It is a religious sect with deep roots in Hinduism, a sect that celebrates divine love and surrender to the divine will. It is the sect that enthralled George Harrison when he was still a Beatle, and counted him among its most loyal devotees until the day he died. At his cremation in December, two of his fellow believers sat either side of the corpse, chanting.
But the International Society for Krishna Consciousness - better known as the Hare Krishna Movement - also has a dark and violent past that has come back to haunt it. Financial ruin is now on the cards for the Hare Krishnas. In New York yesterday, the organisation's communications director, Anuttama Dasa, announced that the movement was headed for bankruptcy and was seeking protection from its creditors. Later this month the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, or Iskcon as it calls itself, will file for what is known as Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
In June 2000, the organisation was hit with a 0m (