Srila Prabhupada’s Untimely Disappearance–Poison Whispers
Srila Prabhupada was complaining that people were whispering in his room. He ordered them to stop. They did not. Here are some samples, audio enhancements of what some of these whispers were saying (some provided by Isa dasa, reported on VNN, and/or found by CAE and all are in the book “Someone Has Poisoned Me”):
The “Computer Audio Engineering Laboratory” of John J. Mitchell of Albuquerque New Mexico conducted “forensic audio digital enhancements” of the late 1977 conversations between leading secretaries and Srila Prabhupada. Mr. Mitchell found background “whispers” with statements such as: “the poison is going down,” “push real hard it is going down him,” “poisoning for a long time,” “he’s gonna die,” “yes, a heart attack time,” “the poison is in you Srila Prabhupada,” followed by, “he’s going under,” and so on and so forth.
Does it not seem coincidental that the day after Srila Prabhupada states that He has been poisoned, is the day we find the poison whispers in the background? The day after! November 9 and 10: Srila Prabhupada says, “Someone has poisoned me.” November 11: “The poison’s going down!” and “The poison’s in the milk,” etc. Coincidence? The chances in a year are microscopic that the two incidents would follow each other as they have.
CHAPTER 2: POISON WHISPERS DISCOVERED
Almost simultaneously, Isha, Mahabuddhi and Balavanta Prabhus found and focused on several whispers on a tape labeled T-46, the third from the last known recording of Srila Prabhupada, and dated November 10 & 11, 1977. Isha Prabhu, a devotee since 1974 and long-time supporter of the Miami ISKCON temple, stated:
“When I first heard of the poisoning issue I became concerned and investigated by listening carefully to the twenty tapes in my library from Oct-Nov 1977. After thoroughly listening to them I concluded that if Srila Prabhupada was poisoned it was the result of accidental overdose or misuse of his medications. That same day Mahabuddhi called and told me of suspicious whispers he had found on the same tapes of November 1977. I examined the whispers carefully using sophisticated electronic equipment, and had enhancements done on the tapes by FBI approved laboratories. My conclusion after hundreds of hours of analysis is that it is possible that Srila Prabhupada was poisoned. I called Balavanta and asked him if we could form an investigation committee. He agreed that Mahabuddhi, Jagajivan and myself would be on it and that we could create a forum on ISKCON’s COM so we could communicate privately about these issues.”
This reporter also interviewed Mahabuddhi Prabhu, former temple president, former promoter of Prabhupada’s Palace bus tours in New Vrindaban, and founder of the Florida Vedic College:
“We listened to Srila Prabhupada’s tape of November 10-11. My son Mahasimha, when I was out of the room, had heard a whisper, so he called me back and we played this whisper again. We enhanced it and listened to it, and it really sounded strange. We became a little bit shocked, because we thought we had heard something like: LETS POISON IN THE MILK, and the more we heard it, the more we listened to it, about 100 times that night, the more it sounded that way.”
CHAPTER 3: WHISPERS ALARM DEVOTEES
Mahabuddhi Prabhu e-mailed his discovery to Balavanta and phoned Isha. Apparently Balavanta and associates in Alachua were already aware of the whisper, because the next day, November 11, 1997, the Vaishnava News Network, or VNN, posted not only Mahabuddhi Prabhu’s letter on the internet, but also a statement from Balavanta as the newly appointed “GBC special investigator.” Apparently the GBC Executive Committee and the GBC Chairman, Madhusevita Prabhu, acted quickly, without full approval of the GBC, by immediately arranging for Balavanta Prabhu to investigate “independently” the alleged poisoning of Srila Prabhupada, beginning with research into the validity and nature of the alarming whispers.
Balavanta’s report stated, regarding the November 10-11 tape (T-46 or #18 out of the last 20):
“…it contains a whisper which refers to poison. This tape was digitally processed for clarity by an independent laboratory in Gainesville, Florida. According to the laboratory technician the following is the probable contents of the whispered statement. Either:
1. “Lets not poison him and go” or
2. “Lets now poison him and go.”
We are currently sending the tape to another laboratory with more advanced equipment for further investigation. We will report the results of that study as available.”
It is noted here that, to the best of our knowledge, this was the first and last public statement made by Balavanta as GBC Special Investigator. Since then, however, Balavanta Prabhu has spoken with others about the investigation unofficially. He, Mahabuddhi and Isha discussed arranging for more testing on the whispers, and Balavanta disclosed that he had sent the T-46 “poison tape” to the National Audio Video Forensic Laboratory in California, headed by a Mr. Norman Perle. Just two months prior, Mrigendra Prabhu, a devotee attorney and former temple president of Los Angeles ISKCON, had sent the famous so-called “appointment tape” of May 28, 1977, to Perle’s lab to test for evidence of alleged tampering or editing. The appointment tape forensic test results will be discussed later on in Chapter 11 and Appendix 1.
Meanwhile, Isha and Mahabuddhi were finding more incriminating-sounding whispers on the same “poison tape.” In total, as reported on VNN, they were:
1. “Lets poison him and go,” or perhaps, “Put poison in the milk”
2. ” poison ishvarya rasa…get ready to go”,
3. “the poison’s going down, the poison’s going down”
4. “put poison in different containers.”
The level of concern and fear amongst devotees became greatly heightened. On November 30, Isha, very expert in manipulation of computer and sound recording equipment, reported on VNN his own personal findings in regards to the poison whispers on the “poison tape.” They were:
1. Conversations Vol. 36, pg 373: After Srila Prabhupada asks to lie down flat is heard this whisper:
“The poison’s going down..(giggle) the poison’s going down.”
2. Con:36.373: After Jayapataka says, “follow the same treatment,” a whisper:
“Is the poison in the milk? Um hum.”
3. Con:36.374: After Srila Prabhupada says, “Daytime we expose…”, we hear the whisper,
“Do it now.” Then Srila Prabhupada drinks something.
4. Con:36.378: We hear the whispers,
“Jayadwaita… will you serve Srila Prabhupada poison Jayadwaita?”,
then several negative responses followed by “Nette, nette.”
5. Con:36.391: After Jayapataka says, “Should there be kirtana?” we hear a Bengali phrase, and then the whisper “Poison ishvarya rasa.” Srila Prabhupada says weakly and very surprised, “Me?”, then we hear, “Take it easy, get ready to go,” then a few seconds later, “The poison’s in you Srila Prabhupada.” Then, “He’s going under… He’s going under.” Then Hansadutta’s kirtan began.
The audio clips including the above whispers were posted on VNN on December 5, 1997. It is difficult for many to make out the whispers due to so much of the quality lost in that means of transmission. Dozens upon dozens of devotees have been taken by Naveen Krishna Prabhu in Alachua to a local sound studio to listen to the enhanced and “cleaned up” whispers. Most agree, after listening carefully a few times, and there is no doubt in their minds, what the whispers are about: Srila Prabhupada was poisoned in a conspiracy by His own closest disciples. The number of devotees with this experience in Naveen Krishna’s sound studio continues to grow as time goes on.
CHAPTER 7: AUDIO FORENSICS COMMENCE
Up to this point, most analysis was done by the subjective human ear, such as was done by George Blackwell, Harikesh Maharaj and Bir Krishna Maharaj. Mahabuddhi learned, however, that speech recognition has become an extremely diverse and advanced science, as researchers are improving equipment, computers, and software that accurately recognize the human voice. Sounds of Speech Communication by JM Pickett and Acoustic Analysis of Speech by Kent and Reed are two definitive texts on the science.
One of the oldest tools used in speech recognition is still unexcelled in definitive identification of words, namely the Wide Band Voice Spectrograph. It provides detailed information about the many frequencies and intensities of the various sounds which make up the spoken word. The spectrograph clearly presents the complex harmonic structure of voiced phonemes, of which there are only 40 in the English language, being the elements of sound used to produce every word. The voice spectrograph displays one phoneme after another, providing a “picture” of each word, and will have a similar pattern regardless of the accent, cadence, and the peculiarities of a particular voice. Unlike the human ear, the spectrograph is fully objective in identifying spoken words. Voice spectrograph analysis accurately determines even barely audible whispers with a confidence level of greater than 90% and is used by law enforcement agencies and as evidence in court, for decades now.
Mahabuddhi Prabhu consulted with the American College of Forensic Examiners to locate a very professional audio forensic laboratory. He settled on Jack Mitchell with Computer Audio Engineering (CAE) from New Mexico. Although Balavanta had obtained a report from Norman Perle, the results were not released and was considered of dubious accuracy (see Appendix 1). Mahabuddhi understood the grave need for a good forensic acoustic analysis.
This author offered to bear the expenses of the work. Mahabuddhi arranged for the analysis, carefully detailing the whispers’ locations for CAE and how we wanted to analyze EXACTLY what was being spoken. Jack Mitchell was not told in advance by being what we thought the whispers were, as we wanted an unprejudiced analysis without any subtle predisposition of the analyst. CAE was given no information as to the nature of the controversy, but was apprised of the foreign language on the tape.
This author elicited Jack Mitchell’s credentials, given as follows: COMPUTER AUDIO ENGINEERING, Jack Mitchell, A.C.F.E. Member American College of Forensic Examiners
John J. Mitchell (“Jack”), Years experience: 30+/audio – 3/forensic audio. Education: * 1964-1976; The Pennsylvania State University
* Under graduate & graduate study – music education and music composition.
