The December Eck Debates, Part One

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.

Bart (Simpson?) Writes:

"David Lane - Now what?  Is this the best you can do?  Are you going to
stop with something as simple as Eckankar?  What's next?  Wanna take on
the Catholic Church?  Mr. Lane...  You have destroyed.  Is that your
purpose?  Or are you just going to suck off of the starters?  Go for
it.  Don't be a wimp.  There are a thousand miracles for you to debunk.
Go for it!!!!  What makes me wonder, David, once a miracle is done -
who cares about you?  ...I mean YOU, David...  You don't count at that


Thanks for your note or better yet your series of questions.

As for "what next?" there are already hundreds of very good rips of
Catholicism. If you want some titles, I would be most happy to
provide you with some. Try Nietzsche's Antichrist for starters.

As for Eckankar, how many critiques have been done in book form?


You write, "My purpose?"

Very simple: I like detective work.

Twitchell's life is a treasure trove for uncovering incongruencies.

John-Roger has been much more nasty to me than any other cult
leader, yet I don't write very much on him (McWilliams book, of
course, is par excellence in this regard).


He is just plain boring.

Twitchell is most definitely a more interesting fellow, especially
way he plagiarized.

Quite fun to track down.

Yes, there are indeed thousands, nay millions, of miracles to be
debunked and have already been debunked.

SKEPTIC magazine does an excellent job, and The Skeptical Inquirer
to a lesser extent.

Do you want a list of good skeptical sources?

I would be most happy to provide it for you.

You ask, "Who cares about you (pointing to me)?"

Well, my mom, sometimes.

I don't know what you mean that "You (pointing to Lane) don't count
at that point."

Well, I am pretty good at math.

Maybe you are talking about when we are dead.

I guess nobody does math there either.

thanks for the questions.

keep them coming.

A post stated:

"Now you'll impress me if your next volume deals with how to straighten
this whole mess out.
Like focusing on the positive aspects of Eckankar and possible creative
ways the infrastructure can remodel without dismanteling.
You do believe in the positive aspects of a westernized Light and Sound
don't you?
I'm all ears."


I don't think you will like my answer.

I happen to think that religions need to be deconstructed.

And that goes for any of them.

If there really is an inner light and an inner sound, then
organizations are not needed at all.


Because you already have within you the very thing you are seeking
by looking to the organization for guidance.

I am in the process of writing a long essay on this issue entitled


Toward a New Definition of "Perfect" Masters

I am quite confident that many on this newsgroup will not like it.
I am even more confident that my friends in India will really not
like it.

There is no need for Eastern or Western "light and sound" corporations.

Each human already has within them what these traditions are
pointing to.

Whether we define it mystically or neurologically.

Indeed, if Kabir (I am speaking metaphorically here) were
to reincarnate into this century I would daresay he might be
throwing stones at the very ashrams/organizations which purport to
be the "true" tradition.


Because the very thing these traditions point to they end up

Feel most free to ask more questions


Bart Writes:

"Hmmm... interesting... Paul didn't intentionally destroy.  He attempted
to streamline and adapt certain teachings so that
fast-paced-meat-eating-capitalistic Americans could find a way to
How odd that Mr. Lane would choose to intentionally destroy something
like that in order to make a buck from his own book.


Fast buck? Sorry to disappoint you, friend,
but I have lost thousands of dollars on the MAKING.
Writing a term paper and being threatened with a million dollar
lawsuit is not my idea of trying to "destroy" something. You better
check Eckankar's legal history, Bart.
Try just this one excercise:

How much money did a 20 year old undergraduate spend in order to
legally defend himself from Eckankar's threatened lawsuit? Clue:
lawyers cost a lot.


"Should we now buy Mr. Lane's book to find out why we shouldn't buy Mr.
Twitchell's books?"


Why buy the book? The MAKING is online via Dave Rife's home page for


"What a farce.  ...shovel, shovel...  scoop, scoop..."


What are you trying to pick up? If it is Twitchell's plagiarism you
need a much bigger pooper scooper than a shovel.     

Steve R. Writes:

"This is a typical example of the way that Sam and Lane operate,
accusation by innuendo.  David Lane and Sam Orez and others claim to
know THE ONE AND ONLY TRUTH of what was in Paul Twitchell's heart as
he was founding the modern organization of Eckankar.   I was just
taken to task by one of their pseudo-supporters for using too many
words like suppose, presume, and perhaps.  I was accused of having too
few facts because I did not state the alternatives to Lane quite as
assurredly as he and Sam do."


Best to read Twitchell's own words on why he founded Eckankar.
Not only did he say he did it for monetary reasons, but his wife
Gail "insisted" that he do something with his abilities.

