Compared to the Dalai Lama's visit to Frankfurt and the passive-aggressive hysteria of his followers, the annual Heavy Metal Festival in the northern German town of Wacken is a sanctuary of gentleness, freedom and emancipation. The Dalai Lama was in Frankfurt on the river Main and 50,000 people were at his feet, celebrities were vying for a private audience. Takings: 1.75 Million Euros plus donations and trade in esoterica. "The most dangerous enemy of the real humanism in Germany is spiritualism or speculative idealism…" wrote Marx and Engels in 1845 and they were right.
Wacken 2009: 80,000 Heavy-Metal Fans. Photo ddp
Frankfurt 2009: 52,500 Dalai Lama Fans. Photo by © Manuel Bauer, Agentur Focus 2009
The statements of the Dalai Lama have the accuracy of a horoscope: something always seems to fit, as long as critical thought is turned off. The German middle class will do this without qualms in their tens of thousands. Why?
In 1987 I was in Tibet. Bitterly poor, evidently malnourished religious Tibetans were crawling submissively on their bellies through the mud in front of the temples, while tourists were admiring the gem-adorned golden statues of the palaces. They did not care in the slightest about the social situation of the Tibetans. It was all about their 'spiritual salvation'. In one monastery I saw how dozens of Tibetan children, rocking back and forth - as if suffering a mental breakdown - for hours in semidarkness next to stinking lamps fuelled by Yak butter, were reading scriptures from boards, day after day, year after year. The monks called this 'training'. This is how minds are destroyed.
"What would happen," I asked one of the leading monks, "if one day one of these children decides it may want to lead a different life after all, perhaps go to school and study?" I will never forget his cynicism. He said, that they are taking the most promising children, at the ages of four to five, from the Tibetan families. That way they keep the worldly competition at bay. Because the parents, who are mostly very poor, received enormous prestige (Karma! Karma!) when one of their children were chosen, the children would be cast out of their families, if they were to flee. The monk grinned smugly when he added that the boys did not have any money or shoes. "How is one of them supposed to flee over the vast mountains of Tibet - without food and barefoot through the snow?"
Not only do the followers of the Dalai Lama not care in the least about the social situation of the Tibetans, they even call for the "preservation of the Tibetan culture". (This is also supported by the German left party Die Linke). What did this "culture" consist of? Under the rule of the Dalai Lama and his predecessors 95 per cent of Tibetans lived in serfdom under the tyranny of the aristocracy and the church. Tibet was a feudal society where slavery was practiced. Until the mid 20th century there was not an ounce of democracy. Chopping off hands for theft, all kinds of torture for opposing the rulers, prison cells in the monasteries. Not to mention the abysmal disrespect for women. Also, the fans of the Dalai Lama are not interested in the social history of Tibet.
Even today dissenting, critical behaviour is punished in the Indian exile of the Dalai Lama. Fear and conformity rule. German subjects love expressions such as "Your Holiness" and "Your Excellency". Some of our grandparents would have thought the Prussian emperor Wilhelm II has returned (reincarnation!).
In addition, the Dalai Lama faithful remain strangely indifferent on the point of the cooperation of the Dalai Lama and his family with the CIA in (since?) the 1950s. To this day the geostrategic interests of the USA include questioning China's Western border. But under international law Tibet is a part of China in the same way as Bavaria is a part of the Federal Republic of Germany. The Dalai Lama is needed in order to dilute the borders, as a kind of "cold warrior". However, in the light of China's relatively strong position in relation to the USA in the world economic crisis the USA is currently forced to maneuver a bit more carefully. Perhaps it is because of this that in some corners mild criticism has finally emerged, e.g. in the German weekly Stern, which, along with Spiegel, has been worshipping the Dalai Lama for years? The German Dalai Lama fans are also indifferent towards the proven decades-long friendly relations of the Dalai Lama with Nazis (SS Senior Squad Leader Heinrich Harrer), right wing extremists (Jörg Haider, Miguel Serrano) and Shoko Asahara, the leader of the AUM sect that carried out murderous sarin gas attacks. The Dalai Lama has never distanced himself from the close relations between Lhasa and the SS research organisation Ahnenerbe [ancestral heritage] (an expedition to Tibet by the Nazis in search of a Aryan elite).
He is a shrewd diplomat and he has in-depth knowledge of his disciples in the centres of capitalism, their social ignorance and their craving for uncritical religiousness. All that matters is that they feel good. The useful aspect of Tibetan Buddhism and of most religions is the fact that they exonerate privileged people and power structures. Up stays up and down stays down. No resistance, no social liberation, not one small uprising. Put it off until the afterlife. Everything is Karma, even profit and success. How very useful an ideology it is in times of world economic crisis und mass impoverishment!
There is one last thing to mention before the organised followers of the Dalai Lama send in their stereotypical hate mails (their mantra: all criticism of the Dalai Lama is paid for by the Chinese government!): one can criticise the Dalai Lama, his church and his followers AND the inhuman dictatorship of the Chinese government - by the way, many other Chinese are suffering under it as well.
Source: Verlagsgruppe Droemer Knaur - Der Dalai Lama war nicht in Wacken
Original article published on Aug. 5, 2009
About the author
Susanne Schuster and Machetera are members of Tlaxcala, the network of translators for linguistic diversity. This translation may be reprinted as long as the content remains unaltered, and the source, author, translator and reviser are cited.
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Tlaxcala could not resist to the pleasure of presenting to its readers a sample of the prosa of the organisers of the Dalai Lama show in Frankfurt
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
52,500 visitors saw the Dalai Lama in Frankfurt
His Holiness ends his visit to the Commerzbank-Arena Stadion / Organiser announces positive result / Deficit expected to be fully made up
Frankfurt am Main, August 3, 2009. The four day visit of the Dalai Lama to the Commerzbank Arena Stadion in Frankfurt ended yesterday with the final lecture The Art of Life. 52,500 visitors used the opportunity during those days to get very close to the spiritual role model for millions of people. The visit of the Dalai Lama was accompanied by an interesting fringe programme with many prominent participants from the worlds of business, culture and science.
The organisers, the charitable organisation Buddhismus in Frankfurt a.M. 2009 GmbH and its members Deutsche Buddhistische Union [German Buddhist Union], Pagode Phat Hue [Pagoda Phat Hue] and Tibethaus Deutschland [Tibet House Germany], announced a positive result overall and thanked all those involved who contributed to this success.
Jörg Ulmer, the project manager of the mass event, thanked above all the Commerzbank-Arena, the staff of the three Buddhist groups who organised the event, the communications team of general manager Mike Kuhlmann, the 408 volunteers, the more than 220 security staff and the police as well as his wife Simone, together with whom he was preparing the event for two years. The organisers furthermore thanked the German state of Hesse, the city of Frankfurt as well as all the artists who contributed to the event.
The total takings from ticket sales and donations amount to 1.75 Million Euro, meaning that currently the organisers are 150,000 Euro short of completely covering the costs.
"Through the tireless work of the whole team we were able to reduce the cost deficit in the past weeks. We will, of course, continue working to optimise this sum and we are confident that we will achieve this. The Dalai Lama's positive resonance continues to reverberate and we are optimistic that we can generate further donations," according to Mike Kuhlmann, general manager of Buddhism in Frankfurt a.M. 2009 GmbH. "We would like to emphasise again in this respect that a possible loss will not be transferred to a third party - all the bills will be settled."
Vajramala, chairman of the German Buddhist Union, added: "If we find in the end that we will have to post a loss, then we as organisers will take equal responsibility for it - and we will do this gladly. His Holiness has given us four days of his life and this was and is worth it.“