My name is Karen Eva Silberstein.  I was also given the name Kamra devi dasi by Srila Prabhupada in December of 1974.   From the time I was very young, I understood that I was God’s child. I knew that I had taken birth from a certain mother, and I even voiced it to her, that I had come from her belly, but that I was God’s child.  She wasn’t too happy about that, and neither was my father.

From an early age, I was asking, what is the meaning of life, where do I go when I die, how did I get a female body, how did someone else get a male body, or a dog body, why am I suffering, how we all have opinions and what is God’s supreme opinion.  I asked the rabbis, the ministers, the priests, the college professors, and so on, and no one could answer anything until I met the disciples of Srila Prabhupada.  Jayadwaita (Swami) may remember how I came to the Henry Street temple in the spring of 1974 after speaking on the phone for hours with Sravaniya, crying so hard that I had finally found the meaning of life.  Dukhahantri may recall how I cried knowing that I finally had something to which I could wholeheartedly apply myself for real spiritual progress, even though it might be difficult.

From my early years, I examined things, I questioned things, and I challenged speakers of so-called truth.  In the first grade, my teacher was introducing the concept of fractions.  She drew a big circle on the chalkboard, put a line through the center of it, and asked me in front of the class, “Karen, is this a half?”  I replied to her that it was more or less a half, and she got livid.  “More or less a half????”  I answered that only the most calibrated piece of equipment could tell if there were more molecules of space on one side or the other.  I couldn’t understand why she got so incredibly angry at my reply…  It made for an unpleasant rest of the year with her.  Later on, I had several of my college professors tell me that they were scared of me from the first day of the semester.  I became well known for finding the mistakes in the textbooks.

I was always a straight shooter, and especially once I came under Srila Prabupada’s shelter, backed with Absolute Knowledge, I had even more purpose to my questioning.  I wanted Truth, I wanted spiritual progress, and when I saw something amiss at the Hare Krsna temples, I tried to do something about it for the sake of keeping the purity in Srila Prabhupada’s institution.  Usually, that went unappreciated and got me in some kind of trouble with the management. I never did well with hypocrisy.

When I was teaching at the school in Lake Huntington, NY, I became aware that the management was bringing a known child molester on as staff.  I protested, naively thinking that my input would be appreciated.  After much tense back and forth with the headmaster/temple president, I was asked if I valued my life.  It was such a shock that I forgot about that statement until many years later. At the time, I went to several GBC men, and the minister of education.  I was told to stop criticizing the temple president and to cooperate with him.  Funny how within a few days of the initial interaction with the temple president, “someone” shot an arrow from a hunting bow from behind one of the buildings that zoomed just past my face….

As a further token of appreciation for my concern for the children and for the purity of Srila Prabhupada’s mission, I was drugged and horribly, indescribably brutalized in the most unspeakable of ways by an organized group of so-called ISKCON leaders.  I was thrown onto a concrete floor and kicked in the head and ribs by one of alleged ISKCON “gurus,” who told me that if I ever challenged his authority again, he would break my neck.  Considering the other unmentionable things that went on, this was one of the minor episodes of this “event.”  This type horrendous thing happened several times more in the years following, and it was not just ISKCON organizational leaders who were involved, but they were side by side with prominent people of the political and church world.  It was such a cognitive dissonance, such an incomprehensible betrayal of my motherhood and my dedicated relationship with Srila Prabhupada, to witness and experience these devotee impersonators, leading members of the organization, men and women, acting in this demonic way, that there was no dealing with it, no one to talk to, and I went amnesic over it for years.  My health failed until I did not know moment to moment, for many long years, if I was dying at any second.  My children hardly knew a well mother.

I was criticized and demeaned for my physical and emotional collapse, especially by those who perpetrated the evil.  One of them, who later went on to get a degree in the mental health sciences and became a great proponent of False Memory Syndrome, said to me, “You used to be a nice devotee.  What happened to you?”

I have prayed for them in the past out of compassion, knowing to some extent the suffering that lies ahead for them.  There is a difference between accidental falldown, which can be excused, and premeditated torture and abuse.  For one who has knowledge, the consequences of sinful activities are greater than for one in ignorance of God’s laws.  My prayers are now different, that they may be caught with their pants down for the sake of the truth being known, and that they may die inglorious deaths, with no more fake samadhis and false glorifications, for the sake of keeping purity alive, and releasing Srila Prabhupada’s name from the atrocities that have become associated with it.

