I wish to correct some points or add point of views with respect to the two posts I’ve sent.
1. there are more accounts of former members reporting their experience in NKT public on the internet available. e.g.
Also there are a lot of discussion groups were people expressed their bad experiences with NKT. I think, that the NKS has 750 members is a testament of wrong developments within NKT and not the activities of HHDL or the “manipulation” of ex-members or that people are interested to read something “negative” about NKT as NKT claims.
2. From some NKT member’s point of view to be criticised and not praised is of course labelled as “negative”, however, when someone is e.g. sexually abused (what happened in NKT many times! – even by the successors of Geshe Kelsang!) and expresses his or her feelings or confusion this isn’t “negative”, this is the first step of healing and more “positive” then repressing the own inner voice or feelings or to continue to practice in an unhealthy and less supporting setting.
3. NKT is a “master of labelling”. What ever is supporting their point of view or perception is either “pure” or “positive”, “balanced” or any other suited euphemistic term is applied and what ever disagrees with their point of view is “a lie”, “negative”, “biased” or any other pejorative term is applied.
This can be recognized easily also at the New Kadampa Truth site some NKT members suggest to read:
If one disagrees with NKT ordination as being a proper monk’s or nun’s ordination and states reasons why, or disagrees with NKT’s point of view that Shugden is a Buddha and states reasons why this is portrayed by NKT as being lies, people who express these views are portrayed as “liars” while the own views are portrayed by NKT as “the truth” and they portray themselves as the poor "innocent" victims of the "lies" of others. However, having and expressing a different or an opposing view is no lie at all, it’s just a different point of view and it can even be correct ;-)
In that context it is also interesting to note that others experiences are portrayed as being “smears” and “negative” while NKT members experiences are truths and positive. Trying to get clarity within NKT about the sexual abuses by discussing it is labelled by NKT leadership as “meaningless activities” but performing public and aggressive protests against a highly respected member of the Buddhist community and perceived enemy of NKT, the Dalai Lama, is a peaceful and compassionate action. NKT has only “good and pure motivations” others opposing are led by bias, hostility, are mental instable, obsessed are misled by the Dalai Lama etc.
Another former member puts it this way:
“Now any critics are labelled as followers of the Dalai Lama - the common enemy and are of course deluded. The simple message the NKT propagate is we are pure - if you are not with us then you are against us - and thus you are impure.
The basic tenant of Buddhism is that there are no external enemies, mere projections of your own deluded mind. But if you are the NKT this only applies to anyone who disagrees with their POV.“
4. I recognized that NKT has learnt from their critics. Mainly they use some of their arguments to apply it now to the critics although the arguments they apply against them lack a basis or are baseless. Although NKT states now (due to the public pressure I guess) they made faults and try to overcome it, I wonder what are the faults they are acknowledging and why do they not excuse to their ex-members and instead slander them?
What has NKT learnt? What do they see as their faults?
Maybe WisdomFire, Jimmy or Atisha’ Cook can explain this?Regarding those new to Buddhism:
To understand NKT right from the beginning is almost impossible. There are different objects of knowledge which have to been investigated:
- the history and development of NKT
- the history, background and driving forces of the Shugden controversy
- past public NKT statements and statements by former members
- what the old kadam school is and what NKT is or is not (their self-identity)
- the history and development of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
- the history and development of Tibetan Buddhism and Gelug school
- the function and institution of the Dalai Lamas
- proper understanding of Buddhism, Buddhist concepts and especially a proper understanding of a qualified student-teacher relationship and the Vinaya
- signs and functioning of cults
- the tactics of NKT
- cross-cultural issuesMy own understanding is:
The Buddhism as taught in NKT is very artificial and is understood and applied mainly on a very literally level. The understanding and teachings on student-teacher-relationship, "purity", pure view, emptiness and different other approaches and teachings are misleading or just taught superficial. The combination of all of this, mixed with pride to be ‘special’ and ‘pure’ while the root from which NKT derives from (Gelug school) is ‘very degenerated’ and the Dalai Lama is “the enemy of the Dharma” or “destroying the pure Dharma” or "possessed by a Mara" "evil and cruel" and "his followers have blind faith" etc. and some other factors, like mainly a deep lack of knowledge, what makes the special mix "NKT" a spiritual trap – at least from my point of view.
However, nowadays there are enough independent information available to get a good knowledge to be able to judge:
Regarding NKT there are five academic researches available:
• Kay, David N. (1997) “The New Kadampa Tradition and the Continuity of Tibetan Buddhism in Transition“, Journal of Contemporary Religion 12:3 (October 1997), 277-293
• Cozort, Daniel (2003) ‘The making of the Western Lama’ in Buddhism in the Modern World; Adaptations of an Ancient Tradition, Steven Heine and Charles S. Prebish (ed.), Oxford: Oxford University Press: 221-248
• David N. Kay (2004) The New Kadampa Tradition in Tibetan and Zen Buddhism in Britain, London: Routledge
• Waterhouse, Helen (2005) ‘New Kadampa Tradition’ in the Encyclopaedia of New Religious Movement, P. B. Clarke ed., London: Routledge.
• Bluck, Robert (2006) British Buddhism London: Routledge.
David Barret, author of The New Believers: A Survey of Sects, Cults and Alternative Religions
, has characterised the NKT-IKBU as "deriving from Tibetan Buddhism" and as "one of the newest and most controversial buddhist movements".
For a background on the setting of NKT (including its controversial aspects):
] or the list of these researches:
For a proper understanding of Buddhism and teacher-student-relationship see:
Those who have doubts in general: All lamas I met said: there is no need to rush.
(In opposition to that NKT is very rushy and pushy and spreads a certain type of "the world is going down" atmosphere.)
The best is to take time and space for a proper investigation. The decision one will make will affect not only this life but also future lives – at least from a Buddhist perspective.
One should check if the doctor is really a doctor and able to cure the disease or not. If he is unable he will make the patient more sick and dependent on him while taking all his money and faith only for the benefit of the doctor but not for the benefit of the patient. Spiritual paths and spiritual teachers are far more difficult to investigate because they deal with the mind not the body, and there is no institution which approves their reliability; so more care and caution to find a genuine spiritual doctor should be applied.