Dear Mr. Brown,
I am a direct nephew to the late 16th Karmapa and elder brother to Shamar Rinpoche. In 1974 I was appointed by H.H. Karmapa as his representative for all the Karma Kagyu in Europe, as well as spiritual director of Dhagpo Kagyu Ling in France.
Regarding the misrepresentation in your book, The dance of the 17 Lives, that the Vajra Crown the 16th Karmapa wore during his lifetime is a duplicate of the original: it seems as though you must know something more about the crown than the crown holder himself, the late Gyalwa Karmapa. I was with the late Karmapa since 1955 when I was six years old. During his lifetime I had many opportunities to hear him talk about the crown, to see many historic documents about the crown, to see the crown itself many times, and to write documents myself about it. I can authoritatively state that the crown the 16th Karmapa wore during his lifetime for the Black Crown Ceremonies is most definitely the 5th Karmapa’s Vajra Crown.
Therefore, I must insist that you reveal your sources, the “ previously published material, ” that you refer to in your book, which casts doubt on the authenticity of the crown. Please get this information to me at your earliest convenience, as your assertions are most troubling.