BK member for five years

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exbkmember

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Re: BK member for five years

Post08 Nov 2011

Thanks Shanti

As far as I could tell all the core and longer standing members of the center I was attached to were mentally and emotionally very unstable. Visitors from other centers and senior speakers seemed much the same too. Maybe that's why I felt like I was amoung kindred spirits :D. Any sane, stable people that came along never lasted long, haha. Sane stable people have better things to do than join fanatic cults. Only desperate people join cults. Despereate for escape, explanations, enlightenment, knowledge, purpose, belonging, peace.

It seemed like a refuge for the wounded and broken. A lot of people seemed to be there looking for sanctuary after experiencing abusive relationships or other life traumas. Some were just afraid of ever being hurt again and saw BK life as safer than the big bad world out there. It seemed largely to be a collection of odd balls, eccentrics, deeply thoughtful sensitive souls and people who for whatever reasons were misfits in general society. I thought it was great being with so many likeminded souls. It was a breath of fresh air. I think by no means all but a lot of BKs are Asperger, bi-polar or, like me, both.

I fondly imagined we would all help each other and that the long serving center in charge who was very similar in nature to me may be able to guide me on the path to healing and enlightenment. I was wrong. Over time I came to see she was in more trouble than me. "Fake it untill you make it" was the advice she had for me. If you spend your life acting like a believer do you ever become one ? :-? I have my doubts and feel very sad for her stuck in the prison she has chosen to stay in. I know how much effort it takes to contain instability and maintain an appearance of being serene and in control. It is an exhausting act that I mostly no longer bother with.

I know I am not in a great place in my life now but it is real. I can express my stuff now. I can fall apart without being accused of defaming anyone other than myself. My life is far more honest, my heart is cleaner, I am far more humble and vastly less judgemental of others. BK life teaches huge intolerance, the ego and superiority were in very bad taste. Falling from the tenth floor down in to the gutter as it were did me good. As a BK I became closed minded and arrogant. The swan dive from grace feels much cleaner than BK life felt. BK life kept my body clean but tired, my mind tormented and my heart in a prison.
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shanti

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Re: BK member for five years

Post08 Nov 2011

exbkmember wrote: "fake it untill you make it "

Interesting - this is also what I was told when I asked what should I do with negative feelings, a practice that lead to spiritual ego and for me ultimately confusion and losing touch with myself.
exbkmember wrote:My life is far more honest, my heart is cleaner ...

After leaving Raja Yoga I went through ten years of personal torment and many unhappy relationships before finally making peace with myself - accepting myself as I am from the inside out. Ten years later - it's been an difficult emotional journey but consistently being true to myself has helped me achieve the life I always wanted. I am far happier than I was as a BK in my early twenties but I wonder if that's also a process of growing older.
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ex-l

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Re: BK member for five years

Post08 Nov 2011

shanti wrote:I wonder why it is that people with mental illness are not accepted, surely God accepts everyone?

I guess it is mostly self-interest or PR, partly Hindu taboos about mental illness and secretly that mentally ill people are not financial providers but instead users.

I think all that has been written recently is very good and very valid. In my opinion, they are not only quite happy to exploit borderline personality disorders but largely set up to do so.

Come on, how mad do you have to be to buy into the philosophy?

But there are two kinds of madness, the madness of the victims, the neurotics, and the madness of the abuser, or psychopaths. I'd say it probably helps to be a psychopath.
Psychopathy (/saɪˈkɒpəθi/[1][2]) is a mental disorder characterized primarily by a lack of empathy and remorse, shallow emotions, egocentricity, and deceptiveness. Psychopaths are highly prone to antisocial behavior and abusive treatment of others.

Though lacking empathy and emotional depth, they often manage to pass themselves off as average individuals by feigning emotions and lying about their pasts.

Just "be detached and remember Baba" ... and you can do anything to anyone.

Lying about the past is part of the BK job requirement ... and that is not proven.
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shanti

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Re: BK member for five years

Post08 Nov 2011

I agree ex-l - psychopaths can be found everywhere but they need victims and there is no doubt some of us are naive. I learned the hard way when I was involved with a woman who I now understand was a psychopath through a workplace situation.

