What kind of Buddhists are these?

New Kadampa Tradition – NKT

Dublin’s Tara Buddhist Centre is part of one of the West’s fastest growing New Religious Movements, the New Kadampa Tradition. The group, which was founded in only 1991, already has 1100 centres in 40 countries worldwide, a fact that it proudly proclaims on the organisation’s homepage. What the publicity doesn’t tell you is that the NKT is at the centre of a bitter doctrinal dispute with the Dalai Lama, who has referred to one of its central practices as the worship of ‘a spirit of the dark forces.’ What you are not told is that many of the senior figures in the organisation are also the organisers of a bitter anti Dalai Lama campaign which has resulted in a huge media campaign and bands of angry protesters trailing the Dalai Lama around the planet while he preaches his doctrine of love and compassion. Below are four websites that contain a significant amount of critical information about the NKT.


Those interested in reading how the group has responded to widespread criticism might also want to take a look at http://www.newkadampatruth.org/ which lists the groups individual responses to numerous allegations and which might equally be entitled,      ‘Why the NKT is not a cult’.   Have a read, and then decide for yourself.



Anon Buddhist

208 Responses

  1. Commentary on the Great Living Masters and presenters appearing at Dzogchen Beara. 1. Ringu Tulku Rinpoche

    Comments from above post to this one as more appropriate

    Here’s a little bit of a story about this lama, whom Chris appears to admire. It’s from an x-student of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso:

    “Hello, my name is Frank Hopper. I became a disciple of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso in July of 1990. I served briefly as the Administrative Director of Vajralama center in Seattle in the spring of 1995. I’m writing this story just for the record, so that the incident doesn’t get lost in time and to declare that I was a personal witness to its’ occurrence.

    My aim isn’t to save or warn anyone. Geshe Kelsang has a huge, world-wide fishing net that scoops up unsuspecting spiritual searchers to feed his network of Dharma Centres. Nothing I could write would ever get to those poor people. They’ll be pulled in and sucked dry if they’re not strong enough to see the truth. There’s no hope for them, really. They’ll either become NKT Bliss Ninnies who pour all their disposable income into their local NKT center and into Geshe-la’s books, or they’ll become ex-practitioners like me who feel they must have done something wrong and avoid future contact with any Dharma tradition, no matter how benign. A terrible shame either way.

    Geshe-la came to Seattle in 1990 as part of a North American tour to raise support and establish Dharma centers. I was attending an informal meditation group at the time run by a lovely man named Joel Levey and his wife Michelle. They organized every aspect of Geshe-la’s visit from securing a venue, producing promotional literature, handling financing, and preparing people for what to expect. It was a big deal, believe me.

    Geshe-la came to Seattle and granted Vajrayogini empowerment. I was blown away by it all. He seemed so genuine, kind, and sincere. I made an appointment to see him and requested ordination. He said I should wait and study more first. He gave me a picture of Je Tsongkhapa and sent me on my way.

    Later I heard that Geshe-la was opening a center here in Seattle to be called the Seattle Buddhist Institute with Joel slated to be the resident teacher. I was elated!

    But then everything fell apart for some unknown reason. Plans for the new Dharma center dissolved and people stopped talking about it. When I asked Joel what happened he explained that he and Geshe Kelsang had a difference of opinion and that he had backed out.
    It turns out Joel had plans to let teachers from other traditions speak at the new Dharma center. He knew a lot of them and wanted his students to be exposed to more than just Geshe Kelsang’s lineage. But Geshe-la wouldn’t have it. He was the one who shut down plans for the center in Seattle, not Joel. Joel simply took the heat so as not to offend the people who were loyal to Geshe-la.

    I didn’t know any of this and remained loyal to Geshe-la. I wrote to him and kept requesting ordination. Six months later Geshe-la contacted me and said he was opening a Dharma Center in Mexico and if I still wished to receive ordination I could go there and he would ordain me.
    So I dropped everything and went. When I arrived he was so pleased to see me. I was one of the few people in Seattle who remained loyal to him. I remember he sat me down and fed me soup because I’d just driven all the way from Seattle. “Eat!” he said.

    The monk named Losang was there in the room with us and said that Seattle had been quite a disappointment for Geshe-la because so many people were loyal to Joel and not to Geshe-la.

    Then Geshe-la’s face turned dark and he said, “Granting Vajrayogini empowerment in Seattle was like giving precious food to dogs.”

    Dogs. That’s how he thought of all those people in Seattle to whom he had granted empowerment. If they weren’t willing to take him as their one and only guru, then they were dogs…”

    If anyone is interested in the remainder of that story, here is the link:

    I will continue to provide information on this lama whom Chris appears to admire, in order to finally add some perspective to this circus.


  2. Ok.
    So how would you change the NKT so it be able to ‘generate faith in Buddhist masters and Buddhists alike’?

    Are you asking me what to do so that NKT practitioners have faith in Buddhist masters and Buddhists or what to do that Buddhist masters and Buddhists develop faith in NKT?

    If it is the first: faith arise when one sees the really existing qualities of an object. To see these one must have wisdom (being able to discriminate wrong from correct Dharma teachings), an unbiased mind (free of attachment to one’s own school and hostility towards other schools) and diligence. If one does not have these “defining characteristics of a qualified vessel of the Mahayana” one will see faults where there are no faults and one will see qualities where there are no qualities.*

    The same is also true for the other direction.

    * This is not my idea, this is what Je Tsongkhapa is teaching but sadly his teachings are not taught in NKT, not only this, they are even put down (“one will get bored with it” (Samten)) while those of Kelsang Gyatso are explained to be more useful.


  3. Ok.
    So how would you change the NKT so it be able to ‘generate faith in Buddhist masters and Buddhists alike’?


  4. “Shantideva was a lazy monk who according to the high and mighty, just ate, slept and shat!
    Gantapa, was a womanizing drunkard!
    Tilopa would most probably have been convicted of GBH in our times now.
    Geshe Kelsang is a……”

    if you think you can compare him with them then look onto his students, especially his successors and “heart students” Neil Elliot and Steven Wass … Tilopa had a student like Naropa for instance, is Steven Wass like Naropa? Or is Neil Elliot, Khyenrab or Dekyong like Naropa?

    also while Shantideva, Gantapa and Tilopa were able to generate faith in Buddhist masters and Buddhists alike (because of their tremendous qualities) and were finally praised by the wise, the NKT can not convince anybody who is wise with their book “A Great Deception” nor is Geshe Kelsang praised by any wise person nowadays, not by any Buddhist masters or Buddhists (except his followers).

    If you wish to compare past examples with present examples its not sufficient to do such an evaluation on a superficial level ;-)

    How about to look deeper into the story of Devadatta, who founded an own monastic order, changed the rules and separated his followers from the Buddha and the monastic community. This seems to be the example which fits better to this NKT story.


  5. Hmmm, the trail of Kadampa Buddhism. If only we had had Twitter and blogs in the time of Naropa and Tilopa, Padmasambhava and Atisha. They would probably be alot like this i reckon.
    Shantideva was a lazy monk who according to the high and mighty, just ate, slept and shat!
    Gantapa, was a womanizing drunkard!
    Tilopa would most probably have been convicted of GBH in our times now.
    Geshe Kelsang is a……


  6. Yeah what to say, it is a long time ago now. The past has gone and nowadays I laugh about all of this Its good to finally take it with humour ;-)


  7. Oh good grief how awful!
    Terrible behaviour!
    I do hope you managed to complete your course.
    Makes me wonder if everything should be put in writing and duplicated..

    I’m just in the middle of a meditation course I’m doing on their behalf. I don’t want to let the people down so after the term ends, I’m stopping.
    I’ll likely explain to the people who are interested that I’ll do it for free and on my own after the new year.


  8. I think there is nothing wrong in speeding up this process.

    Once I borrowed my very expensive computer to the NKT in order to help them with their ads. I said clearly “when I write my diploma I want to have it back.” But when I asked them later to give it back, they claimed it was a donation and it is incorrect by me to claim it back. The NKT teacher “helped” me to “understand” that sometime “we cannot remember what we said” “our mind is sometimes unreliable”. This “teacher” was so skilful that I really started to doubt my own awareness.

    To be disillusioned of NKT is a part of the healing and recovering process and it can be a stepping stone to find a true spiritual path. So again, Good Luck!

    (I posted accidental my email above as my name, I hope Mike from Dialogue in Ireland can fix that? Thanks!)


  9. Thank you! I think they’re following my posts, so they’ll be on to me by now, so hopefully it’ll not be long before i make my exit!

    Unfortunately while there a member of the ordained sangha took an item belonging to me and is not giving it back, despite various requests. No doubt my asking was deemed ‘delusory’, but it goes against any ordinary morality not just the vows that this person has taken.
    Basic good behaviour isn’t part of the deal here. Thank goodness I’ll be gone soon!


  10. All the best for your process of detaching from NKT!


  11. I am in the process of detaching myself from the NKT.
    I happened to do a ‘straw poll’ among their teachers at the last festival and one worthy comment made me rethink. it went like this:
    me: What do you think are the qualities of a good teacher?
    them: Well **** says that it doesn’t matter what you say as long as you leave them happy.

    I’ve obliterated the name of the resident teacher whose alleged comments I’m writing here as they are not able to defend themselves.
    My issue is not whether this highly esteemed teacher said that, just that it was said to me as a model for good teaching.

    Within a week or so of my returning home from the festival, at which I openly questioned some of my experiences, I had a call from a distraught resident teacher (not the same one) begging me to only read Geshela’s books as he is my spiritual guide.

    Being on the FP, I was part of an online group, which have chosen to do the ‘ostracism’ thing…impossible to get anything but a guarded reply to any of my questions about when the next teaching will be made available to me. I now pay for no contact at all.

    As the FP group I loosely study with sounds like it’s going down the tubes, I’m just waiting to remove myself at the appropriate moment.

    I’m told that if I leave the FP I cannot teach…no worries, who’d want to teach fear, desperation to belong or some christianised form of Buddhism…Back to Theravada for me!


  12. The bbc video is really goo. Though kelsang gyatso fiddles skilfully around the problems all the ex-members speaking up and also batachelor are very clear in what they say.

    of course kelsang gyatso might have never said “you shouldn’t read other books than mine” but in fact he stresses very much that reading the books of “others traditions” (= all non-NKT books=all books not written by him) will “confuse” his students, creating problems for them. they also risk to delude his “stainless” and “pure” ‘tradition’ by reading other books. To not keep the “tradition” of Kelsang gyatso “purely” by avoiding to read other books will harm millions of sentient beings because the “pure dharma” get’s lost. There are some tricky thoughts behind the cultish power of NKT one cannot grasp if one was not a follower of them.

    BBC was not able to get the subtleties of the NKT double standards and double ethics, the way of how rules are established by indirect speech or creating feelings of fear and guilt etc. nevertheless, the documentary hits the nail on its head. Well Done! Good that it is online!


  13. Yes, but if theyve just emerged from the NKT. they might have forgotten how to use it.


  14. Thank you for your correction Anon. It depends… its always a bit tricky to genaralize things too. In the past I experienced a great gap of knowledge how harmful NKT is among Tibetans and many said I should leave it as it is… But back to topic, usually wordpress is very tolerant, one must really find a hair in the terms of condition to shut down a WordPress blog. When they blocked by blog due to NKT’s complaints, they were very supportive and gave me also some help, suggestions and another provider address in case they have to block it permanently.

    So I assume: either post cult guilt feelings or NKt directly contacted that person making either pressure or offering peace or a talk or so…

    We’ll see the person has an independent mind.


  15. Sorry to correct you, most Tibetan lamas do have something to say when the problem is in their backyard but they dont usually give two fltying f**s when it happens in the West-as far as they are concerned, we;ve already screwed the dharma up at this end and all we are good for is a few more donations (Not all of them are like this but that doesnt counter the fact that there are loads of Tibetans out to make a buck out of gullible Westerers nowadays)

    Im betting the reason it went down is becuase of either a) legal threats (a common NKT tactic or b) post cult guilt/fear. Answers,on a postcard please…
    a) legal ther


  16. @anon: Of course NKT might have threatened WordPress and ask them to shut it down too. They did this successful in the past with my flickr and wordpress account as well as with my amazon reviews.

    To Flickr they claimed this is anti-religious what I posted, to WordPress they complained because of using “westernshugdenscoiety” in the http address and Amazon I don’t know. My reviews are not hostile as they wrongly claim. Nevertheless Amazon removed them different times. Now they are accepted by Amazon.


  17. @anon.
    I don’t know why the blog is offline again. I assume they contacted him or her. Another reason could be that feelings of fear and guilt overpowered the person or the person became unsecure if it is correct what he/she was doing. Maybe even a Tibetan lama asked the person to shut it down? Usually most Tibetan Lamas are not very supportive to speak up against what NKT is doing with people.

    Leaving a cult is a tremendious challange with a lot of ups and downs. It is sad that the blog is offline. It was a fresh and independent voice, a person who could express himself/herself well.

    I hope the person is ok and has a smooth transition and support for it.


  18. Here is the offending material from the cache
    Thanks for your response

    June 14, 2011 by freebuddhist

    I’ve had an enormous amount of traffic through this site recently. Two hundred plus hits in two days, actually. This is pretty surprising to me.

    Thanks a lot for your comments too, which were all very insightful.

    There’s no doubt that many people identify with this site.

    While I was going to stop posting, I’m not sure now whether I should just continue as I’ve been going. The trick, I think, would be to do so in a manner that is honest, as it’s all too easy to be damning for the sake of it. This I don’t want to do.

    I’m going to give it some thought over the next day or two.

    Thank you again.

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »
    Thank you Geshela

    June 9, 2011 by freebuddhist

    Thanks for the teachings. Thanks for the books. Thanks for the festivals. Thanks for the initiations. Thanks for giving me another way of life. Thanks for changing my perspective. Thanks for introducing me to the truth. Thanks for the training. Thanks for the perspective. Thanks for the example.

    I am your disciple. And the Mahasiddha Buddhist Centre can’t change that.

    So thanks for everything.

    This is my last post. I could go on and on. There is much to say. I haven’t scratched the surface. But in my heart I feel I’ve said enough. I’ve said all I can for now and still stay at peace with myself.

    And now I will get on with the rest of my life.

    Thanks for listening.

    Good luck, whoever you are, wherever you are.

    Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged Buddhism, NKT, Cult, Cult Watch, New Kadampa Truth | Leave a Comment »
    Down Among The Vines

    June 6, 2011 by freebuddhist

    I found a light a light beneath a bushel

    No-one knew was there

    But my friends my friends and teachers

    Didn’t see didn’t see it flare

    They didn’t see didn’t see it flicker

    They didn’t see didn’t see it shine

    For all the lights the lights they’d looked upon

    Why couldn’t see they mine?

    But they saw me saw me take a tumble

    Down among the vines

    They saw me on my hands and knees

    Not knowing what I’d find

    And when I failed when I failed to surface

    They left me there to flounder,

    They lifted up their wicker lamps

    To seek the light out yonder,

    Then they marched into the darkness

    Leaving me behind

    But the light the light they longed for

    Was down there among the vines.

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »
    Lies, damned lies and the NKT Foundation Programme

    June 5, 2011 by freebuddhist

    Cult lesson 2: There’s no room in a cult for those who think for themselves.

    If you went to FP in Sydney at the Mahasiddha Buddhist Centre today, you may have been bombarded with some startling and nonsensical messaging during the Lam Rim teachings.

    You see, this is the way it works at Foundation Programme level. If there’s an issue out there that concerns the Centre, or the Resident Teacher in particular, whether it’s a a scandal in the tradition, or some other contentious matter, you’ll be subtly corralled into a point of view on the subject, whether or not you’re even aware of it.

    Let me give you an example.

    In recent months Matt McCurdy has been raising objections left, right and centre over the violent behaviour of a cetain Sangha member during preparations for the Brazil Festival. Most people in FP would not be aware of this because most people in FP, in Sydney anyway, are not on Survivors. (NKT Survivors is a private yahoo group for people who believe that the NKT is a sectarian cult. Membership is restricted to people who have left the NKT. However, admission on the internet relies on good faith. So in practical terms, anyone can become a member and “listen in”.)

    Well, out of the blue, in one of my final classes at FP, the Resident Teacher stopped her discourse on the Death meditation and mentioned that this particular Sangha member (the subject of all the drama) was in fact at the deathbed of someone she knew. It pays, she continued, to keep your relationships with your sangha members in good order because at the time of death they are your most valuable allies. You want to be on good, not bad, terms with them. You’ll never know who’ll be at your deathbed in your hour of need.

    A startling thing to say in the middle of the meditation on death in Joyful Path, don’t you think? Somewhat of a tangent, don’t you think? Or was it just a happy coincidence that this particular English monk sprung to mind during her preparation for this particular teaching?


    This is the sort of manipulation that accosts you constantly. On all sorts of levels. It may be rather clumsily conveyed, but when you’re on the Foundation Programme, after a while it becomes gospel truth. These messages are quickly assimilated. Subconsciously by most of the class. But very consciously for the intended recipient of that message.

    Be aware, the RT was saying. I too read what’s going on in Survivors.

    It wasn’t delivered to everyone, of course. Just to the few. In fact, possibly only to me.

    Welcome to the Foundation Programme, ladies and gentleman. While you get used to your new agenda, may we just say that you’ll be bombarded with whatever subliminal coding we feel appropriate inbetween dharma teachings from our great 16th century master. Now close your eyes while I tell you what to think in your meditation.

    Well, this is the sort of manipulation that was levelled at me for the entire time I was in FP. Almost six years. It is just one isolated example. But similar things happened almost every week. This is just how the teachings were structured. And every one of those messages was intended to change my behaviour and the way I thought.The way we all thought and behaved.

    It worked better on some than others. And, I’ll admit. it worked better on me than most.

    By the time I left FP I was one of the long-termers. Though I was sitll an independent thinker, deep down I had been converted to certain ways of thinking, certain ways of behaving.

    I was, in short, very much in line with the group at large.

    I was, in short, very much a cult victim.

    Now that I have left, the contrast with my new Centre, the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition, is stark.

    At the Centre I attend now, the teacher sits at the thone, reads the text, then gives a commentary to the text. That’s it. Not a word is mentioned about anything other than the dharma being taught. There are no personal obeservations, there are no private directives delivered in veiled and sinister words to particular individuals, there are no abrupt deluded outbursts about how badly off the path someone may be, or by how lucky we all are to have met such a wonderful presentation of dharma.

    I am now being taught by a Geshe with the equivalent of a doctor’s degree in Buddist philosophy. The only thing he seems interested in is ensuring I understand what is being conveyed in the text. He is not at all interested in telling me what to think!

    For the first time in my life, there are no subtexts about how well or how badly my practice is going, what else I should be doing for the Centre, whether or not I’m meeting with the approval of the community etc etc etc.

    For the first time in my life, the dharma I’m receiving is not being filtered through the mouthpiece of a cult.

    If you were at FP today, I can only imagine what subtle warnings or messages you may have received during the course of the class. It wouldn’t surprise me if some had something to do with me. After all, they know I’m out there, spreading this message. They know I’m smart. And they know I know a good deal of the truth behind how they run their grubby little operation.

    So if you received a message warning you not to pay attention to the internet. Or a message that warned you away from listening to people outside the Centre. Or one that conveyed how some people who’ve left have created the karma for endless lifetimes of misfortune, be aware:

    You’re being manipulated.

    You’re being brainwashed.

    You’re being controlled.

    You’re being lied to.

    You’re the victim of an unscrupulous cult.

    Get out while you can.

    Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged Buddhism, Cult, Cult Watch, Foundation Programme, New Kadampa Tradition, NKT | Leave a Comment »
    Behind New Kadampa Cult Watch

    June 3, 2011 by freebuddhist

    If you think I’m a hardcore anti-NKT campaigner, a veteran of the anti-NKT wars, well, here’s a surprise.

    I’m not.

    Email if you’re interested and I’ll give you a dozen links to show you that in fact I’ve been a vocal supporter of the New Kadampa Tradition online for years. It’s all there, for the record. Digital fingerprints that show you who I am, how I felt, what I said, how I’ve behaved.

    I’ve engaged in online debates with the NKT’s most vocal enemies, including Buddhists who punch way above my weight in terms of their understanding and insight into Buddhist issues. And because I’m a professional writer I’ve managed well in those debates. The internet is, after all, my element.

    Here are my online NKT credentials.

    I was kicked off the eSangha site because of my NKT affiliation. I’ve been maligned on Survivors under more pseudonyms than I can remember. I was one of the major NKT-affiliated contributors on the Kadampa Buddhism forum. I’ve been heavily involved in certain high-profile blog debates, both on my blog and others.

    And in all of them, I have put in my word for the NKT.

    I can prove it. It’s there for all to see. At the touch of a Google search button.

    So what happened, you may ask. Because evidently I’m now on the other side of the fence.

    What went wrong? (Or right, depending on your perspective).

    The reality is this. I have been forced into the role I now occupy. Partly by events I didn’t foresee. Partly, I guess, by my particular karma. Partly my own folly. Partly my own good fortune.

    The truth is, I was warned this would happen, by virtually everyone I engaged with, in virtually all my online forays. I was told that one day I would simply come across some hardcore RT and that would be the end of my stint on the margins of the NKT. I was too much of an individual for this group, I was informed, in conversations that now have the ring of prophecy about them. I couldn’t just make my own decisions, like whether or not to practice Shugden, I was told. That’s not the way it worked with the Kadampas.

    I gaze back at those events that have put me here, in the role of online NKT critic, and am stupefied: by what has happened, by what I am doing in spearheading a “cult watch”, but also by how I could ever have supported the NKT as it currently exists in the first place.

    I am loyal by nature.

    I take no glee in knocking this organisation. If there’d been any desire to engage in dialogue or solve my particular conflict from the side of the Centre, I’d have reciprocated.

    But there wasn’t.

    And that has opened up my eyes to who these people really are. And what this organisation really is.

    The French Resistence did not spring into being because it’s members were naturally rebellious by nature. It arose because it was forced to by an implacable and bloody minded invader.

    The armed insurrection in South African did not arise because blacks wanted to destroy whites. It arose because an oppressive white regime gave them little alternative but to resort to armed struggle.

    And in a way, the same is true with me.

    If I had my way, this would never have happened. If I had my way, I would have confined myself to my practice without resorting to public denouncements of this sort.

    But frankly I don’t have a choice. Not really. Not after what I have been through. Not after what I have witnessed. Not in the light of what I know.

    There is something rotten in the state of New Kadampa.

    And by virtue of my unique experience and my particular skillset, it seems inevitable that I do what I am now setting out to do.

    You can take me at my word.

    Or not.

    It’s up to you.

    Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged Australia, Buddhism, Cult, Cult Watch, New Kadampa Tradition, NKT, Sydney | Leave a Comment »
    The dark side of the New Kadampa Tradition

    May 31, 2011 by freebuddhist

    I know I promised I’d talk about Dorje Shugden next, but it’s a big subject. I will get onto it, I promise. But later. Not right now.

    I need to build up to that because it is going to take a lot of energy out of me. It’s been a particularly big issue in my life. And when I do write it it will need to be pretty in-depth. In the interim, however, I’d like to tackle something a little more manageable.

    For me, the big question in my stint in the NKT was this: is there a genuine middle way?

    Is it possible to be a moderate in the NKT?

    Is it possible to try be part of the NKT and a member of the Buddhist world outside the ‘tradition’.

    In my experience, no.

    Let me repeat that. No, no, no!




    And here’s why I can say that with such confidence: I tried.

