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Re: My Romance with an Eckist

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  • tomleafeater
    Hi Marla, I ve read most of the posts that pertain to your posted experience with your boyfriend, and though I ve not posted here in awhile, I think yours
    Message 1 of 5 , Jun 27, 2007
      Hi Marla,

      I've read most of the posts that pertain to your posted experience
      with your boyfriend, and though I've not posted here in awhile, I
      think yours merits a response. As I understand your question, you are
      wondering if eckankar in some way fosters unethical personal behavior
      in its members, or at least provides convenient rationales for
      excusing less-than-desirable personal behavior, if I may rephrase
      some things you wrote a bit.

      The answer, in my view, is yes. There are many reasons for this. One
      reason involves the fact that eckists are led to think they have
      reached extraordinarily high states of spiritual awareness,
      especially when they are handed the higher initiations, which are
      said by eck doctrine to lift them to states far beyond the world's
      historical saviors. Of course, most of us know this isn't at all
      true, but the misled eckist ends up with a dilemma with this belief,
      because since they are not at all so advanced, they are under
      tremendous pressure from the group (and from their own desires to
      think they've achieved such states) to somehow live up to the
      standards of saintly behavior, which, of course, they aren't likely
      to accomplish, since they are as flawed as any average person in the
      world.

      To convince themselves they've truly become the high initiates
      they've been told they are, they invent rationales to excuse their
      peccadilloes and little transgressions, so that when their all-to-
      frequent episodes of human shortcomings surface, they can simply say
      something such as, "it was the karma of my wife to experience me
      having an affair," or, "I'm still working off some left over old
      karma, and I had to have the experience."

      There are many possible examples of eckankar teachings being used to
      justify just about anything. Welcome to life as it commonly is lived
      in eckankar. Your story is not an unusual one at all. That you say
      YOU observed this in your sixth initiate boyfirend is yet another
      substantiation of what so many others have stated about eckankar. You
      were astute to have caught on so quickly.

      The archives at A.R.E., another eckankar discussion site, is filled
      to the brim with posts by eckists excusing plagiary, lying,
      fabricating fictional histories, all replete with vacillations,
      obfuscations, control tactics, and blatant contradictions. With such
      dissembling behavior so common in the upper echelons of eckankar, it
      should be no surprise that this behavior has found its way into the
      entire culture of eckankar over the decades, becoming a cultural meme
      passed on from one generation to the next.

      High Initiates sometimes become the worst examples of these
      behaviors, because they really think they're these high beings that
      are finished with most of their karma and that they've passed the
      tests to become the sanctified, self-realized or god-realized soul.
      So, naturally, they excuse or write off any behavior that would
      suggest they aren't who they think they are. They find all sorts of
      excuses to dismiss their callousness, or their indifference, calling
      it instead "detachment."

      They might call your complaints about their behavior or your natural
      expression of personal hurt to be the handy, ever-present putdown so
      often used in eckankar, known as "victim consciousness," which is yet
      another way of invalidating your comments and validating their own.
      People love the "victim consciousness" mantra until the shoe is on
      the other foot, in which case it then suddenly becomes rephrased as a
      noble effort to expose the truth.

      People can dwell on problems too much, but getting in touch with your
      natural, human emotions, as well as expressing them, without
      embarrassment or shame, can be and often is a healthy, balanced,
      healing thing to do. As a health professional, I can attest that
      repression of pain and hurt is one of the most unhealthy of all
      behaviors. Yet, notice that few of the self-described "spiritual"
      folks ever mention that. So sob all you want, Marla. Get it out of
      your system. Keeping emotion inside, all wrapped up and repressed, is
      not really detachment at all. Once I realized just how deeply
      indoctrinated I'd become as an eckist, I once cried some tears, and
      it felt good to release it.

