BBTi and the stolen copyrights

BY: URDHVAGA DAS - 2.3 2017

 “How were the copyrights transferred to the BBTI?”

ISKCON and Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc. (BBTI) are NOT the authentic Bhaktivedanta Book Trust (BBT) founded by Srila Prabhupada for publishing his phenomenal works. Srila Prabhupada’s Bhaktivedanta Book Trust (BBT) is a legal trust and has no connection with ISKCON and the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc., (BBTI) a California corporation formed in 1988, 11 years after Srila Prabhupada departed from this world. Srila Prabhupada established the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust in 1972, and in 1974, appointed Hansadutta dasa BBT trustee for life with these words: “The temples may go, the devotees may go, but my books will live forever.”First of all we have to understand that the BBTI is an impostor organisation and has nothing to do with Srila Prabhupada’s original BBT. The BBTI just tries to control the BBT, that’s all.

So, how then were the copyrights transferred to the BBTI? They never where. Hansadutta did NOT “signed over” the copyrights to the BBTI, he only resigned as a trustee.

What Hansadutta did was to resign officially from his post as the BBT Trustee, to which Srila Prabhupada has appointed him life-long (even in writing). The so-called copyrights are still with the BBT, but the problem is that the original trustees of that Bhaktivedanta Book Trust have either resigned or fallen away, so the book trust (BBT) itself is not functional at present, being bereft of its original trustees. That is the real issue and problem. Legally it is very questionable if the bogus BBTI can take over the BBT by getting their own man signed in (into the BBT) with the help of Hansadutta’s resignation.

Because of Hansadutta’s official resignation as a BBT Trustee (at the court case) the bogus BBTI now thinks to put their own man into the BBT and thus control everything.

The BBTI is an illegal impostor corporation created by ISKCON, which has absolutely no legal rights over Srila Prabhupada’s books. They just want to usurp the BBT and control all of the money and printing. The court case against Hansadutta was to contest Srila Prabhupada’s own originally created BBT in court, trying to degrade Srila Prabhupada to a mere scribbling of ISKCON and a hired servant of the BBT-I Inc. By suing Srila Prabhupada’s lifelong appointed trustees, the bogus BBTI managers thought to get the control over the BBT.

That Hansadutta has resigned from being a BBT trustee is unfortunate, but it does not mean that automatically the bogus BBTI has the printing rights. This is not the case. The rights are still with the BBT only, which at present is disintegrated because it has no more functional trustees. So the BBTI is NOT Srila Prabhupada’s BBT at all and they absolutely have no claim to the copyrights on Srila Prabhupada’s books.

Unfortunately Hansadutta agreed to a court settlement in which he was offered by ISKCON/BBTI to privately print books outside of ISKCON if he officially resigns as BBT Trustee, and this Idiot (by the advice of his lawyer Gupta) went for it. He betrayed Srila Prabhupada by resigning from his service personally given to him by Srila Prabhupada (to print original books as BBT Trustee).

Srila Prabhupada wanted the BBT to be separate from ISKCON, but Hansadutta being a BBT Trustee resigned from his post, playing the original BBT into the hands of ISKCON GBC-clones, with Dryadwaita Swami on their head, who is perverting all of Srila Prabhupada’s original translations, without being checked by anybody.

Hansadutta voluntarily renounced the Sacred Trust as lifetime GUARDIAN of Srila Prabhupada’s books for the right to print books outside of ISKCON for personal profit, in any way he likes, with no checks and balances, just to make quick bucks with his own privatised company, by his personalized rights to privatise Srila Prabhupada’s books, for himself only. How selfish. How foolish. How unfortunate. What an idiot. What a fool.

The only non-negotiable thing was for him to remain Srila Prabhupada’s BBT Trustee as per his order (as his re-established BBT trustee). As BBT Trustee, it was his fiduciary responsibility to fight an appeal to uphold Srila Prabhupada’s original BBT Trust, with himself as his appointed trustee.

By appointing Hansadutta as a BBT trustee, Srila Prabhupada knew very well that despite his bad habits and artificial fall-downs, he still had the POTENTIAL to save His BBT from the inevitable book changers and political managers that rushed to change His books even before He went into His final Samadhi.

Srila Prabhupada’s original books are not separate from ISKCON so that the BBT Trustees would have the power to demand the purity and obedience to Srila Prabhupada before licensing publishing rights to any branch of ISKCON. In that way, the BBT Trustee was created as the ultimate watchdog of the standards of ISKCON.

But Hansadutta has rejected his service of protecting the integrity of Srila Prabhupada’s book-setup, by not getting a court settlement of being re-established as Srila Prabhupada’s appointed BBT Trustee. On the opposite, he gave up his post to the KING of the book-changers, Jayadwaita Swami. Not only will the BBTI now NOT be forced to rectify the changed books of the Pure Devotee, but the book-changing fox has been locked in with the chickens! It is hilarious, one does not know if to laugh or cry. Srila Prabhupada wanted him, as his BBT Trustee, to protect his books but he has betrayed him by selling out to the greatest demon and book-changers for a cheap settlement of personal publishing rights.

This is most fatal:

In the settlement, it is stated: “Hansadutta Dasa, Veda Guhya Dasa, Bhagavan Dasa, and Dasa Dasanudasa Dasa Dasi have voluntarily stepped down from any role they might have had as trustees of the 1972 trust. And all concerned have agreed that now the (new) trustees (of the BBT) will be four trustees from the BBT-I International: Brahma Muhurta Dasa, Naresvara Dasa, Svavasa Dasa, and Jayadvaita Swami.”

So, that means the new BBT trustees are now Brahma Muhurta Dasa, Naresvara Dasa, Svavasa Dasa, and Jayadvaita Swami, and the bogus BBT-I trustees are also Brahma Muhurta Dasa, Nerdesvara Dasa, Svavasa Dasa, and Jayadvaita Swami.

The settlement further states: “With the validity of the California trust now reaffirmed, all parties agree that the rightful beneficiary of the trust is the International Society for Krishna Consciousness”. “The BBT-I will continue handling the active side of the BBT operations” (What is that meaning??)

Sounds really bad, and this scum Naresvara (a real nerd) also called Nerdesvara helped destroy the Singapore printing. WOW, the worst scum’s Jayadvaita, Nerdesvara and Svavas controlling the BBT as well as the BBT-I. Unbelievable!

However, since Hasadutta did not get the printing license (because it was given to Gupta) he has rescinded his resignation as BBT Trustee. Hansadutta on his website wrote the following:

“This is to notify you that inasmuch as your organization has never given me a license to print the original books of Srila Prabhupada but rather the license has been given to Krsna Books Inc. the formation of which has been proven in court proceedings to be a fraud practiced by my attorney Joseph Fedorowsky (See California State Bar Complaint Case No. 99-0-11217, See Overview of Complaint attached as Exhibit 1).

Also none of the Settlement monies were paid to me other than to cover whatever obligation I may have had to Mr. Fedorowsky.  This leaves me no alternative than to rescind the settlement agreement and withdraw my resignation pursuant to which you were appointed trustees of the trust and I must reassert my position as trustee of the trust.

Since the Settlement Agreement has been invalidated I have no alternative but to reassert my duties as trustee. I will now perform my responsibilities as trustee.”

Also Madhudvisa wrote to Locanananda the following:

“BBTI is not even the “BBT” Prabhupada established. It is simply ISKCON operating under another name. They have nothing to do whatsoever with Prabhupada’s BBT. It is simply a con. They are not the BBT and, as Hansadutta Prabhu’s case has proved, THEY HAVE NO CLEAR CLAIM TO THE COPYRIGHTS OF PRABHUPADA’S BOOKS. So the copyright issue is not relevant. BBTI have no clear claim to the rights to Prabhupada’s books at all. Nothing has changed since Hansadutta’s case except Hansadutta “signed over” the copyrights to the BBTI… But it is very unlikely that Hansadutta had the copyrights of Prabhupada’s books in his possession so his “signing over” of the copyrights to the BBTI is completely bogus also. So the BBTI is NOT Prabhupada’s BBT at all and they do not have any clear claim to the copyrights on Prabhupada’s books.

