Lane's Response To Bruce's Critique of Making

Author: David Christopher Lane
Publisher: Alt.religion.eckankar
Publication date: 1996 (April)

E-mail David Christopher Lane directly at dlane@weber.ucsd.edu

I want to go back to the home base now.

Part One: Lane's Response to Specific Questions/Doubts/Critiques

I was happy to see Bruce's more specific comments on The Making of a
Spiritual Movement. I think it is helpful for this group and all
concerned to have a closer look at what has been stated about
Twitchell's past and the like, and I commend Bruce and encourage him
to keep at it.

In that spirit of exchange, I have numbered my responses to several
of his points below. 

1) Bruce contends that the first three chapters of The Making of a
Spiritual Movement are "pretty well documented." I am glad, because
it was over Twitchell's birthdate that Eckankar gave me lots of
heat; indeed, I was considered quite biased by Eckankar's attorney
because I did not seriously consider the "fact" that Twitchell was
really born in 1812..... Hmmm, well I am happy to report that Harold
Klemp uses the "1908" birthdate himself for Paul Twitchell in his
books.

So the Living Eck Master, the Mahanta (read: Harold Klemp) disagrees with the Second Living
Eck Master, The Mahanta (read: Darwin Gross), who strenuously argued with me via his
attorneys (when he was still the Master) that Twitchell was born in
1812....

Now I find it a bit curious that Klemp contradicts Gross, or that a
Living Master contradicts a previous Living Master.... But let's
leave that to theology.... In terms of history, 1908 is the date
that Eckankar is now using.

2) Bruce is apparently not as fond of Chapter Four, where he writes
"there are the Bluth and Pecen anecdotes [sic]." For newcomers, Dr.
Bluth was the former Vice-President and President of Eckankar. He
was also Twitchell's personal doctor. Ed Pecen was a bodyguard and
confidante of Paul Twitchell's. Be that as it may, I await any
specific questions Bruce may want to raise in a future context. Ed
Pecen, by the way, is still alive.

3) Chapter Five is where Bruce has some questions and troubles,
particularly because I never address (in a simpler fashion) why
Twitchell cut off his connections with Kirpal Singh. However, on
this point, I must say I was a bit surprised. The bulk of Chapter
Five is not on why Twitchell disconnected from Kirpal Singh, but
on why Twitchell tried to COVER IT UP. That's the real issue. I mean
why did Twitchell write so extensively about Kirpal Singh in his
Eckankar writings only to systematically "delete" them and replace
them with new names when he published them in book form. I include
the following sections to buttress my point, so that the interested
reader can see for him/her self. In the next part I will continue to
address Bruce's concern. Look closely at the name replacements:


The Flute of God: A Case Study of Re-Editing
 

Twitchell's enormous editing of names reached a pinnacle
when he decided to publish in book form  The Flute of God .
The work was originally printed in installments in  Orion
Magazine , from 1965 to 1967.  The first six chapters of
the text profusely mention the names of Kirpal Singh, Sawan
Singh, and Jesus Christ.  When Twitchell had the book
republished, however, he redacted every single mention of
Kirpal Singh, Sawan Singh, and Swami Premananda.  In some
cases, he even edited out the name Jesus and replaced it
with "Gopal Das" or other Eckankar Masters.  And, although
he quotes from the Christian Bible, he even changes the
name of his source (to that of the  Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad ) while
retaining the same biblical quote.  Below is a comparison
study of the two versions.  Remember that the  Orion  version
is the earliest, and that Twitchell's editing is primarily
"name replacements."

 
 The Flute Of God  by Paul Twitchell as it appeared in installments
in  Orion Magazine .
Chapter I - "In The Beginning" (March-April, 1966):

Par. 3: "I remember very well when  Swami Premananda , of India, who
has a Yoga church in Washington, D.C., said, "When someone asked
Bertrand Russell what his philosophy of Life was, he wrote several
volumes of books on the subject."

 The Flute Of God  by Paul Twitchell as published by Illuminated Way
Press (1970).
Chapter I - "In The Beginning":

Par. 3: "I remember very well when  Sudar Singh , the great Eck Master
said, "When someone asked Bertrand Russell what his philosophy of
Life was, he wrote several volumes of books on the subject."

 The Flute Of God  by Paul Twitchell as it appeared in installments
in  Orion Magazine .
Chapter I - "In The Beginning" (March-April, 1966):

Par. 15: "I have studied under many teacher [sic], and may yet have to
study under more. Like  Meher Baba , the Indian saint, who was said
to have nineteen teachers to help him gain his place in the universe,
I have so far had seven, some outstanding ones, including Sri  Kirpal
Singh, of Delhi , India.
 
 The Flute Of God  by Paul Twitchell as published by Illuminated Way
Press (1970).
Chapter I - "In The Beginning":

Par. 16: "I have studied under many ECK Masters only they have led
me to the highest truth.  Like  Fubbi Quantz  , the ECK saint, who
was said to have nineteen teachers to help him gain his place in the
universe, I have also had several, each outstanding, one being
 Sudar Singh  of India.

 The Flute Of God  by Paul Twitchell as it appeared in installments
in  Orion Magazine .
Chapter I - "In The Beginning" (March-April, 1966):

Par. 16: "Each has had a place in my growth toward the spiritual
goal; each are equally great in their work for mankind.  However,
I have felt a closer kinship and friendliness to  Kirpal Singh , who
has shown me a lot of the other work during my first year or so
under him. Since we have parted he keeps an impartial view toward
me and my research.  Therefore, if I quote him in these pages it
is because I feel that he is sympathetic and interested in my work."
 
 The Flute Of God  by Paul Twitchell as published by Illuminated Way
Press (1970).
Chapter I - "In The Beginning":

Par. 17: "Each has had a place in my growth toward the spiritual
goal; each is equally great in his work for mankind.  However, I
have felt a closer kinship and friendliness to  Sudar Singh , who
showed me a lot of the other work, during my first year or so under
him.  Since we have parted he has retained an impartial view toward
me and my research.  If I quote him in these pages it is because
I feel that he is sympathetic and interested in my work and led me
to Rebazar Tarzs."

 The Flute Of God  by Paul Twitchell as it appeared in installments
in  Orion Magazine .
Chapter I - "In The Beginning" (March-April, 1966):

Par. 32: "Life fascinates me.  Certain details of life to be worked
out are strange.  Lying on the bed late at night I watch the pattern
of shadows weaving about the room.  In the presence of familiar
night visitors like  Kirpal Singh , or Rebazar Tarzs, a Tibetan Lama,
who come often in their Nuri-Sarup, or others, some strangers, some
friends, I wonder about life."
 
