Why I Joined & Left Brahma Kumaris Raja Yoga Meditation CULT (2nd Chinese BK) Part 1
(My Cult Confession Story and my Wonderful Experiences in my First Years in BK as the World’s Second Chinese BK)
Written by Whisperer Robert Chaen, who Co-Founded Brahma Kumaris Raja Yoga Meditation Malaysia in 1981.
My Cult Confession Story begins in Melbourne around September 1979 when my brother Tom visited me.
I left my hometown Ipoh, Malaysia to complete my pre-university year (aka “A” Levels) in St. Kevin’s College in 1978. I was studying in Swinburne University I was having a wonderful time with lots of freedom as an under-graduate in Australia, a Western foreign country. Like many Chinese Malaysian parents, they strongly advised me and my 3 siblings (I am the youngest) not to return to Malaysia but to study and migrate overseas. They saw no future for a Chinese Malaysian as there is strong bias and odds against Non-Malays. I never knew I would uproot and return to Malaysia – twice.
I drove a second-hand Fiat 124S, a poorman’s Italian sportscar. I worked as a part-time waiter in a Hong Kong Chinese Restaurant in Hawthorn, near Swinburne. College life was fun, very exciting and wonderful, and I was starting to notice and chatted with my women college mates…
That Fateful September Day that changed the course of my life and career
My eldest brother Tom drove a long way from Sydney to visit me suddenly.
He gave me the whole 5-day Raja Yoga Meditation (RYM) course in a few hours. It made sense to me and my first Raja Yoga Meditation was great. I saw an aura around Tom when he taught me open-eyed meditation – we look at each other’s Third Eye (which is in the center of the forehead) through “Dristi” (vision).
I asked him why he drove down just to tell me about the RYM knowledge.
He said that in one of the Murlis (recycled daily class discourse read from a Sakar Murli, daily classes given Shiva Baba through Brahma Baba’s body from 1936-1969) Shiva Baba warned the Brahma Kumaris or BKs (regular students of Brahma Kumaris Raja Yoga Meditation) that if they don’t tell their relatives about the destruction of Iron Age and the end of the world, one day these relatives will blame you for NOT sharing Shiva Baba’s Gyan (knowledge).
Second Chinese in the World to join BK Raja Yoga Meditation
After the 2 hour discourse and meditation, and sensing I was open to RYM, Tom immediately took me to the first Melbourne Raya Yoga Meditation center located in Fitzroy, north of the CBD (city business district). He introduced the Center-in-charge Brother Charlie (he is currently the Country Head of BK Australia) who later gave me a lot of attention, offered free but bland vegetarian meals. I became the SECOND Chinese to ever join BKs. Tom was the First Chinese.
I began to slowly to adopt BK Maryadas aka Principles for Brahmins (very strict disciplines). I was told I was Brahmin (the Hindu caste system) and therefore must obey strict Brahmin rules. Some weekends Brother Charlie Hogg offered me to stay overnight. I would sleep in a sleeping bag. I remember the RYM center was very peaceful, filled with Indian incense. I could hear a wind chime in the middle of the night.
I remembered one time I tried to cook for the center, because I found the vege food too bland I overdid it with too much hot spices. Brother Charlie was always very encouraging about my inexperienced bad cooking. He had a very sweet temperament and a soothing soft voice (nearly every brother imitated his soft mannerism).
Later I would become such an excellent vegan cook that countless converted to vegetarianism because I made vegetarianism so tasty with a mixture of Chinese/ Indian/ Malaysian dishes and ingredients. My cooking was famous among the Dadis even in Madhuban, the HQ of Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University (BKWSU) in Mt. Abu, Rajasthan, India. Dadis (aka grandmothers in Hindi) were very senior sisters who left their families and lived with the Founder Brahma Baba in 1936. During the Partition and Independence when Pakistan broke away from India in the early 1950s Brahma Baba moved the community from Pakistan to Mt. Abu.