So, these sentimental arguments that the “BBTI should do it” are not very relevant. THE BBT PRABHUPADA ESTABLISHED NO LONGER EXISTS (due to NO original trustees). So now the sincere disciples of Srila Prabhupada have to “do the needful” and get Prabhupada’s original books back in print and distribute them, perhaps by reestablishing the REAL BBT. This action alone can force the BBTI to print Prabhupada’s original books also as in the presence of Prabhupada’s original books there is no market for their adulterated versions of many of Prabhupada’s books they print [NOT all of them are changed–BBTI still publish some original pre-1977 books as well]

Actually if we like it or not, but we now have to work with Gupta, since he holds the court approved license, to print original books. Actually Gupta has to sue now the bogus BBTI for printing unauthorised Books. Please see Guptas threatening demand letter to BBT- Int’l  (BBTI)

Urdhvaga das (ACBSP)

Hansadutta’s reply to this letter: 
Posted by Hansadutta das on August 1, 2010

My dearest Urdhvaga Prabhu, Obeisances, all glories to Srila Prabhupada. I owe it to Srila Prabhupada and to the devotees, to yourself, as having been appointed by Srila Prabhupada to act as trustee for life, to clarify what happened with the BBT.

In your post “Copyrights Transferred to the BBTI?”, published up on the Sampradaya Sun, you’ve understood correctly that BBTI is not the same as Prabhupada’s BBT. BBTI (Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.) is a California corporation (non-profit) that was registered in 1988, in a deliberate attempt to bypass the legal trust.

Immediately thereafter, ISKCON GBC voted to assign the copyrights from BBT to BBTI. However, they had no legal authority to do so, because Prabhupada gave express instructions in the trust document that ISKCON was to have no jurisdiction over the trust.

Devotees did not know it, but Ramesvara was never a BBT trustee – he was only ever appointed secretary by Prabhupada. He might have been a trustee of the Indian Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, which was really only a publishing trust and did not hold the copyrights to Prabhupada’s books.But that’s not all… for years Ramesvara operated a shell as if it were the actual BBT – used ISKCON of America and later another ISKCON registered in California for which he applied to the local authorities for the dba (“doing business as” otherwise known as a fictitious business name) “Bhaktivedanta Book Trust”. For so many years he and the GBC bypassed Srila Prabhupada’s actual trust and trustees.

So you can see that the term “BBT” has been loosely applied to any one of a few different legal entities, a convenient smoke screen for ISKCON to take over the trust.

First of all, stop here and understand what is a trust. A legally constituted trust consists of the Settlor, or the person who is making the trust; the property vested in the trust; a beneficiary, or the party who benefits from the trust; and trustee or trustees, who carry out the terms of the trust.

Prabhupada’s trust, the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, is no different. Prabhupada is the Settlor and was, until his departure, one of the trustees. He made ISKCON the beneficiary of the trust.

And he vested all the copyrights to his books in the trust. As for the trustees, he designated that there be no more than three at any time. Initially there were just Srila Prabhupada, Karandhar and Bali Mardan. Later, when Karandhar resigned, Prabhupada appointed me to replace him.

Prabhupada inserted a provision in the Trust Agreement (pdf, 540 KB) stating that the BBT existed independently of ISKCON and that the trustees were bound to carry out the duties of the BBT separately from and not depending on the ISKCON GBC.

But even without such a provision, by law the beneficiary of a trust has no legal right to direct the trustees or to take over the trust assets. So what ISKCON did is actually illegal.

ISKCON bypassed the trustees and took over the operation and property of the BBT. Let’s say a father sets up a trust for his children, and vests all his property in it, and appoints a trustee to look after it in the interests of the children.

But somewhere along the line, the children decide they want direct control over the property and so they scheme to get rid of or go around the trustee and seize the assets for themselves. Why is this so wrong? After all, they are the beneficiaries, and the trust is supposed to be for them.

But no, the court takes the view that the trust belongs to the Settlor, not the beneficiaries, and although the Settlor may have departed, his expressed wishes live on in the terms of the trust document, and so the court upholds the trust, and finds that the children have attempted to convert the trust res illegally. This is exactly what has happened in the case of Prabhupada’s BBT.

Or another example to illustrate – which is what I presented to Amarendra. Amarendra asked me, during settlement negotiations, “What does it matter to you if BBT exists or not as long as BBTI carries on the BBT’s work? The books are being published, they’re being distributed. What’s the difference?”

So I asked him, “Suppose I take your wife, I do all those things that you do with her – maybe even better than you do – what does it matter to you?” Poor Amarendra was shocked. The point is: BBT belongs to Prabhupada, not to ISKCON. Prabhupada set it up to work in a particular way, and ISKCON has no right to interfere or to take over, as they have done.

Going back to 1988, the time when BBTI was incorporated, devotees may remember that around that time ISKCON began blacklisting devotees who were outspoken against GBC or official ISKCON policies, especially with regard to the policy of forced reinitiation.

Some devotees had gone through four Gurus! Many left ISKCON and went back into material life; and the few who tried to go it on their own were subjected to a campaign to extinguish them – they were made unwelcome at ISKCON temples, they were unable to buy Prabhupada’s books at wholesale rates for sankirtan, and ISKCON devotees went out of their way to sabbotage their preaching efforts.

This is what happened in Singapore to Bhima das, who, with one other brahmachary, had been distributing Prabhupada’s books in Malaysia and Singapore, even Philippines, Thailand and Taiwan, at least 1.5 million books from 1978. But from 1988 the regional “BBTs” refused to sell to him, and he was refused even when he approached “BBT” in Australia.

Not only this, but the BBT was letting so many books go out of print, and publishing only Jayadvaita’s new and improved books.

In 1990 I approached Tamal Krishna Goswami to buy chinese Bhagavad gitas from him, he refused , telling me he would sell them to me only at the retail price. OK, I said I’ll buy two copies, thinking enough is enough. So in 1990 we printed Bhagavad-gita As It Is in Chinese. Within a few months, Bhima received a letter from a lawyer alleging copyright infringement.

The lawyer’s client was none other than Sundar Gopal in Singapore, then still working under Tamal Krishna Goswami. Shortly afterwards, BBTI brought a lawsuit against Bhima in Singapore, claiming their copyrights had been infringed and asking for damages.

We challenged BBTI to prove ownership, and they came back with a fake, back-dated document signed by Svavasa, supposedly assigning BBT copyrights to BBTI. But we presented the original Trust Agreement for Prabhupada’s Bhaktivedanta Book Trust and the resolution bearing Srila Prabhupada’s signature appointing myself as trustee, and demanded that BBTI prove its legal connection with the original BBT. When they couldn’t do that, they all at once backed out of the lawsuit.

That’s when ISKCON and BBTI sued Hansadutta, myself, in 1997. It was not actually a lawsuit against myself personally. It was a direct attack on Prabhupada’s original BBT.

ISKCON and BBTI were seeking a court declaration that Prabhupada’s BBT was never a legally valid trust and thus never held the copyrights to his books; or in the event that it was once valid, that it had ceased to be valid; moreover, that Hansadutta, myself, was never a trustee of that trust, or if I was, then I had ceased to be or should be removed and new trustees appointed. Download the complaint (pdf, 3.2 MB).

Over the course of more than 1-1/2 years, much came to light. For instance, ISKCON claimed that Prabhupada had never owned the copyrights, that they were “works for hire”, meaning that Prabhupada was ISKCON’s hired worker – they supplied Prabhupada with room and board, dictation machine, paper, pen… and whatever he wrote was the property of ISKCON. Read it yourself what ISKCON said (pdf, 1.5 MB).

I did not relinquish my position as BBT trustee lightly. It was a grave decision. I understood very well that Prabhupada had appointed me for life to safeguard his books, and I would never have simply thrown it away. But after 17-18 months of litigation, we had no financial resources to continue the legal battle into trial. Our lawyer, Fedorowsky (Gupta das), required us to come up with another $100,000 in advance payment to go to trial.

