What is the status of BKWSU in different countries?

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Pink Panther

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What is the status of BKWSU in different countries?

Post22 Apr 2013

From another thread:
Misty wrote: It [the BKWSU] is only banned in a few countries : Greece, France and Russia.

Is that true? What is the reality of this ban?
There were many BKs in France and Russia, not so many in Greece.
    Are the BKs totally banned in these countries, or restricted?
    Are there BKs still there in an "underground" capacity, meeting secretly?
    Do they operate openly under other guises?
Time for a survey?

In Australia, they have closed many of the suburban centres in the major cities to focus on large retreat centres (which they even hire out to other groups, even using volunteer BK labour to cook and clean, and include in the hire fee). Many (most?) BKs usually read Murli at home (there's online subscription services now) and once a week they gather in someone's house, the main centre or a hired hall. The numbers of "pukka BKs" would definitely be down on the glory days of the 1980s and 90s (and what's a "pukka" or "firm" BK is different now too), but the number of "contact" or casuals attending occasional retreats and events would be about the same.

They seem to have given up on large service programs & "exhibitions" in large auditoriums except maybe if Janki or similar person comes, they'll arrange speaking tour with one or two VIP co-speakers. Mostly it's events at the retreat centres - children's activities in school holidays, women's group type things ... and selling media - CDs etc.

One wonders about the ongoing upkeep cost of these places - even with volunteer labour, there's council & water rates, insurance, electricity, maintenance, but they are used for only a fraction of their time.
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leonard

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Re: What is the Status of BKWSU in different countries

Post23 Apr 2013

Could I say that Brahma Kumari is not banned in any country, but can be on government list of less desirable cultish organisation, I understand in France this to be the case, possibly in Germany, but not Russia case.
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dany

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Re: What is the Status of BKWSU in different countries

Post23 Apr 2013

In certain countries, law is very tough and strict, when it comes to licensing and allowing dangerous cults, such as the Brahma Kumaris, to operate and have a legal presence.

Where I live, the Brahma Kumaris wear the mask and operate under the false name of "Raja Yoga", pretending to be an innocent meditation center, which helps people relax, be peaceful ... etc.

Only after the center in charge ensures that the sucked-in person is under full contol and cooperative, the process of introducing him/her to the BK cult teachings starts ..!!
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Re: What is the Status of BKWSU in different countries

Post24 Apr 2013

Where I live, the Brahma Kumaris wear the mask and operate under the false name of "Raja Yoga", pretending to be an innocent meditation center, which helps people relax, be peaceful ... etc.

That's how I started - they used Raja Yoga as the name and I was attracted as I was already doing some Yoga asanas and meditation practices and they were local to me, and free of charge. The term Brahma Kumaris was just something written on some of the literature.

There were maybe 20 BKs in the country then, it grew to about 600 at its peak - mostly local-born, mostly young people and only a handful of Indian immigrants.

Not sure exactly how many now, but I guess the total number would be just a little less. Fewer would be what was called pukka under the older, stricter, definitions and, of the total, the proportion of Indian immigrants is much higher. The number of Indian immigrants has increased hugely over the last 10 years here (including from India, Sri Lanka, Malaya, SE Asia, Fiji etc) with many obviously attaching to whatever cultural roots they might find here. The total number of non-indian background "pukka" BKs would be maybe half?

Leonard, Dany:

For purpose of this topic
    In your countries, how many centres, BKs - locals or Indian background , how many regular "co-operatives" or guests?
    Is it suburban centres or large occassional retreat centres away from cities?
    Has it grown, shrunk, stayed the same over last 20 years?
    Do they actively promote themselves? How?*
    What activities?
    What city/country is it? - or if you don't want to say exactly, mention maybe continent or type of country (Western europe, African, South american) or type of town... capital, regional, etc
* In San Francisco, Denise did not promote much. She worked on the idea that those who found them were "meant to" and so would be "higher quality souls". There were some lovely people among them when I knew them - a more mature group reflecting her approach.
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ex-l

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Re: What is the Status of BKWSU in different countries

Post24 Apr 2013

According to accounts submitted to the Charity Commission in the UK, BK numbers have been stable at 750 attending daily class since at least 2005 until present (766). Flat lining at 300 in London and 450 students around the UK.

Of course, that is just what they say, but then they still say they are relieving poverty, sickness and distress, and promoting the Hindu religion!

What was the capacity of Dudden Hill?

The cost of running "regular discourses", aka morning class, is set at £668,000; putting on lectures and seminars £475,000; putting on retreats £303,000 and members' travel expense £523.
    So where do all Jayanti's, and others, international air fares come from?

    Cash in bank or hand: £4,669,676
Those figures look a little dodgy to me because most of the time adherents would pay for the cost of seminars and lectures themselves, and I cannot see how they spend £1,300 per day, 365 days a year, hiring meeting rooms.
    Year - Income - Spending

    2011 - £1,688,604 - £1,817,410
    2010 - £1,679,370 - £2,324,850
    2009 - £1,302,497 - £1,534,968
    2008 - £2,141,231 - £1,497,775
    2007 - £1,969,621 - £1,222,049
Attendees of courses in 2011
    Title - England - Scotland

    Raja Yoga - 5,111 - 374
    Positive Thinking - 1,845 - 195
    Stress-Free Living - 594 - 29
    Overcoming Anger - 769 - 20
    Self Esteem - 894 - 76
    Total - 9,213 - 694
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Re: What is the Status of BKWSU in different countries

Post24 Apr 2013

BK numbers have been stable at 750 attending daily class since at least 2005 until present (766). Flat lining at 300 in London and 450 students around the UK ... What was the capacity of Dudden Hill?

I'd say that 750 figure could just as easily be applied to the UK in 1984, when I was last there. The hall at Dudden Hill in London, when full with a major program, was probably holding about 300-ish. Around the rest of the UK and Ireland would have been about another 300 or 400.

Hounslow, Ealing, Coventry, Leeds, Leicester especially had a lot - but many of those seen were "family of" who'd been dragged along, rather than actual self-determined BKs.

The reach into the Indian community would swell at times but these would be "bhagats" rather than "gyanis", i.e. they might see the BKs as being another kind of satsang or a post-modern "temple" to attend"?

Either UK have been overall flat numbers over 3 decades, with occasional fluctuations, or they merely throw these numbers in for convenience.

Can they substantiate the numbers? Maybe it's the number of declared donors who request receipts for tax deductions?
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ex-l

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Re: What is the Status of BKWSU in different countries

Post24 Apr 2013

Pink Panther wrote:The reach into the Indian community would swell at times but these would be "bhagats" rather than "gyanis", i.e. they might see the BKs as being another kind of satsang or a post-modern "temple" to attend"?

Gosh, you captured an element of the BKs I forgot ... half the class sitting there looking down at the rest of the class for not being "real BKs" and only been "Bhagat souls" (unenlightened devotees).

Yup, all those millions pretty much just to keep the numbers sustained at the same level. Makes you wonder why they do it.

Perhaps they'll wait until there are only 8 BKs left in the world and then say, "OK, you're it! The 8 Top Souls".

75 years into the Confluence Age (which was meant to be over in 12, 40 or 50 to 60 years) and they basically have zero BKs in China (population in 1.2 Billion) and I know less than a handful in Japan (population 128 million) despite it being the first place they went to "serve".
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leonard

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Re: What is the Status of BKWSU in different countries

Post26 Apr 2013

Travel by Jayanti etc to each country is paid for by BK in that country. Main centre will ask, sometime email, requesting donation in Baba box specially to apply to such flying, say for Dadi and Sister with her.
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Misty

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Re: What is the Status of BKWSU in different countries

Post26 Apr 2013

Leonard wrote:Could I say that Brahma Kumari is not banned in any country, but can be on government list of less desirable cultish organisation, I understand in France this to be the case, possibly in Germany, but not Russia case.

Yes, Leonard you're right -- According to wikipedia this is the correct information :
The Brahma Kumaris were declared an "enemy of the state" by the government of Greece in 1993 and classified as dangerous by the government of France in 1996.(* 1) The Brahma Kumaris were listed as a "cult movement" in the 1995 French government report on "Cults in France".(*2)

sources :
(*1) : Cults, religion, and violence by David G. Bromley, J. Gordon Melton 2002
(*2) : French government report, (number 2468) adopted by the French National
Assembly on December 20, 1995
The Brahma Kumaris have featured in the 'Wissen schützt' reports of Austria (edited by then Austrian Minister for Family Affairs Mr. Martin Bartenstein),(*3) Russia (International Conference "Totalitarian Cults – Threat of Twenty-First Century", Nizhny Novgorod, 2001) and in a MIVILUDES report submitted to the French National Assembly as a "sectes dangereuses" (harmful cult) and "groupe d'enfermement" (group of confinement).(*4)

sources :
(*3) : Human rights without frontiers, Int
(*4): Gest, Alain; Brar, president, Jean- Pierre; Sauvaig and others, Suzanne (1995/6). "Cults in France". Cults in France. French National Assembly in the name of The Board of Inquiry into Cults.

I have not found anything about the German situation yet.
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ex-l

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Re: What is the Status of BKWSU in different countries

Post26 Apr 2013

I think they've had the worst time in France which is a strongly secular state but, ultimately, nothing came of it.

One or more BKs were arrested and held by police for indoctrinating children, and too right too in my book. If my memory serves me correct, they were primary or nursery school teachers and had incorporated some teachings.

It was a big issue for the BKs. It was discussed on this forum if you search for it.

In East Europe, some priests organized demonstrations against them but that has dies down too. If we are honest about what happens, they send in some senior who sweet talk officials, boasts about UN connections and feed them some toli. It usually works.

The BKs are very slippery and persistent ... "sugar in milk" (an old Sindi idiom) is that they say invisibly permeating with sweetness rather than force. Of course they deny to them what they teachings really are, cover up all the broken families, go for property, and swirl cash-cash around their networks etc.

I think the BKs have learned, as in Sindi and India, that they always meet an initial resistance, and that reactions from families and ex-partners of BKs are always the same, but if they remain calm and persistent they can easily manipulate people and overcome them, become accepted and gradually work their way up society.

The more money and power they gain, the more easy and efficient it is, because people are easily impressed by what they can see. The BKs have learnt to succour opinion formers. They have good darna (behaviour) and talk sweetly so it is not difficult to do. But it does not make either them nor their intentions good.
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Re: What is the Status of BKWSU in different countries

Post26 Apr 2013

Yes, I know about a French girl that was a studying in my country and visited our center a few times. She explained about the situation also. She was distressed about it. It was the first time I heard about up to date information about BK criticism. ex-l, can you give a clue where to search on this site about that situation, please? I mean at what category of topics.

On wikipedia again, (with reference to the BKWSO), I found this description.
Concluding that "doctrinal assertions are socially divisive and thus counterproductive to their primary goal" the Brahma Kumaris have starting building coalitions and leading conglomerated networks of cooperation.One such example, with the support of Vicente Fox, was carried out under the guise of a commercial enterprise introducing Brahma Kumari teachings and practises to the Government of Mexico through the "Self Management Leadership" course which grew out of Brahma Kumaris beliefs and is the backbone of Brahma Kumaris management philosophy.
90 trained facilitators ran programs through which 25,000 people at the top level of government have passed

As additional information Wikipedia said :
Musselwhite, Richard (Sep 2009). "Possessing knowledge: organizational boundaries among the Brahma Kumaris". University of North Carolina: 141, 163–164, 174. ""The problem was that up until that time, my relationship with him had been through the Brahma Kumaris; but now he (*) was President, and he wanted to use...not only Self Management Leadership, but the whole strategic focusing thing (**), and his party was the center-right, Catholic party. They're sufficiently fundamentalist for them to have a fit about Brahma Kumaris" "So we went there, but it had to be done within the context of a commercial enterprise. So, we set up a branch of a consulting company there. But the fact of the matter is, most of his senior people have ... been to Oxford for the Brahma Kumaris program. Many have been here to Madhuban ... So the Brahma Kumaris have had a huge influence in the reform process there [in Mexico] ... We have trained 90 facilitators from the government who are running these programs, 25,000 people, all the top level of government throughout the entire country have been through the course." ... " a management training program called Self Management Leadership, which has become the backbone of Brahma Kumaris management philosophy""

(*) Vincente Fox
(**) BK-ism ???

Does anyone know the significance of this "Self Management Leadership" course. Is that BK-ism as well ?

Why do people go to Oxford to do a Brahma Kumaris program ?
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Misty

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Re: What is the status of BKWSU in different countries?

Post27 Apr 2013

In the time I was with the BK (1990-1992) the teacher told me briefly about a program, most probably this one. She told me it was run in Oxford. It seemed that a BK was studing there and had developped a training program. It was accepted by "a high official" in Mexico who had decided to run it in his country. That was why ,all of a sudden, so many peolpe were being trained. I was interested in the backgrounds of it but the teacher told me I had to go to Oxford to follow it there.

I asked if it was BK-ism. She told me it was related to it but that people, after having followed it, could decide to take in a real BK course. A short meditation, I think, was involved though. What I did not like about the whole thing is that people working for the government had to follow it. There was no real free choice involved. And they did not really know what they were buying themselves into. The teacher on the contrary, was quite triumphantly about the high number of people being reached. She told me numbers could grow all of a sudden very fast.

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