How can we say that the Dalai Lama is the worst dictator of the modern day?
What of Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, or even a current dictator such as Assad in Syria? Can the Dalai Lama’s actions be compared to the millions of people brutally murdered, tortured, imprisoned, and horribly traumatized by their actions? No, they cannot.
The Dalai Lama is the worst for different reasons altogether.
In our society we understand that any abuse of a child is bad. But when the abuse comes from a figure of trust, such as a parent, then that abuse is the worst.
The Dalai Lama is a religious dictator. Not only does he have absolute political power over the Tibetan community in exile but he is also regarded by Tibetans as the supreme spiritual authority. He is seen as a living Buddha, an emanation of the Buddha of Compassion, Avalokiteshvara. In particular for those following the Gelugpa tradition, of which there were an estimated 5 million worldwide, by far the largest in Tibet, the Dalai Lama was held in the highest esteem. They deeply loved him as a spiritual father, entrusting him with their spiritual welfare, with their very hearts. In 1996 when the Dalai Lama publicly and forcefully banned the practice of Dorje Shugden, an enlightened Deity of the Gelugpa tradition, and the personal Dharma Protector of the Dalai Lama’s Spiritual Guide, the beloved Trijang Rinpoche, this was like a blow to the very hearts of the Gelugpas forcing them to choose between the Dalai Lama and their own spiritual lineage. When the ban was enforced with perfectly medieval propaganda and slander campaigns, forced expulsions, violent beatings, bringing about a removal of Dorje Shugden practitioners from mainstream Tibetan society the betrayal was complete. Not only were they outcasts in their own communities, unable to go to the hospitals, local stores etc., but they had been deceived by the person who more than anyone else they trusted, just like a child abused by a parent. This is one of the reasons why the Dalai Lama is the worst dictator.
The Dalai Lama’s decision to ban Dorje Shugden would perhaps be understandable if the Dalai Lama had solid spiritual reasons for his actions. But he has none. Instead, if one pauses to examine critically the situation, as opposed to simply accepting what the Dalai Lama says on the basis of his reputation, we discover that his actions were motivated by political gain. This is a staggering abuse of his spiritual position and the trust placed in him by millions of people.
He is also the longest lasting dictator, who, extraordinarily, is not regarded by the world as a dictator at all. Rather he is seen as holy man, a worldwide moral authority, a force of compassion, a man of reason, a source of inspiration to our troubled world, a jolly, earthy, honest, humble monk…. Somehow he has managed to make himself all things to all people, but the aspect he shows Tibetans is completely different. There he shows himself to be a ruthless autocratic leader primarily interested in maintaining and increasing his own power base … even if so doing causes deep suffering to millions of people, now and in the future. It is this great deception that also qualifies him as the worst dictator. Under the guise of promoting peace, compassion and other spiritual qualities in the world, he is actually undermining these qualities, and in so doing actually destroying the very things that he says he stands for. This is hypocrisy and deceit of the highest order!
What follows is a brief examination of some of these points with more to follow.
1. The Dalai Lama is a religious dictator.
In 1642 the 5th Dalai Lama assumed both temporal and spiritual authority over Tibet. He became a self-appointed God-King, an absolute ruler, making decrees not just over their mundane affairs but over their spiritual lives as well. Assad can torture your body but he cannot destroy your faith or your soul, so to speak.
A religious dictator has the power to do both.
In 1996 the current Dalai Lama the 14th banned the practice of Dorje Shugden. Dorje Shugden is regarded as an enlightened being by 4 to 5 millions of Buddhists, primarily in Tibet, among Tibetan exiles, and in Mongolia, India and Nepal.
The reason for this ban, as will be explained elsewhere, was purely political, for the Dalai Lama’s own personal gain. But by cloaking it in spiritual rhetoric, the Dalai Lama uses people’s blind faith in him to create political gain and worldly power, causing immense physical and mental suffering to millions of people, creating schisms within Tibetan society, within monasteries, within families – including outbreaks of violence and forced expulsions. All among millions of people previously living peacefully and harmoniously together.
2. He is the longest lasting dictator.
Dictators come and go. The Dalai Lama has been in power since 1950. No one comes close to his staying power, not even Fidel Castro!
Actually for those who believe in the 14th Dalai Lama, he is the same person as the 5th Dalai Lama, which means he has been in power for more than 350 years!
3. Most people do not even know that he is a dictator
The word dictator is not often associated with the Dalai Lama. He hides behind the guise of being a holy man, and as he puts it, a humble monk, concealing that he is very much a politician who uses his spiritual position for worldly gain. Sometimes magazines etc. refer to him as a “God-King” as if this were a good thing! The United States of America is founded upon the separation of Church and State. The Dalai Lama is the very embodiment of the union of Church and State. We know through our own Western history very well the dreadful consequences of unifying Church and State (the inquisition anyone?) Far from being a Shangri-la, Tibetan history is full of the painful consequences of creating a religious state. In his banning of Dorje Shugden and his attack on Dorje Shugden practitioners, the Dalai Lama continues to demonstrate that he is a religious dictator.
4. He is a hypocrite
Everywhere the Dalai Lama goes he is regarded as an envoy of compassion and peace. People line up by the thousands to listen to what he says and he receives honor after honor. He declares himself guided by his Buddhist faith, and represents himself as the embodiment of the Buddha of Compassion, Avalokiteshvara. But his actions demonstrate the complete opposite. He uses his words to incite violence and segregation against Dorje Shugden practitioners, causing great pain to millions of people. He could easily stop this. It is all due to his words and actions. If he were a compassionate man he would. But he doesn’t. To this day he speaks out against Dorje Shugden at every opportunity.
Furthermore, no Buddhist would set about deliberately to harm monks and nuns, as the Dalai Lama has done, for example by forcing 900 monks to be expelled from the monasteries and their livelihoods in a single day. No Buddhist would deliberately go against the word of their Spiritual Guide; and, even worse, set about to destroy their Spiritual Guide’s tradition. But this is exactly what the Dalai Lama has done with regards to his Spiritual Guide, the universally revered Trijang Rinpoche. The Dalai Lama is regarded as a bastion of truth throughout the world but the opposite is true. He is a hypocrite.
5. He is a liar
The reasons that the Dalai Lama has given for the ban are clearly untrue and he has provided no evidence for it. The Dalai Lama knows this. He is misusing the perception of himself as a moral force in this world to push through a hurtful agenda based on the idea that if the Dalai Lama says it is so then it must be so.
6. He is destroying an profound and beautiful spiritual tradition, and undermining Buddhism throughout the world, now and in the future.
This is something no other dictator has been able to pull off. He is destroying the basic understanding of Buddhist practice throughout the world, by connecting it with a pope figure (himself) and with temporal power. In destroying an ancient spiritual tradition he is causing suffering to millions here and now. And he is depriving millions of people in the future of the benefit of this beautiful and rich practice that has brought peace of mind to people for centuries. In other words he is bringing about the decimation of an unspeakably rich cultural heritage in the very name of preserving it.