Friday, June 1, 2007

Confessions of a God Seeker: The Book That Eckankar Cannot Refute


In Confessions of a God Seeker: A Journey to Higher Consciousness by Ford Johnson, the author exposes an insidious pattern of spiritual betrayal, fraud, fabrication and plagiarism that is widespread in the worldwide religion known as Eckankar, based in Chanhassan, MN.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 7, 2003) — The book Confessions of a God Seeker: A Journey to Higher Consciousness (“ONE” Publishing, Inc.) exposes an insidious pattern of spiritual betrayal, fraud, fabrication and plagiarism that is widespread in the religion known as Eckankar. Written by Ford Johnson, a former member and major international speaker for Eckankar for over thirty years, Confessions reveals the story behind this worldwide religion, based in Chanhassen, Minnesota. Founded by Paul Twitchell in 1965, Eckankar has impacted hundreds of thousands through its books, discourses, classes and seminars. Explaining why he wrote the book, Johnson said “Over a period of thirty years, I spoke before thousands of newcomers and Eckists both in the U. S. and abroad. I felt responsible for unwittingly leading many seekers to this path, which unknown to me at the time, was based on lies even though it contained many truths. Once discovered, I felt compelled to inform others of the extent of the prevarication and cover-up. What they do with the information is up to them, but at least they will know.”

Johnson, a graduate of Harvard Law School and president of a Maryland based corporation, uncovered this information during a period of intense study and research. In an open letter to the Spiritual Leader of Eckankar, Harold Klemp, Johnson elaborated on some of the more startling discoveries presented in Confessions:
It was clear from these discoveries that 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? … And, virtually no one knows that you acknowledged as much…Through your lawyers, you admitted that Eckankar and its doctrines — the Mahanta, a necessary inclusion — were “coined, adopted and first used by Paul Twitchell” in 1965; far from the ancient teaching that … Eckankar books proclaim.
Twitchell invented the concept of a super deity called the “Mahanta” who was supposed to be the most spiritually developed human in all the universes. In his troubled zeal to create the oldest, greatest and highest religion in all the worlds, Paul Twitchell proclaimed “…all the power of God must reach these worlds through the perfect instrument of the Mahanta, the Living Eck Master,” an incredible claim, especially for a religion and an exalted title that appeared for the first time ever in 1965. Even James Davis, author of Eckankar’s most expansive book on the Mahanta, The Rosetta Stone of God, upon discovering the deceit and fabrication at the core of Eckankar doctrine, disavowed the doctrine and his own book and resigned from Eckankar. Davis said, “During my almost three decades in Eckankar I became increasingly troubled by what I perceived as the weak integrity within the teachings and of the leaders. At the same time I struggled against these impressions because I deeply WANTED Eckankar to be the ideal teaching I had hoped and dreamed of.”

Johnson’s search also resulted in the discovery that Paul Twitchell was “one of the most accomplished plagiarists of his era with literally thousand of lines of copyrighted text lifted wholesale from the works of other writers.” Yet, rather than admitting that its founder was a plagiarist, the current spiritual leader, Harold Klemp, covers up the plagiarism by maintaining that Twitchell merely copied them from an “astral library” where, presumably, authors are free to copy the works of other writers.

The deceit that Johnson uncovered is best revealed in an example presented in Confessions and cited in his letter to Klemp. Johnson wrote:
The book [Confessions] also reveals how Paul injected dire warning and “curses” into the teaching. He wrote “The oldest technique of keeping the loyalty of the chela [student]…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 …Paul injected the following warning in his own writings: “Within the Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad [the Eckankar Bible] 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….’” Confessions illustrates how Paul repeats this pattern over and over again.

