Timeline Documentation

The documents are arranged in chronological order.

2000 - 2001 - 2002 - 2003 - 2004 - 2005





2000

Children of ISKCON vs. ISKCON filed in 2000 - click here to download the complaint in PDF format.





2001

On 28 Sept. 01, the Hon. Judge Lindsay rejected the complaint that ISKCON violated federal RICO statutes. He found that iskcon did not abuse children for profit or benefit financially or politically by depriving the plaintiffs of their rights. Therefore the complaint will be re-filed in state courts.

The attorney tried federal court first because he wanted to address the organization as a whole in order to tie in what happened in India. However, now he will file complaints in West Virginia and Texas, home states of the two most abusive boarding schools in the United States.

For more about RICO laws, go to Amazon: click here

The federal filing was dismissed in October 2001, but the case is now in the state court. To read the complaint, click here.





MEDIA RELEASE
$400 MILLION SUIT AGAINST HARE KRISHNA DISMISSED


For Immediate Release
Date: October 2, 2001
Contact: Anuttama Dasa, ISKCON Communications (301) 299-9707
Contact: David Liberman, Attorney (310) 277-9288

Dallas, Texas-The Honorable Sam A. Lindsay, Judge of the United States District Court in Dallas, in a decision filed September 28, has dismissed a lawsuit seeking $400 million dollars in damages from several dozen temples, entities and individuals affiliated with the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), better known as the Hare Krishna movement, a monotheistic Vaishnava denomination within the Hindu tradition.

The suit was originally filed on June 12, 2000. It alleged that various forms of child abuse occurred in the 1970's and 1980's at several parochial schools and temples affiliated with ISKCON. The case attempted to use the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) to corral allegations of abuse at several schools into one Federal case.

"This was clearly a victory for religious freedom," said David Liberman, one of the attorneys for ISKCON defendants. "The plaintiffs' attorney disingenuously sought to apply the RICO act in a attempt to go after the assets of innocent people and temple congregations. This effort would have opened the door for churches and religious institutions across the country to be attacked in a way never intended by the Congressional authors of the RICO law."

Significantly, many respected faiths and religious organizations including the National Council of Churches, the United States Catholic Conference, and the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs, and the American Jewish Congress filed an Amicus Curiae brief, or Friends of the Court document, in support of the Krishna position on the RICO claim.

Krishna leaders assert that the suit sought to close temples and seize their assets, instead of pursuing and punishing those deviant individuals who may have been abusive of children.

"We are greatly pleased and relieved by Judge Lindsay's decision on this case," said Anuttama Dasa, ISKCON Director of Communications. "The decision will protect innocent families whose temples were threatened with closure by this overreaching suit. At the same time, we remain committed to assure the safety of our children and will continue to reach out proactively to help any young person who may have suffered in the past, " Dasa said.

ISKCON policies mandate immediate reporting of any allegations of abuse to government authorities. An independent organization, Children of Krishna, was formed in 1996 to provide grants for education and counseling for Krishna youth. In 1998, a professionally staffed Child Protection Office (CPO) was established to investigate all allegations of abuse, to provide assistance for youth, and to assure that Krishna communities comply with requirements for child safety and abuse prevention.





2002

ISKCON's Letter to Members, Press Release

From: INTERNET:Presidents pamho.net
TO: "(Temple) Presidents"
DATE: 2/6/02 8:40 AM


RE: URGENT REPORT ON BANKRUPTCY FILING

February 6, 2002

Dear Maharajas and Prabhus,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Below and attached as a file, please find a copy of a media release that will be distributed this morning, February 6 at 11:45 a.m. (Eastern Standard Time-USA). It explains the Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization that will be filed by many ISKCON temples in North America later this month.

This impending action is likely to draw widespread media attention. Please note it carefully. Devotees in leadership positions and communications roles should familiarize themselves with it. At the very least, members of our communities and congregations will be concerned and want to understand clearly what is taking place. GBC's are requested to forward this to your TP's.

As explained in the release, first and foremost this is not a liquidation. In the United States, a corporation (ISKCON temples are all individual corporations), when facing financial claims against them that are beyond their capacity to pay, can file a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. In brief, this allows the corporation to continue to operate and to work with the Federal Court to reach an agreement to pay debtors an amount it can reasonably assume. Similar actions have been taken by many, many respectable organizations in the past, including Texaco, Continental Airlines, Federated Department Stores (Macy's and Bloomingdales), etc.

Second, the bankruptcy reorganization will allow ISKCON temples to set up a reasonable and just fund, under the guidance of the Federal Court, for young people that may have been abused.

Third, this arrangement will protect Srila Prabhupada's temples from claimants, including the excessive demands of the Turley suit, which threaten to close many temples.

If you would like more legal details of reorganization, please contact David Liberman, Amarendra dasa, at (310) 277-9288. The number is also listed on the release.

As always, Amarendra and I strongly advise that media inquiries be directed to his office or mine. Temples that are directly involved in the Turley suit may find it necessary to directly respond to local media. If so, it is essential that such a leader and/or communications specialist answers questions in keeping with information in the official release. Temples are still in a serious legal battle and questions regarding allegations of past abuse and other issues must be referred to the attorneys or myself. Thank you,

Your servant, Anuttama dasa (301) 299-9707, ISKCON Communication Director

PS. For those of you who are not up to date on the recent status of the suit, printed below and attached is the release when the suit was dismissed from Federal Court. Also, below is a brief summary that was distributed at the time of the filing by Turley in Texas Court.

**************

KRISHNA TEMPLES SEEK CHAPTER 11 BANKRUPTCY PROTECTION
REORGANIZATION FACILITATES FUND FOR ABUSED CHILDREN


Date: February 6, 2002
Contact: Anuttama Dasa, ISKCON Communications International,
(301) 299-9707
David Liberman, Attorney, (310) 277-9288
Sandy Frey, Bankruptcy Counsel, (310) 277-7400

Washington, D.C. - At least a dozen temples, related entities and individuals affiliated with the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), better known as the Hare Krishna Movement, will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection later this month.

The Chapter 11 bankruptcy focuses on reorganization rather than liquidation of religious assets. It is being filed to deal with claimants including a $400 million dollar lawsuit against Krishna temples. That suit, first filed in Federal Court in June 2000, alleges children were abused at the religious society's boarding schools in the 1970's and 1980's. The Krishnas prevailed when the suit was dismissed in September 2001, but a similar $400 million suit was later filed in Texas State Court.

The lawsuit, ISKCON leaders say, seeks far more money than the financial value of all the Krishna temples in North America. In essence, the suit threatens to shut down an entire religion.

"Rather than wasting millions of dollars to fight this suit, Chapter 11 reorganization will help ISKCON communities to establish a substantial, yet reasonable, fund to help any young person who may have been abused," said Anuttama Dasa, ISKCON Director of Communications. "We want first and foremost to heal our communities and our young people," Dasa said.

Through the reorganization, Krishnas hope to assure that all victims of past abuse-including youth who may have chosen not to join the suit-are compensated according to the severity of their grievance.

