Author: David Christopher Lane Publisher: The NEURAL SURFER Publication date: May 1997
E-mail David Christopher Lane directly at email@example.com
I want to go back to the home base now.
DOUG WRITES: David, I have been away on three business trips since you posted your last responses, so I have been unable to answer until now. I must say that the more I read your responses, the better I understand where you are coming from, and contrary to what you seem to be implying I have no desire to try to stop you from saying what you want, or with even trying to argue with you or change your mind. In fact, and I know this may shock you, but I see real value in many things you have brought out, and I believe they serve a real purpose. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Thanks again for your civility. DOUG WRITES: To help better explain what I was really trying to say, I wrote in my second response, in more detail about the different types of experiences, that at the core of our true self is consciousness which is indivisible, and that certain experiences that spring from Soul, our true self, are beyond the mind's ability to analyze. If the mind rejects these experiences, then it is rejecting our own self, and sentences us to a world much more limited than Soul's true potential. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Just a point of caution here: How do you know if such experiences are "beyond" the mind? That is precisely my line of critique. In the history of religion there has been a tendency to say that such and such is "Sacred" (Soul?) and such and such is "Profane" (material/mental?)--thanks to Eliade for his book on the subject. Yet, this very dividing line keeps shifting. The Sun is God.... No, it turns out to be just a star. The Thunder is God.... No, it turns out to be from natural causes. Life is from God.... No, DNA and RNA have a molecular basis. For instance, I remember Hubert Dreyfus (well known philosopher at Berkeley) saying that a computer (read: artificial intelligence) will NEVER beat a Grand Master in a chess game. Oops..... I guess he is eating his words. The point being a simple one: For every "spiritual" cause, we have found in the progression of time a "physical" basis--from the sun, to thunder, to life, to intelligence. I will not be shocked in the least if neuroscience develops a model to explain consciousness via our neural anatomy or larger body structure. Thus, in a way, explaining what many thought could never be explained. DOUG WRITES: In fact, I think you are the one who had better re-read these two. You said, "Einstein was an objectivist (one of the reasons for instance he was appalled with Bohr and Heisenberg's interpretation of Quantum Mechanics). His theory of relativity is a classical theory and argues that time/space are intertwined in a way that defies common sense." Dave, you got this completely backward. Einstein's famous comment to Bohr was: "God doesn't play with dice!" He was appalled with Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle because it implied that probability alone determined these outcomes. And Einstein firmly believed, to the day he died, that there was a single overriding unified theory that would tie all forces together, and explain all of physical reality. DAVID LANE REPLIES: I don't see how I got this backwards. Einstein was an objectivist (he himself said, "I think the moon exists even if I don't"). Your clarification doesn't refute his "empiricism" but only supports it. Yes, he didn't like the fact that God would play dice (or that we couldn't predict BOTH the position and momentum of a single electron) in the universe (and according to Hawkings' ammendment, "in the dark as well"), but that's precisely my point: He felt that the universe should be explainable in purely rational and objectivist terms, with a clear sense of cause and effect for every single physical particle (if given the right theory and the right technology). DOUG WRITES: Also, you said, "Darwin's argument is that human beings are contingent, not necessary, in existence. We are simply a twig that just happened to have survived and adapted in our local ecological niche for a certain time period." Dave, read Darwin a little closer. He was simply trying to say that there is some very significant evidence to show that natural selection plays a part in the evolution of species. Nowhere does he imply anything as far reaching as you say. Natural selection indeed plays a part, but to assume that it is the sole cause of evolution is well beyond Darwin. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Yes, I have read Darwin closely, and I don't see how your argument above counters my very simple statement. Try reading Darwin's Autobiography where he details his views about the ultimate meaning of man and his place in the universe. He says we are contingent and not necessary in the sense of some grander purpose. Indeed, it was over this very point (human non-uniqueness) that Darwin and Wallace had there biggest argument (and breaking point). Darwin saw nothing special, per se, in the development of the human brain that couldn't be explained by evolution, whereas Wallace felt that human beings (especially their brains) were a product of something non-algorithmic. DOUG WRITES: Now, I have spent this time here to try and show just how far off you have been in misinterpreting what I have said. These were just three of dozens of cases, and I felt it was important to try and set the record straight here. In fact, if someone were to read what you wrote they would probably conclude that I in some way did not want to accept the things you have brought out about Paul Twitchell, and that I was trying to cover up his lies and his uncredited use of others' writings. This is completely 100% wrong, and I think it is misleading for you to create this impression. I do not feel in any way the need to defend Paul, or justify what he did. I certainly have no desire to cover anything up, in fact my whole purpose of writing was exactly the opposite. DAVID LANE REPLIES: No, I think people can simply read what you wrote and get that impression--even without my commentary. I am not attempting to "create" an impression about your writing, as such; I am merely trying to reply to it with my counter argument. The readers can see what's happening with the text. I am glad, given your previous statement, that you don't want to deny that Twitchell plagiarized and lied. I agree with you on this: he did both of those things. DOUG WRITES: Why would you think that I was trying to cover up the fact that Paul copied material from other writers, when I went on to point out many more cases of it? I would have thought you would have appreciated these added new examples? Why would you think I was trying to cover up the fact that Paul changed the names of his masters, when I confirmed that I have seen this for myself? David, you have gotten this completely wrong. The fact is that you just seem unwilling to accept that other intelligent people can come to a very different conclusion as to what all this means. It so happens that I believe that most ECKists don't disagree with the facts you have brought out, but only with some of your extreme conclusions because your conclusions don't jive with their own personal experiences and first hand knowledge. My hope, in writing, was to offer some new insights into Paul, toward reaching a better understanding. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Yes, I was quite happy to note that you too saw that Kirpal Singh's name was in the original manuscript. That kind of information is really helpful to all concerned. I am glad that you acknowledge much of what has been factually stated. I also well understand that people, like your self, can have different interpretations of those revelations. I, for one, however, don't think calling Twitchell a plagiarist is extreme. I do think it is extreme, however, to condone such plagiarism under the lame excuse that he got it from an astral library. Now that is an explanation that is extreme to me. I realize that you may not be saying this, but Harji certainly has. DOUG WRITES: I can think of a number of possible explanations as to why you might have so distorted my words and intentions. But rather than guess, I would like to ask you these questions: Why do you think you portrayed my words in ways that I never intended? Did you indeed misunderstand what I was saying? If so, is it possible that you could have equally misunderstood Paul Twitchell and his intentions? DAVID LANE REPLIES: Doug, for whatever pluses or negatives you may perceive, all I did was this: read what you wrote and reply to it. I also included the text that I was commenting on for all to see. The fact that you feel so "misinterpreted" means that we can have another go at it. I am most willing to reply to any point. As for misunderstanding Paul Twitchell, let us not forget that my three basic findings are this: 1) Twitchell plagiarized extensively (he did); 2) Twitchell lied about his past (he did; even Harji agrees on this point); and; 3) Twitchell attempted to "cover-up" his past assocations with certain teachers (he did). Now these three points are clear and substantiated. What we are now debating is how to "interpret" these episodes. I interpret them quite simply: Twitchell lied, plagiarized, and covered-up. And for me, that indicates a guru NOT to trust. I certainly don't trust IN MY SOUL I AM FREE, I certainly don't trust THE FAR COUNTRY in terms of Rebazars' speaking habits. I certainly don't trust Twitchell's prophetic ability, and so on. You have a different take on it. I understand that. I just happen to disagree and that is what we are debating. DOUG WRITES: Now, the second area I feel is important to comment on, concerns this subject of dialog versus debate, that I wrote about before. In some of our exchanges, I felt that there was indeed a dialog. For example, you pointed out that I had mistaken the Ruhani concept of lineage for the Beas concept. That's true. Thank you for pointing it out. Also, some of the information you shared about the Tulsi Sahibis I found interesting. But when it came to the discussion about plagiarism, it seems like your reaction was almost fanatical ranting and raving. For example, I was discussing the fact that the whole concept of plagiarism is fairly recent, is not at all consistent with religious history, and is based upon scholarly issues and the right to make a profit, not some fundamental spiritual ethics. But rather than commenting on this, you just went on and on saying basically, "No, no, no, Paul lied, he cheated, he deceived, he was wrong. That's all there is to it." This sounds like you are simply trying to polarize the issue so that there is nothing else that can be said about it. It was simply wrong. That's all there is to it. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Well, I don't mind your alternative theories on it. I just think they are lame. That's all. I am well aware of copyright and plagiarism issues and their history. However, all I need to do is look at HOW Paul Twitchell viewed plagiarism. He "copyrighted" his books. He threatened John-Roger Hinkins over using his stuff. Eckankar, likewise, has been vigorous in defending both its trademarks and its copyrights. Thus, just given this most "recent" history, it is clear how both Twitchell and Eckankar view plagiarism. It's okay, apparently, when Twitchell does it; it is NOt okay, apparently, when anybody rips Eckankar off. DOUG WRITES: This reminds me of the abortion issue. The pro-lifers (as they like to be called) have basically said, "It is murder." If you try to bring up the fact that this is stretching the definition of murder beyond what the word has meant anytime in the past, they will just throw photos of fetuses at you, and say, "See, these are people, and it's murder." If you try to point out that a fetus is a part of the mother, cannot chose for itself, and has no separate life of its own, or if you point out that the fetus at earlier stages in its growth looks more like a fish, or frog, or bird, but we don't consider the killing of chickens, fish or animals for human consumption to be murder (unless you're a vegetarian), then they will simply say, "No, no, no, it is murder, and that's all there is to it." DAVID LANE REPLIES: Sorry, but I think your analogy is inaccurate. Remember, Twitchell HIMSELF "copyrighted" his books (even those plagiarisms). Remember, Eckankar has vigorously defended their own copyrights and trademarks. Again, why is it NOT okay to plagiarize Eckankar's materials, but it is "permissible" (for whatever alternative theory) when Twitchell does it? Twitchell lied to his audience and had the "ethics" to then "copyright" his literary piracies. Quite frankly, Doug, we are not going to agree on this issue. DOUG WRITES: Of course, I realize that the subject of plagiarism is a very touchy one for many scholars. Do you remember the poet/singer Tom Lehrer (sp?). He was a Harvard professor who was fired for his sharp, pointed remarks about the hallowed halls. In one of his songs he said, "Plagiarize, plagiarize, plagiarize, but first please call it research." He was referring to the fact that probably 75% or more of the tomes published by scholars are simply materials lifted from others. However, through the use of a few magical footnotes and...viola!...it is turned into that wonderful thing called research. Sure, I see the value of giving credit where it is due, and I try to practice this wherever I can, but this isn't murder, Dave. Isn't is possible to have a dialog about this? Don't you agree that there is truth in what I wrote? But slow down Dave...relax...breathe deep...read what I am saying carefully...I am not saying you should excuse Paul, nor am I trying to justify anything that Paul did. I am trying to offer a better understanding of Paul. I am just trying to show him as he was. DAVID LANE REPLIES: I am quite relaxed. I just happen to think that your explanation is NOT a "better understanding" of Paul. I find that we condone things that Eckankar itself wouldn't allow if it was done to them. In other words, do a Twitchell on Twitchell's texts and NEVER tell your audience where you got it from (or, make up some name). Darwin Gross has tried to do it and he got sued from his former Employer. DOUG WRITES: It's fine if we disagree. I think we both agree with that. It's fine with me if you feel the need to hammer ECKANKAR on this matter. In other words, Dave, I don't feel I am arguing with you, nor am I interested in doing so. But I do think this discussion will go on, and I don't think most people in the future will agree with you that Paul simply lied, deceived and cheated just to make money and take advantage of gullible people. I think that you have become a bit fanatical about this. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Yes, we do of course disagree on this issue. I think he most certainly did plagiarize, lie, and cheat and I think he took advantage of many gullible people in the process. I know that several thousand Ex-Eckists (rightly or wrongly) feel this way. They felt duped. DOUG WRITES: You state your opinions as if they are facts. And you proclaim your empiricism as some kind of absolute truth that only fools won't follow. Is this what happens after you become a professor for a few years? I've certainly known far too many professors who seem to fall into this trap. Is this an occupational hazard? Many professors seem to think they have the right to dictate their opinions as absolute reality, and expect all students to treat such proclamations as the words of God. Is that what is happening here? DAVID LANE REPLIES: I like the give and take of opinions; that is why I respond to many of the posts on A.R.E. I don't think you have ever taken one of my classes. If you have (or do so in the future), you will see how much I enjoy the give and take of open discussion. On the very first day of class, I invite my students to question, to doubt, to argue, to discuss whatever views I hold or put forth. I tell them quite frankly (as I tell you now): I don't know much. But that does not mean that I hold all theories or all paradigms as being equal. Some I find are just plain lousy. Now if you happen to have a better theory or a better model, I most certainly will listen to it.... But that does not mean that I will buy into it just because it is a different view. Some views, quite frankly, are just silly. Yet, even in that silliness, I tend to keep my mind open. As I have said many times, I would be most happy to meet Rebazar Tarzs and tell everyone in A.R.E. that he is real. I see no problem in that, if such were to transpire. Indeed, it would be quite shagadelic.... (with a nod to Austen, baby). DOUG WRITES: I wonder these things about your comments, especially after I received the following quote from a letter you wrote to Richard Pickett in 1986: "Rather the proof of mysticism is an experiential realization of a higher state of consciousness, which carries with it the same numinous weight that the waking state carries--namely they are both self-evident when they are experienced. Richard, I daresay that you don't go around trying to "prove" your existence to your friends or foes. Why not? Simple: your existence/awareness is self-evident and therefore does not need proof in order to "convince" you that you are really alive. So it is the same with mystics. When they are in that higher state they don't need to go around to the other higher beings trying to prove that they are having a transcendental encounter. It is self-evident: it is clear; it is vivid...Materialistic science will never prove mysticism; it can't. There is no "material" to mysticism..." When Richard sent me this quote from your letter, he asked an interesting question, "We've seen where Dave came from, but where is he going?" I think it's a good question. Perhaps you no longer have the same mystical experiences that you had when you were younger. Perhaps your confidence in the scientific empirical method has grown, while your confidence in spiritual experiences has been shaken. I don't know. But why do you state your opinions , today, with such vehemence? They are, after all, only opinions. DAVID LANE REPLIES: As I have told Richard before, it is really quite a simple evolution: I have just gotten more skeptical over the years. That's all. It doesn't mean that one becomes less open (quite the opposite, actually, since I have become much more open to science than I ever was before). Clearly, I write with passion and strong opinions, but that's the fun of it. I get others who with passion and opinion write back and disagree. I don't take A.R.E. too seriously. I have quite a delightful time here and I realize that we will have lots of different views flying around. That's the beauty of it. Many styles, many opinions, and occasionally we may even change our minds or our views. DOUG WRITES: I can understand the confidence that you gain when dealing with empirical facts that can be verified and confirmed by others. But to carry this confidence over to making such adamant claims about spiritual matters is unfounded. As you have said yourself, no amount of empirical evidence can help one bit to prove anything about mystical realities. But, on the other hand, mystical perspectives can offer a great deal of insight into empirical matters. Occam's Razor falls apart for this very reason, it implies that you can make rational conclusions upon matters where there is no evidence whatsoever, simply because the most obvious theory should be preferred. When there is no evidence, one can conclude nothing. At best one can only say "I don't know." All the rest is opinion. But armed with Occam's Razor, and the confidence of the scientific process, empiricists love to make broad adamant claims about mystical matters, without realizing there is no basis for such confidence. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Let me take a different approach here. I think we gain a lot by allowing skeptics, such as Kurtz, Crick, and Churchland "doubt" mystical purviews. Indeed, I think we learn much more than we can imagine. I will give you one example: The Dalai Lama met with several neuroscientists and philosophers in Newport Beach to discuss the latest research on the brain. Patricia Churchland was impressed by the Dalai Lama when he stated that if it turned out that science "disproved" reincarnation, he would then have to "give up" his belief in it. Now that is a very refreshing approach. What it means is that religion, like science, should be able to "revise" and "reformulate" its theories, beliefs, and ideologies. I don't often see religion do it as much as science. Now on the subject of mysticism and inner visions and the like, I am quite impressed by people like Richard Feynman who "doubt" their mystical voyages.... Feynman used to have O.B.E.'s and he developed a number of explanations--quite physical in origin--for them. The same has happened with Susan B. (with kudos to Richard here since I don't want to miss-spell here name again!) who also had O.B.E.'s but developed some very startling physical explanations for it. I am a great lover of mystical practice, but that doesn't mean that I cannot allow myself the possibility of having to entertain a purely materialistic explanation of it. In 1986, I gave a purely Advaita Vedanta position. Today, I will lean towards giving a purely eliminative materialistic position. But I am well aware of my "unknowingness" ultimately. It is for that precise reason I call myself: a mystical agnostic materialist. It is a just a long worded phrase for saying I don't really know ultimately....... Yet, even in that unknowingness, I find some theories better than others. For example, when I get a headache I take excedrin. I find that to be a better practical theory than eating lots of sand. your bro, dave -------------- Rich Writes: FYI Sometime after Paul translated Doc Bluth and a small group of supporters felt that he was/should be the new Living Eck Master and left the Eckankar organization. I would guess that "duped" was not how he felt. I do not believe that they gained any kind of following as I never heard much about them after that. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Dr. Bluth was appointed to be the President of Eckankar AFTER Paul Twitchell died. Shortly after that he felt that Darwin Gross was a fake and then left the group. RICH QUOTES AND WRITES: > However, Eckankar's attorney did illegally make a copy of my wife's > diary. He was eventually forced to destroy the illegal photocopy. > Eckankar was notified that it had no right to retain any stolen > property in any fashion. I'd guess that they initially made copies of _all_ the materials not just your wife's diary, which seems like a very prudent thing to do to me. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Nope, that's not what they did. Indeed, they tried to hold on to the photocopy of my wife's diary for several months. My lawyer had to write Eckankar's attorney several times over this issue. There was no reason whatsoever for them to "photocopy" my wife's diary and the lawyer finally agreed to "destroy" it. > I guess my wife's diary made for fascinating reading. RICH WRITES: That is what you'd like us to believe, insinuating that Eckankar and it's attorney had some prurient interest in your wife's diary. Nice insult David but it's unsupported supposition. It's not that big of a deal except that Alex, Dunbar, Raph, Zuma, Lurk, Rife and others will take this as gospel truth and from now on include it in their righteous indignation and rhetoric of how appalling and disgusting Eckankar is. It will be one more 'fact' in their armory of disinformation to mislead people about the truth and history of Eckankar. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Well, let me restate once again what Eckankar's attorney did. He photocopied my wife's diary (without permission) and attempted to hold on to it, even after repeated requests by my attorneys not to do so. It was illegal for him to retain a copy of it in any form. He finally succumbed (i won't go into the legal details) and "destroyed" the photocopy. ----------------- David Lane wrote: > > JESSICA WRITES: > > That is NOT what you are doing here. You are critizing my guru > and my path. > > Two different things completely. > > DAVID LANE REPLIES: > > Yes, last I remember this public and unmoderated newsgroup was > called Alt.religion.eckankar. > > I tend to focus my essays here on Eckankar, since that is the > subject. BRUCE COMMENTS: Jess' point still stands. You advise people to criticize their own religion, while you, an atheist, criticize the religions of others. Nice gig. DAVID LANE REPLIES: I realize I have memory lapses, but I don't recall saying I was an "atheist." I do remember saying that I was a mystical agnostic materialist--which, in effect, says that I don't know ultimately. Paul O'Brien, who does call himself an atheist, has written a nice book on the subject (see point3.html). As for criticizing religions, I again don't see why people get so hot and bothered. I get ripped much more harshly on this group than most (I never compared Twitchell to a murderer or to Hitler, for isntance), but I think it is fair game. I think criticizing Catholicism is an altogether healthy enterprise, and I was brought up in a very devout Catholic household (attended their schools for nearly 12 years and taught in them for another five). I think the same for any religion, whether it be Radhasoami or Eckankar. Eckankar deserves to get critiqued. Twitchell published material that he claimed was dictated directly from Rebazar Tarzs, but was, in point of comparison, lifted (verbatim at times) from Julian Johnson. I am still amazed by the kinds of excuses we generate to defend such sophomoric antics. Without criticism (both internal and external) we wouldn't know as much as we do today about how some priests have abused children, how women have been maltreated, how certain "official" biographies have fudged the truth. Sorry, Bruce, but criticizing religion (or me or any idea) is the cornerstone to rational thought. And I don't buy for one second the argument that you must be a "member" in order to criticize. Tell that to Jim Peebles..... He didn't get a discussion; he got slapped with a 2.5 million dollar lawsuit. > JESSICA WRITES: > > But how does that do anything to serve God? You are depriving > people on the internet from knowing about your religion by wasting > your time criticizing Eckankar. > > DAVID LANE REPLIES: > > But I don't have a religion, per se. Remember my guru is dead. > And whatever personal path I follow is so intimate that I am not > depriving somebody of it. > > I do believe in critical thinking and I do think that we are better > served by critically analyzing our gurus and our religions--even those > that are not our own. BRUCE COMMENTS: What do you mean "our" religions? You don't have one. You advocate the disbanding of all religions, remember? DAVID LANE REPLIES: Dear Bruce, remember I was raised Catholic. "Our" religions refers to the lot of humankind, the productions of human beings over the decades. Just because I don't follow Islam does not mean that I cannot form an opinion or a criticism about it. Jessica doesn't follow Hitler, but she has definitely formed an opinion about him and his activities--and so she should. Same with human productions of any kind--from Eckankar to Catholicism to Dairy Queen Ice Creams--we are most free to make our pointed comments when and where we choose. I have a long history of dealing with Eckankar. I was asked by the former President of Eckankar, Dr. Bluth, to continue doing my research. Why? Because he felt that he had been duped by the group and thus felt that more, not less, research should be done. You and others don't like it. That's fair and you post your arguments against it. I, likewise, give you my counter arguments. So "our" religions, according to my view, is what human beings have produced over the centuries. Just like I might say "our" science or "our" technologies...... > DAVID LANE REPLIES: > > Nobody is forcing you to do anything, least of all me. Just don't > read my posts, Jessica, if they piss you off that much. All we are > doing on this newsgroup, lest you forget, is exchanging units of > symbolic meaning to one another. I haven't sued you, I haven't > robbed your house (both things have happened to me, by the way); BRUCE WRITES: Not by Eckankar, David. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Yes, according to my attorney, Eckankar did file suit in the mid-1980s. No, Eckankar never robbed my house; John-Roger Hinkins was responsible for that. Eckankar was quite good, at first, in getting the stolen property back to me almost immediately. They received some of the stolen items from J.R., who apparently thought that Eckankar would then use such against me (causing me to then think that Eckankar, not J.R., had robbed my home). However, Eckankar's attorney did illegally make a copy of my wife's diary. He was eventually forced to destroy the illegal photocopy. Eckankar was notified that it had no right to retain any stolen property in any fashion. I guess my wife's diary made for fascinating reading. --------------------- BRUCE QUOTES AND THEN COMMENTS: David Lane wrote: > As for criticizing religions, I again don't see why people get so > hot and bothered. I get ripped much more harshly on this group than > most (I never compared Twitchell to a murderer or to Hitler, for > isntance), but I think it is fair game. Ah. You seem to like ripping and being ripped for its own sake, and and don't seem to appreciate that others don't share your uncritical enthusiasm for this activity ;-) DAVID LANE REPLIES: Well, that's what makes the internet such an interesting place: different enthusiasms and diffierent interests and different opinions. Yes, I must confess that I have a deep fondness for the give and take of intellectual discussions (even if they center on "etheric" topics). > Without criticism (both internal and external) we wouldn't know as > much as we do today about how some priests have abused children, how > women have been maltreated, how certain "official" biographies have > fudged the truth. BRUCE WRITES: Criticism is not the same as "ripping". DAVID LANE REPLIES: For me, I use "ripping" as just another way of describing criticism. I realize that some "rips" are more substantiated than others, just as some criticisms are more substantiated than others. However, it is obvious to me that there is a resistance in some quarters to have religion severely analyzed..... > Sorry, Bruce, but criticizing religion (or me or any idea) is the > cornerstone to rational thought. BRUCE WRITES: You don't