Child Abuse & the BKWSU VI

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eromain

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Child Abuse & the BKWSU VI

Post14 Jun 2006

Child Abuse and Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University (Raja Yoga) VI,
June 2004 [v 4d 180604] by eromain eromain@nildram.co.uk

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


Links to: Part I - Part II - Part III - Part IV - Part V - Part VI.

My Original Reply to Child X’s Brother

eromain wrote:3rd March 1999

Dear T,

Thank you for your letter. I was astounded by the clarity, lucidity and directness of your words. It is a most incisive critique of the less praiseworthy side of Raja Yoga. And it seems to me that as a Raja Yogi of some twenty years and in particular as someone who had to grow up in Raja Yoga you have every right to expect your story to be heard. Everyone connected in the past, present or future of Raja Yoga whether they acknowledge it or not, and no matter how unpalatable they might find your words owes you a debt of gratitude for your honesty and your courage. To learn from mistakes they need to be pointed out. Maybe someone somewhere might learn from this.

One of the most powerful feelings I have on reading your letter is one of respect for your anger. Anger may not be the ultimate answer but it is sometimes a very good starting point. Over the years I have had such sad discussions with so many ex and current Raja Yogis in which they have expressed great anger at their experiences in Raja Yoga. I do not seek out Raja Yoga gossip at all, I had more than enough when I was in it, but through the years so many deeply upset people have contacted me, often after years of no contact. Sometimes it is current Raja Yogis wanting to talk and finding no one in the organisation that they feel able to confide in. Sometimes it is ex Raja Yogis re-examining their past and struggling with unresolved issues. From these various people I have heard the most awful stories of mistreatment, intimidation, exploitation, violence, attempted suicides, wife beatings, mental breakdowns and sexual molestation. I was in Raja Yoga for fourteen years, and it is only after I left that I started to hear about most of these things! It fills me with dread now to think about this real hidden legacy of Raja Yoga; not their little leaflets and VIP lists but the inner work that thousands of people have to do to repair the damage once they leave.

Over the years I have worked hard to get my own history within Raja Yoga to a place inside of me in which I could emphasise it’s good points and I could appreciate the good things I participated in whilst there. I wanted to feel that my exchange with it was on the whole an upstanding and noble thing. I wonder in retrospect if I should have allowed myself to be much more critical of it than I did.

There are very few Western Raja Yogis that could be said to have grown up from childhood to adulthood in Raja Yoga. They are a select and therefore valuable group. As one of them I would like to state that in my opinion I cannot believe for one moment that a Raja Yogi who came to the institution as an adult can imagine what it is like to have to try to grow up in Raja Yoga. Nor do I think they realise how vulnerable the young and innocent are to the more extravagant claims of Raja Yoga. I totally worshipped my teachers when I was a child, I was incapable of thinking of them as anything but God’s directly appointed and infallable instruments on earth. They were not people they were gods and goddesses. And I was totally unequipped once their human frailties and weaknesses started to show through. Coming to Raja Yoga as an adult and making a life once there is so sufficiently difficult that ninety nine percent of people ultimately fail. Coming as a child is substantially harder and rarer. All Raja Yogis have a responsibility to listen respectfully and humbly to the testimony of the Raja Yoga children. And ultimately if Raja Yoga ever feels the need to apologise to you for your treatment, the proof of their regret would be an overhaul of the way they treat their members’ children.

All over the world awful things are done in the name of God. The legacy of Raja Yoga like all religions is in parts sublime, but also it can be awful. What will or will not distinguish the institution from all the other religions which it judges so critically is whether or not it shows itself to be morally and institutionally mature enough to be accountable for it’s failings. Nowhere is this more crucial that in respect of the Raja Yoga children -those people who were not in a position to choose their involvement. If Raja Yoga cannot listen honestly to the cries of it’s children, if it cannot take responsibility for it’s part in causing the long-term pain and difficulties you speak of, and if it cannot do this publicly, then I’m really not sure what it’s claimed spirituality really amounts to. In spite of the many very good people within it, the institution would to all purposes be morally bankrupt.

A crucial measure of this will be if the Seniors try to deal with the issues you raise without involving the wider Raja Yoga community. If they try to exclude the rank and file Raja Yogis from whatever soul-searching your letter prompts I think this will speak more loudly than whatever they say to you. Your letter raises issues that the whole Raja Yoga community needs to address. I hope that the more cynical of the Seniors don’t try to deal with it simply as a potential public relations issue. If they do I have no doubt that they will come to regret it.

