Confession as a tool of enculting within the BKWSU

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ex-l

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Confession as a tool of enculting within the BKWSU

Post15 Aug 2011

I do not know if it still goes on in the Western BKWSU but I suspect it still does in India. In the old days, adherents to the BK cult used to be encouraged to confess their impurities (sins) as a tool of enculting ... binding individuals to the BKWSU.

In the old days, the "deal" was that if you confessed your sins to the Seniors, you got an instant 50% reduction in karma! Just how it worked ... as usual no one ever explained.

But you would have to expect a good deal from the Sindhi God they call "the Clever Businessman", I guess.

From 'Confession: studies in deviance and religion' by Mike Hepworth, Bryan S. Turner.
Confession trains or socialises people into a set of culturally defined sins for which it also provides recognised cure of absolution. ... theologians and confessors have been alive to the dangerous side-effects of confession ... The psychological disturbance known as "scrupulosity" ... In such circumstances, confession may well exacerbate rather than solve guilt-feelings.

In a society where there is relative agreement over certain social values, confession may serve to reinforce and underline those values by confirming the beliefs of persons in authority, symbolically restoring 'deviant' individuals to the community and by individuals in terms of anxieties about certain types of misconduct. Confession thus serves to buttress social values ...

Now when did you ever hear discussion about the dangerous of this aspect of Brahma Kumarism? As usual the so called "Spiritual University" is operating at a kindergarten or cornershop level.

In comparison to other cults, I would say the BKs were fairly modest in their abuse of confession. I have never heard of anyone being threatened by revelations being made but I have experienced false rumours being passed around the BK gossip vine, and we have read about Seniors sharing and spreading personal private information about individuals under their charge.

A lot has been written about the psychology of confession within religion. I don't have enough time right now to look at it. Obviously, confession can be a good copying tool to help individuals within a trustworthy and responsible relationship, e.g. parent-child, therapist-client, but I could not class relationships with the BK elite as being either trustworthy or responsible. They are untrained, except for in their own cult, and a Quixotic law entirely unto themselves.

Here is a typical comment from a ex-cult counsellor on the subject, its author’s 25 years of experience as a counsellor of families and individuals with cult-related problems.
Cults encourage members to admit everything about their past and present behavior. Although the member is told that confession will set him free, in effect it binds him to the group since the confessed information can be used against him. Furthermore, leaving the cult becomes more difficult, as the member feels that they will have left behind an intimate part of himself.

Sharing reinforces allegiance to the group ... Common routines include self-criticising and confessions sessions. The members have to write detailed daily reports of activities, their previous night's dreams, their thoughts and even love and emotional daydreams.

I also do not know much about the place of confession within Hinduism as a whole and wonder if this is something else Lekhraj Kirpalani took from Christianity?
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Mr Green

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Re: Confession as a tool of enculting within the BKWSU

Post16 Aug 2011

The old "letter to Madubhan" ... they used to be "taken to the Subtle Regions" by a trance messenger (whatever that means).
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ex-l

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Re: Confession as a tool of enculting within the BKWSU

Post17 Aug 2011

Mr Green wrote:... (Whatever that means).

Whatever that means indeed ...

In practise, that they were put on a plate in front of a BK Sister meditating who they believed carried them up to the next spiritual realm. Ho hum ...

I thought around the early days of Western service Nirwair used to read them. They probably put a stop to that because of all the filth he was having to read.

Did you ever send any letters? I don't mind admitting that I did in a "what the hell ... may as well try it and see what happens" type of manner.
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Mr Green

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Re: Confession as a tool of enculting within the BKWSU

Post17 Aug 2011

I sent one alright, hope it's been burnt!

Nirwair did read mine, was still reading them at the time.

bkti-pit

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Re: Confession as a tool of enculting within the BKWSU

Post20 Aug 2011

ex-l wrote:Did you ever send any letters?

Not once in 25 + years. I had no inclination for that type of things.
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ex-l

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Re: Confession as a tool of enculting within the BKWSU

Post20 Aug 2011

I really wonder if the confessions within them were circulated around the inner circle of the BKWSU where required. "Knowledge is power", and all that.

If you were to ask me if I thought they were, I would say 100% they would be. I trust Nirwair specifically, and the inner circle of the BKWSU, less distance that I could spit them. I would not be surprised if they keep them on record.

Does anyone know if or how long they kept them for, or what they did with them? Did anyone think to ask before sending one?

What idiot state would one have to be in before sending such a letter to a bunch of strangers one hardly knows in India? What do you think would happen to them!?!

I dare any of you to say that you think the BK leadership is or was in anyway trustworthy. And who did the BK leadership make their confession to?

diwali

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Re: Confession as a tool of enculting within the BKWSU

Post20 Aug 2011

Actually, I feel so ashamed to admit that I not only wrote many letters every Thursday, but I was in charge of putting all the letters in a large envelope and send them to Madhuban...

I wrote letters for a couple of years until one day I found the Coordinator reading one of them. I froze watching it. She disguised with a gesture and hid the letter. I could not believe it but I said nothing. I never again put my letter under the plate of Bhog.

Over the years this practice stopped. With the use of internet, began the letters to Dadi and Seniors. Far as I know about the subject, email responses are sent with a copy to the coordinator of the naive questioner. Even if in the question there is any complaint about the behavior of the coordinator. Can you imagine such humiliation? I am not exaggerating, I have witnessed this many times. I think this is all about control. All for the power to control the followers. There comes a point where there are no limits.

Bkti-pit I think you are unique.
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ex-l

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Re: Confession as a tool of enculting within the BKWSU

Post20 Aug 2011

diwali wrote:Actually, I feel so ashamed to admit that I not only wrote many letters every Thursday, but I was in charge of putting all the letters in a large envelope and send them to Madhuban...

I wrote letters for a couple of years until one day I found the Coordinator reading one of them. I froze watching it. She disguised with a gesture and hid the letter. I could not believe it but I said nothing. I never again put my letter under the plate of Bhog.

Read this now, I share your shock. That must have been an awful experience ... especially watching the disguise of center-in-charge sneaking a look at what was written. It must have been such a betrayal of trust ... and you must have lost your innocence at that point.

It is strange how we were made impotent and unable to speak out.
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exbkmember

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Re: Confession as a tool of enculting within the BKWSU

Post05 Nov 2011

Yes, I heard the center head used to read them. I wrote a few but stopped when i was told this.
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rayoflight

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Re: Confession as a tool of enculting within the BKWSU

Post05 Nov 2011

ex-l wrote:Did you ever send any letters? I don't mind admitting that I did in a "what the hell ... may as well try it and see what happens" type of manner.

I did the same. I was so naive. But something inside me kept saying, "you are not safe". In other words, don't trust anybody here. Well, that lesson took a long time to sink in! I felt humiliated just doing it. God knows why we give up our power so easily, so often and in so many ways.

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