Go to the Child Abuse Page
Windle Turley, P.C. Responds to Raghunatha Anudasa
Has Stolen My Day in Court: An Open Letter to Mr. Turley
of you have heard about the lawsuit filed against ISKCON by the Turley Law
firm. The following is a petition I'm circulating to send him. The reasons
for this petition are given below in my letter to Turley. I will include
your responses to him on this matter unless otherwise requested not to.
was ready to join the lawsuit. Then I met Nirmala Chandra, Mr. Hickey. And I
saw his Dad, Jagadish, the ex minister of education. No one in the last 5
years has been more abusive with me then Nirmala was in 20 minutes.
was furious because I have been rallying my guru-kula friends to join the
lawsuit so we may use our portion of the settlement to buy back the temples
of our choice. To many guru-kulis like myself, there is no sweeter justice
then winning the beautiful temples of our childhoods from the hands of the
monsters who tortured us.
justice for the victims is the issue at stake in this case, then our
interest in these temples is as legitimate as those who wish to have the
cash. It maybe more legitimate then demanding cash, for the temples are the
spoils of our enemies--abusers.
something even more pressing. Temples provide shelter to hundreds of women
and children as their only room and board in addition to offering them a
religious and cultural center. Temples offer parents an instant community
for their kids in an age otherwise deprived of community. How can I live at
the expense of innocent women and children in the name of some cause. This
is exactly what was done to me and my friends and Mata, Mother, when I was a
boy. I must give these innocent dependents the consideration otherwise taken
from me as a child or else, I perpetuate the heartlessness of my abusers
we have Nirmala: "I don't care what other guru-kulis want." If
2,000 guru-kulis wanted the temples while he remained the only one who did
not, so what. It makes no difference to him.
Nirmala, this case has little to do with guru-kulis, their abuse and their
justice. This case is about Nirmala. Nirmala was your first contact and so
it appears that Nirmala has set the tone, the agenda and the priorities of
this case. Nirmala has turned our cause into a case about Nirmala's personal
prejudices against Indian culture.
Chandra considers everyone a deviant should they have any affections for the
charms of India; Indian culture, Indian religion or anyone even lightly
associated with them. You see, Nirmala's hatred is not for ISKCON and
Prabhupada per say so much as it is for anything Indian.
and Siddhababa, Ben, said as much. They beat up on me because I happen to
love India. The country can be demanding on the best of us but when you see
things as the Taj Mahala or the Himalayas or South India, its beyond
compare. I love Indian culture. Hands down, they have some of the world's
best vegetarian cooking, some of the most exotic music, dance, fashion and
antiquity. I have found direction from its spiritual teachings and a great
deal of solace from many of its practices such as yoga, meditation and
devotion. This makes me nothing less then an enemy to Nirmala.
has successfully ostracized a number of abused victims like myself from
joining while making many others who are on the lawsuit feeling unsettled at
best. Nirmala has taken an issue of justice so important to thousands of
other guru-kulis and turned it into a case about his agenda, not ours.
can take a poll should you care to see how true this is. I will circulate
this letter to my other friends to get specific names and numbers of
gurukulis who feel the same.
out of a thousand or even two thousand abused children, have hardly 40
signed on after a year with another 50 or so only now considering? In one
word-Nirmal. He insists on going after a culture most guru-kulis have
respect for and as often, a great deal of affection.
lies the problem. Nirmala is compromising my simple case of child abuse by
his hatred of anything remotely associated with Indian culture. It may only
be a building once used by those who partook in Indian traditions. He hates
such a building. Anyone who could want such a building must also be
virulently condemned. He harshly berates such guru-kulis. Constantly.
bigotry of this radical stand provides a great deal of leeway for the
abusers of my childhood. They can legally maneuver their crimes into the
mantle of India's glory. That is the last excuse I want these criminals to
use in their defense. They will hold up the legitimacy of India, Indian
culture and the rights of religion to hide their abuses. I will fight
them-anyone--to keep them from hiding there.
crimes have nothing to do with India, its people or its culture just as it
has nothing to do with religion, one's right to practice it or the US
Constitution. It's much like the witch-hunts that killed millions of women.
