Descent Into G.B.C. Dystopia

July, 2019

Second of a Four-Part Series

by Kailäsa Candra däsa

“People have respect for our movement. Now it is time for G.B.C. members to be very, very careful so that people may not point out any black spot in the behavior of our Society.”
Letter to T.K.G., 9-1-71

“Again, I am so much burdened by this administrative work that I feel great difficulty. I was very anxious to return to my Los Angeles home to sit down for translating work. But if you all, my right-hand men, are doing things without consulting me and making such big big changes within our Society without getting my opinion and the opinion of all the G.B.C. members, then what can I do?
Letter to Rüpänuga, 4-4-72

Cui Bono:“Who Benefits?”

The handful of men who benefited after Çréla Prabhupäda departed were the same ones who did so while he was physically manifest. Plenty of evidence has been presented indicating that the primary purpose of the G.B.C. was to relieve Prabhupäda of the management burden, so that he could peacefully produce his translations and commentaries. That purpose was not accomplished, evidenced once again in the second quote (posted above).

Before Prabhupäda departed, the G.B.C. was already leaning off the rails. It would go completely off them, at high speed, within four months of his departure. Compromised as it was by eleven powerful men (all driven by immeasurable personal ambition), the question in early 1978 was what kind of concoction would it create? That turned out to be the zonal äcärya scam. The others on the board (who did not receive zones) signed off on The First Transformation, in which geographical kingdoms were carved out for the pretender mahäbhägavats. Those eleven deviants were certainly the chief beneficiaries of the new guru scam, but the others remain implicated. They could have stopped it, but they didn’t.

God Forgives, Brotherhood Doesn’t

“Personally I wish all the existing G.B.C. may be trained up so perfectly that in the future in my absence they can manage the whole Society very nicely and strongly. That is my desire.”
Letter to Hansadutta, 9-29-74

“ . . . but if Tamala Krishna flies 10,000 miles to lodge some complaint against Jayatirtha, what can I do? If you all leaders cannot work together, then how can you expect the others to cooperate with you? Differences may be there, but still you have to cooperate together, otherwise where is the question of my being relieved of so many problems and decisions?”
Letter to Rämeçvara, 9-15-75

Sheepdog . . .
Standing in the rain.
Bullfrog . . .
Doing it again.
The Beatles, “Hey Bulldog”

When you want something, when you wish for something, when you desire something, it means that you do not yet have it. His desire to be relieved from so many problems was more or less non-different from his wish that the governing commissioners would become trained up enough to guide his movement properly or, at the very least, not spoil it. He could foresee a dreadful possibility that they would ruin it. In other words, Providence, in the late Seventies, had little chance of overcoming Fate, because the Society had been gliding in a direction different from the Äcärya’s for years.

As such, his disciples had to deal with the consequences of the Äcärya’s premature departure, primarily created by self-centered, ambitious leaders. Conversely, the rank and file sheepdogs did not confront what those self-absorbed mis-leaders were imposing on the Society in 1978, refusing to recognize where they actually were at:

Let me tell you, I never do anything unless there is personal gain.
That is my guiding principle. This is how I decide everything.”
T.K.G., phone discussion with Naveen Krishna, November, 1997
As recounted by Nityänanda däs Adhikäré in Kill Guru, Become Guru

Should we convene a Truth and Reconciliation Convention in order to straighten the whole thing out? Should everyone implicated in the massive deviation of 1978 be summarily forgiven? Since forgiveness is one of the important qualities of a brähmin, should not Prabhupäda’s remaining brähmins forgive their wayward, elder and older godbrothers? Perhaps each former zonal, once very dear to Prabhupäda, once considered to be one of his “best men,” deserves forgiveness before he becomes, like three other comrades who have preceded him, no longer in a position to make the request.

Well, that’s one view. However, it is not necessarily the only one. Have any of the former zonals—or, for that matter, any of the commissioners present in 1978 (who allowed the deviation to go down)—actually deserve forgiveness? Only one has provisionally come clean, and he is now a Rittvik leader. Besides this man, have any of the other bulldogs actually asked forgiveness from the godbrothers and newcomers they harmed?

