Warrant out for eight Iskcon devotees

Hastings police station to arrest Jayapataka who fled India

The Indian Telegraph

(Telegraph- METRO SECTION)


Calcutta, 10 august 2000

The case of the Iskcon monk's suicide took a dramatic turn on Wednesday with the court ordering the police to arrest 8 monks of the order. One of them, the chief of Iskcon's Mayapur centre, is said to be absconding. Suresh das, 54, lodged in Presidency Jail after being charged with the rape of a woman, hanged himself in his separate cell last Thursday.

In his diary, he blamed his death on eight Iskcon monks who, he alleged, had hatched a "conspiracy" to ruin him. The damning entries in the diary prompted the jail authorities to lodge a complaint with the police. Subsequently cases of "abatement to suicide" and "conspiracy" were registered with the Hastings police station against the eight monks, seven of them based in Mayapur and one at Albert Road.

Hastings police station officer-in-charge Jayanta Das said : "The court has directed us to arrest the eight monks. We are now looking for them, but we have come to know that the head of the Mayapur office of Iskcon has already left the country." City police officials confirmed that their counterparts in Nadia had been asked to keep a watch on the 'wanted monks'. Documents pertaining to a dispute between the Mayapur and Calcutta offices of the order are also being examined, as the power struggle is said to have led to Das' death. Das belonging to an anti- Mayapur lobby was, apparently protesting the"illegal activities" of some of the monks the police said. Investigators are also trying to ascertain whether Das had been involved in the rape of a young woman at Iskcon's Gurusaday Road office. "We are waiting for the sample test report of the semen found on the clothes of the woman who was reportedly raped by Das," said an officer.

Meanwhile, Sattick Das vice-president of Iskcon, has alleged that the detective department of the city police has been "influenced by a powerful lobby close to the Mayapur ofice" to take over the case. "The case was originally being handled by the local police station. The detective department suddenly appeared on the scene and took charge of the investigations, after being influenced by the by a powerful lobby", Das said.



CALCUTTA: The acting chief metropolitan magistrate K.P. Dutta on Monday ordered the police to take necessary steps against eight persons attached to ISKCON, so that they cannot leave India. The eight are:

1. Jayapataka Swami,
2. Satadhanya Das,
3. Dayaram Das,
4. Bhadracharan Das,
5. Birchandra Das,
6. Krishnalata Das,
7. Basanti Das
8. Subrabhrata Das.

Jayapotato Swami

The jailor of Presidency Jail lodged an FIR with Hastings Police Station on August 3 against the above persons after the death of an ISKCON activist, undertrial prisoner Sureshwar Das.

In the FIR it was alleged that these persons abetted Sureshwar in committing suicide inside the Presidency Jail. Sureshwar was arrested by police on rape charge. The vice president of Iskcon has filed a petition praying for proper action. (PTI)

All Ports Alert For Jayapataka Swami To Be Issued
Newsletter No.38, by Adridharana das, adri@cwcom.net

Jayapataka Swami (JPS) is on the run from the Indian legal system. We have even produced evidence where JPS has admitted this fact. As reported, JPS is fleeing since he has been charged with abetting the suicide of Suresvara Das, a devotee against whom the JPS camp filed false rape charges. Now, however, in a sensational development solicitors acting for the family of the deceased have decided to take international action to bring this fugitive to justice. The solicitors have put together a package of material which will allow the immigration authorities of all countries to take the appropriate action. The package consists of a cover letter which sets out all the material enclosed. This cover letter, and a solicitor's letter which is the first item in the package, are reproduced below:

Dear Sirs,

The enclosed materials give evidence pertaining to an Indian Citizen who we believe will make attempts to enter your country sometime in the future. He is currently on the run following the Indian Police having filed a case against him for abetment to suicide. This is a serious crime which carries a prison term of 7 years in our country. His name is Jayapataka Swami. Though he is one of 8 similarly charged, he is the only one who has fled the country. The enclosed materials are as follows:

1) A letter from ourselves, who are acting on behalf of the deceased, wherein we have set out the events relating to this matter.
2) A copy of the Police Case which has been filed against this individual by the Calcutta Police, Hastings Branch.
3) A copy of the court order that prevents him from leaving India.

