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Eckankar now requires a background check for all Eck clergy

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  • jonathanjohns96
    I resigned from Eckankar yesterday. I am speaking out today. Sometime in the past few months I found out that Eckankar now requires a background check for all
    Message 1 of 9 , Dec 18, 2008
      I resigned from Eckankar yesterday. I am speaking out today.

      Sometime in the past few months I found out that Eckankar now requires
      a background check for all Eck clergy. Also, if you don't comply with
      Eckankar headquarter's "request," your clergy privileges are
      immediately stripped.

      I am absolutely certain of this information. I am not posting any more
      details in order to protect the source of my information.

      I searched the Internet for any information about this. I found
      absolutely nothing. Also, it has neve been mentioned in any of the
      private Eckankar mailings that I have received. So it appears to me
      that Eckankar is trying to keep this quiet.
    • Sharon
      Well, I d say that requiring background checks for ekult clergy might be the first responsible thing they ve ever done!! I wouldn t be surprised if this
      Message 2 of 9 , Dec 18, 2008
        Well, I'd say that requiring background checks for ekult "clergy"
        might be the first responsible thing they've ever done!!

        I wouldn't be surprised if this action was inspired by a "close
        call" - a clergy member probably did something that might result in a
        lawsuit.

        Some years back I acquired a bunch of cult booklets - one was "new &
        revised" but I don't remember if it was the instructions for clergy,
        ESAs, or RESAs. Anyway, it was easy to see that the purpose of the
        instructons was to protect ekult from lawsuits.

        Requiring background checks shows the cult's "inner" is all b.s.,
        doesn't it? Initiations are based solely on length of membership,
        recruiting efforts, and donations, as well as recommendations by
        HIs. The "mahanta" is clueless.

        I personally know of one case where an HI was convicted of raping a
        young girl. He also molested her brother. When he got out of jail,
        he was welcomed back and totally accepted by the cult "community",
        including the children's HI mother. The victims were ignored, and
        expected to be "nice". Excuse me?????

        Not long after I left ekult, I joined a Yahoo "Golden Hearts" group
        just to "lurk". Got a semi-hysterical email from the forum's owner,
        who didn't have the balls to "ban" me, but I reassured her that I
        didn't plan to do any anti-eck ranting. Well, a NJ eckist there
        boasted of "infiltrating" a Christian church choir when he got hired
        as the choir director, so he could bring "spirit" to those poor lost
        souls. Then, he suddenly started posting that he'd been falsely
        accused of some misbehavior with a student. Claimed he was innocent,
        of course. He then went on to post that his whole life had been
        destroyed, he lost his job & home, and the wife left him.

        Innocent? I doubt it. Anyway, first of all I was surprised that he
        was allowed to post freely. The group was nuked, too bad I didn't
        save those posts.

        I've heard all sorts of stories from victims of HIs over the years.
        They're certainly not the high-level "spiritual" people I read about
        in the books when I first joined!!

        Background checks aren't going to help unless they've already been
        caught & convicted of something.

        Thanks for the information!

        Ho Ho Hugs!

        Sharon




        --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, jonathanjohns96 <no_reply@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > I resigned from Eckankar yesterday. I am speaking out today.
        >
        > Sometime in the past few months I found out that Eckankar now
        requires
        > a background check for all Eck clergy. Also, if you don't comply
        with
        > Eckankar headquarter's "request," your clergy privileges are
        > immediately stripped.
        >
        > I am absolutely certain of this information. I am not posting any
        more
        > details in order to protect the source of my information.
        >
        > I searched the Internet for any information about this. I found
        > absolutely nothing. Also, it has neve been mentioned in any of the
        > private Eckankar mailings that I have received. So it appears to me
        > that Eckankar is trying to keep this quiet.
        >
      • jonathanjohns96
        Sharon, Thanks for your comments. I m glad that I held off on making comments in my initial post because that gave somebody else a chance to confirm some of my
        Message 3 of 9 , Dec 18, 2008
          Sharon,

          Thanks for your comments.

          I'm glad that I held off on making comments in my initial post
          because that gave somebody else a chance to confirm some of my
          thinking on this. Before I made this post, I had formulated three
          theories:

          1. Eckankar is concerned with pedophiles in its ranks. Eckankar saw
          what happened to the Catholic Church and didn't want even a small-
          scale repeat of that in Eckankar because it would bring bad publicity.
          2. Perhaps Harold is looking into a possible successor. He/Eckankar
          wants to avoid someone with obvious problems in their background.
          3. Eckankar is digging up dirt on someone so they can use it against
          them later.

          Regarding #1, I was thinking more in terms of the embarrassment to
          Eckankar, but your discussion of potential lawsuits against Eckankar
          is well taken. As we all know Eckankar is "all about money" so I am
          surprised that I didn't think of that. But as I think further about
          it, it is merely the threat of public embarrassment that allows
          someone to sue Eckankar. So it is really the same issue.

          Regarding your stories about HIs that caused a problem of this type.
          It's likely that people have already sued Eckankar, and Eckankar paid
          them a large sum of money to keep it completely quiet. Or, at the
          very least, Eckankar sees it coming and this "background check thing"
          is an attempt to head potential problems off at the pass.

