Krishna Today Magazine covers the activities of the Hare Krishna movement (ISKCON) and other Krishna worship groups in the USA, with news, features and editorial comment.
Links -- Everything you always wanted to know about the Hare Krishna Movement, and where to find it.
Q & A Forum -- Send your questions about the Hare Krishna movement to be answered here.
Synopsis and Excerpts -- Betrayal of the Spirit, My Life behind the Headlines of the Hare Krishna Movement, by Nori J. Muster (courtesy of the University of Illinois Press, 1997)
"The Place of Women in ISKCON," In 1988 Nori presented this speech at an ISKCON conference in Towaco, New Jersey. Also included: a banned ISKCON World Review editorial on women (as described in Betrayal of the Spirit, chapter 19).
"GBC Speech," Nori's speech to the North American Governing Body Commission in, Dallas, Texas, Oct. 1988. (See Betrayal of the Spirit, chapter 19, for background information and outcome.)
"On Leaving ISKCON," by Steven Gelberg (Subhananda Dasa). In this controversial 1992 essay, a former BBT staff writer tells why he's glad he left ISKCON.
Mailbox -- Nori answers letters about her book and the Hare Krishna Movement.
AOL Hindu Bulletin Boards -- Read postings about ISKCON from the America On-Line Hindu Forum.
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Cults come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Categories of cults that are recruiting successfully today include:
Eastern meditation: characterized by belief in God-consciousness, becoming one with God. The leader usually distorts and Eastern-based philosophy or religion. Members sometimes learn to disregard worldly possessions and may take on an ascetic lifestyle. Techniques used: meditation, repeated mantras, altered states of consciousness, trance states.
Religious: marked by belief in salvation, afterlife, sometimes combined with an apocalyptic view. The leader reinterprets the Scriptures and often claims to be a prophet if not the messiah. Often the group is strict, sometimes using physical punishments such as paddling and birching, especially on children. Members are encouraged to spend a great deal of time proselytizing. (Note: included here are Bible-based neo-Christian and other religious cults, many considered syncretic since they combine beliefs and practices). Techniques used: speaking in tongues, chanting, praying, isolation, lengthy study sessions, many hours spent evangelizing, "struggle" (or criticism) and confession sessions.
Political, racist, terrorist: fueled by belief in changing society, revolution, overthrowing the "enemy" or getting rid of evil forces. The leader professes to be all-knowing and all-powerful. Often the group is armed and meets in secret with coded language, handshakes, and other ritualized practices. Members consider themselves an elite cadre ready to go to battle. Techniques used: paramilitary training, reporting on one another, guilt, fear, struggle sessions, instilled paranoia, long hours of indoctrination. -- Captive Hearts, Captive Minds, Lalich and Tobias, Hunter House, 1993.