Following is another web page contents of the bkwsuwatch.com web site where I had replied ( I was the first person to answer to the issues raised in those web pages) and which were later deleted by the editor there. I wish that the members here please tell me what wrong have I written in my replies for which there was need to delete my replies. Was the response of the editor of that web site correct?
:neutral:Brahma Kumaris Raja Yoga: the real story
The Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University
Suicide - a tragic outcome
Duty of Care
The history of the Brahma Kumaris
The Core Beliefs of the Brahma Kumaris
The lifestyle of a dedicated member of the BKWSU
Identifying the Brahma Kumaris as a cult
Result of Abuse
Could you be inculted?
Selling Integrity and Revelation
Deception, disguises and fronts
Relax7 & Mike George
Oxford Leadership Academy and Brian Bacon
Tax fraud & false claims
Summary: The Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University
Recent posts ()
ex-BK support site
Official BKSWU site
Duty of Care
As is described in the pages of this website, the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University has a deep and significant effect on those who become involved in its’ beliefs. However the Brahma Kumaris do not have a duty of care policy or practise. As an organisation they do not accept any responsibility for their actions on any level - notably this includes the welfare of the people they recruit.
The BKWSU actively seeks to increase the number of “students” who study their teachings, adopt their lifestyle and have full faith in their belief system. However the BKWSU has never developed a capacity to assess or assist those followers who become psychologically affected as a result of their involvement.This is evidenced by the fact that the tragedy of what happened to Ranjana and Sharad has never been addressed by the BKWSU management.
What we seek is the consideration of important issues and resolutions to problems related to the emotional safety and well being of the members of the BKWSU - an issue which BKWSU management is in denial about.
The major concern is what to do to protect those who are already associated with them or will be at some time in the future. This site is about pressing the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University to establish a duty of care program and an exit strategy for its members including permission to leave. The fact that the deaths of Ranjana and Sharad did not lead to even a consideration of how to prevent such tragedies again is a statement about the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University leadership and the degree of effort necessary to gain their compliance.
Why no duty of care? Why has this organisation so determinedly resisted considerations of this matter? The answer lay in their beliefs: the teachings of God, channelled through Brahma, state clearly that those who study and then leave are the worst type of sinners - they are labelled as deserters and traitors. As such, their well being is just not up for discussion.
Within the ranks of the BKWSU membership the attitude toward ex members is governed by the cults’ management - the people who effectively own the philosophy. The established attitude towards ex members is that they are people who have been overwhelmed by Maya - the illusions of the material world - and are now spiritually diseased. For members to associate with ex members is to become diseased also. Thus the common experience of ex members is one of being outcast. Their friends within the BKWSU are no longer their friends, there is no cooperation or support. Even a member of many years who has given a great deal will feel abandoned - and they have been.
So what’s the problem? The nature of the Brahma Kumaris philosophy is to attract people who are emotionally or psychologically vulnerable at that time. The simple fact is that happy people do not join the Brahma Kumaris. Unhappy people do because they have been lead to believe that they have found the explanation and solution to their ‘dilemma’ (dysfunction).
The BKWSUs’ core promise is purification of the soul, with the resultant peace and strength of mind. This is achieved by studying and practising and surrendering to their philosophy and meditation - something that appeals to those who are dissatisfied within themselves. What new members don’t realise is that the honeymoon like experience they have in the initial stages are largely associated with the fulfilment of basic emotional needs - belonging, community, respect, reinforcement - and a satisfying, if not intoxicating, explanation - they are the special ones who now know God personally are to become deities in Heaven.
The danger grows because the BKWSU teaches a pseudo-psychological ‘understanding’ of consciousness they claim is taught directly by God. The result is that the inculted members believe that the knowledge they have is superior to the ‘impure knowledge’ of humans - including mental health professionals. One of the consequences of this is that if a member is suffering depression or anxiety they will only seek to solve their issues from within the teachings and ranks of the Brahma Kumaris themselves. However the only answers a troubled member will get are distilled from the BK philosophy and only serve to indoctrinate the member more deeply - or blame them for being too impure to be content as a BK simply adding guilt to their existing feelings of depression and anxiety.
As a result there is a higher concentration of the group who are in need of professional help than a typical cross section of society, all of whom are heading for deeper trauma. The initial experience that was so pleasant simply disguised the real issues. These issues will re-emerge at some point - even years later - and this will result in serious internal conflict and tension. Their real issues are then compounded with cult induced sense of failure and guilt. This leads to depression and possibly self destructive tendencies.
