Before he died on November 14, 1977, Prabhupadha had put into place a system of government of his organisation, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness and empowered 11 gurus or spiritual masters who would continue to initiate new disciples and be worshipped as "pure devotees" by the majority of ISKCON members. These gurus were:
Prabhupada was able to create an international organisation with thousands of devotees acting in a way which ordinarily dismayed their families and the societies in which they lived but who were meant to live up to much more restrictive ethical standards. He taught a doctrine that included the necessity of worshipping the guru as God, even though he said that all gurus who claimed to be God were actually Dog. At his death, the majority of his followers were unable to discriminate "scoundrels" from "perfect masters" amongst the gurus he empowered to continue his tradition. This is despite the fact that on the death of his own guru the followers had fractured into dissenting groups in a struggle for power so he had had a warning of possible problems.
The blame for the ethical collapse of his most intimate followers must also be his because apart from the exception of Kirtananda Bhaktipada, (Keith Ham), the guru of New Vrindaban commune in West Virginia (photo, right) who seems to have always been an evil scumbag, the other gurus had joined Prabhupada with the hope and promise of transcending their personalities and desires and had been accepted by him as his most successful followers when he appointed them as gurus on his death. Kirtananda Swami Bhaktipada has been sentenced to 20 years in gaol for racketeering for his involvement in murder, arson and insurance fraud; though his many other crimes against the spirit such as homosexual paedophilia, megalomania etc etc will probably not be punished by secular authorities.
Hans Kary was an unhappy, depressed 26 year old freelance photographer and failed painter in 1966 when he became a follower of Prabhupada (both in photo, left). He became one of Prabhupada's closest devotees and became the guru for Germany, Berkeley, and India on Prabhupada's death. After 10 years of strictly following his guru's spiritual directions he was first arrested for fraud, larceny, postal and weapons violations in Germany and later for similar though more serious crimes in the USA. He was an unhappy, depressed ex-perfect spiritual master with severe drug problems, paranoia and vices that had become habits when he was expelled from ISKCON after 20 years. In the 1990's after being refused re-rentry into ISKCON he established an alternative organisation supposedly devoted to Krishna with himself as guru.
It is not enough to find a guru who believes in his teachings, is personally trustworthy and ethical, the teachings themselves must have the power and truth he claims else the consequences of following them may turn out to be very disappointing.
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