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Re: Eck an kar? (BEST OF A.R.E.)

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  • Sharon2000
    (Note: Sorry, I m not keeping up very well at best of - I usually forget! I hope others will post anything especially useful from a.r.e.; it s very easy -
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 1, 2002
      (Note: Sorry, I'm not keeping up very well at "best of" - I usually forget! I hope others will post anything especially useful from a.r.e.; it's very easy - simply click on "forward" in your newsreader and type in "eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com" in the "To" field - but your "from" needs to be the same email name & address you use here! And if a lot of headers show up in the body of the text like it does when I do it, delete them to save space!)

      From: tomleafeater@... (Tom Leafeater)
      Newsgroups: alt.religion.eckankar
      Date: 01 Oct 2002 05:57:56 GMT
      Subject: Re: Eck an kar?

      Seektruth wrote:

      >Goodness. I return to this newsgroup after surfing through various and
      >sundry new-age groups to find 41 responses under the thread I started
      >and only four addressing my questions! I would like to thank Rich,
      >Doug and Tom for heartfelt respones. I have a few followups. As to
      >anonymity it seems the prudent thing to do these days on the internet.
      >Don't you think so? I guesss I would suggest addressing the topic
      >rather than the personality.
      >As to Eck an kar being a worldwide religion. How many members are
      >there that it could be a worldwide religion? How many countries hold
      >services? Is it in the same clothe as say Scientology? Or is there a
      >guru? How many make the living off the teaching?
      >As to Paul Twitchell founding ECKANKAR (why is there caps?) does he
      >give recognition to those that came before him or did he reinvent out
      >of whole clothe? Sadly to me, I find the watering down of age-old
      >teaching to make palatable to the lowest common denominator satisfying
      >to just one...the lowest.
      >The whole new age movement is very curious to me and I'm entranced how
      >the internet has both exacerbated and revealed each particular
      >teaching without any filtering going on from corporate types. Must be
      >a bit disconcerting to the leaders and those making a living. Has Ek
      >kan kar been hit with any scandals such as those dogging scientology,
      >SRF, MSIA, Swami Rama, etc. (not to mention money scandals such as
      >Enron, Martha Stewart, WorldCom, etc., etc.?)
      >Seek Truth

      You make some excellent points here, Seektruth. In response to your querie,
      I've reposted here something I wrote awhile back. Hope it helps. It was
      written in response to an inquiry as to what Eckankar is, and is not:

      It is interesting that you are still pursuing your query on this newsgroup. I
      may be wrong, but I get the sense that you are studying the individuals here
      and how they interact with you and one another; not just what is said, but also
      how it is said. After all, if you really want to study a spiritual group, you
      would want to include a study of the people (and organization) who follow it,
      would you not? I would imagine you have already found many of the other sites
      that describe what Eckankar is, and some that describe what it is not. So you
      must be here to discover information about the people of Eckankar themselves.

      In any case, you said you had previously learned about what Eckankar is, so now
      you asked about what Eckankar is not. Paul Twitchell used to decribe Eckankar
      as the 'Ancient Science of Soul Travel'. A poster which I still have from 1971
      speaks of what Eckankar is NOT: "Eckankar is not a yoga, religion, philosophy,
      metaphysical system, or an occult science." These words were used in Eckankar
      ads, in flyers, and in Eckankar literature during that period. Even though
      Twitchell claimed Eckankar was not a philosophy in the promotional literature,
      he descibed it as the "philosophy of the sound current" in his book, 'The Far
      Country' (1970, p.137). Darwin Gross described Eckankar as "the philosophy of
      nothing" in the 'Mystic World' (June-July, 1973). Now, the current leader of
      Eckankar has discarded this language, and instead describes Eckankar as the
      'Religion of the Light and Sound of God', unless the title has changed again
      since my departure from the group. Klemp explains this as a necessary change
      since, in his words, "if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it must be
      a duck." He also states that since the consciousness changed so much from the
      time of Paul Twitchell in 1965 to the time of his own tenure in 1981 (a period
      of only 16 years), the change in definition was necessary in order to "reach
      the conciousness of the times." During this time, Klemp also worked on making
      Eckankar more palatable to Christian society. The title of "Clergy" was given
      to the "High Initiates". Ceremonies reflective of familiar Christian rituals
      were devised. A Sunday morning Worship Service was created. Many
      students were so disillusioned over Harold's attemps to placate Christian
      society that they quit the path.

