FAILURE of the So-Called GBC

(as it relates to the System of Management
Direction Of Management)

Posted : May 5, 2006 | Last Update: May 8, 2006


If you came here directly from a search engine, please see the System Of Management Debate page to get an idea of what this is all about.

Regarding the SOM debate, it is with sad and heavy heart that I must report that as of May 5th, 2006, there has been but only Cold Silence on behalf of the so-called GBC. Not one of them responded by addressing even one of the questions i had raised in my SOM article.

Unless and until i hear directly from them, there is but only one conclusion I can reach: The so-called GBC and so-called current leaders of ISKCON are too fearful of being defeated in an open and public forum. This means that they know their basis of understanding is weak. They were not capable of defeating my conclusions, thus they have shyed away from an open public discussion of the topic. This is unbecoming and totally unacceptable of so-called leaders of such a philosophically driven society and movement as ours. What is the problem, other then they fear appeariing weak if they try to debate publicly?

I am saying that the GBC has Failed. Of course, I directly refer to their failure to discuss the issues I have raised in my articles. But, I am calling them a Failure for the following reasons as well:.

Why am I referring to the GBC and current leaders as So-Called GBC, So-Called leaders?

Because of my God-Brother Nara-Narayan prabhu. In his response to my request for debate he sent me copies of the Direction Of Management, (DOM). These are facsimile copies of the original signed documents (1970) that Srila Prabhupad had drawn up depicting how the Management of ISKCON, and specifically also the management of the newly created GBC (Governing Body Commission) was to be executed and ran. Nara-Narayan argued that my request to get the GBC to debate or discuss what I referred to as ISKCON's System of Management, was meaningless because proper implementation of the DOM was never undertaken. He argued that first we must establish the DOM, then all else will fall into place.

I agreed with him, but I also saw much merit in my arguments concerning the System Of Management. And, to be honest, I was a bit blind-sided by the DOM. Here it was, the year is 2006, I joined ISKCON in 1973, that is 33 years, and the DOM was written in 1970, 36 years ago. It is a most vital and important document for ISKCON as Srila Prabhupad directly outlines how the GBC is to be set up and elected. Yet, all these years, my 33 years as a member of ISKCON, I could not recall ever having seen or even heard of this most vital and important document before. I had seen the ISKCON incorporation papers before, and many other important documents. But, this one, the DOM, I had no memory of it at all.

There are several very important features of the DOM - which obviously the current GBC is not following, nor is there any history of them EVER having followed:

Under the heading: PARTICULARS OF THE GOVERNING BODY COMMISSION #2 Srila Prabhupad states:
His Divine Grace [Srila Prabhupad] will select the initial 12 members of the GBC. In succeeding years the GBC will be elected by a vote of all Temple presidents who will vote for 8 from a ballet of all temple presidents, which may include a secretary who is in charge of a temple. Those 8 with the greatest number of votes will be members for the next term of the GBC. Srila Prabhupad will chose to retain 4 members. In the event of Srila Prabhupad's absence, the retiring members will decide which 4 will remain.

And in article 3 of the DOM Srila Prabhupad states that the term for the GBC is 3 years.

It s clearly written that the GBC members are to be elected by the current Temple presidents from a ballot of all the temple presidents. Their term is to be 3 years. They "can be" reelected, but they can also NOT be re-elected. With this system it becomes easier to maintain a very high standard for the GBC members to be upheld to. Actually, there are many details as to why this system is superior, but i do not have the time to go into it all now.

The main point is that these together are very important aspects of the Direction Of Management, very important features that were NEVER followed.

For this reason Nara Narayan wrote to me referring to the current GBC as "so-called" GBC. Why "So-Called"??? Because the current and much of the past GBC were never elected by the process which Srila Prabhupad set down in his Direction Of Management. Who selected the current GBC? The GBC themselves. Not the temple presidents. And who do they select? Not necessarily is the person they selected a temple president. Since they are selecting themselves who their members will be, there s no checks or balances. It can easily become a Good Ole Boy's club. Because the current members of the GBC were not placed in office in accordance with Srila Prabhupad's explicit written instructions, in adherence to the DOM, Nara Narayan referred to them as So-Called GBC. At first what he was saying didn't sink it. After all, I had been a member of ISKCON since 1973, and the way things are is the way they have been the whole time. So, it took a while for this to sink in.

But it has sunk in, and when it did, I realized just how twisted everything has been for so long. A whole more slew of questions came bubbling up? Here are a few.

