Religious Integration of ISKCON by Academia,
BY: GOPINATH DAS
Aug 03, ITALY (SUN) [Revised; see Ed. note at bottom]
Education and CPO
In my first essay titled Religious Integration of ISKCON by Academia, I was addressing the dangerous and treacherous subtle influence of ‘toning down’ (in other words-watering down) the pure teachings of our Acarya (Gaudiya Vaisnavism) with already imbedded, academically contrived religious pluralism by academia, in the name of uplifting ISKCON to ‘Raganuga sadhana platform’, that would allegedly ensure our acceptance and survival in the word today.
In the second part, I would like to address the (already imbedded) academically contrived secular educational system in ISKCON, which replaced the gurukula system that was established by Srila Prabhupada, and the subsequent creation of the CPO by the teachers who were the actual abusers, in order to protect themselves.
We were all witness to this drastic shift of ISKCON's education (children and adult) from a spiritually-based Vedic system to a diametrically opposed, academically contrived materialistic Secular based system. The ‘official’ rationale following this extreme shift was/is that we tried Srila Prabhupada’s system, and it did not work. The blame was shifted onto Srila Prabhupada and on the system that he wanted.
The academia and educators at the time offered a few reasons for its failure, such as the heavy abuse, mistreatment, and neglect of the children (which they were responsible for). Times have changed and the gurukula system is outdated; it is not relevant hence inapplicable at the present modern times. The children did not have sufficient education to fit in the secular work force after they graduated from gurukula... etc.
In order to really understand the fallacy of the western culture/education and its impact on our social and cultural backgrounds, it is essential that we read the essay written by Krsnacandra prabhu entitled "Compromise" that was surprisingly published by Dandavats.
The important point that we have to mention about the Gurukula system is that, when the kids who were abused did grow up, and were asking the individuals who were abusing them and their protectors to acknowledge and apologize for the horrifying transgressions that were committed against them, these individuals denied all this as “baseless” allegations. While at the same time these very same abusers and their protectors, in order to ensure their own future and protection, created the CPO. This CPO was and still is to this day operating under the auspices of the same educational (M.E.D.) management. With the help of Murlivadaka (now convicted Pedophile), they appointed Dhira Govinda prabhu, and his successor Tamohara prabhu, the present director of CPO.
The CPO now appears to be a family business with the administration consisting of Tamohara prabhu as the Director, his wife Mantrini devi dasi, ACBSP (Mireya E. Pourchot) as the Office Manager and their daughter Lalita devi dasi (Lalita Pourchot Leslie) as the Bookkeeper. Lalita dd is the wife of the present Youth Minister, Manu Prabhu. I think this family has the CPO and Youth of ISKCON fully covered, don’t you? (See "CPO: Who We Are".)
M.E.D. - Ministry for Educational Development does the hiring and firing of CPO directors. The MED is involved in all decision making processes, including when it comes to appointing the judges in adjudicated cases and allotting the punishments of individuals who were found guilty, and they are responsible for the practical applications and/or implementations of all the verdicts passed by CPO.
It is imperative that we look at who were the individuals in charge of the original so-called ‘failed’ educational system that abused our children, protected the abusers, and who were responsible for our children’s spiritual, emotional, and material development (and miserably failed).
Was the first educational minister, and knew fully about the abuse of children that was performed by his wife, Laxmimoni dd, and his friends: Bhurijana prabhu, Dhanurdhara ‘swami’, Baktividyapurna Swami, Gauri das, (many others) and with his full consent and support.
Jagadisa even tried to lobby Srila Prabhupada for His approval for such abusive actions as an ‘educational method’ for really bad kids. Srila Prabhupada kept telling Jagadisa, no, no, no, you cannot beat the kids, if they are really bad as he was portraying them, Srila Prabhupada suggested to only show the stick. But Jagadisa would not listen. He refused to follow the instructions of his spiritual master (he knew better).
