Comments on the final decision of the CPO panelists dated October 28, 2022:
I would like to start by offering my sincere apologies to all the Vaishnava devotees of the Lord… as I failed to live up to the standard of someone trying to present Srila Prabhupada’s teachings regarding the Vedic version…
I’m not trying to justify myself … I have already agreed to all the punishments imposed on me
…However … now I must clarify a few points … because in any case, two sides must be heard …
I am writing this letter to those who once trusted me … hoping that my explanations will help clarify the specifics of my inappropriate behaviour … as well as highlight those points that are presented in the decision incorrectly … taken out of context … or simply exaggerated …
pp. 1 & 2, beginning with the statement “This decision applies to…” and including further detailing of the CPO’s guidelines regarding:
- This method of presentation does not attempt to distinguish between those articles that may be relevant in the context of this particular case and those that are not relevant to this particular case … leaving it open to interpretation and perception by the reader…
- The introduction of this general paragraph before my file makes it appear that I am guilty and convicted of all the crimes listed there, although in reality my fault lies in the fact that I allowed myself to touch xxdd three times. I am not saying that my touching was right and I regret it, but I did not do the things that are implied in this paragraph … I never interacted on a sensual platform with any minor …
pg. 4, Allegation #10 & Decision #3:
- When xxdd told MGd about my actions in 2013, it was claimed that I touched her 3 or 4 times … then in the initial xxxdd/xxdd complaint to the CPO it was many times…then xxdd’s comments on my 1st comment on the initial complaint then had increased to 50, 60 or 80 times … now in the final decision it has become an “almost daily”/”nightly ritual” covering the period from 2005/2006 to 2010…in this case I see a deliberate misrepresentation of the situation in which they want to present me as a malicious maniac, despite the fact that their own testimony at the very beginning was completely different.
- Where is the evidence for the ‘nearly daily’ and ‘night ritual’ allegations that escape the commission’s statement – “however, on the basis of the evidence available, the commission concluded…” As “evidence” it is only the testimony of xxdd, xxxdd and myself … why is the“evidence” presented only by the prosecution, and my testimony is ignored?
- Was the xxxdd’s testimony credible only because of her statement…? To draw up an indictment, there must always be some concrete evidence, beyond the mere verbal accusation.
- For my part, when I testified to the CPO, I confessed to touching xxdd inappropriately 3 times when she was over 18 years old. Why is this not taken into account…? It turns out that the commission accepted the statements of one side, despite the fact that the specified number of touches increased in each subsequent statement of the prosecution, until it turned into a “daily ritual.”
- Why is my comment about inappropriately touching xxdd 3 times when she was over 18 being disregarded …?
- This consideration of a one-sided narrative thus also affects the factual validity of Statements #1–9 concerning other interactions …
- Statements #1–9 … either never happened, are taken out of context, or are grossly exaggerated …
pg. 5 Decision #4:
“BVPS cooperation in the investigation, his admission of guilt, and his lack of remorse.”
Regarding “Cooperation in the investigation”…
- Does the CPO and the panelist members consider “my cooperation with them in this investigation” to be inappropriate behavior… do they state that non-cooperation is preferable and therefore a truly righteous policy…? I cooperated with them because I deeply regretted my three wrongdoings and did not expect such behavior to be imputed and subsequently interpreted and presented in a dishonest manner.
As for “Admission of guilt”…
- I confessed to inappropriate behavior with xxdd 3 times after she turned 18, meaning she was an adult at that time … how does this “confession” now apply to all the allegations made by the prosecution …?
- After all, not having committed other actions that I am accused of … thus, is it now on the basis of my remorse for touching her, that the rest of the terrible deeds are now being attributed to me …?
- Furthermore, I never admitted to any sensual behaviour with any minors … so why is this point being extrapolated …?
I am also accused of “lack of remorse”…
However, here is a quote from my 2nd CPO response regarding my inappropriate association with xxdd:
- “My touching her three times — only after she turned 18 — was highly inappropriate and should never have happened. She didn’t deserve to be treated this way, or to be left with a subsequent trauma where one can relive the experience of the initial encounters over and over again; developing more and more unpleasant memories day by day—or becoming so engrossed in these previous memories that the person may begin to experience any or all of the previous or subsequent interactions in the context of the original inappropriate behavior. “Thus, my actions were completely inappropriate and wrong.
- “I offer my respectful obeisances to all the devotees of the Lord; I apologize to anyone who was offended or disappointed in any way by my actions.
- “I also take this opportunity to humbly pray at the lotus feet of pure Vaisnavas for their causeless mercy.”
Thus, I actually sincerely repented for these wrongdoings of mine and begged for forgiveness. Why does the commission keep silent about this and present me as a heartless monster, far from remorse …?
pp. 8 & 9 Lifetime Restrictions #4 with footnote “(see *below)”: “BVPS will never again be able to reside in or visit ISKCON Mayapur.”
“This makes the history of BVPS abuse the longest in ISKCON CPO history …”
In this statement, my actions are presented as a series of endless abuse of children, lasting decades, from the events of the 1980s to the present period …
My objection concerning the misinformation of use of the cane for punishment:
- At that time the use of the cane was a legal practice in both India and England.
- The cane was used to correct children who were guilty of vandalism, theft, and physical harm to other students.
- It was used from 1982 and was phased out on my own volition by 1988. After that, corporal punishment was no longer used until now … from 1989 – 2022 … in other words … for the last 35 years …
Since there was no continuity after 1989 … how can this be claimed and presented as a permanent and ongoing offensive act …?
- Furthermore, I am only indirectly responsible as the school manager for the inappropriate behaviour among the students in the 80’s … but the wrong actions of those students are now presented as directly my own personal actions … and that these actions are a wilful ongoing activity continuing up to the present day …?
p. 7 Restrictions #2 / p. 9 Special Considerations 1st “*”:
“…until the 2 above requirements are met to the satisfaction of the ICOCP. “
“The Commission notes that BVPS follows the letter of the law with respect to previous CPO/GBC
rulings, but not the spirit of the law. “
- Where is this “satisfaction” and “spirit” defined…?
- Apparently, definitions are left to individual interpretation.
pg. 12 Panel Recommendations # 6 & 7:
- Why would the commission publicly announce the CPO’s internal recommendation regarding the investigation of SRdd and MGd, all the while citing unconfirmed things…?
The general presentation of this document appears to be fraught with the following anomalies:
- Post factum… defining and evaluating the past in terms of today’s political correctness…
- Misleading information… due to over-explanations that may lead to individual assumptions… misrepresentation of situations and wordings out of context… and excessive exaggeration of information.
In conclusion, I want to express that I am not trying to say that my behavior was correct. I sincerely repent and ask for forgiveness for my wrong actions. I wrote this letter only because I don’t want the Vaishnavas to see me as a malevolent maniac who organized a gurukula to satisfy gross desires … this being the perception that is emerging from the presentation of materials that is now being widely distributed in ISKCON.
I really wanted to please Srila Prabhupada with my service and tried to do what I could according to my ability. However, at some point I fell under the influence of illusion and made mistakes, for which I will bear the responsibility all my life.
And yet, since the shastras tell us that we should not mislead people with our silence, I had to cover the events from my side … all the while, accepting all the punishments meted out too me.
In the dust of the lotus feet of Vaishnavas, Your servant,
A.V.dasa [Anirdesya Vapu Dasa, formerly Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami]