Krishna Consciousness Undermines Ecclesiology

Liberation From the Church of “ISKCON”

Last of a Ten-Part Series

by Kailäsa Candra däsa

Prabhupäda: He doesn’t want any improvement. He wants to keep it . . . just like professional church, temple.
Disciple: They’re more attached to the external form that they already have.
Prabhupäda: No, no, that is which we call Churchianity. Christianity, Churchianity.
Morning walk, 2-28-73 in Jakarta, Indonesia

“Those who are attracted to . . . cheating religious groups are themselves deceitful. Their show of spirituality is abominable; they have no desire for either liberation or devotion and surrender.“
Renunciation Through Wisdom, “The Deluded Thinkers”

Ecclesiastical establishments tend to great ignorance and corruption,
all of which facilitate the execution of mischievous projects.”
U. S. President James Madison

We shall now review humanity’s aspirations, as well as its plight in Kali-yuga. Its progressive movement toward the ultimate goal of life culminates in Kåñëa consciousness, which is at the very center of the esoteric sphere. All real hopes, beliefs, and ideals can only be attained in Kåñëa consciousness. Much to its chagrin, humanity sees that its current ideals, actuated by feelings for justice, freedom, equality, and security, play out as wars between contending factions. Atheists and theists, conservatives and liberals, socialists and capitalists, democracies, republics, communists, and fascists all compete to fulfill some compromised version of these ideals.

All Emphases Added for Your Edification and Realization

All of them come up short, but we cannot be overly concerned with the unreal factions. The actual center (of what is transpiring on the plane of mundane temporariness) is ultimately rooted in what transpires in Kåñëa consciousness, which also includes what only appears to be Kåñëa consciousness, and, in that sphere, we find contention amongst various factions. The “ISKCON” system of organized religion pushes ecclesiology, which promotes the continual conflict, despite a makeshow of peace and a claim to legitimacy based upon gross results. Numbers mean nothing. Its pukka facade and emphasis on sensational manifestations cannot disguise the fact of where it is really at, and, just as importantly, how it got there.

The devotional process of Lord Caitanya’s movement is far superior to any kind of Kali-yuga ecclesiastical display. Such ecclesiology certainly includes “ISKCON,” along with other manifestations of “religion,” i.e., churches, synods, synagogues, mosques, and stoopas. Nevertheless, we require liberation from “ISKCON” astral influences, but such freedom is not possible until it dawns upon us that His Divine Grace did not come to the West in order to create another “religious” imposition, another Church. His mission was personal, i.e., person-to-person training, person-to-person empowerment.

He came to spread Kåñëa consciousness, and that highest consciousness can only be spread by genuine gurus on a personal basis with their disciples; it is not at all effectively spread via official charisma, ecclesiology, and/or corporate, legal formulas. Prabhupäda came to create bona fide spiritual masters, but, in the spring of 1977, he revealed that none of his disciples was even potentially qualified as more than a regular guru, a level far lower than the topmost realization. No one was appointed his successor, and no one was even recognized as a spiritual master under regulation, i.e., if any of his disciples was to become qualified, he could only become so as a regular guru. This order was also a warning, and it was not heeded; indeed, that disobedience has led to our current predicament and will figure into the discussion here in Part Ten.

War at the Core

. . . the fighting spirit will ruin our great movement.”
Letter to Rämeçvara, 4-10-74

“Our Gauòéya Math people fought with one another after the demise of guru mahäräja, but my disciples have already begun fighting even in my presence. So I am greatly concerned about it.”
Letter to Kértanänanda, 10-18-73

“Man is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn’t straight. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother’s path to happiness and heaven.”
Mark Twain

Organized religion is a factor influencing outcomes between and amongst nations at the exoteric level, but it does not trump realpolitik. No lasting solution is to be had in terms of mundane ideals; the political wars produced amongst and between banal factions, both hot and cold, proliferate. Thus, the specter of incessant and seemingly endless conflict, possibly culminating in nuclear conflagration, hangs over humanity like a Damocles sword.

In both the West and the East, the next (more subtle) level is also contaminated and ultimately not decisive. Ecclesiastic organized religions (on one side) claim that, in whatever form they manifest, they are institutional intermediaries of the Supreme. They either infer or directly state that membership in them is required by all scattered souls in order for them to receive divine forgiveness and deliverance. Without such institutional intercession, these atomized sparks are said by organized religion to be on their own, reprobate, and unable to overcome an intrinsically evil, contaminated self. The bona fide status of everyone who affiliates with the religious institution–and thus is said to still have a chance for deliverance–is determined by its hierarchy.

