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"Rather Balanced" Article on the Eckankar Cult

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  • mishmisha9
    An Eckist posted the link to this story on HuChat. The eckist found it interesting that even though the writer has his admitted bias, yet it comes across as
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 28, 2007
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      An Eckist posted the link to this story on HuChat.
      The eckist found it interesting that even though
      the writer "has his admitted bias, yet it comes
      across as rather balanced IMO"

      I found this eckist's response to this article as
      interesting as the article itself! : )

      Here's the article:

      From The Dog Street Journal,
      The College of William and Mary's only daily online
      paper and monthly news magazine:

      The Story
      God is Hu/Or Whatever You'd Like
      Mar. 26, 2007 | By Dean Edwards, DSJ Staff Columnist


      I can summarize spring breaks by pithy quips made by
      some of the people I've come across in my travels.

      At his front doorstep, John Kerry asked us who visited
      him over spring break in 2005, "Why aren't you
      somewhere warmer?" Much to the confusion of the
      erstwhile presidential hopeful and those college students
      yearning for the Mexican coastline, my friends and I have
      continued a tradition since freshman year by packing our
      thickest shirts and heaviest sweaters to brace for the
      Northern Winter. Another spring break, another week spent
      trekking northwards.

      This year's destination placed us in Minneapolis, a Midwestern
      metropolis set in the heartland of America. Oddly enough, we
      spent the break without the heavy sweaters. The Midwestern
      winter had paused for the week; the daily temperatures never
      dropped below 50. The weather, however, was not the lasting
      impression I got from this March hiatus. This year, I give the
      accolade to Harold Klemp and his devout following of Eckankar,
      or "ECK," the Church of Sound & Light based just outside of
      Minneapolis.

      First, a warning: Eckankar is a cult; I have no doubts. If I
      provided a synopsis of ECK's beliefs, with their dream masters
      and translating from one plane of existence to another and
      Harold Klemp coming directly to you in your dreams (just say "Hu!")
      -- well, I think it would be a disservice to the fine ECKists out there.
      I won't hide my own opinion of ECK: I think this so-called New
      Age faith is fairly deranged. That said, whether it's a cult or a religion,
      it is still a faith held by thousands of people who believe earnestly
      that they are communicating with God through a USAF veteran from
      Wisconsin.

      What struck me most about this experience was our group's reaction
      to ECK. In hindsight, I thought about what made this faith any more
      unfathomable than our mainstream dogmas. Was it Paul Twitchell,
      the founder of ECK who mysteriously died a year after creating the
      church of Soul Traveling in San Francisco? The ECKists claim he's still
      alive, but on a different wavelength. Theories of drug-related deaths
      aside, it's not that far out there, in relative terms. Only 2000 years
      separate Paul Twitchell's posthumous position from Christ's initial
      promise of eternal life.

      Perhaps it was the $130 per year membership fee for "Individual"
      ECKists. Yet, good Catholics owe the Church ten percent of their
      weekly income; I'm sure Harold's deal is a drop in the bucket.

      Religion appeals to our insecurities, and in a certain time and place
      we would find ourselves members of any number of religions. If I
      were an Egyptian, I'd likely be Muslim; in Britain, Anglican and
      perchance, if I were born in the Land of 10,000 lakes, I might have
      been a disciple of Harold Klemp, the revered Mahanta. Thankfully,
      I grew up in a family setting where as soon as I came of age,
      religion became an open debate.

      Although I tried to engage in metaphysical blather with our French
      tour guide at the ECK Temple, an elaborate golden ziggurat that
      rises from the Midwestern plains, my efforts proved fruitless. It may
      have been her limited English, but she failed to answer anything I
      asked well enough for me to nod approvingly. (Notwithstanding she
      spoke English enough to suggest Harold Klemp's spiritual
      predecessors convinced Christopher Columbus to discover America.
      Yet, I've heard worse from non-ECKists.)

      To her credit, she provided one clear answer. Perhaps it is the best
      retort to anyone who would pass ECK off as a cult. In the end, she
      said, "God is God." Amen, Madame.

      Dean Edwards is a staff columnist for the DSJ. His views do not
      necessarily reflect those of the entire staff.
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