Summer 2006

A common criticism levelled by ISKCON gurus and their followers against the IRM is:

“The IRM does no preaching and only criticises, what good is this?

Though on the surface it may sound like there is merit to the charge, please consider the following:

  1. By criticising us for criticising, the charge is guilty of the very thing we are accused of, and therefore is self-contradictory. It is defeated as soon as it is made.

  2. However, let us assume for sake of argument that the charge is correct. Then we should ask if all the IRM does is “criticise”, is the criticism CORRECT and TRUTHFUL? To this the answer must be “yes”, because if our criticism was wrong, then we would not be criticised simply for criticising, but for actually telling LIES. Thus, whenever we are criticised for “only criticising”, this is another way of saying:

    “I cannot criticise WHAT you say, therefore I will criticise you FOR saying it!”

    Therefore the charge now has to be amended to: “IRM does no preaching and only criticises truthfully, what good is this?"

  3. Next we must ask if truthful criticism has any value. Well on further examination, we find that preaching is nothing but constructive criticism: e.g. Maya bad – but Krishna good. And we are similarly criticising constructively:
    e.g. Cheating gurus bad – Srila Prabhupada good. So then the charge again must be amended to:
    “IRM only preaches ‘controversy’. Better they preach by distributing books only.”

  4. To see the accuracy of this latest amended charge, let us consider a world free of this “criticism” of the deviation of ISKCON. There exists no IRM. Instead, everybody is engaged blissfully in distributing Srila Prabhupada’s books and doing nothing else. Let’s see what would happen in this non-IRM preaching world:

    Someone gets a Bhagavad-gita, which is our main book, and the first thing they read, right in the second paragraph of the Preface is:

“Our Krishna consciousness movement is genuine, historically authorized, natural and transcendental due to its being based on Bhagavad-Gita As It Is. It is gradually becoming the most popular movement in the entire world, especially amongst the younger generation. It is becoming more and more interesting to the older generation also. Older gentlemen are becoming interested, so much so that the fathers and grandfathers of my disciples are encouraging us by becoming life members of our great society, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.”
(Preface, Bhagavad-gita As It Is, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada).


So before they even begin to read the book, they read that ISKCON is “genuine”, “authorised”, “transcendental”, and a “great society”. The first thing I would want to do after reading this, is to seek out this “great society” ISKCON, promoted as it is by Srila Prabhupada himself, which is easy to do even if there are no contact details for ISKCON in the book. Having then come into contact with ISKCON, which has been completely endorsed by Srila Prabhupada, I will surrender my life fully. Only in doing so I will get cheated by bogus gurus, have my life ruined, and tragically BLAME SRILA PRABHUPADA for this, because HE is the one who directed us to ISKCON by telling us that it is completely bona fide, and consequently we will give up Krishna consciousness altogether - which sadly has been the fate of many. And this is just the second paragraph of the Preface. The more they read, and the more books we distribute, the more the above scenario will be repeated. Now it will be argued that some people will not contact ISKCON. Yes, but this will be despite the books, not because of them. Srila Prabhupada promotes ISKCON throughout his books – that was part of the purpose of the books, and indeed it says “Founder-Acarya of ISKCON” just on every cover. Therefore, after reading a book, to seek out ISKCON will be the default position.

And remember, there is no BTP, no TFO, no IRM, because this is a ‘criticism-free’ world. So immediately we come to the crux of our dilemma. If ISKCON is deviating, you cannot promote it, nor can you ignore it, you have to FIX it.

And right now there is no one else on the planet dedicated full-time to this task of preaching the truth about Srila Prabhupada and the great society he founded, ISKCON. And this preaching has to go hand-in-hand with book distribution, otherwise people may unwittingly be taken away from Srila Prabhupada, rather than be brought to his lotus feet.

We have explained the IRM's emphasis on preaching the truth about Srila Prabhupada, and why book distribution has no meaning unless this truth about Srila Prabhupada's position is established first. The facts regarding why this must be done as a matter of utmost urgency and importance are clear, and are as follows.

Since 1978, under the guru hoax program, over 200 million books have been distributed, and even though this distribution has greatly diminished, book distribution still continues today at the rate of around 3 million books a year, according to ISKCON's World Sankirtan Newsletter. In addition, there are a few hundred temples, preaching centers, Nama-hatta groups and cell programs spread across the globe. The aim of all this activity and organisation is to bring people into contact with ISKCON, so that they can subsequently be cheated by being handed over to one of the 80 impostor "gurus". In sum, there is a huge effort being made to help perpetrate the guru hoax, delivering many people every year down a false path away from Srila Prabhupada. Thus a major anti Prabhupada program, done insidiously in Srila Prabhupada's name, currently pervades the whole planet.

Hence, there are probably hundreds of thousands of individuals out there who have been so duped. And this number increases every year. These devotees genuinely want to follow Srila Prabhupada, and they sincerely think they are doing so, but instead they are being horribly cheated, with the net result that their spiritual life is destroyed. To help all those being cheated is therefore clearly a major task, requiring professional organisation, full-time commitment, and in one sense, has only just begun. And it is to execute this mammoth task that the IRM exists.

Thus, we are presently in a very specific situation, with this huge preaching task currently before us being the need of the hour over and above anything else. Given this fact, it would therefore be very uncompassionate on our part to abandon all these countless souls who are being led away from Srila Prabhupada, with the IRM instead being diverted into only establishing a few temples in one corner of the world, catering just to the local public. Hence to focus only on making a small, separate, localised movement whilst mass-scale deception in Srila Prabhupada's name is continuing, and all the souls affected by this deception are suffering, is not the best course of action. To go all out and fight on Srila Prabhupada's behalf, exposing the monstrous guru hoax and cheating of the public going on, restoring Srila Prabhupada's true position and helping the thousands of souls being thus deceived - is.

So let us work to please Srila Prabhupada by serving him in this way, and in turn achieve his mercy, for without obtaining the mercy of the Guru, it is not possible to advance in bhakti-yoga (devotional service). Such mercy can not come from participating, either directly, in the hijacking of Srila Prabhupada's name and movement and cheating of all the devotees; OR indirectly, by not vigorously opposing this hijacking and cheating, concentrating instead only on establishing buildings, rather than the knowledge about Srila Prabhupada's glorious position.

However, if we work to defend and re-establish the truth about Srila Prabhupada and his real teachings, and bring all those being deviated in his name back to Srila Prabhupada, we have a chance at obtaining such mercy, and thus achieving bhakti. As we mentioned in a previous BTP editorial:

"The acarya, the authorized representative of the Supreme Lord, establishes these principles, but when he disappears, things once again become disordered. The perfect disciples of the acarya try to relieve the situation by sincerely following the instructions of the spiritual master."
(Srimad-Bhagavatam, 4.28.48, purport)

Hence we are trying as fast as possible to distribute The Final Order and BTP in many languages all over the world to assist the process of relieving the disorder which has been created in the wake of Srila Prabhupada's departure. If we do not directly participate in this knowledge distribution, we indirectly contribute to the current disorder, by not actively doing anything to rectify it. Thus, our success in pleasing Srila Prabhupada cannot currently be a question of how many followers we have, or how much real estate and money we have accumulated, but rather of how much we are following Srila Prabhupada as his perfect disciples, by trying to relieve the disorder created since his disappearance. And once all this disorder is relieved, Srila Prabhupada's real movement, with him as the sole diksa Guru, will once again automatically expand in leaps and bounds all over the world, just as it did previously from 1966 to 1977.