Many institutions, both religious and otherwise, are painfully and awkwardly having to account for past failings and abuses of power. They are having to institute safeguards and controls which until recently they thought themselves above. When I left it Raja Yoga had yet to begin this process, and did not recognise the need for it. Indeed this was a factor in my departure. In my discussions with the Seniors about your generation of young Brahmins I felt that their disregard for your emotional, social, sexual and spiritual needs was unjustifiable. In my opinion both at the time and now it went beyond the bounds of well meaning failure. I think they failed in their duty of care for you not through error but through neglect. As an adolescent myself I had gone through many of the very things which I could see were waiting for you on your horizon, but the Seniors seemed to think that because they did not really understand what I was talking about there was nothing to talk about. They knew the intimate details of my story and knew some of the difficulties I had been through but they neither acknowledged that I could have been handled better nor that you should. I felt at the time that their rather blaise and condescending attitude amounted, on an institutional level, to negligence and recklessness. In short I was trying ten years ago to warn them of what you are now complaining about. I apologise now to you that I left so discreetly and did not at least tell you of my failed efforts.

It seems to me that if Raja Yoga is to flourish in the West it will have to institute genuinely the kind of accountability every other public organisation faces. When I was in Raja Yoga accountability was about as foreign a concept as you could get. Students and teachers from all over the world in their most candid moments used to ask myself and the other older London Brahmins advice and tell us their problems. It was clear to us in Shanti Bhavan that half of the people whose job it was to sort out these problems did not even know about them. The other half were frequently causing the problems in the first place. Many students and teachers had no idea what to expect in any given situation, there were no norms, no standards, no agreed common practices. Every centre in the world seemed to be run a different way and they all thought they were doing it by the book. Of course there was no book. Every teacher was more or less a law unto themselves, and abused or poorly treated students had virtually no comeback against a teacher who had the ear of his or her senior. Those that complained found that there seemed to be virtually nothing a bad teacher could do to get themselves thrown out if they managed to keep up the appearance of a good centre. The system was open to the most extreme abuses and in Shanti Bhavan at one time or another we would hear of most of them.

When I tried to raise some obvious directions that we might gradually as an organisation move in (such as proper teacher training, standards of delivery and conduct, some system of complaint management, proper monitoring of teachers, perhaps a mentoring system) or at least a systematic investigation into what the most common problems might be, the Seniors could see no need for any of these things. They seemed to me to ignore half of the crises and deal with the others in a very arbitrary way. Above all they seemed to treat them as if they just happened out of the blue. Most of them, however, could be seen coming a mile off. Most of them were inevitable given the lack of training, monitoring and accountability. Even today I shudder at how badly so many people were let down. People were coming to Raja Yoga centres in good faith, they were getting involved because they perceived it to be a certain kind of an organisation and then once they had jumped in they were finding themselves at the mercy of all kinds of poor treatment against which they had no effective recourse. And with the amazing amount of trust and faith students give their teachers and the institution, it can easily take many years before one works out what is really happening.

Clearly, this sort of mismanagement is still happening, but in my opinion it should no longer be tolerated or excused. Raja Yoga has had long enough in the West to get it’s act together. Innocent mistakes repeated and repeated are not innocent mistakes they are reckless endangerment.

Like many ex-Raja Yogis it is no understatement to say that leaving it was like death. Starting again was so hard and so painful and so completely the opposite of what I wanted to do. In reality all I really wanted was to be a Raja Yogi, but there was no Raja Yoga, there was just this complacent and arrogant little club that was an insult to the name. Along the continuum of well-meaning failure; carelessness; negligence and cynical recklessness senior Raja Yogis would no doubt place any institutional mistakes at the well-meaning end of the scale. I disagree. What you complain of are not aberrations in the Raja Yoga lifestyle, they are the cultural norms of it. They are the well established patterns one must learn to get on in that organisation. To be a good Raja Yogi you must learn their particular dysfunctions and preoccupations, their obsessions and their group languages and games. But, and this is a big one: It does not matter how much you devote your life to it all, those sweet little ladies will never allow you to genuinely participate in their adventure. Ultimately you are just another person they are using while you are passing through. They think that you are benefiting from the exchange and so they allow themselves to use you. But it is still just that: They are using you. If you want to stay then it is on their terms. Not God’s terms, their terms. The moment you try to point out something on the horizon that they don’t see, it is your sight that will be called into question. The moment you disagree with them, it is you who will be wrong, even if it is they who are wrong. And if truth or justice or your conscience gets in the way of you playing your role they expect you to sacrifice your selfish little morality just as they have. Ultimately I concluded that morally speaking Raja Yoga was a captainless ship, and it was around this time that I reluctantly and with a very heavy heart decided I had to swim for it.

