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Re: [EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous] Re: What do people in India think of Eckankar?

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  • etznab@aol.com
    I would have to agree that it s not the same for Americans learning eastern religions, es- pecially when they do not speak the language. Most everything has to
    Message 1 of 23 , Feb 14, 2009
      I would have to agree that it's not the same
      for Americans learning eastern religions, es-
      pecially when they do not speak the language.
      Most everything has to be transliterated into
      English. The meanings behind certain words
      could be lost.

      Etznab

      -----Original Message-----
      From: jonathanjohns96 <jonathanjohns96@...>
      To: EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Sat, 14 Feb 2009 2:41 pm
      Subject: [EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous] Re: What do people in India think
      of Eckankar?



      Non ekster,



      Your friend stating that Eckankar seemed frivolous goes along with my

      impression of how Indians view Americans who follow Indian religions.

      That is, they don't really "Get it." In other words, Americans have

      only a superficial understanding of it. Well, in a way they are

      correct because Americans with never understand the Indian cultural

      aspects of the Indian religions.



      I also knew about Indian's following a particular Guru, and that they

      take this very seriously, even arguing about which Guru is the true

      one (Mentioned by you recently on "X-Eckankar_The-Chains-of-Eck."

      Take a look at this website for Kirpal Singh:



      http://www.ruhanisatsangusa.org/elixir.htm



      Here are some interesting titles for Kirpal Singh's talks. The first

      two illustrate Indians obsession with whether their Guru is the "True

      Guru."



      1. "THE TRUE GURU OR MASTER" - Guru Nanak was as
      ked, "Who is your

      Guru, your Master ?" He replied, "The God-into-Expression Power, the

      Shabda is the Guru. My soul is His disciple."



      2. "True Master and His Mission" - "Whenever we feel helpless in our

      struggle, and we do feel helpless in diverse ways, we call for the

      unseen hand of God to our aid."



      Based on these short quotes it appears that Kirpal was perhaps

      deferring that issue to God, indicating that some aspect of God is

      the true Guru.



      The following two illustrate the fanaticism that Indians seem to have

      for their Gurus. This tendency is obviously coming from their Guru:



      3. The Difficulties in the Way of Developing Devotion to the Master -

      "To abide by the teachings of the Master is just like treading a

      razor's edge."



      4. "How Can We Please the Master?"- "So try to win the pleasure of

      the Master, by living as I have told you. Just have those

      qualifications that He has got in His life, write them down in your

      life, not on paper."



      By the way, I think this type of behavior is perfectly normal for

      Indians and I respect their right to do it. They grew up with it and

      it has always been that way so they are used to it. But I know that

      most Americans would never accept this idea of worshipping another

      human being.



      I believe that Paul Twitchell even had problem
      s with this, and he

      downplayed this in the earliest days of Eckankar. I don't know when

      it happened in Eckankar, but nowadays, worship of Harold Klemp is

      pretty much a requirement, although they don't tell you that when you

      first sign up.



      A Hindu lady that I know told me that she worships Ik Onkaar (the

      supreme God) and also the deities, but not a particular Guru. I told

      her about Eckankar and how it resembles Sihkism. And then I

      added "Eckankar changed things." She calmly said "Yes, they always

      change things." She said it with no malice, but yet I thought that

      there was perhaps a little something implied there. As a sidelight,

      she knew exactly who Kirpal Singh is (from the Indian point of view,

      not Eckankar's point of view).



      Thirty one years ago I had a roommate from India. He told me that

      Mahareshi Mahesh Yogi was unknown in India until he went to Europe

      and America and became world famous. He didn't really say anything

      bad about Maharishi, but I got the impression that people in India

      don't treat Maharishi with the same respect as an Indian saint who

      stays in India and has Indian followers. My own opinion, if I were to

      be blunt, it that Indians would say about Maharishi "He watered it

      down (or simplified it) so Americans could understand it."



      I'm sure that if Christians went to India they would be aghast at



      some of the aspects in Christianity there. No religion ever perfectly

      translates to another culture.



      Many years ago I knew a girl, she was about 17 at the time. Her

      mother was from Haiti. She could hardly keep from laughing as she

      described to me what her Catholic mother did. She told me that "My

      mom has this alter with these little figurines of Mary and Jesus, but

      also a number of figurines from Voodoo. I don't even know what she

      does when she is there." Obviously, this is Haiti's version of

      Catholicism. (You probably know what teenagers are like.)



      In the end, I honestly think I benefited more from learning

      Eckankar's version. Although I guess Eckankar's version was to a

      large degree Julian Johnson's version, and Julian Johnson doesn't

      sound like an Indian name to me.



      I went from TM to Eckankar in 1979. I remember that one of the things

      that I didn't like about TM was that the main people there were gaga

      over Maharishi. When I joined Eckankar I felt "At least I don't have

      to deal with that nonsense anymore." I didn't notice worship of the

      Eck master being a problem until after 1999 or so. I'm not sure

      exactly when it started.



      Jonathan



      --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "Non ekster"

      <eckchains@...> wrote:

      >

      > Actually, I'm not from India, but I did discuss some of your=0
      D

      questions

      > with a man from India. Just off the top of my head, I do recall
      that

      > he knew about eckankar, but basically was not that impressed,
      saying

      > something about it being frivolous. It is similar to getting off by

      > rubbing your eyes really fast and then looking at a blank space to

      see

      > the neurological displays, etc. He also said that people in India

      are

      > very superstitious. They follow the latest fad or Saint and it is

      not

      > uncommon to have a picture of your favorite character on the wall.

      He

      > said that Sikhism, Sufism and other similar religions tend to
      focus

      on

      > the embodiment of a spiritual leader, kind of like a personality

      cult.

      >

      > A few years ago, I went to see a "Master" from India in a local

      > church. I thought his talk was kind of lame. Of course he offered

      > great spiritual evolvement, accelerated, if you were to follow
      him.

      He

      > also had us singing various Hindu hymns and chants, and he chided
      us

      > for not singing with enthusiasm to raise the energy level. I
      thought

      > he behaved like a disappointed child. I guess he thought Americans

      > were crass and disrespectful. I thought his tactics were so

      > transparent. Whatever happened to people earning respect and

      > reputation. Just like in eckankult, ther
      e is soooo much lacking.

      >

      > I found a web site once for eckanakar in India. Apparently, there

      are

      > some testimonials from a few people. Just people looking for
      someone

      > to worship, and it probably makes them feel special to be
      different.

      > Maybe they prefer to not wear a Tuban. ; )

      >

      > Unfortunately, there are many lazy people who just don't want to

      take

      > the time to do even a cursory investigation before putting their

      > brains in the hands of idiots and Cons. (Of course, some may be

      > incapable or may lack the resources, but that would be in mostly

      other

      > countries, at least you'd think.)

      >

      > Non ekster ; )

      >

      >

      > --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com,
      "jonathanjohns96"

      > <jonathanjohns96@> wrote:

      > >

      > Non ekster,

      >

      > In a post on another message board, I believe that you stated that

      > you are from India. I have had a question for some time now: What
      do

      > people in India think of Eckankar? Of course, the short answer

      > is "Nothing, because nobody in India has ever heard of Eckankar."

      >

      > This question "What do people in India think of Eckankar?" was

      > brought to my attention back in December when I was talking to a

      > native Hindi speaker (Hindu) from North India.
      I showed her script

      > for "ik onkaar" and asked her what it meant. She explained it all
      to

      > me from the Hindu perspective. She said it means "one God" and that

      > it represents the omnipresent God of Hinduism and Sikhism. I

      > proceeded to tell her that my religion is called Eckankar (I was

      > still a member back then). I also told her that my religion

      > trademarked the word "Eckankar" which obviously comes from "One
      God"

      > in Hinduism and Sikhism. I asked her what she thought about that
      and

      > she seemed to not care one way or another. I was rather surprised

      > because I assumed she would be at least corncerned or even offended

      > that a group of Americans would have the audacity to trademark this

      > sacred word.

      >

      > So my more detailed question is "Shouldn't Hindus and Sikhs be

      > offended or at least concerned that a small religion in the United

      > States founded by an American has trademarked one of the most
      sacred

      > phrase in Hinduism, and THE most sacred phrase in Sikhism? Yes, I

      > know that Eckankar changed the meaning somewhat.

      >

      > My feeling is that people in India really don't take Americans who

      > study Hinduism or Sikhism seriously. Their attitude is "These

      > Americans don't really understand it." I consider both TM and

      > Eckankar to both be in this cat
      egory of "Americans studying
      Hinduism

      > and Sikhism."

      >

      > So I guess I really have two questions:

      >

      > 1. What do people in India think of Americans who study Hinduism
      and

      > Sikhism? Do they respect them?

      > 2. What do people in India think about Eckankar trademarking the

      > word "Eckankar? Are they concerned or offended?

      >

      > I would really like to hear your opinion.

      >

      > Jonathan

      >
    • Non ekster
      My impression of religion in India, Hinduism etc. is that it is fairly tolerant and has a big umbrella. Of course tolerance has its limits. The range though,
      Message 2 of 23 , Feb 14, 2009
        My impression of religion in India, Hinduism etc. is that it is fairly
        tolerant and has a big umbrella. Of course tolerance has its limits.
        The range though, seems to be from the philosophical, non theistic to
        some form of Deistic Authoritarianism as a Cult, like Sant Mat.

        Actually, I don't see any redeeming factors to eckankar at all. It is
        too filled with lies, cover ups, and plagiarism. The Guru worship has
        always been a big part of eckankult. It was written about extensively.
        Each eck mastermind enjoyed this adulation, until they were forced out
        by an ambitious high initiate or died unexpectedly.

        The only East Indian that I know of who was honest enough to publicly
        reject the Westernized version and step down from the throne that had
        been fabricated for him from the time he was a child, was
        Krishnamurti. Theosophy existed long before eckankar. Blah-tivaski was
        a typical trickster psychic. All the eck Masterminds have had plenty
        of previous models to copy and fake their way through, by deluding
        their blindfolded followers. Of course, the followers at some point
        willingly allow themselves to be blindfolded, or may even put the
        blinders on themselves. T.M. isn't much different, IMO. It's the same
        as the eck initiations in which your initiation is supposedly unique
        to each person, but in reality, they are not, or they are all the
        same. You are simply told to not talk, so nobody is the wiser.
        Extremely dishonest. Actually, most do not talk because they are
        probably embarrassed at being taken for a ride.

        Non ekster ; )


        --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "jonathanjohns96"
        <jonathanjohns96@...> wrote:
        >
        > Non ekster,
        >
        > Your friend stating that Eckankar seemed frivolous goes along with my
        > impression of how Indians view Americans who follow Indian religions.
        > That is, they don't really "Get it." In other words, Americans have
        > only a superficial understanding of it. Well, in a way they are
        > correct because Americans with never understand the Indian cultural
        > aspects of the Indian religions.
        >
        > I also knew about Indian's following a particular Guru, and that they
        > take this very seriously, even arguing about which Guru is the true
        > one (Mentioned by you recently on "X-Eckankar_The-Chains-of-Eck."
        > Take a look at this website for Kirpal Singh:
        >
        > http://www.ruhanisatsangusa.org/elixir.htm
        >
        > Here are some interesting titles for Kirpal Singh's talks. The first
        > two illustrate Indians obsession with whether their Guru is the "True
        > Guru."
        >
        > 1. "THE TRUE GURU OR MASTER" - Guru Nanak was asked, "Who is your
        > Guru, your Master ?" He replied, "The God-into-Expression Power, the
        > Shabda is the Guru. My soul is His disciple."
        >
        > 2. "True Master and His Mission" - "Whenever we feel helpless in our
        > struggle, and we do feel helpless in diverse ways, we call for the
        > unseen hand of God to our aid."
        >
        > Based on these short quotes it appears that Kirpal was perhaps
        > deferring that issue to God, indicating that some aspect of God is
        > the true Guru.
        >
        > The following two illustrate the fanaticism that Indians seem to have
        > for their Gurus. This tendency is obviously coming from their Guru:
        >
        > 3. The Difficulties in the Way of Developing Devotion to the Master -
        > "To abide by the teachings of the Master is just like treading a
        > razor's edge."
        >
        > 4. "How Can We Please the Master?"- "So try to win the pleasure of
        > the Master, by living as I have told you. Just have those
        > qualifications that He has got in His life, write them down in your
        > life, not on paper."
        >
        > By the way, I think this type of behavior is perfectly normal for
        > Indians and I respect their right to do it. They grew up with it and
        > it has always been that way so they are used to it. But I know that
        > most Americans would never accept this idea of worshipping another
        > human being.
        >
        > I believe that Paul Twitchell even had problems with this, and he
        > downplayed this in the earliest days of Eckankar. I don't know when
        > it happened in Eckankar, but nowadays, worship of Harold Klemp is
        > pretty much a requirement, although they don't tell you that when you
        > first sign up.
        >
        > A Hindu lady that I know told me that she worships Ik Onkaar (the
        > supreme God) and also the deities, but not a particular Guru. I told
        > her about Eckankar and how it resembles Sihkism. And then I
        > added "Eckankar changed things." She calmly said "Yes, they always
        > change things." She said it with no malice, but yet I thought that
        > there was perhaps a little something implied there. As a sidelight,
        > she knew exactly who Kirpal Singh is (from the Indian point of view,
        > not Eckankar's point of view).
        >
        > Thirty one years ago I had a roommate from India. He told me that
        > Mahareshi Mahesh Yogi was unknown in India until he went to Europe
        > and America and became world famous. He didn't really say anything
        > bad about Maharishi, but I got the impression that people in India
        > don't treat Maharishi with the same respect as an Indian saint who
        > stays in India and has Indian followers. My own opinion, if I were to
        > be blunt, it that Indians would say about Maharishi "He watered it
        > down (or simplified it) so Americans could understand it."
        >
        > I'm sure that if Christians went to India they would be aghast at
        > some of the aspects in Christianity there. No religion ever perfectly
        > translates to another culture.
        >
        > Many years ago I knew a girl, she was about 17 at the time. Her
        > mother was from Haiti. She could hardly keep from laughing as she
        > described to me what her Catholic mother did. She told me that "My
        > mom has this alter with these little figurines of Mary and Jesus, but
        > also a number of figurines from Voodoo. I don't even know what she
        > does when she is there." Obviously, this is Haiti's version of
        > Catholicism. (You probably know what teenagers are like.)
        >
        > In the end, I honestly think I benefited more from learning
        > Eckankar's version. Although I guess Eckankar's version was to a
        > large degree Julian Johnson's version, and Julian Johnson doesn't
        > sound like an Indian name to me.
        >
        > I went from TM to Eckankar in 1979. I remember that one of the things
        > that I didn't like about TM was that the main people there were gaga
        > over Maharishi. When I joined Eckankar I felt "At least I don't have
        > to deal with that nonsense anymore." I didn't notice worship of the
        > Eck master being a problem until after 1999 or so. I'm not sure
        > exactly when it started.
        >
        > Jonathan
        >
        >
        >
        > --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "Non ekster"
        > <eckchains@> wrote:
        > >
        > > Actually, I'm not from India, but I did discuss some of your
        > questions
        > > with a man from India. Just off the top of my head, I do recall that
        > > he knew about eckankar, but basically was not that impressed, saying
        > > something about it being frivolous. It is similar to getting off by
        > > rubbing your eyes really fast and then looking at a blank space to
        > see
        > > the neurological displays, etc. He also said that people in India
        > are
        > > very superstitious. They follow the latest fad or Saint and it is
        > not
        > > uncommon to have a picture of your favorite character on the wall.
        > He
        > > said that Sikhism, Sufism and other similar religions tend to focus
        > on
        > > the embodiment of a spiritual leader, kind of like a personality
        > cult.
        > >
        > > A few years ago, I went to see a "Master" from India in a local
        > > church. I thought his talk was kind of lame. Of course he offered
        > > great spiritual evolvement, accelerated, if you were to follow him.
        > He
        > > also had us singing various Hindu hymns and chants, and he chided us
        > > for not singing with enthusiasm to raise the energy level. I thought
        > > he behaved like a disappointed child. I guess he thought Americans
        > > were crass and disrespectful. I thought his tactics were so
        > > transparent. Whatever happened to people earning respect and
        > > reputation. Just like in eckankult, there is soooo much lacking.
        > >
        > > I found a web site once for eckanakar in India. Apparently, there
        > are
        > > some testimonials from a few people. Just people looking for someone
        > > to worship, and it probably makes them feel special to be different.
        > > Maybe they prefer to not wear a Tuban. ; )
        > >
        > > Unfortunately, there are many lazy people who just don't want to
        > take
        > > the time to do even a cursory investigation before putting their
        > > brains in the hands of idiots and Cons. (Of course, some may be
        > > incapable or may lack the resources, but that would be in mostly
        > other
        > > countries, at least you'd think.)
        > >
        > > Non ekster ; )
        > >
        > >
        > > --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "jonathanjohns96"
        > > <jonathanjohns96@> wrote:
        > > >
        > > Non ekster,
        > >
        > > In a post on another message board, I believe that you stated that
        > > you are from India. I have had a question for some time now: What do
        > > people in India think of Eckankar? Of course, the short answer
        > > is "Nothing, because nobody in India has ever heard of Eckankar."
        > >
        > > This question "What do people in India think of Eckankar?" was
        > > brought to my attention back in December when I was talking to a
        > > native Hindi speaker (Hindu) from North India. I showed her script
        > > for "ik onkaar" and asked her what it meant. She explained it all to
        > > me from the Hindu perspective. She said it means "one God" and that
        > > it represents the omnipresent God of Hinduism and Sikhism. I
        > > proceeded to tell her that my religion is called Eckankar (I was
        > > still a member back then). I also told her that my religion
        > > trademarked the word "Eckankar" which obviously comes from "One God"
        > > in Hinduism and Sikhism. I asked her what she thought about that and
        > > she seemed to not care one way or another. I was rather surprised
        > > because I assumed she would be at least corncerned or even offended
        > > that a group of Americans would have the audacity to trademark this
        > > sacred word.
        > >
        > > So my more detailed question is "Shouldn't Hindus and Sikhs be
        > > offended or at least concerned that a small religion in the United
        > > States founded by an American has trademarked one of the most sacred
        > > phrase in Hinduism, and THE most sacred phrase in Sikhism? Yes, I
        > > know that Eckankar changed the meaning somewhat.
        > >
        > > My feeling is that people in India really don't take Americans who
        > > study Hinduism or Sikhism seriously. Their attitude is "These
        > > Americans don't really understand it." I consider both TM and
        > > Eckankar to both be in this category of "Americans studying Hinduism
        > > and Sikhism."
        > >
        > > So I guess I really have two questions:
        > >
        > > 1. What do people in India think of Americans who study Hinduism and
        > > Sikhism? Do they respect them?
        > > 2. What do people in India think about Eckankar trademarking the
        > > word "Eckankar? Are they concerned or offended?
        > >
        > > I would really like to hear your opinion.
        > >
        > > Jonathan
        > >
        >
      • jonathanjohns96
        Non ekster, I agree with you that Hindus are very tolerant of other people s religious beliefs. I have noticed the same thing, and I have know at least ten
        Message 3 of 23 , Feb 15, 2009
          Non ekster,

          I agree with you that Hindus are very tolerant of other people's
          religious beliefs. I have noticed the same thing, and I have know at
          least ten Hindus from India. It must be taught in Hinduism or else it
          wouldn't be there.

