Meet Ashoka Mukpo, the freelancer and left-wing activist who got ebola while working for NBC as a cameraman and who is being flown back to America on our dime.
You’re not going to believe this but Mukpo is actually a reincarnated Tibetan God. No seriously. We’re not making that up.
“Ashoka Mukpo was born to an American Jewish father and an aristocratic British mother but was raised as the son of Chögyam Trungpa, the legendary Tibetan lama who preached enlightenment and practiced free love and alcoholic excess,” wrote Details Magazine.
His half-brother Gesar Mukpo made a movie about the whole delightfully weird practice and you can read the Wikipedia page here.
You might say that Mukpo was marked for greatness, or at least hippiedom. Here’s details
Ashoka was recognized as a tulku at 8 months old. The previous Karmapa called Trungpa to announce he’d had a dream that Ashoka was the ninth reincarnation of Khamnyon Rinpoche. “They called him ‘the Mad Yogi of Kham,’ ” Ashoka says of his spiritual forebear. “He had a bit of a reputation as a wild man, which I don’t think I’m living up to.”
Ashoka, who lives in London with his girlfriend, is in New York City for a United Nations conference. Wearing a gray pinstripe suit instead of his usual jeans and T-shirt, he bears a passing resemblance to a young Jeremy Piven. He’s smart and tightly wound, guided by a righteous idealism that led him to work for the nonprofit Human Rights Watch for three years after college and most recently to the London School of Economics, where he earned his master’s in international development. In the fall he’s off to join a nonprofit working on land rights in Liberia. “It’s actually mellower than people think,” he says.
It’s there, in that very mellow of places–Liberia–that Mukpo got ebola. Bummer, man.
Before Mukpo got ebola he was working for the left-wing Sustainable Development Institute, an anti-mining organization that essentially helps keep Liberians impoverished.
Now he’s running around doing freelance journalism for CNN, Al-Jazeera, and NBC.
— Al Jazeera America (@ajam) October 3, 2014
His family said he felt compelled to return to Liberia during the outbreak.
— Jon Williams (@WilliamsJon) October 3, 2014
It’s cool and all to travel to far and distant lands but why does the taxpayer have to pick up the tab if you get ebola?
Maybe if you go into an Ebola-stricken area you pay the bill and we don’t fly you back so your contagion stays where you got it?
Thirty-three year old men are old enough to make decisions and to take responsibility for them.