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  • rob from canada
    Jan 17, 2001
      Greetings One and All

      My name's Rob and I'm a former 4th iniate of eckankar. I originally
      joined in 1977. I had doubts about eekankar from the outset. When I
      joined, Darwin Gross, then living yeeek master,supposed "godman,"
      having achieved the highest level of consciousness on the planet, had
      been summarily booted out of the organization. This struck me as a
      tad fishy. As a result, it took me 4 years to take my 2nd
      iniatiation. Even then, it was only through much elbow twisting by
      one of the local high iniates that I begrudgingly took the step. I
      stayed with it because I benefited from some of the spiritual
      excercises(relaxing if nothing else), the self-discipline (I quit
      drinking and smoking), the bolstered self-esteem from believing I
      walked the true path of god as well as the sense of protection and
      guidance (real or imagined). In the beginning this was enough, but as
      the years passed and I progressed in iniation levels, I felt
      progressively uncomfortable. I began feeling like I wasn't measuring
      up. I was a VERY dedicated eeiickist and faithfully attended
      satsangs, served as an ara"ha ha" ta, spoke at lectures, and
      regularly did my spirital excercises. Still, I felt I should be
      making more progress and was painfully aware of my personal
      shortcomings. It seemed the harder I tried, the more unbalanced I
      became. When I asked what was wrong, I was always given some stock
      response: ie "don't ask questions - relax and surrender to the ick"
      As I got into the higher level discourses, I noticed the texts became
      increasingly threatening. Former feelings of security and belonging
      began to give away to feelings of fear, inadequacy and uncertainty. I
      had already pondered quitting when I stumbled on David Lane's exposee
      about Paul Twitchell and Eckankar on the internet. Lane's research
      confimed many of things I had suspected all along. He exposed
      eckankar for what it is - an organization perpetuating itself on
      lies, ripoffs, coverups, law suits, and power struggles - a mind
      control cult! At the time I made the discovery, I was knee deep
      working on my MA in English, had a new born child and was working a
      number of different part time jobs to pay the bills. I felt great
      relief in discovering Lane's work, but really didn't have the time to
      reflect on all the implications or assess the damage yuuckankar had
      done to my psyche. I determined to simply quit the ick without a
      word. Although I've been out of the cult for a number of years, I'm
      only now becoming aware of the grip it had on my psyche and the
      damage it has done. Once my schedule slowed down, I started
      experiencing feelings of anger, doubt, cynicism, fear, estrangement,
      depression.... These negative feelings began having an adverse affect
      on my self-discipline and my daily life. I began using certain
      meditative and relaxation techniques gleaned from other spiritual
      paths and psychcological sources. These definitely helped, but I
      still felt an inner emptiness. I yearned to find an alternative
      spiritual path and tried exploring a number, but the experience had
      left me far to cynical (probably just as well in retrospect). My
      internet research eventually led me to various cult awareness
      websites - some posted by former eckists such as Sharon (whose been a
      great help to me!) I'm becoming aware of the cognitive and emotional
      damage done though the cult's mind control techniques,I'm learning
      about the drug-like emotional dependancy I had unwittingly developed,
      I'm learning how to recogize and undo the well worn subconscious
      mental grooves which I had formed from years of doctrinal
      brainwashing and I'm now learning to live in the REAL world rather
      than the fantasy world ickancult provided. It feels great!!! My
      thanks to David Lane, Sharon and the numerous others whose prescence
      on the net has helped lead me to recovery.

      Best Regards

      rob
      Canada



      (Note from Sharon: Rob, I've edited out your email address and your city, in case you haven't considered whether you'd like to remain private or not. )
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