Posted February 20th, 2008
In a somewhat unique arrangement, for an organization whose principles forbids followers from discussing business with each other at their Brahma Kumaris’ Raja Yoga centers, an international management consultant and spiritual university “faculty member” Brian Bacon was reported widely to have originally developed a Self Management Leader [SML] course, “ ... to assist those leading others through turbulent times“.
With the Brahma Kumaris [BK] leadership previously having written to the world’s military leaders, encouraging them to invoke Marshall Law and practise scorched earth tactics, and having told its followers the last 70 years that the world faces a nuclear holocaust and the death of 6 Billion to make way for a heaven on earth for 900,000 of them, perhaps “turbulent” is a small understatement.
The programme, which incorporated elements of the BKWSU yogic practises was then licensed back to the Brahma Kumaris to “... facilitate individuals to develop their internal leadership skills through understanding of their purpose, vision and values“. Taught at its Indian head quarters and centers worldwide, the course was a useful service tool for the BKWSU, gaining them access to corporate leaders and VIPs otherwise put off by its traditional mediumship and mysticism.
As the BKWSU stated in a 2004 “Murli” bundle, “Baba (God) is constantly asking us to serve VIPs and as you all know, SML has been a very good tool for this. Keeping this in mind, our aim is to ensure a high quality peer group ... suitable invitees could include: Vice Presidents, Directors of Departments, Executive Directors, PhDs or Head of Departments.”
The deal? In return for licensing the SML course back to the BKWSU, Brian Bacon’s company the ‘Oxford Leadership Academy’ [OLA] was allowed to accept high fees to teach the course to;
- any corporate clients referred back from any BKWSU center,
use the number of “over 100,000 alumni from 56 countries” taught by the BKWSU to establish credibility on his publicity, and ...
cherry pick the Brahma Kumari network of ambitious yet professionally unfulfilled BK Raja Yogis to create a ready-made international network of “corporate consultants” and management coaches.
The latest quite word from the BKWSU is that during the recent season of God visiting the organization’s Indian headquarters in person, leading Brahma Kumar and Raja Yogi ... and OLA consultant ... Ken O’Donnell met with all BK SML facilitators for an acronym soup and to tell them that BKWSU has decided to stop giving (free) SML courses in all centers and cities all over the world.
Why? In the first place, it seemingly the BKWSU had just realized that Brian Bacon was giving his SML courses for high fees and they, the BKWSU, had decided it is not ethical to continue. Other reports claim that Brian Bacon had actually revoked the license leading critics to suggest that it was done so in order to protect his asset and commercial reputation as the ethical question of mixing God and Mammon, and the professional questions surrounding extreme BK beliefs started to draw too close.
A circular informed BK followers that all planned SML programmes continued in BKWSU centers until the end of January 2008 but it was said, no further SML seminars will be given after this leaving devotees questioning what will fill their gap in their VIP service programmes?
Although in India, large employers had been forcing workforces to undertaking BK training; the mixing of religion, business, governmental and even military interests are against the law in many Western Countries where the BKWSU often claims they are not a religion. Despite their charitable and non-profit statuses being registered as religious organizations.
Brian Bacon is seen as one of the world’s leading corporate consultants and has been a mentor to three heads of state including Vicente Fox of Mexico. He is a strategic advisor to senior management of numerous multinational corporations, consultant for the governments of Australia, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Thailand, Sweden and Denmark, counselor in the ‘Pact of Stability in the Balkans’ and special advisor in the ‘Global Security on the Prevention of Violent Conflict in International Affairs’. There is no doubting his professionalism and the credibility he lent the Brahma Kumari leadership. It is highly likely that he was entirely unaware of the policies of historical revisions which the BKWSU has practised that have been kept hidden from its adherents, many of failed predictions of the End of the World and its founder and medium’s claims of godhood.
To quote managing director of McDonald’s Anders Soderlund, a company Brian consults for at the highest level,
What commentators from both the religious and corporate worlds might be led to question are the psychic influences and the working environment of the “World Spiritual University” that offered him refuge at their Oxford Retreat center, at a time he was vulnerable, and encouraged him to start such business within their community. One that they have profited from, in many ways, internationally.McDonalds MD wrote:Brian is a very rare facilitator and mentor in that he lives what he talks about. He brings his important message to such life that you absorb every piece of it. The environment he creates is the perfect one for approaching the complex questions around life and leadership. He has had a very big influence on our company throughout the world.