We welcome your letters.
Write to BACK TO GODHEAD
51 West Allens Lane
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19119
This is just to let you know how very much I enjoyed your article on brainwashing in the July issue of your magazine.
I am the parent of a devotee, and I must admit I was pretty upset when she became involved in the Krishna movement and moved into ISKCON Potomac. I was advised to have my daughter deprogrammed. I read up on deprogramming and its ramifications. I also felt my daughter had and has freedom of choice, freedom of religious beliefs. I decided to do nothing. My philosophy is “live and let live.”
Now, four years later, I am thoroughly convinced I made the right move. My daughter has married a devotee, and they are awaiting a child. I myself am not a devotee, but I respect my daughter Jagannatha’s lifestyle and beliefs. To me, it’s a matter of human dignity, respect, and values.
Actually, what is brainwashing? I am a teacher and have great respect for the mind. I also believe in spirituality. Whether we call God Krishna or something else, He is fair and just and very tolerant. To me, that is what is important—tolerance and understanding and love.
Your article substantiated my own feelings and beliefs, and I just wanted to let you know this. Keep up the good work.
Mrs. Carol B. Berman
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In your July issue you ran an article called “Man/Machine Interface,” in which you criticize Time magazine for making the computer “Machine of the Year.” But do you feel that computers are of no value in our society? It’s my guess that even you employ some computers for mailing, banking, and such. Sure we must “keep our eye on them,” but they are useful to us.
State College, Pennsylvania
Our reply: “Man/Machine Interface” didn’t criticize computers per se—only the overestimation of them by Time and overdependence on them by others. However fast and efficient a computer may be, it can’t act independently. It must be built, programmed, and maintained by human beings. Even the most ordinary humans (who will never be chosen for Time’s Man-of-the-Year award) can think and act by their own wills. This puts them far above the most advanced computer. And even the greatest humans are nothing compared with the Supreme Lord, Krsna, who creates and maintains everyone and directs our “independent” actions.
But you’re right in pointing out how useful computers are—even in devotional service to Krsna. Here at the BACK TO GODHEAD offices in Philadelphia, we use a computer to keep track of our subscribers. Some of our writers use word processors, and the very words you’re reading were typeset by a computerized typesetter. Like everything else, therefore, computers are part of Krsna’s energy and should be used to glorify Him.
As the article explained, however, we can exist quite happily without computers, but they can’t exist without us. Ultimately we should feel dependent not on computers or anything else of this material world but on Lord Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.