Brahma Kumaris at the University of Wroclaw

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raistlin

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Brahma Kumaris at the University of Wroclaw

Post27 May 2013

3rd of June 2011, the National Conference for Young Researchers/Academics: "Hinduism in the Republic of Poland, from Romanticism to Postmodernism".

Place: University of Wrocław, The Institute For The Classical, Mediterranean and Oriental Studies

Here is the full program of the conference.
The conference consisted of three parts related to the Hinduism in the Republic of Poland in the past - in literature, interculturalism and in spirituality.

Here is the schedule of the last part of the conference: (... because the schedule is only in Polish, I translated it to English and marked the fragment I wanted you to pay attention)
III BLOCK: The Hinduism in Poland

16:55-17:20: mgr Leslaw Jakub Pazdzior (Higher School of Lower Silesia, pedagogics): "Polish Hindus and the war of cultures"
17:20-17:45: mgr Ewa Keler: "The university for the spirit. The history and foundation of the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University."
17:45-18:10: Zygmunt Krasun (University of Wrocław: sociology and cultural studies): "The phenomenon of popularity of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness at Woodstock Festival"
18:10-18:35: Dawid Hybsz (University of Wrocław: ethnology): "The groups that use Ayurveda in Poland"
18:35: Official closing of the conference.

How is this possible that a BKWSU follower ... who claims that, on one hand, "BKism is not Hinduism" and, on the other hand and if it is suitable for them, claims that "we are the organization to promote Hinduism in the West" (which they are not, as we all know very well) ... is one of the attendants in the conference for the real academics/researchers not to discuss about Hinduism with other academics but just to promote her organization???

Ewa Keler is a senior BK, who I knew quite well. There are really not many Polish BKs who are able to tell anything good about her attitude - she is over-obedient, over-disciplined, very patronizing and authoritarian Sister and she tolerates no antagonism. At the moment, she is probably in her middle 60-70s. I suspect her to be responsible for the success of opening the BK centre in Katowice, perhaps she is even a sister-in-charge there. I only suspect that, because I have no proof for that. I only heard that she was visiting very often some cities in the Upper Silesia to find a suitable place for a new BK centre in Poland, and after that - tadaa! and we have a new BK centre.
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ex-l

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Re: Brahma Kumaris at the University of Wroclaw

Post27 May 2013

I'd be interested in reading what she actually said because, as we also know, the Brahma Kumaris have falsified and whitewashed their history extensively.

Yes, it's another hypocritical joke. The UK charity also claims it is "Promoting Hinduism" and so they probably copied it from that. What the BK religion really says is that Hinduism (Bhakti) is impure and the pathway of degradation and of limited or no benefit. In reality, the BKs oppose the practise of Hinduism as "ignorance".

There's a Polish academic that has written a lot about the BKs ... Agnieszka Kościańska ... I wonder if you know her and her involvement with the BKs? There is an excerpt, here (p 223).

She was involved between 2002–2005 and wrote her PhD on the BKs, "Charismatic Women. Conversion and the Reconstruction of Gender Order. The Case of a New Religious Movement, the Brahma Kumaris." which was then published as a book, "Potega ciszy. Konwersja a rekonstrukcja porzadku plci na przykladzie nowego ruchu religijnego Brahma Kumaris (The Power of Silence. Gender and Religious Conversion. The Case of a New Religious Movement, the Brahma Kumaris in Poland)" in 2009.

Amongst many publications on the BKWSU, in 2006 she also wrote; "Brahma Kumaris: miedzy celibatem a macierzynstwem (The Brahma Kumaris: Between celibacy and motherhood)" in Kobiety i religie (Women and Religions) p 445-462 and, in 2008, "On Celibate Marriages: Conversion to the Brahma Kumaris in Poland" in 'On the Margins of Religion', p 168-186 and "Charyzmatyczne liderki. Przywodztwo duchowe w ruchu Brahma Kumaris (Charismatic female leaders: Spiritual leadership among the Brahma Kumaris)" in Oblicza religii i religijnosci, p 315-323.

Also in 2003, "The Shakti Power. The Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University: an Idea of Female Leadership. In Between Tradition and Postmodernity". Polish Ethnography at the Turn of the Millenium, eds. Lech Mroz and Zofia Sokolewicz. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo DiG, 2003, pp. 81-94.

2002 to 2009 ... that's a long time. She's made a career out of the BKs and probably still teaches about them but she never contacted us!
In the book "The Power of Silence" the author examines the life stories of participants and stakeholders, and religious practices of Polish faction of the Brahma Kumaris movement. Shows the conversion for the sample as a process of changes in the gender identity and efficacy, re-organize ties and compliance with the applicable discipline.

