As I did not get any reply to my letter dated 12th July 2004 I am
now writing to you once again. In your book, page 103, you wrote
regarding me that: One Western devotee recalls being with him in
New York, in an apartment on 5th Avenue, with a wealthy sponsor,
'and he extracted this USD 25,000 donation, just like that. He had
enormous charm and personality. It was just his way.'
This is only one of the numerous false allegations against myself
and Topga Rinpoche in your book. Indirectly there are many wrong
allegations against H.H. 16th Karmapa as well. The sources of these
false allegations are mainly unnamed Tibetan refugees from different
places, unimportant to the specific issues. As you often present
the allegations by simply saying that "someone" said so, I believe
that you are deliberately choosing this way of reporting to prevent
yourself from being sued. As your style of presentations includes
this deliberate method it is not true that you wrote the book as
an unbiased journalist.
Let us as an example select one topic, namely the issue of Rumtek's
take-over by the party of Situ and Gyaltsab Rinpoches, on August
2, 1993. In your book you write a lot about the Tibetan Labrang
(administration) system. Therefore you know very well that both
Situ and Gyaltsab Rinpoches have had their own separate Labrangs
for hundreds of years. You also know exactly what rights they have
and which ones they don't have. Twelve years had already passed
since the demise of H.H. 16th Karmapa when his monastery was violently
taken over by Situ and Gyaltsab Rinpoches. During all these years
Karmapa's own administration had taken care of his monastery.
As a journalist you should have at least checked the identity of
Karmapa's legal administration. With a minimum of research you would
have found out that The Karmapa Charitable Trust administered Rumtek
since His Holiness had passed away. This is no secret and well recorded!
Therefore it would have been beneficial to your readers if you had
contacted all trustees and obtained first-hand and correct information
about what exactly happened when the monastery was taken over. This
would have enabled you to correctly report the facts in your book.
However, you avoided any contact with the senior trustees, appointed
by the late Karmapa himself and thus you are deliberately misleading
your audience by twisting the truth and by presenting an completely
false report of the events. By doing so you are intentionally covering
up the wrongdoings of Situ and Gyaltsab Rinpoches.
Some time ago the IKKBO had asked you why you did not contact The
Karmapa Charitable Trust at all. You replied that you did not do
so in order to prevent your book becoming too voluminous. This is
not true. The main two topics of the Karmapa controversy are: The
disagreement between myself, Shamarpa, and Situ Rinpoche regarding
the recognition of the 17th Karmapa and the determination of the
rightful administration of Rumtek monastery. It would have been
much better for you to consult both Situ Rinpoche and myself about
the reincarnation issue first and then to make your own conclusions
based on your findings. Regarding the question of Karmapa's administration
it would have been correct and fair to contact both the administrators
of Karmapa's seat at Rumtek from 1981 to 1993 and the group, which
took over the monastery in 1993. Such an approach would have given
you a better basis for your own analysis.
If you had based your book on facts and true information it would
not have become too thick a book, perhaps only 80 pages. If, however,
you wanted more pages than that, you could have gone into the historical
records or made interviews with more peripheral parties. Instead
you went astray from the main topics of the Karmapa issue. Your
description of the brief meetings with myself in Delhi and with
Khenpo Chodrak at one time are only designed to give your readers
the illusion that you informed yourself properly. However, your
book proves that our interviews were just stage-managed. You never
asked us to explain or even comment about most of your accusations,
which allegedly unidentified persons had passed on to you. On the
other hand you deliberately include long, fabricated stories from
people like Tenzin Namgyal and Bokar Ngodrub.
My conclusion of the above is that your book is not an unbiased
journalistic presentation at all, which you pretend it to be, but
a book written in support of Situ Rinpoche's malicious activities.
In fact it is nothing more than a collection of gossip. Despite
all your efforts your book does not benefit anybody. First of all
you deliberately misinform your readers. Secondly, because of all
the stated lies, your book does not even serve Urgyen Trinle's wish
to go to Rumtek. Last but not least, it also does not help Situ
Rinpoche and Gyaltsab Rinpoche to win their pending lawsuit. On
the other hand your book does stir up the Kagyu controversy once
again and thus it creates even more fighting between the different
administrations, families and people.
In your book you also cleverly indicate in a convincing way that
the late Topga Rinpoche might have poisoned the General Secretary
Dhamcho Yongdu. In this incident you say that Tenzin Namgyal informed
you of this. However, Dhamcho Yongdu's own brother Legshe Dayang
has meanwhile revealed the truth concerning his brother's death.
He was personally present and witnessed his brother's death from
a heart attack! Dhamcho Yongdu did not die from poisoning. Still
you mislead your readers in order that they believe that a highly
respectable person, who has previously been proven innocent, may
in fact be a killer. Your slander naturally creates irreparable
hate between the families of Tenzin Namgyal and the late Topga Rinpoche.
In brief, your allegation on page 103 is obviously only another
example of what I have explained in this letter. I never received
a donation of USD 25.000 from any person living on 5th Avenue in
my whole life. Nor did I ever induce anyone on 5th Avenue or anywhere
else to hand over USD 25.000 to me. Since you are reporting about
my life, I am certainly entitled to ask you to provide me with the
source of this particular allegation. I am asking you once again
to disclose to me the name of the person who supposedly told you
this story. However, if you do not want to name your source you
should at least have the courage to prove your point to me yourself.
If you cannot prove your story, you should definitely not have written
such a slanderous accusation in your book. By doing so you went
far beyond any acceptable standard of ethical behaviour.