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Joined: 16 Jun 2004
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 1:23 pm    Post subject: child abuse in brahma kumaris

ADMINISTRATOR'S NOTE: XBKchat warmly welcomes eromain. We thank you for this very valuable and well written contribution.

To echo Isabel:

"Your courage is truly inspirational....I just feel very, very thankful for your efforts and for your having shared this"

We have edited your writings. Your posts were very long - a printout would have run to 85 pages! - and there was some overlapping or duplication. However, we believe that we have preserved the essence and integrity of your report. We have omitted most of the appendices and the listing of e-mail addresses. This is not a loss for readers, as you have offered to e-mail your full report to those who request. The outline of your report remains here, so readers will get an idea of the content and structure of the full report, and that would help them to decide whether they would want to request and read it in entirety. We trust that you will understand.

Eromain is, of course, invited to contribute to the "XBK issues...for XBKs only" forum.

XBKchat Administrator


Now here are the excerpts from eromain's report:

Child Abuse and Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University (Raja Yoga)

A personal assessment of child protection in BKWSU, documentation of proven risk, abuse disclosure and the ongoing campaign for child protection provision.

June 2004

By E Romain


Part 1

A Personal Assessment of Child Protection in Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual ‘University’ (Raja Yoga)

1 The Purpose of this Report
2 About the Author
3 Summary of Events
Disclosure - February 1999
Post Disclosure February 1999 –April 2004
4 How many Raja Yoga Centres have Child Protection Policies
5 Raja Yoga Culture for the Child
Cultural milieu
The Body
The Impossibility of Selflessness
Methods of Persuasion
Knowledge ‘instead’ of Faith
The Raja Yoga Caste System
Risks Inherent in the Child’s Experience of Raja Yoga
6 Assessment of BKWSU UK Child Protection policy
Appropriateness of BKWSU UK Child Protection Policy Document
Policy Implementation
Monitoring and Evaluation
The Credibility and Credentials of Raja Yoga’s Senior Management In Respect of Child Protection Initiatives

Part 2

Full documentation of abuse disclosure, campaign for child protection provision and current UK and India policy documents

For original abuse disclosure see Appendix F.
For campaign for child protection see Appendices A,B and C
For current UK and India policy documents see appendices D and E

A Correspondence with International Co-ordinating Office, London
B Correspondence with Regional Offices
C Mass Mailings to Raja Yoga Centres around the World
D BKWSU Child Protection Policy UK
E BKWSU Child Protection Policy India
F Disclosing letter from Child X’s brother.
G My Original Reply to Child X’s brother

1 The Purpose of this Report

This report is a personal assessment of the current level of child protection and child welfare practices in the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University (BKWSU) otherwise referred to herein as Raja Yoga.

It is intended to inform children, parents, other practising members of Raja Yoga (herein frequently referred to as BKs or Raja Yogis) as well as the international BK leadership. To the extent that is necessary it is hoped that it will warn the BK community of those areas where its’ current practice in its’ treatment of children is deficient.

Outside of the practising Raja Yoga community are other parties to whom these matters are in one way or another relevant. Firstly, parents and children who are not yet associated with Raja Yoga who are entitled to make informed decisions about such important matters.

Beyond these are local government authorities and agencies, members of parliament, social workers, police, news media, educators, and numerous special interests groups which work on behalf of society as a whole to watch over our children to ensure that they are being cared for in ways that are consistent with the agreed principles of modern democratic countries.

It is my belief that Raja Yoga has a duty to prepare its children not just for life as Raja Yogis but also for life in the wider world –and that too not necessarily as Raja Yogis. This necessitates the balancing of very different worldviews and values, namely those of Raja Yoga on the one hand and, to the extent that there is consensus, those of the societies in which Raja Yoga children are growing up.

I would like to stress that in discussing any Raja Yoga beliefs or practices I do not wish to judge them favourably or otherwise in religious terms, but to assess their effect as part of the culture in which Raja Yoga children have to grow up. Hence the supposed metaphysical truth or falsity of Raja Yoga beliefs is outside the terms of reference of this report, but the effects of such beliefs upon the minds and lives of children in terms of how they view themselves, their parents, their friends, other Raja Yogis etc is not.

2 About the Author

I was first introduced to Raja Yoga in 1975 at the London Centre in Kilburn, north-west London when I was 14 years old. I was extremely impressed with it from the very first day. I accompanied my parents on a weekly basis and practised on my own at home. And when my parents stopped attending I took two buses to make the seven mile journey through London to get to the centre.

In 1977 I moved to Trinidad and here the centre was more easily accessible. Because of my relatively advanced experience I soon began teaching. By the age of 16 I was teaching introductory courses and occasionally taking whole classes of adult practising and committed Raja Yogis. This was on top of daily attendance at the centre for my own spiritual study.

In 1979 on the advice of the BK senior teachers in London I did not take up the University place to study medicine I had been offered and instead stayed in London to continue my Raja Yoga study and training. I worked in casual jobs during the day and attended the centre every morning and every evening.

For the next ten years Raja Yoga was my life. I continued my daily practice and went to India without fail every year. I taught Raja Yoga to countless individuals in numerous countries. I recorded albums, spoke on television and radio, wrote and edited books, gave numerous lectures, represented the organisation in numerous conferences in many different fields. I helped to train many centre teachers around the world and worked on a daily basis in the international centre in London. I knew the senior teachers in a way it is no longer possible and I watched as the movement went from being no more than 3 rooms in a London flat to a world wide presence by 1989 the year I left.

Of most relevance perhaps to this report I became both a qualified primary teacher during the mid-eighties and also worked as one of the teachers looking after the growing class of Raja Yoga children. I helped Raja Yoga plan and orchestrate large scale international projects that were implemented with the UN’s blessing and nominal sponsorship in over eighty countries. An education pack, which I wrote with two other teachers who were practising Raja Yogis, was translated into over twenty languages and distributed in over thirty countries. In some countries it was sent to every single school. The school at which I worked helped in the piloting and became only the sixth school in the world to be awarded UN Peace Messenger Status. With hindsight I would say that I was one of a handful of Raja Yoga experts on Children. And given that the Organisation asked me to present its flagship program of the time to the UN in Vienna it would appear that the Raja Yoga leadership viewed me as such. And in the outside world as a published author and one of the youngest advisory teachers in UK I was perhaps the only practising Raja Yogis who had some degree of expertise in both Raja Yoga with children but also mainstream education theory and best practice.

In spite of all this the Raja Yoga leadership did not tell me of certain events in the mid-eighties which have led indirectly and nearly twenty years later to the writing of this report and the beginnings of serious considerations of such matters on the part of BKWSU Raja Yoga.

I left Raja Yoga in 1989 at the age of 28, having spent over half of my life within it. Since leaving I have remained on amicable terms with many members and ex members and with the BK leadership.

For the purposes of this report I should state that I do not any longer consider myself a Raja Yogi – I no longer follow its practices nor subscribe to its central beliefs. At the same time I do not consider myself to be ‘anti’-Raja yoga’ and have never done anything that could be considered such.

3 Summary of Events

Disclosure - February 1999

In February 1999 a young man who had become a member of the London Raja Yogis as a young child, when his mother joined in the late 1970s, wrote to many current and ex-Raja Yogis. It was several thousand words long and in it he explained his feelings about growing up in Raja Yoga and how he looked upon it all now that he had decided to sever all ties with the organisation and the accompanying culture and lifestyle. With his permission his letter is reproduced in full in Appendix F

His letter mentioned the child sexual abuse of his sister some twenty years earlier by Raja Yogis in India. From hereon she is designated as Child X.

I met with both him and his sister and among the many issues we discussed they told me in some detail about the incidents of sexual abuse. As a child under 10 years whilst staying with her mother in a Raja Yoga Centre she suffered a serious sexual assault by an adult Raja Yogi living and working at that centre. When she went on to Madhuban Mount Abu, the world-wide home of Raja Yoga she suffered another sexual assault by a different and unconnected assailant. Not one assault, but two in the space of as many weeks –by perpetrators living and working in Raja Yoga’s two most important centres in India.

I immediately wrote to the senior Raja Yogis in London and the correspondence regarding these events and their fallout has continued to this day and is reproduced in Appendix A.

Post Disclosure February 1999 –April 2004

The letter I had received Child X’s brother referred to many disturbing aspects of his Raja Yoga childhood. The components of his former lifestyle to which he had referred in his letter I knew from personal experience to be damaging, and I had no hesitation either as a former child Raja Yogi or a professional teacher in concluding that his experiences amounted to abuse.

But his abuse, compared say to sexual abuse, was systemic rather than consisting of discrete traumatic events. Much of it could be characterised by them as just an unintended by-product of over zealousness. His sister’s sexual abuse however was black and white and could less easily be explained away. And what seemed equally black and white was that the events had, as both sister and brother now claimed, simply been covered up. As one of the most experienced professional teachers in the Raja Yoga hierarchy both in London and indeed the world at the time of these assaults I could have told the seniors how such events should be handled. It was my educated guess now, that if they had not consulted me they had consulted no one.

On 24th February I wrote to Dadi Janki, (the World-wide Co-Administrative Head of BKWSU and Founder of the Janki Foundation) and to Sr. BK Jayanti, Director of the London Raja Yoga Centre. These were key people whose responsibility it was to ensure the well being of all Raja Yogis travelling from London. Dadi Janki was based in London and in charge of all international centres now and at the time of the assaults. Sr. Jayanti as the Director of the centre from which Child X was travelling would or should have been informed during the immediate aftermath. Both should have ascertained how it was allowed to happen and should know what the follow up was. They are both close colleagues of Dadi Prakashmani, (World-wide Administrative Head of BKWSU and head of Mt Abu) and Dadi Kulzar (head of all centres in Delhi). One assault occurred in Dadi Prakashmani’s jurisdiction while the other occurred in Dadi Kulzar’s. My letters and their responses are reproduced in Appendix A.

Following my letter of 24th February 1999 I wrote again on 10th April, 30th April and 9th June 1999. Each time I received what I considered to be mere sentiments and vague platitudes rather than solid information. On 25th June 1999 they indicated they were planning to formalise some procedures for protection and care of children. This small step took six months since Child X’s brother had broken the near twenty year silence around these events.

In the interim those in charge of the Institution made no apology nor indicated any acceptance of responsibility for what happened, nor did they feel the need to explain the decades of inactivity. They offered neither external counselling nor any compensation. They called in the help of no outside agencies who might help them manage the pain they had undoubtedly caused nor rectify what were clearly inadequate child protection policies. They did not cease, or even pause in bringing children to the same centres where the abuse had taken place nor did they brief parents or teachers around the world. The many practising Raja Yogis who had not heard about the initial disclosing letter knew nothing and the many who had –for he had sent out over fifty copies, did nothing.

I wrote to them again on 9th August 2000 reminding them of their promise to keep me informed. I heard nothing and so wrote again on 19th September 2000. I followed this up with a telephone call something I was loath to do, as it provided no record. On 28th October 2000 I was delighted to see the BKWSU logo on a letter to me. I thought that it might be their child protection policy. It was very late but at least they were finally getting on with it. The letter contained nothing of substance.

I waited and waited and eventually wrote again on 30th April 2001. It was not until 27th January 2002 after more delaying and obfuscating correspondence on their part that I received a child protection policy document for UK Raja Yoga Centres. It had taken 3 years of harassment by me to get them to write this, but they claimed in a letter of 5th December 2001 that some of the delay had been because of consultation with ‘educational specialists’ and with ‘social services’. If any of this was even slightly true then at least it would be a reasonable policy.

In chapter 6 I have recorded my opinions, both as an ex-Raja Yogi and as a teacher, of this child protection policy.

My opinions of the policy notwithstanding I immediately turned my attention to ensuring that it was actually implemented and not just in UK but around the world, wherever there were Raja Yoga children and particularly in India where the original abuses took place.

One might ask why did I not seek first of all to get the Raja Yogis to improve the policy they had just written before getting it instituted around the world? The reasons for this are several.

Firstly to widen the number of people involved in the process. Raja Yogis around the world are frequently professionals much more used to implementing professional policies than the Raja Yoga elite of London who have never had a job outside of Raja Yoga. The input of these professionals on the defects of the policy might carry much more weight coming from them rather than me –an ex (i.e. failed) Raja Yogi.

Secondly a perfect child protection policy is useless sitting on a shelf. It might easily take another 3 years to get them to improve the first one, in the meantime nothing would be happening around the world. Getting them to implement the first draft would at least begin the process of institutional development around the world however imperfect the guidelines.

Thirdly Raja Yoga is essentially an Indian Religion. Perhaps less than 2 percent of its members live outside, and so the majority of children in it are also in India. The original incidents of child abuse which prompted this report occurred in India and no doubt most of the others of which I am unaware are also overwhelmingly likely to occur there. The original events were so appallingly handled –one of the perpetrators was caught and simply let go; which begs the question how many children has he since abused? He was not even handed over to the police. No attempt was made to find out which other children he had abused. In these circumstances it did not make sense to me to spend another few years quibbling with London Raja Yoga about the defects of its child protection policy instead of getting them to implement something, anything at the scene literally of the original crimes.

Fourthly implementation is what a policy is all about. Without implementation you have no policy. A policy is not what is on paper it is what people do. It has been my aim that the institution protect its children and in order to do this it needs to work our how it is going to do it. To not check that it is actually doing what it says it will, when it has given -what I think the correspondence shows- such clear indications that it is not yet truly committed to child protection nor indeed that it can be relied to do what it says it will would be to make me completely complicit in a general milieu of neglect and recklessness. The implementation of its UK policy or equivalents around the world would constitute some kind of progress. The implementation in UK alone would in my opinion be little more than useless.

