Walking Away: A Former 6th Initiate's Story
Walking Away: A Former 6th Initiate's Story
Date: January 29, 2001
Subject: Walking Away
I did a post a few days ago and just mentioned that I used to be an
eckist for quite a while......I got so many personal e-mails that I
thought I better
just post the answer here instead of carbon copying a bunch of replies.
The question was
"Enjoyed your post and agree about not lying about what happen with
Darwin and others. Here's a web site that gives Darwin's side of the
story. Don't know for sure, but I'd guess about half of it is true.
Also, why did you decide to leave eckankar, if you don't mind sharing
Dear Lurk, and others......
Allow me to apologize in advance for the length at which I must write in
order to give a comprehensive answer to your question....I know it's
against good netiquette to post a huge message here, but I don't want to
do this again, so this time, it better be correct.
I'm sure that those who follow eckankar and read this will find it
upsetting.....In fact, If any of you readers out there are now following
eckankar, there is probably no good reason for you to read further
here....if you're happy, stay where you are and don't bother with the
ramblings of one who went another way. Follow your own heart and your
own way and I guarantee that if you are honest with yourself, that
eventually you will grow beyond your wildest expectations.
I don't suppose anyone would walk away from something they have been
dedicated to for 28 years lightly!....And I didn't either.
I joined eckankar under Paul Twitchell in 1970 and stayed until mid 1998
or so. I was a 6th initiate and had just about all the jobs in the
eckankar organization that anyone could have, except that I was never an
initiator, esa, or resa. As an hi, I did recommend others for
and it was usually granted to them within 2-3 months and on an occasion
or two, I was called by the resa for information about another chela or
2, regarding possible initiations and I thought it might be better for
these people to wait for a while.....(I really tried to ask myself if
ready and I definitely NEVER thought that I was truly qualified to make
a determination about anothers spiritual growth) In these
circumstances, I usually just asked myself if this person was balanced,
I have met and shaken hands with Paul Twitchell, Darwin Gross and Harold
I was around when Paul wrote and sent out a letter (early 1971) that
spoke about a child in training who would be his successor in 10 years
or so...(that letter has been misquoted so many times!) I was around
when Darwin was named by Gail T...... married Gail T, divorced from
Gail T. , tried to raise the membership fees by 400% and
failed.....stole a couple of million dollars from eckankar, and got
fired....I was around when a lot of changes occurred in eckankar and I
even got a copy of David Lanes book back when it first came out and
circulated around eck centers all over the country......( this one
almost sent me away from eckankar)
I remember when eckankars official title was Eckankar, The Ancient
Science of Soul Travel.....Later (quite briefly)...Eckankar, A spiritual
Path....later...Eckankar, The Path of Total Awareness.....later
Eckankar, The New Age Religion, later, Eckankar, the Religion of the
Sound of God........I don't know what they call it today but it's
probably changed again......I think they are still trying to find
something that will lure
the masses, even though I still remember sitting in a seminar audience
when Paul Twitchell said that "Eckankar is an individual pathway and
never be for the masses" (probably not in those very exact words), and
probably his only accurate prophesy!
I survived a lot of stuff in eckankar and there seemed to always be a
controversy in eckankar.....always a dynamic change going on.....always
new book or "truth" to be revealed at the next seminar.......things were
constantly changing.... and those new books always had a price tag....
I remember trying to get a consultation with Harold, and being told at
the consultation desk that it would require a donation ( I think it was
$200.00 or so back then but I don't remember the exact amount)...to get
the time with Harold.
I well remember when eckankar posters used to promise..."Attain
Mastership "in this life or the next".....(I haven't seen that many new
the last 28 years though)
I remember when we would give talks that stressed that "eckankar is
definitely not a "religion, philosophy etc". That changed a bunch.
I remember Pauls books and the chapters on the virtues of being a "free
thinker" and a "cliffhanger"....attitudes that eckankar seems to
I remember when we were told that it is healthy to be
skeptical.....today eckists seem to be asked to just have faith until
the truth is revealed......
I remember Pauls many predictions in "The Eck Yidya" (The small paper
phamplet from the late 60's, not the bound book that was released in
1972) I remember the prediction of the "moon plague"....never
happened......world wide economic depression....never happened...
I remember the prediction of the Nuclear war which would have a 90%
chance of occurring by the middle to end of the 1990's.......speaks for
I remember the prediction of the catastrophic earthquake to hit
California in the mid to late 70's....never happened........
I was once admonished (as an hi) and asked by the resa to stay away from
the eckankar center for 6 months to balance out) They later
reviewed their decision after 3 months and I was given another
initiation within 6 months of that occurrance along with more
I watched as Jerry Mulvin (a friend of mine back then) later left
eckankar and started his own religion......I saw Luis Blooth (very
initiate) go his own way.....and many more.....
