Published February 15, 2009
New Kadampa Cult Smear , New Kadampa Tradition
Tags: Buddhism, dalai lama, gelugpa, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, je phabongkhapa, New Kadampa Truth, robert thurman, Smear: NKT is a cult, tibetan buddhism
Part three of the articles on the New Kadampa Truth Blog about the history of the New Kadampa Tradition’s ‘cult’ smear has been up for a couple days now. This article highlights the Dalai Lama’s first publicized attacks on Geshe Kelsang Gyatso and Je Phabongkhapa (one of the principal lineage Gurus of all modern day Gelugpas).
Part three also addresses the smears of the New Kadampa Tradition and Geshe Kelsang Gyatso published by Newsweek in 1997 in the article entitled Cult Mystery. The main body of which was based on interviews with the Dalai Lama and Robert Thurman.
This combined with the Sera Expulsion Letter cemented in the minds of many Tibetan Buddhists the belief that the NKT was a cult. 1996 and 1997 were bad times for the NKT. Brave as they were to stand up to the Dalai Lama, their actions were misconstrued and the unfair smear of their being a cult began.
– The history of the New Kadampa Tradition’s ‘cult’ smear, Part 3
For previous installments:
The history of the New Kadampa Tradition’s ‘cult’ smear, Part 1
The history of the New Kadampa Tradition’s ‘cult’ smear, Part 2
The second in a series of articles about the history of the ‘cult’ smear of the New Kadampa Tradition was posted on the New Kadampa Truth blog this evening. The history of the New Kadampa Tradition’s ‘cult’ smear, Part 2 reveals the origins of the smear ‘cult of Shugden’. The smear was first used by Andrew Brown in his article “Battle of the Buddhists” which appeared in The Independent (15 July 1996). The label ‘cult’ was then used by the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in Exile as a weapon to try to destroy the reputation of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso and the New Kadampa Tradition.
The New Kadampa Truth blog has rolled out the first in a series of articles about the New Kadampa Tradition being labeled as a cult by supporters of the Dalai Lama. The ‘cult’ smear has probably been the most damaging smear to the reputation of the NKT even though there is no actual basis to support it. It’s wonderful that this series of articles is being published by the New Kadampa Truth team. May the truth prevail!
A quote from the article: The history of the New Kadampa Tradition’s ‘cult’ smear
Being accused of being a cult by someone who dislikes you is similar to being asked if you are still beating your wife every night. No matter what is said or not said in defence, the insinuation remains that you beat your wife. For simply addressing this topic, the NKT may be accused by the same detractors of being defensive (”they wouldn’t need to defend themselves if they weren’t in fact a cult!”); but we will take that risk. From the faultfinders’ point of view, we’re damned if we defend ourselves and damned if we don’t. Why not just ignore them? Because people surfing the Internet sometimes encounter the allegation that the NKT is a cult and then assume that the person who said this somehow knows something that they do not. They may then believe this and either stay away from the NKT or, if they are already in the NKT, anxiously ask themselves, “Oh no, am I in a cult?!”