Lawsuit!

New Nandagram Society for Krishna Consciousness has recently launched a lawsuit against natural people who are either negligent or criminal with Srila Prabhupada’s copyrights.  The causes of action (reasons for the lawsuit) include:

  • Breach of Fiduciary Duty (being irresponsible with Srila Prabhupada’s property)
  • Accounting (not being transparent with Srila Prabhupada’s assets)
  • Conversion (theft of the copyrights from the BBT to a suspiciously similarly named corporation, the BBTI)
  • Conspiracy (defendants claimed, in court, that Srila Prabhupada never owned his copyrights)
  • Constructive Fraud
  • Fraud

Below is the text of the lawsuit.  It is necessarily written in legalese, but the main points should be quite clear:

COMMON LAW COURT

THE INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS

LEWIS COUNTY, WASHINGTON, USA COURT #001

NEW NANDAGRAM SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS,

a common law trust, and

Anuttama Budd

Plaintiff

v.,

Emil Beca (Svavasa das), natural person

Jay Israel (Jayadvaita M), natural person

Norman D’Costa (Naresvara das), natural person

Michael Auggenthaler, natural person

Gregory Stein (Gopal Bhatta das), natural person

Howard Resnik (Hrdayananda das), natural person

Robert Grant (Ramesvara das), natural person

Steven Guarino (Satsvarupa das), natural person

Gordon John Erdman II (Jayapataka M), natural person

Acyutatma Das, natural person

Anuttama Das, natural person

Badrinarayan Swami, natural person

Bhakti Bhrnga Govinda Swami, natural person

Bhakti Caitanya Swami, natural person

Bhakti Charu Swami, natural person

Bhakti Purusottama Swami, natural person

Bhakti-bhusana Swami, natural person

Bhaktimarga Swami, natural person

Bhaktivaibhava Swami, natural person

Bhanu Swami, natural person

Bir Krishna Das Goswami, natural person

Caitanya Chandra Charan Das, natural person

Candrasekhar Acarya Das, natural person

Devamrita Swami, natural person

Dina Sharana Devi Dasi, natural person

Giridhari Swami, natural person

Gopal Krishna Goswami, natural person

Guru Prasad Swami, natural person

Hrdaya Caitanya Das, natural person

Kavicandra Swami, natural person

Madhu Sevita Das, natural person

Malati Devi Dasi, natural person

Niranjana Swami, natural person

Praghosa Das, natural person

Prahladananda Swami, natural person

Radha Krishna Das, natural person

Radhanath Swami, natural person

Ramai Swami, natural person

Revati Raman Das, natural person

Romapada Swami, natural person

Sesa Das, natural person

Virabahu Das, natural person

Radhadyuti devi dasi, natural person

Ranjit das, natural person

DOES one through ninety-nine,

Defendants

CASE No. 001

COMPLAINT

PLAINTIFF, NEW NANDAGRAM SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS (NNSKC), sues the natural persons named above for money damages and states:

JURISDICTIONAL ALLEGATIONS

  1. This is an action for money damages due to breach of fiduciary responsibilities.

  2. The plaintiff is a member of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, a common law trust, which is an international community composed of individuals and entities who are endeavoring to follow the teachings of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

  3. The defendants are an international group of natural persons and who are have positions of power and control of money due to the teachings of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

  4. The plaintiff is unable to obtain justice through the State or Federal Court system due to the prohibitive costs involved.

  5. Taking a complaint to a Common Law Court is a universally acceptable way to achieve equity.

  6. A Common Law Court convened in Lewis County, Washington, USA has jurisdiction.

GENERAL FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

  1. In 1972, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (Prabhupada) formed the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust (BBT), a California Trust.

  2. The Trust Document places the copyrights for Srila Prabhupada’s books under the control of Trustees for the benefit of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).

  3. The Trust Document directs that half of the revenue from the sales of books be used to keep the books in print and half of the revenue be used to purchase or maintain temples of the beneficiary.

  4. The International Society for Krishna Consciousness is a common law trust made up of individuals and legal entities who are followers and disciples of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

  5. New Nandagram Society for Krishna Consciousness (NNSKC), a common law trust, considers itself a part of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness and lists its purposes as being almost identical to the purposes of ISKCON INC., the first organization incorporated by Srila Prabhupada.

