, 2013
Dear Gen-la Dekyong, Gen Jampa, Gen Rigpa, and Educational Council,
Having written before concerning the state of Kadam dharma in San Diego and other California venues, I would like to clarify with you how invasive some of the NKT impersonators have been while appearing to determine my level of commitment to Dorje Shugden. It appears that many of these people posed as people genuinely interested in being NKT students while actually having decided ahead of time that they were going to dissuade practioners from the dharma, including overthrowing our Sangha from a Geshe Kelsang/Dorje Shugden one to some sort of “lineage” that lacks the Shugden practice; since the Dalai Lama is the one that wishes for the Shugden practice to be wiped off the earth, then reasonably these people are trying to follow the Dalai Lama’s wishes. Since the Dalai Lama is not and never has been in charge of all of Buddhism, including his own lineage, then logically these people are either students of the Dalai Lama or students of people affiliated with the Dalai Lama.
I am not currently sure exactly the religious affiliation of various “members” of the San Diego temple. However, I am completely unconvinced that (Name Deleted, Name Deleted, or Name Deleted) ever intended for our lineage to survive. I have been approached by people, including (Name Deleted), in an overt manner to be “friends” with them. I will explain as follows, concerning the attempts of different people to get to know us and convert us; in the case of the first two of them, when I would not convert, I was dropped as a friend, after these people had gotten to know me, had been in my home, and discussed, posing as NKT members, my practice. They have sought repeatedly to keep people from coming to VBC and have also tried to argue that I should be on any path but this one; therefore at this point, (hindsight), I realize that they were never with us in the first place. The personal attempts at conversion and home invasion have several issues:
- The Dalai Lama has repeatedly banned our Protector practice and has, through the forced signature campaign in India, made people either carry a card disavowing the Shugden practice or not be served in Tibetan shops or allowed medicine or other welfare. This practice resembles the treatment of Jewish people in the early days of the Nazi reign.
- Had I known that any of these people who pretended to befriend me or pretended to be part of our Sangha were actually against the Shugden practice to begin with, then I would not have agreed to spend time with them, as I would have understood them to be in a lineage that wants our Shugden Buddhist school to end. If they are really NKT practitioners, especially long term ones, that do not like Dorje Shugden, then one would wonder what exactly they are still doing here. Obviously if they don’t like the main chanting practice, there is a lot of places they can go to practice; they may well be staying around us to convince people to leave or to otherwise cause problems, such as a staged Sangha schism; logically, since these anti-Shugden people could easily have gone somewhere else for Buddhism, but stayed around and started teaching different transmissions, then it implies that they wish to convert our Center away from Geshe Kelsang’s doctrine. Of course, Geshe Kelsang directly opposed the Dorje Shugden ban and is in hiding so that the Dalai Lama fanatics won’t kill him; therefore, changing his Center’s transmissions, especially by people who never seemed to like the Shugden practice and spoke against it, would seem like an attempt at ending the Shugden practice and Geshe Kelsang’s school. In other words, these anti-Shugden/Dalai Lama followers are attempting to act against practitioners of Dorje Shugden, by invading their temples with liars and imposters. I would consider this an act of intolerance and hate, against a subset of Buddhists: the Shugden practitioners. Therefore, to me, this is not only harassment, but also a hate crime that they wish to invade our homes and temples to find out how to better convert us or overthrow our Center(s).
- Many of the anti-Shugden people involved have the following in common; they pose as NKT Sangha members in order to get to know people and dissuade them from our doctrine and the Shugden practice:
- (Name Deleted): I first met her at a picnic (Kids and Families) about 3 years ago (August 2010). The next time I saw her was when the Tuesday FP started, in the fall of that same year. At FP, (Name Deleted) approached me and immediately told me how cute my daughter was and invited us (my daughter and I) enthusiastically to get together with her and her daughter; we got together a handful of times, including playdates and a few times exchanged babysitting. Whenever we got together (Name Deleted) would bring up the topic of how she really wasn’t sure about the NKT including the following: 1. whether we should be doing the Shugden practice if HHDL didn’t like it 2. That she didn’t do the pujas at all— including puja requirement for FP 3. That VBC had a strange energy 4. That she couldn’t see any point of bringing her child to puja because she’d just run around like she always does 5. That she had been reading the NKT tantra books and that she thought “NKT monks aren’t really celibate.” (She seemed particularly interested in whether the monastic resident teachers would be; I assured her that NKT monks/nuns observe monastic Pratimoksha vows, including celibacy). 6. (Name Deleted) kept asking me if I what pujas I went to and how often; this is a common question for these people, because apparently they will consider a person a lost cause to convert if they do Heart Jewel regularly. I only did WFJ weekly and LPP monthly back then, as my main practice was Avalokiteshvara at the time, so for a while she continued to talk to me. However, when (Name Deleted) would tell me that she thought we should read all kinds of dharma, not just the transmissions from Geshe Kelsang, I would simply reply that I like other lineages too, but that I like to read these books because this is a good path for me. When I told her that I thought it was great we had these books because we could practice the Mahayana dharma from them, including forming all our motivations to help beings from them, she told me “you need therapy.” (Name Deleted) started to seem to greatly dislike me from that point on, though it was only a month or so before Atisha was sent off to “retrain.” Nearly as soon as he left, (Name Deleted) became a lunchtime meditation teacher under Amy; this is unusual to me that someone would speak against reading Geshe-la’s books, have so little interest in the Shugden practice, but then want to teach so soon. 7. (Name Deleted) would encourage me to go anywhere but VBC before Atisha left, and would nearly always cancel babysitting if it involved my going to the Center. 8. As mentioned previously, (Name Deleted) also intercepted us before we went to kids class, dropped us at her house leaving me with the kids while she went to Prayers for World Peace. She had assured me that she would be back in time to get us in time for kids’ class, but then decided that we were not going to the kid’s class, bailing, as often is the case with (Name Deleted), without a phone call. 9. When leaving my daughter with her, I brought fruits and vegetables from Long Protector tsog; (Name Deleted) appeared very upset that I was offering that to her and the kids and refused it. I tried to explain that it was blessed, that it was all fruits and veggies, so it wouldn’t make little kids have a sugar high, but she insisted on giving me back the tsog, appearing afraid of it for some reason.
