Official report of the ISKCON Central Office of Child Protection on Bhavananda dasa.

This judgment, decided on July 1, 2000, was rendered in accordance with the guidelines for adjudicating cases of alleged child abuse established by the ISKCON Child Protection Task Force Report and ratified by the ISKCON Governing Body Commission. This judgment is the official decision of the ISKCON Central Office of Child Protection (ICOCP) on the child abuse case of Bhavananda dasa (legal name).


Bhavananda dasa is a white-bodied person who has received initiation from Srila Prabhupada. He was formerly in the sannyasa asrama and for several years was an initiating guru and a member of the ISKCON Governing Body Commission. Currently he resides in Australia.


Regarding Bhavananda dasa, one devotee (witness 1) stated that he remembers in the Henry Street temple in New York that one time Bhavananda got angry with the children about something. He had all the children come downstairs to the basement and expose their bottoms. He started to whack them indiscriminately, and, according to witness 1, who was one of the children, with maliciousness. This was 1970. The witness was 7 years old.


Witness 5, during a phone interview with a representative from the ICOCP, stated that 5 times, in the late 1970s or early 1980s, Bhavananda made him, when he was a teenager, masturbate Bhavananda, and Bhavananda passed semen. [...] Bhavananda did not reply to attempts by the ICOCP to obtain from him a written statement concerning the allegations of witness 5.


Based on the evidence and descriptions above, this panel has determined the following:

Bhavananda dasa physically and psychologically abused several children, thus causing pain and suffering for these young devotees.


Judges serving on this case were: Jyestha dasi, Praghos dasa, and Hanuman dasa. The Case Manager for this case was Dhira Govinda dasa. The Director of ICOCP at the time of this Official Decision was Dhira Govinda dasa.


Brooklyn, N.Y., August 21, 1985

"[...] at a certain time in my life as a guru and GBC man in ISKCON, from around 1980 to 1982 I experienced severe problems with my spiritual life and I
fell down many times. In the past few years I'd overcome that, but there was still or still are symptoms, external symptoms, that something internally is wrong.
In other words, I developed a spirit of enjoyment, an enjoying spirit. [...] Of course I .had hoped that these falldowns would not be known, but in our Society there are no secrets, because you can't keep a secret from Krsna.

Anyway, everything was going along, and we came to this meeting in NewVrindavan [...] at this meeting it was presented to me that someone had testified that I had approached them for sex in Vrindavan in 1980 and I went to Ba1avanta and Rupanuga and Tamal Krsna Prabhus and told them, yes that was right, It was true."