Thursday, May 31, 2007

Built-in Fear Tactics: Insidious Eckankar Teachings

The following is excerpted from Ford Johnson's website on Eckankar. Dr Johnson's work brings to light the multitude of fallacies, frauds and manipulations to which Eckankar is heir...
For more, click here.

From “Confessions of a God Seeker: A Journey to Higher Consciousness,” by Ford Johnson, pp. 145-148.

Device Seven:
The Techniques of Fear and Deception

In a particularly revealing passage from a letter sent to his chelas, Paul provides sound advice on avoiding the tricks of fear that other masters use to trap their followers. Yet, even this advice is part of another device. When someone warns you of tricks others may play, he builds your trust and perhaps even lessens your suspicion that he is a trickster himself. Here is how Paul uses this device:
The oldest technique of keeping the loyalty of the chela by many teachers is with fear. This is true in the methods of those teachers on the lower plane levels. Because they grow afraid of losing their chelas to a Master on the higher level, the old fear tactics will be drummed into those who desire to move away from the psychic plane elements into the God planes. These threats are very common. They usually go like this: “If you leave me, you will get caught in the astral and won’t get out.”(Paul Twitchell, Eckankar: Illuminated Way Letters 1966-1971 (San Diego: Illuminated Way Press, 1975), p. 94.)

After warning the chela of what to look for and why some teachers indulge in fear tactics, Paul invokes the very same tactic:
The wrath of the ECK crashes down upon anyone who is still a slave to the ego and deserts the master. Not once will he see the connection between his betrayal of the ECK and the horrendous troubles that strike him down like a plague on every hand. And thus he goes downward on the spiral of awareness until he leaves this body in hopeless despair, still wondering why the fates have treated him so cruelly. (See Harold Klemp, The ECK Satsang Discourses, Third Series, Letter 8. See also )

A threat of violence is added:
Whosoever . . . shall divulge the secrets of his initiation . . . shall be deprived of his sight and tongue in order to never again be able to say anything about the degrees of initiation in ECKANKAR. (Twitchell, Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad, II: 150.)

To ridicule, to scorn, to speak mockingly of the words of the Mahanta, and not to have faith in him and the cause of ECK is to bring woes on the advocator of doubt. It brings his karmic progress to a halt, increases his incarnations in this world, and causes him to suffer untold hardships. The ignorant and the naive will never understand, nor shall they learn by experiencing the slow death brought about by their own overt acts against the Mahanta and the ECK. This is actually creating overt acts against the SUGMAD. (Twitchell, Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad, I: 107.)

And finally:
But once the chela has become a member of the inner circle, he cannot resign. . . . Those few have found that spiritual decay sets in immediately, affecting the health, material life, and spiritual life, and brings death more swiftly. (Twitchell, Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad, II: 166.)

And for those who have the temerity to see Paul’s deception and revolt in an effort to free themselves from it, he has planted a final land mine:
When the Living ECK Master’s position is attacked by revolt, or by dissatisfaction by the followers of ECK, he will defend himself. Not in the way many would expect, but in ways that few can recognize. The defense will come from the inner planes, and by means of the ECK. Those who revolt or become dissatisfied cannot bring about any attack upon the Living ECK Master or his position in life. If they do, there is always the swiftest of retribution, which is not always recognized by the receiver nor [sic] those who might have observed the occasion. (Twitchell, Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad, I: 119.)

Many years ago, as a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa, our housekeeper refused to come to work because the local witch doctor had placed a curse that made her fear for her life. None of our confidence boosters could persuade her to return to work. Finally, she went to another juju man, who cast a powerful spell that she believed overpowered the first one. She then returned, much relieved that the power of the first curse had been dissipated.

What Paul has working here is the same technique employed by the witch doctor. It is a technique used by those in power to keep people in check and frighten them into staying. Paul was not above this. But the more important point for those who desire to break this spell is to know that no master, or any other person, has control or power over us, unless we believe in his power and doubt the control we have over our own lives. There are countless stories circulating among Eckists about those who have left the teaching and fallen into harm’s way. But these experiences, if true, are of their own making. They were infected by the curses that Paul had created and this infection (belief) caused the curses to manifest in their lives.

They Stole the HU Too... Stolen Word for Word

Sing HU Until You're Blue!
Twitchell The Plagiarizer Presents
Stolen HU Description from a 1920s Author

Huuuu... It's sung by Eckists everywhere. But did you know that the word and the explanation were plagiarized, like many other eckankar-related things, from somewhere else?

The word HU is fundamentally important to eckankar. Although Paul Twitchell gave no credit to Sufi mystic Inayat Hazrat Khan, he took the man's words verbatim to describe HU in Twitchell's own The Far Country. Khan, a noted lecturer and musician, died in 1927, several decades PRIOR to the publication of Twitchell's book and the founding of the modern cult known as eckankar.