    Boy, did I try! Perhaps in the history of the NKT, at least here in Sydney, no one has ever tried harder. No one in the Centre that kicked me out would excuse me of not giving it my very best shot. I was on the Foundation Programme for six, yes six, years. During that time, I made it my mission to present a voice a reason. A voice of acceptance of other traditions, and of broader modes of thinking.

    I asked the hard questions, in as gentle a manner as I could.

    I started up a blog that sought to introduce reason into both the Dorje Shugen issue, and the broader NKT debate.

    I tried to guide people away gently from the high pressure or insular cult-like behaviour that I saw everywhere around me.

    I raised objections with the Admin Director and the previous Resident Teacher about cult-like antics.

    I participated in online forums that were aimed at discussing these things, and bringing about a culture of reform and broadmindedness within the ambit of NKT practice.

    In fact, for three years I attended both the NKT and FPMT. To do that, I avoided all Dorje Shugden practice at the NKT, which enabled me to attend both centres. Never once did I object or dissuade anyone else from this practice. I simply tried to attend on my own terms, as a free thinker. A voice of tolerance.

    And the fact is this:

    It was hard.

    Because I had read about other Buddhist traditions, because I had a desire to keep in contact with other Buddhists, my life in the NKT was tricky,tricky, tricky, to say the least. While I was not restricted from attending anything, severe peer pressure was placed on me at every level. The simple desire to lead a spiritually fulfilling life became a balancing act, where I was forced to resort to reason, patience and large amounts of both skill and denial.

    The reality is, I was the only one trying. To my knowledge anyway.

    No one else I knew about cared two hoots about the wider Buddhist world. They were “kadampas” first, and only “Buddhist” by default. I am not exaggerating. My fellow practitioners in the NKT were largely as parochial and as one-eyed as serbs laying siege to Sarajevo! And even those who didn’t actively engage in sectarian activity nevertheless bought into the notion that they were “better” than other Buddhists.

    Arrogance is always ugly. It’s even uglier when practiced by so-called Buddhists.

    By staying clear of Shugden, I was able to keep a certain clear-headedness about my practice. But while I was able to do that, most of my fellow Kadampas seemed to embrace more extreme ways of being. Given the chance to protest against the Dalai Lama, they took it even further, and started resorting to lies and sectarian statements.

    For some, the protest was more than a duty. Some took active pleasure in the process. It was a means of self-affirmation, reinforcing that they’d made the right selection in their choice of faith.

    Before the protests, I could admire the determination of my Sangha in offering the victory, and practicing lojong in trying circumstances. That impression was an illusion, as events soon showed. When given permission to express their views, it was like they’d been given a license to be as bigoted, ugly and sectarian as they wanted.

    I witnessed people I’d once thought were Buddhists turn into something else. And it was, frankly, disgusting.

    The degree of pride, ignorance of other traditions, and plain small-minded sectarian aggression you can witness in people who walk around in robes with Tibetan names in that ‘tradition’ is simply something to behold!

    In my experience, this sort of behaviour seemed a sure way to be promoted to teacher, or to enjoy the confidence of others in the “inner circle”. Every time I attempted to present a moderate, accommodating view of other traditions, I was met with blank stares, dismissal, disapproval or outright hostility.

    I will go into some detail, citing individual examples of such behaviour as I go along.

    But for now, let’s just stick to the broad outlines of my story.

    In spite of everything that has happened to me, I remain pleased about the fact that I gave it a go. As a consequence, there is no doubt in my mind now that I would be incredibly stupid to return.

    If you’re still weighing up your options with the NKT, I urge you strongly, think twice.

    Then think again.

    If you’re smart, you’ll walk out the door and keep walking until you find another tradition.

    And if you’re very very smart, you’ll run.

    Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged Buddhism, Cult, Cult Watch, New Kadampa Traditon, NKT | Leave a Comment »
    Sentenced to spiritual death

    May 29, 2011 by freebuddhist

    Cult Lesson 1: There’s no room for anyone who doesn’t tow the line.

    Before I begin my story within the NKT, I need to talk about the way it ended. You see, the way a story ends puts everything that precedes it into perspective.

    What is it like suddenly finding yourself ejected from your religious community?

    The short answer: very painful and highly disillusioning.

    It happens at many cults. Things are wonderful in the beginning, during that first flush of spiritual discovery. But when you start questioning things, when it becomes apparent that you are not always in complete alignment with the group, you can be ejected with not so much as a ‘how’s your father’. And the reality can be cruel and callous, all the more so because you’ve been deceived into believing that these fellow spiritual seekers are your friends.

    The gradual discovery that I was not aligned with my community felt like that creepy scene in the movie Inception. The one where everyone in the dream world turns on the protagonist because they become aware she is an outsider. She has invaded another person’s dream. And they, as the manifestations of that dreamer’s consciousness, perceive her as a threat. (If you haven’t seen the movie, please do, just to view that scene!!!)

    Being in a cult can be exactly like that. If you’re not with the program, everyone knows it. You are an outsider. And in many ways the subject of all their attention.

    You are a threat.

    The fact is, expulsion is the most effective and drastic tool available to any form of organised religion.

    It’s accepted fact that excommunication was the single harshest punishment the Catholic Church could hand out in the medieval and renaissance periods.

    And that’s hardly surprising. If you have developed faith in your community or religion, what could be worse? You are suddenly cut off from all hope, and all possibility of redemption. You’ve been condemned to a type of spiritual death. And the implication is that you have committed the unforgivable. That what you have done is so bad that all grace, all compassion, all love, all communion, all support, and every right you have to benefit from belonging or from your many years of contribution, are forfeit.

    My own exile has created a profound depression in me. The anger is starting to dissipate only now, six months later. In recent weeks, the anger has begun to give way to acceptance and to feelings of hollow regret. But for the first few months after I was kicked out the feeling of injustice within me was raw, palpable and severe. It would rise up like a fire. Like a volcano.

    I would wake up in the middle of the night, erupting, burning with pain, in a state of emotional anguish, with the impulse to strike back and be damned. I’d even fantasise about going to my Centre and sabotaging the billboard outside, or throwing a brick through the front window while everyone was sleeping.

    Just to send a message. Just to let them know how I was feeling. Just to show them they couldn’t do whatever they wanted without repercussion.

    I did not, and will not, actually resort to actions like this, of course. But such was the sense of helplessness I felt about my ostracism that these sorts of emotional outlet seemed like the only alternatives I had to redress the wrongdoing.

    So, how did it happen? How was I sent, like an outcast, into the night?

    Let me outline what happened briefly. Details can be filled in later.

    I was expelled for writing a letter. Let me repeat that. I was condemned to this harshest of all possible punishments for writing a letter.

    Okay, it was not a nice letter. It was a letter of frustration and pain. It detailed all my struggles within the Centre. And it attempted to explain and outline how and why I had found myself in a state of virtual isolation there. By writing the letter I was, in fact, trying to reach out and solve the problem of my deteriorating relationship with the Mahasiddha Buddhist Centre. But, yes, I’ll concede, there was quite a bit of defiance in it, there was an enormous amount of fuck-you-ness, for want of a better word.

    I had left the Foundation Programme the week before writing the letter. And just two days before I’d attended a class on Dorje Shugden practice (of which I was not a conscientious practitioner). This class had ended with an admonishment of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Buddhist establishment. The teacher had then started encouraging everyone to read that slanderous diatribe, A Great Deception.

    So at the time of writing the letter, I’d been reminded recently of some of the less worthy aspects of the NKT. I was therefore perhaps more disagreeable than I might have been in the writing of it.

    Anyway, my letter was blunt, but naive. Things had come to the point where it needed to be written as I was on a non-communication standing with both the teacher and the other sangha. I informed them that I would continue doing tantra practice but did not think much of the way they ran the Centre or the way I had been dealt with on a number of issues.

    It was an ill-advised action but, as I have said, at that point it was a letter a long time in the making.

    It was sent as an email on a Friday in mid December. On the following Monday, I called the Cnetre to inquire about something else. It became apparent quickly that something was amiss. The people I needed to speak to were not available.

    Shortly after I put down the phone, the damnedest thing happened. One of the nuns sent a message to the Resident Teacher about me, but mistakenly sent it to my number. It indicated I was no longer welcome, even for Quick Path pujas.

    The exact wording: , called. I don’t know what he wanted but he said he’ll call back later. If its about the reteat, I’m guessing it’s a no. What if he wants to know if he come to puja tonight?

    I was shocked, of course.

    Over the course of the day, I tried to call back many times, but no-one would speak to me.

    Eventually, one of the nuns (the Admin Director) phoned back and told me that as a consequence of the letter I must stop attending their classes.

    I had been going there for six years. And at Foundation Programme level. I had donated funds for six years, had been at festivals around the world with them, had committed myself through tantric initiations. I was very very much a part of the centre for much of that time. In fact, almost, though not quite, one of the inner circle. I had based my life around the Centre. I had sold property to get closer to the Centre. And had even decided years earlier to continue living in Sydney, Australia (I am South African born) for the sole purpose of attending the Centre.

    The Centre had become a kind of family.

    I still didn’t get that this was not a reciprocated feeling.

    Now, actually, at first I wasn’t told not to come back at all. I was told to take a break “for a good while”. But I was then threatened. In fact, blackmailed is a better word. The nun suggested that she would expose abusive emails written by me years before. In particular, one email that had been written in a context that she did not understand. An email coloured by a personal issue that had nothing to do with her or the current situation. A bit of ancient history that had taken place four years previously. And the only relevance of this email was that it had been sent to someone else at the Centre at the time.

    Like the letter, none of the emails that she threatened me with had even been addressed to her.

    I was then told that people were afraid of me. That my mere presence was causing fear. And that I needed to go for the good of everyone else.

    It was now clear that “evidence” against me was being gathered, that people were uniting in their opposition to me, and that I was being ostracised. When I tried to phone throughout that day, there had been a united front, with those in any sort of authority at the Centre refusing to come to the phone. Those that I did talk to simply stonewalled by asking to take a message.

    I wrote a note to inform ex-teachers in other cities that I had been ejected. I received no response whatsoever. It felt as if word had gone out throughout the network that I was blacklisted, persona non grata, to all intents and purposes one of the walking dead. After all, all those teachers were ex-residents at my Centre, and disciples of the current RT. And if they hadn’t been, I’m quite sure they wouldn’t have had any hesitation in choosing sides anyway.

    At this point, I responded with some emails to the Admin Director who’d expelled me. Colourful yes, contrite no.

    A week later, I bumped into her quite incidentally outside the local mall. I tried to use the opportunity to talk to her and clear the air. I was roundly rebuffed. She would not say a word to me. She refused to even clarify my position.

    I was, in short, not to come back any time soon.

    I wrote emails in the weeks that followed informing them that I would do as requested and keep away, but return later, once I was in a less negative mindset. I still could not quite accept that I had been wiped clean from the slate after six years . There was no response to any of those messages. And I had been cut from the mailing list, and the tantra list.

    I was clearly not considered a part of the community anymore.

    In the interim, I started attending an FPMT centre, as the conviction was growing within me that it was now genuinely over between me and the Mahasiddha Centre. That there would simply be no coming back from this. I’d had a previous association with the FMPT and so returning there was quite a natural thing to do. I was, after all, a Buddhist without a sangha.

    In April, four months later, I started writing to my NKT Centre again, telling them that time had passed and I wanted to start returning in some form, primarily for the tantric pujas. There was no response. Email followed email followed email without response.

    I even contacted New Kadampa Truth. While initially they said they’d look into it, it soon became apparent that my reports of cult activity at the Centre alarmed them. They seemed to side with the Mahasiddha Centre and soon stopped responding to my emails.

    Implicitly, therefore, New Kadampa Truth have endorsed my expulsion, or seen fit to do nothing about it.

    Since my expulsion, I’ve been attending more and more FPMT classes. And I’m finding some comfort in that. Without them, I would have struggled to cope.

    I am now a nominal part of the scene there, attending classes twice a week.

    My time in the NKT, though it has occupied so much of me in my recent history, is receding like a nightmare from which I have awoken.

    I have seldom in my life been subjected to harsher treatment. And I grew up in apartheid South Africa!!

    Even during my most cynical and disenchanted moments within the NKT, I had believed that the people who ran my Centre were altruists. That they had a moral code that meant they would always operate ethically. They were, after all, Buddhists. That they were motivated by compassion and trained in the practice of compassion.

    Not the case, I’m afraid. In fact, nowhere near it. How wrong I was!

    And it’s now apparent that I’m not the first in my Centre to suffer this fate. Others, it appears, have been ostracised too, whether because of their views on the Dalai Lama protests, or for other matters. Over the years, these people, once actively involved, simply disappeared. The never returners. Never to be mentioned again.

    From what I can gather by talking to those at the Centre who’ll still talk to me, this has been my fate too. Other than the few sangha who have orchestrated this spiritual assassination, no one else knows. It is not a subject freely discussed. To all appearances, I have just disappeared, swallowed up by Samsara, just another cautionary tale illustrating how even the most committed practitioners can lose their way on the path.

    Next time: Dorje Shugden

    Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged Australia, Buddhism, Cult, Cult Watch, New Kadampa Tradition, NKT, Sydney | Leave a Comment »
    I see evil! I hear evil! I speak evil!

    May 22, 2011 by freebuddhist

    This is the first of a series of blog posts intended to provide information to practitioners of the New Kadampa Tradition. It may perhaps be of greater pertinence to new practitioners who’re thinking of joining. And if you’re already a member, I hope it will be of some help too.

    I am an NKT practitioner of six years standing who has recently been ostracised from my Centre for reasons that will be expounded over the course of the life of this blog. I hope outlining my experience here will be of help to people caught in the process of evaluating whether or not they should involve themselves in this tradition at all. And for those already inextricably involved, I hope it will help them gain a clearer picture of their predicament.

    Information is not a bad thing. The truth relies on information. It should not be withheld for “the greater good”. Such thinking is crooked and dangerous. It is only the truth that can tell you whether you’re on the right or the wrong path. And the truth consists of uncontaminated facts. It only avails itself to people who are able to think freely. The truth is not composed of blind faith. It is not a convenient misrepresentation of events. There is no truth in shutting your eyes to the self-evident, shutting your ears to rational argument, and keeping your mouth shut instead of speaking out.

    The truth is not a game for monkeys.

    If there be evil, the truth demands that it be heard, seen, and proclaimed.

    If you don’t care about much about the truth, then what I’m about to say over the coming weeks (or months or years) won’t matter to you. However, if you do, it may provide uncomfortable reading, or it may provide affirmation in your faith. You may begin to question the New Kadampa Tradition. Or you may be more confirmed in it, I don’t know.

    Either way, I think you’ll be better off for hearing what I have to say, and I’ll be better off for saying it.

    I’m not going to post comments from anyone, against or for my blog. Neither will I respond to them publicly. This is not a discussion forum. If you wish to discuss the NKT, there is New Kadampa Survivors, a yahoo group with over 1000 members. Google and you shall find. All the more NKT-friendly discussion forums seem to have died out due to lack of interest, or by being closed down on the recommendation of the NKT.

    I have come to see the NKT itself as a complicated and troubling organisation. My own centre in Sydney, I have little doubt, is what people term “a cult” – a term I’m happy to talk about in depth later. And though it has operated like a cult for the full time that I have attended, and although I have always been aware of this, it’s only been in the last couple of years that the kind of mind control and double think in operation there has really bothered me. It’s only been more recently that I have been badly affected by it.

    I will say this: for a long time, it worked for me. For a long time, I benefited from belonging to a group of people who seemed to care for me, and a place that showered me with love and faith and offered hope and respite from this harsh, unsympathetic world.

    HOWEVER…it is only after some time that the disadvantages of belonging to a cult really begin to surface. That’s what they say. And that’s been my experience too.

    It’s always good in the beginning. Otherwise no one would become entrenched in the culture to begin with.

    If you’re still in your honeymoon phase at the NKT, maybe that’s something you should be aware of now.

    I remain a disciple of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, but am no longer an actual member of the NKT as I have to all intents been excommunicated and ostracised from my local centre. There is no other NKT centre in operation near me, and I now attend another similar centre in another “tradition” (actually, the NKT does not represent a separate ‘tradition’; this is a fabrication – it is NKT ideology gone mad).

    To a large extent, I don’t see most of the NKT’s dark ways as being a consequence of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Certainly, not by intent anyway. I see them as being largely the result of rotten, wayward group dynamics. Most cults seem to be born through a similar process. However, there have also been unique and unfortunate circumstances that seem to have led to the creation of this particular monster.

    Mostly, I’m going to try stick to the truth as refracted through my own experience. Please join me. There may be some interesting revelations along the way.

    My bridges with the New Kadampa Tradition are burning brightly behind me. I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

    The truth will be out, either way.

    Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged Australia, Buddhism, New Kadampa Tradition, NKT, Sydney | Leave a Comment »


  19. Interestingly, it appears the blog you cite has been taken down-legal threats? Wouldnt be the first time


  20. The BBC documentary about the New Kadampa Tradition is on YourTube:



  21. Hi dear blog owner, maybe you can add the following new blog?


    Thanks tenpel


  22. It seems that Newkadampatruths.org has been shut down, also newkadampa.com does not have all those articles anymore they have collected from different newspapers….


  23. i was a member of a UK Buddhist comunity someyears back; I even procured a large building for them plus £1K in charity funding. I had a public role but became rather abrupt with people. I was immediately asked to renounce my post and focus on practice, for my own well being and that of the community. This response is the exact opposite and really stinks of the drive to expand at any cost-the NKT should be ashamed of their brazen greed and lack of concern for this person and his future victims. “We asked him to be nice”: what tosh! All about money


  24. Here is the NKT response. Basically, they have asked this person exhibiting something along the lines of psychopathic behaviour to ‘promise’ he wont get angry again and he has responded by saying he wont. Phew, what a relief! Sadly, psychopaths are not generally known for their self control and it is clearly only a matter of time before this individual does some serious harm to someone who went to dharma looking for peace. Still. all in a good cause eh?
    Only difference is, they have been warned before hand. Why then has he not been removed-Once again, it can only be about money and expansion, these being far more important than the personal safety of donors

    ‘”November 19, 2010.

    Dear Friends,

    You may have recently read an email or posting from Matt MacCurdy about Kelsang Khyentse, the Building Manager of Manjushri KMC.

    We know Khyentse very well. Khyentse himself has told people that before he met Dharma, he had angry behaviour. He has said that since he met Dharma and became a member of the NKT community, he has pacified his previous anger problem and has found a peaceful and meaningful life.

    Khyentse helped to build the Temple at KMC New York for many years. There were no problems and people were happy with him. Then he worked on the building projects at KMC France, KMC Germany and KMC Spain for several years – again there weren’t any problems and people were happy with him. Normally as the Building Manager here at Manjushri KMC, Khyentse works with groups of people and again everyone is happy with him. So we understand that Khyentse is telling the truth when he says that through meeting Dharma, he has pacified his previous anger problem.

    Unfortunatly this year in Brazil, two things happened – Khyentse had very heavy responsibility for the Temple building project with tight completion deadlines and also some people caused him to become angry. Because of this, his previous angry behaviour returned. We are very sorry that this happened.

    NKT Managers we are now asking Khyentse to please maintain a peaceful mind, and we are also trying to prevent other people from causing his anger to return. In this way we believe that such problems can be avoided in the future.

    I hope this information is helpful to you,

    Warm regards,

    Steve Cowing

    NKT – IKBU General Secretary on behalf of NKT-IKBU

    — NKT Office
    Manjushri KMC
    Conishead Priory
    Ulverston, Cumbria LA12 9QQ
    [+44] (0)1229 588 533
    Skype : nktsecretary”


  25. Below is the letter I have sent the NKT, National Spiritual Director of the US
    and the RT here in Arlington Texas, Monks and Nuns I have met in the NKT, my
    friends, family, Buddhist organizations around the world, cult watch groups,
    and a law enforcement agency here in the US… So they can know what happend to
    me, how I was threatened, and that the “monk” may be on his way to the US for
    another project.

    The NKT is insane. “if you do it like that I will hit you in the head with a
    hammer, and you had better believe that I will do it.” I was told by Khyense.
    His manner was angry, aggressive, enraged. This was the first of 3 interactions
    over 7 week period of my working on the project where he threatened my life.
    The threat to the whole assembly of workers was “if you do not like how I am
    running things you can pack your fucking bags and leave.” this was to a group of
    people from all over the world, many of whom could not speak the language and
    some of whom, like myself, did not have the money to change my airline ticket to
    get home sooner than later.

    I volunteered and the ITP sent me, paid for my ticket and visa because of my
    resume credentials having been a project manager in the home building industry
    with carpentry skills.

    I can say that I have never been threatened with violence like I have on this
    project. I was in the US ARMY for a very short time, in Basic Training nobody
    ever threatened my life.

    This man is out of his mind and is allowed to continue on like this. When his
    managers arrived, Rabchog and Genla Dekyong, they told me to “take it on the
    chin”. Blah Blah Blah.

    Many people left Brazil to make it home to their home countries and are
    shattered by the experience. One friend has Disrobed, and is safe at home with

    This man, Khyense (Simon Beer) is a lunatic.

    I have alerted the authorities here in the USA regarding what happened and that
    he may be sent to the US to work a project here… He has a criminal background
    in the UK. I hope he gets stopped at the border or deported upon arrival.


    I came to the NKT in June of this year.

    I will not be going back.

    My time in the NKT was very short, but long enough to see that there is a
    culture of verbal abuse that is accepted by the management hierarchy.

    While in Brazil the monk in charge of the building project (picture attached,
    man to the left of Kelsang Gyatso) on three occasions threatened me with
    physical violence in order to “break through my self cherishing.” On one
    occasion he described to me how quickly he could kill me. It is my understanding
    from others who were on the project that his verbal assaults are typical of his
    behaviour, they have been ongoing for many years. The morale of the people on
    the building team when I arrived in Brazil was rock bottom. This person was
    verbally abusing people seemingly at random. Verbal threats were a daily
    occurance. “Who is going to get it next?” was the question every day. People
    were being terrorized by this mans anger and rage.

    His managers, when they arrived, Rabchog and Genla Dekyong (The General
    Spiritual Director of the NKT), both told me that I should take it on the
    chin… There was no rational discussion of the possibility that his behaviour
    may be unacceptable. As a Buddhist I have been turning the other cheeck since I
    was a child.

    I have found in my short experience in the NKT that any rational explanation of
    why one cannot attend puja, or more profoundly do certain types of work in
    Brazil is often met with the response that “you do not have enough faith” or
    “you need to do more for your guru” or some other such nonsense.

    All of this is a form of abuse behavior, and complete and utter crap. This form
    of manipulation was manifest in Brazil, very obvious, and chillingly abusive.

    I have been practicing Buddhism for a very long time. Buddha has been in my
    family since I was a child. The suggestion that I do not have enough faith in
    Buddha is so profoundly demented that it just makes me shake my head and feel
    compassion for those who have been polluted by the manipulative mind of control
    and abuse. It is a gangster mentality of uniformity, control, and manipulation.

    That being said I have been so delighted to meet so many new friends from around
    the world. The teaching for me ultimately is the understanding that I already
    have all the tools I need in my own mind. I know that I simply need to continue
    my Zazen practice while following the 16 Bodhissattva precepts which I took many
    many years ago.

    I have a profoundly deep respect for Kelsang Gyatso, it was delightful to meet
    him in person and hold him warmly in a friendly hug. It was also a blessing to
    give my Bodhissattva vow in his presence. Such a joy.

    I will be around so to speak, not as a member of the NKT, but as a fellow
    Buddhist following the teachings of Buddha Shakyamuni. This experience has
    removed all traces of any faith I had in the practices of the New Kadampa

    In emptiness there is no tradition.

