KCd's Monthly Missives
The “ISKCON” Paradox
By Kailäsa Candra däsa
Second of a Two-Part Series
“By transcendental knowledge, one can remain steady in his convictions, but by mere academic knowledge one can be easily deluded and confused by apparent contradictions.”
“ . . . I do not know why our students, who are supposed to be the leaders of this movement, will fight amongst themselves for supremacy. Our whole process is of surrendering. We are taught to address others as prabhu. Prabhu means master, and the leader of the masters is called Prabhupäda. So, if the prabhus have surrendered to the Prabhupäda, why there shall be such mentality of occupying the superior position? This is contradictory.”
“It was all a big drama. It was never anything more than a jury rig, a presumption of dumb will. To realize that all your life, it was the same thing. It was all the same dream that you had, a dream in that locked room, that dream about being a person. And, like a lot of dreams, there's a monster at the end of it.”
Apparent contradictions can be difficult to reconcile, but then there are contrived contradictions that convert into mysterium for the benefit of those who impose them. Based upon personal motive, this tactic pervades “ISKCON” propaganda. The paradox it creates may be a bit difficult to overcome in the beginning, but, if you are sincere and serious, the clarity of insight to pierce its mysterium will be granted unto you.
Your dream about becoming a spiritually realized personality in such a cult environment has probably produced more than a few nightmares by now. Those who remain sold out to the drama still buy into it. They willfully stay in that locked room, exploiting it or being exploited by it. However, you do not have to be like them.
If you come across an opportunity to overcome the “ISKCON” Paradox, you may choose to wake up. Knowledge, realization, an upgrade in valuation, and good association are required in order to break free from your entanglement.
Hints by Çréla Prabhupäda about what his movement could degenerate into were given as early as the beginning of the Seventies. By that time, there had already been quite a bit of infighting for supremacy within it. That strife turned up a few notches as the decade wore on. Paradoxically, however, it also then later morphed into something else: Amongst those very competitors, it externally disguised itself as cooperation.
The second part of the series here will explore this, along with the G.B.C. Mystique. Unless and until the “ISKCON” Paradox is known factually and overcome, it is almost impossible to break free from the causal and astral influence it can and does exert. Before tackling the vitiated governing body, however, we must overcome the superficial illusion projected by the league of extraordinary Party Men. They are differentiated from the fanatics, because, as cult managers, heavier responsibility is thrust upon them.
Another way of saying the same thing is that they cannot allow themselves to degenerate into fanatics, because “ISKCON” centers will not be able to function on the basis of fanatical management. It plays its part, of course, but chaos would result if fanatics actually ran things. When it does go down like that, then the nasty manager has to descend to the third echelon and join his peers there. Another man must be brought in to replace him.
The capos understand this by practical experience, and they know that they also must project institutional mystique in order to keep the deviated organization (represented by their center) both functioning and expanding. They appear to be really together leaders, cutting a profile of responsibility. In point of fact, they are responsible for propping up the whole false edifice, which in turn covers genuine Kåñëa consciousness. Do not be bamboozled by them. They have avoided confronting the root issues at their own centers, as well as within their own selves. They are not as advanced as they appear to be.
We have already discussed and exposed the Gouòéya Mutt Mystique. As such, with that knowledge assimilated, once you get this perspective of the Party Men (which includes most of the “ISKCON” sannyäsés, along with the less-than-charismatic institutional gurus), the turn-key for opening the door is at your beck and call.
In some ways, the “ISKCON” Paradox is a difficult to surmount, but, in other ways—particularly if you have had experience with it (but have not been injected with the “ISKCON” béja in the process), the pieces of the puzzle fit together almost automatically and crush the influence of the illusions within your memory.
After all, occult principles pervade everything, at all times, everywhere. Joe Shmow sits on his sofa knocking down a six-pack and watching the ball game with his buddies, but the whole show is interpenetrated by occult influences at every level—malefic principalities in most cases, of course. There is no way to avoid these, although anyone is free to want to do so. In those cases, some of the same principalities make that arrangement for them. As such, it is incumbent upon all devoted transcendentalists not to ignore the “ISKCON” mysterium by chalking the whole thing up as inconceivable. It isn't.
The G.B.C. Paradox
“ . . . I am surprised that none of the G.B.C. members detected the defects in the procedure. It was detected only when it came to me. What will happen when I am not here: Shall everything be spoiled by G.B.C.?”
