Author: David Christopher Lane Publisher: Alt.religion.eckankar Publication date: 1996
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I want to go back to the home base now.
Steve, I think it might be fruitful for all concerned if we developed a systematic way to debate issues. What this means is that we could "progressively" go from one issue to the next (instead of rehashing our respective views over and over again). Here's my idea. Let's take one paragraph of MAKING at a time that bothers you (going from Chapter 1 to Chapter 10) and then have you give your critique of it. I can do my best to rejoinder and others can give their input (pro and con). That way, we can at least cover more ground and perhaps get more information on the board. I think people are pretty clear that you and I are not going to see eye to eye on Twitchell's 1922 birthdate (typo or deception?). So what we can do, at least, is move the discussion along to other points that you don't like in a systematic fashion and that way we get more information and newer points and perhaps people won't be as bored as they already are with the give and take. Bruce did a nice job of this and I tried to reply to each of of the points he disagreed with. We could do the same, if you wish. If analyzing the MAKING is not your cup of tea, then we could even take IN MY SOUL I AM FREE and see the various points we may agree/disagree on in a progressive fashion. Otherwise, I have to admit that I am even getting tired and bored of having to constantly say Twitchell lied, plagiarized, and covered-up. It would be a bit more exhilerating to actually take a text progressively and proceed through it instead of doing a WW1 like debate where we simply dig our ditches and shoot back and forth: 1922 is B.S. or 1922 is a typo over and over again. In any case, you can pick the text and I would be most happy to engage you on it, provided that we can at least find a specific focus/paragraph where we can proceed from and onwards to a new one, etc. Others could join in (pro or con) and provide whatever information they think is useful or necessary within that context. Joseph P. even suggested an important issue about documents and the like. We could try to see how many "new" documents we could gather on the Twitch and use that as a focus..... In any case, I am most open to the debate. And if you are not, I will understand that as well. your former manager, dave -------------------------------------------- David Stewart, the Former Editor of the Eck World News, stated (while he was working in the print office at Eckankar in Menlo Park) that LETTERS TO GAIL contained editing which included altering names which appeared in the original letters. For instance, David Stewart claimed to have seen the name Kirpal Singh crossed out several times and the name "Sudar Singh" put above. Stewart believed that the editing was done by Gail. This naturally bothered him, since the original letters by Paul Twitchell did not contain the name Sudar Singh and he thought there was some type of cover-up taking place. Stewart left Menlo Park shortly after I talked with him. Now tonite I was just glancing through LETTERS TO GAIL VOLUME 3 and found something a bit curious. On page 161 Paul writes to Gail the following: DATED (please note): MAY 10, 1964: "The god of this plane is Sat Nam, as YOU [Gail] know >from LISTENING to ECK Master Sudar Singh." What is curious about this? Well, first Sudar Singh, according to Twitchell, died around 1937. Gail couldn't have possibly "listened" to Sudar Singh (he was dead) unless Twitchell was refering to her contact with him on the inner planes. But enter David Stewart. He pointed out that "Sudar Singh" was not in the original, but rather Kirpal Singh. Now let's put "Kirpal" back in and let's see how it reads, "The god of this plane is Sat Nam, as YOU [Gail] know >from LISTENING to Master Kirpal Singh." Why does that work so well? Because Gail Atkinson had just months prior "heard" Kirpal Singh speak in San Francisco where she received initiation >from him. Kirpal Singh had made a tour of the USA in 1963. Twitchell's letter is dated May 10, 1964. Kirpal Singh, unlike his fictional counterpart, was very much alive when Twitchell's May 10, 1964 letter was written. Now it seems as if the editors of this third volume did see the incongruency. David Stewart knew it and now so should you. Note to Steve: Don't believe me. Write to Harji about it and have him release the originals. Better yet ask Gail or David Stewart. ------------------------------------------------------ Steve, I would imagine that if Mother Teresa had her official biographer lie about her birthdate, her travels, her high school graduation, her war record, her spiritual associations, and then she tried to exaggerate and twist facts for fame (to cite Harjji) by using a a different name so that the publisher would think it was not really her bragging about her, and in addition she threatened to sue the Pope, one of her former nuns, and then copyrighted her extensive plagiarisms (but denied doing so in the first place) and then started her own religion on her own birthday (october 22) and then claimed to be an enlightened being, and then had a successor who got excommunicated from the church for embezzling money/////// well, I think you are absolutely right and she would deserve a comprehensive rip. By the way, there is already one on the market called Missionary Position (no joke) which talks about her life and work. I do know this: doubting the life and work of Paul Twitchell is absolutely necessary. Why? Well, you have already admitted the obvious: His official biography and the one that hooked thousands is mostly fiction without any factual basis. P.S. Did you know that your 1912 date is contradicted by Twitchell himself when he registered at Western Kentucky University. Better do the math. ----------------------------------------- Steve, I want to say thanks once again for calling me names; it gives me that warm deja vu feeling as if I had gone back in a time capsule some 20 years when I first encountered the "wrath" of Eckankar's legal arm. This time you list the following: "ugly prejudice," "have you no shame" and "franatically scrambling" for real evidence. I guess it is better than your previous one, wherein you compare me to Hitler.... And that may be a step up from the 1979 memo in which I was called a pagan and a heathen who had been formed from the beginning of time. In any case, Steve, I do like your doubts and critiques (even though you say you won't go point by point on them). Indeed, without you I would never have tracked as many new plagiarisms as I have, nor would I have realized that Twitchell didn't graduate high school at 15 as Steiger says, or that your own living Eck MASTER has publicly stated that Paul Twitchell "twisted" and "exaggerated" facts. Geez, Klemp even accuses Twitchell of BSing Ripley's Believe it or Not so that he could garner some fame. Now you say I am "scrambling" for real evidence. No, Steve, you are the one who inspired me to even think of Twitchell's driver's license. The thought had simply never occurred to me. I was laughing one night after reading one of your posts (I am particularly fond of your posts which have a nasty undertone) and the thought hit me about Twitch's driver's license. You see, Steve, I had gotten lots of primary documents years ago (that is why I have his death certificate, his marriage certificate, etc.). But since you "doubt" my research so much (which I think is a good thing), I thought it would be great fun to find out more, not less. I have no idea what his driver's license says. It could be any date, as far as I know. Let us see and then we can have another to/fro argument. Maybe you will even come up with some more honorifics for me. Without you Steve as my inspiration, I would probably not write much on this newsgroup. So don't stop ripping me; otherwise I will end up watching Seinfeld repeats. your admirer, dave lane P.S. You mention something about how I should be worried about my academic standing and the like. No, I am on sabbatical for 15 months and I have already received tenure. You might find this troublesome, but the term paper I wrote on Eckankar is what opened graduate school doors for me. Why? Because before I wrote on Eckankar, very few talked about Kirpal Singh, Swami Premananda, L. Ron Hubard, Dianetics, Sant Mat, etc. Geez, they didn't even know that the FLUTE of God had been heavily redacted, or that Twitchell originally stated that Kirpal Singh was responsible for the Tiger's Fang. Nobody talked about his first wife. Most Eckists thought Gail was his first wife (I don't see any mention by Steiger of it, do you?). I got an interview with her. Then SCP journal came out citing my study extensively and Eckankar got really concerned. By the way, Steve, do you know why Harjji even talks about astral libraries, Kirpal Singh, Scientology, the various birthdates of Twitchell, and the "twisting" of facts? Yep, it was due to MAKING and the SCP journal. Klemp, unlike Darji, wanted to clarify the whole thing. And just think what prompted that? a term paper by some surfer dude. ---------------------- I am not ashamed of it. I think Eckankar probably should be. Why sue a kid when he was polite enough to send them a copy and ask for their comments? That term paper wasn't going anywhere, but it most certainly did when they threatened me with a lawsuit over it. And to think I was naively sending it to them for their reply. A legal reply is what I got. ---------- No, I am not worried about my reputation or my academic standing. You see, Steve, I know what I have uncovered and what you refuse to address. But keep critiquing........ I have an open mind to new evidence. Any word on Sudar? ---------------------- STEVE R. WRITES: > > Geoff, > > Did you ever notice that David Lane never uses original sources? He > never quotes Paul Twitchell directly, always citing someone else's > recollection or prejudice. I wonder why? > > DAVID LANE REPLIES: Hmm, this is pretty sweeping generalization and one that can be demonstrated to be false. You say I "NEVER" quote Paul Twitchell directly. Yet, in the MAKING I quote him directly over 50 times, especially in his early writings on Eckankar, and then later on his FLUTE of GOD redaction and then, of course, in doing those very long plagiarism studies. It is not my fault, but entirely Eckankar's, that Twitchell would allow hundreds of thousands of copies of his biography (and published by IWP) to be sold and distributed to Eckists worldwide which contains elaborate fictions that have no basis in facts--from doctoring his hometown to the age of his graduation from high school to his own age when his mother, Effie, died. Eckankar has allowed IN MY SOUL I AM FREE to be distributed worldwide at ECK conferences, at libraries, and to personal members. Yet, as you even admit yourself, the facts are not accurate. Instead of blaming me for citing my sources (which I clearly do--from Jarvis to Steiger to Gail), better blame Eckankar for perpetuating a myth about Twitchell which is factually untrue and entirely misleading. I have documented the fact that Twitchell's death certificate states that he died at the age of 48 and was born in 1922. You want to go with the 1912 date, yet don't realize two important points: The Registrar at Western Kentucky University has stated that Twitchell wrote he was 22 when he entered school, thus making his birthday EARLIER than 1912 and that your own living Master Harold Klemp has in the Mystic World of 1984 stated that 1908 is his working date for Twitchell's birth. Steiger's narrative is based on his study of Paul Twitchell himself. And Paul approved the project and Paul carried through with the project and Eckankar published it as well via IWP. Finally, you say I "always" cite someone who has a prejudice, etc. Steve, these sweeping generalizations are prima facie wrong. I would encourage you to rip me, but rip me accurately. That way, we can proceed in an interesting discussion. Otherwise, the very thing you wish to avoid you end up doing: making allegations up. I have never made up anything about Twitchell. I have, rather, given my interpretation based upon a line of evidence or a line of documentation. I have only relied on available information or documentation. To say otherwise is patently false. Better to say that you don't like my documents or don't like my interpretations. You will at least be understood then. But to make stuff up about my work with words like "always" or "never" is puffery and untrue. I really do enjoy your doubts and your skepticism. But I want you to succeed in your critiques of me and not lose because you get hot-headed and start making things up. I want you to win this debate, bro. It would be utterly delightful to meet Sudar and Rebazar. But in order to win, you have to play within the arena and fight the opponent in front of you..... not some imaginary character you invent because you can't deal with the specific argument. If I was your manager and I would tell you that your fight strategy would be much better if you would do some research YOURSELF. Contact the DMV if you are so certain that Twitchell never lied. Contact Gail yourself and see what she says. Get Twitchell's marriage license, etc. Write to Harji and tell him he is wrong about Twitchell's twisted facts. That way you could point to your newly discovered documents instead of an "air" defense of typos, which in the long run simply means you don't have a case. Joseph P, for instance, tries to stay within the arena and get me on some specific points. That is good because progress can be made. He wants some proof for my claim that Theosophy influenced Eckankar. That's entirely appropriate and then forces me to get off the dime and show him my line of reasoning. But to start making things up and shouting off at the mouth about things that are either not in my work or actually incorrect means that you will weaken the critique you are trying to do. Again, I want you to succeed. But in order to do that you need to focus and do some of your own research. We will all be better served in the process. If you can prove that Sudar Singh actually existed, and Paul was genuinely connected to him empirically, just imagine what a cool face of Lane that would be. Geez, I would even be stoked. your manager, dave lane ----------------- STEVE R. WRITES: > > The sad fact is that so many people take his writing at face value and > do not look into it with a more critical eye. > > Steve DAVID LANE replies: No, what is even more sad is that ECKANKAR can allow IN MY SOUL I AM LYING to be distributed worldwide and sold at conferences when even you know that Steiger's narrative is inaccurate, misleading, and not true. Just think: Eckankar sells a book wherein the author states that Twitchell graduated at the age of 15 when we KNOW this is not true. Eckankar sells thousands of copies of a book wherein it states that Paul saw combat duty but the Living Eck Master contradicts that and said he didn't. Eckankar sells thousands of copies of a book wherein Paul is supposed to be 15/16 when his mother died, yet we KNOW that he is approaching 30. I will banter on this point over and over again, Steve, precisely because you have yet to confront the most troublesome issue of all: My 1922 birthdate comes from PRO-ECK sources. Talk about funky. It is Eckankar that is not straight or honest. If I allowed the publication of my own biography with that much information and put it on this newsgroup, I have a confidence that you--Steve--would demonstrate the duplicity. And so you should. Steiger did it and Twitchell approved and Eckankar republished it. The lies and the rumors you talk about so frequently come >from Eckankar...... And it is Eckankar's responsiblity to correct them. Any great critiques of Steiger provided to Eckists as a warning when they read that book? If not, then it is called FALSE advertising, because you are selling a story about a supposed God-man that is not factually accurate--indeed fictionalized at times-- and convincng a buying public that they are getting the "truth." I like being ripped, but your failure to see Paul and Eckankar's duplicity in this regard is truly astonishing to me. Yet, keep astonishing me, since otherwise my pen will go silent. ---------------------------------- Dear Geoff: I think your point of bringing up shabd yoga lineages in India is an apt one. They most certainly do require as much skepticism as I have displayed towards American gurus, like J.R. and Paul Twitchell. I remember when I first met the late Faqir Chand in 1978, after several months of correspondence. He had cabled me in Delhi, India, where I was staying at Sawan Ashram in Delhi. I had happened upon Faqir Chand because I was quite interested in drawing an extensive genealogical map of all the gurus who have developed their