The Poison Conspiracy Antidote – Chapter 3 – Whatever It Takes!

Raw Hubris

Regardless of how much the Truth Team squawks about wanting everyone to “…honestly present all the evidence and facts in one place,”   they have made a colossal farce of that intention by grossly failing to do that very thing themselves. This paper will show how the ones making all these horrendous allegations haven’t even attempted to be honest, accurate, or forthright about anything. Yes, there are pages and pages of material bound into one collection, but it is a travesty to refer to it as anything more than the documentation of an unchecked mind gone troppo.  The more befitting and colorful terms that fit are purple prose and yellow journalism.  Their concept of revisionism is of no generous nature regarding the annals of time, but it is consistent with the Neo-Nazi campaign to eradicate the Holocaust from the history books.   The Neo-Nazis also share the same embarrassing self-righteous hubris as this so-called Truth Team.  Members from both groups have too much invested in their delusion to abandon it.  This is astonishing to educated people who marvel at their gross ignorance of history and repugnant hypocritical behavior.

These vigilante prosecutors are expert at appealing to the pride of the reader by suggesting that only honest and intelligent individuals will be able to appreciate the methods, evidence and, most importantly, the conclusions that the Truth Seekers have uncovered.   In doing so, they indirectly imply that those who do not are: 1) either too stupid to follow their reasoning or 2) have some dastardly personal incentive compelling them to disagree.  (e.g.:  ISKCON leaders wishing to preserve their image, income, or some other form of selfish interest.)   Well, let’s turn the burden of honesty around on this squeaky clean group of valiant devotees, just to see how honest they really are.

We have already noted how those who support the poison allegations are showered with all sorts of acknowledgments and appreciation by their fellow comrades, creating a mood in which we are expected to accept whatever the Truth Keepers say as absolute truth, simply because they have served so nicely for many years.  Even the two 13-year-old Mexican Gurukula children who left Lord Caitanya’s service are raised to a pedestal because they provided the rumors that allowed this run-away train to get started.  If a child is reporting some child abuse going on in the gurukula we ought to take that seriously. However, children also have good imaginations and we need to be careful not to take everything they say as gospel truth. Adult discretion is always required.  In this case, the Truth Team demonstrates how desperate they are to include whatever suspicions peripheral hearsay they can into something so significant, that they use it to catapult this assault on everyone’s common sense.  They even sent out a posse in the form of a private detective to find their star witnesses to confirm that they: “..overheard a hushed discussion on the poisoning of Srila Prabhupada by eight senior devotees.” But oops… it turns out that these sweet little cherubs completely disappeared and apparently decided to live incognito in some unknown remote Mexican village!

It is evident by this example that the Truth Seekers would be willing to trust the testimony of someone as basic as a 13-year-old boy, who simply cleaned Srila Prabhupada’s room.   Why then are such so-called fair and objective investigators unable to give at least equal weight to the testimony of the even more extraordinary, impressive and continuously dedicated senior men have to say on this subject?  I am sure we all can agree that, on a transcendental level, Krishna accepts all services equally, provided the services are performed sincerely.   But here we are being asked to place the testimony of individuals like temple commanders, book distributors, local presidents or even a 13-year-old boy as more credible than those of anyone who finds the poison allegations to be very dubious and unsubstantiated regardless of what their service record has been!

On one side, we find a 13-year-old boy doing simple janitor work; on the other side, there is an entire institution of individuals who have organized huge preaching projects, overseen massive book publications, and commanded Akshauhini’s of sankirtan forces.  Isn’t it ludicrous to put all our faith in a couple of young boys and dismiss all the other devotees who have done so much, tireless, dedicated, extraordinary service? Aren’t all these devotees also worthy of our equal respect, based on their extraordinary devotional careers?  Not only have those who have been directly accused offered their commentary on this subject, but others who were actually there in the room and on the film during Srila Prabhupada’s last days have spoken out strongly in opposition to the rumors heard by a young boy.  One such individual is Jayadwaita Swami and his testimony can be found here: LINK:  Srila Prabhupada’s Last Days  An even most egregious examples of just how prejudicially lopsided the so-called Truth Team has been is summed up quite succinctly by Abhirama Prabhu another personal attendant who nursed Srila Prabhupada:

“If they ever were actually serious to investigate, why did they not contact me, ever?…There is so much in my memory and diary that I probably could write another hundred points refuting this poison theory, but I never felt motivated to do so, since it is obvious to me that none of the proponents of this theory could be even half sincere, since they never even asked me to explain my observations and experiences, before publishing their mad theories and I am one person that should be considered an important and credible witness.”  – Abhiram Prabhu, September 31, 2017

Even more to the point is his personal testimony that confirms he often ate Srila Prabhupada’s remnants and never suffered from any ill effects.

Nearly everything that went into His mouth was prepared by my wife or me (in the case of all supplements, medicines, etc.) and if not, it was usually eaten by me as mahaprasadum (and often her) as remnants, as he hardly took much of what was prepared. I was then extremely healthy and remain as healthy as anyone I know. – Abhiram Prabhu, September 31, 2017

Abhiram Prabhu has continued to serve faithfully, even to this day.   He was there and knows, as do many other senior people, that this whole conspiracy charade is a bunch of nonsense use as an excuse to deride the service of sincere devotees by attention-seeking conspirators, who most certainly have their own very stinky decomposing bodies stashed in their own closet.

At this point, many will feel there is no need to keep reading because the case is now closed.  However, there will be those who remain suspicious of personal testimonies and are incapable of trusting the words of even a neutral witness like Abhiram Prabhu.  It is for those people I wrote this paper.  The Truth Team has requested that their evidence be objectively considered and so now that is exactly what we shall do.

Selfish Narcissism = Ruthless Agenda

It has already been admitted that the catalyst for that conspiracy was the Chicken-Little “acorn” of a rumored conversation allegedly overheard by a 13-year-old boy, who later just evaporated into thin air.  On one side of the equation, we have a contrived controversy born out of revenge for the hurt caused by bad managerial decisions.

On the other side of the equation is a fabulous allegation that a few very envious disciples carefully planned out an impeccable plot to poison Srila Prabhupada!  How?  By obtaining a rare heavy metal that few people would even know how to acquire or use without getting caught.  We are asked to trust those who allege the validity of this Agatha Christi crime, but despite how much they attempt to convince us of how logical, honest, dispassionate and fair they are, what we find is they had a brutal “Whatever-It-Takes” agenda to get this poison conspiracy off the ground and flying.

Listed here is the proof of how callously indifferent the truth detectives can be regarding the good counsel of other more prudent and mature devotees.  What becomes obvious is an agenda that is so obsessed with the desire to make history, that all caution, consideration, or prudent decision making is superseded by an obstinately selfish motive that it has absolutely no concern for the requests, advice, wishes or cautions of good advisers.

