ESTABLISHING THE QUESTIONS
We are now faced with what is, perhaps, the most serious possible allegation of criminal activity and spiritual degradation ever to be brought forward among the disciples of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada, i.e. his unnatural death through arsenic poisoning.
We must begin by examining a few basic facts:
2) It has been clearly established that some members of the GBC, and others holding positions of power within ISKCON, have been known to lie, steal, cheat, diametrically oppose Srila Prabhupada's explicit instructions, and have participated in criminal activities of various kinds.
3) The disciples of Srila Prabhupada would be grossly negligent NOT to investigate recent suspicious evidence, and we would be similarly negligent to leave such investigation in the hands of those who have proven themselves untrustworthy in the past.
Therefore, as painful and potentially spiritually dangerous as it may be, I do not see how we can shirk our responsibilities in this regard. In order that we might present the facts of this matter, we begin by discussing and questioning. To the greatest of our abilities, we must engage in this process with open minds, having put aside our personal agendas and biases. It would be unconscionable to avoid this process on the grounds that we might discover that the suspicions raised have no basis in fact.
Already, important historical information is coming to light that apparently has not been properly archived to date. This gathering of information, and grassroots examination and discussion of the many questions, is certain to afford a positive outcome.
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami (Srila Prabhupada) said, on November 8th, 1977, that he was being given poison. After he first reported that he was being poisoned, his secretary then asked: why did he say that? Therefore it was very clear, from the beginning of this conversation, that Srila Prabhupada had conclusively complained that he was being given poison.
The secretary then discussed; that he and another secretary had been talking about a "Shankara guru" who had been poisoned in the past. And Srila Prabhupada added, "My Guru Maharaja also [was poisoned in the 1930s]." The idea that saints are sometimes assassinated by poison was therefore also conclusively established.
The secretary then said that he should not allow "anyone else" to cook for Srila Prabhupada. Yet, it seems that only the leaders, such as the secretary in Vrindavana, were in charge of the water, medicine and cooking? If not, "who else" was cooking for Srila Prabhupada?
Subsequent testimony from a devotee present at this time states: That Srila Prabhupada had requested his sister, named Pisima, to purchase all of his cooking ingredients at the market, and to cook for him. Srila Prabhupada had told her that this was because he was being poisoned.
Srila Prabhupada also reported that he was "experiencing mental distress." The doctor said that his heartbeat was normal, so what could be the cause of his "distress"? Srila Prabhupada then said that his condition could not have been improved with "ten medicines" [because he was being poisoned]?
Then Srila Prabhupada again re-stated that he was being given poison [in Hindi]. "Vohi baat hai, koi hamko poison diyaa." This can be translated as: "The same thing" [which was used to kill other gurus], "someone has poisoned me." This statement was immediately confirmed, and re-stated in English, by a devotee who was present:
Devotee: Someone gave him poison here. Secretary: Prabhupada was thinking that someone had poisoned him? Devotee: Yes. [From: "Conversations" Vol. 36 page 367]
Therefore, the statement was again confirmed by a secretary, and again confirmed by another eye-witness. The doctor then said, if Srila Prabhupada had said [that he is being poisoned] then it must be true. The doctor then elaborated that Prabhupada’s poisoning was certainly possible, because another guru [in the Shankara line] had been given broken glass in his food, as a means of killing this guru. The most obvious question here is: Why has the GBC suppressed these tapes for the past 20 years?
MURDER CASE CITED. Then, the discussion moved on to a "murder by poison" case in Calcutta: a husband had poisoned his wife. Why was a famous "murder by poison" case now being discussed? Isn’t the parallel clear; a poison "murder," and Srila Prabhupada’s being murdered--by poison?
HEALTHY COW WILL DIE. Then another secretary confirmed that a doctor had just said that Srila Prabhupada’s small, closed-in room would have made a healthy cow sick. Srila Prabhupada had made numerous requests to be taken to Goverdhan, to Calcutta, to Mayapura, or on "parikrama," but instead he was kept in this small confined room? Srila Prabhupada himself said he wanted "fresh air." The doctor confirmed that the situation with his room was itself unhealthy.