      To my knowledge, you've not mentioned the name of your boyfriend
      (thankfully), so there is no harm in what you've posted about him.
      And in the many years I spent in eckankar, I dare say your experience
      isn't unusual. For example, one high profile, prominent seventh
      initiate beat his wife, who actually referred in vague terms to the
      beatings in a talk she gave at a major seminar. Instead of the
      seventh initiate having to explain himself, it was, sadly, the wife
      who was criticized for airing her dirty laundry, even though
      only "insiders" would have known what she was referring to. Eckankar
      doesn't like dirty laundry to be aired. And such habits die hard, and
      may continue even after people leave the path behind. Such is the
      insidious way of religious indoctrination.

      Leafeater (former sixth initiate, and 28 year member of eckankar
      who ate the leaf and left)


      --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "marlasobbing"
      <kws11@...> wrote:
      >
      > I just broke up with my boyfriend of one year. He has been a member
      > of Eckankar for 30 years. The reason we broke up is that I just
      > could not take his lack of integrity any longer.

      > He told me that he has been cheating on me for several months and
      > that he even paid a hooker for sex while I was out of town for my
      > mother's funeral. As long as I've known him he has always had
      issues
      > of dishonesty.
      >
      > Nevertheless he says he is a 6th initiate and highly spiritual. He
      > claims that we are incompatible because I am spiritually bereft (I
      > am basicaly a lapsed Catholic who believes in following the 10
      > Commandments). He says on a spiritual scale of 1-10 that he is a 7
      > but I am a 5.
      >
      > I point out that he is dishonest both personally and professionally
      > (He repeatedly plagiarizes other people's work). He defends his
      > decisions by saying I am locked into conventional notions of
      > morality and that everything he does leads him on his path to
      > spiritual unfoldment. He uses Eckankar to justify some really bad
      > behavior. Furthermore he completely lacks compassion for others. He
      > denounces this as "attachment" and that's why he does not empathize
      > whatsoever.
      >
      > So my question is, is my ex-boyfriend just an undesireable person
      or
      > are his behaviors consistent with Eckankar's tenets?
    • marlaprendergast
      Thank you so much for your post, tomleafeater. You have pegged my experience to a T . What you described is exactly the way it went. Its almost if you had
      Message 2 of 5 , Jun 27, 2007
        Thank you so much for your post, tomleafeater. You have pegged my
        experience to a "T". What you described is exactly the way it went.
        Its almost if you had been there with me every day the past year. I
        am still trying to sort all of this out and your post has really
        helped me.

        Thanks again,

        Marla.

