BBT Loyalty vs. High Editing Standards

BY: KRISHNA DASA - 21.11 2018

This is in response to Garuda Prabhu's article.

Jayadvaita Swami and Dravida Prabhu are far more qualified than the average devotee at editing. So it must be frustrating for them to constantly hear criticism from uninformed devotees. They have patiently, over the years, answered many unfair objections. By doing so, they have restored the faith of many devotees in the BBT.

However, there are also many valid objections coming from the more intelligent members of the Gaudiya community. The BBT strategy is to ignore those objections, or to be economical with the truth. This is understandable as it would be detrimental to BBT book sales if the editors admitted that there are many unjustified alterations to Srila Prabhupada's books.

As the saying goes, "In war, truth is the first casualty". As long as the BBT is competing with KBI (who print the original editions of Srila Prabhupada's books) they will spin the truth so as to bolster their image. This is why they are not happy that Garuda PhD is speaking the truth in public. The BBT prefers to keep the devotees in the dark. They only want a confidential discussion with Garuda Prabhu and are upset that his podcasts have been posted on Sampradaya Sun.

Devotees who believe that Srila Prabhupada's books should only be edited to correct grammatical and spelling mistakes, and that the editing should be of the highest standard should hear Garuda Prabhu's criticism. If on the other hand, one feels loyalty to the BBT then one must settle for second class editing.

The solution to this problem is for the BBT to open up and frankly admit their mistakes. They should trust in Krsna. Their strategy of glossing over mistakes for the sake of protecting books sales is displeasing to intelligent devotees who can see their limitations.

The BBT trustees do not trust anyone else to correct their mistakes and they don't feel that it is either necessary or practical to undergo the big project of undoing the many unnecessary book changes. How sad. We did not ask them to be the via medium to understanding Srila Prabhupada's books. What happened to transparency?

One wonders if they secretly know that they are wrong to "clarify" Srila Prabhupada's words and are simply defending themselves, or whether they genuinely think they have the right to edit Srila Prabhupada's words in order to bring Srila Prabhupada in line with his over all message.

In the long term, the decision to hide from the truth and block attempts to refine the editing process may damage the BBT. The devotee community is more and more waking up to the truth. Would it not be better for sales and more pleasing to Srila Prabhupada if they improve their product?