The Dalai Lama’s Secret Life

 The Dalai Lama’s secret life is secret for good reason. The Dalai Lama is the head of Tibet’s largest – but by no means only – Buddhist sect to which more than half of all Tibetans claim allegiance. His role combines the functions of Britain’s Archbishop of Canterbury and the pretender to a contested medieval throne.

Dalai Lama Secret Life in Vogue

Dalai Lama Secret Life in Vogue

His personal history is fascinating. He applied, for example, to join the Chinese Communist Party, was the largest slave-owner on earth, and was – like most Dalai Lamas before him – the tool of a powerful class of feudal nobility who, between them, owned 90% of Tibet’s arable land.

The nobility, knowing their their authority ended if they honored their treaty with China to free their slaves, opted instead to flee. They took with them the nation’s gold reserves, thus utterly impoverishing a desperately poor country. Though his life was never in danger the nobles told him that it was and thus managed to make off with the symbol of their legitimacy, the Dalai Lama. He continues to serve their interests today, earning
over $100 million in CIA support since his flight. Many evil deeds have been done in his name since that day. To get good men like the Dalai Lama to do bad things requires religion, as Steven Weinberg observed.

From Harvard University’s peer-reviewed Journal of Cold War Studies can be found an entry titled, “The Tibetan Rebellion of 1959 and China’s Changing Relations with India and the Soviet Union” (.pdf). In it it states, “as a result, many Tibetans, from both upper and lower classes, rebelled against Chinese rule and formed the “Four Rivers and Six Ranges” guerrilla group. The rebels, as we now know, received carious kinds of support from the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).” Within the publication’s footnotes, it elaborates further by stating, “Washington made the decision to support the Tibetan resistance in the summer of 1956 and the first group of Tibetan rebels was secretly brought to Saipan for training in December 1956. The trainees were then sent back to Tibet in 1957 to help the Tibetan rebels to establish contacts with the CIA and to join the resistance themselves. Available Chinese sources give no indication that the Chinese Communists were aware of America’s secret involvement in promoting the rebellion in Tibet during this period.”

You can read more in The Snow Lion and the Dragon, by Professor Melvyn Goldstein. Below is a the story of yet another episode in the Dalai Lama’s life.

From the US State Department’s “Office of the Historian,” a 1968 “Status Report on Tibetan Operations,” is published, exposing US Central Intelligence Agency support for the 14th Dali Lama and armed Tibetan militants for the expressed purpose of the “containment of Chinese Communist expansion.” The report would state:

The CIA Tibetan program, parts of which were initiated in 1956 with the cognizance of the Committee, is based on U.S. Government commitments made to the Dalai Lama in 1951 and 1956. The program consists of political action, propaganda, paramilitary and intelligence operations, appropriately coordinated with and supported by [less than 1 line of source text not declassified].

The report also states that (emphasis added):

In the political action and propaganda field, Tibetan program objectives are aimed toward lessening the influence and capabilities of the Chinese regime through support, among Tibetans and among foreign nations, of the concept of an autonomous Tibet under the leadership of the Dalai Lama; toward the creation of a capability for resistance against possible political developments inside Tibet; and the containment of Chinese Communist expansion—in pursuance of U.S. policy objectives stated initially in NSC 5913/1.2 [6 lines of source text not declassified]

The infamously leaked “Pentagon Papers,” a secret Department of Defense study of America’s involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967 put together by then Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara in 1967, would reveal US military force being used more directly in America’s continued attempts to contain China. Three important quotes from these papers reveal this strategy. It states first that:

  1. …the February decision to bomb North Vietnam and the July approval of Phase I deployments make sense only if they are in support of a long-run United States policy to contain China.
  2. China—like Germany in 1917, like Germany in the West and Japan in the East in the late 30′s, and like the USSR in 1947—looms as a major power threatening to undercut our importance and effectiveness in the world and, more remotely but more menacingly, to organize all of Asia against us. 
  3. …there are three fronts to a long-run effort to contain China (realizing that the USSR “contains” China on the north and northwest): (a) the Japan-Korea front; (b) the India-Pakistan front; and (c) the Southeast Asia front.

