This is an idiot box and it has made idiots of us

Malati: One morning Prabhupada's door was a little bit ajar. Since his door was never open, I was feeling hesitant, almost fearful, "Why is his door open?" I pushed it a little to look inside, not knowing what to expect. I didn't see anything but suddenly I heard Srila Prabhupada say, "Malati, come in, come in. We are watching TV." I went in and he said, "We are going to watch them land on the moon." I was supposed to be making breakfast but I sat down and watched them land on the moon. Immediately afterwards Prabhupada had the TV turned off and said, "They did not go." He looked at the television and said, "This is an idiot box and it has made idiots of us."

Of course, that statement, "They did not go," became quite controversial. There were devotees, including his servant Purusottam, who could not accept Prabhupada's statement and cited it as a reason for their departure from devotional service.

Two years ago in West Virginia – not the most enlightened state – I saw a newspaper headline, "They Did Not Go to the Moon," and an article written by two former NASA scientists. (NASA is the space agency that backed the moon landing.) The article showed a picture of the moon landing and gave evidence that anyone could understand about why they did not go to the moon.

First, there is dust on the moon, so when the spaceship came down, there should have been a huge crater made from the force of the landing. But in the picture the surface is completely smooth and there are no footprints from the astronauts. Second, the shadows of the astronauts are in the wrong direction for the time of day that the picture was taken. Third, in the background you could see a metal apparatus that was holding a light. It was like a stage and once you were informed about it you could clearly see this apparatus holding the light. The writers of the article said that the actual location was some desert test site in either Nevada or Arizona. So Srila Prabhupada needs no vindication, but for those people who doubted his word, he was certainly vindicated. I always wondered if the people who left because of his statement about the moon are back now.