Confessions also shows how Twitchell meticulously created the history and legend of a newly minted line of “Eck Masters”. He claimed them to be the most ancient on earth. According to Twitchell, these masters along with Eckankar, were the “source of all known world religions.” Such was the magnitude of Twitchell’s mendacity. But, Confessions goes beyond simply showing patterns of spiritual betrayal and deception in Eckankar. It also exposes similar patterns of deception found in other religions such as the Radhasoami line of teachings [of the light and sound of God], which appear to be the blueprint Twitchell copied to create Eckankar. As such, Confessions sounds a warning to all sincere seekers of what to avoid and how to spot deception in any spiritual path. The full text of Ford Johnson’s open letter to Eckankar’s spiritual leader Klemp can be seen at

Asked about Eckankar’s reaction to Confessions of a God Seeker, Johnson responded, “Rather than confronting the truth of the revelations found in the book, Eckankar has launched a massive disinformation campaign raising the typical smoke screen issues of my motives, and the novel distinction that Confessions is about mind not heart, as though the two can be separated and common sense is not necessary.” Johnson continued, “But perhaps the most surprising thing has been the cult like reaction of many members who, believing the distorted descriptions of the book advanced by their leaders, turn their back on common sense refusing to confront the truth by even reading the book.”

“They are completely unaware of the extent to which they have been deceived. They are oblivious to the spiritual damage that Eckankar has inflicted on those who have dared to ask questions and were greeted with thundering silence if not excommunication.”, said Johnson. Many of these stories can be found on the message board at Johnson continued, “…that is why Eckankar’s disinformation campaign has been so vigorous, they do not want followers to read the book and discover the truth.”

Beyond the cult-like reaction of many followers, who according to Johnson, “…put their heads in the sand believing what they’re told.”, he says that there are also many independent thinkers within Eckankar who are not afraid to confront the facts and make their own determination. “These free thinkers will in time help remove the spell that prevents others in the organization from thinking for themselves. Either way, it is a gradual process. But for those too afraid to confront the truth, perhaps it’s better that they remain with Eckankar until they are ready to take the next step to higher consciousness.”, said Johnson.

Beyond the revelations about Eckankar and other religions, Confessions presents a positive message of spiritual empowerment through a new spiritual paradigm. Johnson explains, “Everyone needs teachers and guidance, but soul cannot realize his final step in awareness so long as it looks to an intercessor, be he mahanta, savior, master, messenger or by any other name. In truth, we are all microcosmic replicas of the ONE and have full access to its power, for this is what we are. Our journey to higher consciousness is to fully realize this reality.”

The web sites, and were created to facilitate sharing the empowering message presented in Confessions. The book is now available through and and soon in bookstores everywhere.


Rich said...

This is not unlike the attacks one can see on any teaching from the paranoid, disgruntled ex-members, or purposeful misrepresentations by fanatics of other beliefs.

Worse, this dis-information is years old, distorted, and mostly disproven in the light of new information about the actual facts and subsequent proof that some sources of this where misinformed, simply lying, or mentally challenged.

While some of it is couched in truth, a fair overview can be found here:
Or the updated version in hard copy here:

Feel free to write me with clarification questions.

watertonrivers said...

Now, I am not a expert by any means of Eckankar, however, I have noticed that the main attackers are Christian. I have nothing against Christians, in general, because I realize that the Jesus figure came to Earth to spread Truth. However, I put very little faith in those who attack Eckankar, because to me Eckankar is about "Soul Travel"...We all have a soul and thus I see nothing wrong with the basic tenets of Eckankar.

watertonrivers said...

Now, I am not a expert by any means of Eckankar, however, I have noticed that the main attackers are Christian. I have nothing against Christians, in general, because I realize that the Jesus figure came to Earth to spread Truth. However, I put very little faith in those who attack Eckankar, because to me Eckankar is about "Soul Travel"...We all have a soul and thus I see nothing wrong with the basic tenets of Eckankar.

Unknown said...

Wateronrivers, one doesn't have to be a expert to have little faith in those that attack Eckankar. The simple recognition of destructive behavior predominating over constructive is enough to get the picture and feel where they are coming from.

The very basis of the teachings is that, above all as individuals, we are Soul. As such(a spark of god if you will) we don't need faith. We can prove truth through our own direct personal experience with the divine.

When fanatical supporters or naysayers can be observed in that light, the reality is none of that matter lasts.

Whether Christian or not, the independence of Soul threatens the reality of those who are dependent on material, emotional and mental constructs.

Unknown said...


