Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Brooklyn Town Hall Meeting Update


At the Town Hall Meeting tonight, held at the main Brooklyn Public Library and attended by nearly 130 devotees, we saw signs of the beginning of the ISKCON Reformation of 2017. Three members of the GBC spoke from the stage about the steps that had been taken by the GBC body to prevent the sale of Sri Sri Radha Govinda's temple building. The committee had no intention of discussing the problems New York devotees have had with local temple managers at this meeting. They just wanted to make their case for "no sale."

[PADA: Right, the GBC has little to say when it comes to the mistreatment of devotees, they are however very worried about buildings, big bucks and lawyers.]

When the time came for questions and answers, Ramesvara prabhu asked, in the event that the sale could not be stopped, whether the GBC would continue to be involved in encouraging and developing the NY Yatra and all of the essential preaching programs meant to bring Krishna consciousness to all quarters of our great city. He was given a guarantee that the NY Yatra would not be forsaken by the GBC at any time or under any circumstances.

[PADA: Its already been forsaken or this mess would never have happened in the first place ...] 

Then Haripriya (Shakti Assouline), who had been banned from the temple by the Temple President for speaking out against the sale of the temple, stepped up to the open microphone. She explained how she had been told to leave the temple and not return, and that other good devotees had been similarly ostracized because they had spoken out in defense of spiritual principles they had learned through Srila Prabhupada's teachings. She asked if the GBC would take action to stop this abusive practice, and the entire audience applauded her courage, agreeing that this matter should be taken up by the GBC.

[PADA: Thousands and thousands of devotees have been banned, removed, kicked out, some were beaten and some assassinated, where has the GBC been all this time? And now the GBC is suing people for printing Prabhupada's books and they are threatening to burn Prabhupada's books. Where is their committee to fix these kinds of problems? And now Malati says the book lawsuit issue is bad, for sure, but its not under the direct control of the GBC, .... is anyone at the helm of this ship? Who is in control here?]

His Holiness Bhakti Caru Swami then spoke, not as a member of the Temple Sale Committee, but as Chairman of the GBC. He affirmed that this situation of devotees being banned is of the utmost concern to the GBC body, and that he will do whatever is within his power as GBC Chairman to see that whoever has been banned from the Brooklyn temple will be re-instated without prejudice and given every opportunity to perform devotional service in Srila Prabhupada's temple, to which the entire audience showed its approval with sustained applause.

This meeting could not have had a better outcome. All glories to Srila Prabhupada! All glories to Sri Sri Radha Govinda! And all glories to the assembled Vaisnava devotees!

[PADA: Well lets see, the GBC really has to start to give the rank and file more of a say in the internal process going on within the society, or face alienating even more people, at a time when its already a ghost town in most of their temples. This is clearly too little too late, but lets see, they have made many promises in the past and come up with little or nothing to fix things. Lets see if this is all crocodile tears or if they are going to make genuine changes. ys pd] 

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