USA: Hare Krishnas declare bankruptcy
Receives 400 million dollars in fines
New York, USA
February 14, 2002
New York - The Hare Krishna cult has been ordered to pay 400 million dollars by a Texas court for sexual and emotional abuse of its boarding school students. Now they are facing bankruptcy, a spokesman said on February 6.
The spokesman for the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKOM), Anuttama Dasa, stated to the media, "We do not believe that the innocent members and the association should be held accountable for the deviant conduct of individuals 20 or 30 years ago."
The group hopes to meet the Texas trial expenses by establishing a fund for recompensation of children; there are 94 complainants who were abused in the cult's boarding school in the nineteen seventies and eighties.
Windle Turley, the attorney from Dallas who pressed the case mentioned that the abuse began in Dallas in 1972, but was also conducted in the other six Hare Krishna schools in America and the two in India. In the 1970s there were about a dozen schools in North America which were subsequently all closed.
At about 12 gatherings this month the steps necessary to introduce bankruptcy were taken in California, Texas, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Washington. According to an ISKON attorney, this is an attempt to thwart a legal procedure by which "an entire religion is threatened with extermination."
In one case in the 1980s, a guru named Swami Bhaktipada was accused of ordering the murders of two members. In a plea bargain in 1996, he pleaded guilty to racketeering.
German Scientology News