- Liz, I am not a member of HU Chat. Would you mind sharing (briefly) what those messages said (concerning initiation).
Also, Sharon referred me to a link that displayed Twitchell writings that used 'scare tactics'. Has Harold replaced this kind of thing, or does he continue to use intimidation?
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, ewickings@... wrote:
> --- In email@example.com_ (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org)
> , "Christy" wrote:
> > Hi, I thought I'd join to see what I might be missing in the fine
> > print. After years of being told how horrid leaving Eckankar would
> > be, I finally ended my membership secretly just to see what would
> > happen. I think it's been a year. I like the spiritual teachings of
> > Eck, but separatly I have questionable feelings about any physical
> > orgainized religion, Eckankar included.
> > So we'll see how this works out.
> > Christy
> Hi Christy, Excellent that you question your feelings about any physical
> organized religion, and it's leaders!
> What might be missing in the fine print... well if you have been around the
> teachings long enough you will find Harold has systematically removed many of
> Paul Twitchell's original writings, and edited the rest that the org still
> offers. That includes the discourses! Ever wonder why Harold also removed the
> two wonderful books by James Davis, especially the one that covers those
> wonderful eck masters, "The Rosette Stone of God"? (wasn't that the title) Well
> the reason is simple, James Davis woke up! ESC and Harold couldn't say
> enough about the accuracy and wonderfulness of James experiences with all those
> wonderful eck masters..... until of course he left quietly one day. Most Eckist
> had no clue he left, and even more confused by the fact they no longer could
> purchase this book! Harold had to gather all those wonderful BS stories
> about the eck masters to replace the one James wrote. And now we have the book
> by Harold, "Those Wonderful Eck Masters".
> I would recommend you check out David Lane's lecture just recently posted
> (http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=eckankar) With an open mind, listen to what David says about Paul
> Twitchell and Eckankar. Too bad we can't listen to the entire lecture. Hey
> David if you still read from this site, we would love the full version.
> Another point I would like to make, take the time to check out the links and
> other chat groups mentioned recently within this site.
> Not too long ago I was reading from the Hu-chat archives and to my amazement
> one of their own HIs posted the truth behind the lies concerning how
> initiations are given within the org. It actually stirred up some issues with the
> Hu-chatters, even several other HIs admitted this long time HI was right, and
> seems the moderators found nothing wrong with the members finding out the
> truth about those fake initiations. Check out the messages on Hu-chat # 50888
> and 50993 forward... I believe it covered much of Nov 2005 and part of Dec.
> 2005. But hurry those self righteous HI moderators might remove them before
> you get a chance...
> As for what might happen to an eckie that leaves the path; I was a member
> for 30 plus years, an HI 6th Initiate, Initiator and an Eck Spiritual Aid. (so
> yes what was shared on Hu-chat about those initiations is all true!) My life
> is really no different, and I believe my signature says it all,
> "The only difference between an extraordinary life and an ordinary one is
> the extraordinary pleasures you find in ordinary things."
> So Christy go out and enjoy your life, husband and your wonderful children.
> You are not alone.... unfortunately the LEM / Mythical Mahanta, along with
> his flunky eck thugs would like to believe ex eckist are suffering! Damn it
> hurts when Klemp calls us LOSERS! ;-D
> I for one am very happy and enjoying every minute of life.
- Hi Sharon,
You know I love you and I'm only kidding! We've had a cyber-relationship for over 15 years and only met twice in person but it's been quite a ride through the halls of a.r.e. and Eckankartruth, hasn't it? I was just reading my 2006 response to the "newbie" about being married and having kids and a house and all the finer things in life. Jeez, how much has changed since then! Not that karma has caught up with me but as John Lennon said "Life is what happens while you're making other plans". One of those "beautiful daughters" is getting married next year and called me up the other night to ask me if I would sing her first song as "husband and wife." I was very touched by that! She wants her old "grumpy" dad to sing her first song!
The house is sold and the marriage is over but it's all still good. As you know I still have the music and we are still playing! It's been over 40 years on the road and I don't see an end to it until I go six feet under.
Regarding Eckankar. I've been thinking about something I haven't dare say for a long time. You know we talk about the controlling aspects of this so called cult and how we suffer consequences if we leave the path. In all truth, the reason it is still around is because people allow themselves to be taken in by it. I am finally coming out of the closet on this perception. I was afraid to say anything for a long time lest I offend my ex-Eck compatriots.
At some point we did choose to join and was it because we wanted to know the secrets of the Universe? I highly doubt it. I think everyone has a secret desire to belong. Isolation is our worst enemy and sometimes we go to great lengths to avoid it (otherwise we wallow in it). Eckankar provides that false sense of security that we are part of an elite club of followers with a common desire to interact. That need to love and be loved is universal. Some join bowling leagues, knitting clubs, softball teams for paunchy middle-aged men and some join bands to capture the good old days of youth. Unfortunately, the problem is not inherent in Eckankar itself. The problem is us. As long as there are followers, it WILL exist. Why do we get tangled up with these organizations?