The darkness of ecclesiastic institutionalism in the West is not really new; it has been around since ancient times. Originally, it came from the Middle East, as Zarathustra introduced the seed of this Persian night into the Zendavesta. There we first find the idea of two Supreme Controllers. As the Manichean and Zoroastrian philosophies of Eternal Great Combatants spread, in due course Satan appeared. Belief in more than one Supreme Controller then worked its way into the religion of the Talmudists, and, after that, into Islam.

The religion attributed to Éça Kåñöos took the speculation a step further: There we find the idea of three Gods, in the form of a Trinity, combating a fourth Great Controller, the emblem of evil, Lucifer, the Light Bearer. Christianity, the chief religion of the West, has been influenced by this duality, which it picked up from the Persians via the Talmudic sect, despite the fact that the Christian system, especially in some of its more grotesque symbolism, is rooted in deep resentment against its Abrahamic rival.

At this mesoteric level, with some effort, we see a counter-force. It also has its origin from ancient times, and it represents the exact opposite of everything ecclesiastical. This side is highly personal and individualistic; it includes mystic systems and a perspective held by various lines of occult thought and teaching. It values the intrinsic power of the individual to make his or her own connection with the Supreme, variously defined, and free from obligation to any kind of institutional intermediary. In this orbit, rarely do we find any emphasis on hierarchy; if there is one, it is limited within a loose-knit organization. If and/or when such a group becomes rigidly organized, ecclesiastic, and stratified into a hierarchy, then it converts into ecclesiology.

The intermediate level influences the exoteric, but the real battle between these two forces rages in the mesoteric sphere. It does not mean, however, that this level is inactive in the material world; most certainly it is present there. However, how its influence is felt requires the ability to see which factions in the outer sphere, with their corresponding sets of mundane ideals, are tied to one of these forces at the mesoteric. Warring outer forces often are mixed in terms of these connections, and that muddies the picture.

The core of both of these levels is the esoteric. As the mesoteric influences the exoteric, so the esoteric influences both the mesoteric and, to a lesser extent, the exoteric. This is not, however, simply a movement from subtle to gross; the exoteric can influence (and even change) the trajectory of the battle within the mesoteric, and this can work its way to the esoteric.

The esoteric should only be transcendental, composed of spiritual and devotional influences alone. However, in Kali-yuga, the esoteric also becomes contaminated at its outer sub-level. The battle that thus rages there is sometimes seen as a conflict between personalism and impersonalism. Actually, the real war at this time is taking place within the personalist stratum itself, the struggle between the sub-level closest to the core and the core itself.

That true core of the esoteric is the Hare Kåñëa movement, inaugurated by Lord Caitanya and brought to the West by His Divine Grace Çréla Prabhupäda. That center is the Absolute Truth, the uncontaminated core of every other sphere. The Western power, its host culture, has overwhelmed its exoteric manifestation now, and that tragedy could not have transpired without potent assistance from an impure sub-level surrounding the core esoteric.

The West is apparently great, but such a sophisticated, external power should not have triumphed like it has at this time. It could not have done so without help from within what was supposed to be a disciplic succession representing the core esoteric. There are many reasons why that impure sub-level emerged as a representation and how it became impure, but one of them has not been given consideration. This leads us to a very important question: While it was still genuine, who came to Prabhupäda’s movement?

There may have been one or two people living in the dhämas who came to him from close to the esoteric sphere itself, however, the majority of his disciples certainly did not fall into this category. Some came for superficial reasons, others by accident. Still others came for better reasons, seekers having reached the mesoteric. They were suffering acutely, experiencing the dark night of the soul. In the late Sixties and early Seventies, who were most of Prabhupäda’s recruits in the West? This is not at all a difficult question to answer: Almost all of them were hippies, his best customers.

The hippies in general (and Prabhupäda did coin the term “hippie religion”) were men and women in different situations. Many of them were superficial enjoyers and malcontents, situated only on the exoteric plane. Nevertheless, some of the others were true spiritual seekers. Although it can be argued that there was not much that all hippies held in common, there were still some conceptions that everyone in that counter-culture shared.

