Kṛṣṇacandra Dāsa – Sri Vṛndāvan Dham: We are or should now be, as intelligent sincere souls, aware of the problems within our ISKCON society, the greater Vaiṣṇava Society, as well as the world in which we live. In fact it is our duty as servants of Śrīla Prabhupāda, the paramparā and each other to be well informed and actively seeking to clarify discrepancies, inconsistencies, misunderstandings and all forms of criminality within ourselves, each other and the institution in which we live and serve. The issues that we face are complex and require deep and thorough introspection, soul searching and a desire to seek intelligent solutions. We need to deeply and thoroughly analyze any issue or situation, compare our findings to śāstra as given by Śrīla Prabhupāda and the paramparā, discuss our findings with likeminded souls and strive together to seek Kṛṣṇa conscious solutions. Guru / Sādhu & Śāstra must be brought into every issue that we face, be it personal or collective.
The issues that are being discussed on this website and many similar websites of our great ISKCON institution are very serious and their swift and positive resolution will greatly impact on not only our own lives and the lives of other devotees but also bring to bear tremendous positive impact on mankind and all living entities of this world. So it is with intelligence, honesty, soberness and sincerity that we must face our problems and the problems of our society.
Our history has been heavily based on our ‘denial’ that our ISKCON society has been taken over by those who are more influenced by their demoniac natures. Denial comes from not being able to admit the truth of any given situation in the belief that the admission of the truth may be painful or harmful to either us or to others. The tendency is to tailor an account of an event to either omit facts up to the point of outright lying or falsely agreeing with the guilty party or their supporters so that unpleasant truths are kept hidden.
Prabhupāda: Yes, but denial of the will for material happiness. So we will not deny willing, that willing for spiritual happiness. That is required. As you deny something, you must accept something; otherwise… You cannot remain in the neutral position. That is not possible. Param dṛṣṭvā nirvatanta. When you get a better position, then you give up this willing for lower position. [Discussion with Śrīla Prabhupāda and Hayagrīva Dāsa]
By denying the truth of any given situation you must accept another ‘truth’ or position which is an untruth or a lie. You cannot, as Śrīla Prabhupāda says, be in a neutral position for it is impossible. Either you support the truth of your action or inaction or you lie by speaking an untruth or fool yourself by believing you did nothing wrong. There is no grey area in which to hide and once you accept an untruth as truth; your devotional life is compromised. Truth is white and the lie is black. There is no grey area in which we can hide from the truth or ourselves.
The case which illustrates this most effectively is the case of Indradyumna Swami, whose fallen [vāntāśī] status has been well documented and yet his supporters refuse [denial] to accept that he has fallen and continue to promote him as a pure devotee / sannyāsa and dīkṣā guru against the best advice and photographic record. This is the most dangerous form of denial / enabling, as his supporters / disciples / enablers support his delusionary state, by believing and allowing him to believe that his behavior is socially acceptable and philosophically / morally consistent with guru, sādhu and śāstra and the teachings and instructions of his spiritual master His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda.
The institution, meaning the GBC, Sannyāsa Ministry, his friends, disciples and well wishers utterly fail him by not allowing him to face the consequences of his action. They should help him to rectify by intervening in his delusionary (psychotic) state by coercing him to admit to his fallen status and allow him to suffer the consequences for his degraded activities and sensual fall down and admit that he needs rectification. How far have we strayed as a religious society of Vaiṣṇava Brahmans that we can allow such a degraded state of delusion to take precedent over the truth and religious principles?
A simple test is to show the many photos of Indradyumna Swami to a local Indian boy in any village in India, what to speak of a cultured Indian from a Brahman family and they will recoil in horror. They will even recoil in horror to see the swami holding little girls in his lap. I have conducted such tests and in each and every case the person has been shocked to see such activities of a Sannyāsa. Even the young men I have shown these photos to are extremely disturbed to see women or girls in such state of undress and cannot tolerate even a cursory glance but if you do not believe me then conduct this experiment and judge for yourself.
