Tear Off All the Wallpaper!

May, 2018

First of a Two-Part Series

By Kailäsa Candra däsa

“Ävaraëätmikä-çakti means she is covering the reality, just as when the cloud covers the sunshine, and we cannot see. For a few days now, it’s been cloudy. We cannot see the sun, but that does not mean there is no sun in the sky.”
Platform Lecture, 9-26-73 in Bombay, India

“Suppose if I tear away your coat.
Does it mean that you are killed?
Room Conversation with a professor, 6-4-74, in Geneva

At the moment my eyes were opened,
They might just as well’ve been closed.”
Procol Harum, “A Whiter Shade of Pale”

In the summer of 1966, His Divine Grace Çréla Prabhupäda formed ISKCON, INC. Four years later, he formed an unincorporated entity known as the G.B.C. In conjunction with a handful of sannyäsés, his movement included books, a monthly magazine, temple presidents, temples commanders, expert püjärés, and first-class cooks. This was the Hare Kåñëa movement of Kåñëa consciousness in the West. Although there were a few blips here and there, it functioned quite well and expanded . . . for awhile, that is.

In employing the analogy of a painted wall, ISKCON, INC. was decorated with an initial Vaiñëava design of bright and bold colors, free from low-energy pastels. It was THE TRUTH. Although not Utopia, this multi-colored rejuvenation of a modified Vaiñëava culture and philosophy was as close as post-modern humanity could get to The Idyllic. It was austere but also attractive for all genuine and lucky transcendentalists, i.e., those inclined toward personalist teachings and the regulated, disciplic lines of Vedic culture.

In the mid-Seventies, however, a semi-translucent, colorless overcoat was painted over the initial design, compromising it to some extent. That gloss was the seed of the fabricated, so-called “ISKCON,” which, most unfortunately, has flourished for the past four decades and continues to delude all too many people today.

The first overcoat set the stage for more. It covertly competed with ISKCON for four years, and then, in the early spring of 1978, new wallpaper was applied over the whole thing, and there was only “ISKCON” via the obnoxious zonal äcärya imposition.

There have been other applications of wallpaper since then, all representing so-called reforms. With each new application, either the next design tweaked previous wallpaper it covered, or, in two cases, brought in a transformation, along with a new design. The real ISKCON movement has been covered over for four decades, although, for those of you who believe ISKCON has been destroyed, you will find no quibble here. There is plenty of evidence of that, and our three websites have posted many quotes from Prabhupäda warning specifically of just such pending ruination of his movement.

Now, was there–or rather, is there–any value in the current manifestation? Loaded with Hindoo floral patterns, is there anything REAL to be gained from it? The answer is that only A-B-C-D spiritual advancement can be made in the fabricated, so-called “ISKCON.” Mäyä works through it, but she does so in the name of Kåñëa consciousness. It is an organized religion, and Çréla Prabhupäda never wanted that. No genuine guru would ever want that. No genuine disciple would ever want that. Organized religion produces cheap gurus and cheap disciples, and Lord Caitanya’s movement is not meant for such sahajiyäs.

They and their institutions cover reality. In today’s manifestation, there are many coverings or, to continue with the analogy, there are layers of wallpaper to work through in order to once again reach THE TRUTH. You work through them by ripping them down!

“ISKCON” is a manifestation of the ävaraëätmikä-çakti. The Mäyä first pulled almost everyone away. When the G.B.C., in complete defiance of what Prabhupäda ordered and wanted, forced everyone to accept the eleven pretender mahäbhägavats, those who bought into it got pulled away from Reality. All of Prabhupäda’s disciples and followers who fell under that spell were pulled from THE TRUTH by the prakñepätmikä-çakti.

All of this wallpaper has to be ripped away! Tearing it away does not constitute an attack on any genuine devotee, although it may appear like that. Currently, when somebody new to Kåñëa consciousness becomes enamored by the present-day design that “ISKCON” pushes, there is some initial, limited light. After all, the deviation cannot be so complete that nothing (at least peripherally) connected to Vaiñëavism remains in it. If such were the case, the whole house of cards would implode and collapse in days.

There are remnants of the real thing left, but they can only take you so far. You cannot become qualified to reach the Zenith and enter the spiritual world via what “ISKCON” makes available to you. As such, in due course, that initial “enlightenment” makes some newcomers wish that they had never even experienced it, particularly after they have been injected with, and burdened by, the “ISKCON” béja, losing all impetus to proceed.

