Direction of Management, Part 11


Aug 01, 2019 — CANADA (SUN) —

Ritvik Strategy: DOM & ISKCON Inc.

It has now been 43 years [at time of first writing] since the DOM was issued. For about half of that time, 22 years, the Direction of Management was relatively unknown except to those ISKCON leaders who had become aware of it at the time of its issuance. Although it had not been included in the 1990 version of Folio 2.0, in 1992 the DOM was included in that year's Vedabase release. In "The GBC Was the "Enemy", Roupa Manjari devi wrote [31]:

    "The document was basically unknown and unread (what to speak of obeyed) until 1992, when my husband found it online in the Vedabase. No one knew what it was or if it had any significance in particular, but when my husband found it, it seemed to him like accidentally discovering a diamond mine. From that day onward, he propagated awareness of the DOM, to the point that it has now (in 2012) become known and read by practically everyone in the Krishna Consciousness Movement."

As we have demonstrated throughout this series, today the DOM has not only come to the attention of most devotees, but is largely misunderstood, due to the campaign of misinformation and propaganda put forward by leading DOM proponents. Now being heralded by many devotees as the new 'silver bullet' solution for fixing ISKCON, this misunderstood and misrepresented DOM is being promoted by members of the Ritvik community and those calling themselves 'Prabhupadanugas'.

The current strategy being employed by Ritvik leaders is to distance themselves from the label 'Ritviks' by re-branding as the 'Prabhupadanugas'. Simultaneously, many have been distancing themselves from the stigma of Ritvikism by disassociating from the now defamed and defeated manifesto, "The Final Order" [32], instead re-branding themselves as proponents of the DOM under the umbrella of ISKCON Inc.

And this is where the story gets interesting…

ISKCON Inc. is the short name of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Inc. -- the original ISKCON entity personally incorporated by Srila Prabhupada in New York in 1966. That incorporated entity is at the center of the Long Island lawsuit, a battle going on for years now between the GBC/ISKCON and the break-away Ritvik faction in New York who have gained control of Srila Prabhupada's ISKCON Inc. [See our comments on this lawsuit in Part One of this series.]

For years, we had been under the impression that this lawsuit was essentially being fought over the Long Island temple, which had come under control of a group of board members under Ritvik leadership. But in fact, the lawsuit is being fought over control of the ISKCON Inc. corporation, whose assets extend far beyond the Long Island temple property or the GBC's rights to control the congregation. there

This fact was not some great secret being kept… the information was a matter of public record, some of which has appeared in Sun articles submitted by Nimai Pandit das over the course of his reporting on the Long Island lawsuit. The rest of the information has been on public record in the form of the ISKCON Inc. incorporation documents, which we had never seen. Prior to reading them, we didn't make the connection between the Long Island temple and the ISKCON Inc. corporation, which is the real prize being fought for in the New York courts.

In January 2013 we began to carefully study the situation when we came to understand that devotees were using Srila Prabhupada's ISKCON Inc. to proliferate Ritvik-vada. By employing the DOM, with the assistance of Nara Narayana Viswakarma dasa, they crafted a combined ISKCON Inc./DOM presence as a way to rally disenfranchised devotees around a new flag. This flag was not overtly flying the 'Ritvik' colors, but rather the 'Prabhupadanugas' identity.

Peddling misrepresented versions of both the DOM and ISKCON Inc., these devotees have been simultaneously moving towards a unifying constitution. While the predictable in-fighting has gone on, with key personalities moving from one Ritvik sub-camp to another as alliances shift, a worldwide campaign continues on in which 'Prabhupadanuga' centers and devotees are being convinced to unite under the DOM/ISKCON Inc. umbrella.

Over the course of our lengthy exchange with Nara Narayana and Roupa Manjari, we heard a grandly convoluted explanation about where, exactly, their loyalties lie in all this. They have both defended and defamed Ritvik-vada and those who consider themselves Ritviks. We discussed with them their DOM/ISKCON Inc. alliances with Ritviks/Prabhupadanugas, and we heard their denials about having any such alliances. We will present the highlights later, at the end of this series, in a summary profile of the personalities who are promoting this scheme to sell the ISKCON Inc. vehicle, which is being pushed along on the wheels of Ritvik-vada and the DOM, both of which have been welded onto Srila Prabhupada's corporation.