 The Flute Of God  by Paul Twitchell as published by Illuminated Way
Press (1970).
Chapter I - "In The Beginning":

Par. 34: "Life fascinates me.  Certain details of life that have to
be worked out are strange.  Lying on the bed late at night I watch
the pattern of shadows weaving about the room.  In the presence of
familiar night visitors like  Sudar Singh , or Rebazar Tarzs, the
ECK Masters who come often in their Nuri-Sarup bodies, or others,
some strangers, some friends, I wonder about life."

 The Flute Of God  by Paul Twitchell as it appeared in installments
in  Orion Magazine .
Chapter II - "The Symbol of The Princes":

Par. 12: "Therefore, the principal (sic) involved here is: `We live
and have our being in the Supreme Being.'  Jesus  said it in another
way as `we move and have our being in God.' Other savants e.g.,
Jalalddin Maulana ana Rumi put it another way, `Divine Grace is not
limited by the conditions of ability, but ability, in fact, is
conditioned by Divine Grace.'"

 The Flute Of God  by Paul Twitchell as published by Illuminated Way
Press (1970).
Chapter II - "The Symbol of The Princes":

Par. 11: "Therefore, the principle involved here is, `We live and
have our being in the Supreme Being.'  Lai Tsi , the Chinese ECK
Master, said it this way, `We live and move and have our being in
the SUGMAD.' Other savants state it in a slightly different vein.
For instance, Jalaluddin Maulana Rumi said, `Divine Grace is not
limited by the conditions of ability--but ability, in fact, is
conditioned by Divine Grace.'"

 The Flute Of God  by Paul Twitchell as it appeared in installments
in  Orion Magazine .
Chapter II - "The Symbol of The Princes":

Par. 48: "This is what  Kirpal Singh  speaks of in his discourses.
`We must become the conscious co-worker of God.' Meaning, of course,
that once man is freed of his imbalances he inherits the throne
and does his work for the whole."
 
 The Flute Of God  by Paul Twitchell as published by Illuminated Way
Press (1970).
Chapter II - "The Symbol of the Princes":

Par. 45: "This is what  Sudar Singh  spoke of in his dialogues.  `We
must become the conscious co-workers of God.'"

 The Flute Of God  by Paul Twitchell as it appeared in installments
in  Orion Magazine .
Chapter III - "Purification of the Princes" (Sept.-Oct.
1966):

Par. 37: "All masters of earlier days, to name a few: Buddha, Gura
Nanak (sic), Christ, Mohammed, Zoroaster,
Lao Tse, George Fox,  Sawan Singh , Confucius, Krishna and Shankhacharya
exhorted us to know ourselves.   Kabir  says the same thing `Learn
to die a hundred times daily, not once.'"
 
 The Flute Of God  by Paul Twitchell as published by Illuminated Way
Press (1970).
Chapter III - "Purification of the Princes":

Par. 37: "All ECK Masters of earlier days exhorted us to know
ourselves. . . Gopal Das  says the same thing, `Learn to die a hundred
times daily, not once.'"

 The Flute Of God  by Paul Twitchell as it appeared in installments
in  Orion Magazine .
Chapter III - Purification of the Princes"  (Sept.-Oct.
1966):

Par. 38: Christ said, "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall
see God."  Guru Nanak  said, "Be pure that truth may be realized."

 The Flute Of God  by Paul Twitchell as published by Illuminated Way
Press (1970).
Chapter III - "Purification of the Princes":

Par. 38: Jesus said, "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall
see God."  Rebazar Tarzs  said, "Be pure so that truth may be known."

 The Flute Of God  by Paul Twitchell as it appeared in installment
in  Orion Magazine .
Ch. I, Par. 41:

"When  Jesus  looked upon His people and
said, `I cannot tell you more because you cannot hear the whole
truth.' He was saying that they were so far down the spiral of life
they could not grasp His meaning.  To tell them all would bring
disorder into their lives, for once exposed to Truth, those not
understanding develop hostility."
 
 The Flute Of God  by Paul Twitchell as published by Illuminated Way
Press (1970).
Ch. I, Par. 42:

"When the  ECK Master, Gopal Das , looked upon his
people and said, `I cannot tell you more because you cannot hear
the whole ECK,' he was saying that they were so far down the spiral
of life they could not grasp his meaning.  To tell them would bring
disorder into their lives, for once exposed to Truth, those not
understanding develop hostility."

 The Flute Of God  by Paul Twitchell as it appeared in installments
in  Orion Magazine .
Ch. I, Par. 44:

"One of my experiences while serving under the  Yoga
Satsang  line of masters, was that I found one of the masters in
the guise of a beggar.  I had been in difficulty for sometime, and
very unhappy over the fact that nothing could be found to solve my
problem."

 The Flute Of God  by Paul Twitchell as published by Illuminated Way
Press (1970).
Ch. I, Par. 45:

One of my experiences, while serving under  Rebazar
Tarzs , was that I found one of the  ECK Masters  in the guise of a
beggar.  I had been in difficulty for some time, and was very
unhappy over the fact that nothing could be found to solve my
problem."
 
[End of Part One] 



Part Two: Lane's Response to Specific Questions/Doubts/Critiques
 
[This is a continuation of the dialogue between Bruce's criticisms
and Lane's responses]

4) Continuing on Chapter Five, Bruce argues that the reason
Twitchell disconnected from Kirpal Singh was "Twitchell felt that he
had outgrown his former teacher and no longer believed Kirpal to be
a master of the highest order."

Even if we accept this thesis for argument's sake (and overlook
Twitchell's correspondence from 1955 to 1966 which points to the
contrary), it still bypasses the key point in all of Chapter Five:
Twitchell tried to COVER-UP his association with Kirpal Singh, even
to the point of literally replacing his name, but not the story, to
fit his needs. I must cite a few empirical examples, so one can see
the difference. In Part Three of this thread I will go directly to
Bruce's point on why Twitchell denied Kirpal Singh.

Twitchell's first cover-up or editing appears in the January
1964 issue of  Orion Magazine , where he introduces Sudar
Singh for the first time.  It reads:

I began my study of bilocation under the tutelage
of Satguru Sudar Singh, in Allahabad, India.  Later,
I switched to Sri Kirpal Singh of Old Delhi.  Both
were teaching the Shabda Yoga, that which is called
the Yoga of the Sound Current. I had to learn to
leave my body at will and return, without effort.
Also among my writings are numerous discourses
from many master [sic], in the flesh and
those on the inner planes.  I have talked
with and taken down the words of Kirpal
Singh who appeared in my apartment in his
Nari Raup, his light body, although his
physical body was six thousand miles away
in India.

