Go to the Child
Other articles about Raghunatha Stocker
A scathing warning for the leaders of ISKCON
My first concern is a certain Satadhanya. This person used to be a sannyasi, and was caught molesting children in Mayapur back around the same time as Bhavananda. Now my question is: Why is this same person living in Mayapur, and getting a paid salary from ISKCON?
Explaining his position
How is it that the GBC did not make it a top priority to see that the children were being properly taken care of? Are not the children the flowers of a society?
to the leaders of ISKCON from an ex-Gurukuli
By Raghunatha Stocker
Dear Leaders of ISKCON,
Recently, because of all the talk of past abuse,
several questions and doubts have been popping into my head. Since these
doubts concern yourselves, I feel at least one, or some of you should be
able to clear them up for me. If not, I see no choice but to consider the
present state and collective consciousness of ISKCON to be far from the
wishes and teachings of Srila Prabhupada.
First, please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Raghunatha. I was born into ISKCON Germany in 1975. From 1980-1985, I was sent to the Vrindavana Gurukula between the ages of 5-10.
You can basically say I am a model case for all
the abuse that went on there. And I can assure you, that anything you may
have heard or read on the VOICE web site, is definitely not an
exaggeration. After I had not spoken a word for almost a year, the
Gurukula finally sent me home. I can’t begin to explain the
psychological damage that this experience caused, but I can tell you where
it took me.
After that experience I had strong troubles with
authoritative figures, especially in school, and therefore have never
finished any schooling. My youth was spent on drugs and cutting my arms
open with razor blades. In the end, I was living on the street, shooting
drugs intravenously, and eating food from dumpsters. I had absolutely no
desire to live, and was waiting to overdose, get shot, or for something
else exciting to happen. But, as I was living dangerously like that, I
tangibly experienced how Krsna saved me from the brink of death on several
Through that, I started gaining faith again, and I
even started chanting. Soon, I started to read the books again. At one
point, it finally dawned upon me that actually, the experience I went
through had nothing to do with Srila Prabhupada and the teachings of the
movement. I could finally accept that what happened was caused by
individuals straying away from the teachings.
This gave me enthusiasm, and in the summer of 95, I
joined the temple in Germany. I figured that all this happened in the
past, and it was forgotten history. And wasn’t it Vaisnava behavior to
be very forgiving, especially to people who have offended one
So for the next 4 years I served on the German TSKP. But sadly it seemed
always more and more, that the old mood of ISKCON was still lingering
around. And after several experiences with the leadership of ISKCON, I
feel compelled to speak up.
My first concern is a certain Satadhanya. This person
used to be a sannyasi, and was caught molesting children in Mayapur back
around the same time as Bhavananda. Now my question is: Why is this same
person living in Mayapur, and getting a paid salary from ISKCON? Actually
I was told why.
Apparently he has such good connections with the
local authorities, so he was seen as indispensable. In fact he seems to be
so valuable to ISKCON, that he seems to be defending ISKCON in court on
this Ritvik issue. Is this true? In fact, he seems to have such great
sanctions from the temple, that he makes pizza for the devotees at the
Mayapur festival. Maha Prasad Ki Jai! So my real question is, how do you
think this makes an abuse victim feel?
Try to think back to December 12th 1998, when an ex-gurukuli
hung himself from the Broadway Bridge in Portland Oregon. I was living
there in the temple at the time. I didn’t have a chance to talk to him.
It is sad, considering that he was probably conceived with all proper
samskaras, and had he not had to go through such a drastically
traumatic childhood, could have realized his birthright and become a great
help to this world.
Which brings me to my next question. How is it that
the GBC did not make it a top priority to see that the children were being
properly taken care of? Are not the children the flowers of a society? And
like all flowers, they need proper care, and delicate handling. Especially
when they are just baby saplings. One has to make all kinds of
arrangements like proper fertilizer, water, and lighting. Things like being raped, beaten, and starved just
don’t seem very healthy for a child’s growth. I mean, a person who is
supposed to be a transparent via-medium to the Lord automatically sees
Krsna in everyone’s heart. So why is there so much insensitivity to the
children of ISKCON?
Things like being raped, beaten, and starved just don’t seem very healthy for a child’s growth. I mean, a person who is supposed to be a transparent via-medium to the Lord automatically sees Krsna in everyone’s heart. So why is there so much insensitivity to the children of ISKCON?
I could understand if a group was to make some
mistakes in raising children. That always happens. But to have a movement
that proclaims to have the answer for all of humanities troubles, make
such fundamental, and tragic mistakes in child raising is beyond my
comprehension. So maybe one of you can answer this for me. Especially when
I hear from older Germans how the Hitler-youth camps were actually very
fun, and most consider it to have been a wholesome growing experience in
their youth. Which is the least I can say about my Gurukula experience.
There is just one last little thing I would like to
trouble you with before I go. Maybe someone can speak up for Gopala-Krsna
Maharaja, and explain why he took the liberty to lie to a Times of India
reporter on Sri-Krsna Janmastami on September 2nd of this year. When the
reporter asked him about child abuse in ISKCON, he said that there had
been some problem in (an)? American Gurukula(s), but that it had
been long corrected. It would interest me to know if he was sitting in the
Bombay temple room in front Sri-Sri Radha-Rasabhihariji and Srila
Prabhupada when he told this obvious lie.
Whatever the case, this is the straw that broke the
camel’s back for me. You can count on my full cooperation and
participation in the upcoming court-case. After 20 years of abuse of women
and children by a society that claims to have the highest material and
spiritual values, makes me think justice must come from the
outside, to give a rude awakening to some obvious ignorant mentality
present in the collective consciousness of ISKCON.
Therefore first of all, let me offer my apologies to
all sincere devotees of the Lord, but I cannot take it anymore. How many
more of us do you expect to take our lives before we are heard? And for
those of you carrying a demoniac mentality while wearing the guise of
Vaisnavas, prepare to do serious battle. You can be sure Srila
Prabhupada is standing behind us on this one. And if he is behind us, I
wonder who else could also be on our side.
© CHAKRA 24-Sep-1999
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