Girl alleges Kidnapping by BKWSUs

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ex-l

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Girl alleges Kidnapping by BKWSUs

Post16 Oct 2006

From: http://www.deccanherald.com

I have no idea if this is true. Is anyone able to search these references? It reads as a little bit exaggerated but I have no idea what being a BK in the villages in like. I took out "torture" from the heading of this post but "kidnapping" I can believe. My guess is rather than a "darkened room" it was just a closed center.

In my part of the country, there was a case where a young girl joined up the BKs, I do not have the exact details may be she was genuinely interested, but ended up under "house arrest". That is, she was never allowed out without two chapperones, two BKs accompanying her at all times. Even to her own Father's funeral. Eventually, she managed to escape and hid out at a local temple who dressed her up back to normal before helping her find her way back to her family.

I am detached enough to think that such cases are the doings not of the institution but the individual center heads or BKs BUT the organization does see to support the excessive followers and does not seem to have a place people can complain to safely. I don't know, I am not in India now. Does anyone still there know of similar happenings? I would have though that by the 21st Century, people we above such rudimentary coersion.

I wonder now about some of the young girls I used to see around the centers and ask how many of them were entirely voluntary and what experience they were having? Due to the pressure in the BKWSU not to have a real conversation, not to ask someone how they were feeling, how the Seniors were treating them, the ability to admit whether one was happy or not; it makes me wonder ...
Girl alleges torture by religious outfit DH News Service, Davangere,

Raising suspicion over the happenings inside spiritual organisations, a 17-year-old girl has accused the members of Brahmakumari Eshwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya of kidnapping and torturing her with an intention of using her to propagate their philosophy.

Disclosing this to the media on Sunday, Sridevi, the daughter of Holebasappa and Gunavati of Chikkalingadahalli in Haveri taluk, said she managed to free herself from the clutches of the members of the organisation, who, she alleged, had locked her up in a dark room for about two months. According to the story narrated by Sridevi, she came in contact with Vinaya, the head of Brahmakumari Kendra, when she had gone to her aunt’s house in Hoovinahadagali on January 15.

She used to visit the Kendra very often to prepare Prasadam. On March 19, Leela and Nirmala, two members of the organisation, asked her to come with them to Davangere to attend some programme.

Instead, they took her on an inter-city train to Tumkur where she was locked up at Brahmakumari Kendra in Chickpet, Sridevi alleged.

However, she managed to get out when all the members had gone to Mysore on Saturday leaving behind an old woman to guard her. Her Father came to Tumkur to take her away after she informed him over phone, she explained. She accused the members of the organisation of torturing her physically. They removed all her jewellery and forced her to wear white saree, she said. Sridevi’s Father Holebasappa accused the Hoovinahadagali police of not receiving the complaint after his daughter disappeared.
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ex-l

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Re: Girl alleges Kidnapping by BKWSUs

Post17 Oct 2006

ex-l wrote:I have no idea if this is true. Is anyone able to search these references? It reads as a little bit exaggerated but I have no idea what being a BK in the villages in like. I took out "torture" from the heading of this post but "kidnapping" I can believe. My guess is rather than a "darkened room" it was just a closed center.

I found a response from the BKWSU side. It all looks like a big mess but illustrates well what is going on in there.

Nice to see the BKWSU practise the divine virtue of threatening litigation ... I missed that one when I did the course. Is that in the "8 Powers" or the "16 Celestial Degrees"?

Click for the link; Hark, the Deccan Herald Angels sing .... Lots of conditionals, like "coulds" and the usual "bigger numbers must mean better" approach. So what goes on in those centers to little girls? Well, did she or did not she and do they keep them locked up until they settle down into being nice little Brahma Kumaris?
Organisation denies kidnap charges

The girl could have volunteered to become Brahmakumari as she was not interested to marry. Later she could have changed her mind”.

Brahmakumari Eshwariya Vishwavidyalaya, a spiritual organisation, has dismissed the kidnap charges levelled against some of its members by a teenage girl. Addressing journalists on Tuesday here, the members of Brahmakumari Kendras located in Hoovinahadagali, Davangere and Tumkur denied the kidnap charges levelled against them by Sridevi, a 17-year-old girl.

Two days ago, Sridevi, the daughter of Holebasappa and Gunavati of Chikkalingadahalli in Haveri taluk had alleged that the members of Brahmakumari Kendra in Hoovinahadagali had forcefully sent her to their Kendra in Tumkur where she was kept in house arrest for two months. She had also accused the members of the spiritual organisation of harassing her physically.

Ms Vinaya who heads Brahmakumari Kendra in Hoovinahadagali clarified that Sridevi was not sent to Tumkur forcefully. Instead, it was Sridevi who requested to get herself admitted into the Kendra as she did not want to marry, Vinaya said.

“She (Sridevi) used to come to our Kendra quite often. Once, she told me that she was not interested in marriage but wanted to be a Brahmakumari. Owing to her repeated requests, I decided to send her to our Kendra in Tumkur along with Manjula, a member of our organisation”, said Vinaya.

