Do you remember back in the day when you could not go to the airport or a city park without seeing and hearing a gaggle of Hare Krishnas, singing chanting, jumping around and generally scaring the townsfolk?
Well, what happened to them? Where did they go? It took me about twenty years to notice they were gone, but I did notice. So I did what any professional journalist would do when I want to learn about something. I Googled “What happened to the Hare Krishnas?”
Obviously, other people had been Googling it too. I didn’t even get all of the word “Krishnas” typed before it popped up. It was at about “Krish…” when the whole word appeared.
Sadly, like most cults, it’s not a happy story. According to various news stories, the Krishna movement took a major hit in the 1970s and 1980s with child abuse scandals at boarding schools in the U.S. And India. Then they had financial problems. (Insert Catholic Church analogy here.)
Today, what is left of the Hare Krishna movement is made up mostly of Asian people living in the U.S. And Canada, and they tend to be affluent professionals with nice cars and nice homes. Which is wildly ironic, if you think back on the Krishnas of the 1970s, who were all about giving up the material world, in favor of wearing robes and dancing around in public like a jackass. It was like they were saying “Hey Mr. Business Man, why do you look so sad, while I who have nothing am in a state of pure bliss?”
All that time we were thinking that some of those unhappy people in suits might give it up and join the drum circle. And then what actually happened is that the guys in the robes put on business suits and went for the pot of gold. Or at least the Lexus and the split level condo.
Upon further review, I learned that the Hare Krishna movement was founded in 1965 by his Divine Grace (according to whom it did not say) A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Who has since died of exhaustion from writing his name on documents.
Hare Krisha is an offshoot of Hinduism that teaches people to chant and meditate and thus experience bliss and a higher consciousness.
\Krishnas worship Krsna, which is thought to be the source of all incarnations of God. (whatever the hell that means.)
Followers are supposed to abstain from meat, alcohol, gambling and ellicit sex. Though no mention was made of bans on heroin or Facebook.
Frankly, I’m glad Hare Krishnas are not at the airport anymore. Flying is stressful enough without having a hoard of noisy dervishes clanging their way through your final boarding announcement to Minneapolis/St. Paul.
I’ve always had a bad feeling about religious cults. Cult leaders always want all your money, and to cut you off from your family and friends and to have sex with your children. Those factors, for me, are deal breakers.
And rightly or wrongly, I’ve always viewed people who join cults as mushy headed, gullible freaks. And by “cults,” I’m even including Triple A and the Rotary Club.
No word on where all those Krishnas from the 1970s went, but I’m guessing Florida is going to enjoy a big wooden flute boom in the not too distant future.
Have PoliticalMavens.com delivered to your inbox in a daily digest by clicking here