Ruthless Agenda Example 1: Here we find that the truth team openly acknowledges how publishing a book about a poisoning conspiracy will be “…extremely controversial,… loathed… and condemned” so much that the authors “..physical life may be jeopardized…” and he is “… not altogether positive (publishing this book) is good for my spiritual life or consciousness either…”  he then dismisses all these messages from Paramatma and justifies going ahead with publishing the book anyway by citing a very dubious, out of context comment that Srila Prabhupada allegedly said to Harikesa.  “Damn your consciousness.” -SHPM p.3

Ruthless Agenda Example 2: “We did not want to be so bold as to accuse anyone, so we thought that having heard these strange whispers we had better continue the investigation.”  Yet shortly after that was expressed, Tamal Krishna Goswami, Jayapataka Swami, Bhakti Charu Swami and anyone else in the room during the time the poison was allegedly being given, were all accused of being prime suspects for murdering their spiritual master. -SHPM p.15

Ruthless Agenda Example 3: “…the California attorney… wanted that the names and locations be changed so that, in his opinion, a possible future criminal indictment would not be jeopardized by early disclosure of information. Here the author apologizes… that his (the attorney’s) desire is not being accommodated herein.”  Too bad Mr. Attorney, the truth team has their own twisted agenda to achieve and they aren’t going to let your reasonable concerns get in the way of what they are determined to do! -SHPM p.28

Ruthless Agenda Example 4: “This author…was strongly advised.. that to publish this book would be a defamation of Srila Prabhupada and constitute a horrible offense against him personally”  The individual who gave this prudent advice was a personal assistant to Srila Prabhupada at the highest level but once again it was completely disregarded.  The person requesting the book not be published was not implicated in this scandal but he personally knew the character of all those who were being accused.  He seemed to be hinting that it would be impossible for anyone to execute such a fantastic poison conspiracy as alleged by the “Truth Keepers”.  -SHPM p.241

Ruthless Agenda Example 5: In Appendix 9 we find the comment: “Any information in this report which has not already been made public should not be made public until we can satisfy the above concerns.”    None of the Truth boys cared if they were publishing unconfirmed, informal, random notes.   It all contributed to the wall of propaganda strategy so anything that would disturb the minds of the devotees got scooped up and published. -SHPM p.355

Ruthless Agenda Example 6:   Another highly respected devotee clearly advised against doing anything that might detract from Srila Prabhupada’s reputation but this sanguine advice was also completely ignored.  “I remind you what my position has been on this endeavor since you raised the issue with me several years ago. Prabhupada’s reputation should remain glorious, and nothing should detract from this reputation. I feel that this type of project could easily detract from Prabhupada’s reputation… And the last thing that Prabhupada would want is for this issue to disrupt preaching or preaching movement or image of the preaching movement that he worked so hard to establish.” What is particularly revealing in regards to this particular exchange is how callously it is dismissed and replaced evasive rationalizing that is so extreme it proves we are dealing with an individual who will take advice from no one.  NO REASONING can penetrate through all the layers of muck that cover someone who would write:   Rather than being a negative, Srila Prabhupada’s homicidal poisoning will much more likely result in a long-term boost to Srila Prabhupada’s fame and glories and an increased interest in the Hare Krishna Movement.) – KGBG p. 739

Ruthless Agenda Example 7: The most damning evidence to expose how committed the conspiracy people are to thrust their agenda forward regardless of what others may council is presented by the Reverse Speech Analysis pioneer Mr. David Oates.   In his attempt to distance himself from the twisted agenda that the “Truth Team” was whipping up he provided a scathing disclosure of how recklessly indifferent they were too professional courtesies. He specifically pointed out that he did not want his trademark name to be associated with any books related to this odious poison scandal.  The evidence is crystal clear and evident for all to see accuracy in reporting, honesty or even the need to produce meaningful evidence was completely irrelevant.  The Truth Team wants us to believe they are sincere, honest devotees who got stuck with the thankless task of telling the rest of us what the truth is concerning this horrible crime.   But in fact they have absolutely no maturity or integrity.  It is clear they will do Whatever-It-Takes to propel the poison conspiracy forward at all costs.   Damn the truth… We have our own selfish agenda to pursue!

“The next thing we heard was that he had actually written a book, based on his so-called “reversal analysis”, that made these wild and irrational claims of murder. We told him in no uncertain terms that there is no way we can endorse this book. We reminded him that he had no legal right to use the trademarked name “Reverse Speech”, and forbade him from making any reference to Reverse Speech.”  David John Oates  Feb 10, 2000, Chakra  Link:http://oldchakra.com/articles/2000/02/10/Report.on.Don.Rouse/

Ruthless Agenda Example 8: Here we have a clear example of how cold, indifferent and haunted the Truth Team has become with their intent to prove something that never happened.

“My old college associate … called me on March 16, and lamented how Tamal had perished. (March 15, 2002). I was also dismayed, exclaiming, “Oh, that’s very bad… now we’ll never be able to interview him for the poison investigation!” He replied, “Is that all you can say!!?” – KGBG p.202

Ruthless Agenda Example 9: In Aug of 2017, I had the opportunity to casually talk with an old friend whose name was included in the SHPM book as a willing member of the truth team investigators – all without his permission!   He told me he only had a cautiously reserved curiosity in regards to all the poison accusations and rumors that began flying around in 1997.    He was very upset that his name got dragged into the SHPM book without his permission, and he said there were many others who were equally upset having been implicated in the same way.   IN fact, he was quite adamant about sharing with me that many of the devotees whose names also show up in this book were very upset, not only because their names were revealed, but that their private communications were published without their permission! 

He concluded that most of these people were made to appear as being in 100% concurrence with the conclusions arrived at in the SHPM book.  All were very upset that it was ever published for two reasons:  1) It was done so without their knowledge, forcing them immediately into the middle of this huge controversy.  2) It has clarified nothing but did succeed in doing what the truth team set out to do, i.e.: disturb as many devotees as possible and disrupt as many working relationships as they could.

What I have listed here was easily researched, but is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.  One need only go to the following website to read numerous testimonials of those who are sober enough to not be affected by all the buck-shot blasted malicious propaganda regarding the poison conspiracy, which has been fired off everywhere with the hope to hit as many innocent individuals as possible.

LINK: The Poison Issue Page

How Stupid Is That?

The catalyst for initiating the poison allegation rests almost entirely on the hearsay of individuals who were under little or NO public scrutiny.  Perhaps they were all stellar examples of the ideal Vaishnava, but if that were so, why would such exalted individuals be so anxious to cast very serious allegations of murder on the same disciples that Srila Prabhupada himself obviously had tremendous respect for?

Such a duplicitous stance opens the door for their own behavior to be more closely scrutinized.   To completely disregard the testimony of these senior men, who have been on the world stage for nearly their entire devotional career, is extremely poor logic, especially when they are publicly accused of a heinous crime backed by such frivolous so-called evidence!  Of course, they were forced to speak out to defend themselves, just like anyone who is falsely accused would naturally do in a situation like this for higher purposes!

The only motive we hear as an explanation for why such dedicated senior devotees would do something so dreadful is that these top men literally went mad.   We are asked to believe their lust for immediate power was so strong that they plotted to murder His Divine Grace by poisoning him with cadmium.  Even those who whipped up this ugly conspiracy admit that cadmium is very rarely used for the purpose of poisoning someone.  How stupid is this going to get?

Srila Prabhupada Compliance

Srila Prabhupada had already experienced several heart attacks, and after flying around the world 13 times, the impact on his health was obvious. He clearly had medical problems that were slowing him down and even occasionally impeding his work.  Our reckless “truth-dogs” expect us to believe that these otherwise extraordinarily accomplished intimate associates of His Divine Grace were so impatiently lusty, they chose to Kill Guru so they could Become Guru.  To accomplish that they embarked on a very convoluted poison plot far more technically complicated and treacherous than anything even Agatha Christie could dream up!

To suggest that Srila Prabhupada felt like he was being poisoned by his most trusted men implies that he didn’t even have enough common sense to immediately send anyone he did not trust away.  Some might even say that Srila Prabhupada could summon mystic powers and know without a doubt who was betraying him, just like Jesus knew it was Judas who turned him into the Romans.   Yet, we see that he did not do any of this!  Instead, according to the theory that he was intentionally being poisoned by his immediate caretakers, we would then have to assume Srila Prabhupada just went along with it?  Why would he do that?

