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March 13, 2000   VNN5674   Related VNN StoriesComment on this storyAbout the AuthorOther Stories by this Author

$20 Million Settlement 4 Kuli's


BY RAGHUNATHA ANUDASA

USA, Mar 13 (VNN) — We can resolve the injustice of the past, the present as well as the future, fairly compensate the kulis and avoid this law suit if we are willing to put our heads together for alternatives such as those mentioned below in my correspondence with Gupta.

Here's a $20 million settlement that we can have in place by next month with a minimal amount of effort from everyone, but it has to be from everyone.


“Here's a $20 million settlement that we can have in place by next month...”




Raghu
Anudasa@aol.com

.@oxfordlaw.com

Well, Guupta,

You have become my emergency connection to Niscintya on this fund raiser program. Any idea how I can contact with him again.

Here's an over view of the proposal.

250 abusers x's $200 = $45,000 per month or $480,000 per year.

Granted to: Abusers victims in cash. 100% spent on victims. Non will be spent on lawyers, administration, etc.

200 GBC and Sanyasis x $100 a month = $20,000 a month or $240,000 per year.

Granted to: Creating justice dept. & victims grants. (More on Justice Dept. below)

Some sanyasis may feel they were not responsible for abuses and so should not have to support some "karmi's" (guru-kulis) life style of bad habits. As sanyasis and especially as GBC, they should recognize the personal responsibility they have for the protection and justice of our society, children, women and the abused. Their money will therefore be spent on running the justice dept. As heads of society, it's their duty to maintain such institutions. If they do not have the money, they should find a sponsor to cover this important obligation.

Incentive: Not having to deal with the humiliation and expense of being personally dragged thru court.

TEMPLES: 278 Centers

Small temples $20 a month
x 200 = 4,000 a month, $48,000 a yr.

Medium, $50,
x 50= $2,500 a mth, $30,000 a yr.

Large $500
x 20 = $10,000 a mth, $120,000 a yr.

communities $1,500
x 5 = $7,500 a mth, $90,000 a yr.

Maha Large $3,500
x 3 = 17,500 a mth, $126,000 a yr

Total, $414,000 per year.

Temple Benefits 1
Granted to: Temples reimbursed by justice dept. for expenses spent on guru-kulis like room & board. All money donated by temples will be spent on temples.

Incentive: No law suit, very affordable, financial rewards for temples hosting guru-kulis.

Temple Benefits 2
Temples provide services and benefits double that paid in cash. Temples will offer cash, lets say $50 a month. They can provide double this or $100 a month in service benefits to guru-kulis such as room & board, etc. More on services listed below.

Total, $820,000 per year
(We may have this $ sponsored so when temples do offer this service, they are also reimbursed by justice dept. in either cash or books etc. More below)

500 devotee x $25 = $12,500 a month or $150,000 per year

(2 devotee sponsors per temple)

Incentive: show sorrow over abuse and save movement from court case for little $ per month. They can sponsor kuli directly or via a temple-which ever they prefer.

(If a 35 year old, international organization can't find 500 people or 2 per temple, willing to give $25 a month to keep it from getting closed down by a law suit, then maybe these temples are not as valuable to the devotees as ISCKON thought.)

TOTALS
$480,000 Abusers: Spent on 355 guru-kulis each receiving $1,350 per year $240,000 GBCs: Spent on office, administration & justice dept etc. (more below)

$414,000 Temple Benefits 1: Spent on temple benefits for 295 kulis at $1,400 each

$828,000 Temple Benefits 2: Non cash benefits for 515 kulis at $1,600 per each $150,000 Devotees: Sponsor additional 100 kulis at $1,350 per year

= GRAND TOTAL

$2,157,000 million per year.

$20 million in 10 years.

455 Total Guru-kulis covered with $1,350 cash or 230 kulis receiving $2700 in cash per year depending upon severity of their case.

295 Kulis receiving $1,400 worth in temple benefits backed by cash reimbursement by justice department
or 145 kulis with $2,800 depending upon severity of case..

515 kulis receiving temple benefits backed by books to temples for $1,600 per kuli
or 260 kulis at $3,200 depending upon case

$4,000 Total per Kuli
I see the average grant per kuli at about $4,000 per year. They can get $1,700 in cash or $1,000 in cash and $3,000 in ISKCON benefits. A better system maybe allowing guru-kulis to swap their benefits with another kuli who would otherwise prefer cash. a kuli living in New Dwarka would trade $1,000 in cash for $3,000 worth of free rent. Anyway, this is some idea to the kinds of dynamics that can evolve.

