Friday, June 1, 2007

Paul Twitchell: Liar, Con Artist & Thief: Great Beginnings for Eckankar

verbatim from:

Eckankar was hastily cobbled together by a small-time newspaper and pulp science fiction writer named John Paul Twitchell in 1965. It's a mind-numbing hodgepodge of eastern thought, the Bible, Sufi teachings, mystery school practices and just about anything else you can think of. He used to claim he routinely read thousands of books per year, and it's certainly evident he took whatever interested him from them. Everything is jammed together in a confusing mishmash that's almost impossible to clearly understand. In many instances, the material flat out contradicts itself. In one book, the sky is blue; in the next book, the sky is green. Up becomes down and left becomes right. Such was the skewed world of Twitchell.
Twitchell was an ordinary man with an interest in religions and spirituality but possessed little in the way of talents or abilities. What he DID have though, was a fierce ambition to get somewhere and a tireless knack for promoting himself. In fact, anyone reading enough of his writings gets the clear impression that his very favorite topic was himself.

Of course, he was often lying.

His lies began back at an early age and he lied his way throughout adulthood. He lied to get into the book of Who's Who in America, lied about his military service, lied to his wives about his age, lied about his birth, lied about his family, lied about his "spiritual" teachers, lied to his biographer and lied to his students. Many people who knew him in those years agreed that the words braggart and pathological liar just about summed up his character.

And he wasn't any better in the ethics department. Fancying himself a writer, he's been proven to be a first class plagiarist and had no reservations about stealing the efforts and words of other writers and claiming them as his own. All in all, this isn't the kind of man anyone would want to see their daughter bring home to meet her parents!

Even Harold Klemp, the current leader, has grudgingly admitted as much about Twitchell's character, although, understandably, he uses milder words. Since he couldn't very well inform the flock that its founder was a pathological liar, in Eckankar, Twitchell becomes merely a lover of tall tales, a fellow who always enjoyed a good yarn. Spin, spin, spin. Notice in Twitchell's quote below, he freely admits being a lifelong layabout and conveniently forgets that he indeed DID have a wife to support - Camille.

"Y'know, the real reason why I was such a failure in the sense of being unable to make any sort of a living was because I was really not motivated. I had no motivation. If the motivation was only to make a salary, since I was the only one to keep up, I had no wife, no children or anything, then money meant nothing. It only meant clothes on my back and possibly an automobile and a few of the luxuries which weren't all that necessary. But as long as the motivation wasn't there, I didn't particularly care about a job; I didn't particularly care about an income, making somebody else a living off of my efforts as I was doing most of the time in growing up."

-Paul Twitchell in
Difficulties of Becoming the Living Eck Master-

"The Mahanta is always born on or near a large body of water. His birth is always mysterious and men of ordinary birth do not know his origin. Nor does any man know who his sires might be, their true names or their true origin."
-Shariyat Book 1-

(Twitchell was born in Paducah, Kentucky. Klemp was born in the midwest)


rorick19 said...

So true!! thank you for standing up for truth.

rdsmith1964 said...

The point is not to become locked into any system. Because Twitchell built Eckankar by plagiarizing a long spiritual tradition, he gave it real power. The Divine power that animates this universe can reach through even the biggest pile of non-sense as long as even a modicum of truth is present. So look for that which is real. Those that focus on Twitchell are missing a bigger point.

rdsmith1964 said...
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Eric Christopherson said...
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Unknown said...

Eckankar was woven together by Paul Twitchell from the experience gained over decades of spiritual seeking,intensive reading, working for and with many different kinds of teachers, as well as profound inner experiences in expanded states of consciousness.

Prove it to yourself through your own spiritual experiences. Relying on Paul Twitchell or anyone else's experiences is taking baby steps, which is fine for most people, but true spiritual realization can only be done by the Self.

Of course as in anything revolutionary he had his fanatical critics, some of whom as we see here 40+ years later still whining about what they didn't get out of what he offered, their own mis-takes, other people's inaccurate 'facts' with reversed timelines, and/or mostly assumptions.

Some ex-Eckists openly admit they are we too young, emotionally unstable, at a vulnerable dependent time in their lives, or just dummies and idiots. (consider the credibility of such people)
Others were looking for psychic rather than the higher spiritual experiences and opened themselves up to negative entities and psychic attacks.

The point being that while the spiritual teachings of ECK(Spirit)and Eckankar attract more and more people today as spirituality outside of dogmatic religions has become more accepted, few are suited to be members of the organization.

