January 18, 2021


June 27, 2011

by James C. Stephens

“Does not wisdom cry out, and understanding lift up her voice? She takes her stand on the top of the high hill, beside the way, where the paths meet. She cries out by the gates, at the entry of the city, at the entrance of the doors:

To you, O men, I call. And my voice is to the sons of men.”       

                                                         Proverbs 8:1-5

Revisiting 2000

The following segment is a historical snapshot of our prayer initiative in July 2000 in Washington, DC to address the $6,500,000 Smithsonian Exhibit on Tibet Land of the Snows witnessed by over two million observors.  For in-depth training sign up for our intensive online  twelve lesson course which provides “A Christian Perspective on the Dalai Lama and Tibetan Buddhism” at http://www.worldviews101.com.

Could it be those arrows of God were unleashed in Washington D.C. against the idols of our nation? I also wonder if the draught, the onslaught of fires in our country this summer are a manifestation of God’s judgment for our unbelief as a people and for our lukewarm faith? 

Will we awake from our stupor? From worshipping Baal of the stock market? The Greek gods of the sports arenas? The whore of Hollywood’s gross entertainment? Can we see the invisible spiritual war that rages in our midst?

 WASHINGTON, D.C.Our contact with the Christian community in Washington, D.C. came about several years ago, after the Lord brought their attention to a Buddhist group at nearby Poolesville who was constructing a Buddhist prayer monument and channeling spiritual energy upon the US Congress, White House and Supreme Court. Their Buddhist monastery near D.C. is called Kunzang Palyul Choling (KPC) a.k.a. the World Prayer Center.

Catherine Burroughs who adopted the Buddhist name, Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo is the founder of KPC, the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery in America. She is also the subject of Martha Sherrill’s provocative journalistic expose of The Buddha from Brooklyn which investigates Jetsunma’s Buddhist monastic cult from an insider’s point of view. Here is American Buddhist pluralism at its most seductive apex. Previous to KPC’s founding she had a dream wherein , “A dove came down and began to circle her head. A voice said, “You are the light of the world…this is who you are.” She was recognized by a Tibetan religious leader as the reincarnation of a seventeenth century Tibetan Buddhist nun and is the subject of “deity yoga” in which devotees spend hours visualizing the lama and “becoming one with him or her.”

Team members joined us from Asia, Washington, Colorado, California, Connecticut and the D.C. area and focused upon prayer and outreach at the Smithsonian http://www.si.edu/festival/future.htm which co-hosted a two-week outdoor exhibit on the National Mall of “Tibetan Culture Beyond the Land of Snows”. Over two million visitors were said to have visited the Folklife Festival. Our time there for seven days was packed with difficult spiritual work.

The Conservancy for Tibetan Art and Culture’s stated purpose for the event was, “At a time when anger, intolerance and violence are rampant throughout the world, the wisdom and compassion of Tibet’s unique Buddhist culture offer a path of development the world cannot afford to lose” http://www.tibetanculture.org/beyond.htm

Although, I appreciate and love the Tibetan people and many aspects of their colorful culture, and believe it is our duty to defend their right to free religious expression, we have the Christian duty to question their underlying Buddhist agenda and belief that Tibetan Buddhism is the answer America’s problems. 

If Tibetan Buddhism thinks it provides the answer, then why was it unable to withstand it’s own demise in Tibet? It is our contention that it is introducing a tantric idolatry to our nation which brings with it not seeds of peace, but seeds of destruction.

While we do believe in religious liberty, do we not hold to a separation of Church and State? The Supreme Court ruled against prayer in public arenas just weeks before, but here was an event paid for by millions of American tax dollars which featured burning incense, prayer wheels, spiritual sand paintings, prayer monuments, and public Tibetan prayer by the spiritual head of the entire Tibetan Buddhist world.

They have a right to assemble as did the Nation of Islam, Promise Keepers and others, but one former State Supreme Court Justice questioned their right to have major public financial backing for a spiritual gathering on the National Mall. The Smithsonian catalogue in 26 pages did much to promote Tibetan Buddhism, religious art, nuns, and the spread of the Buddhist Dharma (teaching) groups in the West. This is tantamount to a State Church being given financing.

As Christians we believe that God loves the Tibetan people who He created as equals, but He also detests all idolatry. Our nation was not founded on Buddhist principals, it was founded on Judaic-Christian principals. Even though many may contend we live in a post-Christian society which is there right to proclaim, it is our undying commitment that we must continue to call our nation back to its original foundations, while still repenting for our historic failings, e.g., mistreatment of Native Americans and African Americans.

