Eckankar, a Subtle Cult
By Raphael, raphael@...
This is written in sincere support for those who are struggling with these issues
In the past when Eckankar has been accused of being a cult, I reacted by defending the teachings and believed without question the Living Eck Master when he said that Eckankar was not a cult. I didn't view any claims by other groups about Eckankar. I simply closed my mind to them. Now I am viewing this issue again, but this time allowing myself to see the issue without the filter of the Living Eck Master imposed upon my third eye. I am seeing that Eckankar is, and has been a subtle cult, whose spoken words are mild but whose written works demand allegiance to the Godman of Eckankar (Harold Klemp). Eckankar under the direction of Harold Klemp, publishes, disseminates, and supports threats of dire consequences for those who do not believe, and who may wish to leave the group. Hidden behind the meek exterior of the present Godman, Harold Klemp, is a tryrant & a dictator who uses Paul Twitchell's baldfaced megalomaniacal claims of the Living Eck Master's omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence to bolster his own position without the 'dirty' work of saying it himself. Yet Klemp is now making these very same claims directly. Here is some criterion used to classify cults. Following the criterion are quotes from Klemp and Twitchell that directly support the claims that Eckankar is a cult of giant proportions. The criteria that follows is from the book CULTS & CONSEQUENCES by Rachel Andres and James R. Lane .
According to our definition, a cult is a group that exhibits the following characteristics:
It is a group of people who follows a living leader, usually a dominant, paternal male figure, or occasionally a pair or a "family" of leaders. It is a group whose leader makes absolute claims about his character, abilities, and/or knowledge. A leader's claims may include any or all of the following:
A claim that he is divine -- God incarnate, the messiah, etc.
A claim that he is the sole agent of the divine on earth -- God's agent or emissary.
A claim the he is omniscient and infallible -- the possessor of absolute truth and total wisdom.
Prometheus: This is where I will
insert my evidence. In Klemp's book
"Autobiography of a Modern Prophet"
on page 385 he states that the "God"
of all other religions is at the most
a 4th Plane God called KAL (i.e. Satan,
the Devil). However, Klemp fails to
mention to the reader that, as the
LEM/Mahanta, he is of the 14th Plane,
thus, greater than the God that all
other religions worship!
It is a group in which membership is contingent on a complete and literal acceptance of the leader's claims to divinity, infallibility, etc., and acceptance of his teachings, doctrines, and dogma. It is a group in which membership is contingent on complete, unquestioning loyalty and allegiance to the leader.
It is a group in which membership is contingent on a complete and total willingness to obey the cult leader's commands without question.
It is then, a group that is, by definition, undemocratic, absolutist.
Here are quotes by Klemp and Twitchell from the Eckankar discourses published by Eckankar that support the criteria used above to identify a cult. The bolded and italicized words are my emphasis. Words in parenthesis have been added to explain and clairfy the words proceeding them.
"The Mahanta, the Living ECK Master (Harold Klemp) is the SUGMAD (God) on earth and has unlimited power to carry out the will of the Supreme One in all ITS countless worlds. This is a vain boast to the ears of the profane, nevertheless the ECK initiate learns the truth for himself during the daily spiritual exercises.' The Eck Satsang Discourses, Fourth Series, Page 15-16, Harold Klemp 1996.
"First to know is that the Mahanta (Harold Klemp) conducts his affairs from this high state of awareness during all of a twenty-four hour day." The Eck Satsang Discourses, Fourth Series, Page 19, Harold Klemp 1996
"The Mahanta, the Living ECK Master (Harold Klemp) is the embodiment of the SUGMAD (God), as the ECK, and therefore represents the entire ocean of love and compassion. This strikes a reactive note in anyone who operates under the strictures of the human level of perception." The Eck Satsang Discourses, Fourth Series, Page 20, Harold Klemp 1996
"The Mahanta (Twitchell) helped me up from the cot. Weak and trembling I sat up; then with the support of the Master (Twitchell), I stood. With joy I looked at Paul and thought, I now understand a little more of the ECK. So many people really don't believe you have the divine power that surmounts even the forces of life and death. The Mahanta (Twitchell) knew my silent thoughts and gave a smile of love to me." The Eck Satsang Discourses, Fourth Series, Page 24, Harold Klemp 1996
"The ECK Masters hold meetings in a number of different locations. Although their home on the Soul Plane is known to be Honardi, the immense order of Vairagi Masters is apt to send specialists from among them to gatherings on the order of business seminars.
