Tibet: Another Side to the Story

An apparently Asian woman who blogs under the name “FactsandTruth” has put up a mind-blowing website which she claims tells the real story of Tibet. The site is full of photos of the Dalai Lama smiling with famous Nazi leaders, and videos and articles on the history of Tibet that turn the Western perspective upside-down.

Before the Communist revolution, these sources allege, Tibetan power was in the hands of the wealthy ruling class, which consisted of the lamas and the landed aristocracy, while 95 % of the people lived as slaves and serfs. Little boys were conscripted into service as monks when volunteers were in short supply, and slaves were executed by owners who would give their dead bodies to lamas in exchange for the Dalai Lama’s blessing. The monks would allegedly strip these bodies of skin, long bones, liver and heart which they used in their rituals. The website further alleges that the story we’re hearing in the West is propaganda spun by our media in partnership with the CIA agenda which has supported the Dalai Lama all along.

So who is lying, and how do we tell? And why, if Bronte Baxter is so smart, did she make a lot of hoopla about the glorious freedom movement in Tibet when there’s serious reason to suspect it may be snickering behind its hand at us along with our favorite bad guys?

The last question first. Yours truly Bronte Baxter spoke from limited knowledge. I based my opinion on a smattering of experience and didn’t look deeply enough into the story before taking a position. Or rather, more charitably, I took a sincere position which now turns out to probably be wrong. There’s something to be learned here.

There’s always another side to every story, and beneath both sides there is usually a third. No one has a corner on truth. Not you, not I, not even those we most respect and admire. Any of us are, at best, thoughtful people observing what’s around us and calling it as we see it in an effort to live freely and honorably. But how tempting it is to defend our initial positions from the onslaught of incoming evidence! To become attached to looking good or to being certain and right. But if we pick certitude and image over our search for the truth, we fail ourselves in the deepest way possible.

I once heard an incredible man named Robert Morning Sky remark that to have integrity we must be willing “to follow the trail of truth wherever it may lead, at whatever the cost to me or my opinions.” It’s one thing to say, “Oh yes, I live that way,” quite another to do it. But if we don’t do it, if we don’t consider the uncomfortable opinion and question our own assumptions, we are ourselves dogmatists, sitting fat and happy inside our sorry fortresses of self-delusion.

We can’t afford to follow people anymore. Look at where it got us. We have to follow the facts, guided by gut instincts. When a trail turns cold, we have to abandon it, then pick up the scent again as quickly as we can. In doing this, we come to trust each other, fellow explorers finding their way through the woods. If someone climbs a tree today and gets a glimpse of the world from the top of the forest, we cheer him for his report. But tomorrow someone else will be in a different tree shouting down different visions.

No one person should ever become “the leader.” We can’t afford to build new hierarchies. That’s what corrupted this world, with a few elite and powerful exploiting the rest of us. Everyone has the Infinite whispering in their hearts. Let us make that our collective leader.

But back to Tibet. Who’s telling the truth? The Chinese Communists or the American media? The monks I heard speak at the Tibetan performance I wrote about, who may have been misled in their innocence? Maybe the short Tibetan man who used to work in the lunchroom near my office, who passionately spoke of genocide in the country he had to leave. But was he a former serf or aristocracy?

I know a German woman with a Ph.D. whose special research interest is the Third Reich. She told me once about Hitler sending a radio as a gift to the Dalai Lama during the Second World War. A Nazi emissary carried it for days over the snow-covered passes to get it to its Lassa destination. I was chillingly reminded of that when I read Dalai Lama’s alleged Nazi connections on FactandTruth’s website.

Is it really possible that a man and a religion that preach compassion and kindness could be pulling the wool over everybody’s eyes? Before the Communists came to Tibet, did lamas really conscript little boys to be monks, torture prisoners, enforce a feudal system that consigned most of the population to poverty, and use human organs in sacrificial rituals? Is the Dalai Lama really in bed with the CIA and were the Nazis his friends?

