Biased Justice - finger on scale to obtain a desired verdict.

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Table of Contents

  1. Introduction [page 1 in orig. doc]

  2. Objections to the CPO [page 2 in orig. doc]

  3. Conclusion [page 26 in orig. doc]

  4. Consequences [page 26 in orig. doc]

  5. Appeal to GBC & SABHA [page 31 in orig. doc]

  6. Supplementary [page 33 in orig. doc]

  7. [See Also] [Not in orig. doc]

1.Introduction:

Hare Krishna, dear devotees. Please accept my humble obeisances! All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga! All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

My name is Chaitnya Das. I have been pursuing my Ph.D. in Humanities and Social Sciences from IIT. This letter is regarding the CPO recent handling of the AV case (CPO decision of 28/10/2022). I am writing this letter on behalf of several devotees in our community who helped me compile this letter by giving me feedback based on their expertise in sastras, law and social sciences. I would beg at the lotus feet of the Vaishnavas to consider the arguments presented in this letter with a rational mind without any prejudices. We want to point out certain inconsistencies and methodological flaws that question a case’s rightful hearing based on objective evidence.

I acknowledge the admission of fault by AV to the extent it is proven by evidence (see also apology and comments on the CPO decision). At the same time, we strongly protest that the real question is, what is the actual nature of the offense and whether all of the accusations against him are true. In other words, “two wrongs don’t make a right.” It’s wrong for them to make false allegations against AV, use questionable evidence to make specious arguments against him, make false accusations against AV, or prescribe punishments in excess of what is appropriate for the offense. Such reasoning and judgments give reason to fear for the future, as if this is not questioned, the CPO, without doubt, will do this with someone else.Further, it’s a humble request to GBC and SABHA not to make eternal damnation our philosophy; devotional service is the real purificatory process.

While doing my Ph.D., I am trained not to make undue claims which are not supported by evidence. I want to preserve that spirit here as I walk you through my arguments. I shall only make claims based on objective evidence and would analyze the case investigation by CPO from a similar lens. By objective evidence, I mean independently verifiable evidence such as eyewitnesses, medical and psychological tests, photos, recordings, etc. First-person testimony and self-reports have their place but are not conclusive in deciding case judgments; hence, objective evidence is sought to verify the claim. We argue that CPO made undue claims and announced disproportionate punishments, which are not expected from an investigation on such sensitive issues. A careful and patient read will help one better understand our arguments and discontent!

2.Objections to the CPO:

2.1. The CPO report is more of a narrative (innuendo) and less of established facts (evidence). This defect is pervasive in the evidence, conclusion, and panel recommendation sections. Rulings were dominantly based on a “one-sided prosecution narrative” and cited no objective evidence to verify the allegation and conclusions drawn.

●      Look at the “evidence section” of the CPO report. It would not be exaggerating if anyone would use the title innuendo instead of “evidence(see section 3)

○      Instead of informing the reader of established facts in the investigation, the CPO biases the reader by making their own alternative, imaginary narrative by selecting some facts, suppressing others or by making outright misrepresentations:

From the CPO report:

How the CPO came to this conclusion is questionable? At least it does not follow from the AV reply and what they write in their report.

○      CPO, with utmost confidence, keeps hinting to the readers to speculate anything from-“commenting about women’s breasts on Wikipedia” to “sex with a minor and school teacher.” The CPO narrative leaves enough gaps for people’s fertile brains to imagine and conclude their own version for themselves.

●      CPO “conclusion section” is tainted by narratives and absurd conclusions to call AV “cruel, callous, and unremorseful” based on no objective evidence (see section 2.7)

●      CPO panel recommendation section is based on a narrative and no sound evidence. The CPO portrayed AV as a criminal based on unconfirmed and unverified articles or claims (see section 2.15)

2.2. No objective verification of whether “MR was a minor or not,” which had contributed to keeping the case under the CPO’s jurisdiction. This required neglecting statements of MR’s husband, MG, and AV testifying that MR was an adult, which gives rise to a doubt as to whether the negligence was deliberate.

●      CPO neglected evidence from MG’s reporting, which supports the understanding that MR was not a minor. Strategically not discussing any evidence as to how it concluded that MR was a minor, except for her testimony.

●      CPO neglected evidence from MR’s husband’s confession that she was an adult when the incident happened.

●      CPO Neglected AV’s testimony that MR was an adult when the incident happened.

Why were the above first-person testimonies selectively neglected while other times giving exceptional weightage to MR’s statement. This hints at some hidden intent? Please note that the CPO argument for underage was based on a MR narrative and not on any objective evidence like DOB or any other document.

On a different note, some may say, how does it matter if MR was under 18? But it does matter, as the CPO has outraged devotees against AV by highlighting that MR was a minor and, hence, the offense was of the gravest degree. Claims like Grooming and Child abuse have been firmly put forward, leading others to believe that acts were more severe than otherwise. So ascertaining the age based on objective evidence should have been the first thing to proceed, but instead, the CPO accepted MR’s statement and rejected all other testimony. A critical examination of age is warranted based on objective evidence to ascertain:

●      The graveness of an offense, as offenses made to a minor, would not be the same as that of an adult. Punishment and the reader’s reactions would adjust if MR were an adult.

●      If legally loaded, claims such as Child abuse, Grooming, Sexual abuse, and Psychological abuse will be seen in a different light if the evidence proves that MR was an adult.

●      If the case would go to the appropriate authority, where there would be little scope to suspect that judgments were confounded by the CPOs settling their previous scores on AV.

To know those unsettled scores, one must go through the history of the CPO, but some glimpses of it would be obtained as one proceed. In this case, the CPO insists the victim age to be under 18, without any objective evidence.

2.3. No objective evidence is cited for repeated offenses and nightly affairs. Exaggerating and making undue claims neither represents the code of conduct of a Vaisnav society nor do outside legal bodies permit it. In fact, it’s an offense under the Defamation law of India, Article 19.

Claims made without evidence show unprofessional conduct and hints at ulterior motives. The conclusions made on “daily nightly affairs” are highly objectionable and not based on evidence. The CPO’s judgment is just based on selective listening to MR’s statement, rendering the case proceedings and conclusions questionable.

CPO writes in their evidence section:

There is no mention of any objective evidence here in the paragraph above, except for MR’s testimony. What other evidence has the CPO cited to prove that sexual abuse happened multiple times and ended up almost like a nightly ritual, as per MR? In fact, the CPO can’t prove it. It appears that the CPO is diverting attention to cases that are not relevant in the current context.

Moreover, reporting these incidents one by one in a row after 15-20 odd years indicates a bigger mystery behind the events unfolding. Even as per IPC, you can not file a case whenever you want, let alone verifying it. There is a maximum duration for filing a case (Refer: Section 468(2) in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973). Did the CPO look for why the MR case being discussed now came up after 14 years followed by the SR case? It doesn’t seem to be a coincidence. Somehow the CPO looks in a hurry to announce their ruling without considering an investigation of many interrelated players in the scene- MR, MR’s husband, SR, MG, and earlier the CPO directors-Dhira Govinda Das and Champakalata Dasi. The shock comes to us when we hear that Champakalata Dasi is threatening AV from various aspects, and when needed, we will produce evidence.

Did the CPO consider their own biases? What evidence is relied upon for all analysis and conclusions except the victim’s testimony? Does the CPO believe that victims’ narratives are always beyond investigation or questioning just because they are victims? Also, just because the victim is female, all of their statements automatically have more weightage, or are even absolute truths beyond doubt? It looks like the CPO never thought that.

Another point to note is, how does the 2nd paragraph provide evidence that AV was confirmed responsible for all the allegations MR attributed? AV’s involvement in Girl’s gurukul is not sufficient evidence to prove the offenses alleged by MR. Although the wrongdoing that AV agreed to have committed was wrong, those are still no proof that all other offenses alleged by MR were proven correct. What CPO writes in the evidence section only shows that the persons, places, and settings quoted in MR’s narrative are not fictitious but actually exist. It’s unfortunate for CPO to argue that just because AV was associated with Girl’s gurukul during the timeline mentioned, he must have committed all of the offenses attributed by MR. Is this the level of argument the CPO is making, or does the CPO have enough evidence to show that? Verdicts on such serious allegations were made based on one-sided subjective hearing and cherry-picking the other side (AV) as per need and convenience to support the victim’s narrative.

Regarding the evidence on which conclusions are made, they are just one-sided hearings of first-person reports of MR testimony. Just because the victim is a lady, the CPO, for some unknown reason, is compelled to consider MR and her mother’s testimony to be the sole criteria and overarching evidence for all decisions that followed. The “evidence section” from the report says that the CPO relies on what the victim said.

2.4. Remaining blindfolded to inconsistent and changing statements of the prosecution, as if the prosecution side by default is correct and beyond any critical examination. The CPO did not question the inconsistency in MR statements, which changed drastically with every successive reporting until the final report, and chose to ignore AV’s testimony regarding the matter.

