Thoughts from a concerned counselor

for site notices and tech support. Please keep the main forums on topic.
  • Message
  • Author

maruthis

  • Posts: 2
  • Joined: 21 Apr 2020

Thoughts from a concerned counselor

Post30 Apr 2020

I am reaching out to the administrators of this website with some suggestions. I am a counselor and therapist based in India who deals with self esteem and self confidence issues in individuals, especially youth. I also practice family psychiatry. Since over a year, I have started using meditation techniques in my practice, together with traditional therapies such as cognitive therapy and EMDR, and as such it has helped my clients quite a lot deal with their personal situations, especially PTSD. I have used Sahaja Yoga, Transcendental Meditation, Mindfulness techniques and Raja Yoga (Brahma Kumaris). Although these techniques all seem effective, I have noted that the Brahma Kumaris meditation practice has had the most pronounced effect among all these (although a bit slow to start with). I had come to know about this meditation technique online and also practiced it myself during a workshop organized by one of the local Brahma Kumaris ashrams which I participated in.

Recently (a few weeks before the COVID lockdown), my front desk person overheard one of my patients talking to another patient about some websites they had found which had some information about the Brahma Kumaris and some controversial history. I am assuming this is the website that they were referring to. I spent a weekend going through it and to say the least I feel a bit surprised to know the organization's controversial past. I have to admit I did not understand some of the references and terminologies such as “Avyakt” etc. Still, I really appreciate the efforts that you have put together here.

However, a few of my patients have stopped accepting any sessions where I use the Brahma Kumaris technique, citing the website. I do understand that this organization has had a controversial history and it is probably important for their followers to know about this. However, at the same time, it seems a bit unfair to me that folks who are in genuine need of meditation are being put off by some of the discussions here, which show up directly through a Google Search. I guess not everybody wants to be officially associated with the organization and does not care about its teachings but a lot of people in the world (and definitely in my clinic) need meditation techniques such as these. We are living in very stressful times currently. My fellow medical practitioners and friends are literally going through hell. I am having to counsel some nurses and doctors online or the past couple of weeks.

Is it possible to separate the critique of the organization from their meditation technique so that people do not get confused? For example, could a disclaimer be added to the website that it is an attempt to critique the organization and its teachings only, and not its meditation practice? Another possibility would be to require signing in to access the forum discussions on the website. That way the discussions do not appear in Google search results directly. There could be other options too but these are what come to my mind currently. I hope you would be able to consider this input and take a more balanced approach. I would be happy to discuss further.

We seem to be headed towards a situation that even counselors would need counselors! I hope you are staying safe and healthy.
User avatar

ex-l

ex-BK

  • Posts: 10423
  • Joined: 07 Apr 2006

Re: Thoughts from a concerned counselor

Post30 Apr 2020

maruthis wrote:However, a few of my patients have stopped accepting any sessions where I use the Brahma Kumaris technique, citing the website. I do understand that this organization has had a controversial history and it is probably important for their followers to know about this. However, at the same time, it seems a bit unfair to me that folks who are in genuine need of meditation are being put off by some of the discussions here.

First and foremost, as previous students and teachers of BKism, with experience and exposure to the Brahma Kumaris dating back to the 1970s, we are here to help you decode the language and concepts of BKism.

However, please allow me to start with a similar bottomline, you should absolutely stop peddling BKism to vulnerable individuals, especially given that you know absolutely nothing about it.

You are, in short, dosing and risking to addict them with a heroin, when they probably just need to learn to breath and have they hands held.

From a professional point of view, you are being very, very irresponsible. I would even go as far as to say negligent in your practise.

BKism is not meditation. It is a form of psychism, spirit possession if you like, that uses a combination of meditation, hypnosis and auto-suggestion to open individuals up to psychic influences that they are unaware of, and that the BKs are dishonest about - and that have agendas that the BKs are entirely dishonest about until the individual is hooked on their "drug" - that can lead to the destruction of their lives and, almost in almost every case, destroy their family relationships; and can end in a total personal and financial exploitation by the BKWSU.

That you are peddling such a "drug", without having done your research properly, without studying both the positive and negative effects of it, raises serious question about your professional integrity.
User avatar

ex-l

ex-BK

  • Posts: 10423
  • Joined: 07 Apr 2006

Re: Thoughts from a concerned counselor

Post30 Apr 2020

With regards to the idea of a "disclaimer", we don't need one.

