Publisher: Neural Surfer Publication date: May 1996
E-mail David Christopher Lane directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
I want to go back to the home base now.
Dear Mr. Lane,
I am forwarding to you the letter I wrote to the leader of Eckankar after I came across your work on the Net. At the time I was a devoted Eckist wrting to my master about Eckankar's contoversial past. As an initiate I expected Mr. Klemp to act responsibly. Sadly, I, and Josslyn, did not receive the courtousy of a response at all.
I understand Mr. Klemp is in a bind, because if he were to admit the truth that Eckankar is a fraud, the profits of the organization would suffer greatly due to membership drop-off, and law suits.
You are free to publish my letter if you wish. My intention is only to share with other true seekers my experience. It was only when I left Eckankar did I realize I had been subjected to a covert mind-control organization.
Mr. Lane, thank you so much for your purity of intention.
My warmest regards,
Dear Mr. Lane
The resignation letter from Josslyn and I (now posted on the Net), referred to our letters which we had sent by way of RESA services to be hand delivered to Harold Klemp, the leader of Eckankar.
At the time our letters were sent, we still considered ourselves devoted Eckists. These letters were sent to Mr. Klemp in all earnestness in an attempt to have some basic questions about Eckankar answered. We were concerned about the subtle cult-like doctrines implanted throughout the teachings. Also, having come across your work on the Net, we were lead to question the very roots of Eckankar in contrast to what the leaders were preaching to us.
Having objectively read through your work from cover to cover, and having made my own investigations, I came to only one conclusion: that the organization of Eckankar and its leaders are without truth and integrity.
The whole organization of Eckankar is founded on deception. Is it not a crime in this world to plagiarize from the hard work of others, and earn a living by selling them to an unsuspecting public? And where is the integrity of the current leader of Eckankar to continue to sell these plagiarized books and earn his living? Whatís worse, the source where Eckankar has appropriated most of its teachings do not in their own right charge for them since it is a spiritual violation to do so.
A point I need to make in reference to Eckists I have spoken to over these issues is this. When it came down to the big question of the leadersí spiritual validity, and the truth of their spiritual claims such as being the only ones (during their lives) to deliver souls from the Wheel of Eighty-four, the response I received was very alarming. They said that you canít judge the leader by his personality or behavior, that the Mahanta consciousness is beyond this physical world. Well, this may be true to a certain degree, but where do you draw the line between the inner and the outer? How deviant does the personality of an assumed master need to be until he is considered a quack? Can we really justify a supposed masterís actions by saying he is not subject to the laws of this world?
Certainly, when these Eckists met Harold Klemp (either physically or in the dreamstate), they were overwhelmed by a powerful force of some kind. This experience seems to polarize one to such a degree in the teachings of Eckankar, that the use of the discriminative faculty is impaired when they are asked to read through your book. I should know, I was one of those Eckists. But my own intuition told me that a spiritual system fraught with deceit can only go so far. So I had to step back from my spiritual attachments and study your material and do my own research.
I can understand why many Eckists would be loath to even question Harold Klemp. They believe bad karma will ensue. This is the doctrine of Eckankar. But the truth is the truth, a spade is a spade, and if the leaders of Eckankar cannot be honest in the simplest matters here on earth, why should we believe their incredible claims of spiritual monopoly?
In Eckankar, the initiate focuses his attention upon the leader of the organization. The initiate forms a psychic bond with the leader. It was not until I completely severed this psychic bond to the leader that I realized the extent of my indoctrination.
The organization is like a leaning stack of cards. The leader is dependent on the members for his livelihood, and the members are dependent on the leader because the Mahanta, the Living Eck Master is the only way back to the true God (Sugmad) in all the universes of God.
Yes, the teachings of Eckankar bring results to the initiates because they were appropriated from a true spiritual source. I am grateful to Eckankar for my lessons. I have no prerogative on truth. I am simply a struggling soul like many others learning about love. I have only wanted to leave a few bread crumbs behind me for those sympathetic souls who have also become ensnared in Eckankarís deceit. The following letter is being made public for the benefit of those who believe honesty is integral to spiritual growth.
In all sincerity,
March 29, 1996
Sri Harold Klemp C/O ECKANKAR P.O. Box 27300 Minneapolis, MN 55427
Dear Sri Harold,
It has been a long time since I have written an initiate report. And my spiritual practices have not always been done consistently. I am by no means a model student. But I am a sincere seeker of Truth working through my vanity.
Before I launch into the reason for this correspondence, I need to tell you how grateful I am for your loving guidance and teachings. When I first saw your picture and looked into your eyes, I knew this was the path for me. I thought to myself that your eyes were the portals to the universe.
Now, my faith in this path has been profoundly shaken. I am wrestling with some long-standing issues which have resurfaced. And compounding that, I have been lead to question the very foundations of ECKANKAR. With no intention of disrespect, let me explain.
When I was surfing the Net I looked up ECKANKAR, and guess what I found? Mr. David Laneís Website among others. Needless to say, I was taken aback by some of the allegations presented there. As I read Mr. Laneís critique of ECKANKAR, I found myself being led through a very convincing and methodical analysis of the roots of the organization. Even though I feel a deep connection to the teachings, I could not refute what Mr. Lane was proposing: that the lineage of ECK masters is a fraud. This one assertion, above all others, had me wondering if I was being lead down the garden path.
Look at it from my point of view. I am a seeker who is learning to place his spiritual trust into the hands of a living master. I find out that Paul Twitchell, the founder of ECKANKAR, has plagiarized, spurned his own spiritual teacher, Kirpal Singh, (not to mention cover-up any connection to him), and has probably fabricated the ECK masters such as Rebazar Tarzs. What am I to do, just ignore these well-researched allegations?
I brought my concerns to the RESA. She was not aware of Mr. Laneís more debilitating accounts. Namely, how the Flute of God, was published in a magazine called Orion between 1965 and 67. Kirpal Singh and Swami Premanadaís names occurred throughout. Then, how Paul, after parting ways with his spiritual teacher, switched every reference of Kirpal Singh and Swami Premananda to Rebazar Tarzs and Sudar Singh in the book publication. When I brought this to the RESAís attention, she asked to see a copy of Mr. Laneís publication.
If what Mr. Lane is proposing is true, then it stands to reason that Rebazar Tarzs was fictional. How else does one explain the vast amount of quotations in Dialogues With The Master attributed to Rebazar Tarzs when in fact they were copied practically verbatim from Julian Johnsonís previous works? Where does that leave the validity of Rebazar? I really donít know? What of the other ECK masters?
Why the cover-ups? Why the shady past? Why is ECKANKARís history clouded in controversy? I am sorry, but these are questions which naturally come to heart. You can really understand my confusion when I read things like this in The Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad Book One, Chapter 6:
Since everything in this physical universe is controlled by Kal Niranjan (the negative power), we have nothing that can say it represents the ultimate in the perfect sense, except ECKANKAR.
Where do I draw the division between the outer organization and the inner teachings? How can the outer organization be tainted and not the inner teachings?
I am also very concerned about raising doubts about the path because of what I have read:
To ridicule, to scorn, to speak mockingly of the words of the Mahanta, and not to have faith in him and the cause of ECK is to bring woes on the advocator of doubt. It brings his karmic progress to a halt, increases his incarnations in this world, and causes him to suffer untold hardships. (ibid.)
Isnít this a little heavy-handed and manipulative? Why does ECKANKAR need to make threats like this? If this is supposed to be a path of LOVE, is this kind of language necessary? Will this happen to me because Paul said so? My intention is not to ridicule but to find answers.
If this is a path of freedom, then where is the freedom in:
No other religion or masters can give the complete Truth except the Living ECK Master, who is the Mahanta, the resurrected Spirit of God, the ECK, serving all Souls in every universe of God. (ibid.)
No man comes to the SUGMAD except through the Mahanta. (ibid.)
What choice do I have now? I am told there is only one way to the true God or SUGMAD. And I am told if I leave the path I will suffer and in the end have to return to the Mahanta. Doesnít this monopolize spirit and God? I have no problem with a path being the quickest or most direct route, but somehow the prospect of having only one way back to God doesnít sit well with me. It leaves me no choice, no freedom. It is just a matter of accepting the hard truth of the teaching and complying with what is taught.
At this point I may be accused of being too much in my mind. I have heard that argument before. I can also be in my heart and intuit. Itís not so much a matter of proving a point, but an issue of integrity and humility. If I am going to place my spiritual trust in a teaching, I want to know its validity before it entraps me in a fantastic deception.
Sri Harold, I realize you are the vehicle of incredible amounts of love and truth. These accusations against ECKANKAR, and the overtones of cult-like mind-control need to be addressed. I am surely not the only Chela with these deep concerns. And I know many members have left over these issues, and more will follow. Will you not address them and put an end to this controversy once and for all.
I would really appreciate an answer to this letter. I have only wanted to know the truth, the plain truth, clearly and without disguise on these matters.
Sincerely and with and open heart,
E-mail The Neural Surfer directly at email@example.com
I want to go back to the home base now.