One Cause

Written by Rob Hogendoorn

Less than a minute

Think about it: the Dalai Lama much rather actively intervenes to dispose of a putative sectarian spirit—Dorje Shukden aka Dolgyal—than to get rid of abusive Tibetan Buddhist Lamas.

There’s just no comparison between the tireless effort the Dalai Lama spent—and the sharp opposition he brought on himself—to have his Tibetan constituency shun Dorje Shukden, and his lacklustre performance in response to direct warnings about sexually abusive Tibetan Lamas.

There’s a logic to his realpolitik. The sectarian worship of a putative intolerant and violent spirit by members of the the Dalai Lama’s own Geluk sect undermines the sacrosanctity of his office as the leader of the Tibetan people as a whole.

And offering vigorous resistance against sexually abusive and violent Tibetan Lamas of all denominations undermines the sacrosanctity of the Dalai Lama’s office as the leader of the Tibetan people as a whole as well.

So, in both cases the Dalai Lama’s priority is the same. Taking on an evil spirit who might disrupt the unity of the Tibetan people while not taking on the sexually abusive Lamas that actually plague all Tibetan sects each serve the same cause.

What cause? The preservation of the Dalai Lama’s own office as primus inter pares among hundreds of Tibetan Buddhist hierarchs who are bound up with a positively feudal, inherently unstable belief system—caught up together in centuries-old struggles for power.

Originally posted as a long-Tweet on October 3, 2022 (with link added).

About the author

Rob Hogendoorn

Investigative reporter and academic researcher Rob Hogendoorn (b. 1964) began researching the reception of Buddhism in Western society and culture in the early 1990s. His modus operandi remained the same ever since: independent, inquisitive and provocative.