Anyone from Australia on here?

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

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Anyone from Australia on here?

Post07 Dec 2014

Hi, just wondering how many of you are from Australia ? My experience so far is different from some of the stuff I've read. I won't lie I have been challenged with a few things, I am a happy person so I am feeling a tad confronted with the lack of emotional connection. I am a single women who has been told to keep my distance from a Brother in case of provoking "lustful thoughts". Let's just say now when I bump into him I am so self conscious that having what I'd call a normal happy chat is now just a place of emotional conflict! It's doing my head in! I am not about to corrupt the poor guy. Can BK men have just friendships with women?
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Pink Panther

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Re: Anyone from Australia on here?

Post07 Dec 2014

Hey there Harleymachine.

I am in Australia.

The Western BK centres are more liberal than the majority of BK experiences, i.e in India. There is a constant tension between the modern open society approach of the Western democratic cultures and the traditionalist hierarchical/caste-based consciousness that underpins BKism (which began under the British Raj and idealises monarchy class elites and Victorian prudishness).

I’m glad to hear you refer to yourself as ”a single woman” - a simple statement of fact rather than the pseudo-spiritual abstractions of a ‘Sister’ or a ‘soul in a female body”.

It is very hard for most BK males, especially if they’ve been BK celibates for a long time, to have an open relationship with women because they have suppressed their sexual desires for a long time so any ”possibility” that appears stirs the biological instincts - unless they are celibate gays! If you have been warned off by someone else, likely they are envious of your ability to relate freely or that men wish to relate to you. Take it as a compliment!
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Harleymachine

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Re: Anyone from Australia on here?

Post07 Dec 2014

Thanks for your reply & insight. I have a lot of questions, but there is never enough time to get those more personalized questions answered with the BKs where I go. I have met some great BKs but I do find it hard to relate to their detached way, they seem void of emotions, robotic almost. One minute warm then ice cold, like they are always checking themselves back from having a relationship with you. Example, like a simple goodbye, or a hello. I understand not getting caught up in the "drama" of things but I feel you create more "drama" by not relating to people in a well mannered way? I guess that's how I ended up on this forum, I thought it was just a BK chat forum, (lol got that wrong!) I was looking for answers without the stress of trying to relate to or just simply communicate with them. *sighs* : /
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ex-l

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Re: Anyone from Australia on here?

Post07 Dec 2014

Templewoodalister wrote:... now when I bump into him I am so self conscious that having what I'd call a normal happy chat is now just a place of emotional conflict! It's doing my head in! I am not about to corrupt the poor guy. Can BK men have just friendships with women?

Ha. Good posts actually, it made me smile at memories (silliness) of the old days. (I was writing this as you replied).

I am sorry I never visited BK Australia ... can I ask what the age demographics are like now over there? Are their younger people involved, or have the centers all aged with the original adherents who joined in the 70s/80s?

You ask the interesting question, "Can BK men have just friendships with women?"

My half-joking answer would be, "Not if there is a BK Senior Sister or center-in-charge watching!". No way ...! In fact, not even if there are any other "pukka BKs" around (strict, disciplined, observant).

It's a funny thing but I guess for you, as it was for me, it was quite normal to have friends of the opposite sex, even to live with them, and not want to jump on top of them. Many of us relate better to members of the opposite sex better than our own sex. But none of that is taken into consideration with BK, not even for gays or lesbians.

As I say, I don't know BK Australia but I can give you the strict answer and my take on what is going on ... but can you tell us how deep into BK you are? Which courses have you have done and how committed are you, e.g. are you going to their morning classes, daily meditations etc? Or have you just done an introductory course and, say, a retreat.

Those answers would be that BKs really don't do "friends". They are polite and friendly but BK sets you with with a constant inner guard checking for any attraction (lust) or especially that great "evil" ... attachment. Even any 'like' for another human being would be seen as a distraction from the aim of total fixation on their god spirit.

Therefore ... although BKs definitely do feel natural attractions to others both inside and outside the cult ... they are supposed to transform all relationships into "service" relationships, i.e. the purpose of the relationship is not like, fun, honest sincere friendship ... but enculting the other individual. The BKs' form of "love bombing".

When I say the BKs' form of "love bombing", I refer to the term often used for other cults, however, I don't think it really fits with the BK ... the BKs tend to be more subtle and I'd relate it more to be like gentle child rearing of what they see as spiritual infants.

Even sincere thoughtful BKs have questioned this in the past and whether BKs use their personal attractiveness or sexuality as ways of drawing others in ... I would say they do ... but you are taught/learn to draw them in to deliver them to Baba. You, as the outsider, are drawn in but then the focus of your attention is increasing directed towards the teachings and the god spirit, hence, in the beginning, a certain amount of friendship might be tolerated but the further you go it is limited until the point where, if you do not get it, you will be pulled aside and given a little chit chat by a senior and if it goes further, individuals will be separated (even geographically) to cool off.

The deeper question in what you are asking, and I'd like to ask you one back, is "Can BKs have friends at all?".

To that I'd say no. Especially with non-BKs. So none of the normal sharing, exploring, questioning, challenging and equality of friendship can happen. BK life, if done "properly" is about one thing and one thing only ... "Service", by which they many recruiting and doing PR for the cult. The aim towards others is to "create other BKs", or even "to create servants or devotees". That is literally what the teachings say ... BKs are exhorted to go out and "create their servants".

Non-BKs are referred to as shudras (lowest caste), "ignorant", "vicious", "asleep" and full of Maya (illusion), a source of spiritual infection and danger. At best, or the best of them, might be considered as worshippers of BKs (that is to say, the teachings say that the deities, angels, myths and legends of over cultures and religions are literally memorials of the Brahma Kumaris themselves.

Those are my experience as a BK and of other BKs, both from observation and teaching ... what is your experience from the other side? What do you want and how do they come across from the outside?

There is a member of this forum call Jann who was draw into a long friendship and struggle with a male BK who, quite frankly, was going *way* beyond normal acceptable limits for a BK. Either he was conflicted himself or amorally using her for "forbidden" pleasures. If you can find and follow her posts they might help you. There was also another women from Australia who was in a relationship with a man who had been a BK ... fallen out ... fallen back in again and, again, struggling with both himself, his normal physical desires and mental needs, and the conflicts the BKs instil into individuals. From memory, I think he had other problems, e.g. alcohol, and was using both the BKs and her as convenient props but oscillating between them.

The reason I raise that is to flag up that if you want a normal friendship, and even he is attracted to it, he himself may still be caught or conflicted about it ... and 9 times out of 100 BK will win.

As for being a red blooded male BK ... you will read many honest and funny stories on these forums of how the total isolation chamber of BK (no sex, no touching, no relating to others) develops exaggerated reactions and cravings within individuals to the point where a simple shower (on one's own) becomes a dangerous erotic act. Needless to say BKs are suppose not to masturbate and even be watchful in their dreams of loveful/lustful desires. Literally!!! We were told that we were even meant to be controlling - and if necessary confessing - our dreams! And they still exhort young teenagers to do so en masse in India.

OK ... there's a few thoughts to be going on with. Perhaps the kind of questions you could ask your BK friend is, "is this a friendship or are you just using it to encult me into the BKWSU? Can you have friendships or are you just 'serving' me?" with all that applies.

Or, lastly, "do you want to leave the BKWSU, or do think you even will at a future date?".

Some exiting BKs use relationships as the gravity to pull themselves out of the orbit of the BKWSU ... but what we have seen in that scenario is that the BKs will fight to keep their man!

Best wishes ...
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ex-l

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Re: Anyone from Australia on here?

Post07 Dec 2014

Templewoodalister wrote:... I guess that's how I ended up on this forum, I thought it was just a BK chat forum, (lol got that wrong!)

Oh, but you certainly found your way to the right place ... we are the "Honesty Wing" of the BK world (that's a joke because they create these self-important sounding "departments" based on some shared specialism called "wings", a hint back to their belief of being real angels). Most folk here are out of the BK system now but we can switch on and off and "boot up" our inner BK to tell you how it thinks and acts.

