Building a local support group

for ex-Brahma Kumaris, to discuss matters related to their experiences in BKWSU & after leaving.
sarah
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Building a local support group

Post by sarah » 27 Feb 2008

Hi,

Some of you may have read a few of my posts to know that I have only just left the BKs. I must admit to struggling and floundering a bit at the moment. My real involvement officially stopped only a few weeks ago and I feel that almost overnight I seem to have lost so much. These people were supposedly my friends, they told me what to think and feel, who to speak to, what to speak about, and gave me 'meaning' in my past, present and future. Suddenly I feel alone and cut off and I must admit that I am slipping into negative thought patterns.

It occurred to me today that I got so much out of meditating in a group, eating together, the sense of community and the open door policy. I cannot go back to my life before the BKs, but I know that it would not be right to return to them either and just pretend that i believe it all. I went to a Buddhist meditation group last night and the atmosphere was relaxed and informal and the talk was on compassion and I did feel "this is more of what I want", but I also found myself feeling slightly worried again when he talked about the fact that if we could not show compassion to everyone, we would suffer in our next birth. Some of the old fears and sense of failure surfaced again for me and I did wonder if I was 'well' enough to join these other groups or whether or not I should just step back and leave spirituality alone for a while.

I just wondered if there are any people on this website who are going through exactly the same 'withdrawal' at the moment. If there are any members from the United Kingdom who would like to get in touch then please let me know. I am from Cornwall but currently living in the North West of England.

Any hints or tips on how others managed to navigate their way out of this difficult phase, or even if you could point me in the direction of some posts that might be useful for me would be much appreciated.

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Re: Building a local support group

Post by paulkershaw » 27 Feb 2008

Hey Sarah, keep posting on this site OK? Its a great support group and many many people read it but aren't able to post on it, but they're reading it. We can support you where possible and within context of our own understanding. I've just sent you a lengthy reply on another thread and hope it makes sense to you. Hugs all the way from Johannesburg!
p

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Re: Building a local support group

Post by primal.logic » 28 Feb 2008

Hi Sarah. Welcome back to reality. We all really hope that we can short track your transition from the BK experience to a valid, fulfilling experience of life as it really is. Not based on the fantasy of 5000 year repeating cycles and becoming deity princesses etc.

Leaving Gyan is actually quite a dangerous experience. It may seem okay at first but.... the typical experience involves varying degrees depression, guilt, loss, betrayal and a loss of ability to have faith in anything - including ourselves and our lives. Suicidal thoughts are normal at some point. Whatever you are going through or will go through, believe me when I say that you are not alone - we've all been there, by degrees, at some point in our post bk life. That is the reason this site exists.

From my personal experience I would say that the first thing that we have to accept is that we were inculted. The automatic implication is the the Brahma Kumaris is a cult. It took me years to come around to this realisation. It was hard to accept because of what that seemed to say about me. But it was only from that point that I was able to begin understanding what had really happened to me. And from then I was able to begin sorting out the mess. (For more on this please visit http://www.bkwsuwatch.com)

Putting the BK organisation in context is critical to our getting over it and on with our lives. The BKs actively recruited you, gave you what you thought you needed (love, community, belonging, support, purpose, an identity, a relationship with God, a destiny etc - sound too good to be true?) and then took ownership of you through your desire to be a better person than you thought you were. They exploited you by taking your time, money and other personal resources and putting you to work - a slave in the expansion of the organisation. They contained you by separating you from your 'impure' friends and family. They manipulated you by taking control of your virtues and good intentions and directing the whole of your personal efforts in life.

If I sound dramatic, well, that is the nature of things. I have had 3 close friends take their own lives after leaving the BKs.

Currently we are pressing the BK institution hard for a duty of care policy and exit strategy for BKs. We have their attention and are hoping for implementation of these policies in the not too distant future. They are only considering these matters because of the damage it is doing to their public image, but hopefully we can make the lives of those you know in the BKs somewhat safer.

