Friday, January 08, 2016


Nothing is more dispiriting and disgusting than realizing you have donated money to an unworthy cause or to an organization you find to be dishonest.It is an assault on your principles as much as it is a form of outright theft.Rather than merely fuming and cursing yourself for being such a fool, it is far better to confront the thieves and, if at all possible,to get your money back. If this fails, it behooves you to warn others about the people who have robbed you under the pretense of philanthropy.


Cults as well as established religions often evade criticism for spending enormous sums of money on temples, churches, and other major building projects by also creating various “ feed the poor” programs. Such emotional appeals are classic examples of the diversionary tactics used by con artists everywhere. What better example can there be than the two massive ISKCON temple building projects currently underway in India, the $45 million Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir and the $60 million Temple of the Vedic Planetarium in the town of Mayapur in Bengal. These temples--the first, at 210 meters high, will reportedly be the tallest temple in the world and the second, with a dome 113 meters high and a massive footprint--are being erected by Bangalore-ISKCON led by its president Madhu Pandit Das and the GBC-governed ISKCON, respectively.

Both camps are bitter doctrinal and legal adversaries. Their battle to outperform each other is clearly reflected in the extravagant nature of these projects. Each camp also has its own food relief program, the best-known of which is the Bangalore-based Akshaya Patra and the other, ISKCON Food Relief, both serving mid-day meals to Indian school children. Despite the vermin and lizards that are discovered in these foodstuffs with alarming frequency, these ISKCON-sponsored programs do serve meals to needy children.

Unfortunately, they also serve to detract donors and prospective donors from learning the truth about the cult’s beliefs and mission. Without further ado, I wish to present the following quotation from a letter dated 31 Dec. 1972, from the founder/acharya of the Hare Krishna movement, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, to his disciple Bali Mardana Goswami, which precisely describes the guru's policy on collecting donations:
Your mentioning Bangladesh feeding of refugees, of course we are feeding sometimes the local inhabitants, up to 1,000 persons on some occasions, but there is no organized program of feeding the refugees at Mayapur. In fact, so far I have seen, all the refugees from Nadia District have gone back to Bangladesh,there are no more refugee camps. So it will not be the truth to say to people like that, but I have no objection if they give more hearing by such thing. Let them say, who will check us? We may tell any damn thing to induce people to give us money on Krsna's behalf, that is not the point.The point is that by saying lies, the less advanced neophyte devotees may become entangled or disturbed in their minds by it. Of course by their collecting more money and giving to Krsna, He will relieve them of all anxiety of telling lies. But not everyone is able to catch the big fish without themselves becoming wet. 
Moreover, on the same date he wrote to Sankarasana Das that "so the idea is not what you say, so much as how you say it."  How disgusting and evil! To claim that one becomes an advanced devotee by becoming a suave liar and that Krishna will actually aid them in this practice is simply insane. Sad to say, the import of these blatantly unethical statements was not lost on the swami's disciples and that understanding has laid the groundwork for ISKCON's subsequent fundraising practices. If the foundation of your so-called religious principles is based on lies, the temples you build on top of it--however grand and imposing--are indeed monuments to dead ideas. Shame on both ISKCON camps for perpetuating this nonsense! It was one thing during the swami's lifetime to fool hippies and counter-culture discontents outside of India, but today the vast majority of donors are born Hindus, both Indian and nonresident Indian.

To add insult to injury, ISKCON treats donors and prospective donors alike as cash cows by carefully cultivating them via lavish programs and events that both flatter them and appeal to their cultural interests. The cult's ludicrous beliefs--in particular its so-called "Vedic Science," which both temples mentioned above intend to lavishly depict and celebrate--are carefully concealed, a practice that the swami used to ensnare his Western disciples (he called it "gradually revealing the truth"). His followers have perpetuated this pattern of deception and use it to this day to ensnare donors and devotees alike. It is my mission to remedy this situation.

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Unknown said...

This is so true thanks

Unknown said...

It says in a Watford newspaper from years ago that there was a devotee who did a lot to speak out against the running of Bhaktivedanta Manor and the child abuser Gauri Das being protected and promoted, but he got nowhere. He was the one banned from the manor instead of the abuser. Now Gauri Das is on the list of manor leaders. They haven't learnt anything since going bankrupt in the USA from paying off abuse victims.

Vikas bharati said...

Thanks for posting this dare full post.
Its very true that some foreign forces are earning money by making fool to hindus.
They are transferring our money to abroad

planetaryeyes said...

Indeed, the ISKCON saffron beggars have made hard-working, prosperous Hindus the primary target of their fund-raising schemes for many years now. This is true no matter if they live in India or abroad. Now many Hindus are learning the truth. I am glad to help in this regard.

Prayag Das said...

Dear Planetaryeyes:

I think I remember you from the Henry Street temple, where I first visited in 1973 and moved in 1974. Yes, I remember the Bangladesh scam. Romapada, who was sankirtan leader at the time, told us to stop using Bangladesh in the spring of 1974. Remember he used to hang out in the little sankirtan office opposite the men's prasadam room in the basement collecting the money from the distributors? It is said he is very rich now, wonder if he was skimming or perhaps he inherited the money?

I still believe in a very few of the Vaishnava conclusions and have not visited a temple in 36 years although I went to Ratha Yatra in NYC and Hartford, CT last year. Yup, mostly Indians. The leaders often could not pronounce the mahamantra correctly! hore-krishno, hore-ramo.

Very heart-wrenching to read your experiences. Not surprising though. I left because of the physical and emotional abuse heaped on us by the so-called 'advanced' leaders. Any organization that accepts the leader as omniscient is bound to degrade into a cult run by power and control freaks who think they are also omniscient because they are parroting the words of the founder.

Keep up the good work, it is important to let others know what ISKCON really is.

PS, I was initiated years after leaving ISKCON but that is another story.