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FTR #941 Who Is Tulsi Gabbard? (Part 1)

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This broadcast was recorded in one, 60-minute segment.

Tulsi Gabbard and Hindu nationalist/fascist Narendra Modi

Tulsi Gabbard and Hindu nationalist/fascist Narendra Modi

Tulsi Gabbard and Hare Krishna fiance Abraham Williams

Tulsi Gabbard and Hare Krishna fiance Abraham Williams

Introduction: The first of two programs highlighting Tulsi Gabbard, a Democratic congressional representative from Hawaii, this broadcast notes her high-profile role in promoting Bernie Sanders for President, her incoherent stance on Muslims/Islam, her networking with the Hindu nationalist/fascist government of Narendra Modi, the favorable view of Gabbard held by the Trumpenkampfverbande, and Gabbard’s profound links to a branch of the Hare Krishna cult run by a fellow named Chris Butler aka Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa.

A major focal point of the program is the occult fascist nature of the views of Hare Krishna sect founder Abhay Charanaravinda Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, whom we shall refer to as Prabuhada. Central to our examination of Gabbard is the question of whether or not she might be a “ringer” inside the Democratic Party and–possibly–a mind-control job?

We begin with discussion of Tulsi Gabbard’s high-profile support for Bernie Sanders” . . . . Sanders has been surprisingly low-key in his response to this latest wave of populist delusion. Time is short. He must forcefully tell his supporters to abandon their misguided write-in mission, and soon. Every minute he keeps quiet, spoiler campaigns such as Op Deny 270 and BernieVote.com recruit more voters from Facebook and Twitter to write in Sanders. In California, 55 people managed to register as “electors” to get Sanders approved as an official write-in candidate, with Hawaii Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard as vice president. The Sandernistas spent last week arguing that Clinton is just as “evil” as Trump, based on rumors – whipped up disgracefully by rogue pro-Trump FBI agents, then quashed Sunday with a big ‘never mind’ by FBI Director James Comey – that freshly unearthed emails might yet get her indicted. .[We wonder if “Op Deny 270 and BernieVote.com might be some of the voter suppression operations Trump dirty tricks maven Roger Stone boasted of during the campaign?–D.E.] . .”

Gabbard and Bernie Sanders

Gabbard and Bernie Sanders

Of considerable interest are Gabbard’s incoherent views on Muslims/Islam and how they relate to her support for Sanders:

  • She has beeen critical of Obama because his stance on ISIS doesn’t label the group as representative of Islam: “ . . . . ‘Meet the Democrat Who’s Not Afraid to Criticize President Obama on ISIS,’ intones a recent ABC News headline. The story describes remarks by Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D), who has for the past month been all over the media slamming Obama’s refusal to directly associate ISIS and other terrorists with the Islamic faith. She’s particularly a favorite of right-wing media. . . .”
  • Gabbard’s support for Sanders is ostensibly due to her opposition to wars of regime change (a stance with which we agree, BTW.) This contrasts with her anti-Islam militancy: ” . . . . The newspaper characterized her support as ‘tempered’ and wrote that she reiterated her concerns over the former secretary of State’s Middle East policies. . . . Gabbard, a veteran of two Middle East deployments, resigned her post as vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee in February to endorse Sanders, a Vermont senator. She said then, in a video, that America could elect ‘a president who will lead us into more interventionist wars of regime change or we can elect a president who will usher in a new era of peace and prosperity.’ . . .”
  • Curiously, Gabbard has joined Sanders in supporting African-American Muslim Keith Ellison for chair of the DNC. We feel that IF that were to happen, it would play right into the hands of Roger Stone/Trump/Steve Bannon et al. Is that the real goal of Gabbard’s stance?
  • Ellison has networked with Muslim Brotherhood front organizations in the U.S., something that will work to the benefit of Roger Stone/Trump/Steve Bannon et al.

gabbardtrumpNext, the program recaps networking between the milieux of Donald Trump, Tulsi Gabbard and Narendra Modi:

  • Trump’s Indian partners in his real estate projects overlap the milieu of Modi’s BJP (a cat’s paw for the Hindu nationalist and fascist party the RSS.) ” . . . . Mr. Trump’s partner in the Trump Tower Mumbai is the Lodha Group, founded by Mangal Prabhat Lodha, vice president of the Bharatiya Janata Party — currently the governing party in Parliament — in Maharashtra State. The Lodha Group has already negotiated with the United States government; it announced a landmark purchase of a property, known as the Washington House, on tony Altamount Road, from the American government for 3.75 billion rupees, almost $70 million. His partner in an office complex in Gurgaon, near New Delhi, is IREO, whose managing director, Lalit Goyal, is the brother-in-law of a Bharatiya Janata member of Parliament, Sudhanshu Mittal. Mr. Mittal, in an interview, has denied having any connection with the real estate company. . . .”
  • Trump interviewed Gabbard for a cabinet position: “. . . . Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a high-profile Bernie Sanders supporter during the Democratic primaries, is “under serious consideration” for various Cabinet positions in President-elect Donald Trump’s administration, according to a senior official on the transition team.A ccording to the official, the 35-year-old Hawaii congresswoman is being looked as a candidate for secretary of state, secretary of defense or United Nations ambassador. If selected, Gabbard will be the first woman as well as the youngest pick for Trump’s Cabinet. . . .”
  • Trump’s “alt-right” advisor Steve Bannon is a fan of Gabbard’s: ” . . . .  Stephen Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, reportedly likes Gabbard because of her stance on guns, refugees and Islamic extremism along with her ability to invoke strong anti-establishment populist sentiment on the left. . . .”
  • Bannon is also a fan of Narendra Modi and has followed his political rise closely: ” . . . . Mr. Trump may be largely indifferent to the reasons behind his Hindu loyalists’ fervor, but his most senior advisers are not. The campaign’s chief executive, Stephen K. Bannon, is a student of nationalist movements. Mr. Bannon is close to Nigel Farage, a central figure in Britain’s movement to leave the European Union, and he is an admirer of India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, a Hindu nationalist Mr. Bannon has called ‘the Reagan of India.’ It may be pure coincidence that some of Mr. Trump’s words channel the nationalistic and, some argue, anti-Muslim sentiments that Mr. Modi stoked as he rose to power. But it is certainly not coincidental that many of Mr. Trump’s biggest Hindu supporters are also some of Mr. Modi’s most ardent backers. . . .”
  • Gabbard is also a big fan of Narendra Modi, having been involved with the planning of Modi’s U.S. visit and networking with BJP members: ” . . . . Gabbard, a strong supporter of Modi, is a Democrat Congresswoman from Hawaii. . . . She had spoken to Modi after his victory in the Indian general elections and congratulated him and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). She has also been involved in the planning of Modi’s US visit and had last month met two BJP leaders Vijay Jolly and MP Rajyavardhan Rathore in that connection. . . .”
  • On a trip to India, Gabbard networked with both the BJP and the RSS, the Hindu nationalist/fascist party for which Modi’s BJP is a cat’s paw. (All of Modi’s cabinet appointments were drawn from the RSS. Modeled on the German Nazi Party and Mussolini’s blackshirts, the RSS killed Gandhi.): “. . . . Speaking at a fundraising event for the BJP in August 2014 . . . Gabbard said that Modi’s election victory was only possible because ‘people stood up, one by one by one by one, and said we will demand that this change occurs.’ . . . Gabbard was treated as royalty on her visit to India last year. As she hobnobbed with the Indian prime minister and foreign minister among others, The Telegraph, a Kolkata-based newspaper, called her ‘the Sangh’s mascot’ in the US. The Sangh, a moniker for the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), is a right-wing hindutva organisation and the ideological guardian of the BJP party that rules India now. . . .”

Marketed as “the first Hindu in Congress,” Gabbard, her family, her in-laws and political milieu are deeply connected to an offshoot of the Hare Krishna sect in Hawaii led by Chris Butler aka Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa:

  • Gabbard’s Washington-based chief of staff, Kainoa Penaroza, is the son of Bill Penaroza, linked to a political front for Butler’s organization.  ” . . . . Kainoa Penaroza, who was appointed as Gabbard’s Washington, D.C.-based chief of staff last month despite his relative lack of political experience, is the son of Bill Penaroza, who was among a slate of 14 candidates running for a variety of offices in 1976 under an enigmatic political party called the Independents for Godly Government. The party’s connection to Butler was revealed in a three-part investigative series by the Honolulu Advertiser’s Water Wright in 1977. . . .”
  • Penaroza’s wife works as Gabbard’s Washington fundraiser. Both lived at a property owned by a group that owned Healthy’s, a store controlled by Butler’s group. ” . . . . Penaroza, 30, and his wife, Alana Leigh Penaroza, who now works as Gabbard’s D.C. fundraiser, at one time lived in a Kailua property owned by Joseph Bismark, a Singapore-based businessman whose company, QI Group, bought Healthy’s in 2007. According to the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Healthy’s owns Noni Connection LLC, which lists Kainoa Penaroza as its director and secretary. . . .”
  • Abaham Williams, Gabbard’s now-husband, is from a family with deep ties to the Butler cult. ” . . . . Abraham Williams, Gabbard’s 26-year-old fiancé, is a freelance cinematographer who also grew up in a family with strong ties to Butler. His mother, Anya Anthony, is listed as a registered agent of Wai Lana Productions LLC, a company named after Butler’s wife, Wai Lan, that runs www.wailana.com, which sells yoga instruction DVDs, clothing and other accessories. . . . .”
  • Gabbard’s mother-in-law–Anya Anthony–is part of the Butler cult milieu and is the manager of Gabbard’s district office in Honolulu.  ” . . . . Anthony is now the manager of Gabbard’s district office in Honolulu. Last month, Gabbard put a post on Facebook introducing Anthony as her soon-to-be mother-in-law. Gabbard noted that she had asked the Congressional Ethics Committee to determine if it was ethical for the congresswoman to employ her future mother-in-law. The committee signed off on Anthony’s continued employment, a committee spokesman confirmed to Civil Beat. 
  • Sunil Khemaney, one Gabbard’s supporters on her trip to India where she networked with Modi, the BJP and the RSS, is tied to the Butler business milieu.  ” . . . . Sunil Khemaney, who accompanied Gabbard on her December trip to India, is listed in Wai Lana Productions’ business registration records as its manager. He is also the director of Healthy’s and one of the trustees of Wai Lana Yoga Trust, whose mission is to ‘educate and teach the general public about the philosophy, moral standards and practices of yoga for the benefit of mankind.’ Khemaney is also the vice president of the East West Yoga Foundation, a nonprofit registered in Arizona. Chris Butler is listed in Arizona corporation records as its director, along with his wife, who is the president and director. . . .”
  • Tulsi’s father Mike is also tied to the Butler cult: ” . . . . Mike Gabbard has long maintained that he’s a Catholic, not Hare Krishna. But, in Honolulu Magazine’s 2004 profile, he acknowledged his ties to Butler: ‘Although I’m not a member of the Science of Identity Foundation, I’m eternally thankful to Chris Butler … whose teachings of karma yoga (selfless service) and bhakti yoga (devotion to God) have brought me back to my Catholic roots and the fundamental teachings of Christ.’ . . . Mike Gabbard was in the audience at a taping of Chris Butler’s TV show, “Jagad Guru Speaks,” which aired for several years in the 1980s and 1990s. . . .”
  • Tulsi’s mother Carol is also tied to Butler and both of her parents sat on the board of directors of Buter’s group: ” . . . . . Multiple historical documents show that, at various points in the history of the Science of Identity Foundation, both Mike and Carol Gabbard sat on its board. According to various reports, they were bestowed Sanskrit names, ‘Krishna Katha das’ and ‘Devahuti dasi,’ respectively. . . .”

Gabbard herself denotes Butler as her personal guru at around 3:45 in an embedded video, the autio track of which is contained in the show. Note that the talk Gabbard is giving is an adulatory presentation of Prabuhada.

Prabhupada’s views are noteworthy for our purposes: “. . . . ISKCON founder A C Bhaktivedanta Swami’s views were even more bizarre than I expected: rape victims asked for it, Blacks are inferior and should be enslaved, Aryans are the supreme race, Hitler was right when attacking the Jews, and the “non-Aryan” majority of the human race are useless eaters no better than dogs. The preferred form of government is an absolutist monarchy. Racism is apparently an integral part of the ideal Vedic society, since “shudra” (the designation of the worker-caste) means “black”, which in turn literally refers to Blacks, a category which also includes Dravidians from southern India. . . .”

The program concludes with a longer look at Prabhupada’s fascist/racist views–an examination that will be set forth at greater length in the next program.

Program Highlights Include:

  • An examination of the fragmenting and usurpation that befell the Hare Krishna cult after Prabhupada’s death. This, too, will be set forth at greater length in the next program.
  • Speculation about Gabbard’s possible role in the compromising of the DNC.
  • Review of the allegation by Craig Murray that he gave the information compromising the DNC to WikiLeaks, after having received it from a dissatisfied DNC insider.
  • Gabbard’s curious stance on Trump’s appointment of recently-retired generals to fill key cabinet posts.

1a. We begin with discussion of Tulsi Gabbard’s high-profile support for Bernie Sanders. ” . . . . Sanders has been surprisingly low-key in his response to this latest wave of populist delusion. Time is short. He must forcefully tell his supporters to abandon their misguided write-in mission, and soon. Every minute he keeps quiet, spoiler campaigns such as Op Deny 270 and BernieVote.com recruit more voters from Facebook and Twitter to write in Sanders. In California, 55 people managed to register as “electors” to get Sanders approved as an official write-in candidate, with Hawaii Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard as vice president. . . .”

The Sandernistas spent last week arguing that Clinton is just as “evil” as Trump, based on rumors – whipped up disgracefully by rogue pro-Trump FBI agents, then quashed Sunday with a big “never mind” by FBI Director James Comey – that freshly unearthed emails might yet get her indicted. . . .”

” ‘Bernie or Bust,’ a Surefire Way to Get Trump Elected;” Sacramento Bee; 11/7/2016.

