The Next Black Swan
by Kailäsa Candra däsa
Second of a Two-Part Series
As the saying goes: Ignorance is bliss. This worn astral cliche is never accepted by serious transcendentalists of the theistic school. No one should believe in sacra ignorantia. Raw nerve issues have already been confronted in this two-part series, such as the difference between THE MISSION and THE INSTITUTION (when that institution becomes deviated). Also noted was the primacy of the guru trumping the institution, whether it remains bona fide or breaks off from him over time. The actual crack in Çréla Prabhupäda's institution was not lack of unity (a theme which will be explored further here), but, instead, the deviations of THE INSTITUTION. This article will present other valid reasons why you should not put any of your chips on “the best men” interpolation.
There are more raw nerve issues that require further explanation. For example, if THE INSTITUTION was so important to him, why then didn't Prabhupäda also incorporate its power node, the Governing Body Commission? If he was obsessed with THE INSTITUTION (as alleged by today's institutionalists), then why didn't he remain with his own spiritual master's organization? History shows that he was not devoted to Gouòéya Mutt when he arrived in America. Most importantly, here in Part Two, THE REAL ISSUE is confronted. If you are able to comprehend it—and most readers should have that capacity—then it will be easy to cut the rope to the fabricated, so-called “ISKCON” confederation.
THE MISSION of Lord Caitanya's Kåñëa consciousness movement (of which ISKCON, while it was bona fide, was a thriving branch) is to create pure devotee Vaiñëavas. Such pure devotees are automatically çikñä-gurus and qualified to receive the order from Prabhupäda to initiate newcomers into the disciplic succession. Any institution which represents Lord Caitanya's mission must remain strictly in accordance with His disciplic succession. If and/or when time arranges that it becomes scattered and lost (even if the superstructure remains operational), then it is no longer part of Lord Caitanya's mission. Indeed, in that case, it will invariably oppose THE MISSION in the name of both representing and spreading it.
That is why the bona fide spiritual master is needed, and those disciples who have remained loyal to him, who have not dishonored him--THE REAL WORKERS--should be given the benefit of the doubt. They may not yet be gurus, but the Äcärya is working through them, and, despite the odds, numbers mean nothing. THE ULTIMATE ISSUE has nothing to do with numbers; instead, it has everything to do with something else.
The Ultimate Issue
Prabhupäda: . . . in truth, hardly very few people understand what is God.
“Actually, a guru cannot be bad, for if someone is bad, he cannot be a guru. You cannot say 'bad guru.' That is a contradiction. What you have to do is simply try to understand what a genuine guru is. The definition of a genuine guru is that he is simply talking about God, that's all. If he's talking about some other nonsense, then he is not a guru.”
“No matter where you go, you always end up at the same starting point.”
What is THE ULTIMATE ISSUE? What is the crux issue that conclusively indicates where should you place your faith? Is it a manifestation as an example? If so, how is it so? Let's explore this question and all the other questions subservient to it. First, let us analyze the possible answers by process of elimination (eliminatio logica).
The ultimate issue cannot be THE INSTITUTION. If it was, then why did Çréla Prabhupäda leave his spiritual master's? If it was ultimately divine and unassailable, he would have been obliged to push it on. He did not do so. He acted separate from it when he formed the League of Devotees in Jhansi in the Fifties. Why didn't he call it Gouòéya Mutt? There was no Gouòéya Mutt active there. He could have done so, but he didn't.
Why didn't he form a branch of Gouòéya Mutt in New York City in the mid-Sixties? There was no Gouòéya Mutt incorporated in any State at that time, and nobody could have stopped him from incorporating an organization with that title. Yet, history shows that he considered one other name for his organization (and it was not Gouòéya Mutt) but finally settled on ISKCON, INC. There are logical deductions to be made from this decision, and one of them is that the ultimate issue is not THE INSTITUTION.
