BKWSU (Poland) - Are they really "not a religion"?

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raistlin

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BKWSU (Poland) - Are they really "not a religion"?

Post23 May 2013

Hello everybody. :D

Well, I haven't posted for a long time because of some serious problems with mental health (it is the sad "legacy" of being a ex-BK). :(

I'd like to discuss about the lies the BKWSU worldwide, not only in Poland, that they are not a religion, and that anyone can come and practice BK Raja Yoga and become a BK.

IMHO, it's not that simple. These are some of my reflections on it. I am an agnostic, and I used the example of the Catholics/Christians only because in Poland they are the majority among other religions.
    1. The BKWSU Poland is registered in the "Register for the Churches and Other Religious Associations" of the Ministry for the Internal Affairs. Here is the link (look at the position 21 - number of registration is 22):

    2. The BKs have their own code of (Godly) ethics and worshiping, called "Shrimat" and are guided by Shiva Baba - the god of BKWSU, who claims that "He is the God of all religions" (such as the Christians have their own biblical code of ethics and worshiping (The Decalogue) and are guided by the Only God-Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost).

    3. When you are going to be a really honest, truly BK, first you must "quit" with your genuine religion - do apostasy (many of us were baptized - this is one of the Sacred Sacraments in the Christianity, "a mark of belonging to the Sheepfold of the Lord" ). In my opinion you just cannot be a BK and a Catholic at the same time. This is, and should be the really hard moment in anyone's life because you have to choose - to be still a Jesus Christ follower or to become a "Godly student" and perform a "death in life" and let others "switch off the lights" of criticism and common sense - manmat. In Catholicism it's a serious sin having other gods before the God-Father (1st Commandment: "You shall have no other gods before me"). Shiva Baba also demands "to have all relationships only with him and to remember only him". It's simple - you can be either only a Catholic or only a "Baba's student".
It makes me very angry when I sometimes call some memories from the past what the Polish BK management or teachers were saying when someone asked them if there were a problem to practice BK Raja Yoga and to attend to classes and also having still its own faith. "Of course there will be no problem - you can still have your faith and be a "Godly student" because we are not a religion". It was and probably still is the usual statement of Polish BK management for years - "we are not a religion", "we are not a (millenarian and elitist) cult" (PC mode: "religious association" or a "New Religious Movement"), "you can be a BK and a still a worshiper of Jesus Christ/Buddha/Mohammad etc. because ... we are not a religion".

When I think of all these people, truly practicing their genuine religion, who were and still are manipulated and deceived by the BKs and are unaware of that becoming a BK is nothing but a conversion from one religion to another, I just feel sorry about that.

Shame on you, Halina Paradela!
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Pink Panther

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Re: BKWSU (Poland) - Are they really "not a religion"?

Post24 May 2013

Brilliant analysis Raistlin.

Yes indeed.

They are not a religion when it suits them - but they are a "religion or religious association" when they want tax exemption and other benefits that status confers.

They are not a charity when it suits them, (if you ask them what they do with all the money and property they have) but they are when it suits them.

They are not an educational institution when you ask why they don't have proper library, research facilities, peer reviewed papers or stick to curriculums that follow the Education guidelines in a jurisdiction, but they are when it suits them.

Classic Post nomination.
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Mr Green

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Re: BKWSU (Poland) - Are they really "not a religion"?

Post24 May 2013

I agree, very to the point.
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dany

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Re: BKWSU (Poland) - Are they really "not a religion"?

Post24 May 2013

Who is Halina Paradela ..?!
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ex-l

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Re: BKWSU (Poland) - Are they really "not a religion"?

Post24 May 2013

BK Halina Paradela is the National Coordinator Brahma Kumaris in Poland.
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littleo

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Re: BKWSU (Poland) - Are they really "not a religion"?

Post26 May 2013

When you are going to be a really honest, truly BK, first you must "quit" with your genuine religion - do apostasy (many of us were baptized - this is one of the Sacred Sacraments in the Christianity, "a mark of belonging to the Sheepfold of the Lord").

If children are baptized without their wish, I see leaving that is not something wrong.
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ex-l

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Re: BKWSU (Poland) - Are they really "not a religion"?

