Conspiracy or misguided altruism?

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AscensionAddiction

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Conspiracy or misguided altruism?

Post18 Apr 2012

I was a BK for around 15 years based in the UK and I believe I knew the UK/London 'Seniors' fairly well. I was a centre co-ordinator for five years and attended a number of teacher retreats at the Global Retreat Centre, as well as going to Madhuban each year.

I left the BKs because I eventually realised it wasn't what I thought it was, that is, it wasn't the only true direct contact with God and absolute truth. I really did believe that though at the time and I am generally not a naive person (despite this evidence to the contrary!) and a lot of the people in the BKs that I knew well also genuinely believed that. In many ways I was as guilty as anyone else in the BKs of the kind of things exposed on this site, but I know that I was genuinely doing what I believed was beneficial for myself and others and I believe that is the case for most BKs.

Of all the BKs I have known, I have never met one that I believed was involved in a knowingly conspiratorial way, in the way that the tone and language of this website suggests. Yes, I believe BKs are misguided and deluded and, yes, their beliefs do cause pain and sorrow for people, but I know from my own experience that BKs as a whole are not devious and conspiratorial, they are genuinely nice people doing what they think will help themselves and the world as a whole.

That doesn't mean that they shouldn't be challenged and held to account for the effects of their actions, but I think the dialogue would be more productive if they weren't portrayed as knowingly manipulative money grabbers and liars because most BKs and people who attend their courses will know that this is patently not true and so will likely dismiss the rest of what this site has to offer.
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ex-l

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Re: Conspiracy or misguided altruism

Post18 Apr 2012

AscensionAddiction wrote:Of all the BKs I have known, I have never met one that I believed was involved in a knowingly conspiratorial way ... I think the dialogue would be more productive if they weren't portrayed as knowingly manipulative money grabbers and liars.

"Dialogue" with the BKs is a waste of time. They are not interested. They are the chosen ones, with God on their side, everyone else is ignorant and doomed.
    BTW, how well do you understand Hindi/Sindhi to know? Are you a Westerner?

    Stop and think how 'unwritten' and 'unrecorded' the inner machinations of the BKWSU are ... how much do you think was not spoken publicly, nor in English?
Writing as someone who regularly portrays the leadership as "knowingly manipulative money grabbers and liars", I think what you are saying is fair enough about the majority of the following ... they are for the most part just ordinary human beings with all the usual human vanities, frailties and tendency towards self-delusion ... however, I reserve and direct my comments at the inner circle of the BKWSU who I certainly do think are "knowingly manipulative money grabbers", most certainly are proven to be "liars", and have conspired together ... particularly over the historical revision (false history) business, e.g. no God Shiva until after 1950, Dadi Janki's story and so on.

I do know, and we have documented, numerous cases further down the BK caste system but what I would like to draw attention to is how, in my opinion, the BK inner circles promotes and enjoys the ambiguity which surrounds them as a sort of subterfuge behind which they can hide the real agenda. Surely, you must know what I mean ... how they lead on VIPs and all the interfaith connections etc?

And then there is the "spirit" of the BKWSU whether you believe it to be real, a spirit entity, or metaphoric, as in a 'collective consciousness' ... or something. What do you think the spirit of the BKWSU is?

Recently, I have been thinking a lot about 'ethics' and wondered why the BKs don't really talk it about or apply them. I am starting to look at BK-ism as a kind of military campaign and think that one of the strengths the BK system is its flexible ... malleable ... manipulatable nature. I don't mean "strength" in a good way, I just mean what has led to its resilience and survivability. Now, I see that the BKs, by which I mean the inner circle, having captured its citadel has now surrounding itself with broad "defences", connections, service fronts, related business etc, which are hardly BK at all.
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AscensionAddiction

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Re: Conspiracy or misguided altruism

Post19 Apr 2012

I agree that dialogue is a waste of time as I know the mind set they are in and they will not compromise or believe you might have a valid point of view. And you are probably right about the inner circle too, they are definitely more knowing, although I do think that they still see their deceptions as 'white lies' and as being ultimately for the greater good (a potentially dangerous 'means justify the ends' philosophy). And despite the negative aspects there are still a lot of people getting a lot of benefit from the organisation. The irony is, I think that the organisation will go through it's own tree/cycle stages and gradually deteriorate and branch off in more diverse directions as time goes by.
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ex-l

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Re: Conspiracy or misguided altruism

Post19 Apr 2012

AscensionAddiction wrote:... there are still a lot of people getting a lot of benefit from the organisation. The irony is, I think that the organisation will go through it's own tree/cycle stages and gradually deteriorate and branch off in more diverse directions as time goes by.

