The Dalai Lama and the CIA (Part 2)--Excerpts from German and Austrian Media

Published:2012/09/28    08:00

(By the True Heart News interviewing team in Taipei)In June 2012, as the subject of the fourteenth Dalai Lama’s connection with the CIA was publicly reported by First German Television (ARD) and Southern German Daily (Suddeutsche Zeitung SZ), the issue has triggered a series of follow-ups by European media. The news headline highlighted the historical facts that the Dalai Lama did receive financial aid from the CIA for armed guerrilla operations. The ongoing media criticism lasted for a whole week in Europe, questioning that the Dalai Lama’s image is outwardly non-violent, but in fact inwardly he is violent.

Excerpts from the German language media:

June 8, 2012, the Financial Times Germany (FTD) Online:

A Permanent Stain - The Dalai Lama and His Links with the CIA

The Dalai Lama is the epitome of wisdom and gentleness. But apparently he knew more about the support for violent resistance in Tibet by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) than he has previously admitted. He himself even accepted financial support from the CIA.

The Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetans, has maintained the image of a moral authority in the world for decades, but this image of being a pacifist is now threatened to collapse. This is because a new documentary “CIA in Tibet” has revealed that the highest Tibetan authority apparently knew more about the support of the CIA for violent resistance in Tibet than he has so far admitted.

The documentary film producer Lisa Cathey interviewed a CIA veteran who described a meeting with the Dalai Lama in 1964. The film is based on interviews with a total of 30 former secret service agents and it will be released in a few months. Parts of it, however, have already been released on the website of According to the reports of the “Sueddeutsche Zeitung" and the TV “Panorama,” the U.S. government's documents show that the American CIA and the Nobel Peace Laureate had stayed significantly closer than previously known.

The Chinese government is probably delighted with this wave of criticism regarding the CIA connections with the Dalai Lama. The world’s fascination for this “Top Tibetan” has long been a thorn in Beijing’s side.

Journalists rely on decoded documents released from the American government a few years ago. The information has never been used by any of the media before. According to the documents for the year 1951-1965, the Dalia Lama and the U.S. government had agreements to conduct the CIA’s Tibet program. At first, representatives of the Dalai Lama made contact with the U.S. embassy in the Indian capital, New Delhi, and the U.S. consulate in Calcutta.

A brother of the Dalai Lama also directly paid a visit to the U.S. government. Their contacts were all asking explicitly for military assistance. According to the "Suddeutsche Zeitung", the Dalai Lama, by 1958 at the latest, has already been informed about the military training program for Tibetan guerrillas by the CIA. This information was disclosed to a reporter by the religious leader for over a decade ago during an interview.

These are not new allegations. What’s already known is that, after the Nixon government established diplomatic relations with China, the CIA has terminated military support for the Tibetans in the early seventies. Also, in the nineties, there were already some books and movies uncovering the connections between the CIA and the Dalai Lama. In his autobiography of 1991, he had written about the contacts of his brothers with the CIA: "My brothers thought it was wise to keep this information from me."

In 1998, a spokesman for the Tibetan government in exile told The New York Times and admitted that in the sixties, they did well receive $ 1.7 million annually from the CIA. The training of guerrilla fighters and the military operations were financed with the money. But the spokesman refuted the report that the Dalai Lama had personally received the money of US$ 180,000 annually. The "Sueddeutsche Zeitung" discovered from their research into the CIA documents that the sum transferred was used as "cash assistance for the Dalai Lama."

June 8, 2012, the print version of Southern German Daily (SZ):

Seemingly Sacred - As a leading symbol of pacifism, the Dalai Lama knows much more about CIA’s involvement in Tibet than what he is willing to admit. Now, this holy monarch has fallen into the shadow of armed violence.

When in the face of his relationship with the CIA, the Dalai Lama, being regarded as the highest moral authority of pacifism, is now in a difficult situation to defend himself.… On the one side he accepts CIA’s financial assistance shamelessly to carry out guerrilla warfare and on the other side he uses the soft image of the Dalai Embassy to conduct non-violent protests; all these are of great conflicts whether in the past or present. Nobel Peace Prize winner, Tibetan guerrillas, and the U.S. CIA ─ when these three are put together, they sound strange, like the Pope, his women and his Porsche. But sometimes this world is just so strange.

Although there is no evidence that the Dalai Lama lied, but he has never told the whole truth either. His role is opaque. His attitude in dealing with this issue does not seem candid. For those who are enlightened, the truth should be only one.

Believers respect him as “monarch,” “Buddha of great compassion,” “ocean of wisdom,” “white lotus lord,” “supreme guru” and "treasure of wish-fulfilling.” ... Although the Dalai Lama once said that he is willing "to become any other living being for anyone as one wishes," apart from Beijing, probably nobody in the world would want him to become a chess piece of the US CIA during the Cold War. His direct connection with the CIA does not match his supreme moral authority at all.

June 10, 2012, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Online, Germany:

Dalai Lama “Rambo” – In a documentary film, former CIA officers talk about how the Dalai Lama, an icon of pacifism, was pursuing armed resistance against China.

