Dalai Lama: Savior, or Selfish Jerk?

So this week, the London bureau of CNN reported:

The Dalai Lama refused to answer a question Monday about whether Tibetan monks should stop setting themselves on fire to protest China’s occupation of Tibet.

“No answer,” he said, saying it was a sensitive political question and that he had retired from politics.

What’s going on is that Tibetan Buddhist monks have been killing themselves via self-imolation, setting themselves on fire. It’s about the most horrific way to die imaginable.

The Dalai Lama — who has maintained his headquarters in India ever since the 1959 escape from Chinese forces in Tibet — is today basically a fundraiser. He is, in fact, probably the most successful individual fundraiser in the world. His is the rallying cry of freeing Tibet from Chinese occupation… so westerners seem to think.

All of the infrastructure that exists in Tibet was built by the Chinese. Every paved road, every hospital, every school, and every power plant (without exception) was built by the Chinese. Every single paying job that exists in Tibet (without exception) was created by the Chinese. Every literate native Tibetan (without exception) was educated by the Chinese. The Chinese certainly have their faults, no argument there; but the fact remains that Tibet exists as a nation of free, working people only because of Chinese influence.

The Dalai Lama is keenly aware of that. His call is not for a “free Tibet” as many westerners believe; it is for Tibet to be converted from a Chinese Autonomous Region to a Chinese Special Administrative Region, similar to Hong Kong. This difference would make not a single practical difference to Tibetans; the only effect it would have would be to allow the Dalai Lama and other exiled members of the ruling monk class to return to their palace in Potala. It would ensure the continued free flow of money from China to Tibet, and Tibet would remain a part of China. There’s not a thing wrong with the monks returning to their palace, in my opinion. If ordinary Tibetans want their traditional oppressors back in the palace as figureheads, great, I’m all for it.

There’s not a thing wrong with what the Dalai Lama campaigns for, or with his fundraising — and here’s where I want to be clear — so long as he’s honest about how the funds are going to be used. None of the Dalai Lama’s raised hundreds of millions of dollars benefit Tibetan citizens in the slightest. He gives most of it to unrelated charities, and that’s a fine thing; but his only prerogative in Tibet is to get himself back to Potala. The Chinese already do everything for the Tibetan citizenry; there is no work for the Dalai Lama to do in that vein.

The rest of the money he raises go to his pet project: metaphysical spirituality. In many ways, he’s no different from Deepak Chopra; except that instead of misstating quantum physics, he allows his donors to misperceive his mission. The Dalai Lama is a highly successful self-help and metaphysical author. He’s written The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living, How to Practice: The Way to a Meaningful Life, How to See Yourself As You Really Are, The Dalai Lama’s Little Book of Inner Peace: The Essential Life and Teachings, The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality (the most Deepak Chopra-like of his books), Becoming Enlightened, Healing Anger: The Power of Patience from a Buddhist Perspective, An Open Heart: Practicing Compassion in Everyday Life, and dozens of others. He does not need your money.

There’s nothing wrong with writing nonsensical metaphysical self-help books, if that’s what people want to buy. In fact, this week’s news is the only time I’ve had a real problem with the guy. And to me, it’s a big problem.

His followers are brutally killing themselves on his behalf, and his only reaction is “No comment,” followed by a lame excuse that he’s retired.

Why does he have no comment? Obviously, because his entire marketing machine is driven by the perception that China’s involvement in Tibet is an atrocity. Every time a monk lights himself on fire, I guarantee you that somewhere, the Dalai Lama’s cash register’s bell rings.

If asked for my comment on the deaths, 30 of them in the last year alone, I’d say it’s horrific and I wish they wouldn’t do it, and whoever is condoning it should be arrested. If I had influence over them the way the Dalai Lama does, I’d have used the media opportunity to appeal to all of them to stop doing that. Please. My return to Potala is not worth your life.

Apparently, the Dalai Lama doesn’t see it the way I do. For a metaphysical self-help guru who wants you to find your inner peace and happiness, his who-gives-a-shit reaction to his followers killing themselves is pretty fucked up. Pardon my language, but swear words are not nearly as atrocious as the Dalai Lama’s “no comment”. He might as well have answered “Send me more money, and maybe they won’t have to keep doing that.”

I’ve attached this infographic. No, I do not believe that Hollywood celebrities and all the “Free Tibet” demonstrators want poverty and oppression in Tibet; but if China’s support was all suddenly pulled, and every single Tibetan became unemployed and was forced to return to serfdom, that’s exactly what would happen, by necessity. Tibet has no natural resources, no industries, and no economy whatsoever beyond what China has imported. A free Tibet is a penniless Tibet, which is why only those who know far less about the situation than the Dalai Lama are demanding it.

For a far more detailed look into Tibet’s complex history with China, see my full Skeptoid episode about it here.

About Brian Dunning

Science writer Brian Dunning is the host and producer of Skeptoid.
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181 Responses to Dalai Lama: Savior, or Selfish Jerk?

  1. Bryan Reynolds says:

    I think you might be forgetting the cost of those roads and oh so very high paying jobs you are so proud of, sir. In return, their country was invaded, the Chinese moved in millions of people of Chinese genetics in order to breed out the Tibetan population, stripped them of basic human rights, and force them to live a life they did not want nor ask for.

    Just because you feel jobs that pay $200 a year are worth losing your right to practice your religion, doesn’t mean they do. Just because you feel that roads are the end all be all of civilization does not mean they do. Just because you feel that all of this glorious money flowing into the region should make the Tibetan people somehow love their oppression, does not mean they do.

    The key here is… you aren’t them, and you don’t get to decide what is best for them, or if the life they choose to live is good enough. Nor does China. Nor do I. You simply get to shut your mouth and hope that the people of Tibet have the right to choose what type of life they live. You know, just like you do.

    This article is, without a doubt, one of the most closed minded, ignorant pieces of veiled bigotry ever published. You should be proud of yourself.

    • You’re clearly upset, but I’m not seeing what I said that you disagree with. Can you be more specific? Obviously, the subjects you bring up are not things I was talking about in this post.

      • Bryan Reynolds says:

        I am disagreeing with your assertion that Tibetans should be thankful for their country being invaded, your belief that having roads is somehow worth the Chinese conducting a silent genocide by forcing Tibetans to marry people with Chinese genetics, and any number of other human rights violations the Chinese conduct that we don’t get to hear about.

        I am disagreeing with you asserting the people of Tibet are somehow better off with China in charge. Would you welcome your Chinese overlords with open arms, sir? What if they felt they could give you a better life than you live now? Keep in mind, you assert it doesn’t matter what the people think, just that they are better off.

        I disagree with you calling the Dalai Lama a selfish jerk because of refusal to answer one question that he has answered before. He isn’t a political leader. He is a religious leader. Would you ask President Obama to weigh in on what he thinks American Catholics should do?

        I have never read your work before, so forgive the ignorance in this question, but would you also call the Pope nothing but a fundraiser? Would you call Jesus a fundraiser? How about Mohammed? The Dalai Lama is the leader of a religion. I have my own doubts about religion, but I also have the decency not to accuse them of being disingenuous about their beliefs just because they refuse to answer a question.

        I disagree with asking him the question in the first place. The question was stupid. Where is your outrage at the piss poor media member who asked the question in the first place?

        • Travis Roy says:

          You clearly never heard about how the Tibeten ruling class treated the surf class in the country prior to Chinese rule.

          • Bryan Reynolds says:

            Nope. Never. I’m debating something I know nothing about. Just because the other guy did it, too, doesn’t mean it is better with the new guy. You are both assuming nothing would have changed. The world as a whole has changed a great deal since the 1950s. You’re just going to assume Tibet wouldn’t have changed along with it?

            With the advent of communications devices the likes of nothing anyone had seen, you think it would all have just stayed the same? I have a hard time believing that.

          • Gyame Kyaktsar says:

            Travis, And you have? BTW, we have no ‘surf’ in Tibet. No oceans 🙂

            So enlighten me as to how Tibet’s ruling class treated us Tibetans? (hint: use any source other than the ones that originate from the totalitarian Communist government of China.. and that includes Michael Parenti, Tom Grunfeld and to much lesser degree Mel G.

        • Respectfully, Bryan, you may want to inform yourself better about the history between China and Tibet. This article is not my first experience researching the topic. What you’re saying is a pretty common perspective, but it does not reflect the reality of Tibet.

          One unpopular reality is that the vast majority of Tibetans were very grateful for what they considered a liberation when China booted out the aristocracy in 1959. The perspective you’ve heard is the widely trumpeted one publicized by those deposed leaders, and not from the voiceless millions who were living in deplorable poverty, suffered terrible oppression and tortures, owned no property and had no rights at all.

          What followed soon thereafter was China’s Great Leap Forward, which was disastrous for Tibet (and for all Chinese). The point is that it is not simply a case of good guys and bad guys. It’s a complex relationship going back many centuries, and a “Free Tibet” slogan is just plain goofy and naive, no matter how politically correct a soundbite it may be.

          • Bryan Reynolds says:

            Yeah. I read your post about the history of Tibet. Completely unsurprisingly, it is misinformed and full of falsehoods and half-truths. Not that it would be any different from your others posts. You seem to have an opinion and then go and find the information to support it.

            My position is not based on media coverage nor celebrity endorsements. It is the position being taught by major universities around the world and the one with actual facts backing it up, not spin used to back a position. I cringe when I see celebrities endorse something, because you are right, they are likely misinformed. As are you.

            I have studied this topic exhaustively in my undergrad work. I took a half dozen classes from three different schools, have talked to people who lived through it, scholars who have done more research than you or I can find the time for, people from China, and people from this ruling class you wish to demonize.

            Your position is ridiculous if you talk to people involved, and don’t get your facts from a Google search. I’m sorry to be this rude about this, but you are misinformed, and are spewing information to your readers that simply does not fit the truth.

            It is your right to do whatever you wish with your site, but don’t try to play it off like you know more than others just because you published a contrarian view point.

            For the record, the people in Austria and Czechoslovakia were happy to see the Nazis come across the border, too. They quickly learned, as did the Tibetans, that this wasn’t for their benefit.

            You mention at the end that this is a complex topic. Yet your post turns one quote from the Dalai Lama into some sort of strategy on his part to ignore his people and draw him up as nothing but a fundraiser. You want to talk about taking a complex situation and turning it into a soundbite, you did exactly that with this post.

            I would suggest that you, sir, do a bit more research on the actual reality in Tibet. Not the reality in 1950 or 1959. The reality today. The history does matter, but it is not a good enough reason to think that roads and some money justify what China is doing there, nor to go after the Dalai Lama simply because you don’t like the answer to a single question posed to the wrong person in the first place.

          • Gyame Kyaktsar says:

            Brian,
            I have travelled extensively throughout historic Tibet i.e., TAR, Qinghai, Sichuan, Gansu, and Yunnan. If you want to see historical Tibet, look up an official Chinese government map that includes all the provinces and prefectures. Now trace all that has either Tibetan autonomous Region or Tibetan autonomous prefecture, you will see all of Tibet. I speak the language. In all of my travels in Tibet, I have yet to meet a single Tibetan who is actually “grateful” for the Chinese “liberation” of Tibet.

            If majority of the Tibetans are truly grateful to the Chinese ‘liberation’ and expulsion of the evil “deposed leaders”, then why is China so nervous about allowing free and independent media from travelling and reporting from Tibet? Why is China so bent on banning images of the Dalai Lama in Tibet?

            Why, after over 800 years of supposed Chinese annexation of Tibet into China does China still need to keep asserting that Tibet is part of China?

            The history of Tibet is NOT complex. Chinese claim over Tibet is really based on three historical reference point.
            1. In the seventh century, Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo married a Chinese princess Wen Chen and that shows Tibet is part of China. Well, the Chinese historians always neglect to mention that the same king had a Nepalese wife, Bhrikuti Devi and two Tibetans wives. Since about twenty years ago, they stopped using this reference.
            2. During the Yuan dynasty, Tibet was under the Yuan empire’s influence. The Chinese argument is that the current leadership in China inherited the entire empire of the Yuan. Well, first off, Yuans were the Mongols. The Mongols took control of much of central Asia including present day China. It was infact the Tibetans who enjoyed a very high status with the Mongol empire… by introducing Tibetan buddhism to the Mongol rulers. Even today, Mongolians use Tibetan script for their religious documents and use Tibetan names. Mongols treated the Chinese as third class citizens at best. Such argument would be dismissed even in elementary school debate.
            3. The Tibetans paid homage to the Qing dynasty and therefore it proves that Tibet is part of China. Qings were Manchus. Infact when the last Emperor of Manchus were overthrown in 1911, it was the Chinese who celebrated for having overthrown a foreign rulers. So Chinese never ruled themselves during all of that time never mind having time to rule Tibet.

            Tibet was invaded in 1949 by Mao Tse tung based on a claim by Sun Yat Sen in 1911.

            So there is nothing complicated about the history. Any attempt to suggest a complicated history is being disingenuous.

            The argument that all of China suffered during the cultural revolution and therefore suffering of Tibetans is acceptable. As pointed out earlier, Tibet was an invaded nation that suffered at the hands of Chinese invasion. Calling it a “liberation” is simply ignoring the facts and the suffering of the Tibetan people.

            Be a Skeptic but not a propagandist!

          • George Zak says:

            To Bryan Reynolds:
            “For the record, the people in Austria and Czechoslovakia were happy to see the Nazis come across the border, too. They quickly learned, as did the Tibetans, that this wasn’t for their benefit.”

            what the … did you just say? I am from Czech Republic, one half of former Czechoslovakia, and I can assure you, that almost nobody was “happy” when Nazis came across the border. I wonder where have you heard this ridiculousness. At the time of year 1938, there was a decision about Czechoslovakia without its presence in the making of it. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Munich_Agreement
            Then, in 1939, Nazis really passed our borders (only of Czech part, Slovaks had their own state), but it was by the forced agreement of the old and sick president Emil Hacha. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protectorate_of_Bohemia_and_Moravia
            Germans came with army, not in peace you would imagine;). Proof, that Czechs didn’t approve of the state is f.e. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Anthropoid
            If your researched facts of Tibet are as accurate as of Czech Republic/Czechoslovakia, then I don’t see a reason why to trust your claims;)

          • Etienne says:

            I’m currently in Hungary and the history is quite interesting. First they were fighting WITH the Nazis, then they turned around when they saw their plan wasn’t working and were conquered by the Nazis, then they were “freed” from the Nazis by the Soviet army… which hasn’t turned out to be to their advantage. Then they eventually regained their independence.

          • Anonymous says:

            I appreciate that you know the truth not just the so- called human right.

        • If you are able to point out any corrections, they will be gratefully posted and announced in the next errata episode. You will have to provide proper citations though; simply telling me that I’m ignorant and misinformed, and boasting that you took some classes once, is not sufficient.

          • Bryan Reynolds says:

            And there it is. The “why don’t you prove me wrong” argument. I don’t need to do your job for you, sir. The work is yours to do. I already did my work. You know you twisted the truth to fit your story, and that is between you and your readers. If you want to call what I did “boasting,” that’s fine, too. I know the work I have done, I know the work you have done.

            I hope at some point in your life you can admit to yourself that reading about Tibet on some website, regurgitating (without proper citation mind you) that information, and then saying that what China is doing to the people of Tibet is worth having pretty roads wasn’t the best course of action to take.

            As for me, I’ll just walk away, knowing that small minds will always be small. Enjoy your life, sir. I’m not sure I could.

          • Scott G. says:

            But, Bryan, you DO need to “do his job,” if you are insisting his job has been done incorrectly. You are stating outright that Brian is incorrect in his statements without providing any evidence to show where the errors are. A line-by-line edit is probably not necessary (although would be of interest), but some valid citations indicating where correcting data may be found would certainly validate your claim more than just saying “You’re wrong – you figure out why.”

          • Bryan Reynolds says:

            I indicated where it can be found. Any local library or university. It’s not difficult to find. Open a book, gentlemen.

          • Kate says:

            Gyame Kyaktsar seems to know what he is talking about, and he’s disagreeing with this article in an intelligent and cogent way. I would disregard Bryan for being confrontational and hysterical and for substituting lucid arguments with rants and generalities. He sounds like one of those guys who gets his Buddhism from the local strip mall.

