We here at Chakra are committed to telling you the whole truth. We don't hide anything, although we have our own perspective, which is independent and not dictated to us by the GBC. At CHAKRA, although we are friends with the GBC, we only present our own views. We speak of our own free will.

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Update: Central Office of Child Protection

from Ijya dasa

September 4, 1998

Dear Maharajas and Prabhus,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

In an effort to provide our worldwide ISKCON society with regular updates concerning the Central Office of Child Protection, the following is a brief description of recent events and our current status.

On Aug. 20, 1998, the Child Protection Office received word that it's funding was abruptly and completely cut. As a result, the functions of this Office were temporarily suspended. However, due to the sincere efforts and prayers of many devotees, who are convinced about the importance of the work of this office and it's faith restoring potential, the process of securing alternate funding immediately got underway. Within a short period (enough time to have our finger on the panic button), one heroic Vaisnava came forward with a donation to allow us to continue through the month of September. As of today, we have received word that funding is now once again available, so that this Office can continue the work we have started.
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As far as caring for victims of abuse in ISKCON, we will continue working with our ISKCON youth to provide funding for therapy and vocational and educational opportunities. Recently, at a gurukuli reunion in LA, many of these young adults expressed appreciation for the progress this Office is making in that area.

With regards to training, due to the funding problem, we had to cancel a training seminar that we had scheduled for October in Italy. Plans are now underway to reschedule.

The investigative phase of several cases are now close to completion and over the course of the next few months we will be completing some of them, assigning a tribunal and processing those cases. We recently finished processing our first case of past child abuse.

Several weeks ago, a package went out to all schools in ISKCON, containing vital information for screening and interviewing personnel to ensure the safety of our children. With the help of Sudharma Prabhu, Director of the North American Temple Support Office, a similar package is being prepared to go out to all Temple Presidents in North America and temples all over the world.

I would like to take this opportunity once again to thank all those devotees who came forward to help during this crisis. We are deeply grateful to you for helping us work toward protecting the future of ISKCON - our children.

Your servant,

Ijya dasa

CHAKRA 6-Sep-98

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