More Realizations On Leaving ISKCON
Steve Gelberg's essay inspired many to leave ISKCON once and for all and get their own lives back on track. "If he can do it, so can I," was my reaction when I first read the essay. Reading ex-members' descriptions of how they've differentiated from their cults can be extremely helpful for people struggling with the issues, so I've posted realizations from other ex-ISKCON members.
Excerpt from a letter by Paul Martin, formerly Panchajanya:
ISKCON will never change, and don't try to change it. Don't involve yourself with their s-, move on and create the life you want. Only be around supportive and positive people. ISKCON is negative, and will drag you down. It is a very judgmental society, and judgmentalism is the antithesis of spirituality. Know yourself, and don't denigrate yourself. Celebrate what you are and what you have achieved rather than deride yourself for what you aren't or what you haven't achieved. Don't go on crusades, but learn to live your life in a way that is true for you and harmonious with the universe, rewarding yourself and patting yourself on the back as you go. We can't undo the hurts of the past, but we can choose not to repeat them. We can help others along the way, but not to the extent that we become martyrs. There's no point getting lost again. Find yourself and know yourself. Do things you've never done before. I won't ever eat meat (I was vego long before I met the Hare's), but I did break down other walls.
I have former devotee friends, but I tend to keep my distance from those that are still involved. I find myself today somewhat averse to people who are involved in any religion. It's not cynicism; it's just not that compatible with where I'm at.