She looks at the field of non-verbal - a ritual of silence and the calm way of being, typical of the Brahma Kumaris - and shows that it has a crucial role in the reconstruction of identity and efficacy of subjects and the construction of spiritual leadership, questioning dominant in Western thought about feminism

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raistlin

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Re: Brahma Kumaris at the University of Wroclaw

Post28 May 2013

ex-l wrote:I'd be interested in reading what she actually said because, as we also know, the Brahma Kumaris have falsified and whitewashed their history extensively.

Yes, it's another hypocritical joke. The UK charity also claims it is "Promoting Hinduism" and so they probably copied it from that. What the BK religion really says is that Hinduism (Bhakti) is impure and the pathway of degradation and of limited or no benefit. In reality, the BKs oppose the practise of Hinduism as "ignorance".

When I was a BK, I used to see BK Ewa quite often accompanying BK Dorota, who is a sister-in-charge in Gdansk after she left Lodz, where she had been coordinating the local centre for 7 years (or more, I don't remember precisely). On the local TV channel, they were talking about the BK Meditation, BK Raja Yoga and encouraging and inviting to the local BK centre or a nearest BK program. They are both very charismatic women, and they really have got a "gift for persuasion", so the 90s was the period of the real prosperity for BKWSU Poland - there were many supporters/followers/friends of BK Raja Yoga/"contact souls".

As for promoting (the organization by any manner using) Hinduism, I can give you an example when in Poland we are celebrating the Days of Indian Culture/Hindu Culture every year. The BKWSU Poland is also very active in almost any event related to that. They are even so arrogant to organize the meetings with the ambassador of the Republic of India in Poland, and suggest to the ambassador that they are organization to promote the Indian culture and Hindu spirituality as well, which of course is a lie, but any possibility is good to promote themselves and be supported by some VIPs. Then they could write themselves into their permanent "co-workers" list just as Sister Jayanti did about the Dalai Lama (I read about that just here). :-).

These leeches just hunt for their new "microphones" over and over.

BTW, is not it a "Bhakti" what the BKWSU do about the "cult of an individual". In every gallery, centre, BK home, "bhawan", wherever related to the BKs there are many photos and posters (from small to just huge) of Brahma Baba, Dadi Gulzar or BapDada, Dadi Janki, Dadi Prakashmani. They built a memorial place for Dadi Prakashmani after her death (Tower of Light) which has probably already become a place of BK pilgrimages; the new retreat complex was named after Didi Manmohini etc)? How it is possible not to be contradictory to them with: "remember only Me, the Father/have no physical relationships"?!
There's a Polish academic that has written a lot about the BKs ... Agnieszka Kościańska ... I wonder if you know her and her involvement with the BKs?

PhD Agnieszka Kościańska probably has already got sucked into the organization after her voyage to the 'Forest of Honey'. She was honoured with a personal audience with BapDada and Dadi Janki as well. She received many gifts, blessings, sweets, whatever, and she became a BK supporter among the Polish academics. Another one is/was(?) Prof. Maria Krzysztof Byrski, the former ambassador to the Republic of Poland in India (1993-96) and an expert in indology, (probably the best one in Poland). Perhaps she even did her "7 Days Course" and every day went to the morning classes ...

Forgive my sarcasm, but every success about promoting the BKism in Poland and anywhere else in the world makes me angry.

She was lured by the BKWSU - the maternal/"sisternal" spiritual organization with Sisters in the board/administration, unique in the world probably because of her interest in gender studies and women problems. As for the feminism, I think that it can be another precious field for exploration/promotion for the BKWSU nowadays.

No, I don't know her. I'd like to get the "Power of Silence ..." and read it.

Lucyna told me that this book is just a bunch of lies, the book is full of repeated mistakes in some earlier academical publications on new religious movements (she made an academical review on it - in Polish). I am just translating it to English. It is very sad that it is a University of Warsaw publication, UW and University of Cracow are the most respected universities in Poland.

It is just a printed promotion only about the BKWSU (even if PhD Kościańska claims that the subject of her research was "the Polish faction in the Brahma Kumaris movement"), so IMHO she should also make a research on other groups in the BK movement, including the PBKs.

Lucyna was trying to contact A. Kosciańska in 2010 and persuade her to discuss about the facts not the fairytales, but Agnieszka Kościańska ignored Lucyna's request and answered her that she doesn't feel to discuss about that. There is no need to any discussion. Bye.

The book is written, printed, sold - the author got paid, "the clients" are satisfied as well, what more? End of the story.
She's made a career out of the BKs and probably still teaches about them but she never contacted us!

IMHO, if Agnieszka Kościańska would be an independent researcher, not a BK supporter as I suspect her she is, she would not only contact us, but she would not be afraid of starting the discussion with Lucyna (another academic) and made some important corrections to her book, including the personal experiences of PBK participants as well, and other BK groups if there are any in Poland. But I suspect that Agnieszka Kościańska was told/encouraged by the BKWSU not to do any research on the PBKs, that's why her book is a collection of fairytales, just like the BKWSU wanted it.

