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The GHQ Controversy

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Appreciating Maharani's Article
from Satyavati dd 


All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!

All Glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga!

P.A.M.H.O.

I am pleased to read
Maharani's article and to know that we have such great young Vaisnavis. Thank you at Chakra for posting this article. May you be blessed to chant the holy names without offence.

Satyavati dd.

© CHAKRA 13-Jan-99

Thanks and appreciation from oldchakra.com to our sponsor and host,

Response to Devarsi Muni
from Bhaktavatsala dasa (NZ)


Dear Devarsi Muni prabhu, CHAKRA, and assembled devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I have read the letter titled
"Does Bhaktavatsala Communicate?" and have noted the contents. The honest and straightforward response is very much appreciated. I am honored that someone even took the time to read my letter. Thank you. Although there are a number of points in the response that I do not necessarily agree with, I appreciate the effort at communication nonetheless. I have been in many situations and relationships where this has not been even basically afforded to me. Thank you. Now, if you do not mind, I would like to attempt to address the points made, objectively.
>Click Here

© CHAKRA 13-Jan-99


Does Bhaktavatsala Communicate?
from Devarsi Muni dasa


Dear Chakra Editors, Bhaktavatsala prabhu, and all the assembled devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances,

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!

I read, with interest, Guru-Krsna prabhu's reply to Srila prabhu (
If One Plus One Were Three). I also read Bhaktavatsala prabhu's follow up. I feel impelled to write this letter of encouragement to Guru-Krsna prabhu, and, sadly, to question Bhaktavatsala prabhu's basis for his unfortunately unfocused and speculative text.

Bhaktavatsala prabhu has written that "Guru-Krsna approaches Srila prabhu as if with the straw between his teeth,." Is Bhaktavatsala prabhu privy to some insight into Guru-Krsna prabhu's mind?
>Click Here

© CHAKRA 6-Jan-99


Apology and Humble
Request for Forgiveness

from Guru-Krsna das (HDG)


Note: In the article
"If One plus One Were Three," Guru-Krsna das mentions that CHAKRA did not publish his apology. CHAKRA regrets the omission and apologizes for any inconvenience this mistake may have caused.

Dear Venerable Maharajas, Vaisnavas, & Vaisnavis,

Please accept my respectful obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada! All glories to all genuine Prabhupadanugas!

Although having made various statements to date with regard to my connection with GHQ, I hereby wish to formally sincerely express my regret that certain inappropriate and offensive remarks were spoken directly about or in reference to various senior Vaisnavas and Vaisnavis. Most especially, I regret if anything said by myself has offended or caused discomfort or pain to any Vaisnava or Vaisnavi. Should you feel that words spoken by me have caused another devotee to be offended, or if your good self has been offended by the same, then I humbly beg that you kindly inform me of this and likewise tell me what I might do to reinstate myself in good favor with yourself and/or the offended devotee.

Thank you very much.

Hoping you are well,

I remain humbly endeavoring to become

your servant in service to ISKCON,

Guru-Krsna das (HDG)

dharmo-rakshati rakshitaha

© CHAKRA 6-Jan-99


The Karma of Insulting Women
By Maharani dasi


As I am away at college in New York, I am somewhat out of the Vaishnava loop, so I was probably as shocked as anyone else when I heard about the recent exposure of the "GHQ" group of swamis and high-profile male devotees. I, probably like everyone else who's heard this, have my piece to say regarding these so-called leaders and holy men who call women (every woman is their mother) whores, witches, and niggers.

I was raised in the ashram at Gita Nagari, and before bedtime, my teacher, Satya, would read us the Mahabharata. In the temple room at Gita Nagari (I don't know if it's still there) was a painting of Draupadi being saved from Dushashan by Krsna. I think every male devotee in ISKCON would do well to remember that story.
>Click Here

© CHAKRA 6-Jan-99


Definition of independence
by Jaya Lalita dasi


I have been bothered by some point in all the postings from different conferences. Today I put my finger on it. The word independent needs a definition, not an array of obscure connotations. As things stand, independent can mean defiance of one's husband, living in some manner outside the societal infrastructure, or being self-sufficient. These of course are not all. They just come to mind at the moment.

