Tenzin Peljor: Profile of the CTA’s chief disinformation officer

 

The opinion piece below was sent to dorjeshugden.com for publication. We accept submissions from the public, please send in your articles to [email protected].

 


 
The following articles by UK-based independent journalist, Indy Hack are important to read. It reveals the extent to which the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) is prepared to go, to trick the unwary public into supporting its illegal ban on the practice of Dorje Shugden. The Dalai Lama and CTA have never had any legitimate reason to deny Shugden Buddhists their right to religious freedom. Instead they rely on smear campaign experts such as East German-trained Michael Jäckel who goes by his monk name Tenzin Peljor to do the dirty work.

As Indy Hack uncovered, Peljor, together with his cohorts like Robert Thurman, Joanne Clark and Carol McQuire are well-funded and have secretly started a number of websites and are also behind a number of social media campaigns that spread the CTA’s propaganda on the Dorje Shugden issue. Behind the façade of an ordained monk, Indy Hack exposes Peljor’s malevolent activities that have directly harmed the Gelug lineage and trust in Tibetan Buddhism. For more from Indy Hack, visit arebuddhistsracist.com.

 


 

Tenzin Peljor – Disgruntled Monk or CTA Puppet?

In researching the issues around the Dalai Lama controversy I was surprised to see the same group of names kept cropping up. There appeared to be a small Dalai Lama fan club that was aggressively promoting its “anti-protest” stance and within that group there was one name that seemed to dominate all their activities – Tenzin Peljor.

I stumbled across Mr Peljor early in my research, or to be more precise I had been directed to several of his websites for “authoritative and independent information” on the subject. It would appear that he has become an “unbiased expert” according to his friends in the group, but what they don’t mention are his close ties to the Dalai Lama and the exile leadership.

They also fail to mention that he has been aggressively campaigning against the protests for over 8 years and that he runs numerous websites registered under different aliases and tries to influence online discussions using several false identities. On further inspection Mr Peljor’s activities are anything but “unbiased and independent“, and more closely resemble those of an activist promoting a specific and clearly defined agenda.

His “independent websites” are listed as resources for journalists by the Tibetan exile leadership, he is promoted to journalists by Tibetan NGOs, he is the media spokesperson for the German Buddhist organisation DBO, and he targets any journalist and publication that portrays the protests in a positive light. For a monk whose main activities are teaching at a Buddhist centre in Berlin he is remarkably active and engaged in this controversy, almost as if it was his full-time job.

As with all the sources I come across in my research I did some background checks to see if he was as independent as he claims and to what degree his presentation of information could be influenced by those it benefits. Scratching the surface of his ‘independent monk’ facade revealed quite a bit more than I had initially suspected.

 

An ex-NKT Member

Tenzin Peljor is often very up front about his prior involvement with the NKT, after all he uses this as a basis for his credibility when it comes to the protests. He joined the NKT in 1995/96 according to his biography, becoming ordained in 1998 and later disrobing and leaving the group in 2000.

Both Tenzin and the teacher he had in the NKT decided to leave at the same time, after which he continued to be her student. He took ordination again in 2002 in Nepal, but disrobed after only 2 months and began studying with a new teacher from the Rime tradition.

In March 2006 after 4 years in Rime he then took ordination from the Dalai Lama in India, who gave him the name Tenzin Peljor.

It was soon after his ordination, that Mr Peljor began to take an interest in countering the protests. His approach followed much the same modus operandi as the Tibetan government, namely to try and undermine the credibility of the protests by attacking the NKT.

It’s worth noting at this point that prior to the protests the Dalai Lama had no problem with Geshe Kelsang Gyatso or the NKT. He had written the foreword to Geshe Kelsang Gyatso’s book, “Buddhism in the Tibetan Tradition“, and a note of praise in another of his books, “Meaningful to Behold“. It was only after the protests began that the Tibetan exile leadership started to attack Geshe Kelsang Gyatso and smear the NKT, attempting to label it as a cult.

Following his ordination by the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Peljor remained in India and began to assist the Tibetan government (CTA) with their disinformation campaign. He began by editing pages on Wikipedia, rapidly becoming the main editor for the page about the NKT.

His attempts to redefine the NKT on Wikipedia however seem to have been so clumsy that it aroused the suspicion of other editors. In describing Tenzin’s approach one of the Wikipedia editors stated:

“I’m very concerned that the opinions and viewpoints of a relatively small number of individuals is drawn upon as the source material for a large portion of the article, which is representative of the point of view of a single editor who, in his determination to ensure that the article fully describes his own perspective, has dominated the editing process.” (ClockworkSoul, 23rd October 2006)

 

The Birth of the Survivors

As Tenzin’s campaign to discredit the NKT on Wikipedia was starting to lose ground he then switched tack and focussed his attention towards online Buddhist chat groups, in particular he became very active on a group called e-Sangha. It was on this group that he struck up a friendship with David Cutshaw, a disillusioned ex-NKT member and encouraged him to start a new discussion group.

The group that Tenzin wanted Mr Cutshaw to set up was to be focussed only on the negative aspects of the NKT, it was to be named the “NKT Survivors” group and any pro-NKT messages were to be strictly forbidden. The idea was that the group would encourage people to leave the NKT and only post their negative experiences and opinions of them. Their rules state:

“No NKT members/followers/students are allowed.
If you are happy with the NKT, and have no desire to leave, this group is not for you. If you join anyway trying to post and try to get Yahoo to delete this group, we can only assume you are a troll trying to cause disharmony. Such people will be banned and removed at once from the group.”

Tenzin offered to support David in the creation of the group, but wanted to avoid being directly linked to it as its creator. In this way Tenzin had found the perfect surrogate to continue his online activities against the NKT.

The group was created on May 22nd 2007 and Tenzin was the first person other than David to post on it. He assisted with moderating the group, approving new members, editing its settings, and profile.

