Srila Prabhupada condemns “illegal” temple banning policy 

Spring 2006

We have previously exposed the hypocrisy of ISKCON UK’s management in banning Srila Prabhupada’s devotees from worshipping at Bhaktivedanta Manor simply for promoting Srila Prabhupada as the genuine Guru of ISKCON, while no such restrictions on temple worship in ISKCON apply to an exposed fraudster or even a convicted paedophile (indeed, one convicted child abuser in the movement is currently a guru receiving regular worship!). This year’s GBC resolutions have gone further and made it official policy to not bar paedophiles from visiting ISKCON temples.

407. Child Abuse Cases Mandatory Restrictions

After Going Through the Criminal System [Action Order] Resolved, That devotees who have been convicted, or found guilty in legitimate criminal or civil court proceedings, or there has been a determination by a government agency, of 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; 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 victims are also present.

2. In certain cases where the individual has been found 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 participation or visiting ISKCON temples or projects. Invoking this restriction would require the normal full CPO adjudication process and would be a decision of the CPO judges assigned to the case. Of course, any individual temple may choose to totally restrict an abuser from their particular temple.

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 ICOCP, and the decision would be made by the CPO Appeals Review Board.

a) Here we see that those who are convicted paedophiles are still allowed to VISIT ISKCON temples. They only have to abide by certain restrictions WHILST visiting. Even then such restrictions can be waived if there are “extenuating circumstances”.

b) Only in certain cases where the child abuse is “severe”, the offender MAY be restricted from visiting ISKCON temples. And even then it requires the “full CPO (Child Protection Office) adjudication process”.

c) Yet as we have documented in previous issues of BTP, anyone merely suspected of simply believing that Srila Prabhupada continues to be the diksa Guru for ISKCON (the IRM position) is ruthlessly driven out and banned from even setting foot inside the hallowed grounds of an ISKCON temple.

Thus the GBC have now put on record what they really think of paedophilia and their determination to stamp out child abuse. Those who commit abominable acts of child abuse are considered safer than those who simply THINK that Srila Prabhupada, the founder and Guru of ISKCON, on whom everything in ISKCON rests, is the Guru of ISKCON. Thus far from advocating “zero tolerance” towards child abuse, the GBC have instead decided “zero tolerance” should only be practised in respect of devotees who have thoughts in their head about the glory and supremacy of Srila Prabhupada.

The whole world is coming to know and will be made aware of such shocking hypocrisy and double standards. Whilst ISKCON are happy to wrap themselves with the flag of “Hindu human rights” whenever they experience any trouble with the authorities, we will ensure that these authorities will be made fully aware of ISKCON’s own practise of human rights:


Hypocrisy of the Bhaktivedanta Manor management

“On that day, 36,000 people, from all over England, marched in central London to protest: “Today we are banned from worship— shame on the British government.”
(Article on the ‘Save the Manor’ campaign, Back to Godhead #30-04, 1996)

Temple banning is “illegal” 

“But there is one difficulty, because the present administration of Jagannath Puri sometimes do not allow us to enter the temple. Of course, for our vaisnavas this discrimination is spiritually illegal.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter April 8th, 1972)

“Especially in those days they were very strict. They do not allow anyone except Hindus to enter the temple. Nowadays, of course, there is law. If somebody is, actually has come to the Hindu way of life, he’s allowed. Our Jayagovinda and others were allowed to see Jagannatha temple.”
(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, August 4th, 1969)

Temple banning not approved by Lord Caitanya 

“Similarly, the members of this Krsna consciousness society are sometimes refused entrance into some of the temples in India […]
Such dogmatic prohibitions were not approved by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu.”
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila, 1:63, purport)

Rascal management bans Vaisnavas from temples 

“It is very regrettable that these European and American boys who are purely Vaisnava and who follow all principles are not allowed by the rascals to enter the temple [...]
I do not know what makes the management take this attitude [...] According to sastra anyone who wears tilaka and sikha and kunti over and above the Vaisnava dress or Vaisnava sannyasi must be accepted especially while chanting Hare Krishna mantra with bead bags. Kindly convince them and induce them to allow these Vaisnavas to enter Jagannatha Temple.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, April 8th, 1974)

“So you don’t take simply Jagannatha temple. There are many other temples, they allow. It is a particular management body, they do not allow. But that is not the sanction of the sastra. That is not the sanction. Suppose in your private house you make some private law. That is your business. But actually temple is open for everyone.”
(Srila Prabhupada Darshan, July 8th,1976)

ISKCON temples open for everyone

 “Oh. So that we cannot cancel:
“These hippies are not admitted.” No. We admit everyone. We cannot say that “Such and such person cannot enter into our temple.” We cannot say. Everyone is welcome.
Everyone is welcome...
We cannot say, just like, in some hotels, that “Such and such persons are not admitted.” No. We cannot. We admit everyone.”
(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, 29th April 1969, Boston)

“Yes. Temple is open for everyone.
Let them come and sit down, chant Hare Krsna, hear Bhagavad gita.
We don’t say, “Oh, are you potter? No. You are not allowed.” We don’t say that. “Are you cobbler?
Oh, you are not allowed.” No.
We don’t say that. Everyone is welcome.
Come on.”
(Srila Prabhupad Room Conversation, 16th July 1968, Montreal)

“Regarding Narottama das, our policy should be to keep members as much as possible. We should not flatly say ‘You must leave.’’ That is not our policy.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 12th August 1969, Los Angeles)

“In our Temple all Europeans, Indians, Mohammedans, Christians, everyone is welcome.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 29th January 1970)

“...In this class we do not prohibit anyone to come within the Temple, everyone is welcome.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 5th February 1970)

Remember we are NOT speaking of banning murderers or people who could pose a threat to innocent children (as we see above, they are welcomed). No, we are simply speaking of persons who are supposedly carrying around the ‘wrong’ thoughts in their head - namely, that Srila Prabhupada is the real Guru of ISKCON.