What motivates someone to become a Dorje Shugden supporter?

Craig Tweeted, “Unfollows anyone with Kelsang in their name.”

He had been trolling some Dorje Shugden accounts on Twitter for some reason.

I asked him, “How would you characterize what their thing is? What gets them out of bed in the morning?”

“Pure Politics. Karma dumbat. No one is standing between you and your alter. This is just PR for their cult.”

“Allow me to clarify my question. If I was to write a character based on one of this people, what makes them tick?”

“Power. A third-chakra entanglement.”

“As a group what kind of person do they select for? I’m interested in writing a character based on such a person.”

“One too determined to escape life in his parent’s basement to think very deeply.”

“That describes most Tibetan Buddhists, does it not? I think so. What makes these people different?”

“They have teachers encouraging them to use their anger in a political campaign and buy it.”

“Is this not typical of all Tibetans though? I think so. Tibet was a theocracy, run by religious sects.”

“I don’t think so. Write that chapter without my input.”

I’m having difficulty getting a handle on why a dispute between Gelugpa exceptionalists and HHDL is a thing for these people. If anyone has any insight into the backstory of such a person I’d appreciate their input.



Filed under Buddhism

5 responses to “What motivates someone to become a Dorje Shugden supporter?

  1. Kate

    The dogyal (or shugden) cult is really not that distinct from any other organization in the Tibetan Buddhist world. That’s why they are so hard to stamp out.

    All lineages/sects of Tibetan Buddhism have, from time to time hardline positions with hard line students willing to do anything to prove themselves or justify the lama.

    KTD is no different. The folks there deify their Tibetan overlords. The nyingma are no different. Across the board, being a “traditional” practitioner means being small-minded, superstitious, and dogmatic.
    The sakya and gelug are no different.

    The problem isn’t shugden or dogyal, the problem are small minded, defensive, insecure people. These folks, I’m afraid to say (and I’m sure you have witnessed this to) seem to gravitate to Tibetan Buddhism for some bizarre reason.

    It’s a shame because they make the world a worse place.

    • Not all Tibetan Buddhists in America are Tibetan inspired historical re-enactors. Sadly though, since the late 1980’s here, by which time every Rinpoche in America became a 501c3, and pay to play became the norm for Tibetan Buddhism in this country, this has become how the majority of Americans practice Tibetan Buddhism, the more your practice is like that of how Tibetans imagined their past to be the better, the more sectarian your practice is the more genuine a dharma practitioner you are. This is the context in which we must examine what motivates some of us to become Dorje Shugden supports.

      All that separates a KTD lama who paid a small fortune for their robes and the robed Dorje Shugden supporter are the laws and customs of the land in which they live as they pertain to the separation of church and state. In the UK where Dorje Shugden supporters are many they are free to engage in political activity which no KTD lama would dare attempt for fear not only of losing KTD’s 501c3 status but alienating those Americans who prefer to keep their political beliefs separate from their practice of religion.

      • Thubten


        The other thing that separates them is that KTD lamas have everything to lose by being political. Their very existence within KTD’s structure is tentative as their overlords keep a close watch on them all the time. They are to meek to participate in an political dialogue.

        These shugden folks have everything to gain by participating in political activities. It doesn’t mean that they gain support, but they are so ostracized by the Tibetan cultural forces that be, that they have no option but to voice their opinions.

        You gotta hand it to the shugden folks for expressing their protected speech (even though it might not be one that we agree with or not). They have embraced the freedom of expression as it arises in western democracies.

        These KTD lamas waste their voices by trying to keep their heads down so Tenzin and the rest don’t curtail their activities. In this way KTD demonstrates strong tradition theocratic tendencies.

  2. Peter

    Most people in the world believe what they believe to be true is correct and are attached to that view and everyone else with a different view is wrong. Common.

    • Thubten

      That’s true.

      And to be frank, some of the vitriol aimed at shugden practice reveals a very poor reactionary response that isn’t very Buddhist.

      Sometimes to lead by example you just need to live and let live.

      Why try and control others?

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