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A 6th Initiate "Walks Away" From the Cult

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  • Sharon
    Hi Everyone! For anyone here who doesn t pay much attention to a.r.e., I d just like to share this one: To: alt.religion.eckankar From: Sworddancer Date:
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 29, 2001
      Hi Everyone!

      For anyone here who doesn't pay much attention to a.r.e., I'd just like to share this one:

      To: alt.religion.eckankar
      From: Sworddancer
      Date: January 29, 2001
      Subject: Walking Away <p>

      Hi Folks,
      <p>I did a post a few days ago and just mentioned that I used to be an
      eckist for quite a while......I got so many personal e-mails that I
      thought I better
      <br>just post the answer here instead of carbon copying a bunch of
      replies. <p>The question was
      <br>"Enjoyed your post and agree about not lying about what happen with
      <br>Darwin and others. Here's a web site that gives Darwin's side of the
      <br>story. Don't know for sure, but I'd guess about half of it is true.
      <p>Also, why did you decide to leave eckankar, if you don't mind sharing
      <br>that here?"
      <p>"Lurk"
      <p>Dear  Lurk, and others......
      <p>Allow me to apologize in advance for the length at which I must write
      in order to gliive a comprehensive answer to your question....I know it's
      <br>against good netiquette to post a huge message here, but I don't
      want to do this again, so this time, it better be correct.
      <p>I'm sure that those who follow eckankar and read this will find it
      upsetting.....In fact, If any of you readers out there are now following
      eckankar, there is probably no good reason for you to read further
      here....if you're happy, stay where you are and don't bother with the
      ramblings of one who went another way.  Follow your own heart and
      your own way and I guarantee that if you are honest with yourself, that
      eventually you will grow beyond your wildest expectations.
      <p>I don't suppose anyone would walk away from something they have been
      dedicated to for 28 years lightly!....And I didn't either.
      <p>I joined eckankar under Paul Twitchell in 1970 and stayed until mid
      1998 or so.  I was a 6th initiate and had just about all the jobs
      in the local
      <br>eckankagionr organization that anyone could have, except that I was
      never an initiator, esa, or resa.  As an hi, I did recommend others
      for initiation
      <br>and it was usually granted to them within 2-3 months and on an
      occasion or two, I was called by the resa for information about another
      chela or <br>2, regarding possible initiations and I thought it might be
      better for these people to wait for a while.....(I really tried to ask
      myself if they were
      <br>ready and I definitely NEVER thought that I was truly qualified to
      make a determination about anothers spiritual growth)  In these
      <br>circumstances, I usually just asked myself if this person was
      balanced, and dedicated to eckankar enough to be a ___(fill in a number)
      initiate.   I
      <br>married some people, placed chelas in local positions of authority,
      spoke at seminars, taught satsangs, wrote a ton of articles (much
      shorter than this) and thought I was a lifetime dedicated eckist.
      <p>I have met and shaken hands with Paul Twitchell, Darwin Gross and
      Harold Klemp.
      <p>I was around when Paul wrote and sent out a letter (early 1971) that
      spoke about a child in training who would be his successor in 10 years
      or so...(that letter has been misquoted so many times!) I was around
      when Darwin was named by Gail T...... married Gail T,  divorced
      from Gail T. , tried to raise the membership fees by 400% and
      failed.....stole a couple of million dollars from eckankar, and got
      fired....I was around when a lot of changes occurred in eckankar and I
      even got a copy of David Lanes book back when it first came out and
      circulated around eck centers all over the country......( this one
      almost sent me away from eckankar) <p>I remember when eckankars official
      title was Eckankar, The Ancient Science of Soul Travel.....Later (quite
      briefly)...Eckankar, A spiritual <br>Path....later...Eckankar, The Path
      of Total Awareness.....later Eckankar, The New Age Religion, 
      later, Eckankar, the Religion of the Light and
      <br>Sound of God........I don't know what they call it today but it's
      probably changed again......I think they are still trying to find
      something that will lure
      <br>the masses, even though I still remember sitting in a seminar
      audience when Paul Twitchell said that "Eckankar is an individual
      pathway and will <br>never be for the masses" (probably not in those
      very exact words), and probably his only accurate prophesy!
      <p>I survived a lot of stuff in eckankar and there seemed to always be a