If these things are not true, Tibetan Buddhism may be the only religion on earth not in the back pocket of trans-dimensional entities who feed off human suffering and worship. Is it likely that Tibetan Buddhism is the noble exception? More likely that we were taken in again, in our wish to believe in something good. Goodness is out there — we weren’t wrong about that. But there’s reason to question it behind the Dalai Lama’s smile.

Bronte Baxter

Advertisements

18 Comments

  1. Clari said,

    April 15, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    Who’s telling the truth? The Chinese Communists or the American media?
    ————
    Just do a weighted average of the information coming from Chinese govt and US media, and you will probably be closer to the truth.

    Is the Dalai Lama really in bed with the CIA and were the Nazis his friends?
    ————-
    This is for sure and indisputable. Dalai Lama is heavily funded by CIA all the time.

  2. Barbara said,

    April 16, 2008 at 6:12 am

    If you go to the Jeff Rense website at http://www.rense.com and scroll down to the section on Tibet there is an article called The True Face of the Dalai Lama. It is very informative and backs up the information on this website. Here’s the URL for the article: http://www.rense.com/general81/faeeof.htm

    Barbara

  3. Ken said,

    April 16, 2008 at 10:03 am

    I recommend books by Melvyn Goldstein, Ph.D.
    Let’s read history rather than media.

  4. Jan said,

    April 16, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    Regardless of the origins, politics, socio-economics or any other factor, the people of Tibet have human rights and these are not being recognised by China.

    There is no excuse for the open brutalisation, murder, and criminalisation of belief that the Chinese government have undertaken.

    Suppression of opinion and the right to protest, refuting and criminalising anyone with alternative views…sound familiar? Yes, it’s what the Nazi’s did and what the Chinese are now doing in Tibet.

    People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. The Chinese need to look to their own human rights records.

  5. dianarn said,

    April 17, 2008 at 1:29 am

    “You keep them poor and I’ll keep them dumb,” said the priest to the politician.

    Who cares who’s sleeping with whom? It’s always the elites that benefit from all the suffering they’ve inflicted on the human race for thousands of years. Religion is no exception. All this article does is make us forget about the normal Tibetan people that are being slaughtered and tortured, just like the normal Palestinians, just like the normal Iraqis, the normal Chinese, and millions of others all over the world that are killed every day.

    When the fence between Gaza and Egypt was blown up, nobody talked about the thousands of starving Palestinians that got so desperate they had to blow up a wall in order to get food. Everybody was upset at Israel for not controlling their borders properly.

    Nobody talks about the eugenics that has been going on since the early 1900’s that started in the USA before Hitler even jumped on the bandwagon. Planned Parenthood was founded by an eugenicist (Margaret Sanger).

    The Georgia Guidestones are still standing proof that mass extermination is still an ongoing work to rid the world of the “unfits.”

    And yet nobody seems to be doing anything to stop any of this.

  6. Clari said,

    April 17, 2008 at 11:01 am

    Compared to Han Chinese, Tibetan people are treated by Chinese government in a much better way. At least Tibetan people are allowed to have more than one child. At least Tibetan students can be accepted into China’s top university with much lower score in the entrance examination. Tibetan people have many other privileges which are not enjoyed by Han Chinese! Tibetan have got enough but they will never be satisfied and keep asking for more

    I can only say Tibetan people are just too greedy!

  7. Kala Devi said,

    April 18, 2008 at 4:58 am

    http://studentsforafreetibet.org/article.php?id=425

    Much of your info is well-known Chinese disinformation.

  8. Clari said,

    April 18, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    http://studentsforafreetibet.org/article.php?id=425

    is a total bullshit!

  9. April 18, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    Clari, your complaints about the Tibetans remind me of the way some whites talk about blacks and other minorities in my country, the U.S. They complain for exactly the same reasons. Maybe the problem isn’t with the Tibetans but with two cultures trying to live side by side, not really understanding each other.

