Author: David Christopher Lane Publisher: The NEURAL SURFER Publication date: January 1997
E-mail David Christopher Lane directly at email@example.com
I want to go back to the home base now.
I enjoyed Richard's listing of various books that Twitchell may have encountered or "skip" read (Paul's terms) during the 60s or before. The list appears to be partially drawn from the books mentioned in LETTERS TO GAIL. I will point out one mistake on Twitchell's part and a curious one at that: When talking about Sar Bachan as "practically" his bible, Twitchell makes the interesting mistake of getting the author completely wrong. He mentions Seva (Sewa) Singh as the author when in fact it was Seth Shiv Dayal Singh (Swami Ji Maharaj or Soamiji Maharaj--there are variant spellings given, depending on the translation and edition)), the founder of Radhasoami. Seva (Sewa) Singh was the translator/editor...... Guess who also helped him in that volume? Julian P. Johnson. Considering that Twitchell had such a high regard for the book, Sar Bachan, I find it ironic that he got the author wrong. Oh well, the hazards of "skip" reading........ -------------------------------------- I am enjoying the latest spamming and name-calling by Nathan and Steve R. >From Hitler to Kal, from Hypocrite to Heathen, from Psychic Manipulator to Creature from the Lower Worlds, >from Bad Researcher to Unspiritual Person, from Unethical Sociologist to Weasel....... and the list continues to grow....... Such glowing honorifics convince me more and more of the power of a simple term paper. This past year I have received nearly 8,000 emails related to Eckankar--some nice, some inquisitive, some angry, and some death threats. But what a delightful stew of ideas. And the really intriguing part is that no matter how many beautiful honorifics can be adjoined to my name, there are now hundreds, nay perhaps thousands, of pro, neutral, and anti Eckists who now have the resources to actually see 1. Did the Twitch really plagiarize? (just get a copy of Johnson's work and discover new ones for yourself) 2. Did the Twitch really lie about his biography (just read his early articles, get his driver's license, death certificate, marriage certificates (there are two of them) read his "official" biography, read Harji, read Darji, and then draw up a comparison chart). New contradictions and lies can be discovered by even novices. 3. Did the Twitch really cover-up his past associations with certain teachers? (Get those Orions, get those letters >from Kirpal, get those tapes of them together, get those photographs, get those initiation papers, get thos "forged documents"?--oh yea, so much fun to see the intertwining duplicity and to realize that it still goes on. 4. Hey, was Darwin really taking money? (read Darji directly, read about the Black Magicians, read Harji, read the court documents, read the settlements). ................... and the list goes on................... The beauty, though, is that all of the above (plus more) can be discovered and recovered by believer, non-believer, or by the guy who is just browsing..... The cat is out of the bag and there is no way of enticing the kitty to sit once again in a dark region. So keep up the doubts and the rips. It is the single most conducive way to find out more about the Twitch...................... signed: a most grateful Hitler-like, Kal-influenced, Heathen pagan, whose work Eckankar requested be "destroyed" on sight and who was apparently described by Paul Twitchell as a negative force from the beginning of time (or the formation of the lower worlds, depending on which one came first) bent to attack the true teachings of ECk................ And to think that it all started with a term paper at CSUN................ I was called "KAL" when I was barely 21 and I have been called worse on this newsgroup at the age of 40. And I find the whole endeavor tremendously liberating, since the free exchange of ideas on Eckankar will ultimately demonstrate that not only did Twitchell plagiarize, lie, and deceive, but that gullibility and the willingness to legitimize almost anything is still alive in the human spirit. P.S. Protect those children Nathan and don't read this post......... The Kal boy is on the Net. -------------------------------- Steve, Your recent posts are getting even more delicious than ever. I am wonder struck by what a term paper can do to your rationality. Again, you fail to realize my motivation for investigating Eckankar. It has nothing to do with sociology or philosophy. It is just plain fun detective work. Whether you like or dislike what I have uncovered, the fact remains that I have made publicly available many things that Eckankar has not. Let us review just a few for this post: 1. Twitchell's death certificate 2. Twitchell's marriage certificate 3. Twitchell's sister, Kay-Dee, death certificate 4. Twitchell's mother, Effie Troutman, death certificate 5. A series of early, and almost forgotten, articles authored by Paul Twitchell (from Orion to Search to Psychic Observer) 6. Extensive leads and comparisons for would-be seekers to actually review and document Twitchell's plagiarism. 