Thursday, May 14, 2015

So after enter into Hare Krishna movement...

"So after enter into Hare Krishna movement, one understands that 'He's my false father.' So if he gives up the relationship, that means he's successful." - Prabhupada (Founder of Iskcon)

The Hare Krishnas / Iskcon have been on our radar since the inception of our organization. We've received numerous complaints about them in the past, not to mention, allegations of abuse of all kinds by this organization (rape, sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional terror, etc.) are widespread on the internet, available for anyone to find via simple Google searches.

Then this new allegation came in from the parents of a student at University of Florida, accusing the Krishna House of brainwashing, manipulating, and exploiting their son, and after hearing their story and reviewing their evidence we immediately decided to conduct a fact-finding on this very serious matter.

Initially we had posted across our social media / blog about what had transpired with their son and the ISKCON group (in an effort to educate and generate public awareness), but soon after posting everything we were asked by the group to take it all down. We agreed only if it would open up the channel of communication between our organizations, which it did, but only for a short amount of time as you will see.

Carl Woodham, the Chaplain of the Krishna House, invited Tibor Stern, the president of F.A.C.T. to meet with him in Gainesville at his office to discuss the allegation, with Mr. Stern willing to drive from South Florida all the way there at his own expense. Unfortunately Carl canceled the appointment (without good reason mentioning something about his Board of Directors' disapproval), but then said he could speak over the phone about it. (Please note that Carl Woodham is listed on the UF website as the Secretary of the Executive Board for the UF Campus Multi-Faith Cooperative.)

Mr. Stern called him and started discussing the issue with him very peacefully and intelligently, without any argumentative tone whatsoever, asking important questions like:

1) Why are the youngsters who are entering into his Krishna House / ISKCON turning their backs on their families, friends, and society? Carl did not have any answer for this.

2) When Mr. Stern started asking about the Krishna House recruitment practices, especially regarding Carl's statement "…we are finally having some success reaching young Westerners wholesale" (see attachment), Carl couldn't handle the conversation any longer and abruptly hung up the phone on Mr. Stern.

All future attempts to contact Carl have gone unanswered. He appears to be trying to evade any more uncomfortable conversations. Please know that once we conclude our thorough fact-finding work we will address all of our questions and concerns to the President of UF, the UF Board of Trustees, the Florida Secretary of Education and the Chairman of the Florida Department of Education.

More coming tomorrow. Stay tuned...


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