        --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "tomleafeater"
        <tianyue@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi Marla,
        >
        > I've read most of the posts that pertain to your posted experience
        > with your boyfriend, and though I've not posted here in awhile, I
        > think yours merits a response. As I understand your question, you
        are
        > wondering if eckankar in some way fosters unethical personal
        behavior
        > in its members, or at least provides convenient rationales for
        > excusing less-than-desirable personal behavior, if I may rephrase
        > some things you wrote a bit.
        >
        > The answer, in my view, is yes. There are many reasons for this.
        One
        > reason involves the fact that eckists are led to think they have
        > reached extraordinarily high states of spiritual awareness,
        > especially when they are handed the higher initiations, which are
        > said by eck doctrine to lift them to states far beyond the world's
        > historical saviors. Of course, most of us know this isn't at all
        > true, but the misled eckist ends up with a dilemma with this
        belief,
        > because since they are not at all so advanced, they are under
        > tremendous pressure from the group (and from their own desires to
        > think they've achieved such states) to somehow live up to the
        > standards of saintly behavior, which, of course, they aren't
        likely
        > to accomplish, since they are as flawed as any average person in
        the
        > world.
        >
        > To convince themselves they've truly become the high initiates
        > they've been told they are, they invent rationales to excuse their
        > peccadilloes and little transgressions, so that when their all-to-
        > frequent episodes of human shortcomings surface, they can simply
        say
        > something such as, "it was the karma of my wife to experience me
        > having an affair," or, "I'm still working off some left over old
        > karma, and I had to have the experience."
        >
        > There are many possible examples of eckankar teachings being used
        to
        > justify just about anything. Welcome to life as it commonly is
        lived
        > in eckankar. Your story is not an unusual one at all. That you say
        > YOU observed this in your sixth initiate boyfirend is yet another
        > substantiation of what so many others have stated about eckankar.
        You
        > were astute to have caught on so quickly.
        >
        > The archives at A.R.E., another eckankar discussion site, is
        filled
        > to the brim with posts by eckists excusing plagiary, lying,
        > fabricating fictional histories, all replete with vacillations,
        > obfuscations, control tactics, and blatant contradictions. With
        such
        > dissembling behavior so common in the upper echelons of eckankar,
        it
        > should be no surprise that this behavior has found its way into
        the
        > entire culture of eckankar over the decades, becoming a cultural
        meme
        > passed on from one generation to the next.
        >
        > High Initiates sometimes become the worst examples of these
        > behaviors, because they really think they're these high beings
        that
        > are finished with most of their karma and that they've passed the
        > tests to become the sanctified, self-realized or god-realized
        soul.
        > So, naturally, they excuse or write off any behavior that would
        > suggest they aren't who they think they are. They find all sorts
        of
        > excuses to dismiss their callousness, or their indifference,
        calling
        > it instead "detachment."
        >
        > They might call your complaints about their behavior or your
        natural
        > expression of personal hurt to be the handy, ever-present putdown
        so
        > often used in eckankar, known as "victim consciousness," which is
        yet
        > another way of invalidating your comments and validating their
        own.
        > People love the "victim consciousness" mantra until the shoe is on
        > the other foot, in which case it then suddenly becomes rephrased
        as a
        > noble effort to expose the truth.
        >
        > People can dwell on problems too much, but getting in touch with
        your
        > natural, human emotions, as well as expressing them, without
        > embarrassment or shame, can be and often is a healthy, balanced,
        > healing thing to do. As a health professional, I can attest that
        > repression of pain and hurt is one of the most unhealthy of all
        > behaviors. Yet, notice that few of the self-described "spiritual"
        > folks ever mention that. So sob all you want, Marla. Get it out of
        > your system. Keeping emotion inside, all wrapped up and repressed,
        is
        > not really detachment at all. Once I realized just how deeply
        > indoctrinated I'd become as an eckist, I once cried some tears,
        and
        > it felt good to release it.
        >
        > To my knowledge, you've not mentioned the name of your boyfriend
        > (thankfully), so there is no harm in what you've posted about him.
        > And in the many years I spent in eckankar, I dare say your
        experience
        > isn't unusual. For example, one high profile, prominent seventh
        > initiate beat his wife, who actually referred in vague terms to
        the
        > beatings in a talk she gave at a major seminar. Instead of the
        > seventh initiate having to explain himself, it was, sadly, the
        wife
        > who was criticized for airing her dirty laundry, even though
        > only "insiders" would have known what she was referring to.
        Eckankar
        > doesn't like dirty laundry to be aired. And such habits die hard,
        and
        > may continue even after people leave the path behind. Such is the
        > insidious way of religious indoctrination.
        >
        > Leafeater (former sixth initiate, and 28 year member of eckankar
        > who ate the leaf and left)
        >
        >
        > --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "marlasobbing"
        > <kws11@> wrote:
        > >
        > > I just broke up with my boyfriend of one year. He has been a
        member
        > > of Eckankar for 30 years. The reason we broke up is that I just
        > > could not take his lack of integrity any longer.
        >
        > > He told me that he has been cheating on me for several months
        and
        > > that he even paid a hooker for sex while I was out of town for
        my
        > > mother's funeral. As long as I've known him he has always had
        > issues
        > > of dishonesty.
        > >
        > > Nevertheless he says he is a 6th initiate and highly spiritual.
        He
        > > claims that we are incompatible because I am spiritually bereft
        (I
        > > am basicaly a lapsed Catholic who believes in following the 10
        > > Commandments). He says on a spiritual scale of 1-10 that he is a
        7
        > > but I am a 5.
        > >
        > > I point out that he is dishonest both personally and
        professionally
        > > (He repeatedly plagiarizes other people's work). He defends his
        > > decisions by saying I am locked into conventional notions of
        > > morality and that everything he does leads him on his path to
        > > spiritual unfoldment. He uses Eckankar to justify some really
        bad
        > > behavior. Furthermore he completely lacks compassion for others.
        He
        > > denounces this as "attachment" and that's why he does not
        empathize
        > > whatsoever.
        > >
        > > So my question is, is my ex-boyfriend just an undesireable
        person
        > or
        > > are his behaviors consistent with Eckankar's tenets?
        >
      • tomleafeater
        ... My pleasure, Marla. I supposed I ve been around and around the eckankar block way too many times, and have seen more than my share of these kind of things
        Message 3 of 5 , Jun 27, 2007
          --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "marlaprendergast"
          <kws11@...> wrote:
          >
          > Thank you so much for your post, tomleafeater. You have pegged my
          > experience to a "T". What you described is exactly the way it went.
          > Its almost if you had been there with me every day the past year. I
          > am still trying to sort all of this out and your post has really
          > helped me.
          >
          > Thanks again,
          >
          > Marla.
          >

