The History Behind Lane's Research on Eckankar

Author: David Christopher Lane
Publisher: The NEURAL SURFER
Publication date: January 1997

E-mail David Christopher Lane directly at

I want to go back to the home base now.


You keep lying about what I say and what I don't say.

I do indeed follow ethical guidelines when I write.

That is why I have footnoted, cited, referenced, and
included "counter" points to my ideas in the MAKING.

Again, on the very first page is Eckankar's official
view of me and my research (calling me a pagan and

I have also in several editions included photocopies of
Eckankar's letters to me and their views.

I have also included Eckankar's explanations for plagiarism
cover-up and deceit.

Sorry, but I do believe in ethics very much.

I just don't believe in the ethical system that
says plagiarism can be explained away as "compiling."

I never learned that from my graduate training.

Hope this helps, my good friend and foil.


Paul Iverlet, Paul Twitchell's brother-in-law, states
that what Steiger wrote about Paul and his family was
an "atrocious lie."

He said this back in the mid-1970s.

Steve doesn't like it that I quote this man.

Yet, it is a bit ironic (if not prophetic) that
Eckankar now admits that much of what Steiger
wrote was not accurate or true (just read Harji of
the 1980s).

Iverlet's allegation has substantation not only from
official records but from the most unlikely place of all:

see the Neural surfer



Thank you for telling me to look in the mirror. I followed
your advice. This is what I saw: a 40 year old guy with
green eyes, 6'1, brown hair, and sleepy from too much
water and internet surfing. I also saw a smile. Hope that

Now to your newest batch of misconstructions (which
illustrate once again how poorly you read my posts):

1. The Making of a Spiritual Movement was NOT written
for a sociology class. As I stated before, it was first
composed for an American Sects and Cults class in Religious
Studies (which was my major for my B.A.). It was designed
to be a critical investigative piece. Our Professor had
even commented on the necessity of digging up facts that
had hitherto been unrevealed.

After sending that paper to Eckankar, I got threatened
with a lawsuit. Then the following semester I wrote
a longer term paper for an independent studies class.
This too was NOT a sociology class.

2. By the age of 22, I had only taken one sociology class
in my lifetime and (you might find this amusing) found it
completely boring. My undergraduate major, so you won't
forget, was Religious Studies. My first M.A. was in the
history and phenomenology of religion.

3. You ask why I didn't write the MAKING as a sociological
study. Simple answer: it wasn't for a sociology class, nor
was that my intention.

I don't know how conversant you are with Sociology, but
I am quite intimate with the field and most of it is
really really boring and many studies just simply state
the obvious. Now having a Ph.D. in the subject I probably
shouldn't say such things about it, but if you ever took
one of my Sociology classes you would learn on the very
first day how immature Sociology is as a field, especially
in comparison to physics or biology where real progress has
been made.

Now, to be sure, there are some very fine sociological
studies that do contribute to our breadth of knowledge
and I was privileged to take classes with some world-class
professors. Yet, on the whole, the field is still in its

4. Steve, you then proceed to say something I find completely
baffling. You state that my work is perceived as a 
"sociological" study. Well, anybody with a discerning mind
(or who knew what the term sociology meant) would immediately
realize that my work was not written from that perspective.

Let us repeat this again, on the front cover it states:
"An Unauthorized Critique". 

It does not state or purport to be a sociological study.

I didn't write it for a sociology class and I didn't write
it from that persuasion.

Is that clear, yet?

Please stop ranting about how people miconceive it as
such. Anybody who can read well knows what the work is;
Juergensmeyer himself says it in the Foreword to the book.

5. You then ask me about what "versions" of MAKING did
i present to various academic conferences and to what
type of audiences.

Well, if you had actually read the book you would already
have at least one answer since I include the very paper
I presented in the addendum.

In 1982 I presented a paper called THE NEW PANTHS: shabdism
in north america to the American Academy of Religion at
Stanford University. The paper is online and you can read
it for yourself, I believe, via Dave Rife's home page; if
not, I will put it online via my website.

