The long road

for ex-BKs, exiting BKs, Friends & Family of BKs and newcomers to the forum.
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shanti

spiritual seeker

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  • Joined: 07 Aug 2010

Re: The long road

Post14 Aug 2010

Hi ex-l
ex-l wrote:I bet you would not recognise the place and system if you were to go back now.

The old days were quite special - memories of sleeping on the floor in large rooms and bathing in winter using buckets - ice cream and chippies prepared especially for us - great stuff. I found India a wonderful experience despite the inevitable illnesses that struck us all.
ex-l wrote:Here you say you were in your 20s, with less than a couple of year experience as a BK before you became a center-in-charge.

Ha! Not enough BKs around at that time. I was told a few times by students that I was immature but I think I did an OK job despite this - lightened things up a bit. In retrospect, not enough training and no background in eastern spirituality and not enough regard for our Western heritage but these just made me convinced that I needed to study more to find out what is going on. I wanted to have a broader perspective - lack of understanding makes us open to manipulation.

I had quite a few meetings with BapDada. You have posed a deep question about his identity. It would be easy to write a superficial answer but I want to let that one go because perhaps, honestly, I am not clear enough to say at present. What I can say is that reality is what we make it and everyone creates their own reality - people fight and quarrel over beliefs in the world but I think its time we learn to accept our differences as being part of the richness of the human experience. The philosophical approach.

Cheers
Shanti
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filthy shudra

ex-BK

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Re: The long road

Post14 Aug 2010

because.parmeshwar wrote:Isolation is destiny of ex-BKs
Filthy Shudra wrote:1. If you believe that, it will be so. Anything is possible.
Brahmakumaris.info wrote:2. Beliefs: that 6,000,000,000 plus human beings must die during an imminent and desirable ‘End of the World’ called “Destruction”, in order that 900,000 faithful Brahma Kumari followers ... etc. If quote no. 1 is true then according to it quote no. 2 will also be true ...

Hi Because.P. - my reply was to your statement "isolation is destiny of ex- BK." I said " if you believe that" it wil be so, I did not say belief in anything makes it happen. The only thing a person's beliefs affects directly is the person with those beliefs. If those beliefs then affect their actions, then it can affect others or things. One act of kindness to another does more than a thousand good wishes.
because.parmeshwar wrote:For ex-BKs, it is harder to fit in the normal society, as they have to carry all the dogma into their minds and then to behave in the normal society is difficult, as they can not comfortably function in the real world. The feeling of guilty, the fear, the past experiences, the dilemma, the regrets etc are all the negative forces they have to deal with ... it takes time to undo all the beliefs and heal to become NORMAL.

It sounds as if you have been going through a very difficult time. Looking only at the words above - it is a mistake to are these feelings are unique to BKs and ex-BKs. It can prevent us thinking that there are other solutions or help.

That is part of the BK lie. It is more insidious and obscure, more difficult to identify than the simpler rejection of the BK hierarchy or "their" misinterpretation of what Gyan "should" be. We continue to carry with us the belief that we are somehow 'special" or "unique", that non-BKs can never understand. Many people have gone through crises of faith when they have lost their own 'religion", and it happens even to the non-religious, life brings many changes, tragedies and stuff that need re-alignments.

Shanti shared a little of the work done after many years to overcome the legacy of BK life. Hopefully that sharing will encourage those who relate to that to try something similar sooner than Shanti did and "heal" sooner. Annamaria has shared how she has used old tried and true friends so as not to leave a vacuum and seems to have settled back into life quite quickly. In fact, it has been said elsewhere by others that they wish that inernet and forums such as this existed decades ago - many people left BKs decades ago and were even more isolated from other ex-BKs. ex-l has hinted at looking at one's own troubles in context of what others go through. A real stock take means seeing your assets as well as your losses.

Because.P - don't think that all those that you cut off as a BK do not want to see you again. Any family or friends - anyone that you felt real affinity with at anytime in your life will probably be glad to 'take up" again. I have healed family connections and reconnected with friends even from high school days decades ago. Almost anyone that has reached middle age, BK or not, will have dealt with life' s disillusions to some extent, and will value old friends that they can reflect reminisce joke and enjoy time with.

OK - not all are the closest or most sympathetic or deep & meaningful - not every person or encounter need be world changing. Life builds on itself. And a great thing to do is to join new groups, make new friends - not necessarily "head" oriented interests either, just any activity you enjoy ... a film or wine appreciation club? :D - senior football, nature walks, whatever, they are all real people out there, some will 'click" with you, others won't ... as the Jewish people say over drinks "La Chaim" (to life).
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ex-l

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Re: The long road

Post16 Aug 2010

filthy Shudra wrote:One act of kindness to another does more than a thousand good wishes.

I have to strongly agree with this. To it, I would also add one act of creativity does more than a thousand good wishes.

Bikers have a saying, "opinions are like assholes, everyone has one", which means ideas do not count for an awful lot it is what you have done and can do that count. To that I would add, "thoughts or 'wishes' are like gas. Everyone has it. Some smell good, some smell bad ... but they really don't travel that far or have that much effect". You cannot push a pea across a table with the power thought. But feeding someone when they are starving can save and change a life.

