“Never criticize anyone”, an imagined rule in modern ISKCON
Posted on July 1, 2016
Journalist: I think that an awful lot of our readers, and an awful lot of people in the United States are terribly confused with the many people who claim to be avataras and who come from India to this country, one after the other, after the other, and they say...
Prabhupada: I can declare, they are all nonsense.
Journalist: That's what... I wanted to... If you could elaborate on that a little more.
Prabhupada: And I can say furthermore, they're all rascals.
Journalist: The Maharishi for example...
Prabhupada: He was rascal number one. I say publicly.
Journalist: Could you explain that, give me a little background on that and why, because our readers are...
Prabhupada: I do not know, but from his behavior I can understand he's a rascal number one. I do not like to know about him, but what he did... But the wonderful thing is that people in western countries, they're supposed to be so advanced. How they are befooled by these rascals?
Journalist: Well, I think that people believe what they want to believe. They're looking for something, and he comes along...
Prabhupada: Yes. But they want something very cheap. That is their fault.
Prabhupada: Now for our disciples, we don't give anything cheap. Our first condition is character, moral character. You see? So unless one is accepting moral character, we don't initiate, don't allow him in this institution. And this Maharishi was, "Oh, you do whatever you like. You simply pay me thirty-five dollars and I'll give you some mantra." You see. So people wanted to be cheated, and so many cheaters come. They do not wish to undergo some disciplinary action, you see? Anything. They have got money. They think that "I shall pay," and immediately he'll get the money.
Journalist: Instant heaven.
(Press Interview — December 30, 1968, Los Angeles)