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Re: An Eck story - Paul Twitchell and the "Potato Pizza Man"

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  • prometheus_973
    Hello Jonathan, I really like this story because it shows how pathological liars (like Twitchell) can develop and hone their skills. It could be that their
    Message 1 of 6 , Jan 6, 2010
      Hello Jonathan,
      I really like this story because it shows
      how pathological liars (like Twitchell)
      can develop and hone their skills. It
      could be that their brains get info
      confused, or crossed connected. Thus,
      they have compensated/adjusted
      in order to hide this affliction over
      the years. However, this also shows
      a disassociation with society via deviant
      behaviour. Twitchell was also a narcissist
      and his lies fed his ego. He was fooling
      people, some very intelligent, and these
      "street smarts" became the foundation
      for Eckankar.


      Jonathan wrote:
      I thought I would respond to HK's recent request for "Eck stories."
      This story I am about to tell is a true story. I didn't make anything
      up. I didn't exaggerate. I'm telling it exactly as it happened. Before
      beginning the story I should tell you that Paul Twitchell never knew
      the "Potato Pizza Man." Also, "Potato Pizza Man" is just a stupid nickname
      that I made up for this person.

      Back in late 2008 I was on my way out of Eckankar after being a member for 29
      years (1979-2008). I believe it was December. I had been reading Ford Johnson's
      book. I was reading the section in the book where he is talking about Paul
      Twitchell being a pathological liar. Ford went into a lot of detail, and
      actually much more detail that I had the patience to read, but he at least
      covered the entire subject very thoroughly which is a valuable asset for future
      generations to have. I was already aware of Twitchell's plagiarism before I read
      Ford's book, but the book did reinforce my knowledge, and even added to it with
      his many detailed examples.

      Ford also discussed the various techniques that Twitchell used during his
      fabrication of Eckankar. One of the things that Ford spoke about was how
      Twitchell would take two completely unrelated pieces of information and then
      piece them together into one thing. While I was reading this section something
      kept popping into my mind. But then I would go back to reading, and it would pop
      into my mind again. Finally, after about the third time, I stopped reading. I
      said to myself "Why does "Joshi" (the guy that I knew at _________ University)
      keep popping into my mind?" Then I thought back to my good friend from India
      "Vijay."

      I knew "Vijay" very well, and he introduced me to several other guys from India
      - one of them was named "Joshi." He was a very likable guy, always telling funny
      stories. He had a lot of personality. He had lots of friends because everybody
      liked to hear the interesting stories that he told.

      My good friend "Vijay" told me the following story. He and several other
      Indians, including Joshi took a trip to _______ for an educational symposium.
      They were all friends. After they got back, the bunch of them were standing in a
      hallway talking to one of their professors. Vijay related the following story
      about Joshi. This quote below is Joshi speaking. He is speaking to the professor
      and telling him about their trip to the symposium in _______.

      Joshi "Yeah, we went to the symposium. We had a great time. We went to this
      restaurant and had potato pizza. The restaurant was started by an Italian guy
      and an Irish guy. They got together and thought up this great idea to start a
      restaurant selling potato pizza."

      Vijay then explained to me as he seriously said "All us who went on the trip
      just stood there silently." He lowered his voice as he said "The problem is…
      there was no potato pizza." He went on to explain. "They truth is, we went to an
      Italian place for pizza, and we also went to an Irish pub for some drinks. Joshi
      took these two completely unrelated events and put them together into this
      "potato pizza story." Vijay was laughing as he told me. but he was laughing
      mostly out of embarrassment or perhaps as a result of feeling incredulous. But
      he went on to tell me this. "Joshi's mother came over from India to visit them.
      She was talking to Vijay and her son Joshi's other Indian friends. She told
      them. "When Joshi tells you things, be careful what you believe because he likes
      to tell fibs." So the fact that his mother told Vijay and his friends this
      statement indicates to me that "Joshi" was this way from a young age.

      I never really applied the term "pathological liar" to "Joshi" because I liked
      the guy, but that is obviously what he was. The amazing thing is what Vijay told
      me, and that is, Joshi has no idea that he is actually lying when he does this.
      He's completely sincere. He has no clue that he is making stories up or lying.

