Doug on Twitchell

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

E-mail David Christopher Lane directly at

I want to go back to the home base now.


When you accuse Paul of duplicity by using the copyrighted materials of
others and then turning around and trying to stop J. R. from copying
ECKANKAR's material, you again have misunderstood, since the copyrights
were not what mattered to Paul. It was not the use of Paul's words that
bothered Paul, but that he felt J. R. was positioning himself as a
"spiritual traveler" for the purpose of riding on ECKANKAR's coat tails,
and Paul felt this was a spiritual crime. This is not duplicity, since
never did Paul try to ride on the coat tails of Radhasoami, or Theosophy,


No, Paul never tried to ride the "coat tails" of Radhasoami. He went
one better. He "copied" (almost verbatim) the single most popular
Radhasoami book in English and then had the spiritual "honesty"
(remember you are the one bringing up "spiritual crimes") to
"copyright" that literary piracy and then claim that he got his
"stuff" (read: Julian Johnson with new punctuation) "directly"
from Rebazar Tarzs.......


Now on to J.R. You better talk with John-Roger Hinkins yourself
about the episode. J.R. and I talked for many hours personally on
this subject.......

J.R. completely dicounts what you say about him, Twitchell, and his

All I would like to point out is that Twitchell's plagiarism of
Johnson is 100 times (yes, I am willing to use that large of a
statistic) more extensive than J.R.'s cribbing of Paul Twitchell.

If you want to talk about spiritual "crimes" then you better go to
the Master direct: the Twitch.


O In fact, it was for this very reason that Paul tried to distance
himself from Kirpal and his other teachers by changing their names, so as
not to mislead.


Nice theory, but I don't buy it. Why? Just look at Twitchell's early
advertisements for Eckankar. Moreover, there is a much simpler
solution: just tell the truth about one's past. Tell the would-be
chela that I am copying THE PATH OF THE MASTERS and adding new
twists. Just tell the new Eckists that "Yes, I used to follow Kirpal
Singh, but I have got a different view."

He didn't do that, bro, and Darwin Gross threatened to sue me over

No, Twitch tried to cover-up his past, not "reveal" biographical

The solution was so simple. He chose the deceptive route--and a much
more complicated road indeed.


O Paul knew he was not just teaching Radhasoami, but
something very different spiritually. It was not the physical or outward
similarities that mattered to Paul, as it does to you, but the inner or
intuitive differences that were important.


Paul copied Julian Johnson and put those quotes into the mouth of
Rebazar Tarzs. What Twitch should have done (he didn't) was just be
honest about his background and tell his followers that he is going
to crib from PATH OF THE MASTERS from time to time and claim that it
comes from an Eck Master.......

He didn't and it is not a question of "intuitive" types.....

We could use that same lame defense with Darwin Gross.......

He was an "intuitive" type when it came to banking and the 2 million
dollars he embezzled (apparently much of it during his tenure AS an
ECK master) is not as it appears.....

He is a non-number guy and was trying to convey a deeper "metaphor."

You wouldn't buy it; Harji didn't buy it; I don't buy it.

Same holds with Twitchell's plagiarism, cover-up, and duplicity.

Empiricists may want to see "shit"
Intuitives may want to "sense" "shit"
Emotionalists may want to feel "shit"

But it is still the same shit no matter how you "see" it, "feel" it,
of "sense" it.

Don't get me wrong; I like your attempts to convince me, but my
sense of smell tells me that Twitchell was just plain bullshitting
his audience.


Your answer showed that you didn't understand what I was saying, but
perhaps now it will be easier to understand. Yes, I can see how you, as a
physically centered person, would find it inexcusable for Paul to "twist"
the facts, but what you are missing is that Paul was not intending to
write a book about facts, he was writing in a special language with many
levels of intuitive spiritual meaning, for the sake of the spiritual
seeker who wanted to connect to the inner truth. In other words, I believe
Paul intended it all to be "mandalic", and none of it was "empirical."


No, Doug, I diagree with you and I think Twitchell would to.
Clearly, Twitchell attempts to make "empirical" statements (just
read him and you will see when he tries). I don't think it was
mandalic of Twitchell to say "Yea, I met Gail at the Seattle
Library" or, "Hey, Doc, want to eat at Denny's?." I think he was trying to give us some physical or
empirical statements.

