The beginnings of the BKWSU in Poland

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raistlin75

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The beginnings of the BKWSU in Poland

Post30 Oct 2014

I continue to publish some more fragments from the book on the Polish BKs written by PhD A. Kościańska, this time about the beginnings of the BK movement in Poland with the very eyes of the BK Halina Paradela, the National Co-ordinator of the BKWSU in Poland, one of the nterviewed BKs by PhD A. Kościańska.

First some essentional facts, as an introduction.

The BK centre in Poland founded in 1981 in Warsaw, was the first BK centre in the Central-Eastern Europe ever. So, from the historical point of view I think it was another "milestone" in the BKWSU activity worldwide worth to mention.
The BK movement in Poland started during the very hard times of state of war (the martial law/stan wojenny) initiated by the communistic authorities, by the Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski himself in December 1981, the war that never happened.

According to the PhD Agnieszka Kościańska's book "Potęga ciszy..." (PhD A. Kościańska is a Polish academic from the Institute of Ethnology and Culture Anthropology of the University of Warsaw, who was researching the Polish BKs in 2002-2005, and interviewing them).

The translation from Polish to English is mine, and I am using the right to quote to publish the fragments of the book. The original quotations are coloured blue, and originally come from the book written by PhD Agnieszka Kościańska "Potęga ciszy. Konwersja a rekonstrukcja porządku płci na przykładzie nowego ruchu religijnego Brahma Kumaris" published by Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego in 2009.

The interview part is in italic, and put in double quotes, and also coloured blue. All my translations are in green colour, and in the part of interview written italic and put in double quotes.
(...)Pierwszą polską studentką i jednocześnie założycielką ruchu w naszym kraju jest Halina Paradela. W 1981 roku wróciła do Polski po 10 latach spędzonych w Kanadzie i zajęła się propagowaniem radża jogi - tak nazywa się technika medytacyjna Brahma Kumaris. Obecnie ośrodki ruchu działają w Warszawie, Łodzi, Trójmieście oraz w Katowicach.

The first Polish BK student and at the same time the founder of the movement in our country was Halina Paradela. In 1981 she came back to Poland after 10 years of her stay in Canada and started to promote the Raja Yoga - it is the name of the Brahma Kumaris meditation technique. At the moment the centres of the movement are in Warsaw, Łódź, Tricity, and in Katowice.

* * *
OK, it is really great, that Halina Paradela (who invariably has been a National Co-ordinator in Poland for... over 30 years) decided to make the Polish people aware of some other spirituality and interest them, but why the heck during so hard and painful times for the Polish people, who were under repressions of communistic regime, especially during the martial law, which actually was the state of war (and some kind of a military coup d'etat) and announcing military mobilisation in the whole country - the country was controlled by the Gen. Jaruzelski and his people, one of the most important Polish generals as a leader?

* * *
Some historical facts about the history of the Polish People's Republic, 8 years before the political transformation and the end of communism in 1989-90:

In winter of 1981, specifically on the 12th December, the communistic authoritarian government decided to initiate the martial law, called in Polish "stan wojenny", because, according to the ex-leader of Polish People's Republic, General of Army Wojciech Jaruzelski, and also the Minister of Defense of the communistic regime, who personally announced the martial law reading the announcement in the Polish television wearing his military uniform, was a threat of the military invasion from the East, (the situation in Poland at almost any level was really bad and the rising was "just around a corner"), and the Warsaw Pact military forces (Russians) stationed also in Poland, or close to the Polish border (from the West, there was German Democratic Republic, from the south - Czechoslovakia, and from the East, the whole USSR forces, so the smallest rising could end in a real massacre, a massive spilling of blood, following the painful experience such as in Prague in 1968 or in Budapest in 1956).

And the communist authorities feared of such potential rising, a civil war, and of the spilling of blood in the whole country, that's why they decided to announce the martial law to avoid it, but their main goal was to crush any of the pro-democratic movements which feared most the comrades in Moscow. Moreover, they were planning it from the late 70s.
The initiation of the "martial law" in 1981 was the idea of Jaruzelski himself, not the comrades from Moscow. The martial law was canceled in 1983.

More on this topic in the Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martial_law_in_Poland

To properly understand what was happening at that moment in Poland, I recommend to anyone first reading the Wiki, and then go back and folllowing the rest of my post. Halina Paradela comes back to Poland just a month before the martial law, and not to support and help her friends and family in such hard times but to found a BK centre.

