Tortured, untethered apologetics

Written by Rob Hogendoorn

1 minute

So, let me get this straight: According to Tenpel (aka Tenzin Peljor or Michael Jäckel), the survivors that met the fourteenth Dalai Lama in Rotterdam in 2018, did so in in “bad faith.” (comment 178, November 29, 2021 at 1:26 pm). With this, Tenpel not merely insults the four survivors who met the Dalai Lama as well as the twelve authors of testimonies, but also some 1.300 people who signed the petition requesting this meeting during the preceding week.

This petition will remain open (2.617 signatures to date and counting) unless and until the Dalai Lama follows up  promises made during the Rotterdam meeting. So far, the Dalai Lama has not kept his promises at all. Unfortunately, his playing to the gallery is a decades-old, consistent pattern.

Recently, his erstwhile PR-advisor corroborated accounts that 3 years ago the Dalai Lama made clear that he wishes to be spared confrontations with people who were abused by Tibetan Buddhist teachers (see video at 46.40 mins.)

Evidently, Tenpel has trouble fathoming why the office the Dalai Lama holds, as well as his policies as as worldly and spiritual leader, alone provide the rationale for troubling him with matters he clearly wishes to ignore. After all, on his own view, the Dalai Lama was the Tibetan head of state and chief executive of the Central Tibetan Administration for more than 60 years. So, most sexual abuse happened on his watch.

Worse, the Dalai Lama continued to endorse Tibetan Buddhist teachers long after learning about their abuses. Tenpel’s tortured apologetics are emblematic of  those of other devotees. He rather blames victims and survivors for confronting the Dalai Lama against his command with abuses—equating calling him to account willy-nilly with acting “in bad faith”—than accept that it is their prerogative to do so at will.

Tenpel’s morally, legally, and politically untethered apologetics surely are the envy of worldly and religious leaders everywhere—if only wishing abuse away were a live option to them!

Originally posted as a Tweet on November 30, 2021.

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.