Gurukul Alumni – Vrindavan:
After the article by Vrindavan das revealing the activities of the Vrindavan Gurukul, we were pressed to bring up some other points in addition to his. By now you must be aware of the well documented role that Braja Bihari has played in protecting the child abusers and the corrupt devotees in official institutional positions in ISKCON. The following article clearly demonstrates the man’s character and disposition to protect the guilty with lies and deceit at the expense of innocent children and the truth.
We say that Braja Bihari stands guilty of obstructionism, protectionism, neglect and dereliction of his duty of care in the multiple positions that he officially held and now unofficially holds within the ISKCON Institution, and must be held accountable for his wrongdoings. Braja Bihari’s excuses for his actions were that his involvement in any wrongful activities was simply due to indiscretions and mistakes on his part and was not intentionally criminal. In light of the following, it is not unreasonable to believe that this self-proclaimed innocence is a ploy to elicit sympathy and support and to divert attention away from his wrongdoings, deceit and duplicity.
Braja Bihari Feels the Heat:
Soon after Gauri das was found guilty by the ISKCON International Child Protection Office, of violent child abuse, Braja Bihari made contact with some Gurukulis and has been engaged in an ongoing dialogue with them over the last year. The Gurukulis are well aware that Braja Bihari’s reason for engaging in dialogue was due to his involvement in protecting Gauri das and Dhanurdhar Swami, who were both revealed to have been violent abusers of children, and he was now hoping to curry favor with the Gurukul Alumni with the hope that he will not be further implicated in corruption and shown up as a corrupt ISKCON Leader.
On the 3rd of October, 2008, Braja Bihari, knowing the seriousness of not only his wrongdoing but also of the Alumni’s desire to see justice enacted against him, went out of his way to meet with one of the Gurukul Alumni, Sanaka Rsi, in Italy. This gesture was taken by the Alumni to be a progressive step towards the reconciliation process. In this preliminary meeting Braja Bihari readily accepted his wrongdoings and as a good will gesture, offered to resign from all positions within Institutional ISKCON except his brainchild, ISKCON Resolve. He also offered to write a public apology for his past mistakes.
It was decided that a second meeting would follow shortly after in Vrindavan, whereby a written agreement would be formalized. The Alumni representative, believing this a positive step, advised Braja Bihari that although he could not speak for the many other Gurukulis involved, he himself saw this gesture as a very good step to not only admitting his guilt but also a good step in the reconciliation process.
Braja Bihari’s Deception:
There was never a second meeting. When Braja Bihari understood the seriousness of the Alumni and his situation, he ‘Lawyerd Up’ with Kavicandra Swami, Gopal Bhatta and even brought the heavyweight Badrinarayan to shelter behind. Then all communication / mediation / negotiation ceased, there was no talk of a formal public apology, written agreements or resignations. It now was the ‘No comment, speak to my lawyer’ routine.
It was then that we understood Braja Bihari’s true intention was not to resign from these positions, as he led the Gurukul Alumni to believe, but to only take a temporary leave of absence, or sabbatical.
We believe the excuse Braja Bihari gave to his ISKCON colleagues for taking a temporary leave of absence was a pre-existing heart condition that apparently became symptomatic due to the pressure of his duty and responsibilities as an ISKCON leader. The excuse he gave to us was that his heart condition was ‘serious’. However, reports from his wife, friends and associates say that he is not symptomatic and the condition may not even need surgery. From all reports, his actual medical status may not be as it seems and it now appears to be more a red herring in order to divert attention away from the issues of his alleged criminality and to elicit sympathy from the general devotee.
Braja Bihari’s tactics are summarized as follows:
- Firstly when Braja Bihari realized the seriousness and the validity of our claims, he chose not to deal directly with us, instead choosing the cowardly option of having the GBC apologist and obstructionist Kavicandra Swami deal with us. Kavicandra Swami was far from polite and apologetic, and acted to defend his cohort Braja Bihari as opposed to discussing the terms of his recompense, as Braja Bihari alluded to during the initial discussions.
Kavicandra Swami’s attitude appeared more an attempt to intimidate and coerce us, which of course did not work, leaving Kavicandra Swami to storm off in defiance and exasperation. Due to his diversionary ploy’s dismal failure, the so-called ‘mediation’ continued via phone calls that were more seeking to bamboozle and divert attention away from the main issues rather than mediate between the two parties. After Kavicandra Swami’s failure to make the Alumni back down, the case was subsequently handed over to the GBC professional businessman, big gun, Gopal Bhatta.
It became obvious to the Alumni that Braja Bihari was not willing to openly deal with this problem, but would only work by having someone negotiate for him, instead. It was now evident that he was reluctant to admit his complicity. We are left to wonder what became of his beloved mediation processes when he needed to show how his mentor, Arnold Zach, had trained him so expertly to use it in times like these. Braja Bihari himself introduced the ADR system into ISKCON as a practical and effective way of problem solving, although when he himself needed to solve a problem, he discarded his brainchild immediately.