7. Twitchell's early association with Scientology, including articles and letters by the Twitch himself. 8. Twitchell's first marriage with Camille Ballowe Taylor (try finding a source on her in Eckankar's literature before 1980) 9. Twitchell's copying from Edward Schure and Hazrat Inayat Khan. .... Well, that's just a partial list. Eckankar didn't give you the above; I did. Keep ripping Steve. You are an utterly delightful fellow. -------------------------------- I recently read Kent latest post in reply to Steve R. and Nathan and other issues. I find Kent's approach refreshingly simple and honest: Just look at what has been uncovered (don't shy away from it with silly legitimations) and then, radically enough, ACCEPT it. Such acceptance does not mean, of course, that one has to agree with Lane's or anyone else's interpretation or spin of it. But what it does entail is a maturity, a willingness not to castrate the messenger because you don't like the message. Kent's approach reminds me of "intelligent" love, the ability to accept one's teacher for who and what he was, not some imagined idea of what he should be. We oftentimes display this type of love to our friends or our blood brothers/sisters. To be sure, we see the faults and the mistakes (and we may even point them out), but we don't naively think that they are somehow perfect or that anyone who investigates them is "from the lower worlds," "a pagan," "Kal based," "heathen like." Such sophomoric silliness is indeed cultic, and Kent is astutely pointing out how one can still be an Eckist and not be brain-dead. One can even argue that the best followers of any guru are not the sychophants (who justify any type of behavior), but the critically minded who have the integrity to rip their chosen guru to his/her face and not lamely condone excuses that wouldn't fly in grammar school. Intelligent love is the ability to hold two contradictory views of one person or issue and still be able to function (thanks Fitz). All disciples, to greater or lesser degrees, are faced with the Twitchellian Paradox: how to reconcile the humanness of one's teacher with the theoretical ideals of his or her tradition. Naturally, we can debate about minimum standards for gurus and the like, but the dilemma will still be there. To face the bullshit and the lies and the deception and the plagiarism demands tremendous courage. To simply deny it is the hallmark of lesser minds. Kent, I believe, is on to something and I think every guru-based movement has to deal with it. -------------------------------------- Steve R. Writes: > > Answer the charges. How do you condone your own violations of your > own profession's ethical standards? > > And please do not cite any more fundamentalist anti-cult groups that > have condoned your book. Even you talk of having to hold your nose > while doing business with them. > DAVID LANE REPLIES: Steve, the books I cited were not "fundamntalist anti-cult groups." Better read the Encyclopedia of American Religions and the Encyclopedic Handbook of Cults for yourself. They were authored by J. Gordon Melton, a scholar who is quite pro new religions. You can also see Timothy Miller's book on Alternative Religions published by SUNY which contains a major chapter on Eckankar. The writer agrees with the findings of MAKING, as do tens of other scholars who have used it in their books or encyclopedias. I am sorry that you are bothered that other scholars doing their own research can also discover Twitchell's duplicity, cover-up, and plagiarism. But they have and some of them have done it independently of me. John Sutphin, professor of philosophy and religion, was an Eckist back in the early 1970s when he discovered the plagiarism and lies of Paul Twitchell. So have hundreds of others who have never read the MAKING. Why? Because anyone can see it provided they spend the time to do even a little research. -------------------------------------- Steve, 2. You ask me why I was unable to "play" by the rules in my book the MAKING. Well, my good bro, the answer is again simple enough: I thought I was being quite upfront with Eckankar. That is why I sent them the paper in the first place so I could get their feedback. But, alas, I didn't get that. I got threatened with a lawsuit instead (it came in one of those infamous "registered" letters). It then got really strange when my classmate, Jim Peebles, got served with a lawsuit for over a million dollars. Even his friend, Professor Ed Gruss and his school L.A. Baptist College, got served with a lawsuit. Why? Well, I quote Jim Peebles in my term paper. Eckankar then sent Mike Noe down to secure a copy of the paper >from Ed Gruss. Ed didn't have any extra copies so he kindly gave Mike Noe a photocopy of it. (Please keep in mind that how Noe secured this term paper, according to Gruss, was under a false pretext. Noe never said he represented Eckankar or its legal interests). Shortly thereafter, Eckankar sued Peebles, Gruss, and L.A. Baptist College. For what, you may ask? For "publishing" a defamatory paper against Eckankar. You see, one photocopy can be construed as publishing. Okay, so here I am in college and not only am I being threatened with a lawsuit but my Eckist friend (who really liked Eckankar) actually gets served papers! Naturally, I would be motivated to know more. I didn't do this because of some "rules" or some "guidelines." I did it because I was interested and I liked the pursuit of what caused Eckankar to get so bent out of shape. I hadn't even gotten my B.A. at this time, much less a tenured position. So whatever rules you wish to apply to the MAKING will simply be ad hoc. And all my friends--sociologists, philosophers, etc--know that. They know how the paper was started and how it was perpetuated. And they also know that Eckankar is not a polite religious group. They even threatened J. Gordon Melton with a lawsuit and he is one of the nicest and most pro new religion guys around (just ask the AUM sect or Scientology or even MSIA). So that is how is all started long ago, Steve. It had nothing to do with credentials, or Ph.D.'s, or society's or associations. It was pure and simple intrigue. --------------------------------------------- Steve R. Writes: > Violation: Why do we have to rely upon Richard Pickett or Steve > Runfeldt to point out David Lane's biases? DAVID LANE REPLIES: This is a bit disengaging, my good foil. I am the one who wrote Richard Pickett some ten years ago responding to his questions about my background. I was quite forthcoming then as I am now. Indeed, on my website there are a number of posts directly related both to my background and my biases. In the MAKING i also give a preface about how the whole project started-- called the "evolution of a term paper." I even included Eckankar's official view of my work on the very first page of MAKING; in the early editions, I even photocopied pertinent letters and documents showing Eckankar's version. You have not disclosed my biases, Steve; rather, you have been my inspiration for writing on this group. Without you, my postings would surely be cut down 75% if not more. What else do you want to know about me? I would be most happy to fill you in on any details you would like. I was born in 1956, by the way. It is not my fault that Dodie Bellamy said that I just turned 20 in that interview she conducted for the San Diego Reader..... (just teasing--she has my age at the time correct..... think Jack Jarvis, Steve) ------------------------------------------ Steve, Let us go through this again, since you seem incapable of understanding how the Making of a Spiritual Movement was written. It was, as Juergensmeyer rightly states, an exercise in "religious sleuthing" (his words). Now to ad hoc say that the paper should or must follow the guidelines of sociology is not only silly but entirely misleading. The Making of a Spiritual Movement is NOT a sociological treatise. It is as Ken Wilber says, "Great detective work" (his words, not mine). There are many things that I have written that are not sociologically oriented, nor do I want them to be. Read the UNKNOWING SAGE; that's not sociology, but rather biography/autobiography and essays. Read the ENCHANTED LAND; that's not sociology either, but rather a series of quite romantic vignettes that I wrote for FATE magazine back in the 1980s. Read WHY I DON'T EAT FACES; that's not sociology either, but rather a pointed polemic consciously designed to invoke argumentation and debate. Read EXPOSING CULTS; that's not sociology either, but rather a series of highly critical articles on various subjects. You see, Steve, THE MAKING OF A SPIRITUAL MOVEMENT is the result of detective work. Its very subtitle tells you that: The UNTOLD story of Paul Twitchell and Eckankar. I even put on the front cover, "The Unauthorized Critique." There are many ways of investigating a story--from a newspaper angle, to a magazine angle, to a detective story, to an "official" biography (via Steiger), to a term paper which evolves into a critical investigation. You can rant and rant about the guidelines of a sociological association all you want. But what you continually fail to understand is that my term paper later book was never written as a sociological study in which I desired to follow their guidelines. No, it was a straight-out investigative piece with a strong critical slant. That you want me now to "conform" the paper to sociology is silly. It is not sociology, nor do I want it to be. I want it to do exactly what it has done: open up the pandora's box of Eckankar's past. And it has accomplished that to some degree. If you want a sociological study of your group, then go and write one. I didn't, nor do I have a desire to do such. Keep fuming all you want; it will not change what I wrote or why I wrote it. Claiming I am unethical for writing an investigative piece is quite amusing. The fun thing in all of this, of course, is that no matter what you may think of me or my motivations, the fact remains that Twitchell plagiarized Twitchell lied Twitchell deceived and Twitchell covered-up And, Steve, there is no way around that. Sorry. ---------------------------------------- Steve, I thought I would provide our readers with a little timeline about how the MAKING evolved, hopefully illustrating once and for all how the term paper later book is NOT a sociological piece but rather a critical detective piece. Since I have a Ph.D. and a M.A. in Sociology I am well aware of what constitutes a sociological work. THE MAKING is not sociological, nor was it written with that intention. That you fail to understand that, or that you want me to make it into that, shows a fundamental misunderstanding of various lines of research. Here we go again: 1. At the age of 20, Lane writes a term paper on Eckankar entitled exactly that "Eckankar." 2. Lane sends the term paper to Eckankar as per their request (it was sent directly to Darwin Gross, the then living Eck Master, but now the excommunicated or fallen leader). 3. Two months later, Lane receives a registered letter from Alan Nichols, representing Eckankar, threatening him with a lawsuit if he publishes the term paper. 4. Lane contacts his sister, who is also an attorney, who writes a legal reply. 5. Letters between Nichols and Lane's attorney/sister go back and forth for a few months. 6. Lane signs up for an independent studies class at CSUN and begins writing the now infamous term paper, THE MAKING OF A SPIRITUAL MOVEMENT. 7. In the spring of 1978, THE MAKING OF A SPIRITUAL MOVEMENT is finally completed and turned in for class credit (I think I got an "A"). 8. Several of Lane's informants express a desire to read the term paper, including Ed Pecen, Dr. Bluth, and others. Lane also sends a copy to Eckankar. 9. In the summer of 1978, I am invited by Professor Mark Juergensmeyer to go to India on a research project. My job is to track down obscure shabd yoga gurus and compile an exhaustive genealogical tree. 10. During that summer, the term paper is xeroxed by interested Eckists and circulated throughout North America and Europe. 11. By the time Lane gets back from India, he is flooded with mail requests for copies of the term paper. 12. SCP Journal writers also fly down to Southern California and interview Lane for their upcoming journal on Eckankar. 13. In the meantime, Eckankar begins to track down Jim Peebles' term paper which is quoted in Lane's term paper. 14. In response to Peebles' paper, Eckankar takes a million dollar lawsuit against Gruss, Peebles, and the L.A. Baptist College. Eckankar then uses this lawsuit as the basis for half-page advertisements in major newspapers in the USA claiming that they are being attacked by ultra-right Christians. 15. What the readers of those advertisements do not realize is that Eckankar is taking a million dollar lawsuit against one of its own members and over one copy of a term paper given to Mike Noe under false pretenses. 16. Brian Walsh "publishes" the term paper by putting up several hundred bucks and having it xeroxed by the hundreds at the U.C. Berkeley copy shop. 17. It sells out within weeks and even earns the distinction of being stolen off the shelves at Shambhala bookstore on Telegraph avenue (apparently the disgruntled reader didn't want to buy the five copies, but just stole them). 18. Lane is contacted via the telephone by an Eckankar business consultant, Bill Popham, who sets up a meeting at the Eckankar International Headquarters. 19. Lane meets with Eckankar officials in wake of the SCP Journal which is distributed worldwide. Lane advises Eckankar to tell the truth and be honest. 20. Brian Walsh reprints the MAKING several times (with print runs of a couple hundred each time). 21. Lane starts teaching High School in the Fall of 1979, while working on his M.A. in the history and phenomenology of religion. 22. Around this time, or slightly before, Lane is contacted by J. Gordon Melton, well known scholar, who is being threatened by Eckankar with a lawsuit over his piece on them. Melton reads the MAKING and also does his own research on Twitchell's plagiarism. 23. Lane finishes his M.A. thesis on the genealogical history of Radhasoami in 1981. 24. In 1983 Brian Walsh publishes a paperback version of MAKING via the newly founded Del Mar Press in Del Mar, California, where both of them are now living. 25. Lane is teaching at the University of San Diego, High School, and spent the summer of 83 studying Hindi at the Landour Language School in Mussorie, North India. 26. The book sells well, but Eckankar now sends another letter threatening legal action. 27. Lane contacts his lawyer/sister and Rogers & Wells agrees to represent him for free against Eckankar. 28. The 1983 edition of MAKING is essentially the same as the 1978 version with slight alterations, including an addendum and some pertinent photocopies of documents. 29. During the period from 1978 to 1983, Lane receives several written death threats by those claiming to be Eckists and who are upset with Lane's research. Lane goes surfing. 30. On October 5, 1984, Lane's home is robbed and ransacked by John-Roger Hinkins and crew. Documents, diaries, and other items are also ripped off. 31. One year later, Eckankar gets a package from a Santa Monica address which contains Lane's stolen property. Eckankar's attorneys immediately notify Lane's attorneys. However, Eckankar's lawyer makes an unauthorized photocopy of Jacquie Lane's personal diary. The lawyer refuses to destroy it until Lane's attorneys point out its illegality. The unauthorized photocopy is allegedly destroyed. 32. Finally in the mid-1980s Eckankar drops their threatened lawsuit against Lane. An out-of-court agreement between Eckankar and Lane is made. Roger and Wells perceives the agreement as a "win" since Lane does not have to give up publishing his book on Eckankar and all the existing copies are allowed to be sold, even with the "tainted" cover. Lane agrees not to use the "EK" symbol with a no smoking sign over it on future covers of his book. 33. Lane begins writing a series of articles for FATE magazine and book reviews between 1982 and 1987. In 1983 FATE magazine publishes Lane's letter on Eckankar's history and FATE magazine receives legal threats from Eckankar. Lane sends all the pertinent documents to FATE and FATE goes ahead and publishes Lane's continuing letters, brushing off Eckankar's legal threats. 34. The 1983 edition sells out after a couple of years and Lane then republishes it in a larger format several times, depending on orders and requests. 35. Lane receives a Regents Fellowship to attend UCSD to get a PH.D. in Sociology. Lane gives up teaching high school and begins Ph.d. work and teaching at UCSD for a five and half-year stint. 36. In the meantime, from 1985 to 1991, Lane receives a number of legal notices from Eckankar's attorneys. Each time Lane's attorneys respond. No suit is ever filed, despite the repeated threats. 37. In 1992, Lane signs a contract with Garland Publishers to publish THE MAKING OF A SPIRITUAL MOVEMENT in their library series. 38. Garland publishers advertise the book in their catalogs the book is typeset; the cover is designed..... Eckankar finds out and threatens Garland with a lawsuit over it. For about six months Garland's attorneys and Eckankar's go back and forth. Finally, Garland realizes that it does not have the deep pockets to fight a lawsuit with Eckankar and withdraws the book. The editor writes an apologetic letter to Lane. Garland then publishes Lane's EXPOSING CULTS (with the Eckankar sections taken out in fear of Eckankar's legal arm). 39. Realizing that commericial publishers will naturally be gun shy about publishing the MAKING, Lane brings Del Mar Press back from the dead and publishes the "Garland" version in 1993. That book is what you see now. 40. The "Garland" version contains two new chapters, both focusing on the Darwin/Klemp split. 41. Lane learns of the Alt.religion.eckankar newsgroup when his friend, Aaron, tells him that they are saying "nasty" things about him (but not his surfing... whew). Lane goes online in Alt.religion.eckankar and finds the experience quite enjoyable. 