The Tsem Tulku thread.

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Re: The Tsem Tulku thread.

Postby Alfredo » Thu Aug 29, 2013 10:11 pm

I regard the protector issue as a distraction from the more pressing concern of whether Tsem is behaving as a cult leader. I suspected as much based on his the details of his own organization's literature, but these other accounts certainly reinforce the impression, and have the ring of authenticity. Are they unsubstantiated gossip? Well, in view of Tsem's history of suing his critics (actually he has his students do it), a desire for anonymity is quite understandable. I find them at least as solid as the numerous accounts PRAISING Tsem--which, you'll notice, Kechara tends to churn out en masse. Really, I've never met a lama more obsessed with self-promotion. They say his students have quotas to meet in terms of blog comments and social media activity, much like China's famous "fifty cent-ers," and many of the posts in this thread have that tenor. You might even say that Tsem's status as a lama is unsubstantiated, except in the tautalogical social sense that he has managed to attract followers.

If you insist on focusing on supernatural issues--as opposed, for example, to the allegation that he has installed "security" cameras all over Kechara for the purpose of spying on people, and gleaning little bits of information which he can then use to impress them with his supposed psychic abilities--then may I suggest, as a more fruitful line of discussion, the issue of his emphasis on protecting his followers from black magic? Or the supernatural threats which he assures them await anyone who abandons or opposes their guru (who, you'll notice, is assumed to be Tsem)? You're probably right about the Setrap thing, though.

The larger point which this raises is, how can anyone know from afar who is a lama, let alone a lama worthy of respect? Just because they look the part, or have a glowing website about themselves, is no guarantee of authenticity. Too often Western followers of Tibetan Buddhism automatically side with the presumed authorities of their religion over their critics (see Chungyam Trungpa), without stopping to consider whether (as in that Zen story about the rampaging elephant) the critics have a Buddha Nature which also deserves to be heeded. We might stop to ask whether we, the sort of audience represented by Dharma Wheel, are not part of the problem.
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Re: The Tsem Tulku thread.

Postby michaelb » Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:22 pm

Alfredo wrote:I regard the protector issue as a distraction from the more pressing concern of whether Tsem is behaving as a cult leader.
I agree. There's a very similar situation with the NKT. Outsiders only focus on the protector issue without being aware that the group itself and the way it treats its followers is also very wrong, with a lot of cult like control exerted on members to conform and give as much time and money to the group as they can.

A healthy group exists for the benefit and personal growth of its individual members. In a cult, the members exist for the growth and benefit of the cult, and they are discarded when they are no longer useful. When one leader who answers to no one is in control and never admits they are at fault, problems happen.

Tsem Tulku makes his teachings very accessible and some people seem to really like his style, but I don't think everyone is blind to the possibility that things are not all they might be. There have been murmurings on here and other forums for some time, often arising out of suspicion at the behaviour of Tsem Tulku's students, whose gushing praise seems more than a little cult-like.
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Re: The Tsem Tulku thread.

Postby JKhedrup » Fri Aug 30, 2013 8:54 am

From Tsem Tulku's Twitter

Sadness is realizing those you trusted shouldn't have been trusted

One loses all his spiritual powers if he even thinks ill of Guru. ~ Lord Shiva (Guru Tantra)

Avoiding beneficial dharma work is saying ur laziness wins. Don't cite policies & feelings. U leave it to others to do it

Sometimes you can explain something till your blue to people. They get it. They understand but too complacent,...

Why disparage ur guru behind his back and in front smile?

Leaving an important job for an easier & more 'fun' job reflects ur selfish mind especially if u were needed so much

When we always find reasons to complain, your like the little boy who cried wolf, eventually u'll be ignored

Creating schism will make u look 'good' very short term, then u will be discovered & all respect is gone

When ur guru say this work is beneficial & should be done, u whisper behind to others u don't think so, u create schism

When ur guru says this work is good/beneficial & u say it isn't, then u have more wisdom than ur guru. You win
Once u lose my respect, I don't hate u,but I will not work with u again nor trust u. I just smile at u & send good prayers.