Contrary to what has been reported by some, I did not leave ISKCON with money, and I have never done business or been gainfully employed, so I had to rely on Krishna to send help in defending Prabhupada’s BBT. Bhima had spent more than a million dollars fighting the BBTI courtcase in Singapore. Then when ISKCON – BBTI changed course and filed legal action against me, again Bhima came to the rescue, but by then he was pretty much tapped out.

He scrambled to put up the money to retain Fedorowsky. Veda Guhya also contributed – a quarter of the amount Bhima gave. But when Fedorowsky called for more money for trial, we just didn’t have it, and no one responded to our appeals for help – not one of the Prabhupadanugas. Everyone just kept silent. No one came forward, and former friends retreated.

Talk of betrayal… I felt betrayed at that time, deserted by godbrothers who would not support the defense of Prabhupada’s BBT. (I remember in those days you wrote to me your disappointment that Chakravarty did not want to communicate with me because it might compromise his job with BBTI under Harikesa.)

Moreover, Fedorowsky advised me that even if we were to proceed to trial and if we should prevail, there was every likelihood that ISKCON and BBTI would appeal and that ISKCON would petition the court to remove me from the trust in any case, and the matter could drag out for years. We didn’t know it at the time, but Fedorowsky had already misappropriated money that was principal in an investment scheme that was to pay his fees.

Had we known that, we would not have trusted him, but we did trust him, and we had no other option for an attorney – Fedorowsky knew the ins and outs of ISKCON, he had a grasp of the legal issues, which baffled all other attorneys we consulted, and he had made us an offer impossible to refuse – very discounted fees.

And so it was that 18 months into litigation, I was corralled into accepting a settlement, crafted by Fedorowsky and Amarendra. Fedorowsky promised me that in exchange for stepping down from the BBT trustee position, BBTI and ISKCON would give me an “unfettered” license to publish all of Prabhupada’s original books (pre1978) pretty much worldwide. This turned out to be otherwise, but at the time I trusted Fedorowsky’s legal advice.

I had to consider that if we went to trial and lost, BBTI and ISKCON would get away with everything, spelling the end of Prabhupada’s original books and depriving many devotees of access to buying books for distribution. And I had to consider that even if we went to trial and won, it would not be the end of it; ISKCON and BBTI would fight on and eventually I would be removed as trustee.

Then too, Fedorowsky spoke of the cost of protecting the copyrights, how if the BBT did not file legal action for each and every copyright infringement, then they would be lost to public domain – which might have been done anyway. So thinking to make the best of a bad bargain, I made the decision that I felt would protect the integrity of Prabhupada’s original books and enable their publication and make them accessible to the devotees everywhere regardless of their affiliation with ISKCON.

I considered also ISKCON’s and BBTI’s assurances that the BBT would be left intact. It was for Prabhupada that I did what I did. For Prabhupada and the devotees. In the end, I could only hope that the settlement would resolve our differences, and so I took a leap of faith to trust our godbrothers at their word, give them a chance to make it possible for us to participate in serving Prabhupada and his mission by printing and distributing his unadulterated books.

I did not do so with personal profit in mind. That was not the case at all. For that reason I did not object when Fedorowsky added his own name as member of the board of the licensee.

Out of gratitude to him for his services, and desiring to include the persons who had sacrificed money, time and energy to defend Prabhupada’s BBT and the purity of Prabhupada’s original books, I consented to the naming of Fedorowsky, Veda Guhya, Bhima and his wife all as members of the board. As for the settlement money, it was initially agreed that the money would be used as startup capital for printing Prabhupada’s books.

However, Fedorowsky laid claim to it, and a dispute arose. As it turned out, Fedorowsky, with the support of Veda Guhya, Bhagavan and Niscintya, pulled the carpet out from beneath us, and took control of the licensee, ousting myself, Bhima and Das devi dasi.

But I assure you, I did not ever intend to betray Srila Prabhupada or his Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. I acted in good faith. Fedorowsky and others took advantage of my trust and good will. If you are looking for those who betrayed Prabhupada, look to them, look to ISKCON and BBTI.

As you have pointed out, I have since put ISKCON and BBTI on notice that their failure to pay out the settlement monies as per the terms of the settlement means that the settlement has been breached, and so I have rescinded my resignation as trustee of the BBT. As far as I know, the BBT is intact. But ISKCON and BBTI continue to produce and distribute counterfeit books, and the BBT courtcase has been swept underneath the bed.

To check them with legal action is prohibitively costly. But if the devotees rally and demand remediation, that Prabhupada’s BBT be restored and that BBTI cease all revisions of Prabhupada’s books, then it’s possible that one day things will be right again with the movement. This is my stand. And I call for all Prabhupada’s faithful disciples to stand with me, to stand by Prabhupada’s Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, to stand for Srila Prabhupada and his books.

Remember the Alamo! But devotees need to do more than talk. Many devotees have strongly protested the changes to the books, but BBTI and ISKCON turn a deaf ear to them and will continue to do so unless and until they are faced with real consequences such as court action. This costs money. So put your money where your mouth is, and let’s see who is willing to do for Prabhupada.

I know that I have disappointed you and so many other devotees. I am very sorry for so many things I have done recklessly and for having failed to live up to all our expectations. All I can do is ask again for forgiveness from you and from the devotees everywhere, and for your blessings to be allowed to serve Prabhupada alongside his faithful devotees.

We are meant to follow Prabhupada, all of us as members of his entourage, as his servants, in this life and in the next and the next after that, forever, and this is all I look forward to – meeting up with Srila Prabhupada wherever he may be and being counted once again as one of his disciples. Please do not think too badly of me and cast me out from your association.

Your servant, Hansadutta das

P.S. In hindsight, I see now there was a collusion between Gupta and the ISKCON attorneys to sideline my legal position. You may know that Gupta aka Joseph Fedorowsky was indicted for, ”CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT MURDER” back in the 1970’s.

He escaped prosecution because he cut a deal with the Federal authorities by ratting everyone out. Many believe that he remains a FBI informant to this day. These are things I came to know later on. I have the documents, if you care to see them.



Public Apology to Hansadutta das
BY: Urdhvaga das, April 2013

Dear Hansadutta Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I herewith want to publicly apologize to you, for unjustly criticizing you, concerning the court case (Iskcon BBTi vs Hans Kary) and beg forgiveness from you for my critique.

I never doubted your sincerity in serving the mission of Srila Prabhupada. My letter was mainly to inform the general devotees, who are ignorant about the bogus BBTI, who is a cheating organization to usurp Srila Prabhupadas BBT and take control of the book trust.

Thanks to your good answer all doubts are cleared now, and I hope you can forgive this ignorant fool for his offences.

your servant
Urdhvaga das


Comment by Harinamdas:

Yes, I have seen this “news release” from the BBT Communications Office and thought it one of ISKCON’s better public relations writings on the issue. With such writing ability, perhaps one day Anjana dasi will consider using her talent to support the revalidation of Srila Prabhupada’s original BBT — instead of crafting BBT-Int’l, Inc.’s spin on these issues.

To all these arm-chair critics of Hansadutta, I would reply that no one would have the luxury of such self righteous indignation nor the luxury of even discussing the niceties of these fundamental structural and spiritual issues were it not for Hansadutta. For six years now Hansadutta has personally stood up in these court cases to block the attempt by the BBT-Int’l, Inc., to illegally convert Srila Prabhupada’s copyrights from Srila Prabhupada’s original IRREVOCABLE CALIFORNIA CHARITABLE TRUST in order to place Srila Prabhupada’s intellectual property into Harikesa & Company’s own concocted BBT-sounding CALIFORNIA CORPORATION. In my view, meeting such an incredibly difficult and demanding challenge exemplifies why Srila Prabhupada personally placed Hansadutta in the position of a lifelong BBT Trustee in the first place.

At bottom, the efforts of Hansadutta, Bhima das, Das Dasanudas Devi Dasi, Veda Guyha Das, Bhagavan, and many other supporters to uncover and thwart Harikesa & Company’s plan to fraudulently convert Srila Prabhupada’s copyrights, as well as their collective support for the legal effort to revalidate the original BBT trust and invalidate ISKCON’s bogus “Assignment of Intellectual Property,” will not be dismissed or sidetracked by misplaced indignation or slick public relations articles, however well crafted or expressed.


