The Eck Exchange: more battles on A.R.E.

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.

Steve R. writes:


Watch out for the launching of multiple missles from the David 
Lane camp. Fortunately his aim is no better than an Iraqi scud.
David, if he is true to type, will entirely miss the point of what I 
have written and try to support his position by piling up more 
anecdotes on top of the present accumulation. 

Excuse the country analogy, but someone should tell David 
that you don't make a manure pile smell any better by throwing 
more manure on it.


I was amused to see that you are in your repost mode for every new
essay I have written in response to your typo defense.

Steve, I have point blank shown you that your hypothesis is wrong.
I have illustrated my sources (from Pro-Eck factions: Steiger, Gail,
Jarvis, and Twitchell) and clearly indicated to you and to others
that it was not a typo, but rather a very conscious changing of

You just don't want to reconsider your position. That's fine, because
in any case you have allowed me the opportunity to re-check what I
have written and to see if I have ample proof.

Not only do I have that, but I have discovered more. If you get a
chance you may want to read my analysis of the Steiger time-line;
it raises some very serious questions about Twitchell's alleged
travels to India and Paris.

Keep ranting about manure.....

I would prefer to uncover more information.


Steve R. writes:

Will you also take responsibility for the ways in which people use and
misuse your report?


Hmm, that's a bit funny. Given that logic, then Eckankar should be
held ACCOUNTABLE and RESPONSIBLE for the several suicides that have
been done by Eckists. 

So given your logic, Eckankar should be held accountable for the
misuse of their teachings, huh?

That way, they should pay out millions to all those divorced couples
who claim that Eckankar drove a wedge in their marriages.

Steve, do you really want to say such silly things?

I can only take responsibilit for WHAT I have written.

I am sorry but who knows what spin-doctoring people can do to

Remember Charly Manson and the Beatles White Album?

Oh yea, Lennon should be held accountable for the murders of Sharon


Mark Alexander writes:

The major weakness is in your one-sided presentation.

The critique on the web of K. Paul Johnson's books on the Theosophical
Masters explores how Johnson ignores evidence that *favors* the reality
of the Masters. K. Paul actually *does* explore favorable evidence to a
degree that *your* book fails to approach. You have done the *argument*
against Paul a profound disservice, David, by failing to explore
evidence favoring Paul's stature as a Master, or anectdotal evidence
that supports the existence of ECK Masters. (And if you wish to raise
the tired old argument that anecdotal evidence is not *scientific*, then
PLEASE remove ALL anecdotal statements from your book.)


Thank you for your critique. This may surprise you but I agree that
my presentation is one-sided. Indeed, the very subtitle of THE
of Paul Twitchell and Eckankar.

Not for a second do I believe that I have somehow uncovered
everthing about Paul Twitchell--far from it. Readers should never
rely on one book or one account or one history for anything.

I see my work as simply one piece in a larger jigsaw puzzle. Now I
realize that you and others may want me to flesh things out, but
that's not the focus of my work.

Rather, I have tried to concentrate on those areas which have been
unexplored and those areas which I have some expertise.

By all means read the vast storehouse of Eck literature, the pros
and the cons.

That way one can get a much more rounded out picture.

The same holds true with any study of anybody.

Let me give you another example. I have written a very positive book
on Faqir Chand, but do I think I have given the "full" picture. Of
course not. I have simply given one glimpse.   

But it is a glimpse which adds to the large patchwork.

That's all we can do.

As for exploring the "reality" of the Eckankar Masters, I think I
have done much more than most people in this area.


Well, I did lots of research both in India and outside trying to
track down Sudar Singh.

I have spent countless hours trying to "reconstruct" Twitchell's
past influences. How else would I have come across Camille Ballowe
Taylor, Paul Iverlet, Dr. Bluth, Ed Pecen, Charly Wallace?

I didn't start this quest at 19/20 saying to myself, "yea, that's
the plan, let's get all the dirt we can on Twitchell."

Rather, quite the opposite. If you get a chance read the letters I
got from Eckankar when I asked them about Kirpal Singh back in 1977.

Guess what they said to this naive 20 year old who was trying to
understand the "Vairagi" lineage?

They replied that Kirpal Singh had "forged" Twitchell's name on many

That turned out to be a smoke-screen and a cover-up which took me
sometime to completely unearth.

And I am happy to note that even Harold admits of the association.

Eckankar didn't before my term paper.

So I have actually spent lots of time seriously pursuing the Vairagi
Masters and their history.

I can't help it if it turns out that the original FLUTE OF GOD
mentions Kirpal Singh, Swami Premananda, and Sawan Singh, but the
later revised book does not.

I have really tried to search for "Rebazar" Tarzs.

Try reading Twitchell's clues closely; they contradict each other.

I have said this countless times, I would love to be proven wrong.

