Reach Approach & the Brahma Kumaris

for ex-BKs to discuss matters related to experiences in BKWSU & after leaving.
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ex-l

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Reach Approach & the Brahma Kumaris

Post14 May 2011

Does anyone know if "The Reach Approach" or Easton Hamilton, creator of The Reach Approach, is BK, or post-BK related?

The trademark seems *very* BK and there are a few hints to suggest, e.g. folks in white on hilltops, the predominance of Shiva Baba like sunsets, and they talk of a network of 50 individuals.

Is this something BKs, or post-BKs, are involved with?

I use the terms "post-BKs" for ex-BKs that might be easier with their previous association with the Brahma Kumaris and just getting on with life or making a personal business out of it. Seems to be a few threads to the 'usual suspects' such as Lucinda Bisset, Mike George, BK designers Mirek and Jola etc.

Do post-BKs have their own support networks?

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Mike26

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Re: Reach Approach & the Brahma Kumaris

Post15 May 2011

Hi all

It has recently come to my attention that members of the BKWU are offering psychological therapy services in the West Midlands areas.

This has been communicated to me by one personal friend and another work colleague. Both of these people attended counselling sessions with 3 different counsellors over a period of several months to work on personal issues.

My work colleague told me that in the counselling room (located in the house of the counsellor) there is a strange picture of an oval shaped golden-red light with a pinpoint star in its centre. She claims her attention was constantly drawn to this picture on the wall by the counsellor. She said she found this behaviour weird. In addition, the counsellor is encouraging her to become a vegetarian and to practice meditation on herself as a soul in order to help with her difficulties.

Her experience is very similar to my friend's counselling except that he has seen two counsellors. He did not like the way things were going with the first counsellor so agreed to being referred to a second counsellor only to find the same set-up there.

I am pretty sure from what I've been told that these counsellors are members of the BKWSU. If I am right they are misleading their clients. None of these counsellors have declared their affiliation with the BKWSU. That's similar to having counselling with a Christian minister who does not tell you he is a minister or that his approach to therapy is guided by his Christian beliefs. Seems a bit deceitful to me.

I have the names of these counsellors and their counselling services. Not sure exactly what to do about this information. I am concerned for the public more than anything.

Any suggestions??

P.S

I have looked at the web-site for one of these counsellors and it definitely looks BK to me. There is even a clip of Jayanti giving a commentary, and under the section on 'Retreats' the Oxford Retreat is mentioned.

The workmate who had counselling with this lot has, in my opinion, been further distressed by the experience. Have a look at the website and see what you think. This appears to be a private business run by members of BKWU.

http://www.thereachapproach.co.uk

People are not being told when they go for counselling that these specific individuals have or had BKWSU connections.

(Minor edit to correct in italics and below, note no mention Sister Jayanti is leading a Brahma Kumari - Admin)
.
Reach Approach wrote:HEALING HABITS

The Healing Power of Silence

For those of you interested in understanding the benefits of silence and its amazing healing powers, this 50 minute lecture may be of interest ...
 
Sister Jayanti on the healing power of silence ...


BK_Jayanti_Reach_Approach.jpg
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Re: Reach Approach & the Brahma Kumaris

Post15 May 2011

Thanks for sticking it out Mike and picking up on this. Interestingly enough, I just noticed it myself (although I did not see the Jayanti clip). Someone else mentioned them in passing a while ago.

The site has been jazzed up a bit since I looked at it and, beyond the obvious logo, now I notice the ubiquitous "Lucinda Drayton" and "Relax Kids" plug ... BK or post-BK co-prosperity strikes again. You also have the Casa Sangam in Italy, BKs' semi-commercial retreat center, the Global Retreat Centre in Oxford, and the BKWSU does get one single tiny URL link ... but no mention of the Brahma Kumari connection if their is one. Do they offer financially rewarded services to BKWSU followers?
We have developing initiatives in Edinburgh, Cardiff, Plymouth, Cornwall and Bristol. In addition to this, we also have a significant international interest with over 30 countries regularly downloading our materials and a variety of individuals and organisations undertaking distant learning initiatives with us.

