Are Buddhsist Racist

Read my one & only interview in the New Statesman

What is Racism?

 

Race can be defined as:

"A classification system used to categorise humans into distinct populations or groups by anatomical, cultural, ethnic, genetic, geographical, historical, linguistic, religious, and/or social affiliation.”

 

Racism can be defined as:

“The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.”

 

When a group of people are labeled according to a certain religious belief or affiliation and their access to public services, jobs, livelihoods and social freedoms are denied or restricted on the basis of this belief or affiliation this is racism.

The Dalai Lama's Cancer

28th June 2017

During his latest visit to the US the Dalai Lama admitted to suffering from prostate cancer. You could be forgiven for having missed this news since he only made the announcements during meetings with exile Tibetans.

On Sunday 18th June the Dalai Lama met with Tibetans in San Diego, California, and said that doctors had diagnosed him as having prostate cancer two years ago in 2015. This was reported in an article on 19th June 2017 on Radio Free Asia's website, but neither the Dalai Lama's own website, nor that of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) made any mention of cancer.

The Dalai Lama went into further specifics about the prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment during a meeting with Tibetan exiles in Boston, Massachusetts, one week later on June 25th. This time his own website mentioned the details of cancer, yet the CTA website didn't.

The Dalai Lama's official website stated, "His Holiness mentioned that in 2015 his physicians found indications of prostate cancer and decided to give him focused radiation treatment instead of surgery last year."

Both times he went on to claim that he was completely cancer-free and in 'excellent' health, however officials in the Dalai Lama's own government who spoke on condition of anonymity stated that the cancer has spread into his bones and the prognosis is very bleak.

 

Inside Information

Following the surprise cancellation of his US tour in late 2015 I was put in touch with a senior member of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) through a mutual acquaintance. My initial take on the Dalai Lama's hospital visit and tour cancellation was that he was avoiding publicity after he'd been accused of sexism. I was assured by this member of the CTA that my information was incorrect, there was a far more serious reason for the cancellation.

Over the course of several weeks this person revealed to me that the Dalai Lama had been diagnosed with recurrent prostate cancer and the whole administration had been thrown into complete disarray. Soon after the initial shock came the power struggles and jostling for position as people feared this could be the end of the Dalai Lama.

I wanted to reveal this information as soon as possible, however to do so would risk exposing the identity of this new source. As such I waited until it was announced that the Dalai Lama would be travelling to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, for treatment. That announcement was made on the Dalai Lama's official website on 19th January 2016, so I tweeted the news of his cancer on the same day.

 

dalai lama cancer

 

What surprised me were the lengths to which the Dalai Lama would go to avoid admitting that this was true.

 

And So It Begins

In late 2015 the Dalai Lama was visiting the UK when he noticed blood in his urine. Contacting his doctors they insisted he change his travel plans and head directly to the Mayo Clinic for tests as a matter of utmost urgency.

On 21st September 2015 the Dalai Lama left the UK and went straight to the US where he was admitted to hospital. On September 22nd people started to post on social media that the Dalai Lama was in Rochester which was then picked up by several local newspapers.

This meant the Mayo Clinic had to issue a statement, which they did on 23rd September, informing the media that the Dalai Lama was at the clinic for a, "medical evaluation".

On 25th September the Dalai Lama's office cancelled his US tour dates for the rest of 2015 and said that, "The doctors have advised His Holiness to rest for the next several weeks". They also played down the reason for the trip to the Mayo Clinic as being a, "routine check-up."

Clearly this wasn't a routine check-up as he had flown from the UK specifically to undergo tests in the Mayo Clinic. If it was a routine check-up it would have taken place two weeks later as he was due to visit the US in mid-October.

Why did the Dalai Lama travel all the way to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, rather than seeking treatment in the UK? The reason for this is stated clearly on the Mayo's website:

"Mayo Clinic's campus in Minnesota is the first medical center in the United States approved by the Food and Drug administration to prepare and administer choline C-11 PET scan to help detect recurrent prostate cancer at its earliest stages — before it can be detected by other imaging tests."

