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Interview with a Tibetan Lama

A Tibetan Lama on a Cultural tour in America shares his perspecitve on a variety of subjects
Lama Agha
Lama Agha
Joe Mickey speaking during presentation of Tibetan Photo Project
Joe Mickey speaking during presentation of Tibetan Photo Project
Interview with a Tibetan Lama
Approximately 750 words
Conducted by Joe Mickey
Interpreted by Tenzin Norbu
Copyright Joe Mickey/The Tibetan Photo Project
 http://www.tibetanphotoproject.com

Introduction

A group of Tibetan monks and Lamas touring the United States provided an opportunity for a first hand view of how Tibetans in exile view the loss of their homeland to occupation by the Communist Government of China and the prospects of returning home.

Tibetans consider the Lama in as one of the most respected members of their society. The position is usually determined at an early age (The current Fourteenth Dalai Lama is considered to be both the secular and spiritual head of Tibet and was recognized at the age of 4. He was located in the village of Takster in Tibet by monks following a series of visions and signs after the death of the thirteenth Dalai Lama.) The position of Lama is believed to be gained through work and deeds of past lives and is therefore highly respected in Tibetan Culture.

Lama Agha is 29 years old. At the Time of this interview he was on his third cultural tour of the United States. During the interview Lama Agha was very impressive as he answered with a exceptional clarity and in assured style in which his answer seemed to begin without hesitation and in a manner that was as if his first word were the very next word in the sentence containing the question. This is consistant with his advanced Buddhist training to be in the current moment.

Speaking through interpreter Tenzin Norbu, the director of the cultural tour the Lama responded to questions.

Interview With Lama Agha

Q: Under what conditions did you leave Tibet?

Lama Agha: I left Tibet at the age of 13. The only education provided by the Chinese was indoctrination. I could not read or write. Through relatives in India my parents learned that I could get an education only if I left Tibet.

The Chinese sometimes give permits to older people to leave Tibet because they come back. The do not give permits to young people so I had to escape through the mountains. That took two months. My parents felt that as Tibetans we had a moral responsibility to learn Tibetan Traditions.

Q: How much are you in touch with developments in Tibet and those of China?

Lama Agha: I can not keep in touch that much. Most Tibetan language newspapers in India only come out once a month or once every two weeks. We have access to the internet once in a while on tour. There are some contacts that are made through people that travel to Tibet. But no, we can not follow the subtle points.

Q: The occupation by China has been more than r40 years, nearly a generation. Some Chinese have been born in Tibet and some Tibetans have been born in India. What would Tibetans in exile face if they could return to Tibet?

Lama Agha: In 40 years there has been much culture damage. As Tibetans in exile we are able to preserve the Tibetan Culture. What I hope is that Tibet would be a peaceful and compassionate and loving country. There is a real danger they may loose their culture. Through contacts in the country we encourage that Tibetans retain their culture, and hope very hard thafthey still feel as Tibetans.

Q: If the current situation were to go on a long time before it changes how would Tibetans in exile return with the original culture when they may be returning to a country where they could be a minority.

Lama Agha: We will have to send Tibetans to revive the culture. We will have to teach. Tibetans in exile feel it is their responsibility to maintain the culture of Tibet that existed before the Communist Chinese came.

Q: Reports have said that the Chinese are rebuilding some of the monasteries. How does this make you feel?

Lama Agha: It is superficial. The Communist Chinese do this because they are very embarrassed. They only build the building. They don't give human rights or the right education inside the building to study properly. The Communist Chinese rebuild the buildings only for propaganda.

Q: What do Americans have to gain from working to save Tibet?

Lama Agha: For last 40, 50 years Teachers, monks, nuns, lamas have formed centers or traveled to the United States. Quite many Americans have benefited from their teachings. Tibetan culture has tremendous potential to contribute to every culture, make it more peaceful. Many people will benefit from saving Tibetan culture, medicine and teachings of compassion and love. Tibetans can also gain... from the modern exchange and technology.

This tour has been for the last 10, 15 years. Not many people come at first. After 10 years people are more receptive because they have seen and realized the value of our culture towards compassion, loving and a peaceful world. More people are becoming involved.

Q: The introduction of Tibetan Cultural programs raises the interest in the Buddhist religion. This is a very complex religion where should Americans start if they devblop an interest in the Buddhist religion?

Lama Agha: Maybe better to follow ones own heritage. Religion is to help you have a happy mind and that is possible through each religion. Each Religion suits a different mind. Like food; for some sweet, for some sour. Religion is food for the mind. To understand the profound and higher practices, one has to give up ones present life and go and study.

# # #End

homepage: homepage: http://www.tibetanphotoproject.com


8 questions for the 14th Dalai Lama 20.Dec.2003 21:21

GRINGO STARS

Over the last 25 years thousands of people worldwide have been initiated into the highest levels of Buddhism by the 14th Dalai Lama. Fundamental to this initiation is a holy text (tantra), namely the Kalachakra-Tantra, part of which is the Shambhala Myth.

