The Eckankar Research Kit

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.

The Eckankar Research Kit: part one

Thanks for your recent posts. In a couple of them you raise some
questions that you wish I would answer. I would be glad to do so:

1. I have never stated that I was "unbiased" or completely
"impartial." Actually, I have even written a post called "the Making
Sucks, Lane's Biased, and Where's Jagat Ho?" which argues that the
key to any research findings (like plagiarism, cover-up, and
biographical lying) is to see if one can discover or discern the
same by doing his/her own investigation. Science is replete with
stories of multiple confirmations. (see

It does not matter whether Alfred Russell believed in spiritualism or
not (he did), when one is concerned with testing his theory of
evolution. Either natural selection works or it does not. Same with
evaluating the 1859 edition of Origin of Species by Darwin; it does
not matter whether Darwin was a Christian or an Agnostic or an
emerging Atheist, the question is whether or not his theory is true
or correct.  

So far, so good. Naturally, I have my biases, my slants, my
prejudices, my predispositions, my angles, my metaphysical pathos,
my existential grinds.... so do we all.

Now the question for the concerned Eckist or reader is whether or
not the central claims that I have made about Eckankar can be
verified by the interested investigator. As I have repeated much too
often (I feel sorry for Kent who must be saying "Oh My God, not this
argument again. Which round are we in..... 109?"), they come down to
some basic observations which can be tested:

A. Compare Twitchell's writings with other authors, particularly
Julian Johnson, L. Rob Hubbard, Lama Govinda, and a slew of others.
Are there similarities? Are those similarities due to chance or due
to Twitchell copying from already published titles?

Go ahead and check it out for yourself. Forget everything I have
done. Just see.      

B. Look at Twitchell's earlier writings and compare those very same
writings (where the content has not been essentially changed) with
the later redacted versions that were published by IWP. Are there
name replacements?

Don't believe me or my previous stuff. Go and get original copies of
ORION, PSYCHIC OBSERVER, SEARCH, etc., and compare them with their
book versions. Note the differences.

C. Study closely Twitchell's statements about his life. Do a
correspondence check between his alleged birthdates, marriages,
travels, jobs, etc. Are there significant changes? Are there

Again, forget me and my biases. Just go ahead and get the necessary
documents (birth certificates, death certificate, notarized
statements, etc.). Make a chart of the variances.

D. Read Eckankar materials closely. Compare Twitchell's theology, as
espoused in The Tiger's Fang and the Far Country, with his later
writings, The Spiritual Notebook and The Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad. Are
there interesting and crucial departures? Are the sounds of the
inner regions different? If so, why?                

Forget about my slants. Just look carefully at the discrepancies. 
Why the difference in the sounds, the regions, the higher planes?
Make a map and illustrate the changes.

E. Take a close look at the Vairagi Masters. Write down all the names
of the published ones (The Spiritual Notebook and the Eckankar
Dictionary are good sources to start with) and then do a cross-check
of the available information. Do this both internally (that is,
compare Twitchell's statements about Rebazar Tarzs in different
places) and externally (see Twitchell's dates on Shams-i-Tabriz, for
instance, and compare them with several scholarly sources). Is the
information that is being presented reliable? Is it internally
consistent? Is it externally verifiable? Note the wide variances in
Twitchell's claims from one book to another book (also check out the
differences in the tapes as well).

Tell Lane to take a hike. You are doing the research now. Okay, then
concentrate on the two ECK masters who supposedly lived in this
century, outside of Twitchell and Klemp: Sudar Singh and Darwin
Gross. What information do we have on Sudar Singh? Is Twitchell's
description accurate, verifiable? Now do the same with Darwin Gross.
Check out his life, his activities...... and check them out for the
time he was the living ECK Master. Did Darwin, as the ECK Master, do
things which contradict the teachings?  Write them down and analyze

Naturally, I could go on, but I think you are seeing my drift.

I have made some claims; they can be verified.

Geez, I could be a lousy surfer, mean to little kittens, eat meat,
drink too much, and it would have nothing to do with whether or not
the claims I have made on Eckankar are true or not.

The proof of the pudding is in doing the research yourself, especially
if you doubt plagiarism, cover-up, and biographical deceit.


I look forward to your fact oriented results.

Then we can happily debate interpretations.

