[Policy] Brahma Kumari Info: Code of Ethics - Discussion

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tom

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Re: [Policy] Brahma Kumari Info: Code of Ethics - Discussion

Post05 Apr 2009

Admin wrote:Discussion over corrections, refinements or development can continue and may be incorporated.

Good. Seeing that the artificial clouds and the storm have settled, which was caused by some members who came from other forums with only aim and objective to create confusion and anxiety amongst all of us against the Draft of Code of Ethics, I think we can start now to make our suggestions for corrections, refinements or development with a clear view.

They were without bringing any reasonable critical or editorial concern or any creative new vision, obviously panicking that this concept of Code of Ethics would spread like a plague to other forums and to the BKWSU. And what would they do in that case? If the members of other forums and followers of BKWSU would only start suddenly creating their own Code of Ethics and would behave accordingly? :shock:

This is the first experience of my life seeing some folks being afraid of ethics.

My humble suggestion to the Code of Ethics: I think paragraphs 12 and 14 could be merged together.
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ex-l

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Re: [Policy] Brahma Kumari Info: Code of Ethics - Discussion

Post06 Apr 2009

This is related. Points 12 and 13. I might have led a sheltered life but I am not entirely sure of the difference between an "inappropriate physical relationship" and a "sexual or emotional relationship". I suppose it could refer to therapy and the American legal system where, I guess, this model code comes from. Perhaps the first one is just touching or 'one sided', the second one a full relationship.

In either case, I do agree with the inclusion of such codes. Folks coming here should not be 'hit on' by other members looking to get laid, nor should it be seen as a pick up zone for ex-BKs. Likewise, the business of the forum should be the business of the forum and not be burdened by personal relationships going on (not because they are "bad" but because they are a distraction and could backfire on the forum).

I think we should approach matters like group therapy. I just do not think the codes are entirely clear or make sense at present.
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tom

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Re: [Policy] Brahma Kumari Info: Code of Ethics - Discussion

Post06 Apr 2009

ex-l,

I am understanding your point about 12 and 13. But I mean paragraph 12 and 14 could me merged. And there are other paragraphs which could be merged and simplified, so that we can have a more compact Code of Ethics.

Any suggestions in this direction would be beneficial I think.
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admin

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Re: [Policy] Brahma Kumari Info: Code of Ethics - Discussion

Post08 Apr 2009

The following message has been forwarded from user eromain.

Firstly, to answer one question asked, the model used to start discussion on the Code of Ethics was taken from a reputable association for psychotherapists. If individuals can construct a better one, please propose here.

Secondly, we look forward to eromain's, and any other member's, tangible offer of support, in order to increase the forum's resources, on his return from holiday in one weeks time.
eromain wrote:I respect Admin’s right to implement a code of ethics, but I will not be signing up for it. Currently therefore that means I am not allowed to post. As I believe I have been a responsible and ethical member of the site I think that I at least deserve to have my objections recorded. I have therefore forwarded this post to Admin and asked him to post it on my behalf. Assuming you are reading this he has posted this on my behalf.

I check into the site much less consistently than others and frequently find a conversation is well developed long before I am even aware of it. In the case of the code of ethics I missed much of the discussion and did not realize that the deadline for comments was brought forward to seven days. By the time I realized what was going on it was too late; I could not make any comments I might wish to because I could not honestly sign up for the code in its present format.

I would argue that the discussion period is way too short. The code changes the nature of our interactions quite seriously in my opinion and members should be afforded a reasonable amount of time to deliberate and express their opinions. And I am away again for a week from the 8th so another couple of days isn’t going to help.

I object also to section 1 which requires me to put the welfare of the public and other members first. Sometimes when I post I put myself first and I reserve the right to do that. This site has helped me and sometimes I come to it for help. If I am no longer allowed to do this then obviously I cannot come.

I object to promising not to “damage the interests of the forum” as I have no idea what that is intended to mean. Forums do not have interests, people do. And a code of ethics should be clear enough that it delineates the behaviour it either proscribes or prescribes. I am sure that many of my posts could be described as damaging the interests of the forum if one wanted to do so.

I object to section 4 which requires me to disclose to Admin if any civil or criminal proceedings are commenced against me. Given that Admin has not even revealed his/her identity I decline to reveal to him/her such personal information. And I will never be member of any anonymously run website that requires such from its members. And I really have no idea where this has come from.

