Part Three – Corporate Power

fistful of dollars

Corporate Power is Protected: The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite. (1)

The Mutually beneficial relationship between NED, Dalai Lama and CTA

In 2010 Webster G. Tarpley, an American author, historian and journalist, said the following in one of his articles: ‘Various wealthy mystics in Hollywood have promoted the Dalai Lama as an exemplar of refined spirituality, but in reality the Dalai Lama’s operation, currently based in India, is a relic of the Allen Dulles-Richard Bissell era of Cold War extremists at the CIA. The current Dalai Lama attempted to lead an insurrection against Chinese rule in 1959, which was supported by the oppressive feudal nobility of Tibet, but failed because it had little appeal to the former serfs and slaves who made up about 80% of Tibetan society. Tibet under the Dalai Lama was a country where 200 wealthy families held 93% of the wealth, while the masses were so poor and downtrodden that the population was declining. During the 1960s, the CIA gave several million dollars a year to the Dalai Lama’s court, with the Dalai Lama personally getting more than $180,000 per year from the US taxpayer. Today, the Dalai Lama’s court in northern India is the home of a gaggle of reactionary Tibetan aristocrats supported by $2 million per year from that same US taxpayer. This is a very bad investment for the United States.'(

In the case of the exile Tibetan Government, The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), the ‘industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation’ could be said to be the American taxpayer. Millions of American taxpayer dollars are being regularly pumped into the exile Tibetan community. This is done overtly in the form of grants (2) and rather more covertly through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Officially the NED is ‘a private, non-profit foundation dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world. Each year, with funding from the US Congress, NED supports more than 1,000 projects of non-governmental groups abroad who are working for democratic goals in more than 90 countries.’ (3)

In reality it is the funding of the NED that props up the power elite of the CTA, under the leadership of the Dalai Lama, and creates a ‘mutually beneficial business/government relationship.’ This relationship is mutually beneficial because:
             1. The money contributed by America gives the Dalai Lama and CTA freedom to be dictatorial, even fascist, in their system of governance because the Americans have effectively given them financial independence. The exile community have no leverage with the CTA, the CTA are not dependent on their community’s taxes, nor do they have to battle to win votes as there are no opposition parties; in effect the CTA do not have to answer to the people they govern. The money from USA is enabling the current, corrupt structure of the CTA, led by the Dalai Lama, a structure that has all 14 characteristics of a Fascist State.
             2. For the USA it appears that Henry Makow is right to ‘suspect that he (Dalai Lama) is still a CIA puppet who is used to destabilize China using the Tibet region as a proxy, just as Saudi Arabia is using Sunni radicals (e.g. Al Qaida) as proxies to destabilize the Middle East with the support of Israel and the West.’ (4)

The Dalai Lama CIA funding

A detailed description of ‘The CIA’s Secret War in Tibet was published in The Chicago Tribune, January 26, 1997. (15)

‘Between the late 1950s and the mid-1960s, say Tibetan veterans such as Nawang and U.S. intelligence experts who corroborate their stories, the American government flew hundreds of eager Tibetan exiles to far-flung bases in Okinawa, Guam and even Colorado. There they were trained as guerrillas against the Chinese troops that had invaded the remote Buddhist kingdom in 1950.


