Open Letter to the Solar Smorgasbord

By Sama das

RE: My recent article (and its unauthorized editing)
: Rocana das Adhikari, editor

PAMHO. AGTSP. This letter is not merely criticism, since it is also a letter of appreciation, thanking you for liberating me. You have freed me from the illusion that there can be any genuine and open discussion on your website concerning the direction of Srila Prabhupada's Krishna consciousness movement. Instead, as you have proven, all such root issues that you do not want to see the light of day are subject to being altered, edited, or omitted. If any such points, issues, facts, or truths do not fit either your agenda (which is just beginning to become clear to me), your politics, or your personal bias, they will be be altered or censored.

This is especially the case when such points of views (or truths) are perceived as threatening your agenda. Obviously, at base, your freedom to change anything you deem mistaken must be both your motto and standard operating procedure. I was under the mistaken belief that you engage in brahminical reporting, but you have set me free from that fake veneer of honesty that your website projects.

As you may have already intuited, this open letter is being sent to you (you are free to post it, of course) relative to my recent article Concerning Our Cognitive Dissonance. The first change you made to my article: All of the emphases have been removed! These emphases were inserted in many places. Each emphasis was placed for a reason, but you have intentionally deleted them. It thus seems obvious that you wanted the impact of my article emasculated and minimized, i.e., the visual impression was diminished, and this had the effect of de-emphasizing various points and conclusions which had been emphasized. Quite insidious on your part.

Then we come to the second unnecessary change, and this is in connection to my original by-line, which simply read "by Sama das." However, you have inserted (ACBSP) to the end of my name. This, of course, is done by you to indicate that I am initiated by Srila Prabhupada, but it (ACBSP) represents something more. Some of your other articles contain different initials after their by-lines, initials which stand for different, so-called initiating spiritual masters of "ISKCON.”

Such nonsense recognition exploits the good name of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada and (somewhat indirectly, but nevertheless strongly) leads the reader to believe in a co-legitimacy, an authenticity in terms of initiation, between and amongst all the authors. It promotes a belief that each of them has a bona fide diksha-guru, but my article stands completely against this wrong idea.

Having read my article, you know that I am against such an affront to common sense: That a diksha-guru can be rubber-stamped by the vitiated GBC or any other band of corrupt conditioned souls posing as Vaishnavas. Why compromise my article with this unauthorized insertion after my by-line? It is bad policy. This insertion weakens the article's effectiveness, and it infers that you don't want to even acknowledge that there are devotees who have grasped (who have come to the realization) that none of the initiations since 1977 have been bona fide.

If you disagree with this conclusion, why not call for a public debate about it? Shouldn't that be something that your daily rag could and should undertake? Why not take up this issue, create a forum, and discuss it openly?

Your third edit of my article was the worst: Censorship by omission. You have culled out of it a sentence of importance, and that sentence was this: "Could it be that, right from the gate, there were never any legitimate gurus authorized by Srila Prabhupada?" Removing this question constitutes malicious editing. Apparently, you don't want your readers to know that there are disciples of Srila Prabhupada who reject all of the “initiating gurus” (as well as the initiations that they have performed) that have been pushed by the GBC since early 1978.

As such, it is not difficult to conclude that you have cleverly changed the meaning of my article so that it will, at least in part, dovetail to your agenda. In the process, you have surreptitiously pegged me as someone who supports that, but it is certain that I do not support it at all! It is your right to choose what to publish and what not to publish, granted. However, if you choose to publish somebody, especially if he is a godbrother, then you cannot change the content of the article that has been submitted to you. You had no right (you have the power, but not the right) to change my by-line by adding something foreign to it. You had no business deleting all of the emphases that I had carefully inserted into my article.

Most importantly, you had no right to cull out the most important point that I made, at least, not without first consulting me. This censorship by omission is particularly odious, and everyone should be made aware that you engage in it. By these unscrupulous actions, you are pushing a form of yellow journalism that is not at all befitting a disciple of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada.


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