No, we are not selling the religion nor using evangelism to bolster up our faith here.

Thank you, you actually answer part of my questions in your second reply and I would say you are actually quite clear sighted about the BKs and how they are ... like spiritual Stepford Wives. And how you will become.

As I said above, what you've written is exactly what is going on inside them. A BK's human personality, and any arts, gifts or talents they may have, is basically seen as a useful service for promoting the religion. And promoting the religion is really the only activity worth doing. There's no 'one to one' sideways relationships between individuals, it all 'all to one' focusing on their god spirit ... with the Seniors stepping in between to act as proxies or confessors for.

As a BK you are literally meant to be watching every thought for any distraction away from the god spirit and you are meant to surrender your personality for it to be used as a channel for the god spirit's "love", "light" etc at every moment.

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Harleymachine

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Re: Anyone from Australia on here?

Post08 Dec 2014

Love the clip! Lol, I was told in class that women sit to the left of the room, which I did move. I have no problem respecting their ways. The old saying "when in Rome". It's more the "surrendering your personality" which I read on this forum that doesn't sit well with me. I've been in & out of the BK world for many years, I don't want to give too much away on the extreme off chance anyone from the centre I go to would be reading this (check ego), lol, because I'd done my fare share of courses & a family member has been going each week for a while now. I thought I'd make the commitment to, in a way, surrender myself to the BK way with more commitment then I'd done in the past.

You are right there are more older women there than men & the couple of guys there are around my age. I guess that is what drew me to want to get this guy's perspective on the BK life &, yes, I was being watched &, yes, I got the "talk". I was so offended!!! I am a respectful person. I gave as good as I got but then I just got that I needed to be mindful of myself & how that then effects this guy!

Well, unless I wear a paper bag on my head I am going to look the same & then will have an effect! I need to add this guy might not have even been attracted to me! I'll be fine on the downside this guy is awesome I would have loved to be friends with him. Last time I saw him it was ice cold. So that's it then.

This is what I said before, there is more "drama" avoiding relationships then just being well mannered & having respectful friendships. But, after reading your reply, you have saved me A LOT of time & suffering trying figure it all out that I am thank you for : ).
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Harleymachine

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Re: Anyone from Australia on here?

Post08 Dec 2014

I feel I need to also add that I am happy with learning to deepen my connection to (I like to call) God. That is the main & only reason I am there. But still I would like to talk over some things & with someone on a personal level around my own age but I am left trying to pick up the crumbs of others comments and, of course, with respectfully trying not to engage in the drama of the relationship. *Shakes head*, lol.

There are a lot of things I read (I have nearly every BK book there is) but it all just rolls around my head & I wonder if I am truly seeing it in the right way. Classes are good but it's not personal or I find people will jump on my questions & run with it with their own stuff! I have a habit of stirring things up a bit : / then I feel guilty : (. I don't want to give up, but I do wonder if my personality will ever be excepted.

I have always been told God loves me growing up & that I am a child of God. I then I want to deepen the connection to God by surrounding myself with faithfilled people but I am starting to think we may be on the wrong page, yes, they are very focused on God but is God reflected back? Would God's face be lacking warmth? Would he be fearful of connection? Where is the trust? *rant over*

What are the biggest stumbling blocks to the BK life? Can it & does it work for anyone else? Starting to feel really sad that I may never find what I am looking for with people. I know my love for God & it will always be my forever love : ).
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Pink Panther

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Re: Anyone from Australia on here?

Post08 Dec 2014

You'll notice that the BKs are not representative of a cross section of society.

There is a disproportionate number of middle-aged and older women as well as young idealistic ones, male and female. Any middle-aged ones you come across will predominately be those who began as young idealistic types (which is what I was when I began).

The Australian BK scene - from what I can tell - is much more loosely structured than it used to be. That is, there is a larger number of people who have casual contact and utilise their ”services” mainly at retreat centres and a smaller number of dedicated BKs who are strictly following disciplines full time.