Rebazar and I surfing, Fubbi on the beach, and Gakko cooking Tempeh

I am not trying to be cute; I am quite sincere.

It just turns out that Twitchell had a nasty habit of bull-shitting.

I know we don't like that phrase, but that's pretty much it.

He BSed a lot.

Concerning ancedotal evidence, it is fine with me provided it can be
verified or notarized.

I don't mind hearing "ancedotal" stories about the Vairagi Masters.

What we then want to do after hearing such stories is try our very
best to VERIFY them.

That's the key.

When I quote Paul Iverlet as saying that "Paul Twitchell was a
notorious liar," we just can't leave it at that.

We have to find some substantiating evidence.

We have in surplus.

It is fine to hear stories about such and such gurus.

What is forgotten is the next step:


So you may take whatever ancedotal information I have given
(allegations from Twitchell's close relatives, for instance) and
then proceed to see if they hold up.

Did Twitchell lie about his age?  YES.

Did Twitchell try to cover-up his spiritual associations? YES.

Did Twitchell plagiarize? YES.

We base this not on "ancedotes" but on documentation.

Ancedotes can be leads, but they cannot be our final conclusions
without further evidence.

Okay, the ball is in your court.


I will be most happy to explore it.

P.S. I realize that some Eckists may say that one can only perceive
these masters on the inner..... But remember Twitchell was the guy
who said they actually PHYSICALLY existed.

I haven't seen any evidence and I am most open to explore any new


Mark Alexander Writes:

"This is where you might consider *shoring up* your argument. Not in
tiring us with your continuing responses to data points within such a
narrow frame."


It is precisely my narrow focus that has uncovered Twitchell's
duplicity. My narrow frame has allowed me to focus on those areas
that most don't have the patience for.

It may not be your cup of tea, but that's why there are many books,
and not just one, why there are many points of view and not just

That's why we have the Internet.

Each has to do what he/she does best.

Then present those findings to the larger arena.

Before we can read a sentence, we need words.

Before we can read a book, we need an alphabet.

Before we can have a fuller view of Twitchell, we need to have
certain individuals focus on the tiny details.

Those details can then be connected with other views and other


Steve R. Writes:

"Just reread them.  Nothing there but a rehash of the old stuff and
some new factoids which were conveniently left out of the original
David continues to miss the point that solid biographical research
should not be done by anyone with the sort of bias that he has.  He
would do better to move onto a subject that he feels less passionate
about, something with which he doesn't have such a long personal


No matter what bias you may think I have or don't have, a death
certificate says Twitchell was born in 1922 and died at the age of 48.

No matter what prejudices you may think I am hampered by, anyone who

No matter how Kal-influenced you may think I have been, the original
FLUTE OF GOD mentions Swami Premananda, Kirpal Singh, and L. Ron
Hubbard, whereas the later book version deletes those very names and
replaces them with Rebazar Tarzs, Fubbi Quantz, and Lai Tsi.

No matter how passionate you may think I am, the fact remains that
I have unearthed data that your Master, Harold Klemp, has utilized
in his own research.

What you seem to always forget Steve is that Gravity is still
Gravity even if the guy who discovers it or names it is an Apple

The point is that certain facts stand out and thousands can see it.

It is not my fault that you won't "down load" my replies.

I take my critics seriously, even when they make things up about me
and my motives.

Bias is not an issue when the facts can be ascertained outside of
the tainted medium.


the biased one who has
directly influenced
Klemp's retelling of Paul's life


Bruce Writes:

"Stop it, David; this donning of the fool's garb is just a smokescreen
and it is so unnecessary.  You are not "just another schmuck" (however 
you spell it :-)  You are, whether you like it or not, a leader, just
by posting here.  On top of this, you have academic credentials, and 
you have done a respectable amount of research on these matters.  This
gives you a lot of authority, which some people do not question.  
Disclaimers do not have much impact.

Yes, I would agree that I have a responsibility for the accuracy of
what I have written. But let's distinguish levels here: It is
Twitchell who is claiming to be the 970 Eck Master and claiming
direct access to the Highest Region in Existence. I don't need to
belabor all the points about the various qualities that such Beings
are supposed to have (truthfulness being one of them).

My point is that by placing himself and his group on such a level,
he is more or less forcing us to hold him accountable. And as such
it is noteworthy to see how he "fails" his own self-made criteria for a
True Eck Master. Just take Twitchell's own high standards for Eck
Masters and place them on his shoulders. SCP did a whole comparison
chart showing the incongruencies.

Raphael has done the same. We may not like it, but it is very

Do the very same with me. What will happen? Well, you might find out
that my "claim" and my "reality" are the same. There is not much
"falling" when you claim to be a punk. But there is a huge fall when
you claim to be a God-man and you are not.