Unfortunately he had the presence of mind to abscond around the time the case was filed, and before the court order was procured. The court order was hand-written by the Judge, which is still quite common in the Calcutta High Court. The Court seal is clearly visible. A typed version has also been provided. We have also included a copy of relevant newspaper articles which state the same.

4) A copy of his latest passport.
5) A copy of his previous passport and his current US Green Card.

(Jaya Pataka Swami aka John Gordon Erdman are the two passport names of the false Mayapur guru.)

We urge that you may enter this information on your airport computer systems, as we are unable to specify in advance exactly when he may seek to enter your country, as he is continually moving from country to country. He particularly uses countries as transit ports as he moves from one side of the globe to the other. We hope this information will be of interest to you, and that you will be minded to not facilitate this person's current evasion of the due process of Justice.

If necessary you may contact me via mail, fax or phone at the following:

Thanking you in advance,

Yours faithfully,

Sandersons & Morgans (Acting on Behalf of the Family of the Deceased)
By partner C R Addy
Advocates & Solicitors,
Royal Insurance Building
5,Netaji Subhas Road,
Calcutta 700001
FAX 91-33-248-2648
TEL.248-2644[4 Lines]

The following is a copy of item No. 1
of the package as stated in cover letter above:

Dear Sir,

This is to inform you that a criminal case has been started
against eight accused persons. They are as follows :-

1. Jayapataka Swami
2. Satadhanya Dasa
3. Dayaram Dasa
4. Bhadra Charu Dasa
5. Birchandra Dasa
6. Krishna Lata Dasi
7. Basanti Devi Dasi
8. Subhabrata Dasa

The case being started on 03.08.2000 by the Hastings Police Station being Hastings Police Station case no. 293/2000 corresponding to the G.R. Case No. 2588/2000 under section 120B/306 of the Indian Penal Code in criminal conspiracy with each other in abetting in commission of suicide of Sureswara Dasa.

As the above named persons may avoid due process of law and fly away from India, and accordingly, on 07.08.2000 the Learned Chief Metropolitan Magistrate passed an order directing the Investigating Officer of the Hastings Police Station to take effective steps against the above accused persons and also to prevent them from leaving India. We understand that of the above eight accused persons only Jayapataka Swami has left the country after the case was started. A copy of the said order is enclosed.

Thanking you.
Yours faithfully,
Sandersons & Morgans
By partner C.R. Addy

We are seeking the help of the international devotee community to assist us in contacting their appropriate immigration authorities and presenting the above package of material to them. Many devotees had earlier contacted us asking how they could help after having been shocked by the needless death of Suresvara Das, and desiring to see justice served on behalf of an innocent Vaisanava.

If you wish to assist in this way then please send us your mailing address, and the full package mentioned above will be couriered immediately to yourselves. We especially seek the assistance of devotees who already have contact or connection with the appropriate authorities in their countries.

Our IRM contacts in different countries are already beginning to get the ball rolling but we wish to cover as many countries as possible, so please contact us.

We look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you very much.

IRM Launches Media Campaign
Adridharanas Newsletter No.24

Following the $400 million child abuse lawsuit filed on the 12th June, the IRM has acted to set the record straight regarding the cause of these abuses, getting stories clearing Srila Prabhupada of any wrongdoing printed in the main Indian newspapers. With the basis of the law-suit being that Srila Prabhupada knew what was going on and 'concealed' the wrong-doing, and the press doing their utmost to damage the reputation of ISKCON, the IRM has engaged a top PR firm to combat this state of affairs. Whilst the official ISKCON 'leadership' dithers issuing weak statements simply agreeing that 'yes, abuse took place', the IRM has set out to make it clear that any abuse that may have occurred is solely as a result of a pattern of disobedience and defiance towards the explicit instructions laid down by Srila Prabhupada. And further that not everyone in ISKCON agrees and supports the corrupt leadership that has allowed many of these problems to occur. But rather there is hope and an alternative to this sorry state of affairs in ISKCON, since the IRM has itself launched a court case against the cause of these problems - the GBC and Gurus - and in this way begin the process of cleaning up the mess in ISKCON.This abuse case is simply the latest in a long list of embarrassments for ISKCON as it has lurched from one disaster to another, with its Guru fall-downs etc., as the GBC have mismanaged the movement by directly disobeying the orders of Srila Prabhupada.