Well, the Truth Team seems to have an answer for everything. They dedicate an entire chapter to answering this question: “He Tolerated Being Poisoned” -KGBG p.748   This chapter really reveals to what extent the poison conspiracy people are willing to go to make all the pieces of the puzzle fit their fabricated crime.  It’s remarkably similar to the extremes those suffering from Munchhausen syndrome (Factitious Disorder) will endure in order to get the attention they need to survive.  They are so starved for attention; they quickly discover that the best way to get it was medically.  It is not uncommon for these people to do things that will intentionally spoil the tests doctors administer so they will appear sick.  Some are so deranged they will feign illness, overdose on medications, fall down in crowded public venues, stick needles in their arms, impinge their breathing and inflict themselves with serious wounds, just to keep the ruse up that their body isn’t functioning properly – so they can get attention.

When we scan over the type of ridiculous things that are suggested to answer this pivotal question, we get this sort of distorted logic:

“extremely tolerant,.. great devotees don’t feel it when they are tortured,.. he didn’t want to disturb the preaching momentum,.. kind and gentle to all Brahmins,.. acting on such a high paramahansa level none of us meleccha disciple could ever fully grasp it,.. tolerated his poisoners because of his great compassion,.. welcomed the opportunity to be in danger which gave him greater impetus to remember Krishna...” -KGBG p.748-751

Queen Kunti prayed for calamities to come because when they did, Krishna was there to personally protect her, and remembering Him at those times actually became the perfection of her life. Suggesting that Srila Prabhupada shared this type of sentiment is offensive, stupid, not observant and obviously contrived.   Srila Prabhupada’s Western disciples provided him with plenty of calamities; therefore, he didn’t need to be poisoned to help him remember Krishna.

There are a whole lot of problems with all this desperate grasping at straws.  Those who accept this reasoning apparently believe that Srila Prabhupada was not diplomatically intelligent enough to tactfully make a different arrangement when he knew his life was in jeopardy.  If Srila Prabhupada knew he was being poisoned, he was empowered with divine wisdom, and certainly, could have outsmarted his envious disciples at their own game.  Instead, Srila Prabhupada is offensively portrayed like a confused martyr, who was willing to sacrifice his own life because he was so tolerant, compassionate, did not want to upset anyone and that will help him remember Krsna.

The people who promote this type of twisted reasoning either don’t know Srila Prabhupada’s mood very well or they simply want everyone to forget he wasn’t just another turban-clad brown-skinned mystic from India:

“Certain sadhus in India were celebrated and influential, but Abhay was not among them. Of course, the uncompromising preaching he had learned from his spiritual master, the “chopping technique” in which he openly criticized revered politicians and holy men, was not likely to win him favor and patronage. “Don’t flatter,” Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati had said. “Speak the truth. And if Krsna is pleased, then you will come out successful.” – SPL 9: A Resident of Vrndavana

Further evidence clearly confirms that Srila Prabhupada did not compromise what needed to be said to avoid hurting the feelings of his disciples.  As soon as he discovered something was going on that was inappropriate or might jeopardize the preaching effort, he came down hard as a hammer on those responsible.

When the Krishna Balaram Mandir in Vrindavan did not open in 1974:  “In his room, Prabhupada’s anger only increased. He yelled at Guru dasa for mismanagement. He yelled at Surabhi. He yelled at all of them. No one dared to offer suggestions or excuses. There was nothing to do but turn white and become depressed. Prabhupada suddenly inquired whether the temple could be opened, despite the mess. “Can you have the Deity rooms ready at least?” He turned to Surabhi. “This is an insult to our Society. What will people think?”-  SPL 44: Let There Be a Temple

When devotees focused too much on activities of the gopis. (Gopi Bhava Club) By this time the men were in his room and for almost three-quarters of an hour he strongly rebuked the group, angrily refuting its reasoning. He compared their exclusive focus on the gopis to “jumping like monkeys.” Puranjana said their intention was to simply scrutinize the activities of the gopis and develop the same aspirations because this was recommended by Lord Caitanya.  Prabhupada got even angrier.He was in no mood for being mollified.”You want to scrutinizingly study Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s instructions, but why just the parts about the gopis?  – TD 2-5: Los Angeles

Those who understood Prabhupada’s total commitment to his preaching effort know He wouldn’t be so short-sighted to let a few so-called very devious converts have their way with him.  This is especially true for Tamal Krishna Goswami, who had felt the hammer of Srila Prabhupada’s anger before, which resulted in Tamal being sent to preach in China!  His Divine Grace was intensely focused on completing the Srimad Bhagavatam as his gift to humanity for the next 10,000 years.   If he had any suspicions about Tamal Krishna, he could have easily had him removed, just as quickly as he had Devananda removed for wasting Srila Prabhupada’s time.

“Get out,” Srila Prabhupada shouted. Devananda started to shake with anger. Brahmananda Maharaja grabbed him and forcefully escorted him out of the room. Srila Prabhupada was furious. Even though his anger was not directed toward me, I felt like I had been struck by lightning. – SPU 83: Prabhupada Gives Devananda a Last Chance

Download the full book (PDF) at this link.

The Poison Conspiracy Antidote – Chapter 2 – The Visa-Virya Bijam

All Aboard!  Poison Conspiracy!

The vile idea that Srila Prabhupada was poisoned by his top disciples became the acorn which fell on the head of LINK: Chicken Little.  The short 9-minute rendering of this classic children’s tale provided here is well worth the watch.  It very accurately captures the phenomenon that has occurred – the allegations of a conspiracy to poison Srila

Prabhupada as more than just childishly foolish.  It is sinister because it employs all of the Machiavellian tactics that are so expertly illustrated in this entertaining and very educating Disney rendering of LINK: Chicken Little.  Consider the following lessons that are conveyed.

  1. To influence the masses aim first for the least intelligent.
  2. If you tell them a lie don’t tell a little one, tell a big one.
  3. Undermine the faith of the masses and their leaders.
  4. By the use of flattery, insignificant people can be made to look upon themselves as born leaders.

The culprits behind this conspiracy artifice have leveraged all of these tactics. We know that ANGER is one of the three gates leading to hell, and there is a whole lot of unresolved anger in the material world including those who are in the process of moving from material conditioning to Krishna Consciousness.   Unqualified selfish devotees drove innocent people out of the temple for a whole list of unfortunate reasons.  Anger + Rumors = Conspiracy opportunity.  Bingo!

Certainly, those sincere devotees who felt responsible for correcting the mistakes of the past, who also wanted to rebuild the trust in ISKCON management, would not perpetuate rumors antithetical to that objective.  But when those who had an ax to swing found an opportunity to generate a conspiracy about someone poising Srila Prabhupada… they were not going to miss their chance.    Here was an opportunity to unleash a tsunami of doubt, intrigue, and suspicion at the very top of ISKCON management.   The ISKCON leaders were already overwhelmed with what it takes to manage a revolutionary new worldwide religious institution.  All it would take is the deadly seed of a well-crafted conspiracy to accelerate the death of ISKCON – and that is what the vengeful disgruntled individuals set out to do.

