(This is an "introductory handout" file I send to people who are requesting more information.
Some of it, of course, is a bit repetitious if you've looked at my other webpages....but this section
of this website will be used to direct people who aren't yet familiar with "The Other Side of
Eckankar -- What The Cult Doesn't Want People to Know.")
To Whom It May Concern:
I was a member of Eckankar, a pseudo-religion with headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, and a "Temple" in Chanhassen, for almost 15 years.
In July of 1998, I went to the newsgroup alt.religion.eckankar as a "missionary" to help spread the "Light and Sound." I didn't think of myself as a "missionary" .... cultic programming had convinced me that Eckankar wasn't out to get new members; I was simply sharing the love and joy in my heart, and "The Mahanta" would take care of the rest.
After a short time at the newsgroup, I became aware that a funny feeling I'd had inside me for many, many years -- that there was something wrong about Eckankar -- wasn't the "Kal" (Satan) as I'd been told in Eckankar, or a "doubt" planted by the "Master" to test & strengthen me spiritually. I learned that Eckankar was, basically, a lie. When I first "left," it was a matter of personal integrity, and not being able to remain associated with a "religion" whose leaders lied, refused to answer legitimate questions, and indeed, spiritually abused members who refused to follow the "party line." In the months after I left, I went back over the "holy scriptures" and for the first time, saw so many things that I had somehow missed.
I believe it was in October 1998 that I formally resigned. Through all this time, I remained at the newsgroup....and went through things I never believed possible. I learned first-hand that yes, Eckankar does use subtle mind-control techniques which over the years, well....basically, you end up brainwashed. I can't begin to describe the clarity of mind, heart, and soul since leaving the cult...every day gets better and better!
Because I was a secretary to a local Lutheran parish for 10 months that year, and because eckists at the newsgroup had gone so far as to post the website of the Catholic Church I now attend, well....I told the Lutheran pastor as well as my parish priest a bit about my cult experience. As a result, because Pastor Eric knows me personally and knows that I'm a basically normal, well-balanced person, I was even asked to speak to a group of pastors to tell them about the cult. And I must say....if anyone has *experiences* they don't understand, please, never hesitate to talk to a Christian clergyman about them.
When I was an eckist, I was asked to be a member of a "Group of Online Eckists" whose purpose, I soon learned, was to silence those who spoke out against Eckankar and tried to give people the information that I wish I had known before I was caught in it. And I was told by an HI that I should not engage in "conversation" with those who spoke against Eckankar, especially Professor David Lane. I saw first-hand how Eckankar's "clergy" and "High Initiates" plotted and manipulated and discussed specific "strategies" against specific "detractors." In this group, I was shocked to see the hatred toward those who spoke against Eckankar, and the strategies used to silence them. I thought Eckankar was about "divine unconditional love for all souls." I was wrong. Eckankar lied. While many people leave Eckankar when they discover the expose published by Professor David Lane, my experience was different. I left because as an Eckist, I could see first-hand that Eckankar lied and manipulated, and did not follow its own teachings... the teachings it emphasizes in its public messages. When I left Eckankar, at first I still "believed" ... it took months for me to really break free of it inside, and to really understand and be able to separate the stolen "truths" I believed in (which actually, are from other great & valid spiritual traditions and teachings) from the cultic lies and mind-control.
I learned that Harold Klemp regularly broadcasts on TV in Minneapolis, and that there is much advertising in various media all over the country; in the summer of 1998, Eckankar also had a full-page advertisement in TV guide. Eckankar also uses expensive marketing consultants in their efforts to gain new converts. Basically, it's a form of spiritual "protection racket," with multi-level marketing techniques thrown in. Eckankar, like most cults, does not want either the general public or its members to know anything about its "hidden" side. When Professor David Lane's research was mailed to Eckankar centers years ago, eckists were told to destroy it without reading it. And this is what many "higher initiates" actually did. Thousands of other eckists, however, read the information...and left Eckankar.
While Eckankar claims to respect all religions and see everyone as soul....it doesn't.
I am attaching a file with further information which you may find interesting. Eckankar lures people in with subtle messages in what I call the "newbie freebie book" you can get by calling 1-800- LOVEGOD. From there....it's a road into a deep, dark hole that isn't easy to escape.
Since I have been speaking out at the newsgroup, I have heard from so many ex-eckists about the trauma they've suffered through leaving this cult. The psychological effects of spiritual abuse in some cases is still there for as long as 15-20 years. It doesn't have to be that way....but because of many fear & threat messages interwoven with stolen & plagiarized ancient truths in Eckankar's "teachings," well....people are afraid to speak out, and blame themselves....
When Paul Twitchell created this cult, he also considered how to silence those who left. Fear and threats were one method. Another was the "teaching" that people weren't "ready" for the high truth of Eckankar, and needed to learn lessons in "other paths" ... but that eventually, they would have to return to the "Mahanta" in order to reach "heaven."
I hope you find the enclosed information will perhaps let more people know the truth about Eckankar and its false and deceptive "teachings," so that this cult perhaps can be prevented from doing to others what it did to me, and many other ex-eckists. If people do truly want to join this cult, well....they should be able to know ALL the information about it. To be honest, I don't know how anyone could possibly look at it objectively and still want to be a part of it.
Thank you very much. Please feel free to contact me anytime for more information.
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