The Shadow of the Dalai Lama – Part II – 13. The doomsday guru Shoko Asahara and the XIV. Dalai Lama

This article was brought to our attention in regard to the issues surrounding f the sexual abuse of women by Sogyal Rinpoche and the ongoing discussion around why the Dalai Lamai does not address this problem. We are told he does not have the authority or that the issue can only be resolved internally within the Buddhist flock. This sounds reminiscent of the conversations in the early days of the Catholic Church who tried to address the abuse issues internally as well as using Canon Law instead of reporting these crimes to the police. This article shows how in Japan we have the working out of this Tibetan drama. Also how sexuality is interpreted in TB to the disadvantage of women. Now naturally the Dalai Lama distances himself from Shoko Asahara, but regardless of one’s views of his involvement, the underlying assumptions are very telling as revealed in this article.

© Victor & Victoria Trimondi

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On March 20, 1995 there was a poison gas attack in Tokyo’s underground system that killed a number of people and injured around 5,500 further victims and shook the world public. It was a sect leader, Shoko Asahara, who gave the command. Asahara was born in 1955 as the son of a large Japanese family. As he could barely see, he had to attend a school for the blind. After finishing school he tried without success to gain admittance to Tokyo University. In the following years he became involved in Asian medicine and started to practice various yoga exercises. He married in 1978. This marriage produced six children. The first spiritual group, which he founded in 1984,was known as AUM Shinsen-no-kai, that is, “AUM — Group of the mountain ascetics”.

Shoko Asahara’s relationship to the Fourteenth Dalai Lama

The „mystic” history of the AUM sect began in India in 1986. Shoko Asahara had wandered through the southern slopes of the Himalayas for weeks visiting Buddhist monasteries. This journey was supposed to mark the end of years of pilgrimage through the most varied esoteric landscapes: „I tried all kinds of practices such as Taoism, Yoga, Buddhism, incorporating their essence into my training. My goal was supreme spiritual realization and enlightenment. I continued the austere practices with Buddhist texts as my only resort. Finally, I reached my goal in the holy vibration of the Himalayas. I attained supreme realization and enlightenment. […] I also acquired supernatural powers” (Asahara, 1991, vol. 2, p. 13). Upon returning to Japan he changed the name of his yoga group and called it AUM Shinrikyo, which means roughly „AUM — Doctrine of the absolute truth”. From this point on, Asahara’s world view was shaped by the compassionate ethos of Mahayana Buddhism: „I could not bear the fact that only I was happy and the other people were still in the world of suffering. I began to think: I will save other people at the sacrifice of my own self. I have come to feel it is my mission. I am to walk the same path as Buddha Shakyamuni” (Asahara, 1991, vol. 2, p. 13).

But the Himalayas did not yet loose their hold over him. Almost a year later, in February 1987, Shoko Asahara stood before the Fourteenth Dalai Lama. He was received by the supreme Kalachakra master in person. He probably first met him in the year 1984, as His Holiness conducted a ceremony in Tokyo at the invitation of the Agon-shu sect. Asahara was at this stage still a member of this religious community.

The Japanese would later report the following of his meeting in Dharamsala: “Imagine my delight at being able to meditate with His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, … And in His Holiness’s private meditation room! ‘I’ll sit here where I always sit; you sit there,’ he instructed me. ‘Let me give you a Buddha image.’ … After a few minutes of loud, deep breathing, all traces of the Dalai Lama vanished. He must have completely stopped his breath. At that moment, the astral vision of the golden face of Shakyamuni Buddha radiated from my ajuna chakra. The vision persisted steadily, without a flicker. ‘Ah, this is the Buddha image the Dalai Lama was talking about,’ I thought. I continued my meditation” (Bracket, 1996, p. 68). Smiling, the Dalai Lama then took his leave of him after an intensive exchange of ideas with the following words: “Dear friend, … Look at the Buddhism of Japan today. It has degenerated into ceremonialism and has lost the essential truth of the teachings. … If this situation continues, … Buddhism will vanish from Japan. Something needs to be done” (Kaplan and Marshall, 1996, p. 13). Thereupon the god-king entrusted him with a spiritual mission: “You should spread real Buddhism there [in Japan]. … You can do that well, because you have the mind of a Buddha. If you do so, I shall be very pleased. It will help me with my mission” (Kaplan and Marshall, 1996, p. 13). Asahara was indeed more than happy. Afterwards, His Holiness blessed him with water and posed for a photo with him. Eight years later this photo was to appear in all the newspapers of the world. From now on, the Japanese guru referred to himself as a pupil of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama. The god-king’s final version of affairs is different. He never commissioned the Japanese to do anything at all, nor established any special relation with him, and definitely did not take him on as a sadhaka. For him Asahara was just one of the many hundreds of worshippers and visitors whom he met with in the course of a year. After the fact, His Holiness made a critical pronouncement with reference to the Japanese guru, which he obviously took to apply to others, but not himself: “I am suspicious of miracles and supernatural powers. Believers in Buddhism should not rely to much on a specific leader. This is unhealthy.” (Tibetan Review, May 1995, p. 9).


The Dalai Lama and Shoko Asahara

But Asahara was not a complete nobody for the god-king. According to the German magazine, Stern, they had met five times since 1987 (Stern 36/95, p. 126). Amazingly, weeks after the first poison gas attack, His Holiness still called the guru a “friend, although not necessarily a perfect one” (Stern 36/95, p. 126). Then a document from 1989 came to light in which the Kundun thanked the AUM sect for donations and confirmed that they “encouraged public awareness through religious and social activities” (Focus 38/95, p. 114). On January 21, 1989 Asahara had sent the sum of $100,000 to Dharamsala for the assistance of Tibetan refugees. As a kind of service in return he received an official note from the Council for religious and cultural affairs of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in which one can read: “To the best of our knowledge, AUM attempts to promote public well-being through various religious and social activities, for example through instruction in Buddhist doctrines and yoga” (Focus 38/95, p. 116–117).

On February 8, Asahara wrote back: “It is my fervent wish that Tibet will return to the hands of the Tibetans in the near future. I am willing to do whatever I can to be of help” (Shimatsu, I). The Japanese guru’s gratitude is only too easy to understand, then with the aforementioned note in his hand he succeeded in being recognized as a religious body by the Japanese administration and thus exempt from taxes.

Admittedly there was a certain cooling of relations between the two religious leaders before the poison gas attack, since Tibetans in exile from Japan had sharply criticized Asahara’s public appearances. Yet he simply ignored such criticisms. This is shown by his spectacular letter to the Kundun of February 24, 1995, which was sent about a month before the events in Tokyo. The letter leaves no room for doubt about how deeply the Japanese sect leader felt himself to be connected to the Tibetan religious sphere. In it Asahara not without pride announces that his son, Gyokko, is the reincarnation of the Panchen Lama who died in 1989: “May I report to His Holiness most humbly that I am convinced that Gyokko is a reincarnation of Panchen Rinpoche” (Shimatsu, I, HPI 008).

As evidence for this suspicion Asahara appeals to synchronicities and miraculous signs. Like the Panchen Lama, his son was also deaf in one ear. Yet the vision which appeared to the child’s mother was even more unambiguous: “A boy flying in spurts over a snowy mountain range with his legs crossed in a full Lotus posture. A low male voice said: ‘Panchen Lama’. The voice continued, ‘Tibetan Buddhism is finished. I have come to rebuild it …'” (Shimatsu, I).

Asahara also met with other high Tibetan tantra masters — Khamtrul Rinpoche, for example, an important Nyingmapa teacher, and Kalu Rinpoche, the Kalachakra specialist of the Kagyupas whose multifarious activities we have already considered. There is supposed to have been a meeting between the Tibetan scholar, Khamtrul (who the Kundun had prophesied to be the future Rudra Chakrin), the Dalai Lama, and a member of the AUM sect (Hisako Ishii) at which the publication of esoteric teachings of Padmasambhava in Japanese was discussed. According to statements by Asahara, Khamtrul Rinpoche confirmed his “perfect, absolute, divine wisdom” (quoted by Repp, 1997, p. 18). On May 24, 1989, the Tibetan is supposed to have issued the Japanese guru with the following letter of recommendation:

 “Teacher Asahara is my old friend, and I consider it an honor to be able to say the following in favor of him and of his religious activities:

 1.         I am filled with boundless admiration for Teacher Asahara’s innate Buddhist traits, like enthusiasm for his work, goodliness, generosity, and selflessness.

2.         He is an experienced and qualified meditation; tantra; and yoga instructor.

3.         On the condition that he receives fitting recognition, Teacher Asahara can become a truly well-known teacher of Buddhism, who is capable of re-establishing the true doctrine of the Dharma in Japan.

4.         I also know that AUM Shinrikyo, Teacher Asahara’s religious organization, is a religious association that distinguishes itself through discipline and good organization and wide-ranging activities in order to suitably further social well-being.

5.         Teacher Asahara’s sympathy and assistance in regard to the people and culture of Tibet is an example of generosity and concern for the poor.

6.         It is painful for me to see that AUM, with no regard for its good intentions and activities, has up until now not found the recognition and support it is due from the Japanese government.

7.         I emphatically recommend that AUM be accorded the justly deserved status of a tax-free organization, and that it likewise receive all necessary governmental and social privileges. Many thanks, Khamtul Giamjang Dontup Rinpoche.” (AUM Shinrikyo, HPI 013)

 In Sri Lanka, the land of Therevada Buddhism, he was additionally praised as the “greatest religious person in Japan” and “the only one who can save the world” (also quoted by Repp, 1997, p. 18). The Prime Minister gave him a Shakyamuni relic, thus equipping him with an important symbol of authority. Then, in the foreword to one of his books it also says “The Buddha of our times is Shoko Asahara” (quoted by Repp, 1997, p. 18). And the guru preaches to his followers “You ought to become Buddhas yourselves. You should preach my teachings, or rather the cosmic truth, and should produce many Buddhas. Spread the AUM system of training on a global scale and scatter Buddhas around the whole world. If we accomplish this, all battles and conflicts shall come to an end” (quoted by Repp, 1997, p. 35).

In light of the in hindsight extremely embarrassing meetings of the Kundun and high Lamaist dignitaries with Shoko Asahara, His Holiness’s representative in Japan (Karma Gelek Yuthok) issued a interesting communiqué some weeks after the attack. Before the world press Karma Gelek Yuthok explained that “Whatever little relationship Asahara had with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and other Tibetan lamas fell purely under the religious domain in spirit and deed. I had nothing to do with the world-shocking criminal acts known and alleged to have been committed by the AUM cult. It is unthinkable that His Holiness the Dalai Lama is related with the criminal acts of AUM simply because of his casual spiritual relationship with Asahara” (Samdup).

We see this in a completely different light, however. It was precisely because of these spiritual encounters with the god-king and his “viceroys” and his intensive study of the Tibetan/tantric esoterica and apocalyptica that the inexorable madness developed in Asahara’s mind which made him become the doomsday guru of the western press.

 The staged Shambhala war

Let us begin, then, to present the “spiritual” evidence and incriminating material piece by piece: there is no doubt that Asahara believed himself to be the incarnation of a Shambhala warrior and was absolutely convinced that he was acting as a delegate of the mythic kingdom. “There will be a final battle between Rudra Chakrin, the king of Shambhala, and a foolish being called Vemacitta. The war at the end of this century is the last event seen by many prophets for the past several thousand years. When it happens, I want to fight bravely”, the guru had proclaimed via his radio station four (!) months before the Tokyo assassination (on December 4, 1994) (Archipelago, I, HPI 003). Rudra Chakrin (“the terrible wheel turner”), the militant doomsday king of Shambhala, is also an epithet of the Indian god, Shiva. The destroyer god and the Buddha blend into one figure for Asahara, just as they merge into one as the final Shambhala king, Rudra Chakrin, in the Kalachakra Tantra. As his followers were called upon “to have the purest faith in the guru, the Great Lord Shiva, or the Buddhas”, Asahara declared in December 1990 that “Here, the Buddhas and the Great Lord Shiva mean the guru [Asahara], who is their incarnation” (quoted by Repp, 1997, p. 18). Or, even more succinctly: “The first thing you should do is to understand the Great Lord Shiva, the Buddhas, and the guru as one, as the embodiment of truth and to take refuge in them. Refuge means to learn their teachings, to make sacrifices, and perform services for them (quoted by Repp, 1997, p. 30). As early as in spring 1985, whilst meditating on the beach at Miura, south of Tokyo, he was visited by a vision of Shiva “the god of light who leads the armies of the gods” who “charged him with building an ideal society made up of those who had attained psychic powers, a society called the Kingdom of Shambhala. … Asahara’s seaside epiphany was the origin of his claim to be a messiah and his leadership role in Armageddon, or final war, which would destroy Japan” (Brackett, 1996, p. 66). A sect pamphlet suggests that Asahara himself came from Shambhala and had descended to earth in order to direct and save it: “This kingdom (Shambhala), ruled by the god Shiva, is a world where only those souls which have attained the complete truth of the universe can go. In Shambhala, the ascetic practices of messianic persons have made great advances in order to lead souls to gedatsu (emancipation) and save them. Master Asahara has been reborn from there into the human world so that he might take up his mission as a messiah. Therefore, the Master’s efforts to embody truth throughout the human world have been sanctioned by the great will of the god Shiva” (quoted by Brackett, 1996, 70).

 In his own words, Asahara drew up a “Japan Shambhalization Plan . This was said to be “the first step to Shambhalizing the world. … If you take part,” he explained to his readers, “you will achieve great virtue and rise to a higher world” (Kaplan and Marshall, 1996, p. 18). IN the pamphlet already quoted above, it says, “For that reason Aum Shinri Kyo’s plan to transform Japan into Shambhala was presented. This plan is without equal in its scope, as it wants to extend Aum’s sacred sphere throughout all of Japan, making Japan the base for the salvation of the whole world by fostering the development of multitudes of holy people. This plan cannot be realized without the help of our believers. Please come and join us!” (quoted by Brackett, 1996, p. 70). The two journalists, David E. Kaplan and Andrew Marshall, with somewhat too little fantasy and far too restrictively see this “Shambhala project” as a plan “to open AUM offices and training centers in every major Japanese city and establish a ‘Lotus Village’ or utopian community where AUM members would survive Armageddon” (Kaplan and Marshall, 1996, p. 18). But whatever Asahara may have understood by this, Shambhala was for him the guiding star that led him into the abyss and that he deliberately followed. One of the songs the members of the sect had to listen to daily on headphones goes “Shambhala, Shambhala!”

The sect’s system of rituals is Tantric Buddhist

Asahara became familiar with the teachings of Tantric Buddhism at a very early stage. In the early 1980s he joined a religious group by the name of Agon Shun (founded by Seiyu Kiriyma), which among other things employed sexual magic rites to attain rapid enlightenment. Asahara, despite having been a keen pupil, left the group and turned to the preferred teachings of Mahayana Buddhism. HE saw himself as an orthodox Buddhist who wanted to anchor afresh the “Four Noble Truths”, the “Bodhisattva vow”, and the system of monks and nuns in decadent Japan. After his contacts with the Tibetan lamas, however, this pure Mahayana orientation became increasingly complemented by tantric practices and viewpoints. In the spring of 1990 he introduced what he called the Tantra-Vajrayana System of Practice as a discipline of AUM Shinrikyo. Some time later a journal by the title of Vajrayana Sacca appeared.