      During the intervening years between the two differing descriptive titles,
      there have been many other changes in the principle way Eckankar has been
      defined, including 'A Way of Life', ' A Path to God', ' The New-Age Religion,
      and some which I do not recall now.

      Another change in Eckankar's conception of itself was in the area of tax law.
      When Twitchell first set up Eckankar's corporate structure, he wanted it to be
      a for-profit enterprise. According to Paul, he didn't want to be like other
      religions that sponged off of society with a non-profit, non-tax paying status.
      When Eckankar was later changed to a non-profit status, many members were
      quite upset, to the point of leaving the group.

      Also, there is some confusion, to say the least, as to whom Paul Twitchell's
      Masters were or were not. Moreover, there is strong disagreement about the
      source of Eckankar's very origins. In his very early writings and articles,
      (ex.'The Tiger's Fang') Twitchell mentions Kirpal Singh as his Master, then
      later changes the writings to claim Rebazar Tarz as his Master, completely
      denying any association with Kirpal Singh. Klemp now admits to Twitchell's
      early association with Kirpal Singh, but denies that the religion originated
      with Singh, rather pointing to Twitchell's claim of 970 past Eck Masters as
      Eckankar's true lineage, though the existence of these masters is in dispute,
      due to the rather remarkable lack of any evidence this large group of masters
      left in their wake. One of the most contoversial issues is the blatant
      plagiarism which Twitchell committed in his writing of several of the books
      about Eckankar. This is now an obvious fact. Though many still deny it, it is
      easily proved. Many students left over these discrepancies also.

      The three recent Eck Masters (beginning with Paul Twitchell) have expressed
      significant differences in their points of view regarding the teachings, to
      such an extent that Klemp felt it necessary to abandon many of Twitchell's
      writings, as well as to systematically revise the works of Twitchell's that
      have remained. Of course, many claim that he had to do this to remove the
      stain of plagiarism from the writings. Klemp also disagreed so much with Eck
      Master Darwin Gross that he arranged for Gross to be completely removed from
      Eckankar, stripping him of his initiations and removing his title. This also
      caused a large portion of the membership to leave.

      As you can see, there is some confusion even among the Eck Masters as to what
      Eckankar is, or is not.

      Eckankar is said to have existed since the dawn of time, with an unbroken line
      of 973 Eck Masters. These Masters would have had thousands of years to perfect
      the development of a cohesive manner in which to organize the teachings and
      describe them to others, with experiences in an untold variety of differing
      cultures and peoples to learn from. Yet in the past mere thirty years there has
      been great controversy within Eckankar and between the Eck Masters about what
      Eckankar is or is not, and how it should be structured, what its origins are,
      how it should be defined, and how it should be explained or communicated to

      Therefore, it is little wonder why many people have a hard time telling anyone
      what Eckankar is, or is not.