    P.S. This letter is being sent to everyone in my e-mail list with the attached
    photo, so that anyone who is in the New Kadampa Tradition, is thinking of being
    involved in the NKT, or is a Buddhist can read this and think twice before
    practicing in this tradition, or volunteering to help in this tradition. I wish
    all of my friends in the NKT, with a heart full of love, the best in their
    spiritual practice. May everyone find the happiness they seek. I have found my
    happiness, and it is not in the NKT.


  26. My experience of groups and people, normally there is no smoke, if there is no fire. I have read many in sites that this group has many issues. If I am trusting my spiritual development to someone, I would like them to have less issues than I, it seem this group have more issues.

    Do i need to practice with them to develop more bad habits, no I dont think so.
    Do you need to practice with them, it depends, do you want to be a rotten apple, spiritually dry, blinded, do you want to be involved with a group that hides sexual misconduct of senior students and then fails to apologise or even admit their wrong doing. Do you want to be part of a group that is only interested in you for what you can do for them. Read the above and decide for yourself. We naturally become like those we hang out with. Ask yourself, is this what I want. Lenord Cohen said, there is a crack in everything, thats how the light gets in. There are too many cracks in this one. Even if its only roumer, do you want to have to defend yourself and them, hidr the fact that you are practicing with them. Do yourself a favour, do a web search on kadampa cult, there are far more google hits than kadampa meditation
    lisa (disgruntled and cheated, yes)


  27. Shedding Light on WSS, NKT‐IKBU and Shugden
    Good Night Lama – The “Blackmail Tape”
    with 2 comments



    The voice of Jacqueline Keely, Lama Yeshe’s Administrative Assistant:

    “This tape recording is a message from Geshe Kelsang Gyatso delivered to Lama Thubten Yeshe on July 22, 1983 by Chip Rodarmor and Geshe Kelsang’s translator. At enormous expense Geshe Kelsang sent Chip and Tenzin all the way from England to California especially to represent Geshe Kelsang by delivering his blackmail. We hope that these facts are clearly apparent to you.”

    The voice of Chip Rodarmor:

    “Dear Lama Yeshe, thank you very much for your gifts to us which Tenzin and I both deeply appreciated. We were deeply disappointed at not being able to see you. We feel that we were unable to accomplish one of the most important purposes of our visit to you, which was to explain the urgency and serious dangers in the present situation. We meant to protect you and to protect the FPMT from very serious legal dangers, which would be extremely damaging to your reputation and of FPMT internationally. We do not feel, therefore, that your taped response to our first meeting is acceptable under the circumstances and, therefore, urge you to consider very carefully this taped communication. Please know that we are sincerely and faithfully trying to protect you from these dangers but that you are ignoring us. Please do not ignore us now. The situation at present is that present trustees of the Manjushri Institute, including Peter Kedge and Harvey Horrocks, are involved in irregularities with respect to and violations of the terms of the Manjushri Institute Trust Deed. These constitute civil illegalities and please appreciate that some of these are major. They are very important – and that some of these are viewed by the Charities Commission as extremely serious and could constitute a basis for the removal of three of the four trustees of the Manjushri Institute, including Peter Kedge, Harvey Horrocks and yourself, Lama.

    Please also appreciate that the situation, that the present situation, especially with respect to the trustees of the institute, also involve criminal illegalities. Many of these are very serious violations of the law with respect to the conduct of business operations, particularly Lotus Trading Company. Some of these illegalities are extremely serious criminal actions carried out by the trustees themselves and others very closely connected with FPMT. Tenzin and I are not in a position to say what these illegalities are. But if you wish to know the details, and if you wish to know the people involved we urge you to call Peter Kedge or Harvey Horrocks and ask them because they know and its very possible that Jacie Keeley knows as well. Who is involved in the criminal illegalities? Basically, they are key members of FPMT, of the FPMT organisation.

    Now at present, the Charities Commission holds a type-written report numbering close to 100 pages which not only summarise a number of civil and criminal illegalities with respect to the conduct of the management of Manjushri Institute but also contains supporting evidence. Please also appreciate that our attorney in London, who is an expert in Charity Law, also holds details of the most serious criminal illegalities conducted by some of the trustees and others and supporting evidence. Now, the immediate consequence of not signing the agreement that we presented to you a few days ago is that our attorney in London will turn over the details of the most serious criminal illegalities to the Solicitor General’s Office. The consequence of this will be a police investigation of the trustees of the Manjushri Institute in addition to the conduct of the FPMT organisation. In addition to this the Charities Commission will start a full investigation of the civil and criminal illegalities contained in the report which I mentioned – which the Charities Commission already has and has examined over the last few weeks, but at our request, is not investigating yet. This report explicitly requests the Charities Commission to remove three trustees from the Manjushri Institute, including Peter Kedge, Harvey Horrocks and you, Lama. And the details given are the illegalities, which I have already mentioned.

    Lama, please also appreciate the overall consequence of these actions proceeding in the court and also in the Charities Commission. Please realise that there probably will be a public trial of trustees of the Manjushri Institute in addition to other key FPMT people. Please also appreciate that you, Lama, will probably have to go to court to answer questions and possibly even to stand trial. If prosecuted, trustees of the Manjushri Institute will probably go to jail and possibly also other members of the FPMT. And finally, the Charities Commission, through its own investigation, and as a result of the public trial, and possible prosecution of trustees and other FPMT will formally remove the 3 trustees I have mentioned from the Manjushri Institute. Now please appreciate that the FPMT, as a result of this, will be disgraced internationally. The purpose of Tenzin and my coming from England to see you in California was to impress upon you the grave seriousness of the present situation and to obtain your signature on the agreement we presented to you along with the letter from the Institute. This action we have taken has been at the recommendation of the Charities Commission and also of our own attorney in England.

    As you said in your tape that you agree with the proposal that we have offered you, then please sign the agreement now to take back to England with us on Monday. If we are unable to return to England with your signature on that agreement, which you have already indicated you agreed with, then please know, Lama, without doubt that civil and legal actions will commence next week.

    Lama, I will call you at 10:30 tomorrow morning to hear your response to this communication. I sincerely hope from the very bottom of my heart that you will be willing to sign the agreement, which represents an extremely tolerant, and an extremely peaceful solution to this overall problem under the circumstances. However, if there are further questions that you wish to ask – if there is any way in which Tenzin or myself can be of further assistance to you in understanding the present situation please let us know and we are completely at you disposal from now until the time that we actually have to leave for England, which is Monday afternoon. Please listen to my tape carefully so that you do understand completely what is involved and that there will be no regret in the future if legal actions are, in fact, taken. Good night, Lama.”


  28. Hi there,
    I added some new information on my blog with respect to NKT.

    It could be helpful for some to read a post about threats of legal actions against others by NKT and how NKT is launching a new campaign to attract new members by offering events in bookshops and collaborating with Waterstones. The latter post also includes an internal training manual by Tharpa, NKTs publishing arm:

    New Kadampa Tradition threatened to sue NBO too
    Waterstones’ Naivity Helps the Spread of the New Kadampa Tradition


  29. Thank you for the input!


  30. The UK Charity Commission Confirms the New Kadampa Tradition and the Western Shugden Society are One and the Same.

    The NKT, the WSS and Politics

    One of the greatest concerns of the NKT is its preservation of the illusion of it being a Buddhist ‘religious’ charity rather than a political movement. For the wider world to perceive the NKT as a political movement, an essential aspect of the group’s actual character (though one not readily talked about at its beginners groups) would be a PR disaster. They, after all teach a form of ‘pure’ Buddhism untarnished by the pollutions of extant forms of the faith, long established ‘traditions’ which, they claim, have ‘degenerated’ into ‘politics’. Hence, the internal rules of the NKT-IKBU state “The New Kadampa Tradition shall always be an entirely independent Buddhist tradition and the NKT-IKBU shall have no political affiliations.”
    Kelsang Gyatso himself distanced the NKT from the whole issue of the conflict over Dorje Shugden more than a decade ago when, in a letter to the Washington Times he proclaimed the issue a “Tibetan political problem” and publicly avowed that,

    ‘…in October 1998 we decided to completely stop being involved in this Shugden issue because we realized that in reality this is a Tibetan political problem and not the problem of Buddhism in general or the NKT. We made our decision public at this time- everyone knows the NKT and myself completely stopped being involved in this Shugden issue at all levels. I can guarantee that the NKT and myself have never performed inappropriate actions and will never do so in the future. This is our determination. We simply concentrate on the flourishing of holy Buddhadharma throughout the world – we have no other aim.”

    The corollary of this rhetoric is epitomised by the Western Shugden Society’s allegations against the present Dalai Lama that he (not generations of masters and independent minded Dalai Lamas before him) has polluted Buddhism by ‘politicizing’ it via the issue of Dorje Shugden. The Western Shugden Society book, ‘A Great Deception’ brims with such rhetoric. The group’s website describes its membership as “freeing Buddhism from Political pollution, protecting Shugden practitioners from persecution by the Dalai Lama”.
    There is then a definite desire on the part of Kelsang Gyatso and the NKT to keep the two, politics and religion, separate in the minds of newcomers and potential converts; indeed, this distinction is repeatedly emphasized throughout the follower’s encounter with the organization.

    And yet, what one gradually ‘learns’ about Buddhism when one encounters the NKT is:
    Dalai Lama=politics=pollution of ‘pure’ Buddhism;
    Kelsang Gyatso/NKT=’Pure’, non-political Buddhism.
    This routinely perpetuated, highly political motif is prominent throughout one’s involvement with the NKT, even in the upper echelons of the organization’s ruling elite. In his letter to NKT centre directors in April 2008 for instance, after elsewhere stating he would personally organize demonstrations against the Dalai Lama as the ‘representative’ of the Western Shugden Society, Gyatso wrote:

    It is very possible that The Western Shugden Society will organise demonstrations against the Dalai Lama. Concerning this issue, we should know five things:
    1. The demonstrations will be organised by the Western Shugden Society, not by the NKT.
    2. The Western Shugden Society is the unification of all the Western Shugden practitioners, and NKT is a part of this main body.
    3. When the main body, The Western Shugden Society, organises demonstrations, the NKT needs to voluntarily contribute and help.
    4. There is no basis to break our constitution or internal rules because this is not organised by the NKT.
    We should recognise that the NKT is not involved politically, simply supporting The Western Shugden Society with these demonstrations.”

    Clearly, the idea that the NKT is an apolitical organization is considered a valuable asset from the NKT’s perspective. This maintenance of the dualistic distinction between politics and religion, between the ‘polluted’ and ‘politicised’ on the one hand and the ‘pure’ and the ‘apolitical’ on the other, provides both the mantra and mindset which drive the NKT’s Shugden devotees in their allegedly ‘apolitical’ war against the Dalai Lama in the material world and in cyberspace.

    So how political are the NKT? More importantly, to whom can we ask that question and guarantee a trustworthy response?

    Of course, we could ask the NKT. But we already know that the NKT could never possibly be a political organization from their own perspective; the internal rules of the group state,” the NKT-IKBU shall have no political affiliations.” And if that’s what the NKT rules say, then it must be true.

    Gyatso explicitly disassociates the NKT from political activity above when he states that because the WSS and not the NKT were organizing demonstrations, the NKT’s internal rules on political affiliation were therefore not being breached. ‘The NKT is not involved ‘politically’, claimed Gyatso, it was simply ‘supporting’ the activities of the Western Shugden Society.

    So, from Gyatso’s perspective, the NKT has no involvement with the Shugden Society, they are just their ‘supporters’. The NKT ‘party line’ answer to our question then, is that the two, the NKT and the WSS, are distinct entities.

    Critics of the NKT/WSS

    We have already seen that the NKT’s critics consider this distinction to be a false one. They point to the fact that, before the demonstrations against the Dalai Lama, Kelsang Gyatso declared, “As the representative of the Western Shugden Society, I personally will organise demonstrations against the Dalai Lama directly”.
    Similarly, critics point to the fact that the WSS Press speaker during the 2008 anti Dalai Lama campaign was Kelsang Pema (Helen Gradwell), personal assistant to Kelsang Gyatso for 8 years. Again, in the US, the frontman and leader of WSS demos was Kelsang Khyenrab, then Deputy Spiritual Director of the NKT, second only to Gyatso. The frontwoman and leader of the same WSS demos was Kelsang Dekyong, then National Spiritual Director of NKT USA, now General Spiritual Director of the whole organization. In Germany, the WSS frontman and leader of demonstrations was Kelsang Ananda, National Spiritual Director of NKT Germany. Finally, the leader of WSS demos in Australia was Kelsang Rabten, National Spiritual Director of NKT Australia and New Zealand. On each occasion, the vociferous demonstrators were overwhelmingly members of the NKT.

    So one for, one against. The NKT say they are not political and that they only ‘support’ the activities of the WSS, and their opponents say they are political because the NKT are the WSS, simply pretending not to be the NKT so as not to become tarred by the brush of ‘politically polluted religion’ . Remember, according to the NKT, that’s where the Tibetans got it wrong and where the NKT get it right; the NKT definitely does not perpetuate the fault of mixing politics with religion.
    Inform: Neutral Advice?
    Perhaps a third more neutral party such as the Home Office financed ‘Inform’ might be able to provide a more academic opinion on whether the NKT is the same as the WSS and whether it engages in political activity or not. Inform, according to its aims, provides accurate, balanced, up-to-date information about new and/or alternative religious or spiritual movements. These are the people government departments talk to when they want information on established religious groups and New Religious Movements. Notably, in 2008, they received more enquiries about the NKT than any other controversial British New Religious Movement.

    The standard letter Inform issue when contacted about the NKT confirms that “the NKT-IKBU stresses that it is an independent organisation with no official political position or formal association with the Western Shugden Society.” The file Inform hold on the NKT lists the WSS as an ‘associated organization’ because of the “substantial demonstrable connections between the two,” and what an Inform spokesperson described as “the visible overlap of the membership base and spokespersons of both groups “. New Religious Movements often set up legally independent charities and companies in which their members are encouraged actively to become involved, Sun Yung Moon’s Unification Church providing numerous examples of such practice.
    So, it would appear that the ‘neutral’ position is that the NKT and the WSS are ‘associated’, the former having set up the latter and then encouraged its followers to become members.

    However, one must ask how ‘neutral’ this information actually is. As mentioned above, 2008 saw Inform receiving more enquiries about the NKT than any other NRM. In response to the ever-growing concern about the organization, Inform decided to produce a leaflet on the NKT charting its history and some, though not all, of the controversies surrounding it. As academics involved in the study of New Religious Movements, Inform have always provided the organizations they comment on with draft copies of anything they write about them so that the organization has chance to comment before publication. But when Inform provided the NKT with what they intended to write, the NKT responded, characteristically, by threatening legal action.

    This means that Inform cannot even tell the Home Office, the government office that finances it, exactly what it knows about the organization because the NKT has prevented it from doing so, indeed it has prevented Inform from presenting the full extent of its information to all government bodies or to the public via its increasingly ubiquitous threat of litigation. From this perspective, it would seem that NKT has even more power than the UK Government itself.

    Therefore, we cannot be sure that Inform’s stance is a neutral one, not because of inadequacies or biases on the part of Inform’s academic staff, but rather because their responses must always be considered against the knowledge that the threat of NKT legal retribution hangs, like the sword of Damocles, over everything they might dare to say or print. From this perspective, it would seem that NKT has even more power than the UK Government itself

    At least the author Gary Beesley, can take some solace from this. The widespread response from the NKT web-police after he was forced to withdraw his book on the NKT, ‘A Cuckoo in the Peacock Palace’, from circulation was that the legal suppression of his work was due to its being filled with libellous falsehoods. However, it is quite clear that the suppression of ANY information that does not concur with their version of truth has become routine practice for the NKT, whether it is false or true. The 19th century German philosopher Schopenhauer observed that all truth passes through three stages. First it is ridiculed, secondly, it is violently suppressed and then thirdly, it is accepted by all as self-evident. If such is the case, the NKT’s suppression of Beesley’s work has already set in motion a process which will ultimately lead to widespread acceptance of its content.
    The UK Charity Commission

    Another important body that has had a long relationship with the NKT is the UK Charity Commission. Like Inform, one of the fundamental tenets of the Charity Commission is neutrality. Unlike Inform, the NKT have a vested interest in maintaining a healthy relationship with the Commission since their charitable status as the registered charity ‘NKT-IKBU’ brings significant benefits, both in terms of funding and tax exemption.

    After the demonstrations of 2008, a number of individuals wrote to the Commission to express their concerns about the NKT-IKBU’s infrastructure, assets and membership being utilised in the WSS’s highly political anti Dalai Lama campaign. Generally speaking, charities are advised not to engage directly in political activity. In a recent report on the activities of the League Against Cruel Sports, for instance, Andrew Hind, Chief Executive of the Charity Commission said:
    “Charities must guard their independence very carefully, which means not engaging in any party political activity or leaving the charity open to the perception that they may be.” Critics of the NKT would certainly suggest that the NKT, in the guise of the WSS, was engaged in just such activity.
    However, the Commission rejected this complaint stating:
    “Our view, is that the charity is undertaking campaigning rather than political activity, (a view) based on the distinct definitions of these terms, derived from charity law. Political activity involves trying to secure support or oppose a change in the law or in the policy or decisions of a central government, local authority, or other public body whether in this country or abroad. Campaigning is about mobilising support and raising awareness about an issue, whether in the public domain generally or particularly among stakeholders or governments, or both.

    In this case, the charity is campaigning against an edict or a resolution (I refer However, we do not think that this is a political campaign or political activity because the edict has not been pronounced by a functioning government or political leader. Neither is the edict capable of being legally enforced. Clearly, the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in Exile do pass resolutions, decisions and edicts which are followed by their supporters. However, these do not become laws or policies in Tibet, India or any other country, and their supporters have the choice of whether to comply or not.”

    In other words, the campaign against the Dalai Lama is not a political one because the Dalai Lama is not a political leader and his edicts are not legally enforceable.

    Supporters of the Dalai Lama’s position on the Shugden issue can be forgiven for perhaps perceiving this somewhat characteristically evasive and insipid response something of a disappointment. To suggest that the Dalai Lama is not a political leader simply because he is not currently the head of state or that his actions are not political simply because his edicts are not legally enforceable seems a very convenient way for the Charity Commission to, once again, refrain from acting when action is urgently needed. Even the NKT would disagree with them on both issues. After all, their central argument is that the Dalai Lama is a political figure and his edicts on Shugden are being enforced within the exiled Tibetan community.

    Significantly more noteworthy however, is the repeated use of the phrase “the charity is …campaigning”. To whom exactly do the Commission refer when they speak of ‘the charity’ campaigning against the Dalai Lama’s edicts? Certainly, it is not the Western Shugden Society; the WSS have, at least until now, not registered as a UK charity. Moreover, the complaints that the Charity Commission received were not made against the WSS but rather, against the NKT-IKBU itself.

    Thus, when the Commission refer to the non-political ‘campaigning’ activities of ‘the charity’, the charity are referring directly to the NKT. From the perspective of UK Charity Commission, the demonstrations against the Dalai Lama that were carried out in the deliberate guise of the WSS were in fact, the activity of registered charity 101504, the New Kadampa Tradition-International Kadampa Buddhist Union.

    The Charity Commission’s response continues:
    “…it would appear the charity believes its involvement in the issue to be political. We will therefore write to the trustees to explain the legal position that applies to charities taking part in political activity and campaigning, and the duties and responsibilities that must be complied with. As mentioned above, the reason for being involved in the campaign must be related to the charity’s purposes and trustees must be able to justify the resources applied….Our advice will also include trustees considering the methods used to campaign, such as taking part in demonstrations or associating with another organisation(s).”
    This then, further confirms that it is the NKT-IKBU to which the Commission refer in their response. In fact, several phrases in the passage raise some very interesting questions. For instance, if “the charity believes its involvement in the issue to be political.” why does “the charity” publicly deny that it engages in any form of political activity? Again, why do the Commission believe the NKT-IKBU considers its “involvement in the issue to be political.”? Is it because they have consistently denied any association between their own activities and those of the WSS? Is such apparently deceptive behaviour acceptable for a charity in the eyes of the Commission?

    According to the Commission’s response to the complaint that the NKT IKBU charity has bee engaging in political activities, charities can undertake such campaigning activity, “as long as they are only undertaken in the context of supporting the delivery of the charity’s purposes or aims, in this case the Dalai Lama’s edict against Shugden propitiation”.
    The Charity Commission website states that the aims and purpose of the NKT-IKBU are the “Public promotion of Kadampa Buddhism throughout the world, by supporting the development of Kadampa Buddhist centres throughout the world, by publishing and distributing book on Kadampa Buddhism and training teachers in the same, and finally the maintenance of a year-round programme of Buddhist teachings and meditation at the charity’s home premises.”

    Where in this statement of aims and purposes, does the NKT IKBU refer to its ‘religious freedom’ campaigns against the Dalai Lama? Is it not the case that, despite the fact that this has very clearly been one of the NKT IKBU’s most prominent activities of recent, such activities do not appear to link to any of the stated aims or purposes, either explicitly or indeed, implicitly? Why is it that the NKT-IKBU’s significant involvement in these activities is not made clear in the statement aims and purposes?

    Surely, if this campaigning has become a significant aspect of the NKT-IKBU’s activities, this should be made clear in its statement of aims and purposes? If not, how are the general public or indeed non-governmental bodies such as English Heritage and the National Lottery to know whether they are contributing to a cause, the aims of which they agree with? Is this perhaps why the NKT have been so keen to hide the fact that, though they and the WSS are nominally distinct, they are in fact the same entity?
    After the 2008 demonstrations by the NKT/WSS the Administrative Director of Kadampa Meditation Centre, Florida resigned, declaring:

    “Since the beginning of our involvement with the NKT we have been repeatedly told that the NKT was not involved in politics. Now that the NKT has opened up with its political position and begun demonstrating I can no longer be a part of the organization. This complete lack of honesty about the NKT’s involvement in Tibetan politics is the reason for my departure.”

    If more people were aware of this total dishonesty over the NKT’s thoroughly political nature, how long would it be before it was no longer one of the largest and fastest growing New Buddhist Movements in the West? How long would it be before the mortgage payments could no longer be met and its burgeoning property empire began to collapse inwards, like the proverbial sand castle slipping back into the sea?


  31. Ok Malcolm-well done. Mad hair For what its worth, I reckon a DS thread will only attract the same posters who are active all over the internet (under different names) All you will get is intransigence and polemics-neither side ever listens to the other and both think they are right-shame they dont focus on just practicing their faiths (plural) instead. After all, the DS issue is a political one and, apparently, neither side is acting politically-Ha!


  32. yes, mine and your make two :-)


  33. Do you folks want a thread started for DS discussion?

    Two votes should be enough to convince me.


  34. Hi
    Thank you for discontinuing your posting on ds here. In the past the nkt hacks have hijacked all threads on many sites where complaints about the organisation have made. Most people have never heard of ds, but they deff know abusive behaviour when they see it. I encorage you to start another topic under the ds banner, it is also a very worthwhile way to inform others of this cult


  35. Hey Anonymous,

    No, it’s just Martin asked me to give it up and so I have.

    Good luck,


  36. Hey Malcolm
    No response?looking for more anti-Dalai Lama propaganda to perpetuate the NKTs pathetic, non Buddhist hate campaign? Dont waste too much time Remember, factual accuracy is of a secondary value when it comes to justifying ones position-In cults, the endd justifies the means. Make up any old stuff ‘All this confusion is the fault of the Dalai Lama’ or ‘The NKt has never been involved in political activities’ You know the sort of thing that regularly pours out of the warped propaganda machine. Is it just coincidence that Kelsang Gyatso’s books are being marketed in China, i wonder? Certainly, when people at Manjushri started to talk about getting the go ahead for China distribution, they were told to keep quiet. Religion or politics?


  37. A period away from “Buddhism”-I learned to see myself as just a buddhist, rather than a member of a particular organization, with sworn allegiance to only one teacher, a teacher treated more like a saviour than a guide. Once you realise youre on your own and the different organizations are just methods of transmission rather than corporate entities (well, most organizations anyway) your on your way to sharing time with the Buddha. Dont be a monkey, be an organ grinder!


  38. Hi folks

    Recently a friend of mine, who had left the nkt 3 year ago was having a tough
    time getting over some of her experiences whilst with the nkt. She was finding
    it hard to keep her mind calm and positive, even though she had made wonderfull
    progress and has gained amazing insights through the practice of mindfulness. At
    the same time I was going through a relationship break up and her advice was
    spot on.

    One evening I turned her advice around on her and said something to the effect
    of, you had a 13 year relationship with the nkt, a year ordained with the nkt,
    it promised so much more than a romantic relationship and you feel angry that
    your spiritual relationship was broken off by you.

    Everything that you are going through is part of the ending of a relationship,
    its painful enough with out feeling bad on top of that. She was feeling bad as
    she could not communicate effectively with frieds left inside the cult, she was
    mad at the many deceptions at how she had been abused and at how she had
    justified the actions of teachers. She was angry. I just said that it takes at
    least two years to get over a romantic relationship, even one not as long as 13
    years, it will take much longer to get over a spiritual relationship, where you
    offered everything, it promised to deliver and failed and then you were blamed
    for leaving, no fault of the system.

    When we leave, we really have to look after ourselves, just like the ending of a
    romantic relationship. We may have to avoid certain people, certain places,
    certain conversations and so on, so that we can get some of our strenght back
    after the betrayal. Our world is destroyed, the imagined futrue is over (we just
    have not fully realised that the poss future is now so much better), our
    friendships are gone or in danger, we have free time that we do not know what to
    do with, every time we see a tea cup we are assessing its potential for a guru
    cup, of course we suffer and suffer and suffer. It takes time to heal and we get
    ambushed all the time, we have been programmed and to un do that may take the
    rest of this life time.

    so its good not to be too hard on ourselves, no one really understands what we
    have been through, even we do not know the full effect. We repressed so much
    wilst in the tradition. So we need to be kind to ourselves.

    Can I ask people how they have been kind to themselves, how they loved
    themselves after leaving.. What really worked for you

    love martin


  39. malcome, can i ask you to start a new section for the discussion of shugdan stuff, whilst it is an important part of thr nkt, the most important part is the actual damages and abuses the organisation allows to happen to students.
    The ds stuff acts as a smoke screen and will prevent potential students on here from reading about thr real issues that may effect them, rather than docterinal issues.



  40. As you may be aware, the Regent often has the duty of ensuring that lineages practiced by the previous incarnation are endowed upon the new incarnation in the interregnum period. In the 14 the Dalai Lama’s case, this would mean, by nature of his office and tradition, that he receive the Fifth Dalai Lama’s Pure Vision teaching, Sangwa Gyachen, a secret teaching very specific to the lineage of the Dalai Lamas. Though the Sangwa Gyachen contains the Fifths visionary teachings on Guru Rinpoche and his eight manifestations, were received directly from Guru Rinpoche and then passed through the Dalai Lamas and there closest subordinates. The lineage therefore is wholly Gelug.

    You seem to be misconstruing Dzogchen transmission, (philosophical and practical advice on meditation on the nature of mind according to the Nyingma tradition) with the transmission of the lineage of a particular set of sadhanas, here according to the Gelug tradition.

    Subtle mistake-easy to make.

    See Samten Karmay, Secret Visions of the Fifth Dalai Lama, Serindia, 1998


  41. Anonymous

    You are correct, my understanding of history is certainly faulty, however, maybe you have more faith in the Dalai Lama’s:

    “The master from whom I received the transmission for this extraordinary Sangwa Gyachen cycle was Taktra Rinpoche”

    Dzogchen: The Heart Essence of the Great Perfection


  42. On the dot!


  43. BTW Malcolm
    ‘Logically’ this means your assertions about the Ganden Tripas was incorrect. (The logic being you know nothing about the content of Gendun Choepel’s Guide, nor indeed the Dalai Lama’s relationship with the Nyingma tradition.OOOOH TZAAAAAA!!!! (Thats Tibetan-you probably have no knowledge of that either, despite stealing the teachings of the Tibetan Gelug, then claiming they are your own ‘unique presentation, perfectly suited to the needs of Western Buddhists). PS Since when was worshiping an 18th century spirit of any value in the modern world OOOH I get it; its all about money and power!.Very contemporary.


  44. Dear Malcolm

    I am afraid you understanding of history is once again faulty. Taktra was one of Pabongkhas 4 main disciples. I hardly think he would go against his root gurus injunction that such paths as Dzogchen and Mahamudra were inferior and fallacious by teaching them to the DL. The Dalai Lama did not receive Nyingma teachings until the 70s, much to the disgust of Trijang Rinpoche, Kelsang Gyatso’s root guru. I suggest a course in Tibetan history accompany your course on Tibetan Buddhism, since, in light of the NKT’s non Tibetan status, you clearly lack.

    In fact, this speaks reams about NKT interlocutors all across the internet-all you know is the NKT version of history-remember, Buddha thinks BIG!


  45. when Chagdral Sangye Yeshe Dorje went into the Potala to teach Reting, he had to be smuggled out in disguise because there was the possibility that he would be killed because of his philosophical views

    If so, does this not prove the view of a reactionary Gelugpa establishment?


  46. Anonymous,

    Is this the same Taktra Rinpoche who gave Dalai Lama transmission of Dzogchen?

    If so, does this contradict the view of a reactionary Gelugpa establishment?


  47. Anonymous,

    Is this the same Taktra Rinpoche who gave the Dalai Lama transmission on Dzogchen?

    If so it would seem to contradict this view of Gelugpas being sectarian/reactionary.


  48. Gedun Chopel’s Pilgrimage Guide written in the 1930s was written at the behest of the reactionary Gelug establishment headed by Taktra Rinpoche and heavily influenced by Trijang-both close disciples of Pabongka. These were the people that financed the book, Gendun Chopel simply repeated the religious view of his Gelug contemporaries, rather than providing historical evidence to support the assertion.Watch Angry Monk


  49. I dunno


  50. Conor,

    Are you aware of any allegations of abuse within other (Tibetan) Buddhist organisations?

    Have there ever been any? How were they handled?


  51. At best, I think we can agree that the evidence concerning the 5th DL’s position is inconclusive. (Conor, you should also consult Gedun Chopel’s Pilgrimage Guide written in the 1930s.)

    Again, the claim that generations of Ganden Tripas have banned practice of Dorje Shugden is total nonsense.

    But then, if the previous post is to be believed, nobody cares about history anymore. So the whole furore surounding DS will surely melt away………


  52. Too right-you are getting distracted here-Its not about whether its cool to worship a monster, its about nuns getting screwed by seniors and abusing the dole for years-This is a double dodgy group, the pyramid sellers of Buddhism. Who gives a toss about history-its the here and now that is f***d up!


  53. Malcolm
    a statement from Kangyur Rinpoche does not constitiute ‘historical evidence’ in the real world. One might just as easily assert that a politicians analysis of the existing status quo is ‘historical evidence’, or the assertion that ther is a real, happy Sue, because Sooty referred to her in a story. Ridiculous logic.
    AFAICS, the only ‘evidence’ that the temple was built by the Fifth comes from texts published in China in the early 2000s, texts authored by the most devout Shugden devotees such as Serkong DC.Hardly acceptable. PS this page is about the NKT NOT the validity of DS practice


  54. to spreading of rumours at this blog about the 5thDL/shugden is now a nice sport of NKT people to distract the readers from the problems of the group…


  55. if the 5th dalai lama said anything good about shugden then because the spirit worshippers could not let go it, so he might have tried as a skilful means to allow it, but it didn’t work. actually the 5th dalai lama said himself:

    “The so-called Dragpa Gyaltsen pretends to be a sublime being,
    Even though he is not,
    And since this interfering spirit and creature of distorted prayers
    Is harming everything – both the dharma and sentient beings –
    Do not support, protect or give him shelter, but grind him to dust.”

    see for reference: http://www.dalailama.com/messages/dolgyal-shugden/historical-references#fifth


  56. Kangyur Rinpoche:

    “The Fifth Dalai Lama felt remorseful and confessed to Dorje Shugden. He founded Trode Khangsar in which he placed a statue of Dorje Shugden. He then wrote Manjushri’s Own Words, and offered it to Panchen Rinpoche who was almost 100 years old. Panchen Rinpoche said, “I am a happy old monk, now by this the Gelug tradition will flourish” and he passed away soon after.”


  57. “we know that the 5th Dalai Lama built a temple and dedicated it to Dorje Shugden.”
    A frequent claim made by NKT/DS devotees. Historical evidence for this does not exist-please provide


  58. Thanks for the quotes.

    I note that the first three are from NON Gelugpa teachers.

    Concerning the last, we know that the 5th Dalai Lama built a temple and dedicated it to Dorje Shugden.


  59. H.E. Tai Situ Rinpoche, Karma Kagyu Tradition
    “We Kagyu followers normally do not mention this name without fear. There is no Shugden practitioner among Kagyu followers. The reason why we fear the one I name just now, is because we believe that he causes obstacles to spiritual practice and brings discord in families and among the community of monks.”
    H.H. Mindolling Trichen Rinpoche, the late Head of the Nyingma Tradition:
    “Shugden is a ghost. We Nyingma practitioner do not follow him. We propagate only those protectors that were bound by Padmasambhava. Shugden came after Padmasambhava. Shugden is a hungry ghost in the human realm.”
    H.H. Sakya Trizin, Head of the Sakya Tradition:
    “In the beginning the Sakya throne holder Sakya Sönam Rinchen bound Shugden to protect Dharma. However, neither Shudgen nor other worldly spirits were depended upon during prayer meeting at Sakya. The statue of Shugden was in some shrine rooms but in the lowest category in the pantheon. No Sakya follower has ever taken life pledging empowerment through the medium of Shugden… Later Shugden worship decreased strongly among Sakyas due to the efforts of three leading Sakya lineage lamas” [including the root Guru of Sakya Trizin who was] “extremely unhappy with Shugden practice and advised on the demerits of Shugden practice. One of his disciples, Ngawang Yönten Gyatso, took strong actions to remove Shugden statues from the Sakya monasteries and to destroy them. Khyentse Dorje Chang Chökyi Lodrö was also very unhappy with Shugden practice, although he didn’t destroy statues, he performed rituals to banish Shugden. Since these three leading Sakya Lamas were against Shugden, this practice declined greatly among Sakya followers.”
    H.H. the 100th Ganden Tripa, late Head of the Gelug Tradition:
    [..] Gelug Lamas of the past would have taken notice of Shugden if he was really the embodiment of the three refuges. But there is no historical record to show that they took any interest in Shugden. Therefore I can not accept Shugden as the embodiment of the Three Refuges.”
    H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama quoting the 5th Dalai Lama:
    “In his autobiography the 5th Dalai Lama writes that he performed a fire ritual against Shugden during which he composed a prayer to protect the deities. In the prayer the 5th Dalai Lama says that he is performing this ritual to vanquish Dorje Shugden who is harming the Buddhadharma and sentient beings. He clearly says that Dragpa Gyaltsen’s negative prayer resulted in his rebirth as Shugden.”


  60. “logically” (“Geshe la says…”)


  61. False humility, which is actually an attempt to assert some kind of spiritual superiority, is common to those young in the Dharma. Good luck to you Malcolm; you would be surprised to know how many people are actually praying for you. I hope you make it out and find Buddhism, it is a truly wonderful faith. Be safe and free


  62. Anonymous,

    Thankyou for sharing your thoughts and time with me.




  63. Zealot.

    How many years have you practiced Buddhism?
    What experience do you have of other traditions?
    How long have you studied Buddhist history and in what context?

    1-not many
    3-Youve read NKT propaganda-nothing else

    Your conclusions are EXACTLY as I expected, even own to your latching onto ‘ some Ganden Throne Holders propitiated Dolgyal’ as supporting evidence, when the main thrust of the statement proves how the practice was banned at Ganden

    You are very clearly only educated in NKT/WSS rhetoric You probably bought a copy of ‘The Great Deception’ (What an apt title). Ever thought of studying Buddhism instead?

    There is absolutely no purpose in speaking with you people-all you do is argue and condemn anyone you percieve as enemy, that being anyone who is not with you-cult.

    You condemn the Dalai Lama for political acts when he is a political leader and then behave politically yourself-though you claim you are not; tell me why demonstrating holding placards. condemning the politics of others is not political.

    There is no point in debating with someone who already knows all the answers.

    Face it: outside the NKT, most Buddhists consider you to be brainwashed cult followers. Argue all you want (thats what you people seem to want to all the time) Myself, I’ll stick to Buddhism instead


  64. Anonymous,

    Thanks, the quote you extract proves the point perfectly. As it says:

    “in the past some Ganden Throne Holders propitiated Dolgyal ”

    Bear in mind that this is from a text written from the point of view of someone who advises against DS practice.

    Logically the statement

    “generations of Gelug heads (Ganden tripa) condemned the practice.”

    is incorrect and has been proved to be so again last year.

    So what we know is that the previous Ganden Tripa practised DS. Also, we know from your quote that even anti DS sources acknowledge that Ganden Tripas have practised DS.

    Further, we know that the major Gelug teachers of the 20th Century, including Dalai Lama himself, practised DS.

    This is a political argument between different traditions. DL is trying to appease the non Gelug schools to consolidate spiritual authority under himself.

    In the current circumstances, it is possible to understand why he is arguing for consolidation of the traditions, just as he did in the 60s. At that time the Karmapa united the other traditions and opposed him. (You can read all about this in non-Shugden books.) Therefore he has been forced to try and break up the power of his own school, the Gelugpas.

    The other arguments against Dorje Shugden practice being given here and elsewhere do not stand up to investigation.


  65. Heres 2 for starters

    Biography of Changkya Rolpai Dorje ‘The Beautifying Ornament of Ganden’:

    Je Lama and his students do not propitiate worldly gods and protectors and hence even the cairn of Machen, the deity of his birthplace, is not included within the limits of the circumambulatory (path at Ganden). (However,) in the past some Ganden Throne Holders propitiated Dolgyal and experienced misfortunes, consequently Tri Chen Dorje Chang dismantled Dolgyal’s image and shrine and banished it from the monastery’.

    Trichen Ngawang Chokden’s biography ‘The Melodious Speech of Realized Sky Farers called The Great Drum of the Celestial Beings’

    ‘The medium was invoked to come into trance and was then ordered not to come into trance henceforth. Dolgyal too said, “If this is Tri Rinpoche’s order, I have no choice but to accept.” This evil spirit then fled to sTag-rTse-Zhol. (Tri Rinpoche) himself then went into retreat for some time and subsequently established the practice of Dharma Raja’s ritual cake offering composed by the Omniscient Gendun Gyatso as a regular religious practice of the monastic assembly. As a result of having transgressed Dharma Raja’s words, a former-abbot who had propitiated this evil spirit immediately expired. The monastic hostels also experienced many misfortunes and this led to the end of such practice and this became a contributory factor in the purification of the monastery and the place.


  66. As i said, ‘read your books-I have absolutely no wish to teach history to argumentative ‘Buddhists’ who are all over the internet.’
    Clearly, the text I recommended to you IS anathema for followers of your cult, otherwise you would not spout such baseless rhetoric. Like your colleagues, you are eager to argue but have little knowledge to support your arguments other than what you have been told to think.
    Get the book, scan it for Tripas and you will see it is true. Otherwise, go and argue with some children.


  67. Anonymous,

    Thankyou for your advice.

    I think it is important to be clear on what we are talking about. There has been a statement here that:

    “generations of Gelug heads (Ganden tripa) condemned the practice.”

    It is a simple matter to show that this is nonsense.

    Logically therefore, one must question that if this is nonsense, how much more of the mis-information spouted here and elsewhere is nonsense?


  68. Oh read your books-I have absolutely no wish to teach history to argumentative ‘Buddhists’ who are all over the internet. I guarantee you have no experience of other traditions and that you have only been involved with KT ‘Buddhism’ for a relatively short period of time. If you want to know the names of the Tripas who rejected the practice. See ‘A brief History of Opposition to Shugden’ by the Dolgyal research committee. (probably on the NKT list of banned books) Please dont ask me to respond to you if you are NKT-the extent of your brainwashing renders efforts via these pages meaningless. You will be out in three years max. If not, ask yourself why an organisation which is supposedly the fastest growing group in the west that claimed 3000 members 10 years ago, claims 3000 members now-why? Massive turnover of people. Check how many left after the recent Dalai Lama visits. Its a sinking ship. Jump while you still have time.


  69. Anonymous,

    What attack?

    Please name these numerous Ganden Tripas that banned the practice.


  70. Dear Malcolm

    “b) The practice has ALWAYS been controversial-It commenced with murder then generations of Gelug heads (Ganden tripa) condemned the practice.
    In fact it turns out that the Ganden Tripa at the time this rumour was doing the rounds of the internet, was actually a Dorje Shugden practitioner.”

    “In summer 2009, he went out of his way to formally acknowledge the legitimacy of the current incarnation of the Trijang Rinpoche, another Dorje Shugden practitioner.”

    No knowledge of history is sad; a little knowledge though, is a dangerous thing. You clearly know nothign about the numerous former Ganden Tripas who banned the practice. Trijang Rinpoche has been given full permission to continue the practice of DS privately, as had the outgone Ganden Tripa-at least he had the balls to keep his mouth shut and continue his personal devotions instead of trying to shaft the DL and Tib Buddhism generally out of spite. Go study history properly before you use it as an excuse to launch attacks on people.


  71. Did you know the NKT had recently left the UK Network of Buddhist Organizations? You’ll never guess what for? The NBO were attempting to restrict their freedom of speech! (Though it was the activities of Western Shugden Society they were trying to curtail, a group which has absolutely nothing to do with the NKT HONEST!) A friend wrote a short piece of critical info on the NKT on their Wikipedia page-it disappeared within the hour. Double standards?
    See http://nbowatch.terapad.com/


  72. I agree fully with you martin!


  73. The main point is being missed in the recent discussion on DS. The lamas in question made a choice to follow Ds. Most western practitioners are not given that choice. The dispute about DS and the Dalai Lama are hidden from people till its too late. The practice has become a central part of the nkt, whereas it was not a central part or main practice of the Gelug tradition. We are not comparing like with like. The Nkt lies by ommission, I know because that was the advice given to me by a teacher, when I asked what to do it i was asked about Ds in a class I taught. It is not honest or transparent about the dispute. Each Guru can choose what their students can follow, but at least be honest and up front about it. Either way, most of the problems in the nkt are not to do with Ds, but to do with the use and abuse of studens by the organisation. DS is only a side issue and a good distraction from the various abuses (including sexual) that have taken place and contine to take palce with in the nkt. Some are documented here, others on nkt survivors. Most are never discovered.


  74. If the former Ganden Tripa venerates Shugden, then this is his choice. It speaks for him that he did not announce it as long as he was Ganden Tripa. It speaks also for the Tibetan in Exiles that he has freedom of choice to do it privately.

    Also that he practices Shugden now, living in a Shugden monastery, crashes all the fake arguments of NKT and Shugden devotees about religious persecution etc.—thin but hot hysterical air.

    The Delhi High Court decided by the way:

    Dharamshala: In response to the allegations of harassment and maltreatment filed by the Dorjee Shugden Devotees’ Charitable and Religious Society against the Central Tibetan Administration and His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the High Court of Delhi dismissed their writ petition and application.

    In an order dated April 5, 2010, Justice S. Muralidhar dismissed the writ petition and application on the grounds that the allegations of violence and harassment were ‘vague averments’ and that the raised issues ‘do not partake of any public law character and therefore are not justiciable in proceedings under Article 226 of the Constitution.’

    Citing the ‘absence of any specific instances of any such attacks’ on Dorjee Shugden practitioners, the Court noted the counter affidavit submitted by the respondents, referring to ‘an understanding reached whereby it was left to the monks to decide whether they would want to be associated with the practices of Dorjee Shugden.’

    Closing the doors on the possibility of similar complaints in the future, Justice Muralidhar concluded that the ‘matters of religion and the differences among groups concerning propitiation of religion, cannot be adjudicated upon by a High Court in exercise of its writ jurisdiction.’


  75. Hmmm…..

    Ermintrude, on November 15, 2009 at 9:46 pm Said:

    b) The practice has ALWAYS been controversial-It commenced with murder then generations of Gelug heads (Ganden tripa) condemned the practice.

    In fact it turns out that the Ganden Tripa at the time this rumour was doing the rounds of the internet, was actually a Dorje Shugden practitioner.

    In summer 2009, he went out of his way to formally acknowledge the legitimacy of the current incarnation of the Trijang Rinpoche, another Dorje Shugden practitioner.

    More shocking than that, when he retired and because a Gander Trisur, he left his monastery to join Shar Ganden.

    Shar Ganden is a monastery that practises Dorje Shugden.


    The actual story is that the Head of the Gelugpa tradition was a Dorje Shugden practitioner, who humbly kept quiet, while the Dalai Lama was running around trying to ban his practice.


  76. For those without a sense of humour, just to point out that the two previous predecessors of Khyenrab, both touted by NKT leader Kelsang Gyatso as his future replacements, were ultimately relieved of their duties after being found teaching young nuns how to bow their heads and pray;) Both ‘went into retreat’; ill health’s a new one.
    So much for the Third Buddha’s psychic abilities-or maybe he was teaching us all something-what do I know, a mere bug


  77. Syphillis? The NKT monks disease?


  78. @themtheair & eladio:
    well put.

    btw it seems that khyenrab has had to stand down due to ill health…


  79. The suppression of freedom of thought and speech have long been a characteristic of the NKT, ever since its inception. Criticise KG or praise his chosen enemies and you are OUT-feet dont touch the ground. Gone!
    I guess the only difference between the NKtT and the Dalai Lama is that Dalai Lama followers dont turn up outside KG teachings when he blatantly obstructs individual’s rights to freedom of thought and religious practice.

    Kelsang Gyatso Give…..Religious Freedom. Kelsang Gyatso-stop lying!’ (Sound familiar? Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent)


  80. A quote that seems relevant:
    If we are not able to ask skeptical questions, to interrogate those who tell us something is true, to be skeptical of those in authority, then we’re up for grabs for the next charlatan, political or religious, who comes ambling along.


  81. To me if people are afraid to ask some thing so simple as how come k is not doing the empowerment, and afraid even to tell others in the centre who are also going to the spring festival, and then there is some thing really wrong,
    A cult thrives on fear .

    yes, exactly, even to ask for certain reasonable things is feared by members. “I don’t worry, Geshe-la knows, he is enlightened, I am only stupid.”


  82. may be the quite likely coming power struggles in the leadership have started already.

    many refer to ISKON to predict the future of NKT, lets see…


  83. On their web site it says
    Gen-la Dekyong will grant the empowerment at the spring festival
    Then it just says
    “The Deputy Spiritual Director will give empowerment in the first week “of the summer festival
    To me if people are afraid to ask some thing so simple as how come k is not doing the empowerment, and afraid even to tell others in the centre who are also going to the spring festival, and then there is some thing really wrong,
    A cult thrives on fear .


