Aug 23 2007
The Chinese government has decreed that - get this - they have officially banned Buddhist monks in Tibet from reincarnating without government permission.
I can't make this stuff up, folks.
Well, I actually could, but that's beside the point. Resuming...
They went so far as to draft official procedures by which one could apply for permission to reincarnate on the material plane in the future. It sounds daffy, but scholars of the Buddhist path have said that this could be a move on the part of the Chinese regeime (which doesn't much like religion of any kind, not just Buddhism) to block some of the Dali Lama's influence over Tibetan Buddhism, and possibly to slow down the Buddhist sects in Tibet that they've been trying to knock out for over half a century. Moreover, in a metaphysical sense, this might be an attempt on their part to control who the next Dali Lama will be in the future, because it's widely thought by scholars that the next Dali Lama will take the form of one of the 130,000+ Tibetan exiles scattered throughout the world. So their reasoning goes, if they control the incarnation of the next Dali Lama, they could control one of their biggest pains in the ass.
Afficionados of Mage and Unknown Armies will no doubt want to take this news story and run with it in their games.