Many of you in our community may not be aware but these intimidation and hate tactics have been going on for a long time now. There are people who even go so far as to keep lists of who is a Krishna devotee, take their pictures and put them on the internet, label innocent people as “child of cult,” and use intimidation tactics like muttering “cult” under their breath at the grocery store! Or worse, they anonymously post false and slanderous statements about Krishna devotees on the internet, without fact or substantiation.
What is this insanity and why is it being tolerated and even propagated in our community? They publish the names of “Krishna” businesses in the hopes of hurting honest businesses that are run by Hindus. Then, as we’ve seen recently, an accident happens in the community and someone involved happens to be Hindu; without any investigation they immediately accuse the Hindu driver of murder and start warning people he’s “one of them,” “part of the group,” etc. and the whole focus becomes an attack on all the people of this particular minority faith. They truly are Krishnaphobes—people with an unreasonable fear of followers of Krishna. They harbor fear and hatred towards those who follow Bhagavad Gita and Hinduism, one of the world’s oldest scriptures and one of the world’s largest religions. I’ve seen such fears expressed in Facebook comments like, “Isn’t Krishna a cult?”
Many people in our community have become so Hinduphobic as a result of this pervasive and malicious gossip that they automatically assume even ordinary investigative procedures are part of a Krishna cult conspiracy. For example, as per standard policy, in the initial stage of the accident investigation, authorities had not yet released the name of the boat driver. They were following the exact same policy applied to everyone, across the board. Yet I’ve seen countless comments stating it was the “cult’s” insider influence, it’s the conspiracy, the cult driver is politically connected, the “cult” driver is being given special treatment, etc. It’s insanity. People’s intelligence is being so clouded by their fear and bigotry they can’t even observe basic facts, such as that the authorities are following their normal procedure.
For other people, the hate goes far beyond trying to scare and marginalize Vaishnava Hindus. I have friends who were repeatedly harassed when they were surfing by people who accused them of being in a “cult.” Other friends have been harassed by anonymous phone calls to police warning of “suspicious behavior” (which of course was never substantiated). Their children went from thinking the police are their friends to being scared of the police. Then you have people like Nick Kekoa Vallert, who recently posted this comment on Facebook:
“Ok I have a great one. Knowing who the cult is and there [sic] type of antics they do in the water, I decided to strike back in a non violent way lol. I was fishing all day and had plenty leftover bait that I could not refreeze, as driving by the mokuluas I saw them surfing the reef. And only them. I decided to get rid of the bait, really close to them. Nothing happened but was a good scare tactic I thought lol”.
This is not a scare tactic. He was deliberately chumming for sharks where there were Krishna devotees surfing in the water, in the hope they would get attacked by sharks. The fact that not one person who read the comment even spoke out against it, shows how hateful the environment has become for Hindus and how socially acceptable it has become to not only call them epithets, but to try to get them killed.
Who is spreading hate towards Hindus in our community?
So who are the people in our community spreading this hate? I guess one positive of this situation is that it has exposed Hinduphobes in our community. Unfortunately they come from a wide spectrum of background and political affiliations – you have those on the radical right, like Andrew Walden (the head of the Hawaii Free Press) going on witch hunts after Hindus. Then you have those on the “progressive” left who supposedly support freedom of religion yet seem to think those principles apply to everyone except Hindus. However, they all have one thing in common: 1.) They are religious bigots/Hinduphobes and 2.) They have their own political agendas and are trying to take advantage of Hindus/Krishnas for their own political purposes.
Unfortunately, there have been so many people recently who have made fearful, hateful, and even threatening statements recently towards Krishna devotees that there are too many to name here. But there are a handful of people who have been so vocal about in their spreading of misinformation and hate that they are worth mentioning by name:
Rama Ranson (who is not even a resident of Hawaii) and his blog are the source of many of the vicious rumors circulating around the island right now about Vaishnava devotees. He has used the boating accident as a platform to spread his anger and hate.
Seizing this opportunity is not surprising because Ranson has been trying to do this online for years. What IS surprising is the gullibility of otherwise intelligent people in our community who are actually believing (and spreading!) the false and horrible things Ranson says about Hindus.
Rather than give scrutiny to Ranson’s outrageous and hateful comments, forums like the My Kailua Facebook page, have given a free platform to Ranson’s absurd accusations.With so much support, it’s no surprise that Ranson has used the recent tragic accident as an opportunity to publicly “out” Hindu members of the community, giving their names, names of their businesses, etc.- – anything to cast doubt, hatred, and suspicion on Krishna devotees in the community.
Rama Ranson is someone whose parents practiced Vaishnava Hinduism. He did not like their beliefs and instead of going on with his life like any normal person who disagrees with aspects of his upbringing, he has spent years trying to harm his family and spread hate and fear toward Hindus. I know his mother, who told me that when she and her husband stopped giving financial support to their adult son, Ranson sent her and her husband messages including this one:
[WARNING: Graphic material contained]
- Fuckin’ sellouts. You make me sick.
- NOW you are beyond a doubt TRULY PATHETIC, you can’t even talk to me YOU SICK FUCKS!