  84. who is doing it? dekyong?
    ist really a typcial pattern of NKT—and I think of ‘cults’ in general—to silence things, just not speaking about them.

    maybe Geshe-la is giving now his ‘really last empowerment’?


  85. so Khyenrab is not doing the spring or summer festivals.whats up?.
    I have friends sill in nkt, told them about Khyenrab not now doing the spring or summer festival, did they know anything about that? NO, would they ask about it at their centre? NO, would they tell anyone about it in their centre? NO ……….yet it is not a cult! Don’t make me laugh. Am so glad to be out


  86. The PRC marketing deal? Do expand BTW-I recall CM talking about everyone running around the corridors at MI enthusing about the deal struck by the NKT with the PRC to translate and distribute KGs books to Buddhists throughout China. However, people were subsequently told to keep quiet over this.(Cant think why?) Is this deal a reality?
    Ooh look!
    KGs books in Han Chinese. And there’s a page in Mandarin too? I wonder, is this another prong on KGs diabolic trident? First undermine the DL with human rights allegations (currying favour with Xinhua brainwashed citizens) then publish KG books in China as the works of a GENUINE buddhist master (who just happens to worship Shugden) I do hope evidence of actual dealings between the NKT amd PRC emerge soon ;) Its totally obvious that they chant from the same prayer sheet, despite the CCPs professed irreligiosity.


  87. Well spotted Chris-Spread the word!


  88. It’s nothing to do with the imaginary friend DS and everything to do with the PRC marketing deal.

    Evil, treachorous, lying cult led by a megalomaniac traitor.


  89. http://www.manchesterconfidential.co.uk/Property/General/Buddhist-monks-castle-reincarnated-as-activity-centre_7431.asp

    ‘After the school closed in the late 1970s, the castle fell into disrepair for many years until the rather unlikely new owners, the New Kadampa Buddhist Tradition, moved in in 1995, converting the building into a Buddhist temple complete with saffron-robed monks. A regular visitor to the meditation centre at that time was Mark Owen of Take That, no doubt unwinding from the pressures of being a boy band member. However, the doctrine failed to help him…..’


    ‘Take That star Mark Owen has checked himself into rehab days after admitting he had a drink problem and had cheated on his partner of five years.’

    Nuff said?


  90. I see that nkt have bought there third hotel in Holland,
    Looking up the kadampa hotels wed site it states that
    “Exemplifying the Buddhist faith through public service is central to the ethos of Kadampa Buddhism, and it is this philosophy that underlines the hotel Kadampa”!?
    So the nkt see “public serves” as running a hotel for people to enjoy a holiday in Spine Italy or Holland?
    my idea of public serves would be very different, like helping the sick, poor ext
    The thing that worries me is that if you come across kadampa hotels in other holiday web sits like “bookings.com” “1800 hotels.ie” “eurobookings.com” ext ext. it’s not made clear that it is a Buddhist centre, run by Buddhist monks, nuns and lay people of the nkt
    I know that I would not be happy if I and my family found ourselves staying at a hotel run by a religious organisation but especially one that is rumoured to be a Buddhist cult
    All these hotels have a mediation hall, where they run prays, and teachings ext. If you are staying there you can use there mediations hell or attend there teachings


  91. Thank you for your report patricia.

    There is indeed a huge difference between NKT world of Buddhism and the world outside NKT, much more with respect to ordained people!


  92. This is what kind of buddhists these people are…


  93. the diffirence between nkt and other traditions

    After leaving the nkt I went to Plum Villagea,a Buddhist centre folling the
    tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh,for their summer retreat. There I met a girl who
    was looking to ordain in that tradition. First she had to live with the
    community for 3 month beforing requesting ordination, after that she was able to
    take vows as an aspirant. After a year as an aspirant, she was able to take
    ordination as a novice nun, after 3 years she will be able to take ordination as
    a fully ordained nun, all through this she will get advice and support from the
    community there. She does not have to pay for her robes, her accommodation, food
    or teachings, she receives pocket money each month, her parents can come and
    vistas and stay at the centre for free, up to two weeks every year, also they
    all must take a lazy day every week, so as not to become over worked, and after
    each event at the centre, like there summer retreat, they close the centre for
    up to 2 weeks to rest. How can they do this? Well they are not trying to build a
    temple in every city in the world!!
    Another girl I know. Still in the nkt, ordained last summer, she was separated
    from her husband for less then a year. She was living in a bed-sit at the time,
    because the centre is so small she was not able to move in, “luckily” there was
    a girl attend the centre, also looking for accomation, so they got together to
    share the rent on a small 2 bed house. After a short space of time the rt moved
    in and it became a Drama House. So the 2 girls paying the rent have to share a
    room! She hast to go out to work as well as working in the centre, find money
    for her rent, food, robs, teachings, festivals ext, ext, ext.
    And this from an organisation that has an income of over 4 milling!!!


  94. A growing number of people are leaving the NKT and sharing their reasons for doing so. We hope this information can help you come to an informed decision about the kind of Buddhist organization you would be comfortable committing to.

    NKT students study only books written by one person, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, a Tibetan monk expelled by his Tibetan monastery. Although students are not forbidden to read other books they are strongly discouraged from doing so.
    NKT’s main daily prayers are to a controversial deity known as Dorje Shugden. The Dalai Lama strongly discourages Shugden practices as divisive. Indeed the current protests against him by the WSS (Western Shugden Society), many members of which are high profile NKT teachers, are proving divisive and ugly, as are NKT techniques of swamping online Buddhist chat rooms and message boards with pro-Shugden and anti Dalai Lama propaganda.
    Two high profile members of the NKT, both serving long term as Deputy Spiritual Director at different times – Neil E. (Gen Thubten) and Steven W. (Gen Samden) – had to be removed due to sexual misconduct committed with several nuns and lay women. Both had vows of celibacy and were either deliberately misusing or misinterpreting higher tantric teachings to justify sexual exploitation of their followers.
    NKT has never given clear information about the two ex-deputy spiritual directors and NKT members find out through rumour and gossip, mainly at NKT festivals. They are told not to let it disturb their minds.
    Many other high level NKT teachers have also been involved in sexual misconduct, showing that they are poorly supported within the tradition, and many have misconceptions about what a vow of celibacy actually covers.
    Ex-residents of NKT Dharma centres report having been required to sign away their rights as tenants, illegally. Many were told that the centres had the right to evict them without notice, for example.
    It is commonly reported amongst past and present NKT members that many people who move into NKT centres give up their paid jobs to go on benefits. They then work unpaid for the centres while deceiving the welfare/benefits agencies of their status. Monks and nuns are told not to wear their robes to the Job Centre when they sign on.
    NKT monks and nuns are not actually ordained as monks and nuns according to a vital Buddhist text known as Vinaya. Fully ordained monks and nuns under the Vinaya have over two hundred specific vows, while NKT monks and nuns have 10 vows, several of which are very vague. Many Buddhist schools do not accept NKT ordination as valid.
    Ex NKT members strongly suggest that potential new members do their own research before considering a commitment to this New Religious Movement.



  95. hi rich, thank you for the confusion!
    Thank you also for the clarification :-)

    All the best, tp


  96. sorry Just to clarify, I was talking about joining the NKT and how in the long tern it would make you un happy and dependant. Sorry for confusion.


    the survivors group is a group which is set up to help the 1000s affected by the nkt cult


  97. I think Rich was talking about the NKT. NKS was good for me too!It does. like all groups, have its nutters but hey, they joined the NKT so what were you expecting? A plague of the well adjusted?


  98. i know more about howard hughes life than geshlas, but the same cant be said about the dalai lama can it ? the nkt live in a world of spin, propoganda and outright bullshit.


  99. rich,
    I am sorry that NKS was not helpful for you.

    However, your phrase “Good luck to you if you join this group, say good bie to independence and happiness” sounds a bit unrealistic to me. How NKS makes you unhappy and dependent? Do not just claim things but give good reasons, as EX-NKT (try to) do it with NKT.

    Otherwise I assume you may be a NKT person trying to attack the thorn in the eye of NKT by attacking NKS.

    Though I am well aware that NKS is not suited for everybody it helps a lot of people. May you found what is of help for you.

    Very best, tp


  100. Pt2 Ten years after….
    ‘To stop this evil action, as the representative of the Western Shugden Society, I personally will organise demonstrations against the Dalai Lama directly.

    With much love and prayers

    Geshe Kelsang Gyatso (Liar)


  101. Kelsang Gyatso (See http://groups.google.co.uk/group/alt.religion.buddhism.nkt/msg/4e76df4b3c6293ec)

    I thought that if I became involved in these politics
    I would be criticized by many people….after the third demonstration, I strongly requested the members of the Shugden Supporters Community to stop all political activity immediately.
    Because I understood that HH would not accept, there was no meaning in continuing. I requested the people in Dharma Centers to forget all these politics and concentrate solely on their Dharma practice. In this way
    activity lasted from May until July, only three months. This was my first experience of politics in this life. I pray that this will never happen again in the future.


  102. just finished reading a post on new kadampa survivors, a site with over 1000 users on yahoo groups. it finished with the line May the ability of the nkt to harm others soon reduce, its the same as saying May all beings be happy, A traditional buddhist phrase. Good luck to you if you join this group, say good bie to independence and happiness

    love rich (ex nkt ireland)


  103. It seems there are two letters here, one is the “Declaration of Expulsion of Kelsang Gyatso” and the other is “To the Tibetan Buddhists around the world and fellow Tibetan compatriots within and outside Tibet”.


  104. I forgot, take this interview with a grain of salt. one person I trust said he saw himself Geshe-la being present during this Kalachakra initiation, he stand besides him. the lettter mentioned is the so called expulsion letter. this letter you find here:



  105. you’ll find the “interview” by his disciple Yvonne Nilles here:


  106. yes, HH the Dalai Lama will be remembered as a man of peace, humility and compassion as he is.

    what makes me wonder how forgetful NKT members are. Geshe-la said some years ago:

    However in October 1998 we decided to completely stop being involved in this Shugden issue because we realised that in reality this is a Tibetan political problem and not the problem of Buddhism in general or the NKT. We made our decision public at this time – everyone knows the NKT and myself completely stopped being involved in this Shugden issue at all levels.

    I can guarantee that the NKT and myself have never performed inappropriate actions and will never do so in the future, this is our determination. We simply concentrate on the flourishing of holy Buddhadharma throughout the world – we have no other aim. I hope people gradually understand our true nature and function.


    So if it is a political problem then it follows a campaigning is also political. He also said on Google Groups:

    “This was my first experience of politics in this life. I pray that this will never happen again in the future.” … “However, my letter upset many Tibetan people and many Western practitioners who regard HH as their root Guru. I would like to apologize sincerely to all of them.”

    So it follows now he has his second experience of politics in his life. It follows that the NKT campaign via WSS is in nature political or if this is not the case, the claims he made in the past were wrong.

    If we take Geshe-la seriously about what he said (Buddhas don’t change their mind just how the wind blows) it follows the claim of NKT’S ShugdenBlog is not taneable which twists the facts in this way now: “Some critics of the Western Shugden Society have claimed that its agenda is a political one and that the new book, ‘A Great Deception’ is a political book. So, is this the case? The answer is, quite simply, ‘no’.”

    No, the answer is, quite simply, ‘yes’, because Geshe-la said “this is a Tibetan political problem and not the problem of Buddhism in general or the NKT.”

    Dear NKT Spin Doctors do you respect what your Guru said or not? If you have faith in your Guru, you should accept what he said “this is a Tibetan political problem and not the problem of Buddhism in general or the NKT.”


  107. Too right ! Lets face it in a couple of years time the nkt will be dead as a dodo like many cults that have come and gone over the years , The dalai lama will always be remembered as a peace maker not a demon as the nkt would like everyone (well themselves mainly ) to believe…


  108. the more they express their mind the more obvious it becomes for deattached observers to understand how NKT members think and what is deeply in their hearts. they want to expose a non-existent hypocrisy of the Dalai Lama but only expose their own hypocrisy, they want to expose non-existent lies by the Dalai Lama but expose only their own lies. There is almost not one passage of what NKT is transmitting about the “truth” about the Dalai Lama which is not an actual truth about themselves, and this truth starts with the dictatorship claim (who made him the sole source of authority in NKT?), goes on with the claim to seek control over students of Buddhism (who banned all qualified teachers from his centers and claims books by other masters would confuse his pure followers, and threatens close disciples when they seek teachings from other Buddhist masters?) and continues up to the statement “But behind the rhetoric, the public image and the charisma that has dazzled the world is a [crazy troop] who has failed repeatedly.”

    The “truth” – which is actual a strange twist of the facts – NKT project onto the Dalai Lama is the truth about themselves. All these are the projections of misled deluded members of a cult. Ok, it is as it is. However, In all ways it is important to have compassion for them, including Geshe Kelsang or Geshe-la. Especially for him great compassion is needed.


  109. http://wisdombuddhadorjeshugden.blogspot.com/


  110. sorry for my terrible English, I think you will get the key thoughts.

    Here maybe a useful link http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-easy-to-read/index.shtml

    to understand cults or NKT also to read about Narcissistic personality disorder is helpful. it is helpful to see the leadership of NKT and the group dynamics – including one’s own role in the group – from this perspective. Our Western society has a lot to do with narcissism, isolation and loss of a real caring attitude. Drug, sex, alcohol and other addicts suffer usually a great deal on self-centredness. Now based on this setting, ask yourself: What happens when a self-centred cult comes in the guise of altruism?

    A friend of mine once said: our society has a lot means to correct mislead egoism but is almost helpless when it encounters misled altruism.

    Ex-NKT may also read some books what one experiences when one has a partner who suffers on a Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), because they will understand their experiences with their resident teachers or some of the members of NKT or the leadership better.

    Some of the signs of that disorder are:

    * Feels grandiose and self-important (e.g., exaggerates accomplishments, talents, skills, contacts, and personality traits to the point of lying, demands to be recognised as superior without commensurate achievements);

    * Is obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success, fame, fearsome power or omnipotence, unequalled brilliance (the cerebral narcissist), bodily beauty or sexual performance (the somatic narcissist), or ideal, everlasting, all-conquering love or passion;

    * Firmly convinced that he or she is unique and, being special, can only be understood by, should only be treated by, or associate with, other special or unique, or high-status people (or institutions);

    * Requires excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation – or, failing that, wishes to be feared and to be notorious (Narcissistic Supply);

    * Feels entitled. Demands automatic and full compliance with his or her unreasonable expectations for special and favourable priority treatment;

    * Is “interpersonally exploitative”, i.e., uses others to achieve his or her own ends;

    * Devoid of empathy. Is unable or unwilling to identify with, acknowledge, or accept the feelings, needs, preferences, priorities, and choices of others;

    * Constantly envious of others and seeks to hurt or destroy the objects of his or her frustration. Suffers from persecutory (paranoid) delusions as he or she believes that they feel the same about him or her and are likely to act similarly;

    * Behaves arrogantly and haughtily. Feels superior, omnipotent, omniscient, invincible, immune, “above the law”, and omnipresent (magical thinking). Rages when frustrated, contradicted, or confronted by people he or she considers inferior to him or her and unworthy.

    There are good books for those having suffered under the NPD of their partners, these can be very helpful in the process of understanding what happened to oneself. I think most often to do a therapy is indeed a great mean to recover as well. However, recovery from NKT is a very long term process!


  111. One has to see NKT in the cultural and social context where it emerged ans is successful, and of course one has to ask WHY are they so successful to attract new members. Some of the reasons are the spiritual thirst of so many and the tiredness with this consumer mentality, then there are so many broken families and even in families the lifestyles can differ so much, that NKT with its “we are the Kelsang family” approach and the uniformity in belief is potentially very attractive etc.

    However, this are things related to the socio-cultural context of NKT’s emergence, far more important for me is, how one can help people once damaged by NKT or how one can protect people from falling into this dangerous trap….

    Often former members have just not the strengths to address those things with person who could do something. You can usually not do much if you have a type of post traumatic stress disorder as many experienced when leaving a cult or here NKT….

    So for instance I was not able to do anything in the first years after leaving NKT, I suffered on extreme tiredness, and when a doctor suggested this may be psychological problem I refused that diagnosis because the inner voice I developed in NKT, my personal brainwasher, told me: no this is not true, the you would not be a good Dharma practitioner and you had failed. You can not imagine, how much NKT affects the mind in a negative sense once you have absorbed that system.. or maybe you can when you look on the Western Shugden Society activities….

    So to go to your congressman may not be the right order of gradual recovery from NKT. You may end up more broken because you are unable to express what you have experienced in a way that the other person understands and does not think you are somewhat crazy. However, maybe some can do that, than fine, it will protect at least some potential victims.


  112. isnt it sad how many people go to religious communities in a search for a support network rather than salvation? This is SO common in the NKT. A common cause, camaraderie, friendship. I mean, these are wonderful things but do they really have to do with the Buddhist path to enlightenment? It strikes me that the NKt are preying on a social malaise that is becoming increasingly pervasive; the sense of utter isolation that we experience. However, to replace drugs, sex, alcohol with Buddhism is in one way only changing one’s drug. Personally, i prefer drug free. Addiction to Buddhism to support ones egotisitic desires is not that much different than addicton to substances or sex.
    Hopes, be they based on worldly or spiritual goals are ultimately sent to disappoint. Better to not have the itch than to have the pleasure of scratching it.


  113. Patricia
    Speak to whoever granted you the lease and explain the situation. Also, raise this issue with your congressman, pointing to the criticisms of the group on the internet and ask for his/her help. If you have faith, this will see you through-remember, abandoning the NKT and abandoning the dharma are two completely distinct issues. The dharma is a precious faith, the NKT is a political money making machine. I ask that everyone who reads of this case spare a moment to make prayers for this person, irregardless of faith.


  114. Dear Patricia,
    I am very sorry for what you had to experience. It makes me sad to read it. I would like to write something but I fear I do not find the right words, and to impose too much my opinion onto you.

    However, I felt very touched to read your story and I wish to say, thank you for sharing it.


    What comes quickly to my mind is one point which really touches me deeply. That is what you say about your mother when she died, that you had to leave your mother alone dying to build the temple. This is so sad to me. Not only from common sense and human perspective, but also from the Dharma perspective. In Theravada and Tibetan Buddhism even as a monk or nun one is strongly encouraged and supported to nurse the parents when they are sick or are going to die. It is expected that one does this. True spiritual friends will help you with all means to take up this responsibility. From the point of view of compassion and kindness as well as what the Buddha has taught it is just wrong to bring someone into a situation where he or she can not care for the parents. Also the Buddha has taught: Worshipping the Buddhas and nursing the sick both create inexhaustible merits… It makes me just sad to read that about your mother – not speak of the other pains.

    You have entrusted your life to a group which took advantage of your situation and (blind) faith. Did you now leave the NKT or are you trying to find a way outside of the group?

    With respect to the drugs, you said you took before entering NKT, I wish to add some thoughts: There are many former drug addicts or alcohol sick people in NKT and in the beginning the powerful setting of NKT can break very strong mental habits, a bit like done in Synanon. However, the release is only a short term benefit, because the former dependency on the drugs is replaced by a strong dependency on the group and Kelsang Gyatso, and one will cling to the group and him as one has once cling to the drug or alcohol bottle. If one investigates NKT carefully the destructive structure of NKT functions really like a drug, and most behave like drug addicts. And also the effects are the same as with drugs or alcohol: a short term benefit (feeling secure, feeling in a way rescued or complete, problems are not manifest for a while) is overcome finally in the long run by great emotionally, financially and social ham (with respect to destroyed relations to the family and friends), which can damage the life very very deeply.

    I hope, wish and pray that you can recover from all of this, that you may find good spiritual friends and help according to your needs and inclinations, who help you really to set your mind and heart free.

    Warmest Regards.


  115. Hi patricia,

    stuff like this is an all to common occurance.

    when you read the internal rules of the nkt, it main aim is not the enlightenment of students but the spreading of its teachings and The building of temples. resident teachers this commitment in their remit. Students are good students whilst they attend centers, Festivals and donate money. this is whats needed to fund the building of temples.



  116. message from a friend in toronto

    I just read a post that was really ol ,I think one of the first of this site, It
    sounded so much like my own story. I was on drugs and suffering from depression
    my father had just die from cancer and my mother was really sick my baby sister
    had been taken away by social services. I was looking for answers. I found a
    flyar at my work and quickly learned how to meditate finding some peace from my
    many worries. but thats how they get you isent it. I suddenly found myself no
    longer starveing, tsog was free to take home. and loved and cherrished. at this
    point I sat down and had a nice long talk with my teacher about my hunt for a
    social community that belived all should be loved and cared for and about. N M
    W. SHE AGREED. I thought I found salvation, my reason for living I quit drugs
    and drinking and smokeing and video games! I began spending every spare moment
    helping my center to flourish. when they started asking my to do regular things
    for the center I was honored. then the toronto HYT empowerment came I scarcely
    knew who the buddha was but my teacher said I should go anyway, after much
    insistance I did go. leaveing my sick barely mobil mother at home because my
    teacher said it would do her the best good if I went to the emp. I began
    sacrificeing work and family time for the center where “I could do the best
    good” when they asked if I would move in to the center if they found a house, I
    dident belive that they could. but they did. and I ran. but soon returned having
    been frightend out of my witz about abandon the dharma. I gave up my free
    houseing my do my cat my girlfriend of 11 years. the center said I should go
    help build the temple in NY. I left my mother to die alone in hospital for the
    temple. I came back in greif and moved in to the center. one year later I got
    ordained. my teacher lied about my vows, my teacher lied about understanding
    everyone shuod be accepted and loved if you don’t have any money I was told that
    it was ok to come to gp anyway no one would be denied dharma but 1 month ago I
    was told this was never true and if you don’t have money you can’t have
    teachings. my teacher piled unatainable task after unatainable task upon me
    knowing what she asked was impossible.when ttp became avalable she insisted I
    join even though I diden’t want to.
    I was gompa manager by then and she made all kinds of strict rules for the care
    of the gompa and told me there rules wer unchangeable. when it became too much
    and I had to go on meds for depression. she took me off of gompa and made
    another unqualified person managereven though I protested, and to add insult to
    injury she changed the unchangable rules to make things easier on him!the same
    changes I had been denied. another group of lies! whenever I chalange her about
    her mind games and lies she tells me to leave the room imeidately, quite
    wrathfully saying that she dosent want to speak to me when I am upset or she
    would tell me if I just belived in karma I would be able to accept this. I
    wasent thretning or yelling. she turned the sanga aginst me saying I am a bad
    influnce. so every one is cold and curt with me. when I tried to leave she told
    me to thal to the admin. the admin said I couldent leave because of my lease. I
    said cant you relase me from it she said no because the bank has a lean on my
    lease and even if I do somthing to get disrobed ( causeing me to get kicked out
    ) the bank will come after me for the remainder of my lease 5 months.I have been
    sleep deprived, malnoursihed, publicly degraded, mentally tortured and taken
    advantage of. I am in hell and have to participate anyway even though I don’t
    want to any more. I am gonna go crazy! I don’t even belive any more. I have
    continue to particapate in all my center doings because to stop is to be removed
    and still owe for the lease! please someone tell me this isent legal!


  117. Or was it the obvious and demonstrable links to the Chinese regime in Beijing that did it?


  118. Funny how NKT silence fell when the references to abuse of charitable status were made???. Its only a matter of time for the NKT-there are too many holes in the bucket dear Liza!