It has little to do with the bible or true Christianity. To have a case that
says as much give these abusers little room to hide. I want them to face the
full fury of their guilt. Anything less would not be true justice.
out of Nirmala's house left me reeling. I was feeling Nirmala was playing
right into the hands of the abusers by radicalizing our legitimate case of
child abuse. I felt demoralized, disgusted and hurt. Very hurt.
it from my eyes. Here's Nirmala chandra. Nirmala was given VIP treatment as
the son of the Minister of Education. Where was his abuse while I was being
systematically tortured in every possible way under the stewardship of his
had to watch year after year after year as Nirmala was exempted from most
every abusive teacher and practice while I was subjected to its harshest as
the movements oldest, longest standing and most `troubled' child. I was the
one made to bare the beatings, the starvation in the name of discipline, the
one left locked in cold showers for days in winter and sexually abused while
he remained sheltered under his father's position and influence.
now today, I have to again see Nirmala, but this time, he provides safe
haven to his father under the cause of my abuse by his father.
has taken the abuse of me and my friends and used it for his cause of hatred
of Indian culture and protection for his dad.
now have to listen to Nirmala tell me that his father, Jagadish, is
matter that his dad knew of my abuses.
matter that Jagadish knew of all the abuses of all my friends throughout the
world since the very beginning. No one knew as much, about so many. A secret
his dad carried with poise for more then a quarter century.
matter that his dad crafted the policies of abuse, promoted them more then
any other and then instituted them throughout more schools then all others
matter that Jagadhish spent decades justifying them. He was not a 20
something hothead youth. He knew better or should have after 30 years, 2,000
students and as a mature man of 50.
matter that Jagadish hid the crimes and aggressively defended the abusers to
other GBC leaders, parents and devotees at large. When these criminals could
no longer find amnesty in one of his schools, he arranged for their
transfer. It was not other leaders, but Jagadhish. Jagadish sent them to
other schools under his guardianship. He did so without informing the
leaders of those places what to speak of parents. His `teachers' again
abused children, but did so more aggressively the second time around. The
teachers ended up abusing the children of the local leaders. This was
Jagadish's doing, not the leaders whose children where abused by his
matter that all of this was done exclusively with the money collected and
provided by my mother or other parents bullied by him to hand us over to his
`protection.' Guru-kula was his cash cow. That's how he made his money. That
was his living. My dear Mata, Mother, alone gave him up to a quarter of
million dollars. Money that was supposes to go to guru-kula. It was suppose
to go to me and my friends. I was the last to get the benefits of her money
while he was always the first. The money covered his many tickets and those
of his children. My Mata's money went to Jagadish's VIP privileges from
specially furnished quarters and vehicles, to good medical care and his own
cook for meals not allowed other devotees, children or me. He could have at
least shared some with me. It was my Mata that sent him the tens of
thousands of dollars every month for years. Nope. That was his decision. No
matter that Jagadish perpetrated these crimes using the powers vested in and
taken from the comforts of the very highest office the society had to offer
on any given year. He did so till his very last day. He happily enjoyed the
luxury afforded his office and continuously employed the full power of his
post as Minister of Education. He did so as one of the select few members of
the GBC. He again did so as a sanyasi priest before moving onto the highest
position of all, that as venerable guru. The post of guru comes with nothing
short then all the honors bestowed upon Christ himself.
of these positions Jagadish returned to after having left them and the
society for months at a time. Jagadish would leave every 3 or 4 years and
did so for most of his entire 30 years he was a leader in ISKCON. His
conflicts remained severe and for good reason. Yet, he always returned. That
was his choice. He remains the only person in the history of the whole
society to have been reinstated so many times. He has always been privileged
more then most anyone in the movement much as Nirmala has been privileged
more then most any other child in our guru-kula schools.
matter that Nirmala was protected by his dad's post throughout the decades
of his dad's reign while I suffered horribly at his father's hands. Nirmala
some how feels the right to tell me his dad is suddenly innocent. Not tell
me, but to berate me publicly when I come in respect and good will for his
of other guru-kulis in the cause of justice are no different then the
teachers abuse of guru-kulis done in the name of religion. Let's not become
the monsters we so disdain.
till this day have I spoken an ill word against Jagadish. Not in 35 years. I
started the newsletters that exposed the abuses of the guru-kula schools and
its teachers when devotees considered such material blasphemous and when
other guru-kulis wanted nothing to do with guru-kula past. I managed to
interest both parties leading to the guru-kula reunions, which I also
started, and the reform movements against child abuse in ISKCON. Yet after
hundreds of pages of such a newsletter and thousands of letters of
correspondence on the subject, I avoided condemning Jagadish. I did so out
of respect for what seemed to be his genuine remorse for these abuses.