The ultimate issue, you say, must be THE MISSION. How could anybody disagree, but what is THE MISSION? Is it to establish pukka rituals amongst those who are initiated into its branch? If so, why then was çälagräma-çilä worship not allowed even by the late Seventies? After all, he had made sannyäsés by then. So, why not çälagräma worship? Answer: Because his disciples were not qualified to engage in it, that's why. How could ultra-fastidious rituals or äçrama designations be the ultimate issue? That would mean that Prabhupäda did not even establish his mission, but we know that he did.
Are the books the ultimate issue? If so, massive book changes have already gained a foothold after his disappearance, and the ultimate issue is in very dire straits. His books, no doubt, are very, very important to THE MISSION—and they will serve as the Lawbooks of Mankind in due course of time—but, in and of themselves, they are not the ultimate issue. The ultimate issue can never be dependent upon editors of a publishing house.
The ultimate issue cannot be a category. The above-mentioned suggestions could all be considered candidates for determining it, no doubt, but the ultimate issue must pervade everything established by the Äcärya—and be even more than that. The aforementioned suggestions do not qualify, as they are categories of THE ULTIMATE ISSUE.
Is the ultimate issue the spreading of the chanting of the Holy Name? That is also integral to the ultimate issue, but all kinds of devotees chant, e.g., madhyams, kaniñöhäs, miçra-bhaktas, and sahajiyäs. They all are encouraged to continue to do so, and the Äcärya himself chants. The spread of this chanting will continue (to some extent) even if THE MISSION, in terms of the branch Prabhupäda established as a beachhead, is rolled up. The bhaktas and bhaktins of “ISKCON” all chant, and so do all of the rittviks. Your author presumes that the leaders and their followers in Neo-Mutt also chant. Chanting goes on, and we must always encourage it, but it is not the ultimate issue in and of itself.
If THE ULTIMATE ISSUE is said to be creating pure devotees, then that is getting very, very close. The ultimate issue certainly has that at the capstone of its pyramid, and such a great development can only transpire if the ultimate issue is viable. What then, is THE ULTIMATE ISSUE? The ultimate issue is:
When it comes to determining THE ULTIMATE ISSUE, no matter how you cut it, if you are sincere, LEGITIMACY is always where you wind up. All manifestations of Kåñëa consciousness (or what appears to be Kåñëa consciousness) are judged not according to numbers, not according to festivals, not according to opulent temples, not according pukka sannyäsés, and/or not according to any ecclesiastical conventions. Everything purporting to be Kåñëa consciousness must be judged according to its LEGITIMACY.
Or its lack of it.
In the case of “ISKCON,” it is not present, because that institution disobeyed the clear orders of the Äcärya in a very big and intentional way. Everything established by it since that time is built upon a false foundation. History repeated itself to some extent (in comparison to Gouòéya Mutt), but that is simply subtext. The fact is that no pure devotees are going to be produced by “ISKCON” and no pure chanting is present within it. Nobody can become self-realized, even at the preliminary stage, within such a deviated institution with such an illegitimate foundation upholding its colorful but perverted manifestations.
The Next Black Swan
Yogé Bhajan: We have decided that this is the time for everybody to get together, to get their scenes together, to merge together.
Leading Secretary: We already invited him twice, so we don't have to give any more invitation. We should simply say verbally, “Let Tértha Mahäräja come here, as we have come so many times. Then we can speak about some kind of cooperation."
“I mean he'd keep telling you to unify and simplify all the time. Some things you just can't do that to. I mean you can't hardly ever simplify and unify something just because somebody wants you to.”
By definition, it is very hard to know when the next black swan will make its appearance. It is an unknown-unknown. Black swans can be positive (ultimately positive) or negative, but they tend to lean toward the latter. However, in terms of their impacts on Çréla Prabhupäda's branch of Kåñëa consciousness (or what appears to be his branch), a black swan must produce cult crisis and predicate repercussions.
Black swans that were not must be rejected, because, first of all, they were predictable, e.g., Prabhupäda's disappearance. Secondly, they may have had no impact on THE INSTITUTION. The dismemberment of Jayatértha by one of his own followers falls into this category. Although black swans are unforeseen, how they will be dealt with by “ISKCON,”--that is, via its major response--is not difficult to know in advance. That response is the old unity-and-cooperation tripe, in which all devotees--while damage control starts to gain its incipient traction--are exhorted to get behind THE INSTITUTION.