They used to have many centres scattered around the large cities of Sydney and Melbourne and other capitals but they have mostly closed down and now they are mainly focused on the retreat centres and having large weekly gatherings on Sundays. There is a far lower influence from the Indian style BK hierarchy that is probably seen most easily in the UK.

To really understand what the BKs are about you have to understand the BK culture in India where 99.9% of the BKs live.

If what you're looking for from the BKs is some community of kind, spiritually minded, non-dogmatic people you'll be disappointed in the long run. The Australian BKs are probably the most indirect in their approach to proselytising, probably because of the national culture but also they had been doing it the longest, as long as the UK but without the Indian population. This may change in the longer term as the migration intake from the subcontinent increases dramatically.

As we have said in other threads, people tend to project their own ideals & ideas of God or spirituality on to the BKs, and it often takes a long time to realise that there is a fundamental difference between what they believe and need to what the BKs believe and offer. It is easy to mistake dedication for truth, sincerity for knowledge and to allow another’s words to define (for you) what is difficult to put into words, but thereby defines the framework of your experience and potential experience.

I believe the human experience on what people call the spiritual level is not well served by words and religious narratives. It is easy for people to have their lives 'hijacked’ - direction changed - just because they like the way certain things have been described. Any good experience you have had in meditation can be described in a number of ways and it can be reached or achieved in a number of ways, even ways that do not need the idea of god of any particular way. There are even non-theistic traditions which describe similar experiences in different terms, but if it needs ”God” then what "God” are we talking about?.

We tend to understand new knowledge or experiences according to terms we already have some understanding of. It takes time to change our own vocabulary.

I highly encourage you to read through this forum widely keeping an open mind that of course some of the stronger posts are in reaction to years of invested emotions, time, money and energy when finally people realised they were drawn into a collective delusion. Very much like other group and cult experiences which I recommend you also look into. There are some links in various topics here. (Any life without full awareness is delusional, even mainstream ’normal’ life!).

It's funny how it's always other people that fall for such things and never ourselves. One of the hardest things for anyone to do is to admit that what one believed for a long time was wrong.

But I'd like to finish by asking you, are you aware of the fundamental beliefs at the core of the Brahma Kumaris? If so you would not be surprised by the reaction of this man and the people around him to normal social intercourse (I use that phrase with purpose - try using it in the company of BKs!).

I ask because I have met many people who've been in contact with the BKs for many years without really knowing much about them. They like the nice people and the atmosphere but are not the kind to look deeply into it and maybe they are not the kind who care about the beliefs and the effect it can have on people’s lives who do take it seriously. There are many who have written here who tell of how they lost the sense of enjoyment of life overtime and only felt any kind of satisfaction when they felt they were being good BKs.

Surely spirituality is about inclusivity and the joy of life or its own sake unencumbered by artificial, i.e. externally imposed dogmas?
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ex-l

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Re: Anyone from Australia on here?

Post08 Dec 2014

Wow, Harleymachine. I don't know if you realise it but having been interested in spirituality for the whole of my adult life and involved with the BKs now for, perhaps, over 10/15 years on both sides of the equation, I can tell you that the post above is a million dollar post that will set you on the right direction.

I'd like to relate one of my BK experiences with that I can remember as clear as if it was yesterday.

I was also young and at the start of my adult like when I got sucked in and utterly sincere in my attentions. I remember being at a group retreat and speaking to a Sister of around my age. We did like each other, we were equals in many ways, although - like many of the BKs - she had put on weight as a defence or out of "permissible" sensual indulgence, there was no doubt she was an attractive, intelligent young woman. Like you, I was perfectly innocent in my attentions.

We were having a great discussion about spiritual stuff and I suggested we went for a walk ... or rather invited her to come with me as I was heading out for some exercise (the BKs then were **** awful and irresponsible for considering the needs of young people's bodies for health and exercise - they probably still are).

