17150 Norwalk Blvd, Ste# 103
Cerritos, CA 90703
Dear Neeraj K.C.
Thank you for your letter. I am sorry that our recollections of my meeting with Shamar Rinpoche in New Delhi seem to be so at variance, but, with the utmost respect, I feel I must correct you in your reading and interpretation of the conversation and the events around it. When my appointment was made to meet Rinpoche at the Hyatt Regency I was told that he was having lunch with Mr. and Mrs. Luehrs. My understanding was that I was meeting Rinpoche solely to discuss the Karmapa question. The invitation for me to join the party for lunch was extended to me about two-thirds of the way through the conversation when an aide (possibly yourself) notified Rinpoche that his guests were waiting downstairs. This was the first I heard of lunch.
Nor was I told that the reason we were meeting at the Hyatt was, as you maintain, because of the intermittent electricity supply at KIBI (where, according to my diary, I had been the previous day, meeting Khenpo Chodrak, and where I returned the following day to meet Thaye Dorje). I was simply told to present myself at the Hyatt hotel at the appropriate time. I do not imply in the book that Rinpoche was staying at the hotel. It is perfectly clear from my account that we were meeting in a public lounge, not a private room. It is equally clear that at the end of the lunch Rinpoche and Mr. and Mrs. Luehrs were returning to the lounge where I had been conversing with Rinpoche.
I am baffled by your suggestion that I am implying that Mr. Luehrs and Rinpoche are “business partners.” This is nowhere stated or implied. Nor do I imply that Mrs. Luehrs is a “trophy wife” or “mistress” as you suggest in your letter. (I notice that, for some reason, you have deleted the word “mistress” from the open letter on the Karmapa-issue website) [Editor’s note: due to a technical problem, we are not able to access the original letter sent in print form by Neeraj KC to Mr. Brown. But Neeraj assures us that the version on the website is substantially identical except for the aforementioned reference to “mistress,” which we hope that Mr. Brown has sufficiently clarified by his letter.]
More critical is your interpretation of the conversation that took place between Rinpoche and myself. As you will recall, I taped this conversation. As you will recall, Rinpoche also taped this conversation; I trust his copy will bear out my account. You are incorrect in your assertion that Rinpoche’s comments about H.H. the Dalai Lama and the 16th Karmapa were made over lunch. They occurred approximately one-third of the way through our taped conversation in the lounge. Nor were they “informal observations.” Rinpoche was replying to specific questions that I had asked about the 16th Karmapa. In fact, virtually all of the direct quotes from Rinpoche that I use in the book come from the taped conversation in the lounge. A few are drawn from other sources—the Karmapa Papers, official announcements, and so on. However, none of the conversation which took place in the restaurant has been used in the book.
I am sorry that you feel that the book is “little more than propaganda” for Situ Rinpoche and his allies. My intention in writing it was to provide an objective account of the Karmapa story, as I found it, for a general audience. I hope this clarifies matters. I also hope that since you have published your letter to me in the form of an open letter on Karmapa-issue.org, you will afford me the courtesy of giving my reply equal circulation.