"Chapter 11 protection will also assure that innocent families and congregations do not have their places of worship sold out from under them," said Dasa. "We believe that innocent people should not be punished for the deeds of individual deviants who acted in total violation of our religious principles and teachings."

The New York Times reported in 1999 that the Krishnas were "unusually candid" in their efforts to address past abuse. In 1990, ISKCON established policies mandating abuse prevention training and the reporting of any allegations of abuse to government authorities. In 1996, an independent Children of Krishna organization was formed to provide grants for education and training for Krishna youth. In 1998, a professionally staffed Child Protection Office was established to investigate allegations of past abuse, provide grants for Krishna youth who may have been abused, and to assure the ongoing protection of Krishna children.

"Chapter 11 is a further effort to address past problems by creating an orderly and efficient procedure for dealing with and maximizing return to claimants," said Sandy Frey, Bankruptcy Counsel.

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) is part of the ancient Vaishnava tradition, a monotheistic faith within Hindu culture. ISKCON was founded by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who first brought the Krishna tradition from India to the west in 1965.





updated 09 June 2002

Some of the defendants [ISKCON corporations], but not all, have filed for Chapter 11 reorganization, in an effort to dispose of the litigation, and stay open as an institution. We will see how that plays out. At least this has the opportunity of getting all the defendants, and all the plaintiffs in a single court (bankruptcy), and there issues can be worked out. We have already had meetings to make this happen. But nothing yet. Bankruptcy will force the defendants to pay something or shut down. How much that will be no one knows right now.
- Windle Turley, attorney for the plaintiffs


updated 16 Dec. 2002

Windle Turley, attorney for the plantiffs, told me on 16 December: "We are continuing to work on the case. It is winding through the Bankruptcy process. We have now finally been able to start some discovery , however I am confident that before this matter can be resolved it will require the participation of all of ISKCON, not just the entities in Bankruptcy."

Ed's note: Here is a link to an ISKCON discussion board about the lawsuit istagosthi.org





2003

Subj: URGENT RE ISKCON YOUTH ABUSE CLAIMS JUNE 30, 2003 DEADLINE
Date: 4/29/2003 11:11:07 PM Eastern Standard Time
From: "David Liberman" Liberman Office
To: mailing list

RE: TURLEY SUIT / GURUKULI YOUTH ABUSE CLAIMS

VERY IMPORTANT NOTICE ABOUT JUNE 30, 2003, DEADLINE FOR FILING CLAIMS IN BANKRUPTCY COURT

Dear Webmasters and Prabhus: Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

This email is to let you know that there is some new and very important information regarding abuse claims by gurukuli/youth in the ISKCON Temples Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. We are seeking your help in our efforts to notify all of the ISKCON youth that may have potential claims. In that regard, I just want to give you a heads up that in the next day (or two at the latest), I will be emailing you the official Legal Notice (MS Word format ), Proof of Claim form (PDF format) and a general information document (MS Word format). We are requesting that you kindly post them on your website(s) as soon as possible and in that way help us reach as many potential claimants as possible prior to the June 30, 2003, cut off date.

Also, you may be interested to know that on April 30, 2003, the legal notice will be published in various international newspapers including USA Today, LA Times, Dallas Morning News, Wheeling Intelligencer, Moundsville Daily Echo, Gainesville Sun, Seattle Time, International Herald Tribune, Sydney Morning Herald, Toronto Star, and Vancouver Sun.

I will emailing you with the complete information soon. In the meantime, if you have any questions, you contact me at Liberman Office. Thanks for your help.

Ys. Kalpalatika dd, assistant to Amarendra (David Liberman).





RE: Turley Suit / Gurukuli Youth Abuse Claims
Very Important Notice About JUNE 30, 2003, DEADLINE for filing claims re the Iskcon Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Dear Webmasters and Prabhus: Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. As I indicated in my email to you on Tuesday, April 29, 2003, we are requesting your help in notifying all the gurukulis and other yourth who may have claims in the Iskcon bankruptcy matter. Included in this email are 5 attachments which contain information that will be of assistance to the gurukulis in making their claims. If you could, please post the following on your website(s):

1. The official Legal Notice that is required by the bankruptcy court is provided in both MS Word and PDF formats.

2. A document with general information (in MS Word) and a summary of the steps that claimants need to take to. Use as much or as little as you like.

3. Finally, 2 Proof of Claims forms are provided in PDF format, one for the California Bankruptcy Court and one for the West Virginia Bankruptcy Court.

The bankrutpcy court has given permission to publish Legal Notice commencing on April 30, 2003. If you can, please post as soon as possible and continue through June 30, 2003 -- the date to file claims with the courts.

Also, if you are aware of other sites, that are not included in the above addresses, that could reach potential claimants, please forward copies of this email to them.

Thank you again for your assistance and if you have any questions about posting this information, please feel free to call me at telephone: (U.S.) 310 277-9288 or email: Liberman Office.

y.s.
Kalpalatika dd, assistant to Amarendra das (attorney David M. Liberman).





updated 01 May 03

ISKCON is declaring bankruptcy on 30 June 03, so they are seeking any additional parties who may have a claim against them. If you were in a gurukula in the 1970s or 1980s, or if you were abused in ISKCON in any way, PLEASE file your claim now.

Windle Turley, attorney for the Children of ISKCON vs. ISKCON suit filed in Dallas, said on 06 May:

Several members of the Iskcon group, Temples, Publishing, etc, have ask the Bankruptcy court to "reorganize "them, contending they can not pay the judgments about 90 Iskcon students have taken against some of them.

As a part of that process, all potential claimants are ask to file claims in the bankruptcy court and then the court will decide what portion of the Iskcon group assets the claimants should receive, if any. Once this particularly group is release by the bankruptcy court they can not be sued again.

Unless a student who has a damage claim , asserts it before the deadline, they may be forever barred from claiming against these particular defendants, but not against other possible defendants.

I hope this is helpful.





RE: TURLEY SUIT / GURUKULI & OTHER YOUTH ABUSE CLAIMS
URGENT - VERY IMPORTANT NOTICE RE JUNE 30, 2003, DEADLINE FOR FILING CLAIMS IN BANKRUPTCY COURT

Dear Prabhus:
There is new and very important information regarding the Turley Suit / Gurukuli abuse claims. The bankruptcy court has established JUNE 30, 2003, as the last day that those who believe they have claim must file their Proof of Claim Forms. It is important to note that Proof of Claims forms must be RECEIVED by both the California and West Virginia Bankruptcy Courts by JUNE 30, 2003, and not simply mailed on that date. Any claims received by the courts after June 30, 2003, will be disallowed, and the claimants may be forever barred from receiving compensation. These rules are set by the bankruptcy court, so please carefully read the Legal Notice at the end of this article in order meet all the requirements.

In an effort to find and contact all who may have claims, including any students who may have been abused in Krishna gurukulas in the 1970's and 1980's, the Legal Notice is being posted on websites such as this one. Additionally, on April 30, 2003, the Legal Notice was published in various international newspapers. These Legal Notices are part of the Chapter 11 Reorganization Plan that will be submitted to Federal Bankruptcy Courts in West Virginia and California by the eleven Krishna temples that filed for Chapter 11 in March, 2002.

