In deciding to write these critiques I have vacillated between sadness, anger, fear, doubt, fear, happiness, more fear. Above all there is a lightness that is coming with admitting to myself what I have seen glimpses of during three decades of membership in Eckankar. The inconsistencies of Eckankar. The control of Eckankar. And currently the increasingly negative and divisive writings of Harold Klemp. When one becomes a High Initiate in Eckankar he is asked to follow four laws and also to practice four principles. It was with much reverence and hope that I accepted these principles and laws, only to see past and current Masters of Eckankar break them continually. Please note that all text within parentheses are my explanations and comments.
I have included these quotes to help provide a contrast between these positive writings of the Shariyat that H.I.s are to follow, and how Klemp does not follow his own sanctioned Holy Book, in the least. As you read the quotes from discourse # 1 refer back occasionally to these honorable quotes on a person's behavior. I don t claim to be a master, and if placed against the above standard probably would fail even as an H.I.. But Klemp not only holds himself as a Master, but as SUGMAD on earth and yet fails these standards again and again. Harold, if the standards are not worthy why do you still sell this book to seekers? There are to be sure many pompous statements in the Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad (enough to fill another critique - it's coming), as well as kalistic threats and mind control techniques, but this Holy Book has your seal of approval. It has been edited since Eckankar moved to Minneapolis in 1986, long after the influence of Darwin Gross. Publishing, selling, and holding this book up as the highest writings on earth, and then not following it's lofty ideals yourself is as if a parent would say to the teenager, "I drink and smoke, but you better not!"
I am not a retro-eckist, one who believes Harold has gone in the wrong direction with Eckankar, and that we should retreat into a didactic Eckankar based on Paul Twitchell or Darwin Gross. If Eckankar is to be a viable path in the Aquarian age it needs to rid itself of all plagiarized documents, all threats written and implied, coercion, claims of God, and apologize for the same. Abolish the initiations above the second because the initiations create a separateness between the chelas, foster vanity in the spiritual students, and are used as a control tool by Klemp. Allow other views and faiths to be represented at the Eck temple and centers, and in services. An honest open inquisitive Eckankar. The Sound of God is not the voice of the Old Testament God Of Retribution that Klemp is the trumpeter of.
Recall the old adage: "By his actions, ye shall know him."
One of Klemp's favorite KAList techniques is to flatter and degrade his followers at the same time. The following quotes from the discourse are displayed here to demonstrate the adjectives, adverbs, and superlatives that Klemp uses to describe himself, Paul Twitchell, the Eck Masters, and Eckankar. Such statements give the Eckist 'ego strokes' , as well as calm his doubts, while engendering a greater sense of importance within the Eck teachings. Shouldn't the experiences, concepts, and words stand on their own? The bolded-italicized words are my emphasis to show the elitism of Klemp.
The long time Eckists you are writing to, Harold, have the awareness with which to determine the level of insight within this journal. Are the insights contained in the journal or within each of us? This is an example of Eckankar stating that the books hold the deepest insights while at the same time saying that we do not follow the books.
This obviously is placing Paul Twitchell upon a plateau where no man has gone before; except maybe Rebazar Tarzs, Fubbi Quantz, and of course Harold Klemp. It is also quite arrogant for Klemp to assume he knows that no one else had 'touched' the robe of God except Twitchell. And why is he writing this as a question? Probably to misdirect the reader from noticing the elitism of the statement, since what he actually infers in this declarative quote is that 'no one else around Paul had ever touched the robe of God'.
Sounds like Klemp is describing Hurricane Andrew.
Aren't the ECK Masters humble, especially considering that an Eck Master(?) Klemp wrote this? This kind of quote above reminds me of the kind of double-speak found in the Eck Writings. Case in point is the following quote.
Imagine being confused and pulled into opposing directions by these kinds of statements for many years. I believe most of the long time Eckists have experienced this.
The mystification of the Eck Masters is further enhanced by this statement. The bolded unitalicized words above are already bolded by Klemp in the discourse as he is intentionally stressing the perfect freedom of the Eck masters (i.e. himself).
By individual could Klemp be speaking of Paul Twitchell and himself (again) ? The use of the word 'compassion' in conjunction with the phrase 'pettiness of the uninitiated' makes perfect sense if you believe you are superior to the 'profane' who have not accepted Klemp as God. Imagine 'Kal' Klemp at the next Eck Seminar saying to the audience mixed with newcomers:
"To all you newcomers out there I want you to know that I am God-Realized. And I am full of compassion for your pettiness."
Won't happen you say? This is an example of what I call 'The Two Faces of Kal Klemp' , one sweet for the newcomers and the other cruel for the long time Eckists.
Maybe Klemp could rephrase this as:
"...when an individual is filled with God's love, he has a heart full of compassion for his fellow souls."
Which would you rather read? How does each statement make you feel?
Here again Klemp uses boasts of the Eck Masters 'unimaginable' degree of detachment and criticizes all the rest who, by the way, are cowering in rags of fear and blindness. But wait perhaps the all the rest whom Klemp criticizes are the Eckists cowering in fear OF the Eck Masters. The double whammy of the Rod Of Power.