At the time of the groups creation Tenzin was still residing within the Tibetan exile community in India, however a few weeks later he was promoted to the position of Resident Monk at Bodhicharya Centre in Berlin. From his new base in Berlin he continued to be central to its development, shaping the “survivors” group and focussing its narrative portraying the NKT as a cult.

After a few months the group appeared to be achieving the goal Tenzin had failed to accomplish the previous year with Wikipedia.

On 31st Dec 2007 he posted to the group stating,

“At the New Years Day I will move to Italy, Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa, and pick up a qualified study there for the next 6 years.”

adding,

“I will leave the forum at the New Years Day…If there is anybody who feel he can support David’s moderator activities, please let him know privately.”

Instituto Lama Tzong Khapa is a centre of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT) a Tibetan group that follows the Dalai Lama. Clearly the FPMT centre approved of Tenzin’s activities because within 2 months of his arrival there he resumed his activities on the “survivors” group.

 

Weaving Websites and Alliances

In April 2008 another series of protests began as the Dalai Lama visited the US. In response to these Tenzin created two websites registered under an alias which according to him offered, “fair, neutral, and balanced information regarding NKT and Buddhist cults in general.

The websites were registered under the false name of Losang Tashi, to an address in Gotha, the town in East Germany where Tenzin was born. In a post on May 21st 2008 to the “survivors” group he said, “maybe we use the power of the many people here and the motivation to protect others (giving fearlessness) by setting up 1-2 websites.

Rather than offering fair or neutral information both websites were a continuation of his online campaign to undermine the protests by attempting to discredit the NKT. Had his intention been wholesome you would need to ask why a Buddhist monk with vows against lying was using a false name when registering websites?

Then in July 2008 Jamyang Khedrup posted a comment promoting one of Tenzin’s websites under a New York Times article about the protests. What I found interesting was that as I dug deeper into Tenzin’s background I found the same people who have been involved with his campaigning for a long time.

By this point in my research I had already encountered Jamyang Khedrup whilst investigating his involvement with the LamaGate hacking scandal, but I had no idea his involvement with Tenzin stretched as far back as 2008.

The reason I didn’t know Khedrup’s involvement went so far back is because he was posting to the ‘survivors‘ group using a false identity. For 6 months in 2008 Khedrup used the name Lobsang Jangchub in numerous posts to the group. Many people responded to his comments addressing him by the name Lobsang. At no time did he ever try to correct them or explain that wasn’t his name.

The fact that both Tenzin and Khedrup were using false identities whilst posting comments to the ‘survivors‘ group raises significant questions about the accuracy of other users identities and claims.

Significant discrepancies have already been uncovered with Khedrup’s accounts of his involvement with LamaGate, and here is yet another occasion where his credibility is called into question.

 

The Hidden Hand

Seeking to expand his sphere of influence beyond his own websites and the “survivors” group Tenzin began to strike up a relationship with Dialogue Ireland, a website which focuses on religious movements. Prior to Tenzin’s involvement his friend, Joanne Clark had also been in touch with them to offer her services as a self-proclaimed “expert” on Tibetan Buddhism.

Tenzin and Joanne’s approach in the Dialogue Ireland forums seemed to follow a pattern of promoting both Tenzin’s websites and the “survivors” group. In his attempt to form a stronger bond with Dialogue Ireland, Tenzin wrote to them explaining his position:

“I am much interested into the dynamics of Nazi, Stasi, dictatorship, totalitarian systems, and I am an admirer of Jay Lifton and Margaret Thaler Singer. I run also a website about the dynamics of Buddhist cults in German language. So we share quite a lot.”

Yet when they tried to ask him questions about his background he became very defensive, refusing to answer them. Tenzin said,

“I don’t see any use to answer. My experience recently at DI [Dialogue Ireland] was that whatever I say will be misunderstood or misinterpreted and finally twisted.”

adding

“Also I am not interested in any online discussion about me. East German biographies can be complex.”

A common theme in Tenzin’s response to critics is that they are “twisting” the facts, especially when someone is trying to pin him down on a specific point. It’s interesting that Tenzin used to be in the National People’s Army (NPA) in East Germany, which was strongly influenced by the Soviet Armed Forces, working as a radio operator.

His comments about the protests often accuse them of using ‘agitprop’, which is a Soviet style of propaganda, a methodology he would have been all too familiar with from his previous training. Unfortunately he didn’t expand on his “complex” biography, so we don’t know what type of activities he was employed to perform by the NPA, or what areas his training encompassed.

In 2013 Dialogue Ireland started to use Chris Chandler as their expert on Tibetan Buddhism and approached the issue as a problem with Lamaism, rather than just one or two specific traditions. Chris, who had been involved with Tibetan Buddhism for 30 years, raised the issue that Lamaism is a form of Tantric Hinduism. So it was not a question of focussing on the NKT as a cultish form of Buddhism, but was a case of finding the exact same tendencies and attitudes in all forms of Tibetan Buddhism, including those following the Dalai Lama.

Their new outlook limited the degree to which Tenzin could manipulate their website to promote his own agenda and when they began to look into Ringu Tulku Rinpoche, one of Tenzin’s teachers, he disengaged from them completely. (You can read Dialogue Ireland’s article about Tenzin Peljor in full here)

By this point Joanne had already left the Dialogue Ireland site, but when she heard that Chris was their new expert she returned with a vengence. As one person said, “She was like someone high on drink, totally under the influence.

Dialogue Ireland stated:

“However since Chris has been the catalyst for our understanding of Lamaism as the cultist form of Buddhism Joanne has been like a Banshee on our site morning, noon and night. She disagrees with Chris’s analysis but can’t just get up and go. She is now camping on the site.”

 

A Sudden Increase

Following his failed attempt at using Dialogue Ireland to undermine the NKT, Tenzin Peljor spent the following years expanding the number of his own websites that he could control and direct, rather than having to rely upon others. During this period his group of websites grew from two to eight, and everything was proceeding as normal for him until 2014.

