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The following are excerpts from a letter that Ravindra Svarupa Dasa, our GBC chairman, posted on the COM GBC Discussions wherein he speaks about the recent re-instatement of Dhanudara Swami (pictured right), a convicted Child abuser, back into the parampara. This ridiculous state of affairs, wherein the GBC have overruled their own Child Protection body - the ICOCP (ISKCON Central Office of Child Protection) - in order to allow Dhanudara to initiate immediately - was highlighted in previous articles:

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"I have already received a number of letters objecting to the decision by the GBC Executive Committee to allow a slight modification in the Dhanurdhara Swami judgment handed down by the tribunal of the ISKCON Central Office of Child Protection (ICOCP). This modification allowed for the initiations permitted by the decision to take place in a back yard in up-state New York.

I want to deal with those objections, give our reasons for the decision, discuss the wider ramifications of the situation, and offer the beginnings of a resolution. Everyone recognizes the issue concerning Dhanurdhara Swami as highly divisive, but I think we need to be more clearly conscious about the precise nature of that divisiveness. It is characterized by extreme polarization between two morally certain groups, and it is this moral certitude on both sides that gives the polarization its particularly stark and unyielding character. We should also be aware that there are two quite similar cases coming down the pike, that of Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami and of Nitai Chand Swami. All three are leaders subjected to the ICOCP process for dealing with child abuse cases.

I believe that in many of us there is much unacknowledged guilt over many offenses against defenseless or surrendered members of our society, epitomized by the children, and we certainly need to do something about it. But scapegoating does not work. You may feel satisfied for a little while, but the guilt is not expiated. Nor does it really appease the angry and the resentful victims, who intuitively see through the psychological ruse and notice all who have "gotten away with it." Scapegoating demands periodic sacrifices. If anyone hoped that the ICOCP would oblige us by handing us our sacrificial victim all trussed up and ready to go, it did not. And in any case I am strongly opposed to trying to solve our problem by making anyone a scapegoat. Therefore the question remains: What, then, will we do? How will we deal with our polarized and disintegrating society; how will we confront our conflicting moral claims? I think that by resolving to represent all of ISKCON and to "hear the other side" the GBC will gradually be able to to better adjudicate this and similar problems and ultimately attain the gift of reconciliation. We may also gain the foresight to deal with these conflicts before they grow and harden into such an intractable shape. If we ask why ISKCON now finds itself in such an impossible position, we can only conclude that is must be due to the continuing reactions to our own sins and offenses. Thus, the GBC (and ISKCON) still needs to atone for its sins and its offenses, acknowledged and unacknowledged. I have been praying and struggling to understand what I can do about this, as I feel the heavy responsibility to do something, but I also feel the situation extremely difficult--I cannot see any mundane solution--and anyway my powers of action are limited, even though I also feel I was elected by the GBC this year to somehow do something. So I have been baffled and in much distress. But this morning I got what I hope is some inspiration. For this year I am the chairman of the GBC, and I have already seen that to many people this means I personally represent the whole GBC body and even ISKCON. I certainly find that I am expected to answer for what the GBC body has done as though I had personally done it.

It seems that this phenomena is due to the nature of representation itself. Merely by having the post of GBC chairman, it seems that I represent--or in other words, personify--the GBC; and further, since the GBC in turn represents ISKCON, by extension I also represent ISKCON.

Consequently, it may be that if the GBC chairman personally undergoes a public act of atonement or penance, or act of contrition, that will become, symbolically and spiritually, the action the GBC and ISKCON itself. Therefore I am planning to vow that during the month of Damodara I will strictly undertake to observe a Kartika vrata, by staying in the holy dhama of Vrndavan, chanting sixty-four rounds a day, undergoing austerities such as reduced eating, and trying to pray continuously and ernestly for forgiveness for all our offenses to Srila Prabhupada, to Vaishnavas, and to dependents like women and children. Of course, now our offenses and sins against our children are foremost in mind, but these are just part of a larger pattern of offenses, ultimately to Prabhupada. I would also like to invite all GBC members--both present and past--to join with me in this vrata of penance. The more who participate, the more powerful will be the effect upon us and our society. However, if no one comes, I plan to undertake it anyway. I cannot think this vrata would be sufficient for us to solve our self-made problems; I am convinced, however, that it is a necessary step."

