Hare Krishna Cult Recruiting in Haight Ashbury San Francisco
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: September 19, 2017 09:35AM

2017 The Hare Krishna Sect Is In San Francisco -- Targeting Tourists Not Flower Children.

Friends, if you have met a Hare Krishna outreacher, you need to know that they are taught to lie to outsiders in order to recruit them.

A Hare Krishna outreach person will charm you and delight you, will be intelligent and lucid.

That person will not tell you the full history of the Hare Krishna movement.
He or she may not know that full history themselves -- because their own recruiters did not tell them, and once in the cult, they are kept too busy to do outside reading - or research.

Here is where you can learn what your ISKON recruiter will not tell you.

A former Hare Krishna wrote this -- the inside dope.


Your delightful ISKON recruiter will not tell you the full history of the International Society of Krishna Consciousness.

In fact, the Hare Krishna recruiter regards it as his duty to Krishna to LIE to you if that gets you to become a devotee.


I learned that service to Krishna trumps mundane morality and ethics—that ethics is, most fundamentally, whatever serves the mission (ethics based on any other motivation is mere sentimentality and mental speculation). To get one of our books or other products into the hands of a non-devotee, and to separate him or her from their money, one could say and do virtually anything. I learned that, despite appearances, such actions could not be called lying or cheating, because they represent the enactment of a higher law, meant for the true benefit of the donor.

Women Children and Sex


In spite of a personal history of appreciating and respecting women, I learned that women are the enemies of spiritual life, not only because their very presence invokes lust, but because they themselves are of a lower, more sensual order of being. Women are, in fact, the very embodiment of Maya, the universal force of material illusion, and therefore must be covered ankle to neck.

In weak moments, I learned that ample sensuality may be observed in the faces, hands and feet of young women, and in the shifting folds of their modest saris.

I learned that for a person on the spiritual path, the worst possible thing he can do is to engage in illicit sex (i.e., sex for any purpose other than creating godly children within marriage). I learned that non-procreational sex displeases God and fatally undermines any hope of spiritual progress.

I learned that my ex-girlfriends were bloodsuckers. Since, according to the guru, it takes forty drops of blood to produce one drop of semen, when my girlfriends had sex with me they were draining me of my vital energies. No matter how kind, beautiful or intelligent they might have seemed at the time, they were de facto vampires.

I learned that no matter how good and decent a non-devotee may appear on the surface, if he engages in illicit sex he is little better than a monkey. Those who indulge their lust are sinful, dirty, and doomed to perpetual misery.

This is what your charming smiling Krishna recruiter really thinks of you.



I learned that whatever admirable qualities a non-devotee may appear to have—however seemingly benign, benevolent or admirable—the mere fact that the person is not a devotee of Krishna renders him a sinner, to be avoided at all costs. Even our biological family and former friends were to be avoided as far as possible, lest we become contaminated or, alternatively, incinerated: to associate with non-devotees was, according to our scriptures, tantamount to entering "a cage of fire."

Here is an archive of information about the International Society of Krishna Consciousness.


ISKON and drug smuggling


ISKON and child abuse at Krishna temples and Krishna boarding schools





But, if you are an outsider, you are what they call a 'karmi' -- an inferior deluded creature trapped in karma.

You are either a potential recruit or, if you refuse, a demonic foe.

San Francisco's Haight Ashbury District has been a tourist spot for years.

Even more tourists are pouring into "The Haight" due to the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love.

For the past 3 to 4 months, Hare Krishnas have been on Haight Street handing
out free copies of the Bhagavad Gita --- with the Hare Krishna cult commentary on the text written Srila Prabhupada, the founder.

It is the First Amendment right of the Krishnas to do outreach. They come across as charming and friendly people. Being mean to them would make most of us feel as though we are kicking a puppy.

These New Model Hare Krishas do not look spaced out. They are well spoken. They are welcoming and charming. They are the kind of people who would make any business or cause look good.

Back to Haight Street, 2017. You are standing there chatting with your ISKON recruiter. He will be happy to let you take selfies with him so you can share all this on social media.

Put your encounter on social media and, without knowing it, you will be doing
free publicity for the Krishnas. Learn a bit about their real history before
you give them that publicity.

No. The ISKON sect is a tiny, very tiny sect within Hinduism. It is not even ancient. ISKON is a devotional, bhakti sect within Hinduism. The various Bhakti sects developed in medieval India, not ancient India.