          Maybe Hindus don't look down on Americans who practice TM or Hinduism
          or Sikhism or Sant Mat. But I still think that their attitude is that
          Americans are not practicing "the real thing." I think it is
          impossible for Americans to practice "the real thing" mainly because
          they grew up in America, not India.

          Jonathan

          --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "Non ekster"
          <eckchains@...> wrote:
          >
          > My impression of religion in India, Hinduism etc. is that it is
          fairly
          > tolerant and has a big umbrella. Of course tolerance has its limits.
          > The range though, seems to be from the philosophical, non theistic
          to
          > some form of Deistic Authoritarianism as a Cult, like Sant Mat.
          >
          > Actually, I don't see any redeeming factors to eckankar at all. It
          is
          > too filled with lies, cover ups, and plagiarism. The Guru worship
          has
          > always been a big part of eckankult. It was written about
          extensively.
          > Each eck mastermind enjoyed this adulation, until they were forced
          out
          > by an ambitious high initiate or died unexpectedly.
          >
          > The only East Indian that I know of who was honest enough to
          publicly
          > reject the Westernized version and step down from the throne that
          had
          > been fabricated for him from the time he was a child, was
          > Krishnamurti. Theosophy existed long before eckankar. Blah-tivaski
          was
          > a typical trickster psychic. All the eck Masterminds have had plenty
          > of previous models to copy and fake their way through, by deluding
          > their blindfolded followers. Of course, the followers at some point
          > willingly allow themselves to be blindfolded, or may even put the
          > blinders on themselves. T.M. isn't much different, IMO. It's the
          same
          > as the eck initiations in which your initiation is supposedly unique
          > to each person, but in reality, they are not, or they are all the
          > same. You are simply told to not talk, so nobody is the wiser.
          > Extremely dishonest. Actually, most do not talk because they are
          > probably embarrassed at being taken for a ride.
          >
          > Non ekster ; )
          >
          >
          > --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "jonathanjohns96"
          > <jonathanjohns96@> wrote:
          > >
          > > Non ekster,
          > >
          > > Your friend stating that Eckankar seemed frivolous goes along
          with my
          > > impression of how Indians view Americans who follow Indian
          religions.
          > > That is, they don't really "Get it." In other words, Americans
          have
          > > only a superficial understanding of it. Well, in a way they are
          > > correct because Americans with never understand the Indian
          cultural
          > > aspects of the Indian religions.
          > >
          > > I also knew about Indian's following a particular Guru, and that
          they
          > > take this very seriously, even arguing about which Guru is the
          true
          > > one (Mentioned by you recently on "X-Eckankar_The-Chains-of-Eck."
          > > Take a look at this website for Kirpal Singh:
          > >
          > > http://www.ruhanisatsangusa.org/elixir.htm
          > >
          > > Here are some interesting titles for Kirpal Singh's talks. The
          first
          > > two illustrate Indians obsession with whether their Guru is
          the "True
          > > Guru."
          > >
          > > 1. "THE TRUE GURU OR MASTER" - Guru Nanak was asked, "Who is your
          > > Guru, your Master ?" He replied, "The God-into-Expression Power,
          the
          > > Shabda is the Guru. My soul is His disciple."
          > >
          > > 2. "True Master and His Mission" - "Whenever we feel helpless in
          our
          > > struggle, and we do feel helpless in diverse ways, we call for
          the
          > > unseen hand of God to our aid."
          > >
          > > Based on these short quotes it appears that Kirpal was perhaps
          > > deferring that issue to God, indicating that some aspect of God
          is
          > > the true Guru.
          > >
          > > The following two illustrate the fanaticism that Indians seem to
          have
          > > for their Gurus. This tendency is obviously coming from their
          Guru:
          > >
          > > 3. The Difficulties in the Way of Developing Devotion to the
          Master -
          > > "To abide by the teachings of the Master is just like treading a
          > > razor's edge."
          > >
          > > 4. "How Can We Please the Master?"- "So try to win the pleasure
          of
          > > the Master, by living as I have told you. Just have those
          > > qualifications that He has got in His life, write them down in
          your
          > > life, not on paper."
          > >
          > > By the way, I think this type of behavior is perfectly normal for
          > > Indians and I respect their right to do it. They grew up with it
          and
          > > it has always been that way so they are used to it. But I know
          that
          > > most Americans would never accept this idea of worshipping
          another
          > > human being.
          > >
          > > I believe that Paul Twitchell even had problems with this, and he
          > > downplayed this in the earliest days of Eckankar. I don't know
          when
          > > it happened in Eckankar, but nowadays, worship of Harold Klemp is
          > > pretty much a requirement, although they don't tell you that when
          you
          > > first sign up.
          > >
          > > A Hindu lady that I know told me that she worships Ik Onkaar (the
          > > supreme God) and also the deities, but not a particular Guru. I
          told
          > > her about Eckankar and how it resembles Sihkism. And then I
          > > added "Eckankar changed things." She calmly said "Yes, they
          always
          > > change things." She said it with no malice, but yet I thought
          that
          > > there was perhaps a little something implied there. As a
          sidelight,
          > > she knew exactly who Kirpal Singh is (from the Indian point of
          view,
          > > not Eckankar's point of view).
          > >
          > > Thirty one years ago I had a roommate from India. He told me that
          > > Mahareshi Mahesh Yogi was unknown in India until he went to
          Europe
          > > and America and became world famous. He didn't really say
          anything
          > > bad about Maharishi, but I got the impression that people in
          India
          > > don't treat Maharishi with the same respect as an Indian saint
          who
          > > stays in India and has Indian followers. My own opinion, if I
          were to
          > > be blunt, it that Indians would say about Maharishi "He watered
          it
          > > down (or simplified it) so Americans could understand it."
          > >
          > > I'm sure that if Christians went to India they would be aghast at
          > > some of the aspects in Christianity there. No religion ever
          perfectly
          > > translates to another culture.
          > >
          > > Many years ago I knew a girl, she was about 17 at the time. Her
          > > mother was from Haiti. She could hardly keep from laughing as she
          > > described to me what her Catholic mother did. She told me
          that "My
          > > mom has this alter with these little figurines of Mary and Jesus,
          but
          > > also a number of figurines from Voodoo. I don't even know what
          she
          > > does when she is there." Obviously, this is Haiti's version of
          > > Catholicism. (You probably know what teenagers are like.)
          > >
          > > In the end, I honestly think I benefited more from learning
          > > Eckankar's version. Although I guess Eckankar's version was to a
          > > large degree Julian Johnson's version, and Julian Johnson doesn't
          > > sound like an Indian name to me.
          > >
          > > I went from TM to Eckankar in 1979. I remember that one of the
          things
          > > that I didn't like about TM was that the main people there were
          gaga
          > > over Maharishi. When I joined Eckankar I felt "At least I don't
          have
          > > to deal with that nonsense anymore." I didn't notice worship of
          the
          > > Eck master being a problem until after 1999 or so. I'm not sure
          > > exactly when it started.
          > >
          > > Jonathan
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "Non ekster"
          > > <eckchains@> wrote:
          > > >
          > > > Actually, I'm not from India, but I did discuss some of your
          > > questions
          > > > with a man from India. Just off the top of my head, I do recall
          that
          > > > he knew about eckankar, but basically was not that impressed,
          saying
          > > > something about it being frivolous. It is similar to getting
          off by
          > > > rubbing your eyes really fast and then looking at a blank space
          to
          > > see
          > > > the neurological displays, etc. He also said that people in
          India
          > > are
          > > > very superstitious. They follow the latest fad or Saint and it
          is
          > > not
          > > > uncommon to have a picture of your favorite character on the
          wall.
          > > He
          > > > said that Sikhism, Sufism and other similar religions tend to
          focus
          > > on
          > > > the embodiment of a spiritual leader, kind of like a
          personality
          > > cult.
          > > >
          > > > A few years ago, I went to see a "Master" from India in a local
          > > > church. I thought his talk was kind of lame. Of course he
          offered
          > > > great spiritual evolvement, accelerated, if you were to follow
          him.
          > > He
          > > > also had us singing various Hindu hymns and chants, and he
          chided us
          > > > for not singing with enthusiasm to raise the energy level. I
          thought
          > > > he behaved like a disappointed child. I guess he thought
          Americans
          > > > were crass and disrespectful. I thought his tactics were so
          > > > transparent. Whatever happened to people earning respect and
          > > > reputation. Just like in eckankult, there is soooo much lacking.
          > > >
          > > > I found a web site once for eckanakar in India. Apparently,
          there
          > > are
          > > > some testimonials from a few people. Just people looking for
          someone
          > > > to worship, and it probably makes them feel special to be
          different.
          > > > Maybe they prefer to not wear a Tuban. ; )
          > > >
          > > > Unfortunately, there are many lazy people who just don't want
          to
          > > take
          > > > the time to do even a cursory investigation before putting their
          > > > brains in the hands of idiots and Cons. (Of course, some may be
          > > > incapable or may lack the resources, but that would be in
          mostly
          > > other
          > > > countries, at least you'd think.)
          > > >
          > > > Non ekster ; )
          > > >
          > > >
          > > > --- In
          EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "jonathanjohns96"
          > > > <jonathanjohns96@> wrote:
          > > > >
          > > > Non ekster,
          > > >
          > > > In a post on another message board, I believe that you stated
          that
          > > > you are from India. I have had a question for some time now:
          What do
          > > > people in India think of Eckankar? Of course, the short answer
          > > > is "Nothing, because nobody in India has ever heard of
          Eckankar."
          > > >
          > > > This question "What do people in India think of Eckankar?" was
          > > > brought to my attention back in December when I was talking to a
          > > > native Hindi speaker (Hindu) from North India. I showed her
          script
          > > > for "ik onkaar" and asked her what it meant. She explained it
          all to
          > > > me from the Hindu perspective. She said it means "one God" and
          that
          > > > it represents the omnipresent God of Hinduism and Sikhism. I
          > > > proceeded to tell her that my religion is called Eckankar (I was
          > > > still a member back then). I also told her that my religion
          > > > trademarked the word "Eckankar" which obviously comes from "One
          God"
          > > > in Hinduism and Sikhism. I asked her what she thought about
          that and
          > > > she seemed to not care one way or another. I was rather
          surprised
          > > > because I assumed she would be at least corncerned or even
          offended
          > > > that a group of Americans would have the audacity to trademark
          this
          > > > sacred word.
          > > >
          > > > So my more detailed question is "Shouldn't Hindus and Sikhs be
          > > > offended or at least concerned that a small religion in the
          United
          > > > States founded by an American has trademarked one of the most
          sacred
          > > > phrase in Hinduism, and THE most sacred phrase in Sikhism? Yes,
          I
          > > > know that Eckankar changed the meaning somewhat.
          > > >
          > > > My feeling is that people in India really don't take Americans
          who
          > > > study Hinduism or Sikhism seriously. Their attitude is "These
          > > > Americans don't really understand it." I consider both TM and
          > > > Eckankar to both be in this category of "Americans studying
          Hinduism
          > > > and Sikhism."
          > > >
          > > > So I guess I really have two questions:
          > > >
          > > > 1. What do people in India think of Americans who study
          Hinduism and
          > > > Sikhism? Do they respect them?
          > > > 2. What do people in India think about Eckankar trademarking the
          > > > word "Eckankar? Are they concerned or offended?
          > > >
          > > > I would really like to hear your opinion.
          > > >
          > > > Jonathan
          > > >
          > >
          >
        • etznab@aol.com
          When you say Hindus, are you talking about Brahmins, or what? Far as I know, in India you are born of a certain caste. I imagine they are getting over this,
          Message 4 of 23 , Feb 15, 2009
            When you say Hindus, are you talking about
            Brahmins, or what? Far as I know, in India you
            are born of a certain caste. I imagine they are
            getting over this, but it sometimes helps to put
            into context a person's religious perspective -
            if caste matters to them that much, or not.

            Etznab

            -----Original Message-----
            From: jonathanjohns96 <jonathanjohns96@...>
            To: EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Sun, 15 Feb 2009 5:15 am
            Subject: [EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous] Re: What do people in India think
            of Eckankar?



            Non ekster,



            I agree with you that Hindus are very tolerant of other people's

            religious beliefs. I have noticed the same thing, and I have know at

            least ten Hindus from India. It must be taught in Hinduism or else it

            wouldn't be there.



            Maybe Hindus don't look down on Americans who practice TM or Hinduism

            or Sikhism or Sant Mat. But I still think that their attitude is that

            Americans are not practicing "the real thing." I think it is

            impossible for Americans to practice "the real thing" mainly because

            they grew up in America, not India.



            Jonathan



            --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "Non ekster"

            <eckchains@...> wrote:

            >

            > My impression of religion in India, Hinduism etc. is that it is

            fairly

            > tolerant and has a big umbrella. Of course tolerance has its
            limits.


            > The range though, seems to be from the philosophical, non theistic

            to

            > some form of Deistic Authoritarianism as a Cult, like Sant Mat.

            >

            > Actually, I don't see any redeeming factors to eckankar at all. It

            is

            > too filled with lies, cover ups, and plagiarism. The Guru worship

            has

            > always been a big part of eckankult. It was written about

            extensively.

            > Each eck mastermind enjoyed this adulation, until they were forced

            out

            > by an ambitious high initiate or died unexpectedly.

            >

            > The only East Indian that I know of who was honest enough to

            publicly

            > reject the Westernized version and step down from the throne that

            had

            > been fabricated for him from the time he was a child, was

            > Krishnamurti. Theosophy existed long before eckankar. Blah-tivaski

            was

            > a typical trickster psychic. All the eck Masterminds have had
            plenty

            > of previous models to copy and fake their way through, by deluding

            > their blindfolded followers. Of course, the followers at some point

            > willingly allow themselves to be blindfolded, or may even put the

            > blinders on themselves. T.M. isn't much different, IMO. It's the

            same

            > as the eck initiations in which your initiation is supposedly
            unique

            > to each person, but in reality, they are not, or they are all the

            > same.
            You are simply told to not talk, so nobody is the wiser.

            > Extremely dishonest. Actually, most do not talk because they are

            > probably embarrassed at being taken for a ride.

            >

            > Non ekster ; )

            >

            >

            > --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com,
            "jonathanjohns96"

            > <jonathanjohns96@> wrote:

            > >

            > > Non ekster,

            > >

            > > Your friend stating that Eckankar seemed frivolous goes along

            with my

            > > impression of how Indians view Americans who follow Indian

            religions.

            > > That is, they don't really "Get it." In other words,
            Americans

            have

            > > only a superficial understanding of it. Well, in a way they
            are

            > > correct because Americans with never understand the Indian

            cultural

            > > aspects of the Indian religions.

            > >

            > > I also knew about Indian's following a particular Guru, and
            that

            they

            > > take this very seriously, even arguing about which Guru is
            the

            true

            > > one (Mentioned by you recently on
            "X-Eckankar_The-Chains-of-Eck."

            > > Take a look at this website for Kirpal Singh:

            > >

            > > http://www.ruhanisatsangusa.org/elixir.htm

            > >

            > > Here are some interesting titles for Kirpal Singh's talks.
            The

            first

            > > two illustrate Indians obsess
            ion with whether their Guru is

            the "True

            > > Guru."

            > >

            > > 1. "THE TRUE GURU OR MASTER" - Guru Nanak was asked, "Who is
            your

            > > Guru, your Master ?" He replied, "The God-into-Expression
            Power,

            the

            > > Shabda is the Guru. My soul is His disciple."

            > >

            > > 2. "True Master and His Mission" - "Whenever we feel helpless
            in

            our

            > > struggle, and we do feel helpless in diverse ways, we call
            for

            the

            > > unseen hand of God to our aid."

            > >

            > > Based on these short quotes it appears that Kirpal was
            perhaps

            > > deferring that issue to God, indicating that some aspect of
            God

            is

            > > the true Guru.

            > >

            > > The following two illustrate the fanaticism that Indians seem
            to

            have

            > > for their Gurus. This tendency is obviously coming from their

            Guru:

            > >

            > > 3. The Difficulties in the Way of Developing Devotion to the

            Master -

            > > "To abide by the teachings of the Master is just like
            treading a

            > > razor's edge."

