Preface - A Rude Awakening

As I started to read through Srila Prabhupada's personal letters to his disciples, I was primarily looking for quotes on marriage. At the time I was desperate to try and save my own marriage. Although that was my main motive, I also knew it was my moral duty to try and save my wife and children from possible danger. In this way, I began my research with the blessings of the Lord of morality, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Since I was approaching His topmost representative, Srila Prabhupada, for guidance and inspiration, I knew the outcome would be auspicious, whatever it was. I had no idea where my research would lead me. I only knew that something was going to burst, and I didn't want it to be me. I was not especially concerned with the broader "guru-issue" facing ISKCON's "leaders" today. Mainly, I wanted to save my own family, hoping that was part of the Lord's plan.

Previously, I had been living a rather disheartened married life. My wife had been devoting her heart to another man and so, naturally, this killed any chance of our having a meaningful relationship. Living in this somewhat stagnant state, I had not been inclined to confront the fact that she was unfaithful. In blind acceptance of what I had been told was my spiritual master's mission and his authorized representatives, I had remained simple and naive. This simplicity did not afford me either the desire or opportunity to even imagine what was lurking in the minds of others. They say the husband is always the last to know.

Finally, in June of 1984, with plenty of encouragement from the "guru" she had been devoting herself to, namely one Kirtanananda "Swami," my wife decided to leave me to devote her life to him, even though I have two baby boys by her. At the time, I knew very little about Kirtanananda, so I was a little cautious about openly criticizing him for his interference in my marriage. The fact that his "disciples" have more weapons than brains also discouraged me from openly challenging him. My wife also knew very little about him, except for the hype that's drilled into all the gullible guru-pies at his camp, such as, "He's the oldest and first sannyasa disciple of Prabhupada" or, "He built Prabhupada's Palace, so he must be a pure saint." That kind of stuff. In effect, neither of us really knew anything about him at all, so she agreed that I would go to LA and do some research, and if I found out anything suspicious, I would let her know. She said she would then join me if that was the case.

I agreed to rejoin her at Kirtanananda's camp if his slate was clean. Foolishly, I thought that she was sincere in this arrangement.

Little did I know that before the dust of my tires had settled on the road, she had already been allotted to satisfy the carnal desires of one of Kirtanananda's loyalists, Raghunatha, a man so desperate for sex that he had been grabbing devotee women's breasts and thighs, even though they were married. Kirtanananda requires many women for these loyal and hard working men like Raghunatha, who want more from life than simply work. Since Kirtanananda could see that I was not one of his blind loyalists ("Sulocana, you are just not my man") he naturally had no use for me. But his unmarried and agitated workers would be very pleased with someone like my wife. After all, how long can a young man be satisfied simply with the peephole into the ladies' toilet in the temple building there? So, when my wife expressed to Kirtanananda a desire to stay at New Vrndavana, despite my intention to leave, he didn't hesitate to tell her, "That's all right, let him go. I'll take care of you." It never even dawned on him to counsel us, which is of course the duty of the leader of a real religious community. Having been a lifelong homosexual, and repulsed by women, "Well boys, get out the incense, it's fish night" (Kirtanananda Swami thinks women smell like fish), he could hardly counsel couples in moral obligations, even if he wanted to. But, despite his personal feelings, he needs women for his heterosexual men who eventually leave him if he doesn't supply them a sex partner. So, being a British citizen and somewhat cultured, at least by New Vrndavana standards, my wife was a prize catch for him. Unfortunately, I had found out all these things too late.

So I was forced to make a dreadful choice: "Sink or swim." There was no question of just ignoring the whole thing and starting life over again as my parents were urging me. I couldn't really blame them. It was apparent enough that I was either heading for the gas chamber for just executing Kirtanananda, or a nervous breakdown if I lost my sons. Many of my co-disciples had sought the illusory escape from similar ordeals through drugs, sex, television, violence, and ultimately spiritual suicide. I could have gone any or all those routes. I had the money and I was free from any immediate obligations or debts. Fortunately however the Lord had a different plan for me. By this time I had heard and read enough about Kirtanananda to know that I had to make my best effort to save my sons from his clutches, even though it had become apparent my wife was completely under his control. So, suffering from the stress of having had my sons forcibly taken from me by Kirtanananda's strong-arms, and having lost nearly forty pounds as a result, I decided to take a stand, practically alone, against one of the richest and most corrupt men in ISKCON. This was after nearly five years of lethargic spiritual dormancy.

Knowing that Kirtanananda had attacked Srila Prabhupada in the late sixties in his first attempt to take over the movement, I figured that if I could get all the letters dealing with that incident, then I would have something tangible to show my wife about the real character of her new "protector." Having previously indexed for ISKCON's book publishing house (BBT), I resumed that service with one objective in mind: to get access to Prabhupada's letters. Due to my distress, however, I was unable to conceal my real intentions. Thus they refused to let me have them. This struggle went on for nearly two months, when, by the Lord's grace, I met a devotee who had previously bribed the archives department-at no meager expense-for the complete set. He sympathized with my story, having also been stabbed in the back by an "ISKCON" despot, and he lent me his own set. For the first time in months, I felt hopeful of getting my sons back, although I knew it would still be a long time before I would see my sons safe. Shortly after this breakthrough I made a large sale of jewelry, which enabled me to purchase my computer. It appeared the Lord was definitely with me.

The letters contained all the secrets I had been hoping for-and more. I knew then that it would be my assigned duty to make the truth in these letters known to all. It was the beginning of a re-awakening in my heart for a service which He had so mercifully been arranging for me all along-a service far heavier than I would have been able to bear, or even consider, had I remained in the deep, dark, discouraging well of unfaithful female companionship (not to be confused with a devoted wife). Although the ordeal was painful, it was that purifying experience for which I had been longing. I deeply welcomed it. So, on October 11th, 1984, 1 mailed a letter to all ISKCON centers openly declaring war against Kirtanananda and the entire Society if my family was not returned to me intact. The Society ignored me. Hardly did I get one response. Since silence automatically means acceptance, I knew that my accusations were correct, and that it was just a matter of time before the truth would triumph. From that point onwards I was doomed to live in constant hiding from Kirtanananda's worshipers, who would have killed me in an instant if they knew where I was parked in my motor home, typing away.