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.

Strangely enough, a number of years ago the Dalai Lama publicly recognized the shamanistic Bon religion, which is famous for animal sacrificing rituals, as a valid Buddhist tradition. Perhaps the religious "expert" was confusing Dorje Shugden practitioners with them. (The NKT does not accept Shamanism to be a Buddhist tradition.)

This smear is clearly coming from ignorance or a dubious motivation and reveals how unconscientious reporters can use the modern media to manipulate their readers.

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