ISKON is a subsect of the Gaudiya Vaishnava bhakti sect. The adi Guru (founding guru)of the Gauidya Vaisnavas was Chaitanya, born in Bengal, Western India in the 16th Century, a mere 400 years ago.


Gaudiya Vaishnavism (also known as Chaitanya Vaishnavism and Hare Krishnas) is a Vaishnava religious movement founded by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1486–1534) in India in the 16th century. Caitanya Mahaprabhu rejuvenated the culture of Krsna bhakti. "Gaudiya" refers to the Gauda region (present day West Bengal & Bangladesh) and Vaishnavism meaning "the worship of Vishnu". Its philosophical basis is primarily that of the Bhagavad Gita and Bhagavata Purana, as well as other Puranic scriptures and Upanishads.

Re: Hare Krishna Cult Recruiting in Haight Ashbury San Francisco
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: September 19, 2017 09:46AM

One person, an Indian Hindu raised in a non bhakti tradition, visited an ISKON temple in Boston.

She reports that it gave her valuable new insight to re-read the Bhagavad Gita from a bhakti perspective, which supplemented the Jnani (Hindu intellectual
tradition) of her family.

She did note this:



I saw the vigor with which the devotees sang the chants. I heard how they had all read the Gita numerous times. I listened when they spoke of their love for Krishna. When I put all these pieces together, I was shown a new picture. The Hare Krishnas were not necessarily rooted in something “un-Hindu.” They were just rooted in a different vein of Hinduism than I had been exposed too. The temple visit was successful in altering my philosophical view of the Hare Krishnas. But my social impression of the Hare Krishnas remained unchanged.

While it may be true that the Hare Krishnas have the right idea about Hinduism, there is still something about the movement that makes me feel that it is less than religious. The movement attracts a certain type of follower. In the case of the Boston temple, the majority of the devotees were young males under the age of twenty-five. They had one thing in common however, and it was that they were previously part of a social scene called “straight edge.” The straight edge scene was characterized by the cliché “sex, drugs, and rock and roll”, but without the sex and the drugs. They liked punk music, but refrained from drugs and sex. Most of the young men who were now living in the ashram, had been members of the straight edge scene. Another commonality between these young members was that many of them had previously been addicted to drugs. One devotee mentioned how he had almost overdosed, but then he found Krishna.

It is the air around the Hare Krishnas that is still unsettling to me.

ISKCON seems to attract the wandering and lost. The devotees have an idealized version of India, and instantly thought that I was pure just because I was Indian. They were fascinated with my heritage and instantly felt a bond to me because I was from India. They believe that Americans are crazy, money hungry, and have lost the true purpose of life.

These generalizations make me feel that the Hare Krishnas are living in a deluded world.

Re: Hare Krishna Cult Recruiting in Haight Ashbury San Francisco
Posted by: The Falconer ()
Date: September 19, 2017 06:28PM

It's spelled ISKCON, not ISKON, silly.

Re: Hare Krishna Cult Recruiting in Haight Ashbury San Francisco
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: September 19, 2017 09:36PM

Ah yes. Silly me.

ISKCON, not ISKON. This will help with the Google search results.

Extra C as in 'con'.



Repeat: fact checking makes you sexy -- even if someone has to correct you on minor
points now and then.

Just give a cute, penitent smile when you're reprimanded.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/19/2017 09:54PM by corboy.

Re: Hare Krishna Cult Recruiting in Haight Ashbury San Francisco
Posted by: The Falconer ()
Date: September 20, 2017 12:23AM

corboy: To your knowledge, does ISKCON practice (as a policy applying to all members) anything like "shunning," "disconnection," "disfellowshipping," or what have you?

Re: Hare Krishna Cult Recruiting in Haight Ashbury San Francisco
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: September 20, 2017 12:28AM

ISKCON has historically shunned people and treated ex-members very badly. In one situation a former member that spoke out was murdered. Very nasty history.

Not an organization that I recommend to anyone under any circumstances.

There are so many well respected Hindu temples in the US with no such history to choose from so it's not necessary to become involved with ISKCON, which many Hindus view quite negatively.

Re: Hare Krishna Cult Recruiting in Haight Ashbury San Francisco
Posted by: The Falconer ()
Date: September 20, 2017 12:32AM

That's not accurate, Rick. Steve Bryant (Sulocana) was not a "former member." He was full-fledged (albeit renegade) Hare Krsna when he was killed.

The Amish call their practice "shunning." In the Watchtower, it's called "disfellowshipping." In $cientology, it's called "disconnection." What does ISKCON call their policy of cutting off former or dissident members, please?