own satsangs and followings. At the time I was doing research on what had happened after Kirpal Singh's death in 1974. I had already interviewed Madam Hardevi, Gyani ji, and the most notorious guru (in my opinion) in the history of shabd yoga, the so-called "Sant" Thakar Singh. Thakar Singh and I did not get along well at all. In fact, I cut short my visit with him since I thought we would end up getting in a physical altercation. I will leave the details for that for another time. I told Thakar that I was going next to visit the 92 year old Faqir Chand in the Punjab. Thakar tried to "dis" the guy, saying he had gone mad in his old age. Of course, knowing Thakar I took his "dissing" as a compliment and was even more anxious to meet Faqir. Faqir Chand deeply impressed me because he was willing to be very honest and frank to his disciples about the human failings of the guru and the guru-system itself. We became fast friends and I eventually convinced him in 1980 to write his life story, which he did several months before he died. I think Faqir is a critical touchstone to expose the duplicity that seems almost inherent in the guru system. He sheds a new light on the subject. This does not mean that Faqir is always right or that gurus don't have something to offer, but it does coincide with your points about family connections, money, and property. Gurus deserve our critical scrutiny and I would agree with you that we should not lessen our standards one iota. hope that clarifies my view on this a bit. thanks dave P.S. If you want to read my "critical" comments on shabd yoga or its history, refer to The R.S. Tradition The Unknowing Sage The Kirpal Statistic and the forthcoming, THE GURU HAS NO TURBAN: Toward a New Definition of "Perfect" Masters...... -------------------------------- Old answer to a perennial topic: "If it's me, then rest assured we are in the same camp, because I often wonder how this "me" or "I' got here (wherever
might ultimately be). Indeed, I am a great admirer and advocate of skepticism of me school (via Ramana Maharishi and the "Who Am I" line of inquiry--see latest article in October, FATE for more). But, if you are skeptical of (as academic or as writer), what's the big deal? I was quite frank with you in my last letter about my religious/philosophical leanings, but you seem not to believe it, or maybe you want more details. Since there's no deep secret about my background, I list a few salient features that you should already know (by your close readings). 1. Born/Raised Roman Catholic 2. Taught Religion in Roman Catholic Schools for 5 years. 3. First became interested in Eastern Philosophy after I picked up Yogananda's AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A YOGI when I was eleven or twelve years old. 4. Avid surfer 5. Experienced my first encounter with the mystical dimension when I was 15 (see "Speaking in Tongues"). 6. Turned vegetarian when I was 16 after much reading and a strange exposure to Father Yod and his "Source" restaurant in Hollywood [a story in itself--to come out later--see "USCM" Vol. 1--No. 3, footnotes]. 7. Practiced kundalini yoga for about two years (16 and 17), viz a viz books and Yogi Bhajan designated teachers. 8. At 17 reached a very dark time in my life (my father died and shortly before that time was extremely depressed). 9. Shortly before my father's death discovered Sant Mat teachings. 10. Went to C.S.U.N. for undergraduate work: B.A. in Religious studies. 11. First visit to India in 1978 as Juergensmeyer's Research Assistant. Met with several Surat Shabd Yoga Masters. 12. In November of 1978, after my visit to India, got accepted for initiation by Maharaj Charan Singh Ji of Radhasoami Satsang Beas (see "The Great Sage of Hoshiarpur"--where this information, albeit brief--is mentioned. 13. Got married in December of 1978 14. Began Graduate school at Berkeley in 1979 (got M.A. in history and phenomenology of religion.) 15. Had a very close association with Baba Faqir Chand and his writings (though he was never my guru--I've been a disciple of Charan Singh's and still continue and will continue to be so). 16. I am a great fan of Ken Wilbur's. Indeed, had an intellectual "satori" one night reading him in Hayward, California; consequently altered my approach. 17. I am also a great fan of Ramana Maharshi and, believe it or not, Da Free John (oops it is now "Love Anananda"). I don't buy into Da Free as a Master, but I do think that what he has to say in some of his books is extremely on target. 18. Today, I live in Del Mar. Surf as much as I can (only problem is that I broke my foot playing basketball so I am temporarily out of the wave action.) 19. Been married for 8 good years 20. Working on my Ph.D. in Sociology, while teaching in the Warren College Writing Program. 21. My overt biases (at least some that I am aware of): non-dualist philosophy (advaita vedanta); Sant Mat ethics (e.g., no charging of money, pure moral life, etc.); "Unknowingness" [I do not know what a single thing is--via Nicholas of Cusa, Kant, S.L. Frank, Da Free John, etc.]. Or, in other words, Reality is always greater than my puny conceptions of it. My other bias is that I enjoy difference of opinion and that I am interested in discovering what "Reality really is" versus what I want it to be. [Or, what I want Reality to be, is that which it already is in truth]. Finally, I have one major dietary flaw: I love classic coca colas (not the new stuff nor the diet stuff--just the classic)." David Lane - personal letter 28 August 1986. A Blast from the Past
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I want to go back to the home base now.