[PADA: The GBC's / Rocana's renegade acharyas are not accountable to anyone for anything it would seem? This is why there is an unending mass of under resolved crises, financial accountability issues, contrived banning of questioners and doubters and so on and so forth. Never mind unresolved crises of who is paying for huge lawsuits; Who is changing the books; What about mistreatment of devotees and not funding sick and dying devotees -- and so on ad infinitum. ys pd]
BY: VASTAVIKA DAS
Think that your donation goes for building the TOVP? Digest this factoid. The ILS – ISKCON Leadership Seminars - held every two years in Mayapur through the efforts of Gopal Bhatta Dasa, who has become the de facto Svengali of the GBC management - got $50,000 of TOVP donations two years ago. It's no secret. The announcement was proudly made in front of hundreds of ILS participants in the concluding ceremonies in 2016.
If you don't know what ILS is, it is "five days of seminars to train and inform ISKCON members (paying a nominal fee of $125 or so) on principles of management." Of course, the quid pro quo of the TOVP donation is an opportunity to request pledges of donations from those same participants. The rationale is that the pledges will by far exceed the TOVP donation and that the training will result in more ISKCON members/more donations to TOVP. Pledges and hopes. Not money in the bank.
The TOVP donation to ILS is real cash; no refunds. There is no accounting whether that $50K spent was returned in spades. Perhaps the numbers are irrelevant to the principle. If a person wants to donate to ILS, they can do it directly. However, a generous soul giving money to TOVP is expecting his money to buy construction directly. (Remember the "Buy a brick for $108.") That person has likely not been informed of any third-party schemes to maybe get more money back on the "investment."
Some may argue that the TOVP fundraisers have a right to use the TOVP donations for various "promotions." Surely, there are expenses in fundraising including travel, employees, accommodations, promotional materials, etc. (Where are those numbers and how are they supervised?) However, giving TOVP money to ILS is certainly a stretch. The cozy relationship between Brajavilas (manager of TOVP fundraising) and Gopal Bhatta may have something to do with the money being spent on Gopal Bhatta's signature ILS project. Gopal Bhatta is a multi-millionaire himself so the question of why he doesn't fund the ILS entirely is left to be answered.
Money appears to move around TOVP / Mayapur / ILS and Krishna-knows-what-else in very secretive ways. The accountability is veiled in winks and "understandings." An auditor would likely have an impossible task in trying to match up income and expenditures in a detailed manner. Like any business, there is ample wiggle room to fudge and nudge. So be aware that your donation to TOVP may not be spent in the way you expect. You are giving your money into hands that already have shown that the trust has been betrayed (remember Radhajivana - or how quickly we forget). The CPA's and other accountant firms involved don't and can't show real transparency. It's a shell game.
Yes, the TOVP is continuing to build, but does anyone outside the inner circle know the real financial circumstances? How much is wasted? Misappropriated? Stolen? Anyone ever see the receipts? The financial reports on the TOVP website are unlinked. There is no substantiation. The numbers are not traceable; they could put in any figures.
Giving in the mode of ignorance is condemned by Krishna. Are we giving with open or closed eyes, with blind faith or informed awareness? What have the managers learned and implemented since Radhajivana was summarily removed? Whatever lessons, they have not been shared with the public nor have the details of the accounting.