          • lesly says:

            Thanks for your well thought out article and comments. People react very strongly and emotionally to this, you are solid and grounded in your approach. I really appreciate it (as someone who tends to get emotional about it all too)

      • Ramon says:

        Refuting the believe that the Dalai Lama is a sincere and pure buddhist practitioner and teacher by using his words and comparing it with Buddhas wisdom:
        ANGER SOLVES NOTHING

        We must admit that sometimes the Dalai Lama tells the truth. Some days ago a friend of mine showed me a magazine with a Dalai Lama interview, in it the Dalai Lama says the following and I quote:
        There is no much sense in me speaking about myself. It is better that other people do it. What I know is that when I was a child I was a character, but I have changed. Nowadays, I get angry from time to time, like for example not long ago in Madrid. It was in the hotel waiting for my luggage to arrive to the hotel, and it was not arriving. No one knew anything about it. How silly! It should be somewhere. So I lost my temper. But it was for a good reason: in my luggage there was my Tibetan medicine and I have stomach pain, so I need it. In general I think that emotions and intelligence come together. The emotions are part of our life but intelligence must control them. In my case, when emotions come out my wisdom and experience help me. However sometimes they appear in my dreams. I see myself fighting with people. I hold something in my hand and I try to hit them, but then I remember in my dream that I am a monk and I should not fight. Sometimes I also dream with women. Yes attractive women… The Dalai Lama laughs and speaks in Tibetan that Thetong translates: . The Dalai Lama keeps laughing: <but even in my dreams my reaction is the same. I tell myself that I am a monk.
        Maybe, for the general public that does not know anything about Buddhism this looks cool. But for someone that has some knowledge of Buddhism it is a bit different. These people will arrive to the conclusion that the Dalai Lama cannot be the Buddha of Compassion as some people believe, cannot be a superior bodhisattva, or even a foe destroyer, an ordinary bodhisattva, or a pure and sincere practitioner.
        Basically, the Dalai Lama here admits that he gets angry from time to time, but that is not the worst (remember that people consider him the pope of Buddhism)he admits also that is OK to get angry, that there are some occasions in which is OK to get angry. Any sincere Buddhist would agree that Shantideva was a great Buddhist master and a realized being. If we check his masterpiece “Guide to the bodhisattva’s way of life” at the chapter about patience we will learn that there is not a single valid reason to get angry. Shantideva spends many pages refuting the reasons that we normally state to get angry as a means to solve our own problems.
        Since I begin to study and practice Buddhism I have learnt something that has been very important to me, and is that anger solves nothing. In Dalai Lama’s example I would say to him that losing the temper does not solve his external problem (no matter how angry he gets the luggage will not appear) but rather creates his actual problem the mind of anger itself. That is very basic Buddhist knowledge. So it seems that the Dalai Lama does not know this basic knowledge. It is very weird, could not the Dalai Lama (no less than Avalokisteshvara for some) find a more constructive and positive way to react to this situation. He could (if he had followed Buddha’s teachings but he did not).
        If we follow Buddhist teachings we will learn that this is a very good opportunity to practice patience. How does it work? Simply by recalling that if we get angry we worsen our problem, that is, the luggage still is not there, he has stomach pain and he now is also angry (3 problems instead of 2 and the real problem is anger). Patience shows us that we can be happy amidst adversity. Examples are given in the scriptures of people that by applying patience they maintain a happy mind and peace of mind even if they are seriously ill with very strong pain like the pain that comes from cancer etc.
        The Dalai Lama admits that he is reacting as an ordinary person that at the minimum adversity gets angry. So we could ask him where his Buddhist practice has gone. I think the answer is that the Dalai Lama has the words of Dharma but not the experience of it. He has intellectual knowledge of the teachings but he has not managed to get experience from that knowledge. That is a very common problem. The solution for it is to practice the teachings received. I think also that this is the reason of the two faces of the Dalai Lama (the words that he speaks and the actions he performs). So it would be interesting to know how his intelligence has worked in this case to control his emotions in this case. By his words we can infer the following: It is Ok for me to get angry because I have a valid reason I am in pain and this silly people have lost my luggage with my medicine. Dalai Lama is that the example that you want to show to the world? So according to you everyone has valid reasons to get angry. Is this the way to help people to overcome their delusions? Can be this a good example? This is what the Dalai Lama thinks about his intelligence controlling his emotions. How sad, what a big difference between the Dalai Lama and Shantideva.
        Look, I am o the way and I admit that sometimes I get angry, but I recognise this as my inner enemy that destroys my inner peace, so I pray to get rid of it along with the other delusions. From that point of view I think I am much better practitioner than the Dalai Lama, not because myself but rather thanks to the kindness of my teachers and the effort to overcome delusions like anger.
        If we keep analysing Dalai Lama’s words we realize that he has not overcome his delusions he still has anger in his mind, and also attachment and of course ignorance. These are known as the three poisons that steal our inner peace and happiness. I personally, would never choose a person that admits to have these three poisons, and that admits that is OK to have them as my Spiritual Guide.
        I think in these cases the Dalai Lama speaks the truth so we must take him at the letter. He has no Dharma realizations like tranquil abiding or a direct realization of emptiness because still he suffers from physical problems. He does not know how to practice Loyong, transforming the adversity into the path. He cannot even control his mind in a mild situation. To me he gets angry now just from time to time not because he has learned to control his mind but because he has managed (thanks to his power) to change the external conditions according to his wishes, so when something happens against his wishes he gets angry(see the video of the nun asking him for religion freedom).
        Also, a person with Dharma realisations like a direct realization on emptiness on the path of meditation could not have the dreams that he has got, because this people have destroyed the seeds of all delusions, so if there is no seeds they cannot ripen in dreams. You do not need to be Jung to interpret his dreams, they speak for themselves. Also the commentary that he says at the end , that is a very low comment, Can you imagine Shantideva, Milarepa, Atisha o Yhe Tsonkhapa stating such a low , insulting and ordinary comment?
        Is this the persona appointed to represent the Buddhist path in this world? For me is just a clown, a show man and a very, very ordinary person full of delusions and with no capacity or will to overcome them.
        PD- The interview was in the Spanish magazine “El semanal” 9 of July 2005 Nº 923.

        • Jano Rix says:

          Ramon, I hear you what you are saying, and have wondered about the Dalai Lama and his practice and path. I can’t argue what you say, but I do have a positive thought about it I wanted to share. I would also say, the Buddha struggled too, had “ordinary” thoughts through his life and development, and I’ve never personally met a teacher who has completely overcome anger, to the point where it never even surfaces. Not an honest teacher! But rather, many great teachers who know how to be kind with themselves and others when anger surfaces, and not cling to it and act it out on themselves and others. To maintain compassion. So, I do applaud the Dalai Lama for being honest and compassionate toward himself about it.
          That he was chosen to be a “Spiritual Leader” is in itself, an odd thing to me. He is an ordinary person! I like the Buddhist stories about enlightened beings, in the stories, they have been raised up to perfection. I, personally, take them more as teachings, and inspiration. In the real world, I find people, including the spiritual teachers, have a lot more grey area going on! But that doesn’t mean I can’t learn a lot from them, just because they are not perfect.
          So, I hear your point Ramon. Yes, it is surprising that he writes this, but this is just a vote for his honesty and compassion being a breath of fresh air in the world of “spiritual teachers”. That’s all 🙂
          (and I certainly am no scholar on his whole life)

        • gabriella mark says:

          Ramon, it’s very nice that you feel so advanced in your practice. Although unlike the Dalai Lama you might not get angry anymore or when you do, you purify, comparing your practice to the DL’s seems to me that you are being poud of yourself and citicising the Dalai Lama. I think all the Dalai Lama intended to say with this comment was that he was still a human being, still attached to his delusions, not enlightened, in other words he was practicing modesty whileas you seem to be practicing pride. So I am actually not sure about all that you are claiming in your comment. I wish you well on your path.

    • Anonymous says:

      You don’t know the history of China at all, when was Tibet an independent country? And I think you are the one who should shut your mouth up because you don’t know anything about the people’s life there and you think let people to kill themselves is the right to choose the type of like they want. Bullshit!

    • purity of mind says:

      Bryan, the Dalai Lama is an oppressor. This has got to be one of the most open minded challenges to this mans Gucchi image projected by his Hollywood pals. His political and devious influence goes to high places. This is NO humble monk. Believe me.. Dalai, I wont even refer to him as a Lama, as he is principally a politician, a dictator to be truthful (of over 50 years standing – currently the longest standing and cruelest of dictators on this planet) is a bigot, a liar, a war monger, and a hypocrit. Read the book ‘a great deception’ and also check out Michael Parenti’s article ‘the nobel peace prize for war’ and the book ‘god and his demons’. These all come from first class research (no Chinese influence here). Dalai is currently demonizing and segregating the Tibetan society through a process of religious bigotry, which is very logically explained in the book ‘a great deception’ and on websites, such as new kadampa truth and falsedalailama.com. He IS a major con artist, a dictator and has strong ties with the CIA and Nazi’s. Corruption is at his core. He rejected his faith years ago. His main interest IS political and material gain. Not the workings of a HUMBLE MONK AT ALL. How sad are people who don’t research these things and follow blindly what this evil clown is saying. He doesn’t practice what he preaches. Far from it. He was chosen supposedly as a ‘tulku’ of the last Dalai, who, if hell exists, will be there. He was a muslim and had absolutely no interest in Buddhism. There is a very interesting history, with evidence as to why he was not rejected as suggested by the core group in Tibet. The whole Tibetan system under him was no Shangri-la. It was a serfdom. Truly so. Get your history right mate, and research this evil person masquerading in Buddhist robes.

    • purity of mind says:

      Also, Tibetans have more religious freedom under the Chinese than they do under the Tibetan Dalai ‘Lama’. Check out you tube ‘dorje shugden protests in newyork’

    • Ramon says:

      dalai lama stop lying!!!

    • purity of mind says:

      Sir, I am sorry to say that your ignorance of the Tibetan situation knows no bounds.

      You speak of religious freedom, which this false Dalai Lama denies to Tibetans /www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPH2JryH1cs . Tibetans (95% of Tib pop. in all) in China have far greater religious freedom and human rights than they ever had under him, and than a large section (Shugdens) currently have under him today.

      I suggest you do some in depth factual research into the real Tibetan situation, rather than parotting the perceived Hollywood fiction created by Speilberg and co who are fawning over this false Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama, (or false Dalai Lama) is a long standing dictator, a fake in every way, a money grubber, a power crazy oppressor. Happy reading and researching. The last link explains a bit about life in the feudal theodictatorship of Tibet. Parenti is a scholar….check his credentials. http://www.westernshugdensociety.org/dalai-lama/the-false-dalai-lama/

      As you can see,Tibet was NO shambala! The people who escaped from Tibet were monks nuns and feudal wealthy land owners (about 5% of the population). Tibetans were oppressed and tortured under this system. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vWDEauRvxE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9fQrdZlSps http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEghicZKEVI http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEghicZKEVI (warning some graphic images of torture and torture instruments), which were used up until the Dalai Lama and his retinue of wealthy feudal landlords fled Tibet(the ones you see with all those lovely coloured outfits and aprons)…the priviledged lord caste who fled from Tibet and follow the Dalai Lama around in countries all over the world…those who fled to India…..still rich and privileged, unless they are monks or lay people following Dorje Shugden. Then they have no rights in the community…no medical rights, no food, no shelter as decreed by the world famous hypocrite….the (false) Dalai Lama. He decreed them outcasts. Religious pariahs. Many have been killed and assaulted because he spread lies and bad feeling against these innocents. Tibetan feudal landlord types are aggressive and have no qualms about using their force on those who go against the false Dalai Lama (even threatening western people who stand against his human rights abuses) Creating hit lists of Tibetans who speak out against HHFDL to intimidate and silence them. All the outcasts in the exile community were outcast on the order HH False Dalai Dalai Lama. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZrCY9SQJx8

      He lies like no one I ever know. He is a CIA collaborator, but most of all a bloody hypocrite who projects his own faults on to Dorje Shugden Buddhists. Dorje Shugden is a wisdom Buddha Dharma protector of the revered Mahayana Gelugpa tradition. In order to understand the full extent of his evil cruelty, one must research in depth as to the culture of these people, their deep fear and faith and superstition surrounding him, listen to those who were outcast (exiles in exile) / Check out the false dalai lama on facebook and twitter.

      The false Dalai Lama speaks many fine words, but his actions do not match his false public profile. Everything about the guy is false. Without faith and pure lineage (having rejected his own Spiritual masters) /www.youtube.com/watch?v=mv5W13XM4OE he is barren. He stands alone. To understand this you need to understand guru devotion in the Gelugpa tradition and the power of these teachings, which he steals, though his speech has no spiritual power through his lies and denial of his gurus (one just needs to look at the violence coming from people who attended teachings from him on love and compassion, and who, therefore got no power from his words) see this /www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngooZuScfQQ#t=106

      He has caused a division in the sangha, contrary to Buddhas teachings on moral discipline (the foundation of all realizations), therefore breaking his moral discipline. There are other things about this ordinary man (not a Buddha) that disavow him of the dignity of a Buddhist monk, including his vow of celibacy (to one of his ‘oracles’ a woman who is claimed to be Chinese). No one dare speak out against him in the Tibetan community, as they see what he has done to the Shugdenpa’s. He is a very powerful figurehead within the Tibetan exile community, seen as a Buddha (rofl) and he is first and foremost a politician, (the longest standing dictator on planet Earth). No one forces you to take these vows. They are a choice. He has broken every vow. He even calls a wisdom Buddha an evil Spirit (another broken vow). Only the ignorant believe him. Those with ‘blind’ unquestioning faith, benefits to gain (on a temporal level), and no logic.

      This matter is very simple. The Dalai Lama is committing human rights abuses and violations, through denying people their religious freedom. No one is willing to challenge the world famous image projected monk with the Gucci shoes eating veal. The only person who makes the issue complex is him, when he goes off on one of his world famous long winded verbal diarrhoea, quoting this person and that. He is casuing religious appartheid in the Tibetan exile community. People in Chinese Tibet have more religious freedom. He mixes politics with religion. He is living evidence of the flaws in this system.

      Even if people wanted to worship a spirit what right does he have to stop them? Especially in a democratic country (supposed) like India. He (a spirit worshipper himself) having taken refuge in Nechung (a spirit). Which if he wants to, ‘fine’, but don’t make it an issue for others (hypocrisy) and he should stop projecting own faults on to others therefore saving another degenerate vow. He is a very unholy man. Here is my message to the Dalai Lama : Don’t call yourself a Buddhist. Don’t pretend you are a monk. Don’t pretend you are a Dalai Lama either. Don’t pretend you are a holy man. Practice what you preach, stop lying and give religious freedom. You made this problem, now stop it!

      I suggest to you sir. that you engage logic before flushing mouth or perhaps just (using your own words) shut up! (especially if you are going to spout uneducated crap! Remember that $200 is far superior to living in abject poverty and facing the constant threat of eye gouging, limb severing, stocks, chains, shackles, tongue removal and starving to death, with NO HOPE of getting out of their rut. Being taxed to death. Here in the west we cannot imagine that until recently, people actually still lived like this, then this weird image was spun around this quaint little Tibetan ‘Lama’ (use the term loosley) that he lived in and created ‘shangri-la rotfl. If you fail to check these references, I can only conclude (using your own projections) you are, ‘without a doubt, one of the most closed minded, ignorant’ people to put finger to keypad. Happy learning!

      • surfver says:

        http://info-buddhism.com/dorje_shugden_controversy.html
        “According to Mumford: Dorje Shugden is “extremely popular, but held in awe and feared among Tibetans because he is highly punitive.”

        “The Fourteenth Dalai Lama holds the view “This is not an authentic tradition, but a mistaken one. It is leading people astray. As Buddhists, who take ultimate refuge in the three jewels, we are not permitted to take refuge in worldly deities.”

        I find many things that the Dalai Lama writes to be highly inspirational, however this thing on Dorje Shugden, I find little. If Dorje Shugden was some kind of ‘real buddhist’ and the Dalai Lama the ‘false buddha’, I would think someone would have something significant to say about Dorje. In reality it is just westerners projecting their idea of political correctness onto other cultures and religions and is a manifestation of their own unenlightened dogma with regards to political correctness or other leftist views.

        Since Dorje is highly controversial, it seems China is also helping to promote Dorje.

        Tibet was a simple society that was not a part of the modern world in any real sense. I hear a number of false arguments on here which seem to ignore the reality of what is the legacy of communist china and how more people have been murdered and starved off under Mao than at any time in history as well as the growing hypocrisy of the so call war on terror going on in the west.

    • Jason says:

      What are you talking about? The author is 100% correct and no mount of mealy-mouthed reactionism can deny the truth. Are you trying to defend being ripped off by Dali Lama Inc?

    • Bryan Reynolds says:

      China is great. They should move into Tibet and take over the entire region. They are the best.

  2. SDC says:

    I have to agree with Scott and Brian.

    @Bryan, if you believe that Brian is so wrong, provide evidence to the contrary. That IS your job! I have *NEVER* known Brian to take a side with ‘religious fervor’. If you are able to present absolute facts (not opinions), I am willing to bet that Brian will apologize and publish your evidence.

    This story actually tested my objectiveness because, up until this point, The Dalai Lama was a kind of mentor, a man for whom I felt a huge amount of respect and reverence. But his inability to publicly condemn this form of protest or more-over, his answer when asked, greatly disturbs me.

    With all due respect, the inability to change your dogmatic beliefs (given enough contrary evidence) makes you no better than FOX news OP’EDs, climate change deniers, and religious fundamentalists.

    Brian, this hurt to learn… BUT I thank you for bringing this to my attention.

    Shawn

    • Bryan Reynolds says:

      So it is my job to show you all exactly where to find information that is readily available? And I’m FOX News? This is the most absurd conversation I have ever been involved.

      Enjoy your site, all. Never question your overlord, I guess.

      • Alessandro Martin says:

        Hi there. May I ask you what do you think about the fact that the Dalai Lama has failed to condemn the way Tibetan Monks are immolating themselves? To me that’s pretty much the same thing islamic terrorist leaders do: they send their peers to die for the cause, but god forbid they strap a bomb to themselves and do as they preach. I wonder if the Dalai Lama would give up his high flying jet set life and self immolate if that really meant the achievement of his objectives…

        • SDC says:

          @Alessandro
          Clearly Bryan is of that zealot type that has absolutely no interest in defending his comments nor an interest in seeing another perspective.

          I deal this that sort of BS with right-wingers (though I am certain lefties can be just as bad) all the time. Bring up contrary information (with references) and they don’t care to read them.

          Changing the views of a zealot is nearly impossible and sadly, my success rate is ZERO percent. 🙁

          Anyhow, the point of this post was the Dalai Lamas disturbing answer to the question about the Tibetan protesters.

        • Jack Repenning says:

          Whoah, there. There is a profound difference between giving your own life for something you believe in (what these monks do), and taking the lives of others (what a bomber does).

          There is also a major difference between “failing to condemn” and “sending to do.” I, for example, “fail to condemn” these monks, because I think they’re doing what they do out of their own consciences. But I couldn’t possibly “send” them … they wouldn’t listen to me.

          I’m in no position to resolve ultimate questions of life in Tibet, but it does appear to me that these immolations are free choices, not compelled or brain-washed.

          • SL says:

            Just finished viewing a documentary on “The Doll” in which the producers of said doc expressed gratitude to the office of “his holiness the Dalai Lama.” How naive of you to suggest actual adherents to his philosophy, or how Lama chooses to interpret the reflections of the long dead Buddha, are not influenced in the slightest and are acting in accordance with their own free will. Zealots (blind or visionaries) always exert influence… Hell, Mad Ave admen no that: The right soap opera & a good pitch sells suds, or self immolation LOL

          • purity of mind says:

            The Dalai has such power over his people, if he said ‘stop this self immolation’ it would stop. Where is his compassion? If you knew the powerr this guy holds, and yet refuses to halt this, then you can see him for what he is. Also he refuses to stop religious segregation created by him (ref. Dorje Shugden). He has the power, but doesn’t do it. Why? He is selfish, power lusting and jealous, to the core. I would not stand back and watch my children burn, if one word could stop it. I have no reputation to keep, such as Dalai has. He is the epitomy of selfish and evil in this world today. Masquerading as a Buddhist monk. Scary.

        • Eric Hall says:

          This is good. Now we have a better base for the discussion.

          The article if you read carefully is poorly sourced. It is only sourced from one person – Free Tibet director Stephanie Brigden. The article says the Dalai Lama DID condemn the suicides. Actually that’s wrong. Here’s an article pointing out that the Dalai Lama actually said not to condemn them specifically – http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/10818667-china-accuses-the-dalai-lama-do-not-condemn-the-suicide-of-protest – And here in the Economist that states “[China has] blame[d] the immolations on the Dalai Lama, who has discouraged but not explicitly prohibited them.” http://www.economist.com/node/21549930 (also, confirmed in this news source here “discouraged, but not prohibited” http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/03/17/dying-as-a-political-act-centuries-old-buddhist-tradition-of-self-immolation-continues-in-china/)

          So I think Dunning’s statement holds. He thinks The Dalai Lama should take a stronger stance in these suicides by telling the monks not to do it and there are better ways to protest.

