Author: David Christopher Lane Publisher: The NEURAL SURFER Publication date: February 1997
E-mail David Christopher Lane directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
I want to go back to the home base now.
Julian P. Johnson, PATH OF THE MASTERS (1939), on page 259, writes: "Next above Anda lies Brahmanda, the third grand division. This terms means the 'Egg of Brahm.' It is also egg-shaped, like Anda, but is much more vast in extent. It is also more refined and full of light, and much more so than the physical universe. . . In fact, spirit predominates in Brahmanda just as matter predominates in Pinda, while Anda is rather on the dividing line between the two." Paul Twitchell, ECKANKAR: the key to secret worlds (1969), on page 198, writes: "Avove the Anda world lies that which we call Brahmanda, the third grand division, the 'Egg of Brahm.' It is also like the Anda world, but greater in scope and immensity of space. It is also more refined and more full of light than any of the worlds below it. In fact, spirit predominates the Brahmanda plane, just as matter dominates the Pinda, while the Anda is in between." ------------------------- Here's what Paul Twitchell says about the apparent similarities between Eckankar's inner plane cosmology and Theosophy's: "What the Theosophical Society calls their planes or what we know of them through the Vedanta group never particularly bothered me, for they are the same and we are not troubled with making comparisons. All we wish to do is to keep straight in our mind those various planes and the governments on each. I have used the names given by the Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad which is the Holy Book of the Eck masters of the ancient Vairagis order." (page 195 ECKANKAR THE KEY TO SECRET WORLDS) Sidebar: This indicates, at the very least, that Twitchell was aware of Theosophy's inner plane cosmology. Twitchell says he gets his names from the Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad................. Try comparing the Theosophical Glossary and Johnson's terminology with Paul's terminology........... some very sweet similarities. --------------------------------- Steve, Since I like dogs very much I really don't mind being compared to one (I can add that now to Saddam, Hitler, Red Monk, Shameless, and Dog-Boy!).... Indeed, I even named Aaron Talksy's dog after the famous Zen Haiku Master, Basho...... Quite an amazing dog. But I digress. Again, you have this interesting habit of making things up about me. 1. Sorry, I was never associated with Kirpal Singh or his group. However, I had a really nice time when I met with Darshan Singh a number of times--both in India and California. He was quite helpful in my research. I have also met with Ajaib Singh and Thakar Singh (the latter makes Paul Twitchell look like a Saintly Virgin). There was no divorce proceedings, since I was never married to anyone in this group. 2. I have already answered your question several times about why I wrote the MAKING as I did. Please try reading what I write it since it may save you some time. It was for a religious studies class on American sects and cults; our teacher wanted us to do an investigative piece (not a sociological one). Again, it is a critical expose'. Keep ranting, though. The Enchanted Land is not sociological; the Unknowing Sage is not sociological; and my posts are not sociological....... I am sorry that you cannot accept an answer when given.... But I will never tire of trying to communicate.... 3. A bit disengaging, bro, when my very posts pointed out when Darwin started the front organization and how Eckankar did indeed deny Kirpal Singh. Your barking friend. ---------------------------- Agam Prasad Mathur revisited. I have never seen a Soami Bagh book which contains a critical rip of the book on its first page. I have never seen a Beas book which contains a critical rip of the book on its first page. I have never seen a book of Agam Prasad Mathur which contains a rip of him on the first page. The MAKING does (indeed gives the same rip twice for added effect). Now in R.S. Tradition, I had no such rip. So instead I pointed to several personal details which I felt may help contextualize the study (we are not talking about facts, but the interpretion of those facts). In MAKING I already had a good rip of my slants and it was official (sent worldwide). Now Steve thinks that I should go into my religious history--just like I did in R.S. Tradition--in the spirit of full disclosure. Now I wouldn't mind doing that, but I felt that the Eckankar rip served a much better purpose. Why? Because it provided the readers with a view of me that apparently Paul Twitchell himself prophesized about: I was part of the KAL forces, a heathen, a pagan, etc...... Now I think that is quite forthcoming on my part (I also included two Darwin quotes against me). But there are those who want more. Fair enough: try reading Dodie's article about me. Try reading the Enchanted Land. And even in my critique of Agam Prasad Mathur (who is a guru in the tradition), I still knew that no matter how biased he or she may be, there were pertinent and important findings in his book. ----------------------------------- 1. Paul Twitchell was a vegetarian (oops, at least he was for a few years--that gives him some brownie points [no eggs in the brownie of course] 2. Paul Twitchell thought Steve R. needed reading lessons (oops, he didn't say that. But in Steve's defense, I must say that A.R.E. has been a helluva lot more fun since he came on board and he has most definitely inspired lots of us to debate. My nod to Steve...... signed: saddam the hypocrite dog) 3. Paul Twitchell thought that sleeping and having dreams was a valuable meditation technique. That helps me.... Geez I fall asleep a lot when I meditate... didn't know I was invoking a higher astral technique!) 4. Paul Twitchell didn't surf. Yea, that's cool because he didn't crowd the peak at 8th street in Del Mar. He gave more waves to his friends by not even going out. BONUS ROUND: a. Paul Twitchell lied about his age. That's groovy, since when I get old (hey, bro, you are already 40!) and over 50 I am going to tell the librarian at school that I just turned 40..... oh yea, that will be smooth. Probably get a few more weeks for my books... b. Paul Twitchell got kicked out of Swami Premananda's church in 1955. I like that since I got kicked out Catholic High School back in 1973 (oh the horrors of disclosure!). Maybe Twitch was on detention before he got booted; i know i was. --------------------------------- 1. Darwin Gross likes to eat. That's a plus since I like to eat too. 2. Darwin Gross is overweight. That's a plus too since I don't feel so bad when I look in the mirror. 3. Darwin Gross likes young babes (oops, there I go again....) 4. Darwin Gross only "threatened" to sue me, whereas Harold Klemp actually did. That's a positive feature. 5. Darwin Gross plays the vibes and has a cool backup singer. Went with Dodie Bellamy (see her article on Rife's website) to see Darji play and I had a wonderful time. I even started crying (I am serious.... no not when he sat on me, but when his backup singer belted out a plaintive tune). 