Prior to 2014 the protests generally garnered a relatively small degree of media coverage. Whilst they were mentioned on several newscasts in the mainstream media it was often along the lines of the Tibetan government’s media briefing notes, so the issues behind the protests were rarely covered.

That all changed in Oslo when the Dalai Lama returned to celebrate his Nobel Peace Prize and the media took a greater interest in the protests. This attention seemed to gradually build from one protest to another which prompted a corresponding increase in activity from Tenzin Peljor and his compatriots.

In the 8 months prior to May 2014 there were on average 16 messages a month posted on the “survivors” discussion board, however in May this figure jumped up to 144 messages. The vast majority of them were posted over the days when the protests were taking place in Oslo.

At the same time the “survivors” were asking what they could do to counter the protests the exile leadership were asking the exact same question, and before long the two groups were working hand in hand. The “NKT Survivors” became the “NKT Survivor Activists“, and at the request of people associated with the exile leadership they began a new phase in their campaign to try and discredit the protesters.

One of their first actions involved the creation of a declaration against the protests by ex-members of the NKT. Originally this was presented as coming from Carol McQuire and Tenzin as a spontaneous idea of their own.

On 5th November however Carol admitted that it wasn’t their idea saying,

“we were asked to do the declaration, it didn’t come from us, but we thought it was a great idea and agreed to do this as it would help the situation.”

adding,

“Once we were asked to join in, we haven’t looked back – it’s been so inspiring working with a load of amazing people”

There was a slight problem with the first version of the declaration though, it included the following text, “We acknowledge there may be some problems within the Tibetan community that need to be addressed“. This had to be removed from subsequent versions of the declaration before the exile leadership would allow it to be put on the CTA’s official website.

In explaining this on his own website Tenzin let slip, “One of the initiators of the declaration wished for a change“, then he presented both the old version and the changed version.

The declaration was then added to the Tibetan government’s official website (Tibet.net) at the very top of the page dedicated to the Dorje Shugden controversy. The significance of its placement should not be underestimated. It appears before any statements from the CTA and the Dalai Lama, which is somewhat unusual for a declaration signed by only 24 ex-NKT members who are supposedly unconnected to the exile leadership.

 

A New Website

Despite all the best efforts of Tenzin and the CTA the media was undeterred. They continued to take an interest in the protests and the Dalai Lama found himself facing questions about them during every press conference. The coverage in Hamburg seemed pivotal in that it was both widespread and also became the top news story on Google about the Dalai Lama.

Following Hamburg a new website was created specifically for the media to counteract the protests. It was a website that was designed to be both anonymous, yet have the support of Tibet House in the US. No name was associated with it, no contact details, and it was registered through a domain proxy service, designed to keep the registrant’s details hidden.

At the bottom of the website the disclaimer stated:

“Official Tibet Houses are cultural centers of HH the Dalai Lama, non-profit organizations devoted to the preservation of Tibetan culture. This site appears with their approval since, while not responsible for producing the site or its content, the misrepresentations of Tibetan culture generated by this controversy distort and negatively affect the public perception of Tibetan culture.”

It was all very mysterious and Tenzin Peljor made no mention of the website until someone posted a comment on his website drawing his attention to it. He pretended to know nothing about the website until this comment on October 19th, however he had set one of his own websites to redirect to this new website two days previously, on October 17th.

The mystery deepened when I was discussing some of the controversy with Professor Robert Thurman on the fateful night of the LamaGate incident. It seemed that Professor Thurman was confused about who I am and was convinced that I had suggested to him that he should create the website.

On 30th October Prof. Thurman stated to me that, “we prepared shugdeninfo.com for you @IndyHack“, adding, “We produced this site on your suggestion @IndyHack

I was a little baffled to say the least. Prof. Thurman was saying quite clearly that he was involved with the creation of the new website (shugdeninfo.com) and yet Tenzin Peljor had redirected his own domain name (shugden.info) to Thurman’s new site. It was too much of a coincidence for me to drop and I was encouraged that there was now a direct link between Thurman and Peljor, albeit a slightly difficult one to prove categorically.

Fortunately Tenzin helped out with that a few weeks later.

 

When is a Coincidence not a Coincidence?

When you’re dealing with investigations it’s tricky to pin down exact evidence to prove your case – people sometimes lie and when you catch them out they usually refuse to admit it. Often times you also have to deal with associations of probabilities, you look for groupings of supposedly unconnected events that push the boundaries of coincidence.

The fact Prof. Thurman had admitted direct involvement with the shugdeninfo.com website was a welcome and unexpected gift. It went beyond the mere approval of the site by Tibet House US and indicated that he had been directly involved in its creation with one or more other people. The fact that Tenzin was redirecting his domain to the site before anyone had told him about it on his blog was also helpful, as was his pretense not to know about it until that point, but it still wasn’t enough.

Then there was another unexpected gift, Tenzin updated the registration of his domain (shugden.info) through the same anonymous service as shugdeninfo.com and hosted it on the same servers as shugdeninfo.com. Now both domain names had exactly the same settings.

In the screenshots below you can see that Tenzin originally registered shugden.info using his legal name, Michael Jäckel and used the address of Bodhicharya Centre in Berlin.

Shugden.info (before)

Shugden.info (after)

Shugdeninfo.com

Out of all of Tenzin’s various websites and domain names this is the only one that is registered through the anonymous proxy service WhoisGuard Inc, it is also the only one that is hosted through Cloudflare.

 

Conclusions

When delving beyond the facade of a ‘simple monk’ or ‘independent expert’ we find that Tenzin Peljor’s background is far from simple or independent.

Here we have someone who in their youth was a Radio Operator in the National People’s Army, and who is familiar with the Soviet style of government propaganda. By his own admission he is, “interested into the dynamics of Nazi, Stasi, dictatorship, totalitarian systems” and has a complex East German biography (including his own Stasi file).

He’s an ex-NKT member, so that would account for his interest in speaking out against them, but there’s a huge gap of 6 years between him leaving the NKT and beginning his online campaign against them, which doesn’t tally. The timing of his campaign seems more closely related to his ordination by the Dalai Lama than his experiences within the NKT.