Their ideals harkened back to another era, in many ways a throwback to the Romantic epoch. They were discontented with the modern world, especially in its inhuman and compartmentalized modes of behavior and dealing. They were often drawn to the supernatural or the occult, attracted to a more pensive mood. They were pessimistic and detached. They believed, like the Romanticists, that humanity was naturally good but corrupted by modern institutions. It is practically a contradiction in terms for someone to have been a hippie, and, at the same time, a dedicated member of any religious institution.

Hippies rejected the legitimacy of ecclesiastic hierarchies, and they did not come to Çréla Prabhupäda (and did not take up his process of bhakti-yoga) in order to become a part of any such arrangement. They came in order to liberate themselves from suffering, to secure transcendental knowledge and realization, to become individually powerful and self-situated, and to be able to do things that they were previously unable to do—and, just as importantly, to stop doing things that they knew were against their real self-interests.

In other words, Prabhupäda’s sincere, serious, and intense devotees approached him from the mystical side of the mesoteric. They considered that Prabhupäda represented the perfection of what they were searching for; they were delighted to find that he indeed was a genuine guru. His Divine Grace was not attempting to convert them to another religion. He was not representing ecclesiastic institutionalism (ecclesiology). They surrendered to him and engaged in his service because he offered them, in its pristine form, exactly what they were looking for in the realm of mysticism and the supernatural.

As such, in this connection, it is much more than a mere irony that “ISKCON” has turned Prabhupäda’s movement topsy-turvy—it is a travesty of the worst form imaginable! What the vitiated G.B.C. and its “ISKCON” extension are doing is not what His Divine Grace offered, not what he represented, not what was authorized by him, and not at all connected to the real reasons that most of his disciples approached him.

This is why there is now war at and around the core.

“ISKCON” is a dangerous version of contaminated religion coming from the wrong side of the intermediate plane; as an unauthorized sub-level of the esoteric (as all such groups are), it is now working its dark designs as an imitation of the real thing. It can initially be checked by a combination of genuine knowledge, spiritual power, and the ability to act. To act means to act in Kåñëa consciousness. The time has come for the genuinely initiated disciples (1966-1977) of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedänta Swämi to step up and act to eradicate the pretension that is holding back Lord Caitanya’s perfect movement of topmost mysticism and divine love.

The essential condition for the influence of “ISKCON” is its continuous expansion; that is the only way it can keep from cratering. Such continuous expansion depends upon it being able to control its belief system, i.e., to being believed to be the vanguard for fulfilling Lord Caitanya’s prophesy. Its controlling node is the vitiated G.B.C. The misconception that the G.B.C. is legitimate is an essential condition for maintaining that control of the belief system. The Society both creates and depends upon a regular turnover of manpower, which is facilitated by a dazzling display of Deities (only some of which are actually installed), along with revenue collection and fervent preaching by the cult’s fanatics. Those triumphalists require constant reassurance that the G.B.C. possesses the qualities of invincibility and inevitability. Exposing the G.B.C. reveals these projections for the hoax that they are, and that directly threatens implosion.

The cult requires a regular and substantial revenue stream in order to maintain itself, what to speak of expanding. In good measure, it has come to rely on the Western Hindoo for much of this revenue, but that is in jeopardy if the fallacies of its authority claims are exposed to the extent that these Hindus are mocked by the rest of their clan for subsidizing it. Their attraction to “ISKCON” rests almost exclusively on Deities and caretaker “brähmins,” but such pujärés will no longer be held in esteem if the cult becomes too degraded. With the worldwide advance of communication, the knowledge of just what is underpinning this “ISKCON” deviation could eventually become assimilated on a widespread basis. This could then produce an environment, particularly in the United States, where it is rejected; that is already taking place.

Still, “ISKCON” cannot be thoroughly exposed as long as its governing body is considered legitimate. As such, the linchpin to all of this is a thorough and profound expose of just what the G.B.C. is, what its actual history is, along with the fact that it is not connected to any genuine sampradäya. The G.B.C. will defend itself with vigor and vitriol if and/or when its underpinnings are so exposed; such a counterattack will create a fog so thick that, at a certain point, only initiated disciples of His Divine Grace will be able to cut through it. As such, dismantling the “ISKCON” imposition depends entirely upon these godbrothers taking action with knowledge, power, and spiritual character, especially when real courage will be required in the face of the inevitable onslaught or backlash.