          You mentioned that HIs are "... certainly not the high-
          level "spiritual" people I read about in the books when I first
          joined!!" I'm sure you realize by now that you put all of those
          people way way up on a pedestal. However, the fact remains that
          Eckankar encourages this type of behavior in its followers. They
          absolutely encourage it, even demand this type of belief for Harold
          Klemp. And I guess we folks lower in the ranks just naturally applied
          it to HIs as well since we all bought into the "hierarchy thing".
          That is, "these folks are higher than us, therefore, they must be
          really super spiritual (i.e. moral)!" After further thinking on this,
          I do remember a statement in Eckankar to the effect that "Eckists
          have moral standards higher than people of any other religion." So I
          guess you are right, this particular message is there in the writings
          of Eckankar. I guess after a few of my own disappointments with HIs,
          I figured out rather quickly that I have to take that statement about
          Eckists being so moral with a huge grain of salt. But I understand
          the betrayal you seem to be feeling. A lot of Eckists, including
          myself, have huge issues with feeling betrayed by Eckankar. I
          actually see it as the number one reason why people leave Eckankar.
          But I think the deepest betrayal is often on other issues.

          I believe that one purpose of this "supermorality syndrome" is to
          make Eckists believe that they are superior to everybody else, and
          that they are on the "Number one, best, absolute, most wonderful path
          to God." It's Eckankar instilling a sense of elitism in its
          followers. This technique tends to produce extremely dedicated,
          almost fanatical, followers when you convince them "We are better
          than everybody else."

          But back to my list of three items. I really don't have any further
          comment on number 2 regarding using the background checks to weed out
          possible "bad apples" from consideration for the position as the next
          Living Eck master.

          Regarding number 3, the possibility of Eckankar blackmailing people,
          I guess there are former members who are so cynical about Eckankar
          that they would believe that if a person leaves Eckankar, the
          corporation would outright blackmail them with compromising
          information found in their file; A DUI, whatever. I'm not I'm that
          cynical, but I'm close.

          But I feel that the grestest potential for abuse by Eckankar is as
          follows. Let's say I am an Eck clergy with a DUI. Say I've been
          alcohol-free for 20 years so it isn't an issue at the present time,
          but still, I certainly don't want the whole world to know about it.
          If I leave Eckankar, and even if they don't specifically blackmail
          me, I would very likely be reticent to speak out against Eckankar for
          the very reason "Eckankar has something on me." Just generally
          speaking, it makes me very scared, that with the historical
          reputation that Eckankar has for controlling its members, that they
          will now have a "file" on every Eck clergy.

          So, in summary, background checks for all clergy is probably the wave
          of the future in all religions, and the need for this was no-doubt
          created largely by the many scandals in the Catholic religion, and it
          may be an absoulte necessity in today's world. But my main concern is
          how Eckankar could abuse this information either by direct
          blackmailing of followers, or simply as another fear tactic used to
          control people.

          Jonathan Johns


          --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, "Sharon" <brighttigress@...>
          wrote:
          >
          >
          > Well, I'd say that requiring background checks for ekult "clergy"
          > might be the first responsible thing they've ever done!!
          >
          > I wouldn't be surprised if this action was inspired by a "close
          > call" - a clergy member probably did something that might result in
          a
          > lawsuit.
          >
          > Some years back I acquired a bunch of cult booklets - one was "new
          &
          > revised" but I don't remember if it was the instructions for
          clergy,
          > ESAs, or RESAs. Anyway, it was easy to see that the purpose of the
          > instructons was to protect ekult from lawsuits.
          >
          > Requiring background checks shows the cult's "inner" is all b.s.,
          > doesn't it? Initiations are based solely on length of membership,
          > recruiting efforts, and donations, as well as recommendations by
          > HIs. The "mahanta" is clueless.
          >
          > I personally know of one case where an HI was convicted of raping a
          > young girl. He also molested her brother. When he got out of
          jail,
          > he was welcomed back and totally accepted by the cult "community",
          > including the children's HI mother. The victims were ignored, and
          > expected to be "nice". Excuse me?????
          >
          > Not long after I left ekult, I joined a Yahoo "Golden Hearts" group
          > just to "lurk". Got a semi-hysterical email from the forum's
          owner,
          > who didn't have the balls to "ban" me, but I reassured her that I
          > didn't plan to do any anti-eck ranting. Well, a NJ eckist there
          > boasted of "infiltrating" a Christian church choir when he got
          hired
          > as the choir director, so he could bring "spirit" to those poor
          lost
          > souls. Then, he suddenly started posting that he'd been falsely
          > accused of some misbehavior with a student. Claimed he was
          innocent,
          > of course. He then went on to post that his whole life had been
          > destroyed, he lost his job & home, and the wife left him.
          >
          > Innocent? I doubt it. Anyway, first of all I was surprised that
          he
          > was allowed to post freely. The group was nuked, too bad I didn't
          > save those posts.
          >
          > I've heard all sorts of stories from victims of HIs over the years.
          > They're certainly not the high-level "spiritual" people I read
          about
          > in the books when I first joined!!
          >
          > Background checks aren't going to help unless they've already been
          > caught & convicted of something.
          >
          > Thanks for the information!
          >
          > Ho Ho Hugs!
          >
          > Sharon
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, jonathanjohns96 <no_reply@>
          > wrote:
          > >
          > > I resigned from Eckankar yesterday. I am speaking out today.
          > >
          > > Sometime in the past few months I found out that Eckankar now
          > requires
          > > a background check for all Eck clergy. Also, if you don't comply
          > with
          > > Eckankar headquarter's "request," your clergy privileges are
          > > immediately stripped.
          > >
          > > I am absolutely certain of this information. I am not posting any
          > more
          > > details in order to protect the source of my information.
          > >
          > > I searched the Internet for any information about this. I found
          > > absolutely nothing. Also, it has neve been mentioned in any of
          the
          > > private Eckankar mailings that I have received. So it appears to
          me
          > > that Eckankar is trying to keep this quiet.
          > >
          >
        • Leanne Thompson
          Eckankar can get its asssss sued for discrimination or invasion of privacy. There is always a lawyer that would bail you out (sorry no autos herre)   Leanne
          Message 4 of 9 , Dec 18, 2008
            Eckankar can get its asssss sued for discrimination or invasion of privacy. There is always a lawyer that would bail you out (sorry no autos herre)
             