. . . . “This is not time for a protest vote. This is time to elect Hillary Clinton,” Sanders has said.

But the Sandernistas, it appears, don’t listen to reason. They’re on a mission to persuade voters to write-in Sanders for president in California and eight other states on Election Day. . . .

. . . . Their goal – and they’re nothing if not persistent – is to deny Clinton the 270 electoral votes needed to win, leaving it to the House of Representatives to choose the next president – Sanders, Clinton or Trump. It’s a disastrous strategy that risks splitting the vote and creating an opening for Trump, a demagogue-in-waiting whose platform opposes everything Sandernistas claim to stand for, including criminal justice reform, cheaper health care and free college.

Sanders has been surprisingly low-key in his response to this latest wave of populist delusion. Time is short. He must forcefully tell his supporters to abandon their misguided write-in mission, and soon. Every minute he keeps quiet, spoiler campaigns such as Op Deny 270 and BernieVote.com recruit more voters from Facebook and Twitter to write in Sanders. In California, 55 people managed to register as “electors” to get Sanders approved as an official write-in candidate, with Hawaii Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard as vice president.

The Sandernistas spent last week arguing that Clinton is just as “evil” as Trump, based on rumors – whipped up disgracefully by rogue pro-Trump FBI agents, then quashed Sunday with a big “never mind” by FBI Director James Comey – that freshly unearthed emails might yet get her indicted. . . .

1b. One of the salient points of interest about Gabbard “the Sandernista” concerns her attacks on Obama for being too soft in his characterizations of ISIS. “Meet the Democrat Who’s Not Afraid to Criticize President Obama on ISIS,” intones a recent ABC News headline. The story describes remarks by Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D), who has for the past month been all over the media slamming Obama’s refusal to directly associate ISIS and other terrorists with the Islamic faith.

She’s particularly a favorite of right-wing media. . . .”

“The Curious Islamophobic Politics of Dem Congressmember Tulsi Gabbard” by Zaid Jilani; AlternetAlternet;2/22/2015. 

“Meet the Democrat Who’s Not Afraid to Criticize President Obama on ISIS,” intones a recent ABC News headline. The story describes remarks by Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D), who has for the past month been all over the media slamming Obama’s refusal to directly associate ISIS and other terrorists with the Islamic faith.

She’s particularly a favorite of right-wing media. Appearing with Fox’s Neil Cavuto last week, she lashed out at the White House for holding an extremism summit with Muslim Americans, saying it’s a “diversion from what our real focus needs to be. And that focus is on that Islamic extremist threat.” . . . .

1c. Gabbard’s attacks on Obama’s position vis a vis ISIS/Islam contrasts with her embrace of Bernie Sanders over his aversion to wars of “regime change.” (We note, in passing, that Sanders supported the bombing of Kosovo in the 1990s–he is no “dove.) ” . . . . The newspaper characterized her support as “tempered” and wrote that she reiterated her concerns over the former secretary of State’s Middle East policies. . . . Gabbard, a veteran of two Middle East deployments, resigned her post as vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee in February to endorse Sanders, a Vermont senator. She said then, in a video, that America could elect ‘a president who will lead us into more interventionist wars of regime change or we can elect a president who will usher in a new era of peace and prosperity.’ . . .”

“Tulsi Gabbard, a Surrogate for Bernie Sanders, to Vote for Hillary Clinton” by Nicole Gaudiano; USA Today; 8/4/2016. 

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, one of Bernie Sanders’ top surrogates, says she’ll vote for Hillary Clinton in November.

The Hawaii Democrat told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, “Given the remaining choices, like Bernie Sanders, I will be casting my vote for Hillary Clinton.”

The newspaper characterized her support as “tempered” and wrote that she reiterated her concerns over the former secretary of State’s Middle East policies.

“Moving forward, as a veteran and someone who knows firsthand the cost of war, I am going to continue to push for an end to counterproductive interventionist wars and lead our country toward a path toward peace,” she said.

Gabbard, a veteran of two Middle East deployments, resigned her post as vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee in February to endorse Sanders, a Vermont senator. She said then, in a video, that America could elect ‘a president who will lead us into more interventionist wars of regime change or we can elect a president who will usher in a new era of peace and prosperity.’

She was one of three people who nominated Sanders for president during a speech last week at the Democratic National Convention, before Sanders moved to give Clinton the nomination by acclamation. . . .

1d. Tulsi Gabbard, like Bernie Sanders, endorsed Keith Ellison to be the chairperson of the Democratic Party.

I support @keithellison for DNC Chair. Keith is our best choice for an open, transparent DNC. #DNCChair

1e. Ellison is an African-American Muslim who has networked with the Muslim Brotherhood in the past. IF he does become head of the DNC as Gabbard and Bernie Sanders want, the Democrats are through. Just imagine what the red states, Trump, Steve Bannon et al will do with that!

“FEATURED: The Madness of the Democratic Party–Keith Ellison as DNC?; The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch; 11/13/2016.

. . . . As we have documented in the past, and although it has been labeled “conspiracy thinking”, the GMBDW has catalogued the numerous examples over the years that illustrate Congressman Ellison’s close relationship to the US Muslim Brotherhood. Highlights include:

  • In October 2007, we reported that Ellison gave the keynote speech at an award dinner where the late Dr. Jamal Barzinji, then Vice-President of the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) and one the most important founders of the US Muslim Brotherhood,, was awarded the “Faith in Action Award” by the International Center for Religion & Diplomacy (ICRD).
  • In November 2007, we reported that Ellison was one of two keynote speakers at the 13th annual banquet of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), an important part of the US Muslim Brotherhood that emerged from the US Hamas support infrastructure.
  • In December 2008, we reported that Ellison went on a pilgrimage to Mecca that was paid for by the Muslim American Society (MAS), a part of the US Muslim Brotherhood closet to the Egyptian organization.
  • In April 2009, we reported that Ellison attended a conference that brought leaders of the US Muslim Brotherhood together with members of the US government, far-left/antiwar political figures, and foreign activists.
  • In July 2011, we reported that Ellison was one of the speakers at the 48th annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a large umbrella group that emerged out of the early US. Muslim Brotherhood infrastructure.
  • In February 2016, we reported that Ellison attended the inaugural conference for the “Muslim Councils in the West”, organized by a US Muslim Brotherhood coalition and that was also attended by a wide variety of European Muslim Brotherhood leaders as well as by a prominent US academic supporter of the Global Muslim Brotherhood.

In addition to these appearances, Congressman Ellison also has a history problematic statements regarding the Muslim Brotherhood. For example, in February 2011, Ellison called fears of a Muslim Brotherhood takeover in Egypt a “scarecrow” and in July 2012 dismissed concerns over Muslim Brotherhood influence in the US government as “scare-mongering.”

Worse than these statements and what appears to have been forgotten was that it was Congressman Ellison himself who expressed the most heinous of conspiracy theories when he once compared the 911 attacks against the US  to the 1933 destruction by fire of the Reichstag, the German parliament, likely burned down by the Nazis in order to justify Hitler’s later seizure of emergency powers. As we reported in July 2007, Ellison made the following remarks generally not reported in the US media but which were reported in a British newspaper and which also can heard on a video of the event where they were made: . . . .

