BK Shivani on Transparency & Sex Abuse (it must've happened)

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jann

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BK Shivani on Transparency & Sex Abuse (it must've happened)

Post12 Dec 2010

Face of the Brahma Kumari organisation, Shivani, speaks to Mid Day editor Abhijit Majumder in a no-questions-barred interview

She is the young, articulate face of a spiritual organisation once known as a secretive cult. Through her conversations and lectures on television on matters like the ego, relationships, stress, anger, self esteem and meditation, 38-year-old Sister Shivani is helping bring the Brahma Kumari (BK) movement out of the shadowy realms of myth into millions of drawing rooms in India and abroad.

Here is an outspoken, no-questions-barred interview that covers Shivani's journey from a normal, party-going, 23-year-old engineering graduate from a Pune college to the heart of a 70-year-old organisation, and touches upon touchy stuff like funding, sex, and vegetarianism.

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Picture: Rane Ashish

Interviewer wrote:When did you get associated with the Brahma Kumaris?
BK Shivani wrote:My parents used to go to BK. Obviously, if your parents go somewhere, there is conversation in the house. It's in the air at home. For two years, I saw the impact on them. They asked me to come with them, but that doesn't work. The more they would ask me, the more I'd block.

Then, for the next two years I kept going off and on ... a function, once a fortnight. I was 23. Then I started going daily.
Interviewer wrote:Did a personal crisis make you go to a spiritual organisation?
BK Shivani wrote:This is a very big myth, actually. Yes, for some people, a tragedy shakes them up. It's like starting to go for a walk only after one has been diagnosed with a big health problem. We keep postponing the decision.

I was an extroverted, social person. So I kept away from BK, initially. But I saw the change in my mother...from a very emotionally sensitive person to a strong person, and decided to check it out just to explore, as an experiment, one step at a time, not looking for anything ... not looking for God.
Interviewer wrote:There's a notion about BK that it is a secretive cult. There is literature widely available on the Internet that speaks about child abuse in the organisation, people drawn away from their families, patrons forced to donate huge sums. What do you say to that?
BK Shivani wrote:It's an organisation where a huge number of people come together with the mission to clean themselves. They come to improve themselves through the practical application of spirituality. It's a journey. When we come here, we are not perfect.

There is a difference between someone who is born divine -- Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, for instance -- is a divine soul. We are not born saints. We are here with our weaknesses, complexes, prejudices ¦ like everyone else. Here, we start working on ourselves, clean ourselves. In BK, we are all learning. You may ask who is the head. The head is only the administrative head. She is not a guru, she is also learning.

Now, if there are nine or ten lakh people coming for purification, there would be one or two who can do something. There may be a possibility that one or two cases may have happened, but I don't know about it. But if somebody is saying something has happened with them, total benefit of doubt should go to him or her. It must have happened. But we tend to look at that one case instead of the nine or ten lakhs who are working on cleaning themselves.
Interviewer wrote:You talk about cleaning. Is the detergent fine?
BK Shivani wrote:That I have to ask myself after the dry cleaning. It's only for me to know. No one else can know. I can be very
presentable and sweet, but what is going on inside me, only I will know.

Yes, initially when women were not allowed to step out, some Sisters had to leave home. But now, nobody is leaving home. You have to above 21 and your family has to give you permission before you are taken as a 'surrendered Sister'. How many such Sisters do we have? About 15,000. Rest of the nine lakh people go back home.
Interviewer wrote:Is having you as the young, presentable face of the organisation, especially on TV, a clever spin?
BK Shivani wrote:It was not planned at all. There's a production house in Delhi. I helped backend for two years. Post-production, editing etc. Then, when BK started on Sony, they wouldn't accept any tape coming from our Mount Abu headquarters.

They had certain parameters. Then it was my role to call Seniors to shoot at the studio. Now, most of them are occupied with other work. So, it happened absolutely by default. I was pushed on to sitting in that chair just because there was no one else.
Interviewer wrote:Does the name Brahma Kumaris turn men off from joining?
BK Shivani wrote:Initially, yes. People go by what they hear. Not now. Today we have equal numbers of Brothers and Sisters. The name is because initially the administration was carried out by Sisters.
Interviewer wrote:Where do you get money from?
BK Shivani wrote:We come here like a study group, benefit, feel like sharing, and finally if we want, we contribute. No one knows what I am giving.
Interviewer wrote:Does the organisation never ask for money?
BK Shivani wrote:It depends. Suppose there is this programme, we have to hire an auditorium etc. We would sit with 200 people, ask them what's their thought, and if they say let's go ahead, we ask them to contribute on their free will for the event.
Interviewer wrote:Are you in favour of transparency of finances in spiritual/religious organisations? Do you think they should come under audit?
BK Shivani wrote:Why not? If you are a spiritual organisation, working cleanly, you should be transparent, open to audit.
Interviewer wrote:Are the young responding to spirituality?
BK Shivani wrote:In an amazing way. A huge number of schoolchildren watch the programme. It's surprising. They are going through enough challenges of their own. They are ready to work on themselves. They are being made to do a lot of things in the name of peer pressure, and then they are feeling guilty. So many girls get into a physical relationship in school or college because of peer pressure, or to please somebody, and then go through guilt.
Interviewer wrote:What do you tell them? Not to have a physical relationship? Or not to have guilt?
BK Shivani wrote:To work on the inner thing. The outer thing is your choice. You can do whatever you want to do, provided you can keep the right state of emotion. If it is out of your free will and free choice, there is no question of guilt. Guilt arises when you give in to pressure because you did not have the power at that time to say, no.
Interviewer wrote:Why do spiritual/religious organisation have this track record of professing celibacy?
BK Shivani wrote:It's a process. I want to climb up to here, and there are certain things pulling me down. The doctor tells me this is a preventive measure. It's not a compulsion.
Interviewer wrote:Is lovemaking an illness?
BK Shivani wrote:No, it's not an illness. In Raja Yoga meditation, celibacy is like a preventive measure.
Interviewer wrote:Non-vegetarian food?
BK Shivani wrote:Food has vibrations. The animal has gone through certain emotions before it was slaughtered.
Interviewer wrote:So has a plant ...
BK Shivani wrote:A plant is a living thing, not a living being.
Interviewer wrote:Just because a plant doesn't die dramatically ... screaming, shouting ... doesn't mean it does not feel pain. We cannot rid ourselves of the guilt.
BK Shivani wrote:It's not that. A human being is a soul with a body. An animal is also a soul with a body. Not a plant. Human beings impact other beings. Plant get affected by human beings.
Interviewer wrote:I would argue -- human beings get affected by plants too. If there's a tree in front of my window, I'd possibly lead a different life than if there was no tree there. Energy levels of an animal is greater than the energy levels of a plant.
BK Shivani wrote:You are discriminating.
Interviewer wrote:The other option would be to stop having plants as well.
BK Shivani wrote:We'll then have to stop having food. Well, as much killing as we can avoid. In BK, satvik food does not only mean vegetarian, but also getting rid of dark or angry thoughts when we are cooking food.
Interviewer wrote:You are just 38. Do you miss doing stuff that normal young women do ... like going to a pub?
BK Shivani wrote:I've done all of it. Also, I stay at home with my husband in Gurgaon.
Interviewer wrote:You've ever done a job?
BK Shivani wrote:I am working. I have a business with my husband.
Interviewer wrote:If you were wearing a T-shirt, what would the graffiti be?
BK Shivani wrote:It would be: If I had the power, I would choose my destiny.


http://www.mid-day.com/specials/2010/dec/121210-brahma-kumari-shivani-interview.htm
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ex-l

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Re: Face of BK Shivani speaks

Post13 Dec 2010

I see there is a video version as well, here. I am not able to watch it for some reason.
Interviewer wrote:There's a notion about BK that it is a secretive cult. There is literature widely available on the Internet that speaks about child abuse in the organisation, people drawn away from their families, patrons forced to donate huge sums. What do you say to that?
BK Shivani wrote:It's an organisation where a huge number of people come together with the mission to clean themselves. They come to improve themselves through the practical application of spirituality ... When we come here, we are not perfect.

Now, if there are nine or ten lakh people coming for purification, there would be one or two who can do something. There may be a possibility that one or two cases may have happened, but I don't know about it. But if somebody is saying something has happened with them, total benefit of doubt should go to him or her. It must have happened. But we tend to look at that one case instead of the nine or ten lakhs who are working on cleaning themselves.

This is from India ... we appear to have gotten the message through.
Interviewer wrote:Are you in favour of transparency of finances in spiritual/religious organisations? Do you think they should come under audit?
BK Shivani wrote:Why not? If you are a spiritual organisation, working cleanly, you should be transparent, open to audit.

And so is she going to do anything about it? Or just say it is a good thing?
Interviewer wrote:You are just 38. Do you miss doing stuff that normal young women do ...?
BK Shivani wrote:I've done all of it. Also, I stay at home with my husband in Gurgaon.

I don't get the maths ... she said she started going daily when she was 23, now she is 38 and runs a business with her husband. How and when did the husband arrive on the scene?

What the BKs teach about individuals such as Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, is not that he is a "divine soul" but that he "must be a first birth soul" come down from heaven for the first time, having his little Golden Age at the end of their Hell. In fact, they believe he is a much inferior soul, one only worth of 1 or 2 birth whereas only they have a full compliment and maximum of 84.

It is BK bullsh** as usual. That stuff about detergent powder and dry cleaning is hysterical. How deep does it get!?!
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Re: BK Shivani on Transparency & Sex Abuse (it must've happened)

Post14 Dec 2010

And where are the 10 year old Krishna and Lakshmi who were supposed to born in the year 2000 ... and after 35 years they would become Lakshmi Narayan in 2036 according to the very confident man Surya Bhai who was predicting the end of the world in the year 2000.

BK Shivani wrote:To work on the inner thing. The outer thing is your choice. You can do whatever you want to do, provided you can keep the right state of emotion. If it is out of your free will and free choice, there is no question of guilt. Guilt arises when you give in to pressure because you did not have the power at that time to say, no.

You can do whatever you want to do ... Ha ... why cannot you be honest Shivani?

According to the BK teachings, you are not even supposed to touch, make relationships ... etc. You are a liar liar and liar ... to fool people is your profession. You are earning name and fame ... just by misguiding people. Like your Suraj Bhai ... very confidently predicted the end of world in 2000, can you give our precious young age years back Shivani ...?

Either you are wrong or the Murlis are wrong ... tell us who is wrong.

You are building the age of truth ... HAhAhA
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Re: BK Shivani on Transparency & Sex Abuse (it must've happened)

Post14 Dec 2010

BK Shivani wrote:Yes, initially when women were not allowed to step out, some Sisters had to leave home. But now, nobody is leaving home. You have to above 21 and your family has to give you permission before you are taken as a 'surrendered Sister'.

I was moved when I saw the news article about 22 Gujarati girls were initiated into the BKWSU. Not moved in a positive way.

Girls aged from 20 to 30 years old were ordained as Brahma Kumaris in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. They left their respective families and dedicated their life to God. So, yes, they were leaving home! And what does 'permission' mean? That the family is happy there's one mouth less to feed? The family does not need to pay for her study? She'll never be welcome when she's fed up with the BK?

I was even younger and I can tell you that most girls, 21 years of age do not realize what it means to get sucked into the BKWSU and leave everything behind. Being brought up in a Western society, for me there was a way out. But what about these girls?
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Re: BK Shivani on Transparency & Sex Abuse (it must've happened)

Post15 Dec 2010

Of course, they are not dedicating their lives to God, they are dedicating their lives to a ghost, a spook.

And if you don't believe in spooks ... then what did you dedicating yourself too? I think this one aspect, to look very closely at the concept of dedicating ones life to a spook under the mistaken confusion you are dedicating it to god is key to realisation about the BKs.

Yes, I would like to look closer at their lives. A happy few might become proficient mediums and get some high off the experience, the rest ... well, what are they doing? Giving up the possibility of human love and a life of freedom for a life of slavery to the organization?

I have often wonder how awful Indian women's lives are, or what proportion of them are awful, how many are fine and how many are great. Unfortunately, my impression is very poor. So many look so miserable and eat themselves to oblivion. Even within the BKWSU. Hugely fat and with those dark eye rings that suggest their kidneys are packing in under the weight of it, the hard work and the misery.

I have heard many bad stories about the women's sex lives and so perhaps they are not giving anything at all. But, yes, I wonder too how glad the family are to get rid of an unmarriageable mouth ... even though it costs them a dowry to get rid of them to the BKWSU for life.

I think I read in that recent BK Shivani interview that they only accept them after 21 now. Is that so? Is that a change? It was not always that way. And, of course, mothers and aunties push their daughters into the business as well.