Some facts that can be checked:
1) Eckankar does not claim it has existed since the beginning of time. Why would it say so when it is so obviously not true? What it does show is that the basic teachings and tenets have existed in one form or another throughout all religious history.

2) After many years of many people scouring the writings of Paul Twitchell, only 1% could be found to be the same as previous authors. Is "throwing the baby out with the bathwater" logical?

3) Membership in Eckankar requires no payment of any kind. There is a suggested donation.

4) People come with different past experiences and baggage to work with. Self-Realization is fraught paradox and requires more than just common sense.

Most all of the criticisms about Paul Twitchell and subsequent leaders has been thoroughly debunked here:


Or get the more comprehensive book The Whole Truth" by Doug Marman

Unknown said...

Spiritual Dialogues Project

kathlyn knight said...

The Whole Truth is a study about the past of a man who founded the modern day Eck Movement :Eckankar.
As I read it I discovered that Mr Twitchell did not elaborate on many things about his past because 1. He has the desire help to maintain the privacy of his close relatives so they could live their own lives. 2. Many of his achievements happened long before he set out to find spiritual truth for himself. 3.Many of those things were irrelevant to the message of Eckankar itself. 4.
Paulji did not spend his time answering to critics which he often attracted in droves.
He marched to the beat of his own drum and was often misunderstood or misquoted.

liska v kurniku said...

Please keep in mind that many of the positive comments on this blog are by brainwashed Eckists. I know this because I used to be one myself for over 30 years. I was a so called "HI and ESA" (Higher Initiate and Eck Spiritual Aide).

I had a lifetime membership and gladly gave it up when I started having spiritual experiences that showed what a fraud the organization was. For example, members are never told how Eckankar uses their contributions and nor how much Harold Klemp collects in salary, royalty payments, and other benefits. Other religions send out an annual report stating specifically the allocation of funds.

Once you wake up from the entire Eckankar delusion, you realize that you don't need an intermediary between yourself and the Supreme Being, even if this grand poobah carries overblown titles like "Sri Harold Klemp, the Mahanta and the Living Eck Master". Just like in the Wizard of Oz, once you move the curtain aside, you will see a small insecure man with his own troubles and ignorance.

In one of the high initiate discourses, Harold Klemp proclaims himself to be God on earth. It's interesting to note that he waited until his students had been in Eckankar at least 10 years and totally brainwashed and delusional before he declares himself God.

I would recommend a cure for the Eckankar delusion by researching a Sant Mat teacher named Baba Faqir Chand.

After I left Eckankar my spiritual experiences became much greater and more profound. Before that, I was allowing Eckankar, with its narrow viewpoint and false teachings, to hold me back.

liška v kurníku

Finder said...

Liska appears to be one of those who joined Eckankar as young and naive, and never moved to a realistic perspective.

Fact Check:
It's long been know that brainwashing has never worked unless in rare cases unlike anything in Eckankar, all possessions are taken away, a person is isolated completely from the rest of the world, and all aspects of their life are controlled in every detail for a long time. Even then, it's questionable...

Fact Check:
Other religions do not send out an annual report stating specifically the allocation of funds.(which has nothing to do with the validity of the Eckankar teachings)

Fact Check:
Eckankar teaches that you _don't_ need an intermediary between yourself and God.

Fact Check:
"I do not claim I am God, or something like this. It's impossible for any human being to become God. It's almost ridiculous to think of it but some of the Eastern paths say, 'Study with us, and you shall become one with God.'"

"Our position is different. Our aim is to become one with the Holy Spirit. Because the Holy Spirit is the Light and Sound of God."

"We can become one with the Light and Sound, we can become one with the Holy Spirit, but not one with God."

"God, or SUGMAD, is the creator. But creation came about through the Voice of God, or the Word which is the Holy Spirit. And we can become one with the Holy Spirit."

"I want to make this distinction clear for you."
~ Harold Klemp HOW THE INNER MASTER WORKS pg. 242
"The disaffected and the apostate are in particular informants whose evidence has to be used with circumspection. The apostate is generally in need of self-justification. He seeks to reconstruct his own past, to excuse his former affiliations, and to blame those who were formerly his closest associates. Not uncommonly the apostate learns to rehearse an 'atrocity story' to explain how, by manipulation, trickery, coercion, or deceit, he was induced to join or to remain within an organization that he now forswears and condemns."

Rosilyn Jackson said...

Finder, what you've stated is rather BRILLIANT, and it rings true!