42. Lane posts the Making in a series of excerpts on the Net. Dave Rife collects those and puts them on his website. Lane is now accused of being unethical because he didn't follow the sociological associations guidelines for sociological studies. Lane's response is simple: it is not a sociological study, but a critical investigation. But despite that fact, Lane's study is still cited and quoted by those in sociology and elsewhere. Why? Because the facts stand on their own, regardless of Lane's intention. Lane has repeated this so many times, he is beginning to go into an altered state of consciousness from so much mantra work. ------------------------------------ Steve, I would love to use your latest quote about the MAKING being garbage and the like in my newest edition of the book. You are quite ripe with quotes as of late. It makes me very happy to know that you see the MAKING in such a negative light. And just think, people really do read it and some even leave Eckankar because of it. Oh the horror of it all. Gosh, how can Lane say Twitchell plagiarized. He was just a good compiler (that's the ticket). Gosh, how can Lane say Twitchell covered-up He just didn't like seeing Kirpal Singh's name in print. Gosh, how can Lane say Twitchell lied about his biography. Harji says he just twisted facts and exaggerated. Gosh, how can Lane write such stuff, especially when we have Steiger as our official biographer..... He says Twitchell graduated high school at 15 and saw combat.... Hmmm................... Keep up the fine footwork, Steve, but it was Twitchell who put the noose on his own neck....... I simply stated the obvious. -------------------------------------- Steve, I hesitated putting that subject heading since I like the give and take between us. However, after reading your recent posts I am really amazed about how much you misconstrue and straight out lie about me and my work. You state things like Lane admits his work is not scholarly. I never said such a thing. I said it was not sociological. Be accurate. You then state things like Garland realized that Lane's book was not up to the basic standards of research. That is also not true. As my editor told me and I will tell you again, they didn't have the deep pockets to fight a lawsuit with Eckankar. They wanted to publish the book since they had a lot of pre-publication orders. The series editor wanted to publish the book. Yet Garland does very limited library editions in their print runs (anywhere from 200 to 1000 copies). The lawyers' fees alone would have wiped out any potential profit to Garland and Garland stated this directly to me. Your inferences are wrong and you spin these wild tales that have no truth to them. Scientology also tied up Garland over a book. And that book was a simple "bibliography." So you are wrong once again, my good friend. Stop making things up. You can rip me all you want and I think you will do a much better job of it if you would merely stay to the facts instead of literally making things up. I also never said that I needed no ethics to write Making. Where do you make this stuff up? I said, rather, that it was not done in a sociological fashion. Do I follow ethics writing books? Most certainly. That is why I footnote, that is why I reference, that is why I make my documents publicly available. That is why I donated many books and obscure items on Eckankar to the UCSB special collections. I wanted the general public to have access to what I had access to. I haven't plagiarized, as your founder did. I haven't made-up my biographical past, as your founder did. i haven't covered-up my spiritual associations, as your founder did. Now you have the full right to rip me. But your rips will be much more satisfactory if you would be accurate. You have made up things about me Steve that are not true, that are not in my writings, and are entirely misleading. I love the debate but cool it on the bullshit. It is too thick. If you want to tweak me, then quote me accurately and then go for it. Otherwise, your smokescreen of misconstructions is blinding my computer screen. your debate partner, dave ----------------------------------------- Steve, I don't know how good your sense of history is, but before the MAKING OF A SPIRITUAL MOVEMENT and SCP Journal came out, Eckankar talked quite a different tune. 1. No mention whatsoever of Twitchell's association with Kirpal Singh. 2. No mention whatsoever of Twitchell's association with L. Ron Hubbard. 3. No mention whatsoever of Twitchell's association with Swami Premananda. 4. No mention whatsoever of Twitchell's first wife, Camille Ballowe. 5. No mention whatsoever of Twitchell's extensive plagiarism, oops "compiling"? 6. No mention whatsoever of the conflicting birthdates surrounding Paul Twitchell. 7. No mention whatsoever of the "fictional" qualities of Brad Steiger's book, IN MY SOUL I AM FREE. 8. No mention whatsoever of the conflicting names in Twitchell's early and later writings. 