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anti-Buddhist?

 
 
Why NKT World?

We didn't know about NKT, the core of NKT, for many years.

While driving or reading one day, or seeing an advertisement, we visited an NKT center. It was different from anything we had experienced for decades or millions of Buddhists have experienced the past 2,500 years. Nevertheless, it was pleasant and it seemed like Buddhism. Its lay teachers and usually young monks and nuns seemed peaceful and the group meditations were easy and comprehensible. Clearly, NKT avoided the rigors and rewards of traditional Buddhism. Retreats were festive and it was relaxing to take a break from the traffic and deeper societal problems, join the music and have good and simple food.

There was too much psychotherapy by ill-informed teachers and clergy, but it seemed well intentioned. The teachers and clergy were novices, had little if any psychotherapy training or licensure and bypassed monastic vows of Buddha Shakyamuni, Lama Tsongkhapa and all traditional forms of Buddhism, but they seemed to be well meaning. However, their vows and training are so weak, they are best seen as fake clergy and psychotherapists that wear Tibetan costumes.

We bought all the books, several statues and various accessories. We contributed time and money to operations. We helped secure government approval for a new NKT center. We donated so that NKT monks and nuns could attend festivals with NKT's patriarch in his mansion. It meant so much to them. We attended a tantra retreat of Lucy James.

After a few years though, like so many others experienced, we saw overly strict allegiance within NKT teachers and clergy and required of us by them to what began to seem militant closed mindedness of NKT's sole patriarch and purpose.

It became obvious that NKT's psychotherapy meditations were not only shallow but also damaging to some and a marketing ploy for revenues. NKT promised cure of our emotional/psychological/mental/spousal problems and even nirvana for cash. We saw in NKT teachers and clergy and in many of their students/customers a strategized focus on ego development, almost always a dangerous game and the opposite goal of true Buddhism. Nevertheless, it is successful and profitable, creating often lavish golden NKT centers around the world.

Then, during May/June 2008, we were shocked by extensive Internet, academic and media documentary references to NKT as a scandalous renegade ostracized 'new tradition' determined to undermine Tibetan Buddhism and ruin the legacy of its lamas and to destroy the Dalai Lama. We watched, in horror, videos of NKT monks and nuns around the world – perceived by most viewers as a boisterous party assaulting Buddhism and Tibetans on behalf of China.

How naive we were until then. We had no idea what NKT had been up to since 1991 and notoriously in media scandal since 1996. We were thankful that we were not pulled into NKT's inner and outer battles. We were thankful that we were not dependent as so many were to NKT for housing or psychotherapy, or for our Buddhism. More importantly, we were deeply concerned for those dependent on NKT or already, being or yet to be damaged by NKT. Alas, our eyes were opened and our appreciation of Buddhism and compassion was strengthened. We were compelled to learn more, and we did. Our resolve to mitigate suffering intensified.

As fate would have it, a big shot was making the rounds, Kelsang Dekyong. Perhaps Dekyong would shed light and convince us what we were seeing was a mirage or misinterpreted. It wasn't. It was worse.

We listened to Dekyong, supremely arrogant and clearly clawing her way to the top of NKT, chastise Lucy James for not producing students to march against the Dalai Lama, explain why this was why she was fired directly by NKT's patriarch April 2008 and read the emails NKT's patriarch sent to Lucy James that Dekyong made available, urging everyone to read...as if a warning (NKT emailed us Gyatso's emails). Dekyong, who has since advanced herself as NKT Spiritual Director, replacing NKT's founder Gyatso in 2009, seemed a dark and vindictive force and conspiratorial...not to be reckoned with or trusted (we later watched Dekyong screaming with a megaphone at the Dalai Lama holding an NKT manifesto, The Tibetan Situation Today). It was a foreboding dictum reeking with hostility. We watched the tears of Lucy James' students. It seemed we were being ordered to do what we are told, march or get out. Forget Lucy James, Gyatso says she is an outcast. The tears only increased. We were stunned. We had no idea of NKT politics and wars, or pettiness and vindictiveness. Asking ourselves – how could Lucy James be trashed, especially for what we did not understand – overwhelmed us.

(NKT banned (2009) and threated (2012) a lawsuit against Nick Gillespie to terminate his book about Buddhism; Gillespie was James' boyfriend several years ago, James was Creative Director for Gillespie's short-lived publishing house; Gillespie succumbed to NKT's theat and did not publish his book; James returned to NKT as is now a resident teacher again, her 2019 bio reads "Until quite recently, she was on a long meditation retreat.")