6. Darwin Gross embezzled 2.5 million dollars. That's an added bonus, especially if you are in need of a student loan. 7. Darwin Gross checked the thermostat when I visited the Eckankar center in Menlo Park in order to see who I was. They went on alert after Bernandine noticed my name when I signed in for a tour. I dig Darji's style. Ek Master checks thermostat to the building when KAL boy shows up. Must have noticed it was getting too "hot" when I arrived... you know, all that negative stuff I carry around (close the door, Nathan). 8. Darwin Gross is financially broke. That's alright. At least he won't be telling me how much more money he has than me..... 9. Darwin Gross says Eckankar treated him like shit. Hey, join the club, bro. Jim Peebles has been waiting for you. --------------------------------------------- In our continuing debates over exactly where Twitchell purloined his excerpt on HU from in FLUTE of GOD (remember we are only talking about this one specific case since I believe it to be a rather exceptional one; Johnson is usually the man for Twitchell's cribbing, but there can be exceptions even for the Twitch!), I thought it might be helpful to note the following: In Chapter VII of FLUTE (I am using the ORION version as it appeared in installments) Twitchell goes into some length about HU, Vibrations, Music, and Harmonics. In Chapter Six (where the plagiarized Hu excerpt from Khan is found), Twitchell also talks about HU, Sufis, and Music. Khan's book, coincidentally, also talks about Vibrations, Harmony, Music, Name, etc. Read Khan's book for a contextual read and then read it in light of FLUTE. Clearly Twitchell's writings reflect an understanding of what Khan is talking about. And, of course, we even have Twitchell himself saying he has learned the "clue" from Hazrat Inayat Khan's writings just four paragraphs before his unattributed excerpt. The FLUTE appears to go beyond a mere reading of Chapter 8 (the section that Johnson quotes) and appears to include an understanding of chapters 1 to 7--chapters that naturally don't appear in Johnson's work. To be sure, the Twitch usually plagiarizes Johnson, but a close reading of FLUTE and Twitch's own words talking about KHAN (scary huh?) indicates to me that Twitchell cribbed from KHAN directly. Of course, in either case we got the KHAN quote down. This is too much fun. --------------------------------------- My fingers are getting tired from typing these samples in and I just keep finding more. So here's a breakdown for interested readers: Compare Julian P. Johnson's PATH OF THE MASTERS (1939), Chapter Four--THE CREATION AND ORDER OF THE UNIVERSE, with Paul Twitchell's ECKANKAR: THE KEY TO SECRET WORLDS, Chapter Eleven, THE ETHERIC HIERARCHY OF THE HEAVEN-WORLDS. Below is a number listing of the paragraphs that I found which contained plagiarized material taken, without any credit whatsoever, >from Julian P. Johnson: Paragraphs are numbered from 1 to..... starting from the beginning of Chapter Eleven. Paragraphs 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 21, 22, 23, 25, 27, 29, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 47, 48, 59, 60, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, (please also compare the last few sections with Chapter Five, GOD AND THE GRAND HIERARCHY OF THE UNIVERSE, by Julian Johnson in the PATH OF THE MASTERS) More to come...... This is just one chapter ----------------------------------- Here's what the legal team of Eckankar says about Darwin Gross: (excerpted from the legal filings, SRI DARWIN GROSS, Plaintiff, versus ECKANKAR, Defendant (Civil No. 83-228--Demand for Jury Trial): "13. Plaintiff [Darwin Gross, 2nd Living Eck Master and Mahanta in Modern Times] was terminated as a chela member of ECKANKAR by the Living ECK Master for religious and ecclesiastical reasons and has been so notified. Since his [Darwin's] termination as a follower of Eckankar, plaintiff [Darwin Gross, one-time EK Master] has had no right to refer to himself as an ECKist, a chela member of ECKANKAR, an ECK Master, a Vairagi Master, or any other designation....." Oh the bummers of being an EX-ECK Master..... not even a chela any more...... That's right Dap bro, more of the Wheel for you! (just teasing)..... Here's a thought: maybe Dap Ren can go enlist with those Vairagi Adepts in India (via Khan) and use their titles.... Now that would be an interesting lawsuit about trademark usage. ----------------------------------- Paul Kurtz CSICOP Central Park Station, Box 229 Buffalo, NY 14215-0229 Re: CSICOP Library Dear Mr. Kurtz: Thank you for establishing a file on David Lane and Sant Mat. The following information garnered through personal correspondence may be of future use to the committee should it decide to investigate the claims of Sant Mat. I first came across Lane's work in the Journal of Humanistic Psychology, Vol. 24 No. 4, Fall 1984. The journal published an article by Lane entitled The Himalayan Connection: UFOs and the Chandian Effect. Lane's "important point" in the article was to "investigate all nonrational experiences with a critical structuralism and an empathetic phenomenological hermeneutics."1 He mentions a member of CSICOP in the following excerpt: "Among the millions of UFO sightings reported each year, there are a select few that describe vivid and remarkable personal encounters with extraterrestrial beings. No matter what rational (i.e. translative) explanations may be offered to account for this type of experience, the contactee while undergoing the event will perceive it as extremely real (and, in some cases, more real than our own waking world) and will be convinced of its authenticity. Science generally will not be able to grasp this experience in itself and will classify it as an "hallucination", as some scientists have done with Near-Death Experiences (Siegel, 1981), or, if following Carl Sagan's lead, "a miswiring in human neuroanatomy" (Sagan, 1979). Although these may look like plausible explanations for such transmundane phenomena, they do not in essence explain the occurrences "as is." Rather, they reduce the experiences down to fit an empirical-sensory model. This reductionism is particularly misleading and, if allowed to dominate our thinking, reduces higher, more unified modes of being."2 I subscribed to his research series Understanding Cults because of my interest in the modus operandi of cults with relation to a hard science-fiction novel that I am writing. I needed some good background material. However, I found that Lane seemed to be more interested in advancing his own religious beliefs rather than scientific investigation of the psychological and sociological foundations of cult behavior. Lane is a member of the Radhasoami faith. His guru, Charan Singh, has over a million devotees worldwide. There are over 7,000 adherents in the United States. Lane claims that "With the current interest in consciousness research, Radhasoami (by way of its mediational techniques) has much to offer the field of Transpersonal Psychology and neurophysiologists trying to understand the nature of the mind. To realize the vast potential that Radhasoami studies offers, both scholastically and experientially, will depend to a large degree on how serious we, as researchers, take modern religious movements."3 A few of the "salient features" of Lane's background follow: 1. Born/Raised Roman Catholic 2. Taught Religion in Roman Catholic Schools for 5 years. 3. First became interested in Eastern philosophy after I picked up Yogananda's AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A YOGI when I was eleven or twelve years old. 4. Avid surfer 5. Experienced my first encounter with the mystical dimension when I was 15 (see "Speaking in Tongues"). 6. Turned vegetarian when I was 16 after much reading and a strange exposure to Father Yod and his "Source" restaurant in Hollywood [a story in itself--to come out later-- see "UCSM" Vol. 1--No. 3, footnotes]. 7. Practiced kundalini yoga for about two years (16 and 17), viz a viz books and Yogi Bhajan designated teachers. 8. At 17 reached a very dark time in my life (my father died and shortly before that time was extremely depressed). 9. Shortly before my father's death discovered Sant Mat teachings. 10. Went to C.S.U.N. for undergraduate work: B.A. in Religious studies. 11. First visit to India in 1978 as Juergensmeyer's Research Assistant. Met several Surat Shabd Yoga Masters. 12. In November of 1978, after my visit to India, got accepted for initiation by Maharaj Charan Singh Ji of Radhasoami Satsang Beas (see "The Great Sage of Hoshiarpur"--where this information, albeit brief--is mentioned. 13. Got married in December of 1978. 14. Began Graduate school at Berkely in 1979 (got M.A. in history and phenomenology of religion). 15. Had a very close association with Baba Faqir Chand and his writings (though he was never my guru--I've been a disciple of Charan Singh's and still continue and will continue to be so) 16. I am a great fan of Ken Wilbur's. Indeed, I had an intellectual "satori" one night reading him in Hayward, California; consequently altered my approach. 17. I am also a great fan of Ramana Maharshi and, believe it or not, Da Free John (oops it is now "Love Anaoonda"). I don't buy into Da Free as a Master, but I do think that what he has to say in some of his books is extremely on target. 18. Today, I live in Del Mar. Surf as much as I can (only problem is that I broke my foot playing basketball so I am temporarily out of the wave action). 19. Been married for 8 good years. 20. Working on my PhD. in Sociology, while teaching in the Warren College Writing Program. 21. My overt biases (at least some that I am aware of): non-dualist philosophy (advaita vedanta); Sant Mat ethics (e.g., no charging of money, pure moral life, etc.); "Unknowingness" [I do not know what a single thing is --via Nicholas of Cusa, Kant, S.L. Frank, Da Free John, etc.]. Or, in other words, Reality is always greater than my puny conceptions of it. MY other bias is that I enjoy difference of opinion and that I am interested in discovering what "Reality really is" versus what I want it to be. [Or, what I want Reality to be, is that which it already is in truth].4 I have also included a list of article reprints authored by Lane. I trust that this information may be of some future use to the committee if it decides to investigate the claims of the Radhasoami religion and Lane's allegations against the validity of sensory/empirical science in evaluating "transmundane phenomena." Sincerely, Richard Pickett FOOTNOTES 1David Christopher Lane, "The Himalayan Connection: UFOs and the Chandian Effect," Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 24, No. 4 (Fall 1984), 86. 2Ibid., p. 84. 3David Christopher Lane, Radhasoami Mat:Parampara In Definition And Classification (A Genealogical History of the Gaddi Nasheen Lineages Connected with Shiv Dayal Singh),Diss. Graduate Theological Union 1981, p. 80. 4Information in a letter to the author from David Lane of UCSM, August 28, 1986. "Dear Mr. Pickett: Thank you for your encouraging letter, and for your $50 donation to our library. We have read your enclosed correspondence and clippings with interest, and are delighted that Mr. Lane has offered you the opportunity to debate him in print. Your careful analyses of his work and your ability to think clearly are most impressive. While our obligations and our workload prevent us from being able to join you in this debate, we are fully confident in your abilities, and are certain that you will manage very gracefully on your own. Mr. Lane's articles are most interesting. Despite his faulty reasoning and his susceptibility to supernatural explanations of mundane happenings, he does appear to be honest, charming, and even--especially in his article "Help in Spiritual Emergencies"--quite wise. But he makes the same mistake that other occultists and New Agers make--he fails to distinguish between objective reality and subjective perceptions of reality. He fails to understand that to prove that a hallucination, or a dream image, or a conviction that one is living in a "higher level of consciousness" is objectively false, is not to suggest that such an experience is meaningless to the individual who has undergone that experience. That is the reason for his distress at such pronouncements as Carl Sagan's explanation of hallucinations as being "miswirings in the human neuroanatomy." We wish the best of luck in your endeavors at spreading common sense. We ask that you kindly send us clippings of any debates you may have with Mr. Lane, as we are most interested in reading all such material, and in filing it in our library, thereby making it accessible to the public. Thank you once again for your enthusiastic support of our work. Cordially, Paul Kurtz Well, the debate started. It never finished. There may be nothing to debate at this point. It seems that the 30 year old transpersonal Dave has transformed into a 40 year old materialist Dave. Of course, neither will admit to knowing what either realm is. Where are you at on this Dave? Is it real or memorex? BONUS LETTER DEPARTMENT OF RELIGION DUKE UNIVERSITY MAY 15, 1988 Dear Mr. Pickett: . . . As for David Lane and his work, you may be quite right about his motivation. That aside, it does seem to me reasonably clear that Shri Paul Twitchell was significantly influenced by some of the Radhasoami concepts. I think that conclusion does not depend on Lane's work exclusively. I first came upon it when talking with Phil Ashby of Princeton and reading some of his work on the Radhasoami. I realize that many Eckists resist this conclusion--unnecessarily, I think. Does one have to be completely "original" in order to be an innovative and effective spiritual master and guide? I think not. As a historian of religions I have learned how rare spiritual originality is. Just try to think of a really new religious idea or technique. Even when one thinks one has come upon something new, investigation usually reveals that some one somewhere some time has already thought of it. It seems to me that Eckankar, emphasizing, as it does, the antiquity of its spiritual lineage, would be more open to the admission of religious influences from the past. That Shri Paul may have been influenced in some respects by the Radhasoami in no wise diminishes his spiritual importance and power in my estimation. I tried to make that clear in referring to the Radhasoami in our presentation." Dr. Harry B. Partin Dr. Partin has since retired from Duke University, the Harvard of the South. Professor Kurtz is still active at SUNY. I guess Dr. Dave is still teaching and surfing at that California Junior College, Mt. San Antonio. Critical enough, Dave? Richard Picket ----------------------------------------------------- Mark, it is fun to debate plagiarisms with you (instead of the artistry of Paul), but I am well aware that Chapter VIII, Abstract Sound, of Mysticism of Sound by Hazrat Inayat Khan is quoted in full (and cited) by Julian Johnson in the Path of the Masters. Indeed, in another book by Twitchell I even mention the plagiarism. So why did I go to the original in this case? Because my dear and loving friend Mark I actually read Paul Twitchell in context. Here's exactly what he--the founder of Eckankar--says just 4 paragraphs before excerpting Khan without attribution: "HAZRAT INAYAT KHAN GAVE ME [TWITCHELL] THE CLUE IN HIS WRITINGS...." Please my loving friend note what Twitchell just said, "Khan gave me the clue in his writings." Now Paulji does not say that Johnson's quotes of Khan gave him the clue; he says Khan's writings gave him the clue. Then keep reading the section. Paul then goes on to discuss Sufi teachings. He does not mention Johnson or cite Johnson properly, but he does in fact even quote Khan (can you believe it?). Here is exactly what Paul wrote (just four paragraphs before): "Hazrat Inayat Khan gave me the clue in his writings, "He who depends on his eyes for sight, his ears for hearing and his mouth for speech, he is still dead." (ORION version, page 42, March/April 1967). Mark, there is no "royal" screw-up, just David Lane (being more) careful than your good self. I did the most absurd thing of all: I actually listened to what Paul said himself! -------------------------------- I have to admit that the recent debate over Twitchell's plagiarism in FLUTE of God (was it the original Khan or the quoted Khan in Johnson) is one of the coolest things I have seen yet in A.R.E. Can you imagine it? Here I am defending the claim that Twitchell went to the original source (as Paul himself says just 4 paragraphs before the unattributed excerpt, "Hazrat Inayat Khan gave me the CLUE in HIS Writings"), while Mark is arguing that it was Johnson's long quote of Khan that Twitchell cribbed from. We are, of course, no longer arguing about the FACT of plagiarism, but whether Paulji went to the original well or the secondary well. That's quite a nice development. If you read the excerpt in context (Twitchell goes into some length about the Sufis and their practices and even directly quotes Khan), you will understand why I argued that Twitchell plagiarized from the original source. It is the ironies of ironies that I am accused of "losing it" because I happened to have "listened" to what Paul suggested himself--that he had read Khan's writings (he didn't say "I learned the clue from Johnson who quoted Khan"). I actually gave Paul the benefit of the doubt.... And I am losing it? Amazing how strange the tide can pull when one does not look at these things closely. Moreover it is so refreshing for me to see our debates progress to such a level. Again, Mark, read FLUTE for yourself. Is Paul telling us the truth or is he merely relying on Johnson's quote? Nice dilemma, huh? ---------------------------------- 1. Harold Klemp, I am told, likes to get naked. Well, surfers understand that urge. You are on Pacific Coast highway, just got out of the water at County Line riding mush burgers and you are dying to get that wetsuit off. But there is a hitch... no trunks and your friends rip your clothes off going across the stree to grab a couple of cokes and some barbeque Fritos (think about the combo there... oh yea). So you streak naked across the street..... Cops don't like it, though, and they cite you for indecent exposure. I tell them that God took his clothes off in an airport, so I why not on PCH? They don't buy it and I get a citation...... 2. Harold Klemp sued Darwin Gross and won. Yea, that's cool because Darwin Gross sued Jim Peebles... It's called karmic payback, Vibe Boy. 3. Harold Klemp digs young babes (now Dave that's not true! Oh well, two out of three Ek masters is not bad though) 4. Harold Klemp likes to repeat gossip about other masters. Well, it sure would be neat to see all those forged documents Kirpal Singh and crew manufactured in order to "claim" Paul Twitchell. I haven't seen one yet, though--maybe I shouldn't hold my breath. 5. Harold Klemp is thin, like my brother Joseph. I like that becuase my bro Joe is a great guy. We call him bones. I don't know what they call Harji (hey that "because" was mistyped) -------------------------------- Steve, You should read the Kirpal Statistic closer. I didn't say Kirpal Singh's initiations were invalid. What I said (and it is much more radical in its import) is that the modus operandi behind inner experiences of light and sound is directly connected to an individual's own inherent structural capacity for alternative states of consciousness, whether that be neurologically or mystically based. Thus, all experiences of light and sound in R.S. or Sant Mat (and not exclusive to Kirpal Singh--he was simply a good example) are directly correlated to an individual's already existing potential for such numinous encounters. Kirpal and others, I argued, simply tapped into that potential. The question of valid or invalid initiations was not my issue, since I would argue that all initiations would more or less be dependent upon one primary a priori structure: The Brain. ----------------------------- Here's a continuation of Twitchell's plagiarism from Hazrat Inayat Khan's book THE MYSTICISM OF SOUND. THE MYSTICISM OF SOUND (page 66): "...in the Bible, Eloi, Elohim, and Hallelujah, are related to the word Allahu." THE FLUTE OF GOD (Orion version, page 43, March-April 1967): "...in the Bible--Eloi, Elohi, and Alleluya which came from the original word Hu." (Clearly Twitchell in this case make some changes--from the spelling of Hallelujah to Alleluya to the word Allahu (see the hu at the end for emphasis) to Hu. (Sidebar: It is an interesting aside here to note that in this same book by Hazrat Inayat Khan, THE MYSTICISM OF SOUND, he refers to the following on page 64: "Aluk is the sacred word that THE VAIRAGIS, THE ADEPTS OF INDIA, use as their sacred chant." Did Twitchell learn of the term, Vairagis, from Khan? Well, one thing is certain, Eckankar SUED Darwin Gross when he tried to use the term to describe his post-Eckankar activities. Why? Eckankar has "trademarked" the Vairagi term to describe their lineage of Masters. Gross lost his case. I wonder if the "Vairagis, the Adepts of India" that Khan talks about have any good legal representation in terms of prior trademark usage? Oh well...................... -------------------------- Dear Steve: As always it is enthralling to read your latest replies, rebuttals, and observations. But, once again, you have this cute habit of making things up about me. You claim that I have "recanted" about the MAKING, saying it was not a sociological piece. Dear friend, I never recanted anything concerning this. Why? Because I never claimed (as you wrongly did) that the MAKING was a sociological piece. Steve, I want you to succeed in your rips of me and my ideas, but making things up will not accomplish that aim. To the degree you are accurate about what I say or don't say will go a long way in helping your cause. Persisting in making things up will only dampen the crusade. Keep ripping, by all means. Unlike your earnest desire for me, I have no yearning whatsoever for you to shut up. I want you to continue in your defense of Eckankar. But that defense will be a lot stronger if you stop interjecting claims that have no substance....... ------------------------------------ Dear Geoff: Thanks for your recent inquiry into my latest posts, wherein you ask if I am going through something (since you pick up a hint of anger). No, I am not angry about anything. Actually, I have been having a lot of fun on A.R.E. and enjoying the various viewpoints that have emerged. Those series of posts on Darwin Gross, of course, do illustrate the anger of a former Eck Master who feels (rightly or wrongly) that he was given the shaft by Eckankar, his former employer. In terms of religious history, the Darwin Gross excommunication is quite fascinating, since it is pretty rare that a guru gets sued by his chosen successor. And, then to top it off, that same guru has all of his books, tapes, and other materials (apparently worth millions) destroyed. Clearly, that chapter alone indicates much about Eckankar's theology (pro or con). Yep, Darwin did indeed seem pissed off about the whole thing, but as Bruce rightly points out it was a two-way street. Harji and Eckankar felt that they had been betrayed by the guy they had once so admired. In either case, however, the court case, the letters back and forth, make for enthralling reading. General Hospital wishes it could be that good.......................... ------------------------------------ Steve has recently made the claim that reading Lane's work can be hazardous to one's karmic well-being. Steve's argument is that the MAKING causes bad, negative reactions in those who take it seriously or who are persuaded by its "con" text (pun intended). If by negative Steve means that the reader will begin to have serious doubts about Eckankar and the like, I must say that I agree with Steve. Reading the MAKING will cause doubts in some people, in others it may strengthen their faith in Eckankar (see Jay's post, for instance), in others it may make them despise David Lane for all eternity (see Eckankar's 1979 memo, or Nathan's worry that his children need to be protected from my bad vibes), and in still others it may instill a fear of term papers...... But causing "doubt" seems to be its key feature. 1. It may cause one to doubt Brad Steiger's official biography of Paul Twitchell, IN MY SOUL I MAKE MONEY BUT DON'T HAVE TO TELL YOU ANY FACTS (just teasing) 2. It may cause one to doubt Eckankar's official claim during Darwin Gross' tenure that Paul Twitchell was NEVER associated with Kirpal Singh. 3. It may cause one to doubt that the FAR COUNTRY was really dictated by a 500 year old Tibetan Lama (The more likely suspect? An anti- semetic Baptist who wrote the Path of the Masters) 4. It may cause one to doubt the truthfulness of Eck Masters, especially when one of them was recently sued over embezzlement ------------------------------------------------ Steve, What you continually fail to realize is that no matter how slanted or biased an author may be, he or she can still provide information that is valuable, accurate and true. Let us take Agam Prasad Mathur, the great grandson of Rai Salig Ram, as an illustrative example since you take a quote from my book, THE RADHASOAMI TRADITION (1992/Garland), concerning him. Now Agam is currently a guru in the lineage of his father/grandfather at Peepal Mandi, Agra. I have met Agam personally on a few occasions at his home as well. I mention in R.S. TRADITION that Agam should have been more forthcoming about his guru status. Yet, despite that criticism (and here comes the important point that Joseph Polanik can easily see in contradistinction with your good self), I have still found his book a valuable source of information and I quote it in various parts of my book on Radhasoami. Why? Because I realize that even though an author may have a slant or a bias or may even withhold pertinent information, it does not a priori disqualify him or her from providing solid facts or insightful leads. The same holds true for Johnson (he was anti-semetic), for Maheshwari (he was only in favor of Soami Bagh), or--god forbid, the Saddam of Research himself, Dave Lane. That you fail to understand this is quite ironic. I don't mind being called names, because I know that others can see the plagiarism, the cover-up, and deceit, regardless of my editorial comments or the like. ------------------------------------------ Oh, I forgot to talk about Agam Prasad Mathur's addiction to pan (or betel nut). For those who don't know of this interesting habit, it is a common practice among some Indians to use pan or betel nut, which I am told is a mild intoxicant (perhaps not dis- similar to tobacco). When I first met Agam back in 78 with Juergensmeyer I immediately noticed that he loved pan and his lips were smeared red because of it. A decade or so later when I saw Agam again, he seemed to be more into pan or betel nut than ever. His following in India is not exceptionally large (some estimate it at close to 100,000; others at less than 20,000), but he has been quite influential because of his book on Radhasoami history. It used to be the most cited academic source on R.S. until Juergensmeyer's groundbreaking study came along. But regardless of Agam's betel addiction and his obvious bias towards Peepal Mandi, the book had much to offer. I have found that some of my best sources in R.S. history were the very people with a vested interested, with an agenda, and with a slant. Why? Because they had the necessary passion--rightly or wrongly--for providing information that would otherwise never see the light of day. The issue is not so much bias or vested interest, it is one of replication. By all means think the worst of David Lane but go one step further: Get the original Orions, get the death and marriage certificate, get the original Flute of God, get the Kirpal file, get the original source materials. Do the research and discover MORE (not less) about Paul Twitchell. That way we are all better served. The best rip of anyone's research is not in the name-calling (even though that can be fun too), but in actually uncovering documents, substantive reports, etc. ---------------------------------- In a recent post, there was a quotation given from my book, THE RADHASOAMI TRADITION (Garland 1992), wherein I take Agam Prasad Mathur (author of the history text, Radhsoami Faith, and the great grandson of Rai Salig Ram) to task for not letting his readers know that he is presently the presiding guru of the Radhasoami Peepal Mandi Satsang in Agra. I argued that such a disclosure would help the would-be reader better contextualize the material being presented. No doubt it would. But this does not mean (as Steve and others naively assume) that slanted or biased angled approaches cannot contain facts or truthful information. They very much can, and Agam Prasad Mathur's book was a very valuable source for me in my research work and I have cited him many times. Indeed, he was a treasure trove of factual points. What Steve and others continually fail to appreciate is that no matter how biased an author may be (Lane is Hitler, Lane is Saddam, Lane Sucks, Lane Teaches Higher Psychic Techniques, Lane is a Gay F.B.I. agent [that nice honorific came from John-Roger Hinkins!], Lane is a Pagan, Lane is Kal) his or her authored text can still be replete with factual and verifiable information. Joseph Polanik in a series of finely reasoned essays has pointed this out time and time again-- and he is an Eckist and he does NOT think highly of MAKING. That is why the doctoral dissertation, which includes a chapter on Eckankar, more or less substantiates my basic findings in MAKING. Why? Because anyone with a brain can see the "similarities", "the duplicity", and the "heavy redaction." But if you want to bypass that obstruction known as your brain, then by all means say KAL is in the house. Protect those cokes, protect that surfboard in the closet, and by all means protect the children (hi Nathan). ------------------------------------- Darwin Gross, the former living Eck Master and previous holder of the Mahanta, was excommunicated from Eckankar. He doesn't receive discourses, nor is he a member in good standing. He also claims that Eckankar treated him like shit. Yet, Eckankar claims that he more or less mistreated Harold Klemp and the company (stealing money, being disrespectful, etc.). He is the bridge master between Twitchell and Klemp. That bridge, I would suggest, reveals more about Eckankar than anything I have ever written. The close study of Darwin Gross will reveal in a nutshell the pluses and the negatives of Eckankar. It will also reveal what every newcomer should know: That Eck Masters can (as Darwin himself revealed) behave in ways that others would find legally reprehensible (just ask Eckankar's legal team which sued Darwin Gross into bankruptcy for his alleged misconduct). Darwin Gross is the Paradox of Eckankar. -------------------------- Dear Steve: Thank you for asking questions (once again) about my ethics. Here we go: 1. In the MAKING I revealed something that most books never dare to reveal: on the first page I provide Eckankar's Official Stance to my research, wherein they call me a Pagan, a Heathan, and say my work should be destroyed. They call it incomplete, etc. But, you know Steve, I then put that same quote from Eckankar in the Note to the Reader (for the mathematically challenged, this means that I give Eckankar's official rip of me TWICE before one even reads the main text). I then proceed to give Darwin Gross' official rip of me (two different citations) in the Preface about my work. Now you rant on about how unethical I am, but you fail to acknowledge that the MAKING right up front gives its readers a very clear indication of how Eckankar views the research that you are about to read. Not many books do that; Mathur's doesn't, Maheshwari's doesn't. I think it is quite "revealing". Instead of making up baseless charges, try counting all the pro-Eckankar opinions I have in the book, since I have to mention them in order to provide my own position. I even mention the evolution of the term paper, how it started, what motivated me, etc. (end part one) ----------------------------------------------------- Oh the joys of gossip: 400 paragraphs of plagiarism by Paul Twitchell (each numbered and cited in MAKING) 10 examples of name redactions in the original to revised FLUTE of GOD Death Certificate of Paul Twitchell Marriage Certificate of Paul Twitchell Death Certificate of Effie, Paul's mother Death Cerfificate of Kay-Dee, Paul's sister Original Letter from Camille Ballowe Taylor (cited even by Klemp) Tens of Original Quotations from EARLY Paul Twitchell Articles (some never publicly known before) Direct Excerpts from the the Darwin Gross/Klemp Legal Battle (rarely seen and rarely quoted) Original Research Conducted in India at Sawan-Kirpal Ashram, wherein Twitchell's correspondence is discovered Extensive cross-referencing of Twitchell's original sources and comparisions of plagiarism provided. Details about the early history of Eckankar before 1965 as given in Twitchell's early articles (most not publicly available) I could go on, since I do love the above "gossip." But, you know Steve, if you really like good gossip, try reading what Klemp says about "forgery" by the Kirpal Singh camp...... Now that is something that would make the World Weekly proud. ---------------------------------------- Personally, I have found this debate over which source Twitchell really used quite exhilerating. It is precisely the kind of thing I love to debate about. What I find most progressive, of course, is that we can at least agree about the "fact" of plagiarism. Now we are debating which source and Lane's credibility. Since I enjoy thinking deeply on these type of subjects, let me now give Mark ammunition for his position and against mine. Mark, read page xxix by Pierre Schmidt in his Preface to PATH OF THE MASTERS (i don't know which edition you are using--best to go spruced up and slightly modified) and compare it with Paul Twitchell's paragraph number 5, page 42, Chapter VI, THE FLUTE of GOD (Orion version), wherein Twitchell begins the paragraph "I found the Sufi teachings....". Pierre's first line begins with "Spirituality cannot be taught but caught." A close reading of both texts appears to suggest that Twitchell may have reworked Schmidt's argument and claimed it as his own. If so, and you are so convinced by it, then you have further evidence that Twitchell went to Johnson and not directly to Khan. Of course, there are those who may think that the passages are not close enough (I think they are, actually). In any case, Mark, I have given you my reasons for why I argued for Khan directly. I don't mind being wrong, since that is always a possibility. But my motives were not at all as you suggest. That is why I was a bit acerbic, especially after having to re-read FLUTE again! (my least favorite Twitchell book; would much rather read Tiger's Fang again). Keep ripping. ------------------------------- Now it should be pointed out that Mark and I apparently agree that Twitchell plagiarized KHAN. We disagree on whether it was Khan directly or Johnson's quote of Khan. But let me make one thing clear: my emphasis on Khan was not borne out of an agenda to prove some a priori