The renegade guru

For some non-obvious reason I thought of Bryan Caplan when I was reading this article:

As a toddler, he was put on a throne and worshipped as by monks who treated him like a god. But the boy chosen by the Dalai Lama as a reincarnation of a spiritual leader has caused consternation – and some embarrassment – for Tibetan Buddhists by turning his back on the order that had such high hopes for him.

Instead of leading a monastic life, Osel Hita Torres now sports baggy trousers and long hair, and is more likely to quote Jimi Hendrix than Buddha.

Yesterday he bemoaned the misery of a youth deprived of television, football and girls. Movies were also forbidden – except for a sanctioned screening of The Golden Child starring Eddie Murphy, about a kidnapped child lama with magical powers. "I never felt like that boy," he said.

The story is here.  Successive photos are here.  And:

At six, he was allowed to socialise only with other reincarnated souls – though for a time he said he lived next to the actor Richard Gere's cabin.

He is still revered by the Buddhist community although here is a bit more on the embarrassed responses.  I wonder how many gurus come to such realizations but do not speak up.  Does living in Spain have an effect?


You should probably say "Tibetan buddhism", "Tibetan Buddhist", etc.

Reminds me of "Won't You Pimai Neighbor?" (King of the Hill episode, details at

That King of the Hill episode is great...nice reference.

But in the story..."The Golden Child"?! Nice flaky does that make Buddhism look, that a 1980s B-grade action movie is deemed the *only* good video influence on a future spiritual leader?

Maybe that's why he's now studying film now...his only movie experience prompts him to think "I could do soooo much better than that..."

The kid might regret it later, when he realizes all of the money he could have made. Once you've made your fortune, you could always retire and live like Hugh Hefner. I could live like a monk for the right price.

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