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Re: Why they're so strange

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  • jonathanjohns96
    Tom, I like your essay. it s well written and makes several interesting points. I m going to make some comments based on my own experiences in Eckankar.
    Message 1 of 26 , Sep 25 2:49 PM
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      Tom,

      I like your essay. it's well written and makes several interesting points. I'm going to make some comments based on my own experiences in Eckankar. Please bear in mind that I am not disagreeing point blank with what you say. I'm sure that a lot of the things you mention apply to some people in Eckankar.

      In general...
      1. The ideas expressed by Janja Lalich and Madeleine Tobias seem a bit to extreme to me to be directly applied to Eckankar.
      2. Your idea that Eckists getting the fifth become "high and mighty" probably applies to some or many Eckists.
      3. Your idea that Eckists getting the fifth become "high and mighty" didn't apply to me when I got my fifth because I long ago had decided that the initiation number was just a number.

      Here is my detailed commentary:

      > In psychology, researchers of cults have identified
      > the tendency of followers to develop a dissociated
      > state that helps them cope with the cognitive dissonance
      > of conflicting ideologies. Janja Lalich and Madeleine Tobias
      > refer to this tendency in the book, Take Back Your Life:

      I'm a bit confused about this sentence. Taking this sentence literally, I am wondering what they are talking about when they are talking about "conflicting ideologies." Do they mean conflicting ideologies within Eckankar as when Twithcell says one thing on one page, then the exact opposite on another page? Or do they mean conflicting ideologies between Eckankar's beliefs and they previous beliefs, or conflicting ideologies between their Eckankar beliefs and what other people in the world believe.

      > "Mind-manipulating techniques used to induce altered states
      > also serve to support the development and emergence of
      > what some have called the cult personality. Under the stress
      > of complying with the cult's demands, individual members develop
      > new identities. The emergence of this persona has been identified
      > by some researchers as a "pseudopersonality" an adaptation
      > that enables people to carry out cult-imposed activities that would
      > normally go against their values."

      Being psychologists, I think they may be overstating things a bit. I don't believe that people in Eckankar literally develop a "pseudopersonality" as they call it. I think as members of Eckankar, they change, but it is still them. Calling it a "pseudopersonality" almost makes it sound like it is a disease. But that is what psychologists tend to do. Don't get me wrong. I think that Eckankar does affect how their members think. And that they will say and do things that they wouldn't do before they became an Eckist. But that is how they are now. That is THEM as they are now. The "pseudopersonality" stuff looks too much like some crazy theory that some psychologists thought up. When I was in Eckankar, I stayed as ME. I didn't become somebody else. I was ME. I changed as a result of accepting the Eckankar BS, but it was still ME. It's just my opinion.

      And I don't like the their phrase "cult-imposed activities." I would prefer "cult-encouraged activities." Eckankar didn't impose anything on me, but perhaps I was more independent that most members. I was always on the outside looking in, and I never actually participated much in Eckankar activities. Here is a summary of my participation in Eckankar activities for my 29 years in Eckankar:

      1. I told one outsider about it (his initials are B. S.). Somehow, my family told two people. When they asked me about Eckankar I told them nothing.
      2. I went postering once.
      3. I went to two seminars.
      4. I never volunteered to help at the local Eck center.
      5. I spent a total of $5,000. (my estimate which I calculated in December of 2008 when I left Eckankar.) Almost entirely on books and cassette tapes.

      I definitely think that Eckists' thinking changes when they become members. I'm just having a hard time accepting the idea that Eckankar imposes it on them. My view is that the Eckists voluntarily allow it to be imposed on them. They join, their thinking changes because they are reading books, listening to cassette tapes. After awhile, that is truth for them.

      I don't make excuses for myself for why I stayed in Eckankar for 29 years. I thought the path was worthwhile. But after I started to realize that the techniques taught by Eckankar were next to worthless for me, and after I started to read about the plagiarism on the Internet, I started to see Eckankar in a very different light. It started me into a new direction where I was getting a much less positive view of Eckankar, and even thinking about leaving it.

      > "Under the stress of complying with the cult's demands."

      I never felt under stress to comply to Eckankar's demands. (For proof, look at the list numbered 1 to 5 above.) There were no rules in Eckankar saying that I had to volunteer, or that I had to proselytize. So there was very little stress placed upon me by Eckankar. I sometimes felt that I "should" be proselytizing or helping out, but it wasn't a big deal for me. And at that time, I thought that initiations were given out by Klemp based on his inner awareness of my state of consciousness. So I had no idea at the time I was in Eckankar (except for the last two years of my membership in 2007-2008) that this was very likely holding me back in my initiations. No idea at all.

      > Since, in my opinion based on years of experience
      > as a member, the initiations are pseudo, then it
      > follows that those who receive them, and believe
      > as a result that they have attained the vast understanding
      > and all encompassing awareness of a savior, have
      > deluded themselves, and have taken on a pseudo
      > persona which is intended to reflect the super-conscious
      > state of Spiritual Mastership.

      You make some additional comments about how people who get the fifth become kind of "high and mighty" and think that they are the enlightened ones. I haven't really thought about this much, but after reading your thoughts on it, I think you are right. I think I have seen these people in Eckankar. I really do. It's the people who were running the Eck center, and the other individuals who were in that particular circle. Many were the "hardliners," but probably not all of them were the hardliners. Many were just sincere people who believed that the initiations actually meant something. The Eckists who are more "normal" or subdued, but were people who got extremely caught up with the whole Eckankar thing. And your explanation probably explains some of the hardliner Eckists over at a.r.e. So regarding your portrayal of Eckists becoming "high and mighty" due to the fifth, it has merit. It really does. The only caveat I would add is that I have seen Eckists who are this "severe" who were only 2nd or 3rd initiates. But I still think that your emphasis on the fifth has a lot of merit. It is easy for me to see how some Eckists could let the whole thing go to their head. And as you would say, it happens because people actually believe that the initiations are indeed real.

      I would now like to discuss how the fifth initiation affected me. Your theory doesn't apply to me. The reason is that very early in Eckankar (4 years in?) I saw evidence that the initiations didn't mean a whole lot. And I even had higher initiates agree with me to some degree. For example, Millie Moore died a smoker of cigarettes, a habit that is supposed to go away when you become a fifth. I believe she was an 8th or 9th. But getting back to my own experiences as a member of Eckankar, by the time I got the fifth I had long ago come to the conclusion that the initiations were just a number. I can't say my conclusion in that regard was 100%, but it was about 95% which is pretty solid.

      My experience:
      1. I joined Eckankar in 1979.
      2. Around 1983, had some experiences when I was a second and I was dealing with a fifth. These experiences/interactions indicated to me that my awareness was much higher than theirs.
      3. In 1999, as a fourth initiate I had hundreds of hours of experiences with Eck masters on the inner. So if that happened to me as a fourth, then how do you explain an eighth with very few inner experiences? (Note: At the time I had these inner experiences I thought they were Eck masters. Right now, I still believe they were spiritual beings, but not necessarily Eck masters.)

      So by the time 1999 ended I was already convinced that the initiation was just a number. And by the time I received my 5th initiation nine years later in 2008 my attitude hadn't changed. I had pretty much given up on ever receiving the fifth anyway so I wasn't even thinking about it anymore. I really didn't care about the initiations.

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

      A few more things I thought of...

      Were the Eckankar meetings different after my fifth initiation?
      After about 29 years in Eckankar I received my fifth initiation in 2008. Up to that point I had been wondering on an occasional basis whether the teachings of Eckankar would be any different. Would the higher initiate meetings be different? Would they talk about serious topics not mentioned in the "regular" Eckankar meetings? The answer I got was that they weren't intrinsically different. I suppose there was a greater amount of time talking about serious subjects (as defined by Eckankar). But I always thought that this is what the worship services should be about. It was a few months later that I learned the truth about the worship services (from the Eck center director). The the WS are for new people, not the current membership. Of course, most of the time the WS "degenerated" into a discussion of topics of interest to the current membership.

      Did my fifth initiation mean an end to past life healing?
      I had been busy healing unresolved traumatic energy from my past lives for the ten years leading up to my receiving my fifth initiation in 2008. Eckankar teaches that once you acquire the fifth then you won't have to reincarnate on Earth to continue to work out past life karma. So I was very interested to see what was going to happen. The truth is, the healing for my past life "unresolved energy" that I had been so actively working on continued at its same rapid pace! So the truth is, soul (what some would call my higher self) was interested in continuing to heal past life trauma at a rapid pace. By the way, all of my past life trauma comes to the surface on its own; I do nothing to bring it to the surface. so somebody or something other than myself is orchestrating the whole thing. I guess most people would say it is my higher self that is doing that.

      Did I stay in Eckankar until I received my fifth initiation? (In other words, did I put off leaving until I received it?)
      I never pondered that question while I was still a member. If I did, I had no conscious awareness that this is what I was doing. At the conscious level, I had long ago decided that the initiations meant a lot less than what Eckankar claimed that they did. When I was at the Springtime seminar in Washington DC in 1999 I spent the entire time in my hotel room having inner experiences with Eck masters about 10 hours per day. At that time I was a fourth initiate. So looking at those inner experiences I was having, I had to seriously wonder how the initiations reflected a person's awareness since there were probably 8th initiates that weren't having experiences like I was having. At that time I sometimes thought that everyone in Eckankar was doing what I was doing, they just weren't talking about it. These "masters" kept telling me "No" but I didn't believe them. So in 1999 after having 3 to 6 hours of inner experiences with "Eck masters" or whoever they were, every day for 6 to 9 months, I really had no concern for what initiation I was. It meant absolutely nothing to me. I was already having experiences with these masters every day; why would I need or crave an initiation?

      Jonathan
    • jonathanjohns96
      Tom, A few brief summarizing comments. I do agree that Eckists exhibit cult-like thinking. I saw it all the time when I was posting over at a.r.e a few weeks
      Message 2 of 26 , Sep 25 3:21 PM
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        Tom,

        A few brief summarizing comments.

        I do agree that Eckists exhibit cult-like thinking. I saw it all the time when I was posting over at a.r.e a few weeks ago. I also saw it in Eckankar when I was a member, but I didn't see it as cult-like at that time because I was a member and I didn't wish to see Eckankar as a cult. Probably because I couldn't handle that particular truth at that time.

        The biggest issue as I see it is that they can be extremely dogmatic. In other words that have an attitude of "I am right and nobody else's opinion matters." When they get to be that severe in their thinking then they are exhibiting cult-like behavior.

        Your contention is that this "holier than thou" attitude is programmed into them by Eckankar. I agree, but I still think that they are partially responsible. After all, the truth about Eckankar's lies and curses is all over the Internet. And the really disturbing thing is when these people read it, they somehow manage to disregard it. In my opinion, this indicates an even worse cult-like behavior than their holier than thou attitude. When faced with the truth, they ignore it. That is VERY disturbing. And I will readily admit that it took me ten years to finally leave Eckankar after first seeing some of the signs that something was amiss. So I know how difficult it is to face the truth.

        So, Tom, I don't agree with all the details of what you wrote, especially the two psychologists' view of things, but I agree with your general position and conclusions. In fact, I would like to see more well-thought out essays such as the one you wrote.

        Jonathan
      • jonathanjohns96
        Tom, A few brief summarizing comments. I do agree that Eckists exhibit cult-like thinking. I saw it all the time when I was posting over at a.r.e a few weeks
        Message 3 of 26 , Sep 25 3:33 PM
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          Tom,

          A few brief summarizing comments.

          I do agree that Eckists exhibit cult-like thinking. I saw it all the time when I was posting over at a.r.e a few weeks ago. I also saw it in Eckankar when I was a member, especially toward the end of my membership when I started to actively question things, but I didn't see it as cult-like at that time because I was a member and I didn't wish to see Eckankar as a cult. Probably because I couldn't handle that particular truth at that time.

          The biggest issue as I see it is that they can be extremely dogmatic. In other words that have an attitude of "I am right and nobody else's opinion matters." When they get to be that severe in their thinking then they are exhibiting cult-like behavior.

          Your contention is that this "holier than thou" attitude is programmed into them by Eckankar. I agree, but I still think that they are partially responsible. They chose to join Eckankar. They chose to remain as members.

          Although it is true that the truth about Eckankar's lies and curses is all over the Internet. And my initial inclination is to think "How can they just ignore the truth?" But it took me ten years to finally leave Eckankar after first seeing some of the signs that something was amiss. So it can take a long time for some people to really absorb the truth because their beliefs in Eckankar are so deep. It's gradual.

          So, Tom, I don't agree with all the details of what you wrote, especially the two psychologists' view of things, but I agree with your general position and conclusions. In fact, I would like to see more well-thought out essays such as the one you wrote.

          Jonathan

          Note: By the way, I posted this message twice, and then deleted the posts. That is why there are two messages missing.
        • jonathanjohns96
          David, Please understand that I am saying this to you calmly and nicely. I m not upset. It seems to me that you are angry, but you are directing your anger at
          Message 4 of 26 , Sep 25 5:50 PM
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            David,

            Please understand that I am saying this to you calmly and nicely. I'm not upset.

            It seems to me that you are angry, but you are directing your anger at Tom which seems unjustified to me.

            The first line of your post is:

            > Did you, my dear Mr. Leafeater, attain the lofty exalted, sublime
            > status of Mahdis in Eckankar?  In other words, did you succeed in
            > your spiritual game of keeping up with the Joneses?

            You ended with:

            > Please advise, O All Knowing, All Seeing Former
            > Mahdi! (That is, if you indeed were a former Mahdi.

            These are very sarcastic comments and they seem to be directly aimed at Tom, and NOT in a friendly way. It seems like you are pointing your finger at Tom in an accusing manner. Perhaps you didn't intend that, but that is how it came across to me.

            I'm not at all offended or upset that you are angry. As a former member of Eckankar you are justified in being angry about any number of things. But what bothers me is that you seem to be directing your anger at Tom. I didn't see anything in Tom's post that would at all justify your doing that. If you happen to have a past grudge against Tom, address the grudge or figure out how to heal it and forget about it.

            And I am going to further deduce that perhaps you are actually angry at Eckankar. And furthermore, perhaps the real reason for your anger at Eckankar is that you didn't receive your fifth initiation.

            > Even though I spent some twelve years or so in Eckankar, I never,
            > sad to say, attained that sublime, lofty, holier-than -thou state - > even though, by the usual one initiation every two years calculus, > I should have attained it. Alas, I was never showered with the
            > transcendental goodies - I suppose that that's because I was
            > Eckankar's token "problem child"!

            So address your anger at Eckankar. Try not to direct it toward members posting on the message board. Tom obviously said something to set you off. He had no intention of doing that.

            I have used EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and NET (Neuro Emotional Technique) to address my anger. Just mentioning it in case anyone is interested.

            EFT Anger Release
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_w4qHaa5Bc

            EFT Tap-A-Long: Moving Things Forward
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzOEJ8H8bak

            Jonathan
          • jonathanjohns96
            I have to make a short comment on David Childerley s anger video. At one point in the video he suggests that one should control their anger. This is completely
            Message 5 of 26 , Sep 25 6:12 PM
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              I have to make a short comment on David Childerley's anger video. At one point in the video he suggests that one should control their anger. This is completely contrary to the overall philosophy of EFT. In EFT one uses the acupuncture meridians to release stuck emotions from the body. You don't use it to control anything. David also uses the term "anger management." EFT is not about managing things either. You are restructuring the energy field of the body. It's a very basic technique.

              Other than these deficiencies the video is still worth watching. That is why I posted a link to it.
            • David Osborn
              Jonathan,      I really think that you are making a mountain out of a molehill here.  Sarcasm maybe, but not really anger.  In spite of the fact that I
              Message 6 of 26 , Sep 25 6:34 PM
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                Jonathan,
                     I really think that you are making a mountain out of a molehill here.  Sarcasm maybe, but not really anger.  In spite of the fact that I didn't receive my fifth initiation, I still had quite a few good times in Eckankar when I was with my Eck buddies.  The degree of bitterness that comes out in a lot of these postings by other members really surprises me at times.  But for me, my Eck days are long gone, longer gone than many if not most of those of you who are frequent posters here. 
                     And when I found out that the initiations were bogus, then I said to myself, "So what's the big deal?"  At that point, it seemed to me that the initiations were more important to the Eck organization and hierarchy than they were to me.  I wasn't after quantity of initiations, I was after quality and genuineness.   
                     Looking back on my days in Eckankar, the best thing about it was the social life and the friends I made.  And that was all in the pre-Harold days, when things flowed a lot more freely and naturally.
                     So, don't worry about me Jonathan.  If there is anything in my life for me to be angry or bitter about, there are lots of things higher on my list than Eckankar and the initiations I got or didn't get, I assure you.
                                                                       Sincerely,
                                                                            David

                --- On Sat, 9/25/10, jonathanjohns96 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

                From: jonathanjohns96 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
                Subject: [eckankartruth] Re: Why they're so strange
                To: eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com
                Date: Saturday, September 25, 2010, 5:50 PM

                David,

                Please understand that I am saying this to you calmly and nicely. I'm not upset.

                It seems to me that you are angry, but you are directing your anger at Tom which seems unjustified to me.

                The first line of your post is:

                > Did you, my dear Mr. Leafeater, attain the lofty exalted, sublime
                > status of Mahdis in Eckankar?  In other words, did you succeed in
                > your spiritual game of keeping up with the Joneses?

                You ended with:

                > Please advise, O All Knowing, All Seeing Former
                > Mahdi! (That is, if you indeed were a former Mahdi.

                These are very sarcastic comments and they seem to be directly aimed at Tom, and NOT in a friendly way. It seems like you are pointing your finger at Tom in an accusing manner. Perhaps you didn't intend that, but that is how it came across to me.

                I'm not at all offended or upset that you are angry. As a former member of Eckankar you are justified in being angry about any number of things. But what bothers me is that you seem to be directing your anger at Tom. I didn't see anything in Tom's post that would at all justify your doing that. If you happen to have a past grudge against Tom, address the grudge or figure out how to heal it and forget about it.

                And I am going to further deduce that perhaps you are actually angry at Eckankar. And furthermore, perhaps the real reason for your anger at Eckankar is that you didn't receive your fifth initiation.

                > Even though I spent some twelve years or so in Eckankar, I never,
                > sad to say, attained that sublime, lofty, holier-than -thou state - > even though, by the usual one initiation every two years calculus, > I should have attained it.  Alas, I was never showered with the
                > transcendental goodies - I suppose that that's because I was
                > Eckankar's token "problem child"!

                So address your anger at Eckankar. Try not to direct it toward members posting on the message board. Tom obviously said something to set you off. He had no intention of doing that.

                I have used EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and NET (Neuro Emotional Technique) to address my anger. Just mentioning it in case anyone is interested.

                EFT Anger Release
                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_w4qHaa5Bc

                EFT Tap-A-Long: Moving Things Forward
                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzOEJ8H8bak

                Jonathan





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              • jonathanjohns96
                David, Thanks for the clarification. Jonathan
                Message 7 of 26 , Sep 25 6:52 PM
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                  David,

                  Thanks for the clarification.