Psychology of Conspiracy Perpetrators

In a book called: Empire of Conspiracy, Professor Tim Melley identifies those who get caught up in conspiracy thinking share two common characteristics: 1) They hold strong individualist values and 2) They lack a sense of control.  The first attribute refers to people who care deeply about an individual’s right to make their own choices and to direct their own lives without interference or obligations to a larger system (like the GBC).   When that is combined with a sense of powerlessness in one’s own life, it becomes what Professor Melley refers to as agency panic, characterized as an “intense anxiety about an apparent loss of autonomy.”  Conspiracy theories help insecure individuals cope with distressing events, as it offers the frail a way to make sense out of difficult circumstances.  Conspiracies assure us that bad things don’t just happen randomly. Conspiracies, however unwitting, secret or incomprehensible, tell us that someone out there is accountable; therefore, it’s possible to stop these people and punish them, and in due course, give everyone else a chance to re-establish control over their own lives.

Well, that pretty much explains it all, but I know much more will be required to help readers parse all the accusations that have been recklessly hurled around.

False Accusations

Some people are so paranoid that as soon as they misplace something they believe someone broke into their home and stole it.  Mature individuals are much more cautious about not accusing others of anything until there is a good reason to do so.  That usually requires clear and tangible evidence to support one’s allegation.  It is the emotionally unstable individuals that have a reputation for blaming others for their own mistakes or inadequacies.  Low self-esteem drives those who suffer from insecurity to lash out at others in all sorts of bizarre ways over the most trivial of issues.

To accuse anyone of conspiring to poison another human being with little more than rumors, controversial whispers or unconfirmed lab studies on suspicious evidence is so blatantly reckless that those who are not blinded by their own negative conditioning will be quick to dismiss this scandal.  They will be equally vigilant about reassuring others why they should not give it any further thought.

I have taken the time to compose this analysis as a service to help others achieve that objective.   Others need not wallow in the waves of emotionally-charged reckless allegations, with its intentionally confusing pontification that’s merely used to bewilder and paralyze the innocent, which in the end effectively poisons the sankirtan movement at the root.  I have waded thru this refuse pit for those who simply found it too distasteful to address this issue.  So now please take it freely, share this poison antidote with those who have become victims of this poison.

How it Began

A simple review of how the “Poison” brouhaha took root, how it got fueled and catapulted into the devotee forum, reveals that it began with a lot of rumors, opinions, emotions, assumptions, innuendos, grandstanding and a bombastic form of constantly begging the question.   Those who continue to foist this allegation upon the Vaishnava devotees of the Lord like to portray themselves as the “Truth Committee” who has no motive other than to historically establish what the real cause of Srila Prabhupada’s departure was. They shamelessly proclaim about what they believe the real cause was:

“This work is meant as a historical reference material. There is also a serious need to set the historical record straight in light of so much false propaganda and obfuscatio

n from ISKCON leaders who hope to fend off full truth discovery in the matter. Our effort is called revisionism, which, according to Harry E Barnes, is bringing history into accord with the facts. Why would history and factual evidence be at odds? It is because institutions falsify the past to keep their membership loyal and subservient to their corruption.” – KGBG p. 18

Here we are being told right up front what this agenda is all about.  The authors want to be remembered in history as the ones who “Knew the Truth” who pressed for historical revisionism because the agenda of the evil ISKCON institution is to falsify the past for the purpose of keeping members loyal and subservient.   Wow!  We should all feel indebted to the keepers of the truth who have so valiantly taken on this difficult task to set the record straight for the benefit of future generations!  It all sounds so noble

, righteous, and heroic.  We are even introduced to Mr. Harry E. Barnes as the reputable authority to bless this thankless task.  How could anyone object to the selfless service the devotees of the Truth Committee are doing for all the rest of us?

We can get a glimpse into just how pathologically crapulous the mentality is of those who would seek the blessings of Harry E. Barnes to condone their actions. I will just let the readers draw their own conclusions about the mental stability of those who want to be associated with a person described on Wikipedia as follows:

Harry Elmer Barnes (June 15, 1889 – August 25, 1968) was an American historian who, in his later years, was known for his historical revisionism and Holocaust denial… Through his position at Columbia and his prodigious scholarly output, Barnes was once highly regarded as a historian. However, by the end of the 1950s, he had lost credibility because of the major role he played in the inception of the Holocaust denial movement. …Barnes claimed that in order to justify the “horrors and evils of the Second World War”, the Allies made the Nazis

 the “scapegoat” for their own misdeeds…. Barnes wrote: The courageous author [Rassinier] lays the chief blame for misrepresentation on those whom we must call the swindlers of the crematoria, the Israeli politicians who derive billions of marks from nonexistent, mythical and imaginary cadavers, whose numbers have been reckoned in an unusually distorted and dishonest manner. … Even if one were to accept the most extreme and exaggerated indictment of Hitler and the National Socialists for their activities after 1939 made by anybody fit to remain outside a mental hospital, it is most alarmingly easy to demonstrate that the atrocities of the Allies in the same period were more numerous as to victims and were carried out for the most part by methods more brutal and painful than that alleged extermination in gas ovens.(Emphasis in the original.)

LINK: Harry Elmer Barnes

I could just end this paper here.  The association with the racist bigot Harry Barnes pretty much reveals exactly what we are dealing with here.  Behind a very thin veil of a not so convincing scholarly patina, we find an extremely deviant agenda.   Holocaust deniers insist that the descendants of Abraham were not imprisoned in horrendous concentration death camps during WWII.  These “Holocaust Truth Keepers” boast that, for the benefit of the rest of us, they are the vigilant ones working to preserve the real history of what happened in Germany.  They chide: “Nope. 60,000 innocent Jews were not tortured and killed in Nazi war camps”.  These Holocaust deniers claim these are all fictitious tales promoted by the Jewish community to win the sympathy from the masses and to monopolize business opportunities.  The evidence they use to foist this distortion on others is as nebulous as the tales told by the Poison Truth Team.

Like honor among thieves, those perpetuating the poison allegation theory are quick to pat each other on the back for their years of dedicated service, focused acumen & personal integrity that they gave to Srila Prabhupada.  All this self-congratulatory bragging brings those who have been exiled from ISKCON back together under a common plot to bring down the GBC kings.  It also gives the innocent reader the impression that the devotees who make up the Truth Committee are very credible individuals, who deserve our respect and trust.  They want us to accept them as good, clean, honest boy-scout devotees who have no hidden agendas.  But if that was the case then why are they following in the footsteps of their new nut-job guru Harry Elmer Barnes!

The book “Someone Has Poisoned Me.” (SHPM) relies predominantly on presenting pages and pages of antidote stories, opinions, impressions, historical sidebars, and colorful fluff, embellished with just the right coincidental synergy necessary to give birth to this insidious conspiracy.   It’s the perfect storm for creating mass hysteria and agency panic that if left unchecked would inevitably evolve into the classic witch hunt!   It is the only hope that disenfranchised devotees have to: “…hold someone accountable, stop them, punish them and give those who have been wronged an opportunity to re-establish control over their own lives.”

Download the full book (PDF) at this link.

The Poison Conspiracy Antidote – Chapter 1 – Why This Now?

Millennial Controversies

Just prior to the turn of the century, there was an upheaval of controversy that had never before been experienced in ISKCON.  Some creative writers got together and published a bunch of unconventional ideas in a title referred to as the ‘Final Order.’  I had an opportunity to see it in draft form somewhere around 1977, and the first time I looked at it I thought to myself: “This is such complete nonsense, who is ever going to take it seriously?” Then a few years later, to my astonishment, the “RitVik” controversy was tearing long-standing friendships apart and wreaking havoc everywhere.   As I watched the destruction, my heart broke.  After all, one of Srila Prabhupada’s most important final instructions to us was that “You will show your love for me by your cooperation.” Srila Prabhupada had given us something so wonderful and simple, but because of our sick western pride, we simply could not integrate it into our life without nearly killing one another over how to follow his instruction.