Camp Hale,Colorado, where the CIA trained the Tibetan Guerillas

The Tibetans, many recruited from the warrior Khamba tribe, were parachuted back into their homeland at night with submachine guns and neck lockets with photos of the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual leader. Some CIA trainees ended up commanding a Kiplingesque army of 2,000 resistance fighters dubbed the Chusi Gangdruk, or “Four Rivers, Six Gorges.” Their specialty was ambushing the People’s Liberation Army from bases high in the cloud-colored mountains of Nepal. Others floated down through the moonlit skies of central Asia never to be heard from again: At least 40 were presumed captured by the Chinese and executed by a pistol-shot in the back of the head. The war had many casualties on both sides as described in this extract: ‘After the Dalai Lama’s flight to India, the number of Tibetan teams secretly flown into Camp Hale grew. Eventually, 259 Tibetans would be trained there. Still, there were successes. Gompo Tashi later related to Roger McCarthy, CIA operations officer in charge of the Tibetan program at the time, details of a December 25 attack by 200 of his men: ‘The men attacked on the date set and fought the Chinese for 15 days, destroying more than 500 Chinese quarters and many vehicles….The Chinese Communist newspaper…reported that more than 550 Chinese soldiers had been killed ‘heroically’ in this battle. We lost 20 men and nine others wounded.’ Tashi added that 29 Tibetan volunteers leading 400 locals attacked another Chinese camp in the area. ‘That battle lasted 10 days,’ he recalled. ‘They inflicted heavy casualties on the Chinese….’ Then on January 24, 1959, ‘Another of our volunteer forces of 130 men attacked the Chinese in Tengchen and seized the fortress in Teng Dzong…. More than 4,000 people from the local area volunteered to join us….The destruction of the Chinese was systematic and about completed when unfortunately the skies cleared and the Chinese began bombing and machine-gunning us from their airplanes….We had not killed all of the Chinese but would have if we had better communications between our forces and if the weather had not cleared.’’ (20)

Today, this obscure Cold War skirmish in a high, lonely place many Americans associate with Shangri-La is a tale that both the CIA and the Dalai Lama’s pacifist government-in-exile would prefer to forget.


Veterans like Nawang told their story because they felt, “People should know that men died for this. These things are no longer secrets. They stopped being secrets when we lost.” The article goes on to say, ‘Truth be told, little about the CIA’s skullduggery in the Himalayas is a real secret anymore–except maybe to the U.S. taxpayers who bankrolled it. “The real mystery is why the conflict isn’t more famous given all the romance and fascination surrounding Tibet these days,” said Warren Smith, an author and scholar in Washington, who has written extensively on the politics and history of Tibet. “In that sense at least, the CIA has good reason to call Tibet a qualified success. It was a complete disaster militarily, but few Americans have a clue.” Today, the CIA neither confirms nor denies such detailed allegations about an operation that proceeded through the Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson presidencies.”Regardless of how much time has passed, we can’t comment publicly on any of this,” said Mark Mansfield, an agency spokesman.

But a retired CIA agent identified by several Tibetan sources as a major figure in the secret war corroborated much of Nawang’s story. “The idea was to make Tibet very expensive for China,” said the former agent, who now lives in the eastern U.S. “The Chinese had these long, vulnerable supply lines. The guerrillas were supposed to harass them, tie up troops, generally make life miserable. And for a while, they actually succeeded.” Yet from the very beginning, the agent said, planners at CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., had few illusions about pushing well-equipped Chinese divisions out of the kingdom. “Did we tell the Tibetans that? Of course not,” he said. “But if we used the Tibetans for our own ends, then they also used the Cold War to get support for sovereignty. I feel no guilt whatsoever over the operation, especially given what the Chinese have done in Tibet since.” The disconnect between what the Tibetans were hoping to receive from the Americans and the Americans’ aims is clearly illustrated in ‘The CIA Circus:Tibet’s forgotten army,’ by R. Sengupta; ”We had great expectations when we went to America. We thought perhaps they would even give us an atom bomb to take back,’ says Tenzin Tsultrim. ‘In the training period, we learned that the objective was to gain our independence,’ adds another grizzled veteran. But the Americans had other ideas. ‘The whole idea was to keep the Chinese occupied, keep them annoyed, keep them disturbed. Nobody wanted to go to war over Tibet…It was a nuisance operation. Basically, nothing more,’ says former CIA agent Sam Halpern.’ (19)