I ask you; what am I to do? Nirmal now mercilessly attacks me for not
joining him in blaming Prabhupada. Jagadish, meanwhile, sits by mutely
knowing full well how he beat me, how he had others beat me severely and
that it was Prabhupada who stepped in on my behalf to have a teacher,
Jitaparan, thrown out when informed by Bhagaji of his beating me. Beatings
Jitaparana did for years with Jagadish's knowledge and support. Only when
brought to Prabhupada's attention was Jitaparana asked to leave. Jitaparana
was gone the very next morning.
of the only times Prabhupada uses the word "beat" was after nearly
a half hour of prodding from the teachers. It's a revealing conversation
because Prabhupada recommends a series of other options for disciplining a
child. Prabhupada covers everything from finding the child a different
engagement, another place or an entirely new setting like a farm. Finally,
Prabhupada recommends the Hydrabad farm. The teachers will not hear of it.
They insist there is no other way but corporal punishment. They again press
Prabhupada. Who leads this charge? Jagadish. Prabhupada goes on about 10
times, `have the boy transferred' and as many times, Jagadish pushes for
beating the boy. Count them when I send you a copy of this discussion. This
conversation was very much like Jagadish in Dallas years before; prodding
Prabhupada into his idea of child rearing.
is leading who? Was it Prabhupada's policies or those imposed upon him by
Jagadish? You will find this same scenario played out time and again when it
came to Prabhupada and the GBC.
told Rameswara to return Robin Goerge to her parents. Rameswara instead hid
her, shuffling her from temple to temple and implicating each of those
temples in the court case her parents later filed against ISKCON. ISKCON
lost millions. Who's responsible, Prabhupada or Rameswara and the many
others who also hid her?
Prabhuapda, an 80-year-old man, being told by his most senior men and most
senior teachers what was needed-to "beat." These teachers had been
taking care of the kids' day in and day out since the beginning of guru-kula:
Rupa Vilasa, Dhanur dhara, Yasodananada and most of all Jagadish. Jagadish
was one of Prabhupada's most trusted and senior men. Jagadish regularly told
Prabhupada what to do as repeatedly demonstrated in their conversations and
years of correspondence. I will send copies of this later. Prabhupada
finally says `send this boy away and only then if he is still misbehaving,
then you can "beat." Prabhupada follows this up by restating it's
better to send this boy away then corporal punishment.
know the time, place and friend they talked about: Jagaman, Vrindavan India,
76. I think the most pertinent point is that Jagaman had a great time at the
Hydrabad farm as Prabhupada suggested. Ask him. Nor was Jagaman ever hit
very fact Jagadish was pressing for permission to "beat"
demonstrates that Prabhupada could assume kids were not otherwise hit.
Prabhupada could only assume this in degree he could trust Jagadish. Was
Jagadish worthy of this trust?
must read the conversation. Jagadish starts by relating how early he wakes
us kids up in the morning: 3:30 am. Prabhupada is surprised. Reading this
amazed me for I thought that such an early schedule was on Prabhupada's
insistence. Low and behold, it was not. This will surprise most guru-kulis,
parents, and even many teachers & leaders. In fact, Prabhupada expresses
concern. Prabhupada points out that Mangala arotic is at 5 am. and then
asks: Why wake the kids at 3:30 am? Prabhupada ask this several times and as
many times Jagadish reassures Prabhupada all is fine.
is similarly amazed and then concerned about the duration of class time 1 hr
45 minutes, the lack of food, the lack of sleep and the lack of play time.