Have the prerequisites for a general forgiveness of all those implicated actually been met? At least two former zonals are still initiating, one as a pretender mahäbhägavat. Seven of the original eleven still claim to be dékñä-guru for the disciples they deceived throughout the late Seventies, throughout all of the Eighties, and through much of the Nineties. Is that an indicator for some kind of general forgiveness? These questions may be justly raised.

A War of All Against All

“The only difficulty is the fighting that is going on. Why there should be fighting in our society? This is not a good sign.”
Letter to Gargamuni, 11-13-75

“What can I do? I have appointed the G.B.C. not to fight amongst yourselves but to manage. If there is fighting, then how will you manage? So, the whole G.B.C. committee must decide if there is fighting.”
Letter to Hansadutta, 9-29-75

“It seems that the core element from everyone inside the movement is distrust of everyone around them. Nobody knows who’s on whose side or what the truth is.”
“LaLa,” Participant in Rally of Pizzagate Die-hards, Lafayette Park, D. C., March, 2017

After Prabhupäda departed, the internecine fighting soon got worse. Most of Prabhupäda’s disciples were, directly or indirectly, part of the hippie religion, seeped as it was in psychotropics and defiance. Interested in astral experiences and chemically inclined, they wanted metaphysical enlightenment. The hippies were generally love and peace types, but that changed in a big way for many of them when they joined ISKCON.

At that time, some of them soon began climbing to the top of the institutional turtle tank. In 1978, another kind of transformation took place in (what only superficially appeared to be) Prabhupäda’s movement. Newcomers (post-Prabhupäda) had to accept an American guru. Many, if not most, of these people were hesitant to do so, but institutional pressure forced them to abandon such prudence. Total submission to the zonal äcärya was vigorously preached throughout a new “ISKCON” world.

The dogmatic customs of this peculiar imposition were transplanted throughout the Society, and it augured fire. The institution became an awkward, anachronistic organization, but one thing remained steady: You had to accept! Despite many unauthorized changes (which only some of Prabhupäda’s initiated disciples, such as your author, were able to clearly recognize), the new Party Line was forced upon everyone as inviolable.

In March of 1978, the vitiated G.B.C. declared that eleven men had to be worshiped just as Prabhupäda was worshiped. That decree met precious little resistance. It could be considered, in hindsight, as a kind of bloodless coup, although there would be blood by the mid-Eighties. The zonal takeover was based upon compulsion, personal ambition, institutional dogma, seniority, and power.

The eleven pretender mahäbhägavats also developed their institutional charisma via lectures during Bhägavatam class, spewing commentaries which had nothing to do with explaining that scripture. By exerting so-called authority, they created dedicated followers (and, more importantly, fanatics), as well as ephemeral popularity. They would also use that forum in order to spread criticism of anything or anyone challenging their scam.

Sannyäsa remained suspended between 1978-1982, and how well that worked out for the zonals! Most of them were already sannyäsés when they imposed the takeover, and two who were not were forced to accept the renounced order. As could have easily been predicted, those two soon mixed scandals into the “ISKCON” layer cake. Nevertheless, its new gurus immediately became “ISKCON” superstars, adored by many, particularly by “guru groupies,” enamored females who fell hard for them.

The deleterious effects of this “ISKCON” hierarchy infringed dramatically upon the personal identities of all those caught up in the fable. Underlying the whole thing, what was grist for the mill? It was the all-pervasive, internecine in-fighting! Many of the new gurus fought each other over temples, territory, money, and followers. Their disciples often fought other disciples of other gurus, and everybody on the pick was fired up! Passionate competition was everywhere—sometimes of the cut-throat variety. It was a kind of covert war of the all against the all in a movement that was on fire!

