“Fan mail”

If you’re still on the fence about buying my book on Fake Buddha Quotes, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Buddha, which you can order here, check out the following comments from fans of this blog!

“You are a bit of a dick.” Regan Calhoun.

“The replies this guy gives prove he’s very far away from enlightenment, and he should give up the appropriated Buddhist moniker and go join the debate team at community college.” Anonymous

“After your death you definitely suffer in the hell. 10,000% sure about that.” Cherith Iran

“Your words are spurred by hatred. I feel sorry for you.” Anon.

“You are extremely argumentative, you come across as angry, & this website is divisive … Why the specificity to Buddha? Just more proof that underlying tones of racism against asians by a white male pretending to know more about our culture and telling us we’re wrong.” Min Jung

“Fucker don’t insult our supreme maha lord Budda. He is the best. He is good an kind and all the words are as good as dimond because he is all the words he say are true. Who insult lord Budda is a bitch, fucker, shit and will go to hell forever when he dies and never become a people again.” Min Pyae Sone

“You need more study. Stop passing wrong information to people.” Anurag Ingle

“This commenter knows nothing of Buddhism.” Mauriku Valentinus

“If you are a Buddhist and believe in the law of kamma you should be more careful by making statements about the Buddha that are factually not true. You harm yourself and those who believe you.” Sebastian

“Fuck you.” Anshul

“You seem like a stuck in the mind, egotistical, scholarly charlatan.” Warren

“Why do you feel the need to be judgemental, especially with things that are positive change and help people?” Apollo

“What makes a person who is interested in Sanskrit and the Buddha also possess a feeling of anger and superiority at others who have given a loving attempt at interpreting the Buddha’s work?” Crescent Rose

“Oh please go sit in silence, then go out and do something real to relieve as much suffering as you can.” Liz

“You seem willing to pull Buddha down, but not look at what was really said. To me this betrays an agenda – although I suppose that’s obvious seeing as you bothered to set up a website about it.” Tiny

“Clearly, you have no mindfulness or personal affinity for and understanding of Buddhism.” Amy

“You are so wrong on so many levels it’s not even worth proving it to you.” Teeto

“I think your ignorance has become fairly prominent.” Brandon

“Ignorant idiot.” Shankaran

“This is a club for like-minded sanctimonious pseudo-intellectuals who are here to argue ad infinitum … I’m not in the contest that you want me to be in. My ego is not involved.” Greg

“Pointless junk.” Jesse

“Your article delivers your ignorance on the subject.” Benjamin

“I will try to force you to leave this road to hell.” Johann

“Some things you will never understand my friend. You are just a little kid who try to find write and wrong in the world.” Tharindu

“U are presenting hateful writings.” Samar

“All your Prejudices and stereotypes show how ‘poor’ you still are.” Dave

“Could have gotten it all out in a sentence or two.” Jayla

“Everything you’re saying on here is outright false.” Sara

“Of course nonbelievers only think things are fake. What is fake. The Bible itself is fake because it is man-made. Slandering the truth. But, your words are spurred by hatred. I feel sorry for you.” Minh Chai Tran

“This article/post is everything Buddha taught against.”

“It seems you’re EGO is steering your actions to show how knowledgeable you are in matters of Buddhism. Let things go. Let it be. You’re not a designated defender of the Buddhism teachings and quotes. Always being correct about “truths” makes you closed off from the real TRUTH – Love.”
John Hooke

31 thoughts on ““Fan mail””

  1. I was sure nobody could make this stuff up, but I stand corrected.

    Those innocent yet haughty comments (“Don’t you dare touch my Buddha!”) remind me of the “Cancel my subscription!” letters to the editors of Biblical Archaeology Review. They’re the most amusing part of the magazine, and the reason you tend to head for the letters section as soon as it comes in the mail. Is there negative karma associated with finding amusement in the silliness of other people? If so I’ll surely burn.

  2. I saw your book on Netgalley and decided to check out your website. I learned many years ago that the smiling, big belly Buddha depicted in paintings and sculptures was meant to hide the fact that he was in fact emaciated from his choice to abstain from certain foods for long periods of time. Since then, I have always wondered about the quotes attributed to Buddha.

    Congratulations on your book!

    1. Thanks for the congratulations!

      Actually the fat guy is not the Buddha at all, although it’s a common confusion. He’s Hotei or Pu-Tai, who was a Chinese Buddhist monk who carried a cloth sack (that’s what his name means), who loved children, and who is associated with abundance and giving. Westerners confusing the two figures is a bit like a Chinese or Japanese person thinking that Santa Claus is Jesus.

      Also, the Buddha was only emaciated for a period before his enlightenment, while trying out the ascetic practice of self-starvation, which he rejected, favoring meditation as the path to awakening.

      1. What do you mean Santa Claus isn’t Jesus? My childhood is destroyed.

        Thanks for your great work in going deep in the origins of those fake quotes and the analysis on how it may or may not reflect some truth from the Buddha’s teachings.

      2. Ajahn Sucitto, the ex-abbot of Cittaviveka (Chithurst) Monastery, tells of being driven through Bangkok one Christmastime.

        As he was driven past a shopping mall there, on the forecourt, was a larger-than-life Santa Claus nailed to a cross.