The higher they climb (or in our case, the higher they "claim"), the
lower they fall. And so it should be. 

Why follow a God-man who bullshits his followers? 

I don't care what path it is.


"..... but that still doesn't mean we can run around and 
imagine that we are without influence.  We are wayshowers too.  All 
of us, in some way.  Sure, hold the gurus accountable, but hold 
yourself accountable too; be an example to the gurus.  IMO, this 
society is not as authoritarian as you seem to feel it is.


You are quite correct. I definitely need to be held accountable and
that is why I have entered into this Internet discussion. I take you
and others very seriously, even though I try to keep a light touch
on it all. But there is a huge difference between a Guru and a
Writer. That difference is in the claims of each. The greater the
claim, the greater the demand for evidence or for action/theory


"Well, sure, but when was the last time you edited "The Making"?"


Here is a partial list of the various editions and updated


Each one of those years brought changes and updates.

I am planning a new book, GAKKO CAME FROM VENUS, which has taken me
much longer than expected because I want to gather information never
before seen.          

I hope that answers your question about updating.

BRUCE WRITES (in connection to my point about willing to take

"I don't see evidence of this.  You seem to be of the "best defence is
a good offence" school "


No, I am from the school that one's best defense or offense is GOOD
RESEARCH. That is why I actually enjoyed Steve's "doubts" because it
simply forced me to double-check everything. And guess what? By so
doing, I found out something I didn't know: Twitchell lied about his
high school career. He didn't graduate at 15, like he claimed. He
graduated at 18 or older.

I also discovered that he lied about his age when going to Paris and
India. He also lied about his age when his mother died.

Without Steve's "doubts" I wouldn't have realize this.

Thus I really do like "doubts" and "rips" and "critiques."

We learn a lot.


"I just find it odd that in 1996 you feel that
it is enough to reveal the flaws in our leaders and not provide 

DAVID LANE replies:

Well, I don't know exactly what you mean by this. But I think
leadership is not something one assumes, but is rather demonstrated
by the integrity of one's actions.

I have tried to be as forthcoming as possible in this forum about my
research methods and documents. I have no desire to assume much more
than that.

I like the free range of ideas--even if I disagree with them.


"I hope the food is better than they say...  But there's always the


Actually the food is amazingly good in London. Why? Because it
contains hundreds of very fine ethnic cafes. Indian food is
abundant, Italian food, and even Vegetarian burgers at Mcdonalds!

Cokes are okay, but not as burning as California.

France is really the place that is tough for a vegetarian......



"I don't know why some Eckists choose to go and 'round and 'round with you
on this stuff. It's beginning to strike me as rather silly. It's not that
big a deal to many of us. So Paul Twitchell played footsie with the facts
of his life. Does this mean that he was not a spiritually advanced adept,
capable of traveling on the inner and helping others do the same? Why? Why
do you seem to think that it undermines his skills as a spiritual
traveler? Do you think on the inner planes, they stop you and say, "uh,
excuse me but, um, have you ever been untruthful? Because if you have,
then you can't pass through here and gather all these experiences!" In my
opinion, this kind of thinking is based on rather immature concepts of how
spiritual adepts operate. It's too simplistic, too linear, and too based
in the values of the physical/earth plane."


Thank you for your response. I personally prefer this approach
because it is refreshing to call a spade a spade and then move on.
It was for this reason that I was quite impressed with Kent's essay.

Okay, now that we may agree that Twitchell played "footsie" with the
facts (i like that turn of phrase, by the way--perhaps Fergie would
like it too, if you catch my drift), the larger question is "Does it
matter in connection with my spiritual aims?"

Well, there are several ways to respond, but for now I will simply
limit it to two.

1. It does matter because if we cannot trust someone here and now
(that which we can touch and feel and replicate), then why should we
trust them in those regions which are mostly unseen and unheard?

In other words, if the guru in the outer is lying to you now, what
assurances do we have that he/she won't B.S. you in the inner?

Well, I think there should be a congruency between the outer life of
the guru and the inner life.

2. In a radical way, it does NOT matter. This may surprise some
folks, but let me give you a precise example. What do we really know
about Jesus?  Not much. He could be lots of things, perhaps some
things much worse than we can imagine. We simply don't know. Now
clearly there are thousands of people who have received benefit from
what they "believe" he taught, regardless of whether he lived up to

Thus, in this view, it is OUR Sincerity, which is the driving force
behind our spiritual experiences.

But there is catch in this second answer. It entails the ability of
the disciple to "turn off" his or her critical faculties when she
knows better. That is, if you find out that Jesus was scum, it may
be tougher (but not impossible) to still believe in Him as

Thus, in a very strange way, we need to find a guru or a path that
we can have some trust in. To be sure, we can still be married to a
woman who cheats constantly and still derive some benefit from it.
But it will be tougher.