1f. Gabbard’s view on recently retired general being appointed to cabinet positions are also something that should sound alarms. ” . . . . I found it pretty offensive for people to outright discriminate against veterans. . . . Yet people are criticizing them and discriminating against them saying, just because you served as a general previously you are disqualified from serving in a high position of leadership in our government. These people, arguably, have put far more on the line and are far more deeply personally committed to upholding and protecting our democracy than their critics. . . .” Josh Marshall’s take on this is accurate: ” . . . . The issue of civilian control of the military and wariness of military or ex-military influence over the civilian government isn’t some new-fangled idea from coastal cosmopolitan elites. It’s deeply rooted in the American political tradition. Indeed it was even more potent earlier in the country’s history. That’s why ex-generals are actually barred from serving as Secretary of Defense for seven years. . . .

. . . . The real kicker in my mind comes at the end when Gabbard says that these men are ‘far more deeply personally committed to upholding and protecting our democracy than their critics.’ . . . . Gabbard is suggesting here is that as generals they are more committed than civilians. That is the kernel of an idea that has destroyed many democracies, the idea that career military officers are simply better, more patriotic, more efficient than civilians. . . .”

“Something Disturbing About Tulsi Gabbard” by Josh Marshall; Talking Points Memo; 12/8/2016.

. . . . TAPPER: Quickly before you go, I know that some of your colleagues, democrats, have expressed concern about too many retired generals being in the trump cabinet. You have the national security adviser general Flynn and he’s talked about general Mattis and general Kelly at the Pentagon and homeland security. Do you share their concerns or disagree?

GABBARD: I don’t share their concerns. As a veteran and as someone still serving in the Hawaii National Guard, I found it pretty offensive for people to outright discriminate against veterans. Here you have generals who have literally spent their whole lives serving our country, putting service before self, putting their lives on the line to defend democracy. Yet people are criticizing them and discriminating against them saying, just because you served as a general previously you are disqualified from serving in a high position of leadership in our government. These people, arguably, have put far more on the line and are far more deeply personally committed to upholding and protecting our democracy than their critics. 

I certainly don’t think she was addressing me. But I think the criticisms I outlined earlier today are similar to the ones she is addressing. I have seen no one say that former generals can’t serve in high level government positions. Generals routinely serve. No one is saying anything like that. So right there she’s tendentiously distorting the concerns. Certainly, no one is ‘discriminating’ against anyone.

The criticism is centered on how Trump’s cabinet is dominated by recently retired generals. National Security Advisor, Defense Secretary, Homeland Security Secretary, possibly Secretary of State. That slate is unprecedented in all of our history. More might conceivably be added.

The issue of civilian control of the military and wariness of military or ex-military influence over the civilian government isn’t some new-fangled idea from coastal cosmopolitan elites. It’s deeply rooted in the American political tradition. Indeed it was even more potent earlier in the country’s history. That’s why ex-generals are actually barred from serving as Secretary of Defense for seven years. . . .

. . . . The real kicker in my mind comes at the end when Gabbard says that these men are “far more deeply personally committed to upholding and protecting our democracy than their critics.” The suggestion here is not about the particular individuals, who I believe are deeply committed to America and its democratic institutions. But what Gabbard is suggesting here is that as generals they are more committed than civilians.

That is the kernel of an idea that has destroyed many democracies, the idea that career military officers are simply better, more patriotic, more efficient than civilians. . . .

2a. In India, Trump’s business contacts encompass people from Narendara Modi’s BJP.

“World of Potential Conflict For a Developer President” Richard C. Paddock, Eric Lipton, Ellen Barry, Rod Nordland, Danny Hakim and Simon Romero; The New York Times; 11/27/2916.

. . . . Mr. Trump’s partner in the Trump Tower Mumbai is the Lodha Group, founded by Mangal Prabhat Lodha, vice president of the Bharatiya Janata Party — currently the governing party in Parliament — in Maharashtra State. The Lodha Group has already negotiated with the United States government; it announced a landmark purchase of a property, known as the Washington House, on tony Altamount Road, from the American government for 3.75 billion rupees, almost $70 million.

His partner in an office complex in Gurgaon, near New Delhi, is IREO, whose managing director, Lalit Goyal, is the brother-in-law of a Bharatiya Janata member of Parliament, Sudhanshu Mittal. Mr. Mittal, in an interview, has denied having any connection with the real estate company. . . .

2b. We now turn to the main focus of this program and the next: Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii). A major supporter of Bernie Sanders during the campaign, Gabbard was interviewed for a cabinet position.

Gabbard is viewed positively by Steve Bannon, Trump’s top adviser and “Alt-Right” kingpin.

“Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard ‘Under Serious Consideration’ for Trump Cabinet”; ABC News; 11/21/2016.

. . . . Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a high-profile Bernie Sanders supporter during the Democratic primaries, is “under serious consideration” for various Cabinet positions in President-elect Donald Trump’s administration, according to a senior official on the transition team.

According to the official, the 35-year-old Hawaii congresswoman is being looked as a candidate for secretary of state, secretary of defense or United Nations ambassador. If selected, Gabbard will be the first woman as well as the youngest pick for Trump’s Cabinet.

She met with him this morning in his New York City offices at Trump Tower. The Trump transition source said that their sit-down was a ‘terrific meeting’ and that the Trump team sees her as very impressive. . . .

2c. “Alt-Right” kingpin Stephen Bannon, Trump’s top policy adviser, is a fan of Gabbard.

“Donald Trump Met with Bernie Sanders Supporter Tulsi Gabbard to Discuss Syria” by Alex Daugherty; McClatchy DC ; 11/21/2016.

” . . . .  Stephen Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, reportedly likes Gabbard because of her stance on guns, refugees and Islamic extremism along with her ability to invoke strong anti-establishment populist sentiment on the left. . . .”

2d. Bannon is also a fan of Modi.

In FTR #889, we synopsized Pierre Omidyar’s political career, including his partial bankrolling of the Maidan coup that brought the heirs to the Nazi-allied OUN/B to power in Ukraine and his financial support for the election of Hindu nationalist/fascist Narendra Modi in India.

Interestingly, and perhaps significantly, Donald Trump has drawn support from Hindu nationalists of the Modi stripe.

There is an important element of networking here: Stephen K. Bannon is a supporter of Modi’s movement, as well as that of Nigel Farage.

” . . . . Mr. Trump may be largely indifferent to the reasons behind his Hindu loyalists’ fervor, but his most senior advisers are not. The campaign’s chief executive, Stephen K. Bannon, is a student of nationalist movements. Mr. Bannon is close to Nigel Farage, a central figure in Britain’s movement to leave the European Union, and he is an admirer of India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, a Hindu nationalist Mr. Bannon has called ‘the Reagan of India.’

It may be pure coincidence that some of Mr. Trump’s words channel the nationalistic and, some argue, anti-Muslim sentiments that Mr. Modi stoked as he rose to power. But it is certainly not coincidental that many of Mr. Trump’s biggest Hindu supporters are also some of Mr. Modi’s most ardent backers. . . .”

