Thursday, July 21, 2011

Dalai Lama-Medieval Dictator

Thursday, December 11, 2008


The Dalai Lama – Hail the Neo-Medieval Tibetan Dictator


Here in New Zealand we have ‘a thing’ for Tibet, far out-weighing out respective countries historic relations.

This may down to simply one person, Sir Edmond Hillary, more likely though, the affinity small isolated countries have for one another.

There is also a great deal of good will towards Tibet’s spiritual leader, the estranged Dali Lama.

The ‘good press’ he receives amongst the New Zealand public are largely founded on two factors…..

1.) The sympathy vote. Tibet was a utopia in the mountains until the evil-doing Chinese Red-Army arrived, bent on some ethic cleansing Asia style.
2. ) Asian religions are docile, less dogmatic than those we have here. Religion ‘Tibetan Style’ is some-what the equivalent of a cuddly serene ‘house-hold cat’.

Sorry to spoil the party here fellas, these widely-held views are a misinformed load of crap.

Forget what you have seen in Hollywood movies, read in books by ex SS officers, take-off those rose-tinted glasses one second.

Here’s the reality check.

Until the Chinese invaded Tibet 90% of the population lived-lives the equivalent of medieval serfs (called tralpa) who lived at the mercy of the ruling classes, and the aristocratic Dali Lama sat pretty, high-up in his 1,000 room palace.

Here’s how the arable land in Tibet was distributed, last time The Dalai Lama was in power: 30.9 percent was owned by government officials, 29.6 percent by nobles, and 39.5 percent by monasteries and upper-ranking lamas. Zip for the plebs, who mostly worked without pay.


Let’s make no mistake about this – the conditions in 1950’s Tibet were nothing but dire.

No sanitation, no public education (95% illiteracy), no infra-structure, no health system (average life span of 35), no public electricity.

A squalid, cruel, dysfunctional, feudal, theocracy.


In this imaginary Shangri-La, slavery was still being practiced in 1950, so if you were short of a dozen workers for your next harvest, you simply purchased them from the neighbour. In fact it wasn’t unusual for a Tibetan landlord to have a few thousand slaves.

Human beings were given away as presents.

To the majority of these subsistence-living serfs, the Chinese were looked upon as liberators not invaders & not surprisingly angry crowds soon turned the tables on the deposed aristocrats & monks the moment they got a chance.

But in an amazing re-write of history, the oppressors who had to flee Tibet, sometimes chased by angry crowds, now have the audacity to paint themselves as the oppressed!

Strangely, I haven’t seen any ‘Free Tibet’ propaganda, or any of the raft of Hollywood stars, mention a return to the Tibetan tradition of slavery, or any seeing any references in their propaganda about Tibetan plebeians actually welcoming the Chinese?

Key to this mythical utopia at the top of the world, was the brand of Buddhism lead by the Dali Lama that perpetuated this set twisted social system. The poor at the bottom were taught that they had brought their troubles upon themselves because of their wicked ways in previous lives. Hence they had to accept the misery of their present existence as a karmic atonement and in anticipation that their lot would improve in their next lifetime. The rich and powerful treated their good fortune as a reward for, and tangible evidence of, virtue in past and present lives.

For those not familiar with Buddhism in Tibet the following photo may come as a shock and wake-up call. What you see are the skins of humans. This macabre religious practice involved the landowners ‘sacrificing’ a slave or two as a ‘gift’ to the Dalai Lama in return for his blessing. The smaller skins are those of children - peeled alive.



So, utopia existed only for the ruling elite, with a little assistance of their private police-force, the ruling class & church, acting as the sole arbiters of justice in pre-Chinese Tibet.

In one case a staving villager had both eyes gouged-out for stealing two sheep from a local monastery. Amputation was the standard punishment, for a whole range of innocuous crimes. Judicial mutilation, whippings etc were formalized under the 13th century Tibetan legal code & still administered in 1950.


The statutory code of old Tibet that divided the population was divinely inspired, dividing people-up into three classes and nine ranks. Those belonging to the highest rank, like the rich or royalty were worth more than say a farm worker. The equation to ‘value’ a human was based on the weight of a dead-body – the highest ranks being calculated in the corpses weight in gold, and the lower classes in straw. So the rich could literally get away with murder and rape & a poor servant lose an arm for stealing a chicken.


