Recruited into BK from 12-steps programs?

jeanross
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Recruited into BK from 12-steps programs?

Post by jeanross » 04 Apr 2008

Hi there!

new to this forum -- thanks for letting me join. I am interested in finding out more about how people come to find out about BK, especially through receiving treatment for addiction in 12-step rehabs or through 12-step meetings. Please help me find out about this, or any comments you have about this way of recruitment. Is offering free meditation classes in rehabs a way to promote BK or do they keep recruitment seperate from their outreach services? I have seen a lot of information about special workshops/weekend retreats for social workers and other separate ones for social work managers run by BKs, and want to know more about this. Any information gratefully received.

All best wishes to you out there reading this, Jean.

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driedexbk
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Re: Recruited into BK from 12-steps programs?

Post by driedexbk » 04 Apr 2008

Hi, Jean Ross:

It is good you are inquiring information about the organization. That is a positive step in your search.

Everyone that works for the Brahma Kumaris is a volunteer. Many are in the organization to serve humanity. However, they are all under the influence of a cult and that is the risk everyone encounters when they listen to their teachings. Many are very lovely people who are working on their selves but are very much affected by the indoctrination; thus, you should be cautious of that. Being fascinated by their charms, I stayed with them for seven years but I am more messed up now than before. This is because I went in with doubts of self and God, and I left with a broken heart due to deception/abuse and without any faith in any god (which may be good). Beware, do not play with fire. This is nothing but a very subtle cult.

Best wishes to you, Driedexbk

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Re: Recruited into BK from 12-steps programs?

Post by joel » 04 Apr 2008

jeanross wrote:Is offering free meditation classes in rehabs a way to promote BK or do they keep recruitment seperate from their outreach services?
Welcome to the forum, Jean.

Some mature individuals among the BKs work with addicts without pushing an agenda. In most BK events and activities, however, there is an elephant in the room: an underlying urgency to help people "recognize" their true identity, their true Father, their true family (i.e. the BKs). There is an agenda that others should hear BK dogma about spirituality as reality, which BKs believe everyone in the world will eventually accept, at least in part. In associating with the BKs it can help to be aware of the cognitive dissonance in their orientation: their imperative to be nice to everyone, while simultaneously seeing everyone and every relationship, and all knowledge (including all of science) as false, degraded, impure.

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Re: Recruited into BK from 12-steps programs?

Post by fluffy bunny » 06 Apr 2008

Hi Jean,

sorry for the delay in replying to your question. Joel makes a concise and interesting point to which I bow. That 15,400 lb elephant is God himself (no, this time it really is the real thing) possessing a little old lady in India on a regular basis, the imminent and desirable End of the World including death of 6 billion, a sub-text of exclusive and total spiritual supremacy, talk of indoctrinated followers and humans as "subjects" and "worshipers" of their kingly status ... and a whole host of minor Hinduistic idiosyncrasies such as obsessive bottom washing. So, in comparison, cold turkey and the DTs seem quite mild really. If you are a professional in the field, perhaps you ought start off by reading some of the letter published in the BKWSU history forum first and tell me what the early Brahma-kumaris were coming off of. I am not being entirely supercilious here.

I do not know ... I have been outrightly critical of the BKs' policy to target seminars at recovering addicts ... BECAUSE ... they are not honest about the bigger picture. The context for the outreach. For me, it is evangelism clearly targeting vulnerable individuals in a very subtle manner. Although the individuals operating such scheme, within their own context, mean well and may well be in recovery themselves, outsiders ought be aware of how the BKs seek to use such experiences wrapped up in their own unique, "I was lost but now am found-again ... and you too can be 'found' again" type savour stories.

If the BKs were honest and said, "we are BKs, this is what we believe ... x,y,z as above ... and we are going to initiate you into a relationship with our Holy Ghost who tell us all of this via our mediums", then I would say, "fair enough ... folks can take it or leave it as they please". But they don't. They couch it in vague, attractive terms, a bit of ambient music, if you are lucky an attractive blonde singer or Indian dancer ... and then once you have taken the hook, pull on the strings surely.

It is difficult and something that should be analyzed closely. What is the BK practise? Skip the 'New Age' and 'self management' stuff, that is just the wrapping paper. What are the goods on the inside? Whereas if you sit staring at a candle, or chanting OM, you can be pretty sure that that is all you are doing, with the BKs there is an extra added ingredient or ingredients; the channelled entity or entities, all the talk of founders coming back as angels and overshadowing individuals and this "intoxicated phase" or "Honeymoon Period" that most to all BKs go thought when they first hit the main vein.

I have personally seen the effects of this "intoxication" destroy families where it is not managed properly. We have documented other cases of where individuals have had full-on psychotic experiences. The latter happens only in a tiny minority of cases but the former is very common. Indeed, we documented one family breaking apart under the BK influence on this forum with an individual who was in recovery. All these ought to be taken to make a picture of the whole.

Now, on the other hand, folks do go the BKs, do a few introductory course, feel better and walk away. So do not allow me to be too alarmist. Just do not kid yourself, or allow others to be kidded, about what their ultimate agenda is all about. It is the End of the World and the BKs duty is to make new BKs by using whatever tools they have ... and if a history of being in recovery is their best pitch, that is what they will use. Their god, speaking through their mediums, tell them to make new subjects and bring them to him.

So, no. I am sorry. I think individuals in recovery ought probably sort themselves out before diving into another deep end. Or at least be clear about the risk of replacing one drug with a more subtle but perhaps more crazier one. It might well be a good exit route ... I do not know. As an aside, it would be very interesting for an analyst or social services professional to look at the BK community as a whole, how it deals with its anomalies, critics and many cognitive dissonances.

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Re: Recruited into BK from 12-steps programs?

Post by jeanross » 07 Apr 2008

Thank you very much for your post.

Exactly - Because information is withheld, people cannot see what they are dealing with. I keep reading about this same technique used in personal development/spiritual organisations/religiouns etc ... that want recruits.

When I heard about Brahma Kumaris offering free services within a rehab, I wanted to find out more. I asked my managers to ask questions. Extremely reluctantly, dragging their feet - I don't understand why, maybe they wanted to remain on good terms with the rehab? The result - months later, was that the rehab told them during their enquiry that they would not be using BK methods within the rehab. This is not enough of a result for me, I want to know more about this practice and whether this is widespread. I am also really curious as to why they stopped using BK. BK offer so many workshops and retreats. A colleague of mine was offered a weekend away - he said he had no idea who the invite was from. He went on it, and is extremely complimentary of BK.

I have done a bit of research into Brahma Kumaris, and was not put off by my managers initial resistance: their parrotting the info out there on the net, the United Nations connection, the charitable work etc. You should see the amount of charitable media pieces in the UK about BK.

Thanks for your interest in my post, I would like to know more about how BKs market themselves to organisations.

all the best Jean

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Re: Recruited into BK from 12-steps programs?

Post by fluffy bunny » 07 Apr 2008

Its an interesting question to ask, and one that really ought to be analysed especially related professional circumstance such as those you mention ... at what point in the BKs quite conscious induction process does the practise change from being fairly innocent and benign, e.g. "positive thoughts", contemplative affirmations, to become a direct initiation into a relationship with a channelled entity?

It is true that most BKs are nice people, and extra-nice and enthusiastic when they get let out to do public service. But anyone assessing them WITHOUT being informed or becoming aware that this is what is happening ... really has not got what is going on at all. You have seen the video image they produce of their founder being possessed by "God". Although I think the general consensus here is that it did not happen like that, this is what they teach, believe and, in essence, practise themselves. Its channelling on a psychic level, in my opinion.

I have seen cases where the individual really did not know what was going on, had none of the frameworks of disciplines to support them, and quite lost it and went over the top destroying their family in the process (I can specific what I mean here but am respecting some confidence here). For the BKs, it is God and so that make everything OK. Generally non-BKs that listen to BKs do not get that when they talk about God being one etc ... the BK specifically mean the channelled entity that comes and speaks to them personally via their mediums in India.

Oh, and they generally don't mention the stuff about the dinosaurs existing 2,500 years ago either ...

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Re: Recruited into BK from 12-steps programs?

Post by bkti-pit » 08 Apr 2008

Welcome to the forum jeanross!

Here is a quote from the last "communication" received through the medium that we, as BKs, believe to be Channeling God, on April 2nd 2008:

BapDada is seeing that the aim for service that the double intense effort-making children had, that no village in their area should be left out, you have paid very good attention to that, and you have also made plans. Now there won’t be any complaints, will there? No one from any village or city will be able to complain to you saying that you didn’t tell them, “Our Father came and you didn’t even tell us!” At that time, they will cry out, will they not? This is why you have enthusiasm for service and also pay attention to self-progress.

BapDada is the entity who is speaking through the medium. Bap (meaning Father) is God and Dada (meaning elder brother) is the soul of Lekraj Kripalani, the founding Father of the BKs. To make sure that everyone gets to know that "God has come" is clearly an important aspect of the so-called service that we are doing as BKs and this applies to everything we do as outreach but, of course, not many would believe it if we just go around telling it straight to them and thus we have come up with all those workshops and so on to lure them.

12 steps people are generally good candidates. True, many do benefit a lot from those workshops and some will be left alone with just that. However, most BKs may feel guilty if they do not, at some point, tell them that "God is coming" and someone who has been already touched with unique experiences since in contact with the BKs may well be more receptive to that idea. They may or may not join but they may become helpful to us in some ways: giving their time and/or money, sending us friends and contacts, etc.

Usually, as long as they remain simply friends or contacts, everything is fine but when they join they get to see the reality, the disfunctionalities, etc. But let me not go into this now.

It is true that many BKs are genuinely trying to help people around them with whatever has helped them in their own life from the BK teachings but as an institution we seldom do anything really selflessly. There is generally some self promotion attached to anything we do.

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Re: Recruited into BK from 12-steps programs?

Post by fluffy bunny » 08 Apr 2008

ti-pit,

can I ask you? At these types of service events, is there a differentiation between what might be considered a full on initiation into a relationship with Shiva/BapDada entities and generally contemplative or meditative exercises offered as a warm ups or foundation to the BK-thing?

In my day, you pretty much had "The 7 Day Course" giving the raw knowledge ... or nothing. A few folk were a little bit embarrassed by it. It freaked a lot of newcomers out and they never came back for lessons. And so it got split into parts, extended, the hard core stuff was slipped into the background ... and then it got divided further.

Then, I feel, those that were good at talking cleverly, good BK showmen, gradually extended their 10% "added extra non-BK ingredients" until, in my opinion, it became the 90% to the BK Knowledge's 10%. Jean, "The Knowledge" is BK's own hard core philosophy.

So I am a bit lost to whether this general stuff they do now is actually BK, does it actually hook souls up with the "Supreme Soul" or whether it is just all well mean and reasonable shop dressing? Freely given stuff you might find at any New Age center for a price, for an example.

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Re: Recruited into BK from 12-steps programs?

Post by bkti-pit » 09 Apr 2008

The 7 day course is still the main one but each Center and each teacher has their own way of doing it. Some will cover the whole thing in 4 sessions whilst others will do it in 25 sessions, some will do Karma before the Cycle, some otherwise, but essentially all the basic knowledge will have been given at the end of the course.

The other stuff is usually pretty diluted. Although we will usually try to include a bit of knowledge about the soul and Supreme Soul, some courses or workshops have virtually no mention of God but they can be a teaser for the student to come for more.

Some of the meditation commentaries produced by the BKs actually contain very little knowledge but are more like New Age type of relaxation commentaries.

The programs that are offered to the 12 steps people in my area are usually presented as an introduction to meditation. I have never been to one and do not know the actual content in detail but I think that they are being taught about the BK concepts the soul and Supreme Soul. The participants really seem to benefit from it. Many come back for the next one and bring their friends.

So, to answer your question
At these types of service events, is there a differentiation between what might be considered a full on initiation into a relationship with Shiva/BapDada entities and generally contemplative or meditative exercises offered as a warm ups or foundation to the BK-thing?
it is sometimes one, sometimes the other and sometimes both.

As for being "freely given stuff", well ... Courses are free, yes, but books or meditation commentaries and meditation music CDs aren't. In the old days we were selling them nearly at cost whilst now we are making huge profits on them. I mean a CD costing 1 or 2 dollars to produce is sold 15 to 20 dollars.

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Re: Recruited into BK from 12-steps programs?

Post by fluffy bunny » 09 Apr 2008

bkti-pit wrote:Some of the meditation commentaries produced by the BKs actually contain very little knowledge but are more like New Age type of relaxation commentaries.
That was my feeling. My question is, a BK new agey tape the same as a non-BK new agey tape, does it have the same spiritual or psychic effect?
I mean a CD costing 1 or 2 dollars to produce is sold 15 to 20 dollars.
The angelic cash register ... kerching! Do they pay royalties, or only to a blissful few? Any free podcast downloads?

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Re: Recruited into BK from 12-steps programs?

Post by jeanross » 09 Apr 2008

thank you all for your great posts - so much there to take in!
I have one question - how do BK groups engage with 12-step programs? Is it usually via workers in the rehabs that are BKs or do they ring up and offer a meditation service? This is the bit I am really ignorant about - how they come to be able to engage with a group of newcomers? How do they get their message out there?

thanks, would love to know more Jean

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Re: Recruited into BK from 12-steps programs?

Post by bkti-pit » 09 Apr 2008

ex-l wrote:My question is, a BK new agey tape the same as a non-BK new agey tape, does it have the same spiritual or psychic effect?
To me it is pretty much the same: some can be relaxing, some annoying. Same thing for the meditation music, BK or non BK, some I find enjoyable and bring a feeling of lightness and joy or love whilst others just make me drowsy or agitated. I don't know how others feel about it.

Maybe this is not the right thread to discuss this but I think that life changing, profound spiritual experiences can be triggered by a variety of things or circumstances. I know many BKs who had their strongest spiritual experience years before they knew anything about the BK teachings, generally at times of deep sorrow in their life. Also, it is not only the BKs who have spiritual experiences, experiences of God's love, etc and truly, many non BKs show a lot more compassion, love and care for others and are also happier and more humble than most BKs.

As for how they first get in touch with 12 steps groups, I am aware of some people from these groups who just happened to show up for a positive thinking course, a meditation course or something, enjoyed it and brought it up in their 12 steps meetings, but I guess it can happen in other ways too. All activities offered specifically to 12 steps groups that I am aware of in the area happen at a BK Center.

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Re: Recruited into BK from 12-steps programs?

Post by arjun » 09 Apr 2008

ex-l wrote:Then, I feel, those that were good at talking cleverly, good BK showmen, gradually extended their 10% "added extra non-BK ingredients" until, in my opinion, it became the 90% to the BK Knowledge's 10%.
:)

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Re: Recruited into BK from 12-steps programs?

Post by fluffy bunny » 09 Apr 2008

bkti-pit wrote:Maybe this is not the right thread to discuss this but ... I know many BKs who had their strongest spiritual experience years before they knew anything about the BK teachings, generally at times of deep sorrow in their life.
I agree (on both accounts). It would be interesting to survey around this in another topic and how line are drawn back to the BK from it. Many individuals in recovery also find something of the divine, experience an epiphany of sorts when they hit rock bottom.

I am not sure that all and every one of those is Shiva Baba or a BK Angel ... Of course, folks have been having them through out all time and history. In my experience, there is a tendency within the Yugya to a draw on the likes and use them as hooks to pull folks in or confirmation of faith. Now, I don't know. I would rather investigate them individually and draw looser assumptions from them. We always asked what Shiva or BapDada got up to for the other 350 days a year ...

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Re: Recruited into BK from 12-steps programs?

Post by jeanross » 10 Apr 2008

Do you think that it is correct that a person who is receiving treatment for addiction in a residential treatment facility funded by local government should be encouraged to attend meditation with BKs?

What my question and post is about is the process of recruitment by BKs of newcomers via 12-step programs - the ethics of introducing BKs concepts to people in rehabs who are vulnerable and away from their home environments, families and friends.

Is this a site where views contrary to BK policy are openly discussed or is it BK policy that is debated here on this site?

I would really appreciate answers as it is confusing.
Jean

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