Jayadvaita’s BBT takeover attempt

Do you mean what you say (subject to editing)?
December 27th, 2009 by Bhima das

Dear Jayadvaita Maharaja,

In response to your The Reluctantly Given License, posted up on the Sampradaya Sun December 25th, 2009, I’d like to point out a couple of anomalies.

1. First of all, with reference to Srila Prabhupada’s letter of March 14, 1974, which is titled “Memorandum to All ISKCON Centers”, wherein Srila Prabhupada directs that his works should not be printed independently by temples or centers, but only by BBT, maybe you would like to explain to the devotees a little of the history of the BBTI or Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc – why and how it was conceived by ISKCON GBC and incorporated and fronted as Srila Prabhupada’s Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, and took over the assets and publishing operations of the BBT – without any legal connection to the BBT and without mandate from Srila Prabhupada. BBTI was not and is not the BBT – so please explain to the devotees how BBTI for so many years since its incorporation in 1988 up to the present has complied with Srila Prabhupada’s “Memorandum to All ISKCON Centers” posted up at

While you’re at it, explain also how Ramesvara ran the “BBT”… that he registered the name “Bhaktivedanta Book Trust” as a fictitious business name for ISKCON and was conducting business under this guise, not as the legally constructed trust that Srila Prabhupada set up in California in 1972.

Both Ramesvara’s “BBT” and BBTI were designed deliberately to bypass the real trust and trustees and terms of the trust. ISKCON threw up a clever smokescreen in the free use of the name “Bhaktivedanta Book Trust” or “BBT” and words like “trustee” (BBTI has no trustees, but only corporate directors) and the BBT trademarks and logos.

This ruse was very effective, enabling ISKCON to take over the BBT operations (practically ensuring the demise of the real BBT) and furthermore enabled you and your team members to go about your revision work without any oversight or interference from the BBT trustees. Thus you and your fellow cohorts have published Srila Prabhupada’s works independently of the BBT since the time of Srila Prabhupada’s departure in 1977.

You write that the license was reluctantly given to Krishna Books, Inc. … “to keep a fallen ‘guru’ from taking over the BBT.”

But the BBT had already been taken over by fallen gurus, fallen disciples – disciples who did not keep faith with Srila Prabhupada’s directives and instructions and legal arrangements. Srila Prabhupada insisted that the BBT be kept separate from ISKCON, and the trust deed clearly states that ISKCON shall have no jurisdiction over the BBT or the BBT trustees.

How can you reconcile ISKCON’s takeover of the BBT (and your participation in the scheme) with your statement: –

“Srila Prabhupada’s letter speaks for itself. There is no need for anyone to twist or turn or make arguments. He said precisely what he meant. He said it loud and clear. He said it for all his devotees. And he said it as the authorized and pure representative of Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That’s why the letter is there for all devotees to see on Now all we have to do as sincere disciples is follow what Srila Prabhupada said.”

2. For that matter, Maharaja, why do these same words not apply to Srila Prabhupada’s BBT Trust Agreement? Or to Srila Prabhupada’s directive on initiation, the letter of July 9th, 1977? Or to Srila Prabhupada’s instructions pertaining to unauthorized changes being made to his books (see Srila Prabhupada on Changes to His Books)?

3. In 1999, after the BBT courtcase was settled, you wrote a letter of apology to me, and said that the law suit should never have been brought in the first place. I noted at the time that you wrote no such apology to Hansadutta. ISKCON and BBTI demonized Hansadutta. You, even today, resurrect this projected image of Hansadutta to suit your purpose. Worse, ISKCON and BBTI belittled Srila Prabhupada and set out to deconstruct and annhilate his BBT. You were a party to this, Maharaja. ISKCON and BBTI applied to the court to declare that Srila Prabhupada’s BBT never existed or in the alternative that it was legally invalid and that the trustees appointed by Srila Prabhupada were never trustees. And argued that the BBT never held the copyrights because Srila Prabhupada never owned them in the first place – ISKCON owned the copyrights because the books Srila Prabhupada produced were “works for hire”; in other words, calling Srila Prabhupada a hired worker of ISKCON. In sworn court documents, each and every GBC member and temple president was named as witness to this testimony – and you were at the time more than this; you were calling yourself a “BBT Trustee”, representing BBTI, so you cannot say that you had no knowledge of this unspeakable offence to Srila Prabhupada. What have you done to Srila Prabhupada and to his books and to his BBT? ISKCON and BBTI tried to stop the heartbeat of Srila Prabhupada, and you were personally party to this. Moreover, in undertaking to revise his books, making so many unauthorized changes, you have undermined the integrity and authority of his books. What kind of disciple-devotee does this make you? Hansadutta stood up to defend the BBT against ISKCON’s and BBTI’s attack. He stood up to defend the integrity of Srila Prabhupada’s original books and to defend the copyrights invested in BBT. For this, ISKCON and BBTI labeled him a demon. So what does that make you, who have joined those who bypassed Srila Prabhupada’s instructions and arrangement (BBT) and attempted to stamp it out in court? A homosexual saint?

4. If you and the BBTI are not happy with the licensing arrangement, why not just end it? You’re not so stuck as you say. There are provisions in the agreement that you can use to terminate the license. You complain that it was not satisfactory to give the license to a “gun-toting, drinking and womanizing” Hansadutta, but Maharaja, you know very well that what really happened was that the license was given over to Fedorowsky aka Gupta das and his gang comprised of Niscintya, Veda Guhya, Bhagavan and later Tulsi and Yashodanandan and that Fedorowsky ditched Hansadutta and “Hansadutta’s people” right from the beginning. ISKCON and BBTI cooperated fully with Fedorowsky’s legal maneuvers. ISKCON’s legal counsel submitted to the court that ISKCON and BBTI recognized Fedorowsky’s corporation rather than the licensee that was originally created with the settlement of the court case. If this outcome was so unsatisfactory, why did ISKCON immediately turn around and reward Fedorowsky with appointment as legal counsel to represent them in the Turley $400 million Gurukuli lawsuit against ISKCON?

Admit it, Maharaja, you are not unhappy with the licensing arrangement because of who the licensees are, but because they are supplying a demand for Srila Prabhupada’s original books. You’re working in the gold foundry, casting what is advertised and sold as good as 999 (24 k) gold, and you’re unhappy that competitors have set up shop and are selling 999 gold in the market place – because of the risk that the fraud that your “gold” is in fact 9 k will come to light. There is market demand for 9 k gold, there is even market demand for cheap gold-plated trinkets, but not for the same value as 999 gold! For sure, you can sell your revised “Prabhupada” books wherever fake Rolex watches and Louis Vuitton bags are in hot demand (the customers know and accept them as fake), but if you cross the line to uptown where the genuine branded goods are sold and try to pass them off as the real thing, you risk arrest and jail. The market dictates the supply, in this case, nothing less than the pure, unadulterated, original books of Srila Prabhupada. You can’t claim that the licensee is competition if you are not publishing the original, unrevised works.

Say what you mean and mean what you say. If you expect anyone to believe your words, then you’ll have to resign your guruship, recall the revised books and instead publish the original books, and finally put Srila Prabhupada’s BBT back in place. Are you sure you’re up to following what Srila Prabhupada said to do?


Featured Stolen Copyright Record


On the left side, the image shown is of the first page of the copyright record of Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-Gita As It Is (can be seen in point 1). These copyright records are submitted and are stored with US Copyright Office in DC. This is where authors generally register a copyright to protect their works from being used unauthorizedly. This record acts as an ownership proof. Srila Prabhupada’s books were being copyrighted here since 1968. Copyrights are governed by US Federal Laws.Bhagavad-gita As It Is

Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-Gita As It Is was first registered in 1968, the paperback version. The McMillan edition was registered here in 1972. Later when BBT editors unauthorizedly modified the Gita, that was also registered here. All the while the owner of the copyright, one who owns the book, was BBT. And the author was listed as His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

Then in 1995 it was all changed. BBTI, another legal entity only formed in 1988 with no connection to BBT, stole these copyrights through a fake transfer of copyright to it. The new copyright record of BG As It Is, that you see to your left, was registered in 1995. You can click on View page one & page two to see the full record.