I have at the very least traced my ideas to pertinent quotations and

I have never stated that I know the One and Only truth. That is your
fiction, Steve, and I am sorry that I won't let your puppy stay the

Try reading my last section to THE UNKNOWING SAGE ("the mystical
dimension). It will provide you with an ample context to know the
"core" of my philosophical beliefs.

I don't have "pseudo-supporters."

What we have are various readers, with their own minds, posting what
they wish to say.

No need to define imaginary lines/borders when none exist--at least
not in my head.

Steve R. Writes:

"The facts about Paul Twitchell are not in dispute here.  The
conclusions are.  There is nothing in the facts as presented by David
Lane or Sam Orez that proves that Paul Twitchell acted with anything
but the highest ethics."


Here's what Twitchell did:

1. He claims that Kirpal Singh "forged" his name on many papers to
connect him with his group. Yet, we know from a slew of Twitchell's
own documents/writings that Paul was intimately connected with
Kirpal Singh--even getting initiated by him in 1955; even Gail got
initiated by Kirpal Singh in 1963.

Yet Twitchell claims forgery?

2. Twitchell plagiarized huge chunks of copyrighted material and
even put such material into the mouths of "Rebazar Tarzs" and others
(see the FAR COUNTRY for proof), without citing or referencing his

3. Twitchell lied about whole series of biographical details--ranging
from birthdates to travels to graduation dates.

4. Twitchell systematically tried to cover-up his spiritual
associations with Kirpal Singh, L. Ron Hubbard, and others.
Why? forgery?

You may not consider that unethical, Steve, but I and others do.

Steve R. Writes:

"The only way that they can come to the
conclusions that they do is because of their own prejudices."


No, what's really neat about all this is that we can go directly to
Paul's own writings, his own documentation to demonstrate his
unethical behavior.

Try it. Here's a clue: see what Twitchell said about J.R.'s
plagiarism and compare it to what Twitchell himself did to Julian

Steve R. Writes:

"Paul Twitchell and Harold Klemp write as spiritual leaders in order to
uplift and guide their chelas on an inner journey.  If footnotes get
in the way of that goal then footnotes will not be used."


Nobody has asked them to do footnotes. What has been asked (and
required by copyright laws) is to properly cite and reference one's
sources. Just do what Twitchell asked and demanded of John-Roger

Be honest about one's sources.

Steve R. Writes:

"David Lane purports to be an academic, an historian.
He is supposedly
trying to paint a true picture of the modern beginings of Eckankar.
In this endeavour, his failure to be unbiased  and his failure to
present all parts of the picture lead to the failure of his entire


Well, you better go tell Harold Klemp that, Steve. You say, "the
failure of his entire work." Yet, Klemp uses parts of the MAKING
for his own research. Don't believe me? Go ask him about Camille
Ballowe Taylor.

What you fail to understand is that at the very least I have given
you and others the opportunity to check my sources.

The three major claims in MAKING have never been disproven, but have
rather gathered much more substantiting evidence.

1. Twitchell plagiarized extensively (where's the FAR Country now?)

2. Twitchell covered-up his past associations (forgery? Yea, that's
the ticket. Then Why is Twitchell writing about Kirpal Singh in tens
of articles? Hey, I even got a tape-recorded conversation of those
two, plus photographs.)

3. Twitchell lied about biographical details in his life (Yea, sure,
I graduated from high school at 15..... yea, that's right I just
turned 40, Gail, how about a date?.... yea, I traveled to India for
a year right after high school....... hmmmmm)

Keep ripping, Steve.

Steve R. writes:

"Beat up on poor David!  Come on!  Whenever David Lane's material is
thoroughly, accurately and successfully crtiticized some apologist
claims that he is being "beaten up" or personally attacked. It is okay
for Lane to call Paul Twitchell a "liar", "plagarist" or "fraud" and
that is not a personal attack."


Yes, feel most free to critique whatever I write. I actually don't
mind the personal attacks either, Steve.

The real problem is that you have not successfully criticized me
(want to go another round on that 1922 date, bro?) or my
documents--either accurately or thoroughly.

But by all means keep trying. I shall not mind being wrong.

I just won't let you try to pass off lame excuses for Twitchell's
lying (1% plagiarism? typos? forgery?)

Steve R. writes:

"I am getting tired of giving you guys this address.  Take a look at  There are 6 Sudar Singhs there today.
Lane even mentions an Sudar Singh who was in India at the time.  It is
like saying, give me Bill Smith's address."


No, Steve, this type of weak defense won't pass any tests. Sudar
Singh died, according to Twitchell, in the mid to late 1930s. He
supposedly lived in Allahabad, India, and had an ashram. My research
in India and elsewhere (I was also in Paris, as well; maybe he meant
Paris, Kentucky?) has indicated that no such shabd yoga guru, as
described by Twitchell, existed.