What duty of care requires is:
the acceptance by management that duty of care is responsible and reasonable. What is the harm in having such a program? Why is management so threatened by something that is so typically accepted in the world they look down upon?
It will require a professional, responsible and mature attitude from senior management - and this is probably the heart of the matter - BKWSU management is so bound in its’ reductionist theories that new thinking is essentially impossible.
The BKWSU is quick to highlight that it has a membership of over 800,000 students globally. The organisation has become very wealthy. It is effectively a global corporation. Yet it has no strategy at all to ensure the well being of its’ members, even on a minimal level of occupational health and safety. Given that it is the nature of the BKWSU to recruit emotionally vulnerable or socially dysfunctional people it is highly likely that there will be a problem. And there has been - which is why we are here. Until now communications with the BKWSU has only confirmed that duty of care is simply not on their agenda.
What could they do?
Firstly we have to establish the premise for duty of care in order to define the key issues. In the case of the BKWSU that would be directly related to what they do and how they recruit their members. In the first instance, what they do is literally guarantee that if someone fully surrenders to the teachings and practises they will achieve complete purity and peace. Thus they actively encourage “students” (members) to submit completely. This consequence of this is that a member will relinquish all forms of outside support. This includes family, friends, and professional health care. The member is rendered totally dependent on the BKWSU - and notably the Seniors. The obvious problem is that the Seniors are not qualified or able to provide the level of support required to sustain other individuals in either the short or long term. In the west, an estimated 90% of these Seniors will run into problems themselves and also leave - that is, they are the victims of the process themselves.
Duty of care in this context is complex - how to provide a necessarily comprehensive program to ensure the well being of people who are totally dependent on a single and exclusive provider of emotional support. We have major problems here - firstly we are talking about an organisation as such a provider as opposed to family, friends or people who actually care. Is this even possible? Secondly, we are talking about an organisation which fails to even recognise that such a thing as duty of care even exists!
So we are definitely coming from a deficit position. Assuming that the BKWSU could recognise its’ responsibility, and also recognise that it has positioned itself as a soul provider of care - where to from there?
They could begin by implementing a comprehensive education campaign to enable their members to understand psychological matters that may effect them or those they know from a qualified perspective. Matters such as depression, anxiety and ADHD - common conditions buried throughout the ranks of the Brahma Kumaris - should be openly addressed. It should be a regular topic of discussion. This information could also be made available on an internal website for example.
This could be in conjunction with independent assessment and counselling by outside professionals. This service needs to be available to members and ex members. Its use should be encouraged. Those leaving would benefit greatly from this service.
Additionally there is a requirement for an independent Ombudsman to be available to resolve issues fairly and make recommendations. At this stage, all the power is with the Seniors and inevitably the decisions are all in their favour. Consequently there is no learning curve or development for management. And people seeking help are inevitably the ones in the wrong. This definitely has to change.
At this stage, members are psychologically manipulated into staying. They may be told by a senior that it is okay to leave, but the teachings state clearly that to leave is to fail - forever. There is no coming back, there is nothing but eternal damnation waiting for them if they leave. All advise given to struggling members is based on this premise. In short, it is not okay to leave. This is evidenced by the fact that there is no exit strategy.
Not being able to leave is a major contributor to the psychological breakdown that is witnessed in almost all departing members. This is one of the most important aspects of duty of care that has to be implemented - permission to leave and an exit strategy. This will require a major change in attitudes, which, in reality, is unlikely. Numbers are much too important to the Brahma Kumaris - the volume of membership is critical to their feelings of success, to their own organisational identity.
Another one of the key challenges we are laying down for the BKWSU is honesty. It is their culture of “self justified deception” that is a significant factor in the trauma they cause. They seem to be always hiding something - even their core beliefs!
Firstly they could start with financial transperancy. The Brahma Kumaris claim to be the true children of God, yet when it comes to money, property and finance, they have a lot to answer for. We simply seek honesty on all levels. Deception is a silent and dangerous practise and harmful to members.
All that is being asked of the Brahma Kumaris is honesty, integrity and concern for the well being of members and ex members. The Brahma Kumaris promote themselves as authorities on spiritual and moral values. It is high time they practised what they preach in their ‘own home’ and overcame the embedded culture of hypocrisy.
