July 19, 2024

Archives for April 2011

He wears a Rolex, Gucci Shoes, a Visor, Talks like Yoda and Giggles

Welcome to Los Angeles.  You’ve seen his smile on Apple Billboards along the Santa Monica Freeway. Think Different! He wears Gucci Shoes, sports a Visor like the USC Trojan Football Coach, talks like Yoda and has a bad case of the giggles. So, for question number one. It’s getting around dinner time here in LA and that means only one thing, It’s time for Jeopardy!We’re the trivia capital of the world here. So for $500 let me ask you,  “What seven year old king did FDR give a Rolex to in 1952?”  If I haven’t already given the answer away in all those clues, you should go back to start. Or is that Monopoly? Yes, the one and the only lovable CIA agent from Tibet,  on his annual Spring tour of the United States, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet, Tenzin Gyatso.

I personally had no clue he was coming, until a notification popped up on my LinkedIn account about a BIOLA University Professor I know whose profile mentioned that he had been the Co-Director of the MIT Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values! I was shocked. Wait a minute! Then I discovered that the same Center was a co-sponsor of the upcoming talks of the Dalai Lama at the University of Southern California which was originally founded by the Methodists.  I emailed the Biola Professor in the School of Intercultural Studies, who I was relieved to find was never a member or associated with the organization. It was mysteriously posted to his profile.

The Dalai Lama will be conducting the Highest Yoga Tantra in Long Beach on May 1, two talks at UCLA on May 2, two more talks at University of Southern California on May 3, followed by talks at UC Irvine on Wednesday, May 4.

They’ve been busy building sand mandalas in preparation for his arrival. They built one in the Memorial Chapel early in April at the University of Redlands which was originally founded by Baptists and also home to the CS Lewis Institute, and another mandala on the 33 degree parallel in Encinitas at the Seaside Center for Spiritual Living. After its dissolution on Easter Sunday, they distributed a portion of the dissolved sand mandala’s “ritual sand” to paying patrons and dispersed the rest into the Pacific Ocean to “bless the ocean and its creatures. The sand mandala in Long Beach will be begun on Thursday, April 28 at the Terrace Theater and will be dedicated to Chenrizig, a manifestation of Avalokitsevara, the Patron Deity of Tibet, believed to indwell the XIV Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso.  On Tuesday, May 3, Tibetan Lamas will begin their ritual to build another sand mandala at UC Irvine dedicated to Chenrizig’s consort, White Tara, a Tibetan Buddhist goddess,who is said to have emanated from the reified compassionate tears of Avalokitsevara. She is also known as the Mother of all Buddhas being built just in time for Mother’s day! Does anyone else see the operational paradigm of the Tibetan Buddhists? I recall hearing Tibetans at the Seventh International Buddhist Christian Dialogue talk about the mandalization of politics.  Albeit at Hsi Lai Temple, the same temple where former Vice President Al Gore, a crypto Buddhist, received illegal campaign contributions from Taiwanese Buddhist nuns.  Since, I’m on the subject.  I’m not quite sure I read the LA Times Correspondent Morris correctly, but she seemed to say that Robert Thurman, the Dalai Lama, and Al Gore were going to make a film on the Quest for World Peace along the lines of Inconvenient Truth.  Some speculate that the Free Tibet Movement has almost run its course and that they want to redirect that energy that focused on Saving Tibet to Saving Planet Earth. Slick. I’ve wondered if the Dalai Lama was going to visit his home in Santa Barbara and talk with Al Gore at his new home about the new documentary before he flies off to the University of Minnesota, SMU in Dallas, and to receive a doctorate at the University of Arkansas Fayetteville, founded by Fulbright, mentor of Bill and Hillary Clinton.  Btw, last time the lamas built a sand mandala there they mentored two Fulbright scholars teaching them how to make a sand mandala as well. “Do not imitate the detestable practices of the nations.”

He’s done Larry King Live, probably will do the Brit soon, maybe he’ll ask him what he thinks about the royal wedding, how to treat your bride. Wait, he’s not married.  Oh, that never stopped him from giving advice to 20,000 women at the California Woman’s Conference hosted a few years back by Maria Schwarzenegger where he received thunderous applause when he suggested that we need to introduce values and ethics to our youth, without of course religion! And then he taught the women how to meditate, which of course is secular.”  You’re getting sleepy…, sleepy.  Drink the kool-aid.