When the past finally caught up with him, instead of accepting responsibility as a decent man would do, he decided to blame everything on Srila Prabhupada. He gave an interview on the American TV accusing Srila Prabhupada and testified for the Gurukuli lawsuit, blaming Srila Prabhupada for everything just to save his neck.
It came to my attention that there is a serious discussion going on COM - Prabhupada disciple’s conference, whether we should bring Jagadisa and Rameswar back in an active management role. There are many Srila Prabhupada disciples who are sentimentally and whimsically pushing for this idea. Did they all already forget how much damage these two individuals created for ISKCON and the devotees due to not having the required adhikari?
It would be much better and more appropriate that we bring back hundreds of the nice, loving devotees that were abused, burned, broken and pushed/kick out of ISKCON by these two individuals, instead. There is no objection for these two coming to a temple as regular rank and file devotees, but to again give them position and therefore power is INSANE.
Wife of Jagadisa ex-swami: was one of the most twisted and mean ashram teachers of the girls in the Lake Huntington gurukula. She would make little girls who out of fear for her, pass water in their panties, then wear these soiled panties all day long on their heads as punishment. She would constantly denigrate them by calling them little whores. This is the link to the horrific memories from a girl under Laxmimoni's care in the article, "The Legacy of ISKCON Gurukulas".
Her recent girl school in Alachua was no better. While Laxmimoni did not physically abuse (to my knowledge, so far) the girls in the new school, she definitely refined her physiological torture/abuse. There are many young girls who are have major issues because of Laxmimoni and are still afraid of her to this very day, and will not speak of what happened to them in her school. However some of the girls did start to speak up privately, revealing to some senior matajis in the Alachua community about the twisted psychological abuse she inflicted on them.
The information was quietly leaked to Sesa prabhu, Laxmioni's long time friend and a co-member of many managerial boards in ISKCON -- such as the above-mentioned M.E.D., and others. He privately discussed this sensitive and potentially volatile issue with Tamohara prabhu, and they came up with the decision “for the greater good of the Alachua community and ISKCON” to quietly close the school down, without an appropriate investigation, and/or opening of a proper child abuse case against her. Laxmimoni was sent away to another continent, Europe, where she was appointed and ‘acts’ as the Dean of Students of the Bhaktivedanta College in the famous and beautiful Radhadesh castle. Unlike the girls who have to struggle with life after being tortured by her in her Gurukula, Laxmimoni now enjoys the perks of being an ISKCON leader/alleged criminal in our most luxurious Adult Education Institution, the Bhaktivedanta College.
Was the “Ivan the Terrible” of Vrindavan gurukula. He was the temper man. He would lose his temper and punch the children out of frustrated rage. His punches would land anywhere and everywhere. It is a recorded fact that he broke a child’s nose in one such moment of rage, as well as smashing a child’s front teeth while banging his head against the wall. The children knew well that this was his form of corporal punishment.
It is important to understand that Dhanurdhara Swami and his strong protection from Braja Bihari dasa and Bhurijana dasa in effect led to the gurukuli lawsuit. The Gurukulis requested ISKCON through the proper channels to remove Dhanurdhara from Vrindavana Gurukula. Braja Bihari prabhu did not like the idea and he manipulated (Braja Bihari's expertise) the GBC to reinstate Dhanurdhara swami. This action (the final straw) hurt the sensibilities of the Gurukulis and consequently lead to the Lawsuit.
When the CPO, under pressure from parents and the children, finally found Dhanurdhara guilty for his violent actions, they merely slapped him on the wrist as token punishment. An aspect of his punishment was that he could not initiate for a small period of time. Dhanurdhara did not like the idea of being unable to initiate (as he calls it a good business), and declared that he is leaving ISKCON in order to make the CPO ruling inapplicable.
Well, he did leave ISKCON - IN NAME ONLY. He is still giving classes in New York sanctuary temple (and others), he is initiating ISKCON people, and he is having a nice private community of ISKCON devotees located upstate New York. He regularly visits Vrindavan, where he is hanging out with all his gopi bhava friends like Bhurijana. I was told that he is hanging in and around Krsna Balarama temple, chumching with the devotees, and he is a preferred guest at Keshava Bharati's ‘now Swami again’ private palace at Govardhana. He also was blessed with an official apology from the GBC for upsetting the poor little thing.
