Author: David Christopher Lane Publisher: The NEURAL SURFER Publication date: April 1997
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Steve R. Writes: Isn't it interesting that so much noise is made about Sudar Singh. David Lane and his concubines exclaim loudly that no evidence for Sudar Singh exists, and that this conclusively proves that Paul Twitchell was a liar and Eckankar is a fraud. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Uh oh! How did you find out about my concubines? I thought I had them secretly stashed away on Tavura, Fiji. I am happy Mark Alexander has provided us with an address for that Indian informant. I have already sent a letter out asking him a number of pinpointed questions. Yet, the reason many (pro and anti Eck) have doubted the existence of Sudar Singh is due to Paul Twitchell, not due to me. Twitchell redacted Kirpal Singh's name from FLUTE of GOD, TIGER'S FANG, and LETTERS TO GAIL and replaced it with Sudar Singh. I didn't do it. Twitchell had his "official" biographer, Brad Steiger, provide information at times which was completely bogus (including his high school records, his travels to India and elsewhere, etc.). Twitchell never provided us with any clear timeline for Sudar Singh (he messes up on his age, his death, etc.) or any precise address. Twitchell also contradicted his own narratives by saying that the Tiger's Fang was due to Kirpal Singh only to switch his story when he published the manuscript (see what Twitchell himself says about the Tiger's Fang in the article the "God Eaters") None of this has anything to do with "me." I simply pointed out the obvious; others have seen it as well, including Professor Sutphin, Professor Ellwood, Professor Melton, and a whole slew of academics who are not affiliated with me. It's Twitchell's own record that causes the doubts. STEVE R. WRITES: Now when such proof is offered, suddenly it is not sufficient, proving nothing, irrelevant, so what? DAVID LANE REPLIES: I think it is a nice lead, but I wouldn't call it "proof." And I am very happy to follow-up on the lead. Let us see what develops. Steve R. Writes: This is the problem with the entire Lane pile of nonsense. He passes it off as legitimate research. He makes loud noises about provability. He has even given criteria for disproving his contentions. One of these criterion is evidence for the existance of Sudar Singh. Now when such evidence is at hand, the Lane supporters almost unanimously exclaim that it is irrelevant. I guess they are saying, in effect, that Lane was lying all along, or they were. David Lane Replies: Steve, you better go back and read my reply to Mark Alexander. I asked Mark expressly for the address so that I could write the gentleman. I am sincerely interested in following up the lead. --------------------------- Dear Mark A.: Thanks for supplying the address of the Indian informant who claims to have known a "Sudar Singh" in Allahabad. I have sent off a letter to him with certain pinpointed questions which will hopefully clarify who exactly this particular Sudar Singh was. As I have mentioned many times before, I would actually love to be wrong about Sudar Singh and it would be quite intriguing indeed if Paul Twitchell met this particular "Sudar" in India and in France. However, as you know, there are lots of questions that have to be resolved first. Perhaps most important is whether or not Twitchell ever went to India or France like he claimed at the time that he claimed it. Moreover, did he actually meet the Sudar Singh in question or merely "read" about him. I say this, naturally, because we know that LETTERS TO GAIL makes mention of Kirpal Singh in the original only to be redacted later and replaced with the name of Sudar Singh. This has happened tens of times, of course, in Twitchell's earlier writings (where Kirpal Singh's name appears only to be replaced by "Sudar" or someone else). I noticed that this Indian gentleman states that the last time he met Sudar was in 1938. As you know, Twitchell's has conflicting dates on when Sudar Singh died (from the mid 1930s to 1937 to 1938). Now concerning the "rarity" of multiple "Sudar Singh's" there are several points we will have to consider in our follow-up research. How many Sudar's were teaching at that time? Did any of them teach the "shabd" yoga method that Twitchell describes? I say this precisely because there can be more than one guru with the same name in the same vicinity teaching almost exactly the same thing. For example, there are now two "Teja Singh's" teaching shabd yoga and they are just miles apart from each other--one is related to Sadhu Singh of Firozpur, while the other is related to Sawan Singh of Beas. Thus, though I sincerely applaud Eckankar providing us with a name, an address, and an interesting lead, there is lots of information that will be needed to reasonably assure us that we got the right Sudar and that Twitchell did, in fact, meet this guru in India and France. Twitchell's severe editing, Twitchell's biographical inconsistencies, and Twitchell's scanty leads means that we have to go the extra mile. Now having said all that, I will be most happy to report all that I gather from this particular informant. This is a fun quest and I think one that will be fruitful in our continuing debates. thanks, dave ----------------- Jessica Writes: Since there is no one posting here who is capable of translating into English the original text of Hindi, Sanskrit and Sufi, among other Far and Middle Eastern languages, there is no way to know if the teachers Paul Twitchell had paraphrased or rewrote the writings of their teachers. David Lane Replies: Julian Johnson wrote in English. I studied Hindi at the Landour Language School near Mussoorie, North India, as part of my M.A. requirement at GTU. Aaron Talksy, who occasionally reads posts on this newsgroup, can