Protect the shield!
Let us take a stroll down memory lane and analyze some black swans—both real and imagined. The early 1979 confrontation at Kåñëa-Balaram was not a black swan, because it did not throw “ISKCON” into crisis. It had value, but it was also somewhat predictable. After all, Guru-Kåpä (then Swämi) was the G.B.C. there, and he did not allow any of the eleven pretenders to be worshiped or given special treatment. His sidekick for many years, Yaçodänandan (then Swämi), was headmaster of the gurukula at Kåñëa-Balaräm, and he was equally averse to those eleven men. That there would have to be some kind of confrontation was a distinct probability, but a black swan must come out of seemingly nowhere.
The first black swan went down in the summer of 1980, and it did come out of nowhere. It was the discovery that the so-called appointment tape—ballyhooed by all the “ISKCON” leaders (for the previous two years) as proof that Prabhupäda appointed those eleven men as gurus—was no such thing. There was no appointment of anyone to anything on it! Its mal-interpretation was a colossal hoax, and word got around. Of course, it got around rather slowly, because communication at that time was nothing like it is now.
Actually, the tape also contained a restriction on any future gurus (which Prabhupäda made clear would have to receive his order) by introducing the term “regular guru,” i.e., a guru under sädhana regulation. That was not what had been going on since early 1978, so a crisis soon developed, although it evolved somewhat slowly.
As far as black swans go, the Year of Our Lord 1980 was great, because there were two of them. In December, T.K.G. shed further light on the appointment hoax by admitting, at the Pyramid House in Topanga Canyon, that Prabhupäda had only appointed rittviks and never appointed dékñä-gurus. This breath of fresh air has been explained in previous articles on our websites—one somewhat recently—and those can be consulted to advantage.
T.K.G., although not the one who formulated it, was nevertheless the mastermind of the implementation of the zonal äcärya scheme (of eleven so-called uttama-adhikärés) throughout the movement. That he now blew the lid off of it was totally unexpected, even though he was under disciplinary action by the G.B.C. at that end of 1980. To get those restrictions removed was his motive, but no one thought he could reveal anything like this. In point of fact, it's likely that some of The Magnificent Eleven believed that the rittvik appointment (in July, 1977) was also an ipso facto appointment of themselves as future spiritual masters—and T.K.G. himself had drawn up that rittvik document for Prabhupäda's signature.
The schism between “ISKCON” and Gouòéya Mutt cannot be categorized as a black swan. It followed soon after the movement had been shaken to its core by the two black swans just discussed. The big split was rather predictable, especially since Swämi B. R. Çrédhar began criticizing Ocean's Eleven even as early as the latter half of 1978.
That the G.B.C., led by its Äcärya Board faction, was not going to allow any expansion of dékñä-gurus led some of its second echelon malcontents into the clutches of Gouòéya Mutt. As such, a faction of them would probably form and break away completely; it did not take a post-modern Nostradamus to see that coming. It had some negative impact on “ISKCON,” but nothing earth-shaking. Many were glad to see Jayatértha go, as his brand of psychotropic sahajiyä was particularly obnoxious.
The next black swan was the assassination of Sulochan. To cavil that this should have been foreseen is to forget the general attitude throughout the movement at that time. Only the hatchet men at Moundsville knew this was coming; everybody else did not at all expect it. It was too severe to comprehend, but Kértanänanda's hitters crossed the Rubicon, and Sulochan was assassinated point blank as he sat in his van in Culver City.
This heinous act had a tremendous ripple effect throughout the “ISKCON” movement, and precipitated major changes. The hackneyed notion of unity-and-cooperation was employed with full force, but the G.B.C. needed to bring down the worship level of the eleven great pretenders. The hit on a dissident—who was eventually proven right—caused many (arguably, the majority) of devotees in “ISKCON” to question just what their movement was. That led to getting the answers, setting the stage for the next black swan.