As many of you may know, in June, 2000, the Dallas law firm of Windle Turley filed a $400 million lawsuit on behalf of 91 plaintiffs in the US. Federal Court in Dallas, Texas. The defendants included the eleven temples that have filed for Chapter 11, as well as a number of individuals. That suit was dismissed by the federal court in September, 2001, but was re-filed in Texas state court in October, 2001.

The millions of dollars sought in that lawsuit could close many of Krishna's temples, and consequently punish innocent devotees and congregational members who had nothing to do with the allegations. By filing Chapter 11, the eleven temples hope to balance the legitimate needs of any of the gurukulis and youth that may have been abused, without depriving devotees, families and members of their place of worship.

One of the primary purposes of the Chapter 11 is to determine the extent of the claims against the Temples, including abuse claims, and to provide compensation for youths that may have been abused, but who chose not to sue the organizations. The Chapter 11 plan the eleven temples will submit to the court will provide for payments to any young person who may have suffered abuse -- whether or not they participated in the Texas lawsuit.

Another goal of the Chapter 11 is to provide a cost effective method of determining legitimate claims, so that more money can be used for distribution to those claimants, rather than on an expensive and drawn-out lawsuit and appeals. Thus, the temples are working on reorganization plans to present to the bankruptcy court that will provide meaningful compensation for anyone found to have a valid claim. The judge will then make the final decision to determine the capacity of these temples to pay based on the Court's analysis of the ISKCON temples' assets. It is anticipated that this process will provide the fairest solution for all.

However, since time is limited in which to be included as a claimant, all who believe they are eligible to make a claim must immediately do the following:

1. Read the Legal Notice of Deadline for Asserting Claims that is included at the bottom of this article. [** Note to webmaster: I have attached the Notice in both PDF and MS Word formats. You can either put a link to the Notice here, or a copy of the Notice at the end of the article.] The court requires that the Notice be written in certain legal language that you may not be familiar with. Therefore, be sure read it very carefully and make certain you understand it.

2. Obtain Proof of Claim forms - one for the California Bankruptcy Court and one for the West Virginia Bankruptcy Court. All claimants need to file in both courts, regardless of where the alleged abuse occurred. These forms can be obtained in any of the following ways:

(a) Download a copies of the Proofs of Claim in PDF format here by clicking here. [****Dear Webmaster - delete this if you cannot put the claim forms on your website for downloading.***]

(b) Go to the website www.HareKrishnaClaims.com

(c) Write to email and request the forms.

(d) Write to the office of the bankruptcy attorneys to the attention of: Yves Derac, Robinson, Diamant & Wolkowitz, APC, 1888 Century Park East, Suite 1500, Los Angeles, 90067.

3. File the California Proof of Claim form in the California Bankruptcy Court and the West Virginia Proof of Claim for in the West Virginia Bankruptcy Courts.

4. Serve (mail) a copy of both Proof of Claim forms to both Yves Derac and Arch W. Riley at the addresses stated in the Legal Notice.

Remember: BOTH the California and West Virginia Bankruptcy Courts must RECEIVE your Proof of Claims forms by JUNE 30, 2003, or your claim will be disallow by the Court.

[** Dear webmaster - please post the LEGAL NOTICE here, if not already included above.]





HARE KRISHNA
UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT
CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
SAN FERNANDO DIVISION
& FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF
WEST VIRGINIA

In re INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS OF CALIFORNIA, INC.; ISKCON TELEVISION, INC., a California corporation, aka ITV PRODUCTIONS, INC.; BHAKTIVEDANTA BOOK TRUST INTERNATIONAL, INC.; INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, INC.; INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS OF LOS ANGELES, INC.; and INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS OF SAN DIEGO, INC., Debtors and Debtors-in-Possession

AND

In re INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS OF WEST VIRGINIA, INC.; JAGA, INC.; NRS, INC.; INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS NEW MATHURA VRINDABAN; NEW VRINDABAN COMMUNITY, INC., Debtors and Debtors-in-Possession [Collectively, the "Debtors"]. Bk No.: SV 02-13532-AG Chapter 11

(Jointly Administered with Case Nos.:

Bk No.: SV 02-13534-AG
Bk No.: SV 02-13533-AG
Bk No.: SV 02-12373-AG
Bk No.: SV 02-13531-AG
Bk No.: SV 02-16207-AG
and
Bk No.: 02-51295
Chapter 11
(Jointly Administered)

NOTICE OF DEADLINE FOR ASSERTING CLAIMS

If you or your parents were followers of Krishna Consciousness and you attended a Krishna/Iskcon temple, program or one of the gurukula boarding schools or other Krishna schools or facilities in the 1970s through the 1990s, you may hold potential claims for: (a) personal injury, including, but not limited to, physical, mental, sexual or emotional abuse, negligence or battery; or (b) conspiracy ("Tort Claims"). IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HOLD TORT CLAIMS OR ANY OTHER CLAIMS AGAINST THE DEBTORS OR ANY OTHER KRISHNA OR ISKCON ORGANIZATION AND/OR KRISHNA/ISKCON FACILITIES, PLEASE TAKE NOTE THAT THE U.S. BANKRUPTCY COURT HAS ESTABLISHED JUNE 30, 2003 AS THE LAST DAY TO FILE PROOFS OF CLAIM. If you fail to timely file a proof of claim with the Bankruptcy Court, any claim you may hold may be disallowed and you may be forever barred from receiving any distribution. Parties asserting Tort Claims or other claims ("Tort Claimants") must obtain a Court approved Tort Claimant Proof of Claim Form by written request upon Yves Derac at Robinson, Diamant & Wolkowitz, APC 1888 Century Park East, Suite 1500, Los Angeles, CA 90067, Fax No. (310)277-7584, or email or can be obtained at HareKrishnaClaims.com. All Proofs of Claims must be timely filed and received no later than June 30, 2003 by the Clerk of the Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California, and Clerk of the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of West Virginia. A copy of the proof of claim must be served upon Yves Derac at the address set forth above and upon Arch W. Riley, Jr., Esq. at Bailey, Riley Buch & Harman, L.C., 53-14 St., Riley Building, Suite 900, Wheeling, West Virginia 26003.

Any Claim including:

Set up Web Site specifically for Bankruptcy Cases and post Notices of Bar Date

Concurrently saturate with News Releases

PR Campaign = Additionally, will issue 1-2 press releases indicating that a Bar Date set and any parties that believe they have claims against the Debtors must file a Proof of Claim.





updated 24 Dec. 03

This summer the GBC tried to make several centers go bankrupt to pay for the lawsuit. In doing so, the courts ordered ISKCON to seek any additional people who may have a claim. In the process, 400 additional claimants were located and may join Children of ISKCON vs. ISKCON. Due to the scope of the abuse, the courts may decide to expand the investigation rather than allow a couple centers to pay for the whole thing.