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Re: Building a local support group

Post by sarah » 28 Feb 2008

primal.logic wrote: It may seem okay at first but ... the typical experience involves varying degrees depression, guilt, loss, betrayal and a loss of ability to have faith in anything - including ourselves and our lives. The BKs actively recruited you, gave you what you thought you needed (love, community, belonging, support, purpose, an identity, a relationship with God, a destiny etc - sound too good to be true?) and then took ownership of you through your desire to be a better person than you thought you were. Currently we are pressing the BK institution hard for a duty of care policy and exit strategy for BKs. We have their attention and are hoping for implementation of these policies in the not too distant future. They are only considering these matters because of the damage it is doing to their public image, but hopefully we can make the lives of those you know in the BKs somewhat safer.
Thanks PL, this is exactly how I feel. I still cannnot quite believe it and I have been very low this week, tearful and snappy. A big problem is that I don't know how to have 'normal' conversations or do 'normal' things and so I am avoiding people at the moment. Also I cannot feel 'closure' until I have returned to collect all my belongings. I will go with my husband and ask him to stay with me and not accept any offers of tea or anything. Of course the BKs don't have an exit strategy. They will just put it down to bad karma and Maya and they will simply wash their hands of us.

I think I have found a community on this website and some sort of internet 'toli' anyway! :mrgreen:

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Re: Building a local support group

Post by fluffy bunny » 28 Feb 2008

sarah wrote:I think I have found a community on this website and some sort of internet 'toli' anyway!

Yes, you have and what primal says is very true. A lot more true than you might realise. I also know that tongue tied state of mind, I had it going into the BKs because I did not know what I was and was not allowed to say nor "how it was said" ... then coming out there was NO ONE I could talk to. NO ONE that would understand the language nor share the experience. Yes, like the end of a romantic affair, complete cut off is best until the cords that bind you to them waste away and die. Psychic cords that they drip fed you through just enough to keep you hanging on but also take your energy back in return.

A local group might be difficult for us here, as we are "located" in a mental neighbourhood that is worldwide, but there is always the new chat feature if you want to organize a regular support/chatroom for BK survivors at a given time, and you might put your feelers out for other ex-BKs like the one you mentioned.

Reading primal-logic's post, I am left wondering what is it that makes "a cult" and it also underlined for me the dangerous of becoming involved in one. Many others have defined "what is a cult" from a number of points of view. For me, the psychic slavery they utilise is a key element. We become involved because we want to be free ... and we find that slowly we are enslaved.

Personally, I don't see the fuss in "cults" from a straight society's or Christian point of view. If some wants to dress up funny, visualise world peace, build a community based on their own shared values, then that is fine by me ... as long as they are not exploiting people. But, of course, almost all of them do. Few use their followers' time and money to benefit society, it all goes inwards to sustain the organization. See how much of the BKWSU's activities are designed not to convince outsiders but to convince and sustain in the minds of their followers that something big is happening, e.g. a "BeeGee thinks Dadi Janki is great ... see? It must be true and don't forget the mantra; un, un, un.

But reading primal's post, I realised the danger in dabbling in the group dynamics of a closed, cutlic society. In the beginning we think it is what we wanted and what we don't believe, or is ridiculous, is all just a bit of a laugh. We think we can manage it. You also have to factor in what a gift new BKs are to a center as they bring fresh air and enthusiasm to what are fairly stale and stagnant places (if not engaged in a full on clash of sanskars). You bring them meaning and reward, and raise their status.

The Seniors are past masters at handling followers and group dynamics. They are supported by very experienced lieutenants. There is an existing group structure and ethos ... and a most of us probably remember what it was like to challenging it, even in positive ways. The anger and controlled you mentioned in your case. You face not just the cultic nature but also the occultic nature and whether the occult elements of the BKWSU are real, as in spookery, or imagined, it does not matter. They exist and are formidable.

So, if you are going to start a support group, make sure it does not end up another splinter group or cult. What might be interesting though is to plan a conference ON the BKWSU and work towards that inviting academics, politicians etc. NOT a BKWSU PR gig but a serious, independent seminar discussing the BKWSU. I know people that would help you or you could invite.

For me, I believe the BKWSU is like an addictive drug and hard to break. That may not be the god within them that acts in this manner. It may be something else they are 'sticking in the drinking water' (on a metaphorical level). But if you are going back, can you ask them if they have read any of the old literature like "Is this Justice?" or the "Divine Decrees", why there was no mention of Shiva until after 1950 or Lekhraj Kirpalani's age was changed to fit the Murlis?

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Re: Building a local support group

Post by paulkershaw » 28 Feb 2008

Or just do a simple and powerful ritual designed to break your 'link' to them ... I did and I forged forward ...

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Re: Building a local support group

Post by sarah » 28 Feb 2008

ex-l wrote:You also have to factor in what a gift new BKs are to a center as they bring fresh air and enthusiasm to what are fairly stale and stagnant places (if not engaged in a full on clash of sanskars). You bring them meaning and reward, and raise their status.
I remember how the 'leaders' at the centre I attended singled me out for special attention and I could not do one single thing without it being commented on. I used to dread them turning up at my flat only to catch me washing my car, in case I was not washing it in an orderly and loving way. This happened and I was told that, 'the universe works on order.' I thought, yeah I know, but I am freezing.

When I suggested skipping breakfast with them one morning I was told, "you must eat Baba's food". On the rare occasions I missed the Murli (probably due to the exhaustion of getting up at 3.45am every day!), there would be a knock at my door checking that, "all was well". If they ever turned up and caught me taking my supermarket shopping bags from the car, I just felt so uneasy. I knew a little pep talk on karma and and ethical shopping was coming.

It occurred to me one day that all three of them seemed to be competing for my company. There was not one thing we ever did together, or one conversation we ever had that did not feel contrived and lecturing. I finally worked out when I understood the concept of charting that I realised that, since knowing me, they must be scoring major points. I even found myself pretending I was feeling negative about something, only to give them the opportunity to cheer me up!

I knew that this sort of thing kept them going. I realise now that I was like a little puppy dog, so eager to please my masters and so willing to jump through hoops to get them to love me more.

I think I will leave the idea of a support group for now. This is a support group and I think I am too vulnerable at the moment. I think I should just stay with the feeling, just wait and maybe just learn to hang out with Sarah for a bit.

Sarah

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Re: Building a local support group

Post by alladin » 28 Feb 2008

Hi, Sarah. Welcome to the Forum, condolence for what you've been through and congratulations for your courage to try and save yourself. The instinct for survival is such a great ally we have!

Luckily at some point the bell starts ringing as loud as a siren and we know we have to run for our life. Or in this case, our sanity and independence. Your clarity of mind reminds me of Di, one Forum contributor whose posts you may want to read if you have time. She and her family also went through a lot, due mainly to the manipulation and influence the BK local teachers exerted on her husband. But she made it and held her head high, like a Shakti. Many images, characters and metaphors the BK use to entertain and enchant us, we can use and reflect them back on them. So, when the time to emerge our Kali or Durga personality, it is a blessing.

If someone has robbed us, or we placed our complete trust in them and we were conned and we finally have awaken, it's a good day. Not a day to become sad. We go through phases when we accept abuses or turn a blind eye on them (wrong type of mercy?), until the day comes when put our foot down and decide to explore further what it means serving and loving oneself. Or at least not to damage our selves or allow anyone to crush us.

In my case, I feel that along with introspection, honesty and the help of spiritual friends, especially those acquired through the Forum, God's power helped me. I understand that some ex-BKs grow very skeptical about even the existence of the Supreme Soul but I personally never wanted to allow a sect, or give them the satisfaction, of disempowering me and rob me of my right to have a relationship with the Great Spirit. Or to make me believe that because I was disobedient, untamable, non compliant, I was not worthy, had no noble purpose in life and no higher self aiming to express and improve itself.

Exactly like ex-l says,
like the end of a romantic affair, complete cut off is best until the cords that bind you to them waste away and die. Psychic cords that they drip fed you through just enough to keep you hanging on but also take your energy back in return.

I went through such practical experience and it was intense but liberating. As I was browsing about psychic cords, I bumped into some info about obsidian being a helpful mineral to hold and keep near you if you want to "break away". Sorry if this may sound too "Bhakti- like", superstitious, but it works! :D We invest time and energy in the wrong things. So why not investing in undoing it all and gather information and do whatever is needed to recover?

It will not happen in one day, but what counts is that ,when you are determined to heal and know the truth, "what was all about?", you get help from the Universe in many forms. ex-l and many BKs, had no community to support them. Literally no one to talk to, when they left the BKWSO. So, if you look at you situation now, look at this and other positive aspects! Some of my friends and counselors, told me that I have to consider myself lucky. If I was caught up in a destructive relationship for few months only, because some people waste years, or even a lifetime with the wrong partner, job, in a cult or whatever. So many lessons and stimulating points deserve being studied from the story you told (which is similar to most of our stories!). The need for company, the desire to please and being accepted, the fear of being watched, etc ...

Let me share one last thing I also magically bumped into whilst reading a psychic article in a women's magazine (I will provide more details if you are interested). Apparently, according to recent studies, rationalizing, processing, and especially writing about negative experiences we went through, can speed up our healing processes. Better to cast a powerful beam of light on what happened, clean the wounds thoroughly.

