His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking to over 7000 students from Bihar on Universal Values in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on January 25, 2018. Photo: Lobsang Tsering

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Bodhgaya, Bihar, India — The office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama Thursday issued a clarification on an online newspaper’s allegation that the spiritual leader of Tibet took one million US dollars to endorse a "controversial organisation" in the US that "brainwashes and brands women".

 The Daily Mail, a British daily middle-market tabloid newspaper based in London, in an article on January 24, 2018, alleged that the deal was set up by Lama Tenzin Dhonden, who was His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s personal emissary to the US. Dhonden was dismissed recently as the Secretary of the Dalai Lama Trust following reports of "corruption charges" made by a Seattle-based philanthropist.

 The clarification issued by the Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama said, “The Daily Mail article by Ryan Parry regarding an appearance by His Holiness the Dalai Lama at an event held in Albany, New York in 2009 contains incorrect statements and untrue allegations.”

 "We wish to categorically state that His Holiness the Dalai Lama never takes an honorarium or fee of any sort, nor does he require that any payment be made to charities or organizations, as a condition of his making a personal appearance," the Office said in the clarification issued on January 25, 2018.

 The Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama denied the allegations, therefore, asserting that "the reported allegation has no basis. Neither His Holiness the Dalai Lama nor the Dalai Lama Foundation ever received the alleged $1 million in connection with His Holiness’s appearance in Albany."

 "As reported in the Daily Mail, during His Holiness’s talk in Albany in 2009, he called on the media to investigate the allegations made about the NXIVM organization and its founder, and was quite clear that the truth should be exposed," the statement further added.

 "The Dalai Lama was paid $1 million to travel to America to endorse a controversial 'sex cult' that brainwashes and brands women, DailyMail.com can reveal," the Daily Mail reported, adding: "The religious leader was paid to speak at an event hosted by NXIVM - a self-help organization described by former members as a 'sex cult'."

 "The deal saw the Dalai Lama speak to 3,000 followers of NXIVM and place a khata - a traditional ceremonial Tibetan scarf - around the neck of the group's founder, Keith Raniere. Raniere's supporters described the visit by the Buddhist leader as a 'victory'," the report further said.

According to the newspaper, "Former computer programmer Raniere founded NXIVM in 1998, as a 'personal and professional development program' which he sold as Executive Success Programs, alongside his business partner, ex-nurse Nancy Salazman. It is pronounced 'nexus'."

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