Yet the ISKCON devotees drink it in as if it is some nectar. What is the value system that is acculturated into our society that we are producing thousands of blind followers such as this?
The Enabler / Supporter
The supporter of a wrongdoer does not actually help the wrongdoer but only damages the wrongdoer’s personal / spiritual growth along with their own growth and development. The supporter can also be described as an ‘enabler’ or a ‘co-dependent’ which is someone who supports, usually without any investigation; the guilty party because they are their friend, guru, colleague, business partner, spouse, family member, god brother or sister etc. They fiercely defend the guilty party and refuse to accept the fact that they are guilty in spite of evidence to the contrary. When this situation arises the truth takes a back seat to delusion or deception and our Kṛṣṇa conscious philosophy is the last thing on their mind.
Lord Kṛṣṇa assures His devotees, ahaṁ tvam sarva-pāpebhyo moknayinyami: “I shall give you protection from the reactions of sinful life.” So even if a devotee has a history of very grievous criminal activities behind him, instead of being killed he may only get a little cut on his finger. Why then should a devotee fear danger?
Śrīla Prabhupāda explains that so long as we are sincere, Kṛṣṇa will protect us and He will lessen our reaction to be minor compared to what we actually deserve. Kṛṣṇa knows what is in our heart and He ‘knows’ what we do at all times which is something that even a neophyte devotee should know. The criminally minded devotee knows full well that they have transgressed / sinned yet they seek or allow their disciples / supporters, family members and friends etc to believe that they are innocent and are being victimized or falsely accused. The supporters / enablers allow themselves to overlook the incriminating claims and evidence and our philosophy and place their faith and support in the wrongdoer.
The sincere aspiring devotee will always seek to act in truth and speak the truth and will not allow themselves to be placed into a compromising position, no matter if they be the offender or the friend / associate of the offender. Both the wrongdoer and the enabler have no faith that Kṛṣṇa will protect them if they speak and act in truth and chose instead to act in nescience.
Within ISKCON enabling the wrongdoer has become institutionalized with devotees acting as ‘apologists’ by writing or speaking in support of the wrongdoers. This institution has taken the role of the enabler to the extent of establishing whole departments designed to protect the criminally minded devotee such as; GBC deputies, ISKCON Resolve, International Child Protection Office, BBTi and the various committees and investigative bodies, which only enable the corruption and deceit to continue while giving the impression that they actually care for the victim or the truth.
The FISKCON apologist may be acting in full knowledge of the criminality of the incident or they may be acting in ignorance and act simply out of learnt or conditioned behavior because it has been acculturated into our society to act in a certain manner when faced with an issue of criminality. The ‘reaction’ of these two types of denial is the same in as far as the institutionalized devotees are concerned.
The usual response is to protect the wrongdoer should the wrongdoer be an official ISKCON devotee in a senior position such as a Guru or GBC or Temple President. They attempt to silence the victim or whistleblower with threats such as ‘do not disturb the innocent disciples’ or ‘what will the outsiders think if they see our dirty laundry?’ or ‘take this up with the proper authorities who can and will deal with this’ etc. None of which addresses the criminality of the wrongdoer and the righteousness of the claimant but only serves to protect to perpetrator and the corrupt institution.
The fact that the full force and purpose of the above authorities have been specifically designed to thwart the due process of the law or righteous process of accountability by hiding the truth and assisting the perpetrator in escaping the consequence of their criminality is evidenced by fact that they have never once reported one of their own to the police for engaging in criminal activity.
Śrīla Prabhupāda didn’t want us to be criminals or lawbreakers. He wanted us to follow both God’s law and the laws of the land. To protect a criminal from either law is wrong, whether it is done knowingly, or done in ignorance or pity; it is wrong – it is as simple as that.
