Monday, July 06, 2009


This is the text of an unpublished letter I recently sent to the Wall Street Journal:

Your front-page article (“As Steaks Mount, Hare Krishnas Beef Up Appeals to Save Cows,” page one, June 22 ) on the cow protection program administered by the Hare Krishna sect seems to have come out of a 1970’s time machine. As a former adherent of this group during the late 60’s and all of the 70’s, I might be able to shed some light on the background of this practice.

Call it “adopt-a-cow” or whatever you like, the quest of some animal rights groups to oblige the rest of us to give farm animals the right of human beings rests on ethics, however irrational or misguided. On the other hand, the Hare Krishna sect bases their cow-loving zeal on Hindu religious practices that put them at odds with the rest of the beef-gorging American public. At first, this might make them seem as if they are merely treating these cows as companion animals (except that we don’t drink the milk of cats and dogs). Seems harmless, doesn’t it? How quaint and how 70’s retro.

Sadly, nothing could be further from the truth: I can confidently tell you that their fanaticism regarding cows comes at the price of denigrating women and abusing children. Some of your readers might recall the allegations of child abuse by former students at Hare Krishna schools (called “gurukulas”), which resulted in a legal settlement in 2005. These children were separated from their parents by the age of four or five and sent to ill-equipped schools—the gurukula in West Virginia was the most infamous—where they were subjected to sexual abuse, unimaginably squalid living conditions, which included the practice of being forced to take showers so cold that many reported being cut by shards of ice in the process. These former students might take offense at the idea of your article’s painting this “adopt-a-cow program” in such rosy colors. So too would the girls and women who were forced into arranged “marriages,” told that they were half as intelligent as men, nine times as lustful, and meant to live in subservience to a man who counted as a full human being, whereas the women was only half a legal person. The damage that these ideas and practices did to our lives is incalculable. Ideas do have consequences. This “adopt-a-cow” nonsense is pure bullocks.


1 comment:

Unknown said...

I was former life member in this cult and I have also spend some time acting to be a devotee among them in Vrindavan.Yes,they are involved in Donation exploitations as well,I used to collect Donations in New Delhi Temple with one guy.While I moved to Germany,Hamburg.I lost my life Membership card.Which was worth Rupees 3,000 in 1996.I wrote them umpteen number of letters along with my former valid address and also with the name of the person who was then the member while my card was issued.They only replied me once.Saying that the matter will be taken in to consideration.But no further response arrived again.There is lot of Homosexuality among the so called devotees and also every sort of hideous sexual activities takes place.The GBC hooligans and wannabe Gurus misuses the donated wealth.Thus isckon is of no worth to remain part in it.Gaudiya Math is of some importance.If any inquisitive person want to know about Vaishnavites.Isckon was hoax since its beginning in 1967.Its all about exploiting donations and making fools out of naive human beings.In utter rational sense its another form of Brainwashing the Vulnerable people.Here is the trade mark being Bhagawad Gita as it is and Back to Godhead ALIAS Propaganda Abhay Charan Dey and lATE G Harrison who got dragged in to it in the early 70s.