In addition, many observers suspect that child abuse is taking place again at one of the schools in India.





2004

ISKCON Chapter 11 Reorganization Plan Filed

Dear Devotees and Friends: Hare Krishna. All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.

On February 27, 2004, a milestone was reached when the ISKCON Chapter 11 Reorganization Plan was filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court which will oversee the distribution of financial compensation to over 500 Gurukuli tort claimants.

The creation of a multi-million dollar fund to compensate every Gurukuli who filed a claim could not have come about without the blessings of Srila Prabhupada. He is certainly present in the hearts of the many inspired devotees throughout the world who came together to voice their support for those who were abused in darker days.

To the credit of every ISKCON member and supporter there are two extraordinary features of this Plan which have not been found in the policy response of other religious organizations to allegations of child abuse.

The first feature is that compensation will be offered to every Gurukuli rather than to only those who sued ISKCON. The decision to reach out and compensate every child was made in spite of the fact that the dominant legal view two years ago was that ISKCON could prevail in the Texas state litigation on technical grounds at a cost which would have been substantially less than creating a tort fund for all Gurukulis.

The second feature is that a substantial portion of the tort fund will be made up of voluntarily contributions by non debtor individuals, organizations and temples. The fund would have been much smaller had it been based solely on the liquidation value of the ISKCON debtors who filed for bankruptcy protection.

The Plan itself provides a detailed legal and financial roadmap as to the classification and treatment of claims, the size of the fund, funding sources, releases, timing, third party contributors (that is, voluntary financial contributions to the fund made by those who are not Chapter 11 debtors), and the like.

There are three important procedural points to keep in mind about the Plan.

First, the Plan will likely be adjusted as feedback from the claimants, counsel and the court is obtained. Second, the Plan must be voted on by the claimants, who have been placed in various voting classes, before it is approved. Third, an independent determination as to the legality, adequacy and fairness of the Plan will be made by the Court.

Five different tort claimant classes are also proposed in the Plan: convenience class, opt-in class, deferred payment class, statute of limitations class, and late-filed claims class. Notably, every child who attended an ISKCON Gurukula and who made a claim will be compensated as provided for in one of these five classes.

While each claimant will receive a copy of the Plan and other documents before voting on the Plan, here is an abbreviated, introductory description of the different classes and compensation levels as it now appears in the Plan.

A convenience class will provide compensation in a range of $1,000 to $2,000 for those Gurukulis who have relatively minor claims. An opt-in class will provide compensation in a range of $1,500 to $15,000 for those Gurukulis who have more substantial claims, but who want to be paid out quickly without having their claims formally adjudicated. A deferred payment class will provide compensation with an undetermined minimum amount up to a maximum of $45,000 over the time it takes to fully fund the Plan, to those Gurukulis who submit their claim to estimation, arbitration or litigation. A statute of limitation class will provide $4,000 to those Gurukulis who may otherwise be legally barred from recovery. And, up to $4,000 will be provided to those Gurukulis whose claims were late-filed.

The tort fund will hold up to $15,000,000, depending on when the Plan is fully-funded. This amount includes monies received from the debtors equal to their liquidation value, which must be certified by professional auditors, as well as monies received from voluntary non debtor contributions made by individuals and ISKCON Temples worldwide. Insurance policy proceeds, should any be recovered from litigation by a number of ISKCON temples seeking payments from their insurance companies, will increase the absolute dollar value of the tort fund upward.

The Plan allocates $2,000,000 from the fund for a nonprofit youth development and support organization. That Social Development Program, or SDP, as it is called, will offer free membership to all Gurukulis who wish to participate, and the resulting Gurukuli membership body will have a direct management voice in its operation.

The purpose of the SDP is to deliver continuing developmental support and assistance to former and present ISKCON Gurukulis. This will include educational opportunities, social development assistance, career development opportunities, financial grants, and success mentoring programs. The SDP will not replace the Child Protection Office, which will continue to play a critically important role in the ongoing protection of children within ISKCON.

It is anticipated that finalization and approval of the Reorganization Plan will take six months or so, with initial disbursements to follow soon after. A copy of the Plan and other pertinent documentation will be provided to each claimant in the next two or three months, along with detailed instructions regarding class options, voting rights and deadlines.

To assure receipt of these papers, any Gurukuli whose mailing address has changed from that originally provided on their claim form should notify the courts and lawyers of the change. For contact information review the previous news articles. For further information, visit http://www.guptadas.ws/ ON THE WEB:
http://www.vnn.org/world/WD0403/WD17-8584.html [Vnn.org now offline]
http://www.chakra.org/discussions/GurMar03_04.html
http://www.guptadas.ws/





For Immediate Release
Date: February 27, 2004
Contact: David Liberman
Phone: 310 418-6464 or 310 277-9288

Los Angeles---Eleven temples and organizations adhering to the teachings and beliefs of the Krishna Consciousness religion, ISKCON or the Hare Krishna movement, filed a Chapter 11 Reorganization Plan today in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court which will oversee the distribution of financial compensation to over 500 tort claimants.

The Chapter 11 cases, originally filed in 2002, were in response to a lawsuit alleging child abuse in Hare Krishna boarding schools located principally in the U.S. and India during the 1970's and 1980's.

The Krishna reorganization plan provides for up to $15 million to be provided to ISKCON creditors, the majority of whom are former ISKCON students.

The Reorganization Plan is unique in two ways: First, it provides compensation for over 400 youth who never joined the suit against ISKCON temples, and second, a significant portion of the Plan will be funded by voluntary contributions and settlement funds from individuals, independent temples and other organizations-and not just by the Debtor organizations who filed for bankruptcy protection.

"This Plan is unusual and far-reaching," said David Liberman, ISKCON attorney. "We are providing assistance for any Krishna youth who may have been abused and who filed a claim with us-whether or not they sued-and we are increasing the available funds with voluntary contributions from independent temples around the world that want to help our youth."

MORE . . .
Krishna Temples File Chapter 11, page 2

Krishna temples in Los Angeles, San Diego and West Virginia are among the organizations that filed for Chapter 11 protection. The filing resulted from a lawsuit, originally Federal Court, on behalf of ninety former ISKCON students. That case was dismissed from Federal Court in September, 2001, but a similar case was filed in Texas State Court soon afterwards.

The reorganization plan includes $2 million in startup capital for a nonprofit "Social Development Program," a youth support organization which will offer free membership to all present and former ISKCON students. That organization will deliver support and assistance, including educational opportunities, social development assistance, career development opportunities, and financial grants to Krishna youth.

"Abuse of even a single child is a tragedy," said Anuttama Dasa, ISKCON spokesperson. "ISKCON is a relatively small community of temples, but we are trying to do all we can to help our children. Our goal is to assist every young person who may have been abused," he said.

The Reorganization Plan provides a detailed legal and financial roadmap as to the classification of various claims, the size of the fund, third party contributions, and other matters. The Clai

[Editor's note: The rest of this press release is missing. We will try to access the entire release and post it here soon.]