Prabhupāda: …Everyone abides by the law. We have to abide by the law. There is no difficulty. And government provides that religious society or this society, they should get themselves incorporated so that it is recognized. In so many activities they want to know whether this society is recognized. So we have to take all these measures. We cannot go out of the purview of the general rules and regulations. [General Letters Seattle 1969]
Friendship or Acquaintance
Many times decisions are made by apologists or enablers due to mundane friendship or intimate mundane relations between aspiring or neophyte devotees. The perpetrator may use their mundane relationship with their friends or supporters to garner support for their criminality by appealing to their sentiment gained from their friendship. There should be no or very little room for such devious dealings in the lives of an aspiring Vaisnava. Devotees need to work together to look at their weaknesses with love honesty and care and try their best help each other to become more Kṛṣṇa conscious instead of supporting their weaknesses and materialistic desires.
If we want to advance in spiritual life, we must follow the regulative principles and rectify the mistakes of our past lives and this present life. Only those who have become free from all kinds of sinful reactions and are now engaged in pious activities can fully understand God. Persons who commit sinful activities and who are overly attached to bodily comforts and mundane friendship, society, and family affection cannot be spiritually self-realized. [Second Chance]
Make it brief and humble – then I will listen – is another form of denial
This form of denial is very insidious, for it is also found in the more scrupulous devotee who, even though they know that the wrongdoer has offended, have been affected by the poison of denial which has been acculturated within our society, and takes the form of the ‘not wanting to rock the boat’ mentality. This mentality takes on many forms, not the least of which is the form of promoting the idea that we should not disturb anyone by directly ‘calling a thief a thief’, and that we should adopt a fawning and servile position so as not to disturb the wrongdoers or their enablers’ sensibilities. That it is better not to use descriptive words when naming a thief as a thief or to not point the finger at anyone in particular but instead appeal for us all to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and pray for rectification. Better still, we must not mention a word unless of course we are perfect ourselves.
Many times readers of forums where members of our society can come together to pragmatically discuss our problems, where we can reveal our minds and our hearts; are turned off by the use of what they consider emotive terms or labels and stop reading, discussing or listening to the points being raised. This is another form of denial for the reader demands that the writer follow highly specific ‘niceties’ in their tone or word usage so that it is more pleasing to the ear.
This is all due to a false sense of being humble or non confrontational in our dealings with offenders or with the expectation that we must not display any emotion or feelings in our discussions for this is a sign of weakness. However, this mentality is, in the long run, impersonal and counterproductive to the healing of our society and our members. We must not shy away from calling a thief a thief, or from thinking that the wrongdoer should not be censured severely or angrily as Śrīla Prabhupāda explains;
Then Mahārāja Parīkṣit said, “One may know that sinful activity is injurious for him because he actually sees that a criminal is punished by the government and rebuked by people in general… [SB.6.1]
Rebuked means – Censure severely or angrily. So why must we, as a society, see criminality as something that must be treated with a fawning apologetic attitude? Brahmans and Ksatriyas and especially Vaiṣṇava Brahmans are not sniveling fawning cowards who cower from protecting the citizens or the Guru in the name of pseudo humility. They are not people who deny their emotions or anger. None of us are perfect and even though there are some emotions displayed to such criminals or criminality as these are part of the healing or growing process and must not be denied, certainly we must learn to control them and channel them properly by proper / truthful devotee association which is based on honesty and our combined struggle for Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Why should we be afraid to call a thief a thief and severely rebuke a criminal? To fear such a thing is a very unhealthy attitude that has been acculturated into our society only so that the criminal can get away with their abuse and crimes and the followers cower in servile cowardice at their traitorous feet. Yet the whistle blower or the thief caller is vilified, censured and threatened with violence and aggression. A good example of this is Vrajabhumi Dasi, who was fired from the Gurukula when she spoke up about the recent child abuse.
Another form of this type of denial is that an article or complaint must be written in a succinct way and if it is too long no one will read it. This idea has been acculturated into our society, that the matter can only be easily understood if it is written in a brief and fawning manner.
