Metaphysical Pathos, Existential Grinds, and Lane's full of Crap

     Well, in the spirit of tweaking myself first, I thought I would respond to several recent posts by Timothy, Kent, and others, concerning the issue of biases.

     I think both of them (along with others) raise a very pertinent and important point. Lane is indeed biased. Now the next question that is constructive is to then decide which information that is presented in his writings can be of use outside of his perceived slants/prejudices/and the like. That is, can we find the plagiarism for ourselves? Can we get the back issues of Orion and see if indeed Twitchell did name replacements? Can we read some of the original documents (like birth records, death certificates, etc.) to see if Twitchell had provided different birth dates (from 1908 to 1922)? Can we get copies of Scientology materials of the late 1950s with Twitchell's name on their published articles? Can we see if Twitchell was so deeply involved with Kirpal Singh by looking at the 10 year correspondence between the two?

     These are very important questions and they should be answered by those rightly skeptical of Lane's biases. This is naturally how we should approach any text which contradicts something we have a deep affinity for.

     However, I think the would-be reader is in for a surprise. I think you might find out that my comments on Twitchell's plagiarism, cover-up, duplicity, were only the tip of an iceberg. I think, to be frank, I underestimated how much he plagiarized for instance. Just this last week I went over a report by an Eckist who doubted my study and wanted to see if Twitchell had plagiarized anything else (besides The Far Country, Letters to Gail, and The Tiger's Fang) and to his chagrin and mine he found that both volumes of The Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad contain several hundred paragraphs from Johnson's 1930s books. The Eckist was shocked to say the least (he thought that I had tracked down all of Twitchell's plagiarism; I haven't even gotten close to scratching the surface).

     He then mailed me his ten page report, saying in essence that he stopped looking for more plagiarisms because it "would most likely take ten years to track them all down--so extensive are they." Thus, I think Eckists should read the materials for themselves to see if they can discern the same similarities that I found. By this kind of scrutiny we may be able to have a number of studies, instead of one, which will underline the question of whether or not Twitchell plagiarized, like Lane claims.

     Moreover, when it comes to the issue of cover-up, it might be conducive to do a more extensive search of Twitchell's earlier writings to see if there are more things to be discovered or illuminated.

     I say all of this because I think we should "doubt" texts. But in doubting we should also try to discover or discern for ourselves whether or not an author's major claims hold up. In this way, we can ferret out the valuable and usable and verifiable information from the particular slant that the author has on the material in question.

     This way we will know for ourselves whether a text is similar, whether Sudar Singh exists, whether Twitchell gave contradictory birth dates, whether Twitchell associated with Vairagi masters or more mundane fellows like Hubbard, Kirpal, and Premananda.

     But let us not give in to the easy temptation of dismissing a study's findings by resorting prematurely to inner plane excuses. Let's scrutinize the study on this plane first. Let's test the empirical evidence that is proffered by more deep empirical examination.

     My bias is that if we cannot trust someone on this level (something which is at least open to tests), if he/she can't give us straight information and straight leads about where they get such information, then we should be very hesitant about trusting him/her on the next level (read: astral plane).

     If a used car salesman does not provide you with an accurate (and traceable) record of the car you bought (he hid the number of miles, the previous ownership, etc.), you have the right to turn the vehicle back in for further inspection. My hunch is that if a religious leader does the same we should hesitate about taking his spiritual vehicle for a ride. Maybe we should inspect it a bit further, especially if we are going to take it for a lifetime ride to another universe.

Rip, shred, and lacerate.

Lane basher #1 email for PGP Public Key