Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Testimonial from an email

"I began to attend GP classes in the ***** area two years ago or more. I was made to feel very welcome and soon began to attend day courses and pujas at the ****** centre. Within months I was attending festivals at ****** and trying to do as much practice as possible. 6 months later I was encouraged to begin FP which I found very hard because of the pressure not to miss any classes - I am a teacher and often had school commitments - and to learn the outlines. When I got upset about this I was told I should work harder, put more time in attend more courses etc.

The festival in Singapore was on the horizon and it seemed to be suggested that the only way to progress fully was to attend in order to receive tantric empowerment. The fact that I could not get time off work was seen as my choice - I could leave that job and get another etc.

I felt increasingly concerned about NKT practices - particularly the hushed tones that met any reference to HHDL, the emphasis on Dorje Shugden and the absence of any other texts. When I mentioned reading other books it was a real tumbleweed moment.

I had been taking Prozac for depression but illness and medication were often ridiculed in teachings and I tried hard to stop taking anything which led to a further bout of illness. Since leaving I have established a lower dose in addition to my practice which seems to be a good compromise!

I left a year ago because I felt I needed to be around for my family. This was met by a coldness that shocked me. I was not encouraged to continue with any practice - I had fallen off their ideal path and was no longer useful

I have now begun to study the FBT course with Jamyang. I can read widely, think outside the box, disagree, practise with an open mind and an open heart!!!! I thank Buddha that the NKT led me to this true path now

Be happy,

***** "

from A**** in Brazil (orkut.com communities)

from A****  in Brazil (orkut.com communities):

original posting : http://www.orkut.com/Scrapbook.aspx?uid=13479327188262620242
you will need to be member to see it...

"I firmly agree with your entrance messages... but the most majority of the peoplethat I know that usually goes to these kadampa "places", do NOT know these info... They are mostly been cheated, the people that run these centers here in Brazil, sometimes even put a HH the 14th Dalai Lama 's picture in the entrance of their temple, can yo believe in that??? So, I knew people that started to go to these centers and, even after one or two years of daily Shugden practices, they didn't even know that they were actually harming HH the 14th Dalai Lama. Amazing how some people can be tricky and dishonest, even with their own sangha... Don't you agree?
Tashi Delek - and pls, Mahakala, keep on protecting us!!!
Best Regards "

New Kadampa: my own path

from an email sent to us and translated in english.

"i personally have been involved with the NKT since 2001, i have been attending

GP meetings since around that time

i'm presently on the ***** year of the foundation course, and it's my view that

the NKT has helped many people to move forward, who otherwise would have had


before i say, what i have to say next. i would draw your attention that you

inply that your acting under the influence of mahakala.

Mahakla has had a profund effect on me, in a deep and personel way, and i hope

that your actions are pure, (not motivated from peoples own bad experiences once

they have encountered obsticals)considering the karmic impact of causing people

to loose faith in their sprietual guide I contemplate the additional suffering that practitionors would experience before they can finally find liberation.

i have always considered makahala to be my dharma protector, and have relied on

him purely. during times when i have experienced discouragement i have asked him

for help and even in times when the discouragment has concerned my tradition, i

have regained the desire to continue.

i have been asked to rely upon Dorjee Shugden, but i have found that i cannot

rest my mind in his protection.

latly a friend has told me that her mind has been moved by just looking at my

wall hanging of mahakala, and this has helped her.

however, whilst i have had a representation of Dorjee Shugden in my house i

haven't had a representation of Mahakala, i have thus experienced negativaty and

obsticals in my practice. (it's of note that i'm looking for somewhere where i

can aquire an representation of Mahakala.

my present obstructions have included specicfic concerned about my own


- *********************************************************************************

-much of the publicity does not openly disclose that we are buddhists. the term

'meditation' is something that would appeal to the middle/educated classes

-ironicly, much of the membership is of a specific ethnic/social grouping

(white, educated, upper working/middle class)

-recently during the teachings on relience on the sprietual guide, this precious

human life and death, i have found the teachings to be faulty.

it's inplyed that as a result of these mediatations you should leave go

completly to normal life and competly submerge yourself in your path. (where as

i believe that there should be consistant/sustainable effort, with the final

objective of enlightenment for the sake of all living beings in mind)

i have looked through your site and whilst i don't accept everything that you

say, i feel there is at least some substance in what your saying

i'm presently away on a break in ********, but i feel it would be helpfull, if it

were possible to talk to someone, especially ordained sangha"

***** is used when we hid the information for the person to remain anonymous.

Experience with NKT from T.