From Gyatso's 4/2008 email to James,

"You know that not one single student of NKT Dharma Centres in Florida joined the demonstration in Hamilton, NY, and this week the Admin Director of KMC Florida has resigned saying: Since the beginning of our involvement with the NKT we have been repeatedly told that the NKT was not involved in politics. Now that the NKT has opened up with its political position and begun demonstrating I can no longer be a part of the organization. This complete lack of honesty about the NKT's involvement in Tibetan politics is the reason for my departure.

I am very sorry that you have not trusted me. Because you do not trust me I cannot work with you therefore my conclusion is that you should resign from being an NKT Resident Teacher. From 1st May 2008 you will no longer be an NKT Resident Teacher. I will prepare a new Resident Teacher for KMC Florida and Parbawatiya Center."

To NKT students, Gyatso wrote April 27, 2008,

"I need help from you to solve the Dorje Shugden problem created by the Dalai Lama. Right now the Dalai Lama is removing the Tibetan Shugden worshipers from the Buddhist community saying that Shugden worshipers are not Buddhist because they worship an evil spirit - Shugden. At the same time he is preparing to remove western Shugden worshipers from the Buddhist community with the same reasons. His aim is to destroy the pure lineage of Je Tsongkhapa´s doctrine. To stop this evil action, as the representative of the Western Shugden Society, 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. Please help Pema and Thubchen with whatever they need."

We were entertained over the years when NKT supporters claimed we invented or fabricated Gyatso's emails, or if they existed we stole them. We neither invented, fabricated nor stole. We shared verbatim as NKT shared with us directly from Dekyong and directly from NKT via email as directed by Dekyong. Our notes of Dekyong's ominous presentation matched the emails. NKT supporters claimed that, if Gyatso's emails were real, we should have kept them hidden...contrary to Dekyong's advice for all to know about them and for all to read them. Dekyong said that this is what Gyatso wanted. They represented warnings from Gyatso and Dekyong for everyone to fear.

We noted many times after Gyatso's emails NKT profess they had no involvement with the Western Shugden Society. In 1997 to Newsweek, Gyatso promised he would not protest against the Dalai Lama any more. Lies.

We were stunned by what Dekyong was so gleeful talking about, protest rallies, and blaming anyone for not participating. Get involved or get excommunicated. What the hell was going on? We had no idea what Dekyong was talking about and did not like it. This battle was not why we were there or why we donated so much service and money and participated in center events and retreats.

Dekyong's sinister performance compelled us to dig deeper into the suffering NKT was causing, and why. The anguish and tears bothered us greatly. They still do.

Answers were easy to find. The amount and diversity of available information about NKT was vast and extraordinary. From NKT propaganda and protests and cover-ups and retaliations, to media coverage, to reactions from Buddhist organizations and Tibetans, to extensive published literature, to massive suffering inside NKT and of hundreds of NKT survivors. It was unimaginable that Buddhism could be so defiled and so many could be so harmed by NKT. It was bewildering to see so much NKT hate of the Dalai Lama and other Buddhist Lamas. It was saddening to see NKT's distortions of Kadampa Buddhism and rich history of Buddhist monastic vows and responsibilities. It was as if NKT was the opposite of Buddhism, appropriating Buddhism for sales and marketing. There were literally thousands of references to digest with dozens more every day. But compelled we were to understand what was happening and to help ease the suffering from NKT's corrosive actions. It was our Bodhisattva vow to engage.

We learned that all books by Buddhist lamas are banned, particularly the dozens written/co-authored by the Dalai Lama and those of the founders of true Kadampa, Atisha (982-1054) and Tsongkhapa (1357–1419), whose books we had long cherished. Our questions, why and what was wrong with the Dalai Lama, were deflected and dismissed at first but eventually followed by vile commentary against them.

We learned that all Buddhist teachers are banned. Only NKT's founder was considered to be the source for NKT teaching. It was his distorted narrow-minded extremist sect 'Buddhism' or else. We saw a cult of personality and message as well as methods vis a vis control of those who questioned the ultimate power, ethics and new 'religion' enterprse of Gyatso.

We learned that Gyatso abandoned his monk training in Tibet and all of Tibetan Buddhism other than a small fascist sect collaborating with China against the Tibetan government in exile in India and the Dalai Lama. His Tibetan monastery ostracized him for his war against Tibet, his training, 2,500-year-old rules and vows for Buddhist monks and nuns, and the Dalai Lama.