In an effort to see if I could find a common ground and bring everyone back together as one Hare Krishna movement, I wrote a treatise that was immediately published on VNN.  The heart of that culminated in a paper called:

LINK: 12 Points Towards Unity & Respect

I soon discovered that ISKCON management refused to even consider introducing a RitVik Harinama initiation into the process of becoming a devotee by making it the first stepping stone to a personal guru awarding the Brahman’s thread.  I am still of the belief that if something like this could have been integrated into the formal ISKCON structure, it would have completely prevented the breakdown we now face.  I realize it would be a bit contrived and unconventional, but not any less contrived than bankrolling tyagis.  As a practical matter, it would have prevented the attrition and aparadh that became the first big wedge to divide ISKCON.

However, this accommodating vision was probably moot even before I realized it.  When I pressed the RitVik leadership at the time to see if their agenda was to integrate into ISKCON or completely overthrow the traditional Guru-Disciple relationship they did not immediately respond.   When it was to their most political advantage they finally revealed that their objective was to completely overthrow the traditional Vedic guru-disciple relationship that was already well underway within ISKCON.  There was simply no middle-of-the-road to travel on, so I ended up writing a series of articles helping people understand that the RitVik agenda was a reaction, not a philosophy.    It’s understandable why people were hurt, but the solution was not to whip up something that has never been done since Krishna clearly confirmed:

sri-bhagavan uvaca
imam vivasvate yogam proktavan aham avyayam
vivasvan manave praha manur iksvakave ‘bravit – Bg 4.1


The fact that immature gurus were pretending to be Srila Prabhupada didn’t help matters. Despite these travesties, the RitViks’ suggestion that Srila Prabhupada intended to change everything he had taught his disciple for ten plus years, based solely on one very ambiguous, controversial letter by Srila Prabhupada written in July of 1977 – just four months before he departed – was an insult to Srila Prabhupada’s pragmatic expertise!

So I set my skills to exposing many of the gross inconsistencies, deceptive citations, and preposterous contentions of the RitViks, in what I mockingly refer to as the FO (Final Order) Sastra.   By the time that effort was done, I had received numerous emails from devotees worldwide thanking me for helping them separate the post-Prabhupada – Guru angst from the RitVik panacea.   Yes, a bunch of neophyte Western kids were clearly having problems implementing the Parampara system.   They may have memorized the third Siksastaka prayer, but many continued to behave like Lord Indra did when his ego was snubbed and he attacked Vrindavan with 40 days of violent thunderstorms!  As unpredictable as it may have been, the concocted RitVik alternative was not the way to tame the gurus who expected red carpets and rose petals everywhere they went.  Those who are still bewildered by all the RitVik propaganda are invited to read those papers here:

Accepting the Challenge Sep 19, 2012
Did He or Didn’t He? Sep 21, 2012
Who’s Changing What? Sep 20, 2012
Modifications a & b. Sep 24, 2012
He Who Knows Has No Need To Shout.

The reason why I open this paper with a brief summary of RitVik history is that it somehow finds its way into the mish-mash of so-called poisoning evidence.   There also seems to be a lot of circumstantial evidence that indicates that the same core group of individuals who dreamed up the RitVik heresy brought us the “Who Poisoned Prabhupada” drama.  In both cases, these individuals appear to be convinced that they are acting to further the mission of Lord Caitanya even though the results of their actions have been just the opposite.  We need only remember that the men who flew the planes into the world trade center.  They were also convinced that in giving their lives to commit such an atrocity they were serving the almighty!  Instead of furthering the cause of ISLAM, the end result was just the opposite.   They simply awakened the Western world to how dangerous the radicalized end of the Islamic faith is willing to go to be heard.    I will show in this paper how the conspiracy to poison Srila Prabhupada doesn’t have to have a thread of truth while also illustrating how the rumor itself is effective in achieving the real purpose for why it is so furiously promoted The “Who Poisoned Prabhupada” drama is the 2nd attempt by the disenfranchised to gain recognition on the world stage and it springs forth from a the deeply rooted human foible know as envy.    Every aspiring devotee is called to control pride and envy and in this case the authors of this drama have spent a good portion of their lives proving to the rest of us their embarrassingly tragic inability to do that.

Getting to the Point

The first time someone shared with me that there was a ground-swelling concern about the possibility Srila Prabhupada was poisoned, I simply dismissed it as another sensationalized “ISKCON grape-vine hoax”.   I could not imagine how anyone could possibly believe such a ridiculous thing; however, before too long, I was again completely dumbfounded by the fact that there were many devotees getting sucked into this “new” mega-diversion instead of doing something useful for Srila Prabhupada.    I acquired a copy of “Someone Has Poisoned Me” and after reading it, I again thought: “Who in their right mind is going to give any credibility to all this unconvincing opinionated barf?”   Yet, some devotees apparently did – whether due to being gullible, did not care to research enough, covered by their own hurt and pain?  After a while, the “Poison” issue seemed to drift back off on the same cumulous cloud from which it came.

Then, in the Spring of 2017, I started getting some panic phone calls from congregational members who attend the bimonthly “Bhagavad Gita – As It Is” Fellowship Discussion  I host twice a month at my home in Ojai!  They were quite surprised to encounter the “poison” allegations!  At the same time, our mailing list of 1500 (mostly new people) had not only been deceitfully hijacked, but our congregation had been spammed with a bunch of propaganda that prematurely concluded:

“.. the case that Srila Prabhupada’s poisoning with heavy metals IS now proven,” -KGBG p.687

I soon discovered this propaganda was now stomping all over the tender seedlings of devotion that I was trying to cultivate in my congregation.  I did not want to open this can of putrefied worms because to do so would be like voluntarily jumping into an open latrine!   Initially, I resisted, but others encouraged me to do what I could to expose the travesty of reasoning that keeps this stupid drama alive.  I felt dirty and exhausted just thinking about the task of exposing the poison conspiracy.  It never made any sense to me at all regardless of all the so-called evidence which amounted to no more than a tsunami of psychological coercion.

I soon realized that even people I had great respect for were somehow getting drawn into believing these pernicious poison allegations; therefore, I felt that I had a duty to apply my skills to expose it for the hypnotic fraud that it had apparently become.

I have no idea if anyone is going to care that I wrote this, but I at least hope it will find a home somewhere. Perhaps 500 years from now, this rebuttal will help shed light on what these tumultuous times in Early ISKCON were like – at least from the perspective of one who has absolutely nothing personal to gain by exposing it.  I certainly hope I am one of the rare few who suffered terrible disappointments after Srila Prabhupada left, but I know that is not true.   Many have struggled to work around the growing pains ISKCON has crawled thru.  For some, that struggle took on the form of this grandiloquent poison conspiracy.

The Stage Was Set – Let the Story Begin

The individuals who allege that Srila Prabhupada was poisoned by some of his most trusted disciples have asserted that what started this witch hunt were rumors that were circulating at New Dwarka in 1982 —  five years after Srila Prabhupada departed!   When we look closely, we find that those rumors came from two 13 year–old Mexican Gurukula children who “Think” they “Might” have overheard eight senior men talking about a plot to poison Srila Prabhupada!

I was in India within three months after Srila Prabhupada departed, and I never heard one such preposterous rumor.  We need to ask here: why did the loose talk of two children lead to such a huge investigation?   There is no dispute about the chaos that occurred when Prabhupada’s young disciples were left to lead ISKCON into the future.  A lot of mistakes were made… a lot of egos raged out of control, a lot of people got hurt, a lot of devotees left the movement, leaving the rest of us quite upset and disgusted.