In the end the renunciation of personal responsibility that everyone in Raja Yoga indulges in is a complete illusion. Baba doesn’t take on your personal baggage if you hand your brain in with your shoes. Spirituality is a relentlessly individual affair and whatever help you receive from others you will have to pay for. That doesn't mean one should not receive help, simply that one should factor in the true cost before handing your soul over into their safekeeping. At some point one has to begin to claim it back. I remember the happiness of Raja Yoga and I remember the price of it. It is a dirty, self-denying trade. But our hearts betray us and disguise it so well . And those who are offering the trade are so very, very seductive.

Good luck to you. There is a big wide world out there and you are an amazing person due some nice times. Whether Raja Yoga ever apologises to you or not is really a matter of their loss or gain. It is their privilege to be accountable to you and their loss if they fail to recognise it. But for the sake of those that they will in future presume to teach I applaud your act of whistleblowing.

Raja Yogis make extravagant promises to the person turning up at their door. They offer heaven in the next life and a near perfect lifestyle for this one. What they don’t tell you is that ninety nine percent of the people that sign up ultimately fail and leave bitterly disappointed. I think it extremely dishonest of Raja Yoga that they take absolutely no responsibility for their failures, even though most of their students will end up, by their own definition failures. An experienced senior looking out over a class of students at any given day of any given year knows that of her hundred students, on average only one or two will be in the fold in ten years time. But she directs everything she says to that one. In her opinion all the rest, who will founder and fall, will deserve whatever post Raja Yoga problems they inherit. Even if it is Raja Yoga teaching and practices that will sow the seeds of those problems, she will take no responsibility for them. If in her quest to find and make her king she damages others, that is their problem.

And every Raja Yogi of any substantial amount of time in the organisation has watched this merciless and exploitative system in action. Generation after generation pass through each centre. They leave and are replaced by a new batch, each one being told that they have miraculously just got in the door before time runs out and the world ends. A few years later they have gone. New people come, are seduced by the same promises and the same spectacular early progress. Gradually they too get disillusioned and eventually leave. They take with them not the health, wealth and happiness they were promised but often anguish, confusion and great personal dislocation. What they always take with them, without fail, and it is a horrible gift for a spiritual university to bestow on its graduates is a heavy and permanent disappointment.

If they are still at this point Raja Yogis they also often have a great deal of guilt, because they still believe the party line that only low class souls leave. The centre makes occasional friendly gestures to them but both sides know that according to Raja Yoga they are failures, they are the irredeemably impure, the fools who were attracted back to hell from the very lap of God. But this is not the odd difficult or weakminded Brahmin we are talking about here! This is the story of very nearly all serious, committed Raja Yogis. According to the definitions of it’s own metaphysical caste system Raja Yoga does not actually make kings so much as legions and legions of body burners. Viewed from a distance it is a rather merciless system. Up close you are carefully shielded from this view. No teacher lets their fresh faced latest batch realise that the centre which they think of as a kind of nursery for kings is actually little more than a production line for cremators.

The sad reality behind this perverse system is easily stated: Any system which by it’s own definitions has at least a ninety percent failure rate is itself the failure.

If I were in charge of Raja Yoga I would make genuine and sincere efforts to get comprehensive knowledge from those that leave Raja Yoga of the ways that it could be improved. Instead of it blindly stumbling onwards, causing untold bad karma and pain in it’s wake I would manage the progress Raja Yoga makes consciously and openly. I would gather information from everyone, especially the ex-brahmins. I’m more likely to get the truth from them and anyway there is always five times as many in the ex-brahmin family as in the current one. Most current Brahmins are simply passing through on their way to their eventual status as ex-brahmins. Knowing this fact as every senior does I would also be much less insulting about ex-brahmins during my classes to my current batch. When in the future I am inviting them round to tea as ex-brahmins this would stand me on much better ground. Given that the Murlis are edited anyway I would edit out the insults about ex-brahmins they are littered with.

