The Dalai Lama is nothing but a theocratic dictator


I am tired of the West’s idolization of the 14th and current Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso. He is not the liberal minded and freedom loving monk that most believe him to be. In reality, he comes from a long line of theocratic dictators that have ruled Tibet from the 15th century up until the communist takeover of 1959.

Yes, this means that the current Dalai Lama personally ruled Tibet for nine years with the help of a monastic ruling class over a caste-like social hierarchy, which included a large number of serfs. The nature of serfdom in Tibet is still heavily debated. But that there is even a debate suggests that the living conditions were poor even before the communist annexation of the territory.

The Dalai Lama missed power so much that he sought the support of the CIA to train a secret resistance movement in Colorado in the 1960s to take back Tibet. This effort resulted in the loss of thousands of lives. Overall, support provided by the CIA amounted to approximately $1.7 million per year during that period. He has also received funding from Shoko Asahara, leader of the Aum Shinrikyo cult, who perpetrated the sarin gas attack in the Tokyo Subway system that killed 13 people and injured 6,252 others in 1995.

In 1996, this advocate of religious freedom decreed that Dorje Shugden, a Tibetan deity who has been worshipped for over 300 years, was “evil” and banished all of its worshippers from his temple in Dharamsala, northern India. A week later, the “democratic” parliament-in-exile followed in the footsteps of its spiritual leader and passed a resolution banning the worship of Dorje Shugden by Tibetan government employees, while the Private Office the Dalai Lama issued a formal decree to stop practicing the Dorje Shugden prayer.

What resulted in the following years was the systematic harassment, discrimination and purging of all worshippers of Dorje Shugden. In one instance, Sonam Bhuti, a 72-year-old woman whose family had worshipped Dorje Shugden for generations, reported that Tibetan officials had ransacked her home and others, forcibly taking out the idols and paintings of Dorje Shugden to burn and destroy.

By 1998, an Indian human rights lawyer had collected 300 statements from Tibetans in exile in India who had been either threatened or attacked for failing to comply with the Dalai Lama’s orders. They simply dared to question “His Holiness.” Are these the actions of a peace loving monk or a religious dictator? I am inclined to believe the latter.

Everybody has something to say about the Pope these days and with good reason. But the Dalai Lama is not very different from this other so-called “holy” figure. In the 2007 documentary series John Safran vs. God, Safran went out on the streets to find out if people could tell whether a quote came from the Dalai Lama or the Pope. The quotes ranged from forbidding masturbation to those saying that homosexual sex and even sex during the day was sexual misconduct. Everybody guessed that they were from the Pope and were surprised to find out the contrary.

If actions speak louder than words (even though his words aren’t so great either), Tenzin Gyatso is nothing like what he is portrayed as in the West. He does not support democracy. He is not an advocate of religious freedom and neither does he support sexual liberation. He is a theocrat who still craves for the power that he once held and longs for his holy throne in Potala Palace. The Dalai Lama is simply nothing Richard Gere, Harrison Ford, Steven Seagal or any number of uninformed Hollywood celebrities would like you to think he is.

One response to “The Dalai Lama is nothing but a theocratic dictator”

Serving the Waterloo campus, The Cord seeks to provide students with relevant, up to date stories. We’re always interested in having more volunteer writers, photographers and graphic designers.