Chakra Discussions

Child Protection Office clarifies status of Kirtanananda das

by Tamohara das

Posted August 8, 2004

As there have been letters written about the status of Kirtanananda das, in addition to personal inquiries I have received, I wish to clarify his status with the Child Protection Office. The following represents the decision of a panel of judges appointed by the CPO regarding allegations of child abuse (all judges' decisions are followed by ISKCON and the GBC). This is independent of any other rulings by the GBC, and does not address other issues. The CPO decisions are for the sole purpose of addressing charges of child maltreatment, protecting the children of ISKCON, and ensuring justice to those abused.

The judges' panel found sufficient evidence that Kirtanananda was guilty of one instance of sexual abuse of a minor. The ruling specified that Kirtanananda das be excluded from visiting any ISKCON temple for five years from the time of the Child Protection Office Official Decision, or until October 2005. At that time he may visit any temple, but may not reside at a temple or hold office within ISKCON (lifetime restriction).

To qualify to again participate at temples (but not reside or hold office) he must meet certain criteria, including writing a letter of apology to the victim, paying restitution, and undergoing a psychological evaluation. These are fairly standard conditions in child abuse cases. As of this date, Kirtanananda has not met these requirements.

We wish Kirtanananda well in pursuing devotional service and making spiritual advancement. However, the primary function of the CPO is to ensure the safety and welfare of Vaisnava children, and that is our priority.