One such location is the spiritual site of Bcero Corsa, a meeting place hidden in a remote part of the southeastern United States. The approaches to it are protected by thousands of vipers that infest the swamplands. No intruder is welcome, nor is the secret path to it ever revealed to an outsider. Each ECK Master in attendance is the best talent in his particular area of interest: Some are pilots, government workers, medical doctors, mathematicians, laborers.
The gatherings are usually attended in the Soul form, and Peddar Zaskq (Paul Twitchell) often chairs the meetings. All in attendance are finely versed in the Law of Economy and are leaders in their fields." The Eck Satsang Discourses, Fourth Series, Page 23, Harold Klemp, 1996
"A Master (Klemp) is a diplomat,but he must be able to call a spade a spade. He must be honest with everyone and tell exactly who and what is making a problem - and do this without beating around the bush. His entire development has followed the line of gaining the fullest love of ECK.
He (Klemp) is the ideal and the vanguard of the human race." The Eck Satsang Discourses, Fourth Series, Page 24, Harold Klemp 1996
"We (Twitchell and Eckankar) have not been able to express ourselves in public because the secrets of the ECK are not for public ears." The Eck Satsang Discourses, Third Series, Page 1, Paul Twitchell, 1971, 1995
"In the first place, it is stated, and has been known throughout all the ECK (eckankar) books and writings that ECK is the original source of all life. It is further stated that all life, religions, philosophies, and metaphysical systems spring out of the fountainhead which is ECK. Therefore, we cannot find anything which is greater that ECK. We cannot find anyone who can give the true initiation into the stream of life, ECK, except the Mahanta, the Living ECK Master, and those appointed by him. Anyone who makes claims that he is going to be the next Living ECK Master is certainly making false claims. Anyone who breaks away from the ECK after receiving initiation into ECK will have to go through many future lives until he meets the ECK Master again, accepts him as the Mahanta, the Living ECK Master, and surrenders completely to him.
He punishes himself. The Mahanta has nothing to do with it; he is only the vehicle for the ECK, which steps in and begins to work out the destiny of the individual who has taken steps to create overt acts against the Master, or if he does any of the things as given above in the second and third paragraphs. Those who indulge in their whims and try to turn their unhappiness into complaints about the ECK Master or the Mahdis, soon find themselves in certain circumstances which only add to their troubles in life. The ECK ceases to operate in their lives, for one thing. This brings about a misery which few, if any understand; they seem to think that the responsibility lies outside themselves.
If ECK, as the vital spiritual force. ceases to function in that individual who has created heavy overt acts against the ECK, that individual becomes like a vegetable. This is a simile for one without vitality in his actions and deeds, whose thinking is dulled, and who is not mentally alert at all. In other words, he is like an inanimate element of life, a vegetable, a piece of mineral, a rock, or something with hardly any emotions or thinking ability left.
...This (vegetable state) also occurs if one should have the initiation in ECKANKAR and break off to join another group, regardless of whether it is a psychic, religious, or philosophical organization." The Eck Satsang Discourses, Third Series, Page 1 & 2, Paul Twitchell 1971, 1995
"All ECK Masters come from a long line of spiritual Masters; the Mahantas come from the same line, but they are directly connected with the SUGMAD(God) and each can be called the Son of Heaven; the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Every ECK Master is the ECK Itself, but the Mahanta (Klemp) is not only the ECK of Itself, but the only true representative of the SUGMAD(God) upon every plane in the whole universe of God. He is often known as the mystical body of the SUGMAD(God). The line of the ECK Masters goes back into the ages, far beyond the formation of the worlds of the psychic planes." The Eck Satsang Discourses, Third Series, Page 2, Paul Twitchell, 1971, 1995
"The Living Eck Master (Klemp) is the avatar of the world who has been sent here to take all Souls back to their heavenly home again; none should dispute this. Anyone else who makes such claims is indeed a false prophet in sheep's clothing." The Eck Satsang Discourses, Third Series, Page 4, Paul Twitchell, 1971, 1995
"If anyone studies ECK (eckankar) closely, it's found that nothing can compare with It, and It alone can serve humanity, the world, and the beings on the other planes. Unless one realizes this, and at the same time realizes that he must he turn serve ECK, there is no hope." The Eck Satsang Discourses, Third Series, Page 6, Paul Twitchell, 1971, 1995
There are many more quotes which document the cult methods of Eckankar. Some of them can be viewed on Raphael's Recovery Room's Home Page under The Book Of Eckankar (tm) Threats.
Peace and growth,