  6. NNSKC is a member of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.

  7. NNSKC s is a beneficiary of the BBT.

COUNT ONE: BREACH OF FIDUCIARY DUTY

  1. On or about Feb. 17, 2019 Anuttama Budd (Anuttama), a director for NNSKC, contacted the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc. (BBTI) by phone.

  2. Anuttama spoke with a devotee named Ranjit who identified himself as the BBT (Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, a California trust) secretary.

  3. Anuttama asked Ranjit about the procedure for a beneficiary of the BBT to apply for funds from the BBT Building Fund.

  4. At Ranjit’s request, Anuttama e-mailed her request for information regarding Building Fund Grants to the BBTI.

  5. Ranjit’s e-mail response to Anuttama’s request was that Anuttama was not a beneficiary of the Trust and that he’d forwarded Anuttama’s e-mail to Naresvara (Norman D’Costa) whom he identified as a trustee of the BBT.

  6. Anuttama also wrote an e-mail to Naresvara (Norman D’Costa) that explained her situation, why she was requesting BBT Building Fund money and asking how to proceed to be able/qualified to receive the funds.

  7. Anuttama received no reply to her request e-mail to Naresvara (Norman D’Costa).

  8. On May 7, 2019 Anuttama sent letters to the BBTI office in Alachua, FL and the BBT office in Los Angeles, CA requesting $260,000 of the Building Fund money to be used to develop the NNSKC’s simple living, high thinking project.

  9. The letters sent to the BBTI and the BBT on May 7, 2019 also stated: “I also request a detailed accounting of how BBT Building Fund monies have been spent in the last 20 (twenty) years.”

  10. The BBTI received the letter from Anuttama on May 10, 2019.

  11. The BBT received the request letter from Anuttama on May 14, 2019.

  12. On May 17, 2019 Anuttama received an e-mail (attached) from Ranjit, the secretary for the BBTI acknowledging receipt of the request letter and promising that she would be contacted soon and provided grant applications.

  13. The May 17, 2019 e-mail from Ranjit stated that Anuttama’s project would need GBC (Governing Body Commission of ISKCON) support in order to be approved for a grant.

  14. On June 1, 2019 Anuttama received an e-mail from Radhadyuti stating that she had received the NNSKC grant application and it was being tabled for consideration pending a letter of support from the GBC for the project.

  1. On June 1, 2019 Anuttama replied to Radhadyuti DD’s e-mail asking her for some clarification about the grant approval process, including asking her to identify the acting trustees and whether they required GBC endorsement to approve a grant, in spite of GBC involvement being forbidden by the BBT Trust document.

  1. Anuttama also stated in her June 1, 2019 e-mail to Radhadyuti DD that if she didn’t receive a reply to her questions within 3 days that she’d consider her application to be denied.

  2. By the date of submitting this complaint, Radhadyuti has not replied to Anuttama nor the NNSKC.

  3. On June 8, 2019 Anuttama sent an e-mail to the BBTI informing them of Radhadyuti’s non-response to her request for information, particularly whether GBC support was required to obtain a BBT Building Fund Grant. Anuttama explained in the e-mail about the lack of interest she’d experienced with the GBC when she started the project. She again asked for a timely reply (five days) as to whether GBC support was a condition for a BBT Building Fund grant. The only reply to her question was a brief e-mail note from Ranjit das stating that he would forward Anuttama’s e-mail to Radhadyuti.

  4. On June 13, 2019 Anuttama sent a NOTICE OF NON-RESPONSE to the BBTI and copy e-mails to Naresvara das and Svavasa das (the only two acting trustees she was able to get e-mail addresses for) stating that NNSKC considers that the acting trustees of the BBT have denied the NNSKC’s grant request.

  5. The defendants who are acting as the trustees for the property of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, have the fiduciary duty to give grants from the Building Fund to qualified beneficiaries.

  6. The defendants failed to consider the plaintiff’s application for a BBT Building Fund Grant because the plaintiff is not endorsed by the ISKCON GBC.

  7. The founding document for the BBT states: “This trust shall exist independently of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness and the Trustees’ functions and duties stated herein shall be separate and not dependent on the Governing Body Commission of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.”