***
As for the BKWSU Poland, here's another quotation from the A. Kosciańska's book - she interviewed Halina Paradela on her own reflections on the political situation in Poland in 1981, and of her own experience:

Historia ruchu w Polsce.

W drugiej połowie lat siedemdziesiątych XX wieku z naukami Brahma Kumaris zetknęła się przebywająca wtedy w Kanadzie Polka - Halina Paradela. Szybko zaangażowała się w działania ruchu i postanowiła wrócić do kraju po 10 latach, które spędziła w Kanadzie i tu założyć pierwszy w Europie Środkowo-Wschodniej Uniwersytet Duchowy. Do Polski przyjechała w listopadzie 1981 roku.

Jak twierdzi założycielka, silne zaangażowanie w rozwój duchowy spowodowało, że nie uświadamiała sobie, jaka jest sytuacja polityczna w Polsce.

The history of the movement in Poland.

In the second half of 70s the Polish woman, Halina Paradela, who was staying in Canada, got close into the BK teachings. She joined the movement quickly and decided to go back to Poland after 10 years she spent in Canada, and founded the first BK centre in Central-Eastern Europe ever. She returned to Poland in November 1981.


"Wylądowałam we Frankfurcie samolotem z Kanady. Zatrzymałam się w naszym ośrodku we Frankfurcie. Powiedziano mi, że w Polsce jest strasznie i dano mi 10 worków i walizek lekarstw, ubrań i żywności, i z tymi 10 walizkami załadowano mnie do pociągu, który miał mnie dowieźć z Frankfurtu do Wrocławia."

"The plane from Canada landed in Frankfurt. I was staying in our centre in Frankfurt and they told me that there is a terrible situation in Poland, so they gave me ten bags and suitcases full of medicines, clothes and food. And with all that stuff they put me into the train from Frankfurt to Wrocław."

Halinka - tak mówią o przywódczyni uczestnicy ruchu - przyjechała do Warszawy i rozpoczęła nauczanie radża jogi. Stopniowo pojawili się pierwsi zwolennicy, ale również zainteresowanie ze strony władz.

Halinka - as the members of the movement call their leader - came to Warsaw and started her teaching of Raj Yoga. Slowly, first supporters appeared, but the authorities also started to look into her activity.

"W krawatach i marynarkach, i słuchają bardzo uważnie (śmiech). A to jest przecież stan wojenny, więc nie wolno się gromadzić, a my mamy spotkania trzy razy dziennie. (...) Jak już jestem na stałe w Warszawie i prowadzę spotkania, przyjeżdża po mnie samochód milicyjny. Jest tam jedna pani, jeden pan w cywilu i jeden milicjant, i zawożą mnie do głównej komendy... I tam dwie panie, które... ja dotychczas nie wiedziałam, że takie mogą być kobiety, próbują mnie zmusić do przyznania się, że ja jednak jestem amerykańskim szpiegiem, i próbują wywrzeć na mnie różnego rodzaju presję, jednakże nie mogą wywrzeć na mnie żadnej presji, ponieważ ja niczego nie posiadam. niczego mi nie mogą zabrać. jedyne czym grożą, to że mieszkanie w którym mieszkam, u tej pani, zostanie jej odebrane. Zachowują się wręcz bardzo brutalnie" (w. 18).

"In their ties and jackets and they were listening very carefully. (laughter) And in Poland it is the martial law, the state of war, so the gatherings are not allowed and we had the meeting three times a day. (...) When I was just settled down in Warsaw and I started to conduct the meetings, one day the police came after me. In that police car there was one lady, one man dressed in casual clothes, and one policeman, and I was brought to the main police office. And there two ladies, who ... I have never met such mean women, they try to make me to acknowledge that actually I am an American spy, they just tried to make a pressure on me, of any type, and because I had no possessions, they couldn't take away from me anything. They couldn't make a pressure on me, but they only threat me they got back the flat from the lady at whom I was living. They just behaved very brutally." (interview no. 18)

Wspominając to wydarzenie, rozmówczyni maluje swój portret jako osoby nieświadomej sytuacji, a jednocześnie silnej duchowo.

