Temple banning makes news headlines 

Spring 2007

Previously, we reported on the lie that Gauri Das, Temple President of ISKCON UK headquarters Bhaktivedanta Manor, had told the British press in regards to the banning of IRM devotees from the temple. He stated that:

“No one is ‘banned’ from the temple, except where they exclude themselves by disturbing the worship of others. Anyone is welcome to visit the Manor so long as they do not disturb the peace of others or prevent others from using the temple.”
(Gauri Das, press statement, December 8th, 2006)

We demonstrated that this was an outright fabrication since IRM supporters have received letters from Gauri Das stating that they are banned simply for their “agreeing with the views and publications” of the IRM; in effect, they are guilty of a “thought crime”. Below we see another media report on the temple banning issue which has made headlines on some of the prominent Indian news websites such as Zee News and Yahoo India. Note how the reporter has also realised that Gauri Das may be lying regarding the banning:

Temple tension in Hertfordshire

London, Jan 25:

According to reports in the British press, there is increasing concern over what is going on at a Hindu temple in Hertfordshire, just north of London.
“So-called anti-Hindu incidents involve the police being called in to remove devotees, who have then been banned from entering the premises of the Bhaktivedanta Manor temple near Watford,” the Eastern Eye reported.
And, as Arjun Malik, spokesman for the campaign group Hindu Human Rights. told the paper:
“There have been a number of strange reports about the temple over the last few months. The idea of banning someone from offering prayers at a temple just because you disagree with their way of thinking is a completely anti-Hindu principle. Hindu temples have always been open to everyone, be it any faith or thinking”.
It seems that the manor, gifted as a temple by the late great George Harrison of Beatle fame, and, incidentally, recently visited by David Cameron, leader of the conservative party, has been the victim of philosophical differences caused by the activities of the ISKCON Revival Movement. (ISKCON-IRM).
This body was set up some three years ago to take ISKCON back to its roots and restore the teachings of the movement to what they were under the founder, Srila Prabhupada.
ISKCON [IRM] wants Srila Prabhupada as the sole guru of the entire movement and this is where the argument starts, because other members, including the president of the Bhaktivedanta temple, Gauri Dasa, disagree.
Dasa has now been accused of allowing force to be used against the revivalists but he told the Eastern Eye that: “It is just a splinter group which has a different opinion on the issue of succession. This temple is a place of peace and worship. It is open to everyone, Hindu, Muslim or atheist. But if someone is disrupting the peace of the place then we have to ask them not to enter. These were a few isolated incidents and no ban is in force now”.
Despite these protestations of innocence, a senior media executive and active member of ISKCON-IRM, and who wished to remain anonymous, said that: “I am actually in the midst of negotiating my ban from entering the Bhaktivedanta temple”. They can’t both be right, but let us hope that the dispute is sorted out amicably and quickly before further damage is done to the reputation of the temple and its devotees.
(Indo-Asian News Service, 2007)

We can see that the “the damage being done to the reputation of the temple and its devotees” will continue as long as Gauri insists on banning worshipers for their beliefs, and then lying about this banning as well, with the media continuing to highlight the story.