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Krishna group in Hawaii
Posted by: just-googling ()
Date: February 02, 2006 04:46AM

Oh yea... suffering. Diseases! Old age!! Death!!! Earthquakes!!!! War!!!!! As you are aware, the Hare Kirshna view of this is that the suffering is meant to be a learning experience, or as Chris Butler said in one of his lectures one time - it's like when you put your hand into the fire - the pain is to tell you to take your hand out. Similarly, the suffering in this world is supposedly to wake up the lost souls that this world is not their home, blah blah blah...

HOWEVER, there are still some huge unanswered questions as to these ideas:

:?: In his infinite wisdom and causeless mercy, maybe Krishna could have created a little spot in the spiritual world for those souls who rebelled against him, thus keeping their eternality, bliss and knowledge, and maybe sending one of his many incarnations every day to make them realize he is not such a bad guy really and why are they rebelling against him... Instead of throwing us into the material world to suffer from death, misery and ignorance???

:?: If Man is made in God's image and likeness, and if God is 100% perfect and pure etc, then why does Man have so many imperfections - like wanting to rebel against his own creator???

:?: Or, If Man is made in God's image and likeness, then:

Saddam Hussein is made in God's image and likeness.
Saddam Hussein says "Vote for me or get killed"
krishna says: "Serve me or get thrown into the material quagmire to suffer millions of births and deaths"

I suppose the Hare Krishna answers with the "Free Will" theory - and God gives us the free will to go where we want and we chose to come here and get blown up in the war, bla bla bla...

And also the "enjoyer" theory, namely that God is the supreme enjoyer and the created souls are not... and that the souls are commiting a great offence by wanting to be the enjoyers, bla bla bla... BUT again if man is made in God's image and if God is the supreme enjoyer, then surely it is natural that Man wants to be the supreme enjoyer also - why such a big sin???

And seeing as mankind seems to be so prone to engage in wars, maybe this is also the nature of God (as battle of kuruksetra and all those wars as written about in the krishna story book)...

Trivia section: the point that so many bombshells were launched in first and second war that in France there are about a dozen farmers killed each year when they drive their tractors over the unexploded shells! And another little bit of trivia is this: the French government stopped releasing the death count figures as it was freaking the people out!

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Krishna group in Hawaii
Posted by: Mark ()
Date: February 16, 2006 11:01AM

Hey Just Googling

Everything you say rings clear. I read all the posts here.

Yea must be a lot of us out here who were in said group.

And what about these contradictions.

Live simply and give everything except bare minimal needs. Then the guru lives like a king.

Be humble, then the guru shows very little himself.

Bla Bla Bla, they say you can't make progress cause you are envious. Bla Bla Bla then some of the most envious people end up in charge of everything. Bla bla bla.

I think there were more of the ones you said wanted to do their own temple and failed then just a couple. Seems like many wanted to be the guru kings in that cult and simple humility and simplicity were lacking.

It seems to me all the opposite things were fostered in that group.
Somebody had a way of amplifying the negative.

I learned more from this poem by Kipling than all the lectures by said guru.

if you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream--and not make dreams your master,
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!

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Krishna group in Hawaii
Posted by: gulag ()
Date: February 17, 2006 12:21AM

Have any of you previously involved with Hawaii (Chris Butler) people heard them make remarks about over-population? Such as: there are too many people in the world.......
I heard an ex-member make pretty cold remarks disregarding the AIDS situation in Africa, insinuating that it was a "karmic' solution to over-population. In other words........those poor Africans are getting what they deserve and simultaneously ridding the world of "excess" people!

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Krishna group in Hawaii
Posted by: cuz ()
Date: February 17, 2006 05:42PM

Bob and Just-googling.
I need help. A family member has started associating with the Krishna group. The first obvious change we are seeing is she gave up her friends outside the group, even her long time boyfriend because he was not interested in the cult. She was once outgoing and very much part of our family circle. Now she refuses invitation to family events (we are a very close nit family) and when we do see her she only wants to talk about such things as reincarnation and karma and all the other things she is being indoctrinated in.

This was the first year we have not seen her at Thanksgiving. She is my cousin and my Auntie (Uncle passed away) is very afraid and asked me to get involved.