      controversy in eckankar.....always a dynamic change going on.....always
      a
      <br>new book or "truth" to be revealed at the next seminar.......things
      were constantly changing.... and those new books always had a price
      tag.... <p>I remember trying to get a consultation with Harold, and
      being told at the consultation desk that it would require a donation ( I
      think it was $200.00 or so back then but I don't remember the exact
      amount)...to get the time with Harold.
      <p>I well remember when eckankar posters used to promise..."Attain
      Mastership "in this life or the next".....(I haven't seen that many new
      masters in <br>the last 28 years though)
      <p>I remember when we would give talks that stressed that "eckankar is
      definitely not a "religion, philosophy etc".  That changed a bunch.
      <p>I remember Pauls books and the chapters on the virtues of being a
      "free thinker" and a "cliffhanger"....attitudes that eckankar seems to
      downplay <br>today!
      <p>I remember when we were told that it is healthy to be
      skeptical.....today eckists seem to be asked to just have faith until
      the truth is revealed...... <p>I remember Pauls many predictions in "The
      Eck Yidya" (The small paper phamplet from the late 60's, not the bound
      book that was released in <br>1972)  I remember the prediction of
      the "moon plague"....never happened......world wide economic
      depression....never happened... <p>I remember the prediction of the
      Nuclear war which would have a 90% chance of occurring by the middle to
      end of the 1990's.......speaks for <br>itself......
      <p>I remember the prediction of the catastrophic earthquake to hit
      California in the mid to late 70's....never happened........
      <p>I was once admonished (as an hi) and asked by the resa to stay away
      from the eckankar center for 6 months to balance out)  They later
      <br>reviewed their decision after 3 months and I was given another
      initiation within 6 months of that occurrance along with more
      responsibility. <p>I watched as Jerry Mulvin (a friend of mine back
      then) later left eckankar and started his own religion......I saw Luis
      Blooth (very popular 8th <br>initiate) go his own way.....and many
      more.....
      <p>I saw probably hundreds of friends and acquaintances join
      eckankar.....get a few initiations and then leave.....while more would
      join and stay a <br>while and leave......This is still going on
      today.  In fact, I only know of a handful of people out of probably
      almost a thousand people that I have
      <br>personally met in eckankar who are still around now.  It's
      membership is very very fluid.
      <p>I remember writing "initiate Reports", little monthly notes to the
      current "god man" that were supposed to be read only by him (at
      first).  I remember seeing snippets of my own "Confidential
      Initiate Report' being published in a couple of Harolds H.I. Letters,
      which was a quarterly news rag that went out to H.I's only...for all to
      read, and without my prior consent (back then I would have been so proud
      and pleased by this). <p>I remember when it was announced by Harold at a
      major seminar that the initiate reports were reviewed by not Harold
      himself, but by his "Chosen Ones" who helped him with the reports......
      <p>I was so gullible that I never did the math......harold would have
      needed a year to spend even 10 minutes on each initiate report he could
      have received in a single month!
      <p>I remember my 3rd Initiation which was held in Sedona, Arizona, on
      eckankars property, where ( I believe she was an 8th initiate) the
      initiator, after having performed the group initiation, went on to tell
      some of us how wonderful it was to drink urine, and to urinate on each
      other as a healing method!....(Yuck)  She later died and left
      eckankar title to the property in sedona. <p>I remember Harolds grand
      plan to develop the site in Sedona as an eck retreat complete with guest
      quarters and meeting areas...only the "god man" didn't have any way to
      prophesize that the ground under this land, and that the water situation
      in Sedona, would cause the development to be impossible and that the
      city would fight against the god mans plans in this regard.....no
      rezoning would ever be granted.
      <p>I remember when I was told that eckankars computer system was harolds
      tool for determining when an individual had passed a certain amount of
      time in a certain initiation and should be considered for the next
      initiation....(that's certainly personal spiritual guidance :-).
      <p>I love astronomy.  The Hubble Constant is a theory that Edmund
      Hubble worked on for years in an attempt to discover the age of the
      physical <br>universe.
      <p>Since Hubbles time, many astronomers have tackled the problem and
      just last year, I was privileged to attend a meeting where one of the
      <br>prominent head researchers on this project gave us a preview a