Thank you for posting. You have a lot of very valuable experiences to share. I am asking here, not disagreeing with you, but how would you define "benefit" ... what kind of benefit have you seen/experienced ... how does it translate into real life?

For me, yes, I can certainly agree that getting up early, keeping active and living regularly etc are all good things and that just being in any large voluntary organization can "benefit you" through opportunities and experiences etc ... but it is the end to which it is all being put which concerns me. I think the potential of all those people disciplined together is being just wasted (... probably on a mixed up vanity/mental illness of a now deceased old man who thought he was God and wanted everyone in the world to be destroyed) and there is a culture of half-truths or lies and deception towards the outside world.

You have a much more recent view of the BK organization and bureaucracy than I do. I never climbed the hierarchy into center-in-chargehood and saw that part of the machine but the idea that the BK world is just as prone to entropy as the rest of the world has to be true (... and it is what the PBKs have been saying for years). On more than one occasion, we have read of old timer BKs saying things like, "it is hard to find the same quality of soul as we used to", or say that they felt the BKWSU had become materialistic and lost its spiritual feeling. The PBKs, and perhaps the SML coaches etc, must surely be proof of the "branching"?

By "white lies" ... do you mean like the fairy stories grandmothers tell grandchildren to make them "better people"? I don't know, I think they are just motivated by, on one hand, keeping alive a system that feeds, clothes and houses them; and, on the other, a few get off on the ego trip of it all.

What responsibility do you think the Seniors feel towards, say, all the young women who are surrendering to them in India or the big donors whose wealth they feed off? Why can they just admit up the history they present is not true and address the failures of predictions etc?

I spoke to a Christian priest once who, in truth, saw the problems with his church and probably did not believe in all the biblical teachings, but who saw its purpose as a "lifeboat" in what is sometimes the dark and stormy sea of life. I suppose for me that is OK as long as the lifeboat does not turn out to be a 'slave galley ship'. I'd love the BKWSU to do more real good for the world and others.

Do you think site and others like it has had any effect on the BKs?

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AscensionAddiction

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Re: Conspiracy or misguided altruism

Post19 Apr 2012

ex-l wrote:How would you define "benefit" ... what kind of benefit have you seen/experienced ... how does it translate into real life?

It had a massively positive benefit for me that very directly affected all aspects of my life. The mistake I made was staying in too long, way past the time I should have left. The reason I stayed was because I thought it was the absolute truth and maybe if the teachers of the organisation were better informed and more open about the true history of the BKs I would have been in a better position to leave earlier, and less painfully. I loved the first few years of my BK life and would do it again. It's the decade after that that I wouldn't want to repeat. But I don't blame the organisation nor any individual BK. I left when I decided to leave, no one was keeping there and no one tried to stop me going. I've learnt a good lesson from my time there and have good friends who still go.

I think there is a place for the BKWSU, and for some people being a BK is exactly what they should be doing. Yes, it is an imperfect organisation that gets things wrong and this can cause harm to others, but what organisation or group of people is free from this?
ex-l wrote:Do you think site and others like it has had any effect on the BKs?

No. Most wont even know about it. I think it is very useful for potential BKs, ex-BKs, unhappy BKs and friends and family of BKs.

Loved the cartoons by the way :-).

marley

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Re: Conspiracy or misguided altruism?

Post19 Apr 2012

I followed your conversations and want to make a comment, please.

Like AA said, it had a massively positive benefit for me that very directly affected all aspects of my life - Dear soulbrother, it happened to me exactly that way I was absolutely in the flow, everything worked out wonderfully ... BUT

AA when you got out of BK life, after you had such great years (like I did within coordinators couple of times Madhuban and lots of retreats :-)) and putting all my energy into Living Values and BKmedia, how can you handle the disappointment??? ... in case if you have those feelings too ... which still bother me sometimes.

For me, it's still a bit painful. The fact, that after all, they look at me as a traitor and I cannot share my happiness LOKIK wise with SOME of them at all, Brothers and Sisters, which have been so dear and near to me and my daughter for about 8 years. And after 3 years, I am still not able to have any contact with, let's say, Didi or others Senior Brothers and Sisters at all :-( Hmmn, Om Shanti. This is so sad, man!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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AscensionAddiction

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Re: Conspiracy or misguided altruism?