I wonder again if the New Zealand public and those in the west would be keen to see a return to the good old days in Tibet where the rich lamas & land-owners used their ‘death squads’ to quell any dissent to their nepotistic rule?

And who was the biggest despot in this tyranny?

Yep you guessed it, that all round good guy, Tenzin Gyatso, The 14th Dali Lama.

It was him that had the most to lose when The Chinese arrived, and the corrupt social-order he lauded over began eroding.
For starters the Chinese began distributing the land by need, and organising egalitarian communes, where everyone benefited, villages not longer starved whilst the rich & religious hierarchy grew fat on their toil. For the first time, the land they had worked-on for centuries as virtual slaves, was theirs to reap the benefits. Herds that were once the provision of nobility and ‘the church’ , were turned over to the collectives of poor shepherds.

Over time there was schooling for everyone, not just the elite and the lamas.

There was health-care for the entire population, and as a result Tibetans now live to an average age of sixty - some 25 years longer than under the rule of the neo-medieval religious dictator.

Sanitation, electricity, running water all the things we take for granted, and were all but non-existent before China’s annexation, appeared for the first time.

The so called oppressors, started educating everyone, putting roads in, building hospitals etc – again, all the things missing from the magical days high-up in the Himalayas so cherished by liberals.

Ironically the Chinese also improved human-rights. Tibetans now have equal rights in politics, the economy, education, military etc.

It’s fair to indicate the Chinese regime did some terrible things in Tibet, the fifties & sixties being a torrid age of failed reforms in China, but this is not excuse to romanticise the pre-invasion feudal mountain regime as being some ideal existence, now lost to its people.

As hard as it is to swallow & however much as we hate the Chinese regime here in ‘the west’, their illegitimate invasion etc - the truth is for the majority of Tibetans - life is actually better & fairer under their rule.

And let’s not forget the issue of religious freedoms in Tibet, monks being tossed-out of monasteries etc. The sort of thing, we hear all the time from the media and vested interest groups, all of it rabidly anti-Chinese.

Specifically lets highlight the oppression undertaken by the Dalai Lama against fellow Buddhists.

For hundreds of years a section of Buddhists have been worshipping a deity called ‘Dorje Shugden’. The ‘all round nice guy’ 14th Dalai Lama viewed worship of Dorje Shugden to be in conflict to his supreme rule. It wasn’t right for Tibetans to be worshipping anyone but him. So in 1996 he outlawed the centuries old worship of Dorje Shugden and declared its followers as heretics and reaffirming himself as a reincarnated living God. The Tibetan Government in exile, puppets of The Dalai Lama, passed laws banning the worship of Shugden and uttering it’s widely practiced prayer became illegal. Buddhist monks who still maintained a belief in Shugden were tossed out of monasteries and on to the streets.

The Dalai Lama talks about freedom for his people in Tibet - at least autonomy within the Peoples Republic of China - but is perfectly happy employing the same draconian injustices, denying basic human rights to Dorje Shugden practitioners.

Never let it stray from your mind, The Dalai Lama’s cause for a ‘free’ Tibet is a definition of freedom we in New Zealand would see as dictatorial, privative and discriminatory.

The ordinary Tibetans who still view him as a living-God and call for his return, only do so, in terms of spiritual leadership. Few if any Tibetans want a return to the social order he represented and abused, like men forced to live in manacles.


Given what you now know about the real history of Tibet, do we really want to support a cause which would see the return to powers of a religious neo-medieval dictator and his rich cronies?

