Talk:Brahma Kumaris/Archive 14

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Archive 10 Archive 12 Archive 13 Archive 14 Archive 15

Canvassing Request

FYI - — Preceding unsigned comment added by Danh108 (talkcontribs) 19:54, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

Fred's more or less declined on his talk page, I asked NYB who is currently on the ArbCom for any input he might have. John Carter (talk) 19:07, 29 September 2013 (UTC)
Thank you John. The Arbcom option is looking like it might be the better way forward. Regards Danh108 (talk) 21:40, 29 September 2013 (UTC)
Wasn't actually thinking about ArbCom in terms of getting them involved in a big way, but it was on the basis of their ruling that the article was placed under probation, so I'm thinking that they might also be among those best able to find some way to get some help here. They have done so in the past for some other articles. John Carter (talk) 00:30, 30 September 2013 (UTC)
The ruling relates to the use of reliable and verifiable references. The topic is now very well referenced. I don't see what the problem is.
Therefore, let's be honest about what is going on here, the methods and motivations of the BK tagteam; one of which is to specifically attempt to engage as many uninformed third parties as possible largely as a distraction.
This is why I say it will save everyone's time and energy if the Brahma Kumaris would just show us what they want in a sandbox, thereby gaining the experience they lack of laying out and referencing a topic, and allow us to consider it as a whole. Any other approach is unfair on others and wasting of resources which could be applied to benefiting the Wikipedia elsewhere. --Januarythe18th (talk) 04:23, 30 September 2013 (UTC)
May I suggest that you perhaps read WP:TE and WP:TPG. First, there seems to be an implicit POV in your comment in which you refer to these other editors, apparently, as the "BKs". If you have reasonable evidence to support that, of course, that would be useful to present - if you don't, then it is a rather clear attempt at maligning others without evidence, which is not generally accepted. And I believe that the attempt to apparently dictate to others what to do in the above comment, saying doing anything else would involve the waste of time of others, is also at best dubiously placed here. As I have indicated in my recent comment above, I am more than willing to forward to anybody and everybody who requests it information I have gotten on the BKs in independent reliable sources. This would, possibly, include transcribed copies of the articles in reference books on the topic. If anyone wants them, drop me an e-mail and I will forward what I have, but I might also suggest that anyone doing so leave a note on my user talk page, which would allow others to see that the request has been made and allow them to ask that copies of the material be sent to them as well. John Carter (talk) 16:04, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

Yes, I can John, including the identifying the puppet master and their highly personalised motivations for doing so. However, if I was to do so at this point I would then be accused of making a personal attack and outing individuals, as DanH108 did. The evidence of coordination that exists, mostly online as of today, and matches the worst or most obvious the Wikipedia has seen.
The topic is high accurate and well referenced, that is not the issue here. It already contains all of the academic and reliable independent sources relating to the Brahma Kumaris. We're well beyond the obvious sources like Google books or simple compendiums of religions.
DanH108 has admitted his long term adherence. Perhaps, as a gesture of good faith, rather than me being accused of outing others, the other individuals would just simple to care to do so?
The way forward is just for the BK adherents to show us a sandbox copy of what they want and then compare the two. Not get dragged into argument over every word.
You make not like to read this but unless you accept that even the involvement of well meaning but uninformed third parties and admins such as yourself is a specifically stated strategy of the BKs and it is just that, a strategy, you will be blinded by the confusion being creates here.
Please, try it. Ask the BKs whether their religion or IT leaders have/are discussion this matter at length, are detailing and documenting contributors and contributions centrally, and developed strategies to gain influence or control. (They may quibble semantically about what constitutes "leaders" and between individual and collective responsibility, but ignore that). --Januarythe18th (talk) 15:04, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Wikipedia:Cabals? As this article has been subject to ArbCom perhaps you could try and communicate with the committee and see if your concerns are addressable. Or you could ask for advice at the Adminstrator noticeboard about the correct processes or routes for your concerns. GraemeLeggett (talk) 15:32, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

As I see it, you've more or less hit the nail on the head Greame. Nothing ever gets escalated because there is no reality to January's words. I wish he would escalate it asap and finish the empty accusations. But it is just a ploy, as Vecrumba called it, 'machinations' trying to create doubt and suspicion in the minds of others.
Evidence: After all the problems with the article, January is still saying it's highly accurate!! What?! And after you, I, Vecrumba, everyone has asked him to give up on the sandbox, on it I let people draw their own inferences about the psychological implications of this.
As I have said earlier on the page, and I know from my day job, sometimes it's extremely hard to figure out who is telling the truth, and motive is the most revealing evidence for it (in my experience). Anyway, it's back to the content for me. Regards Danh108 (talk) 05:10, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
On the other hand, I am intrigued Januarythe18th- in your accusations be specific which editors are you including? You have often mentioned that other "uninformed" editors even with extensive experience on Wikipedia (Vecrumba) and now even to Admin that they were being used by BKs or they would be blinded by confusion. Looking at the discussions on the talk page, I see no serious basis for this and editors aren't naive that they can not figure out right content from valid sources! Therefore, please present facts/ evidences or follow Greame's advise to escalate. Also your claim that this article is "accurate" has already been proven wrong at many places with inserted texts not cited by sources etc. If needed, I can summarize the list of such controversial content that's recently corrected or being debated on talk page. Thank you Changeisconstant (talk) 08:27, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
I am very tempted to edit under my real name. My personal view is that anonymity can create a lot of problems. I will think about it. The main thing that puts me off is the page history. This advocacy group does not respect normal social boundaries.
I will emphasise January's words: "The evidence of coordination that exists, mostly online as of today, and matches the worst or most obvious the Wikipedia has seen". I very much look forward to the day of revelation! Danh108 (talk) 18:32, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
One other alternative would be to contact WP:OTRS and reveal to them your name, and, presumably be extension, any further identifying information you might wish for them to verify. They could then release the relevant information wherever appropriate, like perhaps this talk page. That would allow individuals who want to have information who want to have information on them verifiable by someone known, while at the same time allowing other data to remain privileged. I know of at least a few editors who started editing under their real names, and then changed their user names because of problems, so I think the OTRS option, where the relevant information can be confirmed, but all other information which might not be relevant and might present some privacy concerns, can remain privileged. John Carter (talk) 18:39, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

Legal action against critics- an advert for

In the current article- there is a separate section devoted to a domain name dispute which was resolved by National Arbitration Forum and the critical web-site retained the domain name. Why is this a separate section when there is a controversies and criticism section? Only reason I can see is as per many examples on the talk page of this being an advert for lobbying group that controls this article- web-site. There are even more serious accusations and controversies listed under controversies section! I am proposing to club this under controversies section. Any views on this? Changeisconstant (talk) 08:13, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

Additionally to moving to controversies - As far as I know, the case wasn't a legal action against critics, it was a dispute for the name of the site, "BrahmaKumaris". I wonder why would Brahma Kumaris dispute that name?
The only reason BK lost is because "Brahma Kumaris" is not a trademark, it's as simple as that. So labeling as "legal action against critics" is a judgmental statement and how much it's highlighted indicates that some owner of the site put it there, and is maintaining it there as an advert. GreyWinterOwl (talk) 09:55, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
personally I don't think the claim that it was an attempt to quash criticism - as the text reads and the section title implies - is supported by the reference. The reference would support a claim that the BKSWU tried to assert trademark rights over the domain name but is that any different than any other "brand" and domain names held by others. I would change the line to read something neutral like "in 2007, BKSWU tried to claim ownership of the domainname used by [name of organization], an organization that is critical of the BKSWU but were unsuccessful" and move it into the controversies and criticism section. GraemeLeggett (talk) 11:15, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
Thanks Graeme- thats a valid point and your presence on this page is really helpful to improve neutrality of the article. This to me was the best example that substantiates the importance of the Cherry-picking tag that keeps getting reverted Changeisconstant (talk) 12:26, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
My own view would be that this is even borderline for inclusion in the article at all - there is nothing much controversial or even interesting about domain name disputes - it's quasi-legal, an intellectual property issue, and usually about 85% of these matters are cyber-squatting (i.e. fairly mundane/boring). However given I think it means quite a lot to January (and may even be motivating his involvement in the article as his group probably were financially impacted as they elected to instruct lawyers in the matter), I won't object beyond this. Regards Danh108 (talk) 20:04, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

Read the proceedings. The complainant Dr Hansa Raval of the BKWSU in Texas was using the case as a stepping stone in order to personally sue the respondents.

Please ask for clarification first (from those who have actually read the references), rather than making false or incomplete assertions based on assumptions. --Januarythe18th (talk) 08:40, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

I think my edit covered all that adequately. But the proceedings say the claim "...was instituted as part of a personal campaign " and does not mention personally suing the respondents GraemeLeggett (talk) 09:16, 28 September 2013 (UTC)
January, please address the content - that would give clarification. There is only 1 respondent in the matter. I see NO evidence in the reference for your claim about Mr Allan being personally sued, nor do I see any support for the view that a domain name dispute can serve as a 'stepping stone' to other legal action - how?. In addition, if Mr Allan had broken law, then it would be perfectly sensible for Dr Raval or anyone else to 'sue him' - that is what the law is for.
Greame, perhaps you've found something I haven't. All I got was: "According to Respondent, it appears that this proceeding was instituted as part of a personal campaign by Sister Hansa Raval, who has objected to criticism of her medical claims". This doesn't appear to be any finding by the panel, rather it is simply a restatement of the respondents accusation, now being replicated by January. Regards Danh108 (talk) 10:57, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

Improving the expansion - suggested inclusion

While I don't want the discussion to get splintered or spread to thin, I wanted to get people's feedback about including the following piece in the expansion section:

In 1980 the Brahma Kumaris became affiliated to the United Nations Department of Public Relations as an Non-Governmental Organisation. The relationship grew closer in 1983 when the Brahma Kumaris achieved consultative status with the Economic and Social Council at the United Nations. The BKWSU now have a permanent office space in New York for their work at the United Nations.[1]

This was added in August but got reverted...Regards Danh108 (talk) 04:25, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

Because it is already included in the 'Activities and recognition' section. --Januarythe18th (talk) 08:42, 28 September 2013 (UTC)
As it has a date context, I would take the appropriate amount of text out of the Activities section so there isn't any duplication and put it under Expansion or just add the briefest mention under expansion of the date it gained recognition.GraemeLeggett (talk) 09:06, 28 September 2013 (UTC)
Thanks Greame. If other editors could give their view, I will (will not) make the change according to consensus. My view is that the history and expansion sections are very poorly written, and I need to start breaking down the J18 content stonewall. This detail, along with some others (as I think Greame may have suggested quite some time ago) is better included in the expansion section - it is a 'milestone' for the organisation.
Another example where it doesn't make sense is the second last paragraph in the History section which finishes with the organisation being banned. Then the next paragraph jumps across to the organisation relocating to India in 1950...what happened in the intervening 10 years? Was the ban ignored? etc. Regards Danh108 (talk) 11:11, 28 September 2013 (UTC)
One of the sources I flicked through online (google books?) had Om Mandli moving to a different region of India. Presumably out of the region in which the ban on assembly was enforceable, and the anti-Om Mandli committee being regional rather than national leading to less confrontation and less coverage in sources. The 6 (or 4 depending on viewpoint) years of war and the partition may have been led to historians focus being elsewhere.GraemeLeggett (talk) 11:43, 28 September 2013 (UTC)
There is next to no information and even less verifiable sources for this period. There are a few references from a congress of world religions in Japan around 1955/56, and then the history line picks up again in the mid-1960s, and mid-70s for Western expansion. In short, they waited for the world to end in 1950, it didn't; then they waited for it to end in 1976, and it did not again. After the first failure, they went into retreat and, as far as I know, did next to nothing as their money ran out, the numbers dwindling.
The primary reason for this is that at some point in the late 1950s, the cult did one of its major historical and philosophical purges, as they did in 1950 when they moved out of Pakistan, and introduce their version of god Shiva for the first time. No academic as yet has covered this era or these events, and the cult has been very secretive about the highly considerable re-invention of their history and philosophy as it has tied itself in knots publicising an entirely false version for decades.
Until it comes clean, we'll pretty much be stuck with a blank.
I am not adverse to a more detailed history but it should be separated off onto another page. I am also not entirely sure how notable its history actually is by Wikipedian terms. A follower might be interested enough to list "when this centre started, when that event happened" but it's not something I would invest my energies into. Especially when members of the religion are actively attempting to remove details and whitewash topics. --Januarythe18th (talk) 14:01, 28 September 2013 (UTC)
Jan18 has an incredibly rigorous criteria that makes it virtually impossible to add any information about BK that he sees as "positive". But no criteria at all to add negative information - as long as it's negative, anything goes. GreyWinterOwl (talk) 14:15, 28 September 2013 (UTC)
What would you suggest is "positive"? Stuff like Brahma Kumaris Erect 40-ft Tall Giant Rakhi to gain a Limca Book of Records record? [1] The problem with much of the Brahma Kumaris activities, being meditating mendicants, is that they are non-notable from a Wikipedian point of view. However, if you want to go ahead and make a page List of Brahma Kumari World Records, I won't stop you. You'll just have to support it with sufficient references to convince others.
We cannot include faith based statements such as "many people gain benefits" as they are immeasurable and we have to be careful to filter through the organization's own PR to ensure their claims are as possible objectively reported, e.g. the usual exaggerate relationship with the United Nations.
I think the topic contains all the major accomplishments to date and reports its beliefs accurately. Perhaps the problem is that there are just not very many positive practical accomplishments and, as an adherent, you are just a little too focused on the elements you don't like or are unused to reading? --Januarythe18th (talk) 04:16, 30 September 2013 (UTC)
Your comments about "world records" are both mocking the religion and straw-man to what I said. Saying an activity is non-notable is an invalid argument as well, that may be an argument against creating a separate article for each of them, not for measuring their weight inside the article. Would you care to explain, while you believe BK is non-notable, then why do you strongly defend that a very small splinter group (thousands of times less notable than BK) must occupy half of the history? You clearly have different standards of notability where any line of controversial information you can find anywhere, automatically becomes "notable", but building a hospital to serve an entire state in which poor people suffer from health problems is "non-notable". GreyWinterOwl (talk) 15:50, 30 September 2013 (UTC)

Not at all, the Wikipedia has many 'lists of ...' and even a category for Category:World_records. As far as the history goes, I've suggested we have a separate topic for it in which you can go into as much detail as exists.

