Reddit’s Buddhism page bans support of the New Kadampa Tradition

Reddit’s Buddhism page bans support of the New Kadampa Tradition January 6, 2016

The popular Buddhism section of Reddit, known as the front page of the internet, last week banned all content relating to the New Kadampa Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. This, the editors say, is in response to complaints over the quality of the Buddhism section of the site. Specifically addressing the NKT ban, they write:

Why is content related to the New Kadampa Tradition now banned?

Following recent news confirming conspiracy theories and speculation for years that the NKT is financially backed by the Chinese Communist Party, we are making an executive decision. While we understand that many who participate in NKT-led events are largely unaware of the political drama, we cannot comfortably ignore the substantial amount of evidence uncovered by international journalism that the CCP is not only financially backing the NKT, but actively using the controversy to sow dissent and employing espionage tactics in the Buddhist community.

Our position is the Buddhist religion has an ancient history, and we cannot permit a totalitarian regime to interfere with our legacy, sabotage our traditions, and destroy our institutions.

As such, any content that is directly related to and in support of the NKT will be considered from here on out to be political propaganda for the Chinese Communist Party and swiftly removed. We welcome participants of the NKT to engage in discussions, but please refrain from making comments disparaging the Dalai Lama or relating to Dorje Shugden. An exception to this might be in the case of a newbie asking for information on the controversy–explanatory expositions of what is going on is tolerable; only direct support of the NKT will be viewed as a post with a political agenda and subsequently removed.

For the full post and comments (183 of them and counting) at reddit, click here.

You can also read that recent news report directly here, and follow up with a discussion of several points here (5 things we learned (and didn’t) from the Reuters investigation into the Buddhist “Shugden” sect, China, and the Dalai Lama). From my reading of the Reuters article there definitely wasn’t what I would consider “confirmation” of Chinese Communist Party support for the New Kadampa Tradition. What is clear from the report is that Chinese officials are actively in favor of Dorje Shugden worship which currently is causing tension within the Gelugpa school of the Dalai Lama. The exact extent of their support or whether the Chinese government is directly funding NKT activities is still anything but clear.

With a readership approaching 100,000 the effect of this ban could be dramatic. Though perhaps not, as the strongest response seems to be about another rule change (banning discussions on drugs and drug-related experiences)…

martin_mills_SOAS lecture 2014
Dr. Martin Mills stands before a lecture slide during his August 2014 talk on the Shugden controversy in London (full video here).

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