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."
Flash, thanks for finding this. My eyewitness got extremely agitated and infuriated at your last set of clippings. The ads for Hoshijo in particular brought up some memories and PTSD symptoms again (which were temporary, but palpable).
He said that what the IGG candidates told the media was an ABSOLUTE LIE!!! The whole IGG party were BUTLER devotees...period. It was Butler's idea and project from the start. There was no reaching out to other congregations or religions. At least Penaroza was honest about failure. He got HELL for that comment from Butler.
"... 50% or more into Krishna Yoga.." is a complete LIE! 100%. The group was so insular that NO OUTSIDERS who may have been idealistically aligned and wanted to help could not be included because it would become quickly apparent that they were ALL a cult following one man. It was not the pluralistic, egalitarian group that they pretended to be. Fear of people not understanding!? People could understand very well. It shows how much the group feels superior to the rest of the world. They would get local musicians to play at their PR events, but never let them in on the secrets.
When my eyewitness was in the cult, he wondered why IGG did not continue. The reason is Walter Wright. It is clear that they had been found out and could not fool the people again. You see people understood very well. Even people who went door-to-door campaigning for IGG candidates were persistently asked about the connection and deception after the Wright articles came out. They were told to LIE flat out that there was no connection to Hare Krishna.
It is interesting to note that Hoshijo in particular could have won the election had she not been deceptive at her guru's orders. She still won 20% of the vote which was unprecedented for a third party even after being exposed as a Hare Krishna. She was wildly popular as a local woman like Tulsi. But her heart was not into politics. Tulsi on the other hand, was both born in the cult and into a political family. Perfect grooming....
My source remembered how pissed off Butler was when these Wright articles came out. He spit his typical mocking venum at the writer and pointed fingers at his enemies in ISKCON. Here's the scene: Butler sat elevated on a chair surrounded by his elite disciples and IGG candidates sitting cross-legged on the floor. Of course they would bow down on the ground with their butts in the air entering and leaving his presence mumbling quietly their obeisances. [What you see in the Jagad Guru Speaks
show with followers sitting on the same level NEVER happened in real life. It was a ruse so people would not catch on to the fact that his followers WORSHIPED BUTLER LIKE A GOD!]
When they were all settled, he would rant about the newspaper articles with everyone nodding heads "yes" and offering supporting statements or information. He would go on and rant about "stupid" followers mistakes or comments and humiliate them in front of the group. The offender would hang their head low and say, "Yes, Shrila Prabhupad...I'm sorry...it won't happen again..." He would rant about ISKCON people and his candidates political opponents....always in his adolescent, put-down style that got his followers to laugh and feel SO SUPERIOR. He would then discuss strategies and game plans for the campaign. Everyone was infected with a sense of mission and self-importance. He made everyone feel special to be working so closely to his "grace" and doing superior service.... No one thought there was anything wrong with this picture.
EVERY idea, move, and strategy had to be put through for Butler approval. He trained them all on how to respond to the media. He trained them how to lie and believe the lies. He trained them that the lies are for the "benefit of the poor, spiritually ignorant humans". This is very similar to the concept of TAQIYYA
practiced by some Islamist groups.
Another memory from my source: They got a pretty young woman to convince a popular Hawaiian group called the Ho'opi'i Brothers
to endorse the Butler business front HAIKU JUICE, managed by Hahnumann (Hesh Goldstein). This ad appeared in Butler's paper The Valley Isle. They were only given two cases of juice cans for the endorsement. The woman was completely mortified and embarrassed to deliver such a cheap payment... and the Ho'opi'i Brothers were a bit insulted too.
Fast forward 36 years...