This effectively teaches us to not fully appreciate or understand an issue and sets up a very arrogant position of the reader who should adopt a more brahminical attitude to any discussion or issue within our Vaisnava society. Simply the fact that the issue is being raised infers that no one in leadership understands or cares about the matter and the followers simply become a victim to the attitude of the leaders and fail to fully appreciate the issues at hand due to this stance that presents as a “Of course we understand what you are saying so make it brief, simple and fawning and we will hear you out!”
Yet how much do most of the devotees really know of the situation or issue when many of them are so flippant and careless so as to not give due attention to problems that are adversely affecting our society and impeding our devotional lives especially since they have become systemic within our society and no one has corrected or rectified the situation or issue over the last three and a half decades. This means that there are not enough devotees who care enough to fully understand the ramifications of the situation or issue that our society is facing.
Many times the enabler or perpetrator seeks to find fault or blame in the victim or the whistleblower in order to redirect the attention away from their culpability or the culpability of someone they wish to protect. The GBC and Temple authorities are well known for this type of response to any claim of criminality brought to bear against one of their own. This type of denial is perniciously malignant as it readily becomes systemic by being acculturated within any person or institution, as is the case within our ISKCON institution and devotional community. The ‘victim blaming’ or ‘whistleblower blaming’ mentality is quite rampant in our society as many devotees have been conditioned by the mentality of the GBC, Gurus and other ISKCON officials and apologists who have been polluted by this malignant type of denial. ‘It’s their karma’ or ‘they are envious’ or ‘I thought I was your friend’ are some of the fault finding techniques employed by the apologist/enabler/perpetrator.
Denial of the emotional response to crime and criminality
When a crime is committed there is always an emotional response/reaction by the victim, their family, friends, supporters and advocates. This cannot be denied as it is a very real and tangible consequence of crime. This reaction is made many times worse if the crime is denied by the perpetrator / witnesses / investigative bodies / family members / institution etc and is made more so if the perpetrator’s punishment is diluted or avoided.
So the criminals and their supporters must be punished by the government and the institution and rebuked by the general devotees by identifying them as criminals, thieves, rapists or embezzlers etc. The victim and the truth should never take second place to the lie, the criminal and their supporters/enablers/apologists in a healthy society, what to speak of a Kṛṣṇa conscious society.
Moreover, if there is a crime committed, whether it is a moral, ethical, legal, philosophical or disloyalty to the pure devotee, His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, then one cannot expect that in a family of Vaiṣṇavas or aspiring Vaisnavas that there is no emotion attached to this act. There is thinking, feeling, willing and doing in every action or inaction that anyone performs – whether they are a criminal or a sādhu. The only difference is that these emotions found in a saintly person are directed towards thinking, feeling, willing and doing for the betterment of others and the greater good of the living entities. The criminal on the other hand has no feelings for the victim, the family or friends what to speak of the truth. Their only interest and feelings lie in the attainment of the own selfish desires. They are callous to the feeling of others which is a common sociopathic tendency of the criminal minded.
Trivialization of the incident or problem
A person in denial may also trivialize or minimize the incident or issue to make it appear inconsequential and a waste of time in discussing in order to find a solution. “Oh he is only being affectionate” or “he means well”. This mentality is another form of denial or unwillingness to face the reality that either they themselves or the one they are protecting is in need of rectification.
Denial of the impact of crime reduces or eliminates a sense of pain or harm from poor decisions that we make that affect the lives of others.
Misdirection or Shifting the Blame
Rationalizations of a person in denial are meant to shift the focus away from themselves in order to avoid any pain, discomfort or suffering of the consequence that the incident or issue may have on themselves or the ones they have chosen to side with.
Denying the wrongdoing of our actions, attitude or the actions and attitudes of the wrongdoer and blaming the victim, their advocates or the whistleblower enables one to avoid feeling a sense of guilt and prevents one from developing remorse or empathy for others.
It also prevents one from appreciating that there is a problem in both the offender and oneself. This form of denial has the potential to create a great deal of disturbance in devotional social interactions as well as it retards the learning process and subsequently the healthy growth and development of any person, family, community or society.
It is also the most childish and deceptive form of denial where it does not admit that there was crime but attempts to deflect the attention of the inquirer away from the crime and onto a subject matter that shows the criminal in a positive light. “You are being offensive Prabhu can’t you see that the Swami is preaching and distributing the Holy Name. WHAT ARE YOU DOING??? In one sentence they can deflect the blame away from the Swami who is hugging sweet little girls or photographing others half naked and onto the one who exposes such corrupt behavior.
The Cycle of Denial
A person in the state of denial may say things such as, “it just happened”. This attitude creates a type of cycle of denial where an individual, by avoiding any introspection of or taking responsibility for any of their decisions leading up to an incident, whether they are the perpetrator or the supporter/enabler, creates an unhealthy pattern in ones decision making that ensures that harmful behavior is repeated.
While in the state of denial, the perpetrator or the supporter / enabler cowardly seeks to avoid any pain or harm to themselves or others by denying any wrongdoing which they mistakenly believe is better than the effort needed to change their behavior or attitude in any given incident by not looking into the decisions that they have made preceding the event. For example the perpetrator blames the victim for the incident. “You led me on” and in this way they deny any responsibility in the crime.
The supporter/enabler says “Well she sat on his lap” or “Her parents allowed her to go to him” or “All Bengali boys engage in homosexual behavior” and in this way they try to justify their actions or inactions which is nothing more than an attempt to remove themselves from any responsibility in the event. This is indicative of the behavior of people who lack the ability to effectively control their sensual responses.
People in the state of denial also may say ‘I was not aware that it was wrong’ or ‘I was not aware at the time that it was happening’ when they were well aware of the incident or situation but chose not to act responsibly. In this way they futilely hope to escape the consequences of their actions and inactions.
Asammoha, freedom from doubt and delusion, can be achieved when one is not hesitant and when he understands the transcendental philosophy. Slowly but surely he becomes free from bewilderment. Nothing should be accepted blindly; everything should be accepted with care and with caution. Kñamä, tolerance and forgiveness, should be practiced; one should be tolerant and excuse the minor offenses of others. Satyam, truthfulness, means that facts should be presented as they are, for the benefit of others. Facts should not be misrepresented. According to social conventions, it is said that one can speak the truth only when it is palatable to others. But that is not truthfulness. The truth should be spoken in a straightforward way, so that others will understand actually what the facts are. If a man is a thief and if people are warned that he is a thief, that is truth. Although sometimes the truth is unpalatable, one should not refrain from speaking it. Truthfulness demands that the facts be presented as they are for the benefit of others. That is the definition of truth. [BG.10.4]
We as devotees must seek to be truthful and honest in all our dealings and should not speak untruths or lies in order to protect ourselves or others.
One should not seek to find fault in others who are sincerely engaged in purifying themselves. These people are open, honest and strive to develop the qualities of a saintly person and even though they may make mistakes they are quick to apologize and rectify for any wrongdoing in their thoughts words and deeds. Small mistakes in these seekers of the absolute truth are to be tolerated, excused and forgotten for they will prove by their endeavor that they are striving for perfection.
Apaicunam means that one should not find fault with others or correct them unnecessarily. Of course to call a thief a thief is not faultfinding, but to call an honest person a thief is very much offensive for one who is making advancement in spiritual life. Hré means that one should be very modest and must not perform some act which is abominable. [SB.16.1-3]
However major offenses or crimes should not be tolerated or excused in our devotional society and should not go unpunished and must be dealt with in a corrective manner. If the person breaks the law of the land then they should be punished according to the law of the land and if the person breaks one of the laws of nature they will be punished and if one breaks God’s law they will be punished accordingly – no one can escape being punished for transgressing any law. This is the law of nature, cause and effect, action and reaction and so on.