And fifthly implementation or failure thereof would or should dictate moral and legal culpability on the part of the Institution. I was genuinely worried that in forcing BKWSU to get child protection policies I might be providing it with a false defence if it got sued by victims of abuse. If I did not force them to prove they were implementing their policies there would be no evidence of negligence if they did not. I did not doubt that the original motivation for the production of the UK policy, was as a protection against adverse publicity and as a legal tool in the case of more unfortunate freak events –as Raja Yoga would view them. In Raja Yoga eyes their beliefs, practices and sheer religious power constitute much better tools for the protection of their children than the blunt crude instruments cooked up by the impure non-Raja Yoga world as they would view them. I will deal more with these cultural and ideological perspectives upon child protection in chapter 5. Suffice it to say here that in my opinion the only way to get child protection policies implemented world wide was the same way I had got London to write its’ policy and that is through the use of implied and explicit threats. That is, by writing to them and building an incriminating bank of correspondence and by dropping ever more unsubtle threats as to the potential public relations damage this might all cause.

So in January 2002 upon receipt of the UK policy I made the strategic decision to accept its imperfections for the time being and to concentrate upon getting BKWSU world wide to follow London’s lead and formalise child protection policies.

Via letters and particularly telephone calls to various third parties I tried to make it clear to the London leadership throughout 2002 that if I gave up talking to them I would talk to other agencies about what I considered to be inadequate progress. But having written a UK policy London apparently decided they could safely ignore me and so the communications dried up again.

I kept pressing for evidence that implementation of child protection policies world wide was taking place and received only some very silly delaying tactics by the so-called UK Children’s Officer.

So at this point I decided to let Raja Yoga teachers around the world know what the leadership in London was doing on their behalf. I emailed the mass mailing reproduced in Appendix C to all the centre emails listed there. Up until this point any child protection initiatives in the BKWSU had been done in London only and in the utmost secrecy. It was possible in my opinion that some Regional Office heads might have been consulted, but that the ordinary teachers running their centres in their respective countries would certainly know nothing of the child abuse incidents, the subsequent cover up and my subsequent campaign for proper procedures. It is part of Raja Yoga culture that accountability goes one way, seniors do not share their issues with the lower ranks nor do they disclose their problems or failures. In the higher echelons of London and India to implement child protection policies copied from those devised by non-Raja Yogis in the impure outside world is to admit that there are other sources of instruction in the running of the institution than purely Raja yoga sources –namely god and the seniors. And here too on one of Raja Yoga’s most sacred subjects –sexual purity.

To risk the exposure before their peers the individual failings of the various senior Raja Yogis in London, Delhi and Mount Abu, and to expose to its centre teachers the collective institutional failings was not taken lightly. But it was precisely these same people who were dragging their feet and taking years to do what should take weeks to protect the children they consider themselves to have a God-given responsibility to protect.

It is a classic symptom of situations where individual instances of abuse can become systemic and institutionalised that those in authority sacrifice victim protection for the protection of the good reputation of the organisation. Only by proving to the Raja Yoga hierarchy that their institution would be more damaged by inaction than action could they be persuaded that child protection was in their interests. Henceforth even if the Raja Yoga hierarchy remained resolute in its determination never to learn anything from an ex-Raja Yogi like me hopefully it would learn from its world wide teachers many of whom were by now no doubt wondering why an institution that deals with the public and throughout the corridors of the UN proclaims itself an expert in ethics, social policy and education had not established such guidelines many years ago.

Clearly this action on my part conveyed to the London Raja Yoga leadership that they still had to manage me or risk further disclosures. Hence on 26th November 2002 I received information that the regional offices around the world had been instructed to implement equivalent child protection policies in their respective regions around the world. This had supposedly occurred 9 months before I found out about it, but when I checked with the regional offices not a single one could confirm if had itself a child protection policy let alone the countries under its’ authority. The Regional Offices are run by the most senior Raja Yogis on each of the World’s continents. If they were doing nothing, nothing was happening.

Meanwhile, I was continuing to try to convey to London in practical terms what accountability actually feels like in the real world and that whether they like it or not they are accountable to me in the same way that all members of civilised society are accountable to each other.

Gradually through spring 2003 I received assurances from individual Raja Yogis that the hierarchy and the centres around the world were ‘starting to get it’ and I started to receive from London lists of countries which now either had policies or were in the process of writing such. Whilst this was welcome news it was always tempered by misgivings caused by London’s tendency to describe the slow progress as if it was a good thing. Why London did not order all centres world wide to immediately adopt its own policy (which itself took an inordinate amount of time to produce) whilst local countries then adjusted it as they so desired is beyond me. By this point London at least should have known how long it takes to produce a child protection policy, theirs after all is only 6 pages long. Raja Yoga is a highly centralised organisation. Local centres are trained to do whatever India or London tells them to do. If London had instructed all Raja Yoga Centres world wide to adopt the London Child Protection Policy they would have done so within the week.

The unfortunate truth is that lacklustre and ambiguous management from London and India sent out to the local centres the mistaken idea that they had to re-invent the wheel.

But this was comparatively speaking a side issue compared to the glaring omission in the list of countries who –big deal –have ‘written’ their child protection polices. There was no mention of India. Probably ninety eight percent of all Raja Yogis live in India. If Raja Yoga has still not instituted child protection policies in India then it simply doesn’t believe in them.

On 9th June 2003 after my repeated questioning about India London replied that ‘discussions are still continuing’ and ‘we understand that child protection policies are in place and being followed and will inform you as soon as the formal policy encapsulating these is completed’. Decades after the original events and over 4 years since the disclosure by Child X’s brother the children in India whether of local origin or visiting from centres overseas could not sensibly be considered to be protected by a serious child protection policy. And London in full knowledge of this continued to simultaneously instruct tiny outposts of its empire some with no children attending its centres to write child protection policies while happily allowing all world wide Raja Yoga children to visit India which had not even bothered to formulate a policy. This is the same administration in London which had been persuading me for years it now took Child Protection seriously and sent lists of countries hoping to smokescreen the absence of India from that same list.

On 19th December 2003 having still received no confirmation of an Indian plan I emailed as many centres around the world as I could find to remind all of those planning to take children to India that they must if they adhered to child protection policies check that the equivalent was in place in India. I also invited them to send me a copy of such. Not one did. The text of my message and the list of centre emails used are in Appendix C. It should be noted that not a single centre replied. Over two hundred were contacted and not one replied. The silence was deafening and is an example of how well co-ordinated the Raja yoga organisation actually is. It is unfortunate that such co ordination which could be deployed to control communication flow with an outsider like me but not deployed in the speedy implementation of child protection policies. Here suddenly every centre was a law unto itself. In her letter of 23rd December 2002 Sr. BK Jayanti writes ‘The nature of the Brahma Kumaris modus operandi world wide has not been one of detailed control and monitoring’. This is nonsense. Perhaps she would suggest that the uniform response to my email amongst over two hundred centres must therefore have been a coincidence.

According to Sr. BK Jayanti in her letter of 26th November 2002 BKWSU India was instructing regional offices as far back as February 2001 in the implementation of child protection policies and yet India at the end of 2003 had no such plan of its own. As a member for over half my life of this organisation I will in chapter 5 of this report comment on this kind of hypocrisy and this tendency when it suits to withhold or distort the truth not only to the non Raja Yogi general public but also to its own membership. But at this point I do not wish to understand it as a part of a particular religious subculture but rather to judge it in terms of more universal principles. It is institutional and systematic and pre-meditated dishonesty. It strongly suggests that Raja Yoga India cannot yet be relied on to act ethically in matters of child protection. Whatever efforts the well-meaning centre teachers around the world might make towards protecting their charges would be rendered useless by the cynical refusal of India to do what it has required everyone else to.

ON 17th January 2004 I finally received from London a BKWSU India policy. It was written some two years after the UK policy and about three years after India instructed the Regional Offices to start writing their policies. If ever the organisation sees fit to inquire formally into the management of these matters this incredible delay and reversal of the proper order of events needs to be explained.

The India policy is an edited version of the UK policy produced two years earlier. Clearly no serious local consultation took place, either with Raja Yogis or child experts in India, as it is hardly plausible that between them they would come up with not a single point not present in the UK document.

Nevertheless by January 2004 I could at least try to take some satisfaction in the idea that many if not most child Raja Yogis were now under some form of increased protection. In reality I found that my knowledge of the way in which this progress has supposedly been made was such as to render it seriously lacking in credibility. In chapter 6 I directly address this.

In concluding this summary of my correspondence with BKWSU I regret to note that the organisation has failed to persuade me that it can be trusted. I believe that the correspondence as repeated in Appendix A of this report demonstrates repeated incidences of outright dishonesty by the most senior Raja Yogis in the world and their representatives. A detailed study of this record shows case after case of distortions, omissions, misrepresentations, obfuscations, dissemblings, minimisations and outright falsehoods and I do not believe that Raja Yoga will justifiably be able to claim to be safe for children as long as those guilty of such communications are not required to account for their behaviour.

4 How many Raja Yoga Centres have Child Protection Policies

The existence of a policy document does not itself prove anything in respect of actual child safety or risk levels but it is at least a step in the right direction. I have seen a UK and an Indian Child Protection Policy and these are reproduced in Appendices D and E. The Indian policy is merely a slightly edited version of the UK. This is not a criticism of it per se but it does as I have already noted leave unexplained the substantial gap in production dates when by any sensible reckoning India was more urgently in need of procedural reform.

Unfortunately none of the many Raja Yoga centres worldwide except for London appear to have seen the BKWSU India plan. Even the centres in India that I contacted failed to verify its existence. It is possible that they have been instructed not to communicate with me but why not at least confirm they have a child protection policy? How could refusing to verify this be in their interests? It is equally possible that the India plan which was sent to me by the same person in London and who has now a substantial interest in persuading me that there is an Indian plan was cooked up by somebody in London to try to shut me up once and for all. But here too I am speculating. The simple truth is that I do not know if centres in India have a policy document. But this I would argue is not a problem for me, so much as a problem for Raja Yoga.

Firstly as a procedural point if one emails or writes to a particular centre asking if they have a child protection policy and they refuse to answer one is correct to treat with skepticism any third party that asserts they have. So London’s assertions would in themselves be inadequate even if they did not come from a source tainted by prior unreliability and also one compromised by proximity to the very serious allegations of negligence hanging around this whole matter.

It is also very strange and very improper that the appointed spokesperson for the institution in these matters is someone who was Child X’s centre teacher and who was therefore one of the people responsible for sending her unsuspectingly into danger. This person could also appear to have been part of those highly senior teachers who subsequently knew about the cases of abuse and failed to institute adequate procedures. It is highly improper that the BKWSU compromise this individual further by asking her to conduct either the unraveling or conversely the covering up of these events. And I must stress that this person could also be innocent of the possible failings I have just raised.

And what of my endeavours? Can I sensibly be expected to rely on the utterings of people I suspect to have been involved? By the very nature of those events which are not in dispute I must treat with suspicion pronouncements about unverified events when such pronouncements may actually be true. And given that the ultimate matter in hand is the safety of children it would be negligent and reckless on my part if knowing what I know I were to give anyone the benefit of the doubt. Child protection must not work like that. And any professional working with children accepts that they must be prepared to provide reasonable evidence to back up their assertions. London has not learnt this nor have their satellite centres around the world and nor unfortunately has India.

On the issue of centres’ refusal to verify the existence of a policy let us be clear: There is no such thing as a secret child protection policy. There is no such thing as a child protection policy without a clearly understood principle of accountability. Any centre in the world which is not prepared to admit to possessing a child protection policy and to make copies of that policy available to members of the public should not be allowed near children. Any organisation that has failed to teach this principle to its officials and has failed to ensure that they are complying with it does not understand child protection. And any organisation that does not understand child protection is a danger to children.

So there are various centres including those in India which according to unreliable and compromised sources in London have child protection policy documents. If they do then I am pleased because that is arguably better than nothing. But the fact that they have all decided to make a secret of it suggests that Raja Yoga’s journey towards being a place people should happily send their children to is far from over. The centres which London alleges have policies in place are Holland, UK and India.

Raja Yoga centres in the following countries have allegedly stated that they are in the course of developing a written policy but London is awaiting their documents: Australia, Canada, Colombia, Israel, Kenya, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland, Vietnam. None would confirm such when requested. BK Centres in the following countries are according to London ‘obtaining further information and researching the situation prior to formalizing a comprehensive written policy as required according to their circumstances’: Barbados, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Hungary, Iceland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Malaysia, Netherlands Antilles, Poland, Russia & other CIS, South Korea, Surinam, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, USA Mauritius, Vietnam and Spain.

So, three countries currently claim adherence to a proper policy and some thirty-three others allegedly say they are preparing to do so but declined when asked to verify such. All the other countries of the World have as far as I can ascertain made no child protection provision.

Even without raising questions about the suitability of such documents or the quality of their implementation this is a frighteningly poor response to such a serious issue.

