Letter to U.S. Sec. of State, Shugden and Karmapa issues

January 2, 2015

Secretary of State John Kerry

U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520

Dear Secretary Kerry:

There is an issue of U.S. involvement in the Buddhist religion, concerning Vajrayana Buddhism, due to the C.I.A funding of the Dalai Lama of Tibet, and the resultant consequences to Tibetan and Vajrayana Buddhism generally.[1] It is my concern that the U.S. government unintentionally involved itself in the Buddhist religion, while involving itself in the “propaganda” of the anti-communist pro-Tibet stance of the early 1960s to present.[2] The Dalai Lama’s agenda of being in charge combined with the U.S. showcasing him as a peace icon is working against the 1st Amendment Rights of Shugden and other non-Dalai Lama U.S Buddhists.

While the Dalai Lama was the secular leader of Tibet from the time of the 5th Dalai Lama to present, he actually was never in charge of Buddhism, not even Tibetan Buddhism.  That he claims to be a “Buddhist Pope” is a recent development, that he did this recognition, that of the 14th Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lamas are not the oldest reincarnate lama lineage (succession of enlightened Buddhist masters taking intentional rebirth to help all living beings); he in fact is in the youngest school of Buddhism, the Gelugpa; the oldest school in Tibet is Nyingma, and the oldest line of reincarnate lamas is from the Kagyu, headed by the Karmapa.[3] The Dalai Lama has the backing of the U.S. “propaganda[4]” to enhance his reputation, which is unfortunate given his destruction of both Tibetan politics and the Buddhist religion.

The 14th Dalai Lama, theoretically the Buddha of Compassion, Chenrezig, talks a lot about compassion, but appears to be no more than a sound-bite; he demonstrates no understanding of compassion in his ban against Dorje Shugden. Furthermore, he also interfered with another school, the Kagyupa, attempting to over-ride the legitimately (according to Kagyu tradition) Karma Kagyu Karmapa, Thaye Dorje, with China’s communist educated candidate, Urgen Thrinley.

Concerning the Dalai Lama’s other Buddhism-destroying issue, the Shugden ban, the Dalai Lama’s Shugden ban includes his banning people from his teachings, from government jobs, from any clinic or shop that wishes to post a “No Shugdens” sign, and people who attend his teachings from being friends with people who do the Shugden practice; in other words, he makes Shugden practitioners into pariahs.[5]  The segregation, with the “No Shugdens,” posted on medical clinics, shops, and even the Dalai Lama’s palace, resembles the unfortunate past history of the U.S. when signs that said “no coloreds” were posted.

Why did the Dalai Lama ban the practice of Buddha Dorje Shugden, practiced by 30-66 percent of Tibetans and by western Buddhists from the NKT and Lama Gangchen schools?  It was the main practice of the highest lamas in his school, the Gelugpa, so why did he ban it?  The answer is clear if we also look at the recognition of the false China Karmapa the Dalai Lama “chose” for Buddhism, which I argue he would have been unable to effectively do if it had not been for the worldwide publicity/propaganda of the U.S. government. He is the first Dalai Lama to try to recognize the Karmapa, who is from another school, and whose first 300 years of reincarnations were uninvolved with any Gelugpa Dalai Lamas, as the Dalai Lamas had not started to reincarnate yet.[6] By choosing the China Karmapa, the Dalai Lama forces Kagyus to choose between himself as free-Tibet icon, and the real Karmapa.  This divides the Kagyupa.

To divide his own school the same way as he divided the Kagyupa, the Dalai Lama had to force people to choose between him, the political leader and icon of a free Tibet, or the instructions of Gelugpa gurus far more venerated than he.  By banning the practice of his teacher, the very erudite and famous Trijang Rinpoche, the Dalai Lama put Tibetan (and in many cases, due to his immense U.S. backed popularity) Vajrayana Buddhists generally in a sort of conundrum: either follow their teachers and go against the Dalai Lama, or show their support of the Dalai Lama but break the deepest most fundamental commitments to their teachers.  Generally, it is very important to listen to the instructions of the guru (lama, teacher) in Vajrayana Buddhism; a legitimate Vajrayana teacher will not order the student to do anything inappropriate, but will instead give advice concerning how to practice to attain enlightenment.  Venerable Trijang Rinpoche, who was one of the main teachers, before he passed in the 1980s, of the Dalai Lama’s Gelugpa School, very much propagated the practice of Buddha Dorje Shugden.  Many many lamas and their disciples followed Trijang Rinpoche; in fact almost if not all of Gelugpa masters received high initiations from Trijang Rinpoche, which means he is the lama whose advice they would follow regarding practice.  By banning the most famous Gelugpa master’s practice, the Dalai Lama effectively split the Gelugpa School, in a divide and conquer strategy.  People have to choose, since the Dalai Lama advises his followers not to associate materially or spiritually with Shugden followers, between publically following the Dalai Lama, who the U.S. made into an iconic symbol of peace, democracy, and the cause of Tibet or their passed on lama’s instructions.  Generally, if a lama passes on, people continue his instructions, because he can no longer say anything else, until his reincarnation is found and comes of age, so they will follow what he last told them.

