Dissenting views in this forum
I'm a former member of Eckankar--a veteran of 26 years with plenty of
scars--former 6th initiate, Initiator, Clergy, ESA, RESA. I was never a
"company man" though, which eventually contributed to my finding my way onto
the various "watch lists". Eventually, I'll get my act together enough to
say what I mean to say about the whole experience here. But in the
mean-time I'd just like to extend my staunch support for Sharon's policy of
not letting Eck apologists post to this forum. As it is, the violation of
one's personal inner processes and experiences, in the interest of
"protecting the Mahanta and the purity of the Eck teachings" is an
established practice of the Eck Spiritual Aide network. What that means in
plain English is that anything (gossip, slander, rumor, speculation, "inner
perception", verifiable fact) that a Spiritual Aide or hir toadies are privy
to, automatically goes out onto the Spiritual Aid net and may be used as
ammunition and psychic leverage to maintain the status quo of those who
enjoy being big fish in a small, stagnant pond. Of course this is all done
with a smile and a posture of openness and love. It is shabby, transparent,
hypocritical, and a deep violation of trust.
Personally, I've taken and witnessed as much of that kind of hypocrisy as
I'm willing to in one lifetime. This is a public forum and can't be
absolutely protected. But I would at least prefer not to have to engage
these automatons who actually believe they're on a mission from God and need
to bolster their egos with the fantasy of being a vehicle for "Eck's healing
As Sharon said, "Been there. Done it." Nothing good will come of it. I
can't imagine any defender of the faith coming up with a point a view, I
haven't myself considered countless times in my own wrestling with the
questions of Eckankar's authenticity in my life. I spent almost ten years
considering it all; giving it time; testing the waters; checking myself and
my own motivations, even performing situational experiments with a number of
Eckankar gangsters. I needed to be certain for myself. And the sad results
I got were the same as everyone else who contributes to this list--Eckankar
is a pathetic sham.
I'm rebuilding my life now, trying to find a little dignity, and sort
through the ashes to salvage anything positive I can from the whole
experience. I don't need anymore psychic vampires bolstering themselves at
the expense of my spiritual sovereignty.
Am I pissed off? Yeah. Pissed as hell. But I'm starting to see just how
ridiculous the whole setup is and I find myself getting a chuckle out of it
once in while these days. Maybe I'm slowly healing.
I applaud you Sharon,
- Hello, Mick!
Nice to hear from you!
I find it especially interesting when HIs leave the cult, because the higher initiations are so
"hyped" the tendency of newbies is to think HIs are privy to some great secrets and spiritual
"wisdom". They're not, as we know from the many like you who have left.
I hope when you're ready, you'll write more about what really goes on in the "higher" levels of
the cult. I never thought much (or had) a "spiritual aide" session but from what you say here, it
sounds a bit like what $cientology does with its "counseling sessions" -- recording them and
keeping them on file to be used against people in case they leave and speak out against it.
I always figured that they were just like talking to your Pastor if you're a Christian.
A question....in all the literature I ever read, it was always stated quite clearly that a donation
(money) was expected. This fact has been disputed at a.r.e., and someone said that any little
gift of appreciation like flowers or fruit is okay. Would you like to clarify this a bit?
Since I was a member for a little less than 15 years, it's hard for me to imagine how difficult it is
for someone who's been in 20 years or longer, especially when they've been active in the
organization as you have. And I also know that most eckists' "social" lives seem to revolve
around the org & other members, and several have told me that when they leave the cult, even if
they don't really discuss it that much, these former long-time "friends" turn out not to be friends at
all. Which I think is very sad. Gee, I've had some of my friends for as long as 40 years, and we
may be a lot different & change over the years, but that never seems to affect the friendship.
I was planning to become more active in the org as an Arahata, and help "open up" the area I
moved to a few years ago, since I was done raising my children and would have more time to
devote to it. I'm glad I woke up and got out. It's sort of funny, but all those little nagging
thoughts of "something's not right here" over the years suddenly made sense when I got on the
internet. For example, when I volunteered at the 1997 State Convention (my first) the volunteer
coordinator gave me a "title" and I said I didn't want a title or "important" job or anything, I just
wanted to help out where it was needed most. She said the title would look good in MN. I
thought that was an extremely odd thing to say, and I said something like "Good grief, what does
MN have to do with it?" She said "MN knows *everything*"
I just thought it was odd. But I understand now.
Well, it *is* hard to deal with those fanatical "defenders of the faith", but I think we should
remember that we were there once. You never know when even the worst of them will wake up
and get out. We should be thankful that for whatever reason, we had the sense to see it for what
it truly is, and to be honest with ourselves in spite of the delusions we all wanted to cling to.
I don't look at my postings on a.r.e. as trying to change their minds....because I know they're
quite set where they are. But, some "discussion" there is necessary in order for the public to
see the other side. I find it interesting, too, at the number of eckists who write me privately,
generally always saying that I'm where I'm suposed to be, I'm an eckist whether I know it or not &
I've just "strayed" and I'll be welcomed back one day, and how can I possibly speak against The
Truth, etc. And of *course* they're not trying to change my mind or influence me in anyway
because that would be a violation of the "spiritual laws" they believe in. <ggg> They don't
realize how subtle the eckmissionary virus is. Often there are no outward "symptoms" and they
don't think of themselves as "missionaries" (I certainly didn't) but the programming shows quite
clearly once you're out of it.
Hey...don't think of your eckyears as a total waste. It's just something that happened, in the
great cosmic scheme of things it's actually not that important...it's no more important than we
make it. It takes a certain amount of work to get the eckancrap & habits out of us, of course.
Sometimes it's just a matter of recognizing that we've simply put the ecklabel on otherwise
"good" stuff about ourselves.
And it *is* very funny, actually. I was laughing pretty hard at myself just recently when I was
telling a friend what the cult teaches & what I believed about the "secret holey discourses", how
their "spiritual vibes" were so high that horrible things happened to non-believers who might
inadvertently read them if we were careless, and how our spiritual growth would stop.
I remember once a few years ago, looking under my son's bed for dirty socks. Well...I was
*horrified* to see a discourse there, along with the old Playboys & Penthouses, and told my son
he MUST be careful with them, and why. He said not to worry, that his friends had NO interest in
reading them. But I was still concerned. I believed all that cultic bullshit.
You *will* heal, Mick. We all do. And we're much wiser for the experience, after all. And this
can help others to learn to think a bit better, too. Heck, leaving a cult isn't much different from
getting a divorce from an abusive spouse. Well...actually I think it's worse, but it's similar...and
people recover from divorce every day. And they are damn happy to be out of their bad
Well...thanks for posting!
"It is no small tragedy to commit one's life, faith, and idealism to a belief which is largely or totally
false." Nichols & Alexander, September 1979 SCP Journal on Eckankar (available from the
Spiritual Counterfeits Project, http://www.scp-inc.org)