What I don't see is a simple
    "Who is it ...
    Where and how were they trained ... and
    Which professional body they are accredited with.
    "
Surely the most important piece of information to give. There is not even a simple "registered office".

Being uncharitable, from my days in the BKs, one would have just put the individual down as "some Brother with a massive amount of manmat (his own opinions)". Possibly even that worst of insults, "still doing Bhakti". But what is the inside story? A frustrated healer therapist who gave away too many of their years to the BKWSU trying to get back on track again?

BKs or Post-BK are one thing, I even more cynical when it comes to folks rolling out that Japanese guy Dr Imoto because he is a bit of a con (not a real doctor, does not submit his claims to proper scientific scrutiny) ... but using the appeal of therapy, to push cultish beliefs to vulnerable individuals are genuinely seeking help, that is very unethical.

But what to do? I am not sure of the legal requirements to advertise oneself as a "psychotherapist". Anyone done wrong would have legal rights to take action or at the very least to go to the local trading standards departments and speak to them.

We need to do some more research, I do not know these individuals but the vagueness of the modus operandi and language appears to be very typical to BKs and post-BKs.

I am just always surprised by how commercial they allow them to be these days, it is like the flood gates are open. Perhaps the leadership have made so much money they don't care any more and are letting the following do as they please ... perhaps the leadership have just lost their power and influence over their followers? You tell me ...
---
I want to try and include some images of what these BK "oval lights" look like. Obviously I have not see the one referred to above and some of these are Indian versions, but readers will get a good idea of what we are talking about. Brahma Kumari adherents will stare into these for upto 45 minutes or even longer in their mind imagining their are connected to god. They symbolise the BKs concept of the god spirit they call ShivBaba.

Elsewhere we have commented on how similar this technique is, staring at a dot, to those used by some hypnotists.

trance_lights.jpg
Examples of Brahma Kumari oval "trance lights"

trance2.jpg

trance3.jpg
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Mike26

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Re: Reach Approach & the Brahma Kumaris

Post15 May 2011

This REACH set up is definitely BK connected. The director is Easton Hamilton, still a BK as I understand it since the early 1980s. His organisation REACH was set up in 1994. I know people who have met him at the centre in West Bromwich around 2006 but his association with this centre goes back a couples of decades and he has apparantly been a regular visitor to the London centres in the past. His claim to be an accredited counsellor is supported by the BACP British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. The others mentioned on the site I suspect are also BK however, the 2 other counsellors mentioned to me by my friend are not listed on the site but I have found their individual websites offering their counselling services.

One of the Associates of Reach is Nicki Gregory (It looks like she is mentioned in some of the testimonials on the site).

One of the major aspects of the site that strikes me are the dozens of testimonials from people claiming to have been helped by this bunch. I wonder how this volume of aduration toward Mr Hamilton and co fits in with the Yogi quality of humility? Seems more like a personality cult to me given the level of almost worship-like praise heaped on them. Given the status of his ego, would you want him as your counsellor?

I am still looking at all the stuff on the site but the Japanese Doctor is just spouting nonsense. As far as I understand therapists are expected to advertise their qualifications accurately and not mislead. The issue of whether these counsellors should disclose up-front their affiliation with the BKWSU is I guess, more an ethical issue. From the accounts I've received they are trying to subtley influence clients toward BK teachings under the guise of delivering counselling. This seems a rather deceitful process to me and if there approach to therapy is creating confusion and distress in their clients (as was the case for my colleague) this is potentially dangerous.

I think a lot of these BKs are just doing their own thing. I met several 'renegade'' members during my association with the BKWSU who often concluded they knew better than the centre instruments how to 'do service' and did their own thing without endorsement by the centres. There was often an undercurrent of tension and animosity between these rebels and the centre instruments and others who suspected them of acting without the co-oridnation of centres.