          • purity of mind says:

            I agree Eric. dalai has major ‘god-like’ power over his people. It is a mindset. He only needs to say ‘stop’ and they will. I do believe he is encouragiong them, just as he clearly incited attacks from the Tibetan people on Dorje Shugden protestors in NewYork a couple of years back. His selfishness knows no bounds.

        • SL says:

          Finally, the truth — and yes, Doll’s action (or lack thereof with his ‘no comment’) is very much the same as those gallant religious leaders of Islam. Reason being, the leaders are not spiritual but ideologues, Buddhism being a non-theistic philosophy. Give me St. Peter, James, Paul or any of the early leaders of the Church (which is Christ’s Body of believers in the world, and not always church attendees), those who led by example, with conviction, and unto death if necessary. They had no photo ops, either, and book signings, but they did contend with the religious hypocrites of their day, and the Romans, more oppressive than China. Doll is still alive, right? While his ‘followers’ take the fall. Pardon me if I’ve moved off topic. Kinda thought this about his character or integrity, by action or lack. Ultimately God reads hearts, motive and true intent. Should be interesting.

          • purity of mind says:

            The Dalai Lama is a muslim. Not a Buddhist. He rejected his lineage masters, and was not a tulku. Check out falsedalailama.com

      • Scott G. says:

        Never question Brian? It seems to me more that folks question Brian all the time (both in hostility, as seems the case here, as well as with legitimate concern or curiosity).

        Again, though, Bryan, you cannot say something like “go read a book” and expect to be taken seriously. If you have specific examples (even one example) of specific places where you disagree with what he has said, please provide those examples. As it stands, you are merely stating that his presented facts are wrong without any evidence to show that he actually is wrong. This is akin to an armchair “physicist” claiming that Einstein was wrong without providing valid theoretical writeup showing how it is so. (No, I’m not trying to equate Brian with Einstein, at least not until he gets his first Nobel Prize!)

        • Bryan Reynolds says:

          Please see above. Now you have an example. How many more do I need to give?

        • rea says:

          For the record, Einstein didn’t get the Nobel Prize for what most people think of him – originator of theory of relativity. Sometimes it pays some independent thinking of our own and yes, “go read a book” can be a proper incentive at times :).

    • Gyame Kyaktsar says:

      Shawn,
      If you understood the truly feelings of the Tibetan people and their determination for self-immolations, you will understand Dalai Lama’s refusal to condemn their acts. The Dalai Lama is asked by the Tibetan people from Tibet and outside not to ask them to stop. Our people are making an informed decision.

      Just because you don’t see Tibetans blowing up innocent targets or exhibiting hatred against ordinary Chinese, it does not mean that we are not suffering. I have heard and seen the videos of those who have self-immolated. It is a conscious decision of people who are much saner than many of us.

      And before you get to it, Brian, I am NOT an aristocrat nor a monk. My parents are from a small village in Kham as ordinary farmers. And majority of Tibetans who came into exile are just like me. If you want to see former aristocrats in position of authority, look at the current Tibetan leadership in Tibet. Not a single member of the Kashag (cabinet) of the Tibetan government in exile is a former aristocrat nor a monk. All are ordinary Tibetans!

      • lesly says:

        Gyame Kyakstar, how to ordinary Tibetans like yourself feel about the Dalai Lamas ban on the practice of Dorje Shugdan and the resultant hostility and ostracization toward those who refuse to give up their heart practice?

      • purity of mind says:

        You sir, are a supporter of the Dalai and have no objectivity. Members of the Kashag are nearly all relatives of Dalai. Very objective eh.More like a superstitious reaction to please their religious leader, No one EVER argues against Dalai…EVER, without subsequent consequences. Lets be objective about this. Tibetans follow blindly this man masquerading as a monk. One merely needs to look what is happening to Buddha Dorje Shugden worshippers…they are being isolated from their community, denied medical care, schooling and religious freedom, because of the Dalai. Dalai is viewed as ‘god’ like person in Tibet, and to disagree has its MAJOR disadvantages. Check out Swiss documentary on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5sOm-uQH9Y about the fear and pain caused by Dalai to his own people. These are Tibetans that are speaking out against the actions of Dalai, and are now treated as pariahs. If this selfish uncompassionate political dictator told these monks to stop, they would. He loves the ‘bad’ portrayal of the Chinese, as it takes the bad press away from him and his lack of progress on freeing Tibet as well as his lack of lineage, having rejected his own teachers. His actions of money grubbing and power grasping are not holy actions. He is a self proclaimed dictator of the Tibetan autonomous region and because he can’t get his power and his palace back, he is being spiteful towards the Chinese using his monks (like western governments use soldiers). He also has CIA backing and close Nazi ties.

  3. Cary Snowden says:

    Bryan, your assertion that ‘something’ is incorrect needs to be more specific. Which part of Brian’s article is incorrect? Once you have pointed that out, you will need to explain why you think it is incorrect. This is how civil argument is carried out, and how we will ultimately come to truth.

    If you cannot provide any evidence or at least explain your argument in terms other than ‘you are wrong; na na na’, then your position will lose credibility in this forum faster than a communist selling buttons.

    I am pretty sure many people are watching this thread for your evidence. I am. Quit whining and provide it.

    • Bryan Reynolds says:

      So your argument basically comes down to “No he’s not wrong, na na na?”

      I stated what is wrong with his article. Everything. Then I stated where to find the evidence. The library. The internet. Then, because you seem to be the laziest group of “skeptics” on the planet, I even provided it for you.

      Anything else, my liege?

  4. Jack Repenning says:

    I think the OP’s essential point is that the Dalai Lama instigates, and thus is responsible for, these self-immolations. Did I get that right? But I don’t see, in this article, any support for such a claim. (Nor in any of the public information I’ve seen about the Dalai Lama, but then an article like this might have the purpose of enlightening me.)

    Or perhaps it’s more on the lines of “he could do something to stop it, but does not,” thereby acquiring a kind of derived responsibility (what is sometimes called a “sin of omission”).

    It is not particularly “obvious” to me that his actions (or inaction) are derived from marketing. It seems entirely plausible that he respects the moral conscience of these monks. Self-immolation is a well-established and documented form of protest.

    • SL says:

      Instigates? Well that’s broad. No, he probably hasn’t called for immolations outright. But he is mum on silencing the vocal praise, and adulation, and the credits he receives on the films likening him to Jesus at best, or the former emperor of Japan, in a more pedestrian sense (if there is one) for a term such as ‘his holiness.’ That was stated prominently in a doc mentioned above. And the documentary, if you’re interested, was produced by some Russian film company back in 2008. IMDB.com has more: Sunrise/Sunset (day in the so called life of an ordinary monk (promoted as such) who yet allowed the same company to thank him, or his office, as that of his holiness the Dalai Lama.
      With title comes privilege, right? And responsibility? Nah, that’s old school: Pharisaical: Do as I say, or suggest subtly, but not as I do. I’m the Dalai, and I’ve got appearances to keep up. The Monks should listen to God, and not their god, the one with the comfortable digs in India (though not as nice as that palace back in Tibet).

  5. SDC says:

    Since Bryan is not interested in educating us, I thought I would do a little of my own research. Embarrassingly, I had forgot much of my Tibetan history.

    Perhaps more importantly, besides the known facts, it may be a highly subjective question to ask, “are Tibetans better off under Chinese rule”

    Anyhow, it is true that during the “Great Leap Forward” a great many Tibetans died of starvation [http://www.subliminal.org/tibet/testimony/1962-panchen.html] and the Chinese violated many of their basic human rights [http://www.tibetjustice.org/materials/govngo/govngo2.html].

    It is a fact that the Chinese truly believe that the Tibetans are vastly better off under Chinese rule [http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1999/02/tibet-through-chinese-eyes/6395/] but is this really true? It would appear that the opposite is true [http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2011/01/10/beijings-broken-promises-human-rights-0].

    Bryan mentioned, religious repression… yes, it appears to exist: [http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/china-must-allow-independent-investigation-tibetan-protest-clashes-2012-01-24]

    There is a whole lot more to this story but overall Byran’s assertions are essentially correct.
    ** Still, this wasn’t the point of Brian Dunning’s post. **

    BTW, here is one of several articles regarding the topic Brian brought up:
    http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA17/045/2011/en

    • Bryan Reynolds says:

      Congrats. I knew you could do it.

      • Myfanwy Coghill says:

        @Bryan Reynolds

        This is a rather arrogant response from someone who claims to have done this level of work finding references, but then wouldn’t share it with us so we could evaluate his arguments.

        It may well be the job of people, such as Brian Dunning, to provide proper references when asserting new or controversial information or opinions. But this applies equally to all. There is no free ticket when it comes to evidence. You have asserted that Brian’s assertions are wrong, but you did not come up with specific references yourself, instead saying anyone could find it in libraries or on Wikipedia. That’s all very well in its way, but if you want your opinions to be taken seriously, do as Brian does and provide the specific references you want us to consider when evaluating your argument. This is the standard way in every serious arena of debate to have your work properly evaluated on its merits and if you had done this, you would have saved a lot of vitriol. Most skeptics are very open to new evidence or competing points of view, myself included. There’s nothing wrong with asserting that Brian is wrong, or I am wrong, or anyone else is wrong, but you need to have more information to back yourself up than “it’s in all the libraries” or “you can find it yourself”. You’re making the assertion, you claim you’ve done the hard work to find the information, you need to share it or have your argument be assessed as lacking credibility.

        Remember, NFT.

      • Ramon says:

        LOGICAL REASONING
        SYLLOGISM: Whenever we realize something by means of a conclusive reason we use a special form of logical reasoning known as a syllogism. A syllogism has three parts: subject, predicate and a reason. The combination of the subject and the predicate is called “probandum” in the example below the “probandum” is “The Dalai Lama is not an emanation of Avalokiteshvara” and is this we realize in dependence upon the reason. A conclusive reason is a reason that is able to establish a probandum incontrovertibly.
        The definition of a conclusive reason is a reason that is qualified by the three modes. The three modes are: the property of the subject, the forward pervasion, and the reverse pervasion; and any conclusive reason will be qualified by all three. We can understand these three modes by considering the syllogism stated below:
        The Dalai Lama is not an emanation of Avalokiteshvara because all his actions do not correspond with that of the Buddha of compassion.
        The first mode is called the property of the subject because for a reason to be conclusive it must apply to, or be a property of the subject. In this case, the reason is a property of the subject because all his actions do not correspond with that of the Buddha of compassion (reason) refers to The Dalai Lama (subject). The second mode is called the “forward pervasion “because for a reason to be a conclusive reason it must be pervaded by the predicate. In this case, the reason is qualified by the second mode because if anyone actions do not correspond with that of the Buddha of compassion (reason) that person cannot be an emanation of Avalokiteshvara (predicate). The third mode is called the “reverse pervasion” because if the predicate does not apply the reason must also not apply. In this case, the reason is qualified by the third mode because if anyone were an emanation of Avalokiteshvara all his actions would correspond with that of the Buddha of compassion. If a reason lacks any of the three modes it is not a conclusive reason.
        In this case the reason is qualified by the three modes and we can say that it is a syllogism based on a conclusive reason. Maybe sometimes we are not sure about one of the parts of the syllogism, then we have to state another one per example maybe you are not sure about the reason established here ,that is, all his actions does not correspond with that of the Buddha of compassion. Then we can establish another syllogism to prove the reason:
        All Dalai Lama actions do not correspond with that of the Buddha of compassion because he did not condemn Iraq war; he has brought enormous suffering to many people by banning Dorje Shugden practice and he does not recognize his Spiritual Guide.
        Recall that even Avalokiteshvara is an enlightened being he has his Spiritual Guide at his crown (Buddha Amithaba) out of respect.
        For the rest you already know how to check if this is a syllogism based on a valid reason.

        http://www.westernshugdensociety.org/video/dalai-lama-expelling-monks/
        http://www.westernshugdensociety.org/video/speeches-enforcing-the-ban/
        http://www.westernshugdensociety.org/video/dalai-lama-iraq-war/

    • purity of mind says:

      Does amnesty have a record of the abuse and denial of religious freedom of the Dalai towards the Dorje Shugden practittioners? The western shugden society have been continuously trying to expose the atrocities commited by Dalai. His open lies saying he doesn’t deny religious freedom are against all evidence produced. Check out ‘a great deception. Free ebook for all.

  6. Eric Hall says:

    One thing that needs to be noted here is much of what is being discussed as “incorrect” are “facts” of history. One of the problems with history is once you get beyond the simple “Event A happened on date X,” much of what is discussed is a matter of opinion. We read the opinions of leaders, of common people, of opposition, and then historians as events recede into the past. When we try to understand the true motives of certain important figures in history, it is (however well-read or well-educated) a bit of conjecture.

    For example, when I think back on Thomas Jefferson as presented in an introductory history class, we learn about his political writings and not much else. He appears to be a great leader and almost noble in his presence. But as we dig deeper we learn he was a bit of a womanizer. He was perhaps autistic. He is still a very intelligent person, but now our perspective changes. Going further into the Founding Fathers, we surmise that they were deists. Some would have us believe that they were Christian – in fact some attended Christian based churches. But we use our best evidence and some educated opinion to produce a well-formed idea. But that idea cannot be 100% confirmed. Much different than “Event A.”

    What Dunning did here was make a pretty well formed opinion about the history of Tibet and the Dalai Lama. Reynolds did much of the same. It seems to me from a quick search on the information available with each opinion is pretty readily available. In the end I would say that both opinions have merit, and of course since this is Dunning’s website he is very welcome to make his opinion known. I don’t think one should be so hard on Reynolds as he is obviously passionate about the subject and perhaps is more well-read than us on the subject. Based on the reading available, either opinion has the ability to be supported. That says to me the truth is somewhere between the two, but is it in the center or closer to one or the other I do not know. I have no doubt if the Nazis had prevailed in Europe, the historical opinion of them would have been different than what it is now…or at the very least would have taken much longer to get to its current center.

    Dunning has published citations in other places on this site showing where he read and came to form his opinion. I don’t think it is unreasonable for Reynolds to at least provide the names of additional reading we could all do in order to rethink or temper the opinion of Dunning, an opinion for which he has given additional reading that supports his opinion. In fact, in historical research, well-informed, well-educated counter-opinions are welcome as they add layers to the story that help center a new opinion somewhat closer to the truth. Dunning is correct it is a logical fallacy to say “I learned about this” or “I talked to someone” and present that as evidence. I can learn about acupuncture from many schools, but that does not make acupuncture a practice that has merit. There is much evidence showing that acupuncture does not work when using the proper type of research.

    • Bryan Reynolds says:

      All of this is fair. However, how would you like me to cite a conversation I had with an 80 year old man 13 years ago? How do I properly cite the information presented in graduate and undergraduate classes that was presented orally by a professor?

      I could certainly go back and hit up the journals I have read and post links to all of them for you, but what does it solve? If you don’t have access to the journals, you aren’t going to be able to read them without going to the library anyway. So why not just go to a library, go to the search function and type in a basic search like “Tibetan history and China?”

      Even a basic Google search returns plenty of returns that provide contrary articles to what Brian has written here. There are also articles contrary to my perspective. The point I was making was that he takes these articles, takes out of them what supports his point of view and throws the rest away.

      Here is a Google search: https://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=Tibetan+history+and+China

      I’m not sure what else you fine folks would like. Brian asserts the Dalai Lama wants the monks to burn themselves to make money. He provides no supporting evidence of that. A 15 second Google search says he is wrong, and that the Dalai Lama condemns the men doing so. He is, however, one man. The monks have free will and can do what ever they want. Tough for him to stop them.

      Brian asserts that Tibet is better off under Chinese rule because the get roads and money. The people I have had one on one conversations with say otherwise. Common sense says otherwise. Simply ask yourself. Would you rather have your freedoms or paved roads?

      Brian asserts the Dalai Lama is nothing but a fundraiser. He is a religious leader that raises money, yes, and then does what with it? Gives it away. He is the head of a major religion, should he fly coach? Would you ask the Pope to do the same? In other words, I cannot prove this wrong, because all major religious figures raise money. The simple fact of the world is that money is necessary.

      Brian asserts the Dalai Lama doesn’t care about the men burning themselves to death. It took 15 seconds on Google to find out that isn’t true.

      I am being called a zealot, which is fine. You can call me what ever you wish. But for Brian to call the head of a major religion a “metaphysical self-help guru” and cast off his books of Buddhist teachings as nothing more than self-help books is flat out rude, and doesn’t even fit the purpose of this site.

      Brian should have stuck to searching for Big Foot and talking with Agent Mulder and left his personal opinions about the religious beliefs of over a billion people to himself.

  7. Bryan Reynolds says:

    Let’s do this one paragraph at a time.

    “The Dalai Lama — who has maintained his headquarters in India ever since the 1959 escape from Chinese forces in Tibet — is today basically a fundraiser. He is, in fact, probably the most successful individual fundraiser in the world. His is the rallying cry of freeing Tibet from Chinese occupation… so westerners seem to think.”

    Where is the citation for him being nothing more than a fundraiser. You all claim to want citations, why is Brian allowed to get away with opinion as fact? Where does Brian find that “westerners” think the Dalai Lama is calling for a fully free Tibet? I’m a westerner, I don’t think that is the case. Anyone who watches the nightly news would know that is not the case. Brian assumes we are all ignorant.

    “All of the infrastructure that exists in Tibet was built by the Chinese. Every paved road, every hospital, every school, and every power plant (without exception) was built by the Chinese. Every single paying job that exists in Tibet (without exception) was created by the Chinese. Every literate native Tibetan (without exception) was educated by the Chinese. The Chinese certainly have their faults, no argument there; but the fact remains that Tibet exists as a nation of free, working people only because of Chinese influence.”

    Do you have any citations, Brian? Without exception? What about the monks that yuou say are the only people who can read or have rights? Are they not native Tibetans? Every road is from the Chinese? Do you have Chinese records to prove this? The Tibetans never built a road? They just randomly walked around to get to where they were going? Perhaps you meant paved roads.

    Want to know one of the reasons Tibetans don’t pave roads? Because it causes suffering to other creatures and kills animals. Two things devout Buddhists do not do.