In the entire article, there is no reference whatsoever to
Rebazar Tarzs.  Yet, in 1966, when Twitchell republished
the article almost verbatim in the booklet,  Introduction
to Eckankar , he changed the words bilocation and shabda
yoga to "Eckankar"; and the two times he mentions Kirpal
Singh, he changes to "Rebazar Tarzs" and "Sudar Singh"
respectively.  The original article, although edited later
and more thoroughly, was itself a product of editing, for
the name "Sudar Singh" is actually a cover name for Swami
Premananda, who was Twitchell's first yoga teacher.  

Of the several articles reprinted in  Introduction
to Eckankar , most have undergone name replacements.  A total of at
least eight names have been edited out and replaced with a hierarchy
of Eck masters.  The list of names edited out includes Sawan Singh,
Kirpal Singh, and Swami Premananda.  Each guru has either been
replaced by "Sudar Singh" or "Rebazar Tarzs," while the main text
remains untouched.  Although Twitchell attempted to do a scrupulous
job of redacting, he made one slight error in the index to  Introduction
to Eckankar .  The editor lists the name "Sawan Singh" as occurring
on page five of the text; yet, on page five, it reads "Sudar Singh."
The first four editions of the booklet carried the error; the fifth
edition finally corrected it.  The original article from which the
mistake was made was published in the September 1965 issue of  Search
Magazine .  It reads in part:

From Kabir's day those who have helped spread the
doctrine of bilocation were mainly, the leader of
the Sikh order, especially Nanka Guru [sic], the
founder.  Others have been the Sufi saints, e.g.,
Hafiz, Jalal din Rumi, Shamus Tabriz, and
Sawan Singh, Kirpal Singh, St. Anthony of Padua,
and the contemporary clergyman, Padre Pie [sic],
to name a few.

The reprinted, "Can You Be in Two Places At The Same Time,"
in the booklet  Introduction to Eckankar , reads:

From Kabir's day, those who have helped spread the
doctrine of Soul Travel were mainly the leaders of
the Sikh order, especially Nanka Guru [sic], the
founder.  Others have been the Sufi saints, e.g.,
Hafiz, Jalal din'l Rumi, Shamus Tabriz, Sudar Singh,
St. Anthony of Padua, and the contemporary clergyman,
Padre Pio, to name a few. 
[Paul Twitchell,  Introduction to Eckankar  (Las Vegas:
Illuminated Way Press, 1966), pages 2-6.]

In the original article, Twitchell had mentioned Kirpal
Singh three times; in the revised edition his name has been
changed to read "Sudar Singh." The original reads:

Kirpal Singh who is still at his own ashram in
India, has the ability to appear to his own people,
in his Nuri Sarup body, no matter where they may
be. A skill which almost anybody can learn who
gets the knack of bilocation.
Among my numerous discourses from many
gurus in the flesh and those on the inner
planes, are those taken down when Kirpal
Singh appeared in my apartment in Washington,
D.C., in his light body, although his flesh
self was six-thousand miles away in India.

The revised article, with name replacements, reads:

Sudar Singh, who lived in his ashram in India, had
the ability to appear to his own people in his Atma
Sarup body, no matter where they might be.  A skill
almost anyone can learn who gets the knack of Soul
Travel. . .  Among my numerous discourses from many
gurus in the flesh and those on the inner planes,
are taken down when Sudar Singh appeared in my
apartment in New York City, in his light body,
although his flesh self was six thousand miles away
in India.

[End Part Two]



Part Three: Lane's Response to Specific Questions/Doubts/Critiques
 
[This is a continuation of the dialogue between Bruce's criticisms
and Lane's responses]

5) According to Bruce, "Lane never addresses a simpler and less
speculative explanation than greed for Twitchell's cutting all links
with his former master Kirpal Singh; that Twitchell felt he had
outgrown his former teacher and no longer believed Kirpal to be a
master of the highest order."

Again, the key point is not why Twitchell disconnected from Kirpal Singh
but why he tried to COVER-UP his association. 

Now I have no problem whatsoever with anybody trying to disconnect
or disavow or criticize any guru (I may be a bit strange, but I
happen to relish criticism.... Critics, as they say, are our best
friends... They teach us).

This is not why I questioned Twitchell's disavowal of Kirpal Singh.
What struck me as particularly odd was why he tried to cover-up his
past. Why not simply say "Yea, I was a follower of Kirpal Singh. I
got initiated by him and followed his path for years. I even wrote
him for over a decade calling him repeatedly my "Beloved Master." I
even took my second wife, who thought I was a decade younger by the
way, to get initiated by Kirpal Singh in S.F. when he was making his
second world-wide tour. I even dedicated my book, The Tiger's Fang,
to him.... But, you know, I outgrew the guy. Sure I wrote a lot of
nice things about him, but I have gone farther and seen higher...."

But is that what Twitchell did? No, he tries to deny that he was
ever associated with him (Keep in mind that Eckankar, under the
living Eck Master of the time, repeatedly argued with me over
this very issue: that Twitchell was once associated with Kirpal
Singh. See Bernadine Burlin's letter to me in 1977 on this 
point)

Twitchell not only tries to cover his association with Kirpal Singh,
without ever changing the content or even the context of his
republished stories with Kirpal Singh, but he also goes to great
lengths to "disinform" (and I use that word quite consciously) his
Eckankar following.... So much so that many have cognitive
dissonance when they read his earlier articles and match them with
his later re-edited published books. They sound the same, they even
read the same, but the names have been changed.......

Well, okay Twitchell did this for spiritual reasons? Hmmm......

I can hear it now, "Yea, Gail I lied about my age, my previous
travels, and I am going to do pretty much the same with new
followers in Eckankar. They don't need to know that I was initiated
by Kirpal Singh. They don't need to know that I followed
Scientology. They don't need to know that I got kicked out of Swami
Premananda's Church in 1955 [Sidebar: for all those who think i
market in rumors, please remember that Twitchell's first wife told
me via letter and on the phone why Twitchell got booted...... I keep
it close to my heart even till this day..... Why? Well, I like the
Twitch more than people suspect and some things are better not
discussed in public]

"Gail, I am not lying, mind you, just doing creative stylizing."

Okay, if you buy that sort of conclusion, so be it. Here's another
one, which I briefly mention and which Kirpal Singh himself states:

I quote:

"Yes, Yes.  Too much propaganda.  I tell you one
American was initiated by me--I've got the initiation
report in his own handwriting.
That is what such-like people will do. They had
some little thing, got stuck fast there. Now he's
carrying on propaganda.  He says he was never
initiated by me.  He was initiated in 1955.  Some
people get stuck fast on the way.  This little ego
is very difficult to get rid of unless there's some
kind of protection. This is a living example. He has written other
books.  I need not mention his name."


It is one thing to "outgrow" a master; quite another to "deny" your
association.