I guess this therapy service is just another means of promoting the BKWU and possibly making money for them in the process. The method seems to fit as you point out with other set-ups abroad.
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Re: Reach Approach & the Brahma Kumaris

Post16 May 2011

Probably best not to say "con" until we know more ...

During my time in the BKs, any sort of deviance from 'the norm' was strictly disapproved of, any investment of any time is any therapy or alternative health treatment consider "Bhakti" and idea idea not copy and paste from the Murli was dangerous "manmat" (worthless, personal opinion). As most ex-BKs know, one of the worst condemnation they use is "Bhagat" meaning devotee ... "oh, he is still doing Bhakti", they might say. A start of religosity they consider below them. "Health Bhagat" was the term used. There was only one cure, Brahma Kumaris' Raja Yoga, more Raja Yoga and even more Raja Yoga. And if that did not work, more Yoga ... and physical service until the point of exhaustion.

The thought or idea of doing business off the back of "The Knowledge" was unbelievable.

Yes, I would be concerned if they were using their business to point individuals to Brahma Kumarism ... and taking a financial commission on the way ... and I suspect that when he writes, "done their therapy" he also means doing Brahma Kumarism.

Unfortunately, I would consider a continued faith in Brahma Kumarism - despite all the "contraindications" - is evidence that one had NOT done one's therapy! Perhaps he is a bit of a BK zealot that the Seniors are happy to allow some rope as he still brings in new sacrifices (new BK adherents) to them. I don't know. I have no direct experience. But I would appreciate more research being done on it as it usually means a similar model will pop up elsewhere in the BK world.
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Re: Reach Approach & the Brahma Kumaris

Post17 May 2011

You make some good points. I remember all those expressions of contempt very well ... Bhagat ... stlll doing Bhakti ... and the term 'pundit' to describe someone who just spouted knowledge but made no practical efforts to follow Shrimat.

I realise 'Con' is a strong word but from my standpoint this is exactly what it is. I am pretty sure these specific counsellors are BKs. Some are possibly ex BKs too. The comments from those I know who have been to see counsellors at thereachapproach have described statements made about meditation, vegetarianism, detachment, purity of mind etc including exercises such as the 'Hall of Shame' in which they were encouraged to disclose their most shaming experiences in the fashion of a confessional to the counsellor. They also reported feeling their was an agenda behind the way they are working with clients which was pushing them toward spiritual practices.

I also know from my old contacts that Hamilton and Niki Gregory were definately BKs through the late 80's, 90's and into the 2000's. I don't have concrete evidence they still are, but if they are not they are certainly employing methods based on BK teachings in their 'counselling' work.

They are most definitely charging fees for their services, this has been confirmed by those I know who have been to see them.

I agree with your last two comments. A therapist and a BK seem a contradiction in terms. We might imagine someone who had become sufficiently enlightened about themselves and engaged in personal development through therapy would esily see through the delusions presented by the BKs. I guess stranger things have happened as they say.

From what I have been managed to learn, Hamilton in the old days was seen by some at the centres as not following the rules and was disaproved off. He was giving the courses outside of the centres at peoples homes etc. Most of those he nurtured into The Knowledge left the BKs after disagreements and disputes with him. Apparently those he sought to nurture viewed him in a guru-like fashion following his every counsel in deference to his persona of authority.

Perhaps as you suggest he is a zealot and tolerated by the Seniors, especially if he is promoting them and briniging in the pennies, and don't they just love all those pennies ... or rather the millions of pounds they acrue.

Personally, I feel they are a danger to the public. Therapeutic work is a highly responsible enterprise considering they are working with people's psychological difficulties and vulnerabilities. These people as clients are already vulnerable and needy and on this basis far more easily manipulated by the therapist if that is the intention. Their lack of transparency regarding their affiliation with BK puts them in the 'unethical practice' camp for me.