Mention of the PBKs, does not occur in the history. It occurs in the Expansion section, and quite correctly so. Schism, such as the Great Schism that split the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church, or the Roman Catholic Church and Protestantism, are important events in a religion. I suspect that proportionately, there is no difference here, and that PBKism is equally valid.

As to the Global Hospital, the Brahma Kumaris did not build a hospital to "serve an entire state", which would mean Rajasthan. That is a gross exaggeration. They became involved in building and staffing a hospital to treat their own elders as there was none on Mount Abu. Again, you mistake the PR version with the reality.

I understand the hospital to be a separate trust called the J Watumull Global Hospital & Research Centre of which the BKs are just one component. If that is correct, it would have a separate topic page.

Again, I would not oppose the creation and development of such a topic. Good luck at finding verifiable references and filtering out the facts from the aspirations. --Januarythe18th (talk) 17:07, 30 September 2013 (UTC)

───────────────────────── WP:NOTEWORTHY says "The criteria applied to article content are not the same as those applied to article creation. The notability guidelines do not apply to article or list content (with the exception that some lists restrict inclusion to notable items or people). Content coverage within a given article or list is governed by the principle of due weight and other content policies." (the latter includes NPOV, verifiability, OR) So I think suggesting creating other articles and that they would not be notable is red herring. GraemeLeggett (talk) 17:24, 30 September 2013 (UTC)

I could see that there is a Wikipedia page on PBKs linked in BKWSU article. While its a small splinter group not much known, undue weight has been given to PBKs in the expansion section. Expansion section is infact dominated by a small splinter group and most of the text related to PBKs is actually already there on the PBK article [2]. I see no point repeating all of that on the BKWSU article. It needs to be shown as an event as January mentioned but due weight needs to be given to BKWSU expansion. The fourth paragraph reads "The "Advance Party" offer a radicalised rendition of the BKWSU's original millenarian message....." - what does this have to do with BKWSU expansion? Its already covered under a separate article and that is the right place anyway. As a fascinating fact, BKWSU has expanded to 100 countries in ~ 40 years time when at the time of founder's demise in 1969 they had no presence outside India. If expansion section doesn't show this progression despite having good references about these, whats the purpose of the section? Changeisconstant (talk) 19:21, 30 September 2013 (UTC)
PBKs do not have the same weight related to BKs as protestants have to Christianty, because protestantism is very widespread compared to Christianity, while PBKs are a very diminute group compared to BKs. Jan18 offered no argument to support why they should occupy more than half of "expansion", or even a disambiguation at the top of the article.
Jan18 said: "They became involved in building and staffing a hospital to treat their own elders as there was none on Mount Abu. Again, you mistake the PR version with the reality." Who is mistaking POV with reality? The hospital treats poor residents of Mount Abu for free, when otherwise they would have no other way of medical care. Yet your POV is that the whole hospital is for personal use, and so I ask you to please show the reliable reference that supports your view. GreyWinterOwl (talk) 19:34, 30 September 2013 (UTC)
The comment Owl is quoting is about as distorted as it gets. I've got a copy of the 2011-2012 annual report in front of me. The hospital is treating thousands of people for free every year. Somewhere I read that (so ref pending) that it is able to provide free and low cost medical because it has approximately 40% BK staffing who don't receive any income (I understand there is meals and accommodation, so I don't say they are working for 'free').
I have made the changes in the way Greame suggested at the start of this thread. Regards Danh108 (talk) 20:08, 30 September 2013 (UTC)

Adjectives in 1st sentence

I was asked to come have a look at this article as an outside observer/new set of eyes. I'll admit I know very little about the subject, but I know Wikipedia policy fairly well. One thing that struck me was the 1st sentence of the Lead section: "[BKWSU] a secretive,[1] renunciate,[2] Millenarian[3][4] new religious movement (NRM) of Indian origin." This struck me as being extremely awkward, wordy, and inappropriate for a 1st sentence. Per WP:Lead, the Lead section is supposed to summarize the article, and the first sentence should be a very general statement. The current first sentence is incredibly specific, and I'm having a hard time finding support for it in the article. I only found one place where "secretive" was mentioned in the "criticism" section, and I couldn't find anything about "renunciate" (whatever that is). Might I suggest that the adjectives secretive, renunciate, and perhaps Millenarian be dropped from the 1st sentence? They can be moved elsewhere in the Lead if needed, or down to the body in the case of renunciate. ~Adjwilley (talk) 04:31, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

Welcome Adjwilley :-) while I agree the lede is clunky and would add that it is POV laden, we had been deferring addressing this as there is one editor who has some very strong views, and this has caused some tension on the page....I'm happy to look at it. However there are a number of issues on the go at the moment. Either way, some extra eyes would be really appreciated. Regards Danh108 (talk) 11:16, 28 September 2013 (UTC)
That's exactly the point frequently raised here and falsely labeled as "tagteam whitewash" by Jan18. The lead is undue, representing a very specific point of view and far from being a general or neutral resume of how the reliable references describe Brahma Kumaris. All editors who gave their opinion about it, except Jan18, think exactly what you just said, Adjwilley. WP:Exceptional describes the behavior of making exceptional claims (in this case undue), and accusing a "conspiracy" of wanting to "whitewash" or "suppress" it. It seems Jan18 extends his conspiracy theory to every single person except himself, and every reliable reference except some isolated sentences that suit his POV. GreyWinterOwl (talk) 14:08, 28 September 2013 (UTC)
I think "renunciate" in this context just refers to asceticism and austerities, although I would welcome input on that. Regarding the other points, "secretive" probably is somewhat judgmental, and I agree probably doesn't merit inclusion in the first sentence. Describing the group as an ascetic/austerities type might, and I could see, maybe, not knowing the subject that well, possibly including millenarian in the lead sentence, if the group has a very profound view regarding the immanent end of the world, which I haven't been able to check myself yet. John Carter (talk) 16:00, 29 September 2013 (UTC)
In my view, Secretive reflects POV of those critical of the organization and quite judgemental. Ascetic or Austerity is probably associated with a spiritual life-style promoted by BKWSU. Group does have profound views on imminent end of the world however its also associated with start of a new world they call "Golden Age" - one of the sources for this [3] Changeisconstant (talk) 18:34, 29 September 2013 (UTC)
I would agree the use of 'secretive' is unjustified. The source used is more a non-fiction narrative account of someone's time in Delhi, and doesn't even explain why that adjective was selected. J18 has earlier sought to justify the use of secretive with unverifiable claims that were accurately demonstrated by Changeisconstant to be false claims (as the daily teachings are available online, on open you-tube channels daily etc, not protected and hidden - a claim that had no supporting reference anyway).
Ascetic seems unsupported.
I don't agree that the group has profound views about the imminent end of the world. It appears to me the BK's see themselves as the vanguard for a new world that comes about without any 'final destruction' - there is always a human population on the planet (they say). This is arguably a bit more cheerful than the natural science view that the sun will one day supernova annihilating all of us, however the BK view has imminence. Massive upheaval yes, and the BK euphemisms such as 'transformation' are too much of stretch for me, but so are words like 'apocalypse'.
I see on the Scientology page one way camped disputes/entrenched disagreements have been managed is to simply state both positions e.g. the third paragraph in the lede could read:
"The BK's maintain they have been criticised and caused some controversy primarily because the social reforms they have been advocating have challenged existing power structures and social norms (e.g. dominance of men in patriarchal India). However critics make a wide range of accusations, some of which don't fit this characterisation".
I appreciate this isn't perfect, but I find it helpful to exemplify the point I'm trying to make. At the moment, the article tends just to express one side of the debate. The article can be drafted in a more balanced way. Regards Danh108 (talk) 19:45, 29 September 2013 (UTC)
FWIW, as per the Millenarianism article, millenialism doesn't actually mean "end of the world" as per my quote above directly, but rather an "end of the world as it exists today" or "major tansformation in society," which some might consider roughly equivalent to the first quote I give here. My apologies for my previous misstatement. But it does seem from the comments above that the BKs can reasonably be described as "millenial," although that doesn't directly address whether it is so important that it needs to be stated in the first sentence. John Carter (talk) 19:52, 29 September 2013 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Under that definition, my view would be that the word "millenial" works nicely. Thanks for clarifying John. Danh108 (talk) 21:30, 29 September 2013 (UTC)

My suggestion is that, as BK is a NRM, what is most important as adjectives in the lead is what defines the most important characteristics or beliefs of it as a religion. In my opinion, it seems one of the most important beliefs is the belief in a single God, and I think the adjective "monotheistic" could be an accurate and relevant representation of that in the lead, as it is in many WP articles of religions. Even the belief of an inheritance of golden age is believed to be a spiritual consequence of a connection with God. Instead of describing this as a core belief, the whole article blurs it in the middle of confusing descriptions and controversial points thrown everywhere.
Another issue in the lede is "spirit possession". That expression is in religious context, always used to refer to demonic spirits and so it's obviously there from a critical POV and is not a neutral word. I think "mediumship" is enough of a neutral word to describe the believed process of religious revelation, "possession" being unnecessary and non-neutral word. GreyWinterOwl (talk) 02:07, 30 September 2013 (UTC)
"Mediumship" instead of "spirit possession" seems reasonable to me, as long as it works with the sources. ~Adjwilley (talk) 02:20, 30 September 2013 (UTC)
Both mediumship, defined as the voluntary and conscious mediumship of spirits, and possession, defining it as the involuntary and unconscious mediumship of spirits occurs in the religion and is part of its belief system (e.g. 'Spirit possession and purity: A case study of a Brahma Kumaris ascetic' Ramsay, Tamasin), hence it is accurately represented. It's not true to make a statement such as "always used to refer to demonic spirits". At best that's a statement of personal faith.
If we go down that path, others could quite likely argue from a point of their faith, that all the spirits possessing the Brahma Kumaris are evil, and who are we to judge?
I must pick DanH108 up on the 'final destruction' issue. As pointed out in 'Apocalyptic Dreams and Religious Ideologies' (Beit-Hallahmi, Benjaminin 2003), Walliss and elsewhere, "Destruction" is the word the Brahma Kumaris use for the death of 7 billion impure human beings which happens through nuclear war, civil war and natural disasters including the sinking of all over continents except for India. It kills off all other non-BKs and eradicates civilisation as we know it so that the BKs can exclusively inherit a purified heaven on earth.
Let's not be misled about it. For Danh108 to state, as a long term devotee, that "new world that comes about without any 'final destruction'" is extremely disingenuous. The references are clear. The Brahma Kumaris invoke a terrible (and scientifically impossible) destruction of all others.
Adjwilley, we have addressed the issue of secretiveness already on this page, it occurs in various references as secretive, hidden, lack of disclosure to outsiders, information control etc.
Renunciate religions or orders are rather common. --Januarythe18th (talk) 03:40, 30 September 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, I reverted your edit: Could you address the concerns I brought up in my original post (WP:LEAD saying that the Lead section should summarize the article...the body of the article says nothing about renunciate and little about secretive, so why should the 1st sentence of the Lead?) Also, as I mentioned in my edit summary, part of the reason I reverted was because of the unattributed claim. Is there a general consensus in the sources that BK is secretive, or is that controversial? If it's controversial, the writing should reflect that, or at least attribute the view to someone. ~Adjwilley (talk) 05:10, 30 September 2013 (UTC)
Where would you like me to start? Above you state you don't understand what the word renunciate means. Perhaps if you have a read over the various references and look at the lifestyle section it will give you an overview.
What is it you don't understand about the term renunciate or renunciation[4] as it refers to a religion?
The Brahma Kumaris themselves pose their path as "unlimited renunciation". Ask one of the Brahma Kumari followers here if I am presenting that fact correctly, e.g. "You children have unlimited renunciation because you understand that this old world is to end. This is why you have disinterest in it". Sakar Murli 2003/02/18 Revised or as in Babb.[5]
I understanding that some people do not like when I point this out, but this is where not having a detail knowledge of the topic is a disadvantage, and a burden upon others when it comes to defending the obvious. The Brahma Kumaris are a renunciate order. Their teachings are to renounce this entire world as it is to be destroyed. --Januarythe18th (talk) 05:30, 30 September 2013 (UTC)
Januarythe18th, I think Adjwilley is saying something different. The question here is the Lead being the summary of the article rather than being composed of some isolated statements quoted from references. The irony here is that inorder to support a critical POV, you have shown two references above - one of them comes from a BKWSU literature which you have always strongly opposed to be used as a source because its not independent. The Babb reference shows Renunciation in a very different context of elderly people adopting celibacy and doesn't support your claim of "renoucing this entire world". Therefore before making edits or reverts against consensus on page, I would again request you to discuss the contoversial changes on talk page and seek opinions. Changeisconstant (talk) 07:52, 30 September 2013 (UTC)
That is correct: I'm not saying that BK is not renunciate, I'm saying that that particular detail is far to specific for the 1st sentence of the Lead, particularly when you consider how sparse the support for that is in the body of the article. The same goes for secretive: I'm not saying they're not, but it has not been demonstrated that this is an extremely significant aspect of the religion, and again, when the body doesn't support that, it shouldn't be in the Lead. Also, I don't think you should be reverting this when the consensus here is against you, and you definitely shouldn't be using deceptive edit summaries like "renunciate can stay" as you slip the word "secretive" back into the Lead. ~Adjwilley (talk) 20:22, 30 September 2013 (UTC)
"Renouncing the entire world", even if present in BK scripture, does not make it a renunciate religion. "Renunciate" could only be an adjective in the lead for an ascetic religion that renounces society in general. Just being celibate, vegetarian and avoiding drugs is not enough for it to be considered a "renunciate" religion. By the same criteria more than half of the world religions would probably also be renunciate, but I think it's only the case with religions that typically isolate from society (Brahma Kumaris was renunciate in the beginning, but isn't so now). It teaches people to not abandon family and job, and unite meditation with a normal life in the city. GreyWinterOwl (talk) 09:06, 30 September 2013 (UTC)
Jan18 said: "If we go down that path, others could quite likely argue from a point of their faith, that all the spirits possessing the Brahma Kumaris are evil, and who are we to judge?". I'm nobody to judge, but that's a very loaded POV and WP has a policy on neutral words. "Possession" is not appropriate for being a non-neutral, POV loaded word. Also, the mediumship BKs believe to be the source of their knowledge does not occur involuntarily, the Murlis have a specific time to be spoken, known beforehand, so even the meaning of the word is not accurate in " It teaches a form of meditation[1] its adherents call Raja Yoga but which differs from the classical Raja Yoga described by Patanjali.[2] and has been derived from teachings given through mediumship and spirit possession." I suggest the removal of "spirit possession" for being inaccurate and POV loaded. GreyWinterOwl (talk) 09:22, 30 September 2013 (UTC)

As soon as we enter into ideas such as spirits, mediumship and possession, we are discussing spiritualism. (Naturally, I am not suggesting that there is any any validity to the claims of spiritualists, just reporting the claims of the religion itself in plain but precise English).