Thus given that Twitchell had written so lovingly of Kirpal Singh
for ten years, even after he started Eckankar, I naturally wondered
why he tried to deny his association with him, even to the point of
editing his personal letters to Gail and having the names deleted.

Well, what is the fundamental difference in terms of organization
between Ruhani Satsang and Eckankar, besides their theological and
ethical variances?


Money. 

Ruhani Satsang is free.

Eckankar charges for membership.

[End Part Three]



Part Four: Lane's Response to Specific Questions/Doubts/Critiques
 
[This is a continuation of the dialogue between Bruce's criticisms
and Lane's responses]

6) Bruce's also argues that I am somehow reluctant to discuss the
possibility that Twitchell had outgrown Kirpal Singh (outgrown? hmm,
lying about one's association is not something i necessarily equate
with growth--just another of Lane's slants).... As Bruce says, "Of
course, as an adherent to Twitchell's former path Lane may be averse
to this view; so averse, apparently, that he refuses to discuss it."

I like this, because I love to discuss things that I refuse to
discuss...... 

Well, this may be a good point to clarify some issues. First, I was
never a follower of Twitchell's former path.... which was Ruhani
Satsang and Kirpal Singh. I was brought up Roman Catholic. I was
also initiated by the late Charan Singh of Radha Soami Satsang Beas.

Now for years a number of people have thought I wrote negatively
about Eckankar because they wrongly believed I was a born again Christian. Why? Because my
research was extensively cited in the SCP Journal on Eckankar in
1979. Since they were an ultra-fundamentalist sect then I was guilty
by association. 

What is ironic about this, though, is that James Peebles (the
infamous 19 year old Eckist who was sued for a million dollars by
his own religion, Eckankar, for writing a ten page plus term paper on Eckankar.
Poor chap, he relied on Eckists for his information about Darwin....
If he only knew!) was the guy who first contacted SCP.... Indeed, it
was an Eckist (at the time too!) who got SCP to fly down and
interview me in the S.F. Valley about my research.

So Lane is not an ultra right Christian.... Then he must be doing
this stuff for the "cause" of Sant Mat.... Yea, that's it..... he
wants to keep the "purity" of shabd yoga away from these
duplicators....

Don't get me wrong, I like the thesis, but sorry to say you got one
huge problem: Faqir Chand.

I am the guy who first brought Faqir's autobiography to the West
(Faqir wrote it directly on my request back in 1980). Now Faqir
Chand completely rips Radhasoami gurus--all of them (including his
own, Maharishi Shiv Brat Lal).

Faqir Chand, more or less, says that all inner visions (whether they
be from Eckankar or Sant Mat) are merely manifestations of the mind.

Or, as we might say in the 90s, visions are nothing more than neural
firing.

So far so good, but keep in mind that every Radhasoami group I knew
of told me not (i repeat the "not" for dramatic effect) to publish
my work on Faqir Chand.

My harshest critics are not from America; they are from India.

Thus, I am sorry to say that my reasons for writing about Twitchell
and Eckankar have nothing to do with purity and the like...... (If
that were the case I would have never written The Unknowing Sage,
Exposing Cults, the Radhasoami Tradition, or helped Juergensmeyer
hones his critical skills in Radhasoami Reality.)

I just like good detective stories and Twitchell is great for anyone
who likes to uncover things.... He is also great if you like guys
who tell really tall tales and lie about lots of interesting
biographical details.

So, Bruce, I don't mind discussing this issue.

Indeed, the book I wrote on Radhasoami has lots of "uncovering" on
gurus that many in Sant Mat don't like..... 

Oh well...... such is the nature of research.

Enclosed is an excerpt from the conclusion of my book on The
Radhasoami Tradition which may give you some idea of how I approached
this group:

THE ROOTS OF HAGIOGRAPHY
 
The succession history of Radhasoami has been marked at various
stages
by personal animosity, political in-fighting, doctrinal disputes,
and contests over property rights;
all of which have occurred under the rubric of "mastership transference."
What becomes almost immediately evident in purviewing religious
successorship is its decidely  un-religious process.
Satsangis, and to a lesser extent interested outsiders, tend to
view the transference of mastership as a purely spiritual process,
one where good will, high ethics, and the like, take precedence.
Although these things are there too, a significant part of
Radhasoami
succession is carried out in the political arena, where the
central interests hover around such non-spiritual things as:
who will own the ashram, who will run the langar, who will retain the
relics, and so on.

What the researcher, especially one steeped in the sociology of
knowledge, brings to Radhasoami succession materials is not
so much new and fresh insights, but rather an uncovering of the
inner workings embedded in guru politics; something which lies buried, but not too deeply,
that reveals a materialist versus idealist impulse.
This is not to suggest, of course, that succession in Radhasoami is
purely a political war over power and status, but only that even
the highest of ideals are grounded, sometimes with clay feet,
sometimes not, in the day to day world of human and social
dealings.
There is a nitty-gritty, if you will, about religion, particularly
religions with charismatic leaders, that oftentimes gets glossed
over.
Indeed, sometimes it is the very nitty-grittiness
of spiritual pursuits which prompts people to develop elaborate
ideological glosses, if not outright cover-ups.

The reasons for ideological work, as we have seen, are manifold, but
each of these reasons are related to one central point that should
never be overlooked, even by those observers left skeptical, jaded,
or even nihilistic about religious endeavors: the yearning for the
Sacred.
Satsangis on the whole are interested in something beyond this
mundane
day to day existence, something which gives meaning and purpose to
an otherwise misery filled, and at times absurdist, drama called
living.
They are seeking God, in the various ways that such a nebulous term
implies.
And it is here, in the quest for something Good, or something
Eternal, or something Meaningful, that ideological tensions are
brought to the forefront.
Because contrary to what the neophyte may yearn for--a guru and a 
path devoid of any political jockeying--he or she soon discovers
that the new and enlightening world of Radhasoami, despite its
elevated morality and engaging meditation techniques, has many 
remnants of the old world that he/she is wishing to leave
behind.

The spiritual theory does not always fit with the day to day example
of it.
The guru may be ill, the guru may be bald, the guru may have a
difficult in-law, the guru may be moody, the guru may die of cancer--and
the disciple wasn't ready for any of it.
Why? Because the devotee was looking to the Guru as God, not as a
human being.
And it is the humanness of the guru--or the practical working out
of a theological principle--which betrays the godliness of the guru.
There is, in sum, an ideological paradox, if not--as in the case of
Thakar Singh--an outright contradiction.
Here the disciple confronts again what he/she had thought was left
behind: making sense out of the incongruency of the world.