9. No mention whatsoever of the accurate dates surrounding Twitchell's educational career. I could go on, Steve, but the above is just a partial list. Eckankar discusses some of these issues now, but only because they were forced to by the world-wide circulation of the SCP journal and the MAKING to a lesser degree. Try reading Melton's essays on this very point. And even when Klemp and Eckankar discuss these issues they still bring up some truly funky explanations: astral library copying forged documents via Kirpal Singh Amazing what an "incompetent" term paper can cause a religion to reveal, huh? ----------------------------------------------- Steve, There are three major findings in the MAKING: 1. Plagiarism 2. Cover-up 3. Biographical Deceit In each case, these findings have been confirmed not only by outsiders to the group, but by your own leader, Harji. 1. Where is the FAR Country now? And did Rebazar really dictate it? Or did Paul rip it off >from the Astral library? Oh, forget Johnson... that's too simple. 2. Sure is interesting to read LETTERS TO GAIL in its original and see Kirpal Singh's name..... Oh where has he gone in the book versions? Try asking David Stewart, the former Editor of Eck World News. 3. Better yet, get those old ORIONS and compare them to the new "redacted" version of FLUTE of GOD..... Geez, so many name changes, but no content changes..... Cover-up 101, bro. 4. And about that biograpical deceit, just ask Harji about "twisting" of facts. He even admits that Steiger made cover-names......... That was not publicly known until MAKING and SCP.......... keep fishing......... ------------------------------- Dear Joseph: This is a small note to say I have been reading your posts carefully and enjoying them. I also appreciate the civility with which you make your points. I have 14 more posts on the influence of Theosophy on Eckankar in the pipeline, but I have been a bit delayed putting them on. Too much surfing, plus I got pulled over by the Sociological cyberpolice last nite for a posting violation. Apparently, my articles to Steve have broken rule #1: don't try to rationally engage a person who thinks you are Hitler-like. Oh well, I like to break the law. But on a more serious note, I wanted to say that I was impressed by your observation that my philosophical views have been undergoing a transformation of sorts. That is quite true and quite perceptive of you. I am in the process of writing two quite different studies on this topic (though neither of them are sociological in import--oops, I think I hear Steve writing up a citation for me) from two different vantage points. The first work is an intensely personal narrative about my relationship with my now deceased guru. The second work is called THE GURU HAS NO TURBAN: toward a new understanding of Perfect Masters and deals specifically with issues of visions, inner lights, spiritual attainments, etc. 1. It is true that I find myself more and more agreeing with Faqir Chand, but that does not mean that I think all religious visions are merely imagination. I don't think that, but rather feel that it is much more hierarchical and complex. See my book EXPOSING CULTS or the ENCHANTED LAND, for instance. 2. Yes, the more information we have about an author the better. For that reason I agreed to do a fairly extensive interview with Dodie Bellamy, a former Eckist, which was published in the San Diego Reader (and is now online via Rife's homepage). It is quite revealing (even my mother was a bit shocked) and tells all the lurid details about my private sex life (just teasing). I got quite a bit of heat from my friends for doing it. Keep up the good work and the fine attention to detail. It will bear fruit in the end, dave ------------------------------------------ Steve, I estimate that there were over 10,000 copies of MAKING sold from 1978 to present (given all the various editions and printings). Now I am told that IN MY SOUL I AM FREE sold hundreds of thousands of copies (or at least that is what it states in the Eckankar literature). In that book, Steiger says many things that are untrue about Paul Twitchell. Yet it was sold as an authorized biography by IWP. Many people, in fact, came to Eckankar because of it. Since you are on the ethics bandwagon, please feel most free to request Eckankar to take "responsiblity" for those factual mistakes and for all the people who were misled by the text. There was even "conscious" manipulation of facts by Steiger in that book. I would say Twitchell as well, since he was the primary informant. I await your letter to Eckankar over this issue. signed: Kal boy
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I want to go back to the home base now.