Author: David Christopher Lane Publisher: Alt.religon.eckankar Publication date: 1996
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The Sudar Singh and Rebazar Tarz File: Harold Klemp says that Paul Twitchell met Sudar Singh in 1935 on his first visit to India. Problem #1: Twitchell says he was "under" 16 years old when he met Sudar Singh in India for the first time (indicating that Paul's birthdate was 1922, as reported by him to the Seattle Post Intelligencer and to his wife Gail; look at his death certificate) in the 1930s. [For substantiation of this, please read Twitchell's own words in DIFFICULTIES OF BECOMING THE LIVING ECK MASTER (1980), pages 40-48.] Yet, according to Harold Klemp's own dating of the founder of Eckankar, Paul Twitchell was born in 1908 and must have been well over 25 years old when he first met Sudar Singh. We have two completely conflicting dates here. Problem #2: Paul Twitchell never traveled to India in 1935. Neither did his sister, Kay-Dee, whom he claims accompanied him to Paris and to Allahabad, India. Moreover, Twitchell never went to India in the 1920s or the 1930s either. Problem #3: Twitchell's longest published description of Sudar Singh is found in DIFFICULTIES OF BECOMING THE LIVING ECK MASTER. Yet, a close reading of that section concerning Sudar Singh indicates that Twitchell is describing Kirpal Singh, whose mannerisms, deep voice, Twitchell accurately pegs. Problem #4: No shabd yoga scholar has discovered any evidence that Sudar Singh, as such, exists. Not one picture, not one address, not one letter, not one building. Twitchell's account of him is unique and is shot through with contradictions. Contradictions, I might add, that pit Klemp's testimony against Twitchell's. Problem #5: Twitchell claims that after he met Sudar Singh in 1935--as per Klemp's testimony--he came back to America and attended high school. Yet, Stephen D. House, the Registrar at Western Kentucky University, writes that Twitchell was registered for college (at the age of 22, mind you) in 1933! Commentary: Is it any wonder that people doubt Sudar Singh's existence. Again, I don't mind being wrong and I would love to see some proof, not inner region accounts, since Twitchell and Klemp are making historical and biographical claims that can be empirically verified. There is also the added problem of Rebazar Tarzs. See, Twitchell claims that he met Rebazar after he met Sudar Singh at his ashram. If, as I point out, Twitchell never went to India like he claimed and he never did meet Sudar Singh, then shouldn't we begin to seriously doubt the veridicality of Twitchell's description of Rebazar? I am not talking about inner experiences and the like. I am talking about Twitchell's claims to have traveled (in the physical body) to India. He didn't visit India in 1935 like he claimed, and he also didn't visit India in 1951 like he claimed and where he supposedly met Rebazar in the physical for the first time (according to Klemp's account). Camille Ballowe Taylor, Twitchell's first wife, was with Paul in the USA during the summer in 1951. They never went to India in the 1950s either. Not once. ---------- The Number One Best Way To RIP Lane! Just provide some documentation that Sudar Singh truly existed and that Paul Twitchell actually met with the mysterious guru in India. Address? Pictures? Books? Then Lane will have to really eat his Grape-Nuts! ---------- I read with keen interest Steve's rejoinder to my post about Sudar Singh. Yet, I must confess that I was confused by it, especially since he went into some length about comparing my research methods to the National Enquirer (Hey, didn't they break a story about the O.J. case that was cited by the New York Times? Boy, the tabloids are moving up in the world.) and to racism and I.Q. scores. There is a much simpler way to really tweak Lane's day and to show his research as faulty. It will also convince the entire lot of Eckists and anti-Eckists. What is it? Just document Sudar Singh's existence. I won't mind being wrong. I will be happy to celebrate the guru's existence. I will even buy a round of classic cokes for the crew on alt.religion.eckankar. Yet, instead of that classic rebuttal (which would, of course, end the debate for good. Nobody here is debating whether Kirpal Singh existed or not.), we get lots of name-calling (which I perversely enjoy.... Lane is a fraud!) and lots of side-arguments--none of which focuses on the raised question: Did Sudar Singh really exist? Taking that question, I then looked at Twitchell's account, which I compared with his own travels, his own biographical dates, etc. I then noticed some pretty severe contradictions. Let us review them again, so we know more of why I think Sudar Singh is a made-up character: 1. Twitchell says he met Sudar Singh when he was a teenager. Writes Twitchell (page 48 of DIFFICULTIES OF BECOMING THE LIVING ECK MASTER): "After I had left India, came home, I was then about sixteen, I had a year or so to do some work in order to finish my degree. I only had to take about one subject, and I went back to school. . . then I went off to college...." Okay, so Twitchell states that he was "about sixteen" when he came back from his first visit to India and Sudar Singh and then he attended high school for a short spell before he went to college. Yet, Klemp states that Twitchell was born in 1908 and met Sudar Singh in 1935 (see the new section on Twitchell in the Eckankar home