SABHA’s Open Letter to the GBC on Child Abuse

Dear revered GBC Members,

Please settle for our humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

In gentle of the latest surprising report by the ISKCON Central Office of Child Protection (ICOCP), the SABHA want to share our ideas.

As we now know from the report, Anirdesya Vapu dasa (AVD), previously Bhaktividya Purna Swami, for a few years dedicated and ignored horrific verbal, bodily and sexual abuse to kids beneath his care and younger girls serving in his initiatives, making a community of abuse inside the boys’ gurukula and the ladies’ college in Mayapur. Even earlier than this report, AVD had two earlier ICOCP investigations and selections concerning allegations of kid abuse.

His abuse was neither unintended nor singular, nor can or not it’s termed a mere ‘fall down’. According to the ICOCP report, it was “…merciless, callous, and unremorseful [in] nature…”. Indeed, it was Vaishnava aparadha of the best diploma. Although first recorded in 1981, it’s disappointing that it was insufficiently corrected and continued for many years, spanning years of ache for devotees who weren’t protected by the establishment through which that they had vested their love and religion. Their innocence was robbed, their belief damaged, and their means to really feel Krishna’s love crushed.

Responsibility for the abuse additionally lies with the broader administration, which tragically did not implement and implement satisfactory safeguarding techniques to guard the gurukula college students. Doing so from the very first complaints of abuse would have prevented AVD’s ongoing predatory exercise in ISKCON’s world headquarters.

With its broad vary of members comprising sannyasis, senior devotees, moms, fathers and youth, the SABHA collectively feels that the management should undertake a zero-tolerance coverage for abuse at any stage. Where attainable, we should search lawful intervention. When ISKCON’s assets and managerial capabilities are insufficient to take care of such conditions, we must also strategy social companies and different acceptable businesses.

Srila Prabhupada warned us that this motion may solely be damaged from inside. Failing to protect these in our care and people who are weak has brought on extreme cracks in ISKCON. So lengthy as we neglect to guard our future technology, havoc will ensue.

We are deeply upset with how the scenario regarding AVD has been dealt with and with ISKCON’s common lack of funding in youngster safety. An apology with out ample change means little. As ISKCON’s final managing authority, the GBC should commit to creating its temples safer for all younger devotees to practise Krishna consciousness and stay peacefully. Tangible, sensible actions should be taken which exhibit year-on-year enchancment. To this finish, the ICOCP and different native youngster safety places of work are invaluable. We urge all ranges of administration to actively seek the advice of with their native youngster safety representatives extra incessantly and take their suggestions critically. We, because the SABHA, additionally decide to additional selling the struggle towards youngster abuse inside the areas we serve and, as we’ve been so mandated, will proceed to present our rigorously thought-about ideas to the GBC.

We commend and admire the service of the ICOCP. Due to their persistent and single-pointed give attention to making Srila Prabhupada’s motion safer for devotees AVD’s abuse has ended. However, there’s a want to extend their funding and assets, which can additional exhibit the GBC’s concern for our childrens’ welfare. The SABHA physique will donate $2,100 to the CPO by the top of this 12 months.

In closing, we pray that Srila Prabhupada guides us all in our duty to prioritise our youngsters’s care. May ISKCON evolve right into a safer, happier and extra fulfilling place the place they’ll flourish of their devotional service to Lord Krishna.

Your servants,




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