    WHEREFORE NNSKC demands judgment for money damages against the defendants, together with such other and further relief as the Court may deem reasonable and just under the circumstances.

COUNT TWO: ACCOUNTING

  1. In the May 7, 2019 letter sent to the BBT and the BBTI, Plaintiff requested details about how BBT Building Fund monies have been spent in the last twenty years.

  2. Plaintiff has received no information regarding the past use of BBT Building Fund money.

  3. As a beneficiary of the BBT Trust, Plaintiff has a right to know how the Trustees are managing the Trust assets.

  4. Information regarding the use of BBT Building Fund money is not available to beneficiaries.

WHEREFORE Plaintiff moves the court to order an accounting of all BBT and BBTI funds for the years 1977 through the present, and that said accounting be made publicly available to all beneficiaries of the Trust.

COUNT THREE: CONVERSION OF BBT PROPERTY

  1. The 1972 Bhaktivedanta Trust document states: “This trust shall be known by the name, “BHAKTIVEDANTA BOOK TRUST.” Insofar as practicable, the Trustees shall conduct the trust activities in that name.”

  2. Most of the activities involving the assets (copyrights) of the BBT are now being carried out by the BBTI.

  3. The BBTI is not a trust, but rather a non-profit corporation.

  4. The beneficiary, ISKCON, was not informed about the conversion of the BBT assets from the BBT to the BBTI.

  5. The BBTI has not provided the body of beneficiaries with an accounting of how the assets are being managed.

  6. The defendants have converted the assets of the BBT and are using them contrary to the instructions of the valid trust, the BBT.

    WHEREFORE Plaintiff moves the court for a declaratory judgment that the assets of the BBT to be removed from the control of the BBTI and managed from the valid BBT as instructed in the trust documents.

COUNT FOUR: CONSPIRACY

  1. In 1997 the BBTI filed a complaint in California court (SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES, CENTRAL DISTRICT #170617) against Hans Jurgen Kary seeking a declaratory judgment to remove Kary as the BBT Trustee.

  2. In 1997 Kary filed a cross-complaint against the BBTI for declaratory judgment of validity of trust, affirmation of trustees, request for modification of trust to name new beneficiary and for an accounting and recoupment of profits.

  3. In the written response by plaintiff and cross-defendant BBTI to Hans Kary’s second set of specially prepared interrogatories, the plaintiff claimed that the BBT was an invalid trust because Srila Prabhupada’s books didn’t belong to him:

    “BBTI believes that ISKCON, Inc. owned the copyrights outright because the works in question were “works for hire” created by ISKCON, Inc. ISKCON. Inc. supplied the employees who worked on the books with their materials and equipment. ISKCON, Inc. also supplied each of them with room and board and with a stipend for personal or family expenses. Such employees included those who worked in the art department, photography department, Sanskirt editors, Bengali editors, English editors, design and layout specialists, and proof readers, among others, BBTI contends that the California Trust Agreement dated May 29, 1972 did not create a valid trust and that the book publishing and distribution operations of the Movement were in fact never operated according to the provisions of that document. However, in the event the Court finds that that Trust Agreement created a legally valid trust which at the time in question (i.e., 1976) owned some or all of the copyrights registered at that time in the name Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, ISKCON, Inc. was the beneficiary of that trust, and therefore held beneficial title to those copyrights.” Transcript of Case No. BC 170617 WRITTEN OBJECTIONS AND RESPONSES BY PLAINTIFF AND CROSS-DEFENDANT BHAKTIVEDANTA BOOK TRUST INTERNATIONAL, INC. TO DEFENDANT AND CROSS-COMPLAINANT HANS KARY’S SECOND SET OF SPECIALLY PREPARED INTERROGATORIES, SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

  4. The BBT Trust Document states: “I have full confidence in the manner in which my Trustees will govern the Trust Fund but, in order to give them as much flexibility as possible in accordance with the law, I set forth the following powers. In the administration of this trust and the Trust Fund, the Trustees shall have all powers and authorities necessary or available under the law to carry out the purposes of this trust, subject to the restriction as heretofore stated that they may not exercise any power or authority which is prohibited by the Internal Revenue Code for tax-exempt organizations.”
  5. The intention of the BBT Grantor, Srila Prabhupada was for the trustees to be people in whom he had confidence.
  6. The BBT Grantor, Srila Prabhupada would not have had confidence in someone who claimed that Srila Prabhupada never owned his copyrights.
  7. The fact that Srila Prabhupada granted his copyrights to the BBT is proof that Srila Prabhupada considered himself to be the owner of the copyrights.
  8. Defendants the BBT and BBTI have not publicized or generally make it known that the BBT has a Building Fund that is available to beneficiaries.
  9. Defendant ISKCON Governing Body Commission (ISKCON GBC) have instituted policies such as banning devotees who disagree with their “interpretation” of Srila Prabhupada’s instructions, claiming falsehoods such as the Zonal Acarya system, protecting child abusers and covering up heinous behavior of members.
  10. Defendant ISKCON GBC’s various policies have caused tens-of-thousands of members to dissassociate themselves from the institutional ISKCON members of ISKCON to dissassociate themselves from the institutional ISKCON.
  11. The ISKCON members who were banned and/or left the institutional ISKCON were unable to access grants from the Building Fund.
  12. New ISKCON members, who joined ISKCON after the passing of the BBT Grantor, Srila Prabhupada, have not been informed of the existence of the Building Fund of the BBT.
  13. Defendant the ISKCON GBC conspired with defendants Emil Beca, Jay Israel, Norman D’Costa, Michael Auggenthaler and Gregory Stein to gain control of the BBT Building Fund against the instructions and desires of the Grantor, Srila Prabhupada.

  14. The BBTI is a corporation, not a trust.

  15. The name of the BBTI is deliberately misleading because of the word “Trust” in the name.

  16. The Defendants conspired to mislead the beneficiary into thinking that the BBT funds were being managed by legitimate trustees.

    WHEREFORE the Plaintiff moves the court for a declaratory order to remove the defendants Emil Beca, Jay Israel, Norman D’Costa, Michael Auggenthaler and Gregory Stein and DOES one through 99 from positions of trustees of the BBT. Plaintiff moves the court to appoint trustees who are willing to follow the wishes of the Grantor, Srila Prabhupada and are willing to vow the Oath of Allegiance that was approved by Srila Prabhupada. Plaintiff moves the court to order the disbandment of the ISKCON GBC and a replacement GBC be created by following Srila Prabhupada’s instructions, especially his instructions in his written Direction of Management. Plaintiff additionally demands judgment for money damages against the defendants, together with such other and further relief as the Court may deem reasonable and just under the circumstances.

COUNT FIVE: CONSTRUCTIVE FRAUD

  1. In the 1997 complaint against Kary (Case No. BC 170617, SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES), the plaintiff, BBTI hired a group of attorneys from the law firm of Coudert Brothers.

  2. The BBTI spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in its efforts to remove Kary as trustee through the court case (Case No. BC 170617, SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES).

  3. Kary’s defense fund was less than $30,000, money raised through donations.

  4. The BBTI had an unfair advantage over Kary and forced him to make an unfair settlement because he could not continue litigation due to lack of funds.

  5. Any settlement signed by Kary in Case No. BC 170617, SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES is invalid due to duress.

  6. The defendants purposely named the corporation BBTI with a very similar name to the valid trust, the BBT.

  7. Most beneficiaries of the BBT are unaware that the BBTI is a corporation, not the valid trust created to protect Srila Prabhupada’s copyrights.

  8. Through unwanted and unwarranted posthumous editing of Srila Prabhupada’s books that goes against all Vaisnava tradition and against all publishing standards, The Defendants who manage the BBTI have shown that it has no responsibility to protect the sanctity of Srila Prabhupada’s copyrights by desecrating them.

  9. The Defendants have demonstrated malicious disregard for the copyrights while ignoring the rights of the beneficiaries.

  10. The defendants have defrauded the beneficiary of its rightful benefits.

    WHEREFORE, Plaintiff moves the court for a declaratory order voiding any settlement obtained from Case No. BC 170617, SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES and restoring the BBT to its position before the settlement. Additionally, Plaintiff demands judgment for money damages against the defendants, together with such other and further relief as the Court may deem reasonable and just under the circumstances.

