"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.
Another open letter to Robert Thurman
29th October 2014
Thank you for your mention of me on Twitter and your continued attempts to add me to a list which you promote. I have taken the time to reply to your interest in me with another open letter since Twitter is not the appropriate outlet for this.
Firstly I would appreciate it if you would stop trying to add me to lists which you encourage followers of the Dalai Lama to use to target hateful messages towards members of. If you cannot use Twitter in a mature way and seek only to use it to bully and condescend to people who hold differing opinions to your own, I would suggest you cease to use the service.
You stated to me, "Since you are so active in the Shugden Movement & Anti Dalai Lama Efforts u should have accurate info", and then directed me to your new website on the subject. As you know this website was published in part by Tibet House US of which you are co-founder and president, and has been promoted extensively to the media by the Tibetan Government, yourself and the media representative of the Dalai Lama. You claim that this website contains accurate information.
You also claim that there is no ban.
On your new website you state, "In the post-diaspora Tibetan Buddhist world, the Dalai Lama’s advice applies only to three small groups: monastics dwelling in Tibetan Government financed, Gelug monasteries; Tibetan Government employees; and tantric disciples of His Holiness. All other Shugden practitioners worldwide, from New York to Beijing, are completely free to propitiate the deity."
In this you refer to the legislation passed by the Tibetan Parliament in Exile in 1996, of which the Dalai Lama was head, as "advice". As you should be aware, resolutions passed by legislative authorities are not simply "advice", they are acts of parliament, legislation, or more commonly known as laws.
You will no doubt disagree at this point and claim, as you have in the past, that the Tibetan Parliament in Exile is not capable of passing laws or enacting legislation. Your view on this issue is not supported by the Tibetan government, officers of the Tibetan government (including ex-prime ministers), the constitution of the Tibetan government, or academic researchers. You can read more about this and see the evidence I have referenced in my research here.
I therefore have to conclude that you are wrong in your statement that this legislation was just "advice". It meets the criteria to be considered "legislation" and the subsequent acts of enforcement of it by government employees and official bodies give substantial evidential support to this.
You refer to this "advice" as applying to Tibetan government employees. You also state that all other Dorje Shugden practitioners are "completely free to propitiate the deity."
Therefore government employees are banned from practising or propitiating, Dorje Shugden.
This is your statement on a website that you refer to as providing "accurate info".
So, my question to you Robert is, how can you then approach journalists and claim that there is no ban in place when the website you have helped author and publish admits that Dorje Shugden practitioners are banned from being Tibetan government employees?
Are you being purposefully deceptive?
You also claim that I am, "so active in the Shugden Movement & Anti Dalai Lama Efforts".
Why do you keep trying to say that I am anti-Dalai Lama or that I am involved in the Shugden movement?
Can you please provide me with some evidence to back up your claims?
I am not and never have been 'anti-Dalai Lama', nor am I a member of the 'Shugden Movement', as you so eloquently put it.
I am a journalist, I am very active in the 'truth movement' and I am 'anti-hypocrisy'.
Like many of my fellow journalists I was attracted to the media out of a passion for social justice. I certainly wasn't attracted to it for the long hours of waiting in the cold for something to happen and being paid a pittance for slaving over copy, only to see it butchered by a sub-editor from the warmth and comfort of their office.
You are an educated man. You hold a position of authority and responsibility and you use this position to promote the agenda of the Dalai Lama in the media in the US. I have no problem with any of these things.
I do however take exception when people who hold such positions abuse them by seeking to add credence to otherwise inaccurate and poorly substantiated claims.
You have referred to the people who oppose the Dalai Lama's ban on Dorje Shugden as being "cult members". You seek to bully them into submission using your position of authority and standing. I am one of the many voices who will stand up against your actions and untruths.
I will expose your lies, those of the Tibetan government, and most importantly in this issue, those lies of the Dalai Lama.
I will not stop until the world can see for themselves the facts of the situation and use their own powers of judgment to see what is right and what is wrong.
The reason I am doing this, and will continue to do this, is because I am deeply and wholeheartedly committed to exposing hypocrisy and not because I am 'anti-Dalai Lama'.
So rather than stamping your feet and throwing around wild accusations with no credible references to back them up, why don't you join me on the side of truth.
Why don't you have the courage to admit to journalists that Dorje Shugden Buddhists are banned by the Dalai Lama from working for their own government?
I for one would be very interested to hear why you think this behavior is acceptable for anyone in a position of authority in the 21st century, let alone someone who earns millions of dollars promoting a message of peace and harmony.
However, I know from experience that you will instead just ignore this letter as you ignored my previous letter. I know you will continue to try and use your position to hide the truth and manipulate the media.
But you need to understand one thing very clearly as you do this. I will oppose your lies wherever I see them, I will fight your intolerance wherever it manifests, and I will not stop for one moment until all Tibetans in exile have the same rights equally to practice the religion of their choosing throughout the world.
As Stephanie Klein said, "Tell the truth or someone will tell it for you."