Saturday, November 24, 2018


Why is the Hare Krishna (ISKCON) sect so hell-bent on convincing the Indian public that they are genuine Hindus while spending millions convincing non-Hindus that they are simply “peace and love” yoga enthusiasts?

Could it be that the cult is back to its old tricks?

ISKCON spares no expense in catering to wealthy Hindus as it strives to build its reputation as a genuine branch of mainstream Hinduism. All of these efforts have one thing in common: they are nothing more than self-serving propaganda. Money, as usual, talks. If the cult builds another massive temple and continues its well-publicized food relief programs in India, it expects the Hindu public to follow its lead like a pack of blinkered horses.[i]

However, its sordid past—including child abuse, scams to defraud the public, and its founder’s sexist and racist statements—has proved difficult to hide.


In a desperate attempt to replenish its dwindling numbers among non-Hindus in western countries, ISKCON has revamped its old policy of withholding information about its real beliefs and practices. Now the cult uses social media sites to ensnare new members by positioning itself as another of the meditation and yoga groups offering therapeutic emotional and health benefits. This watered-down appropriation of Hindu religious practices reduces an ancient faith to another “feel-good” experience much like meditation and hatha yoga have been served up to non-Hindus everywhere.


Recently I discovered the latest recruitment efforts by the Hare Krishna cult in the offerings of, a website that hosts software by a multitude of personal and professional groups and caters to adults seeking new friends with common interests. Nothing about the tactics ISKCON uses to attract new members surprises me, but the sheer nonsense in the groups I found was both sad and laughable. History does indeed repeat itself, as anyone familiar with the hippie movement of the 1960’s and 1970’s can see in the descriptions listed below:

  • Enchant Mantra Meditation/Vancover
  • Sacred Sounds Outside OM/Las Vegas “Tribe Kin”
  • Living Well, Being Well/El Paso, TX
  • Vedic Astrology, Karma, Dharma/North York, ON

In each case (and there are many more of these ISKCON sponsored groups all over North America and Europe), it’s clear that participants generally have no idea that the meetings they attend are organized by the Hare Krishna cult, nor do they know anything about its beliefs and history. Rather, as anyone who looks at the photographs included in each meeting can see, ISKCON has cleverly disguised itself as one of the multitude of yoga and meditation practitioners familiar to the general public.[iii]

Back in the 1960’s when ISKCON first attracted hippies to its outdoor kirtans and Sunday Feasts, the main lure used to reel in unsuspecting recruits was a mixture of mantra chanting and free vegetarian food, all of which supposedly granted the practitioner easy and instant access to the Godhead.[iv]

Today, these pleasure-seekers appear to have travelled in a time machine to the present, mixing with a new generation of gullible souls eager to delve in whatever variety of Eastern mysticism offers outsize benefits in proportion to the effort involved.

Now it’s fashionable among youth and their college professors to stridently endorse ecological concerns, along with the usual calls for ending discrimination based on sex, race, and gender. They are the tree-huggers of my generation on steroids. Science, in their twisted worldview, takes a back seat to misplaced sentimentality.


Cults have long since seized the opportunity to worm their way into this void, replacing scientific, objective inquiry with so-called authoritative statements, all ultimately non-refutable because of their ancient “Vedic” sources. So you have “Vedic Astrology” instead of the science of astronomy and the fuzzy, warm-sounding “Living well, Being Well.” Abusing the lonely souls who join groups with a lot of half-baked pseudo-Hindu mysticism is a familiar practice of the Hare Krishna cultists.

For example, this past summer, ISKCON entered a local festival in the New York City Metro Area City of Newburgh, entitled “Colorfest,’ which in actuality mimics the Hindu festival of Holi, this past spring celebrated by Hindus (and Sikhs also) world-wide on March 2nd. Its association with the Krishna legend is well-known, of course, and some describe it as “the Festival of Colors.” However, ISKCON takes it entirely out of context, as you can see for yourself with the psycho-babble title and activities of its program months after the official Holi celebration: “A Playful Festival to Strengthen Friends and Families with Happiness.” (Please note: this site has subsequently been shutdown.)

Pure, unadulterated bullshit! “Strengthen Friends and Families with Happiness”? What a nonsensical, illogical statement! If you or anyone you know has actual experience with the Hare Krishna devotees, you know that its mission is quite the opposite: while its members appear so welcoming at first, before long they urge you to give your time and money to them, with no consideration of how your actions affect your family and friends.

Worse, even the “colorfest” title is an effort to hide its true identity within the many groups in the U.S. sponsored by, an arts & crafts organization with no ties to ISKCON. In actuality, the website cult uses to advertise their color-chalk throwing events is, which bills itself as the “World’s Happiest Transformational Event.” These cheap diversionary tactics distort Hinduism in an attempt to lure in throngs of pleasure-seeking suckers.


This pattern of initially “love bombing” new recruits and then training them (by hours of chanting the same mantra on prayer beads and singing it with others during morning and evening services) to disassociate themselves from the “material world” or “karmi life” is ISKCON’s variant of a practice followed by many cults worldwide.[v]

In addition, let’s be absolutely frank: how can tossing colored chalk at another person do anything other than reduce an adult to the level of a toddler who plays in sand at a neighborhood playground and tosses some of it at his or her playmates? Without the cultural and religious significance Holi has to Hindus, the tossing of colored chalk at a neighborhood festival or any other venue is an insulting, irrational act of cultural appropriation. However, if you think that ISKCON cannot degrade Hinduism any further, you are sadly mistaken. . .