‘The CIA Tibetan Activity consists of political action, propaganda, and paramilitary activity […] The cost of the Tibetan Program for FY 1964 can be summarized in approximate figures as follows:

a. Support of 2100 Tibetan guerrillas based in Nepal–$ 500,000
b. Subsidy to the Dalai Lama–$ 180,000
c. [1 line of source text not declassified] (equipment, transportation, installation, and operator training costs)–$ 225,000
d. Expenses of covert training site in Colorado–$ 400,000
e. Tibet Houses in New York, Geneva, and [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] ( 1/2 year )–$ 75,000
f. Black air transportation of Tibetan trainees from Colorado to India–$ 185,000
g. Miscellaneous (operating expenses of [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] equipment and supplies to reconnaissance teams, caching program, air resupply–not overflights, preparation stages for agent network in Tibet, agent salaries, etc.)–$ 125,000
h. Educational program for 20 selected junior Tibetan officers– $ 45,000
Total–$ 1,735,000
Document 337, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964 – 1968, Volume xxx, China Declassified State Department Document (17)


The Dalai Lama escaping to India

‘The old CIA links are still controversial enough that the Dalai Lama, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, traditionally has declined to talk about American meddling in the Himalayas even though his elder brother, a businessman named Gyalo Thondup, is widely known to have coordinated most of the clandestine aid flowing through Darjeeling.'(16) The cover up of the terrorist war and funding was fairly successful, this article on Dissident Voice investigates how it has been possible to keep this information covered up for so long: ‘We can also put to the rest the myth that the public would wake up if the corporate media published the truth. It’s been nearly a decade since the Tribune article and Mr. Lama is more popular than ever… U.S. taxpayers and the entertainment world’s financial elite who are suckered in by the Dalai Lama’s little boy grin, esoteric lectures, and pacific persona. So, how did His Holiness and His Posse manage such paradoxical behavior? Lend an ear to what Jamyang Norbu, a prominent Tibetan intellectual, informed the Tribune: “For years, the only way Tibetans could get a hearing in the world’s capitals was to emphasize our spirituality and helplessness. Tibetans who pick up rifles don’t fit into the romantic image we’ve built up in the Westerner’s heads. So these old guys are ignored, have no pension, no medals, and are just fading away.” (15)

And it works. If you don’t believe me, ask R.E.M. lead singer Michael Stipe. He believes the Tibetans have “done it peacefully, without raising swords. No matter what hardship these people were under, they would not raise a hand against the enemy.”  Wilson’s characterization in Workers World presents a slightly different perspective: “The prevalence of anti-communism as a near religion in the United States has made it easy to sell slave masters as humanitarians. The Dalai Lama is not much different from the former slave owners of the Confederate South.”

In an article in The Spectator, Johnathon Mirsky explains that the Dalai Lama definitely did know about the involvement of the CIA; ‘In fact, the Dalai Lama has admitted on several occasions, including to the leading Tibetanist Melvyn Goldstein, and even to me, that he knew of the American connection even before his escape to India in 1959, and has made plain that he regarded it as ‘harmful’. His one proviso was: “They [the resistance] eventually cleared southern Tibet of the Chinese. They did this with CIA help. Without the CIA they couldn’t have done that clearing, and without the clearing I wouldn’t have been able to escape from Lhasa across the mountains into India. And if I hadn’t escaped from Tibet, the situation there would have been even worse.”‘ (19)  The Dalai Lama’s knowledge of the guerriIla war is further confirmed in R. Sengupta’s article: ‘1974, armtwisted by the Chinese, the Nepalese government sent troops to Mustang to demand the surrender of the guerrillas. Fearing a bloody confrontation, the Dalai Lama sent the resistance fighters a taped message, asking them to surrender. They did so, reluctantly. Some committed suicide soon afterwards.’ (18) Also in his book, ‘Orphans of the Cold War,’ John Knaus, ‘who took part in the operation, writes that “Gyalo Thondup kept his brother the Dalai Lama informed of the general terms of the CIA support.” According to Knaus, starting in the late 1950s, the Agency paid the Dalai Lama $15,000 a month. Those payments came to an end in 1974.'(23)