                  Jonathan
                • tomleafeater
                  David, ... ******Hmmm. Do I detect just a bit of condescension in your reply? And is that really necessary? Seems I ve pushed a few buttons in some folks here.
                  Message 8 of 26 , Sep 25 7:06 PM
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                    David,

                    I will answer your reply paragraph by paragraph below, with asterisks marking the beginning of my comments:


                    --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, David Osborn <panfluteman2000@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Did you, my dear Mr. Leafeater, attain the lofty exalted, sublime status of Mahdis in Eckankar?  In other words, did you succeed in your spiritual game of keeping up with the Joneses?
                    >
                    > Even though I spent some twelve years or so in Eckankar, I never, sad to say, attained that sublime, lofty, holier-than -thou state - even though, by the usual one initiation every two years calculus, I should have attained
                    > it.  Alas, I was never showered with the transcendental goodies - I suppose that that's because I was Eckankar's token "problem child"! 
                    >
                    > Almost makes me want to go back and try a little harder to be holier than thou next time - LOL!


                    ******Hmmm. Do I detect just a bit of condescension in your reply? And is that really necessary? Seems I've pushed a few buttons in some folks here. Nothing like posting some of my old stuff to bring people's real thoughts to the surface. Back on a.r.e., the assertion that eckankar is a cult was only challenged by the hard core eckists.

                    But I do realize you're a bit of an exception among the former eckists, who along with one or two others here still have a fondness for the path that you've basically rejected, which is revealed in your decision to leave it. Leaving Eckankar is perhaps the strongest criticism a member can make. So I assume we have that in common.

                    To answer some of your questions: Yes, I was a sixth initiate in Eckankar. So according to eckankar, and according to it's "masters," I was given those bogus advancements due to my having earned them. I entered into eckankar during Paul T's time, and left during Klemp's rein of absurdity.

                    You raised the issue of not getting the fifth initiation, despite years of membership: Briefly, I'll explain the likely reasons for not getting an initiation (besides simply not fulfilling the time required for the computer assigned initiations): It's well known that eckankar sends computer generated lists of members slated to get initiations out to H.I.s in the local area to get an up or down vote about the person's suitability to receive an initiation. If you ruffle feathers, or if you are disliked for any reason, valid or not, your initiation may be turned down without you ever knowing a judgment was made. I was asked many times for my opinions about eckists slated for initiations.

                    As I recall, I once recommended you be turned down for an initiation (sorry, only kidding...!!).




                    >
                    > Your posting was pretty much in generalities.  I would have appreciated it if you had been more specific in giving real life
                    > examples of the assumption of these spiritual pseudoidentities in those you witnessed, and the particular mind warp, cognitive dissonance problems they generated - all behind the cloak of anonymity, of course. 
                    >



                    ******I really am not very motivated to delve into this too much after all these years. I'm not sure I want to rehash the debates some of us former members had with eckists back in the heydays of a.r.e., which is exactly what your queries remind me of...so we'll see about more specific examples of the affects I mentioned. It would take some time to write out all that history.

                    Maybe I'll try to dig up some other things I've already written that would serve as examples of the affects I've noted.

                    Basically, there were high initiates who financially swindled people whom I knew personally, who sexually exploited women, who were tyrants of control, who couldn't predict the next hour much less the future, despite pretenses of all-knowingness, who had chronic anger, who smoked, drank, took drugs, who harbored severely judgmental opinions of "lower initiates," who indulged in favoritism in recommending initiations, in short, the very shortcomings experienced my most average humans, if not worse. All the while, of course, they often smugly swaggered about enjoying the special status of Gods, as if none of their shortcomings existed, which reveals a dissociative state, in my observation. They would be screwing someone over in one moment, smiling benevolently the very next. The ever present beaming demeanor (in public) and sweet smiles of understanding plastered permanently on their faces seemed contrived, practiced.

                    And there were the private conservations with people I had known in which the doubts of their alleged transcendence were made known, and some recounts of H.I.s reported to me by others whom I'd known.

                    People had conflicts, which are usually only reported in detail after they leave. Some of those admissions can be found in the archives here and at a.r.e.

                    And look at Paul Twitchell: He thought of himself as a master, but plagiarized others works, assigning credit to himself. He lied so much, that the extent of the falsehoods will probably never be completely uncovered. Another high initiate left eckankar to start his own path, thinking himself to be a master, only to be arrested and convicted for child pornography offenses. Do you see some dissonance in these examples?



                    > But doesn't all of this also happen in conventional chruches, Christian or otherwise, with those who have somehow been elevated to a position of spiritual oversight and responsibility?  And might not these other conventional churches also be - heaven forbid - CULTS?????????
                    >

                    ******Your response is the standard response the eckists offered as well, and my usual answer:

                    1) The degree to which people become bound up in the labyrinthine affects of manipulative cults varies from group to group. In established religions, which become more or less pervasive and known in society, people tend to develop a degree of complacency with them. Usually they have religion foisted on them from parents or friends, and religion becomes merely a social activity over time. People are just going along for the ride to some degree. It's a social requirement, and they abide to the requirement only enough to conform.

                    For example, how many Christians really think about going to hell every moment of the lives? How many think of every misstep in judgment as a sin? How many think Jesus talks to them, and hear his voice telling them to turn right rather than left while driving down the street? How many, for example, refrain from sex until marriage?

                    The degree to which people get caught up in the fear mongering, the promises of rewards, the manipulation of behavior, the excessive demands for money or service, all have to be taken into account to assess the degree of cultism in any group and any individual.

                    Conventional religions don't give initiations that make the follower believe they're higher than Jesus or Buddha, and they don't usually lead followers to believe they have special powers. They basically humble their followers into submission, which doesn't always work. If you go to church once in a while and sing hymns, and give a buck or two, you're set.

                    But in some cases established religions are very cultic. Look at Opus Dei, for example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opus_Dei Look at the followers of evangelists. Look at the willful denial of science in some sects. Talk about keeping people ignorant!

                    But religions like eckankar are newer and thus draw in people who are vulnerable to manipulation. People join eckankar looking for something more than established religions usually offer. They want the real thing. The motivations for joining a sometimes smaller, more intimate group can vary, but often are powerful. People may want a family, or a place to belong, or a stronger connection to a community than common religions provide.

                    Often a charismatic leader is an attraction. Paul Twitchell had that trait. The wholesale lying to his members, the grandiosity, the threats of retaliation to the disloyal member, the fear controls, the enticements with initiations (higher than Jesus?) and "chosen" status which make the follower feel special, important, and better than the average Joe, and other devices too numerous to list, all are characteristics of a cult. It would take a book to delve into the psychological motivations that entice people to join cults. Read Lalich's book (or other similar books), which delves into all this in detail. The needs and internal drives of cult members are often stronger, and that often puts the follower in a more vulnerable position for exploitation.

                    If I get time, I'll dig up some of the common hallmarks of a cult as a checklist.




                    > And, just to play the devil's advocate here, can't the whole Mahdis grand poobah thing work positively for some individuals who receive this position and the spiritual goodies that come with it?  Can't it bolster their self esteem and give them some positive direction or mission in life?  A life that might otherwise be without any of the above positive virtues?  Can't it keep some formerly wayward individuals off the streets, or keep
                    > them out of gangs?
                    >



                    ******When self esteem is built on castles of sand and levels upon levels of lies, it can be disastrous for such a person to learn it was all a sham, because the crash from the impossibly high, artificial perch may be enormous. Self esteem must be founded upon true self awareness and self acceptance, achieving it one real, authentic, solid step at a time.

                    The loss of such artificially constructed esteem is why some just can't leave eckankar. They can't face a world in which they feel ordinary, or even less than ordinary. The self esteem such groups provide are one of the most entrapping devices to control the follower. When followers are subject to having their cult-acquired self esteem suddenly yanked away by a tyrannical RESA (eckankar's version of a Bishop), or Master, or even kicked out of the group entirely, what happens to that person's self esteem? It is externally derived, and thus transitory.

                    Such self esteem isn't authentic, and it isn't owned by the individual. Thus it can be very destructive to self esteem in the long run. And I believe on a deep, unconscious level, the follower knows the esteem is borrowed and unreal, which leads to internal conflicts which are further suppressed.

                    No wonder people have trouble leaving eckankar.



                    > Certainly the whole initiation game is one of the
                    > most conspicuous things about Eckankar.  But are there any other ways that the minds of members in the Eck cult are warped or skewed so they con't have to deal with other forms of cognitive dissonance?  Please advise, O All Knowing, All Seeing Former Mahdi! (That is, if you indeed were a former Mahdi.)

                    ******I've answered this to a certain degree above.

                    Leaf




                    >                                        With Sincere, Unwarped Blessings,
                    >                                               David  
                    >
                    > --- On Sat, 9/25/10, tomleafeater <tianyue@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > From: tomleafeater <tianyue@...>
                    > Subject: [eckankartruth] Why they're so
                    > strange
                    > To: eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com
                    > Date: Saturday, September 25, 2010, 12:24 AM
                    >
                    > Every now and then, I repost something I wrote over at a.r.e. in case someone new over there might get something out of it, and since I've done that again, I might as well repost it here to. Those of you here who were in eckankar a very short period, or those who don't believe eckankar was a cult are forewarned: This is about the cultism of eckankar, a characterization which I think is sufficiently supported by evidence. Here goes:
                    >
                    > In psychology, researchers of cults have identified the tendency of followers to develop a dissociated state that helps them cope with the cognitive dissonance of conflicting ideologies. Janja Lalich and Madeleine Tobias refer to this tendency in the book, Take Back Your Life:
                    >
                    >
                    > "Mind-manipulating techniques used to induce altered states also serve to support the development
                    > and emergence
                    > of what some have called the cult personality. Under the stress of complying with the cult's demands, individual members develop new identities. The emergence of this persona has been identified by some researchers as a "pseudopersonality" an adaptation that enables people to carry out cult-imposed activities that would normally go against their values…"
                    >
                    >
                    > I wrote about this in a post awhile back. This is how I think it works in specifically in Eckankar:
                    >
                    >
                    > Pseudo identity: An identity or persona one takes on that is not genuine or is not reflective of one's true nature or character.  I think much of this depends on whether one believes that the Eckankar initiations are valid link-ups with the spiritual force or not.
                    >
                    > Since, in my opinion based on years of experience as a member, the initiations are pseudo, then it follows that those who receive them, and believe as a result that they have attained the vast understanding
                    > and all encompassing awareness of a savior, have deluded themselves, and have taken on a pseudo persona which is intended to reflect the super-conscious state of Spiritual Mastership. The rational is as follows: I have received the fifth initiation, which links me up to spirit on the level of the corresponding fifth plane, the first world of pure Spirit and truth. This plane is beyond all of the world's major philosophies and religions, and one generally needs the link-up from the Mahanta to arrive at the shores of this world. The Living Eck Master has honored me with this initiation, so therefore I must have earned it, and I must be ready, or it wouldn't have been given.
                    >
                    > There are no accidents or coincidences; therefore, I am a Mahdis, initiate of the Soul plane of awareness, the plane of true Self-Realization.
                    >
                    > Now, since the is actually nothing more than a ceremony, and - does not - in fact, turn the initiatee into an Enlightened One,
                    > a Self-Realized being, then we have an interesting situation that results from the conflict between reality and delusion. An individual having received the fifth initiation begins to take on the persona of an Enlightened Mahdis, a person from whom others can receive wise counsel, spiritual blessings or nourishment. Because the initiatee has not genuinely reached the exalted state, an inner conflict may develop in which a person tries to artificially present himself as a being free from humanity's frailties and faults, so the divine qualities which differentiate the enlightened from the unenlightened need to be maximized in the new persona, while any negative qualities (in all the forms in which these may subtly manifest), need to be minimized. Therefore, the individual takes on an all-knowing persona of an individual without fear or troubles; someone who is free of most, if not all, karma; the consummate, contented wise one who sees all of the inner
                    > workings of life; someone who is in league with galaxy-romping inner masters; a healer of sorts who can give aid, advice, teachings, divine insights, and is above the trappings and mental ratiocination (Twitchell's word) of mere hidebound mortals, while simultaneously suppressing and disavowing unwanted and revealing persona-busting emotions such as anger, frustration, disappointment, disillusionment, impatience, attachment, worry, irritability, fear, apprehension, anxiety, lust, vanity, pride, selfishness, greed, insecurity, insatiation, dissatisfaction, etc..
                    >
                    > What results can vary from person to person, it seems. Some become stiff and lacking in spontaneous emotional expression, since the emotions are being carefully monitored for "negativity" and substantial editing is taking place. Some, in accentuating the positive spiritual traits, become intolerably sanctimonious and preachy, the all too familiar 'holier than thou' Eckist who has let the
                    > image of sainthood consume him or her. This type often becomes a thinly-disguised tyrant. Some, I think, may become a little schizoid, vacillating between two personas, one which is holy and pure while with other org members at Eckankar events, and one which expresses the human side at home with family. To say the least, the development of such artificial pseudo personalities or identities is not at all a healthy thing to foster, and can lead to a host of conflicts, all of which become subject to further suppression and denial. Such a state can be the source of very real hindrances or blockages in one's personal life. And it does seem true that having experienced any of these conflicts does make it easy to spot them in others, once one has dropped the need for the persona.
                    >
                    > Also, I think the development of the persona begins the moment a person becomes a member, for one is given the promise of these attainments from the outset, and with each
                    > initiation, the illusion of Mastership draws nearer and nearer, gradually accustoming the devotee to the notion that s/he is becoming an Enlightened One. The second initiation is said by Twitchell to have been the highest initiation attained by Jesus Christ, and the fourth initiation is said to be the highest level attained by the founders of the worlds major religions and philosophies. With these 'lower' initiations, Eckankar followers believe they are well on their way to the extraordinary status of perfect Self-Realization. They are the 'Chosen Ones,' gathered together by the Mahanta to take their places in Heaven, having earned the privilege in a multitude of previous incarnations.
                    >
                    > Twitchell spins a mighty captivating web, shrewdly handing out the delectable goodies a little at a time at every step of the way, so that when the ultimate is achieved at the fifth initiation, the initiate is not at all in doubt that true attainment has been
                    > realized. And thus do the games begin.
                    >
                    > Let the personas now roll forth, and demonstrate to all the majesty and glory of God!
                    >
                    > Leafeater
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > ------------------------------------
                    >
                    > Yahoo! Groups Links
                    >
                  • tomleafeater
                    David, Apparently you were never afforded a direct look at the way the eckankar organization really worked, which you would have seen more clearly, perhaps, if
                    Message 9 of 26 , Sep 25 7:50 PM
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                      David,

                      Apparently you were never afforded a direct look at the way the eckankar organization really worked, which you would have seen more clearly, perhaps, if you'd become a member of the "club" of H.I.s, and gone to the local HI meetings, the seminar HI trainings, the HI roundtable sessions at seminars, and other organizational functions.

                      It was when I began attending these events that the real truth about eckankar become more and more clear about the "brothers of the leaf." For example, it occurred to me after a while that the non-H.I.s enjoyed more unscripted spontaneity and humor, were more natural with each other, less guarded of appearance, less haughty, less self-conscious and stiff. Anyone who didn't get the fifth hasn't missed anything at all worthwhile, except perhaps a clearer glimpse of the absurdity of the initiations and the other observations I noted above. And it really hits home when you actually give a few initiations.

                      It's interesting that most of my close friends who have left eckankar had to reach the fifth before they could admit something was amiss. That's the way it was for me, more or less: I always knew deep inside something was wrong with eckankar, but when I got the fifth, and later the sixth, it became obvious.

                      Leaf

                      --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, David Osborn <panfluteman2000@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Jonathan,
                      >      I really think that you are making a mountain out of a molehill here.  Sarcasm maybe, but not really anger.  In spite of the fact that I didn't receive my fifth initiation, I still had quite a few good times in Eckankar when I was with my Eck buddies.  The degree of bitterness that comes out in a lot of these postings by other members really surprises me at times.  But for me, my Eck days are long gone, longer gone than many if not most of those of you who are frequent posters here. 
                      >      And when I found out that the initiations were bogus, then I said to myself, "So what's the big deal?"  At that point, it seemed to me that the initiations were more important to the Eck organization and hierarchy than
                      > they were to me.  I wasn't after quantity of initiations, I was after quality and genuineness.   
                      >      Looking back on my days in Eckankar, the best thing about it was the social life and the friends I made.  And that was all in the pre-Harold days, when things flowed a lot more freely and naturally.
                      >      So, don't worry about me Jonathan.  If there is anything in my life for me to be angry or bitter about, there are lots of things higher on my list than Eckankar and the initiations I got or didn't get, I assure you.
                      >                                                       
                      > Sincerely,
                      >                                                             David
                      >
                      > --- On Sat, 9/25/10, jonathanjohns96 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                      >
                      > From: jonathanjohns96 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
                      > Subject: [eckankartruth] Re: Why they're so strange
                      > To: eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com
                      > Date: Saturday, September 25, 2010, 5:50 PM
                      >
                      > David,
                      >
                      > Please understand that I am saying this to you calmly and nicely. I'm not upset.
                      >
                      > It seems to me that you are angry, but you are directing your
                      > anger at Tom which seems unjustified to me.
                      >
                      > The first line of your post is:
                      >
                      > > Did you, my dear Mr. Leafeater, attain the lofty exalted, sublime
                      > > status of Mahdis in Eckankar?  In other words, did you succeed in
                      > > your spiritual game of keeping up with the Joneses?
                      >
                      > You ended with:
                      >
                      > > Please advise, O All Knowing, All Seeing Former
                      > > Mahdi! (That is, if you indeed were a former Mahdi.
                      >
                      > These are very sarcastic comments and they seem to be directly aimed at Tom, and NOT in a friendly way. It seems like you are pointing your finger at Tom in an accusing manner. Perhaps you didn't intend that, but that is how it came across to me.
                      >
                      > I'm not at all offended or upset that you are angry. As a former member of Eckankar you are justified in being angry about any number of things. But what bothers me is that you seem to be directing your anger at Tom. I didn't see anything in Tom's post that
                      > would at all justify your doing that. If you happen to have a past grudge against Tom, address the grudge or figure out how to heal it and forget about it.
                      >
                      > And I am going to further deduce that perhaps you are actually angry at Eckankar. And furthermore, perhaps the real reason for your anger at Eckankar is that you didn't receive your fifth initiation.
                      >
                      > > Even though I spent some twelve years or so in Eckankar, I never,
                      > > sad to say, attained that sublime, lofty, holier-than -thou state - > even though, by the usual one initiation every two years calculus, > I should have attained it.  Alas, I was never showered with the
                      > > transcendental goodies - I suppose that that's because I was
                      > > Eckankar's token "problem child"!
                      >
                      > So address your anger at Eckankar. Try not to direct it toward members posting on the message board. Tom obviously said something to set you off. He had no intention of doing
                      > that.
                      >
                      > I have used EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and NET (Neuro Emotional Technique) to address my anger. Just mentioning it in case anyone is interested.
                      >
                      > EFT Anger Release
                      > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_w4qHaa5Bc
                      >
                      > EFT Tap-A-Long: Moving Things Forward
                      > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzOEJ8H8bak
                      >
                      > Jonathan
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > ------------------------------------
                      >
                      > Yahoo! Groups Links
                      >
                    • tomleafeater
                      Hey David, You lived in the Los Angeles area, right? Do you remember Jerry, the area H.I. who was such an iconic figure? He was one of the earliest high
                      Message 10 of 26 , Sep 25 9:22 PM
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                        Hey David,

                        You lived in the Los Angeles area, right? Do you remember Jerry, the area H.I. who was such an iconic figure? He was one of the earliest high initiates in eckankar, and when Paul died, people thought he might become his replacement. He was a mesmerizing guy, with his goatee and bald head. He looked like a guru, sitting there, hands folded in his lap, conducting his soul travel workshops. He was the quintessential High Initiate, seemed to possess an extremely high degree of awareness, claimed to have rather extraordinary abilities. Everyone was awed. Some of the most revered high initiates were mentored by this guy in the early days.