We have a hugely accurate track record in exposing the crimes, frauds, and falsehoods that the BKs have invested in covering up, and have promoted worldwide.

The BK so called meditation practise is a dangerous hook that should not be promoted to any patient without them knowing the full facts of the organisation, its leadership, its history ... and its victims.

Now, please allow us to let you know what BKism really teaches; what its beliefs, agendas and modus operandis really are?

The drug you are peddling is basically a hook to drag people in to whatever level they can exploit. Yes, it can have a profound drug-like effect upon individuals that starts them craving for more and more. It is, in essence, a gateway drug that you and your professional standing are being used to unwittingly spread, like a spiritual synthetic opioid.

And it's typical of the BKs that they are exploiting the current fear, uncertainty and doubt to do so. It's what they have been doing with their End of the World ... their "kill off 7 billion human beings with a nuclear war to establish a heaven on earth for them" ... cult since it started.

Arcane

  • Posts: 19
  • Joined: 04 Apr 2020

Re: Thoughts from a concerned counselor

Post30 Apr 2020

Dear co-travelers in this journey called Life,

I will make it extremely simple and lucid. We are a family of five members. This thing has infested my family (now my Father only) for the last 25 years and on. I, too, am a medical doctor and as far as I think (has also been a fact, not just a thought) meditation is very very good for health of the body and the mind. No ounce of falsity on that.

We became affiliated to this institution for about 20 years, all of my family members. Then my eyes opened. I did an extensive research on BKism. I, myself, went to the extremes of reading the Vedas, 5 Upanishads, Brahmasutras, Advaita Vedanta, Bhagawad Gita, Ashtavakra Gita, Viveka Chunamani; the scriptures from Buddhism, Christianity, Western philosophy on Enlightenment, human psychology and so on.

Now, these days, 4 of us 5 members have stopped visiting the centres and have completely rejected what BKism fathoms is true. Only my Father visits the centres.

There is a “Jhandaa” in my home too and many things are still not coherent (in lines of thinking and being together as a family) even to these days. I feel pity for my Father because he cannot change his convictions about BKism now. I tried giving him the truth about the BKs but he refuses. He is completely blindfolded by the system.

Simply put, meditation is good for all spheres of one’s life but the meditation that the BKs teach is pure fantasy. THE DOGMAS THAT THEY TEACH IS JUST NOT PLAUSIBLE AND CREATES DISHARMONY BETWEEN PEOPLE INSTEAD OF A DEEMED UNICITY!!! One can follow mindfulness meditation; one can listen to transcendental meditation music including the delta waves and so on. Just do not relate yourself (LET ALONE YOUR MEDICAL PROFESSION) to the “BKism Dogmas” any longer. The Buddha himself in the KALAMA SUTTA has said: If you want genuine spiritual awakening/Enlightenment you must free yourself from all dogmas, everything that comes on your way!!

More and more innocent souls have died because of some subtly instilled in psychological fear and insecurity and the subsequent mental pressure and torture in the minds of the BK-followers too!! It rips apart families, my own experience in my family has opened my eyes!! Do not relate yourself to BKism and its dogmas in any way imaginable. Simply let them be, with their ego of “The Sat”. They even go to extremes of confusing you with all that **** language ----- Swaman versus Avimaan. A genuinely enlightened being does not manifest any ego, is all-inclusive and all-caring!! Personally, I see a lot of anomaly in their system. Save yourself and your family, starting from today!!!

May we all live in peace, harmony and genuine compassion for one another, putting aside all convictions about religion and about God. True religiosity and/or spirituality is FREE from all dogmas and belief-systems!!!

With love,

Arcane.
User avatar

ex-l

ex-BK

  • Posts: 10423
  • Joined: 07 Apr 2006

Re: Thoughts from a concerned counselor

Post30 Apr 2020

Arcane wrote:The Buddha himself in the KALAMA SUTTA has said: If you want genuine spiritual awakening/Enlightenment you must free yourself from all dogmas, everything that comes on your way!!

Thank you for your post, Arcane, and independent verification of our findings. I am sorry that it has affected your family in this way, but that's what the BKs do. They are merchant class, and it's a percentage game. If they can get catch 100% of a family, they'll take it; if they can only keep 20%, they'll take that too. It's still a profit for them. They've always had a good understanding of the foibles of human psychology and hooked and exploited it, not enlightened it, by fluffing the ego up.