Given that Lekhraj Kirpalani was unaware that he was possessed by another spirit until after 1955, and going along the BKs claims that their novel teachings arise from the possessing spirit, possess in that case would appear to be accurate definition.

Kirpalani was not trained and could not have given his consent, because he was unaware there was another spirit possessing him. Indeed, in a number of sources it describes how other adherents were possessed by the same or similar "spirits". How the spirit or spirits used to hop in and out of (possess) various adherents speaking through them or making them act in bizarre manners.

That is not mediumship.

Since the death of Kirpalani, the Brahma Kumaris claim their deceased founder and their god both possesses together a senior adherent, and speak and act through her. Again, it's not conscious as in mediumship, it's in a state of deep trance. I would say the term used for that in English is channelling, however, we don't know it came about.

The Brahma Kumaris are generally very secretive about their spiritualistic or mediumistic practises, however, Ramsay reports other aspects of possession and even exorcism within the religion.

In addition, I would disagree with you that all such spirits need be "evil". I think you must have been watching too much Buffy the Vampire. From memory, even the Maleficus Maleficarum suggests this, not all possessing spirits are misleading, some are true, some are mixed. Really, the issue is how to communicate in plain English what is being said in Hinduism and then the BKs own codified language, e.g. they might translate the original Hindi as "chariot", we would understand and write that as "medium".

Can you show me any links to the Brahma Kumaris own websites or materials etc where they discuss all their different mediumistic practises, how they train up their mediums and so on? Are they trained or possessed against their own will? That is the critical issue. --Januarythe18th (talk) 16:51, 30 September 2013 (UTC)

Jan18, you showed no argument at all in your lengthy post, to why a heavily loaded word such as "possession", should be used in the lede, contrary to WP:LABEL. What you said is either ad-hominem or purely your personal interpretation of facts, which are irrelevant in an encyclopedia. GreyWinterOwl (talk) 20:34, 30 September 2013 (UTC)
I don't see how "spirit possession" adds anything that mediumship doesn't cover, except the possibility of confusing people. Mediumship is much clearer. Dr Ramsay's work deals with a specific case study where someone was allegedly possessed by some evil spirit, and describes a possessive involuntary take over, which appears inconsistent with BK belief. Regards Danh108 (talk) 22:10, 30 September 2013 (UTC)

Om Mandli on Wikisource

To assist with discussion, I uploaded a copy of OM MANDLI: A true authenticated story about its activities being a reply to "Is This Justice?" (1940) by Bhaibund Om Mandli Committee.

Interesting to note, Greywinterowl, contradictory to your assertion about "losing the case", THE SIND OBSERVER dated Friday May 19th 1939 reported "The Om Mandli has been banned under Section 16th of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1908". --Januarythe18th (talk) 09:41, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

Janaury, I won't state as you did, that you haven't read the source. However, are the findings you are referring not arising from the government Tribunal? It is clear from the material I provided earlier that the 'Anti-party' did lose their case as per the reference I provided earlier - the whole judgement is produced, starting on page 126 of the document you uploaded. I am still interested to get your response to the incorrect statements you made earlier in this regard too. Regards Danh108 (talk) 10:16, 28 September 2013 (UTC)
Page 126 is a copy of The Daily Mirror article of Thursday 18th May 1939 which notes, "It is a very thin line that divides real genius from stark madness ...".
There is no judgement reported in it.
Stop wasting our time. --Januarythe18th (talk) 13:41, 28 September 2013 (UTC)
My apologies. I didn't realise that all the copies going around would be different. It's page 126 on my copy. It has the whole decision by Eric Weston and Godfrey Davis. It is also page 73 in some other versions. I will check where it appears in the material you uploaded. Please note I consider the time wasting comments to be uncivil, particularly when you are the one who is being rude to another editor about there being no Court case when there has been several. If you had your facts right and I had my page numbers right, time would be saved. Regards Danh108 (talk) 20:09, 28 September 2013 (UTC)
The judgement starts on page 143 of the version you uploaded. Regards Danh108 (talk) 00:59, 29 September 2013 (UTC)
Are you possibly referring to Om Radhe's book? Do you actually have access to an original copy of the Bhaiband committee's book?
There is no page 143. There was also no "Court case" as was being referred to. It was a government appointed tribunal instead. Yes, there were a number of civil court cases relating to various families at various time etc but what was being referred to was a Tribunal. If they want to clarify which specific case I will accept it, but please be careful before you make accusations of having facts wrong. --Januarythe18th (talk) 03:11, 30 September 2013 (UTC)
January, I downloaded "Is this Justice" as per the document you uploaded from your website. It opened in my pdf viewer, which at the top states page 143. Of the original book (no I don't have a copy) it's page 126. It is a Court case, and you are wrong. If you now wish to say you really meant civil proceedings rather than criminal, that is unsupported by the earlier extensive uncivil edits claiming there was no Court case, and you are still wrong (there was also proceedings under s112 of the Criminal Procedure Code). The Judicial Commissioner of Sind heard an application by Jashoda Kripalani against the Crown. The first lines of the judgement reference another criminal proceeding that the present High Court application (the Judicial Commissioner of Sind is of High Court jurisdiction) relates to. So my position is unchanged. I can't offer any explanation as to why you can't find the judgement in your materials. As I earlier stated, the government appointed Tribunal came about because the Anti-Om Mandali party (a name that group chose for themselves) lost the case to have the Mandali banned. I hope that helps. Danh108 (talk) 08:00, 30 September 2013 (UTC)

Asceticism and renunciation

Danh108, himself a self-disclosed sevadhari (or servant) of the religion states, "Ascetic seems unsupported".

With no effort at all, a quick scan of the references reveals the following examples:

Spirit possession and purity: A case study of a Brahma Kumaris ascetic
Urbanised Spirituality: The Brahma Kumaris as Social Ascetics
Marriage, Sexuality and the Female 'Ascetic': Understanding a Hindu Sect
The Brahma Kumaris as a 'reflexive Tradition': Responding to Late Modernity - John Wallis (numerous refs)

There are others.

May I politely ask that all contributors acquaint themselves with the given references first before making such statements to avoid appearing insincere in their suggestions?

(On a related issue, there's nothing negative about being classified as "renunciate" so I restored that. It is fair definition of a religion that requires adherents to renounce quite as much as the BKs).

Thank you--Januarythe18th (talk) 03:58, 30 September 2013 (UTC)

I do consider referring to my volunteer work in a kitchen as being servitude to be quite uncivil (as well as irrelevant and factually incorrect).
As I understand it BK's definition of 'renunciation' is to consider the self a trustee - it's a bit like the Buddhist concept that ownership is impossible, because everyone will ultimately be separated from their property. So all a person really has is a temporary right of control over possessions. So the renunciation isn't an absence of property or clothing or connection to society. Rather it's about our consciousness.
Having read a bit more, ascetism is mainly ok. My apologies. I had hesitated because I think to some extent it misinforms readers because of it's close association to stepping away from the world and austerities, both of which are not features of BK. But in terms of advocating a life where sensual pleasure is abstained from in the pursuit of higher spiritual aims, it's very apt. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Danh108 (talkcontribs) 08:44, 30 September 2013 (UTC)
The BK concept of leadership is to serve others (not to be a servant). This is another reason why the last paragraph of the lede is flawed - the BK's are not (as Vecrumba but it) "a bunch of kooks bent on world domination". Though effort is being made to caste the organisation in various negative lights. The Musslewhite resource being used to support the last paragraph in the lede also states in the abstract that
"The Brahma Kumaris aspire to serve the world as a model of good management and effective leadership".
Yet somehow this part wasn't selected for inclusion.....when I tried to fix this months ago and only January was around, everything got reverted. A couple more references have been tagged on since, but the problem remains the same.
Regards Danh108 (talk) 08:23, 30 September 2013 (UTC)
Musslewhite resource on page 9 quotes "The Brahma Kumaris' teachings about the world cycle are important for
understanding the organization's objectives." After this author explains the BKWSU belief in cycle in detail and then mentions world rulership. This is why the current statement without context or being a fair summary of the main article is a bit misleading. Changeisconstant (talk) 08:47, 30 September 2013 (UTC)
Disingenuous again. You can put on being offended for the non-BKs but Sevadhari is the term you yourself chose and, if we look at how BKs use the terms, there is nothing bad about it, e.g. [6], [7], [8], [9] etc. I merely translated it for the others; "seva" means 'service', "dhari" means "one who adopts". I'am guessing it is taken from Sikhism?
Secondly, (see above) I don't own any websites and so I don't know what you refer to.
Changeisconstant, there is a difference between "aspiring" and achieving. I might tell people "I aspire to be an olympic runner", but if my practise is poor, I won't make it. Likewise with the BKWSU.
The BKWSU might advertise itself, and like to think of itself, according to its high minded aspirations; unfortunately the Wikipedia has to report on individual's or organization's realities. I think not understanding that is part of your group's problem.
Once the BKWSU has achieved its high mind goals, whatever they might be, we can report on them then; but we cannot recycle its PR in the meanwhile.
Does that help? --Januarythe18th (talk) 16:06, 30 September 2013 (UTC)
Ascetic looks fine to me compared to renunciation and supported by references. However January, the translation you are trying to show above sounds like a mock towards the adherrents. Sevadhari doesn't equate to Servant and in this context its meaning is close to "those engaged in volunteer service". Volunteer service in an Indian religion context is not equated to servitude or being a servant. And sorry I don't understand what you mean by your comment on Aspirations vs achieving. My comment was related to objectives of the organization above and not the achievements. Changeisconstant (talk) 18:48, 30 September 2013 (UTC)
January, please don't keep trying to personalise things. It doesn't help. I never said I was offended, I said your comments were uncivil. You've implied I'm a sycophant, called me WP:Dick & Dick-ish a few times, a servant, an adherent/follower, unfit to edit Wiki...the list goes on. One of views that I share with the BK's is to always find something to respect about others and to resist any temptation to get reduced to the same kind of conduct. You don't make that easy. However I'm confident that in other contexts you're a nice fellow, you do have a very good sense of humour and I love that kind of 'dry wit' - when I first started editing you made a few very intelligent and entertaining remarks. Thank you for that. I think if you appreciated that I am a human being with feelings instead of just pigeon holing me as a BK adherent, you might find it easier to stop slugging me (and other editors). If I was able to 'adhere' to more of the BK's teachings than I do, I would in my view, be a better person for it. Apologies for diverging from content again. Danh108 (talk) 19:41, 30 September 2013 (UTC)

Please, it's "BKs", not BK's. BKs is the plural of BK. We have to set some standards here.

The idea of "service" is not limited to India. The idea of being the servant of God or servant of humanity runs through Islam, Christianity and many others religious orders. A true sevadhari would consider themselves to be both as I am sure you would like to think yourself. You (the BKs) are deliberately making another storm in a tea cup here. And I am sure that your consider you are serving your religion here.

