ISKCON Governing Body Commission Society
Under the Societies Registration Act, West Bengal
Registration Number: S/74662
Regd. Office: Sri Mayapur Dist. Nadia, West Bengal, INDIA 741313
Official Statement of the Governing Body Commission Regarding Abuse in Mayapur and the CPO Decision Against (the previous) Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami, aka Anirdesya Vapu dasa
November 24, 2022
Dear ISKCON Devotees and Friends,
Please settle for our humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
The ISKCON Governing Body Commission (GBC) expresses our heartfelt ache and deep concern upon studying of the abuse of a few of our members and kids as documented within the October 28, 2022 report of the ISKCON International Child Protection Office (CPO).
The report ascertains that Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami, aka Alan Ross Wexler, now to be generally known as Anirdesya Vapu dasa, repeatedly engaged within the sexual abuse of a minor woman, in addition to different types of sexual harassment, emotional and psychological abuse of minors, and likewise engaged in sexual acts with an grownup lady. He has admitted to a few of these grave offences whereas beneath investigation.
Such behaviors are immoral, in opposition to Vaishnava rules, and in gross violation of the vows and duties of any Vaishnava, particularly one within the renounced order of life. We spotlight right here that for somebody of Anirdesya Vapu dasa’s seniority and stature in Mayapur, sexual relations with any individual of a junior standing, even an grownup, is, by definition, pastoral abuse.
Our prayers exit to the victims of Anirdesya Vapu dasa, in addition to their members of the family, mates, and others who’ve suffered and been impacted by his egregious acts. We pray that Lord Krishna offers you all of the energy to heal from the horrible struggling you’ve gotten endured, and we give you our help in that therapeutic in no matter methods we will.
The GBC is dedicated to uphold the choice of the CPO Panel relating to Anirdesya Vapu dasa. We direct all ISKCON authorities to be absolutely knowledgeable of this choice and to abide by it in its entirety (as with all CPO selections), because it incorporates restrictions that should be utilized internationally.
Regarding Mayapur, the place the abuse occurred, we observe that the Mayapur Executive Board (MEB) has additionally pledged to uphold the choice of the CPO. The ISKCON Sannyasa Ministry just lately introduced extra interim restrictions and mandates on Anirdesya Vapu dasa, pending its personal full investigation. The North American Council (NAC) has introduced it should decide its personal extra restrictions, as ISKCON areas are empowered to do, as per ISKCON Law and CPO Guidelines.
It needs to be understood that this case has surfaced a long time after an preliminary choice in opposition to Anirdesya Vapu dasa by the CPO. In that call, he was discovered accountable for the bodily abuse of scholars beneath his care in Mayapur and he was restricted from instructing or managing any ISKCON faculty. However, we now study that extra damaging types of abuse have been later perpetrated by the identical particular person.
Although ISKCON has prioritized the safety of kids for 25 years, this affirmation of additional abuse inside our worldwide headquarters, and by the hands of a senior ISKCON sannyasi, should function a loud wakeup name for all ISKCON members.
We are sadly reminded of the painful occasions of 1996, when a dozen former gurukula college students spoke to the North American GBC and Temple Presidents concerning the abuse they suffered in ISKCON affiliated colleges within the United States and India within the Nineteen Seventies and Nineteen Eighties. The shock of these revelations led to the formation of the Children of Krishna group (which assisted former college students with monetary grants), and shortly afterwards the worldwide ISKCON Child Protection Office. That workplace, beneath a succession of succesful leaders, has accomplished outstanding service in making ISKCON safer for youngsters and households, when it comes to coaching, schooling, adjudication of alleged abuse, and prohibiting abusers from entry to our communities.
Yet, we’re reminded once more that it stays the obligation of every one in all us — GBC members, gurus, sannyasis, ministers, temple authorities, in addition to particular person ISKCON devotees, to be on guard to guard our susceptible members. We should create a stronger tradition of prevention of abuse, whereby all our members are secure and any suspected abuse is known as out, investigated, and addressed in a clear method. As devotees, it’s our pure assumption that no Vaishnava, particularly a senior one, would commit the sorts of abominable actions which have been revealed on this case. We have to rid ourselves of such naivete.
For the devotees who’ve beforehand taken shelter of Anirdesya Vapu dasa, please know that to the extent his directions have been aligned with Srila Prabhupada, these directions stay of profit to you. More importantly, keep in mind that you, and all ISKCON devotees, have an important reference to Srila Prabhupada, our Founder-Acarya and preeminent siksa guru, who continues to information us by his teachings, in addition to participating us within the 9 processes of bhakti.
Srila Prabhupada taught us that we shouldn’t be stunned who falls away from Krishna consciousness however be stunned who stays. By this, Srila Prabhupada is reminding us to maintain ourselves all the time near the lotus ft of the Lord, and the directions of our gurus, Founder-Acarya, and former acaryas. If we accomplish that, we will be protected.
We observe that 2023 would be the twenty fifth Anniversary of our ISKCON Child Protection Office. For the final three years, two particular working teams comprised of GBC members, CPO representatives, attorneys, and different involved devotees and advocates for youngsters, have been reviewing the CPO processes to see how we will collectively enhance and strengthen baby safety in ISKCON. We stay up for the findings of these working teams inside the subsequent three months, and we pledge to do all the things we will to strengthen and enhance our baby safety methods in ISKCON.
It stays the accountability of each one in all us — beginning with ISKCON GBC members — to guarantee that our communities are secure and that our official Child Protection Policies, in addition to insurance policies in opposition to pastoral abuse and different types of abuse, are efficient and enacted to guard our kids and our communities. This is the easiest way to show and weed out potential abuse from inside our ranks.
In closing, we once more ship our prayers, our ideas, and our assist to all those that have suffered abuse inside ISKCON colleges and communities, and particularly to these impacted by this current revelation of abuse in Mayapur. We request and encourage all ISKCON devotees who, like us, discover such reviews extremely disturbing to turn into concerned together with your native Child Protection groups, to assist enhance our nationwide and regional baby safety places of work, and thus assist our households and kids in your native areas.
May Srila Prabhupada information us all in making ISKCON really consultant of the Vaishnava values of affection, safety, and care that he taught, and expects, of us all.
On behalf of the ISKCON Governing Body Commission Members,
Revati Raman dasa
Guru Prasad Swami,
GBC Executive Committee
Minister of Communications