Well, for starters, yes, I have been a member of ISKCON for 33 years (as of summer of 2006). Why have I never heard of or seen the DOM before? Honestly, at first I was really embarrassed to even ask. I was thinking, boy, it must be me. I must have been really out of it all this time. I "must have" heard of it, I "must have" seen it, I guess my memory is worse then i thought. How could I be a member of ISKCON for 33 years and never have heard or seen the Direction of Management papers before??? I must have been totally blind, such an important document has got to be widely known. But, then I finally asked, Why had i never seen this before? I had no memory of it at all. Nara Narayan then told me that it was HIDDEN from us. Oddly enough, even though it was such an important and vital document, up until a few years back it was not in the Vedabase (it may or may not be now, i am not sure). It was never published or passed around. WHY? Why wasn't such a very vital and important document shared openly with Srila Prabhupad's disciples and members of ISKCON. After all, we had only dedicated our youth, our lives, to serve in this great mission, why wasn't this important document made open and public? Where did it come out from hiding. Why was it in hiding, and WHO was hiding it???? So many questions arose. And, still I do not know all the details, but Nara Narayan tells me that during the court cases of a few years back concerning the IRM in India, where the GBC was trying to take back temples that had gone rtvk, the court asked for evidence that the GBC was in fact acting with authority in managing the affairs of ISKCON. You see, when the original constitution of ISKCON was written Srila Prabhupad had not yet established a GBC. So, the court was asking on what basis was the GBC asserting that they had management authority over ISKCON temples? Was there a written document whereby the Founder-Acharya of ISKCON, Srila Prabhupad, formally gave jurisdiction of managerial authority to the GBC? In response to this request by the court, mysteriously the DOM document surfaced, after having been kept in secret hiding for decades. Mysteriously the DOM document was presented to the court as written evidence that Srila Prabhupad had authorized the establishment and authority of the GBC. It is the only written document that does so. Thus, the court, on that basis of the Direction Of Management documents accepted that the GBC did have legal jurisdiction over the management of Srila Prabhupad's ISKCON temples.

Nara Narayan told me that when he was shown the DOM (after those court cases had ended), it re-awoke his memory. Nara Narayan had joined ISKCON in 1967 (at least from memory i think that is what he told me). He said that when he joined ISKCON there were only 47 other full-time members. He knew them all by name. When he saw the DOM papers a few years back, it re-awoke his memory, He remembered it. He actually recalled being shown and holding the original documents in his hands and reading them back in 1970, just days after it was signed. But, then he never saw it - or heard of it again. Over time he had just forgotten about it. But, when it was shown to him a few years ago, he remembered it.

With the Re-Surfacing of this vital document, so many questions arise:

Where has it been kept all those years?
Who kept it?
Who decided to keep it hidden???

Who knew about it?
And, the most pressing, WHY WAS IT NEVER FOLLOWED?

Since Nara Narayan wrote me about this, and it began to sink in, along with the GBC refusing to answer my questions or discuss with me how to revive the System of Management to at least what it was in 1977, the more I pondered the above questions concerning the Direction Of Managment, the more upset I became. This document is such a Vital and Important docuemtn. And it lists 2 very important features concerning how the GBC is to be set up that have NEVER been followed. They are to be elected by the Temple Presidents - from among themsevles - and their terms are to be limited to only 3 years. Neither aspect was EVER followed.

And, yet, at least one or more members of the GBC had full knowledge of and possession of this document. They were knowingly keeping it hidden from the other sincere members of Srila Prabhupad's mission. Yet, it was being kept, and when there was legal need for it, they brought it forward. Yet, even though they hae knowledge of it, they had possession of it, still, they had NEVER followed it or implemented it. just in case it was needed. But, even though they had possession of it, and knowledge of it, they never followed it, or never insisted that it be followed by the GBC as a whole. And that makes me angry. As any sincere member of ISKCON should be on discovery of these things.

I do not know who possessed it, and I am not one who demonizes the members of the GBC. I still hold that most of the members are sincere. I am assuming that like myself, most of the GBC simply dd not even know of the existance of this document. (And, another question that the discovery of such an important document so many years later raises, is, What OTHER similar and important documents have been kept hidden or possibly even destroied? )

Could it be that all or a majority of the original GBC decided that once they were GBC that they simply wanted to remain as such. That they enjoyed the power and position and that they feared losing their post if open elections were held, and so they simply kept this document hidden and simply chose not to follow it??? Srila Prabhupad's health was known to be fraile, he could leave us at any time. If he left while these people were the GBC, that would leave them in the position to be the new Ultimate Authorities over ISKCON. But, if there were open elections by the Temple Presidents then they could be voted out of that powerful position, and may never be voted back in again. So, there was motive for someone or the whole lot to simply keep the Direction Of Management document hidden, and to not follow it. That is really the only conclusion that makes any sense. Of course, it is full of speculation at this time, but these are the questions that need to be answered. We have a duty to ask such questions, and we have a right to know the honest answers.

Yet, the Direction Of Management paper has wound up becoming the ONLY official document that the GBC could produce that was signed by Srila Prabhupad that gave them authority over Srila Prabhupad's temples in the realm of management. Thus, when their authority was questioned in a court of law, the document was taken out of hiding and admitted in court to prove their authority.

