Open Letter to Tamohara
Posted September 25, 2004
Dear Tamohara Prabhu,
It has been brought to my attention that there were a few recent incidents of molestation at the Vrndavana gurukula. Being an alumnus, and having suffered abuse at the hands of the ISKCON guru His Divine Grace Danudhara Swami and Bhavananda for years, and after witnessing teachers molesting boys, I find this incident most unfortunate.
There are conflicting versions of events being offered. One side says that there was molestation. Ananta Vrndavana Prabhu said there was an attempted molestation. Either case is not good. Another contradiction is that one party says that the authorities tried to cover it up and threatened people, while the other party said the attempted molester was immediately suspended and dismissed. These are issues that need to be investigated and resolved.
One failure of the CPC system is that information at the local level does not filter out to the general public. I had no idea that there were these incidents, nor did most other people. I also think that your report should address the following questions:
- What was the process used to hire Upendra?
- Were these incidents molestation or attempted molestation?
- What is the veracity of the charge of intimidation?
- Who was warned to keep the incident quiet?
- Which Ashram Teacher threatened to blackmail the complainer as a child-abuser if he did so?
- Why did it take Bhima Karma Prabhu to speak up, for other devotees to find out about this incident?
- Where is Upendra; is he at another gurukula or temple where there are children who can be victimized by him?
- What procedures will you implement so that in the future, when there is an incident the general population is made aware of both the incident and the abuser?
At this point, I don't know who to believe, as I know both parties involved-but both parties cannot be right. I thank you very much for your efforts into this matter and I await your response.