Moreover his approach to attacking the NKT seems to be in response to their involvement with the protests, rather than being a “survivor“. He began to develop his own websites only in response to the protests in 2008.

Tenzin claims the purpose of his websites are, “to counter the misinformation campaign of the NKT“, yet his own approach appears to be promoting the disinformation campaign of the Tibetan exile leadership. He also created a declaration and canvassed for signatures on it because he was instructed to by people who objected to even the slightest criticism of the Tibetan community.

His new website in response to the media coverage of the protests in 2014 appears to have been created in collaboration with Professor Thurman, who is alleged to have tried to solicit anonymous to hack protesters Twitter accounts (more here). His domain which redirects to the new website is also now hidden behind the same anonymous registration service that Thurman used.

Overall Tenzin Peljor’s campaign against the NKT seems more related to the protests than any negative experiences he had whilst being a member of the group. The level and depth of his involvement over such an extensive time period goes beyond the expected response of a disgruntled “survivor“.

Mr Peljor appears to be an activist who is promoting a clearly defined and well structured campaign. The fact that his campaign started whilst he was living within the Tibetan exile community in India seems to indicate the main influencing factor behind it.

He is well funded and has significant resources and time to invest in this issue that don’t fit with his role as a resident monk at Bodhicharya Centre. For instance at one point he offered to fly to Ireland to discuss his Stasi background when issues about it arose.

The logical conclusion is that Tenzin Peljor is acting in accordance with the wishes of the CTA as one of their de facto agents. The persona he projects as being an ex-NKT “survivor” simply trying to right the wrongs he experienced is nothing other than a smokescreen.

The problem he has with this facade is that it is poorly crafted and badly executed. When exposed to a sustained investigation it crumbles to reveal his close involvement with, and oversight from, the Tibetan exile leadership.

 
Update – 30th Dec 2014

Today Carol McQuire has publicly accused me of lying and taking advantage of Tenzin’s current ‘absent‘ status. In a recent post on social media she said that Tenzin is currently on retreat at Drepung Monastery until April, so she has sprung valiantly to his defense.

Amongst the various inaccuracies in Carol’s post she has likened the timing of this article to, “someone in a boxing ring deliberately hitting a last strike after the whistle has been blown“, claiming it is published at a time when Tenzin is unable to respond to it. This is untrue.

Carol posted her comments a few hours after Tenzin had posted a new article on his blog. Tenzin had also posted a comment on social media about his new article 2 hours prior to Carol’s post. So her claim that Tenzin is somehow absent from this situation is incorrect.

If he is on retreat at Drepung Monastery as claimed then it is a retreat which allows him to continue to work on his blog and social media. As usual with Tenzin and his friends their accounts often crumble when a small degree of scrutiny is applied to them.

She is also incorrect in stating that the initial version of the ex-NKT declaration was posted on the CTA website – Tibet.net. It is only the version which contains no reference to any criticism of the Tibetan community that was ever posted on Tibet.net.

Carol said,

“the first version of the declaration was already published on the CTA’s website before the second had even been thought of. How sad that such an enormous theory of political intrigue that IndyHack has developed has quite differing origins.”

As you can see from Carol’s own posts she requested that people approve the change on August 26th:

It was only after the declaration had been changed that it was allowed to go on the CTA’s official website, Tibet.net. As you can see from Carol’s own post it was not on their website prior to September:

So Carol’s claim that, “the first version of the declaration was already published on the CTA’s website before the second had even been thought of“, is a lie.

It’s another example of Tenzin and his friends playing fast and loose with the truth.

She did at least admit that Tenzin Peljor primarily attacks the NKT because he is, “involved in looking after the Dalai Lama’s interests in the most profound way“.

Unfortunately for Carol her desperate attempt to try and refute the claims made in my article only destroys her own credibility.

Source: http://www.arebuddhistsracist.com/tenzin_peljor.html

 


 

When Buddhists Lie

3rd March 2015

When I began researching the Dalai Lama controversy I expected to face a certain degree of lies, deception, and misinformation, but as it turns out this expectation was greatly underestimated. Even when politicians have been caught lying they can often hold their hands up and apologise, yet I encountered some Buddhists who seemed to find this impossible.

As I’ve mentioned previously it’s a strange feeling to find supposedly spiritual people who manage to make politicians look ethical by comparison. During my research there have been three exceptional examples which warrant an article in their own right.

 

Tenzin Peljor

Tenzin is without doubt the most compulsive and active promoter of misinformation regarding this controversy that I have encountered. He has good reason since he works for the Central Tibetan Authority (CTA) and has been actively promoting their propaganda for over 8 years as a previous article uncovered.

When asked about Tenzin, Dr. Suzanne Newcombe, a researcher with the religious watch charity Inform stated,

“We are aware that he works towards the [sic] promoting the Dalai Lama’s position on various issues.”

adding,

“it is clear from his many public websites that Tenzin Peljor works actively in ways that support the agenda of the CTA.”

Due to his rather sketchy East German military and Stasi background Tenzin aroused the suspicions of Dialogue Ireland whom he was trying to co-opt into his propaganda campaign against the protests. A member of that group who had extensive knowledge of East Germany queried several serious discrepancies in Tenzin’s biography. Rather than explaining this Tenzin instead began to attack Dialogue Ireland accusing them of twisting the facts – an accusation he frequently directs against anyone who fails to agree with his stance.

In addition to running multiple websites under various false names Tenzin also operates several different online identities which he uses to try and create the appearance of people agreeing with his views. After creating the “survivors” group with David Cutshaw, Tenzin engaged in several online conversations between some of his different accounts to make it appear that people were speaking out.

One such identity Tenzin used for this was named York Johns (yjohns2000) which was a similar user name style to David Cutshaw (davcuts2000). Tenzin also set up a You Tube account under this pseudonym where he uploaded several videos to use in his various websites.