By doing this the GBC have also set a legal precidence. They have established, in a court of law, that this document remains in-effect to this day. That is, it was never nullified in writting by Srila Prabhupad. And, by using this paper in a court of law to establish their authority, the GBC has also established that they recognize that this document remains the proper Direction Of Management for the GBC.

Yet, while it establishs the legal authority of the properly elected GBC, it also does one other thing. It clearly shows that the current GBC is NOT actually bona-fide in that they have not been Properly and Duly Elected. It shows that the current GBC is NOT adhering and following the very written instructions of ISKCON's Founder-Acharya which they have submitted in court of law to prove that they have legal managerial authority. Yes, the DOM states that the GBC is the legal managing authority, however, it also clearly states how the GBC must be properly elected and the term limits, etc.

What we have is a very BIG Problem. Lots of unanswered questions. After thinking about it for some time, i came to the conclusion that Nara Narayan was right. I should refer to the current "so-called" GBC as "so-called" because in reality they are not authorized, because the very document that established the authority of the GBC regarding the management of ISKCON also, at the same time, clearly shows us that these men are NOT actually authorized because they knowingly or unknowingly have not followed the document in full, in that they are Not Properly elected.

It would be like the US Congress holding up the Constitution showing that they, the Congress have legislative authority, while at the same time not following the provisions of the Constitution that state that Congressional members are to be elected by the PEOPLE, not by themselves, and that their terms are limited.

Our current GBC is just as bogus, for they have not been properly elected. From the very beginning they have purposefully failed, or worse, knowingly disobeyed, the written and clear instructions by Srila Prabhupad how they should manage?

Why didn't Srila Prabhupad correct this before his departure in 1977? I am not going to speculate, as that is all it would amount to. But, there are very real instances that we can refer to that shows that those who were in the post of GBC at that time did not always respect Srila Prabhupad's authority. They, at times, tried to over rule or change what Srila Prabhupad instructed.

Today, i do not have the time to detail anything, but there are examples i can give personally that show this.

There is one other interesting thing that Nara Narayan brought up. The only (known) addendum to the above document was made by Srila Prabhupad himself in 1974, 4 years after the original DOM was signed. In this addendum Srila Prabhupad refers the Direction of Management document of 1970, and he re-states that the GBC is to manage according to that original document. Thus, 4 years later, in 1974, Srila Prabhupad again stated that he wanted the GBC to manage in accordance with that document. Thus, we can clearly conclude that 4 years later, even thought the GBC FAILED to obey Srila Prabhupad's written instructions in failing to hold such elections and failing to uphold the 3 year term limit, Srila Prabhupad most obviously still wanted them to abide by those instructions.

But, there is another peculiar feature of this addendum. Even though in the original DOM it is clearly stated:

The purpose of the GBC is to act as the instrument for the execution of the will of His Divine Grace

That is obvious even without Srila Prabhupad stating it in the DOM. But, he did stipulate this explicity, that the purpose of the GBC is to act as the instrument in executing HIS will. They are not to act separately then to carry out Srila Prabhupad's instructions. And that included his written instruction that the GBC members be elected from among the Temple Presidents and that the TP's elect them, and that their term be limited to 3 years. Since this was never followed, Srial Prabhupad had to issue for following addendum in 1974 in which the very first statement is:



1) It is declared that His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad, is the Founder-Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. He is the Supreme Authority in all matters of the society. His position cannot be occupied by anyone else. ...

Wow. This had to be "Amended"? Why would there be a need to make such an amendment and to do so stating TOPMOST URGENCY (the copy follows the DOM on the DOM page of this website) ? unless there were situations occuring at the GBC level which warranted that Srila Prabhupad must, again, in writing, assert his rightful authority and position. It is obvious that Srila Prabhupad preceived a need, and not just a minor need, but a need to express this as TOPMOST URGENT need to restate his rightful position as the Founder-Acharya of ISKCON, and that his Authroity is Supreme, that is, His Authority Over Rules that of the GBC. And, most interesting, that His position CanNOT be occupied by Anyone Else. For Srila Prabhupad to have made this an Urgent and Topmost matter to be Amended to ALL Official ISKCON Documents, there is no question that he felt that his position and authority was being challenged by at least one or several of the current GBC members.Otherwise the wording of the original Direction Of Management document would have sufficed as is, with there being no need to make this amendment.