The doctrine of two swords exists not only in Christianity, but in the Buddhist tradition as well. The spiritual and temporal swords should work together to heal the world - for example, to liberate it from communism. ... In his early days, the other "Holiness" (the Dalai Lama) also took advantage of the CIA's assistance … In the film “CIA in Tibet”, retired CIA operatives, from their golf courses and their armchairs, talk about the old days… Today we can be certain: The Dalai Lama, icon of pacifism, was pursuing - albeit reluctantly - armed resistance, as long as this resistance was sponsored by the Americans. In 1971, a special Tibetan unit fought with the Indian Army against today's Bangladesh. A year later, the Dalai Lama participated as a guest of honor in a military ceremony in India, during which those Tibetans who fought were awarded medals of valor. … Two of the Dalai Lama's brothers were the contacts people for the CIA and knew the details of the Tibetan guerilla struggle. In his autobiography the Dalai Lama says, "My brothers thought it wise to keep this information from me," which can be interpreted as the wise self-reporting of a peacemaker asked about traces of violence during a more ambiguous time.

(Retrieve from:

June 9, 2012, the Mirror Weekly Online, Germany (Der Spiegel Online):

CIA instructor in Tibet- Dilemma on the roof of the world

There is an almost forgotten chapter of Tibetan history: In the fifties and sixties, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency trained peasants, monks and nomads to become guerrilla resistance fighters. A documentary now awakes the memories of the mountain guerrillas - and the dilemma of the Dalai Lama.…

The Dalai Lama had never clearly said “No” to the CIA

Thousands of Tibetan guerrillas launched their attacks from the semi-autonomous Himalayan kingdom of Mustang some time later. It is unclear even today how many of them, either Tibetan or Chinese soldiers died. One thing is certain: the Dalai Lama had never made publicly a clear statement against the use of violence, nor had he agreed. In 1967 the CIA was to scale down the operation. In 1974, the Dalai Lama appealed to the last fighters to lay down their weapons.

Since then, he has argued for the display of so-called "middle way": no violence and no independence of Tibet, but he wants to have more religious and cultural autonomy well beyond the boundaries of the Tibet Autonomous Region. Among young Tibetans in exile, this is controversial. Many are willing, like their fathers and grandfathers, to take up arms.

"Shadows on the monarch?" Probably not. In a 1993 interview with "The New York Times," the Dalai Lama criticized the CIA action as "not very healthy," because they were only politically motivated, but not out of "genuine sympathy" for the Tibetan people…

June 12, 2012, The Press Online (Die Presse Online):

The Dalai Lama is not a Rambo, neither Jesus, nor a liar

June 14, 2012, The Standard Online (Der Standard Online):

The Dalai Lama was On the Payroll of the CIA

The above news excerpts about the reporting of “the Dalai Lama and the CIA” are translated from German media. What is worth mentioning is that a handful of European media still cannot provide impartial reportage despite the historical evidence due to hidden reasons behind it. Among them, the “Mirror” Weekly (Der Spiegel), a German newsmagazine, acts like the Dalai Lama’s personal medium, extolling him with every endeavor for over a decade; during this wave of criticism, it still tries to speak for the Dalai Lama in an attempt to mitigate the effect of reporting on the historical facts that “the Dalai Lama is a hypocrite.” As for the Austria media, they are still immersed in the Dalai Lama's visit to Austria (May 17-26); after they have managed to catch up with this wave of news reporting, The Press (Die Presse), with the reporting that the Dalai Lama did receive subsidy from the CIA to train Tibetan guerilla forces, maneuvers “anti-logic” to appease the criticisms from the internet that “the Dalai Lama is a swindler” by the following argument: In the early nineties, the documentary films aired in BBC already revealed the CIA scheme. This is not news anymore; in a way, the Dalai Lama was not lying.

The Dalai Lama’s connection with the CIA is nothing new, but the main reason why such “old news” could spring into the headlines of prominent European media this June is as follows: The Dalai Lama seems to be an icon of peace who not only repels violence, advocates benevolence, but is also an influential Buddhist representative in Westerners’ mind. However, such an image of absolute peace and non-violence has been utterly subverted due to the exposure of these violent historical facts such as his connections with the CIA as well as the Tibetan guerilla forces. The whole process, in which the Dalai’s peace image is overturned by the devastating truth, sends shock waves throughout European mass media.

Chairman Zhang Gongpu of the True Enlightenment Education Foundation indicates that, although a handful of European media are mesmerized by the Dalai’s halo (Nobel peace laureate), intimidated by the enormous political power of Tibetan “Buddhism,” and try to evade the undeniable historical evidence, most of the media still deserve praise for their professional reporting on the historical facts that the Dalai Lama was connected with Tibetan guerilla forces and the CIA and he supports violent secession; this is because history will be eventually scrutinized by the public eye; the more historical records are revealed, the more it goes to show the violent nature of the Dalai Lama, who indeed violates the Buddhist precepts. We can conclude that Tibetan “Buddhism” is only a fake Buddhism, and the Dalai Lama is by no means a Buddhist.

Editor’s Note:

This article is an English version of the Chinese edition published on

September 1, 2012.

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