Subject: ISKCON Chapter 11 Reorganization Plan Filed
Date: Thu, 4 Mar 2004 11:11:36 -0800
From: "OLF/Joseph Fedorowsky" email

ISKCON Chapter 11 Reorganization Plan Filed
BY GUPTA DAS (JOSEPH FEDOROWSKY)

Posted March 3, 2004

On February 27, 2004, a milestone was reached when the ISKCON Chapter 11 Reorganization Plan was filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court which will oversee the distribution of financial compensation to over 500 Gurukuli tort claimants.

The creation of a multi-million dollar fund to compensate every Gurukuli who filed a claim could not have come about without the blessings of Srila Prabhupada. He is certainly present in the hearts of the many inspired devotees throughout the world who came together to voice their support for those who were abused in darker days.

To the credit of every ISKCON member and supporter there are two extraordinary features of this Plan which have not been found in the policy response of other religious organizations to allegations of child abuse.

The first feature is that compensation will be offered to every Gurukuli rather than to only those who sued ISKCON. The decision to reach out and compensate every child was made in spite of the fact that the dominant legal view two years ago was that ISKCON could prevail in the Texas state litigation on technical grounds at a cost which would have been substantially less than creating a tort fund for all Gurukulis.

The second feature is that a substantial portion of the tort fund will be made up of voluntarily contributions by non debtor individuals, organizations and temples. The fund would have been much smaller had it been based solely on the liquidation value of the ISKCON debtors who filed for bankruptcy protection.

The Plan itself provides a detailed legal and financial roadmap as to the classification and treatment of claims, the size of the fund, funding sources, releases, timing, third party contributors (that is, voluntary financial contributions to the fund made by those who are not Chapter 11 debtors), and the like.

There are three important procedural points to keep in mind about the Plan.

First, the Plan will likely be adjusted as feedback from the claimants, counsel and the court is obtained. Second, the Plan must be voted on by the claimants, who have been placed in various voting classes, before it is approved. Third, an independent determination as to the legality, adequacy and fairness of the Plan will be made by the Court.

Five different tort claimant classes are also proposed in the Plan: convenience class, opt-in class, deferred payment class, statute of limitations class, and late-filed claims class. Notably, every child who attended an ISKCON Gurukula and who made a claim will be compensated as provided for in one of these five classes.

While each claimant will receive a copy of the Plan and other documents before voting on the Plan, here is an abbreviated, introductory description of the different classes and compensation levels as it now appears in the Plan.

A convenience class will provide compensation in a range of $1,000 to $2,000 for those Gurukulis who have relatively minor claims. An opt-in class will provide compensation in a range of $1,500 to $15,000 for those Gurukulis who have more substantial claims, but who want to be paid out quickly without having their claims formally adjudicated. A deferred payment class will provide compensation with an undetermined minimum amount up to a maximum of $45,000 over the time it takes to fully fund the Plan, to those Gurukulis who submit their claim to estimation, arbitration or litigation. A statute of limitation class will provide $4,000 to those Gurukulis who may otherwise be legally barred from recovery. And, up to $4,000 will be provided to those Gurukulis whose claims were late-filed.

The tort fund will hold up to $15,000,000, depending on when the Plan is fully-funded. This amount includes monies received from the debtors equal to their liquidation value, which must be certified by professional auditors, as well as monies received from voluntary non debtor contributions made by individuals and ISKCON Temples worldwide. Insurance policy proceeds, should any be recovered from litigation by a number of ISKCON temples seeking payments from their insurance companies, will increase the absolute dollar value of the tort fund upward.

The Plan allocates $2,000,000 from the fund for a nonprofit youth development and support organization. That Social Development Program, or SDP, as it is called, will offer free membership to all Gurukulis who wish to participate, and the resulting Gurukuli membership body will have a direct management voice in its operation.

The purpose of the SDP is to deliver continuing developmental support and assistance to former and present ISKCON Gurukulis. This will include educational opportunities, social development assistance, career development opportunities, financial grants, and success mentoring programs. The SDP will not replace the Child Protection Office, which will continue to play a critically important role in the ongoing protection of children within ISKCON.

It is anticipated that finalization and approval of the Reorganization Plan will take six months or so, with initial disbursements to follow soon after. A copy of the Plan and other pertinent documentation will be provided to each claimant in the next two or three months, along with detailed instructions regarding class options, voting rights and deadlines.

To assure receipt of these papers, any Gurukuli whose mailing address has changed from that originally provided on their claim form should notify the courts and lawyers of the change. For contact information review the previous news articles, or go to http://www.harekrishnaclaims.com.

With regards,
Gupta das
Joseph Fedorowsky
email (oxfordlaw.com)
email (krishnabooks.org)





Download ISKCON's bankruptcy plans:
Cover page (PDF)
California: PDF - html
West Virginia: PDF - html





Updated 14 March 04

ISKCON recently filed its bankruptcy plan and issued press releases, including letters from Joseph Fedorowsky (Gupta) and David Liberman (Amarendra).

Windle Turley, attorney for Children of ISKCON vs. ISKCON responded:

"This matter is a long way from being over. There are many things about the plan that are totally unacceptable to us."
ISKCON, Windle Turley, and the courts continue to negotiate through 2004.





Updated 05 Aug. 04

Recently I told Windle Turley that many children of ISKCON were unhappy with the way ISKCON continues to protect the child abusers. Any settlement would have to include an overhaul of the organization and recovery of embezzled funds. Here is his reply to me:

"With respect to your proposals, because this is before a bankruptcy court, it is a bit more difficult to do some of these things. However we have already discussed some similar concepts, and do expect to discuss others. Right now we are on the 'what amount of total money will be paid and when' issues. But we are talking and hopefully making some progress. I will let you know if we can get any of you ideas included. But it may be awhile before we are to that stage."





Notice to Claimants about Change of Address

If you have a claim against ISKCON, and if you move, be sure to file a change of address form. Download the change of address form and fill it out as follows:

Send the original and one copy to the court (Enclose an extra copy and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to have the court send you a copy for your records.)

U.S. Bankruptcy Court
San Fernando Valley Division
21041 Burbank Blvd.
Woodland Hills, CA 91367

Make one three additional copies - one for your files and one each to the ISKCON lawyers:

Yves Derac
Robinson, Diamant & Wolkowitz APC
1888 Century Park East, Suite 1500
Los Angeles, CA 90067

Arch W. Riley, Jr.
Bailey, Riley Buch & Harman, L.C.
53-14 St., Riley Building, Suite 900
Wheeling, West Virginia 26003

Mail it by regular mail. If you want proof of delivery, mail it by certified mail, express mail, UPS, or Federal Express. (see original article, posted at chakra.org - click here)

Click here for change of address PDF

[Editor's note: If you cannot download a PDF file, following is a transcript of the form. Type the questions with your answers neatly on a sheet of paper, make four extra copies, and send it in lieu of the form. If you have questions about how to fill out the form, refer to this as an example.]





