Re: An Eck story - Paul Twitchell and the "Potato Pizza Man"
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."
- 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
I'll comment more below.
"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
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
"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
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
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!
> 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
> book. I was reading the section in the book where he is talking about Paulfuture
> 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
> generations to have. I was already aware of Twitchell's plagiarism before Iread
> Ford's book, but the book did reinforce my knowledge, and even added to itwith
> his many detailed examples.pop
> 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
> into my mind again. Finally, after about the third time, I stopped reading. IIndia
> 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
> I knew "Vijay" very well, and he introduced me to several other guys from
> - one of them was named "Joshi." He was a very likable guy, always tellingfunny
> stories. He had a lot of personality. He had lots of friends because everybodya
> 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
> hallway talking to one of their professors. Vijay related the following storyprofessor
> about Joshi. This quote below is Joshi speaking. He is speaking to the
> and telling him about their trip to the symposium in _______.an
> 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
> 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 thisthem.
> "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
> She was talking to Vijay and her son Joshi's other Indian friends. She toldlikes
> them. "When Joshi tells you things, be careful what you believe because he
> to tell fibs." So the fact that his mother told Vijay and his friends thistold
> 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
> me, and that is, Joshi has no idea that he is actually lying when he doesthis.
> He's completely sincere. He has no clue that he is making stories up or lying.in
> So, that's the story. Isn't it interesting how I knew this guy Joshi way back
> 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.