      So, that's the story. Isn't it interesting how I knew this guy Joshi way back in
      1979? That he was a pathological liar, although a very nice one. That 1979 is
      the same year that I joined Eckankar. That Eckankar is a religion that Paul
      Twitchell stole from Indian religions, most notably Hinduism and Sikhism, or
      derivatives of these two. It's way too many coincidences!

      So I'm going to send this story into Eckankar. I hope they print it.
    • jonathanjohns96
      Prometheus, I forgot to mention one thing. When I discussed the man from India who combined two facts into a story that was a total lie, I said that both my
      Message 2 of 6 , Jan 12, 2010
        Prometheus,

        I forgot to mention one thing. When I discussed the man from India who combined two facts into a story that was a total lie, I said that both my friend and I believed that this man didn't know he was lying. I thought perhaps some pro-Eckankar people might think that Twitchell gets some compassion because he had a brain dysfunction whereby he didn't know he was lying. Whether he did or didn't have that, the fact is that he published books that were full of plagiarized material, so he is responsible for that, no matter what the original circumstances were.

        So I guess there are three possibilities for Twitchell's lies:
        1. He had a brain dysfunction and didn't know he was lying.
        2. He knew he was lying, but did it anyway.
        3. He knew he was lying, but after doing it for such a long time, he got so used to it that it no longer seemed like lying.

        Regarding #2 and #3, I think he may have been under pressure from his wife Gail to make a decent living for them. I honestly believe that he wrote most of his stuff down as just a private diary. He never intended to start a metaphysical group (according to Twitchell he did not start a religion). But then after pressure from Gail to "Do something with your life!" he started Eckankar, never actually believing that it would ever catch on anyway. As he progressed he made a few "corrections" such as changing the name of Kirpal Singh, then had to add lies later to cover up the original lies. Before long, it snowballed into one big mess.

        But the bottom line is, he had a "personal dairy" plus a bunch of plagiarized stuff. He took that and tried to change it into "the word of God." It's probably the same thing that hundreds of people had successfully done before him to start religions, but in the modern age he wasn't able to get away with it.

        I realize that my excuses for Twitchell are being way too kind to him, but I thought I would try to get into the heads of some of Twitchell's fans and perhaps try to figure out what they might be thinking. Also, I think when I left Eckankar I probably thought up some of these excuses, but in the end they just didn't wash out. When I first saw the documentation showing entire paragraphs copied from "The Path Of The Masters" I think that was when I really had to face the fact that Twitchell plagiarized a large amount of material almost word for word (credit given to the research by David Lane and Ford Johnson). At that point I was very close to leaving Eckankar.

        Jonathan

        --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "prometheus_973" <prometheus_973@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hello Jonathan,
        > I really like this story because it shows
        > how pathological liars (like Twitchell)
        > can develop and hone their skills. It
        > could be that their brains get info
        > confused, or crossed connected. Thus,
        > they have compensated/adjusted
        > in order to hide this affliction over
        > the years. However, this also shows
        > a disassociation with society via deviant
        > behaviour. Twitchell was also a narcissist
        > and his lies fed his ego. He was fooling
        > people, some very intelligent, and these
        > "street smarts" became the foundation
        > for Eckankar.
        >
        >
        > Jonathan wrote:
        > I thought I would respond to HK's recent request for "Eck stories."
        > This story I am about to tell is a true story. I didn't make anything
        > up. I didn't exaggerate. I'm telling it exactly as it happened. Before
        > beginning the story I should tell you that Paul Twitchell never knew
        > the "Potato Pizza Man." Also, "Potato Pizza Man" is just a stupid nickname
        > that I made up for this person.
        >
        > Back in late 2008 I was on my way out of Eckankar after being a member for 29
        > years (1979-2008). I believe it was December. I had been reading Ford Johnson's
        > book. I was reading the section in the book where he is talking about Paul
        > Twitchell being a pathological liar. Ford went into a lot of detail, and
        > actually much more detail that I had the patience to read, but he at least
        > covered the entire subject very thoroughly which is a valuable asset for future
        > generations to have. I was already aware of Twitchell's plagiarism before I read
        > Ford's book, but the book did reinforce my knowledge, and even added to it with
        > his many detailed examples.
        >
        > Ford also discussed the various techniques that Twitchell used during his
        > fabrication of Eckankar. One of the things that Ford spoke about was how
        > Twitchell would take two completely unrelated pieces of information and then
        > piece them together into one thing. While I was reading this section something
        > kept popping into my mind. But then I would go back to reading, and it would pop
        > into my mind again. Finally, after about the third time, I stopped reading. I
        > said to myself "Why does "Joshi" (the guy that I knew at _________ University)
        > keep popping into my mind?" Then I thought back to my good friend from India
        > "Vijay."
        >
        > I knew "Vijay" very well, and he introduced me to several other guys from India
        > - one of them was named "Joshi." He was a very likable guy, always telling funny
        > stories. He had a lot of personality. He had lots of friends because everybody
        > liked to hear the interesting stories that he told.
        >
        > My good friend "Vijay" told me the following story. He and several other
        > Indians, including Joshi took a trip to _______ for an educational symposium.
        > They were all friends. After they got back, the bunch of them were standing in a
        > hallway talking to one of their professors. Vijay related the following story
        > about Joshi. This quote below is Joshi speaking. He is speaking to the professor
        > and telling him about their trip to the symposium in _______.
        >
        > Joshi "Yeah, we went to the symposium. We had a great time. We went to this
        > restaurant and had potato pizza. The restaurant was started by an Italian guy
        > and an Irish guy. They got together and thought up this great idea to start a
        > restaurant selling potato pizza."
        >
        > Vijay then explained to me as he seriously said "All us who went on the trip
        > just stood there silently." He lowered his voice as he said "The problem is…
        > there was no potato pizza." He went on to explain. "They truth is, we went to an
        > Italian place for pizza, and we also went to an Irish pub for some drinks. Joshi
        > took these two completely unrelated events and put them together into this
        > "potato pizza story." Vijay was laughing as he told me. but he was laughing
        > mostly out of embarrassment or perhaps as a result of feeling incredulous. But
        > he went on to tell me this. "Joshi's mother came over from India to visit them.
        > She was talking to Vijay and her son Joshi's other Indian friends. She told
        > them. "When Joshi tells you things, be careful what you believe because he likes
        > to tell fibs." So the fact that his mother told Vijay and his friends this
        > statement indicates to me that "Joshi" was this way from a young age.
        >
        > I never really applied the term "pathological liar" to "Joshi" because I liked
        > the guy, but that is obviously what he was. The amazing thing is what Vijay told
        > me, and that is, Joshi has no idea that he is actually lying when he does this.
        > He's completely sincere. He has no clue that he is making stories up or lying.
        >
        > So, that's the story. Isn't it interesting how I knew this guy Joshi way back in
        > 1979? That he was a pathological liar, although a very nice one. That 1979 is
        > the same year that I joined Eckankar. That Eckankar is a religion that Paul
        > Twitchell stole from Indian religions, most notably Hinduism and Sikhism, or
        > derivatives of these two. It's way too many coincidences!
        >
        > So I'm going to send this story into Eckankar. I hope they print it.
        >
      • jonathanjohns96
        All, I just noticed that this sentence at the beginning in my previous post could be misread, and therefore misunderstood. I am concerned that the sentence
        Message 3 of 6 , Jan 12, 2010
          All,

          I just noticed that this sentence at the beginning in my previous post could be misread, and therefore misunderstood. I am concerned that the sentence could be misread to mean that what I said in my original post was a total lie. Here is the sentence:

          "When I discussed the man from India who combined two facts into a story that was a total lie, I said that both my friend and I believed that this man didn't know he was lying."

          This is my improved version:

          "In my original post I discussed the man from India who combined two facts together which then resulted in a story which was a total lie. I also stated in my original post that both my friend who told me the story and I believed that this man didn't know he was lying."

