---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Lama Ole Nydahl via World
Date: Mon, Sep 7, 2020, 19:11
Subject: RE: Islam and weakness in Karma Kagyu
Dear Vendula and David,
You cannot be helped by whatever we do or say, also because we don’t have papers and permissions to treat you. There is no way it could work with you and be of any kind of healthy experience.
All the best for you and may your lives be long and happy. I advise you to find a place with people in similar situations; they will surely understand what you experience which we don’t.
Yours, Lama Ole.
From: David Zahumenský
Sent: 27 August 2020 13:58
To: Lama Ole Nydahl
Subject: Islam and weakness in Karma Kagyu
Before we decided to write to you, we read your books again, especially Riding the Tiger. We have also went through the older issues of Buddhism Today. We were particularly interested in your lecture in Kibi in 2004. You describe in detail what a Buddhist teacher should be like, and the criteria you set are strict: “When someone teaches people not to be afraid, because the mind is space and cannot be harmed, they should also test their own courage from time to time." In the book, "How things are" you wrote: "The Lama is a teacher only when he represents the Buddha and his teachings. For example, if a teacher talks about current politics that the Buddha probably didn't say anything about 2,500 years ago, then let's hope it's a sign of courage and life experience. However, his words only express his personal opinion."
We kindly ask you as our Lama to show us the way to proceed. We are sure that there are forces in the sangha that seek to split us and weaken precious teachings. At our level of ordinary students without insight, we have identified them as Islam. We think that you are a real fighter against Islam (and we have found a number of attacks on you on the Internet from this side). It is clear that Islam must attack the best gunslingers. It does not need to destroy those who are just barking, but those who are able to change things.
Dear Lama, we have carefully read the letters you have been sending since 2015. We are deeply concerned that there is still bureaucracy and hierarchy in the sangha. Democracy has disappeared and has not yet returned. We were very sorry that the Brno center (we know about this one) was closed to people in the spring, almost no one was allowed there, queues appeared in which residents took the leading positions, police tapes appeared in the center and manners were more than despotic.
Lama, we have asked you for help with concerns about the spread of Islam in our societies. We are frightened by the veiled faces of women and the fact that Islam has used our weakness to spread the demands for burqa permission. We believe that someone abused the whole situation, because the answer we received in response to our question concerning burqas was a personal attack. You would never do that yourself. You even write in your texts that you solve things with the stupidest students in person, not in public. The letter was at odds with everything you have taught us about freedom so far and also with what you say on a personal level about Islam.
Lama, you keep telling us that Donald Trump is probably the best person in the United States. We see it that way too and admire his strength. Although he is 74 years old, he is like a lion. He fights for all of us with Islam. He stood up to the WHO and its unfair practices. For us, your support for Trump was an impulse to stand up to what is happening in the world today - the suppression of freedom and democracy.
In a letter that someone sent us, they wrote that the masks are a kind of holy grail - lifesaving measure. We were referred to follow doctors. We are doing this even more carefully now. But our doctors are against the madness around coronavirus. They are against masks. We therefore asked our Ministry of Health and a number of people with us. But the answer was just a lie. We know you don't speak Czech, but you have a lot of great people around you who can translate for you. We would like to send you a doctor's presentation, two videos with excellent Czech doctors and also the answers of our minister.
Dear Lama, we are in contact with lawyers and businessmen from Germany. One great young brave lawyer is fighting with all his might against the oppression of civil liberties. It is certainly possible to call him and ask. We know you've always been observing what's going on. You must know, therefore, that the Austrian Constitutional Court has said that human rights have been restricted in violation of the constitution.
The information we find is not on the side of those who want the destruction of society and obedient sheep instead of proud citizens.
We also were thinking about what was next in that letter. They say you've seen a lot of coronavirus-destroyed bodies. Our doctors say that old and very sick people die with coronavirus. Everything is just panic and fear. We were watching The 2011 Contagion movie with many Hollywood stars. This movie was funded by the United Arab Emirates, which is very interesting in connection to Islam. At the same time, there is a terrible scenario, but it shows us that we should obey and everything turns to the good with the vaccine and marking people with identification bracelets. Only this would allow people to continue living in society. It's Islam. Submission. Fear. Obedience. Loss of joy.