Saying u love someone but avoiding all works & necessaries to help the person shows who u really are. U love yourself & no one else



Examine carefully people, read between the lines. And think- if this were really for a student's benefit, why is it necessary to send this sort of stuff out on twitter? To me it indicates a person not mature enough to take the role of a guru, who is willing to use twitter to intimidate and pressure students. It is also indicative of someone who sees people being busy, or having to take care of other things in their lives, as rejection.

I don't see much spiritual maturity in these words. (Nor in my own in some cases, but I am not serving in the role of Guru or teacher...)
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
A wise man keeps them secret within.
A straw floats on the surface of water,
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Re: The Tsem Tulku thread.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:07 am

Alfredo wrote:I regard the protector issue as a distraction from the more pressing concern of whether Tsem is behaving as a cult leader. I suspected as much based on his the details of his own organization's literature, but these other accounts certainly reinforce the impression, and have the ring of authenticity. Are they unsubstantiated gossip? Well, in view of Tsem's history of suing his critics (actually he has his students do it), a desire for anonymity is quite understandable. I find them at least as solid as the numerous accounts PRAISING Tsem--which, you'll notice, Kechara tends to churn out en masse. Really, I've never met a lama more obsessed with self-promotion. They say his students have quotas to meet in terms of blog comments and social media activity, much like China's famous "fifty cent-ers," and many of the posts in this thread have that tenor. You might even say that Tsem's status as a lama is unsubstantiated, except in the tautalogical social sense that he has managed to attract followers.

If you insist on focusing on supernatural issues--as opposed, for example, to the allegation that he has installed "security" cameras all over Kechara for the purpose of spying on people, and gleaning little bits of information which he can then use to impress them with his supposed psychic abilities--then may I suggest, as a more fruitful line of discussion, the issue of his emphasis on protecting his followers from black magic? Or the supernatural threats which he assures them await anyone who abandons or opposes their guru (who, you'll notice, is assumed to be Tsem)? You're probably right about the Setrap thing, though.

The larger point which this raises is, how can anyone know from afar who is a lama, let alone a lama worthy of respect? Just because they look the part, or have a glowing website about themselves, is no guarantee of authenticity. Too often Western followers of Tibetan Buddhism automatically side with the presumed authorities of their religion over their critics (see Chungyam Trungpa), without stopping to consider whether (as in that Zen story about the rampaging elephant) the critics have a Buddha Nature which also deserves to be heeded. We might stop to ask whether we, the sort of audience represented by Dharma Wheel, are not part of the problem.
The evidence that you provide for the nature of the group is an anonymous blog where the author talks in vague terms terms about some organisation ("the company"). It could be anybody talking about any organisation.

Do you have any hard facts? Fior example: the twitter statements posted here by Ven Khedrup. But even these are not hard facts because how can one prove that these were "said" by Tsem Tulku?
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: The Tsem Tulku thread.

Postby JKhedrup » Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:09 am

Well, they are posted on his own twitter page, just google twitter and tsem tulku.

And he speaks in the first person about there being no Wifi in his hotel room, etc.

It is him speaking, I don't think he would allow his students to impersonate him in that way.
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
A wise man keeps them secret within.
A straw floats on the surface of water,
But a precious gem placed upon it sinks to the depths
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Re: The Tsem Tulku thread.

Postby JKhedrup » Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:13 am

Greg:

http://blog.tsemtulku.com/tsem-tulku-ri ... fault.html

Dear friends,

I tweet daily and about different subjects. I don’t particularly enjoy social media, but it is a necessity to bring about more teachings and knowledge to reach people.

This morning I got up and tweeted all these which I include below. It is a teaching on our views, our relationship with our teacher, practice and dharma learning. It is also on the relationship between what we tend to protect within ourselves because it’s too much to deal with. But we have to deal with it. It will not serve us to not deal with it.