Re: Hare Krishna Cult Recruiting in Haight Ashbury San Francisco
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: September 20, 2017 01:56AM

Actually there were two "renegade" members shunned by the ISKCON leadership that were murdered. Charles St. Denis, killed in 1983, and Steve Bryant, killed in 1986.

What is your point?

Seems like you are just trolling this message board again.

Haight Street visitors - hear this from a *former* Hare Krishna
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: September 21, 2017 09:59PM

Forum:International Society for Krishna Consciousness - page suggestions (from an ex-HK)

Contents [hide]
1 Some thoughts from an ex devotee to add to this page
2 Prabhupada's Gita, skewed verses, and why it matters to talk
about/satirize it
3 The Cult of Prabhupada
4 Hare Krishna and Women
5 Referencing for all this




Some thoughts from an ex devotee to add to this page[edit]
Hi everyone, I'm not sure this is the right way for me to go about things but here goes:

I noticed that the page for International Society for Krishna Consciousness is closed


- or at least, I can't edit the main (first) body of text. I imagine that some very devout devotees have come in here trying to delete things, or to post apologetic information, or something. Anyway, whatever the reason, there is something I'd like to add to it that I feel is of importance.

It is in regards to the following body of text:

"Although ISKCON is often regarded as having 'gone astray' its often bizarre beliefs and exploitative or abusive practices actually find support in A. C Bhaktivedanta's many books and recorded talks. Among the 'purports' he wrote to accompany the Srimad Bhagavatam he condones rape and encourages child marriage, and he encouraged deception and considered anyone who disagreed with him as "envious," demonic and deserving of destruction."

Firstly I must congratulate whoever wrote that for having so succinctly described the way ISKCON and its founder's writing works. For context - I'm an ex-Hare Krishna devotee - I served them for 2 years and lived in an ashram, studying the books and so forth. I'm very happy to see someone put in just two sentences the summary of what took me about a year to realize after I had left them!

To this area, perhaps at the end of the quotations from Prabhupada's works themselves, I wanted to add that his Bhagavad-Gita "As It Is" (quotation marks my own) was revised into a Second Edition by some of his successors.

When I was a devotee, there was also rumour that this same selection of devotees, who formed the editing team at the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust (as far as I'm aware), also revised and edited his other books, principally the Srimad Bhagavatam and the Chaitanya Charitamrita. I've seen first-hand the original 70's Bhagavad-Gita "As It Is," and the newer Second Edition, and have noted the differences.

This ties in a little with the saying that ISKCON has "gone astray," and is actually still a point of contention - devotees in my area did not want to talk about it, because if you dug too deep with who edited what and why, you might start questioning the authority of the present-day gurus.

(Corboy which is why your smiling Krishna recruiter cannot tell you the full truth. He may not even know the extent to which his religion is rewriting its own history. Persons who have studied dictatorships will see a familiar pattern here.)

Also, it has been said that Prabhupada's Srimad Bhagavatam has omitted large volumes of text dealing with sexual mysticism and yoga.

Unfortunately, I can't verify this just yet; though I still own a copy of his Bhagavatam it isn't with me right now, and it's a very large text. Just tossing it out there to the community perhaps might get some feedback?

I'd be interested to know which Bhagavatams are good to cross-reference, or if anybody has done this work before. At the very least, I know that he interprets the parts of the Bhagavatam that deal with sex, mysticism, and alternate paths of yoga practice in a very skewed light.

The end result is always, "join my devotees, chant hare krishna, follow the rules."

Prabhupada's Gita, skewed verses, and why it matters to talk about/satirize it[edit]

Another addition I thought of making was a sub-heading dealing with Prabhupada's Gita, "As It Is."

(Corboy Krishna recruiters often hand this out for free)

There are devout Hindus across book-review websites including Amazon and GoodReads who have rejected his version, on grounds that Prabhupada's polemical writing style, and his constant vilification and condemnation of those who disagree with him, is not in keeping with the true spirit of the Gita.

There are also a fair number of deliberately mistranslated (I say "twisted") texts, most notably the "Brahma Havir" verse, Chapter 4, Verse 24. The Prabhupada version can be seen here.

[vedabase.net] (link is now dead - Corboy)

By cross-referencing it even with its own word-for-word translations, it is easy to see that the full translation offered, and the purport following, are complete nonsense.

It is out of step with what Krishna is discussing before and after, and the reason Prabhupada skirts around it is because the original translation leads to the conclusion that Brahman is everything ("All is One"), a staple of Hindu belief.