          Jonathan
        • prometheus_973
          Hello Jonathan and All, You make some good points and that gave me some other insights as to why people preach and seek religious dogma to fit their
          Message 4 of 6 , Jan 15, 2010
            Hello Jonathan and All,
            You make some good points and that
            gave me some other insights as to why
            people preach and seek religious dogma
            to fit their individual/group personalities.
            People are social animals and need various
            group consensuses in order to feel good
            about their self-image. We need to have
            a sense of belonging, otherwise,a social/
            psychological imbalance takes place.
            Then again, imbalance can often take
            place for an individual due to joining
            a group (religion/organization). This think/
            consciousness always has it's own rules,
            laws, and guidelines outside of normal
            society. However, for spiritual and
            creative growth to take place, one
            has to be able to be a free thinker and
            yet be a responsible member of society.
            The problem now is with the limited
            scope as to what people see/define as
            "society."

            I'll comment more below.



            jonathan wrote:

            Prometheus,

            "I forgot to mention one thing. When I discussed the man from India who combined
            two facts into a story that was a total lie, I said that both my friend and I
            believed that this man didn't know he was lying. I thought perhaps some
            pro-Eckankar people might think that Twitchell gets some compassion because he
            had a brain dysfunction whereby he didn't know he was lying. Whether he did or
            didn't have that, the fact is that he published books that were full of
            plagiarized material, so he is responsible for that, no matter what the original
            circumstances were."

            P- Actually Twitchell bought into another lie.
            Radhasoami and Ruhani Satsang were just other
            forms of the same old religious lie. The main
            difference between these two religions is who
            the living "Master" was/is. That's, basically,
            the same difference between these two religions
            and Eckankar. But, then again, all religions
            share some of the same beliefs, and all claim
            to be the best, highest and most accurate!
            I think that this is what Twitchell saw and since
            Kirpal Singh wasn't going to make him his U.S.
            Rep he decided to start his own New Age/Westernized
            version of these two religions. PT felt that he
            needed to give his new creation (and himself)
            some validity so he created Rebazar Tarzs and
            the lineage of ECK Masters. Therefore, Twit
            knew that it was all a lie. Both he and, especially,
            Gail saw this as an opportunity to combine/share/
            sell this new product (another religion) and see
            what developed. And, Eckankar did pay off!
            Maybe not as well as other New Age religions,
            like Scientology, but it didn't do too bad at
            bringing in the cash until recently.



            "So I guess there are three possibilities for Twitchell's lies:
            1. He had a brain dysfunction and didn't know he was lying.
            2. He knew he was lying, but did it anyway.
            3. He knew he was lying, but after doing it for such a long time, he got so used
            to it that it no longer seemed like lying."


            P- PT was pathological and a narcissist. He
            knew he was lying. He had been lying since
            age 27 according to Klemp. Over the years
            it became second nature to him. He was always
            "on-stage" and started to believe his own lies,
            thus, making him delusional as well. After all,
            he had to keep-up the act for his young wife.
            She was in on the lie from day one and Twit
            used her as a sounding board. She supported
            him and played a key role in structuring the
            whole scheme.


            "Regarding #2 and #3, I think he may have been under pressure from his wife Gail
            to make a decent living for them. I honestly believe that he wrote most of his
            stuff down as just a private diary. He never intended to start a metaphysical
            group (according to Twitchell he did not start a religion). But then after
            pressure from Gail to "Do something with your life!" he started Eckankar, never
            actually believing that it would ever catch on anyway. As he progressed he made
            a few "corrections" such as changing the name of Kirpal Singh, then had to add
            lies later to cover up the original lies. Before long, it snowballed into one
            big mess."


            P-I completely agree with the above! Twit had
            written fictional articles for Ripley's Believe It Or
            Not and had also been caught plagiarizing by Orion.
            Therefore, one just needs to take another religion's
            dogma and alter it to fit your own purposes. Why
            reinvent the wheel? The history, myth, and lies
            of other religions can be added and altered to that
            of the newly created one! Voila'! Yes, Gail is as
            responsible for the lies as much as (if not more)
            than what Twit is. And, Klemp knows that it's all
            a scam as well! That's why he hides out instead
            of being more visible as a local public or religious
            leader here in Chanhassen. Klemp could have
            a radio program, but he "can't take the heat"
            so he stays out of the kitchen.