This wasn't a routine check-up, nor was it the first time the Dalai Lama had suffered prostate cancer. He was first diagnosed with prostate cancer and underwent initial treatment for it in 2008. His doctors were now very concerned that it had come back, which is why they urgently needed him to come to the US for "medical evaluation".

During his screening they discovered that his cancer had come back so he underwent immediate surgery and returned to Dharamsala to rest, which is why he was so frail on his arrival back in India.

 

dalai lama cancer

 

To the outside world no-one was allowed to reveal there was any problem with his health. When Associated Press (AP) contacted his secretary at the US Office of Tibet this was their response:

"A secretary to the Dalai Lama, Chime Rigzin, told AP on Thursday that the Dalai Lama had been to the clinic and had had no health complaints. Rigzin told AP test results were fine. He added the spiritual leader had no complaints but he had been advised to take “complete rest” and would be returning to India.

Despite his diagnosis all officials were told to report that the Dalai Lama had been at the Mayo Clinic for a routine annual health check and the doctors had advised him to rest. On 30th September 2015 he addressed an audience of exile Tibetans at the Mayo Civic Center where he lied to them about this diagnosis. He said:

"The last time in India, they told me that my health was good, and here also, they’ve said that my general health was excellent, with no major ailments whatsoever (applause). Now for the last 2 or 3 years I’ve had some issues with my knees. Recently a German doctor, a specialist, said to me, “you’re not 18, you’re 80,” and that things like this are normal (laughs). And I realize the truth in that diagnosis (laughs). So I’m very well, and there’s no need for any of you to worry. However the doctors have told me to rest more."

 

More Lies

Following this period of rest the Dalai Lama scheduled a return trip to the US in early 2016, however rather than a teaching tour it was for further treatment at the Mayo Clinic. This time his treatment schedule would consist of a month long bout of radiation therapy.

Details of his trip to the US were kept secret from the public until the day of his travel. The Dalai Lama's website then issued the following statement:

"His Holiness the Dalai Lama is departing Dharamsala today for the United States where he is scheduled to undergo prostate treatment at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota followed by a period of rest from the end of January 2016 for approximately one month. His regular engagement schedule will resume in March."

dalai lama cancerJust prior to his departure from India reporters from the Associated Press (AP) asked the Dalai Lama about his health. They stated:

"He said he had a minor swelling in his right eye. He then removed his glasses and laughed, pointing at his slightly swollen eye."

This approach is typical of the Dalai Lama's deflection of questions surrounding his health. Trying not to lie directly he seeks to divert attention away from the obvious towards another possible explanation. On September 30th 2015 he spoke about problems with his knees, and here he was now speaking about a problem with his eye.

AP asked him directly about his prostate treatment to which he replied that he had no “specific health complaints.”

At this point he knew he'd been diagnosed with recurring prostate cancer and was flying to the US for radiation treatment for a month to target the cancer. Yet here he was lying blatantly to the Associated Press.

This lie was widely reported by AP throughout the world as if it were the truth. Media in the US, UK and most other countries carried the Dalai Lama's words that he had no “specific health complaints”. His deflection had now become direct lies and that worried his media team and the Mayo Clinic. They had to maintain this lie which meant that now no-one could reveal the situation the Dalai Lama faced.

Whilst this approach was usual for the CTA and the Dalai Lama's close staff it was deemed too risky for the Mayo Clinic. After his arrival at the clinic they managed to get the Dalai Lama to agree to a further statement which the Mayo Clinic issued through the Tibetan news website Phayul.com. Published on 22nd January 2016 it stated:

"He is being treated for a prostate condition that is common for men of his age," and, "His physicians report no major concerns, and anticipate he will respond well to treatment and make a full recovery,".

You'll note that both sentences weren't quoted in full, they continue beyond the comma at the end of each quote. The reason was because the Mayo Clinic wanted to divulge more information than the Dalai Lama's people were happy with. This is why they only agreed to a statement through Phayul.com because they knew that they would be able to control the exact details that were released to the public.

 

Losar Message

Less than two weeks after his admission to the Mayo Clinic the Dalai Lama issued a video message on 4th February 2016 to Tibetans celebrating Losar (Tibetan New Year). Although spoken in Tibetan it was subtitled in English and contained some important pieces of information.