This verse essentially describes the nature of Brahman and the relationship between religious practitioner, brahman, and the realization of that truth (Tattva). It has been raised as an example of Prabhupada's "dirty translating" in ex-devotee websites. Unfortunately, I can no longer link to my favorite source on this topic, because the author stopped editing. See Way Back Machine's archive of it here: Hare Krishna Women.

Point being: Prabhupada's books themselves claim to be presenting the "true Vedic wisdom," and the "original" Vedic tradition.

According to Prabhupada, the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition, from which ISKCON stems (but deviates from), is re-establishing an ancient religion of Krishna worship that supposedly existed before Hinduism diversified and accepted "impersonalism" as a central doctrine.

As with all claims of "Truth" with a Capital T, skeptical analysis shows it to be bunk.

I find his Gita is a good springboard for dissecting his views, how he put them into practice, and it might be a good way to mention the belief that Hare Krishnas are taught to believe that theirs is the "original" Hinduism, before "impersonalism," and Prabhupada justifies that belief by going to great lengths to conceal any trace of it in the actual texts he claims to present "As Is."

The Cult of Prabhupada[edit]

Probably an even better sub-heading would be one that exposes the cult of personality that Prabhupada created around himself, and that his followers pushed even further after he died.

In his books and even in recordings of interviews with journalists, Prabhupada explains that the guru must be treated like God. This has been the basis of how many gurus, especially corrupt ones both past and present, have justified their demands from their devotees, including the giving of money and the hanging on to every word the guru gives.

Nowadays, it is expected in Hare Krishna circles to never question authority. While I lived with them, I could not question or talk back to, or even about, a "senior" devotee, even if their plans were obviously flawed or misguided, or they had no expertise or right to place themselves in authority.

Positions of power were secretly vied for and once held, guarded closely by an elite who kept everyone "junior" to them in subordinate positions.

(Corboy: Including your Krishna recruiter. He lives on veg humble pie
back at the temple, no matter how confident he seems when talking to deluded
non Krishnas. He is Saved, you are Damned - unless you convert.)

All this, despite the scriptures themselves saying that a devotee would rise to spiritual advancement on their own merits and their own pacing, some faster than others.

The most major part of this don't question policy is to not question Prabhupada.

It's actually a test of faith to see how many of Prabhupada's more outlandish and outrageous writings you believe.

If you believe, for example, in Hare Krishna creationism, you will be one step closer to being initiated by a guru.

If you believe that atheists are demonic and deserve destruction, you've almost got your foot in the door to get authorized to be married. That's right - authorized to be married.

And if you believe their cosmology, and that we never landed on the moon, well, then you're fit for book distribution!

Though there is a small faction of Hare Krishnas today who are questioning Prabhupada, they are frequently silenced and ridiculed in Hare Krishna circles.

The most blatant and easily accessible space of fundamentalist Cult of Prabhupada fanaticism is the Sampradaya Sun, a kind of tabloid newspaper for Krishna cultists. The forums are particularly juicy.

Sampradaya Sun


The biggest marker of this Cult of Prabhupada, is the way people will parrot his speaking and writing style.

Hare Krishnas have a list of jargon words and key arguments, which they try to present in their own words like real students might present an argument or fact they've learned from their teacher, but really, Prabhupada taught them to say it exactly as he did.

Some of these words include:

"nectar" this service is nectar his nectarian speech was so transcendental
"jaya" (rhymes with EYE, means joy or victory) I sold a book! Jaya!
"prabhu" (means master, used to address anyone to try and make yourself look humble) nice work on books, prabhu
"demoniac" (denotes anyone outside of the faith, really) man, universities have such a demoniac agenda.
"envious" and "puffed up" (assumes that people's souls are "envious" of Krishna and of devotees, resulting in abusive or "forgetful" behaviour) Scientists are just puffed up, they think they know it all, but really their soul just wants to deny Krishna.

All of these words and their concomitant stock phrases, and in turn the arguments in which they appear (e.g. the Frog in the Well) can be found in Prabhupada's books, letters, and audio recordings. Luckily for researchers, they're repeated quite often, so it's easy to find examples of them. Just browse any part of the internet where Hare Krishnas are openly singing the praises of some book and become challenged (like the comments section of Amazon.com) and you'll see his arguments present, with minor variations.

In the present day, Prabhupada is believed to have even been sent directly from the spiritual world to accomplish his mission of establishing ISKCON. One of my roommates even believed this.