The unusual aspect of York Johns You Tube channel is that it contains a large number of German language videos, several of which feature Dr. Birgit Schweiberer, a teacher from Instituto Lama Tzong Khapa, where Tenzin spent several years studying. Both Tenzin and Birgit studied under Geshe Jampa Gyatso at Instituto Lama Tzong Khapa, which makes York Johns decision to upload Birgit’s teachings to his You Tube account a somewhat unbelievable coincidence, unless of course he was Tenzin.

Throughout Tenzin’s history in this controversy he has systematically lied and deceived people. From using fake names to register websites, aliases to falsify online “survivors” accounts, and blatant lies about his activities in India, Tenzin is about as trustworthy as a snake oil salesman.

To the casual observer he appears to be a normal Buddhist monk, who has strict vows against lying. In accordance with Buddhist traditions if it is shown that he has knowingly lied he ceases to be a monk because he has broken a root vow. So far I have exposed just a small fraction of the lies Tenzin has told.

He is a Buddhist monk in the same way that Valerie Plame was an energy consultant. That was her cover whilst being a CIA operations officer and “monk” is Tenzin’s cover whilst being a CTA operations officer. The only difference is the agency they work for.

For example in late December 2014 Tenzin wrote on his blog that he would be away in India until the end of April 2015 and he would be, “offline during that time“, so no comments or articles would be added until he returned. He later amended this on 1st January 2015 because he needed to upload some more articles to the site. He stated:

“I had a change of the schedule in India and some limited internet access. Therefore there was a bit time to confirm comments and to add some additional posts. I might be able to continue this until the 3rd or latest 5th January and then I am totally offline as I said already.”

In actual fact Tenzin was in India not to engage in a strict retreat without internet access but to work with the CTA to counter the protesters online campaigns. The CTA were very concerned they were losing the battle online and the coverage of the protests in the US and Italy had them very scared.

Tenzin has been online almost every day since he’s been in India, working in part on the Wikipedia pages related to the protests, trying to build support for the ban. This is similar to the role he had in 2006 when he first began working for the CTA.

He’s also found time to review comments and articles for his website. Carol McQuire has continued to claim that he is offline and unable to respond to any claims made about his activities. However she is in touch with him via email and has submitted articles for his blog, the latest of which he published on 27th February 2015.

At the time of writing this Tenzin has so far managed upload new articles as well as edit and approve comments on his blog on 19th January, 21st January, 27th January, 29th January, 30th January, 31st January, 2nd February, 8th February, 11th February, 15th February, 16th February, 25th February, 26th February, 27th February, and 1st March. In fact for someone who is supposedly “totally offline” Tenzin has been updating his own blog with a somewhat miraculous diligence.

Tenzin was lying about being “totally offline“, from 5th January onwards. The truth is that he’s been online and very active for the CTA ever since his arrival in Dharamsala. Which brings a very important question to bear – how can a genuine Buddhist monk lie so blatantly and still be a monk?

The answer in Tenzin’s case is quite simple, he’s not really a monk, he’s an operations officer for the CTA.

 

Carol McQuire

Tenzin’s preeminent recruit in his fight against the protest movement is Carol McQuire, an ex-NKT member. In Carol’s own words her, “greatest refuge for a long while was Tenzin Peljor“.

Although Carol doesn’t work as an employee of the CTA she works for them principally through Tenzin, and whereas Tenzin receives regular payments from the CTA Carol receives only occasional renumeration from them. One such example was her recent trip to Basel as their special guest.

During her time there Carol had privileged access to the event in return for helping Tenzin with his work to oppose the protest movement. A source within the movement who was in Basel stated that during the first day of the protests Carol attempted to gain access to the protest area. She was stopped by the International Shugden Community (ISC) security as she didn’t have a valid pass.

Despite failing to blend in with the ISC protesters she spent long periods of time observing the administrative area and photographing it. It was the opinion of the person I spoke to that she was trying to gather as much information as possible about the organisers and which Tibetans were involved, presumably to feed back to Tenzin.

Carol has continually refused to explain how she managed to attend the Dalai Lama’s teachings in Basel since the event was sold out months in advance. She also dismissed claims that she received any favourable treatment from the CTA or was allowed any privileged access.

However Carol has now posted a picture she took from the side of the stage area when the Dalai Lama was teaching (shown below).

As you can see from this image the access Carol was given by the CTA is not in any way normal. As well as being a highly privileged position it is also a highly dangerous one given her close proximity to the Dalai Lama. It is therefore impossible for anyone to be in this position without having received a high level of clearance from the CTA’s Department of Security who are responsible for the Dalai Lama’s personal security during such events.

Not only does this photograph demonstrate that Carol is considered to be of significant value to the CTA, it also shows that her handlers are connected to senior members of the exile leadership.

As well as assisting Tenzin with managing the “survivors” she has been their main representative with the religious watch charity Inform. Both Carol and Tenzin have spent considerable time and effort trying to unduly influence Inform’s information about the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT) as explained in a previous article.

When that article was first published it contained a screenshot of Carol claiming that Inform had asked her to participate in the Dorje Shugden discussion at the SOAS University in London. Carol responded to various parts of the article but didn’t dispute the screenshot of her comment.

It was only when a follow up article was published 2 weeks later which included a response from Inform that Carol suddenly tried to refute the statement. She deleted the comment that was taken from Facebook and claimed that I had forged the screenshot.

Previously she also lied about the CTA’s involvement with a “survivors declaration” she claimed to have organised. Carol stated that it hadn’t been altered following instructions from the CTA and that the first version of it was published on their website. Screenshots of Carol’s own comments around the time showed that she was lying by making these claims (see more here).

 

Linda Ciardiello

As part of the CTA’s fight back against the protesters online campaign several of Carol’s associates have taken to Twitter using various pseudonyms. Whilst most of the battle appears to be a ping-pong game of memes from either side it occasionally steps over the bounds of campaigning into hate speech and bullying.