5 Raja Yoga Culture for the Child

To understand truly the risks facing children one must understand the culture in which the children live. Certainly there are universal risks – dangers or experiences whether physical or psychological which we would abhor whatever culture we came from. But even in the case of cross cultural discussions where we agree on what we mean by abuse we must look to cultural context to understand how the child in question will interpret the abuse and either ameliorate its effect or compound it. An abusive action in one culture is different in terms of its meaning upon the child of a different culture who has suffered the same external action. If you do not understand the culture you have no hope of understanding a significant number of the ways in which the child will continue to re suffer the effects of the initial action. Some abuse is physical but all abuse is psychological.

So a policy which seeks to protect children from abuse and to help suspected victims of such must attend to the context in which it is to operate.

I wish therefore to explain some elements of Raja Yoga beliefs, lifestyle, practices and other elements of its culture which have or might be reasonably expected to impact in particular ways upon children and which are relevant to the question of child abuse.

I wish to stress here that I do not wish to insult or disparage the religious beliefs of the Brahma Kumaris movement. Nor do I wish to distort, misrepresent or take out of context the same. My concern here is not the truth of them nor is it their relation to my personal beliefs. My concern is what a child might do with them. Even if they are true they are open to misuse. Even if they are skilfully used as part of a sophisticated ideology by suitably experienced and educated adults they are sharp tools which can be misapplied by children. Apart from simply misinterpreting them children by virtue of being at a different stage in life are susceptible to influence in ways adults frequently mis-read or plain miss.

For example category confusions –where the child takes an expediency to be a universal moral principle, or for example confuses subjective experience for objective fact, or mistakes the modal posture of a speaker –mistaking aspirational poetic talk for factual prediction, interpretation for primary source, warning for curse etc etc. These are potentially toxic energies when mixed with religious concepts. Obviously I cannot here produce a comprehensive account of all the damaging ways in which children might misuse beliefs but I would stress it is the responsibility of those who wish to teach to equip themselves with such information. What I will do briefly here though, is detail some Raja Yoga beliefs which present themselves readily for such misuse. I contend that child welfare as a Raja Yoga issue must address them.

I list below some beliefs which whether accurate or mistaken interpretations of Raja Yoga can be used very differently by a child from that intended by the teaching adult. These are in no particular order

My centre teacher is God’s representative.
God takes upon himself the bad karma of Raja Yogi failings.
My senior teachers talk to god and are never wrong.
All anger is absolutely wrong.
All human love or attachment is absolutely wrong.
There is no valid or good reason to leave Raja Yoga.
To leave Raja Yoga is to curse oneself forever.
The body is only a vehicle.
The world is about to be destroyed in a nuclear holocaust.
I should love my Raja Yoga family more than my original family.
I should not follow the instructions of non-Raja Yogis.
The cycle of history repeats identically.
My life as a Raja Yogi dictates all of my future lives.
Past karma dictates what happens to me.
All human and natural history is within a 2500 year time span
My mistakes as a Raja Yogi are repeated ad infinitum in future cycles.
All sex is absolutely wrong.
My parents were only meant to look after me until I found Raja Yoga.
The brain is merely part of the body, it is the soul that thinks.
It is the destiny of me as a Raja Yogi to rule the world.
Raja Yoga is the one true religion.
Only Raja Yogis will go to heaven, the rest will only have limited happiness in what is for Raja Yogis hell.
India is the true cultural home of the world and of my true identity.
Only god as revealed through Raja Yoga teaches true knowledge.
All science is wrong

Anyone experienced in the child sciences will immediately be able to imagine some very toxic interpretations by children of such ideas both individually and when combined. And it is in the compounding of such beliefs particularly –when two or three or four are put together that the damage from the effects can grow exponentially.


In addition to such beliefs there are elements of the Raja yoga lifestyle that we can reasonably expect to effect children differently to adults. A mature adult who reaches a certain point in their life might well wish to restrict the influences upon himself in order to explore as deeply as he can his spiritual nature. But even where children freely choose the full Raja Yoga lifestyle rather than having it thrust upon them by their parents, or parent, it is important to at least raise the question as to whether this is the best thing for them at their time of life.

It is important here to stress that in practice there are many shades of intensity with which different people take on the daily principles of Raja yoga, but it is important to also acknowledge that the more vigorous applicants are considered better than those who keep one foot in the outside world. Raja Yoga creates very close ties between members and peer pressure can be extreme. Raja Yoga teaching certainly projects an ideal and the seniors and centre teachers try and indeed usually succeed in exemplifying these principles. So it not surprising that the young seek to emulate those that they admire. But living the life of a monk when you are 60 is very different than when you are 16. And such a life includes the following:

No friends outside of Raja Yoga
No cinema, TV, radio, novels or magazines.
Indian dress rather than local.
No food cooked by non-Raja Yogis (including ones own parents)
No socialising with the opposite sex.
No romance or sexual experimentation whatsoever.
No socialising with ‘bad’ Raja Yogis.
Complete shower and change of clothes after bowel movement.
Early morning meditation at 4 am followed by morning class at 6.30am

Cultural milieu

There are various strands to Raja Yoga culture which are not necessarily in the leaflets and booklets by which the institution tries to recruit new members but which are integral to the Raja yoga mindset. Some of them are more pronounced in different parts of the world and some are on the wain as the years go by. But to be a Raja Yogi is to accept these as part of ones pre-suppositions.

Raja Yogis are superior to all others and that superiority gives both special privileges and also special responsibilities. The privileges are impressive –direct contact with God and their own private Heaven to name just two. They have at least twice as many years to live out all their incarnations as even the best of the other religions. Raja Yogis get five thousand years whereas most others get less than a hundred years. But they have special responsibilities. They must through their meditation make themselves literally perfect in order to trigger the destruction of this impure world and the creation of their new heavenly one. They only get one chance to do this and if they manage to mess it up by becoming bad Raja Yogis or even worse they actually leave they have blown all hope for eternity of ever making it back into the true elite.

Hence that sense of superiority is somewhat precarious and it leads to another massively important feature of the Raja yoga mindset –purity.

Purity is a very wide ranging concept in Raja yoga. Firstly it means no sex. It should be stressed that this is not ‘no sex before marriage’, or ‘no sex unless procreating’. It means no sex. Whether your husband has joined you in your new religion or not you must not have sex with him. Whether you are fifteen, twenty five, thirty five or sixty five; single, engaged or married: No sex, no kissing, no touching, no masturbating and no intercourse. Morning class has very vivid phrases for what sex does for your destiny as a Raja yoga and these are repeated on a near daily basis. ‘For a Raja Yogi to have sex is like throwing yourself out of a fifth floor building’. All Raja Yogis hear this exact saying probably five times every week. I happened to have a friend who was a few years older than me but perhaps a little bit more impressionable. In Raja Yoga terms she ruined her fortune in heaven by having sex and she did what she had heard it described as for more months and years than I can bear to remember: she threw herself off a five storey building.

But Purity does not just mean celibacy it means protecting oneself from all influences that are not Raja Yoga. This includes the opinions of others and above all the opinions of oneself. Raja Yoga actually has a derogative term for listening to one’s own opinions. The only opinions one must listen to are those of God –as revealed by Raja Yoga. Any influence which might conflict with Raja Yoga is also proscribed such as virtually all the sciences. Hence half of a child’s secondary school curriculum is impure and should not be allowed by the good Raja Yoga child to pollute his mind. Secular knowledge and skills even those that are useful to Raja yoga are quietly disparaged compared to true knowledge from God. Entertainments such as cinema, tv, radio etc are an obvious source of impurity filled as they are with pleasures of the body rather than of the soul.

But even the Raja Yoga centre is rife with potential impurity in the form of one’s fellow Raja Yogis who may be sliding off the true path. The protection of oneself from the bad influence of ones fellow Raja Yogis is a daily concern for the diligent yogi. Non-conformists, individualists, even the overly gregarious or overly affectionate must be kept at a suitable distance. An effect of this is that purity turns into sterility. Raja Yoga society tends to gradually become a relatively homogenous collection of the obedient and docile. The black sheep tend to self selectively remove themselves.

This cult of purity also tends to lead to an over emphasis upon the source of a statement for its validity rather than its intrinsic merit. A senior teacher once summed this up by saying that if God said two plus two equals five she would agree with him. In Raja Yoga knowledge is not invented or discovered, it is revealed by God and interpreted by his chosen agents, chosen because they are the most pure. The postulations, speculations, hypothesising and counter hypothesising of everyone else can never lead to anything worthwhile because the source is polluted. Hence the intellectual life of non-Raja Yogi is worthless.

A side effect of this is that unlike most social groupings and cultures which learn and grow as a result of input from every source, Raja Yoga cannot learn from its malcontents, its failures or its black sheep. They are ignored because they are impure. And if an impure soul such as myself says that two plus two equals four a devout Raja Yogi might well feel duty bound to disagree.

There are several human emotions which also have no place in Raja Yoga life so much so that their presence virtually guarantees that whatever is said or done in such a state is wrong. The first is anger. If I am angry then whatever I say is expected to be wrong and will be discounted. Unless one is a senior anger is an instant disqualification from validity. So anger tends to get repressed, and the things that cause anger get repressed along with it.

Another is arrogance –mistranslated by Raja Yogis as ‘ego’. But this does not mean a tendency to give too much weight to ones one opinions. It usually means to value ones opinions above those of the orthodoxy and the seniors. To think for oneself as opposed to accepting revealed truth either from God or the seniors. Hence if the seniors are wrong and you point it out your words will be discounted because you are suffering from ego. In Raja Yoga terms all of my letters reproduced in appendix A are extreme examples of the vice of ego. And it is no exaggeration to state that no practicing Raja Yogi could have written them without seriously damaging his Raja Yoga career.

The Body
Another important feature of Raja Yoga culture of relevance to young people is its awkwardness over the body. The very strict Cartesian dualism at the core of Raja Yoga beliefs coupled with certain Indian cultural sensitivities mean that human touch is strictly regularised. Virtually any kind of touch between the sexes is treated as if it is the beginnings of lust. Whilst paying lip service to good physical health many Raja Yogis including many seniors quietly take pride in not succumbing to either the demands or the simple pleasures of looking after the body. The Raja Yoga way is to exert strict control not only over bodily pleasures but also over bodily needs. It is viewed literally as a vehicle and one too which will only be needed for a few more years because the world is due to end imminently. One will not need it for decades so it makes no sense to look after its long term well-being. Many Raja Yogis whilst dragging themselves up each morning at 3.30am will not admit that their physical systems cannot function on 5 hours sleep a day and they do not successfully adjust their schedules at the other end of the day. The result is that many serious Raja Yogis are chronically over tired. This is simply accepted as part of the lifestyle. One good friend of mine woke up one morning face down on the carpet with his arm stretched out to the power socket in his living room which he had fallen asleep whilst switching off. He was not only so exhausted as to fall asleep in the middle of this action but he also did not move all night whilst in this highly uncomfortable position. I once fell asleep whilst holding a cup of coffee. Another fellow Raja Yogi once fell asleep standing up teaching in a secondary school.

Physical pursuits and sport are not valued as part of the culture nor indeed is good diet. It is true that the Raja Yoga diet is vegetarian and generally home cooked without many of the low quality ingredients of mass produced food. But this is merely circumstantial the diet is about purity rather than nutrition. Raja Yogis will not eat mass produced food because it is made by the impure. And many Raja Yogis would think it both disloyal to the originally Indian culture of Raja yoga and inappropriately indulgent to feed the body what suits it best rather than what is the cultural norm.

All of these elements add up to an attitude of strict control over the body rather than an integrated and complimentary relationship between mind and body. Many ex-Raja Yogis enjoy an incomparably better level of health since they left. Indeed the point has been made that the Brahma Kumaris are in general so antagonistic towards the body that they should not really be allowed to refer to what they do as Yoga.

It is worth noting here also that the strict Cartesian mind/body dualism at the core of Raja Yoga metaphysics and psychology is itself considered to be a form of mental illness by various schools of psychology.

The concept of service is very important to Raja Yoga thinking but it does not always mean what it usually connotes. To serve someone in Raja Yoga terms is certainly not to do what that person might like or appreciate or want. It is rather to do what you think God wants you to do for them. This notions extends itself even to giving people what they need inspite of themselves. The person in need of ‘service’ cannot be expected to know what he needs so if one has to get around his resistance in somewhat ambiguous ways this is acceptable because it is being done for his benefit. In a culture with this value behind human interactions and also where displays of anger or confrontation are taboo it becomes common place to misuse charm. Charm, persuasion and even subterfuge are acceptable if they are performed skilfully enough and if done in the furtherance of God’s work. This shows itself as un-mitigated obsequiousness before so called important or famous people who might be useful in some way. On a larger scale it shows itself as the regular disguising of the fundamentally religious nature of Raja yoga into all sorts of different forms all in the name of service.

Hence for example BKWSU always refers to itself not as a religious organisation but as a University. This is because this title though less accurate, indeed totally inaccurate, will open more doors. The truth is that BKWSU really is a religious organisation and the University label is an intentional misrepresentation. There is no Brahma Kumaris University either in London, Delhi, Mount Abu or anywhere else. There is an Ashram (i.e. a religious establishment) in Mt Abu which teaches but certainly not a university curriculum and it awards no university degrees or indeed any certificates of any kind. No exams exist whatsoever let alone university exams. The senior Raja Yogis in Mount Abu, Delhi and London –the heads of this so-called university -do not even have a single proper university degree to share between them. If they had perhaps they would know what a university is. There are no properly qualified lecturers and no properly qualified students. There is not a single government ministry of education of any country in the world that has on its lists of recognised universities a BKWSU. And in India where they pretend such exists if really pressed, they have been banned from using the word ‘University’ in their title.

