A Great Deception

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Dorje Shugden Ban

Forced signature and ID card campaign

Tibetan Buddhism knows several hundred Protecting Deities. In the 1970’s the Dalai Lama abandoned his faith in one of these protectors, the Deity Dorje Shugden. The practice of Dorje Shugden is an ancient prayer (with commentaries) that simply helps Buddhist practitioners to develop virtuous minds of love, compassion, wisdom and spiritual protection. In the years to follow, the Dalai Lama has increasingly aimed his teachings and public talks (both religious and political) at moving others to also abandon their faith in Dorje Shugden. In 1996 he utilised and endorsed the leverage of his exile Administration (Tibetan Government in Exile) to impose social obstacles to those not willing to follow his own change of faith. As a result, access to various jobs, positions, schools, and monasteries in the Tibetan community in exile became impossible without publicly renouncing Dorje Shugden. Ambitious aspirants on the contrary, showing their support for the new measures, were duly rewarded with key positions and visits of the Dalai Lama to their establishments.

An estimated one third of the Tibetan population and hundreds of the most renowned Masters of Tibetan history used to rely on Dorje Shugden in the past. The Dalai Lama’s measures effectively reduced this number to a minority. Still not satisfied with these results, as recently as January 9th 2008 he instigated public swearings in the monastic universities in South India – aimed at making social life impossible for anyone not converting to the new line of faith. Such swearings are now conducted outside of monasteries in Tibetan communities throughout the world, including Europe.

“Not to have any relation with those venerating Lord Shugden” is now being implemented in society as well as in Monasteries creating a complete social segregation. Those who maintain their faith in Dorje Shugden are publicly denounced as being ‘unclean’, ‘traitors to the Tibetan cause’, ‘enemies of the Dalai Lama’ and receive the treatment of an outcast society. For example, without the Identity Card, it is now impossible to attend common Prayer Halls, to buy goods in shops, to obtain visa’s for travelling and families are being torn apart. The ‘unclean’ ones have effectively been singled out, are now ostracized in every-day life, and religious apartheid is becoming a reality amongst a population under the spiritual leadership of the Dalai Lama who teaches about religious freedom and tolerance to the West.

Such words, such swearings, and such proceedings are unprecedented in Tibetan Buddhist history and they are certainly unacceptable in most countries of this modern world. This forced segregation in no way corresponds to a Buddhist way of life or a democratic way of life.


Identity card for those who have sworn and submitted their vow (scanned in version)

ID No:
House No:
Date of Issue: 16-02-2008

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