I write as a concerned educator and parent who has been connected to ISKCON since my college years in 1994. Besides serving as pujari in New Talavan and New Raman Reti, I have spoken at four international conferences organized by the Bhaktivedanta Institute (2006, 2007, 2008, 2014). You can read those papers here, which have been praised by mathematicians of international stature, such as Barry Mazur from Harvard University.
Some devotees have asked me why I risked being let go of temple services over a child abuse case that happened over 30 years ago. The reason is simple: As a lifelong educator, I cannot support an organization that systematically ignores child abuse and protects perpetrators, whatever the reasons. As a teacher, I cannot remain silent, whatever the price, when someone close to my community sullies that sacred seat in the vilest of ways—by betraying the trust of a child through sexual abuse. Besides, we know that’s not the only unresolved sexual abuse case in ISKCON.
“With all the humility at my command,” I implore you to take a stand on this issue. You have a choice to be like Grandfather Bhisma when Dushasana attempted to disrobe Draupadi at the request of his brother Duryodhana—and remain silent—or be like the saintly Vidura and speak against this assault on basic human decency. The choice is yours.
Don’t be like Bhisma.
Hector Rosario, Ph.D.
Ananta Rama dasa