Firstly the Dalai Lama revealed that he was receiving "precautionary prostate treatment":

 

dalai lama cancer

 

The only precautionary prostate treatment is when doctors try to stop the spread of fast growing prostate cancer to other parts of the body. This was confirmed by another comment he made later on in the video:

 

dalai lama cancer

 

The Mayo Clinic's own website describes just one treatment for prostate issues that fits this description. It's external beam radiation therapy and is only used for treating cancer. Their website describes the treatment in almost the exact same words the Dalai Lama uses, "The actual radiation treatment only takes a few minutes."

Unknowingly the Dalai Lama had just announced to the world that he was being treated for prostate cancer, yet his staff still refused to admit this was true.

 

The Accidental Truth

Towards the end of his month long radiotherapy the Dalai Lama was coming under increasing pressure to reveal further details about his health. The combination of my announcement that he was suffering from prostate cancer along with the details contained in his Losar broadcast meant that the press were becoming increasingly impatient. They were asking directly whether he had cancer or not, to which the reply was always no.

On Sunday 21st February the Dalai Lama sought to silence questions around his health by staging a public teaching for Tibetans at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Around 3,000 people attended and the talk was mostly in Tibetan.

The Dalai Lama was unable to sit cross-legged during the teaching which was the first time he'd been unable to do so in public. What was more noticeable was that during the teaching he paused, reached into his bag and brought out a bottle of prescription medication. He proceeded to take this medication, which I'm informed was Oxycodone, in front of the crowd.

Oxycodone is a powerful opioid painkiller that is often used for the treatment of pain in cancer patients.

The fact that the Dalai Lama had to take opioid painkillers during his talk and that he couldn't sit cross-legged both indicated that his health wasn't as good he claimed. AP released their initial photograph of the event with the following caption:

"The Dalai Lama addresses an audience at the Minneapolis Convention Center on Sunday. He assured his followers that he was in good health despite receiving treatment for prostate cancer."

 

dalai lama cancer

Zoomed in:

dalai lama cancer

 

As soon as the Dalai Lama's staff saw this they hit the roof. They called AP and several legal threats were made to force them into re-captioning the photograph. The second edition of the image had the entire second sentence replaced with:

"The Dalai Lama arrived last month at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. He told the crowd he’d been receiving treatment for prostate problems."

The only media outlet to keep the initial version of the image is the Tampa Bay Times, it's still live on their website and you can see the article and caption here.

However KWWL also received the 1st edition of the image and tweeted the following:

 

dalai lama cancer

 

It was so obvious to all of the media that the Dalai Lama was receiving cancer treatment that none of them questioned the AP image and caption. They already thought it was in the mainstream news. Despite this the Dalai Lama continued to try and hide his illness from the public.

 

More and More Lies

When he returned to India the lies continued, although everyone in his inner circle knew the full extent of his cancer prognosis. The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) announced his return on 13th March 2016 with the bold headline, "His Holiness the Dalai Lama Returns in Excellent Health".

However the truth was that the Dalai Lama's health was far from 'excellent'. His body was struggling to recover from the radiation therapy he'd received and his immune system was being subdued by the strong Oxycodone painkillers he was still taking. Just two weeks after his return to India he was forced to cancel a planned trip to the UK.

On 28th March the Tibetan Community in the UK posted this update on their Facebook page:

 

dalai lama cancer

 

In the space of two weeks the Dalai Lama's health is claimed to have gone from 'excellent' to being so bad he had to cancel more public engagements. Yet he still refused to publicly admit there was a problem. To counteract the continued media speculation over his health the Dalai Lama scheduled a national television appearance on India's NDTV.

On 7th April 2016 the Dalai Lama's NDTV special was broadcast and in it he once again demonstrated that he would simply lie in the face of direct questioning.

 

dalai lama cancer

 

Sonia Singh asked him, "Your health Your Holiness, because recently you were at the Mayo Clinic, but you are looking much, much younger and fit as all these people here, so how is your health keeping?"

To which the Dalai Lama replied without any hesitation, "Very good, basically excellent."

You can read the full transcript here.