Our first morning in Washington began with a seminar on strategic intercession for several local prayer groups. We spent much time in confession, heartfelt worship and praise, foundational teaching, and memorable fellowship those days.

We were invited to have lunch in the Senate Cafeteria, but I missed the famous Bean Soup. The ride on the underground railroad past all the State flags was an intriguing surprise. That afternoon, our team was invited to attend a meeting in Rayburn Hall in the Capitol to prayerfully listen to five members of the Knesset and various members of Congress address the present state of US-Israeli Relations (hosted by the National Unity Coalition for Israel). Christians, Jews and Congressmen asked that Israel rescind it’s offer from China to build an AWAC for long distance detection of air warfare. This contract’s fulfillment essentially would of handicapped any American military support of Taiwan. It may be because of this meeting and prayers that the contract was later withdrawn.

After the meeting, I was escorted and introduced to Craig Lotz, who was in Washington, D.C. with 400 dedicated youth from the Northwest who had been fasting for forty days and crying out for revival in America. I had heard about this group, but had previously been unable to contact them. It is so striking to see how God ordains our steps. The next thing I knew is we were walking to the very same church where we had just been on our face in confession that morning. I shared my heart with 400 students I confessed my role as a former Buddhist leader thirty years ago who converted many students to Buddhism and asked for their forgiveness. I concluded by sharing the story of my redemption in Christ, our mission and purpose for being in Washington that week. It was a powerful Kairos moment.

That evening was concluded with Shabbat (a weekly religious meal celebrated by the Jews to begin their day of worship on Friday evening at sundown) with our wonderful host, Betty and Charlie. God visited us that evening in a profound way. The transparency, and loving openness of each team member revealed the light of heaven.

Each shared a story of God’s gracious hand in guiding them through a dark period of pilgrimage in their life. Gene spoke of the love of God. Sally of God’s miracle of bringing a Vietnamese son into her life. Linda of God’s friendship through friends who understood her personal trials. Bernie, a Sinhalese Sri Lankan, shared his conversion story and his commercial exploits of buying pepper in India. Sam W., a Tamil Sri Lankan (you know there is a civil war in Sri Lanka between the two groups?), shared how the Christian compassion Bernie conveyed to him influenced his life. What a blessed evening!

Do you remember me asking you to pray for my healing from the daily headaches I’ve had for the last three years? That night God worked deeply in my life as Sally, Bernie, and Sam prayed for me. Since then I have taken only two aspirin. I am very grateful to God for answering your prayers!

On Saturday, July 1 “Tibetan American Day,” we witnessed thousands protesting for “A Free Tibet” as they proceeded from the White House to the Chinese Embassy. Eric drove up from North Carolina and was able to capture two days of events on video which will eventually be edited into a short video presentation.


World Tibet Day poster (right) promoting Universal Religious Freedom. Notice the eight icons representing the World’s religions. Can you guess what they are? From left to right they are 1) the Ankh, which is the Egyptian sign of life, or handled cross; 2) the Sikh symbol; 3) Christian cross; 4) Buddha symbol; 5) Jewish Star of David; 6) Om, the Hindu Symbol also beginning of a chant used by Tibetan Buddhists; 7) Crescent moon used by Islam; and 8) Shintoism’s Gate. All of them are emanating from the sun of the Tibetan flag.Bernie W. and I were privileged to be invited to visit the West Wing of the White House that afternoon. We looked in on the Cabinet room and Oval office, where so many important decisions have been made for our country. Seeing Kennedy’s desk in the Oval Office where his son “little John, Jr.” hid was sadly nostalgic in light of his recent tragic death. Visiting the West Wing with Bernie who is a Sri Lankan American helped me appreciate the greatness of this office from an immigrant’s point of view who echo’ed my desire to see it return to its proper dignified role.The night before the Great Tibetan Prayer Festival (Monlam Chenmo), thousands of Buddhist prayer candles were lit up on the grounds of the National Mall. Later that night, Sally from California, was awakened by an awful vision of hoards of demonic giants marching on the Mall. We gathered to pray for God’s victorious presence to be manifest the following day on the National Mall.

Left: Tibetan God of Death, Yamantaka mask is crowned by human skulls. This costume was worn by Tibetan dancers during their religious festival on the National Mall.