COUNT SIX: FRAUD

  1. On the BBT website (bbt.org), under the heading “about” is the following paragraph:

The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust (BBT) is the world’s largest publisher of ancient and classic Vaishnava texts, epics, and contemporary works on the philosophy, theology, and culture of bhakti-yoga and personalist theology. It was founded in 1972 by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. The BBT especially emphasizes the works of the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition.”

  1. The above statement is false: the property of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust is stated in the founding document: “The properties which shall constitute the Trust Fund include all books and manuscripts and other documents written by me or translated by me, including the following hereinafter listed, and all those written by me in the future, including all copyrights and publication rights incidental thereto:”
  2. There are no provisions in the BBT Trust Document to allow the BBT Trustees to use BBT funds to publish works of other authors.
  3. The natural persons managing the BBTI are managing the BBT property as though it is a business, not a trust managed for the benefit of the beneficiaries.
  4. The defendants are aware of the instructions of the Grantor and are deliberately managing the assets of the trust against the instructions of the grantor.
  5. The defendants who are managing the BBT and BBTI do not let beneficiaries know about the existence of a Building Fund or how to apply for a grant.
  6. There is no accounting available publicly for beneficiaries to monitor the Building Fund.
  7. The defendants who are managing the BBT and BBTI have defrauded the beneficiary ISKCON.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff demands judgment for money damages against the defendants, together with such other and further relief as the Court may deem reasonable and just under the circumstances.

About Anuttama

Billy and I are endeavoring to live as locally as possible. We grow much of our own food, make cheese from our cow's milk and keep honeybees.
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6 Responses to Lawsuit!

  1. Purujit dasa says:

    Hare Krsna, Annutama Devi Mataji. Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada! This is a new and fresh angle of vision you have presented here. Thank you for this great service of doing this research and willingness to fight in court for the right cause. I wish to point out a conversation that I have stumbled a few years ago which contradicts the wide-spread idea that Srila Prabhupada kept BBT legally independent from GBC because he wanted to save the books in case ISKCON GBC deviates.

    Tamala Krsna: I would like to ask a question. Just like in the… Now, this is one point to consider. Now, another point is, which we have put off until this meeting, especially to be considered in this meeting, is the moving of the Press. The moving of ISKCON Press. Is that…
    Prabhupada: That you decide amongst the GBC.
    Tamala Krsna: Is that a GBC matter or BBT matter?
    Prabhupada: No. It is GBC, er, yeah, GBC.
    Tamala Krsna: The GBC.
    Prabhupada: Yes. I want to see, as the chairman of the BBT, that fifty percent is spent on printing and fifty percent is for constructing temples. That’s all.
    Tamala Krsna: And who sees to that? The GBC?
    Prabhupada: Yes.
    Tamala Krsna: The GBC.
    Prabhupada: Yes.
    Tamala Krsna: That means, practically speaking, the management… The BBT is separate from ISKCON for legal purposes, but the management of it is done by the GBC.
    Prabhupada: Yes. That’s nice.

    Conversation with the GBC — March 27, 1975, Mayapur

    In my humble opinion, it is better to save valuable time by preaching Krsna consciousness and by writing, compiling and editing NEW BOOKS based on what we have heard from Srila Prabhupada instead of fighting with ISKCON. They also have their opinion and view and they will fight for their cause. In this way there is no end to this fight and even if the cause might be justified. Most of the devotees in ISKCON today do not accept Srila Prabhupada as their diksa guru and they should not be forced to accept him in that way through court or other means. Surrender cannot be artificially created but must be a conscious decision of every individual.
    I have personally gone through Jayadvaita Swami’s Gita and could not find a single serious change of Srila Prabhupada’s words. Compared to the manuscript and Srila Prabhupada’s audio (can there be anything more unquestionable that Srila Prabhupada’s own voice) I see very clearly that it is the first edition that contain many horrible changes that should just be removed as they alter the words of our spiritual master. Srila Prabhupada complained about these first editions and about Hayagriva Prabhu’s editing and wanted us to solve this book changes controversy, not to preserve these changes for ages to come.

