06 April 2009
Dalai Lama Meets Evil Cult? NOT.
The word must have gotten up pretty high in the Tibetan Buddhist leader's organization that there was something fishy, or at least so some people think, about the group that was going to welcome the Dalai Lama to Albany, New York later this month. So the word was sent to people in Albany, including the publisher of the local newspaper, that there was too much "stuff out there" that made it too risky, as a matter of public relations, for the Dalai to show up. My hunch is that the lama doesn't really have a problem with the kind of guru that Keith Raniere is alleged to be, but that he or his retainers realized that the association would not look good for them, especially with the Chinese eager to exploit any opportunity to discredit the Tibetan cause. I only wonder what the Tibetans will give as the official reason for cancelling the visit, since "potential p.r. debacle" probably shouldn't rank among the weightiest concerns for such a spiritual leader. Of course, the Dalai is a free man and can go where he pleases, outside China that is, so nothing stops him from going to the state capital if he so chooses. But this story was probably always more about the prestige that Raniere and the Bronfman sisters could win for their organization by bringing such a celebrity to their neighborhood. So much for that, now.