Please note that “feminazi” is used as an adjective only once. Any subsequent occurrence of this word is either a duplication from another text or is an example of adjectives NOT to be used. Again, throughout the 49 texts presented, this term was used as an adjective only once, and it was soon banned from use. And of the 49 texts, objectionable words are found in only four--we repeat, only four!--texts.
Thus, even though “Ardhabuddhi Dasa” had (and still has) all 911 GHQ texts, he can cite only the discrepancies shown above hardly a pattern of behavior; hardly anything to cause alarm or to warrant punitive measures; especially considering the fact that GHQ members consensually decided to stop using such words (as will be seen in Article 22). We again ask our respectable reader to consider why “Ardhabuddhi Dasa” has so falsely presented the facts.
Next, we request you to consider the following phrase used by “Ardhabuddhi Dasa”: “referred to ISKCON women as...” The glaring implication, of course, is that such adjectives were used to describe all ISKCON women. But again, the truth is radically different. Certain GHQ members used those terms to describe a very small but vociferous cult of ISKCON feminists imbued with mayavadi tendencies who oppose the teachings of Srila Prabhupada.
Such feminists portray GHQ’s agenda as anti-woman or misogynist, but this also is untrue. Just as many women support reestablishment of Vedic culture, so also many men choose to side with radical feminists. It is not a gender war, it is cultural conflict: modern Western secular culture versus Vedic culture. GHQ has many women supporters (see Section 2), and these women also sometimes use the very same terms (some even coined by ladies) to describe these radical women. Women are not always offended by words like “feminazi” (5.1)----which is not to say that we advocate such language, but perhaps simply to say that in the heat of anger or frustration, tempers flare, and poignant adjectives may be spawned. In any case, GHQ was not incubating gender conflict, as “Ardhabuddhi Dasa” portrays.
In a similar vein, the text which states: “as not having soul” refers strictly to feminists:
“I must admit although they appear to be spirit souls like those of us either wearing male or female bodies, in actually they have no soul.”
The speaker says that others wearing female bodies have souls but not feminists (and spoken in jest). However, “Ardhabuddhi Dasa” has misapplied the statement to mean exactly the opposite of what was said. And by now, we have seen texts on VNN and elsewhere, claiming that GHQ believe “all women have no souls.” But obviously, that was not said. The comment was made jokingly, but also to indicate his own experiences with certain insensitive females. Jaya Tirtha Carana Prabhu has explained what he meant thusly:
“In short, there is a general understanding--among people who are without motive to misinterpret my words--that to have ‘no soul’ simply means to have no soft heart, no mercy, no sensitivity for others, etc. It is an obvious figurative use of words that both parties of the private discussion understood:
Please note that my comment refers both to men and women who fit the mode of having "no soul." I repeat, IT IS NOT A SLUR AGAINST WOMEN, as some are taking my words to mean.”
This is quoted from his recent paper SATYAM EVA JAYATE: The Truth Will Prevail and the gentle reader is requested to read it for further details.
Regarding the offhand nicknaming by one GHQ member of IWC as “International Witches Conference,” it is simply a game that two parties may play. The former “Dharma of Women” (DOW) conference, for example, was commonly called by Mother Prtha dd and others, “Down on Women,” even though the then conference organizer, Mother Sita dd, is herself a woman and even though many other women actively participate therein and/or support its objectives. (See Section 2.)
Now, O gentle and patient reader (you must be patient if you are still reading), please come with us to Section 7, which documents several typical cases wherein certain ladies use disagreeable, offensive, and odious language while speaking with or about those who want to follow Vedic culture in ISKCON. You will see instances of Women’s Ministry members and also one sannyasi using pejorative, insulting, abusive, inflammatory terms––“sexist,” “chauvinist,” “narrow-minded,” “semi-literate,” “rabid fundamentalists,” “amazingly stupid”––in letters to Jivan Mukta Prabhu and his wife Mother Sita dd. (See also Section 3, in which ISKCON women who call themselves “Generals” and “Privates” falsely accuse Jivan Mukta Dasa of beating his wife.)