    “The Dalai Lama is keenly aware of that. His call is not for a “free Tibet” as many westerners believe; it is for Tibet to be converted from a Chinese Autonomous Region to a Chinese Special Administrative Region, similar to Hong Kong. This difference would make not a single practical difference to Tibetans; the only effect it would have would be to allow the Dalai Lama and other exiled members of the ruling monk class to return to their palace in Potala. It would ensure the continued free flow of money from China to Tibet, and Tibet would remain a part of China. There’s not a thing wrong with the monks returning to their palace, in my opinion. If ordinary Tibetans want their traditional oppressors back in the palace as figureheads, great, I’m all for it.”

    It would not make a single practical difference to the average Tibetan. Except that they would have their spiritual leadership back at home. You may not buy religious beliefs (I’m not religious in the slightest), but at least have some respect for those that do. You say the monks were oppressors. I would argue it was not the monks, but the political ruling class. Buddhist monks wouldn’t kill a mosquito biting their arms.

    Here is the Dalai Lama’s position on Free Tibet: http://dalailama.com/messages/middle-way-approach

    He proposed the compromise solution knowing that he has no army and cannot defeat China on a battlefield. This was not done by him, but by the Tibetan gov’t in exile. Democratically. In the late 1980’s. So, from 1959 to the late 80’s, a fully free Tibet was, in fact, the goal. Likely still is, but that’s never going to happen, so why not compromise?

    “There’s not a thing wrong with what the Dalai Lama campaigns for, or with his fundraising — and here’s where I want to be clear — so long as he’s honest about how the funds are going to be used. None of the Dalai Lama’s raised hundreds of millions of dollars benefit Tibetan citizens in the slightest. He gives most of it to unrelated charities, and that’s a fine thing; but his only prerogative in Tibet is to get himself back to Potala. The Chinese already do everything for the Tibetan citizenry; there is no work for the Dalai Lama to do in that vein.”

    The Dalai Lama gives the money away to various charities, as is the direction of his religion. He is a Buddhist monk, and they have a vow of poverty. He cannot keep it. Why would he send it to Tibet? If he did, it would be seized by China. “…but his only prerogative in Tibet is to get himself back to Potala.” Do you have a citation for this? Or is this opinion? “The Chinese already do everything for the Tibetan citizenry; there is no work for the Dalai Lama to do in that vein.” Indeed, living in a Communist nation has historically proven to provide everything a citizen needs. Right?

    “There’s nothing wrong with writing nonsensical metaphysical self-help books, if that’s what people want to buy. In fact, this week’s news is the only time I’ve had a real problem with the guy. And to me, it’s a big problem.

    His followers are brutally killing themselves on his behalf, and his only reaction is “No comment,” followed by a lame excuse that he’s retired.”

    Nonsensical metaphysical self-help books? I would use foul language here, but I am sure Brian would never allow that comment to post. They are books of a religious leader. Imagine what you, Brian’s readers, would say if Brian took this same stance on something the Pope wrote. Would you simply accept it? Maybe you would. I don’t know.

    The “no comment” was meant in many ways. Brian hasn’t done his research to know that the Dalai Lama answered this question a multitude of times (see link in prior comments) when he was, in fact, the political leader of the Tibetan people. He retired last year from that role. See here: http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2011/03/28/dalai-lama-retirement-accepted-so-now-what-for-china-tibet/

    So, if you answered a question multiple times while you were the boss of a company, as Brian has been, and then retired, and someone asked you about what that company was doing, would you keep answering the question? It’s no longer his role to answer it. It’s not a “lame excuse,” it’s the truth. Something Brian says he is a fan of. Of course, maybe that’s only when it comes to aliens.

    “Why does he have no comment? Obviously, because his entire marketing machine is driven by the perception that China’s involvement in Tibet is an atrocity. Every time a monk lights himself on fire, I guarantee you that somewhere, the Dalai Lama’s cash register’s bell rings.”

    This is just disgusting. China’s involvement in Tibet is an atrocity. As I have asked before, how would you great your Chinese overlords when they came to strip you of everything you lived for and promised you roads in return? See the comment above with links about how the Chinese treat the Tibetans. A cash register? Come on, Brian. That’s just flat out crude.

    “If asked for my comment on the deaths, 30 of them in the last year alone, I’d say it’s horrific and I wish they wouldn’t do it, and whoever is condoning it should be arrested. If I had influence over them the way the Dalai Lama does, I’d have used the media opportunity to appeal to all of them to stop doing that. Please. My return to Potala is not worth your life.”

    As he has in the past. He has condoned the action. They keep doing it. He isn’t there to stop them, and can’t go there to stop them.

    “Apparently, the Dalai Lama doesn’t see it the way I do. For a metaphysical self-help guru who wants you to find your inner peace and happiness, his who-gives-a-shit reaction to his followers killing themselves is pretty fucked up. Pardon my language, but swear words are not nearly as atrocious as the Dalai Lama’s “no comment”. He might as well have answered “Send me more money, and maybe they won’t have to keep doing that.””

    No one sees it the way you do, Brian. That’s what happens when you live in a world with a purple sky and you live a life trying to find mistruths everywhere except your own writings. You once again call the leader of one of the largest religions on the planet a “self-help guru.” You are so completely disrespectful it is beyond words. Again, how many times should he comment on this before you know his position?

    “I’ve attached this infographic. No, I do not believe that Hollywood celebrities and all the “Free Tibet” demonstrators want poverty and oppression in Tibet; but if China’s support was all suddenly pulled, and every single Tibetan became unemployed and was forced to return to serfdom, that’s exactly what would happen, by necessity. Tibet has no natural resources, no industries, and no economy whatsoever beyond what China has imported. A free Tibet is a penniless Tibet, which is why only those who know far less about the situation than the Dalai Lama are demanding it.”

    Infographics are great. You know why? Because they present a limited amount of information as though they are the complete story. People see a picture and it carries more weight than just words. It’s strategic communications 101. Give them a pretty picture, and they will believe what it says.

    You think that if Tibet were freed tomorrow the US, Europe, and the UN would just walk away and let them fall penniless? Come on man. You teach classes on critical thinking. Use some of it. Quit playing checkers and pick up your rook. Even your own argument doesn’t mesh. If the Dalai Lama knows all of these powerful, rich people, and is such a great fundraiser, how would his country be broke just because China walked away?

    The world would just say “Yea, we freed you! See ya!” ? Again, use some critical thinking, Brian. Even the people of China proper don’t want to be ruled by China, but suddenly Tibet is better off because of their rule? I’m not sure anyone believes that but you, sir.

    • Eric Hall says:

      I think the juxtaposition Dunning is trying to use throughout the piece (and somewhat purposely being inflammatory) is when religious leaders pick and choose which things they want and leave out what they don’t want. Suicide is considered destroying life by buddhists, yet the leader of said religion won’t just come out and say “stop, this isn’t right.”

      Also, being this is a skeptic website, a majority of supporters are going to fall on the lower religion scale (deists, agnostics, and atheists). There is a feeling that organized religion is harmful in most cases because it causes people to avoid critical thinking on certain subjects (gay marriage might be a great example – just say no because the person at the pulpit told you to rather than make your own decision). It’s not to say religion is entirely harmful for it does have benefits for those who choose to follow a certain faith. But when the teachings lead to harm of others (anti-science, suicide, denying rights, etc), a skeptical website will tend to attack the religion(s) on those subjects.

    • Rajesh says:

      Bravo Bryan! Everything in India Roads, parliament system, industries etc are built by britishers when india gots its freedom india was a very poor country.Still we indians are developing in our own way. There was a time we dont even have wheat to eat and need to import inferior quality wheat from us.Indians choose to eat one time in a day when our prime minister decided not to import inferior quality food.. Now after 60years of independence you can see where india stand now. what Mr. Brain is looking at are the immediate consequences resulting from free china..But he is not able to visualise long term impact. INdia is country of COWs and Sadhus(same as tibet MONKS), good for nothing kind of.But time has changed everything, same can be happen with tibet.

    • purity of mind says:

      Boring, boring and long winded crap Bryan

    • Ramon says:

      ANGER SOLVES NOTHING

      We must admit that sometimes the Dalai Lama tells the truth. Some days ago a friend of mine showed me a magazine with a Dalai Lama interview, in it the Dalai Lama says the following and I quote:
      There is no much sense in me speaking about myself. It is better that other people do it. What I know is that when I was a child I was a character, but I have changed. Nowadays, I get angry from time to time, like for example not long ago in Madrid. It was in the hotel waiting for my luggage to arrive to the hotel, and it was not arriving. No one knew anything about it. How silly! It should be somewhere. So I lost my temper. But it was for a good reason: in my luggage there was my Tibetan medicine and I have stomach pain, so I need it. In general I think that emotions and intelligence come together. The emotions are part of our life but intelligence must control them. In my case, when emotions come out my wisdom and experience help me. However sometimes they appear in my dreams. I see myself fighting with people. I hold something in my hand and I try to hit them, but then I remember in my dream that I am a monk and I should not fight. Sometimes I also dream with women. Yes attractive women… The Dalai Lama laughs and speaks in Tibetan that Thetong translates: . The Dalai Lama keeps laughing: <but even in my dreams my reaction is the same. I tell myself that I am a monk.
      Maybe, for the general public that does not know anything about Buddhism this looks cool. But for someone that has some knowledge of Buddhism it is a bit different. These people will arrive to the conclusion that the Dalai Lama cannot be the Buddha of Compassion as some people believe, cannot be a superior bodhisattva, or even a foe destroyer, an ordinary bodhisattva, or a pure and sincere practitioner.
      Basically, the Dalai Lama here admits that he gets angry from time to time, but that is not the worst (remember that people consider him the pope of Buddhism)he admits also that is OK to get angry, that there are some occasions in which is OK to get angry. Any sincere Buddhist would agree that Shantideva was a great Buddhist master and a realized being. If we check his masterpiece “Guide to the bodhisattva’s way of life” at the chapter about patience we will learn that there is not a single valid reason to get angry. Shantideva spends many pages refuting the reasons that we normally state to get angry as a means to solve our own problems.
      Since I begin to study and practice Buddhism I have learnt something that has been very important to me, and is that anger solves nothing. In Dalai Lama’s example I would say to him that losing the temper does not solve his external problem (no matter how angry he gets the luggage will not appear) but rather creates his actual problem the mind of anger itself. That is very basic Buddhist knowledge. So it seems that the Dalai Lama does not know this basic knowledge. It is very weird, could not the Dalai Lama (no less than Avalokisteshvara for some) find a more constructive and positive way to react to this situation. He could (if he had followed Buddha’s teachings but he did not).
      If we follow Buddhist teachings we will learn that this is a very good opportunity to practice patience. How does it work? Simply by recalling that if we get angry we worsen our problem, that is, the luggage still is not there, he has stomach pain and he now is also angry (3 problems instead of 2 and the real problem is anger). Patience shows us that we can be happy amidst adversity. Examples are given in the scriptures of people that by applying patience they maintain a happy mind and peace of mind even if they are seriously ill with very strong pain like the pain that comes from cancer etc.
      The Dalai Lama admits that he is reacting as an ordinary person that at the minimum adversity gets angry. So we could ask him where his Buddhist practice has gone. I think the answer is that the Dalai Lama has the words of Dharma but not the experience of it. He has intellectual knowledge of the teachings but he has not managed to get experience from that knowledge. That is a very common problem. The solution for it is to practice the teachings received. I think also that this is the reason of the two faces of the Dalai Lama (the words that he speaks and the actions he performs). So it would be interesting to know how his intelligence has worked in this case to control his emotions in this case. By his words we can infer the following: It is Ok for me to get angry because I have a valid reason I am in pain and this silly people have lost my luggage with my medicine. Dalai Lama is that the example that you want to show to the world? So according to you everyone has valid reasons to get angry. Is this the way to help people to overcome their delusions? Can be this a good example? This is what the Dalai Lama thinks about his intelligence controlling his emotions. How sad, what a big difference between the Dalai Lama and Shantideva.
      Look, I am o the way and I admit that sometimes I get angry, but I recognise this as my inner enemy that destroys my inner peace, so I pray to get rid of it along with the other delusions. From that point of view I think I am much better practitioner than the Dalai Lama, not because myself but rather thanks to the kindness of my teachers and the effort to overcome delusions like anger.
      If we keep analysing Dalai Lama’s words we realize that he has not overcome his delusions he still has anger in his mind, and also attachment and of course ignorance. These are known as the three poisons that steal our inner peace and happiness. I personally, would never choose a person that admits to have these three poisons, and that admits that is OK to have them as my Spiritual Guide.
      I think in these cases the Dalai Lama speaks the truth so we must take him at the letter. He has no Dharma realizations like tranquil abiding or a direct realization of emptiness because still he suffers from physical problems. He does not know how to practice Loyong, transforming the adversity into the path. He cannot even control his mind in a mild situation. To me he gets angry now just from time to time not because he has learned to control his mind but because he has managed (thanks to his power) to change the external conditions according to his wishes, so when something happens against his wishes he gets angry(see the video of the nun asking him for religion freedom).
      Also, a person with Dharma realisations like a direct realization on emptiness on the path of meditation could not have the dreams that he has got, because this people have destroyed the seeds of all delusions, so if there is no seeds they cannot ripen in dreams. You do not need to be Jung to interpret his dreams, they speak for themselves. Also the commentary that he says at the end , that is a very low comment, Can you imagine Shantideva, Milarepa, Atisha o Yhe Tsonkhapa stating such a low , insulting and ordinary comment?
      Is this the persona appointed to represent the Buddhist path in this world? For me is just a clown, a show man and a very, very ordinary person full of delusions and with no capacity or will to overcome them.
      PD- The interview was in the Spanish magazine “El semanal” 9 of July 2005 Nº 923.

  8. Gyame Kyaktsar says:

    Bryan,

    It might help you to speak with some Tibetans before you buy everything that Parenti, Goldstein and Grunfeld have to say on the history of Tibet. Now then again, you might dismiss all of us Tibetans in the free world as being of the monastic and aristocratic “ruling class”.

    If Tibetan monastic community was indeed so evil, do you seriously believe that we would tolerate it in the free world?

    Does it not occur to you that if China has truly build a socialist paradise for the Tibetans in Tibet, why would they need to spend so much resources in Tibet simply to control the populace?

    Are you suggesting that we Tibetans are incapable of surviving without the ‘massive financial aid’ from the Chinese? Have you looked at where that money is spent and who benefits? Look up resource extraction and the millions of Chinese migrants and tourists into Tibet.

    Should I be grateful to the Chinese for torturing and killing my grandfather in Powo Tramu and my uncle in Minyak Ranakhang? Should I be appreciative to the Chinese for ‘religious freedom’ that prevent any Tibetans from even possessing an image of the Dalai Lama or that of the Panchen Lama? Should I be thankful to the Chinese for imprisoning my fifteen year old cousin for his belief in a free Tibet? Should I be indebted to the Chinese for the schools in my village in Kham where in the past 30 years, only one child has managed to graduate past grade 9 because the teachers are so unqualified? Should I bow down to the Chinese for charging my cousin a six months’ earnings for one month of medical care in Markham? Before you paint this image of a socialist paradise in Tibet under the Chinese rule, perhaps the ‘skeptic’ in you should perhaps speak with some locals.

    As to your claim about the Dalai Lama and his fundraising. I challenge you to contact any organizer of his visits ANYWHERE and ask the question as to how much Dalai Lama charges for his speaking engagement or honorarium. The answer will be ZERO! The Dalai Lama does not charge any fees nor accept any honorarium for his appearances anywhere! While you are at it, ask about the “private jet” you claim he uses. Try Business class on commercial airlines– yes, he is guilty of travelling in business class! Now, if any of the hosts of his visits use the visits for fundraising, then raise the issue with those organizations. Expose them! But don’t misrepresent the issue to make your point. I thought that is exactly what you fight as a skeptic!

    As for the Dalai Lama and the ‘ruling class’ wanting power back. The Dalai Lama has made numerous statements that if and when a resolution is found for Tibet, the entire administration in exile would resign and allow the Tibetans in Tibet to decide the future for themselves. To hasten that process, the Dalai Lama has, as of a year ago, completely transferred all his political duties to the Tibetan people.

    As a Tibetan, I am appreciative of the fact that the Dalai Lama has not asked the Tibetans in Tibet to stop protests. The people in Tibet have not lost hope. It is with hope that those courageous Tibetans in Tibet sacrifice their lives so that the world may hear about their plight. China does not provide them with a forum to protest any other way. If we want those forms of protests to stop in Tibet, then it is incumbent on us to listen to their stories. If you cannot be a voice for those voiceless Tibetans, atleast listen.

    Tibet was never the Shangrila nor the Shang-hell-a that the revisionist and China apologists describe. It was a medieval country no different than other materially backward countries of the time. Modern amenities did not exist in Tibet in the 1950s but then again, much of the world did not have those modern amenities then. Blacks in America were treated as second class citizens then. To compare the free Tibet prior to Chinese invasion with today’s metrics in disingenuous.

    You can be skeptical about the Dalai Lama and the Tibetans but don’t be skeptical simply for the sake of it. I am skeptical of your motives!

    • I welcome intelligent discussion, but not if you’re only willing to respond to ridiculous straw man arguments that I did not say and don’t agree with.

      • Bryan Reynolds says:

        The parts in quotes are pulled directly from the article above. Turn around what your readers are asking me. If what I am getting from your words is not what you meant, please clarify.

      • Bryan Reynolds says:

        Brian, I think you are holding on to your own straw man arguments a little too tightly. You were called out by someone with more information on the topic who told you that if you spoke to Tibetans, you wouldn’t be signing the same tune. Then a Tibetan comes on and tells you the same thing, and you dismiss it as a straw man argument?

        I think you are too afraid to admit you may have been off base on this one.

        • Bob says:

          The straw man arguments he’s referring to, if I may be so bold as to speak for Brian, are likely to be the ones of the form, “Are you suggesting that we Tibetans are incapable of surviving without the ‘massive financial aid’ from the Chinese?”, or perhaps, “Should I be grateful to the Chinese for torturing and killing my grandfather in Powo Tramu and my uncle in Minyak Ranakhang?”. I can’t find a single instance of any of that in the original article.

          I think Brian’s off base on this one, but that doesn’t excuse this kind of emotionally-charged rhetoric.

          • Bryan Reynolds says:

            When you write a post ripping a religious leader as a “self-help guru” and suggesting that an oppressed people should be thankful for their oppressor’s gift of paved roads, I think you have to expect the people being tortured and murdered in an emotional manner, don’t you?

            If Brian didn’t want emotion involved, he needs to stick to things he knows about and not bring up emotionally charged issues. Doing so and then dismissing a first hand experience, and the questions that flow from it, is disingenuous at best.

