Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Harinamananda Das: Lets Save ISKCON

[PADA: Has Virabahu been in a mental home? Does anyone know? ys pd]

Harinamananda das -- Costa Rica: I get so enthusiastic after reading every day the articles posted in the Sampradaya Sun and similar websites, like El Tambor Rurgiente and Pamho. I enjoy all the discussions (sometimes intense!) about different topics and opinions. I have come to the conclusion that the topic most talked about is reform in ISKCON. We obviously have differences regarding how this reform will happen, and there are so many opinions on the matter. The important thing is that the majority of those opinions are clamoring for reform. In spite of differences in opinion, the common denominator is that all agree we must reform Srila Prabhupada’s mission.

How can we accomplish this reform we are talking about? What kind of reform are we talking about? The majority of us know that the GBC is to a certain degree a good and well organized structure. They have infrastructure. They have money. They also have many blind followers.

Despite all the mistakes and deviations they have committed, they still remain in power. They have centralized everything against Srila Prabhupada’s explicit desire: the Order of Decentralization (Letter to Karandhar, December 22, 1972).

When we realize the magnitude of the GBC’s power, we easily give up and conclude that it is impossible to confront such an organization. The most important requirement for being a member of the institution is to submit and conform unconditionally to the GBC. If you are submissive to the GBC then you are guaranteed membership and promotion. Forget about your faults, mistakes, wrongdoings and fall downs. Exactly like Guru Prasad Swami: despite his terrible record as a leader, he has been protected and imposed as an “ultimate local ecclesiastic and administrative official” for over 20 years. If you hear that record, it would make you cry. Still the GBC supports him unconditionally.

Another example is Virabahu, with almost the same 20 years of disservice He is another case of disaster after disaster, plus swindling Godbrothers and disciples alike by lending them money with a 28% interest rate (good business!). Why is he still in power? Because he unconditionally supports and submits to the GBC. You, my respected Prabhu, can increase the list adding to these two histories your own personal testimonies of blunders, abuse of power, one-upmanship, etc., perpetrated by the GBCs you have worked under.
How, then, can disenfranchised devotees like us confront these usurpers? Here is a contingency plan. I don’t pretend everybody would agree with me. However, if you don’t agree, then don’t just criticize it. All I ask is that you come up with a better plan.

First Step: You have to dust off your japa and start chanting the Holy Name (even better if you are already doing this!). Without chanting of the Holy Name we will lose our enthusiasm to serve Srila Prabhupada, and we also will lose our objectives. The Holy Name is the weapon that Srila Prabhupada gave us. This is the equivalent of an assault rifle. This is our wonder weapon. This rifle has 108 rounds of ammunition-we can shoot as many rounds as we want (108 x 16 minimum). If this is too difficult for you right now, then start practicing with one round, and then two, and then three, until you accomplish 16 rounds. Very soon you will master the use of this weapon!

Second Step: You must search and find devotees in your area that are also sick and tired of the philosophical deviations of the GBC. Find them! Jumpstart again your relationship with them and discuss the topic. If you do not have anyone near you, work with another group somewhere else. Exchange emails with them, take some time and visit them. I know no one in my town, but I work for the preservation of the Costa Rica farm (I travel 4,000 miles every time I go to the farm to participate actively in uplifting this program.) So, Prabhu, don’t tell me that this is not possible. Make it possible!

Third Step: Organize with your group of preference an attack plan. It does not have to be a plan to attack the whole GBC. Don’t do that. You will end up frustrated and probably beaten. You must concentrate on a particular GBC issue in a particular area. Remember this strategy is to go and systematically bring down one by one these deviated GBCs. So far we have accomplished that in Costa Rica. Guru Prasad Swami is afraid of entering the country — “since there are court battles he finds it inappropriate”. We have made it so difficult for him that he will not return to Costa Rica. You see, my Godbrother, in this particular case we have one GBC less to account for. We are liberating Costa Rica. The local devotees are the ones who now control Srila Prabhupada’s mission there. Exactly as Srila Prabhupada wants!

In the Order of Decentralization he blasted bureaucracy and ordered decentralized communities managed by local devotees. We fired GPS! That was our right. We chose our leadership. This was also our right. Bangalore is another example of the same struggle. Alachua is also an example of effective decentralization. If we use our intelligence and diligently apply ourselves to implement whatever plans we came up with, the array of possibilities for toppling these deviated leaders would increase tremendously.

Fourth Step: We have to keep voicing our points of view through the Sampradaya Sun, Pamho, El Tambor Rurgiente, etc. We must denounce the fakes, the liars, the predators, the abusers of children, the usurpers of the mission of our Guru. We must keep discussing the topic. This is a very effective engagement.
I want to mention a couple of examples to illustrate the power of the pen. One disciple of one these ISKCON voted-in gurus, after learning that his so-called spiritual master blessed the marriage of a gay couple, publicly relinquished and severed his relationship with him. Now he’s another potential soldier in our army. And others who read about this in the Sampradaya Sun will also question having a relationship with this guru.

Another disciple of these self-proclaimed gurus, after reading the Spanish translation of Bhakta das’ article narrating Guru Kripa’s memories of what happened in our mission in 1977-78, immediately phoned one Godbrother in Central America and bitterly crying, told him that he was also quitting altogether his relationship with his phony guru. He also promised to offer his time and resources to fight these impostors (again, another soldier in our army.) So don’t tell me we can’t, Prabhus!!

