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Notice from former admin of xBKChat
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Site Admin

Joined: 15 Nov 2003
Posts: 48

PostPosted: June 1, 2006    Post subject:

Dear Friends,

This is to inform you that, effective today June 1, 2006, the XBKchat website is officially and permanently closed. Regarding the closure, we draw your attention to the following :

(1) From its inception, and throughout its existence, XBKchat was always a free website.

(2) All posting on XBKchat was done anonymously.

(3) These provisions of the XBK Chat - Registration Agreement Terms, which every member agreed to:

You agree that the webmaster, administrator and moderators of this forum have the right to remove, edit, move or close any topic at any time should they see fit...

By clicking Register below you agree to be bound by these conditions."

(4) Even though not required by the XBKchat registration agreement terms, as a courtesy to members, you were given a month's notice of the closure of the site. That notice was posted on the website and also sent to you by email on April 29, 2006. Also as a courtesy to you, we kept all the forums viewable to members for the entire month of May and we advised you to copy your own posts during that time. In addition to all of the above, we now advise you of four (4) ways in which you may continue to have access to XBKchat content, even after the site is taken down:

(1) You are free to use your own posts that you copied from the site.

(2) Others may choose to share copies of their own posts with you.

(3) We understand that even after a website ceases to exist, its contents may still be available through search engines. For example, site content may be available through Google's "cached" listings after the site is closed.

(4) We have been informed of a website www.archive.org where internet sites are archived. You may be able to view archived versions of XBKchat there. Go to www.archive.org and, in the box next to "WaybackMachine", type in www.xbkchat.com/xbkforum/ or www.xbkchat.com/classicposts.html then click on "Take me back".

Methods (3) and (4) above can be made public, so that those who were not XBKchat members (and therefore did not receive this email) may be informed as to how they can have access to XBKchat content. Website addresses or URLs for search engine and archive.org webpages which carry XBKchat content can also be provided. What can be provided is not the content itself but the website addresses for webpages where XBKchat content is displayed.

Regarding posts other than your own, we see no reason why, in principle, you cannot refer to them, cite them and quote them. However, we expect that, if and when you do so, it will not be done in an extensive or indiscriminate fashion, and you will give proper attribution - both as regards the anonymous writer and the site where the post first appeared. Here is an example of what you could say: On the independent but defunct website XBKchat, the poster (user name or 'handle' of poster) wrote the following: You would then use either quotation marks, bold text or place the text quoted in a "quote box". The idea is to clearly denote that the words being cited are not yours, and to indicate the source of the text being quoted. You could also give the date that the post was made. Let integrity, ethics, good taste, sensitivity and your conscience be your guide.

The persons who wrote anonymously on XBKchat did not envisage, nor was it their intention, that their writings would be transferred en bloc and displayed elsewhere. We have neither their consent nor direction to do so, and we will not exceed our authority. Therefore, we cannot in good conscience agree to that. You were given an entire month to make copies of your own posts. Feel free as regards your own posts. Be more careful with the writings of others.

While we are aware that other XBK related sites have sprung up, and we wish them well, we repeat what we wrote earlier:

(1) XBKchat is in no way connected with any other site.

(2) XBKchat was not involved in the creation of any other site.

(3) XBKchat has no designated successor site.

(4) Obviously, XBKchat cannot be responsible for the contents of any other site.

(5) XBKchat will not be getting involved in any other site and is now permanently out of the XBK area.

We feel that, all things considered, we have done all that we can reasonably be expected to do so and more.

We now venture an opinion. Some XBKs feel that once one has been influenced by the BKs one is forever in bondage. However, you may have noticed that many who became members of XBKchat made a few posts and then disappeared. While, in a few cases, that cessation may be due to a loss of interest - or a resurgence of inhibition or fear - in other instances it may be that they said what they had to say, took what they had to take and moved on.

The opportunity to express views and to interact with others helps people. We know that everyone goes at his or her own pace and the process cannot be rushed. Eventually though, it is possible - and desirable - to go beyond the BK and XBK experience, to be free of it. Just as there was life before the BKs or pre-BK life, just as there was BK life, just as there is life after the BKs (post BK or XBK life) there can be post XBK or XXBK life. There can be life after having been an XBK. A problematic alternative would be to become a "professional XBK" - stuck.

For those who feel that they have been hurt in some way by their Raj Yoga experience, the power of forgiveness and letting go of past hurts may, ultimately, be the keys to freedom. This approach may prove to be more liberating than a "settling of scores" or a relentless "I will get my pound of flesh" hounding of those we feel have wronged us. What is not overcome or forgiven remains with us.

Continuous engagement with this, even from a retrospective and critical standpoint, can paradoxically be a symptom or litmus test of attachment to the BK past, lifestyle and worldview - not necessarily agreement with those things, but attachment to them. They are still in one's system' so to speak. Ironically, such incessant engagement can keep one in the BK net. These negatives are, to some extent, offset by the friendships, mutual support and validation that the online ex-BK community provides. We are humbled and gratified to think that we may have had something to do with the formation and fostering of the community. While we see this as a major achievement of the site, we are also aware that there is sometimes a fine line between friendship and co-dependency. Friendships we should keep, crutches' we should eventually discard.

And the Brahma Kumaris? To their credit, it must be said that - to the best of our knowledge - throughout the existence of XBKchat, they never sought to interfere with, impede or dictate our operations. We never received any complaint, critical or reprimanding communications from them. Not once. This may not be unrelated to the fact that we kept the site clean and tried our best to manage it in a mature, fair and responsible manner.

Our mission statement clearly stated that XBKchat is not an anti-Brahma Kumari website. Even though the site enabled members to express critical opinions of the BKs and their beliefs, the site itself was neither activist nor hostile to the BK institution. It was - as our byline stated - a "meeting place" and a forum for discussion. Serious issues were discussed here, to be sure, but the posts were not all heavy and ponderous. There was the lighter side, and a significant element of humour. We were pleased to read what one of our members wrote. He opined that XBKchat "is in many respects a fun site." (Post by "hanuman", December 7, 2004, in the "XBK discussions" forum, under the topic "What has XBKchat done for you?").

We never had any personal animosity for the Brahma Kumaris. Indeed, we did benefit in some ways from our now distant encounters with the BKs. Things are not always black and white. There are shades of grey. Our disappointment is that the BKs did not choose to actively participate in the discussions. However, that is their prerogative and we respect it. They sincerely believe that their teacher is God and that the teachings are the truth. We wish the BKs well, even as we say this: - fear, dread, cannot be from God. God is unconditional love and joy.

We have posted the "Notice" portion of this email on XBKchat today. Even though we have sent this email to all our members, we consider the "Message" or "Opinion" aspect of it to be somewhat personal in nature. We do not intend or desire to have that part of this email made public. In fact, we would prefer if that is not done. However, if any of you really feel the need to quote from our email, do not be troubled in thinking that we may disapprove or be offended by that. You can quote from this - in part or at length.

Private messaging has been disabled and, as part of the closing procedure, our email will now be disabled. Please do not email us, as your message will not be received. The members list is going to be cleared. It has been a pleasure to serve you, and it has given us considerable satisfaction. We trust that your spiritual generosity will overlook or excuse our imperfections. You are all fine people. Once again, warm and best wishes for the future.

Life is good.
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