Again, just as many times, Jagadish continuously reassures Prabhupada
everything is fine. In spite of these reassurance from Jagadish, Prabhupada
still presses that class time be reduced by 60%, that there must be breaks,
that more meals be added, that the kids get more play time, etc. The
conversation personifies the very heart of the issue-Prabhupada vs. Jagadish.
also know how this conversation played out as policy in Guru-kula. The
teachers pressed the point that they needed corporal punishment to keep the
rest of us in line. Prabhupada repeatedly dismissed the idea. And that was
the result. That conversation marks when the teachers stopped hitting us for
the first time in years. They kept their hands off us till Prabhupada's
teachers instead twisted Prabhupada's later recommendations of using peer
pressure to influence the younger. The teachers rallied the bullies to beat
up the weaker kids who fell from teacher's grace. Finding this too
troublesome, teachers reverted to lining us up in front of a misbehaved
student. The teacher then made each of us slap this boy. If the teacher felt
the slap was not hard enough, we were made to slap our friend again and
again. This was a daily ritual.
also started working us for hours, denying us meals and locking us in
bathrooms for days. This was all done to honor Prabhupada's demand that we
not be hit. The teachers reverted to these drastic measures to keep us
terrorized without hitting us. The stories go on and on how they distorted
"Prabhuapda said" into incredible tortures. This was their doing,
could a cultured, 80 year old, Bengali gentleman imagine these seemingly
smart, mature men, Jagadish, doing such horrible, horrible things? How could
anyone of Prabhupada's generation ever imagine atrocities being born of such
gentle and simple recommendations? How could anyone imagine?
wrote the official guide for all schools in the movement referred to as the
Guru-kula Handbook. He wrote this about 15 years after Prabhupada's passing.
To my utter disbelief, Jagadish changed Prabhupada's letter to read that
children should not live with parents when the letter (like many others)
actually reads just the opposite. This was to be a book read by hundreds of
teachers and devotees who would certainly catch such a brazen lie. Devotees
did catch this lie within months of the books release.
are but a couple out of hundreds of examples that I can gather from parents
and teachers, devotees and leaders. I will send them copies of this letter
to get their own first hand recollections of Jagadish. They will relate
story after story how Jagadish ignored, strong armed and lied outright about
teachers, abuse, students and worse of all: "Prabhupada said."
have hundreds of pages worth of stories like this about Jagadish and the
teachers vs. Prabhupada. I can fill in hundreds more on the GBC vs.
Prabhupada. Yet, Nirmala despises me for not joining him in pointing the
finger at Prabhupada.
has made it simple: 'You are either with us or you are against us.' No
middle ground. No pause for consideration. He leaves no possibility that
there could ever be another side to this story. If there is, he does not
want to hear it. This is the very fanatism I crew-up with. Bigotry under any
heading is evil. Pain and suffering of the innocent means nothing in the
march of their cause. I will not be part of that even if done in the name of
can I join Nirmala's cause against Prabhupada when I know the truth about
his father's role in these crimes? I know first hand all his fathers crimes
against me. A truth Nirmala knows little about and one he cannot and will
not hear. Nirmala cannot afford to hear the truth for it's his family that
carries much of the blame. I remained respectful throughout the whole of
Nirmala's tirade, but now I must speak.
final travesty of this whole thing is that Nirmala uses the podium of my
abuses, like those of my friends who also suffered at his father's hands, to
now shove his lie down my throat. He does so on the very day I was to have
justice from my abusers starting with his dad. I feel Nirmala has stolen my
day it court. I feel crushed.
comparable to a son of Hilter telling Jews that Hitler was innocent. `You
can't blame Hitler. Those mass exterminations are really just an extension
of German culture, and the German people.' What bull. It's worse then bull.
Such a dreadful lie would be so terrible; it would overshadow all the other
crimes of Hilter's entire Third Reich.
simple truth is that Jagadish over saw the greatest crimes against humanity
ever committed in this country in nearly a half century--40 years. He over
saw more child abuse then most anyone else in the `civilized world.' He
alone stands as the only common link to most every crime committed in our
schools. No one else comes close to being associated with the number of
abusers, abuses, places, decades and victims. No one.
