Chakra Discussions

Mayapura Gurukula child protection is a must

by Devahotra das

Posted October 22, 2003

Any devotee who says that the Office of Child Protection are a bunch of "do-gooders" is an apologist for child abusers and is unfit to hold office in ISKCON having anything to do with children. Despite potentially crippling lawsuits that the movement in the United States is facing, despite all the evidence of physical and psychological abuse of children entrusted to ISKCON by parents, it seems that lessons still need to be learnt again.

The lesson to be learnt is zero tolerance for child abuse and for apologists for abusers. It means submitting allegations of criminal conduct, especially the sexual abuse of children, to the civil authorities -- to the police. It means sacking incompetent or corrupt members of any Child Protection team who fail to act.

Bhakti Vidya Purna Maharaja may well have learnt lessons from his past. Fantastic. Not good enough for gurukula children whose lives were shattered by toxic abuse. Not good enough to guarantee that harm won't happen to children today. Are parents guaranteed that their children are safe from systemic violence and sexual expolitation by so-called teachers and ashram guardians?

I believe that all allegations of child abuse, however old, should be investigated by the civil authorities and devotees should cooperate to ensure that perpetrators receive appropriate justice.