Harry Potter Guru successor continues banning campaign

Winter 2003/4

In the last issue of Back to Prabhupada magazine we had highlighted the pathetic case of one of the 80 unauthorised Gurus, Vipramukhya Swami, who used his position as Temple President of Bhaktivedanta Manor (the largest ISKCON Temple in Europe), to ban anyone from entering the temple if they dared to believe the truth even in their own homes! We also demonstrated that when he wasn't terrorising hapless temple worshippers, he was busy learning Harry Potter wizardry by flying around Srila Prabhupada's sacred quarters on his broomstick. Mr ' Swami' later flew away on his broomstick into the arms of one his female followers who was half his age. His replacement as President, a Mr Gauri Das, has certainly wasted no time in continuing the banning tactics of his infamous predecessor.

In reaction to a recent BBC expose of ISKCON's unauthorized Guru system and general cultic behaviour, as well as the launch of Back to Prabhupada magazine, the Temple President of Bhaktivedanta Manor has resorted to a desperate campaign of expulsion. Gauri Das recently banned one long standing supporter of ISKCON, Mr. Ravi Patel (Revatinandana Das), who is pictured right with his daughter being banned on a previous occasion by Harry Potter Guru, Vipramukhya Swami.
Having already been the focus of a BBC expose, one might have expected Gauri Das to have been a little chastened; but no, in keeping with the tradition of Manor Presidents, Gauri Das and his associates immediately embarked on a vicious campaign of intimidation and expulsion. Here is a section of the sensational letter he sent on 5th November 2003 to Mr. Patel (on whom ironically he had only recently lifted the previous ban) where he gives some of the reasons for the banning:

"You were personally distributing anti ISKCON propaganda at the Wembley Diwali parade.
The members of IRM also falsely advertised a radio program in the name of Bhaktivedanta Manor (…) As the IRM are spreading their propaganda through deceitful schemes your suspension will continue as long as you are actively involved with them."

The BBC and Back To Prabhupada magazine merely reported the banning campaign of the Manor. And how does the Manor react? That's right, it carries out even more bannings! Gauri Das also claims the IRM "falsely advertised a radio program", yet the IRM simply informed thousands of people that the BBC were broadcasting an item marking the 30th anniversary of the Manor - a broadcast in which Gauri Das himself participated, and in which he compared people like Mr. Patel to "atheists" and "barking dogs"! The BBC advertised the programme on its own website under the title: "Hare Krishna Anniversary". The BBC chose that title, not the IRM. Further, they started the programme with the words:

"In today's programme, Britain's Hare Krishna movement celebrates 30 years of settled life…this week marks its 30th Anniversary." (BBC, 22 June 2003)

The BBC wrote those words, not the IRM. The IRM does not control the BBC, nor has it ever "falsely advertised" anything. The BBC chose to focus on the current Guru controversy, and if they ever decide to do a follow up then Gauri Das is certainly generating plenty of new material by his current actions.

Some years ago, when Bhaktivedanta Manor was threatened with closure by the local council, Mr. Patel gave up many years of his own time to work on the 'Save the Manor Campaign', for which he was also the Secretary.
Aside from freely giving his valuable time and services, over the years Mr. Patel had also donated many thousands of pounds to Bhaktivedanta Manor. The management of the temple was more than happy to receive his kind services, which helped rescue the Manor in its darkest hour, and also receive his generous monetary donations; but as soon as he questioned whether they were properly following the Founder of the movement's instructions, he was ruthlessly banned from visiting the Manor - the very place he had helped to save!

As if all the above were not enough, Gauri Das then decided to send poor Mr. Patel a letter dated 12th December 2003 with the following added restriction:

The suspensions from the Manor that you have received include that you can not attend any functions or even drop your family in the car park.
Your servant
Gauri Das

So now Mr. Patel cannot even drop his own wife and children in the car park of the temple he has supported for more than thirty years, and helped save from extinction, even though Gauri Das knows that Mr Patel's family can not visit the Manor unless he drops them there - hence a de facto ban on them as well via the back-door.

Gauri Das then went on a rampage of banning anyone he thought might be supporting Back to Prabhupada magazine, including Bhajahari Das, who many years ago was the first ever Temple President of Bhaktivedanta Manor and who also appeared on the BBC programme where he described how he had been physically assaulted at the Manor for his convictions. Gauri Das wrote:

"Dear Bhaja Hari das & members of IRM,

Regrettably I must inform you that due to the various questionable activities of the IRM and your clear affiliation with them, we the Temple Council of Bhaktivedanta Manor have decided to further suspend yourself and IRM members from visiting the Manor. The activities of recent which have lead to this suspension are as follows:

As a member of IRM you have supported and participated in mailing our members your confusing propaganda. The ISKCON UK data base names have been procured by IRM without any permission of the institution. We are the ones, who have worked hard to build up and inspire this congregation, it is completely inappropriate that you target them with continued defamation attempts.

You participated in a radio program set up by IRM which was falsely presented to our members (via post) by you as an ISKCON UK 30th Anniversary celebrations initiative.
As a consequence of such scheming attempts the IRM is losing any credibility that it may have had. It would be far more respected if you just pursued and present your beliefs by honest means."

Gauri Das falsely accuses the IRM of "procuring" his data base, without a shred of evidence, and again makes the ludicrous insinuation that the IRM somehow control the BBC. This is all the more hypocritical since the Manor's 2003 Janmastami magazine accused the Hungarian government of previously "violating the principle of freedom of conscience and religion" - a principle protected in the UK by the Human Rights Act.
Yet here we see a long time member of ISKCON, the original Temple President of the Manor, banned simply for "participating in a radio program" that dealt with matters of "conscience and religion". A programme that exposed how individuals like Gauri Das, who himself appeared on the programme, were preventing people's freedom of "conscience and religion" by banning and harassing them. Gauri Das' reaction to this was simply to increase the very same oppressive activity the programme highlighted. Amazingly, Gauri Das then claims it is the ISKCON Revival Movement that is losing credibility!

In another letter, dated 11th November 2003, which Gauri Das sent to all the life members and patrons of Bhaktivedanta Manor, he claims that the IRM consists of just three or four people:

"I must warn you that some people under the name of 'ISKCON revival movement' have been mailing confusing propaganda to some of our members. These persons are not connected to ISKCON in any way. Through deceitful means they have managed to find some data on some of our members. Regardless of our repeated warnings they continue to present out of context and false propaganda with the aim of harming ISKCON. We have now identified the 3-4 individuals who present themselves as a movement and we are planning to take legal action against them."

As can be seen on page 3 of this magazine, many people feel that Back to Prabhupada sets out very clearly what has gone wrong in ISKCON, and that it is the bogus Gurus who are confusing everyone with their contradictory explanations as to precisely how, when and where Srila Prabhupada ever authorized them to accept their own disciples.

Gauri Das has presented no evidence that the IRM have done anything "deceitful". Rather it is the whole ISKCON Guru system which is one big fraud; a point that even one of their own main Gurus has admitted.

As for the ISKCON Revival Movement consisting of just "3-4 individuals", page 10 (pictures of IRM centers) of this issue proves that this is incorrect. Gauri Das is trying to mislead the very people who pay his wages, namely the life members and patrons of Bhaktivedanta Manor.

Join the IRM now and let's put a stop to the lies and intimidation. Let's get back to Prabhupada!