BKWSU and immigration

for ex-Brahma Kumaris, to discuss matters related to their experiences in BKWSU & after leaving.
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fluffy bunny
ex-BKWSU
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Please give a short description of your interest in joining this forum.: ex-BK. Interested in historical revisionism, failed predictions and abuse within the BK movement.

BKWSU and immigration

Post by fluffy bunny » 18 May 2008

Not sure where to put this, so I guess here will do for just now.

Sometime ago bansy started a thread of the "BKWSU and immigration". I answered it with a short reply but it appears to have gone missing. I just wanted to leave the question hanging in case anyone else can provide some clues.

I know of incidents where the BKs used marriage between BKs to circumvent immigration laws in host nations. I wondered how they managed to move about Indian sisters to look after centers once others, or local, started them. There seemed to be a bit of a pattern, e.g. white male open centers, BKWSU moves in Indian sister to care take it, white male moves or is moved on. Moreso in the old days I think. I also know of other countries where Indians are "working" for the BKWSU whilst not legally meant to be working. (Of course, "its not a business", so they are not "working" ... We are all a happy family, so they are just visiting relatives and the relatives putting money in their pockets by accident, I guess!?!).

Whereas the legacy of the British Empire left some countries with 'fluid' Indian communities, others such as the Eastern block do not have such an obvious connection or native pool of surrendered sisters. How does the BKWSU manage?

One question is the obvious one, do they use "religious visas", e.g. those used for 'Temporary Religious Workers' by missionaries or evangelists? I am interest to read if this is so because, of course, we are always informed ... and told others ... that "the BKWSU is NOT a religion" etc.

This is a quote below from the USA, Australia has similar laws with Religious Worker Visas (subclass 428). In the UK issues are arising which change the system which allowed individuals to come in for a maximum of 24 months to undertake short-term, temporary work for a "recognised religion". While in the United Kingdom such workers were allowed to undertake religious work, as recognised by the religion, but could be involved in preaching or pastoral work. The recent changes, for example, will exclude Rudolf Stenier followers.
US Department of Immigration wrote:The Immigration and Nationality Act provides a nonimmigrant visa category "R" for aliens proceeding to the United States to work in a religious capacity.

Definition of Religious Workers

Religious workers include ministers of religion who are authorized by a recognized denomination to conduct religious worship and perform other duties usually performed by members of the clergy such as administering the sacraments, or their equivalent. The term does not apply to lay preachers. A religious vocation means a calling to religious life, evidenced by the demonstration of a lifelong commitment, such as taking vows. Examples include nuns, monks, and religious brothers and sisters. A religious occupation means a habitual engagement in an activity which relates to a traditional religious function. Examples include liturgical workers, religious instructors or cantors, catechists, workers in religious hospitals, missionaries, religious translators, or religious broadcasters. It does not include janitors, maintenance workers, clerks, fund raisers, solicitors of donations, or similar occupations. The activity of a lay-person who will be engaged in a religious occupation must relate to a traditional religious function: i.e., the activity must embody the tenets of the religion and have religious significance, relating primarily, if not exclusively, to matters of the spirit as they apply to the religion.

Background Requirements

The applicant must be a member of a religious denomination having a bona fide nonprofit religious organization in the U.S.;

The religious denomination and its affiliate, if applicable, are exempt from taxation, or the religious denomination qualifies for tax- exempt status;

The applicant has been a member of the denomination for two years immediately preceding admission;

The applicant is entering the United States solely to carry on the vocation of a minister of that denomination, or, at the request of the organization, the applicant is entering the United States to work in a religious vocation or occupation for the denomination or for an organization affiliated with the denomination, whether in a professional capacity or not; and

The applicant has resided and been physically present outside the United States for the immediate prior year if he or she has previously spent five years in this classification.

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