                        He later left eckankar and started his own path based on Eckankar/Radhasoami.

                        And still later, he was convicted for having child pornography downloaded on his computer hard drive.

                        See what I mean? Unless he was outright lying to people consciously with full cognizance (certainly a possibility), he created a fake persona based on his deep need and the pressure of desires and expectations to become a high initiate, an enlightened one, and to do that means he had to suppress cognizance of whole areas of his true personality and behavior. I've seen this in eckankar in high initiates. It's actually common. It is subtle, and built up over time, and thus escapes attention.

                        Don't misunderstand, this isn't split personality. That's completely different. It's the creation of a PSEUDO-persona, one which is artificially propped up out of great pressure to conform to an expectation. It's essentially fake, and people go to great lengths to hide the truth from themselves that it's fake. But it can have detrimental consequences to one's health.

                        So, at the eck center he was playing the role of the iconic figure (and he knew people saw him that way) and at home he was indulging in his passion for little girls.

                        If this could be true of him, of all people, it could be true of a lot of other respected people in Eckankar. There is another iconic high initiate (one who everyone knows, who speaks at seminars, writes for eck journals, and who gave me my sixth), who beat his wife according to an acquaintance who knew him well (an act which was referred to indirectly in a public talk by his ex-wife). I could go on and on with such stories. Sheesh, think of Harold at the airport. What the hell caused such stress that he stood on a chair disrobing to make the fog go away? (Okay, granted, that may reveal an entirely deeper level of problems.)

                        But unless you knew these people personally, they all appear to be impeccable specimens of the upper circles of initiation in eckankar. Eckankar is actually rife with these stories. But they don't usually get broadcast much.

                        The initiations are bogus. And the high initiates, having received them, after having invested decades of their lives to "achieve" them, go to extraordinary measures to deceive themselves into believing the initiations are real, including creating these often subtle fake-personas which they take on, while suppressing who they really are.

                        It doesn't matter if people don't understand or don't see this pseudo-persona concept at play. The fact is, these people are lying to themselves. That's the bottom line, the important thing to understand.

                        Leaf

                        --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, David Osborn <panfluteman2000@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Jonathan,
                        >      I really think that you are making a mountain out of a molehill here.  Sarcasm maybe, but not really anger.  In spite of the fact that I didn't receive my fifth initiation, I still had quite a few good times in Eckankar when I was with my Eck buddies.  The degree of bitterness that comes out in a lot of these postings by other members really surprises me at times.  But for me, my Eck days are long gone, longer gone than many if not most of those of you who are frequent posters here. 
                        >      And when I found out that the initiations were bogus, then I said to myself, "So what's the big deal?"  At that point, it seemed to me that the initiations were more important to the Eck organization and hierarchy than
                        > they were to me.  I wasn't after quantity of initiations, I was after quality and genuineness.   
                        >      Looking back on my days in Eckankar, the best thing about it was the social life and the friends I made.  And that was all in the pre-Harold days, when things flowed a lot more freely and naturally.
                        >      So, don't worry about me Jonathan.  If there is anything in my life for me to be angry or bitter about, there are lots of things higher on my list than Eckankar and the initiations I got or didn't get, I assure you.
                        >                                                       
                        > Sincerely,
                        >                                                             David
                        >
                        > --- On Sat, 9/25/10, jonathanjohns96 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                        >
                        > From: jonathanjohns96 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
                        > Subject: [eckankartruth] Re: Why they're so strange
                        > To: eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com
                        > Date: Saturday, September 25, 2010, 5:50 PM
                        >
                        > David,
                        >
                        > Please understand that I am saying this to you calmly and nicely. I'm not upset.
                        >
                        > It seems to me that you are angry, but you are directing your
                        > anger at Tom which seems unjustified to me.
                        >
                        > The first line of your post is:
                        >
                        > > Did you, my dear Mr. Leafeater, attain the lofty exalted, sublime
                        > > status of Mahdis in Eckankar?  In other words, did you succeed in
                        > > your spiritual game of keeping up with the Joneses?
                        >
                        > You ended with:
                        >
                        > > Please advise, O All Knowing, All Seeing Former
                        > > Mahdi! (That is, if you indeed were a former Mahdi.
                        >
                        > These are very sarcastic comments and they seem to be directly aimed at Tom, and NOT in a friendly way. It seems like you are pointing your finger at Tom in an accusing manner. Perhaps you didn't intend that, but that is how it came across to me.
                        >
                        > I'm not at all offended or upset that you are angry. As a former member of Eckankar you are justified in being angry about any number of things. But what bothers me is that you seem to be directing your anger at Tom. I didn't see anything in Tom's post that
                        > would at all justify your doing that. If you happen to have a past grudge against Tom, address the grudge or figure out how to heal it and forget about it.
                        >
                        > And I am going to further deduce that perhaps you are actually angry at Eckankar. And furthermore, perhaps the real reason for your anger at Eckankar is that you didn't receive your fifth initiation.
                        >
                        > > Even though I spent some twelve years or so in Eckankar, I never,
                        > > sad to say, attained that sublime, lofty, holier-than -thou state - > even though, by the usual one initiation every two years calculus, > I should have attained it.  Alas, I was never showered with the
                        > > transcendental goodies - I suppose that that's because I was
                        > > Eckankar's token "problem child"!
                        >
                        > So address your anger at Eckankar. Try not to direct it toward members posting on the message board. Tom obviously said something to set you off. He had no intention of doing
                        > that.
                        >
                        > I have used EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and NET (Neuro Emotional Technique) to address my anger. Just mentioning it in case anyone is interested.
                        >
                        > EFT Anger Release
                        > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_w4qHaa5Bc
                        >
                        > EFT Tap-A-Long: Moving Things Forward
                        > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzOEJ8H8bak
                        >
                        > Jonathan
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > ------------------------------------
                        >
                        > Yahoo! Groups Links
                        >
                      • David Osborn
                        Tom,      The Fourth was as high as I got in Eckankar.  My third and fourth initiations I felt I didn t get it , or grock it , so, especially reading
                        Message 11 of 26 , Sep 25 11:06 PM
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Tom,
                               The Fourth was as high as I got in Eckankar.  My third and fourth initiations I felt I didn't "get it", or "grock it", so, especially reading about Paul telling an Eckist who wanted to speed up his initiations, "Why hurry?  Soul has been evolving for thousands of years." I took that to heart literally, and felt that it would be well worth it to go back and do my third and fourth all over again to get it right.  It was only when, in talking to headquarters, it was as if my requests to go back and do it over fell on deaf ears that I began to get that the initiations were just a kind of keeping up with the Joneses game, with no real substance to "get". 
                               And when Jonathan talked about people who ruffled feathers being passed over for initiations, that could have been me; I was a bit of an eccentric and a loose wire.  But it was just as much of a case of me slowly drifting out and putting myself in limbo when I felt I hadn't got the third and fourth initiations right, and doing a lot of reflection and soul searching as to what could have gone wrong.  I suppose that if I had had a more manageable, socializable personality and had fallen into lockstep with the way things were run more, perhpas I could have gotten my fifth.
                                                                               David 

                          --- On Sat, 9/25/10, tomleafeater <tianyue@...> wrote:

                          From: tomleafeater <tianyue@...>
                          Subject: [eckankartruth] Re: Why they're so strange
                          To: eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com
                          Date: Saturday, September 25, 2010, 7:50 PM

                          David,

                          Apparently you were never afforded a direct look at the way the eckankar organization really worked, which you would have seen more clearly, perhaps, if you'd become a member of the "club" of H.I.s, and gone to the local HI meetings, the seminar HI trainings, the HI roundtable sessions at seminars, and other organizational functions.

                          It was when I began attending these events that the real truth about eckankar become more and more clear about the "brothers of the leaf." For example, it occurred to me after a while that the non-H.I.s enjoyed more unscripted spontaneity and humor, were more natural with each other, less guarded of appearance, less haughty, less self-conscious and stiff. Anyone who didn't get the fifth hasn't missed anything at all worthwhile, except perhaps a clearer glimpse of the absurdity of the initiations and the other observations I noted above. And it really hits home when you actually give a few initiations.

                          It's interesting that most of my close friends who have left eckankar had to reach the fifth before they could admit something was amiss. That's the way it was for me, more or less: I always knew deep inside something was wrong with eckankar, but when I got the fifth, and later the sixth, it became obvious.

                          Leaf

                          --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, David Osborn <panfluteman2000@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Jonathan,
                          >      I really think that you are making a mountain out of a molehill here.  Sarcasm maybe, but not really anger.  In spite of the fact that I didn't receive my fifth initiation, I still had quite a few good times in Eckankar when I was with my Eck buddies.  The degree of bitterness that comes out in a lot of these postings by other members really surprises me at times.  But for me, my Eck days are long gone, longer gone than many if not most of those of you who are frequent posters here. 
                          >      And when I found out that the initiations were bogus, then I said to myself, "So what's the big deal?"  At that point, it seemed to me that the initiations were more important to the Eck organization and hierarchy than
                          >  they were to me.  I wasn't after quantity of initiations, I was after quality and genuineness.   
                          >      Looking back on my days in Eckankar, the best thing about it was the social life and the friends I made.  And that was all in the pre-Harold days, when things flowed a lot more freely and naturally.
                          >      So, don't worry about me Jonathan.  If there is anything in my life for me to be angry or bitter about, there are lots of things higher on my list than Eckankar and the initiations I got or didn't get, I assure you.
                          >                                                       
                          >  Sincerely,
                          >                                                             David
                          >
                          > --- On Sat, 9/25/10, jonathanjohns96 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                          >
                          > From: jonathanjohns96 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
                          > Subject: [eckankartruth] Re: Why they're so strange
                          > To: eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com
                          > Date: Saturday, September 25, 2010, 5:50 PM
                          >
                          > David,
                          >
                          > Please understand that I am saying this to you calmly and nicely. I'm not upset.
                          >
                          > It seems to me that you are angry, but you are directing your
                          >  anger at Tom which seems unjustified to me.
                          >
                          > The first line of your post is:
                          >
                          > > Did you, my dear Mr. Leafeater, attain the lofty exalted, sublime
                          > > status of Mahdis in Eckankar?  In other words, did you succeed in
                          > > your spiritual game of keeping up with the Joneses?
                          >
                          > You ended with:
                          >
                          > > Please advise, O All Knowing, All Seeing Former
                          > > Mahdi! (That is, if you indeed were a former Mahdi.
                          >
                          > These are very sarcastic comments and they seem to be directly aimed at Tom, and NOT in a friendly way. It seems like you are pointing your finger at Tom in an accusing manner. Perhaps you didn't intend that, but that is how it came across to me.
                          >
                          > I'm not at all offended or upset that you are angry. As a former member of Eckankar you are justified in being angry about any number of things. But what bothers me is that you seem to be directing your anger at Tom. I didn't see anything in Tom's post that
                          >  would at all justify your doing that. If you happen to have a past grudge against Tom, address the grudge or figure out how to heal it and forget about it.
                          >
                          > And I am going to further deduce that perhaps you are actually angry at Eckankar. And furthermore, perhaps the real reason for your anger at Eckankar is that you didn't receive your fifth initiation.
                          >
                          > > Even though I spent some twelve years or so in Eckankar, I never,
                          > > sad to say, attained that sublime, lofty, holier-than -thou state - > even though, by the usual one initiation every two years calculus, > I should have attained it.  Alas, I was never showered with the
                          > > transcendental goodies - I suppose that that's because I was
                          > > Eckankar's token "problem child"!
                          >
                          > So address your anger at Eckankar. Try not to direct it toward members posting on the message board. Tom obviously said something to set you off. He had no intention of doing
                          >  that.
                          >
                          > I have used EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and NET (Neuro Emotional Technique) to address my anger. Just mentioning it in case anyone is interested.
                          >
                          > EFT Anger Release
                          > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_w4qHaa5Bc
                          >
                          > EFT Tap-A-Long: Moving Things Forward
                          > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzOEJ8H8bak
                          >
                          > Jonathan
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > ------------------------------------
                          >
                          > Yahoo! Groups Links
                          >




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

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                        • tomleafeater
                          Hi David, See, that s the essential point: No one should have to conform to some conventional stereotype to be considered qualified for an initiation if the
                          Message 12 of 26 , Sep 25 11:46 PM
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Hi David,

                            See, that's the essential point: No one should have to conform to some conventional stereotype to be considered qualified for an initiation if the initiation is authentically based on inner awareness of a master. Eckankar initiations are filtered through the attitudes of local high initiates, who can be very biased. After all, these high initiates who approve/deny initiations are ordinary humans with flaws. Lots of people were denied initiations for ridiculous reasons. It happened all the time.

                            And it actually can hurt people who wonder why they were passed over, if they take all this seriously, which most eckists do, whether they admit it or not.

                            It's a screwed up system that eckankar should just abolish. But the system is useful to them for control. Think about it: How would they reward and/or punish people without the initiations?

                            By the way, that was my comment you referenced about the "ruffling feathers" that gets people in trouble with the org.

                            Here's a weird story: when years went by and I didn't receive the fifth, I wrote an initiates report asking for it, very subtly. I explained the turmoil of having felt passed over, and explained I was merely honestly explaining my feelings. Guess what? In a few weeks after writing the report, I got the fifth. And the sixth? That came after I'd pretty much left eckankar, but hadn't informed the org. Crazy, huh?

                            The initiations are a big control game to keep people coming back for the next level, and as such are eckankar's main product.






                            --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, David Osborn <panfluteman2000@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Tom,
                            >      The Fourth was as high as I got in Eckankar.  My third and fourth initiations I felt I didn't "get it", or "grock it", so, especially reading about Paul telling an Eckist who wanted to speed up his initiations, "Why hurry?  Soul has been evolving for thousands of years." I took that to heart literally, and felt that it would be well worth it to go back and do my third and fourth all over again to get it right.  It was only when, in talking to headquarters, it was as if my requests to go back and do it over fell on deaf ears that I began to get that the initiations were just a kind of keeping up with the Joneses game, with no real substance to "get". 
                            >      And when Jonathan talked about people who ruffled feathers being
                            > passed over for initiations, that could have been me; I was a bit of an eccentric and a loose wire.  But it was just as much of a case of me slowly drifting out and putting myself in limbo when I felt I hadn't got the third and fourth initiations right, and doing a lot of reflection and soul searching as to what could have gone wrong.  I suppose that if I had had a more manageable, socializable personality and had fallen into lockstep with the way things were run more, perhpas I could have gotten my fifth.
                            >                                                      David 
                            >
                            > --- On Sat, 9/25/10, tomleafeater <tianyue@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > From: tomleafeater
                            > <tianyue@...>
                            > Subject: [eckankartruth] Re: Why they're so strange
                            > To: eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com
                            > Date: Saturday, September 25, 2010, 7:50 PM
                            >
                            > David,
                            >
                            > Apparently you were never afforded a direct look at the way the eckankar organization really worked, which you would have seen more clearly, perhaps, if you'd become a member of the "club" of H.I.s, and gone to the local HI meetings, the seminar HI trainings, the HI roundtable sessions at seminars, and other organizational functions.
                            >
                            > It was when I began attending these events that the real truth about eckankar become more and more clear about the "brothers of the leaf." For example, it occurred to me after a while that the non-H.I.s enjoyed more unscripted spontaneity and humor, were more natural with each other, less guarded of appearance, less haughty, less self-conscious and stiff. Anyone who didn't get the fifth hasn't missed
                            > anything at all worthwhile, except perhaps a clearer glimpse of the absurdity of the initiations and the other observations I noted above. And it really hits home when you actually give a few initiations.
                            >
                            > It's interesting that most of my close friends who have left eckankar had to reach the fifth before they could admit something was amiss. That's the way it was for me, more or less: I always knew deep inside something was wrong with eckankar, but when I got the fifth, and later the sixth, it became obvious.
                            >
                            > Leaf
                            >
                            > --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, David Osborn <panfluteman2000@> wrote:
                            > >
                            > > Jonathan,
                            > >      I really think that you are making a mountain out of a molehill here.  Sarcasm maybe, but not really anger.  In spite of the fact that I didn't receive my fifth
                            > initiation, I still had quite a few good times in Eckankar when I was with my Eck buddies.  The degree of bitterness that comes out in a lot of these postings by other members really surprises me at times.  But for me, my Eck days are long gone, longer gone than many if not most of those of you who are frequent posters here. 
                            > >      And when I found out that the initiations were bogus, then I said to myself, "So what's the big deal?"  At that point, it seemed to me that the initiations were more important to the Eck organization and hierarchy than
                            > >  they were to me.  I wasn't after quantity of initiations, I was after quality and genuineness.   
                            > >      Looking back on my days in Eckankar, the best thing about it was the social life and the friends I made.  And that was all in the pre-Harold days, when things flowed a lot more freely and
                            > naturally.
                            > >      So, don't worry about me Jonathan.  If there is anything in my life for me to be angry or bitter about, there are lots of things higher on my list than Eckankar and the initiations I got or didn't get, I assure you.
                            > >                                                       
                            > >  Sincerely,
                            > >
                            >                                                             David
                            > >
                            > > --- On Sat, 9/25/10, jonathanjohns96 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                            > >
                            > > From: jonathanjohns96 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
                            > > Subject: [eckankartruth] Re: Why they're so strange
                            > > To: eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com
                            > > Date: Saturday, September 25,
                            > 2010, 5:50 PM
                            > >
                            > > David,
                            > >
                            > > Please understand that I am saying this to you calmly and nicely. I'm not upset.
                            > >
                            > > It seems to me that you are angry, but you are directing your
                            > >  anger at Tom which seems unjustified to me.
                            > >
                            > > The first line of your post is:
                            > >
                            > > > Did you, my dear Mr. Leafeater, attain the lofty exalted, sublime
                            > > > status of Mahdis in Eckankar?  In other words, did you succeed in
                            > > > your spiritual game of keeping up with the Joneses?
                            > >
                            > > You ended with:
                            > >
                            > > > Please advise, O All Knowing, All Seeing Former
                            > > > Mahdi! (That is, if you indeed were a former Mahdi.
                            > >
                            > > These are very sarcastic comments and they seem to be directly aimed at Tom, and NOT in a friendly way. It seems like you are pointing your finger at Tom in an accusing manner. Perhaps you didn't intend that, but that is
                            > how it came across to me.
                            > >
                            > > I'm not at all offended or upset that you are angry. As a former member of Eckankar you are justified in being angry about any number of things. But what bothers me is that you seem to be directing your anger at Tom. I didn't see anything in Tom's post that
                            > >  would at all justify your doing that. If you happen to have a past grudge against Tom, address the grudge or figure out how to heal it and forget about it.
                            > >
                            > > And I am going to further deduce that perhaps you are actually angry at Eckankar. And furthermore, perhaps the real reason for your anger at Eckankar is that you didn't receive your fifth initiation.
                            > >
                            > > > Even though I spent some twelve years or so in Eckankar, I never,
                            > > > sad to say, attained that sublime, lofty, holier-than -thou state - > even though, by the usual one initiation every two years calculus, > I should have attained it. 
                            > Alas, I was never showered with the
                            > > > transcendental goodies - I suppose that that's because I was
                            > > > Eckankar's token "problem child"!
                            > >
                            > > So address your anger at Eckankar. Try not to direct it toward members posting on the message board. Tom obviously said something to set you off. He had no intention of doing
                            > >  that.
                            > >
                            > > I have used EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and NET (Neuro Emotional Technique) to address my anger. Just mentioning it in case anyone is interested.
                            > >
                            > > EFT Anger Release
                            > > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_w4qHaa5Bc
                            > >
                            > > EFT Tap-A-Long: Moving Things Forward
                            > > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzOEJ8H8bak
                            > >
                            > > Jonathan
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > ------------------------------------
                            > >
                            > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                            > >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > ------------------------------------
                            >
                            > Yahoo! Groups Links
                            >
                          • jonathanjohns96
                            Tom, Here is an interesting quote from a website: http://www.guidetopsychology.com/mpd.htm ... Occasionally you might hear about a person who commits a crime
                            Message 13 of 26 , Sep 26 6:18 AM
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                              Tom,

                              Here is an interesting quote from a website:

                              http://www.guidetopsychology.com/mpd.htm

                              ----------------------------------
                              Occasionally you might hear about a person who commits a crime or is implicated in a scandal. Friends and family may rush to the defense, saying "It couldn't be true! He is so religious and so devoted to his family." Well, sad to say, it could very well be that a lewd or criminal ego state exists side-by-side with the pillar-of-the-community ego state. Therefore, a person's behavior in one situation does not "prove" anything about the rest of his or her life.

