"Hare Krishna" Sued For Child Abuse

June 12, 2000

Today 44 young adults filed a $400 million dollar damage suit against the "Hare Krishna" for sexual, physical and emotional torture inflicted upon them as children. The suit says Plaintiffs were sexually, physically and emotionally abused, along with hundreds of other children, who were kept during two decades at Hare Krishna’s boarding schools.

The suit, filed in the Federal District Court in Dallas, Texas, names the INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS (ISKCON) as the lead defendant, along with sixteen other ISKCON entities and seventeen individual members of its GOVERNING BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, including the Estate of the movement’s founder, BHAKTIVEDANTA SWAMI PRABHUPADA. The Plaintiffs reside in various cities in the United States, Canada and England.

Dallas trial lawyer WINDLE TURLEY, attorney for the plaintiffs, said today, "This lawsuit describes the most unthinkable abuse and maltreatment of little children which we have seen. It includes rape, sexual abuse, physical torture and emotional terror of children as young as three years of age. The worst of the practices spanned two decades, starting in 1972 with ISKCON’s first school in Dallas, Texas. The abuse continued in a half-dozen other schools in the United States and eventually at two boys’ schools in India.

"Although the leadership in ISKCON has long been aware of the mistreatment and abuse inflicted upon little children entrusted to it to raise, the full scope and profound maltreatment of its children has only recently been exposed.

"We believe the facts as they are developed will reveal more than a thousand child victims, many of whom have already taken their own lives or are today emotionally and socially dysfunctional.

"Elements within this new religious movement have attempted to operate outside the child protection laws of a half-dozen states. As a result, a generation of ISKCON children are permanently, and many profoundly, injured."

The suit also seeks a Federal injunction to force ISKCON to stop all forms of child abuse.

More details of the child abuse and of the plaintiffs’ legal claims, including Racketeering-Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO), are set out in the Complaint.

Click here to view the complaint.

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