Post27 May 2013

littleo wrote:If children are baptized without their wish, I see leaving that is not something wrong.

But do you agree that within the BK framework one does actually leave the other religion and become a BK, and that the BKs are essentially falsely representing themselves to non-BKs ... that it is actually philosophically impossible to be a BK and follow another religion?

We're not discuss whether it is OK for people to leave the religion of their childhood, we're discussing how the BKs morph and manipulate themselves to suit their agenda.
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littleo

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Re: BKWSU (Poland) - Are they really "not a religion"?

Post27 May 2013

It depends how you define religion. I believe religion is some ideas that suit you and are original and instrinic to you, whether you know it or not. You subscribe to them with your heart and you belong there, even if you don't know it and sooner or later you will land on that branch. I don't think that external signs of belonging to certain religion will make you belong or not belong to it. For this reason, I don't see a contradiction in being a BK by heart and going to church for show.

Your question is whether the BK ideas substitute that place in you that has been previously occupied with some former form of religion. For Poland, it is different matter since people there are more religious but normally it just occupies an empty space.

You put forward the question if the BK can be defined as religion and whether it should present itself like this. Is it possible to belong to BK as you can belong to some traditional religion, having in mind its recent origin. I would define BK as some revision and denomination like there are so many in the so called Hindu religion, so one who would belong there could possibly find his place here. And, in this, it is said those who are devotees of Shiva could accept this knowledge easier that one having a guru.

If you initially belong to some faith and adopt another like in some sect or cult, I would say that of course you have to change the way you define yourself. You no longer see yourself as a member of the former faith, but you are cult follower now. This is the mantra in the BK too. "Forget all bodily religions". You will find this in the Gita also, leave all religion and come to my shelter, but if one likes to belong to this religion to which the Gita belongs, where does he go to become a so-called Hindu? Inevitable he will find himself in some guru-formation and often New Age cult. What is the traditional religious structure of the Hindu faith? If you take that these are the worldly Brahmins, then if someone is a worldly Brahmin and also a BK does he have a double religion? If you as a follower believe in this worldly Brahmin and also BK do you belong to the traditional Hindu faith or the BK faith? In the same way as you are not a Christian, because your parents have baptised you, you are not a Hindu because you are born in India. It is the ideas to which you subscribe that matter.

I don't see something so morally degraded with the double standard and if one uses the laws for his own benefit like a NGO. Everyone does it. It is not an excuse, but the way of operation. Nowadays a company has to do some tax manipulation, it is normal. If you are in the river you have to make friends with the crocodile.
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Pink Panther

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Re: BKWSU (Poland) - Are they really "not a religion"?

Post27 May 2013

You missed the point with that answer littleleo.

The question asked was not, "is it acceptable for people to take up a new religion or join this group?"

Of course, everyone is free to make their own mistakes!

The question asked was, "Is it unethical or hypocritical for the BKWSU - the organisation - to present itself in ways that clearly state they are "not a religion" and that people don't change their religion when they become BKs?"

Some arguments and contradictions have been stated - read again please.
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littleo

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Re: BKWSU (Poland) - Are they really "not a religion"?

Post27 May 2013

if you want to categorize such activity of BK of presenting itself as "no religion" as unethical and hypocrisy i think you have all rights to do so and it is not much really debate over the matter. However, I doubt they will change their PR and for the aim it serves the PR is appropriate because this is the way PR is done, you have to lie. Advertisement is often lie and manipulation. You can switch on the TV to see how many things that are sold is "the best" and "number 1", but you can bet they never made any statistics about it. I mean, in the world we live, hypocrisy and unethicality is some norm, we cannot expect something diferent from anyone. I can understand the high expectation and high set of standards that are for the BK, but the fact is that is is part of this world and has all the characteristics of it.

They make such PR with the assumption that people shy away from religion, since there is bad experience and image of religion nowadays. Anyway this is probably more so in the West, because in India the line between religion and spirituality is thinner and there is demand for spirituality and religion. My personal opinion is that they lose by adopting some special PR and try to reach for numbers. And, instead of following the general negative attitude towards religion, it would be better to create an elevated, desirable, worthy of respect image of religion. I think they are religion in every sense, but there is nothing wrong with it. Religion is not a bad word. It has been manipulated so the BKs like to avoid it.

