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Why were the GBC Resolutions not followed with Lokanath Swami?

Listed below are GBC Resolutions that were not followed in the Lokanath Swami case, or are relevant to the Lokanath Swami case.

 

In 1989 the GBC RESOLVED:

“74. That incidents of child molestation within ISKCON or ISKCON related organizations must be reported by the ISKCON authority to the local governmental agency or agencies for civil or criminal action, as appropriate.” https://gbc.iskcon.org/1989/

The GBC members involved did not report Lokanath Swami’s sexual assault of a child to any governmental agency.

 

In 1990 the GBC RESOLVED:

“b) Suspected or confirmed cases of child abuse must be reported to local government authorities for investigation and/or prosecution.” https://gbc.iskcon.org/1990

The GBC members involved did not report Lokanath Swami’s sexual assault of a child to any governmental agency.

“c) All suspected or confirmed incidents of child abuse must be reported immediately to the local GBC secretary, and within thirty days, to the ISKCON Board of Education. The ISKCON Board of Education shall review the investigation and give a finding as to the status of the alleged perpetrator as confirmed, suspect, or innocent/not- suspected.” https://gbc.iskcon.org/1990

“e) Any confirmed child abuser may never again serve in association with children in any ISKCON project. The Board will also make available to all ISKCON educational projects and temples the names of all accused, admitted, confirmed or convicted child abusers.” https://gbc.iskcon.org/1990

Lokanath Swami’s name was never added to the list of child abusers.

“f) Abused children must get appropriate professional counselling so that the serious ill-effects of the abuse can be minimized.” https://gbc.iskcon.org/1990

Email from Pancaratna in 1998: “I have been pressuring [Lokanath Swami] to find out how the girl is doing and whether she needs counseling and if he could pay for it. He keeps telling me she’s “doing fine” to his knowledge…”

“h) The local GBC man (or men) are directly responsible to implement the measures outlined above. Should the GBC Body find a GBC man or other ISKCON manager responsible for suppressing or covering-up complaints of child abuse, or supporting intimidation of those who might complain, the GBC man shall be open to censure or probation, and the ISKCON manager shall be open to appropriate disciplinary action.” https://gbc.iskcon.org/1990

Bir Krishna Goswami, Badrinarayana, Mukunda Maharaja, Sridara Swami, Virabahu, Ravindra Swarupa, and Madhu Sevita were involved in the initial investigation in which they chose NOT to report the sexual assault to the local authorities, and further went on to minimize the abuse, and cover up the abuse, as is verified in documents elsewhere on this site.

 

In 1992 the GBC RESOLVED:

“No court in ISKCON shall hear cases which are recognized as being of a criminal nature in the outside world. Examples of this are child molestation, assault and battery, grand larceny, murder, embezzlement and fraud. Certified cases of an obvious nature should be turned over to the local governmental authorities and follow the normal criminal system of justice.” https://gbc.iskcon.org/1992

The GBC members involved did not report Lokanath Swami’s sexual assault of a child to any governmental authority.

 

In 1994 the GBC RESOLVED:

“27. That persons who after an ISKCON investigation are confirmed to be guilty of child abuse must report their status to the local temple president upon their arrival in an ISKCON community. Also, it is the obligation of a temple president to determine, for every member joining his community, if the newcomer is a confirmed child abuser. The temple president is then obliged to notify the local householders and GBC of the offender’s presence.” https://gbc.iskcon.org/1994

Lokanath Swami visited ISKCON temples around the world multiple times since 1992, when he was confirmed to have molested an 11 year old child, and very few if no temples were notified of his status as a child abuser.

 

In 1997 the GBC RESOLVED:

“[LAW] 501. THAT the GBC Body hereby declares that the International Society for Krishna Consciousness does not condone abuse of any kind, especially that which is directed towards dependents such as women, children, aged and cows. Battery, verbal and emotional abuse are destructive to the devotional creeper and thus considered serious Vaisnava aparadhas. Any attempt to justify this type of abusive mentality on the basis of sastra is misconstrued and is firmly rejected by all practicing Vaisnavas.” https://gbc.iskcon.org/1997

If Lokanath Swami sexually abused a child, and it’s considered “serious Vaisnava aparadha” – why have GBC members tried to justify his behavior?

 

In 2006 the GBC RESOLVED:

“Nevertheless, the perpetrators, even if now taking up the process of devotional service, may still constitute a threat to our children. Further, if they become involved in any type of leadership positions, regardless of the degree of actual risk, it will become an embarrassment to our Society, bring about further loss of faith from our second generation and other devotees, and constitute needless legal risk to ISKCON.”

“Devotees who have been convicted, or found guilty, in legitimate criminal or civil court proceedings, or who have been determined by a government agency to have perpetrated sexual or physical child abuse, will be restricted in their relationship with ISKCON temples and projects in the following manner:

They may not reside in temples or stay overnight.

They may not assume a position of leadership, or publicly represent ISKCON in any way.

They may not give class or lead kirtan in any ISKCON-sponsored activity or event.

They may not engage in service involving children.

They may not be present at a temple if their victims are also present.”

“In any case, consistent with current policy, any temple may impose further restrictions on an individual. A temple is free to totally restrict an abuser from the temple if they so choose.” https://gbc.iskcon.org/2006

 

In 2007 the GBC RESOLVED:

“Whenever the ISKCON Central Office of Child Protection rules that an offense is such as to restrict a person from serving in ISKCON in positions of leadership (including but not limited to offices of GBC, minister, zonal secretary or temple officer), the restriction must include the position of initiating guru. This restriction shall apply to all previous and future decisions of the Central Office of Child Protection.” https://gbc.iskcon.org/2007

This may be the real reason why the GBC is reluctant to let the CPO handle the case.

 

In 2011 the GBC RESOLVED:

“The GBC is responsible to see that Srila Prabhupada’s teachings are properly represented and that the standards expected of sannyasis, initiating gurus and other spiritual leaders are upheld. The GBC holds those who represent Srila Prabhupada as sannyasis and diksa gurus to the highest standards of moral and ethical behavior.” https://gbc.iskcon.org/2011

 

In 2018 the GBC RESOLVED:

“No person, who has been determined to have engaged in severe maltreatment of children, will be allowed to remain active in a position of authority or trust within ISKCON, this includes activities such as leading kirtan, giving class, speaking publicly at any ISKCON event or representing ISKCON in official capacities.” https://gbc.iskcon.org/gbc_res/GBCRES18.pdf

 

In 2021 the GBC RESOLVED:

“3a.    ETHICAL BEHAVIOR CONCERNING SEXUAL CONDUCT.   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.

11.  ETHICAL BEHAVIOR CONCERNING CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT:  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 CPO, 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 who to recognize basic indicators of child abuse and neglect.” http://gbc.iskcon.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/CODE_8-21-21_FINAL_COPY.pdf

 

In 2022 the GBC RESOLVED:

“WHEREAS the GBC Body (“GBC”) has created various ISKCON agencies, offices and committees to which it has delegated authority to deal with abuse of minors, leadership sexual misconduct and other transgressions involving ISKCON sannyasis, gurus, leaders and members. As of the date hereof, these agencies, offices and committees are the ISKCON Child Protection Office (“ICPO”), the Prevention of Leadership Misconduct Office (“PLMO”), the ISKCON Sannyasa Ministry and the Guru Services Committee.”  https://iskconnews.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/REFRAINING_THE_GBC_FROM_INTERVENING_IN_THE_WORK_OF_VARIOUS_ISKCON_AGENCIES.pdf?x53375

 

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