Quiz: Please find the name of Srila Prabhupada in the copyright record!

Ans: You cannot! Author has been replaced by BBT (Point 2 a) , and this work was made by “Worker for Hire” (ticked “yes” box below the Author line).

In effect what this copyright record signifies is that Bhagavad Gita As It Is was authored by the BBT, which hired Srila Prabhupada as its worker!

Would you like to do something about this insult to Srila Prabhupada? Would you like to do something about this Great Theft?

Yes, there is a movement now underway to force BBTI to give these stolen copyrights back to Srila Prabhupada’s BBT where Srila Prabhupada will be acknowledged and revered as its author.

We need you. Please Spread this News to your friends. We are on Myspace and Facebook for your convenience. Get Involved to make a difference.


BBT and its Shadow, the BBTi

“Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura wanted to print as many books as possible and distribute them all over the world. We have tried our best in this connection, and we are getting results beyond our expectations.” (Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 12.8 Purport)

Currently in ISKCON, and in the last decade, we have not seen a significant increase of book distribution. There may be isolated exceptions, but on the whole we have not seen the results of the 1970’s and early 80’s. This should raise many questions in the minds of those who wish to see HDG Srila Prabhupada’s desires fulfilled.

Srimad Bhagavatam 7.13.34: “A sannyasi should have an institution meant to preach Krsna consciousness; he need not accumulate money for himself. We recommend that as soon as money accumulates in our Krsna consciousness movement, fifty per cent of it should be invested in printing books, and fifty per cent for expenditures, especially in establishing centers all over the world. The managers of the Krsna consciousness movement should be extremely cautious in regard to this point. Otherwise money will be the cause of lamentation, illusion, fear, anger, material attachment, material poverty, and unnecessary hard work. When I was alone in Vrndavana, I never attempted to construct mathas or temples; rather, I was fully satisfied with the small amount of money I could gather by selling Back to Godhead, and thus I would provide for myself and also print the literature. When I went to foreign countries, I lived according to the same principle, but when Europeans and Americans began to give money profusely, I started temples and Deity worship. The same principle should still be followed. Whatever money is collected should be spent for Krsna, and not a farthing for sense gratification. This is the Bhagavata principle.”

Unfortunately, this principle of 50/50 is not being followed. In fact, when we get an ‘inside’ perspective on what’s actually happening with the BBT, we see gross negligence with respect to Srila Prabhupada directives. How is this? In regards to the monetary aspect, the BBT doesn’t even have an account opened (in its name, BBT) to deposit the proceeds that come from book distribution. So this begs another question, “Where IS the money going?”

In 1986, the ‘GBC’ formed the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International (notice the name is almost exactly the same, only the ‘International’ has been added) and the Bhaktivedanta Book Publishing. It was to these two unauthorized* ‘shadow’ corporations that Srila Prabhupada’s BBT had its copyrights transferred to, and the money that was generated from book sales. Please see for documentation on these statements.

* Members of the ‘GBC’ met in 1986 and conspired to take illegal control of the BBT, by transferring all copyrights into the BBTi. Since Srila Prabhupada’s departure in 1977, the members of the ‘GBC’ have given the impression to the devotees of ISKCON that they had ‘absolute’ control in decision making. This ongoing illusion has continued for over thirty years, partly due to certain individuals not implementing the DOM (Direction of Management), although it was ordered by Srila Prabhupada back in 1970.

* “GBC does not mean to control a center. GBC means to see that the activities of a center go on nicely. I do not know why Tamala is exercising his absolute authority. That is not the business of GBC. The president, treasurer and secretary are responsible for managing the center. GBC is to see that things are going nicely but not to exert absolute authority. That is not in the power of GBC. Tamala should not do like that. The GBC men cannot impose anything on the men of a center without consulting all of the GBC members first. A GBC member cannot go beyond the jurisdiction of his power.”
Srila Prabhupada Letter to Giriraja, August 12 , 1971

* “Rupanuga: But now, we discussed this… We discussed this before, Srila Prabhupada. You said that you didn’t… You wanted to make some more BBT members.
Prabhupada: If I require, I can make.
Tamala Krsna: The reason I’m bringing this up is because, heretofore, the BBT has been managed by one or two trustees, and the point is that maybe it is best that it be managed by the GBC.
Prabhupada: So that… First of all manage these things. Then you will, it will be included in the trustees. First of all show your capacity that you have managed these things very nicely, these two things. Why there should be complaint? How you can solve it? And why the temples should be maintained by collection of the BBT? It is meant for printing and constructing temples. Why should (we) violate the purpose of the Trust? So first of all you manage these two things. Then, if you want, you can come. If the problem remains the same, then what is the use of increasing heads?”

It should be noted that the copyrights that were transferred from Srila Prabhupada’s BBT to the BBTi were transferred without ANY authorization from the BBT Trust. After this insidious hijacking, the books that were produced and distributed were still done in the name of the BBT! This, of course, helped conceal what had taken place, keeping the general community of devotees in the dark, meaning, who would protest to something unknown?!

“Tamala Krsna: Krsna’s giving us… I figured out, Srila Prabhupada, that if we… Just like we did in September, I multiplied times twelve to see how much money in a year your books are selling. And the BBT, in one year, can expect to make, around the world, about $8,100,000. In rupees that comes out to seven crores, seventy thousand rupees. Seven crores, seventy thousand rupees.
Prabhupada: What karmi can earn so much!
Tamala Krsna: What karmi can earn so much. For the temples, that means that by selling your books, the temples will collect about sixteen million dollars in one year. Or in other words, fourteen croes, nine lakhs, forty thousand rupees.
Prabhupada: They’ll believe?
Tamala Krsna: Well, believe it or not, it’s a fact.
Prabhupada: Fact, yes.”
(Room Conversation, Vrindavan, November 3, 1977)

This is a lot of money that the BBT generated; even post-departure of Srila Prabhupada, there has been plenty of money generated through BBT book sales. Where has all this money gone? We can see from our spotted history (post-HDG’s departure) that temples and temple properties were not going up, but factually were either sold or reduced to barely running. Many, many devotees have experienced this firsthand. So who is responsible for this? Hopefully the wheels will begin to turn in the minds of those devotees who actually care about what has happened, and what is happening currently with the Srila Prabhupada’s BBT and the society in general.

It also should be noted that since the copyrights were transferred from the BBT to the BBTi, Srila Prabhupada, from a legal standpoint, went from being the sole author of his books to merely being an ‘author for hire’! An AUTHOR FOR HIRE?!?!?! This is indeed a great offense to not only HDG Srila Prabhupada, but to the parampara he is representing!

As devotees of Srila Prabhupada we should not stand idle, and let these misdirected people in the ‘GBC’, and the so-called currently authorized BBT trustees, continue their efforts to control the BBT, while committing offenses to Srila Prabhupada which keep the growth of our society stunted.


BBT Manifesto

BY: ISKCONToday Staff
Dec 05, LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK — Dated: July 11, 2008

1. BBT Trustees[1] shall ensure that a sacred spiritual tradition is formed around the books of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (“Srila Prabhupada”) such that this generation and the subsequent future generations for the next 10,000 years shall treat all of Srila Prabhupada’s vani, or teachings, with utmost sacred respect, as words of God. This spiritual tradition, by education, culture, and devotion shall be formed such that no one will allow Srila Prabhupada’s teachings to be physically distorted or disrespected in any manner or form that could put the whole basis of our parampara in danger. One of the duties of the Trustees given by Srila Prabhupada in BBT Instrument Document dated May 28, 1972 is “Directing and managing all publicity and distribution of my books;” Hence the Trustees shall direct and manage the publicity of these books with this grave responsibility in their minds.