What should we expect. We all love her so dearly and this is really breaking a lot of peoples hearts. You must have had doubts early on. What should we say to her to break the grip the cult has on her now? You must have had doubts early on.

Just Googling,
It seems to me what you are saying is the more one is serious about the dogma and the practices, the chantings and rituals, the worse the character becomes. Like the one person you describe as practicing 6 hours a day the rituals and such, getting all the bad qualities just the opposite of what is promised.

What about yourself how much were you indoctrinated? Was it hard to break? How many hours a day did you practice the chantings and rituals? Did you feel your character changing for the worse and how fast did you develop negative character?

What caused you to realize you were in a dangerous cult?

Sorry for so many questions. I really do need some answers in order to help my cousin.

Your help would be greatly appreciated.

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Krishna group in Hawaii
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: February 17, 2006 08:26PM

See []

Note "Coping Strategies" as intervention may not be possible at this point.

Also see []

This DVD covers the basics about cults and cult situations for families.

See []

This is about ISKCON.

I am very sorry to learn of your situation.

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Krishna group in Hawaii
Posted by: just-googling ()
Date: February 18, 2006 03:03AM

Hi Cuz

I was involved with the group for a long time and here are some things to look out for:

CAREER: The devotees do not like to associate with the "karmis" (regular people) and therefore usually end up giving up their career. However, Chris Butler does like his disciples to make money (for Krishna) and a lot of them are involved in their own businesses, so a lot of them end up working in businesses within the group.

HOUSING: In the past their was a lot of communal living - such as sharing a rented house to minimize costs, etc. There is a tendency for them to not settle down, so renting is the usual state of affairs. (Chris Butler once said that the beads around the devotee's neck were like a dog collar so he could drag them to different places around the world - so buying a house was not encouraged). The ISKON scene usually involved living in a communal temple, which led to all sort of power trips and problems and fighting over territory.

MARRIAGE: They will only marry within their own ranks, so no surprise about giving up the old boyfriend... Sex is only for the production of children, so this can lead to a lot of friction within the marriage when sexual desires keep re-appearing and most marriages seem to end up in separation or divorce.

ACTIVITIES: In the past there was a lot of involvement in political campaigning in Honolulu - either running for office or donating money to those who were running for office... Printing books... going door-to-door to sell books (like the Jehova Witness)... producing filmed lectures... and donating money for these things or for the extravagant lifestyle of the guru. The ISKON people would distribute books on the streets and give weekly feasts at their temples. I don't know how much of this is still going on at present.

FOOD: They will only eat food that is first "offered to Krishna" and they get quite fanantical about this...

CHANTING: Either with musical instruments or alone on beads the chanting is the main focus of the religion. As they are required to chant so many thousands of names every day, this tends to become a fanatical and rather speedy mumbo-jumbo of words - but who knows if God gives points for elocution?

My only suggestion would be to at least pretend to show an interest in what your cousin is talking about without being too argumentative, as you cannot do anything to convince these people otherwise... Maybe offer a vegetarian alternative at the Thanksgiving and say you are offering the food to God(?), or something to this effect. As for myself in the past I never really rejected my family and I would go and visit at Christmas often and try to act normally. I don't think you need to worry too much about her situation, just to try and remain on friendly terms and she will come around - and just hope that she does not start getting too negative or developing paranoid or depressive symptoms, or those other nasty characteristics.

As for myself, I was involved in the religion for many years and I never really saw it as a cult at the time, per se, but as just another intense type of religion. I did, however, get burned out by the power tripping and and the feelings of guilt that seem to get brainwashed in over time. For example, the big enemy was seen as eating, sleeping, mating... so any sexual feelings are perceived as the greatest sin and can produce totally irrational feelings of guilt... sitting in a soft chair, relaxing, eating food without doing the big fancy offering, not going door-to-door or preaching, watching movies, TV, and the list goes on... they will even try to make you feel guilt for breathing as it is written in the scripture that a pair of lungs that is not chanting the name of god is useless like a pair of bellows! These irrational feelings of guilt can be dangerous as they can lead to depression or even suicide - that's when it's time to step back and say, ok, is this really what God is all about?

Anyhow, over time I felt I was getting nowhere either spiritually or materially, and so I basically just drifted away from it. I think the biggest drawback is someone who blindly donates all their money and time to the cause and fails to settle down normally and sets themselves back financially... as time goes on and as they get older, they will probably regret having done this.

good luck!

