| Home | About Us | Srila Prabhupada | Krishna Consciousness | Deity Darshan | Our Festivals & Events |
| Articles | Our Temples | Our Activities | Links | Contact Us |

This is Personal Choice?

Remember back when that crazy man Ted Patrick and some crazed "parents"  was running around and literally kidnapping devotees, nuns, priests, or anybody  that didn't seem to "fit" the norm for a "spiritual person"???
Well here is one conversation the devotees had with Srila Prabhupada about this nutcase Ted Patrick, and some of the  "details" surrounding the "deprogramming" events---
I think many of you will find this very interesting....
Hari bol
770217rc.may                                             472913/530
 Devotee: They have formed a group, the deprogrammers, called
"Return to Personal Choice."
Srila Prabhupada: By force. (laughter) This is personal choice?
Srila Prabhupada: "I force you. You accept this"--your personal choice.
Devotee: That is them returning someone to personal choice. You see
them dragging them off.
Devotee: They're saying, "You do not know what is your personal
choice. You have forgotten. Now it is brainwashed away. Otherwise you
would remember. So we are doing this for your own good." They call it
"rescuing." They say that "We are rescuing him from this Hare Krsna."
Srila Prabhupada: But is that the law of the country?
Devotee: Also they have this conservatorship law.
Devotee: That is the law. Now they are applying this law to us,
because the law says... Most of the laws that are written, it says
that anyone who is of unsound mind, of unsound body, who is addicted
to drugs or who may be fooled by artful and designing persons, that
this person can be put under conservatorship. That means that someone
else takes control of your affairs and tells you, "You must do this."
So they put you in a mental hospital, and then they can do this,
so-called deprogramming
. Now they are making new laws. Just before we
came here there was a law in one state, they proposed, where anyone,
not just the parents or the family, but anyone who wanted to could get
this kind of control over any other person, and the law said, "For any
reason whatsoever."
This is a... This book is a manual that was
prepared by the American Civil Liberties Union. They had a big
conference in our support in New York
. This is accounts of
deprogramming, newspaper articles, reports from authorities, personal
accounts of people who have been through this "return to personal
choice," describing how they were dragged and beaten and locked up and
tortured and starved in order to make them real, whole materialists
again--free. They even have in there one manual. They have a
do-it-yourself deprogramming book. It teaches how to take someone and
make them into an atheist.
Devotee: Exactly what they accuse us of doing, they are doing.
Devotee: Then also they have testimonies of people who went through
this and said, "I am very glad that I was rescued by force, because
now I am free." So this is more like damaging...
Devotee: In fact many who were deprogrammed have then joined the
deprogrammers. Even there are some of our devotees of Hare Krsna. They
are now going around and deprogramming. They're working for the
Devotee: They have their own guru. This Ted Patrick has become
their guru, and then they have a whole organization built around him
They are now getting donations, they're a nonprofit corporation, they
have established a $100,000...
Srila Prabhupada: If he's in jail...?
Devotee: Yes. Their guru is in jail. Ted Patrick was just... He got
out of jail, but he so much wanted to do this deprogramming that he
went, and they caught him, and they put him back in jail again. And
now he's in for one year, back in the jail
. But they are going on with
this activity without him. He has trained so many other people up.
Devotee: The deprogrammers have been disbanned in Canada. Canada
will not allow.
Devotee: We got big newspaper coverage in Canada where one devotee
from our temple in Boston, who was... Her sister and mother have
become witnesses in my trial, in my case. So they were threatening
her. They wanted to take her and put her in the mental hospital. So
she went to Canada and said, "I am seeking political asylum here in
Canada so that I can be safeguarded." So the Americans went to Canada,
and they said, "Oh, you Canadians, how can you be doing this? How are
you doing this? You are such fools." The Canadians don't like the
Americans at all, they told the Americans, "Get out," and they kept
our devotees protected on this. And by an act of their Parliament they
excluded the deprogrammers from Canada
. They said, "You cannot come to
our country." So now they are protecting our devotees, saying, "We are
giving protection because America will not give them protection."
Devotee: Political asylum.
Devotee: And they're getting great satisfaction (indistinct).
Devotee: The devotee's mother in this particular case said, "I would
rather see my daughter dead than be a devotee of Krsna
Devotee: She said that. That was the papers.
Devotee: That was headline in the newspaper. "My daughter should
better be dead than to be Hare Krsna."
Devotee: That's for her own good.
Srila Prabhupada: (Bengali) (break)
Devotee: People involved in this deprogramming have read most of the
books. They have read and studied, and when they try to deprogram
someone they quote from the books different things. So is it that they
can't understand this philosophy even though they're reading it, or
they just don't want to understand it? Just like this man Ted Patrick.
He has read so many of the books.
Srila Prabhupada: How...? What does he say about our books?
Devotee: One time I heard he challenged a devotee, "Where is your
Lord Nrsimhadeva now to save you?" And also, "We have heard that if
the Lord is blasphemed, you're supposed to either give up your life or
leave the place, so why don't you do? Or cut out the..., cut out your
tongue. So why don't you do that now?"
Devotee: They used that as one legal argument. They said that one
of our devotees should be put in the mental hospital for his own
protection, because otherwise he would go and kill himself. And the
court said, "Why is that?" They said, "Well, because in their books it
says that if a devotee hears someone blaspheming the spiritual master
or Krsna, then they have to commit suicide."
Srila Prabhupada: No, they will argue on so many things.
Devotee: "Or cut their tongue out." They said, "Either they will
cut my tongue out or they will kill themself. So either way, they
should be put in a mental hospital."
Srila Prabhupada: No, or you go away from that place.
Devotee: In one case they were reading Fifth Canto of
Srimad-Bhagavatam about the hellish planets. And they were reading to
her, and they read how one who is too much attached to women, how they
would have to embrace the form of a hot molten metal form of a woman.
And so they were saying, "So do you think this is going to happen to
us?" They were challenging like that, and she was saying, "Yes,
actually you should be afraid." They were saying, "Actually..." They
were going through each section of the Bhagavatam and reading it and
saying, "What about this? Do you really believe this? Do you really
believe that the moon is farther away than the sun? (laughter) Do you
really believe that they didn't go to the moon?"
Devotee: Or the moon is made of jewels.
Devotee: Oh, they ask all these questions.
Devotee: That one was a headline.
Devotee: "Hare Krsnas think the moon is made of jewels."
Devotee: They asked that to Balavanta on national television, to
explain how it is possible.
Srila Prabhupada: So how to rectify it? They have not gone to the moon.
Devotee: That's what Balavanta told them. He said, "You have your
ideas, and we have ours. We're not stopping you from having yours, so
why do you stop us from having ours? As far as we're concerned, we
have as much evidence as you. Your authorities say you went, and our
authorities say you didn't go. And anybody can make a movie to show
that you went to Jupiter or Saturn or any other planet. Movies...,
they can make King Kong. So we don't accept it, but we don't stop you
from having your beliefs. But don't force us to say, 'Yes, you went to
the moon.' " He answered nicely
Srila Prabhupada: No, actually when there is some news about the moon
planet, I personally did not go with him. So how shall I believe him?
Come to practical point of view. I did not go. You publish something,
news. Why I accept it? If you say that "I did not go," er, "I did not
see," that is everything. We believe some paper, that's all. So why
shall we not believe the Vedic literature?
Devotee: Look at the difference of the writers. The writer of the
newspaper is a fool.
Srila Prabhupada: Vedic literature is so authoritative. It has been accepted
by the acaryas
Devotee: So they are reading our books, but they do not believe that
they're not the body, so many foolish people. They read, but they
don't believe that they're not the body. They think it's just fantasy.
Srila Prabhupada: What do they believe?
Devotee:: They believe that they're just a body, and to enjoy the
body till death, and then nothing. You present such nice philosophy,
but they would rather think that they were just a bag of bones.
Devotee: This Ted Patrick says that celibacy is a sign of
insanity. He kidnaps nuns, priests... Anybody who takes celibate vow,
he says he is not in his right mind
Devotee: He took one of our devotees and brought him to the naked
dance shows and even hired prostitutes to go with him.
Devotee: I asked him once, I said, "If you had a chance..."
Srila Prabhupada: You saw him?
Devotee: On television. Adi-kesava was on television with him.
Devotee: I said to him, "If you had a chance to deprogram the Pope,
would you do it?" He said, "Oh, definitely. I'd love to."
Devotee: If the Pope was celibate.
Srila Prabhupada: (looking at photo) Who is this boy?
Devotee: A karmi. He's from another group. That boy in the front,
he is taking the person. They're holding some girl. He is from another
group, I think, some Christian group. There was an article in the New
York Times where they went and watched one whole deprogramming
experiment, and at the end of the experiment they wrote this article
showing pictures of them taking the person, dragging him out of the
building, throwing him in cars. And then later they held one public
deprogramming in Detroit. But our devotees went to that public
deprogramming and began to ask them all kinds of questions, and they
had to abandon the program because we caused so much trouble for them.
All the... A lot of the Indian community went there and began to ask
them, "What are you doing to this person?" They were giving a
demonstration of their technique, and they had to stop. So this is one
picture they took while they were actually abducting the person. Just
like in the case of New York, this one girl, Murtivandya, she was