What a person reads in the Radhasoami books (most of which are
unabashedly romantic) about such lofty principles as the
all-knowingness of the guru, the sacredness of his ashram, and
the elevation of the spirit to higher transcendent realms, turns out
to be on closer inspection idealizations that are only occasionally
apparent.
Mark Juergensmeyer in his study of Radhasoami devotes a section
to the vagaries of love, pointing out the maturing process of
long-time devotees:

As in a love affair that matures over time, most relationships
between
new devotees and their master seem to follow a familiar course.
In the initial cathartic experience of overwhelming, complete
surrender the devotee is surrounded by thoughts of his or her
new master.
After some time, perhaps a year or two, critical judgement returns
and the devotee's fresh love is increasingly seasoned with doubts
as to the certainty of the reality to which he or she had
become so deeply and unquestioningly committed.
At this stage, devotees may express anger and frustration
toward the master, and construct tests for him. . . At this
stage of disillusioned affection some devotees become disheartened
and search for new masters.
Others decry the possibility of ever finding a Lord again.
Still others discover their conviction anew, sometimes in
miraculous ways. . . 
[*NOTE:
Mark Juergensmeyer,  Radhasoamis , op. cit.,
page 90 (manuscript edition).
*]

The seasoning of love, which Juergensmeyer speaks of, is intimately
connected with doubt or disappointment.
Love seasons in this case because the Beloved does not live up to
the expectations of the lover.
Yet in Radhasoami, especially among devotees in the West, those
expectations were not sui generis but were generated by the guru's own literature;
thus if doubt and disappointment arise its blame should be laid
at the doorstep of the master, not at the disciple's.
The pedestal was elevated, to be sure, but it was the guru who
was doing the elevating.
All of this, naturally, leads to disenchantment on some level
with the rarified world of Radhasoami.
Undoubtedly, not all are disappointed to the same degree (and
some are never disappointed at all) but each must deal with
their own doubts. Although Juergensmeyer writes about how satsangis
may leave the fold, or develop tests, or find love and faith anew,
he does not touch upon what may be the most common response of all
among satsangis:  reconciliation , that is, reconciling an
archetypal, but temporary, image with its more mundane, but
realistic, counter-reflection.
Or, in a phrase, ideological resilience, the functional tendency
and/or ability to rebound from theoretical dissonance.

Ideological resilience covers a huge spectrum of possibilities in
Radhasoami, ranging from Thakar Singh devotees justifying sex and
violence as part of their guru's awakening method for the 1980's and
1990's to Darshan Singh devotees legitimizing the succession of their
guru and his heir by a written will.
Yet in both extremes, the action remains the same: resolving
a perceived discrepancy, either on the part of the guru and his
sangat or in the expressed teachings and practices.