Requestor's Name:
Address:
Telephone No.:

UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT
CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

In reply to: INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS OF CALIFORNIA, INC., a California corporation, aka ISKCON OF CALIFORNIA, INC.
Case No.: Bk No. SV 02-13532-AG
Chapter 11

CHANGE OF ADDRESS

CREDITOR (indicate "creditor" or check "creditor" if you are filling out the form)

(Please print or type)

NAME:
NEW MAILING ADDRESS:
Dated:
Signature:
TITLE (CORPORATION OFFICER, PARTNER OR AGENT)
(don't worry about a title - this is for attorneys, etc.)


MUST BE FILED IN DUPLICATE (with the court, plus one copy to each attorney)

ALL FUTURE NOTICES SHALL BE SENT TO THE ABOVE ADDRESS.





Deadline for Gurukula Survivors
Extended to Aug. 15, 2003



ISKCON is about to go bankrupt and the court has ordered them to find people who may have claims against the organization. If you file a claim it does not mean that you will join the Turley lawsuit, or any standing lawsuit. It only means that you are stating that you have a claim against ISKCON and you want that to go on record before they enter bankruptcy.

I encourage you to go forward with your claim now, because it now appears that the deadline will be extended to approximately August 15. It's important that all gurukula survivors file their claims. Now is the time to be counted. If you want to discuss this with me, please email.

The bankruptcy is happening in two states, so you must fill out claim forms for West Virginia and California, regardless of where you were in ISKCON. Who Should File a Claim

ISKCON is currently sending some of its temples into bankruptcy to avert the attempts of people to sue them for child abuse. The bankruptcy courts asked ISKCON to notify people to file claims if they were abused in ISKCON. They asked me to post information at my website. The deadline is now Aug. 15

Many people have asked me who can file. This letter should answer those questions.

~Nori





Abuse Victims. Any minor who was emotionally, physically, or sexually abused, or neglected, in any ISKCON facility, or under the care of any ISKCON official should file a claim. For definitions of abuse, see: abuse symptoms.

Other children. The majority of people raised in certain ISKCON centers during certain years suffered abuse through neglect, emotion abuse, and an atmosphere of harassment. Siblings, classmates, and friends of abuse victims suffered when other children were assaulted or raped. Also in these schools, most children received an inadequate education and have suffered as adults.

Betrayed parents. ISKCON officials allegedly misrepresented what they were doing with children in the schools. In addition, many parents paid thousands of dollars in tuition and travel expenses for the children they sent to India. These people should have a chance to file claims against ISKCON.

Wrongful death cases. There are allegedly at least two dozen murders associated with ISKCON. The families of the victims may have legitimate claims against ISKCON. There are also allegedly dozens of cases of people dying from routine medical conditions, where relatives may have medical neglect claims. There have also been numerous suicides that should be considered for wrongful death claims.

Missing persons cases. There are allegedly hundreds of people who have lost relatives to ISKCON. Some allegedly disappeared twenty-five years ago and have never been heard from since. Before ISKCON goes bankrupt, the relatives of these missing persons should have a chance to question officials and look for traces of their lost loved ones.

Abused wives. ISKCON officials frequently arranged marriages between allegedly abusive (criminal) men and innocent women. Many of these women were allegedly beaten, raped, and emotionally abused. Some were forced to raise their children alone once their husbands abandoned them to become "renounced." The children from these unions were most vulnerable to sexual abuse in the school system. There were also allegedly numerous cases of rape outside the institution of marriage that went unreported. There were also allegedly cases of forced polygamy and prostitution where parties have legitimate claims.

Large contributors. ISKCON officials allegedly tricked people into turning over cars, bank accounts, inheritances, and other valuable property to ISKCON. They allegedly misled people by making them think ISKCON was a legitimate religious organization, or that ISKCON would take care of them the rest of their lives. Some of these people may have legitimate claims.

Assault victims. Although the statute of limitations may have expired in many of these cases, ISKCON officials have allegedly assaulted people all over the world for various reasons.

Social Security. Every ISKCON center has a number of full-time workers who may receive room and board or "devotee maintenance." Although there are laws about paying Social Security for such workers in the U.S., ISKCON has allegedly never paid Social Security. These people should have a chance to file claims before ISKCON goes bankrupt.

Pain and suffering. People who experienced extraordinary emotional pain and suffering due to trauma allegedly suffered because of ISKCON should have a chance to file claims.

How to Get the Claim Forms

I have posted the claim forms here.
West Virginia form - click here for PDF
California form - click here for PDF





How to Fill Out the Claim Forms

Fill in your name, address, and phone. Circle "personal injury." Where it asks for an amount write "undetermined." Write in the approximate dates unless that's a complex subject that needs explanation in an attachment. Sign the form. Attach a statement about your abuse, such as where and when it occurred. Here is an example: "I suffered neglect, as well as emotional, physical, and sexual abuse in xx temple/school between the dates xx and xx." Or, "I suffered neglect and abuse in the following places within ISKCON: place, date; place, date; place, date." (To check the definitions of abuse, read over the materials on this page: http://surrealist.org/gurukula/abusesymptoms.html.)

If you want confirmation of delivery, enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope with a copy of the claim form(s).

Where to Send the Claim Forms
Mail the original copy of the West Virginia claim to:

Northern District of West Virginia
P.O. Box 70
1125 Chaplin St., Rm. 314
12th & Chaplin St.
Wheeling, WV 26003-0070
USA
Mail the original copy of the California claim to:

U.S. Bankruptcy Court
San Fernando Valley Division
21041 Burbank Blvd.
Woodland Hills, CA 91367
USA

Send copies of BOTH claim forms (WV & CA) to BOTH of these attorneys:
Yves Derac
Robinson, Diamant & Wolkowitz, APC
1888 Century Park East, Suite 1500
Los Angeles, CA 90067
USA
Arch W. Riley, Jr., Esq.
Bailey, Riley Buch & Harman, L.C.
53-14 St., Riley Building, Suite 900
Wheeling, WV 26003
USA

The bankruptcy courts must receive your claim before 15 August 03 30 June 03. Both attorneys must receive records of your claims by that date. Make copies for your files.





If you have any questions or if you want to discuss your decision, please email me: Nori. I am not a member of ISKCON and do not work for any legal office. I'm a concerned former member and author of the book Betrayal of the Spirit, My Life behind the Headlines of the Hare Krishna Movement, which includes a chapter about ISKCON's child abuse. I have studied ISKCON for fifteen years since leaving the organization in 1988. Here is an article I wrote about the position of women and children in ISKCON: Life as a Woman on Watseka Avenue.

Someone recently asked me why I'm telling people to be as brief as possible in their explanation. I recommend sending a short statement because ISKCON already admitted the full extent of the abuse at a temple presidents' meeting in 1996. The history has already been documented. It's an additional burden to make the victims start all over again from square one trying to prove that they were abused. The victims left ISKCON with nothing and I see no reason why they should have to open old wounds to prove something that was already proven and documented 1996-1998. See timeline/documentation: Timeline 1996 - 1998





Subject: ISKCON Chapter 11 Announcement - Undeliverable Mail
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2004 17:06:32 -0800
From: JFedorowsky-at-oxfordlaw.com

Announcements
By Gupta das

Information supplied by the claimants in the Proof of Claim form is used as a basis to evaluate claims. Rather than the Debtors filing an objection to every Proof of Claim which contains incomplete or unreadable information, a Request for Additional Information packet has been mailed to each claimant instead. If you are represented, that packet was mailed to your attorney. By responding to the questions in the packet, all claims can be comprehensively and fairly evaluated.