Though the press has confused the two lawsuits and got its facts jumbled up, the IRM media campaign strategy has had amazing success in that the main Indian newspapers have ended up printing verbatim quotes from letters that Srila Prabhupada wrote which make it clear that the children are not to be mistreated in any way. In this way though the press may not have managed to get all their facts correct, they have however managed to succeed in the key task of making it clear that Srila Prabhupada is not in any way linked to this abuse. Please find below a selection of the newspaper articles that have carried our story so far, followed by the press release that contributed to them. Devotees are free to issue the press release to their own local media. We have been informed that the media in other countries has also picked up our story, but we do not as yet have the relevant news copy.

The following article appeared in the 'Asian Age'
a leading Indian newspaper on June 19th:

Iskcon gurus face lawsuit in Calcutta
By Dhiman Chattopadhyay Calcutta, June 19

The Iskcon Revival Movement has filed a criminal lawsuit in Calcutta against the establishment's present 90 gurus for "disobeying clear instructions left by founder Srila Prabhupada" and bringing the institution into disrepute.

Most of those named in this suit are already fighting the $400 million lawsuit filed in the US accusing these men of sexual abuse. This suit filed in the Calcutta high court, alleges that many of those named in the US lawsuit were the same "corrupt gurus" who violated founder Srila Prabhupada's written instructions on how to behave with young students. It also accuses that these men usurped power after Prabhupada's death in 1977. Among the 90 gurus named are several men based in Mayapur and Vrindavan, like Guru Gopalkrishna and Guru Radhanath.

IRM president Adridharana Das said, "Our saintly founder had laid down certain rules of conduct. Any abuse that has occurred are in violation of his preachings." The suit quotes extensively from official letters written by Srila Prabhupada regarding the running of boarding schools.

In 1972, for instance, he wrote to the headmaster of the Iskcon school in Dallas: "Encourage students to chant as much japa as possible, but there is no question of force or punishment. If there is need, you may shake your finger at them but physical punishment is not allowed."

Later, he wrote to a teacher at the same school: "Children should not be beaten at all. They should simply be shown the stick. If one cannot manage this way, then he is not fit as a teacher."

In the lawsuit, Adridharana Das and others state: "The last letter from Prabhupada was sent to Satsvarupa, who was one of the movement's leaders at the time. Interestingly, Satsvarupa is named as one of the accused in the US child abuse suit."

The suit filed in Kolkata states, "Clear instructions from our founder were disobeyed and abuse was perpetrated against innocent children as some of Srila Prabhupada's disciples set forth to enjoy themselves at the expense of the movement. This disobedience by his disciples in their mad pursuit to exercise power over innocent victims were repeated by many of those accused in the recent lawsuit filed in the US."

Adridharana Das told The Asian Age on Monday, "Following Prabhupada's departure from this world in 1977, they deposed him as the Guru and instead set themselves up as his successors. This, despite Prabhupada having left clear signed instructions to the contrary." He said the Iskcon Revival Movement was a "world-wide group of Iskcon members set up to provide an alternative to the abuses and corruption that has crept into the movement."

"Unlike the child abuse case in US which is a civil suit only, the IRM has filed criminal charges as well. The IRM hopes it can clean up the mess and kick out present gurus,"

"We deplore the stain that has been cast on this great spiritual movement. The IRM has dedicated itself to rooting out the abuse and corruption that exists in it," Mr Das said.

English Translation of article published in Vishwamitra,
a leading Hindi newspaper, dated 21/6/2000.

Calcutta, 20 June, (B.P.)