Well, at least I have brought this issue to the attention of this forum and I would encourage all members of this forum to advise anyone you know looking for therapy not to visit this organisation. Spread the word please for everyone's sake.
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Re: Reach Approach & the Brahma Kumaris

Post19 May 2011

Mr Green once made a point that a lot of more intelligent, perhaps talented BKs were frustrated and started to break away and do their own thing, and that this was tolerated by the leadership - as a way of keeping a hold on them - because they could not offer them any positions of promotion within the organization. All the positions of power being already held by individuals who were perhaps not that intelligent or talented.

Underneath that, I think there is also a reasonable sense of distrust in Westerners from the old school Sindhi leadership, i.e. that is that they move fast but then explode or become "unstable", and leave. I think they far prefer the slow moving and bovine Bhakti type of BKs ... the matas (mothers) who are there and theirs for life.

What I wonder at is why and for how long these individuals hold on to their BKness ... but I went through a period of that myself, that is having left but still feeling that I had to hand over other individuals to the BK and their god "just in case" it was all true. BUT ... that was a long time ago and way beyond we discovered what a fraud the BKWSU has being carrying out regarding re-writing their history and hiding their god's false predictions.

It was even before the End of the World predictions that had Destruction happening in the mid-1980s. We were living under fear. I have come to honestly believe that one really is entranced and hypnotised by the BKWSU experience and programmed at a deeper than conscious level to be owned by them.

That "instability" is something we should perhaps examine ... I suspect it is born of intelligence that sees through the game but is still hooked somehow.

I find it hard to believe the Brian Bacons and Nikki de Carteret really believe in the 5000 years bit etc ... so how did they get hooked and why did they stick it out? Although I said nice things about Wendy Sargent ... did she *really* buy into the whole philosophy?

---

The site says ...
Reach Approach wrote:For the last 8 years Niki has been running her own private practice (Insight) in South Birmingham (UK) and is an Associate of Reach, whom she came into contact with in its early years of development. Niki’s truest qualifications stem from undertaking her own personal therapy with Reach some 20 years ago.

Which would place it at around the same time Easton went to the centre. Was their connection via the BKWSU? If so, it would have been against the Maryadas to use center connections for the sake of personal business.
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Re: Reach Approach & the Brahma Kumaris

Post19 May 2011

The process of holding onto their BK-ness is an interesting feature of post BK life. For me, this demonstrates how seductive and enduring the indoctrination is. Following the teachings establishes a completely new mindset and approach to life. I guess we could talk about this in terms of creating new Sanskaras but I'd prefer not to use such lanaguage as even the tendency to keep using the language seems to be just another expression of this difficulty of letting of go the BK-ness.

I'd prefer to use alternative terms such as belief system. The methods employed in the teachings establish deeply entrenched beliefs which are constantly being reinforced through all the repetition they encourage. Fear features in this process to I think and perhaps provides another clue as to why the BK mindset is so difficult to get rid of. Fear of impurity, fear of destruction, fear of condemnation, fear of negative judgement, fear of self-reliance having been dependent on this crew for years for your way of operating in the world. I think what they teach engenders many more fears besides these. What about the fear of 'what if I am wrong and they are right?' The fear that forms around the decision to leave it all behind and take responsibility for directing yourself.

It took me a long time and effort to de-contaminate myself from the mental and physical practices. The big one of course was the destruction myth. I think too there is something here about identity. I remember when I left. By 'left' I mean not just the physical act of separation but the mental too, I experienced the condition of knowing I did not want their brainwashing anymore so was no longer a BK but also felt alientated from others. I was neither a BK nor one of them either. Though I can look back now and understand this was an natural and obvious experience of transition and re-adjustment which takes time, it was a rather lonely condition to be in for a while. There is a tendency in people to hold onto to that which has become familar, routine, common, or rather to cling to the safety of a familar identity even if the things held onto bring pain and discomfort.