            From the very beginning, Brian wants nothing to do with actual debate. He simply wants people to follow his word, and not question him. When they do, he dismisses the debate, rather than actually engaging in it.

            You all read this site, and follow him on Twitter, yet he never does anything to actually engage you. It is him talking at you, not with you.

          • Gyame Kyaktsar says:

            Look up his original post that suggests that we are better off under the Chinese and his infographic that suggest that a ‘Free Tibet’ would mean that we Tibetans will suffer from “Extreme Poverty” and “Oppression from ruling monk class”.

            Bob, unfortunately when your immediate family members have suffered directly under this Chinese regime, excuse my little display of emotions. Now, amplify it few times and you will understand the reasons as to why Tibetans in Tibet self-immolate!

            I found Brian’s shifting of the blame for the self immolations by the Tibetans in Tibet to the Dalai Lama rather than the Chinese government rather offensive.

      • Gyame Kyaktsar says:

        Brian,
        I extracted your arguments from your two articles on Tibet and the infographic and your sources as cited in the original paper.

        You claim:
        ” Tibet has no natural resources, no industries, and no economy whatsoever beyond what China has imported. A free Tibet is a penniless Tibet, which is why only those who know far less about the situation than the Dalai Lama are demanding it.”

        Whether a free Tibet is penniless or not is not your concern. It is the business of us Tibetans.

        Having said that here are some headlines…

        Even the Chinese government acknowledge Tibet’s rich natural resource deposits: http://www.china.org.cn/english/tibet-english/zirzy.htm

        Chinese government claim that this year tourism revenues will be 12B yuan or $1.9B USD in TAR alone!

        Here is another headline “China finds US$100B mineral deposits in Tibet” http://thelinkpaper.ca/?p=2143

        Recognize that much of Tibet remains unexploited!

        Oh… look at this story.. “Valuable mineral deposits found along Tibet railroad route ” .. How convenient for China? And did they not realise this prior to the railway being proposed and built?
        http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/25/your-money/25iht-mine.4338449.html

        Penniless or not, our demand for a free and independent Tibet is not for economic reasons.

        Can you please shed more light on this assertion of yours .. “None of the Dalai Lama’s raised hundreds of millions of dollars benefit Tibetan citizens in the slightest.”
        Please provide evidence that the Dalai Lama actually raises ‘hundreds of millions of dollars’. And how might he be doing that? By his public talks? If you are to look at his most recent prize money, $1.5M Templeton Prize… well, he gave away all of it!
        As to your assertion that his money does not benefit the Tibetan citizens… Look up the budget of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) in Dharamsala. They provide education to some 40,000 students, basic medical care to some 120,000 Tibetan exiles in India. Of the nearly $22M annual budget of the CTA, nearly a quarter of it comes from the Dalai Lama’s private office. http://tibetanblogstation.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/towards-a-financially-sustainable-cta/
        Again, talk to any Tibetan.

        • Eric Hall says:

          I’m interested in this blog link above that states the Dalai Lama’s office contributes 1/4 of its money to the CTA. That would seem like reasonable use of the money (again as long as he were to disclose this). However, I wasn’t able to verify this anywhere I looked. The only thing I found was that the CTA and Kuger Yigtsang didn’t disclose much in regards to their finances (example here: http://www.theage.com.au/news/business/behind-dalai-lamas-holy-cloak/2007/05/22/1179601410290.html). Is there any place to see these contributions disclosed and a way to verify the fraction of each entity’s budget?

          • Gyame Kyaktsar says:

            Eric,

            Michael Backman’s story was sourced mainly from Parenti’s “research” which was simply selective misrepresentation of information already available… infact, the issue of CIA funding etc., to the Tibetan guerrillas in the 60s is categorized as being personal funding to the Dalai Lama. As well, Backman deliberately describes Tibetan government in exile’s department of finance as “Dalai Lama’s Finance Department”. Such cheap propagandist tactics gain no traction as their is no substance! Michael Backman is an antique dealer who deals in Tibetan antiques and writes articles. He has written number of articles to criticize the Dalai Lama. For instance his accusation of ‘nepotism’ by the Dalai Lama fail to mention that all of his relatives who were elected to the Tibetan parliament in exile were infact elected by the Tibetan people! As for those in the cabinet, of the 60 some odd cabinet members that were appointed prior to the election, only three were relatives of the Dalai Lama. Ofcourse Backman fails to mention those. But we are not discussing Backman.

            If you want more of Backman like articles, let me save you the effort… read Michael Parenti’s work. Oh wait, it is the same source that Brian used for his research on Tibet.

            Now going back to the issue of ‘mismanagement of funds’. Send a email to any organisation who has hosted the Dalai Lama and ask them about the “fees” or “donations” the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama does not accept any honorarium nor speaking fees for his appearances! As well, look up the topic of his public talks. Almost all of them are on his main message of “creating the 21st century as the century of peace”. His main message has always been that no religion nor believers of any religion have monopoly over ethics or goodness. That it is a universal responsibility of all. He speaks of inter-religious harmony. He also says that it is not essential for people to have any particular religion.

            If you are still not satisfied and want answer about the finances and contribution from the Dalai Lama to CTA. I urge you to send an email to his private office ohhdl@dalailama.com

            While you are at it… look up http://dalailamatrust.org/scholarship on $100K scholarships to the Tibetan students.

            As well, realise that main source of income for the Dalai Lama is the royalty from his many books and contributions from ordinary Tibetans.

            Brian in the meantime has left the forum.

          • Gyame Kyaktsar says:

            Eric,

            Michael Backman’s story was sourced mainly from Parenti’s “research” which was simply selective misrepresentation of information already available… infact, the issue of CIA funding etc., to the Tibetan guerrillas in the 60s is categorized as being personal funding to the Dalai Lama. As well, Backman deliberately describes Tibetan government in exile’s department of finance as “Dalai Lama’s Finance Department”. Such cheap propagandist tactics gain no traction as their is no substance! Michael Backman is an antique dealer who deals in Tibetan antiques and writes articles. He has written number of articles to criticize the Dalai Lama. For instance his accusation of ‘nepotism’ by the Dalai Lama fail to mention that all of his relatives who were elected to the Tibetan parliament in exile were infact elected by the Tibetan people! As for those in the cabinet, of the 60 some odd cabinet members that were appointed prior to the election, only three were relatives of the Dalai Lama. Ofcourse Backman fails to mention those. But we are not discussing Backman.

            If you want more of Backman like articles, let me save you the effort… read Michael Parenti’s work. Oh wait, it is the same source that Brian used for his research on Tibet.

            Now going back to the issue of ‘mismanagement of funds’. Send a email to any organisation who has hosted the Dalai Lama and ask them about the “fees” or “donations” the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama does not accept any honorarium nor speaking fees for his appearances! As well, look up the topic of his public talks. Almost all of them are on his main message of “creating the 21st century as the century of peace”. His main message has always been that no religion nor believers of any religion have monopoly over ethics or goodness. That it is a universal responsibility of all. He speaks of inter-religious harmony. He also says that it is not essential for people to have any particular religion.

            If you are still not satisfied and want answer about the finances and contribution from the Dalai Lama to CTA. I urge you to send an email to his private office ohhdl@dalailama.com

    • purity of mind says:

      Tibet was a shangri hell for those not in wealth classes. They were gouging eyes and chopping off limbs, putting people into shackles….taxing them to death. Dalais answer to all of this…karma….not one iota of compassion….look at the karma he is creating with his cynical actions and words, and his abuse of Buddha Dorje Shugden practitioners.

      • purity of mind says:

        Also, regarding finances etc…there is nothing that is done by the exile government that does not have the stamp of authority from the Dalai. Check out this interview of the Tibetan exile governments response when asked if anything is ever done without the approval of Dalai, and hear his answer. You are a Dalai propagandist and shed no light of truth on these comments Kyakstar. Link as follows http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aboblx-0zAs NO DECISION EVER MADE AGAINST THE DALAI inthe exile community!

  9. Eric Hall says:

    I am not going to address every single point brought up by some of those upset by the post, but I am going to try to address a few to put my personal spin on how I read this post. Before I do so, let me just say that it is very possible to have a discussion on this subject and this post. But the ad hominem attacks and the immediate outrage expressed is exactly why we have lost the ability to resolve hardly anything politically. Why not try listening, asking questions, bringing your own valid points, and then see if we can find a little or even a lot of consensus. That’s how it should work. It seems like it works that way less and less.

    The main points I see in this post is 1) the use of funds often for not what they are intended and 2) the failure of a religious leader to endorse their own doctrine because not following what the religion dictates is advantageous for the said religious leader.

    First the use of the funds. The Dalai Lama travels around the world pleading the case of Tibet and their suffering. But as Dunning points out, where does that money actually go? Is it being spent on efforts to make Tibet independent? It appears it is used more to promote the religion (as Dunning calls it “self-help”) and very little to none is used to actually gain Tibet’s independence. Imagine I went around pleading the case of the homeless in the US but then funneled most of the money to research on how cannabis can help treat pain. Not that the my money would be used for an entirely bad purpose, but certainly would be a far cry from what I claimed to be using it for. I think Dunning is asserting the money should more directly be used for independence efforts – like perhaps another government such as the US could set up a trust fund that could then be later used to “buy” independence from China. I’m not saying that’s the solution, but rather an example of a better way to more directly have the money go to independence.

    Second is a religious leader not following their own doctrine. Why is it that religious leaders are allowed to do some hand-waving and offer no solid reasoning for deviating from their religious beliefs. How can a religious leader, especially one promoting peace and tranquility continue to allow his followers commit suicide? It seems the deaths are needless.

    As far as some of what I feel are misunderstandings – Brian is making an educated assertion that the Dalai Lama as a leader wants to keep Tibet rich if it is to be “independent.” He makes a case for this by pointing out the Dalai Lama does not want true independence, but rather to be a Hong Kong type region, which would allow the flow of Chinese money to continue and keep the amenities that come along with it. The build up to this was to point out that the flow of Chinese money is what modernized the country. Maybe the reason the Dalai Lama wants this special arrangement with China is that Tibet likes what the Chinese money brought, just not the Chinese dictator-like rule that came with it. Even Gayme’s posts point out the horror of Chinese rule, but never says that the infrastructure and economic benefit were oppressive. Would the Dalai Lama benefit – I doubt it. I would say he will stay true to his word of staying in poverty. But, wouldn’t he be showing good leadership by putting Tibet in a position that is the best of both worlds?

    Was Dunning inflammatory in his language? Yes. Could the organization of the post cause some misunderstanding? I could see that. But let’s have that conversation. Let’s talk about these issues. Could we all make a difference in making the Dalai Lama’s leadership better by stopping the deaths in Tibet, putting the money to better use, and getting the Chinese out of Tibet. Just by Dunning posting this, I’ve learned alot about this situation. I don’t think I can yet form an opinion on every detail, but on what I see as the 2 main points of the post, I can agree with that.

    • Bryan Reynolds says:

      You and others want the people commenting to stop with attacks and emotional responses. Again, when Brian calls the Dalai Lama a “self-help guru” and equates Buddhist teachings to “metaphysical self-help books,” what do you expect? Talk to your fearless leader about his tone, and maybe you can expect a respectful tone is response.

      Ask yourself this: If someone punches you in the face, are you simply going to respect their right to do so, learn your lesson and then ask them to engage in a spirited debate about violent responses to stimuli? I’m not. I’m going to hit him back.

      As for your points – Brian provides zero evidence of his claims about fundraising, yet everyone seems to buy it completely. Everyone in the comments seems to have to provide evidence, but Brian doesn’t. When he provides the evidence, we can talk. What I can say is that if he is raising $ and giving it away he is not “promoting” his religion, but rather doing what his religion says he must.

      As I have mentioned before, he cannot send money to Tibet. China will take it. As for your trust fund idea… in a perfect world, that might work. This isn’t a perfect world.

      Finally, you have read a number of comments on the self-immolation. I provided a link stating he has condemned the action. The only counter arguments all link back to articles sourced from the Chinese response to his condemning the action. I gave you proof, and it has not been discounted.

      You have a person with first hand knowledge of the situation telling you Brian is wrong in his history and his opinion. You have a person who has studied the situation at length telling you Brian is wrong. Then you have Brian, who provides nothing to back his claim whatsoever and issues the same ad-hominem attacks you wish were taken out.

      I’m not sure what else you would like to discuss. Brian is wrong, you have been given the proof that he is wrong, and still won’t accept it because the evidence is contained within comments that are written in the same manner as the original post.

      • Eric Hall says:

        Looking at your first paragraph – you now attacked me using an ad hominem. Dunning is in no way my “fearless leader” as you propose and use as an insult. I do write for Skeptoid blog on a rare occasion, I do agree with Dunning on most issues and think his research is generally good. However, I don’t always agree with him and do sometimes find weaknesses in his research. So there is no need to attack me because I agree with his overall premise in the post.

        As for his attacks on Buddhism, Dunning does take a disrespectful tone towards it because he takes the stance that it overall has done more harm than good – including the point of his post which is he is allowing people to commit suicide under his leadership and that his fundraising is being misdirected. He never said the money didn’t go to good things, but if Free Tibet money isn’t going to free Tibet, then don’t raise money under that guise. Simply raise money under doing good for Buddhist supported causes. Easy enough to remedy.

        Regarding self-immolation, I posted above 3 links showing that the 1 article you posted was incorrect (see above). The Dalai Lama has discouraged but not condemned or prohibited the act, which is in direct contrast to the Buddhist teachings. Using your idea of other religions, imagine a Catholic priest beating sinners with a stick and when the Pope was asked about it he went “well, they were sinners…” These people are harming themselves in the name of their religion and the head of the religion won’t come out and say “Don’t do it.” That is a pretty egregious thing in my eyes, and I think Dunning took the derogatory tone in calling it “self-help” because of this.

        Finally on the history, Dunning never stated the Chinese coming in and bringing infrastructure and jobs to Tibet was welcomed by the people there. He never said the Chinese weren’t oppressive or terrible. What he is saying is that the Dalai Lama is being a bit misleading in saying Tibet doesn’t want those things for the country now. In fact the Dalai Lama hasn’t really said that, but also hasn’t cleared up the misconception that Tibet wants to be “free.” They basically want Chinese money, but to be rid of the Chinese. From the stories told in some of the comments, I don’t blame them. But be clear, the Dalai Lama doesn’t want to be rid of Chinese money, just Chinese rule. Maybe he can’t have both. Maybe it is time to negotiate a different strategy and have China out entirely (including the money) and put the money raised by the Dalai Lama back into the country.

        To summarize my stance on it – could Dunning have made his point better and in a less inflammatory way? – Yes. But I don’t think Dunning’s OPINION on the Dalai Lama taking a direct stand against these suicides or changing his stance on how to “free” Tibet is misguided. A religious leader, especially one promoting a religion of no harm and peace, should not deflect away from stopping people from harming themselves in the name of their religion.

        If you want more proof Dunning is not my fearless leader, I certainly would be glad to comment publicly in a separate comment to him directly that addresses what I didn’t like or disagree with in the post.

        • Gyame Kyaktsar says:

          Eric,
          Stop teaching us Buddhist doctrine. It is the Chinese government officials who have been saying that ‘self immolations are against buddhist doctrines’ http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/25/tibetan-deaths-violate-buddhism

          If you are to study Buddhism, self immolations are considered one of the highest form of act. It is not for me to teach you about buddhism. Do the research before you start preaching us buddhist doctrines as the Chinese government appear to do so.

          • Eric Hall says:

            I am not trying to teach it, and I apologize if my multiple sources are wrong. It seems to me the only time suicide is considered acceptable is when the mind and body are not suffering and the person has reached full enlightenment. And in those cases, it appears it is not fully understood how to view this depending on where in the world the Buddhist is from. Now if it is ok and acceptable and even honorable, wouldn’t it be up to the leader of the religion to say so?

            And please stop accusing me of “not doing my research.” I feel I have done my research. It doesn’t mean what I’ve read is right, but I cannot be knowledgeable in detail on every subject. However, just to verify what I read on the suicide issue, I found information on both the BBC website and the NPR website verifying my assertion that at best it is unclear and it appears reserved for just a few people. It would seem to me the Dalai Lama himself could clear it up easily…and he has plenty of access to press not controlled by the Chinese.

          • Henk v on Eric's May 16 says:

            Eric, the first paragraph is about the most bone headed religious statement that I have ever read.

            Its certainly not a sensible scientific statement. I’ll draw it to the least of the sciences, evidential testing. Is there a paper describing the state of self immolators that in anyway measures their state of mind, grace, theosophical position? No, that would be Science based.

            Confoundingly, for what purports to be a peaceful religion filled with humanism, you have satisfied urges for the most degrading act of all.

            You know, if it was match by match I would understand the “spirituality’ behind the gargle you posted…Its cheating on petrol, right?

            If there is anyway you can justify that trivialisation of a crime so heinous, self administration of deadly philosophy, please, tell a psychologist.

            They are the folk who deal with psychopaths.

            Maybe I should sell boxes of matches with my hell money resales at the cemetary. Just in case the relatives feel they understand and want to join in..

            Petrol! Petrol, Get your petrol!!

            You had albatross yesterday!

            Seabird just has lost its ring since Buddhism finally has a reason for adding to its mortality monitor.

            My mother choked on a albatross bone, man you are insensitive!

  10. Mud says:

    Finally it comes to a head, an article about a religious leader protected by what appears to be zealots.

    The elephant in the room is religion.

    Are you guys telling me Tibet is a religious issue that is appropriately championed by someone who has been pretty dodgy from time to time?

    Dont insult Tibetans and Chinese in such a manner. How many other regions would then have greater claim to your non religious zeal?

    I have yet to see what the Dalai Lama and his religion in the light of fairness and freedom. Its because its religiously initiated. If he possibly walked around in clothes and didnt use his religion I may have a little bit more respect.

    No, I will not respond to the gargle stated above by the religious politicians of the “no naughties” in daylight sect. Great strawmen tho!

    No, I have no respect for religion, you have to believe a lot and swallow a hell of a lot more to have that mindset. Its leaders live off the backs of ignorants.

    I missed a supermoon?

    • Bryan Reynolds says:

      I cannot, for the life of me, even determine what the heck you are trying to say here.

    • Chad LeCroy says:

      Religion has it draw drawbacks, but Buddhism is not a religion. It is a belief system. There is no way there is no way Tibetans want fptgphe Chinese ruling their country, just as Taiwan and H.K. want the overtaking there countries. It sounds like someone has been feeding a bunch of Chinese propaganda.They have been jailing and murdring monks in Tibet to centuries now. Some of you are dramatically misinformed. The Chinese gov’t can’t take care of their own people, their economy has collapsed. H.K., Taiwan, and Tibet do not want to to lower their standard of living. It would bring civil jnrst to the region, the Chinese effort to become a super power was was short lived. To paraphrase Frank Zappa, “comunism doesn.t people like to own things.”

