THE SAGA OF HAROLD KLEMP
- This tells the history of how Harold Klemp has manipulated
the eckankar org and contrived to make the eck chelas believe
in the authenticity of the fake/made-up religion (cult) called
eckankar. Klemp needs to come clean and be honest for once
in his life! But I doubt very much that he has the courage, integrity
or moral compass to do so! So much for being a spiritual leader,
huh? I suppose if he were ever backed into a wall, Klemp can always
feign his long standing mental illness which would exonerate him
from being accountable for his dishonesty?? : )
From Understanding Cults and Spiritual Movements
by David Christopher Lane:
THE SAGA OF HAROLD KLEMP
How To Dismantle Eckankar Gracefully
Here's the scenario: you are a devoted and longstanding
member of a new religious movement. After slowly moving
up the ranks, you secure a good position in the religion's
publishing division. After 10 years in the group, you write a
well-received book about your great experiences following
the Spiritual Masters. Then, in a surprising turn of events,
word comes that you have been appointed to be the leader
of the group. You now find yourself the object of devotion
among thousands of disciples. But there's a catch: after
assuming the mastership you discover that the founder of
your religion and his successor were corrupt; not only did
the originator plagiarize and cover-up his past, but his
successor misappropriated funds and led an immoral
life-style. Now for the key question: if this was your situation,
what would you do?
Unbelievable as it may seem in fiction, the above scenario
actually did happen in real life to Sri Harold Klemp, the third
"Living Eck Master".
I realize that devoted Eckankar members would argue that
there have been over 970 Eck Masters prior to Gross and Klemp,
but it should be remembered that Paul Twitchell invented the
number in order to impress his following that his newly founded
religion was really ancient. The bottom line is that there is no
galaxy of Eck Masters who hang out in obscure corners of the
planet earth waiting for spiritually advanced Eck chelas. Besides
being one of the truly great plagiarists of the 20th century,
Twitchell was also one of the century's great fibbers or yarn tellers.
The only problem is that his numerous devotees don't know when
to separate fact from fiction, genuine spiritual masters (like Kabir)
from comic book Eck characters (like Fubbi Quantz), and authentic
teachings (like listening to the inner sound current) from adolescent
imagination (like "Temples of Golden Wisdom").
In a bold move (but not a politically wise one), Klemp
excommunicated Darwin Gross from the Eck fold, even rescinding
his lower level initiations. Klemp also tried to clarify Eckankar's
dubious past by revising much of its "official" history. In a series
of articles in The Mystic World and his public talks, Klemp admitted
that Eckankar's founder, Paul Twitchell, was a follower of Swami
Premananda, Kirpal Singh and L. Ron Hubbard. Prior to Klemp's
announcements, the official word through Eckankar was that
Twitchell was not involved with these teachers. In an article for
the Mystic World entitled Stop The World I Want To Get Off. . .Or
When Will You Leave ECK? Harold Klemp wrote the following
about his mentor,
"Here comes Paul Twitchell, a social rebel and spiritual giant
in a single package. His personal life and habits were a jolt to
people who thought a man of God should be of another order. . " .
"Scientologists pelted Paul with letters. The advanced members,
the "Clears," made an offer to advance him in spiritual matters for
a large sum of money. Paul bought none of their sales pitch because
they had more problems than he did, an outsider."
Klemp's allegation that Twitchell was an "outsider" to
Scientology is patently incorrect. Twitchell was a member of
Scientology and deeply admired L. Ron Hubbard for years until he
later broke off his connection.
"Although he claimed to have acted as Ron Hubbard's press
officer for several years in the District of Columbia, he wanted no "gas"
from these professional people. Paul's tie-in with Scientology during
his training as Godman is another bitter mouthful to chew for some
"Even in ECK, one's cherished notions about the Master are
dashed to the ground by the truth of spiritual things. For instance,
all ECK Masters do not hold the same high power from the SUGMAD
when they take the Rod of ECK Power."
[The Mystic World (Winter 1984), pages 1-2]
Klemp even went so far as to admit that Twitchell's writings
appeared similar to Julian P. Johnson's, the author of the now
famous The Path Of The Masters, and other religious writers.
Yet, Klemp did not go far enough. Instead of honestly telling the
truth to the Eckankar membership that Twitchell was a notorious
plagiarist and a first rate liar, he recoiled and sought to give a
ludicrous explanation about how there is an akashic library in the
astral plane where writers, like Johnson and Twitchell, go to copy
their books. In other words, Twitchell didn't plagiarize The Path
Of The Masters in its copyrighted form, he simply copied it word
for word from the original, "astral" version of the text. Klemp
implies also that Johnson copied his writings from the same text
With such a convoluted use of logic, it should then follow that
anybody could copy from Eckankar copyrighted materials and not
get in trouble for doing so. But such has never been the case. Even
Darwin Gross, the former leader of Eckankar, was not exempt from
allegations of copyright infringement when he used the terms "Eck"
and "Ek" to describe his ministry. Simply put, Klemp has invented
a story to cover-up Twitchell's plagiarism so that Eckankar can still
get away with publishing "stolen" materials. If Twitchell's plagiarism
was ever examined in a court of law, Eckankar would have to forfeit
thousands of dollars and every book its founder wrote. There is not
one Eckankar book by Paul Twitchell which does not contain lifted
material from other authors.