“I am training some of my experienced disciples how to manage after my departure. So, if instead of taking the training, if, in my lifetime, you people say 'I am the Lord of all I survey,' that is dangerous conspiracy.”
British Envoy: Her Majesty needs you.
Secrecy, Mystery, Authority: All of these come into play when analyzing the G.B.C. The G.B.C. Mystique has had—and continues to have—a powerful influence on the minds and hearts of many devotees since its formation in 1970. There are reasons for that. First of all, Çréla Prabhupäda created this new layer of management when the G.B.C. was formed; it had been incubating some years previously. Until July of 1970, the temple presidents, for all practical purposes, held virtually all the power at the level beneath His Divine Grace. That changed when the G.B.C. became an ontological reality.
As far as sannyäsés were concerned, with the exception of Kirtanänanda (who split to do his own thing after receiving sannyäsa in India), sannyäsés were just as new as the G.B.C. at the beginning of the Seventies. Sure, there were temple commanders and sankértan leaders, even bhakta-training leaders, but they all answered to their temple presidents, who appointed them. On the whole, most of the devotees at any center also had access to the temple president for seva, guidance, instruction, and advice concerning personal problems.
The lines of demarcation between the authority, responsibility, and duty of the temple presidents and the G.B.C. were made clear, as per this example:
“Regarding your proposal that recommendations for initiations should be approved by the G.B.C. members, that is not a good idea. Such recommendation is for the local president to make from first-hand observation.”
Some of the temple presidents were personally charismatic; others were Party Men, possessing institutional charisma. Nevertheless, they all had spiritual authority—it was significant—and Prabhupäda had granted that to them. On the whole, by 1972, he was not very accessible to the devotee community at large. Of course, this statement must be understood in terms of coming into regular contact with him on the physical plane.
If you look at the dates of the two quotes (posted at the top, just below the sub-header), you may note that both of them were dictated by Prabhupäda to his secretary within less than half a decade after the formation of the G.B.C. Those quotes are ominous, and there are quite a few more bearing similar connotations. At the same time, there are any number of favorable quotes concerning the G.B.C. and, just as importantly, it was formed at the behest of Çréla Prabhupäda. He wanted it, so he obviously wanted it to succeed:
“I have organized the G.B.C. for the purpose of spreading Kåñëa consciousness all over the world. In this way, I am trying to become free from the management in order to translate my books. Therefore, there is no need to form a separate new committee of sixty-four members. Let each zone and center push on in their area of the world. If such an international committee is to be formed, it can be done by the G.B.C.”
“I beg to inform you that we are managing our Krishna consciousness movement by the Governing Body Commission, G.B.C. We have got about twenty G.B.C.s looking after the whole world affair, and, above the G.B.C., I am there. Below the G.B.C., there are the temple president, secretary, treasurer in every center. So, the temple president is responsible to the G.B.C., and the G.B.C. is responsible to me. In this way we are managing.”
As you can see (from what has thus far been posted in this article), we buck up against a paradox connected to the Commission, viz., Prabhupäda created it and buttressed its status, while, at the same time, criticizing it in ways that portended disaster. The G.B.C. was never given the same status as His Divine Grace. Its members were not presumed to know what he knew and thus unable to answer any and all questions. Consider this excerpt:
“. . . if there are some questions which are of extreme importance and cannot be answered by the G.B.C. men, then I am always very glad to advise and hear from my beloved disciples.”
The G.B.C. was suspended in April of 1972. An absolute entity cannot be suspended. In its own formative Direction of Management, which demarcated the boundaries of its authority, His Divine Grace Çréla Prabhupäda is listed therein as being its ultimate authority. The sub-paradox that G.B.C. must be absolute (and thus always the final authority) is not verified anywhere. That it could possibly deviate has been verified--not only by practical experience in recent decades, but also by its suspension by Prabhupäda in 1972.
The root issues were overridden just after Prabhupäda departed, and this created a state of perpetual conflict within the burnt remnants of what was once actually his movement. The perpetual reform within “ISKCON”--necessitated by its never-ending state of conflict—entails the wrong idea that the savior will always be G.B.C. Similarly, the hope that it will solve all the problems in the end, that it was created and empowered to do so, and that it is absolute—all wrong-headed beliefs. Those beliefs are integral to its paradox. It is none of these things.