Have we been infiltrated by money launderers or something? Why is this information required and what will be done with it? The possession of such information is itself covered under various laws in various countries – here in the UK we have the data protection act. I do not know which country this site is hosted from nor which local laws it recognises

I object to section 5 which requires me to tell Admin if I am or somebody else is a member of the BKs or has re-joined the BKs. I wish to state for anyone who reads this that I will not disclose any personal information to a third party without your express permission. If Admin ever asks me if I think or know you to be a BK I will tell Admin respectfully to go f*ck him/herself.

This site has facilitated a great deal of sensitive work and some of that requires trust and discretion. As far as I am concerned, one of the functions of this site is as a place of safety. People will not feel safe if they feel their basic privacy is not respected. Beyond that the rights to privacy, to freedom of worship and freedom from discrimination are principles I value for their own sake.

I object to section 11 which requires me to refrain from posting when my psychological health is impaired and at such times just again surrender all rights to privacy by telling Admin. Given this is a site for ex-members of a cult I would suggest this rule is ridiculous to the point of cruelty. I hope the Samaritans do not adopt the same principle. And I really need Admin to explain how it is he/she thinks his role gives him the right to manage such information, and again what this information will be used for and how it will be safeguarded.

I object to section 14 for lots of reasons: I have no idea what it means, it is exactly the kind of stuff the BKs would spout, or indeed the KGB or the Stasi. Anyone who wants to give me their list of virtues I should aspire to can basically f*ck off. Particularly as they have included impartiality in there. There is a whole heap of things I do not want to be impartial about. And indeed whoever wrote this does not want me to be impartial about integrity or respect. They want me to be partial about them whilst promising to be impartial. It is ridiculous.

Websites should not be in the business of delineating thought crimes. If you want to control my thoughts I don’t want to be here. If on the other hand you want to control any anti-social behaviour you are concerned I might engage in, then you must do the work of identifying it.

In section 16, I can certainly not promise that I will not bring the forum into disrepute.

I do not believe I ever have, but I can certainly imagine situations in which I would. Some would argue that I brought the BKs into disrepute and had I ever signed a piece of paper promising not to they could sue me now. I would be perfectly happy for them to sue me, so it is not litigation I am trying to avoid, rather that I now realize that it would be dishonest of me to make a promise I could invisage breaking given the right circumstances. That this section also requires me to promise not to bring myself into disrepute I find absurd.

Whose psychotic Victorian auntie drafted this stuff? I am a grown up and reserve the right to make an idiot of myself as and when I choose. If I am to be banned because I decline to promise not to then obviously we do not share enough mutual respect to have a dialogue. You ask me to sign a form promising not to defecate on your couch I’m going to decline that one too. If you think I might don’t invite me in. But remember the people who would, will not restrain themselves because they signed the form.

Presumably there have been people wasting Admin’s time but I do not know who they are or what they have been doing. I cannot imagine what they could have possibly have been getting up to to warrant this response. This current code seems to be so broad in its scope and so vague in its language that it is in danger of alienating many more people than its target audience. I think a great deal more care needs to be taken and a lot more time.

Furthermore these kinds of procedures frequently end up victimizing the innocent rather than deflecting those with ill-intent. Entering the USA requires one to fill in numerous forms – one of which actually asks you if you are planning any terrorist activities. If anyone has joined in order to cause mischief I doubt this code of ethics will make any difference.

Finally, I just want to state that I have written this out quickly as I am about to go away and I want it out there. I apologise if my language is too fruity for some.

Best wishes

Eugene
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rayoflight

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Re: [Policy] Brahma Kumari Info: Code of Ethics - Discussion

Post08 Apr 2009

Here here, I second eromain's well written words and thoughts.

To me, it feels like a BK has infiltrated the forum and sabotaged a space that used to be safe for ex-members of the BK cult. I, personally, do not feel safe expressing my feelings about my experience when I know that BK supporters or BK believers are part of the forum.

At which point, the beliefs are diametrically opposed and therefore, do not support my needs.
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bkti-pit

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Re: [Policy] Brahma Kumari Info: Code of Ethics - Discussion

Post08 Apr 2009

I still consider myself a BK although questioning BK would probably be a better label than believer or supporter but definitely still a BK friend despite not supporting the corruption, hypocrisy and so on within the BK system.