In FTR #882, we noted similarities in fascist movements around the world, highlighting similarities between Hindu nationalist/fascists from Modi’s RSS and European and American fascists. Those similarities are front and center in the overlap between supporters of Modi and those of Trump. The Trumpenkampfverbande and Modi’s cadre demonize Muslims.

“Among Donald Trump’s Biggest Fans: Hindu Nationalists” by Jeremy Peters; The New York Times; 10/14/2016.

. . . . This celebration of Mr. Trump in New Delhi in May, and others like it in India this year, are the work of a small, devoted and increasingly visible faction of Hindu nationalists in India and the United States who see Mr. Trump as the embodiment of the cocksure, politically incorrect, strongman brand of politics they admire.

That some of Mr. Trump’s most passionate followers are Indian may seem, at first, somewhat strange, given how fond he is of scorning Asian countries where cheap labor saps demand for American workers. A poll on Asian-Americans’ political leanings conducted in August and September found that just 7 percent of Indian-Americans said they would vote for Mr. Trump.

But in one of the more peculiar pairings of this most peculiar political season, Mr. Trump has unwittingly fashioned a niche constituency in the overlap between the Indian right and the American right, which share a lot of the same anxieties about terrorism, immigration and the loss of prestige that they believe their leaders have been too slow to reverse. . . .

. . . . “There’s a lot of parallels there,” said Shalabh Kumar, the founding chairman of the Republican Hindu Coalition. “Mr. Trump is all about development, development, development; prosperity, prosperity, prosperity; tremendous job growth. And at the same time, he recognizes the need to control the borders.”

As one of Mr. Trump’s biggest Hindu financial backers, Mr. Kumar, who runs an electronics manufacturing company in Illinois and grew up in the state of Punjab along the Pakistani border, has helped organize a speech by the Republican nominee in Edison, N.J., at a Bollywood-themed charity concert on Saturday. The proceeds will benefit terrorism victims.

“It will be an incredible evening,” Mr. Trump said in a video promoting it, one of the few ethnic events he has agreed to do during this campaign.

Mr. Trump may be largely indifferent to the reasons behind his Hindu loyalists’ fervor, but his most senior advisers are not. The campaign’s chief executive, Stephen K. Bannon, is a student of nationalist movements. Mr. Bannon is close to Nigel Farage, a central figure in Britain’s movement to leave the European Union, and he is an admirer of India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, a Hindu nationalist Mr. Bannon has called “the Reagan of India.”

It may be pure coincidence that some of Mr. Trump’s words channel the nationalistic and, some argue, anti-Muslim sentiments that Mr. Modi stoked as he rose to power. But it is certainly not coincidental that many of Mr. Trump’s biggest Hindu supporters are also some of Mr. Modi’s most ardent backers.

At times, the similarity of Mr. Trump’s and Mr. Modi’s political vocabulary is striking. . . .

2e. Tulsi Gabbard is a supporter of Modi, networking with Modi’s BJP and helping to plan Modi’s U.S. visit.

“Tulsi Gabbard, US Congresswoman Calls on Modi” [IANS]; Times of India; 9/29/2014.

. . . . Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu American in the US Congress, called on visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi here Sunday and presented him with a ginger flower garland from Hawaii.

Gabbard, a strong supporter of Modi, is a Democrat Congresswoman from Hawaii.

The 33-year-old Gabbard is the first practising Hindu American in the Congress who took her oath on the Bhagwad Gita.

She had spoken to Modi after his victory in the Indian general elections and congratulated him and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

She has also been involved in the planning of Modi’s US visit and had last month met two BJP leaders Vijay Jolly and MP Rajyavardhan Rathore in that connection.

Gabbard has always maintained that it was a “great blunder” by the US government to have denied a visa to Modi in the wake of the 2002 Gujarat riots. . . .

2f. Gabbard, it turns out, is also networked with the RSS, the fascist party for which the BJP serves as a political catspaw.

“Tulsi Gabbard, the First Hindu in U.S. Congress, on Modi, Hinduism, and Linking Islam to Terror” by Manu Balachandran; Quartz (India); 3/02/2016.

. . . . Speaking at a fundraising event for the BJP in August 2014 . . . Gabbard said that Modi’s election victory was only possible because “people stood up, one by one by one by one, and said we will demand that this change occurs.” . . . Gabbard was treated as royalty on her visit to India last year. As she hobnobbed with the Indian prime minister and foreign minister among others, The Telegraph, a Kolkata-based newspaper, called her “the Sangh’s mascot” in the US. The Sangh, a moniker for the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), is a right-wing hindutva organisation and the ideological guardian of the BJP party that rules India now. . . .

3. Gabbard, her family, her fiance and in-laws-to-be and their respective milieux are inextricably linked with a branch of the Hare Krishna cult headed by Chris Butler, aka Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa.

“Tulsi Gabbard Still Dogged by Krishna Cult Rumors” by Rul Kaneya; The Huffington Post; 3/16/2015.

 Eleven years ago, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, now a rising star in the Democratic Party, was a little-known state representative from a West Oahu district. It was her then-Republican father, Mike, who was in the political limelight.

The elder Gabbard, known for his virulent anti-gay crusade in the 1990s, was challenging Democratic incumbent Ed Case in the race to represent Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District. So, for a profile piece, a writer at Honolulu Magazine emailed him and asked about his family’s ties to a guru named Chris Butler, aka Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa, who leads an obscure offshoot of the Hare Krishna movement in Hawaii.

But Tulsi Gabbard jumped in. “I smell a skunk,” she emailed back. “It’s clear to me that you’re acting as a conduit for … homosexual extremist supporters of Ed Case.”

Much has changed with Tulsi Gabbard since then. She enlisted in the Hawaii Army National Guard and served two tours in the Middle East before successfully running for a seat on the Honolulu City Council in 2010. Then, in 2012, she got what eluded her father — a seat representing Hawaii in Congress.

For years, rumors about their ties to guru Chris Butler have hounded U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and her father, state Sen. Mike Gabbard. . . .

. . . . Still, the Internet continues to provide a ready forum for the commotion over Gabbard to fester — you need look no further than a thread on the Cult Education Institute’s forum titled, “Chris Butler, Jagad Guru, Science of Identity.” Civil Beat recently scanned the entire thread and found a trove of information, including useful links, scanned copies of news articles and other historical documents.

For this story, Civil Beat drew on information from the forum that could be verified, along with other publicly available documents and news articles, as well as interviews with people who have intimate knowledge about the community of Butler devotees.

What emerged is a fascinating look at the world Gabbard and her close associates grew up in. It’s another lens through which to view the fast-rising congresswoman.

“Science of Identity:”

The Cult Education Institute’s forum on Chris Butler began back in 2004 and is still going strong. It has lasted long enough to reach nearly 500 pages, containing thousands of lengthy posts intended to shed light on Butler and the inner workings of his group, called the Science of Identity Foundation.

The group formed in the early 1970s, and its leaders later sought to turn the organization into a political force in Hawaii by fielding a number of candidates for key political offices over the years. By and large, the candidates pushed for a brand of social reform that seemed to mimic Butler’s teachings, which stressed environmentalism, vegetarianism, and opposition to homosexuality and “illicit” sex.

