Fallen Leaders Gallery 12

Fallen Leaders Gallery 12

12. HARE KRISHNA CHILD ABUSERS (Hindu)

Many children at gurukulas, Hare Krishna boarding schools (right), suffered from abuse by teachers and spiritual leaders.

Offense: Scores of Hare Krishna teachers and leaders were accused of physically, emotionally, and sexually abusing hundreds of children in the movement's boarding schools in the 1970s and '80s. Movement leaders were accused of knowingly ignoring, or even condoning, the abuse.

Consequence, Punishment: The movement's U.S. boarding schools were closed. Some accused abusers were banned from leadership or teaching positions in the organization, and a small number ended up in jail.

Effect on Community: The movement lost many of its members in the 1980s and '90s. Many victims suffer from ongoing emotional scars, and some have committed suicide or otherwise struggled to live normal adult lives. When allegations surfaced in the 1990s, the movement published an investigative report detailing the abuse and worked to help victims financially and emotionally. Victims have complained that the movement did not go far enough. A lawsuit resulted in the movement's filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and agreeing to a $9.5 million settlement.


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