                              One point to remember here is that even though the motivation for one's behavior may be unconscious, an ego state is not a dissociative experience. Therefore, when acting from a particular ego state one is still aware of the behavior itself.

                              This all goes to show that unless your values embrace all your ego states you will always be vulnerable to the "snares" of corruption. It takes considerable discipline to communicate with and heal all the aspects of your personality so as to live a truly honest and spiritual life.

                              Unfortunately, all too many people in this world don't want anything to do with such discipline. And so we have the on-going problem of apparently upstanding members of the community hiding—and denying—their secrets. Secrets, for example, such as child abuse.
                              ----------------------------------

                              I would like to emphasize the following portion of this quote: "One point to remember here is that even though the motivation for one's behavior may be unconscious, an ego state is not a dissociative experience. Therefore, when acting from a particular ego state one is still aware of the behavior itself."

                              As applied to entire concept of cognitive dissonance, it seems to me that the entire concept of cognitive dissonance doesn't hold water. Or what you have described as a "dissociative state." The reason is because the higher initiates in Eckankar who walk around God-like and then engage in activities that seem to be far less than God-like ARE AWARE OF WHAT THEY ARE DOING. Let's say they they stole something. They are AWARE that they stole something. They don't take that situation and then blank it from their memory. That is what would be required for it be be a true dissociative state. You use of the term "dissociative state" seems to be a philosophical judgment that you are carrying out against these people. You see their behavior as hypocritical and then conclude that that they are in a dissociative state. It sounds completely ludicrous to me. They are hypocrites. They are not in a dissociative state.

                              So I can easily believe all the stories that you state in the following paragraph, but I don't agree that it is a dissociative state.

                              tomleafeater
                              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/eckankartruth/message/7899
                              Basically, there were high initiates who financially swindled people whom I knew personally, who sexually exploited women, who were tyrants of control, who couldn't predict the next hour much less the future, despite pretenses of all-knowingness, who had chronic anger, who smoked, drank, took drugs, who harbored severely judgmental opinions of "lower initiates," who indulged in favoritism in recommending initiations, in short, the very shortcomings experienced my most average humans, if not worse. All the while, of course, they often smugly swaggered about enjoying the special status of Gods, as if none of their shortcomings existed, which reveals a dissociative state, in my observation. They would be screwing someone over in one moment, smiling benevolently the very next. The ever present beaming demeanor (in public) and sweet smiles of understanding plastered permanently on their faces seemed contrived, practiced.

                              Jonathan
                            • David Osborn
                              Without those initiations, what would Eckankar really have to offer?  Nothing!
                              Message 14 of 26 , Sep 26 7:25 AM
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Without those initiations, what would Eckankar really have to offer?  Nothing!
                                                                                            David

                                --- On Sat, 9/25/10, tomleafeater <tianyue@...> wrote:

                                From: tomleafeater <tianyue@...>
                                Subject: [eckankartruth] Re: Why they're so strange
                                To: eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com
                                Date: Saturday, September 25, 2010, 11:46 PM






                                Hi David,

                                See, that's the essential point: No one should have to conform to some conventional stereotype to be considered qualified for an initiation if the initiation is authentically based on inner awareness of a master. Eckankar initiations are filtered through the attitudes of local high initiates, who can be very biased. After all, these high initiates who approve/deny initiations are ordinary humans with flaws. Lots of people were denied initiations for ridiculous reasons. It happened all the time.

                                And it actually can hurt people who wonder why they were passed over, if they take all this seriously, which most eckists do, whether they admit it or not.

                                It's a screwed up system that eckankar should just abolish. But the system is useful to them for control. Think about it: How would they reward and/or punish people without the initiations?

                                By the way, that was my comment you referenced about the "ruffling feathers" that gets people in trouble with the org.

                                Here's a weird story: when years went by and I didn't receive the fifth, I wrote an initiates report asking for it, very subtly. I explained the turmoil of having felt passed over, and explained I was merely honestly explaining my feelings. Guess what? In a few weeks after writing the report, I got the fifth. And the sixth? That came after I'd pretty much left eckankar, but hadn't informed the org. Crazy, huh?

                                The initiations are a big control game to keep people coming back for the next level, and as such are eckankar's main product.






                                --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, David Osborn <panfluteman2000@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > Tom,
                                >      The Fourth was as high as I got in Eckankar.  My third and fourth initiations I felt I didn't "get it", or "grock it", so, especially reading about Paul telling an Eckist who wanted to speed up his initiations, "Why hurry?  Soul has been evolving for thousands of years." I took that to heart literally, and felt that it would be well worth it to go back and do my third and fourth all over again to get it right.  It was only when, in talking to headquarters, it was as if my requests to go back and do it over fell on deaf ears that I began to get that the initiations were just a kind of keeping up with the Joneses game, with no real substance to "get". 
                                >      And when Jonathan talked about people who ruffled feathers being
                                >  passed over for initiations, that could have been me; I was a bit of an eccentric and a loose wire.  But it was just as much of a case of me slowly drifting out and putting myself in limbo when I felt I hadn't got the third and fourth initiations right, and doing a lot of reflection and soul searching as to what could have gone wrong.  I suppose that if I had had a more manageable, socializable personality and had fallen into lockstep with the way things were run more, perhpas I could have gotten my fifth.
                                >                                                      David 
                                >
                                > --- On Sat, 9/25/10, tomleafeater <tianyue@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > From: tomleafeater
                                >  <tianyue@...>
                                > Subject: [eckankartruth] Re: Why they're so strange
                                > To: eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com
                                > Date: Saturday, September 25, 2010, 7:50 PM
                                >
                                > David,
                                >
                                > Apparently you were never afforded a direct look at the way the eckankar organization really worked, which you would have seen more clearly, perhaps, if you'd become a member of the "club" of H.I.s, and gone to the local HI meetings, the seminar HI trainings, the HI roundtable sessions at seminars, and other organizational functions.
                                >
                                > It was when I began attending these events that the real truth about eckankar become more and more clear about the "brothers of the leaf." For example, it occurred to me after a while that the non-H.I.s enjoyed more unscripted spontaneity and humor, were more natural with each other, less guarded of appearance, less haughty, less self-conscious and stiff. Anyone who didn't get the fifth hasn't missed
                                >  anything at all worthwhile, except perhaps a clearer glimpse of the absurdity of the initiations and the other observations I noted above. And it really hits home when you actually give a few initiations.
                                >
                                > It's interesting that most of my close friends who have left eckankar had to reach the fifth before they could admit something was amiss. That's the way it was for me, more or less: I always knew deep inside something was wrong with eckankar, but when I got the fifth, and later the sixth, it became obvious.
                                >
                                > Leaf
                                >
                                > --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, David Osborn <panfluteman2000@> wrote:
                                > >
                                > > Jonathan,
                                > >      I really think that you are making a mountain out of a molehill here.  Sarcasm maybe, but not really anger.  In spite of the fact that I didn't receive my fifth
                                >  initiation, I still had quite a few good times in Eckankar when I was with my Eck buddies.  The degree of bitterness that comes out in a lot of these postings by other members really surprises me at times.  But for me, my Eck days are long gone, longer gone than many if not most of those of you who are frequent posters here. 
                                > >      And when I found out that the initiations were bogus, then I said to myself, "So what's the big deal?"  At that point, it seemed to me that the initiations were more important to the Eck organization and hierarchy than
                                > >  they were to me.  I wasn't after quantity of initiations, I was after quality and genuineness.   
                                > >      Looking back on my days in Eckankar, the best thing about it was the social life and the friends I made.  And that was all in the pre-Harold days, when things flowed a lot more freely and
                                >  naturally.
                                > >      So, don't worry about me Jonathan.  If there is anything in my life for me to be angry or bitter about, there are lots of things higher on my list than Eckankar and the initiations I got or didn't get, I assure you.
                                > >                                                       
                                > >  Sincerely,
                                > >
                                >                                                              David
                                > >
                                > > --- On Sat, 9/25/10, jonathanjohns96 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                                > >
                                > > From: jonathanjohns96 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
                                > > Subject: [eckankartruth] Re: Why they're so strange
                                > > To: eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com
                                > > Date: Saturday, September 25,
                                >  2010, 5:50 PM
                                > >
                                > > David,
                                > >
                                > > Please understand that I am saying this to you calmly and nicely. I'm not upset.
                                > >
                                > > It seems to me that you are angry, but you are directing your
                                > >  anger at Tom which seems unjustified to me.
                                > >
                                > > The first line of your post is:
                                > >
                                > > > Did you, my dear Mr. Leafeater, attain the lofty exalted, sublime
                                > > > status of Mahdis in Eckankar?  In other words, did you succeed in
                                > > > your spiritual game of keeping up with the Joneses?
                                > >
                                > > You ended with:
                                > >
                                > > > Please advise, O All Knowing, All Seeing Former
                                > > > Mahdi! (That is, if you indeed were a former Mahdi.
                                > >
                                > > These are very sarcastic comments and they seem to be directly aimed at Tom, and NOT in a friendly way. It seems like you are pointing your finger at Tom in an accusing manner. Perhaps you didn't intend that, but that is
                                >  how it came across to me.
                                > >
                                > > I'm not at all offended or upset that you are angry. As a former member of Eckankar you are justified in being angry about any number of things. But what bothers me is that you seem to be directing your anger at Tom. I didn't see anything in Tom's post that
                                > >  would at all justify your doing that. If you happen to have a past grudge against Tom, address the grudge or figure out how to heal it and forget about it.
                                > >
                                > > And I am going to further deduce that perhaps you are actually angry at Eckankar. And furthermore, perhaps the real reason for your anger at Eckankar is that you didn't receive your fifth initiation.
                                > >
                                > > > Even though I spent some twelve years or so in Eckankar, I never,
                                > > > sad to say, attained that sublime, lofty, holier-than -thou state - > even though, by the usual one initiation every two years calculus, > I should have attained it. 
                                >  Alas, I was never showered with the
                                > > > transcendental goodies - I suppose that that's because I was
                                > > > Eckankar's token "problem child"!
                                > >
                                > > So address your anger at Eckankar. Try not to direct it toward members posting on the message board. Tom obviously said something to set you off. He had no intention of doing
                                > >  that.
                                > >
                                > > I have used EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and NET (Neuro Emotional Technique) to address my anger. Just mentioning it in case anyone is interested.
                                > >
                                > > EFT Anger Release
                                > > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_w4qHaa5Bc
                                > >
                                > > EFT Tap-A-Long: Moving Things Forward
                                > > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzOEJ8H8bak
                                > >
                                > > Jonathan
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                >  ------------------------------------
                                > >
                                > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                > >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > ------------------------------------
                                >
                                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                >




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

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                              • tomleafeater
                                Jonathan, In light of this comment you made: The pseudopersonality stuff looks too much like some crazy theory that some psychologists thought up. What s
                                Message 15 of 26 , Sep 26 1:21 PM
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                                  Jonathan,

                                  In light of this comment you made:

                                  "The 'pseudopersonality' stuff looks too much like some crazy theory that some psychologists thought up."

                                  What's your overall opinion, generally, about the field of psychology?

                                  Leaf



                                  --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, jonathanjohns96 <no_reply@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Tom,
                                  >
                                  > I like your essay. it's well written and makes several interesting points. I'm going to make some comments based on my own experiences in Eckankar. Please bear in mind that I am not disagreeing point blank with what you say. I'm sure that a lot of the things you mention apply to some people in Eckankar.
                                  >
                                  > In general...
                                  > 1. The ideas expressed by Janja Lalich and Madeleine Tobias seem a bit to extreme to me to be directly applied to Eckankar.
                                  > 2. Your idea that Eckists getting the fifth become "high and mighty" probably applies to some or many Eckists.
                                  > 3. Your idea that Eckists getting the fifth become "high and mighty" didn't apply to me when I got my fifth because I long ago had decided that the initiation number was just a number.
                                  >
                                  > Here is my detailed commentary:
                                  >
                                  > > In psychology, researchers of cults have identified
                                  > > the tendency of followers to develop a dissociated
                                  > > state that helps them cope with the cognitive dissonance
                                  > > of conflicting ideologies. Janja Lalich and Madeleine Tobias
                                  > > refer to this tendency in the book, Take Back Your Life:
                                  >
                                  > I'm a bit confused about this sentence. Taking this sentence literally, I am wondering what they are talking about when they are talking about "conflicting ideologies." Do they mean conflicting ideologies within Eckankar as when Twithcell says one thing on one page, then the exact opposite on another page? Or do they mean conflicting ideologies between Eckankar's beliefs and they previous beliefs, or conflicting ideologies between their Eckankar beliefs and what other people in the world believe.
                                  >
                                  > > "Mind-manipulating techniques used to induce altered states
                                  > > also serve to support the development and emergence of
                                  > > what some have called the cult personality. Under the stress
                                  > > of complying with the cult's demands, individual members develop
                                  > > new identities. The emergence of this persona has been identified
                                  > > by some researchers as a "pseudopersonality" an adaptation
                                  > > that enables people to carry out cult-imposed activities that would
                                  > > normally go against their values."
                                  >
                                  > Being psychologists, I think they may be overstating things a bit. I don't believe that people in Eckankar literally develop a "pseudopersonality" as they call it. I think as members of Eckankar, they change, but it is still them. Calling it a "pseudopersonality" almost makes it sound like it is a disease. But that is what psychologists tend to do. Don't get me wrong. I think that Eckankar does affect how their members think. And that they will say and do things that they wouldn't do before they became an Eckist. But that is how they are now. That is THEM as they are now. The "pseudopersonality" stuff looks too much like some crazy theory that some psychologists thought up. When I was in Eckankar, I stayed as ME. I didn't become somebody else. I was ME. I changed as a result of accepting the Eckankar BS, but it was still ME. It's just my opinion.
                                  >
                                  > And I don't like the their phrase "cult-imposed activities." I would prefer "cult-encouraged activities." Eckankar didn't impose anything on me, but perhaps I was more independent that most members. I was always on the outside looking in, and I never actually participated much in Eckankar activities. Here is a summary of my participation in Eckankar activities for my 29 years in Eckankar:
                                  >
                                  > 1. I told one outsider about it (his initials are B. S.). Somehow, my family told two people. When they asked me about Eckankar I told them nothing.
                                  > 2. I went postering once.
                                  > 3. I went to two seminars.
                                  > 4. I never volunteered to help at the local Eck center.
                                  > 5. I spent a total of $5,000. (my estimate which I calculated in December of 2008 when I left Eckankar.) Almost entirely on books and cassette tapes.
                                  >
                                  > I definitely think that Eckists' thinking changes when they become members. I'm just having a hard time accepting the idea that Eckankar imposes it on them. My view is that the Eckists voluntarily allow it to be imposed on them. They join, their thinking changes because they are reading books, listening to cassette tapes. After awhile, that is truth for them.
                                  >
                                  > I don't make excuses for myself for why I stayed in Eckankar for 29 years. I thought the path was worthwhile. But after I started to realize that the techniques taught by Eckankar were next to worthless for me, and after I started to read about the plagiarism on the Internet, I started to see Eckankar in a very different light. It started me into a new direction where I was getting a much less positive view of Eckankar, and even thinking about leaving it.
                                  >
                                  > > "Under the stress of complying with the cult's demands."
                                  >
                                  > I never felt under stress to comply to Eckankar's demands. (For proof, look at the list numbered 1 to 5 above.) There were no rules in Eckankar saying that I had to volunteer, or that I had to proselytize. So there was very little stress placed upon me by Eckankar. I sometimes felt that I "should" be proselytizing or helping out, but it wasn't a big deal for me. And at that time, I thought that initiations were given out by Klemp based on his inner awareness of my state of consciousness. So I had no idea at the time I was in Eckankar (except for the last two years of my membership in 2007-2008) that this was very likely holding me back in my initiations. No idea at all.
                                  >
                                  > > Since, in my opinion based on years of experience
                                  > > as a member, the initiations are pseudo, then it
                                  > > follows that those who receive them, and believe
                                  > > as a result that they have attained the vast understanding
                                  > > and all encompassing awareness of a savior, have
                                  > > deluded themselves, and have taken on a pseudo
                                  > > persona which is intended to reflect the super-conscious
                                  > > state of Spiritual Mastership.
                                  >
                                  > You make some additional comments about how people who get the fifth become kind of "high and mighty" and think that they are the enlightened ones. I haven't really thought about this much, but after reading your thoughts on it, I think you are right. I think I have seen these people in Eckankar. I really do. It's the people who were running the Eck center, and the other individuals who were in that particular circle. Many were the "hardliners," but probably not all of them were the hardliners. Many were just sincere people who believed that the initiations actually meant something. The Eckists who are more "normal" or subdued, but were people who got extremely caught up with the whole Eckankar thing. And your explanation probably explains some of the hardliner Eckists over at a.r.e. So regarding your portrayal of Eckists becoming "high and mighty" due to the fifth, it has merit. It really does. The only caveat I would add is that I have seen Eckists who are this "severe" who were only 2nd or 3rd initiates. But I still think that your emphasis on the fifth has a lot of merit. It is easy for me to see how some Eckists could let the whole thing go to their head. And as you would say, it happens because people actually believe that the initiations are indeed real.
                                  >
                                  > I would now like to discuss how the fifth initiation affected me. Your theory doesn't apply to me. The reason is that very early in Eckankar (4 years in?) I saw evidence that the initiations didn't mean a whole lot. And I even had higher initiates agree with me to some degree. For example, Millie Moore died a smoker of cigarettes, a habit that is supposed to go away when you become a fifth. I believe she was an 8th or 9th. But getting back to my own experiences as a member of Eckankar, by the time I got the fifth I had long ago come to the conclusion that the initiations were just a number. I can't say my conclusion in that regard was 100%, but it was about 95% which is pretty solid.
                                  >
                                  > My experience:
                                  > 1. I joined Eckankar in 1979.
                                  > 2. Around 1983, had some experiences when I was a second and I was dealing with a fifth. These experiences/interactions indicated to me that my awareness was much higher than theirs.
                                  > 3. In 1999, as a fourth initiate I had hundreds of hours of experiences with Eck masters on the inner. So if that happened to me as a fourth, then how do you explain an eighth with very few inner experiences? (Note: At the time I had these inner experiences I thought they were Eck masters. Right now, I still believe they were spiritual beings, but not necessarily Eck masters.)
                                  >
                                  > So by the time 1999 ended I was already convinced that the initiation was just a number. And by the time I received my 5th initiation nine years later in 2008 my attitude hadn't changed. I had pretty much given up on ever receiving the fifth anyway so I wasn't even thinking about it anymore. I really didn't care about the initiations.
                                  >
                                  > --------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  >
                                  > A few more things I thought of...
                                  >
                                  > Were the Eckankar meetings different after my fifth initiation?
                                  > After about 29 years in Eckankar I received my fifth initiation in 2008. Up to that point I had been wondering on an occasional basis whether the teachings of Eckankar would be any different. Would the higher initiate meetings be different? Would they talk about serious topics not mentioned in the "regular" Eckankar meetings? The answer I got was that they weren't intrinsically different. I suppose there was a greater amount of time talking about serious subjects (as defined by Eckankar). But I always thought that this is what the worship services should be about. It was a few months later that I learned the truth about the worship services (from the Eck center director). The the WS are for new people, not the current membership. Of course, most of the time the WS "degenerated" into a discussion of topics of interest to the current membership.
                                  >
                                  > Did my fifth initiation mean an end to past life healing?
                                  > I had been busy healing unresolved traumatic energy from my past lives for the ten years leading up to my receiving my fifth initiation in 2008. Eckankar teaches that once you acquire the fifth then you won't have to reincarnate on Earth to continue to work out past life karma. So I was very interested to see what was going to happen. The truth is, the healing for my past life "unresolved energy" that I had been so actively working on continued at its same rapid pace! So the truth is, soul (what some would call my higher self) was interested in continuing to heal past life trauma at a rapid pace. By the way, all of my past life trauma comes to the surface on its own; I do nothing to bring it to the surface. so somebody or something other than myself is orchestrating the whole thing. I guess most people would say it is my higher self that is doing that.
                                  >
                                  > Did I stay in Eckankar until I received my fifth initiation? (In other words, did I put off leaving until I received it?)
                                  > I never pondered that question while I was still a member. If I did, I had no conscious awareness that this is what I was doing. At the conscious level, I had long ago decided that the initiations meant a lot less than what Eckankar claimed that they did. When I was at the Springtime seminar in Washington DC in 1999 I spent the entire time in my hotel room having inner experiences with Eck masters about 10 hours per day. At that time I was a fourth initiate. So looking at those inner experiences I was having, I had to seriously wonder how the initiations reflected a person's awareness since there were probably 8th initiates that weren't having experiences like I was having. At that time I sometimes thought that everyone in Eckankar was doing what I was doing, they just weren't talking about it. These "masters" kept telling me "No" but I didn't believe them. So in 1999 after having 3 to 6 hours of inner experiences with "Eck masters" or whoever they were, every day for 6 to 9 months, I really had no concern for what initiation I was. It meant absolutely nothing to me. I was already having experiences with these masters every day; why would I need or crave an initiation?
                                  >
                                  > Jonathan
                                  >
                                • jonathanjohns96
                                  Leaf, I m not sure why I got so riled up about your psychological theories, but something was going on. I have no idea what. Every time I read about that stuff
                                  Message 16 of 26 , Sep 26 7:23 PM
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                                    Leaf,