In the Murli it is also said that, 3 religions are established Brahmin, Deity and Kshatriya, so there is no doubt they are a religion. But anyway is the "no religion" matter official and stated in some official statements or is it it just personal PR aimed to soften the hard shell people wear when they hear about religion.

Yes, of course, one cannot live with two mutually exclusive ideas at the same time but if they are not exclusive and conflicting he can live. If something goes in the BK list of the matters one has to leave, he has to leave, but if BK is syncretism of many religions then he will find himself with some ideas that are there already included.

I think the "no religion" matter is more of an unsuccessful attempt at being modern rather than deliberate PR.
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ex-l

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Re: BKWSU (Poland) - Are they really "not a religion"?

Post27 May 2013

littleo wrote:... this is the way PR is done, you have to lie.

Excuse me, that is the way cheap, poor, deceptive or unethical PR is done.

I would say the best "public relations" (PR) are handled with honesty, modesty and integrity. I don't know which country you are from but the best advertising is based on good reputation and service.

The problem with the BKs is that they set themselves up as being the highest, the best, the most spiritual, pure and not of this impure, and with an absolute and eternal monopoly on God ... has the rest of the world not got a right to expect what it says 'on the label'? To expect *better* standards?

The Brahma Kumaris are an End of the World cult. That is what they are and have been. They lied by claiming they are not a religion. They exaggerated and made false claims by calling themselves a University ... it's all deception and deception is not good.

How many lies or different stories can one tell, to governments and VIPs at one end and adherents at the others, before you compromise your own integrity?

Although you make a good point that the BKs should admit what they are and set a good example ... you appear to be condoning such behaviour ... For me, corruption and spirituality and integrity are mutually exclusive. You cannot be both any more than you 'can' and 'cannot' be a religion at the same time without being schizophrenic.
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littleo

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Re: BKWSU (Poland) - Are they really "not a religion"?

Post27 May 2013

I admit it was exagarated about PR being lying.

I can understand their behavior, because it is not difficult to have to be the best. There will always be critics and expectations. At the same time one has to be normal and live normally in the normal world. Compared to other religions i think BKs has the most elevated set of values and practical state of virtuosity and as persons i have observed honesty and integrity.

They may often fail to meet some expectation or standart set by themselves for themselves but they are trying. I see their hipocrity as part of their trying to cope and grow and not as deliberate evil act. Life is a very difficult balance. If they would be very strict in their ways they will reap critics for being fundemantalists. Imagine what will happen if they came out with the matters directly, they will ban them, of course they don't want this. If you cannot achieve something straightforwadrly you take the curved way.
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dany

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Re: BKWSU (Poland) - Are they really "not a religion"?

Post27 May 2013

Littleo

STRAIGHT LINE, was, still and will always remain the shortest distance between two points ...!!
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ex-l

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Re: BKWSU (Poland) - Are they really "not a religion"?

Post27 May 2013

littleo wrote:Compared to other religions I think BKs has the most elevated set of values and practical state of virtuosity and as persons I have observed honesty and integrity.

I used to think like until I started to learn what the BKs were really like, what they had done and what they continue to do. They are extremely skilful at deceptive PR about themselves and keeping up a facade.

I tend not to criticise individuals at the bottom of the pile. They mean well and are generally just trying to do their best ... but they are being deceived and manipulated by those at the top of the pile.
If you cannot achieve something straightforwardly you take the curved way.

You might within your own culture. It may well be normal in India. I and many others would not. Thank you Dany.

Nations where there is a lot of corruption make honest people corrupt ... they may not even know it nor that there are other ways of life. I was reading a report on India where a taxi driver was commenting about the two political parties. He said that if 'party A' got in, there would be 70% corruption but if 'party B' got in there, would only be 40% corruption ... therefore he would vote for 'party B'.

Are you here merely to defend the BKs with your opinions (manmat), add to our understanding or are you trying to get BKism out of your head?
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littleo

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Re: BKWSU (Poland) - Are they really "not a religion"?

Post27 May 2013

To defend.
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