The Eckankar Research Kit: part two

1. Steve asks me to respond to a Christian who thinks that Eckankar
is fraudulent. I see no reason to respond to the person in question
because it is quite obvious that my research points to many
fraudulent things in Eckankar, not the least of which is that Paul
Twitchell lied to his followers.

And, naturally, if the founder of a religion is going to lie to his
wife and to his followers on very significant details (origins of
teachings, vairagi masters, sacred scriptures, biographical and
spiritual associations, etc.) then it is little wonder that some may
think that his religion is a fraud.

For example, according to certain Biblical Christians, if Jesus did
not resurrect from the dead (in bodily form, mind you) then he was a
liar and his religion a sham. Now keep in awareness that I didn't say
this, certain orthodox followers have said this (just listen to the
Bible Answer Man... 3 p.m. Monday through Friday for more on this
lines of theological argumentation).

So it is understandable and reasonable to see why people after
reading THE MAKING OF A SPIRITUAL MOVEMENT and other posts think
that Eckankar is a fraud.

Boy, if a used-car dealer lied to a potential customer about an
old white 64 LeMans sitting on the lot as much as Twitchell has lied
about his past and about the originations of his religion, the car
buyer might not only walk off the lot (with no purchase), but go and
call the better business bureau..... (Then, again, he might not and
might buy the car, only to end up in La Jolla..... lost with Lane
and crew....).

2. "What is positive about Eckankar?" Steve asks.  My first answer
is the people who are trying their best to follow a religion in
which the founder has lied to them. There are thousands of very
sincere people in Eckankar. It is that sincerity, I would argue,
that works for interested members, not the organization (which
garners the capital), not the leaders (which seem lawsuit happy:
Darwin vs. The Corp?), not the books (plagiarism 101), not the
Vairagi Masters (Sudar Singh's address has got to be one of the best
kept secrets of the 20th century), etc.

Of course, that sincerity would work wonders in any religion,
positive or negative. I just happen to think that the leadership
should be as sincere back. Its track record indicates otherwise.

3. "Do I think the world would be better without Eckankar?" Steve

I think the world would indeed be better without lying, plagiarism,
cover-up, deceit, and dishonest portraits of fictional masters. If
any religion has done that (in its past or present), then I think it
would be better for that religion to come clean about its history and
try to "transform" itself.  If it cannot transform itself, then
maybe it should "dismantle" itself. I see nothing negative in saying
this. We break up bad and bogus organizations all the time.

As I once stated to Dodie Bellamy, "Christianity has fucked up more
people in its history than Eckankar ever has." (To be specific,
think of the Spanish Inquisition). 

Every religion should be opened to rational scrutiny. 

But this does not let Eckankar, or any other religion, off the hook.
It just demonstrates that we should be skeptical in every spiritual
endeavor we undertake.

4. "Do you see how Eckankar helps people?" Steve asks. 

I see how sincere people in any religion or group can help one
another, even if that group is tainted with a questionable past.

But perhaps these sincere people can help even more if allowed the
opportunity to have an organization which does not rationalize or
legitimize behavior that a grammar school would find reprehensible:
from not cribbing other author's works to fudging details on
important historical personages.

5. "Do Eckists get any spiritual benefit?" Steve asks.

I don't know what "spiritual benefit" means. I don't think anybody
knows what it means, really. What we are saying, perhaps, is that we
"feel" happier or more fulfilled or closer to our ideas of God or
whatever..... But these "feelings" are part and parcel of our own
human anatomies. We often transfer the source of our happiness or
our benefits to outsider catalysts.

It turns out often to be the case that we are the ones who are
responsible for the feelings we derive. It arises within our own
self, but we give credit to someone or something which was merely taking
credit for that which it had nothing to do with.
(the Kirpal Statistic and The Unknowing Sage touch upon this issue as do several posts in
the Inner Visions section.....

But to address the heart of the matter: I think we are better served
and get much more benefit by aligning ourselves with organizations
that are honest, up front, and truthful about their origins.
Moreover, I think we should demand of our leaders something better
than we usually get in our religions. Put bluntly, do we really want
Darwin as a role model? Or Thakar? Or John-Roger? ..... you can
fill-in the blanks.....

E-mail The Neural Surfer directly at

I want to go back to the home base now.