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8 Responses to “Duty of Care”
September 20th, 2008
Introducing myself first, I am a believer and supporter of BK Knowledge. But I have no contact with BK institutions since 1993. But still I believe and churn the Spiritual knowledge given through BK institution.
The following is my opinion. The people who have created and are promoting this site have not understood the teachings of BK’s properly. And this site is a good example for a saying in our language “Naach na jaane, aangan teedha”, meaning Do not know to dance but justify saying that the ground or the stage is crooked or curved.
Let me give an example, suppose someone gets admission to Oxford university to get a masters degree. But instead of studying properly he /she wastes time and also does not follow the directions given by the professor and then as a result fails in the exams. And then feels ashamed and commits suicide. Who is to be blamed? The professor? The University? The classmates? Or the person himself /herself ?
It is the person to be blamed. Surely there are few others to be blamed. These are those people who instigated the person to not follow the directions of the professor and misguided the person and wasted his /her time and thus created problems in his /her studies.
In this website much is written about Ranjana and Sharad. But is it not surprising that the name and the background of that person who instigated Ranjana to have sex with him has not been written. May I know WHY?
Every human being is free to achieve whatever he /she aspires for in any open society. But that does not mean that every person aspiring to become president of any state will become president of that state. Every sportsman participating in Olympics does not get a gold medal. Failure is part of life. But that does not mean we should commit suicide for our failure. If everyone starts to do it then none will be left alive in this world.
I quote from this page, “This site is about pressing the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University to establish a duty of care program and an exit strategy for its members including permission to leave.”
BK institution is an institution open to all to visit and learn it’s seven days course and open for all those who believe in it’s Knowledge to attend and study in the GodFather’s teaching’s classes. Anyone at any time is free to discontinue and leave the instituion if he /she feels so and needs no permission. But for those who are surrenderred sisters and brothers living in the BK institution I think there is some paper work to be done before leaving the institution. But everyone is absolutely free to leave whenever they want to. Regarding duty of care program, it is impossible to have any official duty of care program. Does any university anywhere in this world has duty of care program for failures and for those discontinuing their study?
Everyone in the BK institution is a student of GodFather’s knowledge. And they have an aim and objective for studying. There is no entrance test to get admission in this institution. And as this is free for all, people with various backgrounds and with various intentions join the institution. We can see how morality of humans in general is degrading day by day. Every student of this institution has to take his /her own responsibility. It does not mean that no one will help. If someone with difficulty in his /her study approcahes anyone who is good in his /her study then surely he /she will try to help. But if someone approaches any other student of BK institution with bad intentions then it might become disastorous trying to help such a person (as in the case of Ranjana). And therefore students of BK institution are warned not to get involved personally with someone who does not believe in the BK’s Knowledge and who is not a genuine student of the institution.
I quote from this page, “Even a member of many years who has given a great deal will feel abandoned - and they have been.”
I think a member who has been a member for many years has no reason to leave or oppose the Knowledge of BK institution, because he /she has become a member only after understanding it’s Knowledge. The basic faith is that the knowledge that is taught in this institution is given by The GodFather Himself. And that This GodFather is The Only One Who does Selfless Service of All human souls and transforms this universe into Heaven. And thousands of students of BK institution are experiencing help from The GodFather in their study and progress in their life. But if some student loses faith in this basic understanding of the BK institution and depends on the BK sisters or brothers, who themselves are students, then they are sure to be disappointed at some stage. And when their pet sister or brother stops supporting him /her then surely he /she shall feel abondened. No human being in this world is capable of taking complete reponsibilty of anyone and hence are unreliable.
I quote from this page, “The nature of the Brahma Kumaris philosophy is to attract people who are emotionally or psychologically vulnerable at that time.”
The GodFather has come to give his helping hand by giving Knowledge. Knowledge is Power. It is our duty to use His knowledge for our own upliftment. I have heard a nice explanation of LUCK. What is L_U_C_K? Labour Under Correct Knowledge. People of this world are labouring according to the knowledge given by human beings and have gained lots of wealth, power and status but still they have a feeling of emptiness within. Please tell me about anyone who is not in search of happiness and does not depend on others for emotional support. Is every such person joining BK institution? NO. Only those who finds the knowldge given by BK’s as satisfactory and develops faith in it’s Knowledge will continue to be student of BK institution after completing it’s seven days course. If a person continue to go to BK institution without understanding it’s Knowledge and without having faith in it’s teachings then he /she is not only deceiving himself /herself but also the BK’s. Such a person has some other self interest and is pursuing his /her selfish motives through the BK institution. Such people harm themselves because of their deceiving nature.