However, it must be pointed out that throughout Radhasoami history there have been moments when ideological resilience doesn't work, when a crises situation overrides the efforts of certain individuals and institutions to combat searing discrepancies. When this happens, and undoubtedly it happens during each succession episode to a lesser or greater extent, then the individual must do two things: sever his or her connection or readapt in unanticipated ways. In the latter case, we have seen the following examples in the Dayal Bagh/Soami Bagh dispute, in the Shiv Brat Lal/Faqir Chand revelation, and in the Thakar Singh expose'. What each of these represent, of course, is a fundamentally new adaptation to ideological dissonance. How else can we explain a contentious law battle that runs for over fifty years? Or a radical introduction of mystical agnosticism? Or the acceptance and legitimation of sexual deviance? All of these, though markedly different in their original intents and outcomes, reflect ideological resilience. And, interestingly enough, each of these groups still liked to be regarded as Radhasoami or Sant mat related movements. What we have in Radhasoami succession, therefore, is a political contest with a spiritual guise. This is not to merely reduce Radhasoami's spiritual aims to mere political rhetoric, but to point out that theology does not exist in a vacuum. It is a very real response both to this world and the next. But, lest we go too far, it is precisely this world that concerns the politics of guru successorship. And it is right here, in the meeting of divine with the profane, that we can see which forces--geographic, economic, or cultural-- help transform both the context and content of gaddi nasheen rhetoric. What I have discovered after fifteen years of research in this area is the remarkable humanness of it all. Despite all the claims to the contrary--upper region attainment, transcendental all knowingness, God intended meaning--the common denominator in guru politics is the human factor. What causes disputes is really not all that complex: property rights, social status, power plays, financial considerations, doctrinal disagreements. None of which are unique to spiritual movements; indeed, each of the preceding occur in government or business transitions. The unique character of guru succession lies in its continual reference to spiritual realities or theological truths in order to justify or legitimize a particular leader or avenue of thought. We have seen this especially in the succession contest which arose immediately after Kirpal Singh's death in 1974. Yet even when there is reference to higher planes of awareness or truth, it is primarily to shape this micro-world's reality. From an outsider's viewpoint the spirituality of Radhasoami seems to be buried or forgotten when the question of property rights, or relic possession, or ashram control arises after the death of a revered leader. When one learns of Shiv Dayal Singh's brother, Seth Partap Singh, hitting people with a stick for going to Rai Salig Ram's satsang, or of Dayal Bagh's and Soami Bagh's bitter law battle over worship rights, or of the physical violence at Sawan Ashram in late 1974, or of the Tarn Taran property battle, what comes to mind is not transcendental guidance from the upper regions but petty human interactions. It is this decidely non-spiritual character, replete with spiritual justifications, which illustrates the peculiar nature of guru politics, and also reveals, by each succession episode, why gaddi nasheen rhetoric covers a wide spectrum of ideological possibilities. It is for this reason that Radhasoami can house under its roof the disparate likes of a Thakar Singh and a Faqir Chand, each of which represent completely opposite doctrinal positions. Thakar Singh claims he can miraculously transform his disciples by sexual and violent interplays and that he is a conscious instrument of God's work. Whereas Faqir Chand claims that he knows absolutely nothing about the divine miracles attributed to him and that he is helpless to change the lot of any particular individual. Ideological work goes on continuously in government and business, but the difference here in comparison with religion is that in the former the general population is relatively aware of the dark side of the political arena, whereas in religious succession the public is generally unaware of the infighting that occurs. [*NOTE: To give a popular support for this claim, all one needs to do is gauge the public's opinion of politicians in general and of lawyers in particular. The number of jokes circulated about them, especially focusing on their dubious motivations, is tremendous. No doubt, religious leaders also receive their brunt of insults, but rarely does one hear dispersions about spiritual succession, especially of esteemed figures. *] [End Part Four] Part Five: Lane's Response to Specific Questions/Doubts/Critiques [This is a continuation of the dialogue between Bruce's criticisms and Lane's responses] 7. Bruce does not like it when i say that "Eckankar is fraudulently based from start to finish." Again, I understand his apprehensions, but let me just detail a few things so that the interested reader may know why I come up with such a wild statement: A) Twitchell lies about his past B) Twitchell covers up his spiritual associations C) Twitchell invents (and I do mean invent) names of masters that don't exist (Hey, give me some evidence on Sudar?) D) Twitchell lies to both of his wives (but don't worry, he won't lie to Eckists.....) E) Twitchell comes up with list of "marks" for true Eck Masters. He fails miserably on the test...... Why miserably? Well, if there are 32 marks and you only get about 10 of them...... that's not good, especially if you are the originator of the idea that you should pass all 32) F) Twitchell dies of a heart attack, months after saying that the next Eck Master is 15 years away. (I will not go into what Twitchell did that last nite..... It has already been leaked from my private e-mail) G) The Second Living Eck Master repeatedly hassles women sexually (Eckists: don't believe me on this, ask Harold) while he is the living Eck Master. H) Darwin Gross, while he was the living Eck Master, develops a severe drug addiction and embezzles money from Eckankar (Eckists: don't believe me on this, ask Harold). I) Harold Klemp, the third living Eck Master, is fully aware of Twitchell's plagiarism, cover-ups, disinformation campaign, and he is also fully aware of Darwin Gross' breach of ethics. K) Who appointed Twitchell? Who appointed Darwin? (Gail) Who Appointed Klemp (Darwin). Okay, Gail's no longer associated with Eckankar; Darwin's been excommunicated (not even his books are sold); and Klemp was appointed by the guy who sued Peebles, who hit on women, who had a drug problem, who embezzled money, and who went out of his way to demean the very guy he appointed..... And to top it off, Klemp talks about doing karate against magicians in your dreams and astral libraries where Twitchell did all of his writing..... But none of this suggests fraud...... (Well, i have only touched a tip here, and I just wanted to say that I have some basis--pretty well documented i would suggest--to indicate to me at least that Eckankar has lots of fraud in it... Even Klemp thinks Gross is a fraud.... and he was the one-time Master of the group). To give you an analogy, it is like John the Baptist (in reverse order here to give it more punch) saying that Jesus stole, womanized, and basically fucked up...... But hey, he was the Master.... I HAVE SPOKEN! Oops, I am getting carried away........ [End Part Five] Part Six: Lane's Response to Specific Questions/Doubts/Critiques [This is a continuation of the dialogue between Bruce's criticisms and Lane's responses] 8. Talk To God.... Bruce raises objections to my questioning of Twitchell's column, Talk to God. I think I wondered aloud because here is a column in which Twitchell claims to talk directly to God about a guy's penis, and then talk about Rebazar Tarzs...... Now, one could say that it is perfectly permissible to talk about dicks and Rebazar Tarzs (tiny man?).... But the issue that I was raising was that Twitchell's column reads more or less like a funny joke..... I even enjoyed it as such. I think it is a bit naive to think that Twitchell was talking to the Sugmad about lace panties.... but you know, I was always wondering what Fubbi wore when it got hot. Now watch what may happen to my more seriously minded Eck-readers.... They will get offended by the way I so "loosely" play with the Vairagi Masters and sex..... Indeed, a number of Eckists got upset when I made fun of Eck Names (like Blabla is a a name that just speaks for seriousness....) Yet, that is precisely what Twitchell does in this column. He gets his prophecies wrong (hey, and I thought one of the trademarks of the Eck Master was omniscience?), he talks about frilly fred, small dicks, virgins..... and Rebazar Tarzs..... Okay, I get it. The Eck Master can be dead-wrong about predicting presidential politics (we won't talk about that dreaded moon virus he also predicted), but dead-right when talking about a guy nobody outside of Eckankar circles has ever seen and i do mean with two physical eyes .... not even at a local 7/11.) Yea, that's it, I am right about small dicks, but wrong about Presidents. I am right about fetishes, but wrong about prophecies... My fundamental question, of course, is where does the joke begin? Where does the joke end? And if we don't want to say that Twitchell had a sense of humor (I HAVE SPOKEN!), then why did he write in the first place? Money? Good publicity? Deep personal concern for those with penis problems? Virgin watcher? Of course, it is a pregnant piece..... It illustrates precisely what is so curious about Twitchell's writing.... When to take him literally, when to take him at face value, and when not to take him at all. Because, quite frankly, if Twitchell can be so wrong about something that is empirical (Presidential politics), then why should he be so right about something transpersonal (the existence of Rebazar Tarzs, Fubbi Quantz, and Gakko from Venus)? [End Part Six] Part Seven: Lane's Response to Specific Questions/Doubts/Critiques [This is a continuation of the dialogue between Bruce's criticisms and Lane's responses] 9) Bruce takes me to task for showing the deviations of Eckankar from Radhasoami and Ruhani Satsang.... But the real key to these deviations is overlooked: Twitchell deviates from himself. Compare the following cosmologies..... The differences may seem slight, but they are not if you are arguing that inner sounds are key to your practice: One significant change that Twitchell brought about in Eckankar was his restructuring of the traditional Sant mat "eight plane" cosmology. Twitchell did this, though, only after having used the original Sant mat cosmology in several of his earlier books--most notably in The Tiger's Fang and The Far Country . The intriguing aspect is that Twitchell's revised and copyrighted "twelve plane" cosmology (which is given in the Spiritual Notebook and was standard in Eckankar by 1971) contradicts his previous "eight plane" one. The following is a comparison chart of the two cosmologies: Original (based upon the Sant tradition; depicted in Twitchell's first books on Eckankar): 1. Sahasra dal Kanwal; sounds--bell and conch 2. Brahm Lok (Trikuti); sounds--big drum (thunder) 3. Daswan Dwar; sounds--violins (sarangi) 4. Bhanwar Gupha; sounds--flute 5. Sach Khand; sounds--vina (bagpipe) 6. Alakh Lok* 7. Agam Lok* 8. Anami Lok (Sugmad)* [* Twitchell does not give the exact sounds of the higher regions above Sach Khand in this particular cosmology, nor does Sant mat, Radhasoami, or Ruhani Satsang.] Revised (as given in the Spiritual Notebook and standard by 1970): 1. Elam (Physical); sounds--thunder 2. Sat Kanwal Anda (Astral); sounds--roar of the sea 3. Maha-Kal/Par Brahm (Causal); sounds--tinkle of bells 4. Brahmanda Brahm (Mental); sounds--running water 5. Sat Nam (Soul); sounds--single note of flute 6. Alakh Lok; sounds--heavy wind 7. Alaya Lok; sounds--deep humming 8. Hukikat Lok; sounds--thousand violins 9. Agam Lok; sounds--music of woodwinds 10. Anami Lok; sounds--whirlpool 11. Sugmad Lok; sounds--music of universe 12. Sugmad/Living Reality; sounds--music of God The most noticeable difference in the two cosmologies is in the location of the various sounds (known in Radhasoami as shabd dhuns). Note that in the first "eight plane" cosmology the sound of the flute is heard on the "fourth" plane (Bhanwar gupha), one region below Sach Khand (the eternal "soul" realm), whereas in the "twelve plane" chart, the sound of the flute is now heard on the "fifth" plane (Sat Nam; the "soul" region). This contradiction, while perhaps not noteworthy in any other spiritual tradition, is crucial in Shabd yoga, where the whole essence of the path is based upon the internal hearing of the "sound current" or "audible life stream." The knowledge of which sounds to listen to and which to discard is an extremely important part of the teachings. Other variances in the cosmologies include: 1. The sound of the thunder which was heard in Trikuti (causal realm) in the original Sant mat cosmology is now according to the "twelve plane" chart heard in the physical region (Elam). 2. The tinkle of bells which was originally heard up to and through the first plane (Sahasra dal Kanwal) is now heard in the third region (MahaKal-Par-Brahm). 3. Par Brahm which used to be in Daswan Dwar (i.e., beyond mind and matter) is now in the causal realm--a region which was previously in Trikuti (the home of the mind). The preceding comparisons are important in understanding that, although Twitchell employed basic Sant mat concepts in the beginning of his group, the teachings themselves have undergone an evolution in Eckankar. This not only signals Twitchell breaking off from Ruhani Satsang doctrines but also indicates an evolving (and not a stationary) superstructure within Eckankar. More precisely, what may have been taught in Eckankar in 1965 and 1966 may not necessarily be disseminated in 1989. [End Part Seven] Part Eight: Lane's Response to Specific Questions/Doubts/Critiques [This is a continuation of the dialogue between Bruce's criticisms and Lane's responses] 10) So in showing the deviations of Eckankar from Ruhani Satsang allows one to better understand how Eckankar has grown or adapted. To be sure, one can see it as regressive; others, I am certain, will see it as progressive. But the whole point of Chapter Seven is to show the differences... And that has been amply documented. I got nothing against Twitchell advising people to eat brains and livers (from animals), but I do wonder why he would then want to include somebody like Kabir in his pantheon..... Read Kabir about meat-eating, then read Twitchell. Now, it could be Twitchell's highly evolved state that says eating brains is good for you, but it is clearly different from Sant Mat..... Nowhere in Chapter Seven do I give the reasons for why R.S. groups believe in vegetarianism; rather, I give Eckankar's reasons for meat-eating. Why? Because even though Twitchell will crib huge sections of his writings from R.S. (so much so that even outside observers--with no vested interest--are convinced that he plagiarized.... See Melton, who is about as tolerant a scholar as you are going to get in this field and he thinks Twitchell plagiarized), he will deviate to fit his needs (naturally he doesn't tell his reading audience when he does this, because if he did he would have to admit to where he got his stuff).... Okay, so read the following excerpt for the significance of the plagiarism and then for the significance of what it leaves out.... That in itself, regardless of your ultimate spin, speaks volumes: Ethics: The Moral Edifice The two principles that all Sant mat and Radhasoami groups agree upon are: 1) A pure moral life. This includes, among other things, a strict vegetarian diet (no meat, fish, or eggs) and an abstinence from narcotics and alcohol. 2) The teachings of Surat shabd yoga should be made available for free. That is, there are no charges for either initiations, instructions, or personal audiences with the Satguru. Also included under this guideline is the rule that a "perfect master" should earn his own living. The guru does not live off the donations made to him by his disciples. [Julian P. Johnson, The Path of the Masters (Beas: Radhasoami Foundation, Ninth edition, 1974), page 227.] Paul Twitchell has taken portentous exceptions to the two most agreed upon principles in Sant mat and Radhasoami. First and most glaring, Eckankar charges for their teachings. In fact, the group was originally incorporated as a business organization for this very reason. (It was only later that it switched its status to a "non-profit" religious movement.) Second, though he took a vow of vegetarianism in 1955, Twitchell and Eckankar advocate eating animal flesh. Argues Eckankar's founder: The vegetarian who is motivated by a religious creed takes his stand on the moral issue that eating flesh is against the principles of spirituality. Anyone who is a chela of ECKANKAR knows that after he has become efficient in Soul Travel and can go into the fifth (soul) plane, there is no right and no wrong, no beauty and no ugliness--only the one reality. Those who believe that vegetarianism is an asset to their spiritual growth are mistaken about the moral issue. [Paul Twitchell, Herbs: The Magic Healers (San Diego: Illuminated Way Press, 1971), page 78.] Concerning meat-eating, Twitchell remarks: And one should eat plenty of meat, especially brains, kidney, and liver. These are generally good for the human system. [Ibid., page 52.] Third and finally, Julian P. Johnson in his book, The Path of the Masters , lists several objective indices of a "perfect master." The very first guideline is that a master does not charge money for his services or live off the offerings of his devotees. Twitchell, interestingly, copies Johnson's list almost verbatim. However, the first objective indice Twitchell does not include. Below is a partial comparison: Julian P. Johnson, The Path of the Masters (pages 227-229): 2) Masters never boast of their mastership or of their spiritual powers or attainments. If any man claims to itself may be taken as conclusive proof that he has not attained so much. 8) A real Master never performs miracles for public exhibition. He may do them on special occasions, and for particular reasons. But in every case, the thing is kept secret from the public. It is a fixed law with real saints that they will never do miracles to win disciples. Yogis often do miracles, healing the sick