What are we actually talking about when we say a woman is independent?
>Click Here

© CHAKRA 31-Dec-98


An Answer to Guru-Krsna
from Bhaktavatsala dasa (NZ)


Dear CHAKRA,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Please don't mind but I would like to make a comment on the
letter from Guru-Krsna dasa to Srila prabhu. Guru-Krsna approaches Srila prabhu as if with the straw between his teeth, yet it seems apparent that he harbors some mood other than that of genuine humility. Why make a show of humility if his mood is something else? It seems obvious that he is not appreciative of at least some of Srila's comments, so why pretend or try to guise it? I would say only for the sake of diplomacy, which may not be the best way to approach a subject or communication.
>Click Here

© CHAKRA 31-Dec-98


If One Plus One Were Three
Guru-Krsna das (HDG) replies to Srila Dasa


Dear Srila Prabhu,

Please accept my respectful obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada! All glories to all genuine Prabhupadanugas!

I sincerely thank you for your open letter, which includes both undeserved praise of and kindness towards my wretched self. And indeed I appreciate Your Grace's reminder that "Hearing, not arguing, promotes understanding." Therefore, as if with a clump of straw between my teeth, I now humbly request to hear further from Your Grace, so that I may properly understand that which you deem essential.

Your Grace's opening comment was that I had "attempted to respond to and rebut the numerous accusations that implicate [me]—along with all the other members of the now nefarious GHQ—in misogyny." Already I am confused, prabhu. Please explain why you have determined that GHQ is "now nefarious."
>Click Here

© CHAKRA 28-Dec-98


Is Sita dd Being Used?
from Jayasri devi dasi

Dear CHAKRA editors,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

I understand the motivation behind the
letter chastising Jivan Mukta's recent comments. Although I understand it, my personal feeling was that certain innuendos were not appropriate. Mother Sita is described as being "used by these men..." These men include her husband! To imply that her own husband is "using her" and allowing his male friends to do the same is a strong assumption and speculative.

Anyone who knows of these two devotees and has seen their posts knows full well that Mother Sita has expressed the GHQ "agenda" many times in many forums. She has openly made clear her position on women's roles, and is not afraid to do so, even when attacked from all sides. To infer that she is merely a pawn does not seem accurate, nor should it to anyone else who has seen her posts and even debated them with her. Mother Sita is very clear on her position, whether anyone agrees with her or not.
>Click Here

© CHAKRA 28-Dec-98


Defending the Exposed
GHQ is Futile
from Srila dasa


Sriman Guru-Krsna Prabhu has bravely attempted respond to and rebut the numerous accusations that implicate him — along with all the other members of the now nefarious GHQ — in misogyny. We might note, however, that not once has Guru-Krsna distanced himself from the bigoted statements that document their (GHQ) collective foolishness.

Guru-Krsna's conspicuous silence must mean a fundamental agreement with the basic intent of those heinous letters, which are now a matter of public record. We don't have to speculate about the allegations: there is a clear and present danger expressed therein. The nonsense is self-evident and not worth repeating.

It is also to be noted that the North American GBC and the GBC Executive Committee have both joined to voice their strong disapproval of the tenor of the above-mentioned GHQ.
>Click Here

© CHAKRA 24-Dec-98


GHQ Attacks in the Wrong Direction
from Pancha Tattva dasa


Dear Editors of CHAKRA,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Members of the 'GHQ' conference should consider the following verse and purport from Srimad-Bhagavatam:

Are you feeling compunction for the unhappy women and children who are left forlorn by unscrupulous persons? Or are you unhappy because the goddess of learning is being handled by brahmanas addicted to acts against the principles of religion? Or are you sorry to see that the brahmanas have taken shelter of administrative families that do not respect brahminical culture?

PURPORT

In the age of Kali, the women and the children, along with brahmanas and cows, will be grossly neglected and left unprotected. In this age illicit connection with women will render many women and children uncared for. Circumstantially, the women will try to become independent of the protection of men, and marriage will be performed as a matter of formal agreement between man and woman. In most cases, the children will not be taken care of properly. (SB 1.16.22)

We shouldn't blame the women. They're not the problem. We are. It is specifically stated here that due to the circumstance of being exploited and neglected, women try to become independent. The burden of responsibility falls upon the shoulders of the men.
>Click Here

© CHAKRA 24-Dec-98


The GHQ Issue
Anonymous Anathema?
from Guru-Krsna das


Dear Chakris,

The respected though anonymous author of "The GHQ Conspiracy," in reference to certain isolated unsavory remarks made by a mere few of the 17-member GHQ conference, has stated that the conspiring members were "in fact using these terms for another agenda—one of misogyny."