The shock, panic and confusion within her were palpable. You would have thought I had just reach out and stuck my hand up her sari for a feel. All of this "stuff" that you don't see when the BKs are playing by their rules became present ... the internal conflicts between what I want/would like/enjoy and what I, as a BK, am supposed to do or not or be seen to do etc etc etc. And I believe it is/was much worse for women than males. (The inner core of BKs pretty much had/have it down that all males are "lusty dogs" and not to be trusted and the valuable assets of golden haired Sister are protected jealously).

It took me a while to get over what I had done and I was not able to speak to her for a long period after (meaning I was slightly sheepishly avoided). I promise you I had not a thought to jump on her in my head and I am perfectly capable of relating to women without doing so.

I left the BKs ... ultimately because I found them to be unenlightened and fixated on social climbing. I did not even realise how fixated on reaping wealth and properties they were at that time, I was just sickened by their inane, school girl level VIP chasing. It was so uncool.

(In rock'n'roll, they call their type "star f*ckers" and there really was no difference to what the BKs were doing ... they would fall in love with the latest VIP, become obsessed that they "might be BKs" and invest considerable energy and efforts stalking them to do the equivalent of getting their autograph ... the infamous "BK with a VIP" photo opportunity)

Probably about 10 years later, I bumped into her and went back to see her. She was still a BK I thought and living in a BK Sisters' house ... I took her out for a ride on my motorcycle which was, I thought, pretty racey of her to do. But, although I was being myself without inhibition ... just because a women has her legs wrapped around you on a motorcycle at speed *still* does not mean you have to have sex with her ... I was still absolutely respectful of what I thought was *her* spiritual commitment.

I still did not jump on her. Even though I was most definitely 'out', I still respected she was 'in'. Although I did wonder. She was even more attractive, having clearly worked through some of her mental stuff and lost weight, and I certainly would have been attracted to her. I would even go as far as to say, we would have made a good couple, or at least she would have been very good for me as a partner, but I never pursued her or it out of respect.

Boy, was I stupid.

Jumping forward another x years I discovered she had hooked up with another male BK, that they were in a partnership and doing business together, and yet she or they were still kind of half-and-half, part-time BKs turning up to the BK centre or going on retreats as and when she felt the need. Unthinkable in my time but apparently common now.

Is there a moral to this story, am I telling you something ... I really don't know.

But I think if you like this guy, and he is around the same age as you etc ... I'd contrive a situation where you were alone, ask him to cover his eyes ... and then kiss him, or give him a huge, or both, just to see what his reaction was. If you are attracted to him, tell him and give him the option of responding. Whether it is tinged with sexual-emotional attraction or not. A kiss or a hug does not need to be ... it may just be what he wants/needs too.

The reason I am saying that is thinking back to the "date" I had had with that Sister ... it is EXACTLY what I should have done. I am 99% sure now it was on the table and if I had done so, I might have the "passing planet" which pulled her out of the Kirpalani Klan's bank balance orbit.

If he does respond, then we'll have a different discussion about relationships with BKs/ex-BKs. You won't get banned from the BK centre if you do, but you might get a patronising chit-chat from one of the chief crones or eunuchs.

From what you say - and most of the BK books these days are vague, derivative waffles - neither you nor your close relative really "get" what the BKs are *really* teaching. You've probably not really been exposed to it. They are probably still just reeling you in gradually (the trip to Madhuban being what they hope is the trout being caught by the fly).

As Pink writes, you need to separate and clarify to yourself that your conception of god ... and god itself if it exists ... is ENTIRELY different and separate from the BK concept of it; and realise that they are, in essence, fooling you along to the point you get hooked allowing you to think the two things are the same.

If spirituality interests you - and beware it is a great waste of time, money and energy best left to people who have had a full life, paid for their mortgage, and earned their pension - then you really ought go and explore other sincere traditions and learn a bit more about it. The BKs will want to cap and monopolise your interest and misdirect it for their own, ultimately financial, ends.
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Harleymachine

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Re: Anyone from Australia on here?