We really cannot believe that a new form of Diamond Way Buddhism is the transmission of teachings online, without the possibility of meeting you. It's like watching porn - we get some satisfaction, but the real experience is lacking. We don't understand how new people who need refuge should meet you. We do not understand why many more students could not come to you in Tenovice. Our government did not forbid people from coming abroad and allowed up to 1,000 people to meet at that time. Yet many were not allowed to come. The Czech Sangha made up their own hard rules.
We don't even understand if you're worried about your body, your life. We can't imagine it. We have always perceived you as an absolute protector. We turn to you in the most difficult moments and we would definitely go stealing horses with you. That's why we don't understand the panic. We have no doubt that you know when and how you will die, and we do not think that you would want to avoid this by covering the faces of the students: If we agreed to do so, you would be an ordinary aging gentleman who is afraid. And we can't allow that.
Lama, if the teacher's political views are only his personal views, we received an interesting gift from our sangha after we expressed fears of an attack against teachings. Exclusion from the centers without the possibility of any discussion and without justification. So this is the way how decisions are made in the centers now. We have not criticized the teachings, we have defended you as Lama. We do not complain, we simply wish for it all to lead to the best solution.
Lama, we don't even understand how sangha should work. Shall we just drink coffee in the centers and watch movies? Should we just try to avoid our own suffering and wish the best for others, or should we fight in the outside world for freedom, democracy, reason and for people to be well? Is Buddhism just a matter of faith, when must we not question anything? In the center, we have long before the situation with Covid had the feeling that we came uninvited, at a lower level than those who are in the board. No opinion may be expressed there. Many who have ever tried to do so have already left the centers and not always voluntarily. Lama, we're worried about what will happen after your death. We are not ready. None of us. We don't know who could take over your work. In the book How to be useful, you write that it will be Caty. We also don't know why it's there.
Dear Lama, we know that after the death of the 16th Karmapa one false letter caused many years of problems. The Karmapa wanted it that way, and he knew why he was doing it. He could have done it easily, but he didn't. No one would learn anything if he led people by the hand. We try to understand that this is a great teaching from you, but we do not know what to do. It is clear to us that we are still in kindergarten, but we really want to do things to help learning and freedom. We ask for your blessing and, if possible, to push us where we are supposed to be.
With great respect and love Vendula and David
Lama Ole is subject to anti-Islamic statements in litigation.
When the Dane Ole Nydahl offers lectures in Germany, thousands come. Often the star of Diamond Way Buddhism disparages Islam and Muslims. Individual Buddhists criticized him publicly years ago - and have now won in an Austrian court.
From Mechthild Klein
The Buddhist Lama Ole Nydahl has been attracting attention for years with derogatory statements about Muslims and Islam. For example, he said in a lecture on March 23, 2016 to thousands of fans in Kassel:
“I can tell you: Too much Islam and our freedom is gone. They attack the women first, you know this, right, clitoris off and so on and all the other things that are not done with women. And then all the other things come, don't they? That they are beaten, that twelve-year-old girls are married to sixty-year-old neighbors and all the different things there, right?"
When asked by the audience at the same event whether Nydahl was of the opinion that all refugees or only radical Muslims should be deported, he replied: “I mean Muslims above all. I mean people who are learning to do what we don't want to. The others may be a little unlucky and have flaws and so on, right? But whoever follows the Quran is not enjoyable in a modern society. He is not! He's just out to take advantage of things, suppresses the weak, he doesn't get a proper education and so on, no, and everything goes down. They are all a burden to these people. "
Public election recommendation: AfD
The Dane is the star of the Diamond Way Buddhists. If he speaks and a pandemic does not make major events impossible, full halls are guaranteed. At this lecture in Kassel in 2016, the teacher recommended that his numerous listeners vote for the AfD party. And at a later point, Nydahl added that Merkel had just taken in people who no one else wanted. He later claimed that, among other things, Muslims were illiterate and beat their children and women.