  10. Christian said,

    April 18, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    I traveled through the Emei mountain range on the Chinese – Tibetan border in 2001 with a group studying qigong and Buddhist practices. One of our guides was a nomad from Tibet. He said that about half the Tibetans want the Dalai Lama back in power, the others do not. He was very critical of the atrocities of the Chinese, but did not at all glorify pre – Chinese Tibet. He confirmed the state of slavery millions of Tibetans lived in, the magic rituals involving human sacrifices. I also once heard from a former translator of the Dalai Lama that he (the Dalai Lama) has acknowledged the necessity of Chinese intervention to bring Tibet out of archaic social structures. For those who know about extensive use of black magic by Tibetan Buddhist sects employed to harm each other, the violent feuds over the different Karmapas, this is no surprise. There is no excuse for the way the Chinese handle the situation in Tibet, just as there is no need to glorify Tibet as an idyllic island of spiritual values.

  11. Kala Devi said,

    April 18, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    The only bullshit I see here is the typical of Bronte’s writings, not examined closely enough (although I agree with *some* of her TM rants). There is a huge amount of Chinese propaganda circulating on the net and many accept it as if it were coming from a respected journalistic source.

    Certainly Tibet was not a perfect place, it did have it’s problems. But many of the stories propagated in these anti-Tibet articles are a combination of Chinese propaganda and Catholic church disinformation. Opus Dei has been involved in some of these disinformation campaigns, most notably the book “The Shadow of the Dalai Lama” which is Dalai Lama and Tibet disinformation at it’s finest. The above article merely replays some of the already known disinformation in an even more graphic (and dangerous) way.

    Those who support such disinformation are supporting cultural genocide.

    I’m sure there were similar disinformation campaigns when the Germans tried to annihilate the Jews.

  12. bill sigler said,

    April 19, 2008 at 5:35 am

    This post is so f****** beautiful I want to cry…

    The middle part (not about Tibet) should be posted on every corporate cubicle in America, to replace the Henry Ford quote about winners.

    You’re so right about honoring perspectives. From the Western perspective, based on 50 years of history and 200 years of tradition, Tibet is a occupied land where peaceful people are oppressed for their religious beliefs. Westerners believe freedom of religion is a basic human right that is being infringed by the totalitarian Chinese. All of this is “correct.” From a Chinese perspective, of over 800 years, the Mongols forced Tibetan Buddhism on the Chinese, to keep the populace docile and force a doctrine of peace on the Chinese that has kept them, over many years, from asserting their rightful stature in the community of nations. The Chinese believe the doctrine of non-violence is just as violent as outward violence, because it is a means to an end where one side wins and the other loses. This is also “correct” (especially in the context of Tibet being a part of China until it “escaped” in 1918). Is it possible to honor Buddhist beliefs by accepting both realities as equally valid, and both as illusory dualities? Or are we, once again, unable to escape our conditioning?

    After all, who are we to say there isn’t a larger purpose in this, say: forcing us to confront our own religious prejudices (why Buddhists and not Muslims?); or bringing alien cultures closer together; or bringing Buddhism to a wider audience; or helping break the stranglehold of American culture on other cultures as the hypocrises are so skillfully revealed; or any number of other things only limited by the mind’s capability to imagine?

    It’s a typical afternoon in Iraq. It’s the end of one of the world’s great religions. Maybe it’s nothing at all, except our ability to choose how to react.

  13. Jane said,

    April 20, 2008 at 2:14 am

    Kala Devi,

    Everybody has a right to speak. The “human rights activists” have long enjoyed their privilege of accusing the Chinese government of depriving people of such right. Now, are you trying to mute all the Chinese and others with different opinions? More and more people are just starting to question their initial belief and look for more facts and perspectives. Bronte Baxter made clear she hasn’t taken a position yet. So what are you afraid of? People have heard enough from Dalai Lama and the once cruel rulers of Tibet, they deserve to hear different voices.

    You say “Certainly Tibet was not a perfect place”. Just not “perfect”? What a stone heart you have!