In a letter sent to them by Mother Madhusudani Radha dd, one writer with apparent disdain, one calls Mother Sita dd a sudrani : “Jivan Mukta Prabhu has gotten too much under the influence of the teachings of his sudrani wife... as we know, sudras are in the mode of ignorance…” Another insultingly calls all anti-mayavadi (anti-feminist writings) “scholarship in the mode of ignorance.”
Mother Varshana dd (HDG) claims that in the USA the only women who agree to follow Vedic culture are foreigners, who are not advanced like American women. She characterizes these non-American devotees (Europeans, Latin Americans, Indian, etc.) as being insincere, feigning chastity to get their “green cards.” Is it that American women devotees are so advanced that they no longer need to regularly attend to their sadhana, unlike “inferior” foreign women who comprise the majority of Vasinavis residing in temples and having strict sadhana and trying to follow nari-dharma? Many ISKCON feminists perceive The Dharma of Women (now DMW) conference to be very dangerous and so often wage verbal assaults upon it. Mother Påtha dd accused it of “Hinduizing” ISKCON–which of course is deliberately meant to be an insult, as we normally understand that Srila Prabhupada and the Gaudiya acaryas view Hinduism as a corruption of Vedic culture. (See recent article in “Hinduism Today” on this very point.)
Mother Mamata dd criticized GBC members as “dysfunctional and unqualified, untrained leaders” with “dictatorial attitudes,” who have “been destroying Srila Prabhupada’s movement for many, many years.”
Also in this section we see that Mother Sita dd wrote to HH Bir Krishna Goswami for clarification of a comment he had made to the IWC conference. Maharaja promised to reply, but then rudely posted the private exchange to IWC, along with an introduction wherein he (a supposed protector of women) publicly called her a sexist. When her husband, Jivan Mukta Dasa, confronted Maharaja, demanding a public apology for the public insult, Maharaja responded with an inadequate, perfunctory, private apology. Nor did he reply to Jivan Mukta Dasa’s subsequent letter.
Then there is the example from Section 6.1, wherein Mother Madhusudani Radha dd is quoted hurling a string of insults at Basu Ghosh Prabhu:
“over-zealous, arch conservative, backwards, women-hating, oppressive people who give ISKCON a bad name”
She speaks this way to a Godbrother of her own guru, one worthy of all the respect she would offer to her own Guru Maharaja.
(If Srila Prabhupada had ever heard any of his disciples speak in this way to or about any of his Godbrothers, surely it would have been a dark day for that devotee. But in these days, with no compunction, very junior devotees insult seniors with nearly absolute impunity. Considering that such impudence is suicidal to one’s spiritual life, and that the guru must absorb reaction for such offenses of his disciples, we sincerely hope that initiating gurus of such offensive disciples will take cognizance and appropriate action.)
Returning to the original point, we assume that you agree that the tone of the speakers in Section 7 is highly disagreeable, offensive and odious; nor would you desire to be a recipient of such insults. And, for your edification, the dictionary meaning of the word “obnoxious” is: “highly disagreeable, offensive, odious” (American Heritage Dictionary). Thus, when feminists were described by one GHQ member as obnoxious, it was definitely not an unfair description.
Regarding the term “feminazi,” it is commonly used in the USA to describe radical feminists. The meaning of “femi-” (feminist) is apparent; the suffix “nazi” refers not only to obnoxious behavior but also to underhanded and ruthless tactics. A modern ex-feminist author, Camilla Paglia, calls the feminists “social-Stalinists,” for similar reasons. If one compares how the Nazis ruthlessly waged psychological warfare to spread anti-Semitic disinformation through the Propaganda Ministry of Joseph Goebbels, to how “Ardhabuddhi Dasa” has foisted upon the hapless devotees a treatise of disinformation meant to create anti-GHQ sentiments in order to illegally arrest GHQ’s progress in preparing a proposal to the GBC, then the term “feminazi” fits. (Please recall that GHQ’s only purpose was as a think tank for drafting a proposal to the GBC, due process for effecting change in ISKCON.) Unfortunately, it is a very accurate description of “Ardhabuddhi Dasa” and company, who will break ISKCON laws and even state laws (libel and slander) to achieve dubious ends.