This was 10 days after he'd cancelled a visit to the UK because of bad health, yet now his health was once again 'excellent'. In just over 3 weeks the Dalai Lama's health had been excellent, very bad, then excellent again.

The answer to whether he was lying or not came a few days later when the Tibetan Community in the UK issued a plea for people to pray for the Dalai Lama's health. What's more telling is that this plea was actually from the Dalai Lama's official UK representative at the Office of Tibet:

 

dalai lama cancer

 

Tibetan communities around the world were being asked to pray for the Dalai Lama's long life because he wasn't well. This was one week after he'd been on NDTV.

Later in April his official representative for North America, Kaydor Aukatsang gave an interview to Public Radio International (PRI) entitled, "What will happen after the Dalai Lama dies?"

It was unheard of in Tibetan circles to begin talking about the death of the Dalai Lama. Despite claiming publicly to be in excellent health there were factions within his government and exile leadership that were getting very scared about his impending death.

In retaliation for this departure from protocol Kaydor Aukatsang was removed from his post later in 2016 and instructed to return to Dharamsala. In October that year he was then appointed as Chief Resilience Officer for the CTA, a very public and humiliating demotion.

Knowing that the window for negotiations with China was quickly closing CTA officials were breaking ranks and began to urge the Chinese to open dialogues with them. This was happening very publicly as well as behind the scenes. It was the biggest sign that the Dalai Lama was losing control over his subordinates.

A few weeks later in June 2016 the Dalai Lama was back in the US and reaffirming his good health despite all the talk of his mortality. Covering one of his events USA Today stated:

"The Dalai Lama, noting his own exceptional bill of health from his doctor, said a happy body comes from a happy mind."

This trend continued throughout 2016 as the Dalai Lama lost control over more members of the exile leadership. The rumblings were that the Dalai Lama's future was measured in terms of months rather than years, meanwhile at every possible media outing the Dalai Lama insisted he was in excellent health.

 

And Now the Truth

The roller-coaster of the Dalai Lama's health claims and cancelled public appearances continued well into 2017.

In early February the Dalai Lama once again cancelled plans to travel to the US, citing medical advice and the need to rest. He had been scheduled to speak at the 22nd Annual Festival of Faiths in Louisville on April 23rd & 24th.

The most revealing insight into the Dalai Lama's health though is that everywhere he goes his opioid painkillers go with him. On April 8th 2017 he was teaching in Tawang, India and throughout the entire teaching his little bottle of pills sat next to him on the teaching throne.

Although he didn't have to take any during the teaching you can clearly see him packing away the same type of pharmacy pill container as he was seen using in Minneapolis on 30th September 2015. You can watch for yourself here - it's at 2hrs 33mins into the video.

 

dalai lama cancer

 

If the information from a senior member of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) that I've received is true then these are also Oxycodone painkillers. For someone with recurring prostate cancer to be continually prescribed opioid painkillers it means just one thing - the cancer has spread. The Mayo Clinic state, "Opioids also can be the most effective treatment for severe ongoing pain, such as pain caused by cancer."

In addition to the presence of prescription painkillers the Dalai Lama also requires the help of people to walk as was shown by his walks to and from the teaching throne in Tawang.

 

dalai lama cancer

 

Not only is the Dalai Lama very unsteady on his feet and slow moving, you can see from the faces of those around him that there is serious concern over his health and well-being.

Two days after leaving Tawang, India, on 13th April 2017 the Dalai Lama cancelled his planned public appearances until the end of May without giving any reason. Questions regarding his health inevitably arose once more in the media to which the response was a continuation of the lie that he was in perfect health.

 

First Trip to US in 2017

In June this year the Dalai Lama managed his first trip to the US, although it was still questionable whether he would be able to make it. His health was such an issue that his plane was met by a medical team when it landed at Rochester International Airport.

One of the Dalai Lama's main concerns on arrival was his ability to walk into the Mayo Clinic where there would be a crowd of Tibetans ready to greet him. The physicians were there in part to administer powerful pain medication so that he would be able to walk into the clinic and give the appearance that he was healthy and well.