Nobody is saying that touching was alright but changing the instances from 3 (in the first report) to 50-60-80 times and later to the nightly affair, as mentioned in the final CPO report, is not only a severe claim but a changing claim on such a sensitive issue! The CPO should not have overlooked it! It’s a significant point to note since the case revolves around this, but interestingly the CPO tactically didn’t highlight it.

The CPO mentions in their report :


What evidence is there for the CPO to say it understands the nature and extent of abuse? On what basis the CPO concludes that it was a nightly affair over many years? Can the CPO release evidence publicly to show how it was a daily nightly affair? The CPO must cite if it has additional objective evidence or if the whole judgment is based on MR testimony. MR took the touching from 3 times in her first report to MG in 2013 to almost a nightly ritual in the final report published by the CPO. Does the CPO notice the inconsistencies in MR statements and understand the gravity of not verifying the factual truth of such claims? Did the CPO consider highlighting this in the report and investigating it impartially to see if it was an occasional event or repeated maniacal behavior as portrayed? MR’s latest version portrays AV as a sensual maniac. To favor and conclude this, what objective evidence or third-person interviews the CPO collected to conclude that whatever MR said was beyond any question? Except for the first-person testimony of MR or her mother, LB, what evidence supports the claim? If just the testimony of the accusor is the sole criterion to evaluate the case, then why even go to collect the testimony of AV in the very first place?

The CPO is giving undue weightage to testimony from the victim without any good rationale or supporting evidence. We can quickly see how the case could flip if the CPO had just interviewed a few close to AV, and their group narrative favoring AV would have outnumbered narratives from the victim side.Are we foolish to understand the CPO’s motive behind accepting MR’s subjective narrative over another subjective narrative of AV? Either the CPO gives equal weightage to both sides and finds more independent objective evidence to see which narrative is true, or any intelligent reader would consider it as a partial judgment. Please note that we are upholding the importance of first-person testimony, but the other side also has its version. Why should the CPO give more preference to one side than the other for events that happened almost decades before? The CPO must furnish additional evidence to conclude anything, or else the decision seems biased prima facie considering the inconsistencies involved. Moreover, if the CPO already decided they would go by MR’s narrative, as they put it in the “evidence section” of the report, why even bother interviewing AV? It was not making sense until we found in AV’s recent reply that his statements were cherry-picked to support the victim narrative as and when suited. I will explain this in the next point.

Failing to acknowledge this inconsistency raises questions on the transparency with which the other claims of MR would have been critically examined.

2.5. Cherry-picking AV statements on several occasions at their convenience to strengthen and support prosecution allegations and claims. Any intelligent reader would understand how this cherry-picking kept the case inside the jurisdiction of the CPO (a minor case); otherwise, the case would have fallen outside the jurisdiction of the CPO, which the CPO might not desire.

AV makes it clear that “…inappropriately touching MR was only three times when she was over 18” . He further mentions that he never interacted on a sensual platform with any minor (Refer AV replies to the CPO). The CPO picked the admission of AV that –“MR was touched three times”-but cunningly rejected the other half that “She was above 18”. Moreover, the CPO then stretched it beyond any evidence to conclude that incidents happened daily. For now, put the stretched conclusion aside; if the CPO accepted one-half of the statement about touching, it should also have given due consideration to the other half of the statement that “She was above 18”
which means MR was not a minor when the incident happened.

The CPO writes in report below:

In the report, except for vague statements, no conclusive objective evidence has been cited to prove MR was under 18. Could I request the CPO to produce “available evidence” for such a conclusion drawn? What objective investigation did the CPO carry to prove that MR was not above 18, except for the victim claim?

If the first-person claim is the only criterion, then the AV claim should also be taken seriously- “which means she was not minor and the case does not fall under the CPO.” Can the CPO justify why the first-person claim of the victim should be given more weight even though MR had changed her statements many times over sensitive details? A keen observer will wonder why the CPO did not investigate this crucial point (under 18 issues) with more objective evidence. We claim that the CPO wanted to settle scores with AV for not being able to put restrictions on him to their heart’s content since the 1991 rulings. A rigorous investigation of the “under 18” issue would have taken the case out of the hands of the CPO. Hence the CPO would have lost the opportunity to cash on the only single case that popped up in the last 1-2 decades against AV.

Any panel other than the CPO would have first investigated whether MR was a minor and found evidence for that. But the CPO intended to keep the case under their jurisdiction and hence tactically avoided any objective evidence to ascertain this. We continuously see the CPO giving weightage to MR’s narrative over AV testimony. The question remains why the CPO gave more preference to MR even on such a critical issue here. We complain that the CPO is settling the scores and not conducting a transparent investigation.

In several further points, I argue that the current case was not dealt with on its merit but on several other unverified stories and claims. Please note that the CPO does not produce evidence to support their personal commentary on irrelevant cases or unconfirmed articles. The CPO presents their personal narrative and interpretation of rulings irrelevant to the present case given several decades ago.

2.6. Misrepresenting AV to have admitted every allegation that MR claimed. The CPO tactically does not clarify “what allegations were admitted and what not by AV.” The CPO leaves it to the reader’s imagination to speculate about AV having admitted anything between “physical touch to gross sex.”

From the CPO report:

What interest serves for the CPO to selectively elaborate on details which support MR’s narrative and drop details if they go against that? Why does the CPO not clarify what is being admitted and what is not by AV? Did AV admit to all the allegations? Not at all! Read the reply of AV to the CPO. He has never nodded to all the allegations. He only admitted one act, and just for doing that, the CPO is portraying him to have accepted all the said sinful deeds- (allegations 1 to 10), never admitted by AV. He admitted it was not sensual and was not toward a minor, but the CPO seems to selectively not put those details and give an impression that AV admitted all allegations (1 to 10). The CPO labels “AV admitted,” which most likely people would interpret as for all acts. Under the weight of the expert persuasive narrative of the CPO weaved throughout the report, it is the reasonable impression people would carry.

From AV reply to the CPO:

Similarly, for the 1991 event, the CPO spread misinformation about what was admitted and what was not admitted by AV through the report. In 1991, AV admitted that unfortunate incidents happened when managing the Gurukul but not that he committed those offensive acts.

What is the CPO’s motive for not giving accurate and complete information in the report while mentioning the previous ruling? In the current report, the CPO seems not to put complete information and keep it open for people to interpret. This would force any close observer of the case proceeding to believe that the CPO is investigating the case with some hidden agenda too. Is it systematic brainwashing of people to believe that AV is a repeated abuser and monster without any repentance? Does the CPO seriously want people to adopt that bad image of AV? And if so, then on what objective evidence? From the evidence in the report, it is challenging to not consider it as the CPO propaganda for settling scores.

2.7. The CPO conclusion section is tainted by narratives and absurd conclusions to call AV “cruel, callous, and unremorseful” based on no objective evidence. The CPO does not elaborate on the incident, who validated it, what was the parameter with validation, and whether it was cross-checked with AV.

I would like to raise questions against the following two conclusions made in the report:

The CPO says in the first one that comments were made to a minor but did the CPO prove, based on objective facts, that MR was not above 18? I suggest doing this first, as the case might involve an interconnected thread going over different players. Each player might be interconnected in several ways to others, and common interests could be at stake.

Next, is this case resolution based on narratives? The CPO uses another narrative in the first paragraph to make us believe how “cruel, callous, and unremorseful” AV is. Will the CPO stop telling gospels and give some evidence for each of the words spoken other than just narrative? Could the CPO elaborate on the incident, who validated it, what was the parameter with validation, and whether it was cross-checked with AV. If it was not checked with AV, one could only infer that the CPO knows how to take AV’s statements to their advantage when needed and reject them when not as per their interest and convenience. Just because the narrative is emotionally charged does not make it necessarily true. The CPO, in that case, is very tactically dealing with the case one-sided, not based on objective evidence but just based on MR testimony.

Moreover, what is the evidence for concluding in the second paragraph that AV had “gross sexual behavior” with SR? While the case never got opened or verified, how can a responsible body like the CPO pass a verdict that the other party is already at fault before the case hearing is started, just based on the unverified letter that SR circulated in public? Does the CPO always take decisions based on a one-sided narrative, or makes an effort to find some objective evidence? Has the CPO always concluded and spoken prematurely in a public forum, even before the opening of a case? If these are the general characteristics of the CPO panel, then it severely questions the maturity, transparency, and composure with which it has been handling the case. This should be severely alarming for GBC and sincere devotees. Moreover, SR’s case is outside the jurisdiction of the CPO. Still, the CPO does not stop from making nasty comments with no evidence, and that too in an open forum as if they are announcing the well-researched fact. Such acts do not represent a well-envisioned body like the CPO and appeal for some revision.

At this juncture, even the CPO is driven to quote things out of context. Taking things out of context is a pervasive problem in the CPO report. Above in the first paragraph, the CPO has taken the “unfortunate situation” said by AV out of context. I would ask if they consulted AV to reconfirm what he meant.