The Impossibility of Selflessness
Aligned to this is the principle of enlightened self interest that underpins the Raja Yoga interpretation of the ‘Law of Karma’. The highest form of Karma in Raja Yoga terms is not that of selflessness –the traditional Hindu and Buddhist idea. Raja yoga believes that selflessness is a myth. In Raja yoga philosophy people always act in what they perceive to be their best interests. Whether they are right in their perceptions is another matter but no one is ever truly selfless. The Raja Yoga definition of the highest form of karma is to follow the exhortation from God to be a Raja Yogi.

Hence no Catholic, Jew or Muslim however kind, wise or good to others can match the quality of karma that a Raja Yogi can achieve. A Raja Yogi benefits others more than other religions, and indeed any other class of person in any sense simply as a by product of cultivating his relationship with God and becoming a better Raja Yogi. When he has become pure through connection with God and all his fellow Raja Yogis have done like wise this will trigger a nuclear holocaust and every one will get released from hell and sent home to the soul world. The Raja Yogis will return to a pure world and each one according to his accumulated store of good karma will be rewarded with a kingdom commensurate with his particular level of goodness. So when Raja Yogis make statements such as ‘BKWSU was established in the spirit of service to humanity’ they are being disingenuous. Raja Yoga was established for the betterment of Raja Yogis –in short so that they can claim their future kingdoms. The betterment of the rest of humanity is a highly indirect offshoot.

So in Raja Yoga terms the best way a Raja Yogi can benefit you is to give you not what you might want but what God wants him to give you –which in essence is the knowledge of Raja Yoga. Anything else is a waste of valuable Raja Yoga time unless of course it impresses you to the degree that your are sufficiently intrigued or charmed or plain old seduced that you decide to give this knowledge a chance after all. And then behind all of this the only real reason the Raja Yogi is doing any of this is so that he can get a bigger Palace than you in heaven, because much as he likes you it is actually impossible for him to do anything genuinely for you.

This mindset has led to Raja Yoga building hospitals not because it cares about the sick but simply to impress the bystanders with how spiritual it is. And most ironic of all it has been very active in promoting itself as an authority on all matters pertaining to world peace when it is totally certain that the best thing that can happen to the world is its forthcoming nuclear holocaust. Why would a movement that believes completely in a forthcoming nuclear holocaust and fervently wants it to come and to come as soon as possible be active in the peace movement? Because it is another platform for Raja Yogis to get their message across to everyone and hence bring on the war. It would be a problem however if the organisers of this or that peace conference were to find out that the Raja Yoga idea of peace involves everyone else being dead. So in order to make it to the all important microphone Raja Yogis will present a distorted version of their beliefs. And when in the past they have been found out and challenged for their presence at peace conferences aimed specifically at preventing nuclear war, (as indeed the United Nations did when Raja Yoga was trying to become affiliated with it) they simply switched into their ‘the ends justify the means’ mentality and misrepresented their own beliefs.

When children are being raised in a culture which combines a disbelief in genuine selflessness with a willingness to deceive when it suits a higher purpose, this should at least trigger some alarm bells.

Methods of Persuasion
Another element of the Raja yoga culture which needs to be mentioned in the context of the childhood experience of Raja Yoga is its pedagogic style –its teaching methods. This style shows itself in formal teaching but also in general communication as well particularly in its method of teaching meditation.

Firstly the language of Raja Yoga is extremely vivid. Its images are strong and memorable, and captured in lots of specific phrases and references it takes several years to learn. The descriptions of heaven are so detailed and so apparently real that it is as if one is living an epic poem. The romanticism of the story of ones journey around the cycle through both heaven and hell in search of yourself is re-lived with techniques in meditation which are extremely powerful. It is very normal in such practices to experience on a daily basis an intensity of feeling which the non-meditator perhaps only experiences once a year. The skilful yogi can usually summon a particular experience on demand –love, power, peace, bliss. Take your pick. If Raja Yoga is ones only strong referent for such intensity the power of the experiences is assumed to contribute to the veracity of the religion. This is a mistake but it is one which children are extremely likely to make.

Such experiences and the fact that it is the Raja Yogi child and not his non-Raja Yogi school colleagues (his ex-friends) who can more or less at will conjure them up for himself all goes to confirm ones sense of oneself as special, one of the chosen few. For the Raja Yogi to know oneself is to love oneself to a degree which anyone else might consider narcissistic. But in the case of the Raja Yogi it is not; because he really is that great. If he was not he would not be able to have such experiences –or so the logic goes. There is an anti –normality, a continual watching of oneself to check that one is as great as the script specifies: a way of being which views spirituality as all about self aggrandisement. Raja yoga claims that greed is a vice, but what they are really criticising here is the stupidity of wanting the wrong things. In actuality as long as you want karmic accumulation for yourself in Raja Yoga greed is definitely a virtue. Upon the path of the enlightened nothing succeeds like excess.

But the vividness of its images of beauty can disappear when the yogi suffers the violent mood swings most less experience practitioners suffer from. Then the insecurities of one’s own ultimate position in the grand scheme of things emerge and the vivid descriptions of the consequences of failure come with the same hyper-real quality as their pleasant counterparts. These mood swings can be extreme and they were so common as to have a name and to be considered part of the journey. After about 5 years I learned not to panic when they came.

The vividness of frightening images used in teaching, their constant repetition on a daily basis, the continual exhortations not to leave and dire warnings as to what will happen if one does are the flip side of the ecstatic blissful hypnotising beauty of Raja Yoga on a good day.

In my opinion the Raja Yoga explanations that they are both caused in the mind because they are true i.e. that subjective experience is evidence of objective truth is reckless and irresponsible. The effects that Raja yoga practices regularly induce need to be understood better by Raja Yogis particularly when used with children. It is fifteen years since I left Raja Yoga and though I subscribe to none of its beliefs I am still regularly visited by images which I believe were inadvertently planted in me at an early age. I do not claim to full understand the mechanism, but I know also that until Raja Yoga can claim such it needs to clarify to itself how exactly it trains its young and if some practices should be for adults only. Raja yoga certainly needs to get better acquainted with the dynamics of hypnotism so that it can with somewhat more authority than it has in the past affirm that it uses none. Staring at white dots or directly into the eyes of ones teacher for extended periods of time as she tells one what to think are all methods to heighten suggestibility. As are the use of coloured lighting and soothing ambient music whatever the metaphysical validity of the belief system that uses them. I look forward to the day when a Raja Yogi can specify to me how the mechanisms by which hypnotism works are somehow switched off because all Raja Yoga suggestions, guided visualisations and meditation commentaries are epistemologically and ontologically true. In actual fact a cursory read of any book on self hypnosis will contain many of the techniques taught by Raja Yoga as meditation.

Knowledge ‘instead’ of Faith
Another aspect of this experiential emphasis on the learning of Raja Yoga concepts is a confusion of language which connotes facts with language that connotes experience. This is closely connected with subject /object confusion and children are particularly vulnerable to missing the logical jumps. It is particularly enlightening here to appreciate that there is no Raja Yoga concept of faith in respect of beliefs. Raja Yogis do not conceive of beliefs needing to be bolstered by faith in the way that for instance Anglicans do. For an Anglican one has faith in a belief partly because one understands logically that it could be false to fact. Raja Yogis would simply say that this is someone who doesn’t really believe. A Raja Yogi does not have faith in the truth of a particular belief, he does not think of the contents of his head as beliefs. He has no distinction between logical possibility and contingent fact. That is to say he cannot believe something and yet genuinely acknowledge that it is ‘just’ a belief. He thinks of the contents of his head as facts. He has in Raja Yoga parlance ‘realised’ them, he has ‘had the realisation that’ such and such is true. This is a cultural norm and a linguistic distinction in Raja Yoga which puts great pressure upon the young. It effectively robs them of the ability to doubt, or even to imagine disbelieving. Because if the language to do such has been misappropriated to do something else one becomes blinded to the very concept. And there is indeed a very strong absence of any doubt or disbelief in Raja yoga. The consensus agreement about the beliefs is universal. In the young at least

Joined: 16 Jun 2004
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 1:30 pm    Post subject: part 2 of report

I would contend that this is not a good thing nor evidence of good teaching. To the extent it exists it is a function of bad teaching (for how can you teach about religion if you do not teach about doubt) and of poor language usage.

So well practised in this way of thinking was I that I can honestly say that I had left Raja yoga for several years before it even occurred to me to doubt any of its core beliefs.

The Raja Yoga Caste System

Another component of the Raja Yoga ideology –indeed cosmology too - and which shapes their thinking on all manner of subjects is their metaphysical caste system. Each soul is forever a member of a particular caste. Not just in this or that life but even up in the so-called soul world. And Raja Yoga illustrations and imaginings of the soul world show the each soul on an inverted tree. God is at the top, at the tip of the trunk, followed by the highest Raja Yogis, then the middle rank, and then the lower Raja Yogis. Below the lowest Raja Yogi positioned at the beginning of each of their own branches are the so called prophet souls Christ, Buddha, Abraham etc. Below these are all the souls of their respective religions and again the best come first, followed by the lower and then the lowest.

One’s position in this hierarchy is fixed. If you happen to be a Raja Yogi soul you are blessed, compared at least to the members of the other religions. In your cycle of births and deaths down on earth you are predestined to be a Raja Yogi just as you were in your previous cycle. There is no risk that although you were a Raja Yogi in the previous cycle you might get relegated to being a Christian or a Jew or a Muslim. Likewise even the best of the other paths cannot hope to gain promotion into the Raja Yogi elite. Nor can they enter the only true heaven in Raja Yoga theology namely the Raja Yoga one. The souls of other religions at best have a kind of relative heaven in the midst of Raja Yoga hell. They have no true i.e. absolute heaven.

Within the constellation of Raja Yoga souls there is of course also different levels –reflected both in position in the soul world and in the quality and quantity of lives on Earth. Closest to God and indeed in many practical ways virtually inseparable from God is the founder of Raja Yoga. There are seven other souls making up the highest quality of beings –the only human souls who could be truly said to attain perfection. It is universally agreed that most if not all of these positions have already been taken by the current senior Raja Yogis. But there might just be one place so you could squeeze in if you really try. Below these is another hundred who whilst perhaps not attaining the absolute highest level of perfection came very close and as a side effect of their efforts helped the whole of humanity by simultaneously spreading the word about Raja Yoga and purifying themselves through their own meditation thereby triggering the nuclear holocaust which ends the world thus ending another round of hell. Many of the thrusting ambitious Raja Yoga teachers secretly harbour hopes of making it into the legendary 108. And one should stress that this kind of ambition is encouraged. It is all part of the ‘greed is good if it’s the right kind of greed’, enlightened self interest ethos at the heart of Raja Yoga karmic philosophy.

Below the ‘Rosary of the One Hundred and Eight’ is another sixteen thousand. This may sound like a lot but when one considers that there are currently several hundred thousand members of the religion the rush for seats is going to be pretty tight.

And below these is nine hundred thousand, the official number of souls who make it to heaven. These would be souls who became Raja Yogis but ended up doing rather poorly. They didn't do much service, their meditation was erratic and ineffectual.

If a Raja Yogi has sex, leaves Raja Yoga, or defames the institution, he is still technically a Raja Yoga soul and so will get to heaven but he is guilty of spurning an opportunity not presented to the vast majority of souls. He has rejected or ignored the direct teachings of God not inadvertently but consciously. He has allowed his latent vices to re-assert themselves during his one incarnation as a Raja Yogi to the point where the sins of the flesh or the arrogance of his ego make him indulge himself, his own desires, his own opinions rather than what god has instructed him to do. From being a potential god sitting at the top table of celestial and earthly deities, living and loving with other members of the elite 108 Rosary for the whole of eternity he has thrown himself off the fifth floor irredeemably destroying his chance of true greatness. In his incarnations whether in heaven or in the later ages when heaven has yet again deteriorated into the relative hell he is destined to only looking at the great from afar. If he is lucky he might gain proximity to a medium quality soul say of the sixteen thousand by being his servant. The closest he would get to the hundred and eight is as a cremator. He will burn their bodies, because during his Raja Yoga life he was consumed by the fires of lust.

I have merely touched upon the iconography at work here there is a great deal more to it and the effect is all compounded by the daily repetition of these images in the morning class to which all Raja Yogis must attend and in the extremely vivid relationship to his concepts the Raja Yogi develops. Like medieval Catholicism the beauty of divine grace in all its exquisite depictions is matched in the mind of the pilgrim only by the horrors of hellish failure. Meditation makes both sides of the cycle hyper real.