          My pleasure, Marla. I supposed I've been around and around the
          eckankar block way too many times, and have seen more than my share
          of these kind of things over the years.

          Leaf



          > --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "tomleafeater"
          > <tianyue@> wrote:
          > >
          > > Hi Marla,
          > >
          > > I've read most of the posts that pertain to your posted
          experience
          > > with your boyfriend, and though I've not posted here in awhile, I
          > > think yours merits a response. As I understand your question, you
          > are
          > > wondering if eckankar in some way fosters unethical personal
          > behavior
          > > in its members, or at least provides convenient rationales for
          > > excusing less-than-desirable personal behavior, if I may rephrase
          > > some things you wrote a bit.
          > >
          > > The answer, in my view, is yes. There are many reasons for this.
          > One
          > > reason involves the fact that eckists are led to think they have
          > > reached extraordinarily high states of spiritual awareness,
          > > especially when they are handed the higher initiations, which are
          > > said by eck doctrine to lift them to states far beyond the
          world's
          > > historical saviors. Of course, most of us know this isn't at all
          > > true, but the misled eckist ends up with a dilemma with this
          > belief,
          > > because since they are not at all so advanced, they are under
          > > tremendous pressure from the group (and from their own desires to
          > > think they've achieved such states) to somehow live up to the
          > > standards of saintly behavior, which, of course, they aren't
          > likely
          > > to accomplish, since they are as flawed as any average person in
          > the
          > > world.
          > >
          > > To convince themselves they've truly become the high initiates
          > > they've been told they are, they invent rationales to excuse
          their
          > > peccadilloes and little transgressions, so that when their all-to-
          > > frequent episodes of human shortcomings surface, they can simply
          > say
          > > something such as, "it was the karma of my wife to experience me
          > > having an affair," or, "I'm still working off some left over old
          > > karma, and I had to have the experience."
          > >
          > > There are many possible examples of eckankar teachings being used
          > to
          > > justify just about anything. Welcome to life as it commonly is
          > lived
          > > in eckankar. Your story is not an unusual one at all. That you
          say
          > > YOU observed this in your sixth initiate boyfirend is yet another
          > > substantiation of what so many others have stated about eckankar.
          > You
          > > were astute to have caught on so quickly.
          > >
          > > The archives at A.R.E., another eckankar discussion site, is
          > filled
          > > to the brim with posts by eckists excusing plagiary, lying,
          > > fabricating fictional histories, all replete with vacillations,
          > > obfuscations, control tactics, and blatant contradictions. With
          > such
          > > dissembling behavior so common in the upper echelons of eckankar,
          > it
          > > should be no surprise that this behavior has found its way into
          > the
          > > entire culture of eckankar over the decades, becoming a cultural
          > meme
          > > passed on from one generation to the next.
          > >
          > > High Initiates sometimes become the worst examples of these
          > > behaviors, because they really think they're these high beings
          > that
          > > are finished with most of their karma and that they've passed the
          > > tests to become the sanctified, self-realized or god-realized
          > soul.
          > > So, naturally, they excuse or write off any behavior that would
          > > suggest they aren't who they think they are. They find all sorts
          > of
          > > excuses to dismiss their callousness, or their indifference,
          > calling
          > > it instead "detachment."
          > >
          > > They might call your complaints about their behavior or your
          > natural
          > > expression of personal hurt to be the handy, ever-present putdown
