(too old to reply)
Hey Doug - An Old Question
Etznab
2009-07-23 22:38:12 UTC
Post by TianYue
I've been busy lately, with not much time to answer posts, but here's
something I thought would add to the discussion.
It's a big red flag when cults make people feel as if they've failed.
In Eckankar, it's widely thought that if you leave, you've failed.
It's a black and white, absolutist view of people being on one side of
the spiritual fence or the other. It's the "us against them"
mentality. This is an entrapping way to define membership. Those who
stay are not failures, but those who leave are. With this tactic,
whenever the student doubts, it's a sign to the student that the
student is lacking awareness. All critical thinking is turned back
onto the follower. If you question, it means you're failing to
understand. If you find flaws in Eckankar, they're your flaws. If you
are disturbed about the meaning of such things as Paul's plagiary,
you're overthinking. You're mental.  It's one of the double binds I
mentioned. No matter which way you turn, if it's away from Eckankar,
you've made a wrong turn. With this approach, you can't use reason to
determine anything about Eckankar, because that means you're not
sufficiently aware. In this manner, people become trapped.
I've noticed some here have reached out to you, extending a hand,
since you're in doubt. But sadly, despite what some have said on this
thread, Harold Klemp reveals the rather unkind view commonly held by
"Let's look at these three areas that can cause people to leave ECK.
"First is discouragement. It affects those who have an unrealistic
goal in ECK; those who want to Soul Travel or reach Self-and God-
realization with practically no effort. Those who become disheartened
quit ECK for other paths that seem to require less drive and
responsibility of them.
"Anger is the second reason people leave ECK. An angry person thinks
he is always right in his estimation of a situation. When events prove
him wrong, he is quick to invent an argument to explain away his
error. And woe to him who is brash enough to point out the mistake.
Angry people leave ECKANKAR out of impatience. They look for eagle-
winged promotions in ECK, but their selfish ambition is the
acquisition of power. Without power they feel at loss. But the kingdom
of god can only be reached by love.
"Third, people leave ECK for reasons of pride. They may feel the
Master has unfairly given someone else an initiation ahead of them.
Others who have reduced the ECK teachings to a mental formula, finally
grow weary of their mental creation, having mistaken it for what ECK
really is. They say ECKANKAR has nothing for me. Another group of
dropouts is still more unstable. These are the mini-masters and their
cohorts, who for ignoble reasons want a shortcut to fame and fortune.
It never occurs to them that ECK is really a personal walk in the
Sound & Light of God, with little to offer one who covets adoration.
When these conceited ones sense that no lasting position awaits them
in ECKANKAR, they scurry off in other directions to search for
recognition. Also in this third group is one who entertains as greater
opinion of himself than an inspection of his thoughts would seem to
justify. A critic of ECKANKAR , he plays his trump card: Paul
Twitchell's statement that ECKANKAR is not a system of metaphysics,
philosophy, or religion. He skips over references Paul made to ECK as
the new-old religion."
From WISDOM OF THE HEART, Book 2, by Sri Harold Klemp, Chapter 27, p.
132
Post by AF59
TianYue,
1) at first I felt as though I had failed in Eckankar, yes
as I stated I couldn't play the part that I was being "groomed" for,
by the local HI's in the area, it just wasn't me.  I am a bit down to
earth, maybe too much so
2) I had quite a few inner experiences directly with Darwin Gross, and
also Harold Klemp.
Curiously enough I had never had an inner experience with Paul
Twitchell until last evening.  I won't go into that right now.
I seriously question all the claims that have been made by Darwin and
Harold, and I can honestly say I just don't know.
I know at the time when i listened to Harold and Darwin I felt I was
hearing truth.  I can't help but hear Paul's voice echoing in my head
to question everything, paraphrasing of course.
I also can't help but wonder what Paul would think of Eckankar now...
it's my opinion but it is clearly seems to have lost the individualism
and creativity that seemed to be there at the beginning.  I have read
a few opinions on here of Paul Twitchell so I know that doesn't hold a
lot of water.  I feel that I understand Paul's intentions, as naive as
I may be about that.
Eckankar seems to be boxed up now, and Eckists aren't allowed to work
outside of that box??  Again my opinion but it's not what Paul started
I never had any experiences with the other Masters listed, so since I
haven't had experience I wouldn't be able to say that I honestly
believe in them.
I seem to keep coming back and looking at Eckankar
but i can't seem to get past my big doubts. What does stand out in my
mind is my inner experiences.  Would I have had those without
Eckankar?  Was spirit using those forms to teach me things?  well
yes.. I would say, isn't that how spirit works?
Am I even coming close to answering your question?  lol...
Is Eckankar legitimate?   I'd have to say yes.  In so far as is any
religion legit?
Does Eckankar mean the world to  some? yes it does..  Does it fulfill
a spiritual need for some? Yes...  In my opinion answering yes to both
questions makes it legit
Tianyue
I hope I have answered your questions, I am fighting the TV on in the
background, my kids seeming to want to follow me to every room even
though I am trying to get to some quiet place to honestly answer your
questions.  Mostly for myself no doubt.
Andy
Post by TianYue
Post by AF59
Not trying to Parrot anyone or anything.
My questions are sincere and not meant to offend, and the fact that I
have said very little in here for the last, I don't know many, years
hopefully would convey to  you that I am not here to
joust.  I was just curious.  I guess I could go back and read all the
threads to find out, but I was just curious.
I left Eckankar for many reasons, one of which I was disillusioned
with the way Eckankar had gone.  It was feeling too much like
Christianity in it's direction.  I didn't all of a sudden pack up and
leave, I dwindled in my activities.  Also, I felt it was more than a
bit  me, the reason for leaving, than it was anything else, it wasn't
working for me.  I wasn't motivated to live the lifestyle that I felt
it was calling for.  I am not a religious person, I can't lead a
religious lifestyle.  Is that a lack of discipline? perhaps.
I was in Eckankar from 1974 till 2004(ish) initiation level,  I guess
as you said, for "what it's worth" not worth mentioning.  I know that
I couldn't regurgitate the "gospel" according to so and so and feel
sincere about it.  I was playing a part that I didn't feel comfortable
with completely.  Kind of felt like what Paul was telling us not to
do...  it is quite evident that a lot of Eckist do exactly that.  The
coined responses to key questions, as if they had no minds of their
own, they just know the appropriate response for the specific
question.  I am not slamming anyone on that, it's the same thing that
anyone in any religion does.  They know they answer according to the
preacher, priest, guru, etc.
I said once in here, that I am not a "mental" person so filling my
head with quotes and verses was not my thing.  I was being groomed for
something I didn't want to do.
I actually was more of a musician.  In fact someone told me that one
of my songs, on one of the CDs is still played at the seminars...
interesting.
I don't feel anger toward Eckankar, I was 14 when I started, perhaps
12 at my introduction, through my Dad, my first initiation was truly
my first spiritual experience of leaving the body (which I don't feel
has to be a spiritual experience anymore-- but that's another
discussion) Darwin was the Master at that time it was quite the real
experience for me.  I understand more clearly all of that now.
Anyway reading all of the posts here and reading Lane's stuff and some
other's is somewhat new to me, so I have questions about all of that.
I can now see clearly how Paul started  Eckankar and perhaps a little
bit about his intentions.  I confess that I am reading Doug's book
right now.  I like the historical perspective, I am taking to heart
that he is definitely coming at it with an Eckist's perspective.  I
accept that, and respect him for that.  I actually appreciate the book
because I feel I am able to balance out a lot of things while reading
this.  Balancing from both sides to be quite honest.
Ok that is where I am coming from.
I have not read about Cults or anything of that nature, I don't
clearly know what you are referring to, but isn't any religion guilty
of putting out information and only information that they feel is what
is "best" for their followers.  I tend to think of all religions as a
cult.
I was not going to ramble here, and here I am doing that... I was
about to go on, but I'll stop here.
Andy
I'm wondering about the meaning of a few of your comments.
1) Do you feel at all as if you failed in Eckankar?
2) Do you still think Eckankar, and the Eck masters (Klemp) were all
that they
...
read more »
The thing about Eckankar, something worthy of
consideration, IMO, the teachings are composed
(to some extent) of teachings that existed before
"Eckankar" the organization existed. Therefore, I
think it fair to say not all of the teachings "belong"
exclusively to Eckankar the religion. Also, look at
the quotes by people who were NOT "Eck Masters"
and the books that were NOT "Eckankar" books.
To what extent could information "belong" (to the
"Eckankar organization and religion") if it did not
originate from that religion / organization?

See what I am saying about "the thing" (IMO)
worthy of consideration?

These teachings of Eckankar are not all new. I
see the association for the source of such teach-
ings with Eckankar Inc. mean that historic, actual
and original sources had to be changed, renamed
and / or hidden in some cases. It doesn't change
the fact there are teachings belonging to Eckankar
that belong to other groups and people, too. There
are differences between the organizations, groups,
peoples and religions. And I think it's interesting to
consider certain teachings were "incorporated" by
many of them! Certain teachings were credited to
people many years removed from the experience
and the person(s) the teachings originated from in
the first place!

"[....] No matter which way you turn, if it's away from
Eckankar, you've made a wrong turn. With this app-
roach, you can't use reason to determine anything
about Eckankar, because that means you're not suff-
iciently aware. In this manner, people become trapped."

Tianyue,

I Think I see where you're coming from. Eckankar is
not very inclined, perhaps, to reveal all of the actual
sources from which Paul Twitchell compiled information
for the teachings of Eckankar. Not if it causes so many
"Eck Masters" to disappear. Eck Masters are "source"
for much of the teachings - in the way Paul Twitchell
wrote things up in a number of places. "Eck Masters"
are what "belong to" Eckankar Inc. "Eck Masters" are
what is "unique" about Eckankar, the religion. Remove
the "Eck Masters" and that leaves one looking at so
many other proposed "sources" for the teachings. At
so may other paths, religions and / or self-proclaimed
masters and clergy.

Perhaps it wasn't so important to Paul Twitchell and
Eckankar what was the "source" for so many teachings
that religions like to call their own. I'm guessing that it
was the appeal (and later the popularity) of numerous
principles, ideals and teachings that "fueled the motor"
for Eckankar and made it into a modern day "religion".
A religion familiar with the term "artistic license" as a
means for promoting a religion. A religion not unaware
of popular demand, either.

Some opinions I'm looking at.

Etznab
Etznab
2009-07-23 23:08:21 UTC
Post by TianYue
Post by TianYue
I've been busy lately, with not much time to answer posts, but here's
Post by TianYue
something I thought would add to the discussion.
It's a big red flag when cults make people feel as if they've failed.
In Eckankar, it's widely thought that if you leave, you've failed.
It's a black and white, absolutist view of people being on one side of
the spiritual fence or the other. It's the "us against them"
mentality. This is an entrapping way to define membership. Those who
stay are not failures, but those who leave are. With this tactic,
whenever the student doubts, it's a sign to the student that the
student is lacking awareness. All critical thinking is turned back
onto the follower. If you question, it means you're failing to
understand. If you find flaws in Eckankar, they're your flaws. If you
are disturbed about the meaning of such things as Paul's plagiary,
you're overthinking. You're mental.  It's one of the double binds I
mentioned. No matter which way you turn, if it's away from Eckankar,
you've made a wrong turn. With this approach, you can't use reason to
determine anything about Eckankar, because that means you're not
sufficiently aware. In this manner, people become trapped.
I've noticed some here have reached out to you, extending a hand,
since you're in doubt. But sadly, despite what some have said on this
thread, Harold Klemp reveals the rather unkind view commonly held by
"Let's look at these three areas that can cause people to leave ECK.
"First is discouragement. It affects those who have an unrealistic
goal in ECK; those who want to Soul Travel or reach Self-and God-
realization with practically no effort. Those who become disheartened
quit ECK for other paths that seem to require less drive and
responsibility of them.
"Anger is the second reason people leave ECK. An angry person thinks
he is always right in his estimation of a situation. When events prove
him wrong, he is quick to invent an argument to explain away his
error. And woe to him who is brash enough to point out the mistake.
Angry people leave ECKANKAR out of impatience. They look for eagle-
winged promotions in ECK, but their selfish ambition is the
acquisition of power. Without power they feel at loss. But the kingdom
of god can only be reached by love.
"Third, people leave ECK for reasons of pride. They may feel the
Master has unfairly given someone else an initiation ahead of them.
Others who have reduced the ECK teachings to a mental formula, finally
grow weary of their mental creation, having mistaken it for what ECK
really is. They say ECKANKAR has nothing for me. Another group of
dropouts is still more unstable. These are the mini-masters and their
cohorts, who for ignoble reasons want a shortcut to fame and fortune.
It never occurs to them that ECK is really a personal walk in the
Sound & Light of God, with little to offer one who covets adoration.
When these conceited ones sense that no lasting position awaits them
in ECKANKAR, they scurry off in other directions to search for
recognition. Also in this third group is one who entertains as greater
opinion of himself than an inspection of his thoughts would seem to
justify. A critic of ECKANKAR , he plays his trump card: Paul
Twitchell's statement that ECKANKAR is not a system of metaphysics,
philosophy, or religion. He skips over references Paul made to ECK as
the new-old religion."
From WISDOM OF THE HEART, Book 2, by Sri Harold Klemp, Chapter 27, p.
132
I think referencing quotes from authors is sometimes confusing because
the reader, depending on his/her state of consciousness will read that
and either agree with you or think that you are proving the point of
your oposition
Andy
Sorry, but I don't really understand the reason for your comment. I
first mentioned how Eckankar declares former members to be failures or
spiritually flawed people who have fallen away from truth, and then I
posted one excerpt that serves as an excellent example of that view. I
don't see how anyone would become confused and think that proves the
point of my "opposition."
There are countless other examples of both PT and HK making negative
comments about former members. Perhaps I'll post a few more, time
permitting, for the general readership.
And not only do these Eck leaders denounce former members, they also
elevate the members of Eckankar to special status, declaring them to
be the "chosen few" who have evolved beyond all others. With such
rhetoric, it's not hard to understand why Eckists would perceive
themselves as failures if they don't feel as if they are keeping step
with their Eckist companions.
The odd thing is, a close look at the Eck masters reveals even their
"experiences" aren't exactly free of flaws and failure. Take PT's
predictions, for example. He was mostly wrong in everything he
predicted.  He failed to appoint a successor before he died, which is
peculiar for a person who is supposed to be able to foresee the
future. There are many other similar examples that reveal they aren't
as prescient and omniscient as they would have us all believe. So, if
even Eck masters "fail," how can the followers claim to be any better?
It isn't the followers who are flawed; it's the path they're
following.
All of this leads to me to ask a question: Do you agree with Harold
Klemp's views as expressed in the excerpts? Are Klemp's "three areas"
the major causes of why people leave Eckankar? Or is it just a
defensive attack on those who leave, as if leaving is an insult to all
that Klemp believes.
As to spiritual experiences validating Eckankar, I'd say there is a
bit of circular logic in that notion. Eckankar provides no useful
criteria to determine if an experience is valid or not, other than
"challenging" the experience with a "charged word" which, not
surprisingly, is the Masters name, such as "Wah Z.". Eckankar
essentially drums into the follower's head that all inner experiences
are real. It mesmerizes the follower with such methods as chanting the
name of the master, and gazing at an imagined image of the master with
eyes closed. It gets the follower deliberately trying to have dreams
of the masters. When through the continued power of suggestion over a
period of months and years, the student not surprisingly begins to
dream of Eck masters, the student unquestioningly accepts the dream as
validation of Eckankar, no matter that it may be self-induced through
suggestion. Oddly, if the same student dreams of something that might
invalidate eckankar, such dreams are rationalized as being Kal
influences or caused by negative entities or other rationalizations.
It's well known that lucid dreaming can be deliberately generated, and
one can program through intense suggestion over days and weeks any
dream experience one would like. One book about lucid dreaming offers
as an example experiencing lucid dream sex with Marilyn Monroe with
the use of lucid dream exercises! And it doesn't have to be a dream.
One can achieve similar effects while waking, while in a deep state of
self induced auto-hypnosis, which is can be very similar, if not
identical, to deep meditation.
So, the problem with spiritual experiences is that the only criteria
1) If the experience is positive about Eckankar, it's real, and should
be accepted without doubt.
2) If the experience is negative about Eckankar, it is not real, and
may be a kal trick or some negative impulse from Mind, or the lower
Kal worlds.
So, here's the essential point I'm making: With this sort of circular
logic, a double bind is created that the follower has trouble escaping
from. With this pseudo-logic, everything is affirming of Eckankar,
even if it isn't. By creating such a double bind, the loyal follower
is left with only one conclusion if he or she isn't having experiences
according to the Eckankar model: The follower is flawed and
spiritually un-evolved. If the follower does have "experiences" with
masters, then the follower is thought to be successful, ignoring the
possibility the follower is just more suggestible than average.
(Remember Klemp thinking he would lift the airport fog if he disrobed
in public? That is an example of a person highly prone to
suggestibility, if not downright deluded and psychotic). This is a
particularly insidious and malevolent mind-game to inflict upon the
trusting devotee, but this is exactly what Eckankar does. And even
Klemp wasn't exempt while he was working his way through the ranks.
Now, to be clear, I'm not saying there aren't genuine spiritual
experiences one could have by using the exercises in Eckankar. Such
exercises are not at all dissimilar from exercises taught by other
groups. Doing those exercises could produce a real experience. But it
isn't Eckankar that produced the experience, rather, it is the
individual practicing a common technique shared by many yogic groups.
One could have spiritual experiences no matter which group one
followed. So spiritual experiences don't prove Eckankar is real. I had
experiences before and after becoming a member of Eckankar, and some
after having left Eckankar. Some were real, some weren't. I'm now
wiser about how to tell the difference.
Tianyue
Post by TianYue
Post by TianYue
Post by AF59
TianYue,
1) at first I felt as though I had failed in Eckankar, yes
as I stated I couldn't play the part that I was being "groomed" for,
by the local HI's in the area, it just wasn't me.  I am a bit down to
earth, maybe too much so
2) I had quite a few inner experiences
...
read more »
Before Harold Klemp jumped off a bridge, I think he
had recently been to a seminar where he expected to
meet with Eck Master Paul Twitchell.

After returning home, I believe the story goes, Paul
Twitchell was on Harold's mind so much that he even
skipped work. Harold thought he needed to travel to
where Paul Twitchell was, as if Paul was waiting for
him. That was why he went to the airport in the first
place. Wasn't it? Harold thought Paul was waiting to
meet him? If not in the airport, Harold had to travel to
where Paul was. Harold was so intent on serving the
Eck Master, Paul Twitchell, at least.

Harold Klemp never did meet Paul Twitchell in the
physical, after returning home, it seems. But later, I
believe, he "saw" Paul Twitchell on the bridge that he
later jumped off of. Then again in the mental hospital
where he stayed subsequent to the plunge.

Another interesting aspect to the timeline for this
story, IMO, is how alone Harold Klemp was. Harold
left the family church. He left (finished?) school and
moved into an apartment. At least, by the time the
"God Realization" experiences arrived, Harold was
on his own and living by his self. No family church,
no school, no immediate family in his new neighbor
hood &, I believe, his father might have recently died.
He also had the challenge of starting a new job.

I might not have all the details right, but it seems
(to me) Harold had a lot of reasons to feel lonely at
the time. Missing Paul Twitchell at the seminar was
only one of them. IMO. So, I saw some different per-
spectives last time I read that story about disrobing
(attempt at) in the airport and later jumping into the
river.

Etznab
Etznab
2009-07-24 01:04:43 UTC
Post by TianYue
Post by TianYue
I've been busy lately, with not much time to answer posts, but here's
Post by TianYue
something I thought would add to the discussion.
It's a big red flag when cults make people feel as if they've failed.
In Eckankar, it's widely thought that if you leave, you've failed.
It's a black and white, absolutist view of people being on one side of
the spiritual fence or the other. It's the "us against them"
mentality. This is an entrapping way to define membership. Those who
stay are not failures, but those who leave are. With this tactic,
whenever the student doubts, it's a sign to the student that the
student is lacking awareness. All critical thinking is turned back
onto the follower. If you question, it means you're failing to
understand. If you find flaws in Eckankar, they're your flaws. If you
are disturbed about the meaning of such things as Paul's plagiary,
you're overthinking. You're mental.  It's one of the double binds I
mentioned. No matter which way you turn, if it's away from Eckankar,
you've made a wrong turn. With this approach, you can't use reason to
determine anything about Eckankar, because that means you're not
sufficiently aware. In this manner, people become trapped.
I've noticed some here have reached out to you, extending a hand,
since you're in doubt. But sadly, despite what some have said on this
thread, Harold Klemp reveals the rather unkind view commonly held by
"Let's look at these three areas that can cause people to leave ECK.
"First is discouragement. It affects those who have an unrealistic
goal in ECK; those who want to Soul Travel or reach Self-and God-
realization with practically no effort. Those who become disheartened
quit ECK for other paths that seem to require less drive and
responsibility of them.
"Anger is the second reason people leave ECK. An angry person thinks
he is always right in his estimation of a situation. When events prove
him wrong, he is quick to invent an argument to explain away his
error. And woe to him who is brash enough to point out the mistake.
Angry people leave ECKANKAR out of impatience. They look for eagle-
winged promotions in ECK, but their selfish ambition is the
acquisition of power. Without power they feel at loss. But the kingdom
of god can only be reached by love.
"Third, people leave ECK for reasons of pride. They may feel the
Master has unfairly given someone else an initiation ahead of them.
Others who have reduced the ECK teachings to a mental formula, finally
grow weary of their mental creation, having mistaken it for what ECK
really is. They say ECKANKAR has nothing for me. Another group of
dropouts is still more unstable. These are the mini-masters and their
cohorts, who for ignoble reasons want a shortcut to fame and fortune.
It never occurs to them that ECK is really a personal walk in the
Sound & Light of God, with little to offer one who covets adoration.
When these conceited ones sense that no lasting position awaits them
in ECKANKAR, they scurry off in other directions to search for
recognition. Also in this third group is one who entertains as greater
opinion of himself than an inspection of his thoughts would seem to
justify. A critic of ECKANKAR , he plays his trump card: Paul
Twitchell's statement that ECKANKAR is not a system of metaphysics,
philosophy, or religion. He skips over references Paul made to ECK as
the new-old religion."
From WISDOM OF THE HEART, Book 2, by Sri Harold Klemp, Chapter 27, p.
132
I think referencing quotes from authors is sometimes confusing because
the reader, depending on his/her state of consciousness will read that
and either agree with you or think that you are proving the point of
your oposition
Andy
Sorry, but I don't really understand the reason for your comment. I
first mentioned how Eckankar declares former members to be failures or
spiritually flawed people who have fallen away from truth, and then I
posted one excerpt that serves as an excellent example of that view. I
don't see how anyone would become confused and think that proves the
point of my "opposition."
There are countless other examples of both PT and HK making negative
comments about former members. Perhaps I'll post a few more, time
permitting, for the general readership.
And not only do these Eck leaders denounce former members, they also
elevate the members of Eckankar to special status, declaring them to
be the "chosen few" who have evolved beyond all others. With such
rhetoric, it's not hard to understand why Eckists would perceive
themselves as failures if they don't feel as if they are keeping step
with their Eckist companions.
The odd thing is, a close look at the Eck masters reveals even their
"experiences" aren't exactly free of flaws and failure. Take PT's
predictions, for example. He was mostly wrong in everything he
predicted.  He failed to appoint a successor before he died, which is
peculiar for a person who is supposed to be able to foresee the
future. There are many other similar examples that reveal they aren't
as prescient and omniscient as they would have us all believe. So, if
even Eck masters "fail," how can the followers claim to be any better?
It isn't the followers who are flawed; it's the path they're
following.
All of this leads to me to ask a question: Do you agree with Harold
Klemp's views as expressed in the excerpts? Are Klemp's "three areas"
the major causes of why people leave Eckankar? Or is it just a
defensive attack on those who leave, as if leaving is an insult to all
that Klemp believes.
As to spiritual experiences validating Eckankar, I'd say there is a
bit of circular logic in that notion. Eckankar provides no useful
criteria to determine if an experience is valid or not, other than
"challenging" the experience with a "charged word" which, not
surprisingly, is the Masters name, such as "Wah Z.". Eckankar
essentially drums into the follower's head that all inner experiences
are real. It mesmerizes the follower with such methods as chanting the
name of the master, and gazing at an imagined image of the master with
eyes closed. It gets the follower deliberately trying to have dreams
of the masters. When through the continued power of suggestion over a
period of months and years, the student not surprisingly begins to
dream of Eck masters, the student unquestioningly accepts the dream as
validation of Eckankar, no matter that it may be self-induced through
suggestion. Oddly, if the same student dreams of something that might
invalidate eckankar, such dreams are rationalized as being Kal
influences or caused by negative entities or other rationalizations.
It's well known that lucid dreaming can be deliberately generated, and
one can program through intense suggestion over days and weeks any
dream experience one would like. One book about lucid dreaming offers
as an example experiencing lucid dream sex with Marilyn Monroe with
the use of lucid dream exercises! And it doesn't have to be a dream.
One can achieve similar effects while waking, while in a deep state of
self induced auto-hypnosis, which is can be very similar, if not
identical, to deep meditation.
So, the problem with spiritual experiences is that the only criteria
1) If the experience is positive about Eckankar, it's real, and should
be accepted without doubt.
2) If the experience is negative about Eckankar, it is not real, and
may be a kal trick or some negative impulse from Mind, or the lower
Kal worlds.
So, here's the essential point I'm making: With this sort of circular
logic, a double bind is created that the follower has trouble escaping
from. With this pseudo-logic, everything is affirming of Eckankar,
even if it isn't. By creating such a double bind, the loyal follower
is left with only one conclusion if he or she isn't having experiences
according to the Eckankar model: The follower is flawed and
spiritually un-evolved. If the follower does have "experiences" with
masters, then the follower is thought to be successful, ignoring the
possibility the follower is just more suggestible than average.
(Remember Klemp thinking he would lift the airport fog if he disrobed
in public? That is an example of a person highly prone to
suggestibility, if not downright deluded and psychotic). This is a
particularly insidious and malevolent mind-game to inflict upon the
trusting devotee, but this is exactly what Eckankar does. And even
Klemp wasn't exempt while he was working his way through the ranks.
Now, to be clear, I'm not saying there aren't genuine spiritual
experiences one could have by using the exercises in Eckankar. Such
exercises are not at all dissimilar from exercises taught by other
groups. Doing those exercises could produce a real experience. But it
isn't Eckankar that produced the experience, rather, it is the
individual practicing a common technique shared by many yogic groups.
One could have spiritual experiences no matter which group one
followed. So spiritual experiences don't prove Eckankar is real. I had
experiences before and after becoming a member of Eckankar, and some
after having left Eckankar. Some were real, some weren't. I'm now
wiser about how to tell the difference.
Tianyue
Post by TianYue
Post by TianYue
Post by AF59
TianYue,
1) at first I felt as though I had failed in Eckankar, yes
as I stated I couldn't play the part that I was being "groomed" for,
by the local HI's in the area, it just wasn't me.  I am a bit down to
earth, maybe too much so
2) I had quite a few inner experiences
...
read more »
   Before Harold Klemp jumped off a bridge, I think he
had recently been to a seminar where he expected to
meet with Eck Master Paul Twitchell.
   After returning home, I believe the story goes, Paul
Twitchell was on Harold's mind so much that he even
skipped work. Harold thought he needed to travel to
where Paul Twitchell was, as if Paul was waiting for
him. That was why he went to the airport in the first
place. Wasn't it? Harold thought Paul was waiting to
meet him? If not in the airport, Harold had to travel to
where Paul was. Harold was so intent on serving the
Eck Master, Paul Twitchell, at least.
   Harold Klemp never did meet Paul Twitchell in the
physical, after returning home, it seems. But later, I
believe, he "saw" Paul Twitchell on the bridge that he
later jumped off of. Then again in the mental hospital
where he stayed subsequent to the plunge.
   Another interesting aspect to the timeline for this
story, IMO, is how alone Harold Klemp was. Harold
left the family church. He left (finished?) school and
moved into an apartment. At least, by the time the
"God Realization" experiences arrived, Harold was
on his own and living by his self. No family church,
no school, no immediate family in his new neighbor
hood &, I believe, his father might have recently died.
He also had the challenge of starting a new job.
   I might not have all the details right, but it seems
(to me) Harold had a lot of reasons to feel lonely at
the time. Missing Paul Twitchell at the seminar was
only one of them. IMO. So, I saw some different per-
spectives last time I read that story about disrobing
(attempt at) in the airport and later jumping into the
river.
Etznab
There were a couple events out of order in that
last post. (Paul's fathers death and the order of
events for the bridge and the airport.)

This post is an attempt to clarify order of events
I commented on earlier.

Chapter 11 (The Midwest Seminar) of Childi n the
Wilderness reads.

"The days before the Midwest Seminar in Chicago
passed like molasses. It was quite nervy for a new
employee to ask for time off less than a month after
being hired, but that was a condition I insisted on.
The ECK seminar was scheduled for April 23-26,
1970 - Thursday through Sunday. [....]"

BTW, Harold's father didn't die until the the following
year. October 1971, I think. So it was a different sem-
inar when that happened. Not the Midwest seminar of
1970. However,before his new job, Harold did announce
his decision to quit the family church. (See chap.9, The
Squeeze Is On, 1st chapter) Later, in the same chapter
"Now it became imperative to find a job and leave the
farm (p. 85 Child in the Wilderness).

Actually, Harold announced the decision to leave in
Chap. 7 (Good-bye Church, Good-bye Farm). I presume
he didn't actually do it (Quit the Church and find a new
Job) until some time later. See Chap. 9.

My point earlier was that Harold had left the family
church, decided to leave the farm and he was looking
for (and later started) a job before the seminar where
Harold expected to meet with ECK Master, Paul Twit-
chell. (For a consultation? See page 99, 2nd paragraph.)

Someone did hand Harold a flower at the seminar
(p. 103) that was from the Master. I believe.

The last paragraph of Chap. 11 (p. 105) reads:

"Full of love, loneliness, and even a little smug-ness,
I settled back into my seat for the long ride home."

The first two paragraphs of Chap. 12 (p. 107) read:

"The Midwest Seminar of 1970 was over, and I returned
home quite a different person from the one who had left
for the seminar three days earlier.

"Paul had promised on the inner planes that we would
meet at the seminar. Since he had met me once or twice
at previous seminars, I just took the privilege for granted.
But the weekend passed without so much as a nod from
him. Although let down, I felt a rich stirring in my heart,
like a love gift: an entirely new feeling."

After unpacking from the seminar on Sunday, he (Harold
Klemp) went for a walk. This was when he encountered
the "man on the bridge".

After Chap. 12 (Bedlam In The Proofroom) Chap.13
begins with Harold Klemp going to the bridge again.
Chapter 13 was called: A Sharp Rebuke.

I've not clarified all the details for this timeline, but it reads
like Harold jumped from the bridge, went to the hospital,
came home, and then had a feeling he had to "fly to Las
Vegas and work for Paul". So it looks like he didn't go to
the "psyche ward" after the bridge-jumping incident, but
after the police removed him from the airport (sometime
later) for trying to "disrobe".

Chapter 19 (Off The Deep End), p. 166:

"After cleaning up, I made a change in my usual
routine. Instead of walking to the office, I decided
to skip work. What better way to return God's love
than to fly to Las Vegas and work for Paul?
Unknown to me, he was on a trip to Europe. Like
many unbalanced people before and after that day,
I thought the Master would be waiting for me with
open arms at the Las Vegas airport. Actually, an
unbalanced person is a nuisance to himself and
others. Paul didn't need someone like me in that
condition."

This is not a detailed order of everything, but in
order to clarify events for the time-line I tried to
illustrate in an earlier post, it app-ears to look
something like this. (An attempt to clarify order.
What came before what.)

Leaves church and farm. Starts new job living in
apartment by himself. Goes to 1970 seminar.
Meets man on bridge after returning home from
seminar. Has "God-Realization" experience on
bridge. Later jumps from bridge. Returns from
hospital and goes back to work. Decides one day
to go meet Paul Twitchell. Skips work & goes to
airport. Taken from airport to hospital and ends up
in "psyche ward".

That was an attempt to illustrate the order of
events I mentioned in the earlier post. It was
NOT a description for everything, and it does
NOT tell how many days between each event.

I mentioned earlier in this post that Harold's
father didn't die before the Midwest Seminar,
but later (before 1971 Worldwide Seminar?).

It was apparent to me, nevertheless, that much
change had taken place in Harold's life before he
jumped off the bridge and was later taken away
from the airport. However, ever since returning
home from that 1970 seminar (it was my im -
pression from the book) Harold was a lot more
alone and detached from his family upbringing.
He had some very phenomenal experiences after
the 1970 seminar and he later wanted to be with
the ECK Master and serve him.

Etznab
Etznab
2009-07-24 01:08:20 UTC
Post by AF59
Post by TianYue
Post by TianYue
I've been busy lately, with not much time to answer posts, but here's
Post by TianYue
something I thought would add to the discussion.
It's a big red flag when cults make people feel as if they've failed.
In Eckankar, it's widely thought that if you leave, you've failed.
It's a black and white, absolutist view of people being on one side of
the spiritual fence or the other. It's the "us against them"
mentality. This is an entrapping way to define membership. Those who
stay are not failures, but those who leave are. With this tactic,
whenever the student doubts, it's a sign to the student that the
student is lacking awareness. All critical thinking is turned back
onto the follower. If you question, it means you're failing to
understand. If you find flaws in Eckankar, they're your flaws. If you
are disturbed about the meaning of such things as Paul's plagiary,
you're overthinking. You're mental.  It's one of the double binds I
mentioned. No matter which way you turn, if it's away from Eckankar,
you've made a wrong turn. With this approach, you can't use reason to
determine anything about Eckankar, because that means you're not
sufficiently aware. In this manner, people become trapped.
I've noticed some here have reached out to you, extending a hand,
since you're in doubt. But sadly, despite what some have said on this
thread, Harold Klemp reveals the rather unkind view commonly held by
"Let's look at these three areas that can cause people to leave ECK.
"First is discouragement. It affects those who have an unrealistic
goal in ECK; those who want to Soul Travel or reach Self-and God-
realization with practically no effort. Those who become disheartened
quit ECK for other paths that seem to require less drive and
responsibility of them.
"Anger is the second reason people leave ECK. An angry person thinks
he is always right in his estimation of a situation. When events prove
him wrong, he is quick to invent an argument to explain away his
error. And woe to him who is brash enough to point out the mistake.
Angry people leave ECKANKAR out of impatience. They look for eagle-
winged promotions in ECK, but their selfish ambition is the
acquisition of power. Without power they feel at loss. But the kingdom
of god can only be reached by love.
"Third, people leave ECK for reasons of pride. They may feel the
Master has unfairly given someone else an initiation ahead of them.
Others who have reduced the ECK teachings to a mental formula, finally
grow weary of their mental creation, having mistaken it for what ECK
really is. They say ECKANKAR has nothing for me. Another group of
dropouts is still more unstable. These are the mini-masters and their
cohorts, who for ignoble reasons want a shortcut to fame and fortune.
It never occurs to them that ECK is really a personal walk in the
Sound & Light of God, with little to offer one who covets adoration.
When these conceited ones sense that no lasting position awaits them
in ECKANKAR, they scurry off in other directions to search for
recognition. Also in this third group is one who entertains as greater
opinion of himself than an inspection of his thoughts would seem to
justify. A critic of ECKANKAR , he plays his trump card: Paul
Twitchell's statement that ECKANKAR is not a system of metaphysics,
philosophy, or religion. He skips over references Paul made to ECK as
the new-old religion."
From WISDOM OF THE HEART, Book 2, by Sri Harold Klemp, Chapter 27, p.
132
I think referencing quotes from authors is sometimes confusing because
the reader, depending on his/her state of consciousness will read that
and either agree with you or think that you are proving the point of
your oposition
Andy
Sorry, but I don't really understand the reason for your comment. I
first mentioned how Eckankar declares former members to be failures or
spiritually flawed people who have fallen away from truth, and then I
posted one excerpt that serves as an excellent example of that view. I
don't see how anyone would become confused and think that proves the
point of my "opposition."
There are countless other examples of both PT and HK making negative
comments about former members. Perhaps I'll post a few more, time
permitting, for the general readership.
And not only do these Eck leaders denounce former members, they also
elevate the members of Eckankar to special status, declaring them to
be the "chosen few" who have evolved beyond all others. With such
rhetoric, it's not hard to understand why Eckists would perceive
themselves as failures if they don't feel as if they are keeping step
with their Eckist companions.
The odd thing is, a close look at the Eck masters reveals even their
"experiences" aren't exactly free of flaws and failure. Take PT's
predictions, for example. He was mostly wrong in everything he
predicted.  He failed to appoint a successor before he died, which is
peculiar for a person who is supposed to be able to foresee the
future. There are many other similar examples that reveal they aren't
as prescient and omniscient as they would have us all believe. So, if
even Eck masters "fail," how can the followers claim to be any better?
It isn't the followers who are flawed; it's the path they're
following.
All of this leads to me to ask a question: Do you agree with Harold
Klemp's views as expressed in the excerpts? Are Klemp's "three areas"
the major causes of why people leave Eckankar? Or is it just a
defensive attack on those who leave, as if leaving is an insult to all
that Klemp believes.
As to spiritual experiences validating Eckankar, I'd say there is a
bit of circular logic in that notion. Eckankar provides no useful
criteria to determine if an experience is valid or not, other than
"challenging" the experience with a "charged word" which, not
surprisingly, is the Masters name, such as "Wah Z.". Eckankar
essentially drums into the follower's head that all inner experiences
are real. It mesmerizes the follower with such methods as chanting the
name of the master, and gazing at an imagined image of the master with
eyes closed. It gets the follower deliberately trying to have dreams
of the masters. When through the continued power of suggestion over a
period of months and years, the student not surprisingly begins to
dream of Eck masters, the student unquestioningly accepts the dream as
validation of Eckankar, no matter that it may be self-induced through
suggestion. Oddly, if the same student dreams of something that might
invalidate eckankar, such dreams are rationalized as being Kal
influences or caused by negative entities or other rationalizations.
It's well known that lucid dreaming can be deliberately generated, and
one can program through intense suggestion over days and weeks any
dream experience one would like. One book about lucid dreaming offers
as an example experiencing lucid dream sex with Marilyn Monroe with
the use of lucid dream exercises! And it doesn't have to be a dream.
One can achieve similar effects while waking, while in a deep state of
self induced auto-hypnosis, which is can be very similar, if not
identical, to deep meditation.
So, the problem with spiritual experiences is that the only criteria
1) If the experience is positive about Eckankar, it's real, and should
be accepted without doubt.
2) If the experience is negative about Eckankar, it is not real, and
may be a kal trick or some negative impulse from Mind, or the lower
Kal worlds.
So, here's the essential point I'm making: With this sort of circular
logic, a double bind is created that the follower has trouble escaping
from. With this pseudo-logic, everything is affirming of Eckankar,
even if it isn't. By creating such a double bind, the loyal follower
is left with only one conclusion if he or she isn't having experiences
according to the Eckankar model: The follower is flawed and
spiritually un-evolved. If the follower does have "experiences" with
masters, then the follower is thought to be successful, ignoring the
possibility the follower is just more suggestible than average.
(Remember Klemp thinking he would lift the airport fog if he disrobed
in public? That is an example of a person highly prone to
suggestibility, if not downright deluded and psychotic). This is a
particularly insidious and malevolent mind-game to inflict upon the
trusting devotee, but this is exactly what Eckankar does. And even
Klemp wasn't exempt while he was working his way through the ranks.
Now, to be clear, I'm not saying there aren't genuine spiritual
experiences one could have by using the exercises in Eckankar. Such
exercises are not at all dissimilar from exercises taught by other
groups. Doing those exercises could produce a real experience. But it
isn't Eckankar that produced the experience, rather, it is the
individual practicing a common technique shared by many yogic groups.
One could have spiritual experiences no matter which group one
followed. So spiritual experiences don't prove Eckankar is real. I had
experiences before and after becoming a member of Eckankar, and some
after having left Eckankar. Some were real, some weren't. I'm now
wiser about how to tell the difference.
Tianyue
...
read more »
There were a couple events out of order in that
last post. (Harold's father's death and the order
of bridge and airport events.)