I met many people in this position too, having left and yet still holding to a pure diet, doing meditation, projecting this yogi persona and still struggling to be interested in the world around them. I remember one guy I was friends with who did the 7 Days Course. He was a religious type and had an interest in psychology. After 3 sessions he said to me 'this is just hypnotism and self-hypnotism ... these are the methods they are teaching. If you practice it you will find it hard to stop when you realise this is what it really is'. The techniques they use are designed to penetrate the mind to the deepest strata and re-programme you in the most profound way.
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Re: Reach Approach & the Brahma Kumaris

Post19 May 2011

By the way, I am sure it has not escaped the attention of forum members that even this web-site and forum could be construed as yet another expression of ex-members difficulty in letting go of the BK-ness. Afterall some might argue this is just a talking shop on BK matters - nothing better for keeping an ex member connected in some fashion.

alternatively, it can be argued this forum is here as a vehicle to tell the truth about BK deception, to inform, to support those wishing to leave the organisation and as an on-going resource to help with people recover and re-orient themselves toward real living. I prefer to see the forum as serving the latter purpose.

I wonder too - do current BKs look at this forum? If they do I can imagine they feel pity for us 'lost and misguided souls'. I just imagine those familiar smug and superior expressions as they write us off as at best Silver Age souls and left to the agonies of Dharmraj when destruction comes. Remember all those Sakar Murli's and 'If you let go of Baba's hand then the Maya will chew you into peices' crap.

Well for all those current members of the BKSWU looking at this forum and thinking that garbage. I know many ex BKs who have grown and grown and are enjoying far more happiness than they ever did while within the poisonous grasp of the BKs. No storms of Maya, no being chewed up, no terrible karmic consequences. Instead they have jobs, careers, properity, beautiful children and a much clearer intellect than you you could ever give them.

End of rant!
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Re: Reach Approach & the Brahma Kumaris

Post20 May 2011

Mike26 wrote:End of rant!

Hey, Rants R Us ... it is great therapy. But let's try and keep on topic or start a new one.

Speaking ideally, this forum is like group therapy and so there is space for individuals to bring up their old stuff, reminisce and talk it all through ... but not proselytize. Anyone attempting to proselytize Brahma Kumarism would probably be as welcome as a brewer at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.

It is strange how some individuals REALLY hang on to the myth and illusion, EVEN when they are chucked out by the BKs themselves. EVEN though they have been abused and outcast by the BKWSU, they still defend them. It is insane how deep a hold it has on some people ... although I suspect psychologists would be able to define and explain why.

To keep the topic 'on topic', I find it highly irresponsible for any "therapist" to promote Brahma Kumarism, given all the unresolved psychological issues Brahma Kumaris and its leaders have. It is like promoting a madness.

"Here, try this temporary insanity ... it is better then your last one!"

Brahma Kumarism, a new, improved temporary insanity! Price ... your mind, body and wealth please. Cash registers and donation boxes are on the way out as you leave.
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Mr Green

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Re: Reach Approach & the Brahma Kumaris

Post20 May 2011

It shows how much potential damage can be done by those with faith, is it the same Easton that used to be a painter and decorator?

Mike 26, I agree with you. I've felt many times that I should leave this site for good, but that has proved difficult. Also I like it here.
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Re: Reach Approach & the Brahma Kumaris

Post20 May 2011

Yes, that's him. I think he did a variety of jobs before taking up all the therapy stuff. A black guy with a stocky built. A positive personality, and genuinely caring guy, despite the delusions.

I could not agree more with Ex. BKs becoming therapist is lunacy. All those unresolved issues being constantly added to by their experiences within the BKWSU. Wonder how they would manage with a steak eating, anti-spiritual, bi-sexual nymphomaniac alcoholic for a client? Maybe they would charge triple fees for this one.

The value of this site is support and reasonable advice for those wanting to leave.

