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ISKCON’s Code of Ethical Behavior

Yogesavara das (Joshua Greene)

October 10, 2021

Dear Mahaman, Bhaktarupa, Tamohara, Navin Shyam, Champakalata,

As the GBC Executive Committee intentionally chose not to include any of the child protection advocates from the Lokanath campaign, we thought we’d share with you the recent Code of Ethical Behavior, ratified and voted into ISKCON Law by the GBC on August 21, 2021.

Yogesvara Prabhu who helped write the Code of Ethical Behavior said:

”The best advice came from a senior devotee who suggested we read every GBC resolution going back to the first year, 1975 and use existing GBC laws as the starting point—in essence telling the GBC “Look, these are your own words regarding ethics. Here they are in a single document.”

You may have already seen the Code of Ethical Behavior, however, we would like to highlight points you should pay special attention to in your review of the Lokanath Swami child molestation case:

“3a) ISKCON devotees, in particular officers and directors, are expected to scrupulously refrain from even the appearance of sexual misconduct in its many forms. The following categories of behavior are specifically criminal:

Child sexual abuse, including any sexual activity, involvement or attempt of sexual contact by an adult with a person who is under the applicable legal age of consent” (p. 7)
“11a) ISKCON devotees have an ethical responsibility to protect others who appear to be victims of abuse or neglect, particularly minors. ISKCON officials are expected to report to appropriate authorities (including the ISKCON Child Protection Office, police, and child welfare agencies) whenever they have reasonable concern that a minor in their community is being abused, neglected, or is living in an unsafe home. ISKCON devotees are encouraged to familiarize themselves with local laws and learn how to recognize basic indicators of child abuse and neglect.” (p. 17)

This is a positive step forward by the GBC. Their newly ratified Code of Ethical Behavior standards must be applied to Lokanath’s child molestation case.

ISKCON News article “Setting a Standard for Ethical Behavior in ISKCON” (October 9, 2021)

https://iskconnews.org/setting-a-standard-for-ethical-behavior-in-iskcon/

ISKCON Code of Ethical Behavior (August 21, 2021)

https://gbc.iskcon.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/CODE_8-21-21_FINAL_COPY.pdf

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