A CASE STUDY OF PLAGIARISM
An appropriation or copying from the work of another, in literature or
art, and the passing off of the same as original.
Paul Twitchell claimed that his book, The Far Country (written in the late 1960's), was dictated to him by Tibetan Master, Rebazar Tarzs. The work, however, was almost entirely copied from the early books of Julian P. Johnson and L. Ron Hubbard. Over four-hundred paragraphs alone of The Far Country were directly taken from Johnson's two books: With a Great Master in India (copyright 1933) and The Path of the Masters (copyright 1939). There are many more words, sentences, and even paragraphs which Twitchell borrowed from Johnson's books, but I have only given a list of those examples which quite clearly display Twitchell's plagiarism. Below is a paragraph rundown:
Chapter One, "The Far Country"
SELECTED EXAMPLES OF PLAGIARISM
It is this divine current, wave or stream going forth from God himself, and flowing throughout the universe. But when God speaks, he not only sets in motion etheric vibrations but he himself moves in and through those vibrations. In truth it is God himself that vibrates all through infinite space. God is not static, latent; He is superlatively dynamic. When he speaks, everything in existence vibrates, and that is the Sound, the Shabd; and it can be heard by the inner ear, which has been trained to hear it. It is the divine energy in process of manifestation which is the holy Shabd. It is in fact the only way in which the Supreme One can be seen and heard--this mighty, luminous and musical wave, creating and enchanting. Now, this great fact of Nature, so little known to either ancient or modern thought, is the vital substance of the Science of the Masters. It is cardinal and central in all their teachings. It is the one thing which distinguishes Santon Ki Shiksha from all other sciences or systems. It is the very foundation of their system of yoga. It is the key to all of their success in unfolding their spiritual power and controlling their minds. It is the one sign by which a real Master may be known and recognized from all others. No one is or can be a genuine Master unless he teaches and practices the Audible Life Stream; because it is impossible for any one to become a spiritual Master of the highest order unless he consciously utilizes the Life Stream to gain his development.
--Julian P. Johnson, The Path of the Masters (page 475)
It is the divine current, wave, or stream, going forth from The ALONE ITSELF and flowing throughout the universe. This is what is called spirit or the Holy Ghost or what we know as the ECK! When the ALONE speaks, it not only sets in motion etheric vibrations, but it Itself moves in and through those vibrations. In truth, it is The ALONE Itself that vibrates through in finite space. The ALONE is not static, but it is superlatively dynamic and therefore everything in existence vibrates and that is the Sound, the ECK. It can be heard by the inner ear which has been trained to hear it. It is the divine energy in process of manifestation which is the holy ECK. It is in fact, the only way in which the Supreme One can be seen and heard--this mighty, luminous and musical wave, creating and enchanting. This great truth so little known to either ancient or modern thought, is the vital substance of the science of the masters. It is cardinal and central in all of their teachings. It is the foundation of all systems for spiritual unfoldment. It is the key to all of their success in unfolding their spiritual powers and controlling their minds. No one is nor can be a genuine master unless he teaches and practices the spiritual exercises of ECK; because it is impossible for anyone to become a highly developed spiritual person unless he consciously utilizes the ECK to gain his unfoldment.
--Paul Twitchell, Letters to Gail, Vol. I (pages 79-80)
It is called Sound Current in India, among those who speak English. But the best translation which we have been able to discover is: Audible Life Stream. This appears to carry its deeper meaning and is more comprehensive and inclusive. It is, in fact, a stream, a life-giving, creative stream and it can be heard. The fact that it is audible is extremely important and that idea must be conveyed, if possible, in any name that is applied to it. This current or wave contains the sum of all teaching emanating from God. It is his own Word. It includes everything that God has ever said or done. It is God himself in expression. It is the method of God in making himself known. It is his language. It is his Word. This Sound sometimes is called Name; in Sanskrit or Hindi , Nam. But in English, we are not accustomed to put so much meaning in the word "name." It is only correct if we understand that "name" or Nam stands for all that the Supreme Being is. To distinguish God in action from God as divine Essence, we call him Shabd or living Word. This divine Nam, or Sound, or Word, stands for all that God is or has ever said or done. It includes all of his qualities. As said before, it is the only way in which the universal Spirit can manifest itself to human consciousness. So when the supreme Being manifests himself as Sat Nam in Sach Khand he there becomes fully personified, embodied, and brings into manifestation all of the qualities of deity. As Sat Nam he becomes the Fountain out of which the Audible Life Stream proceeds. This stream may be perceived and heard by all who participate in it throughout the worlds.
Julian P. Johnson, The Path of the Masters (pages 476-478)
It is commonly known to most westerners as the Life Stream--this appears to carry its deeper meaning, and is more comprehensive and inclusive. It is in fact a stream, a life-giving creative stream, and it can be heard. The fact that it is audible is extremely important, and that idea must be conveyed, if possible, in any name that is applied to it. This current or wave contains the sum of all teaching emanating from the Alone. It is Its Word. It includes everything that the Alone has ever said or done. It is the Alone itself in expression and it is the method of the Alone in making itself known; it is Its language and it is Its Word. This sound is sometimes called Name in Sanskrit or Hindi, shortened many times to Nam. The western world isn't accustomed to putting so much meaning in the word name. But in India the word means among certain sects that name, or ECK all that the Alone is. It is the whole Divine Being in action. To distinguish the Alone in action from the Alone as divine essence, He is called the ECK or Living Word. The divine Nam or Sound or Word stands for all that the Alone is or has ever said or done, therefore it includes all its qualities, and is the only way in which the universal Spirit can manifest itself to human consciousness. So, when the Supreme Sugmad manifests Itself as the ECK, it becomes fully personified, embodied, individualized, for the first time and bring into manifestation all of the qualities of deity. On this plane It becomes the Fountain out of which the ECK, Audible Life Stream, flows.
--Paul Twitchell, Letters to Gail, Vol. I (pages 80-81)
He (Jaimal Singh) at last heard of a sadhu who lived in a distant jungle. He went to him. The sadhu was much pleased and told him to go to Agra where lived a perfect Mahatma who could instruct him in the five melodies. His long search was ended. After some time with Swami Ji, Jaimal Singh had problems with his inward progress. .Baba Ji asked: "What is the proof that I have already done the practice?" Swami Ji replied: "If you want proof, then sit down for Bhajan and close your eyes." Then Swami Ji drew his soul and took it as high as Daswan Dwar; and Swarup the master 5 radiant form was with it all the way.
--Extracts from the "Preface" to Sar Bachan by Shiv Dayal Singh; translated by Sewa Singh, with Preface by Dr. Julian P. Johnson
Sudar Singh, the guru in the Eck line of masters, was a follower of Rebazar Tarzs. When a very young man, he was told by a sadhu to make his way to Agra where he was to find Rebazar, who would lift him into heaven via soul travel. In the year 1885, he found the master and asked for proof. He was told that if [he] sat down for meditation and closed his eyes, he would see the proof. Then, according to the records, Sudar Singh was lifted as high as the third place Daswan Dwar in the presence of his guru's radiant form.
--Paul Twitchell, Eckankar: The Key to Secret Worlds (San Diego: Illuminated Way Press, 1974), page 123
Not only does Twitchell reveal his plagiarism of Julian Johnson in the above comparisons, but he also shows that the life story of "Sudar Singh" is a composite taken from narratives of previous real-life masters.