Rectify Not Deny
As aspiring Vaiṣṇavas, we must learn to accept the truth in all aspects of our lives and strive to act with impartiality, honesty and integrity in all our interactions. The wrongdoer must rectify by accepting the truth of their wrongdoing and strive to change their mentality and wayward ways by initially not seeking to deny culpability or seeking the help of others to support them in their wrongdoing. To commit an offence or crime or to support or enable a wrongdoer is to engage in criminal activity and means that one accepts a lesser position in their spiritual journey which is counterproductive, especially if by taking this stance it will negatively affect or impede another’s sincere struggle for Kṛṣṇa consciousness. What to speak of setting a bad example or dangerous precedent for others to follow.
This is especially so for the leaders of our society and other senior devotees whose duty it is to serve and protect the international community of devotees who are innocent and desirous of making spiritual advancement.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Not by enviousness. Chastisement means correction. He’s in the wrong way; he is corrected to the right way. So gradually you have to take the power of the king to correct the whole human society. Paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām [Bg. 4.8]. That is Kṛṣṇa’s business, to give protection to the right person and to chastise the wrong person, two things required, side by side. Paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām. And dharma-saṁsthāpanārthāya. Three, another. By chastising the wrongdoer and by giving protection to the right man, and then establish what is real religion. And then Kṛṣṇa’s mission, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is perfect. [Morning Walk – Bhubaneshwar March 1977]
Rectification comes only after there is an admission of guilt. If there is no admission of guilt there is only remorse or anger at being caught or shown up for ones criminal mentality. Admission of guilt is only possible when one is emotionally / spiritually mature enough to take responsibility for ones actions and inactions in any sinful behavior or attitude.
At the very point when one commits the crime they know full well the nature of what they are doing. They may be compelled to engage in criminal activity due to past conditioning but they know full well they are sinning. The failure to take responsibility for their lack of control and any subsequent action that ensues is due to a lack of understanding of the consequences for themselves and their victim/s which is due to a lack of moral / social and emotional maturity.
Admission of guilt either internally or externally expressed is the first step to a healthy resolution to their personal growth and development. If the wrongdoer fails to admit their guilt then there is only suffering for all concerned in the form of reactions and counter reactions to the original sinful behavior or attitude.
It is only after genuine repentance that one can truly understand and appreciate the Lord’s mercy as Śrīla Prabhupāda explains below.
Even a devotee may sometimes commit some sinful activity, either unknowingly or due to past sinful behavior. But if he sincerely repents, thinking, “I should not have done this, but I am so sinful that I have again committed this sin,” the Supreme Lord will excuse him on the basis of his genuine repentance. However, if he intentionally commits sinful activities, expecting that the Lord will forgive him because he is chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, that is inexcusable.
If one commits sinful activities on the strength of chanting the holy name, he commits nāma-aparādha, or an offense against the holy name. Of the ten kinds of offenses, committing sins on the strength of chanting is the most serious. If after being freed from all sinful reactions by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa one again commits the same sins, he is guilty of a grievous crime. For an ordinary man, that sinful activity may not be regarded so seriously, but for one who is chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, it is a dangerous offense, just as it is a serious crime for a government officer in a high post to take advantage of his position and accept a bribe. Such men are the most punishable criminals. If a policeman steals, his crime and subsequent punishment are greater than that of an ordinary man who steals. That is the law. Similarly, one who takes gross advantage of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, thinking, “I am chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, so even if I commit some sin I’ll be excused,” will not achieve the ultimate goal of chanting the holy name. He becomes entangled in a cycle: he is freed, then he again commits sin, then he is freed and again commits sin, freed and again commits sin. In this way he is never liberated…
…As the Viṣṇudūtas say here, “The chanting of the holy name of Lord Viṣṇu is the best process of atonement for all kinds of sinners.” But very often the difficulty is that one will chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and again commit sin. [A Second Chance]
Simply because one has taken up this Kṛṣṇa Consciousness movement they are not immune from punishment for breaking the law. Even if one is repentant they will still face punishment, however if they are sincerely trying and make minor mistakes or transgressions due to past samskaras then the punishment is lessened. However, should one think that; since we are chanting, since we are holding a senior position in the institution, since we have served time in the movement, or since they are my friend or since they are my guru etc then they or we are immune or we will be forgiven without admitting to the crime and submitting to the appropriate consequence – then we are fool number one.