Prabhupada was only around for about 5 years of guru-kula. 2 of them was in
resignation due to his failing health. That's just 3 years. Jagadish carried
on guru-kula with those schools abuses growing in severity for 2 more
decades after Prabhupada's passing. That's nearly a quarter of a century. By
then, Jagadish was the high command. Jagadish wrote the book on guru-kula.
Jagadish has nowhere else to look but Jagadish.
guilt cannot be excused, allowed excuses or given safe haven no matter who
his son or attorneys wish to implicate. How can anyone but the victims offer
immunity to such a man? This is exactly what the GBC did when it came to one
of their `own.' You are repeating the corruption of ISKCON all over again
before you've taken your first step. See how easy it is to fall into this
trap. To protect Jagadish against our specific request is the final crime to
his victims and the ultimate betrayal of justice.
implore you. Please, don't do this to us. Not you. Please not you. Don't be
taken in by this man or his son. All the students, parents and my dear Mata
have paid a terrible price for this same mistake. I know the charm of
Jagadish's soft spoken and thoughtful manner, the sincerity of cause, the
straightforward and self-deprecating style and most of all, the so
reasonable justifications for his sorry story. It was this very charm that
assuage victims and parents alike and that left leaders and devotees
speechless in their fury over the abuses. Worst of all, it made Jagadish's
role invisible to the world and to himself. Must I see this same sham
repeated on my own day of justice? Please.
would be no greater travesty then the Man-of-Justice starting this entire
case by defending Jagadish and then doing so to me and his other victims.
You've found the right case. You are starting with the two worse possible
persons: Jagadhish and his son.
chandra can only blame his dad and mother for these crimes. These are
Nirmamla's only two choices: either blame his parents or blame Prabhupada.
It was his father who was there in the background through all these crimes
while his mother took the foreground as the societies longest standing and
most senior teacher in the world. They set the tone and mood for both
teachers and parents. I'm sending a copy of this letter out to parents who
can also confirm this point. Still, Nirmala chooses to blame Prabhupada.
simply does not know better. He was too young, too sheltered and then left
too early to know what was going on with anyone else but himself. He was
about 2 when Prabhupada started guru-kula in 72 and hardly more then 6 when
Prabhupada passed away in 77. I was a teenager by then. All Nirmala can know
is what his dad told him. This is true of most of Nirmala's generation such
as Ben. They only know their abuses and what they were told about
am one of the few who knows most guru-kulis, who knows about most abuses,
who lived in most every school, under most every teacher in the movement
back in the day and experienced them under the different GBC
administrations. I'm probably the world's longest standing guru-kuli still
active in the movement and the guru-kula cause. I am one of a handful who
knew Prabhupada, who was there under Prabhupada's care and who was old
enough to have clear recollections of those times.
in my peer group share a common affection for Prabhupada-especially if they
where in Vrindavan in Prabhuapda's last days: Deva deva, Jagaman, Jagaddanda,
Dwarkadish, Vrindavan, Dirodhata, myself, etc. It was this group who went
through the harshest abuse and yet they don't blame Prabhupada. Do they know
something Nirmala does not? This goes without mentioning the other 90% of
the 2,000 guru-kulis who are also quite upset that Prabhupada is being
accused-by Jagadish of all people.
request is that you kindly give us consideration when we say the blame lies
not with Prabhupada, but with the GBC and teachers such as Jagadish. How can
you have Prabhupada's name on your lawsuit when Jagadish is hardly
mentioned? Do you see the insanity of this?
are happy to leave it up for debate but please do not deny us the
opportunity of sharing our insight on those we know are to blame. Nirmala
has already denied 90% of us from speaking on his web site and conference
because of our feelings for Prabhupada and yet dares claim it the VOICE of
guru-kulis. I pray that Nirmala has not created a climate where we will
again be denied our voice in our own court case.
and his dad may have convinced you there is no choice but to blame
Prabhupada. I simply ask that you hear us out. I encourage you to review
Prabhupada's role in setting the policies and tone of ISKCON and those of
guru-kula. However, please review this with input from those who where
actually there and who were not criminally involved. Hear the TRUE VOICE of
now find yourself in the same seat shared by the leaders of ISKCON past and
present. You have found the full truth. It directly points to your very own
man. Will you ignore the truth in the name of your cause or bury it, bury
me, as so many GBC men did before you? Am I once again to be ignored?
