“Moving Forward”

A Treatise; Making a “Case” for the Reconstitution of Srila Prabhupada’s “Mission”

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Segment 35.4

Comments on the Direction of Management. Part 4

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.

Here, Srila Prabhupada is instituting an element of “democracy”.  For the first year of the establishment of the GBC, Srila Prabhupada personally named the twelve disciples to serve as GBC’s.  He then says,

“In the succeeding years”.

He means that there is a protocol for the selection of GBC’s each year. That protocol would be,

“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.”

Today, in ISKCON, GBCs are elected/appointed by the established GBC body, as it desires.  Hence, the democratic way of electing GBC’s is taken away from the Temple presidents.

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.

This specifies the protocol while Srila Prabhupada was with us, and the protocol after his absence.  This is no longer followed because GBCs are currently elected/appointed for “life”.  One becomes a GBC when other GBC members recommends them. If accepted, they go through a process of evaluation over several years by becoming assistant GBCs, acting GBCs or Commissioner of some project, and after such probation, they become fully ordained GBCs.  Hence, since the departure of Srila Prabhupada, the number of GBCs has dramatically increased from the original twelve.  How many GBCs are there, as of today? I researched this, and I only found one reference which stated that there were 34 GBCs.  That was many years ago.  This may be the number of current functioning GBCs, however, this number does not reflect the dozens of GBCs who left ISKCON, and those who were relieved from that duty, for various reasons.  Hence, I would not surprise if the total number of GBCs in ISKCON today may total as much as 50.

Board of directors in multibillion dollar organizations do not have this quantity of directors; so why does ISKCON require so many GBCs.  It has been understood that the GBC title has been given as a reward for being a loyal “YES” man.  Rank-and-file followers of ISKCON believe that the Guru, GBC, and Sannaysi title means that they are uttama status Vaisnavas.

Those 8 with the greatest number of votes will be members for the next term of GBC.

This instruction is no longer followed.  A GBC is appointed by the GBC body itself.  They are not elected by the Temple presidents, and their appointment.is “for life”.  The GBC body also suspends a GBC or removes a GBC, if they are found guilty of not following the regulative principles, and in other cases, just because of the fact, that the GBC is not loyal to the agenda of the GBC body.  The GBC body actually resembles the Politburo[1], the principal policymaking committee in the former Soviet Union.

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.

These two instructions are no longer followed due to the fact that Srila Prabhupada is no longer with us.  Nevertheless, there is no GBC resolution enacted as of this date, that resembles this instruction.

The commissioners will serve for a period of 3 years, and they may be re-elected at the end of this period.

This instruction is no longer a protocol because the majority of GBC’s are designated for life. See heading entitled “Segment 36: Srila Prabhupada Instructions on Management” for details.

GBC Meets with Srila Prabhupada — May 28, 1977, Vrindhavan:

[Comment: Srila Prabhupada stated in a room conversation on May 28th, 1977 with Satsvarupa Goswami and Tamal Krishna Gosvami, that those already GBC should remain for life. However, I posit that it is possible that Prabhupada was refereeing to the 4 GBC’s that were selected by him, not the 8 which he said should be elected by the body of Temple presidents from a ballot of all Temple presidents and qualified secretaries:]

Satsvarupa

“So, our first question is about the GBC members. We want to know how long should they remain in office?”

Prabhupada:

“They should remain for good.”

Tamal Krishna:

“They should remain for good?”

Prabhupada:

“Selected men are chosen, so they cannot be changed.”

FOOT NTOE:

[1] Politburo: The principal policymaking committee of a communist party.

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