2. Revising Srila Prabhupada books, whether well intentioned or not, sets a dangerous precedent. If not reverted back now to the original editions, future generations will look at the example and mood set by the first generation BBT Trustees and may do likewise as the times, personalities and circumstances change. Moreover, the current laws provide for copyright control of Srila Prabhupada’s books through the BBT, so that only the Trustees of BBT can effectuate the changes. In future when the copyright law releases the copyright of Srila Prabhupada’s books into public domain, most likely starting in 55 years i.e. from 2063, if the pure tradition of Absolute Sanctity of these books is not set, anyone with authority in the preaching mission may change them like it has happened to the Bible. On the contrary, if this “revisionist” fallacy is rebutted & reverted and subsequently Srila Prabhupada’s original book’s “no-change” policy is maintained, then THAT will become the established tradition. It will become part of the history of BBT that initially the books of Srila Prabhupada were “erroneously revised”, but then after due consideration by the majority of followers of Srila Prabhupada and on the authority of scriptures, this policy was changed permanently. This will act as a lesson for future generations. Hence the goal of current BBT Trustees is very crucial, and their responsibility is critical, in how Srila Prabhupada and his teachings are regarded in the future for thousands of years to come.

3. For that purpose, there are multiple activities that the BBT Trustees shall perform.

4. First and foremost, all control of copyrights, printing and primary distribution ought to be with Srila Prabhupada’s BBT and that BBT shall be reactivated. Without this centralized legal control, as organized and instructed by Srila Prabhupada, it will be difficult to ensure cohesive maintenance of the sanctity of Srila Prabhupada’s books.  

 5. Secondly, the BBT Trustees shall follow all the basic written instructions of Srila Prabhupada regarding the operations of BBT. Srila Prabhupada formally executed BBT Trust Agreement document dated May 29, 1972. Thereafter Srila Prabhupada gave certain other written instructions to operate the BBT. The BBT shall function exactly according to these instructions:  

Letter by Karandhara to all temple presidents of ISKCON, Inc., Counter-signed by Srila Prabhupada dated April 22, 1974  
Letter by Karandhara to Foreign Divisions of BBT, Counter-signed by Srila Prabhupada, dated September 16, 1974  
Letter by Srila Prabhupada to all temple presidents dated March 14, 1974

6. Third, all initial authorized editions of Srila Prabhupada’s books shall be identified and only those shall be printed. All other editions shall be completely scrapped.  

 7. Fourth, an official history of the BBT shall be published describing in detail the incidences from the inception of the BBT till now so that the future generations can learn from it.

Reactivate BBT as a legal Trust

8. Only BBT, a legal US Trust, registered in Los Angeles, CA, shall be the centralized legal entity that owns all the copyrights of Srila Prabhupada’s books all over the world, in all languages. All other corporations or entities domestic or international shall stop misrepresenting that they are BBT unless authorized in writing to do so by the BBT. BBT shall operate conjointly with its subsidiary divisions around the world as per Srila Prabhupada’s written instructions.

9. This BBT shall be the only entity that authorizes printing of Srila Prabhupada’s books in US and/or through its offices/subsidiaries in other countries. This is the direct instruction of Srila Prabhupada.

“I specifically formed the BBT to invest in it exclusive rights for the printing of all literature containing my teachings, writings and lectures. In this way the collections are to be divided fifty percent for printing new books and fifty percent for construction of temples.

The BBT can authorize a center to print, as in the case of foreign translations, with the agreement that when the foreign printing becomes financially solvent they will pay royalties to the BBT. But all printing of ISKCON literature must be by the BBT or under their sanction and approval.” (Letter from Srila Prabhupada to all Presidents, March 14th, 1974)

10. For the same reasons, the license by BBT to Krishna Books, Inc. (“KBI”) should be scrapped. It is redundant and adds another competitor to Srila Prabhupada’s BBT, against the direct instructions of Srila Prabhupada above and below:

“If temples print independently it will be at the cost of the books I am, myself printing, and could eventually cause the financial ruin of the BBT, meaning I could not order new books from the printer or have sufficient funds for construction of temple projects. I trust this is now clear and you will all do the needful.”(Letter from Srila Prabhupada to all Presidents, March 14th, 1974)

11. All payments from sales of English books must be deposited with BBT LA. Foreign offices/subsidiaries/divisions translating and printing Srila Prabhupada’s books ought to give 10% royalty to BBT LA as per Srila Prabhupada’s instructions:

“Prabhupada just spoke with me regarding the distribution of foreign (other than English) language literature. His direction is that 10% of the gross income on the sales of all of our literatures, books, and magazines, should be sent to The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust.”(Letter by Karandhara to Foreign Divisions of BBT, Counter-signed by Srila Prabhupada dated September 16, 1974)

12. Bylaws of BBT shall be adopted in order to supplement the original BBT Trust Agreement Document with later additional instructions by the setlor of the Trust, Srila Prabhupada. These Bylaws would further protect against mismanagement of BBT from happening again. These Bylaws shall include certifications of original books, provisions against revising the books, and editing policies, among others. The BBT governing documents shall be transparently made available over the internet.

Obtain Tax-exemption status from IRS  

 13. The BBT, a legal US Trust, shall apply for tax exemption from the IRS as per the written directive of Srila Prabhupada. The Trustees shall appoint a competent Probate Lawyer to complete the formalities under the Trust tax-exemption Rules given by the IRS.  

 Open Bank Account of BBT

14. BBT shall open a bank account in its name in Los Angeles. All other corporations or entity’s bank accounts with DBA BBT, or Doing Business As BBT, as being currently allowed by the Trustees in the case of Bhaktivedanta Book Publishing, Inc. (“BBP”) bank account in LA are to immediately cease.  

 15. All checks and payments for books that are received in the name of BBT are to be deposited in this authorized BBT account and not in the un-authorized BBP account as is being currently done.  

 Transfer all Copyrights back to BBT  

 16. All copyrights shall be immediately transferred to BBT from Bhaktivedanta Book Trust-International, Inc.(“BBTI”). BBTI, a California Corporation, is a completely different entity from the BBT, a Trust. The Trustees shall order the BBTI directors to:  

 a. Re-assign all copyright records in US Copyright Office, falsely claiming to be owners of books and other works of Srila Prabhupada back to BBT. Most of the copyright records indicate that BBTI is the current owner of the copyrights, which is illegal.  

 b. All assigned copyright records ought to reflect that the author of each one of these works is “His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada” rather than the current offensive and illegal classification of Srila Prabhupada as “Worker for hire” that is currently being recorded on all these works. To classify Srila Prabhupada like any other employee of BBT is extremely insulting.

c. All copyright records of any of Srila Prabhupada works, in any translation, in all countries shall also reflect the same. The copyright owner of all translated works should be BBT with its address in Los Angeles, the author shall be mentioned as His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and additionally the translator should be mentioned as “Worker for Hire” i.e. BBT Volunteer(s) translated that work. Not that Srila Prabhupada shall also be put in the same category of a hired worker or a volunteer like any other devotee.

d. All copyright declarations on all future publications, in any language, from the BBT shall be “© Copyrighted by Bhaktivedanta Book Trust 2009” and not “© Copyrighted by Bhaktivedanta Book Trust-International 2009”. This is illegal and a misrepresentation by BBTI. This misrepresentation should stop immediately.

Transfer all Trademark and Logos back to BBT

17. All trademarks of BBT, currently with BBTI illegally, shall be immediately transferred to BBT:  

 a. “Bhaktivedanta Book Trust” trademark currently claimed to be illegally owned by BBTI shall be transferred back to BBT.

b. “BBT” logo currently owned by BBTI shall also be transferred to Srila Prabhupada’s BBT.

Dissolve BBTI & BBP  

 18. BBTI and BBP, formed in CA in 1988 and 1987 respectively, without the authorization of Srila Prabhupada, shall be officially disenfranchised as so-called agents of BBT. They have has been created to deceive the public into accepting them to be the same or equivalent of Srila Prabhupada’s BBT. They are not the same entity as the BBT and they do not follow Srila Prabhupada’s instruction for running his BBT in their legal corporate documents. Their bank accounts are to be closed and the current balance are to be immediately transferred back to the new BBT bank account. All other assets they possess or claim to posses are to be also transferred to BBT. Upon completion of the above, these entities are to be dissolved in every country they have been registered.  

 19. Till that happens, both these organizations shall hereby immediately stop misrepresenting themselves as the BBT or using the logo of BBT or misrepresenting that they own the BBT copyrights.  