Shoko Asahara in Front of a Tantric Deity

 From this point on the gateway to the legitimation of any crime lay open. In accordance with the tantric “law of inversion” the low was from now on inverted into the high. „Bad deeds”, the young tantra master wrote, „instantly change into good deeds. This is a tantric way of thinking” (Asahara, 1991, vol. 1, p. 65). At another point it says, “If the guru possesses a crystal clear spirit, if a being can see through everything, then for him there are no lies; lies no longer mean anything to him. […] Good and evil also change according to their circumstances. Somebody who has lied so as to motivate another to follow the practice of truth, for instance. The fact that he has lied will certainly bring him bad karma, but the fact that he led somebody to the truth brings him merit. Hence, what one chooses to stress depends upon what one is aiming for. In the practice of Mahayana, this kind of exercise is not used. From a tantric point of view it is seen as good, then you will be of use to others because of your self-sacrifice” (quoted by Repp, 1997, p. 32).We also learn of Asahara’s commitment to the “crimes” of Tantric Buddhism from the charges laid against him by the state prosecutor: “The teachings of esoteric Buddhism from Tibet were really quite horrible”, he is supposed to have said, “If, for example, a guru ordered a pupil to kill a thief, the pupil did so, and treated the deed as a virtuous one. In my previous existence I myself killed somebody at the guru’s command” (Quoted by Repp, 1997, p. 33).

 True to the tantric doctrine, Asahara explained the sexual magic symbolism of his system as follows: “For normal Japanese sensibilities it is a very obscene image. A man and a woman in sexual embrace. But the facts of the matter are quite different […] This consort can be Parvati [Shiva’s wife] or Dakini, and if one practices guru yoga the union is the holy union to create our astral bodies. It is the union of yin and yang” (quoted by Repp, 1997, p. 27). He regularly held public lectures about Kundalini Yoga, he even spoke about the “fire serpent” in the Moscow sport stadium — naturally without going into the sexual magic practices of his Tantra-Vajrayana System. As the highest guru, all the women of the organization were at his disposal both on the basis of divine benevolence and de facto, and he made frequent use of this right, but it did not prevent him from granting his wife (Tomoko Ishii) the highest spiritual rank in the sect aside from his own. Just as in Tibet’s monasteries, the tantric union with a karma mudra was for him exclusively the privilege of the highest initiates. In contrast, the main body of AUM members had to submit to a strict commandment of sexual abstinence. Anyone who was caught masturbating had to spend several days in solitary confinement.

 This, however, was only the case — and here too we can see how strictly Asahara adhered to Vajrayana laws — if it came to ejaculation; other than that he recommended the exact opposite to his male pupils: “Masturbate daily, but do not ejaculate! … Continue this for ten days. Then start masturbating twice a day … Find a picture of your favorite entertainment star, preferably nude. Use the photo to activate your imagination and start masturbating four times a day” (Kaplan and Marshall, 1996, p. 159). The number of daily masturbations is increased further in the course of the initiatory path.

 By the sixth week the time has come. A female partner is found and given a little alcohol to drink. Then the couple withdrew together and began first with “some petting” in which the adept stroked the nipples of his mudra and stimulated her clitoris. Afterwards he copulated with the girl according to a predetermined rhythm that was always derived from factors of the number nine: keeping still for 81 breaths, moving the phallus in and out nine times; keeping still for another 81 breath units, 27 times in and out, and so forth. It is not clear from the translation by Kaplan and Marshall whether here too the seed is retained. At any rate they had to “always let her come first” (Kaplan and Marshall, 1996, p. 160).

 The offering up of the wisdom consort to the guru necessary in the high tantras was likewise practiced by the AUM sect. A pupil who made his girlfriend available justified this offertory act as follows: “If she and the guru fuse together her mental level rises. … By sacrificing himself, he pours his energy into a woman. It’s better [for her] than fusing with me” (Kaplan and Marshall, 1996, p. 161). Asahara also made use of this reason: “This is a Tantric initiation. Your energy will rise quickly and you’ll achieve enlightenment faster”, he is said to have told a reluctant female pupil whilst he tore the clothes from her body (Kaplan and Marshall, 1996, p. 158).

 Asahara also worked with the tantric fluids of blood and sperm. He had his own blood drawn off and offered it, often for high prices, to the members of the sect as a cure-all. His hair was boiled and drunk as a kind of tea. Even his bathwater is supposed to have been sold as a holy substance. Such practices were also widespread in Tibet’s monasteries, for example the excrement of the great lamas was considered to be a medicine and sold well when manufactured into pills with other substances.

 The science department of AUM, it was said one day, had discovered that the “DNA of the master” possessed magic characteristics and would grant anyone who drank it supernatural powers (siddhis). This was about Asahara’s sperm, a small flask of which went for the price of $7000 according to Kaplan and Marshall. Here too there is an allusion to the sperm gnosis of the Kalachakra Tantra, where the master gives the pupil to taste during the “secret initiation”.

 Likewise the horror scenarios the members of the sect had to go through in order to practice fearlessness are also tantric. “Delinquents” who transgressed the rules of the order were locked up in small chambers and had to watch videos of one horror film after another. Via a loudspeaker they were inundated with constant death threats.

 Already after his first trip to India Asahara believed himself to be in possession of “supernatural powers” (siddhi). He claimed he could make contact with the dead and read the thoughts of others. Like the “maha siddhas” he was said to be able to walk through walls. “In the future … I will be able to fly freely through the sky” (Kaplan and Marshall, 1996, p. 7), he prophesied. He Later he developed the “Divine Ear” and was, on his own account, in a position “to hear the voices of the gods and humans” (Kaplan and Marshall, 1996, p. 199).

Asahara’s gods

The metaphysics and spiritual practices of the sect were primarily dominated by Tibetan Buddhist images and exercise. Basically, “AUM Supreme Truth”, we learn from Kaplan and Marshall, “became a familiar New Age blend of Eastern religion and mysticism. Its beliefs and rituals were drawn heavily from Tibetan Buddhism, its physical rigor from yoga” (Kaplan and Marshall, 1996, p. 15). He himself referred to his rituals as “Tibetan Buddhism” (Tibetan Review, May 1995, p. 9).

 Of course, this is rejected by Dharamsala with protestation, in that the blame for the Japanese’s practices is (as often happens) pinned on the Hindu competition: „The rituals he teaches his disciples include practice of yoga, levitation and other acts that are neither Tibetan nor Buddhism and are more akin to ritual of Indian sadhus (Hindu ascetics). The teacher as well as the disciples wear flowing white robes, something that no practitioner of Buddhism does” (Tibetan Review, May, 1995, p. 9). This too is not entirely correct — in certain scenes from the Kalachakra ritual white robes are worn, and all the priests of Shambhala are dressed in white.

 Asahara regarded himself as an incarnation of Buddha Shakyamuni. Publicly he declared that he was “at the same level as Buddha” (Kaplan and Marshall, 1996, p. 25). In Bihar in India he sat upon the sacred seat and announced to those present, “I am Buddha” (Kaplan and Marshall, 1996, p. 67). “The Buddha in our times is Master Shoko Asahara”, was the praise of his pupils (Kaplan and Marshall, 1996, p. 67). Many of the members of the sect were given Buddhist names. His closest collaborator, the sect’s éminence grise, Kiyohide Hayakawa, was called “Tiropa” (i.e., Tilopa) after the great Kalachakra master. The guru recognized him as “a Bodhisattva in his past life” and declared that “without Master Tiropa’s efforts there would be no AUM Supreme Truth” (Kaplan and Marshall, 1996, p. 75). It was Asahara’s proclaimed intention to Buddhize the planet. “Spread the training system of AUM on a global scale”, the guru preached, “and scatter Buddhas over the world” (Kaplan and Marshall, 1996, p. 16).

 We have discussed in detail the description of Tantric Buddhism as a solar cult. Asahara also made appearances like a sun priest and like the prophet of a coming empire of light: “After insubstantial religions with pseudo-light, there will be a religion which produces light as the sun does, and it will change the future” (Archipelago, I, NPI 003).

 Although his system of rituals was decisively influenced by Tibetan mysticism, this was not universally true of the gods. Here, in accordance with the guru’s world concept, the deities of other religions were also invoked. Since these were, according to the laws of Tantrism, nothing more than the yogi’s projections the doctrine was able to easily overcome the cultural hurdles.

 Behind Asahara’s decision to carry out his act of destruction lay the Indian god, Shiva, the lord of destruction. The latter appeared to him a number of times, the guru said, and confirmed his enlightenment in his own words. The members of the sect were from now on expressly required to replace their own wills with the will of Shiva. One epithet of this god who lays waste to the world so as to subsequently produce it anew in the violent cycle of death and rebirth, is Rudra. Translated from the Sanskrit it means the “terrible one “, the “wild one “, the “violent one”. As the Rudra of the apocalyptic fire (Kalagni Rudra) he destroys the universe and time itself (White, 1996, p. 232). “Once it has consumed the waters of the ocean,” it says in a tantric text, “it will become the Kalagni Rudra, the fire that consumes time” (White, 1996, p. 232). There can be no doubt that Asahara adopted Rudra’s will to destroy from Tantric Buddhism. This is probably also true of the name: Rudra Chakrin, the 24th Shambhala king who contests the final battle, undoubtedly combines the characteristics of Buddha and of the wrathful Shiva in his person. That is exactly what Asahara sought to do. Incidentally, the region around Dharamsala, the seat of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in Exile, is from a Hindu point of view dedicated to the god Shiva.

 The Japanese guru does not stop at making loans from Christianity either. After his first reading of the Bible he already announced: “I hereby declare myself to be the Christ” (Kaplan and Marshall, 1996, p. 67). Afterwards he wrote a book on this topic and in it drew attention to his similarities to Jesus of Nazareth: “Jesus changed water to wine, I changed ordinary water to the water that emits light” (Kaplan and Marshall, 1996, p. 18). Here, Asahara is referring to a transformatory miracle he performed in the presence of his pupils. From his own lips we learn “I am the last messiah in this century” (Kaplan and Marshall, 1996, p. 67).


“The guru’s most insistent megalomanic claim was to deity. In addition to declaring himself an avatar of Shiva, he professed to have achieved ‘the state of a Buddha who has attained mirror-like wisdom’ and to be the ‘divine emperor’ of Japan and the world; the declared Christ, who will ‘disclose the meaning of Jesus’ gospel’; the ‘last twentieth-century savior’; the ‘holiest holy man’, one ‘beyond the Bible’; and the being who will inaugurate the Age of Aquarius and preside over a ‘new era of supreme truth’. For disciples transfixed by guruism, he could indeed be all these things (Lifton, 2000, p. 167)


The fantasy worlds of certain comics also had an influence upon him. It is a fact that Asahara and members of the sect took the virtual reality of the comic strips for real. The same is true of science fiction novels. Isaac Asimov’s famous Foundation epic was declared to be a kind of holy book. In it we can read the following sentences: “The Empire will vanish and all its good with it. Its accumulated knowledge will decay and the order it has imposed will vanish” (quoted by Kaplan and Marshall, 1996, p. 29). Additionally Asahara was convinced that extraterrestrials constantly visit our planet. He was, however, not on a friendly footing with them, as he believed among other things that they fed themselves with human flesh. From the world of “esoteric fascism” he had his reverence for Adolf Hitler, who was said to be still alive and be landing with an escort of UFOs in the near future.

The Japanese Chakravartin

Within his group the “Buddha of our times” had an absolute power monopoly. He was lord over life and death in the truest sense of the word, the there were cases where members who resisted his will were tormented to death. In accordance with the absolutification of the teacher drawn from the tantras, he demanded that his pupils replace their own will with his own.

 But for Asahara power was not just spiritual in nature. He combined practical political concepts with it very early on. When as a younger man he applied albeit unsuccessfully for admission to Tokyo University, he wanted to become the prime minister of Japan. Later he saw himself at the head of a Japanese Buddhocracy. He prophesied that he would soon ascend the imperial throne and created a shadow cabinet from among his people. Yet the guru was not even to be content with this role as a Tennos. Asahara intended to establish a “millennial kingdom” (!) which was to span the entire planet. He called his political model the “Supreme State”. Kaplan and Marshall comment that this description “leaves no doubt about who would inherit the world. And on top of the great empire, ruling serenely over the cosmos, sat Shoko Asahara, now deemed the Holy Monk Emperor” (Kaplan and Marshall, 1996, p. 157). The claim to the world throne of the Chakravartin was thus a political program: “I intend to become a spiritual dictator … A dictator of the world”, the doomsday guru openly proclaimed (Kaplan and Marshall, 1996, p. 25).

 The financial motivations which Kaplan and Marshall attribute to him were thus not his first priority. He considered them to be only means to an end. A Japanese expert on the sect has expressed this most clearly: “Asahara distinguished himself from the other cult leaders in that he did not spend large sums of money upon himself. … His primary goal was to attain power” (Repp, 1996b, p. 195).

Murder, violence, and religion

Only a few months before it came to an explosion of violence, Shoko Asahara attempted to gain power via legal means — he founded a party (the Truth Party) and stood for election. Even this short sequence in his religious political career demonstrates how deeply allied to Buddhism in general and Tibetan Buddhism in particular he felt himself to be. He formed a shadow cabinet from among the members of his sect and gave these the names of either pupils of the historical Buddha or of high Tibetan lamas. [1] The ostentatious election campaign ended in a disastrous defeat. It is said that not even all the members of the sect voted for him. Soon afterwards he turned to the tactics of terror.

 Asahara’s aggression arose from its opposite. Everything began with his proclaimed self-sacrifice in the sense of Mahayana Buddhism. One of the mantras which the members of the sect had to repeat constantly went as follows: “I make a joy of my suffering; I make the suffering of others my own suffering” (Repp, 1996a, p. 45). Completely in the Buddhist tradition, the guru wanted “to rescue people from their suffering” and “to lead the world to enlightenment”.(Kaplan and Marshall, 1996, pp. 14-15). Thus, in this early phase the rejection of violence was one of his highest ethical principles: “Nonviolence”, Asahara said, “means to love every living creature”, and at another point he declaimed that “killing insects means accumulating the bad karma of killing” (Kaplan and Marshall, 1996, p. 50).

 But in accordance with the tantric “law of inversion”, and thanks to the fact that the Buddha can also appear in his terrible form as Heruka, this nonviolence soon became transformed into its exact opposite — cold-blooded terrorism. We spare ourselves the details of the sect’s numerous crimes. These include cases of imprisonment, extortion, bodily harm, child abuse, torture and all kinds of murder. The police charged Asahara’s followers with a total of 27 murders.

 The murder of certain individuals was legitimated by a ritual which Asahara called phowa and which he had also imported from Tibetan cultural circles. This was understood to involve the deliberate leading of a soul to a higher spiritual level so that it could be freed from the harmful karma which clung to it in this current life. From a Tibetan point of view phowa practices can also include the murder of an individual. Asahara committed his followers to murder through an oath in the form of a prayer known as the “Vajrayana Vow” that required complete subjugation to the guru and the practice of phowa. It was recommended that the following prayer be recited “a thousand, a million, a billion times” (Brackett, 1996, p. 96).

 I take refuge in the Tantra Vajrayana!

(repeated four times)

What is the first law?

To be mindful of the Buddha.

And in Tantra Vajrayana,

the Buddha and the Guru are identical.

I take refuge in the Guru!

(repeated four times)

What is the Guru?

The Guru is a life form born to phowa all souls.

Any method that leads to salvation is acceptable.

My life will come to an end sometime.

It makes no difference if the end comes in twenty years,

thirty years, or eighty years,

It will come regardless.

What’s important is how I give my life.

If I give it for salvation,

eliminating all the evil karma I have accumulated,

freeing myself from all karma, the Guru and Shiva

and all winners of truth

will without fail lead me to a higher realm.

So I practice the Vajrayana without fear.

The Armageddon taught in the Bible approaches,

The final battle is upon us.