If I have enough luck to buy it somewhere (it is difficult to find it in the e-stores/e-bookshops), I'll try to write something about that book.
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ex-l

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Re: Brahma Kumaris at the University of Wroclaw

Post29 May 2013

Very interesting ... they did the same to or with Professor Frank Whaling who is a BK supporter rather than a proper BK. They gave him the VIP treatment and a tour to Mount Abu, Oxford retreat center etc. If these academics *really* believe that is the experience of ordinary BKs, or are unaware that they are being seduced, they are incredibly stupid.

However, amongst academics, the field of new religious movements is quite spilt between critics and apologists. Many of these academics are apologists for cults, they don't like the critics of religion and so they defend them irrationally and get rewarded with retreats, nice holidays, meals and sweeties from sweet young Sisters and that is what they see.

I think also amongst some woman academics there is a desire to make the Brahma Kumaris feminist icons whilst at the same time ignoring the caste aspect of their religion ... they may be woman but they are still aspiring to be top knot Brahmins and doing little for the rights and lives of ordinary people.

Amongst the cult apoligist academics, ex-members are shunned. Ex-members are classed as "unreliable apostates" (it has a negative connotation) who tend to exaggerate how bad things are ... even if they tell the truth. They don't fit into what the academics want to portray and so they are ignored.

It was very clear from Prof. Frank Whaling's book that he had been steered around by the BK including having his mind poisoned the PBK issue and the BKs used him to accuse the PBKs, and may be us, of being "fundamentalists". that idea came from Western BKs where fundamentalism is the "bad word of the day".

What a joke .. the BKs are represented as "reasonable" and the rest of us are irrational fundamentalist. Next we will "spiritual terrorists"!

John Walliss was actually threatened by the BKs not to speak to the PBKs ... so their media control has spilled over into 'academic control'. They are aware of the influence of academics in comparison to newspaper reporters, and so they invest into them heavily so that they can use their books as advertisement later.

They have also started to produce their own false academia hiding behind the titles of PhD to make it appear reputable ... BK Stephan Nagel, BK Tamasin Ramasy, BK Binny Sareen (who even works for the BKWSU PR department!) and others.

Agnieszka's PhD should be available for free from her university. The book will just be a copy of it.
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littleo

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Re: Brahma Kumaris at the University of Wroclaw

Post30 May 2013

When BK joins hand with the polititions it is symbiosis. It is the same with academics. In the given example, the theme of BK makes a good thesis for a Ph.D. Many would study Indology, because they are fond of India, through the Krishna society, Yoga practices or etc, so this brings students to the university. Often to some India related academic programs many religious followers will come as public. Spirituality is an advertisement for India.

In academic circles it is also popular to woo the Indian embassy or India-related foundations so that your book is published etc.
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ex-l

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Re: Brahma Kumaris at the University of Wroclaw

Post30 May 2013

If you wish to "add balance", then be balanced ... look at both sides and discuss the ethics of these BKs are doing.

How many of the BK academics papers you have read ... both BK written and non-BK written?


They are not doing pure academia. They are doing almost unreserved BK PR under the guise of academia and ... as I accused Tamasin Ramsay ... not only is that an offence to academia, it's just too easy. It's cheating. A baby regurgitating the food it has been spoonfed by the Dadis.

Wonderful for them, they get a PhD to make them look more important of their opinions more valuable while hanging out with BKs, doing service and from making no real efforts. It will also lead to high paid careers and other privileges. But they have really not stretched and developed themselves.

I feel there are these subtle quality of dishonesty, manipulation, condescension going on and if they had an integrity they would study something they did not have a vested interest in or bias towards. They are fooling their uninformed university Seniors ... and they don't even get the facts right.

I would say I've read most of the papers and, under the guise of "being academic" and for the sake of personal reward, the BKs are just doing BK service or evangelism.


Again, as with your previous comments, you are condoning what I would call corruption and apologising* for it.

Not just the BK written papers are inaccurate historically but the BKWSU also misguides non-BK academics to print what they want, including anti-PBK material. I suppose you are going to say that it OK because everyone else does it too?

They repeat all the usual bullsh** ... 1936, Shivohum, Lekhraj Kirpalani 60 years old, Transformation not Destruction etc etc etc ... and present the BKWSU as they want it to be seen not as it is. There is little objectivity or questioning. I have not seen any of them address any controversies and they continue on their subtle war with the PBKs, and so on.

Despite their direct access to the Seniors and the facility and resources of the BKWSU, they get no where near the truth of their own religion and on top of that, they don't even credit those who are doing that work.

I am sorry but we don't need BK excusers here at the level you are arguing. Please try better.