                                    I'm not sure why I got so riled up about your psychological theories, but something was going on. I have no idea what. Every time I read about that stuff my head gets dizzy. So it's not really something I get really enjoy involved with. But something set me off, and based on extensive past experience I'm sure it has nothing to do with you. Now to answer your question.

                                    I do have an inherently negative opinion about psychology. I think they are VERY intelligent people, but they get too wrapped up in wacky theories. Then they evaluate someone to see what "pattern" they are in. Then they approach helping them from that point of view. I'm probably talking about traditional psychotherapy though. And I'll admit that I could be completely wrong because I have virtually no experience with psychologists or talk therapy of any type.

                                    Also, I have heard that very few practitioners actually do traditional psychotherapy anymore. Instead, they are all just prescribing drugs to people. The traditional talk therapy takes too long, and is too expensive, and I believe fewer and fewer people are really interested in pursuing it. It takes a lot of effort on the patient, and very few people are that motivated anymore. Everybody wants a quick fix, so drugs have become the "new psychotherapy." Again, this is what I have heard.

                                    Also, I experienced a lot of help from the meridian techniques that I sometimes mention here on ET (NET and EFT). These are techniques that utilize the acupuncture meridians in order to release stuck emotional trauma within the body. For the time and money spent, I believe that meridian techniques are ten times more effective than any kind of talk therapy.

                                    I would love to see someone post information on their own personal experiences with psychotherapy or any kind of talk therapy. But nobody has so I assume nobody wants to. Sharon sometimes posts information on talk therapy, but there are no real personal experiences from her or anybody else.

                                    Here is my only experience with talk therapy. In undergraduate college I had a really wacky girlfriend. I'm not blaming anybody but myself because I chose to get involved with her. She was literally driving me crazy so I went to Penn State's psychologist or whoever he was. I believe it was free. I told him that I was in a serious quandary about whether to break up with her. I was looking out for her feelings. He asked me one question "What would you do if you were thinking of no consequences from your actions?" I replied "I would break up with her." Having received the answer I needed I then broke up with my girlfriend. And I never went back to him.

                                    However I just thought of something. He seemed to be in a sense playing games with me the whole time he was talking to me. Maybe that is what turned me off to talk therapy.

                                    This was about 4 years before I joined Eckankar so there was no input to me from Eckankar's teachings.

                                    Jonathan



                                    --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, "tomleafeater" <tianyue@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > Jonathan,
                                    >
                                    > In light of this comment you made:
                                    >
                                    > "The 'pseudopersonality' stuff looks too much like some crazy theory that some psychologists thought up."
                                    >
                                    > What's your overall opinion, generally, about the field of psychology?
                                    >
                                    > Leaf
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, jonathanjohns96 <no_reply@> wrote:
                                    > >
                                    > > Tom,
                                    > >
                                    > > I like your essay. it's well written and makes several interesting points. I'm going to make some comments based on my own experiences in Eckankar. Please bear in mind that I am not disagreeing point blank with what you say. I'm sure that a lot of the things you mention apply to some people in Eckankar.
                                    > >
                                    > > In general...
                                    > > 1. The ideas expressed by Janja Lalich and Madeleine Tobias seem a bit to extreme to me to be directly applied to Eckankar.
                                    > > 2. Your idea that Eckists getting the fifth become "high and mighty" probably applies to some or many Eckists.
                                    > > 3. Your idea that Eckists getting the fifth become "high and mighty" didn't apply to me when I got my fifth because I long ago had decided that the initiation number was just a number.
                                    > >
                                    > > Here is my detailed commentary:
                                    > >
                                    > > > In psychology, researchers of cults have identified
                                    > > > the tendency of followers to develop a dissociated
                                    > > > state that helps them cope with the cognitive dissonance
                                    > > > of conflicting ideologies. Janja Lalich and Madeleine Tobias
                                    > > > refer to this tendency in the book, Take Back Your Life:
                                    > >
                                    > > I'm a bit confused about this sentence. Taking this sentence literally, I am wondering what they are talking about when they are talking about "conflicting ideologies." Do they mean conflicting ideologies within Eckankar as when Twithcell says one thing on one page, then the exact opposite on another page? Or do they mean conflicting ideologies between Eckankar's beliefs and they previous beliefs, or conflicting ideologies between their Eckankar beliefs and what other people in the world believe.
                                    > >
                                    > > > "Mind-manipulating techniques used to induce altered states
                                    > > > also serve to support the development and emergence of
                                    > > > what some have called the cult personality. Under the stress
                                    > > > of complying with the cult's demands, individual members develop
                                    > > > new identities. The emergence of this persona has been identified
                                    > > > by some researchers as a "pseudopersonality" an adaptation
                                    > > > that enables people to carry out cult-imposed activities that would
                                    > > > normally go against their values."
                                    > >
                                    > > Being psychologists, I think they may be overstating things a bit. I don't believe that people in Eckankar literally develop a "pseudopersonality" as they call it. I think as members of Eckankar, they change, but it is still them. Calling it a "pseudopersonality" almost makes it sound like it is a disease. But that is what psychologists tend to do. Don't get me wrong. I think that Eckankar does affect how their members think. And that they will say and do things that they wouldn't do before they became an Eckist. But that is how they are now. That is THEM as they are now. The "pseudopersonality" stuff looks too much like some crazy theory that some psychologists thought up. When I was in Eckankar, I stayed as ME. I didn't become somebody else. I was ME. I changed as a result of accepting the Eckankar BS, but it was still ME. It's just my opinion.
                                    > >
                                    > > And I don't like the their phrase "cult-imposed activities." I would prefer "cult-encouraged activities." Eckankar didn't impose anything on me, but perhaps I was more independent that most members. I was always on the outside looking in, and I never actually participated much in Eckankar activities. Here is a summary of my participation in Eckankar activities for my 29 years in Eckankar:
                                    > >
                                    > > 1. I told one outsider about it (his initials are B. S.). Somehow, my family told two people. When they asked me about Eckankar I told them nothing.
                                    > > 2. I went postering once.
                                    > > 3. I went to two seminars.
                                    > > 4. I never volunteered to help at the local Eck center.
                                    > > 5. I spent a total of $5,000. (my estimate which I calculated in December of 2008 when I left Eckankar.) Almost entirely on books and cassette tapes.
                                    > >
                                    > > I definitely think that Eckists' thinking changes when they become members. I'm just having a hard time accepting the idea that Eckankar imposes it on them. My view is that the Eckists voluntarily allow it to be imposed on them. They join, their thinking changes because they are reading books, listening to cassette tapes. After awhile, that is truth for them.
                                    > >
                                    > > I don't make excuses for myself for why I stayed in Eckankar for 29 years. I thought the path was worthwhile. But after I started to realize that the techniques taught by Eckankar were next to worthless for me, and after I started to read about the plagiarism on the Internet, I started to see Eckankar in a very different light. It started me into a new direction where I was getting a much less positive view of Eckankar, and even thinking about leaving it.
                                    > >
                                    > > > "Under the stress of complying with the cult's demands."
                                    > >
                                    > > I never felt under stress to comply to Eckankar's demands. (For proof, look at the list numbered 1 to 5 above.) There were no rules in Eckankar saying that I had to volunteer, or that I had to proselytize. So there was very little stress placed upon me by Eckankar. I sometimes felt that I "should" be proselytizing or helping out, but it wasn't a big deal for me. And at that time, I thought that initiations were given out by Klemp based on his inner awareness of my state of consciousness. So I had no idea at the time I was in Eckankar (except for the last two years of my membership in 2007-2008) that this was very likely holding me back in my initiations. No idea at all.
                                    > >
                                    > > > Since, in my opinion based on years of experience
                                    > > > as a member, the initiations are pseudo, then it
                                    > > > follows that those who receive them, and believe
                                    > > > as a result that they have attained the vast understanding
                                    > > > and all encompassing awareness of a savior, have
                                    > > > deluded themselves, and have taken on a pseudo
                                    > > > persona which is intended to reflect the super-conscious
                                    > > > state of Spiritual Mastership.
                                    > >
                                    > > You make some additional comments about how people who get the fifth become kind of "high and mighty" and think that they are the enlightened ones. I haven't really thought about this much, but after reading your thoughts on it, I think you are right. I think I have seen these people in Eckankar. I really do. It's the people who were running the Eck center, and the other individuals who were in that particular circle. Many were the "hardliners," but probably not all of them were the hardliners. Many were just sincere people who believed that the initiations actually meant something. The Eckists who are more "normal" or subdued, but were people who got extremely caught up with the whole Eckankar thing. And your explanation probably explains some of the hardliner Eckists over at a.r.e. So regarding your portrayal of Eckists becoming "high and mighty" due to the fifth, it has merit. It really does. The only caveat I would add is that I have seen Eckists who are this "severe" who were only 2nd or 3rd initiates. But I still think that your emphasis on the fifth has a lot of merit. It is easy for me to see how some Eckists could let the whole thing go to their head. And as you would say, it happens because people actually believe that the initiations are indeed real.
                                    > >
                                    > > I would now like to discuss how the fifth initiation affected me. Your theory doesn't apply to me. The reason is that very early in Eckankar (4 years in?) I saw evidence that the initiations didn't mean a whole lot. And I even had higher initiates agree with me to some degree. For example, Millie Moore died a smoker of cigarettes, a habit that is supposed to go away when you become a fifth. I believe she was an 8th or 9th. But getting back to my own experiences as a member of Eckankar, by the time I got the fifth I had long ago come to the conclusion that the initiations were just a number. I can't say my conclusion in that regard was 100%, but it was about 95% which is pretty solid.
                                    > >
                                    > > My experience:
                                    > > 1. I joined Eckankar in 1979.
                                    > > 2. Around 1983, had some experiences when I was a second and I was dealing with a fifth. These experiences/interactions indicated to me that my awareness was much higher than theirs.
                                    > > 3. In 1999, as a fourth initiate I had hundreds of hours of experiences with Eck masters on the inner. So if that happened to me as a fourth, then how do you explain an eighth with very few inner experiences? (Note: At the time I had these inner experiences I thought they were Eck masters. Right now, I still believe they were spiritual beings, but not necessarily Eck masters.)
                                    > >
                                    > > So by the time 1999 ended I was already convinced that the initiation was just a number. And by the time I received my 5th initiation nine years later in 2008 my attitude hadn't changed. I had pretty much given up on ever receiving the fifth anyway so I wasn't even thinking about it anymore. I really didn't care about the initiations.
                                    > >
                                    > > --------------------------------------------------------------------
                                    > >
                                    > > A few more things I thought of...
                                    > >
                                    > > Were the Eckankar meetings different after my fifth initiation?
                                    > > After about 29 years in Eckankar I received my fifth initiation in 2008. Up to that point I had been wondering on an occasional basis whether the teachings of Eckankar would be any different. Would the higher initiate meetings be different? Would they talk about serious topics not mentioned in the "regular" Eckankar meetings? The answer I got was that they weren't intrinsically different. I suppose there was a greater amount of time talking about serious subjects (as defined by Eckankar). But I always thought that this is what the worship services should be about. It was a few months later that I learned the truth about the worship services (from the Eck center director). The the WS are for new people, not the current membership. Of course, most of the time the WS "degenerated" into a discussion of topics of interest to the current membership.
                                    > >
                                    > > Did my fifth initiation mean an end to past life healing?
                                    > > I had been busy healing unresolved traumatic energy from my past lives for the ten years leading up to my receiving my fifth initiation in 2008. Eckankar teaches that once you acquire the fifth then you won't have to reincarnate on Earth to continue to work out past life karma. So I was very interested to see what was going to happen. The truth is, the healing for my past life "unresolved energy" that I had been so actively working on continued at its same rapid pace! So the truth is, soul (what some would call my higher self) was interested in continuing to heal past life trauma at a rapid pace. By the way, all of my past life trauma comes to the surface on its own; I do nothing to bring it to the surface. so somebody or something other than myself is orchestrating the whole thing. I guess most people would say it is my higher self that is doing that.
                                    > >
                                    > > Did I stay in Eckankar until I received my fifth initiation? (In other words, did I put off leaving until I received it?)
                                    > > I never pondered that question while I was still a member. If I did, I had no conscious awareness that this is what I was doing. At the conscious level, I had long ago decided that the initiations meant a lot less than what Eckankar claimed that they did. When I was at the Springtime seminar in Washington DC in 1999 I spent the entire time in my hotel room having inner experiences with Eck masters about 10 hours per day. At that time I was a fourth initiate. So looking at those inner experiences I was having, I had to seriously wonder how the initiations reflected a person's awareness since there were probably 8th initiates that weren't having experiences like I was having. At that time I sometimes thought that everyone in Eckankar was doing what I was doing, they just weren't talking about it. These "masters" kept telling me "No" but I didn't believe them. So in 1999 after having 3 to 6 hours of inner experiences with "Eck masters" or whoever they were, every day for 6 to 9 months, I really had no concern for what initiation I was. It meant absolutely nothing to me. I was already having experiences with these masters every day; why would I need or crave an initiation?
                                    > >
                                    > > Jonathan
                                    > >
                                    >
                                  • tomleafeater
                                    Hi Jonathan, Both Scientology and Eckankar have tended to disparage psychological counseling. Especially Scientology, which you were involved with for a while,
                                    Message 17 of 26 , Sep 27 1:41 AM
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      Hi Jonathan,

                                      Both Scientology and Eckankar have tended to disparage psychological counseling. Especially Scientology, which you were involved with for a while, correct? Is it at all likely your view was affected by that?

                                      I don't know if you were aware that I'm a health professional. I'm trained in traditional Chinese medicine. Many of my patients have experienced counseling, and they report that they benefit from it. I've personally known several counselors. Mostly they were my patients, but I've had lengthy discussions with them about psychotherapy, and I've generally been impressed with what they tell me. My acquaintances were professors at a local university, and they were well trained and very knowledgeable. I think it's efficacy greatly depends on the talents of the therapist, which is true for any therapy. I've worked with patients who were simultaneously undergoing therapy, and the combination worked very well in most cases.

                                      Ironically, Lalich discusses in her book the necessity to interview therapists the first time you visit them to determine if it makes a good fit. She gives good advice about this. As I recall, she devoted an entire chapter as a guide to selecting a therapist.