With the departure of His Divine Grace, there was no one to insulate us from our own incompetence, envy, greed, pride.  All those unresolved pushing agents were now free to undermine our efforts in the task of sharing with the rest of the world what Srila Prabhupada gave us.  It was both frightening and depressing.  It’s quite reasonable to see how these unresolved pushing forces rapidly surfaced and matured into many very controversial issues that shattered the ISKCON magic that only Srila Prabhupada’s personal presence could hold together.  Since his departure in 1977, the majority of his surviving disciples, being very neophyte Vaishnavas at best, had to navigate thru numerous difficult organizational policy decisions such as:

  1. How to interface with other members of the Gaudiya Math.
  2. Who is qualified to initiate disciples?
  3. The resurrection of the elitist Gopi Bhava club.
  4. How would we implement the Parampara system?
  5. Blind eye to those who vowed “Renunciation”, but live like kings.
  6. Should women be masters or mothers?
  7. When will the debates over book editorial changes get resolved? (See my suggestions in Appendix 1)
  8. Public disclosure regarding the collection and distribution of laxmi and the protection of real property.

These are just a few of the more controversial things that have destroyed long-standing friendships, trust among devotees and led to bitter disputes, resentment, and even the exile of many good individuals who were anxious to serve Srila Prabhupada’s mission.

As we moved forward in time more people got hurt as ISKCON fractured and innocent individuals got treated badly… in some cases very badly.  While some clawed their way to the top, others were kicked to the side or simply left feeling abandoned or betrayed. People who are inclined to be very tolerant were reaching the end of their patience.  The autocracy of ISKCON management was getting a reputation for being unrepentant, impenetrable, and ruthlessly powerful.

The stage was set.  The only way to bring down a strong king is to engage in Machiavellian like strategies.  An individual the authors of the Conspiracy Theory have obviously studied quite closely.  (KGBGp. 507)  The usual controversies were wearing away ISKCON more and more each day.   Those seeking vengeance for all the past transgressions feeling compelled to stop the GBC Kings.   To do so they cleverly devised the “Who Poisoned Prabhupada” conspiracy knowing that it would have far more disruptive consequences than just introducing some new philosophical controversy.

Seeing the lack of cooperation that was already being felt by the ISKCON diaspora, these individuals knew it was time to extend that obstinacy into the management body of ISKCON itself, reasoning that it was time for the GBC to get a taste of their own heartless medicine!  To fracture ISKCON at its core would require a controversy that creates enough suspicion and quarrel among the GBC members that it would destroy whatever little cooperation the old boys club was still enjoying.

“If we do not work cooperatively in this way, the whole thing will deteriorate.” – June 22, 1972, LA Letter to Madhupuri

The most effective way to break the collective strength of the GBC would be to perpetuate doubts, intrigue, and disarray on a scale that had not yet been experienced.  To really disintegrate Srila Prabhupada’s movement required a Visa-Virya Bijam (A Very Deadly Seed) and the “Who Poisoned Prabhupada” conspiracy became that seed.

Download the full book (PDF) at this link.

The Poison Conspiracy Antidote – Preface

Preface

Those who have been disturbed by the allegations that His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami might have been poisoned by some of his top disciples will find solace in this rebuttal.  If this paper gives any individual relief from the hailstorm of sloppy research, prejudicial conclusions, and any of the mendacious evidence, then I will consider the time and effort I made to swim in this veritable “cesspool” of a subject worthwhile. If at the end, you are one of those individuals who would like to identify yourself, I would appreciate knowing that I helped clarify this matter for you.   I am not going to apologize for the length of this rebuttal because it is trivial in comparison to the avalanche of poison propaganda that is being unloaded like trash from a garbage truck upon innocent devotees worldwide:

  • Someone Has Poisoned Me (SHPM) 408Pages
  • Judge For Yourself (JFY) 123
  • KILL GURU BECOME GURU PART 1(54:25 Min Video) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIBqNBMbPvY&t=2655s
  • Kill Guru Become Guru Part 1(KGBG) 828 PDF Pages
  • Kill Guru Become Guru Part 2(KGBG2) ? Pages
  • Kill Guru Become Guru Part 3(KGBG3) ? Pages
  • CRIME OF THE MILLENIUM: (31.19 Min Video)   ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMuUqqZDqTQ
  • Total 1359 + Pages & 85.44 min Video with more irrelevant scathing vitriol promised to come!

There is probably much more material than this which I am unaware of, but all of it is more of the same.  What I will show in this study is that all of it is irrelevant, tangential, unsubstantiated and dramatically enhanced to support a sardonic imagination buttressed up by the worst of all possible interpretation of events.   While the volume of material has the patina of “Evidence”, it’s not much more than the rambling fantasies of those obsessed with a dolus agenda.  Virtually none of what makes up the volume of this so-called evidence would ever stand up to the scrutiny of a courtroom which is why it will never find its way into a courtroom despite all the bravado and posturing otherwise.

The assault that has been wagered against well-intended individuals has been recklessly savage.  The whole idea that some of the most senior disciples would conspire to poison Srila Prabhupada is repugnant, absurd and ill-founded.  That is why many have understandably simply not wanted to waste their time wading through all the bosh bric-a-brac that has been accumulated to promote it.  Yet it is the unsavory nature of this subject that has led to a catch-22 for the poison conspired to take advantage of.   Because the majority of the devotees couldn’t be bothered reading all this bunk it continues to fester like the heads of Ravana that would reappear after being cut off by Rama.

While there have been many good testimonies confirming that the poison conspiracy has no credibility, some still cling to specious arguments that have not been adequately disposed of.  This paper does exactly that but the challenge now is to share these strong arguments with those who simply don’t want to dwell on such a sick, macabre myth.   In an attempt to overcome that resistance I have done what was easy to do with such a wealth of absurd material to work with.  I lampoon the whole issue which is all the attention the poison conspiracy deserves.   Srila Prabhupada, of course, deserves our unwavering respect, so the challenge here was to uphold that while exposing this torrid subject in a humorous and entertaining way so the devotee community will be more willing to familiarize themselves with firm arguments that are contained herein.

The cartoons just showed up along the way and are included as an incentive to capture the reader’s curiosity and lure them into the text.  All of this seemed like the natural outcome of such a gross lack of reasoning and common sense.   The only way for erudite individuals to parse all this rubbish is to laugh at it.

The real reason for this assault has nothing to do with what is alleged.   It is to overwhelm the innocent and sadly that seems to have happened at least partially with devotees who are not willing to study the so-called evidence carefully and instead have become bewildered by the patina. It’s easy to jump on the bandwagon of revenge after having been disappointed or mistreated by some immature, proud, or insensitive administrator after coming to Prabhupada.   It’s also easy to be bamboozled, especially if one simply doesn’t have the time, interest, patience or skills to plow through what amounts to little more than chronic emotional offal.

I had no intentions of exposing myself to 1359+ pages of tedious conjectures and malicious creative writing; however, the glaring mistakes just kept revealing themselves to the point that I just had to jump into the ring in defense of the “sober” Truth.   I realize that the tendency will be for readers to immediately jump to the area of controversy that is most persuasive to them – and that’s fine if you wish to do that.  When one gets wounded, it is essential to focus on the area where the body has been compromised most; however, there is a natural progression as to how this antidote unfolds, and some of the nuances will be missed if one doesn’t apply it fully by reading the paper from start to finish.  Those who are willing to take the time to do that, and have no predetermined agenda, will be convinced to never give any botheration to the poison rumors ever again.  This antidote will be adequate to exorcise the “Poison” raffle completely.

Thank you.