The plagiarism of Khan's words to describe the HU is no oversight, but rather one in a long series of plagiarisms enacted by Twitchell to formulate the written foundation of the eckankar works. In fact, the more one delves into the works of this "path," the more astounded you are to find so many plagiarisms. It's a disease with Twitchell.

What Twitchell has done is actually unbelievable to anyone with a conscience. Every intelligent researcher is taught to give credit for the sources of his research. This leaves Twitchell, the backwoods Kentucky drop-out racist in the dust. He didn't know the difference between stealing and inventing, between lying and leading.

Even more astonishing is the fact that many plagiarisms perpetrated by Twitchell were claimed to be written accounts of HIS OWN PERSONAL EXPERIENCE. To restate this, he not only stole people's writings, but he also stole their experiences as if they were his own. You decide if this guy was any kind of spiritual master!!

Twitchell often claims these plagiarized works comprised information he gleaned from the inner planes. Twitchell simply stole the eloquent writings of others and substituted names where convenient to meet his own agenda. Is this the mark of a lofty character — a master who preaches in word and writings not to steal, lie, cheat or deceive? If you can't tell the difference, you need a psychologist's help.

Fundamentally speaking, the plagiarisms of Twitchell combined with Harold Klemp's defense of them, makes the eck writings and so-called history a LIE. There is no other way to look at this. It is ALL FRAUDULENT. The devoted Eckist who is the most attached to his own ego and afraid to face this truth is twice taken: once by eckankar and its self-proclaimed masters, and then again by their own egos which turn a deaf ear and blind eye to the truth to continue embracing more and more lies.

This is not atypical of the victim mentality: afraid to admit you made a big mistake and move on.

Read the Plagiarisms on these Pages...
If you have a copy of Twitchell's The Far Country — a book that Klemp has praised over and over — read it alongside a copy of The Mysticism of Sound and Music by Sufi Mystic Hazrat Inayat Khan (page 172 and page 311) to discover by comparison that Twitchell plagiarized (word for word) Khan's keen and poetic phraseology to explain the word HU.

Confessions of a God Seeker Author Proves the Eckankar Lie

The following is an excerpt from a letter written to Harold Klemp from Ford Johnson, author of Confessions of a God Seeker, who discovered that Eckankar is a hoax and a fraud. You can read more on this website:

"...the real story behind Eckankar was different from what is the common belief among Eckists. I was shocked to learn that Eckankar had no ancient lineage whatsoever. Indeed, how could anyone have known that even Gail Twitchell, Paul’s wife and the co-founder of Eckankar, had declared some years earlier, that Eckankar was a fraud and that “Paul had simply made up the whole Eckankar thing?” A startling admission, but one that explains why she has had nothing to do with Eckankar since. How could anyone have known that Paul literally invented an entire “line of masters” and gave them a history that came to life in his imagination and his writings? Fueled by our belief and our imaginations we projected them into existence and they became real to us in our inner and outer lives just as children have inner and outer experiences with Santa Clause and as Jesus appears to Christians. And, how could Eckists have known that even the position, title and concept of Mahanta was part of what Gail Twitchell meant when she said, “Paul made up the whole Eckankar thing?” And, virtually no one knows that you acknowledged as much in court documents during the Darwin Gross v. Eckankar legal battles. Through your lawyers, you admitted that Eckankar "was not used to describe any religious doctrines [the Mahanta, a necessary inclusion] until the mid-1960's when it was coined, adopted and first used by Paul Twitchell "; far from the ancient teaching that the Shariyat and other Eckankar books proclaim.

"When I first read Gail‘s statements, I was astounded. I was not prepared to believe what she had said nor could I then fully understand the ramifications of her statements. That is why I sought independent verification of her assertions. But, the deeper I dug into the history of Eckankar — what Paul did and how he did it — the more I uncovered. My discoveries were beyond shocking, beyond anything I could ever have imagined. Unfortunately, Gail was correct in her claims, for the evidence presented in Confessions points to no other conclusion. I would not have believed the extent of Paul’s fabrication and lying if I had not spent more than one year untangling the web of distortions with which he surrounded the spiritual truths that Eckankar also contains.

"Confessions [of a God Seeker] documents how and when Paul invented the concept of the Mahanta and where he got the term. It shows the four techniques he used to create the names and histories of many of his Eck Masters and the source from which he plagiarized or created his writings on the Hu, the blue light of the Mahanta and other parts of Eckankar’s doctrine. The book also reveals how Paul injected dire warning and “curses” into the teaching, describing what would befall anyone who left Eckankar or challenged the Mahanta, even though he openly admitted that this was just a tactic used by spiritual leaders to keep their followers in line. He wrote:

"The oldest technique of keeping the loyalty of the chela …is with fear. These threats are very common. They usually go like this: “If you leave me you will get caught in the astral and won’t get out.“

Having warned us of what to look out for and that this was a technique of “those masters on the lower planes…” Paul injected the following warning in his own writings:

"Within the Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad is found the quotation, “He who leaves the path of ECK, or refuses to follow it, shall dwell in the astral hells until the Master takes mercy upon him and brings him upon the path again.”

