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4843Dr. Bluth, Gail and the Mahanta - Paul Twitchell

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  • prometheus_973
    Aug 5, 2009
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      Hello All,
      Here's more that I found after I GOOGLED
      DR. BLUTH and PAUL TWITCHELL.


      THE ADVENT OF DARWIN GROSS

      Translation and Successorship


      John Paul Twitchell died on September 17, 1971,
      of arteriosclerotic heart disease. He "translated"
      (Eck terminology for death) at approximately
      12:50 a.m., in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he was
      scheduled to give a lecture on Eckankar.

      [Copy of Paul Twitchell's Death Certificate,
      Ohio Department of Health, Division of Vital Statistics.]

      As with his birth, several stories have
      cropped up concerning Twitchell's unexpected
      death (translation). A few Eckists, including
      Jim Peebles, believed that he was poisoned
      to death; some state it was in Spain, others
      claim in Czechoslovakia. No one seems quite
      sure. At the time of his death, Dr. Louis Bluth,
      one-time President of Eckankar, reported seeing
      Twitchell's soul carried out in a celestial cloud
      of light. Yet, he later changed his story, claiming
      instead that Twitchell had disobeyed the orders
      of the Vairagi Masters and was carried away in
      chains. Whichever story one believes--even if
      one belongs to Eckankar--the fact remains that
      an autopsy was performed and the coroner's findings
      were that Twitchell died of a heart attack.
      [Ibid.]


      The Controversial "Five Year Plan"


      When Twitchell first took over as the
      "Living Eck Master" in 1965, he stated at
      the very outset that he had been given a
      "five-year" mission, and that after those
      five years a new master would be appointed.
      [Woodrow Nichols and Mark Albrecht, op. cit.,
      page 19.]

      Yet when 1970 came around (five years
      after his proposed statement), Twitchell told
      his followers at the Fourth World-Wide Eckankar
      Seminar that he had been given a five-year
      extension by the Highest Lord, the Sugmad,
      because the second Mahanta had failed his
      preliminary testing. Therefore, he would continue
      as the Mahanta until the third one was ready.
      [Ibid.]

      Nichols and Albrecht in their paper,
      "Eckankar: The Ancient Science of Deception,"
      have researched extensively Twitchell's self-
      proposed "five-year plan." They consider it
      to be a crucial point of controversy within
      Eckankar. Below is the essence of their study.

      By January 1971, the dispute within Eckankar
      had reached such proportions, Twitchell had
      to devote his entire letter of that month to
      quelling the disturbance:

      "There is a lot of idle chatter going on by
      some chelas in Eck who make the unusual
      claims that they are going to be the next
      Mahanta, the Living Eck Master. But whatever
      you hear about this can be taken with a grain
      of salt, as the old expression goes it simply
      isn't true."

      Dr. Bluth attributes this change of plan
      to Paul's attachment to Gail. . . Paul told
      Bluth that he was training a child somewhere
      on the West Coast to be the next Mahanta.
      A lot of members of Eck began leaving the
      fold at this time sensing a betrayal. Paul
      did not quell the disturbance.

      Even in May 1971, the storm was still raging.
      C. Lydon Harrell, Jr., Twitchell's attorney, signed
      a letter dated May 1, 1971, on his letterhead,
      addressed to the chelas, that once again states
      that the next Mahanta is a child and won't be
      ready for fifteen years.

      Paul Twitchell never lived to carry out his five-year
      extension that had been granted to him by the Order
      of Vairagi, the ascended Eck Masters. He never lived
      to pass the rod of power to another Mahanta, or even
      an interim Master. [Ibid., pages 20-21.]

      The Advent of Darwin Gross

      "The next Mahanta is about fifteen years away.
      He is now in training but where he is nobody
      knows and won't know for a long time yet."
      [--Paul Twitchell (January 1971)]
      [Ibid., page 20.]

      Sri Darwin Gross, Portland, Oregon Eck Mahadis,
      and professional engineer was announced at
      the Fifth World-Wide Seminar of Eckankar, to
      be the new living Eck Master.
      [Eckankar News Release (October 1971)]

      The Eckankar News Release reads:

      "The announcement was made before
      an assembly of over a thousand followers
      at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas. Gross
      known in spiritual circles as Dap Ren succeeds
      Paul Twitchell, author 30 books, master and
      founder of the present, world-wide Eckankar
      movement who died (translated) in Cincinnati
      Sept. 17, 1971."

