ex-l's recent postings damaging how the forum is perceived?

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pilatus
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ex-l's recent postings damaging how the forum is perceived?

Post by pilatus » 06 May 2008

Dear all,

I've been dismayed to see how the tone and content of ex-l's postings have recently altered. Despite interventions by more reasonable and balanced ex-BK's, this trend has continued and I feel that the time has come to openly discuss this as a community. In my opinion, if we continue this way we'll prevent any more current BKs joining the forum and risk being discredited as a bunch of moaning, stuck-in-the-past no-hopers. Anyone looking at the Tao of the Traveller and other threads would have to conclude that ex-l is carrying out a personal crusade against ms orange. If we're sincere about our intention to inform others about and perhaps reform BK practices, we need to be engaging in a much more constructive multi-party debate, not a haranguing tennis match.

I have a lot of time for what ex-l has brought to the forum in the past - the volume of contribution is truly staggering. However, I have to share jim friedmann's concerns that it is becoming unreasonable and almost obsessional.

Please let us have an open and honest debate about this before we find that the forum's reputation and credibility is permanently damaged.

All my best wishes,

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Re: ex-l's recent postings damaging how the forum is perceived?

Post by arjun » 06 May 2008

pilatus wrote:Please let us have an open and honest debate about this before we find that the forum's reputation and credibility is permanently damaged.
I am sure that with his long experience both as a BK, an ex-BK and also as an important contributor on this forum, ex-l would be able to control the damage.

As a first step, I would suggest making the topic on 'Tao of the traveller' a non-sticky post in the Commonroom Section.

Regards,
OGS,
Arjun

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Re: ex-l's recent postings damaging how the forum is perceived?

Post by john morgan » 06 May 2008

pilatus wrote:Anyone looking at the Tao of the Traveller and other threads would have to conclude that ex-l is carrying out a personal crusade against ms orange.
I do not agree with you Pilatus, My perception of ex-I is that his crusade is to arrive at the plain unvarnished truth.

Having said that there is no doubt that ex-I and ms.orange do rub each other up the wrong way. I think that Jim Friedman came here for the sole purpose of defending ms orange, said his bit and left.

A lot happens on this forum that is behind the scenes, I'd just like to say that at various times, including recently, I have received various insightful and compassionate messages from ex-I, he is always friendly can be good fun too. All this despite our obvious differences.

Many have contributed greatly to this forum, its special feature is that the truth as everyone sees it can be spoken, it caters for other mindsets too. Ex-I's part in this is outstanding and it seems that he is here to stay, it also seems that if he left the Forum would close. He and Bap Dada have something in common, at various times people express concern about them :D.

I, for one, am not going to look at ex-I and say that we should create a special "Censured ex-BK" category for him. Perhaps we should still be congratulating him on surviving the BK attempts to close this "reputable and credible forum."

No offence given or taken I hope, its just my perspective at the present time.

Kind regards,

John

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Re: ex-l's recent postings damaging how the forum is perceived?

Post by fluffy bunny » 06 May 2008

john morgan wrote:He and Bap Dada have something in common, at various times people express concern about them :D.
Yeah, and I keep telling him that he is not having enough Yoga with me, too ... but BapDada keeps having Maya and is distracted by those women and filmstars he is obsessed with. :wink:

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Re: ex-l's recent postings damaging how the forum is perceived?

Post by bansy » 06 May 2008

How easily influenced folks are.

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Re: ex-l's recent postings damaging how the forum is perceived?

Post by bluesky » 06 May 2008

pilatus wrote: is carrying out a personal crusade against ms orange.
Perhaps, ms. orange wasn't anonymous and much revealing, could that be a possibility?

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Post by alladin » 06 May 2008

ex-l reminds me of some chasing journalists, that gain supporters and admirers due to the courage the role of being in war zones' frontlines requires. They also attract a lot of hatred and upset reactions from those who have been accused or exposed, who in turn typically retaliate by charging the reporter with slander, or go for libel suits etc ... What he has been doing for the Forum has been, in fact, something similar to an on going inquiry on which he's updating us all, complete with scoops, unpaid ... So, it is natural that some readers will feel grateful for the infos shared, and some will feel as if he's rocking the boat too much, and the heat under their chairs is becoming unbearable.