Yet, any genuine Kåñëa movement must offer a path for the sädhaka that works its way through the whole alphabet. We cannot allow ourselves to be satisfied within any limited matrix, because, by definition, that can only be Mäyä’s creation. The process of real enlightenment entails, even in the beginning, important realizations. One of these is the stark understanding that this conditioned status of life means, for all practical purposes, that Mäyä controls you for but two purposes: To punish and to prevent.

It is more or less constant punishment, and the Universal Regulatrix is using every tactic within her vast repertoire in order for you to be unable to realize what is what, in order for you to be unable to enter the path of eternal felicity. What must we do? We must rip off that wallpaper –which her “ISKCON” agents have plastered over Kåñëa consciousness–and return to square one, that’s what!

Higher Keys at Same Mäyikä Pitch

“It is said that man is a social animal, and, according to our association, we can mold our character.”
Teachings of Lord Kapila, “Spiritual Attachment and Material Detachment”

“He was doing nothing, just chanting, but that means that he was doing everything. Your conclusion is very good, and I very much appreciate that GBC or XYZ, you are always servant of Krishna.”
Letter to Kirtanänanda, 11-12-74

I find myself alone when the day is through.”
Johnny Cash, “I Walk the Line”

The fact that association will influence another person’s astral body is practically demonstrated on a regular basis to the vast majority of human beings. In this age, the association is generally more harmful than good. Hierarchical congregationalism often is considered synonymous with institutionalism, in no small part because they so often fit well together. Should we neglect the downside of that kind of association?

To believe that great munis and sages, recluses from the past, are all irrelevant now is a jaded misconception rooted in attachment and misguided emotion. In terms of transcendence, we must analyze this “man is a social animal” bromide for what it invariably entails. It contains a subject (“Man”), a predicate (“animal”), and an adjective to the predicate (“social”). “Man” here does not refer to a male; it refers to mankind. An “animal” is not allowed entrance into higher planets, what to speak of entrance into the spiritual world. To be “social” can mean many things. Some animals, for example, travel in packs, while many birds travel in flocks. To some extent, they can be considered social when so engaged.

The basic teaching in all transcendental lines is that you are not a man or a woman. You are not actually a member of mankind in your real and permanent being. The ontology of a Man always must include his inherent temporariness in that category. Human beings are thus representations of temporary identities. Association with a mundane man—particularly, if he has the consciousness of an animal, a reptile, or even a bird—is not the kind of saìga that any progressive transcendentalist will seek. Someone may briefly tolerate it in order to complete a necessary transaction, but nothing more than that.

We must understand the context of man being a social animal. Animals are not meant for Kåñëa consciousness, because they do not have the power of introspection. That some of Prabhupäda’s disciples were a bit misanthropic and disinclined toward congregations and rock concerts is not necessarily a devotional disqualification.

Organized religion emphasizes the importance (or even so-called necessity) of social association in its saìgas. Invariably, these organizations or institutions will contain stratification intrinsic to hierarchy. This social paradigm also thrives outside of organized religion throughout the world. Especially in the Eighteenth Century, the arbitrarily determined nation-states of Europe had rigid stratification engrained within their social paradigms. Once you were so slotted within them in any such country, you were forced to act according to your designated place for the rest of your life. This was also the case in their organized religions. Many of the thirteen British colonies of the New World (later, sovereign states of America) boasted a State Religion, and all citizens in that colony or State, whether believers or not, were forced to pay taxes to that religion.

In other words, this group mentality of stratification (and hierarchy) has been around for centuries in the West, so it was not surprising that it entered into Prabhupäda’s movement, even while ISKCON was still bona fide. It should not have entered, but it did. Its basis was misidentifying individual personalities who came to his movement (especially, when they became initiated members) by institutionally pigeon-holing them. This was done both socially and (so-called) spiritually-cum-devotionally.

With heavy emphasis on hierarchical congregationalism, individual incentive was thus readily suppressed. The tactics for actuating that strategy in “ISKCON” were similar to the ones used throughout history by organized religion, but the new, crypto-Talmudic Society took it (and still takes it) to the next octave.

It creates a self-perpetuating cult echo chamber of contaminated consciousness. It creates dependency upon the group think for re-assurance, i.e., for so-called acceptance by, and advancement in, a line of disciplic succession which it actually does not represent. It creates artificial standards of and for “spiritual” advancement, all of which are manifestations of hierarchical congregationalism.

Climbing the latticework of the rungs in such a bureaucracy thus becomes the approved way for being recognized. However, a Party Man is never an advanced devotee, even if he thrives as a sophisticated, social animal within a congregational matrix. For those in lower echelons, socializing in a different way is required, viz., developing deceptive skills and techniques at the grift. That means constant association with vikarmés for the purpose of relieving them of their money and bestowing it to higher-ups on the totem pole.