  11. Henk v says:

    Maybe I should make myself abundantly clear Bryan.

    Religion and its leaders are no higher in the intellectual pecking order of reality than homeopaths, chiropractors, naturopaths, acupuncturists or any scam merchandising. If they have a view its tempered by their preferential dogma. Sadly, its generally to promote self entitlement on to piggyback their entitlement onto a cause.

    If a religious leader would represent humanity it would totally reject the dogmatic subspace that all who have to recognise someone as a religious leader. This would mean, in the case of the lama, he would have to start calling himself Mr Smith or Jones (the local equivalent), insist he be adressed as that and act globally as a humanist ignorant of commonly anthropology but well meaning.

    If a religious leader acting as a religious leader sprouts humanism, its confined, termed, delineated and packaged as an example of that religion. Doing so under title confirms it.

    Given that Buddhism has many forms and historically has had some very distasteful moments, were I the Dalai Lama, I’d have a damn fine stage name to divorce myself from the gargle associated with the pseudo science, bad health practice, historical prejudice leading to mass slaughter and insanly insipid and uninspiring dietry and sexual advice foised on my dogmatic flock.

    If the Dalai Lama is not a fund raiser, I question the movement of monies. I question his motive. As a nationalist he could have lost the saffron 50 years ago. If the dalai lama is not a religious leader, could he lose the lousy fashion so we can be sure he is not Boy George on a bad day?

    Karma, Karma, Karma chameleon???

  12. Chris says:

    Brian, can you post a source for that quote in the beginning of this post? I’ve done a cursory search but I don’t want to wade through CNN to try to find this…?

  13. Henk v says:

    I am sorry but I ran the statements by Eric by my kids and my post, since removed.

    They too think that the position on self immolation that Eric presented is the patently absurd they have ever read (unless you are a Sri Lankan suicide bomber).

    A patentently absurd view such as justifiable suicide based on what can only be described as current self contentment and percieved entitlement is absolute garbage. I have yet (a logical fallacy of course) to ever have read any suicide protocol based on contentment. Its psychologically bizarre and biologically untenable.

    I will maintain that any religion that praises the self deific achievement of equality in god head with a fine proscribed and prescribed suicide has gone beyond the bounds of non reproduction and aproached itself on an untenable quality manual.

    Were this the case, the Jerk charge in the blog title is amplified to psychosocial loon (what money cant attract, justifiable and final self disgrace in public can).

    No, my entire adult life, I have seen the lama as a buffoon. If what Eric claims as his continual bleat as well referenced statements exposing a further massive flaw in that particular religion allowing the opressed in a region of opressed folk (greater asia) to casually whip anything they own in immolation joy and protest, then not only do I abhor the religions involved I abhor the culture that spawned it..
    I certainly reject any mention of such a ridiculous notion.

    After all, such a fire lasts a few minutes and we cultural christians know that a fine crucifixion lasts for days of screaming. Even if its done without posting nails!

    Please, no matter what anyone can take out of Eric’s post, there is some loon that will think that its positive (no matter what Eric is trying to convey).

    Yes, the lama is a self centred religious jerk. There has never been any evidence to the contrary, but please … posting that self immolation has some sort of positive transition based on some psychopathic exhibitionist joy even in passing is reprehensible.

    Now as to religious insensitivity on a par that only the religious are sophistry based allowed to enjoy on blog sites www wide…and especially free on skeptic sites, this skeptic insists…

    Bringing in the sheep, bringing in the sheep

    Macca, this one isnt ready yet!
    Bruce, shear it just that little closer to the bone!

    Bringinging in the sheep…

    Baah..

    Sorry guys, with the number of aimless depressives and economically “shamed” folks in this and up coming economic disasters, all we need is someone mentioning that stupidity has its honour base.

    Macca, is this close enough?
    Naah Bruce I can still hear the bleating..

  14. James says:

    HI Brian
    i am a sceptic and science should show the way but god for sake or science for sake you need to stop. I work with NGOs and been to Tibet 4 times. I am not Tibetan but the Chinese have push the Tibetans out and moved Han Chinese in. It is the biggest colonization in modern times. yes the Chinese have been spending the investments on more colonization. This is fact this is fact and the ignorance of some in the sceptic community is troubling. Poor research no reliable sources and no peer reviewed anything. Remembering that China is not a democracy and has a bad record on human rights. Have you been to China?

    YOU NEED TO STOP CONFUSING CELEBRITY DALAI LAMA WITH THE SERIOUS HUMAN RIGHTS TRAGEDY THAT IS TIBET.

    • Henk v says:

      I am sorry James, I have no idea what your lead in tactics are supposed to indicte.

      Brian has not said anyone isnt suffering.

      Brian has been pretty consistent on bufoonery on the part of the lama. I am glad you point that out in your last sentence.

      coming back from gulag duty to that sort of comment is no longer eye opening…

      • James says:

        Hi Henk
        well my tactics are simple. Brian has made several comments about Tibet’s history and Chinese involvement. I have no idea where he got that information he doesn’t cite any sources. Citing sources is not “I read this book” it is augmenting argument pro and con and sourcing it out. Brian is held to a higher standard because presents himself as a science writer. Regardless how you feel about religion bad scholarship is just that is making generalizations with little or no evidence.If It’s his mission is to inform this article only confuses people And infuriates already traumatized Tibetans.

        If any body is interested the book
        History As Propaganda: Tibetan Exiles versus the People’s Republic of China
        http://amzn.com/0195174267

        • Henk v says:

          Ive never noticed Brian being a science writer. You are coming a bit late on this. The lamas bufoonery has been published since he choofed off in @1960.

          He seems to be opposed with his other incarnation as well.

          I have read very little literature from the religious end of the giggle publications that would reflect scholarship other than pure and applied head patting. Mainly because most of it reads self entitling.

          Maybe next time some one alerts you to a site so you can parade your “tactics” from the second post, please get him to get you to explain why you need “tactics” in the first place.

          I said he because women are (in general) far less pompous in their communications.

  15. Henk v says:

    oh dear, I didnt notice the lookey see link..amateur!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Regarding the Dalai Lama’s “no comment” response, I think getting mad about it is kind of stretching it, considering that you can probably find a way to get pissed at his answer no matter what he says.

    Maybe if he answered “yes”, people would claim that he’s not supporting the protests anymore. If he answered “no”, people would claim he’s not only supporting but asking people to commit suicide in his name.

    The most politically neutral thing he could say in response to that question, that would piss the least amount of people off, is “I don’t have an answer to that”, or, in simplified terms, “No comment.”

  17. Mud says:

    Thats great, We are back back to Brian’s original position…Anonymous confirms the Lama is a populist..

    Duh!

  18. Phil says:

    I don’t know why Brian is so hard on the Lama. After all, the Lama has said:

    If scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false, then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims.”
    When you compare him to the Pope or mullahs, the Lama sounds downright enlightened.

  19. mud says:

    But the lama argues with his incarnations..

  20. Chris says:

    That’s no different than to ask for someone to prove a negative. i.e. Prove invisible unicorns don’t exist. We don’t need to get into a discussion about how ridiculous that is, right?

  21. Andre says:

    I did not read the entire thread, but I simply have a few questions for Dunning, who claims to represent “reality” among the propaganda issued from both sides, that I would appreciate greatly if he would answer.

    How well do you read Tibetan? and Chinese? Have you ever been to “Tibet?” and how long were you there for? Who did you talk to while you were here? Have you talked to anyone in the Refugee Settlements in India? Nepal? What did they say?

    To me it is funny that you attack the credibility of so many others when you offer us no good reason why we should trust yours.

  22. Lawrence Fredella says:

    This may be the most ridiculous piece I have ever read … Dunning are you kidding me? you need to check your history. Infrastructure??? oh thanks for the roads and for executing innocent, unarmed monks and nuns. Red China’s BRUTAL repression of the peaceful spiritual people of Tibet is simple genocide. Wake up …stop this propaganda nonsense ….reading too much the Communist China govt.

    Take a look at some documentaries on the subject …. Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion is s good one ….just one of the many. There are others out there. You will see raw footage of China’s oppression. And you will hear from REAL people, Tibetans and Americans who were there and saw these things happen. Vicious Chinese soldiers executing unarmed innocent people!!! MURDER plain and simple … as a former US Army Captain, served in OIF 2004-2005 Baghdad, Iraq, I CANNOT understand how any soldier can shoot an unarmed, religious person, monk …my God, how can this happen? vicious

    So yes, sometimes things get to an extreme and now I will set myself on fire to get the world’s attention! the Daila Lama is NOT too blame in any way shape or form for this and for deciding not to answer a question regarding it…. Selfish Jerk ….are you serious? wake up man

    I’m NOT going to do your research for you, but do NOT read the Chinese propaganda on the internet …it’s flooded with absolute nonsenes …it is just that …PROPAGANDA… LIES to deceive you.

    I never thought I would see people criticize the Daila Lama …I’m shocked …he preaches PEACE and NON-VIOLENCE …go to youtube watch his numerous videos speaking at American Universities.

    Lawrence J. Fredella, Esq.
    CPT US ARMY OIF 2004-05
    CENTCOM – Baghdad

  23. Lawrence Fredella says:

    Just in case you missed it the first time … documentary …Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion …go watch it and then you will see that China is 10000% WRONG … Red China Govt in Tibet = Genocide, LIES, Absolute manipulation of the truth.

    I gave you a documentary because it seems you cannot read the truth online so this video will lay it out there for you real easy… remember this: every man is EQUAL to every other man, Freedom, Liberty … basic fundamental concepts ….common sense ….decency should be what we strive for.

    Communist China ….vicious evil … corrupt ….MURDERERS, cleansing Tibetans out of their land … bringing in Chinese people to live there and tearing down all of Tibets neighborhoods …anyone protests they are tortured and eventually killed. RAW footage … PROOF ….watch and be horrified by the ruthlessness of the Chinese govt and their soldiers …. as I said before as a soldier of the United States, I am absolutely disgusted by what I saw….Geneva conventions??? for the Chinese …ehh who cares about human rights

    U.S. Government is weak in this regard … should be doing more than just arming and training the monks … we should have boots on the ground TROOPS … I only WISH that in 2004-05, my combat tour had been in Tibet trying to FREE TIBET from the Chinese communist cowards …rather than in Iraq …I pray for the peaceful Tibetan people

    CPT. L.J.Fredella

  24. Vanessa martinez says:

    Gentle men, I tried reading all your comments before posting, but wow that’s a lot of posts. Please forgive me if I post something already discussed and done.

    I personally don’t like the idea of China taking over Tibet. I’m not happy with any country being taken over. Yes China has made life more modern in Tibet, and some Tibet’s are happy about the Chinese influence. That doesn’t mean they don’t want to be free to live how they want.

    Just cause something may be better from another’s powers doesn’t mean it should be. Some people think we should make puerto rico a state, my high school teacher strongly believe (based on Canada’s history she says) that the U.S. ‘s biggest mistake was independence and would have prospered better if we stayed a british colony forever, theres always gonna be one person in the third party who likes what the members of the first part are doing to the the members of the second part.

    From my Eastern Psychology class, we discussed buddism in Tibet as well as some history background, and I don’t like how its constantly “Attack on tiananmen square” action that goes on when ever the tibetians try to openly celebrate their religious practices. -seen the news footage, i know its happening.

    In what I read in the previous post, I see a lot of commentary about talking to the Tibetians and seeing their views? Good idea, anyone done that yet? I’d like to see the home movie of that.

  25. Mud says:

    So why not write a post on all grievances all people in a country or nation may have? Surely there are many countries under dire oppressive regimes that have not a single jot of social evolution in the forseeable future?

    The third paragraph is a logical fallacy. Its a good one often used, pleading an incompatible case.

    The fourth paragraph compounds this.

    Vanessa, you must love red. It would be all over your papers handed back to you.

  26. It is really pitiful as a society how we judge people who are among the best in our society on materialistic views that we ourselves practice. I somehow get the feeling that Mr. Brian Dunning is just writing this column to get people to reflect on themselves on what is going on in our society while maintaining the theme of this blog, “skeptoid.” In that regard I do applaud Mr. Brian Dunning. His holiness is different from most people, so columns such as these won’t discourage him. However, there are many people who get discouraged when something like this happens while they are trying to do positive things for other people. A lot of people are feeling that it is harder to be a good person than a bad one. As a society, I hope we can encourage each other’s positive actions and forgive the negative, when that person is trying to be positive things as a whole.
    I hope people can see through his holiness’ “no comment.” He is being empathetic to those monks, while at the same time not bad mouthing the chinese government. Silence by his holiness is for us to reflect and observe. I have met his holiness in person and he has been a great inspiration for me as a person to not just repent, but actually reform. Repent is useless without reform.

  27. Brian Dunning, why oh why, kindred soul, didn’t I find you before? I would have asked you to marry me 🙂 Now, seriously, you are one a kind, a writer I will make my favorite. Tell your girlfriend or wife that I am seriously jealous, and as a writer myself I am so envious of you Brian.

  28. Anonymous says:

    As a Buddhist practitioner, I find it horrifying a religious leader is accepting that Monks are committing suicide!!! To become a monk requires many good causes and conditiosn to achieve, but to waste it by committing suicide for “delusional just cause” is probably some of the worst Karma one can commit!!!

    I heard that this situation is similar to Islamic terrorism, where “wise elders” convince depressed young people to commit glorious actiosn for their religion.

    It’s so sad people who claim they are “Buddhists” are supporting this action and blaming it on China… I can NEVER imagine any Chinese Buddhist High Monks ever keep silent about monks killing themselves!

  29. surfver says:

    The Chinese forcefully invaded Tibet and committed numerous atrocities, torturing and killing people. Whatever some monks might have done, I think the Chinese where way over and beyond that and I have never heard of a single Tibetan who was glad that the Chinese invaded the country. The USA supports Chinese police state policies and sweat camp style labor in many ways. China harvests the organs of criminals and there is no free speech in China. The Dalai Lama is loved by many because Buddhist philosophy and meditation helps to ind meaning in life and overcome many types of mental suffering.

  30. H Kundalini says:

    Look at the two pictures, yourself Sir and the Dalai Lama. One bitter, lost and self-driven, the other happy, selfless and content with the hard work he is doing. Perhaps this article could be aptly renamed Brian Dunning: Savior, or Selfish Jerk? Read Byrom’s little book Dhammapada The Sayings of the Buddha my friend and find your answers and peace. Cheers!

    • surfver says:

      Maybe if Tibetan monks are lighting themselves on fire it’s because they are upset. Instead of criticizing the Dalai Lama, maybe you might criticize the police state that is run by communist china ? Buddah and Christ may have stood for peace, but also justice and enlightenment which seems like that doesn’t fit in with a police state comprehendo ? In fact modern totalitarianism is probably worst than it has ever been in the history of the world even since buddah, why don’t you modernist worshiping atheists chew on that one ?

  31. liwei13705 says:

    I am an ‘evil’ Han Chinese, and my ‘evil’ heart just got a little upset after seeing comments full of hatred towards Chinese people. WTF? I didn’t vote for ‘invading’ Tibet. In fact, no ordinary Chinese could make that call since China had been basically one-party dictatorship since 1949. I have no doubt that there are Tibetans getting mistreated, so are other Chinese getting mistreated as well. Han Chinese don’t enjoy more rights than Tibetan. It is the problem of political system.

    I don’t understand why some people are attacking China/Chinese without even noticing that they are over-generalizing the fault of a ruling party as the guilt of all Chinese people? Do you know the difference between a Nazi and a German? I know some people out there just hate the fact that Tibet is CURRENTLY a part of China, however, that is not likely to change anytime soon unless China’s ruling party crumbles first. Your angry voice is insignificant to the situation of Tibet unless you can take down the government, and your action of building up hatred among ethnic groups will do no good to your free Tibet.

    • Lawrence J. Fredella says:

      oh no…no…I am sorry…i did not mean the Chinese people. I am talking about RED Chinese GOVT, Soldiers…atrocities committed by them. When i wrote that I was upset and i did not take the time to explain. I am referring to a government body NOT the people.

      When i was kid growing up on long Island, i would get picked on by bullies. I was about 8-9 years old and my idol was Bruce lee. I became obsessed with studying kung fu, jeet kun do, and eventually formally practicing Tae Kwon Do. Chinese Buddhism influenced me as a child…helped me to defend myself. I watched every kung fu movie made in China i could find. 10 Tigers from Kwantung, 5 deadly venoms….Chinese culture, arts, martial arts, foods, people …etc… are awesome.

      I love Buddhist Chinese culture….i apologize if i offended you.

      Yet…my anger remains for the RED, COMMUNIST China Govt (as Mao Tse Tung said to the Daila Lama “religion is poison”) …

      I love the Chinese, Buddhist people
      sincerely,

      Lawrence J. Fredella, Esq.
      PS: my wife is Korean and we believe in peace first, but you must be fully prepared to defend yourself by practicing martial arts

  32. I agree with @Liwei13705 this is getting a little bit out of hand. People shouldn’t be generalizing about a nation just because of it’s political agenda.

  33. Chanel says:

    Liwei13705, I can certainly see how you would be offended. Looking at the references to the Chinese from your perspective, it would be offensive. I would just like to state that, while reading the arguments, I assumed they were referring to the Chinese government and not the Chinese as a people. Reading your comment, I do think that should have been more clearly stated, because SURELY that is what they intended. I can’t imagine anyone actually thinking the Chinese people are oppressing/brutalizing the Tibetans as (Ihope) we all know how the Chinese gov are oppressing/brutalizing the Chinese. I apologize for the (presumed) lack of clarity on their part. I just can’t imagine they could possibly have meant it that way. Your government, in my opinion as an outsider looking in, is that it should be deposed and your freedoms as well as the freedom of the Tibetan people should be restored. Everyone in the would should have the freedom to practice their religion freely and be free from fear of being shot or tortured for disagreeing with their government.

    From what I’ve read in the media and online – not via coursework, nor speaking directly to Tibetans (which I would love to do) – my current view is that the Lama does give to the Tibetans via medical and education funding of exiled Tibetans, As aforementioned by someone above, he can’t give the funds directly to Tibet as the Chinese government would seize the funds. He gives much of it away to charities as well. I’m sure he and the monks live off of the funds as well.