I saw probably hundreds of friends and acquaintances join
eckankar.....get a few initiations and then leave.....while more would
join and stay a
while and leave......This is still going on today. In fact, I only know
of a handful of people out of probably almost a thousand people that I
personally met in eckankar who are still around now. It's membership is
very very fluid.
I remember writing "initiate Reports", little monthly notes to the
current "god man" that were supposed to be read only by him (at first).
I remember seeing snippets of my own "Confidential Initiate Report'
being published in a couple of Harolds H.I. Letters, which was a
quarterly news rag that went out to H.I's only...for all to read, and
without my prior consent (back then I would have been so proud and
pleased by this).
I remember when it was announced by Harold at a major seminar that the
initiate reports were reviewed by not Harold himself, but by his "Chosen
Ones" who helped him with the reports......
I was so gullible that I never did the math......harold would have
needed a year to spend even 10 minutes on each initiate report he could
have received in a single month!
I remember my 3rd Initiation which was held in Sedona, Arizona, on
eckankars property, where ( I believe she was an 8th initiate) the
initiator, after having performed the group initiation, went on to tell
some of us how wonderful it was to drink urine, and to urinate on each
other as a healing method!....(Yuck) She later died and left eckankar
title to the property in sedona.
I remember Harolds grand plan to develop the site in Sedona as an eck
retreat complete with guest quarters and meeting areas...only the "god
man" didn't have any way to prophesize that the ground under this land,
and that the water situation in Sedona, would cause the development to
be impossible and that the city would fight against the god mans plans
in this regard.....no rezoning would ever be granted.
I remember when I was told that eckankars computer system was harolds
tool for determining when an individual had passed a certain amount of
time in a certain initiation and should be considered for the next
initiation....(that's certainly personal spiritual guidance :-).
I love astronomy. The Hubble Constant is a theory that Edmund Hubble
worked on for years in an attempt to discover the age of the physical
Since Hubbles time, many astronomers have tackled the problem and just
last year, I was privileged to attend a meeting where one of the
prominent head researchers on this project gave us a preview a speech
that he would give to President Clinton and the National Science
Foundation, at the white house, the following week. His announcement
was that by using Cyphid Variable stars and the fluctuations they have,
that the age of the physical universe could be calculated fairly
accurately at 12,000,000,000 to 13,000,000,000 billion years!
I wasn't very surprised by that announcement. When I heard it, I
remembered that back when I was in eckankar, that Paul wrote in the
Shariyat-ki-sugmad that the physical universe has a life of 4 Yugas
(time periods) that total 8,640,000 years...Thats only 8 1/2 million
years....heck, earth is much much older than that.......
I remember the teaching about Agam Des, a supposed city on Venus. Now
please understand that astronomy has determined that Venus is
probably the closest thing possible to Hell.....Very high temperatures,
24 hour acid rain, and 24/7 cloud cover.....not a place for a spiritual
you ask me.
I'm still waiting for the invasion from the Jovians (inhabitants of
Jupiter) that is supposed to come in the middle of this or the next
doesn't even have a solid surface so I wonder how the Jovians came about
to exist there, and what in the heck they would want here!
But none of that stuff is why I left eckanker.
An eckist is subtly taught to form justifications for his
disappointments and for the shortcomings of his teachers and
masters.......I was a good
little eckist, in awe of the H.i's and just went along with the company
line through almost 3 decades of this stuff (I'm embarrassed to mention
eckankar today to my friends and family and business associates because
upon true reflection, it is just such hogwash and I had to really be a
fool to fall so totally for all this stuff and to stay so long)
Today I feel like eckankar hurt me in many ways and helped me some
too.....when I joined eckankar, I was certain that I was a lost soul, I
drugs (pot & light stuff), and was sure that life would lead me
nowhere...I was only 18 years old at the time......eckankar gave me a
new home......and it did help me clean up my act and to start focusing
on improving my life. I met many new friends and still am privileged to
call some eckists my friends. In fact, my closest friend of almost 30
years was an eckist until about a year ago when he told me he had left
My real reasons for leaving eckankar didn't have to do with hardly
anything that eckankar went through, nor with the shortcomings of Paul,
Darwin, Harold or the non provable existence of any of the other named
"masters"....nor with anger on my part (Harry Klemp loves to label
people who leave with that one)......Nor with any disagreements with the
local eckists (which did happen but didn't matter to me).....nor
disenchantment with the organization (actually I do miss the social
interaction with a lot of eckists and I definitely do miss being put on
by the newer eckists), and I didn't particularly care then about the
charges of plagiarism (I never could spell)...
I left eckankar because it simply didn't work for me and I didn't
realize that for a very long time.
