Kirtanananda Swami's Release from Prison
Posted June 20, 2004
Dear Maharajas and Prabhus,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
I am writing on behalf of the Executive Officers of the ISKCON North American Temple Presidents and GBC.
Kirtanananda dasa Swami, aka Swami Bhaktipada, aka Keith Ham, will be released from the United States Federal Prison system Wednesday, June 16, 2004, having served approximately eight years in prison. Although unlikely, he may wish to visit your temple, or you may be contacted about the possibilities of such a visit. We are sending you this letter as an update of his continued status in relation to ISKCON.
Kirtanananda is prohibited from visiting any ISKCON temple or ISKCON-affiliated project.
This prohibition remains in place per prior decisions of the Governing Body Commission (GBC) of ISKCON, and ISKCON's Child Protection Office, or the Association for the Protection of Vaishnava Children (APVC). These decisions were made in 1987 and 2000, respectively, as outlined below:
- Kirtanananda Swami was expelled from the International Society for
Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), on March 16, 1987, by resolution of the
Governing Body Commission (GBC). That expulsion concludes with the
"The ISKCON GBC hereby expels Kirtanananda Swami from ISKCON and thereby removes all his rights and responsibilities related to ISKCON. The ISKCON GBC further issues a notice of non-participation forbidding Kirtanananda Swami from participating in the functions of ISKCON." (Full text of the Resolution is below.)
- On October 25, 2000, a decision was rendered by the ISKCON Child
Protection Office, or the Association for the Protection of Vaishnava
Children (APVC) regarding Kirtanananda Swami. That decision involves a
series of restriction and requirements, including the following:
"Kirtanananda is not permitted to have any contact with ISKCON or ISKCON-affiliated organizations for five years from the date of this Official Decision...If Kirtanananda dasa violates any of the dictates of this Official Decision, then he can have no association with ISKCON temples or projects until his case is reviewed by the APVC. This ban means that he cannot enter ISKCON property or the property of any organization affiliated with ISKCON."
As of this date, Kirtanananda has not complied with the list of requirements of the APVC decision and is violation. He therefore remains banned from ISKCON temples and affiliated projects by both the 1987 GBC resolution and 2000 APVC decision.
If you have additional questions, please contact me, Anuttama dasa, at 301 299-9707, or my assistant, Chitralekha dd, at email@example.com
For further information regarding the CPO decision, please contact that office at 386- 418-0882, or at firstname.lastname@example.org
On behalf of:
Romapada Swami, Chair
Malati Dasi, Vice Chair
Nityananda Dasa, Vice Chair
Resolution of the ISKCON Governing Body Commission (GBC) dated Monday March 16, 1987.
- Whereas Kirtanananda Swami, by his words and deeds, has
systematically obscured and minimized His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta
Swami Srila Prabhupada's pre-eminent position as the Founder-Acharya of
- Whereas Kirtanananda Swami in word and deed rejects the Governing
Body Commission as the ultimate managing authority in ISKCON, and by so
doing is dismantling Srila Prabhupada's vision of unity;
- Whereas Kirtanananda Swami is, in defiance of GBC policy and over
the GBC's protest, establishing in North America, India, and Malaysia,
temples and institutions controlled by himself alone, thus creating a
movement separate from ISKCON;
- Whereas in word and deed, Kirtanananda Swami, while acting
independently of ISKCON authority, systematically misrepresents ISKCON to
the public, the media, and the government, and thereby brings ISKCON into
- Whereas, as indicated by the GBC investigations, numerous, serious illegal acts have occurred within his jurisdiction;
The ISKCON GBC hereby expels Kirtanananda Swami from ISKCON and thereby
removes all his rights and responsibilities related to ISKCON. The ISKCON
GBC further issues a notice of non-participation forbidding Kirtanananda
Swami to participate in the functions of ISKCON.