Some Buddhist bloggers or media such as the "Allgäuer Zeitung", who publicly criticized such or similar statements, received mail from Nydahl's lawyer. But now the Austrian Supreme Court has confirmed the interpretation of a critical voice against Nydahl - after almost four years of legal dispute. In the grounds of the judgment it says: Ole Nydahl is aiming "with his criticism very well at the religion of Islam as such and at Muslims in their entirety and not just at radical groups". A differentiation is largely lacking.
The legal dispute began after Peter Riedl wrote on his blog that he found Nydahl's statements about Islam to be denigrating. In his blog he had also quoted a witness who reported the statements of the master at the event in Kassel in her own words. Riedl was President of the Austrian Buddhist Religious Society and editor of the Buddhist magazine “Cause / Effect”. After his criticism, Nydahl's lawyer came forward. Peter Riedl:
“In August 2017, Ole Nydahl's lawyer wrote to me to sign a cease and desist declaration. I didn't do that and then I was sued two months later. "
Legal dispute over anti-Islamic statements
And that's what the dispute is about: Ole Nydahl sued for the omission and revocation of statements that he regarded as untrue and libelous or as defamatory. Riedl's witness had summarized what she had heard, according to which Nydahl would have said at the lecture, among other things, that people who came from countries with an Islamic culture were uneducated and beat their wives and molested German women. Peter Riedl defended himself legally. Nydahl countered that these statements were not made that way.
Lama Ole dealt with his lawsuits against the blog article in several courts in Germany and Austria. In the end, it turned out that the statements made by Nydahl in the lecture were essentially correctly reproduced in the blog article. Nydahl was therefore defeated in this legal dispute. The Supreme Court in Vienna has also rejected the appeal of the Buddhist teacher Ole Nydahl. Peter Riedl explains his tenacity as follows:
“It was important to me that we are living in a very complex and difficult time and that there are really a lot of problems with Islam. And because Ole Nydahl always makes very undifferentiated statements against Muslims. And now there is no question that there are many problems in Islam. There are the Salafist preachers, there is IS, and a lot, a lot. But at a time like this, that is not good if you put it on and now use it to defame all Muslim citizens across the board. And only against that I resisted. "
Peter Riedl would like a Buddhist teacher to have a differentiated view of other religions, especially from a prominent teacher like Nydahl, who has so many followers in the West. It was mainly an ethical concern for him, he says. He says:
“Ole Nydahl is not only a very well-known teacher, he supposedly has up to 70,000 students and I believe that. And I've talked to many too. They are incredibly dedicated, nice people who really have a great interest in Buddhism. I just spoke again today with a Buddhist who is a follower of Ole Nydahl. And of course he is very concerned that there is a conflict about his master. "
But the vast majority of followers of the Tibetan Buddhist Diamond Way stand firmly behind their Lama Ole Nydahl - no matter what he says. Riedl: “He is considered an enlightened master, an enlightened bodhisattva in Buddhism. So a unique person. And everything that Ole Nydahl says and does is sacrosanct. And then there are a few critical listeners who are irritated by his anti-Islamic statements. And then they no longer come and they step out. "
Basically, Peter Riedl fears that the Islamophobic words of the Danish lama in the Diamond Way community will bear fruit and that these Buddhists will turn away from peaceful coexistence of religions in society: “It is about people who come to Buddhism, Buddhist meditation learn, in a lecture from a Buddhist teacher, within Buddhist lectures, hear that Muslims beat their wives and are uneducated. And that's the crux of the whole thing, that you can't say it in this generalized form, because it comes to a conflict, a kind of clash of cultures. "
Battle rhetoric for advertising purposes?
But where does this battle rhetoric of the western lama in his Tibetan Buddhist organization come from?