One such instance occurred between the @LaughingDaquini account and Jan, an ISC protest member. Over the course of a few hours @LaughingDaquini accused Jan of creating an image of the Dalai Lama which she found offensive and seeking to, “destroy the Dalai Lama“.

This sort of rhetoric is quite normal for Twitter and for clashes like these, however @LaughingDaquini took it a step further by targeting Jan’s employer and encouraging other users to target them with tweets. What followed was a blatant case of bullying and harassment which was clearly designed to have a negative impact on Jan’s employment.

This type of approach is quite typical of the controversy and what we see in the example of @LaughingDaquini is simply a microcosm of the same approach the CTA takes where they publish the names of protesters and encourage other Tibetans to treat them as outcasts. Rather than addressing the issues the protests raise, namely that of discrimination and segregation, the CTA and its supporters just attack protesters and attempt to bully them into submission.

In my own dealings with @LaughingDaquini I challenged them that they were in fact Linda Ciardiello. Eventually they made a mistake and Linda published the following comment on Facebook:

I had made no threat whatsoever to Linda and I find it somewhat childish that she would make such a claim. What I found interesting though was that I had never communicated directly with Linda, I had only communicated with @LaughingDaquini. Yet here she was stating I had sent her a tweet, clearly Linda Ciardiello is also @LaughingDaquini.

Following this I tweeted the error and she immediately deleted her comment and claimed I had forged it. It would seem that Carol’s approach to being caught out is now the standard protocol – delete the comment, lie about it, and accuse me of forging evidence.

To be honest I don’t know what I find most offensive, being accused of forging evidence or being accused of forging such tediously insignificant pieces of evidence.

 

Conclusions

The three examples above are by no means the only ones I’ve encountered, they simply illustrate the main trends in this controversy. I’ve lost count of the number of lies I’ve heard, and I’ve lost track of the amount of time it takes to check each one.

From the stock CTA lie that the protesters are funded by China all the way through to lies about forging evidence, each one is convenient, but totally unsupported by any evidence. It seems that Tenzin and his associates have spent so long spinning lies and having people believe them they think they can get away with saying anything.

The problem for people like Carol is that if they claim to represent ex-NKT members with genuine grievances they are completely undermining themselves. With each lie and each falsification they gradually destroy not just their own credibility, but that of other ex-members.

They are obviously highly motivated to criticise the NKT, both financially and in terms of ongoing access to the Dalai Lama, which will play a role of introducing significant bias into their comments. When that bias is also conjoined with clear evidence of lying their credibility is practically non-existent.

If they have an ability to lie and an incentive to lie, then how can Inform or anyone else who deals with them give credence to their comments?

Whilst they may think they are being clever and getting away with making up events to suit their agendas the reality is the opposite.

If Tenzin is honest, as a Buddhist monk is supposed to be, then why is he lying about being offline in India? Why did he lie when he created false users and false accounts for the “survivors” group? Why did he lie about his military and Stasi background in his biography? Why did he lie when he used false names to register websites?

If Carol is honest and a credible “survivor” then why did she lie about the CTA’s involvement with the declaration? Why did she lie about Inform asking her to be on the panel of the Dorje Shugden discussion? Why did she lie about the CTA giving her access to restricted areas? Why is she being given such special treatment by the CTA?

If Linda is honest and credible then why did she lie about her comment on Facebook? Why did she lie when she said I forged it?

This all goes back to the very heart of this issue – if there is no discrimination and persecution of Shugden Buddhists by the Dalai Lama and his government then why are there so many lies?

If these people are lying to protect the Dalai Lama then what else are they lying about?

 
Update

4th March 2015

In a continuation of her online antics Linda Ciardiello has continued to make false allegations about me. Normally I ignore most of these, but when people are wrongly named as being me it puts their life in danger.

I have publicly explained several times to Dalai Lama supporters that I have received credible threats to my life and I have security precautions in place to mitigate against these risks. Other people who aren’t me don’t have those measures in place and when people recklessly name someone as being me they put that person in serious danger.

It is beyond ironic that Linda accuses me of threatening her and at the same time threatens someone else and puts their safety at risk. Her post is shown below:

The person who has independently researched the matter is an associate of Robert Thurman and is loosely connected to the Anonymous hacking collective. He attends Tibet House in New York and is very much against Shugden practice.

He’s currently on a US National Security Agency (NSA) watch list and he threatened to hack into several protesters Twitter accounts around the time of the LamaGate incident. This is the type of person Linda, Carol, and Tenzin think will add credibility to their cause.

In addition to lying about me forging evidence Linda also lies about this person’s background and independence on the issue. She uses that as justification for endangering someone’s personal safety and the safety of their family.

Below Carol is shown repeating the same false accusation with absolutely no regard for the named person’s welfare or safety. She admits the information comes from a “hacker“, but that clearly doesn’t bother her.

This again illustrates my point that people like Linda and Carol, who claim to be representing ex-NKT members undermine their own credibility by lying and bullying people. What they fail to understand is that in so doing they also undermine the credibility of any ex-NKT members they represent who may have genuine grievances.

It seems very clear they are more concerned with protecting the reputation of the Dalai Lama than in helping ex-NKT members. To that end lying, bullying, threatening, deceiving people, and relying on hackers all appear to be acceptable methods for them.

Source: http://www.arebuddhistsracist.com/when_buddhists_lie.html

 


 

Yet More Lies

7th March 2015

It comes with the territory of investigative journalism that people will lie both to you and about you. As I explained in a previous article, When Buddhists Lie, some of the Dalai Lama’s western supporters will happily lie if it helps to suppress the truth about issues in the Tibetan exile community.

One such example, Tenzin Peljor, has responded to some of the accusations against him with a post on one of his blogs accusing me of being an, “ill-informed conspiracy theorist“. Now I know that Tenzin isn’t my greatest fan, but this is going a little far.

It’s a cheap shot simply to try and dismiss these accusations as a conspiracy theory. Also, one of the burdens on someone making such a claim is to show some weakness in the evidence against them. Tenzin’s approach to this is simply to deny everything in an affronted tone.

