Eck Apologists Side-Step Fundamental Truths
- Hi, All!
This is a post from Ford Johnson's Truth-Seeker BB,
replying to Rich about Doug Marman. Ford points out
in his comments that Marman's arguments are little more
than magical side-steppingof fundamental truths--that
eckankar apologists like Marman and Rich are basically
debating to distract. Interesting enough, it seems that
Doug Marman, even with his newer book now completed,
is at cross-purposes with the damage control that Harold
Klemp and the eck org have instituted with all the editing
and rewriting that is on-going behind the scenes at
Too bad that Ford's BBs are closed right now. It would be
great if he would make available those posts that are
focused on the lies and discrepancies of eckankar such as
this post below. I didn't include Rich's comments because
it seemed confusing as to who said what--Ford, Marman or
Rich, so I am just posting Ford's reply. (There is a thread on
A.R.E. that contains Rich's post, a repost from TS titled
Response by Ford Johnson to Rich about Doug Marman,
Jan 18, 2004)
Ford Johnson's reply to Rich, Jan. 2004:
Before addressing the four specific points that Doug raised,
it is important to place this discussion in perspective or we
are apt to miss the bigger picture. For more than twenty
years (since David Lane's book), Eckankar apologists filled
the Internet with debating points and excruciating detail
about various factual issues surrounding the actions of Paul
Twitchell. David, almost single-handed, had to defend the
onslaught by those who were convinced, in those days, that
he had to be wrong. Doug's book and the ensuing debate was
quite fascinating and went on for some time. I responded to
this in an earlier posting dealing with the question of why I
did not address Doug's book in Confessions. There I explained
that I did not consider it necessary or useful to retrace the
steps in the debate between Doug and David over numerous
issues concerning the life of Paul Twitchell.
Rather, I was more concerned with fundamental issues of truth
that went to the very heart of the veracity of Eckankar and its
founders and leaders. Most of these issues were not the subjects
of their debate. Ironically, many important issues surrounding
Paul and his true nature were resolved in a series of concessions
by Harold Klemp in his 1980 writings. This is when he adopted
the euphemism "rascal" to explain Paul's checkered past. As we
now know, Harold went as far down the road of truth that he
could without destroying the road itself. But most of these
points are akin to a mosquito bite on an elephant's back
compared to the gravity of the tsunami of evidence which
shows the duplicity, literary thievery and pathological
prevarication displayed by the founder.
So serious are these matters that the points that Doug raises
as inaccuracies pale by comparison. Indeed, even if every
factual point that Doug makes is absolutely correct, what
difference does it make in the overall case. Paul Twitchell
created a religion from his own imagination and deceived a
following into believing that Eckankar was the oldest and
highest teaching in the universe and that its leader, a
Mahanta, was and is the only representative of God in spite of
its first appearance on this planet in 1965. This is the heart of
Eckankar doctrine and this is the lie. This is the big story, the big
picture, the issue on which the truth seeker focuses to determine
the course of his or her spiritual life.
The apologist however, --I will gladly concede that neither you
or Doug are paid apologist for Eckankar but you are apologists
none the less--attempts to shift attention from these more
transcendent issues, regarding fundamental truth, to the specifics
of factual debating points in hopes that a factual clarification
here or there can somehow magically transmute the fundamental
lies and deception into something potentially believable (e.g.
if facts 7,10, 22 and 37 of several thousand facts are in error, this
"victory" somehow redeems the quest of the apologist.) This is the
logic of Doug's arguments taken in their most favorable light.
Now let's look at Doug's points:
1) There is no evidence that Kirpal 'rebuffed' Paul.
In the words of Harold Klemp in his own recanting of the
experiences of Paul Twitchell he wrote:
"Paul sent his manuscript of The Tiger's Fang to Kirpal Singh in
India, which triggered a series of letters back and forth. It
caused a very disagreeable situation when Paul wanted the
manuscript back later. Paul had admired Kirpal Singh for a long
time, but then they had this little falling out. Perhaps they worked
it out later." These are Harold's words. I believe that this account
would be sufficient to constitute the use of the phrase "Kirpal
2) Paul was teaching Eckankar for a few years while still
being on friendly terms but not studying with Kirpal.
