Tibet House

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This article is about the Tibetan cultural center. For the Tibetan Buddhist center, see The Tibet Center.
Tibet House US

Tibet House was created in 1964 by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as part of its attempts "to keep the political concept of an autonomous Tibet alive within Tibet and among foreign nations, principally India, and to build a capability for resistance against possible political developments inside Communist China." The Tibet Houses were part of a large, comprehensive political and military operation against Communist China that included financing training in Colorado (USA) of paramilitary guerrillas loyal to the Dalai Lama for operations to be launched against China from Tibet and India.

A declassified 9 January 1964 document outlines the extent of the program relating to the Tibet Houses and the monies to be spent for their operating expenses:

"The Agency is supporting the establishment of Tibet Houses in [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] Geneva, and New York City. The Tibet Houses are intended to serve as unofficial representation for the Dalai Lama to maintain the concept of a separate Tibetan political identity. The Tibet House in New York City will work closely with Tibetan supporters in the United Nations, particularly the Malayan, Irish, and Thai delegations.

"The cost of the Tibetan Program for FY 1964 can be summarized in approximate figures as follows: [...] "e. Tibet Houses in New York, Geneva, and [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] ( 1/2 year )—$ 75,000".[1]

From the evidence inherent in the preceding document it is clear that, in fact, Tibet House US Cultural Center of H. H. the Dalai Lama was not founded in 1987 by Columbia University professor Robert Thurman, actor Richard Gere and modern composer Philip Glass (among others) at the behest of the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso. It was initially organized in New York City, USA, in 1964 by the US Central Intelligence Agency and the Tibet House US is still based there. Their current address is 22 West 15th Street, New York, NY 10011, on the 2nd floor.

Its cover story, as taken from the Tibet House website, is:

  • To present to the West Tibet's ancient traditions of art and culture by means of creating a permanent Cultural Center, with Gallery, Library, and Archives, and developing traveling exhibitions, print publications and media productions
  • To preserve and restore Tibet's unique cultural and spiritual heritage, by means of developing a Repatriation Collection for future repatriation of outstanding examples of Tibetan art, creating an archive of rare photographs, opening a research library, making a Web site on the Internet for the wide distribution of information, and providing support to conservation activities both inside and outside of Tibet
  • To share with the world Tibet's practical systems of spiritual philosophy and mind sciences, and its arts of human development, intercultural dialogues, nonviolence, and peacemaking, by means of innovative programs in cooperation with educational and other cultural institutions.

However, as the founding documents from the CIA in 1964 prove, in fact the actual purpose of the Tibet Houses are "to keep the political concept of an autonomous Tibet alive within Tibet and among foreign nations, principally India, and to build a capability for resistance against possible political developments inside Communist China."

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References[edit]

  1. ^ "Memorandum for the Special Group; Subject: Review of Tibetan Operations". U.S. Department of State - Office of the Historian. U.S. Department of State. 9 January 1964. Retrieved 12 January 2016. "The Agency is supporting the establishment of Tibet Houses in [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] Geneva, and New York City. [...] The cost of the Tibetan Program for FY 1964 can be summarized in approximate figures as follows: [...] e. Tibet Houses in New York, Geneva, and [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] ( 1/2 year )—$ 75,000". 

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