an estimated forty to fifty news media persons present including
five or six TV stations each with reporter and video man, newspapers
with reporters and photographers from AP, Kansas City Star, Topeka
Sun, several universities, high school papers, etc.
made it into the auditorium we (myself and four RVC student-
brahmacaris and one gentleman from the Indian community) needed
to pose several times for media photos. We handed out about
fifty press releases to media.
gave the complimentary copies of the "Hidden History of
the Human Race," promotional literature, letters, videos,
etc. for each board member.
meeting began and 9 speakers were scheduled to address the board,
each allowed about 3 ½ minutes to make their presentation.
The first five were all representing the scientific community
and were outraged that the board had ruled evolution out of
their educational curriculum. Each speaker was hardly able to
stop when they were asked to desist by the chairperson. There
was applause after each speaker showing some support from the
audience of 150. These speakers were mostly professors of science
from local universities and it seemed that some of the board
members were hurt by the ridicule. One of the speakers said,
"The Hare Krishnas are here to give you their support so
what more do I need to say?" One speaker presented the
board with a mock Nobel prize. Several said they were ashamed
to live and teach in Kansas. One professor showed photos of
his granddaughter on her first day beginning school. He accused
the board of murdering her chances for a proper education. It
sixth to speak. I told them that I represented the International
Society for Krishna Consciousness, its scientific branch the
Bhaktivedanta Institute, the Rupanuga Vedic College in Kansas
City and Hindu parents in Kansas.
I told them
that the co-author of a best-selling book "The Hidden History
of the Human Race," Michael Cremo, had written a letter
to them which I would read. I read the letter and finished just
on time. Then another scientist spoke, then a mother spoke,
(assumedly a Christian) who expressed her appreciation to the
board for their action and finally another critic ended the
went into the lobby and were deluged with reporters for over
a hour and a half. We happily explained that Darwin's Theory
of Evolution is not scientific in the least and that the Kansas
Board of Education called Darwin's bluff. We were the most sought-after
persons to interview and photograph. Sometimes the envious science
speakers who were not as popular, couldn't restrain themselves
from throwing in their comments on our remarks.
representatives present were favorable to our stance and to
Hare Krishna. It was delightful to have so much support from
them. Then the big science professor (big physically as well)
who showed the photos, entered into a debate with one of our
brahmacaris down the hall a ways while I was engaged by another
reporter. Their discussion became a bit heated as this man was
the most outspoken of them all. I glanced over and saw three
TV stations videoing that disagreement so I thought it best
to go over and join in. They were speaking about some archeological
find in Texas. The scientist turned his attention on me and
accused me and the Hare Krishnas of not being scientific. I
said, "Well, what about all the archeological findings
which were filtered out by evolutionists because they didn't
fit into the theory's scenario." He became irate and challenged
that we doctored up the footprints and artifacts. He said the
Hare Krishnas were ruining science. I asked him if he read the
Hidden History book. He scoffed and then he brought out the
photos of his granddaughter again and tried to evoke our emotions.
"Shouldn't she be allowed to learn real knowledge?"
he pleaded. I said that Darwin's evolutionary theory is not
knowledge or science, it is pure unsupported speculation. I
told him that Darwin himself condemned his own theory by saying
that to think that the human eye could have been formed by natural
selection was absurd in the highest degree.
people seemed to be delighted that the establishment was being
taken to task. I said the Kansas Board of Education called the
evolutionists' bluff and we commend them highly.
Abrams, a board member, took the pose as a reporter and began
firing questions at the big scientist. He said, "Is it
true that you threatened the board members' lives? He further
asked, "Do you know that 75% of the residents of Kansas
are opposed to evolution. Do think that only the academicians'
opinion should be heard?" The big scientist was quieted.
One of the
younger scientist speakers became humble and inquired from us
about the Vedic views on creation, etc. Then two of the board
members, Mr. Hill and Dr. Abrams, came up to me and shook my
hand firmly and thanked us for coming. Then a while later the
Christian lady speaker thanked us for coming also.
began distributing prasadam sweets to the media and the board
chairperson, Ms. Holloway took one as well. As we were leaving,
the AP reporter asked many nice questions.
newspapers ran articles as did Associated Press and CNN (seen
around the world). All the local TV stations carried the story
featuring Danavir Goswami's interviews and CBS Evening News showed
of the six condemned the board for voting 6-4 to downplay the
teaching of evolution. The two others a Hare Krishna
leader and Celtie Johnson of Prairie Village, a member of an
area creationist group, told the board that it was on the right
track in deciding that local school districts should determine
whether evolution should be taught.
board has taken a bold and brilliant step in rejecting Darwin's
evolutionary theory as a scientific principle," said Hare
Krishna leader Danavir Swami, who was accompanied by several
other Hare Krishnas, all dressed in pale orange robes.
"no experiments and no intermediate forms between species
to back up his guesses" that various species evolved one
from another without the need for an intelligent designer, Swami
said. "Darwin bluffed the world with his speculation and
double-talk, but the Kansas Board of Education has called his
bluff." Swami, who is director of the Hare Krishna college
in Kansas City, said later that he does not support any teaching
of evolution in the classroom.
University doesn't think much of the Kansas State Board of Education's
decision to de-emphasize evolution in Kansas public schools,
but the Hare Krishnas do.
Swami, president of the Rupanuga Vedic College in Kansas City,
Mo., used his allotted three minutes to read a letter from a
Hindu creationist praising the board's decision. After the meeting,
Swami, a member of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness,
or Hare Krishnas, said evolution can't be proved.
Education Board Hears Citizens
Professor, Gorilla, Hare Krishnas Attend Meeting
was not your ordinary board meeting
The leader of a delegation of six orange-robed members of a
Hare Krishna community in Kansas City, Mo., praised the board's
decision and presented a copy of a book that argues against
evolutionary theory and for the creation account in Vedic scriptures.
forum, Swami said there was absolutely no evidence for evolution.
His conclusion was based on evidence from Vedic scripture rather
than empirical evidence, which is faulty, he said.
State Board Meeting Evolves into a Circus
Tuesday, October 12, 1999
An iguana and a gorilla showed up at the Kansas State Board
of Education meeting Monday. So did Hare Krishnas bearing gift
cookies and rare praise for the board members who for several
weeks have been the target of national ridicule.
wouldn't accept the Ig Nobel from Ruden, an award shaped like
a tropical American iguana, she did take from Hare Krishnas
a mushy, round cookie that the Hares said was guaranteed to
"expand your consciousness." Hare Krishna Danavir
Swami, president of Rupanuga Vedic College in Kansas City, Mo.,
said most board members acted courageously to rewrite science
standards so that local school districts could cease evolution
instruction should they choose. "People of many faiths
support what the board has done," Swami said. He presented
each member a copy of "The Hidden History of the Human
Race."Swami said the book offered compelling scientific
arguments against evolution.
is certainly true ... that man was created by God and did not
evolve from an ape," he said.
Kansas Ridiculed For Evolution Ban
Kan. (AP) The state Board of Education got an earful
Monday about its decision to de-emphasize evolution in Kansas
public schools, including ridicule from student groups from
Harvard and support from the Hare Krishnas.
got support from a Hindu creationist, whose letter of praise
was read by Danavir Swami, president of the Rupanuga Vedic College
in Kansas City, Mo. "This is not science," said Swami,
a member of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness,
or Hare Krishnas. "How they can teach that in science classrooms
is beyond me."