I think what you are doing (especially given your Jungian
personality types) is collapsing useful categorical distinctions and
in the process forgetting that Twitchell made some very
straightforward mistakes.... from bad predictions, to faulty dates,
to forgetting names.

No need to sweep those mistakes under the rug (every guru does it),
but it is lame to justify lying and bullshitting under the pretext
of metaphors and higher truths.

I don't hesitate to point out where Radhasoami gurus have been wrong
(empirically or otherwise) and I would hate to see "mandalic" posturings
used to legitimize or justify plain and simple bullshit.

Let me give you an example:

Charan Singh once stated that Shiv Dayal Singh didn't smoke a huqqa.

He's wrong!

Plain and simple. No need for me to invoke "metaphors" or
"intuitive" readings.

The guru was "empirically" wrong.

I don't have any problem with saying that.

Now, going back to Twitchell, I think Jay is on
cue. He's right on the money. He can call a spade a spade and still
follow his path. That's the right attitude.

No need to justify plagiarism or coverup or deceit.


Let me give you an even more radical example from my association
with Radhasoami.

For many years, at the Beas satsangs in the USA (and perhaps in
other countries as well), there were free copies of a booklet on
meditation distributed which was supposedly authored by "Huzur
Maharaj Sawan Singh."

Well, I once got a chance to read this booklet closely. I almost
immediately realized that the book was NOT authored by Sawan Singh
at all.

In point of fact, it was authored by Rai Salig Ram (also known as
Huzur Maharaj).

The booklet was, more or less, a free translation from Rai Salig

I IMMEDIATELY wrote to the publication people at the Dera and told
them of my discovery (I have read lots and lots of obscure shabd
yoga books).

I told them to withdraw the book immediately and state worldwide
that a mistake had been made.

The Dera followed my advice and publicly stated that Huzur Maharaj
Sawan Singh and Huzur Maharaj Rai Salig Ram had been wrongly

They withdrew all copies of the said booklet from around the world.


Moral of the story?

Fuck the metaphors. Eckankar should get off the dime and publicly
apologize for the plagiarism and cool it with the bullshit excuse of
astral libraries.

I wouldn't allow the Dera to use such excuses if they tried to
give me a song and dance about Jugat Prakash being mistakenly
identified in English as Sawan Singh's book.

My point is not a harsh one (I like the "fuck" word--that's all),
but a simple one: 

I wouldn't allow the Dera or R.S. Beas to "justify" mistakes or
plagiarisms or lies in the name of "a new path" or "intuitive"

You should see my letters throughout the years to the publications
Department on various matters.

I don't think we do Eckankar or Paul Twitchell any service by trying
to justify lying, plagiarism, and deceit by invoking Jungian

Indeed, we do a disservice because anything can be justified using
that modus operandi.

If you don't believe me on this, just see what Klemp says about
Darwin Gross.......

No "intuitive" misreadings there..... especially when it comes to
the hard fact of "dollars."


I am not trying to change the way you see Paul's writings, but I am just
trying to point out that if you really want to understand Paul, or what he
wrote, you need to see it from his viewpoint and his intentions.


Sorry, but when Twitchell says he saw combat in World War II and
didn't (compare Steiger with Harji), I call it bullshitting.

Sorry, but when Twitchell says he graduated high school at 15/16 and
allows an official biography to circulate that "untruth" worldwide,
I call it bullshitting.

I could go on, but I think you get my drift.

But let me go to my own tradition, so you can see that I apply this
yardstick to that which is closer to my bone.

When Sawan Singh says that Anurag Sagar was authored by Kabir but it
wasn't, I don't try to "justify" it.

I have a simple answer:

Sawan Singh is MISTAKEN.

When Julian Johnson writes stupid stuff about Aryan races and the
like, I don't try to excuse it with some astral metaphor.

Johnson was a racist and the Dera was WRONG for allowing such crap
to get published.

See how easy it is?

I think Jay's lead is much more healthy than excuse city 101.......

"Types" has nothing to do with it;

it is called Integrity and Honesty.