I am definitely not the kind who would try corrupt this Forum. I did read all your posts with interest Rayoflight and would hope you did not feel threatened. I have as many ex-BK friends as I have BK friends. I also have never-been-BK friends ...

I did read through the whole thread and although I do understand the legitimacy of Admin trying to regulate a bit in order to reduce his/her load, I do agree with eromain and others who expressed concerns about the whole process and do not understand why it was so urgent.

I do not fully understand the code of ethics but am willing to give it a try. I do however think it is too restrictive and that the intended result could have been better achieved otherwise. I am sorry that it is not an area in which I feel talented enough to be able to contribute much.
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rayoflight

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Re: [Policy] Brahma Kumari Info: Code of Ethics - Discussion

Post08 Apr 2009

bkti-pit, I appreciate your response and would like to say that my comment was general and not aimed at anyone in particular.

It is by my own naivete that my hesitation to continue to post openly on this forum, arises. People in and of themselves can be lovely regardless of their beliefs, but this is a forum based on the discussion of the BK beliefs that have hurt and damaged many people. I think that regardless of the quality of a human being, once a wound has been caused, it is very difficult to separate the ideology from the person.

For my own well-being, it is imperative that I become strong enough to cut out everything BK from my life. Thankfully, I travel enough to keep some distance from friends who are still BKs, but in order for me to heal properly and to make a statement about my decision to move on with my life, I need to close the BK door completely in order to allow a new, fresh door to open up. But that is just me and certainly not advice to anyone who needs to press forward. Even posting on this site is a reminder of a BK label that now has a prefix: "ex". I hope to eventually eliminate ALL BK labels from my life so that I may be able to speak to people as people again and not as BKs or ex-BKs or supporting/reforming/friends of/etc. BKs or what have you.

As for the C.O.E. discussion we are speaking about, I am too new to really understand the politics behind it. My simplistic desire to join this group to heal has been achieved. I am thankful beyond words, but I do not wish to enter into any ex-BK politics when I just barely exited BK politics. For whatever reason, this has happened and for some it makes sense and perhaps might be a positive change for the forum. Time will tell.
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Terry

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Re: [Policy] Brahma Kumari Info: Code of Ethics - Discussion

Post09 Apr 2009

Admin wrote: the model used to start discussion on the Code of Ethics was taken from a reputable association for psychotherapists

Uh-huh. Now that seems to explain the overkill. And it also reads like the code used as a model has been made more restrictive rather than less. But this is a forum for all kinds of people with one commonality - the BKs. It is not a formal professional association, of therapists or anything else.
rayoflight wrote: I, personally, do not feel safe expressing my feelings about my experience when I know that BK supporters or BK believers are part of the forum.

The interesting thing here ROL is that many "believers" and "supporters" have been banned. I was re-labelled, from ex-BK to BK supporter, because I did not fit into a box easily (was told so) and dared to "explain" the BK mindset without condemning it.

I joined here in January this year. It was a place where BKs, ex-BKs, supporters, researchers etc can all seek to understand the total reality of this phenomenon called the BKs, pro's and con's. Such a place would help take each of us outside our own experiences and gain a broader perspective, making this forum more than a whipping post. Most of us were positive, even enthused, about the BKs at some stage in our lives, and need to understand others are in that space now. Wouldn't we all have liked to be welcomed to such a forum in those days? Wouldn't we all probably have started engaging by promoting the teachings and defending against allegations? But I'd also suggest that, just as all agyanis are potential BKs, so too all BKs are potential ex-BKs.

We had the open mindedness to think outside the prescribed. But patience, tolerance and sympathy/empathy are needed. Imagine if a therapist began by haranguing those who came in to try therapy out! But that is what I have seen happen here over the last few months. Some may argue that those banned did not come for therapy but to proselytise or propagandise. I'd say they showed a willingness to engage (more than some here are willing to do) and I think judgement should be suspended until they have had a chance to explore some ideas here. They won't hear some of what is on this forum after they are banned - they will just reinforce their sense of ex-BKs as embittered or wrong, or "locked intellect", or whatever their consciousness needs.

Those who don't want to engage with them can place such members on their black lists and they will never see their posts.