page), thus making Twitchell at the very least "over" 25, not 16. Moreover, we have already noted that Western Kentucky University has Twitchell as being 22 when he registered there in 1933. -------- Let's cut to the chase, just on this one little episode: Is Twitchell lying about his dates? Is Twitchell lying about his age? Is Klemp wrong about 1935? Is Klemp wrong about 1908? Now I raise all of this up, because the only evidence we have that Sudar Singh historically existed comes from Paul Twitchell himself. There is nobody else who has confirmed his existence. Given that context, Twitchell's reliability and accuracy naturally becomes important. Simple question: Is Twitchell a "reliable" source for historical information, much less dates? I have found him, particularly with relation to Sudar Singh and India, to be unreliable. So I have proceeded to point out the discrepancies in Twitchell's narratives. Additionally, I have asked those who knew Paul personally if they had any records or recollections of his travels to India in the 1903s. To a man and to a woman, they have repeatedly stated that Paul never left the United States during that time. Now keep in mind that Twitchell has made a pretty remarkable claim. He says that the previous "Living Eck Master" (before himself) was Sudar Singh. He even states that he lived with Sudar Singh for a year. Yet when we inspect Twitchell's dates, his biography, his previous history, we find that he has been unreliable. We find, in sum, no evidence whatsoever to suggest that Sudar Singh existed. Now let me repeat again that I would dearly love to be wrong in this. Yet not once on this group, not once in India, not once from Eckankar, not once from interested scholars of Eckankar (who happen to be members) did any evidence whatsoever show up indicating that Sudar Singh existed. Rather, I found this out: 1. Twitchell lied about his birthdate. 2. Twitchell lied about his birthplace. 3. Twitchell lied about his jobs. 4. Twitchell lied about his previous associations. 5. Twitchell lied about his travels. But given all that, we are supposed to somehow "believe" that Sudar Singh existed. Remember, this is the only other Living Eck Master in this century (outside of Twitchell, Gross, and Klemp) and there is zip on him. In my next series of posts, I will raise some more contradictions so that we can clearly see why there are doubts about Sudar Singh. signed: the fraudulent researcher who uses advanced psychic techniques on catholic school children and happens to be anton levay's love child........ does this scum bag read STAR magazine as well? Is there no shame? ------ Paul Twitchell writes (from DIFFICULTIES OF BECOMING THE LIVING ECK MASTER, page 45): "He [Sudar Singh] died, I believe, if I'm correct, 1937; could have been a year or two off someway there, but it was approximately in that year when he passed away." Given Twitchell's changing of dates, is the above approximate date accurate? If it is, then Twitchell's meeting Sudar Singh at the age of "less" than 16 is inaccurate, since as I have already mentioned Twitchell would have been (according to Klemp and to the Library of Congress) "over" 25 in 1935 when he supposedly met the guru. Sidebar: Is it not a bit curious that every guru Twitchell denies being associated with (going to such lengths as to delete their names from his reprinted articles and manuscripts--Premananda to Kirpal to Hubbard) turns out on closer inspection to have actually existed and have substantial documentation, whereas such gurus as Sudar Singh and Rebazar Tarzs have no empirical confirmation? Another brain twister: Why does Twitchell mention Kirpal Singh repeatedly before 1963, but he never mentions Sudar Singh before 1963? Why do we have scores of photographs of Twitchell with Kirpal Singh (just check the Twitchell file at Sawan-Kirpal Mission in Vijay Nagar, Delhi, India), a man he claims he was never initiated by (and a man whose name is deleted from the original LETTERS TO GAIL and to whom he dedicated the original TIGER'S FANG), but not one of Twitchell with Sudar Singh, a man only Twitchell has talked about? I am sure there are lots of excuses, but as they say a picture is worth a thousand words. Get me a real picture of Sudar Singh and I will not only buy coke for the alt.religion.eckankar crew, but a pizza as well. (I got one slice still in the freezer I could thaw out) signed: Looking for Mr Sudar bar -------- Steve, Thanks for your recent note in which you state that I should give up my research on Sudar Singh because Harold Klemp says "nobody knows" who he was. Exactly my point: nobody knows who he was because he didn't exist. But if he did exist, don't research him because "nobody knows" who he was. I like it. It's kinda of like a Zen Koan. You then say that I raise these red herrings and do not confront your point about my "research" methods. My response is a simple one: test my findings on the major claims I have made about Twitchell..... The method I use and everyone uses from time to time is: doubt. Doubt, doubt, and more doubt. Did i provide evidence for his plagiarism? Did i provide evidence for his name replacements? Did i provide evidnece for his altering certain facets of his biographical history? Now, naturally, on those points in which you disagree with my slant or my interpretations we can disagree, argue, and debate. I shall not mind. But the method of all research is essentially the same: 1. thesis 