I will be among the holy troops of this last great battle

And phowa the evil ones.

I will phowa one or two evil ones.

Phowa is the highest virtue

And phowa is the path to the highest level of being.

(Brackett, 1996, pp. 96-97)

 In the end, the Tibetan phowa ritual became the guiding principle behind the acts of terrorism and also played a significant role in the prosecution’s case against Asahara. There, the following incriminating quotations from the guru were also tabled: “If your guru commands you to take somebody’s life it is an indication that this person’s time is already up. With other words you are killing this person at precisely the right time and making possible the phowa of this person. […] The end justifies the means. Take the example of a person who is burdened by so many sins that he is certain to go to hell. If an enlightened person decides that it would be best to put an end to his life and to really kill him, this act would generally be seen by society as a straightforward murder. But in the light of our teachings the killing comes to the same thing as making his phowa possible for this person. Every enlightened person would see at once that both the murderer and the murdered benefit from the deed” (quoted by Repp, 1997, p. 33).

 The guru justified all of his orders to kill by appealing to the Tibetan practice of phowa, even in the case of the one-year-old son of the lawyer, Sakomoto, who took the sect on legally: “The child ended up not being raised by Sakomoto, who tried to repeat bad deeds”. It would be “born again in a higher world” (Kaplan and Marshall, 1996, p. 42). According to Kaplan and Marshall, the guru is also supposed to have said that “it is good to eliminate people who continue to do bad things and are certain to go to hell” (Kaplan and Marshall, 1996, p. 50). This was primarily directed at the immediate opponents of the sect, like the parents of members, lawyers and journalists.


“Within Aum, Asahara’s attack guruism was anchored in what was called the mahamudra. In Tibetan Buddhism, the term refers to a state in which a devotee achieves ‘the unity of emptiness and luminosity’ and, thereby, ‘the purification … [of] the transitory contamination of confusion.’ The concept was sometimes conceived in this way in Aum, and a few of of Asahara’s closest disciples were described as achieving mahamudra. But given Aum’s atmosphere, attaining mahamudra came largely to mean the overcoming of all resistances to an absolute and unquestioned dedication to the guru himself” (Lifton, 2000, p. 63).


The Japanese Armageddon

Asahara made himself familiar with the “theologies of destruction” early on. A year after his visit to the Dalai Lama (in 1988) he began with his study of the Apocalypse of St. John. The Prophecies of Nostradamus followed soon after. This French prophet became a leading light for the sect. On the basis of inspirations whispered to him by the terror gods, the guru now developed his own apocalyptic prognostications.

 At first they concerned rescue plans. The planet was supposed to be in danger and AUM had been chosen to secure world peace. But then the prognoses became increasingly gloomy. The planetary countdown was said to be in the offing: „In my opinion” Asahara said, „the realm of desire by the law of this universe, has already entered the process of going back to its original form to where it all started. In short, we are heading for Armageddon” (Asahara, 1996, vol. 2, p. 103). He actually used the Hebrew word “Armageddon”. But even now there was still talk of compassion and assistance and Asahara believed that “If AUM tries hard , we can reduce the victims of Armageddon to a fourth of the world’s population. … However, at present, my rescue plan is totally delayed. The rate of survivors is getting smaller and smaller” (Kaplan and Marshall, 1996, p. 31). “And what will happen after Armageddon?”, he asked in one of his sermons, “After Armageddon the beings will be divided into two extreme types: the ones who will go to the Heaven of Light and Sound, and the ones who will go to Hell”(Kaplan and Marshall, 1996, pp. 48-49).

 His apocalyptic visions are dated precisely: in one of his prophecies from 1987, the year of enlightenment, he says that “Japan will rearm herself in 1992. Between 1999 and 2003, a nuclear war is sure to break out. I, Asahara, have mentioned the outbreak of nuclear war for the first time. We have only fifteen years before it” (Kaplan and Marshall, 1996, p. 16).


“Any imagined Armageddon is violent, but the violence tends to be distant and mythic, to be brought about by evil forces that leave God with no other choice but total cleansing of this world. With Aum’s Armageddon the violence was close at hand and palpable. Aum was always an actor in its own Armageddon drama, wheter as a target of world-destroying enemies or as a fighting force in a great battle soon to begin or already under way. As time went on, however, Aum increasingly saw itself as the initiator, the trigger of the final event” (Lifton, 2000, p. 59).


Somewhat later, in his book Day of Annihilation, there was no longer so much time left. According to this text, Japan would sink into the ocean already in 1996. The end of the world would begin in 1998/99. A pupil saw in a vision how a branch of AUM would move to Jerusalem in 1998 and that members of the sect would be imprisoned there and then tortured. In a triumphant campaign the fellow believers would be freed. Asahara, this prophecy predicted, would die the death of a martyr during the liberation and set off a final world war.

In order to introduce his “Shambhalization of the world”, it was only natural that Asahara would want to lead a great apocalyptic army, then that is integral to the script of the tantric myth. Hence, as he was meditating on the Japanese Pacific coast, one day a powerful voice told him, “I have chosen you to lead God’s army” (Kaplan and Marshall, 1996, p. 12). From this point in time on the sect’s music also changed; in place of the old harmonic New Age music of the spheres, military marches now sounded over the loudspeakers. “The time has come … We have to fight … Defeat means death for the guru”, Asahara’s closest intimate wrote in his notebook (Kaplan and Marshall, 1996, p. 154). The connection between the destruction of the world and emptiness invoked by the Kalachakra Tantra also had a decisive influence on Shoko Asahara, and even found expression in the title of one of his writings, From Destruction to Emptiness: A Sequel to the Day of Destruction.

Religion and chemical laboratories

The final war could not be fought without effective weapons. Asahara recruited a small group of highly qualified scientists, all university graduates in the natural sciences: chemists, biochemists, electronic engineers. They were commissioned to establish large laboratories for the manufacture of chemical and biological weapons. According to Kaplan and Marshall colonies of all sorts of deadly bacteria were cultivated there, anthrax, influenza, and even the notorious Ebola virus. The young people dreamed of gigantic laser cannons. “When the power of this laser is increased,” Asahara says, “a perfectly white belt, or sword can be seen. This is the sword referred to in the Book of Revelations. This sword will destroy virtually all life” (Kaplan and Marshall, 1996, p. 207). He was especially fascinated by a “microplasm” weapon with which all living things could be vaporized in seconds. “The weapons used in World War III” he wrote in 1993, “will make the atomic and hydrogen bombs look like toys. At present, the centerpiece of the Russian arsenal is called the star-reflector cannon. The United States has the Strategic Defense Initiative and the extension of this is ‘microplasma’” (Archipelago, I, HPI 003).

In particular, Asahara’s ingenious scientist, Hideo Murai reveled at the idea of all kinds of apocalyptic weapons of destruction. He was a specialist in electromagnetic (EM) phenomena. For him too, and for his work, the tantric law of inversion would one day take effect. At first Murai began by constructing weapons to defend the cult against the military apparatus of the superpowers. For years his paranoid guru believed himself to be the target of electromagnetic and chemical attacks by the most varied worldly and religious secret services. It was only thanks to his elevated spirituality that he was still alive at all. As redeemer of the world he wanted to rescue humanity from an imminent war of destruction and hence he devoted his thoughts to what countermeasures could be developed. But then came the moment when defense turned into attack. Hideo Murai was commissioned by his guru to develop miraculous weapons that were no longer defensive, but would rather accelerate the end of the world.

The sect now focused on the physical theories and experiments of the famous Serbo-Croatian inventor, Nikola Tesla (1846-1943), who had undertaken extensive research into the enormous electromagnetic (EM) energy fields that are said to span the globe. Tesla believed that influence could be gained over these and that earthquakes could thus be triggered or the weather changed. He is supposed to have designed appropriate machines and conducted successful experiments. In the course of his investigations he reached the conclusion that it would be possible to split the world into two halves like an apple with an “EM experiment”. This tempting apocalyptic conception motivated the young scientists at AUM to write to the Tesla Society in New York and to visit the Tesla Museum in Belgrade so as to be able to examine his notes.

In March 1994 Hideo Murai went to Australia with several assistants and carried out electromagnetic (EM) experiments on a sheep station bought by the sect. He is supposed to have built an all round machine, which could both evoke earthquakes and act as a shield against nuclear warheads. This apparatus proved to be the ideal weapon of mass destruction for the “final war” (Archipelago, I). There are speculations that the Japanese earthquake in Kobe (in 1995) had an artificial origin and was staged by the technicians of the AUM sect. This may well sound just too fantastic, but on this occasion one of Asahara’s prophesies, which were otherwise very rarely fulfilled, came true. Nine days before the big earthquake which shook the Hanshin region, on January 8, 1995 the guru announced on a radio program that “Japan will be attacked by an earthquake in 1995. The most likely place is Kobe” (Archipelago, II, HPI 004). After the event AUM announced that the infrastructure of the province of Kobe with its skyscrapers and major bridges had been “the best place for simulating an earthquake-weapon attack against a big city such as Tokyo. Kobe was the appropriate guinea pig” (Archipelago, II, HPI 004).

But at the foot of the holy Mount Fuji conventional weapons were also being mass produced. Members of the sect there were producing Russian automatic rifles (the AK-47) in factories disguised as spiritual centers. Sources purchased a military helicopter in Russia that was then dismantled and shipped to Japan piece by piece.

But, as should be self-evident, the tantra master Asahara saw the explosive force of his own mind as the most dangerous weapon of all. “In Tantrayana vows,” we hear from the man himself, “ there is one that prohibits attainers from destroying villages and towns. This means that the power to destroy a town or village is obtained through Tantrayana and Vajrayana practice” (Archipelago, I, HPI 003). In accordance with the tantric logic of inversion that we have described in detail, the guru believed he was thoroughly justified in breaking this vow.

Fundamentally, Asahara’s factories corresponded conceptually to the alchemical laboratories of the 17th and 18th centuries in Europe, although they were incomparably more technical. In both cases scientists did not just experiment with chemical substances, rather they combined their findings with religious concepts and symbols. Let us recall how the couple, Nicholas and Helena Ivanovna Roerich, described the temple structures of Shambhala as “laboratories” and glorified the monastic priests of the wonderland as “adepts of a sacred alchemy”.

Asahara also gave his chemical factory holy names and called it the “Clear Stream Temple” or “Supreme Science” (Kaplan and Marshall, 1996, p. 87). Several altars were to be found in the three-story building in which the poison gases were created. Shortly after entering one reached a mezzanine and came face to face with a golden figure of the destroyer god Rudra Shiva. To the left of this stood a small devotional shrine which according to Asahara housed some of the bones of the historical Buddha. He had brought them back with him from Sri Lanka to Japan. The room in which a wide variety of tinctures for the production of poisonous gases were stored was referred to as the “Room of Genesis”. Things were more matter of fact on the ground floor, there were tanks, extruders, reactors, ducting systems, circulating pumps. The main hall was called Satian 7, which meant “Truth 7″. But it also had a nickname. The young scientists referred to it simply as “the magician”. In the last days before the fateful attack on the underground a gigantic statue of Buddha was erected there.

The Song of Sarin

Since it is not difficult to manufacture and the ingredients were easy for AUM to obtain, research and production were concentrated upon a highly effective nerve gas by the name of Sarin. This poison had been developed by the German national socialists in the Second World War. Asahara’s relation to the deadly substance proved to be very multi-layered. It followed a fiendish three-stage cycle. At first there was constant talk of how the sect itself was the victim of poison gas attacks. “Wherever I go,” the Guru announced, “I have been sprayed from helicopters or planes. The hour of my death has been foretold. The gas phenomenon has already happened. Next time it might be an atomic bomb” (Kaplan and Marshall, 1996, p. 125). As a consequence of this paranoia it was decided to hit back with the same weapon. In the third phase the poison became independent and developed into a quasi-divine substance. It was given half-ironic names like “Magic, Witch, and Sally” (Kaplan and Marshall, 1996, p. 121) and sung about in the following hymn:

It came from Nazi Germany, a dangerous little chemical weapon,

Sarin! Sarin!

If you inhale the mysterious vapor, you will fall with bloody vomit

from your mouth,

Sarin! Sarin! Sarin — the chemical weapon.

Song of Sarin, the brave.

In the peaceful night of Matsumoto City

People can be killed, even with our own hands,

Everywhere there are dead bodies,

There! Inhale Sarin, Sarin,

Prepare Sarin! Prepare Sarin! Immediately poisonous gas weapons

will fill the place.

Spray! Spray! Sarin, the brave Sarin

(Kaplan and Marshall, 1996, pp. 212-213)

The original plan was to spray the poison gas over the parliament and government buildings with a helicopter so as to paralyze the Japanese apparatus of state. The attack on the underground system was therefore regarded as only a preparatory exercise.

Interestingly, 60 years before the events in Tokyo the Russian whom we have already portrayed in detail, Nicholas Roerich, had linked the Shambhala myth to poison gases. He was convinced that the wonderland was protected from invaders by a gaseous substance that he called “sur”. Here is his story, told to him on his travels through Central Asia in search of Shambhala by a Buddhist monk: “A lama, leader of a caravan, covers his mouth and nose with a scarf. He is asked why, since it is not cold. He reports: ‘Caution is needed now. We are approaching the forbidden zone of Shambhala. We shall soon notice ‘sur’, the poisonous gas that protects the border of Shambhala. Konchok, our Tibetan, rides up to us and says in a subdued voice: ‘Not far from here, as the Dalai Lama was traveling to Mongolia, all the people and animals in the caravan began to tremble and the Dalai Lama explained that they should not be alarmed since they had entered the forbidden zone of Shambhala and the vibrations of the air were strange to them” (Schule der Lebensweisheit, 1990, p. 73). A plume of toxic gas is also supposed to have streamed out of one of the famous Indian crematoria, the meeting place of many Maha Siddhas. It was assimilated by the submarine fire of the doomsday mare (Kalagni) also mentioned in the Kalachakra Tantra (White, 1996, p. 234).

 Since Auschwitz , the terror of gas is also associated with the fate of the Jews and it is not surprising that Asahara as an admirer of Hitler integrated an aggressive anti-Semitism into his system. In a special issue of the AUM journal, Vajrayana Sacca, entitled “Manual of Fear”, war is declared on the Jewish people: “On behalf of the world’s 5.5 billion people, Vajrayana Sacca hereby declares war on the ‘world shadow government’ that murders untold numbers of people and, while hiding behind sonorous phrases and high-sounding principles, plans to brainwash and control the rest. Japanese awake! The hidden enemy’s plot has long since torn our lives to shreds” (Brackett, 1996, pp. .107-108).

The international contacts

AUM Shinrikyo was not a purely Japanese phenomenon but rather an international one that spread explosively through several countries, principally Russia. The starving nation, hungry for any spiritual message after so many years of communist dictatorship, became a paradise on earth for the guru from the Far East. In 1992 he stood in front of St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow with 300 of his followers, smiling and giving the victory salute. The pose had its effect. Within just a few months AUM was experiencing an unbroken rise in popularity across all of Russia. At its peak the number of members exceeded 30,000. Asahara enjoyed a surprisingly broad public recognition. He held a sermon on “Helping The World to Happiness with the Truth” before a packed crowd at the University of Moscow. He was introduced to the nascent capitalist power elite as “Japan’s representative Buddhist leader (Kaplan and Marshall, 1996, p. 70).

 The guru even gained influence over leading Russian politicians. He maintained an especially warm relationship with the influential chairman of the Russian Security Council, Oleg Ivanovich Lobov, at this stage one of Boris Yeltsin’s close friends. Lobov is said to have done not a little to assist the spread of the sect. Asahara also knew how to cultivate contacts with well-known scientists. Things were similarly successful on the propaganda front: in 1992, the government station Radio Moscow broadcast his program “The Absolute Truth of Holy Heaven” twice a day.