Mayeśvara Dāsa
August 2017
mdjagdasa@gmail.com
Phone +1 (805) 649-0405

The Poison Conspiracy Antidote – Cover

The Poison Conspiracy Antidote

Visa-Virya Bijam

visa-virya—highly potent poison; bijam – seed

Exposing the real poison of fraudulent poison allegations.

By Mayeśvara Dāsa  ACBSP    mdjagdasa@gmail.com
October 2017  Ojai, Ca.

“It appears that you have been poisoned by some rascals. Such rascals cannot do anything to push on the mission of Lord Caitanya, but can put hindrances in the path of spreading KC all over the world. I am very sorry that you have fallen a victim of such poisonous serpents. Because such easy going rascals are unable to assume the position of ‘Prabhupada’ or unfit for the post, they are so envious and you are talking on their behalf. I am very sorry for this.” – Srila Prabhupada Letter to Disciple, Vrindavan 1 Nov, 1972

“I know that most men—not only those considered clever, but even those who are very clever, and capable of understanding most difficult scientific, mathematical, or philosophic problems—can very seldom discern even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as to oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions they have formed, perhaps with much difficulty—conclusions of which they are proud, which they have taught to others, and on which they have built their lives.” –  Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy – in his essay (1897) “What Is Art?

 

Abbreviation Key: 

Envy Green = Text denotes Poison Conspiracy propaganda

SHPM – Someone has Poisoned Me Published 1999 New Jaipur Press

KGBG – Kill Guru Become Guru (Digital PDF Available via Internet Circa 2017)

Krishna Blue = Text that makes sense.

HAPD – Hair Analysis Panel Discussion Exploring the State of the Science.

ATSDR – Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

CDCP – The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

 ///

Topless Female Protesters: The Victims are the Victimisers

Topless

Recently someone asked about whether calling out someone as sinful is also a sin? Although it seems absolutely necessary that criminals be identified as such, according to the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.17.22), those who identify criminals are just as guilty of the crime as criminals themselves.  Here is the verse:

rājovāca
dharmaṁ bravīṣi dharma-jña dharmo ’si vṛṣa-rūpa-dhṛk
yad adharma-kṛtaḥ sthānaṁ  sūcakasyāpi tad bhavet

“The King said: O you, who are in the form of a bull! You know the truth of religion, and you are speaking according to the principle that the destination intended for the perpetrator of irreligious acts is also intended for one who identifies the perpetrator. You are no other than the personality of religion.”

In his purport to the verse, Śrīla Prabhupāda explains as follows:

“A devotee’s conclusion is that no one is directly responsible for being a benefactor or mischief-monger without the sanction of the Lord; therefore he does not consider anyone to be directly responsible for such action. But in both the cases he takes it for granted that either benefit or loss is God-sent, and thus it is His grace.”

So, the point here is that those who identify the perpetrator of sinful acts without reference to the sanction of the Lord do so in ignorance and are therefore no less guilty of perpetrating those sinful acts. In other words, people who are Kṛṣṇa conscious see the hand of the Lord in everything whereas others do not. Indeed, they are not Kṛṣṇa consciousness because they want to act against the will of the Lord. Hence, they come to this world so they can act in forgetfulness of Him.

As an example of this, there is news item, “Topless activists parade through New York.” According to the article, on August 26 of this year, people in the state of New York (USA) celebrated International Go Topless Day. During the day, small numbers of women participated in “consciousness raising” marches and protests by taking off their shirts and undergarments and exposing their bare chests. As per the article, “Participants of all shapes and sizes held up placards proclaiming ‘Equal Topless Rights For All’ and ‘War Is Obscene Not My Nipples, Meditate 4 Peace Topless.'” Another woman is quoted as saying,

“It’s important to send a message. These are our bodies. They should not be policed any other way than men’s. Men walk around like this all the time, so why is it such a big deal?”

AFP, 26 Aug. 2017, Mail Online, 27 Aug. 2017 <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/…/Topless-activists-parade-New-York.html>

As per Vedic scriptures, this is mode of ignorance. According to Lord Kṛṣṇa in Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā, kāma eṣa krodha eṣa rajo-guṇa-samudbhavaḥ, mahāśano mahā-pāpmā viddhy enam iha vairiṇam, “It is lust only, Arjuna, which is born of contact with the material mode of passion and later transformed into wrath, and which is the all-devouring sinful enemy of this world” (3.27). Problems like rape, war and other social ills arise because of an increase in passion. If you increase people’s lust and passion, then all the other social ills like rape and murder are sure to escalate. Yet these women believe that the opposite will happen. That is the mode of ignorance. And the result is that by following their misguided conceptions, they end up increasing the very social ills they protest.

So their big problem is that because they are not devotees, they fail to understand the world as it really is. And understanding the world as it factually is is possible only through the Lord’s instructions in authorized scriptures like Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Not otherwise.

Therefore solutions to these problems are incomplete and misleading unless they are fundamentally theistic, fundamentally Kṛṣṇa conscious.

Monks Seek Navadvip Slaughterhouse Scrap

Hindu monks of several organisations have appealed to the Union home minister, Rajnath Singh, to scrap an abattoir project coming up on the banks of the Ganga in Nabadwip town as it, they say, will disturb the sanctity of the birthplace of Vaishnava saint Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and pollute the river.

Subhasish Chaudhuri, “Monks seek abattoir scrap”, 6 Aug. 2017, The Telegraph, 14 Aug. 2017 <https://epaper.telegraphindia.com/details/272450-124838100.html>.

Read more.

Release of new book: Sri Namastaka of Srila Rupa Gosvami Prabhupada

Dear devotees,

Hare Krishna. Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and his followers.

We are pleased to inform you that by the mercy of Srila Rupa Gosvami Prabhupada and his followers, we have been able to release an English translation of his Namastaka and commentaries on it by Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura.

Namastaka contains eight Sanskrit verses on the glories of the holy name of Lord Krsna, and it appears in the final portion of Srila Rupa Gosvami’s Stava-mala. Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana Prabhu commented on the entirety of Stava-mala in Sanskrit, and his commentary on Namastaka reveals his deep insights into the power, significance and method of offenselessly chanting the holy names of Lord Krsna.

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura also presented prose paraphrases and versified explanations of the Namastaka in Bengali. With his characteristic penetrating intelligence, Srila Bhaktivinoda clarified some of the complicated concepts presented in Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana’s Sanskrit commentary on the Namastaka.

In this edition, we have presented Srila Rupa Gosvami’s Namastaka along with Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana’s commentary and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s paraphrase and explanation together. We have presented the Sanskrit text in Devanagari, the Bengali text in Bengali, and then a transliteration followed by synonyms and translation. The edition also contains informative footnotes and appendixes mostly containing relevant statements from the writings of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

Devotees in India can order the book from Amazon.in here. Devotees outside of India can do so by emailing ruparaghunathavani@gmail.com.

Your servants,

Rupa Raghunatha Vani Publications

www.ruparaghunathavani.com

Google Sexism Scandal from Another Perspective: Chess

In the world outside of ISKCON, the controversy over the firing of a Google engineer for distributing an allegedly sexist manifesto can be seen from another non-spiritual perspective: competitive chess. In 2015, a similar firestorm within the sport arose when Nigel Short, a U.K. Grandmaster said that “we should ‘gracefully accept it as a fact’ that men possess different skills to women that make them better able to play chess at a high level.”[1] The reaction was widespread and brutal yet irrational.