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Krishna group in Hawaii
Posted by: just-googling ()
Date: February 18, 2006 03:13AM

Hi Mark

You're right - some of their statements about karma get a bit bizarre ...

:? the latest one I heard was that the Tsunami in Indonesia last year was becuase they were killing cows in that country... but surely this should have happened in Chicago as here are the biggest stockyards in the world and I'll wager that for every cow in Indonesia there are 1000 cows in Chicago stockyards?

:? the poverty in India is due to the fact that the Indian people did not go and spread Hinduism around the world!? Duhhh?

Maybe God is just playing a game of darts with planet Earth and once in a while, ooops, missed, sorry about that you guys???

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Krishna group in Hawaii
Posted by: Eric Blair ()
Date: February 18, 2006 01:21PM

For about five months I lived at an ISCKON temple. After I left I made the choice to speak out about the group and recieved some physical threats for my trouble.

As for Mr. Butler, I think that some may be making a mountain out of a molehill. Clearly, he has far surpassed his allotted 15 miniutes of fame or rather infamy, and that he has abused his authority has been rather clearly established.

What more can be done to this guy other than to ignore him? If we have learned anything about cults it is that some choose to follow dubious leaders no matter the info that should lead them to the contrary. Perhaps this is an issue that should be put to rest.

ISCKON, as far as I can tell is tettering on it's last legs and those who exist on the peripheral of the sect fare little better.

As a former Krishna devotee, I think that maybe the most fitting punishmet for the group is to ignore them altogether. Perhaps I am wrong (and I am sure that someone on this site will tell me so) but that is my view as a former devotee.


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Krishna group in Hawaii
Posted by: Dervish ()
Date: February 18, 2006 08:29PM

As always, I'm just a layperson expressing my opinions and observations.

While "Ignore them and they'll go away" might have worked on those giant advertisements in that Simpsons Halloween special, I don't think you can apply that same logic to religious movements with strong cultish symptoms.

Many of the cults mentioned on this site alienate the inductee from their family members, and in some cases tailor their career path to the whims and benefit of the higher-ups. How is this different? How is this group more innocuous than all the others getting well-warranted examination? You've failed to expand on that. Operating under the radar in of itself is not a license to avoid scrutiny.

One thing I noticed as a former devotee of another Krsna mission was that there was considerable amount of Siddhaswarupa apologism among various devotees, who would then go on to ISKCON apologism, etc.

I remember one of the very first posts you made on this forum was -- ironically -- critiquing me for the use of the phrase, "false guru", as you held that it implied that there is such a thing as a true guru -- as they all seem to make themselves out to be dictators for life and manipulate their followers.

Hmm, but hey! They're all the way out in the middle of the Pacific in Hawaii, how bad could it be? It must be like having a vacation every day, right? Mountain out of a molehill, indeed.

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Krishna group in Hawaii
Posted by: barabara ()
Date: February 19, 2006 06:59AM

Eric Blair writes:

As for Mr. Butler, I think that some may be making a mountain out of a molehill. Clearly, he has far surpassed his allotted 15 miniutes of fame or rather infamy, and that he has abused his authority has been rather clearly established.
What more can be done to this guy other than to ignore him? If we have learned anything about cults it is that some choose to follow dubious leaders no matter the info that should lead them to the contrary. Perhaps this is an issue that should be put to rest.
As a former Krishna devotee, I think that maybe the most fitting punishmet for the group is to ignore them altogether.

Perhaps the fallacy in the thinking of Mr. Blair is that the purpose of this thread is to "punish" Mr. Butler's group.

The original question was posted by the legal guardian of a minor child who was looking for information about what might have happened to this child while she resided with members of the Butler group. The question of why there was so much secrecy surrounding this was asked.

Many questions arose as a result of this line of inquiry, none of which has ever been adequately answered.

Perhaps the intention of the majority of people posting on this thread was to help this woman free her child from the clutches, emotional and otherwise, of the guru and his followers, and prevent the suffering that this family went through from happening to others.

Mr. Blair's post was the first to even mention a possible desire to "punish" Mr. Butler. It does seem, however, that there is no one willing to provide answers to the legitimate questions asked. This thread would appear to have been hijacked by those who wish to provide a smokescreen for the activities of the group.

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