In a world where violence is a response to violence many people would applaud the incredibly brave response of the Tibetan fighters to a formidable enemy. However the Guerrilla warfare and CIA funding does not sit comfortably with the Dalai Lama’s international image as a Man of Peace and a Nobel Peace Prize winner. Consequently the war, and those who fought in it, have been pushed firmly into the shadows, until the release of evidence in WikiLeaks documents shone a light on past events. For example; ‘Today, the survivors of the Mustang resistance force live in two refugee settlements in Nepal, where they eke out a living spinning wool and weaving carpets.’ (18) What will be surprising to many is the Dalai Lama has gone as far as to say the war is in keeping with Buddhist tenets: In the above film (around 4:20) The Dalai Lama justifies the violent response to the Chinese occupation of Tibet stating that it is a Buddhist belief that: ‘If motivation is good and goal is good then method, even if it’s apparently violent kind, is permissible.’ In an interview given by the Dalai Lama, shortly after he arrived in exile in India, he goes so far as to say that it is not possible for humans to maintain patience:  ‘‘Yes I agree we are the people of a small country, for many years before this last incident we were tolerant and patient but there is a limit to these virtues. When oppression becomes greater than human beings  can bear they must resist, not all human beings have attained Nirvana nor have they reached the state in which they can discard human emotions.” (8:25) Again many people would agree that violent resistance was an acceptable response to the Chinese military occupation of Tibet and the subsequent slaughter and oppression of the Tibetan people. However the Dalai Lama is revered as a Buddhist Spiritual leader and there are many practising Buddhist that would not agree with his interpretation of Buddha’s teachings. It is also true that he was awarded the Nobel Peace prize based on his apparently totally peaceful, non-violent response to Chinese occupation.

While the Chicago Tribune claimed that the U. S. government’s support for Tibet’s spiritual contras ended in the 1970s, former CIA agent Ralph McGehee told Workers World that the Agency was “a prime mover behind the . . . 1990s campaign promoting the cause of the Dalai Lama and Tibetan independence.” McGehee cites the Dalai Lama’s eldest brother, a businessman named Gyalo Thondup, as the key player in this operation.’

It is the CIA backing of the Tibetan campaign for independence that prompted Ken Livingstone, Former Mayor of London and senior UK Member of Parliament, to make the following observation on BBC Sunday Morning Live, October 25th: ‘The Dalai Lama made a fatal mistake when he fled Tibet, he was taking money from the CIA …therefore the Chinese will never trust him.’ His comment indicates that he feels America’s backing disrupted negotiations between the Dalai Lama and China.

The Dalai Lama and Ken Livingstone are in agreement that the involvement of the CIA was a mistake, as shown in his response to Johnathon Mirsky’s question: ‘In 1999, I asked the Dalai Lama if the CIA operation had been harmful for Tibet. “Yes, that is true,” he replied. The intervention was harmful, he suggested, because it was primarily aimed at serving American interests rather than helping the Tibetans in any lasting way. “Once the American policy toward China changed, they stopped their help,” he told me. “Otherwise our struggle could have gone on. Many Tibetans had great expectations of CIA [air] drops, but then the Chinese army came and destroyed them. The Americans had a different agenda from the Tibetans.”’ (23)


The Middle Way and covert CIA funding

In 1974, the Dalai Lama announced his new strategy, the Middle Way, which is described thus: ‘It is a policy conceived by the Dalai Lama in 1974 in an effort to engage the Chinese government in dialogue and find a peaceful way to protect the unique Tibetan culture and identity.’ (5) The Middle Way was the peaceful strategy that led to the Dalai Lama being awarded the Noble Peace Prize. Interestingly the launching of the Middle Way strategy coincided with the end of CIA funding for the exile Tibetan terrorist activities. ‘By 1969, however, it appears that covert support for the Tibetan cause had either served its geopolitical purpose (or it was decided that these operations were simply no longer effective), and the CIA announced the withdrawal of its aid for the Tibetan revolutionaries. That said, support for the Tibetan freedom fighters was still provided by the Indian and Taiwanese governments “until 1974, two years after President Richard Nixon normalized U.S. relations with China” (as were the U.S. subsidies for the Dalai Lama, which also continued until 1974’ (6) It was only at this point, when the funding was being cut, that the Dalai Lama conveniently developed a pacifist strategy and for the first time urged the terrorists to lay down their arms. This did not mean an end to American financial support, the financial support continued but the unsuccessful military offensive was ended. ‘The next phase of the U.S. relationship with the Dalai Lama and his people was to be cast in terms of a contest between human rights and political engagement with China. The Tibetan cause then found new sponsors in a bipartisan group of senators, members of Congress, and congressional staff assistants, who worked with the Dalai Lama’s entourage to focus the attention of successive U.S. administrations and a responsive world community on the Tibet situation.’(7)