Benefits would include room and board, a tab at ISKCON restaurants and stores or their own property in communities like Alachua, Fl, N.Carolina, Canada and India. This $40,000 comes to about $10,000 in cash and another $30,000 in benefits over 10 years, per guru-kuli.

Temple Benefits 1:
Small and 3rd world country temples will love this arrangement. They will be directly reimbursed in cash by justice dept. every time a kuli uses their fascilities. This keeps the money within the movement while still providing a great deal of compensation to kulis.

Temple Benefits 2:
Then there is the benefits each temple will offer over and above cash contributions. If a temple chips in $50 cash, they would also offer $100 in benefits. The temple would receive $100 worth of books for providing this $100 worth of benefits or given loans for purchasing more properties or similar benefit. In short, new properties are bought and books distributed in place of BBT money paid in court and settlement cost. Larger temples are likely to have more traffic of visiting guru-kulis over smaller temples that have less opportunity to provide a direct service benefit.

The temples $414,000 a year in cash contributions will be in addition to the $830,000 worth of benefits for a total of $1,244,000.00 worth of contributions from the temples with no financial drain or burden on the temples.

Examples

Benefits 1:
A cottage at the Hawaii temple would cost $600 a month, plus $200 per person for prasadam. They have a restaurant with great prasadam. Two visiting guru-kulis sharing a cabin-if they wanted, would provide the temple with $1,000 from justice dept.

This would be primarily handled threw the kulis Life Membership Youth Cards. The money would be paid directly to the temples by the ministry of justice within 30 days. Two parties of kulis visiting provides the temple with $2,000. Another wards, enough $ to make it financially attractive to the temple to host the kulis.

The Honolulu temples expense for the entire month of Jan. 2000 only came to $7,600. An additional $2,000 would be a great help. This will prove as true for most small temples and preaching centers around the world.

The guru-kulis get a free months stay in Hawaii which would otherwise cost $1,000 to $5,000 if staying at a hotel or renting, etc. They still have enough credit left over for a week in LA, 3 days in NY and gifts from the temple stores in all 3 locations. Kulis travel a great deal or will be able to afford to after they get these grants.

Benefits 2:
This would be used for larger benefits such as long term stays or buying a piece of land/house on ISKCON properties.

A guru-kuli may use their $30,000 Benefits 1 and 2 packages as payment for a property in Alachua or N. Caroline, Canada or Vrindavan India. It's easier to get these communities to ante up 4 parcels of land and a house then $120,000 in cash.

ISKCON can buy additional properties off the temple grounds in places like Philadelphia or Chicago for kulis to stay in while visiting. It will be a more comfortable arrangement for the temples and kulis. These additional properties would be paid for by the justice dept. These newly bought properties would be given to the temple once the financial obligations of the justice dept. to the kulis have been met-3 to 6 years. This becomes the incentive for temples to match their benefits worth double their cash contributions to the justice dept.-the justice dept. will buy them properties.

Honolulu for example wants to build a new temple for the deities on their property. The ISKCON justice dept. would chip in for this on the condition the temple matches those funds with double the value in room and board benefits for guru-kulis. These expanded room and board benefits would also be a good up-grade to ISKCON's life membership program that has seen dwindling facilities over the years.

In LA, ISCKON can buy the 20 unit apt. building next door for $800,000 or about 5% the amount the temple would be left to pay in a court case. Any court case would be covered by the LA temple. The difference of course is the money is now used to expand the community vs. draining it. It's also more affordable. $100,000 down and 5,000 a month.

The apartment buildings 1 bedroom presently rents for about $600, the two bedroom for $800 a month. A guru-kuli can get 6 months free room and prasadam at the restaurant and pay the other 6 months. Or they stay for the year for half-price-off everything. Or they can apply the entire $30,000 towards free room and board over 4 years. This would be a big help for many guru-kulis who would like to go to school, just starting a family or career etc.

The temple has another apartment building at the end of those 4 years. Guru-kulis may only use 10 of those apts. allowing the temple to collect rents on the other 10 to cover the mortgage. It's certainly easier to find congregational members or devotees to make such an investment vs finding devotees willing to give money to pay off a law suit.

We have temples in most major cities and could cover a number of kulis in this fashion. ISKCON may decide to buy a house in a town a kuli wants to live in but has no temple. After the kuli leaves, ISCKON has another preaching center.

If some of the Patel life members would be willing to extend their hotel rooms to guru-kulis with up to one weeks stays in their motels--big help. Other life members maybe willing to offer their services as doctors and accountants, counselors etc.

In short, there are more resources the movement can tap by way of services then it has in cash. I believe the kulis and the temples can both get a far better deal taking this route then law suites and cash settlement.