The Raja Yoga notion of metaphysical caste has like very nearly all Raja Yoga concepts been ‘borrowed’ from Hinduism. That Raja Yoga should seek to revitalise or re-interpret a way of looking at people which many modern liberal Hindus find to be abhorrent is unfortunate in the extreme. The Hindu caste system in its worst manifestations is comparable with slavery, nazism and apartheid. Although Raja Yoga is critical of the traditional caste system it uses not only the basic concepts (although one must re-iterate again they are reinterpreted) but also the very terms. Hence the names of the traditional caste levels –Brahmin etc all have taken on new Raja Yoga significance. The cremator status in heaven that is the destiny of bad Raja Yogis is a direct reinterpretation of the untouchable role of the leatherworker and the body burner. The term ‘shudra’ meaning someone of extremely low caste –someone who a good Hindu of higher caste is disallowed to even touch let alone socialise with or befriend has become in the Raja Yoga lexicon a label for those souls who impurify themselves with sex or who leave Raja Yoga. Think of the worst swear words you know – I would contend that ‘shudra’ to the Raja Yogi has something of this level of potency. Interestingly amongst ex-Raja Yogis the term is being reinterpreted such as the way that young African Americans are now referring to themselves as ’niggaz’, and the gay community has re-claimed the term ‘queer’, and modern urban women have wrestled control of the term ’cunt’ a from purely misogynist ownership. So now the attitude of some ex-Raja Yogis to all of this is to laugh and declare ‘yes I’m a shudra’. But that is partly posture and partly a defence against what remains a highly potent, insulting and damaging concept. Fifteen years on it still stings because we know they mean it.

And part of the problem Raja yoga has had with my input on child protection is that in their eyes I am a ‘shudra’. It is deeply offensive to some seniors that I might have something to teach them, or even that my current involvement in the management of their organisation might be one of God’s mysterious ways. If it turned out that I was rewarded for my efforts by a place in the 108 it is very doubtful that any of the others would agree to turn up.

The effects upon the young Raja Yogi of this ever present categorisation of the people one meets are manifold. I have already mentioned the inevitable isolation of narcissm. It also has a very strong tendency to stimulate an uncritical and overly venerative attitude towards the seniors. They are after all synonymous with the very notion of the eight. The different caste tiers are each tight networks of inter-birth relationships and relations. One clear sign that you are destined for obscurity would be poor personal relations with the members of the higher caste levels. You will have spent your births interrelating with your own category of soul so if you are not comfortable with the elite, or they with you, this is not a good omen. The metaphysical caste system finds its locus in the physical world in the form of the seniors because their position is already ‘known’. The seniors are members of the eight so one way or another if you want to make it to the top table you better not damage your relations with them. Please them on the other hand and all other factors remaining equal you will do well. Hence like all ‘theoretical’ caste systems it is the control of behaviour that is the inevitable real effect.

The malcontent at the back of the class is less plausible as a role model simply because he does not pay his dues with his seniors. No matter that he may actually be more sensible than the rest of the class put together. The tendency to stigmatise, isolate and ultimately loose the ‘bad’ Brahmins is subtle because Raja Yogis are almost universally friendly and well meaning people. It is also part of the culture to show love and respect to all. But you neither show nor actually feel the same quality of love or respect for those you categorise as ‘good’ and those you categorise as ‘bad’.

A central tension at the core of this is that whilst all Raja Yogis are certain of the factuality of the metaphysical hierarchy they do not know the one piece of information that really matters –where their place is. Raja Yoga folklore is littered with stars that shone brightly and then faded away. The high turnover of members mean that in a large or medium size centre there will definitely be Yogis you previously admired and aspired towards in your early years who have since –here is that image again- thrown themselves out of the fifth floor. Or as one friend of mine put it about a mutual friend who had disgraced herself in the most serious way a centre sister can –‘she has ripped her own guts out, she has gutted her cycle’. It is heartbreaking when someone that you thought you would share heaven with turns their status from that of one of the blessed into a ‘shudra’. And if such and such a person who you thought was a great Raja Yogi can fail maybe you are next.

The pressure and self examination this causes can become all pervasive. Every thought, every action is potentially the beginning of ones decline. Every mistake one can look back on is a trigger for self mistrust and loathing. And as I have intimated this has already proven itself as something more than some Raja Yogis could bear. And it does not help that Raja Yoga insists on repeatedly using images of self destruction as a metaphor for this type of failing.

How does one learn to handle failure when that failure irredeemably changes all of your future births? How does one hold on to ones positive self image when the occurrence of that failure means that even in your past you could not have been one of the truly successful Raja Yogis. The belief system here coupled with cultural elements such as the iconography, the language, semantic frames, the pedagogic style and the meditative and mystical practices acts in the young or vulnerable to effectively place a curse upon the transgressor. The curse is arguably self inflicted or arguably installed by the religion, but what is undeniable is that it uses the tools, jargon, images and concepts of Raja Yoga. It is usually ‘pre-programmed’ during the happy early years when hope of ascendancy is at its strongest and fear of failure at its most fervent. It lies within and only emerges or is triggered after the young student comes to define, or is persuaded by others that he must define, his actions or indeed whole selfhood to have failed in Raja Yoga terms.

Most of the toxic after effects of this do not emerge except over an extended period of time –frequently when the student has distanced himself from the seniors –or indeed they from him –or he has left the organisation. The leaders of Raja Yoga know quite a lot about the range and seriousness of psychological problems ex-Raja Yogis suffer. They have so far given no indication that they feel the organisation should share any responsibility for this. Appendices F and G contain two letters from ex –Raja Yogis which illustrate something of this problem.

Risks inherent in the child’s experience of Raja Yoga
The cultural features I have outlined above can and do combine in the immature with some of the beliefs and or lifestyle components I previously listed. And whilst on the one had Raja Yoga can have dramatically beneficial effects upon the young practitioner it can unfortunately create or trigger rather poisonous dynamics both psychologically and in a way of living that ends up being highly unsuitable for certain individuals who nevertheless do not have the wherewithal to right themselves. Problems with trust (either too much or too little), self and body image distortions, isolation, hallucination, narcissm, self loathing, exhaustion, obsession, sexual confusion, sexual guilt, magical thinking, sexual dysfunction, dissociation are all problems which I would contend occur disproportionately in young Raja Yogis and ex-Raja Yogis compared to non-Raja Yogis. Add to that family and/or parental problems either when they join Raja Yoga or when they leave. And damage to school and future career prospects because some idiot has persuaded them that the world is about to end. The replacement of their old family with a new sari clad one and the near total replacement of their burgeoning intelligence and independence of spirit with a desperate adherence to doctrinal conformity.

I do not wish for a minute to suggest that the lives of Raja Yoga children is always as awful as it might sound, but the above are components of that existence enough to be considered integral risks.

And of course these side effects set a particular social context within which active perpetrator led abuse of children is much more likely to flourish. And which when it does occur also causes much more long term damage and tends to be much more likely to have the child either colluding in the abuse or at least in the cover up. I have personally known of a variety of occurrences of physical and psychological abuse as well as the sex abuse occurrences in Delhi and Mt Abu in which the child inadvertently allowed elements of his or her training as a Raja Yogi to dis-empower him or her at the crucial time when more not less power was needed.

It is my contention based upon my experience and that of fellow child Raja Yogis that any Raja Yoga Child protection plan which is to be of any real use must take account of and indeed start from the lived experience of child Raja Yogis. Not how one would like it to be, but how it actually is. But for that one must listen to those relatively few people who actually were children in Raja Yoga.

And as many of this pathological after effects take years to emerge Raja Yoga should take issue with one of its most sacred taboos –that of learning from ‘shudras’ or in plain English finding out about its mistakes from its victims who have left the organisation. As a group those who have left also happen to be by far the biggest collection of Raja Yogis on the planet.

6 Assessment of BKWSU UK Child Protection policy

Having outlined some features of Raja Yoga culture and lifestyle which can complicate and compound the risks children face I now wish to critically assess current BKWSU child protection provision.

I wish to examine the appropriateness of the policy documents, the quality of their implementation and the monitoring of such. I then wish to examine the credentials and credibility of those currently in charge of this programme.

Appropriateness of BKWSU UK Child Protection Policy Document

This document is reproduced in full in Appendix D. It is the template upon which the Indian document is based and presumably this it true for the vast majority of policy documents around the world. If there are any.

Firstly the policy document does not even read as if it is for a religious institution. Indeed it pretends that the organisation is something other than a religion. This is not a good start. It neither bodes well for the documents credibility nor for its use-ability. Beyond avoiding the religious nature of Raja Yoga it attends to none of the specifics of the particular religion in question. It takes no account of Raja Yoga culture, lifestyle and beliefs as potential complications in incidents of abuse nor as causative elements in themselves of problems for the child which might amount to ‘abuse’. To the extent that it refers to BKWSU practices it in no way questions the assumption that they are always good for children. Sometimes unfortunately they are not.

As a result of this omission it provides no guidelines for the safe and careful development of Raja Yoga training in the young. It fails, for example, to delineate any beliefs or practices from which children might well need to be shielded until a later age.

There is no suggestion or indeed instruction about the modification of certain Raja Yoga perspectives by carers of children, or the contextual suspension of some of its principles. For example maybe an adult Raja Yogi who believes all forms of sexual thought and deed are wrong should nevertheless encourage teenager Raja yoga students to go out on some dates and to accept rather than repress their burgeoning desires for romance and sexual growth. This document is useless in helping one make such decisions. It is not enough to assume that responsible parents will form their own opinions. As Raja Yogis they are implored/exhorted on a daily basis not to impurify Raja Yoga with their own opinions.

There is no clear discussion of issues around systemic and/or institutional abuse, which is a big failing in itself given as has been mentioned this is the child protection policy of a religious movement. But it must be pointed out that the failure of this particular institution to be genuine right from the start of this document in the way that it describes itself is itself a form of institutional abuse. Once again as it has so many times before the BKWSU is misrepresenting its fundamental nature but herein the consequences are more serious than usual. The BKWSU is not essentially an educational institution, it is a religious organisation which carries out educational activities as per the principles of its religion. These are not the same thing at all, and the child protection specifics for each are different. One does not go on field trips to Mount Abu as this document claims. One goes to get a personal meeting with God. How can this be described as afield trip? And if in its’ child protection policy it cannot be honest about itself, to itself, what hope is there of it not misleading parents and children who come to it anew? To mis-describe your true nature, to lure people in with promises of relaxation techniques and positive thinking courses without being honest from the outset who is really teaching these side dishes is itself abusive. It is also, -to borrow a word explicitly disavowed in the policy document –exploitative. Until Raja Yoga finds even this simple level of integrity it will continue to lay itself open to the charge that it is something of a predatory cult. The old Indian accusation that Raja Yoga steals your children and hypnotises them will refuse to go away.

The whole of the second paragraph in the background section is no better. This mixture of spin, misuse of language and downright dishonesty should have no place in this document. Neither its self indulgent and congratulatory style nor its misleading substance are appropriate. If I write its complete opposite this is no less true.

Young people are able to damage themselves greatly from their participation in BKWSU activities particularly with regard to their personal, social, emotional and spiritual lack of development. Both they and their parents or guardians have come to place considerable mistrust in the BKWSU and its personnel and overwhelmingly history has shown this mistrust to be well founded. Nevertheless the BKWSU remains inattentive and careless with regard to children’s interests, ensuring that it continues not to follow best practices that etc etc

This is not how I would put it myself but if I were to be forced to choose between my version and that of the document I would argue that a good case can be made for both. Which means neither should be present.

Likewise the first sentence of the aims section. This time I do not need to play with it. Anyone who truly knows Raja Yoga understands it.

The BKWSU was established in the spirit of service to humanity in order to create an environment that helps all individuals to fulfil their potential thereby improving the quality of life for all.

Simply not true.

At the bottom of this section it states that training in the management of possible incidents of abuse will be provided by professionals not connected with BKWSU, but I could find no details on this. Further on the policy actually attempts a quick piece of ad hoc training so I am not sure how one relates to the other.

There is no advice or instruction anywhere in the document on reconciling the major differences in opinion between Raja Yoga and conventional professional child sciences. The paradigms are largely incompatible so which ones do Raja Yoga carers use as their ultimate guiding principles? Raja Yoga is very strongly at odds with most prevailing precepts, principles and values in the fields of child sexuality, adolescent sexuality, child cognitive, emotional and social development and the many related fields. So without explicated terms of reference it is impossible to even read this document intelligently. Terms such as ‘best interests of the child’ ‘welfare’ and many others beg the question; according to who? Do they mean the Raja Yoga interpretation of ‘welfare’ and ‘ best interests’ or the generally accepted experts as recognised by society as a whole? Hence many of the instructions are so vague as to be open to too much interpretation.

Point 6 of the ‘Guiding Principles’: Due consideration should be taken of the traditions and cultural values of each child and his or her family.

Raja Yoga for all its many virtues has a very poor record in this regard so whilst one might heartily welcome the presence of this statement one needs to know what is meant exactly by this. Does it mean that Raja Yoga will no longer be dressing western children in Indian clothes for example. Does it mean that children will be taught not to value their Raja Yoga Family above their outside one or to value a Raja Yoga parent above a non Raja Yoga parent? In short ‘due consideration’ according to who? I believe I have successfully shown that culture is a central issue to Raja yoga’s success or failure in the ethical treatment of its children. Now I would suggest Raja Yoga must do the work of fleshing out how they are going to interpret the practicalities. This is the document which should outline the sharp end of these issue.

Point A of Forms of Abuse: Abuse is caused not only by those who actually perpetrate it but also by those who fail to prevent it or condone, minimise or tolerate it.

Again it sounds very good but what does it mean in practice? Is not every Senior Raja Yogi who knew about the Child X incidents and did nothing to tighten up procedure guilty then of causing any abuse which has subsequently taken place? Is this what is meant?

Emotional abuse occurs when adults fail to show due care and attention or threaten, … causing him to or her to lose self confidence or self esteem or become nervous or withdrawn. It may also take place when an adult repeatedly ignores or fails to respond to a child’s efforts or places the child under undue pressure to meet unrealistically high standards or expectations.