            "But the bottom line is, he had a "personal diary" plus a bunch of plagiarized
            stuff. He took that and tried to change it into "the word of God." It's probably
            the same thing that hundreds of people had successfully done before him to start
            religions, but in the modern age he wasn't able to get away with it."



            P- Well, this is why Klemp tries to keep
            his followers off the Internet by promoting
            EMR/EMF fears. HK doesn't want his people
            reading and researching and thinking too
            much. This is why ECKists are encouraged
            to read ONLY approved/recommended EK
            books. Tunnel vision (limited focus) and
            pretending (imagining) is encouraged.
            Delusional thinking becomes A Way Of Life!




            "I realize that my excuses for Twitchell are being way too kind to him, but I
            thought I would try to get into the heads of some of Twitchell's fans and
            perhaps try to figure out what they might be thinking. Also, I think when I left
            Eckankar I probably thought up some of these excuses, but in the end they just
            didn't wash out. When I first saw the documentation showing entire paragraphs
            copied from "The Path Of The Masters" I think that was when I really had to face
            the fact that Twitchell plagiarized a large amount of material almost word for
            word (credit given to the research by David Lane and Ford Johnson). At that
            point I was very close to leaving Eckankar."


            P- Twit was a likable character and could spin
            a good yarn. That's what many of these characters
            did back in those days. They even had local "Liars"
            clubs back then. It was seen as good sport until
            honest hard-working people were flim-flammed
            out of their hard earned money by a snake-oil
            salesman. Twit became a snake-oil salesman,
            but rationalized it all by saying he was doing
            a "service" for people. He attracted a certain
            disillusioned New Age group of people and gave
            them something different to believe in. Of course
            it took the same kind of "faith" and belief as their
            previous religions did, but this (Eckankar) was
            different and a "faster" Journey and a "higher"
            Truth than any religion could offer ever before.
            The Best and Fastest (most direct)! Who could
            resist that promise? And, you can "prove" it to
            yourself! Just read the material and your mind
            will focus itself on certain (conscious/unconscious)
            expectations that will manifest via dreams or
            "signs."

            Anyway, it's rather funny that this is exactly
            how other religious beliefs work too!
            These Religions all seem to have followers that
            exclude, or belittle, the "spiritual" experiences
            of non-believers! One has to be in the same club.
            But, even then, there's the hierarchy that promotes
            equality (as Soul) while excluding people due
            to rank (the highest can only be desired and
            imagined). There's the Catch-22. If one has
            desires (even for God-Realization or for initiation
            rank) it cannot be attained, unless, you
            imagine someone else can give it to you.
            Religion is just a bunch of futuristic promises
            that can help give masses of people some
            comfort... sometimes. But, it's all most people
            have. And, what else do they have except these
            promises? It's like a pyramid scheme. The ones
            that buy-in, early on, benefit the most, except,
            those initiations are phony... and look at all
            of the time that was wasted... not to mention
            the money wasted! Finding out the real Truth
            hurt because we learned that, once again, we
            were suckered by another religion! And, what
            did we have to replace it with? This is probably
            why most ECKists stay. They "need" a religion!

            Prometheus





            prometheus wrote:
            >
            > Hello Jonathan,
            > I really like this story because it shows
            > how pathological liars (like Twitchell)
            > can develop and hone their skills. It
            > could be that their brains get info
            > confused, or crossed connected. Thus,
            > they have compensated/adjusted
            > in order to hide this affliction over
            > the years. However, this also shows
            > a disassociation with society via deviant
            > behaviour. Twitchell was also a narcissist
            > and his lies fed his ego. He was fooling
            > people, some very intelligent, and these
            > "street smarts" became the foundation
            > for Eckankar.
            >
            >
            > Jonathan wrote:
            > I thought I would respond to HK's recent request for "Eck stories."
            > This story I am about to tell is a true story. I didn't make anything
            > up. I didn't exaggerate. I'm telling it exactly as it happened. Before
            > beginning the story I should tell you that Paul Twitchell never knew
            > the "Potato Pizza Man." Also, "Potato Pizza Man" is just a stupid nickname
            > that I made up for this person.
            >
            > Back in late 2008 I was on my way out of Eckankar after being a member for 29
            > years (1979-2008). I believe it was December. I had been reading Ford
            Johnson's
            > book. I was reading the section in the book where he is talking about Paul
            > Twitchell being a pathological liar. Ford went into a lot of detail, and
            > actually much more detail that I had the patience to read, but he at least
            > covered the entire subject very thoroughly which is a valuable asset for
            future
            > generations to have. I was already aware of Twitchell's plagiarism before I
            read
            > Ford's book, but the book did reinforce my knowledge, and even added to it
            with
            > his many detailed examples.
            >
            > Ford also discussed the various techniques that Twitchell used during his
            > fabrication of Eckankar. One of the things that Ford spoke about was how
            > Twitchell would take two completely unrelated pieces of information and then
            > piece them together into one thing. While I was reading this section something
            > kept popping into my mind. But then I would go back to reading, and it would
            pop
            > into my mind again. Finally, after about the third time, I stopped reading. I
            > said to myself "Why does "Joshi" (the guy that I knew at _________ University)
            > keep popping into my mind?" Then I thought back to my good friend from India
            > "Vijay."
            >
            > I knew "Vijay" very well, and he introduced me to several other guys from
            India
            > - one of them was named "Joshi." He was a very likable guy, always telling
            funny
            > stories. He had a lot of personality. He had lots of friends because everybody
            > liked to hear the interesting stories that he told.
            >
            > My good friend "Vijay" told me the following story. He and several other
            > Indians, including Joshi took a trip to _______ for an educational symposium.
            > They were all friends. After they got back, the bunch of them were standing in
            a
            > hallway talking to one of their professors. Vijay related the following story
            > about Joshi. This quote below is Joshi speaking. He is speaking to the
            professor
            > and telling him about their trip to the symposium in _______.
            >
            > Joshi "Yeah, we went to the symposium. We had a great time. We went to this
            > restaurant and had potato pizza. The restaurant was started by an Italian guy
            > and an Irish guy. They got together and thought up this great idea to start a
            > restaurant selling potato pizza."
            >
            > Vijay then explained to me as he seriously said "All us who went on the trip
            > just stood there silently." He lowered his voice as he said "The problem is…
            > there was no potato pizza." He went on to explain. "They truth is, we went to
            an
            > Italian place for pizza, and we also went to an Irish pub for some drinks.
            Joshi
            > took these two completely unrelated events and put them together into this
            > "potato pizza story." Vijay was laughing as he told me. but he was laughing
            > mostly out of embarrassment or perhaps as a result of feeling incredulous. But
            > he went on to tell me this. "Joshi's mother came over from India to visit
            them.
            > She was talking to Vijay and her son Joshi's other Indian friends. She told
            > them. "When Joshi tells you things, be careful what you believe because he
            likes
            > to tell fibs." So the fact that his mother told Vijay and his friends this
            > statement indicates to me that "Joshi" was this way from a young age.
            >
            > I never really applied the term "pathological liar" to "Joshi" because I liked
            > the guy, but that is obviously what he was. The amazing thing is what Vijay
            told
            > me, and that is, Joshi has no idea that he is actually lying when he does
            this.
            > He's completely sincere. He has no clue that he is making stories up or lying.
            >
            > So, that's the story. Isn't it interesting how I knew this guy Joshi way back
            in
            > 1979? That he was a pathological liar, although a very nice one. That 1979 is
            > the same year that I joined Eckankar. That Eckankar is a religion that Paul
            > Twitchell stole from Indian religions, most notably Hinduism and Sikhism, or
            > derivatives of these two. It's way too many coincidences!
            >
            > So I'm going to send this story into Eckankar. I hope they print it.
            >
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