Beyond Reproach?

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.

Bruce Writes:

"David; your research is not beyond reproach.  You keep asking 
Eckankar supporters to admit to Paul Twitchell's shortcomings, 
but you fail to take your own advice, except in trivial matters
such as your mock self castigation over your enjoyment of surfing 
and coca cola, in an apparent attempt to humanize your image here.  

I can even see the response to this criticism formulating in 
your usual style; something like, "Hey, surfing and coke aren't
trivial, har har..."

Hey, a lot of us think you are a nice guy, but that doesn't improve
the quality of your arguments one iota.  If you would deal with the 
real weaknesses of your research, you could expect the same of 
those you criticise.  Instead, these exchanges become a dialogue 
of the deaf.

Why not set an example, David?"

DAVID LANE replies:

Thanks for your note. If I thought my research was beyond reproach I
would not have spent as much time as I have responding to Steve and

In fact, I think it is quite healthy to rip whatever I have written.
I have said this numerous times and I encourage anyone to find the
loopholes. That way everyone is better served: we get more
information instead of less.

I don't know what you want me to confess to in terms of weaknesses.
But the 1922 date is not a typo and one can easily see the divergent
lines of information I have used to see that Twitchell did in fact
try to pass himself off as younger (from Steiger, to Gail, to
Jarvis, etc.).    

What I have always tried to do is substantiate whatever position I
have taken. On the major points there has been overwhelming

Twitchell's biographical changes
Twitchell's spiritual cover-up
Twitchell's plagiarism   

I think what some may object to is my interpretation of those
events. That's fair game and I think that is where the most
interesting dialogues/debates emerge.

I personally think Steve has been my literary agent. He makes me
want to post even when I am not so inclined. For that I am
extremely grateful (and I am not jesting on this point).

You mention something about taking my own advice, but I think you
are confusing issues here.

I don't claim to be a God-man, I don't claim to be enlightened, I
don't claim to the 970 something, I don't give initiations.

I am, as I have said repeatedly, just another schmuck (my spelling
of this word has always been questionable!).  

The reason we take to task gurus and the like is because they are
claiming to be on a higher level, or are wayshowers or
manifestations of it.

That is why we grill our Presidents and his Appointees. They are
representing not merely themselves, but something much grander.

I have never minded personal shots, which have been flung my way
from time to time.

When I respond to critiques, like I have done with you before, it is
only to better clarify my position.

If i thought my position was weak or wrong, I would be most happy to
confess it.

The 1922 birthdate is not one of them.

I am not trying to humanize my image or my self when I mock who I

I am simply enjoying the silliness of taking any of the personal
attacks by various quarters seriously. It is just part of the
Internet game.

If you think there are weaknesses in an argument by all means bring
the facts/data up. I will then do my best to either clarify or
defend my position.

If Rebazar Tarzs shows up at my house, I will be most happy to tell
you about it. I would be most delighted to be dead wrong.

But you must--if this dialogical game is to work--demonstrate by
facts/documents/reasoning why you think such and such a point made
by me is weak.

I then have to once again see if my observations stand or fall.

Quite frankly, the major points I discovered many years ago have
not fallen, but gotten much stronger since I have garnered much more

Now you or someone else may not like it, may not even like my spin
on it, but that's part of the play. And that's what makes it so
much fun and at the same time such a learning experience.

If you get a chance, read my introductory section to the book
EXPOSING CULTS (Garland 1994) and see what I say about my
own articles. Read also my introduction/preface to the Radhasoami
Tradition (Garland 1992) and see what I say about biases and the

The "real" weaknesses of my research are that Twitchell plagiarized
more than I have shown, he lied more than I have demonstrated, and
he changed more biographical details than I have time to delineate.

Now you may disagree with that and it is your job to then present
your case. You did it before and I disagreed with you in a
dialogical manner.

I don't know about "har, har" but it matters little to me whether 1
or 100 people read my post. I write because I must. Why? Because
I am also trying to clarify my findings as well to my larger
world view.

I welcome any substantiated (or not even substantiated) rips.

Concerning setting examples, I don't know exactly what you want me
to do, but I have always tried to read each and every post directed
at me and give whatever appropriate reply that I could.

You may not like my responses, but that's exactly why this
enterprise is evolutionary. You then get to post a rip and I have to
do my best to better explain why I think so and so.

In this regard, I feel quite clear.

Good luck on your future rebuttals........

Sorry to say there is no surf in London.