You are not meant to be a social animal, so you should stop identifying as one. You are not meant to be a white elephant, so, if you still are that, then it is high time that you stop being one. You are meant to be an advanced transcendentalist in the personal line, so become that–by giving up the misconception that Prabhupäda wants you to be something else. Your birthright is integral to your real spiritual status. “ISKCON” wants you to be one thing, but Prabhupäda expects something much more than that from you.

After all, no one knows anyone else in this life very well, not in the conditioned state. As such, in ordinary life, we are more or less dealing with social animals who are complex machines (under the heading of “Man”), but we do not really know them nor do they really know us. When it is all said and done, we are left with ourselves. If we are overly dependent upon the group—even if this is accepted in the name of congregational chanting—we are, by definition, outward-oriented and heavily entangled in the ordinary mix, which ultimately leads nowhere. We are meant to reject that and become ätmäräma or self-satisfied.

Such advanced consciousness entails going inward, and it is not accomplished by association within hierarchical congregationalism. It is never to be attained when such association is contaminated, as it most definitely is within the walls of the fabricated, so-called “ISKCON” confederation. Social animals projecting the veneer of pseudo-bhakti are nothing special, and they offer nothing but transitory value, if even they offer that.

Cult hierarchies are best avoided, as their song always remains the same. They are Mäyä. A different kind of Mäyä, granted, but, nevertheless, still part of the same thralldom of illusion and delusion integral to her pitiless intrigues. A-B-C . . . X-Y-Z: We are all devotees of Kåñëa. We are meant to be self-satisfied even when alone.

We are not eternally related to “Man.” We are not social animals. In our constitutional position, we are pure, spiritual sparks, eternal servants of the Supreme Lord. Not of Man. Not of institutional gurus. And not to the illusory echelons of the fabricated, so-called “ISKCON” confederation with its self-serving and repulsive hierarchical congregationalism.

Questions and Answers

Q: Since Prabhupäda created brähmins and sannyäsés, does not that automatically entail a spiritual hierarchy? As such, since congregational chanting is supposed to be at the heart of the process, isn’t hierarchical congregationalism what Prabhupäda wanted?

A: That his ISKCON was organized does not mean that it was an organized religion. It was a cultural movement. Every devotee in it was provided the means for becoming self-realized and then God-realized. For preaching purposes, the sannyäsés were supposed to remain uninvolved in the management. Of course, that changed quickly, because the overlords amongst them wanted all the power they could get.

The track record of Prabhupäda’s sannyäsés was abysmal. If every one of them did not fall down from the platform of sannyäsa, then most of them certainly did. Their deviations, individually and as a group, are well known amongst those who were part of Prabhupäda’s movement in the Seventies. Astounding scandals, in some cases. Of course, how many deviations by these men were kept hidden and remain so?

A fallen sannyäsé is not on the top of any hierarchy, real or imagined, but many of them still functioned as renunciates even when they were not (before they were exposed). If you were not a sannyäsé, then, when one of them entered your temple, you offered your obeisances to him. Big deal! Such respect is being offered to the order.

His consciousness was whatever it was. His being sannyäsa did not automatically mean that his consciousness was more advanced. Prabhupäda’s movement was always dynamic as far as the individuals comprising it were concerned, i.e., as far as the levels of their knowledge, realization, detachment, and affection for the Supreme Lord were concerned.

Management was under the auspices of the temple president. Their track records were also more than a bit spotty. Your author worked under perhaps ten of them. I also was one, briefly, on the Big Island of Hawaii (almost certainly the smallest temple in the world at that time). Of the ones I worked under, only two did I actually look up to—and for good reason in those cases. Your author could get very specific here, but that would be tangential.

As far as the G.B.C. was concerned, its actual status of so-called advancement in spiritual life was demonstrated incontrovertibly in March, 1978. What a wonderful hierarchy! They were supposed to be the best of the brähmins, yet they were anything but. Your author’s experience with them (some of them, of course) previous to that fateful year was unfavorable, but that would require a whole article in itself to explain in any detail.

They were supposed to be watchdogs over the temple presidents. As long as the president was bona fide and running his center well, they were meant to enthuse him and perhaps make some helpful suggestions. The Commission never worked like that, however. Instead, it functioned as the top totem of an unauthorized ISKCON hierarchy.

The G.B.C. completely blew it in 1978. Instead of fulfilling its duty, it imposed the zonal äcärya deviation, wherein eleven of its own were artificially rubber-stamped to the status of mahäbhägavats, accepting power and worship they most certainly did not deserve.