Tsem Rinpoche


I don't think we can deny that these are the words of Tsem Tulku himself.
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
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Re: The Tsem Tulku thread.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:13 am

JKhedrup wrote:Well, they are posted on his own twitter page, just google twitter and tsem tulku.

And he speaks in the first person about there being no Wifi in his hotel room, etc.

It is him speaking, I don't think he would allow his students to impersonate him in that way.
That assumes that he knows that his students are acting that way.

Anyway, the thing with personality cults (and I am not assuming that Khechara is a personality cult, though their site is not to my taste) is that when the leader dies...
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: The Tsem Tulku thread.

Postby JKhedrup » Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:18 am

If these statements don't set off alarm bells I don't know what to say:
People come and go, but look at the ‘quality’ of the minds of those who left. Look carefully and think carefully about how they were. - Tsem Rinpoche

Do we really deserve a kind, compassionate and loving guru? Or do we deserve to perish with the weight of our deeds and negativities? - Tsem Rinpoche

Your wrong views about your guru is correct and everyone else right views are wrong. You are the only one who is correct? – Tsem Rinpoche

Your Dharma wisdom is greater than your guru’s and it ‘allows’ you to criticise your guru. Is that what you think is correct? – Tsem Rinpoche

You profess don’t be judgemental, but you spend your days and nights judging your guru and criticising to those around you. – Tsem Rinpoche

Criticising your gurus is your way to cover your negativities that you wish to hide from others. – Tsem Rinpoche
Criticise your guru all you want, lets ‘compare’ where you are in a few years and where your guru is. Results count! The end. – Tsem Rinpoche


Again, all about his right to be worshipped unquestioningly. I am shocked people can see posting something like this on Twitter as appropriate.
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
A wise man keeps them secret within.
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Re: The Tsem Tulku thread.

Postby Alfredo » Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:59 am

I remember one post/tweet in which he complained about his hotel room not having a bidet.

Greg:
The evidence that you provide for the nature of the group is an anonymous blog where the author talks in vague terms terms about some organisation ("the company"). It could be anybody talking about any organisation.


Now you're just being obdurate.

Do you have any hard facts? Fior example: the twitter statements posted here by Ven Khedrup. But even these are not hard facts because how can one prove that these were "said" by Tsem Tulku?


All I can do is share with you what I've heard. You'll have to make a judgement call. Technically we can't be sure of anything really--for all I know, we could all be living in the Matrix. But I hope you apply the same skepticism to Tsem, for example, when he claims to have been recognized as a tulku by Zong Rinpoche, Ganden Shartze, and/or the Dalai Lama.
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Re: The Tsem Tulku thread.

Postby Jikan » Fri Aug 30, 2013 1:20 pm

I find it unusual and disappointing, in the spirit of open discussion, that no one who has praised or endorsed Tsem in the past on this site, even in this thread, has attempted to rebut any of the criticisms made of him.

It's not unusual for one of Tsem's followers to open a thread at DW to announce how delightful a particular blog post or youtube video might be...
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Re: The Tsem Tulku thread.

Postby michaelb » Fri Aug 30, 2013 2:26 pm

It's possible that word has come down from Tsem Tulku not to visit Dharmawheel anymore. A similar thing happened with the NKT. Previously Kelsang gyatso used to post and debate on internet forums. After he stopped his close students did it for him. Once another sex scandal was exposed on e-sangha he issued a decree that internet forums were bad and his students shouldn't visit them. Cult leaders don't like criticis or their students exposed to opposing views.
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Re: The Tsem Tulku thread.

Postby JKhedrup » Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:43 pm

Setting all those matters aside, decide whether his twitter comments make you have more or less confidence in him as a teacher. That is all I will say on the matter, as those comments co e from him and require no assumptions.
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
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A straw floats on the surface of water,
But a precious gem placed upon it sinks to the depths
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Re: The Tsem Tulku thread.