Therapists suggest not to "sleep over it": better to increase alertness. According to them, sleep( and ignorance, I would say, or any ostrich posture), rather than having a refreshing effect, makes negative experiences sink deeper into our consciousness. So, instead of liberating ourselves, by not facing, we absorb them deeper.

Best wishes and thanks to you and members who so far posted in reply to the important issues you raised with sincerity and providing detailed descriptions.

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Re: Building a local support group

Post by fluffy bunny » 29 Feb 2008

I agree with alladin that speaking out ... loudly ... is very healthy and part of the healing process. Get it out of your head and bouncing it off others, let the community know.

You are also doing the world, and even the BKWSU, a great favour by analysing what the truth of the BKs really is. It project this wonderful shiny, United Nations related corporate front. But the reality for most BKs is that they get stuck with a handful of local BK at a small center and are victims to the local center-in-charge's whims. They discover that the life inside is very rigid and airless, not at all like the open chatty front that is used to induct people in.

If one is hooked on the spook, then my advice is best just to use the facilities and go. Don't get involved in all the politics and relationships [oh, did I tell you, a) what a bunch of gossips they really are and b) what a little spyring they run between themselves everything going back to the top].

Stay really cool, be very clear and keep out of it all. Yes, you are right, they need you to validate their needs and beliefs. Some centers can go for years without any new BKs coming forward. the funny thing is though, the experiences wear off after 6 or so months. The Honeymoon Period. And are really only topped up when you start to "do service" or teach the course to others and evangelise. This makes me wonder the nature of the spiritualism involved.

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Re: Building a local support group

Post by sarah » 29 Feb 2008

alladin wrote: Your clarity of mind reminds me of Di, one Forum contributor whose posts you may want to read if you have time. .
Hi Alladin, could you point me in the direction of Di's posts? Quite a few people have referred to her and I am not sure what section to access. Thanks
alladin wrote: In my case ... God's power helped me. I understand that some ex-BKs grow very skeptical about even the existence of the Supreme Soul but I personally never wanted to allow a sect, or give them the satisfaction, of disempowering me and rob me of my right to have a relationship with the Great Spirit. Or to make me believe that because I was disobedient, untamable, non compliant, I was not worthy, had no noble purpose in life and no higher self aiming to express and improve itself.

This is so important to me at the moment. I really do still believe in a Supreme Soul and I do believe that I am a soul. I know that many very informed and insightful members on this forum have other views about this for themselves, but for me, that is where I am at. I will not allow any self-doubt or low self-esteem to knock me off track.

If my inherent right as a soul is to connect with God (the God of my understanding anyway), then it will happen regardless of any specific doctrine.

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Re: Building a local support group

Post by fluffy bunny » 29 Feb 2008

sarah wrote:Hi Alladin, could you point me in the direction of Di's posts? Quite a few people have referred to her and I am not sure what section to access.
Try, Hi, I am new & would greatly appreciate some guidance or follow this link for all Di's posts.

I would not wish to take away your connection with the Supreme. I just wish to take away all that is not the supreme and any middle women getting in the way. For me the interesting this is that Lekhraj Kirpalani did hit some spiritual jackpot and, by his example, prove that all of us could. The mistake appears to be the usual one, e.g. becoming a Christian rather than a Christ ... becoming a Brahmakumari follower, and becoming tangled up in the maze of their karma, rather than a "master creator" (junior Brahma) as even the Murlis advise.

It is interesting. Although the PBKs are loathed by the BKs, they have a lot of respect for Lekhraj Kirpalani. And to wish to know someone fully and intimately is a higher respect that to be led astray by the story telling priests and pundits that make a living outside the temple door. Even notable ex-BKs have accepted him as a spiritual master, some having experiences of him before and after leaving Gyan. Is he in his present status so bothered by all the "games the children play"?

The general comment, or awareness, that the PBKs suggest, is that out of love he was weak and let into the Yagya and empowered in a number of souls that should not have been. I think that is very interesting and plausible. Most religions suffered the same. Even from my most critical point of view, I hold on to such a possibility, that it is other negative spiritual influences that are coursing through the BKWSU and it is those that we should really be concerned about. A shadow play between the good and the evil.

Are you obliged to get involved? No way. In my opinion, a lot of what you see in the Yagya is Lekhraj Kirpalani dealing with the karma of his creation on the stage at Madhuban. Personally, do I think that Lekhraj Kirpalani really measures up to much? No, I don't. I think he liked playing god for too long and being Krishna to his groupies. 70 years and all those millions of dollar and millions of hours ... my God ... what anyone could have done with all that! I just encourage people to find their own god, do their own service, start to learn from where their own karma is and not feed the beast any longer.

