The Myth of Tibet

How a dictatorial regime of monks is romantically transfigured

by Colin Goldner

Translated from the original article as it appeared in the German humanist journal diesseits under the title "Mythos Tibet" [# 49/1999, pp. 14 - 15]. Reprinted and translated by Eunacom Secular Publications with permission from diesseits

This is about the people in Tibet, about their social liberation and individual self-determination. Tibet shall be free from Chinese military dictatorship. But it ought to be just as free from the violent religious fundamentalism of the Tibetan Lamas.

The "old Tibet," as it is pictured in uncountable books and writings that are common in the west today, is shown as a Paradise on earth–the mythical Shangri-La, that permitted a happy and satisfying life for her people in accord with themselves, nature, and the gods. The Dalai Lama himself gives a wordy description of the cheerful and carefree life the people had lead there. The continuous influence of Buddhism produced a "society of peace and harmony." With the occupation of Tibet by the Chinese in 1950 this paradise was irretrievably destroyed.

Modern recorded history has known for some time that the "old Tibet" was in no way the peaceful, harmonious society as the Dalai Lama constantly conjures it up. For the large majority of the people, life was indeed the "hell on earth" of which Chinese propagandists always speak, and that was used to legitimize the invasion of 1950 as a revolutionary obligation to liberate the Tibetan people.

Merciless Exploitation

The ruling elite of monks exploited land and people without pity with the help of a wide spread network of monasteries and strongholds. Bitter poverty and hunger dominated everyday life in Tibet; there were no educational or health facilities. Similar to the Hindu society of India, Tibet maintained a strict caste hierarchy, including a caste of "untouchables." Privileged and, respectively, underprivileged living conditions were pronounced and justified via the Buddhist Karma dogma which postulates that the present life is always a result of accumulated merits, and, respectively, faults in an earlier life.

The Tibetan penal code was marked by extreme cruelty. Some of the usual punitive measures that lasted far into the 20th century consisted of public floggings, amputation of limbs, gouging of eyes, pulling skin off the flesh of living convicts, and the like. Because Buddhist principles prohibits the killing of living beings, delinquents were often tortured close to death and then left to their own fate. If they died as a result of the tortures, it was considered to have been caused by their own Karma.

The Dalai Lama lately admits that the feudal Tibet was "certainly not perfect." But thereby ends his self-critique. He completely fades out the wretchedness of the mass of the population under the joke of the regime of monks. He still glosses over these conditions and thereby nourishes the romantic transfiguration of the old Tibet.

This transfigured view of Tibet, particularly in the west, is based mainly on a glaring ignorance of historical facts. Tibet’s theocratic feudalism existed in its 1950 predominant form since the middle of the 17th century, when a militant sect of the Gelugpa ("Yellowcaps"), with the aid of the Mongolians, succeeded in eliminating all domestic political opponents. This resulted in the leader of the "Gelugpa" of that time, recognized as the "great fifth Dalai Lama," pronouncing himself as the highest spiritual and secular authority of the land. Even though Tibet was assigned to the military protectorate of the Manchu in 1720, and was completely transformed into a vassal state of China in 1793, the regime of the Lamas maintained unrestricted internal power.

Occupying Power China

The 1950 Chinese occupation of Tibet was founded in this historically derived–and inherited from the empire, so to speak–self-conception of the Peoples Republic of China. From Beijing’s view Tibet counts, and counted since always (at the latest since 1720), as an inseparable part of Chinese territory; if the occupation is therefore legitimated by the law of nations or not cannot be clarified with any finality. There will probably be irreconcilable views about this even in future.

The acts of violence and destruction carried out by the peoples liberation army, particularly those carried out in the name of the cultural revolution in the years of 1960, cannot be justified or excused in any way. Nevertheless, one cannot trust, in principle, the pronouncements of the exiled Tibet supporters-scenario: These are, if not totally invented out of thin air, as a rule hopelessly exaggerated and/or refer to no longer actual happenings. The contention of the Dalai Lama’s exiled government that "the daily life of the Tibetans in their own land" are dictated by "torture, mental terror, discrimination and a total disrespect for of human dignity" is pure propaganda meant to collect sympathy points or monetary contributions; such accusations do not reflect today’s realities in Tibet. Likewise, the accusations of forced abortions and blanket area sterilizations of Tibetan women, of a flooding of the land by Chinese colonists, of systematic destruction of the Tibetan cultural heritage do not agree with the facts.