And they had some successes: former state Sen. Rick Reed; former Maui County Council Member Wayne Nishiki; Mike Gabbard, who came back from his loss to Case to win a state Senate seat; and Carol Gabbard, who was elected to the Hawaii Board of Education.

It’s no wonder that longtime observers see Tulsi Gabbard’s steady climb from the Honolulu City Council to Congress as somehow connected to Butler.

Butler, a Kalani High School graduate and son of a prominent Kailua doctor, Willis, was a disciple of A.C. Bahkitevedanta Swami Prabhupad, who founded the International Society of Krishna Consciousness 1966. The group is better known in Hawaii as Hare Krishnas, and it was widespread throughout the country in the 1960s and ’70s. Its members were highly visible here — with their shaved heads and orange robes, they were often seen in Waikiki, chanting and soliciting contributions.

Chris Butler, aka Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa, formed a Krishna community in Hawaii in the 1970s.

An internal power struggle eventually led Butler to break away from ISKCON in the early ‘70s and form his own Krishna community in Hawaii. The group has since swiftly expanded, reaching the mainland and as far as Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and the Philippines.

By most accounts, the community was made up of a loose-knit collection of individuals who eschewed the street-begging and instead chanted in the privacy of their homes or makeshift worship centers. Over the years, they banded together to start a number of businesses, including Down to Earth grocery stores and a host of other health-food related businesses under a company called Healthy’s Inc. A portion of the proceeds from these businesses usually got diverted to support the movement.

Around 2012, after Tulsi Gabbard announced her candidacy for Congress, the focus of contributors to the Cult Education forum turned from Butler himself to Gabbard and efforts to pin down her ties to the guru. The result: More than 100 pages of the thread now document the activities of Gabbard and her parents, as well as her four siblings and associates. . . .

. . . . But Civil Beat was able to verify a number of the ties that link Butler to Gabbard’s family and associates:

Kainoa Penaroza, who was appointed as Gabbard’s Washington, D.C.-based chief of staff last month despite his relative lack of political experience, is the son of Bill Penaroza, who was among a slate of 14 candidates running for a variety of offices in 1976 under an enigmatic political party called the Independents for Godly Government. The party’s connection to Butler was revealed in a three-part investigative series by the Honolulu Advertiser’s Water Wright in 1977.

Penaroza, 30, and his wife, Alana Leigh Penaroza, who now works as Gabbard’s D.C. fundraiser, at one time lived in a Kailua property owned by Joseph Bismark, a Singapore-based businessman whose company, QI Group, bought Healthy’s in 2007. According to the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Healthy’s owns Noni Connection LLC, which lists Kainoa Penaroza as its director and secretary.

Abraham Williams, Gabbard’s 26-year-old fiancé, is a freelance cinematographer who also grew up in a family with strong ties to Butler. His mother, Anya Anthony, is listed as a registered agent of Wai Lana Productions LLC, a company named after Butler’s wife, Wai Lan, that runs www.wailana.com, which sells yoga instruction DVDs, clothing and other accessories.

Anthony is now the manager of Gabbard’s district office in Honolulu. Last month, Gabbard put a post on Facebook introducing Anthony as her soon-to-be mother-in-law. Gabbard noted that she had asked the Congressional Ethics Committee to determine if it was ethical for the congresswoman to employ her future mother-in-law. The committee signed off on Anthony’s continued employment, a committee spokesman confirmed to Civil Beat.

Sunil Khemaney, who accompanied Gabbard on her December trip to India, is listed in Wai Lana Productions’ business registration records as its manager. He is also the director of Healthy’s and one of the trustees of Wai Lana Yoga Trust, whose mission is to “educate and teach the general public about the philosophy, moral standards and practices of yoga for the benefit of mankind.”

Khemaney is also the vice president of the East West Yoga Foundation, a nonprofit registered in Arizona. Chris Butler is listed in Arizona corporation records as its director, along with his wife, who is the president and director.

Mike Gabbard has long maintained that he’s a Catholic, not Hare Krishna. But, in Honolulu Magazine’s 2004 profile, he acknowledged his ties to Butler: “Although I’m not a member of the Science of Identity Foundation, I’m eternally thankful to Chris Butler … whose teachings of karma yoga (selfless service) and bhakti yoga (devotion to God) have brought me back to my Catholic roots and the fundamental teachings of Christ.”

Plenty of evidence suggests that there’s more to the story than that.

Mike Gabbard was in the audience at a taping of Chris Butler’s TV show, “Jagad Guru Speaks,” which aired for several years in the 1980s and 1990s.

Multiple historical documents show that, at various points in the history of the Science of Identity Foundation, both Mike and Carol Gabbard sat on its board. According to various reports, they were bestowed Sanskrit names, “Krishna Katha das” and “Devahuti dasi,” respectively.

The Gabbards were also in attendance at at least one taping of Butler’s local TV show called “Jagad Guru Speaks,” which aired for several years in the 1980s and ’90s. In old footage of the show, they can be seen in the audience, listening and laughing as Butler lectured on spirituality.

The Gabbards also owned a vegetarian restaurant in Honolulu called the Natural Deli, housed inside a Down to Earth health food store on King Street. But they were forced to sell the restaurant to Down to Earth in 1992 after an anti-gay comment Mike Gabbard made on a local radio show triggered fervent protests.

Civil Beat found no evidence that Tulsi Gabbard is — or ever was — a Butler devotee. And we could find no record of her ever speaking publicly about it. [This is patently untrue, as we shall see below–D.E.]. . .

4. An encapsulation of the views of Prabhupada’s views is presented in a review of a book on ISKCON–the Hare Krishna movement. These will be expounded upon in detail below.

“The Hare Krishna Movement: The Postcharismatic Fate of a Religious Transplant” by Edwin Bryant and Maria Ekstrand (Amazon.com)

. . . . ISKCON founder A C Bhaktivedanta Swami’s views were even more bizarre than I expected: rape victims asked for it, Blacks are inferior and should be enslaved, Aryans are the supreme race, Hitler was right when attacking the Jews, and the “non-Aryan” majority of the human race are useless eaters no better than dogs. The preferred form of government is an absolutist monarchy. Racism is apparently an integral part of the ideal Vedic society, since “shudra” (the designation of the worker-caste) means “black”, which in turn literally refers to Blacks, a category which also includes Dravidians from southern India. (As a side point, I’ve actually seen a Black Hare Krishna devotee once, but all other devotees in Sweden are Swedish and hence “Aryan”.) . . . .

5. We note in passing that the Hare Krishna cult passed to the governance (read “rule”) of eleven different gurus after Prabhupada’s passing. Some of them have engaged in the stockpiling of automatic weapons, murder, sexual abuse and racketeering. We note that many of the branches of the cult may not engage in these activities and that many, perhaps most, of the followers of the cult are sincerely unaware of this activity.

“Murder, Sex and Free Food” by Frank Bures; The Portland Mercury; 6/21/2001.