BULLOCK CART REFUSED. On November 10th, 1977, an arrangement was being made to take Srila Prabhupada out on a bullock cart, which he said would definitely cure him. Yet a secretary protested and said this was "suicide." Srila Prabhupada replied that if he went out [on parikrama] and died, that would be like Rama [God] killing him, but if he stayed there, then Ravana [a demon] would be killing him. Who is the Ravana [or Ravanas] he referred to?
Maybe he just wanted to move--to get away from--his dark, confined small room, his food, and whom else? A few other factors: We have obtained the opinion a very learned and elderly Ayurvedic doctor, and he has confirmed that Srila Prabhupada had the "physical characteristics" of a person who had been poisoned.· There is also a strange account in the "Conversations," wherein Srila Prabhupada was given an allopathic medicine, which he specifically said he did not want. He then became very ill. There is also an account about his being given another medicine which Srila Prabhupada had also said he did not want. Yet the leaders kept insisting that this was "makara-dhvaja," even after Srila Prabhupada had said this was--not--"makara-dhvaja." Moreover Srila Prabhupada had said this "medicine" was making him sick. Still, some of the leaders kept insisting he should take more A secretary came in to give Srila Prabhupada some "medicine" and he said, "This is poison."
Srila Prabhupada said on November 3, 1977, "This is my only request, that at the last stage don’t torture me and put me to death. So, I am not eating anything..."
Srila Prabhupada said that his guru, Srila Saraswati Thakura, had been poisoned. A motivated "follower" had killed his guru in order to usurp the assets of the post 1937 Gaudiya Matha. Worse, this motivated follower, and others, declared that they were now "living guru successors" to Srila Saraswati Thakura. Srila Prabhupada: "As soon as he learns that guru maharaja is dead, now I am so advanced I can KILL GURU and I become guru. Then he is finished." [August 16th, 1976]
In short, both the guru poisoner’s party, and those who usurped the worship of their guru, are described herein as "guru killers." In the Gaudiya Matha many people claimed to be "guru successors," and in ISKCON many people also claimed to be gurus. Thus, a few preliminary questions are in order:
INVESTIGATION NOT MADE?
1) Why didn’t the leaders, who had just heard Srila Prabhupada say that he was being poisoned, immediately investigate his water, food and medicine sources? Isn’t this a normal thing to do?
2) Why wasn’t it immediately determined: who was in charge of these items?
3) Why weren’t any samples of the above items immediately collected up for testing?
4) Why weren’t Srila Prabhupada’s food, medicine and water sources immediately changed?
5) The leaders present also had access to the best analysis labs in the world. For example, they could have brought samples back to Europe, or the USA, for express processing, yet no one did this? And haven’t the same leaders subsequently spent hundreds and thousands on their own travel and medical expenses?
6) Why weren’t any tests or investigations made immediately after November, 1977?
7) Why weren’t the layman devotees, those who were present in Vrindavana in 1977, informed that Srila Prabhupada had just said he has been poisoned? Perhaps some of them could have helped, but none of them even knew what was being discussed? Why have the leaders intentionally kept devotees in the dark?
8) Why wasn’t Srila Prabhupada’s complaint of his being poisoned publicly addressed by the GBC just after 1977? Why wasn’t a formal and public investigation made? And why hasn’t the GBC allowed this topic to be discussed--in public--since 1977? Why has the secrecy continued? Is this a cover-up?
9) Why hasn’t someone like Bhakti Charu swami ever translated the full versions of the "poisoning" tapes, since he was present when this was taking place, according to eye-witnesses from 1977? And why has the GBC not translated the Hindi and Bengali portions of these conversations--ever?
10) In 1990, when parts of the "poison" discussion were first published by the "Bhaktivedanta Archives," why didn’t the GBC, at least by this late time, demand an investigation? Instead, we have the GBC’s continued silence on this issue, or far worse, the GBC’s de facto policy of continued banning, beatings, harassment, death threats, vilification, excommunication, and even murder--for "asking questions"?