    I’m not claiming to be an expert on the topic at all whatsoever and am not attacking anyone, just stating my feelings on the topic, which I really had no plans of doing until I read Liwei13705’s post. I really felt badly for his/her feelings and felt they should be addressed as they are certainly valid and deserving of acknowledgement. I felt guilty and I didn’t even say it! I just hope you dont’ feel that everyone thinks that.

    • liwei13705 says:

      Chanel, it is not your fault and you don’t have to apologize for others. The words China/Chinese are overloaded with many meanings, and it is where misunderstanding breeds. I refer the word ‘China’ as my homeland, not the Chinese government, and I think that is also a common notion among Chinese people.

      There are lots of terrible problems in China, and the communist Chinese government is hopelessly corrupted with a long history of abuse, which is on an unthinkable level for anyone from any democratic countries. When I was reading all the negative comments about China, I even felt ashamed for being Chinese. It was like hearing neighbors keep saying that your parents are criminals.

      I have no problem with Dalai Lama, and I think his call for religion freedom is absolutely valid.
      I hope one day all people live in China –Chinese, Tibetans, and any other people– can all enjoy true freedom. I totally agree the current authoritarian government of China should go away, and I think most younger-generation Chinese would agree as well. It is just not yet coming to the tipping point because it takes time to teach democracy to a billion people.

      • Lawrence J. Fredella says:

        once again my sincerest apologies …my anger is towards the red communist government NOT the people….I LOVE the people, culture, food, arts…as I wrote in a reply above…martial arts. Bruce lee was my idol when i was growing up….Chinese Buddhism saved my life really… as a kid getting picked on by bullies and beaten down….I turned to martial arts ….my formal study was Korean (Tae Kwon Do) but i studied Jeet Koon Do on my own and read all of Bruce Lee’s books.

        so i am sorry I should have been more specific when I wrote that…please forgive me

        my anger was directed towards the government…I want to emphasize this point: it is NOT to the people or culture…

        Lawrence J. Fredella, Esq.

  34. magnanamous dinoflagellate says:

    The Dalai Lama isnt calling for religious freedom and certainly isnt calling for democracy.

    Wei, could you familiarise yourself with the system and country that produced the Lama and his personal corruption and what he actually wants?

    You arent talking to a californian audience.

  35. Chanel says:

    I think that, as has previously been pointed out, Tibet would have changed over 50 years just like every other country. We no longer have segregation in the US, the British have given up many of their colonies, apartheid has been abolished, the USSR no longer exists, so many many changes.

    What corruption are you referring to? I’m not asking to dispute your assertion. I’m asking because I am trying to seek varying facts and opinions so I can decide for myself what my opinion of the matter is. I try to read varying facts and opinions on topics that interest me before forming my own opinion and religions, culture, and history really interest me.I’m open to anyone’s opinions as long as it’s understood that I’m going to listen and decide for myself. I may or may not walk away from this conversation agreeing with anyone, but right now I’m neutral.

  36. Chanel says:

    Hey, also, I thought that the Chinese Communist gov was supposed to have expired and reverted back to democracy a few years ago? Did I misunderstand or did it just not happen?

  37. Ming says:

    For Gyame Kyaktsar’s view on Buddhism, claiming self-immolation is the highest form of act, as stated on May 16, 2012, I will have to strongly disagree.
    From many ways, Buddha has never said any sort of such thing. For anyone to make such claim, it will have to be personal interpretation and the statement is opinionated.

    Please, forgive my humble understanding and translation of the texts and Buddha’s teachings. And, I will have to apologize first for any religious person who may find the following offensive, as it may contradict with his or her own religion (If Christian, please do not feel offended, for Buddhism is not contradictory to your religion and if you want to know why, read the paragraph after the two stories below).
    Buddhism should not be classified as a religion, but it is simply his teaching of how we should behave in the world and how we can find our true inner self. It is clearly demonstrated by two stories:
    1) When he was born, it was said that he immediately stood up, walked 7 steps each in four directions (N, E, W, S), and pointed to the sky, declaring “No one is noble, but ME!”
    Of course, we know it is only a fable. How can an infant stand up right after birth? It is, of course, non-sense. But, the true meaning of the statement is what counts (just like the Diamond Sutra has stated that you can throw away the Sutra and even hit anyone who claims to be Buddha, once you understand the truth that the texts are trying to convey).
    The statement is bold and other religions may find this irritating. What if I tell you, the true meaning of the statement is not to declare himself as God, but rather, similar to the statement of “I think, therefore I am”. Doesn’t it make sense then? (I will clarify after the second story for anyone who is still puzzled)
    2) Two monks standing under a flag pole, arguing about a waving flag – one claims wind to be the cause and one claims the flag itself is the cause of wave-like movement. A senior monk walks by and overhears the argument. He smiles and says to them, “It is your heart that moves the flag”.
    Weird stories, aren’t they? But, they all speak the same thing – Nothing in the world is important EXCEPT YOU! If you don’t exist, does the world matter to you?
    If the Buddhism stories are exemplifying the importance of SELF, how can its teaching ever tell one to commit a horrific act of self immolation, regardless of how righteous the cause may be?

    Christianity declares the Divinity (as you may consider God as where we come from, our parent).
    But, Buddha is not God (in fact, there were > 10 questions he would not answer – one of them being identity of God, for he considered it as irrelevant to what he wanted to discuss – SELF), but he is a teacher.
    Teacher’s teachings and Parents’ teachings should not conflict with each other. Everything is about SELF. Even your parents will want the best for you, no? They will probably want to raise you to be just like them – successful and prosperous in life (well… most of them), just as God will probably want you to follow in his footsteps to join him in Heaven at the end. Everything boils down to SELF. So, no form or sect should ever praise self-immolation to be the highest form of act, for LIFE is deeply revered by Buddhism.

    Also, for curiosity, what is Tantric Sexual Practice about? (Sorry if I used the wrong translation).
    From what I had gathered, it seemed quite contradictory to Buddha’s teachings, because Buddha did leave the Palace (where his father had gathered many beautiful concubines for his pleasure) to seek eternal happiness. I mean, if sexual practice can really achieve Enlightenment, then all Buddha had to do was to stay in Palace and enjoyed the fun every night.
    I just don’t see any justification for this kind of practice.
    And, I had been to Sichuan and Tibet, and this practice was well-recognized by the public. My tour guide said that it was a well-known fact, but only the High Bodhisattva had the rights to perform the act. We even passed a village full of Living Buddhas. How did we know? Because according to the tour guide, the household with Living Buddha would show three colored flags on the rooftop. And, that village was full of it. Of course, I am only GUESSING, that somehow their descendents are sent to this village, so that somehow they can be “chosen” as Living Buddha again. Pure guessing (and no offense meant).

  38. Lawrence J. Fredella, Esq. says:

    I admire and respect the Chinese culture, Martial Arts, Buddhism, food, etc. I feel for the spiritual, religious Chinese people suffering there because Red communist govt frowns upon religious worship … I love Chinese Kung Fu, Shaolin Temple …the Monks, warriors ….it it the evil communist government i guess….

    Unarmed monks and nuns prevented from praying on the Dalai Lama’s birthday …tear gassed and shot…possibly 2 dead ….China’s RED Gov’t, Soldiers shooting unarmed monks and nuns …. VIOLATION of COMMON SENSE, Soldier’s HONOR, MORALS, and Geneva Conventions …once again, I am NOT blaming the entire Chinese people (of course NOT)
    See link:
    http://revolution-news.com/tibet-monks-shot-as-chinese-police-open-fire-on-tibetans-praying-on-dalai-lamas-birthday/

    But, if you choose to ignore the ethnic cleansing, religious suppression, and simple MURDER of innocents … then I do not know what to say to you…I do not know how to converse with you…whomever you may be…if you cannot see the line here then … it is hopeless for you

    As a Honorable soldier…to me this is so far beyond unacceptable …I actually shed tears for them. How can you shoot an unarmed, ‘holy man or woman’, however you would like to refer to them…whatever religion…if they are peaceful people and i am a soldier armed with weapons …how do you even fire at them …how can you pull the trigger

    to me it must be evil …is it Chinese children brainwashed by RED Communist govt into the army? i don’t know …do they go into the army very young like Hitler’s Youth were brainwashed …they just do not know any better?

    maybe like Radical Islamists (who are NOT peaceful) …manipulate religion and brainwash 4 and 5 year old kids

    i don’t know …I have no solution … I cry for them … I am so sorry…I am powerless to do anything!!!!!

    • No one is powerless.

      • Lawrence J. Fredella, Esq. says:

        well i feel powerless … so far from Tibet … seeing any unarmed person in a protest or demonstration that is peaceful…no violence …for that person to be shot and killed by a soldier…..I mean that is murder …plain and simple …I just do not know.

  39. jangchup says:

    i have never come across such close minded and ignorant person like you.
    you clearly have no idea about whats going on in tibet and how tibetan people are suffering under chinese govern. they have no freedom of religion nor freedom to speak or protest. if they did that they are beaten to death or sentence in jail for long period of time . since you don’t know how it really is in tibet and how chinese governments are, and then don’t be writing you false opinion about dalai lama or the tibet . jus keep you irrelevant opinion to yourself no one really wants know ur dumb and stupid opinion. there is saying that “if you are not in that person’s shoes then don’t judge them cuz you don’t how that person really feels or wat he or she really going through. so you don’t how is like in tibet before and now then no judge. you will only know if you been to tibet and see how the chinese army or the solider are.

  40. Anonymous says:

    I think his point is the lama isn’t what he says he is,Bryan no doubt Tibet doesn’t deserve to be under China if they don’t want to be,but the dalai lamas motives are anything but a crusade for his people

  41. Chucky N says:

    Bottom line is this: If the Chinese have invaded this Brian Dunning home land, I am not so sure he would have approve of it. End of discussion white boy.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Guys, don’t mix China with its current communist government. Give people there-Chinese Hans, Muslims, Tibetans, Manchurians, Zhuangs, etc the respect you would give to Mr Lincoln when he said “you can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors” regarding your civil wars.
    All problems in Tibet are faced by other parts and groups in china. This government is not innocent but should not be the base to seperate a nation. By the way, any historic and modern research showing Tibet is not china- please support Free America – all white people get out ! leave it to the Indians and Hawaiian!

  43. Through the grace of God and my own effort I was able to live, work and travel in Asia for 24 years. I feel that the original article written by Brian Dunning makes some reasonable points that may or may not be historically true and accurate. Who can really say anything for sure about Asia and Asian ethnic groups, countries and cultures? I could go on and on about this, but I have done it so many times previously regarding this subject that I feel bored with the whole thing. But if one were to take The Dalai Lama out of a monk’s robe and put him in the clothing of a politician or businessman or the uniform of a policeman or military officer, would we see him in the same manner that many of us do at present or would we look as him as being another self-serving individual who only cares about himself and his cronies and really does not know or really care for his own people and in fact may look down on them?

  44. This post is downright evil says:

    There is no FREEDOM under Chinese occupation. Could it be that simple? Yes. Speak against the government and you see yourself tortured to death. China killed half of the entire countries population, to this day, they are continuing to brutally kill. They burnt down 5994 monasteries out of 6000. These Tibetans who are self-immolating are doing so in a way that they know is SIN in Buddhism, however, you have to put yourself in their mind. Buddhist live under the belief that we live for other people, to help other people and show compassion to others. If other Tibetans are continuing to suffer, they will sacrifice their lives in the hopes that it could potentially help other Tibetans from China’s brutal, and dare I say demonic, control. They have no other way of voicing their need for freedom. This attention is the only way any news may be sparked and others will listen to their cry for help.

  45. harry says:

    Very interesting. I’ve learnt a lot, from both the post itself and the debate in the comments.

  46. Liam O'Brien says:

    Holy smokes. Do you have any idea how many millions of Tibetans were murdered by the Chinese? Exterminated like pests. Before you start making claims do your homework.

  47. Lee says:

    Those of you who see the Dalai Lama as the embodiment of compassion need to do some serious research into the history of Tibet. And the hierarchical structure of the region. You could compare it to the Indian caste system. Where nothing is fair.
    You should also look up “dorje shugden” and how the Dalai Lama personally discriminates and condones persecution of dorje sugden followers. Compassionate? Me thinks not…

  48. Tory Davis says:

    What I see here is a journalist pissed off at a public figure for not answering another journalist’s juicy question.

  49. Ramon says:

    THE VOICE OF THE DALAI LAMA
    If I had to find some fictional character to illustrate what the word tyranny means. I would choose “Saruman the White”. Tolkien describes very precisely what kind of motivation lies behind this word.
    Saruman is the chief of a saga of wizards in the novel. A priori, he is a positive character. Then later on he is tempted by the lust of power. In the novel we are told that first he studied the arts of the enemy to fight them, but eventually gave in to those same arts. Saruman is tempted by the ring of power, which can subdue the whole “Middle-earth”. Saruman wants all the power for himself and from that very moment begins the corruption of his mind. First, by betraying his own kind, remember when Gandalf visits him Saruman tempts him with the possibility to help him to get the ring of power and dominate in this way “Middle-earth”. Gandalf refuses of course and then Saruman make him his prisoner. After that Saruman mobilizes all his forces to get the ring of power. In order, to achieve this he lies, cheats, and manipulates his own people as a real tyrant. It is important to remember that he is a being with powers and uses them to achieve his own distorted purposes. You only need to read the chapter “The voice of Saruman” to realize how he is able to manipulate and confuse people only with the friendly and seductive tone of his speech. Recall that in this chapter Saruman has already been defeated and cornered in his tower, but still he has the power of his voice that like the song of the sirens may tempt the unwary sailor. Luckily there is Gandalf to dismount all his lies.
    Tolkien makes an excellent analysis of this character in this chapter.It is so good that one fear that Saruman will convince everyone of his goodness. It requires all the skill and integrity of Gandalf to defeat him.
    This is a magnificent work to analyse power and its manipulations, how power changes the mind and the dangers of being tempted by power.
    Unfortunately, it is not very difficult to find in this world examples that fit perfectly with Tolkien’s descriptions of Saruman. I think that the most remarkable is that of the Dalai Lama as a symbol of Buddhism worldwide, Nobel peace prize, supported by Hollywood and the media, as well as being the representative in this world of the words tolerance, compassion and goodness, actually he has deceive the whole world. The Dalai Lama voice resembles that of Saruman. His words in the west are cordial and tolerant but what really lies behind his seductive voice is the word tyranny. Tyranny towards his own people as religious discrimination (chasing mercilessly Dorje Shugden practitioners)
    Since the Dalai Lama arrived to India his real motivation has been to destroy the four traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, thus creating a new tradition of which he would be the head. Then he would be the absolute leader of his people, political, material and spiritual. Is not this a description of absolutism?
    Finally, I would only make a recommendation to all those under the influence of the Dalai Lama, check what is behind the voice of “HH” the Dalai Lama because his music although seductive resembles that of its counterpart in fiction.

  50. Ramon says:

    LOGICAL REASONING
    SYLLOGISM: Whenever we realize something by means of a conclusive reason we use a special form of logical reasoning known as a syllogism. A syllogism has three parts: subject, predicate and a reason. The combination of the subject and the predicate is called “probandum” in the example below the “probandum” is “The Dalai Lama is not an emanation of Avalokiteshvara” and is this we realize in dependence upon the reason. A conclusive reason is a reason that is able to establish a probandum incontrovertibly.
    The definition of a conclusive reason is a reason that is qualified by the three modes. The three modes are: the property of the subject, the forward pervasion, and the reverse pervasion; and any conclusive reason will be qualified by all three. We can understand these three modes by considering the syllogism stated below:
    The Dalai Lama is not an emanation of Avalokiteshvara because all his actions do not correspond with that of the Buddha of compassion.
    The first mode is called the property of the subject because for a reason to be conclusive it must apply to, or be a property of the subject. In this case, the reason is a property of the subject because all his actions do not correspond with that of the Buddha of compassion (reason) refers to The Dalai Lama (subject). The second mode is called the “forward pervasion “because for a reason to be a conclusive reason it must be pervaded by the predicate. In this case, the reason is qualified by the second mode because if all his actions do not correspond with that of the Buddha of compassion (reason) cannot be an emanation of Avalokiteshvara (predicate). The third mode is called the “reverse pervasion” because if the predicate does not apply the reason must also not apply. In this case, the reason is qualified by the third mode because if he was an emanation of Avalokiteshvara all his actions would correspond with that of the Buddha of compassion. If a reason lacks any of the three modes it is not a conclusive reason.
    In this case the reason is qualified by the three modes and we can say that it is a syllogism based on a conclusive reason. Maybe sometimes we are not sure about one of the parts of the syllogism, then we have to state another one per example maybe you are not sure about the reason established here ,that is, all his actions does not correspond with that of the Buddha of compassion. Then we can establish another syllogism to prove the reason:
    All Dalai Lama actions do not correspond with that of the Buddha of compassion because he did not condemn Iraq war; he has brought enormous suffering to many people by banning Dorje Shugden practice and he does not recognize his Spiritual Guide.
    Recall that even Avalokiteshvara is an enlightened being he has his Spiritual Guide at his crown (Buddha Amithaba) out of respect.
    For the rest you already know how to check if this is a syllogism based on a valid reason.

    http://www.westernshugdensociety.org/video/dalai-lama-expelling-monks/
    http://www.westernshugdensociety.org/video/speeches-enforcing-the-ban/
    http://www.westernshugdensociety.org/video/dalai-lama-iraq-war/

  51. vajra says:

    http://falsedalailama.com/

    Exposing the dark side of the Dalai Lama

    Welcome to The False Dalai Lama – a new book exploring the hidden, dark side of everyone’s favourite “celebrity monk”. This explosive book overturns the myth of the Dalai Lama, revealing the scheming political mind behind the media-friendly smiles and soundbites. Admired by many as one of the world’s leading advocates of peace and harmony, this thorough investigation exposes how the Dalai Lama is, in fact, lying. Prepare to meet the worst dictator in the modern world.

  52. vajra says:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/james-snell/dalai-lama-criticism_b_4421553.html

    The Dalai Lama Deserves Criticism, Not Adulation

    There is no greater demonstration of our passivity as a culture than the honorifics we attach to unworthy people. The Pope is always ‘His Holiness’, regardless of whether or not he knew about – and subsequently covered up – child abuse amongst the priesthood. The limp, insipid Archbishop of Canterbury is always ‘His Grace’, regardless of his cowardly abuse of power to block the legalisation same sex marriage for Anglicans and that most wonderful of things – equality. Every terror-happy Islamist commander is ‘Sheikh’, and every gay-bashing evangelical ‘Reverend’.

    The Dalai Lama (who is always referred to by his title) is the prime example of the way in which the media and political figures bend over backwards to accommodate those who have certain reputations. These popular perceptions often supersede substance, but what else could we expect from the team of twenty-four hour news channel obsessed media studies graduates who ‘advise’ our political leaders? The Dalai Lama is a comfortable face, like a dozy kitten, which means that politicians can drop in for a quick meet and great, and appear well meaning by doing so. The reputation in question is also useful for attracting the slight superficial whiff of rebellion in going against the supposed wishes of the Chinese government (anti-Chinese feeling is certainly useful – see Mitt Romney’s liberal use of trade-war hysteria in the 2012 US Presidential Election campaign if an example is needed). And nothing gets your average idealistic idiot on the street more interested than China, man.

    etc etc…..

    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/james-snell/dalai-lama-criticism_b_4421553.html

  53. Chris Penny says:

    http://tibet.net/2014/03/19/tibetan-parliament-passes-resolution-concerning-dolgyal/

    I thought others westerners who value religious freedom and freedom of speech might like to know what the Tibetan Parliament gets up to when no one is looking. This link shows how the Dalai Lama is carrying our a personal campaign to wipe out a centuries-old Buddhist practice with the power of the Central Tibetan Administration. He uses all the usual logical fallacies to denigrate his victims. Some holy man.

    • surfver says:

      I don’t agree with everything the Dalai Lama says, in a few areas I may disagree quite a bit; however certain religious aspects may not be easy to understand by westerners and I don’t agree with every bit of political correctness that western liberals may share including many westerners who seem to nearly want to redefine buddhism.

      I was greatly influenced by the Dalai Lama’s book “healing anger” which is commentary on the ancient text the “buddhasavta’s way of life”, That book has inspired me immensely, it has helped me deal with stress and difficult situations at work and in my life and because of that and similar works I consider the Dalai Lama to be a great hero of mine though I am also a Christian ..

  54. pema Dhondup says:

    Since there is not a single voice in this whole discussion from a Tibetan I thought I should add something. I am a Tibetan born and raised in India but now living in America. My parents were nomads and so called ‘serf’. They did tell me about the old system under which they lived but they never said they were happy to be liberated. My mother said, what ever happened in a house, strangers don’t go in and tell the owners how they should live. Seems quite logical. As for all the bashing of the Dalai Lama here without any real reason and facts, I would say you all deserve my compassion. I am not a very religious person but I do follow the Dalai Lama’s message and advice that everyone desires happiness and do not want suffering, so we’re all same, he says. Think about it. Perhaps you’ll develop more warm heartedness irrespective of what religion or politics you follow or believe in.

  55. Hahahahaha. ‘Have you ever been to Tibet Brian? :))

  56. eme stolle says:

    the beauty of the Dalia Lama is that he puts it out there and you can take his message however you would like to. Have you ever seen him speak? there is a magic in the room that is indescribable. I want the peace that he radiates; so does the rest of the world. You can get caught up in the minutia but please try to see the forest for the trees.

  57. Love says:

    It does not matter what religion, color, or
    background you come from… You are all people and you are dividing yourselves. When we are divided we are a weak race easy to manipulate and control. You can take any other facts and disregard them because this is the present and your view of others is contagious. Please smile on your brothers and sisters and help each other. You cannot change the past but you can change your futures.

  58. Gianine says:

    I’m certain the Tibetan people would rather have their roadless country back – to live the way they did before China brutally invaded. They are smart enough to have figured out how to build their own roads in a peaceful place.

  59. Jonathan says:

    Dude, the atrocities that have happened in that country because of the Chinese government and army are horrific. For a man to stand up and power peace with them is more of a mind blowing concept than any of our leaders would do. Let’s start supporting humanity and peace rather than finding more cracks, huh?

  60. Chris says:

    I don’t really see the point in arguing about what China have done or not done and whether you can find a Tibetan who is happy under Chinese rule or not. The issue is about the fact that if the Dalai Lama asked these people to stop setting themselves on fire they would stop and therefore they would not suffer horrible painful deaths in vain. The DL is supposed to be a Buddhist and follow the teachings of Buddha who I’m pretty sure would have requested immediately that people stop such actions. Buddha taught that a human life was filled with potential and should never be wasted in this way. Lets face it this whole circus gives the DL’s cause (whatever that is these days) the attention he wants.

  61. guokaiou says:

    i came here to read the comments… Yet I totally agree with the author, you kind of covered most of the important points. Yet I think you missed the fact that Dalai is now talking stuff all around the world about happiness and stuff, and there are people who believes in him. More important the name Dalai was even given by a Chinese emperor, which means Tibet is always part of China.

  62. Your arguments sounds like the argument white imperialist bigots in Canada and the US makes about “Indians” (referring to aborignal or native people) – that the white folk brought jobs and industry to them, so they should be greatful. Its not their land, its ours, because we built it up. K suspect the average native American would have the same reaction as the average Tibetan. The fact is, it’s their land and therefore they should decide what to do with it, jobs or no jobs. Do you think the Chinese would allow a vote? I don’t think so!

  63. Blob says:

    This is an old post . . . thought I’d comment on it anyway. I have an opportunity to be around the Dalai Lama and know people who are close to him quite well. For what it is worth, my bias isn’t as a practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism. I think it is fine to be skeptical, but you make a few points that are incorrect in fact.

    The books you cite were neither written by the Dalai Lama nor some sort of light-weight “metaphysical self-help.” The Dalai Lama lends his name to a bunch of books – it touch make much effort to see that essentially he allows people state it as “with the Dalai Lama” or some such thing. Many of those books are trade books which articulate at a general some aspect of Buddhist philosophy. The rest of relatively hard core Buddhist philosophy that are either transcriptions of talks the Dalai Lama has given on Buddhist philosophy or are written by serious academic works written by a handful of trusted scholars. He has written a few books himself – they are great books with none of the self-help flavor. I refer people to “My Land and My People” (the political autobiography during collaps of Tibet that is surprisingly favorable to the Chinese) and “The Universe in a Single Atom” (his leanings and thoughts on physics and neuroscience).

    I am not aware that the Dalai Lama puts much effort or time into fundraising. Again, people may fund raise in his name but I am not aware that he has much to do with it. I only know of instances in which he has cut checks to help people; not vice versa.

    In my opinion, the Dalai Lama is playing the game at a very high level, one comparable in ways to role Gandhi played in evolution of Indian politics and retreat of the British government. He is true monk who lives in a simple dwelling with few possession other than a few robes and books, a old shortwave-compatible radio, and at times a pet cat. He gets up at 4 or so in the morning and practices meditation for around 4 hours, than reads philosophy for about 3 hours, and then, around noon, heads out to handle his affairs of state. He may not be a perfect being – I am not one of the ones who worry about his putative status as an enlightened being – but after spending many days around him I really think he strives to make every action a statement of what he would call an ethically-positive motivation. That is a goal; it may not have been fully realized yet. But might we be so blessed that all politicians around world were playing the game at the Dalai Lama’s level.

    There is some misinformation spread about the Dalai Lama both by the Chinese government and by this cult which calls itself the New Kadampa tradition (also called Shudgen Society). One third of Chinese territory, the mineral rich third, is Tibet. So their bias is in undermining the one-time secular leader of Tibetan (and supposedly) the religious leader of China under the suzerainty agreement (incompatible with Maoism, or course). Kadampa people, who may also be funded by China, are have a more extremist interpretation of Tibetan Buddhist. They believe in a particular wrathful demi-god who punishes through supernatural means anyone who strays outside the teachings of one particular school of Tibetan Buddhist. The Dalai Lama has called this, in essence, a bunch of BS. They didn’t like that and they work hard to denounce the Dalai Lama and have even committed a few acts of terrorism. It is a classic cult, complete with the need to get psychological counseling when they finally leave the group. Members of that group have posted above. All that just to say it is important to source material about the Dalai Lama to astute scholars and journalists who attempt to provide balance prospective. It is not too hard to do.

  64. Bluecello says:

    Insightful, impartial, and succinct. Thank you.

    You should consider enlighten more people by commenting on publications such as The Economist. It is important that the truth could reach a wider audience, especially those suffer from prolong brainwash by major media.

  65. Ivan Faught says:

    Brian Dunning, following a link to your article, I read your article with attention and must say the feeling I got are that you are nearer to a Conspiracy Theorist than the Truth. I made sure to read every comment as well and only after reading that I was sure I am right. Most of your assumptions and arguments are rebuttled by either people whom sounded that they are Tibetans themselves or have a history with them. Whenever I watch the videos on the Oral History of Tibet, or read something from Tibetans I also notice that you are incorrect on most of your assumptions. Tibetans feel surppressed by China, and they definitely do not see China as liberators. I also see the reason for the Dalai Llama doing things the way he do. I think you are biased against him.

    Although Bryan Reynolds (in the comments) took long to get to his point I have to agree with what he says. And I can see Gyame Kyaktsar knows what he is talking about when it comes to Tibet and Tibetans and the Dalai Llama himself. SDC, Eric Hall and Lawrence Fredella raised some valid points as well. And even some truth from somebody whom is Chinese (liwei13705) himself.

    As for you, you shine in your absence in the commentary section by having the minimum of reactions on comments by others. Clearly you do not like to engage in criticism of your articles. One thing I can say is that by reading your article and being forced to read the comments to understand things better after I also read up quite a bit on the Dalai Llama and Tibet, my own knowledge about them broadened, and for that I can thank you. But my conclusion unfortunately leads me to now know that your assumptions and arguments are mostly incorrect and loaded with bias. The comments prove that.

    • Brandon says:

      Exactly…..this idiots entire premise is based on his idea of what life should be. Poor to you doesn’t mean the same thing as it does to a Buddhist. Those roads and infrastructure you seem to think is a good thing is actually just the opposite. Their monastic way of life is impeded by more access and development. You might want to think before posting next time Brian.

  66. David Caton says:

    What an emotional topic. It is all very well to enter into the, ‘I know more about Tibet, that you do’, debate, but as I read through the comments the issue that Brian raises in his article are not addressed. Emotion seems to have clouded the issue of whether the Dalai Lama has another agenda than simply wanting a Chinese free Tibet–a topic worth exploring–now covered under an avalanche of sentiment.

  67. It is true, the Dalai Lama doesn’t seem to care about anything but money. He doesn’t comment upon those self-immolations. He also doesn’t comment upon so many of this life long friends being either terrorists, Nazis, Neo-Nazis, Convicted War Criminals, mass murderers, serial killers. Take just one of these cases, say Bruno Beger: http://www.angelofjustice.org/Bruno_Beger. Beger murdered well over a 100 people( including children and infants) and then defleshed these bones to place them in a museum. The Dalai Lama won’t comment on it and until his death just a few years ago Beger was part of the Dalai Lama’s close friends. The dalai Lamai is a fraud.

  68. Anon says:

    Good for you Brian. The trolls are out as usual but just ignore them. The exiles don’t care about freeing Tibetans at all, they just want to return on their own terms. The exile Tibetan government and the Dalai Lama and Co are as theocratic now as when they left Tibet. Selfish as hell on earth.

  69. Zen Mind, Honest Mind says:

    Thank you for writing such an honest article and taking time to respond to the commonly misunderstood views on the Tibet as Shangri-la and the Dalai Lama as a supposed man of peace.

  70. John Feinstein says:

    Thank you– part of the many people waking up to this truth. If you haven’t been prepared to be called a Chinese spy or Chinese funded writer yet, it will be coming soon as the Dalai Lama has many attack dogs that will use ad hominem to discredit you as has been occurring for many years towards anyone who speaks up about strange behavior like this.

  71. Another Voice of Truth says:

    All of the commenters who deny the truth about the Dalai have one of the following stakes in the FREE TIBET INDUSTRY: religious/spiritual, emotional/psychological, business, political, academic…otherwise why are they all keeping up this BIG FAT LIE campaign for profit? The Dalai is a huge fraud, one of the greatest hoaxes of our time!

  72. s says:

    I dont really understand the whole tibeten Dailai Lama concept. Their are Major contradictions everywhere. Why do tibeten religion/ Buddhism and theirby lamas travel and settle everywhere to give major speeches, instead of putting emphasis on teaching the way of Buddha – by meditation.
    And why do all lamas, Rinpoches ect constantly put out books, on empathy and other like stuff.
    Coming from someone who has been involved in Tibetan Buddhism, there doesn’t seem to be much empathy in very many of the centers. It is again just a word. It is very superficial.

    The more you blast out (love, empathy, compassion, therapy, the 8 fold path, the four nobel truths), and do the opposite. The more suspicious it gets.
    And I have really experienced the opposite in Tibetan buddhism. Isn´t that strange.

    And also the atmosphere and the physical manifestations of Dharamsala does not seem to breath empathy. It is not just the poverty.

  73. Holy Chinaman says:

    I lived in china for a very long time, and i saw many “Holyman- figures”
    My main language is not english – im thankful for you taking the hassle and read what i got to say

    Before i read this article here… i watched many interviews where the dalai lama speaks about the current ISIS – Paris situation. And i came to the conclusion that the Dalai-lama is an idiot and not much different than chinese goverment.

    So i looked up on google: Is Dalai-lama an idiot? – and found this article

    not my explaination:

    the dalai lama is a political figure – very close to todays shaolin priests or other priests in china
    they also look the same like him.

    the dalai lama got a peaceful radiance? – someone postet that here
    and no!? people keep themselves in delusion and thats how he gets all the money

    what the dalai lama got is perfectly styled eye brows – to make him look smarter
    he never worked hard, and he never had any real sense of todays society.
    he simply keeps talking over and over the same peace, moral stuff – which is not applicable in our times.

    his english is also very bad, so this is how he can keep talking the same stuff, without looking stupid.
    but he actually understood lots of difficult questions in the interviews – so the english cant be so bad.

    i hope you publish this post

  74. Jo says:

    Those criticizing this article have stakes in the array of financial, academic, political, emotional, religious ‘industies’ connected to the Tibet issue. Neutral onlookers tend to have non-biased opinions based on their own research, rational analysis and healthy skepticism. Just look at the Tibetology and related studies arena where it’s far more than obvious many of the academics will not publish critical analysis out of fear of upsetting stake holders. Brian is right in many ways and he’s only touched the tip of the iceberg!

  75. The statement that Tibet has no natural resources is incorrect. See, for example, the following inventory of Tibet’s natural resources at http://www.china.org.cn/english/tibet-english/zirzy.htm, including 5,000 species of “higher plants,” medicinal plants, wild animals, minerals, and hydro, geothermal, solar, and wind energy. Tibet even leads China in geothermal energy. This is of course why China invaded Tibet in the first place, as well as providing room for its huge population to expand and the geopolitical importance of Tibet as the source of most of the region’s water as well as a launch area for nuclear weapons, which will give China huge influence throughout the entire region, including India. It has nothing to do with China’s beneficence or generosity – it is pure power politics. The United Nations has declared China’s actions in Tibet to constitute genocide. This is why people are burning themselves to death.

  76. CQCQ says:

    In point of fact, Tibet has been a semi-autonomous province of China for over a thousand years. Until 1959, it was ruled as a theocratic dictatorship, with over ninety percent of the population living as serfs in a feudalistic system of involuntary servitude. Workers were routinely bought and sold as slaves, and punishments for speaking irreverently about the Dalai Lama included eye-gouging and tongue removal. Amputation of hands and feet were commonplace punishments for even minor criminal infractions.

  77. Kawena says:

    I viewed a recorded interview of Dalai in the 1960s. The BBC reporter asked him for his view on the killing of the Chinese by his band of guerrillas in Tibet. The Dalai responded spontaneously that it is sometimes alright to kill! This was a shocking answer. The first and most important Buddhist precept observed by buddhist monastics and layman alike is “non-killing.” Dalai is clearly not a monk; not even a Buddhist. Declassified info released in the 1970s by US govt shows that his brothers are all trained by the CIA in Hawaii and then sent back to Tibet to conduct guerilla warfare during the Cold War. His ‘no comment’ with regards to his followers self-immolation is not surprising. He truly believes in killing and suicide.

  78. Lhabum Tseten says:

    You are a Chinese Communist Propaganda jerk!

  79. Maximilian says:

    I think to first judge anyone, especially such a wise and spiritual leader. You must first understand them. You first have to not only learn Buddhism, but accept it in your life to grasp just a hint of what he the Holiness has lived through. Although your points may be valid, they are also wrong. You look for evil where only good tries to live. Even a god is both good and evil, just depends on your point of view. I’m sorry to say you are yet another person who wants peace, love, and harmony, but doesn’t try to work for it. Reason alone can never find peace, only with wisdom you can. This is a good way to try to understand all this. okay, imagin. Humans wanted more wood, so they planted trees to get that wood. Through the years later, the trees grow and the grass rises and flowers blossom and many animals found peace in this beautiful new forest. Eventually it became a home to them. Until one day the humans came back to collect. Overpowered, the animals fleed saddened and confused. The humans got what they wanted through the things they created. But at what cost. If you are a man who only runs on reason, you can make many excuses to do terrible things, like I owned the Forrest. But if you are wise man, you cant make many excuses for evil, just good. Wise humans would return, content with what they have done, maybe collect the trees that are easy to get and unused. But they let it be. Cause they know it was never truly their Forrest. Not anymore at least. Don’t let your reason ingulf you like it did many others. You had enough courage and intelligence to understand and write all this, but use it more wisely. Aim your arrows at those whom would shoot them first. We live in bad times, don’t kill one of the only ones who are here to heal it.

  80. Have to learn Buddhism before you can mock a “wise and spiritual leader” ?
    That is hilarious — and also very silly. Anyone at anytime, may be questioned or mocked for anything.
    Including the Dolly Lama….

    Take your self-righteous easily offended self and go meditate for a while.

  81. gabriella mark says:

    Following the immolations, more people may be aware of problems, but on the other hand, some Tibetan poets and writers have expressed a concern that young Tibetans must be encouraged to cherish their life and not give it away. Do you share their view?

    This is a very, very delicate political issue. Now, the reality is that if I say something positive, then the Chinese immediately blame me. If I say something negative, then the family members of those people feel very sad. They sacrificed their own life. It is not easy. So I do not want to create some kind of impression that this is wrong. So the best thing is to remain neutral. Right from the beginning, when this sort of event happened, what I said, and still I am insisting, is this is not happening due to alcohol or family quarrels.

    Now the Chinese government must carry thorough research, what is the cause of this, and not pretend that nothing is wrong. Like [former Chinese leader] Hu Yaobang said in the early 1980s when he came to Lhasa, he publicly apologised about what they had done, the past mistakes. He promised they would follow a more realistic policy. Now for that kind of courage, that kind of spirit, the time has come.

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