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8/20/05


Home_____Do You Have A "Free Tibet" Sticker on Your Car Window?

What of the Dalai Lama and the Tibet he presided over before the Chinese crackdown in 1959? It is widely held by many devout Buddhists that Old Tibet was a spiritually oriented kingdom free from the egotistical lifestyles, empty materialism, and corrupting vices that beset modern industrialized society. Western news media, travel books, novels, and Hollywood films have portrayed the Tibetan theocracy as a veritable Shangri-La.

In the Dalai Lama's Tibet, torture and mutilation---including eye gouging, the pulling out of tongues, hamstringing, and amputation--were favored punishments inflicted upon runaway serfs and thieves. 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. . . .

Young Tibetan boys were regularly taken from their families and brought into the monasteries to be trained as monks. Once there, they became bonded for life. Tashì-Tsering, a monk, reports that it was common for peasant children to be sexually mistreated in the monasteries. He himself was a victim of repeated rape, beginning at age nine. . . .

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." . . .

Kim Lewis, who studied healing methods with a Buddhist monk in Berkeley, California, had occasion to talk at length with more than a dozen Tibetan women who lived in the monk's building. When she asked how they felt about returning to their homeland, the sentiment was unanimously negative. More

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