Otherwise, it is as if you picked up a book of poetry and tried to analyze
it as if it were a cook book. Or it is like those who try to treat The
Bible as if it were a history book. How useful can such interpretations


Nice try, but you forget something. When Twitchell says Sudar Singh
died in 1937/38, he is attempting to make an empirical statement.
When we juxtapose THAT with his other statement that he went to see
Sudar Singh again after WORLD WAR 2 (Sudar Singh would have been
physically dead by then given Twitchell's recollection), we know
something is funky!

This has got nothing to do with poetry or reading history in the

Twitchell himself has made a number of clearly empirical statements
and because of those we can compare/contrast them.

When they are completely inconsistent or contradictory (high school
records, war records, stuff he submitted to Ripley's, etc.), we know
something is up.

We don't need to resort to intuition or other kinds of theories to 
"justify" those contradictions. We can instead look to the empirical
record (what does Twitchell's high school say about his age when he
graduated?) and see things with relatively more certainty.

I don't see why that is so hard.

When he writes poetry, I read it as such. When Paul says I went to
so and so at such a date, I also read that as such......

There is no great mystery here in Twitchell's writings.....

What you don't like is that he made some huge blunders that shed a
troublesome light on his integrity......

And he should be held accountable for that......

Can you imagine what some on ARE would do if my "official" biography
was full of shit? Yea, I graduated from North Hollywood High at 15;
yea, I saw Combat in Vietnam; Yea, I am only just turning 30; Yea,
etc., etc.

I would rightly be called on the carpet it for it, and so I should.

Why should we expect LESS of Twitchell or any guru?

I have no problem calling the very founder of my tradition, Shiv
Dayal Singh, into question.

He deserves it.

I have even publicly disagreed with my guru and many of his chief
disciples several times......

That's normal, that's healthy.


Now I think there is another point that needs to be cleared up. When I
shared a few out-of-the-body, or Soul Travel, experiences in my last
letter to you, you said, "Doug, I have had all sorts of interesting
experiences as well, but I don't mind when someone, like my brother,
doubts them. Geez, I remember when I spoke in tongues when I was 15. I got
all sorts of skeptical questions. I think it was healthy, actually. The
same happened to me when I turned vegetarian at 16; the same happened when
I was attracted to Charan Singh."

I think it is important to point out here that the experiences you
referred to are all physically centered experiences. Speaking in tongues
is not in my book a spiritual experience, any more than automatic writing,
spiritualistic medium ship or seeing the Virgin Mary in a mud puddle.
Certainly you could say they were experiences that commonly fall in the
spiritual or religious field, but they are physical phenomena. True they
might inspire spiritual or religious thoughts, but are not what I call
spiritual experiences.


This is truly ironic, Doug, and I think you have dug yourself (pun
intended) into a well here.

Before you "assume" what I experienced (the very thing you are
trying to critique me on about Twitchell), shouldn't you probe a bit

How do you know that my experiences were "physical"?

Isn't this the very thing that you say I mistake about Twitchell?

I say this only to alert you to the tautology of your own

If everything Twitchell says is metaphorical or spiritual (as you
implied), then be careful when "identifying" what others may or may
not experience......


experience is an experience within our consciousness directly. It can be a
sudden shifting to a new state of consciousness where a new awareness is
gained. It can come like a light dawning within us bringing with it a
whole new clarity of seeing the world, or like a sound or reverberation
that shakes our spirit loose, raising us up beyond the human
consciousness. Whatever you want to call them, do you see the differences
between what I am calling spiritual experiences and the experiences that
you cited?


Yes, Doug, I have had those experiences as well; too many to count,
too intimate to pen.


If you do, then perhaps you can see why I said that anyone who tries to
question or examine their own inner experiences must negate themselves.
You see we are talking about consciousness here, and as soon as we try to
doubt or try to question our own consciousness, it is like trying to split
our consciousness into two parts, one part as the observer and the other
as the subject being observed. This is a function that the mind loves to
do, but our own consciousness, our spiritual Self, cannot be split, it can
only be One. The mind loves to play with mirrors, you might say, looking
at itself and the world in all the reflections, but Soul can never be

What I was trying to explain was the importance of accepting our inner
experiences, because these are a part of our own consciousness. To split
our consciousness in two is to reject a part of ourselves, and those that
do this must become dependent on outside authorities to define their
reality for them. This is a very subtle point being made here, but a vital
one. By rejecting our inner experiences we are sentencing ourselves to a
prison ruled by the mind. However, by nature Soul is free, and not limited
by time, space or matter.


No, Doug, you have made a mistake here that is not necessary.
Experiences are not Consciousness ITSELF; they are manifestations of
it, just as waves are not THE OCEAN ITSELF, but manifestations of

There is no need to worry about "splitting" ultimate consciousness
or Ultimate Reality.

It is already what it is; and, as such, no experience will be able
to "capture" it.

So, in a curious Zen-like critique, 

NO experience represents Consciousness Itself, since Consciousness
ITSELF will always exceed that which attempts to contain it.

All inner experiences, therefore, should be doubted since they are
NOT the Ultimate Itself.

Or, in a Buddhist twist, kill any inner experience you have of God.


Because God is not an experience......


is Transcendent and Immanent to That.

In other words,

Infinity is not a number.

So, I actually disagree with you about not doubting one's

Doubt it, doubt it, and doubt it some more.

Truth won't disappear because of that.

Especially if Truth is Eternal and a Permanent Context to all.


Of course, experiences such as the speaking in tongues, the appearance of
a spiritual master's image, events of extraordinary coincidence can be
questioned, probed and challenged to discover what they really are, and
what they mean. But the purpose of this should be to understand these
experiences, not to question the reality of the experience itself.


Sorry, but I disagree again.

By all means doubt the reality of the experience itself.


Because that is precisely how one accesses the next level beyond it.

Severe doubting of a dream and its reality can cause one to wake up!
Try it.

Severe doubting of this state of awareness can elicit a new and
startling new vista (that's what meditation is all about).

Now when you have accessed a new domain (to use your examples of
"spiritual" experience), then DOUBT IT and doubt it severely.


Because the floor of that text will reveal its deeper root.

Faqir Chand talks about this, the Tibetan Book of the Dead talks
about this......

Geez, simple particle physics talks about this.

Doubt the molecule--get an atom.

Doubt the atom--get the nucleus.

Doubt the quark--get the superstring.....

Get my drift?

By all means doubt any or all inner experiences.

Doubt this neurological experience as

GReat Doubt, great faith;
little doubt, little faith..............




example, we have all seen optical illusions. Our senses can fool us. But
this doesn't mean that the experience itself was not real, only that it
was misleading. 

I agree with you, that experiences in the spiritual field are often
misleading, but this is because of the mind's interpretations, usually
based upon one's religious indoctrinations. Do you see the subtle, but
very important, difference I am making here? A person thinks he sees a
UFO, but it turns out to be a weather balloon. What the person saw and
experienced was a real experience, it was his interpretation that was
wrong. To get people to challenge their beliefs is good and healthy,
because it gets them closer to understanding their experiences more
directly, without indoctrinated thinking. But to get people to doubt their
own experience itself, is to undermine their confidence in their own Self.


Sorry to disagree again, but you are being philosophically and
mystically naive. There is no such thing (as a thing) as Experience
ITSELF. It is not a thing, right?

So doubting it, or believing it, has got NO-THING to do with it.....

Look, let me give you a crude example.

It doesn't matter what the wave may believe or not believe about the

The Ocean LIVES It, exceeds its, moves it, etc.

All the doubting and all the believing in the world has got NO-THING
to do with Ultimate Truth.......

So, naturally, I think we should doubt every and all experiences we
have had, since every experience (even the Experience itself) is
less than THAT..... and if it is not less than that, then nothing
you and I can do to change it. It will be That regardless.

Read the Tibetan Book of the Dead or Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi.

You will see that doubting is actually the very means by which we
access new states........



Let me explain this in a little finer detail. Martin Gardner, the well
known mathematician, once described what he called the "AHA!" experience.
It is that moment when understanding dawns. It is the absolute necessary
ingredient to true understanding. People will often "learn" or memorize,
or accept facts from authorities without ever having that moment of AHA!
It is easy to show that such "learning" is only indoctrination, and that
they have not really understood, but only learned how to mimic. But when
that moment of AHA! occurs, then that knowledge becomes our own.