point that Twitchell plagiarized widely. Geez, I have already provided so many examples of plagiarism that people are bored with it. I argued for KHAN directly because I actually thought that is where Twitchell was getting his stuff. No spooky motives. Now having said that, I would also like to point out that I also don't mind admitting that I could be wrong about lot of things. That is why I asked Dick to put on the net the letter that Paul Kurtz had written criticizing my writings. I felt that Kurtz was right in many ways about me being too transpersonal, etc. Moreover, my one fundamental metaphysic is this: I DON'T ULTIMATELY KNOW THE ONOTLOGICAL TRUTH OF THE UNIVERSE.... Having this kind of position, one must be open to correction and new information (by the way, that word should be Ontological!). For instance, even though I think Steve R. is wrong about his typo theory, I took it seriously enough to even go the extra mile: to try to track down Paul's driver's license. Geez, that could have a date that supports Steve and not me, but that is the fun part of doing research. So in just that spirit, let me now give Mark some ammunition against me which will exemplify just how much I like the give and take of ARE. see the next post. --------------------------------- Dear Joseph: Thank you for your question. No, in this case, I was merely pondering aloud about whether Twitchell learned of the word or title for his "Vairagi Masters" from Khan's quote (i would say Khan's writings, but Mark and I are having a healthy debate over whether Twitchell went directly to the well or got the water delivered to him via Johnson). My hunch has always been that Twitchell got much of his terminology from Johnson or >from other writers (or, indeed, from Johnson's quotations from other authors). Concerning the "real" vairagi masters, I must confess that I am quite skeptical of Gakko's existence or that Retz really exists as a city on Venus..... But, hey, I wouldn't mind being wrong about that.... It would be cool to get a Veggie burger there on my way to Sahans..... Or maybe they only serve brain and liver burgers? ----------------------------------------- Steve, I don't recall saying that the Tiger's Fang was a Masterpiece of spiritual writing. I do recall, however, saying that it was one of my favorite Paul Twitchell books (along with Talons of Time). Why do you misquote me? Why do you then exaggerate my simple statements? Yes, I liked the book but please don't extend that into something I never said. Is that clear? ----------------------------------- Dear Dick: I am glad that you brought up that article on the Bhrigu Samhita (ancient astrological texts in India which apparently predict and describe the lives of certain individuals now living) that I wrote for FATE magazine in 1982. I was lucky enough to go back to the library and do some more research. In 1994 in the book EXPOSING CULTS, I included the Bhrigu article from FATE with some changes and a postscript. I think it is either on my website or Dave Rife's. In looking for "deeper" explanations I came back to the first one I had, but put on the back burner: it looks to be a money making scheme. It would be nice to actually examine the leaves and then have them properly dated, for ink, for paper, for compilation, for language. It would also be nice to see how accurate the readings really are--maybe set up some blind tests, etc. At this stage I am not at all convinced that something "para" normal is happening. I would like to be wrong about that, since it would be kinda of groovy to have such unusual texts. Getting more skeptical in my old age has made me realize that there is usually a simpler explanation for supposed trans-rational phenomena. By the way, around the time you posted your article, I got a nice essay from a European Net surfer who talks about his visit to the Bhrigu. I will put it online this weekend; it is quite interesting. Thanks. Neural Surfer address: http://weber.ucsd.edu/~dlane --------------------------------------- Since people seem to like Richard Feynman, I would suggest that you actually start reading him closely. You know, he doesn't follow his previous stuff consistently. Geez, he talks Quantum theory in one book, and then in another he rips into out of body experiences (permutations of the brain--hallucinations), yet he does not give the various lines of evidence against himself..... Oh no, Dick is not following Dick. I could put that another way, but I am scared of Nathan's kids reading this (protect that family, bro, Kal boy is online). This does not mean, of course, that one should be exempt from criticism (as I told Bruce, the more information we get the better)--keep ripping Steve since that way we get some heat in this group at least. Yet, don't forget (as Steve apparently does) that the MAKING contains a first class rip of Lane on the first page. I have never seen an Eckankar book contain one (oops, Eckankar not following sociology?) Since there seems to be a desire for me to rip into myself, let me tell you one that I thought was quite telling and quite good. It comes from Paul Kurtz, the famous Secular Humanist, and was written in a letter to Richard Pickett (maybe Richard can put it online for all to see and perhaps understand that I really do like criticism) wherein he mentioned my writings for FATE. He said, if I remember correctly, that I was too transpersonal in my approach (essentially not skeptical enough). I heartily agree with Paul Kurtz. I was not critical enough. More skepticism is a good thing! --------------------------- As many on this newsgroup are aware, there has been a heated debate in Theosophical circles about K. Paul Johnson's thesis concerning the historical identity of Madame's "Masters." Daniel Caldwell, an expert on the early history of Theosophy, has written an analysis of Johnson's work entitled House of Cards. K. Paul Johnson, a noted scholar and author of two widely discussed books on Theosophy (SUNY Press), has written a rejoinder to Daniel Caldwell. Johnson's essay and a hyperlink to Caldwell's essay are now online via the Neural Surfer, Critical Mind, point 5. http://weber.ucsd.edu/~dlane/point5.html Quite interesting reading and some of their issues touch upon discussions in this group...... --------------------------------------------- So at this stage--given my contextual reading--i become convinced that Twitchell had actually read Khan, especially since he goes on about HU and other matters found in MYSTICISM. I then proceed on this basis to put the comparisons on the internet, knowing that it is clear that Twitchell had indeed used Khan (whether it was from Johnson's quote or KHAN directly). However, my contextual reading and (believe this or not) by giving Paul the benefit of the doubt, I felt strongly that KHAN was being cribbed directly. This may come as a surprise to many people who think I am the "Saddam" of research, but I tend to believe Twitchell first and then follow-up on it. That is why I really did research Sudar Singh, that is why I questioned in several letters the Kirpal Singh group about Twitchell, that is why