Regarding your comment Mr Green. I can understand the dilemma but at least on this forum people have a common empathy for the damage the BK experience can heap on a person. It is hard to find that understanding in others.
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ex-l

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Re: Reach Approach & the Brahma Kumaris

Post20 May 2011

Mike26 wrote:I could not agree more with Ex. BKs becoming therapist is lunacy. All those unresolved issues being constantly added to by their experiences within the BKWSU. Wonder how they would manage with a steak eating, anti-spiritual, bi-sexual nymphomaniac alcoholic for a client? Maybe they would charge triple fees for this one.

Do you have her phone number?

Actually, I think I know someone who married one of those ... skip the alcoholism though.

I don't know. I think that an ex-cult member does give one an advantage and specialism when it comes to dealing with cult exiting issues ... if one is truly over it themselves.

I think the lunacy is a cult member becoming a therapist.

However, the problem is defining this is that I think the BKWSU has becoming so diluted (and deliberately so) that it is hard to tell how is in now. There seem to be quite a few people around the edges who are sort of BKs but not and act as defenders of the BKs. Also around the edges are entirely good and innocent people who may be in ignorance or denial about the true nature of the BKWSU.

Over the years we have tracked quite a few BKs who have stepped out and started to sell their experience to the both the New Age market and the business market. I think the business guys generally drop the spiritualism and sell the valid organizational experience they have gained herding cats and fighting monsters in the BK playpen. I think the New Agey ones are more of a danger as they are selling BKism as part of a non-distinct mishmash of philosophy and mediations. These people might fall into that camp.

From my point of view, there is some kind of "transmission", as the Tibetan Buddhists would call it, or "initiation", as Hindus might call it going on within the BKWSU. It is not a "state of consciousness" they are promoting, it is a relationship or experience with the BK 'king spook'. A passing on of the connection whether the connection is to a 'spook-spook' (be they real) or a 'collective group spirit' (be they not).

This is why I am extremely critical of the Relax Kids stuff, reselling as a business to kids, and fairly critical of the type of Lucinda Drayton stuff, selling the BK as a New Age thing but going on to have relationships etc.

Do the BKs accept people having sex and relationships with other now?
Mr Green wrote:I've felt many times that I should leave this site for good, but that has proved difficult, also I like it here

Everyone probably should for at least some time ... or do their time here and move on ... but as long as it does not feel like an addiction, and you connection is based on being able to helping others, I cannot see the harm in a few minutes "service".

One of the big advantages of hanging out with individuals who have shared the same experience, if that at least you can share the same bizarre humour that few others would.
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Re: Reach Approach & the Brahma Kumaris

Post23 May 2011

A danger is that a lot of BK philosophy is based on the basics of psychology which all sounds very reasonable. Any counsellor with a background of a (weird) belief system is only acceptable to serve in its own weird belief community and not in public trying to transform people from normal to also weird.

We forget that most problems, emotions and anything that occurs in one's life is normal. The situation is mostly not the problem but the way to handle it, and some need a bit support with that. How can a BK ever counsel one to handle emotions? By telling them to detach and remember Baba, and only have love for Baba?

Now there is where the counselling is needed.
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Re: Reach Approach & the Brahma Kumaris

Post25 May 2011

You make some good points Jann

How could a BK deal effectively with people's emotions, especially those considered negative or impure? How accepting could the BK be, or how impartial could they be when dealing with lifestyles and habits which run counter to their own teachings? Often the starting point anyway is that BKs view non-members as Shudras - untouchables and living a corrupt, impure and misguided existence. The idea that the BK could 'suspend judgement' and be free from the contamination of their own views and teachings is at worst delusional.

As you say they perhaps are most suited to their role within the BK community where they can support the indoctrination process by steering those that struggle back to the hazards of BK teachings.

I can tell you that some of these counsellors affiliated at least to the BKs have made a pretty healthy profit from their work. This is just one more scandal born of the BKs.
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