One could also comment that there are sweeter and more polite ways to express your opinions. True, but everyone is different. Maybe ex-l is a rough guy, and the BK themselves, including in retreat centers and in their main, close to Heaven, ashram, aren't all mellow, nor perfect, so he probably absorbed some despotic manners from his teachers, during the days he was a pukka BK.

This Forum though, unlike the BK centers, doesn't claim to be a showcase. It is just a forum, like any other one can join on the internet, made of a variety of people. ex-l, during the days of the "legal case", asked me not to post anything that I could not substantiate. I thought this was unpractical, since I haven't been recording all the episodes of abuse etc ... I went through as a BK, I wasn't going around with a tape recorder in centers, but I remember instances and conversations, atmospheres etc. All is recorded in me. So, I claimed my right to express my feelings and my self. I refused to conform to the BK stereotype, why should I contribute to the Forum in a way that's not me? And that was it. So, I don't accept censorship, neither I would censor anyone else, as long as people remain "civilized" and respectful.

The topic of being diplomatic and trying not to scare people away from the Forum has been discussed last fall. I think that it is more important to de-program from the "pleasers, haji" sanskar, than refraining from denouncing even loudly what's going on in the Yagya. IMHO, this is what the Forum is for, to provide counter information, not to " be nice" and compromise. We had enough of that. I may find the tone ex-l uses in some posts, unpleasant but someone may abuse you subtly, hiding an iron fist in a velvet glove, concealing and deceiving, in a way much more damaging than that of an open book type of person who shouts on your face what he thinks.

Love and Om Shanti.

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Re: ex-l's recent postings damaging how the forum is perceived?

Post by bkti-pit » 07 May 2008

Thanks for bringing up the topic Pilatus.

Although there are a couple of instances where I felt that ex-l's reaction towards Ms Orange was a bit excessive and although the duel might have been a little intense for some readers, I think that overall the whole episode have been a very good thing, thanks to the maturity of both of them and the perseverance of Ms Orange.

I did not think like this in the midst of the heat. Actually, at times I thought of interjecting something to invite ex-l to cool down a bit. But now I understand that Ex-1 was coming from a point of ethics that is unquestionable in my mind and I see no wrong in trying to get BKs who join the Forum to address such issues.

I do not know if Ms Orange or her Father or Jim Freidman see the point of ethics that ex-l was trying to make. I did not myself at first. I mean not fully. Now I realize that even though the whole idea of selling Gyan and mixing business and service is one of my big issues with the Yagya, this incident is showing me that I have become so accustomed to it that I have been losing my sensitivity to it and it has become something normal and almost acceptable.

So thanks ex-l for the waking-up call.

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Re: ex-l's recent postings damaging how the forum is perceived?

Post by fluffy bunny » 07 May 2008

In all fairness, it is very easy to "make a scene" rather than just answer fair questions asked of you in a reasonable fashion. I would never "attack" individual BKs for the BKWSU's or its leaders' sins. But if given the opportunity, I will question them about their own involvement. This is not an "attack" unless one feels one's self to be in the wrong and I will offer my suggestions of why my fair questioning felt so threatening on the topic. Should not every BK be overjoyed to be in the light?

Let's face it, it is very much in the interest of the BKWSU and "invested BKs" to discredit us and cause division amongst the members of this forum. If I have "blown the cover" of the Tao of the Traveler and raised questions about the ethics of it all, then that is fair comment and they can defend themselves. I started my response before she engaged with the forum.

Perhaps I should not respond to this topic but ... by making a scene, one is always able to cast doubt on the other individual or forum and report back a suitably one sided story which can be repeated; "anger, bitter, disgruntled aggressive" etc ... when in fact, communications were entirely calm and precise in nature. It is the BKWSU myth about us. Thank you for those that understand and defended me.

As the BKWSU centrally blocks correspondence from this site, I am glad it arose as it exemplified one segment of the BKWSU's response to our work here. I was called a liar by a long-term BK for repeating identically what I had taken from BK websites, e.g. Barbara Ramsay's credit in the BKWSU's Chasing God promotionary video as a "writer" etc. I hope that I satisfied all your doubts and welcome the next challenge. Any sin I could conceive of is surely less than the falsification God the BKWSU has collectively engaged in.

