Tuesday, March 29, 2011
In the fall of 1998 I found myself living in the Berkeley California ISKCON temple. I was quietly endeavoring to establish a Food For Life program (free Prasadam or vegetarian sanctified food distribution program) through the Berkeley temple. I was attempting to tap into some local, state, and federal programs that gifted grants to non profits who seek to feed the homeless, needy etc. I found several programs that I thought the temple would qualify for, ISKCON Berkeley being a registered 501(c)3 charity organization, I expected it would be a breeze to get some public funding. However when I started to go through the books of ISKCON Berkeley I found nothing that I could use. Instead of finding usable tax records for the past three years, (something required to apply for the program that seemed to make the most sense) I found a very shocking and disheartening paper trail of corruption. Disheartening because it meant that we would not get the funding to run Food For Life on the scale that the Founder of ISKCON wanted, and disheartening because everything that I had been led to believe about the temple was a lie shattering before my very eyes.