Kalachakra is Sanskrit and means "wheel of time". In recent times the Kalachakra-Tantra has been increasingly critically scrutinised. In our western debate-oriented society it stands to reason that the Dalai Lama himself answers some of these critical questions in order to ensure that any misinterpretations are corrected.

1. Why does the Kalachakra-Tantra which supposedly is a "ritual for world peace" prophesy and glorify a holy war (Shambhala war) by Buddhists against non-Buddhists?

2. Why does the Kalachakra-Tantra, which is supposedly a contributor to a world ecumenical movement and a world ethos, attack the 3 monotheist-semitic religions, especially Islam, named as "enemy of the Dharma", and swear a religious war against Islam?

3. Why does the Kalachakra-Tantra promote the institution of a "Chakravartin (a world emperor) who should set up a global Buddhist "Theocracy", a buddhocracy - this in direct conflict to your continual protestations of a belief in democracy?

4. Why do you promote unmoral and criminal acts, such as killing, lying, stealing and adultery, amongst the initiates of the different Buddhist Tantra-texts, especially the Kalachakra-Tantra - this in opposition to your promotion worldwide of social-ethics?

5. Dalai Lama, although you insist that Tibetan Buddhism is a celibate and woman-friendly religion, women are sexually abused and treated in a sexist manner during the higher rites of the Kalachakra-Tantra in order for the initiates to achieve spiritual, worldly and patriarchal power.

6. Dalai Lama, why do you forbid public discussion of the secret rites of the Kalachakra-Tantra to the extent of threatening "the punishments of hell" to all those who might talk?

7. Dalai Lama, why do you have maintained contact with people from the ranks of religious fascism and sect terrorism such as Bruno Beger, Jean Marquès-Rivière, Miguel Serrano and Shoko Asahara, all of who have been inspired in their visions and behaviours by the content of the Shambhala Myth?

8. Dalai Lama, why have you not written a exegesis on the problematic statements in the text of the Kalachakra-Tantra, which distances itself from the war-mongering, intolerant, sexist and buddhocratic statements in the Tantra?

 http://www.trimondi.de/EN/deba03.html

Why does Gringo Star wrtie the Dalai Lama here? 21.Dec.2003 13:36

Joe Mickey tibetanphotoproject3@hotmail.com

Q. Why would Gringo Star post questions to the Dalai Lama here?
A). He knows the Dalai Lama is not reading this so he is not likey to have his position challenged.
B). He is so out of touch he thinks the Dalai lama is reading this site and will answer him here.
C). This is a standard cut and paste propaganda attack since it is not actually relevant to the article it comments on.
D). all of the above..

Folks Gringo Stars is anonymous and he has been on a rampage about Tibet since I first wrote. His questions are handpicked to support his bias.

The problem with anonymous, Mr. or Miss Star can now retuen under another name with additonal attacks.

What is most telling, Gringo Star attacks even this effort by the Tibetans themselves to gain a voice.

The reason readers should be wary, Gringo looks only for views that make his or her point and while some are drawn from valid resources, Gringo's personal effort here is trying only to validate his or her or the Chnese government's own opinion. In another comment on another article Gringo told us that he or she reads "mostly socialist and communist" writtings to form hisher or its thought process and this would then fall in line with China's position on Tibet.

Most important to Gringo's view is the point that, very much like the Chinese, he or she does not belive Tibetan's should define their own culture... Obviously there are valid writtings and research on all sides of the issue and Gringo Star (not his or her real name), sounds suspisciously lke a Chinese web watcher I once corresponded with a couple years ago as he or she selectively chooses sources that make his or her or the Government's point. This is not research, but how propaganda is made. Like Fox news is fair and balanced. By the way you will never hear a bad word on China because Fox owner Rupert Murdoch has a standard speech he makes against the Dalai Lama as psrt of his efforts on behalf billions of dollrs of deals working or pending in China.

The Tibetan Photo Project is an effort born from the Tibetan's themselves and Gringo Star runs a cut and paste critque regardless of the position of the article. That alone should make the reader skeptical although I admit it makes a cut and paste response easy.

I have offered to have a private email conversation with the anonymous Mr. or Miss Gringo Stars but he or she is not interested. I would simpl caution that you take his or her postition with a skeptical eye. Gringo took this up in a past article and is like it like a fly on ... or like a Chinese Web watcher. In that past effort he could only name one source... this new attempt looks like a list from a quick run around the net . I don't know what to make of Gringo stars at this point.

Regarding research we have conducted for the Tibetan Photo Project
Chinese sourses have included but not exclusive The China Central Television, Wenhui Daily, Takung Pao. The current hardcopy file of research for the Tibetan photo Project both positive and negative includes 10,000 articles and the conclusion we offer is the same as the one we made when we initially wrote the articles when that hardcopy file stood at 3000.