- (Name Deleted): This was a woman I met at Tara practice New Year’s Eve (the new year being 2011). She asked me about my daughter and seemed friendly. Since (Name Deleted–AD at time) wouldn’t reduce my class fees so I could really hire a babysitter, I thought of babysit swapping with (Name Deleted), who had a baby a year or so younger than my daughter. She accepted this proposal, but also liked to talk about how other paths are good, so why not just switch to another one? She also cancelled babysitting a lot and didn’t seem too interested in tsog; when I tried to give her some, she would take it, but never actually eat it in front of me, saying she’d eat it later. (Together with (Name Deleted) this made for a strange impression of Kadampas as very unreliable and also unaware of the helpfulness of eating tsog for blessings). (Name Deleted), who had been a resident of the VBC and still continued to bring our tsog offerings every week after moving out, also drove me to Atisha’s farewell party. She told me in the car, “leave VBC and never come back here. Come to me to another Buddhist Center with no doctrine.” I replied that I liked this particular school (NKT). (Name Deleted) seemed to drop me as a friend after that; I guess if I don’t convert then these people don’t need anything to do with me.
- (Name Deleted): (Name Deleted) taught the kids class when Amy was there, including zen/tao mediations, which may have been chosen by Gregg or Amy; (Name Deleted) is actually a person that I think might have been misled by the false doctrines of Gregg and others; I don’t think (Name Deleted) really dislikes our school, but I think she has been taught by Gregg and others that we should mix the teachings; that we are close minded if we don’t mix doctrine. (Name Deleted) and her partner (Name Deleted) came to my daughter’s and my house Sept 8, 2011, I remember the date because it was Tara Day and the electricity went out in several parts of California due to a power grid outage. They took us to their house and introduced other books than Geshe Kelsang’s; I mention this not because I am worried about people reading other books, but rather because I am not sure why we have to make sure that new people are exposed to so many dharmas. In my case, I do have a few books by other Buddhist authors on my shelf as well, and read extensively different types of Buddhism the first year I was Buddhist; however, when people want to follow a particular teacher, why are we encouraging others to dissuade them from the teachings? I think Gregg Lane is friends with (names deleted), so I am concerned that he may be influencing people to find it necessary to mix dharmas.
In addition to all of this seeming odd, I find it strange that Gregg Lane, as a long term “NKT” person, who went so far as to help with starting the Center, was so quick to want to change the curriculum once Atisha walked out the door. I don’t really buy that Gregg Lane was ever with us, but rather wanted to start a Center in San Diego, perhaps with option of making it a non-Shugden one shortly after Geshe-la’s death. After all, during the first few years I was here, I made nearly every single LPP but Gregg never showed up at LPP until Chokyi arrived; he was there the same night as (names deleted), and 2 other FPers who never showed up once to LPP in the 2 years prior either. I don’t think he wants the NKT doctrine since he changed to zen immediately; that Gregg Lane likes to test the waters to see how committed the other person is to the NKT’s ideas is obvious: he told me he wanted to change the Sunday Kids’ class format but said ‘of course, I want to stay only with the Geshe Kelsang books.” I happily replied that that would be good, which I guess is a sign that I am not his sort.
That we have such an invasive crew finding out how much of the Shugden practice we do and also how committed we are to this doctrine is like having S.S. officers posing as Jews and invading a synagogue, ‘befriending’ its congregants all in order to discern how best to wipe the religion/people off the earth. I consider the Dalai Lama/anti Shugden people had already decided that they want to end our Protector Practice while pretending to befriend us on a fact finding/conversion mission. When we won’t convert, then we are dropped like a hot potato, and eventually, in my family’s case, became completely excluded from our normal Sangha activities for mentioning to the GSD and NSD. I consider that Gregg Lane’s actions, along with others, were premeditated and directed at the ending of a lineage; pretending to befriend me to harm my lineage is a heinous action; I also consider all of this, together with our treatment at the CADC, which obviously had anti-Shugden people involved in its running, an actual hate crime, as it involves deception, the ending of a religious group, and direct harassment against individuals within the group.
I offer you this information so that we may help the pure undiluted teachings of Buddha, including those protected by Dorje Shugden, remain on the earth for a very long time. May all beings benefit.