Fwd: David Lane's Response to Doug Marman's newest book
- A cross post from X-Eckankar_The Chains-of-Eck--(thanks,
Tygerpurr for posting this):
--- In X-Eckankar_The-Chains-of-Eck@yahoogroups.com,
tygerpurr <no_reply@...> wrote:
In Search of Paul Twitchell:
David Lane's Response to Doug Marman's newest book
Part 2b of 14 parts
[to read part one of this series go to
[to read part two (a) of this series got to
THE PREFACE, part two (pages 29-32)
The Whole Truth, Page 29 and page 30:
In these two pages, Doug, you raise the issue over why Eckankar sued
Professor Ed Gruss, L.A. Baptist College, and James Peebles. You
write: "Weren't all these things [the lawsuits, newspaper ads, etc]
aimed at trying to counter the potential spread of false information
by the SCP?" You further write a few lines down from this, "Darwin
hoped his actions would avoid the spreading of false information."
Of course, the simplest thing would have been the most obvious: talk
with Peebles and talk with Gruss directly about the matter. But this
Instead Eckankar proceeds to take out a large ad in several major
newspapers claiming, among other things, that "Eckankar has requested
these groups to delete Eckankar from their material and asked for a
letter of apology. MEETINGS TO CORRECT THIS HAVE BEEN IGNORED [my
emphasis]. AS A RESULT [my emphasis again], in order to protect the
rights of Eckankar and its members to uphold the important rights of
all religious minorities, Eckankar has filed one lawsuit in Los
Angeles and another in Minneapolis."
This claim, as boldly printed in various newspaper advertisements
taken at significant expense by Eckankar, is factually untrue and
1). Eckankar NEVER tried to set up a meeting with Jim Peebles. They
sued him without ANY warning whatsoever.
2) Eckankar NEVER tried to set up a meeting with Professor Ed Gruss or
the college he worked at. They sued him and his college without ANY
warning whatsoever. In point of fact, Ed Gruss had NEVER even read
Peebles' paper UNTIL AFTER HE WAS SUED.
As Professor Gruss stated in his deposition (page 34, dated May 17,
1979), "I took the material from the file [Gruss had a file on many
new religions, including Eckankar], and I told her 'I haven't had a
chance to read this stuff. And I only have ONE copy. So when you're
finished with it, return it." What did Gruss give to Debbie Quin who
came to his office for information about Eckankar? Gruss states (page
34, May 17, 1979): "I gave her THE TIGER'S FANG paperback, which is by
Twitchell. I gave her the Peebles paper. And I gave her a Spiritual
Counterfeits page and a half treatment that I think was entitled
Return from the Void."
Thus, in his own deposition with Eckankar's attorney, Professor Gruss
clearly stated that he hadn't read the material and in his telephone
conversation with me (January 26, 2001) stated that he hadn't read
Peebles paper until he and his college were served legal papers from
You allege Doug that SCP's forthcoming journal is what triggered these
factually inaccurate ads. If Eckankar wanted to "avoid the spreading
of false information" (as you claim), then why do these very
advertisements lie about proposed meetings (and requested apologies
and retractions)? Even SCP prior to its publication (which was months
away) agreed to meet with Darwin Gross. And Eckankar never set up any
proposed meetings with Gruss or Peebles before they slapped them with
a 2 and a 1/2 million dollar lawsuit. The phrase "As a result" in this
ad is also misleading and inaccurate, since there was no warning shot
whatsoever (not even a hint of one) given to Gruss or Peebles. As a
sidebar it should be noted that when Ed Gruss was asked if he had sent
Peebles paper to anybody at the Spiritual Counterfeits Project, he
It is interesting to note that Eckankar took out ads 13 days AFTER
learning that Ed Gruss had NOT sent any material to SCP.
Furthermore, this very advertisement doesn't explain to its readers
that Eckankar secured a copy of Peebles' report under false pretenses.
Mike Noe, as Gruss' deposition makes very clear, never represented
himself as a member of Eckankar but rather said to Gruss that he was
associated with the Spiritual Counterfeits Project.
As for me, even my name shows up in Eckankar's deposition of Professor
Gruss. On the last two pages of the document, Eckankar's attorney asks
Professor Gruss (page 38):
Q. Eckankar's attorney: "Do you know David Lane?"
A. Professor Ed Gruss: "The name is familiar. I think he was mentioned
by Peebles as a friend or something."