While memorizing that event, my interlocutor painted herself a person who was, on the one side, completely unaware of the situation and, the same time, spiritually strong.

"Jednakże ja tego nie biorę do siebie. Dlatego, że ja nie mam z tym nic wspólnego, z sytuacją polityczną. Mnie to w ogóle nie interesuje. Ja nawet nie byłam zorientowana w stanie wojennym, ponieważ ja przeżywałam własne, wewnętrzne sprawy, które mnie bardzo absorbowały wtedy. I były dla mnie bardzo ważne, o wiele ważniejsze niż sprawy ekonomiczne czy polityczne. Jednakże ja zaczynam z tymi kobietami rozmawiać. Zaczynam im opowiadać historię Uniwersytetu, co to w ogóle jest za organizacja. I te kobiety... zachodzi w nich jakaś taka niesamowita zmiana, tam na miejscu, one tam ucinają to interrogation... przesłuchanie. I nagle zupełnie zmieniają swoją postawę względem mnie i wręcz z pewnym szacunkiem odprowadzają mnie. Nie ma żadnych konsekwencji. Ja dalej mieszkam u tej pani, która... była działaczem Solidarności... ale ja o tym nie wiedziałam (śmiech).Ja o tym nic nie wiedziałam. Ta pani świetnie łączyła działalność solidarnościową z duchową" w. 18

Although I wasn't taking it personally. Because, I had nothing common with it, with that political situation. I did not care at all, I wasn't interested. I had even no idea of the state of war, because I was experiencing my own inner matters, very absorbing me at that moment. And it was very important to me, much more important than the economical or political issues. And I started to talk with these women. I started to tell them the history of the BKWSU, what kind of organization it is. And these women... some change started to happen inside them, they cut out the whole interrogation, over there. And to my surprise they suddenly changed their attitude towards me and even with some respect they were accompanying me (on the way back). There were no consequences at all. I still was living in that flat of the lady who was a Solidarity activist... but I had no idea what she was doing. (laughter) I had no idea about it. That lady was just perfectly connecting the spiritual and political activity in a "Solidarity" movement." (interview no. 18)

Source: A. Kościańska - "Potęga ciszy. Konwersja a rekonstrukcja porządku płci na przykładzie nowego ruchu religijnego Brahma Kumaris". Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego 2009.

BK Halina Paradela in 2010: http://tinyurl.com/oxeynaz

* * *
Halina Paradela, while she was interviewed by PhD Kościańska in 2002, was 47, so in 1981 she could be 26.

I am not going to discuss her private life, actually I have never had such a chance to know her better in private, but she was the chief of all the Polish BKs for over 30 years, and often she was given us an example to follow by some BK Seniors and local BK Sisters (centre-in-charge, or BK Seniors), therefore I am deeply concerned why she was absolutely indifferent to the fate of her own family, friends, etc. claiming that she absolutely did not care of what was going in her homeland and "she wasn't interested" about that at all!

Many people lost their lifes fighting with the repressive communist authorities for freedom, many were put in jail, many were sentenced to death (the amnesty was announced in 1986), many were co-operating with the "S" activists that acted illegally, pressing and publishing their independent media and/or distributing their pamphlets or leaflets, risking their lifes - their and sometimes also their families, because the "Solidarity", in the moment of initiation the martial law, had been outlawed by the authorities of Jaruzelski. All the official media were controlled by the communists and their censors, and she just came "out of the blue" from the "better world of the West" to the communistic hell and decided just to settle down in Warsaw and live as comfortably as possible, pretending that she also "fights" but in an incognito manner using her power of BK RajYoga?! Just as the BKs with their power of good wishes and pure feelings "support" the victims of natural disasters in India, actually doing nothing but sitting on their butts, wearing their freshly ironed white robes and meditating?!

After I read the interviews with Paradela, my feeling of shame inside rose up even more - I was one of them, we were taught to be indifferent and selfish. What a selfish and vain witch!

I am glad I was eventually able to successfully pull my mother out of this stinking and toxic swamp, and the BKs don't chase her as she became completely useless to them.
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Re: The beginnings of the BKWSU in Poland

Post30 Oct 2014

....therefore I am deeply concerned why she was absolutely indifferent to the fate of her own family, friends, etc. claiming that she absolutely did not care of what was going in her homeland and "she wasn't interested" about that at all!