It’s not that by saying “unfortunate situation,” AV was in any way trivializing the event. Rather, he was cognizant of the graveness of offense and had atoned for it by asking forgiveness and having very strict sadhana of 64 rounds and dedicated service of adult education. The problem is if we put a modern lens colored by passion and ignorance to judge one’s statements and behavior, it would always look perverted. Bhakti teaches us repentance in the mode of goodness, not in the mode of ignorance. In the former, we accept our fault and move ahead to do something about it, while in the latter, we lament in ignorance and do nothing to correct ourselves, eventually doing it again.
The modern way of repentance is to lament in ignorance, curse oneself and be absolutely lazy to do anything to reform it. So, from the modern lens that the CPO seems to wear, even acceptance of fault and naturally moving forward to correct it looks cruel and unremorseful. The CPO needs to have a perspective change to investigate this case impartially; otherwise, it will consider any behavior of AV to be demoniac.This behavior of exaggerating and quoting out of context becomes more highlighted in my following argument.

2.8. The CPO gave labels like “lack of remorse” in their report, which is nowhere supported by the first-person report from AV during the investigation. Taking AV statements out of context to portray the image to the reader that AV is an unremorseful maniac devoid of even basic human quality.

I want to ask the CPO: Did AV say he didn’t repent his actions? If that’s true, furnish the evidence. Else on what basis the CPO makes such a grave claim that AV has become a maniac, having no repentance? This is really crucial for the CPO to answer. At least from the first-person report from AV’s reply to the CPO, I don’t see how he is not remorseful.

Below is text from AV reply to the CPO:

Do these statements show a “lack of remorse,” as pointed out in the CPO report? What other objective evidence the CPO has for such an insulting remark on AV? What is the intention behind portraying AV as a cold-blooded, ruthless maniac? How right is it to strip from one the basic character “admission of guilt” that any common man has? Is the CPO saying to the world that our devotees could not even develop this basic quality by 50 odd years of practice? It’s disheartening and frightening that such labeling actions would only discourage repentance. Such labeling is outrageous.

2.9. Interpreting AV’s cooperation to be some shameful response to the admission of guilt. Is this not the height of insanity? Any intelligent reader would consider the CPO’s reporting to be biased and loaded with negative narrative about AV.

Why does the CPO portray AV’s cooperation as a natural consequence of some crime being done and club it with a lack of remorse and admission of guilt? Does the CPO feel it would have been much better if AV had not cooperated, and the CPO could have taken that to conclude that AV was at fault? The CPO should not play double games. So, does it look like the CPO has taken a resolve not to appreciate anything in AV? We, as Vaishnavas, would also love to reject a maniac, but only when the CPO furnishes evidence. Otherwise, these negative paintings of AV’s character only question the credibility with which the CPO carried out their investigation. Again, it gives further evidence that the CPO has some agenda in mind against AV. Their report gives enough hint for the reader to see it as a biased investigation loaded with settling personal scores.

2.10. Making dumbfounded, unverified claims that AV is cunning and never followed the restriction made on the 1991 ruling but just got around it to continue. Giving unverified judgment on obedience or non-obedience of the previous ruling without citing any evidence.

From the CPO report:

Why is the CPO making unverified claims that sound like they know facts well? Could the CPO produce evidence to support the claim that AV was trying to get around the restrictions and only following the letter of the law? Could the CPO cite reports that confirm such observations? To my knowledge, there isn’t one from any previous ruling. Please state which set of evidence makes you reach this conclusion.

Again this evidence from the CPO report would naturally make one think that there is more than just dealing with a case. The bigger question remains, “Why is the CPO trying to build a maniac image of AV.” Is it to take advantage of the momentum to give him as many punishments or put as many restrictions which could not be put earlier as there was no evidence for the case? Does the CPO just want to cash on the momentum building up due to various circumstances against AV? The unjust dealing of the case will force any learned person to think along the “settling scores theory.” Is the CPO weaving a narrative from previous allegations to cash on the current case instead of evaluating the current case in light of evidence? If so, it indicates things far and wide that intelligent people would be able to guess, especially those who know the history of the CPO and Mayapur Gurukul. We desperately need clarification from the CPO on these lines.

2.11. The CPO distorts previous rulings (1990, 2007, and 2015) unrelated in many ways to the current case to brainwash readers with their own narrative. The CPO portrays AV as a ruthless maniac with the most extended history of the child and sexual abuse. The CPO presentation of cases left enough gaps for people to speculate and conclude on the lines the CPO persuaded.

(a) Pre-CPO investigation 1990s: Distorting the allegations and conclusions of the previous ruling (the 1980s-1990s timeframe) to build a narrative that AV is a repeated offender who has continued his child abuse for the last 40 years to date. The CPO misrepresented the 1991 ruling to misinform readers that AV himself admitted to sexual abuse with children in the 1980s-1990s, which is nowhere the case–misrepresenting the 1991 report to give an impression that AV was a sexual abuser himself in the 1991 rulings, which is not the fact as per report. These investigations date back to the 90s but girls were not involved in it in any way and no allegations of a sexual nature had been leveled against BVPS.

The CPO writes in the report :

Does the CPO claim that AV has been a continuous offender to date? If so, where is the evidence and detailing? If not, why pull out 1991 rulings nearly 3-4 decades before while AV abided by all the decisions made? Regarding corporal punishment, it was legal in India when it happened, but when ISKCON objected, it was immediately stopped by AV. Also, the CPO weaved the narrative that AV was himself the committer of acts. However, the report clarifies that students had engaged in inappropriate behavior, not AV. It happened under his watch, so AV was indirectly responsible. AV was only held responsible for corporal punishment, not for any sexual abuse. The CPO narrative does not distinguish or clarify that. Why mention it if the details need to be clarified? Did the CPO strategically keep details vague? Is this an intelligent and impartial investigation? AV took measures to rectify the wrongdoers several times. Does it befit the CPO to throw out biased information among the devotee community, leaving the interpretation to them? This is another instance of how the focus of the CPO failed on transparent handling of the case and seemingly went on to settle scores of previous allegations already dealt with on evidence and merit before, decades back.

Below is a direct quote from a reply by AV to the CPO where he questions the portrayal of himself as having the longest history of child abuse:

(b) Investigation in 2007:

The CPO report does not mention that AV did child abuse. The CPO accepts in their report that they spot incidents which even they are unsure if they would count as child abuse.

Two cases stood out among the documented occurrences that may be classed as child abuse but are not obvious and require proof as to why they should be labeled as child abuse. One of them was showing a seven-year-old how to rub chickpeas on his forehand. The other was passing by the hand-pump where children usually took bath. BVPSM confesses in the report that he denies ever standing and watching the youngsters bathe and noticing they were naked. He also mentions that small children bathing at a hand pump with adults coming and going is normal in India, so he didn’t think much of it.

(c) Investigation in 2015:
Stretching the CPO 2015 report to attribute serious sexual allegations- all unverified and unconfirmed in the investigation to convince the reader of AV’s long history of sexual abuse continuing till date. Contrary to the above narrative, the CPO report in their investigation does not cite any conclusive evidence of sexual or child abuse. AV could be related to the allegations made on SR, but it was not about sexual or child abuse. The CPO should have no business pulling this case out of the rug to paint the negative image of AV.

Since people believe in authority, unfortunately, the CPO misused their authoritative position to spread misinformation deliberately and provided incomplete details to convince people to agree with their wrong portrayal of AV. It is almost like setting the scene to build a narrative that the AV case is the longest in the history of the child and sexual abuse. The CPO included unconfirmed and irrelevant articles and rulings with exaggeration to persuade the reader of their subjective negative opinion about AV.

2.12. Using legally loaded terms like Grooming, Child abuse and Sexual abuse all in the same breath without making necessary distinctions against AV. The CPO mixes and interchangeably uses Grooming, child abuse, and sexual abuse without first ascertaining the age. Without citing any conclusive evidence, the CPO blames AV by putting all the above allegations in one bucket.

The CPO does not provide any evidence to prove their ten, enumerated allegations they make against him. Instead, they delude the reader by captioning all the ten allegations with loaded legal claims such as “Sexsual abuse and harassment, Psychological abuse, Grooming of a minor”. These terms have legal consequences and cannot be used at whim without evidence just because it feels emotionally satisfying as long as AV is targeted. I would request readers to go through the report and find out where the evidence cited is to verify such serious claims made.

Where is the conclusive evidence for Psychological abuse?

Where is the conclusive evidence for Grooming of a minor?

Where is the conclusive evidence for Sexsual Harrasement or Sexsual abuse?

It’s not fair that, without any conclusive evidence, the CPO is just bent on punishing AV and it does not even bother to acknowledge that their whole claim of Grooming and Child abuse rest on first proving that MR was minor.

If they can not do so, they should drop the case or hand it over to a competent authority. Since, the un-redacted report is already leaked, comparing the redacted and un-redacted version gives a clear glimpse of how even redacted details are themselves unpersuasive.

Please go through the redacted and un-redacted version, which is compared side by side in another letter. It will be an eye-opener to see how the evidence was interpreted.

For the evidence they presented so far in the report, none of the claims of Grooming, Psychological abuse or Sexsual harrasment is quite evident. Pointing out to remarks which were taken out of context is not sufficient to prove child abuse or grooming. Grooming requires that the intent to be proven.

2.13. Putting AV statements “out of context” for allegations 5 and 6 specifically and, in general, provide no conclusive evidence for allegations 1 to 10. Instead, the CPO, with their own narrative throughout, deludes the reader that the claims are verified.

Prabhupada somewhere says: “women are less intelligent” or “a woman likes a man who’s very expert at rape.” Now, some people and beginner devotees might misunderstand, but what do we call them? We understand that they got it wrong because they got it completely out of context!

But how come the CPO is convinced that MR, who was yet getting her education, could never go wrong in interpreting things out of context? I believe one would agree that we have seen instances of statements interpreted out of context in our life as well as statements from the sastras interpreted out of context. Then I am wondering what is the rationale for putting such amazing confidence in their intellectual capacity? Did the CPO ask some devotees who are experts in sastras (let’s say for SAC-Sastric Advisory Council) to hear the context and the remarks made by AV and evaluate whether the majority feels it was out of context or not. This at least would have been a more reliable way to assess whether AV commented out of the blue or MR got it wrong.. But sadly nothing of that sort was done ! I see many possibilities, and every alternative possibility should be ruled out before concluding something. And if there is not enough evidence on either side, the CPO should state that.

And if the CPO is so sure, just based on their personal assessment (without any objective evidence), that those statements were not spoken in context, then I would request the CPO to release the narrative of both parties to an open-forum so that we can decide. The CPO should not hide it because it is confidential when it has already disclosed so many confidential details that are unverified and incomplete. Since the redacted CPO report does not have a detailed version, we want CPO to let us know the assessments used to decide whether statements were made out of sensuality or not. Denial to do so will only make me feel that, for some reason, the CPO believes their personal assessment is superior to anyone else and can not be questioned even though there is no objective evidence. While CPO may think so, if we compare the redacted and un-redacted version, which is compared side by side in another letter
, CPO professionalism and expertise on the subject is heavily put into question ?

For a rational mind it appears that the CPO is not fit to act in its present role, because their leaders are acting against the expertise they profess. Two wrongs don’t make a right, and what is good for the goose is good for the gander

There were faults in AV’s behavior that were admitted by AV in his reply and acknowledged by the CPO. This was sufficient for any consideration of punishment for him. The other allegations made based on contested or specious evidence should be given up or rejected. Otherwise, the CPO’s credibility becomes doubtful, and because it’s doubtful it’s also doubtful on the offenses we agree on. Hence, it taints the entire case against AV and future cases against others.

Mischief by the prosecutors is why in the world outside of ISKCON, verdicts of cases that have been proven beyond a reasonable doubt have been tossed out on account of the prosecutors’ mischief. We feel that the same thing has happened in this case, except that we do not have an impartial judge who can constrain the CPO prosecutors. The CPO’s prosecution has been mischievous, and it should be tossed out.

Moreover, as pointed out earlier in section 2.7, CPO presented its analysis tainted narratives and absurd conclusions to call AV “cruel, callous, and unremorseful” based on no objective evidence. The CPO does not elaborate on the incident, who validated it, what was the parameter with validation, and whether it was cross-checked with AV. If the analysis, judgments, and interpretation do not appeal to the rational mind for allegations whose details are disclosed, then what confidence remains in how the rest of the allegations were handled?

Hence, I appeal to furnish details of allegations: 1 to 9 too and explicitly explain their protocol of judgment for us to see how they were based on evidence and not biased. It would also help us to see how the analysis and judgments were just based on Guru, Sadu, and Sastras. The way the case is handled so far has breached the trust in the CPO to deal with the case in a just manner. If the CPO is doing nothing more than just relying on the victim narrative, let people hear both sides and decide for themselves. Why push the CPO opinion on the top of whichever side the CPO feels favorite? Why present the original narrative with an icing narrative of the CPO? It is just again another layer of subjective perception with no objective evidence. Let it come out in its original form if the investigation cannot do any objective assessment. Even if the investigating body admits there isn’t convincing evidence on either side except for the personal testimony- it would be appreciated rather than some tainted conclusion based on personal biases.

2.14. Strengthening the case of MR based on an unconfirmed and unverified claim of SR, whose investigation still needed to begin. Cherry-picking from SR stories to fill the report with “narrative,” deluding readers to speculate anywhere from physical touch to gross sex. The CPO purposefully included unverified & unconfirmed allegations to strengthen the current case against AV.

The CPO is using even uninvestigated unopened cases of SR to strengthen the current case and presenting the SR case as if it were a verified and confirmed case against AV. Cherry picking from SR stories to fill the report with “narrative,” deluding readers to speculate anywhere from physical touch to gross sex. It’s hard to believe that such could be the intent of the CPO.

The CPO built its negative narrative around the SR case. Instead of investigating the reported case with rigorous transparency and unbiasedness, the CPO allowed themselves and their decisions to get influenced by another unverified case of SR. SR’s case was beyond their jurisdiction and yet to be investigated. The CPO does not want to look at any angle except what proves AV wrong. The CPO wants to look at angles that suit MR and their own prejudice.

If it is so easy to speculate and convince the CPO with one’s narrative let me speculate a bit and see where it goes. Please bear with me for a moment while I speculate and ask certain questions which connects the missing link in occurrence of events:

Q1. Why MR did not report her abuse before is not clear? How come she suddenly got the motivation after decades?

As evident from the letter by SR, MR did not feel any need to report it in 2013. It’s only recently that MR felt she had to do something about those memories and approached the CPO. How come, all of a sudden, after seven-odd years, she felt the need to report decades old events? Soon after MR’s reporting, the SR letter was leaked. Reporting these cases one after another in a row, after 15-20 odd years, indicates a bigger mystery behind the unfolding of events.

The CPO never looked at the case from another possible angle. There are reasons to believe that both MR and SR played the victim card one after another suddenly after decades to resolve their internal fight for the opening of girl’s gurukul again in 2021. Internal sources do cite this angle. Some interpret the whole case as a scenario of people playing victim cards to blame others or protect themselves. However, it’s unverified; what if it were true and the CPO missed this perspective to investigate? What if the 2nd case was a bigger victim card played to protect themselves against the 1st victim card? There are possibilities if one considers all scenarios objectively. Do these decade-old cases pop up suddenly, one after another, and not signal a bigger story behind them? So wouldn’t it have been wise to either wait for 2nd case to get opened before giving the final ruling or not include the 2nd case for the current evaluation? Throwing random pieces of information without verifying the claims raises questions about the CPO’s handling of the case. And if the second case was at all included, evidence should have been used, not just narrative, to rule out other competing, angles-especially the victim card angle.

Q2. Why SR kept associating with AV and even sending her child for AV special classes until recently if she was in so much trauma? It is frequently reported, as per Gurukul teachers and localities. Does it make sense for a person having such trauma?

Since the CPO has been giving undue weightage to the SR letter, even though not thoroughly investigated, I would like to raise certain points which could help the CPO reconsider their decisions being influenced by the letter. If SR had recognized AV as an abuser long ago (when she got married), as she writes in her own letter, why then she kept associating with AV? If she had rejected AV long ago and was suffering trauma, why, until recently (2021), had she been cooking on special occasions for AV? Why had she been sending her child to school till recently, 2021, and especially for AV-exclusive Sunday classes? How could someone so abused by AV not only associate with him but personally cook for him on Vyas Puja? This behavior of SR contradicts
the narrative she gives in her letter and needs to be critically examined. I, therefore, entirely disagree with the CPO for taking strength from this un-investigated case to influence the verdict on the MR case.

This evidence comes from gurukul teachers, students, and localities who are eyewitnesses. Did the CPO think over this point? In this regard, did they interview teachers, senior people in gurukul, or local residents? Many senior leaders, teachers, and graduates could be interviewed contemporary to the period case happened and even recent years, alongside finding other pieces of evidence for the case. But somehow due to their own prejudice and biases, the CPO is super enthusiastic about making the case against AV.

Q3. Why did SR make her letter public, and what was its intention? Whether it was strategic or accidental needs to be verified.

Intentions may sometimes be more than what was reported in the letter and require proper investigation, which I guess the Sannyas standing committee is doing. But I need clarification on why it was made public and who made it–the intentions behind it will throw much light on the case. Until then, the CPO should not have allowed this to influence their rulings in evidence, decisions, conclusions, restriction, and recommendations. Maybe probing more into how a series of events took place could help clarify the matter. But for sure, things have happened, like the Big-Bang exploding at an unpredicted time. The critical direction would be to find the trigger.

Why could the CPO not ask these obvious questions? For sure, the CPO has failed to exhibit an investigating body’s rigor and merely displayed a biased approach.

2.15. The CPO panel recommendation seemed less of a recommendation and more of convincing people that AV had the longest history of child abuse and also had an inappropriate relationship with SR. The CPO made the panel recommendation public in the report, which was supposed to go private and is heavily loaded with portraying AV as a criminal based on unconfirmed and unverified articles or claims.

From the CPO report, it looks like rather than doing a transparent investigation, the CPO somehow wants to bias the people and other ISKCON bodies too with their narrative and perception so that decisions are concluded on their lines. The CPO should be questioned for putting several unconfirmed things in points 1 to 8 in the panel recommendation, which could have been drafted privately.

What could be the reason the CPO does not give recommendations from a neutral standpoint and build a biased negative narrative? To the contrary, the CPO is persuading the common people and investigating bodies that the CPO already knows AV is at fault.

(see panel recommendations 2 to 5)

But let’s consider these recommendations once again separately:

15.1. In points 2, 6 and 7 of the panel recommendation: What does the CPO want to impress upon ordinary people by citing that earlier SR CPO 2015 case or recent SR unverified letter?

What evidence does the CPO have to show for the inappropriate behavior of AV with SR? In point 2 of the panel recommendation, the CPO is super-fast in concluding that AV already had inappropriate or harmful behavior. What is the basis of this conclusion, except for flying narratives or rumors? AV was involved with Girl’s gurukul teaching and naturally would be seen around Girl’s Gurukul; does that make him automatically at fault with SR? Which report makes such conclusions? What kind of paltry logic is the CPO giving that even an 8th Grader won’t give? Claims are confirmed based on evidence, not one’s prejudice, biases, and ulterior motives. No one will buy such silly arguments and conclusions if you throw them legally outside. It’s high time for the CPO to reflect on what they did and how they can compensate for it.

Please take time to review the following post of MG himself to Sanak Risi Das:

1.https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=pfbid0BacEHXLuCg4PkoDB5HT9KjhCKCZFXxsACg457UAUZqp6nF142G84gLx5WXgEzT7Zl&id=100012234012806

2.https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=pfbid08nKesbSuUzYZaJSqToouReVYLNWT9LQE8fJWpniEtqYgf21CnkVFBF194rgaBM2Pl&id=100012234012806

Sanak Risi Das has personal revenge to take from AV and has been after him for a long time to put him down. According to Sanak Risi Das and allies, the majority of GBC and top leaders are in a no good position, and the whole ISKCON needs leadership reformation. MG had taken care of Gurukul for so long during those times. We are compiling another complaint against Sanak Risi Das and allies, and it will be sent soon. The CPO is aware of the response by MG but chooses to be blindfolded and misguide the audience. Look at the post:

Now let’s look at some panel recommendation and how the narrative was built:

.

Why were these pieces of unconfirmed and incomplete information disclosed to the public if it was meant for a private recommendation? Could the above recommendation not have gone privately to prevent people from prematurely concluding without knowing the details of previous cases or cases yet to be investigated? Is this the way the CPO deals with these sensitive issues? What did the CPO achieve by this? Will the CPO give a proper rationale to justify this act? Does the CPO feel people are capable enough to find all reports, collect all pieces of evidence and come to an unbiased, objective conclusion on their own? The CPO should not unnecessarily put people into the predicament of forming opinions about devotees based on incomplete or biased information. It has affected devotees’ spiritual life, time, and energy. Such incomplete information also provides an opportunity for non-devotees to criticize ISKCON. Devotees are already at war with Maya; why tax them with unverified, incomplete information? The CPO should now disclose the details of cases and only those with confirmed evidence to prevent stress and anxiety among common devotees.

Having said all that, the question remains: “What was the CPO’s intention behind putting incomplete, unverified statements for common people to read and interpret?” The answer is we don’t know entirely. Still, it gravitates towards the “settling scores theory,” which is quite popular.

15.2. Panel recommendation 3 again is an outburst of the CPO perception for AV as someone using endorsement of others to carry out abuse. Note that it looks like it is a clear decision by the CPO on him in this matter and was very less of a recommendation.

The CPO fanatically claims that AV was involved in harmful behavior in the previous two CPO cases. Could the CPO recall and explain what were those two CPO investigations and what were the rulings? Could it be described more in detail, or does the CPO want to keep it vague so that people can make the usual interpretation based on a woven narrative? With these sorts of biases, how can a body carry out impartial investigations? The CPO prejudice is clearly reflected in how the report is presented and narrated. We again ask for evidence of AV being involved in harmful acts in two previous instances quoted. The CPO, if unable to furnish evidence, would only point out that the CPO was super enthusiastic about settling their scores against and putting him down.

15.3. Panel recommendation 4 is again an iteration of impressing upon people a distorted understanding and conclusions of the 1991 investigation case. I have also explained this before, along with AV’s reply (see point 11). Rather than mentioning the word “recommendation” in point 4, the CPO already passes their judgment with dumbfounded arguments. The CPO goes on to accuse and portray AV as a wrong perpetrator. Does the CPO acknowledge that as a result of the 1991 investigation, AV wanted to resign from responsibilities but was pushed by local GBC to continue? He accepted and carried on, and now it looks like the CPO wants to punish AV for that by leveraging on the current case. In the absence of objective evidence, these allegations only indicate the CPO’s personal biases and reconfirm the score-settling that is going on here.

2.16. Punishments are absolute overkill and do not represent being composed with a devotional mindset. In essence, the punishments sound like throwing AV out of ISKCON. Not allowing him to stay in any ISKCON center and forcing him to stay in a materialistic association is inhuman and so hypocritical for someone advocating for morality. Sure those who announced such decisions have devotional names and tilak, but they donot have devotional mindset.

The CPO writes in their punishment guidelines in BOLD before announcing punishments and immediately crosses all limits and takes the role of GOD to strip AV of any association and almost put him in exile.

The CPO writes:


So according to the CPO guidelines or law book, the abuser (if proven):

(a) would be not allowed to work with children or

(b) hold any leadership position in ISKCON.

If the CPO had imposed the punishment outlined above, it would have been appropriate. But the CPO chooses to assume the role of GOD and prohibits AV from engaging in devotional services.

The CPO report restrictions:

First, I object to the CPO exercising GOD-like authority overlooking their own protocol for punishment cited just above.What authority does the CPO have to frame rules about where AV would stay or visit? In restrictions 1 to 3, they give no place in ISKCON for him to stay. Is that not CRIMINAL out front? Can I ask the CPO where they think AV should stay now, having banned all ISKCON centers? They become so inhuman to strip a devotee of basic life necessities in his old age. Is this how the CPO stands for moral principles? Is CPO on a crusade to torture AV and abuse him to death mentally ? The CPO does not even have the basic common sense to allow AV a place to stay! Not allowing him a place in ISKCON means forcing him to remain with materialists and in the materialistic association. That would be so much reforming, as per the CPO.

Next, why does the CPO restrict AV from visiting Mayapur and Vrindavan? What right does the CPO have to stop one from visiting holy places and getting purified? Even GOD does not stop hard-core materialists from visiting his Dham. That’s the way they get purified. But the CPO, having put on a western lens of judgments, is super enthusiastic about exercising its control on AV and ISKCON beyond its limit.

Not allowing AV to take association with devotees, visit temples or attend festivals- What these all got to do with interaction with children or leadership positions? What does roaming with a certificate and announcing the CPO glorious judgments to wherever he goes have to do with their punishment guidelines? Completely insane!

What do these restrictions have to do with “restrictions related to working with children or leadership positions” that the CPO is imposing? What justification CPO would give for such kinds of restrictions? CPO goes to heights to exploit their position and punish a devotee to death.

The CPO imposes a lifetime restriction on AV for visiting Mayapur. How did the CPO get that absolute authority? Why and how does the CPO impose restrictions on AV staying at ISKCON or affiliated centers?

So where should he stay his remaining life? The CPO would probably say “JAIL,” and GBC would nod. So much exercising control of the personal life of AV? I am amazed to see the power of the CPO!

What these restrictions have to do with “restrictions related to working with children or not holding leadership positions”-It’s revenge, that’s all.


What does giving class or leading kirtan have to do with the CPO reformation guidelines? Do only leaders who work with children give classes, or do kirtan? And therefore, is the CPO restricting AV? It’s not quite clear what the rationale is. Another reason that could be cited is that this service might attract some respect. So in their mind, the CPO thinks the more devotees disrespect AV, the better it is for devotees and, of course, for AV. Sure, if AV takes in the right spirit, he will progress, but everyone else is doomed. Such is the proposition of the CPO. Stripping AV of any respect in public is the new template for reforming devotees as advocated by the CPO. Better would be devotees throwing stones at him. That would be much more satisfying to the CPO and pseudo-social reformers while simultaneously highly elevating for all the devotees. In fact, the CPO proposes this new secret for advancement for everyone.