Q. Eckankar's attorney: "Did you ever send a copy of the ----
A. Professor Ed Gruss: "No. You already asked."
Q. Eckankar's attorney: "-- of the Peebles memo to Mr. Lane?"
At this stage, Professor Gruss' own attorney comments to his client,
"Okay. Make sure he [Eckankar's attorney] finishes his question before
[the following is on page 39]:
A. Professor Gruss (identified on this page as the "Witness"): "My
answer is no."
The Whole Truth, Pages 30 and 31:
Doug writes on the bottom of page 30, "To say that David's term paper
caused a "tremendous rift among the ECK disciples" is clearly untrue."
The reason I even mentioned a rift was not because it was merely my
impression, but rather because Sri Darwin Gross, the Living Eck Master
at the time, talked about the term paper in several different
contexts. For instance, the head of Eckankar wrote:
"My biography is coming out sometime this year and will put a lot of
things straight. Don't get involved with people who gossip or have
things to say about Eckankar that are defamatory. This is true also
about the David Lane MANUSCRIPT that has been CIRCULATED amongst MANY
of the CHELAS. His untruths will eventually catch up to him."
Prior to this in October of 1978 (just a few months after I finished
my independent studies term paper, The Making of a Spiritual Movement,
for CSUN), Darwin Gross wrote about it in the official Eckankar
publication, The Mystic World, which is sent exclusively to paid
members of the organization. Darwin said this:
"Those who have withstood the attacks have not been affected by the
material written by people who have not done their research or
homework, and gotten the facts straight. These attackers are on a very
low scale of spiritual [sic] according to the survival scale. There
have been some manuscripts being passed around that are trying to
degrade ECKANKAR, its teaching as well as its present spiritual leader
and past spiritual leader
Furthermore, I was informed by Steve Gazda, a highly placed
administrator at Eckankar's international headquarters then located in
Menlo Park, California, that my paper was generating tremendous
conflict and discussion amongst "many" Eckists (his words, not mine).
Steve Gazda and Bill Popham were the two officials who interviewed me
at Eckankar's headquarters after my paper had come out. Years later
Steve Gazda left Eckankar and contacted me out of the blue and
reiterated (but with much more detail) how much controversy my paper
had generated even before the SCP journal was published.
Dr. Bluth, former President of Eckankar, Ed Pecen (who described
himself as Paul Twitchell's sometime bodyguard and confidante), and
other former (and current) Eckists almost immediately made numerous
copies of my term paper when I first released it in the late Spring of
1978. Paul Gayeski, in particular, made numerous copies and sent them
throughout the United States. After I came back from India that summer
(working as Professor Juergensmeyer's research assistant), I was
flooded with inquires from Eckists from all over North America.
I say all of this to simply underline my point that the term paper
generated lots of controversy BEFORE the SCP Journal came out a year
and a half later. Yes, the SCP journal certainly caused more
controversy, but even Darwin Gross claimed that the SCP journal itself
was taken from my own work. Indeed, he sent out a worldwide memo which
stated: "The SCP material taken from a college thesis submitted by
David Lane was not completely researched and is untrue." He went on to
say in that same memo, "All these people are under the Kal [negative]
Here is a photocopy of that world-wide letter:
The Whole Truth, Pages 31:
On this page, Doug, you talk about my claim that a business
consultant, Bill Popham, was hired by Eckankar to review the impact of
my paper on Eckankar. You write, "David's claim that Eckankar was
trying to prevent some kind of rift in its membership over his term
paper is clearly inaccurate and doesn't even match the timeline."
Again, it wasn't my claim. This is precisely what Steve Gazda and Bill
Popham told me. I didn't even know who Bill Popham was until he called
me completely out of the blue one afternoon when I was living in El
Cerrito near Berkeley.
Bill Popham (not me) said he was hired as a business consultant by
Eckankar to study the impact of my paper on Eckankar's membership.
Those were his words. He also did NOT say he was member of Eckankar
when he introduced himself to me. Furthermore, when I was invited to
meet with him and Steve Gazda at Eckankar's international headquarters
he had copious notes that he had written down about my term paper. We
spent a couple of hours going over line by line of my term paper. This
meeting was also taped by them at the time.
Both of them said that they were trying to prevent a further rift in
their membership and thus they were eager to discuss many aspects of
my research. Later on during this meeting we discussed the impact of
the SCP journal, but almost the entire meeting was centered on
reviewing my term paper.
So, Doug, you were not at that meeting. You didn't get an unsolicited
phone call from Bill Popham who introduced himself as a business
consultant. You didn't attend that meeting at Eckankar's international
headquarters. You also didn't get another unsolicited phone call from
Steve Gazda, who later defected from Eckanka, explaining once again
how much controversy my paper generated.