For various reasons some of those packets have recently been returned to the Sender as undeliverable. If your name is listed on the linked page, accessed below, or if you are a reader who knows the address for a person listed, please send an email to request-at-oxfordlaw.com with the current mailing address. The linked page will be updated from time-to-time as current address information is confirmed, and as additional undeliverable mail is returned to the Sender. Click on this link to review those regularly updated names: http://www.guptadas.ws/Address.html





Editor's Note: If anyone wants to talk to me about how to answer the questions in the request for information packet, please email me. I will be available through the holidays and into the new year. If you want to talk on the phone, we can arrange it (contact Nori - click here).





Updated 20 Dec. 04

NEW LAWSUIT Disciples of Srila Prabhupada have filed a petition in the high court of India to investigate the mystery of the death of Srila Prabhupada in November 1977. Read: Prabhupada Death Inquiry





2005

ISKCON Chapter 11 Disclosure Statement Approved

On February 11, 2005, ISKCON's Chapter 11 Disclosure Statement was formally approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The Disclosure Statement contains the legal, financial and organizational assumptions which are used to create the Reorganization Plan.

This milestone legal event clears the way for the Reorganization Plan to be put to a vote by all of the claimants. Should that vote result in approval and confirmation of the Plan, disbursement of financial compensation would then follow.

Voting ballots are scheduled to be mailed out to all claimants on February 28, 2005. That large packet will also contain a copy of the Disclosure Statement, the proposed Reorganization Plan and other documents. If you are a claimant and you do not receive your packet by mid-March, be sure to notify the bankruptcy lawyers (not the Court). You may also send an email to request-at-oxfordlaw.com, and be sure to include your full legal name, Krishna name, current mailing address and telephone contact number.

Once the voting process is completed, the case should then move quite swiftly towards Plan confirmation, in May of 2005. Assuming the Reorganization Plan is confirmed and approved, initial compensation payments would then start, perhaps as early as September of 2005.

Please keep eye out for further updates. The next three to four months will be quite active, and your participation as a claimant is encouraged. Meanwhile, should any claimant change their mailing address from that reported on the original Proof of Claim form, the courts and the lawyers must be notified. Information and forms to file a change of address notice can be found by clicking on the PDF Files button found on http://guptadas.ws/

ON THE WEB: http://www.guptadas.ws





ISKCON Chapter 11 - Voting Begins In March
by Gupta das
Posted at Chakra.org March 2, 2005

On February 25, 2005, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court reset the date to mail out ballots to the Gurukuli claimants to March 11, 2005, and authorized delivery of the legal documents by CD. In the voting packet there will be a CD disk which contains the Disclosure Statement, Reorganization Plan and Exhibits, along with a hard copy of the ballot and other documents which need to be returned in an enclosed return envelope. The CD will auto run on either a Mac or a PC, and will contain an Acrobat Reader installation file as well.

If you are a claimant with a mailing address in the United States, you should have your packet in hand by March 21, 2005. If your mailing address is outside the United States, you should have your packet in hand by March 26, 2005. If not, send an email to email and include your full legal name, Krishna name, current mailing address and a telephone contact number.

The voting cut off and return date is April 29, 2005; all ballots must be received on or before that date. There are other documents in the packet that need to be timely signed, sent back and received by that date as well. After all votes are tallied and reported to the court, a hearing on Plan confirmation will then take place in May of 2005, after which initial compensation payments would be scheduled to start in September of 2005.

To vote and to receive compensation, every Gurukuli claimant needs to have a current mailing address on file. Information and forms to file a change of address notice can be found by clicking on the PDF Files button found on www.guptadas.ws





Gupta das
May 3, 2005

As of April 29, 2005, the cutoff date for voting on the Chapter 11 Reorganization Plan, an in-house tally of votes indicates full acceptance of the Plan by over 99% of all Class 4, Class 5 and Class 5A tort claimants. While ballots received after April 29, 2005 (regardless of postmark date) are not counted for voting purposes, ballots are used for disbursement purposes. Thus, claimants still need to mail in a ballot and Release form to be eligible to receive compensation. If you did not receive a ballot or Release, send an email with your full legal name, Krishna name and mailing address to request-at-oxfordlaw.com. Also, if you feel that your matrix points do not accurately reflect your Gurukula experience, then fill out the Request for Additional Information (RAI) form and send it in as soon as possible. Send your request for a digital or hard copy RAI form to request-at-oxfordlaw.com. If you have already filled out a RAI, you can send supplemental information regarding your matrix score directly to this same email address. Judicial confirmation hearings on the Reorganization Plan are now scheduled to go forward in May, 2005. Assuming the court approves the Plan, disbursements would begin in September, 2005. On the Web: www.guptadas.ws





"Gurukula alumni begrudgingly vote for reorganization plan"
by Krsna Avatara das
Posted on Chakra.org, May 6, 2005

The article entitled "Gurukulis overwhelmingly approve ISKCON Chapter 11 reorganization plan" is inaccurate and misleading for several reasons: The term "gurukuli" as used by the first-generation devotees is a pejorative term. Gurukulis are people attending gurukulas, not those who have attended them. This would be synonymous to stating that because one attended college twenty years ago, one is a college student. Usually when that term is used by first-generation devotees, it is not a positive referral. I think that sometimes first-generation devotees forget how young they were when they assumed leadership positions. A more appropriate term would be gurukula alumni or second-generation devotees. Everybody on the lawsuit is an adult, and would like to be referred to as such.

More importantly, the alumni did not "overwhelmingly approve" the reorganization plans. Having talked to a wide swath of alumni, the consensus seems to be that this plan is derisory. Many alumni believed that this plan would have a positive impact on their life, affording them the opportunity to put a down payment on a home or to help pay for their children's college expenses. What they did not expect was to be compensated for the abuse and suffering endured with what is the equivalent of gas money. Also, the fact that it is dispersed over a six-year period, with the bulk of the compensation occurring in 2011, neglects to adequately compensate alumni for inflation and time value of money factors, compounding the dissatisfaction.

Most alumni that I have talked to are accepting this because they feel they have no other choice. Many feel that ISKCON is using this Chapter 11 as a means of reorganizing its finances, with compensation to alumni as a secondary goal. Others just want to get it over with. But the title to Gupta prabhu's article is similar to the propaganda that Pravda, the newspaper that published the party line for the old Soviet Union, used to produce. I am not saying that Gupta prabhu purposely misrepresented how second-generation devotees feel; nonetheless, the title is misleading. A more apt title would be: "Gurukula alumni begrudgingly vote for reorganization plan."

