5786Re: Why Author James Davis Left Eckankar:
- Jul 9, 2011Thanks for the repost. I was familiar with the story, but it's shocking how ironic. One could say that James Davis literally "wrote the book" about the Mahanta. I remember when his book came out and how highly praised it was. It was similar to one of his other books. The Dream Weaver Chronicles, Copyright 1993. People raved about both of those books. They were so much a part of, or at least supportive of, Eckankar dogma (IMO). Or so it seemed. How ironic that James Davis, of all people, would write something as what you just posted!
Ford Johnson received high praise at one time too. He was not only a higher initiate, but a dynamic speaker as well. I remember his open letters to Harold Klemp, especially one part from the open letter 1 (July 2003) that read in part:
"[...] But, if there is anything in Confessions that you, the Board, or the management of Eckankar regard as untrue, misstated or inaccurate, which bears on the ultimate veracity of Eckankar, I urge you to bring it forward. [....]"
Has Eckankar responded? does anybody know?
Much of what Ford Johnson presented resulted from the pioneering research of Prof. David Lane. So there was Ford - a long time member and higher initiate of Eckankar - basically saying: "What say you?" This was a former member and Eckankar clergy!
So when James Davis writes a book about The Mahanta, then leaves Eckankar and later writes that note, I have to say to myself ... umm, well, if ever anybody did a television documentary about history of Eckankar it would be out of this world!
I'd often thought about how I would relate the story of Eckankar myself, if asked by a person that never heard about it before. In fact, I'd so many times reflected on it and how it would sound. Well, it sounded absolutely crazy! There were like three or more birth dates for the founder. He died without naming a successor. His widow appoints, then marries, then gets divorced from the founder's successor ... a successor who was basically excommunicated by the person he appointed. Etc., etc. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
I hope that some day in my lifetime there is a television documentary done by unbiased researchers presenting the facts. I would so much like to see something like that. And I would so much like to see Eckankar's rebuttal. It would be a most historic moment, IMO.
--- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "prometheus_973" <prometheus_973@...> wrote:
> A Repost of James Davis from Truth Seeker that explains why
> he left Eckankar:
> Rosetta Stone of God author J. Davis Responds to Confessions
> From: James Davis
> Being the author of a book on the Mahanta titled THE ROSETTA
> STONE OF GOD, I would like to add my voice to those who have
> chosen to leave Eckankar. I quietly left Eckankar several years ago,
> having come to many of the same conclusions Ford arrived at in
> his own book. At the time I left, I wrote a letter to Harold saying
> I would make no announcements about my leaving. But I have since
> learned that it is a very "open secret" that I left - not through any
> acts of my own, but from various Eckists in who work at the main
> office, and a few others. So I now feel it is appropriate to say a few
> words about my leaving, and about Ford's book.
> During my almost three decades in Eckankar I became increasingly
> troubled by what I perceived as the weak integrity within the
> teachings and of the leaders. At the same time I struggled against
> these impressions because I deeply WANTED Eckankar to be the
> ideal teaching I had hoped and dreamed of. I deeply WANTED to
> Living Eck Masters to be more than I was witnessing.
> I came to the point in the late Nineties where I decided to give
> the teachings the fullest and deepest study I could (both on the
> Inner and the Outer) in order to settle my doubts once and for all.
> I chose to focus on the Mahanta as the theme of my study and
> contemplation since this doctrine is the heart and soul of Eckankar.
> I spent over a year researching every word ever written or spoken
> on the Mahanta that were available to me. I poured through decades
> of my personal journals looking for clues from my own experience
> to supplement the outer teachings. I inwardly invited the Nine Silent
> Ones and the Eck Masters to help with my project. Then I set about
> writing the best book I could on all I had found.
> The finished manuscript was sent in and quickly got approved
> for publication by Harold Klemp. For a few months I was euphoric
> and felt I had finally laid to rest my misgivings about the teachings.
> But the effect soon wore off for, after all, the issues that gave
> rise to the writing were still there - as Ford's book aptly
> demonstrates. The issues can't be made to go away by an act of
> fervent devotion. Or should I say, they can be made to go away for
> awhile, or by denial. But for many people, such avoidance tactics
> wear thin after a time.