- WORTHLESS PATHETIC you should have NEVER HAD CHILDREN, YOU FUCKING SCUMBAGS!
- Yes, I am talking straight at you, ROBIN RANSON and ALAN RANSON, you are SICK JOKES.
- You will truly suffer from your hideous actions. Run and tell that, SoI spooks, you are slimy worms. get a real life.
- ROBYN LYNN RANSON and SUDAMA PETER RANSON a.k.a. LAKSMANA DAS RANSON are the biggest scumbags to ever walk the face of the earth.
- If what I say makes you cry, good, I am glad it is finally in your face.
Actually Ranson posts all of his above messages to his parents on his own blog and doesn’t seem to think there is anything wrong with it. Follow any belief that you want, but as far as I’m concerned anyone who speaks to his mother in such a disrespectful way has already discredited himself.
On his blog he also recounts others messages he sent to Vaishnava Hindus:
- “Also, it’s going to be a lot of fun when I visit Nana and Grandad, eh? should I call you a cunt to your face? Or just a cult member?”
- “Dude what the fuck man? Are you really a fucking cult member?”
- “Yo what’s up with your real dad?
- Varo and Jan sure fuckin cult smacked that dude out of the picture”
- “Let me spell it out, bro
- “Say something back Nanda, you fucking pussy.”
- “You are not a man or even a human, Nanda, until you stop acting like a cult member, brainwashed mu’fucka!”
- “Be a fuckin man, not Varo’s little bitch boy.”
- “Does your fucking brain work?”
- “Here you go Nandies, you pathetic fuck.
- Good luck with your image and career, shithead.”
- “better reply quick, mate.”
Hopefully this gives a little perspective on Rama Ranson’s state of mind. Meanwhile, Rama Ranson says so many untrue things online about Hindus it’s hard to know where to begin. Mostly he just uses words designed to conjure up fear and loathing, like “infiltrated”, “obscure”, “cult”, “crazy people”, “local violent gangster group”, “puppet master”, “suave boy toy”, “cult kid”, and on and on and on. In fact, many of the people on the “My Kailua” Facebook page seem to be basing their fear of Krishna devotees almost exclusively on the fears and statements of Rama Ranson and the “Flashlight_on_Roaches” blogster who hides behind a cloak of anonymity.
From my perspective, Rama Ranson discredits himself with his own hateful and bigoted statements so it’s very shocking to me how readily some people have accepted his anti-Hindu propaganada and even spread it around. Of course if someone already harbors hatred or fear towards Krishna devotees, then they’ll accept any nonsense that comes their way if it reinforces what they already believe.
In conclusion, Rama Ranson is an extremely vindictive, irrational, and unstable young man. The court seems to agree. He lost a defamation suit, and a protective order against him was granted to his mother, Robyn Lynn Ranson, because she was afraid her son would harm her family.
Henry Jolicoeur describes himself as a French Canadian psychotherapist who has visited Hawaii 40 plus times on vacation. Jolicoeur claims to be a “deprogrammer” and “rebirther,” advertising on the internet offering to hypnotize people. He has been using his wealth and free time to stalk Vaishnava Hindus online for some time. On internet forums he is known as Dabcult and regularly launches into anti-Hindu diatribes. He also has described former presidential candidate Mitt Romney as a “cult member” because he is Mormon. Once I even saw him speak about Mazie Hirono as being in a Buddhist cult. It’s sad Mr. Jolicoeur didn’t use some of his vacation time to absorb the spirit of aloha in Hawaii.
He has posted numerous videos online castigating Hindu beliefs and openly partners with the anonymous blogger “Flashlight on Roaches” as well as Rama Ranson. In one of his online videos, Henry Jolicoeur explains in detail that all Hindus who believe that Krishna is a real person and believe in the Bhagavad Gita are, in fact, dangerous and should not be allowed to hold public office. This applies to millions of Hindus around the world of course and meets the very definition of bigotry.
Due to his many defamatory public statements, Jolicoeur was recently slapped with a defamation judgment.
“Flashlight on Roaches”
Honestly this is embarrassing to me that I have to spend my valuable time pointing out to people in Hawaii that an anonymous character on the internet who calls himself “Flashlight on Roaches” is not a credible source of information on a peaceful, loving spiritual path that dates back thousands of years. I’ve been shocked and dismayed to see otherwise normal, supposedly intelligent people like Nestor Garcia, former KHON2 news reporter and City Councilman, and Senator Will Espero, actually giving credibility to this unknown person who obviously harbors extreme hatred towards practitioners of Vaishnava Hinduism. If an anonymous person throws up an anonymous blog full of hate towards a particular religion why would anyone want to pay attention, what to speak of spreading such unfounded malicious gossip?
The very title of this person’s blog lets you know how he feels about Vaishnava Hindus: followers of this religious path are roaches in his mind, disease-spreading insects. It shows how badly he is trying to completely dehumanize and demonize Hindus, especially devotees of Krishna. It brings to mind how fascists in Germany referred to Jews as “vermin” that needed to be exterminated.