Finally, most alumni don't understand why the people who caused the abuse are still initiating gurus in ISKCON. It seems counterproductive to the healing that the leaders claim to want to facilitate. The alumni still have not been given a good answer as to why the GBC choose an abusing guru over the people he abused. This decision, we feel, reflects the true values of the leaders. Most alumni are interested in moving on, leading productive lives and granting forgiveness, but the leaders of ISKCON make it very difficult.





Federal Court Approves ISKCON Chapter 11 Reorganization Plan
by Gupta das
Posted May 22, 2005

Today, May 16, 2005, Judge L. Edward Friend II of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in West Virginia enthusiastically approved the ISKCON Chapter 11 Reorganization Plan. After Sandford L. Frey, lead bankruptcy counsel for ISKCON, made a formal presentation of the Plan and its benefits, Judge Friend then favorably commented on the Plan. Judge Friend said that he was impressed with the Plan and with all the effort that it took to put together, and that he wholeheartedly endorsed the Plan as being in the best interests of the creditors [tort claimants]. He also noted that the ISKCON Chapter 11 Reorganization Plan makes sense in that it will avoid numerous lawsuits which would otherwise waste assets that will now be used for the benefit of the claimants. The Judge then went on to praise the Plan as a model that should be followed in similar cases throughout the country.

After the final confirmation hearing in Los Angeles next week, disbursements are scheduled to begin in September, 2005. Meanwhile, there are still many claimants who have not yet sent in a ballot, Release and/or a completed Request for Additional Information. If you did not receive those items, send an email with your full legal name, Krishna name and mailing address to email - click here. Completed forms need to be sent in as soon as possible.





Final Chapter 11 Plan Approval
by Gupta das
Posted May 25, 2005
Press Release: Courts Confirm Hare Krishna Chapter 11 Reorganization
Religious Society Apologizes to Victims of Child Abuse
For Immediate Release
Date: May 23, 2005
Anuttama Dasa, ISKCON Communications
Background and updates: iskcon.com/press/index.htm

Los Angeles, CA -- The United States Bankruptcy Court of the Central District of California today confirmed a Chapter 11 Reorganization Plan submitted by six Hare Krishna temples and affiliates. The Plan provides 9.5 million dollars in compensation to claimants--primarily former students who were subjected to various forms of abuse or mistreatment while in the society's religious schools--while also protecting Krishna temples and religious communities from potential closure. Today's California Plan confirmation follows closely on the heels of a parallel ISKCON Reorganization Plan which was approved last week by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wheeling, West Virginia .

Those temples and affiliates of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), a monotheistic Vedic, or Hindu tradition, originally filed for Chapter 11 protection in February, 2002. That was two years after a $400 million lawsuit was filed in Texas on behalf of 92 former students, who alleged emotional, physical, and sexual abuse during the 1970s and 1980s in Krishna boarding schools.

"As leaders, it was our responsibility to assure our children's safety," said Anuttama Dasa, ISKCON Governing Body Commissioner and Director of Communications. "We failed them, and for that we are very sorry. It is heartbreaking that many of our children were abused. On behalf of our entire society, I apologize to these young people. I pray that someday they will be able to forgive us. And, I pray that today's agreement will help them heal and move forward in their lives," Dasa said. The parallel ISKCON Chapter 11 cases were adjudicated in two jurisdictions simultaneously. In the first of the two Plan confirmation hearings, on May 16, 2005, in the U. S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of West Virginia, the Honorable L. Edward Friend II stated in court that he "wholeheartedly" endorsed the Plan: "I find it to be in the best interest of the creditors [former students] and I find the parties have actually worked together to come to a conclusion that really works and really makes sense."

By seeking Chapter 11 protection, ISKCON was able to open the settlement to hundreds of additional former students who were either unaware of, or chose not to participate in, the original lawsuit. By way of Court approved advertisements in international media, as well as a proactive email campaign, ISKCON identified an additional 450 claimants who will now receive a share of the court approved $9.5 million compensation plan. Above and beyond that amount, the compensation fund stands to increase by several million dollars if ISKCON is successful in ongoing litigation with its insurance carriers. "There were always two priorities for us in this case," said David Liberman, attorney for the Krishnas . "We wanted to provide as much money as possible for the young people that were abused, and simultaneously to protect innocent families and Krishna followers from having their temples closed had a jury awarded the original amount sought in the Texas case," Liberman said.

"If this had gone to trial, it would have exhausted ISKCON's assets through legal costs and left nothing for the tort claimants, the young people who deserve it," said Sandford L. Frey, lead bankruptcy counsel for ISKCON. "In addition, the Chapter 11 allowed ISKCON to seek additional money from other independent contributors who voluntarily donated to the fund, making this an international settlement which increased the total dollar amount of the compensation fund far beyond the modest assets of the original temples that were sued," Frey said.

Distribution of the funds will begin later this year and must be completed by 2011. The amount each individual receives will be based upon the nature of the abuse, its severity, and the time factor. The amount of compensation received by most will range from $2,500 to $50,000, which does not include the amount of insurance funds that may yet be recovered.





On Aug. 5, 2005, ISKCON representatives met with lawsuit plaintiffs to offer a court ordered apology. The following letter, posted in the PADA News 8-18-2005, documents the event.

7) Dear Prabhus,

I attended the Court Ordered "apology" to the Gurukulies held at New Dwarka August 5,2005. Representing Iskcon were: Annutama das, Malati dd, Bhadrinarayan das, Jayadwaita Swami,, Giriraja swami, and the director of the "so called" Child Protection Offfice, the attorneys Armarendra, and of course ....Gupta.

Needless to say, the apologies went over like a "lead balloon" the Gurukulies who only wanted three things, Love, Acceptance, and their "old room" back....felt that they got nothing, and were not even very intrested in the cash settlements being offered. One girl cried out..."We want the only thing that you are not offering ...love!"

The word "love" puzzled the no longer "bright faced" Iskcon leaders and they looked at one another blankly and uncomprehendingly while the Gurukulies looked on with what appeared to be a mixture of disgust, frustration and even pity.

At one point, a Gurukuli girl, in her forties, whose own children are grown up, began to beg for access to the Iskcon temple in Hawaii so that she could worship, one of the adults told her to shut up because she was taking up too much time, and she fled the meeting. I spoke sternly in the assemblyl I warned:...."There is a distinct absense of Ram Rajya here! A woman, unprotected cries out for help, and nevermind that she "talks too long"...she needs shelter and she is asking for it.

We do not care for her emotional state or why .....we only know that no one in Krishna's association should express such acute suffering and not be brought into the fold and comforted." I asked the Iskcon leaders, "Why did you not go over as a group and hold her in your arms and comfort her? How long will you listen to her cry?" At the end, I organized the room of Gurukulies and Iskcon leaders to a "group hug". It was a little awkward, but it got at least one point accross, .......No one has shown much tenderness to one another over the last thirty five years!.....

Your eternal servant, Nara Narayan Vishwakarma das




Click here for Timeline index.
Click here for more ISKCON gurukula information.
Click here for an index of all child abuse information available through this site.

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