I would like to make a few observations about these recent developments. This is a normal posting on the BrahmaKumaris.Info site but as I know the BK leadership read postings here this is also an open letter to both them and to everyone else who visits here.
Firstly, I would like to observe that I have been involved in lots of phone calls, emails and even meetings in the last few days connected with the BK legal action – some of it not suited to the forum, but much of it which is. I would like to keep as much as possible on the forum, as these are issues affecting the forum and which the forum is our mode for attending to.
So I am suggesting to all those involved or thinking about involving themselves (including BKs of course) please try to input through the forum. If that necessitates using a new id then do so. It would be better to get your thoughts on here than not. Those BKs who think that dialogue would be helpful, please demonstrate it here.
Secondly, I have worked hard to categorise Hansa's action and have come up with what I think is the only sensible approach and that is to say it is "the BKs" that have done this. This is an attack by the BKs, it cannot be looked at in any other way. Whether India (the World Headquarters) and or London (assuming it is still the International headquarters outside of India) instigated it, they must take responsibility for what happens from here on.
It is Hansa's superiors who either make her stop her action or allow her to continue. If she continues, it is because she has been allowed to continue, in which case she is acting on behalf of the whole organization. It would be strange for a worldwide organization to hand over control of its "brandname" and title to a relatively tiny Texan office and, of course, she has no real right to simply claim them. But if they have, or rather if they don’t stop her helping herself to it – which is what London is claiming has happened - then they have handed her their authority to do what she is doing.
At certain moments BKs like to emphasize the legal autonomy of each individual country as if Hansa is being a bit of a wildcard but "hey, what can you do?". I had this line tried on me by London many times who kept trying to say that they could not force different countries to adopt a Child Protection Plan.
That was rubbish then and if it is going to be London or India's song now, it will be even more so. In this case, because Hansa has no right to what she is claiming is an international trademark, they would have the legal right to stop her action. So don't let them tell you they might disapprove of her actions but there is nothing they can do about it.
Don't let them allow her to do their dirty work and us not hold them all accountable for it.
Thirdly, there has been some suggestion of more contact and more open contact (now that domain information may be at risk) between BKs and ex-BKs. The thinking has been that perhaps we can get BKs who don't hold with George Bush as a role model to be a moderating influence on Hansa. Well, maybe they will but I for one don't want them to do so as a favour to us. I for one will not talk to anyone in the BK hierarchy while this gun is being held to our heads.
For as long as this attempt to destroy this site continues, and indeed if it is successful, the loudest and clearest and most unambiguous result should be less not more dialogue between ex-BKs and the BK leadership.
The long term effect of this action of Hansa's, if it is successful, will be as always; that the BKs will get the opposition they will have deserved. And those BKs in London who did not take the opportunity to rectify the child protection problem discretely, when I was giving them the chance, might want to think extra hard about this. Five years from now they will look back to another wasted and irretrievable opportunity.
Ten years ago I was their loudest critic. So quiet that all of 3 people in the whole world knew of my campaign; myself and Dadi Janki and Jayanti. After 5 years, I outed them but to whom, the world's press? No, to their own Centre-in-Charges. Excuse my french but you dumbfucks, you never knew you had it so good. The insult wasn't gratuitous. It was because you have now graduated to a much more incisive form of opposition but perhaps less mannered.
Yes ex-l, to pick the most obvious example that comes to mind, is arguably rougher round the edges protocolwise, but crikey can you not see that he is also probably the most original and intelligent thinker about the BKs as a social phenomon and an organization. If I was trying to juggle the demands of running an organization and being true to spirituality at the same time, I would want him pestering me on a regular basis about my decisions.
The ex-ls of this site cross the line sometimes but that is their job!!! Because who really knows where the line should always be. The darn things move. That is why "unrespectful" and so-called "negative" criticism is so potentially valuable, if there was anyone in the BKs who could look beyond the waves to the real current underneath.
Offences against good manners, such as senior BKs think they find here, are a much smaller problem than those in the future who will have discarded not so much their manners as their morals. And no-one, however seriously riddled with that peculiar kind of congenital superiority that besets BKs, can accuse us of that.
When the BKs have tried to sabotage this site, and yet we have done no such equivalent, how is it that we are viewed as the outlaws? The BKs real problem is that this is a place of arguably too high a moral expectation. We have the cheek to demand that they confirm to our definitions of honesty, probity and caring; as well as their own. This site is above all a place of moral outrage.
What Hansa will create will be an opposition which will retain the outrage but not the morals. If Hansa becomes the de facto leader for the BKs online strategy, they will inherit an opposition much bigger, much murkier and much less principled. Bad manners will be the least of their problems.
If this website is suppressed, it will re-surface from untraceable domains registered in the cyber equivalent of Somalia. And it will continue doing what it is doing, probably pretty much in the same way. But there will also be more sites, some of which will be a lot less considered and a lot less discrete.
Hansa will trigger all of their skeletons to come waltzing out. If I was a senior with some dodgy secrets, I would be getting worried by now. This would be a shame in my opinion, but perhaps it is inevitable.
The BKs are correct to wish for accountable and well researched criticism but you have to earn it, and value it, when it arrives. You are unlikely to get it by threatening the critics with Pentagon lawyers. Hansa will not silence criticism in this way she will draw much more and it will be less accountable, less traceable, less balanced and less fair.
Good luck to her I say but does the institution really want that direction?