It is clear that from the conclusion of World War II up to and including today, the goal of containing China has dominated America’s foreign policy in Asia. It has included proxy wars as admitted to by the US State Department in the 1950’s in Tibet, full-scale war as seen in Vietnam during the 1960’s, and the creation of client regimes with which to confront China more recently from 2001-2006 under Thaksin Shinawatra and now fully manifested as a costly political crisis still undermining peace and stability in Thailand today.

A 1999 Washington Post article titled, “Beijing Blames America For Tiananmen Protests” stated, “China accused the United States Sunday of inciting the massive democracy protests in Tiananmen Square, which rocked Beijing a decade ago, as part of a strategy to promote political chaos in China.”

Another article, “TIANANMEN – CIA man misread reaction, sources say,” claimed, “for months before the June 3 attack on the demonstrators, the CIA had been helping student activists form the anti-government movement, providing typewriters, facsimile machines and other equipment to help them spread their message, said one official.  The CIA declined all comment.” More..

BERLIN, June 26 (Xinhua) — Despite his frequent claims of peace, the Dalai Lama knew much more about the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)’s support of Tibetan secessionists in the 1950s and 1960s than he admitted, Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reported recently.

A report titled “Seemingly Sacred,” which shed light on the relationship between the Dalai Lama and the CIA, said a shadow of violence falls on the divine king.
The report said an emissary of the Dalai Lama first contacted the U.S. through its embassy in New Delhi and consulate in Calcutta in 1951, and both sides discussed U.S. military and financial aid to Tibetan separatists. One of the Dalai Lama’s elder brothers also attended the meetings.
In the same year the U.S. Defense Department gave the Dalai Lama a letter, in which “light weapons” and “financial aid” were promised to the Tibetan separatist movement, it said.
The Dalai Lama also received 180,000 U.S. dollars a year from the CIA, which was described as “monetary aid for the Dalai Lama” in confidential documents.
The report said the CIA launched “St. Circus Operation” in 1956, which trained Tibetan guerrillas on a South-Pacific island to kill, shoot, lay mines and make bombs.
The CIA also made air drops that provided the guerrillas with machine weapons, ammunition, medicine, and propaganda materials, among others, it said.
According to the newspaper, “The Dalai Lama clearly stood closer to the CIA and knew significantly more than he let on.”
Though the Dalai Lama had always claimed that he only came to know the operations afterwards, it should be no later than 1958 when he was aware of the paramilitary training given by the CIA that was closely linked to poison, killing and other violent acts, it said.
The report said a U.S. movie director, Lisa Cathey, had conducted more than 30 interviews in her shooting of a documentary, CIA in Tibet.
One of those interviewed was a retired CIA agent named John Kenneth Knaus, who was in charge of CIA operations in Tibet and had preserved documents that recorded the training.
The Dalai Lama had met with Knaus twice, once in 1964 and again in the 1990s.
The Dalai Lama apparently hasn’t been honest on whether he knew the CIA’s support to the Tibetan separation, the paper said. Now that with more truth on the Dalai Lama’s relationship with the CIA revealed, a shadow of violence falls on the divine king, it added.
The report called the Dalai Lama “a chess piece of the CIA during the Cold War” and his direct CIA connection does not match his “supreme moral authority.”

And here’s a letter from a Tibetan Lama which makes you wonder whether His Holiness and the exiled Tibetan nobility who surround him are 100% into peace & love…
And a National Geographic quote: Lamaism is the state religion of Tibet and its power in the Hermit Country is tremendous. Religion dominated every phase of life. … For instance, in a family of four sons, at least two, generally three, of them must be Lamas. Property and family prestige also naturally go with the Lamas to the monastery in which they are inmates.

“Keeping the common people or laymen, in ignorance is another means of maintaining the power of the Lamas. Nearly all of the laymen (serfs) are illiterate. Lamas are the only people who are taught to read and write. October 1912 National Geographic Magazine, page 979.

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