Recently Dhanurdhara and Bhurijana went together to their holy land of Israel, where they rented a fancy kibbutz for their ‘by invitation only’ retreat program; as was marketed for their Jewish disciples.
He is one clever little fellow. Unknown to most devotees, he was personally involved in abusing children. Sometime back, the Sun published an article by a gurukula alumni, entitled "My Memories of Bhurijan & 'His Art of Teaching'", which sheds the genuine light on who Bhurijan prabhu really is. He is the person who was in reality running the Vrindavan gurukula (the brain) during the darkest times of the school. He was/is guiding and advising Dhanurdhara, Gauri, Braja Bihari and others. He was fully aware of the ruthless techniques these people were using in order to ‘educate’ the so-called un-submissive pupils (with his full blessings, protection and support).
He was also the President of the Narayan Maharaja Math for many years before his dual loyalties were revealed, and he had to pretend to not associate with Narayan Maharaja anymore.
Let us not forget that he was one of the main people (member of the think tank group) who wanted to take over ISKCON during the Narayan Maharaja days, wherein Narayan Maharaja would become the new acharya of ISKCON. Luckily there were some of Srila Prabhupada's men still around to stop this hostile takeover. Bhurijana prabhu, however, did not forget (he never forgets) that, and he is/will get his pound of flesh from the individuals who were responsible.
He is the person that was in charge of the Mayapur gurukula. Under his duty of care so much abuse happened. Especially the older boys were abusing the younger; the abuse ranged from physical to sexual. Bhaktividyapurna swami claims that he had no idea of that, if you can believe him (I don’t). He was also known to say that all Bengali men and boys have sex with each other. It is what happens in India.
Under his duty of care, his old friend Satyadanya then ‘swami, violently and sexually abused the boys (some had to be hospitalized). One of the boys remembers Bhaktividyapurna as Anirdeshvapu before he took sannyas, known for his ability to beat the boys using the stick with a ‘samurai’s precision’. The Maharaja had many canes of different sizes and thickness to beat the boys.
He does not require an introduction. I think all the readers of the Sun are well educated regarding Gauri's involvement in violently abusing the kids whilst ‘serving’ in Vrindavan gurukula.
Nevertheless, there are two things that need to be mentioned here. Firstly, even after Gauri was found guilty (due to Sanaka Rsi's well executed expose on Gauri) he is still actively involved in managing the renowned Bhaktivedanta Manor as ‘shadow’ Temple President, which clearly transgresses the CPO ruling. His role as a shadow Temple President was preplanned by the Indian community members-patrons with full support of the Manor temple management. The inside information in the article entitled "The Bhaktivedanta Manor is Leaving ISKCON Part 1 and Part 2 was leaked by a whistle blower with the incriminating evidence on a preplanned decision of keeping Gauri.
Secondly, Gauri das, via Bhaktivedanta Manor, was the biggest monetary ‘donor’ to the CPO office, at the time when his case was being reviewed. We have to ask ourselves, how did this monetary “carrot” affect the decision of the CPO regarding Gauri’s verdict? Also, it would be interesting to know if the Manor is still as generous to the CPO now, after their ‘poster boy’ Gauri das was slapped on the wrist with the most minimal verdict possible?
Braja Bihari das:
An individual who since the early 1990's is the foremost devotee responsible for facilitating the abuse, its cover-up in Vrindavan gurukula, and subsequent protection of his friends (e.g. Dhanurdhara swami and Gauri das) who abused the children, and the complete and utter failure to protect or care for the innocent children under his care.
vThe failure to properly care for the children under his care would be considered ‘neglect’ in a child abuse charge in the west. By neglect, I mean improper nutritional/medical care for the children by professional medical practitioners and nutritionists. The third world sub-standard Gurukul kitchen, which had no hygiene and nutritional standard, and the health clinic, which was poorly funded and staffed by non-professional, inexperienced so-called nurses, are something that have never been properly addressed.