I would like Maruthis to understand that I am still coming from a spiritual point of view and I am genuinely very concerned about the practise of passing on practises, and adopting them as part of one's business, when one is not fully initiated into the tradition of the practise oneself.

A poison can be a medicine, and vice versa depending on dose. Handing out such a substance, or passing on such a practise, without knowing the full effects of it, where it comes from, how it as created ... without being part of the organisation (the BKs do at least have some degrees of a safety net for when BKs crack up, and many do crack up from it [many are just chucked out, and send home when they do]) is a highly irresponsible thing to do.

At best it's just a cashing in on the BKs' business.

One of the questions we've often discussed is how BKism compares to other practises and the lack of scientific comparison between their application. Do patients *need* BKism, would simple mindfulness or "yogic" breathing be enough, would something else *without* all the faith based and "Destruction" and corruption baggage not just work as well?

One of my sins is that I used to be a BK, follow BK disciplines, teach BK meditation and philosophy ... without having carried out a professional level of 'due process', learning and studying the truth of its past. In short, I was duped by them, to lie for them, and did so. We were taught to cheat people into becoming BKs to whatever degree we could hook them.

Now it appears they have non-BKs, not knowing anything about BKism, doing so on their behalf. (Actually, this used to happen in my time too).

We were taught to how to get people to gradually slow down their thinking from contemplation of the ideas, to meditation, to absorption and going beyond thought into experience ... and so much of what is passed around as BKism, is not BKism per se, but rather an entry level hook, or marketing, that they have picked up from elsewhere, eg the hypnotic/auto-hypnotic commentaries that only really began in the 1980s.

Some people would get nothing out of it, others would be entirely blown away and out of their minds by it. I mean that literally. Some people would receive rapid, uncontrolled experiences that would mask or overwhelm other circumstances in their lives. Yes, generally "highs" and euphorias but ones that would lead them to undertake irrational; and often damaging courses of actions, ultimately leading to the breakdown of current social networks and exploitation by the Kirpalani clan.

From a business point of view, if you are really not a BK, you are acting on their behalf offering a "loss leader", creating demi-BKs or supporters, who can then be exploited further, later. Generally via meeting with more senior BKs who will "take the pulse" of the patients and work out how far they can push.

Again, we were taught to do so, to "work and work through others". To create dumb microphones to amplify the message, and "cooperative souls" who may not be BKs but still work doing cult recruitment and adding their professional credibility to it.
User avatar

Pink Panther

  • Posts: 1784
  • Joined: 14 Feb 2013

Re: Thoughts from a concerned counselor

Post01 May 2020

H Maruthis,

I am going to reply in more of a ”good cop” way in comparison to ex-l’s harder ”bad cop” approach but there is nothing he said I disagree with. Your use of various techniques is interesting and I am sure your primary concern is to help your clients find stability and way forward with a sense of well being.

I joined BKs as a 19 your old and was deeply involved with them for many years and became a teacher of BK meditation. Before I joined them, I had actually read some books on Tibetan Buddhist Third Eye meditation practice and had also been doing a little Yoga (asanas) befoe I meditated. The experiences I gained were very profound. The short version of my story is that when I went to the BK centre and learnt their technique, it was vey similar to what I had been practicing so was able to go into deep states which they name with their own terminology - soul, brahmand, Paramdham, Shiva Baba etc .

I was young and inexperienced when I had found this group that fulfilled my idealism and stroked my ego so I just allowed myself to get drawn into their world. What I mean by ”stroked my ego" is that I could always achieve deep meditation states easily while many others couldn’t, and I became one of the preferred teachers to explain the BK ”Gyan” and teach the meditation to newcomers. I felt myself to be ”spiritually advanced” - and in BKism a lot of emphasis is put on ”spiritual status” which acts as a motivator for deeper involvement - to gain a higher status in the Sat Yuga which is populated by reincarnated BKs only living in a feudal hierarchy with kings, prices, subjects etc. A caste system philosophy that justifies itself by saying it's not about the caste you are physically born into but determined by your "spiritual effort” which is revealed in your relationship to the BK God and the Seniors of the current BK world. Hence the ”spiritual status” is played out in this current BK society with a cult hierarchy. You need to research into cult psychology. The BKs are not as bad as some but they are sublime players of the cult game.