ISKCON” Dissimulation

“One very important question was how disciples would be initiated into the paramparä after the departure of His Divine Grace. When asked this question, Çréla Prabhupäda replied that he would name some persons who could initiate disciples after his disappearance. Then one day in June (sic), he gave his secretary the names of eleven disciples . . .”
Excerpt: “The Process for Carrying Out Çréla Prabhupäda’s Desires for Future Initiations”
G.B.C.: Authorized Position Paper, 1978

“We, as the initiating gurus who have to nominate a new candidate, as well as the G.B.C., who (sic) has to consider whether to confirm our nomination—do not feel our own qualification is as yet such that we can bestow guruship upon others as an act of our mercy. . . If a guru were selected under less than ideal circumstances, and later had major difficulty, the bad karmic effect of such a mistake would also come back heavily on us.”
Excerpt: “The Descending Process of Selecting a Spiritual Master”
G.B.C.: Authorized Position Paper, 1981

Half of what they say is lies,
And the other half ain’t true.
Constable Bob Valdez
“Here Comes Valdez”

Are you able to spot the contradictions (or, if you prefer, prevarications) in those first two excerpts? In chronological order, let us examine those contradictions. The letter establishing eleven rittviks was created by T.K.G. in July, 1977 (not June). His Divine Grace did not dictate it, which he otherwise did for all of the letters that he signed. Instead, at the bottom left of T.K.G.’s announcement letter, Prabhupäda affixed his signature on a truncated line labeled “Approved.” Hardly a stunning endorsement!

However, neither of these are the excerpt’s chief contradiction. Instead, it is the wrong-headed conclusion that the secretary (T.K.G.) received the names of eleven dékñä-gurus in the summer of 1977. Even T.K.G., in late 1980 (in a rare moment of candid clarity, against character), admitted that the eleven men named in his document were only rittviks— not dékñä-gurus, either for that time or after Prabhupäda left the scene.

That Prabhupäda officially appointed dékñä-gurus (to take over after his disappearance) is nothing but A BIG LIE. Yet, it took time for the serious disciples of His Divine Grace to discover this important fact. In the meantime, the eleven pretender mahäbhägavats pounced all over the manpower and assets, creating an unauthorized facsimile of his movement in the process. And they also created a new process that had nothing to do with carrying out Çréla Prabhupäda’s Desires for Future Initiations. The needle in and the damage done.

Now, let us proceed to that second excerpt, the one from the early Eighties. It has more contradictions then the first one, and it constitutes a colossal fudge! Where does it say anywhere in the Direction of Management or in any of Prabhupäda’s letters or in his Final Will and Testament that a group of self-appointed initiating gurus are empowered to nominate candidates for dékñä-guru?

Also implied is the misconception that the Äcärya Board (which was, in actuality, represented in the excerpt) had mercy to give . . . but nevertheless could not give it! How is that? If it actually consisted of gurus, how they could not extend mercy to one of their godbrothers? If he was qualified (in their eyes), how they could not recognize him? If they were meant to “bestow guruship,” then why not? It would automatically come with the territory. Yet, they claim in this position paper receiving the G.B.C. imprimatur, that they are not qualified! Which, of course was true . . .

. . . but in a different context, of course. If they had been genuine madhyam-adhikärés (in point of fact, they were sahajiyäs and pretender mahäbhägavats), if they were genuine regular gurus, then each and every one of them could surely recognize a godbrother who had also reached their level of purity, power, and realization, but they beg off! Why?

Not too difficult to figure out the why. Some of them would have to tear off a part of their zone in order to accommodate a new zonal. None of them wanted to lose any of his share, so they put forth a fig-leaf rationalization that they are not qualified.

And what about those “less than ideal circumstances?” Time, place, and circumstances have nothing to do with recognizing a fellow traveler on the devotional path who has attained the required realization of a liberated çikñä-guru. And, if you wrongly think that a madhyam-adhikäré is not liberated, guess again! He most certainly is. The lower modes can no longer influence him, and that is nothing less than a preliminary stage of liberation.

As far as having “major difficulty” in spiritual life is concerned, virtually all of the eleven pretender experienced severe difficulties by the time that the mid-Eighties rolled up, over half of them in illicit sexual connections, mostly with their own disciples. At least three of them were implicated in drugs, and sometimes its was the harder stuff. All eleven were engaged in unbridled mental speculation, exemplified in these excerpts. A lot of bad karma came down the pike for their massive deviations, which actually destroyed a genuine branch of the Gauòéya guru-paramparä.

Of the ones who are still alive (as of the spring of 2019), who started with fire but now have lost the flame, their vikarmic reactions have not yet fully abated. So, why all of that hand-wringing by the Äcärya Board about its having to experience bad karma for some kind of premature selection?

