Shocking revelations from 8,000 pages of transcripts of Gabbard’s spiritual guru reveals racism in the sect at the centre of her life and her 2020 presidential campaign.
Questions about Tulsi Gabbard and her family’s ties to Chris Butler, a self-styled guru and founder of an offshoot organisation of the Hare Krishna movement called The Science of Identity, have dogged the 2020 Democratic Party presidential candidate since the moment she ran for a seat in Hawaii’s state house aged 21 in 2002.
Whereas the now 38-year-old has dodged and deflected the influence and role Butler and his sect have played in shaping her views in the past, she has become more forthright about her association and involvement with him in recent times, telling The New Yorker in 2017 that Butler had shaped her Hindu identity. She expressed her “gratitude to him for the gift of this wonderful spiritual practice that he has given to me”, adding that she had never heard him say an unkind thing.
She must answer further questions about her ties to Butler now that a source close to Science of Identity has leaked to me previously unheard audio recordings of her guru describing Muslims in the most viciously racist ways imaginable, alongside what appears to be a 2018 video of Gabbard attending a ceremony in which she and other attendees are seen giving praise to an altar carrying a framed photo of Butler.
The tapes and the accompanying transcripts, which run to more than 8,000 pages, document lectures given by Butler to his flock in Hawaii from the late 1960s to 2006.
“They [Muslims] are demons. They’re demons that go ‘Allalalalah’. It’s bullshit.”
In another, he says: “There’s absolutely no value in putting up with this dog shit [Islam] in the name of tolerance.” He then goes on to compare Islam with Communism, arguing that once Communists come to power “you’re dead, you’re finished, you’re gone… It’s the same with the so-called Muslims.”
Butler also falsely claims that Islam spread to India and destroyed Hinduism, contending that “when the Muslim invaders entered India, they engaged in the most demonic of activities” and that “instead of having faith in God, they engage in demonic activism to force people into becoming members of their own team, or their so called religion by force,” including smashing Hindu temples, erecting mosques in their place and “shoving meat into the mouths to make them so-called Muslims, so that they’ll longer be accepted by Hindu society.”
He is also fond of mocking Islamic culture and claims that Muslims are producers of art only because their religion does not permit illustrations of the Prophet Muhammad.
“Muslims make a lot of nice paintings,” he says. “A lot of scribbles! Ever see a Muslim rug? It’s very beautiful, very fancy, all kinds of scribbles. Why? Because they can’t depict anything other than scribbles or they go to jail. They think God is a scribble. When they leave this body, all they’ll see is scribbles and flowers and onions and the sword, of course.”
These tapes make clear that Butler views Islam as a geopolitical threat and a potent source of global instability. And it is through this lens that Butler views all geopolitical struggles, including the 70-year long rivalry between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, claiming: “Now these nut cases are trying to get the atom bomb.
Oh, great! Accept Allah or we blow up your country. There’s only one reason Pakistan hasn’t dropped atom bombs in India? That’s because there are 200 million Muslims still in India. As soon as they leave – BOOM!”