A forum is meant to be a meeting place for ideas. Maybe the other aims of factual news, resource library et al, need a separate section so the forum can flow without muddying those waters? A fact is a fact, but opinions & allegations are not facts. They need more dialogue and further inputs. And I'd suggest that a looser application of rules rather than tighter is conducive to a better meeting place. I have currently agreed to the new code, but out of convenience. I will post as I have always done, and if I get suspended, banned or blocked, I would have a laugh and get on with life.
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Re: [Policy] Brahma Kumari Info: Code of Ethics - Discussion

Post09 Apr 2009

BrahmaKumaris.info has always sought to set standards in accurate documentation, accountability and an involvement of its members in discussion.

A encyclopedia page for the ongoing development of the Codes of Ethics has been created, here; Code of Ethics. It will also be possible to see it develop in stages, here; history.

As a number of individuals have the wrong impression about what a Code of Ethics is, we offer this as a context for the ongoing discussion.

Please bear in mind, whatever policies and programmes are put into place, they will be limited by the amount of available resources at any given time.
An ethics policy and programme - what are they for?

Organisations often set themselves ethical as well as operational or business values which they aspire to observe in carrying out their business. Ethical values are those such as respect, honesty, openness and responsibility.

Ethical values guide ideas of acceptable and desirable behaviour above and beyond compliance with laws and regulations.

The Code of Ethics' main purpose is to provide guidance, unlike a "code of conduct" which is generally "do this or else" in tone. A code of ethics will usually be aspirational and supportive inorder to guide members to make decisions based on principles.

The ethics policy

    * sets out an organisation's ethical values, standards and commitments to stakeholders that will underpin the way that it acts
    * confirms leadership commitment to the above
    * describes how this will be achieved and monitored through an ethics programme
    * identifies the main ethical issues faced by the organisation/sector
    * identifies other policies and documents that support and detail aspects of the ethics policy - such as a code of ethics, a speak up policy, a bullying and harassment policy, a gifts and hospitality policy, an environment policy etc. These can often involve a list of related policies.
It usually takes the form of a public declaration on values and ethics and can often be found on corporate websites.

The main aims of an ethics policy

* Values - to embed a set of ethical values into the organisations goals and strategies and the way it seeks to do what it does
* Ethical behaviour - to provide guidance and support to members for making decisions and carrying out their involvement in a way that is compatible with the ethical values and standards
* Culture - to consolidate and strengthen a culture of integrity and openness so as to facilitate a sustainability
* Risk - to minimise operational and integrity risks
* Reputation - to enhance trust among stakeholders so as to facilitate success in fulfilling the aims
* Sustainability - to minimise the organisation's negative impacts on and maximise its positive contribution to the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of wider society

Ethics programme

This consists of the activities and resources used to support, implement and embed the ethics policy, thus ensuring that practices and decisions are in line with ethical values.
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john

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Re: [Policy] Brahma Kumari Info: Code of Ethics - Discussion

Post09 Apr 2009

tom wrote:Good. Seeing that the artificial clouds and the storm have settled, which was caused by some members who came from other forums

Are you being serious?

The people you are speaking about have been members of this forum, probably from the beginning. Yes, they have now joined other forums as well.

Like I say, PROPAGANDA.
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ex-l

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Re: [Policy] Brahma Kumari Info: Code of Ethics - Discussion

Post09 Apr 2009

john wrote:The people you are speaking about have been members of this forum, probably from the beginning. Yes, they have now joined other forums as well. Like I say, PROPAGANDA.

I am not entirely sure, john ... is not it all being brewed by john morgan and his sympathisers off forum because he got upset at being banned for posting private messages onto the forum or asked to post his BK stuff on BK-PBK.Info?

I mean, they are BK supporters who want to discredit this forum as a "hate" forum, exactly the same as some elements of the BKWSU attempt/are attempting to do. The forum is much more sophisticated than that. It has also moved on. "Because someone has been here since the beginning" is the principle the BKWSU uses. Everything and everyone has a "sell by" or "expiry date".

Bearing this in mind, may be the Code of Ethics should include something more specific about dealing with people who are suffering from mental illness. Yes, when they want help, they should be helped ... but what liability does anyone have to them if,

    a) they do not want help, and
    b) their conduct and behaviour becomes obviously unmanagable?
I mean they may not even be seeking professional help. I think we have seen this on the forum ... how much can it be expected to absorb before it becomes a madhouse? The moderators need guidelines and the forum needs protection.