It cannot be expected to be any different, that Srila Prabhupada’s name became linked to all this.  After all, it was his organization, right?  No, not if it did not, and still does not, represent his mood, his teachings, and his mission.

There is automatically a disconnect seeing persons dressed as devotees involved in horrific activities, and then watching those same persons sitting on a raised seat and speaking some scripture, being honored by the masses.  Even worse, if the atrocities are going on with someone singing kirtan, displaying or otherwise defiling prayer beads, playing a recording of Srila Prabhupada in the background, or even holding a photo of Srila Prabhupada in your face while they do the most heinous of things to your body.  Like a stew made of beans and rice and vegetables, if one ingredient is rotten, it is very hard to sort it out, and usually the whole thing must be thrown out.  That there are some people who have been able to sort out what is real, what is of immeasurable value, from the pot of rotten stew is remarkable.  It is rare.  It is praiseworthy.  And I also have to bear the sadness of hearing that some of those most dear to me cannot separate Srila Prabhupada and his teachings from what transpired. Or that others feel bound to speak smugly about Srila Prabhupada and his accomplishments, thinking they know how to do it better.  That attitude alone is an offense, and the ones who worked so hard to warp the hearts of the innocent children, and even adults, will have to face that in their vast ocean of sinful reaction.  If the directive given by Srila Prabhupada himself to discover the agents of Kali and remove them from the society of devotees had been followed, all, or most of, the atrocities could have been avoided.

Looking back, I can only accept it as Krsna’s special protection that I lived through the traumatic experiences.  There was no other way for anyone to survive what happened. But, my physical health is compromised, I live with a lot of pain, and I still process the horror, the panic, and especially the rage and the grief not only of what happened to me, but to others, to the devotee youth, including my own children, and especially around what was done to try to thwart Srila Prabhupada’s super human efforts to spread the pure message of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

The stories of horror that have been presented to me by devotee friends and clients who have found nowhere to go, no one else in whom they can confide or take some  solace, are so awful, that had the same thing not happened to me, I’m sure I also would not have believed it to be possible. Over the years, I have become increasingly embarrassed to be called a “Hare Krishna.”  In fact, I cringe.  There have been vicious rumors spread in the organization about my personal integrity and my practice.  I have been accused of putting false memories in people’s heads, and nearly killing “clients” who, in actuality, never came to me for any sort of care, or real clients who didn’t follow protocol.  I have been told that I am not welcome at most ISKCON temples, that management has been instructed to not invite me or accommodate me in any way.  I have gotten calls from Europe saying that my name is “mud” over there and what is going on?  Not particularly comfortable, I guess they have something to cover up, but for me, I don’t care what happens in the organization.  My goal is not to upset any organizational structure.  My goal is not to topple evil.  They can do what they want to do, carte blanche, but stop doing it in the name of Srila Prabhupada.  For the preaching to go on, his name has to be cleared of all the nondevotional activities, demoniac activities, deviant activities, that have become associated with it.  Many people have told me that they won’t study Srila Prabhupada’s books because of what they have heard about the organization.  And I know a lot of people.  My practice is international.  There is no bigger heartbreak than for me to hear these things from them. This has to change, and it will.

I have read the section in Srimad-Bhagavatam over and over about Vidura leaving the palace of his brother, the badly influenced King Dhrtarastra, who took counsel from his envious son, Duryodhana.  I have embraced the verse, SB 3.1.16 and Srila Prabhupada’s purport to it at the deepest levels of my heart.

“Thus being pierced by arrows through his ears and afflicted to the core of his heart, Vidura placed his bow on the door and quit his brother’s palace.  He was not sorry, for he considered the acts of the external energy to be supreme.”


