The Dalai Lama: No Humble Buddhist Monk

The Dalai Lama may be many things, but ‘humble Buddhist monk’ he is not

by Andrew Norton

** UPDATE – During his recent tour of the Bay Area, the Dalai Lama has been staying at the ultra-luxurious Ritz Carlton, which is maybe not the most obvious choice for a humble monk. **

There seems to be an embargo on free thinking where the Dalai Lama is concerned.

Raise a question about his integrity and you are likely to be met with incredulity, or dismissed as an agent of the Chinese government.

But for those who choose not to be blinded by celebrity adoration or gagged by malicious innuendo, careful examination of the Dalai Lama’s actions reveals a disturbing pattern of deception and ruthlessness - characteristics more usually associate with dictators.

As part of his carefully crafted public persona he would have us believe that he is just a ‘humble Buddhist monk’  who through no choice of his own finds himself at the centre of the world stage feted by politicians, celebrities and an admiring public.

But the truth is very different.


When the Dalai Lama fled into exile in India he found himself in danger of losing his grip on power among the Tibetans.To strengthen his position he entered into a pact with a religious-political grouping who followed a different tradition from the one he had inherited from his own Teachers.

As part of the deal, in exchange for their political support he agreed to promote their tradition and especially to put an end to the religious practice of Dorje Shugden, an enlightened deity who is the spiritual protector of the tradition fostered by his own Teacher and followed by thousands of sincere spiritual practitioners throughout the world.

Such was his desire for power and influence, not to mention the considerable wealth that comes with being the ‘God King’, he was prepared to abandon his own practice of relying upon Dorje Shugden and in so doing break a sacred commitment.

Shock waves

Not surprisingly, this action sent shock waves through the Buddhist community worldwide as they witnessed a revered spiritual leader setting the worst possible example. For not only did he break his heart commitments to his spiritual protector, he broke his connection with his Spiritual Guide, publicly disparaging him as having been mistaken in his practice!

He then set about a ruthless campaign of suppressing the practice of Dorje Shugden throughout the Tibetan community and beyond - threatening every Shugden practitioner in the world.

Lies and deception

Through a campaign of lies and deception, which included the absurd claim that the practice of Dorje Shugden threatens his life, harms the Tibetan people, and harms Tibetan independence, he banned the practice universally and decreed that anyone who continued with it should be exiled from their community and forced to live in social and religious ghettos with no communication or support from the main community..

Such is his dictatorial sway over the Tibetans most of them unquestioningly accepted his edict and set about expelling Shugden practitioners from Tibetan society. Using public humiliation, provocation, intimidation and threats, including dismissing them from their jobs, refusing them basic services and publicly spreading lies about them, they drove the Shugden practitioners and their families into spiritual and social exile.

In instigating and encouraging these actions, the Dalai Lama was acting more like a corrupt politician pandering to the worst instincts in human nature than a pure spiritual leader helping to elevate the human mind and human behavior to higher levels.

Exiled in exile

In one month alone, February 2008, the Dalai Lama expelled nine hundred innocent Shugden monks from the Tibetan community. All these monks were very poor. They lost everything, including the care and support for their daily lives they had received from their relatives, friends and community. They had no idea where they should go or who would support and help them. They were refugees again!

Destroying world peace

Astonishingly, even though he produced not a scrap of credible evidence for his claim, many people throughout the world also accepted his version and began their own campaigns of persecution against those who practised Dorje Shugden in America, Europe and elsewhere!

Through his actions the Dalai Lama has caused disharmony among the ordained community and Buddhist practitioners in general, and has destroyed the faith and mental peace of millions of people throughout the world. For a Buddhist monk, these are truly heinous actions.

At a time when so many sincere people are praying for world peace and working hard to bring it about, we witness the disgraceful spectacle of a Nobel Peace Prize winner spreading suffering and disharmony throughout the world.

Celebrity smokescreen

The Dalai Lama has used his carefully managed celebrity status to provide a smokescreen for his actions. And in an act of blatant hypocrisy he tours the world lecturing on human rights and religious tolerance!

In the process, by commanding exorbitant fees for his appearances, using Buddha’s teachings for worldly ends, he has accumulated vast personal wealth.

So much for ‘the humble Buddhist monk’; he would have us believe that he is!