Those sahajiyäs were insidious but expert prevaricators. They were not honest men. They got away with it for about a decade, but, as the in-fighting proliferated (to mind-boggling proportions!), it was conclusively proven that they couldn’t pull the scam off. Their version of dissimulation should never have been allowed any traction in the movement, and further exposing it will prove helpful in the future—at least, outside the walls of “ISKCON.”

Freedom to Smash

“What is this stealing and violence? This is not good. By stealing, did Gurukåpä Mahäräja collect that money? Stealing is not our business. Our business is to become Kåñëa conscious. Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion.”
Letter to Trivikrama, 11-9-75

“ . . . although he claims to be on the path of peace, if you peek under his robe, you might just find a .45. And if you look into his japa-bead bag, there could be a pound of cocaine.”
High Times Magazine, “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Guns ‘n’ Ammo, Guns ‘n’ Ammo”

In every cop, there’s a criminal
And in all the sinners, saints.
The Rolling Stones,
“Sympathy for the Devil”

Everyone has read or heard the well-know maxim from Lord Acton, viz., that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Multiply that by a factor of at least four in order to get a glimpse of how things played out in “ISKCON” after the pretender mahäbhägavats took over. Now, these were guys who really had absolute power! Criminals proliferated all over “ISKCON,” as the late Seventies transformed an institutional deception.

Something stupid came our way in the late Seventies, but, inside the walls of “ISKCON,” only a few knew about it. The powers that be there, agent provocateurs loyal to the zonals, made sure disinformation kept as many of their people as possible in the darkness. This turned out to be the majority of “ISKCON” inmates, who either willingly or unknowingly became the quasi-spiritual equivalents of village idiots.

Notwithstanding a passionate culture which favored those in that mode, there were some devotees (such as your author) who early on chose to burn their draft cards and look behind the curtain. The eleven mega-narcissists were changing the movement at breakneck speed, and there was nothing that anybody could do about it.

Consider some examples: Money laundering through P.D.I., the so-called Prasadam Distribution, Inc., helped to grease the corporate skids. P.D.I. purchased weak or failing companies in order to move drug money. Almost all of this took place in Southern California, particularly at Laguna Beach and Newport Beach. There was an alleged kidnapping also included in this illegal scam; perhaps, even a murder. Consider the following headline about the caper from the New York Times:

California Slaying Case Involves Ex-Mafia Figures and Krishnas”

Great pub! This kind of crime went down almost immediately after Prabhupäda departed, in no small part because The First Transformation (either directly or indirectly) facilitated it. One of the largest drug busts in Southern California also involved “the Krishnas.” The scam centered around purchasing hash oil in Afghanisthan on the cheap, hiding it in hollowed-out typewriter cases, and then bringing it to the States for resale at tremendous markup. A DEA undercover agent infiltrated the operation, resulting in the following succinct headline in the Orange County Register:

Krishna Hash Bust”

Obviously, the “ISKCON” P. R. Department circled the wagons when these things were discovered and publicized. Their denials were standard fare, e.g., it was aberrant behavior by those excommunicated from the Society. Or it was post-Jonestown dog-push journalism. Or it was done without the knowledge of the Society’s leaders. Or the we-are-a-benevolent-cult-so-don’t-lump-us-in trope.

There was a chain in this money-flow, and “ISKCON” often was the final depository. Some leaders, including “gurus,” wanted in on it. The notorious “Alex” was a big player, but there is no need to go into details about him. Actually, your author was serving under a sannyäsé (just before Prabhupäda departed), and that man had a friendship with this fellow, who helped to increase the hash-smoking nyäsé’s bank balance.

And then there was that miniature Taj Mahal dreamt up by the Vanity Fair Despot. It was subsidized by massive criminal activity. Allegedly, it was the movement’s most glorious monument: “A Spiritual Disneyland” according to one headline. Women were collecting under the direction of a “sankirtan leader” who, after the day ran its course, would that night enjoy the girl who had produced the greatest pick. This form of prostitution flourished at the West Virginia compound, at Berkeley, and also, to a lesser extent, in SOCAL.