A close scrutiny of Twitchell's own comments on Sudar Singh and his
biographical details demonstrates that Twitchell lied about a number
of key points, including dates, travel time, etc.

When one asks for an address, it is a simple enough affair. I have
tracked tens of shabd yoga gurus in my career (indeed, that is why
Professor Juergensmeyer first asked me to go to India in 1978 as his
Research Assistant).

Yet, Sudar Singh doesn't show up.

But guess who does?

Kirpal Singh, over and over again.

And you know what I find curious: Nobody has ever tracked down Sudar
Singh, but when we track down a real flesh and blood guru--Kirpal
Singh--who has links with Twitchell, Eckankar (via Paul and
Klemp--read the latest on it) try to claim that Kirpal Singh and his
associates tried to use "forgery" to link the two.

Hmm, sounds like we got a cover-up and it is on Twitchell's

He is so reticient about talking about Kirpal Singh (he kept a 10
year plus correspondence) after he starts Eckankar, but he loves to
talk about Sudar Singh (and we can't find a trace and his
biographical records contradicts his travel claims).

Twitchell lied about his association with Sudar Singh.

That's the problem.
Steve R. Writes (and cites Lane):

"David Lane purports to be a scholar, an academic researching the
history of Eckankar.  Yet he continues to publish such totally
irresponsible garbage as the following: (David Lane) wrote:
>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. 

This is one of the lowest things I have seen printed on this forum.
It is low even for a David Lane groupie, much more so for the man
Nothing in Eckankar, it's teachings, writings, nor the actions of the
Living Eck Master or the students under him has ever condoned or
suggested this kind of thing.  That David Lane would suggest so is
,simply one of the most unethical acts I have seen here.


This is pretty funny, Steve. You tell me to take responsibility for
the ways in which people "use and misuse" (your words, not mine--and
a completely ridiculous assertion)
but when the same is asked of Eckankar you get hot and bothered.

Steve, remember these knives cut both ways. If you ask me to be
responsible for "misuse" (imagine what that could imply) of my work,
then think of all those people who have "misused" Eckankar. 

Do you really think Eckankar should be responsible for such misuse?

I don't think so and your hot under the collar reaction indicates
that you don't either.

I simply pointed out the obvious: There are several Eckists--current
members at the time--who have committed suicide when following
Eckankar. Don't believe me, Steve? Go ask Eckankar who had to fend
off a lawsuit because of one such suicide.

Now you would most obviously say that they misunderstood or misused
the teachings. I would even agree with you on this point, but don't
you see how your silly requistion of responsibility to me can have
devastating consequences when applied to Eckankar as well?

I was just pointing out how silly your assertion is--that is why I
made the John Lennon and Manson reference.

It is always ironic to me that you can't see the consequences of
your own logic, but such is the Internet game.

Keep attacking me, and forgetting how such attacks could be applied
with double-force on the very thing you are trying to defend.

Steve R. writes:

"Are you saying here that Sam, Rife, Zuma, and your new pet David
Cullen are misusing your writing?  If so, how are they doing so."


No, Steve, I was responding to YOUR words and how silly your
assertion was. That is why I faced you with the Eckankar suicides, so
you might be able to see how absolutely ridiculous your point was
about accepting responsibility for "misuse."

Steve R. writes:

"Again, to suggest that Eckankar encourages divorce is scurrilous.  It
should be beneath even David Lane."

DAVID LANE responds:

Steve, forgive me for being patronizing, but do you ever read what I
write? I didn't say that Eckankar encourages divorce (those were
your words in trying to impugn me). What I pointed out was that many
in Ex-Eckists have blamed Eckankar for their divorces. 

My point was obvious: I would imagine you would think this was a
misuse or a misreading of Eckankar's intention. But given your
assertion that I become responsible for any "misuse" of my work, I
tried to illustrate once again the silliness of what you were

I simply gave you an Eckankar example of "misunderstanding" and
showed you that what you write has two sides to it. If I have to
take responsibility for people misunderstanding me (your claim,
Steve, remember?), then naturally Eckankar would have to do the

It would have devastating consequences and I don't think you even
want to go there.

Better retract your statement, or think clearer next time.

Steve R. Writes:

"And not for the intended uses to which people put your writings.  That
is not responsibility."

DAVID LANE writes:

I think people can do whatever they wish with my writings, provided
they cite and reference it correctly. 

The one person who has systematically misunderstood me more than
anybody else has been yourself.

Geez, does that mean I have to take "responsiblity" for your
misconstructions of logic and poor reading skills?

I sure hope not.