Which, of course, was the emergence of Rittvik. A personal servant of T.K.G. comes out of the woodwork, travels to Mississippi, and convinces three fellow brähmins that Prabhupäda wanted a rittvik-in-absentia paradigm to be instituted in his movement after he departed. This concoction steadily spread, although communication amongst devotees was still in a comparatively quasi-troglodyte state at that time.
Rittvik went down at the fag end of the Eighties, which had seen many upheavals in “ISKCON,” three constituting black swans. Another way of saying the same thing is that devotees were ripe for this off-the-wall conspiracy concoction to not only be possible (or not only to be probable) but to be certain! It was and is anything but black swans have no obligation to always be in sync with THE TRUTH, which Rittvik isn't.
The next black swan, also directly connected to T.K.G. (like Topanga Canyon) took place in late 1997. This was the emergence of the poison tapes, especially the background whispers discovered by enhanced audio and forensics software. This whole saga has been discussed in detail in a previous series, and it has been covered threadbare by Nityänanda prabhu in his online postings, book, and first-class video productions. As such, all of that will not be regurgitated here, but we would be remiss to not take note that all of these black swans were, more or less, in-house “ISKCON” events.
To argue that they all went down outside of “ISKCON” is to neglect the obvious: They were all integrally connected to “ISKCON.” They were different, but they all had some things in common; specifically, they were all within the circle of what can be considered Prabhupäda's devotees (or former devotees). Also, they all dealt directly with “ISKCON.” Just as importantly, they all negatively impacted that international movement.
In terms of exact dating, the final black swan is difficult to pin down. As such, we shall chronologically generalize it as taking place just after the turn of the century and progressing from there. It is, of course, the explosion of information via THE INTERNET. To argue that it was active in the mid-Nineties (which is true) is to miss the point; it was still in its incipient stage at that time, as were cellphones. Now, almost everybody has a smart phone. Everyone uses the INTERNET--via personal computers, smart phones, or laptops--the latter mobile and able to access WI-FI in most metropolitan and micropolitan areas.
This was not an in-house black swan; instead, it was an outer ring development of the post-modern world. Had it been present in the late Seventies, the pretender mahäbhägavat scheme would probably never have gotten off the ground. Root issues could have—and probably would have--been confronted, as there were strong and dedicated preachers (hard-core initiated brähmins) around at that time. If they had access to the actual facts, at least some of them would have insisted that the G.B.C. had no authority to impose zonal äcärya.
That could have led to something very different and better at this time.
If there was a communication grid like the INTERNET available back in the day of the Rocky Mountain High and Disco (the ARPANET, restricted to the military, was its forerunner in the Eighties), it would have been used. The ISKCON movement, already on the verge of being completely ruined (and replaced by “ISKCON”), may have been saved. Alas, communication in the late Seventies and Eighties was infantile compared to now, but once the INTERNET went into full gear, devotees of all persuasions were facilitated.
In the outside world, even in the Fifties, the worn astral cliche of “unity and cooperation” was eroding in the Western nation-states, and it has now run its course in “ISKCON,” as well. That tactic no longer works as powerfully as it used to, so the next black swan may be even more brutal on the cult than any of the previous ones were.
Expect then but another transformation to emerge, although we do not know when that will be or what it will be. However, remember that, at the successive stages of the Kauravas being forced to replace their field commander, each next one was weaker than the previous warrior commanding the post. The same principle holds true for “ISKCON.”
G.B.C.: The Source of All Nescience
“What do we care for Mädhava Mahäräja or Dämodara Mahäräja; they are figs. We must be fixed. Just see. Mädhava Mahäräja is against us, and he was supposed to be the greatest preacher. . . So go on preaching very very nicely. Everyone will like our program.”
“He could talk with anyone on any subject, he was so learned. So, we should be like that, as far as possible. No compromise—Rämakrishna, avatäras, yogés, everyone was enemy to guru mahäräja—he never compromised. Some godbrothers complained that this preaching was chopping technique, and it would not be successful, but we have seen that, those who criticized, they fell down.”