(Ravindra Svarupa Das, GBC Chairman)

Some points to Note:

1.   Cases similar to the Dhanudara Swami fiasco regarding Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami and Nitai Chand Swami are also pending. If indeed the ICOCP also find these individuals guilty will Ravindra also 'white-wash' these cases and again step into help out his old Guru pals? Maybe the ICOCP should only adjudicate cases for non-Guru devotees, since it is clear their judgements have no value where Ravindra's old guru pals are involved.

2.   The GBC Chairman admits that the society is 'polarised & disintegrating', and that this state of affairs is due to the many sins and offenses of the GBC towards Srila Prabhupada and others.

3.   The GBC chairman admits that he is 'baffled' as to know what to do about the problem. Well why not resign and let others who are not so 'baffled' step in? That however would be far too logical. Better that the most important position in our society is given to someone who is 'baffled' as to what to do.

4.   However do not worry folks. Just when you thought all was lost, our esteemed chairman has had a brain-wave. He is going to chant and fast for a month during Kartika. (Aren't devotees sort of expected to do that anyway). So now we can all sleep soundly in our beds, knowing that when it all seemed hopeless, and when even our chairman was 'baffled', he will not just be sitting round doing nothing, but rather - er - he will be just sitting round chanting. This is all very nice and I am sure he will benefit enormously. But if these were the sorts of activities required, and if just ONE month of such chanting and fasting can have so much effect, why didn't they just appoint some Vrindavan Babajis to all the GBC posts to BEGIN with, and then all our problems would have been solved quicker. What need after all for all these great American 'managers' with their Phd's.

5.   At least the GBC chairman admits the problems are 'self-imposed'
How about then that these 'selves' who 'imposed' these problems to begin with, removing themselves from creating more problems. Again, I suppose that would be too logical.

6.   Finally, pardon me from stating the obvious, but if all our problems are due to committing offenses to Prabhupada, and we still have the same systems and people in place that created and perpetrated these problems, then surely the only way to STOP these offenses is to CHANGE these systems and people - not just have these same jokers go away to Vrindavan for a month while they reacquaint themselves with their bead-bags.

If this is all the GBC have to offer while ISKCON burns, no wonder more and more devotees are looking to the IRM to save our society in this hour of need.

Join the IRM and restore Srila Prabhupada to ISKCON - that is the only way - not more of the same.


Other GBC Men Speak Out Against Re-instatement of Dhanudhara Swami

 The re-instatement of Dhanudara back to the parampara, which if course reminds us of 1986 and the re-instatement of Bhavananda, has drawn sharp criticism from other GBC's. The following is the opinion of a very prominent US GBC:

"From my experience, Dhanudhara Maharaja has no real remorse. When confronted in LA he denied every-thing and only conceded piece meal when faced with overwhelming evidence and testimony. But lest there be any doubt, he did freely admit at the end that he personally beat boys very badly, and knew about much of the other horrible abuse and covered it up. This is all on video amazingly enough. What deflates the argument that this was all long ago, DS was caught in a tough time and culture of violence in all our schools is the fact that long after the GBC had banned corporal punishment in the schools he was telling Gauri dasa (the main boys' teacher in Vrindaban) to ignore the ban and keep beating the kids with sticks. He told Gauri that the GBC ban was bogus and therefore could be ignored. We found out about it only when the kids took photos of black and blue marks and big welts from a recent beating and mailed me the photos. Bhurijan's son took the photos smuggled them out to me when I was a GBC executive officer. This was only a few years ago. That is when I finally concluded that Dhanurdhara Maharaja is a profile with a hollow core. My stand on Dhanurdhara Maharaja and our facing up to all this is on the record. They remain the same and I am still doing what little I can to push us towards us being a moral society with no one above the law.[...] 

I also am burned out on the fighting. It is not that others are wrong to argue strongly their opinions, it is just that I personally can't take it any more. Ravindra is in a very tough spot, but I think that Dhanurdhara Maharaja will burn us later on down the line anyway. We were so heavy with Mahavisnhu Goswami for being unsubmissive to the GBC directives, but he was nothing compared to DS (in my opinion) The more disciples he has, the more he will threaten us with,and he has already said numerous times that he will leave ISKCON if we are "Too heavy" with him."