 Of course, Asahara was not tightfisted when it came to donations, a gesture which at that time in Russia opened all doors. But that doesn’t explain the large influx of enthusiasts who received nothing other than the pretty words of the “last messiah”. One gains the impression that here an heir of Agvan Dorjiev’s Shambhala vision- where the hidden kingdom was to be sought in Russia — was at work.

 AUM Shinrikyo was the first religious sect from a highly industrialized country which with deliberate terror tactics turned on humanist society as such. It came from a religious milieu which espoused like no other the principle of nonviolence — that of Buddhism. Until then, people had known only occult groups like the 900 followers of Jim Jones in Jonestown, or the Sun Temple in Switzerland and Canada or the Branch Davidians from Waco, who had exterminated themselves but not uninvolved bystanders. Because of this new quality of religious violence, the events in Tokyo caused much dismay all around the world.

 One might have thought that this would provoke global research into and discussion of the causes of and background to the Asahara phenomenon. If so one would have been forced to recognize the major influence Vajrayana had had upon the system of the doomsday guru. One would also have discovered the close connection between the Shambhala myth and the Kalachakra Tantra. Although such links are overt, since Asahara refers to them explicitly in his writings, both the Western and the Eastern public have chosen to act blind and passively await the next catastrophe. In the press of the world the event has already been forgotten repressed. In Japan too, nobody wants to look behind the scenes, although Asahara’s trial is currently in progress: “In general this contradiction between religion and violence is resolved here by simply saying that AUM is not a religion at all” writes Martin Repp, and continues, “One cannot make it so easy for oneself, then AUM Shinrikyo is in its own understanding and in its practice [a] religion and has an essentially Buddhist creed” (Repp, 1996b, p. 190).

The two different brothers

In the light of our study one could rightly say that the AUM sect was a consistent and true to the letter pupil of the tantric teachings. The occult magic world view, kundalini yoga, sexual magic, the linkage of power and seed retention, the grasping for the Siddhis, the invocation of the gods, the hastening of the end of the universe, the glorification of destruction, the great fascination with fantastic machines of destruction, the military obsessions, the idea of redemption, hope for a paradise, the claim to world domination, the Shambhala myth — all of these leitmotifs that were so significant for Asahara are melodies from the repertoire of Tibetan Buddhism, in particular that of the Kalachakra Tantra. For Asahara, the tantric path to enlightenment began in the Himalayas and was supposed to also end there. In 1988 he wrote that “After the United States we will go to Europe. Finally we will establish a center in the Himalayas, the origin of Buddhism and yoga. At this point my mission will be at an end” (quoted by Repp, 1997, p. 27).

 The story of Asahara demonstrates clearly that Vajrayana and the Shambhala myth contain an extremely demonic potential that can be activated at any moment. For the Asian side, especially for the Mongolians (as we have seen), the aggressive warrior ethos nascent in the idea of Shambhala has never been questioned and still continues to exist today in the wishful thinking of many. There is a definite danger — as we shall show in the next chapter — that it could develop into a pan-Asian vision of fascist-like character.

Things are different with Tibetan Buddhism in the West: there the lamas play only the pacifist card with much success. It is almost the highest trump with which His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama wins the hearts of the people. He is thus revered all over the planet as the “greatest prince of peace of our time”.

What is the Kundun’s position on Shoko Asahara now? The Dalai Lama needs the support of religious groups in Japan since the majority of Buddhist schools in the country are friendly to China and foster frequent changes with Chinese monasteries. It is said of the very influential Soka Gakkai sect that they are in constant contact with the Chinese leadership. The Agon Shun sect (to which Asahara originally belonged) which was formerly friendly to the Dalai Lama has also switched loyalties and is now oriented towards Beijing (Repp 1997, p. 95). Additionally, Asahara had transferred large sums of money to the Tibetans in exile — official sources put the total at US $1.7 million. All of these are factors in the political calculations which might help explain the contact between the Dalai Lama and the Japanese guru. If, however, we regard the meeting (with Asahara) from a tantric point of view, we are forced to conclude that at one of their meetings the Dalai Lama, as the supreme master of the Time Tantra, initiated the doomsday guru directly into the secrets of his “political mysticism” (the Shambhala myth). The reports of people who have because of his magical aura experienced an audience with the Kundun as a kind of initiation are by now legion. Indeed,  how could it be otherwise in the light of an “omnipotent” and “omniscient deity” in the figure of a “simple Tibetan monk”. Hence, in interpreting the encounter between the two gurus in tantric terms, we have to assume it was an occult relation between a “god” (the Dalai Lama) and a “demon” (Asahara).

Now, in what does the relationship between these two unequal brothers consist? From a symbolic point of view the two share the duties laid out in the tantric world view: the one plays the compassionate Bodhisattva (the Dalai Lama), the other the wrathful Heruka (Asahara); the one the “mild” Avalokiteshvara who “looks down from above” (the Dalai Lama), the other the god of death and prince of hell, Yama (Asahara). The anthropologist and psychoanalyst, Robert A. Paul, has been able to demonstrate with convincing arguments how profoundly this two-facedness of the “good” and the “evil” Buddha has shaped Tibetan culture. The two Buddha beings (the light and the dark) are considered to be the counterposed forms of appearance of the one and the same divine substance which has both a light and a shadowy side. We may recall that Palgyi Dorje wore a white/black coat when he carried out the ritual murder of King Langdarma.

On this basis then, is Asahara the outwardly projected shadow of the Dalai Lama? His two most important predecessors also had such “shadow brothers” in whom cruelty and criminality were concentrated. Under the Fifth Dalai Lama it was the Mongol, Gushri Khan. This counterpart transformed Tibet into a “sea of boiling blood”. The thirteenth hierarch was accompanied by the bloodthirsty Kalmyk “Vengeful Lama”, Dambijantsan. Is it really only a coincidence that the Fourteenth Dalai Lama appeared on the world stage together with the Japanese doomsday guru, Shoko Asahara?


[1] The names of the other members of the shadow cabinet aside from Shoko Asahara were Maha Kheema, Maitreya, Maha Angulimala, Milarepa, Sakula, Kisa Gotami, Punna.mantaniputta Saitama 3rd, Machig Lapdrön, Manjushrimitra, Mahakasappa, Kankha-Revata, Marpa, Naropa, Uruvela-kasappa, Siha, Vangisha, Sukka, Jivaka, Ajita, Tissa, Dharmavajiri, Vajiratissa, Bhaddakapilani, Sanjaya (Bracket, 1996, p. 80).

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101 Responses

  1. Snow white kingdom. What can we compare you to? Good night ladies, good night. Joanne is the relief chef. Through the looking glass. Do you do literature? Which is your favourite classical music?


  2. By pre-industrial standards, the film does show Tibet to be one of the most advanced forms of such a society.

    One can also tell from the filmmaker’s reactions that they did not encounter anything which shocked or repulsed them in the way that some commentators are suggesting.


  3. Sie mussen Deutsch learnen


  4. The film makes it clear that they travelled through British India, which film are you watching?


  5. for those who want to cut through this endless ‘obfuscation’ just see the film.


  6. I said that 30% were ordinary monastics, ( there is no end to not reading things clearly, when you are construing what you hope are inconsistencies, The high lamas and their aristocratic families and the government officials were who owned 95% of the wealth, and issued debt notes, inherited generation after generation, up to 24%,interest, taxes for every life event, and the corvee, obligation labor of a feudal system. The average life expectancy was 35 years, old, and the infant mortality was excessive. No schools, no hospitals, not even use of the ‘wheel’ to make their labor easier, it was forbidden as it would make marks on their sacred land, only for the prayer wheel to recite their spirit warding off mantras. Endlessly. That was what their ‘practice’ of the dharma was.


  7. The Tibetan army was trained by the Japanese.

    The ruler at that time was the regent Reting Rinpoche.

    The Germans were allowed to travel through British India – therefore they had not yet declared war.


  8. Correction, this is the time of the 14th’s regency, the 13th had died, but had always wanted a standing army for Tibet, and he trained his Tibetans in British India, to come back to create a ‘standing army.” There is no ‘pretense’ with the Germans that they are a ‘peaceful nation’. The Dalai Lama really laid it on thick , after being given the “Nobel Peace Prize” for political reasons, which is what the prize has devolved to in the last decades. . .


  9. A third of the population were the “ruling class” and yet you cite the figure in modern societies to be 0.01%.
    It seems clear which is more egalitarian.


  10. Schaffer and his mates have documented life in Tibet under the Dalai Lamas rule, it has a Leni Riefenstahl quality , the Germans were great documentarians during Hitle’s own world conquering era, But all through out , the harsh life of the Tibetans , under the Dalais rules is woven throughout the film, and cannot be denied… the begging nomads, the dire poverty, the cruel treatment of the prisoners, the edge of existence of the ordinary people in Tibet and particularly under the Kunduns poltical Tibet. At the time of this expedition, all government officials were overturned, and it was a complete theocracy run by the monasteries. One Third of the population, according to the film was a monastics. , A interesting part is of “the Khampas” who were kept outside the Losar celebrations every year, in a sort of tent city, for having accumulated the bad karma of theft, rape and manslaughter, and came on pilgrimage to atone for their ‘sins”. This film documents the poverty, the harsh subsistence life , and the Palatial wealth of the Dalai Lamas. Since this is the time of the 13th, a standing army, trained in colonial Britain is also in the film, a gun wielding military, and marching band. This was no peaceful realm..

    , All throughout the film one can see that the Tibetans lived under total subjugation to these lamas, because of fear , superstition, and the occult, similar to what they are doing and have done with western lamaists now , who are afraid to say a negative word against these incarnate lamas. The Tibets natural superstitions were heightened , in a a people that already had an ‘animism religion” and a fear of nature , that had to be subdued. Gods , demons, all the wrathful rituals that the lamas used to keep their own people’ subdued’ is noted and documented in the film.

    I suggest anyone that wants to see “another picture of Tibet than Shangri Lai (Start at about 47:00 ) but if you want to see the cinematography and documentation of the animal life and the first part of their journey into the forbidden city, this is also an amazing look at the landscape.

    This is the film that the clip was taken from, the original Schaffer film, that T.P. has imputed as being an untruth. A picture is worth a thousand words of these Lamas and their fantasy Shangri-lai, stories, with which they have fooled the west.



    You can also find free pdf’s of “black sun” and “invisible eagle” which are referenced on those pages.



    This for those who have the background gives the other point of view


  13. Ha ha ha ;-) tells us who contacted you!


  14. “The expedition was also sent to find traces of the orgins of the “Aryan” race in Tibet which was where Himmler thought evidence of could be found.”

    Himmler also believed in a hollow earth from which UFO’s originated and disguised himself as a gestapo officer in an attempt to evade capture.

    He doesn’t seem to have a great track record in squaring his ideas with “reality” – so, did he find what he was looking for in Tibet?


  15. (who holds a PhD)
    Harvard or Oxford. Just answer the question and stop name dropping


  16. You may have noticed that your modus operandi is to say the Trimondes are not respected, quote someone in Harvard or Oxford and then leave a long link to an article.
    Sorry mate this is not a respectful way to dialogue. If someone asks you a question please answer it and no more and no less.


  17. In 1938 Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler sponsored an expedition to Tibet lead by several Nazi SS scientists to study the regions flora and fauna, and to take scientific measurements of the Earths magnetic fields. The expedition was also sent to find traces of the orgins of the “Aryan” race in Tibet which was where Himmler thought evidence of could be found. This film is a Nazi era documentary of that expedition.

    Credited cast:
    Bruno Beger
    H.A. Lettow (Gestaltung)
    Horst Preußker (Narrator)
    Ernst Schäfer



    Creative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed)

    Source videos none

    Here is the full documentary in German and you can find the English text of the full video by clicking on Transcript to the right of Add to.


  18. tenpel, on July 29, 2013 at 9:01 pm said: “So what values are so different?”

    For me, the Buddhist geeks article highlights exactly why the speculative metaphysics on which Western liberal humanism is based is utterly undermined by thoroughly rational Buddhist philosophy.
    for example,

    “Tart argues that… science today has become corrupted by the predominant materialistic ideology”

    “Essential science, he says, has devolved into “scientism, a materialistic and arrogantly expressed philosophy of life that pretends to be the same as essential science but isn’t.” In this atmosphere of dogmatic scientism, says Tart, “genuine skepticism, an honest search for better truths, turns into pseudoskepticism, or debunking.” It is not difficult to see how this ethos frequently defines the approach of the new rationalists.”

    “From a certain point of view, Batchelor’s teachings are a skillful means to address a particular psychographic segment of Buddhist practitioners: those grounded in Western, rationalist philosophy and empirical science, whose natural inclination is towards a materialist explanation of phenomena.”

    He uses Batchelor’s name here, but the argument found in many of the essay cited by Chris include the Dalai Lama in the use of this expedient method.


  19. »I don’t want to get too caght up in theory, you said yourself Tenpel, that, “there is a huge difference when he teaches in the West or if he teaches monks and nuns”

    What I am saying is that some people perceive this to be a kind of deception, or double-talk.

    The claim is often made that, to Western audiences the Dalai Lama talks about Western Liberal values, yet anyone who has studied Tibetan Buddhism knows that Western Liberal values are not so easily compatible with Buddhism in any of it’s forms.

    This is what gives rise to speculation that there is some deceit involved.«

    I think its a matter of interpretation and also belief and own views. Is an English man using French language in France deceptive when he things that using French language can serve as a bridge to have a better communication? Is a teacher in the the primary school deceptive when he doesn’t teach higher mathematics to the kids?

    What Western values are not compatible with Buddhism? The Vinaya (rules for monks and nuns) is deeply democratic in nature. Even rebirth is compatible at least from the point of view how many believe in it – I just read a number of 30%. I have to check if this number was only for Germans or Europeans.) The value of through investigation an unbiased approach when doing research is also shared with Buddhism. In the past compassion and love were not shared too much (especially thanks to the “homo economicus” but the research nowadays approves the values of altruism. I just read some articles about this, even in economics. So what values are so different? Ethics are also shared. though killing animals is general accepted in the Western world its not accepted by every one … so what “Liberal values are not so easily compatible with Buddhism in any of it’s forms”? Maybe homosexually? This is true. Indian-Tibetan Buddhism (based on Vasubhandu and Asanga) have stressed points which you cannot find in the Pali tradition. However, neither the Dalai Lama nor Buddhists impose their moral values onto others, if asked they give their opinion. For details about this topic see this article:


  20. The video excerpt is sensationalist because it leaves out the information that Schäfer expedition was a scientific expedition at the time of where the Nazis ruled. So the research team had to compromise. These were five researchers, only one of them (Bruno Beger) was a committed Nazi. Schäfer did already a research with a American and wanted to conduct his own at that time were accidentally the Nazis came to power.

    For the Tibetans at that time they applied as a research team and not as Nazis to visit their country. The suggestions of the movie that the Tibetans were fond of the Nazis is ill-natured because for them these were just German men who did research in their country. They were not different to British people in Tibet at that time. At the time in 1937/38 neither Tibetans nor the world new about the cruelty of the Nazis. 1936 the whole world attended the Nazi Olympic games (but not the Tibetans). Then is the whole world fond of the Nazis because they attended their olympic games?

    The documentary is also misleading when using this specific image with the nazi sign. The Germans didn’t wear uniforms and from 10.000 of images the research team made there only a handful with a nazi sign.