Horrible. Another leader with a tainted history. It seems that list of "Shameless leader of BKWSU" is never going to end. This is similar to BK leaders response during Indian Freedom fight.
Just as the BKs with their power of good wishes and pure feelings "support" the victims of natural disasters in
India, actually doing nothing but sitting on their butts, wearing their freshly ironed white robes and meditating?!

... and mediation. You are right raistlin. Earlier i thought people here make an intuitive expression only but I searched myself & found nothing concrete contribution to any nation, not even in India where their headquarter exists.

Why does followers donate to BKWSU instead of sending positive vibrations for its progress? If it can cure people suffering from disasters, it can help BKWSU too. BKs, try saying that to your center-in-charge & then see their response.

So, it started in 1981 & now approximately after 34 years, how many centers & followers this cult has managed to fool?
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raistlin75

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Re: The beginnings of the BKWSU in Poland

Post30 Oct 2014

The issue of fooling people is probably common with any religion. Any religion couldn't exist without the followers.
I can only say something about the Catholicism, and specificially in Polish version (and also about the BKism), but among the Polish Catholics are also many people who got rid of the blindness and start to see the things as they really are, and stop attending the masses, but still preserve their belief and live according to the teachings. Such people just cannot peacefully watch what their clergymen do or say.

For example, at the moment in Poland there is a public discussion on the paedophilia scandal in Dominicana in which accused were last year two Polish clergymen and instead of being condemned by the Polish Church, the whole scandal the hierarchs of Polish Roman-Catholic Church try to cover. Of course, there are some voices of condemnation but these are in minority, therefore not heard loudly enough.

Moreover, one of the Polish archbishops - Józef Michalik claimed in public that the real victims are actually ex-archbishop Wesolowski and priest Gil because it was them who the Dominicanian boys provoked looking for some warmth (he literally claimed that the children, especially from the divorced families are looking for love and cling to the adult and molesting priest)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/0 ... 65751.html

And Michalik was able to claim that even though there are hard proofs of sexual abuse - the porn photos, video films found on the computers of both of the paedophils clergymen. Later, Michalik apologized for his claim and condemned the paedophilia in Church, but only with words. The Polish archbishops started to discuss on this in closed circle.

Wesolowski was called to Vatican by the Pope Francis and there his legal case started, at the moment he is unoficially expelled from being the archbishop state, Gil was arrested in Poland by the Polish police after he escaped from the Dominicana and hid in the monastery in Poland, and then at his family.

You propose the centre-in-charge to make a spiritual donation to Baba's box? It won't work, unless you are able to critize, you are somehow audacious, brave and sarcastic and have quite hard sense of humour. ;)

I am fairly sure that this happens not accidentally when the center-in-charges, the local BK leaders became these individuals (mostly) women who have dominating personality, and sometimes are also bossy - the BK leadership considers them as perfect commanders and therefore makes them centre-in-charge.

If you have the same strong personality as the centre-in-charge, you'd be able to propose it to them, but if you are genuinely gullible, and through the psychomanipulative techniques the BKs will take from you your common sense, and ability to criticize, you are lost.

You may give the BKs your property, your time, your energy, your money - it's all recoverable until your mind is still yours, but if you surrender to them your mind, you are completely lost.
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ex-l

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Re: The beginnings of the BKWSU in Poland

Post01 Nov 2014

I don't remember Halina but a few such evangelist missionaries passed through London centre. They came to get mysterious "training" by the Seniors that I was never privy too.

Presumably it included practical things like the financing of centres. Generally, such matters were never talked about openly and portrayed as "intellectual distractions", however, one's ability to finance a centre was key to being allowed to opening one ... even if one was *not* fully following the principles, e.g. the BKs would accept donations and properties from those not fully "enlightened" as BKs or following the principles and then match their funding by sending a submissive, disciplined and fully brainwashed Kumari to be the manager of it ... in a sort of slow, subtle takeover.

Did the BKWSU send Indian Kumaris out to Poland to represent them? I remember they used to fly in and out that one in Russia who did not have a proper visa to stay there.