I say, no.
Footnote: My research on this article came about by accident. For the record, I am a member (should that now be was?)of a Free Tibet group – yes, I too believed what I was feed. So I’m far from being an apologist for the Chinese Government, I decry their brand of politics. I first came across an article about pre-annexation Tibet on the internet and was shocked at what I read. Surely this could not be right? Slavery? Barbarism? These things were not what happened? But the more I dug, the more it became reality. One thing was for sure, the mysticism of the Dalai Lama fascinated early explorers as well. Eighty per cent of these early accounts, photos etc focused on either the religious aspects of Tibet, or the stark landscape. Very little was said about the day to day life of the peasants. But, from what was written – it was not a great existence for ‘joe-bloggs’ in the fields. What I have presented here, is the most dramatic excess’s of their lives. It was done deliberately in a provocative way so you too will do your own research into this subject and not just believe what you are told is gospel. In other-words don’t make the mistake I did. And remember the current Dalai Lama, had his chance to introduce reforms like a fair penal-code, when he was in power – and didn’t. The current Dalai Lama was a slave-owner. Democracy was never a part of historic Tibet. Footnote: I am going to do a part two on this. 

7 comments:

  1. Dear friends,

    you are completly right in condemning the tibetan feudal system. But please take care not to misunderstand other thing:

    orje Shugden is no enlightened protector but a demon. hen the 16th Karmapa visited a small school of tibetan refugees in Lyon, he visited the shrine room. When he saw a replica of this Shugden in the shrine, he imediatly left and did a Mahakala Puja on the 150km ride to the place he stood some days. His driver told it had thunders and lightenings all the way. I write this as I have a friend who told me the sectraian structure of New Kadampa and they worshi this shugden.

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  2. Can you give the source of this article? I would really like to know who wrote it. You say that you found it online, but that doesn't tell me where the information comes from.

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  3. http://canterburyatheists.blogspot.com/2008/12/dalai-lama-hail-neo-medieval-tibetan.html it was at the end of the article.

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  4. You are right to state that the one known as shugden is a demon. Many worship this being due to the desire or hope for power, hoping something emerges from this in order to free tibet. Clearly if this deity had power and was obligated to prove it, its first actions should be to rid tibet of china. So far this deity has done nothing to help tibet. Nothing.

    People need hope, tibet is hopeless, this being needing disciples preys on those who are weak and in need. It is easy for demons to poison the minds of those who are desperate or on the other hand, those who are too intellectual and lack any true wisdom.

    No country is without sin today. Everyone has karma on their hands including the author of the above posting.

    It is very easy for the author to point fingers at the dalai lama and to tibet when he himself has not lived one day in the life of a tibetan, or the life of the dalai lama living in a hopeless situation where no one cares to help his people, carrying the burden of millions who place all their hope in him in order that they may be liberated from the pain of their suffering. If China wanted to perform some virtuous work, they would have arrived in tibet as brothers not dictators, as the dalai lama himself stated he deeply needed and would have respected china's help to bring his country into a modern state of living. They obviously were not interested in liberating the west treasure, they wanted to own it and in the process murder the country.
    Maybe it is time an article is written on china.

    I am sure the new zealand author of this post would be motivated to never write a single word against the dalai lama or tibet once he has lived just 1 month in a tibetan monastery converted into a chinese prison, tortured, starved, psychologically reprogrammed and having loved ones murdered due to his slightest resistance towards the communist doctrine. Not one word. We have to see things from the other side, not just from one point or opinion. The reality is that tibet is dying and its people are becoming extinct. Stating negative words about life in tibet and the dalai lama does not help their heart breaking situation in any manner.

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  5. The Chinese had to occupy the monasteries in order to prevent the routine sexual abuse of child novices and the sexual exploitation of women as "Buddha mothers" (temple whores/"consorts"), and other abuses.

    On the other hand, claims that the Chinese provided education to everyone are not true. Many rural communities in Tibet still lack schools. Even though the Chinese passed a law in the 1960's prohibiting entry into the monastic life by anyone under 18 (to prevent child abuse), they have had to ignore their own law, because they haven't built schools in the countryside. The only education available in many rural areas is in the monasteries, and it's not a modern education by any means.

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  6. We feel for the people of Tibet also, but Tibet was never a Shangri-La. Tibetan Buddhism was never true Buddhism, and what went on in the monasteries was really horrendous. Those who doubt what I am saying can click on Tibetan Buddhism at the top of each page and read more. What the above poster wrote in regards to sexual abuse, etc. is very true.

    It is also true that no country is without bad karma, but what we are pointing out here is the abuse in religions. People need to learn and then choose wisely in regards to this.

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