The necessity of speaking out

“However, consider the following point. Although to criticize mere external variations amongst the religious systems is worthless, if people do see a real fault, they should not blindly accept that fault. If they attempt to correct the fault in the proper way, this is beneficial.” (p 10)

All the years I was in ISKCON, 1967-74 & 1980-81, I tried to keep the movement on a spiritual path rather than a more business oriented organizational path. This division was there from day one. The business, organizational types won with the support of Swamiji who came from that same background and had Gaudiya Math as his model.

When Swamiji emphasized tangible results as what he wanted from me rather than spiritual practices which included chanting sixty-four rounds, writing and preaching, I decided it was time to go. More temples, more devotees, more books distributed, not how are you progressing on the path to pure love of God was the standard. “Work now, samadhi later was the slogan.”

I was also critical of the church when I was in it. The challenge there was to get the members to take the teachings of Jesus seriously and apply them in their daily lives.

It is the duty of the members, and especially the leaders, of a faith tradition to try to reform that tradition when it goes off the path. I worked within ISKCON as long as I could until I left in 1981 with goons coming to get me. I worked with the church until 2002 when I realized these people don’t want what I have to offer; I’m going elsewhere.

Now, I am outside all organized religion. Yet, I am still a spiritual leader with a responsibility to point out the pitfalls of organized religion to seekers so that they are not chewed up and spit out by the machine. I have given up trying to reform organizations just as I have given up on the government of the U.S. I have dropped out and am doing my own thing. I invite others to join me. Jai Radhe!

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