Post08 Dec 2014

Thank you both for your replies : ) lots to think about. No, I would not in a million years kiss him lol. I am sure you were just joking? Right? I have decided though that I need to confront this situation & this is not about him it's about me. Can I live with the changes I need to make to fit in with this way of life? I am so so new to the deeper teachings but before I invest myself to it I need to know more about this new spiritual family & how compatible we will be. I will not! Have people look down their nose at me, I don't care how long you have been a BK for! The BK males seem so mixed going by what have read on this forum, if this is true I am so sad about it. I am feeling after everything I've been reading here I won't be able to cope. If I cannot talk to my "Brothers" without feeling like I am being naughty it will never do! Who does that!? But I'll go back & see what will come of my questions to them. Or maybe I should just give myself a break from them? Some space & time away may clear my head. Strange thing is the more I avoid him the bigger he is becoming in my mind, how's that for a head trip!? Again more drama! Better if we had a chat moved on with no drama, but what do I know. : /.
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Pink Panther

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Re: Anyone from Australia on here?

Post08 Dec 2014

Or maybe I should just give myself a break from them? Some space & time away may clear my head.

Exactly. The main part of ”enculting” is drawing people into a circle, an orbit. It is well known psychologically that people relate mostly to those they see most often, regardless of who they are or what they do.

It sounds like you have been in contact with the BKs for a long time. Time to educate yourself more widely maybe? So many cultures, traditions, beliefs that can enrich you.

The BKs call themselves the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University but what university doesn’t even have a library of reference books? All they have is their own books and stuff. And much of that is in error when they talk about other religions or history.

A quarter of the world’s population are orientals - Chinese, Japanese, Koreans etc. Ask your BK teacher ”where do the Taoists, Confucians and Shintoists fit in the BK tree or cycle? How do they account for Australian Aboriginal culture dating back well over 40,000 years? How is it that the author of these errors is called ”The Father of all souls"?
Please broaden your horizons and don’t obsess like a maiden in a small village with few prospects or choices other than the local farm boy or the convent. The world is wide, the ocean of consciousness is deep and universal, youth and health are not forever guaranteed. Don't let what you already know bind you in thinking that it is all there is to know.
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jann

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Re: Anyone from Australia on here?

Post08 Dec 2014

It seems you have a strong personality Harleymachine. Strong personalities don't fit in the BK system. You'll be a rebel or "the oppose" and "love-bombed" even more, at least for a while. I will come back on your story later.
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Harleymachine

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Re: Anyone from Australia on here?

Post08 Dec 2014

Yes I do have a strong personality but this is something I m really having trouble with. Commitment means a lot to me & I have always struggled with the idea of people getting in the way with my relationship with God. I am so so tired of my spiritual branch hopping : ( Buddhism, baptised Christian, and BK's on & off. Around & around I go when will it stop.
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jann

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Re: Anyone from Australia on here?

Post09 Dec 2014

It will never stop as long you search for something that is not really there. You should not have trouble with your strong personality, it is a talent and never a burden. Explore your personality, find out what makes it "tick".
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Harleymachine

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Re: Anyone from Australia on here?

Post09 Dec 2014

The problem is what makes me tick is years of conditioning & bad experiences that make me jump to conclusions, I have done just that with this situation. The people I am dealing with have been meditating for many years & I come into the picture full steam ahead judging them based on my own junk. In this moment, after a junior successful meditation last night, I feel I am being super hard on them & deep down myself. My strong personality will never let me fall down the rabbit hole, I just need to put my trust back in God & myself. If these people help me slow down & get off the conveyor belt of drama/life then that could only be a good thing.

As for my interaction with this one person, he simply has what I want, he is peaceful & easy to talk to. Anyone else's judgements of what they think is happening between us is their own stuff. When I hear someone talk of not needing to communicate with the drama people pleasing crap you realised how much bs is in your own life trying to make everyone else happy (my words) my perception of them being void of emotion is my own ego wanting them to perform for me in my own people pleasing manner. A new day & still much to learn/unlearn. : )
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