Eckankar and I finally reached a point where decades of lies, of half
truths, of disappointments, finally came to a head. Eckankar lost.
I did my spiritual exercises daily as much as probably anyone in
eckankar. I had dreams now and then of spiritual journeys. I had my
once or twice, I saw Paul in dream state. Darwins appearances were
fewer and I only remember about 4 dreams that I had where Harold would
appear......this in almost 30 years of spiritual exercises...
Actually, I remember much more in the way of phenomenal experience when
I was a child than later, as a member of eckankar. After a run of
experiences right after I joined eckankar it seemed to dry up. Now and
then I would have an experience.
I have far more interesting meditations and dreams today than I did when
I was locked into eckankars perception of reality. Eckankar is so full
subtle do's and don'ts that I honestly feel that it slows one down, and
actually holds one away from the deeper personal truths.
Over many years it finally dawned upon me that the writings in eckankar
and the different "masters" talks seemed to stress that the physical and
astral and even the realm of the mind is "Negative", while only the
almost unreachable Soul is positive.......this kind of thinking tends to
leave the student feeling that he himself is negative and it definitely
discourages spiritual exploration into areas of life that are not
covered in the eckankar writings....things like the psychic sciences, or
different philosophies, religions, etc.......only eckankar remains as an
ok thing to explore!
Such limitations.....They have this nice little borrowed cosmology (the
Sufi chart of the planes and such) which just exactly fits their image
of the universe, except that no one who is below the line in the middle
(soul plane-reachable ONLY through the eck masters) is given any
The eckankar universe just got too small for me. I needed to explore
many things which are not covered, or are even discouraged by eckankar.
I actually became quite bored in life and part of that was that nothing
was new.....it had all been read and heard and even taught by me, many
many times......It truely got old, but I wasn't able to determine the
cause of my mental and spiritual stagnation for several years after the
Eckists, and esa's that I spoke with would always fall back on the old
adages like "It's your karma", "It's just a test for you", "You need to
do more spiritual exercises" and on and on.....The real problem, I was
to eventually discover, was that eckankar just couldn't provide the
tools that would take me into the next step.....I had to go on my own
way and completely leave behind the nice little box of the eckankar
universe......I had to grow!
Since leaving eckankar, I have found a vastly wider realm of inner
experience. Also a completely new kind of freedom inwardly to outwardly
explore whatever I darn well feel like without the disdain or judgment
of others to contend with. I don't have any imagined images of a
mahanta telling me to stay away from this or that.......It's called
Spiritual Freedom and folks, You will eventually find that Spiritual
Freedom is unavailable to those who need a "master" to run their
It is a two sided sword though. I found that I couldn't blame my life
on "karma" anymore.....I couldn't look down at others as being less
spiritually advanced anymore, and had to learn to treat everyone as my
teacher and my student as well.....I had to re-invent the universe that
I live in and without anyone to provide a guidebook, I'm free of those
limitations and am finally discovering what's really out there! Scary
and wonderful and challenging.
Since I left eckankar, I have seen just tons of material about eckankar
that isn't in the eck books. All this material was invisible to me when
I was a member of eckankar. Harold Klemp was a "god man", not an
unbalanced, unhealthy, politically conservative, relatively uneducated
little guy whose' most responsible position in life (before becoming the
"Right Hand of God Itself"), was working as a proof reader or copy
editor or whatever. Now, I see him as a little guy with glasses from
wisconsin who, with lots of help from a very well chosen Board of
Directors of a multi-million dollar non-profit corporation, has made an
easy living off having others worship him and pay him for the privilege!
I learned a lot from eckankar and the best lesson I learned was that to
find spiritual freedom, you better not embrace eckankar! Embrace life
instead and find your own way.
I won't engage in attacks against eckankar or deride the members of
eckankar because I was once them.....only today I see more, enjoy life
more and am constantly amazed by the diversity of life. I no longer
find diversity as a challenge and I no longer feel any need to change
anyone else's mind about god, or to be some kind of channel to lead them
to my version of truth.......Spiritual Freedom.
Eckankar seems to attract the naive', the lonely, the gullible who will
blindly accept it's "truths", and those who are generally in
need......so if this is what you are, you should probably join eckankar
because it has all the "answers" you will want, for a time.
The folks I knew in eckankar were, for the most part, very kind, loving
and friendly people. They seem to have a lack of curiosity though and
seem to be content in their world where they live in a nice little box,
with a master who will show them the way.....I feel this is sad because
the trick is finding your own way and doing it in style.
When you add up all the garbage I've written about above and the many
many things I didn't bother to write out here, I think you can see why I
Now, in closing, I will be lurking around here now and then and would
love to hear some of your stories about your eckankar experiences and
why you are a member of eckankar, or why you might have left eckankar or
Thanks for asking and reading all of this
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