    Given more and more undeniable facts revealed about the old Tibetan society, the Tibetan exiles now tactically evade them and begin to argue that the old sins of the Tibetan theocracy are “irrelevant” of the current oppression by Chinese government in Tibet. How come it is not relevant? If one thinks about the intentional counterfeiting and lying about the old Tibet by Dalai and his camp for decades, how can he or she believe in their lies of governmental oppression such as “killing millions of Tibetans” or more fashionably “cultural genocide”? A most recent lie told by Dalai, for example, is the Chinese government cracking down some “peaceful” demonstrations during March, while the whole world have seen nothing peaceful but clearly street riots that left innocent people killed and stores looted and burnt.

    Anyone who still believes the stories of “cultural genocide” and human rights abuse against Tibetan ethnic group should go visit Tibet and talk to as many people from different classes as possible. You will see what progress has been made in Tibet and the people’s lives. Try to be fair and also put your assessment in the broader perspective, not only historically, but also geographically and demographically. Only the opinions, criticisms, even accusations based on fairness and broadness in perspective will be deeply respected by all Chinese including the local Tibetans. In addition, try to rationalize some of the governmental policies (to the good or harm of the local Tibetans) adopted under the specter of Dalai, the former Tibetan aristocrats, and their sponsors having attempted (violently or nonviolently) for half a century to separate Tibet from China and to regain their power and privileges. Dalai certainly have achieved some success, but he surely has also earned a place in hell for his sins prior to his exile, for the numerous lies told in his entire life, and his untiring attempt to plant hatred among the Tibetans against Han Chinese for his political and religious selfishness.

  14. Kala Devi said,

    April 20, 2008 at 7:09 am

    “Everybody has a right to speak. The “human rights activists” have long enjoyed their privilege of accusing the Chinese government of depriving people of such right. Now, are you trying to mute all the Chinese and others with different opinions? More and more people are just starting to question their initial belief and look for more facts and perspectives. Bronte Baxter made clear she hasn’t taken a position yet. So what are you afraid of? People have heard enough from Dalai Lama and the once cruel rulers of Tibet, they deserve to hear different voices.” [big gracious snip]

    Having already heard the Chinese propaganda (you so easily champion) for many years, I find it no surprise that during a time where many are considering boycotting the Chinese Olympic games that this same old propaganda would rear it’s ugly head once again (it seems to recycle itself every now and again). Should I be terrified that such propaganda would be re-seeded by fundie X-tians and others in a backhanded attempt to scapegoat the Tibetan Buddhism and Bonpo masters of pre-1950’s Tibet? Or should I be amused? Given the whitewashing of Tibetan history (by Tibetans) at the hands of such propaganda, I can only encourage earnest and objective enquirers to read Tibetan history themselves and then decide. Certainly don’t believe the bizarre and wild claims about black magic, moreso for those of us living in Europe and US who are primarily followers of the black dharma (mostly Judeo-Christianity here in the US).

    I hope people do really check out the religion and the people and do gain some firsthand insights, into their unique culture not based on wealth and definitely not Christian and Chinese communist propaganda.

  15. Graceless Sometimes said,

    May 4, 2008 at 9:22 am

    Bronte,

    I started out reflexively supporting the free tibet movement for years, without a lot of information…just impressions. Since the March incidents I’ve read a lot from all sides. It’s a bit mind-numbing and obsessive (some people call it TFS – Tibet Fatigue Syndrome) but I would really really like to know the truth here, unadorned by hidden agenda.

    I’ve found some helpful sources that I hope you would let me share with you.

    Ken mentioned Melvin Goldstein, a professor at Case Western Reserve University who has studied Tibet for more than 30 years.

    The Center for Research on Tibet
    http://www.case.edu/affil/tibet/
    is filled with links to scholarly works published by Goldstein.

    I’ve read only a few articles, but they have given me a more detailed picture of traditional Tibetan society.

    Religious Conflict in the Traditional Tibetan State – these give a flavor to what it meant when monks rule the State.
    http://www.case.edu/affil/tibet/booksAndPapers/conflict.html.