Post19 Apr 2012

Hello marley, thanks for your comments.

It is difficult because it feels such a shame to have to leave behind all the positive stuff, all the love, lightness and friendship. But that is the core of the problem with the BKs; there is no escaping the fact that they are fundamentalists and therefore their core beliefs are more important to them than the love and friendship of those who no longer hold their fundamental beliefs. I suppose the challenge that we have when we leave is to recreate the positive aspects of the experiences we have had with the BKs into our new life, with the added wisdom that fundamentalism must in the end be a block to true love and spirituality. At least now you can explore and feel your sadness and learn from it and move on, rather than suppress it and feel guilty about it :-).

marley

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Re: Conspiracy or misguided altruism?

Post19 Apr 2012

This was a quick answer, wow !! - Your words do help a lot and I got to move on, YES. - Since I work with this site I am feeling a relief and great sustenance as it gets more and more profound ... to go through that past in order to grow ...

ALL THE BEST and hearty greetings to you all!!!
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ex-l

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Re: Conspiracy or misguided altruism

Post19 Apr 2012

AscensionAddiction wrote:It had a massively positive benefit for me that very directly affected all aspects of my life ...

Can you be specific? "Bringing benefit" is a very general concept in the BK world.

With knowledge and power come responsibility. The leadership is knowing controlling and directing people's energy in the way in which they do. I hear what you are saying but what motivates them? Do you think they have the honesty to ask, what if this is all wrong ... how will I live, eat and survive without the BKWSU?

I cannot accept a "spirit" who makes repeated false predictions of Destruction, and front up an organization which cover ups and hides it failures, as in anyway the perfect god leading the highest religion. A perfect god, for me, would know and be the perfect truth (and at least hold his tongue). The level of stupidity that the BKs excuse away with their 10,000 excuses for him is far too great for me, e.g. how dumb and vain did Lekhraj Kirpalani have to be to think he was God from 1930-odds right up until 1950 something!?!

This is why I find the "misguided altruism" bit hard. Yes, in a way, I would say most BKs would love to practise altruism. I just don't think the organization, which needs it bills and mortgages, bed and board paid, allows them to be.

Therefore, I think I would call it the nigh total usurpation of ordinary charitable sentiments. How much do you think the BKs' "service" was really charity, and how much of it is PR and social climbing?

If you said one of the benefits you received from your time in the BKWSU was the improvement of your PR and marketing skills ... I would believe you.
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ex-l

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Re: Conspiracy or misguided altruism?

Post19 Apr 2012

marley wrote:For me, it's still a bit painful. The fact, that after all, they look at me as a traitor and I cannot share my happiness LOKIK wise with SOME of them at all ... let's say, Didi or others Senior Brothers and Sisters

Marley,

from others experience, you are probably best to avoid the Seniors. You cannot invite them home to act as equals. They are institutionally patronising ... that is, they basically have to look down upon you and see you as a misguide soul to "serve" not just be with. They cannot just sit with you, and enjoy life, can they? They probably would not even eat your food if you served them, and you know if they did, they would have to stare at it because it was so impure first!

I remember one of the very first "original jewels" of Western service, a shining star who did much to open up a continent for them, who when they revisited their BK past and went to see Dadi Janki, Janki seemed to play a big game on them of not remember who they were. I have heard of others who were just blanked, and most ex-BKs ... or even worse PBKs ... who attempt to engage them in a constructive conversation are endless run around, or even confronted with outright anger.

If we are honest, what can they do? Their job and attitudes are defined, and their interest is best served chasing and sustaining the new investments which reap the best rewards for the organization, e.g VIPs etc, not socializing with deluded "failures" or possible threats. Their role is so predefined.


Most women love babies but I am trying to remember an occasion of a Senior Sister actually handling a baby ... I cannot. I suppose they must have done at some point ... but cannot remember it. Again, what could they think? They cannot afford ordinary emotions, can they? Would they wonder if it a vicious "scorpion or snake", like the Murlis says, and see it as the product of ignorance, impurity and the sword of lust", or a little sh*tbag ... it is not exactly the most loving way of looking at the world, is it?

However, I do think it would be a very interesting experiment to try on them ...

I cannot say ... I have never seen the leadership out with their VIP/Sindi/India contacts. Do they chill out and relax, or are they still playing their roles? How often are they allowed to be normal these days? In the old days, it used to be one or nights a year at some Janmashtami Party ... the rest of the time they had to say 'in character'.
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Re: Conspiracy or misguided altruism

Post19 Apr 2012

ex-l wrote:Can you be specific? "Bringing benefit" is a very general concept in the BK world ... If you said one of the benefits you received from your time in the BKWSU was the improvement of your PR and marketing skills ... I would believe you.

:-D Yes, I must admit my PR skills probably did improve a little.

I experienced what many people experience who join spiritual groups or religions. I experienced meditation for the first time. I experienced (paradoxically) improved mental clarity and focus. I experienced greater energy. I did more, engaged with people more, felt more alive. Experienced love for the first time. Felt much more open and closer to others. Became much more confident and massively increased my self respect. Got a job, became a mediation and positive thinking teacher and enjoyed public speaking. Had powerful blissful experiences of oneness. Developed a greater understanding and wider perspective of the world.

Now you don't have to be a BK of course to experience these things. Some people discover these sorts of things through mainstream religion or through some New Age therapy or practise. The fact is that there is a spiritual dimension of experience that human beings can tap into that can be extremely beneficial and for me the trigger for that was my first few years as a BK.

Where it starts to go wrong is when importance is given to the particular and peculiar superficial trappings of a religion and this then starts to get in the way of all the positive experiences as it limits them and warps them. the best philosophy I have come across that describes the spiritual dimension of life whilst being at great pains to avoid all the trappings of religion is J Krishnamurti.
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ex-l

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Re: Conspiracy or misguided altruism

Post19 Apr 2012

Yes, I had a pretty 'high' Honeymoon Period too and so I am not going to deny the buzz ... but looking back at it, and I think this is what you mean by "paradoxically improved mental clarity and focus", I was pretty much nuts as well. The paradox being that one can have "improved mental clarity and focus" at the same time as "suspending one's disbelief" about stuff like the 5,000 year Cycle and so on.

In my case, I became aware that I was being manipulated a little bit as to where the BK system wanted me to be or not be rather than being allowed to following my own inspirations and desires. I don't know your circumstances but I also "straightened up" under their encouragement, e.g. had a short hair cut and took a "normal" job that I would never have gone for before or since, although I don't thank them much for that and should have followed my own path.

Funnily enough, I once went to what might be described as an "anti-cult conference" and got at least 90% of the same 'collective energy buzz' as I might have had hanging around with the BKs, and so I consider that a big part of the good feelings are just ordinary human things that arise out of human beings being together. Yes, I know it goes further with the meditation experiences.

I think, to some degree, the same too goes for the opportunities any voluntary organization or cause offers one. Yes, I think the BKs would measure up as more potent simply because of the single minded focuses, e.g. people aren't there to pick each other up and are more disciplined, the demanding lifestyle filters most types out. What interests me is to separate what is just human from what is the extra added bonus the BK practises afford.

Just to go back to the "mental clarity" bit ... I agree with you and understand but is not it strange that the mental clarity and focus did not let us see through what was going on and that those with the allegedly greatest mental clarity and focus, i.e. the Seniors, were deceiving and manipulating people with it?

This is what cracks me up with the claims made re Dadi Janki and so on, she may be the most stable mind in the world ... but what is the point of that if all it means is she is stable whilst she tells half truths or leads people on? is not that just improving one's skill at deception and manipulation?

What I am taking from your contribution so far is the importance, at some point, of taking oneself out of giving altruistically to the BK system and investing in one's own life/being/cause instead of getting stuck. Perhaps we could discuss how to recognise it when it comes?

Conspiracy? Yes, I still believe the inner circle sat down at some point and deliberate discussed how to deceive future generations of BKs over the history and philosophy of the religion ... and we still have not gotten to the core of it yet. They are still silent about it. My problem is that it does not feel a very enlightened or benign thing to do ... and they are still rolling it out like a supermarket franchises all over India.
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Re: Conspiracy or misguided altruism

Post20 Apr 2012

ex-l wrote:The paradox being that one can have "improved mental clarity and focus" at the same time as "suspending one's disbelief" about stuff like the 5,000 year Cycle and so on.