    Although the “German Tibet Expedition” was planned as a scientific mission (see The Times, 31st July, 1939, issue 48371, page 15: “The expedition is bringing back valuable zoological and botanical collections”), it was caught up in the politics of the time. Indeed it was Himmler and not Schaefer, who was attached to a strange mixture of mystical and esoteric illusions about “Aryan overlords in the Himalayas”, and Himmler had a real interest in Tibet. He gave his support to the expedition although he wanted to impose his strange ideas on its objectives. Schaefer’s vehement refusal to accept Himmler’s plans led, eventually, to the expedition not being sponsored by Himmler’s SS or its organisations “because it would lie outside the scope of his work” [Bundesarchiv Berlin, NS 21/682, 23rd January 1938]. Schaefer continued to accept political support, however, and had to compromise because he was dependent upon Himmler’ support to obtain passports and visas, via London, for the then British India. The primary aim of this expedition was an holistic creation of a complete biological record of Tibet alongside a synthesis of inter-relating natural sciences with regard to geography, cartography, geology, earth magnetics, climate, plants, animals and mankind (for which one can refer to Schaefer’s foreword in his book of 1943, pages 7 to 16 as well as to full details in German and British archives).*

    see Dr. Roger Croston in “Is the Space Buddha a Counterfeit?”.

    I summed up most of the issues related to this vast topic including links in this post:


  21. Really Tenpel, and you are privy to the Bursar lineage and their account keeping in the Kunduns ‘counting house?” You are sui generis. You don’t know what he does with his money , because he , like all the Lamas ,are not accountable to their students, no one would dare ask, so know one knows what is in those coffers or how they are really dispersed. He can tell you anything. And of course, you would ‘believe it ‘ on faith.


  22. I don’t want to get too caght up in theory, you said yourself Tenpel, that, “there is a huge difference when he teaches in the West or if he teaches monks and nuns”

    What I am saying is that some people perceive this to be a kind of deception, or double-talk.

    The claim is often made that, to Western audiences the Dalai Lama talks about Western Liberal values, yet anyone who has studied Tibetan Buddhism knows that Western Liberal values are not so easily compatible with Buddhism in any of it’s forms.

    This is what gives rise to speculation that there is some deceit involved.


  23. Its a bit fun. Maybe I get addicted to it. Today I have quite a lot of time … and I am in a danger to be carried away by these discussions ;-)

    I mainly argued briefly about the validity of Trimondis as a source of information, some of their claims and their conspiracy theory. I briefly touched some points and gave some other sources which are accepted reliable sources in the academic sphere (unlike Trimondis). I lack time to go into details.

    Your own phrasing of “buddhocracy” ” the cruelest dictatorships in the history of the world” indicate for me how deeply you believe those sources. I assume you absorbed much of this stuff. I did this too in the past.

    So what can I do? Nothing. Actual some one wrote me an email and asked me to have a look on this thread. When I saw it I just felt sad what way Dialogue Ireland has chosen, and felt I should add at least some thoughts. That’s almost all.

    Maybe someone in the future has some benefits from my comments. If not it was a waste of time and I am a great fool. Ha ha ha ;-)


  24. What facts?


  25. So explain the film T.P. and what you mean by implying there are ‘untruths’ in the film, but not saying how so. Rigorous scholarship that you say you are a ‘stickler’ for requires more than just dismissing the 1938 Tibet film clip above, ‘out of hand.”


  26. The level of personal attack here, displayed by DI and Chris, is repugnant and deeply offensive. This clearly reflects DI’s absence of credibility. Sarcasm and dispersions and sneering are all ploys of those who cannot stand tall and confident beside the facts alone.


  27. yes, there is a big difference between the secular Buddhism Stephen Batchelor is introducing and what traditional Buddhists and traditional Tibetan presentation of Buddhism think about it.

    For his reduced version of Buddhism (where he strikes out all things he doubts) Batchelor is not only different from traditional Tibetan presentation of Buddhism but he is also seen as highly controversial for Theravada Buddhists.

    Just 2 hours ago I prepared the posting of a German article by a known German Theravada Buddhist (who holds a PhD) who strongly opposes Batchelor. In Germany as well as in other countries Bacthelor’s views are highly contented. I wonder what is “humanist” in his presentation?

    What are “these lunatic theories”, and what do you mean with “It also seems that studies of the Dalai Lama suggest that he seems to have one foot in either camp.”?

    I assume Dennis Hunter is not a follower of Indo-Tibetan Buddhism. His arguments with respect to Batchelor are summed up here: there is an essay by Allen Wallace “Distorted Visions of Buddhism: Agnostic and Atheist” too. (Just to give an idea in case you didn’t stumble over those essays.)


  28. Robert Barnett keeps one foot in either camp, he plays the ‘neutral’ and balanced stance by playing both sides, like the Lamas do.I am sure intellectuals did that in Weimar Germany, We saw how helpful that attitude was for Europe.

    Most of what he writes either pisses off the Tibetans in Exile, or the Chinese. Balance doesn’t mean having one foot in each camp to appear ‘balanced.’


  29. Nice deflection in its gross obviousness, you can’t argue with the film. So you put it back on me to do the work, why should I, am not arguing with it. You are.


  30. tenpel, on July 29, 2013 at 7:46 pm said: “I wonder on what basis one could observe “a shift in terms of serving to unite the Tibetans in exile and garnering support for Tibetan Buddhism in the West.”? Can you explain the arguments for this idea?”

    I was referring to the article you posted, and also that by Lydia Aran reproduced here,

    It does seem to me that there is a gap between the humanist presentation (eg, Stephen Batchelor’s) and traditional Tibetan presentation of Buddhism, and this gap is precisely what opens the door to these lunatic theories.
    It also seems that studies of the Dalai Lama suggest that he seems to have one foot in either camp.


  31. Why should I do the work you have to do?

    You can answer your own question if you use reliable sources and check the information provided there with the content of the (dubious) sources you believe in so far. I don’t want to convince you. I just added two reliable sources.


  32. you can see it that way. the question is if it is that way. one could see the dalai lama also from the pov what his ethics are: to help others.

    he says himself, that he has three main commitments:

    1. Fostering human values

    2. Promoting inter-religious harmony

    3. The welfare of the Tibetan people*

    He strives for sure for support for Tibet and the Tibetan people, and I think this is also what he should do. However, I doubt that he strives for support for Tibetan Buddhism because 1) different times and very clearly he warned about religious conversion and recommended that people should stick to their native religion 2) different times he stressed that in non-Buddhist countries people should not build big and glorious temples as they do in Buddhist countries out of respect for the native religion of the non-Buddhist country 3) though he gives teachings in Buddhism in the West because being asked by Western Tibetan Buddhist adherents he always offers public teachings where he shares common values about living a meaningful life that are not Indo-Tibetan Buddhist teachings.

    I was present at many occasions all over Europe and India, there is a huge difference when he teaches in the West or if he teaches monks and nuns / Buddhist audience in India. I think he does it because he cares about people’s background. His stays and teachings in the West are rather rare and often don’t last longer than 2-3 days.

    I wonder on what basis one could observe “a shift in terms of serving to unite the Tibetans in exile and garnering support for Tibetan Buddhism in the West.”? Can you explain the arguments for this idea?

    If there is any left over of money from the organisation of Buddhist teachings in the West he asks that this is been given for charitable services – often in that very country where he teaches. Every Buddhist teaching event by him usually starts by his request that the older Buddhist schools (Indo-Tibetan Buddhism which spread in Tibet is the youngest school) recite their prayers to honour the Buddha, so the teachings start from recitation of Pali texts by Theravadins, recitation of Chinese texts from Chinese, Vietnamese texts in Vietnamese language etc.

    After all those years since 2002 I attended his public teachings I never had the idea or feeling that he promotes Tibetan Buddhism. What are the exact reasons to claim this?

    * for details see:


  33. Well, you don’t really answer my question, Tenpel, How exactly is this film not accurately depicting life in Tibet in 1938, under the Dalai Lama’s rule? It’s not a doctored film, it seems clearly to be authentic.

    More interested in your answer to this which you have skirted away from and dismissed with innuendo.


  34. tenpel, on July 29, 2013 at 8:30 am said: “Krueger’s post on Psychology Today has been reviewed here:”

    The response does say, “It is the distinct version of Buddhism that the Dalai Lama presents to Western audiences… This spiritual Esperanto has proven far more useful than its namesake, but to what extent are we willing to accept it as the buddhadharma?”

    This point is similar to that made by Lydia Aran, who explains this shift in terms of serving to unite the Tibetans in exile and garnering support for Tibetan Buddhism in the West.

    While I agree that theories of world domination belong in a Hollywood movie, it does appear that the Dalai Lama’s approach may be seen as an advertising ploy to “sell” Buddhism using slightly misleading packaging.

    Tenpel, what is your view on this issue?


  35. Dear Mike, I appreciate your interest in the Stasi / Nazi / East German dictator ship issue. I am interested in these too and I would be happy to meet you and to discuss this.

    But I don’t seek a public discussion about my background or person. I hope you can understand this. My personal site was already a reply to what NKT tried to spread about me in the internet. I put an English Bio and German CV there in order to give some background and leave it to the reader to judge what NKT says about me.

    I am much much interested into the dynamics of Nazi, Stasi, dictatorship, totalitarian systems, and I am an admirer of Jay Lifton and Margareth Thaler Singer. I run also a website about the dynamics of Buddhist cults in Geman language. So we share quite a lot. But please excuse me that I am not much willing to add more about my personal background in the public domain.


  36. With respect to a “Nazi-Tibet” claims all researchers I contacted recommended I. Engelhardt’s research: “Nazis of Tibet: A Twentieth Century Myth” which I linked already above. A top Tibetologist said her works are “authoritative”. I would recommend to read her paper, and then you can check how much truth is in this YouTube video.

    With respect to the claimed cruelty and brutality of the “Tibetan regime” I would recommend. Prof Barnett’s reply to the Chinese claims posted here:

    Note that these are top researchers or frequently quoted experts and that these papers were published by reputable academic publishers. This is not fiction research.


  37. And lets be very clear T.P, again, I am not a Tibetan Lamaist anymore. That has nothing to do with being anti-dharma. I am not anti-dharma , I simply know that the” massive monasticism” used, as it always was , as a geopolitical tool to spread an institutionalized buddhocracy and create multi-million dollar international religious corporations simply mirrors the times we live in and is contributing to the suffering, not helping to alleviate it, no matter whom it harms in the process .

    This is not what the buddha taught,

    This is lamaism, that created one of the cruelest dictatorships in the history of the world.

    Or is this film also possible to argue with: How would all your lamaist ‘scholars’ explain these scenes of the real Tibet under the Dalai Lamas rule? :


  38. Well, i would certainly agree that he is getting more ‘politically powerless” after more of the world experiences his double talk, and ‘non-violent’ violence talk, when people witness with their own eyes, his poor deluded monks and nuns in Tibet setting themselves on fire for his ‘non political’ causes when he ‘moved on to Ecology, and how he has indirectly encouraged it by calling these ‘bodhisattva acts.” There are many ’causes and conditions” besides a few people on here blogging that are causing the whole Tibetan Dalai Lama Propaganda machine, to do massive public relations campaigning, including the usual ‘double talk’ such as ‘rehabilitating’ Sogyal and protecting him, while never actually ever addressing in over two decades his egregious , malignant abuse thus leaving the victims in a state of paralysis, spiritually abused, and physically and sexually abused. .That is what people notice, that is what people see, who aren’t in the cult-milieu of Lamaism. And there is nothing you will be able to do about it, no matter how many blog sites you create, you all just dig deeper holes regarding this matter.

    There is your religious truth and there is the ‘truth of the actual.”


  39. Tenpel I will moving this comment to a new thread which I will create later. I will use that to reply to your points. You will be able to address your own biography there. As you know Germany has a lot of history around Nazism, and also the kind of society under the DDR regime. The tension and the life with the ever present Stasi. I will be interested to understand your evolution as someone who has intimate knowledge of that period
    through my visits to Buchenwald, Dresden, Colditz, Weimar, The Wartburg, Eisenach, Karl Marx Stadt,(Chemnitz.)
    Also being searched at Friedrich Strasse and Franchoische Dóm and Church members working with the Stasi in 1984’5. Also the Stasi HQ in Leipzig and visiting the Churches associated with Bach.


  40. Berzin is a Havard PhD graduate who knows Chinese, Mongolian, Tibetan language etc. This means he has some intelligence, isn’t it? I think you could not even write an introduction to any Buddhist topic with the depths of his knowledge ;-) But you are free to prove and to state where he is wrong. I don’t say that there might not be faults here and there.

    Of course he is a convinced Buddhist as I am too. But your logic is because these guys are Buddhists they are unable to have a distanced view on things. This reduces human beings and their knowledge to pros and cons. You ignore also the process of those who became convinced that the Dalai Lama is not an egomaniac person who strives to rule the world, as the conspiracy adherents believe. Berzin (and I am too) were not admirers of the Dalai Lama right from the beginning. It was a gradual process. In my case I protested against the Dalai Lama and though he wants to trick/deceive the world.

    By the means of this pro and con discrimination you protect yourself from openly re-researching those complex issues. I could in a similar way ignore you, DI, Trimondis because you are “con”. But what we should discuss is the validity of what is claimed and if those things are based on facts and if the string of arguments is based in reality or fantasy.

    Because Victor and Victoria Trimondi – the Victorious Ones over the three worlds – have spun a lot over the years (similar to NKT or Western Shugen Society or Goldner) its quite tiring to go into all those details. That’s why I only picked up some points. To get deeper into it one has to do more research. And sober research needs sober sources and an ability to discriminate reliable sources from non-reliable sources.

    I would not and so far I did not quote Thurman. He is seen also as controversial among researchers though he did a lot of genuine and great academic work. It is clear that he is biased in certain areas. You won’t find any article on my websites of blogs.

    For you fantasy about the Dalai Lama’s supposed dreams “of a global buddhist hegemony”.you don’t have any proof. Its your fantasy, supported by the fantasies of Trimondis. Dream on. The influence of the Dalai Lama is on the religious side (interrreligious dialogue), Buddhism and Science, human values and secular ethics. He is also for many Buddhists a perfect example of the embodiment of Buddha’s (or Mahayana) teachings. However, from the political point of view he is a powerless person with respect to his own land and people, and he doesn’t have any influence in the political sphere that would lead to any serious change in the world politics. So when will he take over the world?


  41. Tenzin Peljor, who also took full ordination with the Dalai Lama writes

    “You might want to argue that Alex Berzin is a student of the Dalai Lama, however this website has been integrated and accepted by Oxford University as a reliable encyclopaedic source,

    Actually T.P. Alex Berzin whom you quote as the “Harvard Graduate” ( he actually got his graduate degrees from harvard, an easier admissions policy, as we know in the States) is more than just a student of the Dalai Lama :

    “His main teacher was Tsenzhab Serkong Rinpoche, the late Master Debate Partner and Assistant Tutor of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He served as his interpreter and secretary for nine years, accompanying him on several world tours. He has also served as occasional Dharma interpreter for His Holiness the Dalai Lama.”

    So not just a ‘student’ of the Dalai Lama, but ‘close in’. He also was the main translator for the Library of Tibetan Works, founded by the Dalai Lama. You leave out so much T.P. for one claiming to offer more ‘objective criticisms.”

    People do have their affiliations to “protect” and loyalties that ‘colors’ their scholarly work. perhaps you should quote Robert Thurman as the next scholar you offer, who has at least ‘called a spade a spade” and has explicitly stated that he sees a Buddho-cracy in the future for the new, improved World Utopia he envisions. In fact he coined the term Buddhocracy, and is the most honest about the Dalai Lama’s dreams of a global buddhist hegemony.