So as to make sure there is no misunderstanding the term “femi-nazi” was not a blanket description of ALL women in ISKCON as “Ardhabuddhi Dasa” insinuated. The word is an apt description of a very small group of militant, extremist, feminist activists within ISKCON who have used all kinds on unfair tactics such as using Chakra (controlled by feminists) as their “soap box”, and BTG (see Article 25) and other ISKCON publication to push their own agenda (which is contrary to Srila Prabhupada's teachings).
In regards to the term “whore” as in “International Whore’s Ministry” as opposed to “International Women’s Ministry” as is reproduced by “Ardhabuddhi Dasa” in the following text:
So, possibly we might also want to see, if 100% dismantling the WM may prove too big a fight, what about pushing to have it redefined in accordance with SP teachings, and headed up by a very chaste Indian mataji, one whom anyone can relate to as mataji ? ?
That's a beginning. But regardless of who's involved, it should be under the protection and guidance of the grhastha Ministry. If woman has no independence, how can a group of women have independence?
A Prostitute Ministry would also be appropriate considering the current state of affairs. Actually, it could be called Whore Ministry so that the initials can remain the same. In this way those big gun gurus, sannyasis and GBCs who enjoy such association can do so without contaminating our daughters.
“Ardhabuddhi Dasa” presents the texts trying to show that Jivan Mukta Dasa regularly calls all women “whores” and “prostitutes” for being divorced (see 4.23-25). But that is not the case. Please note where JMd says: “A Prostitute Ministry would also be appropriate considering the current state of affairs.” What “state of affairs” is that?
What Jivan Mukta Dasa is referring to here is the fact that Mother Malati dd had been recently been made a probationary GBC. He, and many others objected to this because Mother Malati dd has a very dark history. She had deserted Srila Prabhupada as a disciple and been out of the movement longer than many devotees have been in it. She became a follower of Jiddu Krsnamurty (pakka mayavadi), and was a drug addict. But what really upset him and others was that she had become a madam of a high class whore house in New York. Thus the appellation “Whore Ministry.” The following texts provide the context for Jivan Mukta Dasa’s statements:
Date: Sat, 10 Oct 98 11:35 -0400
From: "Jivan Mukta Dasa" <email@example.com>
Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org, GHQ@com.bbt.se To: "COM: GHQ" <GHQ@com.bbt.se>
Subject: Re: Madame Malati
[Text 1762234 from COM]
Mother Sita dd writes to Mother Jayasri dd >On Thu, 8 Oct 1998 18:30:12 -0400 (EDT)
Sita Devi Dasi <email@example.com writes:
Ok, glad to know it's you. I've been wanting to ask you something for some time actually, since I spoke with you in Toronto a few years ago, and never got the opportunity. You see, I remember you having told me, if my memory serves me well, that Malati Devi had run some type of whorehouse while she was out of the movement--I don't know if it was before she took sannyasa or after. I mean no disrespect to Malati herself nor do I wish my inquiry to seem as though I question her spiritual status in Krsna consciousness nor do I feel her past somehow impedes her ability to perform devotional service. The reason it has been on my mind is related to her new GBC candidacy. I thought you might be the right person to ask confidentially about this and I am hoping you would be willing to clarify this for me.
Hoping all is well,
>Your servant, Sita dd
Mother Jayasri dd replies
>Hari bol Sita prabhu. Nice to hear from you. As far as my talking about Malati's condition when she was gone I must have been in some befitting context because it's not my habit. She is too dear and I respect her very much. Anyway her past is no secret to the devotees of the GBC connection but I must say she has no atmosphere of her past fallen condition. She is very empowered by Srila Prabhupada now. I must say that when she was fallen she was honest about it. She didn't do it at or around the temple etc. She is not a luke warm person, preach KC but do all nonsense. When she was out she lived in a fallen way and now she is a great example of as pure of an endeavor as I have seen anyone make. She selflessly does 25 hrs. worth of service and hardly even sleeps or eat, which can be verified by the girls whom she lives with. I'm sure your questions are not out of malice but her past is not generally a common topic for me. If you want to know, contact her at Malati.ACBSP.@com.bbt.se she I'm sure will tell you what ever you want to know. She is quite a humble person.
