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Tibet under the Dalai Lamas: Tales of Slavery, Torture and Serfdom
January 16, 2009
11:24 pm
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To learn about the real conditions of how the people of Tibet lived under the rule of the Dalai Lamas, one only has to read the personal account of a former serf from Tibet. This is a news article from the credible news agency Reuters.com. The full article can be read here. It is quoted and highlighted below:

"One-time Tibetan serf now frontman for China"

BEIJING (Reuters) - For many fellow Tibetans, Sitar is a Chinese government puppet, but for the Communist Party, the former serf is a model of loyalty and rising political star.

Sitar, who goes by one name and whose ancestors were serfs for generations until 1959, has risen to be a vice-minister of the Party's United Front Work Department and a key defender of government policy in Tibet.

He has emerged as one of the most prominent ethnic Tibetans backing China's fight against Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, and his government-in-exile based in northern India.

In that role, Sitar has come to embody the divide between a Tibetan political elite that has embraced China's programme for controlling and developing the region, and discontented Tibetans and exiles who instead see exploitation and repression.

[...]

At a news conference this month, Sitar likened serfs to livestock and currency under the Dalai Lama's rule.

"I read an archived letter by a Tibetan nobleman to another nobleman. It read something like this: 'We gambled the other day and I lost three serfs, seven horses and 20 silver coins to you. I'm sending them over today'," Sitar said, speaking in impeccable Chinese. He also speaks Tibetan, English and German.

Sitar was born in 1953 in Dege county, famous for printing Tibetan Buddhist scriptures, in the southwestern province of Sichuan, a gateway to the Himalayan region.

[...]

Asked at the news conference to comment on serfdom in old Tibet, Sitar said: "Tibetans should protect their own human rights ... and absolutely not let the social system in which 95 percent of the people did not have human rights return to Tibet."

Many other authors and journalists have commented about the same type of conditions in Tibet that used to exist under the rule of the Dalai Lamas. The following content has been quoted from Friendly Feudalism: The Tibet Myth, by Michael Parenti

Slavery and Serfdom under the Dalai Lamas:

In old Tibet there were small numbers of farmers who subsisted as a kind of free peasantry, and perhaps an additional 10,000 people who composed the “middle-class” families of merchants, shopkeepers, and small traders. Thousands of others were beggars. There also were slaves, usually domestic servants, who owned nothing. Their offspring were born into slavery. The majority of the rural population were serfs. Treated little better than slaves, the serfs went without schooling or medical care, They were under a lifetime bond to work the lord's land--or the monastery's land--without pay, to repair the lord's houses, transport his crops, and collect his firewood. They were also expected to provide carrying animals and transportation on demand. Their masters told them what crops to grow and what animals to raise. They could not get married without the consent of their lord or lama. And they might easily be separated from their families should their owners lease them out to work in a distant location.

As in a free labor system and unlike slavery, the overlords had no responsibility for the serf's maintenance and no direct interest in his or her survival as an expensive piece of property. The serfs had to support themselves. Yet as in a slave system, they were bound to their masters, guaranteeing a fixed and permanent workforce that could neither organize nor strike nor freely depart as might laborers in a market context. The overlords had the best of both worlds.

Tools of the 'Peaceful' and 'Compassionate' Dalai Lamas: Eye Gouging, Pulling Out of Tongues and Mutilation:

T he Tibetan serfs were something more than superstitious victims, blind to their own oppression. As we have seen, some ran away; others openly resisted, sometimes suffering dire consequences. In feudal Tibet, torture and mutilation--including eye gouging, the pulling out of tongues, hamstringing, and amputation--were favored punishments inflicted upon thieves, and runaway or resistant serfs. Journeying through Tibet in the 1960s, Stuart and Roma Gelder interviewed a former serf, Tsereh Wang Tuei, who had stolen two sheep belonging to a monastery. For this he had both his eyes gouged out and his hand mutilated beyond use. He explains that he no longer is a Buddhist: “When a holy lama told them to blind me I thought there was no good in religion.” Since it was against Buddhist teachings to take human life, some offenders were severely lashed and then “left to God” in the freezing night to die. “The parallels between Tibet and medieval Europe are striking,” concludes Tom Grunfeld in his book on Tibet.