If you want a representative sample of what befell the children of these deluded fanatics and led them as adults to sue the Hare Krishna leadership, read this:


[i] ISKCON has worked overtime in the Europe and India positioning itself as Hindu adherents of the Gaudiya Vaishnava sect. It founded the Hindu umbrella organizations of Hindu Forum Britain ( and Hindu Forum Europe ( to convince the academic and business communities of its authenticity as well as to advance its Radha Krishna worship and philosophy.
[ii] Since its founding in the mid-sixties, critics of the Hare Krishna/ISKCON cult have produced a mountain of anecdotal evidence of its massive and persistence abuses of its members, particularly women and children. Most of this abuse was and is a by-product of the views of the founder of the cult, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. My blog essays here and in its sister blog,, summarize much of this tragic history and contain verifiable documentation to support my views. For starters, please visit: and
[iii] Nimai’s Bliss Kitchen 94 S. Robinson    Avenue, Newburgh, NY 12550. This restaurant is another instance of the Hare Krishna movement’s efforts to hide itself in the popular cultural norms of the current ecological trends: it’s a vegan restaurant offering Indian foods without the milk products that are an integral part of the Hare Krishna cuisine.
[v] The term “lovebombing” was invented by the followers of the Rev. Moon, also known as “the Moonies.”


Anonymous said...

ISKCON propagates Gaudiya Vaishnavism (which claims to have sprung from the Brahma sampradaya of madhvacharya's dualist school).They are the followers of texts called panchatantra agamas which have been severly condemned as veda-viruddha(anti-vedic) by Adi Shankaracharya in his commentary on Brahmasutras.So all their piggybanking on the vedas tantamounts to NOTHING.They follow only a couple of vaishnava upanishads like Gopalatapini upanishad,chaitanya upanishad etc.( both of which are considered of doubtful in authenticity by many).

Paul T. Harrison said...

I call this comment" "Eating a cookie - cult style" :-)

Instead of just saying to be careful in life and it's dangers, Iskcon philosophy says, as if to a kid, "No that cookie (life) does not belong to you, so you should not enjoy it unless the person who owns it, who coincidentally I just so happen to represent, :-) says it is OK.

They say, "I will let you know when it is OK.... It is only OK if you enjoy the cookie with me, or while thinking about me or about the power person that I represent while you eat it.

Just to be sure that you do not try and put yourself into illusion about being the owner of the cookie that u are presumably going to eat, put the cookie in front of a picture of me, along with a picture of my concept of God, and repeat the words that the cookie does not belong to you.... Bow down to the picture while saying something complimentary about me and God, who I just happen to have an exclusive bona fide representative contract with, THEN u will enjoy the cookie like never before."

"When people who do not follow this process and instead just eat a cookie and enjoy, the enjoyment is shallow and temporary, which makes it useless and a lower enjoyment, however all my neurotic, superstitious, nervous OCD, self dis-empowering behaviors which I insist on you doing repeatedly, are actually a great way to spend your time because the cookie that goes through this process tastes better and after you die, you will be rewarded with an eternal cookie that will never make you fat"

"I know this to be a fact because back in the olden days before they had computers to fact check, some scribes wrote it down after people spoke it for thousands of years... they spoke it because back then they were so intelligent (not like stupid you) that they didn't need to write anything down due to all having photographic memory."

"....also if you always worship my picture before eating the cookie, then you could go to the spiritual cookie world after you die so there is a never-ending spiritual cookie reward too...and all you have to do is give up your independence and surrender to ME, oh I mean who I represent of course." LOL :-)

My "regular guy on the street" take is that if there actually is God embodied in a person, then wouldn't he just say to the kid, "Hey enjoy your cookie as you please because I made it just for you" :-)

Unknown said...

It is written in old text that the days Vedas are sold for wealth and money, Kali Yuga has reached its peak. ISCKON sells Vedas and Upanishads for money. Nowhere Lord Krishna said all these. They propogate teachings which are against our wisdom and knowledge.

Paul T. Harrison said...

Thank you Unknown. :-) The Vedas are "public domain" and anyone can make any version of any book and sell them, just like Iskcon does. Their idea of having a list of previous teachers going back 5000 years is not true because there are only 30 names for 5000 years of teachers. lol What I really don't like is how Iskcon tries to bully people, and how they try and deconstruct how life works,as if they have an alternative. "You are not you... you are someone else that you chose to forget...your happiness is shallow.... anything temporary is useless s and has no meaning..... They do not have an alternate world or an alternate society.... All they do is go in a room and repeat the magic words over and over, as if hiding away in a room before sunrise will get them a ticket to a different world. Also it is bonkers how they twist the vedas into pretzels so people will feel they NEED a spiritual "master"..... To me, Iskcon Gurus are emotional messes going around yelling "YOU NEED ME". All the vedas say basically about needing them is "stay in school". There are tons of references to animals and regular people going back to godhead with NO spiritual master and due only to the slightest superstitious action that is supposed to bring mercy. This is why Iskcon devotees now sound like anti-preachers because if you tell them you are KC, they say "No you are not because you need our Guru to be that way" or they will give you a thousand other reasons why you are NOT KC. It is childish....