            Leanne

            --- On Thu, 12/18/08, Sharon <brighttigress@...> wrote:
            From: Sharon <brighttigress@...>
            Subject: [eckankartruth] Re: Eckankar now requires a background check for all Eck clergy
            To: eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com
            Date: Thursday, December 18, 2008, 10:10 AM


            Well, I'd say that requiring background checks for ekult "clergy"
            might be the first responsible thing they've ever done!!

            I wouldn't be surprised if this action was inspired by a "close
            call" - a clergy member probably did something that might result in a
            lawsuit.

            Some years back I acquired a bunch of cult booklets - one was "new &
            revised" but I don't remember if it was the instructions for clergy,
            ESAs, or RESAs. Anyway, it was easy to see that the purpose of the
            instructons was to protect ekult from lawsuits.

            Requiring background checks shows the cult's "inner" is all b.s.,
            doesn't it? Initiations are based solely on length of membership,
            recruiting efforts, and donations, as well as recommendations by
            HIs. The "mahanta" is clueless.

            I personally know of one case where an HI was convicted of raping a
            young girl. He also molested her brother. When he got out of jail,
            he was welcomed back and totally accepted by the cult "community",
            including the children's HI mother. The victims were ignored, and
            expected to be "nice". Excuse me?????

            Not long after I left ekult, I joined a Yahoo "Golden Hearts" group
            just to "lurk". Got a semi-hysterical email from the forum's owner,
            who didn't have the balls to "ban" me, but I reassured her that I
            didn't plan to do any anti-eck ranting. Well, a NJ eckist there
            boasted of "infiltrating" a Christian church choir when he got hired
            as the choir director, so he could bring "spirit" to those poor lost
            souls. Then, he suddenly started posting that he'd been falsely
            accused of some misbehavior with a student. Claimed he was innocent,
            of course. He then went on to post that his whole life had been
            destroyed, he lost his job & home, and the wife left him.

            Innocent? I doubt it. Anyway, first of all I was surprised that he
            was allowed to post freely. The group was nuked, too bad I didn't
            save those posts.

            I've heard all sorts of stories from victims of HIs over the years.
            They're certainly not the high-level "spiritual" people I read about
            in the books when I first joined!!

            Background checks aren't going to help unless they've already been
            caught & convicted of something.

            Thanks for the information!

            Ho Ho Hugs!

            Sharon

            --- In eckankartruth@ yahoogroups. com, jonathanjohns96 <no_reply@.. .>
            wrote:
            >
            > I resigned from Eckankar yesterday. I am speaking out today.
            >
            > Sometime in the past few months I found out that Eckankar now
            requires
            > a background check for all Eck clergy. Also, if you don't comply
            with
            > Eckankar headquarter' s "request," your clergy privileges are
            > immediately stripped.
            >
            > I am absolutely certain of this information. I am not posting any
            more
            > details in order to protect the source of my information.
            >
            > I searched the Internet for any information about this. I found
            > absolutely nothing. Also, it has neve been mentioned in any of the
            > private Eckankar mailings that I have received. So it appears to me
            > that Eckankar is trying to keep this quiet.
            >


          • jonathanjohns96
            Leanne, I am the original poster. Perhaps I didn t make myself clear. The Eck clergy obviously sign a form granting Eckankar permission, although there may be
            Message 5 of 9 , Dec 18, 2008
              Leanne,

              I am the original poster. Perhaps I didn't make myself clear. The Eck
              clergy obviously sign a form granting Eckankar permission, although
              there may be room for legal haggling here. Take an Eck member who was
              a clergy for 20 years with no background check requirements. Then
              Eckankar requires them to get a background check or, sorry, no more
              Eck clergying for you. And that happens after they have spent 20
              years of dedicating themselves to Eckanakr as a clergy. I think a
              good attorney might be able to prove in court that this is coercion.
              An Eck clergy might prevail against Eckankar in court on this point,
              but as you know, the result would be that their "career" in Eckankar
              would be over. I know for a fact that this new policy in Eckankar is
              being applied to all Eck clergy, not just newly appointed ones.