‘Baseless charges’

Ms Shobha, head of the Brahmakumari Kendra in Tumkur said Sridevi used to attend classes just like any other trainee. She could have changed her decision to become Brahmakumari after she realised that it was a very tough path to choose. “She is making baseless charges against our organisation as told by her parents and relatives”, she added.

The members of Brahmakumari Eshwariya Vidyalaya said their organisation was serving in as many as 92 countries.

They would approach the law court for justice if Sridevi and her family members continued to make baseless allegations against it.

freefall

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Post17 Oct 2006

Well, from my own experience with BK, I will be more apt to side with the BK story in this case. Kidnapping someone and then forcing her to become a BK is not their cup of tea. BKs have lot of hanky panky goings on but kidnapping is far fetched.

House arrest is however quite likely. Seems like this girl joined the center to become a BK, was intimidated by the tough regimen of the center and tried to walk out. Some over-zealous Didi or Dadi decided to save her soul by being tough; might have ordered her to be kept alone and not allowed to meet outsiders for her own "good".

If at all I would believe that this girl was misled into becoming a BK through BK mind manipulation strategists and then segregated from others for indoctrination sessions. However I do not think that luring someone through psychological manipulation can technically be called "kidnapping".
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arjun

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Post20 Oct 2006

Omshanti.
I knew about this incident long back but did not quote it because it is a matter of BKs and they would think that I am trying to tarnish their image. But the fact is that this incident coincided with one of their mega programmes in the state of Karnataka in South India. And this incident was reported in many news papers/ TV news channels of that state for many days. I heard of a much more serious incident involving a BK teacher of Agra which was also reported in the newspapers, but was probably hushed up and did not reach the level of TV reporting.

I agree with Freefall that the above incident might have been a case of house arrest and harassment. Whatever happened was unfortunate. Although such incidents, in lesser proportions might be taking place in many other BK centers also, but it should not reflect upon the entire organization. There are many good BK teachers also who take care of the junior Sisters living with them. Nevertheless, they must try to put some system in place to check such incidents because they have a huge financial resource base and a lot of manpower.
With regards,
OGS,
Arjun
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ex-l

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Post20 Oct 2006

arjun wrote:BK teacher of Agra which was also reported in the newspapers, but was probably hushed up and did not reach the level of TV reporting.

Please tell us. Do you have any references?

It is only by making these things public, in God's consciousness, that the BKWSU as a whole will be forced to stop its teachers and students carrying out such abuses.

What is important is your consciousness. If your consciousness is one of truth and service to others then you have no fear to speak out.

I have heard that the United Nations are starting to hear about these things. If the BKWSU acts to attack individuals who raise such isses then it will only look 100 times worse for them. Even "Kali Yugi Shudras", as the BKs call them, are not stupid to what goes on. At the end of the day, abuse is not God's service. God is the Lord and Protector of the Poor.

It is the individual's choice which side they take and why. Yes, like an animal cornered, I expect certain elements to strike out first. But my thought is that it is not the organization as a whole - which is there to do good - but only certain elements within the organization we are talking about. We must be clear about this in our minds. And even they need help.

To turn the light of truth into dark corners takes courage but, ultimately, is service.
arjun wrote:Nevertheless, they must try to put some system in place to check such incidents because they have a huge financial resource base and a lot of manpower.

I agree, what could be more simple?

I think part of the cultural problem is that,
    a) the BKWSU pressumes they are so superior to any other group that there are/will be no problems,
    b) if something does it is the victim's karma - or at least the vctims and abuser's karma - and so not their problem, and
    c) BKs are so programmed, and starved for basic human love / recognition / affection that any problems can be fixed by some Dhristi and toli from a Senior Sister.
Time and time again I hear of problems arising and then the invitation to killer Dhristi as the shut up mechanism. They really believe it is a cure all. And, of course, 9/10 the Seniors will back the sister-in-charge even if she really is in the wrong.

What is interesting is that the Hare Krishna's (ISKCON), a mere "Kali Yugi Bhakti Cult" are showing the example to the BKs. They had problems, instead of sweeping them under the carpet I see they established ISKCON Resolve, click for link, an Ombuds service for handling complaints, mediation and dialogue. Does anyone remember anyone that would stick up for BKs in the BKs having a hard time? My recollection is of Dadi worshippers bowing to Dadis and that is it ...

You see the resistance on record the BKWSU had to doing anything a "Shudra" told them or a "Shudra" organization might advise them after the child abuse revelations. I also heard that the Hare Krishnas recognised the problems that ex-devotees had when leaving the cult and so they put in place some mechanism to help devotees back into society, e.g. establish work, a business whatever.

On the other hand, I have heard of long-term BKs finally having enough and escaping the center with nothing more than they could carry. Even having personal belongings withheld. Others being promised money then not been given it. The world has got to wake up and know what is going on, and please folks, come forward and document it all so that change can happen and others are saved from going through the same thing.

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