Not long after this the NED came about as a result of investigations into the activities of the CIA; ‘Spurred by Watergate-the Church Committee of the Senate, the Pike Committee of the House and the Rockefeller Commission, created by the president, were all busy investigating the CIA. Seemingly every other day there was a new headline about the discovery of some awful thing, even criminal conduct, the CIA had been mixed up in for years. The Agency was getting an exceedingly bad name, and it was causing the powers-that-be much embarrassment.’ (8) As a result of the negative revelations concerning the CIA the American Government, led by Ronald Regan, decided a new approach to world politics was needed and the National Endowment for Democracy was launched. ‘The idea was that the NED would do somewhat overtly what the CIA had been doing covertly for decades, and thus, hopefully, eliminate the stigma associated with CIA covert activities.’ (8) Even Allen Weinstein, the NEDs first acting president, observed that in fact “A lot of what we [the NED] do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA” (9)

This was the beginning of the American government campaign against those countries that it saw as a potential threat to its supremacy, countries such as China: ‘In 1983, the strategy of overthrowing inconvenient governments and calling it “democracy promotion” was born. Through the creation of a series of quasi-private “foundations”, such as Albert Einstein Institute (AEI), National Endowment for Democracy (NED), International Republican Institute (IRI), National Democratic Institute (NDI), Freedom House and later the International Center for Non-Violent Conflict (ICNC), Washington began to filter funding and strategic aid to political parties and groups abroad that promoted US agenda in nations with insubordinate governments.
Behind all these “foundations” and “institutes” is the US Agency for Inter- national Development (USAID), the financial branch of the Department of State. Today, USAID has become a critical part of the security, intelligence and defense axis in Washington. In 2009, the Interagency Counterinsurgency Initiative became official doctrine in the US. Now, USAID is the principal entity that promotes the economic and strategic interests of the US across the globe as part of counterinsurgency operations. Its departments dedicated to transition initiatives, reconstruction, conflict management, economic development, governance and democracy are the main venues through which millions of dollars are filtered from Washington to political parties, NGOs, student organizations and movements that promote US agenda worldwide. Wherever a coup d’etat, a colored revolution or a regime change favorable to US interests occurs, USAID and its flow of dollars is there.’ (10)

Tibet’s International Campaign

The NED funding was to support America’s strategic use of the Dalai Lama and the exile community in its strategic power play with China. “The Dalai Lama’s and his exiled community’s efforts to gain international support for Tibet’s cause took a major step forward in 1986-1987, when a series of meetings between Tibetan and Western supporters in New York, Washington, and London launched what has become known as Tibet’s “international campaign.” The goal of this campaign was to garner Western and principally U.S. support for Tibet’s situation, and ultimately to bring this international pressure to bear on Beijing to make satisfactory political concessions. As part of this new strategy, the U.S. Congress in 1987 began to put pressure on the White House to protect Tibetan culture and accord Tibet greater status in U.S. law, despite Beijing’s strong objections. Two events of particular importance occurred in 1987. First, on September 21, the Dalai Lama made his first political speech in the United States, at the invitation of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus. In that speech, the Dalai Lama made a five-point proposal for resolving the Tibet question that was well-received in the United States and had significant consequences on congressional attitudes toward Tibet. Second, Congress put non-binding measures into place in 1987 declaring that the United States should make Tibet’s situation a higher policy priority and should urge China to establish a constructive dialogue with the Dalai Lama.” (11)

