ISKCON Bankruptcy Articles

Bankruptcy reorganization plan for Hare Krishna temples approved
Associated Press
Posted June 1, 2005

LOS ANGELES - A federal bankruptcy court on Monday approved a reorganization plan that will allow six California-based Hare Krishna temples and their affiliates to remain open while compensating members who claim they were abused at the society's schools. The plan includes $9.5 million for alleged victims of sexual, physical and emotional abuse during the 1970s and 1980s at religious boarding schools run by the Hare Krishnas.

A similar reorganization plan was approved May 16 in West Virginia, where temples also filed for bankruptcy. The monotheistic tradition, also known as the International Society of Krishna Consciousness, was founded in 1966 by an Indian scholar. Ninety-two people sued the Hare Krishnas in 2000 in U.S. District Court in Dallas, alleging they had been sexually, physically and emotionally abused at Krishna boarding schools in the 1970s and 1980s.

In the United States, schools were in Los Angeles and Three Rivers, Calif., Moundsville, W. Va., and Dallas. Other boarding schools were in India. The federal suit was dismissed in 2001, but the plaintiffs refiled in Texas state court.

The Hare Krishnas filed for bankruptcy in February 2002 before the case went to trial.

The society has since located more than 350 more people worldwide who claim they were abused at the schools, known as ashram-based gurukulas. These people will also receive a piece of the compensation fund, said Anuttama Dasa, the Washington, D.C.-based spokesman for the religious society. "We knew there were more kids who were mistreated or abused and we wanted to try to include them in the settlement," Dasa said.

Hare Krishna abuse cases settled for $9.5mn - click here for original
Posted May 29, 2005

A United States bankruptcy court has approved a plan for the Hare Krishna organisation to pay $ 9.5 million in damages to former students of the spiritual movement's boarding schools, who had alleged sexual, physical and emotional abuse during the 1970s and 80s. Six Hare Krishna temples had sought bankruptcy protection in 2002 because of the abuse claims. The US Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California approved the plan in which a total of 550 plaintiffs will receive amounts ranging from $ 2,500 to 50,000 each.

The movement's Washington-area centre, the New Hastinapur Temple in Potomac, though not among those that had sought bankruptcy, is voluntarily contributing to the settlement, organisation spokesman Anuttama Dasa said. The Hare Krishna Movement has about 100,000 members in the US and one million worldwide, Dasa said adding, the settlement eventually would allow the US organisation to emerge from bankruptcy.

"This is a positive outcome for what is a very sad situation," he said.

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