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Apologies and Clarification
by Ken Rowe

Dear Karuna devi dasi,

Please accept my apologies if I offended you, or anyone else by my comment. I concur that we need to choose our words carefully and not speculate when making public statements.

When I wrote the bit about the Amish community, I did so partially from empiric observation. Perhaps that is speculative, I don't know. But I was also drawing from a news piece shown on ABC-TV's 20/20 in which it was reported that numbers were dwindling as successive generations of Amish youth viewed their elders, and the orientation of their society in general, as increasingly irrelevant and disconnected. According to Amish Heartland that would appear not to be the case — so I stand corrected there.

Let us bear in mind, though, that Heartland is a society-based publication. Leastwise, there is some nexus between the two entities. They would no more publish derogatory or disheartening information about their community than could we expect to see Back To Godhead publish a story on the disenfranchisement (or blooping) of devotees following the maha-samadhi of Srila Prabhupada in the 70's, or the arrest and incarceration of Kirtanananda in the 80's, etc. It would simply not be in the best interest of the community. Fair enough.

The actual point of my letter was that, although I understood Locanananda das's point about the potential illicit uses of charitable monies donated by ISKCON-supported endeavors, I nevertheless viewed that, and any similar acts, as means by which the Vaisnava community could connect with world events — by distributing compassion and mercy in Lord Sri Krsna's name. Additionally, I thought the recent advice given, and examples set, by Their Holinesses Bir Krishna Goswami and Romapada Swami were relevant and admirable. Just the stuff one might expect from enlightened, modern-day societal leadership.

As for the Amish, there is certainly nothing wrong in seeking to live a simple, peaceful, godly lifestyle. Were it not for the fact that they relish their meat-eating, I might have joined their otherwise noble community long ago.

All glories to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga.

Your (unworthy) servant, Ken

© CHAKRA 13 October 2001

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