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Why Ex-Eckists Left Eckankar

Forum: alt.religion.eckankar
Thread: Message To The Seeker Looking At Eckankar For The First Time; Or, Why Does Ben Post On ARE?
Date:1999/03/11
Author:bendouglass


I was an Eckist from 1972-84, but then summarily excommunicated for not only asking certain delicate questions, but asking them over and over again, but never receiving adequate answers. Mostly SILENCE! Since that time I have gained much significant insight, emotional detachment, objectivity, and supplimental experiences and information, to offer certain teleogical, historical, epistemological, and scientific criticisms about Eckankar.

It has become my personal conclusion that Eckankar is a psychological, socio- spiritual, mythic con-game invented by a little man called Paul Twitchell, who yearned for money, glory, and power of people--nothing more! It is also my opinion that the "massive ancedotal evidence" gathered by others, alone points in this direction. And because of this I consider it my duty and responsibility as a citizen and former Eckist to offer "another perspective on Eckankar," so that any new seeker or student can make a more fully informed choice.

I have a right( and a responsibilty that goes with that right) to offer any criticisms about Eckankar if I choose to do so. The only right I do not have is to threaten and denigrate an individual with malicious intent. There will always be those Eckists who will consistently argue that ANY criticism leveled at Eckankar is invalid. Often they will take these criticisms as personal attacks. The reason is that their personal life has become irrevocably enmeshed with the ECK and the Corporation. One becomes the other! We see these kind of unreasonable, irrational, fearful, sheeplike people zealots in all spiritual paths--they are called "fundamentalists."

So it all comes down to the pressing question: Can anybody ask critical and sensitive questions about Eckankar and freely come to their own conclusions without being "labelled" and their "personal lives" paraded on a website without their express permission? If alt.religion.eckankar is any barometer of this, I would say NO! Whether it is college professors, skeptical humanists, or former Eckists, the message from Eckists and their beloved Master is ANY criticisms of their holy chalice is wrong, hateful, angry, etc.

More often than not, when an Eckist is vigorously challenged about Eckankar tenets they can't defend on a purely philosophical level, they retreat into their closed fantasy-prone system which, by it's very nature, deadens and denies the spirit of open intellectual inquiry among people. To the ARE Eckists 400 years of the Age of Enlightenment, and its seasoned tools and processes of verification and accountability are rejected enmasse.

The reason for this might be that their "HOUSE THAT TWITCHELL BUILT" could very well violently implode from within, when examined with the same tools of rational inquiry taht any other system is subject to. When Eckist are given the chance (and tools & processes) to critically examine the very foundation of their faith they act like the ostrich. Heads in sand, singing hu while their but feathers quiver with rage and fear.It takes courage to listen to an opponent of your chosen path. It even takes greater courage to question your path.

If Eckankar as a system of convictions and practices is a legitimate path to truth and happiness, then any amount of open debate can only strengthen it. Therefore, the role of the so-called "detractor" on ARE becomes a positive role, a community service, a consumer advocate for spiritual seekers.

Ben Douglass-SA #961
Agitate, Educate, Liberate!
Deja Community Started by Ben




The Eckist argument: "It didn't work for you"
From: Data , None
Date: Sun, 02 May 1999 12:05:58 -0500

Eckists have said that detractors (critics of Eckankar) are people who quit Eckankar because it didn't work for them, or because they failed at the path, and thus can't be taken seriously. In other words, we're hopelessly biased against Eckankar, largely because we're angry that we didn't make the grade.

Au contraire, mon frere.

I was not a failure at the path- I was given a leadership position in my Eckankar community! Eckists there marveled at how "spiritually advanced" I was.

I was one of the darlings of the community- active in public outreach, volunteering regularly at the Eckankar center, giving money, providing entertainment at worship services, and on and on...

Eckankar did work for me, mainly because its spiritual exercises, like using the mantra OM or HU and focusing on the third eye, are legitimate and used by similar religions that predate Eckankar.