*Began study of electronic music in 1967. Such study includes recording and editing techniques, signal design, analysis, processing and full semester physics courses which were specific to the physics of sound. Have been involved with audio and signal analysis and processing in one form or another ever since.
*1992: Univ. of New Mexico: 1 credit short course – Music and Technology
*Other: Have taught both public school and college. From 1987 to 1995 was the editor/arranger/orchestrator for the John Donald Robb Musical Trust, University of New Mexico Foundation.
Thus far, I am able to boast a realistic 99% success rate with regard to my forensic work. (That assessment has come from clients, not myself). JM
Jack Mitchell owner/engineer: Commercial Audio \ Forensic Audio
Computer Audio Engineering aka: CAE Studio
Web Site: http://biz.swcp.com/CAE… E-mail: email@example.com
After a week, Jack Mitchell called Mahabuddhi and advised him that we should be arranging for legal counsel, as it appeared that what he was analyzing was a poison conspiracy, judging from what he had already found on the tape. Mahabuddhi was pleased that Jack was confirming what he had heard, but also depressed. Three weeks later the report arrived, and stated:
“Each segment was subjected to analysis using both Signalyze and Soundscope software. Methods employed were: F-T-A sonogram display, amplitude envelopes, 100ms segment FFT, LPC formant tracking – of particular interest was F2 trajectory tracking of the tongue movement, sound file amplification and normalization. The analysis activity involves data measurement, aural and visual alignment and segmentation of sonic events. During signal analysis and dialog decoding, nine hours of consultation was done with Dr. Helen McCaffrey, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Texas Christian University.” (see Appendix 2)
This first complete audio forensic report by CAE is included in Appendix 2, and details the exact methods and technology used. Five color spectrographs of the whispers, conclusively verifying their actual content, are displayed on the front and rear book covers, and near the front of the book.
Technical language aside, the heart of the report left Mahabuddhi, Rochan, and this author in shock and depression. Two of the four whispers had been verified as containing the word POISON. There was now far less doubt that there had indeed been a poison conspiracy. Mitchell also verbally communicated that he had isolated another very faint whisper on the same tape which he felt quite sure contained the word poison, but it was too faint to verify by phonemes. He also found whispered words adjacent to what we had asked him to study, such as “We know he’s trying to trap us“, and “I’m not afraid to die”, which, unfortunately, fits in better with the discussions of a secretive and nefarious plot than normal devotee discussions in the course of caring for a prostrate and bedridden Srila Prabhupada.
The first whisper verified takes place on page 373, Conversations Book #36, dated November 10, 1977, but the correct date is the 1th. Srila Prabhupada says, “Hmmm. You make me flat,” and then, in the background, an as yet unidentified person says what had previously been thought to be “THE POISONS GOING DOWN.” However, Jack Mitchell’s analysis ascertains the long, two part hushed whisper to be:“PUSH REAL HARD, ITS GOING DOWN HIM. THE POISON’S GOING DOWN”
The second whisper verified takes place on page 391, Conversations Book #36. (November 11, 1977) Someone speaks three or four words in Bengali, and then Jayapataka Maharaj (it almost definitely is his voice) says what previously sounded to many like POISON ISHVARYA RASA. In reference to this whisper, Bir Krishna Maharaj and Rabindra Swarup Prabhu issued a statement on January 17, 1998, claiming that three Bengalis in Philadelphia (one was Bhakticharu Swami) translated the Bengali spoken as “kayek din pare asha”, meaning “in a few days time”, and that there was no poison word. However, Jack Mitchell’s analysis starts after that loudly-spoken Bengali phrase, and ascertains the subsequent whispers to be:
VOICE 1: Bengali (kayek…)
VOICE 1: POISONING FOR A LONG TIME
SRILA PRABHUPADA: TO ME?
VOICE 2: THAT’S REALLY ORIGINAL.
VOICE 1: GET READY TO GO.
VOICE 1: MY NUMBER’S IN THE PASS (PORT OR BOOK).
VOICE: GOING NOW, (PRABHU).
SOFT ELDER VOICE: (YES, TODAY or YESTERDAY).
VOICE: ANYTHING MIGHT OF HAPPENED TODAY.
VOICE: (LOOK), I’M NOT AFRAID TO DIE.
SOFT ELDER VOICE: VERY GOOD.
VOICE: YOU’RE TAKING IT RIGHT NOW.
SOFT ELDER VOICE: HOWS THIS?
VOICE. LET IT GO.
We can find no positive manner in which to interpret these words; they speak the unthinkable. It is obvious that no definitive conclusion can be drawn simply by listening with the human ear, and that therefore audio forensic analysis should carry much more weight as to what actually is being said, or whispered. The CAE report makes the whispers a hundred times more significant, and, coupled with other evidence, should help convince all those silent fence-sitters with political interests or weak hearts to get off their duff and get behind a broad, impartial inquiry as will be proposed later.
