Article by Upendranath Dasa
Analysis of Srila Prabhupada’s “Direction of Management”, the DOM
The DOM-Part 2
My duty was to first appoint twelve (12) persons to my free choice amongst my disciples and I do it now and their names are as follows:
[List left out, however, interesting is the fact that they were all householders! And more interesting is that they all have fallen back to Sudra life, and some worse than Sudra]
These personalities are now considered as my direct representatives. While I am living they will act as my zonal secretaries and after my demise they will be known as Executors.
I have already awarded Sannyasa or the renounced order of life to some of my students and they have also got very important duties to perform in this connection. The Sannyasis will travel to our different centers for preaching purpose as well as enlightening the members of the center for spiritual advancement. The Sannyasis will suggest for opening new centers in suitable places and the GBC will take action on it.
[Here is clear instruction for what the activity of a sannyasis is.]
As was stipulated by the ad hoc committee, the function of the GBC will be as follows with particulars:
The purpose of the Governing Body Commission is to act as the instrument for the execution of the Will of His Divine Grace. And further,
- The GBC oversees all operations and management of ISKCON, as it receives direction from Srila Prabhupada and His Divine Grace has the final approval in all matters.
[Here the word “oversees” is important. Oversee means “to watch over and direct; supervise. To subject to scrutiny; examine or inspect”. As you will see further on, this was the relationship of GBC and a TP. The GBC was never authorized to directly manage or make decisions that are within the TP’s authority. In addition, you will see later that Prabhupada instructed, that if there are any problems with a TP neglecting his duties or going beyond his authority, it was to be reported to the GBC, and the issues would be addressed at the next GBC meeting. As you will also see, removal of a TP could not be done without the approval of the members of the community. Otherwise, it was always understood that the TP is ultimate authority in temple management, and the administration of the community. The GBC duty was to guide, inspire, the temple community with the instructions given by Srila Prabhupada, and the resolutions passed by the GBC and approved by Srila Prabhupada. This is not how ISKCON is managed now. The GBC is a dictator, and he manages a totalitarian regime within his zone. Once there was a TP that did something, that I am not aware of. In this case Prabhupada did not remove the TP himself, he instructed the GBC to do the needful.]
His Divine Grace will select the initial 12 members of the GBC. In the succeeding years the GBC will be elected by a vote of all Temple presidents who will vote for 8 from a ballot of all Temple presidents, which may also include any secretary who is in charge of a Temple. Those 8 with the greatest number of votes will be members for the next term of GBC. Srila Prabhupada will choose to retain four commissioners.
In the event of Srila Prabhupada’s absence, the retiring members will decide which four will remain.
In the succeeding years the GBC will be elected by a vote of all Temple presidents who will vote for 8 from a ballot of all Temple presidents, which may also include any secretary who is in charge of a Temple.
[Since the departure of Srila Prabhupada, many men have become GBC who are not TP’s or secretary of a temple. Also, they have made some sannyasis a GBC. And on top of that, they have made Gurus a GBC. It is not hard to give an argument to show that GBCs and Gurus have no business being a GBC, and if you do not understand this; it is because you have a poor fund of knowledge of the duties of a sannyasis and a Guru. Men in ISKCON are given GBC title simple because they manage some specific ministerial function. It is clear also that there is more than 12 GBC, something like in the range of 50. “Even board of directors in multibillion organization, do not have this quantity of directors; so why does ISKCON require so many GBCs. It has been understood that GBC title has been given as a reward for being a loyal “YES” man. Simple followers of ISKCON as believe, that GBC title means that they are Uttama status Vaisnavas. One must remember, that ISKCON is simply a facility for GBCs, gurus, and TPs; having these position, connects them with a “tap” on the “pipe-line” of $ cash-flow, which is a means to living a higher life style way above the rank-and-file devotee.]
- The commissioners will serve for a period of 3 years, and they may be re-elected at the end of this period.
[This is no longer a protocol because the majority of GBC’s are designated for life]
- The chairman is elected by the GBC for each meeting. He has no veto power, but in event of a vote tie, his vote will decide. The same will apply for votes cast by mail between regular meetings.
- Throughout the year, each of the commissioners will stay with His Divine Grace for one month at a time and keep the other commissioners informed of His Divine Grace’s instructions.
[This instruction was followed for some time, and during the last years of Prabhupada life, it was monopolized by one man and sometimes two]
- The primary objective of the GBC is to organize the opening of new Temples and to maintain the established Temples.
- Advice will be given by the GBC in cases of real property purchases, which will be in the name of ISKCON, Inc. (Trucks or other vehicles will be purchased in the name of the local president).
- Removal of a Temple president by the GBC requires support by the local Temple members.
[The power to elect a TP is no longer a protocol, what to speak of removing one. The position of TP is an award for loyal “YES” men to the regime. The community has no mean to have one removed anymore]
9. The GBC has no jurisdiction in the publication of manuscripts, which will be handled by a separate committee; profits to be returned to Srila Prabhupada.