Many have posted here who were very close to Chris Butler. I know things have changed and now many will become his follower and disciples without ever having much contact with him. So if such persons hear some of the things on this website it may be hard for them to believe. I think you may fall into the category of one who will never have much close contact with Chris and will be shielded from many of the goings on near him.
There are a few misconceptions you stated I would like to correct. Please don’t be offended.
Down to Earth has always been a cash cow for Chris from the very beginning. I know because I used to work there and saw how the money is funneled to him first hand. After paying employees etc., ALL the profits go to Chris. The elite in the cult know that and are responsible for funneling the money. They are very clever about it and do it in such a way as to skirt the law. That was no secret even to the lesser folk like myself. Chris uses the money for the things he has affinity for, like politics and ocean front residences in Hawaii, and other posh areas. It also helps to pay the cost of chartered jets when he needs to travel.
On homosexuality and the homophobic attitude of Chris and his followers again you are wrong.
I am astounded Chris could teach something so contrary to Vaishnava and Vedic principles. I would recommend you re-consider what you have been taught concerning the subject. You are being misled to believe the attitude Chris has towards the third gender somehow represents Gaudiya Vaishnavism. IT DOES NOT..you have been misled my friend.
According to Gaudiya Vaishnava Tattva (truths)..
by previous and present karma, the soul is sometimes covered by the bodies of a male, sometimes a female, and sometimes a genderless body. Those souls covered in third gendered bodies are called khoja in Sanskrit. The Sanskrit word “khoja or kliba” is used throughout Vedic texts to describe many different types of people who belonged to a “gender-ambiguous” and neutral third sex. These people were not considered to be ordinary males and females, and they did not experience attraction for the opposite sex or engage in sexual reproduction. They were taken to be a combination of both the male and female natures, yet at the same time neither one.
Arjuna himself once took such a body due to a curse. But it was only outwardly a curse, Krishna Himself thought it a boon and useful. This story is found in the Mahabharata of which the Bhagavad-gita is just one chapter.
As the story goes… While visiting his father Indra in heaven, Arjuna had refused the amorous advances of the celestial prostitute Urvasi. Angered by this, she cursed him to become a “kliba,” a member of the third sex. The fact that they are mentioned in the “Mahabharata”, and other Vedic texts indicates that such persons were present within that society many thousands of years ago. It also indicates they were tolerated and not demonized. Arjuna was despondent over the impending curse, but Krsna assured him that this so-called curse would actually become a useful benediction. Krishna was not homophobic in any way and allowed His dear servant Arjuna to take on the role of a homosexual as a disguise.
Here is a description of Arjuna the great ‘he man’ warrior covered in the body of a homosexual paraphrased from the Mahabharata.
“Arjuna presented himself donned in a woman’s blouse and draped in red silk. He wore numerous ivory bangles, golden earrings and necklaces made of coral and pearls. His hair was long and braided, and he entered the royal palace with the gait of a broad-hipped woman. At the same time his body still remained incredibly stout and muscular. .. his feminine attire hid his masculine glory but at the same time it did not. He appeared just like the full moon when eclipsed by the planet Ketu.”
The entire story can be found in the Mahabharata.
In later times with the degradation of the caste system and the disintegration of Vedic Culture many un-orthodox practices began to sprout up in India perpetrated by hard hearted fundamentalists who know very little about Krishna Consciousness, and just like in the west third gendered persons started to experience much unnecessary persecutions that never ever took place in ancient Vedic Culture.
Was homosexuality promoted in Vedic Culture? Absolutely not…not anymore than other forms of sex considered illicit by Vedic standards. But it was not considered a big deal either. And what was the punishment for those who engaged in homosexual activity? According to the Vedic law books of mankind, the Scripture called the Manu Samita, which every Gaudiya Vaishnva recognizes, the atonement for homosexual activity is that one should go jump in a river. Preferably a holy river like the Ganges. That was the punishment, a holy bath. The lack of punishment for homosexual behavior within the Manu-smriti indicates that homosexuality was obviously not viewed as threatening or dangerous to Vedic society. On the contrary, men of the third sex (tritiya-prakriti in sanskrit) are generally described as gentle, feminine, or non-violent by nature. And according to Chris Butler what should the punishment be? He sides with the hard hearted right wing Christian fundamentalists on the issue. Just gas them like Hitler did. That is not the attitude of the followers of Caitanya Mahaprbhu.
Krsnacon you are dead wrong to say that a person is not born with homosexual tendencies. To say such a thing shows that you are sorely lacking in knowledge about how the souls come into the world. I am sure it is not your fault. Because you have been listening to and following Chris Butler you have learned all these things that are contrary to the Vedas and the Gaudiya Vaishnava Tattvas.
Go to Canto 3 chapter 20 of the Srimad Bhagavatam and read it for yourself that third gendered souls are born.
Even Caitanya Mahaprabhu accepted the service of third gendered persons and such persons have always been sought out to give their blessings at such functions as Vedic weddings and birth ceremonies since time immemorial, and even today. Even in Jagannatha Puri, the Lord accepts the worship of such third gendered souls. This is mentioned in the Caitanya Caritamrta.
When Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared,
many residents brought precious gifts and the father, Jagannatha Misra, also gave profusely in charity to the brahmanas and the poor. NOT THE LEAST among the guests were the dancers of the third-gender community known as the nartaka, who happily performed before the Lord. These dancers were especially used for religious occasions. Historically, people of the third sex have always played a prominent role in the arts and entertainment, not just in India but also around the world. All of these transvestites from the napumsaka or gay community were devotees of the Lord, and they prayed to God to bless the child and grant Him a long life, as was the custom. Jagannatha Misra then gave them some precious jewelry and beautiful silks, and they continued with their dancing and singing of Hare Krsna.
All the above is backed up in the following places.
Caitanya Caritamrta 1.13.106. The purport also offers a short description of the “eunuch” class.
Caitanya Caritamrta Adi-lila Chapter 13 entitled “The Advent of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.” There is also an audiotape by His Divine Grace on this pastime produced by The Bhaktivedanta Tape Ministry entitled Outline of Lord Caitanya Play, Part One, Tape no. 67—002, San Francisco, April 5, 1967.
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Srimad Bhagavatam 1.11.20—22.
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, The Nectar of Devotion, pp. 332 and 387—388.
Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada explains,
“…such people have their own society, and their means of livelihood is that whenever there is some good occasion like marriage or childbirth, they go there and pray to God that this child may be very long-living.” (San Francisco, 4/5/67)
So I am just giving this information to show that the Gaudiya Vaishnava take on homosexuality and the Vedic take on it does not in any way resemble the take Chris Butler or his followers have on the subject. I am not promoting homosexuality or condemning it. I am just giving the Vedic facts here.