      speech that he would give to President Clinton and the National Science
      <br>Foundation, at the white house, the following week.   His
      announcement was that by using Cyphid Variable stars and the
      fluctuations they have,
      <br>that the age of the physical universe could be calculated fairly
      accurately at 12,000,000,000 to 13,000,000,000 billion years!
      <p>I wasn't very surprised by that announcement.  When I heard it,
      I remembered that back when I was in eckankar, that Paul wrote in the
      <br>Shariyat-ki-sugmad that the physical universe has a life of 4 Yugas
      (time periods) that total 8,640,000 years...Thats only 8 1/2 million
      <br>years....heck, earth is much much older than that....... <p>I
      remember the teaching about Agam Des, a supposed city on Venus. 
      Now please understand that astronomy has determined that Venus is
      <br>probably the closest thing possible to Hell.....Very high
      temperatures, 24 hour acid rain, and 24/7 cloud cover.....not a place
      for a spiritual city if
      <br>you ask me.
      <p>I'm still waiting for the invasion from the Jovians (inhabitants of
      Jupiter) that is supposed to come in the middle of this or the next
      century.  Jupiter
      <br>doesn't even have a solid surface so I wonder how the Jovians came
      about to exist there, and what in the heck they would want here! <p>But
      none of that stuff is why I left eckanker.
      <p>An eckist is subtly taught to form justifications for his
      disappointments and for the shortcomings of his teachers and
      masters.......I was a good <br>little eckist, in awe of the H.i's and
      just went along with the company line through almost 3 decades of this
      stuff  (I'm embarrassed to mention <br>eckankar today to my friends
      and family and business associates because upon true reflection, it is
      just such hogwash and I had to really be a <br>fool to fall so totally
      for all this stuff and to stay so long) <p>Today I feel like eckankar
      hurt me in many ways and helped me some too.....when I joined eckankar,
      I was certain that I was a lost soul, I used
      <br>drugs (pot & light stuff), and was sure that life would lead me
      nowhere...I was only 18 years old at the time......eckankar gave me a
      new home......and it did help me clean up my act and to start focusing
      on improving my life.  I met many new friends and still am
      privileged to call some eckists my friends.  In fact, my closest
      friend of almost 30 years was an eckist until about a year ago when he
      told me he had left as well..... <p>My real reasons for leaving eckankar
      didn't have to do with hardly anything that eckankar went through, nor
      with the shortcomings of Paul,
      <br>Darwin, Harold or the non provable existence of any of the other
      named "masters"....nor with anger on my part (Harry Klemp loves to label
      <br>people who leave with that one)......Nor with any disagreements with
      the local eckists (which did happen but didn't matter to me).....nor
      <br>disenchantment with the organization (actually I do miss the social
      interaction with a lot of eckists and I definitely do miss being put on
      a pedestal
      <br>by the newer eckists), and I didn't particularly care then about the
      charges of plagiarism (I never could spell)...
      <p>I left eckankar because it simply didn't work for me and I didn't
      realize that for a very long time.
      <p>Eckankar and I finally reached a point where decades of lies, of half
      truths, of disappointments, finally came to a head.  Eckankar lost.
      <p>I did my spiritual exercises daily as much as probably anyone in
      eckankar.  I had dreams now and then of spiritual journeys.  I
      had my OBE's and <br>once or twice, I saw Paul in dream state. 
      Darwins appearances were fewer and I only remember about 4 dreams that I
      had where Harold would <br>appear......this in almost 30 years of
      spiritual exercises... <p>Actually, I remember much more in the way of
      phenomenal experience when I was a child than later, as a member of
      eckankar.   After a run of
      <br>experiences right after I joined eckankar it seemed to dry up. 
      Now and then I would have an experience.
      <p>I have far more interesting meditations and dreams today than I did
      when I was locked into eckankars perception of reality.  Eckankar
      is so full of
      <br>subtle do's and don'ts that I honestly feel that it slows one down,
      and actually holds one away from the deeper personal truths.
      <p>Over many years it finally dawned upon me that the writings in
      eckankar and the different "masters" talks seemed to stress that the
      physical and astral and even the realm of the mind is "Negative", while
      only the almost unreachable Soul is positive.......this kind of thinking
      tends to leave the student feeling that he himself is negative and it
      definitely discourages spiritual exploration into areas of life that are