            > >

            > > 4. "How Can We Please the Master?"- "So try to win the
            pleasure

            of

            > > the Master, by living as I have told you. Just have those

            > > qualifications that He has got in Hi
            s life, write them down
            in

            your

            > > life, not on paper."

            > >

            > > By the way, I think this type of behavior is perfectly normal
            for

            > > Indians and I respect their right to do it. They grew up with
            it

            and

            > > it has always been that way so they are used to it. But I
            know

            that

            > > most Americans would never accept this idea of worshipping

            another

            > > human being.

            > >

            > > I believe that Paul Twitchell even had problems with this,
            and he

            > > downplayed this in the earliest days of Eckankar. I don't
            know

            when

            > > it happened in Eckankar, but nowadays, worship of Harold
            Klemp is

            > > pretty much a requirement, although they don't tell you that
            when

            you

            > > first sign up.

            > >

            > > A Hindu lady that I know told me that she worships Ik Onkaar
            (the

            > > supreme God) and also the deities, but not a particular Guru.
            I

            told

            > > her about Eckankar and how it resembles Sihkism. And then I

            > > added "Eckankar changed things." She calmly said "Yes, they

            always

            > > change things." She said it with no malice, but yet I thought

            that

            > > there was perhaps a little something implied there. As a

            sidelight,

            > > she knew exact
            ly who Kirpal Singh is (from the Indian point
            of

            view,

            > > not Eckankar's point of view).

            > >

            > > Thirty one years ago I had a roommate from India. He told me
            that

            > > Mahareshi Mahesh Yogi was unknown in India until he went to

            Europe

            > > and America and became world famous. He didn't really say

            anything

            > > bad about Maharishi, but I got the impression that people in

            India

            > > don't treat Maharishi with the same respect as an Indian
            saint

            who

            > > stays in India and has Indian followers. My own opinion, if I

            were to

            > > be blunt, it that Indians would say about Maharishi "He
            watered

            it

            > > down (or simplified it) so Americans could understand it."

            > >

            > > I'm sure that if Christians went to India they would be
            aghast at

            > > some of the aspects in Christianity there. No religion ever

            perfectly

            > > translates to another culture.

            > >

            > > Many years ago I knew a girl, she was about 17 at the time.
            Her

            > > mother was from Haiti. She could hardly keep from laughing as
            she

            > > described to me what her Catholic mother did. She told me

            that "My

            > > mom has this alter with these little figurines of Mary and
            Jesus,

            but

            > > also a nu
            mber of figurines from Voodoo. I don't even know
            what

            she

            > > does when she is there." Obviously, this is Haiti's version
            of

            > > Catholicism. (You probably know what teenagers are like.)

            > >

            > > In the end, I honestly think I benefited more from learning

            > > Eckankar's version. Although I guess Eckankar's version was
            to a

            > > large degree Julian Johnson's version, and Julian Johnson
            doesn't

            > > sound like an Indian name to me.

            > >

            > > I went from TM to Eckankar in 1979. I remember that one of
            the

            things

            > > that I didn't like about TM was that the main people there
            were

            gaga

            > > over Maharishi. When I joined Eckankar I felt "At least I
            don't

            have

            > > to deal with that nonsense anymore." I didn't notice worship
            of

            the

            > > Eck master being a problem until after 1999 or so. I'm not
            sure

            > > exactly when it started.

            > >

            > > Jonathan

            > >

            > >

            > >

            > > --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "Non
            ekster"

            > > <eckchains@> wrote:

            > > >

            > > > Actually, I'm not from India, but I did discuss some of
            your

            > > questions

            > > > with a man from India. Just off the top of my head, I do=2
            0
            recall

            that

            > > > he knew about eckankar, but basically was not that
            impressed,

            saying

            > > > something about it being frivolous. It is similar to
            getting

            off by

            > > > rubbing your eyes really fast and then looking at a
            blank space

            to

            > > see

            > > > the neurological displays, etc. He also said that people
            in

            India

            > > are

            > > > very superstitious. They follow the latest fad or Saint
            and it

            is

            > > not

            > > > uncommon to have a picture of your favorite character on
            the

            wall.

            > > He

            > > > said that Sikhism, Sufism and other similar religions
            tend to

            focus

            > > on

            > > > the embodiment of a spiritual leader, kind of like a

            personality

            > > cult.

            > > >

            > > > A few years ago, I went to see a "Master" from India in
            a local

            > > > church. I thought his talk was kind of lame. Of course
            he

            offered

            > > > great spiritual evolvement, accelerated, if you were to
            follow

            him.

            > > He

            > > > also had us singing various Hindu hymns and chants, and
            he

            chided us

            > > > for not singing with enthusiasm to raise the energy
            level. I

            thought

            > > >=2
            0he behaved like a disappointed child. I guess he thought

            Americans

            > > > were crass and disrespectful. I thought his tactics were
            so

            > > > transparent. Whatever happened to people earning respect
            and

            > > > reputation. Just like in eckankult, there is soooo much
            lacking.

            > > >

            > > > I found a web site once for eckanakar in India.
            Apparently,

            there

            > > are

            > > > some testimonials from a few people. Just people looking
            for

            someone

            > > > to worship, and it probably makes them feel special to
            be

            different.

            > > > Maybe they prefer to not wear a Tuban. ; )

            > > >

            > > > Unfortunately, there are many lazy people who just don't
            want

            to

            > > take

            > > > the time to do even a cursory investigation before
            putting their

            > > > brains in the hands of idiots and Cons. (Of course, some
            may be

            > > > incapable or may lack the resources, but that would be
            in

            mostly

            > > other

            > > > countries, at least you'd think.)

            > > >

            > > > Non ekster ; )

            > > >

            > > >

            > > > --- In

            EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "jonathanjohns96"

            > > > <jonathanjohns96@> wrote:

            > > > &g
            t;

            > > > Non ekster,

            > > >

            > > > In a post on another message board, I believe that you
            stated

            that

            > > > you are from India. I have had a question for some time
            now:

            What do

            > > > people in India think of Eckankar? Of course, the short
            answer

            > > > is "Nothing, because nobody in India has ever heard of

            Eckankar."

            > > >

            > > > This question "What do people in India think of
            Eckankar?" was

            > > > brought to my attention back in December when I was
            talking to a

            > > > native Hindi speaker (Hindu) from North India. I showed
            her

            script

            > > > for "ik onkaar" and asked her what it meant. She
            explained it

            all to

            > > > me from the Hindu perspective. She said it means "one
            God" and

            that

            > > > it represents the omnipresent God of Hinduism and
            Sikhism. I

            > > > proceeded to tell her that my religion is called
            Eckankar (I was

            > > > still a member back then). I also told her that my
            religion

            > > > trademarked the word "Eckankar" which obviously comes
            from "One

            God"

            > > > in Hinduism and Sikhism. I asked her what she thought
            about

            that and

            > > > she seemed to not care one way or another. I was rather


            surprised

            > > > because I assumed she would be at least corncerned or
            even

            offended

            > > > that a group of Americans would have the audacity to
            trademark

            this

            > > > sacred word.

            > > >

            > > > So my more detailed question is "Shouldn't Hindus and
            Sikhs be

            > > > offended or at least concerned that a small religion in
            the

            United

            > > > States founded by an American has trademarked one of the
            most

            sacred

            > > > phrase in Hinduism, and THE most sacred phrase in
            Sikhism? Yes,

            I

            > > > know that Eckankar changed the meaning somewhat.

            > > >

            > > > My feeling is that people in India really don't take
            Americans

            who

            > > > study Hinduism or Sikhism seriously. Their attitude is
            "These

            > > > Americans don't really understand it." I consider both
            TM and

            > > > Eckankar to both be in this category of "Americans
            studying

            Hinduism

            > > > and Sikhism."

            > > >

            > > > So I guess I really have two questions:

            > > >

            > > > 1. What do people in India think of Americans who study

            Hinduism and

            > > > Sikhism? Do they respect them?

            > > > 2. What do people in India think about Eckankar
            trademarking
            the

            > > > word "Eckankar? Are they concerned or offended?

            > > >

            > > > I would really like to hear your opinion.

            > > >

            > > > Jonathan

            > > >

            > >

            >
          • jonathanjohns96
            Etznab, I included a bunch of Wikipedia stuff about religions in India below. But basically, Hindus are followers of the religion Hinduism. Wiki states that
            Message 5 of 23 , Feb 15, 2009
              Etznab,

              I included a bunch of Wikipedia stuff about religions in India below.
              But basically, Hindus are followers of the religion Hinduism. Wiki
              states that 80% of Indians are Hindus.

              Brahmin refers to the highest caste in India. The Brahams are the
              preists and scholars.

              The caste system was outlawed in India, but I don't know when. I
              believe that remnants of the caste system remain in India, but my
              acqaintance from India says that it is completely gone. I have to
              disagree with her on this one. Pick up any newspaper in India and
              look at the matrimonial section in the back. You will see what I
              consider to be caste-related statements such as listing the person's
              college degrees. Marrying someone of the same educational status in
              India seems to be extremely important. I see this as a leftover from
              the catse system. Not that this is a bad idea, but I get the
              impression that Indians carry this to an extreme (compared to us, of
              course).

              I guess we are getting off topic a bit, but after all, the teachings
              of Eckankar do come primarily from India.

              Jonathan

              =====================================================
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_India
              Hinduism accounts for 80% of the population of India.[1] The second
              largest religion is Islam, at about thirteen percent of the
              population. Stating the hospitality of Hinduism towards all other
              religions, John Hardon writes, "However, the most significant feature
              of current Hinduism is its creation of a non-Hindu State, in which
              all religions are equal;..."[2]

              Other native Indian religions are Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism.

              About two percent of Indians adhere to Christianity. Zoroastrianism
              and Judaism have an ancient history in India and each has several
              thousand Indian adherents.

              Though inter-religious marriage is not widely practiced, Indians are
              generally tolerant of other religions and retain a secular outlook.
              Inter-community clashes have never found widespread support in the
              social mainstream, and it is generally perceived that the causes of
              religious conflicts are political rather than ideological in nature.
              India's religious diversity extends to the highest levels of
              government. The Constitution of India declares the nation to be a
              secular republic that must uphold the right of citizens to freely
              worship and propagate any religion or faith (with activities subject
              to reasonable restrictions for the sake of morality, law and order,
              etc).[4][5]

              ------------------------------------

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sikhism
              Worldwide, there are 25.8 million Sikhs, and approximately 75% of
              Sikhs live in the Indian state of Punjab, where they constitute about
              60% of the state's population. Even though there is a large number of
              Sikhs in the world, certain religions have not recognized Sikhism as
              a major religion. Large communities of Sikhs live in the neighboring
              states, and large communities of Sikhs can be found across India.
              However, Sikhs only make up about 2% of the Indian population.

              [Jonathan's note: Sikhs are the men in India who wear turbans. For
              example, the present prime Minister of India. Kirplal Singh was a
              Sikh. The vast majority of Sikhs have the surname "Singh" which
              means "lion" in the Punjabi language, and special significance to
              Sikhs.]

              ------------------------------------

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahmin
              Brahmin (Brahma?a, ?????????) is the class of educators, law makers,
              scholars and preachers of Dharma in Hinduism[1][2][3][4]. It is said
              to occupy the highest position among the four varnas of Hinduism.[5]

              ------------------------------------

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_caste_system

              The Indian caste system describes the social stratification and
              social restrictions in the Indian subcontinent, in which social
              classes are defined by thousands of endogamous hereditary groups,
              often termed as jatis or castes.

              Although generally identified with Hinduism, the caste system was
              also observed among followers of other religions in the Indian
              subcontinent, including some groups of Muslims and Christians.[1] The
              Indian Constitution has outlawed caste-based discrimination, in
              keeping with the socialist, secular, democratic principles that
              founded the nation.[2] Caste barriers have mostly broken down in
              large cities,[3] though they persist in rural areas of the country.
              Nevertheless, the caste system, in various forms, continues to
              survive in modern India strengthened by a combination of social
              perceptions and divisive politics. [4][5]

              There is no universally accepted theory about the origin of the
              Indian caste system.[6] The Indian classes are similar to the ancient
              Iranian classes ("pistras"),[7] wherein the priests are Athravans,
              the warriors are Rathaestha, the merchants are Vastriya, and the
              artisans are Huiti.[8][9]

              The Sikh Gurus criticized the hierarchy in the caste system. Where
              some castes were perceived by people as being better or higher than
              others (e.g. Brahmins being higher than others) they preached all
              sections of society were valuable and merit and hard-work were
              essential aspects of life.
              =====================================================


              --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, etznab@... wrote:
              >
              >
              > When you say Hindus, are you talking about
              > Brahmins, or what? Far as I know, in India you
              > are born of a certain caste. I imagine they are
              > getting over this, but it sometimes helps to put
              > into context a person's religious perspective -
              > if caste matters to them that much, or not.
              >
              > Etznab
              >
              > -----Original Message-----
              > From: jonathanjohns96 <jonathanjohns96@...>
              > To: EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com
              > Sent: Sun, 15 Feb 2009 5:15 am
              > Subject: [EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous] Re: What do people in India
              think
              > of Eckankar?


              > Non ekster,
              > I agree with you that Hindus are very tolerant of other people's
              > religious beliefs. I have noticed the same thing, and I have know at
              > least ten Hindus from India. It must be taught in Hinduism or else
              > it wouldn't be there.
              > Maybe Hindus don't look down on Americans who practice TM or
              Hinduism
              > or Sikhism or Sant Mat. But I still think that their attitude is
              that
              > Americans are not practicing "the real thing." I think it is
              > impossible for Americans to practice "the real thing" mainly because
              > they grew up in America, not India.
              >
              > Jonathan
              >
            • etznab@aol.com
              Oh. OK. I forgot they did away with the caste system. Sometimes people refer to their family, or ancestry according to what caste it was. That was my
              Message 6 of 23 , Feb 17, 2009
                Oh. OK. I forgot they did away with the caste
                system. Sometimes people refer to their family,
                or ancestry according to what caste it was. That
                was my experience.

                Sorry to get off topic.

                Etznab

                -----Original Message-----
                From: jonathanjohns96 <jonathanjohns96@...>
                To: EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Sun, 15 Feb 2009 11:57 pm
                Subject: [EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous] Information about religions in
                India



                Etznab,



                I included a bunch of Wikipedia stuff about religions in India below.

                But basically, Hindus are followers of the religion Hinduism. Wiki

                states that 80% of Indians are Hindus.



                Brahmin refers to the highest caste in India. The Brahams are the

                preists and scholars.



                The caste system was outlawed in India, but I don't know when. I

                believe that remnants of the caste system remain in India, but my

                acqaintance from India says that it is completely gone. I have to

                disagree with her on this one. Pick up any newspaper in India and

                look at the matrimonial section in the back. You will see what I

                consider to be caste-related statements such as listing the person's

                college degrees. Marrying someone of the same educational status in

                India seems to be extremely important. I see this as a leftover from

                the catse system. Not that this is a bad idea, but I get the

                impression that Indians carry this to an extrem
                e (compared to us, of

                course).



                I guess we are getting off topic a bit, but after all, the teachings

                of Eckankar do come primarily from India.



                Jonathan



                =====================================================

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_India

                Hinduism accounts for 80% of the population of India.[1] The second

                largest religion is Islam, at about thirteen percent of the

                population. Stating the hospitality of Hinduism towards all other

                religions, John Hardon writes, "However, the most significant feature

                of current Hinduism is its creation of a non-Hindu State, in which

                all religions are equal;..."[2]



                Other native Indian religions are Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism.



                About two percent of Indians adhere to Christianity. Zoroastrianism

                and Judaism have an ancient history in India and each has several

                thousand Indian adherents.



                Though inter-religious marriage is not widely practiced, Indians are

                generally tolerant of other religions and retain a secular outlook.

                Inter-community clashes have never found widespread support in the

                social mainstream, and it is generally perceived that the causes of

                religious conflicts are political rather than ideological in nature.

                India's religious diversity extends to the highest levels of

                government. The Constitution of India declares the nation
                to be a

                secular republic that must uphold the right of citizens to freely

                worship and propagate any religion or faith (with activities subject

                to reasonable restrictions for the sake of morality, law and order,

                etc).[4][5]



                ------------------------------------



                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sikhism

                Worldwide, there are 25.8 million Sikhs, and approximately 75% of

                Sikhs live in the Indian state of Punjab, where they constitute about

                60% of the state's population. Even though there is a large number of

                Sikhs in the world, certain religions have not recognized Sikhism as

                a major religion. Large communities of Sikhs live in the neighboring

                states, and large communities of Sikhs can be found across India.

                However, Sikhs only make up about 2% of the Indian population.



                [Jonathan's note: Sikhs are the men in India who wear turbans. For

                example, the present prime Minister of India. Kirplal Singh was a

                Sikh. The vast majority of Sikhs have the surname "Singh" which

                means "lion" in the Punjabi language, and special significance to

                Sikhs.]



                ------------------------------------



                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahmin

                Brahmin (Brahma?a, ?????????) is the class of educators, law makers,

                scholars and preachers of Dharma in Hinduism[1][2][3][4]. It is said

                to occupy the highest position among the four varnas of Hinduism.[5]



                ------------------------------------

                =0
                A

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_caste_system



                The Indian caste system describes the social stratification and

                social restrictions in the Indian subcontinent, in which social

                classes are defined by thousands of endogamous hereditary groups,

                often termed as jatis or castes.



                Although generally identified with Hinduism, the caste system was

                also observed among followers of other religions in the Indian

                subcontinent, including some groups of Muslims and Christians.[1] The

                Indian Constitution has outlawed caste-based discrimination, in

                keeping with the socialist, secular, democratic principles that

                founded the nation.[2] Caste barriers have mostly broken down in

                large cities,[3] though they persist in rural areas of the country.