    Please kindly see the changes and judge for yourself:

    https://www.inbliss.org/home/category/1972-gita-changes

    There are so many people who need to know that message of Krsna consciousness and come in contact with devotees. Plenty of work to do. Devotional service is not hampered by any material circumstances.

    I hope this meets you well
    your servant purujit dasa

    Like

    • Anuttama says:

      Hare Krsna Purujit Prabhu,

      Obeisances. Jaya Srila Prabhupada!

      That is a very interesting quote. In reading the BBT document, Srila Prabhupda is quite clear that his intention is to keep the BBT separate from the GBC: “This trust shall exist independently of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness and the Trustees’ functions and duties stated herein shall be separate and not dependent on the Governing Body Commission of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.” Since what you quoted contradicts what is written in the trust document, I have to assume that the quote was time/place/circumstance and that Srila Prabhupada put his long term intentions into the recorded official document. Legally, the document certainly trumps the conversation.

      Setting a precedent to change the words that Srila Prabhupada approved means that future generations can put any words into Srila Prabhupada’s books that they want. Why not just preserve them? After all they caused the whole world to chant Hare Krsna. They may have some things that Srila Prabhupada would have approved to be changed, but we can’t ask his permission now.

      The main point is that we have acting BBT trustees who publicly, on the record, in court, called Srila Prabhupada a liar. These people need to be removed as trustees and we need real devotees to care for the copyrights, not offenders.

      Regarding our mission to spread KC, Srila Prabhupada said that the second half of his mission is to establish the lifestyle of simple living, high thinking with the goal of varnashrama. After 50 years all ISKCON has done towards this is to have a minister of Agriculture and Cow Protection. They can’t even use the word varnashrama although that was Srila Prabhupada’s main emphasis in his last years. Cows are being used as props for fund raising with the Hindus. The money coming in from the copyrights should be used to establish real simple living, high thinking projects. I asked for a grant from the BBT for our simple living, high thinking project and was turned down. Hence the lawsuit.

      Yes, devotional service is not hampered by material circumstances. I think Srila Prabhupada appreciates the service of rescuing the copyrights and demanding accountability for the funds.

      Like

      • Purujit dasa says:

        Hare Krsna, dear Anuttama Devi Mataji. Please accept my obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada! I respect your point of view and wish you all the best in your service to Srila Prabhupada. For more on the subject of changes in Srila Prabhupada’s original books I highly recommend Makhancora Prabhu’s article “Why are the original books changed?” that can be accessed here.

        https://www.inbliss.org/home/why-are-the-original-books-changed

        Up to date, in my humble view, it is the most comprehensive research done on book changes. We
        humbly ask devotees to at least familiarise themselves with the controversy and see the extent of unauthorized changes found in the original editions and get to know the instructions Srila Prabhupada left us on this matter.
        I hope this meets you well and strong
        your servant purujit dasa

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Anuttama says:

    Purujit Prabhu, I suggest that you read the new book by Dhanesvara Prabhu: Divine or Demoniac. You might get a new insight about the real reason to set a precedent that book changes can happen. At the very least, the BBT should follow established publishing practices and put the name of the editor on any book that was changed posthumously. I think devotees should be able to read the books the way Srila Prabhupada approved them, even if there are changes that would make them appear more polished. There is history in the apparent imperfections and they are a monument to the youthful enthusiasm that produced so many amazing books in an unbelievable amount of time.

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  3. Jacques Rivet says:

    Dear Anuttama Devi Dasi,
    please accept my humble obeisances, all glories to Srila Prabhupada.
    Dear Godsister, it is obvious that Srila Prabhupada has entered your heart and mind and is empowering you for this very important service. Without correcting all these deviations in ISKCON
    there will be absolutely no spiritual advancement because Srila Prabhupada is offended on many different levels. You have agreed to become His puppet and are planting the seeds for a revolution that is long overdue. May Lord Nrisimhadeva protect you always.
    In a letter Srila Prabhupada signed on July 9, 1977 , He appointed 11 officiating acharyas to initiate on his behalf and is claiming all the newly initiated disciples as His direct disciples, because they truly are, since Srila Prabhupada is the one who sacrificed His life to make them.
    Why deny this truth to everyone? Have we become so greedy for name and fame that without this motivation for worship and money we would lose all enthusiasm to spread this movement?
    In actual reality only Srila Prabhupada has the potency to take us back to Godhead.
    There is no need to pretend that He is just an ordinary man to avoid being eclipsed by Him.
    There is a gulf of difference between the corrections Srila Prabhupada wanted done in His books
    and the wholesale change of 75% of the english verses of His Bhagavad Gita as it is.
    In 1972 when McMillan agreed to print the unabridged version, Hayagriva asked Srila Prabhupada if he wanted to change the english verses that McMillan’s editors had modified and Srila Prabhupada said;” No, what I have approved is eternal.”
    In so many ways ISKCON is disobeying the orders of its Founder Acharya, to correct these offenses is way overdue as Srila Prabhupada is very upset over this.
    Your Servant Jitavrata das