      It came as a surprise and a shock to many
      Eckists when Paul Twitchell died suddenly
      on September 17, 1971. Many of Twitchell's
      followers had expected their master to live
      at least another five (if not fifteen) years.
      It came as a bigger surprise and shock to
      some of those same Eckists when Darwin
      Gross was proclaimed the new "Living Eck
      Master" a month after Twitchell's demise.
      Shortly thereafter, several esteemed Eckists,
      including Dr. Bluth (President of Eckankar
      and Paul's personal doctor) and Edward Pecen
      (Paul's personal bodyguard and confidante),
      left Eckankar disclaiming Darwin Gross and
      Gail Atkinson. [Edward Pecen, personal interview
      with the author, November 1977.]

      Part of the reason behind the astonishment
      of many Eckists over the advent of Darwin Gross
      was because he had been in Eckankar only since
      1969. Nichols and Albrecht retell the controversy:

      "According to Bluth, Gross was flown to Las Vegas. . .
      from Portland, Oregon, where Gross was immediately
      granted a fifth initiation and briefed extensively for
      days so that he could pass the scrutiny of the experts.
      None of the experts were fooled, and there was a fairly
      large exodus from the movement at the time, including
      Dr. Bluth and Dr. Wiggelsworth."

      "Gail had claimed to have had a vision in the middle
      of the night where Paul had come to her in Nuri Sarup
      body and told her that Darwin Gross was to be his
      successor. There was no more mention of the child
      that Twitchell supposedly had been training."

      [Woodrow Nichols and Mark Albrecht, op. cit., pages
      23-24.] Jim Peebles makes a similar observation:

      "Here one should remember that Paul
      left no word as to who his successor should
      be. . . As it was, Darwin Gross first became
      interested in Eckankar in 1969, thus he was
      an Eck Chela for less than a complete two
      years at the time he was declared to be the
      new living Eck Master (i.e., Paul's successor)."
      [Jim Peebles, op. cit., page 12]


      Darwin Gross was revealed as the new
      "Living Eck Master" in Las Vegas, when
      Gail Atkinson Twitchell, Paul's widow,
      walked over to Darwin and presented him
      with a blue carnation. Shortly thereafter,
      to the bewilderment of a number of Eckists,
      Gail and Darwin were married. However,
      their marriage was short-lived. In early 1978,
      Darwin sent a personal letter to a every Eck
      chela in the world informing them that he
      and Gail were getting divorced. A couple of
      years later, Darwin got remarried, but it lasted
      only a few months and he got the marriage
      annulled. The ramifications of Darwin's divorce,
      remarriage, and annulment on the membership
      in Eckankar in the 1970's is difficult to ascertain.
      Yet, it can be presumed by the continued growth
      of Eckankar in the United States that its ultimate
      impact, like Darwin and Gail's marriage, was
      nominal.

      Gail Atkinson, according to the personal
      letter sent to all Eckists, is still a member
      of Eckankar and will continue to support the
      activities of the Eck Master and the group.

      Post-Twitchellian Eckankar

      I have used the term "post-Twitchellian"
      because I think it best emphasizes the crucial
      importance of Paul Twitchell on Eckankar.

      The growth of Eckankar, since of the death
      of its founder, Paul Twitchell, and the advent
      of Darwin Gross, has been remarkable. Although
      Darwin has only authored a few books (including
      the small booklet, Eckankar: A Way of Life ), as
      compared to Twitchell's enormous output (over
      sixty texts), Eckankar has increased its membership
      almost triple.

      The exact figures have not, as of yet,
      been released by Eckankar. But in 1970
      the membership was reported not to exceed
      twenty-thousand. In 1991 it is estimated
      that the number is somewhere between
      forty-thousand and sixty-thousand core
      members.

      Since Darwin's acceptance of the mantleship,
      Eckankar established its Headquarters in Menlo
      Park--an impressive million dollar building.
      [Now under the leadership of Harold Klemp,
      the central headquarters is in Minneapolis,
      Minnesota.] Yet the most enterprising of Darwin's
      projects was to build a spiritual center in Sedona,
      Arizona. The project, however, had to be abandoned
      due to lack of finances and a devastating lawsuit
      taken against Eckankar over property rights in
      the Sedona area.

      [See Sedona's Red Rock News (November 5,
      1980) for more on the lawsuit taken over
      Eckankar's land holdings.]

      The Third Living Eck Master: Harold Klemp

      In October of 1981, Darwin Gross passed
      on the mantleship of Eckankar to Harold
      Klemp, a long-standing Eckist. The event
      took place in Los Angeles, California, at the
      World-Wide Seminar. For many members,
      the announcement came as an abrupt transition.
      Apparently, to ease in the appointment of
      Harold Klemp, Darwin Gross agreed to work
      at the International Office in Menlo Park in
      an advisory capacity. But all did not go well
      and in 1983 a severe break occurred between
      Darwin Gross and Harold Klemp, which led
      to Gross' removal and subsequent excommunication
      from the fold.

