"Professor" Lane: Steve asks questions about the Eck Critic's Credentials

Author: David Christopher Lane
Publisher: MSAC Philosophy Group
Publication date: 1996

E-mail David Christopher Lane directly at dlane@weber.ucsd.edu

I want to go back to the home base now.

Dear Steve:

I was utterly delighted by your latest note about my "supposed"
credentials. I am glad that you have gotten back to your original
form and have showered me with another martini of misinformation.

Before I begin my reply, I am curious whether you ever read my
posts, since I have addressed the same issue about three or four
times. But in any case, here I go again:

1. "Professor" Lane. You seem upset that someone would address me
with that honorific. Personally, I could care less how anyone
addresses me. But for your information Steve, I am sorry to inform
you that I am indeed a fully tenured "professor" (a title I could
care less about, but one which my college uses for me).
In terms of academic and salary steps I am in the highest bracket.

I was tenured in 1991, just two years after I took the job. But you
know Steve, it is always best not to believe me (or even "read"
me--as you have repeatedly demonstrated). Therefore, you can call
Dr. Steve Runnebohm, the Dean of Humanities, at MSAC and ask him
directly about my qualifications.

Concerning my education, I will list for you once again where I got
my degrees:

Ph.D., University of California, San Diego
M.A., University of California, San Diego
M.A., Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley
B.A., California State University, Northridge

If that is not enough information for you, Steve, then you can look
up my biographical reference in Marquis' WHO'S WHO IN THE WORLD
(which I am told has included a bio of me in their 1997 edition).

Again, you repeat the charge that the findings of a MAKING OF A
SPIRITUAL MOVEMENT have never been published in a reputable academic
source. As I have stated at least five times, this is not true. You
are also aware of the book's history, but since your memory shows
signs of wear and tear, I will repeat it briefly again:

Garland Publishers in New York which publishes scholarly
bibliographies and monographs had accepted THE MAKING OF A SPIRITUAL
MOVEMENT for their religious reference library (with J. Gordon
Melton being the series editor). The book was advertised in their
catalogs and was even typeset. Eckankar then legally threatened
Garland with legal action if they published the book. After six or
so months of back and forth letters from attorneys, Garland decided
to withdraw the book because as they stated they did not have the
deep pockets (like Eckankar apparently has) to litigate over this
text. They were extremely apologetic to me, because they felt that
the book was quite good and would sell well.

Previously Prometheus Books in New York had shown interest in the
the book but were turned off by Eckankar's legal history.

Yet, despite all that, the Making of a Spiritual Movement has been
cited and referenced in a large number of academic books and
encyclopedias. I will attach a previous posting of mine, Steve,
where I detail this for you once again.

Concerning my other books, I have written the following for Garland
Publishers in New York. You may even read them Steve, since they are
available at University libraries around the world (you can most
easily get them via inter-library loan, try Berkeley or Harvard):

THE RADHASOAMI TRADITION: a critical history of guru successorship

EXPOSING CULTS: when the skeptical mind confronts the mystical

I could also include the articles I have published in THE JOURNAL OF
HUMANISTIC PSYCHOLOGY and elsewhere, but my vita is 20 pages long so

better to get via email.

If you want to know what other teaching positions I have held in the
last 17 years, I would be most happy to tell you. Do you want
character references as well?

You see Steve you keep missing the point. The key is to discover
whether or not my findings are true outside of the "tainted"

It wouldn't (or it shouldn't, but for you it might) matter whether I
was a 7/11 big gulp clerk when I wrote what I did on Eckankar. What
matters is whether or not you can see the plagiarism, the cover-up,
and the biographical manipulation. Thousands of Ex-Eckists have. I
would dare say that many in Eckankar today see it as well.

Who cares about my background, though I must thank you for allowing
me the opportunity of displaying it on this group. 

What we should care about is whether or not I have cited or provided
a pathway by which one can see where Twitchell lied, where he
copied, where he actually traveled, and whom he studied with.

On that issue, since you reminded me of it: do you have any further
information on Sudar Singh?

I am glad that you are concerned with my "credentials.", but maybe
you should take that same spirit and ask Sudar about his. How about
a resume from him. I will give you mine.

Good luck and here's that previous post:


3. Either you have an atrocious memory (in which case I don't blame
you) or you willfully like to misrepresent facts, even after you
have been corrected several times.  You state that "my findings"
have never
been substantiated by the academic community. Here we go again:

1. Almost every encyclopedia of religion or cults edited by J.
Gordon Melton (from the Encyclopedia of American Religions to
the Encyclopedia of Cults) has cited my findings on Twitchell's
plagiarism and spiritual background.

2. Almost every academic article on Eckankar (from Juergensmeyer's
brief sections in his books to Robert S. Ellwood's at USC to Timothy
Miller's latest edited volume for SUNY Press) has cited and "agreed"
with the substance of my findings.

3. I have presented my research to a series of academics: ranging
from The AAR Stanford University Meeting in 1982 to an invited talk
at the London School of Economics (where there was a conference on
new religions in Europe).

4. I can list over 25 different publications--not connected with me
in any way--which have cited and substantiated the findings of a
making of a spiritual movement.

Don't get me wrong, I like your skepticism of my work. It is good to
rip and shred and lacerate. But you would be much better off and be
accurate in your rips. Don't misrepresent things, especially after I
have written to you a couple of times on this very issue.

Okay, let's say you think whatever I do is tainted (fair enough).

Then I would suggest you do what other academics have done (like
Melton who checked it for himself, and please keep in mind that he
is not at all anti-cult--quite the opposite).

Read the review of my work in GNOSIS, read the review of my work in
SUNY's latest book on cults, read the original findings of that
academic on Dave Rife's homepage.

Better yet read your own master on the subject: Harold Klemp. He
read the Making of a Spiritual Movement and even used some facts
from it, even though he did not cite it.

Don't believe me, Steve? Go ask him. Better yet still, go ask Darwin
who wanted me to be his "expert" witness at his trial.

What you should do is go find the original ORION magazines (I am in
London right now, but will in the near future put them on the web)
and see how Twitchell changed names, etc.

There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of ex-Eckists (and
now practicing Eckists) who have researched this issue about Paul
and have come to grips with it. Not by making shit up, not by lame
excuses, but by simply acknowledging his past, his plagiarism, his
lying, and his cover-up.

You don't want to do that. Fair enough, but better to be accurate
about what I have discovered and what others have discovered. To
keep saying the same mispresentations over and over again will only
insure the one thing I don't think you want: 

Lane writing yet another rebuttal.

But then again you do me the favor, so maybe I should say keep
misconstruing my work and my background. That way I will at least
write something.

thanks again for the inspiration,

dave lane

E-mail The Neural Surfer directly at dlane@weber.ucsd.edu

I want to go back to the home base now.