Thank you, Vera, for your eyewitness account of the 1977 congressional campaign of Kathy Hoshijo and for documenting the complete control by Chris Butler. Your unimpeachable testimony makes my fact-finding so much more credible and hopefully will convince others of Butler’s true intentions. I’m posting below another “lost” article from the pre-internet year of 1977. It is part one of Walter Wright’s three part series. I recall seeing parts two and three on the Rick Ross Forum, but part one seems to be missing from the Internet. This posting will correct that gap and I’ve transcribed the test to aid the search engines and for the benefit of future readers. I’ll insert the images of the clippings at the end of this post since the transcription is easier to read. The bold type
By way of introduction, this appears to be the first of at least five congressional elections manipulated by Chris Butler. The press reported on the candidates alleged ties to Butler in each of the first four elections, but not in the fifth which resulted in the landslide victory of Tulsi Gabbard. What happened this time around? Same donors, same funneling of money, same party-flipping, same right-wing beliefs, and the same control by Butler – but not one comment from the mainstream media. “Oh, where have you gone,” … Walter Wright?The secret Spiritual base of a new political force
Hawaii’s “other” Krishnas When a small new newspaper on Maui called The Valley Isle published a rumor about an alleged “godfather" of organized crime and was hit with a multimillion-dollar lawsuit as a result, Advertiser staff writer Walter Wright was assigned to find out who started the paper and what their goals were. He concluded that the paper was only a small part of the "real' story: a loose-knit community of religious devotees, taught by a charismatic young guru and quietly making giant strides in business and politics. First of a three-part series By WALTER WRIGHT Advertiser Staff WriterHow 1976 ballots would have Looked if …
Katyayani devi dasi for Congress! Jivan Krsna das for mayor! Elect Sidha Swar das State representative! Send Sakari das to Washington! These were the hidden names in the 1976 political campaign. You know the first of them better as Kathy Hoshijo. The others are also-rans John Moore, Robert Gleason and Bill Penaroza. The names belong to participants in a powerful but little-known spiritual movement
whose devotees win thousands of votes in politics, handle millions of dollars in business and follow a black sheep guru chanting the name of Krishna, the All-Attractive. The spiritual leader in the center of all this activity is Chris Butler. 29. a Kalani High School graduate
who joined and then fell away from the International Society for Krishna Consciousness i ISKCON Many of Butler's followers are similarly disenchanted with ISKCON's strict regimen of temple life, book sales and street begging. If ISKCON members are known in Hawaii as "the Hare Krishnas", Butler's far less conspicuous followers could be called "the other Krishnas," operating as farmers, merchants, politicians and journalists. The labels are inadequate to encompass the variety of individuals involved, especially in a sect identified in part by its insistence on nonsectarianism, as Butler's followers would be the first to insist. And it is hard to avoid leaping from one generalization about these groups to another, afflicting individuals with a sort of "holiness by association." But many of them have chosen to associate, in various ways, for spiritual, business and political purposes, around common doctrines and similar practices which can be described. Butler's followers generally chant in the privacy of their own homes or makeshift non-ISKCON temples in rural Maui and Kauai. Most of them say they revere ISKON founder A. C. Bahktivedanta Swami Prabhupad, but refuse to peddle his books and incense on the street. They avoid pushing the philosophy on other people — except in watered-down political guise. The political fruit of Butler's instruction, financed in part by the …see page 3
continued from page 1…
business ventures of his followers, blossomed forth last year in the form of a new come-from-nowhere political party called Independents for Godly Government (IGG). Preaching strict morality for public officials and slow-or-no-growth and self-sufficiency for Hawaii, the IGG fielded 14 candidates last year. One of them, Hoshijo, received 17 per cent of the vote in a three-way congressional contest. Another IGG candidate, non-initiate but fellow chanter Wayne Nishiki, took 20 per cent of the vote in a three-man race for mayor of Maui. It is just the beginning. Hoshijo announced for the 1978 lieutenant governor race as a Democrat, but dropped out when ruled ineligible because she was under the minimum age of 30. Hoshijo then joined antiabortion and other ''traditionalist" women in a slate that swept elections to represent Hawaii at the National Women's Conference in Houston in November. Today, the IGG is focusing on Con- Con — the upcoming convention to propose revisions to the State Constitution, with delegates to be-elected next May. The IGG's spiritual heritage remained a 'mystery’ during the campaign because the news media didn't dig hard enough and several candidates skillfully ducked and dodged the Question. "The lives of our candidates are an open book to everyone," the IGG declared. But the candidates hid some pages from view.