My interest in meditation, philosophy, psychology that I had before BKs saw me continuing to read and learn about these subjects throughout my BK years. In fact, I employed what I learnt to further reinforce the BK belief system which is premised on the idea that BKs, in the 20th and 21st centuries - are the originators (!) of all the past traditions, religions and ideas!! How's that?

Because time is cyclic, all things repeat identically every 5,000 years and those traditions, religions etc are all imperfect memories reemerging of what BKs teach!! A lovely closed system of logic that selectively ignores any and all facts to the contrary.

Long story short - what I eventually realised is that the BK meditation technique is simply a reworking of techniques that have existed in many traditions - theistic and non-theistic. The BKs (and others too) draw people in by teaching an effective technique branded with their logo and terminology.

They say they are the only source of this and the experience gained is ”proof”. It is like the Cargo Cults of Papua-New Guinea who consider Prince Phillip as god because he arrived in the first aeroplane they'd ever seen then other planes drop supplies and gifts!!! No joke. We are susceptible to such things in our own ways.

Yes, the technique is effective. But you definitely do not need the BK wrappings which eventually entangle the unwitting into the BK web, into their alternative reality where BKs are ”pure” and ”Gyani” (appeal to spiritual ego again) and everyone else is ”impure” and ”agyani”. They will give ”spiritual teachings for free” but ... enough people are sucked in to give in return the BK org their hard cash, physical labour, donations of time and energy. (That is what ex-l’s phrase ”loss leader” comes from, something given away to attract more custom which generates the real profits!).

Instead of being an unwitting salesman for the BKs, you could develop your professional skills and be maintaining professional secular ethics.

Why not break down the basis of the technique : - Focus on Jyoti Bindu is simply a focused point for consciousness, there’s no need for immortalising it! Paramdham (Soul World) is simply what BKs call the experience when the mind's chatter settles down and you enter into silence, and so on. Do we really need to associate it with religious conjectures?
    Radiant is the mind - said the Buddha - but it is clouded by adventitious afflictions.
    Radiant is the mind - said the buddha- and it is freed of adventitious afflictions (paraphrasing The Dhammapada)

Why not study work by Edmund Jacobsen and those who came after him like Herbert Benson, who looked scientifically at the common aspects of meditation and relaxation, stripping it of religious conditions and the baggage that brings with it? Why not study the work of psychologists like Jung, anthropologists like Jospeh Campbell who’ve deconstructed and refashioned the religious impulse in humanist form?

The BK thing, the TM thing, vedanta etc are all ”bathwater” and the human being is the baby. That bathwater was conjured by human beings, and they each claim it is theirs - and that clouds it. Throw out the bathwater.
Inner peace, calm, contentment, are innately human qualities.

maruthis

  • Posts: 2
  • Joined: 21 Apr 2020

Re: Thoughts from a concerned counselor

Post01 May 2020

Thank you all for sharing your experiences and perspectives in such detail. I truly appreciate it.
User avatar

ex-l

ex-BK

  • Posts: 10423
  • Joined: 07 Apr 2006

Re: Thoughts from a concerned counselor

Post01 May 2020

Pink Panther wrote:Yes, the technique is effective. But ...

There are two different things here,
    a) a technique being effective, and
    b) a technique having an effect.
I think I would argue that BKism fits within the latter, but is a chimera with respect to the first. Yes, it has an effect, but different effects on individuals (and none on some), but can we really say it is effective and, if so, in what?

As ex-BKs we know, and used, the term "Intoxication Phase", the original poster might not have been told about it.

The "Intoxication Phase" referred to the initial drug-like high *some*, not all, contracted from being initiated into BKism. It is similar to an intense infatuation and, yes, during that period people were relieved of other symptoms and fuelled to make radical changes in their lives, from giving up smoking to throwing their lives and families away entirely and surrendering to total control the BK leadership.

It is also known to wear off after 6 months or so.

It is effective for the BKs in that during that period they can indoctrinate and enculturate individuals into becoming and conforming to BK values, and affirming the tenants of BK faith. That is to say, they interpret the effect as being evidence the elements of faith are true (when they are demonstrably false).

Where our position differ, is that you pose BKism as just having cobbled together other ideas & practises from elsewhere which is true on the surface, but concerns because it makes it more harmless, or no more harmful, than other practises ... which might lead individuals to conclude they may as well just do it as it's "free", etc.