In addition I would apologise to anyone who having committed themselves to Raja Yoga then decided that it was no longer for them. I would apologise formally in writing, I would thank them for their time and efforts and I would ask them to be candid in their insights about the institution. I would gather information such as this systematically and I would use it to drive through the large-scale improvements the institution needs. I would publish statistics on drop-out rates. I would know how many people dropped out after one, two, five, ten fifteen and twenty years. I would know what the major reasons are. And those reasons would guide me in my planning.

In essence if I was one of these self declared living deities running the so-called Confluence Age and the failures of my institution played a hand in people diminishing their future fortunes I would feel an obligation to find out where those failures lay. And I would think it deeply unspiritual to assume it was simply the karma of those that fall by the wayside to have a poorly trained or unsuitable teacher. I think it is patently obvious that usually people leave Raja Yoga somewhat reluctantly, when they see no other option. This kind of undermines the official view that they were predestined to go because they are poor-quality souls. People leave when their needs do not get met. It is usually a shared failure.

Raja Yoga is full of wonderful people. I have known most of the Seniors very well and many of the rank and file and they are in general people I am proud to know. Unfortunately wonderful people in a dysfunctional system can do as much damage as immoral louts. But wonderful people who refuse to acknowledge that they are doing this much damage actually are immoral louts. Raja Yoga is full of genuinely spiritual people functioning in an unaccountable, autocratic and ignorant way. Raja Yoga is full of the most spiritual people actually participating in a very unspiritual organisation. It teaches wonderful introspection then requires people to retard themselves so that the teacher has someone they can pretend to teach. It turns self respecting adults into lip-serving cow-towing weaklings. It shows people how to grow self esteem privately and secretly, making real foundations into the hidden self, and then it puts them at the mercy of some coward with a gun and calls the resulting struggle dharna. Wonderful decent people have received your letter T-- and many of them won’t know what to do with it. So well trained are they that they won’t know what to think about it until their senior (or conversely the trouble-maker at the back of the class) tells them. Three years later when they have left they’ll know exactly what they think, but by then it is too late.

What is perhaps most saddening about this awful episode is that according to, in my opinion, a most crude and unspiritual distortion of the principle of karma many badly trained and mis-educated Raja Yogis would interpret anything bad happening to someone as, karmicly speaking, their fault. Hence if your Sister was sexually abused there are many Raja Yogis that would be quietly asserting that it serves her right. If I were you I would at some point request that apart from accounting institutionally for such an event as her repeated abuse you also request that an appropriate authority gives an official statement on the Raja Yoga beliefs as to the karma of such an event. In short is it a part of Raja Yoga doctrine that she deserved it? Do they actually realise that something bad happened to her? And if they believe that her abuse was as a result of her own karma how does this bode for their protection of children from child abuse in the future?

As we enter this thing called the Information Age when anyone can publish their thoughts to the entire world’s front room for virtually no cost at all Raja Yoga will rapidly lose the near total control it presently has of it’s public profile. People won’t leave discreetly with a polite letter asking why their Sister was abused, they will publish their grievances on the internet. Once that starts it will not be long before all manner of skeletons start to emerge. Apart from the damage this will do to all the VIP parties, one wonders what the impact will be on Raja Yogis themselves, who up to now have had vast areas of their institutions failings carefully hidden from them by their Seniors. I would recommend that you do not use the internet in this way and concentrate instead on your own life, your own future, and your own healing. If Raja Yoga really cannot police itself in the longer term then unfortunately it will inevitably invoke it’s own public nemesis, but as I say I would discourage you from taking on the role of instigating this. Presume it is another battle, for someone else.

Isn’t it such a shame to think of the Yugya we loved needing to be slapped on the knuckles in public like all the other rather disappointing organisations? When I think about it all it makes me so sad. Ten years on I still can’t quite let go of my dreams for it all. I still can’t let it be normal. How ironic that it trained us so well in the conception of the sublime and the transcendent, and then with the perception it taught we turned on it and saw so clearly its’ many faults. Perhaps it really is a university and we simply outgrew it. Perhaps we shouldn’t resent it for not being heaven on earth, but should be grateful for what it was.

I know one thing for sure; ultimately every ex-Raja Yogi needs and deserves to be able to look back on it with love.