Once again this June trip to the Mayo Clinic was claimed to be a routine annual check-up, just like the routine annual check-up in September 2015, and the routine annual check-up in January 2016. There's nothing routine about having a medical team meet your plane as soon as you land, especially when the airport you're landing at is less than 10 miles away from the hospital you have an appointment with.

Despite all of the denials and assertions the Dalai Lama has made since September 2015 he was still beset with questions about his health and whether he was suffering from cancer. So on 18th June when he addressed Tibetans in San Diego he finally admitted to having cancer, although he claimed he was now cancer-free. Radio Free Asia reported:

"Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama announced on Sunday that he is in excellent health following assurances by doctors that he is cancer-free during an annual medical check-up last month in Minnesota.

Addressing hundreds of Tibetans who had gathered in San Diego, California, to hear him speak, the exiled spiritual leader said that doctors in Rochester, Minnesota, had found nothing left of a “small sign of cancer” in his prostate gland they had identified and treated two years before."

 

dalai lama cancer

 

This statement is ground breaking because in the Dalai Lama's own words he is admitting that he has lied and told his staff to lie repeatedly to the media for almost two years. He admits that in September 2015 the Mayo Clinic told him that he had prostate cancer, yet he told Tibetans in Minnesota on 30th September 2015, "they’ve said that my general health was excellent, with no major ailments whatsoever".

Despite knowing he had prostate cancer he led the audience to believe he had a problem with his knees and the doctors had told him to rest. On his return to Dharamsala he told his staff to say that he was "in excellent health".

His admission of lying continued the following week as stated on his official website:

"His Holiness mentioned that in 2015 his physicians found indications of prostate cancer and decided to give him focused radiation treatment instead of surgery last year. This year his recent check-up at the Mayo Clinic has revealed all traces have gone."

Once again he admits that he was diagnosed with cancer in 2015, but this time he also adds that he received focussed radiation treatment in 2016. The Dalai Lama is therefore admitting that he lied to the Associated Press when he was leaving for the radiation treatment. He had stated very clearly to them that he had no "specific health complaints".

He admits now that he knew he had cancer at those times he said he was healthy.

 

Once a Liar, Always a Liar

The problem for the Dalai Lama now is how can we believe anything he says? His credibility is gone. To avoid a question or to deflect attention is one thing. To blatantly tell a bold faced lie whilst staring directly at the camera or reporter is a whole different level of deception.

dalai lama cancerIf the Dalai Lama didn't want to reveal details of his cancer there are ways and means to handle the media, and he knows them.

He's very media savvy and has a well trained team of PR and media staff around him. If you don't want to answer questions about specific areas you prepare an answer that you give in response to every question on the topic that neither denies it nor admits it.

The Dalai Lama didn't do that, he chose instead to lie over and over again. Then when the Associated Press printed the caption to his photo saying he had been receiving treatment for prostate cancer the Dalai Lama not only lied, he threatened to sue.

Now the Dalai Lama is saying he's completely cancer-free and his health is excellent. The question is why should anyone believe him?

The fact that he's admitted to lying before is just one very significant part of the weight of evidence against him. Add to that the fact that he's been taking Oxycodone painkillers, usually prescribed for cancer pain, continually since 2015 and it doesn't look good.

Then consider that prior to receiving his bill of excellent health in June 2016 he cancelled a US trip in February, then cancelled all his public engagements in May without specifying why. Clearly his health is progressively deteriorating, it's not getting better.

 

According to a Senior Member of the CTA

dalai lama cancerIn 2008 the Dalai Lama was diagnosed with prostate cancer and underwent surgery. In the years following he seemed to have made a full recovery. Then in September 2015 he passed blood in his urine and went to the Mayo clinic in the US for testing.

The Mayo Clinic at that time was the only clinic in the US licensed to use the choline C-11 PET scan test to help detect recurrent prostate cancer at its earliest stages. That's why the Dalai Lama went there, because the fear was that his prostate cancer had come back.

The Mayo Clinic found it had come back and was now in the advanced stages having spread from his prostate into other areas of his body. They told him to cancel the rest of his public engagements, performed surgery to remove some of the tumours and prescribed further treatments and opioid painkillers.

