Letter to the Eck International Office

Forum: alt.religion.eckankar
Thread: Eckankar financial report
Message 1 of 1 
Subject: Eckankar financial report
Date: 1998/10/26
Author: scomstoc

Just doing a hit & run posting here, folks. . .and don't like even getting this close, but I would like to share a letter I have sent do Minneapolis.  I assume there are people there who read here, so I would also like to say that my response WILL be posted publicly, if & when I get one.  I just like to tie up loose ends as I move on. . .and since I've done everything else publicly. . .  

For those who don't like the length, well. . .that's just me.  

And you know, maybe it's not possible for everyone to get along because there just can't really be any compromise between right and wrong, and that's the way it should be.  Karma may be a reason, but it certainly shouldn't be used as an excuse, for avoidance, or as a cop-out.  And while it's nice to seek for a closer relationship with Spirit. . .well we do live on earth.  And it's real.  

 
  Eckankar
PO Box 27300
Minneapolis, MN  55427

  Dear Sirs:

  I recently resigned from my membership in Eckankar.  Although over the years I had some questions about some issues in the organization, they were generally answered on either the inner or outer (or both) satisfactorily. Even some things which would perhaps make others question their membership, well, I felt that my membership was an outer reflection of my inner relationship with the Mahanta. Although at this point I feel that I have totally severed my inner and outer relationship with anything connected with Eckankar, I do feel I still have a good relationship with Spirit.  And I thought that this was somewhere in the Eckankar teachings. . .well I'm not going into my questions about the teachings. . .because basically I believe in them. . .without the Eckankar label, though.

  I do, however, have questions about Eckankar's finances.  Although to be honest, I would have no problem if Eckankar owned a small jet or something, just as I have no problem with the fact that the President has a private plane available, although I do not feel $700 toilet seats are a reasonable use of my tax money.  And I also would expect that the Presidential jet is used strictly for business. . . .

  Although I have not contributed much more than the cost of my membership to Eckankar over the years, and have no problem with what I did contribute, I would really like to know a little more.

  Although I've never had a lot of money, well, I've contribute small amounts to worthy causes. . .sometimes just dropping some change into check-out counter donation boxes for various things, or sending small amounts to causes I'm interested in that mail requests for donations.  Especially things like the Eastern Paralyzed Veterans, who send me nice cards and things and I feel I should at least pay for their cost.

  However, some years agoI had sent a $5 contribution to the Disabled American Veterans once, and a few months later received a very expensive mailing with a certificate of appreciation, a plastic ID card, and a totally ridiculous letter which I suppose would appeal to some people's egos.  To be honest, I was upset because I know the costs involved in bulk mailings, and wanted my $5 to go to something a little more meaningful.  Then I looked at the small financial statement included in the mailing, and was shocked at the amount of money they spent on professional fund-raising, and how little was spent on actual services to Disabled American Veterans. I sent them a letter explaining my feelings about it all, also with some questions about wanting a little more reasonable explanation of their stewardship.  None of my questions were answered in their response, but they did say they would remove my name from the mailing list as I had requested, and apologized.

  I always contributed to the United Way where I lived, and continued to do so even after the scandal about the guy at the top & the Mercedes or whatever. Because I saw for myself that while some money had been siphoned off by dishonest people at the top, I also knew personally that at least most of my contributions were doing real work on a local level. That's the kind of world we live in, and I've always known that.  I expect a lot more from my religion, though.  After all. . .it's not just a personal and individual spiritual path any more, is it?

  I worked for a Lutheran parish for the last year.  Financial decisions were made by members of the four churches in joint council sessions.  There were no secrets.  And there were regular reports of where donations were going to various world causes from the main organization, the Evangelical Lutheran Churches of America. I'm pretty sure a fairly high percentage of Christian churches operate this way.  At least, friends of mine who belong to Christian churches tell me they do.

  So, I would like to know about Eckankar's financial situation. If I had had more money when I was a member, I surely would have donated much more. . .to the local building funds, for instance.  And to the "missionary" fund.

  Since I have the option of returning to Eckankar within five years, and because I was a member of Eckankar for almost 15 years, although I am not at present the least bit uncomfortable about my non-member status and have NO INTENTION of returning, I feel that I am entitled to have my questions answered.

  Thank you for your time, as well as your anticipated prompt response.  

  Sincerely,    

    Sharon V. Comstock  

  P.S.  Just this morning I noticed on an old poster for the Philadelphia seminar, it  states that Sri Harold Klemp is "a personification of Truth." When I was an  Eckist, I believed this.  And I also believed that the staff of Eckankar was  under his inner and outer supervision and guidance, and that I could trust  anything issued from Eckankar.  

  I have always tried to raise my children to be honest.  And I told them that  telling the truth meant the WHOLE truth . . . that evasion and leaving things out was a form of lying.  

  Perhaps it's too much to expect that one's religious leaders should have higher ethical & moral standards than politicians?  After all, Eckankar WAS supposed to  be the "highest path to God."    

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

I never received a response to *this* letter, which I sent within a week or a few days of sending my 2nd and final resignation from the cult. The second resignation was just a short note, a line or two just saying that I wished to cancel my membership.

What I *did* receive as a response from the Eck International Office, and I feel this was a response to both my 2nd resignation *and* the above letter, was a letter from them saying that they wanted to be sure that I understood what I was doing. They told me they wanted me to sign and return the letter to them.

The letter from Headquarters -- and I don't remember who signed it, probably Jassie -- stated that they wanted me to understand that if I followed through with my resignation, all my records would be destroyed, and my initiations would be removed. Furthermore, I would not be permitted to re-join for six months, and at that time, I would have to start back at the "beginning".

Now...I hadn't realized that there were exceptions to the "five-year rest" thing, and had thought that I would be sort of held to it. I was so relieved to learn that the ties *would* be broken immediately and completely that I signed the letter, and took it right to the mailbox. Unfortunately, I didn't make a copy.

The tone of the letter was not the least bit "loving", concerned, or even friendly. The EIO was most certainly aware of the questions I was asking, and my general postings on alt.religion.eckankar, as well as what was going on in the EckGestapo (Group of Online Eckists) where I didn't agree and bow down to the control of the HIs there about not talking to "detractors".

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