In his Autobiography of a Modern Prophet, Klemp wrote about
how the new Living Eck Master Darwin Gross was chosen/announced
at the Fifth Eckankar World Wide Seminar, Oct. 22, 1971. Chapter 32,
A Star Trembles for the New Master:
So who was the Living ECK Master during the month after Paul
Twitchell left his body and his successor took on the Mantle of
On October 8, 1971, my dream notebook records a visit by the
great Tibetan ECK Master, Rebazar Tarzs. I was itching to ask,
Who's the Mahanta, the Living ECK Master now? But Rebazar kept
me too occupied with several other matters about Eckankar.
He left again in the Soul body before I remembered to ask the
Several weeks later I was in Las Vegas for the Fifth Eckankar World
Wide Seminar that Paul had called "Consciousness Five." This meant
the high awareness from the Fifth Plane, far beyond the realms of
cosmic consciousness, Buddha Consciousness, and the Christ
Consciousness of the orthodox religions. This seminar promised
an upliftment for the entire movement of Eckankar.
I walked along a Las Vegas side street about half an hour before
the evening seminar session when the new Living ECK Master was
to be announced in the Flamingo Hotel.
At that moment, a marvelous spectacle in the evening sky caught
my eye. A dazzling shower of brilliant light bathed the western
heavens. It washed the heavens with a breathtaking, sparkling spray.
The spray of light trailed from a brilliant star rising from just above
the horizon. Slowly the starlike object climbed to its apex high above
the earth, spewing out the swath of light particles behind it, a
celestial memory of the passing star's flight.
The stunningly beautiful star rose higher and higher until it seemed
impossible to go any higher. My mind recalled the words from "The
Trembling of a Star" from Paul Twitchell's Stranger by the River. I
knew that this star in the heavens marked the new Living ECK
Master who be announced within minutes at the Flamingo Hotel.
The star faded, but a twinkling pathway of light remained behind
to witness its passage.
I hurried along to the hotel, unwilling to be late for one of the most
significant events in the twentieth century. Quickly, I walked through
the casino where the center of everyone's attention gravitated to the
roll of the dice and the turn of the wheel. Moving along the corridor,
I entered the large auditorium. Hundreds of people were already
seated. They also knew the importance of the moment for the individual
concerned about his own Self-Realization and God-Realization.
Before entering the auditorium, I noticed a bulletin board in the hall.
On a sheet of paper tacked to it was a list of ECK Higher Initiates slated
for the next initiation. The name of Darwin Gross was crossed off.
The other thing I noticed was a man ready to enter the auditorium
to hear the announcement of who was the new Living ECK Master.
He carefully straightened his tie while his wife brushed lint from his
suit coat. She readjusted his tie to make sure it was just right. The
two were prepared for any unexpected honor. Would the husband be
the next Master? The man, however, was not to be the next Master.
Here are notes from my book of dreams and spiritual events: "All
day long we eagerly awaited the announcement of who would be the
present Living ECK Master. Tonight (Friday, October 22), Gail Twitchell,
Paul's widow, read one of Paul's poems, then she presented the Living
ECK Master, Darwin Gross."
As I remember it, Darwin was seated in the audience to the left side of
the stage, several rows back. When Gail announced his name, he stood
up and made his way out to the aisle, then quickly walked up to the
At this point, someone in the audience stood up ans shouted above
the applause, "I knew it!" the audience applauded the new leader of
The notebook continues: "Darwin was dressed in sky blue shirt and
trousers. He removed a navy blue blazer before sitting on a swivel
chair to begin his address."
There are, of course, many details not in the notes. For instance,
when Gail Twitchell presented a blue carnation to him as he came
on stage, every camera and tape recorder in the room ceased to
function for that brief interval. There is no record for that moment
other than the verbal and written ones like my own.
Outside the auditorium in the casino, gamblers' hopes continued
to rise and fall with the turn of a card, the roll of dice, and the
spinning wheel. For many people October 22, 1971, held no special
significance. But for many ECKists, they watched the new Living
ECK Master of the age step out of the obscurity of the crowd into
the swirling pace of the twentieth century. Darwin Gross was now
the caretaker of the spiritual works of ECK, so that all who felt
read to study the unique ways of Spirit could do so.
I returned to my room and reread "The Trembling of a Star" with
a better understanding. For tonight marked the beginning of a new
chapter in my own life. (end of excerpt)
Okay, so this is Klemp's account of how Darwin became the new
L.E.M. A couple things are interesting about Klemp's account.
First, I am recalling that Klemp's own father had just died earlier
in the month. Klemp didn't return to his family home in Wisconsin
to attend his father's funeral, to comfort and support his grieving
mother and to grieve with his siblings. I thought, perhaps, Klemp
couldn't afford the cost of the trip, but I'm sure arrangements
could have been made? I mean we all have been confronted with
But we can see in Klemp's writing of how Darwin became the new
master that Klemp was much more interested and concerned with
who that person would be than in the loss of his father who was
only 60 years old when he died.
Secondly, Klemp mentions his encounters with RT on the inner and
wanting to ask RT who the next Master would be, but he wasn't
able to do so--yet, when Darwin is announced in the auditorium,
an eckist in the audience cried out "I knew it!" Now why didn't
Klemp know this too???
Thirdly, though, there are no pictures recording Gail Twitchell
giving a blue carnation to Darwin when he came on stage, Klemp
is saying it happened. This has been debated, but I guess if
Klemp says it was so, it had to have happened. The blue flowers
symbolize the Mahanta.
I thought it would be a good idea to re-visit Klemp's written
version of what took place on Oct. 22, 1971, when Darwin Gross
took charge of eckankar! : )