As a resource the project has been included as a link by Harvard Asia Studies Center for the Dalai Lama's Sept. visit, the Africa and Asia Studies at University of London and Virginia University. We have been asked to speak at Colorado College (twice) Mendocino College, UCCS

Most importantly, in respect for the nature of the readers here, we at the Tibetan Photo Project are not anonymous. As the Author of the Article, my name is posted, my email for contact is posted.


Resource information: Research was conducted from a wide range of sources: Major news network web sites included but were not limited to: CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, C-Span. Special programs included the Congressional debate on normalizing trade with China, PBS documentary on Nixon in China and Senate hearings on military security in Asia-Pacific. A&E Biography of the Dalai Lama. Resources on the web included but not limited to: The South China/Hong Kong Daily News, www.tibet.com, www.tibeticlt.org, www.savetibet.org and the Tibet Information Network. A hard-copy file dating back to April 1999 of approximately 3000 news paper and magazine articles from several publications including (but not limited to): The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Los Angeles Times, Associated Press Reports, Time, Newsweek, The New Yorker, Snow Lion Press, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The San Francisco Examiner, The Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Outside Magazine, national Geographic Magazine and archives, Smithsonian, Rolling Stone, and several other publications. Books included, but not limited to "In Exile From The Land Of Snows" by John Avedon, "Tears Of Blood" By Mary Craig, and "Whispered Prayers" by Steven Harrison and "Ethics for the New Millennium" by the Dalai Lama.

(No endorsements or associations are made or implied. Research all organizations before donating or supporting)

As founders of the Tibetan Photo Project we don't post anonymously, Joe Mickey
As founders of the Tibetan Photo Project we don't post anonymously, Joe Mickey

Sorry again about the Typo 21.Dec.2003 13:46

Joe Mickey tibetanphotoproject3@hotmail.com

Once again, I don't claim to be a typist

the title of the resonse to Gringo Star should read

"Why does Gringo Star write the Dalai Lama here"

Happy Holidays and if on the coast... Enjoy the Chrismas swell
Happy Holidays and if on the coast... Enjoy the Chrismas swell

because you are his loyal apologist, Joe 21.Dec.2003 14:14

GRINGO STARS

So, do you have any answers for the above 8 questions? I guess not. Lamism is sexist and warlike, and plans a worldwide bhuddocracy. You can't refture the tantras, can you? The problem with organized religions is that they are full of shit, and are mostly systems of control with which to gain individuals political power. The God-King is a hypocrite, and is no Tibetan and has not been for a very long time. I agree that Tibet should be in the hands of Tibetans, not hypocrite God-King EX-Tibetans who act against the very tenets of their own dogma. Please comment on what I have to say rather than me. I could go on about ME forever, but I think that would be boring for the readers of IndyMedia, as well as completely off the topic of Tibet/the God-King. I am not Tibetan, after all.

A history of the Dalai Lamas (the political pawns of the Lamas);
 link to www.american-buddha.com

Why would I answer a question you addressed to the Dalai Lama? 21.Dec.2003 15:14

Joe Mickey tibetanphotoproject@hotmail.com

This is an earlier quote from the anonymous Gringo Star on religion
"No, Joe, I am not a christian. Christians are just as much soul-killing politickers-of-spirituality as Buddhists or Lamaists are, and I prefer not to live my life by dogma. Spirituality is highly personal and sacred, but religion is dogmatic and political and has no place in the soul. Such is my not-humble opinion."

Now the tact is to try to pit one religion against another as if one were bad and one were good and as is very consistant to his style he or she does not offer the source for his or her or their information and since I doubt he or she or they are not fluent in the text they quote I would appreciate the source of their information and since his questions are addressed to the Dalai Lama I would suggest that he contact the Tibetan government in exile for an answer as this is not the topic of the main article

All of it might make some sense if Gringo star had not written a comment titled "I am God" by Gringo Star

and worst of all, Star whoever or whatever he or she or it is ( Since it could be a government voice for China) is even taking offense at even the smallest voice among the tibetans having a voice for preserving their culture and their heritage by thier own choosing in their own voice..

remember readers we don't post anonymously... Gringo star could be one or he could be a whole team of Chinese propagandists


Gringo won't even allow the Tibetans to speak for themselves 21.Dec.2003 15:27

Joe Mickey tibetanphotoproject3@hotmail.com

Whatever Gringo's sources - its ONLY resources who he feels reflect his views... He says the Tibetans should decide, just not if they disagree with all of his information which is generated by non-tibetans.

He ignores that since he left China, the Dalai Lama has moved hos people to the beginnings of a democracy in exile. Gringo likes the term God-King when he refers to the Dalai lama because its suits his arguement but again it is a term the Dali Lama rejects. and so on...

Tell me this Gringo Star, and try to stay with reality , if not for the Dalai Lama, who would give the Tibetans a voice on the world stage and bring to light China's oppression and human and cultural genocide?