Ford is just another in a long list of ex-Eckists who spun off with their own 'non-profit' organizations that are based mostly on ECK principles.

nightofstars said...

Ok, I think the attacks in the publication (Confessions of a God Seeker) are extreme, & the title betrays the harsh content by far more then it should. I'm confused. The materials don't seem worthy once glanced at & it can be seen someone has stepped too far out of the box. I know Harvard educations are a really good thing to have, but it looks really clear this author should have grown some, slowed way down & got more life experience before publishing something like this as was done. This is because effective clarity is not there (extremely rogue material that doesn't sound 'sound'). A quick brief claim I spotted by Ford, that someone named Paul Twitchell threatened people would be lost in the astral plane or something if they left him: WOW. I've read & re-read some of the books it is stated these things were said in, & I never once read anything like that. So, I was then confused why Ford had to put something like that in, because it took from credibility instantly, creating controversy as to if the materials he authored were worth time to take a look at. Not a member of Eckankar (it was found after ordering some books years ago from them, that they had changed an author's words after they passed over & release those changed words as the original author's words-I'm glad I have my original 1969 versions), but am a reader of various materials that get into hard core spiritual philosophy. I think the little I saw on Ford's stuff adds to such a thick, confusing mess, it kind of makes you feel (know) you don't (no one does) have enough time in the world to properly study thick, unproven nature of a lot of the materials. It does little good when someone's laid out a specific claim about something or someone else, that's immediately noticed kind of present in their own material/style likewise. People really mix well with things that sound right, natural, uplifting - that help them out. I think this adds to confusion & makes one want to RUN, because it's too harsh, emotional, some is very rogue and/or just doesn't sound right or peaceful: an inappropriate use of time that a life lesson was not given, etc. All of that unpeaceful presentation being just right out there right away, it makes the words very hard to respect or believe, so making one not wanting to pick any of it up. Be careful, people are a lot more aware these days & they're looking for really good hard-hitting fact-based material, and they are a quick read, wanting really, really good things these days. Life's hardships have a way of making us be that way. Time will go by, but unfortunately this material will still be out there to add to confusion.

Todd Gambino said...

There is no fraud in Eckankar, all is how it should be, as a ECKist I can assure you that liberation of soul is a 24/7 being, having the before and after consciousness I can assure you, you're on the right path.

R DaVinci said...

Well, all religions are man made and driven, I was an active Eckist but have lost interest over the years, as I struggle to make money and try to survive I see like all religions the people who control these organizations living a very good life with our help.

Now with my current belief that all religion is BS, we have to look at what path is the closest to the truth.

It certainly is not the main stream religions they are far astray. Eckankar does have a lot of truth to it, it is debatable whether the line of masters are real or an act of a very prolific imagination of Paul.

Personally I have never met any of the masters, Eckankar did teach me that it is possible to soul travel in the other worlds, they do exist, I have no doubt of that. I have seen Paul on the inner, he was in a small room like library doing research. So, the question is has Eckankar become a money making operation, the answer is YES, does it make the teachings fake, NO, if you take the time to do the exercises, you can leave your body, other worlds do exist, I have seen and visit them regularly. Was Paul a liar, probably, is there some truth to what he taught, Yes, I see good in the teachings, I see some good in the bible, do I believe everything I read ,NO....let's face it the Sugmad or GOD or Creator or whatever you chose to call it, it is the creative and driving force of all life, it permeates everything, we are of it, but; like an Irish father, it places us down here in the physical plane and the rest is up to us, it offers no help, but; allows us to link up to it if we try hard enough and we will receive help that way, maybe a hunch or an idea to help us. So, get over whether Paul made up a lot of the information or stole it from others, Eckankar does not have the only way to GOD, there are many. Personally I don't believe you need Harold to gain spirituality, you can do it on your own. Is Harold evil, NO, but; he is using Eckankar to benefit himself, like all religious leaders do, does he possess superhuman ability, NO, is he fairly advanced spiritually, Probably....all in all it's not a bad following. However, you can do it without Eckankar too. If you can get enough people to think a certain way, you can mock up on the other planes a city or following, that's why there are Christian, Moslem, Jewish and other heavens, enough people believed.