Tuesday, April 07, 2009

iSaratoga to Dalai Lama: Live in the now

Note to the Dalai Lama: Learn how to Google. We’re in the 21st century now, and it really looks like the monolithic Internet search engine is here to stay, so why not learn how to use it?

Surely, his holiness has encountered the World Wide Web. Perhaps he simply doesn’t understand the subtle nuisances of this nearly ubiquitous site. Well, iSaratoga has decided to offer his fickleness a chance at learning this technology before he inadvertently makes another serious publicity gaff.

First, let’s start with the basics. To log onto the search engine, simply typing “google” at the top of your browser. Modern ingenuity will lead you to the home page. Next, think up something you’d like to learn a bit more about –say for instance the term “World Ethical Foundations Consortium.” Type these words out and put them in quotation marks in the box located next to the multi-colored word “Google.”

Here’s the hard part. Take your cursor and place it over the word “search.” Click your mouse button once, or even just nail the return key. Suddenly, you’ll be whisked away to a new, more verbose page that should include a variety of headings that include links to World Ethical Foundations Consortium and other bizarre areas of cyberspace.

While scrolling down –and this is assuming you know how to ‘scroll down’ –you may come across another term that seems dissimilar to the aforementioned consortium, namely a link titled “NXIVM Ethics in the Executive workplace, executive and business…”

Now behold the power of Google. You can take this new foreign term, NXIVM, and enter it into the same little box you used before to learn more about this term that may or may not seem foreign to you. Let’s try it, shall we?

There should be a fresh group of headings for you to scroll through. Now a bit of a warning: Some of these headings could be a bit alarming. For instance, it can be a bit off-putting to see one of the top search results comes back from CultNews.com; or that this entity that is somehow linked to this so-called ethical foundations consortium is also into filing multi-million dollar lawsuits aimed at stifling free speech.

True, just about all of the information contained on the Internet must be taken with a grain of salt. There are simply too many kooks and wingnuts out there to believe them all. But it’s hard to deny the indelible online link between these two organizations and the fact that both seem to generate a third term to be searched in Google: Keith Raniere.

Had his holiness taken this short dabble into Google’s functions, perhaps he would have saved himself a fair amount of chagrin he’s now experiencing for canceling his appearance in Albany three weeks before it was scheduled to occur. After all, it’s hard to convince people of your good-natured plight to free Tibet when you’re giving international speeches sponsored by a shadowy organization that has used lawsuits and intimidation in a not-so-furtive attempt at white-washing its image.

Many throughout the blogosphere weren’t even sure if the announcement of Dalai Lama’s visit wasn’t some cruel April Fool’s Day joke perpetrated by some sadistic Internet troll five months too early. The sum total of the exiled Buddhist leader, Raniere, and the Times Union Center seemed almost too good to be true. In fact, many were saying to themselves ‘doesn’t this guy use Google?’ when the announcement was first made.

But clearly as the date of his appearance approached, the Dalai Lama realized his reputation would be tarnished by accepting an invitation from a group that has curried favor among the extremely powerful elite and hasn’t exactly used it to spread mirth throughout the region. Some say NXIVM threw around its influence with the Albany Times Union so the paper would avoid linking the blisteringly evident dots between the organization and something called the “Ethical Humanitarian Foundation,” which was sponsoring the event.

Metroland Editor and longtime writer Chet Hardin made this point in early March, just a few days before NXIVM slapped his publication with a $65 million lawsuit. Metroland Publisher Stephen Leon says the paper hasn’t been served, and NXIVM representatives claim the filing was made simply to prevent the statute of limitations from expiring. However, there seems to be a definitive link between these two seemingly disconnected events.

And then there is the curious case of the Tech Valley Times. Editor Robert Millis made light of the Dalai Lama’s appearance on his blog, Nanoburgh. He went on to wonder why none of the mainstream media outlets made mention of the sponsoring organization’s somewhat dubious links. In particular, he singled out the Times Union, which basically wrote a puff-piece all but ignoring the blatant connection between NXIVM and the other ‘foundations’ associated with the event.

“Neither the original story nor any follow-ups include any mention of NXIVM, Executive Success Programs, the cult comparisons, the past and present legal woes, the harassing dirty tricks allegations or any other aspect of the messy history involved with individuals and companies affiliated with the Conceptual Founder of the organization presenting this event,” Millis wrote in his early February post. “Do we just chalk this up to lazy journalism or to something more sinister, such as the fact that the newspaper’s name is on the very building in which the event is taking place?”

One week later, the post disappeared. Contacted via e-mail, Millis said he’s received a number of correspondences about the post and he’s telling everyone the same thing.

“No comment –for the time being,” he wrote.

All of this seems a bit far out. But it certainly seems like there’s an organization that is trying to launder its image via threats and other forms of coercion. And in the end, this sort of thing doesn’t exactly fit in character with the prototypical image most people imagine when they think of Buddhism or the Dalai Lama. So in the future, perhaps his holiness can do a little research online before he unwittingly walks into a scheme to launder the reputation of a very dubious organization that is more or less the antithesis of the peace he tries to promote.


Anonymous I used to be mayor, you know? said...

Is that Vanguard? He's soooo dreamy!

9:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On March 13 your friend Ben "twitted": "I guess the Dalai Lama isn't familiar with Google"

Then, on March 27 he wrote a post titled "Lawsuits and Intimidation....the NXIVM way?"

So, are you and Ben one in the same or are you munching on his material?

11:20 AM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...


On April 2, The Saratogian wrote an article about Jim Tedisco resigning his position as Assembly minority leader. On April 3, The Daily Gazette and Times Union reported the same thing.

So, I ask you: Are they all the same papers, or are they munching on each other's material?

7:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's the REAL connection betwen the Keehniacs and these cult nut jobs?

I know it's been tossed about on here and on the other local blog enough in the past. But can someone offer to connect the dots, so to speak? If the dots exist.

Thanks much.

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Demanding to see Ron Kim's high school diploma said...

I'm really troubled by all of this.

This Vanguard guy was going to save humanity, after all. And now we're chasing him away from that noble pursuit.

Oh, the humanity!

On the other hand, he might be so pissed-off now that he will destroy us all!

Oh, the humanity!

He sure does get a lot of ass though; I'll give him that.

11:36 AM  
Anonymous Vanguard rises from the dead said...

oh no:

Breaking News

he's back.......Palace Theater this time

8:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While eavesdropping on Broadway today, I overheard an attractive late 40's brunette say that the Dalai is coming, but to the Palace theater in Albany instead. Hmmm.... Believe it when it happens, just like the chip plant. Pax, PhilthyRex

8:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


4:05 PM  

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