                                      And it is a science, and they do try to be evidenced based, and most of the ideas are well considered and thoughtful, if not infallible. And many counselors aren't MDs, which means they won't be as drug oriented.

                                      So, while you may not have respect for the profession, many people have good experiences with it. It's basically a matter of finding one that feels right. I know some have reported negative experiences, but that is true of any profession, especially the health professions.



                                      --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, jonathanjohns96 <no_reply@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > Leaf,
                                      >
                                      > I'm not sure why I got so riled up about your psychological theories, but something was going on. I have no idea what. Every time I read about that stuff my head gets dizzy. So it's not really something I get really enjoy involved with. But something set me off, and based on extensive past experience I'm sure it has nothing to do with you. Now to answer your question.
                                      >
                                      > I do have an inherently negative opinion about psychology. I think they are VERY intelligent people, but they get too wrapped up in wacky theories. Then they evaluate someone to see what "pattern" they are in. Then they approach helping them from that point of view. I'm probably talking about traditional psychotherapy though. And I'll admit that I could be completely wrong because I have virtually no experience with psychologists or talk therapy of any type.
                                      >
                                      > Also, I have heard that very few practitioners actually do traditional psychotherapy anymore. Instead, they are all just prescribing drugs to people. The traditional talk therapy takes too long, and is too expensive, and I believe fewer and fewer people are really interested in pursuing it. It takes a lot of effort on the patient, and very few people are that motivated anymore. Everybody wants a quick fix, so drugs have become the "new psychotherapy." Again, this is what I have heard.
                                      >
                                      > Also, I experienced a lot of help from the meridian techniques that I sometimes mention here on ET (NET and EFT). These are techniques that utilize the acupuncture meridians in order to release stuck emotional trauma within the body. For the time and money spent, I believe that meridian techniques are ten times more effective than any kind of talk therapy.
                                      >
                                      > I would love to see someone post information on their own personal experiences with psychotherapy or any kind of talk therapy. But nobody has so I assume nobody wants to. Sharon sometimes posts information on talk therapy, but there are no real personal experiences from her or anybody else.
                                      >
                                      > Here is my only experience with talk therapy. In undergraduate college I had a really wacky girlfriend. I'm not blaming anybody but myself because I chose to get involved with her. She was literally driving me crazy so I went to Penn State's psychologist or whoever he was. I believe it was free. I told him that I was in a serious quandary about whether to break up with her. I was looking out for her feelings. He asked me one question "What would you do if you were thinking of no consequences from your actions?" I replied "I would break up with her." Having received the answer I needed I then broke up with my girlfriend. And I never went back to him.
                                      >
                                      > However I just thought of something. He seemed to be in a sense playing games with me the whole time he was talking to me. Maybe that is what turned me off to talk therapy.
                                      >
                                      > This was about 4 years before I joined Eckankar so there was no input to me from Eckankar's teachings.
                                      >
                                      > Jonathan
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, "tomleafeater" <tianyue@> wrote:
                                      > >
                                      > > Jonathan,
                                      > >
                                      > > In light of this comment you made:
                                      > >
                                      > > "The 'pseudopersonality' stuff looks too much like some crazy theory that some psychologists thought up."
                                      > >
                                      > > What's your overall opinion, generally, about the field of psychology?
                                      > >
                                      > > Leaf
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, jonathanjohns96 <no_reply@> wrote:
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Tom,
                                      > > >
                                      > > > I like your essay. it's well written and makes several interesting points. I'm going to make some comments based on my own experiences in Eckankar. Please bear in mind that I am not disagreeing point blank with what you say. I'm sure that a lot of the things you mention apply to some people in Eckankar.
                                      > > >
                                      > > > In general...
                                      > > > 1. The ideas expressed by Janja Lalich and Madeleine Tobias seem a bit to extreme to me to be directly applied to Eckankar.
                                      > > > 2. Your idea that Eckists getting the fifth become "high and mighty" probably applies to some or many Eckists.
                                      > > > 3. Your idea that Eckists getting the fifth become "high and mighty" didn't apply to me when I got my fifth because I long ago had decided that the initiation number was just a number.
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Here is my detailed commentary:
                                      > > >
                                      > > > > In psychology, researchers of cults have identified
                                      > > > > the tendency of followers to develop a dissociated
                                      > > > > state that helps them cope with the cognitive dissonance
                                      > > > > of conflicting ideologies. Janja Lalich and Madeleine Tobias
                                      > > > > refer to this tendency in the book, Take Back Your Life:
                                      > > >
                                      > > > I'm a bit confused about this sentence. Taking this sentence literally, I am wondering what they are talking about when they are talking about "conflicting ideologies." Do they mean conflicting ideologies within Eckankar as when Twithcell says one thing on one page, then the exact opposite on another page? Or do they mean conflicting ideologies between Eckankar's beliefs and they previous beliefs, or conflicting ideologies between their Eckankar beliefs and what other people in the world believe.
                                      > > >
                                      > > > > "Mind-manipulating techniques used to induce altered states
                                      > > > > also serve to support the development and emergence of
                                      > > > > what some have called the cult personality. Under the stress
                                      > > > > of complying with the cult's demands, individual members develop
                                      > > > > new identities. The emergence of this persona has been identified
                                      > > > > by some researchers as a "pseudopersonality" an adaptation
                                      > > > > that enables people to carry out cult-imposed activities that would
                                      > > > > normally go against their values."
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Being psychologists, I think they may be overstating things a bit. I don't believe that people in Eckankar literally develop a "pseudopersonality" as they call it. I think as members of Eckankar, they change, but it is still them. Calling it a "pseudopersonality" almost makes it sound like it is a disease. But that is what psychologists tend to do. Don't get me wrong. I think that Eckankar does affect how their members think. And that they will say and do things that they wouldn't do before they became an Eckist. But that is how they are now. That is THEM as they are now. The "pseudopersonality" stuff looks too much like some crazy theory that some psychologists thought up. When I was in Eckankar, I stayed as ME. I didn't become somebody else. I was ME. I changed as a result of accepting the Eckankar BS, but it was still ME. It's just my opinion.
                                      > > >
                                      > > > And I don't like the their phrase "cult-imposed activities." I would prefer "cult-encouraged activities." Eckankar didn't impose anything on me, but perhaps I was more independent that most members. I was always on the outside looking in, and I never actually participated much in Eckankar activities. Here is a summary of my participation in Eckankar activities for my 29 years in Eckankar:
                                      > > >
                                      > > > 1. I told one outsider about it (his initials are B. S.). Somehow, my family told two people. When they asked me about Eckankar I told them nothing.
                                      > > > 2. I went postering once.
                                      > > > 3. I went to two seminars.
                                      > > > 4. I never volunteered to help at the local Eck center.
                                      > > > 5. I spent a total of $5,000. (my estimate which I calculated in December of 2008 when I left Eckankar.) Almost entirely on books and cassette tapes.
                                      > > >
                                      > > > I definitely think that Eckists' thinking changes when they become members. I'm just having a hard time accepting the idea that Eckankar imposes it on them. My view is that the Eckists voluntarily allow it to be imposed on them. They join, their thinking changes because they are reading books, listening to cassette tapes. After awhile, that is truth for them.
                                      > > >
                                      > > > I don't make excuses for myself for why I stayed in Eckankar for 29 years. I thought the path was worthwhile. But after I started to realize that the techniques taught by Eckankar were next to worthless for me, and after I started to read about the plagiarism on the Internet, I started to see Eckankar in a very different light. It started me into a new direction where I was getting a much less positive view of Eckankar, and even thinking about leaving it.
                                      > > >
                                      > > > > "Under the stress of complying with the cult's demands."
                                      > > >
                                      > > > I never felt under stress to comply to Eckankar's demands. (For proof, look at the list numbered 1 to 5 above.) There were no rules in Eckankar saying that I had to volunteer, or that I had to proselytize. So there was very little stress placed upon me by Eckankar. I sometimes felt that I "should" be proselytizing or helping out, but it wasn't a big deal for me. And at that time, I thought that initiations were given out by Klemp based on his inner awareness of my state of consciousness. So I had no idea at the time I was in Eckankar (except for the last two years of my membership in 2007-2008) that this was very likely holding me back in my initiations. No idea at all.
                                      > > >
                                      > > > > Since, in my opinion based on years of experience
                                      > > > > as a member, the initiations are pseudo, then it
                                      > > > > follows that those who receive them, and believe
                                      > > > > as a result that they have attained the vast understanding
                                      > > > > and all encompassing awareness of a savior, have
                                      > > > > deluded themselves, and have taken on a pseudo
                                      > > > > persona which is intended to reflect the super-conscious
                                      > > > > state of Spiritual Mastership.
                                      > > >
                                      > > > You make some additional comments about how people who get the fifth become kind of "high and mighty" and think that they are the enlightened ones. I haven't really thought about this much, but after reading your thoughts on it, I think you are right. I think I have seen these people in Eckankar. I really do. It's the people who were running the Eck center, and the other individuals who were in that particular circle. Many were the "hardliners," but probably not all of them were the hardliners. Many were just sincere people who believed that the initiations actually meant something. The Eckists who are more "normal" or subdued, but were people who got extremely caught up with the whole Eckankar thing. And your explanation probably explains some of the hardliner Eckists over at a.r.e. So regarding your portrayal of Eckists becoming "high and mighty" due to the fifth, it has merit. It really does. The only caveat I would add is that I have seen Eckists who are this "severe" who were only 2nd or 3rd initiates. But I still think that your emphasis on the fifth has a lot of merit. It is easy for me to see how some Eckists could let the whole thing go to their head. And as you would say, it happens because people actually believe that the initiations are indeed real.
                                      > > >
                                      > > > I would now like to discuss how the fifth initiation affected me. Your theory doesn't apply to me. The reason is that very early in Eckankar (4 years in?) I saw evidence that the initiations didn't mean a whole lot. And I even had higher initiates agree with me to some degree. For example, Millie Moore died a smoker of cigarettes, a habit that is supposed to go away when you become a fifth. I believe she was an 8th or 9th. But getting back to my own experiences as a member of Eckankar, by the time I got the fifth I had long ago come to the conclusion that the initiations were just a number. I can't say my conclusion in that regard was 100%, but it was about 95% which is pretty solid.
                                      > > >
                                      > > > My experience:
                                      > > > 1. I joined Eckankar in 1979.
                                      > > > 2. Around 1983, had some experiences when I was a second and I was dealing with a fifth. These experiences/interactions indicated to me that my awareness was much higher than theirs.
                                      > > > 3. In 1999, as a fourth initiate I had hundreds of hours of experiences with Eck masters on the inner. So if that happened to me as a fourth, then how do you explain an eighth with very few inner experiences? (Note: At the time I had these inner experiences I thought they were Eck masters. Right now, I still believe they were spiritual beings, but not necessarily Eck masters.)
                                      > > >
                                      > > > So by the time 1999 ended I was already convinced that the initiation was just a number. And by the time I received my 5th initiation nine years later in 2008 my attitude hadn't changed. I had pretty much given up on ever receiving the fifth anyway so I wasn't even thinking about it anymore. I really didn't care about the initiations.
                                      > > >
                                      > > > --------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      > > >
                                      > > > A few more things I thought of...
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Were the Eckankar meetings different after my fifth initiation?
                                      > > > After about 29 years in Eckankar I received my fifth initiation in 2008. Up to that point I had been wondering on an occasional basis whether the teachings of Eckankar would be any different. Would the higher initiate meetings be different? Would they talk about serious topics not mentioned in the "regular" Eckankar meetings? The answer I got was that they weren't intrinsically different. I suppose there was a greater amount of time talking about serious subjects (as defined by Eckankar). But I always thought that this is what the worship services should be about. It was a few months later that I learned the truth about the worship services (from the Eck center director). The the WS are for new people, not the current membership. Of course, most of the time the WS "degenerated" into a discussion of topics of interest to the current membership.
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Did my fifth initiation mean an end to past life healing?
                                      > > > I had been busy healing unresolved traumatic energy from my past lives for the ten years leading up to my receiving my fifth initiation in 2008. Eckankar teaches that once you acquire the fifth then you won't have to reincarnate on Earth to continue to work out past life karma. So I was very interested to see what was going to happen. The truth is, the healing for my past life "unresolved energy" that I had been so actively working on continued at its same rapid pace! So the truth is, soul (what some would call my higher self) was interested in continuing to heal past life trauma at a rapid pace. By the way, all of my past life trauma comes to the surface on its own; I do nothing to bring it to the surface. so somebody or something other than myself is orchestrating the whole thing. I guess most people would say it is my higher self that is doing that.
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Did I stay in Eckankar until I received my fifth initiation? (In other words, did I put off leaving until I received it?)
                                      > > > I never pondered that question while I was still a member. If I did, I had no conscious awareness that this is what I was doing. At the conscious level, I had long ago decided that the initiations meant a lot less than what Eckankar claimed that they did. When I was at the Springtime seminar in Washington DC in 1999 I spent the entire time in my hotel room having inner experiences with Eck masters about 10 hours per day. At that time I was a fourth initiate. So looking at those inner experiences I was having, I had to seriously wonder how the initiations reflected a person's awareness since there were probably 8th initiates that weren't having experiences like I was having. At that time I sometimes thought that everyone in Eckankar was doing what I was doing, they just weren't talking about it. These "masters" kept telling me "No" but I didn't believe them. So in 1999 after having 3 to 6 hours of inner experiences with "Eck masters" or whoever they were, every day for 6 to 9 months, I really had no concern for what initiation I was. It meant absolutely nothing to me. I was already having experiences with these masters every day; why would I need or crave an initiation?
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Jonathan
                                      > > >
                                      > >
                                      >
                                    • David Osborn
                                      Hi Tom,      In my personal opinion, Scientology is so wierd and kooky in its basic notions, and in all the crazy stuff they believe, and they are, as an
                                      Message 18 of 26 , Sep 27 9:07 AM
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        Hi Tom,
                                             In my personal opinion, Scientology is so wierd and kooky in its basic notions, and in all the crazy stuff they believe, and they are, as an organization, so into these totalitarian power plays, and paranoid persecution, us-against-them fantasies.  Not to mention their extreme money lust and manipulation of members to fork over their life savings for their courses, auditing, etc...  Scientology is so far out there, in my opinion, that they make Eckankar look quite sane and reasonable by comparison. 
                                             Nevertheless, Paul Twitchell was quite involved in Scientology for a time.  And so, it's only reasonable to assume, especially considering his proclivity for plagiarism, that he must have incorporated some of Scientology's doctrine or features into Eckankar.  But what exactly were they?  To my rather superficial knowledge of Scientology, I fail to see any connections or common features or characteristics between the two cults.  Do you know more about what these commonalities are between Eckankar and Scientology? 
                                                                                      David

                                        --- On Mon, 9/27/10, tomleafeater <tianyue@...> wrote:

                                        From: tomleafeater <tianyue@...>
                                        Subject: [eckankartruth] Re: Why they're so strange
                                        To: eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com
                                        Date: Monday, September 27, 2010, 1:41 AM



                                        Hi Jonathan,

                                        Both Scientology and Eckankar have tended to disparage psychological counseling. Especially Scientology, which you were involved with for a while, correct? Is it at all likely your view was affected by that?

                                        I don't know if you were aware that I'm a health professional. I'm trained in traditional Chinese medicine. Many of my patients have experienced counseling, and they report that they benefit from it. I've personally known several counselors. Mostly they were my patients, but I've had lengthy discussions with them about psychotherapy, and I've generally been impressed with what they tell me. My acquaintances were professors at a local university, and they were well trained and very knowledgeable. I think it's efficacy greatly depends on the talents of the therapist, which is true for any therapy. I've worked with patients who were simultaneously undergoing therapy, and the combination worked very well in most cases.

                                        Ironically, Lalich discusses in her book the necessity to interview therapists the first time you visit them to determine if it makes a good fit. She gives good advice about this. As I recall, she devoted an entire chapter as a guide to selecting a therapist.

                                        And it is a science, and they do try to be evidenced based, and most of the ideas are well considered and thoughtful, if not infallible. And many counselors aren't MDs, which means they won't be as drug oriented.

                                        So, while you may not have respect for the profession, many people have good experiences with it. It's basically a matter of finding one that feels right. I know some have reported negative experiences, but that is true of any profession, especially the health professions.



