Navin Shyam Jani Voted to Keep Lokanath as Initiating Guru
In 2021-2022, Navin Shyam Jani, Director of ISKCON’s North American Leadership Sexual Misconduct Office, was part of a GBC Ad Hoc Panel that reviewed an ISKCON leader’s sexual misconduct in North America: Lokanath Swami.
As a member of that GBC Ad Hoc Panel, Navin Shyam was the deciding vote that facilitated the GBC in keeping Lokanath Swami’s child molestation case from being handled by ISKCON’s Child Protection Office and allowed Lokanath to continue as an initiating guru in ISKCON.
In August 2021, the GBC assigned 5 members to an Ad Hoc Panel to review Lokanath’s child molestation case:
1. Mahaman das, part of Indian leadership who had previously petitioned to have Lokanath’s child molestation case dropped: VOTED TO CLOSE CASE
2. Bhaktarupa das, part of Indian leadership who had previously petitioned to have Lokanath’s child molestation case dropped: VOTED TO CLOSE CASE
3. Navin Shyam das, Director of the North American Leadership Sexual Misconduct Office: VOTED TO CLOSE CASE
4. Tamohara das, previous CPO Director: VOTED TO GIVE CASE TO CPO
5. Champakalata dasi, previous CPO Director: VOTED TO GIVE CASE TO CPO
Along with ISKCON India leaders Mahaman and Bhaktarupa, Navin Shyam voted “… it would be wrong for the GBC to take any further action on this matter, such as issuing further restrictions or referring to the CPO.”
Hence, he voted to keep Lokanath as an initiating guru. And change nothing.
It is puzzling why the GBC felt their Panel was appropriate, with two members openly biased in favor of the perpetrator. It was predicted Mahaman and Bhaktarupa, longtime leaders of ISKCON in India, would vote to close Lokanath’s child molestation case, and they did.
What is clear is the Panel “Majority” recommended Lokanath’s child molestation case be closed, with no further action, and that despite sexually abusing a child, Lokanath remain an initiating guru in ISKCON. What is nebulous is why Navin Shyam was chosen by the GBC to be part of the Panel as he has no background in child protection.
For CPO Review Panels, members must undergo basic child protection training. This training is mandated by GBC Resolution. However, the GBC did not require this for their Ad Hoc Panel to review Lokanath’s child molestation case. In fact, only 40% of the panel members had a background in child protection. Is it a coincidence the only panel members who voted to have the case handled by the ISKCON Child Protection Office had child protection training?
Multiple sources said that Navin Shyam was the deciding vote to swing the majority in favor of closing the case. Navin Shyam was asked twice if this was how he voted, and as of this post, he has refused to answer.
It’s been over a year since the GBC Executive Committee promised to let their Child Protection Office handle this case. We are still waiting for this to happen.
The GBC’s Ad Hoc Panel Report Summary:
The GBC’s Ad Hoc Panel Report in Full:
Appendices to the GBC’s Ad Hoc Panel Report:
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