On one hand, I rest my case ... the so called Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University have finally admitted its published and hagiographized history is false and should be removed from public.
On the other, for watchers of new millenarianist religions, this is an interesting moment where a new religion essentially admits it faked it and has been spinning myth and start to make the transition to ... well, in the case of the Brahma Kumaris probably another myth. Or is forced to come clean and find itself as just another religion amongst many.
The Brahma Kumaris have been known in India for their God's, and godman guru and claimed spirit medium Lekhraj Kirpalani's, exaggerated sense of self importance and failed predictions of the End of the World it calls "Destruction" previously hidden from newcomers. This is not the first event of self-reinvention it has gone through.
The lessons for anyone else intent on starting up a religion? Don't fake it, don't make up silly stories and don't hire an Indian publicists ... unless, of course, you just want to make lots of money from poor villagers and VIPs alike, own vast expensive properties and spend your later years flying around the world in business class to exotic destinations where you are treated like a god by your adherents and get to hobnob with the rich and famous; otherwise known as "business as usual".
The book Adi Dev makes fake claims about God incarnation into or possession of Lekhraj Kirpalani's mind and body and his path to absolute perfection. Posed as the first and only human being to become "equal to God" in every way, the millionaire jewellery shop owner was claimed to be "the first deity" (adi dev) and the Father of Humanity or Adam.
BK Charlie Hogg wrote: TO OZ CENTRES, RETREAT CENTRES & CLASS LOCATIONS
As you would already know, a Yagya History research project is currently underway to record our early history and will eventually culminate in a book. Some of you would have also attended our beloved Wendy's presentation over a year ago on her historical research to-date, which is now being continued by Tamasin.
The recent research has uncovered interesting and amazing new facts and some long-held BK facts, especially about timelines, are now being questioned e.g. when the Yagya began and how old Brahma Baba was when the Yagya started. This topic (Yagya History) is a ongoing topic being discussed in the Global Integrated Media group (GIM).
So we feel that until we get further clarity on these facts, the Adi Dev book should not be positioned as the official record of our Yagya's history but rather that it is the authors' own interpretation of stories gathered from those that were at the time, or from stories passed on to them from others.
As such we suggest the "Adi Dev" book is not displayed as part of your literature stand, nor actively promoted either in your Centre's library or with students during the Foundation Course, etc.
Soon we will have new material to give out to students on our unique history.
In Baba's Yaad
Charlie (on behalf of the Australian Board)
Thanks for sharing this information. It's nice to hear that inaccuracies will be corrected. The story here is not that over zealous people have embellished or distorted accounts of the founder of their spiritual organization but that the organization itself would seem to be in the process of transparently setting things right. Bravo. There may be a few other similar organizations that could also clean up their own historical accounts - though, Jeff and doug, you may both disagree with me on that.
It is my contention (dear Jeff) that "we" can learn something about early Christianity by observing the formation of the BKs. It is difficult to argue that new religious movements like Scientology or Mormonism, for example, can tell us much about the formation of early Christianity when both were born within context of modern western culture. The Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual Organization, however, was born within a context that more closely resembled a world that existed in Jesus' time.
Rather than try to understand the BK movement, some people prefer to interpret and, in fact distort, reality through their western lense. At it's simplest, the BKs are akin to a strict religious order and like all religious orders it requires personal sacrifice and surrender of many things.
Jeff, truth as Christians now know it did not suddenly emerge with the death of Jesus. It evolved over decades - under the guidance of God - of course. The truth that is conveyed by the BKs emerged in a similar way. To say that over zealous BK cheerleaders did not take liberties in making claims that were later shown to be incorrect would be untrue. By comparison, Christianity has existed in a Last Days Scenario for the past 2000 years and most Christians don't bat an eyelash.
So, how do BKs see the early history of the organization. Well, of course there is no simple answer to that. Here is a link to a 1 hour video pulled together to lay out information about the early BK family. It may be a little difficult to follow for those not familiar with BK terminology but people will get the idea.BTW, in the beginning, the BKs were called the Om Mandali.
Many criticize the BKs for being too slick, sophisticated and media savvy. In reality the roots of the organization where anything but slick. The sisters have come a long way in the past 75 years. Anyone interested in checking out how the BKs got their start will want to watch this home grown Australian production.
To view - Click Here.