But given your position then it appears you feel the cultural genocide is acceptable... yes or no

i don't hide from my opinion, Joe Mickey speaking at colorado college
i don't hide from my opinion, Joe Mickey speaking at colorado college

View the Project and judge for yourself 21.Dec.2003 16:49

Joe Mickey Joe Mickey, co-founder of the Tibetan Photo Project

Note on Gringo
Gringo star does not believe that Tibetans should have their own voice. Or at best he feels qualified to name who that voice should be. See his or her comments under any of the other articles on Tibet. He drops in cut and paste rhetoric.

Visit the Tibetan Photo Project for yourself... It is made up of the efforts of the lowest Tibetan monks, secular Tibetans and Tibetans with families... In creating the program I have only invited the Tibetans to show me what they want the West to see.. and with every article, i have submitted them to my tibetan friends and asked them to tell me if I have got anything wrong or misstated... Above all the project is desinged to create another voice for the Tibetans.

I ask Gringo and the readership to consider, beyond the Dalai Lama, what is the voice and chance of survival on the world stage for tthe Tibetans.

I do not care about this discussion with gringo star. He is just a coward who hides from his or her own proclamations. But the fact that he or she gets a voice, it is important for readers to have a perspective on voices like this...Voices that hide in the sahdows and take no responsibility for the hate they attempt to generate...

From my talks to groups and organizations.
"Do not misunderstand, the Tibetan culture, is not a perfect culture, it has all the frailties of any other social or religious system ever developed on the planet and within that system you can find all of the human sins... but it is the Tibetans' culture and they have a right to determine their own way in the world. Beginning in 1949, the Chinese government, which is not the same as the Chinese people, began to take away the right of the Tibetans to determine their own culture that had evolved over centuries according to the anthropological needs of their nature and the remote land the inhabit."

"Tibetans have no economic or military power, they are largely a symbol. We have destroyed the American Indian, the Aborigines and countless other indigenous people. There is still time to get it right for the Tibetans. In this process they too have evolved. They fled to India and built a refugee community from the ground up. One of the government in exile's first effort was not to build a religious school but a secular school that with little resources, was the first attempt to help prepare Tibetans in exile for a different world."

"No doubt there are problems. There have been Lamas who prefer the trappings of their position of power and have spent time building elaborate temples and there have been Tibetans who have concentrated on the political needs and policies that are needed to help gain support from a vast array of organizations need to help the refuge population... this is not a religious quest for me as I am at best a skeptical agnostic but a human one... I have read the writings of many Tibetans and my correspondence with the monks has been personally rewarding as It has been to many Americans if you look at the Dalai Lama's standing on the best seller list. I took on this project because I felt I had received a great deal and The Dalai Lama is the main voice that brings recognition to the Tibetan cause...this project helps develop another voice, from regular Tibetans who are married and have families and to monks who have chosen that life and who feel that is the best thing they can do to preserve the Tibetan culture. Make no mistake there are people who do not believe the tibetans should have this voice."

"Finally, I have no money to be doing this... so before I decided to commit to this, I researched because I know that the Tibetans have as much an agenda as anyone else for their cause... Tibet has its good and its bad because its human... but it is noble because of what it represents and what it aspires and what it inspires. For that, we deserve to give something back."

Visually and respectfully,
Joe Mickey, co founder of the Tibetan

Joe Mickey, co-founder of the Tibetan Photo Project
Joe Mickey, co-founder of the Tibetan Photo Project

Still no answers, Joe? 22.Dec.2003 00:17

GRINGO STARS

Why haven't you even addressed the questions I ask of Lamaism, Joe? Not afraid of the truth, I hope.

You seem to think that Lamaism is the answer for Tibetans, even though it is a feudal, warlike, undemocratic system as evidenced by the holy tenets of Lamaism. You also buy the hypocrisy of the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama goes against the tenets of Lamaism when he promotes democracy. Lamaism promotes a martial Buddhocracy that will wage endless war against non-Buddhists. How is that democratic, "Joe"? Don't take my "Red Chinese Spy"-word for it, though;

An Interview with Victor and Victoria Trimondi:
 http://www.trimondi.de/EN/interv03.html

The warlike, undemocratic nature of Lamaism;
 http://www.trimondi.de/Kalachakra/dec.eng..htm

links concerning the dangerous shortcomings of Tibetan Buddhism/the Dalai Lamas;
 http://www.american-buddha.com/CULTS.htm#CULTS

The Dalai Lama justifies WWII, the Korean War, and the Afghani and Iraqi invasions/occupations;
 http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/mld/ledgerenquirer/news/nation/6738361.htm

I was a Tantric sex slave for "celibate" Lama Kalu Rinpoche, under threat of death - by June Campbell;
 http://www.trimondi.de/EN/deba02.html

CGringo Star is a lesson in the creation of propaganda 22.Dec.2003 14:08

Joe Mickey / Founder fo the Tibetan Photo Project tibetanphotoproject3@hotmail.com

Dear readers

If you have come this far, for all its frivolity you have received a lesson in the construction of propaganda. In this case is clumsily created by the faceless pen name of Gringo Star. When asked to provide identity or qualify his background on his position, he insults readers with a picture of a dog that he says is Gringo Star.