Apply this to yourself. Feed yourself. Forget thoughts, they will come and go. Just make a habit of getting out and doing things. Small step at a time. It is like re-building your muscles after a period of long illness, tough an painful to start with but, quickly, in time it become second nature again.

Do BKs have it any harder or any easier than others? Can others not understand. To a degree I do agree. There are not that many cult specialists and I do think the embarrassment of getting sucked into and coming out of a high demand cultic groups is a little more difficult and less respected than, say, renouncing an orthodox religion. Look at the convolutions even "successful" ex-BKs go through to hide and disguise their misspent years. I think all you can do is be very honest. You were lied to (which you were), got sucked on for the best of intentions, then realised what was going on ... and got out. And now you want to warn others.

Even now, I still wonder how on earth did I ever get sucked in? I was somewhere between non and fairly anti-religious beforehand. Perhaps we have to come to understand those forces, social and psychic, that do drag individuals in? I am not sure even academia and medical worlds really understand them yet.
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filthy shudra

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Re: The long road

Post16 Aug 2010

ex-l wrote:Do BKs have it any harder or any easier than others? Can others not understand.? To a degree I do agree. There are not that many cult specialists and I do think the embarrassment of getting sucked into and coming out of a high demand cultic groups is a little more difficult and less respected than, say, renouncing an orthodox religion.

know a therapist who has done/does a lot of work with ex-nuns and priests - and has a reputation for it - mainly they're of the Roman Catholic persuasion and have hit a crisis - either lost belief in God completely , or faith in the church, or themselves, or a combination ... from what I am told they show very similar characteristics to what is written here by some ex-BKs.

A recent TV program looked at another issue discussed elsewhere, about priests and nuns who leave for love or need for relationship rather than from loss of faith - at least at first - they renounce their vows and return into the world. Some have family and friends, others do not.

Some continued as believers but still felt the transition hard, conscious of others who know they left, gossip etc, and they face that similar sense of "failure' strongly like BKs do. Some then lose their faith completely - some for positive reasons e.g. rational choice, some negatively - embittered by their experience etc - some changed to other "paths" within or outside Christianity, some became atheists ... it would all seem familiar to anyone who reads some of the experiences here.

This is why I think that ex-BKs make a mistake to think our transitions are somehow special or unique. They may be in certain details but not more broadly - emotionally and psycholgically - I think that is all a result of the same mind games that theistic religions play on the ego of the "believers". They build and form the ego up in a certain way, therefore "own" it.

ex-l, your analogy with getting fit is most apt. It is very hard to get started, and not just to get into shape, but in this sense to change the way you "exercise", to change the habits of many years or even a lifetime for some.

Another common issue shown that the program mentioned, that is common with ex-Bks, was the financial and work problems experienced by those who had "surrendered" with vows of chastity and poverty (BKs give a small or large percentage, but some of these people have absolutely nothing of their own, not even clothes) and they found themselves without any finances and many without any employable "professional" skills ... many just scraping by, then reaching retirement with nothing.
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shanti

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Re: The long road

Post16 Aug 2010

filthy Shudra wrote:This is why I think that ex-BKs make a mistake to think our transitions are somehow special or unique. They may be in certain details but not more broadly - emotionally and psycholgically - I think that is all a result of the same mind games that theistic religions play on the ego of the "believers". They build and form the ego up in a certain way, therefore "own" it.

The depth to which we become involved and identify with the spiritual life may be difficult for people outside to understand, there is total identification of the ego and taking that away can for some lead to a period of loss, confusion and grieving. There is the feeling that there is no one to turn to. I have read experiences of Catholic nuns particularly from years gone by when the orders were very closed and their experiences seem to be similar; in particular the guilt and fear.

However, this said, I recall a few years ago I got to know an ex-nun who seemed very empowered and motivated - she was in a teaching order. She saw her life as a series of transitions and followed her heart at each step therefore she was comfortable with herself and her newly found humanitarian role in society. She wasn't at all worried about what people thought of her and faced each obstacle in her life with determination. I do not think it was easy for her especially financially, however she had the support of her family and that's a great help for anyone going through such a transition. I have also met ex-bks who are able to get on with their lives and interests, so I agree there is a wide spectrum of experience. Because of a weak sense of self that was not my experience.

I was not particularly religious before becoming a BK but there was something there that went beyond religion - the longing for meaning - more than the average person. In the years leading up to my BK experience, I felt I should not have children and I should be a vegetarian and prepare for the coming New Age. There was an amazing energy happening in the 70s. We were beginning to open up in the West.

At the time, cults were common and quite open - I recall talking to a young girl heavily indoctrinated by the Moonies and I could see that she was definitely brainwashed - she was obsessed with one thing, getting me to sign up. She had a blank look on her face and emptiness in her eyes. We also had very active Ananda Marga, TM groups and Hare Krishna along with many others at that time. We were experimenting with different lifestyles and attending down to earth festivals and shedding our inhibitions. BK life seemed to be a natural extension.

I wonder if its a combination of the ego's longing for meaning plus the need to identify with and be a part of a community. BK life really provided me with a strong sense of well being and security that I had not experienced before and it was a unique experience. It was only later that it turned sour just as many spiritual/communal based lifestyles of that time. It is only when we go through something that challenges us so deeply that we realise how amazingly resilient human beings are and that we can truly move on.
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