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Hare Krishnas
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    (1965- )
    Born in United States
    Officially known as the International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)
    Founder is His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedenta Swami Prabhupada (1896-1977)
    Modern form of Gaudiya, a 16th century Indian movement based on Hinduism
    Hindu god Krishna regarded as the supreme deity
    Most important sacred text is the Bhagavad Gita (as translated by Prabhupada)
    Main aim is to achieve 'Krishna Consciousness'
    250,000 to 1,000,000 followers with 10,000 full or temple-based members
    The original followers were San Francisco hippies.
    Some former members claim they were brainwashed and held against their will.
    Several students who attended the movement’s boarding schools were physically and sexually abused in the 70s and 80s.
    Full members are forbidden to eat meat, drink alcohol or have sex (except to procreate within marriage).
    Followers are required to chant the Hare Krishna mantra 1728 times a day.
    Required to proselytize, members frequently solicit people on the street.
    Donations have ended up in the personal bank accounts of a number of leaders.
    Prabhupada was 70 when he founded the movement.
    Followers distribute the Bhagavad Gita and other devotional literature for free.
    Members are not required to come from a Hindu family, as is the case with other forms of Hinduism.
    Their charitable program ‘Food for Life’ provides vegetarian meals for the poor.
    The movement was endorsed by George Harrison.
    Leaders sought out former students who had suffered abuse and offered financial compensation.
    Leadership has become more transparent and accountable in recent years.

Credit: Georgina

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