Dr. Nirmala & Strict Maryadas
I was introduced to the super-strict Dr. Nirmala, the current Regional Director of Asia-Australia region who later showed her true colors as heartless, tactless, and ruthless. I became more and more involved in BKs.
After 1 month in RYM, I decided I wanted to secretly (not tell my parents) go to my first annual pilgrimage to Madhuban. Brother Charlie gave me the Strict “Shrimat” (supreme directions from Shiva Baba) to follow the Maryadas if I were to stay in Madhuban.
Maybe I was such a rare student (the second Chinese student, and I was very sincere and obedient), I was given a unique exception of being approved by Dr. Nirmala to go to Madhuban with only 3 months in RYM (normally it’s a strict 6 months for Foreigners, 12 months for Indian BKs), not attending daily classes, not 100% pure vegetarianism and I was allowed to eat food in Melbourne food outlets cooked by “impure” Iron-Age (Kali Yuga) people.
Indian Culture Shock & Poster Child
I flew to Bombay. India was a culture shock with the extreme contrast of poverty and rich living next to each other. Instantly Tom and I became a “BK Celebrity” hit with the Indian BKs – later we would be known as “The Chinese BK Brothers“. The Indians and BKs were stunned to see two Chinese wearing traditional white Indian Kurta-Pyjama. Tom & I became the Poster Children of Foreign BK Service. The adoration and admiration was crazy – to be put on a pedestal. I was only 20 years old, Tom my eldest brother was 29 years old.
I had several 1-on-1 meetings with Bapdada in the old big Madhuban hall. When I first saw Bapdada (Twin Souls Shiva Baba & Brahma Baba) enter Dadi Gulzar’s body with a jerk, I kind of freaked out yet at awe to see ‘the supreme soul’ i.e. God himself in person.
The Eerie Voice of the Evil Twin Souls Bapdada – similar to Parseltongue, the Language of the Serpents
Parseltongue is the language of serpents (as well as other magical serpent-based creatures, like the Runespoor and Basilisk) and those who can converse with them. An individual who can speak parseltongue is known as a Parselmouth.
After Madhuban, I stop by my hometown, Ipoh. Somehow my mum found out I went to Madhuban, we had a big fight. Mum made me promise her that I would continue my studies. I promised her, but within 1 month upon arriving in Melbourne I gave up my Business Studies Degree course! All with the full blessings and approval of Dr. Nirmala.
I stopped my University Studies even after promising my Mum not to do it
This is really what happens when the BK Seniors and Centre-in-charge give their “Shrimat” to students not to waste time to study as it’s going to be the end of the World. It happened to me.
For 1 whole year in 1980, I did not go to classes in Swinburne University. I moved into the first Brothers Place near the Fitzroy RYM Centre, together with 5 other Australian BKs. For money I did odd jobs, Amway (for a few months), door-to-door selling, and door-to-door Charity Collector for the Tranby College for Australian Aboriginals (I was the top collector). I’ll spend most of my money on Raja Yoga books, tapes, and to save to start Godly service in Malaysia.
I used my car to take Dr. Nirmala and other BKs to give free talks in various towns in Victoria state, Australia. I was so high, and intoxicated in doing service for the supreme soul Shiva Baba that I didn’t care for anything material. I lost interest in women, I practice Brahmacharya (Celibacy).
Slowly, Slowly I became more and more Isolated from Friends & Relatives and my new Spiritual Family became my one and only World
At one time Dr. Nirmala raided our Brother’s place and instructed us to throw away all our pop songs LP records and cassette tapes. Slowly, slowly I had no entertainment, no movies, no music, no non-BK books, no sex, no meat, no food cooked by non-BKs, no drinking, no socializing, no worldly ambition; sleep by 9pm, wake up by 3:30am, daily classes at 6am, evening service and giving courses – practically I had NO LIFE beyond Brahma Kumaris.
The Death of my 2 Idols: Lennon and Lee
I remember the day when my idol John Lennon was shot in New York on 8 December 1980, I lost interest in worldly Celebrities and their decadent lifestyle. The same thing happened when my teenage Idol Bruce Lee died on 20 July 1973 in Hong Kong, within 1-2 months I lost interest in my Taekwondo classes.