"Confessions illustrates how Paul repeats this pattern over and over again. He warns us of what to look out for, thus gaining our confidence, then springs the same device on the unsuspecting reader. The detrimental effects of these obviously manipulative “curses” on vulnerable and unwary Eckists can be found all over the Internet. Paul engendered mystical trust and devotion in his followers while surrounding the boundaries of Eckankar with subtle — and not so subtle — threats. This explains, in part, the almost magical spell — and often fear—that seems to permeate the Eckankar community. For, Eckists are totally convinced — as was I — of the truth, integrity and benign quality of Paul Twitchell’s writings and of Eckankar’s doctrine..."

What's So Bad About Eckankar?

A Quick Look at What's Wrong With Eckankar,
Its Leaders and Its Teachings...

The falsehoods, deceit and improprieties surrounding Eckankar are vast and run very deep, like the roots of a big weed. Here are some main poins brought out about Eckankar and its leaders, past and present:
  1. Paul Twitchell plagiarized materials from other authors and claimed these writings as his own discoveries and his own experiences. Some of the material, such as the plagiarized works of Dr. Julian Johnson (Path of the Masters, 1939), was claimed by Twitchell as his own inner plane experiences from the Shariyat Ki Sugmad where it exists in nonphysical form.
  2. Harold Klemp forced Darwin Gross out of office in a coup that was disguised as an effort to "clean house."
  3. Paul Twitchell's so-called biography, written by occult author Brad Steiger, is riddled with lies and inconsistencies supplied by Twitchell to Steiger. Eye witnesses and associates of Twitchell attest to the fact that Twitchell invented his own experiences and life story from his imagination, and Steiger, standing to make a profit, published it as truth. Among the most notable lies are Twitchell's reported birth date, his travels abroad and his birthplace. For more on this, read Making of a Spiritual Movement by David Lane, PhD
  4. Harold Klemp, like Darwin Gross and Paul Twitchell before him, is no master, but rather a manipulator and con man who does not even understand the concepts which make up the foundation of the Eckankar teachings (because these concepts were stolen from other religions such as Shabd Yoga, Buddhism, Sikhism, Taoism and Suffism). Klemp uses his seminary education and Christian teachings as the essence of today's Eckankar because this is all he is familiar with; while at the same time, he slanders Christianity and every other religion in general as being inferior and misleading.
  5. Harold Klemp never studied or trained with or under ANY spiritual master. He is a self-proclaimed guru and he continues to elevate his stature by promoting himself to greater titles and positions; e.g., he calls himself a "modern day prophet" and the godman, and the highest initiate ever.
  6. Most of the Eckankar teachings about consciousness are taken directly from Shabd Yoga.
  7. Paul Twitchell was a follower of Shabd Yoga master Kirpal Singh. Correspondence from Twitchell to Singh is documented, yet Twitchell, in his later writings, denies that he was ever Singh's pupil, despite the fact that documenation exists to prove otherwise, including Twitchell's own earlier writings.
  8. Individuals have been sued or legally harrassed by Eckankar for written criticisms of the organization.
  9. Paul Twitchell took (plagiarized) the writings of others and substituted the names of fictional "Eck" masters where the original authors had used other names or no names at all.
  10. Harold Klemp concocted lies to cover up for Paul Twitchell's lies, inaccuracies and plagiarisms, making him as guilty as Twitchell for proffering this scam called Eckankar.
  11. Eckankar initiations are a sham, with no purpose other than to further control members and wave the proverbial carrot in front of their noses for future promises of aggrandizement.
  12. Projections of one's mind are used as "proof" of the inner existence of Eck masters, while conversely, negative projections and negative dreams and nightmares are conveniently said to be works of the "Kal."
  13. Eckankar has trademarked words which have long been common to other religions, including vairagi, ekankar, ek, soul travel, mahanta, etc.
  14. Researcher/philosophy professor David Lane, PhD, has been the most tireless pursuer of truth in this matter to unconver the falsehoods of Eckankar, Paul Twitchell and other leaders.
  15. It is extremely likely that Paul Twitchell and Harold Klemp are sociopaths. Their profiles, including willingness to lie without conscience, fit that of the sociopath. The reader is encouraged to buy a copy of The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout, PhD, Harvard psychologist, to understand the complications of the sociopathic personality.
  16. Eckankar is, by all definition, a criminal enterprise posing as a religion. An intelligent, well-read person can see through the lies and inconsistencies.