Atheism Awaits the Deviants
“But at the end, there is irreligion
“By denying scientific principles, one may maintain any paradox.”
“Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad.”
The inherent disease of humanity in this Age of Kali is atheism. Those who worship demigods or self-proclaimed incarnations of God—including cheap gurus or so-called mahäbhägavats—all become influenced by atheism in due course, although this is seldom recognized. His Divine Grace Çréla Prabhupäda, accepting hazards and pains, tried different means to exorcise Satan from the mental speculators who approached him. Almost all of them had read nonsensical literature that spouted anti-Vedic concoctions, and such speculation either pushes atheism or ultimately leads to it.
Mäyäväda is one example of that, of course. Has Mäyäväda entered “ISKCON”? There is some evidence that it has. T.K.G., for example, in his post-graduate thesis (not completed due to his untimely, violent demise) had introduced the compromised concept that the “ISKCON” movement should closely associate with Hindu Mäyävädés in order to more effectively spread Vedic culture. Hinduism itself is nothing more than a third order simulacrum of hard-core Çaìkära Mäyäväda, and Hindoos have certainly infiltrated today's “ISKCON” in many ways, particularly since many of its centers have become dependent upon the revenue flow that those people of quasi-Vedic culture provide.
Mäyäväda—whether of the hard or soft variety—entails the idea that God actually is any form that a worshiper imagines--or any rascal he or she accepts as God, including the God-as-guru misconception. Acceptance of cheap gods is actually atheism. It is to be concluded, therefore, that those who accept and believe in demigods or self-proclaimed mahäbhägavats, and worship accordingly, are all atheists in disguise.
Strictly speaking, Mäyäväda is atheism, for it is a process by which one concocts that there is some kind of imaginary God, i.e., that God is ultimately impersonal at the highest stage of the Absolute. This is an anti-Vedic concoction. This Mäyäväda system of philosophy has been existing since time immemorial. The current Hindu system is based on the Mäyäväda philosophy of Çaìkaräcärya, which is a compromise with Buddhist philosophy. According to Mäyäväda philosophy, if God exists, it is impersonal and all-pervading and therefore can be imagined in any form, including the form of the (bogus) guru.
When the “ISKCON” leading secretaries concocted their own system of worship (of eleven of themselves) in the late Seventies, they defied the orders of their Äcärya. At that time they became, in effect, pseudo-religionists, opening the door to dedicated atheists and impersonalists. Crafty Mäyävädés know the art of steering such foolish pseudo-devotees into the darkest regions by preaching subtle atheism. Worshiping guru as God within the misconception of impersonal Brahman (being ultimately superior) is Mäyävädé philosophy. Because it is disguised as Vedänta philosophy, it is more dangerous than Buddhism or unadulterated atheism of the Western variety.
When such atheism, disguised as Vaiñëavism and ultimate liberation, is encouraged, the followers of those who push it become unable to traverse the path of devotional service. They cannot become self-realized in such an environment. Equating mäyä with spirit, or mäyä with the Lord, is a sign of atheism. This has been going on in “ISKCON” ever since it engaged in worshiping eleven sahajiyäs as God-realized Äcäryas. One who does not actually believe in—and thus does not strictly follow—the real Äcärya, but who instead manufactures some concocted system of bhakti, will spread subtle but potent atheism in the process. “ISKCON” has been implicated in that for decades.
The eleven pretender mahäbhägavats all thought themselves to be Prabhupäda's successor(s) and, individually, the sum total of the demigods, the Supreme Lord in human form. God-men. They were all great enjoyers (for awhile) as a result. They converted places of spiritual education into centers of sahajiyism, opening Pandora's Box to worship raves that are little more than demoniac dances infused with contaminated “kértan.”
These were celebration of psychoses and thus produced psychosis in their participants. The Magnificent Eleven also created, from previously bona fide ISKCON centers, plague spots for pushing the advancement of covert demoniac principles. Only a handful of devotees spotted this institutional delusion in the beginning (your author being one of them), but many more are catching on now, as the ensuing degradation is becoming apparent.