A few years ago I was caring for an elderly woman and employed another carer who was sweet as honey for the first six months until she gradually gained control and then ousted me through lies. She fooled everyone for another three months but was then fired after she stole money and did no work.

In the end, I realized she had no morals whatsoever, was happy lying about her past and did not mind exploiting any situation for her own good and even enjoyed the suffering she caused. She was the spider and I was the fly and after a while I was trapped in her web with nowhere to turn. It was an insane situation but it put me in touch with the dark side of human nature and the subtle deceptions that the neediness of ego creates.
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exbkmember

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Re: BK member for five years

Post09 Nov 2011

I remember in BK life I often got blessing cards that spoke of honesty being my strength or salvation. Honesty has always been one of my core values and I always want to believe that others are being honest (although I have a be prepared for the worst whilst hoping for the best sort of an outlook). The level of dishonesty in BK life was a huge disappointment.

I had a very strong desire to be surrendered. I let go of all my personal interests. I gave away my personal treasures. I gave away most of my music and jewellery. I dressed in simple or light coloured clothes. I gave all my free time to doing service. I stopped watching TV and going to movies. I put up with being badly treated. I was sure in the end if I was patient enough my devotion and sweetness would pay off and I would be embraced in to a center and valued for my contributions.

Reality was so different. The longer I stayed, the more I gave, the more efforts I made, all that happened was I was given a harder time, more and more was expected of me for less and less in return. Sometimes I would be given embarrassing levels of high praise but only for show to impress some observer with what a loving family it is or to shame someone who was not measuring up. I would just feel used rather than appreciated.

By the end of the 5 years, I was completely heart broken and a bitterness took hold of me, I remember a cold silent anger in me over the fact that I had done my very best to be a good girl my whole life. I had swallowed all the unpleasantness life had given me and no matter what I had been sweet and lovely. A realization was upon me that the longer I fought, the harder it was going to get and no help or reward was coming. I had lost my faith in justice.

I can clearly remember a moment walking home from morning class back to my bedsit where I just knew it was over. I consciously turned and said to my own darkness OK have me. You know what, I have had enough and I no longer have any hope left, so it is time to let go.

I tried to be Christian for a while as the center sometimes rented a room from a Christian group and I had noted the members I came in to contact with at that group walked a lot of the BK talk far better than the BKs. I sought refuge there a while and had some interesting experiences of Christ energy. My trouble was I had let BK life become my whole life. When I walked away I was in limbo. BK life was painfully lonely but out of it was even more so. I had no one and a couple of meetings a week with Christian group was nothing compared to BK life in terms of filling my time. I did service there and read literature with same hunger I had done when I became a BK but it did not fill the void.

Loneliness and repression let loose lead me in to multiple meaningless sexual relationships where I was used and deceived repeatedly. Having no one, no purpose and little hope is dangerous. I have sought salvation in 12 step recovery groups, in lots of men and my failed marriage but all I ever got was more heartache and disappointment. I have taken myself to extremes looking for release and happiness, looking for purpose and acceptance but all paths have lead to dissapointment and betrayal.

It is so hard to get excited about anything, to feel passionate about anything, to believe in anything. I feel as if I am just waiting for death and passing my time just trying to keep existence bearable. BK life held so much promise, I really believed I might be OK in it. I miss having dreams of a happy future. I am too cynical for my own good these days.
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ex-l

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Re: BK member for five years

Post09 Nov 2011

exbkmember wrote:I miss having dreams of a happy future. I am too cynical for my own good these days.

You may be talking to the wrong person here because that is pretty much life as I see and, of course, materially it get far worse for the majority of people on earth struggling just to survive.

I think it still helps to engage in some kind of "project", to have some kind of interest outside of yourself whether it is about people, animals, the environment or what. To try and make a little difference here and there.

