Smears of The New Kadampa Tradition

Smear: The WSS is just another name for the NKT-IKBU

This is not true. The core objectives of the NKT-IKBU and the Western Shugden Society (WSS) are different. The purpose of the NKT-IKBU is to help pure Kadam Dharma flourish in contemporary society free from politics. The purpose of the WSS is to bring about religious freedom for the millions of Dorje Shugden practitioners who are suffering as a result of the ban implemented by the Dalai Lama.

In particular:

The NKT-IKBU, a registered charity, is defined as the international union of study and meditation centers that follow the pure tradition of Mahayana Buddhism derived from Atisha and Je Tsongkhapa, introduced to the West by NKT Founder Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, and that follow the three NKT study programs, and are guided by NKT Internal Rules.

The Western Shugden Society (WSS), a registered company, is defined as an international coalition of practitioners of Dorje Shugden dedicated to accomplishing religious freedom for anyone who wishes to engage in this practice, and to restoring harmony, respect and cooperation between Shugden and non-Shugden Buddhist practitioners around the world.

While differences between the organizations are obvious, there are also areas of overlap. Both the NKT-IKBU and WSS wish for pure Buddhadharma to flourish in this world free from politics. Additionally, both cherish the practice of Dorje Shugden. Many NKT-IKBU practitioners have actively expressed their faith in Dorje Shugden by helping to support and organize the activities of the WSS. They choose to participate as individuals devoted to their practice of Dorje Shugden, not as NKT-IKBU members.

Smear: The NKT is engaged in political actions against the Dalai Lama

This is not true. This smear arises because many individual members of the NKT have joined the Western Shugden Society (WSS) campaign to prevent the 14th Dalai Lama from destroying the practice of Dorje Shugden and disrupting the spiritual lives of millions of people.

Two things:

(1) The NKT is not the same as the WSS.

(2) The actions of the WSS are not political in nature. On the contrary, their aim is to free Buddhism from political pollution.

As it says in the NKT Internal Rules, the NKT must always remain free from any political affiliation. The WSS has published a book about the Dalai Lamas, called A Great Deception. Tharpa Publications acts as a distributor of the book, and the book is available at NKT Centers, for two specific reasons only: (1) to show publicly that Dorje Shugden, our Dharma Protector, is the manifestation of Je Tsongkhapa, who is the embodiment of the wisdom of all Buddhas; and (2) to pacify the main obstacles to spreading Kadam Dharma throughout the world.

Smear: NKT Teachers advise against taking conventional medicine

Truth: This is untrue. NKT Teachers are not qualified medical practitioners so they cannot advise their students on whether to take medication or not. In all cases, an NKT Teacher should advise a student who is sick to consult their doctor. Geshe Kelsang himself has on innumerable occasions advised his students to follow the advice of their doctors.

Smear: NKT prays for the death of their enemies

Truth: This is not true. It would be anathema for any Buddhist to pray for a living being to be harmed. Buddha taught that all living beings are our kind mothers and that the only enemies of living beings are our delusions (negative minds such as anger, greed and ignorance).

While it is true that organizations like the FPMT and other Buddhist groups loyal to the Dalai Lama's view that the NKT is a money-making cult etc have spread lies and disinformation about us, we would be defeated by our delusions if we allowed this to provoke an angry response and so we have tried consistently to react without hostility or violence. All we want to do is to set the record straight, which is why we have set up this site; as well as to help others to find peace, happiness and a meaningful life through Buddha's teachings.

Smear: NKT are murderers

Truth: The NKT have never murdered anyone. This is a very irresponsible accusation aimed solely at discrediting them for their opposition to the Dalai Lama’s ban of Dorje Shugden.

It is against the very ethos of Buddhism, including the NKT, to kill or harm any living being. One of the commitments of Buddhist refuge is not to harm others. Buddha himself said that those who harm others are not trainees in virtue (i.e. his disciples).

Smear: NKT practitioners engage in animal sacrifice

Truth: This is not true. It is however a good recent example to show how public opinion can be created and manipulated.

On May 19 2008, the German journalist Reinhard Bingener published an article in the prestigious German newspaper 'Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung'. The article entitled "Breakfast with the Prince of Peace - The image of the Dalai Lama in the West could be showing cracks" was critical towards the Dalai Lama; however it also stated that Shugden people engage in animal sacrifice. (This is also an implicit smear against NKT practitioners as they are Dorje Shugden practitioners).

This is a good example to show how public opinion can be created and manipulated. When asking the journalist how on earth he could publish such a false statement, he said a "religion expert" told him that Shugden practitioners sacrifice animals. When asked the name of this "expert", Bingener replied that he was requested not to mention it.

We might ask what such an "expert" is scared of. To appear to be manipulated by the Dalai Lama's Private Office? To be sued for libel? When asked for evidence or even instances of Shugden practitioners sacrificing animals, the journalist could not give any. This was not the most rigorous example of "investigative journalism".

There is no Dorje Shugden or NKT practitioner who has ever sacrificed one single animal. This would be utterly against the meaning of Buddhism and the Dorje Shugden prayer in which we request Dorje Shugden to protect all living beings, including animals. Indeed, a great number of NKT practitioners are vegetarians for compassionate reasons.


Taking Down the Smears

What is a Kadampa?

A Kadampa is someone who integrates their knowledge of all Buddha's teachings into their everyday lives. Find out more in the booklet Modern Kadampa Buddhism

Report a Smear

Received a smear?
Forward the email to
[email protected]

Internal Rules