11) Why did the GBC suppress the distribution of the 1990 "Archives" conversations even when they finally were published, and instead they promote items like a GBC guru’s writings about: his constipation and the [female lovers of Krishna known as the] gopis? Many scholars think this writing is offensive?
12) Who was in charge of the custody of the "poison" tapes during and after November of 1977?
13) Why did the leaders suppress Srila Prabhupada’s order to bring ALL of his devotees to Vrindavana in mid-1977? Why didn’t they want the devotees to be present, as Srila Prabhupada had requested?
14) Did the individuals who had control of the "poison" information have a vested interest in hiding this from the devotees? Since there is clearly "potential criminal activity," isn’t "covering it up" also criminal?
15) Would not many more devotees have presumed that Srila Prabhupada had been poisoned if the tapes had been made available? Most of the people who hear the tapes now are convinced he was poisoned.
16) Why is a Houston, Texas based follower of a guru recently stating that all of this talk of poison is "a concoction"? Why would Srila Prabhupada "concoct" that he was being poisoned?
WHO WAS THERE?
17) What are the names and current positions in ISKCON of all of the devotees who were present at the time this "poisoning," and subsequent conversations?
POTENTIAL BENEFITS FROM SUPPRESSION AND SILENCE?
18) Have any of the people who were in charge hiding the tapes [and harassing or suppressing the investigation] benefited by gaining a position of worship and control of assets in ISKCON after Srila Prabhupada’s departure? Many devotees think there is a connection here?
19) Why are there periods of time, such as Srila Prabhupada’s visit to London, where no tapes are currently available? Did Srila Prabhupada--not speak--for three or four weeks in August and September of 1977? Have some tapes been intentionally hidden, lost or destroyed? If not, where are they now?
20) Were the symptoms Srila Prabhupada had in England corresponding to any type poisoning, such as Mercury? For example, we are told that his inability to pass urine is a symptom of Mercury poisoning.
21) The Kaiviraj also said that he may have had mercury posing, was this ever investigated? If so, what is the result of the forensic studies of Srila Prabhupada’s medicines and food from 1977, and if it was not investigated, why not? Why did some GBC change the subject when this was brought up in 1977?
22) What is the officially listed cause of death for Srila Prabhupada?
23) Tamal Krishna said that he was criticized for killing Srila Prabhupada [in Topanga in 1980]?
24) A devotee related a conversation he had with Tribhuvanatha dasa. Tribhuvanatha had said that Bhakti Charu told him that Srila Prabhupada did not want Tamal Krishna to handle his medicine anymore.
25) Doesn’t Srila Prabhupada say, "A thief will say ‘I am not a thief’?"
26) A prominent Gaudiya Matha sannyasi was told by a woman follower that he should refuse to visit with an ISKCON "guru," because, the woman said "he poisoned his own guru, and he will poison you as well."
DON’T KEEP ME LOCKED UP.
27) Why did Srila Prabhupada say "don’t keep me locked up," when he asked to go on parikrama?
28 ) Why did a Mayapura based GBC say to Srila Prabhupada: that a doctor had said that Prabhupada’s cramped room would have also made him unhealthy? And since some GBC knew this, why was he not taken out of that room as he requested repeatedly? Why weren’t his unhealthy facilities changed?
29) Why was Srila Prabhupada prevented from going on tour [parikrama] to Govardhana as he requested?
30) Why did the GBC glorify the guru poisoner of the 1930s in their 1990 "ISKCON Journal"?
31) Why does the GBC NOW forbid discussions of any of these "controversies" at ISKCON centers?
HOMOSEXUAL AND PEDOPHILE GURUS?
31) Why is it that the same persons who hid the tapes where Srila Prabhupada said he was being poisoned, also forwarded that some homosexuals and even pedophiles had been "appointed" as gurus? And weren’t there child molestations which resulted from the GBC’s enforced worship of pedophiles?
