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Article by Christopher Hitchens, a columnist for Vanity Fair
"The Dalai Lama has come out in support of the thermonuclear tests recently conducted by the Indian state, and has done so in the very language of the chauvinist parties who now control that state's affairs. The "developed" countries, he says, must realize that India is a major contender and should not concern themselves with its internal affairs. This is a perfectly realpolitik statement, so crass and banal and opportunist that it would not deserve any comment if it came from another source.
But here are some other facts about the serene leader that, dwarfed as they are by his endorsement of nuclear weapons, are still worth knowing and still generally unknown.
* Shoko Asahara, leader of the Supreme Truth cult in Japan and spreader of sarin nerve gas on the Tokyo subway, donated 45 million rupees, or about 170 million yen (about $1.2 million), to the Dalai Lama and was rewarded for his efforts by several high-level meetings with the divine one.
* Steven Seagal, the robotic and moronic "actor" who gave us "Hard to Kill" and "Under Siege," has been proclaimed a reincarnated lama and a sacred vessel or "tulku" of Tibetan Buddhism. This decision, ratified by Penor Rinpoche, supreme head of the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism, was initially received with incredulity by (insert the name of another braindead, washed-up hollywood goof), who had hitherto believed himself to be the superstar most favored. "If someone's a tulku, that's great," he was quoted as saying. "But no one knows if that's true." How insightful, if only accidentally. At a subsequent Los Angeles appearance by the Dalai Lama, Seagal was seated in the front row and (other washed up loser) two rows back, thus giving the latter's humility and submissiveness a day at the races. Suggestions that Seagal's fortune helped elevate him to the Himalayan status of tulku are not completely discounted even by some adepts and initiates.
* Supporters of the Dorge Shugden deity -- a "Dharma protector" and an ancient object of worship and propitiation in Tibet -- have been threatened with violence and ostracism and even death following the Dalai Lama's abrupt prohibition of this once-venerated godhead. A Swiss television documentary graphically intercuts footage of "His Holiness", denying all knowledge of menace and intimidation, with scenes of his followers' enthusiastically promulgating "Wanted" posters and other paraphernalia of excommunication and persecution.
* While he denies being a Buddhist "Pope," the Dalai Lama is never happier than when brooding in a celibate manner on the sex lives of people he has never met. "Sexual misconduct for men and women consists of oral and anal sex," he has repeatedly said in promoting his book on these matters. "Using one's hand, that is sexual misconduct." But, as ever with religious stipulations, there is a nutty escape clause. "To have sexual relations with a prostitute paid by you and not by a third person does not constitute improper behavior."