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Kelsang Gyatso's New Tradition

Breaking away from his roots in Tibetan Buddhism, Kelsang Gyatso invented a new tradition, mixing superficial features of Buddhism with politics and corporate growth.

It looks like Buddhism, it sounds like Buddhism.

But, it is not linked to any form of Buddhism. It bans all teachers and books of Buddhism. It bans questions about its politics and fees. Most of its clergy receive minimal training and preparation, particularly in view of the power granted them.

Indeed, anyone can start a new tradition, taking advantage of the right of religious freedom.

Because of free speech, NOT permitted inside his new tradition, Kelsang Gyatso sends hundreds of followers around the world and to the Internet to castigate Buddhists, particularly Tibetan Buddhists and those that left his new tradition (no refunds however).

As in other cults, many have been hurt by financial, labor and sexual abuse.

Passers by a Kelsang Gyatso protest rally or malicious manifesto roll their eyes, sadly seeing his disharmony, many deciding to skip further involvement with Buddhism, thereby missing the beauties of what real Buddhism has to offer.

Fortunately, because of their inherent reservoirs of spirituality, many - those who have not gotten too deeply involved - have benefited from this new tradition. Kelsang Gyatso's books can be useful. His seminars and meditation venues can be helpful.

His politics and corporate mechanisms, however, are counterproductive for spirituality. At times, they have been harmuful.

As Buddha said 2,500 years ago: take the good, leave the bad.