There was the Laguna Beach temple president, who was twice arrested and sentenced to lengthy stints in the joint for drug deals gone bad, as well as conspiracy to murder a dissident. In the mid-Eighties, there was the hit on Sulochan. And then there was Robin George, a minor, being shuttled all over the place, from temple to temple, because her parents were not favorable. Why not follow the law? That way, after she turned eighteen, she could return of her own accord. Paul Simon segued out on his Garfunkel gig, increased his influence by doing so, and sang about “ISKCON” as a “One Trick Pony,” having been hit up too many times by deceptive collection techniques.

The zonal äcäryas demanded complete suppression of such news. . . and the devotees under their charge were, accordingly, willing to don the blinders. As such, the zonal kingdoms survived the bad press from the late Seventies and early Eighties. It was hardly known that one of the eleven pretender mahäbhägavats had been a prominent member of “The Brotherhood of Eternal Love,” formulated by Timothy Leary. That prominent “brother” never ceased psychotropic engagement, even when bestowed a zonal kingdom in Great Britain and California. His life ended horrifically, as most of you know.

Elementary Penguins Chanting Hare Kåñëa

Every branch shall keep (its) independent identity
. . . keeping the Äcärya in the center.”
Letter to Kértanänanda, 2-11-67

It is a fact, however, that the great sinister movement is within our Society.”
Letter to Hansadutta, 9-2-70

We were the big bully–the big, stupid bully.”
President Donald J. Trump

In material life, things sometimes appear to be the same but actually they are not. They may seem similar—even very similar–but not in all ways. And, in those cases, as often as not, their dissimilarities cannot be harmonized. The eclectic school is unable to present a solution to this dilemma. Indeed, believers in that concocted line of thought are not even categorized as transcendentalists, who alone are eligible to solve these problems.

Consider a gray rug or an inexpensive photo in a newspaper. Both present either weaves or dots that are, ultimately, either black or white. Yet, the power to discern those differences requires intelligence. The “ISKCON” overlords and their chelas never possessed such required intelligence, even on the mundane plane of the astral.

As a result of cult mindlessness, the mis-leaders of “ISKCON” claimed that up is down and black is white, and they got away with it. Those intimidated by them will view them as straight shooters, when, in point of fact, they were as straight as corkscrews. Those overlords were actually big bullies, and time has proven them less intelligent.

To other less intelligent dissidents, the relationship between a genuine guru and his disciple appears to be dictatorial. In fact, at times it is just that, because the guru actually knows and the disciple wrongly thinks that he knows better. The guru corrects him via the heavy force of sharp words. Prabhupäda distributed both thunderbolts and roses, and your author was no stranger to the thunderbolts.

Yet, the relationship can be imitated. That produces a disaster for everyone involved. When the system is imitated, the so-called guru becomes a sadistic overlord and the disciple becomes dumber and dumber. When the unauthorized zonal äcärya system was imposed upon Prabhupäda’s branch of Lord Caitanya’s Hare Kåñëa movement in the late Seventies, it was applied with force and intimidation. Such manifestations were all imitation, but many of Prabhupäda’s initiated disciples had been indoctrinated in blind obedience; all of them cowered when the pretender mahäbhägavats took over.

Those who did not could not last long. The First Transformation was somewhat successful, in no small part, because so many foolish (yet genuinely initiated) disciples of Prabhupäda went along with and served it. They had identified with the previous system, and, when the new zonal system was overlaid upon it, they identified with that one, also. It was a debacle from both above and below, a colossal hoax.

Sure, there were bad apples in ISKCON before Prabhupäda departed. Some of them were previously good, but then degraded, primarily due to bad association. Sometimes this bad association was from within, sometimes from without. Concerning the latter, Prabhupäda once circulated a memo to his governing commissioners to the effect that one of his former personal secretaries had become a black snake. However, none of the negative outside forces, although many, were on par with the great sinister movement.

