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David Kay's 2004 book reviews NKT's quagmire well. Interestingly, Dr. Kay wrote a peer-reviewed article for the Journal of Contemporary Religion in 1997 that crystalizes NKT's Shugden worship. (links to these references appear on this web site's Read More page)

The names Shugden and Kuten Lama will be used rather than their Tibetan names used in the article.

...quoting from Dr. Kay's analysis (which has yet to be refuted in the peer-reviewed literature),

"After some years in Dharamsala (the center of Tibetans in exhile in India), the Dalai Lama became aware that his practice (Shugden liturgy) was in conflict firstly with the State protector Pe Har, and later with the main protective goddess of the Gelug tradition and Tibetan people Palden Lhamo who, as a...(enlightened protector), objected strongly to Shugen's pretensions.

The cause of Shugden supporters in India and by reputation of devotees around the world were subsequently championed by a Western pressure group, called the Shugden Supporters Community (SSC) through a campaign which coincided with the Dalai Lama's visit to Europe the summer of that year. (1996)

The NKT played a leading role in this campaign, to the extent that Geshe Kelsang not only encouraged his disciples to participate in demonstrations, but also granted newspaper and BBC radio interviews of himself.

...the SSC was presented by the media as a front for the NKT to pursue a 'smear campaign' aimed at sabotaging the Dalai Lama's morally impeccable image in the West without implicating itself.

His ('Geshe' Kelsang) early rejection of Lama Yeshe's inclusive vision was revealed through founding the Madhyamaka Centre independently of the FPMT framework in 1979, and by emphasizing a strictly localised and insular view of Manjushri Institute.

In early 1986, the Mahyamaka Centre advertised that Geshe Kelsang would be giving Summer teachings on the protector practice of Shugden...Reliance on Shugden subsequently became a central practice and Kuten Lama, the Oracle of the protector deity from Ganden Shartse Monastery in India, visited England to perform special rituals for the success of Geshe Kelsang's centres.

The visits of Kuten Lama are significant for two main reasons. First, the connection with Ganden Shartse Monastery through the Oracle indicates how Geshe Kelsang's teachings represented the continuation, in a Western context, of the resistance found within the exiled Gelug community in India to the Dalai Lama's pronouncements on Shugden reliance. Secondly, the Oracle also happens to be Geshe Kelsang's uncle.

The creation of the NKT in 1991, which was the culmination of a line of development that can be traced back to the early 1980s, represented an extreme expression of Gelug exclusivism. It was a schismatic event prompted by Geshe Kelsang's belief that he could protect the purity of the teachings of Tsongkhapa only by severing all connections between his centres and other Buddhist traditions, particularly the broader Gelug tradition. The mobilization of the title 'New Kadama Tradition' indicates how, for him, the Gelug tradition itself has degenerated and become a source of contamination...an important practical upshot has been their wilful isolation from other Buddhists.

In creating the NKT, however, Geshe Kelsang introduced new elements to Gelug exclusivism and Shugden reliance. Since 1991, the NKT has declared its total independence from the 'degenerate' religio-political world of Tibetan Gelug Buddhism, and proclaimed itself to be an autonomous modern and 'Western' tradition.

The controversy surrounding Shugden reliance has been a potential threat to the NKT's stability since the practice was popularized during the mid-1980s.

While oracular divination has never been a regular feature of the NKT's activities, his (Kuten Lama) occasional visits from Ganden Shartse Monastery in India were always big events and he attracted large gatherings of NKT disciples wherever he went. Consequently, Kuten Lama's decision, upon returning to India towards the end of 1996, to sever his connection with the NKT and affirm his support for the Dalai Lama was met by Geshe Kelsang's students with shock and sadness."

As the saying goes, 'the more things change, the more they stay the same'. In 2008, NKT renewed its campaign against the Dalai Lama via a new front group, the Western Shugden Society. This time, however, NKT is attacking individual Buddhists other than the Dalai Lama as well. As NKT quieted its ugly campaigning in 1996, NKT has similarly quieted its renewed and increasingly ugly campaigning against Buddhism and compassion as 2008 drew to a close.


The only living Buddha and only the 3rd Buddha ever according to NKT. Chief architect of the campaign against the Dalai Lama and various other individual Buddhists who do not support NKT's ferocious Shugden worship and extremist notion that Tibetan Buddhism, even its Gelug school, as well as all other forms of Buddhism other than NKT are degenerate.


'Geshe' Kelsang Gyatso, NKT's founder and living god
'blessing' NKT's new center in France

"I personally will organise demonstrations against the Dalai Lama directly. I requested Kelsang Pema and Kelsang Thubchen to do this job for me and they have accepted. "
Gyatso April 2008 email to fired Kadam, Lucy James

'Geshe' Kelsang Gyatso (who awarded himself his own one-of-a-kind 'Geshe' degree after skipping his final exams for the real Geshe degree; see Gyatso Credentials page of this web site) has, motivated by greed and low self esteem, held a grudge against the Dalai Lama for over 50 years. With the Shugden controversy (mostly fueled by Gyatso) and his call for extreme exclusionism, Gyatso is selfishly attempting to ursurp the Dalai Lama's prestige and legacy (the Dalai Lama is the living representative of Avalokiteshvara, the Buddha of compassion). Gyatso's strategy - send his sycophantic followers into the streets to protest against the Dalai Lama and paint Buddhism with Gyatso's dilusional brush by proclaiming that all forms of Buddhism (except NKT) are degenerate, and thus oppose Avalokiteshvara.