So now we know how to properly address Malati: not Prabhu nor Mother or Mata but Madam. I don't feel that a protest of *Vasinavi aparadha* is appropriate in this case. I have never said nor is my intention the denial of this woman service in Srila Prabhupada's movement. My only question is the constitution of appropriate service.
A madam is not only a whore herself, but she employs other young ladies (and/or men) in the sex trade. Even if she has reformed herself, is it appropriate to elevate her to the position of GBC? If Bhavananda, Kirtanananda, Bhagavan, etc. were to re-emerge repentant for their past indiscretions, would we be willing to re-institute them in their former leadership positions? For all I know, Madam Malati may be a pure devotee right now. But that does not justify elevating her to any position of public prominence as much as it would be unthinkable to reinstate any of the above males as GBC's or let's say Murali Vadaka as a teacher. Such actions are an insult to all those chaste women and responsible men who have not only honourably fulfilled their prescribed duties but have done so irrespective of the disruptions, pain and confusion caused by these very same individuals. May I get your thoughts on this please.
I would like to see someone like Basu Gosh Prabhu ask the GBC EC about their knowledge and feelings of her prostitution ring. What do you think?
Date: 08-Oct-98 02:00
To: Shyamasundara (das) ACBSP
Subject: cat fights with women
Dear Shyama Sundara Prabhu.
I could not disagree with you more on this. I am not interested in getting any law passd by the GBC nor lobby for any resolutions. How can you trust these people who goof like that and then we have to baby sit them to teach what SP taught? I can't waste my life like that.
I didn't know what you wrote about Malati on IIN. Her ex husband Shyamasundar told me last year that just some five or six years back Malati was a madam arranging girls for high class customers in a brothel house in, I think, New York just before coming to Kirtanananda. I mean she had hit the bottom of the pit. They couldn't find anyone better? What is the use of your trying to hobnob with these men and lobbying for their support who have no discrimination whatsoever.
(Text COM:) -----------------------------------------
[For newer devotees who may get confused, Srila Prabhupada has two disciples named Shyamasundara Dasa. The first one was a GBC and was married to Mother Malati dd. The second is a famous astrologer and a member of GHQ. To make things even more confusing many initiating gurus in ISKCON have got disciples named Shyamasundara Dasa.]
It should be stressed that no one doubts that Mother Malati dd is a devotee nor is it suggested that she should be denied service. What is upsetting is the kind of service she is doing. The GBC already has credibility problems why make it worse by appointing her?
The radical feminist members of the IWM and IWC accuse GHQ members of gratuitously calling all divorced women prostitutes. This is simply not true.
“This is not to say that I advocate divorce. In my practice I never do such a thing. What I am advocating is taking a long view of the situation and getting the right perspective, and being careful not to alienate someone who is actually an ally simply because of a past marital fiasco. Remember, even though the vast majority of ISKCON devotees have had divorces they still support divorceless marriage as the ideal, they just didn't have the ways or means of achieving that goal. Our task should be on providing such ways and means so that the next wave that hits the beachheads will have fewer casualties.” (4.23)
Please refer to 4.23-25 for the whole series of texts on this sensitive issue.
For other examples of harsh language used by the feminists please see Sections 3 and 11.
22. Only tactical and cosmetic “In later texts, the men appear to have realized that by showing their true feelings so openly on the conference, they may also later inadvertently slip up and use these offensive labels in public. They therefore devised a system of referring to their opponents either as “purvapakshins” or by their initials only. Since this change was only tactical and cosmetic, it appears clear that we can not take seriously any claims made by these men that they are interested in bringing back “Vedic culture” to ISKCON.” Let us carefully consider why “Ardhabuddhi Dasa” would conclude as above. First, he suggests that GHQ members were totally insincere in our decision to temper or eliminate poignant adjectives from our exchanges. He speculates that this was a calculated strategy merely for gaining political advantage----so as not to commitfaux pas in public. He suggests that we have no understanding of Vedic culture or fear ofVaisnava-aparadha. The underlying reason for this, “Ardhabuddhi Dasa” says, is because at heart “our true feelings” are better described by those few poignant adjectives discussed above. Again, the fact is that we realized those descriptions to be contrary to our sincere purposes and so renounced them.