I quote from this page, “The fact is that happy people do not join cults.”
Do you mean to say that people going to the so called established religions of this world which are having memberships in billions are all happy people and people joining cults are unhappy ones?
I quote from this page, “They offer a pseudospiritual/psychological ‘understanding’ of consciousness.”
Who are you to pass judgement about it’s knowledge? Do you know who are you and who is God?
I quote from this page, “What duty of care requires is: A comprehensive education campaign of the membership to enable understanding of psychological matters from a qualified perspective. Matters such as depression and ADHD - common conditions buried throughout the ranks of the Brahma Kumaris - should be openly addressed.”
Do you think the so called Psychologists with many degrees from many renowned institutions are more knowledgeful and capable than The GodFather? There is no need for you to worry about the ranks of Brahma Kumaris. GodFather is there to take care of them. You can do a comprehensive campaign of the claims made by the BK’s that they are taught by The GodFather Himself and may warn people not to join BK institutin if they have no faith in their claim. Time will prove about their claim. Best of luck for your campaign.
I quote from this page, “The Brahma Kumaris claim to be the true children of God, yet when it comes to money, property and finance, they have a lot to answer for.”
Surely they need to answer. But being a true children of God does not mean that they should not try to save their taxes by allowed legal means. If BK institution is going against the rule of law of any country then that government should take actions against such BK centres. It is DUTY OF THE GOVERNMENT to maintain rule of law of that country. You should bring to notice of the government about the financial irregularities of the institution and press the government for taking actions against those who are responsible for it. If the government feels that the BK instituion has to be given concessions then it should be declared.
I quote from this page, “The Brahma Kumaris promote themselves as authorities on spiritual and moral values. It is high time they practised what they preach in their ‘own home’ and overcame the embedded culture of hypocrisy.”
I would like to correct the above quote. The Brahma Kumaris used to practise what they preached, but with the expansion and influx of members there is degradation in practise of some values in the institution and some amount of hypocrisy got embedded in their culture. Surely it is high time that such members should be filtered out or transformed to bring the institution to it’s original state.
September 28th, 2008
Thanks Sanjeev for giving us a clear insight into BK attitudes!
October 8th, 2008
Thank you Mr. Sanjeev.
I am glad to observe your broad heart and answer with cool mind.
You said that “And that This GodFather is The Only One Who does Selfless Service of All human souls and transforms this universe into Heaven.”
I liked it very much, because Other religions preaches of imaginated heaven somewhere in the sky. Now I understood that real heaven will be on this earth where we really are.
Secondly your comment “No human being in this world is capable of taking complete reponsibilty of anyone and hence are unreliable” is 100% correct Mr. Sanjeev. I appreciated this because so many times I felt it. In stead of depending upon a human being it is good to depend on the God. Further, one may help today may not available tomorrow.
October 10th, 2008
Allow me to correct you, as you are clearly misinformed:
“Anyone at any time is free to discontinue and leave the instituion if he /she feels so and needs no permission. But for those who are surrenderred sisters and brothers living in the BK institution I think there is some paper work to be done before leaving the institution. But everyone is absolutely free to leave whenever they want to”.
This statement is completely wrong. There is absolutely no permission to leave. Not even Dadi Janki will give permission to leave because there is none given in the Murli. That is why no such “paperwork” exists.
“Regarding duty of care program, it is impossible to have any official duty of care program. Does any university anywhere in this world has duty of care program for failures and for those discontinuing their study?”
Other universities do have duty of care policies as do all other organisations in the West. It is a legal requirement. But notably, they are neither cults nor Godly. Yet they can still demonsrate duty of care. There is no point you arguing against duty of care when you just don’t know what it is.
“No human being in this world is capable of taking complete reponsibilty of anyone and hence are unreliable”.
That is obvious. It would help if you would get off your BK pedestal and stopped talking down to the rest of us. You clearly demonstrate the BK attitude that you are superior because you are one of the elite chosen ones who know the secrets only BKs know!
“Do you mean to say that people going to the so called established religions of this world which are having memberships in billions are all happy people and people joining cults are unhappy ones?”
No. Unhappy people go to established religions too.
“Do you think the so called Psychologists with many degrees from many renowned institutions are more knowledgeful and capable than The GodFather?”
“There is no need for you to worry about the ranks of Brahma Kumaris. GodFather is there to take care of them”.