The fall of “ISKCON” and, after that, the victory of Lord Caitanya’s movement, although ultimately inevitable, are not automatic events in either the short or medium term; fate has not destined this outcome. It will not simply happen—effort, underpinned by steady intelligence directed for self-realization, is a prerequisite in order to avoid a destiny no sane spiritual seeker of today could possibly appreciate. The time has come to make that effort.

If the G.B.C. is now effectively exposed, eventually its expansion will be checked. The triumphalists will then begin to doubt (and become weakened), and the Hindoos will fall away. The G.B.C. will thus war within itself in order to recapture the revenue stream and the energy of its formerly dedicated fanatics. When that fails, an impending defeat of the Commission, along with imminent punishment for its remaining members, will loom. Some of them will foresee this and jump ship, hastening the implosion. As a result, the ecclesiological pretense will eventually be dismantled. Such an abolition will mark a major victory for Lord Caitanya’s movement, which will then, within a relatively short span of time, blossom once again throughout the West.

Institutionalism: A Love Story

“The surrendering process already exists, but it is never perfect, because the person or institution unto whom we surrender is imperfect, and our surrender, having so many ulterior motives, is also imperfect. . . nor does anyone fully surrender to anyone else unless obliged to do so.”
Çrémad-Bhägavatam, 4.8.46, purport

“The Miami situation is a great discredit for us because we have made such a bad impression on the neighbors that they have had us kicked out. This is because of nasty management. Rüpänuga was the G.B.C., and now you are. Why it cannot be made clean?”
Letter to Satsvarüpa, 6-4-75

“If the subjective consciousness prefers the opinions of collective consciousness and identifies with them, then . . . (t)he more highly charged the collective consciousness, the more the ego forfeits its (own) practical importance. It is, as it were, absorbed by the opinions and tendencies of the collective consciousness, and the result of that is the mass man, (an) ever-ready victim . . . “
Carl Jung, The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche

Today’s post-modern chela is encouraged by “ISKCON” to swap out his flawed and foolish subjective consciousness in order to identify with the collective consciousness of that institution. Most of them like their gurus to some extent, but, in “ISKCON,” they tend to love their institution more. The mass man is what the cult caters to, and it encourages its rank-and-file to remain absorbed in in-house binaries, all of which are nothing more than tempests in their own corporate teapot. None of those superficial issues even approaches the root of the endemic deception and corruption found there, institutionally inserted even before Prabhupäda departed the scene. The cult’s chelas become victimized by a false sense of their transferred importance, which is cent-per-cent based upon only apparent surrender to their institution.

This does not mean that any of them are even close to surrendered to anyone or anything, because only the most fanatical of these newcomers to Vaiñëava teachings remain unaware of the cheating imperfections endemic to the current institutional paradigm. Institutional guru means bogus guru. Entropy is defined in the Webster’s Dictionary as degradation of energy in a closed system producing a constant state of inert uniformity. “ISKCON” meets this definition in full measure, and the perfection of its ecclesiology is the attainment of mindless uniformity throughout the confederation.

The so-called gurus in such a milieu are little more than rent-äcäryas, who can be discarded at any time if they run afoul of the political correctness “ISKCON” demands. Yes, those demands change over time–sometimes even radically–but the paradigm remains. The personal, nasty management of the Sixties and Seventies has now transmogrified into a nasty institutionalized management scheme that envelops everyone in the cult at every level; temple presidents and (most of) the gurus have to be careful to toe that line, otherwise all their perks can and will be taken from them at any moment.

We need to be aware of these schemes. In terms of the Vaiñëava tradition, we need to know that “ISKCON” is something entirely new. We need to know that its concoctions all emanate from the vitiated G.B.C. within a closed system. The objection may be made that “ISKCON” is not closed, especially since it allows Hinduism and New Age to enter its precincts. Those contaminations serve a purpose, however, and the leaders of the institution thus tolerate them. Real decision-making and power comes from the top of the pyramid in “ISKCON,” and that capstone is oppressive. It is an entirely closed system at that level–the only level, in the ultimate issue, that really matters.