              Jonathan Johns


              --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, Leanne Thompson
              <le_anne_thompson@...> wrote:
              >
              > Eckankar can get its asssss sued for discrimination or invasion of
              privacy. There is always a lawyer that would bail you out (sorry no
              autos herre)
              >  
              > Leanne
              >
              > --- On Thu, 12/18/08, Sharon <brighttigress@...> wrote:
              >
              > From: Sharon <brighttigress@...>
              > Subject: [eckankartruth] Re: Eckankar now requires a background
              check for all Eck clergy
              > To: eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com
              > Date: Thursday, December 18, 2008, 10:10 AM
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Well, I'd say that requiring background checks for ekult "clergy"
              > might be the first responsible thing they've ever done!!
              >
              > I wouldn't be surprised if this action was inspired by a "close
              > call" - a clergy member probably did something that might result in
              a
              > lawsuit.
              >
              > Some years back I acquired a bunch of cult booklets - one was "new
              &
              > revised" but I don't remember if it was the instructions for
              clergy,
              > ESAs, or RESAs. Anyway, it was easy to see that the purpose of the
              > instructons was to protect ekult from lawsuits.
              >
              > Requiring background checks shows the cult's "inner" is all b.s.,
              > doesn't it? Initiations are based solely on length of membership,
              > recruiting efforts, and donations, as well as recommendations by
              > HIs. The "mahanta" is clueless.
              >
              > I personally know of one case where an HI was convicted of raping a
              > young girl. He also molested her brother. When he got out of jail,
              > he was welcomed back and totally accepted by the cult "community",
              > including the children's HI mother. The victims were ignored, and
              > expected to be "nice". Excuse me?????
              >
              > Not long after I left ekult, I joined a Yahoo "Golden Hearts" group
              > just to "lurk". Got a semi-hysterical email from the forum's owner,
              > who didn't have the balls to "ban" me, but I reassured her that I
              > didn't plan to do any anti-eck ranting. Well, a NJ eckist there
              > boasted of "infiltrating" a Christian church choir when he got
              hired
              > as the choir director, so he could bring "spirit" to those poor
              lost
              > souls. Then, he suddenly started posting that he'd been falsely
              > accused of some misbehavior with a student. Claimed he was
              innocent,
              > of course. He then went on to post that his whole life had been
              > destroyed, he lost his job & home, and the wife left him.
              >
              > Innocent? I doubt it. Anyway, first of all I was surprised that he
              > was allowed to post freely. The group was nuked, too bad I didn't
              > save those posts.
              >
              > I've heard all sorts of stories from victims of HIs over the years.
              > They're certainly not the high-level "spiritual" people I read
              about
              > in the books when I first joined!!
              >
              > Background checks aren't going to help unless they've already been
              > caught & convicted of something.
              >
              > Thanks for the information!
              >
              > Ho Ho Hugs!
              >
              > Sharon
              >
              > --- In eckankartruth@ yahoogroups. com, jonathanjohns96
              <no_reply@ .>
              > wrote:
              > >
              > > I resigned from Eckankar yesterday. I am speaking out today.
              > >
              > > Sometime in the past few months I found out that Eckankar now
              > requires
              > > a background check for all Eck clergy. Also, if you don't comply
              > with
              > > Eckankar headquarter' s "request," your clergy privileges are
              > > immediately stripped.
              > >
              > > I am absolutely certain of this information. I am not posting any
              > more
              > > details in order to protect the source of my information.
              > >
              > > I searched the Internet for any information about this. I found
              > > absolutely nothing. Also, it has neve been mentioned in any of
              the
              > > private Eckankar mailings that I have received. So it appears to
              me
              > > that Eckankar is trying to keep this quiet.
              > >
              >
            • Sharon
              ... I don t really remember if I made a habit of holding off on comments when I first started to wake up & get out years ago at a.r.e., but while going through
              Message 6 of 9 , Dec 21, 2008
                --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, jonathanjohns96 <no_reply@...>
                wrote:
                >
                > Sharon,
                >
                > Thanks for your comments.
                >
                > I'm glad that I held off on making comments in my initial post
                > because that gave somebody else a chance to confirm some of my
                > thinking on this. Before I made this post, I had formulated three
                > theories:
                >

                I don't really remember if I made a habit of holding off on comments
                when I first started to wake up & get out years ago at a.r.e., but
                while going through the archives I found that many others before me
                had the exact same doubts & questions, and had come to some of the
                same conclusions I had.


                > 1. Eckankar is concerned with pedophiles in its ranks. Eckankar saw
                > what happened to the Catholic Church and didn't want even a small-
                > scale repeat of that in Eckankar because it would bring bad
                > publicity.

                Yep, that was my thought when I saw the "new" guidelines - they were
                trying to protect themselves legally. It's sort of like
                that "official disclaimer" eckists have been required to put on their
                websites since the internet first "happened", that anything written
                or said there is *not* the official "Holy Word". They want members
                out there recruiting new members and trying to keep the old ones by
                *any* means, but they don't want to be held responsible for
                anything, "just in case".

                > 2. Perhaps Harold is looking into a possible successor. He/Eckankar
                > wants to avoid someone with obvious problems in their background.

                Hmmmm...now, wouldn't you think all that's being taken care of on
                the "higher planes" by Reb, the "Silent Ones", and all those
                other "eckmasters"? <gg> Evidently, they sort of goofed when they
                chose Darwin!! I believe Klemp revealed his own personal history of
                mental instability in his autobiographies because he knew someone
                would dig it up eventually & plaster the story of his arrest &
                institutionalization all over the internet. He was just doing
                advance damage control.

                > 3. Eckankar is digging up dirt on someone so they can use it
                against them later.
                >

                I'm not the first one who's thought that Twitchell got the idea
                of "initiate reports" from $cientology, which also
                requires "confessions" and has been known to use personal information
                to silence critics. They already probably get plenty of "dirt" from
                initiate reports, and reports from HIs, ESAs, and RESAs.

                Oh, almost forgot!! There's one former HI, chosen personally by
                Twitch Himself, who ended up being arrested for kiddie porn. It's in
                the "files" section here.

                I don't know official statistics, but pervs generally have perverted
                impulses long before they actually act on them, and I'm sure only a
                small percentage eventually get caught - and it's not easy to convict
                them. I used to know a perv, and when someone finally had the
                courage to have him arrested, he was acquitted.


                > Regarding #1, I was thinking more in terms of the embarrassment to
                > Eckankar, but your discussion of potential lawsuits against
                Eckankar
                > is well taken. As we all know Eckankar is "all about money" so I am
                > surprised that I didn't think of that. But as I think further about
                > it, it is merely the threat of public embarrassment that allows
                > someone to sue Eckankar. So it is really the same issue.
                >

                I'm sure they'd be suing "detractors" to try to silence them, but
                they realized that would get them even more bad publicity than
                they've already had to deal with. So, they let their HIs & "clergy"
                use Gestapo tactics at a.r.e., although it's rather tame compared to
                what it was years ago.



                > Regarding your stories about HIs that caused a problem of this
                type.
                > It's likely that people have already sued Eckankar, and Eckankar
                paid
                > them a large sum of money to keep it completely quiet. Or, at the
                > very least, Eckankar sees it coming and this "background check
                thing"
                > is an attempt to head potential problems off at the pass.
                >
                > You mentioned that HIs are "... certainly not the high-
                > level "spiritual" people I read about in the books when I first
                > joined!!" I'm sure you realize by now that you put all of those
                > people way way up on a pedestal. However, the fact remains that
                > Eckankar encourages this type of behavior in its followers. They
                > absolutely encourage it, even demand this type of belief for Harold
                > Klemp. And I guess we folks lower in the ranks just naturally
                applied
                > it to HIs as well since we all bought into the "hierarchy thing".
                > That is, "these folks are higher than us, therefore, they must be
                > really super spiritual (i.e. moral)!" After further thinking on
                this,
                > I do remember a statement in Eckankar to the effect that "Eckists
                > have moral standards higher than people of any other religion." So
                I
                > guess you are right, this particular message is there in the
                writings
                > of Eckankar.

                I could come up with dozens of quotes to prove this. Ekult even
                tells "newbies" to run their dreams past HIs, because their own
                interpretations might not be accurate.

                I always wondered how the heck *I* got "chosen"!! I finally decided
                Klemp probably ran into me bopping around on those other planes, and
                took pity on me and "accepted" me many incarnatons before I
                was "ready", just to keep me out of trouble!


                > I guess after a few of my own disappointments with HIs,
                > I figured out rather quickly that I have to take that statement
                about
                > Eckists being so moral with a huge grain of salt. But I understand
                > the betrayal you seem to be feeling.

                Oh, heavens, I'm long over any feelings about it, other than just not
                liking liars and con artists, and doing my part to thwart their plans
                for world domination!!!

                I think there's probably a lot of information here on the internet
                that you haven't seen yet.

                Hmmmm....you know, in the past I've compared ekult to those ads for
                products claiming you can increase your bust/penis several inches
                overnight. Now, those "Smiling Bob" commercials are hilarious, and
                claim they have millions of satisfied customers - but where's the
                *real* proof? Any scientific studies?

                What's sad is that many good sincere "seekers" get caught in the
                lies, even though they themselves focus on the truths, and do benefit
                from being members. But, they'd probably do just as well or even
                better without ekult's lies, cultic manipulation, and phony "masters".


                >A lot of Eckists, including
                > myself, have huge issues with feeling betrayed by Eckankar. I
                > actually see it as the number one reason why people leave Eckankar.
                > But I think the deepest betrayal is often on other issues.
                >

                People leave because they find out they've been conned.



                > I believe that one purpose of this "supermorality syndrome" is to
                > make Eckists believe that they are superior to everybody else, and
                > that they are on the "Number one, best, absolute, most wonderful
                path
                > to God." It's Eckankar instilling a sense of elitism in its
                > followers. This technique tends to produce extremely dedicated,
                > almost fanatical, followers when you convince them "We are better
                > than everybody else."
                >

                Yep, this is something all cults do. Twitch did it deliberately.

                I think it's even possible that people can start out sincere and
                honest, but after they've swallowed enough of that "chosen people"
                nonsense, they may end up *less* moral and ethical!! For example,
                you'll probably find more multi-level-marketing schemes with eckists
                than, for example, Methodists. I can't give any specific examples,
                but other former members have written about it - when HIs are caught
                ripping off other members, they're unrepentant and use the "karma"
                excuse.

