w.va. Krishnas lose out on `City of God' site JIM THORPE, Pa. (UPI) _ The owner of a mount
Krishnas lose out on `City of God' site
JIM THORPE, Pa. (UPI) _ The owner of a mountaintop resort where a
Hare Krishna sect proposed building a walled "City of God" said
Tuesday he plans to sell the property to another party in two weeks.
Owner Thomas Klitsch declined to identify the prospective buyer for
his 425-acre Flagstaff Mountain Park overlooking Jim Thorpe, but said
the Krishnas were not involved.
Krishna leader Kirtanananda Swami Bhaktipada identified Flagstaff
last November as his top choice for construction of a walled City of God
capable of housing 12,000 people.
The proposed sale of the park to the sect touched off a wave of
protests in the Carbon County community of 5,700, including a rally by
hooded Ku Klux Klan members.
Bhaktipada planned to make an announcement about Flagstaff this
week upon his return from a three-week visit to India, said Gadadhar
Das, spokesman for the New Vrindaban Krishna community near Moundsville,
"But I guess there won't be any need for him to do that now," he
Gadadhar Das said the sect's interest in Flagstaff had cooled
considerably because of the opposition. Many of Bhaktipada's followers
"didn't feel that would be the type of atmosphere to build a City of
God in," he said.
"Our philosophy is to live and let live, and we don't want to
force anything on people," he said. "So it worked out to everybody's
Klitsch said he planned to sign an agreement of sale March 16 and
would release details the following day. Klitsch said previously he was
seeking $1.5 million for the property.
Krishna planners have proposed building 12 largely self-sufficient
cities worldwide. Although each City of God would have a normal
population of 12,000, it could provide temporary haven to 42,000 people
in times of emergency.
Gadadhar Das said members were looking at other possible City of
God sites but not actively seeking them out. He described the process as
a "research mission" and said the sect does not "have the money in
pocket to plop down on a property."
Among the sites apparently still under consideration was Rocky Glen
Park at Moosic in Lackawanna County. A public meeting last month drew
about 800 people opposed to the amusement park's possible sale to the
Moosic officials have said borough zoning laws would block the use
of Rocky Glen as anything other than an amusement park.
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank