“[Shastric Advisory Council] member participation requires bending truth to fit the majority opinion–as has now become the SAC policy“
From: Internet: “Mukunda-datta Dasa”
Date: 18-Jan-14 08:36 (14:06 +0530)
To: Basu Ghosh (das) ACBSP (Baroda – IN)  (received: 18-Jan-14 12:25)
To: “Badrinarayan Dasa”
Cc: “Sivarama Swami” (sender: Basu Ghosh (das)
ACBSP (Baroda – IN))
Subject: SAC concerns
Dandavats, Guruprasada Maharaja. Jaya Srila Prabhupada.
Hare Krsna. Having always trusted you because of your sensible, intelligent, and dispassionate Krsna consciousness, I also appreciate your concern regarding the present state of the SAC. I would like to ask a favor. Despite several months of questioning the SAC chair [Yadunandana Swami] and secretary [Madana Mohana Das] about the ways in which its recent FDG paper was mishandled, I have not received clear, relevant, timely, and accurate explanations from them. Neither has anyone from the EC replied to the (below) list of concerns, which I shared with EC beginning on 31/12/13. I had also asked SAC members (on 8/1/14) to share it with the larger GBC body; SAC has not complied.
Thus, I now feel it optimal—and my moral obligation—to inform the GBC myself, since the GBC has to be informed of SAC wrongdoings. Any decisions following from such tainted papers are likewise tainted.
I know you had previously expressed concerns about both the SAC constituence as well as its most recent paper, and as a GBC member, you can post the concerns I’ve listed below to the GBC conference. If you would, kindly do so now. I apologize if this creates any botheration for you; I only hope my input helps you all to make adequately informed decisions regarding both the SAC generally, as well as its last FDG paper too.
Thank you for your attention, concern, and kind cooperation. I am copying this email to Badrinarayana and Basughosh prabhus, whom Yadunandana Swami has identified as being involved. I hope this meets you well. Hare Krsna.
Your humble servant,
Mukunda Datta dasa
These concerns should be shared among the entire GBC body:
Over the last year, I (Mukunda Datta dasa) have lost faith in the current SAC led by chairman Yadunandana Swami and secretary Madanamohana prabhu, who fail to answer the substance of my questions about why my input was excluded from our recent paper on female diksa-gurus. This led to my withdrawing from the project (see below). Frankly, I sense the current SAC and its recent paper are both contaminated by partisan interests, partly because of the following:
1. Brijabasi Prabhu and I withdrew from the SAC paper only after we were denied our rightful—and any meaningful—voice within it.
2. Each of us separately identified various problems in the paper, but amidst suddenly imposed and restrictive conditions, a last minute SAC policy change (from consensus to majority rule) left us virtually no time to append any adequate response to the majority paper.
3. SAC leadership had significantly restricted both the scope and the objectivity of its FDG research from the very outset, while refusing to identify its de facto methodology when so requested.
4. Pre-existing SAC demographics were stacked so as to favor only one conclusion; I noticed a goal-oriented methodology operating by default—as if the outcome was considered a foregone conclusion, rendering SAC research but perfunctory.
5. Ultimately, no views questioning (nor research potentially jeopardizing) immediate FDG implementation were accommodated in the SAC paper. Secretary Madanamohana prabhu was supposed to have incorporated all members’ input, but all of his drafts of our paper either ignored or distorted virtually all of my input, which he hasn’t explained in substantial detail when asked to do so.
6. Of the four most senior SAC members, two are FDG candidates. Others ignored this conflict of interest when it was questioned early in our discussions. Among other qualities SAC members should demonstrate, the SAC mandate also explicates: “Apolitical” and “Not unduly ambitious for position or achievement, either socially, politically or academically.”
7. Madanamohana prabhu’s only complete draft of the paper wasn’t available for all SAC members themselves to read or edit as planned—until about 24 hours before its 1/10/13 submission deadline. Then SAC inclusion policy was suddenly changed to majority rule, thereby effectively sidelining any dissenting voices.
8. For what it is worth, since August 2013 I’ve had the impression that I haven’t been included in all consequential SAC discussions; however, this tangential suspicion is significant mainly because it coincides with so many validated concerns.
9. On 16/10/13, Yadunandana Swami explicitly stopped sending me SAC emails (citing my supposed breach of a confidentiality clause in the SAC mandate) after I shared my views in reply to a godbrother. My SAC email resumed weeks later (partially or not). When asked since October 2013 what specific allegations justified his action, he didn’t give all the pertinent details requested. Although he has since indicated his exact allegations, in context, his decision appears to have been ulterior, as it better matches a political motivation than my alleged breach of SAC confidentiality.
10. Especially amidst violation of its mandates against partisanship, to only enforce Yadunandana Swami’s interpretation of the SAC mandate on SAC confidentiality doubles as a virtual gag-order that effectively conceals genuine wrongdoings within SAC. Complying with it thus thrusts an unjust moral dilemma upon its victims, who must decide whether obedience is better than truth.
11. As my questions became increasingly pointed, Yadunandana Swami then announced his resignation from SAC, in a pre-planned decision he said was unrelated to the FDG project.
12. Notably, SAC secretary Madanamohana prabhu lately speaks (on 19/12/13) of disbanding SAC altogether, amidst various opinions from other SAC members in recent emails I’ve received.
13. I have not received substantial answers about my disfranchisement from either Yadunandana Swami or Madanamohana prabhu, despite my suggesting exactly how to clarify my concerns.
14. This (and more) seems to leave the SAC in a fairly doubtful state, with many unanswered yet crucial questions about its modus operandi. This is separate from issues about the specific content of its recent FDG paper—though it definitely impacts that as well.
Not at all confident that the recent SAC paper established a fair, objective, and carefully researched conclusion on all the topical questions we were assigned, I didn’t want my name associated with it–especially since I was tacitly denied a voice in it. SAC diligently suppressed both important questions and dissent in its consequently imbalanced and perhaps politically motivated paper. Given that my research was excluded amidst the above factors, to imply that I declined to sign the paper only because I felt a need for further research is misleading. Under the circumstances, it seems my duty to relate the truth of my firsthand experience within SAC to our authorities, as Yadunandana Swami recently advised me. I wrote the EC with essentially the above list on 31/12/13, but it has not replied, nor has anyone in SAC, since my 8/1/14 request that SAC members inform the GBC of these concerns.
One legitimately wonders how each SAC member can substantially contribute to SAC amidst what amounts to implicit censorship, if SAC protocol remains until it is alleged violated (and even then isn’t explicated in much detail), if it is moreover subject to sudden and drastic changes without notice, and if member participation requires bending truth to fit the majority opinion–as has now become the SAC policy.
I remain happy to participate in SAC, though I sense it could use more oversight or even reformation, in order to prevent future abuses.
Your humble servant
Mukunda Datta Dasa