It’s hard for me to imagine how otherwise intelligent people are actually ascribing credibility to this anonymous character. What do they do, talk with their friends and family at the dinner table and say, “Oh, you know what? I heard such and such is in the cult.” “Oh, where did you hear that?” “I read it on Flashlight on Roach’s blog.” If someone in my family or a friend said that, I’d seriously wonder about their mental health. It’s astonishing to me that people are actually giving credibility to this anonymous person, who has never once publicly identified himself.
While “Flashlight on Roaches” stays anonymous himself, he has no problem saying all kinds of horrible and untrue things to publicly smear innocent Vaishnava Hindus in the community. He posts their photos, businesses, family members, etc. online in a vicious attempt to try to humiliate and intimidate them.
How is that otherwise intelligent people are justifying their physical and verbal attacks on Vaishnava Hindus? Because it is approved by “Flashlight on Roaches?” It reminds me of the insanity of pre-teen girls trying to kill their own friend because they wanted to please “Slenderman” – a dark, fictitious character on the internet. I guess some people are so absorbed in the world of the internet today that they have a hard time using their intelligence and distinguishing between fact and fiction. “Oh I read it on the internet, it MUST be true!” This is the power of the internet and “Flashlight on Roaches” knows it.
Roach’s blog largely comprises of long-winded innuendo and accusations about practitioners of Vaishnava Hinduism with the clear intention of intimidating and harassing them.
Mainstream News Media
I have found it particularly shocking how mainstream news media have helped to foment the lynch mob mentality that has erupted around the case. One eyewitness of the boating accident made a well thought comment on a prominent news piece:
Kristyn Hall: “I find this post to be very misleading and more of a paparazzi/gossip than factual news. I witnessed majority of the incident first hand and with photos. It was most definitely tragic for both parties involved. Especially for the man who lost his life and his family. I hugged them and gave my condolences as they identified there loved ones body later that night at the beach. I also briefly spoke with the owner of that boat. I feel as if I’ve lost some respect for the news stations here in hawaii and the way this story is exaggerated, as if the other responsible party of the incident should be shamed upon for intentional reckless actions. Present all aspects and the whole Rheem of things. That would be the difference between news and gossip…. I don’t know either of the parties personally I just happened to be there the whole time. It seems when something tragic happens people are looking capitalize one way or another. We should be supportive and allow these families to grieve.”
As a further example of how members of the mainstream media are fomenting hate and vigilantism, one prominent news site allowed this comment on their Facebook page (with 15 likes!) – physically threatening retaliation:
Yup, that’s ok they won’t publish the drivers name…..but the Kailua boys know who u are! Haha, that’s aaallll that matters now biotch!
Let’s hang em like the kkk
Can anyone imagine mainstream media allowing people to threaten a Muslim, Catholic, Christian or a person of any other faith on their Facebook page? I certainly can’t. But TrisAllan Enos Manuel’s threat is a perfect example of the kind of hate and vigilante mentality that is being propagated.
Here are other hateful and bigoted comments I’ve seen in the mainstream media:
Hawaii News Now needs to keep media pressure on this CULT & its member who was driving the CULT’s boat until he is held accountable.
Money, cult, zombies, ninjais political insiders. 5 reasoons and counting
Fyi, it’s the cult boat from lanikai,those people are weird anyways.
TOO BAD THIS RICH WHITE BOY,FEELS THE OCEAN IS HIS PERSONAL PLAYGROUND AND HE CAN DO WHAT HE LIKE IN IT……….IF DLNR AND THE COPS NO DO SOMETHING,, THEN TIME FOR THE PRIMO WARRIORS TO TAKE CARE THIS WHITE OKOLE
Other People Spreading Fear and Hate Towards Hindus:
“And when you encounter one of the cult spit on the ground right in front of them.”
I don’t want to leave anyone out, so it’s worth mentioning other people who I have personally observed fomenting fear and hatred towards Hindus in Hawaii. Call this my “Wall of Shame”:
Jason Timm Take the cult down!!!! Fuck those donkeys!!
Cody Meek Fuck i had a feeling it was those donkeys. No let them in our waters anymore whatsoever
Warren Hassett I like be in the movie!! You know I play the guy who comes down with the hammer and nails these fucking clowns!!!
Micah Pregitzer The cult that infiltrates everywhere quietly. Then they get discovered and the people rise up against them. But everywhere they turn for help it’s the cult. Lol
Jen Mosher February 6 at 12:03am.
Justice & end to this destructive cult is imperative.
Nick Kekoa Vollert Ok I have a great one. Knowing who the cult is and there type of antics they do in the water, I decided to strike back in a non violent way lol. I was fishing all day and had plenty leftover bait that I could not refreeze, as driving by the mokuluas I saw them surfing the reef. And only them. I decided to get rid of the bait, really close to them. Nothing happened but was a good scare tactic I thought lol.
Kauila Miller i care, fuck this fucken cult of fucken soft scrub bitches. Get these fuckas out of our hometown fucken kooks.
Patrick Eastering Krishna cult = corruption.
Patrick Eastering It has taken too long. I have spoken to and written to DLNR, the Prosecutor’s office, and several Kailua politicians. Let’s keep the pressure on. And when you encounter one of the cult spit on the ground right in front of them.