Sarcastic? A bit. Why? Tired of pop culture and everyone putting their brain on hold.   The Tibet wave has crested and the Dalai Lama is doing his victory lap. What do you mean? Well, since you probably won’t take my twelve session on Worldviews101.com course, I’ll give it to you in a nutshell.   The other day, a leading Free Tibet spokesman, who needs to study his own brand of Buddhism,  said it has been in Tibet 2600 years.  Not really. Tibetan Buddhism is a migrant strain of Tantric Buddhism which  arrived in Tibet in the 7th Century AD. That’s, let’s see, about, ah, give or take,  1300 years ago? The iconoclastic Muslims who believed in ONE GOD, basically obliterated their idols in India, defaced the Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan, because they really believed in the commands not to have any other gods before Allah, the Name for the Muslim God.  Interestingly, the Tantric Buddhist adept, “shaman”  Padmasambhava, flies into Tibet, a Chinese territory.  The Indian Tantric systems were a sophisticated system utilized by kings to institutionalize pluralism by assimilating indigenous cultures over a period of eighty or more years  conquering them philosophically and physically through ritual. You may recall that the original Buddha was from the “warrior caste.”  It was said, he was skilled in war.  Tibetan Buddhists say that the Kalachakra initiation which is the ritual initiating devotees into a literal Tibetan Buddhist Shambhala Kingdom, originated with the Buddha himself.

So what? Well, those rituals happen to be tied to a colorful seemingly harmless art object called a sand mandala.  It so happens that those mandalas are not so innocent after all.  In fact, the Tibetan lamas do many rituals prior to their construction in order that they do not themselves get possessed by malevolent demons, or so I was told by lamas at the Pacific Asia Museum many years ago.  One look at a mandala map of the United States, including all the buried tantric “peace vases” gives you a cozy little feeling like our country should be doing very well since they’ve all been buried in our lakes, mountains, state parks, state capitols, sacred sites, etc.  We should be the magical world of Shambhala where mystical flower blossoms drift down on the earth and rain falls so lightly, not even a clod of earth is broken. No fires, no tornados, no floods, no droughts, no economic distress.  Everyone is happy in the new Shambhala Empire. We all now believe in World Peace, there is no such thing as jihad.  Don’t listen to those weird researchers who say that Tibetan lamas would sacrifice their enemies and mix their blood with those beautiful butter sculptures as part of a sympathetic magic ritual to gain power over them.  Those type of things just don’t happen anymore. Right? Mmm.  Do I know something you don’t about their plan? Do they have a plan for conquering the West? One that is done under the banner of peace?  On July 6, 2011 the Kalachakra Ceremony will be conducted in Washington, DC by the Dalai Lama. The same Kalachakra sand mandala, a magic circle that was built in Tower One of the Trade Center in New York City, will be the same one built in Washington, DC.

So,  beginning on April 28, 2011 in Long Beach, a sand mandala dedicated to the XIV Dalai Lama of Tibet, their god-King, will be built at the Terrace Theater in preparation for a special high level ceremony called the Highest Tantra Ritual for Tibetan Tantrik’s to be conducted by the XIV Dalai Lama.  The vortex gate is being opened on the West Coast. Maybe I’m kidding.  Mmm.  I earlier read that the sand mandala being built in Long Beach was dedicated to Yamantaka, the god who destroys death, the fierce defender of Buddhism.  Btw, Yamataka is the guardian of the West Gate of the Kalachakra Mandala, a blueprint of the Shambhala Empire being constructed in July in WDC.

How quaint. I can see a “Far Side” cartoon caption now. “Being a lover of fine machinery, the Dala Lama naturally fell in love with his Rolex watch.”  Any student of “Harry Potter” must know that machinery is but another name for witchcraft. A simple Tibetan Lama, also known as the Time God, wearing his Rolex and sporting a visor visits Tommy Trojan at USC. A University whose new President Max Nikias in his inagural speech believes is “the epicenter of global influence belonging in the pantheon of world class universities.” A University leading the way in the global pacific age “engaging in the pressing debates of the day” leading the “ongoing rebellion against the conventional order of things as we help individuals create limitless possibilities for themselves.”  A University that will fulfill the “Destined Reign of Troy.”  Strangely, while proudly pointing to their diversity and entrepeneurial roots, their is no sign of even a nod to their founding fathers, the Methodist Conference of Southern California.

“President C.L. Max Nikias established the U.S.-China Institute in 2006 to focus on the multifaceted and evolving U.S.-China relationship. The Institute reflects the university’s commitment to fostering path-breaking research in the broadly defined field of U.S.-China relations and aims to be among the world’s most influential voices on the many issues involving U.S.-China relations.”

