Seeking The Essence

Clearing Life's Webs and Weeds….

An Open Letter To Janmastami, Hrishikesha and the Editors of Vaishnava Websites:

The Sampradaya Sun recently published two articles: “Reply to Bhaktipada or Bhaktifraud?” from Hrisikesha prabhu and “A Reply to Hrishikesha dasa”from Janmastami prabhu. In each of these articles my name was given as an example of a minor who was sexually abused by Kirtanananda prabhu in the mid 1980’s.  I want to point out that this use of my name was done without my knowledge or consent.   


 

 

 An Open Letter to Janmastami, Hrisikesha and the Editors of Vaishnava Web Sites:
 
The Sampradaya Sun recently published two articles: “Reply to Bhaktipada or Bhaktifraud?” from Hrisikesha prabhu and “A Reply to Hrishikesha dasa”from Janmastami prabhu. In each of these articles my name was given as an example of a minor who was sexually abused by Kirtanananda prabhu in the mid 1980’s.  I want to point out that this use of my name was done without my knowledge or consent.   
 

Ever since I was called to testify at a high profile case connected with Kirtanananda I’ve been forced to accept that this information will never really be “private.”  As a result, I have been stigmatized by this isolated period in my life. This humiliation has lasted much longer and affected me more deeply than the actual experience.  

Nearly twenty years ago, neither of the authors were there to help me when I was forced to leave New Vrindaban in fear of retribution from some of Kirtanananda’s staunchest supporters.  Now, two decades later, in an attempt to validate their versions of the “truth,” they use my name for their own purposes (however just and righteous they may think they are). I want it known that these efforts perpetuate this unwanted stigmatization.  I am formally (and humbly) requesting people to stop using my name without my permission.  

Because I do not want these events to be the defining moments of my life I am compelled to speak up in an effort to make people more aware of the unintended consequences of these actions. Not only does this continue to stigmatize me, but it also takes away my choice of deciding when – or if – I would discuss this with my children. A simple web search using my name will provide them with ample information.

For the future, I would appreciate it if more thought and effort would be put into protecting the rights of victims, both for myself as well as others.  Show some decency and respect by shielding these names from being identified.  This is an important consideration for the authors of these articles as well as the editors of the different Vaishnava websites.   

Here is a link to an excellent website with information from the US Department of Justice regarding “The News Media’s Coverage of Crime and Victimization.” Please read it. I think you will find it helpful in this regard.

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January 14, 2007 - Posted by | Gurukula, Gurukuli, Hare Krishna, ISKCON, New Vrindaban

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