We may raise even more if we can generate enough enthusiasm. For example, getting 1000 devotees instead of 500. Or we may get $35 vs. $25 from each devotee, $175 vs. $100 from each GBC & sanyasi, $35 from each small temple vs. only $20 and $275 vs $200 from each abuser. Combined we are looking at over a quarter million dollars more a year. This would raise the tally to $2.5 million.

Given the nature of business and devotees, we are likely to only get about a 3rd of this $2.5 million or $833,333, per year or 8 million in 10 years. This still covers 240 guru-kulis with $3,500 a year or $35,000 each over 10 years.

This is more then what they are likely to see from a court settlement. ISKCON simply does not have the money or assets. Is there anyone who can show me where the money is? From what I can gather, the temples that actually belong to the legal organization of ISKCON are all mortgaged. The money making programs are more a personal project that can be liquidated or hidden at will then actual ISKCON assets.

This provides an outline to start a dialogue that may help find a settlement for this court case and just as importantly, a system of justice for all devotees.

More later.

Raghu




Re: contact info
Date: 02/22/2000 1:24:07 PM Hawaiian Standard Time
From: Anudasa
To: .@oxfordlaw.com, Anudasa

In a message dated 02/22/2000 8:50:02 AM Hawaiian Standard Time, lawyer@oxfordlaw.com writes:

<<
Hare Krishna Raghu:

How did you come up with this funding plan ? Who "offered" the 35% ? The people signing up on the Turley lawsuit are probably being told that will get a lot more $$ than this plan. The rumor is up to 80 are already signed up so far and probably wouldn't listen anyway. I think they are still recruiting more for the suit. Your idea to keep it as a "friendly fire" situation sounds good. I also like your idea that everyone has involvement because it shows that healing and relationship -- not just money -- is the motivation and concern.

With regards,

********
>>

Jai Gupta,

Thank you again for all your encouragement. As for this idea, I've been working on it for about 15 years. That's when I first started thinking of the need and the means possible to create a true system of justice for our movement. It is the natural out growth of my childhood hardships that where ignored at the time and then poorly responded to after the fact.

This is not so much a fund raising idea as it is a system of justice I came up with for victims. Its a template that can be used anywhere no matter the temple and for everyone no matter their post in ISKCON. In short, the offender has a debt and should the temple house him during the abuse or after, the temple then becomes responsible too.

This creates a significant disincentive to harbor criminals and abusers unless they can afford to remedy the injustices to their victims. Welcome to a true system of justice for all.

It also parcels out the responsibility somewhat more fairly to all those involved in proportion and degree of their responsibility. It includes the temple and authorities, to GBC and the victim themselves.

The short comings I have seen with ISKCON is the all or nothing policy. You either throw a good man out for each and every infractor or hide him away in your temple for the value of his service.

We have the Child Protection Office that has showed the limitations of this policy in their own efforts. There was nothing more for them to do. They had taken every measure within their means to "punish" the offenders they had judged. They did extensive research corroborating with every available victim concerning every named incident and then put the abuser on trial to hear and try and defend themselves against the accusations. When found guilty, all they could do was say the person could not come to the temple. This system I propose will give them an entirely new and effective tool. The CPO is a good place for us to start.

This financial penalty policy provides a rolling middle ground depending upon both the crime and just compensation for the victim. It gives the justice dept. in our movement some teeth as well as a lot of latitude and far more options for both offender and victim.

It provides a truly independent, self supporting department that can serve as an outside judge to the temple and zonal authorities dependent upon the offenders services. Its the beginnings to a true judicial system within our movement and provides one of the essential tools necessary for the movement's progression into a genuine self disciplining and perpetuating society.

It also provides a true burden to the offender as well as the temple who wishes to keep them. The temple must weigh against the penalty of keeping them. Is the offender worth the criminal liabilities?

The impending guru-kula court case simply provides the urgency that I have always waited for and feel is necessary to establish our justice system in its full authority.

As for those joining the court case, its about both the money as well as seeing justice done. After 2 years, there's still only 80 and most of whom did so after a long wait and many solicitations. They would finally decide to join the law suit after reaching a point of disgust with the movement rather then seeing some promise of $. There is a strong sense for justice more then money. Inspite of the seeming casualness of kuli's, they are still quite principled in many ways.

As far as justice goes: this program not only provides a far broader scope of justice for them, but also for all others to have suffered or yet to come. It pulls that money from the abusers themselves as well as the leaders and temples while not really penalizing the new and "innocent devotee" that were never party to any of these abuses.