  119. Hi Monkey Man


  120. Oh yeah Kundeling and Gangchen, the two most prominent Tibetans to have demonstrable links to the Chinese authorities and both of whom have been regular visitors to Tibet where they have praised the Chinese for “preserving Tibetan religious culture”. And the Shugden website establishes that these people are working with Kadampa Buddhists? One is almost tempted to say that the type of Buddhism the NKT are preaching in the West is exactly what the Chinese have prescribed to undermine the Dalai Lama’s reputation and weaken the Tibetan cause by promoting division within the exile community. But I guess the proximity of the NKT to China is just coincidence, as is the fact that they share such common goals. I wonder if new converts are told of the political connection to Beijing? After all, the NKT have always been so open and honest about their activities and misdemeanors in the past.NOT.


  121. http://www.dorjeshugdenmovie.com/team.html

    …for now we wont upload our pictures here, to avoid difficulties during our shooting. Please be patient with this we will update this section in some time…

    i guess the secret service of china or at least some chinese authorities will give them every aid they need, so better to upload the pictures to have less difficulties during the shooting.

    who in the world needs this ‘exceptional project and …wonderful result?’

    ‘Although we will ask our teachers, geshe kelsang, kundeling lama and gangchen lama for advice the project is completely independent.’ – a contrariety like the proclamation of nkt to be a completely independent organisation, the organisation depends only on one single person, hence it is independent? ;-)


  122. The NKT abuse the UK charity status to launch a slander – or character assassination – campaign against one of the most esteemed person of this world and the British people pay for it directly or indirectly. The British government should take measures to investigate this and to find out who is behind the websites and campaign of the westernshugdensosciety.org

    Behind it is NKT for sure but they use ‘domain by proxy’ for their main website which offers financial support or insurance too if you get in trouble with court for libelling others. I wonder why no journalist is investigating all of this… The libel laws are usually quite strict In Great Britain and while NKT were able to manage to threaten academics and some of their critics to be sued, and thereby managed that critical information about them is still withheld, they allow themselves – without being stopped by anybody – to launch such a slander campaign, which clearly is against the civil laws of Great Britain, and most people just seem to accept that.

    On the other hand, all of this shows the great patience of a saint, the Dalai Lama, who just says not even one bad word about NKT, instead he said he is happy that they can “enjoy freedom of speech”. Every common politician would bring them to court, the Dalai Lama accepts in an amazing manner this hostile slander campaign of people who are led astray.

    I hope more and more people get aware of what NKT is actual doing and some find the courage to leave NKT….what an amazing event of self-deception and blindness is all of this!

    The gain of a NKT festival can be about 1.000.000 pounds. This money is often used to buy new castles or places where old and new recruits are asked to live, and to build it up and finally they will give all of their money, time, and energy – if needed also they claim for state benefit to pay the high renting – and if they have no money any more they are encouraged to ask their family members for money, since these poor mundane beings, only use it for mundane things instead to use it for the “pure Dharma of NKT”.

    If you investigate NKT to their core activities it is exploiting – in the name of the holy Dharma – their members and has done nothing for the society but took a lot from society. Now the society is caring for those emotionally, financial and personal damaged by NKT.

    Remember the warning signs of so-called cults:

    Ten warning signs of a potentially unsafe group/leader.

    1. Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability.

    2. No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry.

    3. No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget, expenses such as an independently audited financial statement.

    4. Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions.

    5. There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil.

    6. Former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances.

    7. There are records, books, news articles, or television programs that document the abuses of the group/leader.

    8. Followers feel they can never be “good enough”.

    9. The group/leader is always right.

    10. The group/leader is the exclusive means of knowing “truth” or receiving validation, no other process of discovery is really acceptable or credible.

    Ten warning signs regarding people involved in/with a potentially unsafe group/leader.

    1. Extreme obsessiveness regarding the group/leader resulting in the exclusion of almost every practical consideration.

    2. Individual identity, the group, the leader and/or God as distinct and separate categories of existence become increasingly blurred. Instead, in the follower’s mind these identities become substantially and increasingly fused–as that person’s involvement with the group/leader continues and deepens.

    3. Whenever the group/leader is criticized or questioned it is characterized as “persecution”.

    4. Uncharacteristically stilted and seemingly programmed conversation and mannerisms, cloning of the group/leader in personal behavior.

    5. Dependency upon the group/leader for problem solving, solutions, and definitions without meaningful reflective thought. A seeming inability to think independently or analyze situations without group/leader involvement.

    6. Hyperactivity centered on the group/leader agenda, which seems to supercede any personal goals or individual interests.

    7. A dramatic loss of spontaneity and sense of humor.

    8. Increasing isolation from family and old friends unless they demonstrate an interest in the group/leader.

    9. Anything the group/leader does can be justified no matter how harsh or harmful.

    10. Former followers are at best-considered negative or worse evil and under bad influences. They can not be trusted and personal contact is avoided.


  123. PS Do I see references to non-existent phenomena as if they were valid sources?


  124. I note repeated attempts above to distance the NKT from the activities of the WSS.
    The reason? Political organisations (those that protest outside Dalai Lama teachings calling him a liar to effect political change) are not allowed to be charities. Conversely, charities are forbidden from acting politically.
    Over the past ten years and on the basis of their multiple charitable status the NKT have kept tens of millions of pounds that should be in the coffers of the Government-money that could pay for hospitals, youth projects, helping the poor.

    But look!

    • WSS Press speaker: Kelsang Pema (Helen Gradwell) – personal assistant to NKT leader Geshe Kelsang Gyatso for more than 8 years
    • Front man and leader in the USA: Gen-la Kelsang Khyenrab – Deputy Spiritual Director of the NKT
    • Front woman and leader in USA: Gen Kelsang Dekyong – National Spiritual Director of NKT USA
    • Front man and leader in Germany: Gen Kelsang Ananda – National Spiritual Director of NKT Germany
    • Leader in Australia: Gen Kelsang Rabten – National Spiritual Director of NKT Australia
    • Geshe Kelsang Gyatso asked all his students by email to participate the protests. Among other things he wrote in one of his emails: “[…] To stop this evil action, as the representative of the Western Shugden Society, I personally will organise demonstrations against the Dalai Lama directly…. Please help… With much love and prayers, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso”.
    • Lucy James (USA), official editor of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso’s books and Resident Teacher for several NKT centers, who did not encourage her students thoroughly enough, was immediately removed by Geshe Kelsang from her position as a NKT resident teacher.
    • The identity of the website of the Western Shugden Society is made hidden via proxy server (Domains by Proxy), however some media data in the files refer to “Tharpa”, a NKT enterprise, which publishes only Geshe Kelsang Gyatso’s books, and to a translator of Kelsang Gyatso’s books in Spain.

    So you see the NKT is the WSS. Thus, the NKT, via its charitable status, has defrauded the UK Government and taxpayers out of tens of millions of pounds. That is why there is repeated denial of any connection between the two above. AND THAT IS WHY, WHEN THE CHARITY COMMISSION GETS HOLD OF THIS, THE NKT ARE GOING STRAIGHT TO JAIL (Do not pass go, do not take (yet another) £200) Remember what brought about Al Capones demise? Follow the money!


  125. nkt do what they accuse the Dalai Lama to do: weaving a complex web of religion and politics that entraps their followers & audiences all over the internet, including wikiepdia. Nobody has ever seen anything like it. People are easily swayed by the historical spins, double speak, spreading of rumors, innuendo or deliberate misinformation about the Dalai Lama, Dorje Shugden and Tibet. nkt followers are strongly under the propaganda of their ‘God-King’, and feel captivated and convinced by his charm.


  126. http://www.westernshugdensociety.org/en/agd/what-has-the-dalai-lama-achieved/
    With a role for every occasion – holy man, politician, international statesman, simple monk, pop icon, Buddhist Pope, socialist, movie star, autocrat, democrat, Marxist, humanitarian, environmentalist, Nobel Peace prize winner, nationalist, Buddha of Compassion, communist, God-King – the Dalai Lama weaves a complex web of religion and politics that entraps his audiences wherever he goes. Nobody has ever seen anything like it. People are easily swayed by the historical mystique of Tibet and its ‘God-King’, and feel captivated and convinced by his charm.

    In practice, character assassination may involve double speak, spreading of rumors, innuendo or deliberate misinformation on topics relating to the subject’s morals, integrity, and reputation. It may involve spinning information that is technically true, but that is presented in a misleading manner or is presented without the necessary context.


  127. http://www.dorjeshugdenmovie.com/team.html

    …for now we wont upload our pictures here, to avoid difficulties during our shooting. Please be patient with this we will update this section in some time. Meanwhile you can always contact us via e mail or skype to get more personal information. Never- theless we want to state here that this project is not connected to any organization. Although we will ask our teachers for advice the project is completely independent.



  128. if the movie is out there you will quickly find it quoted and linked in wikipedia.org


  129. http://www.tbiusa.org/dedications/hhdl
    how cool is this ! what a wind up mr lama is !


  130. i will wait for the movie…..
    this has no connections to the nkt , well if you ignore the links page and ignore the fact you was born yesterday i suppose….http://www.dorjeshugdenmovie.com/links.html


  131. download it for free here

    And people say that internet humour is dead.


  132. download it for free here


  133. The truth? Sorry, you cheat yourself. Better to say: ‘check out the delusion of NKT about the Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden in this new trash book.’ Embarrassing… a new NKT mile stone of the art of expressing the own confusion and delusions as ‘the truth’. How sad!

    On the other hand, thank you for this link. In a way it is good that people gradually learn what NKT really think about the Dalai Lama and Tibetan people. Though I think such publications may only weaken the reputation of NKT more and more. What is the benefit of such a distorting pamphlet?


  134. Check out the truth about the Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden in this new book:



  135. How dare the 14th Dalai lama attempt to tell us what is and what is not Buddhism; after all, what does he know?
    The next thing you know Atisha will walk into Tibet and tell everyone they got Buddhism wrong-how dare he! What did he know?


  136. It is very very amazing: Je Tsongkhapa the Gelug founder has never ever mentioned Shugden with a single letter, he established Kalarupa as the protector of his school and he performed the proper rituals for doing this.

    Then, nowadays, some, who claim to be Je Tsong Khapa’s “pure followers” label everything contradicting their own views as “lies” and “degenerated”, starting a campaign to eradicate unwelcome facts in Wikipedia etc. and performing press and protest campaigns against the Dalai Lama via a front group, those people claim Shugden would be the “true” protector of Je Tsong Khapa’s school. Was Je Tsong Khapa wrong, was he unable to bound the best protector on his own? Why didn’t he predict that Shugden would take that job in the 19th century?

    Lama Pabon Khapa, though respected by many gelug lamas, hold the lowest Geshe degree and he was rebuked by the 13th Dalai Lama – who hold the highest Geshe degree and has a far longer incarnation lineage and spiritual merits, for the establishment of that practice. Finally Lama Pabon Khapa confessed his fault, excused and promised the 13th Dalai Lama to stop spreading this practice. Since he has broken this promise after the death of the 13th Dalai Lama, of course the 14th Dalai Lama has the mess and the duty to correct this fault of Lama Pabon Khapa…

    However, since this thread is about NKT and its controversial structure lets avoid discussing Shugden here…


  137. Kevs official NKT propaganda is typical-Pabongka’s own guru invented the idea of Shugden as an enlightened being. He passes the practice on to Trijang, then Kelsang spreads it in the West, claiming the practice was widespread in Tibet. it takes no time at all to find historical evidence proving this to be untrue and further that
    a) Shugden was not practiced by Tzong Ka Pa,Gelug founder
    b) The practice has ALWAYS been controversial-It commenced with murder then generations of Gelug heads (Ganden tripa) condemned the practice.
    c) The 13 th Dalai Lama made Pabonka stop spreading the practice-he promised this but openly practiced it after the death of the 13th
    d) the 14th also banned it for a limited number of individuals in his fight to maintain the unity of the Tibetan people.

    As I say, it is not hard to find the evidence for this, it is all in the public domain.

    What the NKT do is push the deity to the uneducated beginner in the West; feed them a fabricated, biased view of ‘history’, and encourage them to see all opposing positions as false (without encouraging investigation into the past).

    So what you get is the uninformed nonsense spouted by ‘Kev’ above. Whats funny is, NKT followers know all the answers because they have read them in……..NKT sources. For your future interest , the best place to learn about Scientology and its history is NOT from Scientologists-duuh.


  138. If this “article” quoted by kev is from Wikipedia, i can only say:

    Good Night Wikipedia, and Good Night people who use it!

    Already the second sentence quoted by kev starts with a perversion: It says “He was the junior tutor and spiritual guide[1] of the 14th Dalai Lama”. What is wrong with this? Though he was the junior tutor, he was ONE of the spiritual guides of His Holiness. Of course the NKT propaganda team has a keen interest to claim that Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche was THE Spiritual Guide of HH the Dalai Lama, in order to “proof” that HH the Dalai Lama has gone “against” “his” “root Guru”, hence he is a condemned person, “corrupting the Dharma”….

    I guess all the other unique and factual wrong tenets of NKT have been interwoven well in Wikipedia by the NKT PR team; and now NKT followers can present these perversions as “facts” to the reader who lacks knowledge.


  139. ‘All these facts can be found on Google/Wikipedia, they’re un-biased’
    FACT-wiki pages on the NKT are edited constantly by the NKT to remove critical or contradictory info. If you want evidence of that, simply add a small piece of critical info on the page-it will last no more that a few hours, if that.If you check the edit histories of wiki, they are riddled with non-NKT editors who have simply given up in the face of concerted opposition by NKT members.
    ‘Je Phabongkhapa respected the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism and discouraged sectarianism.’ another piece of NKT propaganda which relies on the ignorance of westerners unable to read Tibetan-Volume cha of his collected works is a collection of letters, esays etc, many of which indicate gross sectarianism. In at least two of the letters therein, he colludes with a local Chinese governor in disputed territory in an attempt to close down non-Gelug monasteries.Again, the wiki page on Pabongka contain aboslutely no critical information. Check editors edit histories.
    The practice of Shugden has been controversial from its inception and there is clear documentary evidence to prove this.
    However, the NKT claim the ban on its propitiation affects ‘millions worldwide’ The ban in fact applies to monks in the Dalai Lama’s monasteries, Government employees and tantric disciples of the Dalai Lama.Everybody else in the world is free to practice Shugden-In Chinese controlled Tibet, Shugden monasteries receive disproportionate amounts of state funding and only Shugden worshippers are granted permission to study in India.
    Thus, the truth of the matter is that the ban effects only a small minority of the 130,000 exiled Tibetan community. Some of these are Kagyu, some Nyingma, some Sakya-none of these engage in Shugden worship. Within the Gelug, a small minority choose to disagree with the Dalai Lama.
    Why does he ban the practice? Because it has been recognised that the deity causes sectarianism and, according to reliable sources, is now utilized by the Chinese.
    There is a similarity here with the NKT. Do you honestly believe the protests organised by the NKT and its political wing the WSS JUST BEFORE THE OLYMPICS were genuine reactions to religIous opression?

    Think-Tibetans revolt in China to draw attention to their plight in the run up to the olympics.

    A few weeks later, the NKT/WSS turn up outside teachings by the Dalai Lama, alongside Chinese protesters. They hold the same banners, chant the same slogans.Could it be possible that the protests were engineered from Beijing? In fact, is there any question of this not being the case?

    Of course, the facts that the WSS is run by the NKT, the WSS has Western and Eastern branches, members of the Eastern branch regularly meet with Chinese officials in India and Nepal, as well as China itself are all COMPLETELY UNCONNECTED.

    Sadly, innocent people come to the NKT in search of Buddhism. What they get is entrapment into a centuries old dispute between fundamentalists and non-sectarians within Tibet and, more widely, between China and the Dalai Lamas.

    People who pretend to know a little about history (as those in recent posts above) need to think outside their own narrow, conditioned view of things. Look back a long time and consider ALL available information. Then, make up your own mind.Rely on human intelligence, not following the party line.

    Remember, if believing something gets you kicked out of a ‘religious organisation’ that may well be a cue to set the alarm bells ringing. Ask yourself would this happen to you? And if it could, what makes your organization more holy than the Dalai Lama? You accuse him of religious oppression because monks have been expelled by monastic elders for their devotion to Shugden and yet you support a cause which has repeatedly expelled followers for questioning blind devotion to the NKT/Shugden/Kelsang Gyatso. This is the same fault.

    If you are going to commit yourself to a cause, first study hard, consider all available info and take some time to imbibe everything (say 30 years) otherwise, you become just another of those hot headed westerners who have no knowledge of Tibetan politics, history or religion and yet consider themselves educated enought to stand up and scream insults at the Dalai Lama on behalf of a ‘holy man’ they may well never have met’ and who may have kicked them out a few months down the line (ask Lucy James)


  140. btw, kev, you miss many points here: e.g. Pabongkha Rinpoche was just ONE of the many lineage holders of the Gelug school. Though he is seen as important, he is not the only lineage holder of the gelugpas. It appears some could manage to establish him as the most important one, but this is also a matter of belief.

    It is common in Buddhism that wrong developments are corrected by eminent present masters, this has been since 2500 years now.


  141. Kev, though it is true that Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche spread that practice this does not indicate that practice as being valid or without doubt. There are many highly realized masters from Gelug school and the other schools, including eminent Sakya, Kagyue and Nyingma masters who are very opposed to that practice.

    You may quote extensively from Shugden sources which ignore the fact of Shugden opposition completely but this does not help in this context. Shugden was and is a very very controversial practice and it was controversial right from the start: a vengeful spirit or demon, making trouble to others who had to been tamed.

    Most think it is very correct that there are restrictions on that practice however, if you like you can practice privately. No problem.


  142. Why HH Dalai Lama has asked to stop the practice? I trust him much more that KGK.

    Guru Rinpoche announced some protectors for Buddha Dharma – Dorje Shugden doesn’t belong to them.

    Worldly spirit practice.


  143. Moderator edit
    Wikipedia material removed. Link to the original article is:
    End of moderator edit.

    The last line can be used as my closing statement!!


  144. Why would Dalai Lama try to prevent Buddhist practice? Of course he wouldn’t. But is NKT practicing Buddhism?

    NKT has a leader, whose family has practiced a protector practice for generations that the leader doesn’t want to stop it. One knows that those who are familiar with spirits, they are afraid of the revenge of the spirit, if they stop the practice.

    Why Dalai Lama stopped the practice? Because an oracle told him that the practice has lead them to flea from Tibet, it’s not good for Tibetans. It’s a practice to gain wordly things, therefore it’s not a Buddhist practice.

    The only ones that create chaos in Buddhism are the MKT-people. Could it be that it all comes down to a certain spirit worship?


  145. I remember very clearly that one of the main things that attracted me to NKT
    was, as it appeared to me then, its ethical and moral core. From the very
    beginning I felt that while there was a powerful energy surrounding the centres
    which could provide intense spiritual experiences, these things were not the
    main goal of practice. They were not to be taken too seriously; the focus was on
    maintaining a high ethical standard in daily life and working towards the
    ultimate goal of enlightenment, following the humble example of Je Tsonkhapa who
    forbade the demonstration of miracle powers, instead emphasising moral living
    and setting a good example. I had already realised that my previous mentor, for
    all his `spiritual’ abilities, was morally bankrupt and actually would have been
    better off with no spirituality at all. NKT, on the other hand, seemed to have
    its priorities straight. It seemed perfect. So I went in at the deep end,
    falling head-over-heels in love with the Kadam Dharma. Nobody mentioned the
    schism with the Dalai Lama which had come to a head in demonstrations just
    eighteen months before; by the time I found out about them I had already
    invested too much in NKT. While I was troubled by the conflict, by this time I
    needed NKT too much to turn back. Instead I managed to persuade myself that –
    against my intuition – the odd explanations that I was provided with by members
    of the organisation were actually wise and just.
    > So. Fast forward a decade or so, and I’ve left the NKT. Looking back, I had a
    lot of wonderful times during my period as a practitioner. The bliss of tantric
    practice is something that still moves me, as well as the Lam Rim and Mahamudra
    meditations. I formed deep and significant friendships and had a strong
    underlying sense that my life had acquired a greater meaning. Because of this,
    it is difficult sometimes for me to reconcile these memories with the fact that
    I have left it all behind, and not only that, I have become very critical of
    NKT. It is even more difficult to explain my reasons for leaving to someone who
    is still in love with the tradition. This evening, however, I was struck by the
    parallel between my old mentor and NKT, and I thought that’s a good way to
    express it; for all the extraordinary experiences that NKT can offer, ultimately
    a set of true moral principles is lacking throughout the organisation and this
    renders all the positive aspects irrelevant.
    > This may seem a strange statement considering the great emphasis within NKT
    on moral discipline, cherishing others and so on. But it is clear to me that
    while NKT makes these sweeping altruistic gestures on the outside, at its core
    is something rather different. Under the highly-polished surface lies ingrained
    sectarianism and a disparaging view of all other forms of spirituality; an
    expansionist drive that uses the energy of new recruits to spread the message
    with no concern for their burnout; a cultish dependency on the word and approval
    of the leader and an abdication of critical thought that is actively encouraged;
    and a systematic, widespread rash of sexual, emotional and financial abuse
    practised by those in positions of power. Ironically enough, it is the humble
    practitioners who are not involved in running the show that tend to be kinder,
    less judgemental and more open-minded. The further you travel to the heart of
    the NKT, the more you are twisted – in the name of enlightened principles – into
    the very opposite of what it is supposed to be about. And you don’t even realise
    it’s happening. Until it’s too late.
    > On reflection I do not feel that I was as badly afflicted as many. Although I
    had a reasonably senior standing in my centre, I did not get ordained so never
    became a Resident Teacher or anything. This meant that although admittedly my
    moral life was tainted by the negativity of NKT culture to some extent, I didn’t
    undergo the full transformation that many good men and women are subjected to
    once they have given over their lives fully to the Guru. Perhaps that is why it
    took so long for the penny to drop. But when it did, I had no option but to
    > Now, more than eighteen months since leaving NKT, I am still without a
    significant spiritual life. I find the notion of faith problematic. It seems to
    me that faith is tantamount to believing what has not been demonstrated to you,
    because someone you respect has said it. This, to me, seems to undercut one’s
    own powers of critical reflection and leaves one in a position which is
    extremely vulnerable to manipulation. I am, of course, open to the idea of
    developing respect for someone else to the extent that you take their views
    seriously. But that person has to earn your respect rather than be awarded it
    because they state they deserve it. And what is the point of actively developing
    faith when it grows naturally if someone wins your respect through their actual
    good qualities? I think that if someone is encouraging you to develop faith, the
    only reason can be that they are not truly worthy of that faith. Otherwise you
    would have it naturally in the first place and it would not need to be mentioned
    at all.
    > Moreover, given the powerful role of psychological drives in attracting me to
    and keeping me in NKT, I have a large question-mark in my mind with regard to
    the existence of any form of higher power and ‘hidden objects’. Doubtless I have
    experienced the power of the Buddhas and NKT practices; but could this not be a
    psychosomatic? In truth I do not know, this issue is very unresolved for me.
    > Finally, I think that the moral vows that NKT encouraged us to take upon
    ourselves all too often served to stunt our moral awareness rather than enhance
    it. After all, it is easy to adhere to a rigid code (for a certain length of
    time at least), but it is difficult to meet each situation with nothing but
    one’s own moral compass to rely on. And I think it is the latter that leads to
    spiritual development, however many mistakes one might make.
    > There is, of course, a lot more that could be said, and I hope we are able to
    exchange views on the subject. But for now I’m going to leave it there.