For example, in genuine Vedic and Vaiñëava circles, it is the guru who decides if and/or when a disciple is to be initiated. In “ISKCON,” however, the guru cannot award first or second initiation to a disciple unless his local authority sanctions it. Thus, the G.B.C. mollifies its presidents by giving them this unauthorized power, which they use as a means of control. As such, devotees in the cult who want to be approved by the institution for initiation, see that the temple president holds the key to that approval, not any particular guru. Their initiation is really nothing more than an institutional initiation, and the guru is thus little more than a rent-äcärya.

The institutional guru has little or no power in the matter of deciding his disciple’s engagement. Instead, the local authority, usually the temple president, decides. This is not the Vedic or Vaiñëava standard for regular gurus, but, instead, it is a throwback to the days when Prabhupäda was active as the Founder-Äcärya. Time changes things, and those days are long gone.

A regular guru is not meant to be seen or treated anything like what Prabhupäda was during the Seventies, but that incomparable (and inapplicable) paradigm now prevails. Imitation of it, however, allows the local authority to exploit “initiated” devotees for his own purposes. The G.B.C. will not reverse this, even if one or two gurus may complain about it. And they have to be cautious in any such bellyaching, because it could wind up putting their precarious “No Objection Certificate” in danger of revocation.

In Vedic and Vaiñëava tradition, the chela makes donations to his spiritual master. In “ISKCON,” however, this is not allowed. All donations must be given to the local authority. He decides how much of it, if any of it, goes to the guru of that disciple. The disciples do not have the freedom to give charity to their (so-called) spiritual masters, turning the whole process upside-down and on its head. Of course, this plays right into the mindless uniformity that both the G.B.C. and the presidents so dearly love.

In order to establish a preaching program with his disciples residing in an area, the institutional guru has to receive permission from the temple president first. On his own volition, he is not allowed to enter the precincts of any local authority’s zone of influence. Thus, the itinerant preacher has no longer any meaning in the fabricated “ISKCON” confederation, because any real guru, especially a sannyäsé, is always encouraged to establish preaching centers anywhere and everywhere with his disciples and followers.

Besides this, temple managers—taking full advantage of these imposed G.B.C. mandates–are prone to interfere with the plans of any given guru who enters their zones. It will lead to—if it has already not done so—graft and imbalances in the authority structure. That “ISKCON” authority structure is already both unauthorized and imbalanced, but its collective consciousness grows in power as a result of these kinds of mandates.

There are two kinds of institutional gurus in “ISKCON.” Both of them are bogus. One is nothing more than a functionary, a rent-äcärya. On the other side of the coin, there are no less than three flagrant sahajiyäs who wield influence internationally, even amongst some of Prabhupäda’s initiated disciples (1966-77). For the first set of institutional gurus, the temple presidents are actually above them in power, i.e., the temple presidents are the de facto gurus, and the No Objection Certified gurus are fiat gurus–in effect, prostitutes for the institution. The flagrant sahajiyäs are too powerful for the G.B.C. to alienate, because the Commission wants their backing, even if it amounts to nothing more than lip-service loyalty. They imitate säkñäd-dhari, which is anything but what a regular guru is allowed to emulate.

Fanatics incline toward the sahajiyäs, while the uninspired rank-and-file newcomers prefer to “surrender” to a feminized version of guru, a man who pretends to be, but is not up to, the standard of what a regular guru is required to represent. This whole arrangement aids and abets the G.B.C. power grab, which has been active for over three and one-half decades. It is all symptomatic of Churchianity, mundane religiosity. Will any of the inmates within the cult revolt against these impositions? It is highly unlikely, because they all now have a vested interest in them.

You can say that these institutional arrangements undermine the guru-disciple relationship and, furthermore, restrict qualified brähmins from exercising the influence they are supposed to be able to exert. The problem with this misconception is that there are no genuine gurus and disciples in “ISKCON,” and, furthermore, there are no qualified brähmins to be found there, either. In other words, the current arrangement in that camp is a kind of love story: A love of corporatism, a love of institutionalism, a love of official charisma. The kick-me chelas love to be cheated in the way that they are exploited in “ISKCON,” and the party men love the arrangement just as much as their masochistic underlings relish it in a different way.

