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Thursday, August 13, 2015

WOLF IN SAINT'S CLOTHING: AN ISKCON GURU AND THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH


I should have run outside and asked somebody to call the police, people still tell me, but I was so frozen with shock that I could hardly move my feet. Besides, it was bitterly cold outside, even for New York City in that December of 1972 and I was eight and a half months pregnant. I just stood there, looking into Gopal Krishna’s malignant, scowling face—frozen with the same fury that overtook him as he glared at my swollen belly and threw a heavy wooden office chair across the room directly at it. I am writing this today because I dodged the chair and it hit the plaster wall instead. As crimes go, this has got to be one of the worst: the attempted murder of a wife in advanced pregnancy. What an evil, disgusting monster! He should be rotting in jail.

And, no, all of you apologists of the now ISKCON guru “His Holiness Gopal Krishna Goswami,” this is not something you forget, ever. Impossible. Moreover, this so-called ISKCON guru and GBC for much of India, Canada, and Russia, whose birthday is celebrated by his reportedly 10,000 disciples during an annual “Vyas Puja” ceremony filled with tributes and lavish festivities, escaped paying for his crime in the U.S. But if you do indeed believe in the laws of karma, his punishment still awaits him. I was, after all, just like you: I thought that my guru (in my case, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada) could do no wrong and I defended him vigorously and loved him dearly. It’s just that like you, I was under-informed and misguided.

This nightmare of cruelty and cowardice was the culmination of the gross neglect I suffered the hands of Gopal Krishna during my pregnancy. He never wanted a child, obviously. By the time he wrote to our guru defaming me and wanting out of our arranged “marriage,” I was just nineteen and never had a home since leaving my mother’s house two years earlier. I lived in the temple with the single women and, at Gopal Krishna’s insistence, we went to a hotel once a month to “try for a child.” Right, you heard it. During this time he had the temerity to complain to our guru about me and got this reply: 


Your wife has proven turbulent, that is the grace of Krishna. I may inform you in this connection about my family life. Actually, I never liked my wife. I was going to marry another, but my father saved me from the danger and he told me that you do not like your wife, that is the grace of Krishna. So don't be worried about your wife. If she wants to re-marry, let her do so, and you'll be free and I shall give you Sannyas [the renounced order] and you will be preaching freely. 
Letter to Gopal Krishna Dasa, 11 May 1972

Trouble is, I was a few weeks pregnant at the time. After he showed the letter to me, I informed him of my condition, much to his surprise. Shortly thereafter he casually told me that he had called our guru’s personal secretary and asked him if he should take sannyas anyway and that he was told to wait until after the child was born. Imagine! What a cruel, inhuman thing to say to your pregnant, teenaged wife. I still had to live in the temple with the women and eat the spicy, ill-prepared food. When I insisted that Gopal give me $2.00 a week to buy a few cups of yogurt to supplement my diet, he gave it to me grudgingly for a while, all the while calling me a “prostitute” for asking him for the money. 


WHY DID GOPAL KRISHNA TRY TO KILL US?
After a few months, he decided that I should go to Indiato live with his parents until the child was born, but it was unendurable because their apartment was too small and they barely got along. (Incidently, the claim made by Bhakti Charu Swami that Gopal Krishna was “born into an aristocratic family. . . “is pure hogwash: his parents were a thoroughly respectable sort of people and his father had indeed retired from the Navy, but aristocratic they were not. In addition, the claim that their son was educated at the Sorbonne is nonsense: he took his B.S. in India and a few graduate courses at the Sorbonne in Paris and McGillUniversity in Montreal but never got a graduate degree from either place. These are the facts.)

After I returned to New York I had to go to stay with my mother because there was no other place to live. However, when I went to the temple to see Gopal Krishna, he bluntly informed me that “he had no objection if I had an abortion.” What the hell, I thought. I was aghast and told him so. The dhoti-clad goblin wanted me to kill our unborn child and I was already more than four months pregnant! I told him to go to hell in no uncertain terms. Unfortunately for me, the effects of the ill-treatment I had been suffering for so long caught up with me and before long I was doubled-over in pain, with such severe gastro-intestinal agony that I initially thought was dysentery from my India trip, but, as the tests I underwent proved, were entirely due to extreme stress and misery. It got so bad that I was hospitalized for over a week. I vividly remember how touched I was by the genuine concern and kindness of the attending physician; I simply could not believe that anyone cared about me or how I felt. When Gopal Krishna did visit me in the hospital, he flew into a massive rage, blaming me for getting sick and costing him money for the hospital stay. The nurses came running to my room to see what the matter was, but he just closed the door and continued to yell at me.

After I went back to my mother’s house, I slowly began gaining weight and feeling a bit better. Then one day Gopal shows up and says that he found an apartment near the Brooklyn temple. When I opened the door for the first time, it was clear that it was infested with cockroaches and mice. In addition, although it was a small one bedroom apartment, a sheet covered the living room, which Gopal explained was reserved for our room-mate, a young Indian gentleman. The reason for getting a room-mate was, as he explained, to recoup the cost of my hospitalization. Our room furnishings consisted entirely of one wooden desk chair and a soiled old mattress that someone had given him. No bed, no sheets, not even curtains for the windows. I lived entirely out of my suitcase and kept a few things in plastic milk crates. My mother gave me a few household items and baby clothes, but, really, I had hardly anything. A month before the baby was due, Gopal showed up with a used crib with a broken leg. 

Meanwhile, although he was working at his “karmi” job—he was a Marketing Research Analyst at Pepsi-Co and then at Bristol-Myers at their Clairol division, a junior technical position and nothing more—I never knew anything about what he earned and never saw a paycheck or was privy to any of his financial matters. Even when he filed his taxes each year, he would make me sign the form, while holding his hand over the rest to prevent me from seeing what he earned or was receiving as a refund. As far as I know, most of his earnings went to directly to our guru and some went to his parents. So, why did he try to kill me and my unborn child a few weeks before I was due to give birth? For starters, go to the end of this blog page and read the letter to me from my guru, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, at the very end. I will explain the context and offer a full answer for any questions my readers might have in an upcoming blog essay. 

Thanks for your patience and, I hope, your understanding.

Important Update! Please see: https://harekrishnacultexposed.blogspot.com/2016/11/a-note-to-my-readers-voice-crying-in.html.

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6 comments:

Sustainable Energy said...

Your marriage to Gopal Krishna was featured with photos in the Back to Godhead magazine, issue No. 35. in the article "Transcendental Wedding", on pages 22-23. It was a double wedding in Boston Temple, 1970.

dhaval said...

Finally i want to ask that shall one join iskcon or should never join?

planetaryeyes said...

Unless you are a glutton for punishment, avoid ISKCON like the plague.

planetaryeyes said...

So tragic! I looked like a child playing dress up in Indian wedding clothes. I actually went through with the charade because I was told that Prabhupada ordered me to do so. It was horrible: Gopal grossed me out and proved to be as ugly inside as he was (and is) outside. What a bloody nightmare!

Satyam Atanasov said...

Namaste, author!

I shared your blog on my Facebook page "The "Krishna Consciousness" swindle", where I recount my experience with the cult.

planetaryeyes said...

Thank you for providing a link to my blogs for your readers! You clearly know how to spot a fraud and use your common sense as necessary. Good luck to you and best wishes on your spiritual journey.