BKWSO commence legal action against BrahmaKumaris.Info

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Post by fluffy bunny » 12 Sep 2007

Is this not so similar to the whole World Renewal Trust issue? You know, paper filed without the knowledge or awareness of Baba, other Seniors etc.
arjun wrote: In the end she says she is instrumental for 3 centers in US.
Dallas, San Antonio, Houston (sub-center) ... all in the "Lone Star State"?

That account is either not entirely accurate or complete.

Denise went out and made the first contacts but things really did not work out. I don't think the grunt work was really her thing. So then a Western brother went from London to San Antonio and started things up. Its impossible for Hansa not to know and remember this. Hanuman (Erol) from the Xbkchat site also went to the US from the Guyana and visited Texas. There is a lot more to come out yet from other sources.

There is another account of it in Liz Hodgkinson's book but that is wrong as well. The whole truth will come out in the end.

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Post by admin » 13 Sep 2007

The following email was to the members of the BKWSU core group handing matters relating to this website.
13 Sept 2007

Consequent to the notification of a domain name dispute being filed against the BrahmaKumaris.Info domain, we received an email from Alka Patel dated 11th September 2007 on behalf of Sister Jayanti who we understand to represent the BKWSU Internationally, stating that the BKWSU or BKWSO were not filing a domain dispute. See below.

It would appear that we were correct in our assertion and Sister Jayanti was uninformed.

We have since had confirmation that Howrey LLP of Texas have been appointed to act on the matter and that BKWSO Texas have retrospectively filed a series of US trademarks for "Brahma Kumaris", "BKWSU" and "Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University" numbers 77212561, 77212547, 77212153 respectively which we presume are going to be used for the basis of the dispute.

Naturally, we are concerned by the contradictory messages that we are receiving from the BKWSU and at the legality of the seemingly independent actions of a Brahma Kumari follower. We note that the word "University" is a protected title in both the US and the UK, consider the term "Brahma Kumaris" to be generic rather than a product or a brand, and are aware that your organization is not unique in its historic use of the term. Can you confirm whether the attorneys have been informed of this?

Given the response from the international director, we are also concerned that the individual that has registered these trademarks and started legal proceedings is acting without license or authority from the parent entity and original intellectual property right holders. In our opinion, such actions risk appearing to be unilateral and made on the basis of unrelated personal motivations that will ultimately reflect badly on the BK family (of which we consider ourselves to be part) as a whole.

Lastly, in attempting to clarify and resolve these matters with Alka Patel/Jayanti Kirpalani, it would appear that our email address is now being blocked again, hence our approach to all members of the mailing list we were copied in on.

We would like to take this opportunity to urge the leadership of the BKWSU to adopt a cautious approach to addressing these matters and show a willingness to engage in a meaningful dialogue at the soonest occasion.

Thank you.

Appointed Attorneys:
US Patent Office search:

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Post by fluffy bunny » 13 Sep 2007

I do not know if other folks are conscious and thinking about this but this raises valid issues that I have brought before ... who actually are "the Brahma Kumaris"?
  • Who actually has ownership, representational rights and responsibility for the term Brahma Kumaris?
    Who can actually say that they are a "Brahma Kumari"?
    Who gets to say who is a Brahma Kumari?
In the "days of our childhood" whilst we feel unquestionably subject to the absolute power of the SS, are high as a kite on intoxication, the Yagya is new and life looks beautiful ... we do not stop to think about all this and leave it in the hands of those we are told to trust. Or the chimeric Baba. And it is this child-like state that the vast majority of BK followers remain and are encouraged to remain in.

However, the organization exists in the real world too and is subject to real world laws, contracts, terms and condition etc as well being judged by our societies moral and ethical codes. As one grows in one's spiritual maturity, one becomes concerned about not just the moral and ethics of those elements within the spirituality family but also the legalities. It is a natural extension of one's personal responsibility to step forward to carry our mutual responsibility for the collective face of "the Godly Family".
  • Are we happy with how others are respresenting us to the world?
As we have discuss more than once on this forum, it is the opinion of most of us that the Yagya has never totally paid heed to the laws of the land, putting Baba above them, and has widely adopted a flexible position. Partly this is due to the incompatibility between "Baba's System" and the variable worldly systems.
  • I think the question is now arising, "has it gone too far?" Has 'compromising' become 'compromised'?
In this specific incident, the legal and business model behind the public face of the BKWSU, is being illustrated and questioned. Is it even a unified hierarchy or is it just an individualistic land grab? Or what I would ask, it is acting as the responsible world government it wishes to project or as a territorial mafia? The answer is probably both, but in this case the "property", and it is seen as "property" in the law of this world, is given rights based on financial values of its own. Who do those belong to?

BKWSO Texas is surely a private company owned by its directors, what relationship and authority does it and its directors have over and towards the other private BK companies in the USA (of which there are at least 4 and a trust) and the 2,000 plus BKWSU centers, companies, charities and trusts internationally?

If Jayanti and the BKWSU charity in the juristiction of the United Kingdom state that they are not taking legal action, and have no knowledge of legal action, what juristiction does a Texan private company have? I suppose we ought to ask the people of Iraq how they feel about that other notorious Texan company Halliburton. Is this a memorial from last Kalpa!?!

But let me finish with a reminder from Dadi Maa ji;
Of Dadi Prakashmani, the BKWSU wrote:For her, administering so many centres in so many countries is like being a guardian to a global family. When asked "how do you manage?" she replies with a smile which fuses lightness with authority: "Like a family, the basis of this organisation is love, and it flourishes because it is nourished with trust and respect".

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Post by arjun » 13 Sep 2007

ex-l wrote:I do not know if other folks are conscious and thinking about this but this raises valid issues that I have brought before ...
  • who actually are "the Brahma Kumaris"?
    Who actually has ownership, representational rights and responsibility for the term Brahma Kumaris?
    Who can actually say that they are a "Brahma Kumari"?
    Who gets to say who is a Brahma Kumari?
Om Shanti.

As per the Murlis/Avyakt Vanis there could be two definitions of Brahma Kumaris/Brahmakumars
  • 1. Those who are the mouthborn children of Prajapita Brahma. And in the Murlis it has been said that Prajapita is not in the Subtle Region but in the corporeal world.
    2. Those who follow the versions of Brahma, i.e. put the Shrimat of ShivBaba through Brahma in practice, and in such a way that nobody could point fingers at them
    .
Well, it is up to every one to decide how far we qualify to be a Brahmakumar/Brahmakumari?

Regards,
OGS,
Arjun

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Post by admin » 14 Sep 2007

Madam/Sir,


Without prejudice


We have received from the registrar of our internet domain notification that you are acting on behalf of Ms Hansa Raval or the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual Organization of Austin, Texas and have filed a domain name dispute with the National Arbitration Forum against BrahmaKumaris.Info.

To date, we have received no formal notification of this and we would like to request what exactly your client's position is. We have considerable concerns about the validity of such actions and your client's representational rights over matters relating to the community of Brahma Kumaris and Brahma Kumaris followers and the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University internationally.

On consultation, following your actions, we received notification from the office of an international director of the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University in London, who works directly with the Global Head, that states the organization was not taking any such action.


Can you please confirm that your client has license from the regional or international headquarters and the original intellectual property right holders to act on their behalf?


We also note that on the 21 June 2007, Ms Raval and her private company have applied for 3 word marks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.


Prior to our registering our objections with the Commissioner for Trademarks and with mind to protecting the good reputation of the original rights holders, the World Renewal Trust of Bombay and its subsidiary bodies, we would like to offer Ms Raval the opportunity to withdraw these.


Noting the commercial nature of the registrations, the issues that we will be raising with the Commissioner will include;

• our querying of Ms Raval representational rights over the intellectual property of the international organization
• our querying of the license her private company has over the intellectual property of the international organization and original property rights holders
• our assertion that the term Brahma Kumari is a generic term akin to the names given to followers of any other religion
• our objection to the trademarking of any word mark referring to a University as it is a widely protect title internationally especially as it has been registered for purely commercial reasons

We also intend to raise this last matter with any respective departments of education.


Given the aggressive nature of previous hostile actions made on Ms Raval's behalf by her apparent supporters to damage the career of a journalist reporting on statements she is alleged to have made at a seminar in Oklahoma that have variously included; the making of threats invoking the US Department of Defense and Embassy of the United States in Kuala Lumpur, and a Class Action Suit for damages caused to all cancer patients misdirected by the article, we would be grateful for your client's response at the earliest occasion before reporting such incidents to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.


Thank you.


http://www.brahmakumaris.info

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Post by abrahma kumar » 14 Sep 2007

Thank you

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Post by eromain » 14 Sep 2007

Excellent.

Surely Mount Abu must send an equivalent?

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Post by eromain » 14 Sep 2007

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?

