Chakra Discussions

Allowing Leadership Role for Former Abuser Is Hypocritical

by Author's name withheld

Posted May 28, 2006

This is in response to GourHari's "Irresponsible Posting" article.

Although Gour Hari was close to victims and knows how a person looks like after abuse, I do not think he will ever really know how this pain feels and how it hunts one for life. It is one thing to witness pain and another to feel it. I didn't know Ananda myself, but there are probably other reasons that triggered his pain and helped him with the gun. Nevertheless, Ananda was a victim of abuse from ISKCON's leaders when he was a child.

In my opinion Gour Hari's response is somewhat misleading. Experiences of childhood influence life entirely. That is why Srila Prabhupada opened gurukulas in the first place: to influence the lives of children forever.So he put trust in his disciples, and was betrayed by them.

ISKCON has closed the Gurukulas and showed a bit of sympathy. That was a good start, but more needs to be done when so many lives were spoiled. If ISKCON wants to apologize from the heart it should immediately stop supporting any of the abusers, no matter what services they have offered. ISKCON should act responsibly.

When one has inflicted so much harm to a child, measures have to be taken responsibly andseriously. To start, a predator -- no matter the rank or service he or she performs -- should be punished. This person should never be in a leadership position, because no matter how much he can change from the outside, I do not believe that a child predator can change from the inside.

I am not here to present research. ISKCON has already researched all the facts and has acquired all the knowledge about abuse. The problem is: why is the society not acting responsibly? As long as ISKCON remains irresponsible to its own children, it will lose more of them.

As already mentioned, there could have been other reasons that added up to Ananda's pain, but it is known by those close to him, such as those who spoke at his funeral, that Ananda suffered from his childhood. He obviously felt no solace being betrayed by people who claim to bring peace to the world. (Those who inflict the abuse and those who directly or indirectly support it are in the same boat, as far as I am concerned.)

Krishna and Srila Prabhupad are not pleased by Ananda's absence, nor is Krishna pleased by hypocrisy, so if ISKCONis not pleasing Krishna, what is its reason for preaching?