The illusion of freedom - Part 2


Back to Prabhupada, Issue 28, Summer 2010
By Krishnakant

In the BTP 27 article “The illusion of freedom”, we showed via a case study of ISKCON GBC guru hoaxer HH Sivarama Swami, how on the one hand ISKCON preaches the importance of education, independent thinking and “spiritual science” based on Srila Prabhupada’s teachings, in order to engender a sense of intellectual freedom, but on the other hand ruthlessly enforces censorship, sanctions and excommunication on those who preach that Srila Prabhupada is the guru of ISKCON based on this very same “spiritual science”. Thus such “freedom” is indeed an illusion.

Freedom of Speech

Another classic example of this illusion emerged recently with ISKCON losing a legal case in the state of California, and its Director of Communications lamenting the resultant chilling effect on freedom of speech that the Court’s ruling may have:

“We feel that the court erred in departing from the historical understanding of protected speech, producing an inconsistent view of the First Amendment that may have a chilling effect on freedom of speech generally,’ he said in a statement issued in Los Angeles.”
(Anuttama Das, ISKCON Director of Communications, quoted in ‘Barred from Airport, Hare Krishnas to spread message elsewhere’ article, March 30th, 2010)

The case revolved around the right for ISKCON to solicit donations at LAX Airport in Los Angeles. The irony of this will not be lost on our regular readers, who may recall one letter we received from a devotee named Urvasi Devi Dasi, published in BTP 15, where she complained that distributing BTPs at the public ISKCON Rathayatra festival was provocative, and that we should organise our own festivals and distribute there instead.
We replied as follows:

“Even if our actions do provoke others, that cannot be justification for us not continuing. Just like many people do not like us distributing Srila Prabhupada’s books in airports either. Should we also go and have “our own airports” in that case?! According to your twisted logic if devotees get attacked by fundamentalist Christians whilst distributing books, it was their fault!”

Our comment about being attacked while distributing books was made in reference to IRM devotees being physically attacked by ISKCON members, including ISKCON GBC guru hoaxer Ravindra Svarupa Das (see picture above), which was captured on film and is viewable from the IRM homepage (

Afraid of devotees

Other examples of ISKCON’s illusion of freedom include another ISKCON guru hoaxer, HH Indradyumna Swami (“IDS”), pompously citing former U.S. President John F. Kennedy in his “Diary of a Travelling Preacher” that:

“A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood of ideas in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.”

to protest those trying to thwart ISKCON in Poland.
But, when it comes to the IRM, IDS does not believe that our ideas should be shown the same openness:

So, if you get something on email, you say, “My guru has not fallen. […] So you just take this letter and throw it in a window.”
(IDS, “Attack on ISKCON” Lecture, Moscow, 28/11/1998)

“May I ask a question: are you into to Ritvik philosophy? […] I don’t mind replying to strengthen your faith in an existing process, but I would be hestitent to gradually enter into a debate if you have any leanings towards Ritvik.”
(IDS E-mail to inquiry about ritvik philosophy, 28/6/2005)

Force over philosophy

A more fanatical example of this destructive cult-like response to philosophical challenges to ISKCON’s guru system, while paying lip service to the need for intellectual freedom and integrity, is from GBC apologist, member of ISKCON’s “Sastric Advisory Council”, and ISKCON author Drutakarma Das (“DKD”), who complained in a book he co-authored on fossilised bones that:

“there exists in the scientific community a knowledge filter that screens out unwelcome evidence [...] In addition to the general process of knowledge filtration, there also appear to be cases of more direct suppression.”
(Drutakarma Das, ‘Introduction and Acknowledgements’, March 26th, 1994, The Hidden History of the Human Race)

But when it comes to evidence presented by the IRM that clearly shows that Srila Prabhupada did not appoint any guru successors, DKD’s response is that force should be chosen over philosophy:

“In every way possible, this offensive and concocted infection should be removed fromISKCON’s body. It is a disease and it needs to be treated with strong medicine. [...] Absolutely rejecting the rtvik heresy and imposing sanctions on those who try to promote it within ISKCON is the most merciful thing that ISKCON can do for these misguided people.”
(DKD, ‘Some Thoughts on the Rtvik Heresy’ (No. 1), September 1998)

“ISKCON needs to institute a thorough program of rtvik cleansing.”
(DKD, ‘Some Thoughts on the Rtvik Heresy’ (No. 2), September 1998)

“I advocate kicking them (ritviks) out right away”
(DKD, ‘Krishnakant Desai, All Bluff and No Stuff’, November 1998)

Clearly, when it comes to the IRM’s indisputable evidence of Srila Prabhupada never having authorised guru successors, the ISKCON GBC apologists don’t even bother with the more subtle scientific techniques of “knowledge filtration”, preferring instead an all-out Nazi-style propaganda war, replete with references to “infection”, “disease” and “cleansing”. And yet, in true Orwellian doublethink style, just as and when it suits their agenda, they will also agree with the IRM that Srila Prabhupada is the current guru as well! (Please see the QNN item “Same quote, opposite conclusion” on page 13).


There is an ancient Chinese proverb that says: “He who clenches fist has already lost the argument.” ISKCON, therefore, has lost its argument. In addition, ISKCON is “afraid of its people” (as IDS above quotes JFK), but pretends that it is a scholarly, philosophical movement whose members are being trained to preach.

Please chant: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, Hare, Hare,
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama, Rama, Hare, Hare.
And be Happy!