How do brahminical services, even not done in a leading position, hurt the sentiments of the CPO guidelines? Why does the CPO restrict AV from brahminical services? What is it supposed to accomplish? Not clear, but trusted sources say that the CPO systematically deprived AV of their wishes which AV revealed to them in their interview. AV said he would not like to leave Mayapur and would like to be engaged in brahmanical services.

Bang !! The CPO was spot on to ensure AV never gets access to Mayapur in the future. The next step was to deprive him of any brahminical services. Cruel right? But it’s true. Why would one put such restrictions, which have nothing to do with working with children? It does not make sense unless we understand the intent of the CPO, which was to settle their previous scores with AV. Not allowing him to be engaged in his occupational duty directly goes against Gita. I guess the CPO should re-refer it. The CPO ignores the most important point: devotional service is the only real purification method that will work.

Not allowing him to offer garland to Srila Prabhupada? This Means the CPO is next to GOD and can even decide who can offer garland or not.

It looks like the CPO assumes and encourages that the victim neither forgets nor forgives the acts of AV; else, why such restrictions for future. In fact, AV should always live in ignorance, remembering his acts. Victims, too, should live in ignorance by keeping their memory fresh by ruminating on them and cursing the perpetrator. Instead of being KC, AV and the victim become conscious of whatever wrongdoing happened in the past. By imposing restrictions as above, the CPO indirectly says that once someone is victimized, he can neither forget nor forgive the perpetrator. In fact, they should not; otherwise, the restriction’s basis would be invalid. Such restrictions hint that the CPO feels devotional service can neither heal the victim nor reform the perpetrator. It looks like CPO believes that only by imposing such restrictions the reformation of AV and the healing of victims is supposed to occur.

Ultimately, the restrictions recommend for wherever AV goes, he should always be “victim conscious” and ruminate about his wrongdoing that happened in the past. He should be “victim’s family conscious” and keep himself busy to find out whether the victim’s family is around. And probably hide his face and run immediately. From now onwards, his only devotional service is to run away as soon as he sees the victim’s family. What kind of weird restrictions are these? So far from reality and even farther from sastras. In their arbitrary way, the CPO imposes arbitrary regulations. Punishment has no component of reformation and looks like an act of revenge for some unsettled scores.

If the CPO thinks that 1) AV is unremorseful and cannot be reformed, and 2) should not be allowed in any ISKCON center or allowed to practice devotional service, then why don’t they just recommend excommunication from ISKCON? I think they don’t because that’s a decision reserved only for the GBC, but the CPO’s recommendation seems to be trying to achieve the same thing, kind of a bypassing of the GBC.

Based on the MR case, the decision seems disproportionate to the offenses agreed on by both sides to have happened, unless it is admitted that punishment was also to settle previous scores. With the quality of evidence and selective hearing of one side, any intelligent observer will conclude that punishment was given not just based on the current case but post-facto or retrospective being influenced by the previous ruling. I want to remind you that devotional service is the primary medium to purify consciousness apart from external forms of punishment. External punishments may be needed but the emphasis on that alone may be disproportionate. In essence, whatever decisions are taken, the devotional service of someone shouldn’t be stopped. One may not be engaged in a leading position but should be allowed to serve in some assisting position wherever feasible.

2.17. The CPO acted unprofessionally in preserving the victim’s confidentiality, documents, and rulings. If it was just under the CPO, the natural question that requires attention and investigation is: “who leaked it”? Was it a mistake or intentional? Such mistakes seriously call into question the objectivity and transparency of the rigors with which the CPO investigated the case.

Leaking of the CPO reports which are supposed to be confidential has tons to say about the impartiality of the case. Any intelligent reader can doubt the intention of the CPO. There are reasons to think that it was intentional. From the narrative built in the report , one can get enough hint of biasness of the CPO else why a one sided narrative. Why was the recommendation which was supposed to go private, wnt public? Why did the CPO not critically examine the under 18 issue and tactfully kept the case under their jurisdiction? Why did the CPO give more weightage to MR’s narrative than AV’s although both were first person testimony? Why did the CPO consider MR’s statement to be absolute truth and not consider the inconsistencies in her statement? Why did the CPO delude the readers with unverified cases of SR to accuse him of gross sexual misbehavior with SR ? Why did the CPO manipulate the conclusion and evidence of the previous ruling to portray AV as a serial monster committing offenses for two to three decades?

Was there conclusive evidence for the allegation made above in the CPO report except for MR and their own narrative? Sadly the answer is “No”. So what to take from such biased investigation and reporting? The most likely reason is that the CPO was waiting for one chance to get on AV and settle their previous scores. This is quite evident in the punishment they imposed on AV. I referred it to a non-devotee friend studying law. He said “In absence of evidence -It is an OVERKILL”. The CPO cashed on the advantage to ban AV and send him to exile bereft of any association with Vaisnavas or devotional service.

3.Conclusion:

The way CPO report was presented and the background narrative was weaved seems heavily biased against AV. The report presentation provides substantial evidence for the inclusion of cases, rulings, and articles in the CPO report which were either not relevant or unverified. CPO tactically did not feel the need to objectively verify whether “MR was a minor or not” to keep the case deliberately under their jurisdiction for some ulterior gains. Neglecting evidence from MG & AV reporting that supports that prosecution was not minor. Moreover, there has been selective listening of AV testimony and cherry picking AV statements to support MR claim as per convenience. All along, MR testimony is given weightage without critically examining inconsistencies in her statements. Also, there seems to be an attempt to put AV statements out of context and portray him as a manic and repeated offender who does not even have a basic sense of remorse. CPO misrepresented the 1991 ruling to misinform readers that AV himself admitted to sexual abuse with children in the 1980s-1990s, which is nowhere the case–misquoting the 1991 report that AV was proven to be a sexual abuser himself in 1991 rulings which is not the fact.Total attempts were also made to drag AV in CPO 2015 report and use whatever articles they could to cash on him.Finally goes to the extent of falsely claiming that AV never followed the restrictions of the previous ruling.

We agree with the CPO that AV did something inappropriate. However, we strongly object that the main question is the nature of the offense and whether all of the accusations leveled against him are factual. To put it another way, “two wrongs don’t make a right.” It is wrong for them to make false complaints against AV, utilize doubtful evidence to build shaky arguments against him, make false accusations against AV, or impose excessive punishments for the offense. Such reasoning and judgments cause concern for future cases because the CPO will undoubtedly do the same with someone else if not challenged.

There were faults in AV’s behavior that were admitted by AV in his reply and acknowledged by the CPO. This was sufficient for any consideration of punishment for him. The other allegations made based on contested or specious evidence should be given up or rejected. Otherwise, the CPO’s credibility becomes doubtful, and because it’s doubtful it’s also doubtful on the offenses we agree on. Hence, it taints the entire case against AV and future cases against others.

4. Consequences:

4.1. Breach of trust in CPO: First CPO judged the whole case from a biased spectacle (see Section 3) and then announced punishments which has nothing to do with their punishment guideleines they mention their own report (see Section 2.16) CPO exercises utmost power in announcing restrictions that even God would not impose. CPO seems to rely on the philosophy that: Once a mistake is made, the verdict is “one was never a devotee, never is a devotee, and will never be a devotee.”

It appears CPO is a supreme independent body in ISKCON, even above GBC, and has no authority at all above them. Is it that CPOs submitting their reports to GBC for approval is just a formality? But surprisingly, neither by number nor by qualifications does CPO looks to be in a more authoritative position than GBC. Is the CPO independent of the GBC and has the right to exercise power beyond the GBC? But even if so, what are their guidelines based on which they would base their punishment, or are they free to pick and choose the modern materialistic model? Sure, there was a mistake, but why such disproportionate punishment, and is this punishment actually based on the sastras? Why paint AV’s whole service as fake and nonsense? Is this a Vaisnava style of judgment? It’s not even human; it is insane. We never knew ISKCON had an eternal damnation philosophy. Sure, there can be punishment, but disproportionate punishment is not welcomed. If nothing is done to correct this, it will break the trust of thousands of devotees in authority, and the consequences of it will not be uplifting for devotees’ spiritual life.

The extent of punishment does not reflect either sastric laws or outside laws. Given our lifetimes of betraying Krishna, many of us would not even register in the movement if Krishna were advocating eternal damnation. Bhakti is the primary purificatory process. As far as we know, the guidelines for punishing a brahmana differ significantly from what CPO and GBC have implemented in this case. Even after pleading for pardon for an incident 14 years ago, the justification for such an exile is unclear. Does CPO not realize that by berefting AV of any association and devotional services, we are practically forcing him to STOP PRACTICING KC? We request GBC and SABHA reevaluate the CPO’s purview and establish the rules and regulations to be adhered to for punishment and reformation based on the sastras. We humbly request GBC and SABHA to reconsider the CPO report and make clear where they stand on such biased judgement and disproportionate penalties.