Postby Jikan » Fri Aug 30, 2013 6:10 pm

Tsem's actions as a teacher are worth considering too. For instance, whom has he invited to teach his own students? Who, among the living or deceased, has he asked his students to venerate? These are matters that are publicly available, and to my mind they fall under the category of "investigating the teacher."
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Re: The Tsem Tulku thread.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Aug 30, 2013 6:22 pm

Dear Ven Khedrup, I don't know if you were a member of e-sangha back when Marcos had logged into the site (as moderator) and his kid brother jumped onto the computer when Marcos was out and raised hell all over the forum?

If the twitter messages are from Tsem Tulku then I can definitely say that (for me) they do not elicit trust and faith in him. But then again, he is not my guru. But I cannot know for sure that they are his messages. Judging from the other nonsense some of his followers engage in, I would not put it past them to use Tsem Tulkus twitter account for their twisted ends. I am sure that tsem Tulku is not the only one to benefit financially from Khechara.
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: The Tsem Tulku thread.

Postby JKhedrup » Fri Aug 30, 2013 6:36 pm

Multiple times overmultiple days, and the blog as well as Twitter?

Anyways, i will try to stay off this topic. I recognize my aversion to the marketing makes further criticism on my part unwholesome.
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
A wise man keeps them secret within.
A straw floats on the surface of water,
But a precious gem placed upon it sinks to the depths
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Re: The Tsem Tulku thread.

Postby Malcolm » Fri Aug 30, 2013 6:41 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:Dear Ven Khedrup, I don't know if you were a member of e-sangha back when Marcos had logged into the site (as moderator) and his kid brother jumped onto the computer when Marcos was out and raised hell all over the forum?



That was pretty funny, actually. We all thought Marcos had gone insane.
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Re: The Tsem Tulku thread.

Postby Alfredo » Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:33 pm

The "Inside the Company" blog has a contact e-mail for someone calling himself Alex. In view of the legal issues, Alex may resist being drawn into confirming that the site is about Kechara. However, if it were not about Kechara, surely Alex could say that. He has not (in his e-mails to me). Incidentally, I was directed to the site from another dissident, who confirmed its general accuracy (and added many more details).

As long as we're being skeptical, Tsem claims to be third in a lineage of Tsem Rinpoches. Other than his own website, how can we be sure that this lineage ever existed--that he didn't just make it up? (Help! Is there a Tibetologist in the house?)

He claims to have been initially recognized by Zong Rinpoche, who died soon afterwards (so we must take Tsem's word that this occurred). He also claims to have been "recognized and enthroned" by the Dalai Lama in 1991. Notice the photos:

http://v7.tsemtulku.com/biography/recog ... hronement/

Of course, the Dalai Lama has his photo taken with a lot of people (even that Japanese cult guy), and there is no indication here that Tsem is the center of attention. I am told that when Kechara applied to join the Vajrayana Buddhist Council of Malaysia (an umbrella group of Tibetan Buddhist societies), and was asked to provide documentation of his recognition by Ganden Shartze and the Dalai Lama, they refused. Perhaps they had the documents, but were offended. (Tsem and the FPMT groups, who were already on the council, apparently have a history of bad relations.)

When dealing with a suspected con artist, one should doubt everything the con artist says, for which the main source of information is the con artist.
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Re: The Tsem Tulku thread.

Postby michaelb » Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:00 pm

Can't someone ask HH Dalai Lama's office about this? To be honest, given Tsem Tulku's massive web presence, I'm surprised no one has already. If I wanted to check the reliability of a Gelug lama, they'd be the first people I'd ask.
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Re: The Tsem Tulku thread.

Postby yan kong » Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:58 pm

Has anyone considered that he may be a legit gelug lama just not a great one?
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Re: The Tsem Tulku thread.

Postby Simon E. » Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:14 am

Frankly all you need do is look at the videos. :rolling: The man is a total twit.
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