As important as these factors are, we can never underestimate the power of the cement holding all the bricks together: The Power of Rationalization. There are many sleazy examples of it, and it would double the length of this treatise to try to detail most of them. So, as described in Part Nine, let us simply remove two grains of rice from the institute’s pot, and, by so doing, sample the texture of those grains in order to know how all other rationalizations weave their magic spells on “ISKCON” chelas (and even on many of the party men).

When you actually come into contact with a strong dose of “ISKCON” dogma, it is best to be aware that the faulty arguments and worn astral cliches proffered by the agents of that institution are, as often as not, loaded with bad logic and spiked with buzz words, along with interrelated emotions. Consider the following sleazy example from a G.B.C. approved book authored by one of its more prominent gurus:

“Is it rational to argue that Çréla Prabhupäda was empowered to spread Kåñëa consciousness all over the world but incapable of producing even one qualified disciple to carry on his legacy? Hardly! Though the indictment is directed at Prabhupäda’s disciples, it discredits Çréla Prabhupäda as well! ”
Çivaräma Swämé, Çikñä Outside of ISKCON?

Just see the bad logic projected in the diatribe. Of course, that mentality is nothing new. One of the eleven pretender mahäbhägavats stated, just after they all secured their zones in 1978, that the movement had then become far better off (than when Prabhupäda was present), because now there were eleven heartbeats energizing it instead of just one.

A disciple is incapable of carrying on the legacy of his spiritual master when he either remains a kaniñöha or slides into mixed devotion or descends to the much lower octave of the sahajiyä, especially as an institutional sahajiyä. That is not on the Founder-Äcärya; it is on the (so-called) disciple! It is rational to know that the uttama-adhikäré would not empower even one disciple to the highest status of devotion when he does not find any disciple surrendered enough to him to be promoted even to the status of madhyama-adhikäré.

Yet, in the sleazy excerpt posted above, we find its author—who has a vested self-interest in promoting his misconception—projecting guilt upon those who see the real situation (after Prabhupäda departed) for just what it is. You see things as they are, but this aggressive “guru” projects on to you an indictment against all of Prabhupäda’s disciples, as well as a gurvaparädha, accusing you of supposedly discrediting the uttama-adhikäré.

The bhakti system doesn’t work like that. It never has, and it never will. A guru may have five thousand initiated disciples, and none of them turn out to be surrendered enough even to transcend the neophyte status. On the other hand, a bona fide spiritual master may have only one disciple, and he impresses his guru to such an extent that this disciple is awarded the highest platform of devotional realization. Numbers mean nothing, and the guilt that the institutional guru projects should be seen for just what it is.

Those kinds of rationalizations are devastators, because the devotees who fall for them—ready candidates for such victimization, because they want to identify with the collective consciousness and thus are relegated to the meaningless status of mass men—cannot escape the clutches of the emotion-laden bad logic which underpins the rationalizations. Here is the second sample:

“Yet his spiritual master himself had asked for a governing board to succeed him at the head of his institution. Çréla Prabhupäda took this request to heart. . . He would establish such a board, oversee its development, and have it ready to act as his successor at the head of ISKCON. . . By thus establishing the G.B.C. and leaving it as his chosen successor at the head of ISKCON, Çréla Prabhupäda insured that the order of Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Öhäkura would continue to work efficaciously in the world and bear fruit.”
Ravindra Svarüpa däsa Adhikäré, SPFAI, “Reasons for Prabhupäda’s Founding of ISKCON”

SPFAI is the acronym for the title of this booklet, viz., Çréla Prabhupäda Founder-Äcärya of ISKCON. We have previously exposed its many misconceptions. In this particular excerpt, it is claimed that the successor to a paramparä-äcärya has now become the governing body commission, which oversees the institution that the spiritual master founded. This is completely new and radically opposed to the Vedic and Vaiñëava standard. Yet, the lovers of institutionalism will buy into it, and, as per their desires, they will also be devastated by it. By falling for it, they cannot, under any circumstances, assimilate the knowledge of the actual science and standard.

There were bright flames generated from big, burning trees during the heady days of the zonal äcäryas, but that has now degenerated—in no small part, due to so many egregious excesses—into ecclesiology, where love of institution supersedes love of Godhead. Now, everyone gets to experience brief flashes from exploding paper–from fallen fiat gurus. Yet, the chelas don’t see this for what it is, and they cannot understand what is really going on, viz., that the “ISKCON” biorhythms have simply flipped over to the other side.