Likewise, if one follows a guru or a path and knows that it is
filled with contradictions (and doesn't try to ignore them--the
repression effect can only work so long without getting really
exhausted) there will be some rocky roads ahead.

Yet, it can be done. Indeed, everybody to greater or lesser degrees
does it. The real question is one of tolerance: how much B.S. can we
take and still follow the path with some balance and some calm.

Surprisingly, I would have great admiration for the Eckist who would
straight out say that Twitchell lied, plagiarized, and bull-shitted.
And said it does matter! Yet, even in that context, he/she just
happens to like the Twitchell and loves him anyways, but does not
condone it (see my essay on Mark Alexander's website to buttress
this point).

That is, a disciple who loves his guru and accepts his faults, and
is willing to engage in day to day criticism of it.

It's a rare thing, I know.........

But that disciple impresses me.

I rarely encounter such a being.


"I think many of us don't care about it because it bears no direct impact
on our reality with the light and sound path of Eckankar. If Eckankar was
based on a hero worship of Paul Twitchell then certainly we would all be
falling apart. We didn't fall apart with the fall of Darwin Gross. Why?
Because all of the Eck Masters that we have worked with have said, "Try
these exercises, look within and see for yourself". We did. End of story."


This is perhaps the most widespread response I have heard through
the years.

In the spirit of dialogue, I would simply say this.

The reason Eckankar (or any path, including Sant Mat) works is due
to the sincerity of the devotee and to the inherent potential within
all human beings for alternative states of consciousness.

Yet, for some reason we like to impute power to things or to people
when all they really did was spark that which we already had.

Thus Eckankar does NOT work. People with devotion and love do.

That love and that sincerity gets "claimed" by various religions and
we have a tendency to let them have all the glory.

They deserve nothing of the kind.

And this applies to EVERY religion that I have encountered.

In a strange analogy,

Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz always had the power via her ruby
slippers to go home, but she believed that she needed a Wizard to
get her to Kansas.

It was only at the very end that she realized that she had the power
all the time.

Toto showed the Wizard for who he really was: a human being, much
frailer than Dorothy.

I feel like I am a Toto too........

Simply a dog pulling at the curtain trying to tell my listeners that
the ruby slippers are not on Twitchell's feet...... 

they are on yours......


Steve R writes:


Paul mentioned an interview with Jarvis in which Jarvis got Paul's age
wrong and Paul didn't mention it.



So? So you can see that just turning 40 in 1963 means that he was
under the presumption that Paul was born in 1922.

Pretty odd coincidence, huh?

Another typo?

Joseph P WRITES:

"I am glad that you mentioned both the Ruhani Satsang and the Radhasoami
Satsang because it reminds me of something I meant to include in my
article.  I meant to point out the absurd juxtaposition of the
allegation in the original post that "... without the Sant
Mat/Radhasoami tradition and literature there could be no Eckankar ...",
and the claim that Paul Twitchell was initiated by Kirpal Singh and owed
so much to Kirpal Singh of *Ruhani* Satsang.

This absurdity may not always be as blatantly expressed as it was by
David Lane when, in the course of a single post to a.r.e., he wrote

    1.  "Let me illustrate why ECKANKAR is mostly derived from the
    Radhasoami tradition of India: ...",  AND

    2.  "The teachings of ECKANKAR are primarily derived from four
    distinct spiritual movements: Ruhani Satsang, Self-Realization
    Fellowship, Scientology and Theosophy."

Perhaps footnoting both sides of a contradiction makes good academic


Joseph, Ruhani Satsang is a modern manifestation of Radhasoami or
Sant Mat or shabd yoga.

Indeed, Darshan Singh, Kirpal's son, used to say that his group was
Radhasoami, but without the name affiliation.

Okay, so among those four influences: R.S., SRF, Scientology, and
Theosophy, it is fairly clear that R.S. has had the greatest impact.
Even Twitchell originally stated that Eckankar was a modern version
of shabd yoga (check his original articles).

I think what you may be objecting to is that I mention four primary
influences and then state which one was the greatest. That's all.

Kirpal Singh taught Sant Mat. Radhasoami is simply a term used in
some quarters to designate the modern manifestation of that.

Joseph P writes:

"Anyway, I hope we can go beyond dealing with claims that Eckankar is
merely an offshoot of the Sant Mat tradition (let alone some particular
variation of Sant Mat) despite sharing many features with it."


Well, Twitchell used to say that Eckankar was Shabd Yoga. It was
only later that it evolved that he began to change his tune on this.

You may be surprised to read Twitchell's own letters on this matter
to Kirpal Singh. He was the one who claimed it was a branch.
Interesting stuff.


E-mail The Neural Surfer directly at

I want to go back to the home base now.