                For example, one former eckist reported that when an elderly eckist
                slipped on the ice on the way out, other members sort of held back
                from helping her. Eckists often think that "bad things" are karmic
                payback, and they hesitate helping because they don't want to get
                mixed up in someone else's karma.



                > But back to my list of three items. I really don't have any further
                > comment on number 2 regarding using the background checks to weed
                > out possible "bad apples" from consideration for the position as >
                the next Living Eck master.
                >

                Comment isn't really necessary. I think even the most loyal true-
                blue eckist can figure it out!


                > Regarding number 3, the possibility of Eckankar blackmailing
                people,
                > I guess there are former members who are so cynical about Eckankar
                > that they would believe that if a person leaves Eckankar, the
                > corporation would outright blackmail them with compromising
                > information found in their file; A DUI, whatever. I'm not I'm that
                > cynical, but I'm close.

                As I've already written, they let their "EckGestapo" do the dirty
                work.

                Oh - a good example of this is when they were trying their darndest
                to silence me & get me kicked off the internet by calling my ISP &
                contacting my website hosts!! I'll dig up the old posts on this one
                and re-post them when I find them.


                >
                > But I feel that the grestest potential for abuse by Eckankar is as
                > follows. Let's say I am an Eck clergy with a DUI. Say I've been
                > alcohol-free for 20 years so it isn't an issue at the present time,
                > but still, I certainly don't want the whole world to know about it.
                > If I leave Eckankar, and even if they don't specifically blackmail
                > me, I would very likely be reticent to speak out against Eckankar
                for
                > the very reason "Eckankar has something on me." Just generally
                > speaking, it makes me very scared, that with the historical
                > reputation that Eckankar has for controlling its members, that they
                > will now have a "file" on every Eck clergy.
                >

                They already have files on *everyone*.


                > So, in summary, background checks for all clergy is probably the
                wave
                > of the future in all religions, and the need for this was no-doubt
                > created largely by the many scandals in the Catholic religion, and
                it
                > may be an absoulte necessity in today's world. But my main concern
                is
                > how Eckankar could abuse this information either by direct
                > blackmailing of followers, or simply as another fear tactic used to
                > control people.

                Jonathan, it's easy to see you're just starting to wake up.

                You know, when I left I still "believed" - at one point, I even
                thought that the "mahanta" wanted me to leave & speak out because he
                couldn't do it himself, because the truth would hurt too many people,
                but that Klemp really *was* honest and "good"!

                Many former members keep silent because of this, and are afraid to
                speak out publicly. It's been gratifying to see that over the years,
                as more people speak out, more former members aren't afraid anymore.

                You might find yourself going through some emotional stress in the
                process of leaving, but know that you're going to end up just fine,
                and feeling wonderful!! Getting all that eckancrap out of your mind,
                heart, and soul will leave you with lots of room for "good" things!!

                Well, I'm typed out!!

                Ho Ho Hugs,

                Sharon


                >
                > Jonathan Johns
                >
                >
                > --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, "Sharon" <brighttigress@>
                > wrote:
                > >
                > >
                > > Well, I'd say that requiring background checks for ekult "clergy"
                > > might be the first responsible thing they've ever done!!
                > >
                > > I wouldn't be surprised if this action was inspired by a "close
                > > call" - a clergy member probably did something that might result
                in
                > a
                > > lawsuit.
                > >
                > > Some years back I acquired a bunch of cult booklets - one
                was "new
                > &
                > > revised" but I don't remember if it was the instructions for
                > clergy,
                > > ESAs, or RESAs. Anyway, it was easy to see that the purpose of
                the
                > > instructons was to protect ekult from lawsuits.
                > >
                > > Requiring background checks shows the cult's "inner" is all b.s.,
                > > doesn't it? Initiations are based solely on length of
                membership,
                > > recruiting efforts, and donations, as well as recommendations by
                > > HIs. The "mahanta" is clueless.
                > >
                > > I personally know of one case where an HI was convicted of raping
                a
                > > young girl. He also molested her brother. When he got out of
                > jail,
                > > he was welcomed back and totally accepted by the
                cult "community",
                > > including the children's HI mother. The victims were ignored,
                and
                > > expected to be "nice". Excuse me?????
                > >
                > > Not long after I left ekult, I joined a Yahoo "Golden Hearts"
                group
                > > just to "lurk". Got a semi-hysterical email from the forum's
                > owner,
                > > who didn't have the balls to "ban" me, but I reassured her that I
                > > didn't plan to do any anti-eck ranting. Well, a NJ eckist there
                > > boasted of "infiltrating" a Christian church choir when he got
                > hired
                > > as the choir director, so he could bring "spirit" to those poor
                > lost
                > > souls. Then, he suddenly started posting that he'd been falsely
                > > accused of some misbehavior with a student. Claimed he was
                > innocent,
                > > of course. He then went on to post that his whole life had been
                > > destroyed, he lost his job & home, and the wife left him.
                > >
                > > Innocent? I doubt it. Anyway, first of all I was surprised that
                > he
                > > was allowed to post freely. The group was nuked, too bad I
                didn't
                > > save those posts.
                > >
                > > I've heard all sorts of stories from victims of HIs over the
                years.
                > > They're certainly not the high-level "spiritual" people I read
                > about
                > > in the books when I first joined!!
                > >
                > > Background checks aren't going to help unless they've already
                been
                > > caught & convicted of something.
                > >
                > > Thanks for the information!
                > >
                > > Ho Ho Hugs!
                > >
                > > Sharon
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, jonathanjohns96 <no_reply@>
                > > wrote:
                > > >
                > > > I resigned from Eckankar yesterday. I am speaking out today.
                > > >
                > > > Sometime in the past few months I found out that Eckankar now
                > > requires
                > > > a background check for all Eck clergy. Also, if you don't
                comply
                > > with
                > > > Eckankar headquarter's "request," your clergy privileges are
                > > > immediately stripped.
                > > >
                > > > I am absolutely certain of this information. I am not posting
                any
                > > more
                > > > details in order to protect the source of my information.
                > > >
                > > > I searched the Internet for any information about this. I found
                > > > absolutely nothing. Also, it has neve been mentioned in any of
                > the
                > > > private Eckankar mailings that I have received. So it appears
                to
                > me
                > > > that Eckankar is trying to keep this quiet.
                > > >
                > >
                >
              • Sharon
                Johnathan - Down below is a copy of an old post, which happens to be the first one I found, but not necessarily the most complete one. I m pretty sure I
                Message 7 of 9 , Dec 21, 2008
                  Johnathan -