      The differing opinions of the Eck Masters appear to have led to confusion and
      disagreement among some of the members of Eckankar, akin to what happens when
      parents disagree in front of their children. After all, these Masters are said
      to be "omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent," since they have attained the
      God-Realized state, the 14th initiation in Eckankar, which according to
      Eckankar, is ten levels beyond the level reached by any other Master in any
      other spiritual path at any other time in the history of humankind (how could
      such a mess have been made by
      such super-beings as these?). Many members have differing opinions about what
      Eckankar is or is not: whether Eckankar is a religion or not, to what degree
      the outer Master reflects the inner Master, whether you must be a card carrying
      member to attain liberation or not, whether it matters if Paul Twitchell
      plagiarized or not, whether the outer writings of Eckankar are representative
      of the true inner teachings or not, and on and on. Klemp has stated that even
      within the heavenly worlds the Eck Masters have great disagreements among
      themselves. If Masters fight amongst themselves and disagree, apparently one
      shouldn't be surprised if discord exists within the membership, as well as
      between the membership and former members.

      Some also question the Eck Masters' claims of prescience, since Paul Twitchell
      was unable to foresee the eventual negative results of his widespread
      plagiarism of others' works and ideas; or the need to appoint the 972'nd Master
      before his own presumably foreseen death; or Darwin Gross' inability to foresee
      the bad publicity generated due to his pressing a defamation lawsuit against a
      young college student for writing a term paper, which led to the writing of a
      major expose' on the group by another college student, which became widely
      read. Some question the inability of the Masters to foresee the coming of the
      internet which put so much of the damaging information in public view; or of
      the inability and failure of the 970 past masters (such as Rebazar Tarz, who
      has 500 years of unfoldment and wisdom, or Yaubl Sacabi, with 3000 years of
      spiritual attainment), to advise Paul Twitchell not to become the subject of
      the damaging information to begin with; or to advise Twitchell after his death
      not to tell Gail Twitchell in the dreamstate to appoint Darwin Gross to Eck
      Mastership, which led to Gross's embarrassing tenure as Master (in which he
      allegedly attempted to steal a million dollars or more from Eckankar as well as
      demand and receive a pension of $65,000 a year after his ouster). And where was
      the prescience and guidance of these Masters during Harold's difficult period
      of inner torment when he disrobed, stood on a chair in an airport and began
      preaching to the passing crowd? You would think a vast order of Masters such as
      these could have prevented the chaos that has prevailed in Eckankar over the
      last thirty years. And another thing: You would think these 970 past Masters
      that have lived on the earth during their respective terms as Living Eck
      Masters would have had the prescience to have left some physical evidence of
      Eckankar's existence before 1965 so that during this alledged "period of
      resurgence," there would be at least some evidence beyond the familiar
      statement, "my experiences prove to me it's real." For indeed, there is not a
      scintilla, not a trace whatsoever of any definite, unmistakable trail left by
      Eckankar over its incredibly long history. An unbroken line of 970 masters
      (longer than any other line at any time in history?) would most certainly have
      left some verifiable record of its existence that would give a small, sorely
      needed boost to Eckankar's credibility. Other less boastful religions have
      managed to leave trails that are easy to follow. However, Paul Twitchell
      easily explained this. Eckankar, for thousands of years, was underground,
      hiding or in disguise up until... now.

      One more thing: About my motives for writing this. I cannot tell you how much
      it would please me were it to turn out that I am completly wrong about
      Eckankar. I was a sixth initiate in Eckankar. In the teachings, this would
      mean I would have found spiritual liberation. I would be above the lower
      psychic worlds. I would have escaped the clutches of maya. I spent a good
      portion of my life in Eckankar. If Eckankar were indeed all it claims to be,
      why would I throw it away? Out of ego or pride? Not for all the gold on

      I know there will be attempts to discredit or ridicule what I've said here by
      those who feel the irrepressible need. There is nothing to say but have at
      it...I don't pretend that everything included herein has been perfectly stated
      or is absolutely impeccable. But it is all correct to the best of my
      recollection and understanding.

      Much of the teachings about the creative life force or Spirit, the light and
      sound, inner planes, inner masters, spiritual exercises, etc., I had learned
      about from other sources before entering Eckankar, and are still valid to me.

      There is so much more that needs to be said about this. But's its all out there
      on the web and within one's self. Seek and you shall find.

      Tom Leafeater

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