4.2. Social Unrest and Confusion in devotee Community. Does CPO acknowledge how much panic and social unrest in the devotee community got created due to their biased investigation of case. Moreover, such hasty disclosure of information (see Section 6.1 ) evoked betrayal, distrust in authority among AV’s followers, and hatred in the devotee community against AV and his followers.For a typical person, anything that appears on ISKCON news is taken as verified facts and authentic. But in this case, despite unverified claims and pending judgments by sanyas and guru service, GBC and ISKCON communication statements were made public on ISKCON news.

Complete chaos were experienced in devotee community due to the premature release of the GBC statement, ISKCON communication commentary on CPO report. The disciples and followers were threatened and bullied for providing any physical shelter to their spiritual master. Statements, one after the other, appeared to persuade the devotee community to denounce AV publicly. This convinced the devotee community that AV was a serial defaulter, and all allegations were proved correct. One after another, such frantic bombardment of information created an atmosphere of panic in disciples of AV and outrage in opposition. CPO allowed the situation to build such that anyone who gave AV shelter was publicly bullied and trolled. Public trolling of a Finnish devotee who was bullied for rumors of having sheltered AV is known to the devotee community. GBC seems so much under political pressure that ISKCON officials gave open announcements to not support the Finnish devotee’s decision.

Devotees and disciples were terminated from their leadership positions if they questioned CPO. The best strategy to deal with email complaints was not acknowledging or replying to them. This happened to us, too, when we wrote our first complaint to CPO immediately after CPO took their decision. Even though the complaint was made as per CPO’s rules and within the duration of the appeal, CPO never replied or acknowledged it. Not evaluating the decisions of the first CPO report by GBC led to further decisions, which made life hell for AV due to criticism and confusion about his character from the devotee community. Denying AV of basic necessities of life to stay and honor prasadam seemed to portray that AV committed a crime as grave as murder. Devoiding him of any association seems like authorities wish AV to lead a hard-core materialist life. There were also reports about Justice Ministry threatening AV too.

Consequences were outrage, Anger, and Death threats to AV.GBC apparently remained silent over the devotee community expressing their wrath on AV. A typical devotee who always believed in the authenticity of news and commentary floating on ISKCON news felt like eliminating a maniac who has been committing child and sexual abuse for 2-3 decades. Protest on social media, criticism of AV in full glory, and bullying anyone who defends were all given a spectator look as if these were something naturally devotional for the reformation of AV, healing of victims, and overall spiritual development of all Vaisnava community.

4.3. Putting AV disciples and followers in trauma, jeopardizing their life: A series of decisions made one after the other without conclusive evidence have put AV disciples and followers in trauma, jeopardizing their life? We are taught to treat Guru as good as God. What turmoil disciples and followers are undergoing over the unjust portrayal of their spiritual master as a maniac? While CPO might be celebrating its efforts to prevent child abuse, it neglected to acknowledge the suffering of disciples, which seems to be disciple abuse For disciples and followers, the harsh sanctions of CPO have only resulted in trauma.

Interests and sentiments of “Disciples and followers of AV” were seemingly neglected throughout the case proceedings. CPO did not even think about it. It failed to evaluate the consequence of the disproportionate decision and wrong portrayl of AV on his disciples and followers. There are thousands of disciples and followers of AV worldwide who follow AV as their siksha guru. Does CPO not acknowledge how much trauma AV followers would have felt due to making dumbfounded decisions and punishments to AV one after the other? They were first bombarded with unverified and unconfirmed allegations about their Guru. Next, their Guru was portrayed as a remorseless monster doing crimes for 40 years. Next, they tolerated unjustified and disproportionate punishments by CPO. Unfortunately, AV lacked association and shelter, and all his support was severed. CPO ensured AV did not find a place to stay anywhere in ISKCON temples or allied properties. AV disciples and followers did not welcome such inhuman treatment of one’s Guru by CPO. Moreover, anyone who supported or questioned the CPO decision was trolled, bullied, and thrashed down.

By not being careful about circulating information in public through ISKCON news, the least attention has been paid to AV disciples and followers. Nobody considered what impact it would have on them once the unverified claims were circulated to the public as if they were facts. This led to the devotee community forming wrong opinions about their Spiritual master and also experiencing wrath and criticism of the devotee community against them and their SM.

AV has a huge following, and many devotees hold AV as good as their diksha gurus. CPO’s selective hearing of the case and disproportionate punishment have severely hurt them and affected their spiritual life. Many have suffered severe setbacks and traumas in their spiritual life by the wrong portrayal of AV in the CPO narrative. Their lives are devastated and filled with emotional and psychological turmoil for making their inspiring figure almost a criminal. Their work, family, and spiritual life have become disoriented, and they are losing trust in the authorities in ISKCON (GBC and CPO). Did CPO ever think of these devotees before painting AV as a criminal? Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of these disciples. What emotional torture would one feel if one’s guru were held responsible for even unverified and unconfirmed claims? Does one fault automatically imply that all allegations were true? Is this how an impartial investigation is conducted? Followers have been unable to focus on jobs or family due to such confusion created by partial investigations and judgments. It was disheartening to CPO stripping one devotee of basic stay and prasadam. Such grave inhuman treatment will forever remain a dark history in the life of AV disciples and followers. Closing temple doors all over and severing any hands which support AV in no way reflect the compassion and mood of our movement. Is this the culture of Vaisnava conduct that we would like devotees to carry forward? To us, forget about being devotional; it looks prima facie inhuman!

4.4. Life made hell for AV due to negative portrayal -equal to excommunication: Remaining silent over the spreading of misinformation by CPO is questionable even as per outside laws (defamation act under Section 499 IPC). Defamation of AV by the CPO narrative has portrayed AV as a maniac criminal. GBC silently witnessed the portrayal of AV as a ruthless maniac having the longest history to date of the child and sexual abuse. It is quite confusing to any informed observer of case proceedings.

Defamation by CPO is calling out death threats for AV openly in social media. As a result, outsiders and insiders criticize and call out for death threats. Does GBC see the consequence of an impartial hearing of the case and spreading misinformation? Decisions and punishments were given just because the victim said it happened, which means it’s already true. And if the victim is female, it’s beyond any questioning and is absolute truth. I take a moment to ask, even as per western standards, if it is about men-women equality, why do both sides not need to be critically examined equally, irrespective of male or female? In all other places, we talk about equality for men and women, the same rules for men and women. Then why is there a differentiation here? If GBC does not intervene, consequences will not be proper for the healthy functioning of the devotee community. CPO would have to pay for spreading misinformation globally, and GBC being silent can not escape.

We are not saying that things haven’t gone wrong, but if the CPO and other bodies want to revenge AV for their ulterior motive, then they should be prepared to handle the consequences. Even outside laws based on moral standards do not permit such defamation and punishments, let alone devotional law codes. AV has been quite respected in the intellectual community and has excellent followings. We would be forced to use the Defamation law of India to question CPO if GBC and SABHA do not take appropriate actions for an impartial hearing of the case and restoration of the AV image as per the merit of evidence. CPO has painted AV as a monster, manic, and to refute such false allegations, we would be forced to use outside laws if GBC does not intervene. We are taught to treat our Spiritual Master as good as God. How can one remain a mock spectator while their SM is negatively portrayed and disproportionately punished? Even sastric law codes will object if disciples do not rightly defend their SM who is in the right standing. AV has been chanting 64 rounds for decades and has contributed tirelessly to adult education, the foundation on which devotees have been leading their lives.

If GBC does not question CPOs over such decisions, the day is pretty close when anyone wanting to put down a sanyasi out of their hidden agendas will catch a lady, weave a narrative, and forward it to CPO. CPOs would be super enthusiastic about bringing down the person whom they don’t like. Also, CPOs being experts in just relying on the victim narrative, would do something similar to what they have done now. CPO favoring the victim side on gender and racial basis can not be a standard to solve cases. If CPO anyway has to base its judgment on the victim’s narrative and not any objective evidence, then leave the case to an open forum, as people are also capable enough to hear each side’s narrative and form an opinion.

We want to know why the GBC did not step in to stop the unfair portrayal of AV in the absence of proof. We cannot help but oppose CPO’s vilification of AV, who faithfully represented Srila Prabhupada and his teachings to devotees. As GBC is the ultimate authority, we persistently await some intervention.

4.5 The hastiness to make information viral has encouraged wrong legal order: ISKCON communication and GBC seems to be in unknown hurry and pressure to release information on ISKCON news prematurely bypassed legal order. Thereby, it has also given freedom and excuse for ISKCON Gurus, Leaders and ISKCON news to post comments not in line with legal order in ISKCON. Below are instances of procedding which bypassed legal order:

●      ISKCON News published a news article on the CPO decision before hearing AV’s appeal.

●      The GBC made an official statement on the CPO decision before hearing AV’s appeal.

