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ISKCON Internet controversies

Question: 
There's so much derogatory content and controversy about ISKCON on the Internet. It attacks my faith every time I see it. I want to progress in Krishna consciousness. I've given my heart to ISKCON. How can I convince myself against these controversies?


Our Answer:
It is extremely unfortunate in this day and age that anyone, without any filter, can self-publish online. People can record themselves, post videos, and appear—like the Wizard of Oz—to be a big person, when in reality they are merely sitting somewhere behind a computer.

It's part of our spiritual responsibility to place filters on whom we associate with. Although it may be difficult at times, it is certainly not impossible. Simply set your Internet preferences in such a way that the kind of language that unfailingly accompanies malicious content doesn't appear in front of your eyes.

You wouldn't stand and listen to such talk if someone was standing in front of you, so with the same wisdom you should avoid hateful and blasphemous words about devotees.

You should also be diligent in your own spiritual practice, research and association. You can certainly research well written articles, and discussions answering whatever accusations you hear. You should make a deliberate effort to seek the proper information from reliable sources in order to satisfy yourself that what you're reading is the truth.

Here's a link to a clear presentation dealing with one such ISKCON controversy—the so-called "Srila Prabhupada poison issue." You may find helpful information there on other topics as well.

The Internet is a landmine; without making careful assessment to see how authentic a site is, you run the risk of finding very misleading and malicious information. That's simply the nature of the Internet. There are people attacking every government in the world, saying that Martians are invading the earth, that everything from the food you eat to the news you read is controlled by one evil force or another. We all need to study Srila Prabhupada's books, to understand how to recognize when devotees are serious about spiritual life, to avoid bad association, and to find good association.