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Editorial: Re: Grinding Up the Deities? [Suing ISKCON]

By Pratyatosa Dasa (ACBSP), June 3, 1999


The letter below has also been published on the following sites:

“The Writings On The Wall Part 2” (http://www.irg.zetnet.co.uk/prat3.html).

“Subject: Re: [Suing ISKCON]” (http://www.bhakti.com/vets/pratyatosa.html).

The order of the spiritual master is the active principle in spiritual life. Anyone who disobeys the order of the spiritual master immediately becomes useless. (Sri Caitanya-charitamrta Adi-lila 12.10)

Dear Ranga Puri Prabhu, please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

I know that I have stated previously that I would no longer comment publicly on the child abuse issue, except possibly in the court room, but now I feel that I must again say something, as no one else is coming forward to say these things, and innocent victims are being made to feel unnecessarily guilty by comments such as yours.

You say, “Do you think any really senior vaisnava would advise dismantling the Deity’s paraphernalia and seeking justice from non-devotees, just to get some money into their pockets? This is exactly like grinding up the Deities to profit from the metal.”

I know how you feel. I used to feel the same way. But, over the years, after traveling from temple to temple, and after talking to numerous devotees about the nature of ISKCON’s problems, and after seeing from this year’s GBC resolutions that the GBC leaders are as incorrigible as ever, I’ve decided that legal action is the only way to restore truth and justice to ISKCON.

Please keep in mind that the GBCs themselves hired a “non-devotee” law firm to sue Hansadutta, so the precedent, right or wrong, has already been set by them. I have never heard any of them say that it was a mistake to do this.

I have talked with these “non-devotee” lawyers at the Turley law firm (http://www.wturley.com), one of the law firms which is currently working on suing ISKCON, and I am firmly convinced that they are pious, and are genuinely concerned with the welfare of the victims. They see that a great injustice has occurred and are trying their best to help to rectify it. They are putting up all of the money, and even if they lose the case, the victims will owe nothing. If the case is settled out of court, then the victims will get 2/3 of the settlement. If the ISKCON leaders force the case to go to court, then the victims will only receive 60%. If the ISKCON leaders appeal the decision, then the victims will only get 55%. The victims will get at least 55% of the final settlement, no matter what.

We should all try to put pressure on the ISKCON leaders to settle out of court, in order to maximize the benefit to the victims, minimize the legal expenses, and save the poor, innocent victims from having to go through the trauma and anguish of again having to relive their horrible experiences on the court room witness stand for all of the world to see!

It is not the duty of the victims, nor the parents of the victims, to go after the perpetrators. This is the duty of the ISKCON leaders. The way the justice system works is that the victims sue the corporation, and then the corporation sues and/or criminally prosecutes it’s deviant members who caused the corporate liability in the first place. Suing ISKCON, and forcing ISKCON to settle with the victims, will actually give the ISKCON leaders the ammunition that they need to go after the perpetrators, whoever they may be.

An example of this is the famous case that the Turley law firm fought against the Catholic church in Dallas, Texas. The 11 victims won a $23 million settlement, so the church then proceeded to sue and to prosecute the offending priest, in order to try and recover some of it’s loses, and to try to vindicate itself as much as possible.

Victims are victims, and perpetrators are perpetrators. It’s the responsibility of the ISKCON leaders to help the victims, and to go after the perpetrators. They haven’t done this, or they’ve done “too little too late.” Therefore, all of the ISKCON leaders, and those who are allowing these leaders to remain in power, are also more or less guilty of negligence.

By forcing the victims to go to court, these ISKCON members are going to suffer a very great karmic reaction. Any inconvenience to the ISKCON Deities will be 100% on the shoulders of these criminally negligent members or former members of ISKCON, not on the heads of those who were molested as children. These victims are all 100% innocent, and they must be convinced of this, so that they can go on with their lives with their heads held high, and with a clear conscience.

Even the victims who, as children, molested other children, are still 100% innocent, because the ISKCON leaders did not publicly identify the perpetrators, nor did they prosecute the perpetrators, nor did they make the problem public, nor did they inform the parents of the victims, nor did they inform all of the other ISKCON leaders, nor did they get proper counseling for the victims.

This is the most evil, diabolical part of this entire child molestation conspiracy. That of allowing or even encouraging and facilitating the victims to themselves become perpetrators. Then these poor innocent children feel that they’ve “done something wrong,” and they are made to feel guilty about it. Then the adult perpetrators have “the goods” on them, and are able to abuse them even more, because these children can then be easily “blackmailed” into “not telling.”

This is how these evil ISKCON leaders operate. They all have “the goods” on each other also. That is how they control and manipulate each other, and why they always “cover up” for each other. This is how they tried to control me also. They said, “How dare you sue ISKCON! You also did such-and-such and such-and-such and such-and-such. We’ll make it all public! We’ll sue you! We’ll prosecute you!”

They can’t even help but react in this way. It’s a “knee jerk” reaction. As Mr. Turley (krsna@wturley.com, pamr@wturley.com, turley@wturley.com, 800-692-4025), said to me, “It’s part of [ISKCON’s] corporate culture.”

Mr. Turley also said that sexual abuse of children, if not routed out and cured in it’s infancy, spreads like an infectious disease, and this, unfortunately, is exactly what happened within ISKCON.

Because the ISKCON GBCs/“gurus” are themselves criminals, having disobeyed Srila Prabhupada’s final order on initiations, and having illegally taken control of ISKCON in 1978, they had no potency to keep this horrible disease from spreading throughout the Society, especially ISKCON’s now infamous “gurukula asramas.”

The ISKCON sexual child abuse scandal is a very great embarrassment to Srila Prabhupada. It is the duty of all of us to try to vindicate Srila Prabhupada’s good name, by pursuing a path whereby truth and justice may prevail, so that we may push forward this sublime cult of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu with a clear conscience, with no more “skeletons in the closet,” and with renewed vigor and enthusiasm.

I pray to my beloved Spiritual Master, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, to give me the strength to carry on with this worthy endeavor. “Man proposes; God disposes.” “Perform your duty without attachment, and leave the results up to Krsna.”

Your servant,
Pratyatosa Dasa

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