As to renunciation, references aside, all one has to do is look at the lifestyle. It's stating and summarising the obvious. It not even a bad thing. Dan, please keep your personal thoughts and projections to yourself. I am not interested. --Januarythe18th (talk) 06:56, 2 October 2013 (UTC)

January, you state I'm a self disclosed sevadhari. I have never made such a disclosure on Wiki. If you are relying on a LinkedIn profile as the source of your claim I would remind you of WP:Privacy, in particular: Dredging up their off line opinions to be used to repeatedly challenge their edits can be a form of harassment.
Please also see WP:WIAPA in particular: Using someone's affiliations as an ad hominem means of dismissing or discrediting their views= personal attack. I remind of this too. Regards Danh108 (talk) 22:01, 2 October 2013 (UTC)

As someone who has persistently attempting to speculate and identify me, published real names on both talk pages and the mainspace, and forced responsibility for others actions upon me, for which you have no evidence, you have no grounds to complain if information you have made public about yourself is referred to.
As the BKs are working as a tagteam, and have no commitment to the rest of the Wikipedia project as a whole, it does not matter them if they lose individual accounts through gross infractions such as this. Their wikipedia accounts are invaluable to them as they are serving their religion's interests, not the Wikipedia's.
Therefore certain BKs have always push the limits knowing that if their account is banned, there were always be others to take their place. Others adopt simple 'sniping' or harassing roles (WP:3RR) to generally provoke conflict. --Januarythe18th (talk) 15:19, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
Hi January, I do appreciate there is some truth to your comments. The respondent in the domain name matter is public domain. At one point I tried to better describe the "legal action against critic" section that mis-stated the reference and I included this name. When you called that a personal attack I got worried that I was inadvertently outing someone, but you have since reassured me that is not the case.
I am happy to leave things with the status quo, as per admins finding, that you are a follower of Lucy's group and I assume you took the mentioning of your leaders name personally for that reason. I am simply restating this finding, not speculating on your actual identity. If you have an issue with the finding, you should probably raise that with the admin concerned.
If there is some reason that the respondents name (Mr Allan) shouldn't be mentioned on the talk page or in the article, please do advise me of the reason here so no mistake is made.
I don't think that the above would make you exempt from the rules and policies. Regards Danh108 (talk) 18:45, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

3rd Paragraph of the Lede

I propose changing the third paragraph of the lede to:

"The BK's maintain they have been criticised and caused some controversy primarily because the social reforms they have been advocating have challenged existing power structures and social norms, for example the dominance of men in patriarchal India. However critics make a wide range of accusations, some of which don't fit this characterisation".

There is a supporting reference for the first sentence in 'is this justice'. The second sentence can be referenced to the controversies section in the article if that's allowed. But I'm interested to hear what others think. I think it's important that gender gets introduced in the Lede as probably the most notable aspect of the BK's (as compared to other NRM's) is the role of women. millenarianism, belief in God, etc are fairly common. Regards Danh108 (talk) 21:53, 30 September 2013 (UTC)

I would change BK's to BKWSU for clarity. I would agree that the role of women deserves a place in the Lede. What is missing however is what Brahma Kumaris means or origin of the term. I suggest adding the below supported by the reference suggested by John earlier "Religions of the world" [10]. This addresses both origin of the term as well as the role of women.
"Brahma Kumaris are distinctly identified by prominent role women play in the movement ("Brahma Kumaris" means daughters of Brahma). While the leadership is primarily female, there is also a significant degree of participation from male members." Changeisconstant (talk) 08:06, 1 October 2013 (UTC)
It's also strange that the role of the President of Om Mandali and co-founder of the organisation, "Om Radhe" is almost completely ignored in the present article, as is the role of women in general. Regards Danh108 (talk) 10:13, 1 October 2013 (UTC)
Danh, I agree in women being mentioned in the lede, but I would like to comment, notability is not based on "common" or "uncommon", but rather the lede is meant to describe the most relevant aspects of the subject. Brahma Kumaris is primarily a religion, more than a social movement, so I see no reason why "monotheistic" is not an essentially relevant adjective to be on the lede, giving a very clear religious definition, which is greatly lacking in the current version. By reading contentious labels like "spirit possession", it's not even clear whether BKs believe in one God or many "spirits" that go on possessing the members randomly, like some forms of spiritism, which is inaccurate as no such thing is practiced by BKs.
Another comment I would like to make about "spirit possession" is how the dictionary itself describes the word "possession" in a spiritual context, (link: [11]) which I quote here: "4. the state of being controlled or dominated by or as if by evil spirits", being therefore a very contentious word as per WP:LABEL, and inaccurate as no reliable reference supports the BK philosophy came from evil spirits, being mere personal POV. GreyWinterOwl (talk) 12:56, 1 October 2013 (UTC)
I think monotheism is important, especially as many meditation practices are either atheistic or pantheistic. It's important to distinguish this aspect. As BK theism is so wrapped up with their meditation practice, perhaps both can be explained together.Danh108 (talk) 19:46, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

From a real world point of view, Radhi Pokardas Rajwani is utterly non-notable. She died in 1965 by which she might have had dealings with a few hundred non-notable individuals, mainly those within the cult. For most of that time, the cult did nothing notable either.

I appreciate that from the cult's point of view, they believe she is the second most important human being in the world and the Mother of Humanity, Eve and the reincarnation of Radhe, Lakshmi and Saraswati, however, perhaps that is just a bit of a typical Brahma Kumari exaggeration? And the real story of her life is being hidden. Evidence from the early history shows that she was clearly highly deluded if not suffering from some kind of Folie à deux mental illness. --Januarythe18th (talk) 08:46, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

Fresh Perspective on the Lede

Some may not have seen, but a couple of sample lede's were drafted in earlier discussion on the talk page - see the contents headings with 'Lede' included if you want to see the original discussions. As Adjwilley precipitated a nice discussion on the lede, I thought to repaste what Vecrumba drafted and I modified. There could be some sections of this we might like to borrow.

Vecrumba had stated he found the Encyclopedia of Hinduism very helpful. Does anyone know a way of viewing this for free online?

Brahma Kumaris is a millenarian Hindu new religious movement founded by Dada Lekharj Kripalani ("Brahma Baba") in India in the 1930's following a series of visions. It is the only major spiritual movement headed by women: the builders of society, to be rulers in a new post-apocalyptic era after the end of the current Kali-yuga age (Iron age).
Brahma Kumaris (hereafter BK’s) made available to women a spiritual path which was traditionally open only to men. BK’s follow a lifestyle and meditative practice they call Raja Yoga, a simplified form based on ancient teachings. BK’s usually lead lives focused away from materialism and sensual pleasure (including celibacy), believing that identity lies in the soul, not the body.
In Meditation BK’s focus on their spiritual identity as souls, believing that this will allow the original goodness and virtue in the soul to become more expressed in their lives. The BK’s teach that identifying with labels associated to the body like race, nationality, religion and even gender, divides people and feeds human weaknesses like anger, ego, greed, lust and attachment. The BK’s aspire to establish a culture based on what they call ‘soul-consciousness’ and believe that the present world is predominantly ‘body-conscious’.
At the time Brahma Kumaris was founded, women had no say in their lives. Attacked for being radical, its adherents lived and practiced in seclusion for many years. The Brahma Kumari are still seen by some as secretive and have caused some controversy as the movement has expanded and exported itself to the West: Brahma Kumaris inverts the traditional roles of man and woman—men tend to the everyday, freeing women for spiritual pursuits. While celibacy has long been a respected option for men on their spiritual path, the celibate woman denies her ordained role of wife and mother thus challenging traditional social and religious structure.
While not considering itself feminist, Brahma Kumaris has taken on more of those pragmatic aspects in Eastern Europe, where, for example, it has come into conflict with Catholic values; the Brahma Kumari movement has also adapted—women adopt a celibate marriage and continue to live with their families. Active proselytizing has given the Brahma Kumari movement a high profile, generating distrust among mainstream Hindus. Nevertheless, the Brahma Kumari are also respected in India for the hospitals, schools, and outreach programs which they have established.
Sources vary in the estimate of followers, ranging from 100,000 to 450,000 worldwide.

Regards Danh108 (talk) 10:08, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

You can preview the "Encyclopedia on Hinduism" here online (pg 89-90) [12] — Preceding unsigned comment added by Changeisconstant (talkcontribs) 10:26, 1 October 2013 (UTC)
Fantastic, thank you CIC.Danh108 (talk) 19:47, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for providing yet another reference which confirms the religion is seen as secretive. However, I see from the references that the brief summary is based on Liz Hodgkinson work and, as we have discussed, we need to be cautious with it as she and her partner were adherents at the time it was written, her partner having a leading role in the religion's public relations. In short, what you are trying to do is use Liz Hodgkinson/BKWSU PR again via the back door of some other book.

Regarding the "destroy other religions" reference, the quote comes directly from the BKs' scripture, with other sources confirming it. Although on other religious topics scripture is acceptable, I am conscious someone might object suggest this is a primary source. I disagree with that, however, I am not going to use it on the topic. I just want to present it here to establish credibility here and demonstrate where accuracy lies.

Sakar Murli 2008/11/13 Revised

Essence: Sweet children, Bharat that was like a diamond has become poverty-stricken by becoming impure. You now have to make it as pure as a diamond once again. You have to plant the sapling of the sweet deity tree.

Question: What are the Father's tasks in which children have to become His helpers?

Answer: To establish the deity government over the whole world, to destroy the innumerable religions and establish the one true religion are the Father's tasks. You children have to become helpers in these tasks. You have to make effort to claim a high status. Don't think that you will go to heaven anyway.

Now, please stop provoking an edit war over that. --Januarythe18th (talk) 07:18, 2 October 2013 (UTC)

Januarythe18th, sorry but we can not have double standards here. On one hand you keep affirming we should not use BK literatures like Murlis for this article which infact I fully subscribe to. On other hand, you use them to support your insertions in the article. I think we are very clear not to use BK scriptures. Regarding the new reference above, while you point out Liz's reference to be BK bias, please note that you have used Liz's reference in the article anyway (even to quote "destroy other religions" that I removed) and on the other hand, you haven't noticed that encylopedia of Hinduism also uses John Waliss's work as reference which you have used many times in the article. When there are questions here about validity of a quote in the article you have inserted, onus is on you to justify using reliable and secondary sources . Thank you Changeisconstant (talk) 07:45, 2 October 2013 (UTC)
I would also request January to show what is the source of the BK scripture quoted above? I am asking because January has claimed before that BKs are very secretive and don't disclose their literature to non-followers. So I am curious about where January is getting it from then? Changeisconstant (talk) 07:51, 2 October 2013 (UTC)
Seems a fair point January. Can't really keep claiming the BK's are secretive if you have easy access to the so called scriptures. I googled this youtube channel where the secret scripture can be listened to live each day or later downloaded and watched at your leisure. Perhaps January's point is more to do with the emphasis BK place on oral transmission of their teachings i.e. there is an emphasis on listening to things being read rather then reading scripture. I understand there is a wide range or reasons the BK's have for this. Regards Danh108 (talk) 19:36, 2 October 2013 (UTC)

Brahma Kumari controversies

As per Scientology controversies, I think the thing to do is summarise the Controversies and criticism section and start a new page, Brahma Kumari controversies.

This should actually find favour with the adherents of the religion as it will alter the balance of this topic page. If there are no rational and reasonable objections, I will do so in a couple of days. --Januarythe18th (talk)

On a non-controversial point, I think it would be good to define the meaning and etymology of the term Brahma Kumari somewhere. --Januarythe18th (talk) 08:57, 2 October 2013 (UTC)
Scientology has a lot of coverage and spin off makes sense, putting the controversies from this article in a separate one could be going the way of an content fork. Further the correct procedure is to create the spin off and summarise that which then feeds back into the parent article. IE that's my objection. GraemeLeggett (talk) 09:41, 2 October 2013 (UTC)
"As per Scientology controversies" is a False_analogy and not a valid basis for content and POV forking this article. You have not proven that scientology controversies have the same weight as BK. GreyWinterOwl (talk) 12:04, 2 October 2013 (UTC)
In addition to the above concerns, I am also concerned about the timing of the suggestion. The more I'm here the more I'm finding this article is absolutely riddled with mis-stated and unbalanced referencing etc, and I think it's best to try and resolve the issues here first. I don't see how the above suggestion forms part of the solution to this articles woes. If anything it may interfere with the article getting the kind of scrutiny it needs. Regards Danh108 (talk) 19:44, 2 October 2013 (UTC)
For there to be a separate article on BK controversies, it would be required that the controversies have sufficient notability as a specific topic to meet basic notability guidelines, and at this point I haven't seen that notability established. John Carter (talk) 16:40, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
"In your opinion".
John, please remember the Wikipedia has a world view and although the Brahma Kumaris controversies in the West, where they have a very small membership, might not be as notable as Scientology controversies, in India it is a different matter.
For example, if we look at Scientology_controversies#Noah_Lottick, the article documents the sorry story of Noah Lottick who jumped from a 10th floor of a building. If we refer then to the Brahma Kumaris, we have the case of Ranjana Boles (née Patel) who jumped from a 5th floor of a building.
In Brahma Kumarism, the 5th floor has special significance because they consider that making love or having an emotional relationship is metaphorically like jumping from a 5th floor of a building as to the spiritual damage it does to one. Ranjana had fallen in love with another adherent and chose to end her life in that manner.
I would therefore argue that both cases were identical and if you are going to apply such a ruling on Brahma Kumarism, you would have to apply it to Scientology and any other such religion. Can you fault such logic? --Januarythe18th (talk) 16:00, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
The amount of coverage the Scientologists and their controversies is probably the over-riding concern in spinning out the controversies into a separate section. The prose content - according to the prozesize tool - of Scientology controversies is about 5033 words, the entirety of this article is only 3028 words. And by eye at least, the the controversy section of the main Scientology article is about three times the size of the controversy section in this article. I suggest revisiting the question of spin off later once it does start to reach that amount of prose. GraemeLeggett (talk) 16:20, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
January, did you have any link for the matter you are referring too. As past accusations/controversies you have mentioned have been misrepresented I would be interested to read about this one. Have you even included it in the article? Thanks Danh108 (talk) 05:31, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

Reverting against consensus/without explanation

January, you didn't engage with the discussion section on the talk page and simply reverted the inclusion of UNO in the expansion section with the summary "UNO not expansion". It's obviously not the process Wiki follows and going to be contentious. So please give a descent explanation or it will be escalated. As already noted, you have literally dedicated 60-70% of the 'expansion' section to a different organisation with unknown significance (but understood to be a fairly tiny splinter group), yet you consider the inclusion of factual milestones for the organisation to be "not expansion". Danh108 (talk) 20:02, 2 October 2013 (UTC)

In addition to the above revert today, January has also re-inserted "secretive" in the Lede when the consensus is against it and Adjwilley had advised not reverting this change. For expansion section, I don't understand how can a small splinter group PBK occupy much of it when it has got its own dedicated page that is already linked. Changeisconstant (talk) 20:22, 2 October 2013 (UTC)

Big numbers

re: 450,000. To the best of my knowledge, there are no more uptodate estimates from reliable sources.