taken. They pulled up in a van, in a car, and dragged her off the
street, threw her in the van and drove away. And then, when we filed
charges for kidnapping, they turned around and filed the charges
against me for kidnapping, saying that we were the kidnappers. Even
though they had made a statement confessing to the fact that they had
abducted her bodily off the street and she said, "I have been
kidnapped," they said, "No, you don't know what you really want. You
don't really want to be Hare Krsna. So you are really being kidnapped
by Hare Krsna."
Devotee: They say the Hare Krsnas are the hardest to deprogram out
of all the groups. They say Hare Krsnas give the hardest time
Devotee: They also say that once you've been a Hare Krsna for four
years, then your brains are finished and you cannot be deprogrammed.
Devotee: You're a hopeless then. (laughter)
Devotee: On the TV show they were speaking with Ted Patrick, and
they said, "Well, could you deprogram someone?" And he turned to
Vasu-gopala and said, "I could deprogram him very easily. But..." He
looked at me and he said, "This one, he is already ruined. I could not
break him."
Devotee: He has no more brains.
Devotee: We have a list in there, in that book, of the devotees who
have been deprogrammed. And in our movement, unlike most of the
others, about two-thirds of the devotees taken have come back. More
have come back from our movement than any of the others. They take
other groups ten to one over us, because our devotees generally
Only the new, the very most neophyte devotees, do they
actually leave
. They have never had some experience of taking a
devotee who's been for two years or three years or four years in our
movement. They have never left and stayed away. They always come back.
Devotee: Usually the way they come back is after being
deprogrammed, someone is living out in the material world and then
they meet a devotee on book distribution. So by getting a book, they
see the picture of Krsna, and immediately they start to remember, and
they tell the devotee, "Please take me back to the temple." This
Vasu-gopala, who's case Adi-kesava is connected with now in New York,
he had been deprogrammed, and he was going through the Washington,
D.C., Dulles Airport, and suddenly someone met him on book
distribution and gave him a book, sell him a book. He took a look at
the Krsna book and said, "Take me immediately to the temple
Devotee: He said, "I should be selling the books, not buying the
book, so take me to the temple." And immediately he came to the
Devotee: They dealt very horribly with him. In this book... Ted
Patrick has written a book which is a popular seller now, about... It
is called...
Devotee: Let Our Children Go.
Devotee: Let Our Children Go. He has written a book, this Ted
Patrick, called Let Our Children Go. And there's a chapter about Hare
Krsna movement, especially about this boy Vasu-gopala. And it's just
terrible how he describes the whole process of deprogramming, how much
abuse he had to use on this boy. He even admits to using abuse
. And
right now the government is giving protection to a great extent to
these abusers, saying that it is for the person's well-being that this
abuse is being done.
Devotee: They say that it a family matter. They say, "We don't want
to interfere in a family matter. It's a family argument. Just like a
husband and wife quarreling, we wouldn't interfere, or the father and
son fighting, we wouldn't interfere. So this is a family matter."
Devotee: Generally when the child is kidnapped, the parent is
always present. And when they have the deprogramming torture session,
the parent is also present.
Devotee: And in fact, the persons who do a lot of the torturing
are relatives.
Devotee: Just like in the case of Vasu-gopala. When he was held in
his house, he managed to get to the phone and call me. So we went out
to his house with some of the brahmacaris from the temple and starting
breaking all the windows in the house and smacking down the doors. And
as he was running around the house, his brothers and friends were
grabbing him and throwing him down against the walls and locked him in
a room to try to get him away from us, and they were fighting.
Finally, they say in Ted Patrick's book, they thought there were
twenty-five of us. There were only four of us or five of us. So
finally, in the end, they were so terrified that all of them began to
 Even this Ted Patrick came at me with a straight razor. In
those cases, generally, they use the family members for the fighting.
Devotee: This clouds the issue in the courtroom, because everyone
naturally feels very sympathetic towards the fathers and mothers. So
always... These deprogrammers are very intelligent. They personally
try to avoid the physical part, so they get the parents to do it.
Devotee: And then, if the person strikes out at the parent, they
say, "Just see how crazy he's become!" Just like with Vasu-gopala, he
took a stick and hit his mother across the head and ran out shouting
the name of Nrsimhadeva as they were holding him captive, so he could
run away.
And so they said, "Just see how crazy he's become that he
hit his own mother." Of course, the fact is they didn't mention they
locked him in the bathroom for thirty hours just before. They kept him
in a little bathroom. They locked the door, put him in there for
thirty hours.
All they mentioned is that he come out and hit her on
the head with some stick. So then they say, "Just see! He's acting
