The Legacy of ISKCON Gurukulas
BY: A GURUKULA ALUMNI
Sep 21, USA (SUN) Dear ISKCON Devotees, after reading the many letters about the problems with the
Gurukulas in ISKCON, such as this one, I felt that I had to speak up.
For too many years the girls of the ISKCON Gurukulas have remained silent. I have often wondered why have we remained silent and not
spoken up? The Hare Krishna Movement purports to be an enlightened movement, which is kind and compassionate to all living entities. It now claims to be a modern movement which is tolerant of the concerns of the minorities within its ranks. Yet somehow through this struggle to free itself from what some devotees view as the shackles of the past, it has overlooked the little girls of ISKCON.
ISKCON even has a Womanís Ministry, an International Child
Protection Office and has instituted conflict dispute procedures in
the form of ISKCON Resolve, but despite all the hard work and best
intentions of the devotees involved, it has failed to protect the
little girls of its past and present. I say this with due respect
to the fact they have also failed to properly protect their boys.
I do understand the predicament of the boys of our movement and my
heart goes out to them all, yet as a girl in ISKCON I saw from a
different angle. Boys always find ways to express their hurt and
suffering but as a girl, I find that it's easier to keep it all in.
Like a girl, I pray for someone to come and save me, protect me. But
this never happened. No one came to my rescue.
Yet I can see that they have not failed to rescue and protect
themselves. In designing and implementing programs to protect
themselves they have excelled par excellence, in a highly
professional and thorough manner.
When I think back on those years in Lake Huntington Gurukula and
how the teachers, and especially Laxmimoni mataji, were so cruel and
vicious to us, it still makes me scared and upset. How many times
have I cried for the little girl that I was...? I remember being so
scared, sad and lonely; I cannot remember how many tears have I
shed for my stolen childhood? How my adult life has been tainted
with this pain and hurt. How I look upon my own daughter and how I
take refuge in the knowledge that I will never allow any ISKCON
devotee anywhere near her!
After reading the letters by Jaya Kesava and other devotees I
logged on to the ISKCON Education website and observed how
effectively the ISKCON Principals and Teachers have protected
When my eyes fell upon the face of Laksmimoni, shock and a deep
sense of grief welled up inside my heart. After seeing her there I
took this matter further, discovering that she now holds many highly
respected and senior positions in ISKCON:
1. GBC Nominations Committee Member
2. Board of Examinations Member
3. Vaisnavi Ministry Member
4. ISKCON Resolve Secretary
5. Executive Member ISKCON Ministry for Educational Development
6. Dean of Students & Lecturer for the Bhaktivedanta College in
I remember only too well Laxmimoniís face as she screamed at us,
calling us prostitutes. When I see little girls playing the very
same age that I was in the Gurukula, I cannot understand what kind
of person, what kind of woman or mother, could push a little seven
year old girl's face into her stool soiled panties and rub her face
into her own stool?
This may sound disgusting and horrific to all you ISKCON devotees
reading this, but please also know that when one does this to a
puppy it is rarely done with the hate and rage that Laxmimoni did
what she did to us. I remember being locked in a terribly cold room
for the whole night. Then there were the times I was sent out in
the freezing cold weather to chant my rounds as punishment! To this
very day I cannot chant Hare Krishna, no matter how much I love
Even to this very day, I lucidly remember Laxmimoni forcing me to
eat prasadam that was days old and when I vomited at the smell of
it, she forced me to eat my own vomit. There are other things that I
witnessed and had done to me that I will not mention here. Not all
of what happened to me do I remember, either. I know that I have a
long way to go in my healing but I can tell you that seeing that
Laxmimoni is not only being protected for her crimes, by ISKCON,
she is being flaunted at us girls like a hideous taunt from our
childhood nightmares. This I sincerely disclose to you has not made
my life better. The utter helplessness that I feel is now worse
Yes my dear devotees of Krishna, this Laxmimoni is the very same
woman that you hold up so high in your esteem.
How can Laxmimoni be a member of the Vaisnavi Ministry? How can she
be qualified to protect women and girls? She has no history of
this! Not amongst the girls who she abused, that is for sure.
What is more disturbing is that she herself has no sense of guilt or
remorse what to speak of shame for who she is. Please know that it
is not a case of what she has done, it is more the case of what kind
of person is she, to be able to terrorise little girls like that
and then go on as if she is a pure devotee and take on the most
senior positions within educational facilities.
You in ISKCON have created all these Ministries and Agencies that
have nothing to do with what they purport to be or to represent.
Even though I have not been in contact with the movement for many
years, in one simple day of research I see that the same devotees
who have caused so much suffering and problems in your society are
still all working together. How can you not see this? How blind
and/or ignorant do you have to be?
The names that I found that are working together supporting all the
wrong people are as follows: Laxsmimoni, Braja Bihari das, Sesa
das. I have no idea of who this Braja Bihari or Sesa are, but I can
see that they are all working closely together.
When I asked about Laxmimoni and her connection with any Gurukula, I have heard that she was up until recently a Principal of a girls Gurukula in Alachua. Although what I have heard are unsubstantiated rumours, they have some ring of truth to them. The talk is that something happened at her school that forced its hurried and quiet closure. The girls are silent, but that is typical of girls.
I hear that the property was sold and half the money was given to
Laxmimoni and the other half to her offsider as a pension plan. The
fact that a major Girls Gurukula was shut down and hardly caused a
murmur in ISKCON is reason to doubt that this was an above-board
decision. It smacks of the very same corruption that has been the
trademark of ISKCON for over thirty years. The silence of the GBC
and the girls screams in my ears.
If ISKCON leaves the protection of its children to the very same
devotees who have ruined them, they will never be taken seriously by
anyone outside the institution. It is evident that even inside,
ISKCON devotees do not attribute the GBC and its various
Departments with any respect or confidence.
For some reason unknown to an intelligent or enlightened soul,
ISKCON seems to believe that its Criminal Elite are beyond the
reach of cognizance, culpability or accountability.
Like fairytale Princesses and Princes, they think that they can hide
behind their castle walls and remain undetected and unaccountable
for their most terrible and heinous sins. If in one day of research
I can see them, how many others can and will see them for what they
In the tradition that Jaya Kesava has set, I also lend myself to the
call for the resignation of Laxmimoni, Braja Bihari and Sesa das.
I would imagine that more names will be added to this list when the
girls of ISKCON find their collective voice! I know I am not the
first girl of ISKCON to speak up, but I sincerely hope and pray
that more girls will speak up, for it is the only way that we will
fully heal. For too long have we remained silent and suffered from,
shame and fear.
We are letting them have the power over us. We must remember that
we are no longer girls now, but women, and they are only a handful of
people claiming to be devotees! However, verily these are no
devotees of Krishna, they are demons in the guise of devotees and we
must find our collective voice and tell our stories and heal. This
is our time, now not theirs. Their time and power is over.