I believe this kind of abuse occurs far more frequently than the authors of this policy document presently suppose. It certainly occurred frequently during my time as a Raja Yogi and there has been insufficient change in the institution since then to justify a presumption that it is not so prevalent. But the emotional abuse they describe here occurs in Raja Yoga in systemic ways and as a by product of institutionalised social interacting. If this document is going to assist in a reduction of this it needs to explain emotional abuse in such terms. At present it phrases emotional abuse in terms of arguably the least prevalent forms as far as Raja yoga is concerned.

The Children’s Officer
If the Children’s Officer is going to have expertise not only in Raja Yoga concepts of good childcare but also such concepts as framed by the best in non Raja Yoga care then the appointment of such is in my opinion a good idea.

But I am doubtful that the current internal politics both structure and mindset of Raja Yoga will not cause serious problems for the real effectiveness of any appointee. Given where the institution currently is and given how far it needs to travel in terms of the whole cultural milieu in which its’ children are growing up I am doubtful that the Children’s Officer is a job as it is currently shaped anyone can successfully do. Perhaps in five years but not at the moment.

For example if I were the Children’s Officer in London I would immediately try to send all the senior Raja Yoga leadership on very extensive courses on child development, sexuality, institutional development and policy implementation. Would I have the authority to do this? Somehow I suspect not. But institutional development on this scale must start at the top. Without the political power to effect change at every level as necessary the process of child protection becomes reduced to a little side issue as if checking there are no convicted paedophiles on the staff of the children’s class is the crux of the matter. The Children’s Officer would need to be backed up by real political power as well as an amalgam of the necessary Raja Yoga, child sciences and institutional development expertise. I cannot see how this would be achieved unless such an Officer was supported by a body of respected experts across the fields such as a steering committee or an advisory committee comprising largely but not exclusively of non-Raja Yoga experts. And this agency too would need some political power.

So as it stands, in my opinion the Children’s Officer is toothless in terms of being an agent for the most effective type of institutional change. Nevertheless as it is currently configured I believe it could be expected to gradually raise the quality of care delivered by those in the lower levels of the Raja Yoga organisation.

One current arrangement I would contest is that it is the duty of the Children’s Officer alone to refer any concerns to parents, social services or police as appropriate as well as to the Trustee of the BKWSU. I would configure this differently. Whilst anybody with concerns should take them initially to the Children’s Officer, that person must themselves verify that the Children’s Officer has dealt with the situation properly. Failing this it is the duty of all to refer concerns on to appropriate persons or agencies. Having one person alone responsible for disclosure creates a weak link in the chain and places bureaucracy above individual conscience and awareness. The causative reason Raja Yoga is now getting child protection policies is because two ex-Raja Yogis refused to accept the inappropriate responses of those who were in charge.

Related to this is the issue of chains of command. The Children’s Officer should not be appointed by the senior teachers of BKWSU in my opinion but rather by the Trustees. He or she should be accountable to the Trustees and not to the senior Raja Yogis.

Also if they are to play their proper role in creating genuine accountability the names and addresses of the Trustees should be publicly available. If someone would only disclose who they are I for one would certainly like to contact them about child protection issues in both UK and India.

These are just some of my major observations in respect of the BKWSU UK policy document. There are many others including numerous lessons learnt from the Catholic Church’s problems with child sexual abuse in celibate communities. I will at a later date be feeding these into the debate. That is to say when a serious debate has commenced.

Policy Implementation

It has taken five years to achieve what should have taken at worst a couple of months. Indeed one can state it more starkly than this: It has taken two decades to achieve what should have taken a couple of months. And the world wide organisation is still a long way from even the most basic levels of actual child protection policy implementation.

I could write a better child protection policy than the current BKWSU UK document in under a week. And if I could there are definitely members of the Raja Yoga world wide membership who could. Clearly they are not yet in the loop. Having between them produced a policy document in, let us be generous -say a month, it should actually take BKWSU London all of one day to disseminate it to all centres around the World with instructions to immediately implement those parts of the plan which so can be. In the space of a month and a day the level of real risk on the ground would be lessened.

From here local centres should then be required to state in writing which bits of the plan have been implemented and which they are in the process of implementing. Individual officials should be required to sign off on such. Failure to do so must be grounds for disciplinary intervention.

Deadlines for the implementation of late parts should be agreed or if necessary imposed. Detailed supporting guidelines and educational material specific to all tiers of local organisation should be centrally produced and disseminated.

Good two-way communication should mean that elements of best practice in this or that regard happened upon by this or that centre are incorporated into the supporting materials which are sent to everyone. As the focal point of a living process the policy document would be regularly revised.

Clearly this is not happening.

Raja Yoga London with a great deal more resources than the average centre took years to produce a policy document. It has then taken years for centres around the world to either re-invent the wheel by writing their own or years to type the name of their country over a copy of the UK policy. With ridiculous and potentially a disastrous public relations, had I been so inclined as to take the whole matter to the press and media at that point, London tried to claim the delay was due to local centres finding out about local laws. All this achieved was to persuade me that London still did not have a clue about child protection. There are no laws in Kenya, Guatemala, Canada, New Zealand or anywhere else specifying how religions should write or implement child protection policies. To waste time exploring local law or practice is to look for reasons to find the lowest common level of standard. If Raja Yoga Germany reports back that none of the other religions operating there have any child protection in place in precisely what way does this inform Raja Yoga Germany’s policy implementation? Either Raja Yoga wishes to protect its’ children or it does not. And either it is prepared to flesh out what it means by this or it is not. And if it wishes to implement its’ policies with due speed it could consider doing so.

Thus far the evidence is that it wishes to have the appearance of implementation but it does not yet even know enough to convincingly fake this.

Monitoring and Evaluation

I was trained as a young Raja Yogi to keep a record of the amount of time in every hour that I spent thinking of God. From 3.30 am till late at night I would write the figures down. I ended up with piles of notebooks. I kept a graph on my wall of daily averages and each week I would celebrate reaching a new total or castigate myself for failing to keep up the progress. The average Raja Yoga watches himself like a hawk – all elements of his life have specific rules. What he eats, what he thinks about as he is preparing his food: What he looks at when he walks on the street: How he washes himself: Even how he empties his bowels: Where he looks when he is talking to somebody, how he looks at them, what he is thinking about as he listens to them. And so on.

These are not abstract principles but specific activities and modes of being he will review and monitor on a day to day basis. Some Raja Yogis would note down their daily expenditure down to pennies and present them to their senior teacher each week. Some would present a list of their worst thoughts, or most significant failing. When I found myself being attracted to any other Raja Yogi I immediately reported it to my seniors. This is what I was trained to do. When a fellow Raja Yogi displayed evidence of having formed an attachment to me I was severely admonished for not telling the seniors before a third person reported it first. Years later at the age of 23 when I ‘threw myself off the fifth floor’ by losing my virginity –an irredeemable crime, I was bitterly castigated by my senior more for the fact that I had failed to tell her immediately than for the fact that it had happened. My point is this –Raja Yogis are masters of monitoring. If they decide they want to monitor something they will do it to a positively Stalinist level of scrutiny.

On a larger scale they have an international infrastructure extremely impressive in both the bonds of communication and in the outcomes they can achieve in terms of co-ordinated action. In the Million Minutes of Peace (1985) project every centre and every country collected amounts of minutes of peaceful contemplation pledged by individuals and organisations. Across the world children, politicians, hospital patients, convicted felons, businessmen, religious orders, celebrities and numerous others were convinced to join in. Each centre tallied up the accumulated minutes and they were fed on to national offices and then on to the United Nations. The UN knows a bit about beaurocracy and was extremely impressed by the millions and millions of minutes the BKWSU had managed to collect around the world. During this and subsequent projects the Raja Yogis became very adept at setting up temporary project led infrastructures utilising both burgeoning Raja Yoga project management expertise and a multitude of non Raja Yoga professionals and technicians. For example, the children’s pack produced for Global Co-operation was within a couple of months professionally printed and disseminated to schools in over 30 countries.

When it suits them the senior Raja Yogis like to portray themselves as having more to do with the Himalayas than the internet but this group of supposed other-worldly ascetes were computerised long before the general publics of the most advanced western countries. The first time I heard about the Internet was in Mount Abu as far back as 1981 long before the existence of the world wide web and when the internet was only used by a handful of Universities and the US military. As a good Raja Yogi I did not possess a television or radio but I owned my first computer in 1985. It cost an eighth of my annual salary. I can remember being very disappointed that I failed to persuade the London seniors in 1986 that the whole Raja Yoga office should be computerised. I needn’t have worried, it was only a few years later. Raja Yoga is not backward in coming forward.

When Raja Yoga wants to achieve something quickly and effectively on a large scale it does so. It believes it is God’s organisation and that it cannot fail. It believed in the power of vision decades before this became a management principle in corporate America. The effort necessary to achieve a systematic policy implementation of child protection initiatives would be a tiny fraction of the level of work Raja Yoga routinely expends on its promotional and religious dissemination activities.

Part of the problem maybe that it has no vision for true child welfare and education. Certainly it does not train its children for life so much as train them for it’s prophesied religious events. It fervently believes that a future happy family and career for it’s children away from Raja Yoga would be vastly inferior to a life as a professional yogi married to the organisation. If it’s children are destined to be life-long yogis the institution does not really need in its opinion to concern itself with any unpleasant after effects of their departure from the path. If a child grows up and leaves it is they and not the supposed destiny which was wrong.

So there is more here than an organisation sincerely and committedly trying to adjust itself to new and supposedly culturally strange requirements. It has done much bigger harder versions of this process decades ago. The kind of systematic monitoring and evaluation necessary to implement proper child protection is not alien to Raja Yoga. What is alien is the subject. And the imperative come from ‘impure’ sources rather than god.

After several years of child protection policy implementation one has to ask why it has neither the infrastructure, nor the external expertise, nor the materials, systems, or records that it would have if this was another Million Minutes or Global Co-operation?

Why suddenly has an extremely centrally controlled organisation discovered local autonomy, allowing each country on its own timescale to work out for itself what child protection means?

Why when I informed London that I was going to produce this assessment of their child protection policy document were they happy for me to do so on a version that is already two years old? Has it not been revised in that time? When I have found upwards of thirty major and minor points I would change has no one in the whole Raja Yoga infrastructure found a single point worth modification? What sort of mirror of actual practice does this make it? Is the UK Children’s Officer working to the same document that led to the creation of her post? What then has she being doing all this time?

Why are the centres of the world so ignorant of the principles of monitoring and accountability that they think their interests are served by refusing to even confirm that they have a child protection policy?

It certainly takes work to produce systems for monitoring and evaluating the implementation and sustenance of a new initiative. These need to be tailored to every tier in the organisation and it takes work making the systems themselves reflexive i.e. getting the systems themselves able to be modified in the light of experience.

Raja Yoga has done this in other areas but not yet in child protection. So one must treat with scepticism its claims that the welfare of its children is paramount and that the safety of children takes priority over everything else. The poor quality of the monitoring and evaluation of the implementation is strong evidence that such statements are not policy aspirations or true guidelines but rather soundbites in place of genuine action.

The Credibility and Credentials of Raja Yoga’s Senior Management In Respect of Child Protection Initiatives.

Like many things in Raja Yoga child protection is controlled by the traditional senior leadership so they must take responsibility for its slow progress.

Worse than this many of them appear to be implicated in the initial cover up of events in Delhi and Mt Abu as well as the decades of no progress. The unanswered questions as to who knew what and who did nothing to minimise the number of subsequent occurrences of child abuse, combined with their continued political control of both Raja Yoga in general and child protection in particular is a potential disaster for the organisation. And one which gets worse the longer they fail to address it. I would argue that this is potentially a more serious threat to the long term future of the organisation than the death of its founder in 1969.

Given this mess it is extremely unpalatable to attempt an assessment of child protection management so far but it must be done if such mistakes are to be minimised in the future.

We cannot know the extent to which current policy and day to day actions by Raja Yoga seniors are influenced by incriminating facts at present known only to them. No one can seriously believe that whatever child abuse has occurred in the last two decades none of it reached the attention of the seniors. They must also know that the disclosure of such might threaten their survival as leaders of the movement. A conflict of interest of this kind would surely require any official who finds him or herself in such a position to temporarily step down and disclose whatever is necessary so that following suitable investigation such a person could, if exonerated, resume his or her post. The only alternative to this is to hand investigation and evaluation of prior individual and institutional misconduct to an independent agency within the organisation or even better from outside the organisation. Raja Yoga has done none of these things.

It would be ridiculous therefore to receive any of its current statements on face value. For anyone who genuinely wishes to place child protection at the top of the list of priorities they must be prepared to examine the record of those who at the moment still have control of its real position in the Raja Yoga agenda. Personal affections and perceptions as to the calibre of the individuals in the top tier of Raja Yoga should not distract from an examination of actual behaviour. And a political structure and ideology which turns any criticism of its provision into the equivalent of a personal attack on its leaders and an attack of its religious beliefs and values should not deflect those who would seek to help it. Rather it goes in itself to pointing out the need for structural change so that faults can be pointed out and positively received both by the senior management and the organisation in general. Otherwise the rank and file Raja Yogis around the world have to exist in an organisation more suited to medieval times than the twenty first century.