We have pointed out previously, both in our articles and videos, that the great sinister movement was Gouòéya Mutt. All opinions to the contrary are foolish. The other letters during this period (the late summer of 1970) are clear on this point. When Prabhupäda’s disciples sought guidance outside of his control—with “guidance” from the Gouòéya Mutt being the worst choice of the lot—they invariably came under bad designs. This may have allowed them to escape “ISKCON” overlords, but the analogy applies of hopping out of the frying pan into the fire inside.

The never satisfied “ISKCON” mis-leaders were primary culprits in this syndrome. There were the four sannyäsés in 1970, but it was far, far worse than that in early 1978—and what immediately followed–during the imposition of the zonal äcärya system, a concoction adopted as a result of bad advice from a prominent Mutt leader.

Show your Cheshire Cat smile all you want. Wrongly believe in another explanation and then convince yourself that you’ve got it down pat. You do not, however, if you are still an enabler of “ISKCON.” The power node of that deviant organization is its vitiated governing body. It all slipped away, and the Mutt was integral to that loss of all losses. In the case of governing body, it has changed and denigrated Prabhupäda’s movement so thoroughly that the current facsimile is no longer recognizable. Superficially, it appears to be the same as what it was, but genuine transcendentalists in the bhakti line never fall for its facade.

Here and there, “ISKCON” boasts enthusiastic chelas, smiling from ear to ear, but all of these people are fools. They must not only be known as such, but they must be also seen that way. This realization requires good association. If you do not have it, then it is up to you to get it. You will never achieve it if you remain an “ISKCON” enabler. You can go through the motions and remain in good standing with the deviated institution, but that will not save you. The sinister schemes that have made the current farce what it is (now in the throes of a Third Transformation) have eroded any legitimacy it could otherwise claim. Sometimes, the erosion was gradual and almost imperceptible; in the case of the imposition of the zonal äcärya concoction, however, it was anything but!

You cannot pin it on Prabhupäda. He is not at all responsible for any of it. Yet, due to bad association, you wrongly think that he was. Free will is what it is. You are always free to misuse it. In bad association, you invariably will misuse it.

This may be because you still have the “ISKCON” béja. An integral element of the “ISKCON” béja is its anti-Prabhupäda bias. What those pretenders did back in the day was loaded with envy of Prabhupäda! Perhaps you still have enough intelligence to see this, but, if you are too covered over now and unable to recognize it, there is little that can be done.

Those who pin the deviations on Prabhupäda are doomed! The tail of the donkey should be pinned on the donkey, and that donkey is the vitiated G.B.C., aided and abetted by all of the bad apples who cooperated with it. Can you not see this?

If you associate with other fools who accepted initiation from the pretenders, or from the second wave (still taking uttama worship), or from the third wave, or from the gurus who emerged during The Second Transformation, you will imbibe their prejudices and proclivities. In the process, you will also imbibe contempt for Prabhupäda, because everyone who introduced all of that was, either consciously or subconsciously, envious of him. They all thought they knew better, and they still think that they know better.

However, if you are still pinning all of the past and current “ISKCON” shenanigans and criminality on His Divine Grace, you have not broken free from the cult. You are not at all free from the recrudescence imbibed during your previous bad association with the gods who failed. You are still part of its dystopia.

Too comfortably numb to take the difficult and necessary steps to break out of just another orbit of society, friendship, and love, try to see that you are still contaminated by remnants of “ISKCON” attachments and misconceptions. Do not blame Prabhupäda for that! If you continue to do so, you may be implicated in gurv-aparadha, especially if you spread that nescience in verbal or written form. If so, the punishment will not be light. Stop falling for all the superficial smiles of so-called mature devotees who think they are beyond authoritarian strictures that forever underpin all genuine Vedic and Vaisnava culture. That regimen will remain. The smiling fools of a contemporary Western adventure will not.

Despising the vitiated GBC and its institutional extension is not at all harmful to spiritual life. Boycotting “ISKCON” will not harm you, either. Ceasing to be the elementary penguin that you once were, stupefied by infantile explanations about what is good and evil, is integral to the transcendental process. Keeping the Sampradaya Äcärya in the center is part of the better way. The responsibility for all of the past and current hell stays on the shoulders of the broken arrows who injected it into the counter-culture back in the day. Stupid is as stupid does. What makes you think you’re something special when you smile?

To Be Continued
Return to Part One


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