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How Does One Learn In Eckankar?


The chela or student pays a yearly fee of $130 (more for husband/wife/children) to receive very skimpy and poorly written monthly mailings called discourses. These discourses are claimed to carry a special high vibration between the Master and the student. The fact that many of these "special" vibe discourses later ended up in book publication for sale to the general public makes one wonder. In a slick marketing move, Eckankar allows its members to buy the same thing twice, once in mandatory discourse form and later in book form.

Twitchell's original discourses were badly written and very difficult to wade through. After Twitchell's death, Darwin Gross continued to write discourses which are now unavailable. The latest "master", Mr. Klemp, has written some bland discourse series, but they're hardly more than children's stories or folksy tales he read in Reader's Digest. Hardly the stuff of soaring spiritual writings.

There are also a large number of books available, as well as audio and video cassettes. Most of Twitchell's audio cassettes up till his death have been discontinued. Klemp simply told his flock that they were no longer applicable since the consciousness has evolved so greatly over the intervening 30 years. There are those, though, who take the position that Twitchell's audio cassettes contained much false and embarrassing information that the modern decision makers decided was just too revealing.

An example of one Eckankar technique that's used is for the student to sit in silence and gaze at a picture of Harold Klemp. This is a widely known technique in the occult world and Twitchell was extremely vocal about never using occult practices in Eckankar. Of course, what he said and what he actually did are always two different things. It's methods such as this that enforce the charges of it being a cultic teaching.

Very, very few chelas ever get to meet Mr. Klemp in person and have no way of contacting him if needed. In Eckankar, the student is told to only talk to the "inner master", which could turn out to be God, the devil, bowel gas or the student's own subconscious mind. Thus, as a learning system, it doesn't get very high marks, which probably accounts for the high membership turnover throughout the years.



Every Initiate has a responsibiity in ECK to be a missionary to spread the word. This does not mean that he has to take a soapbox, or stand in a pulpit, nor on a corner giving out pamphlets on ECK. But it means that he must be able to talk with relatives, friends, and those who seem to be interested in seeking God. He must sacrifice his time, his love for material things, security in the material senses, and take up the banner to spread ECK to the world. His approach must be quiet, but enthusiastic and must be given with love and humility. Never once should he appear to be above others simply because he has a greater spiritual unfoldment than others, and that his knowledge is greater. Of course the ECK Initiate is the chosen one of God's children, but never once shall he try to be pretentious for once he develops vanity then his worth to God is little, if any.

-PAUL TWITCHELL PRESENTS:
The Wisdom Notes
Vol. 2 No. 1, January 1, 1969-