This thread will contain periodic posts about Tibet under the rule of the Dalai Lamas from various authors. Sometimes you'll also see posts about non-Tibet related controversies concerning the Dalai Lamas.

January 16, 2009
11:55 pm
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Worried_Dad
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Excellent work, guest_guest.

I say that as a man who reveres the current Dalai Lama.

January 17, 2009
12:06 am
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horsefly
this is off....be on this forum for years....not just since last year..we can email each other Now? that Nappy is long gone....
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" To thy own self be true " quote from horsefly

January 17, 2009
12:14 am
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WD,

Yea there are many (muslims) who revere Muhammad too. They think he was the best man ever born and a prophet of God. Others think differently for example, they know he married 9 year old Aisha when he was 54 and he ordered 900 men to be beheaded in the Banu Qurayza incident and had their women and children enslaved.

Given the same amount of evidence and depending on their personal preferences, people will pick and choose what they want to believe and reject the rest when it doesnt coincidence with their pre-existing beliefs.

January 17, 2009
4:50 pm
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marypoppins
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Hmmm. So WD compliments Guest, and rather than say a simple "thanks", Guest chides him for his reverence for the Dalai Lama? Am I reading this correctly??

Sheesh.

January 17, 2009
6:53 pm
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What do you think his remark sounded like, other than a rebuttal and a rejection of what I wrote, Mary poppins?

>> Excellent work, guest_guest.

>> I say that as a man who reveres the current Dalai Lama.

Imagine me writing a post about a Hiler and someone comes along and say:

>> Excellent work, guest_guest.

>> I say that as a man who reveres Hitler

Now MaryPoppins. Is that a compliment of the report that criticized Hitler's work or is it a mockery of the work?

Ah. I thought intelligent people could tell.

January 17, 2009
7:30 pm
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marypoppins
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I think it's possible to revere the Dalai Lama and appreciate the work someone has done. Both are possible at the same time.

On another note. You wrote that your life was kind of closed, socially, and mine had been, too, until I let this guy in. A normal guy in that his family background is normal compared to my fucked-up one. But after a year or so of beating it in my head that I deserve happiness and no more self loathing, I've been wondering if I'm doing what's right for myself. Didn't realize how lonely I'd become in my promise to no longer be grateful for just crumbs. I used to take any crumb. Anyway, it's an experiment. I have to learn how to live in this different way, so I need experience. It's just weird having these real highs with another person after not having them in such a long time. I'm giving myself permission though to have growing pains. I'm fucking determined to love myself no matter what.

Mary

January 17, 2009
7:34 pm
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marypoppins
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I used to be extremely self destructive.

January 17, 2009
7:35 pm
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marypoppins
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confession: I don't give a shit about the topic of your thread, but I like you, Guest

January 17, 2009
7:41 pm
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I was thinking of the years I've been in relationships - some really fantastic times but some really dysfunctional behavior, too. But, I've been in a relationship dry spell for some time now. And trying to convince myself it's okay. However, I long for some real experiences again. It's tough sometimes.

January 17, 2009
7:48 pm
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I dont expect WD to give me a straight answer or respond to my first post. He's pretty stubborn. Inspite of giving him massive evidence for how violent and perverted Muhammed was, WD stuck to his opinions saying that Islam was a religion of peace. So its fine. I'm not here to convince anyone who comes here a pre-formed determination to oppose whatever I say, or someone who is not going to accept opposing evidence. Its up to them.

January 17, 2009
7:54 pm
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marypoppins
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and...

January 17, 2009
7:56 pm
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marypoppins
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I'm sincere. Don't make me beg.

January 17, 2009
9:21 pm
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bevdee
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This is from that same site - I thought G_guest saying this to Marypoppins -
"Ah. I thought intelligent people could tell. "

was a cheap shot, but it turns out it is another ad hominem. 😀

From the site I cited before. Site cite -

http://www.proft.org/tips/conv.....ror.html#a
Ad Hominem Variants
OVER YOUR HEAD:
"I'd like to respond to that, but taking into account your background, education, and intelligence, I am quite sure that you would not be able to understand."

