A recently released book about the Dalai Lama shows a different, darker side of the person deified by some Western politicians and media experts.
Maxime Vivas' "Not So 'Zen': The Hidden Side Of The Dalai Lama," the first book of its kind published in the West, refutes the long-time self-beatification of the Dalai Lama.
Confusion-and-curiosity driven, Vivas conducted a truth-seeking trip to Tibet in the summer of 2010 with several other French journalists.
He found a Tibet different from what has been described by the Western media -- Tibetan is used in local TV and radio programs, newspapers and shop signs, the language is also taught at local universities, and Tibet's environment is well protected.
"What I saw in Tibet is not like what I read from the French press and books," he said after a year-long research on the Dalai Lama and Tibet.
Under the guise of non-violence and religion, the Dalai Lama, who appeared as a spiritual leader in exile, was seeking to restore his rule in Tibet, Vivas said in the 130-page French-language book.
He also made clarifications on Tibetan history, saying Tibet has never been independent and has been part of China from the 14th century.
Vivas, a French author and journalist who has published more than 10 books, said his research material mainly came from speeches, interviews and books of the Dalai Lama during different periods.
He said his book, published on Aug. 18, was aimed at displaying historical and realistic truths about Tibet that had been covered up by the Dalai Lama all along.
Vivas said he wanted to refute the Dalai Lama camp's lies by quoting their own words.
"Based on the word of the Dalai Lama in his transcribed memoirs and also in his speeches during his trips abroad, Maxime Vivas highlights opportunism, omissions, tricks, and lies of a man and his kingdom," the publisher Max Milo Editions said in a statement.
"In a plea for secularism, the author raises the question of what would be a 'Free Tibet' led by a recalcitrant prophet in front of science and freedom of worship," the publisher said, while presenting a briefing of a feudal system decades ago under the Dalai Lama and the free primary education system in today's Tibet that has brought down the region's illiteracy.