Article #5: “His Master’s Voice”

Posted on Posted in Letter

Open letter to Mick Brown by HH Shamar Rinpoche

This is the fifth article in a series of responses to Mick Brown’s The Dance of 17 Lives: The Incredible True Story of Tibet’s 17 th Karmapa (Bloomsbury , 2004).

Date: 02.08.2004

Mr. Mick Brown
c/o Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
38 Soho Square
London WID 3HB
United Kingdom
July 12, 2004

Dear Mr. Brown:
I am writing to ask you a question about something concerning me that you mention in your recent book.


The book by Mick Brown
You say that I received a donation of $25,000 from a donor in New York City:[Shamar] also had a gift for raising funds. One Western devotee recalls being with him in New York, in an apartment on 5th Avenue, with a wealthy sponsor, and he extracted this $25,000 donation, just like that. He had enormous charm and personality. It was just his way.  (The Dance of 17 Lives, p. 103)

I can understand clearly that your rhetorical target here is the phrase it was just his way.  I see that you are trying to portray me as some kind of businessman lama.

But my concern here is the accuracy of this story. I do not recall any of the details that you retell here. I never had such a meeting. I never received this donation at such an apartment in New York City. And I do not recall any donor who would have given it to me. To me, this whole story sounds invented.

I understand if you do not wish to divulge the name of the supposed devotee  who told you this story. But I would like to ask you to kindly disclose to me the name of this supposed donor. Perhaps I should make sure that I truly received the funds you mention.

Otherwise, if you cannot provide me with this information, then I will have no choice but to consider this anecdote an intentional misstatement on your part, intended to harm my reputation.

Sincerely,

HH Shamar Rinpoche