      not covered in the eckankar writings....things like the psychic
      sciences, or different philosophies, religions, etc.......only eckankar
      remains as an ok thing to explore! <p>Such limitations.....They have
      this nice little borrowed cosmology (the Sufi chart of the planes and
      such) which just exactly fits their image of the universe, except that
      no one who is below the line in the middle (soul plane-reachable ONLY
      through the eck masters) is given any credibility. <p>The eckankar
      universe just got too small for me.  I needed to explore many
      things which are not covered, or are even discouraged by eckankar. 
      I actually became quite bored in life and part of that was that nothing
      was new.....it had all been read and heard and even taught by me, many
      many times......It truely got old, but I wasn't able to determine the
      cause of my mental and spiritual stagnation for several years after the
      symptoms appeared.
      <p>Eckists, and esa's that I spoke with would always fall back on the
      old adages like "It's your karma", "It's just a test for you", "You need
      to do more spiritual exercises" and on and on.....The real problem, I
      was to eventually discover, was that eckankar just couldn't provide the
      tools that would take me into the next step.....I had to go on my own
      way and completely leave behind the nice little box of the eckankar
      universe......I had to grow!
      <p>Since leaving eckankar, I have found a vastly wider realm of inner
      experience.  Also a completely new kind of freedom inwardly to
      outwardly explore whatever I darn well feel like without the disdain or
      judgment of others to contend with.  I don't have any imagined
      images of a mahanta telling me to stay away from this or that.......It's
      called Spiritual Freedom and folks, You will eventually find that
      Spiritual Freedom is unavailable to those who need a "master" to run
      their spiritual lives!
      <p>It is a two sided sword though.  I found that I couldn't blame
      my life on "karma" anymore.....I couldn't look down at others as being
      less spiritually advanced anymore, and had to learn to treat everyone as
      my teacher and my student as well.....I had to re-invent the universe
      that I live in and without anyone to provide a guidebook, I'm free of
      those limitations and am finally discovering what's really out
      there!   Scary and wonderful and challenging.
      <p>Since I left eckankar, I have seen just tons of material about
      eckankar that isn't in the eck books.  All this material was
      invisible to me when I was a member of eckankar.  Harold Klemp was
      a "god man", not an unbalanced, unhealthy, politically conservative,
      relatively uneducated little guy whose' most responsible position in
      life (before becoming the "Right Hand of God Itself"), was working as a
      proof reader or copy editor or whatever.  Now,  I see him as a
      little guy with glasses from wisconsin who, with lots of help from a
      very well chosen Board of Directors of a multi-million dollar non-profit
      corporation, has made an easy living off having others worship him and
      pay him for the privilege!
      <p>I learned a lot from eckankar and the best lesson I learned was that
      to find spiritual freedom, you better not embrace eckankar! 
      Embrace life instead and find your own way.
      <p>I won't engage in attacks against eckankar or deride the members of
      eckankar because I was once them.....only today I see more, enjoy life
      more and am constantly amazed by the diversity of life.  I no
      longer find diversity as a challenge and I no longer feel any need to
      change anyone else's mind about god, or to be some kind of channel to
      lead them to my version of truth.......Spiritual Freedom.
      <p>Eckankar seems to attract the nieve', the lonely, the gullible who
      will blindly accept it's "truths", and those who are generally in
      need......so if this is what you are, you should probably join eckankar
      because it has all the "answers" you will want, <i>for a time.</i>
      <p>The folks I knew in eckankar were, for the most part, very kind,
      loving and friendly people.  They seem to have a lack of curiosity
      though and seem to be content in their world where they live in a nice
      little box, with a master who will show them the way.....I feel this is
      sad because <i>the
      trick is finding your own way and doing it in style.</i>
      <p>When you add up all the garbage I've written about above and the many
      many things I didn't bother to write out here, I think you can see why I
      left eckankar.
      <p>Now, in closing, I will be lurking around here now and then and would
      love to hear some of your stories about your eckankar experiences and
      why you are a member of eckankar, or why you might have left eckankar or
      whatever.... <p>Thanks for asking and reading all of this
      <br>Sworddancer
      <br> 
      <br> </html>