Srila Prabhupada said, "So there may be attempt like that [as attempts were made to kill Krishna]. And Lord Jesus Christ was killed. So they may KILL ME ALSO." (1976 Honolulu) Also, in Srila Prabhupada’s astrological chart, it said that he would have potentially fatal dangers from "juniors or subordinates." Srila Prabhupada also said that if he was forced to take medicine he did not want "Then you’ll kill me."
Srila Prabhupada: my only request is , that at the last stage don't torture me, and put me to death [from SPC Vol. 36, November 3, 1977 tape recorded Room Conversation]
QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE ROLE OF TAMAL KRISHNA GOSWAMI AND THE GBC
1. Did the GBC body officially appoint Tamal Krishna Goswami as their representative in charge of all activities surrounding Srila Prabhupada, including supervising his care, and what were the time boundaries of that appointment?
2. If such an appointment was made, is there a GBC Resolution to that effect?
3. What was the scope of Tamal Krishna Goswami's responsibility for overseeing the handling of tape recorded room conversations, the recording of visitors and events involving Srila Prabhupada, the determination of his health care needs, etc.?
4. Was Tamal Krishna Goswami supervised in his position by either a committee or another member and/or the Chairman of the GBC?
5. Were Tamal Krishna Goswami's instructions ever over-ridden by anyone else during this time, other than Srila Prabhupada? If so, by whom?
6. On what occasions did Srila Prabhupada over-ride care decisions made for him by Tamal Krishna Goswami, or care instructions or suggestions given by medical professionals (including physical activities that might have affected his health)?
QUESTIONS CONCERNING VARIOUS ASPECTS OF SRILA PRABHUPADA'S CARE
7. Who were the care givers involved with Srila Prabhupada during his last year in body? What were their names, their credentials, and their responsibilities; what contact information is available for them?
8. By whose direction were these care givers engaged?
9. What programs of care did they advise, what instructions did they give, what medications did they prescribe, etc.?
10. Were these various care instructions, along with daily details of Srila Prabhupada's condition and participation, carefully recorded, and where are they now archived?
11. Who appointed Abhirama dasa to the position of nurse and assistant secretary, and what were his qualifications for this position?
12. In the absence of archived tapes from Srila Prabhupada's last stay in London, can anyone verify Abhirama dasa's statements regarding the specifics of Srila Prabhupada's hospitalization or medical care?
13. What attempts were made to identify top medical and health care professional who could attend to Srila Prabhupada, both within and outside of ISKCON, and to secure their services on His behalf?
QUESTIONS CONCERNING SPECIFIC MEDICAL TREATMENTS
14. Who prescribed the Ayurvedic medicine, Makardhwaj?
15. On what date was it's use suspended, and by whose direction?
16. On what date did Srila Prabhupada suspend taking the medication Yogendra Rasa in mid-1977, and by whose direction?
17. When was Srila Prabhupada diagnosed with diabetes?
18. What program of care was prescribed over the course of this disease?
19. What was Srila Prabhupada's diet during his last months?
20. Why was hot sweet milk being given to a known diabetic in crisis?
21. What other sweets were being made part of Srila Prabhupada's diet?
22. Were Srila Prabhupada's medicines kept under lock and key? If so, who had access?
23. When medicines were administered to Srila Prabhupada, did he, as a rule, simply take what was offered without question, or did he inquire about what was being given, make commentary, examine, etc., as one might expect a pharmacist would do?
24. Were Srila Prabhupada's medicines always administered by one of his primary health care givers, or were others sometimes deputed to this task?
QUESTIONS CONCERNING TAPE RECORDING PROTOCOL AND TAPES
25. Who was the primary person responsible for ensuring that recordings took place, and for their delivery to the Archives, and what process was established to track the handling of these tapes?
26. Was there a policy in place whereby an "official" tape recorder was to be used to make the tapes that were destined for the Archives?
27. Is that tape recorder itself now in the Archives?
28. Were there occasions when other individuals were permitted to use their own recording equipment to tape conversations in Srila Prabhupada's rooms during the period of his final illness?