The Supreme Regulatix, through the agency of the personality of Kali, brought out her heaviest weapons when Prabhupäda left the scene, After all, she is placed in charge of imprisoning the conditioned souls in this universe. Her weapons are manifest as power, sex, wealth, and atheism. Profit, adoration, and distinction are subtle, disguised forms of sexual pleasure, but they usually degenerate into egregious pleasure in latter stages. Indeed, of the eleven pretender mahäbhägavats, the majority were exposed as having actually engaged in sexual or homosexual activities—with their disciples, of course—less than a decade after their imposition had been foisted upon Prabhupäda's (former) Kåñëa movement.
The philosophies of voidism and impersonalism are atheistic. It is the nature of the living entity to desire enjoyment. As soon as he thinks that his ultimate future can only be void or impersonal, he will want to enjoy variety in material life. Voidism and impersonalism lead to permissive presentations from so-called vyäsasänas by cheap gurus, culminating in engagement in (and entanglement in) material pleasure.
Those who act impiously in that way potentially face hellish life. In it most blatant form, atheism argues that God does not exist, but the bogus guru who pretends to be God--and/or is worshiped as the sum total of the demigods--is not bona fide. The “ISKCON” god-men fit this description. Worshiping them is worshiping so-called demigods, and that is henotheism at its very worst. Such cult doctrines are not theistic, hence, they are atheistic. To oppose genuine Vaiñëava philosophy and practice is therefore to court atheism, and pseudo-devotees are most susceptible to this influence.
The leaders are rogues of the most dangerous elements in any society. There is no Vedic government anywhere now, so they (usually) escape punishment at the hands of the State. They cannot, however, escape universal law. Sahajiyäs and pseudo-religionists are susceptible to atheism, and, if they descend to that level, its results await them. They become atheists full of anger, and they are all madmen. Their paradox (of being great devotees) is easily overcome when their depravity reaches a stage that becomes all too obvious. That stage is approaching . . . if it is not already here.
When THE TRUTH Triumphs
“Wherever we go, we find out sincere persons, immediately attract. Yes. But if he's not sincere, we cannot attract. If he's sincere, immediately attract. That is the value of this movement. All my students, they were attracted only because they were sincere. Anyone sincere in seeking after the Absolute Truth will be attracted.”
“This is Kåñëa consciousness movement. . . in this movement, there will be one religion, and there will be peace. Peace will prevail. This is the only way.”
“There are no permanent enemies,
Achieving enlightenment depends first upon being grounded in real meaning, and real meaning must be absolute. It cannot be pie-in-the-sky, as it has historical and universal roots. Unfortunately, only real devotees and genuine transcendentalists realize and deliberate upon this truth. The peace formula, both individually and collectively, requires recognition of the Supreme Absolute, the Personality of Godhead, Who must also be understood in both historical and universal context.
For devotees in the paramparä branch established by His Divine Grace Çréla Prabhupäda, historical perspective of his movement is a must. That paramparä is the direct representative of the Supreme Absolute Truth, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If you are attracted to the Supreme Lord and His pastimes, ipso facto, you must also be attracted to his disciplic succession. This does not mean, however, that you identify with that school. You are not the school, and you are not to become lost in it.
His Divine Grace, although transmitting the influence of that school, is only the most recent part of it. Attraction, yes. Identification, no. If you are thus attracted, then you recognize that his empowered representative in the paramparä must be understood for who he was and what he actually accomplished--in both historical and universal perspective. Then, real meaning will immediately expose and destroy, within your own memory and realization, the dark night of the current situation. This is our permanent interest.
When the Äcärya departs, sometimes his leading secretaries see to it that sädhu and çästra take on new meanings. His so-called successors—whether recognized as such or not—thus create new interpretations of precedents that were supposed to have been firmly established. They create a new movement (disguised as the old one) by declaring that there is a new set of circumstances now that the Äcärya is dead and gone. Some of these fellows may have, back in the day, appeared to be your permanent friends. Now they appear to be exactly the opposite. Such are the material vicissitudes. They use their new movement, the fabricated, so-called “ISKCON” confederation (in this case), as a vehicle for fulfilling their own personal ambitions. This has been the “ISKCON” paradigm since early 1978.
The institution then becomes the all-in-all, because it is now completely controlled by these deviants. The institution becomes dominated by three kinds of them: 1) Those possessed by demoniac principalities, which sometimes ride on the back or shoulder of the deviant, 2) Those who are conflicted, but, due to being Party Men, always kow-tow to the party line, and 3) Those who were previously sent from nether regions to thwart and pollute Prabhupäda's branch of the Hare Kåñëa movement, even before he established it.