I think you should feel proud of all you have tried to do in Raja Yoga. It has great failings but it is a noble path. But however noble it might be or could be never forget this: All along from day one, in direct contradiction to what they tried to tell you, the question was not whether you would be good enough for it but whether it would be good enough for you. They tried, they really did, but it wasn’t. When you are ready you’ll forgive them and you’ll move on.

Yours Respectfully,

E

Links to: Part 1 - Part II - Part III - Part IV - Part V - Part VI.
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ex-l

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Re: Child Abuse & the BKWSU VI

Post24 Jul 2012

Just as a reminder to why this forum started and how seriously the real world takes child sex abuse ... child sex abuse which the Brahma Kumari leaders hid, covered up, dragged their heels addressing and never made amends to the children involved. We don't even know how many children were involved. There was never a proper inquiry.
From various sources.

In the USA, Pennsylvania State University was fined $60 million for the cover up of one of its employee's years of child sexual abuse. The money is to be given to an endowment fund for external programmes to prevent child abuse and help victims.

In the BKWSU, there was more than one abuser, in Delhi and in Mount Abu.

Additionally, several high-level school officials were charged with perjury and suspended or dismissed for allegedly covering up the incidents or failing to notify authorities. The Brahma Kumaris never notified any authorities (if they had, their track record would have been to buy them off with sweet talk, holy sweeties, gifts and invitations to free holiday retreats).

The PSU school president Graham was forced to resign and the head of the department involved fired. The individual carrying out the crimes was charged with 48 counts of sexual crimes against children and faces a minimum sentence of 60 years in prison. The University ... and Penn State is a real university unlike the bogus Brahma Kumaris one which does not even seem to exist on paper ... suffered further punishments, e.g. ban on post-season sports games and competing for 4 years, a five-year probation, a reduction in the number of scholarships and the removal of 14 years of victories from winning sports games. It also lost sponsors, advertisers and and Wall Street bankers are threatening to downgrade the school's credit rating.

Assistant coach Jerry Sandusky abused 10 boys over a period of 15 years.

The FBI report laid the blame in the hands of four of University's most powerful people; President, Vice-President, a director and a head coach Joe Paterno for failing "to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade". Three years after the first allegations, the report found that officials did not take any action to identify a victim seen being abused.

The report includes several recommendations on what steps the university should take going forward:
    create a stronger sense of accountability and transparency among leadership
    evaluate security for campus programmes involving children
    require all employees to provide training for abuse awareness and reporting
    establish a university police policy to seek assistance during sensitive investigations or where there is a conflict of interest
    appoint a university ethics officer and an ethics council.
Had the BKWSU been an American institution, and the child sex abuse happened in the USA, who would have been held responsible? Who in the BKWSU were involved in the facing saving, cover up and heel dragging; Jayanti Kripalani, Janki Kirpalani, Maureen Goodman, the trustees in Mount Abu and the center-in-charge at New Delhi?
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Re: Child Abuse & the BKWSU VI

Post05 Dec 2012

If you want to get away with child sex abuse, join the BKWSU. Especially in India.

Back in the real world, even although the perpetrator is dead, UK police authorities are researching child sex abuse carried out by a high profile TV personality and charity worker Sir Jimmy Savile, OBE from the 1970s, 80s and 90s because, in doing so, they uncover other evidence and abusers. Police say they have now received 340 to 400 potential lines of inquiry.

As in the BKWSU, these people seldom work alone.

The aftermath ...
Within a month of the child abuse scandal breaking, many places and organizations named after or connected to Savile were renamed or had his name removed. A memorial plaque on the wall of Savile's former home in Scarborough was removed in early October 2012. A wooden statue of him in Glasgow was removed around the same time. A sign on a footpath in Scarborough bearing Savile's surname was removed. Savile's Hall, the conference centre at the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds, was renamed. Two registered charities founded in his name to fight "poverty and sickness and other charitable purposes" announced they were too closely tied to his name to be sustainable and would close and distribute their funds to other charities, so as to avoid harm to beneficiaries from future media attention.

On 9 October 2012, relatives said the headstone of Savile's grave would be removed, destroyed and sent to landfill.

Savile's estate, believed to be worth about £4 million, was frozen by its executors, the NatWest bank, in view of the possibility that those alleging that they had been assaulted by Savile could make claims for damages.