The ISKCON Revival Movement (IRM) has filed a criminal suit against ISKCON's 90 gurus in Calcutta.
This suit has been filed due to the movement's disobedience against the founder's clear directions regarding initiations. Some of the defendants in this suit are already fighting a suit for $400 million in which they have been alleged to have covered up sexual abuse of children. Some of the corrupt gurus who are defendants in the suit in the Calcutta High Court, are named in the US suit since they have disobeyed the clear written directions of Prabhupada as to how to behave with students as alleged in the suit at the High Court in Calcutta. It has also been alleged that they grabbed power after the demise of Prabhupada in 1977. Guru Gopal Krsna & Guru Radhanath are amongst the alleged 90 gurus, and are living in Mayapur & Vrindavan. The Chairman of IRM, Sri Adridharan Das said that our saintly Founder has framed several laws, and the disobedience of his preachings has caused several troubles.

The directions of Prabhupada, through his letters, regarding residential schools have been dealt with in detail in the suit. For example in 1972 in Dallas he wrote to the Headmaster of an ISKCON school that students should be encouraged for maximum chanting but question of force or punishment does not arise. You can raise your finger to them but physical punishment is not allowed.

Adridharan Das & others have stated in the suit that the final order of Prabhupada on initiations was sent to Satsvarupa who was a leader at that time. Interestingly Satswarupa is also one of the accused in the child abuse case in the US. Adridharan says that after the demise of Prabhupada in 1977 the said accused deposed Srila Prabhupada as the Guru & declared themselves as his successors. This happened contrary to the clear written directives of Prabhupada. He said that the purpose of IRM is to root out corruption & bad elements from the movement.

This appeared in the famous Hindustan Times,
leading Indian daily newspaper. Dated: 17/6/2000

Nation Briefs

ISKCON Body Files Plea in HC

The ISKCON Revival Movement (IRM) has filed a case in Calcutta High Court against some defendants named in the Dallas child-abuse suit for having illegally taken over the International Society of Krishna Consciousness.

An IRM statement issued in Calcutta on Friday said the case has been filed against the defendants for having illegally usurped Srila Prabhupada from his position as the founder of the movement and installing themselves as his successors. The IRM according to the release said," Unfortunately, any abuse that has occurred would have been as a result of the movement's members disobeying the clear instructions set out by ISKCON's saintly founder." UNI, Calcutta.

Press Release

ISKCON Leadership Now Facing Court Case From Inside the Movement

A widely publicised $400 million child abuse case was filed this week against ISKCON (International Society For Krishna Consciousness, or Hare Krishna Movement) and its leaders by former pupils of its boarding schools. The movement has so far issued various statements ranging from admitting to problems with abuse to saying that the case is 'exaggerated'. However what is not widely known is that the movement's leadership has a long history of disobeying the teachings of the movement's saintly founder - A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami or Srila Prabhupada as he is commonly known - in order to perpetrate abuses against its innocent members, and that this court case was a direct result of such flagrant disobedience. Srila Prabhupada was very clear on the policy that should be followed at the schools which were set up in ISKCON. Very early on he ordered:

"The important matter is that the children are taken care of nicely. [...] If they are not healthy then how they can prosecute their education? If they are undernourished it is not good for their future activities. [...] A big building is also very good for the children's health. They can move freely and run and jump." (Letter sent to ISKCON leader and child abuse defendant, Steven Guarano a.k.a. Satsvarupa Das Goswami)

"Now the thing is, children should not be beaten at all, that I have told. They should simply be shown the stick strongly. So if one cannot manage in that way then he is not fit as teacher." (Letter sent to a Teacher at the first ISKCON School in Dallas in 1972)

Thus Srila Prabhupada was emphatic on how the children should be treated and continually instructed that the children were never to be mistreated. Instead these clear instructions as well as many others were disobeyed by the movement's leadership as they set out to enjoy themselves at the expense of Srila Prabhupada's movement. This disobedience of Srila Prabhupada's instructions by his disciples in their mad pursuit to exercise power over innocent victims was executed by many of the same named defendants in the child abuse suit when, following Srila Prabhupada's departure from this world in 1977, they deposed him as the Guru for the movement, and instead set themselves up as his Guru successors. This despite Srila Prabhupada having left clear signed instructions to the contrary. This has led to a landmark court case currently before the High Court in Calcutta, which is the birthplace of the movement's founder, Srila Prabhupada.