We were all privy to Braja Bihari's private correspondence where he is asking the GBC (The GBC, after reviewing Gauri's case, abolished corporal punishment at the time) to reinstate the corporal punishment as a viable solution. The GBC foolishly accepted his advice and the kids were again violently abused for an additional three years. Then there was the corporal punishment system that Braja Bihari and Bhurijan arranged with the GBC when Gauri was banded from administering corporal punishment to the children, which was negotiated down to a ‘hard slap’ across the face of a child in way of punishment. Under Braja Bihari’s administration, the hard slapping of the boys was used with alarming frequency, not as a form of punishment, but more as an expression of the teacher’s lack of maturity and qualification to be in charge of little children ("1995 Gauri das Investigation, Part Two - Operation Coverup!")
As the Chairman of the Steering Committee, Braja Bihari das successfully petitioned the GBC to have Dhanurdhara Swami reinstated back to the Vrindavan Gurukula, as evidenced by the email presented in Balaram’s article on the Sun entitled, "Braja Bihari - the Cause of the Turley Lawsuit Against ISKCON". This irresponsible act of his to please his friend Dhanurdhara Swami did more damage to the children of ISKCON and ISCKON itself than any other act of his. If he did not push for Dhanurdhara Swami’s reinstatement, we would never have faced the abject embarrassment of the Turley Class Action Suit and the subsequent loss of millions of dollars that the innocent rank and file devotee have had to pay.
Braja Bihari das was also responsible for rallying the Gurukula principals together to formulate the plan of establishing Child Protection Units within each ISKCON Gurukula, to pay lip service to the protection of children under their care. These teams were not only headed up by the guilty principals, but also by staff members of the schools. This totally biased and unethical arrangement ensured any future cases of abuse would be more effectively covered up rather than dealt with properly.
With the help of the other principals, he instigated the formation of the International Child Protection Office and along with the pedophile Murlivadika, wrote the child protection guidelines and appointed the first director of the international office - Dhira Govinda.
He went further in establishing the ISKCON Resolve department and the Ombudsman Office, to totally ensure that the corrupted institution of ISKCON was secure in its defense of any criminal or criminal act.
The above mentioned educators are claiming that the original system established by Srila Prabhupada did not work and was a total failure. Yet there is no evidence whatsoever that any one of them actually followed Srila Prabhupada’s system at anytime. As with their so-called protection of children, they only paid lip service to Srila Prabhupada’s Gurukula and instead instituted their corrupted form of Gurukula, which was obviously doomed to failure, so they now blame that on Srila Prabhupada. One can only wonder at their motives for doing this.
Srila Prabhupada was crystal clear when he said that we are not allowed to beat kids, but should give them love and encouragement instead, and that if teachers beat the children, then they themselves should be beaten. He went as far as predicting what will be the consequences if the ‘educators’ did not follow his instruction on this matter and proceeded with corporal punishment. Srila Prabhupada warns:
Letter to Bhanutanya mataji, November 18, 1972:
"Now the thing is, children should not be beaten at all, that I have told. They should simply be shown the stick strongly. So if one cannot manage in that way then he is not fit as teacher. If a child is trained properly in Krishna Consciousness, he will never go away. That means he must have two things, love and education. So if there is beating of child, that will be difficult for him to accept in loving spirit, and when he is old enough he may want to go away-that is the danger. So why these things are going on _ marching and chanting japa, insufficient milk, too strict enforcement of time schedules, hitting the small children? Why these things are being imposed? Why they are inventing these such new things like marching and japa like military? What can I do from such a distant place? They should run and play when they are small children, not forced to chant japa, that is not the way."
