7505Re: Does anybody remember the time that Darwin banned Levis at seminars?
- Nov 28, 2009Hello Jonathan and All,
The more I think about it I do remember
a remark about a dress code and no Levis.
Today, the blue jeans thing mostly affects
male volunteers at major seminars (when
seminar leaders assign duties), or locally
when doing an intro, or the EWS as the
conducting cleric. Jeans are still okay for
many EK events, unless, you're conducting
Also, I used to dress in suit and tie when
I worked at the major EK seminars. One
needed a jacket to "hide" all of the
equipment (walkie-talkies, etc.) and battery
packs. BTW, Germans and Europeans, in
general, still have more dress codes than
Americans. Black and white are traditional
colors in Germany and Lederhosen (shorts)
are not worn much (except during festivals)
even during hot weather. Dress is very
conservative and people tend to follow
the crowd, and conform. For some reason
they don't want to stand out as being
individualistic. Then, again, it does seem
that they are more regulated and responsible
than we are and that might be a good
thing for some things.
In regard to Darwin's music I didn't get
into jazz either. However, I think that
Darwin's opinion/prediction about the
Big Band music catching on was true.
Look at the youth (since 1981) who have/
had gotten involved with Swing dancing.
Jim Carey was in the movie Mask and it
had Big Band music and there was the
movie Swingers. Many other things
indicated a revival of this music. I
walked into a bar/restaurant about
ten or so years ago where young college
age people were doing Swing dancing
to Big Band music and it was really
fun to watch. I can't remember if Big
Band music was ever played at the
"social" dance at one of HK's major
EK seminars... maybe it has been!
BTW- Did they ever have a Native-
American "drumming" session at
a major ECK seminar? A group of
us (once) got an empty room and
were supposed to have had one
because I was going to bring over
one of my Celtic drums. But, I seem
to remember that it got cancelled
because a higher-up at the ESC
got wind of it and thought it was
Thanks for the reply. You have a lot better memory for these things than I do.
I appreciated your comments about Darwin's attire. Since I joined around 1979,
and Darwin was gone about four years later, I don't remember a whole lot about
him. I found your comment that Darwin dressed in a tux when playing music
onstage to be very interesting. It proves to me that Darwin did put effort into
dressing appropriately for the occasion. I have never paid much attention to how
That letter that Darwin sent out must have really bothered me at the time. The
hypocrisy/contradiction with what Darwin had said earlier. But it is just one of
many examples. I absolutely remember the letter because I had been listening to
a guy on the radio named Bruce Williams who gives economic/business advice to
people. He had recently explained how a lot of people in everyday conversation
use a trademarked brand name such as "Kleenex" for an everyday item (facial
tissue), and usually don't even realize what they are doing. Another example he
gave was "Laundromat" which is a trademarked term of the Laundromat Corp., but
people use it as an everyday term for a coin laundry. So when Darwin said
"Levis" in the letter it really caught my attention, simply for this reason. So
I definitely didn't imagine the letter because I was saying to myself "Darwin is
doing the same thing that Bruce Williams warned about, using a trademarked name
(Levis) for an everyday item (blue jeans)." So the letter was real. Also, I
doubt that anyone at the seminars actually enforced Darwin's decree.
I never had a problem with Darwin's music although I have very little interest
in Jazz. I thought it was OK. It even sounded spiritual to me. But Darwin never
managed to get me to appreciate Jazz! lol
It seems almost funny in retrospect how we let these people (LEMs) run our
lives. When Darwin was the LEM, I understand that they always had big band music
and dancing at Eckankar's big events. In deference to Darwin of course. And I
even remember Darwin once commenting that Big Band music was going to make a big
comeback. In retrospect, that prediction seems like one of Darwin's personal
fantasies rather than something that was actually going to come true. But at the
time I'm sure that all of we loyal Eckists probably took him seriously, even
believing him outright.
One last comment. About two years ago I was parked near a church on Sunday
morning. I saw some people walking down the street. It seemed that they must be
going to church, but they were dressed so casually! I couldn't believe it! By
the way, I did verify that they were indeed going to the Catholic Church just
down the street. This shocked me because I hadn't been to a Christian church ) I
was Protestant) since about 1976 (2007-1976=31 years). So in 31 years the attire
for people going to church completely changed from what I HAD to wear (a dress
suit and tie, plus polished leather shoes) to casual, although I would still be
surprised to see someone wearing blue jeans.
For those of you who are outsiders to Eckankar, I would say that both the
seminars and the meetings at Eck centers it definitely trends toward casual. It
does vary from Eck center to Eck center though. In my last ten years in Eckankar
1999-2008, I attended worship services at two different Eck centers. At one,
things were 100% casual. At the other one, it was mostly casual, but a few
people did come "dressed from church." I especially remember an African family
that always dressed up. But I can remember some of the top honchos at the center
dressing completely casually so it wasn't as if they were attempting to set an
example for everyone to "dress up."
I really feel that there has been an overwhelming trend in the last 30 years
toward more casual. But there are other countries that still insist on dressing
up. A caller to a talk show in the 1970s or 1980s, a man from Germany, said that
he liked something in the United States better than Germany. He said that people
in Germany wear a suit and tie when they go out to the movies. I don't remember
that happening in the United States, even in the 1960s.
> Hello All,
> No, I don't remember that letter about
> Not wearing Levis. I know that Darwin
> wore them at the Broken Bow campouts
> and other places like Sedona. He'd usually
> wear darker blue jeans with a light blue
> or white shirt. Usually he dressed (resort)
> casual with an open collar blue dress shirt
> and khaki slacks when walking to and from
> seminar meetings, and this is how he
> often dressed at the ESC at Menlo Park.