                                        --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, jonathanjohns96 <no_reply@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > Leaf,
                                        >
                                        > I'm not sure why I got so riled up about your psychological theories, but something was going on. I have no idea what. Every time I read about that stuff my head gets dizzy. So it's not really something I get really enjoy involved with. But something set me off, and based on extensive past experience I'm sure it has nothing to do with you. Now to answer your question.
                                        >
                                        > I do have an inherently negative opinion about psychology. I think they are VERY intelligent people, but they get too wrapped up in wacky theories. Then they evaluate someone to see what "pattern" they are in. Then they approach helping them from that point of view. I'm probably talking about traditional psychotherapy though. And I'll admit that I could be completely wrong because I have virtually no experience with psychologists or talk therapy of any type.
                                        >
                                        > Also, I have heard that very few practitioners actually do traditional psychotherapy anymore. Instead, they are all just prescribing drugs to people. The traditional talk therapy takes too long, and is too expensive, and I believe fewer and fewer people are really interested in pursuing it. It takes a lot of effort on the patient, and very few people are that motivated anymore. Everybody wants a quick fix, so drugs have become the "new psychotherapy." Again, this is what I have heard.
                                        >
                                        > Also, I experienced a lot of help from the meridian techniques that I sometimes mention here on ET (NET and EFT). These are techniques that utilize the acupuncture meridians in order to release stuck emotional trauma within the body. For the time and money spent, I believe that meridian techniques are ten times more effective than any kind of talk therapy.
                                        >
                                        > I would love to see someone post information on their own personal experiences with psychotherapy or any kind of talk therapy. But nobody has so I assume nobody wants to. Sharon sometimes posts information on talk therapy, but there are no real personal experiences from her or anybody else.
                                        >
                                        > Here is my only experience with talk therapy. In undergraduate college I had a really wacky girlfriend. I'm not blaming anybody but myself because I chose to get involved with her. She was literally driving me crazy so I went to Penn State's psychologist or whoever he was. I believe it was free. I told him that I was in a serious quandary about whether to break up with her. I was looking out for her feelings. He asked me one question "What would you do if you were thinking of no consequences from your actions?" I replied "I would break up with her." Having received the answer I needed I then broke up with my girlfriend. And I never went back to him.
                                        >
                                        > However I just thought of something. He seemed to be in a sense playing games with me the whole time he was talking to me. Maybe that is what turned me off to talk therapy.
                                        >
                                        > This was about 4 years before I joined Eckankar so there was no input to me from Eckankar's teachings.
                                        >
                                        > Jonathan
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, "tomleafeater" <tianyue@> wrote:
                                        > >
                                        > > Jonathan,
                                        > >
                                        > > In light of this comment you made:
                                        > >
                                        > >     "The 'pseudopersonality' stuff looks too much like some crazy theory that some psychologists thought up."
                                        > >
                                        > > What's your overall opinion, generally, about the field of psychology?
                                        > >
                                        > > Leaf
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > > --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, jonathanjohns96 <no_reply@> wrote:
                                        > > >
                                        > > > Tom,
                                        > > >
                                        > > > I like your essay. it's well written and makes  several interesting points. I'm going to make some comments based on my own experiences in Eckankar. Please bear in mind that I am not disagreeing point blank with what you say. I'm sure that a lot of the things you mention apply to some people in Eckankar.
                                        > > >
                                        > > > In general...
                                        > > > 1. The ideas expressed by Janja Lalich and Madeleine Tobias seem a bit to extreme to me to be directly applied to Eckankar.
                                        > > > 2. Your idea that Eckists getting the fifth become "high and mighty" probably applies to some or many Eckists.
                                        > > > 3.  Your idea that Eckists getting the fifth become "high and mighty" didn't apply to me when I got my fifth because I long ago had decided that the initiation number was just a number.
                                        > > >
                                        > > > Here is my detailed commentary:
                                        > > >
                                        > > > > In psychology, researchers of cults have identified
                                        > > > > the tendency of followers to develop a dissociated
                                        > > > > state that helps them cope with the cognitive dissonance
                                        > > > > of conflicting ideologies. Janja Lalich and Madeleine Tobias
                                        > > > > refer to this tendency in the book, Take Back Your Life:
                                        > > >
                                        > > > I'm a bit confused about this  sentence. Taking this sentence literally, I am wondering what they are talking about when they are talking about "conflicting ideologies." Do they mean conflicting ideologies within Eckankar as when Twithcell says one thing on one page, then the exact opposite on another page? Or do they mean conflicting ideologies between Eckankar's beliefs and they previous beliefs, or conflicting ideologies between their Eckankar beliefs and what other people in the world believe.
                                        > > >
                                        > > > > "Mind-manipulating techniques used to induce altered states
                                        > > > > also serve to support the development and emergence of
                                        > > > > what some have called the cult personality. Under the stress
                                        > > > > of complying with the cult's demands, individual members develop
                                        > > > > new identities. The emergence of this persona has been identified
                                        > > > > by some researchers as a "pseudopersonality" an adaptation
                                        > > > > that enables people to carry out cult-imposed activities that would
                                        > > > > normally go against their values."
                                        > > >
                                        > > > Being psychologists, I think they may be overstating things a bit. I don't believe that people in Eckankar literally develop a "pseudopersonality" as they call it. I think as members of Eckankar, they change, but it is still them. Calling it a "pseudopersonality" almost makes it sound like it is a disease. But that is what psychologists tend to do. Don't get me wrong. I think that Eckankar does affect how their members think. And that they will say and do things that they wouldn't do before they became an Eckist. But that is how they are now. That is THEM as they are now. The "pseudopersonality" stuff looks too much like some crazy theory that some psychologists thought up. When I was in Eckankar, I stayed as ME. I didn't become somebody else. I was ME. I changed as a result of accepting the Eckankar BS, but it was still ME. It's just my opinion.
                                        > > >
                                        > > > And I don't like the their phrase "cult-imposed activities." I would prefer "cult-encouraged activities." Eckankar didn't impose anything on me, but perhaps I was more independent that most members. I was always on the outside looking in, and I never actually participated much in Eckankar activities. Here is a summary of my participation in Eckankar activities for my 29 years in Eckankar:
                                        > > >
                                        > > > 1. I told one outsider about it (his initials are B. S.). Somehow, my family told two people. When they asked me about Eckankar I told them nothing.
                                        > > > 2. I went postering once.
                                        > > > 3. I went to two seminars.
                                        > > > 4. I never volunteered to help at the local Eck center.
                                        > > > 5. I spent a total of $5,000. (my estimate which I calculated in December of 2008 when I left Eckankar.) Almost entirely on books and cassette tapes.
                                        > > >
                                        > > > I definitely think that Eckists' thinking changes when they become members. I'm just having a hard time accepting the idea that Eckankar imposes it on them. My view is that the Eckists voluntarily allow it to be imposed on them. They join, their thinking changes because they are reading books, listening to cassette tapes. After awhile, that is truth for them.
                                        > > >
                                        > > > I don't make excuses for myself for why I stayed in Eckankar for 29 years. I thought the path was worthwhile. But after I started to realize that the techniques taught by Eckankar were next to worthless for me, and after I started to read about the plagiarism on the Internet, I started to see Eckankar in a very different light. It started me into a new direction where I was getting a much less positive view of Eckankar, and even thinking about leaving it.
                                        > > >
                                        > > > > "Under the stress of complying with the cult's demands."
                                        > > >
                                        > > > I never felt under stress to comply to Eckankar's demands. (For proof, look at the list numbered 1 to 5 above.) There were no rules in Eckankar saying that I had to volunteer, or that I had to proselytize. So there was very little stress placed upon me by Eckankar. I sometimes felt that I "should" be proselytizing or helping out, but it wasn't a big deal for me. And at that time, I thought that initiations were given out by Klemp based on his inner awareness of my state of consciousness. So I had no idea at the time I was in Eckankar (except for the last two years of my membership in 2007-2008) that this was very likely holding me back in my initiations. No idea at all.
                                        > > >
                                        > > > > Since, in my opinion based on years of experience
                                        > > > > as a member, the initiations are pseudo, then it
                                        > > > > follows that those who receive them, and believe
                                        > > > > as a result that they have attained the vast understanding
                                        > > > > and all encompassing awareness of a savior, have
                                        > > > > deluded themselves, and have taken on a pseudo
                                        > > > > persona which is intended to reflect the super-conscious
                                        > > > > state of Spiritual Mastership.
                                        > > >
                                        > > > You make some additional comments about how people who get the fifth become kind of "high and mighty" and think that they are the enlightened ones. I haven't really thought about this much, but after reading your thoughts on it, I think you are right. I think I have seen these people in Eckankar. I really do. It's the people who were running the Eck center, and the other individuals who were in that particular circle. Many were the "hardliners," but probably not all of them were the hardliners. Many were just sincere people who believed that the initiations actually meant something. The Eckists who are more "normal" or subdued, but were people who got extremely caught up with the whole Eckankar thing. And your explanation probably explains some of the hardliner Eckists over at a.r.e. So regarding your portrayal of Eckists becoming "high and mighty" due to the fifth, it has merit. It really does. The only caveat I would add is that I have seen Eckists who are this "severe" who were only 2nd or 3rd initiates. But I still think that your emphasis on the fifth has a lot of merit. It is easy for me to see how some Eckists could let the whole thing go to their head. And as you would say, it happens because people actually believe that the initiations are indeed real.
                                        > > >
                                        > > > I would now like to discuss how the fifth initiation affected me. Your theory doesn't apply to me. The reason is that very early in Eckankar (4 years in?) I saw evidence that the initiations didn't mean a whole lot. And I even had higher initiates agree with me to some degree. For example, Millie Moore died a smoker of cigarettes, a habit that is supposed to go away when you become a fifth. I believe she was an 8th or 9th. But getting back to my own experiences as a member of Eckankar, by the time I got the fifth I had long ago come to the conclusion that the initiations were just a number. I can't say my conclusion in that regard was 100%, but it was about 95% which is pretty solid.
                                        > > >
                                        > > > My experience:
                                        > > > 1. I joined Eckankar in 1979.
                                        > > > 2. Around 1983, had some experiences when I was a second and I was dealing with a fifth. These experiences/interactions indicated to me that my awareness was much higher than theirs.
                                        > > > 3. In 1999, as a fourth initiate I had hundreds of hours of experiences with Eck masters on the inner. So if that happened to me as a fourth, then how do you explain an eighth with very few inner experiences? (Note: At the time I had these inner experiences I thought they were Eck masters. Right now, I still believe they were spiritual beings, but not necessarily Eck masters.)
                                        > > >
                                        > > > So by the time 1999 ended I was already convinced that the initiation was just a number. And by the time I received my 5th initiation nine years later in 2008 my attitude hadn't changed. I had pretty much given up on ever receiving the fifth anyway so I wasn't even thinking about it anymore. I really didn't care about the initiations.
                                        > > >
                                        > > > --------------------------------------------------------------------
                                        > > >
                                        > > > A few more things I thought of...
                                        > > >
                                        > > > Were the Eckankar meetings different after my fifth initiation?
                                        > > > After about 29 years in Eckankar I received my fifth initiation in 2008. Up to that point I had been wondering on an occasional basis whether the teachings of Eckankar would be any different. Would the higher initiate meetings be different? Would they talk about serious topics not mentioned in the "regular" Eckankar meetings? The answer I got was that they weren't intrinsically different. I suppose there was a greater amount of time talking about serious subjects (as defined by Eckankar). But I always thought that this is what the worship services should be about. It was a few months later that I learned the truth about the worship services (from the Eck center director). The the WS are for new people, not the current membership. Of course, most of the time the WS "degenerated" into a discussion of topics of interest to the current membership.
                                        > > >
                                        > > > Did my fifth initiation mean an end to past life healing?
                                        > > > I had been busy healing unresolved traumatic energy from my past lives for the ten years leading up to my receiving my fifth initiation in 2008. Eckankar teaches that once you acquire the fifth then you won't have to reincarnate on Earth to continue to work out past life karma. So I was very interested to see what was going to happen. The truth is, the healing for my past life "unresolved energy" that I had been so actively working on continued at its same rapid pace! So the truth is, soul (what some would call my higher self) was interested in continuing to heal past life trauma at a rapid pace. By the way, all of my past life trauma comes to the surface on its own; I do nothing to bring it to the surface. so somebody or something other than myself is orchestrating the whole thing. I guess most people would say it is my higher self that is doing that.
                                        > > >
                                        > > > Did I stay in Eckankar until I received my fifth initiation? (In other words, did I put off leaving until I received it?)
                                        > > > I never pondered that question while I was still a member. If I did, I had no conscious awareness that this is what I was doing. At the conscious level, I had long ago decided that the initiations meant a lot less than what Eckankar claimed that they did. When I was at the Springtime seminar in Washington DC in 1999 I spent the entire time in my hotel room having inner experiences with Eck masters about 10 hours per day. At that time I was a fourth initiate. So looking at those inner experiences I was having, I had to seriously wonder how the initiations reflected a person's awareness since there were probably 8th initiates that weren't having experiences like I was having. At that time I sometimes thought that everyone in Eckankar was doing what I was doing, they just weren't talking about it.  These "masters" kept telling me "No" but I didn't believe them. So in 1999 after having 3 to 6 hours of inner experiences with "Eck masters" or whoever they were, every day for 6 to 9 months, I really had no concern for what initiation I was. It meant absolutely nothing to me. I was already having experiences with these masters every day; why would I need or crave an initiation?
                                        > > >
                                        > > > Jonathan
                                        > > >
                                        > >
                                        >




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                                      • jonathanjohns96
                                        Tom, No, I wasn t involved with Scientology. ET or ESA had some links for Scientology. One link showed some videos of two formed Scientologists in a mocked up
                                        Message 19 of 26 , Sep 27 9:19 AM
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                                          Tom,

                                          No, I wasn't involved with Scientology. ET or ESA had some links for Scientology. One link showed some videos of two formed Scientologists in a mocked up demonstration of the TRs. It was VERY real. I watched about five of the videos. I watched a few of them several times because I really wanted to see exactly where the brainwashing was in them I wrote about in my Diary. So that's why I know something about the TRs. Also, I heard from a non-Scientologist about one member who said the TRs helped him to be able to stand up for himself. That probably is true, but it's like joining the Marines so you can benefit from boot camp. It's a tough way to go.

                                          Scientology TR Training Pt 1
                                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHe373KsHww

                                          Scientology TR Training Pt 2
                                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhT25A-Bsp0

                                          Scientology TR Training Pt 3
                                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EM606GWmpqQ

                                          If you watch these, you will see what I mean. I can see value to them. If you are in a somewhat controlled situation where someone is actively confronting you, eventually you will get used to that and it won't intimidate you as much. I just think that there must be an easier way, and NOT by joining Scientology. Supposedly, the TRs cost $100 an hour.

                                          Back to my general discussion
                                          I know about the clearings in Scientology because I read a personal story written by a former Scientologist. The one thing that is obviously "wrong" about Scientology is the pressure that they put on new people to join. I read enough stories about that to believe that it is true. So that constitutes my education about Scientology.

                                          And I mentioned that I learned the word "engram" from Pail Twitchell back in the early 1980s. It wasn't until 2008 that I found out by reading about Scientology on the Internet that the word is used almost exclusively by Scientology.

                                          I appreciate your comments about talk therapy or counseling. In my comments, I did distinguish between psychotherapy and "talk therapy" meaning I know there is a difference. I know that talk therapy includes a lot of people who are not psychotherapists (MD's as you state). I know that there a lot of talk therapists who are not psychotherapists.

                                          Regarding people saying that talk therapy benefited them. Sure, people say "I benefited from it." But that's about all they say. They don't give you concrete examples. They don't describe the process they went through to achieve positive results. Most of them don't even tell you the exact problems of theirs that improved as a result of their talk therapy. But then, that's true of most therapies. most people just say "It helped me" and that's the end of their contribution. My one therapy session was 34 years ago so I am obviously not the person who is qualified to inform people about talk therapy.

                                          As you know, I recommend the meridian techniques NET and EFT. I am also interested in a lot of alternative healing methods. I have my own message boards, the main one is:

                                          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/58pastlives/

                                          By the way, I was telling my NET chiropractor how much better NET is than talk therapy. She said "I think people tend to gravitate to what works for them." I still think NET is better.

                                          One last thing that may be of interest to you. NET uses the traditional Chinese emotion/organ connections. The most common ones for me are:

                                          Fear (kidney)
                                          Anger (liver)
                                          Resentment (gall bladder)
                                          Grief (lung)
                                          Sadness (lung)
                                          Dogmatic position (large intestine)
                                          ????? (heart)

                                          (After 1,386 NET corrections, I have these memorized.)

                                          I wouldn't mind at all reading about the details of someone's experience with talk therapy. But I have never seen it anywhere on the internet. I don't buy books anymore.

                                          Jonathan.