Again, I say all of this because your discussion of this event (one in
which you were NOT a participant) only reflects what YOU think
transpired. It does not reflect what Bill Popham and Steve Gazda
personally told me. Of course, if you step back for a moment, and
actually look at the timeline, you would have soon realized that the
SCP journal had NOT even been published when Bill Popham contacted me.
I lived in El Cerrito, Doug, from January 1979 to June of 1979. The
SCP journal didn't come out until the Fall of 1979, at which time I
had relocated to Hayward, California, in order to teach at Moreau High
School. I realize you want to downplay my claims, but you neglect to
realize that these were not merely "my" claims, but those of Popham,
Gazda, and a host of other Eckists. Even the former Editor of the ECK
World News, David Stewart told me of the controversy that my paper was
generating. Even my first appearance at Eckankar's international
headquarters to meet with David met with much discussion.
The Whole Truth, Page 31, par 3:
When you, Doug write, "However, David's suggestion that it was only
because his manuscript was so thoroughly researched that Eckankar did
not pursue legal actions..." it reveals a particularly troublesome
trait in your entire treatise on my book. Your repeated inaccuracies
when directly paraphrasing me. I never said "thoroughly researched", Doug.
I said instead, "thoroughly documented." This is key because if what I
wrote was NOT thoroughly documented, then Eckankar most certainly
would have sued me. They also didn't sue SCP because they too had
thoroughly documented their case. Now this doesn't mean that I was
right and SCP was right and that our research was flawless. What it
does mean, however, was that the allegations we made about Eckankar
and Paul Twitchell were referenced and cited.
Now you may think that this is merely a quibble on my part, but it is
not. Your tendency (and we will see it again as we go through your
book, page by page, line by line) to inaccurately paraphrase me allows
you to create misleading and inaccurate arguments concerning what I
actually said in the text versus what you "think" I said in the text.
The Whole Truth, Page 32 :
On this page you raise the issue of whether or not Eckankar threatened
to sue me over my term paper. The facts speak for themselves.
1. Eckankar's first letter to me ended with this request, "And we
would very much like have a copy of your completed report for our
files if this is possible. You may send it to my attention and I will
pass it along to Sri Darwin Gross." I was 20 years old when I received
this reply back from them. Naively (now in retrospect, very naively),
I thought that Darwin Gross would respond to my paper after I kindly
sent a copy to his Secretary as requested. No such luck.
2). On July 5, 1977, Alan H. Nichols, attorney at law representing
Eckankar, sent a certified letter to my mother's home. In that letter
Eckankar threatened me with legal action if I published my term paper.
Eckankar's lawyer claimed my paper was defamatory. I eventually
contacted my sister, Kim, who was a practicing attorney, and she wrote
back to Eckankar's lawyer stating that it was entirely inappropriate
for him to have threatened such a thing in the first place.
3) Eckankar never did sue me over the content of my paper and they
toned down their rhetoric after my sister wrote them a series of very
terse legal letters on the matter.
4) Later, of course, Eckankar did sue me over the cover of my 1983
edition of the Making of a Spiritual Movement. But that is another
subject we will tackle under a different heading.
In light of Eckankar's habit of legally threatening individuals who
write critically about them or who unknowingly "publish" one photocopy
of an unread term paper, I was distinctly convinced that, yes,
Eckankar does indeed want to "undermine any open and objective
investigation." Ironically, it was precisely because Eckankar
threatened to sue J. Gordon Melton of ISAR over his encyclopedia entry
on Eckankar that he eventually contacted me personally.
Let's review for effect here: Eckankar threatened to sue me (a 20/21
year old undergraduate student), Jim Peebles (another 20 year old
undergraduate student), Professor Ed Gruss (who had the temerity to
xerox one copy of Peebles' paper), L.A. Baptist College (for employing
such a devious miscreant), Woodrow Nichols (who also wrote a small
paper on Eckankar for a Christian journal), and Dr. J. Gordon Melton
for an encyclopedia entry on Eckankar.
And all of these threatened lawsuits took place within what time fram?
1977 to 1979.
So, yes, Doug I most sincerely did think that Eckankar was increasing
its efforts to undermine any "open and objective investigation into
its founder's past." Dr. Melton certainly had that impression as well,
and even stated as such in his first unsolicited letter to me.
NEXT, Preface, part three (pages 33-46)
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