read both Hindi and Sanskrit. If by "Sufi" you mean Persian, I know two lurkers who can read it. However, Twitchell copied English texts, not Hindi ones, and the evidence for his purloining is overwhelming. Even if we just restrict ourselves to WITH A GREAT MASTER IN INDIA (which is a series of letters written by Julian Johnson to his friends in America and elsewhere) we can find ample examples of Twitchell's plagiarism. No question of "Hindi" or "Sanskrit" here. And to be even more precise, Sawan Singh (Johnson's guru) spoke English and discoursed in Punjabi. When there was a question of "translation" it is fairly clearly stated by Johnson. See, for instance, his editing of Sewa Singh's translation of SAR BACHAN (PROSE). The Path of the Masters by Johnson (and the book that Twitchell most heavily cribbed from) is written in English and is full of quoted citations. As many on this group (both pro and anti Eck) agree: Twitchell did plagiarize Johnson. Jessica Writes: Paul Twitchell never claimed that what he wrote originated with him but did say that the teachings he was talking about were ancient, and not new. David Lane: Yes, he did, since he claims that Rebazar Tarzs spoke directly to him (see the FAR COUNTRY) and even went so far as to "copyright" his numerous books--thus also "copyrighting" his plagiarisms of Julian Johnson. ---------------------- Nathan Writes: Excellent post. I agree with Doug completely about David Lane and his extremely surface study of Eckankar. The man has no depth whatsoever, except at using words well to fool people. Basically, he's just an unhappy name-caller who is ables to give the impression that he knows what he is talking about, so much so that he has even fooled Eckists of many years standing. . Unfortunately, he didn't gain enough wisdom to realize that people shouldn't write unless they can free themselves from bias and lack of ethics, nor did he learn enough to realize that there is life under the surface of anything. What a waste of all those years. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Thank you for observations. Maybe I surfed too much and all that water caused me to be too critically minded, since you are right on the money: When somebody tells me that Gakko came from the City of Retz, from the Planet Venus, I just get skeptical...... As for being an unhappy name caller and wasting all those years...... well, you can change all that and chip into my "Let Dave Surf the World" relief fund. Do you want to contribute? signed: Let Lane Surf More in France ---------------------------- Steve R. Writes: 1. Some discrepencies in which Master was given reference in some of Paul Twitchell's writings. Well, Paul had a major falling out with Kirpal Singh and was not about to reference him. 2. Some use of material from earlier writers in some of Paul's writings. I have always been taught in Eckankar that Paul gathered the teachings from diverse sources. So whether it came from an Astral Library or an imported Indian paperback has always been irrelevant to me. DAVID LANE replies: No, it wasn't an imported Indian paperback, but rather a hardback and one which Twitchell copied repeatedly from, including lifting whole sections of Johnson for Rebazar Tarzs' dialogue in THE FAR COUNTRY. STEVE R. WRITES: How many of you really place that much value registered lineage of a spiritual pathway? If you do, then that is certainly fine, but I don't. I can remember first reading Paul Twitchell listing some of the long line of Eck Masters and stating that he was the 971st. I actually skipped over much of that part, thinking "Who cares?" It just wasn't that important. It is a miniscule aspect of the teachings. DAVID LANE REPLIES: As the cliche's states, "God resides in the Details, Except that is in Eckankar where he resides in Julian Johnson's two books." (a little tease, Steve) Steve R. Writes: David Lane and freinds are asking you to reject the teachings of Eckankar on the basis of evidence equivalent to proof that the Easter Bunny is a fable. There is nothing in these criticisms that in any way invalidates the true teachings of Eckankar. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Be more accurate in your analogies. If a fundamentalist Christian found out that Jesus Christ didn't bodily resurrect from the dead, he or she would "reject" the teachings of Jesus (they are very clear on this point). Yet, if an Eckist discovers that the information provided by and about Paul Twitchell is inaccurate, misleading, or just plain made up, it is "miniscule" or "doesn't matter." Fair enough, but at least the Christian is "open" to the possibility that he or she is plain wrong. ------------- Raphael Writes: Dear Dave, And so what if Sudar Singh is real. Why do you applaud Eckankar for this? Think about it. Twitchell claimed that if I left Eckankar I would become a vegetable, suffer untold reincarnations, and become like a rock. Klemp has made similar statements in his discourses to members. I was controled by their BS for many many many years. I was abused by their thrist for power and self-validation. For them hell is not enough punishment. Try letting a little more of your real feelings come out. You just sound patronizing when you applaud Eckankar while knowing of all the fraud and deceit that had gone and on and continues to go on. DAVID LANE REPLIES: My real feelings? I actually love A.R.E. and even like being ripped from time to time. Sure, I can get exhausted by silly rejoinders and the like, but I I do appreciate the fact that Eckankar is at least try to substantiate the historical basis of one Sudar Singh..... That's a positive step since the more information we have the better. I wasn't trying to be patronizing. I think Mark Alexander did me a favor and I am appreciative. -----------------------------
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