With this article, one point by Gringo star that is not fivolity... it is shameful that Gringo Star would deny the monk in this interview his right to speak for his own homeland. There is a job waiting in China for Gringo Star if he is not already there.

By following his posting sequence, we first see he offers a position. It is only when the validity is challenged, he supplies only information sources that support his point.

For example, his source of the pen-named authors, Victor & Victoria Trimondi, he conveniently makes no mention that the authors also point out support for the message of peace and compassion by the Dalai Lama. Gringo Star only presents that which supports his only position.

Confirmation of Gringo Star's sources is, for the most part, an extensive process.

In journalism, knowledge of the source is required to understand who the source is, their background, agenda and who if anyone finances and publishes or otherwise controls their efforts. Initial research of Victor & Victoria Trimondi reveals that their bios and interviews are self contained or self created, and while they provide identifications for themselves, even this will not be readily available to the casual reader and therefore this is not enough to ascertain credibility.

In another example, I would certainly challenge Gringo Star's headline "The Dalai Lama justifies WWII, the Korean War, and the Afghani and Iraqi invasions/occupations;" vs. the article he presents as proof for his headline.

 http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/mld/ledgerenquirer/news/nation/6738361.htm

A reading by any balance minded person will not find the propagandist point of view Gringo Star uses in his headline to sell the Associated Press article.

It also has to be pointed out when I referred to the same source earlier in the discussion, Gringo Star said of mainstream media, "You are a member/product of the corrupt corporate press. Must feel nice to be part of a very-well-financed, self-perpetuating system of so-called information." I guess if Gringo Star thinks the "corrupt corporate press," can be manipulated to fit his propaganda then its okay

In another example, Gringo Star lumped The Dalai Lama's Nobel peace prize with Henry Kissinger and the nomination of George Bush. The intelligent reader will ask if this means there is no person on the Nobel Peace Prize list that Gringo Star would agree with or is this another selective application to fit his propaganda?

And so on for Gringo Star's selective understanding or propaganda against Tibet and Tibet in exile.

To borrow from another comment that appeared on this topic and I am close to closing

((( "My $.02 worth" 21.Dec.2003 23:07
By xyzzy

Before anyone denounces me or other critics of Tibetan feudalism as Maoist sycophants, I'll close with a quote from Parenti's essay:
( Readers who visit this artilce will note that this article, while presented by another anonymous poster, is very well footnoted for its sources, see  http://www.swans.com/library/art9/mparen01.html as supplied by xyzzy)
...To denounce the Chinese occupation does not mean we have to romanticize the former feudal regime. One common complaint among Buddhist proselytes in the West is that Tibet's religious culture is being destroyed by the Chinese authorities. This does seem to be the case. But what I am questioning here is the supposedly admirable and pristinely spiritual nature of that pre-invasion culture. In short, we can advocate religious freedom and independence for Tibet without having to embrace the mythology of a Paradise Lost." )))

Readers, keep in mind that because Gringo Star saw this as a supportive statement he offered cheers. The only fault I find with the post is it comes from an anonymous poster.

The Dalai Lama has expressed similar sentiments o the above quote in several writings, tapes and venues in the era of present day. This is the evolution of a man who found himself first placed in the position at the age of 4.

From my own talks to groups and organizations I have phrased a similar sentiment as follows:

"Do not misunderstand, the Tibetan culture, is not a perfect culture, it has all the frailties of any other social or religious system ever developed on the planet and within that system you can find all of the human sins... but it is the Tibetans' culture and they have a right to determine their own way in the world. Beginning in 1949, the Chinese government, which is not the same as the Chinese people, began to take away the right of the Tibetans to determine their own culture that had evolved over centuries according to the anthropological needs of their nature and the remote land the inhabit."

"Tibetans have no economic or military power, they are largely a symbol. We have destroyed the American Indian, the Aborigines and countless other indigenous people. There is still time to get it right for the Tibetans. In this process they too have evolved. They fled to India and built a refugee community from the ground up. One of the government in exile's first effort was not to build a religious school but a secular school that with little resources, was the first attempt to help prepare Tibetans in exile for a different world."

