Boy Chosen by Dalai Lama Abandons Buddhism

Spanish-born Lama says order 'was like living a lie'
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 1, 2009 7:19 AM CDT
Boy Chosen by Dalai Lama Abandons Buddhism
Exiled Tibetan Buddhist monks participate in a protest against China on the outskirts of Katmandu, Nepal, Thursday, May 14, 2009.    (AP Photo/ Binod Joshi)

(Newser) – When he was still a toddler, Osel Hita Torres was brought from Spain to an Indian monastery, where the Dalai Lama proclaimed him the reincarnation of one of Tibetan Buddhism's spiritual leaders. But Torres, now 24, has abandoned the order and returned to Spain, where he studies film and says he has no affection for the Buddhists who worship him almost as a god. "It was like living a lie," he told a Spanish newspaper.

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"They took me away from my family and stuck me in a medieval situation in which I suffered a great deal," said Torres, who as a child was only allowed to socialize with other people who had been proclaimed reincarnations. At age 18 he had never seen couples kiss, and his first experience at a disco dumbfounded him. "What were all those people doing," he wondered, "bouncing, stuck to one another, enclosed in a box full of smoke?" (Read more Tibet stories.)

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