What is the yearly revenue for the BBTI? According to the IRS, in 2016 (the last year posted), the BBTI had a total revenue of $838,859. The World Sankirtan Newsletter reports that there were over 8 million books sold that year. According to the Newsletter, a large book of 300-500 pages is equal to one book point and the total book points for 2016 was 8,146,115. What is the price that temples are charged for a large book from the BBTI? Their price list has a variety of prices, but seem to show average price of about $2.50
A little basic arithmetic shows that the income for all of Srila Prabhupada’s books for 2016 should have been well over $20 million! 8,146,115 x $2.50 = $20,365,287.50. Srila Prabhupada’s instructions about how the proceeds from his copyrights are that half the income goes to printing more books and half goes to a Building Fund to build temples or maintain existing temples. Of course some of the money from these 8+ million books would come from foreign BBTs, but the contribution to the Building fund, whether from foreign or the BBTI should be half of the $20,000,000, if Srila Prabhupada’s instructions are being followed.
This is not a philosophical or emotional issue: it is mathematics. As beneficiaries of Srila Prabhupada’s Book Trust, we have the right and the duty to insist that the BBT Trustees become transparent about where our spiritual master’s money is going. There should be $10 million/year for building temples. While hopefully some of the money is going to the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium, even if every penny that was spent on the TOPV in 2016 came from the BBT, there is still $6 million unaccounted for.
What can be done? The first thing we need to do is to spread this information. There is a psychological phenomenon called “learned helplessness”. Let’s not fall victim to learned helplessness and do something about this huge injustice! Another odd psychological phenomenon is that some people refuse to believe anything that goes against a previous belief. So if someone believes that the BBT Trustees are sincere, even with solid evidence in front of their eyes, the phenomenon called cognitive dissonance will not let them see it.
The people in control of this money are the same people in control of the policies that have resulted in our children being horribly abused. Their policy in the past has been to simply ignore any complaints and continue as usual. We should not tolerate this.
I have some ideas. Please e-mail me for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 360-496-0058