Massive Burglary at ISKCON Moscow Temple

BY: JAYA MADHAVA DAS (ACBSP) - 30.10 2017

Video footage points to possible inside job.

Readers who've never come to Moscow and visited the ISKCON Temple here should know the following facts: The Temple is a costly rented building complex ($50,000 US $ a Month) on and in the property of its owners -- the Moscow Blind People Association. It consists of a temple room (in the basement), a restaurant and a gift shop. An Auditorium is available on the property for additional extra rental fees, and the devotees use this for big programs. Space is limited there and very expensive to rent, as is the case with any rental or purchase of property here in Moscow.

This Temple is another temporary solution, as they will soon be asked to leave by the Blind People Association owners, who want to sell the building and move. Nevertheless, despite smaller space conditions, the temple room is used for the Deities in a basement temple with no windows, and that's inconvenient.

According to Sadhu Priya das (GKG), the Indian Temple President, someone was stalking the temple property or as we say, "spying on the property and casing the joint" for many days (or more), from October 1st to October 5th, 2017. That much was caught on the security cameras on the property. But the person hid their face.

It seems the person or persons involved had a good idea of where the Treasury Office of ISKCON is, as it is located in the connecting Blind People Association building.

From what the devotees saw on the video, and the police and FSB, a man came dressed in disguise as a woman, to the early morning mangal arotik there, when the Temple doors were opened at 4:00 a.m. Instead of going downstairs to the Temple Room, this person proceeded to go through the doors which connect to the Blind Peoples offices in the adjoining building.

Strange Video Footage

The security cameras caught that person in the Treasury room for 30 minutes. The lockers and safes were professionally broken into and unfortunately, 2 Million Rubles in cash (about $40,000 USD) was taken from the safes.

The intruder then covered his face and body with the sari and with backpack, leaving the Temple through the front door, in full view of the few devotees there at 5:00 a.m.

The Police and FSB are now doing an investigation, but no news yet as to the culprits. It definitely looks like an inside job.

My Commentary on the robbery and what's going on here in Russia:

Why were 2 Million rubles being kept on Temple property and not in a safer place, like a bank? How is this possible? Where is the GBC oversight for safe Laxmi practices? (Or Krsna Consciousness practices?)

Where is the GBC for Russia? On vacation and resigned!

Who is in charge of training Russian devotees? Apparently, the former GBC for Russia has installed his 'yes man' disciple as GBC for Russia, This happened on his watch too!

How is it possible that this can happen twice in a row in Moscow ISKCON? For example, a few years ago one disciple of Bhakti Vijnana Goswami (a woman) was caught red-handed, stealing the money collected to build the Moscow Temple (that never got built). A crew of Russian devotees control that land and refuse to listen to anyone. They have no accountability. That devotee crew is still in charge of the land and Laxmi, despite the fact that no Temple was built.

Moreover, they bought the land for $ 4 Million USD, and then found out they were cheated and it's illegal to build houses on the land they bought. For 4 years now, the land sits vacant and unused and no one is held accountable.

Meanwhile, devotees are being paid to hold that land for an unspecified amount of time and speculate, for $$$. The good news is ISKCON Moscow has in fact bought an old Soviet factory to be converted to a real Temple. But it's in ruin, as it was a bankruptcy sale and was abandoned for many, many years. It needs a complete 100% renovation, which will be costly (millions of dollars for sure). Yet the devotees who hold the land they bought for $4 Million USD refuse to sell it and use that Laxmi to repair the new building, which is the future Moscow ISKCON permanent Temple.

Here I see "too many cooks spoiled the soup". They refuse to use the money to properly to repair the new frame building which they now finally own. The situation is dire. Soon the Moscow temple will be closed down (again) and the Deities and devotees vacated, homeless. The future Temple they now own can't be used yet.

This we see as mismanagement by the GBC of Russia and the GBC body who fly through, have a meeting, and go away. What kind of management of ISKCON and the Krsna Consciousness movement is this?

Senior devotees must be here 24/7 and investigate ISKCON Russia's Laxmi and Krsna Consciousness Standards and Practices. Not just put people in charge and make Devotee Councils and micro-manage by remote control... that's failing. Then on top of all of this, Moscow ISKCON is robbed seriously blind! Sad but true. Krsna let this happen.

May Lord Krsna bless and help protect the sincere Russian devotees and may those who steal from Srila Prabhupada and his Temples get their just desserts. ISKCON needs strong Krsna Conscious leadership.

To give more examples of the total bad GBC management in ISKCON's past:

Years ago in the USA, the Houston Temple was robbed of their Deities (by carelessness).

The Dallas Temple was also broken into by intruders with the intention of robbery.

Mayapur ISKCON is run by some questionable Indian managers and rumors of financial corruption persist.

It appears that New York Temple was recently hijacked by Ramabhadra das and Romapada Swami for $60,000,000 USD.

Krishna West has been polluting ISKCON, and now the GBC are making it legal and giving their blessings.

The BBT will continue to illegally change HDG Srila Prabhupada's original pure books

When will the GBC Body be a real GBC, and not a fake one? ISKCON needs real Krsna Conscious leaders who follow HDG Srila Prabhupada properly.