“Buddhism is widely spread, there is already a lot inside. And it is not that Buddhism has not had polemics against other religions throughout its history. There is by all means a tradition that now also disregards other religions in the history of Tibetan Buddhism or Buddhism in general, ”says the religious scholar Professor Franz Winter from the University of Graz. He refers to the history of Buddhism. It was by no means only characterized by meekness. There was always aggressive rhetoric, including against Islam. Nonetheless, Nydahl's fixation on Islam is striking: “There is a suspicion that he simply likes to take up current issues. And that is also used for advertising purposes. "
The religious scholar is looking for inner-Buddhist explanations, but he doesn't really find anything: “Although I have the impression with the Islamic topic that it is simply a deeply personal topic of his. So that is something that he propagates to an extent and which he repeatedly carries out very aggressively to the outside, where one has the impression that it is really within him now. Does that have nothing to do with Buddhism at all? That is a difficult question that I could not answer so broadly. "
"Diamond Way Buddhism" bubble
What is the strategy behind this when a Buddhist master repeatedly makes blanket and derogatory statements about Muslims and which he then almost always relativizes when authors and bloggers criticize him? For the blogger supporters, the matter is clear: “I think the important thing is that what happened there was made public. I think it is urgent if critical voices are to be intimidated, ”says Ralf Sogen Boeck, Zen priest and former board member of the umbrella organization of the German Buddhist Union.
He refers to the Buddhist blogger and monk Tenzin Peljor, who also reported critically about Nydahl and who had taken over the statements of the witness from Riedl's blog. Peljor also received mail from Nydahl's lawyer. Some Buddhists now started to collect money for the monk so that he could defend himself legally. Peljor has no property, as the order rule prescribes: “And then there was a donation account, which at least enabled the Buddhist monk Tenzin Peljor without possesions to defend himself with the help of a lawyer in court against the warning demands, which he also does not at all could have paid. "
Despite a court settlement, the monk incurred legal fees of more than 20,000 euros. But the fronts are hardened. There is radio silence after Nydahls Diamantweg withdrew from the German Buddhist Union in 2019 and thus anticipated an expulsion. The long legal battle was grueling for Tenzin Peljor and Peter Riedl. Riedl:
“It was of course extremely stressful. It was enormously expensive. In these four years, I did not issue an opinion on this process because my own lawyers advised me against it. And that was a huge burden overall. "
The defendants were not broken down by the argument. But will Nydahl's lost trial also make an impression on Diamond Way followers? Despite the success in court, Peter Riedl's conclusion sounds rather resigned: “The devout Diamond Way Buddhists can no longer be reached. They are unreachable for normal Buddhism and for a tolerant world and for togetherness and discussion, in the open opinion where one can express criticism, that one has problems to solve them. They live in a closed bubble. "
Great and noble students and friends,
I just want to tell you that the world is a transparent place where things are stored and photographed, and therefore I ask my students not to share any Diamond Way matters on the Internet or in any public space. It’s not our job to give people all kinds of our stories.
We are very successful because we do and say the same things. We give happiness to the world, and offer timeless knowledge to people of similar views and ideas. This brings happiness and richness to the world. It also very visibly inspires people to forget all the limitations and heaviness of everyday life pulling them down, and instead holds up the radiant beauty of the human potential.
But if unhappy people go and share internal Diamond Way information all around, it’s childish, very stupid, unpleasant, and harms whatever we are aiming to do and trying to bring to the world. In fact, it’s harming Hannah’s and my activity in the West – and here you only lose. If you destroy something that works well and for the benefit of others, you destroy yourself, and there will be some bad karma waiting for you.
If anybody does that, it should be known and they should not be invited to our Diamond Way centers again. People should have some maturity, and if they don’t have it, they can run around and do what they want, but they are not welcome in our centers and our work. Also, they will notice that people are aware of what they are doing, and the feeling of happiness will go down because they disturb people who try their best to put light into everybody's life.
May the happiness that is princes and kings be given to all who want to take it and have clear eyes to see it. May they carry it and pass on to people the taste of this often unseen perfect richness.
Yours from Amden, Lama Ole.