Interview with Henry on Vaishnava Voices
September 1, 2023: Henry discussed his books Killing For Krishna, Eleven Naked Emperors, and Gold, Guns and God, with Sitapati and Danna Devi on The Vaishnava Voices, a weekly podcast based in Australia. In their publicity promo, Vaishnava Voices noted:
“The demon and the devotee reside in the same body”—this is a statement that Kirtanananda Swami (aka Srila Bhaktipada) is reported to have said to a group of brahmacharis at New York ISKCON in 1969. Today, we see his statement as prophetic, especially regarding his history in ISKCON.
A controversial figure in ISKCON from the very beginning, the arc of Srila Bhaktipada is a cautionary tale—and one that is not widely discussed and analysed by his former followers and associates, many of whom have gone on to take major leadership positions in ISKCON. One will not find classes on “Lessons I learned from participating in the rise and fall of Kirtanananda Swami” by ISKCON leaders.
It is said that “those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Fortunately, Henry Doktorski has taken up the mantle of historian, and produced an extensive body of work documenting Kirtanananda Swami’s post-Srila Prabhupada disappearance career.
Henry joins us in this episode to talk about his books Killing for Krishna, Eleven Naked Emperors and the ten-volume series Gold, Guns, and God.
Henry explained, “Sitapati Prabhu and his wife Danna Devi were sincerely interested in my books. He had already purchased a Kindle version of Killing For Krishna, and while waiting for me to log on (I lost track of time and I apologized for my lateness) they read a little from the Preface. Swami Bhaktipada, of course, was the primary topic of conversation, but we also spoke about the zonal acharya era of ISKCON, the music which I composed for the New Vrindaban “City of God,” and my own personal recollections of the blissful emotions I experienced while a disciple of Kirtanananda Swami. Of course, I also spoke about the betrayal I felt when I discovered he was not who he pretended to be. I felt we had some meaningful discussion on Sitapati’s podcast, and I hope he will invite me to return for another interview. PS Sitapati said he was going to purchase the complete set of my twelve books!”
To listen to the one-hour 43-minute interview, go to YouTube.
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