      [See Part Five for a detailed examination
      of this most unusual chapter in Eckankar's
      history.]

      Although we have examined briefly Paul
      Twitchell's life and work up to to his death
      and the successorship of Darwin Gross in
      Eckankar, we have not, as of yet, studied
      the most crucial and controversial aspect
      of Eckankar: namely, the untold story of
      Paul Twitchell. The first two parts have
      served as an introduction, for what follows
      is the most intriguing, yet the most disputed,
      aspect of Twitchell's life and work.

      NOTES
      1. Copy of Paul Twitchell's Death Certificate,
      Ohio Department of Health, Division of Vital
      Statistics.

      2. Ibid.

      3. Woodrow Nichols and Mark Albrecht,
      op. cit., page 19.

      4. Ibid.

      5. Ibid., pages 20-21.

      6. Ibid., page 20.

      7. The Eckankar News Release reads: "The
      announcement was made before an assembly
      of over a thousand followers at the Flamingo
      Hotel in Las Vegas. Gross known in spiritual
      circles as Dap Ren succeeds Paul Twitchell,
      author of 30 books, master and founder of
      the present, world-wide Eckankar movement
      who died (translated) in Cincinnati Sept. 17, 1971."

      8. Edward Pecen, personal interview with the
      author, November 1977.

      9. Woodrow Nichols and Mark Albrecht, op. cit.,
      pages 23-24.

      10. Jim Peebles, op. cit., page 12.

      11. Gail Atkinson, according to the personal letter
      sent to all Eckists, is still a member of Eckankar
      and will continue to support the activities of the
      Eck Master and the group.

      12. I have used the term "post-Twitchellian" because
      I think it best emphasizes the crucial importance
      of Paul Twitchell on Eckankar.

      13. The exact figures have not, as of yet, been
      released by Eckankar. But in 1970 the membership
      was reported not to exceed twenty-thousand. In
      the early 1990's it is estimated that the number
      is anywhere between twenty and forty thousand
      core members.

      14. See Sedona's Red Rock News (November 5,
      1980) for more on the lawsuit taken over Eckankar's
      land holdings.




      ******************************************
      Paul Twitchell (born John Paul Twitchell)
      (October 22, 1908(?) - September 17, 1971)
      was an American spiritual writer, author
      and founder of the group known as Eckankar.
      He is accepted by the members of that group
      as the Mahanta, or Living ECK Master of his
      time. He directed the development of the
      group through to the time of his death.
      His spiritual name is believed by Eckists
      (students of Eckankar) to be Peddar Zaskq.


      Birth and early life

      Much of Twitchell's life is shrouded in controversy
      and uncertainty. His birth date has been disputed;
      his widow Gail believed he was born in 1922, as
      evident by his death certificate, but Twitchell himself
      once claimed his birth year was 1912. Author Ford
      Johnson, on the other hand, has sided with 1909,
      based on census information.[1] The 1910 Census
      indicates that Twitchell was six months old in April
      1910. Twitchell's birth certificate (registered in 1941)
      says that he was born 22 October 1912.[2] The young
      Paul was probably born in Paducah, Kentucky, although
      this, too, has been disputed.[citation needed]

      In his later life, Twitchell attended Murray State
      College and Western Kentucky University in the
      1930s but never graduated from either.[3] He
      married for the first time in 1942.[4] He served
      in the United States Navy during World War II,
      and became a correspondent for Our Navy after
      the war. He later went on to become a freelance
      journalist. [5]

      He also investigated a number of spiritual movements.
      In 1950, he joined Swami Premananda's Self-Realization
      Church of Absolute Monism, an offshoot of Paramahamsa
      Yogananda's Self-Realization Fellowship. He lived on
      the grounds of the church, and edited the church's
      periodical, The Mystic Cross. He was asked to leave
      the church in 1955, the same year that he broke up
      with his first wife.

      Later that same year, he was initiated into Kirpal
      Singh into surat shabd yoga. He also became involved
      in the Church of Scientology, becoming a member
      of the Church's staff and one of the first Scientologists
      to achieve the status of clear. [5]

      In Seattle, he met Gail Atkinson. Twitchell later introduced
      the woman to Kirpal Singh and later married her. They
      moved to San Francisco in 1964, where Twitchell studied
      surat shabd yoga without the assistance of Kirpal Singh.
      During the 1960s he lived in California, with his second
      wife, Gail Atkinson. He pursued a spiritual education
      under the inspiration of Kirpal Singh, but after a postal
      correspondence, during which Kirpal Singh critiqued
      Twitchell's work, Twitchell rejected his teachings. [6]
      Twitchell then went on to study surat shabd yoga
      independent of Kirpal Singh. [5]