“We've been in a secret war here. Everybody's been bought. . .
Seeing “ISKCON” for what it is can be a bit difficult, but it is less so when you are freed from the delusions which underpin it. The idea that THE INSTITUTION is divine is not a new thing; all major religions (read, organized religions) adopt it. There is an underlying pattern or paradigm of pseudo-reality which undergirds all such large enterprises or international institutions. These kinds of unfounded or non-Vedic beliefs or systems depend upon shade making the deviation unseen and unintelligible to all but its chief beneficiaries.
This human mission entails putting the pieces of the puzzle together, the work of a brähmin. He never falls for the institutional card in terms of guaranteed status. “ISKCON” makes a big thing of it, of course. Its shade centers around the so-called automatic and guaranteed sanctity of it as an institution. What makes sense in the limited confines of “ISKCON” does not make sense elsewhere, but that corporate and sociological blind spot, possessed by all its adherents, is a defect that is not only encouraged, but is required, in order to remain in good standing within the cult.
Anything that does not fit comfortably into the “ISKCON” paradigm is either completely ignored or contemptuously dismissed. Genuine criticism leveled at “ISKCON” is always misinterpreted, of course; as often as not, such misinterpretation is intentional, i.e., the cult's persona, or corporate false personality, defends itself.
Logic and accompanying evidence is not featured much and is not all that important in “ISKCON,” except that which allegedly proves it to be a bona fide spiritual and devotional operation: Divine, sacred, special, and prophylactic. Its pattern of systemic beliefs is much more important to both its egregor and its members; all forms of imagination about its so-called unassailable divinity are encouraged. There is a kind of resilience built into this, of course, and that resilience makes THE INSTITUTION seemingly immune to all logical and factual arguments that are leveled against it.
If you have been part of this darkness, then it could be traumatic for you to come out of it. The “ISKCON” culture snugly fits into its paradigm. Its source code has been designed by its power node, the Commish. That governing body continues to be a Machiavellian Monster, but not everyone can handle this realization. The underlying “ISKCON” pattern of so-called reality, superimposed upon it by the vitiated G.B.C., makes all the corporate software fit together in such a way that its low-information members can easily process whatever “ISKCON” authorities assert.
In other words, it takes spiritual determination in order to escape the clutches of the pseudo-devotional labyrinth. Reason and çästra alone helps to some extent, no doubt, but reason does not necessarily change long-cherished values. Notice how expert “ISKCON” has been at damage control: If necessary, it will even create a transformation to the paradigm itself, e.g., the Second Transformation brought in by Professor Blueblood.
It will never, however, leave the matrix, i.e., there will never be a revolution in “ISKCON” world, as its powers-that-be would then certainly be toppled. Yet, to misunderstand how its corporate nescience flows (and where it flows from) is to wrongly believe that “ISKCON” superstructure is its source. You have to transcend that. The Governing Body Commission is the source of all institutional nescience, and it always has been.
Figuratively speaking, the heart of the “ISKCON” egregor is the vitiated Governing Body Commission. All other interpretations are irrational, but none of this worries the G.B.C. very much. After all, its adherents are ensconced by so many illusions and anti-rational beliefs, convictions, and emotions, that, for any of them to dig deep enough into the source code—and then expose it--is practically impossible.
Except when a black swan emerges! The members of “ISKCON” are well-trained; when they are not, they are former members and have already left the THE INSTITUTION. The upper three echelons know the dark art of remaining oblivious to their transgressions. As experts at damage control, they know how to deal with periodic institutional stress, and their chief technique is always to avoid acknowledging root issues. The emergence of a black swan complicates their complacency, however.
Major phase transitions require transformations. The “ISKCON” princes are experts at the technique, in no small part because they have had much practice. They make their “solutions” unrelated to the actual causes. For those lucky devotees who have not been invultuated by the “ISKCON” béja, who do not fall for institutional rationalizations, the door out of the cult is wide open.
“ISKCON” influence must be terminated, and then
OM TAT SAT
Quotes from the books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada are copyright by the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust