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>>>>>Comments on Postings by Soultraveler: Paul Twitchell and Eckankar
Soultraveler's defense of Paul Twitchell is understandable since
there is always more than one side of an argument. However, since
1965, Paul Twitchell and Eckankar expended millions of dollars of
our contributions proclaiming their side of the story to the world,
albeit a distorted one. It is somewhat ironic, therefore that your
defense of Paul and Eckankar has him in the role of defendant and
you as his defense attorney. Of course, none of this would even be
necessary if Paul had chosen to tell the truth from the beginning
rather than to deceive thousands of sincere truth seekers, with a
series of lies, fabrications, and distortions that rival in their
audacity and megalomania any that have ever been foisted on an
Having set forth the argument and evidence that substantiates this
point in Confessions, some may wonder why I find it necessary to
reiterate some of this evidence in this posting. The reason is
simple. Seekers, just finding out about the Eckankar conspiracy of
deception, find the evidence shocking if not overwhelming. As
indicated in an earlier posting, many stay on the fence for months,
even years, longing for something that will restore the sacrosanct
position that Paul and Eckankar once held for them. So that they
will not again be duped by an equally fabricated tale of Paul
Twitchell's motives and intentions, the true record of what he said
and did must be shown.
Based on the evidence presented in Chapter 9 of Confessions, dealing
with the history that demonstrates his psychology, the conclusion
that Paul Twitchell was a pathological liar is inexorable. Attempts
to show benign motives behind the extensive pattern of lies and
deception that followed in his wake are disingenuous at best and a
continuing deception at worst. I know this is a terribly
uncomfortable conclusion about someone who meant so much too so
many. Paul, in his own way, provided a base of information, which
he gleaned from other paths that started many on their inner and
outer spiritual quest. However, Paul used truth as a wedge to
instill Eckankar's dogma, fabrication, and curses into the minds of
thousands of devoted followers.
Many of Soultraveler's explanations appear reasonable on the
surface, they ignore Paul's words, deeds and other evidence that
represent the real record of his life on this plane. In fairness to
Paul and to truth, it is important to remind those beguiled by the
inventiveness of your defense, what the real record of Paul's
actions and words really were. When we look at them, the high-
minded and well though out strategy that you present as his defense,
is trumped by baser motives revealed by his excesses.
The Shariyat Ki Sugmad
The truth behind the bible and other "holy" books is buried under
centuries of cover-up and ignorance. Even the few recent scholars
who have seen it for what it is make little impact on the clergy or
the faithful who have been educated on this deception. Neither the
clergy nor the faithful know or want to know the truth. This
information is not taught in divinity schools and has even been
excised from the Catholic Encyclopedia, the popular repository of
Christian history. Nor is it embraced by the majority of scholars
who leap right over the historical truth about the Bible and use the
pious fraud (fabrication) and Pseudepigraphy (inserting false names
and false artifacts) to justify the deception. In both Christianity
and Islam, the truth has been hidden for so long that the current
crop of ministers and imams can to some degree be excused because of
an honest ignorance of the true story behind both Christianity and
Islam (the Koran incorporates much of the Torah)
But Paul is not entitled to this free pass. Paul knew that he was
lying and intentionally lied and fabricated in order to secure a
following. Any argument that lying was essential to the
establishment of Eckankar and securing a following demeans all
sincere followers who believed that he was telling the truth and
followed him because of it. Nor can it be argued that the truth is
less stimulating than the lie that Paul propagated. Certainly, the
realization that inner experiences are shaped by the belief
structure of the individual and are not to be regarded in the same
manner as physical plane experiences, is as thrilling and as
revealing as Paul's (and Harold's) efforts to selectively
misrepresent the meaning of inner experiences.
The Church justified pious fraud because the education and state of
consciousness of the masses was so low that they could not handle
the truth even if indeed the Church fathers knew it themselves. But
Paul was not dealing with such people. Many had unfolded spiritually
and could not imagine that a spiritual leader would intentionally
lie to them just to get a following. Why would someone proclaim
that his religion was the oldest and highest path in the universe
and was the precursor of all other religions if not to gain an
advantage over other religions and secure a ready following? There
is little that is noble or spiritual in these misrepresentations.
The simple point is that Paul lied to get a following.
He manipulated and interchanged the words Eck, Eckankar and Mahanta
in such a way that it induced some of the most educated and
spiritually advanced souls to follow his path and to believe in the
interchangeability of these expressions. Cons are always successful
in getting people to join or benefit from a hot new product, whether
a money scheme or religion. Paul had a lot to offer the gullible
(and I was one). Never having to reincarnate, all my problems taken
care of by the mahanta and initiations leading directly to God
Realizationa pretty good package of goodies for $100 a year.