Of course, each of us has the right to our imperfect opinions, based upon our imperfect senses and our tendency to commit mistakes, to become illusioned, and to cheat. But shouldn't aspiring Vaisnavas very cautiously avoid such subjective, faulty "conclusions"? Or is it merely by our practice of sadhana-bhakti—whatever the quality of that practice may be—that we are automatically elevated to the status of court judges?
>Click Here

(See also "GHQ: One-Sided Coverage?")

© CHAKRA 21-Dec-98


GHQ: One-Sided Coverage?
A CHAKRA report

Several members of the now-defunct GHQ conference have written in to say that CHAKRA's coverage of the controversy was one-sided. CHAKRA, they say, did not present an accurate picture of what GHQ really stood for.

In this posting, then, CHAKRA presents
"Anonymous Anathema?" by GHQ member Guru Krsna das and the following two letters from the GHQ conference, both from Syamasundara das. We at CHAKRA feel that these letters, especially the following two, will present an accurate picture of the GHQ and explain why CHAKRA felt no need to defend this conference.
>Click Here

© CHAKRA 21-Dec-98


Re: Women in ISKCON
from Padyavali ACBSP

Dear Prabhus

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Last July when I was visiting Toronto I happened to see on the front page of the Toronto Globe and Mail the report by the United Nations about women's abuse in the world. Their published findings stated that they knew that abuse of women was a rampant problem in today's world but they were unprepared for the numbers they came up with and they felt that these figures were not the full picture. The report stated that**** 60 million*** women were **missing** in the world. Most in and around Asia, Africa, but in many other nations as well. The figure was staggering. The details gruesome.
>Click Here

© CHAKRA 9-Dec-98


No Censure for the GHQ?
from Hare Krsna dasi


There has been some question regarding my header of "NA GBC censures GHQ." Now, Bir Krishna Maharaja states that the GBC did not censure the GHQ. So I looked up the definition of "censure," to get a better understanding:

censure: 1. To criticize severely; blame; 2. To express official disapproval of.

The Dictionary said "See more at Criticize" where I found this, and I was trying to think of what would have been a better word to use:

Criticize can mean merely merely to evaluate good and bad points without necessarily finding fault. (But the GBC did find fault.)

Blame emphasizes the finding of fault and the fixing of responsibility. (As pointed out by Bir Krishna Maharaja, the GBC did not fix the responsibility on any particular persons.)

Reprehend implies sharp disapproval. (Perhaps this is the term I could have used.)
>Click Here

© CHAKRA 9-Dec-98


The Women's Ministry Controversy
from Agni Deva Dasa


Hare Krsna,

PAMHO AGTSP

Just a brief comment on the opposition towards ISKCON's Women Ministry. I do not know why it really matters if women are inferior to men or if men are inferior to women. What does any of that have to do with the women having an organization? Just let them have it. Why should it matter?

I think Pancha Tattva Dasa's response has a ring of truth to it, where he says that he thinks that these men in opposition have just found a pseudo- philosophical way of concentrating their minds on them as much as possible.

Your Servant,

Agni Deva Dasa

© CHAKRA 4-Dec-98


The GHQ Conspiracy
name withheld on request


Regarding the "conspiracy" disclosure on VNN, some observations:

1) Incredible Misogyny.

The group of "GHQ" men and woman who had been hiding behind a veil of "Prabhupada said" and "Vedic culture" and "women's dharma" have had their veil blown off. They in fact are using these terms for another agenda — one of misogyny. There is much evidence of this in their communications, most unmistakably in the fact that Syamasundara das, the astrologer, posted a number of highly bigoted, general statements about nondevotee women from other nondevotees, like the Earl of Chesterfield, and not one of the members of the conference objected.
>Click Here

© CHAKRA 28-Nov-98


Questionable Behavior Debases the Sannyasa Asrama
from Hare Krsna dasi


I do not agree with the sentiment that only devotees like Jivan Mukta and Jaya Tirtha Charan should be condemned because they are the ones using foul language. It is the hateful and faultfinding attitude of their superiors that encourages them in this activity.

Bhakti Vikasa Swami for example takes no blame in the fact that leading women in the Hare Krsna movement are called "whores" or "prostitutes:

November 24, 1998 VNN2550

Bhakti Vikasa Swami Answers Conspiracy Charge

By Bhakti Vikasa Swami

..As regards calling women "whores": "prostitute" was the word Srila Prabhupada regularly used to describe women who didn't stick to one husband. So if re-married women in our movement get themselves into the limelight, it's unfortunate but not surprising if such descriptions are remembered.