                Nevertheless, the caste system, in various forms, continues to

                survive in modern India strengthened by a combination of social

                perceptions and divisive politics. [4][5]



                There is no universally accepted theory about the origin of the

                Indian caste system.[6] The Indian classes are similar to the ancient

                Iranian classes ("pistras"),[7] wherein the priests are Athravans,

                the warriors are Rathaestha, the merchants are Vastriya, and the

                artisans are Huiti.[8][9]



                The Sikh Gurus criticized the hierarchy in the caste system. Where

                some castes were perceived by people as being better or higher than

                others (e.g. Brahmins being higher than others) they preached
                all

                sections of society were valuable and merit and hard-work were

                essential aspects of life.

                =====================================================



                --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, etznab@... wrote:

                >

                >

                > When you say Hindus, are you talking about

                > Brahmins, or what? Far as I know, in India you

                > are born of a certain caste. I imagine they are

                > getting over this, but it sometimes helps to put

                > into context a person's religious perspective -

                > if caste matters to them that much, or not.

                >

                > Etznab

                >

                > -----Original Message-----

                > From: jonathanjohns96 <jonathanjohns96@...>

                > To: EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com

                > Sent: Sun, 15 Feb 2009 5:15 am

                > Subject: [EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous] Re: What do people in India

                think

                > of Eckankar?



                > Non ekster,

                > I agree with you that Hindus are very tolerant of other people's

                > religious beliefs. I have noticed the same thing, and I have know
                at

                > least ten Hindus from India. It must be taught in Hinduism or else

                > it wouldn't be there.

                > Maybe Hindus don't look down on Americans who practice TM or

                Hinduism

                > or Sikhism or Sant Mat. But I still think that their attitude is

                that


                > Americans are not practicing "the real thing." I think it is

                > impossible for Americans to practice "the real thing" mainly
                because

                > they grew up in America, not India.

                >

                > Jonathan

                >
              • prometheus_973
                Hello Etznab and All, I know that the caste system was outlawed in India just like racial discrimination was outlawed here. However, discrimination is still
                Message 7 of 23 , Feb 17, 2009
                  Hello Etznab and All,
                  I know that the caste system was outlawed
                  in India just like racial discrimination was
                  outlawed here. However, discrimination is
                  still alive and well both here and there.

                  Sikhism rejected the caste system and ECKankar
                  comes from the Sikh sects of Ruhani Satsang and
                  Radhasoami. However, it seems, hierarchies have
                  taken the place of the castes.

                  Prometheus


                  etznab wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  > Oh. OK. I forgot they did away with the caste
                  > system. Sometimes people refer to their family,
                  > or ancestry according to what caste it was. That
                  > was my experience.
                  >
                  > Sorry to get off topic.
                  >
                  > Etznab
                  >
                  > -----Original Message-----
                  > From: jonathanjohns96 <jonathanjohns96@...>
                  > Information about religions in India
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Etznab,
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > I included a bunch of Wikipedia stuff about religions in India below.
                  >
                  > But basically, Hindus are followers of the religion Hinduism. Wiki
                  >
                  > states that 80% of Indians are Hindus.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Brahmin refers to the highest caste in India. The Brahams are the
                  >
                  > preists and scholars.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > The caste system was outlawed in India, but I don't know when. I
                  >
                  > believe that remnants of the caste system remain in India, but my
                  >
                  > acqaintance from India says that it is completely gone. I have to
                  >
                  > disagree with her on this one. Pick up any newspaper in India and
                  >
                  > look at the matrimonial section in the back. You will see what I
                  >
                  > consider to be caste-related statements such as listing the person's
                  >
                  > college degrees. Marrying someone of the same educational status in
                  >
                  > India seems to be extremely important. I see this as a leftover from
                  >
                  > the catse system. Not that this is a bad idea, but I get the
                  >
                  > impression that Indians carry this to an extreme (compared to us,
                  > of course).
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > I guess we are getting off topic a bit, but after all, the teachings
                  >
                  > of Eckankar do come primarily from India.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Jonathan
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > =====================================================
                  >
                  > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_India
                  >
                  > Hinduism accounts for 80% of the population of India.[1] The second
                  >
                  > largest religion is Islam, at about thirteen percent of the
                  >
                  > population. Stating the hospitality of Hinduism towards all other
                  >
                  > religions, John Hardon writes, "However, the most significant feature
                  >
                  > of current Hinduism is its creation of a non-Hindu State, in which
                  >
                  > all religions are equal;..."[2]
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Other native Indian religions are Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > About two percent of Indians adhere to Christianity. Zoroastrianism
                  >
                  > and Judaism have an ancient history in India and each has several
                  >
                  > thousand Indian adherents.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Though inter-religious marriage is not widely practiced, Indians are
                  >
                  > generally tolerant of other religions and retain a secular outlook.
                  >
                  > Inter-community clashes have never found widespread support in the
                  >
                  > social mainstream, and it is generally perceived that the causes of
                  >
                  > religious conflicts are political rather than ideological in nature.
                  >
                  > India's religious diversity extends to the highest levels of
                  >
                  > government. The Constitution of India declares the nation
                  > to be a
                  >
                  > secular republic that must uphold the right of citizens to freely
                  >
                  > worship and propagate any religion or faith (with activities subject
                  >
                  > to reasonable restrictions for the sake of morality, law and order,
                  >
                  > etc).[4][5]
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > ------------------------------------
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sikhism
                  >
                  > Worldwide, there are 25.8 million Sikhs, and approximately 75% of
                  >
                  > Sikhs live in the Indian state of Punjab, where they constitute about
                  >
                  > 60% of the state's population. Even though there is a large number of
                  >
                  > Sikhs in the world, certain religions have not recognized Sikhism as
                  >
                  > a major religion. Large communities of Sikhs live in the neighboring
                  >
                  > states, and large communities of Sikhs can be found across India.
                  >
                  > However, Sikhs only make up about 2% of the Indian population.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > [Jonathan's note: Sikhs are the men in India who wear turbans. For
                  >
                  > example, the present prime Minister of India. Kirplal Singh was a
                  >
                  > Sikh. The vast majority of Sikhs have the surname "Singh" which
                  >
                  > means "lion" in the Punjabi language, and special significance to
                  >
                  > Sikhs.]
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > ------------------------------------
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahmin
                  >
                  > Brahmin (Brahma?a, ?????????) is the class of educators, law makers,
                  >
                  > scholars and preachers of Dharma in Hinduism[1][2][3][4]. It is said
                  >
                  > to occupy the highest position among the four varnas of Hinduism.[5]
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > ------------------------------------
                  >
                  > =0
                  > A
                  >
                  > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_caste_system
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > The Indian caste system describes the social stratification and
                  >
                  > social restrictions in the Indian subcontinent, in which social
                  >
                  > classes are defined by thousands of endogamous hereditary groups,
                  >
                  > often termed as jatis or castes.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Although generally identified with Hinduism, the caste system was
                  >
                  > also observed among followers of other religions in the Indian
                  >
                  > subcontinent, including some groups of Muslims and Christians.[1] The
                  >
                  > Indian Constitution has outlawed caste-based discrimination, in
                  >
                  > keeping with the socialist, secular, democratic principles that
                  >
                  > founded the nation.[2] Caste barriers have mostly broken down in
                  >
                  > large cities,[3] though they persist in rural areas of the country.
                  >
                  > Nevertheless, the caste system, in various forms, continues to
                  >
                  > survive in modern India strengthened by a combination of social
                  >
                  > perceptions and divisive politics. [4][5]
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > There is no universally accepted theory about the origin of the
                  >
                  > Indian caste system.[6] The Indian classes are similar to the ancient
                  >
                  > Iranian classes ("pistras"),[7] wherein the priests are Athravans,
                  >
                  > the warriors are Rathaestha, the merchants are Vastriya, and the
                  >
                  > artisans are Huiti.[8][9]
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > The Sikh Gurus criticized the hierarchy in the caste system. Where
                  >
                  > some castes were perceived by people as being better or higher than
                  >
                  > others (e.g. Brahmins being higher than others) they preached
                  > all
                  >
                  > sections of society were valuable and merit and hard-work were
                  >
                  > essential aspects of life.
                  >
                  > =====================================================
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, etznab@ wrote:
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > > When you say Hindus, are you talking about
                  >
                  > > Brahmins, or what? Far as I know, in India you
                  >
                  > > are born of a certain caste. I imagine they are
                  >
                  > > getting over this, but it sometimes helps to put
                  >
                  > > into context a person's religious perspective -
                  >
                  > > if caste matters to them that much, or not.
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > > Etznab
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > > -----Original Message-----
                  >
                  > > From: jonathanjohns96 jonathanjohns96@
                  >
                  > > To: EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com
                  >
                  > > Sent: Sun, 15 Feb 2009 5:15 am
                  >
                  > > Subject: [EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous] Re: What do people in India
                  >
                  > think
                  >
                  > > of Eckankar?
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > > Non ekster,
                  >
                  > > I agree with you that Hindus are very tolerant of other people's
                  >
                  > > religious beliefs. I have noticed the same thing, and I have know
                  > at
                  >
                  > > least ten Hindus from India. It must be taught in Hinduism or else
                  >
                  > > it wouldn't be there.
                  >
                  > > Maybe Hindus don't look down on Americans who practice TM or
                  >
                  > Hinduism
                  >
                  > > or Sikhism or Sant Mat. But I still think that their attitude is
                  >
                  > that
                  >
                  >
                  > > Americans are not practicing "the real thing." I think it is
                  >
                  > > impossible for Americans to practice "the real thing" mainly
                  > because
                  >
                  > > they grew up in America, not India.
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > > Jonathan
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                • jonathanjohns96
                  All, This is a partial quote from my previous post: ...No religion ever perfectly translates to another culture. Many years ago I knew a girl, she was about
                  Message 8 of 23 , Mar 8, 2009
                    All,

                    This is a partial quote from my previous post:
                    "...No religion ever perfectly translates to another culture."

                    "Many years ago I knew a girl, she was about 17 at the time. Her mother was from Haiti. She could hardly keep from laughing as she described to me what her Catholic mother did. She told me that "My mom has this alter with these little figurines of Mary and Jesus, but also a number of figurines from Voodoo. I don't even know what she does when she is there." Obviously, this is Haiti's version of Catholicism. (You probably know what teenagers are like.)"

                    [Me:] I just wanted to mention that I have nothing against Voodoo. This quote was just a story about a teenage girl being embarrased by her mother's religion.

                    In American culture (read Christianity} there seem to be a bias against several religions. The four that I can think of are Voodoo, Wicca, Satanism, and Native American Shamanism. People from a Christian-based perspective tend to look at all four of these as "devil worship" to one degree or another.

                    I honestly don't know anything about most of them except Native American Shamanism. I know that putting curses on other people is found in Voodoo and Wicca. Probabaly also in Native American Shamanism, but most shamans today don't do that. Of course, I'm not in favor of putting curses on other people, but Christianity and Eckankar put curses on their followers by giving them a fear of damnation and astral Hells, but then instruct their followers to not do the same.

                    Personally, I try not to look down on, or judge other people's religions. I thought that is what Eckankar taught me. And since I know very little about these religions I am even less inclined to judge them.

                    I personally knew a guy whose mother was a Wiccan. He seemed perfectly normal to me. He was a lot higher quality person that a lot of other people I have met. So if a Wiccan (single mother) raised a great kid like this, who am I to judge?

                    Is Native American Shamanism devil worship? A few years ago an African-American Christian woman told me that it is although what she actually said was that Native American Shamanism is Satanism because it believes in animal spirits. I was shocked to hear this lady's opinion, but that's what relgions do to people.

                    Jonathan
                  • jonathanjohns96
                    All, In th epast year or two before I left Eckankar I heard one member of Eckankar comment on how the local Barnes and Noble had prevented Satanists from
                    Message 9 of 23 , Mar 8, 2009
                      All,

                      In th epast year or two before I left Eckankar I heard one member of Eckankar comment on how the local Barnes and Noble had prevented Satanists from giving lectures there. She seemed to think that was a good idea. I think her attiyude was very short-sighted because my opinion at that time as a member of Eckankar was "Satanism now, Eckankar next."

                      I think that Jesus said something that might apply here "Judge not lest ye be judged."

                      Jonathan

                      --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "jonathanjohns96" <jonathanjohns96@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > All,
                      >
                      > This is a partial quote from my previous post:
                      > "...No religion ever perfectly translates to another culture."
                      >
                      > "Many years ago I knew a girl, she was about 17 at the time. Her mother was from Haiti. She could hardly keep from laughing as she described to me what her Catholic mother did. She told me that "My mom has this alter with these little figurines of Mary and Jesus, but also a number of figurines from Voodoo. I don't even know what she does when she is there." Obviously, this is Haiti's version of Catholicism. (You probably know what teenagers are like.)"
                      >
                      > [Me:] I just wanted to mention that I have nothing against Voodoo. This quote was just a story about a teenage girl being embarrased by her mother's religion.
                      >
                      > In American culture (read Christianity} there seem to be a bias against several religions. The four that I can think of are Voodoo, Wicca, Satanism, and Native American Shamanism. People from a Christian-based perspective tend to look at all four of these as "devil worship" to one degree or another.
                      >
                      > I honestly don't know anything about most of them except Native American Shamanism. I know that putting curses on other people is found in Voodoo and Wicca. Probabaly also in Native American Shamanism, but most shamans today don't do that. Of course, I'm not in favor of putting curses on other people, but Christianity and Eckankar put curses on their followers by giving them a fear of damnation and astral Hells, but then instruct their followers to not do the same.
                      >
                      > Personally, I try not to look down on, or judge other people's religions. I thought that is what Eckankar taught me. And since I know very little about these religions I am even less inclined to judge them.
                      >
                      > I personally knew a guy whose mother was a Wiccan. He seemed perfectly normal to me. He was a lot higher quality person that a lot of other people I have met. So if a Wiccan (single mother) raised a great kid like this, who am I to judge?
                      >
                      > Is Native American Shamanism devil worship? A few years ago an African-American Christian woman told me that it is although what she actually said was that Native American Shamanism is Satanism because it believes in animal spirits. I was shocked to hear this lady's opinion, but that's what relgions do to people.
                      >
                      > Jonathan
                      >
                    • jonathanjohns96
                      All, I think I finally figured out how this subject relates to myself and Eckankar. 1. I had a personal interest in Native American Shamanism, but one reason
                      Message 10 of 23 , Mar 8, 2009
                        All,

                        I think I finally figured out how this subject relates to myself and Eckankar.

                        1. I had a personal interest in Native American Shamanism, but one reason that I was never able to pursue it was because I was an Eckist and I was always worried that I was doing something that was not approved by Eckankar.

                        2. Some Eckists are hypocritical. They badmouth Satanism or Scientology, but expect the mainstream members of American society to respect Eckankar. Right before I left Eckankar I did hear one Eckists commenting on how much money people have to spend as members of Scientology (so Eckankar would look good in comparison). I don't badmouth Scientology because I know nothing about it.
                        Jonathan


                        --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "jonathanjohns96" <jonathanjohns96@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > All,
                        >
                        > In th epast year or two before I left Eckankar I heard one member of Eckankar comment on how the local Barnes and Noble had prevented Satanists from giving lectures there. She seemed to think that was a good idea. I think her attiyude was very short-sighted because my opinion at that time as a member of Eckankar was "Satanism now, Eckankar next."
                        >
                        > I think that Jesus said something that might apply here "Judge not lest ye be judged."
                        >
                        > Jonathan
                        >
                        > --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "jonathanjohns96" <jonathanjohns96@> wrote:
                        > >
                        > > All,
                        > >
                        > > This is a partial quote from my previous post:
                        > > "...No religion ever perfectly translates to another culture."
                        > >
                        > > "Many years ago I knew a girl, she was about 17 at the time. Her mother was from Haiti. She could hardly keep from laughing as she described to me what her Catholic mother did. She told me that "My mom has this alter with these little figurines of Mary and Jesus, but also a number of figurines from Voodoo. I don't even know what she does when she is there." Obviously, this is Haiti's version of Catholicism. (You probably know what teenagers are like.)"
                        > >
                        > > [Me:] I just wanted to mention that I have nothing against Voodoo. This quote was just a story about a teenage girl being embarrased by her mother's religion.
                        > >
                        > > In American culture (read Christianity} there seem to be a bias against several religions. The four that I can think of are Voodoo, Wicca, Satanism, and Native American Shamanism. People from a Christian-based perspective tend to look at all four of these as "devil worship" to one degree or another.
                        > >
                        > > I honestly don't know anything about most of them except Native American Shamanism. I know that putting curses on other people is found in Voodoo and Wicca. Probabaly also in Native American Shamanism, but most shamans today don't do that. Of course, I'm not in favor of putting curses on other people, but Christianity and Eckankar put curses on their followers by giving them a fear of damnation and astral Hells, but then instruct their followers to not do the same.
                        > >
                        > > Personally, I try not to look down on, or judge other people's religions. I thought that is what Eckankar taught me. And since I know very little about these religions I am even less inclined to judge them.
                        > >
                        > > I personally knew a guy whose mother was a Wiccan. He seemed perfectly normal to me. He was a lot higher quality person that a lot of other people I have met. So if a Wiccan (single mother) raised a great kid like this, who am I to judge?
                        > >
                        > > Is Native American Shamanism devil worship? A few years ago an African-American Christian woman told me that it is although what she actually said was that Native American Shamanism is Satanism because it believes in animal spirits. I was shocked to hear this lady's opinion, but that's what relgions do to people.
                        > >
                        > > Jonathan
                        > >
                        >
                      • mishmisha9
                        Jonathan, you have made some interesting comments regarding other religions and how eckists view them. A big part of the eckankar dogma is to instill in a
                        Message 11 of 23 , Mar 8, 2009
                          Jonathan, you have made some interesting comments
                          regarding other religions and how eckists view them. A
                          big part of the eckankar dogma is to instill in a member's
                          mind that being an eckist is to be an enlightened/chosen
                          one--planting the seed of spiritual superiority. And yet,
                          the way chelas are held back from advancing in a timely
                          manner via initiations, it seems rather funny that chelas
                          can feel superior to other religious groups while they
                          themselves are kept in a very subservient standing within
                          the eckankar circle.

                          I do respect other's rights to their religious beliefs and
                          practices, but admit that I am concerned and bothered by
                          fanatics, fundalmentalists and radicals. In fact, these factions
                          are pretty scary.

                          Yesterday, I met a gentleman--a very interesting and polite
                          fellow who shared a bit about his background, stating that
                          he came to North America in 1972 from an African country.
                          He very easily added too that he was a moslem. Now, I do not
                          care for Islam at all as I believe it is very archaic and being a
                          female . . . well, I'm just glad I never had to follow such religious
                          teachings. However, I liked this man very much and it does
                          not bother me that he is a moslem at all. He obviously practices
                          the best aspects of it . . .

                          But frankly, I have come to not like religions at all . . . they are
                          manmade for the purpose of controlling and manipulating
                          groups of people. I have never met a religion that didn't instill
                          fear in its followers . . . and some also teach hatred and violence.
                          I do not respect religion, but I do respect and like people, even
                          if I do not share their beliefs.

                          Anyway, just a few comments in response to your interesting
                          posts.

                          Thanks,
                          Mish

                          --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "jonathanjohns96" <jonathanjohns96@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > All,
                          >
                          > I think I finally figured out how this subject relates to myself and Eckankar.
                          >
                          > 1. I had a personal interest in Native American Shamanism, but one reason that I was never able to pursue it was because I was an Eckist and I was always worried that I was doing something that was not approved by Eckankar.
                          >
                          > 2. Some Eckists are hypocritical. They badmouth Satanism or Scientology, but expect the mainstream members of American society to respect Eckankar. Right before I left Eckankar I did hear one Eckists commenting on how much money people have to spend as members of Scientology (so Eckankar would look good in comparison). I don't badmouth Scientology because I know nothing about it.
                          > Jonathan
                          >
                          >
                          > --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "jonathanjohns96" <jonathanjohns96@> wrote:
                          > >
                          > > All,
                          > >
                          > > In th epast year or two before I left Eckankar I heard one member of Eckankar comment on how the local Barnes and Noble had prevented Satanists from giving lectures there. She seemed to think that was a good idea. I think her attiyude was very short-sighted because my opinion at that time as a member of Eckankar was "Satanism now, Eckankar next."
                          > >
                          > > I think that Jesus said something that might apply here "Judge not lest ye be judged."
                          > >
                          > > Jonathan
                          > >
                          > > --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "jonathanjohns96" <jonathanjohns96@> wrote:
                          > > >
                          > > > All,
                          > > >
                          > > > This is a partial quote from my previous post:
                          > > > "...No religion ever perfectly translates to another culture."
                          > > >
                          > > > "Many years ago I knew a girl, she was about 17 at the time. Her mother was from Haiti. She could hardly keep from laughing as she described to me what her Catholic mother did. She told me that "My mom has this alter with these little figurines of Mary and Jesus, but also a number of figurines from Voodoo. I don't even know what she does when she is there." Obviously, this is Haiti's version of Catholicism. (You probably know what teenagers are like.)"
                          > > >
                          > > > [Me:] I just wanted to mention that I have nothing against Voodoo. This quote was just a story about a teenage girl being embarrased by her mother's religion.
                          > > >
                          > > > In American culture (read Christianity} there seem to be a bias against several religions. The four that I can think of are Voodoo, Wicca, Satanism, and Native American Shamanism. People from a Christian-based perspective tend to look at all four of these as "devil worship" to one degree or another.
                          > > >
                          > > > I honestly don't know anything about most of them except Native American Shamanism. I know that putting curses on other people is found in Voodoo and Wicca. Probabaly also in Native American Shamanism, but most shamans today don't do that. Of course, I'm not in favor of putting curses on other people, but Christianity and Eckankar put curses on their followers by giving them a fear of damnation and astral Hells, but then instruct their followers to not do the same.
                          > > >
                          > > > Personally, I try not to look down on, or judge other people's religions. I thought that is what Eckankar taught me. And since I know very little about these religions I am even less inclined to judge them.
                          > > >
                          > > > I personally knew a guy whose mother was a Wiccan. He seemed perfectly normal to me. He was a lot higher quality person that a lot of other people I have met. So if a Wiccan (single mother) raised a great kid like this, who am I to judge?
                          > > >
                          > > > Is Native American Shamanism devil worship? A few years ago an African-American Christian woman told me that it is although what she actually said was that Native American Shamanism is Satanism because it believes in animal spirits. I was shocked to hear this lady's opinion, but that's what relgions do to people.
                          > > >
                          > > > Jonathan
                          > > >
                          > >
                          >
                        • jonathanjohns96
                          Mish, You also mention the Eckists as elitists trait (my words). I will be including that fact in my discussion in this post. You also stated I do respect
                          Message 12 of 23 , Mar 9, 2009
                            Mish,

                            You also mention the "Eckists as elitists" trait (my words). I will be including that fact in my discussion in this post.

                            You also stated "I do respect other's rights to their religious beliefs and practices, but admit that I am concerned and bothered by fanatics, fundalmentalists and radicals. In fact, these factions are pretty scary."

                            I understand your concern over "fanatics and radicals," but only if they try to force their beliefs on me. Otherwise what they do is none of my business. If they are breaking the laws of their country then they will ahve to deal with that.

                            A Moslem man acurately pointed out to me that "fundalmentalist" simply means that a person follows a very basic form of their religion. In other words, Christian Amish, Orthodox Jews, and Moslems who follow Islam as it was followed 500 years ago are all legitimately "fundalmentalists." What has happenned is that the news media in the United States has brainwashed Americans to believe that Muslims who practice an ancient form of Islam (fundamentalists by definition) are radicals as well. They have done this by reinforcing the belief that Muslims restrict women, therefore they are wrong, therefore the news media managed to change the phrase "Muslim fundamentalists" to mean something dangerous. Something that need to be controlled. Therefore, the United States can justify going around the world forcing everybody to be like they are.

                            So the new media has managed to brainwash Americans into believing that a Muslim society that restricts women (by American standards, of course) is synonymous with a Muslim man with a rocket launcher on his shoulder. It's a big lie. But it was used to help justify our involvement in Afghanistan (we're there to help Afghan women, therefore the war is a noble and justified cause).

                            If there are religions in the world that restrict women then let the men and women in those religions do something about it if they choose. It really is nobody else's business to interfere. This policy of America interfering in other peoples around the world is really an extension of Christianity which feels that it has the right to change others to what it believes is right. It happened during the Christian Crusades, and the United States of America is doing it today.

                            Yes, I know Muslims have done this too. I know that Muslims did it in Eastern Europe and Northern India. It has been a tendency of both Christianity and Islam for a very long time.

                            So, onto my next discussion:

                            I just did a search for blogs about Eckankar and the #1 hit was a blog named "Religion or Revelation."

                            ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            Blog named "Religion or Revelation"
                            http://christfocused.wordpress.com/2009/03/05/religion-or-revelation/

                            Ever notice the universal reality of how "religious" our world is today?
                            We live in a "enlightened society" and notice how highly religious we are.

                            Interesting facts: probably already outdated!
                            In our country there are many different religions.
                            Buddhism – 1.5 million +
                            Mormons – 13 million (worldwide)
                            Hindu – 1 million +
                            Agnostics – 1.4 million +
                            Atheists – 1.3 million +
                            Baha'i – 120 thousand +
                            Taoist – 50 thousand +
                            Scientology – 100 thousand +
                            Eckankar – 30 thousand +
                            Pagans/Wicca/Druids – conservatively – 1 million +

                            So conservatively we have millions of "Religiously" lost souls in America.

                            Why would I say they are "religious" and lost?
                            Every religion that is not based on "God's Word" alone is a distortion of the one true God's revealed truth.
                            The truth is only found in the 66 books of the Old and New Testament which reveals God's will and way to heaven that comes to us by grace alone through faith alone in the finished work of Jesus Christ alone.
                            John 14:6 (ESV)
                            6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

                            In truth all other religions according to Scripture are distortions of the reality of what Biblical Christianity teaches.
                            ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                            Notice the last sentence that I quoted. It sounds exactly like what Eckankar says, doesn't it? It's an elitist view that says "Only our religion is correct." Soon after that people like this start to judge and criticise things they know nothing about. And this blog is what we often get as a result of that.

                            It seems to me that some former Eckists are taking their experience with Eckankar and then applying it to every religion/cult that they see out there. I think it is a shortsighted practice. I guess my point about the members of Eckankar and all of we former members is that we should strive to comment on what we have experience in. For myself, I am going to try very hard to critique only what I know about which is Eckankar, and to a lesser degree, Christianity.

                            Ultimately, I guess I have been struggling with whether I should start calling Eckankar a cult. If I did that then I would have to call all of the large religions cults as well, and I am not prepared to do that. Either all of them are cults or all of them are religions.

                            In conclusion, perhaps this is the overall pattern I am seeing:

                            Present members of Eckankar:
                            They blast small religions/cults because these current members have an elitist view that Eckankar is inherently superior. So they blast Scientology and Satanists.

                            Former members of Eckankar:
                            They blast small religions/cults because these former members have so much anger at Eckankar, any time they see something else that reminds them of Eckankar they blast it too. So they blast Scientology.

                            Jonathan


                            --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "mishmisha9" <mishmisha9@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Jonathan, you have made some interesting comments
                            > regarding other religions and how eckists view them. A
                            > big part of the eckankar dogma is to instill in a member's
                            > mind that being an eckist is to be an enlightened/chosen
                            > one--planting the seed of spiritual superiority. And yet,
                            > the way chelas are held back from advancing in a timely
                            > manner via initiations, it seems rather funny that chelas
                            > can feel superior to other religious groups while they
                            > themselves are kept in a very subservient standing within
                            > the eckankar circle.
                            >
                            > I do respect other's rights to their religious beliefs and
                            > practices, but admit that I am concerned and bothered by
                            > fanatics, fundalmentalists and radicals. In fact, these factions
                            > are pretty scary.
                            >
                            > Yesterday, I met a gentleman--a very interesting and polite
                            > fellow who shared a bit about his background, stating that
                            > he came to North America in 1972 from an African country.
                            > He very easily added too that he was a moslem. Now, I do not
                            > care for Islam at all as I believe it is very archaic and being a
                            > female . . . well, I'm just glad I never had to follow such religious
                            > teachings. However, I liked this man very much and it does
                            > not bother me that he is a moslem at all. He obviously practices
                            > the best aspects of it . . .
                            >
                            > But frankly, I have come to not like religions at all . . . they are
                            > manmade for the purpose of controlling and manipulating
                            > groups of people. I have never met a religion that didn't instill
                            > fear in its followers . . . and some also teach hatred and violence.
                            > I do not respect religion, but I do respect and like people, even
                            > if I do not share their beliefs.
                            >
                            > Anyway, just a few comments in response to your interesting
                            > posts.
                            >
                            > Thanks,
                            > Mish
                            >
                            > --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "jonathanjohns96" <jonathanjohns96@> wrote:
                          • jonathanjohns96
                            All, I guess I vented a whole lot about US foreign policy in my last post. But I truly believe it is related to our discussion: respect for other religions.
                            Message 13 of 23 , Mar 9, 2009
                              All,

                              I guess I vented a whole lot about US foreign policy in my last post. But I truly believe it is related to our discussion: respect for other religions. The United States' Christian attitude is going around the world trying to impose their beliefs on everybody else.

                              I'd like to tell you about one more thing. I knew a very insecure man (not Paul T) who married a very compliant, unworldly woman. She disn't care to be informed about the world and that kind of stuff. So he was the "big s$!t" in the family. He knew everything, he was always right. But after 15 years of marriage, she grew, she became smarter, she started to have an opinion. Eventually, she kicked him out and divorced him. You know aht he told me? He told me that his marriage broke down because his wife didn't go to church enough. If only she had gone to church she would have understood the basic, God-based marriage. The truth is, this guy hadn't been to Catecism since about age 14 and had absolutely no interest in religion of any sort. Funny how even near-athiests have no problem invoking the importance of religion when they need/want to control people.

                              One point about this story is this. My friend would want you interfering in his affairs. It's nobody else's business unless he or his wife commit a crime. It's up to them to sort it out. Likewise, I don't think the U.S. should be interfering in other countries affairs.

                              Sorry for going off topic, but I guess it is releted, but in a global sense.

                              Jonathan

                              --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "jonathanjohns96" <jonathanjohns96@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Mish,
                              >
                              > You also mention the "Eckists as elitists" trait (my words). I will be including that fact in my discussion in this post.
                              >
                              > You also stated "I do respect other's rights to their religious beliefs and practices, but admit that I am concerned and bothered by fanatics, fundalmentalists and radicals. In fact, these factions are pretty scary."
                              >
                              > I understand your concern over "fanatics and radicals," but only if they try to force their beliefs on me. Otherwise what they do is none of my business. If they are breaking the laws of their country then they will ahve to deal with that.
                              >
                              > A Moslem man acurately pointed out to me that "fundalmentalist" simply means that a person follows a very basic form of their religion. In other words, Christian Amish, Orthodox Jews, and Moslems who follow Islam as it was followed 500 years ago are all legitimately "fundalmentalists." What has happenned is that the news media in the United States has brainwashed Americans to believe that Muslims who practice an ancient form of Islam (fundamentalists by definition) are radicals as well. They have done this by reinforcing the belief that Muslims restrict women, therefore they are wrong, therefore the news media managed to change the phrase "Muslim fundamentalists" to mean something dangerous. Something that need to be controlled. Therefore, the United States can justify going around the world forcing everybody to be like they are.
                              >
                              > So the new media has managed to brainwash Americans into believing that a Muslim society that restricts women (by American standards, of course) is synonymous with a Muslim man with a rocket launcher on his shoulder. It's a big lie. But it was used to help justify our involvement in Afghanistan (we're there to help Afghan women, therefore the war is a noble and justified cause).
                              >
                              > If there are religions in the world that restrict women then let the men and women in those religions do something about it if they choose. It really is nobody else's business to interfere. This policy of America interfering in other peoples around the world is really an extension of Christianity which feels that it has the right to change others to what it believes is right. It happened during the Christian Crusades, and the United States of America is doing it today.
                              >
                              > Yes, I know Muslims have done this too. I know that Muslims did it in Eastern Europe and Northern India. It has been a tendency of both Christianity and Islam for a very long time.
                              >
                              > So, onto my next discussion:
                              >
                              > I just did a search for blogs about Eckankar and the #1 hit was a blog named "Religion or Revelation."
                              >
                              > ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              > Blog named "Religion or Revelation"
                              > http://christfocused.wordpress.com/2009/03/05/religion-or-revelation/
                              >
                              > Ever notice the universal reality of how "religious" our world is today?
                              > We live in a "enlightened society" and notice how highly religious we are.
                              >
                              > Interesting facts: probably already outdated!
                              > In our country there are many different religions.
                              > Buddhism – 1.5 million +
                              > Mormons – 13 million (worldwide)
                              > Hindu – 1 million +
                              > Agnostics – 1.4 million +
                              > Atheists – 1.3 million +
                              > Baha'i – 120 thousand +
                              > Taoist – 50 thousand +
                              > Scientology – 100 thousand +
                              > Eckankar – 30 thousand +
                              > Pagans/Wicca/Druids – conservatively – 1 million +
                              >
                              > So conservatively we have millions of "Religiously" lost souls in America.
                              >
                              > Why would I say they are "religious" and lost?
                              > Every religion that is not based on "God's Word" alone is a distortion of the one true God's revealed truth.
                              > The truth is only found in the 66 books of the Old and New Testament which reveals God's will and way to heaven that comes to us by grace alone through faith alone in the finished work of Jesus Christ alone.
                              > John 14:6 (ESV)
                              > 6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
                              >
                              > In truth all other religions according to Scripture are distortions of the reality of what Biblical Christianity teaches.
                              > ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              >
                              > Notice the last sentence that I quoted. It sounds exactly like what Eckankar says, doesn't it? It's an elitist view that says "Only our religion is correct." Soon after that people like this start to judge and criticise things they know nothing about. And this blog is what we often get as a result of that.
                              >
                              > It seems to me that some former Eckists are taking their experience with Eckankar and then applying it to every religion/cult that they see out there. I think it is a shortsighted practice. I guess my point about the members of Eckankar and all of we former members is that we should strive to comment on what we have experience in. For myself, I am going to try very hard to critique only what I know about which is Eckankar, and to a lesser degree, Christianity.
                              >
                              > Ultimately, I guess I have been struggling with whether I should start calling Eckankar a cult. If I did that then I would have to call all of the large religions cults as well, and I am not prepared to do that. Either all of them are cults or all of them are religions.
                              >
                              > In conclusion, perhaps this is the overall pattern I am seeing:
                              >
                              > Present members of Eckankar:
                              > They blast small religions/cults because these current members have an elitist view that Eckankar is inherently superior. So they blast Scientology and Satanists.
                              >
                              > Former members of Eckankar:
                              > They blast small religions/cults because these former members have so much anger at Eckankar, any time they see something else that reminds them of Eckankar they blast it too. So they blast Scientology.
                              >
                              > Jonathan
                              >
                              >
                              > --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "mishmisha9" <mishmisha9@> wrote:
                              > >
                              > > Jonathan, you have made some interesting comments
                              > > regarding other religions and how eckists view them. A
                              > > big part of the eckankar dogma is to instill in a member's
                              > > mind that being an eckist is to be an enlightened/chosen
                              > > one--planting the seed of spiritual superiority. And yet,
                              > > the way chelas are held back from advancing in a timely
                              > > manner via initiations, it seems rather funny that chelas
                              > > can feel superior to other religious groups while they
                              > > themselves are kept in a very subservient standing within
                              > > the eckankar circle.
                              > >
                              > > I do respect other's rights to their religious beliefs and
                              > > practices, but admit that I am concerned and bothered by
                              > > fanatics, fundalmentalists and radicals. In fact, these factions
                              > > are pretty scary.
                              > >
                              > > Yesterday, I met a gentleman--a very interesting and polite
                              > > fellow who shared a bit about his background, stating that
                              > > he came to North America in 1972 from an African country.
                              > > He very easily added too that he was a moslem. Now, I do not
                              > > care for Islam at all as I believe it is very archaic and being a
                              > > female . . . well, I'm just glad I never had to follow such religious
                              > > teachings. However, I liked this man very much and it does
                              > > not bother me that he is a moslem at all. He obviously practices
                              > > the best aspects of it . . .
                              > >
                              > > But frankly, I have come to not like religions at all . . . they are
                              > > manmade for the purpose of controlling and manipulating
                              > > groups of people. I have never met a religion that didn't instill
                              > > fear in its followers . . . and some also teach hatred and violence.
                              > > I do not respect religion, but I do respect and like people, even
                              > > if I do not share their beliefs.
                              > >
                              > > Anyway, just a few comments in response to your interesting
                              > > posts.
                              > >
                              > > Thanks,
                              > > Mish
                              > >
                              > > --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "jonathanjohns96" <jonathanjohns96@> wrote:
                              >
                            • etznab@aol.com
                              I think there were more members than that During the time of Darwin Gross. Someone at atom.org suggested 3 million by the time Darwin was ousted. I never heard
                              Message 14 of 23 , Mar 9, 2009
                                I think there were more members than that
                                During the time of Darwin Gross. Someone
                                at atom.org suggested 3 million by the time
                                Darwin was ousted.