A third whisper was also analyzed by Jack Mitchell, namely the one which takes place on page 380 (November 11, 1977) of the Conversations Book #36. This whisper has been previously reported to be Tamal Krishna Maharaj saying, “Put poison in different containers…” This whisper has been explained by Bir Krishna Maharaj and others to be, “we’re voicing different opinions…”and this is exactly what Jack Mitchell verified.
CHAPTER 11: MORE WHISPERS, NO EDITING
On March 26, 1998, an addendum report was received from CAE. CAE had not yet begun the final testing for possible edits and tampering, but, with the new digital copy of the “poison tape”, there were more whispers discovered, analyzed and noted. After “Poisoning for a long time”, there was more discussion in whispers which has already been added into the earlier report of the whisper analysis in Chapter 7.
But furthermore, on side A of the “poison tape”, November 11, 1977, was found the following whispers:
WHISPER: 00:57.692…“GOING DOWN.”
WHISPER: 03:25.485… “DID IT HURT?”
WHISPER: 21:40…“HE’S GONNA DIE”
WHISPER: 2l:58.64l…“LISTEN, HE’S SAYING…GOING TO DIE.”
WHISPER: 46:51.445…YES, A HEART ATTACK TIME.”
ALSO, on side B of the same tape:
LOWER UNDER-TONE VOICE: (21:25.878;…
“I TOLD YOU WHAT’S GOING ON. ORDERED TO (?).
HE’S AS SLY (SLAY) AS THEY COME.”
This is what CAE found on the new analog to digital transfer tapes received from the Archives. What to make of these new whispers? Again, we see the words “going down,” probably referring again to poison. Thus two separate “going down” whispers confirm each other, being very near each other on the same tape. Heart attack time? Who’s as sly as they come? These secretive whispers about Srila Prabhupada’s death and slyness have raised great suspicions as to the whisperers’ conspiracy to poison Srila Prabhupada.
Also, the whispers CAE had analyzed and reported on in January (Chapter 7) were reviewed on the new tapes and all previous findings were re-confirmed. With McCaffrey’s confirmation, this makes triple verification of the forensic analysis of these whispers, what to speak of Balavanta’s multiple confirmations of the same whispers.
In late April 1998 this reporter received Part Two of CAE’s audio forensic analysis, which focused on the authenticity of the appointment and “poison” tapes, but also revealed again more additional background whispers.
These new whispers found on the poison tape show how audio forensics are able to hear what the human ear would miss or cannot understand, and are listed below to illustrate the point. Background whispering became common in Srila Prabhupada’s room in those last days, perhaps because Srila Prabhupada’s hearing had become so poor that the poisoners no longer worried about speaking incriminating whispers in the same room. But the tape recorder heard them.
When one takes ALL the incriminating whispers together from just one tape, any possible explanation to allay fears of the worst scenario, namely the poisoning of Srila Prabhupada, becomes a real stretch of the credible. Plainly put, these whispers clearly indicate a poisoning conspiracy.
The additional whispers are (entire report is found in Appendix 3):
“IT LOOKS TO ME HE’S STUPID”
“LOOKS THAT WAY, YEAH.”
“LET’S GO OUT”
“ENERGIES CONSERVED AND BUILT UP, AND MANAGED, AND…”
“LET’S REDEEM OURSELVES”
“DID YOU DRINK? HOW MANY?”
“GOD DAMNIT JAY’S …OH GOD”
“FIFTY PERCENT’S YOUR CUT”
“WELL, NO GOOD REASON”
“YOUDOIN’?” SIDE B:
“DO IT AGAIN”
“SOMEBODY COULD EXPECT TO…EXPERIENCE…”
“CHECK THESE THING AND …”
“COULD HAVE BEEN TEN PERCENT OF IT”
“CAN YOU BUCK THE…”
“Fifty percent’s your cut” and “God damnit.”What do we make of this? The most disturbing whisper comes last, where what sounds exactly like Jayapataka Maharaj’s distinct nasal voice, speaking with Srila Prabhupada.
VOICE: “YOU’RE TAKING IT RIGHT NOW.”
PRABHUPADA: “HOWS THIS?”
VOICE: “LETIT GO.”
Taking what? Poison? Medicine? Some of these phrases are very unusual and puzzling. Whatever is being referred to in these whispers, when held together with other evidence (especially Srila Prabhupada’s own words), and knowing the last 22 years of ISKCON history, how could any sensible person not become highly suspicious? Many would become thoroughly convinced that Srila Prabhupada was indeed poisoned by his own leading disciples, the whisperers. This reporter is among the latter.
The whispers indicate at least 3 poisoners; Tamal and Jayapataka are quite clearly heard in some of the whispers. Jayapataka uses the poison word in “Poisoning for a long time,” to which Srila Prabhupada answers, “To me?”