Providentially, the leadership of the 400 youth, who had no foreknowledge of the Dalai Lama’s event, had arranged a permit way back in January to meet on the National Mall repenting for the sins of our nation on Sunday July 2 from 10:30-12:30 PM at the same exact time the Monlam Chenmo Great Prayer Festival was to be conducted by the Dalai Lama. Bernie said, “Can you believe it?” I said, “Wow. Nothing takes God by surprise, nothing.”

On the morning of July 2, we silently prayed to the Lord with divine authority against the Great Tibetan Prayer Festival (Monlam Chenmo) ceremony. We proclaimed in agreement what Craig Lotz’s group had shared with us, of Nehemiah’s word to Sanballat, that God’s people had an historic right and responsibility to contend for the rebuilding of the wall which Sanballat stood against. We too took that as our call to responsibly stand in the gap for our nation against the idolatrous practices of the Dalai Lama and his followers in America, who were burning incense, chanting incantations to demonic deities during the ceremony. We who propagated Buddhism in the seventies and eighties and now follow Jesus Christ confessed and repented for our contribution to the present assault of Buddhism.

Between the youth crying out to God and the Dalai Lama’s prayer convocation was an incredible banner sent out from California which was a spiritual act of worship painted by Kathy Paine in 1997. It is of “The Lion of the Tribe of Judah” roaring from Zion against the enemies of God. These enemies are not the Tibetan people, but the “principalities and powers,” the “forces of wickedness” that keep the Tibetan people in bondage. This symbol of God’s power was a testimony against the powerless thangkas (religious paintings) of Buddhist deities that were a backdrop to the Dalai Lama and the chanting monks at the Monlam Chenmo. Let us remember this title of Christ–the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Satan the counterfeiter is only “like a lion.”

God has set before us a blessing or a curse. If you obey His commands, “The LORD will command the blessing upon you in your barns and in all that you put your hand to, and He will bless you in the land which the LORD your God gives you… the LORD will establish you as a holy people to Himself, as He swore to you…” (Deuteronomy 28:8-9). However, if we worship idols, burn incense to other gods, turn prayer wheels, build vain sand mandalas and prayer monuments to false deities, He has promised to curse us.

This is instructive to the Tibetan people who may wonder why God has judged their nation and to us if we do not turn away from our nation’s present wickedness. God is long-suffering and yet His judgments are righteous and forthcoming.

He said, “The LORD will bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as the eagle swoops down, a nation whose language you shall not understand, a nation of fierce countenance who shall have no respect for the old, nor show favor to the young.” This will all come about “If you are not careful to observe all the words of this law which are written in this book, to fear this honored and awesome name the LORD your God…” (Deut. 28:49,58).

In George Washington’s famous vision at Valley Forge, it was revealed to him that three great wars would confront this country. Two have already taken place. The third vision was of a great cloud of judgment rolling in across the nation and bright explosive lights destroying many cities. Followed by an Angel with a banner proclaiming this far and no more. The price of the sacrifice for our years of disobedience was the blood of consecrated youth, not unlike the terrible letting of brother’s blood during the Civil War.

We spent time in confession and reconciliation with fellow believers and in repentance along with the many youth which is a powerful intercessory weapon. Those who mock prayer, will be mocked in the end. As we prayed, and many of you know I am not given to visions, I had a powerful vision of huge arrows without shafts in the form of “v’s” being shot rapidly out of a powerful black granite fortress towards the Great Tibetan Prayer Festival (Monlam Chenmo). I felt I had witnessed a visible act of divine judgment of our Almighty God in response to the heartfelt cries out of youth in the gap. Truly “God is not a passive or indifferent spectator of events that take place in the world” (MacArthur’s sermon notes). (not against the Tibetan people, but the false deities of Vajrayana Buddhism originally from India).

Remember the words of God through Moses warning His people that, “They have provoked Me with their idols… For a fire is kindled in My anger, and burns to the lowest part of Sheol (Hell) and consumes the earth with its yield, and sets on fire the foundations of the mountains. I will heap misfortunes on them; I will use My arrows on them” (Deuteronomy 32:23 ). 

Could it be those arrows of God were unleashed in Washington D.C. against the idols of our nation? I also wonder if the draught, the onslaught of fires in our country this summer are a manifestation of God’s judgment for our unbelief as a people and for our lukewarm faith? Will we awake from our stupor? From worshipping Baal of the stock market? The Greek gods of the sports arenas? The whore of Hollywood’s gross entertainment? Can we see the invisible spiritual war that rages in our midst?

