2022 GBC Decision
GBC DECISION REGARDING LOKANATH SWAMI
Approved 20th July, 2022
WHEREAS, in 1990, a devotee invited Lokanath Swami to stay with his family for several days while recovering from a serious injury. The host also “requested Lokanath Swami to train and impart Indian culture to his youngest daughter, who was eleven and a half years old at the time” (the “Minor”).
WHEREAS the Minor alleged to ISKCON’s Governing Body Commission (“GBC Body” or “GBC”) three years later that Lokanath Swami had touched her inappropriately during his stay in the Minor’s home;
WHEREAS, the GBC took these allegations seriously and immediately launched an investigation, which included reaching out to theMinor and her family. The investigation also included a review by independent mental health experts. The GBC also imposed certain restrictions on Lokanath Swami;
WHEREAS, the minor (then an adult) raised the issue again in 2010, 20 years after the original event(s). The GBC then reopened the matter and imposed additional restrictions on Lokanath Swami;
WHEREAS, there was recently discussion about reopening the Lokanath Swami matter for a third time;
WHEREAS, the GBC appointed a Review Panel whose work resulted in the Review Panel Report of the Lokanath Swami Matter (“the Report”);
WHEREAS, the GBC found the Review Panel’s in-depth and professional Report to be helpful and insightful;
WHEREAS, the Review Panel members, unanimously agreed that:
(a) the allegations concerning Lokanath Swami had been fully investigated in
both 1993 and again in 2010-2011;
(b) these investigations were adequately documented;
(c) Lokanath Swami substantially complied with the restrictions imposed on him; and
(d) the Lokanath Swami matter be referred back to the GBC to act on the Review Panel’s recommendations.
WHEREAS, The GBC plans to adopt the attached Resolution 301.02 requiring that henceforth any plausible claim of abuse or misconduct be directly referred to the appropriate ISKCON agency rather than to the GBC body;
Based on ISKCON’s ecclesiastical principles and practices as well as the Report, BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED, that:
1. The GBC Body endorses the Review Panel’s recommendation that the Lokanath Swami matter, already twice adjudicated, not be reopened for further proceedings as no new relevant facts pertaining to this matter have come to light, as of the date hereof.
2. The GBC Body reaffirms its existing policy that an ISKCON Regional Governing Body (“RGB”) or similar body has the right to restrict any devotee from visiting and preaching in their region(s), such as has already been done in North America.
3. Lokanath Swami shall not initiate disciples, in person or virtually, in any region or area where he has not been welcomed by the relevant RGB or similar body of area leaders. In the case of rare exceptions that may be proposed to the RGB (or similar body), the GBC Executive Committee (“EC”) will assist in reaching an agreeable outcome.
4. This present Resolution is based on and limited to the facts described herein.
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