  42. a correction:
    the correct full title by Trimondis is “Hitler, Buddha, Krishna. An unholy alliance from the Third Reich to the present.” ha ha ha ;-)

    this sentence should read: “The person who is taken seriously by some left wing media – especially former East Germany’s Youth Newspaper ‘Junge Welt’ and TAZ (and who is similar deluded in his writing) is Colin Goldner.”

    Goldners arguments were used recently even by a psychology professor (Krueger) (Cobbler stick to your last!) and Krueger’s post on Psychology Today has been reviewed here:


  43. Mike, if you want to discuss about my person I think this is not the right thread here, the thread is about Dalai Lama / Asahara and Trimondis. Though its good to understand the background of a person who makes some arguments the key points should be the arguments with respect to the subject matter. Because my pseudonym “tenpel” is linked to my private site, and this has a cv/bio it is clear that I don’t hide myself but that I am frank about my background. Now if you want to discuss persons instead of the topic of this thread Dalai Lama / Asahara and Trimondis it would be fair you give similar extensive data about you, Chris and Trimondis and we change the subject matter into investigating “Who is behind those claims?” “What drives those persons?”

    I think you know how important it is to discriminate between reputable and unreliable sources of information. If this discrimination is lost the value of information one spreads become unreliable, one’s project is discredited and the earlier good motivation to help others is corrupted or its purpose undermined. DI for sure are not the only ones who fell pray to Trimondis. We had this phenomenon already in Germany – though nowadays not even sensationalist media take them seriously. The person who is takes seriously be left wing media (and who is similar deluded in his writing) is Colin Goldner – another German as Trimondis = Victor of the Three Worlds. He is another object of choice for those who don’t have much knowledge but are suspicious or hostile with respect to Tibetan Buddhism, Tibet, Dalai Lama and religion in general. Not much of his work has been translated into English but he pops up also from time here and there. On my German websites there are some articles reviewing some of their claims. Trimondis (Röttgens) wrote btw also a book »Hitler – Buddha – Krishna«, I think for everybody who has some common sense only from the title one can derive that they cannot be taken very seriously, isn’t it? What do you have to do to create a relation between Hitler and Buddha? You have to fantasize ;-)


  44. Tenzin Peljor
    (Michael Jäckel)
    I was born in East Germany (Gotha, Thuringia)
    I must do more research on your journey.
    Born 1966 in the DDR.
    Your description of your religious formation is very unlike the period.
    Were your parents very active Catholics and not party members?

    Being raised in the Christian tradition I had the wish to become a monk when I was five years old which changed at about ten to twelve years old to become a Catholic priest. I lost this wish mainly due to a lack of inspiration and my own adolescence.

    You state you wished to be a monk then a priest?
    You seemed to be very much outside the type of experience of your contempories?
    Rock music, ecological concerns, Green.
    As the DDR is reaching its conclusion you are interested in communism but reject it?
    All a bit strange?

    I was enthusiastic about the communist ideals but found them unable to accept constructive criticism …

    Are you suggesting you were a party member who fell out with them?

    I was in Altenburg, Thuringia in 1984 and as a result have a Stasi file.
    The Soviet base at Nobitz was close by.
    Then you are a Wireless operator while you are doing your military service from 11/85 and you are still there only 7 months before the Wall comes down 04/88 ?
    11/85–04/88 Richtfunker, Untero!zier auf Zeit
    2 years 5 months in support of the DDR?
    What is going on. Were you forced to do that level of service. Did you ever visit the West before the wall came down?
    A lot of questions Michael?


  45. Tempil that was the quickest second coming in history? Are you feeling under pressure?


  46. “it is a violent prediction of a future holy war between the buddhists and the non buddhists to usher in a world buddha-ocracy.”

    you find a lot material which is by far more reliable, written by a Havard graduate (PhD), who studied this tantra and can read the origin sources here:

    More about the Kalachakra Tantra here:

    You might want to argue that Alex Berzin is a student of the Dalai Lama, however this website has been integrated and accepted by Oxford University as a reliable encyclopaedic source, Trimondis are not been taken seriously by any researcher ;-)

    If you read carefully the statements of the Dalai Lama with respect to China, there is not any hate. Because of this many many Chinese are now students of him or became Tibetan Buddhists and even support him.

    It can be criticized that the Dalai Lama teaches Kalachakra that extensively. He says himself he sees it as a blessing and only 4-6 persons present receive a real empowerment, the others at the best a blessing. He also says he uses this Tantra because many are attracted by it and he wants to share some basic teachings about life / Buddhism with those who come. Jokingly he adds: however; people became more clever, skipping the basic teachings they come only for the empowerment. While Trimdonis and some conspiracy inclined people have the idea he does this to rule the world or to become the “root guru” of every one, the Dalai Lama and those who know him a bit have quite of a different understanding. The Dalai Lama also does not give any commitment with respect to the practice. Nobody is forced or asked to come either.

    I was a bit sad to see what route Dialogue Ireland has taken. I hope DI finds back to common sense and reliable sources of information.


  47. Does the Dalai Lama rule the world? Does he have weapons, soldiers, bombs, any plane or a strong army? Does he have any effective secret service? The TGIE is not even able to protect themselves from Chinese spy attacks or the Chinese take over not to speak out of “ruling the world” and building up a “Buddhcracy”. Please have a look into reality.

    Except taking ideas from here and their their, taking them out of context and spinning strange ideas based on paranoia into that gathered from here and there there is not much of a basis in reality for this type of conspiracy theory. “The Shadow of the Dalai Lama” tells more about the shadows in the mind of those who project a shadow onto him. As the saying goes: what Paul says about Anne says more about Paul than about Anna.

    Its ok if you like conspiracy theories and if you like to ride or to spin on them. You can just continue or you take a break and ask yourself what makes you inclined to believe in conspiracy theories. Conspiracy theories are very tempting for those who don’t understand things that are extremely complex correctly and who are looking for an easy explanation that explains everything, just to get rid of the pain of not being able to understand. Another way to deal with that pain is to not put your energy into spiritualistic conspiracy theory as Trimondis do but to really acquire sober knowledge and understanding which at the end has more benefit than wasting energy with this type of spiritualistic conspiracy theory.

    »Such myths primarily tend to be triggered by groups and organizations that appear impenetrable, and that give rise to the wildest speculations on the grounds of their obscure organizational structure and mysterious rituals and symbols.«

    For those interested:

    I think I have not to add any thing more if you want to believe in this stuff, its your choice.


  48. Atleast you do not share his quick exit? However, you are stuck in a groove you have not moved from this post. You seem unable to research yourself. It is copy and paste. Then asking Chris questions she has answered already. By the way what has Tempil to say about Sogyal? Is he another throne guy?


  49. That was short visit……….!?


  50. I think Tenpel is merely observing that the Trimondis share your trouble with accuracy, Chris.


  51. Andrei Znamenski in “Red Shambhala”, has also shown how the Shambhala myth and the Kalachakra has been used by the radical left as well as the radical right to justify their apocalyptic utopian ideals, and that was the point that I took away from the “Shadow of the Dalai Lama” i.e. , ‘shadow” what is hidden and obscured from general sight that the Trimondis and others are bringing to ‘light” and are saying needs to be exposed, behind the facade. In other worlds rather than it t being about bringing “peace” , it is a violent prediction of a future holy war between the buddhists and the non buddhists to usher in a world buddha-ocracy. . If anything is a ‘conspiracy theory’ it is the ‘doomsday , apocalyptic prophetic, war filled , violent prophecies in the Kalachakra, that someone like Asahara, took away with him, and that others have used and could use in the future to justify’ their insane dreams of a paradisiacal future. Whether it is right wing fascism, or left wing totalitarian paradisiacal futures , the Kalachakra has been used for justifying Bolshevic revolutions, Hitlerian dreams of power and glory and the Third Reich and .New Age dreams of a superior race of humans , such as Blavatsky’s utopian theosophy as well as Asahara’s nightmare visions, to name a few. That is what the Trimondis and others have been trying to expose, getting the west to ‘wake up’ to what this Kalachakra is really all about.

    When one witnesses the behavior of the Dalai Lama on the geopolitical scene, and the havoc he has actually caused, that gives people pause to look more deeply into his ‘ambitions’ for a world buddha-ocracy,Thus claiming the Kalachakra is about final battle of ‘good and evil.” ‘internalized ‘ as has been presented over the decades , no longer rings true.

    He has hardly brought anymore peace to the world with his hate-mongering over China for the sole purpose of his political ambitions.
    Tibet and the Dalais have always been soaked in violence, and warring in Tibet throughout the centuries Extensive western research has documented that this indisputable, and all the ‘damage control’ by the Dalai Lama loyalists cannot refute that, the ‘cat is out of the bag.” .

    The Trimondis , in my reading, are showing why this Kalachakra initiation , given to thousands of naive westerners should be exposed in all its details. Asahara was the warning , he took the Kalachakra as justification for his ‘accelerating’ the apocalyptic war to usher in Shambhala from his readings of the Kalachakra, that was what he was doing with the sarin attacks in Japan. Japan has also been highly susceptible , after world war II, to apocalyptic cults, and have had a number of them ‘spring up’ over the decades. In times of crisis, people and fanatics are more susceptible to ‘prophetic visions of a utopia to replace the present. and we are in another time of crisis, Who else is going to take the Kalachakra also literally?

    That was the purpose of the Trimondi’s research, to expose the dangerous views that fanati and dangerous ‘conspiracy theorists” like Asahara , can take away from the Kalachakra itself.

    They are saying that the whole Kalachakra teachings, its historical context , in both the east and the west, need to be exposed and analysed and not kept hidden and secret anymore.


  52. “No , he just inflames his monks and nuns literally, to burn themselves up over his political machinations by blaming and demonizing China for decades, very peace-loving your Kundun..”

    I am sorry for your limited understanding and perspective. I gave some background of this topic here:

    I think you won’t find it useful because it doesn’t fit in your view. Its ok. I say good bye. No need to continue as long as there is no openness for sober open investigation.

    Wishing you and Mike all the best.


  53. Chris: “You mean question things as long you don’t question the Dalai Lama and lamaism itself. I would say that was a distinct bias to your arguments on this thread, so you didn’t preface them with the fact that you were a Dalai Lama aficionado ,deeply involved in ‘damage control’ for the Kundun.”

    How do you know that I don’t question the Dalai Lama and Tibetan Buddhism? Its a mere assumption / idea of you. In fact I questioned the Dalai Lama and I protested against him. I know quite of all of the criticism and investigated it. However, after a long term research I found out that most of my own and other’s criticism are based rather mainly on projections which are based on a lack of knowledge about cultural, historical, factual, religious and the extremely complex topic of Tibetan Buddhism. Hence, I questioned also myself and my own views, as well as that of others. Then I corrected myself. Which doesn’t mean that the Dalai Lama can not be criticized when there is a proper basis for criticism. However, a lack of knowledge, bias, prejudices, superficial understandings, inability to understand sources and contexts etc. are not a proper basis for fair criticism but for projections and unjust claims.

    What you see in bias in me could be a reflection of your own bias because I oppose your views and judgements. My name is linked with my personal website, how can you say I hid anything with respect to my person? How about the arguments? You miss too that I was a strong detractor of the Dalai Lama for some years but at the point I started to question my own views and what has been said about him. At that time I started to use reliable sources of information like academic publications, I contacted researcher etc and I changed my mind based on things that are according to the facts and not mere projections based on delusions or conspiracy theory.

    So if you say “a Dalai Lama aficionado ,deeply involved in ‘damage control’ for the Kundun.” you try to reduce my background to fit it into your black and white way of thinking which says more about you than me.


  54. Tenpel wrote:

    The Dalai Lama (note this please in many contexts) never speaks bad about others. He criticizes things but he does not criticize persons.

    No , he just inflames his monks and nuns literally, to burn themselves up over his political machinations by blaming and demonizing China for decades, very peace-loving your Kundun..



  55. Tenpel wrote:

    “Being a monk and being ordained by the Dalai Lama doesn’t exclude to have commons sense and being able to question things ;-)

    You mean question things as long you don’t question the Dalai Lama and lamaism itself. I would say that was a distinct bias to your arguments on this thread, so you didn’t preface them with the fact that you were a Dalai Lama aficionado ,deeply involved in ‘damage control’ for the Kundun.


  56. sorry for my spelling and grammatical errors. i am in a hurry. i hope the key points i want to stress are clear enough.


  57. Chris, I am a German Buddhist monk, ordained by the Dalai Lama in 2006 and was a member of a harming religious cult, called New Kadampa Tradition (NKT). I am deeply familiar with this type of conspiracy theory because NKT has already spread and infused these claims when I was a member of them. Over the last 10 years I ready through a lot of research papers, discussed and emailed with researchers to get a better understanding of these topics. Being a monk and being ordained by the Dalai Lama doesn’t exclude to have commons sense and being able to question things ;-)


  58. When I refer to Trimondi as an unreliable source then I mainly refer to their misrepresentation of the Kalachakra Tantra, an untrue construction of a Nazi-Tibet Connection and their gathering of information from dubious / unreliable sources and constructing new myths out of it. Key point is for them that if it fits their conspiracy theory they will use a source.

    With respect to the passage you quoted. STERN has proved different times to be unreliable, giving wrong information. giving a misrepresentation that leaves out facts, adding non existing “facts”, taking things out of context, stating things that are plain wrong and offering this desinformation cocktail as an “investigative article”. For instance Autor Tilman Müller claimed already in a STERN article (28. Mai 1997) that the Schäfer Expedition was of 30 man and they would have had a great amount of weapons which is just totally untrue (see Engelhardt 2008: 86). Also the 2009 STERN article »Die zwei Gesichter des Dalai Lama – Der sanfte Tibeter und sein undemokratisches Regime«. which Trimondis also highly applauded has this pattern.

    Now it could be or maybe it was not – I cannot say this – that according to STERN

    “But Asahara was not a complete nobody for the god-king. According to the German magazine, Stern, they had met five times since 1987 (Stern 36/95, p. 126).”

    Let’s say its true. Why are they using the term “god-king”, a Western misrepresentation that is objected by researchers and of which the Dalai Lama said already in 1961 when he was confronted with this term that he finds this a strange view and term. He said, I am a human being and a follower of the Buddha. The usage of god-king is already dubious because it establishes Westen projection on the basis of what other projections can be built up. Moreover, Asahara was at that time a yoga teacher who met many people different times including German politicans, so what is so wrong here? He was no murderer nor had he any text or broshure published where he says he wants to kill others.

    This is just a fact.

    Now, what Trimondis do the construe from unspectacular events spectacular stories. The Dalai Lama (note this please in many contexts) never speaks bad about others. He criticizes things but he does not criticize persons. By today he has never ever said something bad about his main opponent Kelsang Gyatso or New Kadampa Tradiion, when the world hated Bush, he said, “I love him”. One needs to understand this as a religious practice to either say not bad things about others or at least say something positive when the world says only negative things. (He did this also with the Mulsims but cirtisized the death penalty of Saddam Hussein.) Trimondis ignore this and write “Amazingly, weeks after the first poison gas attack, His Holiness still called the guru a “friend, although not necessarily a perfect one” (Stern 36/95, p. 126).”

    By this they want to construe that the Dalai Lama would share the world view and ideas of Asahara, and would be similar minded. This is possible because the leave out an important issue in this context: the religious practice of the Dalai Lama they either don’t understand or they deliberately ignore.