Where was “He” when Ranjana committed suicide?
November 7th, 2008
I have some doubt in your response (dtd.10th oct. 08.)to Sanjeev
“This statement is completely wrong. There is absolutely no permission to leave. Not even Dadi Janki will give permission to leave because there is none given in the Murli. That is why no such “paperwork” exists.”
If there is no paperwork at all, then what is the problem in leaving the instition, if not interested to continue. Also what type of permission s/he wants. Whether the institution file a suit in a court against the absconding person. Is there any ground for it, in the absense of paperwork for joining and leaving. Whether Ranjana applied for permission for her (love)/marriage.
These points are not clear to me.
On Ranjana case, I presume that due to age factor, she might fell in love with some body and left the organisation. But after realising that she had committed an unpardonable offence or so, unable to show her face to others opted to commit suicide.
November 7th, 2008
You are missing the essential point - that Ranjana is dead. It is not compassionate to try to rationalise her tragic death in favour of the BKWSU.
You also need to understand that being a BK in the west is very different to being a BK in India. I have some insight into the differences as I have travelled in India on behalf of the BKWSU lecturing in various centres in Dehli, Bombay, Bangalore and Madras.
In the west being a BK, Indian or not, is much more fundamentalist. This is mostly due to the intense attitudes of Sister Jayanti who had a huge influence on the development of the BKWSU in the western world. Nirmala Didi is equally fundamentalist. They have both pushed the idea that there is no margin for error, that to leave, or even think of leaving, is a massive failure. If you left the organisation with another BK - as Ranjana did, you were not allowed to show your face again.
This fundamentalist attitude is reflected in the translation of the Murli into English. For example in the Hindi Murli Baba encourages everyone with “children become pure” using the Hindi word ‘pavitra’. He is encouraging his followers to adopt the mariadas and live a pure life.
However, in the English class everyone is already following the mariadas and cannot imagine that someone would attend class if they were not. So ‘pavitra’ is wrongly translated as ‘pure’ meaning ’satopradhan’. So no one hears the encouragement that is expressed through the Hindi Murli, they only get “you must become completely pure / be completely pure now!!”
So the English class feels that they are constantly being reminded that they are impure and that every wrong thought is a fatal mistake. Instead of being encouraged, they are discouraged. They leave the class feeling stressed because they are not perfect now.
This is just one simple example that I hope you can grasp - it may seem incomprehensible to you, but being a BK in the west is quite a distressing experience. It is very blissful in the beginning, but the “all or nothing” attitude of western BKs will ultimately result in the severe depression of failure as the years pass and one doesn’t feel that they are able to live up to these impossible expectations. EVERY WESTERN BK LEAVES IN GREAT DISTRESS.
This is what happened to Ranajna - there was no forgiveness, no compassion, no encouragement - in the eyes of Jayanti Ranjana had failed and that was that.
November 11th, 2008
It is not my duty to rationalise one’s death in favour of any institution. I pointed out my views whatever I observed from your site and the discussions there on. I am not expectig any thing from any one to do favour/fear.
What I observed from your site that it is not concentrated to any point or aim but chanting the mantra of “ranjana ... ranjana ... ranjana ... ranjana” justlike some of the devotees of Rama chant “Rama…. Rama….. Rama…” in India and blaming the institution where ranjana stayed for some years, eloped with some one, later made suicide.
I do not understand what is the wrong with the management for not alowing a female member who eloped with some male member. As per your site it is against their principle i.e. a great sin. There is every chance that others may do the same sin, if a sinner is not restricted. So in my opinion, it was not a wrong decision.
In India they are called as DHARMA-DROHI and were economically & socially excommunicated.
Though I am not in favour of honour killings, in some community, if a member got married to a member of other community, against the wishes of their family members, then s/he would be killed by her/his own family members.
Further, you say that “In the west being a BK, Indian or not, is much more fundamentalist.” But your words in this site and the words used by you to answer the comments are seems as the words from a fundamentalist.
November 11th, 2008
Venkatesh wrote,”The Though I am not in favour of honour killings, in some community, if a member got married to a member of other community, against the wishes of their family members, then s/he would be killed by her/his own family members.”
I think this cruel act is not limited to communities in India alone. It is there even in the west. I think Romeo and Juliet story is an example of it. And many even in the west feel that death of lady Diana of the Royal family of Britian was a honour killing. All kinds of people are in all parts of the world. Percentage may differ.
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