Categorized | Religion

The Dalai Lama: Not so special after all

As far as world religious leaders go, there are probably who are held in higher esteem by the Western media and Western intellectuals than the Dalai Lama.  His cause is given much sympathy in the West, with numerous Hollywood celebrities and academics joining together to promote the independence of the mountain kingdom.  Having been a former Buddhist, I myself once had a great deal of respect for the man who calls himself Tenzin Gyatso, otherwise known to the world as the Fourteenth Dalai Lama.  Although I was not a Tibetan Buddhist, I had regarded him as a person to look up to, because I viewed him as a person to be respected.

Despite the Dalai Lama having only a few million followers, as compared to the His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, the Dalai Lama has received media coverage which is so overwhelmingly positive, that it would seem that there were many times more Tibetan Buddhists in the world than actually exist (the adherents of Tibetan Buddhism, number some 20 millon, in comparison to the 1.18 billion Roman Catholics worldwide).  For instance, shortly after the election of Pope Benedict XVI, people were quick to deride the Papacy as being a “dictatorship,” and refer derisively to the Pope’s past in the Hitler Youth, despite the fact that the Papacy is in fact an elected position, and that Pope Benedict  had no choice but to join the Hitler Youth.  On the other hand, the media will not tell you about the Dalai Lama’s own connection to the Nazi party.

On the one hand, some people see the Dalai Lama as a a vanguard of tradition for the Tibetan people, who keeps his quaint traditions alive in hectic times, while others see him as someone who has succeeded in harmoniously fusing modernity and tradition.  From our perspective, the former is possible only with a large and unprecedented effort to reject all attempts at the latter.  Any authentic traditionalist movement must fully reject liberal ideas, and be solidly based in hierarchy and order.

Whatever Traditionalist ideas the Dalai Lama might have once held, it seems that he has long since abandoned them for a modern outlook on life.  The fact is, that had the Dalai Lama not adopted his modernist (and globalist) viewpoints, he would not have the outpouring of support from even leftist, atheistic academics who so often rush to criticize Christianity.  In fact, speaking to the National Secular Society, the vice-president of that organization praised the Dalai Lama by saying, that he was, “sensible to say that a [secular] ethic is better than one based on religion”.  Furthermore, in a press conference in Tokyo, the Dalai Lama is reported to have said, “Secularism does not mean rejection of all religions. It means respect for all religions and human beings including non-believers”.  One might then ask how he is applying this idea to his treatment of followers of the very Traditional “Dorje Shugden” sect, but I digress.

The Dalai Lama has gone so far as to refer to himself as a “Marxist” and appoint himself as a critic of capitalism, and in one speech went so far as to say that the Soviet Union and China were not Marxist enough.  In another speech, he clearly articulated his globalist interests by stating that: “The elected government, sometimes their number one…priority is national interest…That, I think, should change. The global issue should be number one.”  He further stated, “If someone comes to me and asks whether homosexuality is okay or not…then I think I would say…is okay'”.  Another favorite talking point of the Dalai Lama is, not surprisingly, feminism.  The Dalai Lama calls himself a feminist, and claims that women are more prone to compassion (perhaps the Dalai Lama doesn’t read the news very much).  On top of that, if this weren’t enough, the Dalai Lama was  first public visitor to the Holocaust “Shrine” in Washington DC.

Another side to this equation is that, for certain powers that be, he is a usefully asset in the imperialistic strangulation of Russia and China via a concomitant fake “revolution” like the one the world recently in Libya.  Those people do not honestly care about the Tibetan people, but rather wish to bring what yet remains of Tibet “into the fold”.  Perhaps, one might say that the Dalai Lama merely tones down his message for his Western audiences.  In some instances, he seems to do just this: by advocating closed borders for his own country, while condemning the racism of others (for comparison, think of the outrage which would follow if a French Catholic bishop were to condemn immigration into France!).  If this is the case, then he would appear to be more of a media-savvy politician than a religious figure; and one who has perhaps learned a bit too well from his handlers.

About Hong Kyung-Jin

HONG Kyung-Jin was born in Korea, and moved to the United States at the age of 7. He is a former Buddhist, and is now a Roman Catholic. Mr. Hong holds a dual degree in computer science and civil engineering from the University of Western Ontario. He is interested in comparative religion and East Asian politics.
  • Mihai

    Well, someone who is a popular figure among the hollywood consumers, cannot be worth much…