Tibet’s ‘international campaign’ was being actively supported by the NED. The NED, which is funded by the US government to the tune of 32 million dollars, and has a representative of the US State Department on its Board, annually funds various parties and organisations in different parts of the world. ‘According to the details given out by the NED about the grants distributed by it during 1999, its main focus has been on China and Burma in Asia. This reflects the concerns of the US to subvert the governments and the social systems in these countries which are seen to be inimical to the American idea of “democracy”. The NED supports groups which work for promoting “democracy”, “human rights” and “democratic change” in these two countries.’ (12)

Financial Figures

“Behind The Smile – The Hidden Side of the Dalai Lama” (2012) by French journalist Maxime Vivas perfectly highlights the Dalai Lama/ CIA/ NED connection: how this money is still used to subsidise the Dalai Lama’s political activities:
1. Bodkyi Translation & Research House $15,000
2. Consultations Samdup $50,000
3. Gu-Chu-Sum Movement of Tibet $43,675
4. International Campaign for Tibet $50,000
5. International Tibet Support Network $45,000
6. Khawa Karpo Tibet Culture Centre $25,000
7. Students For a Free Tibet $22,506
8. Tibet Museum $15,000
9. Tibetan Centre for Human Rights & Democracy $50,000
10. Tibetan Institute for Performing Arts $15,000
11. Tibetan Literacy Society $35,000
12. Tibetan Parliamentary & Policy Research Centre $15,000
13. Tibetan Review Trust Society $25,000
14. Tibetan Women’s Association, Central $15,000
15. Voice of Tibet $33,600
16. Welfare Society Tibetan Chamber of Commerce $15,000
“Those are just the tip of the iceberg.” concluded Vivas.

Sinister Implications

The truly sinister implications of this long term funding by the NED is best described in the following paragraph: ‘This article has demonstrated the close ties that exist between the Dalai Lama’s non-violent campaign for Tibetan independence and U.S. foreign policy elites who are actively supporting Tibetan causes through the NED. This finding is particularly worrying given the high international media profile of many of the groups exposed in this article, especially when it is remembered that the NED’s activities are intimately linked with those of the CIA. This funding issue is clearly problematic for Tibetan (or foreign) activists campaigning for Tibetan freedom, as the overwhelmingly anti-democratic nature of the NED can only weaken the legitimacy of the claims of any group associated with the NED. In this regard it seems only fitting that progressive activists truly concerned with promoting freedom and democracy in Tibet should first and foremost cast a critical eye over the antidemocratic funders of many of the Tibetan groups identified in this study.’(13)

Similar strong concerns have been voiced about the American NED involvement in India as a whole; ‘It is imperative that the NED’s operations in India be stopped. On no account should it be allowed to open its office, just as the FBI was allowed to do last year. The Asian Centre for Democratic Governance is nothing but an American-funded outfit which should not have any official patronage or collaboration. The Bureau of Parliamentary Studies must dissociate from the Centre, nor should the government of India, extend any sort of patronage to this dubious American project.’(12)

Funding of religious discrimination

At the end of his recent visit to India President Obama urged the Indian Government to ‘uphold religious freedom.’ (14) Referring to Article 25 of the Indian Constitution Obama said, “Every person has the right to practise their faith as they choose, or no faith at all without fear or discrimination.” If Obama is serious about his desire for religious freedom to be upheld in India then it would follow that he would wish for an immediate end to the Dalai Lama’s discrimination against Shugden practitioners. It is obvious that Obama holds the key to ensuring that this discrimination is brought to an end by introducing restrictions on the money being given to India and the CTA, until such time as the religious apartheid introduced by the Dalai Lama in 1996 is brought to end. If the American government are prepared to continue funding both countries, without restrictions based on the upholding of religious freedom, then it would be correct to say that the Americans are knowingly funding the religious discrimination of the Dalai Lama and the CTA, against Shugden practitioners in the exile Tibetan community in India.

(7) Knaus, J. K. “Official Policies and Covert Programs: The U.S. State Department, the CIA, and the Tibetan Resistance.” Journal of Cold War Studies, 5 (3), (2003), p.78.
(9) Ignatius, D. “Innocence Abroad: The New World of Spyless Coups.” The Washington Post, 22 September 1991.
(13) Michael Barker: ‘…/6530