(M dasi) Absolutely, the bad publicity was not caused by the Turley lawsuit, but by the abuse of the children and the subsequent cover-ups and complicity. It is truly horrifying the amount of slander caused to Srila Prabhupada's movement by this abuse, as well as by the other criminal goings on.
[PADA: Yes, as soon as the Windle Turley case came out, many people started screaming about all the bad publicity. OK swell, and where were all these goody two shoes people when the numerous other issues were going on -- like bad gurus, banning, beating, molesting, assassinations, SWAT team busts, crimes, bad media, lawsuits etc.? Asleep at the switch?
And what was their actual plan to halt the abuse infrastructure? Ok they had none! Oh boo hoo, hundreds of children are being taken out of these places where they could be abused. In other words, people were crying that some of the children were going to be SAVED from further victimization. They did not care about -- other people, they were simply worried about "the name of the movement" which was already in the tank at that point anyway. The name of the movement could not be saved at that point, but some of these children could be -- and were -- saved.]
I can only feel the greatest admiration for those who fought against these evils. But I would like to speak a word on behalf of the 'masses'. First there were the thousands kicked or pushed out of ISKCON for trying to stand up against these agents of Kali. Then there were the 'innocent' rank and file who simply continued their personal services with great faith in Srila Prabhupada, trying to hang on to his lotus feet by remaining in his movement and 'staying out of politics' and were so absorbed they didn't ever read newspapers or watch tv news.
To be fair, for an innocent devotee who only saw the deviant on his chair, they had no way of knowing of all the deviations (not being privy to the actual conversations and statements of Prabhupada, what to speak of the famous July 9th letter, none of which was made available to the 'masses'), until the fall downs started AND continued STARTED to reveal that something was wrong with what the leaders were pushing.
Many were geographically distant from the centers of abuse, and had no idea what was going on til rumours (which were possibly 'gossip') started to seep out. Then when it became real, some devotees were placated to believe it was a problem of the past, and continued to try their best to hang on to Prabhupada's feet.
Yes, you can say, 'the cheaters and the cheated', but I surmise that is oversimplification. And yes, you can say that the more time that passes with the truth already hung out to dry in court, or the court of public opinion, the less any excuse will suffice. Choosing to be cheated.
But there is a complexity to the process of waking up, and it is Krsna who is working with each devotee personally to give them the necessary understandings in their hearts. So as these masses of devotees innocently go about their service, chanting their rounds, and trying to correct the wrongs they see in front of them at the temples they reside, there is now a slow awakening, by Krsna's will, which is gradually spreading throughout devotees everywhere.
I believe you at PADA can take great credit in that, but what I want to point out is that these devotees did not 'do nothing' for lack of caring. They care, they care a lot, so many of them. And although all perps and all who comply with them should be permanently removed from service in the 'institution', still for the 'masses' of devotees, the best ultimate solution to kick out Kali is harinam sankirtan. And the best harinam sankirtan will be when all of us 'factions' come together and increase our harinam together. That is my humble opinion.
[PADA: Well maybe. But for example the GBC camp is suing our Prabhupada devotees, so they have no interest in working together with others. A Narayana Maharaja person recently told me that Srila Prabhupada's idea that we originated in Krishna's leela is wrong, and I need to "open up to the nectar of Hari Katha" and realize -- that Srila Prabhupada is wrong?
Meanwhile there are some people who still say that saving the children from abuse is a mistake, and they are still against doing that. So its going to take some time for all these positions to soften, but they might as time passes. Anyway thanks for the encouragement, and yep, for sure more people are waking up, and that is good news. ys pd]