This aspect still fascinates me; how otherwise clear thinking, intelligent people (like myself :-) can simultaneously hold completely irrational beliefs and be blind to evidence that contradicts those beliefs. There must be some sort of structure or framework that we create for ourselves, or enter into, that exists in the mental realm, a collective consciousness construct, that filters things out and reinforces our prejudices.
Funnily enough, I once went to what might be described as an "anti-cult conference" and got at least 90% of the same 'collective energy buzz' as I might have had hanging around with the BKs ...

Yes, I agree that all BK experiences (positive and negative) can be found in other groups, and not necessarily spiritually orientated ones. This is both an argument against their perceived uniqueness and for not being too hard on them.
What I am taking from your contribution so far is the importance, at some point, of taking oneself out of giving altruistically to the BK system and investing in one's own life/being/cause instead of getting stuck. Perhaps we could discuss how to recognise it when it comes?

Exactly that. Now, for some people I would still maintain that staying in for life might be just the right thing for them to do, but certainly not for all, and I should have left earlier. Ideally an organisation would spot this and talk to people about leaving and wouldn't have the mind-set that you are condemning yourself to eternal damnation.

I think one sign to recognise this is when what you are being asked to do doesn't feel right for you. If I feel that I am having to fit into a system then maybe that system is not for me. I found I could spot it more easily in others than myself (often the case). Do you approach people like that within the BKs and talk to them?
Conspiracy? Yes, I still believe the inner circle sat down at some point and deliberate discussed how to deceive future generations of BKs over the history and philosophy of the religion ... and we still have not gotten to the core of it yet. They are still silent about it. My problem is that it does not feel a very enlightened or benign thing to do ... and they are still rolling it out like a supermarket franchises all over India.

Yes, I am willing to accept that this is probably the case.
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Re: Conspiracy or misguided altruism

Post20 Apr 2012

AscensionAddiction wrote:Do you approach people like that within the BKs and talk to them?

I, personally, don't have any real contact with BKs at all. I left a long time ago and our circles don't meet.

I am aware that a small minority of BKs spread bad or misleading opinions about what this site is all about (or at least did in the beginning). About the only connection with BKs I have had is via the internet ... and we all know that the internet often brings out the worst behaviour in individuals, or that the type of people who invest a time in it are of a certain type. Most of the interaction has been very bad precisely because of the clash of cultures; our "warts and all" approach versus their "whitewash and information control".

Unfortunately, near the very beginning of our existence, a corrupt BK called Dr Hansa Raval decided she wanted to sue us because someone here copy and pasted an article which said she was "kooky" for believing she could cure cancer and the inner circle was dragged into the debacle. They clearly wanted to and believed they could suppress and crush us. Despite all our efforts to talk it through first they refused to withdraw the legal proceedings which she then lost.

That and a prolonged battle over the BKWSU wikipedia page including one of the people involved with the Raval case set a rather confrontation tone, and one that underlined the hypocrisy of them. Raval was found to have left her husband and infant child to join the BKWSU, secretly married and had an affair within it, essentially committed bigamy, attempted to make fraudulent visa applications claiming highly paid Indian IT engineers were "priests working within the community", and exposed what I would describe "outstanding financial irregularities" regarding her center buildings and just where donations have gone.

That the inner circle allowed it to happen has hardened by attitude towards them.
... for some people I would still maintain that staying in for life might be just the right thing for them to do, but certainly not for all, and I should have left earlier. Ideally an organisation would spot this and talk to people about leaving and wouldn't have the mind-set that you are condemning yourself to eternal damnation ...

I am not arguing against you here. One could say the same about any religion, I suppose. However, it is paradoxical again. In essence you are saying that even if the philosophy is false it is better for some individuals to be trapped within it. That they need to be deluded.

I guess I would say it would be better if they were given what they needed, e.g. community structure and support without any of the delusion or coercion and manipulative End of the World stuff.

In the BK world, "the End justifies the means" it seems. If their god was turned around and said to me "listen, human beings are dumb and need to be fooled into doing good ... trust me, it is the only way", I might just about accept it. I am not sure though. It is not a good example to set.
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Re: Conspiracy or misguided altruism

Post20 Apr 2012

ex-l wrote: In essence you are saying that even if the philosophy is false it is better for some individuals to be trapped within it. That they need to be deluded.


In a sense yes. It was a lesson I needed to learn. You are only trapped until you realise you are not trapped. The cage door is unlocked. And are we not all, at least in some degree, deluded still?
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