                  Down below is a copy of an old post, which happens to be the first
                  one I found, but not necessarily the most "complete" one. I'm pretty
                  sure I also posted Rich's complete emails to Delphi at some point.

                  When Rich contacted Delphi about my forum, they emailed me copies of
                  his emails and asked for my side of the story.

                  My Delphi site is still there. When you stand up to bullies, they'll
                  back down.

                  Gotta go, and if I don't post for awhile, my best wishes to all for a
                  wonderful holiday!

                  Ho Ho Hugs,

                  Sharon



                  Subject: Re: How eckclergy lies, misrepresents, etc.
                  From: "Sharon2000" <brighttigr...@...>
                  Date: 13 Sep 2002 23:19:19 GMT
                  Organization: Eckankar Sucks
                  Message-ID: <20020913191919.933$TI_-_@...>
                  Newsgroups: alt.religion.eckankar,alt.eckankar
                  References: <4ef6e483.0209110803.2a4d5dc7@...>
                  <20020911181519.17509.00000056@...>
                  X-Trace: NewsReader.Com 8OCYnlvJAY2-WYvp43dgckik79x/XTMDkTKraRU7rTRxO0
                  Lines: 82

                  joe_m...@... (Joe) wrote in message news:<
                  >
                  > Rich Smith, who are you to tell us what's a "spiritual
                  understanding"
                  > and what isn't?
                  >
                  > Are you a member of Eckankar's Clergy? You speak from on high about
                  > Eckankar - who are you to do so?


                  The Word of Rich:

                  "Sharon Comstock who set up this forum
                  http://betawww.delphi.com/eckankartruth/start/
                  is knowingly violating your guidelines by unlawfully posting a
                  complete set of copyrighted discourses. Ask her.

                  She is also being abusive, defamatory and promoting conduct that
                  violates laws prohibiting the freedom of religion.

                  I respectfully request that you shut down her forum before
                  Eckankar's
                  attorney's are required to take action.

                  Thanks you for your consideration,

                  Richard J. Smith"


                  Note how he presents himself as an authority figure.


                  Now...check out the "official disclaimer" in the next one:

                  > I am a member of the Eckankar Clergy acting on my own. I have
                  passed
                  > the information about the copyrighted materials being
                  published on your
                  > site and discussed Sharon Comstock's knowingly doing so, with
                  Eckankar's
                  > attorney Doug Kunin. The actual legal matters concerning this
                  > indictment and Eckankar's plans to pursue this should be
                  discussed with
                  > him. 612-474-9450


                  This was back in 2000, BTW. You know, when I was a member, before I
                  got on
                  the internet, I wondered about the cult's instructions about how
                  members on
                  the internet should use the "official disclaimer", like they can get
                  out
                  here & "evangelize" but make it clear it was "unofficial" - I think
                  that
                  was more a matter of protecting the cult's butt (and bank accounts)
                  against
                  the possibility of lawsuits for slander, libel, harrassment, etc., of
                  former members.

                  But we can see here, although Rich claimed he was acting as an
                  "independent", he actually had the support and backing of cult
                  attorney
                  Doug Kunin all along, as do *all* the eckthugs.

                  You know, it seems to me around the same time, YES!!! I remember
                  now!! It
                  was Ben who was involved in this one - turns out that letters
                  supposedly
                  from one of the cult's attorney were *forgeries* -
                  another "independent"
                  eckist shutting down his website by outright lies.

                  I believe it was in January of 1999 that I'd happened to be down at
                  my ISPs
                  office, chatting about "internet success stories" and told the manager
                  about my waking up & getting out of the cult, and how I'd been
                  speaking out
                  - so not to be surprised if they started getting complaints from cult
                  members. Well, shortly after she let me know that yes, they'd started
                  complaining. They did the same thing with Deja and AOL, trying to
                  get me
                  off the internet. As we can see, I'm still here, and aside from AOL
                  shutting me down for about 15 minutes until I explained, well...the
                  only
                  thing they're accomplishing is giving "detractors" the opportunity to
                  inform more people about this subtle & deceptive slimy little "woosie"
                  version of $cientology.