 Stop Publishing Other Authors

20. The BBT Trustees are not to publish any book other than those written by Srila Prabhupada. BBT is not a “publishing house for Gaudiya Vaisnava books” as they write on Instead this Trust was made by Srila Prabhupada specifically to hold and print his own books. “The properties which shall constitute the Trust Fund include all books and manuscripts and other documents written by me or translated by me, including the following hereinafter listed, and all those written by me in the future, including all copyrights and publication rights incidental thereto:” (BBT Trust Agreement document dated May 29, 1972. , Section 1 Trust Fund)  

 21. Srila Prabhupada may have himself authorized some books by some of his disciples to be printed by the BBT, but he himself could do so as it is his own Trust. But he has not left any specific instructions or policy for the Trustees for including other author’s books. His desires to the contrary are “Our translation must be documents. They are not ordinary… One cannot become unless one is very realized. It is not A-B-C-D translation”. (Conversation May 28, 1977). But the current Trustees have made their own policy. They have copyrighted and published many books from other authors in the BBT. These books are of questionable credibility and authenticity compared to the high standard of the intended books in the BBT- Srila Prabhupada’s. This is unethical and not sanctioned by the setlor or the Trust Instrument.  

 22. The mixing of completely pure books, words of God, with books of questionable purity may make the authority, authenticity, and respect of Srila Prabhupada’s books and of his BBT to go down eventually in tandem. As we cannot sit on the Vyasasana of Srila Prabhupada, similarly we cannot put our books with Srila Prabhupada’s books on an equal stature, unless he personally asked us to do so. Another official ISKCON publishing house can be made to print books by other authors and other official publications, but BBT should be left alone.  

 23. BBT funds, trademark & logo are not to be used for any books other than that of Srila Prabhupada’s works. Bhaktivedanta Book Trust is A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami’s exclusively. It is his personal vehicle to reach out to the whole world and teach them the Science of God, Krishna. It is not a publisher of any or all books on ‘Bhakti’ and ‘Vedanta’ as the BBT trustees are apt to present BBT in an impersonal manner.  

 24. All solicitation of new manuscripts from other authors for printing under the Logo of BBT shall be immediately stopped.

Stop printing all “revised” books  

 25. All first editions of Srila Prabhupada’s books shall be identified and then printed, “as is” by the BBT. None of the “revisions” shall ever be printed. A note on the book shall identify each book as original and a replica of the first edition printed of each volume. At the end of each book, a note from the editor ought to be added:  

 “Some previous editions of this book were printed that were erroneously changed from the original due to a faulty editorial policy. Please check the authenticity of the edition by checking the inside cover page for the correct edition. You can check the correct edition of this book at {website}. If you do not have the correct edition, please send the book back to us, we will send the correct original edition to you free of cost. You can print a postage slip from {website}. Alternatively, you can download the free book from {website}. Thank you and sorry for the confusion. Hare Krishna.”

Transparent, collective editorial policy

26. A widely discussed and accepted editorial policy shall be adopted by the BBT . This editorial policy shall be encased in the new bylaws of the BBT.

27. The books originally edited and published under the authority of Srila Prabhupada are to be considered free of defect or mistake by those who would consider themselves to be disciples. Srila Prabhupada instructed likewise in reference to seeing “mistakes” in his spiritual masters books. He called this spiritual principle “ashraya prayoga” or seeing a mistake in what the spiritual master has given as his legacy, as disrespectful and a faulty mentality. Only his editors, directly authorized by him to correct any errors, could do so, and that too only for the duration of that service to him understood to be until the editions were approved by Him. No modifications, corrections or explanations can be made to an Acharya’s books once he has approved Them. This fact is more applicable now that he has left our physical presence.  

 28. Exempt shall be those errors specifically identified by Srila Prabhupada to be changed in the next edition. The first editions containing these errors shall be corrected. The overall principle shall be to follow Srila Prabhupada’s instruction “to print the books in the original way”, i.e. first editions + changes asked for by recorded instruction of Srila Prabhupada.

29. As for the argument of the current editors that there are many genuine grammatical or factual errors (introduced by Srila Prabhupada’s transcribers or editors and not by Srila Prabhupada himself), those few specific errors can be considered:  

 a. to be printed in an errata separately from the books; or

b. to be published on its website; or

c. as footnotes: where the correct spelling or word could be written as a footnote.

30. Current BBT editors have used these few errors to make a case for wholesale unnecessary changes to Srila Prabhupada’s books. These changes range from philosophical to the original writing style which are thoroughly unnecessary. This faulty editorial policy shall be condemned in strongest terms and historically recorded for educating the future generations.

Main function of BBT Trustees

31. As far as the printing of books of Srila Prabhupada, there are mainly two functions that the BBT Trustee shall ensure.  

 a. Reprint books. Cover, binding etc. can be modified according to current trend to make the book more presentable.

b. Compile more books from Srila Prabhupada’s teachings under a certain topic (yoga, science etc) like the BBT are currently doing, but the editing shall be strictly minimal. The editing standard for printing new books shall also be encased in the Bylaws.

Integrate Archives with BBT  

 32. The Bhaktivedanta Archives shall deed all the historical archive material it possesses to the BBT. The Archives shall preserve and reproduce Srila Prabhupada’s works as a department of BBT, not as a division of BBTI. Bhaktivedanta Archives as a separate independent corporation shall be dissolved. It can function as a department within BBT and shall be fully integrated with BBT. Its location need not be changed for now.  

 33. The Bhaktivedanta Archives shall provide the Vedabase to be freely downloadable from its website; or for a nominal amount for a certain time to offset the actual cost in order to make it available in that format and for future updates. It shall not be more than $49.99 in any event. For full time devotees it shall be freely available.

34. The Archives shall endeavor to make the Bhaktivedanta Vedabase be browsed and searchable from the BBT website itself. The main philosophy of Bhaktivedanta Archives department shall be to distribute Srila Prabhupada’s vani (instructions) freely, far and wide using the latest electronic communication medium. Wide distribution is the best method of preserving Srila Prabhupada’s teachings. The Archives shall seek to preserve Srila Prabhupada’s books using the latest technologies for the next 10,000 years.  

 Back to Godhead  

 35. Back to Godhead was designed by Srila Prabhupada to be the backbone of our movement. It shall again be made likewise. “This Back to Godhead will always remain the backbone of the society because more the magazine is popular the more society becomes popular.” (Letter to Rayarama, 30th Jan, 1967)

36. BTG shall be published as a monthly Sankirtan magazine. Not as a primarily bi-monthly periodical. Of course, the subscriptions are important and they shall be serviced religiously but the main customers shall be new people, as per Srila Prabhupada’s instructions. BTG price for distribution in the US ideally should be $1, not more than $2 so it can be freely distributed. BTGs of other languages shall follow the same principle.  

 Book Fund and Temple Fund

37. The policy of 50% income to BBT Book Fund and 50% of income to BBT temple fund shall be maintained as per Srila Prabhupada’s instructions in the BBT Trust Instrument: “The Trustees shall collect all proceeds from the sale of my books, that is One Hundred Percent (100%) of all the proceeds from all of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness Temples and divide these proceeds into two funds, one-half (1/2) for the fund known as the Book Fund, and one-half (1/2) for the fund known as the Building Fund.”  

 38. Transparency of accounting shall be the foundational principle of the BBT as well as full public disclosure of all assets owned by BBT. Monthly financial statements shall be posted on its website.  

 39. For the time being, the Temple Fund shall not be utilized as per the discretion of the trustees. As Srila Prabhupada says in a video to Ramesvara, “First of all Books!” Until all of Srila Prabhupada’s original books are in print in the main languages of the world, none of the Temple Fund money shall be utilized except in the event of an emergency, short-term construction loan that is secured according to current international mortgage securing guidelines, and preferably by an individual guarantor. Instead the Temple Fund should be utilized to print and populate books in all major languages as per Srila Prabhupada’s desires. This temporary policy shall be followed at least for the next few years.  