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Re: Building a local support group

Post by sarah » 29 Feb 2008

ex-l wrote:I would not wish to take away your connection with the Supreme. I just wish to take away all that is not the supreme and any middle women getting in the way. For me the interesting this is that Lekhraj Kirpalani did hit some spiritual jackpot and, by his example, prove that all of us could. The mistake appears to be the usual one, e.g. becoming a Christian rather than a Christ ... becoming a Brahmakumari follower, and becoming tangled up in the maze of their karma, rather than a "master creator" (junior Brahma) as even the Murlis advise..
Yes, it's funny that, i.e becoming a Christian rather than Christ, becoming a BK follower ... etc etc.

My experience, and I can only speak for myself, is that at first I was introduced to the fact that I was a soul and it was my inherent right to connect with God. As time went on I felt that it was no longer my right. I had to EARN it. Then suddenly I was not a soul. I was a body. I must have been a body because it suddenly mattered what cloth I put on that body, and what food I put in my mouth, and what other bodies I mixed with.

All these other people who were not BKs, were not souls at all really, they were bodies! They must have been because otherwise it would surely have been OK to mix with them! After a while, I realised that being a BK was more important actually that being a soul and connecting with God. I even concluded that your outward appearance was obviously very significant, regardless of the nature of your soul or anybody else's for that matter.

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Re: Building a local support group

Post by fluffy bunny » 01 Mar 2008

sarah wrote:My experience, and I can only speak for myself, is that at first I was introduced to the fact that I was a soul and it was my inherent right to connect with God. As time went on I felt that it was no longer my right. I had to EARN it. Then suddenly I was not a soul. I was a body. I must have been a body because it suddenly mattered what cloth I put on that body, and what food I put in my mouth, and what other bodies I mixed with.
Very deep, Sarah. I think that you are the first person every to put it in such terms but it makes sense. A new gilded cage.

It is true, most of us can relate how our bodies (and never mind our bodily wealth) were of more importance to them and how they were willing to make demands and strike prejudices on the basis on the way it looked; dress, long hair, facial hair (which is acceptable on women, except for where it is more serviceable to shave it off, but seemingly not on men). Sparkal and others have also commented on how talents were more important than virtues and how overlooked the actual Yoga power was by souls that were very clever and involved but probably not having at all.

I was always left wondering how we knew if anyone was actually having Yoga or just having the concept that they were having Yoga. "Saying Baba 10,000 times a day" rather than actually just connecting. Oh, there was so much farce and it has become much more about whether you wish to chose to invest yourself in an organisation with political power and status as a ambition. Play the game and kiss brown ass and you might be cut a slice of it ... but usually even attaining that requires some game play on your behalf as well, e.g. becoming an important and value asset to them ... and then being seen to withdraw or threatening to withdraw it.

It seems to many I have spoken to that where your color or sex is wrong, or there are no free seat available, this seems to work and be rewarded with offers to work out of Madhuban or privileges like being able to run your own business off the back of the BKWSU. How can we keep you? Do you want a little income on the side or a slice of our priestly status?

Is that a fair or unfair view point of view?

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Re: Building a local support group

Post by primal.logic » 01 Mar 2008

I realised that being a BK was more important actually that being a soul
This is the main point I think.

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Post by alladin » 01 Mar 2008

I remember when the analogy with the KKK was in fashion on this Forum. I used to find it very appropriate and funny (if I can use this word!). Part of the brainwashing has to do with the "pride" of belonging to such a clan, an elite, and since it is supposed to be the most elevated in the world, in time and space, we are led to believe that there's no harm in this theory.

Clan, castes, brands, privileges. All anachronistic stuff that deserves much questioning, especially in a world where political correctedness, eco-compatibility, sustainability etc ..., are on politician's mouths, in the media and the planet's inhabitants daily life talks and choices. But we know the BKs do not belong any more to this world, which is already a graveyard. So, anything unpalatable and embarassing, goes!

The peculiarity of extremism is that rules dictated by common sense are alien and do not apply. Members become dropouts of society and the BK system is totally "far out". Nonsensically, these surrendered martyrs for the "right cause", start infringing even the rules taught by the Spiritual University, like the one which was illustrated in the above posts about soul consciousness, or the pretence of being pukka, showing off overactivity in service, sitting in meditation at given times, when actually the aims are not clear or pure. And the quality, or even the existence, of a connection with the Lord is poor.

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