now have a small taste to the struggles faced by the GBC. The truth is
sloppy, terribly inconvenient and as often, not a pretty site. Are you ready
to change your entire strategy if necessary to find the truth? Or have you
already been locked-in much as the GBC was held captive by criminals in the
name of a greater cause?
do not need Jagadish or Nirmala chandra just as ISKCON did not need Jagadish
and his men. Jagadish's crew had a big part in destroying ISKCON just as
they can now destroy the credibility of your case, our case, my case, by
once again hiding behind the cause of guru-kulis.
you need conspiracy I can show you one. But it is not on Prabhupada's part,
that I am happy to debate. That is all I am requesting, that you allow us to
at least debate the point.
write more on that in my next letter. For now, here's what I ask:
That Nirmala Chandra be asked to step down as your spokesmen just as you
asked of others such as Pratyatosh who failed to represent this case
appropriately. Having Jagadish's son speak for us is distasteful at best.
That Nirmala's cultural prejudices for India are understood to be
unrepresentative of the goals and issues of this lawsuit. These prejudices
don't reflect the vast majority of the guru-kulis feelings and we consider
it detrimental to our cause.
That you kindly consider revoking Jagadhish's immunity. Providing him any
kind of amnesty against our wishes is the final travesty of justice to his
victims. If Jagadish wants to do something useful, he can start by
apologizing-to me and all the hundreds of others so severely abused for
decades while under his administration.
That you at least entertain the possibility that the Hare Krsna movement was
high jacked from Prabhupada in both intent and control and therefore the
corruption was of the GBC's making, not Prabhupada's. This is the general
feeling of the vast majority of guru-kulis and parents.
That Vaisnavism be recognized as more then some money laundering operation
and of sound religious legitimacy. Indian culture is not to blame for these
abuses. Again, this sentiment is reflected by the majority of the guru-kulis.
That the victims, guru-kulis, be allowed to spend their settlement money on
buying temple properties without condemnation or prejudice. Further
condemnation is the last thing we need.
terms of justice are important or else, it is not justice at all. Your
prompt attention to these issues would be very much appreciated.
Anudasa (John Michael)
reply to Anudasa@aol.com 323 969 4727 PO Box 1108, Hilo HI 96721
from Windle Turley, P.C.
do not respond to most of the e-mail sent to this office regarding the
ISKCON lawsuit, I did want to reply to your long letter RE: " Nirmala
Has Stolen My Day in Court".
what you have apparently been told, no one has been granted either civil
or criminal immunity in connection with this case. Jeff Hickey -Jagadish-,
was and remains a defendant in this case. The case is being managed by me
and this office, and we will make the decisions we feel are necessary to
discover the full truth, and act on the facts in a way that is in the best
interest of all our clients. The allegations we have set forth in the
suit, came after an extensive investigation carried out over a long period
of time. And they are based on facts derived from various sources. I am
reasonably certain that no one person, either in or out of ISKCON, has all
of this information. In that regard, it is a dangerous thing to base ones
perception of what should be done here, on the experiences of one
individual or information held by one person.
to continue to develop the facts and take the case where the facts lead
understand that while Nirmala was an early and outspoken victim among the
plaintiffs, as I am sure he will tell you, he is not a designated
spokesperson for the plaintiffs. That is my job and mine alone. Many of
the victims of this abuse, including yourself, have strong and justified
feelings about what happened to them. Many of the abusers and conspirators
themselves now recognize their own errors, and carry strong feelings of
guilt and remorse. There is plenty of blame in this sad episode of ISKCON,
to go around.
It is my intention to let the facts fall as they may, without concern to office or person. In the process it is most likely that some may be surprised at what they learn about leaders in the movement, but the facts will have to direct this litigation and not favorites. In the end it is my hope that some healing can come to both victims and to ISKCON. Irrespective of whether you become a plaintiff in this case, I welcome any information you may have about anyone responsible for child abuse within ISKCON.
Go to the Child Abuse Page
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