ISKCON’s child protection hypocrisy
I submitted a comment to Dandavats.com last week simply asking how to report violations of ISKCON Law 184.108.40.206.3.9, related to notifying ISKCON communities when a person known to have abused children is being maintained at the temple or staying on temple property. Several comments on other subjects have been approved and published since mine was submitted, but my question has so far been ignored. The top article on the site right now brags about a child protection project, but I cannot help but feel like ISKCON has a predominantly cover-your-ass mentality with the leaders more concerned about protecting their reputations than protecting the vulnerable persons in ISKCON.
Does anyone know an easy way to report serious violations of ISKCON Law by GBC members to the GBC body? In this case, reporting to the Child Protection Office is not a very good option, because one of the persons who participated in breaking ISKCON Law 220.127.116.11.3.9 at Gita-nagari in 2005 was Tamohara, the Director of the ISKCON Child Protection Office. The others were Radhanatha, Malati, and the late Bhakti-Tirtha.
These four, Bhakti-Tirtha, Tamohara, Radhanatha, and Malati, all disregarded ISKCON Law 18.104.22.168.3.9 when they facilitated Vakresvara Pandit to come to Gita-nagari and stay as a V.I.P. for a few months, despite his failure to meet the principle conditions for allowing his participation with ISKCON after the Child Protection Office determined that he had repeatedly molested a child girl only 1/3 his age. The rectification plan in the Official Decision pertaining to Vakresvara Pandit says that he had to comply with its first two requirements or not be allowed on ISKCON property or any participation in ISKCON functions, yet he showed only contempt for the established rectification process. How, then, did these GBC members consider Vakresvara Pandit a safe person, what to speak of his being qualified to sit on the Vyasaasana and give class?!!!
Although these GBC members apparently felt no need to comply with ISKCON’s child protection laws, rules, and official decisions (they made up their own rules for this occasion and broke them too), my wife and I were alarmed to have a child molester living luxuriously in our community, especially without the community knowing of him as a potentially dangerous person. Because I pursued this as a concern consistent with my official duties, I was driven out of the community and eventually out of ISKCON, which I find so obscenely wrong that it undermines everything Srila Prabhupada taught.
Judging by the results at this point — especially when I consider the abuse of over 500 ISKCON children in the gurukulas that Srila Prabhupada founded and had filled by his order, topped off by my experience of losing a popularity contest against a child molester (thanks to such big gurus praising him so much) even while our community was trying to come up with $35,000 to pay part of the child abuse settlement — after fifteen years of chanting Hare Krishna, I can no longer take ISKCON seriously as a spiritual movement. It is time to move on.