Arizona Daily Sun May 20, 1988 Krishnas to inspect Sedona as potential City of God By Stev

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Arizona Daily Sun May 20, 1988 Krishnas to inspect Sedona as potential City of God By Steve Ryan Sun Staff Reporter The leader of the controversial Hare Krishna sect will be in Sedona June 8 to speak and to assess the area's potential as a "City of God." Sedona's beauty and metaphysical presence could make City of God colonization attractive, although the price of real estate in the exculsive retirement community might be out of ths world, said Arizona Krishna spokesman Charles Cooksey, also known as "Dasarath." And if the Krishna movement should become more pronounced in Northern Arizona, don't look for the head-shaved, robed followers at Flagstaff's Pulliam Airport. "It isn't busy enough," said Dasarath. About 450 acres are needed for a City of God, which are planned complexes serving as strongholds of faith by housing thousands of Krishnas and providing for their spiritual needs. The swami travels much and he always is looking for sites for development or acquisition, said Dasarath. While the price of Sedona land could be prohibitive, Krishna leader Swami Bhaktipada will inspect farm land in Snowfleake for possible acquisition, said Dasarath. Snowflake, a predominantly Mormon community located midway between Show Low and Holbrook, is considered a possible site for farming for Krishnas, who are vegetarian, said Dasarath. However, he said he has no reson to consider Snowflake a candidate for becoming a City of God. Bhaktipada, 50-year-old leader of the movement, will speak during his June 8 stop in Sedona. The Sedona stop, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Sunset Inn Conference Room, is part of the swami's first visit to Arizona, said Dasarath. Price of admission is $3. "The Joy of No Sex," the swami's latest book, is expected to be among the topics at the Sedona appearance, sect spokesman William Henry said in a telephone interview from a City of God under construction near Moundsville, W. Va. "It addresses the AIDS problem in a practical way that doesn't require billions of dollars or research," Henry said Thursday. "They are spending billions of dollars on research on AIDS and they know what causes it--the simple thing is for people to stop doing that," Henry said of the disease, which is transmitted in ways including sexual contact. Sex only should be for reproduction, said Henry, adding that, "in nature, lions and tigers have sex once a year." Other topics will include the swami's recent decision to allow women to enter the order of "sannyas," which is the Krishna equivalent of priesthood, said Henry. "The swami broke a 2,000-year tradition to do this," said Henry.


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