The making of a spiritual movement

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The making of a spiritual movement

Post  Guest on Sun Sep 30, 2012 7:09 pm

An impartial study of the religion/cult Eckankar shows the politics that goes on in the formation and evolution of cults. Twitchell, the founder, was deeply influenced by Kirpal Singh, the founder of Ruhaani satsang, but then developed differences with Singh and so started claiming that his mentor had been a certain Sudaar Singh (and not Kirpal Singh). Even though he had been formally initiated by Kirpal Singh, Twitchell broke off all contact with his guru after Kirpal Singh expressed dislike for certain aspects of a book he (Twitchell) had written. Before joining Kirpal Singh, Twitchell had joined Swami Premananda's Church of Self-Revealation of Absolute Monism following which he had been expelled for misconduct. After the Kirpal Singh period Twitchell had joined L.Ron Hubbard's Scientology, and had been personally worked with Hubbard achieving the scientology state of 'Clear', before leaving the cult.

When Twitchell died he had not named any successor. His wife Gail then maneuvered to install a newbie Eckist (follower of Eckankar) as the leader of Eckankar. Darwin Gross had only been in Eckankar for less than two years before he was named head of the movement. Shortly thereafter, he married Gail. After some years he divorced Gail and re-married but then this second marriage was also annuled.

Twitchell had died in 1971, and Gross had been in Eckankar since 1969. In 1981, Gross appointed a quiet, unassuming, seemingly intelligent, and one guesses somewhat obsequious Eckist, named Harold Klemp, as the head of the movement and stepped down himself. The reason given was Gross's health. Gross wanted to lead a retired life with full pension and amenities from Eckankar while the actual day to day work would be carried out by his successor. That was Gross's plan anyways. But then, after Klemp assumed power, he developed differences with Gross and ultimately excommunicated the former Head of the movement from the movement itself. As David Lane writes:

by David Christopher Lane

The Downfall of Darwin Gross

When Darwin Gross appointed Harold Klemp as the "Living Eck Master" in 1981 he had no idea that two years later his successor would excommunicate him from Eckankar, ban his books from sale, and instigate a lawsuit against him for business impropriety and copyright infringement. But that is exactly what happened. In a "Personal and Confidential" letter dated January 4, 1984, Harold Klemp informed Darwin Gross of his removal from Eckankar:


Dear Darwin:

The Order of the Vairagi ECK Masters no longer recognizes you as an ECK Master. As the agent of the ECK, I have removed all of your initiations in ECK as well as terminated your membership in ECKANKAR. You are not capable or authorized to act or speak for or about the Vairagi ECK Masters, ECKANKAR or the ECK teachings, nor are you to hold yourself out as an ECK Master or ECK member. Do not directly or indirectly associate yourself or your activities with the sacred teachings of ECK or ECKANKAR in any way.

I have refrained from coming forth with this pronouncement sooner for the sake of those new to the path and still setting their spiritual foundation. Dap Ren [spiritual name for Darwin Gross] served the ECK well at one time but the negative forces were allowed in through lack of vigilance and discipline, causing spiritual decay. No one has done this to you--you have brought this upon yourself. Will the meaning of this discipline come clear or will you remain like an actor lost in his role?

You have been given many opportunities to avoid this, but you have continued your unseeing actions, forsaking the good of the whole for the whimperings of the little self. Your misuse of a sacred trust; your self-serving mismanagement of ECKANKAR; your acts against the MAHANTA, the Living ECK Master, and against other initiates; your false statements; all of this misconduct is the result of a fall from grace. No one, including an Eck Master, is exempt from the laws of Spirit.

And so it stands. The Divine plan continues unfolding while the ages roll by and Souls make their way home to SUGMAD. IT will receive you through the MAHANTA, the living ECK Master, when you are ready.


Sri Harold Klemp [The MAHANTA, The Living ECK Master]


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