I also presented a paper entitled THE HIERARCHICAL STRUCTURE
OF RELIGIOUS VISIONS to the Association for Transpersonal
Psychology wherein I discuss the "fictional" Rebazar Tarzs.
That very paper was also published in the JOURNAL OF 
TRANSPERSONAL PSYCHOLOGY (a refereed journal as well, Steve).
It is also reprinted in my book, EXPOSING CULTS, and may
be online via Dave Rife's homepage.

In the early to mid-1980s I presented several papers dealing
with issues relating to inner visions, ken wilber, eckankar,
msia, and the like to the American Academy of Religion,
Western Region Conferences. I also gave a talk on Da Free
John (that too has been reprinted). I can go and track the
dates for you if you wish.

In the winter of 1993 I was invited to present a paper on
the influence of cults in europe at the London School of
Economics (that is the conference where the president of
scientology was in attendance). In that paper I also
talked about Eckankar and MSIA and Radhasoami and other

Sorry to tell you this, Steve, but there was nothing
"cleaned" up about it. In fact, I distinctly remember
calling Twitchell one of the greatest religious plagiarists
i have ever encountered. Maybe not "politically" correct,
but oh so accurate.

5a. If you want I can put my vita on my website so you can track
all those conferences down.

6. You then state that I should let Twitchell follow his
own chosen ethics. Well, I then ask you one simple question:

Could you plagiarize Paul Twitchell's writings as extensively
as he did of Johnson and not get legally hassled for it?
(Remember you don't cite your sources and you claim that
it is original--remember the copyrights that Twitchell
put on his books?)

Think long and deep on this very issue.

I know what happened to John-Roger Hinkins when Twitchell
thought he was cribbing his Eckankar writings.....

Twitchell threatened to sue him.

Just use Twitchell's own designed standard (not anybody
else's) and see if his own actions/plagiarisms and the
like hold up.

You don't need to resort to clubs he didn't belong to

My source on the alleged forgery of documents trying to
align Paul Twitchell with Kirpal Singh comes from only
one place:


I have never read it anywhere else.

And here's an "official" letter from Eckankar written to
David Lane on the very issue:

Date: April 5, 1977

Exact quote:

"Kirpal Singh and the Radha Swoami [sic: Soami or Swami
but not both] tried to "claim" Paul Twitchell and use
him for their own purposes, as have other groups from
the East and West. Paul mentioned this several times
and at one point wrote a letter to Kirpal Singh and
his associates stating that he, Paul, would take Singh
to court if necessary. Due to the threats and harrassment
and material KIRPAL SINGH and a Mr. Khanna tried to use
against Paul Twitchell by FAKING Paul's signature on
many papers, Paul wrote that letter that his widow,
Gail Twitchell, game me permission to read."


Bernadine Burlin,


Sidebar: This was Eckankar's official letter to me when
I asked if Paul Twitchell was ever associated with
Kirpal Singh.

P.S. an exact photocopy of this letter was included in
my very first term paper.

Compare the book THE GREAT INITIATES with
several books of Paul Twitchell. On the Neural
Surfer website 


on Dave Rife's website

there are exact comparisons given between both books.

The author of GREAT INITIATES was an early Theosophist
and his book was (according to him) highly influenced
by his association with Theosophy and its literature.

Twitchell plagiarized sections of GREAT INITIATES and
put them in to at least two of his own books.

See the MAKING and Dave Rife's website for the exact


Steve asks the question: where is GOD talked about
in the MAKING?

Well, there is an entire section called

TALK TO GOD, wherein Paul Twitchell talks to God
about a guy's small penis ("tiny man"), a guy's
lace panty fetish ("frilly fred"), and a girl's virginity.

It was a column during the latter 1960s (after Eckankar
was founded) by Paul Twitchell.

He also makes some bogus predictions, as well.

Since you made a comparison between Paul and myself,
I must confess that I, unlike Sri Paulji, have never
talked to God about lace panties.

I have talked to HER/HIM/IT

about the surf, though.

see Dave Rife's homepage
where the section on TALK TO GOD
is found in the MAKING of a Spiritual Movement

E-mail The Neural Surfer directly at

I want to go back to the home base now.