You Get What You Pay For: If It Looks Like A Duck and Quacks Like A Duck...

If you were able to divorce yourself from Eckankar and study it as would an outsideron an investigation, what would you see? This is impossible for many Eckankar members to do because they are too close to the problem to see it clearly. The longer you're in it, the less objective you become, and the less you question anything.

But if you still have an open mind, just consider some of the facts and see if they don't sound a little wacked out to you. Do you want to be part of a group, Eckankar, that:
  • has a plagiarist as its founder?
  • has a guy who was a mental patient as its current leader?
  • claims to be ancient, but cannot prove even ONE SINGLE historical tie?
  • is full of inconsistencies?
  • makes underhanded threats?
  • had a founder who never traveled to the places he wrote about?

There's much more, but this should whet your appetite for the truth.

Now, one last thing: Just look at Harold Klemp as he speaks. Does he look normal to you? Well, to most people who have not been indocrinated into this group, he looks weird. This is because he is constantly lying and scamming people. He knows he is misleading people, but he doesn't care. What does this make him? He is either a cold blooded sociopath or a very sick individual.

David Lane is My Hero

David Lane, college professor, is a brave guy. He was one of the first to take on Eckankar and prove it is a bunch of crap. Most of all he proved that an intelligent, well-read person can find the holes in cults and expose them. I highly recommend his website for more information, and to buy Dr Lane's book, The Making of A Spiritual Movement, if you can find it:

David Lane says he was attacked, in a legal sense, by Eckankar for attempting to expose the truth about the group. This is understandable, given the fact that Eckankar has so much to lose if it is ever revealed to the public for what it is (a mid-sized scam).

Anonymous Sentiments from a Former Eckankar Member

I really believe that Eckankar, as well as other groups of its ilk, is criminal. You have to be of a criminal mentality to pretend to be a spiritual leader/master (if there is really such a thing anyway), to charge people for your fairy tales, to tell people their delusions are real, to sell them books consisting of plagiarisms that are still easily provable, and to continually speak from a podium in seminars and videos about things that are just fabrications.

As I was quitting this cult, I purchased several books from around the world. These books were written long before Eckankar was invented. Paul Twitchell stole the writings of others and claimed them to be his own. This is just a dispicable form of behavior. It is criminal not only in terms of the law, but also in terms of ethics. It just shows you what a low-life he was. But what can you say of Harold Klemp who continually defends the conman Twitchell? He is just an accessory to the crime, as well as the initiator of his own crimes.

Sadly, human beings are not very grounded. They want so badly to believe in things that are supernatural. This is why we are taken advantage of . But to make things worse, groups like Eckankar tell us that our victimization is our own fault. This is really sick thinking. It's like getting punched in the nose repeatedly then having the attacker tell you it's your fault. Bullshit. The victim is not the criminal.

Twitchell knew he was no master. And Klemp knows he is himself a fraud. There is no nice way of saying this, but they are both conmen of the highest order. Even worse, they are of very little conscience owing to the degree to which they have carried out this scam. If there really was a hell, which I don't believe there is, they would both be the first to burn.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Confused About Eckankar? It SHOULD Be Confusing!

Are you really a truth seeker, or just saying that you are? This may be a test of more than just faith for you.

This website is dedicated to those who left Eckankar, are considering leaving it, and those who are considering joining the group. It is written by former members of this organization who have been fortunate enough to come to a conclusion that it is a scam. You will find solid evidence for this on this blog site — evidence that Eckankar can in no way refute and no Eckankar official will dare to challenge in an open debate.

Being former Eckankar members, we know this organization from the inside and understand the nature of all of its teachings, from waking dreams to meetings with the "inner master." We will define for you what these phenomena really are, within the context of logic and psychology instead of blind faith in a shaky belief system.

Certainly, there will always be people who WANT to believe in strange, unprovable things. Indeed, such people may even die for their beliefs, no matter how strange and erroneous. Such adherents cling to their faith because they have built their identity and their lives around the teachings and therefore are deeply afraid to leave the system in fear of losing themselves. If you are such an adherent — a defender of the preposterous, a devotee of a leader whom you do not even know personally — then do as you wish and dismiss all of this proof. But if you really are a truth-seeker as you claim to be, then you will read and digest and understand what we are saying here. It is your choice.

There is no doubt, and we will not be polite here, that Eckankar is a scam started by an illiterate, ill-spoken, backwoods simpleton from Kentucky named Paul Twitchell.

Eckankar is a waste of your time and money. It pretends to be a religion, but fails miserably to find legitimacy because it is borne of fraud, deception and manipulation.

We offer you the facts about Eckankar and its leaders.