And the money, well, this system provides more money and benefits and much sooner then the court case could ever hope to secure for them.

The simple truth is that most of the temples are mortgaged and most any income is more of the personal efforts and possession of the individual devotees rather then assets that can be taken from the movement.

They will be hard pressed to get more then a million or so a year out of the movement and to do so will close the movement down in many places and all monetary rewards along with it. This system I propose will in fact bring in resources from a far greater pool of devotees and life members and temples then could ever be achieved thru force.

We can realistically raise $1 million a year comfortably and with enough incentive, even $2 million, in a way that will in fact help the movement expand and grow. The money will be recirculated back to the temples that provide for guru-kuli's.

Most of all, the court case is already won in that the movement is ready to settle. The kulis would simple be beating a dead horse to sue. This system provides the movement a simple and realistic means on how to settle. This is primarily the only thing missing from the movements side, not the will to settle, but the means.

As for the 35% commission, this was a generally approved figure for anyone that wanted to collect for ISKCON Youth Programs. I believe they had discussed it in a couple meetings years ago. It has again been reaffirmed by Dira Govinda in our contract that we are now trying to finalize with you and Amarendra.

We'll talk more on the phone.

Raghu.




In a message dated 02/22/2000 8:50:51 AM Hawaiian Standard Time, Anudasa writes:

<< Anudasa
To: ..@oxfordlaw.com, Anudasa
To: jprem@.com
To: jeanprem@.com (jean prem)
To: mmaaddyy@.com (johannes brinkmann)
To: jalu108@hotmail.com (Jalandhar Bidye)
To: misterjohnny@hotmail.com (John Giuffre)
To: Godspeace@e3mil.com (Stephanie)
To: janavi@earthlink.net (Janavi Held), NoriMuster
To: nori@...com (Nandini)

Haribol Gupta,

Woops, sent the last one before finishing the most important part.

They have offered me 35%. Given that only $700,000 is in cash, it would only be worth $245,000 for my fund raising efforts and strategies. Given that this is the Hare Krsna's, they will of course reduce this by about 95% or $12,000 a year. I could dedicate most of time to the justice dept. on this little budge, but it would not give me any spending money to set a far reaching system of justice up. The movement will only give this 5% if I could get them to agree to the original 35%. You have to calculate like this when working with devotees.

The real purpose of the commission from my fund raising-To establish a uniformed, international justice dept. for the movement.

So the point of the whole commission thing is to have enough $ to create a justice dept. for the movement.

I know I will be criticized for asking for 35% though no other organization representing the kids has been able to function on 35% of their gross proceeds. This is especially ironic given that all of these other organizations and people combined will have collected less then my program. Yet, if I had these kinds of resources, I would be able to do substantially more, because my follow up ideas are even more far reaching then the fund raising.

The first goal is that my commission structure will discipline the expense accounts for all these other organizations within the confines of this 35%. I want to use my 35% to cover all organizations within the movement representing or related to justice or sponsorship of kulis.

Depending upon the year, guru-kuli managing organizations were taking between 60% to 90% of all the monies set aside for the kulis. I'm only asking for 35% for doing a lot more. I hope to change this open ended commission policy by using me as the scapegoat. Everyone should cry fowl when they find out I'm asking for 35%. This will give me the forum to demand that all organizations live off of this 35% principle.

I can also probably raise more then the attornyes will thru the law suite, and that doesn't even account for their 45% commission (plus expenses) which will not be recirculated back to the guru-kulis and movement. Even at 35%, I'm the best deal in town whether in or out of the movememnt.

Now as for the make up of this organization of justice, here's who I had in mind.

I thought of you first for the simple reason that everyone will know you have not been bought out by the GBC having personally sued the movement a number of times and despised by a number of leaders.

Next, Amarendra, for he knows and works with the GBC allowing a working relationship with the movement.

We must have Dira Govinda. He has created momentum, structure and contacts throughout the world with his child protection agency. He offers a ready to go infrastructure.

Asesa, for he has a sense of the past history of ISKCON's internal cases having spent a number of years associated with the movements present justice program. Today's ISCKON justice dept. may seem like a joke to many but it does provide some degree of documentation of cases and people that would otherwise take time and resources to duplicate.

There should then be an equal number of guru-kulis and women as men also represented on this board. I had in mind Madhusudhani Radha. She is always an event. Sudharma, something like a no bull, war veteran and accountable to many women in the movement as a director of the women's ministry. Visaka for she is as fair and understanding as she is traditional, Krsna conscious and trusted by the devotee women.