. . . . After Prabhupada’s death in 1977, ISKCON descended into chaos and scandal. The Hare Krishna world was carved up among 11 gurus, and in each guru’s zone, his authority was absolute. Some of the 11 became corrupted absolutely.

In 1998, ISKCON opened a six million dollar temple in India, complete with nine animatronic Gods. The “Glory of India” seemed to show how far the group had come. However, a $400 million lawsuit, filed in the US last year, points to a darker side. If it goes forward, it may be the last chapter of the story–a story of power struggles, drugs, and murders.

EVERY MOTHER’S NIGHTMARE

Those dark problems seem far away at the Portland temple, where about 100 devotees and “fringies” are chanting, being happy, and thinking about Krishna. ISKCON’s shadows don’t hang over the Sunday feast. It’s a mixed crowd of hippies and hipsters, blacks, whites, and a few Indians. Everyone is more or less focused on the two statues at the front of the room, draped in gold robes, sequins and beads; the two brothers who, 500 years ago, first got the idea that chanting Krishna’s name would bring them closer to him.

There are four devotees living at the Portland Temple. Tonight, Janardana das (formerly Louis Jackson) beats the drum. Devaprastha (David Willard) is downstairs cooking. Jaya Ya Ram (John Perdue) and Bakhta Travis (Travis Geyer) chant along with the rest.

Behind me is a small, disturbingly life-like statue, a miniature Prabhupada. Someone put a little purple hat and scarf on him, as if he was cold. His eyes are half-closed, and to me–a karmie, a meat eater–he looks either completely detached, or completely stoned. In another painting of Prabhupada on the wall, the bald prophet has bags under his eyes and looks tired and worn. This may be because he slept only three hours a night and wrote his 51 books between 1:30 and 4:30 in the morning.

The chanting goes on for over an hour, but I don’t feel closer to anything except extreme boredom. Out the window, I can see the Benjamin Franklin High School baseball field and, as time drags on, it looks more and more beautiful–so geometric and familiar. So American. My mind wanders to the Dairy Queen–to dip cones and Mr. Mistys–then back to the temple, and I wonder, “What am I doing here?”

Every now and then, the incense overwhelms, the cymbals ring in my ears, and I feel like I’m on the edge of being transported on the edge of revelation. Suddenly I’m afraid I’ll be sucked in and by tomorrow I’ll be downtown peddling books with a bad haircut.

From behind a curtain, a woman comes out and blows into a shell. The sound is deep and primordial and for some reason makes me hungry, which reminds me why I’m really here: free food. Every Sunday, Hare Krishnas around the world bribe people to come hear their message by offering a meal, even though you could pay with your soul–which, according to the Prabhupada, is all you’ve got.

Devaprastha. Janardana. Ja Ya Ram. Bhakta Travis. Names that strike terror into every mother’s heart. I think of my own mother and how this is her worst nightmare–me, chanting at the Hare Krishna temple, swaying with the rest. She was terrified that I would stop writing, stop calling, and show up years later as Chakradara asking if she wanted to buy flowers.

Now I can’t help wondering if she was right. How do you know when someone is controlling your mind? How do you know when you’re being brainwashed? I feel the urge to run out and purge myself with a banana split, to lie naked in the Benjamin Franklin baseball diamond. But I don’t. I stay and slowly give in to boredom.

GUNS, RACKETEERING, AND SEX: THE KRISHNA MAFIA

For a small organization, ISKCON has had more than its share of bad publicity, and most of it was well deserved. When Prabhupada “left” in 1977, there was a deep power struggle over who would lead the movement. The 11 gurus who carved the world made up the “Governing Body Commission,” which Prabhupada set up before he died. He may or may not have appointed the 11. No one knows for sure.

One thing that is certain is that their unchecked power was too much for most. According to some devotees, 90 percent of Prabhupada’s initiated disciples either left or were pushed out of ISKCON, so the GBC could rule unquestioned. Hansadutta, the West Coast guru, started stockpiling weapons. Kirtanananda, at the “Palace of Gold” in the Appalachian hills of West Virginia, operated a multi-million dollar racketeering operation. There was rampant physical and sexual abuse in the gurukulas (the boarding schools). At least two dissident ISKCON members were murdered, and there is talk of others disappearing in India. All along, there have been rumors of drug smuggling. It sometimes looked like Machiavelli and The Prince had replaced the Krishna and Bhagavad Gita.

In the mid-1980s, some people went to jail for the murders, a few gurus quit, and others broke away to form splinter groups. For a while it looked like ISKCON was self-destructing, because “too many gurus did not want to spread Prabhupada’s teachings, they wanted to be Prabhupada,” according to John Hubner and Lindsay Gruson in their book, Monkey on a Stick. ISKCON teetered for a while, and there was talk of reform, but little came. In the mid-1990s, the president of the New Orleans temple was found tied to a chair with his throat slit. Today, membership is a fraction of what it was.

Nori Muster worked for 10 years as ISKCON’s publicist, before quitting in disgust. She thinks the group is beyond hope.

“They don’t like to let people know there’s really as much chaos as there is,” she says of ISKCON’s leadership. In 1997, Muster published her book, Betrayal of Spirit, about her 10 years in ISKCON’s publicity department.

“What you have now is just a dying thing that’s kind of lingering,” she says. “It would take a lot for them to turn it around at this point. And that would involve being more honest about their history, opening up more about their finances, and where they get their money from, which we still can’t figure out They (the leaders) have access to lots of money and they channel it where they want it.”

For Muster, it’s a matter of the corruption and intransigence of the GBC, especially the core group of gurus. “They took over the organization in about 1970, and they have run it ever since. And they have run it with an iron fist.” . . . .

. . . . “They have a whole side that’s underground,” she says of the GBC. “I think that’s why they’re so secretive, and protective, and uncaring about their members. None of the members know about this stuff. Nobody knows. The younger people don’t know anything. And that’s the way they like it.” Muster worries that this means they will be doomed to repeat ISCKON’s mistakes. . . .

6. The Huffington Post article above discounts any public pronouncements by Gabbard about Butler being her guru. These are contradicted in the third embedded video contained in the post below. At around 3:45, she credits Chris Butler, aka Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa with being her guru.

Tulsi Gabbard, Cult Born And Raised.

7. The views of “Swami Prabhupada” are dealt with at greater length, illustrating a convergence with Nazi philosophy. In FTR #172, we examined how aspects of Hindu philosophy and culture were seen as dovetailing with Hitlerian fascism.

Those views are on display at length and in detail in the article below.

“Swami Prabhupada: Founder Of Hare Krishna Movement, And A Virulent Racist, Anti-Semite”
by Palash Ghosh; International Business Times; 09/27/13.

Abhay Charanaravinda Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada — better known as A.C. Bhaktivedanta or simply by the honorific “Prabhupada” — was a Bengali Indian Hindu spiritual leader who founded the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, itself better known in the West as the “Hare Krishna” movement. . . .

. . . . But the man who spearheaded the Hare Krishna empire, Prabhupada, espoused some very controversial views that would likely upset, and even outrage, those who are otherwise sympathetic to spiritual endeavors and theology.