                                I never heard that number during my time
                                in Eckankar (beginning 1987). The number
                                that does come to mind is 50,000 +.

                                If those figures you gave are correct then
                                membership has declined, I suspect.

                                BTW, there was an article in paper today
                                about a new study about religious members.
                                Part of the title read "Those claiming to have
                                no religion on increase" The report was from
                                The Program on Public Values at Trinity Coll-
                                ege in Hartford, Conn. They surveyed "54,461
                                adults in English or Spanish from February
                                through November of last year".

                                Etznab

                                -----Original Message-----
                                From: jonathanjohns96 <jonathanjohns96@...>
                                To: EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com
                                Sent: Mon, 9 Mar 2009 3:06 pm
                                Subject: [EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous] Re: Voodoo, Wicca, Satanism,
                                Native American Shamanism



                                Mish,



                                You also mention the "Eckists as elitists" trait (my words). I will be
                                including that fact in my discussion in this post.



                                You also stated "I do respect other's rights to their religious beliefs
                                and practices, but admit that I am concerned and bothered by fanatics,
                                fundalmentalists and radicals. In fact, these factions are pretty
                                scary."



                                I understand your concern over "fanatics and radicals," but only if
                                they
                                try to force their beliefs on me. Otherwise what they do is none
                                of my business. If they are breaking the laws of their country then
                                they will ahve to deal with that.



                                A Moslem man acurately pointed out to me that "fundalmentalist" simply
                                means that a person follows a very basic form of their religion. In
                                other words, Christian Amish, Orthodox Jews, and Moslems who follow
                                Islam as it was followed 500 years ago are all legitimately
                                "fundalmentalists." What has happenned is that the news media in the
                                United States has brainwashed Americans to believe that Muslims who
                                practice an ancient form of Islam (fundamentalists by definition) are
                                radicals as well. They have done this by reinforcing the belief that
                                Muslims restrict women, therefore they are wrong, therefore the news
                                media managed to change the phrase "Muslim fundamentalists" to mean
                                something dangerous. Something that need to be controlled. Therefore,
                                the United States can justify going around the world forcing everybody
                                to be like they are.



                                So the new media has managed to brainwash Americans into believing that
                                a Muslim society that restricts women (by American standards, of
                                course) is synonymous with a Muslim man with a rocket launcher on his
                                shoulder. It's a big lie. But it was used to help justify our
                                involvement in Afghanistan (we're there to help Afghan women, therefore
                                the war is a noble and justified cause).



                                If there=2
                                0are religions in the world that restrict women then let the
                                men and women in those religions do something about it if they choose.
                                It really is nobody else's business to interfere. This policy of
                                America interfering in other peoples around the world is really an
                                extension of Christianity which feels that it has the right to change
                                others to what it believes is right. It happened during the Christian
                                Crusades, and the United States of America is doing it today.



                                Yes, I know Muslims have done this too. I know that Muslims did it in
                                Eastern Europe and Northern India. It has been a tendency of both
                                Christianity and Islam for a very long time.



                                So, onto my next discussion:



                                I just did a search for blogs about Eckankar and the #1 hit was a blog
                                named "Religion or Revelation."



                                ----------------------------------------------------------

                                Blog named "Religion or Revelation"

                                http://christfocused.wordpress.com/2009/03/05/religion-or-revelation/



                                Ever notice the universal reality of how "religious" our world is today?

                                We live in a "enlightened society" and notice how highly religious we
                                are.



                                Interesting facts: probably already outdated!

                                In our country there are many different religions.

                                Buddhism – 1.5 million +

                                Mormons – 13 million (worldwide)

                                Hindu – 1 million +

                                Agnostics – 1.4 million +

                                Atheists – 1.3 million +



                                Baha'i – 120 thousand +

                                Taoist – 50 thousand +

                                Scientology – 100 thousand +

                                Eckankar – 30 thousand +

                                Pagans/Wicca/Druids – conservatively – 1 million +



                                So conservatively we have millions of "Religiously" lost souls in
                                America.



                                Why would I say they are "religious" and lost?

                                Every religion that is not based on "God's Word" alone is a distortion
                                of the one true God's revealed truth.

                                The truth is only found in the 66 books of the Old and New Testament
                                which reveals God's will and way to heaven that comes to us by grace
                                alone through faith alone in the finished work of Jesus Christ alone.

                                John 14:6 (ESV)

                                6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one
                                comes to the Father except through me.



                                In truth all other religions according to Scripture are distortions of
                                the reality of what Biblical Christianity teaches.

                                ----------------------------------------------------------



                                Notice the last sentence that I quoted. It sounds exactly like what
                                Eckankar says, doesn't it? It's an elitist view that says "Only our
                                religion is correct." Soon after that people like this start to judge
                                and criticise things they know nothing about. And this blog is what we
                                often get as a result of that.



                                It seems to me that some former Eckists are taking their experience
                                with Eckankar20and then applying it to every religion/cult that they see
                                out there. I think it is a shortsighted practice. I guess my point
                                about the members of Eckankar and all of we former members is that we
                                should strive to comment on what we have experience in. For myself, I
                                am going to try very hard to critique only what I know about which is
                                Eckankar, and to a lesser degree, Christianity.



                                Ultimately, I guess I have been struggling with whether I should start
                                calling Eckankar a cult. If I did that then I would have to call all of
                                the large religions cults as well, and I am not prepared to do that.
                                Either all of them are cults or all of them are religions.



                                In conclusion, perhaps this is the overall pattern I am seeing:



                                Present members of Eckankar:

                                They blast small religions/cults because these current members have an
                                elitist view that Eckankar is inherently superior. So they blast
                                Scientology and Satanists.



                                Former members of Eckankar:

                                They blast small religions/cults because these former members have so
                                much anger at Eckankar, any time they see something else that reminds
                                them of Eckankar they blast it too. So they blast Scientology.



                                Jonathan



                                --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "mishmisha9"
                                <mishmisha9@...> wrote:

                                >

                                > Jonathan, you have made some interesting comments

                                > regarding other religions and how eckists
                                view them. A

                                > big part of the eckankar dogma is to instill in a member's

                                > mind that being an eckist is to be an enlightened/chosen

                                > one--planting the seed of spiritual superiority. And yet,

                                > the way chelas are held back from advancing in a timely

                                > manner via initiations, it seems rather funny that chelas

                                > can feel superior to other religious groups while they

                                > themselves are kept in a very subservient standing within

                                > the eckankar circle.

                                >

                                > I do respect other's rights to their religious beliefs and

                                > practices, but admit that I am concerned and bothered by

                                > fanatics, fundalmentalists and radicals. In fact, these factions

                                > are pretty scary.

                                >

                                > Yesterday, I met a gentleman--a very interesting and polite

                                > fellow who shared a bit about his background, stating that

                                > he came to North America in 1972 from an African country.

                                > He very easily added too that he was a moslem. Now, I do not

                                > care for Islam at all as I believe it is very archaic and being a

                                > female . . . well, I'm just glad I never had to follow such
                                religious

                                > teachings. However, I liked this man very much and it does

                                > not bother me that he is a moslem at all. He obviously practices

                                > the best aspects of it . . .

                                >

                                > But frankly, I have come to not like re
                                ligions at all . . . they
                                are

                                > manmade for the purpose of controlling and manipulating

                                > groups of people. I have never met a religion that didn't instill

                                > fear in its followers . . . and some also teach hatred and
                                violence.

                                > I do not respect religion, but I do respect and like people, even

                                > if I do not share their beliefs.

                                >

                                > Anyway, just a few comments in response to your interesting

                                > posts.

                                >

                                > Thanks,

                                > Mish

                                >

                                > --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com,
                                "jonathanjohns96" <jonathanjohns96@> wrote:
                              • prometheus_973
                                Hello Jonathan and All, I thought that I d reply to some comments with my opinions as well. Jonathan wrote: Mish, [J]: You also stated I do respect other s
                                Message 15 of 23 , Mar 9, 2009
                                  Hello Jonathan and All,
                                  I thought that I'd reply to some comments
                                  with my opinions as well.


                                  Jonathan wrote:

                                  Mish,
                                  [J]: You also stated "I do respect other's rights
                                  to their religious beliefs and practices, but admit
                                  that I am concerned and bothered by fanatics,
                                  fundalmentalists and radicals. In fact, these factions
                                  are pretty scary."

                                  I understand your concern over "fanatics and radicals,"
                                  but only if they try to force their beliefs on me. Otherwise
                                  what they do is none of my business. If they are breaking
                                  the laws of their country then they will ahve to deal with
                                  that.

                                  ME: I think that 9/11/2001 was a way of forcing
                                  Islamic beliefs on to us just as other religions
                                  use other methods and by any means necessary.

                                  [J]: A Moslem man acurately pointed out to me that
                                  "fundalmentalist" simply means that a person follows
                                  a very basic form of their religion. In other words,
                                  Christian Amish, Orthodox Jews, and Moslems who
                                  follow Islam as it was followed 500 years ago are
                                  all legitimately "fundalmentalists."

                                  ME: I don't think that is accurate. Fundamentalists
                                  take their scripture literally! This is what makes them
                                  dangerous and motivates them to make sure that their
                                  scripture is fulfilled. Thus, anything they do for their
                                  God, or his Prophets, is justified and the highest law.

                                  [J]: So the new media has managed to brainwash Americans
                                  into believing that a Muslim society that restricts women
                                  (by American standards, of course) is synonymous with
                                  a Muslim man with a rocket launcher on his shoulder.
                                  It's a big lie. But it was used to help justify our involvement
                                  in Afghanistan (we're there to help Afghan women, therefore
                                  the war is a noble and justified cause).

                                  ME: Islam restricts women by (civilized) World Standards
                                  and not just by U.S. standards. Islam will remain a barbaric
                                  (uncivilized) religion because of its scripture. These fundamental
                                  beliefs cannot be changed, unless, the scripture is changed.
                                  And Yes, to some extent the war in Afghanistan is a noble
                                  and justified cause when women are denied an education
                                  and have acid thrown on them.

                                  [J]: If there are religions in the world that restrict women
                                  then let the men and women in those religions do
                                  something about it if they choose. It really is nobody
                                  else's business to interfere. This policy of America
                                  interfering in other peoples around the world is really
                                  an extension of Christianity which feels that it has the
                                  right to change others to what it believes is right. It
                                  happened during the Christian Crusades, and the
                                  United States of America is doing it today. Yes, I know
                                  Muslims have done this too. I know that Muslims did
                                  it in Eastern Europe and Northern India. It has been
                                  a tendency of both Christianity and Islam for a very
                                  long time.

                                  ME: How can the women do anything when the men
                                  have seen to it that they have no power or authority?
                                  Besides, it would go against their scripture to do
                                  something else, thus, there wouldn't be anything
                                  that anyone could do! The trick is to keep people
                                  ignorant, poor, and stirred up. This is how fundamentalism,
                                  especially, and religion, in general, works as a opiate
                                  for the masses.


                                  [J]: Ultimately, I guess I have been struggling with whether
                                  I should start calling Eckankar a cult. If I did that then
                                  I would have to call all of the large religions cults as well,
                                  and I am not prepared to do that. Either all of them are
                                  cults or all of them are religions.

                                  ME: Yes, all religions are cults! Even the "loving" Jesus
                                  threatened people, or else! Religions are Groups of like
                                  minded people who want to be told what they are supposed
                                  to do. Fundamentalist Religions encourage a Mob behaviour
                                  where right and wrong no longer exist because there are
                                  "higher" laws to be followed. There is no individualism
                                  within these religions. It is not tolerated. Where religions
                                  have control of the government and religious laws are
                                  higher than manmade laws one cannot practice freedom
                                  of belief. They must agree with the Religious Leaders and
                                  the Mob mentality or else they and their families will be
                                  persecuted. Actually, control of the government and of
                                  the masses with their own laws are what all religious
                                  leaders are striving for. Misery loves company. Power,
                                  money, lust and fear still control religious belief.

                                  Thus, I believe that all religions are impractical and
                                  unnecessary. Religions are like modified forms/versions
                                  of marketing pyramids or vice versa. They are full of
                                  myths, distortions, and lies. There are always "leaders"
                                  who "know" more than timid and ignorant followers
                                  (sinners). And, no follower can ever surpass the "leaders,"
                                  unless, they are chosen (by the leaders) to do so. No
                                  "unapproved" follower is permitted to disagree with
                                  the leaders and with the scripture, or to excel in spirituality
                                  beyond that of the "Leader."

                                  Prometheus



                                  mish wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Jonathan, you have made some interesting comments
                                  > regarding other religions and how eckists view them. A
                                  > big part of the eckankar dogma is to instill in a member's
                                  > mind that being an eckist is to be an enlightened/chosen
                                  > one--planting the seed of spiritual superiority. And yet,
                                  > the way chelas are held back from advancing in a timely
                                  > manner via initiations, it seems rather funny that chelas
                                  > can feel superior to other religious groups while they
                                  > themselves are kept in a very subservient standing within
                                  > the eckankar circle.
                                  >
                                  > I do respect other's rights to their religious beliefs and
                                  > practices, but admit that I am concerned and bothered by
                                  > fanatics, fundalmentalists and radicals. In fact, these factions
                                  > are pretty scary.
                                  >
                                  > Yesterday, I met a gentleman--a very interesting and polite
                                  > fellow who shared a bit about his background, stating that
                                  > he came to North America in 1972 from an African country.
                                  > He very easily added too that he was a moslem. Now, I do not
                                  > care for Islam at all as I believe it is very archaic and being a
                                  > female . . . well, I'm just glad I never had to follow such religious
                                  > teachings. However, I liked this man very much and it does
                                  > not bother me that he is a moslem at all. He obviously practices
                                  > the best aspects of it . . .
                                  >
                                  > But frankly, I have come to not like religions at all . . . they are
                                  > manmade for the purpose of controlling and manipulating
                                  > groups of people. I have never met a religion that didn't instill
                                  > fear in its followers . . . and some also teach hatred and violence.
                                  > I do not respect religion, but I do respect and like people, even
                                  > if I do not share their beliefs.
                                  >
                                  > Anyway, just a few comments in response to your interesting
                                  > posts.
                                  >
                                  > Thanks,
                                  > Mish
                                  >
                                • jonathanjohns96
                                  Prometheus, I don t think 911 was Moslems forcing their religious beliefs on the United States. I don t understand your thought process on that. You think we
                                  Message 16 of 23 , Mar 9, 2009
                                    Prometheus,

                                    I don't think 911 was Moslems forcing their religious beliefs on the United States. I don't understand your thought process on that.

                                    You think we have the right to invade Afghanistan because women are being abused. Plenty of women are abused in the United States. So I assume that you support Moslems or any other country invading the United States for that reason.

                                    Afghanistan is their country. It's that simple. The United States has no right invading countries in the world and then changing their culture. We go over there, force our beliefs on them, and it just makes things worse for the people there (including the women) in the long run. Afghanistan will still be there 100 years from now. The United States won't. When the invasion no longer suits our purposes we will be gone, leaving Afghanistan in ruins. That's what the United States always does.

                                    Why don't you talk to some educated Filipinos and educated Indians to see whether the West helped their countries? Americans have said "Look how much we helped the Philippines." Brits have said "Look how much we helped India." I think you should get some opinions from the people in those countries. I think you should get some opinions from people in those countries and not just believe the propaganda you've been fed in the United States.

                                    Invading armies always do what is good for themselves. The idea that the invading country "cares" about the people there is just propaganda. All invading countries use this propaganda. The Russians do it, the United States does it. They do it because it plays good at home.

                                    If you talk to the Afghans, they don't necessarily believe the Americans are any better than the Russians. If you talk to Vietnames, they don't necessarily believe the Americans were any better than the French. But the United States always manages to serve up a large helping of propaganda that people in the United States always seem to believe. The point is, they want their own country. They don't want any foreigners there. Just like Americans wouldn't want foreign soldiers occupying their country. I've spent thousands of hours talking to foreigners. Have you?

                                    And regarding 911 and America's reaction to that. Every time America invades a Moslem country it creates another 100,000 Muslim terrorists. That's progress in the "war" on terror?