Devotees whose principal form of worship and whose route to salvation is to glorify the name of Krishna chose not to glorify that name in public. "They denied the name of their God," said William E. Dove of the Big Island, a founder of the first ISKCON center in Hawaii and the first devotee to be initiated here. "They were trying to make too many compromises, but in spiritual life there is no compromise." A small publication called the Maui Moon declared last year that "Independents for Krishna Government would be a more conducive title for this party." But the article got little attention. When the Honolulu Star-Bulletin last October described Maui mayoral candidate Wayne Nishiki as "like various other Godly Government candidates, a devotee of the Hare Krishna faith," Nishiki said he was not and never had been a member of ISKCON, "nor have any of my supporters," and sent a letter threatening to sue. He didn't follow through, however. The same month, Hoshijo called a press conference and declared that the IGG was not affiliated with any religious organization. Last May, seven months after the election, Hoshijo said she was not a member of any organized religious group, including ISKCON. What Hoshijo did not say, in October or May, was that she had been initiated "Katyayani" by the founder and head of ISKCON, and that she lived for four months in an ISKCON temple in Pittsburgh, Pa., in the early 1970s. She did not reveal that for years she has followed the guidance of Butler
, a teacher of the Krishna Yoga philosophy. Nor did the champion vote-getter of the IGG reveal that several of her fellow candidates were also initiates of Prabhupad, that all chanted Hare Krishna and, that many were involved in common business enterprises founded on Krishna philosophy.Krishna principles adapted
The party line: 'Thou shalt not…’
Devout Krishna worshipers are different from most people because:
• They don't eat meat or eggs.
• They refrain from "illicit sex." which means all sexual contact, including kissing, unless performed by married couples once a month at the optimum time for procreation, and then only after hours of chanting to cleanse the mind.
• They avoid "speculation." which ranges from gambling to considering alternative opinions on religion.
• They refrain from intoxicants, which include coffee and tea.
These prohibitions are from the four "regulative principles" laid down by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad, founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), for his followers. Independents for Godly Government also are different from most people because they are required by the party to follow watered-down versions of these same rules. The only thing the IGG left out was Prahupad's positive requirement that devotees chant the Hare Krishna mantra, 16 rounds daily on a string of 108 beads. In many instances, IGG candidates did not need to be required by the party to chant. John Moore, principal spokesman for the party and its candidate for mayor of Honolulu last year, doesn't use beads, though he carries a mechanical digital counter like the kind gatekeepers use to count customers. When you hear it click during a conversation with him, you know he has just recited 16 more names of God. The prohibition on meat eating, contained in the IGG bylaws, received no attention during the campaign because, Moore said, we deemphasized it because it was not realistic — there were good people that still ate meat or eggs or fish." But the party bylaws themselves said that eating flesh released poisons and that this elimination of toxins diverted energy from thought. The bylaws also said that flesh eating was unhealthy, was an inefficient way to obtain protein from the land and caused suffering of animals whose wholesale slaughter "the government should discourage because it implicates the people in general in the law of Karma." The party would permit drugs prescribed for medical use, but banned all others for its candidates. Oddly, candidates also took the position that personal use of marijuana and growth of quantities for personal use should be legalized. Congressional candidate Kathy Hoshijo, who said "I think I've smoked it a couple of times, probably when I was in school," said the party was against sale of marijuana, but believed use of it was a matter of "personal choice." The same idea applied to all the regulative principles, she said. "They can't be enforced; it has to be by will." The IGG's sexual prohibition was only against sex outside of marriage, based on the view that a politician’s energy is better used otherwise, that promiscuous sex leads to unwanted children and broken homes, and to exploitation of people as sex objects. Some IGG candidates now say they follow Prabhupad's stricter regulation that sex be engaged in only for procreation, not for sensual pleasure. Because Prabhupad also opposes contraception and abortion, one said, "we abstain from sex completely" if a child is not wanted. The Krishna prohibition against gambling was converted by IGG candidates to a ban on "gambling or land speculation." And, to help keep themselves humble, IGG candidates pledged to accept only half of any salary for public office, and to "live simply at the State poverty level." "Karma yoga, the idea of selfless service — not a political conspiracy
— was the motivating force, was the only thing that kept us working," says Hoshijo, the party's candidate for Congress on Oahu. Hoshijo says the party was first proposed in 1975 when she and Wayne Nishiki, Michael Durkan, Bill Penaroza and John Moore, associated around the nucleus of health food stores on Maui and Kauai, began asking "what's going on and what can we do about it. "A lot of the organizers had grown up on Oahu." Hoshijo remembers, "and had moved to the outer islands to get away from it all. and then saw the outer Islands following the same course." The idea of acknowledging Krishna in the name of the party never occurred to the founders. Hoshijo said. "At first, someone suggested Independents for Moral Government, but we felt morality springs from a deep relationship with God." The name "Aloha Party" was considered, and may yet be adopted by the IGG as a result of a reorganization effort it has just announced in an attempt to attract support from a wider range of religious groups. - By WALTER WRIGHTIGG's 32 big donors: giving and chanting