Are the BKWSU now exploiting any 'visa for religious workers' system in Poland?
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Re: The beginnings of the BKWSU in Poland

Post02 Nov 2014

I remember Halina from the early days. Only saw her, did not get to know her. She had that sourpuss face that you see when you combine being internally "lost” with having an artificial or contrived purpose. You can imagine the face on middle aged women shopping for bargains for things they don’t need but are determined to get one anyway. Or like officials who become naysaying gatekeepers rather than facilitators because it one area of life they can exercise control over something. I hope that makes sense.

There was always a dismal facade on those who visited London from northern European countries, especially Eastern Europe. I put 80% of it down to the weather! (And London's didn’t help much)!

There are two reasons people adopt BK life - they either need a crutch for dealing with the rest of life, i.e otherwise they’d really fall over, or it is a vehicle for moving forward. I think those who used it as a ”moving forward” vehicle inevitably leave it behind sooner or later because they realise that, as a vehicle, it's more like an elevator than a bicycle, it only moves along one dimension to defined destinations, it can become claustrophobic, and you are totally dependant on it. Some can even be said to get stuck between floors!!

Some who begin with it as a forward moving vehicle get ”lazy” and dependent, like those people who become reliant on cars or electric scooters, and never leave it behind.

I always remember Halina as being ”sad spinster" faced.
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Re: The beginnings of the BKWSU in Poland

Post02 Nov 2014

pink panther wrote: I think those who used it as a ”moving forward” vehicle inevitably leave it behind sooner or later because they realize that, as a vehicle, it's more like an elevator than a bicycle, it only moves along one dimension to defined destinations, it can become claustrophobic, and you are totally dependent on it. Some can even be said to get stuck between floors!!

Or like an air travel with all charges paid by others from others money. This BKism elevator moves only in one direction- downwards - on path of humanity & only upwards - when it comes to brainwashing & accumulating donations. Not every pakka BK get chance to head a center. So, they may adopt it as a crutch.
I always remember Halina as being ”sad spinster" faced.

And i remember all BKs at the center I visited as being sad beings having no good motives left for survival. It is possible.
I remember an old BK, approx in his 80s, having fatal heart disease. His medical report declared that he would die within months. He did not inform his family member about this, instead told Didis about it & asked them to keep it a secret & not to divulge details to his family members or distant relatives or even an outsider. [but Didi told me this while explaining that BKism is not going to disclose your personal details to anyone...such confidentiality hurts.....she was bit insane....did not know when which example should be given to newcomers....logically telling me about his private life was like breaking his confidentiality.]

Such are wrong steps which BKs take on their own & Didis support it. His family members were inferior to BKs for him & his step also indicates one other belief spread in BKism that BKs must not rely on medicines as they are products of science. He used to spend more time at centers than usual. I think this BK was using it as a crutch.
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Re: The beginnings of the BKWSU in Poland

Post10 Nov 2014

ex-l wrote:Did the BKWSU send Indian Kumaris out to Poland to represent them? I remember they used to fly in and out that one in Russia who did not have a proper visa to stay there.

Are the BKWSU now exploiting any 'visa for religious workers' system in Poland?

Well, when I was a BK in 90s all the BK Sisters working in the BK centres were only native Polish women. Same as men. No Indian Kumars or Kumaris. No Indian/Sindhi Seniors. I don't know, how it was in the very beginnings of the BKism in Poland, but I suppose it was just the same - only Poles.

So, the issue of exploiting 'a visa for religious workers' system in case of Poland doesn't exist (and probably never existed).

Perhaps for the Indian/Sindhi BK leadership, Poland never was (and still is not) a suitable place for effective spreading and promoting the BKism locally because of the strong Christian/Catholic base. For the BKs, the Roman-Catholic Church seems to be quite tough opponent in the field of religion at the moment, considering quite a long tradition of the Catholicism in Poland, at least few centuries, and considering the Christianity - from 966.

So the BKs in the beginnings based themselves in the New Age-like area (and sometimes in some aspects of the Indian culture), where they can feel quite safe, and occasionally they still are able to win some small battles in this field, having no competition able to defeat them (unless they start to compete with the Bollywood productions, which are quite popular in Poland ;)).

But, generally, I think the Golden Era of the BKism in Poland (10 years: 1986-96) belongs to the past. The level of awareness of threats of being enculted increased in Poland. Partly, thanks to the freedom of speech after the fall of the Communism, and later thanks to a new media of communication - the Internet. And still it tends to increase.

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