against his parents." So then the judge says, "Oh, what can I do?
Naturally the father loves the son."
Srila Prabhupada: So why don't you quote from our sastra that "He is not
father." Pita na sa syaj janani na sa syat. Find out this verse.
                 gurur na sa syat sva-jano na sa syat
                  pita na sa syaj janani na sa syat
                daivam na tat syan na patis ca sa syan
                    na mocayed yah samupeta-mrtyum
   "One who cannot deliver his dependents from the path of repeated
birth and death should never become a spiritual master, a father, a
husband, a mother or a worshipable demigod
Srila Prabhupada: So how he's father? What is the purport?
Devotee: Read the purport.
Devotee: "There are many spiritual masters, but Rsabhadeva..."
Srila Prabhupada: And who is father according to that definition? This is
our formula.
Devotee: They argue sometimes. They say, "You are saying that you
Srila Prabhupada: You are argue your point, but our argument is here. You
are arguing from your point of view, and we shall argue from our point
of view. Unless the father releases the son from the cycle of birth
and death, he's not father. This is our formula
Devotee: In order to accept this, they will have to rewrite the
Srila Prabhupada: This is the actual... Now, apart from the scriptural
injunction, if one comes to the argument, then such kind of father is
there in the animal society also. Cats and dogs, they also beget
children, but they cannot relieve the child from the cycle of birth
and death.
And Bhagavad-gita says,
janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi-duhkha-dosanudarsanam. First of all you have
to see what is the actual distress in this material life.(?)
Janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi. Tatha dehantara-praptih. So in this life you
are my father, and next time I become a cat or dog, so who cares for
this father? I get another father
. So who knows this law? Prakrteh
kriyamanani gunaih karmani sarvasah ahankara-vimudhatma. The laws of
nature is going on, and everything is happening. Karmana daiva-netrena
jantur dehopapattaye. We are getting a type of body according to
                        isvarah sarva-bhutanam
                       hrd-dese 'rjuna tisthati
                       bhramayan sarva-bhutani
                         yantrarudhani mayaya
   This is a yantra. This yantra is, this machine, body, is offered by
the material energy under the direction of the Supreme Personality of
Godhead. So actually they do not know the laws of nature, laws of God.
Ignorant. So we are trying to deliver people from this gross
ignorance. And they do not know the laws. Naturally they'll think
Devotee: We have to educate them.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. Vidvams cakre satvata-samhitam. Anarthopasamam saksad
bhakti-yogam adhoksaje, lokasya ajanatah. The rascal people, they do
not know how life is going on, and they are creating anarthas.
Therefore vidvan, Vyasadeva, vidvams cakre satvata-samhitam. So this
is the position. Murkhanam upadeso hi prakopaya na santaye. "If you
try to advise rascal, he'll be angry."
                         upadeso hi murkhanam
                         prakopaya na santaye
                       payah-panam bhujanganam
                        kevalam visa-vardhanam
   So this is the position. Still, we have to do our business. What
can be done? Difficult task. Therefore, if you want to please Krsna
very quickly, you should struggle for preaching.
                        ya idam paramam guhyam
                      mad-bhaktesv abhidhasyati
                        na ca tasman manusyesu
                       kascin me priya-krttamah
   So we have got our business, to please Krsna. That is our mission.
So despite there are so many inconveniences, we have to do this
business. Mudhah nabhijanati mam ebhyah paramam avyayam. They are all
mudhas. So we have been engaged to teach them some lesson. Caitanya
Mahaprabhu did also. He sacrificed all personal comforts, home life.
He was learned scholar, very honored in Navadvipa. He had no
grievances with family: His wife, Visnupriya; affectionate mother,
Sacidevi. But still, He gave up everything for the benefit of the
whole world.
             tyaktva su-dustyaja-surepsita-rajya-laksmim
               dharmistha arya-vacasa yad agad aranyam
                 maya-mrgam dayitayepsitam anvadhavad
                 vande maha-purusa te caranaravindam
   Caitanya Mahaprabhu wanted to deliver the foolish rascal persons.
He became guru. Amara ajnaya guru hana tara' ei desa, yare dekha tare
kaha 'krsna'-upadesa. So our mission is to carry out the order of Sri
Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Then Krsna will be pleased.
Srila Prabhupada ki JAYA

| HOME | TOP |

This website is best viewed in resolution: 1024 x 768 or higher

The Krishna Consciousness Movement, The Nama Hatta Mission of California™, 2009

Links provided are for information only, The Hare Krishna Society does not necessarily endorse all the contents and statements in those links.
Readers are encouraged to read the original unrevised versions of Srila Prabhupada's books

BBT images and written materials from Srila Prabhupada's books are copyrighted by the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust.  All rights reserved.  All such materials are published pursuant to  Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, Fair Use Exception