                                          --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, "tomleafeater" <tianyue@...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > Hi Jonathan,
                                          >
                                          > Both Scientology and Eckankar have tended to disparage psychological counseling. Especially Scientology, which you were involved with for a while, correct? Is it at all likely your view was affected by that?
                                          >
                                          > I don't know if you were aware that I'm a health professional. I'm trained in traditional Chinese medicine. Many of my patients have experienced counseling, and they report that they benefit from it. I've personally known several counselors. Mostly they were my patients, but I've had lengthy discussions with them about psychotherapy, and I've generally been impressed with what they tell me. My acquaintances were professors at a local university, and they were well trained and very knowledgeable. I think it's efficacy greatly depends on the talents of the therapist, which is true for any therapy. I've worked with patients who were simultaneously undergoing therapy, and the combination worked very well in most cases.
                                          >
                                          > Ironically, Lalich discusses in her book the necessity to interview therapists the first time you visit them to determine if it makes a good fit. She gives good advice about this. As I recall, she devoted an entire chapter as a guide to selecting a therapist.
                                          >
                                          > And it is a science, and they do try to be evidenced based, and most of the ideas are well considered and thoughtful, if not infallible. And many counselors aren't MDs, which means they won't be as drug oriented.
                                          >
                                          > So, while you may not have respect for the profession, many people have good experiences with it. It's basically a matter of finding one that feels right. I know some have reported negative experiences, but that is true of any profession, especially the health professions.
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, jonathanjohns96 <no_reply@> wrote:
                                          > >
                                          > > Leaf,
                                          > >
                                          > > I'm not sure why I got so riled up about your psychological theories, but something was going on. I have no idea what. Every time I read about that stuff my head gets dizzy. So it's not really something I get really enjoy involved with. But something set me off, and based on extensive past experience I'm sure it has nothing to do with you. Now to answer your question.
                                          > >
                                          > > I do have an inherently negative opinion about psychology. I think they are VERY intelligent people, but they get too wrapped up in wacky theories. Then they evaluate someone to see what "pattern" they are in. Then they approach helping them from that point of view. I'm probably talking about traditional psychotherapy though. And I'll admit that I could be completely wrong because I have virtually no experience with psychologists or talk therapy of any type.
                                          > >
                                          > > Also, I have heard that very few practitioners actually do traditional psychotherapy anymore. Instead, they are all just prescribing drugs to people. The traditional talk therapy takes too long, and is too expensive, and I believe fewer and fewer people are really interested in pursuing it. It takes a lot of effort on the patient, and very few people are that motivated anymore. Everybody wants a quick fix, so drugs have become the "new psychotherapy." Again, this is what I have heard.
                                          > >
                                          > > Also, I experienced a lot of help from the meridian techniques that I sometimes mention here on ET (NET and EFT). These are techniques that utilize the acupuncture meridians in order to release stuck emotional trauma within the body. For the time and money spent, I believe that meridian techniques are ten times more effective than any kind of talk therapy.
                                          > >
                                          > > I would love to see someone post information on their own personal experiences with psychotherapy or any kind of talk therapy. But nobody has so I assume nobody wants to. Sharon sometimes posts information on talk therapy, but there are no real personal experiences from her or anybody else.
                                          > >
                                          > > Here is my only experience with talk therapy. In undergraduate college I had a really wacky girlfriend. I'm not blaming anybody but myself because I chose to get involved with her. She was literally driving me crazy so I went to Penn State's psychologist or whoever he was. I believe it was free. I told him that I was in a serious quandary about whether to break up with her. I was looking out for her feelings. He asked me one question "What would you do if you were thinking of no consequences from your actions?" I replied "I would break up with her." Having received the answer I needed I then broke up with my girlfriend. And I never went back to him.
                                          > >
                                          > > However I just thought of something. He seemed to be in a sense playing games with me the whole time he was talking to me. Maybe that is what turned me off to talk therapy.
                                          > >
                                          > > This was about 4 years before I joined Eckankar so there was no input to me from Eckankar's teachings.
                                          > >
                                          > > Jonathan
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > > --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, "tomleafeater" <tianyue@> wrote:
                                          > > >
                                          > > > Jonathan,
                                          > > >
                                          > > > In light of this comment you made:
                                          > > >
                                          > > > "The 'pseudopersonality' stuff looks too much like some crazy theory that some psychologists thought up."
                                          > > >
                                          > > > What's your overall opinion, generally, about the field of psychology?
                                          > > >
                                          > > > Leaf
                                          > > >
                                          > > >
                                          > > >
                                          > > > --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, jonathanjohns96 <no_reply@> wrote:
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > Tom,
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > I like your essay. it's well written and makes several interesting points. I'm going to make some comments based on my own experiences in Eckankar. Please bear in mind that I am not disagreeing point blank with what you say. I'm sure that a lot of the things you mention apply to some people in Eckankar.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > In general...
                                          > > > > 1. The ideas expressed by Janja Lalich and Madeleine Tobias seem a bit to extreme to me to be directly applied to Eckankar.
                                          > > > > 2. Your idea that Eckists getting the fifth become "high and mighty" probably applies to some or many Eckists.
                                          > > > > 3. Your idea that Eckists getting the fifth become "high and mighty" didn't apply to me when I got my fifth because I long ago had decided that the initiation number was just a number.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > Here is my detailed commentary:
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > > In psychology, researchers of cults have identified
                                          > > > > > the tendency of followers to develop a dissociated
                                          > > > > > state that helps them cope with the cognitive dissonance
                                          > > > > > of conflicting ideologies. Janja Lalich and Madeleine Tobias
                                          > > > > > refer to this tendency in the book, Take Back Your Life:
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > I'm a bit confused about this sentence. Taking this sentence literally, I am wondering what they are talking about when they are talking about "conflicting ideologies." Do they mean conflicting ideologies within Eckankar as when Twithcell says one thing on one page, then the exact opposite on another page? Or do they mean conflicting ideologies between Eckankar's beliefs and they previous beliefs, or conflicting ideologies between their Eckankar beliefs and what other people in the world believe.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > > "Mind-manipulating techniques used to induce altered states
                                          > > > > > also serve to support the development and emergence of
                                          > > > > > what some have called the cult personality. Under the stress
                                          > > > > > of complying with the cult's demands, individual members develop
                                          > > > > > new identities. The emergence of this persona has been identified
                                          > > > > > by some researchers as a "pseudopersonality" an adaptation
                                          > > > > > that enables people to carry out cult-imposed activities that would
                                          > > > > > normally go against their values."
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > Being psychologists, I think they may be overstating things a bit. I don't believe that people in Eckankar literally develop a "pseudopersonality" as they call it. I think as members of Eckankar, they change, but it is still them. Calling it a "pseudopersonality" almost makes it sound like it is a disease. But that is what psychologists tend to do. Don't get me wrong. I think that Eckankar does affect how their members think. And that they will say and do things that they wouldn't do before they became an Eckist. But that is how they are now. That is THEM as they are now. The "pseudopersonality" stuff looks too much like some crazy theory that some psychologists thought up. When I was in Eckankar, I stayed as ME. I didn't become somebody else. I was ME. I changed as a result of accepting the Eckankar BS, but it was still ME. It's just my opinion.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > And I don't like the their phrase "cult-imposed activities." I would prefer "cult-encouraged activities." Eckankar didn't impose anything on me, but perhaps I was more independent that most members. I was always on the outside looking in, and I never actually participated much in Eckankar activities. Here is a summary of my participation in Eckankar activities for my 29 years in Eckankar:
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > 1. I told one outsider about it (his initials are B. S.). Somehow, my family told two people. When they asked me about Eckankar I told them nothing.
                                          > > > > 2. I went postering once.
                                          > > > > 3. I went to two seminars.
                                          > > > > 4. I never volunteered to help at the local Eck center.
                                          > > > > 5. I spent a total of $5,000. (my estimate which I calculated in December of 2008 when I left Eckankar.) Almost entirely on books and cassette tapes.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > I definitely think that Eckists' thinking changes when they become members. I'm just having a hard time accepting the idea that Eckankar imposes it on them. My view is that the Eckists voluntarily allow it to be imposed on them. They join, their thinking changes because they are reading books, listening to cassette tapes. After awhile, that is truth for them.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > I don't make excuses for myself for why I stayed in Eckankar for 29 years. I thought the path was worthwhile. But after I started to realize that the techniques taught by Eckankar were next to worthless for me, and after I started to read about the plagiarism on the Internet, I started to see Eckankar in a very different light. It started me into a new direction where I was getting a much less positive view of Eckankar, and even thinking about leaving it.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > > "Under the stress of complying with the cult's demands."
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > I never felt under stress to comply to Eckankar's demands. (For proof, look at the list numbered 1 to 5 above.) There were no rules in Eckankar saying that I had to volunteer, or that I had to proselytize. So there was very little stress placed upon me by Eckankar. I sometimes felt that I "should" be proselytizing or helping out, but it wasn't a big deal for me. And at that time, I thought that initiations were given out by Klemp based on his inner awareness of my state of consciousness. So I had no idea at the time I was in Eckankar (except for the last two years of my membership in 2007-2008) that this was very likely holding me back in my initiations. No idea at all.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > > Since, in my opinion based on years of experience
                                          > > > > > as a member, the initiations are pseudo, then it
                                          > > > > > follows that those who receive them, and believe
                                          > > > > > as a result that they have attained the vast understanding
                                          > > > > > and all encompassing awareness of a savior, have
                                          > > > > > deluded themselves, and have taken on a pseudo
                                          > > > > > persona which is intended to reflect the super-conscious
                                          > > > > > state of Spiritual Mastership.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > You make some additional comments about how people who get the fifth become kind of "high and mighty" and think that they are the enlightened ones. I haven't really thought about this much, but after reading your thoughts on it, I think you are right. I think I have seen these people in Eckankar. I really do. It's the people who were running the Eck center, and the other individuals who were in that particular circle. Many were the "hardliners," but probably not all of them were the hardliners. Many were just sincere people who believed that the initiations actually meant something. The Eckists who are more "normal" or subdued, but were people who got extremely caught up with the whole Eckankar thing. And your explanation probably explains some of the hardliner Eckists over at a.r.e. So regarding your portrayal of Eckists becoming "high and mighty" due to the fifth, it has merit. It really does. The only caveat I would add is that I have seen Eckists who are this "severe" who were only 2nd or 3rd initiates. But I still think that your emphasis on the fifth has a lot of merit. It is easy for me to see how some Eckists could let the whole thing go to their head. And as you would say, it happens because people actually believe that the initiations are indeed real.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > I would now like to discuss how the fifth initiation affected me. Your theory doesn't apply to me. The reason is that very early in Eckankar (4 years in?) I saw evidence that the initiations didn't mean a whole lot. And I even had higher initiates agree with me to some degree. For example, Millie Moore died a smoker of cigarettes, a habit that is supposed to go away when you become a fifth. I believe she was an 8th or 9th. But getting back to my own experiences as a member of Eckankar, by the time I got the fifth I had long ago come to the conclusion that the initiations were just a number. I can't say my conclusion in that regard was 100%, but it was about 95% which is pretty solid.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > My experience:
                                          > > > > 1. I joined Eckankar in 1979.
                                          > > > > 2. Around 1983, had some experiences when I was a second and I was dealing with a fifth. These experiences/interactions indicated to me that my awareness was much higher than theirs.
                                          > > > > 3. In 1999, as a fourth initiate I had hundreds of hours of experiences with Eck masters on the inner. So if that happened to me as a fourth, then how do you explain an eighth with very few inner experiences? (Note: At the time I had these inner experiences I thought they were Eck masters. Right now, I still believe they were spiritual beings, but not necessarily Eck masters.)
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > So by the time 1999 ended I was already convinced that the initiation was just a number. And by the time I received my 5th initiation nine years later in 2008 my attitude hadn't changed. I had pretty much given up on ever receiving the fifth anyway so I wasn't even thinking about it anymore. I really didn't care about the initiations.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > --------------------------------------------------------------------
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > A few more things I thought of...
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > Were the Eckankar meetings different after my fifth initiation?
                                          > > > > After about 29 years in Eckankar I received my fifth initiation in 2008. Up to that point I had been wondering on an occasional basis whether the teachings of Eckankar would be any different. Would the higher initiate meetings be different? Would they talk about serious topics not mentioned in the "regular" Eckankar meetings? The answer I got was that they weren't intrinsically different. I suppose there was a greater amount of time talking about serious subjects (as defined by Eckankar). But I always thought that this is what the worship services should be about. It was a few months later that I learned the truth about the worship services (from the Eck center director). The the WS are for new people, not the current membership. Of course, most of the time the WS "degenerated" into a discussion of topics of interest to the current membership.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > Did my fifth initiation mean an end to past life healing?
                                          > > > > I had been busy healing unresolved traumatic energy from my past lives for the ten years leading up to my receiving my fifth initiation in 2008. Eckankar teaches that once you acquire the fifth then you won't have to reincarnate on Earth to continue to work out past life karma. So I was very interested to see what was going to happen. The truth is, the healing for my past life "unresolved energy" that I had been so actively working on continued at its same rapid pace! So the truth is, soul (what some would call my higher self) was interested in continuing to heal past life trauma at a rapid pace. By the way, all of my past life trauma comes to the surface on its own; I do nothing to bring it to the surface. so somebody or something other than myself is orchestrating the whole thing. I guess most people would say it is my higher self that is doing that.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > Did I stay in Eckankar until I received my fifth initiation? (In other words, did I put off leaving until I received it?)
                                          > > > > I never pondered that question while I was still a member. If I did, I had no conscious awareness that this is what I was doing. At the conscious level, I had long ago decided that the initiations meant a lot less than what Eckankar claimed that they did. When I was at the Springtime seminar in Washington DC in 1999 I spent the entire time in my hotel room having inner experiences with Eck masters about 10 hours per day. At that time I was a fourth initiate. So looking at those inner experiences I was having, I had to seriously wonder how the initiations reflected a person's awareness since there were probably 8th initiates that weren't having experiences like I was having. At that time I sometimes thought that everyone in Eckankar was doing what I was doing, they just weren't talking about it. These "masters" kept telling me "No" but I didn't believe them. So in 1999 after having 3 to 6 hours of inner experiences with "Eck masters" or whoever they were, every day for 6 to 9 months, I really had no concern for what initiation I was. It meant absolutely nothing to me. I was already having experiences with these masters every day; why would I need or crave an initiation?
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > Jonathan
                                          > > > >
                                          > > >
                                          > >
                                          >
                                        • Sharon
                                          A bit of info about Twitch & $cientology, and documented plagiarism. See: http://webspace.webring.com/people/de/eckcult/chapters/tmsma2.html I ve got an old
                                          Message 20 of 26 , Sep 28 12:06 PM
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                                            A bit of info about Twitch & $cientology, and documented plagiarism.

                                            See: http://webspace.webring.com/people/de/eckcult/chapters/tmsma2.html


                                            I've got an old flyer from a $cientology meeting, probably an intro/recruiting thing, with Twitch's name listed.

                                            A few years back, I was corresponding with a former Scno who'd been looking into ekult, but I don't believe they'd joined. They said they recognized a lot of Scientology material in Twitch's books, but didn't have their old S books and didn't really feel like doing the research & documentation.
                                          • etznab@aol.com
                                            Please share more about that if you can. Or, e-mail me personally. I d like to know the date - if nothing else. Etznab P.S. I ve yet to check the link you
                                            Message 21 of 26 , Sep 28 8:01 PM
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                                              Please share more about that if you can.
                                              Or, e-mail me personally. I'd like to know
                                              the date - if nothing else.

                                              Etznab

                                              P.S. I've yet to check the link you gave.

                                              -----Original Message-----
                                              From: Sharon <brighttigress@...>
                                              To: eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com
                                              Sent: Tue, Sep 28, 2010 2:06 pm
                                              Subject: [eckankartruth] Re: Why they're so strange

                                               

                                              A bit of info about Twitch & $cientology, and documented plagiarism.

                                              See: http://webspace.webring.com/people/de/eckcult/chapters/tmsma2.html

                                              I've got an old flyer from a $cientology meeting, probably an
                                              intro/recruiting thing, with Twitch's name listed.

                                              A few years back, I was corresponding with a former Scno who'd been
                                              looking into ekult, but I don't believe they'd joined. They said they
                                              recognized a lot of Scientology material in Twitch's books, but didn't
                                              have their old S books and didn't really feel like doing the research &
                                              documentation.
                                            • etznab@aol.com
                                              More about this: I ve got an old flyer from a $cientology meeting, probably an intro/recruiting thing, with Twitch s name listed. ... From: Sharon
                                              Message 22 of 26 , Sep 28 8:02 PM
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                                                More about this:

                                                "I've got an old flyer from a $cientology
                                                meeting, probably an intro/recruiting thing,
                                                with Twitch's name listed."

                                                -----Original Message-----
                                                From: Sharon <brighttigress@...>
                                                To: eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com
                                                Sent: Tue, Sep 28, 2010 2:06 pm
                                                Subject: [eckankartruth] Re: Why they're so strange

                                                 

                                                A bit of info about Twitch & $cientology, and documented plagiarism.

                                                See: http://webspace.webring.com/people/de/eckcult/chapters/tmsma2.html

                                                I've got an old flyer from a $cientology meeting, probably an
                                                intro/recruiting thing, with Twitch's name listed.

                                                A few years back, I was corresponding with a former Scno who'd been
                                                looking into ekult, but I don't believe they'd joined. They said they
                                                recognized a lot of Scientology material in Twitch's books, but didn't
                                                have their old S books and didn't really feel like doing the research &
                                                documentation.
                                              • Sharon
                                                Hi All! Etznab, I knew what you meant the first time, and I have to laugh sometimes, you are *so* precise!! I m getting much closer to unpacking & organizing,
                                                Message 23 of 26 , Sep 29 1:27 PM
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                                                  Hi All!

                                                  Etznab, I knew what you meant the first time, and I have to laugh sometimes, you are *so* precise!! I'm getting much closer to unpacking & organizing, hooking up the scanner, etc. But, I think that particular box might be on top of a pile - can't promise, but I'll try to find it & scan it from somewhere else soon. BTW, for many years I've been a bit concerned about what to do with all the eckstuff people have sent me when I'm done with it - and hopefully I will fulfill my promise to get it on the internet - I think you'd be a good person to send it all to.

                                                  Right now my main concern is summer's over, and what the heck am I going to do with all the plants I need to bring indoors? I went a bit nutsy at Lowe's this summer, especially their clearance rack. The other day I got a 5' tall draecaena for $3!!! It's not just the usual houseplants - it's all the plants I can winter-over and replant outside next year, which saves money. For me, and 5 other people's flowerbeds, 3 of which are "mine". Plus, this year I sort of got hooked on succulents & orchids. And I have a real problem with propagating. In fact, I was just out back and thought hmmmmm....instead of starting new ones, I can root cuttings from my yummy Jersey tomatoes, which came up "wild" from last year's. I need rehab, I think. Maybe it's being post-menopause and no longer being able to reproduce, but those feelings are sort of still there, and I do it with plants now. Too many humans on earth, anyway.

                                                  Anyway, while I'm here, just this morning I realized I still haven't read quite a few "digests" & posts here in the last month, just skimmed thru some in this thread.

                                                  Leaf - thanks for re-posting that post from a.r.e.! In fact, I was going to send the a.r.e. digest that was in, along with two of Etznab's posts, and send them to that young eckist who recently wrote to me. Poor kid is a bit hurting & confused, I was there many years ago. For anyone who's interested, there's info in the "files" about the former HI you mentioned.

                                                  David, be nice!! When I was an eckist, what I "learned" from the Official Cult Scriptures and one of my own letters from MN was that the initiation was sort of an acknowledgement of the spiritual growth you'd already attained, decided "on the inner" between master & chela, etc. Plus, there was always a lot of stuff about the spiritual "highness" of the HIs - like, newbies couldn't really be sure about interpreting their own dreams, so Klemp said to check with an HI.

                                                  I was sort of more realistic about myself. When I got the "invitation" for my second, the letter said something like congrats, you've mastered the astral plane. Excuse me? I still hadn't "mastered" the physical plane, much less the astral!! Towards the end, I was starting to think that okay, maybe "the master" knew me better than I knew myself, which evidently was something I wasn't "ready" for yet. Otherwise, I always thought that "Wah Z" ran into me, sort of lost & bouncing around on the other planes, so altho I was not "ready", he felt sorry for me & kindly "accepted" me long before I was "ready", just to keep me out of trouble.

                                                  Heck, I was scared to death & very intimidated about going to my first ekult bookstudy, after all I'd read about eckists & HIs!! But, I wanted to learn, especially all that high holey secret wisdom that was hidden from the "profane masses". Reminds me of another thing in the "files" - down at the bottom, Twitch's "Wisdom Notes".

                                                  Anyway, back when they were taking the book version of LTG III out of print and trying to sell all the remaining copies, and I was sort of upset because it used to be a "high" discourse series, and I was on a budget and just couldn't afford the book at the time. Another veteran eckist in my group commented that he saw it in the bookroom at a seminar and reached out for it, but stopped, felt he just wasn't "ready" for it yet. It was many years before an online eckfriend loaned it to me, not that long before I left.

                                                  Okay, gotta go, trying to do a million other things right now.

                                                  Hugs,

                                                  Sharon
                                                • David Osborn
                                                  Yeah, ten years might be a very common, or the most common, general time frame for the time between when you first feel that something is amiss and the time
                                                  Message 24 of 26 , Oct 1, 2010
                                                  • 0 Attachment
                                                    Yeah, ten years might be a very common, or the most common, general time frame for the time between when you first feel that something is amiss and the time you finally leave.  That seems to be about the time frame that it was in my case.  In my case, although I did have that "ah-hah" moment when I saw clear as day that it was nothing but an empty initiation game, I still had quite a period of hemming and hawing - for me, I missed the camaraderie and the social contacts.  Unlike many of you, who seem to have actively come to your decision and left, I kind of slowly and passively drifted out over a period of years.  You might say that it was a process of gradual estrangement.  It was only after I had heard the administrators at headquarters mindlessly repeat the "you can still keep your initiations if you get back in before your five year grace period expires", when I had repeatedly told them that I wanted to go back to the beginning and do all my initiations over and get them right this time, that I finally saw that the situation was hopeless, and that nothing more could be done.  And then I just shrugged my shoulders and gave up trying to get back in.
                                                                                                         David

                                                    --- On Sat, 9/25/10, jonathanjohns96 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

                                                    From: jonathanjohns96 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
                                                    Subject: [eckankartruth] Re: Why they're so strange
                                                    To: eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com
                                                    Date: Saturday, September 25, 2010, 3:21 PM

                                                    Tom,

                                                    A few brief summarizing comments.

                                                    I do agree that Eckists exhibit cult-like thinking. I saw it all the time when I was posting over at a.r.e a few weeks ago. I also saw it in Eckankar when I was a member, but I didn't see it as cult-like at that time because I was a member and I didn't wish to see Eckankar as a cult. Probably because I couldn't handle that particular truth at that time.

                                                    The biggest issue as I see it is that they can be extremely dogmatic. In other words that have an attitude of "I am right and nobody else's opinion matters." When they get to be that severe in their thinking then they are exhibiting cult-like behavior.

                                                    Your contention is that this "holier than thou" attitude is programmed into them by Eckankar. I agree, but I still think that they are partially responsible. After all, the truth about Eckankar's lies and curses is all over the Internet. And the really disturbing thing is when these people read it, they somehow manage to disregard it. In my opinion, this indicates an even worse cult-like behavior than their holier than thou attitude. When faced with the truth, they ignore it. That is VERY disturbing. And I will readily admit that it took me ten years to finally leave Eckankar after first seeing some of the signs that something was amiss. So I know how difficult it is to face the truth.

                                                    So, Tom, I don't agree with all the details of what you wrote, especially the two psychologists' view of things, but I agree with your general position and conclusions. In fact, I would like to see more well-thought out essays such as the one you wrote.

                                                    Jonathan





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