29. Was it someone's duty at the Archives to listen to and/or transcribe the tapes that were received into the Archives?
30. Was editing a normal part of the procedure of handling these day-to-day tapes?
31. With respect to the tapes in Isa dasa's possession, who edited these tapes before they reached the United States?
32. Who gave these tapes to Satsvarupa dasa Goswami to take to the United States?
33. Have or will comparative studies be done and published of the differences in transcriptions between the tapes in Isa dasa's possession, and the correspondent versions in the Archive's possession?
34. Were the tapes at the Bhaktivedanta Archives edited, and if so, who edited them?
35. Will there also be a forensic study done on the correspondent tapes held by Bhaktivedanta Archives?
36. How many tapes are being examined altogether, beginning with what date, and is there a tape for every day?
37. How many tapes are thought to contain references to poisoning or other suspicious whisperings?
38. In total, how many different references to poisoning are thought to have been identified on the tapes in Isa dasa's possession?
39. Will the audio investigation being done under the direction of the Independent Vaishnava Council be extended to include "voice print" analyses of individuals known to be in the room on the date the words "poison isvara rasa” were recorded?
40. Who is financing the audio investigations being undertaken by the Independent Vaishnava Council?
41. Were both sets of tapes recorded on the same machine, then duplicated, or were they recorded on different units?
42. Has anybody made contact with the Indian Police (CID)?
39. What instructions did Srila Prabhupada give regarding the dissemination of information to the devotees about the status of his health?
40. Were these instructions followed, and if not, how were they changed and by whom?
41. Who over-rode Srila Prabhupada's request to be taken on parikama in his final weeks?
42. Has any effort been made by the GBC to contact B.V. Narayana Maharaja, to ask if he can provide any information, or pose any questions, that might help clarify what was taking place during Srila Prabhupada's final days?
43. On what day did Srila Prabhupada request that all his disciples come to be with him in Vrindabin prior to his going into samadhi?
44. To what extent was this request disseminated to the devotees?
45. Who instigated the actions taken by Kirtanananda, Tamal Krsna, Satsvarupa, Jagadisha, Bhurijana, Jayapataka, Bhavananda, Hansadutta and others, who entered Srila Prabhupada’s room and crowded around his bed, approximately one month prior to his departure, pleading with Srila Prabhupada to stay?
46. When Srila Prabhupada responded to this group's pleadings by saying he would stay, what actions were precipitated by his assent, and under whose direction were these actions taken?
47. Was it this circumstance that resulted in the nullification of Srila Prabhupada's request to have his disciples come to be with him during his final days?
48. On whose order were the rank and file disciples, who had responded to this request by coming to Vrindabin, told to again return home?
49. Will a transcript of the proceedings of the recent emergency meeting of the GBC be made available to interested devotees? If so, when?
50. What were the findings of that meeting, and what actions were ordered?
51. When can we expect the results of Balavanta dasa's investigation into voice prints, tape analysis, etc. of the tapes in question?
52. Has Raktambara dasa been directed to censor postings regarding this issue of alleged poisoning, and if so, by whom?
HELP US WITH OUR PETITIONS!
1) CALIFORNIA. To "The Secretary of State for the State of California" to protest: That Mr. Jayadvaita Swami (Jay Israel) should not be allowed to act a trustee for any California charity or non-profit corporation and especially for the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. This is because Mr. Israel says that ISKCON’s gurus may engaged in "illicit sex with both men, women and possibly children as well." And thus he, and his colleagues, associates and supporters, by their own admission, do not represent the Krishna faith. No bona fide Krishna guru has ever engaged in child molestation or similar activities.
2) INDIA. We also want to finally resolve the issue about Srila Prabhupada’s complaint that he was being poisoned. Please write to us and find out how you can help us convince the Indian Government to open up this case and begin an investigation.
We thank you very much for reading this paper. If you have any additional testimonies, accounts or helpful ideas how to proceed with this information please feel free to contact us. If you think you know of anyone who has benefited from suppressing the story of Srila Prabhupada’s being poisoned, please let us know. Please copy it and send it out to all of the persons you think might be interest in the Hare Krishna religion.
OM TAT SAT
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