Why is this issue important?

Because if the Long Island lawsuit is lost by the GBC/ISKCON, then Srila Prabhupada's 1966 ISKCON Inc. -- which both the BBT Trust Agreement and the Mayapur-Vrindavan Trust Agreement refer to -- will remain under Ritvik control, and all non-Ritvik temples could potentially be prevented from enjoying certain benefits in association, particularly with the BBT Trust.

And if the GBC/ISKCON wins the Long Island lawsuit, then the movement will likely have to live with a legal precedent that establishes the GBC as the ecclesiastical authority of ISKCON -- a designation that could have far reaching legal ramifications that will affect all devotees wishing to associate themselves with the ISKCON name.

This is a complex matter. We will do our best to present the information as clearly as possible, and we will provide copies of the legal documents so individuals can study them and arrive at their own conclusions. Suffice to say, we find the situation serious enough to have warranted this lengthy commentary.

FOOTNOTES (Current Segment):

[31] "The GBC Was the "Enemy" by Nara Narayana dasa Vishwakarma & Roupa Manjari devi das, Dec 11, 2012

[32] "The Final Order" by Krishnakant Desai (1997)

FOOTNOTES (Previous Segments):

[1] Direction of Management, July 28, 1970

[2] Topmost Urgency, July 22, 1974

[3] League of Devotees - Back To Godhead, Vol. III, Pt. 10, October 20, 1956 (Delhi)

[4] Constitution of Association, Jul 7-8th, 1966

[5] Certificate of Incorporation, ISKCON Inc., Jul 13, 1966

[6] Srila Prabhupada Letter to Giriraj, Aug 12, 1971

[7] Srila Prabhupada Letter to Satsvarup, May 2, 1972

[8] Srila Prabhupada Letter to Jayatirtha, Dec 16, 1974

[9] Compilation of quotes from Srila Prabhupada on 'Constitution'

[10] "Direction of Management for an Elected GBC" by Urdhvaga das, VNN, Sep 18, 2000

[11] Letter to Sri Rama das from Nara Narayan Vishwakarma das (Nathan Zakheim), Feb 9, 2001

[12] Testimony of Bardrinarayan dasa in Long Island Lawsuit, Jul 19, 2004

[13] "Roll them 'taters" by HH Mukunda Goswami, Jul 28, 2006

[14] "Chronology of the DOM" by Nara Narayana das, Jun 13, 2006

[15] Srila Prabhupada's 1974 Letters mentioning DOM: Sep 29, 1974 Letter to Mukunda; Nov 7, 1974 and Nov 8, 1974 Letters to Rupanuga

[16] "Ravindra Svarupa and the Unelected Illegal GBC" by Roupa Manjari devi dasi, Aug 16, 2010

[17] "Srila Prabhupada's Direction of Management" by Nara Narayana Viswakarma das, Aug 5, 2005

[18] "Bylaws and Centralization - the Facts" by Ravindra Svarupa dasa, May 24, 2007

[19] 1975 GBC Resolutions

[20] "Further Considerations on the DOM" by Roupa Manjari dd, Jun 20, 2011

[21] "ISKCON Incorporation & the DOM" by Ameyatma das, Jun 8, 2008

[22] "ISKCON Law - GBC Elections & Term Limits" by Ameyatma das, Feb 19, 2012

[23] Srila Prabhupada Letter to Jayatirtha, Oct 16, 1975

[24] 1975 ISKCON California Articles of Incorporation

[25] 1976 ISKCON Bay Area Articles of Incorporation

[26] May 28, 1977 Room Conversation

[27] 1977 GBC Resolutions

[28] "Direction of Management document and May 28th conversation" by Nara Narayana and Roupa Manjari, (undated)

[29] May 28, 1977 Room Conversation Audio Tape (.wmv)

[30] "Bylaw Adoption: A coup attempt" by Nimai Pandit das, Dec 16, 2010


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