2. experiment 3. confirmation or this context: 1. Lane's claim 2. Evidence of that claim 3. confirmation or interpretation of that claim I know that many Eckists will disagree with my interpretation or my slant, but most have already heartily agreed with the core of what I found out. Even Harold Klemp has admitted some, but not all of it. I say go right ahead and rip my methods, my name, my reputation, the whole lot of it. Yet, Steve, that's the point, because even after you have done that you have not answered the simple question I raised: Do you have any evidence to substantiate Sudar Singh's existence? You have admitted that you have none and that Harold Klemp has none. Given that context, why should anybody believe that Sudar Singh really existed? Especially in light of the fact that Twitchell has systematically lied about important biographical details. Like I said before, whether I am a smuck or not sidelights the issue in terms of Eckankar research. Say I am smuck, say I am fraud. I shall not mind. The only question is: can you see the plagiarism? can you see the cover-up? can you see the biographical inconsistencies? can you see why some may doubt the existence of "Vairagi" masters? If you can't, then I will simply present more arguments. I say go right ahead and "doubt" everything I have written. Why? Because it was that same type of doubt that made me question Twitchell's writings, biography, and associations. In that shuffle, we discover things. Again, I would be very pleased to have some evidence on Sudar Singh. I have seen none and thus I am convinced that he does not exist. But don't buy my conviction. Get Sudar's passport (Twitchell claims he went to Paris, France, as well) and let Alt.religion.eckankar break out in joy due to the discovery. signed: the fraud ---------- Steve writes: "Why would Harold want to use any of Lane's fraudulent research?" Sorry to bum your day out, but Harold actually did use some of my "fraudulent" research in his writings. Go ask him. I was even asked at one time to be an "expert witness" by Sri Darwin Gross on the history of Eckankar. Talk about ironic. ---------------- Steve, You have asked me and others about the research findings of the BELL CURVE and the like. In my introduction to Sociology class we used Stephen Jay Gould's MISMEASURE OF MAN for several years. This year we also read SKEPTIC magazine's single issue devoted to the subject on Intelligence and I.Q. I have no problem with the BELL CURVE being published. Actually it helped fuel the debate and put much of this stuff on the front burners. By going public, then researchers, like Gould and others, can comment on the findings. Naturally, they have severe disagreements. My problem with the whole thing is really quite simple: I don't think "race" is a viable term. I really don't know what it means anymore. Given current evolutionary theory (I know, I know, there are still some disagreements....): Every human being genealogically is connected to Africa. So every American is, in terms of genetic connections, African-American. Racism is really about time bias, not skin, in this sense: who came out earlier and who came later? It's so fucking silly. Next time you meet somebody who is racist, just explain a little evolution and then that person will have to admit to being "time-prejudiced"--another ridiculous way to mismeasure people. But back to Twitchell, why don't you read what he says about race........ You will be in for a surprise! Racism 101: Twitchell and the concept of the Aryan Race good reading. ----- Let me see if I get this new koan: Raphael is a fraud because he does not reveal his name/address, but Twitchell is okay when he does the same thing with his biography (remember Steve, he didn't want all those researchers, like me, tracking him down, so you said he changed important details to save his family and friends....) For those who want to know the real identity of Raphael, just go and find out the real identity of Sudar Singh. Find the latter and the former will reveal itself. Eck Koan 101 -------- A response to Steve's question about the Eckist who made a mistake about the time he spent in Eckankar and its relation to Paul Twitchell's inaccurate memory: Twitchell's memory wouldn't matter if there was just one iota of evidence to suggest that Sudar Singh existed. Yet, the only account we have of such a Sudar Singh comes directly from Paul Twitchell's writings. Given that channel, it is vitally important to check Twitchell's dates/names/places/ etc. Why? Because he is the only source of information we have on this illustrious Eck Master. Yet, what have found out about Twitchell's memory? He not only "forgets" dates, he lies about them. He not only "forgets" names, he makes new ones up to cover-up old ones. Thus, as the sole witness to the existence of one extraordinary being, Twitchell's account is extremely suspect. I should also add that the "Sudar Singh link" to the Vairagi Masters is vital to anyone interested in historicity. Break that link--that is, show Sudar Singh to be a fabrication--and the entire 970+ Vairagi Masters claim comes crumbling down. By the way, is Twitchell "accurate" when he talks about how many Eck Masters there were? (Is it 970+ or he is off by a couple of hundred?) Or is he just "forgetful"? Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof, as the cliche' goes. In this case, I wouldn't mind just plain "ordinary" proof. The burden of proof is on Twitchell, not on the one who doubts him. Why? Because he is the one making the grandiose claim that Sudar Singh existed and first taught him the path of Eckankar. All we are asking is for some fudging proof. (fudging=empirical)....... P.S. You double-checked the Eckist for messing up the number of years he was associated. That's good. I just happen to have done the same with Twitchell. Keep up the double-checking--it is a good method to discover things. ---------- Thanks for the love, Glen..... Yes, I wouldn't accept anything I said either as proof; best to do some research yourself. By all means go to Allahabad, by all means read all the existing literature in the field, go do inquiries.... That's the spirit! Now when you come back from your travels and research, I would love to see your "proof" or "evidence" on Sudar Singh's existence. I will be most happy to buy you dinner, as well. Good luck on your research quest, signed: already did it myself, but would love to have some more companions for the journey -------- Did Twitchell Ever Visit An Indian Ashram in India? The following excerpt from DIFFICULTIES OF BECOMING THE LIVING ECK MASTER (page 46) is very telling for many reasons, not the least of which is that Twitchell's description of Indians' sexuality is so funny and so completely misinformed. Having been to India eight times and having lived in a number of Indian ashrams and knowing Indian culture fairly well, Twitchell's account sounds made-up: Writes Twitchell: "Now, it's a very interesting thing about the ashrams, which people don't understand at all. THE INDIANS, ESPECIALLY THE PEASANT CLASS, HAVE NO THOUGHT UPON SEX AND SEXUALITY. THEY WOULD JUST AS SOON PROCREATE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET AS ANIMALS."[my capitals, for emphasis] end of quote ------ I only raise this small quote up for discussion because for anybody who has been to India and who knows about Indian cinema or Indian mores, Twitchell's description is quite inaccurate. To be sure, there is sex and sexuality in India (you bet there is, Lane, with 900 million and rising!), but there are some very severe restrictions on the public display of affection. Indeed, for decades kissing in an Indian movie was illegal. Holding hands in the street can get one a severe reprimand. And the fact that Twitchell can describe the prudish attitude of Indians in completely opposite terms naturally makes me question the accuracy of his travels in India..... Keep in mind that Rajneesh's experiment of sex in Poona was viewed by the Indian public with shock and disbelief. The westerners were the ones who at first took to Osho/Rajneesh. And Twitchell is not talking about India in the 90s, but in the 1930s. Read Twitchell's descriptions carefully of his travels in India; listen to his tapes recollecting his visits with Sudar and Rebazar in his physical body. They sound made up, they sound invented. more to come, from the National Enquirer Reporter for Fallen Gurus, --------- Mark A. raises the good point that absence of evidence does not mean that one has proven something to be true. I agree. But in the case of Sudar Singh, we should keep in mind that all we asking for is some iota of evidence or proof. The burden of proof is not on the one who doubts, but on the one who makes the extraordinary claim. Twitchell has claimed that Sudar Singh existed and that he lived in Allahabad, India. Checking Twitchell's supposed "facts" we have found not one piece of confirming evidence to suggest that Twitchell is telling the truth. Indeed, we have discovered the opposite: that Twitchell has lied about his biographical life. Given my travels to India and my research in this area, I have become convinced that Sudar Singh does not exist. However, I would love to be proven wrong. Not once has anyone given me any evidence to support the Sudar Singh sighting...... So are we then to believe despite the lack of evidence? No, of course not. Given the nebulousness of these types of claims, I could say almost anything and one would have difficulty proving me wrong..... For example, I once met a guru in Dehra Dun. His name was Bubba Rum Raisen. He had a third-eye patch, wore Gap Jeans, and listened to the Archies..... Loved bubble-gum and used to visit London for occasional disco lessons at the Hippo Dome..... Prove he does not exist. Well, it would be nearly impossible. But does that mean that we should "believe" my account, especially after we go to Dehra Dun and find no proof for such a creature? Moreover, we go to the Hippo Dome as well and nobody gives us any evidence to suggest that he existed. Instead, we find out that the guy who claims to have met Bubba has lied about a number of important biographical details...... Is it not a bit curious that nobody, except Twitchell, has written anything about this Sudar Singh? That nobody has ever physically met him? That Twitchell's own brother-in-law, Paul Iverlet, says that his wife never studied in Paris, France? (maybe he meant Paris, Kentucky? or Perris, California?), where Twitchell claims to have originally met him? Is it not a bit strange that LETTERS TO GAIL now mentions Sudar Singh, but the original mentioned Kirpal Singh? Twitchell and Eckankar has the burden of proof upon their shoulders. And not once have they given us any evidence. That is why I doubt Sudar. Prove me wrong, and I would be one happy camper.......
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