“See now that, I am He, and there is no god besides Me; It is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded, and it is I who heal; And there is none who can deliver from My hand. Indeed, I lift up My hand to heaven, and say, as I live forever, If I sharpen My flashing sword, And My hand takes hold on justice, I will render vengeance on My adversaries, and I will repay those who hate Me. I will make My arrows drunk with blood” (Deu. 32:39-42).

The night before, Bernie, who is also not given to visions had a dream of a demonic gathering in front of the Lincoln Memorial. On the morning of July 3, we hurried out to witness the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Now a re-enactment like that wouldn’t be unusual in D.C. except for the fact that it was being done in front of the Lincoln Memorial by a group of Free Tibet sympathizers from America and 13 Tibetan Buddhist monks and high government officials. It strikes me as strange that they would sign a document whose foundational beliefs are in a Creator God, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.”

Right: Picture of a leader from the Tibetan government-in-exile, a formerly imprisoned nun, Lamas, and American Free Tibet advocates speaking in front of the Lincoln Memorial after signing another page of the American Declaration of Independence.

First of all, Tibetan Buddhists don’t believe in a Creator God. Secondly, they don’t believe in equal rights. Any layperson in Tibet would say, “The Lama knows” inferring that their religious leaders are above the law of the common man. Ask any member of the Shugden Organization which has been demonstrating against the recent repression of their worship of an outlawed deity by the Dalai Lama’s government-in-exile. The forced signature campaign and religious suppression by the Dalai Lama’s monks has been likened by Shugden followers to “those things (that) happened in Nazi Germany” (Hindustan Times, “Tibetan sect up in arms against Dalai” by Poornima Joshi June 26).

When I heard the speeches I recognized the heartfelt need for our Tibetan friends to be free, but it was a bit too Hollywood for me and also an affront at the Lincoln Memorial where a President who loved God is memorialized. Earlier that morning, I was profoundly moved by the words of Abraham Lincoln,

“On the 30th Day of April in 1863, President Lincoln issued this proclamation for a National Day of Fasting, humiliation and prayer. He said, “We have been recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven. We have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. We have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand, which has preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us. We have vainly imagined in the deceitfulness of our hearts that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated by unbroken success, we have become too self sufficient, and too proud to pray to the God that made us. It behooves us then to humble ourselves before the offended power to confess our national sins and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.”

The question posed to the Christian community originally about the tidal wave of Buddhism in America was, “Who opened the door?” I read some interesting commentary on a site by Ron Campbell called Jeremiah Project  which shows how all of Washington, D.C. is laid out in Masonic ritualistic form and is dedicated at a deeper level to the sun god. Ron Campbell asked, “To what deity was Washington, D.C. dedicated? Is it possible that through Masonic rituals, our nation’s government has been symbolically offered to the kingdom of darkness?”

He also addresses the falsehood of Masonry, a secret religious and fraternal order. The Mason, “Manley Hall wrote that a Mason’s religion ‘Must be universal: Christ, Buddha or Mohammed, the name means little for he recognizes only the light and not the bearer.” However, “Roman Catholics, Assemblies of God, and Presbyterian Church of America, and Missouri Synod Lutherans, have said membership in a Masonic Lodge is incompatible with the Christian faith.” The Southern Baptists have refused to admit to this “Preacher’s during the First and Second Great Awakening condemned it (Freemasonry)” along with the famous evangelist Charles Finney who openly opposed freemasonry.”

Could we not agree then with the Prophet Isaiah’s confession? “Woe is me, for I am a man of unclean lips among a people of unclean lips” Are we standing for what we believe or are we like the proverbial frog in the boiling pot, being heated degree by degree until the frog is too complacent to act any longer and boils to death?

The last event on the Tibetan Buddhist’s event schedule was the dismantling of the Sand Mandala. To most, this would seem anti-climatic, but to Bernie, this was the most critical time for spiritual warfare. In his former Buddhist days in Sri Lanka, India and Japan, he had been raised as a Buddhist guru by the famous monks in Sri Lanka who knew Colonel Henry Steele Olcott, Madame Blavatsky and Dharmapala, the famous Buddhist revivalist. At the final sweeping ceremony of the mandala, he had previously been eyewitness to the instantaneous spirit possession of seekers who gathered to be possessed by the demons who had been invoked into the Mandala. He knew that following the dismantling, the sands would be meticulously swept up and dumped into a local body of water to impart demons into the environment. This time it would be into the Potomac, the river running through our nation’s Capitol.

Bernie said the mandala  was ‘inhabited by 22 legions of deities.’ He observed that ‘the Mandala which must be broken down before a certain hour. That hour kept being delayed for which the chief lama had to apologize to the deities.’ This Bernie attributed to the presence of praying Christians.