Srila Prabhupada’s prediction came true. Instead of giving our kids the much needed affection, love and encouragement as they would have had in their families, the above mentioned educators gave them sexual, physical, and traumatic psychological abuse from which our kids have not fully recovered to this day. They are still suffering the trauma that is manifested in their inability to have healthy relationships, escaping the reality by substance abuse, and in many cases, suicide. The issue of ISKCON youth suicide is yet to be fully researched and when it is, I am sure that the blame will lie with these so-called ISKCON educators for utterly failing our children.
ISKCON never provided them with any kind of appropriate support, opportunities and facilities within ISKCON. The above mentioned educators broke them like china dolls and left them to fend for themselves. Furthermore, instead of accepting the responsibility for failing our kids, these educators audaciously proceeded by shifting blame onto Srila Prabhupada and the gurukula system he wanted. Why?
To make the matter worse, these very same above mentioned educators who abused our kids protected the abusers, created the existing CPO to ensure their own protection, and shifted blame onto Srila Prabhupada, are the very same individuals who are running the ISKCON education today. Why?
These very same educators proceeded with replacement of the educational system that was established by Srila Prabhupada with the present academically contrived Secular Educational system, despite the instructions from Srila Prabhupada wherin he is stating that we are not allowed to use this post-industrial educational system. Again, these very same ISKCON educators know better. Why?
The purpose of the western secular educational system is to homogenize our children, creating a mindset which is trained to the herd mentality, as opposed to the creation of independent thinkers. Our children become indoctrinated into the western value system, which is impersonal and secular. The didactic memory recall, pass/fail process that our children are shunted into lends itself entirely to the ‘dumbing down’ of our children, and does not encourage independent free thought and expression. This system is also Humanistic in its orientation and therefore totally incompatible with the Vedic Vaisnava system that Srila Prabhupada instructed us to follow.
In this western secular system the children have no choice but to conform to the system in order to make advancement in material life. Thus the herd mentality… Conforming to the herd is the path of least resistance. The end of the herd is always death in the form of a slaughterhouse. This is the ISCKON educator’s solution to the so-called failure of Srila Prabhupada’s Gurukula.
This is an organized method to indoctrinate our children about collectivism and the importance to rely/depend on the authority. The present academically contrived education is an organized effort to destroy the belief in absolutes in our children. The purpose of such a system today is not education, it is indoctrination.
They don’t want a society of thinkers, but a society of workers. This is the incrementally applied process for the sole purpose of ‘dumbing down’ of the individual (mass conditioning) to the point that he/she will be a good worker, without the ability to see what is going on and be able to form an intelligent opinion and understand what is best for an individual.
The Gurukula system that Srila Prabhupada wanted is based on the brahminical culture -- education. He wanted us to create heads or leaders of society. The present secular based system creates sudras, or obedient followers.
What is the difference between the aims and objectives of the secular world and the ISKCON education today? There is no difference whatsoever. Independently thoughtful people are considered a threat. It appears that this new ISKCON requires obedient employees only. Why?
Jagadisa ex swami - Jeffrey Hickey (JBD?)
Dhanurdhara swami - Denis Winiker (JBD)
Bhurijana dasa - Wayne Connel (JBD)
Bhaktividyapurna swami - Alexander Wexler (JBD)
Tamohara das - Thomas L. Pourchot (JBD?)
Dhira Govinda das - David Wolfe (JBD)
Sesa das - Seth Spellman (JBD)
Gauri das - George Kilmorey
Braja Bihari das- Brian Bloch (JBD)
Laxmimoni devi dasi (JBD)
Note: Again, as in my first essay please, note the ethnic/cultural background of the educational and CPO individuals in question that are mentioned. There is one apparent commonality they share. The majority of the above mentioned individuals are coming from a similar ethnic/cultural background (JBD). Perhaps these individuals would care to share an explanation with us as to why, being a minority, there are a statistically disproportionate number of them in ISKCON education and CPO? What is their rationale for such an obvious anomaly?
OM TAT SAT
[Editor's Note: A portion of text that was conclusively rebutted and proven incorrect has been removed from the article.]