Swami Bhaktipada, a former leader of the Hare Krishna movement, died of kidney failure Monday near Mumbai at the age of 74. Bhaktipada founded the largest Hare Krishna community in the country, called New Vrindaban, in 1968. In 1972 he began building a sprawling Palace of Gold near Moundsville, W.Va. But he was excommunicated from Hare Krishna’s governing body in 1987. In 1996, Bhaktipada pled guilty to one count of racketeering, including mail fraud and conspiracy to commit the murders-for-hire of two of his former devotees. After serving eight years he was released in 2004 and moved to India in 2008.
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