Harold says that perhaps they worked it out. Unless you have
some special evidence that neither Harold Klemp or David Lane
revealed, Paul's words in his letter to Kirpal Singh would appear
to speak for itself:
From Confessions p. 92
"In 1971, Paul completely disavowed his former Master in the
I have never recognized you as a master, or that you give
initiations, and that your work is not in the best interest of
spirituality. Your teachings are orthodox, and as a preacher you
are not capable of assisting anyone spiritually.17
Whether Paul patched up his relationship with Kirpal Singh
between the period when Harold concedes he was not on good
terms (re the Tigers Fang incident) and Paul's stronger disavowal
of Kirpal in 1971 I do not know. If there was some reconciliation
between these two events then it is an interesting side note but at
best only that. I would be interested in seeing such evidence so
that it can be added to the second edition of Confessions.
However, such a clarification would only rise to the level of the
bump on the elephants back if that.
3) Paul's spiritual training and experience predate Kirpal
I agree that Paul was a spiritual student for many years and
undoubtedly studied many books and under other teachers.
This point is not disputed in the book. While the story of his
spiritual educations begins with Kirpal Singh it does not state
or imply that it began there. This is the significant beginning
regarding the modern history of Eckankar. Again it is a
relatively unimportant factual point as relates to the basic issues
presented in Confessions.
4) Paul was involved in and writing for Scientology at the same
time he was studying with Kirpal.
I don't believe that Confession's makes any point regarding
whether Paul did his writings with Scientology before, during or
after his involvement with Kirpal. I will accept for arguments sake
that you are correct. But again we are left with the screaming
question: So What? The point is that he learned many of the
controlling techniques that he would later employ in establishing
Eckankar from Scientology because many of them can be found
there. Also, many of Paul's writings were plagiarized from those
copyrighted by Scientology.
To the points that Doug raised, you added several of your own.
1) I'll add that your conclusion that, "Singh's rejection was a
turning point in Paul's life." does not take into consideration
these facts which show that Paul was on this course even without
his association with Kirpal."
I am sure that you are correct. Paul's patterns of lying and
exaggeration, from a very early age, show that he was well on
his way before meeting Kirpal. These dishonest patterns
expressed in a series of deceptive actions by Paul are what
Harold called the training necessary to become the Mahanta.
Harold makes these points in his book The Secret Teachings in
which he uses a series of euphemisms to describe actions that
are clearly dishonest if not reprehensible. That Paul was probably
reading and studying spiritual matters during these years is not
disputed nor does Confessions make that point. But again we are
left with that haunting question: So what?
2) Paul mentioned Eckankar and Sudar Singh in 1963 and
Rebazar Tarzs in 1964. So your conclusion that: "Having
disavowed his association with Kirpal Singh, Paul changed the
historical record by substituting the names of invented masters
such as Rebazar Tarzs." is not quite true since Paul was interacting
with these characters at least 8 years earlier. The change was that
he stopped mentioning Kirpal by then.
I do not know the factual basis for your assertions and I do not
believe that Confessions tries to make so fine a distinction
regarding dates. But again conceding your point, it doesn't change
the fundamental point that he altered his writing to change the
names of people that he knew and studied for people that he made
up to create his Vairagi Masters. That is the real point that he
intentionally tried to deceive his readers into believing something
that he knew was not true. It establishes further his tendency to lie
even when it serves no reasonable purpose and could easily be
discovered. These are the marks of the pathological liar.
Finally, to your comment that you have not seen the fear in
Eckankar, the fear does exist and we hear about it in E-mails daily.
It is exhibited most commonly in the almost uniform tendency of
Eckists to ignore that same elephant in the living room. They all see
it but no one will talk about it because everyone knows that it is a
risky thing to do. If you do not see this then a certain naivety is being
exhibited for there is real fear of being ostracized or worse if the
silence (the kamit) is broken.
I have addressed your points as well as Doug's. Having spent the
time to do so, I ask you how much further does this exercise in
factual trivia take us in the search for truth? It is easy to see how
such trivial points can reinforce the beliefs of those who want to
believe even though this is a stretch. But for the truth seeker, the
points are so trivial as to make one wonder why they were ever
raised. But the reasons have been pointed out and I am sure are
clear to those who seek truth over apologetics.