This pompous and vain statement assumes all other souls are literally dead spiritually. Don't you feel that if you were filled with God's love, that you would see God in all beings? The bold unitalicized text in the above quote is bolded in the discourse intentionally by Klemp. Thanks Harold I agree with you; it is a vain statement.
Not to be outdone by himself here is another superlative from Klemp. This statement seems to say that the other centers of the spiritual-physical man do not hold the highest of illumination potential. Only the heart center. Remember Klemp's definition of profane is all those who believe he is boasting and vain when he claims to be God On Earth (as will be shown in discourse # 3). Clearly an attempt to wrestle from the Eckists the mind's role in connection with the heart and all other centers of the body, resulting in a pliable and mindless zombie. What this statement does is attempt to throw away any use of the mind in making decisions for one's life. All centers are necessary for a balanced life. The way into your heart is not by abandoning the mind but by accepting the mind, it's doubts are pointing to areas within that need to heal. To unrepress, get angry, feel sadness, remorse, and then forgive the injuries we have suffered leads us closer to the love that is the natural state of the heart and mind. Removing these repressions will help one to discover the original fear that caused one to be dishonest with himself. This dishonestly is what has created blocks between ourselves and our own happiness. The fear of losing love.
Could Klemp be speaking of himself again?
Wah Z is Harold's spiritual name as if you haven't yet guessed. Your's and mine is mud.
This may not appear to be a boast. Look closer. See how Klemp sets himself apart as if a martyr. The subtle KAList technique here is how the Eckists reading this who want to love the Mahanta will disassociate themselves from being wise or worldly. Perhaps that is the type of student Klemp wants; foolish and uneducated. Imagine multiple years of this type of subtle brainwashing.
Klemp you are making it hard for me (NOT)! Here is another double whammy, ego and attack:
Bravo Harold! Yes how could anyone imagine the resistance, except you, since you are God (as stated in discourse # 3, care to retract that claim?). Based on the previous quote I thought you wanted your students to be unwise, unworldly and ignorant, now you complain about their ignorance? Leave it to Klemp to take the word love and find the need to qualify it; as if love is not love, and that HIS love is greater than your parent's love, or child's love, or dog's love. Or your own love that you have for others.
Perhaps Klemp meant to write:
"I feel a lot of resistance from my chelas. I'm not sure why, but I want them to know I love them and am trying to help."
Which you would rather read? How does each statement make you feel?
Klemp is setting himself above Jesus in this allusion. What is hypocritical about this statement is the use of the concept of sin to Klemp's advantage when Eckankar has never embraced this term otherwise.
Another one of Klemp's favorite KAList techniques is to attack other spiritual paths and wield his illusion of control over the initiates. The following quotes from the discourse are displayed here to demonstrate how the 'compassionate' Mahanta attacks all who oppose him, don't even know of him, those who want to follow him, and the Eckists as a whole. Such statements give the Eckist the emotionally charged message to NOT be one of the group of people, or type of person that Klemp attacks lest you lose favor with the Godman. The bolded-italicized words are my emphasis to show where the attacks of Klemp come out.
Regardless if the Tiger's Fang is dull or fascinating this statement implies that traditional churchmen cannot even recognize 'deep' spiritual insights.
Triple Play! Way to go Harold!
Another vague and pompous statement. Harold, do you have some specific names here? Is it possible that you have a repressed grudge against one of your old seminary teachers?
This whole statement is an attack upon a faceless clergy, but none the less a clergy of living breathing souls striving to love and serve God. It appears Klemp is confused. It is Klemp who claims to be GOD ON EARTH (discourse # 3 and # 4) , and who rules the Eck members through the illusion of his greatness and his omniscience. Klemp is probably the senile one, but I wouldn't go as far as to say good-hearted.
So speaks the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful Oz, er I mean Klemp.
Besides being a fear inducing statement steeped with control elements (Z allows you to pass when you are no longer mean, i.e. submit to Klemp and do not speak out) it appears that Klemp has himself crossed over into such a heaven beyond his state of perfection, perhaps that is why he is self-destructing (See 'Hear It For Yourself' at the end of the critique for more on Klemp's self-destruction.).
Harold, do you think that this put down inspires us? Remember the quote from the first page about never lecturing others concerning their shortcomings.
Is Klemp saying: To believe in one's own abilities is foolishness? Does he want us to breastfeed at his bosom for eternity? I wonder what else you can teach us Harold? Perhaps the following.
Imagine a parent making this statement to his teenager: 'You ignorant bum, you haven't learned anything. When I look at you all I see is a ragtag kid."
Remember the old adage: 'When a child (chela) lives with criticism, he learns to condemn.'
I've decided to replace the Eck-Ease feature with the 'Hear It For Yourself' feature which will be located at the end of each critique. Although not true Eck-Ease the following statements may reflect Eckist's opinions of "Letters To Harold".
The following quotes strung through the discourse comprise Klemp's main message to the long time Eckists. I have bolded and italicized words that I consider keywords in the quotes.
What is Klemp saying here ? What is the main message of this discourse, The Searing Touch Of God ?
In the quote # 1 Klemp warns you that you must be thoroughly conditioned to accept the God State, and that is why the initiations are given at a slow pace. This is likely written here to quell the frustration of the Eckists who are stalled in the higher levels of initiation (5th through 8th) for 10 or more years between initiations. Using fear of devastation from attaining the God State without proper conditioning (i.e. endurance and strength gained from the initiations) Klemp hopes to scare you into passivity and obedience. The real reason for the slow pace of the initiations may be that Klemp is running out of places for the higher initiates to go before becoming Eck Masters themselves. Hundreds of new Eck Masters would be Klemp's worst nightmare.
Klemp continues in quote # 2 to explain why a new member of the Vairagi order ( a ninth initiate) has not yet been approached by the other 9th through 11th initiates. He explains that is because as a new member of the Vairagi Order, one must piece together the fragments of his life. Essentially a process that could take forever, and it will take forever, because there are no initiates of the 9th through 11th circles (or maybe only one ninth initiate, the one ninth initiate which Harold is writing this to, and attempting to control). This reference by Harold to the new members of the Vairagi order is probably a smokescreen to make the Higher Initiates (5 through 8th) believe that someone is actually reaching that level. They are probably figments to make you believe other Eckists have become members of the Vairagi order through the teachings of Eckankar and therefore someday you may also, if you wait a little longer (say how about 10 - 20 more years). Remember that the initiations of 9th circle and above are not announced outwardly. This keeps you and the other initiates from knowing who is a new member of the Vairagi order (no one is you know - that's the carrot) and perhaps following them instead of Klemp.
In quote # 3 Harold shows that even the ninth initiates (of which there are zero or one) consider the process of acceptance into the Vairagi Order frustratingly slow. In other words, if they are frustrated as new members of the Vairagi, you certainly should be content to be frustrated in your initiation progress as a lowly higher initiate.
Quote # 4 shows Klemp's claim that he is in control of the power to give a spiritual name to the higher initiate. The H.I. must use his secret word given in each initiation to reach the ninth plane and receive his spiritual name. In other words, if you think you have received a spiritual name in contemplation, or a dream, think again, only Klemp can give you your spiritual name.
Klemp continues in quote # 5 to entice the higher initiates to continue in Eckankar with the temptation of power. Similar to the temptation of Jesus in the desert, where Satan offered Christ worldly power and kingdoms, Klemp tells the higher initiates that their spiritual name received during the ninth initiation given by Klemp grants them the power to move mountains. There is one catch of course. You must remain in Eckankar an unknown amount of years till then. Why believe this claim? Did any of your prior secret words give you any wondrous powers and abilities?
Quotes # 6, 7, & 8 show that Klemp assumes that initiates working toward mastership do so for personal glory. While Harold may hold on to his position for these reasons, it is possible that some initiates truly wish to serve. Those that believe they are strong enough for the duty are laughed at by Harold as foolish (all initiates are not timid like you Harold). And while talking about the Mastership with words such as envy and adulation, Harold states that no one can reach the master state except through his teachings and through the slowly paced initiations, finally teasing the initiate with the possibility of being accepted into the 12th circle of initiation if he gives up ambition and envy. Then one is eligible for selection as the Living ECK Master. This is like holding up a steak in your left hand, holding a long stick in your right hand, and then beating your dog each time he jumps for the steak.
In a nutshell the main focus of this discourse is: Control the growing frustration about the High Initiate's spiritual progress and growing criticisms about Klemp's claim to Eckankar Mastership. Klemp has slowed down the initiations because he cannot have hundreds of new Eck Masters running around for fear of losing control (too late on the control issue) and then attempts to calm High Initiate's frustration about their progress by claiming that they will suffer if they progress too fast. But he says to them do not give up, for if they reach the ninth initiation Klemp will give them their spiritual name with which he claims they can move mountains, and that they will be approached by 9th - 11th initiates and be accepted into the Vairagi Order. Then if they are quiet and obey Klemp maybe they can become a 12th initiate and then they may be selected to be the next Living Eck Master. (say in about 60 years from now)
Peace and growth, Harold. All we really want is peace and growth and maybe a little truth.
There is some confusion over the reasons for Klemp's recent illness that bear some examination. Here is a quote by Klemp.
So Klemp tells us that we (the Eck members) are responsible in effect for his illness. Actually no one in the entire universe is immune from being responsible for his illness based on his statement. Harold, is the barometer of our spiritual purification how sick you are?
Perhaps you should have heeded the words of the 'Great' Eck Master Paul Twitchell.
But maybe the following explanation by Klemp is best:
Hear it for yourself. Just click here to download the lth1.wav file to your computer.
I hope this document stimulates further analysis of the teachings of Harold Klemp, and that we begin to see a positive change in the writings of Klemp. All comments are encouraged. Also I ask other Brothers Of The Leaf (H.I.s) to come forward to lend their ideas and observations. Some of you may be considering taking the first step out of fear and conditioning into a world of the love of God within. If you are in the process of unwinding the many years of repression in Eckankar, or are considering it, know that you are not alone, you do have others willing to help you. The next critique of The ECK Satsang Discourses, Fourth Series will be posted on or around 06/03/96.
Peace and growth,