We learned that Buddhist organizations around the world urged caution about NKT, disagreeing with NKT's protest rallies and minimal preparation of its monks and nuns – widely considered as fake – with vows a small fraction of Buddhist clergy for 2,500 years. (example, example)

We learned that pictures and books of any Buddhist teacher, particularly the Dalai Lama, were ordered removed from all NKT properties, even in private rental and taxpayer-subsidized living spaces.

We learned that the the Dalai Lamas for hundreds of years (the current Dalai Lama is the 14th) have been heads of state for Tibet until overthrow by China in 1959 and have had a leadership position in the largest branch of Tibetan Buddhism. The Dalai Lama headed the Tibet Government in Exile in India until he retired in 2011. The Dalai Lama NEVER had authority over NKT, which abandoned Tibetan Buddhism in 1991. Gyatso left Tibet in 1959. The Dalai Lama has no authority to curtail NKT's assaults, Shugden, finances, government subsidies, real estate holdings, clergy or anything else. Thus, Gyatso's 'Dalai Lama Envy' and NKT's caustic war against the Dalai Lama were always senseless other than an outlet for their hate.

We learned that NKT's founder and sole patriarch is a fake and a liar and a sectarian extremist. Even his monastery in Tibet and numerous other respected Buddhist organizations said so.

We learned that senior NKT teachers sometimes have sleazy jobs. (example, warning – graphic content)

We learned that NKT often threatens those who escape NKT and others with Internet defamation and lawsuits. A contemptible example mid-2019 involves Dr. Michelle Haslam (see here).

Should NKT ever sue someone, NKT would have to prove its claims with real/admissible evidence and defendants would have substantial options regarding litigation discovery. Gyatso, NKT leadership, NKT board of directors, NKT accountants and auditors, NKT consultants, NKT advertising agencies, NKT publishers, NKT monks and nuns, and leading NKT supporters and benefactors could be deposed under oath and be compelled to provide extensive documentation relevant to their depositions, including funding and spending, income and property tax records, assault campaigns, prior complaints against NKT, employee misconduct, dispositions of internal sexual abuse/assault cases and taxpayer subsidies. The internal records, real estate records, contracts and finances of NKT could be exposed, analyzed and likely generate further litigation. Media/government Investigations, academic analyses/publications and journalist documentaries could follow. Corrupt practices and crimes might be revealed and prosecuted, and all prior taxpayer subsidies demanded to be returned, likely significant fines imposed and possible criminal charges filed. The transparency disinfectant would apply. Then, those hurt by NKT could more fully recover and all could be protected.

Of course, someone victimized by NKT could sue NKT and options for their litigation discovery would also apply.

We learned that NKT is really a business, much like McDonald's and Walmart, not a valid school of Buddhism but instead 1) a distorted revival of sectarian extremism in Tibet to undermine Buddhism and to partner with China to undermine Tibet autonomy, and 2) to misappropriate taxpayer subsidies for its real estate development of remarkably extensive real estate ventures and holdings. What we see in NKT centers, its advertising, its PR, its products, its books, its web sites, its real estate empire and its clergy is packaging that camouflages its darkness like so many 'successful' commercial products (eg, cigarettes and opioids were marketed as safe and effective and with appealing calming magazine ads with smiley fake doctors but now we know the real dangers, addiction and death; Jeffrey Epstein was well dressed with lots of real estate but was a long-term pedophile). Financial success is not spiritual success.

We learned that there are hundreds of NKT survivors, those banned by NKT, thrown out of their NKT living space and, worst of all, attacked viciously on the Internet by NKT with its proclivity to demean their mental health. Typically, they are attacked for problems caused or exacerbated by NKT.

We learned that senior NKT clergy sexually assaulted lower level clergy. NKT's founder called it a 'sexual tradition'. It was a predictable byproduct of NKT's abuse of traditional tantric Buddhism by grossly unprepared nearly-vowless clergy for prurient ego gratification. Many of NKT's fake clergy are self absorbed, arrogant, demeaning and domineering and have convinced themselves that they are experts in Buddhism and psychotherapy with far too little training and experience in either.

We learned that almost no one outside of NKT supports or recommends NKT.

We learned that almost all Buddhists in the world consider NKT a pariah.