Besides, how could anyone disagree with the "Son of God", the Only
representative of God in the Universe and the only person through
whom spirit flows to all the worlds all wrapped up in a neat little
package called the Mahanta. All of this was made up by Paul to
mislead and gain a following. None of it was true except in the
imagination and therefore the inner experiences of the true
Your efforts to rehabilitate the image of Paul Twitchell are not
unlike those attempted by Harold Klemp in the years following his
take over of duties from Darwin Gross. However, unwittingly, Harold
provided much of the fodder that permitted an in-depth look at
Paul's psychological state. The evidence provided by Harold led to
conclusion that Paul had major problems with telling the truth from
an early age. His penchant for prevarication exacerbated in his
The problem with attempts to rehabilitate Paul's image is that all
of these words essentially amount to the justification of a lie and
a liar, no matter how well intentioned. Paint this picture with
many colors, show that others did the same thing, and indicate the
level of ignorance of the public and their gullibility and you are
still left with the same picture. That picture is of a man who
either disregarded, felt disdain for, needed the money or simply
wanted to succeed with his new religion so much that he was prepared
to say anything and do anything to achieve that goal.
He appeared not to be concerned with the harm that would befall
those who believed in his curses and entered his web or deception.
Once they awakened to the deception, they would be on their own for
Eckankar's only approach to those who ask too many questions is
abandonment. This callous approach is justified by some as
experiences anticipated, if not planned for by Paul, as a means of
providing valuable lessons about being gullible. Some have the
temerity to explain the lie in these terms as if they were all a
part of the grand omniscient plan that Paul envisioned. From this
logic, anything done by anyone can be justified and explained as the
actions of a prescient being who saw more and knew more than
others. Under this logic, he was above the mortal limitation of
truth. Such is the delusion and self deception that can occasion
efforts to transmute the history and record of a pathological liar
albeit a holy one, into the omniscience and prescience of a
spiritual giant who saw all this in advance as part of his plan all
along. Under this logic, the image of many an historic leper could
be redeemed and transmuted into its opposite.
For those whose compass of truth is more grounded and for whom truth
is the sine qua non, the curtain has been pulled back and the truth
evident. However, the true believer will quickly grasp at any straw
of redemption for the beloved leader. They are more comfortable
with myths, legends, and masters. They are not yet prepared to
accept the greater freedom and spiritual growth that attends
recognition that they are no different from the "masters" they
revere. They are One with ALL THAT IS, but find this realization to
much to encompass at this time. Nevertheless, this is how it must
be. Spiritual growth cannot exceed the scope of truth that can be
absorbed at any given time. However, their encounter with a higher
truth always leaves a mark, plants a seed, expands the envelope to
which consciousness eventually expands. In the mean time, it is
important not to become a cheerleader for the missteps of others.
It is equally important not to make truth so complicated that we
lose our innate ability to discern truth from non-truth for this is
the most important inner compass that we possess.
Chapters 5 thru 10 of Confessions, spell out in detail the true
story of Paul Twitchell and the trail of deception and fabrication
for which he and other leaders of Eckankar were responsible. If you
have not read these chapters or have forgotten their contents,
wishing instead to believe a latter day version of Paul Twitchell's
life, would do well to read or reread these pages. Then you will be
able to discern whether the alternate historical version of Paul's
life is more "Paul in Wonderland" or a real reflection of what he
did and said during his lifetime.
We are left with the fact that what he said and wrote in so many
instances were lies and stories, perfect bait for the gullible who
would believe. As a student of the "big lie" he would make
proclamations about the preeminence of Eckankar vis-à-vis other
religions that his successors would shy away from if not run away
from them. He knew that few would question or disbelieve a lie if
it were big enough for history supported this premise. So Paul told
a lie so grand that it trumped the dogma (the lies) on which all
other religions were based. He proclaimed himself the exclusive
representative of God in this universe and all universes beyond this
one on all planes of existence. Who could get more powerful than
this? Who wouldn't want to be associated with a teaching that had
the exclusive representative of God on Earth as its leader? His lie
was so grand, so outrageous that no one would ever imagine that he
could or would lie about something as sacrosanct as this.
In spite of attempts to resuscitate Paul's image and his motives,
his contemporaries told the real story. Dr. Bluth, former President
of Eckankar, his physician and close friend, told of the mundane
facts that prompted Paul to do what he did. He wrote:
"He borrowed my books of Radha Soami and copied a large share from
them. I helped him write the Herb book. . . . I confronted him with
what he had done and his answer was `since the author of the book
said it better than I could, I copied it.' The trouble is that he
never gave anyone credit as to where he got it."
Another friend of Paul, who knew him during the days before and
after he formed Eckankar, is the well-known writer and spiritual
teacher of Kriya Yoga, Roy Eugene Davis, the director of Center of
Spiritual Awareness and a disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda.
"On one occasion they [Orion Magazine] informed me that they had
rejected Paul's then most recent article because he had used entire
paragraphs from a book on Mental Science by Judge Thomas Troward.
After that incident his articles were no longer accepted by the
editors of Orion Magazine. I knew about this situation long before
David Lane wrote about [it] in his book, which was published years
One of the less well know motivations for Paul's actions was money.
His good friend Dr. Bluth pointed this out when he wrote:
"Problems between him and his wife Gail led him to believe she was
going to leave him and he desperately wanted to keep her. So when
she demanded more money and better living, he started to write
things and copy from other books."