More than 80 percent of the 1976 political campaign contributions reported by the Independents for Godly Government (IGG) and by the party’s congressional candidate, Kathy Hoshijo, came from 32 individuals. And party spokesman John Moore says he believes that most of these contributors worship Krishna by chanting the Hare Krishna mantra. Of the $43,090 that Hoshijo reported in campaign contributions, 90% per cent came from the IGG and 32 individuals. And 74 per cent of the $19,952 reported by IGG game from only 14 persons, all of whom also gave to Hoshijo. When the Hoshijo and IGG contributions are combined, it appears that just 32 individuals gave 81 per cent of the $53,595 received. The average contribution among these 32 persons ran about $,.580 per person. In fact, just 13 couples and individuals gave $30,392,or about $2,300 each representing 56 per cent of all of the money received by the party and Its strongest candidate. Even this record suggests a relatively broader base of financial support than that of Hoshijo's victorious opponent, Democratic Rep. Cecil Heftel, who financed almost his entire $555,000 campaign from his own pocket. Larry Olsen, party treasurer and Hoshijo's husband, said last year that many contributions were left by anonymous donors in coconut shell collection cups in public places
and that "quite a few of us have put our life savings into this venture." The media — and the voters — never found out how completely the vague "us
" that Olsen referred to were spiritually and financially connected with one another. Analysis of campaign records now shows that at least $14,000 of the $53,000 contributed to IGG and Hoshijo came from 10 persons, who have been associated with businesses now under the umbrella of Down to Earth Inc. Down to Earth is a health food and juice distributor and retailer in which IGG leaders John Moore, John Midgett and Olsen are principal stockholders. More than 10 per cent of Hoshijo's campaign war chest last year came from persons who this year started and staffed a free newspaper on Maui called the Valley Isle. Seven of nine persons named on the Valley Isle masthead this spring were connected with IGG in 1976. In many instances, these fledgling journalists are the same persons associated with businesses now in the Down to Earth combine. About a third of the major ICS donors were IGG candidates themselves, contributing in excess of $10,000 to the Hoshijo and IGG coffers: again, there is overlap with Down to Earth and both the Valley Isle and Kauai Sun newspapers. This assemblage of friends, business associates, roommates, relatives and fellow chanters was the Wayne Nishiki heart of what Hoshijo called ''such a diverse group of people throughout the State." Their close relationships were not made clear during the campaign. For example; Olsen and fellow candidate, Wayne Nishiki, together with one Tim O'Connor, were described as "sales representatives" in public reports that did not indicate they worked for the same enterprise. After the election, Hoshijo said many of her contributors giving the maximum $1,000 proved that people motivated by spiritual ideals are more generous. Many may have been so generous as to have indirectly exceeded- the $1,000 limit on individual contributions to Hoshijo by funneling the money through the IGG. The numbers indicate it would have been mathematically impossible for the IGG to give Hoshijo $9,300 in assistance if IGG hadn't received more than $11,000 in contributions from people already backing Hoshijo directly to the limit. The Advertiser was no more successful this year than last in determining precisely where the major contributors to Hoshijo and IGG funds got their money. Only about a fourth of them could be found. Those who could be reached for comment were almost universally direct in explaining that, while they had little income, they tapped savings to make their sizable contributions. "If you're looking for a unifying factor," IGG spokesman Moore said. "it's this: We're willing to sleep on the floor so we can use our money for other things. I haven't got any use for hard cash: we all practice a pretty simple life-style." But Moore, and other IGG leaders including Mike Durkan on Maui and John Midgett and Bill Penaroza on Kauai admit there's been a slight shift in their attitudes toward money since the 1976 campaigns. As Moore puts it: "There's been a change. Money is something I want to obtain, not bad enough to compromise any principles for it, but because there's a need for it. ''We've learned it takes money to run a political campaign." And Moore and friends are thinking, of running again. — By WALTER WRIGHTLink acknowledged—finally
Eight months after the 1976 elections, Independents for Godly Government officials finally began acknowledging their spiritual Krishna heritage in response to repeated questions by The Advertiser. Several weeks ago, the Advertiser advised the party it intended to disclose in news stories the extent of Krishna devotees' influence in IGG. Subsequently, on August 9, the IGG party called television stations to a press conference and announced: - Even though we sought candidates from every community and denomination and waited till the last moment to announce them, over 50 per cent were practitioners of Krishna Yoga, though not members of any temple or church." Similarly, on the same day, the Valley Isle, a Maui newspaper that has been written primarily by IGG leaders, published an interview with IGG president William Penaroza on the planned restructuring of the IGG. The interviewer asked: "It's pretty well known, here on Maui anyway, that probably 90 per cent of the people who were involved in IGG working full time were into yoga meditation and other Eastern disciplines and maybe 50 per cent or more were into Krishna Yoga. So is this restructuring an attempt to bring in people of Western or Christian theologies so that you'd have Eastern and Western disciplines working together?" Penaroza responded: "Yes. That's right. We actually failed to get the organized churches involved, and that includes Christian as well as Buddhist churches. So there was a barrier between IGG and most conventional, established religious organizations."
PDF file of the scans for these clippings: