REACTION FROM THE PRESS AND MEDIA
FROM THE ASIAN AGE REPORT
USA, Sep 6 (VNN) (02-09-1999) Newspaper front page
Poisonous Whispers: Arsenic Killed Iskcon Founder In '77
By Ashish Kumar Sen
San Francisco: After over 18 months of research, disturbing evidence has surfaced around the death of Srila Prabhupada, the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. A new book authored by Nityananda Das, himself an Iskcon disciple, shows the religious leader may have been poisoned by his own trusted disciples.
The hierarchy at Iskcon has, however, refused to be rattled by the allegations and feels it is premature to jump to any conclusion at present. The book is based on audio forensic test results of the "poison whispers, " analysis of Srila Prabhupada's hair samples taken in 1977, analysis of chronic arsenic poisoning symptoms in his health record of 1977, new translations of taped conversations wherein Srila Prabhupada discusses his being poisoned and an indepth look at the issues of water, medicines and suspects.
"In my opinion, the evidence is solid that Srila Prabhupada was poisoned, but by whom is not yet known. The level of proof coincidences, and circumstantial evidence makes for a very compelling verdict, " Nityananda Das writes in his foreword to his book Someone Has Poisoned Me.
For the past 15 weeks, the underground distribution of Someone Has Poisoned Me has circulated throughout the Iskcon devotee world in the US, Canada, China, India, England, Fiji, Trinidad, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Spain, Italy, France, Germany and many other countries. The spontaneous network through which these books have passed was formed by those wanting to know about the evidence which establishes that Srila Prabhupada was slowly poisoned by arsenic in 1977.
While hoping that further evidence will show all of his findings to be "no more than a false alarm, " Nityananda feels this does not even seem remotely likely.
The book was initially based on tape recordings of Srila Prabhupada's conversations with his disciples, in which he repeatedly mentions his suspicion of having been poisoned. It was the whispers of his disciples, later analysed by advanced technology, which proved to be incriminating.
"The whispers are attention-grabbing, but what Srila Prabhupada said is the primary evidence, and the rest is supporting evidence. Since then a positive hair analysis has very much strengthened the case, " the author writes.
The book zeroes in on Tamal Krishna Goswami, Jayapataka Swami and Bhakticharu Swami, all prominent members in the Isckon hierarchy, as being suspects in the founder's death. Tamal Krishna Goswami was Srila Prabupada's secretary and primary caretaker for most of 1977, the year the religious leader passed away.
The 20 tapes of Srila Prabhupada's last conversations had never been released or advertised by the BBT Archives tape ministry. So only a few devotees had ever listened to them.
Isha Prabhu, a devotee since 1974, examined the whispers carefully using sophisticated electronic equipment, and had enhancements done on the tapes by Federal Bureau of Investigation-approved laboratories. "My conclusion after hundreds of hours of analysis is that it is possible that Srila Prabhupada was poisoned, " Das quotes Isha Prabhu as saying. Another senior Iskcon member, former temple president and founder of the Florida Vedic College, Mahabuddhi Prabhu, has been quoted as saying: "We (my son and I) listened to the tape, we enhanced it and listened to it. We became a little shocked because we thought we heard something like 'Let's put the poison in the milk, ' and the more we heard it the more it sounded that way."
Expert analysis of the tapes has "found" more incriminating whispers. Some of these are "'Let's poison him and go, the poison is going down, ' and 'put poison in different containers.'" Nityanand Das writes that Balvanta Prabhu had, in an earlier report, said: "It (the tape) contains a whisper which refers to poison. According to the laboratory technician it was, 'Let's not poison him and go' or 'Let's now poison him and go.' We are now sending the tape to another laboratory with more advanced equipment for further investigation."
Though it is difficult to make out the whispers due to so much of the quality being lost in transmission, several devotees have been taken by Naveen Krishna Prabhu in Alachua to a local sound studio to listen to the enhanced whispers. "Most agree, after listening carefully a few times, and there is no doubt in their minds, Srila Prabhupada was poisoned in a conspiracy by his own closest disciples, " Nityananda writes.
the complete story is on URL: http://www.vnn.org/world/WD9909/WD06-4672.html
Dallas Morning News
Hare Krishna organization sued for alleged child abuse
DALLAS -- More than three dozen former students of Hare Krishna boarding schools filed a $400 million lawsuit against leaders of the religious community Monday, alleging years of sexual, physical and emotional torture.
The 44 plaintiffs in the suit allege child abuse over two decades at boarding schools in the United States and India.
The federal suit, filed in Dallas, names the International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) as lead defendant, along with 17 members of the group's governing board of top leaders and the estate of the movement's founder, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
Plaintiffs' attorney Windle Turley called the abuse "the most unthinkable abuse and maltreatment of little children we have seen. It includes rape, sexual abuse, physical torture and emotional terror of children as young as 3 years of age."
Anuttama, a Hare Krishna spokesman, said the organization planned to comment on the lawsuit later Monday. Last year, Hare Krishna leaders announced that they would pledge $250,000 a year to investigate past child abuse and aid survivors.
Turley said the abuse started in 1972 with ISKCON's first school in Dallas, and continued in six other U.S. schools and two in India. He said he believes more than half of the children in the schools were victimized.
"We believe the facts as they are developed will reveal more than a 1,000 child victims, many of whom have already taken their own lives or are today emotionally and socially dysfunctional," said Turley, whose Dallas law firm won millions in a sex abuse case against the Roman Catholic Church.
The Eastern spiritual community flowered in the 1960s when Prabhupada brought his distinctive form of devotional Hinduism to the United States.
Soon, thousands of Westerners were wearing saris and pajama-like dhotis, living in Hare Krishna temple compounds, and chanting the mantra they believed would lead to a greater awareness of God known as Krishna.
Prabhupada said children should be sent to boarding schools at age 5 so they could learn to be pure devotees, while parents were then freed to sell devotional books and do other jobs.
By the end of the 1970s, 11 schools, known as gurukulas or houses of the guru,
were operating in North America with several more around the world.
$400 million dollar damage suit filed by Dallas trial lawyer
|Cases In The News:|
June 12, 2000
"HARE KRISHNA" SUED FOR CHILD ABUSE
The suit, filed in the Federal District Court in Dallas, Texas, names the INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS (ISKCON) as the lead defendant, along with sixteen other ISKCON entities and seventeen individual members of its GOVERNING BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, including the Estate of the movements founder, BHAKTIVEDANTA SWAMI PRABHUPADA. The Plaintiffs reside in various cities in the United States, Canada and England.
Dallas trial lawyer WINDLE TURLEY, attorney for the plaintiffs, said today, "This lawsuit describes the most unthinkable abuse and maltreatment of little children which we have seen. It includes rape, sexual abuse, physical torture and emotional terror of children as young as three years of age. The worst of the practices spanned two decades, starting in 1972 with ISKCONs first school in Dallas, Texas. The abuse continued in a half-dozen other schools in the United States and eventually at two boys schools in India.
"Although the leadership in ISKCON has long been aware of the mistreatment and abuse inflicted upon little children entrusted to it to raise, the full scope and profound maltreatment of its children has only recently been exposed.
"We believe the facts as they are developed will reveal more than a thousand child victims, many of whom have already taken their own lives or are today emotionally and socially dysfunctional.
"Elements within this new religious movement have attempted to operate outside the child protection laws of a half-dozen states. As a result, a generation of ISKCON children are permanently, and many profoundly, injured."
The suit also seeks a Federal injunction to force ISKCON to stop all forms of child abuse.
More details of the child abuse and of the plaintiffs legal
claims, including Racketeering-Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO), are
set out in the Complaint.
Click here to view the original Turley complaint in PDF format. You must have Acrobat Reader installed on your computer to view this document.
Click here to download Acrobat Reader.
Click here to view the Turley complaint in HTML format with your favourite browser.
For more information contact Widle Turley on his homepage, phone or email:
6440 North Central Expressway
20. June, 2000
by Urdhvaga das
Dear Mr. Windle Turley
We very much appreciate the Hare Krishna Lawsuit initiated by your Firm to do justice to the abused children of Iskcon.
While your letter of indictment may be right in the accusation of the ISKCON GBC Leaders, it is completely untrue in the section 35 Plaintiffs Original Complaint where you also wrongly charge the Founder of the institution, Srila Prabhupada, with concealment of wrongdoing from the public.
Plaintiffs Original Complaint, page 14 section 35
35. The founder of the institution, Prabhupada, was informed in 1972, at a time when he totally controlled the institution, that extensive physical and sexual abuse of minor ISKCON children was occurring. But he concealed the wrongdoing from the public, parents and all but a handful of close advisors".
This claim is completely false, which can be proven from Prabhupada's personal letters and correspondence as well as witnesses present during his lifetime.
We herewith urge and plead that you remove this erroneous conclusion of yours from the section 35 Plaintiffs Original Complaint and make a public statement that the founder of the institution, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada was in no way whatsoever responsible for any wrongdoings.
The massive molestation of Hare Krishna Children started after the demise of the founder Srila Prabhupada.
I was personally present in the boy school of Vrindavana, India when the GBC replaced Dr. Sharma and physically kicked out such good teachers as Yasodanandan Swami who was replaced with a known homosexual paedophile Bhavananda Swami alias Charles Bacis, as the school principal. (Charles Bacis sexual perversions were known by the GBC, and still they gave him control over the boys) see internal GBC report
I am ready to testify in any court if necessary and you also can interview Yasodanandan Swami who was in charge at that time.
Another big supporter of the homosexual GBC/guru clique is Jayapataka Swami alias Gordon John Erdman, who to this day, protects such notorious child molesters as Satadhanya alias Stanley Fedderof, a bogus Swami, in the Iskcon Mayapur school near Calcutta, India.
I further like to request you to look into the possibilities of a follow up case of the wrongful death of the founder A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
Srila Prabhupada in his final days personally complained that arsenic poison
had been given to him via his food.
He did not want to eat food cooked by his disciples, but his request, that his sister should cook for him, was denied by the Iskcon GBC/Guru clique.
Prabhupadas personal poison complaints have been recorded on tape and
are available, as well as other incriminating evidence, such as an analysis of
his hair, containing arsenic ten times higher the normal level.
Detailed Infos will be sent to you on request.
We strongly believe that Srila Prabhupada was murdered in his final days by poisoning him to death, most likely by a coterie of his ambitious secretaries, who have been, since then, posing as his successor gurus for the sake of exploiting the members and assets of the society, plundering Prabhupadas legacy, perverting his movement, books and philosophy.
Again, we herewith request you to open up a formal, fullfledged and official investigation into the unnatural death of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.