Anyway willing or able to share with us any more insight? I'd like to know more about these girls, how they tell them and how much their just indoctrinate them. I was also thinking about how the BKWSU just employs "auntie power". Anyone Indian enough will know what I mean by "auntie" (aunty).
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Re: BK Shivani on Transparency & Sex Abuse (it must've happened)

Post15 Dec 2010

because.parmeshwar wrote:You are a liar, liar and liar ... to fool people is your profession. You are earning name and fame ... just by misguiding people. Like your Suraj Bhai ...

Is Suraj/Surya her husband or someone else?

You are right Parmeshwar, she is not telling the truth and she is making false and misleading statements, although I would prefer to call it, "bullshitting" rather than outright lies. But,yes, she does that too.

Someone here once wrote that they found her quite aggressive, that behind the facade was a sort of aggression. I find her either pretty ignorant or pretty arrogant really. I cannot quite put my finger on which it is.

She is quick enough minded but I find her a bit sharp. She employs those little ditties or word games that Indian's love but make her look stupid like that stuff about dry cleaning. I mean, WTF!?! Is that meant to be deep? Even the obsession with "cleaning oneself" ... who are they kidding.

What is her business? I wonder if she is making something out of her fame? Does anyone know? She will be making her own power within the BKWSU, I wonder if she will bail out like other leading media BKs.
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Re: BK Shivani on Transparency & Sex Abuse (it must've happened)

Post18 Dec 2010

ex-l wrote:I think I read in that recent BK Shivani interview that they only accept them after 21 now. Is that so?

In every season BapDada would be talking to groups of young girls from the Indore Hostel, a school for girls run by the BKs. One can clearly see that they are teenagers. BapDada usually invites them to surrender their life to the BKs. This seems to contradict Shivani's assertion.

She seems to be one of those fringe BKs who has never lived in a Center and who has her own version of BKism. Of course the leadership will leave her a lot of rope since it is good for the business.
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Re: BK Shivani on Transparency & Sex Abuse (it must've happened)

Post22 Dec 2010

I'd like to know more about Shivani and her family. If her family was in the BKWSU, and she got involved through them in her early 20s, how did she get married? How could they marry her off? If she is 38 now, that is a long time not being utterly conscious or ignoring about what BKism is. Sanskars like that don't go away easily.
bkti-pit wrote:She seems to be one of those fringe BKs who has never lived in a Center and who has her own version of BKism. Of course the leadership will leave her a lot of rope since it is good for the business.

Thank you for that comment. It makes perfect sense.

It makes perfect sense for the leadership to have someone that does not know what things are really like or does not know what has gone on as a mouthpiece. I saw this with more than a few young dominant Western Sisters.

It happens when is one is caught up in the BK 'reward cycle' and behaving as one 'thinks' one should, presenting things as one thinks they 'should be'. The theoretical BK.

The BKWSU knowingly profits from the purity of youthful enthusiasm and innocence, knowing damn fine that is not how things really are. It surfs along on the intoxication of new BK's honeymoon periods, knowing that in a year or two they will become tired, jaded or filled with Maya (the worst Maya being the refusal to do their service!).

The individuals gains the egoistic satisfaction from playing the guru and petty rewards from the Seniors, e.g. extra-sweeties, getting to spend time with them, having personal sessions with them, meeting VIPs.

It also says in the channelled messages that make up the philosophy of the BKWSU that some/good BKs are also used, knowing and unknowingly, as psychic mediums for the spooks to work through them.
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Re: BK Shivani on Transparency & Sex Abuse (it must've happened)

Post27 Dec 2010

"It must have happened" I notice though there is the usual dismissal - "one or two cases." Is that the BK line, that they should be given the benefit of the doubt. In that case there should be abuse cases taken against them. The psychological abuse is a serious problem as well, but much harder to make a legal case of, unfortunately.
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Re: BK Shivani on Transparency & Sex Abuse (it must've happe

Post13 May 2012

According to 2012 Life Positive Expo, BKWSU frontperson BK Shivani has been studying BK RajYoga for 14 years and is now 40 years old. Does that means although her parents were BKs she did not surrender until she was 26? An interview here says ...
Here is an outspoken, no-questions-barred interview that covers Shivani's journey from a normal, party-going, 23-year-old engineering graduate from a Pune college to the heart of a 70-year-old organisation, and touches upon touchy stuff like funding, celibacy, and vegetarianism.