Slowly, slowly my life became more and more isolated from friends, college mates, ‘lokik’ (physical) relatives. My new ‘alokik’ (spiritual) family became my everything, my be all, and my end all.
Only BKs like me will be protected and survive from World Destruction
BK life became simple, uncomplicated, and peaceful – which was wonderful for me facing an uncertain World with nuclear war threat between USSR and USA, civil wars, natural disasters – the world did looked like it’s going to be The End of The World as predicted by Shiva Baba. Yes, all I cared about is Shiva Baba, my God and his Godly Service at this Confluence Age, there is still 6 years left before the predicted End of the World, the end of Iron Age (Kali Yuga) in 1986. And as a BK only BKs will be protected from World Destruction.
World Destruction and Nostradamus were the great motivators to stay strong in the BK Doomsday Cult
World Destruction always fascinated me since my Protestant Christian days when I was a “Born again” Christian attending The Assembly of God. Like most Christians AOG did predict World Destruction and Nostradamus was widely quoted as evidence.
Detachment is the BK #1 Virtue
In the daily Sakar Murlis (daily recycled classes taught before 1969) brainwashed me to renounce the world, detach anything to do with the Iron Age. I was told on weekly basis in Murlis that my lokik family and relationships are all bad Bondages and Karmic Accounts to be settled through the Fire of Yoga Bhatti Meditation.
I was brainwashed daily by the Murlis to give up my assets, property, and surrender everything to the Yagya (sacrificial fire aka the BK Institution) as I believed my reward in Golden Age is huge and I will be a Golden Age Deity: pure, no sins, no lust, reproduce through pure yoga power without sex, pure vegetarian, including all animals in 2,500 years of Golden Age and Silver Age.
Like a Gopi (cowherder) I was so intoxicated by Shiva Baba’s Murli (the flute of knowledge, Gyan). I was so high because Shiva Baba made me believe that I was once a “worship-worthy” deities like Narayan & Laksmi (The 8 Generations and pairs of Golden Age Kings & Queens), and will be playing with Krishna (the first perfect human of Golden Age, the Adi Dev who will later become Narayan when he becomes King).
Competition to be in the 108 Rosary – to be “karmateet”
Like all “pakar” BKs (strong in faith and Maryadas), in my early years I aimed to be in the 108 Rosary of the most highest and purest of humans – to be “karmateet” i.e. to settle all past bad Karma and Lokik bondage with my physical family, to be totally free from karma so that I don’t have to go through “Dharmraj”, the Judge (some BKs say the judge is Shiva Baba, some say it’s the highest 8 BK humans of the 108 Rosary); to be totally free from all suffering, ready to be a King or Queen (Narayan or Lakshmi) in Baba’s Golden Age.
Through the years, I was personally mentored by some Dadas and Dadis in Madhuban (the original 300 who eloped with Dada Lekhraj and formed the first BK community). They would actually reveal their estimated ranking in the 108. I knew the top 10 ranking were already been identified especially BKs who had died e.g. Brahma, Saraswati, Didi.
I secretly aimed to be in the top 50 of the 108. I thought I would have a realistically good chance as I was after all the second Chinese in BK, one of the first Foreigner BKs to start service in Asia, and Malaysia had the best results of BK service outside India and Australia; and Bapdada’s direct personal messages to me in Madhuban indicated I was going to be a Mahatma (a great soul).
I made a bold drastic decision to open BK Raja Yoga Meditation Centres in Malaysia in middle of 1980
I told my own brother Tom, Brother Charlie, and Dr. Nirmala my intentions. They were impressed with my super-fast “pakar” progress and dedication – it’s only 9 months since I joined BK RYM. I was not yet 21 years old.
I was moved to Sydney Centre where Brother Charlie had shifted – for 3 months intensive training. Tom was in Sydney living with his Australian wife, Maureen – they were the second BK foreign couple in the world. I worked full time as a packer in a factory. I sold my Fiat car, my stereo hi-fi, I was gearing up to do Godly service by opening the first Kuala Lumpur centre. I did not tell my parents my plan until I was about to leave Australia for good.
I met and shared with some of the original Australian Jewels like Ken O’Donnell, Anthony Strano (died in 27 July 2014), Wendy Sargent, Peter & Martin Damo (Bolanath), the 2 giant brothers from Brisbane centre (they have since married and now Ex-BKs according to BrahmaKumaris.info).
I finally had the courage to tell my parents my plan one or two weeks before flying to Perth and then to Singapore, on route to Mt. Abu.
My parents drove or took a train down to see Tom & I in Singapore. The first thing my Mum did was to touch my hair – she thought I had became a Hari Krishna who shaves one’s head bald. She begged, pleaded with me to continue my studies, and reminded my promise I made to her 1 year before. Alas, at no avail for a desperate mother who suddenly lost her two sons to a cult.
South Indian Deities
Tom and I had a simple plan: to learn as much about South Indian Deities. We figured that the first likely Malaysian BK students will be Hindus Malaysians who mainly originated from Tamil Nadu.
Tom & I arrived in Madras (now known as Chennai).
It was late March 1981. Sister Rose, the Sister-in-charge treated us well. We took a 2 week slow bus Tamil Nadu tour. We first went to Madurai where the Meenakshi Amman Temple, it was the biggest Hindu temple I ever visited. We stayed in BK RYM Centres along the way – all arranged by Sister Rose who had done service in Singapore previously.
The next stop was beautiful Kanyakumari, the southern most tip of the Indian Sub-Continent – where you can watch the Sunrise and Sunset in the same spot.
Next stops were Coimbatore, and Ooty, “The Honeymoon Hill”
Also known as Udhagamandalam, Ooty is often referred to as ‘Queen of hill stations’. It is the capital of Nilgiris district in the state of Tamilnadu. Nilgiris means ‘Blue Mountains’. A land of picturesque picnic spots & lakes, it was a popular summer and weekend getaway for the British during colonial days. It is situated at an altitude of 7,440 feet (2,240 meters) above sea level.
I had fond memories of my Tamil Nadu trip in 1981. It seems like a great start of my BK experience and brilliant BK career.
The Longest, Craziest Train Ride from Chennai to New Delhi & The Road to Madhuban
Tom & I travelled from Chennai to New Delhi with the first Singapore BK mother (Sister Meena) who lived upstairs directly above the BK Raja Yoga Centre in Katong, run by Sister Bharati, who had a bad reputation of falling asleep while giving ‘dhristi’ from the gadi (a cushioned platform where Murli classes are given).
It was the slowest and cheapest train from Chennai. It stopped at every train station to New Delhi. Mothers were cooking chapati and meals in tiny portable stoves. We sat in wooden bunker seats upright for 3 days, 2 nights. I never appreciated Wet Ones so much in India. At each train station stop, the Sounds of Limca, Limca, Limca (a famous Indian drink), wadai, wadai, wadai snacks, and pakchesh (donations) echoes throughout the train.
By the time we arrived in New Delhi my white kurta-pyjama looked grey with dust. After 3 days and 2 nights without a shower, the first bath in New Delhi felt like I was purified in the holy Ganges River.
We attended a huge peace march and ended on stage in the Red Fort. Then we went on a train to Abu Road from New Delhi, this would be the only time I go to Madhuban via ND. It’s an hour long bus ride or fast jeep from Abu Road to Mt. Abu where Madhuban is.
“Charity begins at home”, said Bapdada
Tom & I met Bapdada a few times in April 1981. Bapdada totally blessed us and said to us that “Charity begins at home”.
Continued in Part 2…. Mum disowned us
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Written by Whisperer Robert Chaen, Founder of Saving 72 Virgins CSR
Published on 29 September 2017.
Updated on 1 October 2017.
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