chapter  9
Demons and devotees: Hare Krishna and the transformation of consciousness
WithFrank Musgrove
Pages 18

The key point of this chapter is to take further, through an account of a Hare Krishna commune, an issue that emerged in a rather tentative way in the last: that a period of ‘deserialization’ may be an important preliminary to the effective resocialization of adults. Victor Turner cites contemporary hippies and historical Sufism and the Hindu religion of Krishna as examples of ‘communitas’. In fact, counter-cultural hippiedom more closely resembles a preceding phase of liminality or transition. The material on which this chapter is based was collected during a period of residence in a Hare Krishna temple in 1974, when the researcher was treated essentially as a postulant. The International Society for Krishna Consciousness was established in New York in 1966 by Abhay Charan De. It is a puritanical sect (with many similarities to Calvinism) which looks back to the ancient and highly erotic Indian religion of Vaisnavism.