1. His other cowardly defense was a long term heart condition that suddenly reared its ugly head when the Alumni began to accuse him of his criminal neglect and obstructionist activities. We don’t want to sound uncaring, but how many kids grew into adulthood that chose suicide as their only way out of the suffering caused by these criminals? Devotees who from little children did not have any support from Institutional ISKCON, and in many instances even lacked the support of their disbelieving parents! Yet Braja Bihari bathes in the full and dedicated support of the ISKCON institution and has at his disposal all the various gurus, GBC, departments and committees that he set up to serve and protect him and people like him, as well as the ISKCON apologists who tirelessly work to divert attention away from the criminality of devotees such as Braja Bihari via the medium of public forums such as ISKCON related Websites etc.
2. In an email that Braja Bihari sent to Sanaka Rsi, it is evident that he does not place Gauri’s case or child protection, as a priority in his life, even though many of us do. What is also evident is that by his own admission, he is unable to maintain the many roles and responsibilities that he has taken on in ISKCON.
“My memory of that time centers all around the “PSTTC” course that we were hosting (VTE’s Primary and Secondary Teacher Training Course) rather than specifics about Gauri. It was a big endeavor that was planned for over a year. There were teachers and presenters from all over the world. We were hosting the event. It was at that time I recall, that the news of Gauri’s case came up. I remember the challenge of keeping the course going well and on track while the local teachers (some of whom were taking the course) dealt with practicalities such as covering services, etc.”
- The funny thing is… how sick is Braja Bihari?
A) From reports by Braja Bihari’s friends and neighbors, they have not personally evidenced his alleged illness and know him to be hale and hearty (plays basketball) and busy with his many roles in ISKCON. They admit that he is more reclusive (hopefully due to the shame of his public disgrace) and they hardly see him when he is in town, although he is always flying here or there.
B) Braja Bihari was not sick enough to not run a five day (9:30 am – 6:00 pm) 41½ hour seminar in Mumbai at 18,000 to 20,000 rupees a pop. “Intensive Workshop for the Training of Mediators, Monday, 16th February to Friday, 20th February, 2009 at Walchand Hirachand Hall. The Workshop will be conducted under the joint-aegis of the IMC and Prachi by Mr. Braja Bihari (Brian Bloch), International Trainer of Mediators and Director, ISKCONResolve”
C) He then flew to Mayapura in February of this year to attend the beginning sessions of the GBC meetings.
Braja Bihari’s Excuses Proven False:
Braja Bihari’s claims that he was far too ill with his ‘serious heart condition’ to take responsibility or even to honor his pledge to engage in dialogue with the Alumni regarding the crimes that we allege he committed against the children of ISKCON, yet the evidence above says otherwise.
Although we cannot confirm or deny that Braja Bihari has a heart condition that is symptomatic, it can be inferred by his activities around the time he was making his poor health claims to us that he was not resting or taking leave of absence from any of his positions or responsibilities, except for the ones that concerned his guilt in his criminalistic activity with regards to the claims that we are making against him. Braja Bihari continues to claim that, “One thing the doctors said clearly was that I had to get rid of stress in my life”, and “As I mentioned in my last letter, I have this serious heart problem. Doctors have been very firm with me that I’m to take a full break from all previous activities for the upcoming 6 months or so”. Please refer to the emails below.
Gurukul Alumni Offer Braja Bihari a Reasonable Way Out:
Following is a letter (which had the potential to resolve the problem between ISKCON and the Gurukul Alumni) sent to Braja Bihari, Kavicandra Swami and Gopal Bhatta. It was never answered, addressed or even acknowledged. It was after this letter that Braja Bihari went into FUGITIVE BLACKOUT…
“It is of the out most importance that ISKCON, a spiritual movement, instituted for the greatest welfare of mankind, endeavors to the greatest extent possible in protecting and nurturing its children. A necessary part of this is the practical implementation of a “Zero Tolerance Policy” towards Child Abuse. To accomplish this, it is essential to ensure that devotees holding positions of authority in the Society have the appropriate character and a spotless track record. This will be a substantial step toward making sure that the children are appropriately safeguarded, and it will afford some much needed credibility to the relevant bodies.
Braja Bihari Prabhu holds a number of related positions directly and indirectly connected to children and education. The sheer number of positions he holds, spreads very thin his own resources, thus leaving ample room for mistakes. Most concernedly these circumstances necessarily create an unacceptable conflict of interest, undermining their ultimate purpose.
In the past, on more than one occasion, Braja Bihari Prabhu has acted against the best interest of the children. This is proven in some letters he wrote in 1995.Over the years he has held, and still holds some of the most crucial roles in the protection and care of ISKCON’s children. This imposes on him the social / ethical / moral / professional / personal, and above all spiritual responsibility to protect and serve the interest of the previous and current Children of ISKCON. As a member of the Vrindavana Gurukula Steering Committee, (The Steering committee was a board that had complete: academic, managerial and executive power on the school at the time) Braja Bihari Prabhu petitioned the GBC to reinstate Gauri’s license to use corporal punishment as a reasonable and required disciplinary solution for the Gurukula; after viewing photos of the wounds Gauri Prabhu`s beating had left on one boy. These photos, in and of themselves, should have indicated beyond doubt that Gauri Prabhu was not a person that could be trusted to administer corporal punishment to children.