I tried to follow-up on "Paducah" in Steiger's book, but to no avail. Hence, when you wrote your note stating that it appeared that Lane was trying to give the "impression" that Twitchell had plagiarized from a larger variety of sources (thus I ignore Johnson), I knew from my own experience that you were wrong. I was, rather, trying to be as accurate as I could, both to Twitchell's own statement (he didn't say I learned from the long quote of Khan, but rather said his writings) and to my own contextual reading of FLUTE along with MYSTICISM. If anything, I was giving Twitchell the benefit of the doubt. In the next post, I will explain why. ---------------------------------- Why did I give Twitchell the benefit of the doubt in this case? 1. Even though there was a discrepancy between the 1960 version of MYSTICISM and FLUTE (as Mark rightly points out: from Alleluya to Hallelujah), but not such a discrepancy in PATH and FLUTE (they both say Alleluya), I knew that Twitchell had claimed to have written FLUTE in the latter part of the 1950s, and thus could not have used the 1960 version, but only the earlier edition (dated in 1923 and published as a separate book). I also knew that Johnson's text would have quoted this directly as well. Thus, if Alleluya showed up in Mysticism (1923) and Twitchell was in fact quoting Khan directly this would easily explain why PATH and FLUTE looked similar (they both used the same source text, and not the newer 1960 compilation). Or, so went my thinking. 2. Thus on the basis of Twitchell's own words (he says he learned the clue from Khan's writings; he didn't say one long quote of him that he read in Johnson) and the larger infusing context, I opted for Khan in the original, despite knowing that the spelling of Hallelujah and Alleluya didn't match. Why? Because I knew that there were other discrepancies in Johnson's spelling and that these most likely came not from Johnson himself (he straight out cites the sources and does miss a beat), but from the original 1923 version. As I told Mark in email, I am in the process of securing that 1923 version which will strengthen or weaken this argument. Now onto the question of Lane's credibility. ----------------------------------- The reasons I got pointed with Mark was primarily because I knew to what lengths I had gone to research just this one isolated plagiarism. It was not born out of desire to catch Twitchell cribbing from more authors, but rather because I was influenced (rightly or wrongly) by his own words and by his own context. Using Johnson would have been both simpler and in many ways better for buttressing my case for Twitchell's plagiarism. Why? Because the more one can show that Twitchell plagiarized Johnson, including his quotes (without attribution), the more convincing it becomes that he actually did plagiarize and not "lose citation notes" from his wide and diverse reading (which had been suggested to me before, not to mention his alleged "photographic" memory, which, if true, would suffer a severe blow if Twitchell was plagiarizing mostly from Johnson and not anybody else). Moreover, I could have easily stopped with Johnson and put that on the net, since I first discovered Twitchell cribbing part of Khan's HU quote in another ECK book when I was just 20. But I didn't, as I mentioned previously, because I actually did think that Twitchell had read Khan and I still do. Now Mark's contention that I have simply dismissed Johnson as a source is, given the history I have just provided, patently untrue and inaccurate. It is, ironically, the opposite. Now in my next post, I want to address this issue of "being wrong and my willingness to admit it." --------------------------------- Dick: Since I am not an expert on masturbation (perhaps your field of expertise?--just teasing), I don't want to give you advice on which hand to use.... But I can say the following: 1. The pretext of neurology seems to be a fundamental component of any (and perhaps all) mystical experiences. Just as an atom is more fundamental than the molecule (take away the atom and there is no molecule; take away the molecule and you can still have an atom), so it would appear that the brain is a fundamental pre-requisite to our mystical encounters (take away the brain--at this stage of our evolutionary and technological journey--and there is no "I" or inner visions). Yet, at the same time that we can reduce things down to simpler levels (from atoms to quarks to super-string in nth dimensions), we can also see how things congregrate to give rise to larger contexts (from cells to organisms to humans to eco-systems, to the universe at large). In the midst of this, stands puny human beings trying to figure it "all" out. Radical subjectivity (via Ramana) points to the Consciousness as the Substratm of it all (what I like to call "transcendental solipsism'), whereas Eliminative Materialism (via Churchland--Patricia or Paul) points to Matter as the Substratum of i all (hey, you are just 3 pounds of glorious flesh--wonder meat). And in that nice dualistic yin/yang of possibilities (each side more or less dissing the other), I am fairly sure of my position: I DON'T KNOW.... I just don't know. This "I" of mine seems to be a witness to a world that transcends its ability to fully and comprehensively grasp it. Thus, I feel the ignorance of my own being and try to be open to new data to new vistas to new explanations, knowing that these too may be overruled or overthrown by new data and a new paradigm. I just don't know and in that "unknowingness" I try to keep open....... ------------------------ Thanks for your recent post asking about ethics/music/masters. Faqir Chand, that rascal sage of the Punjab, argued that anybody could potentially "work" as a guru provided that the disciple had the requisite faith/love in him/her. Faqir even claimed that if you put a criminal on the dais (put a turban on his head, gave him a flowing robe, and a third eye patch) there would be those who would benefit. Why? Because it was the disciple's belief in the power of his guru that actually did much of the transformative engineering. The more I study gurus at close range (in India and elsewhere), the more I am convinced that it is our perceptions (right or wrong) which jump start the inner work (neurological or mystical). I have written about this elsewhere when I compared human sexuality (what turns us on) to human spirituality (what enlightens us), arguing that the orgasm and the satori are experiences we seem to enjoy the most when we believe somebody else is causing it. If I may invoke a strange analogy, the more beautiful you think your sexual mate is seems to have a direct connection on the "charge" you feel in your relationship with him/her; likewise (remember all analogies are doomed for failure since they are less than the thing described), the more enlightened you think your guru is seems to have a direct connection on the "power" of his/her darshan or message or satsang (regardless of whether or not anybody else agrees with you). More in the next part.
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