Concerning the Shugden ban then, the Dalai Lama has told his followers not to associate with people who do the Shugden practice, which is just prayers and meditation to a Buddha named Dorje Shugden.  There are signs posted in communities in India to keep Shugden followers out;[7] in the U.S., as a Shugden practitioner, I often receive people trying to convert me and my young child to the Dalai Lama’s “Buddhism.” When I will not convert, they get angry and shun us.  Furthermore, the only human on earth that the Dalai Lama gave permission to do this practice is in hiding in Vermont, the reincarnation of the famous Trijang Rinpoche. Geshe Kelsang Gyatso the lama who founded the New Kadamapa Tradition, of which I am a current member, is the first on the Dalai Lama’s hitlist of one to ten enemies to be eliminated.[8]

I would like to point out that the Dalai Lama, as I have mentioned, not only split his own school, Gelugpa, with this terrible ban, but he also split my first school (and possibly my ultimate school) the Karma Kagyu, by usurping the authority of the Kagyu master in charge of finding the Kagyu School’s Karmapa (that is not the jurisdiction of Gelugpas).[9] The Dalai Lama actually tried to place all four schools of Tibetan Buddhism under his own command in the 1960s; to a Nyingma rival (Dudjom Rinpoche) who opposed the take-over by the Dalai Lama, the Dalai Lama had him imprisoned as a Chinese spy, though of course, this lama was just trying to be in charge of his own school.[10]  When the Kagyupa (under the 16th Karmapa) did not want the Dalai Lama to take over all the schools of Buddhism, the Dalai Lama, over-rode the real Karmapa recognition (probably not wanting to deal with the powerful Karmapa in the latter’s last incarnation).  Instead, the Dalai Lama picked the same candidate as China wanted; Dalai Lamas do not generally look kindly upon the Kagyu; Karma Kagyu was a long-standing perceived rival of the Dalai Lamas of Tibet, the latter of which have not always had enlightened beings recognized as their incarnations, according to the recently late Shamar Rinpoche.[11] For an example, Shamar Rinpoche gave the fifth Dalai Lama, who had beheaded about 1000 Kagyu abbots, and forcibly converted their monasteries to Gelugpa, after also slaughtering 7000 Kagyu monks and sending the 10th Karmapa into exile.[12]  I am afraid the 14th Dalai Lama, having lost his country to China, decided to opportunistically seize religious power from his historical rivals via his Teflon Nobel Peace Monk status granted by the C.I.A.’s propaganda.

It looks like the Dalai Lama used the “peace-loving monk” propaganda that was intended by the U.S. government to combat communism for his own purpose of trumping other Buddhist lamas; this caused issues in Buddhism, Tibetan and Vajrayana Buddhisms, worldwide.   Anything against the Dalai Lama’s wishes is seen by many Tibetans to be favoring China politically; with the religion and politics mixed in Tibet, the Dalai Lama seems to have managed to transfer his being the former head of state of Tibet to his being “in charge” of Vajrayana Buddhism worldwide.  For example, even though I never took the Dalai Lama as a lama, and was never at an empowerment with him, the Dalai Lama’s confused WESTERN followers think I have “turned against” their lama, because I do not see him as my lama.  He never was my lama, because he never was in charge of all of Tibetan or other Buddhism, though the U.S. backed propaganda seems to have the west confused on this point. Many Dalai Lama followers then think everyone is supposed to follow the Dalai Lama; the western press often claims he is the Pope of Buddhism, and is a man of peace.  The confused logic of the Dalai Lama’s followers seems to be that this is the perfect man of the Nobel -Peace -Prize- Pope- of -Buddhism who can do no wrong.  Therefore, in his followers minds, if the Dalai Lama backs a (unhelpful, China) Karmapa then that is right. If he says not to associate with Shugdens unless it’s to convert us or undermine us, then that too, is also correct, according to the Dalai Lama’s followers because the Dalai Lama is Mr. Nobel Peace. I would like to point out here that this is obviously the result of propaganda, because President Obama is also a Nobel Peace Laureate, but due to the lack of bolstering propaganda, he has no Teflon.