t is interesting to read "Gregory's" experience with the NKT. My friend and I were only involved with an NKT Center in the ******, ***** area for a few months before we began to feel that something was very, very wrong! We had both studied Buddhism for several years and felt that we needed to locate a center to further our studies. Knowing nothing about the Dorje Shugden controversy, we entered into workshops, empowerments, and Dharma classes at the ****** NKT center, with an open mind and heart. We immediately noticed that there were no pictures of His Holiness The Dalai Lama and that the only texts studied at the center were written by Kelsang Gyatso. During lunch one day, we asked an ordained member of the center if she was planning on going to see H.H. The Dalai Lama during his visit to the ***** area. She became very nervous and quickly diverted the conversation. We found that strange, but not knowing this person very well, we assumed it was her personality, etc. Whenever we mentioned any other Dharma books, authors, etc., an uncomfortable silence always followed. In addition, we were constantly being recruited to volunteer at the center or at the cafe that the center had opened. We were told that to gain merit and help rid ourselves of negative Karma, we should volunteer as much of our time as possible to the center and the cafe. All workshops, special meditations, empowerments, etc. were expensive! We spent approximately $2000 + in less than 3 months. If we had not realized that something was seriously wrong at this center and left when we did, we were going to be asked to sign a financial contract to join the "Foundation Program". The FP program is the only real way to receive Dharma teachings and is a considerable financial obligation. They state that money is never an obstacle and that they will work with anyone who cannot afford the tuition fees, but everyone involved in the FP program works many hours at the cafe or at the center, volunteering manpower plus money. Kelsang Gyatso is viewed as a "Buddha" and his teachings are considered to be the only true, pure Dharma. Right before we left we were told that Kelsang Gyatso is a Buddha & that he has his own Mantra, which only select, ordained members of the NKT can receive and recite. When I very respectfully asked questions concerning the Dorje Shugden controversy on NKT center's internet message board, I was quickly told that I should not talk about such things because it "damages followers faith". We were quickly excommunicated from the center and from other members when we stated that we had chosen not to join the Foundation Program. We were removed from the internet message board and with the exception of a few members who contacted us via email, we were completely "shut out". We chose to explore other Buddhist centers in our area and quickly discovered the major differences between these centers and the NKT! We became members of a large Tibetan Buddhist Center under the patronage H.H. The Dalai Lama. The Dharma at our new center is ALWAYS free! Membership, is entirely voluntary and is NEVER pushed upon anyone. If one chooses to become a member for a very small annual fee, membership entitles members to numerous workshops, retreats, empowerments, and this year a teaching by H.H. The Dalai Lama. Sangha members who choose not to become members can attend any and all teachings. At our new center, the Dharma is truly free. If you choose to donate money it is only because you wish to do so and can afford to do so. Another interesting fact is that at our new center, Kelsang Gyatso's books are available in the center's library! In their minds, there is no controversy & these issues are non-issues! Our new Sangha members, many of whom are Tibetan refugees, are warm, friendly, and caring. Sangha members laugh, socialize and have lives outside of the Dharma Center. Members are never pushed into volunteering or giving money. In fact, if you are interested in volunteering, you must approach the center's administration to arrange it. There are several former NKT members at our new center and they all have similiar frightening stories. We also know several other current NKT members who are struggling, attempting to pull away from the NKT, but fearful of leaving. They are so emotionally torn that they hide the fact that they read other Dharma texts and that many of them came to see H.H. The Dalai Lama in ****, 2007 in ****** They hide this for fear of how their fellow NKT members will treat them. My friend and I are so relieved that we realized that something was terribly wrong at the NKT center in ****** and walked away before we suffered any further spiritual, emotional, or financial damage. I have always felt that I am "too strong" to fall prey to a cult, but the NKT is very "smooth". Members are pulled in before they realize what has happened. New members are slowly coached into blindly following the teachings of Kelsang Gyatso and the Center's Spriritual Leader. Many of the members have given up their homes and have moved into a "Dharma House" where they are expected to contribute financially to both the Dharma House and the Center, as well as volunteer their time to work at the Cafe. We once spoke with an ordained member of the Center who had recently lost her job. She made a statement that she must find employment soon because she was unable to "pull her weight" financially. I pray for the safety and spiritual well-being of NKT members. Lord Buddha suggested that followers always question his teachings and find the "truth" for oneself. Blind faith in any one person, in this case, Kelsang Gyatso, is dangerous and closes one's mind, heart, and other options. PLEASE DO NOT RELEASE MY NAME OR EMAIL ADDRESS IF YOU CHOOSE TO POST THIS EMAIL ON YOUR WEBSITE! I DO NOT WISH TO BRING ANY HARM TO ANY OF THE NKT MEMBERS OR THEIR FAMILIES, BUT I FEAR FOR THEIR SAFETY AND EMOTIONAL WELL BEING!

Wishes for Peace, Harmony, Laughter, & Love,

A Concerned NKT Refugee!