w.va. Krishnas lose out on `City of God' site JIM THORPE, Pa. (UPI) _ The owner of a mount

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w.va. 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, W.Va. "But I guess there won't be any need for him to do that now," he said. 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 satisfaction." 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 Krishnas. Moosic officials have said borough zoning laws would block the use of Rocky Glen as anything other than an amusement park.


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