      Role in Eckankar

      Some people believe it was actually Gail's idea that
      Twitchell adapt some of his spiritual education into
      a new religion, Eckankar.[7] (Gail broke from the religion
      in the early 1980s, publicly denouncing Eckankar as
      an invention, although Twitchell had claimed the religion
      was ancient).[8] While at first Twitchell allegedly claimed
      his teachings were new, he eventually referred to them
      as an ancient science that predated all other major religious
      belief systems.[9] Indeed, in his book Eckankar: The Key
      to Secret Worlds, Twitchell claimed he received aid in
      uncovering Eckankar from the spirit of a predecessor
      ECK master, Rebazar Tarzs. After the religion was founded
      or uncovered, Twitchell then turned to writing for magazines.
      In that position he gave out spiritual advice, claiming
      to communicate with God about the problems of those
      who wrote to him. He also attempted prophecy, predicting
      that the Vietnam War would end in 1968 and that Lyndon
      Johnson would be elected US President for a second time.
      Many of his answers were concluded with the words
      "I HAVE SPOKEN!"[10]


      Death

      Twitchell died of a heart attack in late 1971. His death,
      like his life, was not free of controversy. Some Eckists,
      including the prominent member Louis Bluth, believed
      his death was necessary; it was claimed Twitchell had
      defied the ECK masters of the past. Additionally, many
      Eckists came to question Twitchell's honesty after his
      death, since he had predicted that he would continue
      to lead the faith for another decade and a half. The
      death was also problematic because Twitchell did not
      have a chance to name his successor. His widow Gail
      eventually selected Darwin Gross whom she later married.
      According to Gail, Gross was indeed Paul Twitchell's
      choice, as he had visited her in a dream to give his
      endorsement.[11]

      This entry is from Wikipedia, the leading user-
      contributed encyclopedia. It may not have been
      reviewed by professional editors (see full disclaimer)


      prometheus wrote:
      >
      > Hello Etznab and All,
      > I Googled, DR. BLUTH AND PAUL TWITCHELL
      > and found a lot of information. The following
      > is one source that showed up on this search:
      >
      >
      > Excerpted from a letter by Dr. Louis Bluth,
      > former President of Eckankar, one-time
      > follower of Sawan Singh, and Paul Twitchell's
      > personal doctor when the Eck leader died
      > in 1971:
      >
      > Date: June 19, 1980
      >
      > My wife and I opened the first Eck class
      > in Sun City, Cal. I personally treated Paul
      > [Twitchell] many times and was the main
      > speaker in Cincinnati when he passed away.
      > Paul was a sincere student in the beginning
      > and I considered him honest.
      >
      > Problems between him and his wife Gail led
      > him to believe she was going to leave him
      > and he desperately wanted to keep her.
      >
      > So when she demanded more money and
      > better living, he started to write things and
      > copy from other books. He [Paul Twitchell]
      > borrowed my books on Radha Soami and
      > copied a large share from them.
      >
      > I helped him write the Herb book and went
      > to Riverside University and took Sanskrit,
      > so basically much of the material is good
      > because it is copied.
      >
      > I confronted him [Paul Twitchell] with what
      > he had done and his answer was "since the
      > author the book said it better than I could
      > I copied it." The trouble is that he never gave
      > anyone credit as to where he got it.
      >
      > As far as Darwin {Gross} is concerned,
      > my opinion is that he is a fake as a Master.
      > I don't think that a Master would divorce
      > his wife and seek many other female companions.
      >
      > Signed: Louis Bluth, M.D.
      >
      >
      > etznab@ wrote:
      > >
      > >
      > > I doubt that Paul wanted to hand Eckankar
      > > over to anybody. I suspect he didn't trust it in
      > > the hands of anybody else (didn't know what
      > > they would do with it).
      > >
      > > Dr. Louis Bluth had a previous connection
      > > to Radha Soami (or something), didn't he?
      > > And isn't he on record saying that Paul read
      > > some of his books? Mr Bluth, more than any-
      > > body else should have known whether plagiar-
      > > isms existed in Eckankar writings. Whether
      > > Paul "borrowed" (and copied from) works of
      > > other authors. What was Bluth's position in
      > > Eckankar anyway? Besides being Paul T.s
      > > personal doctor, wasn't Dr. Bluth the first
      > > president of Eckankar?
      > >
      > > I wonder if they weren't "in on it" together
      > > and that is why one was the Master and the
      > > other the President. What I mean is, the two
      > > must have known about "Eckankar's" origins.
      > >
      > > Etznab
      >
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