The correspondence revealed in this report, written not by this or that individual Raja Yogi but by the institutions highest officers and official spokes people is perhaps the first clear body of evidence ever published about child protection in Raja Yoga. It discloses a secretive response spanning decades to tragic events and even now no expression of collective or individual culpability. Child x and her brother are still waiting for a proper apology and for a proper explanation of why they were treated the way they were. There has been no disciplinary procedures instituted for either the cover up or the subsequent inaction of officials whose job it surely must have been to take steps to protect their most vulnerable students. In their correspondence with me they have employed I believe as many delaying and obfuscating tactics as they could imagine. They have mis-described, misrepresented, mis-interpreted and mis-applied in whatever way they could to buy time or to create an appearance of credibility. I even had to insist that they use headed stationary for their letters to me.

I believe the correspondence gives support to my claim that so far the recent child protection initiatives are primarily of public relations and legal substance rather than a child welfare matter per se. The early letters show that Raja Yoga considers itself well able to look after it’s children. I believe it is only when they slowly realised how the body of the correspondence, coupled with the scandalous original events, would read to the wider public did they begin to entertain coming up with some documents they could show the world. Only when they realised that I might well act on my threats to publicise the whole sorry matter did they start to ask what types of documents would society at large expect of them. The resultant policy document obviously based originally upon a completely different organisation (probably a secondary school in my guess) and then very poorly matched to the specifics of Raja Yoga is matched in its bluntness as a tool only by the weakness of its implementation.

The document itself when read by someone sufficiently knowledgeable about Raja Yoga also weakens rather than strengthens any claim to credibility in child protection the current leadership of Raja Yoga might wish to make. Raja Yoga teachers are well trained to put this new piece of shelf ornamentation in its proper place. They will know how to read it as one of Raja Yoga’s many badges of respectability. This is not to say that they do not care about their children, rather it is illustrative of the accepted view that whilst they do not need the impure non-Raja Yoga world to tell them how to look after their own, they are happy for the sake of the furtherance of their aims to jump through a few of the wider world’s hoops . The considerable expertise gathered in the area of professional child protection has as much chance as shaking up the complacency endemic in the organisation as the procedures of real universities have of filtering into this non-university.

In Raja Yoga ideology child molestation could only occur in its holiest places if it was precisely what the child in question most needed to pay off their karmic debts from previous lives. The most likely cause of such a karmic debt would be child molestation itself. Hence if Child X was abused it was probably because she was an abuser herself. How the current batch of BKWSU child protection policies is going to combat this kind of thinking is beyond me. And in my correspondence I have pointed this specific issue out to the most senior Raja Yogis in the world –as if it needed me to say it- and yet they have persisted in disseminating a policy document which blithely ignores this area of concern. When somebody shows me a secondary school in this country that teaches that paedophile victims have pre-ordained their abuse in previous lives I will then at least consider as relevant their child protection policies as a model for that of the BKWSU. Until that point I believe the substance of the document is evidence not that they are genuinely engaging the serious issues of child welfare, but rather that their apparent engagement is a sham.

So in my opinion both their correspondence with me and the child protection policy documents they have so far produced damage rather than assist what claims towards credibility as protectors of children’s well being and long term interests they might wish to make.

There are also systemic, structural and cultural facets of the organisation which have direct baring upon the issue of the leadership’s child protection credibility.

One of these is the fact that to be an official leader one must be a woman who has either never married or had children, or who has abandoned her husband and children. In Raja Yoga, both as a theology and a career, virginity is intrinsically superior to motherhood. There is somebody who gave birth to a child at the top of the Raja Yoga hierarchy but she is alone amongst an otherwise exclusively unmarried and indeed virginal peer group. And crucially she left both her husband and child for the sake of her Raja Yoga life. If she had not she could never has risen to the top. It would not surprise me if many Raja Yoga teachers around the world did not know to which of the senior sisters I refer.

In an organisation with many happily married husbands and wives and many wonderful examples of parenting who have to exist as second class citizens in some ways it is alarming that the group which has most displayed an aversion to child rearing should be in charge of child protection.

The members of the Raja Yoga leadership, apart from repudiating the chance of personal experience of child rearing also repudiate all opportunities to expose themselves to the vast body of professional experience and expertise covering all of the child and family sciences. Indeed the Raja Yoga seniors would be affronted if any of the organisations lower ranks were to suggest that they should actually read a book about child protection or child psychology, family health, paedophilia and religion, child sexuality, adolescent sexuality, trauma, child law, family law, institutional development, hypnosis, psychotherapy etc etc. The senior Raja Yogis in Mount Abu, Delhi or London, the leaders of this so-called university do not have a single proper university degree to share between them. It is quite conceivable that the senior sisters who take pride in not reading impure books nor reading newspapers have no knowledge whatsoever of the tragic disclosures in the catholic church over recent years. Senior Raja Yogis who have just read this paragraph will now be stopping to ask ‘what tragic disclosures?’ Nor will they have any knowledge of the resources that have emerged out of the catholic story, resources which are of inestimable worth in the case of their own religion. For example, research conducted by catholic sources has established that celibate communities have a higher number of child abuse occurrences than non-celibate. The Brahma Kumaris blind dogmatic faith in wholesale chastity actually increases rather than lessens the amount of child sexual abuse occurring in their midst. Anyone in charge of their child protection has a duty to understand and face these facts however humbling they might be.

Beyond a duty to protect ‘God’s work’ by not allowing his organisation’s name to be sullied is a closely allied and very similar duty which needs to be appreciated. And that is to protect the ‘honour’ of the seniors. By definition a Raja Yogi in the very top tiers of the hierarchy is part of the constellation of gods and goddesses at the heart of its theology. If one of them were to resign because of scandal a substantial part of the paradigm would be called into question. We are speaking about people who themselves and also the totality of their fellow Raja Yogis consider to be undoubtedly amongst the most divine beings ever to exist. They outshine Mary, Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha etc. This is why God has picked them to run his organisation. Could God be wrong? The established consensus view of the senior Raja Yogis that God watches and guides them with great attentiveness means that they are not replaceable in the way an errant company director might be. If one of them goes, they take with them part of the whole dream. The pressure this can exert upon individual Raja Yogis including the seniors is immense. I cannot imagine true internal two way accountability within Raja yoga as well as proper accountability towards the wider world being achieved until the political structures of Raja Yoga are in some way re configured so that they are prised apart from the metaphysical hierarchy they all have in their heads. That is to say if there are figures who are irreplaceable in the theology it is in the interests of Raja Yoga that these people be removed from executive power in an area such as child protection.

Otherwise because god and the world supposedly needs these people whatever mistakes they might make will need to be re-described or simply hidden.

The incidents to child x and their mismanagement are instructive in their locations on the Raja Yoga map. She came from London and was abused in Delhi and Mount Abu. The top Raja Yogis in India and the West are all implicated in allowing whatever laxities in child protection may have exposed her to danger and also in failing to tighten up such after her molestations had proved beyond all doubt that danger was present. I contend that if these events had occurred at distant outposts of the Raja Yoga landscape there would have been less inducements for the hierarchy to bury all the events and do nothing in terms of acknowledging an ongoing threat.

So the personal failings of the current leadership in their response to Child X’s abuse certainly damages their credibility now. But paradoxically the pressures upon them and their juniors to avoid viewing any events as reflecting in a damaging way upon the leaders means that rectifying such in the future will be twice as hard.

I conclude that I do not find any real credibility to the current leader’s management of their organisation’s child protection. I believe this report demonstrates the opposite. That it is much more creditable to assert that the leadership both as individuals and as a structure have demonstrated that they are intricately woven into a web of systems and forces which put children at very real risk.

Joined: 16 Jun 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 1:42 pm    Post subject: Re the above report

I understand and accept xbkchat forum's excerpting of my report but must stress to all readers that, in my opinion, they should read the full version before coming to any conclusions about it. The excerpts published here are merely introductory to the substantive core of the report contained in the various appendices.

The report is published in full at http://homepages.nildram.co.uk/~eromain/childprotection.htm (just do a keyword search) or is available from me in Microsoft Word format by emailing me at eromain@nildram.co.uk

Joined: 24 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 5:34 pm    Post subject:

I am so moved.......and so sorry for all that was taken from you, T.. his sister, and other young B.K.s. Your courage is truly inspirational....I just feel very, very thankful for your efforts and for your having shared this. -Isabel

PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2004 6:06 am    Post subject:

I've really not read everything - not now. But anyway, you have an obvious point: children must grow in a situation where they can make up their own opinions, beliefs, etc. But I ask you: what do you think that happens with kids groing up in a strong christian family and/or community? What are their chances of breaking free?? If they have bad luck, they'll believe that the world has been created in 6 days and that god took a nap on the 7th. And yes, god bless America, etc. ...

You can apply this to any world religion ... In my country, christianity has really lost its grip on the mass. People do like to marry in church, but that's not out of faith, but because it is symbolic. But it used to be quite different, going back less than 30 years. The indoctrination of world religions is somehow more acceptable than from newer or smaller movements. I don't see any difference.

Joined: 10 Apr 2004
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2004 1:11 pm    Post subject:

Indeed Kevin...so why bring up your children into any 'religion' at all Question

PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2004 4:56 pm    Post subject:

yeah, but it many cases the religion is entangled in the culture
Most children in this world DON'T grow up in an open environment with free choises, whether it be in an islamitic background, christian, or somewhere in Africa in the bushes. The moral values and what is supposed to be "right" and "wrong" are imposed on them from within the community and the eduction. The places that offer relatively the most 'freedom' to people, are the western liberal countries - of course, there is still some enheritance of the past. For example, I don't see why my tax money has to go to the maintenance of all those churches. But, in these countries we see that people will search for their values in other religious movements than the traditional ones anyway. It seems that most people need this. Christianity has been replaced by all kinds of new age movements here. So, in the end, most of us do end up in search for 'something'. But most people never break free from from the environment in which they grew up. That's how it goes. Either way it is, you will always bring up your children and pass on some kind of ethical inheritance from yourself, whether it be religeous related or not.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2004 6:16 pm    Post subject:

Kevin wrote:
So, in the end, most of us do end up in search for 'something'. But most people never break free from from the environment in which they grew up. That's how it goes. Either way it is, you will always bring up your children and pass on some kind of ethical inheritance from yourself, whether it be religeous related or not.

Yes, I agree. Religions do not have the monopoly on ethical behaviour. Its quite possible to inculcate in your children a wish to live a respectful and moral life without the need to bring religion into it Wink Not that I'll ever have the chance though.... Laughing Mr. Green

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2004 12:12 am    Post subject: Quo Vadis: the antinomy of distance

Eromain: A warm welcome to xbkchat!

Your insightful post is profoundly disturbing to one who has been acquainted with the BKs for almost as long as you have and has even played the role of teacher. It is quite possible that I may have read you the murli in your youth and in that regard, considering the profundity of its effect which you have so eloquently articulated, I hasten to offer my sincere apologies even though I was (unwittingly) a 'victim' of the same system at the time.

The position you have taken raises several important questions not only for the BKs but for the wider world at a time when we are plagued by so many perversities in society.

First of all, I cannot help wondering by what measure of reasoning you can expect the Brahma Kumaris to follow your advice when they believe that their very raison d'etre is to serve as 'God's instruments' to perform his task of 'setting right the things that have gone wrong' in the world. As you have noted several times they are programmed to 'follow Shrimat'; anything else is termed 'manmat' or your own thinking, and that is an anathema. To follow your advice, from their point of view, would be committing an act of institutional suicide. It would contradict the very tenets of Raj Yoga as you have alluded in several instances when discussing their sense of propriety.

Please understand that I am not criticising the fact that you have taken such a stand. I commend you on your exemplary courage. To attain a psychological position as an xbk as you have done must have taken tremendous emotional energy and spiritual fortitude considering your grounding in the Faith and the extent to which you have been committed. Indeed, your position reminds me of the British psychiatrist Edward Bullough's principle of "the antinomy of distance" required when contemplating an object of art. According to Bullough, it is important to discover an optimal distance from which to observe or interact with an object of art. Too much distance leads to estrangement and an abstraction indicative of being devoid of emotion; too close a position leads to a crudity or absurdity of expression indicative of being too emotionally close to render a truly artistic perspective. The analogy can be applied to us as xbks. If we have not struck the antinomy of distance from our involvement then it is difficult for us to verbalise it or we are now so far removed from it that it hardly evokes a meaningful response from us. If you have not achieved that antinomy of distance then I believe you are close to it - perhaps a little too close to your subject to see the antinomy (i.e. contradiction) of your proposal, as explained above. That is why I ask the question 'quo vadis'. The direction and consequences of this revelation can extend beyond the realms of the BK organization since it raises implications for every other cult. And yes, let me say en passant that for me you have, remarkably, profiled the BKs in such a way that no one reading your report can doubt the validity of their classification as a cult. But back to the implications of your proposal for their formulating and implementing an effective child protection policy.

Apart from committing organizational suicide, the implications for such a policy as the kind you have suggested would inevitably set an unusual precedent for both the established and so called 'New Age' religions. I am no expert in this area and am subject to correction but, as alluded to by "Kevin" in one of the recent responses, there are similar considerations to take into account as regards the established religions. This point leads me to reflect on an experience I had recently when facing a commission established to examine ethnic relations. I proposed that, in a multi-ethnic society, comparative religion should be included in the curriculum of secondary schools and offered at a tertiary level to help resolve conflicts arising from religious and (consequently) cultural differences. The commissioners agreed but then asked 'why restrict it to secondary and tertiary levels, why not start at the primary level?' I replied that at that age the child is not sufficiently developed intellectually to appreciate the range of differences and that one should perhaps wait until the secondary school level when the child's intellect is a little more prepared to explore and appreciate such differences. At that point one of the commissioners, a Christian cleric, quickly pointed out to me that by then the child would have been "confirmed" into the faith into which he or she was born and the education in comparative religion would therefore be counter-productive. I share this anecdote to say that it is indicative of a 'child policy' already embedded in mainstream religions where the legitimacy of grounding a child in a Faith is considered important and crucial. There is a well known Christian saying that says 'train up a child in the ways of the Lord and he will not depart from it'. This is often an argument for religious indoctrination in the context of character building, hence another serious implication.