A number of individuals have been charged including another commentator Stuart Hall. The fact is, the enlightened, soul conscious, God inspired BKWSU leaders fought to cover it up and dragged their heels to enact any child protect efforts which came from outside of the BKWSU.
Stuart Hall charged with indecent assault against young girls

Broadcaster accused of three offences committed between 1974 and 1984 involving girls aged between eight and 17

The veteran BBC commentator Stuart Hall has been charged with three counts of indecent assault which date back to the 1970s and 1980s.The former It's A Knockout presenter, 82, was arrested on Wednesday morning and later that day charged with sex offences. It is alleged he abused three girls aged between eight and 17 years between 1974 and 1984, according to the Crown Prosecution Service. Hall was released without charge on an allegation of rape and a further allegation of indecent assault but bailed to appear before magistrates on the other charges in Preston on 7 January 2013. John Dilworth, head of the CPS's north-west complex casework unit, said: "Following investigations into allegations of sexual assault by Stuart Hall I have reviewed all the evidence that they have gathered and have authorised Lancashire police to charge him with three counts of indecent assault."The charges are that between 1 September 1974 and 31 December 1974 he indecently assaulted a woman who was then aged 16 or 17 years, that between 1 January 1983 and 31 December 1983 he indecently assaulted a girl then aged 8 or 9 years, and that between 1 July 1984 and 27 September 1984 he indecently assaulted a girl then aged 13 years. He has been bailed to appear at Preston magistrates court on 7 January 2013.

In the case of the BKWSU offenders in Delhi and Abu, and the Brahma Kumaris leaders who led the cover up ... nothing.
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Re: Child Abuse & the BKWSU VI

Post14 Aug 2018

Interesting footnote.

The most senior Roman Catholic cleric convicted of covering up child sex abuse was ordered by an Australian court Tuesday to serve a one year sentence. The Australia archbishop has just gotten house detention for child sex abuse cover-up but the BKs leaders will walk free. Note it was not the actually sex abuse, but just the cover-up of it.

He will serve his sentance in home detention rather than going to jail.

I suppose it is easier to cover up if it happens in India, and more of a cultural thing for Indians to do so.

But why were and are there no calls for an equivalent justice from the more enlightened Western BKs?

Aren't the BKs supposed to act to higher standards than the impure, Kali Yugi, Shudra religions?

I would have thought an Archbishop was on a par with a Dadi or a Didi in BK terms, and the known cases of child abuse within the BKWSU happen more recently. The full extent of which, in India, we will probably never know.

Newcastle Magistrate Robert Stone found Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson guilty of failing to report to police the repeated abuse of two altar boys by pedophile priest James Fletcher in the Hunter Valley region north of Sydney during the 1970s. Wilson was an assistant priest at the time. Fletcher died of a stroke in 2006 while serving a prison sentence for child sex abuse.

Outside court, Wilson was confronted by one of Fletcher’s victims, Peter Gogarty, who repeatedly asked Wilson if he would apologize as he was led to a waiting car, but the clergyman did not respond.
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Re: Child Abuse & the BKWSU VI

Post15 Aug 2018

Wilson has also been called on to step down from his position as Archbishop. He has said he will resign if he does not succeed in his appeal. The Pope recently sacked a bishop or Archbishop in South America for similar offences of cover up.

I know a couple of Catholics who’ve said it is unfair to go after Archbishop Wilson as he is a good, kind, pleasant man who has done lots of good things in his career and was not himself the offender. This ignores the basic principle of justice, that you are being tried for a particular crime, not for your character, status or other deeds. These may come into play when it comes to sentencing and I’d say that’s exactly why he gotten house arrest (he is staying at his Sister’s house) rather than prison.
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Re: Child Abuse & the BKWSU VI

Post15 Aug 2018

I suppose the underlying principle is that religious leaders tend to see themselves as being better and above the law, and put the interests of their cult before victims' or society's?

In short, they actually have no such spiritual values as honesty, integrity, humility, responsibility and so on.

For me, although it's never stated, the overarching principle is always "expedience" ... what works the best to get the desired result. The UK BK elite went out of their way to suppress the sex abuse cases within BKism, and the international elite did nothing by way of taking responsibility for what happen ... all to save face for the cult.

That, to me, is the opposite of true spirituality.
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Re: Child Abuse & the BKWSU VI

Post15 Aug 2018

Yes, exactly my point.