                                    Just before the invasion of Iraq, the CIA released a report saying that there was no Al-Qaeda in Iraq. They went on to say that invading Iraq and deposing Saddam Husein would likely destabilize Iraq and lead to a situation where Al-Qaeda would get themsleves established. My point in mentioning this is that this is that Bush's contention that there was Al-Qaeda in Iraq was just propaganda.

                                    Likewise his assertion that WMDs were there was also propaganda. I watched Colin Powel's WMD presentation at the UN. I have extensive government experience with imagery. Everything Colin Powell said was a pack of lies, although I think Powell probably lacked the experience to realize that. Again, more government propaganda.

                                    bty, thanks for starting a new thread and changing the title.

                                    Jonathan


                                    --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "prometheus_973" <prometheus_973@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > Hello Jonathan and All,
                                    > I thought that I'd reply to some comments
                                    > with my opinions as well.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Jonathan wrote:
                                    >
                                    > Mish,
                                    > [J]: You also stated "I do respect other's rights
                                    > to their religious beliefs and practices, but admit
                                    > that I am concerned and bothered by fanatics,
                                    > fundalmentalists and radicals. In fact, these factions
                                    > are pretty scary."
                                    >
                                    > I understand your concern over "fanatics and radicals,"
                                    > but only if they try to force their beliefs on me. Otherwise
                                    > what they do is none of my business. If they are breaking
                                    > the laws of their country then they will ahve to deal with
                                    > that.
                                    >
                                    > ME: I think that 9/11/2001 was a way of forcing
                                    > Islamic beliefs on to us just as other religions
                                    > use other methods and by any means necessary.
                                    >
                                    > [J]: A Moslem man acurately pointed out to me that
                                    > "fundalmentalist" simply means that a person follows
                                    > a very basic form of their religion. In other words,
                                    > Christian Amish, Orthodox Jews, and Moslems who
                                    > follow Islam as it was followed 500 years ago are
                                    > all legitimately "fundalmentalists."
                                    >
                                    > ME: I don't think that is accurate. Fundamentalists
                                    > take their scripture literally! This is what makes them
                                    > dangerous and motivates them to make sure that their
                                    > scripture is fulfilled. Thus, anything they do for their
                                    > God, or his Prophets, is justified and the highest law.
                                    >
                                    > [J]: So the new media has managed to brainwash Americans
                                    > into believing that a Muslim society that restricts women
                                    > (by American standards, of course) is synonymous with
                                    > a Muslim man with a rocket launcher on his shoulder.
                                    > It's a big lie. But it was used to help justify our involvement
                                    > in Afghanistan (we're there to help Afghan women, therefore
                                    > the war is a noble and justified cause).
                                    >
                                    > ME: Islam restricts women by (civilized) World Standards
                                    > and not just by U.S. standards. Islam will remain a barbaric
                                    > (uncivilized) religion because of its scripture. These fundamental
                                    > beliefs cannot be changed, unless, the scripture is changed.
                                    > And Yes, to some extent the war in Afghanistan is a noble
                                    > and justified cause when women are denied an education
                                    > and have acid thrown on them.
                                    >
                                    > [J]: If there are religions in the world that restrict women
                                    > then let the men and women in those religions do
                                    > something about it if they choose. It really is nobody
                                    > else's business to interfere. This policy of America
                                    > interfering in other peoples around the world is really
                                    > an extension of Christianity which feels that it has the
                                    > right to change others to what it believes is right. It
                                    > happened during the Christian Crusades, and the
                                    > United States of America is doing it today. Yes, I know
                                    > Muslims have done this too. I know that Muslims did
                                    > it in Eastern Europe and Northern India. It has been
                                    > a tendency of both Christianity and Islam for a very
                                    > long time.
                                    >
                                    > ME: How can the women do anything when the men
                                    > have seen to it that they have no power or authority?
                                    > Besides, it would go against their scripture to do
                                    > something else, thus, there wouldn't be anything
                                    > that anyone could do! The trick is to keep people
                                    > ignorant, poor, and stirred up. This is how fundamentalism,
                                    > especially, and religion, in general, works as a opiate
                                    > for the masses.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > [J]: Ultimately, I guess I have been struggling with whether
                                    > I should start calling Eckankar a cult. If I did that then
                                    > I would have to call all of the large religions cults as well,
                                    > and I am not prepared to do that. Either all of them are
                                    > cults or all of them are religions.
                                    >
                                    > ME: Yes, all religions are cults! Even the "loving" Jesus
                                    > threatened people, or else! Religions are Groups of like
                                    > minded people who want to be told what they are supposed
                                    > to do. Fundamentalist Religions encourage a Mob behaviour
                                    > where right and wrong no longer exist because there are
                                    > "higher" laws to be followed. There is no individualism
                                    > within these religions. It is not tolerated. Where religions
                                    > have control of the government and religious laws are
                                    > higher than manmade laws one cannot practice freedom
                                    > of belief. They must agree with the Religious Leaders and
                                    > the Mob mentality or else they and their families will be
                                    > persecuted. Actually, control of the government and of
                                    > the masses with their own laws are what all religious
                                    > leaders are striving for. Misery loves company. Power,
                                    > money, lust and fear still control religious belief.
                                    >
                                    > Thus, I believe that all religions are impractical and
                                    > unnecessary. Religions are like modified forms/versions
                                    > of marketing pyramids or vice versa. They are full of
                                    > myths, distortions, and lies. There are always "leaders"
                                    > who "know" more than timid and ignorant followers
                                    > (sinners). And, no follower can ever surpass the "leaders,"
                                    > unless, they are chosen (by the leaders) to do so. No
                                    > "unapproved" follower is permitted to disagree with
                                    > the leaders and with the scripture, or to excel in spirituality
                                    > beyond that of the "Leader."
                                    >
                                    > Prometheus
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > mish wrote:
                                    > >
                                    > > Jonathan, you have made some interesting comments
                                    > > regarding other religions and how eckists view them. A
                                    > > big part of the eckankar dogma is to instill in a member's
                                    > > mind that being an eckist is to be an enlightened/chosen
                                    > > one--planting the seed of spiritual superiority. And yet,
                                    > > the way chelas are held back from advancing in a timely
                                    > > manner via initiations, it seems rather funny that chelas
                                    > > can feel superior to other religious groups while they
                                    > > themselves are kept in a very subservient standing within
                                    > > the eckankar circle.
                                    > >
                                    > > I do respect other's rights to their religious beliefs and
                                    > > practices, but admit that I am concerned and bothered by
                                    > > fanatics, fundalmentalists and radicals. In fact, these factions
                                    > > are pretty scary.
                                    > >
                                    > > Yesterday, I met a gentleman--a very interesting and polite
                                    > > fellow who shared a bit about his background, stating that
                                    > > he came to North America in 1972 from an African country.
                                    > > He very easily added too that he was a moslem. Now, I do not
                                    > > care for Islam at all as I believe it is very archaic and being a
                                    > > female . . . well, I'm just glad I never had to follow such religious
                                    > > teachings. However, I liked this man very much and it does
                                    > > not bother me that he is a moslem at all. He obviously practices
                                    > > the best aspects of it . . .
                                    > >
                                    > > But frankly, I have come to not like religions at all . . . they are
                                    > > manmade for the purpose of controlling and manipulating
                                    > > groups of people. I have never met a religion that didn't instill
                                    > > fear in its followers . . . and some also teach hatred and violence.
                                    > > I do not respect religion, but I do respect and like people, even
                                    > > if I do not share their beliefs.
                                    > >
                                    > > Anyway, just a few comments in response to your interesting
                                    > > posts.
                                    > >
                                    > > Thanks,
                                    > > Mish
                                    > >
                                    >
                                  • prometheus_973
                                    Hello Jonathan and All, My point was that all religions, including Eckankar, are unnecessary and are, in many cases, the causes of war. Religions are
                                    Message 17 of 23 , Mar 9, 2009
                                      Hello Jonathan and All,
                                      My point was that all religions, including Eckankar,
                                      are unnecessary and are, in many cases, the causes
                                      of war. Religions are antiquated, full of myth, and
                                      mostly benefit a hierarchy of men. The Moslem
                                      terrorists of 9/11 were on a Jihad for their God.
                                      It was not political! However, with Islamic countries
                                      politics is intertwined with the religious scripture,
                                      but the religious dogma will always have the greater
                                      influence. With our government Capitalism (money)
                                      has the greater influence. In truth, money, power,
                                      lust, and fear have influence over all religions and
                                      governments.

                                      Prometheus


                                      Jonathan wrote:
                                      Prometheus,

                                      I don't think 911 was Moslems forcing their religious beliefs on the United
                                      States. I don't understand your thought process on that.

                                      You think we have the right to invade Afghanistan because women are being
                                      abused. Plenty of women are abused in the United States. So I assume that you
                                      support Moslems or any other country invading the United States for that reason.

                                      Afghanistan is their country. It's that simple. The United States has no right
                                      invading countries in the world and then changing their culture. We go over
                                      there, force our beliefs on them, and it just makes things worse for the people
                                      there (including the women) in the long run. Afghanistan will still be there 100
                                      years from now. The United States won't. When the invasion no longer suits our
                                      purposes we will be gone, leaving Afghanistan in ruins. That's what the United
                                      States always does.

                                      Why don't you talk to some educated Filipinos and educated Indians to see
                                      whether the West helped their countries? Americans have said "Look how much we
                                      helped the Philippines." Brits have said "Look how much we helped India." I
                                      think you should get some opinions from the people in those countries. I think
                                      you should get some opinions from people in those countries and not just believe
                                      the propaganda you've been fed in the United States.

                                      Invading armies always do what is good for themselves. The idea that the
                                      invading country "cares" about the people there is just propaganda. All invading
                                      countries use this propaganda. The Russians do it, the United States does it.
                                      They do it because it plays good at home.

                                      If you talk to the Afghans, they don't necessarily believe the Americans are any
                                      better than the Russians. If you talk to Vietnames, they don't necessarily
                                      believe the Americans were any better than the French. But the United States
                                      always manages to serve up a large helping of propaganda that people in the
                                      United States always seem to believe. The point is, they want their own country.
                                      They don't want any foreigners there. Just like Americans wouldn't want foreign
                                      soldiers occupying their country. I've spent thousands of hours talking to
                                      foreigners. Have you?

                                      And regarding 911 and America's reaction to that. Every time America invades a
                                      Moslem country it creates another 100,000 Muslim terrorists. That's progress in
                                      the "war" on terror?

                                      Just before the invasion of Iraq, the CIA released a report saying that there
                                      was no Al-Qaeda in Iraq. They went on to say that invading Iraq and deposing
                                      Saddam Husein would likely destabilize Iraq and lead to a situation where
                                      Al-Qaeda would get themsleves established. My point in mentioning this is that
                                      this is that Bush's contention that there was Al-Qaeda in Iraq was just
                                      propaganda.

                                      Likewise his assertion that WMDs were there was also propaganda. I watched Colin
                                      Powel's WMD presentation at the UN. I have extensive government experience with
                                      imagery. Everything Colin Powell said was a pack of lies, although I think
                                      Powell probably lacked the experience to realize that. Again, more government
                                      propaganda.

                                      bty, thanks for starting a new thread and changing the title.

                                      Jonathan


                                      --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "prometheus_973"
                                      <prometheus_973@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > Hello Jonathan and All,
                                      > I thought that I'd reply to some comments
                                      > with my opinions as well.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Jonathan wrote:
                                      >
                                      > Mish,
                                      > [J]: You also stated "I do respect other's rights
                                      > to their religious beliefs and practices, but admit
                                      > that I am concerned and bothered by fanatics,
                                      > fundalmentalists and radicals. In fact, these factions
                                      > are pretty scary."
                                      >
                                      > I understand your concern over "fanatics and radicals,"
                                      > but only if they try to force their beliefs on me. Otherwise
                                      > what they do is none of my business. If they are breaking
                                      > the laws of their country then they will ahve to deal with
                                      > that.
                                      >
                                      > ME: I think that 9/11/2001 was a way of forcing
                                      > Islamic beliefs on to us just as other religions
                                      > use other methods and by any means necessary.
                                      >
                                      > [J]: A Moslem man acurately pointed out to me that
                                      > "fundalmentalist" simply means that a person follows
                                      > a very basic form of their religion. In other words,
                                      > Christian Amish, Orthodox Jews, and Moslems who
                                      > follow Islam as it was followed 500 years ago are
                                      > all legitimately "fundalmentalists."
                                      >
                                      > ME: I don't think that is accurate. Fundamentalists
                                      > take their scripture literally! This is what makes them
                                      > dangerous and motivates them to make sure that their
                                      > scripture is fulfilled. Thus, anything they do for their
                                      > God, or his Prophets, is justified and the highest law.
                                      >
                                      > [J]: So the new media has managed to brainwash Americans
                                      > into believing that a Muslim society that restricts women
                                      > (by American standards, of course) is synonymous with
                                      > a Muslim man with a rocket launcher on his shoulder.
                                      > It's a big lie. But it was used to help justify our involvement
                                      > in Afghanistan (we're there to help Afghan women, therefore
                                      > the war is a noble and justified cause).
                                      >
                                      > ME: Islam restricts women by (civilized) World Standards
                                      > and not just by U.S. standards. Islam will remain a barbaric
                                      > (uncivilized) religion because of its scripture. These fundamental
                                      > beliefs cannot be changed, unless, the scripture is changed.
                                      > And Yes, to some extent the war in Afghanistan is a noble
                                      > and justified cause when women are denied an education
                                      > and have acid thrown on them.
                                      >
                                      > [J]: If there are religions in the world that restrict women
                                      > then let the men and women in those religions do
                                      > something about it if they choose. It really is nobody
                                      > else's business to interfere. This policy of America
                                      > interfering in other peoples around the world is really
                                      > an extension of Christianity which feels that it has the
                                      > right to change others to what it believes is right. It
                                      > happened during the Christian Crusades, and the
                                      > United States of America is doing it today. Yes, I know
                                      > Muslims have done this too. I know that Muslims did
                                      > it in Eastern Europe and Northern India. It has been
                                      > a tendency of both Christianity and Islam for a very
                                      > long time.
                                      >
                                      > ME: How can the women do anything when the men
                                      > have seen to it that they have no power or authority?
                                      > Besides, it would go against their scripture to do
                                      > something else, thus, there wouldn't be anything
                                      > that anyone could do! The trick is to keep people
                                      > ignorant, poor, and stirred up. This is how fundamentalism,
                                      > especially, and religion, in general, works as a opiate
                                      > for the masses.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > [J]: Ultimately, I guess I have been struggling with whether
                                      > I should start calling Eckankar a cult. If I did that then
                                      > I would have to call all of the large religions cults as well,
                                      > and I am not prepared to do that. Either all of them are
                                      > cults or all of them are religions.
                                      >
                                      > ME: Yes, all religions are cults! Even the "loving" Jesus
                                      > threatened people, or else! Religions are Groups of like
                                      > minded people who want to be told what they are supposed
                                      > to do. Fundamentalist Religions encourage a Mob behaviour
                                      > where right and wrong no longer exist because there are
                                      > "higher" laws to be followed. There is no individualism
                                      > within these religions. It is not tolerated. Where religions
                                      > have control of the government and religious laws are
                                      > higher than manmade laws one cannot practice freedom
                                      > of belief. They must agree with the Religious Leaders and
                                      > the Mob mentality or else they and their families will be
                                      > persecuted. Actually, control of the government and of
                                      > the masses with their own laws are what all religious
                                      > leaders are striving for. Misery loves company. Power,
                                      > money, lust and fear still control religious belief.
                                      >
                                      > Thus, I believe that all religions are impractical and
                                      > unnecessary. Religions are like modified forms/versions
                                      > of marketing pyramids or vice versa. They are full of
                                      > myths, distortions, and lies. There are always "leaders"
                                      > who "know" more than timid and ignorant followers
                                      > (sinners). And, no follower can ever surpass the "leaders,"
                                      > unless, they are chosen (by the leaders) to do so. No
                                      > "unapproved" follower is permitted to disagree with
                                      > the leaders and with the scripture, or to excel in spirituality
                                      > beyond that of the "Leader."
                                      >
                                      > Prometheus
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > mish wrote:
                                      > >
                                      > > Jonathan, you have made some interesting comments
                                      > > regarding other religions and how eckists view them. A
                                      > > big part of the eckankar dogma is to instill in a member's
                                      > > mind that being an eckist is to be an enlightened/chosen
                                      > > one--planting the seed of spiritual superiority. And yet,
                                      > > the way chelas are held back from advancing in a timely
                                      > > manner via initiations, it seems rather funny that chelas
                                      > > can feel superior to other religious groups while they
                                      > > themselves are kept in a very subservient standing within
                                      > > the eckankar circle.
                                      > >
                                      > > I do respect other's rights to their religious beliefs and
                                      > > practices, but admit that I am concerned and bothered by
                                      > > fanatics, fundalmentalists and radicals. In fact, these factions
                                      > > are pretty scary.
                                      > >
                                      > > Yesterday, I met a gentleman--a very interesting and polite
                                      > > fellow who shared a bit about his background, stating that
                                      > > he came to North America in 1972 from an African country.
                                      > > He very easily added too that he was a moslem. Now, I do not
                                      > > care for Islam at all as I believe it is very archaic and being a
                                      > > female . . . well, I'm just glad I never had to follow such religious
                                      > > teachings. However, I liked this man very much and it does
                                      > > not bother me that he is a moslem at all. He obviously practices
                                      > > the best aspects of it . . .
                                      > >
                                      > > But frankly, I have come to not like religions at all . . . they are
                                      > > manmade for the purpose of controlling and manipulating
                                      > > groups of people. I have never met a religion that didn't instill
                                      > > fear in its followers . . . and some also teach hatred and violence.
                                      > > I do not respect religion, but I do respect and like people, even
                                      > > if I do not share their beliefs.
                                      > >
                                      > > Anyway, just a few comments in response to your interesting
                                      > > posts.
                                      > >
                                      > > Thanks,
                                      > > Mish
                                    • mishmisha9
                                      Jonathan, When I stated that I was concerned and bothered by fanatics, fundamentalists and radicals, I was applying this to all religions. I think you
                                      Message 18 of 23 , Mar 9, 2009
                                        Jonathan,

                                        When I stated that I was concerned and bothered by fanatics, fundamentalists and radicals, I was applying this to all religions. I think you misunderstood by comments when I pointed out that Islam is an antiquated religion, primitive and one as a woman I would not want to be associated with . . . . but there are plenty of zealots in various religious groups throughout this country. I also think it is ridiculous for people of differing faith to go as missionaries into foreign countries to convert . . . but many religious groups, including eckankar and its vahana missions, fall into this category as well. So I do agree that we should not be working to convert peoples of the world to other religions. Also democracy does not work everywhere either. All this government needs to say in order to get support for a war in the Middle East is to say our troops are going there to free the people, etc. LOL! But there is also the flip side to what our intentions are and what other zealots in other countries have on their agenda. A fanatic is always wanting to convert others . . . that is a forefront mission. And they will do it in various ways, including conquering and forcing their will/belief on others. For instance, just take a look at the history of Egypt and how it came to be 90% Moslem . . . I can assure you it was not nice. It was very bloody . . . people converted unwillingly . . . a country that had some of the earliest Christian churches in the world almost converted totally overnight . . . just how does that happen? An epiphany by the masses . . . or was it by force? And try to live there as a non-Moslem today . . . 10% are not Moslem. .

