Robert Thurman is one piece of work. He must be with split personalities. Seriously, how can one person who is so learned in Buddhism and good "pals" with the Dalai Lama not have learnt anything about SPEECH! I will not even question about compassion and kindness. After all he did disrobe and return his vows. On this fact, his books should be doomed, then again many exploit the ignorant ones who are simply in pursuit of Buddhism. If only they knew what happens on the other side of his brain.
Robert Thurman should write a book entitled "Self-Reflection: Results of an Un-Transformed Mind"
Maybe its not split personalities, but a weak mind. only someone who has a weak mind can be so easily influenced and swayed. Which brings us the question: how can such a well established scholar that can explain all the philosophies and tenets so well be this weak and fickle? Does it still make sense in some way because if someone like that can talk so much about the teachings and be a celebrated scholar yet has such an unstable mind, does it mean that Lord Buddha's teachings are ineffective? Does it mean that the Dalai Lama has failed in being an effective teacher? If the Dalai Lama is Chenrenzig and a very highly acclaimed teacher, then his teachings are effective, and what bob is just a very bad representation of the Dalai Lama if this is the case. He should really be checking his conduct and be more worried about his body, speech and mind to reflect the Dalai Lama well instead of acting like an immature court jester who is only around to make the Dalai Lama happy and write propaganda material instead of real Dharma. I guess having the best lama in the world does not save oneself from samsara, nor does it equal to spiritual progress.
In a way, however it is, his writing might be technical, but if you really read about what he writes, it is very very dry. It feels as though he is writing a textbook and not a Dharma book. There is no feeling, but only facts and probably some opinions or two or it. IN Helmut Gassner's article, he mentions that the Dalai Lama will first give the person a hug and then persuade them to give up Dorje Shugden. HHDL's hug is very powerful and it floods the person with love and it can be very overwhelming, according to Helmut Gassner, and perhaps this is what made bob turn tail as he thought that this is what he is looking for and this is what he wants. But in doing so, he becomes the Dalai Lama's lapdog instead of a scholar that helps bring people's minds to Buddhism and to dispel the ignorance of people. In a way, it is sad to see how people degenerate due to incorrect motivation.