Eugene

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Cyberspace

Post by abrahma kumar » 14 Sep 2007

Thank you Eugene. cannot add much to what you said above except to echo one word from your post: Cyberspace. Cyberspace is a brand new frontier and from the outset it has struck me as the one place in which a fair-minded and truth-seeking human being need not be overawed by the mystique attached to spiritually powerful individuals - and organisations like the BKWSU and others - gather about themselves.

Sometimes people get the feeling that cyberspace is not a real place, or it is a place to which cowardly people come to hide and take cheap shots at others without really exposing themselves. And, yes, it is a possibility but all in all I do not think that BrahmaKumaris.info can be seen as a haven for that sort of individual or that sort of "energy".

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Post by eromain » 14 Sep 2007

Thanks abrahma,

yes, it is a new frontier and they haven't taken the time to understand it.

A wired world is a disaster for their operating model.

A personal irony for me is that the person who first told me about the internet, back when it was just the US military that used it in about 1982, was Hansa :-).

eug

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Post by fluffy bunny » 14 Sep 2007

Cyberspace is a manifestation of our communicative collective consciousness, a manifestation of that communication that already going on between us unseen and psychically.

It is the leading edge of the forthcoming future. Humanity is establishing its global neural connections through it.

But it is also a frontline warzone between the principles of light and the principles of darkness, of which this confrontation with certain NOT ALL elements of the BKWSU is part.

eromain singles me out and I am uncomfortable with that. firstly, I am not alone in what I do. secondly, I am nothing by myself and with those, BK, so-called ex-BKs, the PBKs and those friends and family of BK followers who - even though they have been hurt, damaged and let down themselves by this organization or its leadership - come back out of goodwill to feed and nurture us hear. Please take this as your thanks, folks. Oh, yes ... as I have heard before ... I am sure that, along with the Jews, "its just their karma ...". Well, duckies, I am equally sure this is yours.

Although I am no fan of the Romans, call me a Gaul, I have this vision of a scene from Gladiator movie (see link) and I am sure that similar must have been said on the field of Kurukshetra.
Maximus Decimus spoke not wrote:Hold the line! Stay with me! If you find yourself alone, riding in the green fields with the sun on your face, do not be troubled. For you are in Elysium, and you're already dead! Brothers, what we do in life ... echoes in eternity. At my signal, unleash hell.
I paraphrase another quote from the same movie. The attorneys can take it how ever they chose to read it because sure as hell they wont understand it. (It metaphorical guys and you will need a grounding the BKWSU religion to get it). However, BKs will and it is only to them that this voice speaks.
  • Emperor: "You do have a name?"

    Maximus: "My name is gladiator." (Maximus turns away.)

    Emperor: "Slave! You will remove your helmet and tell me your name."

    Maximus: "My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius. Commander of the Army of the North. Loyal to the true Emperor ... Father of a dead daughter and son ... Husband to a divorcing wife and lost children ... Mother of a lost or abuse child ... Brother to a financial exploited follower.

    ... ... And they well have their vengeance; in this life or the next."
And who is "Maximus" .. not me folks ... don't shot the messenger because you might not have any bullets left when it come to the real thing! And what we will his vengeance be???
  • Making you get your house in order ...

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Post by mr green » 14 Sep 2007

This is just more proof that it is not God. How could God be behind such actions?

If God is working through them this just wouldn't happen. These are the actions of hatred and bigotry ... I certainly have tons of dirt to spill on you BKs as you well know.

I have held back all this time, as I sincerly wanted to bring about positive change in the BKs, just in the vain hope that no one else's lives should be ruined like mine was ... Jayanti and Maureen you know I am telling the truth. Even Simon knows it is the truth.

You should be ashamed of yourselves.

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Post by eromain » 14 Sep 2007

Well, perhaps at this moment they need to be ashamed of Hansa and then, depending on their action or inaction, look at themselves.

If hansa is not God's instrument in this, then God's true instruments will be obliged to remedy what she has done. If they don't do anything then, obviously they are saying that she is doing God's work.

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Post by fluffy bunny » 14 Sep 2007

eromain wrote:If hansa is not God's instrument in this, then God's true instruments will be obliged to remedy what she has done.
And if she is not "God's instrument" ... what is she doing in charge of 2 and a half Godly centers?

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Post by eromain » 14 Sep 2007

Exactly ex-l,

either back her all the way in her latest action or remove her as unfit for her position. How can there be a middle way?

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