It's an interesting process to study for academics, because it might shed light into how prophets, zealots and other such big religious teachers metamorphosis into gods or divine messengers.

Hare Krishna and Women[edit]

I've written a lot tonight so I'll be brief. The most well-known aspect of the Hare Krishnas, and the one I get questioned the most as to whether it's true, is their sexist attitudes and practices towards women. Marriage is controlled, women are seen as a lesser birth than men (and I quote, "less intelligent").

Marriage is presented to young men as undesirable, and sex is strictly for conceiving children. There are also some weird rituals that married couples are supposed to adhere to, including the invitation of a monk and congregation to witness the conception of the child, while they sing and chant mantras, though most (if not all) Hare Krishnas either don't practice that or know about it.

When I was there, we were encouraged to be Brahmacharyas (monks), at least for a few years before deciding to get married.

If we came to the organization young and enamoured by the opposite sex, we were told that it was "not a marriage bureau," and scolded for thinking it was an easy way to get a family.

If we did get married before accepting monastic life, it was more less treated like "girl pushups": you did it because you were weak and could not go the full mile.

Hare Krishnas are also keen on re-establishing a caste system, though not entirely in keeping with India's current system. There are even farming communities and gurukulas (lit. guru school, founded by Bhaktivedanta Swami and infamous for child sex abuse in the 80's).

Referencing for all this[edit]

All this stuff I've posted are suggestions. I'll spend some time over the next couple of weeks combing the net for some reference material. I don't have my Krishna books on me at the moment, but may be able to get my paws on them over the year. I'm really keen to expand the material on ISKCON and Hare Krishnas on here. I think whoever wrote the page on Hare Krishna Creationism did a bang up job, I'd just like to see a bit more substance and well-deserved satire on the main page describing what they're like.

Thanks for reading through all this! My name is Mr Fox and I'm happy to help in any way I can here on RW.— Unsigned, by: FantasticMrFox88 / talk / contribs

Glad to see you have some ideas! The page actually isn't locked; you may have just missed the "edit" tab at the top-right corner. So you may feel free to integrate this into the article as you see fit. Wehpudicabok [?] [?] [?] 01:23, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

Hope it's OK that I removed some leading spaces up above, so I could read it without scrolling sideways. Nice to see you here, Mr Fox! Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 01:35, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 09/21/2017 10:24PM by corboy.

"Despite their wholesome hippie image"- negative views on sex
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: September 21, 2017 10:03PM

THe earlier, Rational Wiki page the author referred to in the essay above.



The International Society for Krishna Consciousness, also known as the Hare Krishnas (or in pop culture, "those annoying guys that used to bug you at the airport"), is a "new religious movement" founded in New York City in 1966 by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada[1], and since losted. It is based on Hinduism, Krishna being a Hindu god. It has been branded as a "cult", though it may be debatable if the label still applies. Nope, it's still a cult.[citation needed]

One narrative about the cult is that the Swami was a genuine (if possibly a bit naive) and honest guru who had authentic teachings to impart, but that the group which formed around him included exploitative cynics, interested only in gaining and consolidating worldly power. Apparently, one chief cabalist was mainly in it for the great Indian cough medicine buzz.[2] One thing led to another…


Although ISKCON has thus been represented as having 'gone astray',[note 1]'


its often bizarre beliefs and exploitative or abusive practices actually find support in A. C Bhaktivedanta's many books and recorded talks. Among the 'purports' he wrote to accompany the Srimad Bhagavatam he condones rape[note 2]


and encourages child marriage,[note 3]


and he encouraged deception and considered anyone who disagreed with him as "envious," demonic and deserving of destruction.

Present day believers condemn rape[3]


and formed a worldwide child protection office to prevent child sex abuse in their community.[4]


In other instances he (Prabhupada)suggested that eventually his followers would fight and kill non-believers, using an analogy with Islamic jihad.[note 4]


[note 5]


Teachings on sexuality[edit]

Despite their wholesome hippie image of sandal-wearing vegetarians who like nothing more than wandering through the streets chanting and hitting drums, ISKCON have some rather socially-regressive views on sexuality. Though there are LGBT-affirming trends within ISKCON, the general attitude towards homosexuality is that it goes against the teachings of Krishna. The pop star Boy George was rejected by the group because of his sexuality and told that he must either become celibate or marry a woman.[5]

That said, it isn't just gay sex they don't like: non-procreative heterosexual sex is bad too. Not big fans of sex in general then. Rather a strange religion for the writer of "Love You To", no?

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