    Now, that people donate money to the office of the Dalai Lama (which by the way he doesn’t touch, there is a person who takes care of this and administrates the money which is very often spend for Tibet or social, iresearch purposes etc.) is not uncommon. At that time Asahara was not known to be a murder or strange person. The statement “encouraged public awareness through religious and social activities” is a polite political phrasing which is common in the Tibetan political cosmos. If Tibetans are really fond of something they don’t use such a neutral diplomatic statement. (BTW the Focus article is unlike STERN ok. But the focus states also – and I think Trimdondis ignore that

    The Dalai Lama is likely to remember for a long time to the embarrassment that has given him his friend Asahara. In the closest vicinity of the Tibetan god-king they feel uncomfortable accordingly. For there you know: The Dalai Lama is a wonderful person, an uncomplicated personality who has an open ear for everyone – sometimes just for the wrong people.

    I have to continue with other activities but if you are interested in exploring this a bit deeper I would take time to do that. This morning I have a limited time frame and cannot write more than this.


  59. Tenpel’s website: He is a Tibetan Lamaist monk:


  60. We have plenty of pictures of people being photographed with celebrities but that one about Rosanne Carter is a bit weak. The evidence this post is not just about photos, there is a lot more to it. Please improve your analogies and evidence.


  61. You have not addressed the article just referenced other sources. Could you actually respond to the article in its own right which I can see has answered your points.

    For example:
    The Dalai Lama and Shoko Asahara

    But Asahara was not a complete nobody for the god-king. According to the German magazine, Stern, they had met five times since 1987 (Stern 36/95, p. 126). Amazingly, weeks after the first poison gas attack, His Holiness still called the guru a “friend, although not necessarily a perfect one” (Stern 36/95, p. 126). Then a document from 1989 came to light in which the Kundun thanked the AUM sect for donations and confirmed that they “encouraged public awareness through religious and social activities” (Focus 38/95, p. 114). On January 21, 1989 Asahara had sent the sum of $100,000 to Dharamsala for the assistance of Tibetan refugees. As a kind of service in return he received an official note from the Council for religious and cultural affairs of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in which one can read: “To the best of our knowledge, AUM attempts to promote public well-being through various religious and social activities, for example through instruction in Buddhist doctrines and yoga” (Focus 38/95, p. 116–117).


  62. Mike, it doesn’t help to try to escape into polemics. It is not me who relies on dubious sources but you. Understanding should be based on proper and reliable sources. Who is not able to discriminate reliable from dubious sources discredits himself. I have nothing to add. I think you chose the wrong route. I hope sooner or later you wake up. What I wrote might be enough as a basis to do sober research and to question Trimondis as a source. I lack time to go into detail but for sure I have done my work with respect to them. So I can rest.


  63. Hopefully your paper does a better job than your comments which have not addressed the “evidence,” produced by the Trimondis?
    Also people in Germany do not take Tempel seriously? Which people try to play soccer please do not kick shins.


  64. Thank you, Tenpel.


  65. Guys, I think you are going crazy or are seriously misled by dubious sources.

    Trimondis are not taken seriously by and researcher, Tibetologist or Indologist because they suffer from the conspiracy theory syndrome. They are blinded by extreme dogmatic views and a thorough lack of understanding regarding complex matters of Tibetan Buddhism.

    There is not ANY researcher or person with knowledge who takes them seriously.

    To give you just some examples:
    – Prof. Jens Schlieter from the University in Bern wrote a paper »Who is afraid of the Dalai Lama? Victor and Victoria Trimondi’s “The Shadow of the Dalai Lama” (1999) as a spiritualistic conspiracy theory«.
    – Dodin / Räther (two Tibetologists) state in the book »Imagining Tibet – Perceptions, Projections, and Fantasies« which has a number of critical papers with respect to Tibet / Tibetan Buddhism about Trimondis »There are, however, a few dissenting voices who contest the dominance of the positive image of Tibet and, instead, continue to spread the old cliches of the “feudal-hell syndrome” via the internet and some scattered publications. But the heavily dogmatic character of these circles, their marginality and the poor quality of their arguments make them negligible (see for instance: Ditfurth and Goldner, 1996, Ditfurth, 1997, Goldner, 1999, and Trimondi, 1999).«
    – You find more in Prof. Martin Brauen “Dreamworld Tibet” and in I. Engelhardt’s “Nazis of Tibet: A Twentieth Century Myth”

    Shoko Ashara was a man who sought to meet many powerful figures, among them also German politicians, Asian politicians, spiritual leaders etc. and met many of them. He abused those meetings by wrongly claiming that they approved his expertise in order to increase his power. He was not a known murderer or terrorist when he met the Dalai Lama and all of those people. Also the US president’s wife Rosalynn Carter had a meeting and handshaking (an image exists) with the serial killer John Wayne Gacy – just because she didn’t know his background. Is she that’s why close to the ideas of a serial killer?

    Prof. Jay Lifton stated in an interview »From Mysticism To Murder – Lawrence Shainberg interviews Robert Jay Lifton on Aum Shinrikyo« in Tricycle:

    Shainberg: He [Shoko Asahara] met with the Dalai Lama?

    Lifton: The Dalai Lama received him courteously, probably even warmly, and probably said things to him that he wishes he didn’t say. Asahara had pictures taken, and then quoted the Dalai Lama as saying, »What I’ve done for Buddhism in Tibet, you will do for Buddhism in Japan.« The Dalai Lama was asked about it later on and denied having said these things and said he just received him in a hospitable way. Asahara also visited religious leaders in Sri Lanka and other places, had his picture taken with them, and claimed they received him as a great spiritual master. But the Japanese press followed up his visits and interviewed a number of the people he’d described as having acclaimed him. One of them said, »We had a meeting and then he came back to me a week or two later and said he had achieved final enlightenment. I thought that was rather surprising because it usually takes close to a lifetime to achieve enlightenment.« But the act was convincing to his followers. And, in some way, it was convincing to himself. There’s a strange psychology with some people that enables them to believe in their own version of events and simultaneously maintain a whole manipulative, con man side. The combination can be persuasive.

    I think you mislead yourself and others when relying on dubious sources like Trimondis who write a lot but twist all of the information and spin things that don’t exist that way as they claim.

    I think, if you really want to help people you should stick to sober information, verified information and serious but not dubious sources as Trimondis. Nobody in Germany takes them really seriously. I wonder how you could fall in that trap to give them credit?

    I posted some brief thoughts with links to academic papers some times ago on my blog:


  66. Are there any photos of this?
    Yes and stop the total obfuscation


  67. dialogueireland, on July 23, 2013 at 12:43 am said: “
    Have a look at the picture and now give us your revisionist line please.”

    The essay itself repeats exactly the same point I made,

    “Yet a debate about the images, archetypes, metapolitical visions, political structures, and rituals from the Tibetan cultural sphere which the neo-Nazis refer back to is of far greater interest than the question of whether there was personal contact between lamas and Nazis. Here the actual work of cultural criticism begins, which entails…”

    Then we find a list of 30 points of study…

    1. discovering Lamaist myths of origin behind the “Nazi fantasies”

    2. investigating these Lamaist myths of origin

    3. examining structural similarities between neo-fascism and Lamaism

    4. Only then when such “myths of origin” are not to be found can the Nazi-Tibet connection be said to have been exposed as a purely Western fiction

    …the conclusion then states,

    “Hence the question about neo-fascism’s inordinate interest in Tibet and its atavistic culture is easily answered: fascists of the most varied persuasion see their own “political theology” confirmed by the Tibetan Buddhist religious system, or discover new images and practices in it with which they can enrich and extend their ideologies.”

    So, despite a list of 30 possible and even essential avenues of study, the essay bypasses these and draws a conclusion anyway.


  68. .. and what relevance does that have… swerve and miss crashing!


    Have a look at the picture and now give us your revisionist line please.


  70. I thought we’d established that the Dalai Lama’s image in the west was not as squeaky clean as certain sections of the media had made out.

    I think this is irrefutable, and mainly due to the media painting issues in black and white, treating it’s readership as if they had a mental age of 6, not to mention the political anti-China propaganda which suited both the DL and the west at the time.

    Having said that, given all the links to contrary positions, it would seem a bit of a moot point to suggest that this image remained unchallenged in the media.

    It also seems clear that the Dalai Lama has done nothing to discourage this false media image but rather played to it as a means of uniting the Tibetan community, garnering support in the west, and dragging Tibetan Buddhism into the 21st Century. (maybe also interesting to note that DL hasn’t contradicted any negative representation of himself either).

    Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought the consideration had moved on to the issue of whether there was anything more sinister and/or some kind of hidden agenda on the part of the DL.


  71. The claim I was responding to was, “Nazis admired their ‘absolute” leadership”

    The logic employed was that if the Nazi’s admired them, then that was enough to suggest the relationship worked both ways.


  72. and it seems that the Nazi’s did something similar.

    Evidence please Raven has shown the Nazi guy and DL were buddies till his end!


  73. Please take a course in logic. Please also look at the central thrust of what you are hearing.

    Hitler also admired the British, Mein Kampf says about the Brits that their ‘fighting spirit, dogged determination, and use of brutal means in conducting military operations have always remained the same.’

    This pure diversion and totally irrelevant to the issue.
    You are really quite pathetic in your inability to focus on the central issue.

    I guess that puts Britain and Tibet in the same Nazi boat?

    Magic mushroom logic


  74. I think it’s less a question of “we shouldn’t judge” and more about how we are to see through our own whatever-tinted spectacles.

    If we take the idea of our own Laws and our own Scientific method seriously, then it’s fair enough to speculate that the DL may have certain intentions, but until he acts upon them then we have little to go on.

    The Vivas book (I think if I recall correctly), said something like… the 60’s generation went to Tibet and projected their image of a Shangri-La onto it, and it seems that the Nazi’s did something similar.
    Maybe it’s telling that the these two narcissistic cultures projected their own hopeful expectations whereas we seem to be projecting our worst fears instead?


  75. This is the danger I see, Kate, that with ’emptiness’ as a view, one can then never make any judgements about anything anymore, and this attitude in particular leaves us at the mercy of unscrupulous people and cults and charlatans , those who may be not acting in our best interests, in the long run.

    Perhaps it is this relativistic view that is causing all the chaos, particularly in the west, since we do not hold anyone accountable anymore. This ‘who are we to judge’ attitude has insidiously infiltrating into all of our western culture, such that people like Sogyal can get away with his egregious behavior, now for 20 years, because western students, and in general the west has lost its moral compass, particularly by embracing cultural attitudes,from another time and place that we really don’t know anything about, not their real history, their politics, and t and we are not even curious anymore about their real history. We say, ‘oh we shouldn’t judge.”

    That includes students of Sogyal as the extreme example, who are sitting at his feet, and saying ‘oh we shouldn’t judge.” but it also includes the west in general , who simply believes whatever propaganda is now spoon-fed to us, without doing any investigation on our anymore , or using critical thinking skills to form important conclusions or make decisions about what is right and what is wrong, In other words, it leads to ‘moral relativism’ where nothing is judged, because it is all ’empty’ has no substantiality. I think this attitude actually leads to less compassion not more.

    So we can look with our own eyes, at the misery of the Tibetans in that Nazi-made film clip reproduced by National Geographic above, but not really ‘see’ it, just pass over it. For me what stood out more than the Nazi-connection, was the terrible poverty , and the cruel treatment of the Tibetan people, circa 1938 , not the 14th century, but only seventy-five years ago , and in the Dalai Lama’s lifetime no less. They had shackles on their legs, neck collars, in the hot blazing sun, (do you know how strong the sun is at a high altitude like that ? The crowds being whipped back like donkeys or animals by the dondups. One can ‘see’ how awful their lives appear before our eyes, how malnourished they were, if one is willing to look, no matter how painful to our preconceived fancy notions. This was no Shangri-la. and not an example of ‘compassionate leaders’.

    Clearly one can see that Tibet, pre Chinese occupation, was none of these things, that they have told us it was, one can see it with one’s own eyes, if one really looks, because the truth of the matter is in that film clip- so what else are they lying about? That’s what, in my view, a sane person would do, ask the first question- “What else are they lying about?”

    And then I ask the next logical sane question, considering the forty plus years they have been here in the west, “who are these lamas”? “Who are they helping”?, “Have they really helped anyone”? More importantly, although they say they are here to bring ‘peace’, the next question is “have they”?

    Five Kalachakra empowerments, performed in the U.S. alone, seemingly the center of activity for these tibetan lamas, and has the U.S. as a nation gotten more peaceful, more kind, more ‘enlightened’?


  76. No the footnote is in the article Raven extracted from an article in Liberation last year.


  77. footnote 15? – are you talking about the wiki page?

    you believe there are photos? – doesn’t the article suggest that the meeting never got beyond the planning stage?

    you may well be right that the DL values some meetings more than others – I have no idea which, or how you would go about measuring that.


  78. You must realise that we in DI have no background in Buddhism, and though Buddhism is not our focus but cultism, you folks use terms we have no clue about


  79. No that was the footnote 15 which evidences the article. I do believe there are photos of that episode. No I do not agree with your article that these meetings are comparable to meeting with Heads of state like GW. In my opinion this evidences your further attempt to divert.


  80. Raven, on July 22, 2013 at 4:44 pm said: “Certainly it deserves consideration, and more discriminative investigation at the least, into these connections? And more transparency about the Kalachakra.”

    I agree, but even the information we already have raises the question of interpretation…

    …one major example of internet speculation these days is that the one country who has taken up the fascist mantle since the fall of the third Reich is in fact the good ‘ole US of A.

    Personally I give such theories the same sort of credence I give to the DL being a secret Nazi…

    The point here is one raised by Chris in the other thread – where is the moral high ground from which we can make any kind of judgement?

    DI keeps posting from the wiki page on the Kalachakra, but that page demonstrates exactly this issue in the “controversies” section.

    It’s certainly very hard to find any commentary that can claim to have no vested interest in the outcome. On the one hand we have the Trimondi’s view, and on the other Berzin’s.

    As one of Lifton’s criteria is (7.) Doctrine over person, it would seem the sensible thing is to suggest that the truth does not lie wholly in the text itself, but rather in the motivation of the person interpreting it.

    If we speculate that the DL is in fact a secret Nazi then we get one outcome, if we speculate that he is an old hippie then we get another – both of them are self-fulfilling speculations.


  81. Wouldn’t you want to do that too? Research more outside sources? You seem like a smart person I don’t get why this isn’t important for people in general, and particularly western buddhists, to look into further, or, at least pause and say “wait a minute” and “maybe this deserves further consideration”..etc.

    It can’t just be all Chinese propaganda? That would be impossible. No? When does the cumulative material become a red flag that says “I better investigate this further”?


  82. Heinrich Harrer, the Dalai Lama’s tutor taught the Dalai Lama most of what he knew about the west, i.e. he was his “mentor” and his close friend through life, they were friends, close friends until his death, according to all documentation.

    Harrer never renounced his SS connections and remained a Nazi until his death and friends with the Dalai Lama, there are pictures of them when Harrer was very old, together.

    I read that when Harrar was ‘outed as a Nazi, during the filming “Seven Years In Tibet”, where Harrar was being presented as a simple “Austrian mountaineer” When this news broke out about Harrer’s connections with Nazism, Scorsese had to scramble around and find a way to rehabilitate’ the Shangri Lai type film he was making, and he, so he ‘made up an ending where it had Harrer learning the ‘wickedness of his ways” thanks to the Dalai lama,

    In fact, Harrer never rejected Nazism and remained a Nazi until his death.

    Much of what we believe about the Dalai Lama and Tibet is from Hollywood, so I guess we have all been duped, No?

    I have continued researching and according to documents the Asahara Shoko’s relationship with the Dalai Lama as well, was not ‘casual’ , they met at least five times according to sources, and Asahara donated 2 million to the Dalai lama according to one document. That would make him more than just a figure in a picture with the Dalai Lama ‘holding hands” I do know that the Dalai Lama does that alot, but 2 million in donations? More than just a casual relationship.