This post is an attempt to clarify order of events
I commented on earlier.

Chapter 11 (The Midwest Seminar) of Childi n the
Wilderness reads.

"The days before the Midwest Seminar in Chicago
passed like molasses. It was quite nervy for a new
employee to ask for time off less than a month after
being hired, but that was a condition I insisted on.
The ECK seminar was scheduled for April 23-26,
1970 - Thursday through Sunday. [....]"

BTW, Harold's father didn't die until the the following
year. October 1971, I think. So it was a different sem-
inar when that happened. Not the Midwest seminar of
1970. However,before his new job, Harold did announce
his decision to quit the family church. (See chap.9, The
Squeeze Is On, 1st chapter) Later, in the same chapter
"Now it became imperative to find a job and leave the
farm (p. 85 Child in the Wilderness).

Actually, Harold announced the decision to leave in
Chap. 7 (Good-bye Church, Good-bye Farm). I presume
he didn't actually do it (Quit the Church and find a new
Job) until some time later. See Chap. 9.

My point earlier was that Harold had left the family
church, decided to leave the farm and he was looking
for (and later started) a job before the seminar where
Harold expected to meet with ECK Master, Paul Twit-
chell. (For a consultation? See page 99, 2nd paragraph.)

Someone did hand Harold a flower at the seminar
(p. 103) that was from the Master. I believe.

The last paragraph of Chap. 11 (p. 105) reads:

"Full of love, loneliness, and even a little smug-ness,
I settled back into my seat for the long ride home."

The first two paragraphs of Chap. 12 (p. 107) read:

"The Midwest Seminar of 1970 was over, and I returned
home quite a different person from the one who had left
for the seminar three days earlier.

"Paul had promised on the inner planes that we would
meet at the seminar. Since he had met me once or twice
at previous seminars, I just took the privilege for granted.
But the weekend passed without so much as a nod from
him. Although let down, I felt a rich stirring in my heart,
like a love gift: an entirely new feeling."

After unpacking from the seminar on Sunday, he (Harold
Klemp) went for a walk. This was when he encountered
the "man on the bridge".

After Chap. 12 (Bedlam In The Proofroom) Chap.13
begins with Harold Klemp going to the bridge again.
Chapter 13 was called: A Sharp Rebuke.

I've not clarified all the details for this timeline, but it reads
like Harold jumped from the bridge, went to the hospital,
came home, and then had a feeling he had to "fly to Las
Vegas and work for Paul". So it looks like he didn't go to
the "psyche ward" after the bridge-jumping incident, but
after the police removed him from the airport (sometime
later) for trying to "disrobe".

Chapter 19 (Off The Deep End), p. 166:

"After cleaning up, I made a change in my usual
routine. Instead of walking to the office, I decided
to skip work. What better way to return God's love
than to fly to Las Vegas and work for Paul?
Unknown to me, he was on a trip to Europe. Like
many unbalanced people before and after that day,
I thought the Master would be waiting for me with
open arms at the Las Vegas airport. Actually, an
unbalanced person is a nuisance to himself and
others. Paul didn't need someone like me in that
condition."

This is not a detailed order of everything, but in
order to clarify events for the time-line I tried to
illustrate in an earlier post, it app-ears to look
something like this. (An attempt to clarify order.
What came before what.)

Leaves church and farm. Starts new job living in
apartment by himself. Goes to 1970 seminar.
Meets man on bridge after returning home from
seminar. Has "God-Realization" experience on
bridge. Later jumps from bridge. Returns from
hospital and goes back to work. Decides one day
to go meet Paul Twitchell. Skips work & goes to
airport. Taken from airport to hospital and ends up
in "psyche ward".

That was an attempt to illustrate the order of
events I mentioned in the earlier post. It was
NOT a description for everything, and it does
NOT tell how many days between each event.

I mentioned earlier in this post that Harold's
father didn't die before the Midwest Seminar,
but later (before 1971 Worldwide Seminar?).

It was apparent to me, nevertheless, that much
change had taken place in Harold's life before he
jumped off the bridge and was later taken away
from the airport. However, ever since returning
home from that 1970 seminar (it was my im -
pression from the book) Harold was a lot more
alone and detached from his family upbringing.
He had some very phenomenal experiences after
the 1970 seminar and he later wanted to be with
the ECK Master and serve him.

Etznab

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