                  And poor fools like Rich Smith don't even realize how they're being
                  used.

                  Sharon

                  --
                  FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT ECKANKAR, SEE:
                  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/eckankartruth/links.html
                  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/eckankartruth/files.html
                • jonathanjohns96
                  Sharon, Thank you very much for taking the time to make the very thorough responses to my post. Your comments are excellent and well-taken. Being able to
                  Message 8 of 9 , Dec 21, 2008
                    Sharon,

                    Thank you very much for taking the time to make the very thorough
                    responses to my post. Your comments are excellent and well-taken.

                    Being able to engage in a free give and take of opinions about
                    Eckankar as we are doing seems like a new experience to me because in
                    Eckankar I wasn't allowed to speak my true feelings or get into any
                    discussions about anything that differed from what Harold Klemp or
                    the writings of Eckankar say is truth. I honestly believe that one of
                    the main reasons I left Eckankar is because I wasn't able to freely
                    speak my mind. I just got completely tired of it. I was going to the
                    Eck meetings, but saying to myself "Why am I wasting my time coming
                    here. I can't say anything I really want to say." Most of the people
                    at the Eck center were members for 30+ years, but were simply
                    regurgitating the same old stuff. My feeling was "Thirty plus years
                    in Eckankar, and you haven't come up with an original thought yet?" I
                    guess I was forgetting the fact that you're not allowed to express an
                    original thought there.

                    It looks like I'm starting to repeat myself, aren't I? I think the
                    reason that I am stuck on this is that I find it hard to believe that
                    none of this seemed to bother me for my first 20+ years in Eckankar.
                    Granted, my personality was a "follower" back then; someone who sat
                    back and let others do things, then if I saw it was "safe" I would
                    follow. So perhaps it took 20+ years for me to start to break out of
                    that. There were some things that did bother me early on, but I will
                    eventually start a new topic to discuss them.

                    A few short comments. You wrote:

                    > For example, one former eckist reported that when an
                    > elderly eckist slipped on the ice on the way out, other
                    > members sort of held back from helping her. Eckists often
                    > think that "bad things" are karmic payback, and they
                    > hesitate helping because they don't want to get mixed
                    > up in someone else's karma.
                    >

                    This comment really struck me, and I must say that your observation
                    never occurred to me while I was a member of Eckankar until about a
                    week before I quit when I saw someone else on the Internet talk about
                    this. I have always thought that Eckists "Kept a distance from me."
                    It was as if they really didn't want to have anything to do to with
                    me. I think part of it was coming from me: my "insecurity
                    complex/lack of self confidence" telling me that "nobody really wants
                    to know me." But even when I started telling an Eckist about some
                    minor problem I was having, they would immediately "tune me out" as
                    if they were saying "I don't want to take on any of your bad energy."
                    So I discovered that the only way I could actually get any help or
                    substantial conversation from an Eckist was to schedule an Eck
                    Spiritual Aid session. Admittedly, one ESA was very generous. She
                    told me "You can call me any time, even if you just want to talk."
                    But she seemed to be an exception to the general rule. In general, I
                    found Eckists to be rather standoffish.

                    By the way, I am not at all worried about them having bad stuff on me
                    in my initiate reports. I didn't even know that confessions could be,
                    or were supposed to be, included in initiate reports.

                    Jonathan
                  • al_radzik
                    So theoretically, Harold himself would fail a background check due to his suicide attempt and airport stripping (open lewdness)unless he s made himself exempt
                    Message 9 of 9 , Jan 7, 2009
                      So theoretically,
                      Harold himself would fail a background check due to his suicide
                      attempt and airport stripping (open lewdness)unless he's made himself
                      exempt from such a thing!!! For that matter, Darwin and Twitch would
                      most likely have a checkered past as mahantas ranging from stealing
                      mney to plagiarism thus resulting in expulsion.
                      In a sense, I can see a background check being a good thing too. When
                      someone once said to me that at his satsang, Flubber Quantz appeared
                      to the crowd and enveloped them with light, I would definitely
                      subject them ALL to a sanity check.
                      By the way, I do think it is legal for the org to do this.If an
                      organization requires its members to uphold a certain integrity and
                      standard of conduct, it would behoove them to look at their past. I
                      had to be bonded when I joined my company years ago.

                      Alf


                      --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, jonathanjohns96 <no_reply@...>
                      wrote:
                      >
                      > I resigned from Eckankar yesterday. I am speaking out today.
                      >
                      > Sometime in the past few months I found out that Eckankar now
                      requires
                      > a background check for all Eck clergy. Also, if you don't comply
                      with
                      > Eckankar headquarter's "request," your clergy privileges are
                      > immediately stripped.
                      >
                      > I am absolutely certain of this information. I am not posting any
                      more
                      > details in order to protect the source of my information.
                      >
                      > I searched the Internet for any information about this. I found
                      > absolutely nothing. Also, it has neve been mentioned in any of the
                      > private Eckankar mailings that I have received. So it appears to me
                      > that Eckankar is trying to keep this quiet.
                      >
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