A pure devotee of the Lord is never perturbed by an awkward position created by the external energy of the Lord.  In Bhagavad-Gita it is stated:

Prakrteh kriyamanani gunaih karmani sarvasah ahankara-vimudhatma kartaham iti manyate  BG 3.27

A conditioned soul is absorbed in material existence under the different modes of external energy.  Absorbed in the false ego, he thinks that he is doing everything himself.  The external energy of the Lord, the material nature, is fully under the control of the Supreme Lord, and the conditioned soul is fully under the grip of the external energy.  Therefore, the conditioned soul is fully under the control of the laws of the Lord.  But, due to illusion only, he thinks himself independent in his activities.  Duryodhana was acting under such influence of the external nature, by which he would be vanquished at the ultimate end.  He could not accept the sound advice of Vidura, but on the contrary he insulted that great soul, who was the well-wisher of his whole family.  Vidura could understand this because he was a pure devotee of the Lord.  In spite of being very strongly insulted by Duryodhana’s words, Vidura could see that Duryodhana, under the influence of maya, the external energy, was making progress on the path towards his own ruination.  He therefore considered the acts of the external energy to be supreme, yet he also saw how the internal energy of the Lord helped him in that particular situation.  A devotee is always in a renounced temperament because the worldly attractions can never satisfy him.  Vidura was never attracted by the royal palace of his brother.  He was always ready to leave the place and devote himself completely to the transcendental loving service of the Lord.  Now, he got the opportunity by the grace of Duryodhana, and instead of being sorry at the strong words of insult, he thanked him from within because it gave him the chance to live alone in a holy place and fully engage in the devotional service of the Lord.  The word gata-vyathah (without being sorry) is significant here because Vidura was relieved from the tribulations which trouble every man entangled in material activities.  He therefore thought that there was no need to defend his brother with his bow because his brother was meant for ruination.  Thus he left the palace before Duryodhana could act.  Maya, the supreme energy of the Lord, acted both internally and externally.

Where there is hypocrisy, the personality of Kali himself is welcome.  There is no way to become free of the influence of this degraded age if there is not purity and integrity.  Srila Prabhupada’s communities and temples were meant to be an oasis in the current desert of degradation.  However, there has been widespread permeation of influences that are not wholesome and do not represent Srila Prabhupada’s mood, mission, and teachings at all.

There was a great Christian mentor and healer I met in 2002.  When she became aware that I was with the Hare Krsnas, she looked at me very sternly and said that she had prayed a lot of people out of that group.  I looked at her just as directly, and told her that the organization and the pure spiritual essence had become separated.  She appreciated that very much, as she had also been excommunicated from the church for praying over too many non-Christians.  We became fast friends after that, it was a deep sisterhood that was indescribable. She left this world only 6 months after we met.  It was meant to be, and we both benefited very much from knowing each other.

I seek no approval from any member of the organization for the preaching that lies ahead for me.  I tried to work within the organization for many years to clean up various anomalies, including the fabricated guru system,  and I already described what happened, along with being ridiculed,  having confidences broken, and friendships destroyed.  I am Srila Prabhupada’s daughter, and he is my best friend and spiritual guide for eternity.  We are never separated, even though he physically left this world in November of 1977.  It is my passionate loving duty, and also his personal request to me, to clear his name from what has transpired in his name, the things that don’t represent his mood, his purity, and his mission.  Then, what he offered to the world can be appreciated by the masses of people who need this wisdom so acutely.

People are looking for Krsna, even if they do not know for Whom they search.  Srila Prabhupada’s transcendental literatures give all the information required to learn to love the Lord, because how can we love someone if we don’t know Who He is? There is a world out there of people ready to hear the great message of the Godhead, which will give the greatest pleasure, fulfillment, and solace to everyone.  There are many so-called philosophies out there that hint at higher truths, but don’t offer anything of substance.  Srila Prabhupada’s books give substance, and make the practice of spiritual life easily available to everyone.

I want to see the mission that was, and still is, Srila Prabhupada’s heart, spread all over the planetary systems.  I want to see the development of sustainable communities that give strength to the individual spiritual aspirant and to the collective preaching mission.  I want to see widespread, local clusters of families and confidential friends who can gather in their homes and study and practice what Srila Prabhupada has given.  I want to see trust in devotee relationships restored as we re-assess ourselves and our position in this material world honestly.

Towards these goals, we have created Purely Prabhupada Inc.  Please see our website, to purchase Srila Prabhupada’s books and to connect with our core group and others who also have enthusiasm towards creating honest and honoring spiritual association and community, in accord with the pure spiritual teachings and integrity of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.