"No doubt there are problems. There have been Lamas who prefer the trappings of their position of power and have spent time building elaborate temples and there have been Tibetans who have concentrated on the political needs and policies that are needed to help gain support from a vast array of organizations need to help the refuge population... this is not a religious quest for me as I am at best a skeptical agnostic but a human one... I have read the writings of many Tibetans and my correspondence with the monks has been personally rewarding. If you look at the Dalai Lama's standing on the best seller list, It has been to many Americans. I took on this project because I felt I had received a great deal and The Dalai Lama is the main voice that brings recognition to the Tibetan cause...this project helps develop another voice, from regular Tibetans who are married and have families and to monks who have chosen that life and who feel that is the best thing they can do to preserve the Tibetan culture which has created great art and evolved great philosophy. Make no mistake there are people who do not believe the Tibetans should have this voice."

Readers that come to this site are looking for truth and simply by coming here they prove they are not gullible nor do they fall for propaganda. But, folks like Gringo Star will never be curtailed from trying to manipulate information for their own designs.

Readers who care about this issue will explore it for themselves from all sides and sources. For them, it is just as important to look at what the Tibetan situation has become as what has evolved from it. History presents a view that tells us how far a person or a nation has come. For that reason history is important to the perspective of today's vantage point.

This seems like a good place for me to close.

If you have come this far... Thank you for your participation. I hope you will visit the site and many other sites on Tibet. Certainly feel free to contact me and I welcome legitimate challenges and discussions.

Keep searching past the one-sided propaganda created by the nameless and faceless and look for the truth. Gringo star will no doubt have the last word.

Happy holidays to all.

Joe Mickey, Co-Founder of the Tibetan Photo Project

If not for the efforts of the Dalai Lama, what voice would Tibet have?
If not for the efforts of the Dalai Lama, what voice would Tibet have?

The Tibetan people "are largely a symbol" ?!?!? 23.Dec.2003 00:53

GRINGO STARS

"Joe," when you call the Tibetan people "largely a symbol" you give yourself away as the white male privileged middle-class "activist" that you are. I entirely disagree. The Tibetans are NOT "symbols" at all. They are real, live people. And they are to be treated as such, and not as self-help projects for bored empty busybodies who get all excited by the racist mystical stereotypes of wise Shangri-La monks. Perhaps you should study the reality of the situation and do some real research instead of focusing on disrespecting and defaming anyone who dares to disagree with your cute, easily-amused monks. Ever think that maybe the all-male monk-club you are so excited about has been oppressing Tibetans with their idle lifestyle?

WE ARE ALL ANONYMOUS HERE - INCLUDING YOU
Dear "Joe"... You have offered no *proof* of what your name is. You have provided pictures and names and email addresses, all of which mean NOTHING. You are just as anonymous as I am, no matter how many times you waste IndyMedia bandwidth by posting the same picture of a dazed white guy standing at a podium. It all means nothing. It proves nothing. It doesn't mean what you say is true.

But is that why we are here? Are we here to disrespect anyone whose opinions differ from our own? It SEEMS as of that is your purpose here. You cut and paste precisely the same apologist BS about "hey Tibetan Buddhism isn't perfect" over and over again as an ineffective response to very specific problems I have brought up (with others' research). So is your plan to NEVER talk about the points I bring up? Because that is what disinformationalists do - they DISTRACT from the substance of arguments with personal attacks (such as you calling me a government propagandist or saying that I think I am God - ?!?!?!?). [I hate to sink to your level, but it seems your plan has worked.]

I am reposting REAL substantial criticisms of Tibetan Buddhism and its historical and dogmatic problems and all you can say is "hey we're not perfect"? I call Lamaism on its extreme sexism and institutionalised sexual abuse and you can only say "hey we're not perfect"? We KNOW no one is perfect. That is a given. duh. I am referring to the very real ways that hypocrisy is encouraged by organized religion. Theism promotes irresponsibility by making "Gods on Earth" (the Lamas) uncriticizable. Do you think that is good? Does that make for just rulers? Many (non-Chinese) historians point out the oppression that went on during the rule of the feudal God-King.

I personally also agree with the Dalai Lama's MESSAGE of peace and goodwill towards other religions, just like the Trimondis do. But like the Trimondis, I find it extremely troubling that the written Tantras of Lamaism actually are very warlike, and have only holy war to offer towards followers of other religions. Don't you find the Dalai Lama's hypocrisy troubling? His MESSAGE and his BELIEFS (as evidenced by the Tantras that make up his religion) are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. Don't you think that such blatant (if hidden) hypocrisy makes the "God-King" unfit for theocratic rule? Do you believe that religion and government actually go together? How very 700 Club of you.

I already heard your "hey we aren't perfect" speech in many previous comments, so perhaps you might want to finally address the points I have brought up. Or are you going to play the propagandist and call more names again? I am almost hoping that you do at this point, since your focus on lawyerly mudslinging is making it obvious you haven't thoroughly studied the real problems with Lamaist rule, despite your claim to "look at all sides" before you leapt in to help put the ancient God-King back into feudal power over Tibet.