The Holy Names of the Lord or the above excuses are not a get out of jail free ticket. This is the same for the enabler; they too cannot protect the transgressor or themselves from the reaction of sinning on the strength of chanting the Holy Names of the Lord or the above cited excuses. They cannot think that since I am a devotee and they are a devotee we shall get away with any crime be it small or big, immoral or legal. An excuse is only an excuse and so to give only an excuse will not nullify the sin or transgression.
Forgiveness for sinful behavior
Prabhupāda: No. Forgiveness is… I know that in church the confession program is there. Forgiveness… Suppose you are or I am an offender. I ask your forgiveness. So you can forgive me once, twice, thrice, not more than that. You cannot make it a profession that you go on committing sins and God will forgive you. No, that is not possible. That is misconception. That is mentioned in the Bhagavad-gītā, api cet sudurācāro bhajate mām ananya-bhāk, sādhur eva sa mantavyaḥ [Bg. 9.30]. This sudurācāraḥ, means offender, that is not willful offense. One person is accustomed to some bad habits, but he has taken to Kṛṣṇa consciousness or God consciousness. But on account of strong habit, if he fails sometimes, that is excused, forgiveness, not that willful committing sin and ask for forgiveness. That is not allowed. In common affairs we do not see. I have got practical, I mean to say, experience. In my householder life I was proprietor of a big pharmacy. So my manager sold some morphia preparation to some unauthorized person. So the sales inspector, they noted it and made us a criminal. And the magistrate called me because I was the proprietor. So my statement was given that “I do not conduct the business directly. Of course, I am responsible for my manager’s fault, but I shall be very strict in future. You can forgive me.” Immediately I was forgiven. But next time, if I go, if I say like that, that is not forgiven. That is not possible. So this forgiveness is good for accidental fault. But it cannot be continued, that is a wrong philosophy. [Room Conversation Rome 1974]
The apologist or enablers, Gurus, GBC and ISKCON authorities actively promote that a leader must be forgiven if they commit a sin. The only problem is that the sinner, in the case of an ISKCON leader, never has to admit to sinning nor do they have to discontinue sinning, however, they demand that their followers believe that it is of utmost importance that we forgive them otherwise we are not devotees or Vaiṣṇavas. This is the false logic that the ISKCON leaders preach which is based in the ideology of ‘denial’ and is not an aspect of our Vaiṣṇava philosophy. Śrīla Prabhupāda ends the above quote with “That is a wrong philosophy.”
To be in denial intentionally or by ignorance is not a defense against the reactions to sinning and neither is chanting the Holy Name of the Lord a defense against sinful behaviour. The sooner we as a society understand this the sooner we can begin to work on our real problems. If our leaders abide by both God’s law and the law of the land; the general public and governments would look favorably upon us.
The problems we face internally exist because the general rank and file devotee is in a state of denial believing that their gurus and the GBC can do no wrong and so they attempt to protect them thinking that they are pure devotees who cannot be questioned or punished for any crime up until the point of murder and rejecting their spiritual master His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda.
We must remember that disrespecting or disobeying the orders of the Spiritual Master is a grievous offense and by allowing criminality to fester in our society, by protecting our criminal leaders, the GBC and Gurus etc, we only end up ruining our own spiritual lives and the spiritual lives of others.
Denial is a very ugly thing and it is a serious cause of the perniciously malignant rot inside our great Vaiṣṇava society.