There were only 2 points made in this TOPMOST URGENT amendment. The above was #1, the 2nd simply re-states what was already written in the Direction Of Management, thus the only real new or additional directive in this amendment was the above clarification that Srila Prabhupad remain the Supreme Authority of ISKCON (above that of the GBC) and that no one else can occupy his position. That is the only additional information and comes at the first of 2 points for this amendment. Taking all this into consideration, then we can only but conclude that Srila Prabhupad did, in fact, feel his rightful position of authority was being challenged. There would be no other explanation for him to make such a TOPMOST URGENT amendement and that it be added to all legal documents of ISKCON. The 2nd point of this amendment simply re-states that the GBC are to be appointed by Srila Prabhupad in accordance with the DOM dated July 28th, 1970. This was already stated in the DOM, yet it is re-stated here. And, part of #2 is that the GBC is to act as the instrument for the execution of the will of HDG Srila Prabhupad. That, again, was already stated in the original DOM, and yet Srila Prabhupad saw the need to re-state it again as an URGENT and TOPMOST amendment to the original instruction. By re-stating that GBC are to be appointed in accordance with the DOM of 1970, we need to re-exmine what the DOM states. In the DOM it clearly states that after Srila Prabhupad appointed the original 12, which he had done 4 years previous to this amendment, meaning that this aspect of the DOM had long ago already been completed by HDG SP, then the next provision of the DOM is that after 3 years the Temple presidents now hold elections and that the term limit of 3/4 of the GBC be limited to 3 years. It s this aspect of the DOM which had not yet been implemented. Thus, it is clear that by making this a point of the Topmost Urgent amendment that Srila Prabhupad was telling us that he was expecting and wanting this aspect of the DOM to be followed. Thus, this 2nd point of the Amendment is aimed at upholding that the original DOM be followed. Additionally in the 2nd point of this amendment Srila Prabhupad requests again re-states that the purpose of the GBC is to act as the instruments in executing the will of HDG SP. That was clearly stated in the original DOM, and yet Srila Prabhupad re-stated it here, again lending forceful evidence that he was wanting that his will actually be followed, and in this regard, specifically his will that the Temple Presidents take up their duty to hold GBC elections every 3 years.

What this amendment tells us is that 4 years after the DOM was originally signed, Srila Prabhupad was compelled to Amend it, and to do so with TOPMOST URGENCY, and yet all the amendment does is re-state what was already there in the DOM, refers specifically to that document, and re-enforces Srila Prabhupad's rightful position of Supreme Authority over his movement.

Yet, to this day the original DOM and the TOP MOST URGENT Amendment were never followed by the GBC / Temple presidents.

And, it is my understanding that no other written amendment by Srila Prabhupad was ever signed where he changed the stipulations of the Direction Of Management. Thus, that document and the amendment of 1974 remain as the written WILL on how Srila Prabhupad wanted the GBC to be managed. His will was never faithfully executed in this regard, despite his Topmost Urgent request that it be done.

It is for these reasons that I agree with Nara Narayan in that until the original DOM is fully followed and implemented we should not see the current Temple Presidents nor the GBC as being actually bona-fide in that the Temple Presdents have failed their part to properly elect the GBC members and hold them to 3 year terms, and the GBC for not having been properly and duly elected in accordance with Srila Prabhupad's written will. However,I still uphold my arguments in my System of Management articles, and I continue to invite an open discussion by the current so-called leaders on that topic. But, I do agree with Nara Narayan, that the most urgent matter is to get the members of ISKCON to demand that the DOM be finally established. We must see regular elections held by the Temple Presidents and that the GBC 3 year terms be upheld. Once that is finally established then all of the other issues and problems can be more easily dealt with and resolved.

Most unfortunatley, until the original DOM is finally established the current ISKCON management is based on a flawed foundation. And everything that has been built on such a faulty and invalid foundation is wrong. EVERYTHING . The whole current system of management is invalid. All the past GBC resolutions and system needs to be disbanded and the entire system re-built up again, with members who are fully committed to being transparent instruments in carrying out the Will of HDG.

--- all i have time for now.... Om Tat Sat.

Om Parama Gurve Namah
Om Param Gurve Namah
Om Param Gurve Namah

Aim Gurve Namah
Aim Gurve Namah
Aim Gurve Namah

Klim Deva Janavallabhaya Namah
Klim Deva Janavallabhaya Namah
Klim Deva Janavallabhaya Namah

Klim Gauraya Namah
Klim Gauraya Namah
Klim Gauraya Namah

Om Hrim Shrim Klim Radha-Shyamasundaram Namah
Om Hrim Shrim Klim Radha-Shyamasundaram Namah
Om Hrim Shrim Klim Radha-Shyamasundaram Namah

Om Baladevaya Namah - Om Subhadraya Namah - Om Jagannathaya Namah
Om Baladevaya Namah - Om Subhadraya Namah - Om Jagannathaya Namah
Om Baladevaya Namah - Om Subhadraya Namah - Om Jagannathaya Namah

Om Laxmi-Nrsinghadevaya Namah
Om Laxmi-Nrsinghadevaya Namah
Om Laxmi-Nrsinghadevaya Namah