Header image header image 2  

Information Handout for Those Exploring NKT

Members of the Buddhist community are trying to help those pursuing Buddhism with NKT by handing out the following brochure - a form of 'informed consent'.

Many have left NKT because of NKT's abuse. Learning about NKT's controversial history sooner rather than later may help prevent the stress and hurt often reported by those who leave NKT or are thrown out by NKT.

Those interested in NKT should also research NKT, its controversies and its abusive campaign against The Dalai Lama, its ex clergy and lay members, its members who question NKT's public protests, its members who wish to admire The Dalai Lama and inclusive forms of Buddhism, its critics, and its biographers.

Fortunately, substantial information is available over the past 12 years about NKT controversy. Via the Internet's resources, those interested in NKT can relatively quickly learn about NKT (e.g., this web site, the many other web site and book references throughout this web site, and the hundreds of web sites presented after Internet searches (e.g., via Google and Yahoo), including NKT's disturbing web sites such as www.newkadampatruth.org).

Regarding reference to sexual misconduct by Gyatso's ex heir, Gyatso wrote to Samden stating, "You have destroyed the NKTs reputation and the power of all NKT Resident Teachers...You had sex with so many students and through your deceptive actions one nun tried to commit suicide because of your sexual behaviour towards her."

Assessment of NKT by the Astralian Sangha Association's July 21, 2008 statement is consistent with numerous analyses about NKT, including that...

"The ASA wishes to express its dismay at the conduct of robed members of the New Kadampa Tradition...Therefore, in the spirit of Dharma and in accordance with Buddhist principles the ASA would encourage the NKT and WSS protesters to request forgiveness from the Dalai Lama for their behaviour and in future to conduct themselves with humility and restraint....The Sangha is a 2500 year old institution which has always kept the Vinaya rules as its core practice... It is this moral code which is the foundation of Buddhist monasticism and adherence to it is what defines a person as a Buddhist monk or nun...Members of the NKT who wear robes do not follow this tradition...The opinion of the ASA is that for NKT members to represent themselves to the public as authentic Buddhist monks and nuns is wrong and misleading...For now we feel that bringing this issue to the attention of the public is the best thing we can do.'' (for the complete statement, click here)

It is truly amazing that NKT, which markets itself as the only pure form of Buddhism in the world, has such a record of abuse of its teachers, students and clergy as well as The Dalai Lama, Tibetan Buddhism, its biographers, and the named and photographed Buddhists at NKT's web page, www.newkadampatruth.org/fpmt.php. Saddening actually.

The 'informed consent' brochure follows....



New Kadampa Tradition Information

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

*1) NKT students study only books written by one person, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, a Tibetan monk expelled by his Tibetan monastery. Although students are not forbidden to read other books they are strongly discouraged from doing so.

*2) NKT's main daily prayers are to a controversial deity known as Dorje Shugden. The Dalai Lama strongly discourages Shugden practices as divisive. Indeed the current protests against him by the WSS (Western Shugden Society), many members of which are high profile NKT teachers, are proving divisive and ugly, as are NKT techniques of swamping online Buddhist chat rooms and message boards with pro-Shugden and anti Dalai Lama propaganda.

*3) Two high profile members of the NKT, both serving long term as Deputy Spiritual Director at different times – Neil Elliott (Gen Thubten) and Steven Wass (Gen Samden) – had to be removed due to sexual misconduct committed with several nuns and lay women. Both had vows of celibacy and were either deliberately misusing or misinterpreting higher tantric teachings to justify sexual exploitation of their followers.

*4) NKT has never given clear information about the two ex-deputy spiritual directors and NKT members find out through rumour and gossip, mainly at NKT festivals. They are told not to let it disturb their minds.

*5) Many other high level NKT teachers have also been involved in sexual misconduct, showing that they are poorly supported within the tradition, and many have misconceptions about what a vow of celibacy actually covers.

*6) Ex-residents of NKT Dharma centres report having been required to sign away their rights as tenants, illegally. Many were told that the centres had the right to evict them without notice, for example.

*7) It is commonly reported amongst past and present NKT members that many people who move into NKT centres give up their paid jobs to go on benefits. They then work unpaid for the centres while deceiving the welfare/benefits agencies of their status. Monks and nuns are told not to wear their robes to the Job Centre when they sign on.

*8) NKT monks and nuns are not actually ordained as monks and nuns according to a vital Buddhist text known as Vinaya. Fully ordained monks and nuns under the Vinaya have over two hundred specific vows, while NKT monks and nuns have 10 vows, several of which are very vague. Many Buddhist schools do not accept NKT ordination as valid.

Ex NKT members strongly suggest that potential new members do their own research before considering a commitment to this New Religious Movement.