Steve R. writes (in connection with my reference about John Lennon
having to take responsibility for Sharon Tate's murders, if we took
Steve's ideas to their logical consequence:

"This is again typical.  Ask yourself, would a real valid researcher
resort to this kind of tactic?"

DAVID LANE replies:

No, Steve, you got this one backwards too. Would a reasonable person
make such silly assertions that I have to be responsible for the
"misuse" of my research. If such a statement holds, then you got
some big problems with Eckankar: divorces, suicides, and much more.

I was simply pointing out how illogical your point was.

You just got faced on it, Steve.

The only "tactics" being indulged here are yours.

STEVE R. writes:

"David Lane writes libelous attacks on Eckankar, is actually prevented
from publishing said attacks by a legal settlement"


I don't know how good your reading skills are, Steve, but given just this
last line I would strongly encourage you to read my posts a bit more

I am not "prevented" by Eckankar via a legal settlement to write on

Where do you make this stuff up?

I have and will continue to write anything I wish on Eckankar.

There is no restriction whatsoever--legal or otherwise--from me
writing on Eckankar.

The legal agreement you are talking about (and have obviously never
read) talks about an EK symbol that was on the 1983 cover of THE

That's it, bro; it says nothing about content.

Indeed, many in the legal community saw my agreement as a "win."


Because Eckankar agreed to let all the existing copies of the book
be sold (there were still several hundred). All I agreed to was not
to use that EK symbol on future covers of the MAKING.
Please also keep in mind that the EK symbol had a no-smoking sign
over it, as well.

That's it, Steve.

Get your facts straight.

STEVE R. writes:

" and then through a
front man (David Rife) proceeds to publish the same material that he
has agreed not to publish on the Internet."


Steve, do you know what the definition of libel is? Well, you better
because you just indulged in it. What you say in this sentence is a
a lie. The MAKING of SPIRITUAL movement has been published by me and
will continue to be published by me, even though Eckankar has
threatened me time and time again. 

Dave Rife has been kind enough to put it on his website. I would
even put it on my website, but I didn't have one then and it is my
way of saying thanks to Dave.

What you are talking about Steve is the cover to the 1983 edition of
MAKING, and yet you do not state that to your readers.

The only thing I have ever agreed to with Eckankar is not to use
their EK symbol on FUTURE covers of my book. I have complied with
that and will continue to do so.

The 1983 cover is linked via Dave Rife's website. Nobody has ever
asked me permission to use it.

Sorry Steve, but you better get your facts straight.

Steve R. writes:

"He then absolves himself of
any responsiblitiy for his writing by making an analogy between
himself and John Lennon as if Sam Orez is some kind of Charlie Manson.
Even though Orez is following through on the intended purpose of
Lane's book."

DAVID LANE responds:

No, Steve, you don't read well. I said I take full responsibility
for what I have written. I just don't take responsibility for
people's misuse or misinterpretations of it.

You are a precise example of what I won't take responsibility for.


Because you don't read carefully, you misconstrue my posts, and you
make things up that are not true.

But keep doing it.

Otherwise I wouldn't post on this newsgroup as much.

STEVE R. writes:

"This is not the work of a vaild historian."


No, it is the original work of a 20 year old undergraduate at CSUN
who by one simple term paper has altered the course of Eckankar's

Amazing what one term paper can do.

Steve R. writes:

"This is a good example of a propaganda technique called "attacking the
straw man".  David sets up a straw man in suggesting that Eckankar
claims that all such experiences come from masters of Eckankar,. and
then tries to attack Eckankar with the assertion that this statement
is false.  The problem here is that Eckankar has never made such a
claim.  It is utter nonsense and Mr. Cullen is simply lying."


No, Mr. Cullen was simply telling you his side. The fact that you
call it lying speaks more about you, Steve, than Mr. Cullen.

If you want to know more about lying, try reading Twitchell

MARK Alexander Writes:

"Are you really defining *letters that you have received* as *legal


Thanks for the question of clarification. No, only those letters
which are from Eckankar's attorneys stating that they will take
legal recourse against me.

MARK Alexander:

"How many times have you stood before a judge with Eckankar lawyers since
1983, David?"

DAVID LANE replies:

Thankfully, I come from a legal family so to say (my father was an
attorney and my sister is an attorney and my brother works for the
Court system), so I have been blessed with excellent legal

My best friend, Aaron Talsky, is also a Harvard trained lawyer.

Thus, due to my legal "team" I have never, not once, ever faced a
judge (oops, maybe that one parking ticket does count).

But I have been threatened by Eckankar numerous times.

If you wish, Mark, I can try to count it exactly.

I think I have well over 20+ letters from Eckankar's attorneys;
perhaps much more than this, as well.

I know that Garland got several, as well.

E-mail The Neural Surfer directly at

I want to go back to the home base now.