The Significance of Twitchell's Lying About His Age

Author: David Christopher Lane
Publisher: Alt.religion.eckankar
Publication date: 1996

E-mail David Christopher Lane directly at

I want to go back to the home base now.

Joseph Polanik writes: 

"Absent some proof (or even a tiny bit of evidence) that any of this
palaver about Paulji's true and correct birthdate, affects the seeker's
relationship to the Eck as developed and maintained by the spiritual
exercises, there is a real (in)significance issue lurking in our midst.

What I am calling the (in)significance issue is raised by asking 'What
difference does it make'.

So far, Lane has not addressed this (in)significance issue and his
exclusive focus on documents and public records can be seen as a
'desperate' attempt to avoid discussing it.

Since Steve has been able to enter the dispute about the records and is
also able to discuss the (in)significance issue, I would be inclined to
say that his 'methodology' is more open than Lane's."


Thank you for your observation. However, I would be most happy to
discuss the significance of Twitchell's birthdate.

In my replies to Steve, he was calling into question the documents I
was using to state that Paul Twitchell had lied about his birthdate.

I have clearly shown (and any close reading of Steiger's narrative
will doubly confirm) that Twitchell did indeed try to pass himself
off as a decade or so younger than he was.

On that score, it was important for me and interested readers to see
the lines of evidence I was using. I have written a line by line
response to Steve, which he claims he will not download. So be it.

Contrary to what some may suspect, I listen to critics very

For that reason I have not been upset with Steve R's continual
critiques (even when he makes things up) because it has allowed me
the great opportunity of checking my facts once again.

Now on to your question of significance:

I would think that Eckankar members would be highly interested in
the history of their founder.

I think they would also be concerned when that same founder tried to
pass himself off as much younger than he was (at least a decade).


Because if you take Twitchell's invented time line (using 1922 as a
birthdate for instance), it calls into question not only his
supposed travels to India, but his alleged meeting with Sudar Singh.

Let me give you one example from IN MY SOUL I AM FREE which may
better illustrate my point:

Brad Steiger writes:

(page 41, IWP edtion)

"Paul had polished off high school at the age of FIFTEEN [my
emphasis] with top marks."

But according to Steiger's narrative, before Twitchell would attend
college he would be allowed to visit his sister, Kay-Dee, in Paris.

So Paul goes to Paris at the age of FIFTEEN.

Yet Steiger writes:

(page 47, IWP edition)

"Paul had little time to get adjusted to Paris, to his sister's
left-bank friends, or Kay-Dee's brand of artistic expression before
Pop cabled them from China point that Mom was dying."


When does Paul Twitchell's mom die?

April 26, 1940.

Now Steiger then goes on to relate how Twitchell was with his mother
when she died. But right after her death he goes back to Paris for
the second time.


Writes Brad Steiger:

(page 51, IWP edition)

"It was upon their return to Paris that Paul met Sudar Singh for the
FIRST TIME [my emphais]. The Indian holy man was lecturing in


Right after this, Paul then goes to India to stay at Sudar Singh's
ashram, according to Steiger's narrative.


Writes Brad Steiger:

(page 53, IWP edition)

This year in India was not spent totally in an attitude of holy
learning. Paul had reached his SIXTEENTH birthday....."


What is so wrong about this narrative?

Well, several things:

1. Paul's mother died on April 26, 1940, and Steiger says Paul
Twitchell was 15 when she died.

That's not true. He was much older (remember the Registrar has him
at 22 in 1933, quite a few years before his mom's death)

2. Paul is then reported to be 16 when he meets Sudar Singh after
his mom's death (which was in 1940).

Well, that's very problematic because Sudar Singh is dead, according
to Twitchell. He supposedly died in 1935/1936.

3. Furthermore, we know that the whole time line in Steiger's
narrative is wrong. Twitchell is approaching 30 when his mom
dies--he is not 15.

This is quite significant because it shows that Steiger's narrative
is wrong. It shows that Twitchell's account of his travels cannot be

It indicates at the very least that an interested Eckist should want
to know why he/she is being lied to?

Look, the signficance can be summarized this way:

If Twitchell is going to lie to you about his birthdate, his age at
meeting Sudar Singh, and his travels about Paris (all things which
can be empirically verifired), why should the Eckist then believe
faith in Twitchell's encounters with Divine Beings? (things that
cannot be empirically verified).

I hope that answers your point, Joseph.

I highly recommend that anyone out there re-read IN MY SOUL I AM
FREE and read it with the knowledge that Twitchell's mother died in

Just another point which puts another nail in this issue:

"Wilson Gantt, dean of admissions and registrar, says the school's
records show Twitchell graduated from Tilghman High School in
Paducah in MAY 1931 and entered MURRAY that September. He remained a
full-time student until March of 1933, Gantt said"

(quoted directly from Tipton's published article on Paul Twitchell)

Naturally, we got another problem here.


Well, if we accept that Twitchell was born in 1912 (at the very
latest and a date that even our beloved Steve asserts is accurate)
then Twitchell graduated high school at the age of 18, not fifteen.
Indeed, if we accept Harold Klemp's time line for Twitchell (he uses
the 1908 birthdate), then Twitchell was 22!!!!

Let's see again what Steiger himself said:

"Paul had polished off high school at the age of FIFTEEN with top

Well, we know that's a lie and Steiger--being the "official"
biographer--is simply stating once again what Twitchell wanted known
about himself. 

He lied about his age of graduation, he lied about his birthdate,
and he lied about his travels to Paris.

I call that VERY significant.

But others may have a different opinion.

I await the dialogue





in 1856......

oh yea 1956

E-mail The Neural Surfer directly at

I want to go back to the home base now.