However, let me hasten to observe that the same principle of early indoctrination, when applied to The BKs quality of inflexiblity, can produce the sort of detrimental results outlined by you. This is where I think points-of-view like Kevin's fail to discern that there is a fundamental difference between traditional religions and new ones like the BKs with new Messiahs who claim to be God speaking "face to face" with Man today. There is no chronoligical difference between the Messiah and his teachings thus allowing those teachings to be tempered, stretched or significantly modified by interventions and reinterpretations of Man as has happened in traditional religions. Should the BKs follow your advice and incline themselves seriously to that practice then they can no longer claim to be the direct, living invention of God to change the world. Rather, it would be an admission of failure - which, for them is unthinkable or suicidal.

What this brings us to is the big question of Shiv Baba's responsibility with regard to a 'child protection policy'. To say, as might be said by them for him that "this is your panchait or worry" in your worldly affairs, is to contradict the meaning of another popular theme song of the Sakar Murlis, namely, "He has come to set right the things that have gone wrong". To excuse him from this process is to cast aspersions on the nature of his abilities and powers, and to do so, logically, is to question the fundamental Truth of his identity which would be like shaking the very foundations of the institution and shattering or at least disturbing the ontological security of its adherents. The reverberations of that would be like an earthquake with a reading of 10 on the Richter scale! In other words, eromain, the buck does not stop with the seniors whom you have been addressing but with their "Supreme Father" who, unlike the "Supreme Father" of the Christian or Muslim or other traditional faiths is actually accessible "face to face" in Madhuban - the very place where the "sin" was committed! There was an avyakt murli on the theme of "Justice" that was delivered in the late seventies or early eighties and it was churned and expounded on by one of the Administrative Heads. I recall vividly her words echoed from the murli: "Where else but in God's House will you find justice?" Actually, that was a sore point for me since I was seeing our fair share of discrepancies in the administration while it was being drilled into us that 'God is actually in charge here'. My faith broke and I left a few years before you. So we cannot avoid addressing the central question to our collective experience: who is "Shiv Baba?"

You have made it clear that you are not dealing with questions of the veracity of the BKs teachings or tenets, yet, after reading the intensity of your involvement and the gravity of your concerns, I find the absence of any critical assessment of the "Seed" of the movement a very significant omission since the success of your appeal to his instruments depends on their willingness to involve him in the entire process. And if they find this ridiculous - as one might argue - then shouldn't the focus of any serious public investigation extend to or begin with an investigation of the identity of that transcendent founder? Arguably, this should satisfy everyone: from a BK point of view, it would reveal the "Truth" that they have been labouring to awaken the World to; from ours we would faster get an answer to the unsweet silence surrounding your concerns.

This is all for now but in another post I'd like to discuss the philosophical implications of practising censorship in Religious teachings - questions of doctrinal dogma versus free thought or closed vs open systems of thought. Until then, stay strong my brother.


"Those were the days my friend ...."

Joined: 24 Apr 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2004 8:40 am    Post subject:

Eromain I had the privilege of reading your report this afternoon in full and now find it posted here in excerpt. The complexity of institutionalisation is so vast, whether the bks or as kevin points out, any other institution.

Mostly - as a bk - I wanted to acknowledge the profound contribution you have made to transparency, openness and accountability within the organisation. I agree with gyaniwasi in that the complexity is heightened by the beliefs as well as agreed behaviours (both tacit and overt).

In Australia, Duty of Care has entered into organisational awareness within centres and the broader family. There is of course hesitancy to implement, but some steps have been taken in at least one instance that I am aware of in relation bullying within the broader community, rather than child protection.

However, I am also aware of some sensible, preventative decision making in a positive sense around child protection within one of the retreat centres.

I suspect that these essential yet 'baby steps' are due to your commitment.

Joined: 17 Apr 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2004 9:08 pm    Post subject:

You know, when my son started schooling, I had enrolled him for the computer classes which were being given cheaply through the school. His friends started telling me that he would, sometimes, skip the computer classes to go and sweep the classroom because he wanted his class to get the award for being the cleanest class in school. This did not seem so bad but I would advise him that he should not miss his classes and that he should do such things during his free time. Then, things were fine until one day (about 2 years later), one of his school teachers phoned me and told me that he had lead a group of students to wash the school toilet during school hours when they should have been in class studying. Now this was more serious. He has the capabilities to influence others and if what he was teaching was good, then it is alright but considering that gangsterism etc are looked up upon by some school children; this capability can get misused. Then, his teachers and I started teaching him that he should not do such things during school hours etc. Things were fine again for about 2 or 3 years until one day, his teacher phoned and told me that my son has lead a group of poor children to the cybercafer because he wanted to give them an opportunity to play games on the computer. I allow him to play trading games on the computer because it helps develop his mathematical skills and it also gives other benefits too. I constantly teach him as to why he should not play games which can ruin his character etc. He must have talked about all these to his friends and they must have stated their desires to play; and there is one student in the school who just goes anywhere he likes, including cybercafers. My son must have got influenced by this student and decided to use this student to bring a group of poor children to the cybercafer. Luckily, the teachers caught them just as it was all at the beginning stage and they informed me about it. I am one who co-operates with the teachers. I do not fight with teachers saying that they were not doing a good job like how some parents do. Thus, I have a good relationship with my son's teachers. Together, we have managed to teach these children that the police can get involved in such matters and that they could end up sitting in the police station etc. Fortunately, the government has laws which states that school children should not be seen roaming around in school uniform during schooling hours. This really helps to teach virtuos living to children because there is the threat that they might be sitting in the police station, waiting for the parents to come before any decision is taken etc. The teachers' duty is actually less than the parents duty. It is the parents who have to inculcate very good values within the child by trying to make him understand the benefits that he could get by using the virtues and through teaching him as to how he could get into various kinds of difficulties if he used the vices.
Now what I am trying to say is that bring up children is in the hands of the parents and his teachers. The Brahma Kumaris are not involved with this unless the parents have surrendered their children into the University for spiritual education. Now, the laws allow parents to do this. If you do not like this, you should try to get the governments to change the laws. But you will have to keep one thing in mind when you do this. The government has to give respect to people's rights. If not, other countries may rise up against the decisions / laws etc. Such things had happened in Malaysia when Mahathir was around as Prime Minister and other country leaders were not too happy with him (or his moves - whichever). Further, if the government makes wrong moves, it may jeopardise the government's chances of getting re-elected. Actually, if you tried to change the laws where the Brahma Kumaris alone are concerned, it would bring everything that the Brahma Kumaris are doing into public. When this happens, it would seem illogical to act unfairly against them. There are many who praise their work.

But off course, if BKs are willing to get together to do something to help children, that would be great. But we can't force anyone to do anything. The Brahma Kumaris' main aim is "the aim to become divine / perfect". All other activities are only secondary in importance.
God's angel.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2004 10:01 pm    Post subject:

s13 wrote:
Better I think Eromain should leave BK completely rather partially, if he disobey the knowledge.

I don't think any BK has any right to say that one should leave or that they have no right to use God's knowledge in whatever way they can. It is my opinion that God Himself may have helped in the setting up of this website for His children. We have to remember that God is the Father of all souls and not just the Father of BK souls.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2004 10:25 pm    Post subject:

Sweetest s13,
The one who seems like a "partial BK" might actually turn out to be a powerful soul even if he remains a "partial BK". The ones who claim to be "complete BKs" may not be true BKs and they might only end up being weak souls. You know Baba has said that at the end the ones involved with administration of the Brahma Kumaris will not be powerful souls. If you ask me, I would say that so-called "partial BKs" who are not within the Brahma Kumaris might end up as world servers because non-BKs might prefer their ways since they are not tied down by the rules and regulations that exist to keep the Brahma Kumaris safe etc. Many so-called BKs seem more concerned about themselves and their views. The feeling of being a spiritual family does not exist within the Brahma Kumaris because of this. Take what you have done as an example. It is good that you have voiced your opinion but true BKs would prefer to keep silence than to observe and talk about the weaknesses of others. Some BKs do look at it in an attempt to help. Some most BKs overdo this because of their critical eye. Then, the help is not really help anymore. It "hurts. I'm sorry if I have said anything to hurt you.... Hm. Saying sorry is to make the other feel better. It is not being said so as to endure the "sorry" state.
God's angel.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2004 11:36 pm    Post subject:

I haven't said any one to leave BK. What all I have said is if we can't obey or believe knowledge anymore... is their point in considering oneself BK.
However emeron is no more BK according to what he said...But I am trying to point out his attachment and unhappiness with BK world is still remain in the intellect and I wish him to leave that completely. If we forget anything that happened that can't be topic of its discussion what I think. Anyway my apologies if that hurts anyone.

Joined: 23 Jun 2004
Posts: 174

PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:08 am    Post subject: Eromain's Report

Eromain's report should not be ignored by all parties concerned.
It is a work with great intellectual depth.
I would like to relate some of my experiences as a BK and Pandav directly from the trenches.
I had my spiritual birth as a BK in Georgetown, Guyana on December 24, 1975. A few weeks prior to that date I had a vision of Jesus. I had wished that by the age of 21, I should attain spiritual wisdom through Raja Yoga. I received a special gift on the Christmas of 1975. BKs Jayanti and Lata, introduced me to Baap Dada and the rest has been a very interesting history of my life in this incarnation. I was about to matriculate to university to pursue studies in veterinary medicine. As I awaited the award of a Guyana Scholarship, I studied Raj Yoga intensively. Due to a special karmic account, I was fortunate to have within a span of one year, the best of the best instrument teachers of Raj Yoga: Mohini bhen, Hemlata bhen, and Dadi Gulzar bhen. Most importantly, there was a special bond between myself and Baba.
One requirement for the Guyana Scholarship was the completion of several months of geurella warfare training in the Guyana jungles. I had given up the oriental martial arts as violent, prior to my practice of Raj Yoga. I underwent two tours of duty of guerella warfare training. Though I was a Raj Yogi and a vegetarian, I was trained in the operation of avariety of small arms and bushcraft. I would meditate at pre-dawn and I observed all the other Brahmin Principles. At the camp sites, there were many very attractive ladies, with whom I could have fallen in love or lust, head over heels. I learned to channel the energies of romantic love into other directions; for example surviving in a jungle and studying the arts combat.
When I visited Madubhan in the fall of 1976, two of my former teachers made a special appeal to Baap-Dada. They asked Baap-Dada's permission for me to pursue veterinary studies. Baap-Dada granted the permission and blessed my enterprise. He assured me and my teachers that there would be many opportunities for service in my academic pursuits. I received whole hearted support from the Brahman family during my veterinary studies. I my spare time I would assist in the establishment of centers in the US where I studied. The success of my career as a veterinarian, scientist and educator is due in a large part to my training as a Raja Yogi.
There is much that I owe the BKs that I will never be able to repay in a whole kalpa.
In the summer of 1978, during a pre-dawn meditation session in San Antonio, Texas, I had a vision of a very attractive lady. She proceeded to rush towards me with open arms. I became more soul conscious and remembered God and the lady seemed to have vaporized. I forgot about the vision, until my return to school in the fall of 1978. I was riding my bicycle down one of the main campus roads and riding in the opposite direction was an attractive young lady. I thoght I had seen her before, but I could not remember the circumstances. The lady was one of my classmates in veterinary school. Several weeks into the semester, I recalled the vision. It was her. My mind would be pulled towards her. However, Raj Yog would empower me to refocus my energies to my studies. We did become friends, in a Platonic way and kept it at that level. We had to be taking classes for four years. Raj Yog meditation enabled me succeed in my studies. One day towards the second year of our training, my friend commented that I was rather selfish. It was painful, but only for a few hours. I regarded our encounter as a settling of karmic accounts. For my graduation banquet, I could have attended without a date. My date was a young lady who was very spiritual and very attractive. Due to her strange ways of dressing she was not liked by the rest of the class. At the end of the banquet she drove me home. We kissed and parted our ways. I understood that as a Raj Yogi living in the West, I could not keep the opposite sex at a distance. I have since learned that though my sisters are not sex objects, hugs and kisses when they are not returned can produce more negative thoughts thatn the hugs and kisses.
In 1986, I returned to Guyana, where I worked as a veterinary officer for four years. Following an assassination attack, I recommenced the study of the oriental martial arts along with Raj Yog. Prior to my return to Budo, the martial way, I used to struggle to practice soul conciousness. Once I commenced the practice of the martial arts, soul consciousness has been easy and natural.
Raj Yog has been a key which has opened many sessemes for me. God is real and His gyan is the Truth. A lokik university training, even at the post-doctoral level trains an individual to think in the paradigm of logic and acnnonical knowledge. Raj Yog training empowers an individual to think at a metacognitive level beyond established paradigms.

Om Shanti
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Om Shanti,
To my brothers and sisters.

Love to you all,
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