 40. The Trustees shall use none of these funds for fighting any legal challenges due to their mismanagement. Srila Prabhupada did not allocate the BBT funds for that purpose. If they feel that they are right, then they should use other sources for funding their legal misadventures.  


 41. The and domain name shall be transferred back to BBT. as an arm of BBT, but not the official website of BBT, has a certain amount of laxity in what it can promote. Still, for starters none of the books related to Bhakti Shastras should be sold on the website that are not Srila Prabhupada’s books.  

 42. The official BBT website shall be {website}.  

 43. Any other websites in the world, in various languages, that are websites of various divisions of BBT or BBTI, shall be similarly transferred to BBT.  

 Internet Distribution, Copyrights and sales  

 44. The fast changes in the Internet have made sharing, distribution and sales of Srila Prabhupada’s teachings much easier. These tools shall be utilized to the utmost.  

 45. As a principle, one basic version of the books, audio and video recording shall be freely available on the net for viewing and searching for non-commercial purposes probably protected by a “creative-commons” license, like this one.  

 46. Same policy shall be followed for the photos. Low resolution photos of Srila Prabhupada and Krishna shall be readily available and shared.  

 47. Any extra services like Vedabase, iPOD files, audio books, an electronic book format, downloads of more than 1 book etc. can be charged a proper fee according to current market standards.  

 We, the disciples and followers of Srila Prabhupada, will do our utmost to see that this manifesto is adopted by the BBT Trustees.  

 We will plead with them, implore them, and we sincerely wish to work conjointly and harmoniously with them, toward the end of pleasing Srila Prabhupada and preserving his great legacy. BUT, if that does not work, and the trustees are unwilling, then we are forced to coalesce around the legal battle to ensue, in order to ensure that these current BBT Trustees are removed, and Srila Prabhupada’s BBT is restored to exactly the way that Srila Prabhupada ordered it, so that future generations may benefit from Srila Prabhupada’s tireless effort in presenting Krishna Consciousness for the benefit of the whole world.


[1] BBT Trustees in current tense refers to BBTI directors who are representing themselves as BBT Trustees.


Guptas Threatening Demand Letter To BBT- Int’l  (BBTI)

Demand Letter To BBT Int’l
USA VNN 09/18/1998-2244 – Following is a copy of a demand letter sent to BBT Int’l, Inc. and ISKCON of California, Inc. on Tuesday, 15 September 1998:

Joseph Fedorowsky & Associates
TELEPHONE: (310) 645-9920 FAX: (310) 645-7444

September 15, 1998
Via Facsimile Only
David Liberman, Esq.    (Amarendra das)
Adam Bernstein, Esq.   (Akruranatha das)

Re: BBT-Int’l, Inc and ISKCON of Cal Inc vs. Hans Kary BC 017617

After meeting with my clients last week, it is now clear that there
is no
licensing scenario which would be acceptable or workable. It is also clear
that my clients view this case as a spiritually unique situation in which a
substantive reformation in the Hare Krishna Movement must take place. In
fact, my clients believe that we are all standing at a crossroad at which we
must cooperatively do what is best for the Movement as a whole, otherwise,
we must all deal with the consequences of our independent choices —
whatever they may be.

Over the past years, it is indisputable that your clients’ independent
choices have been to deny the very existence of Srila Prabhupada’s original
trust, to deny that Srila Prabhupada’s disciple and personally appointed
trustee of that trust, Karandhar, had any legal authority to act as an agent
to transfer His copyrights to His trust, to deny Hansadutta’s lifetime
appointment as a hand-picked trustee of the original trust, and to sue and
threaten to sue devotees around the world for trying to print, publish and
distribute Srila Prabhupada’s Vani outside the bureaucratic labyrinth of
BBTI policy. What’s more, your clients’ have also offensively and brazenly
argued that Srila Prabhupada Himself was a mere employee of ISKCON, Inc.,
and of ISKCON of California, Inc.

Moreover, your clients have unilaterally decreed that, in spite of the
principle of arsa-prayoga [“Even if the authorized acaryas would make a
mistake, it would not be changed. In this way the acaryas are honored.”
Srila Prabhupada], wholesale posthumous editing changes to Srila
Prabhupada’s Vani is the institutional norm (company men call it
“responsible publishing”) as is the placing of narrow, artificial
restrictions on the distribution and sale of His Books. In this way, the
Accuracy and Availability of Srila Prabhupada’s Books have been severely
compromised and eclipsed throughout the world.

At bottom, gentlemen, the legal consequences of your clients’
independent choices adds up to two words: public domain.

Accordingly, my clients believe that, one way or another, basic
in ISKCON must be initiated as there is simply no use and no benefit in
allowing the delusion to remain that the copyrights to Srila Prabhupada’s
Books are held within the offensive and restrictive ecclesiastical control
of members of a private holding corporation.

The alternative to the following proposal is to accept the legal
consequences which flow from the arguments already made and evidence already
presented by both of you, and your clients, which evidence fully supports a
public domain status for the Books of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta
Swami Prabhupada.

The basic points are as follows:

(1) That the parties stipulate to revalidate the original May 29,
irrevocable California charitable trust (“BBT”).

(2) That the Trustees of the BBT be confirmed as those persons
whom Srila
Prabhupada personally placed on the BBT and who still desire to serve in
that capacity, i.e., William Berke, Hans Kary and William Ehrlichman.
Kelly Gifford Smith shall also be offered a position.

(3) That all of the current members of the GBC and EC resign as of
a date
certain. That the office of the EC of the GBC be abolished.

(4) That an entirely new GBC (“First Reformed”) be elected, each GBC
member by a vote of confidence carried by a majority (greater than fifty
(50%) of all “qualified devotee voter(s)” as of a date certain.

(5) That a “GBC candidate” shall not include any present Guru,
GBC member, ISKCON Minister or sannyasis.

(6) That official voting rules be established to meet the goal of
representative GBC elections. I have not included details of the format of
those proposed rules in this letter.

(7) That “qualified devotee voter(s)” shall consist of all of
the following persons: (a) those devotees who were initiated by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada; and, (b) those persons over the age of 18
years who were initiated by a disciple of His Divine Grace A. C.
Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada at least one (1) month prior to the date of
this letter.

(8) That the First Reformed GBC shall consist of twelve
devotees who shall
each serve an initial three year term. (DOM 7/28/70)

(9) That a GBC Election Committee be established for the purpose of
administering the voting process according to guidelines approved by the BBT
Trustees and shall be composed of Akruranatha, Amarendra, Balavanta, Gupta
and Sesa. The BBTI shall fund the Election Committee with a to be
determined monetary grant which shall be used for direct out-of-pocket costs
(no attorney’s fees). Decisions of the GBC Election Committee shall be
“unanimous less one” and shall be final and binding for all purposes.

(10) That all other official positions in ISKCON be “frozen,”
that of the Temple President, until the First Reformed GBC meets and
implements further policy changes.

(11) That the BBTI pay the costs and fees incurred in defending the
Singapore suit and this state trust case.

My clients are resolved not to allow parochial domination of the Hare
Krishna Movement to further trivialize the Legacy of His Divine Grace. I
can also assure you both that substantial legal research has already been
undertaken on the public domain issue, the results of which make it
abundantly clear that your clients cannot confirm a chain of ownership
theory which places the copyrights of Srila Prabhupada’s Books into a
private holding corporation while concurrently maintaining the legal
integrity of pre-1978 copyright notices consistent with copyright law
applicable for that time period.

At the end of the litigation day, Srila Prabhupada’s Vani will not be
owned, controlled or restricted by a concocted, private holding company
which you both support. Srila Prabhupada’s Vani will either be formally
protected in the precise way that He actually wanted by those particular
devotees He personally chose, or, Srila Prabhupada’s Vani will be placed in
a position which best reflects His desire to selflessly benedict the largest
number of fallen conditioned souls.

Due to the severe time restraints now facing the parties in the
state trust
case, should there be no response at all to this letter within ten (10)
days, I will assume that your clients have rejected this approach to
resolution and I and associate counsel will have no choice but to pursue the
necessary legal action consistent with the views expressed in this letter.

With regards,
Joseph Fedorowsky