have to apologize; I understand this point well. That's why I am criticizing you. BTW, do you claim (by virtue of your devotion to "ripping") some kind of rationalist sainthood? :-) DAVID LANE REPLIES: i wish I could claim some type of sainthood (for any topic), but the truth is otherwise. Nope, I am just a guy trying to better understand the world in which he finds himself in. I find some models of reality better than others and for that reason will argue for one line of thought over another. > And I don't buy for one second the argument that you must be > a "member" in order to criticize. BRUCE WRITES: I was pointing out the fact that you have less at stake than those whom you exhort. DAVID LANE REPLIES: I think the more I have at "stake" the more I should value or explore such criticism. That's when it really matters. ---------------------- Jessica Writes: Neural surfer (Lane's web page) is linked to self-defined supremacists, mostly xian, but also white supremacists (if you follow the links along). It is Lane's anger against many religions, of which Eckankar is only one, that is doing exactly what you say it is doing: makes the learning process stagnant. DAVID LANE REPLIES: One does not have to be "angry" to be critical or skeptical or analytical. Although you may think otherwise, I am not "angry" when I write these posts in A.R.E. I am, on the contrary, in an elevated mood of neural bliss. What's there to be angry about? This is pure and simple fun--intellectual or otherwise. JESSICA WRITES: I simply question the validity of his opinion in terms of any religion. He claimed to have been a Catholic at one point. Does he go to the Catholic newsgroups and tell them that Catholicism is a lie, and if he does, does his opinion about Catholicism have any validity to Catholics? Should it? Would it be positive for him to tell Catholics what he is telling Eckists? DAVID LANE REPLIES: If I found out that Jesus Christ wrote articles in Aramaic that were "plagiarized" almost verbatim from a guy named Julian John of Persia, I most certainly would post my findings. If I found out that Jesus Christ had his "official" biographer (who lived during his lifetime an wrote with his direct permission) make up lies and false stories about his life, I most certainly would post my findings. If I found out that Jesus Christ had attempted to "redact" his earlier articles (with newly formed names), I most certainly would present my findings. Now it should also be kept in mind that I have taught New Testament, Christology, and World Religions in previous years. During those courses I have often pointed out the contradictions in the Gospel accounts about Jesus's resurrection, about how the Gospels were not biographies concerned with factual truth (but rather faith summaries, etc.), about various interpretations of Jesus' life. I have also pointed out a number of disturbing facts or episodes in Catholicism. As I told Dodie Bellamy, "I think Christianity has certainly fucked up more people than Eckankar ever has." (not an exact quote, but I am getting old!). Yes, by all means let us examine each and every religion. JESSICA WRITES: I again challenge those who have found their own truth, be it from another established religion, or "mystical agnostics" to do the same. DAVID LANE REPLIES: But, for argument's sake, it could be that those who post critical articles here find that it is part and parcel of their intellectual and spiritual development..... That's the beauty of give and take. --------------------- BRUCE WRITES: Einstein's ability to change his cultural perspective led to a scientific breakthrough. Scientific knowledge is the result of cultural activity. DAVID LANE REPLIES: It may also be the case that cultural activity follows the breakthrough of scientists at certain points. Thus, your statement could at times also read in reverse: cultural activity is the result of scientific knowledge. (from T.V.'s to airplanes to surfing the Internet) -------------------- BRUCE WRITES AND QUOTES: David Lane wrote: > > BRUCE WRITES: > > Einstein's ability to change his cultural perspective led to > a scientific breakthrough. Scientific knowledge is the result > of cultural activity. > > DAVID LANE REPLIES: > > It may also be the case that cultural activity follows the > breakthrough of scientists at certain points. > > Thus, your statement could at times also read in reverse: > > cultural activity is the result of scientific knowledge. > > (from T.V.'s to airplanes to surfing the Internet) I agree. Nevertheless, my point is still valid, which is that cultural advances (e.g. the valuing of pluralism) are as significant as purely scientific ones. DAVID LANE REPLIES: I don't recall you saying that last line in the orignal essay on the subject, but if so then I wonder if this cultural/scientific interface is a kind of "chicken/egg" query..... In any case, the cliche' that Newton apparently invoked "I stand on the head of giants" (or something to that effect) indicates that science, like culture, builds on its genealogical antecedents (algorithmically or not) It may also be the case that "science" is not so much a cultural purview (though it is certainly that as well), as it is a biological imperative granted to us over the years by the successes of human evolution. Science may be a way of "seeing" that all of us, to greater or lesser extents, indulge in; just as Eliade mentioned that religion (or religious feeling/seeing) is a Part of Consciousness and Not a stage in it. ---------------------------------- JESSICA WRITES: That is NOT what you are doing here. You are critizing my guru and my path. Two different things completely. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Yes, last I remember this public and unmoderated newsgroup was called Alt.religion.eckankar. I tend to focus my essays here on Eckankar, since that is the subject. JESSICA WRITES: And if you did what you should do, spread the word about YOUR religion on the internet, I KNOW that not one Eckist would go there to criticize your guru or your path because the opinion of Eckists about your guru and your path are irrelevant. DAVID LANE REPLIES: No, I don't think the criticism is irrelevant--either or me or what I may believe. I would love to learn about extensive plagiarism, name redactions, and why one guru sued his former guru, etc. That would be quite interesting to me, both personally and professionally. I just happen to see criticism in a much different light than you. JESSICA WRITES: Oh really. So if the White Aryan Nation, the Neonazis, or the Xian self-identified supremacist group Christian Identity, or the Jehovah's Witnesses Watchman religions said that your religion was a lie, that you are all sinners, and you are all going to hell because you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior, you would actually consider their opinion about your guru and your religion valid? DAVID LANE REPLIES: In discussing issues, it is always helpful to keep our categories clear and to keep our subject focused. By the way, to answer even your above query, on my website is an interview of Charan Singh by a group of fundamentalist Christians. I found the discussion intriguing and in many ways quite helpful. And, yes, you and others have called me all sorts of names, compared me to all sorts of things (a murderer, no less), and I still "listen" to what you have to say. To be sure, we may disagree and get hot and bothered about it all, but I find the discussion of ideas quite exhilirating. I am not condoning Klux Klan members or the like; indeed, I am quite critical of such things, just as I am critical of Paul Twitchell's blatant racism. Aren't you? JESSICA WRITES: Would their opinion invalidate your beliefs or what you have experienced. How would you react to them? For that is EXACTLY what they say. DAVID LANE REPLIES: By airing my views, by positing my opinion. Just as I am doing to you now, and you have called me much worse names than most. Yet, strangely, I don't mind the name calling. I find it perversely intriguing. JESSICA WRITES: You need other people to validate your experiences? Don't you trust your Inner Self and your spiritual guide enough to know that your experiences are valid? DAVID LANE REPLIES: Right now for instance I am learning how to play golf (I suck, by the way) so I like to ask "other" people to help me out with my swing, my chipping, etc. The same with writing, or with teaching, or with surfing, or with movies, or with books, or with gurus. I think we learn a lot by listening to other people, especially critics. I know I learned how to walk from my parents and I don't begrudge them that. Just recently I developed a lung problem so I turned to my doctor friend who knew more than I. Now I was the one with "experience" but listening to his advice definitely helped a lot. I think the same holds true with mystical encounters. JESSICA WRITES: I sure do. I don't need anyone else to tell me that the shirt I am wearing is white, or that I am typing this message on a computer, or that the dream I had last night actually happened, or that I have the guidance and protection and love of the Mahanta. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Unlike you, I tend to "doubt" the ontological reality of my dreams. Same holds true with Near-Death Experiences or Inner Meditation Excursions. To be sure, they do happen, but I see nothing wrong with doubting them or looking for alternative explanations. More doubting won't make the "truthfulness" disappear; it will, on the contrary, only strengthen what is real about it. JESSICA WRITES: But how does that do anything to serve God? You are depriving people on the internet from knowing about your religion by wasting your time criticizing Eckankar. DAVID LANE REPLIES: But I don't have a religion, per se. Remember my guru is dead. And whatever personal path I follow is so intimate that I am not depriving somebody of it. I do believe in critical thinking and I do think that we are better served by critically analyzing our gurus and our religions--even those that are not our own. I also don't think critically analyzing Paul Twitchell and Eckankar is a waste of time. Quite the contrary, I think it is helpful to many--both pro and con (from Jay to Zuma, as they say). JESSICA WRITES: Search for cults, hatewatch, Watchtower, klanwatch on the net, and you will find all kinds of xian supremacist bigotry. Their purpose is to justify taking your rights to your religious beliefs away. DAVID LANE REPLIES: I am not taking your "rights" away from following Eckankar. I have simply offered my argument that Paul Twitchell lied, plagiarized, and covered-up. Moreover, I have pointed out that I think if Klemp were truly honest he would "dismantle" Eckankar. That was my opinion and I still hold it. Just as you wish I wouldn't post on this newsgroup or criticize Eckankar. You haven't taken my "rights" away; you have simply stated your opinion. It is call exchanging ideas and sometimes we may not like those ideas. JESSICA WRITES: So open a web site, and a usenet, and listserves opened to that criticism about your path, your guru and your belief system. Discuss it with people who want to discuss that with you. Unless of course you really don't want to do that at all and are just saying that this is what you invite in order to justify your unasked for and unwelcomed bigotry against Eckankar. DAVID LANE REPLIES: I don't think you know how I came upon A.R.E. or why I persist in researching Eckankar. It may be "unwanted" to you, but to many others it is not. That's the game of intellectual discussions--we get people in the mix that we disagree with. I tend to respond in many of my posts to critical points raised by discussion participants in ARE. I occasionally post original essays on various subjects. A.R.E. has been a delight. The discussion about "Lane" preceded me. I came upon it AFTER I was told by Aaron Talsky that my work was being discussed and critiqued. I then came online. As for still writing about Eckankar, I don't mind non-Eckists writing about me, my guru, Radhasoami, Catholicism, or my latest haircut. It just happens to be the case that I have a long history with Eckankar dating back to CSUN. JESSICA WRITES: Publically? On a usenet? On a listserve about YOUR religion where you will have to answer to the public as well? Or is this done safely and privately for no one else to see? DAVID LANE REPLIES: Dick Pickett has raised a number of interesting criticisms from time to time on my chosen path/guru and we have had, I believe, some thoughtful discussions/debates over the months. I don't have a "religion", per se, but I am most willing to discuss any point with you about my dead guru or my current belief system. I think you should read my series of essays on shabd yoga or on Faqir Chand. They are all quite public and quite critical. JESSICA WRITES: And if it is done privately, how does that teach anyone about your religion? DAVID LANE REPLIES: I think it is fine to discuss things privately and publicly. As for my "religion"--whatever that is--I am most willing to publicly discuss with you or anybody (as I have in the past) my ideas. Feel most free to raise up any point. JESSICA WRITES: Well that is obviously the experience that YOU need. But not necessarily the experience everyone needs. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Yes, and that's the beauty of the Internet. You can pick and choose what you wish to read or not read...... JESSICA WRITES: My knoweldge comes from my experience. You learn through outer validation. I learn from inner validation. Now why should I be forced by you to follow your way of learning since that does nothing for me? I would not even consider forcing you to learn the way I do if that would not work for you. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Nobody is forcing you to do anything, least of all me. Just don't read my posts, Jessica, if they piss you off that much. All we are doing on this newsgroup, lest you forget, is exchanging units of symbolic meaning to one another. I haven't sued you, I haven't robbed your house (both things have happened to me, by the way); I have, rather, displayed my views on Eckankar and its founder. You are also not forcing me to do anything, either. You have simply used the 26 letters in our Alphabet to congeal an argument to persuade me of your line of thinking. I find it quite enjoyable. It is called idea exchange. JESSICA WRITES: So what's the name of your usenet? What are the addresses for your listserves? What is the http address of the web site for your religion, as you say here that you seek out critics of your guru, path and you. DAVID LANE REPLIES: I don't have a religion to pass on to you, so I don't have a website for it. I have, instead, a website that illustrates the vagaries of my interest at this point. I have written about Eckankar now for some 20 years. Sorry to disappoint you but I don't think I am retiring any day soon. JESSICA WRITES: If you are so interested in this, why are you wasting time on Eckankar when you could be promoting your path, your guru and your religion? DAVID LANE REPLIES: I have no interest in promoting "my" religion, since I don't know what that would be. I do have an interest in promoting critical thinking, as such, and that applies all across the board (from religion to science to surfing). JESSICA WRITES: And why are you holding yourself back spiritually by depriving your self of that critical examination of your guru, your path and your religion? DAVID LANE REPLIES: But, dear Jessica, what is there to deprive myself of? My guru is dead and some of the harhest criticism of Radhasoami, INC., comes from me. Feel most free to rip anything. I like the to and fro. JESSICA WRITES: Then tell us the name of your usenet where those who care to create that negative karma for themselves by interfering with your spiritual choices can go there and rip into your religion. DAVID LANE REPLIES: I don't consider criticism a form of negative karma. Moreover, I don't believe in the concept of karma as it is generally used. See Owen Flanagan's pertinent criticism of it (in CONSCIOUSNESS RECONSIDERED) or the last chapter to THE ENCHANTED LAND. In any case, I welcome criticism and commend those who have the courage to analyze religion. It is sorely needed, I believe. JESSICA WRITES: I personally have better things to do with my time than to think that I am superior to you spiritually, or that my opinion of you or your religion can validate or invalidate anything. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Well, in either case, you do like to compare me to a murderer, right? I don't mind, even if it is a bit over the top. I like critics of religion; you apparently don't. JESSICA WRITES: But hey, Dave, if you want people to rip into your religion, then give them places to do just that. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Yes, I have. It is called A.R.E., the Neural Surfer, and e-mail. But as for "my" religion, I again remind you that my guru is dead and that I don't have one to offer you. JESSICA WRITES: Oh you've read Mein Kampf? And you still think that Hitler was just doing what? Expressing his opinion? DAVID LANE REPLIES: Jessica, you are the one comparing me to Hitler (not vice versa). I have never condoned racism and I am on public record to point out that I find Julian Johnson's writings, at times, to be quite racist. Same with Paul Twitchell's, by the way. I think the tautology of your methodology has loopholes. If you are willing to rip into these various people over their "beliefs" (rightly or wrongly), I don't see why you would mind me pointing out Twitchell's lying, plagiarism, deceit, and--yes--racism JESSICA WRITES: Have you read David Duke's works on white xian supremacy? And I suppose this is just his opinion too, and not bigotry at all? DAVID LANE REPLIES: Nope, I have never read his books. Have you? Tell me, then, what they say. JESSICA WRITES: How about Tom Metzger of the White Aryan Resistance, have you read his works on what he would like to do to you and your guru? I suppose that this is just his opinion as well, and that you have had lunch with him (if not bring a body guard, the guy does not take prisoners). DAVID LANE REPLIES: I think you have a orange/apple problem. Best not to collapse useful categories when discussing issues. In any case, Yes, I have met with those who vehemently disagree with me, including Eckankar (remember, Eckankar said I was from the "lower" worlds from the beginning of time set out to destroy Eckankar; they also asked to have my research destroyed; I have also gotten several death threats from those who claimed to be Eckists; I won't mention J.R. and crew....). I do disagree quite strongly with certain views. I certainly disagree with the astral plane excuse for Twitchell's plagiarism, for example. JESSICA WRITES: So you have written to the Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan who advocates denying you the right to freely practice your religion, as he believes this is a xian nation. And you have lobbied the school board in your city to make sure that xian creationinsm is not taught there. And you have talked to your representatives in Congress to make sure that school prayer is not mandated? And you have been active in the school system to make sure that xian only values are not taught there? And you've called your congressional represenative and told them not to codify xian bigotry? I am talking about people who want to take YOUR rights away and MY rights away, and the rights of Jews, Muslims, Hindis, even Mormons (though they too would like to take our rights away) and Catholics. Anyone who is not a fundi xian. DAVID LANE REPLIES: I am not taking your rights away, Jessica; nor are you taking my rights away. We are having a discussion. I have written a strong opinion about how I think that if Klemp were truly honest HE would dismantle Eckankar. I still hold that opinion. I didn't raise the silly issue of your rights or the government. Read what I say versus what you think I say. I also feel that if the gurus in R.S. were honest they would dismantle Radhasoami, INC., as well. That's my opinion, but it has got nothing to do with "rights". Faqir Chand and Kabir have said the same thing from time to time. I think gurus are much too dishonest and must too concerned with name/fame, in general, and we have pay the price for it. JESSICA WRITES: And when THOSE people come for you, your guru and the people of YOUR religion, who will be there to stop them, David? There is a serious movement in this country to destroy the First Amendment of the Constitution. This is being done through the codification of bigotry justified by religious beliefs. Those of us in religions that are not fundixianity need to stop fighting each other, as we are just hurting ourselves. You can go through all your mental gymanastics and justifications for those hoops you love to jump through. But we are not each other's adversaries. Those who would like to take our rights to our religious beliefs are. That is why I posted the above quote. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Sorry, Jessica, but I am not worried about it in the same way as you. You can believe whatever silliness you wish, such is our first ammendment. But our laws also state that we have "freedom of press" and one of those freedoms is the right to "disagree" with other people' religions. And even to criticize them. I think it is a healthy thing, actually. Religion deserves more scrutiny, not less. JESSICA WRITES: You call the Grand Dragon of the Klan your friend, and the White Aryan Nation, and Neonazis your friends? DAVID LANE REPLIES: Please read what I say in context. Moreover, there are many things that I diagree with, but because I believe in freedom of speech it means that I have to let the shit fly as well--from Eckankar's astral plane excuse to Twitchell's deceit to Scientology's Thetan theory. I just disagree with it and I say so. That's the beauty of free discussions. JESSICA WRITES: Gee why does that not surprise me, considering that a man with the exact same name as you, David Lane, killed a Jew, Alan Berg, based on that Lane's bigotry (or in your opinion, his opinion). Are you related? DAVID LANE REPLIES: Amazing comparison you wish to draw here, huh? Nope, I never heard of him until you mentioned him. Sorry, but I have never killed anybody in my life, nor have I sued anybody in my life (least of all, 20 year old students for 2.5 million--oh I do remember Peebles!), nor have I "denied" anybody's right to their chosen religion. I have, rather, criticized religions and gurus--especially ones that deceive their followers about their background. JESSICA WRITES: Europeans considered antisemitic bigots in Europe 50 years ago to be their "friends" too. The result was murder by this cadre of friends of over 12 million people in nazi death camps. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Again, you draw these really lovely comparisons and analogies. Sorry to disappoint you, Jessica, but I have never threatened the life of ANY Eckist. Yet, some claiming to be ECKISTS have threatened my life. Strange irony, huh? especially in light of your comparisons. JESSICA WRITES: You think it cannot happen again. The hate crimes against various nonfundixian religions is on the rise in this country. DAVID LANE REPLIES: I never said it couldn't happen again. Why are you making up things that I never even mentioned? JESSICA WRITES: So you are against the First Amendment of the Constitution? You think that Congress should prohibit the free expression of a religion. And where should they stop? DAVID LANE REPLIES: Read what I write, Jessica. I argued that HAROLD KLEMP SHOULD DISMANTLE ECKANKAR. That is, our gurus--the founders of these religions--should be more honest about what they are doing to their hapless followers. I am not against the 1st ammendment. I am against gurus who bullshit their followers and pocket the change. Geez, I think it is perfectly appropriate to criticize our gurus and if something is bullshit then I see nothing wrong in "dumping" it. That doesn't mean that I am going to "force" the closure of Radhasoami or Eckankar. It does mean that I will argue via ideas for a radical change. Such is human thought. Just as you are arguing here for me, more or less, to "shut up" about Eckankar. You are not "forcing" me. You are "arguing" with me. I see the distinction, do you? JESSICA WRITES: Sound more like a fascist kind of guy, for fascism advocates the dismantling of religions. DAVID LANE REPLIES: No, I argue for the dismantling of bullshit and I am sorry to say that religion seems to have a huge market in that area. But remember, I am not "forcing" my views in legislation. I am presenting them in a public forum. Unlike Eckankar or MSIA, I have not taken lawsuits (tying up our courts and our tax money) to squelch "my" critics. In any case, you yourself want "some" religions dismantled. Remember the Nazi regime? Remember the people who want to shut off your first ammendment rights? JESSICA WRITES: Fortunately we still have a First Amendment and your critique of it will not yet make it go away. DAVID LANE REPLIES: I have never criticized the First Ammendment. I have criticized certain religions and certain gurus. Notice the difference. JESSICA WRITES: You want to discuss law: You accused Paul Twitchell of allegedly (never proven in a court of law) plagerizing, yet he, Eckankar and Illuminated Way Press were never sued for that for copyright infringement by the allegedly original author. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Julian Johnson died in 1939, by the way. Moreover, just because a lawsuit wasn't taken does not mean that there wasn't any plagiarism. Gary Olsen plagiarized R.S. Beas texts and issued a worldwide apology for it, but there was never a lawsuit taken against him. I just pointed out the obvious to him. JESSICA WRITES: In a civil court of law, a person is innocent until proven liable by a preponderance of evidence. Until Paul Twitchell, Eckankar, and Illuminated Way Press are sued and found liable for copyright law infringment, by our civil justice system, all you are doing is making allegations, and not one of them has been charged or found true by a jury of peers. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Funny analogy, Jessica. Do you really think that all facts and all allegations and all truths must first be decided by our jury system before we know something to be the case? Twitchell plagiarized and it doesn't take a jury to see it. Just get THE PATH OF THE MASTERS and THE FAR COUNTRY. You can be your own jury and judge. JESSICA WRITES ON DARWIN GROSS, THE FORMER ECK MASTER Yawn. Old news. Not interested. DAVID LANE REPLIES That may the the crux of the communication breakdown. JESSICA WRITES: And when they come for you and your guru and your religion, Dvaid, who will be there for you? DAVID LANE REPLIES: Me, because I will be listening to whatever criticisms they may have and I promise you one thing: I won't condone any plagiarism of any R.S. leader under the pretext of some lame astral plane library. JESSICA WRITES: Do you think that the critics of Judiasm in Nazi Europe were just kidding around? Do you think that the militias in America are kidding? Have you seen what Congress is trying to do? They want to pass a law denying free expression of religion in the school systems, forcing only xianity there. There are xians across America advocating a xian values only curriculum in the schools. Do you think they are just criticizing your guru and your religion? They are attempting to stop your religion from existing (and I'm not talking about the outer organization formed to comply with laws regarding religions in this country). DAVID LANE REPLIES: You definitely have an apple and orange category problem. But in any case, I think it is fine for Christianity to tweak Radhasoami--each religion does it, more or less, to each other. Let them debate this stuff out. We will learn more, not less. JESSICA WRITES: Well you do that, David. And that way you will be talking to them about your religion and not talking about my religion. DAVID LANE REPLIES: But wait, dear Jessica, don't I have a "right" to discuss whatever I want? Or have you forgotten THAt part of the constitution? JESSICA WRITES: And where is the web site on this? And the Usenet to discuss it further with you for those who want to do so? And the listserves? DAVID LANE REPLIES: http://weber.ucsd.edu/~dlane/point2.html Feel most free to contribute anything you wish. JESSICA WRITES: Then open a web site and invite the critics of your religion in. DAVID LANE REPLIES: It's been operating for a year. Feel most free to email me an essay. The Neural Surfer. JESSICA WRITES: Why are you so afraid to open a web site to discuss your religion? DAVID LANE REPLIES: What is there to be afraid of? I don't have a religion, per se; my guru is dead, and I have a whole point devoted to the critical discussion of shabd yoga and Radhasoami. Try reading it. http;//weber.ucsd.edu/~dlane/point2.html or try point1.html or try point3.html Paul O'Brien has a nice book on Atheism that I have posted. JESSICA WRITES: You invite bigotry/criticism. Link it to the White Aryan Nation site, or to the Ku Klux Klan site, or to the Neonazi sites on the net. They'd love to tell you what they think of you and your religion. DAVID LANE: Why go there when I have you comparing me to a murderer and asking me if I am related to him? Geez, my fundementalist Chrisitian critics haven't stooped that low, yet. But I don't mind; it is very curious....... JESSICA WRITES: But a more positive notion would be to link it to the Spirit links on the net so that seekers who are looking for truth and may find it in your religion and the teachings of your guru would find that way there. DAVID LANE REPLIES: I have no desire to promote some new religion. I do like promoting critically thinking, however--even of me. JESSICA WRITES: Wasting your time here is depriving seekers on the internet of that knowledge. I think you are being selfish by keeping your teachings to yourself that way, and wasting the gift you are given to bring your guru's message to the internet. DAVID LANE REPLIES: I don't think it has been a waste of time at all. Many have felt clearer about their path after reading MAKING, etc. I think the real waste of time is suing a 20 year old Eckist for 2.5 million..... Now that I would call a waste. JESSICA WRITES: There is a path for each Soul to travel. You are on the right one for you to reach the state of God consciousness. There are many Souls out there seeking that same path, and you could be telling them about this through websites, usenets and listserves. But instead you are squandering that gift by focusing on a religion that you disagree with instead. DAVID LANE: I would be happy to just allow people to think deeper and more critically than beore, even of what I write. That, I believe, would be helpful. And your essays and my replies may illustrate that. JESSICA WRITES: The basis for bigotry is ignorance. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Or, comparing writers to murderers? Just teasing, Jessica. > Why don't you open a web page about your religion? JESSICA WRITES: FIrst you say: > As I mentioned before, I like critics and criticism of my > path/guru/myself. And now you say you have no religion, but have been a critic of Radhasoami which you think should be dismantled: Then > I was raised Catholic and I love Charan Singh. > The former is silly and the latter is dead. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Yes, I did say that precisely. I differentiate one's religion from one's path, but even there I am quite unknowing about things..... JESSICA WRITES: So in the beginning of this post you had a path, and now at the end of it you do not. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Being brought up Catholic doesn't mean that I have remained one. I differentiate my path from R.S. as well, by the way. But feel most free to criticize either..... JESSICA WRITES: Okay, let's not call your religion a religion at all, and we'll just go with your revisionist term, "path" and so why don't you open a listserve or usenet about your "path" and discuss your "path" there, opening it up of course to that criticism that you crave to validate you, and then you can be in like company: People to debate God rather than live God. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Try reading what's on the Neural Surfer. You may be surprised. JESSICA WRITES: I have a suggestion that if you want to talk to people who WANT to criticize each other that you go to the Klan's sites, or the Nazi's sites. They love to tell other people what they think it wrong with them. They thrive on that as well. Maybe you can email your name double, the murderer David Lane. He can give you some tips on taking the next step in bigotry, acting on it. After all he is your friend too, right? DAVID LANE REPLIES: Your irony is funny, Jessica. Sorry, but you are the one doing the bad comparisons--Lane and a murderer? I have met some wonderful people on A.R.E.--you, Steve R., Nathan, Dave Rife, Jay, Samorez, Kent, Rich, etc...... JESSICA WRITES: And sing of course Fatherland Fatherland. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Hmm.... Are you sure you are not sounding a bit fascist? By the way, my father is Irish. JESSICA WRITES: I don't think Eckists are coming for you to deprive you of your right to your religion, and to even dare to put Eckists in the same category with Tom Metzger of White Aryan Resistance is just one more indication to me that indeed the shoes of bigotry fit you well. DAVID LANE REPLIES: You are quite amazing, Jessica. I didn't bring up the comparisons; you did. I simply pointed out that I like critics. You are the one indulging in gross hyperbole. JESSICA WRITES: Quite frankly I don't read your posts Lane. They bore me. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Hmm..... I guess you read this one, huh? You don't bore me; I find you fascinating. JESSICA WRITES: But now that I know that you have gone from having a religion, to a path, to a view, and reveling in the comradery of bigots like Klan Dragons, well I have indeed learned a lot about you. Are you sure you are not related to the murdering David Lane? You sound a lot like him. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Nice comparison and understatement. No, I am a vegetarian....... Sprouts, anyone? your fan, dave ----------------------- I don't hate Eckankar, Paul Twitchell, or Eckists. I never have and I never will. I also don't hate my students at MSAC, but I am willing to criticize their papers when necessary. Being critical, even being harsh, doesn't mean that one hates something. It may well be the opposite. How can I hate something which, as I have mentioned before, has been a source of intrigue, mystery, discovery, "uncovery", and political posturing? No, I actually have a peculiar fondness for the old Twitch, for Gakko, and for Eckankar names..... But that doesn't mean one cannot be critical or skeptical...... See what I say about Twitch in Dodie Bellamy's article on Rife's homepage, or let us see what the Minnesota Magazine says when it comes out...... Calling somebody a plagiarist doesn't mean you hate him or her. It is precisely what the term suggests: a literary pirate. signed: peace, love, and bobby sherman -------------------- NATHAN QUOTES AND THEN COMMENTS: >I don't hate Eckankar, Paul Twitchell, or Eckists. >I never have and I never will. Right. And Adolf Hitler never really hated Jews. He just liked gassing them and performing experiments on them for the sake of........ intrigue, mystery, discovery, "uncovery", and political posturing. As a famous anti-semitic writer, Arnold Toynbee once said, "Some of my best friends are Jews." In the Light and Sound of God, Nathan DAVID LANE REPLIES: Well, my dear friend Nathan, I have never gassed anybody (okay, after Taco Bell a few times, but I blame that entirely on the bean burrito). Let me put this in a different light so you may get a clearer view of my position. Imagine that there was a "David Lane style critic" who wrote things against Charan Singh or even against me. What position would I take? Would I compare such a critic to Hitler and the extermination of Jews? No, I would actually enjoy such a critic and would give him an honored place in my reading list. Why? Because I think that the measure of a religion's integrity can be gauged, to some degree, by how critics are both treated and viewed by the religion, by its followers, and by its leaders. In other words, I always like to see how a guru responds to his harshest critic. Or, how a religious devotee responds to "outside" criticism or skepticism (even if slanted, even if unfair). Thus, I actually enjoy critics and criticism (both of myself and of whatever belief system I may hold). As I mentioned before, the harshest critic of Beas was Mr. S.D. Maheshwari. I own every one of his books and even went out of my way to meet with him personally and corresponded with him several times before his death. I also try to read EVERY post of my harhest critics on A.R.E. I learn much from them and I am thankful that you and others (especially Steve R.) have taken the time and energy to posit your views on me and my work. Naturally, we are going to disagree; naturally, it will get heated at times. But for my money, that's the enjoyment of discussion groups on the Internet. I also enjoy--perhaps in some curious way--the various names I have been called. It all makes for interesting reading. keep up the fine work, your fan, dave ----------------- Jessica Writes: And what does anything arelurk have to do with the idea that those of other religions (Lane and his Branch Lane Davidians ad nauseum) spend their time promoting their religion. I don't doubt that they have found truth in the spiritual paths they follow. And of course in the usual way lurksforbrains has once more remained clueless about this using one more time to promote his (or are you a her) anti-Eckankar supremacist bigotry. So why don't you start a web page and a usenet group and a listserve on what you do believe yourself, what has led you to truth (since you think that Eckankar has not). You and others spend so much time promoting negativity, claiming some sort of self promoting responsibility (like anyone asked for your help). Yet you never do say what truth is for you (other than Not Eckankar - and you can fill a whole barnful with that bovine feces belief). So I suggest to you too are.obsessed, start a web page on your truth, start a usenet promoting your truth, start listserves promoting your truth. If you have come to know truth for yourself at all. And there is no evidence at all about that in anything you have posted here. Even the Branch Lane Davidians claim to believe in a spiritual path. Jessica Weiss DAVID LANE REPLIES: Again, let me try a different approach here to better illustrate my position. Let's imagine that there was a newsgroup totally centered on David Lane's favorite guru and path (indeed, it was whatever Lane held dearest and most intimate). Now let us further imagine that there was this really harsh critic of Lane that entered into this unmoderated and public newsgroup. He had even written a term paper or two on Lane and said exactly the same stuff that MAKING says about Twitch and Eck. Now how would "I" react to such a critic? Well, I would be stoked. Why? Because I would find that the critic would bring things to the table that I would find interesting or contrarian--two aspects that may make for an intriguing debate or discussion. You see, I have consciously sought out criticism not only of myself (I tend to read EVERY post that rips me and find it both enlightening and enjoyable, even the funky stuff) but of my guru or belief system as well. I like the challenge since it makes me either revise my thinking (geez, my previous model or paradigm was incomplete or wrong) or better understand the various positions one may have on a subject. That is why I love Faqir Chand, even though he point blank contradicts Charan Singh. That is why I loved reading Da Free John's critique of shabd yoga in THE PARADOX OF INSTRUCTION (try reading it; it is brilliant). That is why I love reading S.D. Maheshwari's books AGAINST Beas. I like counter-positions, since I tend to learn more from them precisely because they provide an alternative view. So, in sum, keep ripping or questioning or critiquing (or comparing me to bigots and the like). It is from such rhetoric that I learn more, your devotee dave P.S. as for negativity, I tend to see criticism as quite a positive thing. Why? Because it allows one to thinker better and feel deeper. ----------------- JESSICA WRITES: Sounds a lot like hate the sin not the sinner rhetoric to me, and I have heard that xian supremacist nonsense for years as a justification for attacking gay men, lesbians, Jews, and anyone who is not a fundi xian. DAVID LANE: Well, I just happen to think that we are better served by criticizing and analyzing our gurus and our paths very very closely. In other words, if one were to rip me intensely or rip my guru intensely, I would not call such attacks "supremacist nonsense." I would do something a bit curious: I would listen very carefully. Why? Because it from such voices that I tend to learn a lot about why I believe what I do or why I should change what I think/believe. That is why, Jessica, I like listening to you. It is from your criticisms that I get a larger sense of things. I don't find criticism negative. I find it, ironically enough, interesting. JESSICA WRITES: There are plenty of people out there who would apply that same maxim to your religion, David, and to you as well. There is a whole listing of "cults" put out on the net by xian supremacist groups, and your religion is on there too. Those xian supremacists would like to take away your right to your religious beliefs. They call your religion a lie as well. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Yes, and I would love to read more. I like to read detailed criticisms of my path, my guru, my belief systems. Aaron Talsky and I engage in some very intense debates over these very issues. He is very tough on my views and I find that I relish the interchange. One of my favorite moments in my life (I am serious here) was when I was seeing someone criticize my guru in public in front of several thousand people. And I do mean criticize.... full on. Why? Because it was in that very situation, that very intense moment, that I got a better understanding of who or what my guru was and what he was trying to convey. How a guru responds to a harsh critic (even if unfair) is quite a telling thing indeed. Thus, I have personally sought out critics of my guru, of my path, and of me. In academia, it is called a "peer" review. Sadly, in religion we tend to call it "being negative" or "he's a bigot." By all means, rip me or whatever I believe. I will listen intently. JESSICA WRITES: You may have heard this before. It was written after the Holocaust in Europe. "In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me." -Reinhold Niebuhr Just as you are posting negatively about Eckankar and have found all kinds of excuses for your bigotry, there are millions of people finding excuses for their bigotry against you and your religion. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Well, let us see how "I" reply to those who have in the past criticized me or my guru: 1. I read every book the critic wrote. 2. I corresponded with the said critic. 3. I had lunch with the critic. 4. I even published a book which point blank contradicts my guru on every major theological issue. 5. I read every possible criticism--however long--of "me" or my "guru." Do I call such critics (and there are several) "supremacist bigots"? Nope. What do I call them? My friends. Do I think you should stop calling me a bigot? Nope. Why not? Because whatever views you have of me I find intriguing, even if I disagree...... JESSICA WRITES: Those of us following religions of the Light and Sound of God are being targetted by xians who would like to codify their bigotry against us all. They want to force mandatory prayer in school, teach creationism, and brainwash your family's children into thinking this is a Christian nation. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Oops, I guess you got in the wrong "Lane" here. I don't believe in creationism, I don't believe in mandatory prayer in school, and I like secular humanism............... JESSICA WRITES: They want to lump all non-xian religions into the category of cult, and eliminate your religion and mine. DAVID LANE REPLIES: No, it may well be that I would like to eliminate the bullshit that passes for religion and the excuses that we generate to defend such B.S. By the way, I think Radhasoami, INC., should be dismantled as well--along with Roman Catholicism and Eckankar. I guess I am just a cliff-hanger kinda of guy...... JESSICA WRITES: They want to take away a woman's right to choose pregnancy or abortion, and they use their religion to justify that. They want to deny gay men and lesbians equal rights, and use their religion to justify that. It is all bigotry justified by religion. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Let me see, Eckankar sues a 20 year old Eckist for a 12 page term paper that they secure under a false pretense for a staggering 2.5 million dollars....... Hmmmmm................ Do yourself a favor and talk to the former Living Eck Master, Darwin Gross, about "bigotry" and Eckankar. As the former LEM himself said to Dodie: ECKANKAR TREATED ME LIKE SHIT. I wonder if the Vairgai bros are going to reprimand him for bad language use? JESSICA WRITES: So when they come for you and your religion, David, who will be there for you, if you are putting down any other religions of the Light and Sound of God, claiming that it is "your opinion" and that you have "the facts." DAVID LANE REPLIES: As I mentioned before, I like critics and criticism of my path/guru/myself. I would imagine that I might invite them for a coke. JESSICA WRITES: Xians have plenty of facts (a whole bible's worth) to prove that your religion is a lie. It is their opinion. They have a right to it of course, just as you do. But why would you want to do exactly what the xians are doing, justifying your bigotry against Eckankar based on your religion. Xians justify their bigotry against your religion and Eckankar based on their religion. Are they incorrect to do that to you, and only correct to do the same as you are doing against Eckankar. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Well, I think you don't know me very well. I have published some of the harhest criticism in print on Radhasoami. Indeed, the unknowing sage: the life and work of Baba Faqir Chand argues that shabd yoga gurus are, more or less, frauds. I published that, so I think you are barking up the wrong tree. I like critics, and Faqir Chand was NOT viewed as correct by my guru or others in the Beas lineage, YET I am more proud of that book than anything I have ever printed. I like critics. JESSICA WRITES: Apeing xian supremacist bigots is not serving God. If your religion teaches you to serve God, telling people on the internet who to know God's love via your spiritual path serves God. DAVID LANE REPLIES: As the cliche's goes, "If there really is a God, he/she/it may find Atheism to be less insulting than religion." Or, David Lane's twist: If there really is a Sugmad, I don't think he/she/it will mind a term paper written by a 20 year old, huh? JESSICA WRITES: Why don't you open a web page about your religion? DAVID LANE REPLIES: I have: it is called the Neural Surfer. The only problem is that I don't have a religion, per se. I was raised Catholic and I love Charan Singh. The former is silly and the latter is dead. JESSICA WRITES: Why don't you start a usenet about your religion? DAVID LANE REPLIES: I don't have a religion, as such, but I came to A.R.E. only after I was discussed at length. Aaron Talsky told me about this fine newsgroup and said that there was a heated discussion about "Lane and his research." I joined into an already pre-existing discussion and I have been having a fun time ever since. JESSICA WRITES: Why don't you manage listserves about your religion? DAVID LANE REPLIES: Not to be redundant, but I don't have a religion, as such, but I do believe that "thinking critically" is a first step to being a better "religious" follower. A.R.E. is a fine place to hone those skills. JESSICA WRITES: Who will be there when the xian supremacist bigots come for you David and the rest of your Branch Lane Davidians? DAVID LANE: I would be most happy to meet them and I would have a round of cokes for all. I met Charles Richards, an Eckist in this area, for lunch--even though we had quite different views. I even paid for it. Why? Because he was a nice fellow and I like critics, even of my own views. That is why I like reading your posts. Quite fun. ----------------------------- NATHAN WRITES AND QUOTES: >ps I can promise you that not one Eckist will go to your web site, >your usenet or your listserve and put you down there, cause we >don't justify bigotry in Eckankar. I second that motion. Not a single Eckist in the entire world would do that. In Eck, Nathan DAVID LANE REPLIES: Hmm, Eckankar just SUES it former leader, Darwin Gross ("Eckankar Treated me like shit"), SUES a 20 year old student who believes in ECK and writes a 12 page term paper on the subject only to be the subject of a 2.5 million dollar lawsuit (which Eckankar obtained under a false pretense), THREATENS TO SUE its most vocal critic repeatedly. Eckankar's founder THREATENS to sue not only his former spiritual teacher, Kirpal Singh, but one of his early followers as well. I could give quite an interesting list of death threats I have received by several ECkists, but I guess that doesn't count....... You see, I do have such a website and I welcome any or all essays that criticize me. Indeed, I have put quite a few already online. Keep writing..... ------------------------ RICH QUOTE AND THEN COMMENTS: David Lane wrote: > I don't hate Eckankar, Paul Twitchell, or Eckists. It's apparent to me by your writings that you do not exhibit the hate that some accuse you of. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Thanks and I am glad that you can see that, since I have a deep, even if quite critical, affection for Eckankar. How could I not? Where else would I learn about Fubbi Quantz or Moon Viruses or Frilly Fred? RICH WRITES: Your criticizing Eckankar is more like a fun game. I get this cute image of you as the boy grinning and rubbing his hands together in excitement, anticipating the mischief he is about to create. I see you like the boy who is intrigued by what he sees as an ugly caterpillar, who laughs at it while he pokes it with a sharp stick to discover what kind of ooze comes out, while never experiencing the mystery of the metamorphosis to the butterfly. DAVID LANE REPLIES: I actually like your metaphor here, except for one key point: I don't poke insects to get the ooze out, but I do poke at religions to get the bullshit out.
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I want to go back to the home base now.