(* apologist; a person who argues in defense or justification of something, such as a doctrine, policy, or institution).
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Re: Brahma Kumaris at the University of Wroclaw

Post31 May 2013

ex-l wrote:Not just the BK written papers are inaccurate historically but the BKWSU also misguides non-BK academics to print what they want, including anti-PBK material. I suppose you are going to say that it OK because everyone else does it too?

A thesis critiquing previous papers is a good opportunity for another PhD!!

(Most commentaries are critiques and reinterpretations of previous commentaries!!).
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littleo

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Re: Brahma Kumaris at the University of Wroclaw

Post31 May 2013

A thesis critiquing previous papers is a good opportunity for another PhD!! (Most commentaries are critiques and reinterpretations of previous commentaries!!)

This is indeed a very interesting opportunity. Another is to make some thesis on the Murlis.

ex-l, I understand where the balance goes and don't excuse lies, but even if there is something little on the other side it also has to be noted. A small stone flips the cart upside down. Also things should be seen in their context. BK has originated, develops and degrades in a certain context. Lies in a world of lies are anyway more excusable.
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Re: Brahma Kumaris at the University of Wroclaw

Post31 May 2013

littleo wrote:This is indeed a very interesting opportunity. Another is to make some thesis on the Murlis.

You are correct, to study how the Brahma Kumaris has re-written and edited each generation of the Murlis would make a worthy study of how they have evolved/declined/manipulated their following ... which is why I keep banging on about copy and documenting the Murlis.
Pink Panther wrote:A thesis critiquing previous papers is a good opportunity for another PhD!! (Most commentaries are critiques and reinterpretations of previous commentaries!!).

I think you're right.

Unfortunately I was one of the idiots in the 1970s and 1980s who were gullible enough to give up their academic and professional careers and take simple, lowly employment instead under the influence of an End of the World which "God himself" and the Kripalani Klan bag men told us was in two to three years ... around 1986 in my case. (* reference: a paper by Dr Julia Howell on Australia BKs, just to play the game)

Therefore, sadly I have not got the first or second degree in order to trump the BKs third degree. Plus I missed the opportunity of the wonder free higher education that my nation used to offer.

Would I spend my money or get into huge debt to do a PhD on the BKs? No way on earth. I wasted enough of my life on them.

Would a BK pay for higher education in order to progress their professional career and do service? Yes, I can see how that would look like a good bet to them. Did Tamasin Ramsay do her degree on family money? A PhD is a pretty expensive accoutrement these days.
littleo wrote:... if there is something little on the other side it also has to be noted.

Sure, but not necessarily here unless it is a useful and objective factual or historical issue ... and not the interpretative excuses and apologies you started with.
BK has originated, develops and degrades in a certain context. Lies in a world of lies are anyway more excusable.

That's really a PBK concept, is not it? ... Which is another reason why you in particular have to be very, very clear and honest in your dealings here.

The BK don't really have an active concept of them degrading during the Confluence Age. In fact, what the PBKs see as degradation, they consider to be evolution.
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Re: Brahma Kumaris at the University of Wroclaw

Post01 Jun 2013

ex-l wrote: Did Tamasin Ramsay do her degree on family money? A PhD is a pretty expensive accoutrement these days.

Possibly.

We too used to have free tertiary education. Now they part-pay (international students pay full fees, government subsidises citizens) and there are interest-free Student loans available, i.e. government funded up front. They do have to pay it back, but only once they have a taxable income over about $A50,000 p.a. (average wage).

The payback amount due per annum rises with income p.a. - it's all part of the tax system. Earn more, you have to pay back more. Not a bad system.

The amount owed & taxable income levels are indexed for inflation as well. Theoretically, one could go without ever paying any of it back if one stayed below that threshold.
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ex-l

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Re: Brahma Kumaris at the University of Wroclaw

Post01 Jun 2013

It would not be difficult for the average Western BK to earn less than $A50,000 p.a. I am laughing at that thought ...!!! Rather I think it would be rare and difficult for most Western BKs to earn that much. Certainly of my generation.

(They ruined us. Yes, *they* did, filling our heads with nonsense and manipulating us).

I was reading some articles recently about the financial value of higher education and even the difference between a 2:1 and a 2:2 was said to be about £80,000 in one's lifetime.

Having a PhD is said to be worth almost USD 17,000 more per year than someone with the same amount of experience but no degree equaling, say, £450,000 in one's lifetime (although anthropology does not pay that sort of money, it's almost like an arts degree/career which you have to do out of love or pay to do).

Therefore, damaging an individual educational career, and thereby their professional development, has a very real impact upon their life.

And you could stick another zero on the end of that if you went into law, medicine, finance etc.

There are also other less tangible benefits such as the nature of the work, employment opportunities, social benefits, holidays etc. It's funny how the BKs leaders love rubbing up against 'elites' but at the same time were scuppering their own "Brothers and Sisters".

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