Caution has to be apply to the cult's own claims, e.g. it generally claims "8,500 centres" worldwide but the vast majority of these are nothing more than adherent's homes or even apartments. If we are to believe their latest unsubstantiated claims of 850,000 or even 1,000,000 followers, then each home or apartment allegedly has more than 100 people attending it every day.

One of the reference, I don't have the time to check which right now, points out that many of these homes have no more than 1 or 2 individuals adhering so where are the rest?

We then get into the quagmire of who is a Brahma Kumari and who is not. The organization states legally and specifically in its constitution that it "has no members" and refers to its adherents euphemistically as "students" rather than followers or adherents in an attempt to bolster its image as a "University" rather than a religion or cult. In the most recent rape case, the Brahma Kumari spokeswomen stated that only after "6 years adherence does an individual become a member". This again will effect accurate reporting of numbers. How many BKs are more than 6 years in adherence? Howell offers some statistics in that area.

Unless the Brahma Kumaris can provide independently verified evidence that each of their 8,500 "centres" have 100+ adherents attending daily, I think we can safely discount their claims ... or report them to their local authority planning permission department if any do.

Please, no more public relations advertising. --Januarythe18th (talk) 08:36, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

The reference provided by John ("religions of the world") puts this as "By the year 2008, with more than 8,500 centers in 100 countries, the movement claims to have more than 825,000 regular students.". Therefore it can always be presented as "movement claims" rather than a verified number. Changeisconstant (talk) 08:47, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

Quote on controversies

This is an exact quotation from the Religions of the World article on the Brahma Kumaris, written by Eileen Barker, on page 383 of the first volume.

"In 1938 some aggrieved husbands and relatives founded the Anti-Om-Mandli Committee, resulting in sensational newspaper articles, persecution, and lawsuits. After about a year the furor died down, and a new organization known as the Brahma Kumaris was created."

That whole article is about 6 paragraphs long, and I am willing to forward a transcribed version to anyone who sends me an e-mail requesting it. But I believe this quote from an encyclopedic source may well be among the better indicators available regarding how to deal with the early controversies regarding Om Mandli. I am going to try to add other reference source articles to my computer for forwarding at request in the next few days. John Carter (talk) 16:44, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

Barker's work is somewhat dated now and depended solely on BK sources, e.g. Hodgkinson and Chander. Historical research has moved forward since that time, even within the movement. The committee was appointed by the Bhaibund Panchayat and was headed by the leader of the Panchayat, the Mukhi, and his daughter.
As is their wont, the BKs have presented it in one manner in the past to suit their aims or agenda, e.g. portraying themselves a victims. We now have a bigger picture of the reality, and so should move with the times. --Januarythe18th (talk) 16:35, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

A proposed replacement lede

Seems like everyone has been enjoying a 'walk' from this article. I have taken the chance to take a step back and draft what I consider to be fair lede and have tried to incorporate all the different elements, as well as the change in direction I anticipate the article is taking. I am interested to get feedback before I attach all the references (is that ok?). The main difference in my view is that I have tried to avoid going into too much detail as I see the main body of the article as the appropriate place for that. I anticipate January will critcise this, however I am confident that the content related dimension of his feedback will be able to be included in the body of the article, without POV loading the lede.

Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University (BKWSU) or Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya was founded by Brahma Baba (Dada Lekharj Kripalani) and (Om Radhe) in India in the 1930's.
The organisation today projects itself as a vehicle for spiritual teachings and values education and often references it's affiliation as an NGO with the United Nations in support of this view. In the academic domain the BKWSU is classified as a Neo-Hindu millenarian New Religious Movement (NRM). In the interfaith domain the Brahma Kumaris are often considered a spiritual organisation rather than a religion.
Brahma Kumaris are distinctly identified by the prominent role women play in the movement. While the leadership is primarily female, there is also a significant degree of participation from male members.
The BKWSU teach a form of meditation that focuses on their identity as souls, and that the soul is intrinsically good. They believe that all souls are children of one God who is the source of all goodness, and that we are one human family. The BK’s teach that identifying with labels associated to the body like race, nationality, religion and even gender, divides people and feeds human weakness. They aspire to establish a global culture based on what they call ‘soul-consciousness’ and believe that the present world is predominantly ‘body-conscious’ and therefore requires total transformation.
The BKWSU maintain they have been criticised and caused some controversy primarily because the social reforms they have been advocating have challenged existing power structures and social norms. Critics make a wide range of accusations, some of which don't fit this characterisation (link to section). However the BKWSU are well respected in India for the hospitals, schools, environmental projects and outreach programs which they have established.
Sources vary in the estimate of followers, ranging from 100,000 to 450,000 worldwide (I think this is old?? At least needs date).Danh108 (talk) 16:40, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
The first sentence needs to state what the organization is so that the reader gets an immediate idea of the topic, see for example the opening sentence of Ford Transit "The Ford Transit is a range of light commercial vehicles produced by Ford Motor Company since 1965". GraemeLeggett (talk) 17:46, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
Thank you Greame. I have tried to balance/off set this against one of the issues/controversial areas, i.e. that the organisation self describes/projects itself in a way that is different to the academic world, which is again different to the way other religions see the organisation. The present write up has tried to balance all 3, without placing undue weight of any particular perspective. Would this adjustment to the job:
The Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University (BKWSU) or Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya projects itself as a vehicle for spiritual teachings and values education and often references it's affiliation as an NGO with the United Nations in support of this view. In the academic domain the BKWSU is classified as a Neo-Hindu millenarian New Religious Movement (NRM). In the interfaith domain the Brahma Kumaris are often considered a spiritual organisation rather than a religion.
The Brahma Kumaris was founded by Brahma Baba (Dada Lekharj Kripalani) and (Radhi Pokardas Rajwani) in India in the 1930's. It is distinctly identified by the prominent role women play in the movement. While the leadership is primarily female, there is also a significant degree of participation from male members.
Thank you Greame, and thanks also to John Carter for the resources. Regards Danh108 (talk) 18:29, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

It would be better to look at other commensurate religions for examples, rather than Ford motor vehicles, e.g. Iskcon, Jehovah's Witnesses, Scientology etc. Or perhaps an example like Brahmo Samaj.
The main difference between a Ford Transit and the Brahma Kumaris, except that one can get more work done with a Ford Transit, is the use of language and, in particular, the use of foreign or arcane language. Therefore, introducing the Brahma Kumaris requires a little more effort and clarification. It also uses many already established terms it has taken from Hinduism but given a new twist or meaning, e.g. Brahma for their guru, and so either they avoided, or clarified, as per WP:JARGON.
The Brahma Kumaris have a habit of highly exaggerating a very minor and insignificant relationship with "the United Nations", as Dan is doing above to give credibility to their teachings. In fact, they have been censured by the United Nations about this. Their relationship is not with "the United Nations" and so we must oppose such a suggestion due to its lack of accuracy. If this needs clarifying further, I will do so.
The founder's name is Lekhraj Kirpalani. While it is factually true that from the early 1930s to the mid 1950s Kirpalani and the Brahma Kumaris taught that Kirpalani was God, the Hindu deities Brahma and Prajapati (as well as the reincarnation of Krishna, Vishnu and Narayan which continue to do so, as well as adding Adam and a few others), I think that we on the Wikipedia should just call the man by his name.
Kirpalani gained no recognition in his life time from any religious authority. Indeed, he was criticised for his lack of religious knowledge (never mind his ridiculously exaggerated claims to an almost monopolistic divinity). All of his titles and styles are self-appointed. WP:NCP is quite clear.
Again, "we are not religious, we are spiritual" is another fairly meaningless and at best confusing PR spin the BKs often use. What on earth does it mean and who said it? What Dan is doing is is putting forward how the Brahma Kumaris want to be seen, specifically to avoid being seen as a religion or a cult. As stated in one of the reference quote above, the Brahma Kumaris are secretive of their true beliefs and agendas. They want to portray themselves as something vague and will claim that individuals do not have to leave their own religions to join them. But once an individual is enculted, it becomes absolutely clear this is false and they have every defining factor of a religion.
"Often ..." [who?].
There is a further blur going on here. Against it's want to be thought of, as spiritual rather than the spiritualist religion they are, not what they are. They are a religion.
I have nothing against the role of women in the organization and, indeed, entered it recently. However, there are many religious orders absolutely run by women whereas in the Brahma Kumaris, the women have mainly played the role of the facade of the religion whereas senior brothers take more the serious responsibilities. In the beginning, Kirpalani used the women, the wives, daughters and relatives of his critics, as a tactical shield to hide behind putting his wealth into a trust to protect it when he risked losing it to various court cases against him. Again, there are a combination of references to substantiate this, including a feminist critique (Howell, I think) pointing out how the women spirit mediums gain authority by channeling a male spirit (allegedly the deceased Kirpalani) who still directs the organization from another world.
Therefore, rather than having women "leaders", it's more a matter of having lots of unpaid and subservient women servants and volunteers which is typical of the NGO/NPO sector.
The "values education" element, which correctly started off as a BK evangelist project is now a separate and we are told independent organisation and already has a separate topic Living Values which needs fixing.
Lastly, I will say it one last time. The plural of BK is BKs, not BK's. There are a number of other spelling errors at a similar level in your suggestion. Your obstinance towards correct such a small detail is concerning. It makes it obvious you have no interest in learning or aiming for a decent standard of article. --Januarythe18th (talk) 08:19, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

Secretive and Renunciate

As was raised many times in the talk page, most editors agree, including one admin: Adjwilley, that "renunciate" and "secretive" are WP:Undue weight and not appropriate to be on the lede. Brahma Kumaris does not isolate from society, being non-renunciate, and "secretive" is cherry-picked from one or two phrases from references, being far from a general representation of the NRM. The only editor who defends those 2 adjectives is Januarythe18th. Despite the huge consensus, and warnings from the admin Adjwilley not to revert against consensus, Jan18 reverted both adjectives back into the lede without proving on the talk page that they are supported, as the most relevant adjectives to be on the lede and describe the NRM, by reliable references or much less, due weight.

All we hear from Jan18 is a conspiracy theory that the editors here are a tagteam trying to "use" all the other editors in their favor. In other words, Jan18 wants to affirm that no editor except himself is capable of editing the article. If that's not WP:Own, then please tell me what it is.

My suggestion is, unless Jan18 can show reliable support to justify the weight of placing those 2 adjectives on the lede, it could be escalated to the Neutral POV Noticeboard: [13]. GreyWinterOwl (talk) 11:12, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

"Most editors" means the BKs. If it ever comes to an investigation, I will present my evidence, including the visa business. But until it does, I am not going to be draw into making accusations that will then be used against me.
As stated "generally hidden", "secretive" etc all mean the same time and clearly appear in numerous academic references. The Brahma Kumaris are just about unique amongst all religion for not publishing their core beliefs and teachings, keeping them hidden and highly controlled, not disclosing their belief in Destruction of humanity, pretending not to be a religion and so on.
The only other spiritual traditions that might also do are highly secretive occult traditions.
As for renunciate, there is nothing wrong with it. It summarised the lifestyle which is documented below. Many religious orders from Carmelites to Sanyasis are renunciate orders and so are the Brahma Kumaris, especially if we are to apply the "6 year rule for membership" that the BKWSU spokeswoman mentioned in the recent rape case. Most surrendered BKs own nothing more a few saris, many of which might be second hand, have no personal money and no private time. Their life is decided for them.
If you have a good argument to suggest that the Brahma Kumaris are Epicureans, then please make it. Otherwise, what are you trying to say?
Are the Brahma Kumaris promoting materialistic consumerism? I watched a video recently with Sister Jayanti where she was making exactly this point, that people need to renounce material things to find inner happiness. You have no case. --Januarythe18th (talk) 13:58, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
BK does not isolate from society so your analogy with sanyasis or carmelites is a false analogy. Vegetarianism or celibacy is not enough to label a NRM as renunciate, specially in the lede. Murlis are available all over the internet including official sites, and if that's the only argument you have towards "secretive", I'm afraid it's undue weight to be an adjective in the lede, plus it's also a contentious WP:Label. GreyWinterOwl (talk) 14:16, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
The sources support "Ascetic" more than "Renunciate". If there is any controversy about keeping any aspects secretive , may be controversy section is the place for that - not Lede as per consensus. So far January's arguments have been contraditory- on one hand saying BKWSU keeps its scriptures secretive, on the other hand using them as references (and haven't answered what is the source of them!) when reliable sources don't support January's view. Therefore pushing "secretive" so much into lead and regular reversion against consensus and Admin view is more of POV pushing to make it appear biased. Changeisconstant (talk) 17:00, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
It's irrelevant how and where I got them, as they are not used in the article, but it certainly was not from the BKWSU nor with its cooperation. Perhaps you are unaware of the politics and controversy that are going on within the Brahma Kumaris leadership as we type about just this issue of secrecy over them. I don't expect them to be honest. It goes against 40 years of habitually dishonest and misleading behaviour in the West.
A number of fairly original and complete set exist outside of the revisionary control of the the Brahma Kumaris of Mount Abu, and it is on these that the truth of the Brahma Kumaris will be revealed. Just as it was on the basis of archival material in the British, Oxford University and Indian national libraries outside of their control which exposed the history that the Brahma Kumaris had been highly secretive about, including there being no God Shiva in their religion until after 1955 and believing that Lekhraj Kirpalani was God until then.
Now, please, your diatribes are becoming increasingly personalised. Go and read the latest academic and other sources. Dig a little bit deeper intellectually. See how the world sees you. Then ask your leadership why they covered it all up, falsified it, and misled all those sincere people in the past. Thank you.--Januarythe18th (talk) 19:31, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
While I don't understand what you are advising me here and all the background you are quoting without verifiable sources - do you mean to say, you have exclusive access to some BK sources that you intend to use to expose the truth of the Brahmakumaris using Wikipedia as a channel? I thought Wikipedia wasn't about that and supposed to be about verifiability as it exists today. Are we talking about investigative journalism here? Changeisconstant (talk) 20:13, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
This has nothing to do with the topic because it is not being brought into question or used in it.
How much more straightforward do I have to make it? Collate and read all the academic work written about the Brahma Kumaris, and copies of other older original works, and try and understand how the world sees your religion, not try and "correct" the way the world sees your religion and tell it what to think.
Ask your religion's leadership why they have falsified their history and promoted that falsified version to the world. Ask them if it is truly ethical. --Januarythe18th (talk) 02:57, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
Jan18 is simply pushing his own WP:OR and POV here without proving the due weight of "secretive" and "renunciate" in the lede being supported by reliable sources. "Secretive" comes from one or two sentences carefully picked, is not a predominant and general view given by any reference, to be used in the lede to describe the NRM. "Renunciate" is inaccurate as BK does not isolate from society, and if any reliable source supports it, I haven't seen any of that presented by Jan18. I just see strawman and ad-hominem. GreyWinterOwl (talk) 09:48, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
I agree. As per consensus as well as view from Adjwilley earlier, secretive should be deleted from lede (as its not summarizing the topic which is important in lede). I would put Ascetic rather than Renunciate. My view is that its well supported by references and also summarizes the article looking at the lifestyle and other sections in the topic. Changeisconstant (talk) 10:57, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
Answered below. --Januarythe18th (talk) 11:47, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