      -----------------------------------

      So far, the whole thread has been interesting. If anyone wants to see it, you can go to:

      http://x54.deja.com/%5bST_rn=ps]/viewthread.xp?AN=721560932&search=thread&svcclass=dnyr&ST=PS&CONTEXT=980832701.530514032&HIT_CONTEXT=980832701.530514032&HIT_NUM=16&recnum=%3c3A758C0D.8987214A@...%3e%231/1&group=alt.religion.eckankar&frpage=viewthread.xp&back=clarinet

      If this link doesn't work for you, go to Deja power search (seek and ye shall find <gg>) and put in * for all the fields except for subjet use Walking Away, and for the dates put in Jan 28 2001 - Jan 29 2001, and what you'll get will probably be in a "goofy" order, but if you pop into *any* post and then hit "thread" at the top, you'll get it in chronological order.

      Hugs!

      Sharon
    • David D. Rogers
      ... Wow! That was one hell of a post! I ve printed it out for a friend who knows I was a member, but doesn t know much about the cult. I hope this guy joins
      Message 2 of 2 , Jan 30, 2001
        > Message: 2
        > Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2001 05:36:45 -0000
        > From: "Sharon" <brighttigress@...>
        > Subject: A 6th Initiate "Walks Away" From the Cult

        Wow! That was one hell of a post! I've printed it out for a friend who
        knows I was a member, but doesn't know much about the cult. I hope this guy
        joins this mailing list! It was very interesting to get the perspective of
        one former H.I. who got disenchanted and left. His story was somewhat
        different from most of ours in that he was in a more venerated position,
        but very similar in how he became disillusioned and the internal struggles
        the cult places on its members. What particularly struck me was how it
        slowly crept upon him that Eckankar was no longer a place for growth for
        him, and that if anything, it was holding him back from further growth; as
        he put it, the world of Eckankar was getting smaller, and the outside world
        was beckoning towards him. And yet he joined because initially, it made his
        world seem bigger. I take it that as the other aspects of his life improved
        that he originally seeked refuge from, Eckankar got more boring for him.
        This seems to be a common thread through the stories of how people join
        Eckankar, both from current and ex-members--that life was not pleasurable
        before joining, and was often quite painfull. If one's life becomes pretty
        good while in the cult and they can only compare it to a poor life outside
        the cult, it might reinforce the idea that leaving would be a bad idea. On
        the other hand, life in cults like Eckankar rarely gets better after the
        initial honeymoon phase.


        Peace, David

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