January 17, 2009
9:58 pm
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Buddhism in Japan

"As with any religion, squabbles between or within Buddhist sects are often fueled by the material corruption and personal deficiencies of the leadership. For example, in Nagano, Japan, at Zenkoji, the prestigious complex of temples that has hosted Buddhist sects for more than 1,400 years, “a nasty battle” arose between Komatsu the chief priest and the Tacchu, a group of temples nominally under the chief priest's sway. The Tacchu monks accused Komatsu of selling writings and drawings under the temple's name for his own gain. They also were appalled by the frequency with which he was seen in the company of women. Komatsu in turn sought to isolate and punish monks who were critical of his leadership. The conflict lasted some five years and made it into the courts." (Friendly Feudalism: The Tibet Myth, by Michael Parenti)

January 18, 2009
1:38 pm
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tree_hugs_4life
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guest, the history you post is interesting, I had no idea. Hostility about this is most certainly understandable. Especially when you use Hitler as a comparison as my stomach turns at the thought of that vile creature.

Here's what I'm struggling with however.

It seems the history of the major religions/spiritual sects is violent. Christianity had the crusades and salem witch trials and such, Judaism- well they're still bombing people, Islam- don't even need to go there, Mormon- they make cults, etc.

So a person seeking spiritual growth, guidance, understanding, well there isn't anything to ponder, read, attempt to understand, unless the history is set aside and only the words of insight are heeded.

I for one have some need to feed my spiritual side, and meditation over the words from many of the religions satisfy that hunger.

I think that's why people set aside the violent histories such as that which you post, and discuss the words despite.

Not because there's a need to personally attack you guest. But because of a need to feed the spiritual side.

peace

January 18, 2009
7:50 pm
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Worried_Dad
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Hi Guest,

Well, Mohammed is a figure from ancient history--practically a myth.

The Dalai Lama is an actual person living today. There's video.

January 18, 2009
9:48 pm
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hi tree

Yea. The point of that post was to show that Buddhist monks and culture have not always been peaceful as we have believed.

>> I for one have some need to feed my spiritual side, and meditation over the words from many of the religions satisfy that hunger.

That is again equivalent to a man being a intelligent serial killer and then he writes some nice words from prison. Then you'd say you need his nice words and we should forget his history.

Do we need religions for satisfying our "spiritual" side? There is no spiritual side. Its all in our heads. The problem is that people need to think about things and to look up to something in order to feel better. Believe in yourself only and believe that you have all the stuff inside that you need. You are perfect as you are, tree. Isnt that a great feeling rather than "you're not ok. Listen to me. Listen to this holy man if you want to learn how to live".

Everyone knows how to live life. You're no wiser than anyone else and niether is any holy man wiser than you.

Spirituality is something in the air that people indulge in in order to find some meaning in their lives. You're the meaning. Believe in yourself. What you're looking for -- is already inside you. Isnt that great to hear?

If you believe in God and stuff, thats a different story. But once again, the crimes of a serial killer must be known.

These Dalai Lamas tortured serfs and enslaved them. Do you think thats something that should not be talked about?

January 18, 2009
10:49 pm
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It is most certainly something that should be talked about guest. Those who have suffered at the hands of another should never be forgotten.

peace

January 18, 2009
11:13 pm
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>> Those who have suffered at the hands of another should never be forgotten.

I'm glad we agree

January 18, 2009
11:25 pm
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Worried_dad says Muhammed was a myth. Right, and so was Julius Caesar and Leonardo da Vinci. We dont have any video of these guys too. Yea ... great point as usual, WD. You're awesome.

January 18, 2009
11:27 pm
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Free, so do you still think I should not post the information I posted below?

January 18, 2009
11:28 pm
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Tibet under the Dalai Lamas

One 22-year old woman, herself a runaway serf, reports: “Pretty serf girls were usually taken by the owner as house servants and used as he wished”; they “were just slaves without rights.” Serfs needed permission to go anywhere. Landowners had legal authority to capture those who tried to flee. One 24-year old runaway welcomed the Chinese intervention as a “liberation.” He testified that under serfdom he was subjected to incessant toil, hunger, and cold. After his third failed escape, he was merciless beaten by the landlord's men until blood poured from his nose and mouth. They then poured alcohol and caustic soda on his wounds to increase the pain, he claimed. (Friendly Feudalism: The Tibet Myth, by Michael Parenti)

January 19, 2009
6:55 pm
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free
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Depends on your motive guest. I'm a reader these days, not much of a poster.

Take care

January 19, 2009
10:52 pm
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hi Free

oops, I was asking tree and I called out Free.

hope you're doing good.

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