We learned that NKT's lead deity is called Shugden, invented a few hundred years ago by an extremist sect in Tibet to harm Tibetans outside of this sect, disbelievers and the series of Dalai Lamas. Google 'Shugden controversy' to learn more. Also google 'NKT controversy', 'Kelsang Gyatso controversy' and 'NKT scandal'. You will find tens of thousands of web links, including by journalists, Buddhist teachers, Buddhist organizations, religious scholars, academic researchers/authors and NKT survivors. Several comprehensive reference books about Shugden politics, mythology and weaponization have been published, some with extensive comentary about NKT.

We learned that NKT leadership, the NKT members that NKT recruits to portray its hate and NKT affiliates are militant narcissists, collectively spending millions of pounds/dollars for travel, lodging, buses, food and water, megaphones, printing manifestos, signage etc. Some of the spending derives from taxpayer subsidy, a crime. They confront NKT survivors viciously, seething with hate. They attack and threaten in thought, word and deed to protect their helpless protector, Shugden. Videos, photographs, NKT manifestos (The Tibetan Situation Today, A Great Deception – both handed out at NKT protest rallies and sold on amazon.com) and thousands of Internet posts portray raw piercing ugliness. NKT clergy look like Donald Trump's white supremacists marching with torches against African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos and Jews. One NKT affiliate went all the way and butchered 3 associates of the Dalai Lama in his home to protect NKT's helpless invented satanic deity, Shugden. (see here; warning – graphic content)

We learned that NKT shrouds itself with fake denials and piety, and of course lies. NKT retaliates with vengence.

It seemed that NKT, at its core and beneath its sugary facade, is a disease.

We were horrified. We were deeply concerned for those infected and manipulated. They felt helpless and trampled upon, scared of NKT's assaults and threats of lawsuits. Publication of their books was terminated. Their families did not know what to do to aid their children, relatives and spouses. Many had handed to NKT all the money they had. The situation felt bleak. For hundreds, it was. For many, it still is.

Thus, an undertaking of compassion, nktworld.org was born July/August 2008, though a late entry into the assessment of NKT controversy and scandal that began almost as soon as NKT was created in 1991 and especially since 1996 when NKT went rogue with its political and religious war. nktworld.org's purpose was to review NKT's mission, behavior and misbehavior in the context of 2,500 years of Buddhism, being actively undermined by NKT, to support those NKT harmed and even to provide a vehicle for NKT and its supporters to contribute content (many did and it was added unedited) and to make valid corrections to our observations and those of others about the now widely-recognized ugliness with which NKT propels itself. Many of the essayists submitted deeply researched and referenced commentary. NKT's essays here are deeply vile. Approximately 500 essays appear at nktworld.org and there is much to consider. Much has been published about the dark forces propelling NKT.

The pronoun We/we is typically used here to represent an amalgam of countless individuals. Sometimes, essayists are single individuals. Mention of individuals' names are kept to a minimum and always in context of key events. The thrust of this web site is not individuals but NKT's abuse and is focused on content primarily not personality. After all, it is what we do and say that is open for discussion here. All of us are sacred and should be cherished. Reducing suffering should be our mission.

From this web site's home page since 2008, "This web site is a heart-felt plea that Gyatso, his NKT cult and his spiteful devotees relinquish their offensive public ego display and their abuse of esteemed Tibetan teachers of Buddhism..."

Unlike NKT, nktworld.org is not malicious, controls no one, not a fake charity, does not lie or threaten, a business, sells nothing, rents out nothing, owns nothing, bans nothing or anyone, has no revenues, does not mandate or accept donations, has no real estate, owns no resorts or apartment buildings, is not government subsidized or built on slave labor, does not market or monetize psychotherapy or nirvana, has no PR arm, does not advertise, pays no salaries or consultants, funds nothing, compels no one to attend protest rallies, supports Buddhism, supports Tibetan Buddhism, recommends virtually all books about Buddhism, supports NKT survivors and does not attack them, and mourns anyone harmed by NKT.

But, like so many others, attacked we were. Often, vile attacks (example; warning – graphic content). Sometimes, pornographic attacks. Sometimes, threats. We were banned from NKT. No matter. But what does matter is NKT's despicable assault on Buddhism and NKT's survivors and, ultimately, NKT's assault on all of us.

We are thankful for the resilience of Buddhism and NKT survivors to persevere. Our resolve will persevere.

Thank you for visiting.

Peace.