In light of the possibility that the Gurukula Alumni could file a lawsuit against ISKCON, (if ISKCON failed to remove Dhanudhar Swami from his position) Braja Bihari, still felt it was necessary and appropriate to lobby the GBC for the reinstatement of Dhanudhar Swami as the principal of the Vrindavan Gurukula. The success of his petition certainly contributed in some measure to the ensuing multi-million dollar lawsuit.
Although at the time, Braja Bihari Prabhu may have been ignorant of the specific details concerning Dhanurdhara swami’s abusive past, and the possible repercussions, he still ought to stand responsible for the consequences of his actions and make amends.
Given that Braja Bihari Prabhu, in specific instances, disregarding his duty and responsibility to the children of ISKCON, chose to protect and facilitate the interests of the child abuser(s) and of the institution above the children’s’; we see it in the best interest of ISKCON in general, but specifically of the children and the offices that he currently occupies and/or controls that he resigns from all managerial positions within the greater ISKCON.
We request that Braja Bihari Prabhu:
1. Writes and makes public on the main forms of ISKCON related media, an apology, for falling short in his duty to protect the children in ISKCON, for his actions that were in breach of and counterpoised to his moral and institutional responsibilities, as well as for his inappropriate letters.Including the role he played (knowingly or unknowingly) in bringing about the Turley Lawsuit against ISKCON, that has cast a negative light on the just and sincere struggle of the victims of child abuse, amongst some members of ISKCON.
2. Commits to resigning, in the form of a private written agreement, from all positions held in relation to ISKCON, both official and unofficial, including any sub-committees, special meetings, and facilitation/advisory roles etc., which afford him special privilege and influence within ISKCON, for a minimum period of 5 years. We suggest a “post-dated resignation” so as to allow sufficient time to source suitable replacements. (Timing as per mutual agreement)
3. In order to ensure the appropriate representation and protection of the interests of ISKCON’s Youth in the future, we request the placement of suitable members of the second generation (former gurukula students, as per approval of the youth minister, the GBC representatives and other relevant authorities) into official roles of responsibilities within the C.P.O, M.E.D, ISKCON RESOLVE, and the JUSTICE DEPARTMENT of ISKCON. We would like to acknowledge Braja-Bihari’s candor in responding to our concerns and requests, as well as his efforts in meeting with Sanaka in Italy (at his own expense) in such a timely manner. If Braja-Bihari Prabhu decides to make a tangible gesture of his goodwill by agreeing to these terms, we will be appreciative. This would fully pacify all our concerns and lead to a final and amicable resolution to any and all existing conflicts between the Youth of ISKCON and Braja-Bihari Prabhu.”
Braja Bihari Cares Less for Proper Dispute Resolution:
This time has since passed. To date, we have not heard from Braja Bihari or his intermediaries. To all extents and purposes, Braja Bihari has vanished off the radar of accountability and has become a fugitive. It is very important to note that Braja Bihari was given all the proper opportunities to resolve this issue quickly and without undue hardship, for not only himself and ISKCON, and he was also given the opportunity to be engaged in a process that would greatly help in ‘making things right’ with the Alumni. However, he chose the cowardly and duplicitous way, which will again find ISKCON and himself in no end of trouble, disgrace and hardship. This proves that this man does not possess the ability to understand the criminality of his mentality and actions but also clearly demonstrates his inability to learn from his mistakes – such as his support and protection of both Dhanurdhara Swami and Gauri das easily testifies.
It seems that Braja Bihari is forever a deceitful and crooked personality that is only concerned for himself and his plans, as opposed to doing what is righteous and honorable. This man does not display the characteristic of an aspiring Vaisnava.
Oct 3rd 2008 – Attends meeting with Sanaka Rsi in Italy.
Oct 15th – 23rd – Braja Bihari attends the GBC meetings in Mumbai / Strategic Planning Committee meetings. *During this time in Mumbai, as an ISKCON Resolve mediator, he mediated an intense mediation session between two senior ISKCON Leaders
(Note: We have been informed by very credible sources that Braja Bihari’s new policy is to not have his attendance or facilitation process officially recorded. This has also been discovered by our research into his presence being independently verified by credible devotees who have sighted him at the various meetings and places we are presenting herein, that have not been recorded in official statements and correspondence)
Oct 16th- 20th – During this time, Braja Bihari is so unstressed that he has the luxury of running a five day (8½ hours per day) intensive workshop in Mumbai (see Point 4 [B] of the above)
Oct 21st – It was also during the above time that Braja Bihari informed a Gurukuli Alumni Representative via phone that due to a recently discovered heart disease, he will be unable to continue discussions with the Alumni and is ordered by his Doctor to avoid stressful conditions
Oct 24th 2008 – Via email, Braja Bihari informed Sanaka Rsi that that he was too ill to carry on with his normal duties due to a serious heart condition, and so would be working through a reliever to negotiate on his behalf. Part of this email follows; Braja Bihari states – “I just went for a health check-up. They found that I have a serious heart problem. I went for a second medical opinion today. It does look like I will require an operation at some time. One thing the doctors said clearly was that I had to get rid of stress in my life.” * The Medical tests were apparently conducted while Braja Bihari was attending to all the above. Braja Bihari’s emails can be found below.
Nov 14th 2008 – Braja Bihari had his wife send email restating his serious heart condition and urgent need for no stress, and appoints three big guns of ISKCON — Kavicandra Swami / Gopal Bhatta / Badrinarayan prabhus — to ‘mediate’ for him.
Feb 16/20th 2009 – Braja Bihari facilitates a workshop in Mumbai – running 5 day 8½ hours per day intensive workshop at the Walchand Hirachand Hall (refer to above point 3[D])
Feb 23rd 2009 – Braja Bihari flies from the Mumbai Workshop to Mayapur – Braja Bihari was seen in Mayapur Dham attending the pre- and initial days of the GBC meetings.
Braja Bihari Self Interest Exposes His True Colors:
It is apparent that any claim by ISKCON that it has its children’s best interest at heart is not only a misrepresentation, it is a direct and unabashed lie, by having a person such as this Braja Bihari represent its child welfare and education programs. Braja Bihari in all of his official capacities to protect and represent the children of ISKCON has proven to be an obstructionist to the cause of the victims and a protectionist of the corrupt ISKCON Institution, its officials and representatives.
A very interesting point to be noted is how Braja Bihari himself sees his role in the cover-up of violent child abusers and criminals of ISKCON. He does not see that there was any criminal intent in his behavior. He sees that he simply made some mistakes in the prosecution of his service to the children and devotees of ISKCON. His claim of naivety is unacceptable in light of the volumes of evidence and accusations against him. He knew full well of the crimes that all the devotees he protected had committed. The case against him has not just appeared in ISKCON, it has been a continuing saga for well over a decade now and in all this time he has ignored all the advice and opinions of righteous devotees, and has stalwartly protected the criminal element within ISKCON.
Braja Bihari is not an innocent victim here. He has willingly assumed the mantle of power and responsibility of all the positions that he has taken and has chosen to ignore the ethics and morality of these positions and all good advice, and we allege he acted in a criminally negligent and deceitful manner. It is also glaringly evident that only his recordable official positions and facing his accusers for his wrongful acts cause him stress. His tireless work to attend ISKCON meetings and non-devotee workshops do not appear to cause him any stress, for he maintains a more than healthy quota of these obligations.
ISKCON Leadership is Accountable Only Unto Themselves:
Who is holding Braja Bihari accountable for his duplicitous actions and inactions? It is obvious that he is very concerned about the case against him, for he is taking great lengths to make sure he is being fully protected by the institution he helped create and corrupt, an institution that has no genuine accountability process. An institution that he systematically helped corrupt and is now harvesting the benefits of his hard work by taking full advantage of all the mechanism they have in place in order to protect their or his best interests and the best interests of the corrupt ISKCON officials and representatives, at the expense of the Gurukulis and children of ISKCON.
The same privilege that he enjoys has not been given to the Gurukulis and ISKCON children or any other rank and file member of ISKCON (except for its criminal element).
ISKCON’s Psychological Profile is a manifestation of the Psychological Profile of its Corrupters.
The psychological profile of the corrupted institution of ISKCON reflects the nature of the corrupted individuals who created it by converting it from Srila Prabhupada’s ISKCON into a perverted reflection of their own corrupted minds and intellects. All the changes that have occurred post-Srila Prabhupada’s lila, which the general devotees have spoken out against, have been based on the total perversion of Srila Prabhupada’s instructions and methodologies. If you were to determine a psychological profile of the minds behind the corruption of ISKCON as a single entity, then the profile of a sociopath would be manifest.
Braja Bihari’s Actions Display less than Sudra Adhikara:
ISKCON is a spiritual organization and is represented by the Brahminical varna. The one quality that is still present in the Kali-yuga is the quality of truthfulness. All members of the varnashram system are truthful and honest. By truthfulness, it is inferred that one has the sincerity to accept truth when presented by sastric injunction and Guru’s instruction. By honesty, it is inferred that one has moral and ethical scruples. Even the sudra is truthful in his service to the other varnas. The lack of truthfulness denotes a lesser status of consciousness, adhikara. The leaders of a spiritual brahminical organization must be able to demonstrate the quality of being not only truthful, but entirely honest in their dealings with devotees. If this is absent in an individual, there are no grounds for the individual to hold responsible positions within the organization.
It is evident beyond doubt that Braja Bihari lacks Brahminical qualities of truthfulness and honesty and is therefore not qualified by varna to hold senior leadership positions in our spiritual institution of ISKCON. We allege that he is also criminally negligent in his duties and responsibilities to serve and protect the children of ISKCON. He has never once been held accountable for this and actively seeks and receives the support of ISKCON to serve and protect him at the expense of the truth and justice, and above all the welfare of the Children of ISKCON.
ISKCON Needs to Fully Resolve Issues with ISKCON Children:
The problems regarding ‘the children of ISKCON’ are not going away, and so it seems the ones who are causing these problems are also here to stay…It is important to note that we, the victims, as seen through the eyes of our ISKCON leadership, are the aggressor that they need to be protected from. Seen from our eyes however (the victim), we are the victims of their use misuse and abuse mentality. We see them as the aggressor and will naturally refuse to submit to them, but defend ourselves from them. Yet from a moral, ethical, legal and spiritual perspective, the problems arise from the lack of truthfulness of the members of institutional ISKCON who, by definition, do not possess the appropriate qualifications to hold official positions or to represent ISKCON in an official capacity.
How Does ISKCON Demonstrate its Care and Concern for its Children?
Points worth considering in relationship to ISKCON’s lack of a Culture of Care:
1. How does a rank and file devotee, or in our case the children of ISKCON obtain justice in this obviously corrupt institution?
2. Why have we never seen one single senior Guru, Sannyasi, GBC member, GBC Deputy, Department Head, Minister or Official say anything honest about the corruption that has infected ISKCON?
3. With regards to the children of ISKCON, where have we seen any member of our leadership championing our cause?
4. When has Prahladananda Swami, the so-called Health and Welfare Minister, championed our cause? He is more interested in traveling around giving class and making disciples than worrying about his responsibilities for devotees whose welfare and health needs his direct love and care!
5. What about Sesa, the Justice Minister — when has he championed our cause? He is more interested in protecting his position than seeing justice for our cause. His role has basically been to support the other bogus departments to cover up the institutional corruption and to help protect the criminals such as Gauri, Danurdhar Swami and Vakesavarar Pandit.
6. ISKCON has never properly dealt with the ex-principals of our past and present Gurukuls, who have caused the corruption of our Gurukuls and children. The very same Principals who instead of protecting them, have systematically established a comprehensive array of ministries, departments and various bodies to protect themselves and the institution. These very same principals occupy the most senior and influential organizational positions within ISKCON that are supposed to provide the much lacked and needed institutional accountability, and have never been held accountable themselves. Instead they have been left unchecked to create a very efficient and thorough Oligarchic leadership that is beyond reproach and reason.
7. The general devotee is aware of the corruption of ISKCON and its leadership, the abuse of its children etc yet have never collectively done anything to stop it. No positive or righteous action has been undertaken to date by the general devotee to make a stand against this corrupt regime. The most outspoken devotees have been the ones who can be described as ‘apologists’ whose role it has been to either divert attention away from the crimes and criminals or to take their side.
8. The present ISKCON value system as outlined in point 7 is one that is non different to the mentality of a criminal social system where the criminals and their families and friends protect and stand up for each other against the process of justice. It appears that the only value system that has been acculturated into ISKCON by the leadership has been a criminal culture.
If ISKCON is to be taken seriously by the second generation, or anyone for that matter, it needs to be able to demonstrate that its upper echelon and general membership are able to display symptoms of truthfulness, honesty and integrity in their interpersonal interactions. It is imperative that ISKCON devotees need to make the shift away from the criminal mentality of protecting the perpetrator to being able to protect the victim and each other. It has been clearly demonstrated over the years that ISKCON and its members have sought to cover-up its criminal element as opposed to seeking justice and protection of its members. This is symptomatic of very unhealthy group dynamics that reflect its members’ lack of a proper value system. A proper value system acculturates not only proper Vaisnava etiquette, but also what one can consider normal and healthy human interactions of all people who know and act with goodness, care and love.
The only way that ISKCON can move to a position where it is able to fall into the category of a healthy society based on sound religious principals is to eradicate the unrepentant, corrupt and deviant individuals who fill its leadership ranks and replace them with healthy and mature aspiring Vaisnavas. So long as there is no transparency and accountability of the institutional ISKCON hierarchy, it is not possible to have anything but a criminal organization that is self-interested and oligarchic.
Is it Krishna’s Plan to Abuse Children and Protect Criminals in ISKCON?
If the leaders are corrupt, then the institution is corrupt – how is it possible for us to believe that the situation will change for the better? Do we seriously believe that this is part of Krishna’s plan and we should allow this corruption to continue to grow and grow, as we await Krishna to implement the next stage of His plan and save us, without having to do anything, just bear silent witness? Or perhaps it is His plan to destroy the second generation and the ones that follow in some bizarre karmic holocaust?
The simplistic understanding of “Krishna Has a Plan” needs to be dropped from our consciousness. It is in this illogical logic that the corrupters gain their upper hand. Yes, of course Krishna has a plan. The only way we can know His plan is to learn to act with integrity, honesty and truthfulness and keep on trying to do so in every situation and against all odds, until our endeavors coordinate with Krishna’s Plan. Like Arjuna had to do on the battlefield of Kuruksetra, he had to fight his own relations and gurus even though he did not want to do so. Unless we do this, we’ll always be doomed to repeat the mistakes of our past and become increasingly more entangled in maya as we try and force our own agendas and plans onto this Krishna Consciousness Movement. In this way, yes Krishna has a plan, but up and until this point in time all we have done is repeatedly make the same mistakes, time and time again. Krishna’s Plan / Prabhupada’s plan are one and the same.
It is beyond doubt that Braja Bihari’s, the other ex-principals and their accomplices’ PLAN has proven over time to not be consistent with Krishna’s or Srila Prabhupada’s Plan, as evidenced by how they are not working to protect our children, past and present. Given Braja Bihari’s response to being disclosed as being corrupt and duplicitous, it is clearly evident that he is not willing or able to change, and so our future children will continue to be at risk.
The concept of ‘Krishna has a plan’ is an apologist’s term used to make people ‘not’ take action. Krishna’s plan is that we become Krishna Conscious through our independent endeavor to please Him and His devotees. Please understand that the plan of Braja Bihari, the corrupt Institution and the ISKCON apologists are most definitely not part of Krishna’s Plan. To believe that corruption, child abuse and low moral fiber are part of Krishna’s Plan is spiritually and materially immature and makes no logical or rational sense. What is more, why would anyone even want to believe that Krishna is going to come and clean up our mess? This is our mess. We allowed it to happen. We must clean it up. Actually it is your mess; ‘We are your mess…’ This is all happening because you all sat by and let it happen.
Who is Responsible and Who Should Clean up the Mess
The corrupt leadership cannot be entirely held responsible, for whom do they lead, if not you? You listened to them instead of us and gave them the permission to make these decisions and take the actions that they have, are and will take, well into the future unless you stop them. In many cases, some of you not only followed their lead but you also defended them to the detriment of the children of ISKCON and the truth.
The Srila Prabhupada disciples who walk this earth occupying very high spiritual status within ISKCON have, for the most part, stood there and watched this happen without saying a word. As the years rolled on they took the perks of the high status, but failed to take the responsibility that goes with that high status. They remained silent or defended the leadership, as the corrupted old Gurukula principals protected the child abusers and created their oligarchy, taking not only control of all forms of accountability within ISKCON, but also spearheading the push of ISKCON into Academia.
Certainly from our perspective, you don’t care and have never proven that you do. We have had to fight this fight alone, just as we had to handle our lives, in many times, from the tender age of five onward, being molested and beaten by so-called ISKCON devotees in ISKCON schools and with an ISKCON leadership who ignored our pleas for help and took up for the abusers. Just like we had to try and heal on our own as we grew older. We have been used, misused and abused by ISKCON all our lives and so we know full well who these corrupt leaders are and who ‘you’ are.
Due to Braja Bihari shielding the brutal Dhanurdhar Swami, we were driven to take action against the ISKCON leadership. The Institution only did something in the bitter end because they faced financial collapse and a court hearing. They chose the cowards way out, with the ‘out of court settlement’ giving us a mere pittance for our pain and suffering, and we never had the chance to prove beyond doubt that we were abused by an Institution that was infected by a corruption and perversion of a magnitude hardly experienced by any other religious order or group.
Again you sat there and did nothing. But what is really disturbing is that you probably blame us for pushing our point, falsely believing that we were the ones that brought shame and disgrace onto ISKCON for not suffering in silence. That we were the ones that made innocent ISKCON devotees collect for the sins of the corrupted leadership of ISKCON. That we should have remained silent as you did, and still do. That we should have remained silent similar to when the perverted adult ISKCON devotees came in the middle of the night to our beds and defiled our little bodies, and we lay there in terrified silence. When they beat and tortured us for all those years. We should have remained silent, so that your consciences could be eased of their burden of guilt and shame.
We are not indulging in self-pity; these are the facts of life for a second generation of ISKCON child/adults.
The Corrupt Value System and the Role of the ISKCON Apologist
Any society requires a value system that it acculturates into its members and especially its children and youth. We recognize that the ISKCON leadership clearly demonstrates that it lacks the appropriate Vaisnava value system that is required in order to lead and develop a healthy society.
The underlying dysfunction is the concept that the corrupt leaders have instilled into the devotional community that this is now their movement. They are the ones who now call the shots and make the decisions, not Srila Prabhupada, and we must now be loyal and follow them. If we, for whatever reason, do not like this and we think we know, better we should leave and start our own movement, as Srila Prabhupada did. This attitude is steeped in their typical deceitful perspective, faulty reasoning and false justifications. They know that this is not the same situation as back then. This is Srila Prabhupada’s movement. It is fuller and more robust than the individualized math system that existed then. These fake gurus, institutional officials and apologists operate within the Worldwide ISKCON society that was created by Srila Prabhupada. They have their positions and the associated power that they use to warp and twist the philosophy to meet their own agenda all by his dedication to give us the truth of spiritual life. It is not up to them to ask us to leave. This is our home, our family and our future. We were born into ISKCON not the karmi world. We have a right to be here and a right to not only be heard, but to be listened to.
We have heard all their excuses and lies and we know their corrupted minds and the despicable value system that they have indoctrinated the members of ISKCON with since Srila Prabhupada left.
We understand that the Devotional Community which has been normalized into accepting their value system lacks this much needed value system, as well. The corruption of our value system is starkly evidenced in ISKCON related websites that publish articles that seemingly offer a “Vaisnava” perspective on the issues within ISKCON, with ideas like ‘moving past the so-called problems within ISKCON’, and then the ‘we must be careful not to offend a Vaisnava’ and learn to forgive and forget, or the ‘not all GBC are bad guys’. The routine is nauseating, to say the least.
This input by devotees who portray themselves as being knowledgeable of sastra and appear to sincerely desire to help the devotees of ISKCON are in actual fact apologists, whose intention is to thwart anything that reflects badly on ISKCON and the corrupt leaders by promoting the ideas that we need to ‘move past’ or ‘apologize’ for offending senior devotees.
The influence of these apologists is counterproductive to ISKCON’s growth and development as a healthy community. This is a very unfortunate state of affairs, yet it is typical of a corrupt regime to have such people involved in its defense. Moving past means to overlook the corruption of the leaders as if it never happened, or happens. The main idea behind this mentality is ‘what is done is done’ so you have to accept it. This idea is being used in order to get devotees to accept that they are powerless to do anything to stop the corruption or the corrupt leaders in an attempt to anesthetize the general devotees to not deal with the problem.
The other idea of apologizing for offences against Vaisnavas (senior devotees) is to paint the picture that the leaders are also victims and so should be forgiven, for they too are powerless to do anything. There is no discussion on how a Vaisnava ‘never’ acts in the ways that we are addressing, or whether or not these devotees, in actual fact, qualify as Vaisnavas, aspiring or not.. The ideas of apologies promoted on public forums are really aimed at the victim, to attempt to make the victim feel guilty for speaking up against the corrupted leadership who are trying their best to serve the Vaisnavas…
The so-called devotees who have corrupted ISKCON remain silent and rarely offer sincere apologies and beg forgiveness or make recompense for their sins against the children of ISKCON. They often give the excuse that the leaderships are not corrupt but have only made mistakes, and that a blind uncle is better than no uncle. Yet they forget that the Pandavas had a blind uncle… Some apologists go as far as saying that not all the GBC or leaders are corrupt, but the facts speak for themselves. Some claiming that you can choose a GBC, like when shopping at a supermarket. All you have to do is to shop around for an amenable GBC man or woman if the previous one does not work.
Even if they are not actively engaged in criminal activity, they are indirectly involved and complicit when they do not make a stand against the criminals. It is, after all, their duty and responsibility for doing so, especially when they take up positions of power, influence and responsibility. There is absolutely no excuse for their negligence or cowardice, for this has gone on for far too long and they knew full well when they took up the mantle of leadership. No one forced them to do so. Any leadership position requires the leader to lead and to take responsibility for their role by responding in the most appropriate manner possible for the protection and care of the devotees under their care. To allow criminality to continue displays nothing but cowardice or compliance.
The apologist role in ISKCON is an insult to the intelligence and dedication of its true members. Their simplistic arguments are either signs of a very immature person or someone who has been instructed to attempt to dumb down the general devotees. The general devotee must learn to recognize this type of person and hear from and read their material with careful attention so as not to be fooled. We as a movement must make a determined effort to change our values system by not allowing this corruption to continue, and help in the healing of our movement so we are able to grow as a devotional community. We need to know that it is entirely possible to break away from this criminal culture by dealing with the cause of the corruption, by removing the corrupt leaders who have clearly demonstrated their willing complicity in the corruption.
It Is Your Duty to Fight, If Not You, Then Who?
The Brahman, Ksatriya, etc. provide protection for the other classes. The role of a ‘man’ in all cultures sees men protecting each other, women and children from aggressors. Where are the Brahmans, the Ksatriyas, or the men of ISKCON? The men and the general devotees are standing like the Kauravas stood while Draupadi was being disrobed. Standing there and deliberating, but not taking any action. The resultant reaction for this failure to act in an appropriate manner was obvious as Bhima and the other Pandava brothers killed every last one of them. Let us not forget, if you protect the criminal in any shape or form at the expense of the victim, it is a crime and no one escapes the reaction. No one.
What we are presenting is not difficult to understand, it is also not breaking news. For many years ISKCON devotees have been made well aware of the problems inherent in our present leadership. The onus is now on the general devotee to accept the fact that they are very much complicit in the criminality of these individuals by their acceptance and support of the corrupt leaders. There is no excuse for your inactivity and negligence now that you have been duly informed of the situation. It is up to you how you want to proceed from now on.
The Challenge to the Devotees of ISKCON to Take Responsibility
This is not a hard thing to do, is it? What is so hard about removing these corrupted individuals from official positions within our society? The simplest thing to do is to write in on these websites and provide support for the removal of these corrupt individual like Braja Bihari from all positions in ISKCON. We challenge the true followers of Srila Prabhupada to step forward now and make a stand against the corruption that is destroying our Movement.
Please remember the fate of most of the Gurukulis over the years. How many have been lost to drugs and alcohol, suicide and depression? Of the ones that have stayed close to Krishna, how many have gone over to other gurus and left Srila Prabhupada’s movement? These corrupt leaders have only secured a future for themselves, for they all have their positions and salaries and they have made sure that the children of ISKCON have no future inside the institution.
The ISKCON leadership has a lot to answer for.
No, we must not allow this corruption to go unchecked. It must be dealt with in a mature and Vaisnava manner. This may mean that we must make some hard decisions, but we must do whatever it takes to heal our movement. We must not allow ourselves to be so cheaply bought by either the corrupt ISKCON leaders or the insidious ISKCON apologists. We must learn how to do what is right. The future of our movement lies with each and every successive generation of devotees. Under this leadership, the future is planned not for your children and their children, but the new recruit who has little knowledge of history.
The strength of any movement or society is in its future generations, its children. Due to the corrupt leadership of devotees such as Braja Bihari, the future children of our movement will be destroyed and with that goes the future of ISKCON.
The very least that a devotee can do is to write [email protected] or [email protected], or speak to Braja Bihari himself and request him to own up to his crimes and encourage him to speak with honesty and truthfulness about his wrongdoings. If he can do this, admit that he knew full well what he was doing, he will be able to show us, the devotees of ISKCON, that he is truly remorseful. Encourage him to resign from his positions and take up a service that will see him be more true to his nature and level of realization, and help him to take shelter of devotees who truly have his best interest at heart.
The choice is yours. Either you support the corrupted leaders by your actions and inactions, or you support the victims. Please know that under the present corrupted leadership you too are the victim, the truth is the victim, and our future generations are the victims…
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Braja Bihari (das) BJD (Vrindavana – IN)
Date: Fri, Oct 24, 2008 at 3:49 PM
Subject: Re:This letter is attributed to you.
To: sanaka rsi
Dear Sanaka Rsi Prabhu,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Please forgive the brevity of my last e-mail. My computer is in the shop being fixed, and I’ve been borrowing others for brief times. I just wrote that to you in the short time I had on someone else’s computer after I got a reply from Vinod Bihari. I wanted to get something to you, since I hadn’t replied for a while.
I just went for a health check-up. They found that I have a serious heart problem. I went for a second medical opinion today. It does look like I will require an operation at some time. One thing the doctors said clearly was that I had to get rid of stress in my life.
So it may take me time to reply to things. I’m now thinking about the various changes I need to make in my life and service to de-stress.
As for the time of the petitions….
My memory of that time centers all around the “PSTTC” course that we were hosting (VTE’s Primary and Secondary Teacher Training Course) rather than specifics about Gauri. It was a big endeavor that was planned for over a year. There were teachers and presenters from all over the world. We were hosting the event. It was at that time I recall, that the news of Gauri’s case came up. I remember the challenge of keeping the course going well and on track while the local teachers (some of whom were taking the course) dealt with practicalities such as covering services, etc.
Braja Bihari dasa
Date: Fri, Nov, 14, 2008 At 2:46PM
To: Sanaka Rs
I hope you are well. I am sending this letter from my husband (I was meant to send it last week, sorry it’s late).I am taking care of his mail, as he has to make a strong effort to ‘get off the grid’ for a while, to address this newly emerged heart problem and likely surgery.
Please let me know if I can be of any help in trying to bring this situation to a closure.
ys, Ananda Vrindavaneswari dd
———- Forwarded Message ———-
Dear Sanaka Prabhu,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
As I mentioned in my last letter, I have this serious heart problem. Doctors have been very firm with me that I’m to take a full break from all previous activities for the upcoming 6 months or so.
I will not be taking any ISKCONResolve cases, will avoid the internet, e-mail conferences and will only be taking e-mails that are related to my health and from a few close friends. I’m to avoid all stress-related activities.
Regarding what you and I have been talking about and working on the past couple of months, Kavicandra Maharaja and Gopal Bhatta Prabhu have agreed to deal with this in my absence. I’m sorry I can’t deal directly with this at this time, but it is essential that I take this complete leave. Kavicandra Swami has been with me since I discovered my health issues, and he can vouch for, and support the need for, me to do this.
Badrinarayan Prabhu has also agreed to be consulted if need be. I trust these devotees, and will accept whatever decisions they make in dealing with my situation.
I also found these three devotees were far more objective than me when I was informing them of the situation. From that additional point of view, it seems that a better dialogue would be worked out with them.
Please do pass this on to the others. I’m including Maharaja and Gopal Bhatta Prabhu in this e-mail so that you all can start communicating with one another.
Your servant, Braja Bihari dasa
Originally Published: 3rd November 2010