I believe there is something missing in our lives. We sometimes don't feel entirely like members of the human race and need something to soothe the pain of isolation and loneliness. It is like alcohol. It takes over like a rapacious creditor and before you know it, once the man takes the drink, the drink takes the man. Eckankar is like alcohol. You take the first "drink" or "discourse" and now you are on your journey to a "fulfilled" life. What we don't realize is that the path is full of lies and deceptions but it does for a while make you feel strong, confident and self-righteous. As time goes on, you progressively rise to the ranks of HI and become more involved. It consumes you and then ironically puts you back in isolation. Hard core Eckists look at the world through blue-colored glasses. Everything is all about the light and sound as taught by Harold. We fall for it because we were told to believe it was the answer to all our questions and problems BUT we end up not asking too many questions. We need that dose of HU every day until it doesn't work anymore. We fall for it because we are unfulfilled to begin with.
So now we wonder why, although WE have left the path yet there are still Eckists out there. Well that's simple. Like alcoholics, they are hopelessly in denial. This is where I take a slight turn on the god thing. I wouldn't encourage anyone to become Catholic or JW in lieu of Eckankar but you need to be able to have choices in life and your spiritual health is contingent on being rigorously honest with yourself. A god of your own understanding is all you need. Just simply praying and meditating is sufficient to put you in touch with your higher power what ever that might be. We don't need monthly discourses, conventions or yearly dues to achieve this but we DID IT because we are children in the wilderness looking for comfort and solace in an indifferent and crazy world. Eckists need the Temple in Chanhassen and the yearly seminars to look forward to meeting other "Eckaholics".
You've seen first hand the revenge of Eckists on a.r.e. They've called my mother to find my phone number and one guy in Australia found out where I worked and threatened to call my boss and let him know about my shenanigans on the newsgroup. They've constructed websites with pictures of me with little red devils poking me with pitchforks. They'd gone to great lengths to silence me because I was too close to their lies. Is this the work of peace-loving god-worshipping folks? They were still angry and fearful children who hadn't truly found peace within themselves. They acted according to their base instincts and ignored the so-called teachings of ECK which were vapid and useless to begin with. They were "drunk" with power prestige and self-righteous. Strength in numbers as they say. I finally got to meet an Eckist one-on-one (David Barnes). He was a member of a.r.e. and was one of those vindictive people who wanted to bury me. When I finally got to talk with him one day, he was just a regular guy with the same problems as any normal person. There was nothing special about him and he even admittedly questioned his own faith in a path he could not quite understand. I felt sorry for him in a way. Anyway, this is getting long winded and possibly repetitive so I just wanted to put out there that we are in charge of our own life and choices. It may be a hard pill to swallow but WE were the ones who allowed ouselves to get duped by Eckankar. We have to recognize OUR role in it and leave them alone. It is in the past and I hardly ever think about it until I see this forum in my bookmarks. So Ciao and cheers to everyone!
--- In email@example.com, "Sharon" wrote:
> Anyway - hey Alf, you're right, I *am* a grumpy grandma!! I'm grumpy whenever I have to do eckstuff. But, someone's gotta do it. Others did it before me and after me, and hopefully will keep doing it long after I'm gone. And when I look back and remember, there aren't enough words to thank all those who were speaking out when I got on the internet, and helped me wake up and get my mind, heart, and soul back!
- Hi Everyone -
First of all, it seems I'm not getting either individual emails or "daily digests" from ET like I should be, and probably haven't been for months. I don't miss them, rarely give ekult or ET a thought except when I get an email requiring me to approve a new membership or someone's posting privileges.
So, it looks like I'm going to have to start checking here at the website every so often.
I've got tons of old eckstuff going back to Day One - like Twitch's original mimeographed discourses. I have to get my scanner hooked up and start getting it all on the internet, because that's what I promised people who sent me stuff.
My mother joined the JWs when I was around 9-10. I believed it all - but just didn't "get it", and was disgusted with a "god" like that. Back then, Armageddon was absolutely definitely going to happen in the mid-80's. As we know, it didn't - so I don't know how they all dealt with the change, but it's like ekult - cult members will beileve any kind of nonsense, even if it reverses itself from one day to the next.
I was especially disgusted that "god" would kill my innocent children because of me. Their "elders" told me to just get baptized, go to the meetings, go door to door etc., even if I didn't "feel" it. That just didn't seem honest, you know?
Gotta laugh, the "Paradise" book was pretty graphic, I asked about all the dead bodies after Armageddon, and wouldn't it stink to high heaven? They told me don't worry, the wild animals would eat the dead bodies.
Anyway, I'm 99% sure that the JWs have to pay for all the books & magazines, then get their money back when they sold them to people. A few years back I read that France had or was going to declare them a business and start taxing them, because evidently there's a lot of money coming in from their publications.
Oh, some years back I called ekult's 800 number just out of curiousity - and they told me if was a call center that took calls from many different companies. A few years later I called it again, and it sounded like they'd switched to a cheap answering machine at cult headquarters.. I totally forget which shows I saw the ads on, but they were on in the wee hours, like 2 am, might've been some kind of alien or Bigfoot-type programs. They're the kind of shows I turn on to put me to sleep. I'm sure advertising at that time and on those shows doesn't cost much - and they probably do mke a profit from them.
A few years ago I was curious so filled out something on a Scientology website requesting information, I was quite surprised, I got a few very short emails & that's it, I think they may have just given me some contact info or something. Oh - but back in 1970 I was accosted on the street in Manhattan by a very pushy guy who wouldn't leave me alone until I bought "Dianetics", which I didn't mind because I read a lot, and liked big books. I did a lot of my reading in the bathtub, generally I'd read books cover-to-cover unless they were really awful, well this one was *really* bad so I'd only read it in the bathtub, maybe I'd suffered thru about half of it, and I'll tell ya, I was SO happy when I dropped it in the tub so I didn't have to read it anymore! I just remember it was stupid and boring.
Aaarrgghh - enough of this, I am *so* not interested in ekult anymore that it's hard work, and makes me feel like I need a nice hot shower, or like I've eaten something spoiled and need to go upchuck & get it out of my system!
So, gotta take a break, will respond to other posts later.
Oh - anyone here in the US on the east coast where Nemo's going to hit, please go outside & turn fans on, whatever, and blow the storm my way to central PA!!!! We'll probably end up with a pitiful 2" or something. <sigh>
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Pete Chown wrote:
> Hi Sharon,>
> > Oh - there's a whole set on Ebay, let me check....nope, the discourses I
> > saw there recently aren't on sale anymore. I'll watch eckstuff
> > sometimes, no one buys it. Have to laugh, the "newbie freebie" book is
> > always listed for sale ...
> LOL, you can also have the Jehovah's Witness freebie book for 99p.
> What's a bit scary is that someone is selling a leather cover for the
> stupid thing. Do people revere it so much that they want to buy it a
> special leather home?
> The Witnesses have a tax dodge where they say that their books are given
> away rather than sold. They hint that the person who takes the book
> from the Kingdom Hall could make a donation to cover the cost. I've
> always wondered what would happen if someone went to a Kingdom Hall and
> took armloads of books to sell, without making a donation. If it turns
> out that this isn't allowed, the tax authorities might be interested.
> Funnily enough my 'proper' JW stuff -- the books from the 1920s and
> earlier -- is going up in value. I've got several editions of the Harp
> of God that I paid about Â£5 each for. Now they seem to be selling for
> about Â£20, so I'm holding on to them in case they go up further!
> > I've seen a few TV ads for ekult recently, late at night, I forget on
> > which shows.
> I'm surprised that works for a cult like Eckankar, that doesn't have
> many members. If someone watches the advert and wants to get in touch
> with other Eckankar members, presumably that wouldn't be possible unless
> they live in a big city. Or is the idea that they just pay money and
> practise Eckankar on their own?
> I'd quite like to pay the Scientologists a visit, but I have the same
> problem. They don't have many members either, so it would be a hundred
> mile trip. Curiosity isn't worth that much!
- In response to Jay's inquiry, I too want to weigh in....You are right to be wary, and correct that Eckankar uses fear to keep it's members. I was a member for over 10 years until I realized the whole thing was a hoax and a cult. They use systematic mind control and fear tactics, and another Eckist I loved suffered terrible feelings of betrayal when he also realized Eckankar was nothing more than another cult. I left, and my life only IMPROVED. I wasn't as invested emotionally and psychologically as others. I kept a skeptical detachment from the leader, and I was lucky. There are other ways to explore spiritual truths and grow spiritually. As many ways, and as many paths as there are people.
--- In email@example.com, "gatsby_jay@..." <gatsby_jay@...> wrote:
> Thems fightin words, Sharon - calling "The Great Gatsby" boring. JK. I know it's not for everybody.
> Anyway, I do appreciate your post as it begins to answer my curiosity.
> I have met a woman I care very much for, and she is an eckist. Tho she is an intelligent and perceptive woman, I don't think she has been in the group long enough to know what she's getting into. Of course, she would love me to become involved, has given me an introductory book, etc.
> I've heard some generally negative things about eckankar, and decided I would look into it more. I want to talk with people who have personally been there.
> I am leery of any group which inspires loyalty with intimidation. I am also wary of any group who attempts to codfy perfectly normal human growth and expansion with numbers (for example, initiation #1, intitiation #2, etc.) That's scarey.
> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Sharon" wrote:
> > Just remembered an old "scare tactic" - the high holey secret members only discourses used to have a little note on the first page, a warning that if you let a non-member see the discourses, you'd get struck by lightning or something - no, I think your spiritual growth would come to a screaming halt. They toned it down a bit by the time I got out. But, there's a Klemp story he told about when he was in the Air Force in Japan, another serviceman who he didn't like and supposedly bullied him, was reading the discourses. So, nasty things happened to him. I forget the gory details.
> > Another funny story, when Klemp was arrested for starting to strip in the airport, a social worker accompanied him to his room before taking him to the mental hospital. Klemp distracted the man with something so he could hide his discourses in the wastebasket.
> > The first initiation is given in the "dream state" which you may or may not remember. But, the eckbooks will tell you that basically, if you're reading an eckbook or brochure, you got it. Unless they've changed things, you can request the 2nd initiation after I think two years of membership. A "high initiate" does this little ceremony - a brief reading from an eckbook, and a hu chant & brief meditation where you may or may not get your new "word" on the inner. If you don't get one, the HI will give you one. There's an HI-only manual that has a list of "secret words". Lowbies don't know about this little manual and the secret word list - at least, they didn't until it started getting on the internet.
> > Former HIs have shared that they had to send in reports about individual eckists, like asking if they thought the eckist should get another initiation or whatever. Now, when I was an eckist I believed what the books told me - that initiations were sacred & holy, and decided upon "on the inner" between master & chela. Not true. Initiations are based on length of membership, level of activity, donations, etc. In fact, when I was an eckist there was an HI who frequently asked me where I was on the initiation scale, she said I was right on track & mine took me a bit longer because every so often I'd have to let my membership lapse for financial reasons.
> > If you drop your membership for five years, you lose all your initiations & have to start back at the beginning, altho I've heard that if people ask, they'll be reinstated wherever they left off The books say that if your membership lapses, your spiritual growth will stop while members keep zooming ahead & growing spiritually, so you're not just stopping -- you're going backwards!
> > Oh, I was also going to suggest you go back in the archives here - there's a lot of good information. I haven't looked at alt.religion.eckankar at Google Groups for years, but that's the first place I landed when I first got on the internet years ago - I was shocked, and went back to show those former members who were speaking out the errors of what they were doing. Well, it backfired and didn't take me long to wake up and get un-eckbrainwashed. There wasn't really a whole lot of "truthful" information on the internet back then, so I started out trying to change that. Well, I didn't accomplish all I wanted to, and at this point to be honest there are a gazillion other things I'd rather do, but I sincerely do hope that one of these days I'll get caught up & be able to focus some time on doing a good & comprehensive website.
> > You know, I'm glad if other members are helping you out privately, but just a thought here - hey guys, if you post info here it'll help a lot more people! I have no room to talk, I get private emails too and answer them privately, because people want to be anonymous.
> > Anyway - hey Alf, you're right, I *am* a grumpy grandma!! I'm grumpy whenever I have to do eckstuff. But, someone's gotta do it. Others did it before me and after me, and hopefully will keep doing it long after I'm gone. And when I look back and remember, there aren't enough words to thank all those who were speaking out when I got on the internet, and helped me wake up and get my mind, heart, and soul back!
> > I finally got around to getting a new printer/scanner a few months ago, but it's still in the box I want to put the discourses on the internet. Oh - there's a whole set on Ebay, let me check....nope, the discourses I saw there recently aren't on sale anymore. I'll watch eckstuff sometimes, no one buys it. Have to laugh, the "newbie freebie" book is always listed for sale, as far as I know that's always been free via snailmail or download, eckists were supposed to buy & distribute it...and this is hilarious, Darwin Gross's old vibraphone is up for sale for $9,0000!!!!
> > I've seen a few TV ads for ekult recently, late at night, I forget on which shows.
> > "Jay", it would be interesting if you'd like to share why you're interested in ekult. BTW, wish you'd picked another pseudo, I tried my best when we studied "The Great Gatsby" in English 101, but still think it's an incredibly boring book, I just didn't get it, still don't. And the movie was even worse.
> > Okay, take care now everyone, and THINK SNOW!!! Just a foot or so would be wonderful!
> > Hugs,
> > Sharon
> > --- In email@example.com, "gatsby_jay@" wrote:
> > >
> > > My first question had to do with 'scare tactics' being used to control eck followers. I have heard from a couple of former members who shed some light on this. Thanks for the responses.
> > >
> > > Here is my other question: If we assume that 'initiation' is a stolen and bogus concept, how are initiations determined? For example, are initiations granted based on 'time' or 'commitment'. ?
> > >
> > > Thanks in advance for your tolerance with a newbie.
> > >
> > > Jay
> > >