When did you get associated with the Brahma Kumaris?

My parents used to go to BK. Obviously, if your parents go somewhere, there is conversation in the house. It's in the air at home. For two years, I saw the impact on them. They asked me to come with them, but that doesn't work. The more they would ask me, the more I'd block.

Then, for the next two years I kept going off and on ... a function, once a fortnight. I was 23. Then I started going daily.

So she went on and off for three years? I am sorry, the BKWSU elastic application of arithmetic always frustrates me.

I just wondered if she takes a personal advantage - as in makes money - out the raised public profile she has been given by the TV show?

Via her Awakening with the Brahma Kumaris, BK Shivani comes across to the mass as some wonderful spiritual expert but really she is just repeating what the BKs have been saying since at least the late 70s. A perfect parrot who, being married, is a perfect frontsperson for the Brahma Kumaris making them appear what they are not ... or perhaps what they are becoming.

Here she appears to repeat word for word the usual BK 'creation myth' version of their history.

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Re: BK Shivani on Transparency & Sex Abuse (it must've happe

Post14 May 2012

because.parmeshwar wrote:You can do whatever you want to do ... Ha ... why cannot you be honest Shivani?

According to the BK teachings, you are not even supposed to touch, make relationships ... etc. You are a liar liar and liar ... to fool people is your profession. You are earning name and fame ... just by misguiding people. Like your Suraj Bhai ... very confidently predicted the end of world in 2000, can you give our precious young age years back Shivani ...?

Either you are wrong or the Murlis are wrong ... tell us who is wrong. You are building the age of truth ... HAhAhA
ex-l wrote:A perfect parrot who, being married, is a perfect frontsperson for the Brahma Kumaris making them appear what they are not ... or perhaps what they are becoming ... So she went on and off for three years? I am sorry, the BKWSU elastic application of arithmetic always frustrates me.

You have said it all guys.
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Re: BK Shivani on Transparency & Sex Abuse (it must've happe

Post01 Jul 2012

A parrot may repeat a sentence that it has memorised. It is happiness of trainer if parrot speaks timely what the trainer wishes to listen.

If one (human) may memorise/emerge the qualities of a God/Goddess in oneself and does the actions as expected from a God/Goddess then that is no doubt greatness.
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Re: BK Shivani on Transparency & Sex Abuse (it must've happe

Post01 Jul 2012

There was an excellent Avyat Murli, in which Baap Dada specifically indicated the difference between BKs who can deliver great lectures or are great orators and those who never seek the limelight, but have great power of Yoga. It is a Murli from the mid-1980s. They were comparing the two types of yogis as those whose kingdom will be eternal and those whose kingdom will be short lived. Being a great BK pressperson does not automatically translate to a highly elevated spiritual state. I will not, however, judge Shivani bhen. Only the Universal Parent can. I will only go by the Murli.
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Re: BK Shivani on Transparency & Sex Abuse (it must've happe

Post01 Jul 2012

Masterjadhunath wrote:They were comparing the two types of [BKs] as those whose kingdom will be eternal and those whose kingdom will be short lived.

I think that is a fair comment or metaphor.

Sadly, the BKs have become so addicted to celebrities, VIPs and external show that I think there is a tendency to exaggerate its true value and to value anyone in the limelight as being additionally special ... "one of the 8" or "108" in BK speak. In my opinion, their experience with VIPs in the West has been desperate, almost universally disastrous, from a spiritual point of view ... and I wonder if they can even recognise true spirituality?

I don't know Shivani. She often seems rather two dimensional and bossy to the point of irate or angry to me. The TV show is a cheesy set up.

Who is the other woman and what is her relationship to the BKWSU? Is she paid or a BK volunteer?

Thanks.
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Re: BK Shivani on Transparency & Sex Abuse (it must've happe

Post01 Jul 2012

It requires great metaphysical dexterity to balance the skill of external communication and the art of silent meditation. IPs and VIPs are important in directed change. They are the catalysts of the directed change. If Michael Jordon or Fifty Cents were to become BKs, it would spark an interest in Raj Yoga by Blacks globally. The VIPs and IPs are like sparks. Hence the reasons for IPs and VIPs for the BKs' directed change.
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