                                        Now, getting back to just letting people have their religions and not be concerned? Well, for the most part, I guess one can. However, many cruel things have been done and continue to be done in the name of God/religion. My whole point basically is that religions as I said before exist to control and manipulate people, women usually being the most controlled and kept subservient. Religion to me does not afford freedom . . . so why should they have free range to do some of the idiotic and atrocious things they do. Why turn a blind eye?

                                        I lived in the Middle East for a time. I enjoyed the association with many Moslems, but among them are the fanatics . . . and at one time, I got caught up in a disturbance which was dangerous . . . with my child . . . Mob mentality is really scary . . . to the point that the non violent of a faith are intimidated to keep quiet.

                                        But we have many hard headed fundies in this country too--not so sure they are as violent though . . . not at this time.

                                        I could say more but I'm not seeing the point of going too deep on this subject. Sam Harris' book End of Faith is an interesting read. I do recommend it if you haven't read it already. : )

                                        Mish



                                        --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "jonathanjohns96" <jonathanjohns96@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > Mish,
                                        >
                                        > You also mention the "Eckists as elitists" trait (my words). I will be including that fact in my discussion in this post.
                                        >
                                        > You also stated "I do respect other's rights to their religious beliefs and practices, but admit that I am concerned and bothered by fanatics, fundalmentalists and radicals. In fact, these factions are pretty scary."
                                        >
                                        > I understand your concern over "fanatics and radicals," but only if they try to force their beliefs on me. Otherwise what they do is none of my business. If they are breaking the laws of their country then they will ahve to deal with that.
                                        >
                                        > A Moslem man acurately pointed out to me that "fundalmentalist" simply means that a person follows a very basic form of their religion. In other words, Christian Amish, Orthodox Jews, and Moslems who follow Islam as it was followed 500 years ago are all legitimately "fundalmentalists." What has happenned is that the news media in the United States has brainwashed Americans to believe that Muslims who practice an ancient form of Islam (fundamentalists by definition) are radicals as well. They have done this by reinforcing the belief that Muslims restrict women, therefore they are wrong, therefore the news media managed to change the phrase "Muslim fundamentalists" to mean something dangerous. Something that need to be controlled. Therefore, the United States can justify going around the world forcing everybody to be like they are.
                                        >
                                        > So the new media has managed to brainwash Americans into believing that a Muslim society that restricts women (by American standards, of course) is synonymous with a Muslim man with a rocket launcher on his shoulder. It's a big lie. But it was used to help justify our involvement in Afghanistan (we're there to help Afghan women, therefore the war is a noble and justified cause).
                                        >
                                        > If there are religions in the world that restrict women then let the men and women in those religions do something about it if they choose. It really is nobody else's business to interfere. This policy of America interfering in other peoples around the world is really an extension of Christianity which feels that it has the right to change others to what it believes is right. It happened during the Christian Crusades, and the United States of America is doing it today.
                                        >
                                        > Yes, I know Muslims have done this too. I know that Muslims did it in Eastern Europe and Northern India. It has been a tendency of both Christianity and Islam for a very long time.
                                        >
                                        > So, onto my next discussion:
                                        >
                                        > I just did a search for blogs about Eckankar and the #1 hit was a blog named "Religion or Revelation."
                                        >
                                        > ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                        > Blog named "Religion or Revelation"
                                        > http://christfocused.wordpress.com/2009/03/05/religion-or-revelation/
                                        >
                                        > Ever notice the universal reality of how "religious" our world is today?
                                        > We live in a "enlightened society" and notice how highly religious we are.
                                        >
                                        > Interesting facts: probably already outdated!
                                        > In our country there are many different religions.
                                        > Buddhism – 1.5 million +
                                        > Mormons – 13 million (worldwide)
                                        > Hindu – 1 million +
                                        > Agnostics – 1.4 million +
                                        > Atheists – 1.3 million +
                                        > Baha'i – 120 thousand +
                                        > Taoist – 50 thousand +
                                        > Scientology – 100 thousand +
                                        > Eckankar – 30 thousand +
                                        > Pagans/Wicca/Druids – conservatively – 1 million +
                                        >
                                        > So conservatively we have millions of "Religiously" lost souls in America.
                                        >
                                        > Why would I say they are "religious" and lost?
                                        > Every religion that is not based on "God's Word" alone is a distortion of the one true God's revealed truth.
                                        > The truth is only found in the 66 books of the Old and New Testament which reveals God's will and way to heaven that comes to us by grace alone through faith alone in the finished work of Jesus Christ alone.
                                        > John 14:6 (ESV)
                                        > 6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
                                        >
                                        > In truth all other religions according to Scripture are distortions of the reality of what Biblical Christianity teaches.
                                        > ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                        >
                                        > Notice the last sentence that I quoted. It sounds exactly like what Eckankar says, doesn't it? It's an elitist view that says "Only our religion is correct." Soon after that people like this start to judge and criticise things they know nothing about. And this blog is what we often get as a result of that.
                                        >
                                        > It seems to me that some former Eckists are taking their experience with Eckankar and then applying it to every religion/cult that they see out there. I think it is a shortsighted practice. I guess my point about the members of Eckankar and all of we former members is that we should strive to comment on what we have experience in. For myself, I am going to try very hard to critique only what I know about which is Eckankar, and to a lesser degree, Christianity.
                                        >
                                        > Ultimately, I guess I have been struggling with whether I should start calling Eckankar a cult. If I did that then I would have to call all of the large religions cults as well, and I am not prepared to do that. Either all of them are cults or all of them are religions.
                                        >
                                        > In conclusion, perhaps this is the overall pattern I am seeing:
                                        >
                                        > Present members of Eckankar:
                                        > They blast small religions/cults because these current members have an elitist view that Eckankar is inherently superior. So they blast Scientology and Satanists.
                                        >
                                        > Former members of Eckankar:
                                        > They blast small religions/cults because these former members have so much anger at Eckankar, any time they see something else that reminds them of Eckankar they blast it too. So they blast Scientology.
                                        >
                                        > Jonathan
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "mishmisha9" <mishmisha9@> wrote:
                                        > >
                                        > > Jonathan, you have made some interesting comments
                                        > > regarding other religions and how eckists view them. A
                                        > > big part of the eckankar dogma is to instill in a member's
                                        > > mind that being an eckist is to be an enlightened/chosen
                                        > > one--planting the seed of spiritual superiority. And yet,
                                        > > the way chelas are held back from advancing in a timely
                                        > > manner via initiations, it seems rather funny that chelas
                                        > > can feel superior to other religious groups while they
                                        > > themselves are kept in a very subservient standing within
                                        > > the eckankar circle.
                                        > >
                                        > > I do respect other's rights to their religious beliefs and
                                        > > practices, but admit that I am concerned and bothered by
                                        > > fanatics, fundalmentalists and radicals. In fact, these factions
                                        > > are pretty scary.
                                        > >
                                        > > Yesterday, I met a gentleman--a very interesting and polite
                                        > > fellow who shared a bit about his background, stating that
                                        > > he came to North America in 1972 from an African country.
                                        > > He very easily added too that he was a moslem. Now, I do not
                                        > > care for Islam at all as I believe it is very archaic and being a
                                        > > female . . . well, I'm just glad I never had to follow such religious
                                        > > teachings. However, I liked this man very much and it does
                                        > > not bother me that he is a moslem at all. He obviously practices
                                        > > the best aspects of it . . .
                                        > >
                                        > > But frankly, I have come to not like religions at all . . . they are
                                        > > manmade for the purpose of controlling and manipulating
                                        > > groups of people. I have never met a religion that didn't instill
                                        > > fear in its followers . . . and some also teach hatred and violence.
                                        > > I do not respect religion, but I do respect and like people, even
                                        > > if I do not share their beliefs.
                                        > >
                                        > > Anyway, just a few comments in response to your interesting
                                        > > posts.
                                        > >
                                        > > Thanks,
                                        > > Mish
                                        > >
                                        > > --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "jonathanjohns96" <jonathanjohns96@> wrote:
                                        >
                                      • prometheus_973
                                        Hello Mishmisha, I agree with what you have said. Here s a site that has some information as to how and why Islamic men see women as they do.
                                        Message 19 of 23 , Mar 10, 2009
                                          Hello Mishmisha,
                                          I agree with what you have said. Here's a
                                          site that has some information as to how
                                          and why Islamic men see women as they do.

                                          http://www.wikiislam.com/wiki/Qur%27an%2C_Hadith_and_Scholars:Women

                                          BTW- I hope this come up.

                                          It's interesting, too, that ECKankar denies women
                                          the opportunity to become LEM's (12th Initiates),
                                          due to "polarity" since women are "negative."
                                          Also, the Order of the Vairagi Adepts (pg 222
                                          EK Lexicon) is made up of "just men," but then
                                          a make-believe female Master (Kata Daki) is added
                                          to the "inner" ranks in order to placate the EK
                                          female members who do most of the work!

                                          Prometheus


                                          mish wrote:
                                          >
                                          > Jonathan,
                                          >
                                          When I stated that I was concerned and bothered by fanatics,
                                          fundamentalists and radicals, I was applying this to all religions.
                                          I think you misunderstood by comments when I pointed out that
                                          Islam is an antiquated religion, primitive and one as a woman
                                          I would not want to be associated with . . . . but there are plenty
                                          of zealots in various religious groups throughout this country.
                                          I also think it is ridiculous for people of differing faith to go as
                                          missionaries into foreign countries to convert . . . but many religious
                                          groups, including eckankar and its vahana missions, fall into this
                                          category as well. So I do agree that we should not be working to
                                          convert peoples of the world to other religions. Also democracy
                                          does not work everywhere either. All this government needs to say
                                          in order to get support for a war in the Middle East is to say our
                                          troops are going there to free the people, etc. LOL! But there is
                                          also the flip side to what our intentions are and what other zealots
                                          in other countries have on their agenda. A fanatic is always wanting
                                          to convert others . . . that is a forefront mission. And they will do
                                          it in various ways, including conquering and forcing their will/belief
                                          on others. For instance, just take a look at the history of Egypt and
                                          how it came to be 90% Moslem . . . I can assure you it was not nice.
                                          It was very bloody . . . people converted unwillingly . . . a country
                                          that had some of the earliest Christian churches in the world almost
                                          converted totally overnight . . . just how does that happen? An epiphany
                                          by the masses . . . or was it by force? And try to live there as a non-
                                          Moslem today . . . 10% are not Moslem. .
                                          >
                                          Now, getting back to just letting people have their religions and
                                          not be concerned? Well, for the most part, I guess one can. However,
                                          many cruel things have been done and continue to be done in the
                                          name of God/religion. My whole point basically is that religions
                                          as I said before exist to control and manipulate people, women
                                          usually being the most controlled and kept subservient. Religion
                                          to me does not afford freedom . . . so why should they have free
                                          range to do some of the idiotic and atrocious things they do. Why
                                          turn a blind eye?
                                          >
                                          I lived in the Middle East for a time. I enjoyed the association
                                          with many Moslems, but among them are the fanatics . . . and
                                          at one time, I got caught up in a disturbance which was dangerous . . .
                                          with my child . . . Mob mentality is really scary . . . to the point that
                                          the non violent of a faith are intimidated to keep quiet.
                                          >
                                          But we have many hard headed fundies in this country too--not
                                          so sure they are as violent though . . . not at this time.
                                          >
                                          I could say more but I'm not seeing the point of going too deep
                                          on this subject. Sam Harris' book End of Faith is an interesting
                                          read. I do recommend it if you haven't read it already. : )
                                          >
                                          Mish
                                        • etznab@aol.com
                                          Most of the favoritism of men over women came from Patriarchal religion replacing the earlier matriarchal beliefs, IMO. The Moon was worshipped long before
                                          Message 20 of 23 , Mar 10, 2009
                                            Most of the favoritism of men over women
                                            came from Patriarchal religion replacing the
                                            earlier matriarchal beliefs, IMO.

                                            The Moon was worshipped long before
                                            Muhammad, I believe, and the moon still
                                            appears on certain national flags. I think
                                            the Moon is a feminine symbol.

                                            One thing men cannot do is "create life"
                                            (give birth). In the ancient world this would
                                            make women revered over men, IMO.

                                            My suspicion is the ascendency of men
                                            over women came with the age of war. Be-
                                            fore that, during earlier civilizations when
                                            the towns were unfortified, women would
                                            have been central to the survival of human
                                            society. They gave birth, raised children,
                                            cooked food, made clothing and baskets,
                                            etc. Men probably worked in the fields &
                                            did a lot of the things the women did, too,
                                            but when armies and the weapons of war
                                            got to be big business I suspect these over-
                                            powered the vocations of women and put
                                            men into the top positions of importance.

                                            Just musing about this.

                                            Etznab


                                            -----Original Message-----
                                            From: prometheus_973 <prometheus_973@...>
                                            To: EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com
                                            Sent: Tue, 10 Mar 2009 11:50 am
                                            Subject: [EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous] Re: Fundamentalism and Religion



                                            Hello Mishmisha,

                                            I agree with what you have said. Here's a

                                            site that has some information as to how

                                            and why Islamic men see women as they do.



                                            http://www.wikiislam.com/wiki/Qur%27an%2C_Hadith_and_Scholars:Women



                                            BTW- I hope this come up.



                                            It's interesting, too, that ECKankar denies women

                                            the opportunity to become LEM's (12th Initiates),

                                            due to "polarity" since women are "negative."

                                            Also, the Order of the Vairagi Adepts (pg 222

                                            EK Lexicon) is made up of "just men," but then

                                            a make-believe female Master (Kata Daki) is added

                                            to the "inner" ranks in order to placate the EK

                                            female members who do most of the work!



                                            Prometheus



                                            mish wrote:

                                            >

                                            > Jonathan,

                                            >

                                            When I stated that I was concerned and bothered by fanatics,

                                            fundamentalists and radicals, I was applying this to all religions.

                                            I think you misunderstood by comments when I pointed out that

                                            Islam is an antiquated religion, primitive and one as a woman

                                            I would not want to be associated with . . . . but there are plenty

                                            of zealots in various religious groups throughout this country.

                                            I also think it is ridiculous for people of differing faith to go as

                                            missionaries into foreign countries to convert . . . but many religious

                                            groups, including eckankar and its vahana missions, fall into this

                                            category as well. So I do agree that we should not be working to

                                            convert peoples of the world to other religions. Also democracy

                                            does not work everywhere either. All this government needs to say

                                            in order to get support for a war in the Middle East is to say our

                                            troops are going there to free the people, etc. LOL! But there is

                                            also the flip side to what our intentions are and what other zealots

                                            in other countries have on their agenda. A fanatic is always wanting

                                            to convert others . . . that is a forefront mission. And they will do

                                            it in various ways, including conquering and forcing their will/belief

                                            on others. For instance, just take a look at the history of Egypt and

                                            how it came to be 90% Moslem . . . I can assure you it was not nice.

                                            It was very bloody . . . people converted unwillingly . . . a country

                                            that had some of the earliest Christian churches in the world almost

                                            converted totally overnight . . . just how does that happen? An
                                            epiphany

                                            by the masses . . . or was it by force? And try to live there as a non-

                                            Moslem today . . . 10% are not Moslem. .

                                            >

                                            Now, getting back to just letting people have their religions and

                                            not be concerned? Well, for the most part, I guess one can. However,

                                            many cruel things have been done and continue to be done in the

                                            name of God/religion. My whole point basically is that religions

                                            as I said before exist to control and manipulate people, women

                                            usually being the most controlled and kept subservient. Religion

                                            to me does not afford freedom . . . so why should they have free

                                            range to do some of the idiotic and atrocious things they do. Why

                                            turn a blind eye?

                                            >

                                            I lived in the Middle East for a time. I enjoyed the association

                                            with many Moslems, but among them are the fanatics . . . and

                                            at one time, I got caught up in a disturbance which was dangerous . . .

                                            with my child . . . Mob mentality is really scary . . . to the point
                                            that

                                            the non violent of a faith are intimidated to keep quiet.

                                            >

                                            But we have many hard headed fundies in this country too--not

                                            so sure they are as violent though . . . not at this time.

                                            >

                                            I could say more but I'm not seeing the point of going too deep

                                            on this subject. Sam Harris' book End of Faith is an interesting

                                            read. I do recommend it if you haven't read it already. : )

                                            >

                                            Mish
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