Does he mean that it is unfortunate that Bhakti Vikasa Swami remembered such descriptions in his eagerness to find a way to defame ISKCON's leading women devotees?
>Click Here

© CHAKRA 28-Nov-98


Attacks on Women's Ministry
from Pancha Tattva dasa


Dear Editors at CHAKRA

After reading the lengthy article on VNN entitled "Conspiracy to Terminate the ISKCON Women's Ministry," I must admit that even I, although opposed to the feminist agenda, am aghast at the crude, offensive mentality of 'devotees' who seem to have either lost or never developed the capacity to see a woman as mother.

I cannot help but wonder whether by attacking women through insults and slander these men have simply found a pseudo-philosophical way of concentrating their minds on them as much as possible.

Pathetic.

Your servant,

Pancha Tattva dasa

© CHAKRA 24-Nov-98


Statement by the North American Executive Officers

The North American GBC/Temple President Executive Officers wish to voice our strong disapproval of, and our protest against, the demeaning and ill intended statements made by some members of the GHQ com conference that were recently brought to public attention.

It is our firm position that Srila Prabhupada, the Founder-acarya of ISKCON, intended his Hare Krishna Movement to be free from all prejudice, sexism, racism and other forms of bigotry.

We affirm that the first and foremost principle of our society is that all people (indeed all sentient beings) are eternal, sacred parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna, and as such should be respected and affirmed in their individual relationship with the Lord, as well as their service to guru and Krishna.

Multiple statements made by members of this Internet conference ridicule, berate and vilify women, other minorities, and individual Vaishnava devotees. They document an organized attempt to prevent women from their God-given rights of self expression and service to Srila Prabhupada. We denounce such views. They are opposed to the core values and principles of Vaishnava culture which uphold the devotional offerings of all souls as sacred and worthy of our respect and protection.

While we endorse open debate and dialogue within our Krishna Consciousness movement, we must speak out against any discussion that crosses the line of decency, morality, and Vaishnava etiquette and supports an agenda to exploit or minimize a section of our society.

Bir Krishna Goswami, Chairperson

Anuttama Dasa

Sudharma Dasi

Vraja Lila Dasi

© CHAKRA 24-Nov-98


Her Grace Malati Devi Dasi
from Bhaktin Casey


Dear Vaisnavas and Vaisnavis,

I was very distressed to see Malati devi so brutally attacked by the anti-women's-ministry people. I lived in Malati's asrama for a year. Malati was such a huge inspiration to my Krsna Consciousness. Before I met her, I felt so excluded from Krsna Consciousness. To my 16-year-old eyes, it seemed like the movement was entirely male-centered. I despaired, because though I really wanted to be a devotee, I couldn't see how I could fit into Srila Prabhupada's family.

Malati was kind enough to allow me to move in her asrama even though I was a full-time student and very young. Four years later, her instructions and wisdom have stayed with me. Her encouragement was immeasurable. She showed me how I did have a place in Prabhupada's movement, and that even though I am female-bodied, I am potentially valuable and worthwhile.

People may attack her, but they can't possibly know how much she has helped me and other young women. I will always be grateful for my experiences in her asrama.

Sincerely,

Bhaktin Casey

© CHAKRA 20-Nov-98


The Conspiracy against the Women's Ministry
a comment by Madhusudani Radha devi dasi


I hope all the devotees who have read the GHQ texts on VNN and learned of the existence of this secret conference were profoundly disturbed by the shocking display of un-Vaisnavalike rhetoric and the use of labels such as whores, witches, people with no souls, feminazis etc. to describe Srila Prabhupada's daughters and granddaughters by the members of the GHQ group.

While the most base and offensive statements published were written by members whose level of consciousness is surely well known from their other COM texts with which we are continually bombarded, it is shocking that several devotees who are leaders of our society (TPs, sannyasis, etc) have tacitly participated in such discourse by not immediately correcting it, thereby allowing it to continue. This is irrespective of the appropriateness of their participation in such a conference in the first place.

It is highly questionable whether the Vaisnavis can now feel secure under the so-called protection of such "Vedic" leaders. Given the mood of reform in our movement, one can only hope that the GBC will deal with the nefarious agenda and appalling attitudes of this secret society in a forceful and unambiguous fashion, thereby signaling to the women devotees still somehow attempting to serve the ISKCON movement that they will not tolerate such blatant misogyny and un-Vaishnava behavior.

© CHAKRA 20-Nov-98

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