Spirit Possession

This is a link to a dictionary describing the meaning of the word "possession" in a spiritual context: [14], from which I quote: "4. the state of being controlled or dominated by or as if by evil spirits". This matter have been raised that the word "possession" is a contentious WP:Label and according to the policy, should not be used to describe the BK belief of mediumship. No argument was provided to justify the use of the word, so I suggest escalating this to NPOVN, together with "secretive" and "renunciate". GreyWinterOwl (talk) 11:29, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

Perhaps you could help us. What do the BKs call the process by which their god and their deceased founder possesses the body of their spirit medium, and is that the same term as they use when their spirit mediums are possessed by other spirits such as "Krishna" who "gain or exert influence or control over; dominate; influenced or controll the natural senses of the mediums so as they can dance, eat, converse and the mediums remember none of what happened?
I would call that possession because in mediumship, the medium is still conscious and reporting what they hear from the alleged spirit entities.
As to "evil", I guess that is still open to argument and depends on whether the god of the BKs is able to inspire the death of the rest of impure humanity [15] through nuclear war and the natural disasters it will cause. If it does, it be far more "evil" that all of the world's despots combined. Ramsay, documents cases of actual "evil" possession in the Brahma Kumaris and exorcism, see her paper "Spirit possession ...etc ", which suggests the concept is common.
Please confirm I have represented actual Brahma Kumari beliefs accurately here? --Januarythe18th (talk) 13:21, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
So you do admit that in your POV, the God believed by BK is evil and should be documented in an encyclopedia as such. The current lede states, as per the meaning of the dictionary, that the BK knowledge came from evil spirits. Do you have any reliable reference to support that? GreyWinterOwl (talk) 13:47, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
WP:NOTCRYSTALBALL. I am just saying that the specific words the god of the BKs says it that the BKs will inspire or "give courage" (quote) to scientists to use the nuclear arsenal of the world to wipe out a humanity it believes is "impure" and "devilish". I leave it to others to decide whether that is what they consider is divine.
Please confirm I am quoting the god of the Brahma Kumaris accurately here. If you do not, or if you challenge me amd accuse me of misrepresenting the god of the BKs, I will provide the evidence to sustain the quotes. Please go ahead. --Januarythe18th (talk) 14:06, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
You are shifting the burden of proof. You affirm the God of BK is evil because of your interpretation of scripture and ask me to disprove it. But my question, and please answer it, is: Do you have a reliable source to support that the BK God is evil, yes or no? GreyWinterOwl (talk) 14:19, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
No, it is not my interpretation of the BKs' scripture, that is what the BKs' scripture literally says, and the channeled entity says at their meetings.
I don't need a reliable source to support that the BK God is evil because I am not suggesting such a comment goes in the topic. Do you or Liz and Neville Hodgkinson have a reliable source to say that the channeled being is actually the God of Islam or Christianity? You clearly don't understand what the Wikipedia is about yet.
Is inspiring or giving courage to scientists to use the nuclear arsenal to wipe out humanity evil? --Januarythe18th (talk) 19:05, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
If it is as you suggest a direct quote from the group's own publications, I would very much welcome seeing that exact quote clearly linked to here or otherwise reproduced, which I haven't yet. John Carter (talk) 19:24, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
It should be noted that possession is not always used in the way indicated in the reference source cited. I believe Santeria and several other religions rather frequently believe that gods and other, non-evil, entities take control of or possess the bodies of humans. A lot of the content on these inter-religious topics is unfortunately among the less well developed we have here, and this is probably one example, but it is worth noting that the idea does not always imply evil, and I suppose the content to be made to indicate as much. John Carter (talk) 17:08, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

Thank you, that is the point I was trying to make. Candomblé, some schools of Sufism and many other indigenous peoples practise it and it is also at the core of their spiritual practice. The BKs are not so unique and it is somewhat disingenuous from a Indian spiritualistic religion's point of view, to present it from a Christian fundamentalist point of view.

Read, Possessed and dispossessed youth: spirit possession of school children in northwest Madagascar by Sharp LA. Department of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley about how spirit possession is a common experience shared by many women in northwest Madagascar who are coping with the conflicts and contradictions that plague the shift from rural to town life, and from youth to adulthood, and further complicated by their community's educational policies. I suspect time will probably prove this to be the closest in experience to the BKs early experiences. The sociological similarities are notable.

Please note, what I have just written would be classed as original research and I am not intending on making any reference to it on the topic page. I offer it purely for discussion.

One can also talk about being possessed by anger, greed, the spirit of the moment, an aim or an object etc. --Januarythe18th (talk) 18:47, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

Golly, I just read Puttick 2003 on the topic ... "Possession in the Brahma Kumaris is supported by solid cultural logic that sits in a receptacle of history and tradition (p281)" "As a result, their power is veiled...through the device of possession... Hence, the importance of spirit possession, where women are the instruments or mouthpieces of a male spirit."
Why are we even discussing this? It's a home run. --Januarythe18th (talk) 19:49, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
Posession sounds fine to be used- I just checked another reference - a book written by ex-President of India "Ignited Minds". Pg 48 indicates that APJ himself attended a session at BKWSU talking about deity of BKs "Shivbaba" descension into one of disciples body. Changeisconstant (talk) 21:03, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
I don't deny that "possession" may be technically right from a certain point of view. My point is that the general understanding of the word, also given by the dictionary, is that siprit possession refers, at least more usually than not, to evil spirits. That's why I find it a very contentious word to be on the lede, unless the aim of the lede was to affirm that the BK God is evil, or that evil spirits are the source of BK knowledge. I don't think "possession" adds any specific understanding that "mediumship" doesn't cover, it just adds confusion for readers, as the specific purpose/meaning it's used is not totally clear. GreyWinterOwl (talk) 18:15, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

Answered below. Thank you. It getting close to an argument over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Logically, could mediums not also be channeling evil spirits? Does mediumship exclusively connote good spirits? I don't think so. Possession is the work Puttick and others uses, and that is good enough for us. --Januarythe18th (talk) 03:50, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

Whether or not you think the spirits channeled by BK are or may be evil spirits doesn't matter. No reliable source says they are, so the encyclopedia should document the mediumshp as believed by BKs, not as you want it to be seen by people. Like it or not, spirit possession refers to evil spirits more often than not, and the only meaning presented in the dictionary in a spiritual context, refers to evil spirits. That makes it a confusing word at least, because it doesn't help to document BK beliefs, nor to make the article more understandable than "mediumship".
Mediumship is not a fact anyway and shouldn't be documented as a fact, but as a belief. The current lede gives no specification about it being a belief, it just states that the BK knowledge comes from spirit possession.GreyWinterOwl (talk) 09:13, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
GWO, will be better to look at the sources and quote exactly what the generally accepted view is in the reliable sources Changeisconstant (talk) 09:22, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
Ok CIC, can you help me and point out what are the references that mention "possession"? However, the meaning of the word doesn't change regardless of it having been used by sources. My concern is whether or not the word helps the accurate understanding of what it is supposed to mean. GreyWinterOwl (talk) 09:39, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
GWO, you can see the references that are put in the current Lede where Posession is mentioned. I only checked Richard's thesis which mentions spirit posession on pg51. Changeisconstant (talk) 20:51, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
Answered below. --Januarythe18th (talk) 11:47, 8 October 2013 (UTC)


Another adjective that is clearly stated in WP:LABEL as inappropriate is "controversial". Unless it is proven that the predominant view of reliable references is that BK is a generally controversial NRM, I see no reason to justify the weight of placing it in the lede. Picking a lot of claims and accusations and putting all together doesn't magically make the Brahma Kumaris an essentially controversial organization. It caused strong social controversies in the early history, but with that exception, I don't see any reliable source that can support the weight of "controversial" except a collection of claims carefully picked but which do not represent a general view. GreyWinterOwl (talk) 11:28, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

Let's put aside the essential death of 7 billion impure human beings in order to rule a heaven on earth, since when was ... believing God comes to visit your headquarters in person by possessing a little old lady to eat cake, shoot water pistols and speak with you, that dinosaurs existed 2,500 years ago, that within our lifetimes human beings will be able to procreate through the power of one's mind ... not controversial beliefs? Let alone beliefs taught by a "university".
Please confirm if I have represented Brahma Kumari beliefs accurately here. Thank you. --Januarythe18th (talk) 13:48, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
You offered no argument to support "controversial" as a view predominantly and generally supported by reliable sources. Also no argument to support the use of a WP:LABEL in the lede. GreyWinterOwl (talk) 14:10, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
They are not called a cult in the lede, although they are in what would be considered reliable sources. I should count yourself lucky and not the push the issue.
Read the first line of that guideline, "there are no forbidden words or expressions on Wikipedia". Both "cult" and "sect" have specific, non-pejorative and non-prejudicial inferences, so does secretive. There are controversial stories about the BKs from all over the world. If we list 20 stories from 20 countries we do not need a 21st reference saying there are 20 others. We can safely say, "controversial".
I really don't have to waste my time with all this. Please go and bring some benefit to the rest of the Wikipedia and gain some more experience while you are at it, please. Get a feel for the Wikipedian value system rather than using its terms for your own ends. --Januarythe18th (talk) 19:43, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
So, your response to why a contentious word is used in the lede, plus without proper weight supported by references, is "be thankful that I didn't add even another contentious word (cult)"? Is that a valid argument? GreyWinterOwl (talk) 18:19, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
I don't think it is contentious. I think it is highly accurate and technically (if one can use that word of spiritualism) correct. It is well referenced from more than one source, and that it is far more preferable that some confusing euphemism.
For example, unlike spiritualist churches, the Brahma Kumaris are not led by mediums who pass on messages whispered to them by spirits or deceased. The Brahma Kumaris are led by spirits and the deceased who possess their leaders and then speak and act directly having possessed all of their physical faculties even, one presumes, their brains.
You did not tell me what the BKs call this within their religion nor how the individuals are trained to be possessed in this way.
My personal opinions of the BKWSU is of little importance in the matter, therefore I am not making the argument you suggest. The Brahma Kumaris are clearly still going through a cultic phase of religious evolution and, perhaps, may even remain a cultic religion. Possibly, they are even becoming more cultic, based on an unquestioning personal cult surrounding at first their founder, who they considered to be God, and now their senior adherents based solely on their association with the founder. However, that is different from saying they are "a cult" though and as this is not something I know of discussed by other academics, I am not proposing it is used in the topic.
The words cult and Brahma Kumaris are used in more than one reliable source, e.g. numerous governmental publications and other academic works. For example, in 'New Religious Movements: Challenge and Response' by Jamie Cresswell & Bryan Wilson, they are described as extreme and uncompromising. One would be at liberty to use it in the topic if one so wished but I am not pushing the issue. --Januarythe18th (talk) 03:19, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
You don't think the word controversial is contentiuos, but wikipedia does: WP:LABEL. Instead of narrating your lengthy tale, why don't you prove that any reliable source considers Brahma Kumaris to be a predominantly controversial NRM? Because all you presented so far is your personal POV. GreyWinterOwl (talk) 09:07, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
Regarding me "pushing my own opinion", both of you are trying to make something irrelevant true by repeating it and are performing a sleight of hand. There's no mention the BK spirit guides being "evil" in the topic nor, to the best of my knowledge, is it even questioned by any of the references. None of the references even question why a "god" makes false predictions or does not know accurate details like how many human beings there are. Why bring it up at all? If it's not in the topic, it's not worth discussion.
The topic says, "historically ...". The Brahma Kumaris themselves emphasise the contentiousness of the early days, exaggerating it even further and portraying themselves as victims, and use it to define and separate themselves from their original cultural roots, e.g. Hindu, Sindhi or even specifically Bhaibund, whereas really Brahma Kumaris is based on and just more "Sindhiwork" but international trading in re-worked religion rather than trinkets and crafts.
Again, that last comment is not in the topic, and only Barz has made any references to their spiritual or cultural roots. He relates them to the Vallabhacharyan Pushtimarg sect and its influence, which is mentioned in the topic. Kościańska mentions the controversies arising more recently in Poland, news article about arrests and imprisonments in France, and the fact that they have been listed as dangerous or "destructive cult" on European governmental lists is more supporting evidence.
In short, you cannot have it both ways. You cannot make out your religion was contentious in its early phase (it almost brought the Sindhi government down), a pattern which has been repeated in most countries it has expanded to, and exploit that for victim sympathy; and then come here and try and pretend it was not contentious. What the problem? Truth and good things can be contentious too. It does not mean "they are bad". You seem to see life in a very black and white fundamentalistic manner.