and other things, but real masters never do them except on very special occasions and (for) urgent reasons. Paul Twitchell, Eckankar: The Key To Secret Worlds (pages 74-75): The first thing about the Mahanta is that he never boasts of his spiritual powers or attainments. If any man claims to have attained the highest in spiritual development, that claim itself may be taken as conclusive proof that he has not attained much. No spiritual traveler ever performs miracles for public exhibitions. He might do them on special occasions, and for some particular reason, but in every case, the miracle is kept secret from the public. No traveler will go about doing miracles in order to gain followers. This is a fixed law in the universe. Some yogis often do miracles, healing the sick and other things, but a real spiritual traveler would never do them, except on special occasions and only for urgent reasons. The first objective indice, which Twitchell does not in any of his publications cite or include, reads as follows from Julian P. Johnson's The Path of the Masters : 1. First and most noticeable of them all is the important fact that real Masters never charge for their services, nor do they accept payment in any form or any sort of material benefits for their instructions. This is a universal law among Masters, and yet it is an amazing fact that thousands of eager seekers in America and elsewhere, go on paying large sums of money for "spiritual instructions." Masters are always self-sustaining. They are never supported by their students or by public charity. [Lane's added commentary: so Twitch plagiarizes the list from Johnson--apparently agreeing so much with him as not to even alter sentence structure too much, but of course not acknowledging him--but he does not like the first requirement that Johnson says is the key one.... Not charging money..... Hmm.... Why? Could it be that Eckankar charges money? I think that's as simple an answer as one will get.... Occam's Razor has shaved this one pretty close.... Even skeptics of Lane's slants may agree.... Okay, so be it.... but don't tell me that money is not a chief factor, because if it isn't Twitchell would have included criterion number one....] Part Nine: Lane's Response to Specific Questions/Doubts/Critiques [This is a continuation of the dialogue between Bruce's criticisms and Lane's responses] 11. Bruce has questioned my interpretation of Ken Wilber in Chapter Eight. Well, I don't want to rain on Bruce's parade, but Wilber and I were friends in the 1980s and he has read The Making of a Spiritual Movement, as well as a number of my other articles. (Ken and his late wife, Treya, even donated money to the Understanding Cults cause.....). Needless to say, he liked what I wrote and told me so in writing. But that's cheap of me, so let's deal with the issue at hand...... How would Wilber, given his schema in A Sociable God, rank Eckankar in terms of legitimacy and authenticity? We have a pretty good "written" answer that is not merely Ken Wilber talking to Lane personally (we discussed this very issue, coincidentally, over dinner in S.F. a decade ago--The Indian food was excellent by the way). Read his co-authored book, Spiritual Choices. It is very clear where Wilber stands on this issue. The book is really a fun read, as well. Wilber would be the first one to take Twitchell to task for his lack of "credentials", for his lack of "lineage" (acknowledged or not), and for his lack of "integrity" (honor all teachers--good or bad--don't deny them). Concerning Eckankar's borrowing and Eckankar's uniqueness.... Clearly, Eckankar is a potpourri of lots of previously published stuff (from Ruhani to Theosophy to Scientology). Its uniqueness is not in its ingredients (those already exist), but in their blending.... On this point, I think Bruce is correct and I should be clearer. I should have said it simpler: Eckankar is unique in culling its plagiarized sources. In other words, Twitchell's child, Eckankar, reflects his reading tastes... and, in turn, is reflected in his cribbing of other people's books. 12. Bruce does not like my theological critique of Eckanakar when I say that if the God-Man can get dethroned, what does that say about the average Eckist? Or, as Bruce quotes me, "Darwin's excommunication points to a fatal flaw in Eckankar's philosophy: spiritual realization is not moral salvation." Okay, let's accept that the term salvation is a Christian term and loaded (even though Twitchell himself uses the term in his own writings), my overall point remains telling and right to the mark: If The God-Man of Eckankar can get booted out, excommunicated, his writings banished, sued, and maligned.... then what does that say about future members who are looking to a religion that is going to improve them? Well, it tells me this: for all your soul travel, for all your inner encounters, for all your love....... When you become the living Eck Master you can quite possibly (likely?) divorce your wife, sexually hassle women, embezzle, money, get addicted to drugs, sue 19 year old kids, and get really out-of-shape and tired...... and then after you have done all this, tell somebody like Dodie, former Eckist, that Eckankar treated you like "shit" (Darwin's words, not mine).... There you go, the next Eckankar advertisement: "ECKANKAR TREATED ME LIKE SHIT" --Darwin Gross, former Eck Master, Head of Eckankar, (title holder to the Mahanta), ex-husband of Gail, who was the former wife of Paul Twitchell, the founder, and currently scraped for cash....... Forget salvation, forget liberation, forget all that stuff....... Eckankar will treat you like shit....... at least that's what the former leader says...... But, i guess he is person non-grata, and since he is swayed by the Kal force his opinion won't work in today's "honest" Eckankar. I am not trying to be mean-spirited; I am simply using Eckankar's own history to critique its limitations.... And don't get me wrong, all religions have their skeletons.... It is just that Eckankar has more than its share for a group so young. Part Ten: Lane's Response to Specific Questions/Doubts/Critiques [This is a continuation of the dialogue between Bruce's criticisms and Lane's responses] 12. Bruce mentions that I should come out with an "edited" version of the Making without my biases, slants, opinions, and the like. He also suggests that I go to a reputable publisher.... I did try, you know, and it even got accepted by Garland Publishers for their library series (they even advertised it in their catalogs!) back in 1992. I was stoked too, because I had done my R.S. Tradition with them and gotten a nice response and nice reviews. I was anxious to see it in hardback, anxious to see it at U.C. Berekely. But guess what happened? Eckankar found out and threatened Garland with a lawsuit if they published it. I won't bore you with the details (I have already done that in a previous post). I just mention it because I really did try...... bummer...... Indeed, several other publishing houses expresed interest in the book (I even got some bites), but every time they balked when they learned of Eckankar's legal threats against me..... Geez, if you are going to sue one of your own over a term paper, then you can imagine how happy they are with what i wrote....... By the way, if you want "outside" academic confirmation of my observations, you can read a number of books by scholars who have agreed with my findings on plagiarism and cover-up: 1. Robert S. Ellwood, USC (check his book on Modern Religions) 2. J. Gordon Melton, UCSB (check anyone of his books that mention Eckankar) 3. Alternative Religions edited by Timothy Miller (just came out from SUNY), which has a chapter on Eckankar and cites my findings favorably) 4. Any current encyclopedia on Cults which has a section on Eckankar has either cited my findings or SCP's printing of it. 5. I would mention Juergensmeyer, but you might think his books are tainted since he and I are friends. I could mention about ten other books, but who cares after a while, but I will mention this: A Ph.D. disseration was recently written which substantiates my three basic assertions about Twitchell: cover-up, plagiarism, and biographical deceit.... The readers to that dissertation, needless to say, were three of the best scholars of religion in the world..... They were duly impressed by the magnitude of the plagiarism and cover-up. The author even did their own comparisons, taking the Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad...... as their starting point. When the book gets published, I will most certainly inform of it so you can see for yourself his/her observations. I will not re-edit the Making, but I will certainly add to it.... I am coming out with a sequel: GAKKO CAME FROM VENUS: Exploring the Hidden World of Paul Twitchell and Eckankar....... Hopefully, it will be done during my sabbatical...... It will, hopefully, contain some information that may be of use. And just maybe it will have nice publisher, provided of course that Eckankar's legal team does not know about it..... Can you keep a secret? P.S. I am a fun-loving guy....... And I must admit i had great fun responding to your post....... Keep up the good work sincerely, dave lane

E-mail The Neural Surfer directly at dlane@weber.ucsd.edu

I want to go back to the home base now.

Make your own free website on Tripod.com