Shugden is nowadays routinely propitiated at NKT and Shugden centers and monasteries across the world, with the practice being forcefully implemented at monasteries across Tibet. Despite that, NKT/ISC spokespersons claim frequently that their Dalai Lama defamation campaign is perpetuated because religious freedom is being violated. Furthermore, they often claim that devotees of the Shugden spirit are ‘dying’ because of their religious beliefs.
Such claims are totally without foundation or evidence. It can be stated, categorically, that not a single devotee of the spirit has ever died, been tortured or imprisoned because of their beliefs. This claim is clearly designed to cater to the salacious whims of inexperienced journalists and bloggers. It relies on the assumption that, in the face of looming deadlines and the need to attract attention, fact checking is nowadays increasingly being sacrificed for the sake of a catchy headline.
Nevertheless, while the spirits devotees have nowhere suffered any of the above inhumanities, Shugden and his worshippers have themselves been complicit in the deaths of dozens, indeed hundreds of deaths of their enemies, if their own accounts are to be believed. From the Fifth Dalai Lama’s attribution of an epidemic and the deaths of monks of his own monastery in the 1660s to the spirit right down to its own devotees joyful attribution of the worst floods in Tibet’s history at Gyantse in 1954,where almost 700 people died and 16000 were injured, Shugden’s hands have been smeared with blood, his form garbed in misery.
Moreover, while Shugden devotee Zimey Losang Palden’s praise of the spirit, the ‘Yellow Book’, attributes the inflicting of madness, sickness and death on enemies to Shugden himself, we should not overlook the many instances in the 1920s and 30s where its devotees rampaged through the monasteries of other sects, destroying statues, burning scriptures and even shooting monks, all while claiming to be possessed by the spirit. Nor should we overlook the brutal murder of the spirit’s critics by Shugden devotees, or the imprisonment, torture and custodial deaths of those within Chinese occupied Tibet who have dared to oppose the Chinese policy of imposing compulsory Shugden worship in their monasteries; for nowadays, discouraging worship of the spirit is a criminal offence punishable by lengthy imprisonment.
It is of note that while the NKT/ISC claim their Dalai Lama defamation campaign is aimed at establishing religious freedom, their propaganda fails to make reference to any of the above nor the repeated denial of the religious freedom of millions of Tibetans to not worship the Shugden spirit, a practice now being implemented forcefully throughout Tibet, with some who do not conform or who dare to speak out against spirit worship being tortured, imprisoned and even dying.