    Sarin gas, that was used in the subway killings was a Nazi developed chemical, and that may be only a coincidence, but Asahara believed he was ‘expediting’ the apocalyptic, holy Shambhala war as described in the Kalachakra wheel of Time that the Dalai Lama has given to 100’s of thousands over the decades now and continues to do so. . .

    Asahara, Serrano, Pinochet, Harrer? Mighty big coincidence. I don’t believe in coincidence when it becomes cumulative like this. Certainly it deserves consideration, and more discriminative investigation at the least, into these connections? And more transparency about the Kalachakra.


  83. Hitler also admired the British, Mein Kampf says about the Brits that their ‘fighting spirit, dogged determination, and use of brutal means in conducting military operations have always remained the same.’

    I guess that puts Britain and Tibet in the same Nazi boat?


  84. Isn’t that exactly the same thing, just in French?

    I think you might be missing the point here – The fact that the DL seems happy to meet with all sorts of undesirables is not really the question.
    What I was objecting to was the repeated use of the phrase “closest friends” for people that he hadn’t spoken to for years and who were close to death.

    Clearly the DL has met with some questionable people, that is not being contested. What is being questioned are the presumptions about the nature of that relationship.

    He met with George W. Bush – does that mean that the DL influenced U.S. imperialist policy? Or maybe Bush influenced the DL to become a more of a redneck?

    Guilt by association as an ad hominem fallacy –


  85. National Geographic Film of Himmler’s Expedition 1939 to Tibet conducted by Schafer, perhaps 3 expeditions altogether.. Nazis admired their ‘absolute” leadership.

    Short version from National Geographic:


  86. yes, it is obvious isn’t it?

    It seems the only mention of this planned meeting that never happened is in that essay.
    The DL allegedly tried to meet 3 Nazi’s in London, England, expecting 3 men aged 92, 93, and 87 respectively, and all of whom would be dead within 5 years, to fly from their homelands to meet him in the very country that defeated them.

    If the DL is so skilled at deception, this would seem a bit of a slip up. Why did he, a relatively young 69 year old who regularly travels the globe not just go to them?


    Kalachakra tradition

    Kalachakra refers both to a Tantric deity (Tib. yidam) of Vajrayana Buddhism and to the philosophies and meditation practices contained within the Kalachakra Tantra and its many commentaries. The Kalachakra Tantra is more properly called the Kalachakra Laghutantra, and is said to be an abridged form of an original text, the Kalachakra Mulatantra which is no longer extant. Some Buddhist masters assert that Kalachakra is the most advanced form of Vajrayana practice; it certainly is one of the most complex systems within tantric Buddhism.

    The Kalachakra tradition revolves around the concept of time (kāla) and cycles (chakra): from the cycles of the planets,[1] to the cycles of human breathing, it teaches the practice of working with the most subtle energies within one’s body on the path to enlightenment.

    The Kalachakra deity represents a Buddha and thus omniscience. Since Kalachakra is time and everything is under the influence of time, Kalachakra knows all. Whereas Kalachakri or Kalichakra, his spiritual consort and complement, is aware of everything that is timeless, untimebound or out of the realm of time. In Yab-yum, they are temporality and atemporality conjoined. Similarly, the wheel is without beginning or end.[2]

    The Kalachakra system is not related to the ancient Vedic tradition[disambiguation needed] in India which existed long before Buddhism appeared. The Kalachakra refers to many different traditions, for example the Hindu; Saivite, Samkya, Vaishnava, the Vedas, Upanisads and Puranas traditions, but also Jainism. For example, the Kalachakra mandala includes deities which are equally accepted by Hindus, Jainas and Buddhists [1].

    The Kalachakra deity resides in the center of the Mandala in his palace consisting of four Mandalas, one within the other: the Mandalas of body, speech, and mind, and in the very center, wisdom and great bliss [2]. The Kalachakra sand Mandala is dedicated to both individual and world peace and physical balance. The Dalai Lama explains: “It is a way of planting a seed, and the seed will have karmic effect. One doesn’t need to be present at the Kalachakra ceremony in order to receive its benefits.”


  88. Predictable deflection


  89. Are there any photos of this?

    It seems the author thinks that by repeating the phrase “closest friends” it might make it more true…

    but why bother, there are a lot of photos of the DL with some far more sinister than all of those put together – George W. Bush.

    I hope the DL washed his hands afterwards.


  90. “In 1994, the current Dalai Lama attempted to organize a meeting with some of his closest friends in London. Among the sweet and cuddly Dalai Lama’s closest friends were ex Waffen SS man Heinrich Harrer, Bruno Beger, a former Nazi ethnologist who worked in Auschwitz, and the Chilean neo-Nazi Miguel Serrano. Serrano happens to believe that Adolf Hitler was a god. 15

    Neo-Nazi dictator of Chile, Augusto Pinochet, was also a close friend of the Dalai Lama, who personally intervened in Spain to get the Butcher of Chile off the hook when he was about to be tried for crimes against humanity in 1998.

    Another important friend of the Dalai Lama is the Japanese Shoko Asahara, a religious cult leader who was convicted of terrorism in Japan in 1995 after having organized a poison Sarin gas attack in the Tokyo subway.

    Asahara has been a close associate of the Dalai Lama since meeting him at a ceremony of the Ashun-Su sect in Tokyo. Since then, Asahara met with the Dalai Lama several times and was deeply influenced by the Tibetan leader”.

    “The more one considers the Dalai Lama’s friends and followers, the more the connections with neo-Nazism become apparent. One is tempted here to resurrect the cliché which states that one can judge someone by the friendship he keeps”.

    From the Dissident Voice “Dalai Lama Cult and Postmodern Neo Feudalism and the Decline of the West”


  91. Just out of curiosity I googled How many times has the Dalai Lama given this practice. From Wikipedia , so not speculation, this schedule is probably taken from the Dalai Lama site. Apparently all the other sects give this initiation also. So to say 100’s of thousands wouldn’t be an an exaggeration or speculation::
    “The Dalai Lamas have had specific interest in the Kālachakra practice, particularly the First, Second, Seventh, Eighth, and the current (Fourteenth) Dalai Lamas. The present Dalai Lama has give over thirty Kalachakra initiations all over the world, and is the most prominent Kalachakra lineage holder alive today. Billed as the “Kalachakra for World Peace,” they draw tens of thousands of people. Generally, it is unusual for tantric initiations to be given to large public assemblages, but the Kalachakra has always been an exception”.

    “Kalachakra Initiations given by H.H. XIV Dalai Lama
    1. Norbu Lingka, Lhasa, Tibet, in May 1954
    2. Norbu Lingka, Lhasa, Tibet, in April 1956
    3. Dharamsala, India, in March 1970
    4. Bylakuppe, South India, in May 1971
    5. Bodh Gaya, India, in January 1974
    6. Leh, Ladakh, India, in September 1976
    7. Deer Park Buddhist Center, Madison, Wisconsin, USA, in July 1981
    8. Dirang, Arunachal Pradesh, India, in April 1983
    9. Lahaul & Spiti, India, in August 1983
    10. Rikon, Switzerland, in July 1985
    11. Bodh Gaya, India, in December 1985
    12. Zanskar, Ladakh, India, in July 1988
    13. Los Angeles, USA, in July 1989
    14. Sarnath, India, in December 1990
    15. Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, in July 1991 [7]
    16. New York, USA, in October 1991
    17. Kalpa, HP, India, in August 1992
    18. Gangtok, Sikkim, India, in April 1993
    19. Jispa, HP, India, in August 1994
    20. Barcelona, Spain, in December 1994
    22. Mundgod, South India, in January 1995
    22. Ulanbaator, Mongolia, in August 1995
    23. Tabo, HP, India, in June 1996
    24. Sydney, Australia, in September 1996
    25. Salugara, West Bengal, India, in December 1996.
    26. Bloomington, Indiana, USA, in August 1999.
    27. Key Monastery, Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India, in August 2000.
    28a. Bodhgaya, Bihar, India, in January 2002 (postponed).
    28b. Graz, Austria, in October 2002.
    29. Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India, in January 2003.
    30. Toronto, Canada, in April 2004.
    31. Amaravati, Guntur, India in January 2006.
    32. Washington, DC, USA, in July 2011.
    33. Bodh Gaya, India, in January 2012.

    Wikipedia site on Kalachakra

    I remember reading about the Washington DC one in 2011, that attracted a huge crowd, thousands actually. So hundreds of thousands would be accurate. I think it was at the Verizon Center in Washington DC. It looks like its been given 5X in U.S compared to 1X in other western countries, like Spain, Switzerland, Australia Canada, and I am sure that U.S. citizens have no idea what they are in what they are participating . But no wonder Thurman says that the U.S. is the place where Tibetan Buddhism will flourish. Looks like the DL isn’t taking any chances and is certainly concentrating here. I am not sure we are so lucky given this article.

    The next one is scheduled in 2014 is in Ladakh on the border with China with a large Tibetan population. Interesting that China isn’t protesting this .


  92. Dr. Robert J. Lifton’s Criteria number 7. Doctrine over person. Member’s personal experiences are subordinated to the sacred science…

    Doesn’t this very distinction rest on the idea that it is not the text itself which is at fault but rather the way in which it is used?

    Provides a catalogue of attempts to misuse this teaching for their own ends…

    “…all these seekers were driven by the same totalitarian temptation – a quest for power and ultimate solutions. They were sincerely convinced that they would be able to build a paradise on the earth – an orderly human commonwealth devoid of any spiritual and social contradictions.”

    This utopia and totalitarian ideal is one that is far more prevalent in other cultures.

    As Chris has so accurately pointed out, the aim of Tibetan Buddhism is not such an ideal, but if anything, Chris’ argument shows that TB leads to a quietist acceptance of dystopia, the very opposite of “ultimate solutions”.

    Therefore, placed in the context of TB the Shambala myth cannot be accurately viewed in this way.


  93. only on bank holidays


  94. Finally someone standing up for freedom of expression. Did you ever speak in tongues Kate


  95. Did you read the whole article? – yes

    How many other psychotic people attend these Kalachakra programs, or go deeply into them and become psychotic? – I don’t know.

    That should be the concern, and the Dalai Lama gives this teaching all over the world, No? – maybe not so much in Africa

    To thousands of people every year, still, even though it had this influence? – pure speculation, as I said, many psychotics emerge in a wide variety of environments, and yet there is no scientific evidence to suggest that these various influences were in any way contributory to their condition.

    So why is the Dalai Lama allowed to continue to spread this disturbing teaching that, at the least could be so misinterpreted, all over the world?
    – because we live in a “free” democratic world, because only a handful of neurotic conspiracy theorists view it as disturbing, because anything can be misinterpreted, especially by someone suffering from psychosis.


  96. Having published the article yesterday I would have to say the main emphasis was on TB, he later adopted certain Christian Messianic pretentions. The fact you picked on that indicates your clear strategy denial. You did not answer the question did you read it all?


  97. That was exactly my contention.

    This article fails to mention Christianity at all, and you got the impression that it had “very minor influence”.

    Other presentations fail to mention Buddhism and instead focus exclusively on Christianity.

    Ultimately, my contention was that if a psychotic person thinks they are Napoleon, then should we be blaming Napoleon for this, or instead see it as a psychotic delusion?


  98. I didn’t say that, , it was a quote from that Australian article., you would have to argue with the author’s conclusions

    I just put up the article because it relates to this thread, but frankly, reading about Asahara and Aum Shinrikyo and the connections with tibetan buddhist vajrayana teachings-would make anyone disturbed.

    It clearly states in the article that he was mostly influenced by Tibetan buddhism, that’s what the article is about, and the Kalachakra/Dalai Lama influence on this disturbed man, not Christianity’s influence a very minor influence on his thinking and actions. Did you read the whole article?

    How many other psychotic people attend these Kalachakra programs, or go deeply into them and become psychotic? That should be the concern, and the Dalai Lama gives this teaching all over the world, No? To thousands of people every year, still, even though it had this influence?

    . So why is the Dalai Lama allowed to continue to spread this disturbing teaching that, at the least could be so misinterpreted, all over the world? Someone should be asking that question, and it is perfectly appropriate, it seems to me, to ask that and other questions about Tibetan buddhism as a cult, on this site. Isn’t that what this site is about? Exposing cults and cult milieus?


  99. Raven, on July 21, 2013 at 3:33 pm said: “ruthless in crushing a rival Tibetan Buddhist sect known as Dorje Shugden”

    I’m no expert on this, but as I understand it, this sect were ultra-conservative and historically responsible for many of the internal conflicts within Tibet.
    The Dalai Lama has felt the need to move Tibetan Buddhism into the 21st Century by attempting to move forward from this sectarian squabbling.

    As for Shoko Asahara, the Trimondi’s write, “It was precisely because of these spiritual encounters with the god-king and his “viceroys” and his intensive study of the Tibetan/tantric esoterica and apocalyptica that the inexorable madness developed in Asahara’s mind which made him become the doomsday guru of the western press.”

    Yet his Wikipedia page states,

    “The doctrine of Aum Shinrikyo is based on the Bible and other texts. In 1992 Asahara published a landmark book, and declared himself “Christ”, Japan’s only fully enlightened master and identified with the “Lamb of God”.”

    Does this change our perceptions that Christianity was in fact to blame here, or is it merely that Shoko Asahara was psychotic?


  100. Why has this connection been forgotten ? Or simple brushed under the rug by the western media. What does this say about Dalai Lama’s enlightened omniscience?” I understand that Asahara devotees have ‘reinvented themselves? and have not gone away.

    Very scary how much this crazy person was influenced by tantric vajrayana of the Dalai Lama and also by the Kalachakra ’empowerment” that the Dalai Lama has been giving all over the world for decades, to 100’s of thousands of naive participants. How many other nut cases , like Asahara are out their, influenced by this obviously occult, if you read this article, religion.

    Another article I read said that the Dalai Lama met five times with Asahara, this was not a casual acquaintance or this one by the Australian press, which seems to be the only western nation that sees the Dalai Lama without rose coloured glasses:

    Article From the Sydney Morning Herald, by Mike Carleton:June 18, 2011:

    .” Journalists who would not hesitate to take a stick to the Pope or the Archbishop of Canterbury for their failings report the Dalai Lama’s giggly banalities with all the fawning solemnity of truth revealed. There is a curious notion in the West that Asian religions in general, and Tibetan Buddhism in particular, have reached an ethereal plane of spiritual perfection beyond the reach of the rest of us.

    Yet some of his stuff is just plain barmy. Reincarnation is as silly as it gets. After the Hollywood tough guy Steven Seagal forked out a whopping donation, the Dalai Lama discovered that he had once been a 17th-century Buddhist master named Chungdrag Dorje. The actor, famed for his on-screen violence, was therefore a “tulku”, or sacred vessel. Hollywood loves guru-babble. Richard Gere, Sharon Stone and Goldie Hawn are also devotees.

    Silliness is one thing. Nastiness is another. The so-called apostle of kindness has been ruthless in crushing a rival Tibetan Buddhist sect known as Dorje Shugden, expelling its monks from monasteries and ostracising or exiling its adherents.

    And it is almost forgotten now, but about 20 years ago he accepted more than $2 million in donations from the Japanese terrorist Shoko Asahara, leader of the Aum doomsday cult, who thereafter murdered 11 people and poisoned thousands more by releasing sarin nerve gas in a Tokyo subway.”

    It seems that the west needs to start researching more about Tibetan buddhism and the Dalai Lama and this whole tantric thing.


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