A little help from Gring on his 8 questions for the Dalai Lama 24.Dec.2003 14:57

Joe Mickey tibetanphotoproject3@hotmail.com

A little help please from Gringo on the 8 questions to the Dalai Lama

Let see if we can be serious and constructive... Regarding the post of 8 Questions to the Dalai Lama posed by Gringo Stars ... I am asking Gringo for a bit of help regarding this interpretation of the Kalachakra-Tantra. (This interpretation of ancient text seems completely out of context with volumes of modern works. The official site for Kalachakra in Toronto in 2004 is  http://www.kalachakra2004.com/ )
The Authors work under a pen name of Victor and Victoria Trimondi.
Their Bios and interviews are self generated so can you give me a little help

1) A little help with locating independent sources on their background, how the interpretation was conducted, who published their material and who financed the publication.

2) Since this interpretation appears out of joint I will contact via email 2 university Tibetan study programs. Further, I will email two Tibetan contacts who are independent of each other and snail mail a Tibetan monk who is also studying independently and request information and interpretation of this text. What I would ask from you is any information on the original text Victor and Victoria Trimondi worked from and any other sources you used to conclude this interpretation was accurate.

My end on this will take a while, but as you have pointed out this is the Internet so before I would discuss this further or include it in my research or presentations this is the process I will be going through. I am happy to accept your sources and information here or we can do this through email. I am at  tibetanphotoproject3@hotmail.com

Visually and respectfully,
Joe Mickey, Co-founder of the Tibetan Photo Project

P.S. naturally this request for help with research information is open to all
Happy Holidays

Rare photo of Tibet, 1932
Rare photo of Tibet, 1932

see the other threads for my response to the above comment 24.Dec.2003 17:54

GRINGO STARS

Kind of silly to post the same thing on every thread, don't you think?

Anyways, I'll just remind everyone thsi instead;

In his 1990 autobiography, the Dalai Lama admits that he had to forbid some traditional "formalities" in front of foreigners. For instance, by tradition lower-class Tibetans were punished if they looked above the knees of their masters. In the old society, many had never seen the faces of their oppressors. And everyone was required to "prostrate" themselves face-and-belly-down in front of the Dalai Lama. Outsiders seeing those customs got a glimpse of the repulsive elitism so central to the Lamaist teachings --t he rulers of old Tibet claim to be divine, perfected reincarnations of immortal Buddha-like spirits. The Dalai Lama modified such "formalities" to help create a romanticized version of "traditional Tibetan culture" for public consumption.

whew! Aren't you glad you get to actually SEE the Dalai Lama's face, Joe? Average Tibetans never even got to see his face before he jumped ship! Be glad that the God-King abandoned "his" people because otherwise you would have no pictures of him. And you also wouldn't have the kinder, gentler lamaism being mass marketed (with your help of course) to westerners all over the world. The world of postcards would be so boring without it.

Gringo how about some help 24.Dec.2003 18:05

Joe Mickey tibetanphotoproject3@hotmail.com

Gringo, I have made a sincere request for your help. I had also hoped to change the tone and quality of this pissing-match dialogue.

Perhaps you could ansewer this one while we are here. What voice would the Tibeetans have if the Dalai Lama had remained in Tibet? And yes, the traditions of the office did change when the Dalai Lama left Tibet. Traditions that in Tibet, began with a 4-year old child. I think what is interesting, in quoting the Dalai Lama's own biography to make your point, I don't see a man trying to hide anything. There is absolutley a difference in the office of the historic Dalai Lama and the one of today. You seem to be bent on attributing the office of yesterday to the office of today.

If in all the volumes of material on Tibet, the only sources for your 8 questions are from the same German people who work under Italian Pen Names and who created the material you have published then it is not material I can include in my research or my presentations. If you can help with this confirmation then I have no problem adding it to my research and my presentations. I think you have provided an important text if it can be proven.

Please excuse that I have doubts about material from people who work, not only under anonymous pen names, as you point out the pen names are even designed to change their nationalites. Not exactly reliable sources in the manner in which I do things.

Believe it or not, this is not about you. You have tossed in a grenade and its deserves full scrutiny.

If you are willing to accept only one source then you are working by faith. If that works for you fine. Please accept that what we do is not done that way.

Given the nature of the allegations being made according to this interpretation that it should not be tossed around lightly.

It is a lot of work to confirm information. I will continue with my eforst as outlined in my previous note "Since this interpretation appears out of joint, I will contact via email 2 university Tibetan study programs. Further, I will email two Tibetan contacts who are independent of each other and snail mail a Tibetan monk who is also studying independently and request information and interpretation of this text. What I would ask from you is any information on the original text Victor and Victoria Trimondi worked from and any other sources you used to conclude this interpretation was accurate."

Wanting to know the truth is never "Bullshit." I am sorry if you feel that way.

And with that, Merry Christmas


Get it right, genius 24.Dec.2003 20:11

GRINGO STARS

The 8 questions were written by the Trimondis, not me. I have said this multiple times. I did not write the questions. Do you EVER follow the links I provide? I have followed your trail of postcard disinformation concerning the new improved happy face of Lamaist feaudalism....