As for renunciate, the lifestyle of a young women surrendering to the Brahma Kumari is well documented. She must renounce almost everything. Her life is equivalent to the strictest of religious orders. No sex (though some do), no drink, no meat, no eating food not produced by the cult, no personal belongings, no holidays, she is removed from her family and every hour of her existence decided for. I think you are confusing renunciation with sanyas ashram.
As you well know, she renounces the world and takes Brahmacharya, not sanyas ashram. There is a big difference. Brahmacharya is still highly renounced state and the BK take it even further than Hindus. They encourage their followers to renounce even their bodies.
Correct me if I am specifically wrong about that. Do your god and leaders tell you to renounce even your bodies and bodily relationships?
The only thing the Brahma Kumaris don't seem to renounce is eating, which is why so many of them are overweight (probably through suppressing sexual and procreative desires through overeating). --Januarythe18th (talk) 11:47, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
You didn't slightly address my point again. 1- "Controversial" is a contentious word as per WP:LABEL. 2- You haven't proved that any reliable source describes BK as a generally controversial NRM, and for that reason there is no due weight to support it being in the lede. And please respond about each word in their specific threads, instead of mixing everything in a lengthy post that doesn't answer any of the points raised. GreyWinterOwl (talk) 12:05, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

WP:LABEL advises us to give readers information about relevant controversies which has been done from non-fringe points of view, e.g. from academic sources.

Are you suggesting that believing all of time and space is merely 5,000 years old, that dinosaurs existed 2,500 years and were mutants of heavenly creatures, and that all of this repeats identically every 5,000 years ... is not controversial? I think we need a reality check at this point.

And does no one thank me for moving the Splinter groups controversies down to the bottom of the page and out of 'Expansion', as you wanted, adding the nice photos and a bit more historic details?

I am sorry but, no. Basically, I consider you all as one voice, so rather than be drawn into all the confusing strategies, I'll just give you single answers at the end here.

The way forward is for the BKs to show us a sandbox version of what they want and then let us compare and discuss it as a whole. This is the Wikipedia. Subjects are recorded as they are seen by third parties, not how they want to be seen themselves.

When the BKs were writing to the military leaders of the world demanding that they impose martial law and enact scorched earth tactics against their people, what sort of "values" where its leaders displaying? --Januarythe18th (talk) 14:10, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

Drop the sandbox idea and let it moulder in peace. GraemeLeggett (talk) 14:43, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
@Jan18 Again, you didn't address my point. My point is that you haven't shown any reliable reference that considers Brahma Kumaris as a predominantly or generally controversial NRM. You just repeatedly states that I should accept that controversial is ok in the lede, but the only basis for that is your judgement. If no reliable reference considers BK a majorly, predominantly or generally controversial NRM, then there is no support for the weight of the word "controversial" in the lede, and that just accumulates with the fact that it is clearly referred to by a WP guideline as WP:LABEL. GreyWinterOwl (talk) 16:55, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
Jan18, will you ever stick to the point? I don't know why you expect anyone to thank you when you are repeatedly uncivil and just clogging the talk page with accusations that don't relate to points reasonable editors are trying to discuss. This is not your personal blog. You have already been asked to take your accusations to the appropriate wiki noticeboards to present your evidence, otherwise repeating them is going to be taken that you don't actually believe in the veracity of your own accusations. Danh108 (talk) 20:57, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
Owl, I'm interested to get your opinion about the replacement lede above. CiC's and Greame's suggestions have been incorporated. If everyone is fine with the content, then I will put the sources to it. Regards Danh108 (talk) 21:02, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
Januarythe18th, I was actually considering you as having better experience on Wikipedia than some of us here however your comments such as above on overweight BKs are so off the track - Wikipedia is not a platform for you to keep expressing your personal views and mock a NRM (may be you had a bad personal experience with BKs?). You have been asked twice by Admin to read WP:TPG which you probably still haven't. I am going to take your two arguments and show why they are incorrect. Changeisconstant (talk) 22:34, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
Firstly you say that believing in 5000 years cycle etc is controversial. All religions are essentially a set of beliefs and/ or practices so I don't understand how you can argue that if a religion belives in end of world, 5000 years cycle etc., it should be termed specifically as controversial. For a lot of world religions, when seen from outside their beliefs may sound bizarre but this doesn't mean that entire religion is a controversy! Take hinduism for example, they believe in 330 Million deities; Now you may as well not like it or consider it as a controversial belief but would you then call Hinduism a controversial religion on Wikipedia?
Secondly you say that BK is a renunciate religion because of the lifestyle adopted by the surrendered sisters at its centres. So you would call Catholics a "renunciate" religion because its nuns choose a renunciate life-style and take religions vows? Even if we accept that surrendered sisters adopt a renunciate life-style, what % is that of the overall adherrents of BKWSU? For the sake of explanation, if we take 2-3 surrendered sisters per centre and assume total centres to be 8500, it comes to ~21000. Out of total students claimed 850,000, even if I take half of that as a reliable number (425,000), it comes to just 5%. So there is no rational basis for calling this as a renunciate religion on basis of such arguments. Changeisconstant (talk) 22:34, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

Look, let's just be honest here. Regardless of which or how many references are put in front of you, you're going to act like the 3 Wise Monkeys here, only in reverse.

One of will say, "I don't see it"; one of you is going to say, "I don't hear it"; and the other of you go, "I cannot admit that exists".

Brahma Kumarism is not old, mature and broad religion like Christianity. As far as I know, no comprehensive studies have been made of BK adherence and I doubt we could trust the BKs and individuals BKs to present one, (e.g. note of when the BKs refused to is made in one of the references). Walliss and Howell discuss membership patterns relative to the UK and Australia, there is discussion of Polish BKs. I don't know of any defining the vast majority of Indian BKs. However, the religion itself makes the definition of who is in or out is very clear, e.g. to be a BK you have to practice renunciation and live an ascetic life of no sex, no relationships, vegetarianism and not eating outsiders food and so on.

It's a monastic order but without the expense of the monasteries for the religion. They cut costs by having adherents live at home, at their own cost and turn their homes into churches. Brahma Kumarism is too young a religion to be able to afford a proper monastic system. Do the BKs even have the concept of lay followers? Do the BKs even have a word for lay followers? No. They call them "traitors", "shudras" or even "lower than the lowest of the low" etc.

Therefore, I think the degree of conformity to the monastic disciplines is very high and people who are not following are, by definition, not BKs. --Januarythe18th (talk) 14:51, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

The lifestyle shown in the article can be best summarized (which is what the Lead is supposed to do) as Ascetic. Renunciate has other connotations -see here Renunciation for example being a neo-Hindu movement, it can be interpreted as Sanyaasa. That is why I am not asking that its removed, I am suggesting that its replaced with Ascetic which is clearly a better description of lifestyle and won't be misleading to readers. The number of adherrents is already indicated as an estimate on the article so I am only picking from what is there and not claiming its accurate. Hope that clarifies. Changeisconstant (talk) 19:07, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

Managing Religious Bigotry

I'm observing a pattern of behaviour. If January loses an argument on the talk page he rushes to the article and makes his own changes. Any changes by editors he has pigeon holed as "BK's" get reverted. CiC and Owl, is this what is happening to you too? Edits by old Wikipedians are being allowed. In addition other editors use the talk page, where as J18 just does what he likes and doesn't discuss major changes on the talk page e.g. the new 'schism' section, again devoting the article to different and very small group that has it's own Wiki page. In my view that would be better dealt with in 1-2 sentences in the expansion.

@ John Carter or Greame, I would like to get your views about how to manage this situation. I'm not used to dealing with people who seem to just fixate on something (sandboxes, so-and-so is a "BK" and shouldn't edit here, the article is highly accurate and well referenced etc)'s not rational. It appears to me as a mix of WP:Own and Personal attack(Using someone's affiliations as an ad hominem means of dismissing or discrediting their views). January has aleardy been warned quite a few times, but continues to block label three editors and control the article. No extra eyes seem that keen to come here, and I can hardly blame them.

Greame, I am repeated getting reverted for implementing the suggestion you supported regarding relocating the UN information to the 'expansion' section. Even based on January's own argument, BK's allegedly seek to agrandize themselves by labeling it as some special activity/recognition, so it would be much more neutral to place this in the 'expansion' section. However it appears the only way January will allow changes is if I ask another editor to insert this really how Wikipedia is supposed to be? Regards Danh108 (talk) 15:10, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

Removal of claim - reference insufficient

As per this advice the subsection has been deleted. Regards Danh108 (talk) 16:40, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

Clarification of Hindi language text

I think a slight tweak of the lede might be in order and I wanted to check a couple of things. The lede says

"Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University (BKWSU) or Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya....."

and "...Brahma Kumaris (Hindi: ब्रह्माकुमारी, pron. [ˈbrəɦmaː kʊˈmaːriː], abbrv. BK)... "

Can someone answer.

  1. Is Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya a direct translation (or vice versa depending on viewpoint) of "Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University"?
  2. What is the meaning of "Brahma Kumaris"? GraemeLeggett (talk) 19:57, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
"Prajapita" is not included in the english text (BKWSU). Translation of "Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University" is "Brahma Kumari Adhyatmic Vishwa Vidyalaya". "Ishwariya" would translate to "Godly" in english. So you can see its not a one to one translation. If you see the reference "Religions of the world" [16], it provides for meaning of Brahma Kumaris as ("Brahma Kumaris" means daughters of Brahma). Changeisconstant (talk) 20:07, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

Deletion of 4th Paragraph in the Lede

I see no justification for this paragraph being included. Based on WP: BRD I have removed it and state the following reasons (If these reasons can be faulted or an alternative justification provided, by all means re-insert it):

1. The concept shared by the majority of religions of 'apocalypse' is already covered by the use of the word 'millenarian'.
2. As per Adjwilley's feedback, the lede should reflect the article content, and there is nothing to suggest the BK's are bent on world domination in the article. This gives significant undue weight to something is not a major feature of the group.
3. This reference is cherry picked. As discussed elsewhere on the talk page, the reference used also states the BKs aspire to be example of good management.
4. It's not appropriate to launch into detail about specific beliefs in the lede. The years, numbers, etc can all be covered in the beliefs. This paragraph is also POV laden and mis-states what the BKs believe to cast the organisation in a negative light.

Feedback from independent editors is especially welcomed. Thank you Danh108 (talk) 23:41, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

PICTURES: More POV skewed content

My concerns relate to the newly inserted pictures.

1. I don't see the relevance/significance of the two venues - Mysore, and the other unspecified one.
2. The Universal light caption is POV laden, but is a good example to use:
a) For the BKs, this picture as used to explain the similarity between religions and a commonality in their faith, furthering the BK concept of "one human family" united under one God. All faiths having their own respectworthy path and teachings.
b) From a neutral perspective, the picture illustrates BK monotheism.
c) From the 'anti' point of view it is twisted to illustrate the BKs claim 'their God is the God of all religions'. The reason this is POV laden is that this could be said of every montheistic faith. It's axiomatic - anyone who says there is one God, by definition must believe their God is the God. But I don't think you will find that view being twisted on other pages the way it is here.
3. A more neutral statement under the 'Golden Age' pictures might be: "An artist impression of the Golden Age". Probably one is enough, but I don't really care if there is 2.

Regards Danh108 (talk) 23:57, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

I suggest removing the "Mysore" and the "Temple of Meditation" Pictures for not having any particular reason to be there, since there is already a picture of the headquarters. GreyWinterOwl (talk) 10:26, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
I do like some pictures though. I am learning how to upload some replacements now, and have emailed someone for copyright permission for one image. Thanks OwlDanh108 (talk) 16:25, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

Editor blocked, some support requested

Hi all, Januarythe18th has been indefinitely blocked. A lot of very unkind accusations have been going on, and even though untrue, mud can stick for a while, so I have messaged User:Adjwilley and User:John Carter for whatever support/participation they can provide in the editing process to give the article repair job added credibility. Greame, if you are happy to stay with the article, that is great too.

My view would be as much as possible to rely on existing encyclopedic material. This was a comment Vecrumba made very early on. Regards Danh108 (talk) 06:11, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

I saw the report and it was surely crossing the line so it is a good decision by admin. I have done a lot of research both on brahmakumaris and, the critical web-site and the pattern of breaching privacy or its threat has been used in the past on forum when the authority of the advocacy leader was challenged in the past. However keep in mind this user or follower has managed to continue to block editing using socks. Anyways, lets focus on the content and in my view its important to keep neutrality, not rush in making changes, use reliable sources and not BK POVs, and engage experienced editors which you have requested above. Changeisconstant (talk) 08:01, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

Lede with references added

As submitted for everyone's consideration earlier, here is the new lede - I will keep adding in the references over the next day or so - any one who wants to help is most welcome, but hopefully we can stick to main encyclopedia's. Owl, everyone except you has provided feedback which has been incorporated. Please feel welcome to suggest. CiC, you had a good suggestion about the numbers - can you add that in? Thank you.

The Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University (BKWSU) or Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya projects itself as a vehicle for spiritual teachings and values education[2] and often references it's association with the United Nations as an NGO in support of this view. In the academic domain the BKWSU is often classified as a Neo-Hindu millenarian new religious movement (NRM). In the interfaith domain the Brahma Kumaris are often considered a spiritual organisation rather than a religion.
The Brahma Kumaris was founded by Dada Lekharj Kripalani who later took the name Brahma Baba, and Radhi Pokardas Rajwani in India in the 1930's[3]. It is distinctly identified by the prominent role women play in the movement. While the leadership is primarily female, there is also a significant degree of participation from male members[4].
The BKWSU teach a form of meditation that focuses on their identity as souls, and that the soul is intrinsically good. They believe that all souls are children of one God who is the source of all goodness, and that we are one human family. The BK’s teach that identifying with labels associated to the body like race, nationality, religion and even gender, divides people and feeds human weakness. They aspire to establish a global culture based on what they call ‘soul-consciousness’ and believe that the present world is predominantly ‘body-conscious’ and therefore requires total transformation.
The BKWSU maintain they have been criticised and caused some controversy primarily because the social reforms they have been advocating have challenged existing power structures and social norms. Critics make a wide range of accusations, some of which don't fit this characterisation (link to section). However the BKWSU are well respected in India for the hospitals, schools, environmental projects and outreach programs which they have established.
Sources vary in the estimate of followers, ranging from 100,000 to 450,000 worldwide

Danh108 (talk) 07:36, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

We should define Brahmakumaris in the lede as was done by Greame yesterday. I will look at the numbers Changeisconstant (talk) 08:04, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
If I have messed something up, please insert it into the article CiC. The feedback Greame gave when I posted this was incorporated. Sorry if there was another discussion happening elsewhere. Regards Danh108 (talk) 08:08, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
CIC - I found something on numbers, but feel free to correct/improve/add if there is something else.Danh108 (talk) 08:13, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
Its the same reference that I was going to use so the statement on numbers looks fine to me. Thank you Changeisconstant (talk) 08:21, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
I'm kind of leery of seemingly presenting three different views of the group inthe lead. Maybe something like "BKWSU is a millenarian new religious movement in the Hindu (or Dharmic, or whatever) tradition. Its purpose is education, specifically including education in its teachings on mediation and other broadly religious matters. It works extensively with the UN, has centers in (X) countries..., and is in that context regularly referred to as an NGO." That's just a rough idea for a draft, but it de-emphasizes the opinions of the various groups and I think something like it would present a more homogenous, easily understood lead paragraph. John Carter (talk) 18:52, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
I agree John, it does make it a kind of 'uneasy read'. I'm happy with what you're suggesting. I'm going to be working and unable to do anything for the next day. I'm mindful of one encyclopedia that mentioned the BKs don't consider themselves Hindu (sorry, can't find it yet), and so how to balance that. It may not need to be incorporated in the lede, but I'm also mindful that as an NRM, the BKs haven't sometimes been accepted by other religions as a 'religion'. The best example I can note (though I don't have a verifiable source), but at the Parliament of the World's Religions 2009, BK (and Sathya Sai Baba) were classified as 'Spiritual Organisations'. I'm interested to do some research on what the criteria used for this classification was. RegardsDanh108 (talk) 20:49, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
FWIW, there are a lot of groups of all sorts which disagree about the definition of religion and its specific applicability to themselves. So, for instance, would Roman Catholicism or Shaivism be counted as a separate "religion," or a school or denomination or tradition within a larger "religion"? That's kind of why I went for not using the description of "religion" at all, but rather NRM, which is a bit more specific, and can be used to apply equally to separate religions or newer traditions. We don't really need to argue over the definition of "religion" any more than necessary, particularly as that argument isn't really one that we can resolve anyway. I think it probably does count, broadly, as Dharmic religion, now a redirect to Indian religions, so that might not be quite so questionable. John Carter (talk) 20:58, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Here is the reference that encyclopedia was using: ↑ 35.0 35.1 R.K. Barz, "A reinterpretation of bhakti theology: from the Pustimarg to the Brahma Kumaris." Devotional Literature in South Asia: Current Research 1985-1988. quoted in Ronald Stuart McGregor. Devotional Literature in South Asia. (Cambridge University Press, 1988. ISBN 0521413117). quote: "[BKWSU] … does not associate itself with any earlier Hindu movement, bhakti or otherwise," Retrieved September 20, 2011. RegardsDanh108 (talk) 20:57, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

Hi John, I thought 'works extensively with the UN' might overstate the relationship, so I've tried to frame it in terms of the organisations perspective.
"The Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University (BKWSU) or Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya is a millenarian New Religious Movement (NRM) whose Indian origin links it to the Hindu tradition. Its purpose is spiritual education, specifically including education in values[5], and its own distinct form of meditation and spiritual philosophy. As a spiritual organisation it has placed great value on working closely with the United Nations and is in that context regularly referred to as an Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO)"
Would you find this okay to be inserted as the new first paragraph? Regards Danh108 (talk) 18:39, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
How about "Its purpose is spiritual education" or "spiritual empowerment" rather than just education? Changeisconstant (talk) 19:41, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
How about this CiC? RegardsDanh108 (talk) 05:14, 12 October 2013 (UTC)
looks fine to me Changeisconstant (talk) 07:54, 12 October 2013 (UTC)
My one reservation is the sentence starting with the phrase "As a spiritual organisation," which in the current structure can be seen as being the because of a "If (a)... then (b)..." formula, which isn't quite the sense of the sentence at present. Maybe something like "They (the BKs) work closely with the United Nations in their (the BKs) educational efforts, and is this context regularly function as an NGO"? The stuff in parantheses is expected not to be included in the real draft, by the way.John Carter (talk) 17:35, 12 October 2013 (UTC)
Hi John, I'm only hesitating because I don't know the precise nature of the work the BKs are doing at the UN. Hence the expression "The BKs place great value on working closely...." as it's commenting on the BK perspective and doesn't get specific. What if 'spiritual organisation' & and 'great' are dropped: "The BKs place a lot of value on working closely with the United Nations and in that context they regularly function as an Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO)"
The admittedly minimal text currently in Brahma Kumaris at the United Nations, which I have proposed to merge into this article, might help if its verifiable. The information I've seen from the BK webpage here and the content of that article indicates that the BK serve in a "general consultative status" with the UN and as per the BK at the UN article they are an accredited observer to the UNFCCC. That might not be a lot to start with. John Carter (talk) 15:32, 13 October 2013 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Whole thing: "The Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University (BKWSU) or Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya is a millenarian New Religious Movement (NRM) whose Indian origin links it to the Hindu tradition. Its purpose is spiritual education, specifically including education in values[6], and its own distinct form of meditation and philosophy. The BKWSU place a lot of value on working closely with the United Nations and in that context they regularly function as an Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO)" Danh108 (talk) 08:38, 13 October 2013 (UTC)

Reference request

Does anyone have or know how to get the full version of this: [7] It has been mis-stated in the article, but seems a very good reference for a time when there was no much around. Regards Danh108 (talk) 16:40, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

Um, what exactly is the source being discussed here? John Carter (talk) 16:42, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
Sorry John Carter. I had just cut and pasted, so it was tucked away. Here it is:

"Here did the Creator and the World-Preceptor start to play the role of the founder". "GOD HIMSELF RE-INCARNATED under the name and title of God Father Adi Deva Triumurti Guru Brahma the Creator, Corporeal of Incorporeal God, the SEED of the entire human World Tree. Holy religion-heads are to help the most beloved god father brahma, the seed of humanity, corporeal of incorporeal God, with soul-consciousness to re-establish golden aged deity dynasty with supreme sanctity, peace and plenty." World Religion Congress, Shimizu City, Japan. Ananai-Kyo, 1954. University of Michigan, Mar 2006

I saw it, I'm just not sure what it means. I'm guessing that it might be the text of a statement made at a 1954 meeting in Japan, possibly in a source published by the University of Michigan? But is there any indication of the title of the work, whether journal or book, or anything else definitive? There might be a way to check the net for any transcripts of speeches made at a World Religion Congress in 1954, maybe, but it would help if there were any sort of real title to go by. John Carter (talk) 17:02, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, misunderstood. I think you are right - my understanding is that the early BKs attended a conference in Japan in 1954. It hosted a range of faiths and organisations. As far as I've heard, it appears to be the first BK activity outside of India (excluding Pakistan, which only arose because of partition). In that sense, it is very interesting as it may document the organisations beliefs. The beliefs have 'evolved'/changed over time. Actually part of the difficulty with this article is that the organisations views have really 'softened' over time, partly due to exposure to other cultures/integration into the West, partly due to the world not ending, and no doubt a range of other things. However January (in my view) wanted to keep transposing some old hard-lines as if they were present realities. Regards Danh108 (talk) 18:02, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
Web search leads to this full report on the world religion congress in 1954 [17]. There seems to be a 12 page description about what BKs had to say during the congress. Not sure how to get transcript etc from this. Changeisconstant (talk) 19:38, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

Dealing with some other articles

It was discussed long ago on the talk page that some other pages should probably be deleted. One of those is "BK beliefs". There was also doubt cast over having a separate page for the founder of the organisation. What are other people's views on this?

My own 2 cents is that the organisation is small and I would think it makes more sense to amalgamate the subpages. Danh108 (talk) 19:08, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
The first step is to make sure that any useful content on child pages is already covered in this article. If the content is already present here you can go WP:Prod or WP:AfD to suggest they are deleted. A simple redirect would be as effective, but it would be tidier to actually go through AfD which would be the more "open" process, as previously in Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/History of the Brahma Kumaris movement.
I see these articles seem to be spin-offs and possible candidates for merge/deletion.
List of Brahma Kumaris
Brahma Kumaris beliefs and practices
If you were being tidy you could also propose Talk:Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University/Brahma Kumari Beliefs and Lifestyle and Talk:Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University/History of the Brahma Kumari Movement (through Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion) as being superfluous. GraemeLeggett (talk) 19:59, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
I agree with merging/deleting all pages mentioned. The main page covers them very well. GreyWinterOwl (talk) 20:16, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
I like Greame's suggestion - clean and tidy is best. I would add this page to the delete list: Dada Lekhraj Danh108 (talk) 00:52, 12 October 2013 (UTC)

Advice on Article Structure

Hi everyone, earlier we discussed article structure. A few of us liked Greame's idea of including things like "BK at UN"[18], "BK on environment" etc. as part of the 'expansion' section. I am happy to go with the majority. However I think it would require sub-headings in the expansion section, like we see in 'Central beliefs' section. Is everyone fine with this? Other suggestions? An alternative could be to break the "Activities and Recognition" section up. Activities could be all the various service driven activities not present covered in the article. Regards Danh108 (talk) 02:04, 12 October 2013 (UTC)

Well, if no one has much opinion, I will BRD my way into it and people can always revert/discuss problems here.
At present I think if I inserted too much content into the expansion, I will upset people who want the beliefs close to the beginning (and I agree that the reasons presented for this makes sense). Regards Danh108 (talk) 08:56, 13 October 2013 (UTC)
I agree with your suggestion of inclusions in the expansion section. It's due weight since it's documenting important aspects of BK as a whole, contrary to what it was before, a collection of cherry picked controversies and more than half dedicated to a non-notable splinter group. Please edit as you think is the best and if someone disagrees it can be discussed in the talk page. GreyWinterOwl (talk) 09:56, 13 October 2013 (UTC)
Sorry Owl. It can always be 'cut and pasted' at some later stage. At the moment I just want to keep up some reading and build the content. Regards Danh108 (talk) 10:14, 13 October 2013 (UTC)
  1. ^ Whaling, Frank (2012). Understanding the Brahma Kumaris. Dunedin Academic Press Ltd. p. 65. ISBN 978-1-903765-51-7.
  2. ^ Encyclopedia of New Religious Movements. Peter Clarke. Routledge, 2006, ISBN 0-203-59897-0 (Adobe e-reader format)
  3. ^ Religions of the World. A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Belief's and Practices. J Gordon Melton and Martin Baumann. ABC-CLEO, LLC 2010, ISBN 978-1-57884-203-6 Parameter error in {{isbn}}: Invalid ISBN.
  4. ^ Religions of the World. A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Belief's and Practices. J Gordon Melton and Martin Baumann. ABC-CLEO, LLC 2010, ISBN 978-1-57884-203-6 Parameter error in {{isbn}}: Invalid ISBN.
  5. ^ Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Constance A. Jones and James D. Ryan. ABC-CLEO, LLC 2010, ISBN 978-1-57884-203-6 Parameter error in {{isbn}}: Invalid ISBN.
  6. ^ Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Constance A. Jones and James D. Ryan. ABC-CLEO, LLC 2010, ISBN 978-1-57884-203-6 Parameter error in {{isbn}}: Invalid ISBN.
  7. ^ "Here did the Creator and the World-Preceptor start to play the role of the founder". "GOD HIMSELF RE-INCARNATED under the name and title of God Father Adi Deva Triumurti Guru Brahma the Creator, Corporeal of Incorporeal God, the SEED of the entire human World Tree. Holy religion-heads are to help the most beloved god father brahma, the seed of humanity, corporeal of incorporeal God, with soul-consciousness to re-establish golden aged deity dynasty with supreme sanctity, peace and plenty." World Religion Congress, Shimizu City, Japan. Ananai-Kyo, 1954. University of Michigan, Mar 2006