For one thing, Prabhupada spewed vitriolic racial hatred toward black/African people — repeatedly and explicitly. Examples of his racial bigotry are numerous and frequently recorded in lectures and private conversations by his many devotees and disciples over the decades.

Even if some of his comments were taken out of context (as his defenders and apologists sometimes assert), the sheer volume and magnitude of his immense bigotry cannot be ignored nor sugar-coated.

Part of Prabhupada’s hatred of blacks stemmed from his deep-seated Hindu beliefs that dark-skinned peoples represent the very bottom of the hierarchy of the human race — a direct reflection of India’s ancient color-based caste system.

For example, in an April 1968 letter to a senior disciple named Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami (born an Italian Roman Catholic in Staten Island named Stephen Guarino), Prabhupada wrote: “Certainly we are not going to say these things about the Negro people publicly, we have no distinction between black or white, or demon or demigod, but at the same time, so long as one is demon or demigod, we have to behave in the proper way.” These words, which suggested that blacks should be kept at a distance, were uttered shortly after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

During a speech before a class in Los Angeles later that year, Prabhupada told a bizarre tale of how the apartment he was staying at in New York City had been burglarized and his typewriter and tape recorder stolen.

”When I came back [to the apartment] I saw the door [was] broken,” Prabuphada said. “That [building] superintendent, he was a Negro. He [had] done [it], I know that. This is [a] very common case here [in America].”

In a conversation with devotees on the island of Mauritius from 1975, Prabhupada chastised the gross materialism of the West, while simultaneously slurring black people.

“It is all [a] nonsense civilization,” he declared. “A first-class Rolls Royce car, and who is sitting there? A third-class Negro. This is going on. You will find these things in Europe and America. This is going on. A first-class car and a third-class Negro.”

Prabhupada frequently used the term “Negro” even though that word had fallen out of favor in most Anglophone nations.

The theme of black people as cursed by God and hopelessly beyond redemption appeared repeatedly in Prabhupada’s comments.

During an initiation session in Bombay (now called Mumbai), he told some devotes who were preparing to go to Africa: “You have got [a] good opportunity. You are going to Africa to deliver these persons … These groups of men are considered very fallen … the black men … They are habituated to steal; therefore they have been given a separate place, [the] African jungles.”

For a man who came from a country colonized by the British, Prabhupada made some rather shocking statements about imperialism, in particular as it pertained to the United States. In a discussion with a disciple named Syamasundara Dasa, Prabhupada seemed to equate the Native Americans (pejoratively called “Red Indians”) of North America with the Sudras (the lowest-caste, darkest-skinned Indians of the Hindu system in India).

“Sudras [black people] have no brain,” he said. “In America also, the whole [of] America once belonged to the Red Indians. Why they could not improve? The land was there. Why [did] these foreigners, the Europeans, came and improved [it]? So sudras cannot do this. They cannot make any [improvements].”

Prabhupada apparently also deeply embraced the myth of the “Aryan” super-race and linked the ancient peoples of India to Europe and the U.S. During a talk in Australia one year prior to his death, Prabhupada declared that “the Aryans spread [to] Europe also, and the Americans, they also spread from Europe. So the intelligent class of human being, they belong to the Aryans, [the] Aryan family. Just like [Adolph] Hitler claimed that he belonged to the Aryan family.”

The Swami also equated the Dravidians, that is, the dark-skinned original inhabitants of India who now predominate in the southern part of the country, with black Africans. He also bemoaned that the Dravidians (black people) mixed with the Aryans (white people) throughout Indian history, including in his native Bengal.

“In Bengal the … black mixed up with [the] white,” he complained. “In Bengal and Madras [now called Chennai, a city in South India], so many Dravidian have been mixed up with the Aryan. Therefore in Bengal and Madras you’ll find many [people who are] black.”

The Dravidians, Prabhupada declared, are “non-Aryans. Just like these Africans, they are not Aryans.”

Prabhupada also appeared to warn that the race-mixing that occurred in India was also occurring in Europe and America, and that it would create serious problems in the future.

He also held some deeply pessimistic views about the racial conflict in the United States. Speaking in Tehran, Iran, in 1976, Prabhupada declared, “I don’t think the Negro question [in the U.S.] is solved … The whites, they do not like the Negroes still. Wherever there are Negroes, in that [neighborhood] the whites do not go in …. Although they [black people] have been given equal [rights], but at heart the whites, they do not like it. Is there any improvement? I don’t think [so].”

Prabhupada also appeared to endorse segregation — the separation of the races, by referring to behavior in the animal kingdom.

“[Black] crows will not like to live with the ducks and white swans,” he reportedly said during a train trip in India during the final year of his life. “And white swans will not like to live with the crows. That is [a] natural division.”

In a conversation with an American disciple named Ramesvara, Prabhupada suggested that without government control through welfare, black people would become “out of control” and create disorder in society.

“Especially in your country [the U.S.] it will be dangerous because these blacks, if they don’t get employment, they will create havoc, these blacks,” he said. “And they are not civilized. They want money, and if they don’t get money, then they will create havoc.”

In a February 1977 conversation in Mayapur, along the Ganges, Prabhupada pontificated on what must be done with the “blacks” (the Sudras) of India — again, equating them with African-Americans of in the U.S. Most appallingly, he suggested that black people should remain in bondage.

“[The] Sudra is to be controlled only,” he said. “They are never [to be] given… freedom. Just like in America. The blacks were slaves. They were under control. And since you have given them equal rights they are disturbing, most disturbing, always creating a fearful situation, [blacks are] uncultured and drunkards. What training they have got? They have got equal [rights]? [It] is best, to keep them under control as slaves but give them sufficient food, sufficient [clothes], not more than that. Then they will be satisfied.”

Prabhupada also had some choice words about the Jews.

During another conversation with Ramesvara, Prabhupada alleged that Hitler killed the Jews in Germany because banks in the United States and Western Europe (allegedly controlled by Jews) were helping to finance Vladimir Lenin and the Communist revolution in Russia and elsewhere.

“They [Jewish bankers] were financing against [the interests of] Germany,” Prabhupada said. “Otherwise, he [Hitler] had no enmity [against] the Jews… The Jews have got money. They want to invest and get some profit. Their only interest is how to get money, [not] nationalism, [not] religion, nothing of the sort … Therefore [William] Shakespeare wrote [of] ‘Shylock, the Jew.’”

Also, speaking in New York in March 1966, the Swami declared: “Hitler was a great student of Bhagavad-gita [classic Hindu scripture]”

A devotee named Gopagopisvara Dasa wrote that Prabhupada clearly embraced racism and eugenics.

“Prabhupada certainly believed that there was a master human race, the Aryans, and that they were white or tan,” he wrote. “Most other races, such as Africans or Native Americans, were inferior.”

Of course, Prabhupada would never admit he was a racialist – at least not in the way westerners understand that word. He likely would not even understand the furor his remarks would have made (had they been broadcast to a wide audience, which they were not during his lifetime). Concepts like “civil rights” and “human equality” are indeed meaningless to someone like Prabhupada who devoted his life almost exclusively to ancient Vedic texts and prepared for the next world.

 

 

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