Chakra Discussions

The Dhanurdara Scandal: What Decisive Actions Were Taken?

by Hare Krsna dasi

Posted February 23, 2007

I was mystified to read the following paragraph in the minutes to Day Ten of the 2007 GBC meetings:

"The GBC body spent the rest of the morning discussing and voting on a resolution concerning the situation of Dhanudhara Swami. This discussion began yesterday in a closed plenary session, but today the GBC deputies were invited to take part. Ravindra Swarupa Prabhu chaired this session, because he was on the subcommittee working on this resolution, as were Hridayananda Maharaja, Sivarama Swami, Radhanatha Swami, Badrinarayana Prabhu, Anuttama Prabhu, and Tamohara Prabhu. The discussion continued a long time, and the GBC dealt decisively with this issue."
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In this era of extreme spin and deception (also called Kali Yuga), I'm surprised that such a vague statement would be issued. Obviously, to those who are worried about the fact that such a blatent child abuser, offender of the Vaisnavas and destroyer of Srila Prabhupada's ISKCON so long maintained a position of honor in ISKCON, what matters is not that the "GBC dealt decisively with the issue," but rather exactly what kind of decisive action did they take?

Did their action deal with Dhanurdara only, or did it deal with other prominent child abusers, such as Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami. Did it deal only with the past, or did it put in place specific policies to counteract the perception that many call the "Saffron Wall," in other words: once you put on saffron, all your saffron brothers will defend your position to the end, as long as you don't sleep with a woman.

Did the GBC determine that in spite of all that Dhanurdara has done to ruin ISKCON -- monetarily, socially and spiritually -- that he and devotees like Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami should still be entitled to have samadhi's built in Mayapura when they eventually pass away?

Or did the GBC determine to make a clean break with the past and put in place special measures to thoroughly investigate and quickly and effectively deal with misdeeds by sanyasis and other prominent members of ISCKON? And what might these measures have been? Did they adopt a policy of Zero Tolerance for Child Abuse in ISKCON?

Is the GBC thinking about the future? Does the GBC realize that many second generation devotees will never take initiation because they have seen how when one sannyasi severely abuses the Vaisnavas, that all the other sannyasis will cover up for him and never take away his honored badge of sannyasa. (Just consider the convicted criminal Kirtananda Swami.)

Exactly how did the GBC "deal decisively" with the issues of the Dhanurdara case? Are they willing to articulate their decisive actions to the broken hearted parents of gurukulis who will never take initiation in ISKCON until their confidence in the honesty of the GBC can be restored?