Don't Confuse Twitchell's Spiritual Schizophrenia with Spiritual Enlightenment:

A Reponse to mysti and mark

I think the biggest mistake we make when purviewing Twitchell's
novelistic creation of Eckankar is the belief that he was somehow
trying to "enlighten" the West, since most people couldn't "handle"
the Eastern truths in their encultured format. 

Now on the surface I think a Western shabd yoga master would be a
refreshing change of pace. It would be nice to have a mystic, well
informed in shabd yoga practice, who reflected the best of those
teachings. Yet invariably those who claim this mantle (I am thinking
of Twitchell, John-Roger, Jerry Mulvin, ad infinitum) reflect not
Eastern wisdom, but Western capitalism.

It would be nice to see a western sound current teacher who did not:
1) charge money; 2) lived a remarkably non-selfish moral life; 3)
consistently tried to serve people, instead of being served; 4) and
did not want to be a guru, but was "forced" into the position (by
preceding master), and who did not make any claims whatsoever about
his inner attainment.

But this is not what we find in Twitchell and crew. We do not find a
Westernized version of Sant Mat, with all its merits left intact.
Instead we find a "money/capital/egoistic" version of shabd yoga
practice. This is especially disconcerting because in the West,
where our affluence transcends the expectations of most Indians, we
don't need to charge money for spirituality.

If genuine gurus don't charge money in the East, where the money
imperative is much stronger, why should they charge money in the
West? Jerry Mulvin, for instance, charges 100 bucks for the
"Connection". Why? Because he wants to live off the disciples who
willing to fork over the cash. Why did Twitchell start Eckankar?
Because he was fairly broke at the time (just ask Gail) and it was
an opportunity to make more money.

I do not understand why people think that Twitchell was being benign
by starting Eckankar and helping the spiritual hungry West. Remember
it used to cost hundreds of dollars for personal interviews with him.

I am not against people making money, but let's not confuse a
businessman with a spiritual benefactor. Twitchell was the former,
Ramana Maharshi (and others like him) was the latter. 

Twitchell "used" shabd yoga to make money, not to dispense divine
wisdom for the needy. 

I think we should raise our standards on supposed gurus, masters,
and teachers. We may be ordinary, we may be unenlightened, we may be
tained by maya, but
that's exactly the point: we don't make extraordinary claims to the
Gurus do. Therefore, let's see if they pass the test--usually a test
they themselves devise.

If they don't pass, fail them, don't lamely condone it.

Most of what I hear is simply rationalizations for cosmic
"smuckness". Now I happen to think Twitchell was a wonderfully
interesting guy--maybe too much of a liar for his own good--but
all the same quite intriguing. But that's what he was--a classic sort of character; he wasn't enlightened (by his scale or

Yet, we persist in trying to find a method to his spiritual
schizophrenia (that is, his predisposition to include widely varying
spiritual teachings in his group).

The method was perfectly in sync with businessmen the world over:
money, and a little more money.

Now this seems so obvious (Twitchell himself has stated this on a
number of occasions--just check out his earlier writings) that it is
fairly amazing that we forget it.

We should shave with Occam's Razor daily, especially when it comes
to the would-be claims of gurus in the West or East.