In other words, the CIA’s propaganda seems to have worked unnervingly well on people; even westerners cannot imagine the Dalai Lama doing anything that isn’t peaceful.  If I tell even a non-Buddhist that the Dalai Lama has banned my practice, their initial reaction is that there must be something wrong with ME because the Dalai Lama is inherently wonderful or something, only peaceful, only perfect, etc..  While that is impressive propaganda, I must ask that the U.S. government, who I believe may still be funding Tibet House US and the Dalai Lama, would please back off on the propaganda, because the Dalai Lama is interfering with the very legitimate and real religion of Buddhism; unfortunately U.S. money is going to help this end.  This directly helps his religious dictatorship while harming the non-Dalai-Lama Buddhists in the U.S., who either do the Shugden practice or who follow the real (non-Dalai Lama) Karmapa, Thaye Dorje. (I happen to follow both, just by the miracle of pure non-Dalai-Lama karma).

I would also ask, since we have funded Tibet House U.S. and/or the Dalai Lama during years that he acted against U.S. and foreign Karmapa Thaye Dorje Kagyus, and U.S. and foreign Shugdens, then please ask the Dalai Lama to officially, in writing, end the ban on Dorje Shugden; it would also be very helpful to Buddhism if he would go ahead and recognize both Karmapas; the Dalai Lama has recognized China’s candidate and says he cannot retract; if he cannot retract (and retracting would be excellent) then he should at least recognize the Karmapa Thaye Dorje candidate as well, since he was recognized according to Tibetan tradition (the head of the Kagyu, Shamar Rinpoche recognized him). The U.S. government should ask the Dalai Lama to formally recognize the Thaye Dorje candidate for Karmapa (he can also still recognize the other China recognition) and formally end the ban on Shugden because:

  1. The U.S. Government was obviously heavily involved in Tibet and Buddhism via their propaganda of the Dalai Lama as the Teflon peace monk, which has affected Buddhism. This is not fair to Buddhists worldwide that U.S. involvement, which includes financial involvement should help oppress them or restrict religious freedom
  2. The U.S. Government does not have the right to appoint a Pope of Buddhism for me, a U.S. citizen, nor fund religious bigotry which affects my daily life (I have to avoid talking about my practice of Shugden, or Dalai Lama Buddhists and some other (Dalai Lama affiliated) camps will hate me; we have a lot of people who come and try to convert us; our religion is being destroyed and we are being ostracized as a result of the Dalai Lama’s bigotry). The CIA’s Tibet House and pro-Dalai Lama propaganda and funding was involved in the difficulty of getting American and other western Buddhists to think for themselves rather than blindly following the Dalai Lama’s every wish.
  3. The U.S. Government in State Department documents, refers to the decrees of the Dalai Lama as correct regarding Buddhism/Tibetan politics. It is understandable that the U.S. Government may have gotten confused, since religion and state were not separate in Dalai Lama’s Tibet, nor indeed under China either. However, just because the Dalai Lama chose a candidate (from another school—the Kagyupa) as Karmapa does not mean that he picked the legitimate Karmapa; in fact, in an effort to appease China and remove his rival in one act, the Dalai Lama illegitimately chose China’s Urgen Thrinely.  While it is clear that China doesn’t need to pick the Panchen Lama, and the Dalai Lama has a different candidate, that is a different issue, since the Panchen Lama is from the Dalai Lama’s school. The U.S., because of our separation of church and state, and general lack of understanding of past lives and Buddhism, probably did not really understand the enormous magnitude that their legitimizing the Dalai Lama’s every recognition or act has on Buddhism as a whole.  It is essential that just as the U.S. government would not be allowed to fund a certain person to be Pope of the Catholics, so they should not fund the Dalai Lama’s religious agenda either; his Karmapa choice was not even his to make, but unfortunately, due to the U.S. backing and limelight of the press, even the State Department did not question his actions.  Having the Dalai Lama appoint the Karmapa would be analogously akin to the U.S. Government’s backing the Methodist Church’s decision to suddenly pick the Catholic Pope for the Catholics.  According to the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. cannot help one church take over another; thus the U.S cannot allow the Dalai Lama to assume control over Kagyu affairs with U.S. endorsement and monetary backing, nor can we legitimize his Shugden discrimination, which is causing suffering to Buddhists worldwide.  The State Department should change its policy of blindly following the Dalai Lama’s recognitions, since that is interfering with Buddhism, for instance in the very legitimate Karma Kagyu school.