●      Several ISKCON Gurus and National Councils made their statements before hearing AV’s appeal.

●      ISKCON News did not publish AV’s appeal.

●      ISKCON News published a news article regarding this GBC resolution before the SABHA made their statement.

Above is an observation from a recent letter in defense of AV. We would humbly like to know from GBC the hurriness over such sensitive issue and consequences that followed it ? Much more is talked about the case proceeding going astray from sastric angles and I request GBC and SABHA to consider giving a read.

5. Appeal to GBC and SABHA:

5.1. Give an impartial and transparent hearing of the case. We appeal to GBC and SABHA to intervene and constitute a committee separate from CPO, which could consider if this is a CPO case or not and do a transparent impartial hearing of the case.

5.2. If the committee finds that the CPO was taking sides and have done a partial hearing of the case:

(a) Replace the existing panel and directors with qualified ones and make the current CPO panel pay for it.

(b) Ask CPO to write an apology letter and share it publicly for spreading misinformation. Ensure that ISKCON communication officially shares it on Iskcon news for people to reform their perception of AV.

5.3. Do the needful to alleviate the stress of AV’s disciples and followers. Request GBC to write a report to clarify the position of AV in the context of the previous ruling (1991, 2007, and 2015) and the current case, which CPO misrepresented throughout the report. Make it clear: what was the allegation, what was found and admitted by AV, and whether or not AV has followed those restrictions.

5.4. Do the needful to build trust in authority for disciples of AV. Make the punishment proportionate only in the context of the current case and not let it be retrospective or post facto. Disproportionate punishment has breached the trust in authority.

5.5. Formulate the punishment guidelines based on sastras and not exclusively on outside, secular models. Our sastric models specify punishments according to occupational duty and spiritual order. Some adjustments as per time, place, and circumstances can be welcomed, but we need to have models rooted in our tradition and sastras.

5.6 Ensure that ISKCON Communication will be professional in their wording of cases and not exaggerate rulings beyond their merit.

5.7. Ensure that GBC officials, ISKCON News, Gurus, and Leaders follow proper legal order and don’t confuse the devotee community with premature comments unless final judgements are made.

5.8 Formulate and clarify the guidelines on a devotee’s initiation status, siksha, and Diksha status under circumstances as encountered in the current case as per Guru , Sadhu and Sastras.

5.9 Let an independent panel decide if the case falls under CPO or not before giving any case to CPO. With the current biased hearing of the case, it becomes CPO can not be trusted and is purposefully pulling cases under their jurisdiction to settle previous scores.

5.10 The GBC must determine the scope of the CPO’s authority to impose sanctions. Specify the guidelines and rulebook based on sastras to be followed for punishment and Vaisnavas reformation.

5.11 Ensure through some guidelines that CPO would not give running commentary based on personal biases and unverified rumors in any investigation. CPO should be able to remain unbiased and critically examine both sides.

5.12 Ensure that internal recommendations from CPO to other bodies should go in private and not be included in any case report which goes public.

It’s a humble request to GBC and SABHA not to make eternal damnation our philosophy; devotional service is the real purificatory process. Devotional service is the main medium for purifying consciousness. External forms of punishment may be imposed if they are helpful and as long as they don’t conflict with sastras. But an absolute emphasis on that alone is disproportionate and is not representative of a devotional community following the teaching of Srila Prabhupada.

Hoping for an informed decision. Thank you.

6.Supplementary:

6.1 ISKCON communication seems very unprofessional in wording their claims on AV. Appears to be either in a rush to submit their announcements or purposefully using ambiguous language to mislead readers.

(a) Not waiting for the judgments of the sanyass ministry and taking away the sanyass title in full glory. The way GBC word their statement does not leave much scope to reinstate the sanyass title later on:

GBC writes in their official statement published on ISKCON news:

“… Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami, aka Alan Ross Wexler, now to be known as Anirdesya Vapu dasa,..”

Without following proper procedure and waiting, such a mandate seems premature. GBC does not wait for the sannyasa ministry and acts heavily under pressure.

(b)ISKCON communication deludes the readers by putting “victim” in plural case in several places. Look at the first report on this matter by ISKCON communication on ISKCON news.

GBC also seems to repeat the same mistake in their official statement too on AV published on ISKCON news.

Using “victims” instead of “victim” in several places cannot be a typo. Instead, it hints that it was intentionally drafted. What evidence did CPO have to delude the audience that AV was found guilty of several cases?
It looks intentional after GBC’s public endorsement of CPO and not acknowledging their pitfalls. These decisions show how panicky GBC is and put society in panic, announcing their mandate one after the other, not leaving space to breathe and comprehend.

(c ) GBC in their resolution (dated Dec 15, 2022), uses vague statements regarding the number of adult victims in their latest report on additional restrictions.

Why does GBC allow vague words like “at least” on such sensitive issues? Does GBC want to leave it to the reader’s imagination to conclude if the number of cases was one, two, or a hundred? Sure enough, it can not be dismissed as a typo error! First, CPO and now GBC themselves make vague claims.

6.2 CPO report 2007:

“It should be noted that, though BVPS admits when questioned that this may have happened two or three times, these incidents happened in a period of three years, one of the episodes having happened at the end of 2005. At this time the girls were around 8-10 years old. However, he denies having stood and watched the children bathing at any time and having noticed they were naked. He also makes the point that small children bathing at a hand pump with adults coming and going is a common place occurrence in India, and thus he thought little of it.”

7. [See also]

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  1. I have a similar bad incident happened last year , .l Ever since i am living in seclusion with depression and helplessness.
    Hare krsna..

  2. So much of hijacking of our perception CPO did with their narrative! Alarming and scary! We may think, how does it matter to me, but if we don’t stand to support for right principles today…the wrong principles will become NORM. Next will be our turn and we will not remain untouched. Be careful, leaders, as you seem to be mock spectators …Else…! Good luck CPO ! Good luck new ISKCON 2.0 !

  3. Dear Chaitnya prabhu, which IIT have you graduated and in which year? Without verifying your personal credentials, it is difficult for us to have trust in your presentation.

    1. Dear Sanket p, Let’s talk about “arguments” not “credentials”. Probably that’s not the right way to go ahead. Anyway he has not leveraged on IIT tag and credentials. He is not saying that because “I am from IIT believe me” He has presented argument with evidence and rational analysis. To me the presentation sounds logical..leaving some typos and formatting aside. If you comment on arguments, it will be appreciated rather than getting personal. There are reasons not to disclose the whole identity when you are going against storm. Target the “problem” not the “person”. Hope it helps.

    2. Looks like you are one of CPO members to catch side points and leave the main point and thus make nice masala story for foolish people to relish…….Grow up dear I think CPO itself needs protection what they will protect child……

  4. First CPO messes up with their narrative and next announces excommunication ! Great ! So much of boardment of information from previous case ruling in current CPO report ! But why ? Could have been much simpler way to deal with case-based on merit of evidence and not create chaos!!

  5. Amazing Insights prabhuji. At least there are some sensible people still alive in ISKCON who are still trying to live by SP way of ISKCON and not this modern stupid illogical way as the trend is going on currently in ISKCON’s basically neophyte devotees(which seems like majority…but majority is never given credit in Vedic its only in democracy or as i guess SP said Daemon Cracy ).
    Strange point is why is everyone keeping mum including CPO and our super enthusiastic ISKCON communications team. Just few days back they were so fast and releasing new restrictions after restrictions why are they Mum now.Do you have any idea prabhuji if yes please let us know.
    Glad that you took so much i guess months of hard work to collect all this information for our benefit.As this much elaborate data collection from so many sorces doesn’t seem to be that easy and fast thats why i guess you might have taken at least a month for this.
    Iam thank ful to all the other devotees and well wishers who helped you with this.
    Until CPO speaks out as of now everything looks fishy and biased……. this only is increasing my faith on HH BVPSM at least I would call him still with this name as i have read this brilliant shastric based with references article https://akincana.net/2022/12/24/letter-to-the-sabha-regarding-anirdesya-vapu-dasa/ which prooves that he is still not a fallen guru.
    Ok prabhuji please please please keep posting any more insights you get and let us know if CPO or ISKCON news speaks something more.
    Great work koti koti dandavat pranam at your feet.

  6. It is heartbreaking to see the punishments as it is rightly pointed out in the article……….CPO acted like God to give such impositions on Maharaj

    Indra tried to kill Brajvasis and inflicted so much pain on them, still Krishna didn’t rip him off from his service…….
    I feel CPO has become more smarter than Supreme Personality of Godhead Krishna to give such impositions on Maharaj…..

  7. It is so unfortunate to see that even the GBC is misguided by CPO narrative and hastily took the decision without hearing from HH Bhaktividya Purna Maharaj……

    ISKCON communications without referring to GBC and Sannyas committee hastily posted it on the official website of ISKCON……shows some kind of vengeance than to actually study the case carefully before coming to conclusions……

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