It is important to state that there are two sets of ethics at play here.
  • a) "Brahmin ethics" - which surely ought to be 108 times higher than those of common people.
    b) "Professional ethics" - relating to an academic and the subject of their study. Tamasin (she gave us her own name) advertises to the world that she is an anthropologist, a would be Ph.D studying her own religion with special interests in ethics, human rights, etc.
The professional ethics required of an academic, and even moreso an anthropologist engaged in an "ethnography" of a community of which we are an influential part, are very high and I lay the question open to her to respond to just how well she is living up to them; confidence, impartiality ... the unreserved sharing of information for the public betterment of the public that is paying for her studies etc ("studies" which have included doing BK service at the UN).

We can all look forward to peer reviewing her work when it comes out. It would be very useful for the BKWSU to have someone like her, an cool inhouse academic, to "manage" the historical revisionism and issues we raise in an acceptable form to counter our unacceptable form.

In my experience, and in general, privileged classes and privileged individuals are generally very good at frightening off common people from discussing the nature of privilege and this has been so through the history of religion. I am working very hard to become a common person.

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Re: ex-l's recent postings damaging how the forum is perceived?

Post by yogi108 » 07 May 2008

Hello All,

I tried my level best reading up all that happened between EXL and Ms. Orange.... here are some of my thoughts...

1. I initially had shock treatment from EXL.. but then started to enjoy the way the questions that came about laced with sarcasam and the hurt that is beyond with some of the BK experiences
2. I beleive if you have get the best of conversations in this forum we have to learn to accept other's view point in what they are trying to communicate rather than how they are trying to communicate
3. I would not recommend that some folks try to curtail/censor EXL posts but then just get used to the tone/the language and enjoy it to the hilt...
4. I found the bit of Ms.Orange leaving/coming back and the various members trying to stop her from leaving a bit too funny and un-necessary.
5. Way to go EXL and do not stop... - humble request from a BK

Yogi

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Re: ex-l's recent postings damaging how the forum is perceived?

Post by paulkershaw » 07 May 2008

Hey - Buttons are being pushed, some harder than others but in terms of discrepancy's and inaccuracies posted, I think that ex-l has proven himself right and has the facts to prove it.

This forum is not for the faint-hearted or those who are wanting gentle and loving dialogue ALL the time. As far as I can read, those who've requested help and assistance on this forum in the past have received it from many members including ex-l in a supportive and respectful manner. It does seem that ex-l does not 'suffer fools gladly' and will soon challenge those who offer inacurrate and dis-informative postings and I for one can see this in earlier posted conversations under current topic discussion.

However, since the forums new format took a while to come back on-line earlier this year, we do seem to have lost some earlier members that did add specific balances to the various threads and postings, so I suggest that we all need to regularly add more of our own flavour to ensure a more balanced forum - considering the comments and feelings that ex-l is 'running' the show, which is non-true.

We all have an opinion but we also need to be 100% sure of anything we say can be verified and proven if it's not simply general talk and our viewpoints in response to points raised.

Thank goodness my earthly karma is finished and I only have to deal on a universal level nowadays :biggrin: Oh by the way I am God.

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Re: ex-l's recent postings damaging how the forum is perceived?

Post by bkti-pit » 07 May 2008

A few add-ons to my previous post...

ex-l, I thought you were over reacting to Ms Orange's support of Sakaash to which he himself reacted very positively but Hey! you have a right to your own feelings.

Besides that, I want to mention that regarding ethics, I am not talking only of worldly ethics, but even in terms of Brahmin standards according to Shrimat. Any Murli scholar can support that, even those who have full disbelief in BapDada. Is there one line in the Murlis supporting the production and sale of artistic or educational material containing tactfully dressed Gyan designed to bring benefit to souls as a fund raising material to support the charitable activities of the BKWSU or its affiliates?

Did we not hear unlimited times that it was better to die than to beg, that if someone offers us money we should not take it but tell them that if they want to help they can print some leaflets, etc?

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Re: ex-l's recent postings damaging how the forum is perceived?

Post by enlightened » 07 May 2008

Hi everyone

I don't wish to put ex-l on a pedestal or anything, but i do have to say that ex-l has some very good qualities and virtues that some of us may not have or may not have the courage to express them. I fully understand, agree with and support what ex-l is getting at here. Okay, the way he/she may be going about trying to extract the information may not be to some peoples liking, however, sometimes in life you have to be a little bit harsh etc to put a valid point across.