Regardless of how sweet and innocent a Dadi may be, or how generous, spiritual, gentle and kind any person in any position may be, if they know of a crime they have a moral and legal obligation to report crimes otherwise, if they ignore it or cover it up, they become an accessory to the crime, aiding and abetting the perpetrator.
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Re: Child Abuse & the BKWSU VI

Post15 Aug 2018

Child sex abuse seems to be a pandemic and in India there is an epidemic of male child sex abuse.

In a recent post, for another topic, I referenced one social scientist who demonstrated the extent of the epidemic of child sex abuse in the United States. There was a time when a pediatrician, teacher, child activist, or jurist would be proud of their profession. There are foxes in the hen house of the above-mentioned institutions, including spiritual institutions.
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Re: Child Abuse & the BKWSU VI

Post16 Aug 2018

I think I can say it ”used to be” the same here in Australia GuptaRati.

In the 1990s, there were many rumours and allegations of a secretive circle of the social elite - judges, politicians, business identities - who were involved in paedophilia, pederasty in particular. When a female state MP brought it up blatantly and openly made accusations under parliamentary privilege, she was drummed out of the parliament and the party.

We have since had a number of investigations and recently a long running Royal Commission into institutionalised sexual abuse of children (mentioned earlier in this thread). I do think the culture has now shifted substantially, so that it is no longer accepted even as a whispered possibility, e.g. when I was in high school, a public school, we used to make jokes about what went on for those who went to the nearby Catholic Boys high school.

I see it in the same way as monetary corruption that is found in many countries, India, the Middle East and a lot of badly governed places. Legal or not, it is either culturally expected and accepted as ‘normal’, i.e. it's just what happens, or it is neither expected nor accepted.

I think Australia has really turned the corner culturally in the last 10 or so years with child abuse. Although it has been accompanied by a new extreme prudery and an occasionally over-accusative wariness, I see that as the inevitable "swing of the pendulum", an ongoing tension that will be found in any pluralistic society that is trying to progress.
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Re: Child Abuse & the BKWSU VI

Post17 Aug 2018

Vatican expresses 'shame and sorrow' over Pennsylvania child abuse scandal; ‘Holy See condemns unequivocally the sexual abuse of minors’.

It's insane ... "1,000 children by more than 300 Catholic priests" in just one State in the USA, Pennsylvania but allow me to call BS on
“Victims should know that the pope is on their side. Those who have suffered are his priority, and the church wants to listen to them to root out this tragic horror that destroys the lives of the innocent.”

Are the BKs taking precautions and reviewing their current state?
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Mr Green

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Re: Child Abuse & the BKWSU VI

Post21 Aug 2018

I heard the Catholics say, "They'd let these children down"! That's a lie, the truth is they attacked children.
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ex-l

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Re: Child Abuse & the BKWSU VI

Post22 Aug 2018

You are right. It's a terribly dishonest and conceited euphemism.

Look at the example I gave above, 300 priests in one State. Can anyone really say they did not know what was going on?

We have no idea what has gone on in India with the BKs but it seems all orthodox or fundemental celibate religion end up with the same problems, the Orthodox Jews have been having the same kind of controversies the world over, the Buddhist monks in Asia.

Surely we have reached a point where we can admit any religion that interferes with natural love and affection is setting itself up for sex abuse problems ... and runs the risk of being a socially convenient mask for those with such tendencies.
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GuptaRati 6666

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Re: Child Abuse & the BKWSU VI

Post22 Aug 2018

Ex-I,

You indicate a key term, natural love. This morning, a leading radical nun, on Amy Goodman's Democracy Now, stated that celibacy was introduced into Christianity as a means of blocking women from inheriting priestly rights and powers from their deceased husbands who were priests. Many of the saints were married, as were the founders of the major religions.

Approximately 1000 Roman Catholics are petitioning for the resignation of all bishops and archbishops in the USA.

Will the BKs file a similar petition for the Dadis and center-in-charge officials?
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ex-l

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Re: Child Abuse & the BKWSU VI

Post22 Aug 2018

GuptaRati 6666 wrote:Will the BKs file a similar petition for the Dadis and center-in-charge officials?

To the best of my knowledge, the Brahma Kumaris never made a formal, public announcement about the cover up of the child sex abuse at their Madhuban and New Delhi centres.