> Of course he'd have a sport coat or jacket
> with him for outside or for a more formal
> look. DG was a dapper dude and dressed
> for the ladies (LLDG). Thus, the tux when
> he'd perform on stage with Rodney Jones
> and the gang.
> Maybe you could go on Facebook
> and ask to be a friend of Rodney's and
> then ask him some things about Darwin.
> Who knows... he might be willing to share
> some history. Then again, he might be
> afraid to share things if it got back to
> HK that he was talking about Darwin.
> It is funny to see those Passing of the
> Rod pictures of PT, DG, and HK all wearing
> light blue dress shirts with collars open!
> Yes, I remember that I was told that there
> were No Rules in Eckankar. Of course, there
> were plenty of "LAWS," as well as, the Four Zoas!
> By definition these "Zoas" don't apply to anyone
> except a new Madis (5th), although, ALL are
> expected to follow these rules. Then, Klemp
> added his "Guidelines" and the RESA Police
> to enforce the Rules, Zoas, and Guidelines.
> Eventually HK had to write two leadership
> books ("high" and "low") to explain all of
> the restrictions on thought and behaviour.
> Actually, there are even more "unspoken"
> rules and restrictions in Eckankar than
> most H.I.s would be willing to admit. It's
> only natural that there should be open
> discussions on policy etc. without repercussions.
> Only a religious leader can proclaim that
> Soul=Soul in one breath and take it back
> in the next. But, not all religions have a
> God-like leader with the ultimate power
> and authority (Klemp) to excommunicate
> and demote members without a trial or
> an open discussion or giving just cause
> via a two-way answering of questions.
> jonathanjohns wrote:
> Months ago I made a lot of posts on this
> message board and on the "other" board.
> Today, I thought I would dig up some trivia
> or nostalgia. It's really
> not a serious topic.
> I joined Eckankar around 1979 when
> Darwin was still the LEM. One day,
> out of nowhere, probably around 1980,
> I got one of those blue letters in the
> blue envelope directly from Darwin/
> Eckankar. It was sent out to all of the
> chelas, and I believe it was before Harold
> Klemp became the LEM. But what was
> written in this letter rather surprised
> me. Darwin stated that chelas should
> not wear "Levis" to the Eck seminars.
> The implication or direct statement
> was that this was too casual. There
> may have been a statement about how
> Eckankar needed to project a better
> I believe he made additional statements
> about other articles of clothing, but
> I especially noticed the word "Levis"
> because this is actually a trademarked
> name of a company, not a type of clothing.
> I am assuming that what he raelly meant
> was "blue jeans," but he might have also
> been including other styles of pants
> which were just as casual.
> This letter bothered me, and not just
> because I hate to dress up, and I also
> hate it when people tell me I have to
> dress up. The other reason that it
> bothered me was that a month or two
> before I received this letter from Darwin,
> I had listened to an audio tape where
> he emphatically stated "There are no
> rules and regulations in Eckankar." So
> I'm reading this letter and thinking to
> myself "Wait a minute! What did you
> just say in your tape!?"
> I realize that this isn't the most important
> topic about Eckankar, but I would like to
> expand on it a bit. The really humerous
> thing is that Darwin didn't exactly dress
> up when he gave talks although I didn't
> even think about that when I read that letter
> (circa 1980) because I thought the LEM
> could do no wrong. I believe that for talks,
> Darwin wore a buttoned shirt, perhaps
> a dress shirt, but the top button was
> unbuttoned, and with no tie. There is
> a photo in Darwin's book "Your Right
> To Know" where he is apparently signing
> autographs for chelas and he is dressed
> like this. I would assume that this took
> place at a major seminar.
> But as I was driving my car this morning,
> something occurred to me. Klemp always
> wears a suit and tie when he gives his talks.
> I would appreciate anyone's thoughts on this.
> Did Eckankar really transition from "Darwing
> the casual dresser" to "Klemp the suit and
> tie man?" If it did, I think that it reflects
> Klemps' obsession with making Eckankar
> "presentable" to the public. I don't think that
> it necessarily has to do with Klemp trying to
> make Eckankar look like Christianity. But if
> you hang out around the members of
> Eckankar it seems that a lot of them are
> obsessed with how the public percieves
> AS a sidelight, I have one memory about
> Paul to share. There was a talk that
> Paul gave to an American audience where
> he was telling them about his expereince
> in giving talks in Europe. He said that
> he would start out the talk all dressed
> up, but as the talk went on he would take
> his shoes off, sit cross-legged on the
> floor, etc. I believe he also said that he
> loosened his tie up, which meant that
> he actually was wearing one. Put it was
> funny when Paul commented on the
> reaction of the Europen audiences:
> "I noticed all these eyebrows going up and
> down." Paul meant it as a humerous story,
> and also as a story pointing out the difference
> between Americans being more casual
> than Europeans. So although Paul apparently
> wore a suit and tie for talks, as the talk
> progressed, his desire for personal comfort
> apparently won out over his desire to present
> the "proper" image. Paul was a nonconformist
> anyway so I think that he really didn't care
> very much waht people thought.
> But getting back to Darwin. It seemed
> that he sent out a lot of letters directly
> to the chela. I have to give credit to Klemp,
> he didn't seem to do that. Or maybe after
> that Darwin letter, I had just reached the
> point where I pretty much ignored all of them.
> Two questions:
> 1. Does anybody but me remember that
> letter that Darwin sent out?
> 2. Did Darwin really dress casually when
> giving talks?
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