I think that the Codes try to address this in clause 11. I am not so sure how well?
in the Code of Ethics it is wrote:11) Members must limit their involvement, or refrain from giving advice posting, when their psychological health is impaired, they are under the influence of intoxicants and, if in doubt about their ability to perform, must seek appropriate advice from the administrators

What if members blatantly ignore that or refuse? Then other higher principles have to apply, e.g. putting the community's or public's interest ahead of the individual in question. This is what ethics are about. It is the same as the BK reformers suggesting now is the time to cut off the gangrenous limbs that are poising the body of the BKWSU. Serious poisoning ... money corruption, long term abuse or position etc.

* I want to be clear that I believe there are two things going on here and I am not condemning anyone;

    a) individuals genuinely suffering from mental illnesses; chemical or organic imbalances, and
    b) individuals suffering from spiritual crises; that is subject to spiritual influences that they do not understand nor cannot control, uncontrolled psychism etc.
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john

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Re: [Policy] Brahma Kumari Info: Code of Ethics - Discussion

Post09 Apr 2009

ex-l wrote:I am not entirely sure, john ... is not it all being brewed by john morgan and his sympathisers off forum because he got upset at being banned for posting private messages onto the forum or asked to post his BK stuff on BK-PBK.Info?

I mean, they are BK supporters who want to discredit this forum as a "hate" forum, exactly the same as some elements of the BKWSU attempt/are attempting to do. The forum is much more sophisticated than that. It has also moved on. "

I would say 'no' they are not like the suggestion being made.

One of the code of ethics is to respect members and I think Tom was being disrespectful and misrepresentative. I certainly feel disrespect towards myself for accusations of trouble stirring.

Is there a code of ethics, which protects against anything deemed as propaganda?
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Terry

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Re: [Policy] Brahma Kumari Info: Code of Ethics - Discussion

Post09 Apr 2009

ex-l wrote:in the Code of Ethics it is wrote: 11) Members must limit their involvement, or refrain from giving advice posting, when their psychological health is impaired .....

Sounds like Catch 22 to me. If you know you are psychologically impaired, then are you really?
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rayoflight

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Re: [Policy] Brahma Kumari Info: Code of Ethics - Discussion

Post09 Apr 2009

terry wrote:The interesting thing here ROL is that many "believers" and "supporters" have been banned. I was re-labelled, from ex-BK to BK supporter, because I did not fit into a box easily (was told so) and dared to "explain" the BK mindset without condemning it.

As human beings, we cannot live without labelling each other. And boxing is a way of controlling people with the hope of creating some kind of "order." But we are in a box. This forum is a box. The BK organization is another box. We just have to choose which box we want to be in. But the problem is that this forum is also open to those who are searching and trying to figure out who they are vis-a-vis the BK experiment, so this will inevitably bring in a lot of controversy and create boxes within boxes within boxes.

Just wondering... maybe you were re-labelled because you were riding the fence?

And maybe the Forum is having an identity crisis. Maybe the C.O.E. is a way of reassessing who it, the Forum, wants to be, what kind of box it wants to be and who it wants inside its box. Everything and everyone changes. As you said, "all agyanis are potential BKs, so too all BKs are potential ex-BKs." So whether we stay, leave or get booted, like you said, better to just laugh about it because anyway, we will always find a new box to play in.
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Terry

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Re: [Policy] Brahma Kumari Info: Code of Ethics - Discussion

Post10 Apr 2009

rayoflight wrote:Just wondering... maybe you were re-labelled because you were riding the fence?
Does ex- BK only mean "anti-BK? I know a lot of ex-BKs who have moved on, and have good feelings for their time involved. Sure they would not have "moved on" if they were satisfied with where they were at, it no longer served them. I am as much an ex-student - that doesn't make me anti education, I am an ex-Christian (consciously since I was 12) - that does not make me anti- Christian. The point: "ex" is a value free prefix in English.

If I post something pointing out problems with the BKs and then post another pointing out a quality I see - in both cases I am an ex-BK, and the latter does not make me a supporter, just as acknowledging or describing a quality in one's enemy does not mean you support them, rather it is valuable realism (re: Sun Tsu's the Art of War).
boxes within boxes within boxes
yes- we have the fixed structures and paradigms so loved by ego & consciousness, then there is the fluid changeability, the dynamic of nature and reality. The box is a convenient tool - but don't let the tool dictate the task. The room is the space within the walls, not the walls themselves - and you always need a door and windows, no matter what box you are in - or it becomes a coffin!
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