“The USC Student Interfaith Council is deeply honored to host His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, who embodies the religious pluralism and interfaith cooperation which we stand for,” said Interfaith Council President Sarrah Shahawy. “We anticipate that his visit will greatly enrich our USC community and enliven our discussions on interfaith dialogue, social responsibility, and spirituality and science.”

Well, here, the diplomatic rubber meets the road. Three things can happen. (1) “The Dalai Lama comes and goes like he did in 1989 when he spoke at the Shrine Auditorium across the street from USC. Everyone,  politely looks the other way, saving face[By the way, his English has improved quite a bit when I heard him speak there with no security stations. I gave him a copy of the Gospel of Matthew in Tibetan. He rolled down his limo window and took the copy I offered him. I used to attend Buddhist general meetings at the Shrine when I was a Buddhist for fourteen years); OR (2) OR the Dalai Lama-Student Interfaith Council,-US-China Institute discusses the transition privately; OR (3) The “proverbial yak dung may hit the fan.”  It’s hard to say.  There are always wildcards. The only one missing is Hu Jintao.

This trip of the Dalai Lama to the United States represents one big difference. On Wednesday, April 27, the new elected leader of Tibet is supposed to be announced.  This trip, he can honestly say, well, sort of,  “I’m just a simple Buddhist monk.”  Oh, I didn’t mention earlier that President Obama recently gave the Dalai Lama a copy of the original Letter that FDR sent to Tibet along with a letter introducing him to two American spies, I mean representatives,  addressed to his “pontificate”.  I guess that my statement then is not too far off when I call him the “pluralist pope.”

Prior to the Dalai Lama’s arrival on Sunday, May 1, the Dalai Lama’s frontman, Columbia Professor Robert Thurman, actress Uma Thurman’s father, and called the Billy Graham of Buddhism in America,   will be speaking in Santa Monica at Eli Broad Stage on Saturday, April 30.  It’s a small world. I remember as a Buddhist, filling in one day as his chaffeur for Paul Diamond, one of my members who was Broad’s chaffeur. Little did I know that he was to become the wealthiest philanthropist in Los Angeles as a result of his development business Kaufman and Broad.  “Pick up three newspapers on your way to his house. You’ll drive his Jaguar to the UC Regents meeting in Long Beach.  Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times.”  At least that’s what I remember.  Now, who’s opened the doors to the Dalai Lama in the United States? Senator Diane Feinstein, then Mayor of San Francisco. I recall the political ad which featured her standing with  a statue of Avalokitsevara, the patron Deity of Tibet, aka the Dalai Lama in the background, pictured over her right shoulder. She married Richard Blum, the Director of the Himalayan Arts Foundation. Their marriage was blessed by the Dalai Lama god-king in Dharamsala, India. Blum  is now the President of the UC Board of Regents and introduced the Dalai Lama last year when he spoke at the University of California at Santa Barbara at the invitation of Professor Jose Ignatio Cabezon, the Department Chair of the XIV Dalai Lama Chair of Tibetan Buddhist Studies.  Hmm. Maybe Universities are the Left’s Seminary.

And practically every member of the US Congress and President G.W. Bush when they awarded the Dalai Lama the Congressional Gold Medal.  The Nechung Oracle, the “demon-possessed” Tibetan shaman who the Dalai Lama consults on all important state decisions was hosted and introduced by the chaplain of the US House of Representatives to one the Christian leaders in Capitol Hill.  Are the Gatekeepers of our nation asleep?

This Passover I read with concern the passage in the Second Book of Kings where Elijah says to the King via his messengers, “Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are sending to inquire of Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron? (2Kings 1:6-8).”  Isaiah the prophet, proclaimed the Word of YHWH, “O My people! Those who guide you lead you astray, and confuse the direction of your paths” (Isaiah 3:12b).   Remembering the Commands of the LORD, “Do not turn to idols, and do not make for yourselves moulded mighty ones. I am YHWH your Elohim” (Psalm 19:4).  Remember, the blesses and curses in Deuteronomy chapter 28 that are appointed to those who chose to either obey YHWH or to fall under the curses written in His Torah if they walk in paths they call their own.

And on May 9th, the Dalai Lama will be a speaker at Southern Methodist University, home of the George W. Bush Presidential Library, where he’ll receive the Hart Foundation’s Global Leadership Award.  I sadly remember that First Lady Laura Bush after 9-11,  desired to see the Bamiyan Buddhas restored that were defaced by the Taliban.