In conclusion, consciousness cannot be stratified. That an institution will have different posts for management is a given; that, in and of itself, does not connote any kind of tremendous spiritual advancement on the part of such managers. Nasty management was not rare in ISKCON, and overbearing sannyäsés demanding respect (as being automatically advanced in spiritual life) was not a rarity, either.

Congregational chanting does not require any kind of hierarchy, and it especially does not require an imposed one. That ISKCON could so easily and quickly be converted into “ISKCON” is ample proof that the hierarchies present in it were superficial, meaningless, and ultimately counter-productive. Such certainly remains the case today.

Q: That the initial leaders and zonals of “ISKCON” were overlords and super-enjoyers is an obvious reason for the current deviation. Yet, in order to convert it into what it is now, was there something less obvious that they brought into the movement?

A: Some of them were covert Mäyävädés. They brought that into the movement, but subtly and indirectly. The two titanic taproots of “ISKCON” were both covert Mäyävädés. In 1970, during the first major festival at “New Vrndavan,” Kirtanänanda pulled one of my elder godbrothers aside in order to “enlighten” him that the impersonal Brahman was supreme to everything else.

Although the evidence may be anecdotal and/or indirect, that does not mean it is false. One of the chief themes—if not the chief theme—in T.K.G.’s dissertation (for securing a PhD.) was explaining how Vaiñëavas need to become more mature and align themselves with impersonalists in order to more effectively spread Vedic culture.

Hinduism is nothing more than a third-order simulacrum of hard-core, Çaìkara Mäyävada. “ISKCON” regularly rubs shoulders with Hindoos, and, at many of its centers, it is more or less dependent upon their revenue, which they give when their “needs” are met. Such association, sometimes intimate (at least, to a certain extent), is conducive to Mäyäväda contamination. We have no business having any close association with Hinduism, what to speak of making compromises with it or its representatives.

Just as importantly, many (if not most) of the initial leaders of “ISKCON” associated with the Gouòéya Mutt, even taking (what can only loosely be called) “darçan” from their most influential and established representative. That Neo-Mutt and its parent source advocate the apa-siddhäntic impersonal origin of the living entity has been well-documented in articles on our websites. The impersonal origination theory—which runs contrary to what Prabhupäda gave us—is nothing but a covert form of Mäyäväda.

Worship of “ISKCON” by the Party Men and their gutter buddies is also a covert form of impersonalism. Devotees of the Personality of Godhead do not worship corporate entities, no matter how pukka they supposedly are. We worship exalted personalities, not corporate conglomerates or their power node governing bodies. That Prabhupäda was ISKCON meant that we worshiped him, not the corporate super-structure. It was to be seen and utilized as an extension of his power and influence—until it became corrupted, that is.

The Zonal Äcärya Era: What Was It?

“A man bound by the hands and feet cannot free himself—he must be helped by a person who is unbound. Because the bound cannot help the bound, the rescuer must be liberated. Therefore, only Lord Kåñëa, or His bona fide representative the spiritual master, can release the conditioned soul.”
Bhagavad-gétä, 7.14, purport

“ . . . the advanced uttama-adhikäré Vaiñëava devotee should be accepted as a spiritual master. . . . However, one should not imitate the behavior of an advanced devotee or mahä-bhägavata without being self-realized, for by such imitation one will eventually become degraded.”
Nectar of Instruction, Verse Five, purport

If the media makes you, the media can break you.”
Western post-modern aphorism

It was a bum’s rush if there ever was one! When the Magnificent Eleven returned from Mäyäpur to the West, a log-jam of uninitiated new people awaited them. In the spring of 1978, they were ripe for the picking, but so were the overwhelming majority of Çréla Prabhupäda’s initiated disciples at the various temples throughout the world. The Hare Kåñëa movement of Kåñëa consciousness was then irrevocably transformed (the First Transformation), as the zonal äcärya era was thus implemented with great fanfare. Almost everybody fell for out, although you author was not one of them.

The whole movement was stampeded into believing that Prabhupäda had appointed eleven new initiating spiritual masters to carry on his movement by ruling over various international zones, arbitrarily demarcated, as their own initiation fiefdoms. They were all to be worshiped as uttama-adhikärés, because mad-guru si jagad-guru was the new shibboleth. If you did not accept, then you were envious, because Prabhupäda himself (allegedly) appointed these men as gurus in the summer of the previous year. The whole scam was loaded with major misconceptions and delusions (read, lies) from beginning to end.

These have all been discussed in considerable detail throughout the articles posted on our websites, which are still readily accessible. The how and why of each guru cult (zonal äcärya), or specifics connected to those zones, is not the topic here. Let’s look at the forest and not get caught up in the trees. Rather, let us explore something a bit more subtle and comprehensive. Let’s consider just what was this zonal äcärya era? After all, it lasted for less than a decade before it was overturned via Professor Blueblood’s Second Transformation, but its imprint has not been totally washed away to this day.