    Like

  4. Dear mother Anuttama,
    Hare Krishna. Pranams. Jaya Srila Prabhupada. It is a sad state of affairs that lawsuits are needed to get facility from the GBC to preach. It would seem that anyone seriously representing Srila Prabhupada should receive financial encouragement, as this was his arrangement for his disciples. As you have pointed out, a certain amount of book sales were to go to this purpose.

    We should first examine what the current ISKCON institution preaches and see if they have any grounds to claim superiority and judgement over what other followers are doing. In this regard it is becoming somewhat common for its members to acknowledge that the current GBC arrangement is a kind of “soft rittvik” wherein “disciples” of disgraced “gurus” now apparently automatically come under the shelter of the GBC via some fuzzy link with Srila Prabhupada. Although originally only deputed by him with “ultimate managing authority,” this current understanding is that they are actually the member’s “ultimate spiritual authority,” including the so-called gurus. Of course, this was hardly the understanding when the 11 zonal acaryas reigned, so one is hard pressed to place this evolution in any kind of eternal parampara tradition. Soft rittvik or any kind of rittvik actually has no precedent in Gaudiya Vaishnavism and is viewed by serious adherents of the siddhanta as a type of sahajiya (easy-going) devotion.

    History can show us how the GBC has come to its current “supremacy,” wherein it thinks itself arbitrator over what were once Srila Prabhupada’s assets, as well as his apparent legacy. Although in 1977 every member of ISKCON, GBC to potwasher, was understood to be everyone else’s servant, everything shortly changed in 1978 when the 11 zonal acaryas lied that Srila Prabhupada had appointed them his successors and demanded that all their former peers now serve them. When the lie was exposed several years later, the so-called authorization for their heinous pretense was deftly switched to the GBC because “it was as good as Srila Prabhupada.” Since then the GBC has only acted more and more in the role of ultimate spiritual authority, so much so that now even loyalty oaths are demanded from members and so-called gurus. Needless to say, this is not our process. Our process is to please Krishna through the person of his pure devotee, not some flawed hypocritical managing board composed of admittedly conditioned souls. Because they are so puffed up that they refuse to be accountable to anyone, including Srila Prabhupada’s instructions and our siddhanta, lawsuits are apparently all that is left to force them to return to real service attitude.

    In terms of the material assets that were amassed prior to 1978 by the hard work of Srila Prabhupada’s ordinary devotees, that was literally stolen by the audacious dharmadvaji (hypocritically devout) zonals. If one did not agree to serve them, they ended up on the street with nothing. It is interesting that the current GBC arrangement still includes worshiping three of these abominable creatures, a further indication of its condemned irreligious position. Over the years the remnants of those assets were transferred to the control of the GBC, although the condition of accepting their authority was also transferred from the zonals. The GBC have thus literally taken the place that Srila Prabhupada should occupy. There should be absolutely no objection from them to facilitate devotees if they are presenting his mission transparently. Lawsuits are a type of danda, punishment. They should be made to bow again to the arrangement of our real master, Srila Prabhupada! All glories to him!
    your servant,
    bhakta Eric

    dando damayatam asmi
    nitir asmi jigisatam
    maunam caivasmi guhyanam
    jnanam jnanavatam aham
    Among punishments I am the rod of chastisement, and of those who seek victory, I am morality. Of secret things I am silence, and of the wise I am wisdom. Bhagavad-gita 10.38

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