The leaked emails of a small group of BKs close to and including individuals involved in the leadership of the BKWSU go to illustrate how the hegemonic Brahma Kumari leadership is not only “economical with the truth”, with regards to outsiders and organizations such as the United Nation or charity commissions, but also makes decisions not to be entirely honest to those other running their centers worldwide.
Discussing the negatively perceived effects of websites such BKWSUwatch.Com and the Wikipedia which expose the full teachings and history of the BKWSU, the group, which included members of the core “Internet PR Team”, are seen to decide not to tell other BKs of the full implications and effects on the intake of new members or useful non-BK “service” contacts.
Such action is underlined by BKWSU actions to block any correspondence from email addresses such as BrahmaKumaris.Info to all and any BK centers. Which BKs are involved in this process? How are such decisions made? And are BK centers being informed that their correspondence is centrally censored and do they agree to this? Unfortunately, experience suggests that there is little democracy in the BKWSU and less accountablity of the leadership to the body of individuals that are encouraged to surrender themselves completely to fund, provide free labour and support the leadership’s “religio-political” ambitions.
Even attempts at communication by such individuals as directress BK Jayanti Kripalani, heir apparent of the Brahma Kumari throne, are blocked out by return. Perhaps symbolic of the organisation’s emphasis on “broadcasting”, typified by its seeking out of VIPs to act as human “microphones” to do its PR, rather than its abillity to listen.
Censorship takes places on many levels within the Brahma Kumari World Spiritual University. The BKWSU promotes falsely revised histories which are defend as truths by their followers. The BK leadership edit out anomalies within the channelled messages it believes is God talking personally to them. Re-writes which have gradually, but surely, made significant changes to the meaning of the messages. Individuals are banished from all BK Centers for studying heretical texts. Breakaway groups are forcibly removed from public events in BK vehicles and even beaten.
In February 2007, at a meeting in Madhuban, one of the more serious issues that was spoken about was what was seen as “the growing increase in negative publicity and defamation of the BKs”. The National Co-Ordinators considered that it was likely to continue to grow and perhaps “get even worse”. Misconstruing criticisms and encouraging followers to “not get disturbed or alarmed by the many allegations that come”, the BK leadership thought that they could “quite readily discern fact from fiction”. But what does fact mean to a leadership that has re-written its own history and philosophy?
As academic Dr John Walliss pointed out in his book on the organization, “facts” within the BKWSU are “reflexive”, mutable perhaps even unconsciously changing*. Within the organization it appears that questioning, especially of the leadership, is not only disencouraged but punished and anything critical is seen as “negative and discrediting”.
BK “Centers-in-center” were informed not to receive further emails from such sources, which the leadership “anticipated most of you will want to do”. In the subtle language for which BKs are know, and amongst what reads very much like damage limitation avoiding important issues, they recommend followers not to engage in communication with critics whilst encouraging them to report back to the headquarters.
What happens behind the closed door meetings and across the secure communication channels for which the BKWSU is known? Why are the leadership meets, often had in Hindi only, not minuted for all BKs to follow?
Why does the BK leadership chose hide away the original teachings of their religion and why did they “lose” or destroy records the early part of their history?
How can individuals being required to make complete and utter lifetime commitments make such a decision when all they are fed is a maleable and approximate truth, in a secret language, controlled by an unchallengeable few?
Does such integrity matter to the Brahma Kumari, as the money keeps coming in and political stock keeps rising?
The Shiv-Shakti Army, as it calls itself, is guarded and expecting attacks. Not only its “Security Wing” is active but the leadership operates intelligence gathering operations using its friends, followers and exploiting its influence over even ex-members. Individuals sometimes even bound by marriage.
In one documented incident, a supporter of leading Brahma Kumari and Retired Colonel from the USA Army Dr Hansa Raval showed how at a time of hightened paranoia and security alerts post 9/11, they used their influence with the American military, threatening an Internet Service Provider and blogger with action from the Pentagon, US Department of Defense and extensive legal damages. The crime? For writing an article that reported a claim often made by BKs, including Hansa herself, that Raja Yoga meditation can cure cancer and other major diseases.
The web journalist, a member of an ethinic minority in a country known for civil rights abuses, was further compromised, named in threatening letters to their embassy in what is known as “a Chilling Effect” attack on free speech.
The Brahma Kumaris have been told by God that they are to become the non-democratic rulers of the world for the next 2,500 years, the current leadership becoming part of the 108 strong ruling dynasty on completion of finding 900,000 loyal subjects.
One is left wondering how those “subjects” feel, keep in the dark and fed mushroom food.
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* “Reflexive Traditions: New Religious Movements and the ‘Negotiation’ of Identity” by Dr. John Walliss.
Peter says: July 30th, 2007 at 1:52 pm
This is not criticism but just checking if I understand the text well:
“Miscontruing”, can it be that what meant is: Misconstruing ?
“damage limitation avoiding important issues”. Does it mean something like: that the BK tries to limit the damage done by their avoidance of important issues?
“the leadership operates intelligence gathering operation”. Sorry, but I don’t know what to make about that ...
WILLIAM says: August 30th, 2007
BE SINCERE TO GOD AND JUST BELIEVE GOD, DONOT TREAT YOURSELVES AS A KNOWLEDGEFUL PERSON AND DONOT COME UNDER INFLUENCE OF ANY HUMAN BEING, WE ALL ARE INSTRUMENTS OF GOD. DONOT BLAME ANY ONE. LET US WORK ONLY FOR GOD THROUGH THE INSTRUMENTS OF GOD. EVERY ONE WHO WORKS HONESTLY WILL BECOME A KING. IT IS BETTER TO BECOME SUBJECTS IN THE Golden Age RATHER THAN BECOMING A MAHA RAJA OR A PRESIDENT IN THIS OLD WORLD. IF YOU WANT TO FOLLOW SOMETHING, FOLLOW IT ARE OTHERWISE DONOT MAKE ANY CRITICISM. THIS IS FUNDAMENTAL THING. IF SOMEONE IS NOT GOOD, IF YOU THINK HE IS BAD, YOU DO NOT BECOME BAD BY CRITICISING, IF HE IS BAD, YOU CAN BE GOOD BY KEEPING MOUTH SHUT AND KEEPING POSITIVE OUTLOOK.
WILLIAM says: August 30th, 2007
THIS SITE IS SUSPICIOUS
Mr Green says: September 11th, 2007
What a scream.