Fifth Step: We have to support financially the Sampradaya Sun and other similar web sites. Why? Because for waging this kind of warfare we need the media to effectively communicate our message. We cannot expect to reach out to people and convince them to take up arms again without resorting to mass communication. There are hundreds of examples of devotees who have changed their views, defogged their minds, saw the truth after reading, let’s say, Kundali’s books or the many articles written in the Sampradaya Sun.

But these websites cannot exist without resources. We must support Rocana Prabhu and other free-thinking cybernetic editors, not just with laudatory words but with our money. I suggest you to donate one dollar a month ($12 a year!). The Sun gets 80,000 hits every day. If only five thousand well-wishing readers voluntarily offered this little contribution, the editors will have an extra $60,000 a year to improve their website and continue their service. If you cannot donate, you can write. If you cannot write, then offer whatever you can. I beg you: please do something! Don’t just sit there on your couch!

Sixth Step: As soon as you identify your group and work out your strategy, then get in touch with other groups and share ideas. Remember, every case is different. Different countries, different laws, different scenarios. I guarantee you that if you accept this plan, this idea, very soon you will have all the elements necessary to put up a good fight. If we have, let’s say, twenty of these insurgent groups fighting, we will put monumental pressure on these paper tigers, the deviated GBCs. Because they are usurpers and very often commit or turn a blind eye to criminal acts, they are always afraid of the law and sooner or later have to accept the reform or be prosecuted, either by Man’s justice or by Yamaraja.

We must demand that the GBC immediately implement the instructions and desires of Srila Prabhupada as given in the DOM, The Last Will, The Mission Statements, and the Order of Decentralization. If we accomplish this, we then have accomplished the reform.

All the GBCs must submit themselves to a democratic election every three years. The temples and communities must have their own self-government, and the right to elect their own officials. You can tell me: “This is IMPOSSIBLE, PRABHU! They will never accept this kind of proposal, especially due to the ‘tune’ and military jargon you are using.” OK. Then I ask you, how do you know that? The worst idea is the one that never has been tried. If you have a better plan, please come forward! But don’t stay with your mouth shut, because this is another way to accept defeated.

So, Prabhus, please again take up your japa, the weapon Srila Prabhupada gave us to save ourselves and the whole humanity. Prabhupada needs you, AGAIN!


  1. Yet again same approach since Harikesa falldown - how to reform ISKCON GBC from outside.
    Hansadutta also tried open that hazelnut with his teeth. Now he got a new pair of teeth and its still not done.
    Dude, you are doing it wrong!
    ISKCON has circa 200000 members and they all stand behind their present GBC. Plain and simple.
    Why is this so, they removed all former devotees and replaced them with new folks.
    These new devotees got a new home, shelter, food, perspective and protect their leaders like body guards.
    So this will go on forever. Unless someone has compelling, brilliant, exciting idea this whole reform projects ends up with a new movement?
    So this is rather unlikely and vague. Meanwhile all young devotees joined somewhere else because they don't want to wait.

    1. Those 200,000 members are the 99% of ISKCON. The GBC is nothing in comparison. The fallacy with this comment is that this GBC is somehow able to control the information of what is actually going on: that this 99% group, who are mostly nice humble God seeking people, are being exploited by the 1% deviant ISKCON leadership. Unfortunately, with the internet there is no way to keep a lid on a fraud like that. It may have been somehwhat possible in the recent past, but it is impossible now. That is why everywhere in ISKCON, and throughout the world also, this type of exploitation and corruption of leaders is being exposed and condemned. Its a pragmatic fact, the Truth always prevails. But the real problem is, of course, that most members of ISKCON forgot what that actual Hare Krishna Revolution is: to personally live with Krishna and give His association to others. Without understanding this, all reforms will always fail because we neglect the core solution to everything which is Krishna Consciousness.

  2. @"God seeking people, are being exploited by the 1% deviant ISKCON leadership."

    Again, you are doing it wrong!
    This is of course not correct. If you make a poll among present ISKCON members they'll never say that they feel exploited and they never agree that their leaders are doing something wrong. Thats why GBC is as firm as a rock. Nobody in the movement figures there is something wrong with these guys.

    You may call it cheaters and cheated are of the same feather. However, so long both parties are happy and that's presently the case there won't be any change.

    As soon someone presents the actual solution to have ISKCON corrected on the basis of not following the statutes under which Prabhupada wanted his movement to run, then these so called reformers reply, no, no, this we won't do.

    Prabhupada registered ISKCON in US. He installed statutes how this movement should run. If these statutes are violated then it is duty of US government to not allow this movement going on like that. Plain and simple. As soon you tell this to all these reformers their answer is, no, no, we dont want this.
    In other words, they want it to go on like that. To keep senior Vaishnavas away from rejoining and have new bhaktas joining. Because they don't care what all these ISKCON reform websites say. Each year ISKCON gets circa 1000 new devotees and those seniors who shout reform are kept aloof. Efficient strategy!

  3. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1417271708529907&set=a.1415543248702753.1073741835.1374514412805637&type=1&theater

    Dear PADA
    link above says, Krishna West is good. Why is it that Maria Stella Splendore, Rupa Manjari dd, disciple of HDG is still having adult videos online? Do they figure that this will attract new devotees? Thanks for clarification!



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