They look, but they don’t really see. They hear, but they don’t understand.”
Matthew 13:13

When the Bubble Finally Bursts

”Showbottle demonstration will not make you successful.”
Platform Lecture, Bhagavad-gita, 6.32-40, 9-14-66, N.Y.

“The pseudo religionists have neither knowledge nor detachment from material affairs, for most of them want to live in the golden shackles of material bondage under the shadow of philanthropic activities disguised as religious principles. By a false display of religious sentiments, they present a show of devotional service . . .”
Çré Éçopaniñad, Mantra 12, purport

“. . . religions emerge . . . (to conceal) the fact that power is, in essence, no longer present except to conceal that there is no more power, a simulation that can last indefinitely . . . “
Jean Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulation

In 1983, on the way back to India (later that year), your author was visiting a godbrother at his workplace in a small bookstore within New York City and his residence in upper Long Island. He had joined the movement in the Sixties at the New York temple, the first center that Çréla Prabhupäda established. This godbrother told me that, during his stay there, he saw a placard (with a quote in one of the temple windows), which read as follows:

“We may have many temples—hundreds and thousands—but if you do not follow the orders of the spiritual master, they will all be showbottle. Do you know what showbottle means? It means colored water in a glass bottle that looks like medicine, but, when you take it, it does not work.”

It will still take awhile, but most devotees—and then, eventually, the general public—are going to catch on that the Hindoo-ized show manifested by the fabricated “ISKCON” confederation is riding the wave of an inflated, cyclical bubble that will eventually burst. It appears as if it could last indefinitely, but it will not. We are now in a trough, a negative cycle for Kåñëa consciousness in the West; for all practical purposes, many devotees are in denial about it. Spiritual and devotional evolution is being sidetracked by the four factions (mentioned in Part Nine and elsewhere), and this should not come as a surprise, because Çréla Prabhupäda warned about it:

“Unfortunately, when the äcärya disappears, rogues and non-devotees take advantage and immediately begin to introduce unauthorized principles in the name of so-called svämés, yogés, philanthropists, welfare workers and so on.”
Çrémad-Bhägavatam, 4.28.48, purport

There are gaps in time related to the progress of the message of Godhead. The guru-paramparä is not always properly represented, particularly after the disappearance of a Sampradäya Äcärya such as His Divine Grace Çréla Prabhupäda. Real growth in spiritual life, particularly at the overall level, is never linear or even incremental. When there is a bubble such as “ISKCON,” it appears to be a straight-line, ever-expanding model, but that expansion is both shallow and horizontal.

You take a look at the back of their publications, and you see that they list so many centers there. However, numbers mean nothing, and the measure of the spiritual power and realization present at those places, particularly the satellite centers (existing almost entirely for the purpose of revenue collection), represents little more than a veneer of a genuine temple environment.

In due course, the bubble will burst, because they always must do so. Then, there will be a return to square one. This particular pseudo-devotional bubble is a really big one, and the bigger the bubble, the greater the burst. It will return to a point lower than when its inflation began, but, hopefully, not too much lower. In the meantime, initiations will be watered down by institutional gurus more and more, and the Hinduization of “ISKCON” will exponentially increase, along with its related revenue, the motive force behind it.

The makeshow will continue to attract those prone to being seduced by it. Some of today’s skeptics (and even some cynics) will return to the cult, particularly if there is an avenue afforded them to secure the No Objection Certificate and sign on to the perks an institutional guru receives in “ISKCON.” This is in line with the ecclesiology that now predominates.

All of its members–with blinders tightly in place–will continue to remain in denial; indeed, as the latter stages of that bubble approaches, denial will increase in both power and intensity (read, fanaticism). This is mostly because of the shadow euphoria being experienced by those taking advantage of the showbottle now, especially considering how easy it was for them to gain access to so many institutional advantages.

After the “ISKCON” bubble bursts, there is going to be an unprecedented depression on every level, due to the magnitude of this particular makeshow. It will be recorded in history as such, but it is unlikely that any of us will be able to read that history—at least, not in these bodies. Nevertheless, we should all keenly anticipate the bubble bursting, despite the hardships that will radiate from the event. The bursting of the institutional delusion will serve an important function, as we can then again make progress in devotional life, completely free from the weight of the current albatross.

