Are MVT Trustees Being Trustworthy?
BY: CAITANYA DAS
Apr 15, 2011 USA (SUN)
The Mayapura-Vrindavana Trust (MVT) was established by Srila Prabhupada in 1972 to safeguard the daily worship of the Radha and Krishna Deities in his major Indian temples, especially Mayapur, Vrindavaa, and Mumbai. He deposited the majority of donations given to him into the MVT account. He authorized loans from the trust to fund ISKCON projects, e.g., a loan for the purchase by ISKCON of an apartment building near the temple in Los Angeles. Since then, MVT has occasionally loaned funds for ISKCON temple construction projects with the approval of a majority of GBC-appointed MVT trustees.
Given the above, I was surprised to learn that the MVT trustees recently agreed to loan a substantial sum of Srila Prabhupada's lakshmi from the trust fund to an individual ISKCON devotee for a bed-and-breakfast business in New York City. The scheme is not an ISKCON project, but the devotee's personal business.
This appears to be an alarming deviation from Srila Prabhupada's expressed wishes and purpose in creating the MVT Fund. Wouldn't it have been more inline with Srila Prabhupada's wishes had the MVT given financial support for rebuilding ISKCON temples in Japan and New Zealand, severely damaged by earthquakes during the same period, rather than to loan Srila Prabhupada's funds for personal business?
While it is rumored that the loan hinged on a promise of high return, isn't that exactly what fuels most risky investments and Ponzi schemes? If this trend continues, a scenario could easily occur where the trust fund is completely bankrupted.
As information about this deal becomes known, a number of questions have been raised from the ISKCON community:
1) Did Srila Prabhupada ever want his MVT funds loaned for personal businesses?
2) Is it legal for a Charitable Trust such as the MVT to loan money to an individual?
3) Where can the written documentation of the application process for securing a loan from the MVT be found?
4) Does a devotee need to have ISKCON friends in high places to secure an MVT loan?
5) Are the MVT trustees amenable to loan Srila Prabhupada's MVT trust fund money for any type of personal business?
6) Is it allowable for individual MVT trustees to accept gifts or services in exchange for approving loans from the MVT?
If the above questions concern you, feel free to seek answers from your local GBC representative or MVT trustee. The current MVT trustees are: Abhirama Prabhu, Advaita Chandra Prabhu, Hari Sauri Prabhu, Gopala Krishna Goswami, and Jayapataka Swami.