The below quotes from great masters of the Gelugpa lineage help to refute the smear: Geshe Kelsang Gyatso is a ‘self-styled Geshe’.
In the foreword to Geshe Kelsang’s book, Clear Light of Bliss, Yongdzin Ling Rinpoche says:
This excellent commentary on the joyous Mahamudra
Derived from churning the essence of the ocean of Tantric scriptures
That arose from the heart of this most precious Spiritual Guide
Is published with a pure wish to benefit migrators.
In the foreword to Geshe Kelsang’s book Meaningful to Behold, Venerable Trijang Rinpoche says:
The excellent expounder, the great Spiritual Master Kelsang Gyatso, who studied myriad Buddhist scriptures at the famous Je College of the great monastic university of Sera, Tegchen Ling, practised the meaning of the teachings he received, and became a wise, serious and realized Teacher. From the rain of profound and extensive Dharma that he has bestowed upon his fortunate disciples, he has recently given comprehensive instructions on the great Bodhisattvacharyavatara (Guide to The Bodhisattva’s Way of Life).
In the prayer for the long life of the Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Trijang Rinpoche says:
You who are skilled in the wisdom that unties the sealed knots
Of the profound meaning of the Sutras and Tantras of the Fourth
Deliverer of this fortunate aeon,
Who possess an abundance of good qualities like a thousand petalled lotus,
O peerless, great Spiritual Guide, may you live for a very long time.
The holy Dharma, a treasury of jewels that is difficult to find for many aeons,
Is borne forth on the chariot of your excellent, superior intention;
O Protector who destroy the samsaric miseries of vast numbers of disciples,
Great Knowledge Hero arisen from an ocean (of wisdom), may you live for a very long time.