KICK ON HIS FACE

VOLUME 22

Newspaper Article - ONE HARE KRISHNA SAYS 

SECT BETRAYED ORIGINS

 

 

Dear prabhu's please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Welcome to Volume 22 of our newsletter KICK ON HIS FACE. It's goal is to make counter propaganda against all kinds of bogus personalities and their philosophies. By making counter propaganda people are protected from being misled. If we remain silent, that means we are accepting bogus philosophy.

Your servant Sanat dasa

 

VOLUME 22 CONTENTS

1. Newspaper Article - ONE HARE KRISHNA SAYS SECT BETRAYED ORIGINS

2. APPARITION OF SRILA PRABHUPADA.

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1. Newspaper Article - ONE HARE KRISHNA SAYS SECT BETRAYED ORIGINS

2A
THE ITHACA JOURNAL
Tuesday, October 20,1998

 ONE HARE KRISHNA SAYS 

SECT BETRAYED ORIGINS

By STEPHEN G. LANDESMAN - Journal Staff

Stephen Voith, a follower of Hare Krishna and a student of its founder, pickets outside
the offices of The Ithaca Journal Monday morning in protest to a recent article in the
New York Times about the Indian Saint A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
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TOMPKINS COUNTY PROFILE

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 ITHACA -- Stephen Voith only sounds half mad, but spiritually and intellectually he's obviously quite sane. He just talks fast and somewhat excitedly because he has a lot to say. 
 
     “I don’t consider myself a basket case. but I'm not quite ready to go to work,” said Voith, who’s been living on a Social Security disability allowance because of post-traumatic stress induced by blowing the whistle on members of the Hare Krishna movement.
 
    Voith, who himself became a Hare Krishna at 22 after a comfortable, Roman Catholic upbringipg in Bethesda, Md., is a familiar sight in downtown Ithaca. You’re likely to see him walking down The Commons, head shaved except for the slender, telltale wisp of a Sikha, or ponytail, ringing a set of hand cymbals and chanting. 
 
     “People have been very supportive here,” said Voith, who on Monday wasn’t ringing cymbals but carrying an enormous placard accusing The New York Times of defaming A.C. Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada, the Indian guru who transplanted the movement to the United States in 1966. 
   
    In the ‘60s, Hare Krishna followers exemplified young Americans’ enchantment with Eastern religions and were frequently found with shaved heads and saffron robes selling literature. But the precepts taught by Prabhupada were more austere than the often derided public image of Hare Krishna. It also encouraged a simple lifestyle based upon cultivation that was dependent on oxen instead of tractors. 
 
    Since Prabhupada’s death in 1977 - some say through foul play - things have not gone well with Hare Krishna’s followers.
 
    At the movement’s peak in the 1970s, about 10,000 adherents lived in American ashrams, or tightly-knit spiritual communities, but many more lived and worked in the secular world, including Voith.
 
    “I had been a mendicant, but renounced the order,’ said Voith, whose Sanskrit name is Sanatana Goswami dasa. “People would always say to me, 'Why don't you get a job,’ so in 1988 I did. I opened a gallery.”
 
    He also went to Calcutta, where he and his then-wife adopted two Indian children.
 
    Then, in 1990 his marriage began to fall apart. Voith moved to Gita-Nagari, a 350- acre farm near Port Royal, Pa. run by the International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKON). That’s where his current problems began. 
 
    Shortly after arriving at Gita- Nagari, Voith claims he began to discover evidence of corruption in ISKON’s hierarchy by false gurus, all of whom claimed to be legitimate heirs of the founder. 
 
    Voith says he found instances of animal abuse in the adopt-a-cow program. “They had the financial support of outside donors to rescue and raise cows and oxen, but some died of malnutrition, and one even fell through the floor of a rickety barn,” said Voith. 
 
    Voith also says he began to hear of instances of child abuse. 
 
    “The followers were overwhelmed with family and financial problems,” said Voith. “Kids were molested or neglected. Education and economics were put on a back burner so people could 'preach'.”
 
    In 1992, Voith self-published a 200-page spiral-bound book accusing the farm of corrupt practices and began circulating it. His accusations came at a time when nationally the sect itself began discovering wide- spread instances of pedophilia and child abuse, occurrences cited as recently as last week in a New York Times article. 
 
    “But The Times listened to the same people at ISKON who had created the problem,” said Voith, “and they connected it to the founder Prabhupada, who was completely innocent.”
 
    Voith’s booklet and his subsequent verbal attacks caused an outcry at Gita-Nagari. 
 
    “I was accused of blasphemy and excommunicated,” he said, “and my life was threatened.” 
 
    Since moving here, Voith and his second wife have struggled, raising her children from a former marriage and their own child on a slender SSI allowance. Voith continues to observe Krishna holidays, and “educate the public about the glories of Vedic agrarian self- sufficiency via cow protection.” 
 
    “I’m even preparing a letter to Mayor Cohen delineating a workable emergency program for the people of Ithaca and Tompkins County in the event of a Year 2000 disruption,” said Voith.
 
 
Tompkins County Profile is a weekly feature highlighting a personality in and all around Tompkins County. To suggest a subject, call Stephen Landesman at 274-9248.
 
 
 
COPY OF THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE
AS FOUND IN ITHACA JOURNAL
Tuesday, October 20,1998
 
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2. APPARITION OF SRILA PRABHUPADA.
 
 
Taken from the above picture of Sanat dasa prabhu protesting outside Ithaca Journal. Srila Prabhupada can be clearly seen (side on) facing the placard. It is alot clearer to view on the original newspaper article, but is still visible to those with a little love for Srila Prabhupada. For the doubting souls please consider the following quote (Mukunda dasa.)
 
The Spiritual Master is present wherever his sincere disciple is trying to serve his instructions. This is possible by the Mercy of Krsna. In your attempts to serve me and in all your sincere devotional sentiments I am with you as My Guru Maharaja is with me. Remember this always.
 
I hope this meets you well.
 
Your ever well-wisher,
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
 
(S.P.Letter to: Bhakta Don 1st December, 1973)