Through that one paragraph, “Ardhabuddhi Dasa” attempts to solidify revulsion toward the members of GHQ, even though an unbiased reader would otherwise naturally understand that GHQ members had decided to not speak disparagingly of the purvapaksins. These texts indicating GHQ’s desire to remain gentlemen, claims “Ardhabuddhi Dasa,” mean exactly the opposite.
Now again, we request our reader’s attention upon Section 5 (and also Section 1.2), which provides many exculpatory texts in full context (not slices) over a long span of time. These texts show the actual reason why we decided to refine our manner of speech on GHQ. Now, you might wonder why “Ardhabuddhi Dasa” omitted these exculpatory texts from his presentation. And why does he show only bits and pieces reassembled into a “Frankenstein monster,” with no resemblance to the truth? In Kali-yuga, the last vestige of dharma is truthfulness, yet here again “Ardhabuddhi Dasa” demonstrates his unconscienable tactic to despoil truth and thus deceive the entire assemblage of ISKCON devotees. But why?
Before showing you direct quotes, we’ll now simply state the actual reasons that we became concerned about our choice of language:
Anger clouds the mind of the angry party.
An angry state of mind leads to Vaisnava-aparadha, which destroys one’s spiritual life.
Our mission was to present a proposal not to feminists but to the GBC; thus we wanted to establish a high, philosophical platform of logic and reason and avoid destructive emotions.
One fact is that well before the GHQ conference was formed (September, 28, 1998), many members had exchanged e-mail expressing their concern that use of poignant adjectives would be dangerous for our own spiritual lives. The following quotes (except the first) are from texts exchanged before GHQ was formally created (later forwarded to GHQ). They show our desire to keep discussions on the philosophical level. (For full texts see Section 5.)
“There is a lot to be angry about, it is difficult to see the philosophy twisted by junior devotees. But simply to be angry is not enough. Anger begets anger. There will not be understanding through anger so I decided to drop it of my own accord.”
“From my experience, Malati Mataji is a very nice, humble and sincere devotee. Not an anti male chauvinist pig type. Could be entered into dialog with. I feel that the GHQ presentation should be high on reasoned argument and sastric quotes, and low on verbiage and invective…Never insinuate that the opposite party are not devotees or bring their sincerity into question.”
“Why should it degenerate into a scrap? But yes, ad hominem attack must be avoided & philosophy and the issues must be kept ‘up front’.”
Contrary to the accusation of “Ardhabuddhi Dasa,” the following indicates that several days before the official formation of the GHQ conference, Shyamasundara Dasa had suggested using the term purvapaksin . For a definition of purvapaksin, see Text 5.10. It indicates high respect, actually, and is used in Vedantic circles----as a borrowing from the Nyaya school----to refer to those who hold a view different from one’s own. This letter also shows that GHQ members were fearful of Vaisnava-aparadha, did not consider their opponents as enemies, and realized the necessity to maintain decorum for edification of their own Krsna consciousness:
“It is easy for me to get caught up in anger and its offspring. (Perhaps others have a similar problem?) So I will need you to keep me from falling into Vaisnava aparadha. That is why it will be important for devotees like BVS to read our material before it is presented. For a start we should simply call the other side “our opponents” or use the Sanskrit term “purvapashin”, that is, those who present the antithesis. That will help to keep us more dignified. They are not our enemies, after all, when this is over we will have to work with them.”
“So as you say we have to do our utmost to keep this at a high level…Aside from that, taking the high road will be good for our own consciousness.”
The following quotes are from texts posted after GHQ was formed. Here one can see that the members are still concerned to avoid degenerating speech, although “Ardhabuddhi Dasa” would have the reader believe the opposite.