Nexus Between Child Abuse and Guru Court Case

The ISKCON Revival Movement (IRM), a world-wide group of ISKCON members set up to provide an alternative to the abuses and corruption that has been present in the movement, had filed a case in the Calcutta High Court, over a year ago, against many of the same defendants named in the child abuse suit. This case had been filed against the defendants for having illegally usurped Srila Prabhupada from his position as the Guru of the movement, and instead installing themselves as his successors and grabbing control of the movement. Unlike the child abuse case which is a civil suit only, the IRM has filed criminal charges as well as a civil suit. With clear signed evidence from Srila Prabhupada, it is believed that the IRM has a great chance of winning, and thereby helping to clean up the mess the movement is in by kicking out the present Gurus in ISKCON, some of whom, as previously mentioned, are also named as defendants in the child abuse case.

That there is a nexus between these two cases is highlighted by the fact the man selected by ISKCON's leadership to defend them in the Calcutta 'Guru' case was one Stanley Fedorowski, a.k.a. Satyadhanya Dasa, who was known by the ISKCON leadership to have committed acts of anal sex on children. Recently the former headmaster of the Vrindavan Gurukula, Dhanudara Swami, who is also one of the current Gurus, was allowed by the movement's leadership to carry on accepting disciples and act as a Guru, when he had already been convicted of child abuse, and in doing so they overturned the recommendation of their own Child Protection Office. It seems clear that the issue of child abuse is merely one of a larger issue of the excercise of power by those who have joined the movement simply to use the great spiritual movement set up by Srila Prabhupada for their own aggrandizement, and this is symbolised by the setting up of an unauthorised Guru system to replace Srila Prabhupada.

ISKCON Revival Movement Vows to Purge Movement of False Gurus

The genesis for such a court case came about in 1996 with the publication of a philosophical treatise entitled "The Final Order". This paper, which carries a foreword by Dr. Kim Knott, Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies at Leeds University in the UK, and an academic authority on ISKCON, revealed how a massive hoax had been perpetrated by the movement since the departure from this world of Srila Prabhupada in 1977. Citing directly from the books and the recorded and transcribed words of Prabhupada, it revealed that there had been a cover-up over Prabhupada's final wishes, which would have kept him as the sole Guru for the movement. Instead his leading western disciples, most of whom are also named as defendants in the child abuse case, mis-represented these final orders to the movement and assumed power for themselves. The paper immediately captured the attention of many of the movement's temple presidents and members around the world, particularly in India where, for example, The Calcutta Statesman - India's oldest English language newspaper - published a damning expose on this 'guru hoax'. As a reaction to suppress the dissident uprising, the ISKCON leadership announced bans on supporters of the 'The Final Order' paper from entering ISKCON temples and censured all discussions of the paper amongst its own rank and file devotees. In some areas, ISKCON leaders ordered the burning of the document in scenes not too far removed from Berlin in 1933. This however only increased support for a fledgling movement that was to become the IRM - for as the great American transcendentalist and student of Vedic thought Ralph Waldo Emerson said:

"Every burned book enlightens the world."

The movement's leadership was also not expecting that support for the 'Final Order' paper would take hold within its main temples, who would then use the newly discovered information to file the court case mentioned to restore the movement back onto its righteous path. As well as Calcutta, the IRM has branches inside ISKCON in many countries of the world, and controls ISKCON's largest temple situated in Bangalore. Some other prominent IRM branches are the temples in Vrindavana, India and Singapore.

The IRM deplores the stain that has been cast on the great spiritual movement founded by such a pure and saintly teacher as Prabhupada. The IRM has dedicated itself to rooting out the abuse and corruption that exists in the movement, which is epitomised by the presence of the self-appointed Gurus currently occupying a seat that rightly belongs to Prabhupada. We believe that the case we have filed will go some way to achieving this. The avowed goal of the IRM is simply to restore the Hare Krishna movement to its original purity, potency and philosophical chastity by reinstating the Founder, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, as the sole Guru for the movement, while purging all the corrupt elements, as highlighted by the self-appointed gurus, from ISKCON.

Following the filing of these court cases, the membership of ISKCON is having a crisis of faith in the movement's leadership and is turning to the IRM in increasing numbers, as the only means to save ISKCON.