According to LA Times correspondent Nomi Morris, ” Thurman is optimistic that autonomy will come to Tibet, under Chinese President Hu Jintao or his successor. The Dalai Lama “does not expect to die in exile,” Thurman said.”

Morris continued, “Thurman has written 20 books related to Tibetan Buddhism and in 2008, the year China hosted the Olympics, published “Why the Dalai Lama Matters: His Act of Truth as the Solution for China, Tibet and the World,” which outlined a 10-point plan for China to make Tibet an autonomous region under a “one country, two systems” model.”  It may be an interesting turning point in the history of Tibet or China or the United States. I guess that some perceive that the Dalai Lama is the lynchpin of US-China Human Rights Relations.

The Words  of Prophets of old still hold true, “New gods were chosen, and then the enemy was in the gates.”

Dalai Lama, Marcion and Adolph Hitler

April 20, 2011
By James C. Stephens

I just opened a pdf someone sent me about the Dalai Lama’s visit to University of Arkansas in Fayetteville this May and read another take, from someone who claims to be one of us, a Christian lecturing us on how great the Dalai Lama is. My background?  I seriously practiced Buddhism for fourteen years (1970-1984) and converted fifty four individuals before my conversion to Christianity in 1984 during the Summer Olympics here in Los Angeles. Here’s the text regarding the upcoming visit of the Dalai Lama to the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, by Lowell Grisham, a local “Episcopal” priest,

“I know that there will be some in our community who will decry the visit of the Dalai Lama, that he can only be false and lost because he is not a Christian. Some will even go so far as to imagine that their God would condemn a loving, compassionate person like the Dalai Lama to eternal hell and punishment simply because he is not a Christian. That’s a monstrous notion of a genocidal tribal god. Why would anyone believe in a god who is less moral, than they are?”

Stephens’ response:: No doubt, Mr. Grisham you may have studied heresies in the early church while in seminary. Your statement about “a monstrous notion of a genocidal tribal god” provides further proof that ancient heresies have not disappeared, but are moving back into the mainstream church with all their accumulated heretical baggage. Adolph Harnack, a German theologian agreed with Marcion when he suggested in the 1930’s that it was time to throw out the Old Testament. It made Adolph Hitler very happy. Marcion was declared a heretic as it did not square with Holy Scripture.It was Jesus Christ of Nazareth who said in the New Testament, “Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms (Luke 24:44).”

Grisham: “For a day, it will be a joy to sit at the feet of one of the great religious sages of our lifetime. I expect to hear the Dalai Lama speak of many of the same values that I treasure as a Christian, but I hope to hear of them in the fresh, less familiar language and metaphors of Buddhism. In the language and metaphor of my own tradition, I expect to see Christ manifested in him, as I see Christ in so many other people of good spirit.”

JCS: The prophet Isaiah proclaimed a warning to God’s people,  “O My people! Those who guide you lead you astray, and confuse the direction of your path.”  (Isaiah 3:12b). A beginning religions student would recognize that you are preaching Hinduism as they believe in avatars and that everyone is a christ, or Krishna, or Brahma. It appears that you’re a disciple of Clark Pinnock’s dogma. In any case it is troubling to us as orthodox believers in Yeshua, Jesus Christ of Nazareth as you seem to proclaim your special private label brand of pluralism, publicly and profess to be a Christian. If you had honestly expressed your doubts, anyone can live with that. I understand why it is that Buddhists are confused about Christianity. If the messenger is confused, so is the hearer. Reminds me of the old Television game show, To Tell the Truth. Q: Would the real Jesus please stand up? I’m Jesus, No I’m Jesus, No I’m Jesus.”

As one great wise King once said, “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its  path leads to death.” I’ve studied the Dalai Lama for over twenty one years and I’d recommend doing a bit more homework about your guest.http://www.worldviews101.com

Finally, I recall a difficult experience I had confronting a UCC pastor in California who publically issued a statement in the Pasadena Star News that he was going to take Buddhist vows and continue on as their pastor. We were shocked as he likened himself to the great reformer Martin Luther. Sadly, he believed it.  Recently,  I  watched a program on one of the major networks that focused on pastors who were  preaching from the pulpit every Sunday in this nation, but without faith.  Some of them  had enough spiritual integrity to publicly admit their doubts and leave their post.  It may be that you have come to the crossroads where you will need to seriously answer the question, “Who will you serve? Baal or YHWH?’


James C. Stephens