The reason I turned my back on Eckankar for good was discovering the plagiarism in their bible, which other Eckists told me was divinely inspired.

I still miss my Eckankar friends, and the feeling of belonging I had as a member, but I won't go back because I cannot compromise my moral principles for the sake of personal gratification or spiritual entertainment.

The Eckist argument in the first paragraph is both specious and fallacious, and illustrates how desperate Eckists are to discredit former members who have come forward and revealed the truth about Eckankar.

If the Eckists who use this argument were ever to admit that the detractors were on an equal footing with them as far as spiritual development is concerned, they would be faced with the painful fact that a detractor is simply an Eckist who is no longer willing to tolerate being deceived nor participate in the process of deceiving others.

The Eckists I am referring to above are those who know about the plagiarism and other deceptions Professor David Lane has found within Eckankar's spiritual literature, and turn a blind eye to harm Eckankar causes.

These Eckists have no legitimate means of countering Lane's revelations, so instead, they attack the credibility of those who bear witness to the irrefutable facts found in his research. They label the detractors "unbalanced", "nuts", "needs help", "satanically influenced", etc., etc., twist their words or draw illogical conclusions from them, and even lie when absolutely all else fails in their efforts to silence the truth-tellers. These are the same rhetorical tricks and tactics that nearly every false religion uses to defend itself against legitimate, factual criticism.

Unfortunately, for these Eckists, the truth is impervious to these assaults, and will stand for all time in relentless defiance of their attempts to make it go away.

It is sadly ironic that people who profess to be on a path of truth cannot tolerate the truth when it undermines what they believe in.

Data




Subject: Re: The Eckist argument: "It didn't work for you"
From: zephyr@connectexpress.com
Date: Mon, 03 May 1999 02:10:18 GMT

In article <372C85F6.54602B56@b.com>,

Data wrote: (snip)
This whole post applies to me as well.
Kate



Newsgroup: alt.religion.eckankar
Re: The Eckist argument: "It didn't work for you"
From: Harry , Clam Lovers (Lodge #4)
Date: 3 May 1999 00:52:45 GMT





*bow*

I, Dances with Clams, found myself smiling as I read this post, since I believe it captures the true spirit of those called "detractors". They number in the tens of thousands, I'm told, and most are very well balanced, ethical people. eckankar most likely did work for them to a point. But, eventually, we all reach an invisible line, where we each have to decide for ourselves who we hang around with. A truly ethical person would have quite a struggle within themselves to remain with this organization, in light of all the blatant lies and deceptions.

Although I know they will never listen, I would suggest that all eckists face themselves in the mirror and evaluate their own ethics in a clear, unmuddled way. Look closely to your own ethics and answer as truthfully as you can why you continue to support an organization that was conceived in theft and fiction. A thing to ponder, also, is the fact that almost all detractors have been where you are now
- but you haven't yet been where the detractors have reached. :-)

-Dances with Clams-





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Author: Zuma
Date: 1997/04/17
Forum: alt.religion.eckankar
-------------------------------------------------------

> > I was once a hibernating Roman Catholic and found Eckankar too. I started reading some books, meeting some folks, going to Satsangs, subscribing to the discourses, and finally keeping a dream log that is full of wonderful experiences with meeting Masters and flying through glorious landscapes of unspeakable beauty. I enjoyed falling asleep at night so that I may once again hear the Light And Sound. All of this in the course of two years. I knew that religion by any other name paled in comparison with the unfathomable Truth known as Eckankar. Then, a Christian friend told me that I had better take a good look at what I left for Eckankar; that I owed it to myself to know for sure that what I found was the real thing. I too started "feeling" something wasn't right with it. Once the honeymoon was over, I started reading Twitchell's long-winded fragmented books again. I became suspicious that the original lure of Eckankar and its promise "why wait, now you can touch the hem of God" wasn't what is is cracked up to be. I read Brad Steiger's biography of Twitchell and for a time became enamoured with Eckankar again, but it was short lived when I came to my senses. My good Christian friends were warning me that perhaps all these things I felt and saw were real, but that does not mean it came from the God I grew up with. Maybe these visions were the work of the Evil One. After all, long before Paul landed on Earth, the Bible speaks on numerous occasions about false prophets and the wicked treachery of Satan and how he will do everything in his power to pull you away from God.

It all became clear at that point that I had fallen into the trappings of a full blown CULT!!! It's leader wooing me and dazzling me, and promising me the keys to heaven, like all good cult leaders do...telling its followers what they want to hear!! Suddenly the Internet explodes and lo and behold I see an army of Ex-Eckists battling it out with the chelas.

David Lane's exhaustive research on Paul Twitchell's plagiarism and his incessant lying just sealed the fate for me and Eckankar. The reason everyone hates what Lane says, is because he shakes the very foundation of their spiritual investments, and no one likes to be told they are wrong. He is lucid, scholarly and extrememly convincing, sooooo, that's why I have become the monster we all know today as Zuma. Even Twitchell's ex-wife Gail has said that Eckankar was concocted under false pretenses...she was there, she oughtta know!!

> > In case anyone is interested, I've also read most of the David Lane > and David Rife stuff, and, frankly, I'm not impressed with either of > their attitudes. I've seen more open minds than those from most people > I've met.

You don't have to like their attitudes, Observer...look closely at what they are saying. They are constantly removing the bastion of Eckankar stone by stone, and the people inside are feeling helpless. Time will tell for sure, and I'll bet my last dollar that this little "Light And Sound" club doesn't make it through through another decade.


Zuma

------------------------------------------------------- (Following is my original resignation letter. To see what led up to this, click on: "Harold's Deceptive Editing" For some unknown reason, I went running back a few days later...and sent them a check! I left forever a month or two later.)



Whatever. . .
Author: Sharon V Comstock
Date: 1998/09/12
Forum: Šalt.religion.eckankar
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" Now all this philosophy won't help you, nor will the reading of any book, nor the practice of any spiritual exercise, unless the desire for truth and God is absolutely pure."

Harold Klemp


"By their fruits ye shall know them. . ."
The Bible, I forget where

I have carefully read the disputed response from Harold to the questionably edited question, as well as Lurk's commentary, and done my best to look at it from many different viewpoints, on many levels.

As an Eckist, I have no problem with the editing, answer, or commentary.

Perhaps it's just a very unspiritual & unhealthy attachment to my own personal integrity. . .well that's not important really. . .but as of right now I am no longer a card-carrying member of Eckankar the organization. The letter will be in the mail shortly.

I will, however, continue as an Eckist on the inner. . .the Mahanta will be with me, as always. He brought me here to see & learn certain things, and now it really is time to take it back to the inner.

And before anyone makes any assumptions. . .I just want to make it clear that a major factor in this is when I see another "Eckist" attack spiritual truths because they're not clearly stamped with the Eckankar copyright. Even though both truths, it turned out, according to the outer teachings, were indeed from the Eck.

I've been having a lot of truths thrown in my face lately, and a lot of illusions cleared away. . .this one was such a biggie it's just impossible to rationalize in any way.

This is where the Mahanta has led me. . .

In Eck,
Sharon

P.S. Lurk, thank you --- although I must say if I were hanging around I could really get into a lively debate on this one!

And Windy, by the way, no snide remarks. Stay the hell out of my space. I've got the book around here somewhere but can't find it. . .but I know there are laws about both psychic attack, which I feel you are very close to doing although of course I can't really judge. At the very least, there are things about taking on another's karma by judging their particular learning experiences. If you have something to say, I would suggest you put it where the sun don't shine.

(For information on my 2nd & final resignation, and also a letter I sent to the EIO, click HERE
------------------------------------------------------- More stories, from former eckists Albert, John, and Connie: Click Here