For example, many, including many women international grand masters, pointed out that former women’s world champion Judith Polgar had formerly trounced Short in a series of games and held this up as proof that he was wrong. “Judith Polgar, the former women’s world champion, beat Nigel Short eight classical games to three in total with five draws, said Amanda Ross, who runs the Casual Chess Club of London. “She must have brought her man brain. Let’s just hope Nigel didn’t crash his car on those days, trying to park it. At least this resolves the age-old debate as to whether there’s a direct link between chess-playing ability and intelligence. Clearly not.”

But to such criticisms, Short noted that outlier events do not invalidate the general case. “The fact that I have one bad score against an individual doesn’t prove anything” he said. “I’m talking about averages here . . . statistically women don’t [compete] in the same numbers. The average gap is pretty large and that is down to sex differences . . . Those differences exist.”

For example, fact that some women are over six-feet tall, which would be taller than most men, does not invalidate the fact that men generally are taller than women. The point Short is making with regard to chess is that the exception does not invalidate the general case, which is that men appear to be better equipped to master chess than women. Even if mental abilities are equivalent (and there are many well-conducted scientific studies that make this case), seemingly unrelated characteristics like temperament could still dramatically affect ability to succeed.

(For example, men tend to be more competitive than women, and that competitiveness can drive one to perfect his (or, in the less common case, her) skills to succeed in that competition.  Competitiveness is not a proxy for logical reasoning, but it will determine whether you are going to prevail over adversity and put in the time to perfect your game.)

So, what is going on here?

Whenever someone raises the notion that some non-trivial difference between men and women is on account of innate differences, a furor arises because most people in the West have been brought up to believe that all differences are socially constructed. This is an idea that arose from a period of Western cultural history called the Enlightenment, a period of philosophical and scientific development in the West that occurred between approximately 1650 and 1798. What was rejected by the intelligentsia of that time was the idea that there is such a thing as fixed human nature.

Since then, it has been a central tenet of faith among those educated with Western values that only nurture, not nature, accounts for the non-trivial behavioral and mental differences between the sexes. By now, that idea has become so entrenched that those who openly challenge it are quite literally treated as heretics. This is demonstrated in the reaction not only to Nigel Short but to recently fired Google engineer James Damore.

What worries some in the West, however, is that this belief is so out of step with experimental science yet so firmly entrenched in the minds of Western elites and their governing institutions (like Government and Google) that they fear that such a wide-spread attachment to non-reality will eventually undermine Western influence. A possible scenario might be something like how Soviet antipathy toward capitalist economic principles eventually brought down the Soviet state itself. Damore made a similar argument in his own manifesto.

As far as us followers of Vedic principles are concerned, we are on the side of nature on this one. Nurture is not unimportant, but as far as we are concerned, nature plays a much larger role than some would like to believe. (See Bhagavad-gita 18.47 for more information about this.)

[1] Hannah Ellis-Petersen, “Nigel Short says men ‘hardwired’ to be better chess players than women”, 20 Apr. 2015, The Guardian, 10 Aug. 2017 <https://www.theguardian.com/…better-chess-players-women>.

Gender Equality and Google: Some Lessons for ISKCON

So, there is a lot of discussion in the news about a Google engineer who posted a 10-page internal memo at Google about improving work-place gender diversity without resorting to the usual affirmative action policies and who subsequently (and very quickly) got fired for it. Many have characterized the engineer’s manifesto as a heresy, most condemning it and others lauding it, one even comparing it to Martin Luther’s act of nailing his 95 Theses to the wall of the Roman Catholic Church.

But the most interesting part of this open discussion so far has been what some experts in the field of psychology have been saying. For the most part, the experts seem to agree with the engineer.

In an article titled “The Google Memo: Four Scientists Respond,” (archived version here) one of the scientists, Geoffrey Miller, an evolutionary psychology professor at the University of New Mexico, praises the memo for its adherence to science. He says, “Graded fairly, his memo would get at least an A- in any masters’ level psychology course.” He thinks it’s spot on in terms of the current understanding of science, even though it is diametrically opposed to prevailing attitudes and trends about gender equality. The rest of the scientists in the article are between somewhat to generally supportive of the memo.

So, if science supports the memo and the memo advocates that some gender disparities are due not to nurture but nature (inherent differences between the sexes), then from where comes the idea that the differences are not due to inherent differences but instead come from systematic discrimination? Miller suggests that the source is not science but instead based on deep faith in some non-scientific ideal.

The only reasons to value diversity would be at the levels of legal compliance with government regulations, public relations virtue-signalling, and deontological morality – not practical effectiveness. Legal, PR, and moral reasons can be good reasons for companies to do things. But corporate diversity was never justified to shareholders as a way to avoid lawsuits, PR blowback, or moral shame; it was justified as a competitive business necessity.
So, if the sexes and races don’t differ at all, and if psychological interchangeability is true, then there’s no practical business case for diversity.
Geoffrey Miller, “The Google Memo: Four Scientists Respond On Gender Differences,” 7 Aug. 2017, Quillette, 9 Aug. 2017 <http://quillette.com/2017/08/07/google-memo-four-scientists-respond/>.

So, here are some lessons for ISKCON from this:

  1. Trying to reshape our society to be respectable in the eyes of mainstream society is a bad policy because it essentially means exchanging our own values for the values of modern society.
  2. Because these different sets of values are tied to different authorities–ours being based on shastra and coming through an unbroken disciplic succession and theirs based on the changing modes of material nature–exchanging our parampara values for theirs necessarily means changing our sources of authority for theirs. It means abandoning the disciplic succession for modes-of-nature-inspired speculation.
  3. Our values (via varnasrama-dharma) have a different objective: maximize purity for the sake of making spiritual advancement (butter melts next to fire). The objectives of other social ideals prevalent in the debate offer to maximize class equality (a big-“S” Socialist project) and maximize standard of living (material comforts) by letting the invisible hand of the economy have free reign. We reject both of these. We are after neither mundane equality nor optimized material comforts.

One final reason for not jumping on the P.C. bandwagon in the name of preaching that is more important than the above three reasons is that the big social problem our varnasrama social system addresses does not change from age to age. That problem is sex attraction.

So these regulative principles are there. So what is, what is the big plan behind these regulative principles? The big plan is: here is the attraction, pusaḥ striyā mithunī-bhāvam eta to cut down this attraction between male and female. This is the big plan. Otherwise there is no need of the varṇāśrama.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Lecture, Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.5.8, Vrindavan Oct 30, 1976.

The social problems of the non-devotees change with the modes of nature, but the problem of sex-attraction does not change from age-to-age.

But because this problem is actually the root of all other problems in the material world, we should hold steadfastly to varnasrama social values because these reflect reality–even if it means that for the indefinite future we will have to suffer opprobrium from the rest of society. Lest it be forgotten, in modern society, which some of us want to emulate, four out of every ten children born in the United States are born to unwed mothers. How can any society this dysfunctional expect to endure?

As they say in the safety instructions for passengers on airplanes, first secure your own oxygen mask before helping others. That requires us to first follow our own principles before we can help others. If we were to embrace something other than the Truth in our own lives, then we ourselves would be living according to illusion and hence would have no power to preach anyway, or at least whatever we would be preaching would not be genuine.

Therefore, putting on our own oxygen masks includes following the varnasrama system and avoiding Maya devi’s trap of trying to expand our preaching through forfeiting the parampara.

śruti-smṛti-purāṇādi-
pañcarātra-vidhiṁ vinā
aikāntikī harer bhaktir
utpātāyaiva kalpate

“Devotional service of the Lord that ignores the authorized Vedic literatures like the Upaniṣads, Purāṇas and Nārada-pañcarātra is simply an unnecessary disturbance in society.”