The pretender mahäbhägavat profile was radically different from the organized religions that still reigned in the West at that time. In them, you had sophisticated priests or rabbis who, for all practical purposes, initiated you into the Church or the Synagogue. A cult of personality was rarely prominent in those paradigms. More importantly, the organized religion of “ISKCON” (that we know today) was quite opposite the high-profile, heady days of the zonal äcäryas. The Party Men accepted the zonal era, but, down deep, did they really approve of it? History indicates strongly that they did not.

Then, the next question becomes: During the brief but powerful zonal äcärya era, were there two movements functioning and competing at the same time within “ISKCON”? Were there two opposed paradigms competing for supremacy?

The answer must be affirmative and negative. Institutional gurudom was still intrinsic to the zonal äcärya era even at its pretentious height. The eleven pretender mahäbhägavats were rubber-stamped as uttama-adhikärés (and to be worshiped as such) by the Governing Body Commission. True, those eleven men dominated it. True, they formulated and formed the Äcärya Board within it in order to insulate themselves from being judged by its non-guru section. Yet, that non-Äcärya Board section, comprising just over half of the Commission’s members, approved the zonal äcärya imposition, i.e., all eleven of those men were institutional gurus from the gate due to that general approval.

Indeed, that was their very foundation, because Prabhupäda never sanctioned what was done after he departed. Institutional guru was the most powerful factor of their whole display, although it was not recognized as such in the late Seventies or early Eighties. It was the one factor that could not be eradicated, despite contrary advice from the mahant of Navadvépa and despite the contemptuous, self-apotheosis of the eleven zonals.

There were two opposed juggernauts at that time in “ISKCON,” but the one which represented organized religion was far more powerful and would certainly prevail, although it didn’t look like that in the beginning. That is the way it has always been in “ISKCON,” viz., what you think is the reality concerning it is not what is actually happening in it. That is because “ISKCON” is an extension of the illusory energy, and that’s how she works. All of that glorious worship and criminal activity undertaken to establish the greatness of eleven sahajiyäs came to nothing, i.e., it was that which was not.

Organized religion is more powerful than “pure devotees” who aren’t. It will always triumph over them. It is doing so now, although it temporarily took a back seat back in the day. When the Magnificent Eleven tried to maintain a monopoly on initiating guru in their bogus cult, they were only able to do so for a short time, a few years. Your author had direct and personal experience of the kind of back-biting that went on behind the scenes by the non-guru section of the governing body. They lobbied for themselves to be also recognized, as also deserving to be appointed as initiating spiritual masters.

From top to bottom, the whole thing was shot through with nescience. It was only a matter of time before those eleven men—overtly due to in-fighting amongst and between them in combination with sexual scandals—were eventually exposed and degraded. However, we must also remember that there is a silver lining to all of that, viz., we all now know—that is, if we want to know—that it was the G.B.C. itself which was responsible for the unauthorized imposition of the zonal äcärya movement.

The G.B.C. was up to its eyeballs in that culpability. It remains so. It has failed to confront the many deviations and injustices it imposed. This fact need not be restricted to the past tense, as we are now in the throes of the Third Transformation, the Hinduization of the so-called Hare Kåñëa movement. The Commish is just as much responsible for letting this go down as it was for allowing the zonal äcärya era to flourish.

Ripping away the wallpaper covering THE TRUTH must always begin by tearing down the organized religion prominent in its design. Organized religion had to temporarily take a back seat to the Magnificent Eleven forty years ago, but that acquiescence proved ephemeral indeed. They were all eventually degraded, and ecclesiology and customary ecclesiastical convention then took over, replacing the zonals permanently.

Seeing the whole racket for just what it is—and hating it for what it is doing to spiritual seekers throughout the world—is not contrary to making spiritual advancement. If I tear away somebody’s stolen coat, that does not mean that I actually harm him?

Proceed to Part Two

2 comments

1 Trino Carrera { 05.12.18 at 23:59 }

Great article on what went wrong. I suppose one question is just when the rot began to set in.

2 Bhakta Joseph { 05.26.18 at 05:50 }

Hare Krishna Kailasa. Please accept my obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. All glories to you Kailasa. Powerful and potent as usual. I particularly relish the way you step by step lay out the causes for the eleven pretenders fall, complete with the timeline. This joe says it ain’t so. You crush any counterargument. In the second part, you once again provide nectar for the relief of these causes for the genuine seeker to address these symptoms in within their good selves. Thank you Kailasa.

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