    This is about forms of serfdom:
    http://www.case.edu/affil/tibet/booksAndPapers/Human_Lease.pdf

    The Impact of China’s Reform Policy on the Nomads of Western Tibet:
    http://www.case.edu/affil/tibet/booksAndPapers/Impact_China_Reform_Policy.htm
    This is one of the most startling articles, because it challenges the conventional wisdom on Tibet.

    A remarkable and lengthy online debate between Mark Jones, an Australian English teacher and several tibetan independence supporters. Jones has read a lot and tries to put what he has read in perspective.
    http://discussions.pbs.org/viewtopic.pbs?t=68073 (7pages). If you have patience, this debate is well worth the time to go through.

    Tantric Robes. An interview by Tricycle with June Campbell on patriarchy and misogyny in Tibetan Buddhism.
    http://www.anandainfo.com/tantric_robes.html

    The Tibet issue is far more complicated than I ever imagined.

    • Jodie Hawthorne said,

      December 21, 2009 at 8:42 am

      Graceless sometimes, you have made my day. Thank god for the internet! Finally after years of propaganda people are beginning to see the light on this bogus package deal with for the most part baseless claims for and against the “goodies” (the Tibetans) and the “baddies” (the Chinese). The Chinese Government is in no way close to perfect, neither is any other government that I know of. I will not excuse some of the atrocities of the PRC. But I will also not stand by and let the Dalai Lama, Tibetan Govt. in India, Tibetan exiles and pro-Tibeters lie about Tibet and the real situation. I have come full circle. I was just like you, I was a Free Tibet supporter that believed all of the pro-Tibet propaganda and did a lot to support Tibetans in exile, Tibetan Buddhism and other Tibet related propagation. But, I learned to hard way. I lived in a Tibetan town called Gyalthang which is in Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan Province. I got the shock of my life when I realised that things weren’t how I had let myself be brainwashed into believing. I wrote a collection of haiku while I lived there (you can google my name to find me somewhere in www). Chinese propaganda is one thing, but pro-Tibet propaganda is much more skillful, effective and dangerous. Lots of really, really bad stuff happened during my years in Tibet. I couldn’t work it out for a long time, and it’s only over the past year or so that I have access to all of this information (as the internet is censored in China and Tibet) that substantiates all of the discoveries and disappointments that I have experienced on this heartbreaking journey. I have read all of the articles you mention above, and many others including books and independent research. I have also conducted 2 years of full-time research in Tibet (Tibetan folklore studies) and many more years of volunteer activites in Tibet on various projects through NGOs. My first big shock (after more than a decade of seeing this guy as my guru) was the Dalai Lama is not who he portrays himself to be through his globe trotting about promoting peace and compassion. The list of lies connected to the Tibet myth is contradictory at first, but it all fits together nicely in the end; like a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle. I will add some other great articles and books to read when I get a moment. Free Tibet-but don’t lie, cover-up, exaggerate and fabricate to fuel the campaign. This campaign is an insult to the very people that it claims to be “saving”. “Tibetan culture is dying”, “Tibetan language will be extinct by 2020”, “Tibetans all live in fear” and all bit fat lies. Tibetans in Tibet are very proud of their culture. Its full on alive and kicking in Tibet. If you are in doubt go there with an open mind and you will see for yourself.

  16. yathrib said,

    May 9, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    You might want to check out what Chica Bruce has to say about Tibetan Buddhism in her interview w/ Adam Gorightly:

    http://gorightly.podomatic.com/entry/2007-10-25T14_08_32-07_00

    Pretty deep into the interview, but the whole thing is very interesting anyway.

  17. yathrib said,

    May 9, 2008 at 10:44 pm

    The gist is that Tibetan Buddhism is basically a way of gaining personal power by aligning oneself with interdimensional, incorporeal beings, rather like Haitian Voodoo. Crowley’s system is basically a Westernization of Tibetan “Buddhism,” and the Dalai Lama and other people from this traditionwho claim to be teaching a way of “inner peace” and “enlightenment” to Westerners are selling us a bill of goods, or a line of bulls**t if you prefer…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: