Smear: NKT has split away from the Dalai Lama

Truth: Some people say that the NKT has split from the Dalai Lama, but the Dalai Lama is the political leader of Tibetans in exile and not the head of any of the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism nor of Mahayana Buddhism in general, so there is nothing to split from. Although he is considered the embodiment of religion and politics as a God King for many Tibetan natives, he is not the spiritual leader for all Tibetans, for all Mahayana Buddhists, nor for the NKT.

Also, an essential tenet of all Mahayana Buddhism is that practitioners are free to choose their Spiritual Guide or spiritual leader. There is no Pope of Buddhism.

The NKT is a global Buddhist tradition founded by Geshe Kelsang and structured according to Western-inspired principles of election and organization (see the Internal Rules, especially 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8). We are an independent tradition with no political or religious affiliations (§3) and our General Spiritual Director is the elected head of our tradition (5§8), not the Dalai Lama. At present, the head of our tradition is Geshe Kelsang. When he retires in 2009, his successor will be elected based on democratic principles (5§10) and serve a four-year term.