I think in the case of the BK organisation and it's goings on behind the doors, it's about time that someone had the courage to put some of the unexplained issues across.

I don't believe for one moment that ex-l was targetting Ms Orange and co alone, I think that it will make other bk's involved in similar ways think twice before they continue.

So, i would say well done to ex-l for your courage and for highlighting yet another aspect of the BK organisation which seems to remain hidden behind doors. It's about time that it was exposed to the world. They have got away with far too much and continue to do so.

Keep the good work going ex-l
Thanks
Enlightened : 8)

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Re: ex-l's recent postings damaging how the forum is perceived?

Post by pilatus » 07 May 2008

Dear all (especially ex-l),

Thanks for your various inputs and by my count that makes it about 80-20 in support of ex-l's approach and tone, so I bow to your collective opinion. To quote john morgan
john morgan wrote:No offence given or taken I hope, its just my perspective at the present time
However, I'd like to mix it up a little further by picking up on selected quotes. alladin uses the analogy of an investigative journalist and this is indeed one of the roles which ex-l seems to enjoy playing on behalf of the less forthright among us. And indeed many of your comments support and even seem to enjoy both the result and even the approach. To stretch the analogy just one stage further, I'd just like to say that we often get the media we deserve. If there's an audience which enjoys the vicarious washing of dirty laundry in public then that's what we get - The News of the World rather than The Times.

In another quote from alladin, she says
alladin wrote:this is what the Forum is for, to provide counter information, not to " be nice" and compromise
Although I agree that information providing is one objective for the forum and one where we generally serve wavering BK's and ex-BK's, is there not another which is about engaging with current BK's, with a view to influencing the organisation and ultimately changing some of the negative ways we've experienced it behaving? In my view, this objective is served much more usefully by engaging with people rather than haranguing them. ex-l seems to harbour the expectation that "peer review" will be sought by ms orange on her thesis. Given the approach adopted over recent weeks, I cannot even imagine her being open to that :?:

By the way, I do appreciate that some of you are eager to balance the nice and sweet approach which you were encouraged to adopt during BK times with a more direct, Anglo-Saxon way. On the other hand, tone, irony and humour can all get lost in translation especially for those who are non-native English speakers, leading to confusion and lack of clarity as experienced by some of you.

I also accept that there is a key question which some of you feel much more strongly about than I do which is "what's changed about BK teaching as regards earning a living from Gyan-related work?".

Personally-speaking, as someone who has only been involved with the BK family over the last 5-6 years, who never made a financial or career sacrifice to fit in with BK teaching and who is used to seeing spiritual organisations reaching out in many and various ways to people who are looking for sustenance, I've no particular problem with Mike George, Brian Bacon or whoever doing what they do and seeming to do it well.

Finally, I'd just like to echo paul's point:
paulkershaw wrote:However, since the forums new format took a while to come back on-line earlier this year, we do seem to have lost some earlier members that did add specific balances to the various threads and postings, so I suggest that we all need to regularly add more of our own flavour to ensure a more balanced forum - considering the comments and feelings that ex-l is 'running' the show, which is non-true.
and emphasize that I don't see ex-l as a one-person anti-party or believe that the forum would stop without them. However, it would definitely be the poorer if any of us were to stop contributing and that would be the opposite of what I am looking for...

Lots of love and best wishes,

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Re: ex-l's recent postings damaging how the forum is perceived?

Post by john morgan » 07 May 2008

That people here are OK with the hard time ex-I gave ms orange seems fairly clear, this despite her obvious frustration with him and his tactics. I like ms orange, she is multi-talented, very constructive and is one the few active BKs to come here and reveal their true identity.

As such she should be made welcome, as everyone else is, and allowed to contribute to this online community in any way she chooses. She is a lady of principle and very hard working, if she can find the time in her busy schedule to come here I for one am very interested in anything she wishes to share. Ms.Orange is no fair weather friend, I am sure. I hope it is not too late to make her ours.

I never liked Jeremy Paxman much, he would try to put people on the spot on live TV. Ex-I's dealings with ms. orange have, to my mind, been similar to Paxman's. Perhaps it is now time for a different tack, something a little cooler and kinder and a little more welcoming maybe.

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