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WSS: Sowing Dissent Through Baseless Allegations

Today, the 29th of September 2008 will be remembered by most people as the day that the Wall Street bailout bill failed to pass in the US Senate. However, for Buddhists, it will be remembered as the day that the Western Shugden Society officially began its campaign to overthrow HH the 14th Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in Exile. Of course, the timing is tragic, as talks between the TGIE envoys and the Chinese government are at a crucial juncture. One wonders if the publication of this article does anything apart from fan the flames of the WSS’s hatred for the Dalai Lama, in danger of petering out due to changes in the Dalai Lama’s schedule due to illness that made the public, vitriolic protests impossible. One wonders if this increasingly hateful and political campaign will not serve to alienate the more moderate members of the WSS camp.

The article, as usual, does not list any text or other reliable sources, apart from one book, an Ocean of Truth Explained (one wonders if its author is perhaps Kundeling Losang Yeshe or another member of the Delhi Shugden Society). It doesn’t even say who the author of this latest WSS article is, though obviously they aren’t a Ph.D in Buddhist studies. It simply says at the beginning: “The following information has been compiled from various sources.” Those who wonder what these sources are, of course, are missing the point. Why? Well, really, an accurate or balanced account isn’t the point. It seems that the Tibetan organizations were correct in their summation of the Shugden campaign that was dismissed by the WSS as hateful and libelous rhetoric. But in fact, as we can now see plainly, WSS and its supporters are trying to “Sow dissent and undermine the Dalai Lama”.

Whoever wrote this article didn’t consider very carefully the implications it would have even for the Shugden camp. If it were true that the current Dalai Lama is an impostor, this would indicate two things:

1. That Trijang Rinpoche, an omniscient Buddha and party to the background of the current Dalai Lama, kept secret something he knew to be a lie.

2. That Dorje Shugden, at the time of the selection of the 14th Dalai Lama, failed once again in his “duty” to “protect” the Ganden tradition.

But surely, though Trijang Rinpoche may have been mistaken about Shugden, as a monk and by most accounts compassionate person he would not have allowed an impostor Dalai Lama to continue on the throne. The mystifying contradictions only go to once again further the conclusion reached by Tibetans in India a long time ago, that the WSS is “sowing dissent and undermining the Dalai Lama.”

In addition, the latest attempt by WSS reveals another ill-founded and un-Buddhist tactic – manipulation of Islamophobia. After using the caustic headline “Saffron-robed Muslim” in their propaganda booklet “The Tibetan Situation Today”, once again the thinly veiled anti-Muslim rhetoric appears in this article, “Taktser was a Muslim village”, and of course the unverified statements that Buddhists had to pay Muslim officials bribes “in order to release” His Holiness the Dalai Lama from the Muslim community.

Increasingly the prejudices of some in the WSS are beginning to show, and it isn’t pretty. Despite their denial it is apparent that their organization shelters many insular, closed-minded fundamentalists. One wonders if these latest tactics are the result of prayers to this deity that so many lamas from all the traditions consider dubious.

Not content to merely undermine His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s selection by a litany of highly realized lamas as well as the Tibetan government, the latest propaganda aims to twist the knife into the heart of the Tibetan exile community. Though HH Ling Rinpoche lived until the ripe old age of 80, we are told that his death was the fault of the Dalai Lama encouraging Gelugs to investigate the Nyingma tradition. Trijang Rinpoche, who also died at the mature and venerable age of 80, died because the Dalai Lama decided to give up Shugden.

One wonders how the WSS can claim that HH Dalai Lama and Tibetans who follow him are superstitious when they make such bold, unsubstantiated and superstitious claims themselves

Clearly, the cause of Tibet, the life of HH Dalai Lama, the stability of the Three Great Monasteries is no concern of the WSS. Only the destruction of the institution of the Dalai Lama and the faith of his followers. Please don’t try to tell us you are non-political, your intentions are very clear. Shame on you.

Clearly the WSS would have us believe that Serkong Rinpoche, Serkong Dorjechang, Ling Rinpoche, Trijang Rinpoche, Reting Rinpoche, the Ganden Tripa, HH Sakya Trizing, HH Karmapa, Penor Rinpoche, Phakchog Rinpoche and the countless others lamas who support HH Tenzin Gyatso as the 14th Dalai Lama are misleading the public. WSS is right all the time, period, no matter what logic dictates.

Perhaps one good thing can come out of this latest attack: nobody will believe ever again that the WSS is non-political.

For an accurate account of the enthronement of the Dalai Lama, verified by countless venerable lamas including WSS favourite Trijang Rinpoche, see this work:

Wangdu, Khemey Sonam (2000). "Discovery of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama. An Eyewitness Account." In: Discovery, Recognition and Enthronement of the 14th Dalai Lama. Dharamsala: Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, pp. 1-52