Saturday, December 10, 2011

Boost your book sales through Krishna consciousness

"Are you from Dublin by any chance?"
I was stopped on Grafton Street by a book salesman with an English accent who was making the rather safe bet that those walking on Grafton Street during rush hour were likely to be Dublin natives. I responded in the affirmative, noting hints of shaved head under a warm hoddie.

"Tell me - do you ever get stressed?"

As a rule I dislike it when salespeople and street preachers ask me questions to which they already know the answer. It's a very obvious tactic known as the Yes-set Close. I answered that I had, once, been stressed.

"And are you a thinking man?"

It seemed this was likely to go on for some time. I confirmed that, on occasion, my neurons fire. The light was poor but by this time I'd spotted the telltale tilak of a Hare Krishna on his forehead.

"I used to get stressed when I studied Economics at Cambridge University." he continued, perhaps a little too eager to boast of his studies for a man devoted to the renunciation of the self, "but this book really helped me."

After asking some more yes questions ("Do you work in an office?" No, I just enjoy walking the streets dressed for work with a swipe card dangling from my belt) he asked if I'd be willing to make a donation in exchange for this helpful book. Twenty Euro was suggested, and he added that further copies would make excellent Christmas presents.

And now the test.

"I"m wary of giving money to organisations I haven't researched" I started "It's nothing personal. Are you protelyzing? Do you represent a religious organisation?"

He answered no to both questions. His group existed, according to him, solely to promote stress reduction. All monies went to cover printing costs; anything left over was set aside for feeding the homeless.

Now, this is not true. I'd like to say I'd performed an extensive analysis of Hare Krishna finances globally, but I haven't. Still, let's take some snippets:
  • A temple in Boston spends 1,700 a month on deity maintenance.
  • Two decades of institutional child abuse led to $1.4 billion in claims against the organisation. They managed to avoid paying most of the compensation by filing for bankruptcy, but still incurred nearly 10 million in costs.
Do they feed the homeless? Well, that's a tricky one. They are under obligation to spread their religion, and this includes feeding others food that has been dedicated to Krishna. (Side note - this seems less charitable when you realise Muslims and others cannot participate.) I was tempted to assume this meant they did feed the homeless, but I can't find any evidence of this in Ireland. In the UK they have a free restaurant that serves 10 to 15 people a day.

So what is our take home lesson? How do you increase book sales the Hare Krishna way? Lie, cheat, impersonate a charity and deny your faith. Simples!

(Addendum: I bought two hardback books for 10 Euro. I'm confident this is below manufacturing cost so the organisation didn't benefit.)

2 comments:

MiloBoz said...

This is a dishonest cherry picking article aimed at making muslims look bad.. No Muslim countries come up at all for the following terms:

- Rape Fetish
- Beastiality
- rape porn free
- beastiality porn

That is just random ones I typed in .. There is many more without any, or 1 or 2 muslim countrise out of 10.. You're really reaching with this article..

Geoff Shorts said...

"This is a dishonest cherry picking article aimed at making muslims look bad"

This is an article about the sales techniques of Hare Krishnas. To consider it an attack on Muslims would require smoking crack before reading.