  146. just to clarify there have been many sexual/power abuses within the NKT. In the last two years many monks and nuns, both gay and straight have disrobed due to breaking thier vows.
    Tubten, was the monk in the first case, gkg knew of his abuses of young nuns and hid them.
    Samden, was disrobed last year having slept with many nuns (he was a spiritual director and pure sucessor of gkg), gkg knew of his behaviour for a least two years and failed to act, people who told him were told to keep their mouth shut.
    Lodro, another senior monk had an affair for years with a female nun and student and left with her. gkg knew for some time this was happening.
    Vajra, spiritual director of austrilia/new zeland left with a monk, straraight monk and both disrobed once their affair was discovered, the lis is endless.
    look up nkt on this site for more information.
    I suppose no tradition is perfect.
    The sex abuse is one thing, emotional and power abuse is rife within the tradition also

    for an interesting discussion on rigpa, nkt and fwbo look at the rigpa link on this page


  147. fine!

    nice to hear that.

    I wish you from my heart all the best on your way!


  148. still practice so form of buddhisim, thought transformation and some lam rim.

    some zen via plum village and mostly work with non dual teachers, tolle, byron katie and so on.

    life is good


  149. 20 years a genuine follower of NKT, Martin, and then to go – to let go – what a step! My respect!

    I hope you are fine and well that you may find your way outside of the NKT world!

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and this 3-point-summery. Nothing to add for me, it says what has to been said.

    Do you still try to use Buddhism as a mean to transform yourself or did you make a distance or a pause, just sorting things out?


  150. Here is an interesting quote, I have cut and pasted it from newkadampasurvivors, which has 860 members now with new members joining daily.

    Here is a link http://groups.yahoo.com/group/newkadampasurvivors/

    I recently came across a quotation that I thought brilliantly reinforced three
    tentative explanations that had gradually evolved after years of watching the
    chain of events that made up my twenty years in the NKT. Like so many others I’d
    started out so full of enthusiasm. However, after seeing with my own eyes a lot
    of what was really going on behind the facade of religious euphoria, for
    me,there developed the three seemingly ‘un-connectable’ ideas below :
    > (1) The one quality that all the diverse people who made up the NKT shared was
    a common desire to make themselves into ‘better’ people, who were kinder and
    more able to help others.
    > (2) Years of study didn’t actually transform anyone into a ‘nicer’ person. The
    people who were the most genuinely caring, were the people who were nice when
    they arrived. Yet , on the other hand, many people who arrived seemingly
    perfectly ‘normal’ went rapidly downhill on some form of spiritual power trip.
    Those who arrived as dickheads, remained in the same condition, (though often
    with titles of authority, or sporting a new set of purple robes). But, as far as
    I could see, no one actually seemed to become a ‘better person’ than they were
    when they arrived.
    > (3) Many members of NKT management and ordained sangha, despite all kinds of
    vows, dedications, blessings from the guru, and long lists of empowerments,…
    comitted all manner cruel and selfish acts to other members. Usually, the more
    devoted and ‘high up’ in the organisation they became.
    > I was never able to connect all these loose observations together until the
    other day when I came across this wonderful, concise and precise quotation :
    > “There will always be good people who do good things and bad people who do bad
    things,…. But to get good people to do bad things you need religion.”


  151. a good post, ill read it again in a few days and reply



  152. Hi Martin, thank you for your comment. I had some doubts when my idea came up that democracy in NKT will probably come when GKG has passed away, because since the last 20 years the closest disciples who are going to be the upholders of NKT have not trained themselves in democracy, they are just not trained in welcoming criticism or different point of views which do not follow the ‘party line’.

    So the hope for democracy in NKT in the future seems to be mere wishful thinking, because realistic hope should be based on a factual basis which enables such a change. Rather most NKT RT seem to have trained in controlling and intimidating others based on their own insecurities and lack of self-esteem etc. (At least this is what I understand from the Survivors’ forum.)

    Most often (cult) groups based on charismatic leadership fall to pieces when the charismatic leader is not there anymore. Many refer in this case to what happened to ISKCON when its founder died…

    Personally I was also thinking there may be more fanaticism due to a loss of fear to loose control, and finally people will quarrel about the meaning of what “Geshe-la said”, since NKT is based so much on his authority that an independent analysing approach for own opinions / views and actions is almost non-existent – a thoroughly lack of discriminating wisdom and a presence of much naivety is the result of the autocrat leadership where every opinion not following the partyline is either perceived as wrong, as an attack or as an delusion….

    We’ll see.
    Thank you for referring to this book on guru reliance, I saw it but did not have a look into it yet. I will do this in the future. Our teacher emphasized recently:

    “HH the Dalai Lama stresses that seeing the teacher as a Buddha, is a training for the student.” And he added: “the teacher can be a Buddha, a Bodhisattva, a hearer or an ordinary being.”

    Many problems in NKT, I think, come due to that there is a quite narrow minded and literally approach like one may find it in evangelical groups, then it is understood in the literally sense that the teacher, GKG, is an omniscient unfailing Buddha, and oneself a deluded idiot who mus be rescued by only this unfailing – godlike – Guru. The approach in NKT appears to be rather mixed with Christian concepts: GKG is the Redeemer and solely through him and by ‘complete devotion’ to him salvation can happen.

    What do you think about this?


  153. If you want evidence of whether the ‘cult’ term is applicable to the NKT, take a look at the discussion page on Wikipedia ‘New Kadampa Tradition’ under the sub heading ‘Recent addition to intro’ (its neear the bottom) Someone tried to introduce the phrase ‘Some have even gone so far as to refer to the group as a cult’ Boy, did the s**t hit the fan! talk about savaging!!


  154. thank you for the post, another anon buddhist,

    it helps refocus on some of the issues. I have to disagree with you about your point on the possibility of democracy after the death of gkg, i believe it will never be a democratic organization. The power will always be held by the head person and students will always be controlled by resident teachers. The resident teachers will always have to toe the party line or will be dismissed. There will always be an imbalance of power as the teaching on reliance on the guru are flawed, they will be transmitted in this manner. All people are not equal in the NKT, it could not function if they were.The fpmt have recently released a book on guru reliance, its worth a look.


  155. Dead Dougal,
    I think you and NKT can’t blur the fact that NKT has damaged many members and that all the organisations related with awareness of cults or new religious movements have received complaints for many years now about NKT.

    An official excuse and the proof that NKT make it better now is still missed. Former members see the “New Internal Rules” as ‘damage control’.

    Also the New Kadampa Truth site does not give the impression that NKT has leaned anything from the past and has a new awareness of facts, since it spins that behind the criticism would be another Buddhist organisation, FPMT, and the Dalai Lama and it presents NKT as the ‘innocent victim’ of the actions of others.

    There is a survivor forum for ex-NKT too with more than 800 members who share similar experiences worldwide within NKT. The existence of this is also a testimony that NKT is distinctly different from healthy religious groups (is there any such survivor group with respect to other Buddhist organisations?), and your trial to whitewash this by stating “people have bad experiences everywhere, in all traditions” is very dubious.

    Among Buddhist groups NKT is the most controversial, there is no doubt about this, and this is also stated by David Barett, author of “The New Believers: A Survey of Sects, Cults and Alternative Religions” who states about NKT that it is “one of the newest and most controversial buddhist movements”.

    Democracy in NKT is something on the papers as you find it in communist dictatorships. In fact Kelsang Gyastso has total power and control, and those close followers or resident teachers who disobey him, and don’t follow his demands or those who have their own mind are quickly removed from their positions without any democratic process. There are numberless examples for this autocrat leadership, a recent example is the removal of Lucy James who had the courage to question the protests Kelsang Gyatso ordered. see: http://nktworld.org/Lucy.html

    The claimed democracy is also not functioning as long as Kelsang Gyatso covers up abuses as he has done with Gen Thubten and Gen Samden, and threatens those who correctly ask him to take actions. In that context it is also interesting that as soon as the misconduct is made public and NKT risks to loose reputation he takes actions immediately putting the blame on others and directly or indirectly claiming ‘I have done no faults.’

    Only after the death of Kelsang Gyatso there could be democracy. The last more than 20 years he has established himself as the sole spiritual authority and his authority, decisions and actions are not questioned in NKT but are believed to be coming from an omniscient Buddha who is beyond understanding of ordinary beings. If people who hold position in NKT question him or actions of him he takes actions to remove opponents without any democratic process.

    The former BBC documentary “An Unholy Row” is also a testimony about the autocrat structure within NKT http://www.tibetonline.tv/shugden_issues.html and since the production of this documentary the autocrat structure has not changed really, what has changed is how NKT presents their face and the skills of NKT to hide what they think deeply from within, e.g. that Kelsang Gyatso is a Buddha who can’t be questioned, that the Dalai Lama is an evil being who is possessed by a mara (demon), and that those following the Dalai Lama are degenerated or mix Dharma with politics and hence are not pure etc. NKT won’t tell this in the public or to newcomers… or if they reveal their thoughts than only after the new member has enough confident to be faced “with the truth” or via front groups like the Western Shugden Society or Shugden Supporter Community which are run by NKT but about which NKT claims they have nothing to do with NKT.


  156. Jigme
    You seem like a good sort. Dont you have even the slightest sneaking suspicion that you might have been duped into somebody elses long-term religio-political mind game in the guise of Buddhism. Do you really believe that all the vitriol spouted here and elsewhere has ANYTHING to do with what the Buddha taught. Its more like a scene from a barroom brawl in a Western. Save yourself man. If you get out, youll still have dharma; if you stay, the illusion will quickly fade and you could lose everything-as many already have. Leave the NKT, join the Dharma!There is a whole welcoming world of genuine Buddhists out there waiting with open arms, people who will sympathize and accept you and finally you can get on with the genuine business of Dharma, instead of feling fear of being thrown out of your local centre because you refused to go on the demos(sick isnt it?)


  157. just to clarify Dougal,

    nkt survivors has over 819 (and people join and leave after they have posted their story) people posting their negative experiences, that is 5 to 10% ( id say 10%) of the population of nkt students on study programs, so it is not a random thing. (Im not counting people that attend general meditation classes as these people are not committed to Buddhism and they come and go on a regular basis)
    Things may have changed with the new internal rules, Im sure they have.

    But where is the acknowledgment for the experience of these people.

    (thank you Gen Jigme, we know each other also, I admire that you posted your post, it leads me to think that some change is taking place)

    It is just some people, its a large number of people.

    Its good to hear the Nkt is made up of imperfect people, most of us knew that,
    yet were encouraged to see the teachers as perfect, I think even the teachers might have believed it also.

    I totally agree with your assertion that the majority (maybe all) of people in the nkt are good and kind, they are trying to help reduce suffering. This was my experience, meeting kind and lovely people, its what made it so hard to leave.

    anyhow have a good weekend and enjoy the spring festival



  158. deck chair –

    yes – so i speak from my own experience. i appreciate that others have had different experiences, but afaics these aren’t the norm, by any means.


  159. dougal , do you or have you ever lived in a ‘centre’?


  160. people have had bad experiences with NKT, such as Cassidy, for sure – but people have bad experiences everywhere, in all traditions. that doesn’t make those traditions themselves bad or wrong.

    in recent years, much has been done to democratise NKT management, as shown by the Internal Rules, precisely to prevent this kind of thing from happening. it’s not correct to say that, in general, NKT has become less democratic – but by saying this, i’m not trying to say you didn’t suffer, Cassidy, or that NKT is perfect. *no* spiritual tradityion is perfect – they’re all made up of imperfect individuals like each of us, doing their best to practise their spiritual path. the path taught by NKT is a valid one, a Buddhist path, and the folk trying to teach and practise it are, by and large, good and kind people. i’m sorry that your experience differed, Cassidy.


  161. “Cassidy” –

    it breaks my heart that you had such experiences – i’m so sorry that you went through all that. if you ever want to talk (without judgement – you know me), then you have my number.



  162. Hi

    Cassidy, thanks for posting your story. I remember your time well. You were treated very badly. I feel compassion for anyone wishing to ordain in this tradition. I feel compassion for the misguided teachers, who fail to learn from their mistakes.

    Im glad your recovering.



  163. I was ordained as a nun within the NKt 2 years ago in 2007, after 12 years studying and training in nkt. When I came back to Tara Centre, Dublin, Ireland, I moved in and my relationship with the resident teacher changed.

    The first thing that made me question my decision to move into the centre was doing a small job, sticking on pads to the bottom of the legs of some chairs, (so they would not scratch the floor) the resident teacher said to use glue, I said I did not think we need to as they were self adhesive pads, the look of shock and horror on the other student face just because I had question the teacher over such a small thing. She could not believe I could question a request from the teacher.

    Later my brother-in-law was taken seriously ill, it looked like he was going to die that night,  I told the teacher I was going to the hospitable to be with my sister, it was clear that the teacher did not want me to go, she said I should check my motivation for going and I would see it was out of attachment for my family. She asked what use would I be to them. I went anyway.

    After that things got worse, I was called in to her room and given a 3 hour talk on all my faults and (supposed) mental problems,  my attachment to my family, my lack of interest in the centre, my pride and so on. She expressed her surprise that I was not crying, so  I was told to go to my room and stay there till I was ready to go to the mediation room and prostrate in front of my spiritual guide and when I was ready then arise with my guru.
    I went to my room, rang a friend who told me he had heard of this sort of thing been done before by some hard line nkt teachers to (fast track their student) in other words break you down and then rebuild you!. What nonsense, I now understand why so many monks and nuns leave or become unstable.
    Now you would think I would have had the sense to leave and I did not, I believed that the teacher was doing this for my benefit ( I was so conditioned to believe that she was the expert. She told me her teacher had done the same to her. I was also afraid to because we were told that if you break your connection to the spiritual guide you would go to hell. (yes the Buddhists have hells also)
    Thing got worse my self confidence was at a all time low, everything seemed to be my fault. ( I rang a friend (for support) who had left a few weeks previously, he would not speak to me, even though I told him I wanted to leave, he believed I was trying to trick him back to the organization). I was not the only one having a hard time at the hands of the resident teacher.

    As education program coordinator i was told to report to the teacher about what people were talking about in the centre, i was expected to tell people off for their behavior so that the teacher  would not look bad in front of her peers.
    One class was on mother day , some of the students missed the class and i was told to but black marks after their names, 3 or 4 black marks and you were expelled from the study program. I was also expected to tell them off for not attending the study program.
    One day, I found  a young girl who did some volunteer work around the centre, she was in tears because of something the teacher had said to her. When I pointed out to the teacher that she was a very sensitive person the teacher said no she is a very self cherishing ( a term used frequently in nkt centers to torture students) person! A another girl borrowed a centre pen to write with, she got a telling off in front a study class … why? Because she was stealing ink belonging to the centre!. What nuts, I could go on more and maybe I will later.

    As for me I decided to move to another centre in the Nkt, the teacher told me they don’t want you they are taking you because they have to. ( she was saying this to a broken woman, that was doing her best to stay ordained), she said who would want someone like you in there centre. You have let everyone down you have let your spiritual down and lots more. Its not that I wasn’t feeling bad enough.
    In the end, I left the tradition, I disrobed. It has taken me two years to recover, Im still in recovery. Thankfully I have a good family and friends and they support me.

    In my experience the nkt have become less democratic in the last few years . When i joined 12 years  ago the community (in each centre) was made up of 4 directors who were elected by the members of the centre, the teacher was not allow to be a director . Now the teacher has all control and if he or she does not agree with a decision by the GKG or head teacher, they get removed. This happens, so the teacher is sanctioned by the nkt and will be removed from their position if they do not agree, they are asked to vote and then told how to vote on issues within the organization.

    This is some of my story


  164. Thank you Martin for your mindful reminder. I agree with you. It’s better to avoid any type of sarcasm and to offer genuine experience be it good or bad, as you’ve done here or as others have done elsewhere.

    I think this approach will help people far more to sort out things for themselves.

    A quite impressive experience has been posted by a former bodyguard of Kelsang Gyatso: The title of the post was “Is it all in my head or not?” and it explains quite well what can happen if someone follows NKT.

    PDF of this post:
    Is it all in my head or not?.


  165. Reactionary comments posted on sites like these have resulted in genuine forums being closed down. Sometimes by the host and other times by the NKT legal team. I find its better not to make personal comments on others posts and to keep posts free from sarcasm. Even though I do the same.

    These types of comments have in the past put people/seekers off reading genuine experiences (positive or negative). For this reason I steer away from Ds stuff.
    I ask (and I have no right to ask) that posts are based on genuine experience of the tradition. This way people can really see what the tradition is about and make up their mind based on facts.
    This is not directed at any one post, it for me just makes it easier for new people to read the posts.
    Also in the past when comments on the tradition have been posted, the nkt? Team brought up Ds stuff, this then took over the whole forum and the points being made by others were lost in the on slaught.

    So if I want people to really benifit from this forum, then I must ask myself each time what is my intention before i post. Is it to get one up on another poster, is it to belittle someone or is it to genuinely help someone.
    In peace



  166. wass not was ! samdens vanishing sex scandal!
    and the masters behind the puppets ! recognise any names?


  167. dougal , stop embarasing yourself and pray to your demon god for some more money to build the supreme beings temples


  168. ‘this is *not* a threat ‘- it’s a plea from a vajra brother and a Sangha friend-glad you clarified that-why on earth would people think something was a threat?Oh, because your NKT!
    ‘Vajra brother’-oooh-is this a ploy at making someone feel guitly about tantric vows? Dont worry-the foundation of all vows is refuge, and if you take refuge in worldly gods………
    ‘Sangha friend’-Sangha? ordained according to which Buddhist tradition?
    Alll of your ‘Sangha friends’ are disgusted by the damage you are doing to our faith with your base, deceptive behaviour and arrogant proselytizing.
    NKT, you suck!


  169. what kind of buddhists are these….
    ‘??? are you serious?! who on earth do you think you are? i alternate between amazement, exasperation and horror at your writing every place i see it. your karma…’


  170. LOL!


  171. Tenzin –

    ??? are you serious?! who on earth do you think you are? i alternate between amazement, exasperation and horror at your writing every place i see it. your karma…

    at least you had the courtesy, this time, to call your ordaining master and root Guru *G*KG.

    stop it now, Tenzin – please. for your own sake (and this is *not* a threat – it’s a plea from a vajra brother and a Sangha friend.)


  172. In general I think, the solution for NKT could be to detect what’s going wrong within NKT, its leadership, and the own mind. Some self-awareness would be very helpful.

    All the protests, websites and advertisment, the mission to spread NKT world wide and to “build a Kadampa temple in every major city” are mere distractions.

    As long as NKT focuses on external development and the mission to spread worldwide and abuses – maybe unintentionally – money, energy and good will of new and old members while being unable and unwilling to reflect openly and courageously wrong developments right within NKT; and instead using time, money and energy to hide all these faulst under the carpet and to run slanderous internet campaigns; such an approach is counter-productive for an inner development, its counter-productive to really see and to learn from the own faults, it’s just a distraction prolonging the own inner samsara, isn’t it?

    The respect people have for the Dalai Lama and other holy beings is due to these beings’ obvious, tremendous qualitiies, which they have developed inwardly (over many lifetimes), and everbody can feel and touch if he is open.

    I think, a healthy growth, respect and honour do not come from advertisment, new internal rules, Kadampa temples, books or websites.

    If NKT wants
    – to be respected, respect others,
    – to be loved, love others
    – not to be criticised, don’t critisize others
    – to help others, help yourself first by keeping ethical discipline
    – to be a servant of others, be humble and modest
    – to develope, respect those elder in experience than NKT

    As Martin has pointed it out indirectly in his second post, the solution may be to start to love and have real compassion for those within the OWN organisation and those who were abused by its members, right now, and to have espect, attention and love for those people one is living with.

    I think the “New Kadampa Truths“-site has something to offer for those interested to improve NKT, something to think and reflect about:


    Probably a correction of NKT is only possible when GKG has passed away, since he seems to be the main factor for what went wrong.

    However, I think a healthy development can be possible if NKT’s then elected leadership is open for other Buddhists and Buddhist masters, and invites them to help and to teach Buddhism within NKT.

    We’ll see.


  173. “NKT is a new development in the western world, and has grown quickly. i think it’s inevitable that there have been mistakes made – as there are in any religious tradition.”

    Why then NKT do not excuse for the faults and harm they have done to others? Where there is an excuse to those misled, financially and sexually abused and left alone when asked for help – even insulted by Kelsang Gyatso to “destroy the pure tradition” by pointing out NKT’s wrong developments?

    “but one thing which i’ve been proud of my tradition for has been its willingness to learn from those mistakes and to improve – as there has been in every, valid, religious tradition.”

    I can not see this really until now, no official excuse… mainly attacks against other Buddhists and self-defensive behaviour.

    If you can acknowledge to learn from mistakes why NKT is unable to respect that the Dalai Lama learns from mistakes too. e.g. that worshipping Shugden as a Buddha is a fault? and instead NKT and their members denounce him to be a “liar”, a thief and “hypocrite”?

    “for example, the NKT’s been writing and revising a legally binding document it calls the “Internal Rules” (or “A Moral Discipline Guide – the Internal Rules of the New Kadampa Tradition, International Kadampa Buddhist Union”) which is steadily democratizing the management of the tradition and its member Centres, and moving away from the old-fashioned model of one person at the top with all the spiritual and temporal power that has been seen not to work for modern people.”

    what a joke! the nkt is solely in the hands and under control of Kelsang Gyatso, since he will step down and die soon NKT has to change how NKT is governed, until now NKT has been an autocrat spiritual ‘regime’. I acknowledge the fact that NKT can sell defeats as wins. NKT did the same when Kelsang Gyatso’s uncle, Kuten Lama, the oracle of Shugden, turned his back on NKT…, and since then NKT is completely isolated… or as NKT puts is “completely independent”. ;-)

    “in NKT i’ve met – and i’ve done it myself, i’m sure – over-zealous newbies trying to sell everyone they meet their “truth”; but you’ll meet the same people when you go to Church. they soon grow out of it.”

    of course long-term members are not “over-zealous newbies trying to sell everyone they meet their “truth”; ” they are far more skilled and patient to “sell everyone they meet their “truth”” ;-)

    “to me, NKT is a beautiful tradition that has a heart of gold – and that heart is Lord Buddha’s teachings. just because some of its practitioners have somteimes been immature in its infancy does not, to my mind, justify this label “cult”. i can leave, with impunity, the moment i feel like it. i can question – i often do! i’m not a member of any “propaganda team”, nor am i a wide-eyed convert. i’m a Buddhist, and i’m happy and proud to say i’m an NKT Buddhist.”

    NKT came into existenece based on conflict and and schism – the root is poisoned, hence the branches, leaves and fruits are poisoned.

    “my advice – to anyone – would be to meet some people like me and make your own mind up about us. they’re lovely at the Centres in Ireland – i just really don’t get how anyone could think they’ve got some kind of sinister purpose! but of course, i’m just spouting the pasrty-line, i guess, to appease my angry god… :-D”

    I usually say half-joking: “NKT will smile you to death.” Here you can read a report how impressive this is, however, ex-cult-members call this “love-bombing”.


    So my advice is to learn the warning signs of a cult and to listen to your own inner voice and try to prevent that your own inner intuition gets corrupted by NKT member’s skills, skileld in undermining your self-esteem, and to sell you holy (or respected beings) as unholy and the unholy as holy.

    Warning signs of a destructive cults:


  174. The existence of the New Kadampa Survivors with more than 800 members disapproves a bit of what dougal claims.



  175. http://tinyurl.com/cshbsd
    Look at this to see how they are rewrting their own history over the internet. There is hardly a word of criticism on Wiki. Why? Because as soon as it appears, a dedicated NKT team, obliterate it. I used to think the internet a good thing, leading to a higher understanding through sharing views-no, the NKT wiki page proves that it is last man standing that wins and that mob rule is the order of the day, buddhists or just old fashioned bullies?


