GBC Approved tagged: ,

GBC Approved

Posted by in Devotional Community

Rādhā Govinda Swami – US: Hare Krsna. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. Please accept my fallen obeisances.

The following is from the ISKCON GBC 2006 resolutions. Apparently it applies only to those whose perpetrations were legally addressed, otherwise one might ask, “Why was Bhavanananda invited to come back to (live within) ISKCON and give classes as well? May we also ask why is it that others who are known for their abuses to children are still being “cushioned” within ISKCON (and besides being allowed to give classes, are being reputed as very greatly advanced devotees)?

407. Child Abuse Cases Mandatory Restrictions after going through the Criminal System

[Law]

Whereas, in certain cases ISKCON devotees have been found guilty of child abuse in criminal courts. These cases may or may not have involved ISKCON temples and projects. Many of these cases occurred within the congregational setting. As our movement increasingly expands to include a greater congregation, risk from child abusers may come more from people joining our movement from the outside rather than from those who have perpetrated abuse within our gurukulas or temples. Also, as our local Child Protection Teams are becoming better trained to report abuse to local authorities, many cases will be decided in the courts rather than in our ISKCON Child Protection Office (CPO) system.

Also, some of these cases may be technically outside the jurisdiction of the Child Protection Office as they do not occur on ISKCON property or involve ISKCON officials. Nevertheless, the perpetrators, even if now taking up the process of devotional service, may still constitute a threat to our children. Further, if they become involved in any type of leadership positions, regardless of the degree of actual risk, it will become an embarrassment to our Society, bring about further loss of faith from our second generation and other devotees, and constitute needless legal risk to ISKCON. In these cases of clear finding of guilt by the civil legal process, it is not necessary to go through a lengthy and time-consuming full Child Protection Office investigation and adjudication. It is logical that those found guilty in criminal courts should automatically receive similar levels of restrictions and sanctions as cases which have received CPO Official Decisions.

Therefore it is resolved that:

1.    Devotees who have been convicted, or found guilty, in legitimate criminal or civil court proceedings, or who have been determined by a government agency to have perpetrated sexual or physical child abuse, will be restricted in their relationship with ISKCON temples and projects in the following manner:

a.    They may not reside in temples or stay overnight.

b.    They may not assume a position of leadership, or publicly represent ISKCON in any way.

c.    They may not give class or lead kirtan in any ISKCON-sponsored activity or event.

d.    They may not engage in service involving children.

e.    They may not be present at a temple if their victims are also present.

2.    In certain cases where the individual has been pronounced guilty of severe criminal child abuse (such as defined in the “zero tolerance” section of the CPO Policies and Procedures), the offender may be restricted entirely from participating in ISKCON projects or visiting ISKCON temples. Invoking this restriction would require the normal full CPO adjudication process and would be a decision of the CPO judges assigned to the case. In any case, consistent with current policy, any temple may impose further restrictions on an individual. A temple is free to totally restrict an abuser from the temple if they so choose.

3.    If there are extenuating circumstances that would warrant the relaxation of the restrictions in #1 above, that case would need to be appealed by the individual devotee or a local temple to the ISKCON Central Office of Child Protection (ICOCP), and the decision would be made by the CPO Appeals Review Board.