Repost: Disappearing into the black hole of Eckankar
--- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "mishmisha9" <mishmisha9@...> wrote:
"Disappearing into the black hole of Eckankar" is how one former friend
of Joan Cross described how she left her husband at Clemson University
for the teachings of eckankar.
Click on the link below for the complete essay, but I have copied the
portion that mentions the writer's friends Robert and Joan Cross and
Joan's sudden bolt from her husband to join the eckankar cult in
California in the late 1970s.
BTW, the writer is Sterling "Skip" Eisiminger, a professor emeritus of
English and Humanities at Clemson University, teaching there since
and the excerpt:
HONK IF YOU LOVE VOLTAIRE: A RELIGIOUS LIFE
. . . I wouldn't call cults a main dish on the church picnic table, but I did
pick at one dish when a friend disappeared into the black hole of Eckankar.
When I came to Clemson, I was assigned to Professor Bob Cross for mentoring.
Bob and I hit it off from the start, but what fascinated me most about Bob was
the relationship he had with his wife. The two were inseparable. Fortunately,
there were no children, for a Cross child would have found the competition stiff
for parental love. At work, they asked for and received one office with facing
desks. At home, they read science fiction and took long walks together with
their poodle. Perhaps I missed the warning signs, but Bob missed them as
well, for we were both stunned when Joan announced, "Earth is the hell for all
planets circling Alpha Centauri." She, for one, was moving to California to have
her astral shoes "resouled" as the new editor of the Eckankar Journal. In her
spare time, she and her fellow Eckankar disciples planned to travel to various
planes of the Sugmad and serve their Eck master.
In 1997, some twenty years later when I read of the thirty-nine Heaven's Gate
suicides, I scanned the list of the deceased fully expecting to find Joan's name
among those tailing the Hale-Bopp comet. Fortunately, Joan's name was not
among the missing. About the only cult that impresses me now is the
Frisbeeterian, not to be confused with the Presleyterian, which is interesting
to me only in an academic, pop culture sort of way. The former faction believes
that when someone dies, the soul goes up on a roof, and no one can retrieve it.
It makes as much sense as leaving a devoted husband for the unexplored
Sugmad. . . .
(Joan later became HK's 2nd wife after he dumped Marge, his 1st.)
--- End forwarded message ---