A large segment of ISKCON's one-million-strong devotee base has increasingly turned to family life, reflecting the speedy reorganisation within the sect that runs 300 temples in 71 countries. Today, temple-based members number just a little over 10,000 and all ashram-based schools have radically altered their curriculum in an attempt to close one of the ugliest chapters in the commune's history: a spate of child abuse cases.
Says Dasa: "We're confident the new relaxed focus will help increase awareness among followers and help us forget the past. After all, innocent people shouldn't be punished for the deeds of individual deviants acting in total violation of our principles and teachings." The GBC meeting next week at ISKCON's global HQ in Mayapur, West Bengal, will discuss among other issues the group's new-found focus.