> I realized the whole writing project of THE ROSETTA STONE OF GOD
> had been an utter failure in its prime objective of settling my issues.
> Whatever value it held for others, it failed for me.
> Yet, with the publication of the book came the usual attention
> that goes with being an Eckankar author. And in this I discovered
> how eager many people are to elevate the spiritual status of those
> who are reporting intimate spiritual experiences with masters.
> A number of Eckists, including Higher Initiates, either intimated
> that I was a candidate for Eck Mastership, or openly made comments
> or wrote letters to me to this effect. Some even had "got it on the
> inner" that this was the case. Those who know me well and were
> privy to some of this, found this elevation amusing enough. But
> it became abundantly clear to me how easy a person like Paul,
> who could not only write well, but who had a certain charisma
> and claimed an abundance of experiences with inner masters,
> would sweep followers off their feet.
> I have little if any charisma, but I can write a fairly decent book.
> This apparently was sufficient for many. The experience of being
> on the receiving end of admiring Eckists was a sobering first hand
> look from the other end of the scope of my own tendency to elevate
> the leaders of Eckankar.
> I won't go into the details of the issues I have with the Eckankar
> teachings, for most of these issues are addressed in Ford's book.
> My conclusions are not the same as Ford's in all cases. For example,
> whether people such as Rebazar Tarzs are real or not real hardly
> played a part in my decision to leave, whereas Ford categorically
> asserts the Vairagi masters are pure fiction. I had decided that,
> if men like Paul and Darwin and Harold were truly the best and
> brightest candidates that a band of high inner masters would choose
> to be the head of their order and be the chosen supreme channel
> for God on Earth, than I was not interested in following such an order.
> On the other hand, I felt, if there is an order of very high masters
> similar to the Vairagi that Paul protrayed, I seriously doubted they
> would hitch their wagon to a movement like Eckankar. So the whole
> debate about whether some of these masters are real or not is not
> a central one for me personally.
> There are a few other conclusions I reached that differ a bit
> from Ford's, and this is as it should be for anyone thinking for
> themselves. But on the whole, my own research and experience
> support Ford's conclusions. If you read Ford's book, you will find
> a multitude of issues worth carefully thinking over - a number
> of which you may never have considered before.
> Incidently, Ford has been accused by some critics as being too
> mental, of not showing an attitude of love. It would be hard for
> anyone to write a book deconstructing Eckankar without seeming
> hard-hearted to an Eckankar devotee. How do you call the beloved
> founder Paul Twitchell a liar and a fraud and still sound like a Golden
> Heart? But there is more to the demonstration of love than sweet
> platitudes, warm feelings, and cute stories. Tough-love is real, and
> in the spiritual tradition it leads (or pushes) Soul onwards towards
> God. I see no love in comforting others with gentle lies, nor in
> telling them they will suffer spiritual decline and misery if they
> leave the Eckankar club. One of the primary reasons I decided to
> leave Eckankar was precisely because the pronouncements of love
> made by the leaders was contradicted all too often by their actions
> and harsh denouncement of those who disagreed with them, or
> those who choose to follow another road, or of other "inferior" paths.
> As with many who leave the Eckankar religion, I have felt a certain
> amount of loss. Not just the loss of an ideal, but the absence of a
> community of friends, and the wonderful sharing that happens at
> many Eckankar events. But I have not regretted for a moment the
> spiritual implications of leaving. To have stayed, for me, would have
> been a rejection of what Eckankar calls The Call of Soul - a call which
> urged me to let go of a religion which had served its purpose in my
> journey, and had become an impediment to my further growth.
> Truth Seeker added these comments at the end of James Davis' post:
> Thank you for coming forward. There are many who hold on to your
> book as the final validation of the mahanta. That is why Harold was
> so quick to promote it. I hope that your candor and courage will
> encourage others,who are hanging fire and holding on to this last
> fabricated vistage of Eckankar doctrine, to also have the courage to
> read the book and then act on their inner spiritual guidance. Only
> then can the Eckankar spell be broken.
- << Previous post in topic Next post in topic >>