I tend to take BKism at face value (without believing in it). What BK teaches the initiated, is that BKism is about opening oneself to other unknowable, unaccountable bodiless psychic beings who we know have tolerated and even encouraged crimes, abuse and exploitation, moral and financial improprieties and misled and deluded 100,000s of people over decades.

Those are the objective FACTS committed by individuals subject to the EFFECTS of their meditation, so what we we to conclude about it and the nature of the spirit beings they are controlled by?

An individual such as this therapist may not even reached the level of being told by the BKs that the effects come about through a congress with these alleged spirit beings, so should they be initiating vulnerable patients into a relationship with them, and the BKs?

As a medical/therapeutical practitioner, they are bound by their professional ethics to do no harm and know what drugs they are pushing.

What is having what effect? Is it the nice calming music, is a simple auto-hypnotic spoken commentary, could there be such real states as "soul consciousness" with any tangible experience and meaning attached, is the mind really reaching some other dimension and experiencing it, or it is all just some kind of hypnotic trigger? Do other hypnotic triggers work just as well, without any of the faith element BKism involves?

I am thinking about medical researchers have stripped away all the religion from Buddhist mindfulness practise and discovered it still works [Kabat-Zinn, Benson et al], however, mindfulness is not about secretly initiating individuals a congress with deceased spirit being spooks.
User avatar

ex-l

ex-BK

  • Posts: 10423
  • Joined: 07 Apr 2006

Re: Thoughts from a concerned counselor

Post01 May 2020

maruthis wrote:Thank you all for sharing your experiences and perspectives in such detail. I truly appreciate it.

Thank you. Just out of interest, which elements of BKism are you teaching and how much exposure to their teachings and lifestyle have you had?
User avatar

Pink Panther

  • Posts: 1784
  • Joined: 14 Feb 2013

Re: Thoughts from a concerned counselor

Post02 May 2020

ex-l,

No disagreement with there being a difference between
a) a technique being effective, and
b) a technique having an effect.

We could also make the very important point that for many people it does absolutely nothing!

Many people get nothing out of it and leave straight away. Others trust what they are told, that if they keep at it, they too will experience wonderful things. They sometimes stick around for months or even years, till one day they too leave.

That’s part of the ”hook” in the BK teaching - that those who experience nothing are not ”old souls". Those who do are obviously one of ”the chosen few” - how special! Nice appeal to ego .

Therefore those who've experienced nothing but really want to, and to be ”old souls” and have the experiences BKs have told them about, or they associate with something they’ve read or heard about, they don't want to miss out, so they will keep attending and keep trying. Adopt the garb and the jargon, do it for a time. Then leave. But its not always so simple.

A point I wanted to make to Maruthis and forgot was this:

As a therapist - (and I assume you consider yourself as having integrity, that you're wanting what is the best for your clients) - your goal is to give the client what they need to be able to get on and live their lives well, and that one day they will be able to say to you, "Thanks for your help, I can move on in life now" and you would reply, ”Yes, we have achieved a lot. Well done. Goodby and good luck”.

You would not, I assume, make it a principle of your practice that no matter what the client says or feels, they must feel compelled to continue with you, to commit for life. If they feel like they want to stop therapy, if they don't need you anymore, you don't tell them, ”if you leave, you are a failure” and that they will be condemned to misfortune and a lesser existence, are less worthy than others.

But this is exactly what the BKs do. And they teach this explicitly in their "advanced" teachings.

Many stay in BKs out of fear of what leaving BKs will mean for their future karma and ”incarnations”. It is a similar kind of thing to what happens in Scientology where they get members of their inner circle called ”the Sea Org” to sign a contract valid for 10,000 lifetimes. With BKs it's 84 lifetimes. It’s not a written and signed contract like the Scientology one. But If you have been long enough with them and believe it, the ”contract” is psychological and that is stronger bind than any other contract. They have a hook in your psyche.

This is what ex-l meant about addiction, getting hooked.
User avatar

ex-l

ex-BK

  • Posts: 10423
  • Joined: 07 Apr 2006

Re: Thoughts from a concerned counselor

Post02 May 2020

Yup,

the BKs have basically got you on a street corner peddling a soft drug (not knowing what it in it), in the hope that some of your clients will crave a harder drug, for which they will have to go to a BK crackhouse to get direct.

Return to Admin

cron