          > so
          > > often used in eckankar, known as "victim consciousness," which is
          > yet
          > > another way of invalidating your comments and validating their
          > own.
          > > People love the "victim consciousness" mantra until the shoe is
          on
          > > the other foot, in which case it then suddenly becomes rephrased
          > as a
          > > noble effort to expose the truth.
          > >
          > > People can dwell on problems too much, but getting in touch with
          > your
          > > natural, human emotions, as well as expressing them, without
          > > embarrassment or shame, can be and often is a healthy, balanced,
          > > healing thing to do. As a health professional, I can attest that
          > > repression of pain and hurt is one of the most unhealthy of all
          > > behaviors. Yet, notice that few of the self-described "spiritual"
          > > folks ever mention that. So sob all you want, Marla. Get it out
          of
          > > your system. Keeping emotion inside, all wrapped up and
          repressed,
          > is
          > > not really detachment at all. Once I realized just how deeply
          > > indoctrinated I'd become as an eckist, I once cried some tears,
          > and
          > > it felt good to release it.
          > >
          > > To my knowledge, you've not mentioned the name of your boyfriend
          > > (thankfully), so there is no harm in what you've posted about
          him.
          > > And in the many years I spent in eckankar, I dare say your
          > experience
          > > isn't unusual. For example, one high profile, prominent seventh
          > > initiate beat his wife, who actually referred in vague terms to
          > the
          > > beatings in a talk she gave at a major seminar. Instead of the
          > > seventh initiate having to explain himself, it was, sadly, the
          > wife
          > > who was criticized for airing her dirty laundry, even though
          > > only "insiders" would have known what she was referring to.
          > Eckankar
          > > doesn't like dirty laundry to be aired. And such habits die hard,
          > and
          > > may continue even after people leave the path behind. Such is the
          > > insidious way of religious indoctrination.
          > >
          > > Leafeater (former sixth initiate, and 28 year member of
          eckankar
          > > who ate the leaf and left)
          > >
          > >
          > > --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "marlasobbing"
          > > <kws11@> wrote:
          > > >
          > > > I just broke up with my boyfriend of one year. He has been a
          > member
          > > > of Eckankar for 30 years. The reason we broke up is that I just
          > > > could not take his lack of integrity any longer.
          > >
          > > > He told me that he has been cheating on me for several months
          > and
          > > > that he even paid a hooker for sex while I was out of town for
          > my
          > > > mother's funeral. As long as I've known him he has always had
          > > issues
          > > > of dishonesty.
          > > >
          > > > Nevertheless he says he is a 6th initiate and highly spiritual.
          > He
          > > > claims that we are incompatible because I am spiritually bereft
          > (I
          > > > am basicaly a lapsed Catholic who believes in following the 10
          > > > Commandments). He says on a spiritual scale of 1-10 that he is
          a
          > 7
          > > > but I am a 5.
          > > >
          > > > I point out that he is dishonest both personally and
          > professionally
          > > > (He repeatedly plagiarizes other people's work). He defends his
          > > > decisions by saying I am locked into conventional notions of
          > > > morality and that everything he does leads him on his path to
          > > > spiritual unfoldment. He uses Eckankar to justify some really
          > bad
          > > > behavior. Furthermore he completely lacks compassion for
          others.
          > He
          > > > denounces this as "attachment" and that's why he does not
          > empathize
          > > > whatsoever.
          > > >
          > > > So my question is, is my ex-boyfriend just an undesireable
          > person
          > > or
          > > > are his behaviors consistent with Eckankar's tenets?
          > >
          >
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