Society of the Cheaters and the Cheated


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 33, Autumn 2011, Editorial

Welcome to Issue 33 of Back To Prabhupada (BTP).

In this issue we highlight an ISKCON leader’s shocking confession that if he was actually honest he would leave the movement, since he agrees with the IRM that today’s ISKCON is completely deviant (please see pages 4-5). But he has not acted upon this assessment, and instead has decided to remain in the movement. Thus, by his own admission, he has decided to be dishonest. This epitomises how the movement is now moving towards a post-guru hoax scenario of open dishonesty. Below is a brief history of how this evolution has taken place.

1. Possible ignorance

It is always possible at the outset, if we give everyone the benefit of the doubt, that ISKCON was deviating simply because its leaders were ignorant of the facts. With a view to reviewing and being fully acquainted with all possible facts, in 1996 the GBC requested me to provide them a standard and comprehensive paper on the whole “ritvik” position. In response, I provided them with The Final Order (TFO), the foundational document of the ISKCON Revival Movement (IRM). Following this, whatever else they may say, they could not plead ignorance.

2. Dispute

Instead, the GBC attempted to dispute the facts presented in TFO. Subsequently, even though ISKCON gurus have openly referred to TFO as being the “bible of ritvikism”, the GBC has not been able to refute it. This is to be expected, since you cannot, by definition, refute facts. Accepting this reality, by 2004, the GBC had rejected the very GBC paper which TFO addressed - Gurus and Initiation in ISKCON - replacing it instead with a simple statement of belief, making no attempt to offer evidence for the same.

3. Agreement

Since then the situation has moved even further, with many ISKCON leaders making climbdowns and espousing conclusions similar to that of TFO. And we have highlighted this agreement copiously, and even give further evidence for the same in this issue.

4. Dishonesty

Which brings us to the current situation. Since the overriding consideration is to enjoy through profit, adoration and distinction (“PAD”), one will ensure one’s behaviour does not follow the facts or the truth, even if one may claim to agree with them! In addition to the confession mentioned at the start of this article, we also present a further example of this PAD phenomenon on the very next page. And previously we have also given many other examples of ISKCON leaders openly doing the opposite of what they themselves preach.

So it’s as if we have now entered a post-guru hoax stage of open hypocrisy. In this stage of dishonesty, actions will not follow one’s words, because in the current Kali-yuga age, hypocrisy reigns supreme. Therefore, not only will one not care that he is acting hypocritically, but no one else will care either that one behaves like this, even if one is the follower of such a person. Rather, since the followers will also be hypocrites, they will continue to follow such a hypocritical leader. Srila Prabhupada called this the society of the “cheaters and the cheated”. And we find this just as much the case between so-called “spiritual” gurus and disciples, as we do between materialistic governments and those who vote for them:

“Because demoniac people want to be cheated, so many cheaters are present to cheat them. At the present moment in this age of Kali-yuga, the entire human society has become an assembly of cheaters and cheated.”
(Srimad-Bhagavatam, 4:26:6, purport)

Hence, the current situation has gone way beyond the issue of right and wrong. Instead, it’s about persons needing to possess the spiritual purity to follow what they themselves agree is the correct path.

Please feel free to write to me at the following email address:

Thank you and Hare Krishna.

Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada,


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