In itself this is nothing new, I’ve encountered it time and again when exposing lies. To try and defend themselves people simply tell more lies, which is exactly what Tenzin did.

One of the lies I exposed is that Tenzin claimed he was offline whilst being in India. He specified that from 5th January 2015, “I am totally offline as I said already.

I refuted this lie by stating that Tenzin had been online almost every day since his arrival in India as he was working for the CTA in countering the protests against the Dalai Lama’s ban. I provided evidence for this by showing that Tenzin had been actively updating one of his websites, publishing articles, and approving comments on it on 15 separate dates between 6th January and 3rd March.

Ironically Tenzin’s defence of himself relied in part on his ability to read my article and write a response, which he published on 4th March, again proving that he was lying about being offline in India.

Interestingly Tenzin’s main concern is about “Inform“, a religious research charity he stands accused of manipulating, and their comments about his websites. The particular comment from Inform he spends much of the time trying to refute is, “it is clear from his many public websites that Tenzin Peljor works actively in ways that support the agenda of the CTA.

He seems to take great exception to this comment, yet he shows no interest in explaining why he lied by using a false name to register two of his websites to an address in Gotha, his childhood home town, as shown below:

It is the same address in Gotha he used to register another domain (info-buddhism.com) using his legal name, Michael Jäckel.

Inform, who now appear to be floundering between criticising and defending Tenzin’s online activities, claimed in his post that:

“The opinions voiced on these website [sic] are his as an individual. In particular, on http://info-buddhism.com/ Tenzin Peljor promotes a range of independent academic opinions, some of which are critical of the CTA, and Tibetan Buddhism more generally.”

I don’t know why Inform believe they can state as fact that the opinions voiced on his websites, “are his as an individual“. It seems a very strange comment for an independent researcher to make. What facts or evidence does Inform use to make this assertion? Just Tenzin’s claim that they are his independent opinions.

By now I’m starting to see a pattern with Inform, but I’ll come back to that in a future article.

For the time being it is worth bearing in mind that the info-buddhism.com website is the same as the info-buddhismus.de website, one is English and one is German. So why did Tenzin lie when he registered info-buddhismus.de?

Another assertion Tenzin makes is:

“I am not working for the CTA nor did I set up or run the website http://www.dalailamaprotesters.com. However, I gave them permission to use articles from http://www.info-buddhism.com and after their request I gave them also the domain http://www.shugden.info which I bought for another purpose.”

Dalailamaprotesters.com began life as shugdeninfo.com, which shares a close resemblance to Tenzin’s domain name shugden.info. It also contains content almost exclusively from Tenzin’s websites.

On 12th December 2014 Tenzin published an interview he had organised with Dr Robert Barnett on his info-buddhism.com website. What Tenzin doesn’t know is that on 10th December, Dr Barnett revealed to an International Shugden Community (ISC) member that he had just been contacted by the organisers of the dalailamaprotesters.com website.

Dr Barnett stated that prior to that contact he had no knowledge of the website, nor the person who contacted him on behalf of it. Clearly that person can’t have been Robert Thurman as Dr Barnett knows Thurman very well.

It’s a somewhat unusual coincidence that days after the organiser of the dalailamaprotesters.com website contacted Dr Barnett, Tenzin published an interview with him on his info-buddhism.com website. Of course this isn’t definitive proof of any direct link between Tenzin and the dalailamaprotesters.com website, but there are a lot of coincidences surrounding it.

For instance they initially used a domain name very similar to the one Tenzin had registered under his own name. Why not use the one Tenzin had already? Because this would tie Tenzin directly to the site.

So a similar name was used which was registered under an anonymous domain registration service. Tenzin’s own domain name was later re-registered under the same anonymous service.

The reason that Tenzin’s shugden.info domain name couldn’t be used to host the site is because no matter how many times it was re-registered it would always have the original registration details on its record, so it would always lead back to him.

When the dalailamaprotesters.com website was launched (under the name shugdeninfo.com) it contained content exclusively from Tenzin’s websites. Over time it has added an occasional article from other sources, but initially it was only his content.

To summarise, the website Tenzin claims not to have set up or run contained content exclusively from his own websites, was on an almost identical domain name to one he had registered under his own name, and he also redirected shugden.info to the new site.

Add to that Dr Barnett’s revelation that he was contacted by the operators of the website days before Tenzin published an interview with him and the probability of Tenzin lying about his involvement with dalailamaprotesters.com is extremely high.

 

Conclusions

Perhaps this is all just an elaborate ill-informed conspiracy theory as Tenzin would have us believe? If so, why have Tenzin and his friends been caught lying so often?

  • Why did Tenzin lie about being offline in India?
  • Why did he lie about his name when registering his websites?
  • Why did he lie when he pretended to be York Johns?
  • Why did an expert question his East German military and Stasi background, and why did Tenzin refuse to explain the inaccuracies?
  • If he isn’t working for the CTA then why did Tenzin only begin his activism against the NKT after he had taken ordination from the Dalai Lama in India? Why didn’t he begin it in any of the 6 years prior to that?
  • Why did Tenzin lie and claim Lobsang Jangchub wrote an article about Sera Monastery when he knew it was written by his friend Jamyang Khedrup?
  • Why did Carol lie about Inform asking her to be on the SOAS discussion panel?
  • Why did she lie about deleting the comment showing this on Facebook and then claim I had forged it?
  • Why did Carol sit so closely to the Dalai Lama in Basel if she doesn’t have contacts in senior positions within the CTA?
  • Why did she lie about the CTA’s involvement in drafting the “survivors declaration” and when it was published on their official website?
  • Why did Linda Ciardiello lie about an ISC member to their employer accusing them of creating a meme and seeking to, “destroy the Dalai Lama“?
  • Why did she delete a comment exposing her as the operator of the @laughingdaquini Twitter account and then lie about me forging the comment?