Harold Klemp also suffers under the delusion that even though
Eckankar is fraudulently based (from start to finish) that he can
somehow keep the "integrity" of the movement intact. How can
this be possible when Twitchell's own wife (and, I would suggest,
co-founder), Gail, has privately admitted that Eckankar is a "fraud"?
How can this be viable when the history of Eckankar's
[See "Gakko Came From Venus," UCSM (Volume 2, Number 1).]
origins is a fanciful, literary (and, at times, borrowed) fiction? The
forthcoming answers are a sad indication of the state of some
modern religions: money, blind faith, power, and ignorance. For
if Harold Klemp was truly honest and sincere, he could only do one
thing to Eckankar: dismantle it gracefully, but quickly .
However, misguided Eckists need not fear, for Klemp has
directed Eckankar into a new direction, one which has paranoia as
a cornerstone. I don't think it is coincidental that the number of
Eckists who have had "bad" astral experiences has increased steadily
since Harold Klemp published his article, Methods of the Black
Magician, in the Winter 1983 issue of The Mystic World. In 1987
alone I have talked with more than ten Eckists who have reported
terrifying experiences of "losing" one's mind and mental balance;
some even claim to be haunted by internal beings and powers taking
away the inner recesses of their personality. A close look at the
following passages from Klemp's article shows clearly where these
Eckists are getting their fears:
"The black magician depends upon simple, inexperienced people
to provoke worship of the personality, for in ignorance is his power.
Signs of one in whom the Kal power is stronger than the ECK are
several, including: 1) Show him money and he wonders how to get it
from you, 2) make peace in your household and he will try to break it
up and 3) if you say, "This is Truth," he tries to prove it is not so.
"The potential for a fall from grace is a real danger when the lust
for power thrusts itself into the foreground. No matter what high
station anyone gets in his journey to God, he can end up a fallen
star unless he has truly seen the SUGMAD. . .
"A black magician has a degree of knowledge as to how invisible
energies split from the Audible Life Current, but he bends them
toward darkness and destruction. With power to invade dreams, he
can bring terror through nightmares. The dreamer quakes, wondering
what has suddenly unbalanced the delicate scale in his affairs. Monsters
appear, forces, tear at the Astral body and strange, awful phenomena
"Fear grows and, with it, the disarming influence of the magician
steals over the victim. In the initial phase he scatters the initiate's
serenity so as to control the mind. Craving raw power, the magician
cares not a wit for Soul's freedom. . .
"To survive a psychic attack takes several approaches: 1) A
conscious closing of the emotional door against the intruder. Any
photos, as well memorabilia, of a disruptive personality must be put
out of the house. 2) A constant chanting of HU or the initiate's personal
word. 3) An actual fight on the inner planes whereby the trespasser
is driven off by marital arts or some weapon at hand. 4) Getting
plenty of rest each night. . .
"People under psychic attack must make a decision whether to
follow the Lord of Light and sound, or the lord of darkness. Hesitation
creates a split current of energy within one. I've had reports of people
who suffered heart attacks because they let their emotions pull in two
different directions at the same time. Forego the Worship of Moloch.
The price is too dear. I can help you combat the dark force by use of
the might Sword of the SUGMAD--but only if you listen."
The Mystic World (Winter 1983), pages 1-2
The danger of Klemp's warning against "black magicians" (some
former Eckists feel it is a thinly disguised criticism of Darwin Gross)
is that it allows for impressionable Eckists to start having the very
experiences he warns against. Indeed, several of the Eckists I interviewed
did not have troubles in their meditation until Klemp's warnings of the
"black magician [who] creeps into his prey's life step by step. Every
emotional trick is used to bind the two ever more closely together."
Such mind games can only run havoc on immature and impregnable
personalities. In this way, Harold Klemp has done a great harm to
his following. Eckankar has been the source of tremendous mental
imbalance for a growing number of devotees because its doctrines
are not systematic, psychologically sound, and spiritually authentic.
Rather, they are the outcome of Twitchell's schizophrenic plagiarism
(he copied widely varying and contradictory teachings), which are
replete with unsound (and unproven) meditation techniques,
sophomoric advice about "internal beings," and dangerous spiritual
counseling. The net result is that Eckankar is anything but a beneficial
and uplifting religion.
Harold Klemp would do a service to himself and the spiritual
community at large if he would simply resign from his post and tell
the unvarnished truth to Eckankar followers. If this was done, thousands
of Eckists may then have the opportunity to search again for an
authentic path, instead of being misled by a religious corporation
riddled with inept leadership and corrupt politics.