Concerning the Shugden ban. The Dalai Lama will tell you he doesn’t have a Shugden ban; however the Dalai Lama is a politician, and is lying.  He accuses both the Thaye Dorje Karmapa School and the Shugden lamas of being headed by demons/sprits, which is seriously out of touch with both Buddhism and modern thinking. I have been to India (2001) and know there was discrimination back then against Shugdens (I saw it with my own eyes).  As a (at the time) non-Shugden Kagyu who didn’t follow the Dalai Lama, I had a street of Dalai Lama followers trying to spit on me in New Delhi in the Tibetan settlement. The Dalai Lama people in the United States, including Tibet House president Robert Thurman are a fairly unkind and nasty bunch; while I was tweeting on-line against the Dalai Lama’s Shugden ban, Robert Thurman targeted Shugden Twitter accounts (including mine),put us on a list, to be reported and blocked; apparently Thurman asked for our accounts to be hacked by Anonymous, trying to shut down on-line protests against the Dalai Lama.[13]  I take some exception to his being funded by U.S. tax dollars via Tibet House U.S., especially since he put out a tweet asking how he could get “anonymous” to hack Shugden protestor accounts.  He also accuses us of being paid by China, though I’m not paid by anybody, let alone a foreign government.

In closing, the U.S. Government was obviously using the Dalai Lama as a propaganda icon of peace and democracy for Tibet; however, he does not in any way live up to his title of Peace Laureate; the issues these days is that Buddhism is a religion that a lot of westerners practiced in our past lives; we have to stand up for our freedom to practice without government propaganda favoring a man (the Dalai Lama) who is simply an old politician and dictator, and never was supposed to be in charge (and reality isn’t in charge)of Buddhism.  He has destroyed much of the harmony in Buddhism, both in the U.S. and around the world, and it is hard to call him out on it, due to the CIA’s incessant propagandizing of the Dalai Lama as pro-human rights, and pro-harmony in religion.  His idea of harmony is that if he thinks a practice causes disharmony (like Shugden) then he will ban it; if he is in charge and everyone does what he wants, the Dalai Lama considers that to be religious harmony; if people wish to worship freely but without repercussions of losing their jobs, being alienated from their friends and even family, not being served in shops, etc. then he will try to silence us to have “harmony.” In other words, “everyone shut up sit down and listen to the Dalai Lama,” is religious harmony in the Dalai Lama’s eyes.

I am asking please, if the State Department/CIA could attempt not to use Buddhist or other religious leaders as pro-democracy propaganda, as it mixes religion and politics, which is against the spirit of the U.S. Constitution.  Also, since the U.S. government has already been involved deeply with the Dalai Lama and Tibet House, then I would ask please, that the U.S. government 1.get the Dalai Lama to officially ask that Shugden people be treated as equals and befriended, and the Shugden ban completely revoked in writing and 2. To have the Dalai Lama either retract his recognition of the China candidate for Karmapa (Urgen Thrinley) or at the very least to recognize the legitimate (non-China, pro-Kagyu) Karmapa Thaye Dorje as a legitimate recognition of the Karmapa. (Buddhas can reincarnate in more than one form, though I don’t personally think the Chinese-Dalai Lama one has anything to do with Karmapa).

Please understand, the Dalai Lama is very old, and if he passes away before he changes his stance on these two important issues, the ban on Shugden and recognizing the (legitimate) Thaye Dorje Karmapa, that whatever the Dalai Lama says before he dies will stand.  It would be preferable to get the statements in writing, please, to repair the damage the U.S. Government inadvertently caused to Buddhism, via funding the duplicitous Dalai Lama. It would be very helpful to the karma (for this and future lives) of yourselves, the U.S. people, and all living beings if you can manage to convince the Dalai Lama to un-divide Buddhism by writing these two necessary statements.

Thank you for your consideration. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions; I have included footnotes with references to back my arguments; I think the Dalai Lama’s side of the argument is readily available from any number of books, google search, Robert Thurman, and is only lies, so I do not include them.

Best regards,

Kelly Inman

[1] http://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1964-68v30/d337

[2] http://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1964-68v30/d337

[3] http://www.karmapa-issue.org/arguments.htm

[4] http://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1964-68v30/d337

[5] http://www.dorjeshugden.com/press/proof-of-discrimination/

[6] http://www.karmapa-issue.org/arguments.htm

[8]http://www.westernshugdensociety.org/our-cause/public-announcement/

[9] http://www.karmapa-issue.org/history/controversy.htm

[10] http://www.dorjeshugden.com/all-articles/the-controversy/how-the-dalai-lama-is-destroying-a-religion-lie-by-lie/

[11] Personal interview, Shamar Rinpoche’s apartment, New Delhi, 2001

[12] http://www.karmapa-issue.org/arguments.htm

[13] http://www.arebuddhistsracist.com/lamagate_columbia_university.html

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