Observing similar monetary motivations for his work, Roy Eugene
"Unmarried at that time, Paul lived alone. . . . He told me that he
had been initiated by Kirpal Singh but was no longer affiliated with
him. During one of my visits Paul pointed to some notebooks and
binders on a shelf by his writing desk and said, "One day those are
going to make me rich." At a later meeting he said, "To be
successful in a big way, you have to have your own movement.
Paramahansa Yogananda had his Self-Realization Fellowship; L. Ron
Hubbard has his Scientology; Eckankar is my thing."
He also observed:
"When I next visited San Diego, Paul and I had lunch. . . . I asked
him about the claims of various people that he visited them in
dreams and by astral projection. He chuckled, and said, "You know,
if you tell people something long enough they'll start to believe
"Paul's claim that he was representative of a line of enlightened
spiritual masters was fiction. My impression of him was that he had
a deep psychological need for recognition and to accomplish
something that would impress others."
These are the observations of friends who knew him over a period of
time and who were willing to share their insights into the man.
These observations are quite different to the nobler and well-
considered strategies that Soultraveler puts forth as the
revisionist version of Paul's motivation and history.
These are just a few of countless quotes and facts that evidence a
very different and calculated Paul Twitchell who knew what he was
doing and did it anyway. He wanted to build a religion and a
following and he did not seem to care too much how he did it. Even
Harold Klemp drew this conclusion, as he justifies Paul's
promotional prevarications in Machiavellian terms:
"I saw an article in the obituary column in one of the West Coast
newspapers a few weeks ago about a seventy-seven-year-old lady who
had founded a certain church many years ago. But who ever heard of
it? This talent of self-promotion was necessary for Paul's mission."
This was also one of the reasons that Paul changed his perspective
and turned Eckankar into a religion. He was well aware of the
deceptions and fabrications in his writings. If he made Eckankar a
religion, no one could legally question the truth of what he wrote
for it would constitute religious dogma protected by the
Constitution of the United States. If it were merely a non-profit
organization, like HCS, it would be subject to a much higher legal
standard of truth. It has none of the legal protections that the
dogma and myths of religions can look to for protection. That is
also why Scientology became a religion. When you have something to
hide, such as the truth behind your public story, there is no better
protection than that provided by the First Amendment to the
Constitution of the United States.
This is the real Paul. This is not to say that he did not have some
sincere and positive motives also. I believe he did. But his
penchant for prevarication, which fit all the clinical parameters of
a pathological liar, stand at the ready to offer a far more
factually based explanation for Paul's actions and his words.
But you have to give it to Paul. Like the magician who tricked the
public in full view, some people seem far more inclined to believe
the trick rather than the truth behind the trick.
Finally, this attention on Paul Twitchell and Eckankar does not
help the truth-seeker. Focusing on someone else and whether they
were honorable or not is not the essential spiritual question. We
are our own path to the ONE. While others can teach, their teaching
should lead the seeker within him/herself not into hours of debate
about the ethics of the teacher.
In the end, Paul Twithchell and all the others who perpetuate the
deception, the dishonesty and the cover-up will have to deal with
the consequences for their spiritual growth. The justification
that "our mythology and dogma is as good as any and better than
most" is fine for the "gatekeeper" but not for the truth seeker. In
the final analysis, that is what it boils down to: are you a
gatekeeper or a truth seeker.
The notion that in the inner worlds all beliefs have value and truth
becomes what we believe, does not translate to the physical plane.
This is the basis for most of the self-deception that taints the
thinking of the rationalizers. The physical plan was created
specifically to teach us how to distinguish truth from non-truth and
to learn how to produce an effect. Here, if no footprint is left in
the sand and there is no record or evidence that supports a
statement or declaration, it is not truth. When we mix the
variability of belief and faith and how it manifests as truth in the
inner worlds with the standard of truth demanded in the physical
plane, we are bound to confuse ourselves and lose our footing. Paul
knew this (even though he had great difficulty practicing it) and
that is why he wrote it in his oft-quoted statements on truth:
"Man is able to tell what comfortable lies he likes to others but he
must beware of telling them to himself not because it is immoral
but because, unfortunately, he will not be able to deceive himself.
One cannot live happily with a person he knows is a liar."
"Before you can give Truth to others, Truth must be known as the
absolute need in your life. We must see Truth and know Truth and
think Truth always."
"This is the time for Truth, "the Truth, the whole Truth and nothing
but the Truth." This is no time for half-Truths, for bewilderment
and lack of understanding. These constitute the soil in which grief
grows. In Truth alone is there comfort, understanding and courage."
"Refuse to see Truth, pretend that it is impossible to know what is
true and what is not, distort Truth, seek to mix it with Untruth,
attempt to deceive both ourselves and others, give Truth in an
unattractive manner, then chaos will reign in our lives."
Therefore, we must let Paul Twitchell and all others go and begin
the often lonely but essential journey that lies within. We can
share it with others who are on that same journey to higher
consciousness and learn from them just as we also teach. However,
too much attention on the good or bad of others takes our attention
away from the most complex problem we are here to solve: ourselves
and our spiritual heritage as one with ALL THAT IS.