  176. ”for every Martin, who has left and subsequently changed his mind about the tradition, there are many like me who are still here, still happy”

    I always had my doubts of the tradition, if im honest. I always tried to see the good in it, i did not want to be mistaken about it, it was my pride that kept me there. I have seen a number of teachers and students (including myself) treat others in not a nice way throughout all my time. It never sat well with me. I have seen people that left ignored, I had been asked not to be in contact with people that left and have been frowned on for talking about them.
    Im delighted that you are still happy and may you stay happy.

    ”i’ve been proud of my tradition for has been its willingness to learn from those mistakes and to improve”

    Did it learn from Gen Tubten (gkg supposed successor) after he was found to be sleeping with ordained students, no they hid it.

    Did they/we learn from Gen Samden(another successor of the founder), who we were told was a Buddha, by our Resident teacher at Tara centre in Ireland (2007), He did the same, he slept with many ordained nuns, at least 10 have disrobed, some more are in retreat purifying and some are working in nkt hotels to purify. No it was hidden for at least two years, even though Kelsang Gyatso knew of it. Only after it was released to the internet was any action taken. He stepped down and later disrobed.
    Did we learn from Lodro, 2008, who had a girlfriend a nun. He eloped. After this became public knowledge, use of Nkt chat was forbidden.
    This list is endless, its not just limited to monks, there are a list of senior nuns too. I can go on; no i don’t believe anything meaningful was learned. There are new rules to be broken and hidden.
    No effort was made at any time to say sorry to people, every effort was made to hide this stuff, people and teachers vanished. The nkt survivors site has 800 members, as people heal they leave that site. Others don’t even join. This 800 is only the tip of the iceberg.

    If it was a pure tradition, there would be no need to defend it. It purity would stand out; it would never even need to be mentioned. What is the line no pure dharma student ever went hungry.
    If you remember your dharma, in 8 steps to happiness, there is the story of a lama, accepting a child after a woman said it was his, later she came to take it back. He never defended his honor, yet he was not the father..

    I agree there are two lovely centers in Ireland, they are a credit to the practioners, and they raised the money and support the teachers. The buildings are great.

    I also agree that there are fantastic people around the nkt (especially in Ireland), I think they were always beautiful.
    In the last few months before I left, I saw that these lovely people were often afraid of the resident teacher, would she shine on them or scowl. That depended on how they behaved.

    The shudan stuff, really to me is a non runner. The founder Gkg has the right to decide what his tradition includes.
    What is more important is for people to be careful before they join any tradition, not just the nkt. Many traditions have had scandals associated with them.
    The main difference being most of the other traditions held their hand up and apologized, the nkt no

    Am I bitter, no Im happy. I actually consider this a kind action.
    It is my experience, it is similar to the experience of many others. If only one person is saved some pain, then it is worth the effort.
    I will not be posting again, I have nothing to defend.



  177. Since when was Dorje Shugden, the central NKT practice and supposedly the reincarnation of a 17th century buddhist teacher, ‘Lord Buddha’s teaching” Buddha died 2 and a half thousand years ago-do the maths! Spirit or Buddha: who cares? But it certainly is not the Buddha’s teaching.
    PS is that ‘heart of gold’ the one that Shugden feeds on while he stands in his ocean of blood or is that the heart of his enemies? very buddhist!
    My advice would be do both-go to an NKT centre AND read the critiques-then make up your own mind-If you dont agree, where does that put you?


  178. another view ……..


  179. hey –

    i’ve been practising within the NKT for 15 years and none of this is my experience. Tenzin Peljor’s historical analysis above (Another Anon Buddhist) is disputed, to say the least, and for every Martin, who has left and subsequently changed his mind about the tradition, there are many like me who are still here, still happy..

    NKT is a new development in the western world, and has grown quickly. i think it’s inevitable that there have been mistakes made – as there are in any religious tradition. but one thing which i’ve been proud of my tradition for has been its willingness to learn from those mistakes and to improve – as there has been in every, valid, religious tradition. for example, the NKT’s been writing and revising a legally binding document it calls the “Internal Rules” (or “A Moral Discipline Guide – the Internal Rules of the New Kadampa Tradition, International Kadampa Buddhist Union”) which is steadily democratizing the management of the tradition and its member Centres, and moving away from the old-fashioned model of one person at the top with all the spiritual and temporal power that has been seen not to work for modern people.

    in NKT i’ve met – and i’ve done it myself, i’m sure – over-zealous newbies trying to sell everyone they meet their “truth”; but you’ll meet the same people when you go to Church. they soon grow out of it.

    newkadampatruth.org sounds defensive because it has to be! like wisdomsword said above, it seems we’re damned if we defend ourselves and damned if we don’t! if someone calls me a child-molester, how can i stay silent? if my very defense of my good name is then used as proof of my guilt, then what has this world become?

    to me, NKT is a beautiful tradition that has a heart of gold – and that heart is Lord Buddha’s teachings. just because some of its practitioners have somteimes been immature in its infancy does not, to my mind, justify this label “cult”. i can leave, with impunity, the moment i feel like it. i can question – i often do! i’m not a member of any “propaganda team”, nor am i a wide-eyed convert. i’m a Buddhist, and i’m happy and proud to say i’m an NKT Buddhist.

    my advice – to anyone – would be to meet some people like me and make your own mind up about us. they’re lovely at the Centres in Ireland – i just really don’t get how anyone could think they’ve got some kind of sinister purpose! but of course, i’m just spouting the pasrty-line, i guess, to appease my angry god… :-D


  180. http://www.newkadampatruth.org/
    is the website of the organization set up to answer numerous criticisms. If one reads it to just see what the allegations are that have been made against them, it is absolutely terrifying. The dogmatic responses are further evidence of the cult-like nature of the group.


  181. sorry i forgot to mention, most of my experience of the NKt was in Ireland. Of the 5 ordained teachers that were sent to ireland over the 10 or so years, 3 of them gave up their robes. Two remain ordained, the current resident teacher and the teacher in the north.


  182. My experience of the NKT.
    My experience (10 years) with the NKT leads me to believe that it is a cult. To me the issue of Shugdan/Dalai Lama is more of a smokescreen for the real issues.
    The group uses individuals to fulfill its aims, it shows little regard for the individual. You are only useful as long as you do as your asked. The line is the guru wants you to do this and it will benefit all living beings.

    Teachers generally do not have much experience before they teach, They may have knowledge, but the practical experience of this knowledge is very limited. These teachers are trying to push you to enlightenment, they themselves are not enlightened. They are trying to teach you how to solve your problems, yet their lives are full of repressed problems. one week you are the best student, this often means that the teacher approves of something you have said, next week your out, because they disapprove.
    They mostly show blind faith in GKG and if they say anything that he or the organization does not agree with they are removed from their position. At least 3 of the main successors of the Guru (heart deciples) were allowed to remain ordained even though the guru knew they were sleeping with other monks and nuns. They were only disrobed when this information was published on the internet. Many ordained teachers disrobe each year. The organization is empire building, a temple for every city in the world.

    In this organization, you are asked to give away your wisdom and accept the wisdom of another, you are not encouraged to question in any meaningful way the teachings. You are encouraged to attend courses, festivals and other events, they all cost money. I thought i enjoyed my 10 years with the nkt, it was only when i left that i realised i had allowed myself to be manipulated, i had also manipulated others when i taught. Am I bitter now, no, would i like my mother, brother, friend to join the group, no, why, it creates more problems for people than it solves.


  183. Some corrections with respect to my own comments:
    – instead of “fraction” it should read faction of course
    – instead of “movie strips” it should read film strips
    – when I spoke of war with respect to China, I meant the violent and injustice taking over of Tibet, which I refer to as an unilateral war against this people
    – the term propaganda I used seems to be misplaced and exaggerated, so please excuse the use of it

    themadhair probably I lack the intelligence to understand this:

    I’d be a hypocrite for not calling this out for being rhetoric after my previous comments.

    Can you make this more clear to me?
    (I said what you have quoted because I was happy to find a comment which is not just a exchange of polemics but tries to investigate the means applied to issue arguments.)

    Since the post by “Dialogue In Ireland” points out mainly a “bitter doctrinal dispute with the Dalai Lama” I wish to add that unlike NKT’s claims criticism about the structure and approach of NKT comes not at all from the Dalai Lama but former members of NKT, including the own former teachers, monks and nuns. There exist a self-supporting group called the New Kadampa Survivors and some of them have issued a public note to make newcomers aware of what they should know before they enter or follow the organisation, NKT.



  184. Thank you themadhair for your outsider and analytical perspective, this cuts through the polemics. Usually the discussion ends up in polemics and no body has any gain by using a polemical approach.

    I’d be a hypocrite for not calling this out for being rhetoric after my previous comments.


  185. i wish to correct one point: i’ve just glanced through the comments before I added my commment and it appeared wrongly to me, that there is “anti-Tibetan-Buddhism propganda” involved. the fact that there are movie strips from the PRC with monks holding weapons when they come out of the monastery is what i put into this category. in general in a war such images should be taken with scepticism since they are published for the sake of war propaganda to justify injustice actions, and it is not clear what was really going on in that monastery. So I am really sceptical with these Chinese images of monks coming out of the monastery bearing weapons – however my judement of “anti-Tibetan Buddhism propaganda” is very wrong in the context of the comments above.

    Thank you themadhair for your outsider and analytical perspective, this cuts through the polemics. Usually the discussion ends up in polemics and no body has any gain by using a polemical approach.

    With respect to NKT there is also a BBC documentary called “An Unholy Row” and a correction by SWISS TV who has published similar to Al Jazeera and France 24 TV “facts” which can’t stand up verification (e.g. 4 million shugden practitioners and the persecution claims): http://www.tibetonline.tv/shugden_issues.html

    Tibet scholar Robert Barnett of Columbia University states in TibetanReview.net:

    “I also made it clear that the Western Shugden group’s allegations are problematic: they are akin to attacking the Pope because some lay Catholics somewhere abuse non-believers or heretics. The Western Shugden Group is severely lacking in credibility, since its form of spirit-worship is heterodox, provocative and highly sectarian in Buddhist terms and so more than likely to be banned from mainstream monasteries – while its claimed concerns about cases of discrimination in India should be addressed by working within the Tibetan community instead of opportunistically attacking the Dalai Lama in order to provoke misinformed publicity for their sect.”

    (Western Shugden Society (WSS) is as well as Shugden Supporter Community (SSC) a front group of NKT, founded, run and financed by NKT. Only very very few Tibetans give them support or any credit.)


  186. All commenters please note that including two or more links within your post causes your post to enter the moderation queue. This can greatly delay your post from becoming visible on the site.

    Please try to restrict yourselves to one link per post in order to circumvent this.

    Thank you.


  187. Lets look beyond NKT and anti-Tibetan Buddhism propaganda:

    The New Kadampa Tradition is the continuation and the final peak of the most conservative fraction within the Gelug school. To understand NKT one has to understand the history of Tibetan Buddhism and the history of Tibet.

    Within Tibetan Buddhism the conservative fraction within Gelug school was the main opponent of democratic reforms and the ally of the aristocrats and they together were mainly the main opponents of the democratic reforms of the 13th Dalai Lama, which cut the rights of the aristocrats and gave more rights to the poor…

    …and of course nowadays, since NKT has chosen to keep the heritage of the conservative lamas ‘purely’, NKT and Kelsang Gyatso are necessarily the main opponents of the 14th Dalai Lama….

    The conservative fraction within Gelug school started to intertwine their conservative position in their teachings and the main point these were often issuing was, that the old time is glorious and pure and the new time very degenerated and impure, everything new is the work of the Mara (devil) and everything old is goodness by its own right.

    It is in this context that worshipping of Shugden appeared and became so close to the conservatives. Not only that the 13th Dalai Lama predicted that these backward and closed (often sectarian and narrow minded) minds will lead Tibet into a catastrophe, when he actual died, the most conservative Gelug purists were able to gain more power again, and to make the controversial Shugden practice even more widespread than previously, ignoring the restrictions or prohibition of that practice by the 13th Dalai Lama. Actual it was Pabongkha Lama, the main proponent of that practice, who broke his promise to the 13th Dalai Lama, and this broken promise may have formed the basis that these power struggles and disputes did not die out and continue until today – prolonged by those who uphold his most conservative / sectarian heritage.

    The predicted catastrophe finally came over Tibet and Tibetans had to escape altogether from Tibet (if they were able to escape) – no matter what faith they had. When they came to the West the most conservative Gelug fraction exported these issues to the West.

    NKT’s claim Shugden worshippers would be “pure” because they do “not mix Dharma with politics” is a nice tale, but it is discordant to the facts. In fact Shugden proponents make and made politics as well and Pabongkhapa was a government agent from Lhasa, responsible for the destruction of religious artefacts of the Nyingma school and sectarian disputes.

    However, though there are these power struggles, Tibetan Buddhism has really something worthwhile to offer to the world, no matter how ugly NKT show themselves.

    NKT are just the peak of the most conservative branch within Gelug school with a strong tendency towards religious fundamentalism and purism. All this can be found in other world religions too, so my suggestion is to put these appearances into perspective by knowledge and understanding of the facts.

    For more on history of Tibetan Buddhism I can recommend:
    – Prof. Samuel “Civilized Shamans: Buddhism in Tibetan Societies”
    – the Video “Angry Monk” by Luc Schaedler: http://www.buddhistmedia.com/uitzending.aspx?lIntEntityId=923&lIntType=0&lIntYear=2008
    – The Shukden Affair and its origin by Prof. G. Dreyfus http://dalailama.com/page.149.htm


  188. Just watched Tommy Davis, senior Scientologist, being questioned about his religious beliefs. His response? That it was offensive and unethical to question another person’s religious values-the ‘freedom of relgious thought’ argument so prevalent in 21st century liberal society, an argument that does not take into account the great harm a particular relgion might be doing to individuals and society. Now where else have I seen that argument used recently? (Chants: ‘Dalai Lama Give Relgious Freedom’)-Aaah yes, now I remember!


  189. ‘In reality, this tradition faithfully practices the Gelug teachings of Je Tsongkhapa as passed down through generations of masters,’

    In reality, Je Tsongkhapa did not practice Dorje Shugden or Vajrayogini, two most central practices of the NKT. This is therefore a lie, though cult members are often blind to the truth about themselves, prefering to launch attacks on ‘opponents’ to justify themselves.(Google ‘Operation Freakout’ )

    LRon Hubbard wrote:

    ‘Game: a contest of person against person or team against team. A game consists of freedoms, barriers and purposes, and there is a necessity in a game to have an opponent or an enemy….To live life fully, then, one must have in addition to “something to do,” a higher purpose, and this purpose, to be a purpose at all, must have counter-purposes or purposes which prevent it from occurring.’
    This is the meaning of life for LRon…and the NKT?


  190. what kind of buddhists are these ?
    ones that dont mention they are buddhists when they are selling you a holiday.
    what kind of buddhists are these?
    that have festivals at disneyland.
    what kind of buddhists are these?

    that use sexual imagery to sell buddhism
    what kind of buddhists are these?


  191. ‘The whole clamp down on the practice of the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden is dirty Tibetan politics that has led to widespread misery among the Tibetans in the exile community in India due to his ban of their religious practices’
    Hold on-I thought the fifth and thirteenth Dalai Lama’s also banned the practice, as did numerous heads of the Gelugs throughout the deity’s three hundred year stint? And whats that on the Al Jazeera video ‘4 million worshippers’ where did they get that stat from? L Ron Hubbard? Did Al Jazeera know that the Shugden cult attempted to insult the Dalai by claiming he was ‘a muslim’ when they fed them that garbage I wonder?’Dirty politics? Yeah, right.



    hate the dalai lama ? love china ! join the nkt!


  193. the new kadampa tradition seems to be more interested in other non buddhist activities than buddhist activities ie
    a hotel chain
    a cafe buisness
    buisness venue

    and of course a ‘spiritual empowerment’ at disneyland paris




  194. @wisdomword

    That is what I am talking about. I make a simple comment explaining why I thought your post was odd and you proceed to denigrate me for engaging in “ judgmental rhetoric against the NKT”. I never made a single comment regarding the NKT, I never made any claims or accusations towards them – I addressed your comment and your comment alone.

    To be frank, lose the persecution complex and stop perceiving everything as an attack or an act of prejudice. Or maybe it is your intention to try and turn everything into an attack?

    As I said before, I have little experience with this topic but your posts (including the one you made under the name ‘Jimmy’) make very uneasy.

    What is so wrong with defending ourselves against such slander? Why does that make us angry? I don’t think it does. We don’t have to be doormats just because we are Buddhists.

    I think there is a difference between defending oneself and attempting to divert criticism (regardless of the veracity of that criticism). From what you have written here I only see you really doing the latter.

    But what do I know? According to you I’m only here to engage in “ judgmental rhetoric against the NKT”.


  195. I remember seeing film of Tibetan monks carrying weapons when the Chinese invaded and thinking how shameful it was and how much it indicated the degenration of buddhism. I get exactly the same feeling when i read all this politcal stuff from the NKT and the people who bother to waste their time arguing with them. Shame on all of you-your mind games are destroying one of the few beautiful things left in this increasingly ugly world.
    As for the NKT, i think the best thing you buddhists could do is pray fro their poor lost hellbound souls. Their anger and hatred is everywhere on the internet and there is no doubt where they are going


  196. like I said-here comes the NKT PR team in their damage limitation capacity-Watch out for the properganda!


  197. Also, themadhair, it might be better if you were to follow your own advice and not engage in judgmental rhetoric against the NKT given that you know “squat” about the situation. How can you stand on your soap box and judge others when you don’t know anything about the background and so on?

    What do you mean by this?
    “The documentaries you offer are not even relevant to the charges that have been laid against you and your group”
    Are you being disingenuous? Can you really say this given that you know squat about the situation? Those documentaries explain very clearly why the NKT has been outcast and called spirit worshippers etc because we also rely on Wisdom Buddha Dorje Shugden, as have generations of Gelugpas before us.

    Sometimes tone does not come over on emails. I was not feeling remotely angry or upset when I wrote the comment above. Weary, perhaps, but also genuinely hoping people might want to follow up by looking at some of the background to the slander of the NKT. What is so wrong with defending ourselves against such slander? Why does that make us angry? I don’t think it does. We don’t have to be doormats just because we are Buddhists.


  198. This for example:

    “the world outside the NKT knows increasingly that all you are is the continuation of the reactionary and fundamentalist elite that dominated the Tibetan political system and was predominantly responsible for the death of Buddhism in the glorious Land of the Snows and whose sole intent is to dominate Buddhism in the post diaspora Western buddhist world”

    What does that even mean? It has no bearing on anything the NKT is or does.


  199. @ wisdomsword

    Being someone who knows next to nothing about NKT and the Dalai Lama, knows nothing about the history of Buddhism and knows practically squat about this entire topic, your comment nevertheless set off some alarm bells for me.

    Your ‘defence’ didn’t really defend anything. It cried persecution, did some attacking of someone you perceived as an enemy, denigrated those who hold opposing points of view to you and your group, applied rhetoric in place of argumentation and generally seemed more concerned with garnering support than actually refuting claims made against you and your group.

    Whenever I see the following language (which I have highlighted below) used in place of an actual defence or in place of any argumentation it makes me think something isn’t quite right. To call a comment “shockingly full of inaccuracies” without pointing out a single one is strange:

    There is no point arguing with you, Nemesis. Your comment is shockingly full of inaccuracies.

    As for responding to criticisms with facts and the truth, we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t, as far as you’re concerned. You’ll never listen to a word we say in our own defense as you are blinded by prejudice.

    However, for those with an open mind, there are enough balanced and neutral observers out there who are increasingly discovering that something fishy and dictatorial is going on with the Dalai Lama’s politically-motivated ban of Dorje Shugden.

    I know people who have passion about their particular faith or faith group who would react angrily when challenged. It is almost a natural reaction. But to use rhetoric in the way you have is simply unnerving. The documentaries you offer are not even relevant to the charges that have been laid against you and your group, but instead are attacks against your perceived enemies.

    Who defends their group in a genuine way by completely avoiding the relevant criticisms only to denigrate all and sundry whom you disagree with? I’ll leave that question hanging.


  200. There is no point arguing with you, Nemesis. Your comment is shockingly full of inaccuracies.

    As for responding to criticisms with facts and the truth, we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t, as far as you’re concerned. You’ll never listen to a word we say in our own defense as you are blinded by prejudice.

    However, for those with an open mind, there are enough balanced and neutral observers out there who are increasingly discovering that something fishy and dictatorial is going on with the Dalai Lama’s politically-motivated ban of Dorje Shugden. Check out the French documentary http://www.france24.com/en/20080808-dalai-lama-demons-india-buddhism-dorje-shugden for example, or the Swiss documentary and other documentaries that are linked to on this page: http://www.wisdombuddhadorjeshugden.org/dorjeshugden28.php#2


  201. I am so glad you have put your stuff about these on. If you look at the stuff they do, for sure they are dodgy. Also, they bombard ANY critIcs with loads of properganda-Look at the sites about them. Loads of it. I bet you this page will hAve loads of angry stuff from them in no time at all. POWER TO YOUR ELBOW. WASH OUT THE POISON!


  202. Yes, this lot are the real dirty tricks brigade-they attack the Dalai for mixing politics with religion (his job) by standinjg outside his teachings with placards, alongsde chinese demonstrators, calling him a liar. Ur…mixing politics with religion-duh!
    All the demos last year were organised by them then they claim they are completely separate from the political stuff-I thought Buddhists werent supposed to lie?Well done DI, nip this cancer in the bud before it spread across our glorious isle


  203. So begins the huge tirade of pro NKT comments that appear on the internet whenever the NKT are criticised on the web for their cultish activities. Whether this is part of an organised system of dealing with criticism (as manifest in the pages the correspondent points to) or simply arises as a result of the huge number of naive individuals with no knowledge of Buddhism that the group have managed to ‘convert’ is not certain. Either way, what will ensue is, yet another, lengthy tirade of expanded versions of ‘the party line’, designed simply to put the innocent off the scent and convince them that the poor old NKT are simply victims of anti cult persecution borne of the ignorance of those who do not know the ‘truth’ of the situation. Sorry, but the fact is that, despite your protestations, the world outside the NKT knows increasingly that all you are is the continuation of the reactionary and fundamentalist elite that dominated the Tibetan political system and was predominantly responsible for the death of Buddhism in the glorious Land of the Snows and whose sole intent is to dominate Buddhism in the post diaspora Western buddhist world (quick, set up another group!)-study the history of the politics and religion of Tibet before you try to sell yourself off as the persecuted purveyors of the only real truth to have survived for millenia in the mysterious land beyond the Himalayas. Truth has a habit of catching up with the dishonest and it seems your time has come!


  204. It is a shame you have not examined the issue a little more deeply and that you have just assumed that the Dalai Lama is correct in his assessment of the New Kadampa Tradition and its practices. In reality, this tradition faithfully practices the Gelug teachings of Je Tsongkhapa as passed down through generations of masters, including the Dalai Lama’s own religious teacher and great master Trijang Rinpoche. We certainly do not worship a “spirit of the dark forces” — this is, to put it simply, dreadful slander of our Dharma Protector, whom we rely upon as a Wisdom Buddha.

    The whole clamp down on the practice of the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden is dirty Tibetan politics that has led to widespread misery among the Tibetans in the exile community in India due to his ban of their religious practices. Your readers might want to check out http://www.wisdombuddhadorjeshugden.org to see what is going on over there.

    To balance out your one-sided criticism of the NKT (and inclusion of every anti-NKT site out there), your readers may also be interested in taking a look at the history of how the NKT became known as a NRM or cult. There is a series of articles on that here: http://www.newkadampatruth.wordpress.com


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