From the guru-kuli side, Govinda Mayi, Yudhistir (RavendraSvarups son), Sanatana and Adam. All four of them are high powered professionals in the world with class and experience and a knack for what's right. They seem universally trusted by the guru-kuli's.

This would be the initial board before we go on to establish local boards for every GBC "zone." People can petition their own "court" board and if not satisfactory to the parties, maybe appealed to a higher "court" if you will.

I believe this finalizes a system with 3 branches of government. I see the guru's as the executive branch for they have executive privilages with their disciples and who often veto GBC rulings. The GBC is the legislative body that passes laws, often only followed to the degree it will be instituted by the gurus. And now, this would serve as a judicial body entirely separate and independant of the other two.

This is the purpose for my 35% commission. This is why I am trying so hard to have you and Niscintya and Amarendra make a solid deal with the movement. I don't want this justice dept. underfunded. Basically, I'm getting $ so I can turn around and give it to you guys. If I can go to Amarendra and Dira govinda and Yudhi and Sanatana and say, ok, I have $150,000 for doing this, I will carry so much more credibility to make things happen quickly and effectively.

Best of all, I think this is very representative of the kinds of reforms and justice that the guru-kulis want to see from the movement--primarily for the women and children. Its not an outside agenda of what guru-kulis want, but the ultimate legacy of what they want from the movement-a place where abuse is a true liability to all involved parties, abusers are penalized, victims are compensated and the most helpless can find justice, if not protection. This seems a fitting use of the money collected in their name.

Please contact Niscintya and Amarendra about this ASAP. The very best time to have put this together is the GBC meetings in Mayapur this year. We can still catch everyone while they are in India. Let's get this ball rolling if the 3 of you can get on this now.

The GBC is of course coming up with their own battle plan for dealing with the court case. If we can get ours out early enough, we may able to tap the man power and resouces they are surely putting aside for this.

This is going to put you smack center of all of these events. I hope you are ready to handle the heat.

Please let me know what the status is. Please share this letter with Amarendra and Niscintya. Look forward to hearing from you on these ideas.

There are a number of things as well, but this offers the general idea.

You ready to be a presiding judge of ISKCONS first true court of justice.

Look foward to hearing from you.

Raghu

Epilogue

I have decided to move ahead without this 35% finalized because I'm beginning to feel more confident that the justice dept idea will be put into effect by kulis if not the devotees once the ball gets rolling with this. We will have to see what krsna has in mind.

Haribol Dira Govinda,

I have been waiting for Amarendra to come thru for me on this "contract." The time lapse of weeks has finally allowed me to clarify the issue.

I'm looking for the time, mandate and resources necessary to offer my services I feel will help with the movement's troubles. I think most all its troubles could be most broadly described as justice or a lack there of. I feel this is the missing ingredient from the movement meeting its immediate and extraordinary potentials.

In short, I would like to have the resources to accomplish a full scale, international system of justice for the movement. The commission would allow me by way of time and resources to do just that.

Yet, I want to do this because I hold out hope for the devotees and the movement that its problems can be met and done so more easily then we may realize. I would at least like the opportunity to try. Yet, the idea that I would have to fight for the agreed upon share of the results of my own efforts simply exhaust me.

I've asked to partner with most every GBC, guru, sanyasi and senior devotees on any number of projects from the varna-asrama economics program I'm working on (preaching) or having more programs here in Hawaii (preaching) or starting a justice program for the movement (protecting the preaching). Most have been uninterested while others have offered a few supporting words from a distance. It's been disheartening at times, but fine. They don't have the time or inclination to work with me. But, the least they can do by way of this fund-raising & justice dept. is honor the work I do. If they can't even do this, I shouldn't be here trying to work with them.

How they respond is an important litmus test to me to their seriousness to resolve our movements past and present injustice. If they won't honor this simple agreement, the very thing that will help meet their pressing challenges, why would I want to be involved with them.

I am returning your agreement with some minor changes that have been highlighted with a *star. I send this in the mood of a gentlemen's agreement between friends. This is more to clarify vague assumptions and expectations rather then a negotiation for some advantage.

I hope you find this fair and reasonable. I can start tomorrow. Just get back to me and let me know what you think..

Raghu

Epilogue:
I have not waited for Dira's response. I'm not waiting any longer because I feel this project is too important. I may loose a fortune to a work and project I've spent a live time developing, but its too important for victims of exploitation, my kuli friends who have waited long enough for justice and the movements impending crisis with the law suit. I leave it to Krsna's hands and those of my friends and devotees for I have now done all I can do up to this point. If they feel I can be of more service and would like to provide me with the resources to do it-the purpose of the commission-then I'm available.


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