A 6th Initiate "Walks Away" From the Cult
- Hi Everyone!
For anyone here who doesn't pay much attention to a.r.e., I'd just like to share this one:
Date: January 29, 2001
Subject: Walking Away <p>
<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
<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
<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)
<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
<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
<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
<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
<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
<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
<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
<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
<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
<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
So far, the whole thread has been interesting. If anyone wants to see it, you can go to:
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.
> Message: 2Wow! That was one hell of a post! I've printed it out for a friend who
> Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2001 05:36:45 -0000
> From: "Sharon" <brighttigress@...>
> Subject: A 6th Initiate "Walks Away" From the Cult
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.
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