I provided a more complete answer to your insipid reponse on other threads dealing with this.

The fact is that you are a typical white middle-class "activist" who thinks that only the mighty Western World can save Tobet, which is bullshit. The Tibetans will do as they have done before; take up arms and resist those who oppress them. They will be fine without Wise and Humble Joe Mickey siding with their historic oppressors. They will be fine without me. And they will be fine without their traditional oppressor, the God-King number 14. They are certainly not fine now, what with the Chinese imperialists oppressing them much like the Dalai Lamas used to, but what help will the Dalai Lama be? Will he "help" them by being a governor for the current Chinese goivernment, whcih is what the DL has been lobbying for? The Tibetans WILL be fine in the future, after they cast off the most recent of their oppressors.

This is not about me? See, I never knew that since every one of your post deals almost entirely with me. mayeb if it's not about me, you could shut up about me? Just a thought. I hate to tell you to shut up though, since with each new "Joe" post the absurdity of your starry-eyed pro-lamaist mindset comes out more clearly than before.

Gringo this is not about you 25.Dec.2003 14:31

Joe Mickey tibetanphotoproject3@hotmail.com

Gringo, in your post "Get it right genius"

In your post "The 8 questions were written by the Trimondis, not me." You made the cut and paste post but... you don't want the answers to the questions? Or are you playing semantics?

Anyway, no my posts are not about you. This is a media site and people come here for a variety of reasons, one being to gather credible information for larger purposes.

In asking you to qualify your information of the Germans who write under the itialian pen names, and offer a vastly different take on a huge volume of information I do not think it is unreasonable to asky you to qualify the source as legitimate.

You tried and all the soruces on the source were by the source.. If thats what you've got to offer people here then great. If you are willing to stamp your pen nemae on their pen name then thats how you do things. But again this site is about information and not about what you ...or I think ...or germans using italian pen names think ...

given the magnitude of the contestns of 8 questions, I think a lot of people would ask for more before they just take the post by the germans who post as an italian pen name on faith.

Regardless of the pen name thing, I think the premise or accusation is worth a look and a lot of people might think the same. Its a quest for the truth... you have done what you can and thats what you've got... I would need more before I added the 8 questions to any information I stood behind or presented.

Ok then, Thanks... its not much but its a start.

Creating a voice from Tibetans
Creating a voice from Tibetans

Then why am I the subject of your every comment? 25.Dec.2003 18:52

GRINGO STARS

I would love it if this wasn't about me, but you have made every one of your scurrilous comments entirely about ME, including your last comment.

Please focus entirely on me, as it will help any IMC reader masochistic enough to follow this thread that you are a desperate propagandist with nothing to say about the issue at hand. Please don't say anything about the God-King or Tibet as that would betray the one-sided dimension of all the information you have swallowed on the subject. And please, before you do ANY thinking on your own about this, consult one of the wise, inscrutable, cute, easily-amused monks you portray in your postcard imagery.

Gringo, we got it ... You won't help... I tried 25.Dec.2003 19:35

Joe Mickey

We all got it. Your not interested in helping.

So far, the only thing you consistently fight to confirm is what is said about you and what is said by you about you. How did I know that's what you would worry about? Have the last word Then go to bed happy. Merry Christmas.

P.S. For the record, I am working on the confirmation on your 8 questions for the Dalai Lama. Colleges are of course on vacation. Snail-mail to monks in india who do not have email takes weeks. Real research actually takes quite a bit of time and patience. I think the readers here deserve the effort... many of them are working on important issues and good information is very important to those efforts.

Its not enought to just hit a website and then jump to all their confirmations about themselves and their pen names and call it truth. I wish it were that simple.
Finding truth is a slow deliberate process
Finding truth is a slow deliberate process
Shouting louder about how good and decent you are does not change a lie
Shouting louder about how good and decent you are does not change a lie
To know life in the streets yuo have to have traveled and lived in the streets
To know life in the streets yuo have to have traveled and lived in the streets

A better question for Gringo 25.Dec.2003 19:38

hummmmmmm

Gringo,
a better question for gringo, why are you the subject of your every post?

Because that's the way Joe wanted it, hummmm 25.Dec.2003 23:18

GRINGO STARS

As long as the topic of discussion is me, then the ugly facts about the Dalai Lama's hypocrisy and the brutal feudal rule of the Lamas will not be discussed. As a propagandist for the God-King, Joe was an effective ad hominem soldier with that technique. Joe refused to discuss the issue and focused entirely on me. What can I say? I fell for it, sap that I am. Only my last couple posts were about me. When people say blatantly false things about what you say, do you let it slide? When people lie about you and then lie TO you, do you ignore them? That's probably what I should have done; ignored his lies and him. Instead I got just as egoistic as him. Kind of like me responding to you, hummmmm - I mean; your post is all about me too; What's up with that?