Jaya Kesava Dasa: The Turley Law Suit is over, yet many problems still face Gurukulis, hindering us in achieving full closure and the ‘out of court’ lawsuit settlement did not go a long way in solving our problems.
The case of Gauri dasa (Temple President of Bhaktivedanta Manor, England) is a perfect example of how institutional ISKCON is not dealing fairly and justly with our problems. There is no debate on whether he abused children. He did. This is official and accepted by anyone knowing the details. Moreover, it is the institution still protecting high ranking members by ‘watering down’ the punishment to a mere ‘slap on the wrist’ that blatantly displays this unfair and unjust process.
Correct procedure is for the accused to ‘step down’ from their position until either cleared or charged. Guari, a well known ‘VIOLENT’ abuser of children, convicted by the CPT for his crimes, never had to step down. To the contrary, he received full institutional support and was in fact invited to ‘step up’ as punishment!
In the early 90’s the Gurukula authorities desperately and successfully fought to protect Guari when the GBC wanted to have him removed as Ashram Director of the Vrindavan Gurukul after viewing photographic evidence and hearing the personal testimonies from children that he had severely beaten and abused.
The Gurukula authorities negotiated a deal with the GBC that Gauri could not only stay on as Ashram Director, but still be able to administer corporal punishment, such as a slap to the face. Have you ever heard a boy being slapped by him in the Gurukula? It’s a sound never to be forgotten, nor can one forget being slapped by him.
Now this very same Gauri, who for so many years terrorized, tyrannized, beat and slapped the boys in the Vrindavan Gurukula, the very same Gauri that ran the Gurukula as if he was a Gestapo Commandant, is now shaking hands – (Yes, the very same hand that so expertly and with full GBC sanction had slapped so many little boy’s cheeks), being photographed with the Queen of England, Prime Ministers, and other high ranking members of English officialdom as he pompously represents ISKCON.
From a simple karmi gardener, Gauri worked his way up to Ashram teacher (Vrindavan Gurukula), then quickly to Ashram Director, then meteorically to the Temple President of the most opulent and financially successful temple in ISKCON – the Bhaktivedanta Manor in England. A true ‘rags to riches’ story.
From such a humble beginning, this well rewarded corporate devotee is now luxuriating with a nice Fat Salary of US $50,000 + annually / cruises around in a US $30,000 company car / resides in a comfortable 5 bedroom house (which he will own on completion of his contract) / and last but not least, he will retire with a nice fat pension plan. Didn’t Srila Prabhupada intend that we do seva, or has the definition of seva changed?
It is clear that the matter of Gauri is not going to be properly dealt with so long as the old regime of ISKCON educators has a monopolistic stranglehold on all matters relating to issues affecting the needs of ISKCON Youth. Institutional ISKCON must break free of the yolk of the old regime of ISKCON educators, who have caused nothing but trouble for our movement and so be free to make decisions based on sound spiritual ethics as opposed to Nepotism.
The very least that institutional ISKCON can do in order to prove that it knows how to appropriately and professionally deal with its problems, and further is able to take the problems of ISKCON youth seriously, is to forthwith remove Guari das from any position of authority — as they would have done in the early 90’s if they had not listened to Gurukula authorities and now the same devotees who run the Ministry for Educational Development (M.E.D).
Any institution operating professionally would do so. Please remember that any other administrator in a karmi school who committed crimes of even a lesser nature would be brought before a criminal court. Guari has never had to face this for if he did, ISKCON would have been forced to remove him.
So again we ask that ISKCON acts in an ethical and honorable manner in this matter and remove Guari from any position within ISKCON immediately.
So Tamohara prabhu, are you going to recommend Gauri for another promotion higher up the ISKCON corporate ladder? Or will you do your duty and make sure that this offender is brought to justice and in turn assist in actions that aid in our healing, so that we and our families can eventually get some closure?
Jaya Kesava Dasa