As we waited the Lama explained how the mandala was dedicated to the Patron deity of Tibet, Avalokitsevara.’ There are four symbolic gates. The lama went on to explain the dark power of the deities and how this mandala will be built in many colleges, high schools, and museums around the country as part of their program to bring Tibetan Buddhism to America. As I listened, I was reminded of what Bernie had said earlier. “Buddhists are making plans one to two generations down the road.”

Alicia Matsunaga, the author of The Buddhist Philosophy of Assimilation  gave an example of how Buddhism was originally introduced into Confucian China. Their first step was the preliminary introduction of the Dharma (the Buddhist Law). The next step which took about eighty years was the translation of their scriptures in the language of the host country. The third step was the implementation of honji-suijaku, the doctrine of assimilation, the process when Buddhists seek out the areas of commonality, wherein Buddhists would appear in the eyes of the common people to have much in common with their own religion.

Where is Buddhism today on that timeline? In 1893, Dharmapala came to Chicago to attend the Parliament of the World’s Religions and planted seeds which today are bearing fruit in America. The Publisher Paul Carus who attended utilized his company, Open Court Publishers to further promote his Buddhist faith. Today, their textbooks are being considered for use in elementary schools within the entire Los Angeles Unified School District, one of the largest in the world. According to one Open Court employee, their textbook sales are financing Buddhist translation work in California.

Left: Children surround the monks constructing the sand mandala and are intrigued by its color and symbolism unknowingly being exposed to a spiritual channeling tool that is temporary home to 722 deities we would call demons.

We were standing there in spiritual defense to protect our country from the unleashing of these demonic hoards. Bernie in his past as a Buddhist guru would actually communicate with these demons and said that they are held to the ritual to be released upon the invocation of the lamas. At that point they would travel horizontally and possess those seeking possession. Because of our presence and prayer to God, they were bound to depart from there back to their abode. Strangely all the sands were swept up and given out to those who were standing around. Although that was not good, it was far better than a general dispersal of these into the local environment.

Bernie reflected, ‘God gave us a great victory as their process of dismantling the mandala did not follow the traditional lines as we bound the powers and restricted their transferability. The lamas could not disperse the demonic powers. The chief lama even had to apologize to the deities for this act. This was most significant because Washington, D.C. is the most prominent city in the world.”

A time of rejoicing in God’s victory as we reported to various prayer groups at the trust.

Tools for Peace Glendale. After getting back to California, we engaged in training students that were preparing for ministry in the Theravada and Tibetan Buddhist world. During July, Tom G. (a journalist) and I visited the construction site of a permanent three dimensional mandala symbolizing the Buddhist universe at Glendale’s Forest Lawn Cemetery. The “Shi-tro Mandala for Universal Peace” project was particularly disturbing to me as it is being constructed where my grandparents are buried. Most of the motifs at the cemetery up to this time have been biblical and is famous for its 120 foot painting of the Crucifixion.

According to the “Tools for Peace” literature, they have established a community outreach program that will accompany the Mandala to “teach peace education to youth and those educating youth.” The curriculum is “centered on the basic structure of the mandala.” The exhibit and program will be traveling to Washington, D.C., schools, museums and parks around the nation in order to put on workshops for “at-risk youth populations to turn them away from violent and destructive behaviors” and work with local police departments. They are partnered with the Glendale non-profit “We Care for Youth.”

The mandala however is not spiritually neutral. If it is so powerful, one might ask, “Why did it not protect Tibet from the genocide of over one-million Tibetans and the destruction of 7,500 Buddhist temples by the Chinese? Secondly, because of its deeply religious connotations, how is it that it can be shown in schools and where Christian programs are banned?

About jstephens

James C. Stephens was a graduate of a Buddhist Study Academy and a Buddhist leader for fourteen years (1970-1984). In 1978, he married Elizabeth, a Jewish Buddhist at a Buddhist temple. Following an accident in Japan in 1981 while on a Buddhist pilgrimage followed by an intense three year spiritual search through various other faiths and practices, James and Elizabeth made the decision to become disciples of Jesus Christ. James graduated in 1999 with a MA in Intercultural Studies from Fuller School of Intercultural Studies and in 2010, launched http://www.worldviews101.com/ which offers a twelve week course "A Christian Perspective on the Dalai Lama and Tibetan Buddhism."

He and his wife enjoy Landscape architecture, gardening, making kombucha and kefir, film, screenwriting, literature, and music.