Following the Dalai Lama's return to India he underwent assessment of his response to the treatments he'd been prescribed and it was decided to treat him with radiotherapy to slow the spread of the cancer. In January 2016 he went back to the Mayo Clinic for a month of external beam radiation therapy which slowed the progression of the cancer but didn't stop it completely.

The Dalai Lama's final diagnosis is that he has stage 4 prostate cancer with no chance of a cure. The best the doctors can hope for is to slow the progression of the cancer and manage the pain.

The Dalai Lama was prescribed opioid painkillers and bisphosphonates, drugs which help to slow down the damage caused to bones by cancer.

It's impossible in these circumstances for the Dalai Lama to be told he is "cancer-free", it's also impossible to consider anyone with this condition to be in "excellent health". Whilst his prognosis is ultimately terminal it may take several years for him to finally succumb, although survival rates beyond 5 years for patients with this condition are pretty low.

 

What this Means for the Shugden Issue

dalai lama cancerAlthough the International Shugden Community has stopped its demonstrations against the Dalai Lama the issue of segregation within the Tibetan exile community hasn't gone away. The Dalai Lama's ban and subsequent persecution of Shugden Buddhists continues unabated to this day, so the issue is still very much alive.

During the Dalai Lama's many interviews on the subject he always maintained that there was no ban, he had just given advice. His supporters said that claims of a ban or persecution were 'baseless' and that the Dalai Lama always told the truth.

During an event in Hamburg on 25th August 2014 when a member of the audience accused the Dalai Lama of lying he rebutted them by saying that he never lied:

"I am Buddhist monk now 80 year, almost 80 year old, even political stuff we never tell lie."

During an interview for NDTV in Oslo he said, "They blame on me, I banned. I never sort of used, I never sort of make a decision banning, banning.", adding, "I think you should investigate who telling lie."

The Dalai Lama's stock response is that he has never lied in his whole life, therefore there is no ban, and the media in the most part believed him. According to Tibetan Buddhism there are 5 root vows for a monk, one of which is not lying, which is described as:

"In general, lying refers to any verbal or non-verbal expression with the intention of deceiving others. So it also refers to making factual statements with the intention to deceive others."

If the Dalai Lama was caught lying he would have broken his root ordination vows and therefore, according to Tibetan Buddhism, he would no longer be a monk. The logic was simple - it was impossible for the Dalai Lama to lie.

His supporters went one step further by calling into question the ordination vows of the monks and nuns that were protesting him. They claimed that their ordination vows weren't authentic, therefore they were 'fake monks' dressing up and defaming the Dalai Lama.

Who was the public meant to believe - the very icon of a Buddhist monk or these angry looking, shouty, 'fake monks'?

dalai lama cancerNow though the Dalai Lama has admitted that he lied about his cancer.

In reality he's still lying about being cancer-free, but even if we leave that to one side for the moment, there's an irrefutable truth here - the Dalai Lama lies.

He lied consistently for almost two years about his cancer, so is it conceivable that he lied about the ban?

Is it possible that the Dalai Lama looked cameras and reporters straight in the eye and lied about banning the Dorje Shugden practice, then laughed?

He did exactly that on January 19th 2016 when he lied about his health then pointed to his swollen eye and laughed. Of course he had no specific health issues, how silly of the AP reporters to have asked.

Of course there is no ban on Dorje Shugden practice within the Tibetan exile community, how silly of the media to ask.

I know for a fact that there is a ban on the Dorje Shugden practice and that it was issued by the Dalai Lama. Just as I knew for a fact that he had prostate cancer when he lied about it to the Associated Press on January 19th 2016. Just as I know for a fact that the Dalai Lama is dying from cancer.

I also know for a fact the Dalai Lama broke his ordination vows many, many years ago when he fathered a child. I know all these things as facts because I've seen the proof.

His ever weakening grasp on life and power is creating a vacuum within the Tibetan exile community that his competitors are beginning to exploit. His Prime Minister is now referring to himself as President, he controls the Department of Information and International Relations (since 3rd June 2016), and has already changed the seating arrangements for future official engagements to put himself in the top position.

It's as plain as day, they're not preparing for the Dalai Lama to be around for very much longer.

 

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