I don’t expect them to have the courage to be truthful in these matters, rather I fully expect them to continue to lie and deceive people. Sadly for them I will continue to expose their lies and take away their most useful tool, as Stephen King once said:

The trust of the innocent is the liar’s most useful tool.

Source: http://www.arebuddhistsracist.com/yet_more_lies.html
 

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5 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. Indy Hack again did a real thorough research on this creepy Tenzin Paljor. Look at his picture, he looks totally off his rocker and a pervert. His cross-eyed or something. I would never let young boys go near Tenzin Paljor as the rumours go.

    What kind of monk goes around posting nasty comments on people on social media? Monks should meditate, learn dharma, be humble, be tolerant and set a good example for others. People like Tenzin the Nazi sympathizer should have stayed in East Germany where he was good at spying on people for the then East German government. He is a very nasty and bad monk. TENZIN PALJOR should just shut up and stop wearing Buddhist monk robes. He is a disgrace.

    If the Dalai Lama’s government hired Tenzin Paljor to do their dirty media works, I lose respect for Dalai Lama.

    25496916440_cd7fdac293_b

    wpid-buddhist-monk-with-gun

  2. India tightening its grip on the Dalai Lama and Tibetans

    The Indian Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has directed Himachal police to tighten its grip on Tibetans meeting His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Those Tibetans without paperwork showing individual identity and establishing legal credentials of their arrival in India will be turned away from seeing the religious leader. Undocumented Tibetans have been arriving in India, usually from Nepal, where they are aided by the Tibetan communities there. India seems to clamping down of Tibetan activity, from cancelling Thank You India events in Delhi and now restricting Tibetans from seeing the Dalai Lama. What else with the Indian government do next?

    Norms tightened to meet Dalai Lama

    DHARAMSHALA: Following directions from the ministry of home affairs (MHA) in recent past, the Himachal Police government has tightened the norms to meet the Dalai Lama, even for Tibetans coming from Tibet. The move was aimed to ensure the security of the spiritual leader at McLeodganj near here.

    Well-placed sources said that there were many Tibetans, including monks, who enter India through the porous border of Nepal to meet the Dalai Lama. The MHA has directed Himachal Police that no one could meet him without having his individual identity established from his documents.

    When contacted about this development, Kangra SP Santosh Patial confirmed that a letter had been received in this regard. But he refused to divulge the details of the same. “Police has received a letter and this is for the security of the Tibetan spiritual leader only, which says that we can only allow a person to meet after his individual identity and legal credentials of his arrival to India are established,” he said.

    Inquires revealed that the Tibetans generally arrive in Nepal from Tibet. They were received by the refugee centres there and further assistance was provided to them by Indian and Tibetan authorities for their visit to India.”

    https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/shimla/norms-tightened-to-meet-dalai-lama/articleshow/64485961.cms

    TOI07062018

  3. Wish people would practice the dharma instead of so much time wasted on attacking Dorje Shugden and people who are their practitioners.

  4. Things are going to be very different for Tibetans in India from now on as Sino-Indian relations get warmer by the day. India has vowed to firmly adhere to the one-China policy and ensure Tibet-related issues are handled ‘properly’. This means India will tighten her grip on all Tibetan-related activities. So, the trouble-making Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) better watch themselves and not create further problems that may antagonise China. This is something India will no longer tolerate.

    China, India Vow To Strengthen Ties
    China and India have extensive common interests and they have far more consensus than differences, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.
    All India | Indo-Asian News Service | Updated: June 06, 2018 17:05 IST
    PRETORIA: China and India working together will accelerate their common development and contribute to the progress of human civilization, Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.
    Mr Wang made the remarks on Monday in South Africa’s capital Pretoria during a meeting with Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on the sidelines of the formal meeting of the BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday.
    China and India have extensive common interests and they have far more consensus than differences, Mr Wang said.
    The two sides should take bilateral relations and people’s fundamental interests as a starting point at all times, properly handle problems and differences and prevent the interests of one party from affecting the overall interest, Mr Wang said.
    The two sides should earnestly safeguard peace and tranquillity in the border areas in accordance with the consensus reached by their leaders and avoid taking actions that might complicate and aggravate the situation, Mr Wang said.
    China and India should strengthen coordination and play a constructive role in promoting the development of BRICS cooperation, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and other multilateral mechanisms, he said.
    Sushma Swaraj said the informal Wuhan meeting between the leaders of India and China enhanced mutual trust between the two countries, strengthened cooperation, made the parties more comfortable with each other and achieved unprecedented success.
    She said India will firmly adhere to the one-China policy and properly handle issues involving the core interests of China such asTaiwan and Tibet-related issues.
    India and China, as the two largest emerging markets and developing countries, share a common position in safeguarding the international political and economic order and promoting the improvement of global governance, the Indian Minister said.
    https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/china-india-vow-to-strengthen-ties-1863429

    ChinaIndiaVowToStrengthenTies

  5. Ex-Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche caught sleeping in a meeting

    The representative of the Dalai Lama and former prime minister of the Tibetan government in-exile Samdhong Rinpoche during an important meeting having a nice sleep. The Tibetan government in-exile are run by people like this who have no control over their body and manners. They only stay awake in the meeting if there is FREE aid money coming their way to line their pockets. Shameful how Samdong Rinpoche is sleeping in the middle of a meeting and he represents the Tibetan government in-exile. This is why after 60 years Tibetan leaders have failed to get Tibet back but blame others for their failures. Shame!

    http://video.dorjeshugden.com/comment-videos/comment-1528941530.mp4


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.…Instead of turning away people who practise Dorje Shugden, we should be kind to them. Give them logic and wisdom without fear, then in time they give up the ‘wrong’ practice. Actually Shugden practitioners are not doing anything wrong. But hypothetically, if they are, wouldn’t it be more Buddhistic to be accepting? So those who have views against Dorje Shugden should contemplate this. Those practicing Dorje Shugden should forbear with extreme patience, fortitude and keep your commitments. The time will come as predicted that Dorje Shugden’s practice and it’s terrific quick benefits will be embraced by the world and it will be a practice of many beings.

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