If you decide to stick around the world, you need to think of your practical situation. In many ways, part of the false dream of BK life is the dangling carrot of "surrendered life" but very few will ever be offered it, and even the most exceptional Westerners are not. They just are not interest. Its their business and the income only covers a few, why would they share it with others when they get get submissive Indian girls on the cheap?

Perhaps you could do a counselling course and become a counsellor yourself as you now have a very realistic view of life. I suspect the business is not so good even the terms and conditions and pay might be better, but 'sexual surrogacy' is one step up from just simple prostitution and I am sure is far more appreciated by the clients. You could do some good with what you are good at.

I dare say you could even start a specialism in ex-BK or ex-cult members! Now that would blow the top off the BK minds. You would be Maya incarnate trying to steal their boys away from them and back to normal life.

Please find something to find some happiness in life. If humans don't respond well, nor you to them, there are plenty of non-judgemental abandoned animals around to give and receive love from. And try and consider a long-term career plan. I know one working girl who did very well as a madame ... but you have to play it canny with the tax man these days.

If there is anything you have should learned from the Brahma Kumaris, it is how to play the system as far as money goes.
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shanti

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Re: BK member for five years

Post11 Nov 2011

I agree ex-l - all good advice. Interestingly enough I have found animals are so much simpler to deal with than human beings. Where ever we look there is the neediness of ego in human beings and the problems only get bigger in the organisations that we create.

Exbkmember, I too was under the illusion that somehow all my problems would be solved if only I could surrender - however the Senior Sister told me I wasn't surrender material ... so that was that. I, too, was let down when the bubble of idealism burst and I realized that Raja Yoga is an organisation made up of human beings with the normal ego frailties, some more than others; there are victims and there are perpetrators just as in everyday life.

As a BK, I was so busy that I had no time to reflect. When I finally left I did not know what to do with all the spare time. I felt so guilty and this contributed to a break down. I ended up losing my job, had few friends and was very ill. It was a blessing really because having nothing more to lose I began listening to my intuition. Raja Yoga tends to be externally orientated whereas our personal spiritual journeys are inward. Up until then I was looking outside myself for answers and identity, suppressing who I was in order to be accepted. Now for the first time I began to think outside the square, to ask questions and listen within for answers. Reading widely I began to see the bigger picture, that there is goodness and meaning outside Raja Yoga. I gave myself permission to follow my own heart and in doing so I began to appreciate my own unique and at times messy journey through life. Making friends with myself wasn't easy after years of self punishment, denial and repression but it so much healthier to accept the whole self rather than only the bits that are considered 'acceptable'.

I know its hard to understand that there is a light at the end of the tunnel when you are feeling down but thoughts and ideas are only that - ultimately they have no power over us. The prophecy of failure and unhappiness if you leave Gyan is self fulfilling until you decide to think otherwise and allow yourself to reclaim your personal power and take back your life. I never thought I would say this but my journey to hell and back has taught me that ball is really in your court.
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ex-l

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Re: BK member for five years

Post11 Nov 2011

shanti wrote:I too was under the illusion that somehow all my problems would be solved if only I could surrender - however the Senior Sister told me I wasn't surrender material ... so that was that.

Gosh, that was a bit hurtful and upfront. Did they say why? Did your face just did not fit or you were not 100% pukka etc?

I think everyone fantasises about being surrendered. I think it is some kind of desire to return to the state of childhood. Some how the practise of Brahma Kumari Raja Yoga, and/or the collective conscious, encourages a state of infatuation similar to falling in love. Any one who has fallen in love will remember the pleasure of childlike states of total infatuation with the other. I am not going to pretend to know how it works, if I know and could explain it, I would be multi-millionaire love guru with a huge fan club.

I just don't think the BKWSU can afford to keep so many "gopis", i.e. blissed out devotees. I wonder what the requirements, or traits they really have and look for in "surrender" stock? Looking at what they allow, it seems to be a combination of a majority of fairly simple, unquestioning submissive types, a few wealth daughters or male heirs bringing in the family wealth with them, and a small number of intelligent, ambitious and manipulative psychopaths.

To be fair, the number also recently seems to include a few with special technical skills, e.g. the renewable energy guys, but I am not sure if those positions are for life or just temporary. We should do a study of "surrendered soul" types on another topic.
Raja Yoga tends to be externally orientated whereas our personal spiritual journeys are inward. Up until then I was looking outside myself for answers and identity, suppressing who I was in order to be accepted. Now for the first time I began to think outside the square, to ask questions and listen within for answers.

All wonderful stuff Shanti. Yes, I can remember the wonderful freedom, and dare I say it peace of mind, leaving the rat run of BKism. I think they specifically want you not to be able to think so that "Maya" does not enter. It is a bit like being in the marines.

Of course, what they class as Maya is anything that questions them and their brainwash. Every word they use is upside down or twisted in Brahma Kumarism. When we hear Maya we think they mean illusion as it is used classically. They use the term differently to mean anything they weakens or questions their power and control over you.

I spent long times being alone and just thinking things through ... processing by stuff. I have not done therapy and so I cannot actually say if it works or not but I think the greatest injustice the Brahma Kumaris do to you is separating you for any other source of support when you need it most ... and, especially, sources which inform you about the necessary abilities required to survive in this world.

I suspect those exiting BKs who exit most quickly and successfully have good support networks to help them back into the world.
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Mr Green

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Re: BK member for five years

Post11 Nov 2011

we have to learn happiness again after being in the BKs, it is literally stripped from you there as well as any self worth

they cannot control people who have self worth unless they are egotistically insane like Mike G

it takes a lot of strength (which you have to keep digging inside to find) to get better and there is not any help, how can people help who don't understand? they cannot. the best and most valuable thing people can do is just accept us and I am always amazed when people do accept me and want to be my friend

also when we leave we are often abused as we have no self worth and no real understanding of how the real world works, we can be naive and vulnerable the same as we were when we joined!

amazing how much anger and resentment I have been left with, the true toli if you like, I thought I saw a BK in my town the other day, turned out to be a doppleganger, and I actually felt frightened! that they were coming to rescue me!

I take a lot of sustainance from nature (like hops barley and yeast) heh
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shanti

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Re: BK member for five years

Post11 Nov 2011

exbkmember - I am aware that I don't want to hijack this post with reminiscing but at least at least you know you are not alone in sorting yourself out.

Ex L - I don't think foreigners surrender in the true sense, unlike Indians, but there was a surrender ceremony in Madhuban and I put up my hand but I was told that the honor was going to another Sister, who had long straight hair so she probably looked the part. I was hurt but I knew that Sister probably wouldn't stay hang about in Raja Yoga, and I was right.

I agree it is all about falling in love and the childhood state and all that. It is a wonderful experience but when the party is over you are left on your own. I had my family to fall back on. At the time they were all pretty 'out of it' emotionally but they did what they could. I actually tried to go back to class but their closed minded judgmental attitudes and lack of ability to reason, question and accept others irritated me. It was difficult to leave but deep inside I felt their attitudes were unhealthy.

Many years later I went to a psychologist for a year. It was helpful but we did not delve into the Raja Yoga stuff. I think that would take someone who had researched and had experience counselling in that area - for me it was mostly self esteem issues which is at the heart of things after all.

Cheers Mr Green. :D
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exbkmember

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Re: BK member for five years

Post11 Nov 2011

Hijack away, lol. I have no ownership here. I am just visiting. The BK part of my life had some positive effects and left me with some issues but no more so than the rest of my life. I thought it was hell prior, during and after BK experience, so it did not have a major impact really. It will be nice if the dark night of the soul ends sometime but I think I do have Karmic junk accumulated over many lifetimes to work through. I see no way that being a BK the rest of my life would have helped the situation, so best off out of it. At some point my feelings of misery will burn out fingers crossed :D. It is good to see some of you have found a better space.
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shanti

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Re: BK member for five years

Post12 Nov 2011

Thanks to this website I am now reading a book called "Captive Hearts, Captive Minds, freedom and recovery from cults and abusive relationships" and as I read I am wondering what would my life have been like without the BK experience? I came to the same conclusion as you -
exbkmember wrote: I thought it was hell prior , during and after BK experience so it did not have a major impact really.

I found hell well before Raja Yoga and it simply continued on, becoming the dark night after leaving :-? however that said, from my experience the karmic junk does sort itself out over time and sometimes in ways we least expect.

The universe is benign and supports us no matter where we are, in a center, or out of a center, in Gyan or out of Gyan. We are the ones who draw the lines, make the distinctions and create the belief systems until we have no further need for those beliefs.
exbkmember wrote:I see no way that being a BK the rest of my life would have helped the situation

For a long time I thought I had done the wrong thing by leaving, but as things improved in my life I realized that BK life would not have given me the opportunity to grow in the ways that I have. I still enjoy spirituality but I don't get involved in any one group. Once bitten twice shy.
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ex-l

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Re: BK member for five years

Post12 Nov 2011

From our earliest beginning, life for humans is about getting involved in groups. In some parts, it is a necessity. But in most group situations, what is at the core is mutual benefit.

I don't see there is mutual benefit in the BKWSU. The word "benefit" has been hijacked. Like it or not, the Seniors do benefit. They have no other source of income. The followers give their time, money and property. I think we can count on one hand how many BKs have made anything from the BKWSU, e.g. Mike George, Mike George, Mike George, a very few Oxford Leadership people including Mike George, and the Relax Kids woman.

The crazy give away they get us to give on the basis of End of the World predictions that are constantly rolling back.

What do you think actually have for giving 5 years of your life?
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exbkmember

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Re: BK member for five years

Post13 Nov 2011

On the financial side, I think I broke even with my BK connection, I did give them loads of money but someone who perhaps realised this and maybe worried about bad Karma helped me out by putting me in touch with someone who saved me lots of money after I left them.

The meditation and feeling of belonging in the first couple years helped me get over tinnitus. I developed the power to reduce the volume to mute on the high pitched noise in my ear that is triggered by stress. My BK ego that they helped construct made me feel better about myself for a while. They kept me out of trouble and gave me purpose while I was with them.

I liked the surrogate BK family apart from the cold streak. I definitely got benefits from my involvement with them. It was like a marriage, there were good and bad parts. There was a mutual benefit, when the the relationship became more bad than good I left. I see it as part of my spiritual path. "Drama was accurate" ;). It was part of the life classroom. I loved some people I met there. It gave me an opportunity to express some good qualities (self discipline, devotion, dedication, generosity, compassion, forgiveness, and lots more).

I am not bitter about it, just sad that it was not all that i hoped it would be. Same as with most relationship break ups.
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exbkmember

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Re: BK member for five years

Post13 Sep 2013

It was helpful to me to share my experiences and thoughts on this site. Being BK was such an important part of my life and moving on from it and the grieving process involved in that was not easy. There have been many stages of processing and it is ongoing. I had a very troubled life before becoming a BK and after as well as during, so I am not accusing BK organisation of messing me up. BK life saved me for a time and the price I paid seems acceptable in my personal case although I very much would like organisation to be more open and honest.

Fortunately the unhappy circumstances of my life in 2011 were relatively short lived and largely the result of an abusive relationship followed by a bipolar manic episode which lasted several months. I am now safe and getting treatment that I so long fought for and need. I do not think it is usual for ex BK members to react to leaving organisation in the manner that I did. The way I reacted, the actions I took and the choices I made after leaving BK organisation had a lot to do with the stress and loneliness setting of my bipolar disorder.

I am in a stable relationship now with a very nice gentle man. I have educated myself about the nature of bipolar disorder and am far more aware of the sorts of things that trigger mood shifts in me. I feel more in touch with who I am and less confused and out of control. I had 6 months of counselling and am now seeing an NHS therapist. It is nice to finally be getting help from people without any odd conditions or hidden agendas.

I can now reflect on my time in BK organisation without feeling so emotionally churned up. Time does heal.
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