You can give a person a map, and they can follow the physical directions
to get to the desired location, but unless they have that moment of AHA!
they have not actually arrived. What many people don't realize is that the
experience of AHA! is not dependent on the physical directions leading up
to it. In fact it is not limited by anything of a physical nature. This
experience of AHA! is an experience of consciousness, and can happen at
any moment. And it cannot be split in two. Once the experience of AHA! is
over, of course you can reflect back on the memory and look at this
memory, but the experience of AHA! itself is pure and cannot be analyzed,
reduced down, or doubted. It just IS!

This means that the experience of AHA! is a miniature spiritual
experience. Now imagine taking that singular moment and expanding it a
thousand times into a moment of spiritual revelation. One gains more
understanding in that one moment than in a thousand textbooks or college
classes. This is what I meant when I said that the scholars all stand
around their well of facts, clapping each other on the back at the great
discoveries they have made in their dark well. Why do they stand there
staring at the reflection of the moon, when they could look up at the real
moon. By this I meant that a true spiritual experience is a moment of
experiencing the true reality. All this other stuff is nothing but optical


AHA! You are wrong, again! (just teasing).

Sorry, but analyzing AHA experiences or doubting them is fine with

Big deal..... just another experience.

You see, when one has never read a book, READING may appear

But to one who reads a lot, reading is no big deal (not too much
more evolved than surfing channels on a T.V. set).

Same with soul travel or listening to inner sounds or seeing inner
lights or voyaging to other states......

If you haven't done it, it "appears" to be a big deal.

Do it alot, and you won't mind doubting it.

Aha experiences for some are rare, and thus they are held in high

Have enough of them and you won't mind "doubting" them......

My point is a very simple one:

We are bound by those experiences which we don't doubt or question 
(physical, astral, causal, supra-causal, transcendent, rami nuri's
underwear region, etc.); we are freed from the binding constrictions
of any experience when we are no longer "awed" by it...... think
dreams and nightmares and you will see my point.


Carl Jung once gave a talk that was intended for professional
psychologists, however it was open to the public as well. After his talk,
an elderly lady who knew nothing of psychology came up to him and said,
"You words are bread." By this she meant spiritual sustenance. Jung
realized that although she did not understand the background and the
scientific explanations, she still caught the meaning of what he said. She
may not have been able to read the map, but she still had that moment of
AHA!. Paul Twitchell wrote his books for those looking for spiritual
bread, not for history buffs.


Look, when he talks history he screws it up and he should be held
accountable for his plagiarisms, for his cover-ups, for his
duplicity, and for his silly wrong predictions.... Frilly Fred.....

Okay, so Twitchell talked soul travel and he was trying to emphasize
that aspect. I well understand that, but you know that is precisely
where the most fun is...... Enter Faqir Chand.

It is easy to "doubt" a dream; easy to doubt the waking state at

The cool thing is to doubt the "light", to doubt the "soul", to
doubt the very CORE Experience Itself (whatever that means).

That's where it takes some guts.

That's what Faqir called "hanging on the gallows."

Doubt GOD when you see him/she/it......

Isn't That an underlying message in THE TIGER'S FANG?

You see, I am just doing a Twitchell on you.

DOUBT TWITCHELL, just as he doubted Kirpal Singh.

That way, you will be freed from trying to justify his behavior.....


Perhaps this might explain what I was trying to say a little better. Of
course, I am sure you will still have a very different viewpoint, which is
great. That's what keeps it so interesting in this world. Millions of
mirrors, and millions of viewpoints.

By the way, I am still interested in the book by Faqir Chand. Any more


Doug, I have really enjoyed your posts and I commend your civility.

If I come off as harsh, please know it is because I have taken your
arguments seriously.  

You don't want me to mush out right when you have some interesting

And by all means keep doubting me.......................

It is a very helpful thing to all concerned.

The Faqir Chand material is on my website.....


E-mail The Neural Surfer directly at

I want to go back to the home base now.