When ISKCON was converted (into “ISKCON”), it was imperceptibly destroyed. Immediately, these three types soon came to dominate its burnt remnants. Those who were simple, stupid sädhus, as well as the chelas, kick-mees, female püjärés, and kept brähmins—all the innocents who were (and are) unable to recognize what is what—remain controlled by their overlords, all of whom fall somewhere within one of the above-mentioned three types.
Prabhupäda never wanted his movement to be a vehicle for personal ambitions:
“I am just trying to organize a worldwide movement not for any personal ambition but to execute superior orders . . .”
“Our duty is therefore to be very, very careful. The poison is personal ambition.”
“Our life is very short. The Kåñëa consciousness movement is not meant for fulfilling one's personal ambition, but it is a serious movement for the whole world.”
“The Gauòéya Math institution has become smashed, at least stopped its program of preaching work on account of personal ambitions.”
“We have worked very hard and established a great institution, but if we think for our personal benefit, then it will become ruined. This is my only concern.”
Within months of Prabhupäda's untimely departure (under nefarious circumstances), the chief sahajiyäs within turned it topsy-turvy in order to fulfill their personal ambitions. They were all, in effect, self-appointed gurus and, in the beginning, pretender successors as so-called mahäbhägavats. Their worship changed over time, but the momentum of their ambitions had already been invultuated into the movement by that time.
Now everyone sees that there are salaries, titles, sub-committee statuses, Hindoo revenue (with accompanying obligation and contamination), third-world imported workers, massive book changes, rave “kirtans,” and so many other extraneous elements grafted onto the superstructure of the new apa-sampradäya.
The overwhelming majority (your author not included) got caught up in the whirlwind of the new guru system, and they all became compromised by doing so. Thus, they could not challenge it effectively. Those who did not buy in were relegated to minority status and/or driven out, either deliberately or through subtle means. Sometimes, they left by choice. The governing body, composed of twenty-four or twenty-five members, fell under the sway of its most powerful eleven members. It was thus tainted by the new dispensation, the conversion of the movement into a machine for satisfying personal ambitions. The cryptic-Talmudism-cum-Machiavellianism that soon prevailed became unstoppable.
The exploitation of Prabhupäda's movement (including all the assets connected to it), combined with defiance of his orders, morphed into a new, unauthorized program facilitating adulterations, deviations, meaningless reforms, and plausible denials. The tactic of kicking the can down the road in order to buy more time—via never-ending reforms (due to never-ending conflicts)--has been its modus operandi since the early Eighties. Demoniac, unseen principalities ruled degraded and depraved people (in the guise of devotees and sannyäsés). This, in effect, burned Prabhupäda's institution to ashes and thwarted Lord Caitanya's Hare Kåñëa movement, particularly in the West.
Once you overcome the “ISKCON” Paradox, you will see all of this clearly. That entails putting the pieces of the puzzle together, particularly by understanding each sub-paradox (including the tactic of perpetual reform) for just what it is. This is a harsh reality, but keeping your head in the sand, maintaining unfounded hopes and projections, will not help you. If you do not come to grips with it, then you will probably be psychologically and spiritually smashed when you finally hit the wall.
“ISKCON” disguises what it is via sub-paradoxes conveniently embedded within it, all of which cobble together in order to constitute its overall paradox. These contradictions are not insurmountable. They can be described. They can be explained. They can be understood. They are neither unlimited nor inconceivable.
“ISKCON” is an apa-sampradäya created by the personality of Kali under the scattered sun of a so-called new dispensation. There can be no peace in the world until THE TRUTH about all of this is realized by enough transcendentalists—dedicated to real meaning in their lives—willing to actually confront the monstrous hoax.
We must see “ISKCON” history for what it is and understand its ultimate meaninglessness from a universal perspective. The cult's paradox serves to delay that understanding as far as possible, even indefinitely. Thus far, it has been triumphal (to a degree), but its ultimate success is not guaranteed. Enlightenment, both individually and collectively, must check it before further devolution gains traction.“ISKCON” can never, under any circumstances, be allowed to evolve into a one-world religion. Satyam eva jayate.
“ISKCON” influence must be terminated,
OM TAT SAT