Hypercriticism and Yaubl Sacabi

     I think it is perfectly appropriate to "test" the extra-ordinary claims of masters, yogis, sages, mystics, and mahantas. What I find curious is that we are more hyper-critical of those who document their challenges of these so-called gurus than we are of the very gurus themselves.

     It does not matter what tradition we are talking about (From Eckankar to Radhasoami to Advaita Vedanta to Disneyland), anyone who makes claims of a trans-rational nature should be placed under very close scrutiny. Yet, I find that we are more apt to kill the carrier of bad news (oops, Twitchell didn't plagiarize, he just "compiled"; oops, Twitchell didn't cover-up, he just "evolved" and changed names; oops, but Darwin did steal money, because Harold said so..... hmm) than inspect the message itself.

     Andy is right that there is more to the Darwin chapter than Eckankar tell us. And why is it that Darwin gets wasted by certain Eckists and Klemp, but Twitchell escapes the hook? What is fundamentally the difference between Twitchell and Gross? My sense is that Gross was "delegitimated" by the so-called "legitimacy" of Klemp. In other words, Gross' gave up the symbols too early and the symbols (namely trademark terms, like Eck Master, Mahanta Consciousness, and so on) came back to haunt him.

     If you want to say that Darwin did some reprehensible things, then tell me exactly what were they? And how do you know that Twitchell didn't do almost exactly the same? And how do you know that Klemp in his own way has not xeroxed Gross?

     What we are noticing here, of course, are frames of criticism. Because the leader has criticized someone, the followers then more or less follow suit (Darwin is bad). But when the current leader does not criticize the founder, the followers also more or less refrain from criticizing him (Twitchell was "creative"). Well, maybe we should help Darwin's image, just as we have been trying to re-image Twitchell.

(Below are some of my ironic revisions of Eckankar's claims against Darwin):

Eckankar claim: Darwin stole money (millions of it)

spin doctor: Darwin borrowed money for the good of the corp.

Eckankar claim: Darwin sexually hassled women in the office and elsewhere

spin doctor: Darwin was trying to groom his chelas' auras

Eckankar claim: Darwin did not show respect to the living Eck Master

spin doctor: Darwin thought he was still the Mahanta, though temporarily in retirement. He was having back problems and the medications made him a bit irritable. It's tough being God-enlightened and having back problems. Where's the Doan's pills when you need them?

Eckankar claim: Darwin was caught by the negative force and is no longer a member of Eckankar.

spin doctor: Just because Darwin took a couple of million and hid it in a dummy corporation does not mean that he was working with the Kal. He was just trying to get higher interest rates and was going to return the money, plus extra, later on.

     Generally I find that we don't spin doctor for Darwin Gross. Yet, we spin doctor for Twitchell and for Klemp or for almost any guru.

     The tendency to do such may be related (in mathematical terms) with the percentage of our day to day involvement with the guru in question.

     I think it is good to bash writers and undergraduate term papers and the like. But I also think we should really deeply question the ways in which we condone plagiarism, cover-up, tax fraud, lying, and the rest.

     To be sure, nobody comes out unscathed, but I do think that those who make the extra-ordinary claims deserve are very best extra-ordinary analyses. If we are willing to rip and shred critical studies of our respective gurus, then we should go the extra mile and do the same to those people who are providing us amazing promises.

     In other words, we are probably more critical of the 7/11 clerk than we are of God-realized Masters. To be sure, I want the Big Gulp machine cleaned once in a while, but I do think that guy who claims to have access to the very highest plane of consciousness deserves to be critiqued on why he can't write original sentences or be straight about his resume. I mean the 7/11 guy would get booted for lying on his vita. When we find out that "God-man" did it, we say that he was just being "inventive" or "creative."

     Tell that to your boss. He seems to have a higher standard on integrity than we do, and he sells candy....

     Written on Memorial day in honor of Andy's quite pertinent query.

email for PGP Public Key