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“Child abuse in truth is not a problem of the past. Abusers will continue to join religious movements and seek Gurukula or ashram posts in order to get access to the young, and the vulnerable.”


Child abuse issue demands honesty
By Bhakta David Gould

Hare Krishna. As a devotee of Krishna, and as a survivor of child sexual abuse from the Episcopal (Anglican) Church in Australia, I share many of the feelings that survivors of abuse within ISKCON feel.

In my own battle with the Church, I have found that transparent honesty is the best weapon. Devotees who have not committed abuse, or sheltered abusers or swept the truth of sexual abuse under the carpet need not fear the truth. Survivors of abuse need not fear the truth - we have not done wrong.

ISKCON must be transparent if it is to resolve this issue. Child abusers must be stripped of position, of title and of respect. These monsters behaved in ways inimical to what Srila Prabhupada taught. Srila Prabhupada said that the 4 regulative principles made us human - and yet we have ex gurus, sannyasis and others failing to keep such basic tenets of civilized, brahminical and Vaisnava behavior.

All allegations of sexual abuse must be handed to the civil authorities.

The truth is that the consequence of sexual abuse lives - and can be life-long. If ISKCON in truth wants to restore former abused gurukulis and others to ISKCON and to Krishna, then ISKCON must accept responsibility for protecting children, for starting to help heal the injured and for enacting measures to prevent this catastrophe continuing.

Child abuse in truth is not a problem of the past. Abusers will continue to join religious movements and seek Gurukula or ashram posts in order to get access to the young, and the vulnerable.

Transparency will help root these monsters out and hopefully draw the members of ISKCON together in Srila Prabhupada’s family.

© CHAKRA 4th-Oct-1999

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