Nothing legitimizes democratically the Dalai Lamas as "King-Gods" of Tibet; rather they are, similar to the other Great-Lamas, chosen for their role on the basis of astrological and other chance-predictions by the Gelugpa. The present Dalai Lama, who sees himself as the fourteenth reincarnation of his predecessors, was chosen this way at the age of two and a half years.

Ghosts and Demons

The Gelugpa doctrine is an abstruse collection of beliefs in ghosts and demons, combined with degrading rituals of subjugation. Like all religion it is based essentially on the exploitation of shrewdly targeted fear of the hereafter. The teachings of Tibetan Buddhism are steeped in horrifying depictions of monsters, vampires, and devils. Who will not obey the divine laws of the Lamas will find himself inevitably in one of the sixteen hells. One of these consists of a being immersed to the neck in a "stinking swamp of excrements," while, at the same time, being "picked at and gnawed to the bone by the razor sharp beaks of the huge insects that live there." In other hells one is burnt, smashed, squashed, and crushed by boulders or cut into a thousand pieces by huge razor knives. And that is constantly repeated over eons. What this kind of pathological Karma craze causes in the heads of simple structured, uneducated people–not to speak of the heads of three or four year old children who are saturated with this–one can only guess with a shudder.

Tibetan Buddhism systematically raises people with crippled minds and souls. A significant component of the ritualism, to which also belong various–as a rule deeply contemptuous of women–sexual practices, is the ingestion of "unclean substances." These include five kinds of meat (bull, dog, elephant, horse, and human meats) as well as five kinds of liquids (excrement, brain, sexual fluids, blood, and urine). The in-depth reasoning for this kind of tantric rites is to obtain knowledge that "no thing in itself is clean or unclean and such notions are simply based on false abstractions." Consequently, even human flesh has to be eaten.

A whole society is victimized by such collective acts of delusion under the joke of this madness that is passed on from one generation of monks to the next. In the end, even the monks and Lamas themselves are victims who, drilled since earliest childhood, having been robbed of any chance of independent thinking and acting, cannot themselves recognize this psychopathic lunacy in which they are caught; they who, contrariwise, take their hidden and crippled self-consciousness, their spittle licking and feces eating as an expression of a higher consciousness, indispensable for the "road to enlightenment."

Note: Colin Goldner is director of the Forum of critical psychology in Munich, an information center for those injured through psycho cultures. He presented numerous published critiques of esoterica and occultism. His latest publication is entitled: "Dalai Lama — Decline of a God-King" (Alibri Publishers, Aschaffenburg, 1999).

Terror against critics of the Dalai Lama

Munich: The Munich sect and occultism critic Colin Goldner is being massively threatened. This is triggered by his new book about the Dalai Lama and Tibetan Buddhism. Among other items, sexual practices of the Lamas with children are exposed. An anonymous letter was received by Goldner’s publishing office in September [1999] in which it was stated that "he must pay for this," if his book is not withdrawn. The note was signed: "Death to the Traitor."

The Alibi publishing house received a parcel addressed to Goldner in October [1999] and it was suspected to contain explosives. In the end, it "only" contained an evil smelling mixture of feces and paper. Colin Goldner: "Here we can see how far the supposedly peacefulness of Tibetan Buddhism is going. Violence runs like a red tracer thread through the history of Vajrayana-Buddhism, even though the Dalai Lama projects a different picture.

The "review" in the Scene-Magazine Tibet Forum fits this picture; in it the Goldner book is equated with the anti-Jewish combative Nazi paper "Der Stürmer" (The Storm Trooper).

[© Translation by Eunacom Secular Publications]

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