Author: David Christopher Lane Publisher: Alt.religion.eckankar Publication date: 1996
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Steve, I enjoyed your latest hypothesis that the 1922 birthdate as found on Paul Twitchell's death certificate was due to a typographical error. I think it quite constructive to think of alternative theories when one is confronted with disconcerting facts/ideas. So in that spirit, let's look at why your hypothesis may have some rough waters ahead of it: 1. Jack Jarvis of the Seattle Post Intelligencer who was also a personal friend of Paul Twitchell reports that Paul had just turned "40" in 1963/64. This article, which is available in my early editions of the Making of a Spiritual Movement (and on microfilm), was published 8 years before Twitchell's death. Given that date, Twitchell's birthdate would have been in the 1920s (just as his death certificate, with information provided by Gail, states). Do we now have two "typos"? 2. Re-read IN MY SOUL I AM FREE. Steiger says (with information directly provided by Paul Twitchell) that Paul studied with Sudar Singh in India when he was a teenager but came home (while he was still a teen) shortly before the outbreak of WWII and right before his mother died. When did his mother die? 1940. Given that scenario and one which Steiger himself says comes directly from Paul's own mouth Twitchell would have been born in the early 1920s. Now Steiger wrote his biography several years before Twitchell's 1971 death certificate. I am not the one who says that Twitchell is in his teens in the 1930s (Twitchell does and so does Steiger). Do we now have three "typos"? 3. Dr. Bluth, who was Paul's personal physician for a spell and who later became the President of Eckankar, told me that Paul Twitchell claimed to be in his 40s when they first met in the 1960s. He also stated that he was surprised to learn that Paul was much older. Do we now have four "typos"? 4. By the way, just to put the icing on the cake (in honor of Twitchell's recent birthday), I have three other articles from the 1960s which mention Paul as being in his 40s during that decade. I will put them on the Net for you when I get back from England. One of the articles is by Paul himself. Do we now have six, seven, or eight "typos"? 5. But I think you do well not to believe me (I am serious). Go ask Gail if she made a typographical error. Go ask Jack Jarvis. Go ask Paul, for that matter, since he was the one who came up with the whole scenario as reported by Steiger. I had no idea whatsoever that Twitchell claimed to be born in 1922. Guess who told me that first? Ed Pecen, Paul's bodyguard. Guess who told me second, Dr. Bluth, former President of Eckankar. Guess who told me third, Eckankar's attorneys. It was only later that I got his death certificate that I confirmed what Jack Jarvis and Steiger and Paul himself had stated. When Eckankar hired a business consultant back in the late 1970s to review the impact of my research on their group, I was invited to a personal meeting at their then International Headquarters in Menlo Park. I was startled to learn that I was "biased" because I had not seriously entertained that Paul was born in "1812" (making him over 140 when he died!). Well, I asked further: what is it then, 1922 (which all the dates given in Eckankar's literature about Paul's early life in India suggest, and which was widely used by Twitchell as a springboard: Gail, Bluth, Pecen, Jarvis, Steiger, etc.)? 1908 (library of congress)? 1909? 1912 (marriage certificate)? or 1812? [By the way, why 1812? 100 years different than his marriage record? Why 1922? 10 years different than his marriage certificate? I guess it depended on who he was talking to] Well, Eckankar back then tried to convince me that I should really do some research on the "1812" date. Remember Steve, they were not talking about a previous life. They were talking about this incarnation. I even said what you did in your last post, trying to give Twitch the benefit of the doubt. But they would have none of that, of course, and told me to take Paul more seriously. It was for that reason that I put the 1812 date in there to satisfy Eckankar's desire for Paul's long life. Glad to know that Harold doesn't apparently buy that 1812 date. He likes 1908. Let me put it to you another way. I could care less if Twitchell was born in 1908 or 1912 or 1922. But I know his wife, Gail, must have been a bit surprised to learn that her younger hubby was not 48 (look at the certificate again; is that a typo too, Steve?) or so when he died, but well into his late 50s or early 60s (geez, given Eckankar's hope in the 1970s, he would have been pushing 150!). I also know that it bothered Ed Pecen and Bluth and others. Why? Because it looked like Twitch was trying to lie about his age to impress his wife (that's not my original theory; Bluth was the one who first suggested it, as did countless others). Oh well, we got about 10 typos now and more to count. I like your thinking and encourage you to keep questioning. Maybe all those plagiarisms were also just typos........ That would be a great sequel: I didn't plagiarize, I didn't lie, I didn't cover-up. I just had one really lousy typist! Blame the typewriter! (just teasing) keep ripping, Dave (I was born in 1976) oops.....
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