Epilogue

Our occupation must be honest.
Everyone should adore our members as honest.”
Letter to Rüpänuga, 1-9-75

Bob: So somebody who is honest will be in the mode of goodness. Would that be correct?
Prabhupäda: Certainly. Certainly. Because mode of goodness means knowledge. So if you know, if you’re well-conversant that, “This table does not belong to me; it belongs to Swamiji,” so you’ll not try to take it away. Therefore, one must know, be thoroughly well-conversant; then he can be honest.
Bob
: Now, you had said the mode of goodness was knowledge of God, but somebody may be honest without having very much knowledge of God. You know, without being honest, without thinking they’re honest because it is God’s wishes, they just feel like they ought to be honest.
Prabhupäda: No. God wishes everyone should be honest. Why God should think otherwise?
Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers

“Truth at last cannot be hidden. Dissimulation is of no avail. Dissimulation is to no purpose before so great a judge. Falsehood puts on a mask. Nothing is hidden under the sun.”
Leonardo da Vinci

Honesty is to Truth as what knowledge is to intelligence, i.e., honesty is integral to realization of the Absolute Truth and overcoming the mask of falsehood. The mode of goodness is thus required for a transcendentalist becoming a brähmin, and His Divine Grace came to the West in order to create brähmins. He wanted to convert Westerners, seeped in deception by their upbringing and culture, into men and women of goodness. He appealed to the disaffected youth of the Sixties and Seventies, because they were already rejecting hypocrisy at all social, economic, governmental, and religious levels. They wanted the truth to be presented as it is, and that is exactly what Prabhupäda offered.

Such radical honesty remains at the very core of his message and process, but that is not to be found in the fabricated “ISKCON” confederation, as it has degenerated into little more than another organized religion. It is a mistake to believe that Hindu culture was not affected by the British occupation of India during the second half of the Nineteenth Century and the first half of the Twentieth. The institutionalism that England injected into the subcontinent took root, and Churchianity was a part of that. Most of the “spiritual” sects in India are just as institutionalized as they are in the West, and the “ISKCON” appeal to the Western Hindoo—which has culminated in the Third Transformation (of what only now appears to be Prabhupäda’s movement)—was, in no small part, based upon its intentionally cultivated, and now fully institutionalized, paradigm.

Naturally, as an Eastern movement transplanted in the West, the mentality and energy of what can only loosely be called “Christianity” could also weave its way into “ISKCON,” and it has done so, not necessarily as dogma, but in terms of structure, hierarchy, and operation.

We all require freedom from this combined oppression, and we cannot allow it to influence us in any way. It does not represent the Absolute Truth, because, at its very root, it is a dishonest creation. “ISKCON” never confronts that dishonesty, because doing so would put its superimposed hierarchy—along with its donors, party men, gurus, and so-called initiations—at risk. Instead, it diverts its congregation—such diversions being but another facet of its dishonesty—into in-house quagmires that have nothing to do with the real issues. The latest one to come down the pike is the female dékñä-guru issue, another tempest in its institutional teapot.

We need to step our devotional level up to the next octave, and, once removing the “ISKCON” béja from having any influence within ourselves, take shelter of the Holy Name, take shelter of Prabhupäda’s teachings, instructions, and writings (unadulterated, of course), and then work to expose “ISKCON” and its unauthorized, splinter spawn. We best not remain merely reactive, as it is more effective for the growth of our spiritual realization and power to instead be proactive. We cannot allow a future generation fifty years from now–harassed and oppressed by a sahajiyä cult that has teamed up with government and suppresses the Truth of Kåñëa consciousness via ultra-intrusive technology—to read an account of our history and then ask:

Why didn’t Prabhupäda’s disciples show more resistance?”

The eccelesiological entropy appears to have an endless supply of manpower and revenue, but “ISKCON” can be stopped—as long as, at this time, it is exposed both continually and truthfully. It is rooted in dishonesty from the gate, and this constitutes its chief vulnerability. Prabhupäda set the standard in any confrontation he had, particularly with Catholic priests, by emphasizing the root flaw in their presentation. We should follow in his footsteps, and, if and when we do so, see to it that this “ISKCON” monster, built on a foundation of sand, comes crashing down. This is the most effective way to achieve liberation from the Church of “ISKCON,” and it is now available to every honest and serious devotee of the Lord.

OM TAT SAT

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