Janki, Jayanti, I believe Maureen and others in the London - and hence Western - headquarters all colluded to obstruct, deny and cover up. There was, I remember, "Shrimat" to do anything posssible to stop the name of Brahma Kumarism from being tarnish with the child sex abuse scandal.

I don't even know of any inquiry to explore the possibility of far wider abuses ... but what do you expect from a religion based on the control and exploitation of young girls that has been little better than at the level of human trafficking and slavery?

The first and I believe only 'terse' public acknowledgement of it, was when Shivani Verma was asked about it, had to admit "something happened" but then went on a ridiculous apologetic waffle about " dry cleaning" and how the BKWSU was a place dirty people came to be cleaned and some bad thing might happen. It's worth reading her comments.

On call to work for a multi-millionaire business organisation 24/7/365 and be shipped around India or the world at the whim of a Senior Sister ... with no pay, no rights, no holidays, no retirement, no pension, no nothing ... is slavery. Of course, it may be no different, it may even be a "better class" of slavery in comparison to the general treatment of lower caste women in India, but it is still slavery.

Brahma Kumarism has been developed, based a system of slavery. The comforts and privileges Western BKs have enjoyed are the fruit of that system. Adult women may have a right to voluntarily choose to "sell" themselves to the cult in order to escape even worse treatment within Indian society, but I doubt the "kunyas" (literally "virgins") have the life experience to make such a decision.

Of course, we have documented cases of adult sex abuse, and male financial supporters of BK centres receiving other "wifely duties" from lower caste Brahma Kumari "servants".

In my opinion, having such a system of abuse and exploitation attracts individuals with a desire or tendency towards abusing and exploiting. Socio- or psychopaths. And I think this - and the control of female sexuality, and thereby female power - is part of the equation with the Catholic Church too.

Both, in essence, are also based on institutionalised deception and manipulation which, again, would attract the same small percentage of individuals who enjoy or cannot help themselves deceiving and manipulating. Deceiving and manipulating at the leadership level; and self-deception at the victim level.

There is no need for me to couch my language and say, "I believe" ... the Brahma Kumaris actually teach deception and manipulation and exploitation of others. You're ability to rise within the ranks to places of security where your physical welfare will be looked after ... is dependent on your willingness and ability to deceptieve, manipulate and exploit.

That's the perfect combination for disfunctional relationships.

It's like the old jokes about sadists and maschocists. I'll make up a new just for the BKs.

BK maschocist follower: "I am so impure, I have such bad karma, please punish me".

BK sadist senior: "No".

"But please be ready at 5am to drive me to the airport, pay for my business class ticket to America, get back to the centre and clean it, then arrange a big venue for me to speak in, oh, and don't forget to meditate at 4am for one hour to clean your karma, and 5 times a day traffic control, and half an hour at 7pm, then remember you are teaching the 7 Days Course in the evening, and have you paid the mortgage on the centre property ([i]which is in my name), cut your hair or tie it back, wear white clothes, don't speak to your family or any other non-BK except about BKism, don't go to the movies or read newspapers, keep a daily journal and don't dare have sex, fall in love with anyone else, or touch another body ... because if you don't you will be doomed and grind your teeth and cry tears of blood come the End of the World![/i]"

Whew. I remember it all so well!
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ex-l

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Re: Child Abuse & the BKWSU VI

Post22 Aug 2018

GuptaRati 6666 wrote:This morning, a leading radical nun, on Amy Goodman's Democracy Now, stated that celibacy was introduced into Christianity as a means of blocking women from inheriting priestly rights and powers from their deceased husbands who were priests.

As a quick aside, yes. I also remember that

    a) many of the early Christian leaders were actually women, and
    b) something like the original meaning of the term "virgin" was not for a woman who had been stopped from having sex, but a women who was in control of her own sexuality/sexual activity.
I cannot remember the source of the latter right now but it may come back to me. It was an example of how the meaning of term had been entirely twisted.

In more primitive societies, the control of women's sexuality is largely about the patriarchal (male) control of property ... and I don't think the Brahma Kumaris are immune from that either.

A similarity worth exploring further. The twist taking place within BKism is that elder females take on the patriarchal roles.

The Brahma Kumaris are not a feminist organisation. They remain a patriarchal sect. It's just that older, sexless females - females who have denied their female sexuality all their lives - take on the male roles.
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