  3. Terry Pratchett : “Nothing is really worth doing unless there’s somebody, somewhere, who would much rather you didn’t”.

    It’s actually quite saddening the number of people who seem personally threatened to find that some piece of verbiage isn’t the Wisdom of the Buddha. These may still be wise (most of them are commonsense platitudes) and most are harmless. So why the fuss?

    What I notice about most of the fake quotes is that they do not challenge us the way the Buddha’s own (reported) words largely do.

  4. As Oscar Wilde said, “It is clear that Chuang Tzu is a very dangerous writer, and the publication of his book in English, two thousand years after his death, is obviously premature, and may cause a great deal of pain to many thoroughly respectable and industrious persons.”. I really like your site, but a I believe a similar comment apply to your task: after 2500 years, real Buddha quotes are still too hardcore for some people.

    1. Thanks, Francisco, for enlightening me to the fact that Wilde had written about eastern philosophy. For the benefit of anyone else who’s interested, his book review is here. The book he’s reviewing is available on archive.org. and I’m looking forward to dipping into it.

      Incidentally, I got more “fan mail” at the same time as your comment came in: “Of course nonbelievers only think things are fake. What is fake. The Bible itself is fake because it is man-made. Slandering the truth. But, your words are spurred by hatred. I feel sorry for you.”

  5. Such great work. I think I first used your content back in 2017. Please don’t stop. I love the Lama Zopa quote and the prompt and negative response. Because someone who has taught Westerners and Asians for forty plus years might have an opinion. So great.
    I found this website https://notcomingnotgoing.blogspot.com/p/lord-buddhas-sayings.html
    which looks promising in case you are running out of content.
    Bought your book.
    Thank you!

      1. I believe it was this one, Pema. There was a negative response from someone the next day, so I take it that saying this was “loved” was sarcastic.

  6. There are videos on YouTube of a guy who tells the Dalai Lama the joke about ordering a pizza “make me one with everything” and it falls flat. Sure, maybe it just didn’t translate well, but I think the best reason it failed is that “being one with everything” isn’t a Buddhist tenet. I’ve found that most people have no idea at all what the Buddha taught!


  7. Just wanted to say your website is so useful! Thank you for dedicating so much energy and time into it to clear out the fake quotes and present the closest one to it.

    Much metta,

  8. Ah, the irony.
    Buddhist getting their panties twisted by a bit of paraphrasing. If the message is in the spirit of the Buddha, I’m down with it. Nice to know which ones are real.
    Did Buddha say “With great power comes great responsibility”?

    1. Actually, the panty-twisting here is for various reasons, one of the main ones being that people don’t appreciate when it’s pointed out that certain quotes attributed to the Buddha were never actually said by him.

  9. What I’m seeing is what looks like a lot of dogmatic Buddhists who barely understand English (not a moral failing, most Buddhists statistically aren’t native English speakers and that’s fine) going into a rage over a complete misunderstanding of the purpose of the site. I’m a Chan Buddhist and hate seeing fake Buddha quotes on inspirational posters which non-Buddhists then try to use in some argument against me on my own faith, so I really enjoy this work

  10. Thank you for your effort. I absolutely enjoyed your book and also love reading your fan emails.

  11. There is some sad karmic irony when people get attracted to Buddhism for some reason but then get sucked into the false Dhamma *and* become defensive when somebody tries to reveal the true teachings to them. 🙁

    Thank you for your service of protecting the true Dhamma!

  12. Reminds me of the you tube clip of richard dawkins reading his hate mail out loud while keeping a poker face:-)

  13. I think 90% of these people must have impulsively gotten a fake Buddha quote tattoo. Otherwise, I don’t understand why they take personal offense at being told that their favorite paraphasation was not nearly as concise when it was initially transcribed 2000+ years ago.

    1. It is puzzling how angry some people get when you challenge the authenticity of quotes. In some cases it seems to be that people mistake questioning the source of a quote (“Happiness is a warm puppy.” The Buddha Charles Schultz) with saying that the statement made in the quote is untrue (so in this case saying that warm puppies don’t make you happy). In other cases people are fond of the quote and don’t want to admit that it’s not by the Buddha. And some people, I suspect, just don’t like the idea that there some things are true and some things that aren’t.

      Most of the fake quotes I’ve investigated here aren’t really paraphrases of anything the Buddha said, but are quotes from more obscure sources that have been misattributed to the Buddha or (and this is more common recently) are simply invented.

  14. I feel your pain. I have written books, 12,000 quotes, philosophical statements, poems and essays. Many have been published on various social media sites and it’s not unusual for people to debate the quote is being incorrect and not based sound ground. I’ve learned that debating with them is a waste of time. But the best answer I have ever come up with is that, “quotes are simply someone’s opinion.” Keep up the work I find it interesting.

  15. wow, the ‘Buddhists’ who wrote those comments really understand the 8 Fold Path and Dukkha …! Meanwhile your site is excellent.

    These ‘Buddhists’ … need to understand this Sutta –

    Abhasita Sutta: What Was Not Said AN 2.23

    “Monks, these two slander the Tathagata.

    Which two?

    He who explains what was not said or spoken by the Tathagata as said or spoken by the Tathagata.

    And he who explains what was said or spoken by the Tathagata as not said or spoken by the Tathagata.

    These are two who slander the Tathagata.”

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